Thursday, April 24, 2008

Opal Creek, again...


“See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls.”

~ Mother Teresa

Sometimes there just isn't enough time...

So much to say, so many photos to take. Anyone need a full time writer/photographer? Willing to pay about $50K a year? Let me know, ok? heh... I won't hold my breath.

So many things going on its impossible these days to keep up. So I don't. An old anachronism am I. I use to laugh at the older generation when I was young. My dad and I often had some... intense... discussions when I was a young adult. But as I got older and our philosophies began to track closer we had some great talks. Pablo got to meet my folks and enjoyed their company and they got to really like him. In fact they thought most of my adult male friends were pretty good guys. A little different than when I was a teenager.

Back then I was open to most folks and had friends who got into more than their share of trouble. I never shared that trouble but I've always been able to appreciate the good parts of people while being forgiving of their negative traits. Of course nowadays I can't say the same because rare is the politician with negative tendencies that I can stomach...

Robin's eerie short story drew some quality praise. Tuesday night because she had a choir concert she missed a chance to meet Ursula K Le Guin, one of my favorite female authors who was in Portland at Powell's Books downtown signing her new book Lavinia. As the daughter of Dr Alfred and Theodora Kroeber, the good folks who brought us the story of Ishi, a California Yahi Indian who was the last (or one of the last) people of his tribe, Le Guin grew up surrounded by academia and anthropologists and has a has a great sensibility to humans and their cultures. She is a truly gifted author. And, as I often mention, if you want to learn about some of the saddest parts of American (US) history, the treatment of indigenous tribal folks in California is pretty dismal, from the coming of the Spaniards with their mission system and its use of native slaves through to the Gold Rush and Captain Jack and the Modoc War, the last of the Indian battles of California and Oregon.

But today I'm getting back to Opal Creek and Pablo and all that that entails... which, if you've been a regular reader, you know how wide the connections are in my continuing tale of Tincup.

When I first visited Opal Creek that autumn of '89 I was housed in Cabin 4:

and it was there I fell in love with Opal Creek. Falling asleep every night reading, listening to the Little North Fork of the Santiam flowing by... sigh... it was truly a connection of fate and karma, good luck and proof of the old adage, "its not what you know, but who you know." Because it was the connection I made with Hoos and Pablo while I was in Santa Maria flinging lumber with Marty that I met them both. And they were the ones who got me hired as one of the last miners.

I remember that first visit... driving almost a thousand miles up I-5, making the right turn onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy 22) and heading east into the Cascades towards Mehama. Making a left turn onto North Fork Rd and driving until I came to the locked gate at the end of the road. That was the only time that road seemed long. Not knowing where I was going really, the drive followed the twisty two lane road deeper into the Little North Fork canyon, past small farms and catching glimpses of the Little North Fork of the Santiam River as the trees grew closer and the canopy grew thicker, hanging over the road in many places until the blacktop ran out and I hit the gravel road. Then it was another 6 miles of driving on gravel, bucking the washboard and dodging pot holes... and then coming to the crest of the road where you can see across the deep and forested canyon to Elkhorn Mountain and the cut of Cedar Creek with its rocky knobs to the right (south) and Henline Mountain rising steeply to the left. All unlogged and free of clearcuts... and then... a couple of miles further up rounding a curve in the road to the left and there straight ahead is the view up canyon of the the Little North Fork's headwaters and somewhere down in there, Jawbone Flats and my friends:

Back then Opal Creek was just getting media attention as a pivotal player in the old-growth versus logging debate, a subject I knew literally nothing about, other of course than that I liked big trees and pristine forests, clean water and lots of quiet (see Mother Theresa's quote at the top of this page).

And like I've also said before, Opal Creek began my adventurous return to the Pacific Northwest, seeming very much like I was a character in a story that could have been a part of writer Tom Robbins' psychedelic Another Roadside Attraction. But with my own personal twist...

And, because the connections are very much braided together (the great song "Braided Hair" by Speech, from the very, very wonderful album, One Giant Leap, hits this nail squarely on the head for me) it just had to be that Grampa Semu came to Opal Creek for a stay with us, with his wife Aneke Alish and his wonderful friend Amuah:

and of course we had to do a group photo (taken by Pablo, with my camera) -- probably the only pic I'll post with Hoosnahil visible -- with Jawbone's residents and the teenagers Grampa brought along:

Its funny, because when I was living there and taking my photographs I never figured they would become historic documents... So there is a word of wisdom to the photographers out there, especially you young ones, you never know when a situation or a series of photos you may deem as ordinary or insignificant (especially of people and events) can take on more importance than you give them at the time of their being taken.

