Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
"That's not a knife. THAT'S a KNIFE."

Giant Microtech Marfione Custom Halo V 3X OTF Knife (13.75" Stonewash) 2012 - Blade HQ Giant Microtech Marfione Custom Halo V 3X OTF Knife (13.75" Stonewash) 2012

Please Note: If interested, please contact us first!
The Marfione Custom HALO V 3X would make an impressive centerpiece for any Microtech collection. There were only 3 made in this batch! As the name implies, the Giant Halo 5 is three times the size of the Regular Halo V! This gargantuan Halo V is set up like a regular Halo in form and function. It has tremendous firing action, so you'll want to hold on tight!

This HALO V 3X has a hand ground tanto blade, stonewashed and almost 14 inches long. The handle is black anodized aluminum with the Marfione Dagger up front. The blade is retracted using the heat anodized titanium draw bar.

The HALO V 3X comes in a huge Pelican 1700 case with a custom stainless steel plate on front labeled: "A. MARFIONE HALO V 3X 06/2012".

Overall Length: 32.25"
Blade Length: 13.75"
Blade Thickness: 0.50"
Handle Length: 18.50"
Handle Thickness: 1.50"
Weight: 9.7 lbs.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 29, 2013 3:16 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One-Liners: Pre-Mortem and Mortem

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 29, 2013 12:07 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Republicans Thirst For Death

Glengarry Glen Ross speech - YouTube

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2013 10:52 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Last Bookshop

“Old books, nothing like it,” the store’s proprietor chuckles. “E. Nesbit seems to have the best bouquet, I think. Though I found some heady Brontës the other day in a box with old pipe tobacco. You should catch a whiff of it. It’ll knock your socks off!”

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 27, 2013 9:17 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"And all the news just repeats itself..."

... like some forgotten dream that we've both seen.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 26, 2013 10:33 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Life During Wartime: "Heard about Houston?...."

Like the president, you might think the soundtrack has changed since 9-11. You'd both be wrong.

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
Somebody see you up there

I got some groceries, some peanut butter,
To last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no headphones,
Ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can't write a letter, can't send no postcard,
I ain't got time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
We blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines,
I know that that ain't allowed

We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don't know what I look like!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2013 7:25 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Finem Respice: Making Sense of Rule by Cop in the "Cradle of Liberty"


In the just published The "Eretria of America" the writer @ "finem respice" (Latin for "Consider the End") presents an ancient-plus-very-recent history lesson for lovers of liberty. In doing so, the author delineates the darker side of the disturbingly easy "lock-down" of Boston. Highly recommended.

A brief excerpt:

"As it turns out, however, the captive audience in "The Cradle of Liberty" were a compliant bunch. As assault-weapon bearing bands of body-armored, black or camo-clad hulks fanned out through the neighborhoods door-to-dooring, skittish residents were systematically ordered out of or pulled out of their homes (some at gunpoint with hands raised). Some were frisked, or just interviewed and made to wait outside of their homes until authorities gave the all-clear signal.


"Just when it seemed to be abating, the tension level would be jacked up again when some officer thought he perhaps maybe saw something that might well have been a sign that perhaps there might be someone in that residence. Dozens of uniforms and guns would descend on the spot, a megaphone would be produced, and brusk commands would be issued to the neighborhood in general and the house specifically....


"What has become the dominant narrative of the Boston Bombers investigation, pursuit, and capture is little more than a rank lie. It is a lie that conceals not just missteps, but what would, on reflection, be difficult to label as anything other than an overwrought, excessive, authoritarian police action that is primarily notable today for having demonstrated the absolutely peerless incompetence of the authorities in question.

"Let us, just for a moment, take a step or two back.

"The net result of the unprecedented city-wide lock-down was to bring to a grinding halt one of the largest and most economically significant cities in the United States. If the United States Department of Commerce is to be believed, the GDP of Boston is on the order of $300-$315 billion. In this respect it seems reasonable to assign a daily GDP to the city (and its surrounding areas) of something like $1 billion. It seems hard to escape the conclusion that, given the reaction of the authorities, for what probably didn't exceed a couple of thousand dollars, a community college drop-out and a failing sophomore at University of Massachusetts were permitted to cause more than a billion dollars in economic damage to the United States at large (and some substantial fraction of that to the "Cradle of Liberty.")

