Thursday, January 29

the spiral

As I listen to a country music station as an exercise to broaden my tolerance for humanity in general (second best thing to make you go crazy before sucking in HipHop), I also contemplate about the winding roads of the state of our nation in particular.
I don't know why I torture myself that way. Maybe I have evolved into this masochistic phase in my life, who knows. But the reality around me is still a stark reminder that 'Ohbummer' will not be able to fix this mess ... unless we also chip in! Unfortunately I see very little movement into that direction, everyone seems to hold on to same old, same old. What does it need to accomplish REAL CHANGE? A catastrophe, a powerful revelation, a squeeze or knock over your head? What does it take? Humans seem to be the slowest learning species on this earth, even crows seem to adopt to new circumstances faster. Maybe there is a reason for this, being multifaceted and naked as we are, no furs no feathers... But still, it drives me up the wall. And now I had enough of country-music, turn it off and regress from this silly exercise of tolerance.

(sculpture was a "Christmas-Card" I casted in cement years back for family members, about 18x20 inches)

Tuesday, January 27


There is no other option -
the weak have to become stronger
by fully understanding their strength,
and it’s not all in numbers any longer

Hamas has build an illusion for Palestine
over the years, and so it goes and goes.
If my child would be killed by bombs and fire
I would be mad as hell as well, and search for who god knows what
to resurrect the crumbling empire and sense some gratification of desire
as a recourse

But this is not how it works
the solutions never rested in barbarian laps
oppressing the ones who need to see
If Palestine wants to be free
without atrocities
slander and slaughter
it must choose a different avenue
the one who clearly could save yours and my daughter's life
isn't that worth a strive?
Gandhi was not a saint, but he prevailed,
threw out the empire in a surprise
so now the Palestinians could arise
to the occasion - and leave the crumbled castles
that stuff ... it's only a demise.

Monday, January 26

"Let's Don't Worry"

Here is the second recording/flick with an addition of some new faces. That woman from Israel makes an impressive showing, even the chorus from Africa started smiling. I think the voices in general were blending much better than in the first project they did! I also like Dijango from Spain with his triangle and donuts on his head... - From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the follow up to the classic "Stand By Me" and the second of many "songs around the world" being released on CD/DVD in April, 2009.

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Friday, January 23

ah ha

So we talked about the bad economy and that I am unemployed right now as a result of this mess. We mentioned that a US withdrawal in Iraq means that there still will be five major military enclaves left behind, I guess they call them military bases, not to mention that the US embassy has relocated into a new built multimillion dollar building in Baghdad, diminishing staff by 1000 people, now the count of staff therefore is only 4000 instead of 5000 (how many people does it take to grant a visa?). The Palestinians are still trying unsuccessfully to save their skin, Israelis are still dumbfounded by their own stupidity, Russia does not know how to treat former satellite states and shuts off gas delivery to Europe as a result. American Idol is still the number one diversion in the US while the ecology and environement takes a beating. Unemployment numbers will rise "officially" to 9% in February, while a realistic estimate puts it up to 12%.
So, this is all the bad news and the chewed up news, and we can chew them over and over again.
As for me, I am cleaning up my studio. Perhaps clear thoughts might follow.
Truthfully, I am getting tired of this mess. No, not only the one in my studio, but this general chaos within humanity. I am sick of it.
The cheating, the greed, the resulting violence and the dear price we have to pay makes life a hardship. I used to have fun and party, but nowadays I just get up in the morning, stunned with bewilderment.
Is this only about my midlife crisis?

Tuesday, January 20


I know I should have written something about the inauguration of Obama, but I pass. There is too much chatter out there anyway. Instead I apprehensively watch this new turn in the road, watching that this "something" might arise, or at least get a feel and sense, a hint of a new aera to come - and then time will tell what kind of promises can be kept, more so than just the hollow words, or shadows of broken dreams.

Thursday, January 15

Monday, January 12

lullaby for the children in Ghazza

I accomplished a few things: Got my USB microphone to work, made a test multitrack recording (Audacity, a free bare bone program but very handy), rummaged in an ancient scribble songbook of mine from the Norwegian days, and here is the result both visual and audible.
I am awfully sorry that the guitar part sucks, it has nothing to do with the technology, rather the technique ... the poor guitar that never gets any practice anymore. Also, the song is recorded somewhat bizarre in that it starts real slow and then speeds up throughout the verses. In addition, I felt too lazy to put some violin tracks on it, hence the open gaps... my apologies!
VUGGEVISE means lullaby - I spare you the translation because it is somewhat sinister, and I'm lazy. But if you insist ...
Oh, I believe the original was a Swedish song, but I did it in Norwegian because it is the only Scandinavian tongue I am familiar with.