I have to head to work in a bit... so I will continue this next time. Until then...

Kay sh'nuk sh'mah.

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

~ Robert Louis Stevenson


Sunday, April 20, 2008

the blue swing...


A little bit of a change-up in today's post.

My ex and I raised our kids without much TV. We read them a lot of books and they always had loads of kids' books (scattered everywhere). Both read now at a level much higher than the grades they are in. They went through loads of Mad-Libs and both can write well. My daughter Robin is a voracious reader... probably to the detriment of her school work... but that is ok (kinda).

Her mother emailed me a story the other day that Robin had written for a school assigment. It is so well done I havta post it for you all. The story is -- of course -- under copyright protection. So here, dear friends, is my daughter Robin's public debut as an author of short fiction. The piece is untitled (for now) but if it were mine I'd call it...


The blue swing...

I ran through the conversation in my head again, trying with all my heart to think of some way, some loophole, that would take the blame off me. I'd been at it for what felt like hours, every excuse getting weaker as time went on, but it all came down to the same thing. I told myself there was no way I could have known, no possible way I could have known! But the truth was... I knew I was making a mistake when I picked up that phone. Somehow I had known. I couldn't explain it, except maybe to say that my blood had been pumping faster, my heart felt squeezed in my chest, and I just got that feeling that you get when things aren't right, and now things have gone horribly wrong.

"Mom, mom!!" I shouted, running into the house, "mom, where are you?" I half whined the question as I climbed the stairs. I peeked into her room, and my heart sunk. Just as I had dreaded, no one was there, and on top of that, all of her stuff was packed up, ready for the movers. My palms sweating, I closed my eyes and leaned against the wall. How could this have happened so quickly? What did they want from me?? I calmed my breathing, and with a cold certainty, I knew what I had to do. The instructions had been simple enough, after all, just go to the local park and wait on the blue swing. So I went.

Now I had a dilema. I was standing in front of the swings, five in total, and they were all red. The man on the phone had been very clear that I was to wait on the blue swing, no where else. Maybe he was messing with my head, I thought, but no. He was not the type to play games, I knew that. I walked over to the first swing in the row and stared down at it. Nope, definitely red. I walked slowly down the line, studying each swing, and it wasn't until the fourth one that a smile slid onto my face. This was obvious enough. Some kid had written in big, bold letters "I am Blue." with a big frowny face right on the seat. I wound my hand around the big chain, sat down and swinging gently, I waited for the man with the deep voice. My phone rang. I jumped and almost fell off the swing, but quickly caught my breath and answered the call.

"Hello?" I said tentatively.

"Close your eyes." The man's deep voice said. As usual, straight to the point.

"Why?" I asked, though I knew I would get no answer. Slowly, I closed my phone, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes. Almost immediately I felt a presence before me, and not daring to open my eyes before I was told, waited. I heard someone say "open them," and obediently snapped my eyes open. I did not expect to see what I did. Standing maybe a foot away from me was... me. The logical part of my brain told me to run, but I was rooted to the spot, partially by fear, but mostly by curiosity. I couldn't speak, so I just waited.

Finally she - I - spoke, "I've waited a long time for this, you know." The deep voice that escaped this impostor's lips startled me, I was fully expecting my own. "As soon as I have your voice," It grinned, "I'll be complete and ready to go."

Panic made my voice shoot up a few octaves. "Go WHERE? What are you talking about, what the hell is going on?!"

"You'll find out soon enough.." It chuckled, and I noticed for the first time that it's voice was slowly getting higher. Closer to my tone. "By then I'll be long gone. I've managed to convince your... well... my mother to move away. I need out of this rotting town." Now, the thing studied me closely. "I'm not evil, you know," it cocked it's head, "I was a victim of it just like you. You'll understand, and someday you'll have a life back. I've finally got mine... Or shall we say yours," and with that, it was gone.


I sat in the dark, watching. This boy might be the one, I thought. Then again, I've thought that before and hadn't been correct. No, I told myself, this is different. This has to be the one. I'd been watching him for months, soaking up every detail about him and his life. I was ready to take him over, I knew, and did not feel the least bit guilty. After all, it wasn't my fault I was in this position, nor was it his, or anyones before me. It just was, and now I just needed one thing to be rid of this burden. I needed him to pick up the phone.