"Given this sort of analysis one is caused to ask: "How many more such 'victories over terror' can the United States afford to win?"

"But, expensive as they are, aren't these victories worth the cost? Well, perhaps. But unless you have some means to show that the costs are directly related to the victory it starts to become hard to justify them as necessary to the end goal. And in this case? To what extent were the decisive and leadership-imbued police actions in this case the proximate cause of this "victory over terror"? It takes almost no analysis at all to arrive at the conclusion: "Almost not at all." Consider:

"All of the major ex ante efforts of the authorities were useless in this case....

"Q. To what extent can "exigent circumstances" exceptions to the Fourth Amendment be extended city-wide, or across multiple cities and municipalities, on a level of granularity that permits authorities to literally enter any home in the city they please at any time?....

"It seems hard to escape the conclusion that many of these questions might never be answered. Local authorities in Boston have now had a taste of the expediency of extraordinary police powers which obviously run up to and include the power to paralyze an entire city to hunt down one man. It seems difficult to conclude that they will easily relinquish them."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 23, 2013 12:21 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
L.A. According to the French in 1969

"The primitive desert is like a black canvas on which suggestions for settlements are drawn and erased straight after, as if with an enormous cloth…."

From the comments: "I'd love to do an American version where I go to Paris and point out the record high unemployment, constant street riots every other month, traffic that's just as bad if not worse and neighborhoods that make Compton look like a country club."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 22, 2013 6:35 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Amanda Thatcher reading at Margaret Thatcher's funeral ceremony

"Put on the whole armour of God..."

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

-- Ephesians 6

The Texan who stole the show at Margaret Thatcher's funeral With a poise reminiscent of the elder Thatcher, Amanda Thatcher, Margaret's granddaughter, delivered a reading from Ephesians that has the British media agog. Amanda, who lives with her mother in Texas, chose a rather militant passage that calls on believers to "put on the whole armour of God."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 21, 2013 12:25 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Being There: Edwardian London and Cork

Once upon a time.... Now all gone. Now all ghosts.

Feare no more the heate o' th' Sun,
Nor the furious Winters rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast don,
Home art gon, and tane thy wages.
Golden Lads, and Girles all must,
As Chimney-Sweepers come to dust.

-- Shakespeare, Cymbaline

This footage was filmed around 1900 in the cities of London, England, and Cork, Ireland. However, it doesn't look like any 100-year-old film you've seen, because it's been altered to make it more like being there than the film technology of the time could produce. This video has been dramatically enhanced in quality, using modern video editing tools. The film has been motion stabilized and the speed has been slowed down to correct speed (from 18 fps to 24 fps) using special frame interpolation software that re-creates missing frames. Upscaling to HD quality was done using video enhancer software. -- Via Miss Cellania Neatorama

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 21, 2013 3:09 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Moe Lane's Question of the Moment


"Hey, who here still thinks that trusting that North Korea can't lob a missile past, say, Denver is a viable long, mid, or even short-term national security strategy? Anybody? Hello?" -- Moe Lane Boston Marathon aftermath

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 20, 2013 6:23 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Persistance of the Sixties: "Ambition's debt is paid."

A 16-year-old Bill Clinton, part of the Arkansas delegation to the American Legion Boys Nation, meets President John F. Kennedy in the Rose Garden on July 26, 1963. Via Bygone Americana.

Again, on the extremely thin chance that you missed it, ....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 20, 2013 5:25 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Circumnambulation of Queen Anne: A Walk Around My Neighborhood

"Just a closer walk with me...."

22 Coffee Shops. No Waiting. The Route Around Queen Anne
"Queen Anne, where couples of all genders move to settle down and raise a dog."

In my Seattle neighborhood of Queen Anne, everything necessary to life except a hospital and a gas station is within a two mile walk. If you don't drive and don't get sick, you can go from cradle to grave and never leave this map.

And if coffee's your thing, Queen Anne is the dark, hot heart of coffee culture in Seattle.

I've begun to take a two-mile daily walking tour of my neighborhood in Seattle's Queen Anne. This is mostly because of the elemental concept that I should get at least some exercise on a daily basis. It's also because of my long held belief that even with a route that is well worn and well traveled and well known, you can, if you open your mind discover something new every day.

