Wednesday, January 30

the most beautiful present, and a new haiku contest!!!

On that division knee wall in my studio, there is now a pinned up picture send by Gary. It is a native imagery of sorts, pretty awesome! And he included a handmade chocolate bar from Nelson as well, and I have to use restrain to not gobble it all up by myself. I would like to share a bite or two, it is delicious beyond means, to the point that you feel guilty for not sharing. All these wonderful treats just for winning a previous HAIKU contest!
So I thought to myself, perhaps I should do something similar as well and grant the winner a surprise price. So all you people who would like to participate, go just right ahead. The winner will be selected by random drawing from a basket containing the ten best of the haiku bunch .

The rules are simple:
1. Three lines only
2. Five, next one 7, and last line five syllables
3. I will make up some first lines (see below)and you only have to pick one and make up the rest. Easy!

The first lines to choose from are:
"forget not my aim"
"pain is in my soul"
"you go too far now"
"today I miss you"
"I will only say"
"we will end the fight"
"each morning we rise"
"a flower greets us"
"death is not a shame"
"tomorrow is hope"

Additional rules: You will have to incorporate one of these first lines in order to win a price, but you are welcome to compose them into the third line of your haiku as well ... Contest concludes when I feel like it. No bribes or mental tantrums accepted. All taxes and shipping costs for sending the price to the recipient will be covered by government funds, or other sources of dubious origin.

Tuesday, January 29

does cancerous growth equal an act of conspiracy?

It must be a myth of wishful and unrealistic thinking that unlimited growth and continuous overspilled consumption is the sustainable and driving factor in a economy that seems to be based solely on short term projections and personal margin profits.
As a tree grows, there will be limits to its height and size depending on species and location, soil consistency etc. There is no oak or pine tree that grew three miles high to my knowledge. And even if it could, that still would give a precise determined limit.

(image by unknown artist, stolen from the web)

Why is it then, that both politicians and economists alike expect the growth of global and national economies to grow forever, that companies expect higher yields every quarter?
This is like expecting the oak or pine tree to grow in hight forever, perhaps to the moon and beyond.
It seems to me, that there is something fundamentally wrong with this concept. It does not take in consideration that there are natural limits to expansion of any kind, with the exception of perhaps spiritual growth, which is not dependent on matter at all.
An average company expects to gain profit revenues of about 20% annually, or 5% for a quarter. In other words, the production output will have to increase in a continuous upward spiral. Does this "free-western-marked" model really work? Do common people become more and more prosperous by it?
No, except for a chosen few (within their lifetime).
And then there is this an other factor. Quite a few so called Western Industrialized countries experience lesser growth in birth rates compared to their larger increase in death rates. In other words, their population is declining.
So it makes absolutely no sense to expect 20% more Colgate toothpastes to be sold year after year in Switzerland while both the glaciers and the population is diminishing - unless of course you use that very paste for graffiti on some sidewalks, solid, until the next rain washes it all away or you use the glaciers moisture for artificial tears.

The long and winding point I am trying to make:
There are limits to physical growth! How come people pretend and snuggle into their minds that this illusion of endless growth is for real? This is too much for me truthfully to comprehend.
Is humanity ... ? Ah, forget that sentence.

Small is not beautiful, big is not beautiful. Proportionate on the other hand rules!
Call me an aesthetic pragmatist - I don't care if you do ...

Sunday, January 27

chain saw saga

So I am a bit tired, but that is not an unusual thing when I have to work physically.
Bought a new chainsaw yesterday, totally unnecessary. Reasoning, I got pissed at my son for not taking proper care of the one we already have ( less than a year old).
Maybe it is not even his mistake, it could have also been a flaw by the manufacturer, who knows. Chainsaws, despite their brute action, are one of the most delicate power tools around. So I waltzed into the kitchen and handed him our defunct saw and said: "This one is for you to keep, I'll get myself a new one and you better don't touch it!"
He was not amused to say the least. I broke his pride and confidence. Now I feel guilty.
But what the heck, a man or woman needs to have a properly working chain saw around at all times if there are things to cut on the property.
Went down to the "social youth house" in Hillsdale last night to apologize to him, soothe the vibes and such. But most importantly, regain trust Came back home and then got stopped by a cop in my own driveway. What a riot! He said I was "weaving the meridian" - little did he know that I was just tired, tired of this "chain-saw-massacre".
Anyway, the cop left after a few minutes. I guess he also didn't know what to make of my Maine license plates on the truck. That helped!
On all other accounts, I do enjoy my weekend - what about you?

Saturday, January 26

Remember the love shack?

