Frêsh Fish

Friday, February 29, 2008

Eugene Edward Reardon
2/29/24 - 1/14/04

I now dwell on the soul of my Father. I doubt He actually needs my prayer for He was always a good man. And thus it is not my wish that He be found in Heaven for I know He is already there but rather that His Spirit be remembered and honored on Earth.

Bless my Father for He was forgiving. In His eyes I never sinned.
Bless my Father for He was generous. With Him I never wanted.
Bless my Father for He was protecting. With Him no harm came my way.
Bless my Father for He was wise. He always gave me good counsel.
Bless my Father. Without Him I would be naught.

In word, deed, and thought Eugene Edward Reardon was always a good man and let none deny it.

Happy Birthday Geno.

Eugene Edward Reardon - 2/29/24 - 1/14/04

There he was, shining bright like Gabriel or the sun just risen on a fine Spring morning. Coming up to the bar he was, strutting like a peacock. She saw him first with her eyes but it was her heart that ached. He and all his glory and that damn red hat.

Up to the bar he came and like Houdini made them disappear , one, two, three. Then one for them all and then another. They all knew there was going to be trouble but what a grand trouble it was going to be.

And then he rose from his stool at the bar and all heads turned to see who the unfortunate one might be that was going to be a wearing a little red themselves. But instead of doing what came natural to him, he raised his glass and spoke.

“Today is the birthday of My Father, Eugene Edward Reardon, who passed away in 2004. You all knew him. What do you say of him that is no longer with us now?”

And one by one they talked of Gene, or Geno, or Eugene, or Mr. Reardon. Each in their own way being thankful for a time when the two of them had been together. Each in their own way saying that Eugene Edward Reardon was always a good man and let none deny it.

And after the last of them had had their say, he turned toward the door and strutted out. Most were a little disappointed. They yearned a bit for the –

“Who be feeling a little proud today? I have been working hard and need a little comfort."

But seeing that it was the Day of His Dad he was forgiven. They all knew that he would be back, wearing that damn red hat, and putting the best of them down.

© 2008 big box industries

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Historical Continuity and Doctrinal Consistency

What the fuck?

Some of you may be wondering where my last blog came from. I had been writing on birds and violets and going to Gainesville, and the next thing you know I am talking about hacking a DJB computer in Waterloo, Iowa and providing population statistics for India?

Thoughts do not just randomly manifest. There is an ex ante, a transmission mechanism by which the present is presaged by the past.

What the fuck?

I had started to read The World is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman – 2005. I just couldn’t stomach the one-sided gleefulness of Friedman’s anathema that millions of good American jobs are going to India and this is something we should all be grateful for. (For another opinion on the Indian exodus see - You are going to India Dude.)

Having found Flat way too Pollyanna for me I groped for something more Tri Delta and have begun reading Volume One of The Baroque Cycle – Quicksilver – by Neal Town Stephenson – 2004. The last book I read by Neal, Cryptonomicon, with the exception of the first 50 and last 200 pages was a good read. Neal is a very ambitious writer but unfortunately lacks the intellectual pedigree to completely awe the discerning reader.

Given :

a. Flat
b. Quicksilver

c. Indian population statistics
d. 3D hack

© 2008 big box industries

It's Too Late Now

If you are reading this blog it is already too late. Your ISP address has been noted and from now on all your incoming and outgoing internet traffic will be monitored. If you are one of the unsuspecting rubes who has VISTA installed on your system there will also be frequent pollings of some of your other computer data like the titles of documents saved in Word and Notepad and a listing of everyone in your email address book. The reason your computer activity will now continually be monitored is because you are now reading a blog that will discuss the hack of a CIA computer.

As you might imagine the CIA takes security very seriously. At one time all Triple Delta Ops – the agency’s highest security classification – were actually only held in the minds of a select group of individuals known as The Kindred. Members of this highly cloistered group were selected based on each individual’s photographic memory prowess. No Triple Delta Op was ever written down. Much like in the book, Fahrenheit 451, or with the received doctrine of certain occult organizations, each of The Kindred was responsible for memorizing certain data sets and also providing for the transmission of this data to another before they left the group. Triple Delta Ops followed an oral tradition.

Just pointed the camera at my ear.  Listened for the focus beep.  Snapped.

Who's Listening?

In the 1970’s, for various reasons, all of the above changed. In 1972, construction was begun in Waterloo, Iowa on a clandestine information storage and monitoring site that included two Cray X1 TM supercomputers. Ironically though, since this site was using 256 bit key encryptions, thought to be unbreakable, security was actually a bit lax.