And it is true. Today for example I discovered that if I walk around the corner and three blocks up the hill to to McGraw and Sixth it is possible to have one quick shot of espresso at Ken's market. Which I did. And then I felt like walking some more.

I took my camera and here's Queen Anne, once around the top.

Walking down and then up a hill and turning right, it is then possible to have a shot of espresso at Cafe Lladro on Queen Anne Street. Which I did. Made me want to walk.

Moving down the street two and a half blocks at a rapid clip, you can then have a shot of espresso at Cafe Diablo. Which I did. Gotta go.

Out the door and down the street two more blocks gets you to Cafe Appassionata where you can have, yes, a shot of espresso. Which I did. Moving right along.

From there you can go down the hill, making towards home, and as you do you come face to face with Cafe Florian where you can have a shot of espresso. Which I did. And then out the door I went.

After that I made my way home and I'm here to tell you thatttttttttttttttttttttttt........

Well, never mind.

Let us go then, you and I.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 20, 2013 12:51 PM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why NPR is far beyond its sell-by date

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 19, 2013 9:09 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"BREAKING!" Most Revolting Headline of the Year to Date


Huffpo? Check. "Jaweed Kaleem?" Check and double check.Boston Bombing Suspects' Muslim Identity Provides Few Clues To Motivation For Bombing

Whenever I think I've come to the bottom of the media's ability to snorkel deep inside the holding tanks of overheated Port-O-Sans, I find there are always previously unseen depths where they lurk.

Think about it. Not only does some insect life form have to think up and write that headline, other insects have to review, approve, and put it up. At Huffpo it's nothing but cockroaches all the way down.

Elsewhere....BREAKING: Has The Word ‘Breaking’ Lost All Its Meaning?

WATERTOWN, MA—Citing exhaustive use of the word “breaking” to preface media coverage of today’s ongoing manhunt for one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, The Onion is now questioning whether the word “breaking” has lost all its meaning. According to sources, the word ‘breaking’ has been used over 4,000 times across a variety of media platforms in the past 24 hours and has been repeatedly used to categorize news items related to the Boston Marathon bomber suspect that are not, in fact, substantively different from earlier reports, and thus not truly “breaking” by any traditional definition of that term. Acknowledging that 700 separate “breaking” news bulletins have been published since the beginning of this breaking news article, The Onion continues to wonder whether this word can ever be taken seriously again.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 19, 2013 12:40 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout


Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.


I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.


           by Gary Snyder, Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

[Photos from the location]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 19, 2013 4:18 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pop Goes the Culture: Dylan, Gotta Serve Somebody

BOB DYLAN - Gotta Serve Somebody (October 20th, 1979) on Vimeo

This performance starts slow and light but then builds until it is nothing but an inevitable freight train. Hop that boxcar. Crank those speakers.Take that ride. Use this on this Sunday to WAKE UP! your congregation.

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar), Fred Tackett (guitar), Spooner Oldham (keyboards), Tim Drummond (bass), Terry Young (keyboards), Jim Keltner (drums), Regina Havis , Helena Springs , Mona Lisa Young (background vocals) Broadcast by NBC-TV, 20 October 1979 in the program "Saturday Night Live"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 18, 2013 3:39 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Eighteenth of April in Seventy-Five


Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
-- Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 18, 2013 10:46 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Pie in the Sky @ the Pizza Olympics


Competitive dough-tossers showcase pizza skills Bradley Johnson, of United States, performs with his dough during the freestyle event, part of the Pizza World Championships, in Parma, northern Italy on Wednesday. The 22th edition of the championships run from April 15 to April 17.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 17, 2013 8:47 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunny TV: Obama is Awesome...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 17, 2013 8:27 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pop Goes the Culture: Repo Man (1984) " The life of a repo man is always intense."

"I had a lobotomy."
"A lobotomy? Isn't that for loonies?"
"Not at all. A friend of mine had one."

In which Miller explains the weirdness that is going on:

Miller: A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

Otto: You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

Miller: I'll give you another instance: you know how everybody's into weirdness right now?...

"I do my best thinking on the bus. That's how come I don't drive. The more you drive the less intelligent you are."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 17, 2013 6:26 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ordinary Miracles: Mt Hood and a Lenticular Cloud


"What kind of cloud is next to that mountain? A lenticular.

