Coupla Things…

Guitar player joke; what did the blues guy order at the bar?

Gin and pentatonic.


While in a Daddy’s Junky Music the other day, I pondered the purchase of an Alesis SR16 drum computer; and another patron suggested not to bother, as you can download lots of different drum programs online for free. Free sounded pretty good, so off I went. I found what seemed like a good package, unzipped it, and released a trojan horse virus that did major damage. What a country.

And speaking of matters country, I have been perusing my Clustermap to watch the fascinating migratory patterns of my 62 loyal readers. I suspect now that they aren’t really migrating at all. I think I’m probably looking at dot crawl caused by the virus, as they always seem to lose focus and drift away from their points of origin, only to suddenly snap right back to where they started from. In my research, I refer to this phenomena as DHR ( digital homing response ). This is especially prevalent here in Rhode Island, where the trauma of having moved more than two zip codes away from one’s place of birth has been known to cause irreversible past-life regression. I myself spent several years believing that I was once a wing commander for Napoleon Bonaparte, only to be removed from my post for insisting that the Imperial Guard stand ‘ side by each’, as opposed to ‘ form companies’. Or possibly for referring to the Emperor as ‘that little bitch’. He was notoriously short, you know. But that’s all crazy talk. I’m past that; I’m someone else now.

But back for a moment to the clustermap. I’m always somewhat taken aback by the relentless steadiness of the 62. Every bit as determined as the 300 at Thermopylae, they have stayed with me all these months as I have tried to re-define ‘inanity’. Most of them are checking in from points within the US, with 10 Canadians, a few Brits, and one or two each from several more exotic spots.

I wonder very much how this sort of thing must appear to someone from a very un-Western culture. We in America have always enjoyed an absolute presumption of our fundamental freedoms; we could not remotely imagine being without them. I don’t think we could, or would even want to, survive without them. We just don’t particularly like being reminded of our antipathy. So passe. So Revolutionary war.

But when I see a red map dot from China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan…I wonder. Is that person taking a risk to visit my blog site? Are there actually repercussions in some places for even being associated to such activities? Yes, there are. And if there are some amongst my 62 that are running those risks, it’s certainly not because I’m so good a writer. I am a chimp who’s managed to pry the lid off a few cans of paint, and madly throw them against a white wall when the simian spirits beckon. It’s tremendous fun. It’s very cathartic. It’s wonderfully satisfying. And in some parts of the world, it gets people killed.

I suspect that those people just want to watch this certain type of freedom being utilized, however poorly. A fundamental human right is being displayed, and even though the participants are often not as appreciative as they should be, it is still something to behold.

Freedom of speech. A phrase from high-school history books; that’s all it is to us. We’ve always had it. We think we always will. So very many have died to secure it, and we simply continue to take it for granted.

So I find myself pondering over those far-away red dots on the map, and I genuinely and truly thank all those who take the time to check in here; especially if there are risks involved. I hope it at least entertains you,  and I hope that you can spot a few subtleties in between the lines. It’s not really about chimps, paint, vacuum cleaners, or Leadville, Colorado. It’s all about the freedom. Glorious freedom.

( Insert video of jet fly-by over colors at full mast; cue in National Anthem; fade to black)


About Damned Time…

Last night, I went to bed telling myself that I would have a dream about what to do for a new post. I have been poignantly uninspired of late.

And just as the saying goes, sometimes you get exactly what you asked for. It worked. Not only did I dream of what to write, there was actually a sequence within the dream where I reprimanded myself for presuming that I would remember everything in the morning. I was reminded to wake up and write it down, because it was pretty important stuff that the world needed to know about ASAP. No time to  lose; take the note with me to work and write the post mid-morning, which is my usual habit.

There was no note waiting on awakening; that was just part of the dream. But, more importantly, the impetus to get started quickly was fully intact and pressingly imperative. I went through my morning ‘auto-pilot’ sequence wondering exactly how I might make this work; trusting that a caffeine jolt strong enough to wake Ambrose Burnside would give me a lead ( who, BTW, still insists that sending the black guys in at the last minute at the Crater was a good idea…)

So… now it’s finally time to impart the wisdom. What was written on the dream-note that could change the course of human events, once presented to humanity in the humble guise of a SecRag blog post?