Lots and lots of technical stuff follows but the skinny here is that in 1978, a group of 3 undergraduate psychology students at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, found in The Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library, an obscure document that pertained to Riemann zeta functions. It was like finding something written in a new language. When they went to search the internet for other documents written in this new language, the only link they got was to the Cray supercomputers in Waterloo.

Now if you have ever wondered what would be secret enough to be designated Triple Delta you are going to be surprised by some of the findings. There is lots and lots and lots of trivial stuff like –


Population: 1,129,866,154 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.8% (male 188,208,196/female 171,356,024)
15-64 years: 63.1% (male 366,977,821/female 346,034,565)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 27,258,259/female 30,031,289) (2007 est.)

Median age: total: 24.8 years
male: 24.5 years
female: 25.2 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.606% (2007 est.)

Birth rate: 22.69 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate: 6.58 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.098 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.061 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.908 male(s)/female
total population: 1.064 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 34.61 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 39.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 29.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.59 years
male: 66.28 years
female: 71.17 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5.1 million (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 310,000 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis are high risks in some locations
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country or surrounding region; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2007)

Nationality: noun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)

Religions: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)

Languages: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 21 other official languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanscrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61%
male: 73.4%
female: 47.8% (2001 census) language.

Yeah, so if you are one of the lucky people who has to talk to someone in India about a technical problem with your VISTA operating system you will probably be talking to a Hindu.

“How are you?”

“Yes I am Hindu.”

But rest assured that the CIA didn’t spend tens of billions of dollars to just encryptically store information like the above. Other jewels like the following were found –

“The NSA, using two Cray X1 TM supercomputers, ran a Big Moby psychological profile assessment on Saddam Hussein. According to this top secret report, the assessment revealed that Saddam Hussein is an anagram for AM SAD INSANE.”

© 2008 big box industries

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cuties or RAR Files?

And with 72% of the electorate already reporting in, we don’t even have to wait for California to report, because in a landslide it’s 62,325,555 votes for cuties and 6 votes for RAR files. Who gnu?

Here are a few of the people snaps I took Friday night at the Wild Wing Café in Gainesville. I continue to be enamored by the human spirit. There I was a complete stranger, approaching people with camera in hand, and without a second thought, to a person, they all acquiesced.

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

All this and heaven too.

Wild Wing Cafe Gainesville - 2/22/08

I have lived in many places around the world, Europe, Asia, and the good old USA. People are the same everywhere. They all have the same needs. They all just want to be accepted and enjoy.

As an aside, I found this web site, Sleeping Cuties, and thought that the more disinclined might find it of some interest. Who gnu?

© 2008 big box industries

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jack Kerouac Does Gainesville

I am finally here, Gainesville, not Florida, Georgia. Think chicken farms with an IHOP.

I am hanging out at the most exclusive hotel in town. It's kind of low rent because there is no room service, no valet, no guy or ok chick, to take your bags up to your room. I am hanging out on the top floor, room 402, at The Hampton Inn.

I am not complaining. There aren’t too many people here,Wi-Fi is free, complementary breakfast, and they do have this neat little board thing that lets you do computer stuff while you are stretched out on the bed.

The staff is very friendly. When I checked in I did all the driver’s license, credit card stuff. The young chick at the desk punched in some data and then handed me my bill for my one night stay. I glanced at it. And then as I slowly eased my hand down toward my crouch I asked her if there wasn’t something I could do like sing or dance or whatever to get a cheaper rate. The girl knew talent when she saw it. I got the 20% cool discount. Who gnu?

I am here tonight to do a photo shoot of a classic rock band STR8. They are letting it all hang out at Wild Wings, starting at 10PM. I don’t think that you can beat the fact that The Hampton is right across the street.

Nice place.  Lots of fun people and decent food

Wild Wing Gainesville - 2/22/08

It’s many hours later now. Actually it is the next day. I just got finished with my first cull and I was pleased. In all I took over 250 snaps. I’d say that 70% are keepers with a good 20 being shots that I am really proud to have taken.

I did make a big mistake while taking pictures of the band. Many are from a front row table taken while sitting down in a chair. The pictures would have been better if I was standing or even on a little stool. Live and learn.

In truth I have shot the band before. STR8 does old classic rock covers. They are not the kind of band that does a lot of onstage antics. If you have shot them before it is kind of a done deal. Although I did get some good shots of their new female member.

Jeff Allen, the bass player, works with my brother.

Southern Rock

When large enough you can see the blisters on the lead guitarist's fingers.

I've Got Blisters On My Fingers

New female member of the band.

Gutting Off in Gainesville

Go <br />Charlie Watts.


New female member.