This type of cloud forms in air that passes over a mountain, rises up again, and cools past the dew point -- so what molecular water carried in the air condenses into droplets. The layered nature of some lenticular clouds may make them appear, to some, as large alien spaceships. In this case, the mountain pictured is Mt. Hood located in Oregon, USA. Lenticular clouds can only form when conditions are right -- for example this is first time this astrophotographer has seen a lenticular cloud at night near Mt. Hood. The above image was taken in mid-March about two hours before dawn." -- APOD: 2013 April 17

For full size....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 17, 2013 10:17 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Me and the Tree: An Interview with the Fisherman


treemanweb.jpgThat your tree?

I'd say it is. Quite a tree, isn't it?

You got that right. I've walked all of the top of Queen Anne today and your tree's got "Best of Show."

It's gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Every year when it blooms I know that this is as close to heaven as I'll ever get on Earth.

How old is it?

It's 36 years old. I planted it myself when I first came up here on Queen Anne. It was just a sprat when I put it in. Top came no higher than my waist and the trunk was about as big around as my big toe. Now it's over thirty feet tall and the trunk is bigger around than I am, and I'm big enough.

But I gave it what it needed. I poured everything I could bring home from work on it. I gave it fish heads. Fish tails. Oysters in the shell. A tub of guts when I had the truck and could put them in back. Just poured that ocean on it year in and year out. Just going to rot on the docks if I didn't. Thought it might be better if it rotted into my tree.

Didn't the smell give you any trouble with the neighbors?

Trouble? Nope. Wasn't no trouble at all. Thirty six years ago there weren't no neighbors to give you trouble. Only trouble I ever had in my life was from my wives. Now that they're passed on, I don't have any trouble left at all. Just me and the tree.

[HT: Iri, who reminded me.]

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 16, 2013 4:21 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mr. Rogers Knows


HT: Moe Lane

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 15, 2013 4:52 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Most Beautiful Wisteria Tree in the World


"In the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan sits an incredibly gorgeous wisteria tree that's often referred to as the most beautiful in the whole world.

The largest and oldest in Japan, the tree is the main attraction at the flower park as visitors flock to see it in full bloom. Dating back to approximately 1870, the 143-year-old tree has branches that are supported by beams, which creates a a stunning flower umbrella." -- - My Modern Metropolis
For even more views of Ashikaga Flower Park SEE HERE Photos: Ralph Mirebs

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 14, 2013 10:31 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Loreena McKennitt - The Highwayman


"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor
And the highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding,
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

"He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

"Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark innyard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by the moonlight,
Watch for me by the moonlight,
I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way....."


--The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 13, 2013 9:37 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jonathan Winters (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) : All Three Stooges in One

Plus the immortal if highly obscure "Legend of the Sail Cat!"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 12, 2013 12:06 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Requiem for the Boomers aka "The Not-So-Great Generation"

We were a generation forever unable to perceive, understand, or tolerate the slightest gap between desire and gratification. We were a generation whose elite's utter deriliction of duty would be forgiven by the most moist and waffling of our weak Presidents, Jimmy Carter. It was like having the all the worse sins of your youth forgiven and expunged by Alvin the Chipmunk. We grew up learning, time after time, that radical actions have few radical consequences. Accordingly, in an effort to improve our progeny as we had been improved, we taught our own children that their actions, no matter how awful, would have no consequences whatsoever. It would turn out to be the toughest thing they would ever have to unlearn and very few had any success doing so. Unwilling, as always, to set a good example we didn't even try.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 12, 2013 8:33 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Drain Bamage: I Guess It’s Going to Be “All About Soul” Forever

Billy Joel: He's a nice man, but he's gotta go.

They tell me, in this shaded room where the machines beep softly and the drip feed makes a soft “plop” every minute or so, that I am mad to declare, as I do, that my only solution is to go back in time and strangle Billy Joel in his cradle. They say that I am mad, but I say infanticide is the one ambition that still attaches me to sanity. Like Carthage, Baby Billie must be destroyed!

It wasn’t always this way with me. In fact it all started on Thanksgiving but a few weeks ago. Started, as many disasters do, by killing me softly with its love.