- April 17, 2008, Portland, Oregon

© 2008, Robin Erickson


Not bad eh...? The kid has talent I tell ya. Where she gets it? I'm clueless, must be her mom's side of the family.


Friday, April 18, 2008

More Olympics

(I was going to put this image below with the other Olympic graphics... then I realized how well it went with my opening quote, so... here it sits...)


“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

~ Elie Wiesel

Truly... this will be an interesting build-up to the Olympics. Protests continue to shadow the Torch as it makes it way towards China:

China will be watching (Australia's Herald-Sun)

Australian Federal Police chiefs have cancelled leave.

The cost of the security operation for the five-hour event is estimated to run close to $1 million.

The Chinese Government has insisted that several of its controversial paramilitary security guards will protect the torch, but federal police say they will take complete responsibility.

Overseas, the Chinese security officers have been labelled "thugs" for their aggressive behaviour.

Just three Chinese attendants will accompany the Olympic flame on Thursday.

And this line in particular caught my eye:

Some politicians have created headaches for police by declaring public's right to protest during the event.

I wasn't aware that politicians declared our right to protest. I always thought it one of those immovable, immutable universal laws of nature and reality. Huh... the things I learn...

Japanese Temple Refuses to Host Olympic Torch Relay

The Zenkoji Temple officials say monks at the temple are concerned about the way fellow Buddhist monks are being treated in China and about the safety of the temple and its worshippers. The temple is located in Japan's northern city of Nagano, and was originally to be the starting point of the relay in Japan.

Thailand prepares for troubled Olympic torch relay

The torch, whose worldwide journey before the Games in August has turned into a public relations debacle for China's leaders, made its way to the kingdom overnight from India, where many people were arrested.

Thai officials have warned they will deport foreigners who try to disrupt the relay but, unlike at several previous stops, Thailand has not made plans to shorten its leg of the flame's globe-trotting extravaganza.


Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee, has said the protests have thrown the Olympics into "crisis," and reminded China that it pledged to improve its rights record when it proposed to host the Games.
Beijing has told Rogge to stay out of "irrelevant" politics and insisted the demonstrations are not in keeping with the Olympic spirit.

A good read here from SF Gate: China-Tibet-Olympics: Medals for highest-pitched rhetoric?

Tibet protesters clash with Nepal police, 130 detained

KATHMANDU, April 18 (Reuters) - Maroon-robed monks and nuns with shaved heads scuffled with police at a pro-Tibet demonstration in Kathmandu on Friday, in the latest of a series of protests against China.

Authorities said they detained 96 men and 34 women.

"Resolve the crisis in Tibet through dialogue, not guns," a yellow-banner carried by demonstrators read. "China plays games with human rights," read another banner carried by some protesters wearing yellow sleeve-less jackets.

Others displayed a big portrait of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

"Stop killings in Tibet, we want peace," shouted a protester who gave his name as Karma. Four police later hauled him into a waiting van.

Nepal has seen almost daily anti-China protests, except for a short break during last week's national elections.

And in a story that gladdens my heart, Canada's indigenous population may be joining the ranks of Olympics protestors... at the 2010 Olympics (reminiscent of a line I remember -- I think from Gary Snyder -- "women, playing drums, flying over Tibet"):

Squamish band will likely protest at Games despite its support for Olympics

Squamish band members will likely protest at the 2010 Olympic Games despite the chief signing an agreement with the Vancouver Organizing Committee to support the event.

"There will be some level of protest, and I hope so, too," Squamish First Nation Chief Bill Williams said Thursday.

"We are going to be working with VANOC, but we have 3,500 members and not all want to be part of the Olympics. They want to talk about the children and the hardships in the community and they have the full right to do that."

Williams said natives across Canada have the highest ratings in all the worst quality-of-life scenarios.

"We have the highest rate of people incarcerated, the highest rate of children dropping out of schools, the highest rate of children in the child-care system and I could go on and on," Williams said.

"I myself as an aboriginal male have the shortest lifespan."

Williams was reacting to a warning in Ottawa yesterday from Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, that natives could protest at the 2010 Olympics to highlight their "desperate conditions."

In March 2007, three members of Vancouver's Native Warriors Society cut down the Olympic flag at Vancouver City Hall.


Fontaine likened the lives of some native communities to those of Tibetans under Chinese rule.

