Images from The Calm Before Relative Anarchy

Papa Smurf, Mama Smurf, and the Babies...

...They are blue, they wear white, they have rabies...

...They all live in a house like a mushroom. Gargamel's on his way, they'll be dead soon.

That's how we sang it in the eight-seven.

Saturday On the Stoop - 8:11-9:33 Ante Meridiem

The Calm Before Relative Anarchy

Two police cars going 'round and 'round, speaking of
BMW from Florida out and back for a donut run
A safe, clever nest in the neighbor's wood trim
Woodpeckers heard in the distance and a rabbit in full stride seen

Alan and Rufus who doesn't bark at me anymore, "because he's old"
The usual suspects plus the interlopers and renters slinking
Quiet, save (count them) at least five different bird species
And now an aero-plane and an air conditioning unit
... and some woman in full conversation via the cellular

Plenty of "good mornings" and "howdys" and such
Cool cloudy breezy perfection of coffee and bagel and occasional goose flesh
The last cool day of this year before it all reverts to swampland
And sweat and air conditioning units and red flag days and anarchy

But quiet for now nonetheless thanks to the birds and the trees
And the walkers, joggers, strollers, bikers, weekend warriors of lawn and home care
An "Organic Community Garden" kid hands me a sprig of oregano
A kiss from the girl and we start all over again


RMOK - "Dogshit Plastic Dude"

So I was working in the kitchen this morning. Nothing unusual for me even though the studio is downstairs. I enjoy listening to the a.m. funny-stuff radio and drinking coffee while starting my day. So I was in the kitchen this morning, in the bay window, watching the joggers, the moms, and the dog walkers.

I notice a guy, thirty-ish, yuppish dude I've seen but whom I don't know. He's walking a little white moppy dog--you know the yappy, lap dog type--and he stopped in front of my neighbor's house and started fiddling with their newspaper, the Washington Post (see above). I was thinking that he was going to do the neighborly thing and toss it up on their porch like a lot of a.m. walkers do. Nope. He ripped a piece of the plastic bag off and left the paper there just slightly more susceptible to the rain, of course.

So I repositioned myself to see what the hell he was doing. The dude proceeded to wipe his yappy, lap dog's ass! Turns out that there was some shit stuck to its fur. I guess he didn't want that on his precious carpet or something. The fact that he had no poop bag with him probably meant he let the damn thing shit in front of someone else's house and left it there (you'll see why I say this, but mostly we have horrible dog walkers, there's more dogshit on the sidewalk than Paris). So this guy wipes the dog's ass. Right there in front of my home, he wipes a dog's ass with a hunk of plastic bag. Then, get this, then he drops the plastic directly atop my other neighbor's plant (see below). Right on top like that's perfectly his right. Didn't try to hide it or anything. Right on top like that's the acceptable pet owner thing to do. A piece of dogshit plastic bag right on top of my neighbor's plant. Honestly, I don't know what pissed me off more: the polyethylene litter or the dogshit. No, it was his audacity and entitlement that pissed me off the most. Dude dropped it there and kept walking like it was just no thing. At all. Norms of the New America.

Well I bum rushed the door and shouted, "Hey!" Dude didn't turn around. Seriously, he pretended he didn't hear me. For real, if you're walking your dog and someone shouts, loudly and suddenly, in this neighborhood, you turn around because it's startling and we have people who steal guns, Lordy! So I totally know he was trying to bail. So I gave it a personal touch with, "Hey, dog dude! Dogshit plastic dude! I'm talking to you!" He slowly turned around and, grinning, says, "Sorry, man." Yes, I called him "Dogshit plastic dude."

"No you're not. You're not sorry at all. You did that on purpose, dude. Pick your dogshit plastic up like a responsible pet owner. Fuck!" And he did too. And quickly scurried away.

I mean, what the hell, right? This is not how we act, people. The part that made me most mad was his lame "sorry, man" nonsense. Forget audacity, it was his pretending to ignore me and the situation he created followed by his lame no-game apology.