Yes, the addition we build right now is not grand. But we have actually fun, and it also pays our bills. What more can you ask for in this season of recession and gloom? Actually, the addition will serve as an entrance to a doctors office. Interior pictures are lacking now, only today we put insulation into the ceiling. Gruesomely boring and itchy.
But there will be some fine organic sculptural details in the end on hand, believe it or not. I will take some final pictures then.
In the mean time, I ponder if I should put up a poll about the diverse candidates running, yes running for the presidency of the US, with all their precious attributes attached to that questionnaire. I don't know if it is worth the effort. But maybe it is. I am startled myself whom to vote for.
Should it be the colored guy, the dry lady, the wounded aging veteran, the preacher of all preachers, the mayor who did little but nevertheless got all the credits and praise for it?
The slate of candidates are boring at best, and some are useless. What are you gonna do? Stamp your foot on the ground and go eeni-meeni-minee-mo???
Well, we'll find out on "Super-Tuesday" what the US is all about. That's just around the corner.
Super What????
Oh, it's the game of who has most funds. The one with most assets and connections wins. That is what they call democracy in the USA!
Common man was once a voting partner, now he or she is just a slave of the system that depends solely on a slate of a handful elitists candidates.
For a generation the power in the US was held by only two families, the Bushie's and the Clinton's. . Shall this now continue? Wow, think about it. This is almost as traditional as the "House of Saud". Well, at least we let a woman drive a car here and let them otherwise also do whatever they please to do, without that danger of them being buried alive, ore stoned to death in the middle of a market place. I guess you could say we have progressed (compared to the Saudi's at least). But then - we still have this death penalty, and most executions happen in Texas, the Bushie country. We still have ways to. go!
And so this time around, elections in the US, are as exciting as to watch the stock market crash when you have no single fund invested in there. You just don't care.
What does that leave us with in national politics?
Not much. Perhaps we should watch more of them NBA games while sipping on a Bushweiser...
That'll distract us from all the real issues.
So be it.

Thursday, January 24

It doesn't matter how you look at it

Two years ago I took this photograph (it is cropped here for obvious reasons). Now this lady will have a child in ten days from today. The skull of a sheep in her hands then, and now there is the transformation for a new aspiring life.
It is a miracle how these things happen.

Tuesday, January 22

Mr. Hofer, I will leave my blog settings as is, or else make all my friends moderators - what a party!!!

Insanity weaves rampant, and psychopaths are of abundance. But you Helmuth Hofer top the list. You can be proud of it ... if you wish.
For your information, I leave the posting options open - for now. I truly believe in equal opportunities, which is not to be confused with "freedom" or "democracy".
If this doesn't work, I will make all my regular and somewhat irregular posters admin and close the blog to public domain. They can post and see --- you will not see anything, because inaccessible!
Your choice "bud".
In the mean time I would like to inform you that there is no chance for you to enter the USA again. You are not anymore below the "radar screen", your passport and name is tagged, The FBI got back to me on that one despite their endless bureaucracy.
Have a splendid day - be courageous and fight the real enemy - - - for a change!

Monday, January 21

NY NY for Mirvat in Lebanon

For goodness sake, the beauty still remains. New York is a fabulous city, the Empire State Building, the wax-museum, the streets, the cafe's ... take it all or leave it.

Spend money, spend time, spend glandour - whatever you have, spend it!
It is ironic that Charlie Chaplin is depicted behind a wall that states the Wall Street crash of the 20's. Are we repeating a similar routine today? Not that I really care, my "stocks" are heaped up on a woodpile, wood - ready to be fired up and burned.
So Mirvat, way down in Lebanon - I hope your own fire is still alive. May the "Big APPLE" give you a kiss!

For all others, come to see New York before the final changes - it will be worth your while. If you are in an financial pinch, stay with us for a day or two and take a day trip down to the city from Hobbit-town. Sorry, I am not vegan - but I do steam up some mighty good vegetables. So if you are not religiously obsessed about food and also don't care about the separation of fork and knife, you are very welcome! Delicacies, laughter, and perhaps music will be on the menu.

Friday, January 18

"When and how should the US get out of Iraq?"