"We find the Tibet situation compelling," he said. "The Tibetans are disenfranchised people. The situation here is similar, but it's different in this sense - the poverty we're talking about exists in Canada's own backyard.

Interesting, the graphics that come out of these movements. Here are a couple I ran across doing my search for pics for today's post:

What a strange, strange world in which we find ourselves today... truly the ends of the string of time have spiraled and now come so close to touching... the oldest of cultures and societies coming to face head-on the juggernauts of modern technocracy.

Which again, has to do with that Two-Row Wampum.

Oh yeah... before I forget... I've come up with what I can only describe as a Buddhist-based definition of the word "boycott"...


the sound of one hand not opening a wallet.

And you can quote me on that one.


“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

~ Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring springing...


“Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”

~ Alan Watts


When I was that young GI I posted a picture of a couple of posts back, living in Thailand, among Buddhists and in a less technology dominated society, I had the pleasure of having several days off a week (this after we ceased the bombing of Cambodia and Laos, during the bombing of Cambodia and Laos it was 72 hour weeks, 6 12s and 1 day off). I had my small 2 room bungalow downtown with a real comfortable hammock on my front porch. And I had a library and a base store that carried some pretty good reading. I discovered Alan Watts (not like Columbus discovered America... which, according to Dick Gregory, is like me discovering your car in the parking lot with you in it...) and with 5 days a week to spend on my hammock with all my needs able to be satisfied within walking distance -- or a shout to the kids in the compound, who were always happy to fetch a cigarette or soda... or cha dum yen, Thai iced tea... for me -- I spent hours reading. A lot of Sci-Fi/speculative fiction (Heinlein, Ellison, Anthony, Delaney...) which blew my mind and opened my philosophical eyes wide open... and Alan Watts, whose common sense discussions of Buddhism and Zen really put it all in perspective, surrounded as I was by Buddhists.

And now, in another circle coming 'round, I'm dealing with Buddhists again. And... I must admit... my Boycott the Olympics post has brought triple or quadruple the visitors here. So I don't know if its dumb luck or relevant material, or someone with lots of friends emailing the link around... but "Howdy" to all you new readers.


In my saying "Boycott the Olympics" I want to make clear that I don't have that direct line to the Dalai Lama fixed yet. Darn Qwest anyway... but the Dalai Lama has made clear he supports the Olympics and isn't calling for a boycott. Thats me... and, if you are really interested, check out Google:

Boycott Olympics Tibet seems I'm not alone in this boycott thinking.

I don't know if anyone has noticed but my photography is my portrayal of nature as the example of life in balance. Grampa Semu used to say that if you wanted to know god's laws look at life, because god's laws are the laws of nature and those laws are universal truths because whats more natural than nature? Sorry couldn't resist that one... watching TV makes my sarcasm and cynicism need expression at times and the abuse of the word "natural" is worthy of its own blog post.

So.. today... I'm going easy and mostly just posting some pics for your viewing pleasure. But I havta add, in keeping with whole initial intent of this blog... that Pablo and I used to talk philosophy for hours while we played backgammon, drank beer, puffed a bit and perused the far corners of thinking from our perches at the tables in our cabins with a backgammon board in font of us... and Paul was a thinker. Not just a builder and caretaker, but a man who listened and mulled and could reflect back to something said a week or two before and pick up the thread and carry it on into a new vein, a new discussion...

Enjoy your day...

The photos are all from the last couple of months, here at the farm (w/ some focus on my flocks of geese), from my morning meanderings at Golden Garden Park, the waterfalls feeding the Willamette River up Hwy 58...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Boycott the Olympics...


(image © 1996, Phil Borges, see his excellent Tibetan photos at his gallery)

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

~ Dalai Lama

We interrupt my mental meanderings to bring you the following message:

I have watched the news about Tibet in recent weeks, wondering what the world's reaction would be to this latest "crackdown" by China. Well, with the start of the Olympic Torch Relay, the world's most adamant protestors are interrupting it at every city it is passing through. And China is of course, condemning these interruptions.

No surprise there.

What I find truly disturbing is that except for a few, the world has by and large ignored the plight of Tibetans and their oppression under the Chinese. And I include myself in that ignorance...

From my first political leanings, way back in the '70s in Santa Maria, I have accepted my participation in issues because the people affected by an issue have affected me and my thinking. I have been active with indigenous issues, migrant farmworkers, Iranian efforts to unseat the Shah (and that worked out real well...), protests against nuclear weapons proliferation, environmental issues (Opal Creek being the pinnacle of my environmental activism)...