The parasite embedded itself in my brain during a vulnerable moment in the postprandial stupor that descended upon me after the third and last helping of Thanksgiving dinner. As the tryptophan torpor of turkey eroded my normal defenses I sat, minding my own stomach, by the warm fire in the study. Next door in the kitchen over a hot hand of Pinochle my host said, “Turn up that Billy Joel song I like.”

If I had known what that meant I would have choked myself with the leftover drumstick at that moment.

But no, I had no inkling of the horror to come. I was drifting through the hideous paragraphs of a tattered paperback novel by Dale Brown, an author who should have gone down with the Old Dog instead of living to write more books. His lulling sentences, so bad they were good, disarmed my natural defenses and so… and so….

In a few moments I heard the beginning notes of my doom. With a lilting melody backed by Thor’s piledriver bass line the following song was hammered into my brain…

It's all about soul.
It's all about faith and a deeper devotion.
It's all about soul.
'Cause under love is a stronger emotion.

In it went. So smooth and unremarked that I scarcely knew it was there. Instead I drifted off into a late Thanksgiving daydream of pecan pie, angels’ wings, dancing hamsters and waltzing kittens.

When I woke I went off to the bathroom for relief and, while washing my hands, I looked into the mirror and thought…. “It’s all about soul.”

I dried my hands and went out into the living room for coffee. As I poured cream into my coffee I watched the white fluid swirl in the dark steaming mug like the long tendrils of stars spattering the intergalactic dark and I thought to myself, “It’s all about soul.”

Later I lay in bed, restless and fitful because, I believed, of all the food I had foolishly eaten. But then my mind, tired of an hour or so of ceiling patrol, stopped me and informed me in no uncertain terms, “It’s all about soul.”

That doleful line, in perfect key, repeated itself horribly for hours and hours until, somewhere towards dawn, I slept.

I awoke in a grey dawn with the vague hope of turkey sandwiches slathered in mayo and topped with crisp lettuce and a smear of cranberry sauce. I walked innocently into the bathroom and put some toothpaste on my brush and began to clean my teeth. I glanced into the mirror and, as the bush went up and down in a familiar tempo, I heard, clear as crystal…. “It’s all about soul.”

I shook it off and went downstairs where the house guests were gathering around the cook of the morning who was turning out one tray of fresh cheese and bacon scones after another. He handed me a plate with three and asked me to take a bite. I did.

“So, what do you think about that scone?” he asked.

I said, “It’s all about soul,” lit my hair on fire and ran from the house screaming "I GOT THE FEAR! I GOT THE FEAR!"

My friends came after me and put me out with seltzer bottles. They took me back into the house, wrapped me in blankets next to the fire, and brought me hot buttered rums until I passed out.

I awoke at dusk and looked out through the mullioned windows at the sun setting rouge red behind the leafless trees that framed the sere grass and I reflected, not for the first time, "It's all about soul."

And so it went. All that long day.

And the next day.

And the one that came after and the one that came after that.

Last night I was standing in the middle of the women’s sweater section in Macy’s at the local mall here slightly north of Seattle. I thought I had finally found a place where I could escape Joel’s incessant insistance in my swollen brain pan that “It’s all about soul.”

Here, at least, the holiday Muzak would bring some shredded morsel of relief to my brain. And then, as if in response to the fading strains of “Silver Bells” I heard the insidious response to this hymn. I heard clearly that Christmas, more than any other day of the year was….

“… all about soul…
all about faith and a deeper devotion…..”

Which is when, they tell me, I began to shout and rave that Billie Joel needed to be the first person visited in my time machine so that he could be strangled in his cradle.

Ranting about strangling babes in their cradles in department stores around Christmas time is not generally appreciated and security was called.

And so here I am, comfortable enough in these restraints. They’ve given me an Internet connection to keep me “occupied.”

I appreciate it. It gives me a chance to post this warning to others as yet unafflicted by this terminal earworm while keeping another window open with this playing on a loop.

It’s a comforting situation. They tell me that, with therapy and the right medication, I’ll soon be eligible for release. There will be a Billy Joel restraining order of course, but I can live with that. When it comes to Billie Joel, I know better than most that it’s not about the singer, “It’s all about soul.”

