Sunday, November 22, 2015

And This ...

Rebecca Foolery

I was messing around with my upgraded Artrage program and decided to bang out a cartoon ...

If you don't live in Troy, just move along.  There's nothing to see here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Inverted Trump

The first annotation (my own) is by Voltaire.  Who, if I'm not mistaken, played on the Moses Malone Sixers.

Annotations submitted via comments will be duly transcribed.

Forever Young

Two friends of mine have birthdays today, so this is for them ...

Beautiful song.  Makes me think fondly of Rick Danko and Levon Helm, both of whom can be seen in the video in the flower of their youth and who are now dead.

Adios Campagnolo.

And how fabulous does Bob look?

Friday, November 20, 2015


I love to write about the CIA. My characters in Saigon: Too Big To Fail are up to their asses with spooks.  Some are, in fact, spooks themselves.  Others, including the protagonist, work for the Agency on occasion.

At the same time, I'm enjoying very much my slow read of "A Brief History of Seven Killings."  I say slow reading because it is, literally, slow reading.  So much so that the library demanded the book back and I had to wander down to the bookstore and actually buy a copy.  Which, since I'm admiring the work, is not the worst thing in the world.

So, given this background, you can imagine my amusement at a New York Times article titled "Topping studies with a dollop of athletics at the Culinary Institute of America."  If I was a better blogger I'd insert an excellent joke right here.  Instead, I'll insert a snippet from "Saigon: Too Big To Fail" taken from memory (because I have neither the time nor inclination to actually find the bit) and presented in the manner in which Marlon James presents dialogue in A Brief History ...

--Who you with?
--The SEC.
--The SEC?  Wow.  Alabama looks great this year.
--Not the Southeastern Conference, asshole.  The Securities and Exchange Commission.

I would urge you to enjoy it, in its entirety here.  I was then going to close by inserting the David Kinch sea bream sushi U-Tube video, but if you just scroll down a couple of posts you can find it there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Adios Campagnolo

It's a black day at The Mothership.  Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers, is abandoning his post at The Times and taking a job with one of those companies that sends you fresh ingredients in a high tech box twice a week, plus recipes.  The twist is that Bittman's company (I'm guessing he has a piece of the action, and to that I say God blessim) is that it's vegan.  Vegan!

Here's a lovely photograph ...

Taken from an article in The Times last week titled "Mark Bittman's Top Ten Columns" or something similar, it's a photo illustrating one of the recipes from the column titled "Simple Stocks for Soup on the Fly."  The stock in question is herb stock.  Which sounds a little like something in a Bob Marley song.

Which brings me to this ...

Marlon James' book about political upheaval in late 70s Jamaica fueled, in part, by factional jealousies about Bob Marley's political leanings (or lack of same) and the CIA's need to stir every pot, even when the soup was cooking nicely by itself.

Da pot a cook but da food no nuff

What a book!  The bad news is that I'm only half way through and I have to return it to the library today or face a fine of a dollar a day.  The real problem is that the book is structured as a series of short point-of-view chapters, at least half of which are written in dense Jamaican patois.

I'm not talking the "Hey, mon" stuff--hey, that stuff is easy.  No, I'm talking deep patois.  I'm talking slang that if you google it you get nothing.

So it's a slow read.  But fabulous.  Immersive.  I think I'm going to have to buy it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

If I had seven grand with absolutely nothing attached to it, I'd march down to Christies and bid on this.

Of course the Christies in question is in Hong Kong, so (since nobody wants to fly to HK coach) you have to add another seven grand.  So that's 14.  Although in this day and age it's the easiest thing to bid via the internet.  So we're back to seven K.

The full listing is here.  The piece measures just more than twenty-six inches square and would, when framed, fill a good bit of a wall nicely.  Because, hey, everything can't be four feet by five.

The piece is either a bit of a poem or a poem.  If my Cantonese is up to snuff it reads:

I do not belittle the moderns but I also love the old;
There are fundamental reasons why elegant and beautiful prose is sought after.

Nicely said, Wang Jiqian.  One more compelling reason to read Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf.

Monday, November 16, 2015

And, of course, the numbers ...

When I wrote The Year of Magical Painting I got a bit too caught up in the numbers.  Which was a sickness I'm going to try to avoid this time around.

That said, I couldn't help but notice that I was averaging about one visitor a day on this site during the period in which I was posting nothing.  Yesterday I coughed up the most modest of posts--a hairball, really; nothing more--and I jumped to five visitors.  Yikes.

In its heyday, TYOMP was bringing in 10,000+ visitors a month.  Because I never attached any advanced analytics for measuring visitors, I relied on the quick snapshot that Google provides every blog and just took it at face value.  But I never really believed that many people stopped by.

I think I'm more comfortable with five.

A Mind Seems Like a Terrible Thing to Waste

Yesterday I blogged here for the first time in six seven eight months.  Sometimes you just have to let the fields lie fallow.  Plant some winter mustard to replenish the nitrogen in the the soil, nothing more.

Anyway, I think I'll come back.  Write some more stuff.  Enjoy the Knicks.  Certainly more than last year.

Check this out ...

It's the basis of my next Saigon: Too Big To Fail short story.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Go Blue

Did you see the Giants game?

I turned it off at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  To quote Carmella Soprano, "I got a bad feeling."

I hate those fucking Patriots and I sure as hell wasn't going to sit there and watch them win it with a 54 yarder with one second to go.  Reading about it is painful enough.