But Tibet, until very recently, has flown below my radar. But in less than a year I have accepted their cause as mine, and another part of that movement that encompasses all issues I have involved myself with. I hate seeing people get screwed. And the Tibetans have shown me that they have been getting a bum deal for decades.

For those of you who are interested, please follow a movement that I predict will gain momentum as the spring wears on into summer and the Olympics approach. Politics and the Olympics are not strangers. But this time we are dealing with a very real holocaust and the perpetrators of this holocaust are the Chinese, the host country for this summer's Olympics.

Here is the link to GoogleNews stories with the keyword Tibet. In a shining "for instance," Australians are wanting action:

Majority want Rudd to intervene in Tibet

As you may or may not know, there have been new clashes in recent weeks by Tibetans against China's presence:

Uneasy, Normal Life Follows Tibet Riots

The history of China's occupation in Tibet, from the Government of Tibet in Exile.

"On 7 October 1950, 40,000 Chinese troops under Political Commissar, Wang Qiemi, attacked Eastern Tibet's provincial capital of Chamdo, from eight directions. The small Tibetan force, consisting of 8,000 troops and militia, were defeated. After two days, Chamdo was taken and Kalon (Minister) Ngapo Ngawang Jigme, the Regional Governor, was captured. Over 4,000 Tibetan fighters were killed."

In November of 1950, Tibet sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations:

"Tibet recognises that it is in no position to resist the Chinese advance. It is thus that it agreed to negotiate on friendly terms with the Chinese Government. ...Though there is little hope that a nation dedicated to peace will be able to resist the brutal effort of men trained to war, we understand that the United Nations has decided to stop aggression wherever it takes place."

Since then Tibetan deaths and disappearances at the hands of the Chinese are estimated to be over 1 million.

I have met Tibetan monks who now live in the US. Kind, gentle men, they all fled Tibet into India and all have tales of imprisonment, beatings and torture, the disappearance of friends and relatives and the experience of witnessing their country being overtaken by the Chinese. Many Tibetans have died working on the railroads being built in order to transport Chinese immigrants into Tibet.

Here is a video showing Tibetans fleeing over the Himalayas being shot by Chinese border guards.

More stories on Tibet:

Tibetan monks: A controlled life

Dharamsala alarmed at rate of Chinese migrants coming to Tibet

"We cannot but be alarmed at the rate of Chinese migrant workers coming to Tibet and China's mining of various minerals on the Tibetan Plateau" said Kalon Tempa Tsering of the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.

"The pace of China's settlement of Tibet's urban centres with Chinese migrant workers and its exploitation of Tibet's mineral resources are undermining the ability of the Tibetan people to hold on to their distinct cultural heritage," Kalon Tempa Tsering said.


And, reminding me of California's goldrush heyday (an occupation that decimated an estimated 90% of California's indigenous population in one decade), China is reportedly doing massive mineralogical surveys of Tibet in order to exploit that nation's natural resource wealth:

When the railway was first extended into Tibet in the 1980s, as far as the desert staging post of Gormo, the purpose was to extract Tibetan oil, which has gone, at rate of two million tons a year for the past 20 years. In addition China mines the salt lakes of the same area in the Tsaidam Basin on a large scale. Gas was discovered in huge amounts in the 1990s, also in the Tsaidam Basin, and a pipeline was built to supply China’s hungry energy demand for fuels for manufacturing and electric power generation. Tibetan gas is now piped right across China.

China is investing huge effort of geological exploration, mapping mineral deposits all over Tibet. Recently the China geological survey announced the discovery of more than 600 new mineral deposits after concluding a seven-year geological study on Tibetan plateau, which has nothing less than $128 billion dollars worth of various minerals potential for extraction.


Chinese immigrant influx in Tibet is a serious threat: British MP

“The influx of Chinese settlers in Tibet is a serious threat and is making the Tibetans a minority in their own land. When we were in Lhasa (capital of Tibet) we saw Chinese everywhere and more were due to arrive and many will have come now because of the introduction of the railway line from China to Tibet,” said Mr. Hamilton, who was one of the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons that visited Tibet in 2006 and reported their findings in a report.

China: Dalai Lama Wants to Sour Olympics

The Dalai Lama, speaking in Dharmsala, India, the seat of his government-in-exile, urged nonviolence on both sides.
"I say to China and the Tibetans - don't commit violence," he told reporters. He suggested the Chinese themselves may have had a hand in it to discredit him.