New Female Member

I know these band pictures are not the best but usually something is better than nothing. In my defense I will state that all snaps were taken in a low light environment with the band using red gel lights that give everything a red tinge. I did use flash. Unfortunately, you can never be sure when the flash will fire. Sometimes when you are taking many snaps in sequence the flash has to power back up and you get snaps like those shown below. The moral here, espoused by the legendary gonzo digital photographer, Robert "d" Snaps, is to take many, many, snaps - some will be good.

Flash did not fire.

Lights Out Nobody Home

Not sure what happened here.  Looks like low flash.

Study in Red

My real reason for being at Wild Wings was to get some people shots and here is where I got a few that I am really pleased with. They are the kind of shots you review and realize that you are getting a little better. In my next entry I will put up some of the people snaps that I am rather pleased with.

© big box industries

Friday, February 22, 2008

Carolina Wrens

Carolina Wrens have a special place in my heart. I love watching these little guys hip hop all about, ferreting out all the little nooks and crannies. They are always there doing their thing.

Hope you check out the link to the prior blog of when the Carolina Wrens made it into the house.

What A Lark

The guy in this snap is a male. He is on the hunt for a nesting place for the season. With sticks and twigs, this industrious little guy will start on as many as ten different nesting sites for the upcoming season. Once his little hottie shows up he will show her around to all the places he has started. She will pick the site that she likes best and then either trash his feeble attempt and rebuild from scratch or at the very least she will soften things up a bit by adding a softer layer of feathers and leaves and such to the male’s starter structure of sticks and twigs.

Of all the birds, Carolina Wrens are the most enamored with humans. They are always hip hopping about near your house or in your garage or if you give them half a chance they will be in your house somewhere. Of the four or five times I have had a bird in my house, each was a Carolina Wren.

Carolina Wrens are rather solitary and usually don't hang out with other birds.

I Got A Bird That Whistles

At first I thought this busting in was just a function of curiosity, but I have another thought. I think the reason that Carolina Wrens endeavor to build their nests in and around humans is that they sense that the presence of humans reduces that probability that predators are on the prowl.

Carolina Wrens are territorial and come back to the same site year after year.

I Got A Bird That Sings

I found two starter nests last year. One in the garage and another wedged between the screen and window off the master bedroom. Either because of me or other factors neither of these made the cut. I am hoping this year I can find an active nest and be blessed with the experience of seeing a few nestlings fledge.

© 2008 big box industries

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Although supposedly, will I ever get this right, rather easy to grow, I have never had much luck with violets. I would either overwater or underexpose to light or do something that caused my violets to shrink.

Got this with my FZ20 which you can't beat for close-ups.

Taking Off

But this year I have finally gotten everything down pat and my girl is putting out with all her heart.

Now that I have learned the trick to growing violets I am going to get another one.

Tufted Glory

© 2008 big box industries

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Little Girl in Pink Dress

Little Girl in Pink Dress is one of the four masterpieces recently stolen from the Buehrle Foundation museum in Zurich. It is a 35 3/4 x 28 1/4 work, painted by Claude Monet in 1879. It has actually been reported that it was Poppies near Vétheuil that was the stolen work of Monet, but this false report has been done to assist investigators in weeding out false information.

The distinguishing characteristic of this painting is the assault of turquoise over the verdant. Key to this offering is the little girl, mid picture, in the pink dress whose hand is being held by her, partially hidden, mother, coming before the Goddess Minerva performing a banishing ritual in which all the evils of the verdant Earth are banished and once again the female spirit is renewed, pristine and fresh.

This snaps was actually taken in Hilton Head in the Fall of 2007.

Little Girl in Pink Dress

Little Girl in Pink Dress is especially prized because it begins Monet’s renunciation of the Earth upon his spirit.

Take me to the sky or sea
In which it is They and not me
Whom are blue.

“Monet used quite a limited palette, banishing browns and earth colors and, by 1886, black had also disappeared.”

The recent theft in Zurich has rekindled the debate of who actually owns what.

“Even before the Romans took their pick of Greek statues, art was treated as war booty. Throughout Europe's turbulent history, art works regularly changed hands through armed conflict or political domination. And from the 19th century, the Europeans began bringing Asian, African and Latin American treasures into their museums -- to save them, it was claimed, from destruction.

Increasingly, however, "victim" countries are refusing to view history as a closed book. Greece has long demanded the return of the Elgin Marbles, the 253 sculptures from the Parthenon that are in the British Museum. Turkey, China, Cambodia, Nigeria, Mali and Bangladesh say their cultural heritage was ransacked. Mexicans lament that the feathered headdress of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma is in a Vienna museum.”

© 2008 big box industries

Monday, February 18, 2008

False Spring

This guy popped out a couple of weeks ago on a warm day in January. Unfortunately, it was the wrong time to stand and deliver. Shortly after this wave of warmth another cold smack down came through. If only he had been watching the Weather Channel.