Ok so here is a rough translation 'cause I sort of like the person who asked:

Winds are riding high on seas
over havens land and trees
storms are raging in a race
sorrow or death don't near my place

Someone comes, and someone goes
people die in spring, who knows
but stars will still shine brightly

Life is weaving on its loom
all you did and thought or taught
all those things are just a color
the shuttle moves, and others follow

Maybe at some point in life
will you find that crown of strive
maybe after days of dread
will your hair find a silver thread

Where you stump and tread your shoe
many more come after you
look therefore that you do seed
flowers as a plowman's deed

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Ok, I actually like this song - maybe I get organized and sing the damn lyrics in English and have my brother help me out on the instrumental parts, he is famous to be good at that. Also, I took some liberties while translating, needed to keep the flow. Ciao - talk to you later...

Sunday, January 11

unspecified musings

...maybe more words to follow. But I am presently making an attempt to give Aggie a hard time, and show her that what is sand and beach at her East Coast vacation place in NZ, equals snow and cold winds here.
The sun bathing chair collapsed in the snow, the other bench is also inhabitable, the little table is not ready for cappuccino either as it accumulated an other foot of snow after the last cleanup was done.
Winter once seemed fun when you were young - now it just drags on forever. I learned to ski when I was five, now I am fifty and just smile at the notion of racing down a slope - but I will go out there anyway, just to break a leg. Is it not that, this symbol of good luck, if you "break a leg"?
While you surf the waves in the southern hemispheres, I will try to save my neck in the northern territories.

Friday, January 9


There was $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $345 billion for Citigroup. The Federal Reserve put up $600 billion to guarantee money market deposits. With the bail out package of the auto industry, all told, the price tag so far: $7.2 trillion. Now comes President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan. The bill is getting awfully close to $8 trillion...

Where the heck is my share?

Thursday, January 8

the cooking contest

For years I scratched my head why my homemade pizza didn't turn out the same superb way as served at the local place who has an Italian style brick oven. Finally I found a recipe that made sense and can reverse this misery, and I don't even need a fancy oven. The secret is preparing the dough beforehand and storing it in a cool place (refrigerator or so) overnight and and then using a "pizza-stone" if possible (instead of a fancy Italian brick oven with "life-fire"). It's the dough dude!!!

In any case, as I get increasingly impatient with what is happening in the Middle East, I thought we might cook up something different, a COOKING CONTEST!
Participation is of course voluntarily and there are no glorious prices (like a two week vacation to the Caribbean, or so), but if you share some of your more successful recipes, at least I will try them out and follow your directions and then "judge" the outcome if it was mouthwatering or not...

The final and grand prize will get a surprise mailing, still to be determent.
(update: my pizza actually turned out quite all right after letting the doe "mature" for a day and cranking the stove up to max before putting the thing in)

4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.

3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)

4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Let rest for 2 hours.

5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss as shown on page 208. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.

7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other top- pings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American "kitchen sink" approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.

8. Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.

9. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

Wednesday, January 7

I am pissed

It has to do with the so called fake "mandatory vaccination" requests from colleges and their ignorant refusal to accept the law of state and land. If for any reason you as a person request not to be injected with substances into your body, that go against your belief, or also refuse to be injected with foreign substances by "force", whilst at the same time knowing that you are allowed to refuse those procedures , you should stand up and do so. No matter how much the intimidation factor might be!

So, in the State of New York - you can only argue with schools on "religious grounds" if you want to avoid mandatory immunization . Here is a form letter I put together for my daughter that actually worked when she applied for college. It took me a while to compose, but you are welcome to use it if you needs are such. The content does not precisely reflect my (or my daughters) actual believes, but I do urge you to be quite "fundamental" in your approach and argumentation when you set your own letter up.


All vaccines are made in violation of God’s Word. Vaccines are made with toxic chemicals that are injected into the bloodstream by vaccination. All vaccines are made with foreign proteins (viruses and bacteria), and some vaccines are made with genetically engineered viral and bacterial materials.

Therefore a conflict arises because I believe that man is made in God’s image and that the injection of toxic chemicals and foreign proteins into the bloodstream is a violation of God’s directive to keep the temple of the human body holy and free from impurities.

Vaccines are a product of animal tissues. God’s warning is not to mix the blood of man with the blood of animals. Some vaccines are even produced in aborted fetal tissues, which in itself is a highly questionable procedure.
My religious convictions are predicated on the belief that all life is sacred. God’s commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill” applies to the practice of abortion, even on animals, since I believe that this practice of abortion should not be encouraged or supported in any manner, therefore I have a conflict with vaccines produced in aborted fetal tissue even though I didn’t have anything to do with the abortions from which the vaccines are made from.

The Hepatitis-A vaccine containing MRC-5 is obtained from human babies that were electively aborted. WI-38 was created from the tissue of an aborted fetus and is used for the rubella portion of the MMR-II vaccine. RA 273 was created from the tissue of an aborted fetus, and is used for MMR-II vaccine. Therefore a conflict arises, because my religious convictions are predicated on the belief that all life is sacred. God's commandment "Thou Shall Not Kill" applies to all practice of abortion. The acceptance of these vaccines promote abortion and deeply violates my religious beliefs.
The Chickenpox (Varivax) vaccine, containing MRC-5 and RA 273, is obtained from human babies that were electively aborted, it is the worst of all. We are talking about humans here, not animals. The acceptance of this vaccine again promotes abortion and severely violates the Sixth Commandment of "Thou Shall Not Kill".

