Thursday, December 28, 2006

Seven Devils, Idaho

I like this pic of the kids-it was taken about 5 years ago.

Situated between the Salmon and Snake Rivers in west central Idaho, the Seven Devils offer high alpine hiking that is second to none. Really steep and difficult hiking at times, it is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. This stark and austere environment is something you cannot appreciate unless you experience it firsthand.

Drive to the campground at about 8,000 feet and go up from there. While we were up on the 3-mile-wide bench that forms the Seven Devils high country, a goat followed us for about 30 minutes; it must have been looking for food, but a strange occurrence in a strange place nonetheless. As we were up on the ‘bench’ a storm looked like it was headed our way and I thought I could hear it screaming towards us-like something out of a movie. So there I am, totally mesmerized by it all and two A-10 war planes come roaring from behind one of the peaks-impressive, but the spell was broken.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Lofty

Why sleep on the floor when you can recline on the stainless steel ‘Lofty’. They have got to be kidding, I mean, it looks great, but aren’t humans supposed to use these things for relaxation? Form follows….nothing? It's enough to make me lose faith in nihilism.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Window Drops

Window Drops-a great idea! Just imagine what you could do with a large window to make it more interesting, especially on those gray winter days. Each set includes eight drops of various shapes and sizes The largest drop measures 5" x 2.5"; smallest drop is 2". All for just $13.

P.S. They suck! They don't look like the photo and won't stay on the window.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time Out

One of those great French films that break down barriers and show us a portrait of domestic middle-class life that is instantly recognizable. After an education and life spent immersed in a somewhat chauvinistic Anglo-American mindset, where the culture of Latin Europe is almost completely ignored or at best downplayed, to see a portrait of life so familiar, here on the frontier of the western world in Spokane WA, is a revelation.

Time Out is the story of Vincent, a consultant/bureaucrat type…etc who loses his position and cannot bring himself to tell his family. The film examines the interlude between positions and the evasions and turmoil of Vincent's life. One of my favorite scenes is of Vincent walking, in the dark, along the outside of the building housing his old firm, watching his former colleagues give presentations and so on. I guess one has to walk in those shoes to know what it feels like. You may feel like your work is dull and repetitious at times, but when seen from the outside, it seems like everything.

This film has an emotional honesty and resonance not typically seen in your typical Hollywood production. Again, to feel that this person could be me from a culture I’ve always been taught to regard as so foreign, so yesteryear, gives the lie as to our supposed dissimilarities. The makers of this film are depicting a world of values and practices more true to my own than almost all the homegrown crap I’ve seen lately. Crap that at times meets its goal of providing entertainment, but doesn’t enlighten. Time Out does just that.

Friday, December 08, 2006

La Evolución

Way cool lighting…when can I get it at Target???

La Evolución provides an exceptional lighting experience to enhance the ambience of a living or work space. These wall-mounted light panels measuring 50×50 cms can be used as single units or can be clustered together to create a striking strip of light. The panels are available in primary basic colors or bearing works of contemporary artists, designers and photographer to create distinctive panels. The light panels are hand-moulded and the surface is polished crystal-clear composite resin.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


“…all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be…” Pink Floyd ‘Talk to Me’

I used to sort of believe that, but it wasn’t good enough…it seems as if too many of us are just wasting away in this so-called paradise. Except it’s just a vision of paradise for the many and ends up being a living hell. Not the gut wrenching reality of medieval life, the ‘vale of tears’, but a separateness…a hell with no explanation, no closure, no meaning. Such is the world we have inherited. Lo and behold, miracle of miracles, this is the document that attempts to tell all. After reading this, I am all a quiver with hopefulness and dread. Such is life…this book gets right to the soul of our modern dilemma....society's listlessness as it slips away in a sea of boredom inversely proportionate to our materialism and diminishing fundamental values or belief's in anything. It is a sophisticated and unsparing look at where we're headed.

A good read and translation, full of laughs but deadly serious--highly recommended. I first came across it while reading the top ten lists in The Guardian. Purchased it used on Amazon as it apparently hasn’t been published in the USA. Atomised and Houellebecq are the most thought provoking pair I've met in many a moon. I mean, who would have thought that John Paul II was right all along! I certainly never did, until now. I am confused.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Donkey Island, Spokane River... closed for the season. Remember the island where Pinocchio was sent with all the bad boys and they were turned into donkeys and then shipped off to the salt mines, well, this is a different Donkey Island. The one you've never heard of and it's right on the Centennial Trail. It's a very cool place, but the lagoons (it's not really an island most of the year) contain PCBs, so don't eat the sediments. In a month or two, it will all be cleaned and then, you can eat all the sediments you please.