I was almost touching the bee with the lens when I got this shot.

Purple Haze

Again, like with Erasmus, I am in a state of gender flux. According to some quick research, the first bumblebees on the scene are the queens. So for guy above read chick.

When I was young I used to keep bumble bees for pets. What I would do is fashion a metal coat hanger, as an aside I hate metal hangers, into a loop with a handle. I would affix a see-through plastic bang to the loop and thus have a net of sorts. Then with handle in hand I would go out and catch my prey. After letting the bee vent for a bit, I would bring the bag down to the ground and contain the bee in just a small portion of the plastic bag. Then I would take two small sticks. With one stick I would press on the bee's abdomen. This would cause the stinger to flick out. With the other stick I would trap the stinger and slowly pull. With stinger removed I would let my captive chill for awhile. After the bumblebee became rather docile, I would make a loop in some thin sewing string and position it over on of the six legs on the bee. Thus attached I could take my new pet outside and watch as it went for the honey.

Unfortunately, my new friends didn’t last long in captivity, but at the time I thought it quite the lark.

© 2008 big box industries

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I have just finished a book with a neat little twist. When you get to the last page of the book there is a little circular sticky thing with a V. on it. Just like after voting, you can wear the little circular sticky thing with the V. on it to let others know that you have done it, you have finished reading V. by Thomas Pynchon -Victory.

Its hard to tell when all your love is in vain/vane/vein.

Vote For Bob The Good Candidate

Is V. a great piece of literature? No. Would I recommend V. to others? No. Would I ever consider rereading it? Never. But still it has had its way with me.

A hallmark of Pynchon is his strange naming convention of characters. Where this works extremely well for Dickens in David Copperfield, in Pynchon’s hand it is at best jejune. One doubts that V. was outlined or planned in advance. Telling a story is certainly not Tom’s strength. Tom’s offering is very nonlinear and is strung out over the meagerest of plots. Where I am a strong advocate of less is more, V. flaunts the antithesis.

Pynchon is certainly original.  He didn't learn his writing style from anyone.


However, with Pynchon there is still a hook. Thomas Pynchon has an amazing ability to describe all things, both ordinary and empyreal, in the rarest of ways. His continued descriptive sense, page after page after page, is better than any other I have ever encountered.

If one tries to explain what has happened after reading V. they will certainly be frustrated. A more interesting approach is to ask what V. reveals about the writer, Thomas Pynchon.

After reading V. one could conclude that the author was young, Jewish, had been in the Navy, well read, had strong attachments to his mother, bohemian, will vote for Obama in the upcoming Presidential election, a Virgin, and a Voyeur.

© 2008 big box industries

Friday, February 15, 2008

Depth of Field

I am one of the few that puts alt and title tags on their snaps.

Pray For Me For I Have Sinned

There is nothing especially meritorious about this snap. However, it is an example of a photo fundamental, the concept of depth of field. Depth of field pertains to the area of a photograph that is in focus. This picture illustrates a very shallow depth of field, with the angel and vase being in focus and the rest of the background blurred.

To achieve shallow depth of field you need a large aperture opening. This picture was taken with a 50mm 1.8 prime lens. The 1.8 in the nomenclature references the maximum aperture opening of this lens, also called the f-stop. There is a convoluted logic when talking about f-stops and aperture openings because the smaller the f-stop the larger the aperture opening. Without doing a Newton here, lots of math, the relationship of f-stop to aperture opening can be better appreciation once it is understood that the number being referenced as the f-stop, in this case 1.8, is actually a ratio, f/1.8. The smaller the number on the bottom, the large the quantity f/x, aperture opening, will be. Therefore you need a large aperture opening or small f-stop to achieve a shallow depth of field. Whatever.

© 2008 big box industries

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

This is actually a 2007 V Day snap.

Kicking It Out for V. Day

The above is one of the only known snaps of the infamous – Robert “d” Snaps. If you encounter this individual, report your sighting to your local authorities immediately.

Wanted for irreverent hyperbola and disjoint non sequiturs - The legendary gonzo digital journalist - Robert "d" Snaps. Snaps is known as the guy who put the "Y" in quirky. Robert "d" has recently been spotted in Vegas, Atlanta, and Charleston, S.C. Warning - "d" is very digital.

© 2008 big box industries

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I lied and/or was wrong once again. Reading V. by T. Pynchon is work, it is a hard go. Multiple transitions and depth of detail keep the mind very busy. There is no way to skim and skip. V. is what is called in statistics nonlinear in the betas, a three standard deviation from the mean abnormality.