I trust he won't be walking that yappy mop on a certified RMOK block anymore.

Memorial Day

Wha'chu talkin' 'bout?

Oil Is Organic

Fits and starts And
starts and fits The
world of arts Don't
count for shits

I wander blind From
place to place To
build the signs To
hide my face

I'm like the tree That
falls alone There
is no sound And
nary home

What's left to do Is
look and wait For
holy signs To
count as fate

For in the end We
matter none A
speck of dust I
ronic puns

Sloppy Amateurism II

Sloppy Amateurism I

Untitled (shifting act)




"Love It"

So Rickey Powell (Berkeley) sent me this link:
Republicans' new Web site not exactly what they hoped it would be
It's a funny Dana Milbank piece about how the Republicans are not exactly getting the feedback they were expecting. The article is funny.

So I went to the site and clicked on "Speak Out" on Job Creation link and got this:

Maybe the GNC can post a job for web programmer. Or maybe my rhetoric filter was on. Or perhaps Firefox is a liberal.


Romeo y Juliet

Max and I spend a lot of time watching these two.


This is What Shuffled Up Today - Got Half an Hour and Some Headphones?

Image, P21, by Jamie Gaughran-Perez, 1999

The Scent of a Rose Reminds me of Doris

So I stop and smell them.

War on Crime --UPDATE--

So it is most ironical that on the very day I spew my hippie liberal egghead science statistics puffery about crime that an actual crime happens in my neighborhood [image of EIGHT POLICE CARS! here]. Haha, some would say that this is "Gawd a-talkin', Julius" while others would just shrug and say, "Huh, I was thinking about the Koreas and the economy and the Gulf of Mexico." I'm in the latter camp, I suppose.

Here's what happened in the movie set of a neighborhood where I reside (urban readers, laugh with me here, not at me here): I'm walking back from a neighbor's house with a bicycle pump on my shoulder last eve. The neighbor needed air in a baby stroller, doy. I run into another neighbor who's grinning ear-t0-ear with "big news" that there was a break-in and a rifle was stolen. Apparently the thief was apprehended but not the weapon. So it remained a huge topic.

Of course, I'm the black guy walking around with a bicycle pump on his shoulder which from a distance looks a lot like a rifle, right? Hi, I'm dumb!

Anyway, I walk around the block with my bicycle pump on my shoulder and there are literally eight police cars and dogs and groups of excited people and everything except the TeeVee trucks. This is Big Ass News Here!

Today, the word on the street is that a gang of criminals had taken over a house and stole a machine gun. A machine gun!* When people engaged me I'm like, "I heard it was like 30 scary dudes with bazookas!" Just kidding. All into the evening people were talking about how everybody is being interrogated and how the police are fanning out through the whole neighborhood. So I decided to walk the entire length of the block with all the police cars to see what would happen. I walked it that block twice and, whaaaaahh, nobody even looked my way. And, as far as the "fanning," I never saw a police officer on my block--one block over from the crime scene--except at shift change.

So now people are scared-as-hell here. All chatty again, "Did you hear?" "Be careful!" "Lock your doors." "A gun!" It's like 9/11® anthrax-in-the-mail DC Sniper vibe again. What?! We're scared again? Dang, I wasn't ready be scared again. I THOUGHT YOU SAID THE CRIME RATE WAS GOING DOWN, TY! My bad. But, at least, people are talking to each other again, amirite?

I got a txt this a.m. that went something like, "this is why we need to have guns!!!" I was like, "what?!" What the hell am I going to do with guns? Shoot the paper boy or some poor housekeeper who left her purse in my house? There's eight police cars on the block what do we need guns in my house for? What am I trying to protect, a 800 pound 27" CRT TeeVee set? Nobody wants that 9 year-old piece. People put better TeeVees out on bulk trash day.

For the most part I didn't change my day-to-day behaviors after 9/11® or the DC Sniper, then I'm probably not going to for this not even in the Montgomery Gazette yet event. Sorry, I ain't swallowing that pill. Statistics may "lie" but fear paralyzes.