Monday, November 06, 2006


The first guy to climb the Matterhorn in oxfords…just kidding, and I didn’t dare call him Gramps, he was the Grandfather. Kind of old school, one might say, he was of the ‘children are best seen and not heard’ crowd. From my vantage point now, can’t say that I disagree. He retired at 40, so he could ‘travel’. How, you may ask, does one do that? Since I not only missed that boat, but didn’t even know the boat had docked--can’t really say.

So, he was mostly gone, usually with ‘Gram’ (she was much more user friendly; a lovely and amazing woman). When I would go with my parents on one of our infrequent trips out of the county or to New York, they would meet us for a few days, which I always thought was very cool and a good way to spend time with Gramps. I could never quite figure out the ‘what are they doing in, say, Montreal the very week that we’re there?’ thing. Seemed like magic at the time--Gramps, you were one of a kind, at least in my book, and the walk up that mountain must have been killer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

West Riverside

Call me trashy and reactionary-there is no sight as majestic in this town...

Senmut? Helloooo...and I'm told that I'm odd?

A modified Corinthian with an Indian head...what will they think of next?

...and of course, the lion motif-ever popular and it always works.

Thank you Mary, for such a pleasant street.

First Friday

Kolva-Sullivan Gallery/Trackside Studio, W. Adams St.

The lovely and elusive Miss Kerry.

Every first Friday of the month, all the galleries in downtown Spokane are open and the artists are typically available for discussion. Most of the time, it's hard to get to know such people, but on a day like this, it's all out there-really, really fun. Shown is a pic of the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery/Trackside Studio on South Adams. Being a shameless consumer (something I apparently choose to pass on to my children), I had Kerry pick out a piece of pottery. The child has good taste! The piece was exquisite but had unfortunately been previously purchased. As I stood around the gallery, I noticed others eyeing the same piece. Anyway, she choose something else and now, she has become an ART COLLECTOR. The tradition of pretentious consumerism is passed along-it’s all good.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Funny-all these posts about water lately, must be some kind of Jungian thing. Anyway, since so many posts refer to water/Newman, here you have it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


What I do for fun during the day…today we (Ecology did the press release) had a ‘major media’ event at the Upriver Dam PCB Sediments site. All the TV stations and the paper were there. Ecology and the Dept. of Health guys did most of the talking. I wasn’t interviewed which was good as I was having a bad hair week (never date your hairstylist and then don’t call back AND then go back for another cut, the result, as they say, is entirely predictable).

So, the intent is to cap the PCB sediments near the north bank of the river using an enormous ‘long stick’ excavator on a barge, which can be seen across the river in the photo. This is where I’ll be hanging out off and on for the next month or so.

Lake Painting

One of my best buddies did this multi-media painting/creation for the cabin the other day. His family also had a cabin at Newman when he was growing up, so we’re both kind of sentimental about the place. The photo just shows a section of the piece and doesn’t do it much justice. It’s a really beautiful work that takes a while to grasp fully; everyone I show it to points out different elements that I had yet to notice. I still don’t get it. What I do know--definitely one of the coolest gifts I've ever received.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Das Boot

From Fallingwater to The Boat…reality bites. The Boat has sailed the seven…er…three bays of Newman in splendid style-it just needs a little TLC at this point or something...maybe a torch. One big lesson I’ve learned from The Boat-never leave shore without a paddle.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Nice house, now it’s some kind of museum-I’ve heard the roof leaks due to design flaws-so what. A few pots and pans to catch the drips and some strategically placed Squirrel Trophy Heads-killer crib-I'll take it.

"Give me the luxuries of life and I willingly do without the necessities." -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, October 06, 2006

Squirrel Trophy Head

It seems as if the one of the main functions of the internet has been to provide a virtually unlimited consumerist smorgasbord catering to every known fetish and creating new ones along the way. For example, the squirrel trophy head available at Custom Creature Taxidermy Arts. No cottage is complete without one. I think I’ll get two.

Or how about 'bringing your cottage to life' with custom toilet seats.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Real Climate

Real Climate is the real deal, the bona fide no-spin zone on climate change. It never ceases to amaze me just how sophisticated the mass media have become at propaganda. As a result, the populace as a whole have a distorted view of what is really happening when it comes to climate change. Perceptions are slowly changing as reality has a way of getting peoples’ attention, eventually. One of the favorite ploys of the media is to position a credible climate scientist against one of the quickly dwindling group of contrarian climate scientists and stage a kind of faux debate for the ‘benefit’ of the viewing public. The effect is to introduce far more confusion and uncertainty that actually exists-to mischaracterize and forestall a call to action on the part of the general public. Guess what-it’s all over except the tears.