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 12, 2013 4:54 AM | Comments (40)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Eva Cassidy - Chain Of Fools | Sarah Vaughn - Peter Gunn

Name: Jewel
Email Address: s_________
Comments: "I really like these videos that put the old with the new. You had a wonderful video of Sarah Vaughan singing the theme from Peter Gunn with a whole new spin on it. Here's another really good comp of Eva Cassidy singing from beyond the grave: Chain of Fools..."

And then there's Sarah Vaughan singing Peter Gunn. Cool, man. Far out, bro. Way gone, daddyo....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 11, 2013 10:27 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Top-Of-The-Food-Chain Soul Train's Gotta Roll: Rush's Rushing to Miss It

This morning (you could have seen it coming from the event horizon of 2008) Limbaugh shuffled aboard the Sequester Soul Train at the White House. It's off-the-rack Limbaugh in which he criticizes the Obamas for conspicuous consumption and quotes Drudge: "POTUS chomping nicorette. Standing O for Lauper, who already looks deep into Obamacare. Now back to urgent gun control push, crying families."

Limbaugh rambles towards his point with "Yeah, yeah, yeah, sequester soul train. I mean, here we are in the middle of the sequester -- do you realize, folks, the Blue Angels have been grounded all year?"

Well, Rush, yes and no. Some do and most don't, but it's mighty white of you to mention it.

Here's the point you don't get, Rush: You are not the audience for this Soul Train special. It's being done for the groundlings. Among the cataplectic African-American Obamaites, 99.9999% don't know, don't care, and wouldn't care about the Blue Angels if they knew. Among the cataplectic African-Americans Soul Train is not only what they want, but what they have to have to fill up the bottomless hole in their blighted lives.

Obama, as anyone with a smidgen of insight knows, is not just the commander-in-chief of African-Americans, he's their bump of coke, their hit of crack, and their 10cc's of heroin IV daily. He's their fix; the one thing that keeps them on the nod and him as their God. Stoking their hope with chump change is the name of his game, and keeping race hot on the hob is his job.

His Number One Chopper and Plane, his Top-Of-The-Food-Chain Soul Train, his limo to his bad golf game... it's all part of how he rolls out his role model. He gives his core constituency bread as well as circuses. It's how the "governing" of what has become a permanent underclass is done in this Brave New 1984. And in terms of keeping it all chill, it works like a charm.

Limbaugh and his conservative cohort seem to think that the Obamas' endless partying, golfing, vacationing, labial lassitude and sloughing off is some sort of gross dereliction of duty. The Limbaughs never tire of pointing out that, among the hard-core unemployed, the most hopelessly unemployed are young black Americans. They seem to think that the Obama's should be "more aware of their suffering" and not so profligate with the nation's resources; not so relentlessly set on squatting over the squander pit and indulging themselves in another load of conspicuous quantitative easing.

This misunderestimentation is not just wrong, it is stupid. The Obamas and their cull-the-herd hivemind in the oval office know exactly and precisely what they are doing. They discuss it. They poll it. They wargame it. They decide on the when and the where of the next action. And then they execute on plan. It's a malicious method of governing but they are very good at malice. And at the camouflaging of malice.

In this case, their protective coloration is to become a large and lavish screen that the proles below may watch; a kind of Dreamland Drive-In. In events such as this shadow of Soul Train they are projecting a lush fantasy world that their supporters can project themselves into and revel in. It is an extension of "even a cat can look at a king" into, through the magic of television and magazines and other venues, the Obamas' worshipers can imagine themselves living the life of the Obamas. All the Obamas have to do is to consistently show themselves to be worthy of their cohort's fantasies.

And they do. They might be eating our seed corn. They might be fiddling about while the country burns. They might be all hat and no cattle. They could be, and most likely are, whistling past their own grave yard. But the Obamas' bottom line has always been and always will be, "Not a single fuck is given."

The Obamas' know their "supporters" down to the marrow of their bought bones. Their cohort has always loved Soul Train. All they want to do is for the train to roll on and never stop delivering them the big bottomed beat. That it's a runaway train heading for a very large cliff doesn't bother them. It would if they could conceive of a future beyond the next bump of coke, hit of crack, and 10cc's of heroin IV daily. But they can't.

The Obamas not only know this, they depend upon it. Next year they'll be twerking to it. So study up and prepare for the moment when you hear: "All aboard for Soul Train."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 10, 2013 12:26 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"5m80:" Because they can, okay?