Since I am a healthy person in general, and a strong believer of keeping God's word sacred, specifically in the realm of not disturbing living life with manipulation of human interference to what God had once ordained, I therefore declare that under present laws presiding in New York State, my rights to exercise the exemption to vaccinations shall be fully accepted.

so,,, there you go. I guess you have to shout before you get heard. I am pretty sure that God has no objections...

Tuesday, January 6

Third Hand Smoke and Coke

Me, despite being a chronic "distasteor" of conspiracy theories and also being a chronic smoker - finally found a conspiracy theory that tickles my fancy. And by all means, I hereby do not attempt to justify my dirty habits; mark that!
In a news blurb I read today, it said:

Toxic particles in cigarette smoke can remain on nearby surfaces, as well as the hair and clothing of the smoker, long after the cigarette has been put out, and small children and even unborn babies are susceptible. They are likely to breath in close proximity, even the future baby of the pregnant woman can be harmed by third hand smoke.

Now this is pretty bizarre. You step out onto the porch, light up a cigarette, come back into the house, mingle with the crowd, and then get sued for infecting the not yet born baby in mama's belly because your jacket has traces of nicotine?

This study was done by some nerds, led by Professor Jonathan Winickoff, from Massachusetts General Hospital. I mean, really - give me a break! They spend millions of dollars tracing micro toxins on the bow-tie you are wearing at a party - and then forget to ask what REALLY harms people and the environment. I get so sick of this.

The "conspiracy" is very simple: Take away any kind of luster, relaxation and - the "fanfare to the common man" (Copland) the system will collapse like Chevy, GM and Ford and their stinking SUV's. By declaring third-hand-smoke a viable danger and the average citizen obeying to it, the populous of the United States will become the guinea pigs on a test circle of a growing totalitarian state. Hit the poor first, make them submissive, the rest will follow. Brilliant!

The smoking issue is just a petty example on this course. The United States spits out the largest amount of money in health care per person in the western world, but the actual achievements are bitter-sweet and do not serve the majority because hardly any money is spend on prevention. Third-Hand-Smoke is an expensive joke, or maybe a "third hand conspiracy".

Similar attempts of "control of the masses" are in process to fight obesity, the now #1 cause for cardiac related deaths in the US. The other day the governor of the state of New York proposed an "obesity tax" on all soft drinks (sodas) sold. Now - even well meant, this approach is rubbish. It again treats the people like sheep instead of educating them and looking for ways that society becomes more even handed and that not only 2% of people sit on 90% of the nations wealth.

As the dwindling middle class in America slides towards non-existence, over half a million jobs lost only in December, 2.6 million for the year of 2007, unemployment creeping up towards 10% - it is quite logical that the disillusioned crowd grabs a two liter sugary soda at the gas station within walking distance and complement it with snacks, then sit in front the TV and just "Veggie Out"!

The mindset of US culture has always failed to recognize that correcting a problematic issue starts with understanding the root causes and perhaps healing them. Instead we continuously become the victims of submission. Pain is "healed" by drugs that numb you down, regulations melt the tip of an ice-berg - and in the end, everything remains the same underneath.

Disease and poverty can not be cured by taxing it, suing it, trying to wipe it off the radar screen - it needs compassion towards the very human being to cure anything, may it be the cause of poverty, obesity, illness or smoking. All other methods are fraud.

Sunday, January 4

The fairy tale moves on

It's the birthday of Jacob Grimm, born in Hanau, Germany (1785), one of the men responsible for collecting fairy tales like "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Snow White," "Rapunzel," and "Hansel and Grethel." He and his younger brother, Wilhelm, collected more than 200 German folk tales and published Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812.

Lots of people thought the stories weren't appropriate for children. There was violence, grief, an old woman who ate kids, abandoned children, and young women chopping off pieces of their feet to fit in slippers. But the book was still a big success, and it changed the way scholars collected folklore — trying to present straightforward narratives as people told them, instead of taking the basic story and turning it into a sophisticated literary piece.

In "Hansel and Grethel," Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm wrote: "The old woman had only pretended to be so kind; she was in reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only built the little house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that was a feast day with her."

this citation is legally stolen from the Writers Almanac, hosted and written by G. Keeler. And the pictures were robbed from the world wide web. I don't have the uhmpf to write my own thoughts today, they would be somewhat bleak and apprehensive - so why bother. The New Year started OahKai though, no dramatic changes, unless you want to take in consideration cabin fever, Gaza strip, painting the studio, jobless days, too much booze, - put those items in a blender and add crushed ice then serve it as a cocktail... with two Pinto olives please.

A good thing, I got my USB microphone working all right in the mista of Vista. Took me a while though. The whole idea is to be able to collaborate and add to songs over the net via multiple track recordings. My brother Pete is in it, so is a surfboard maker in the South Americas who plays ... gosh I don't even know what.