What do you guys think?

* [FYI: Two perps, one at-large as of last eve., unsecured, unloaded assault rifle among items missing. Perps perhaps known to victims, blah-blah-blah, same old stuff that city folk don't even process anymore]


Update from G-burg PD site: "Burglary Arrest - On 05/24/2010 at 4:45 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 200 block of Hart Mews. An unknown individual entered the unoccupied residence and removed property. Some property has been recovered. The suspect was located, placed under arrest and charged accordingly. Investigation is on going."


What I Learned At Wood School Today



Fungus Among Us

King Domo

Crime --UPDATE--

I just read this in the Los Angeles Times from California, USA:

"Violent crime in the United States fell 5.5% last year, and property crime fell 4.9%, the FBI reported on Monday.

The federal statistics, compiled from 13,237 law enforcement agencies, show that violent crime fell for a third consecutive year, and property crime was down for the seventh year. The federal numbers are considered preliminary and will updated depending on what local agencies report.

The federal analysis shows that all four categories of violent crime -- robbery, murder, aggravated assault and forcible rape – were down from 2008. All four regions of the country showed a decline, with the South leading the way with a 6.6% fall, followed by 5.6% in the West, 4.6% in the Midwest and 3.5% in the Northeast.

Big cities, those with a population of 500,000 to 999,999, had the largest decrease in violent crime – 7.5%. Non-metropolitan counties had the smallest decrease, 3%.

Murders, the violent crime that generally gets the most attention from the media, were down 7.2%. Cities with a population of 25,000 to 49,999 were the only urban category to have an increase in murders, 5.3%. Non-metropolitan counties also had an increase, 1.8%.

Robbery dropped 8.1%, aggravated assault dropped 4.2%, and forcible rape was down 3.1%.

On the property side, the nation's biggest cities, those with a populations of at least 1-million people, reported the greatest decrease, 7.9%. Non-metropolitan counties were the only group to report an increase in property crime: 0.5%."

Say what now?

What I find most interesting is that in the defiant face of these reported science-numbers--trends that continue despite the desperation of recession and the federal government's post-2001 focus on foreign threats*--is that there is still a very deeply rooted belief by a lot of people that the crime around us is growing. People are all hyped-up and acting so frightened by supposed boogie men around every corner. They watch the TeeVee news and the YouTubes and panic at the disco.

Kids can't go play outside without supervision by people who have had a background check, people lock their car doors by habit when pumping gas, people buy home alarm systems like nobody's business, open carry laws go unchallenged, and still if I say to somebody, [nerd guy voice] "Well, crime rates actually continue to fall to near-historic lows" people look at me like I'm asking them to have my alien baby...on the! I'm the crazy guy because I live safely and comfortably according to statistics and probability. What, science-numbers?! How can you believe numbers?

People have completely physically and metaphorically sealed themselves into protective cocoon-like bubblewrap fortresses of solitude and paranoia. Blame is spread like the swine flu was supposed to spread; Muslims, no, immigrants, no, liberals, no, socialists, no, blacks, no, congress, no, conservatives, no, oil, no, the Salahis, no, skinheads, no, TeeVee, no, lacrosse players are to blame. It's their fault we're scared cautious. We're just protecting the children! For America.

I thought Americans were supposed to be so John-Wayne-Chevy tough. What if Paul Revere just said "fuck it" and ran the other way? What if...

Perhaps, then, all of our precautions paid off, right? Maybe one could argue that our blame and hiding system has created a safer America. Of course, our prisons are brimming with the convicted. So maybe we've locked-up all the bad guys. Blame and hide criminal penal complex works!

B-b-b-but we're running out of money to lock people up and to pay for police and *gasp* "social(ist) services" and look at Greece and the foreigners and the immigrants and the blacks and the skinheads and the Tea Baggers and the liberals and the...uh, if you vote for me I'll be tough on crime and lock up the bad guys. I will close the borders. Hope. Change. America! God bless it all.