I can usually take to wing and soar like Erasmus high above the welter. Although not Evelyn Woodish, I can still take most at a fast clip. Not so with V. After several days in the saddle I am still only at page 165. If you asked me at this point what is going on? The only thing I could say with certainty is that I am not sure.

V. seems to be a Ulysses, an epic journey. We have a character, I think the main character, whose name escapes me now, that is searching for a woman, V. The reason he is upon this quest is that she is the only tangible object mentioned in the tattered memoirs of the main character’s father. With the vaguest of clues our protagonist sets out to find V. in hopes of learning more about his father and himself.

Actual a snap of me, long ago, at my computer taken with timer.

Pynchon Writing V.

Perhaps it is my current state of mind, but where as I can usually do 50 or more pages at a read, with V. I find myself stopping after only a 10 or 15 page one rounder. There is no, I wonder what is going to happen to whom, because you are never sure what will be encountered around the next corner, nonlinear.

Although I find the setting squalid, I am still really enjoying my bout with V. I am rather disappointed in myself that I am just now getting to Pynchon. V. was first published in 1961. Yes, I had heard the murmuring about Pynchon in the past, but having been fooled so many times before by the hype of the monkeys with an infinite amount of time, I did not take the jabberwocky seriously.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

I am enjoying V. immensely and Pynchon is indeed the rarest of talents.

© 2008 big box industries

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Frêsh Fish

Up and doing.

Wrote several email to members of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners on Water/Growth. The cool thing is that these people write back.

Starting to use my neglected 50mm 1.8 and discovering after thinking 50mm, zoom with your feet, 1.8 was a dukey, that it is a lens with lots of potential. Apparently, each lens has its own personality and you have to take some time to figure that out.

Took this snap this morning and then spent hours and hours, hitting it up with the brush. I like the bright colors.

This looks great framed at 24x36.

Frêsh Fish

© 2008 big box industries

Monday, February 11, 2008

Culling the Garden

I have made minor progress in my attempt to become more organized. Little piles here and there, acknowledging things forgotten, ideas about what to do with this and that, and at the heart of it all The Culling.

We are all emotional attached to our things. Files, folders, boxes, closets, drawers, full of things, most of which we never use, most of which we have forgotten. Oh what great plans we had for some or all. To do this and that, to become The Master of our Domain. But alas another day washes over us and many of those great plans, ways of arranging our things in this way and that, go out with the tide.

In almost any creative endeavor it is not that we need more, it is that we have too much. The mark of The Master is made with what is discarded and not what is displayed. He throws and throws and throws. Then he molds and shapes and grunts, leaving behind his best.

It is the way of all flesh to cling. It is hard work to discard parts of ourselves, things that were with us in the past and now serve no purpose, except to remind us of our shame.

So to this end of culling, or throwing some things away, I decided this morning to throw away -

Still going to miss that wallet just a little bit.

When In Doubt?

1. A software package I bought a few weeks ago that is a piece of shit. I should have known better. Supposedly it does just about everything but only cost about $20. But wait. Maybe there is just one little thing in the package that in the year 2010 I will really, really, need. Nah. Chuck it. It's out.

2. Don’t throw the Sony Walkman away. It did serve me well and, oh no I can see what is coming, I still have a fair collection of cassette tapes, but…maybe a garage sale…Chuck it. It's out.

3. Not the wallet. Yes. It was a Kenneth Cole wallet that I found at Marshall’s on sale for about $20. It had a zipper, that still works, and was one of a kind, and so Uber. Chuck it. It's out.

To further the topic, in photography I have adopted a strategy of taking lots of shots and then culling and keeping the best. This is the sine qua no of a photographer – culling immediately. I took about ten quickies of this setup and decided the photo above was the best. The rest have already been labeled DOA.

So take this brother and may it serve you well. When in doubt chuck it out. Get squared away. Get your cook together and flush.

© 2008 big box industries

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Waiting for Godot

Greens and blues are the colors I chose,

It's all happening at the zoo.

Won't You Let Me Go Down In My Dreams

and as if it where all there just for me, a wondrous day, with flag aflutter

It's not like I support the President or the war, I just like flying a flag.

Oh Say Can You See

and wee folk about waiting patiently.

The tulips are on the prowl.

Master Phat

© 2008 big box industries


I like to cook. Now once again I might be engaging in misnomers. I have never baked a pie or a cake. I have never used one of the infinite number of flours. And although I always thought that shortening looked inviting, except for frying chicken I am not sure how you use it.

My type of cooking is mixing things together and then heating them up. And I am from the old school of cooking that says if you can’t see it you are not cooking and hence I use lots of pots and pans and eschew that 350 degrees thing.