The swimming pool at Balad air base, as seen through the window of a Black Hawk helicopter, 44 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 25, 2005. (photo AP)
On NPR tonight (National Public Radio) I followed several interviews about this topic. The people who spoke were writers, analysts, women-rights group representatives, common citizens, politicians and others.
A variety of views were illustrated, starting with the one that the US should pull out immediately, to the view that America has still the "obligation" to repair damages done and therefore should stay.
The "when and how should the US get out of Iraq" was a misleading question placed by NPR - or other folks who put such questions to mind. Phrased like this, it can't be the topic of a serious debate. It is actually misleading, because it embeds the notion that the US is still in control of the situation and can do whatever she wishes to do. But then ... it is not so.
An other point, the US has no intentions whatsoever to "withdraw" from the Middle East in the near or later future. There are too many reasons why to mention here, it would fill a whole page. No, it is not only about oil - even though Iraq has the largest reserve of crude besides the Saudis, making it #2 on Arab territory, soon #1, because they are dragging their feet to pump anything out. There are also strategic reasons to preserve a presence there, not to mention all the bonds that filter in and out of that complicated incestuous relationship the US maintains with Israel. But those things are only facets, or pebbles and stones that create an image of a mosaic. Some stones are still missing, the outcome of the picture somewhat uncertain.
Therefore it is idle to ask that question: "When and how should the US get out of Iraq". Because the US never will - voluntarily. Just like the Soviet Union, who was once embedded in Afghanistan for ten years, the US will remain both there and in Iraq to the bitter end. Even if it would come to it, that some politicians decide to draw back troops, let's say 120,000 (the plural majority) - there will still be tens of thousands left to maintain the military bases outside of Baghdad. And as you are very well aware, there are five or more large ones of them, with airstrips, inner sanctuaries including McDonald's, chapels, swimming pools and all. A miniature Americana on foreign soil. The US would never give them up, voluntarily. Never!
See, the US Embassy in Baghdad alone employs 5000 people, nestled in the "Green Zone", not counting local people who keep up this infrastructure, making it the largest hub of any foreign country ... anywhere. Do you really think that they are leaving or having the intent to depart - tomorrow?
I would say - NO!
Therefore the question should not be: "When and how should the US get out of Iraq" - but rather:
When and by whom will the US get kicked out of Iraq!?
You'll get some interesting analysis on that one I bet.
As we all watch this spectacle - we also must scratch our heads. When all is said and done, I probably have no single hair left on my skull.

Tuesday, January 15


Back to "winter wonderland?". Still framing that addition which sometimes equals insanity. Slow, ingeniously slow... And so Lee picked up speed today, made things happen. Good for him. Thanks to him!
Tomorrow will be an other day,
I have no compulsion to comment on the Michigan wasteland around Detroit and the political components involved thrown out by the surge of political ambitions. May the have fun convincing automaker-workers to stay put despite ongoing struggles of the "big three" and the continuous production of bad cars that only serve present greed. The snow falls, so does fall my patience with this incompetent bunch of politicians. All of them!
I have that inclination that I might not vote this year at all. Would be a first time thing to do ... Maybe you can convince me to change my mind!

Monday, January 7

on a lighter note

Of course my nature is that I am always nagging and critical. But now I think my daughter did a fairly good job when assigned to do a self-portrait in art class in her senior year, actually it is damn good, 'cause it is painted in oil colors, they are not that easy to handle, and you would know it if you ever tried them out for yourself. So I'm not nagging now - instead I am rather pleased!

Sunday, January 6

Why the Democrats will loose again

Too correct, no charisma, no mainstream knowledge, too righteous - that's Hillary's profile. Her husband on the other hand had charisma, was intelligent and had a "suck me baby" presence. Under his reign the US actually ended up with a surplus in their coffers - now we are spending trillions (how many zeros is that) on forlorn dreams in the Middle East paining the back of taxpayers with no end in sight and diving into a vortex of national debt like never before. The US economy is in shambles, to state otherwise would be an utter stinking lie. The dollar has lost all its luster. Bush and his administration killed the US - thoroughly, the economy, national prestige and also hope for the future.
But Hillary, or any other following new president, will have a hard time fixing this mess. It will take generations.
Hillary is not my girl, she will never win my heart, maybe she could have in the 60's - but not now. So what are we left with - Obama, Ruckabee, sorry Huckabee and Romney. And there is still Edwards, I would certainly vote for him. But he will not win the Democratic party's nomination, therefore not electable. Obama, if he actually wins, will have no chance. He probably will get shot and killed like the other Kennedy's before him and any of his youthful wisdom wasted on the pavement before it even could have splattered to the masses. That's what we call "the American way". Kill first, ask later! So what does that leave us with? Huckabee, an evangelist wannabe with humor on his side?

Back to my train of thought. The Democrats will not (again not) win this coming election, 'cause their nominees are either useless or unelectable. So the Repubs will win this despite their internal confusion. An other moron is on the horizon. If McCaine could win, I wouldn't mind at all, but all the others?...
I might have eyeballed Hillary differently when she still was a hippie - but for now, in this millennium, she has estranged herself to my taste. If I shall vote at all, I'll go for Edwards.
It is really too bad that the US has only a two party system. It's like watching a ping-pong game waiting for the ball(s) to drop from the table. And this very game here they call - democracy.

(pictures stolen from public domain)

Friday, January 4

The road ahead

So Hillary got defeated by Obama. Edwards was second, she was third. What a riot.
It shows you that the US is unpredictable. Mr. Huck, the evangelist leaning candidate won for the Repubs, in front of Guliani.
Before you know it we will have a black president in the US (if he doesn't get shot on the way).
But for now I will continue with the insanity to build in sub-zero temperatures. My friend is using a hot air paint stripper to melt of the ice on the wood that needs to be build onto. Pretty crazy, ehh??
Have a good weekend!