Whatever the case, crime is down and I told you so. I can't tell you what happens next. I ain't Kreskin.

* WashPost: "The national violent crime rate had risen in 2005 and 2006 after years of decline, sparking concerns that a focus on homeland security under the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was draining resources away from traditional crime fighting."

But what is Fox News sayin'?


Hey lookie what's cookin' one block over.


Out & Back, or, There Goes the Neighborhood with Crash Landing (Open)

Fenceposts #7

OK, now I'm ready to discuss this project.

Preliminary rough fitting and marking (what goes where in pencil) of Project B today. Bed for B. It's a mid-height loft bed with room for desk or what-evs underneath. Cross pieces will fit into slots; mortise & tenon, doy (it'll look more like the drawing than this, tenons not cut on side rails yet).

It's designed by B and I in consultation with Manniyer Mark and is built with Mark's guidance by me.

I think the desk will be a stand alone piece rather than built-in as originally conceived. More modular means greater flexibility for the client. And when you live in a two room apartment, modular and flexibility are key. So this utilized the vertical and give more to the horizontal. Right?

What are the holes? These were old banisters/handrails that were to be tossed in a "renovation." Tossed. Thrown away. Landfill. Where's the ladder? What?! Maybe I'll put some bubblewrap on it too. Perhaps some Purell®. You wanna sleep, you gotta climb, kid. It's not made from silver spoons and trust funds.

Maybe this is the half point. Select label, "Project B," for history.

What did you do today?


Today's Quotation of the Day Du Jour

"I think my stance and my way of life is my most important art. Those other works might be collectible--something you can hang on the wall--but that's just a conventional perspective."

- Ai Weiwei

Eggbake 2010

"Lazy" (Eats, poops, sleeps, crawls)

Fenceposts in a Rout (Project "B" - Part Six)

Ask Ty...May 19 [The Rand Paul Question]

It must be Tuesday Wednesday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

Why am I so happy that Rand Paul won?


Socialist Liberal Elitist

P.S.- Fuck Arlen Specter.

Ty: Good question and an even better observation, SLE. Rand Paul the kooky son of the kooky father. Real Americans. Tea Baggers. Opportunists. Grifters taking advantage of rubes in Kentucky? Who cares? I don't. Don't they still worship sticks in Kentucky? Are they even still a member of the union? John "Cheater" Calipari could win the presidency in Kentucky.

The "media" is running all 120 pt. headlines like the space shuttle fell out of the sky and killed the Brad Pitt in Iraq and Sarah Palin popped out and said, "boy howdy!" I think the hyperbole about the "indictment" on "America" by the "Tea Baggers" is a bit much and a bit premature. It's...Kentucky and they have scared rubes in it. And it's an "indictment" on the "GOP" if anything. Shit, we're still socialists and Nazis, SLE. Nothing changed yesterday except now I know what Rand Paul looks like. He has an afro, right?

And the "indictment" on the "incumbents" vis-à-vis Arlen "Turncoat" Specter's primary defeat. Who cares? Hell, I could've run against Specter on the I'm-not-him platform exclusively and won. People, there's nothing shocking about either of these primary results.

You are so happy about this, SLE, because it's the actual people taking the actual reigns of politics, so say the Tea Baggers. And it's just funny. It's a ding on the Republicans and it's a ding on the Democrats. It's a ding on incumbents. It's a double-ding who actually cares and it doesn't matter Tuesday in May when LOST is on yawn! Fuck Arlen Specter. Here's how I remember Arlen Specter...I take you back to October 1991: [clicky]. Thanks Arlen Specter.

But I do fear that the political tides are changing a bit. I scared that we will lose our big government socialist way. And why do I fear that we will lose our big government socialist way? Because I personally want the federal government to immediately start this program here: [clicky] & [clicky].

What?! Yes, a federal dogshit DNA program trumps, TSA, NSA, CIA, and NASA to me. Fines, prison, and execution awaits. You cannot hide from the U.S. Department of Dogshit Forensics (DDF). All hail socialism, comrade!

Just a guess,