Now when you heat things up it usually makes whatever softer. William Durant, in his seminal series, The Story of Civilization, states that bad teeth are one of the attributes of civilization. Fire – cooking – soft food – bad teeth.

I decided last night to play with a little fire. At Christmas time, I treated myself to a new non-stick. I call it a big frying pan but I am sure it has several other more specific names. Last night was the pan’s debut. All I can say is wow!

I had had my old non-stick for about 5 years. Yeah, non-stick, again misnomer. Things in this new non-stick glissade and flâner. It was almost as exciting as when I discovered spray starch in college.

Last night I made my version of a Thai dish called but not spelled, cow pot. Meat, rice, catsup, chopped onions, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt. The trick, which I still have yet to mastered is the ratio of soy sauce to catsup.

It's so slick I love my new non-stick.

Cow Pot

In truth my creation came out ok. I was relieved that I did not have dinner guests.

Although pronounced differently, being just a bit more truncated and nasal, cook, is the Vietnamese word for shit.

Who gnu?

© 2008 big box industries

Friday, February 08, 2008

Snapped Out

If you are into photography or are just a voyeur and like to look, you will really like this presentation of some of the best photographs of 2007 collected by Telegraph UK.

Take the little tour on the left first (Telegraph). Then make sure you hit the link on the right for whatatop.

Not sure how long the link to Telegraph UK will last. whatatop has viewers submitted photographs in different categories and then lets other viewers rate them. With whatatop you can elect to view just top rated photos, or all, or whatever. I am definitely going to bookmark whatatop.

Warning : If you are a libertine you might find the above links rather mundane.

© 2008 big box industries

Pynchon Update

I am in about III deep, up to the ankles, in V. by Tom Pynchon.

I am standing down on the “hard” alert. Will I ever get anything right? It is not that Pynchon is “hard” to read, as say an Ezra Loomis Pound, but yes, as mentioned by Warren, it does take work. But this being the kind of work that is fun and inspiring, and hence a pleasure.

I don’t know if it is me or what I call The Wall. It usually takes me about 50 pages or so to get into a book. It is as if the author has constructed a Wall around the work to keep the less yearning and industrious from gleaming the wonders to be had inside. In the beginning of The Quest there is a tedium and I struggle as I wander through the swamp constantly asking myself is this all there is? But then, in the better works, there comes a point where the book just takes off. It reaches a critical mass, and in the best, just seems to explode, taking the reader on a Nantucket.

In my somewhat tattered second hand paperback copy of A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man I have this phenomena documented with an annotation –

I am very proud that I finally got my violet to show off.

Thanks Be to God

“It is almost as if this was penned by two different hands. As with other tales of its kind – One struggles – and then finally a critical mass is achieved – p. 95 – “and thanks be to God…that we lived so long & did so little harm.””

The beginning of V. starts off rather benign. No fish hook in the eye to pull the read along like in a Stephen King romp. We flâner around with a rag tag constellation of characters. Things are rather simplistic and Pynchon focuses on the baser urges of life.

In Chapter II Pynchon zooms into the characters a bit more. I should mention different characters. All that come forward for recognition have more depth to them than the entities that we were introduced to in Chapter I. Characters start to have more motive for what they are doing and Pynchon takes one deeper into the psyche of each.

By the time the reader is ankle deep, reaching Chapter III, it is happening all over the place. Settings have been switched once again and a new set of scoundrels make their mark.

It is Pynchon’s ability to continually reinvent setting and characters that fascinates the reader. Effortless, as long as the reader stays within the margins, we go here and there and everywhere and love it. Not realizing that it is not us by Pynchon who is working all the wonders.

I confess that I am shot out. My mind is very forgetful. I don’t remember well. I am so memento. And this perhaps could be a prerequisite for reading V. The work in reading Pynchon is keeping up with all the Mandebrot. But I don’t have to remember. I can just enjoy.

© 2008 big box industries

Thursday, February 07, 2008

He Lied About the Lay

And it is happening again, that thing that happens several times a day, when you have everything you need except the one thing that you can’t find. And then to discover, like the shit does when it hits the fan, that it has been there all along but you had expected it to look differently, you thinking gray when actually it was blue. And then the real rub of discerning that it actually wasn’t what you needed at all.

I had written a secret message to myself earlier today and perhaps it will remain so evermore, for I have just looked and this matter of great urgency is not to be found in the little notebook with the cover I had thought gray but which was actually blue. The secret not actually being the secret at all but rather a key to where the secret lied or lay.

What does this all mean? This being the real secret message.

Get more organized.

© 2008 big box industries


It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom …

I actually had several more shots but I was doing manual focus and fucked it up.

