Thursday, July 30, 2009


Don Appleman's 2009 Dawes SST-AlTwo tires held in place by ribbons in the middle, thimbles on the edge.
Rubber with no tread, little weight.
Folded in a pocket with room left over.
A half inch touching earth when not.

One frame of angles connected by braze or fiber.
Smooth and shimmering paint attract the eye.
Like a beautiful woman,
or perfect sunset.

Bar with swooping curls at the ends.
Curls that drop from a straight top
and resting place for levers.
All wrapped in tape to caress the hand.

Cranks and cogs transmit force to a whirring chain.
A chain that runs to a tangle of springs and levers.
telling the machine how fast to go,
how good the beast astride.

A thin piece of leather atop a fragile post.
Material slides over the smooth surface a hundred
beats per minute driving the machine on.
Creating a vision of elegance.

All topped by an amalgam of muscle and bone.
Covered with colors of slick and stretchy fabric,
grasping the bars, sitting on the saddle,
cranking the rings that drive the chain and turn the wheels.

The whole is elegant as it slips through the wind,
along tracks, up hills and down.
Elegant, too, when still.
Waiting to be let loose upon the world.

This piece of elegant artistry that is a bicycle.

-- David Kannas, "Elegance", West Seattle Herald, 30 March 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Cell phone use while drivingA ton of people pass me literally unaware of their surroundings.

-- Matthew Downing, Oklahoma City police sergeant, on erratic behavior by drivers talking on their phones or texting, New York Times, 19 July 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Jephthah's sacrifice - Maciejowski Bible (France, ca. 1250)It is a trick among the dishonest to offer sacrifices that are not needed, or not possible, to avoid making those that are required.

-- Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891), novelist

Monday, July 27, 2009


Saul AlinskyMost people do not accumulate a body of experience. Most people go through life undergoing a series of happenings, which pass through their systems undigested. Happenings become experiences when they are digested, when they are reflected on, related to general patterns, and synthesized.

-- Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals (p. 68)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mobile Phone

Richard Cass after hearing that his son was found aliveI'm going to kick his arse. The millions that have been spent on this search, the man hours and woman hours that have gone into it ... all because he goes out on a walk without his mobile phone. The only teenager in the world who goes on a 10-mile hike and leaves his mobile phone behind.

-- Richard Cass, father of British teenager Jamie Neale, 19, who was lost for 12 days while hiking in Australia's Blue Mountains, 15 July 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Read The Bills

Steny Hoyer, official photo as House Minority WhipIf every member pledged to not vote for it (the health care bill) if they hadn't read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes.

-- Senator Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader, July 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RIP Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite (b. 1916) on television during 1st presidential debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1976This is my last broadcast as the anchorman of The CBS Evening News; for me, it's a moment for which I long have planned, but which, nevertheless, comes with some sadness. For almost 2 decades, after all, we've been meeting like this in the evenings, and I'll miss that. But those who have made anything of this departure, I'm afraid have made too much. This is but a transition, a passing of the baton .... Furthermore, I'm not even going away! I'll be back from time to time with special news reports and documentaries, and, beginning in June, every week, with our science program, Universe. Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away; they just keep coming back for more. And that's the way it is: Friday, March 6, 1981.

-- Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (4 November 1916 - 17 July 2009), American broadcast journalist, anchorman for The CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962 - 1981)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tranquility Base

Apollo 11 logoHouston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

-- Astronaut Neil Armstrong, from the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Module Eagle after landing on the moon. It is estimated that there was 11 seconds' worth of fuel left at touchdown, 20 July 1969

Thursday, July 16, 2009


ilbert Keith ChestertonIt is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.

-- G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1000-Day Dream

VertebratsComing to Cowboy Monkey & The Highdive, October 2nd & 3rd, 2009

Don't Think About It
How Come
Any Day Now
Johnny Avante
Hang On To Your Man
Big Yellow Bus
Left In The Dark
Diamonds In The Rough
Jackie's Gone
Teen Seen
Put Your Toys Away
Some Like It Hot
Turn On Your Face
Try Again
Every Once In Awhile
Up Till Then
Mystery of Love
Honey Bee
This Before

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Melting butter with sugarUnless you have a complete meltdown, you're going to get confirmed.

-- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, as hearings began on her Supreme Court nomination, New York Times, 14 July, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cartoon Thought Bubbles

Cartoon thought bubbleYou'll have half the participants BlackBerrying each other as a submeeting, with a running commentary on the primary meeting. BlackBerrys have become like cartoon thought bubbles.

-- Philippe Reines, senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Times, 22 June 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Single Mold

Injection molded woman's body hangersNature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals, whereas culture has invented a single mold to which all must conform. It is grotesque.

-- U.G. Krishnamurti (9 July 1918 - 22 March 2007), speaker and philosopher, Mind is a Myth (1987)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Will Durant, LOOK Magazine, January 16, 1962. p.93Inquiry is fatal to certainty.

-- William James Durant (1885-1981), American historian, teacher, philosopher

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Looking Stupid

Screenshot from 1940s Puss Gets The Boot, the first Tom and Jerry cartoon[W]e need to be careful that politicians do not get talked into putting legislation in place that, in the end, ends up looking stupid.

-- Charles Dunstone, head of UK ISP TalkTalk, on legislation aimed at limiting file sharing, quoted on Slashdot, 7 June 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Wait, What?

Michael Jackson at the White House, April 1990Wait, was Michael Jackson black?

-- 10-year old Alyssa, looking at the cover to Michael Jackson's 1982 LP "Thriller"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

Al Franken just before addressing the 2008 Olmsted County Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Convention in Rochester, Minnesota, 29 March 2008For all of the foregoing reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under Minn. 31 Stat. Section 204C.40 (2008) to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.

-- Conclusion from the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that Al Franken won election to the US Senate last November, 30 June 2009