"I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
And seen a needle wink its eye
But I be done seen about everything.... "

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 10, 2013 8:59 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Miss Shirley Bassey - History Repeating

Life's for us to enjoy
Woman, man, girl and boy
Feel the pain, feel the joy
And side step the little bits of history repeating
Lyrics from -- History Repeating


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 8, 2013 5:09 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
George Carlin -"Who Really Controls America"

"It's a big club, and you ain't in it...."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 8, 2013 4:32 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Important Reports: "Taiga cleanses you."

Minnesotastan of TYWKIWDBI ("Tai-Wiki-Widbee"): evaluates "Agafia's Taiga Life":

"This is a remarkable and captivating video. The narration is modest, descriptive rather than judgmental, and consists primarily of the words of Agafia herself.

The images are awesome in terms of giving insight into a way of life that is absolutely and totally different from mine and your own, but perhaps somewhat like that of our great-grandparents. Find the fullscreen button in the corner of the video and click it. This is well worth your time. Trust me."

He's absolutely correct. It's important to see this.

The full backstory of this amazing film is found at For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of WWII in the Smithsonian Magazine

Under the Soviets, isolated Old Believer communities that had fled to Siberia to escape persecution began to retreat ever further from civilization. During the purges of the 1930s, with Christianity itself under assault, a Communist patrol had shot Lykov's brother on the outskirts of their village while Lykov knelt working beside him. He had responded by scooping up his family and bolting into forest.
That was in 1936, and there were only four Lykovs then—Karp; his wife, Akulina; a son named Savin, 9 years old, and Natalia, a daughter who was only 2. Taking their possessions and some seeds, they had retreated ever deeper into the taiga, building themselves a succession of crude dwelling places, until at last they had fetched up in this desolate spot. Two more children had been born in the wild—Dmitry in 1940 and Agafia in 1943—and neither of the youngest Lykov children had ever seen a human being who was not a member of their family. All that Agafia and Dmitry knew of the outside world they learned entirely from their parents' stories. The family's principal entertainment, the Russian journalist Vasily Peskov noted, "was for everyone to recount their dreams."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 8, 2013 7:35 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Important Reports: "Taiga cleanses you."

Minnesotastan of TYWKIWDBI ("Tai-Wiki-Widbee"): evaluates "Agafia's Taiga Life":

"This is a remarkable and captivating video. The narration is modest, descriptive rather than judgmental, and consists primarily of the words of Agafia herself.

The images are awesome in terms of giving insight into a way of life that is absolutely and totally different from mine and your own, but perhaps somewhat like that of our great-grandparents. Find the fullscreen button in the corner of the video and click it. This is well worth your time. Trust me."

He's absolutely correct. It's important to see this.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 7, 2013 6:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Surpassingly Wonderful: Jack Hoffman with a 69 yard touchdown in the 2013 Nebraska Spring Game

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 7, 2013 9:04 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Van Morrison - In The Days Before Rock'N'Roll

"Fats did not come in
Without those wireless knobs
Elvis did not come in
Without those wireless knobs"

Irish poet Paul Durcan, who co-wrote this song, provides the spoken vocals on this track. In 1988 Durcan wrote: "Myself, if I was Minister for Education, I'd bring in a new curriculum in the morning and top of my list would be Kavanagh and Morrison. All of Kavanagh and Morrison - not my selection or Saint Augustine's selection or Barry McGuigan's selection or Dean Martin's selection but the entire oeuvre and let the audience (students are a free audience - not a concentration camp of suitable victims) pick out what they like and what they don't like."

"And then the killer came along
The killer, Jerry Lee Lewis
A whole lotta shakin' goin' on,
Great balls of fire"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 6, 2013 12:25 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Watched Over by Drones of Loving Grace

This Iranian Drone Could Someday Save Your Life Lifeguards of the future may soon come with four rotors.

RTS Labs, an Iranian research firm, has started work on a drone lifeguard. Tired of hearing stories about people drowning in the Caspian Sea, the researchers sought out a way to improve water rescue. Drones can help in several ways humans can't--they can move faster over choppy seas, they always remain calm, and a drone will never fall asleep on the job. Iran has an usually high rate of unintentional drownings compared with European countries....