"It's possible some Chinese agents are involved there," he said. "Sometimes totalitarian regimes are very clever, so it is important to investigate."

He said that "if things become out of control," his "only option is to completely resign."

Later, one of his top aides clarified the Dalai Lama's comments.

"If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence, he would have to resign because he is completely committed to nonviolence," Tenzin Taklha said. "He would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama."


One of the things I DO know... the Dalai Lama, like Martin Luther King, like Mohatma Gandhi, is a man of peace who believes -- as do I -- that violence cannot be used to end violence. And while I understand the protests against China, their hosting of the Olympics and the intent to use the Olympic Torch Relay as a venue for expression and the drawing of attention to the issue of occupied Tibet, there is no way that violent demonstrations will achieve positive results. Further I also understand the nature of sabotage and cointelpro and believe the violence accompanying the Torch Relay protests may be fomented by agents of the Chinese.

So do me a favor... get educated. Boycott the Olympics. Boycott Chinese goods (no shopping at WalMart?) and let the silence of our wallets send the message of dissatisfaction with China's continued occupation of the independent nation of Tibet. And tell George Bush not to attend the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Free Tibet...

Note: all images are linked from their online sources. No copyright infringement intended.

Note 2: as with all things here, even this post ties back to Pablo... some of Paul's ashes are now in place on the NE side of the Bodhi tree and main stupa in Bohdgaya, India.


Dharamsala, India, is the Dalai Lama's city of residence while he remains in exile.


“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”

~ Buddha

Sunday, April 6, 2008

This, that... and s'more...


“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do”

~ Wendell Berry


Some days... and yesterday was one of those days...

Its started off normal enough... get up, make coffee, turn on the moring news, fire up the 'puter (Mac), let the dog out, wake the boy... go to work.

Work was normal enough until a call come over our radios... "um... hey Rich, some guy is ummm... walking out with a jacket, with the tags still hanging from it." Rich, our assistant manager wasn't on the floor and being an old hand at such things, I headed out the door not wanting this creep to get away with a theft from our store. He's heading across the parking lot and I'm probably 50' feet behind him. He says, "hey don't folow me, this is my coat. I bought it a week ago." And so concerned with fashion is he that the new tags still hanging on it flutter in the wind. Rich catches up with me and we follow creep across the lot and we stop at our property line. We watch him walk down the street and Rich tells someone to call the cops. Policy is we don't confront. But the fool only walked away 1/2 a block and headed down a driveway.

Long story short... police came, video was reviewed, creep was caught, coat was returned. Got a "good job gang" from Rich.

Work the rest of the day, come home, make coffee, heat up left over pizza, make sure son is still alive, turn on 'puter... hang out for about and hour and head down to Eugene's landmark McDonald Theater to work a show.

I have been a volunteer 1st aid/crisis worker doing event medicine (RockMed to you old timers) for over a decade now. The group I'm now working with, Harmony Event Medicine came into being a few years ago when a few of us who had volunteered under the AVIVA rockmed banner started a new organization. (Also see Harmony's MySpace page) I work shows and act as the organization's sole senior *cough* advisor. Imagine that, instead of putting me out to pasture this group values the experience of age. I know... I'm just as shocked. But RockMed is an old tradition now, offering a medical presence at concerts and events in order to minimize and treat the injuries that do occur at concerts.

Anyway... last night was Tech N9ne, a rapper out of Kansas City. I've worked almost all techN9ne's shows at the McD and I never look forward to it. I'm not a big fan of alcohol being consumed to the point of stupid. But, every Tech N9ne show, we get at least a share of stupid. Last night was no exception. Except, we didn't have to clean up after some drunk yayhoo who goes and gets sick somewhere in the the theater. A couple of fights, a few drunks... and very young girls dressing in what I can only describe as haute putain, me sentez-vous? I just don't see a whole lot of redeeming social value in the whole schtick of this type of rap. It ain't my thang. Swearin' and acting tuff, disrespecting women... nah, I'll pass, thanks.

So that was my day yesterday... I'm hoping today is better (which it already is... we've had breakfast, farm fresh eggs bought from one of my customers at work, thick sliced smoked bacon... mmmm...). We have scattered showers and some sunshine breaking in now and again, its in the mid 50s or so...

One of these days I'll havta talk about the Two-Row Wampum Belt... and what it means for me.

Until we meet again
kay sh'nook sh'mah.


“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

~ Wendell Berry