Vacuum cleaners.

And not just that…the most pressing point of the dream  that people absolutely had to know was…

It’s Apathetic Vacuum Cleaners that can change the world. That’s what I had to wake up for, and write down on the notepad. Be sure to tell them that. It is vitally important that someone tell them before it’s too late.

So…I have. An apathetic vacuum cleaner can make all the difference in your lives.

There…I’ve fulfilled my promise. And at this point, you might ask; where, oh where is the deep spiritual significance of all this?

Don’t ask me. I don’t know. They didn’t mention that part. But you’ve been told.

Sorry. I know it’s not much to go on. I’m just the messenger. Believe me, I would really, really like to tidy this up with a snappy and entertaining ending with a nice twist to it. As the writer here, I feel just awful about this. But I truly have no idea where this is supposed to go.

But maybe…just maybe…could it be?

Maybe one of you knows where this should be going. Maybe I only got a part of the broadcast. And remember, I’m certainly not the brightest bulb…hell, I’m not even sure I’m in the shed at all. And even though I’ve repaired my share of vacuum cleaners, I don’t think that matters here. They’re desperately trying to tell us something, and we have an obligation to mankind to interpret for them. Either that, or it’s the Gregg’s Lemon Surprise cake that I had last night.

So I’ll tell you what…if any of you loyal ( or not…disloyal works, too)  SecRag folk have any knowledge concerning apathetic vacuum cleaners…please, please help me finish this. I’m not proud. Just send in your endings as comments, and I’ll put them right into the post ( provided that they’re reasonably civilized ).We’re all in this together.

And if your Dyson has seemed a bit edgy and out of sorts lately….or if it has a light on the front that’s been sending you Morse code…for God‘s sake, pay some attention. Does it always have to be all about you?

So please pitch  in and pull your weight, and help me to help you… to help me. Because it helps you. To help them.

 And meanwhile…I’m off to Gregg’s for an Irish coffee and some cherry cheesecake. Ciao.

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , ,

Signs of Spring…

Okay, I’ll admit it. As far as signs of spring are concerned, this is a bit odd.

Every spring, I re-read a favorite book. I always read the same one in the early spring, and have no idea as to why.

In this day and age of non-reading, I suppose that the notion of reading something over again must seem inexplicably… tedious. The idea of re-reading the same things over and over again must seem inexplicably… insane. So be it.

And as if in concordance with my inner spring festival ( not innerspring festival ), I took note today of an obituary. Edwin Gaustad passed away in Santa Fe at age 87.

Edwin was an expert in the history of Colonial religion; a veritable hotbed of controversy. ( I know…try to remain calm…) He was also a biographer of local hero Roger Williams. And my spring re-read book is ” I, Roger Williams” by Mary Lee Settle. How weird is that, eh? He was quoted in the obit as saying of Mr. Williams; ” he would never have been voted ‘ Mr. Congeniality.’ An outcast and a pariah, a social misfit, he did, however, have one redeeming feature: he was right. And that single virtue outweighs all other aspects of his life.”

A few words about Mary Lee Settle; born in 1918, served in the womens’s branch of the Air Force in WWII; worked as a magazine editor. Decided at age 30 to resign and start writing novels, with no time to spare. She focused on historical novels; meticulously, exhaustively researched historical novels. Hard, hard work. Was very successful at it. Died in 2005.

Mary published ” I, Roger Williams at age 84. It’s written from a first person perspective, and focuses mainly on William’s life leading up to what he’s actually known for. This sounds like it should be drier than dust to read, but it’s actually very engaging. Mary did a great job; it just doesn’t seem like the type of thing that anyone, never mind an 84-yr old, would be driven to. And to do a first-rate job of.

So; I’ve just finished it. That will conclude my ‘ Inner Spring Festival‘  for this year. Now it’s time to get out there and start digging fervently in the dirt. Catch you later, Netop.

That, by the way, is the only existing Roger Williams joke in the known world; and if you actually got that without looking up ‘ Netop’….then, just as you have always suspected, you really are the weirdest person you know.