UPDATE Comment on All Watched Over by Drones of Loving Grace "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is undoubtedly a lovely poem. It perfectly describes the ultimate end of the Revolution: an empty, primeval world populated by a tiny population of immortal, derationalized posthumans, walking in the garden in the cool of the day with the robot gods their ancestors created.

"But what do you expect? Brautigan was a hippie poet, channeling the Zeitgeist of the Age of Aquarius. Of course he wrote about a future when peace will guide our planet and love will steer the stars!

"Our posthuman descendants will be humanoid, but not human. Being human requires a rational mind. But, since only a rational mind can experience suffering, it'll have to go. That's what they meant in the song when they talked about "the mind's true liberation" : its non-existence. Or, as Siddhartha put it, Nirvana." -- Posted by B Lewis

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 6, 2013 8:33 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: A Forest Year

"This was a year-long experiment with a time-lapse camera in my window, and 40,000 still images made into a short film."

How A Forest Year was made

For about 2 years in 2006-2008, I lived just outside Bloomington, Indiana, at the edge of one of the more wooded regions in the midwest.... One afternoon, as fall approached, I wondered what might happen if I set a camera up and took pictures everyday from the same window. I might be able to get changing seasons and blend them into a film. A big issue was how to set up. To work, a dedicated camera and tripod were needed (constantly setting up and moving things would introduce error into the framing). I couldn't use my main camera(s) as I needed them for other things. So in the end, I used a spare Nikon coolpix 5400, which even in 2006 was obsolete.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 4, 2013 10:15 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The People's Cube: "We've mapped the human brain way before Obama's BRAIN Initiative

Red Square 2/2/2006, The Socialist Brain of a Liberal Democrat


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 3, 2013 1:19 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Steve McQueen: Of "Mermen" and When Male Stars Were Actually Men

"Just enough space left on the floor for Jim Carrey."

Update: File under "American males that should be shot on sight:" Once upon a time Steve McQueen defined American maledom, now the weakness spun from years of self-abuse has spawned, quite literally, a thing like Eric Ducharme: Meet the man who lives his life as a merman in Florida's natural springs.

When Eric Ducharme slips into his handmade fin to explore the crystal clear waters of Florida’s natural springs as a merman, he says he’s mentally transported as well. So is the unique, eye-catching life of this Florida man who says he eats, sleeps and breathes mermaids while physically looking and acting like one as often as time allows. 'It's a lifestyle. It's a path in life that I have chosen,' says the 22-year-old from Crystal River.
Really? Pass the air-sickness bag.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 3, 2013 10:37 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Honest Cable Company

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 3, 2013 8:42 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "Cut Copy Me" by Petula Clark, the 80 Year Old Pop Star

"Petula Clark started her career in the middle of the last century,

when she was a pre-teen wartime radio star who became known as Britain’s Shirley Temple. Her largest successes came in the sixties, when she recorded hits such as “Downtown” and “I Know a Place,” and she had a career both before and after that as a French-language singer; she worked with Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel. She has remained a star on both sides of the Channel, and over the course of her long career she has sold almost seventy million records.
This month, she’s looking to add to that number with “Lost In You,” her first English-language record of new material in more than a decade. There have been other comebacks this spring by aging British icons—David Bowie, for example—but, at eighty, Clark is a full generation older...." -- Petula Clark's "Lost In You," Reviewed : The New Yorker

Impressive enough in the abstract, but here she is performing last January:

And here's the same singer and the same song a mere 47 years ago:

She has sold more than 68 million records throughout her career. "Downtown," besides being a tune that billions would either know or recognize or both, won the Grammy Award for "Best Rock and Roll Song" in 1965 and has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Alvin and the Chipmunks. Post 9/11 it became an anthem for promoting tourism to lower Manhattan.

Clark will be touring England in October of this year in a series of 10 concerts.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 2, 2013 3:26 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Special Message From the President

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 1, 2013 10:22 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Public Service for Small Businesses: Free Obamacare Pink Slip Notice


As a public service for businesses impacted by Obamacare's Byzantine maze of penalties, fees, taxes, mandates and other regulations that will require you to shed workers, our enterprising Cub Reporter Biff Spackle offers the following Semi-Official Obamacare Pink Slip. Created by Doug Ross @ Journal:

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 1, 2013 2:06 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
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