Sexual Dimorphism

No and yes. It was and is a Kingdom but it wasn’t many and many of anything. It was this afternoon.

The day had a scent, no stink, fresh after yesterday’s rain. There was a photo opportunity of Master Phat waiting for the colors in the backyard that I wanted to work on. So with camera in hand I headed toward the back door.

There was a ruckus going on in the back but I wasn’t too concerned about it, because although I couldn’t quite place it, I knew I had heard it before. As soon as I opened the door though it all came to me in a flash.

The hawks are high on honey.

As soon as I opened the back door my attention was immediately drawn to the right were Erasmus was making a quick getaway from one of the gnarly old oaks in the back. I was a little upset that I had missed snapping out with him.

I’m bad at onomatopoeia. Wikipedia describes the sound that a red-tailed hawk makes as kree-eee-ar. Whatever, I just know that it is unique and I know it as the hawk sound. Erasmus had winged off but there was still a lot of kree-eee-aring going on off to the left. Another hawk was still hanging.

It took me awhile but I finally spotted the second hawk perched way up high in another oak tree. This one was much smaller than E.

Lately, there has been some extra hawk activity about. The other day Plum and I came across 3 hawks doing some odd things in the back. Mating season for red-tails is suppose to start in April, but maybe a few are already getting a little frisky

I did learn two interesting things about red-tailed hawks today.

1. “The red-tailed hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, as females are 25% larger than males.”

2. “During courtship, the male and female fly in wide circles while uttering shrill cries. The male performs aerial displays, diving steeply, then climbing again. After repeating this display several times, he approaches the female from above, and grasps her talons briefly with his own. Courtship flights last 10 minutes or more. Once the flight is completed, mating takes place. The male and female spiral to the ground, then land on a perch and preen each other. The female then tilts forward, allowing the male to mount her. Copulation lasts 5 to 10 seconds.”

And so we have a problem. I may have committed a non sequitur and a misnomer. I know some of you are going to object to the 5 will get you 10, but the problem is with the sexual dimorphism aspect.

I had assumed that the large hawk that circled high in sartorial splendor above The Kingdom was male and hence Erasmus. But considering Erasmus's girth and now knowing that females are 25% larger than males, I now suspect that I am in error.

Too late now. The spell has already been cast.

For the more adventurous, try this. In the search field at the top of the blog enter Erasmus and hit enter. At first you will think that nothing has happened because the first entry in the search list is going to be this entry. But if you scroll down past this first entry you will come to other times when Erasmus reigned high and The Kingdom was thankful and happy.

© 2008 big box industries

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Frêsh Fish

I recently came across a reference to the moniquer Frêsh Fish and I was not ecstatic about the find. My discovery was that in some circles fresh fish stands for new inductees into the slammer.

My actual intend for Frêsh Fish was something different. I had hoped to convey with Frêsh Fish a combination of new and spirited with the added bonus being that everyone knows that fish is best fresh. The icing on the cake was that my mother’s mother, Lena, always told her and she me, that fish was brain food. So with Frêsh Fish we have spirited and new food for thought, ideas, that ain’t got no stink.

I was suppose to eat fish today and did not. I hope I can be forgiven.

© 2008 big box industries

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I have started to peruse V. (1961) - Thomas Pynchon. When it comes to the arts I dabble a bit but am not that conversant with the literature. But every now and then I have caught the mummerings about Tommy. They were always vague and unformed to me, something about a mysterious writer who was hiding in the shadows, something about a writer who had done “good things” and then had just disappeared.

Recently, Tom’s icon came back up on my desktop via reading reviews, of a book I have just finished, Cryptonomicon (1999) – Neal Stephenson. The reviews compare Neal’s depth and breath and swagger to Tom’s. So in an attempt to get a read on what others had read and considered “good”, I am giving V. a go.

I cheat before I read a book. As referenced above I check out a few reviews before devoting my time to the study of the work of another. There are many references to Pynchon being “hard” to read. Having only read the first 14 pages of V., I still do not have a good feel for what is being references by ““hard” to read”. In truth the first 14 pages of V. have conjured a Cannery Row managerie.

Nonetheless, already being on “hard” alert, I did come across a word I had not encountered before –

and here I am embarrassed.

Having started V. and come across a new word, I extrapolated from this that I had encountered the new word while reading V. But when I tried to find the exact passage in the text I was stymied. Zut alors!

The word is flâneur and I had encountered it when investigating Cultivating the Flaneur : Sublime Work in Pynchon’s V. So I had encountered the word while reading a review and not the work itself.

This messes up my introduction above with Tom and V. and “hard” and all that stuff. But it does give some indication of the transmission mechanism by which things manifest. I had read reviews of Crypto. They had mentioned Pynchon. I partially read a review on Pynchon. While reading that review I encountered the word flâneur. I had never encountered that word before and immediately via Google looked up flâneur.

If you clicked on the link associated with flâneur above it took you to Wiki where you found out that flâneur in a very condensed form means – “Also known as a jetter, the term "flâneur" comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll". A flâneur is thus a person who walks the city in order to experience it.”

And thus I will flâner a bit.

1. I know how to get the a with the little hat on top of it, â, in print by using code.

2. Part of a wonderful poem, written by one of the rarest of talents –


I undulate
with a swinging gait
parting the seas
with my side to side
I oscillate
when I create
the ebb and flow
of time and tide

3. If you are going to be a flâneur it helps to have comfortable shoes.

Had these shoes for over 20 years.

Pounding A Nail: Old Shoe or Glass Bottle?

It has come back to me now, how I originally flânered and liked it. It began of all places with the beginning.

chapter one

In which Benny Profane,
a schlemihl and
human yo-yo,
gets to
an apo-

© 2008 big box industries

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Name of the Rose

When it comes to ordering books you can’t beat Amazon. I went online. Put in some clues about the books I was interested in. Read the reviews by others. Ordered 3 books.

According to Amazon I saved millions and also got free shipping because my order was over $25. Free shipping is suppose to take about a year to get to you, but I got my treasures in just 2 days.

So what books did I order.

The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco, Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson, & on literature – Umberto Eco. Two out of three ain’t bad. A peek at, on literature – Umberto Eco, suggests that it is going to be a bit of a disappointment.

Ever since reading Foucalt Pendulum – Umberto Eco, I had wanted to give The Rose a go. So I read Eco’s, The Name of the Rose first.

I planted my pansies in late Fall.  They have strong roots now and will kick butt in the Spring.

The Name of the Pansy

Did I like The Rose? Yes. Was I completely blown away by the skills and talents of Umberto? No.

If one is reading the 1983 edition of The Rose one has to remember that Umberto wrote The Rose in Italian and what one is reading is the translation. William Weaver has done a wonderful job of translating a difficult text into English, but one has to wonder what one is missing by not reading the offering in its original Italian.

Where Eco excels is in the setting and the plot. Very few, if any other, could take the reader back to a 14th century monastery like Umberto. Also the labyrinth library to which only one person, the librarian has access, is original and satisfying. Add to this a missing cipher manuscript and the mysterious death of several in resident monks and you have a winner.

Eco is a medieval scholar and on occasion overvalues his dross. There are pages and pages devoted to the history and philosophy of certain religious orders. These descriptive passages do add to the setting of The Rose and since there were very little distractions in the 14th century I am sure that days, hours, weeks, were spent by the repentant discussing these issues but nonetheless they could have been left out of the book with the reader being none the wiser. I have found long rambling sentences with much to do about nothing being the sine qua non of those who have devoted their efforts to the humanities.

The ending of The Rose is anticlimactic. The sacred text, that has been hidden deep in the bowels of the labyrinth library and for which several monks have been murdered is a supposably lost work by Aristotle that reproaches biblical recordings for not having Jesus laugh. Is the joke on the reader? Doesn’t quite have enough punch.

In the prologue Eco describes how he wrote The Rose. He first established the setting in detail. Then when he added the characters they had to act in a certain way to maintain the structure already established by Eco.

I am sure for Eco that each word in The Rose is necessary, as if he was a scribe of God, and hence the editor had little if any sway over the content. Again, the work is a translation and even the best of translations has to lose much in a one to one transformation. The 14th century is not everyone’s favorite period. Still Umberto gets a passing mark and The Rose is recommended.

Book and movie should be done together.

I Never Came Within These Abbey Walls

After reading the book I watched the movie. Sean Connery does an excellent job of portraying William of Baskerville. Originally the role of Bill Baker was offered to Michael Caine. I find it hard to believe but in 1986 – “Sean Connery’s career was at such a low point when he read for the role that Columbia pictures refused to finance the film when director Jean-Jacques Annaud cast him as William of Baskerville.” Christian Slater as Adso also does a brilliant job. Christian was 15 years old in 1986 and this was his first big movie. Most have blown Chris away to be working with James Bond.

The movie set is remarkable for its ability to transcend the here and now and instantly take the viewer to 1327. Jean-Jacques Annaud, the director, could not find an existing monastery to satisfy his vision for the film. The monastery in the film was a set built just for the movie. And as already stated the acting was top drawer. However, without reading the book first I doubt that few viewers would grok the details of what took place in the movie. Hint : Read the book, then see the movie.

© 2008 big box industries