If I hadn’t seen so many times how the mass media get it wrong I wouldn’t believe it either. At some point, one is faced with the realization that the media have an agenda and the agenda doesn’t have much to do with facilitating public debate on critical public policy issues...kind of makes you wonder what is really going on.

Remember the ozone depletion debate, how it raged in the media for a few years and then just...disappeared. Media coverage and the debate surrounding the issue disappeared due to the results of experiments based on the Rowland-Molina (both won the Nobel Prize for their work) model of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, an event the media covered poorly or not at all. Unfortunately, such decisive evidence is not available for an issue as complex as climate change. However, climate models are continually being refined and circumstantial evidence continues to accumulate. So much so that only a very few credible climate scientists are in the ‘change is not happening--or--there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so why bother’ camp. These are the folks you see on television.

So, if you’re interested in what mainstream climate scientists think about climate change, got to Real Climate. Then, go buy yourself a bicycle and get used to it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nuspirit Helsinki

At first I thought it pretty much sucked. But after a few beers and some time spent meticulously tuning the hifi, I decided to try it again. Lo and behold-this is one great CD. I didn’t realize they even knew about jazz in Finland, but these guys do it all. One of the best jazzy/chill CDs I’ve heard in a long time. Oddly, though it was released in 2002, it seems to be out of print and only available used. Read what others have to say about it here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The blue building

This is the blue building, where I spend a lot of time. Completed in 1958, it has that Jetsons-like modern look to it. It was built during a period when people still believed in progress, in the modern as a way. Now, I don’t know…but we still have buildings like this to remind us of what once was.

Here is a pre-construction rendering of the blue building. It seems like there was so much optimism and hope for what the future held. I really like the boat pier on the river—hey!..we don’t need cars--just take the ferry. The reality: neither boat pier nor boats on this stretch of the river…seems strange. Anyway, I've really become attached to the place, it's almost 'homey' in a way. Sounds odd perhaps, but I've spent most of my life in schools and workplaces similar to the blue building; I've been institutionalized all my life and didn't even know it-at least they let me go home at night.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gerona, Catalonia

We arrive by plane from Brussels and the place looks just like my original home (San Joaquin Valley, California). Since I speak enough Spanish to get by it feels great to be there. We book a hotel for a couple of nights and then go to the nearest café for dinner. I get the menu…hello!’re not in Spain, you’re in Catalonia…they have their own language, which sounds like Spanish (or Castellano, as they call it) but ALL the words are different. I can’t read a word of the menu and my Spanish isn’t good enough to ask the waiter to translate from Catalan to Spanish. At least the waiter was kind enough to speak Spanish; a lot of the older folks would only speak Catalan. Given the history of the place, they're a bit touchy about their language and culture, rightfully so. Anyway, I’m reduced to pointing and not having a clue what I or the kids are ordering. The entrée comes: an egg, on a bed of rice, topped with ketchup…at least it’s recognizable. I’m thinking this must be some weird dish specific to this café. The next day as we're walking through this fantastic medieval city, I notice the entrées lined up at the café windows, and they all serve ketchup/eggs/rice--a local favorite.

One thing I thought very cool about the place is that the people, teenager and adult alike, promenade along the downtown streets before dinner (which isn't served until about 8). They are for the most part well scrubbed, well dressed, and a delight to watch, which is the whole point, I guess.

We were there during the Christmas holidays and I also noticed all these shops with signs that say ‘Bon Nadal’, which means something like ‘good birth’ in Catalan. So, I’m wondering, if they have so many maternity shops, where are all the infants? It takes me a few days before I realize that it’s the Catalan equivalent of Merry Christmas. Yep--just another dumb tourist.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Caverna del Diablo

Mazatlan: The Devil's Cave used to hide soldiers guarding ammunition during the revolution. Now, during the crazy days of the annual pre-Lenten ‘Festival’ it serves as an overflow drunk tank—it’s so called because it ‘smells like the devil’. I took our driver's word for it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It all starts with you

So here I go from extolling the virtues of virtual consumerism on Amazon and hyping my favorite TV show to beating the drum about this radical anti-consumerist tract. How can two such divergent sentiments possibly co-exist? Perhaps I’m not just a consumer or a radical, but an armchair rad-sumer (that was supposed to be funny, in print it just looks stupid, oh well).

More relevant than ever, The Revolution of Everyday Life, written by Raoul Vaneigem in the late 60s, is a far easier read than the similair work by Debord, The Society of the Spectacle. It attempts to dissect the complex web of consumerism that we’re all caught up in and provide a few pointers to what an authentic life looks like in the face of such a sophisticated and effective onslaught—an onslaught that amounts to a commoditization of human life. Call him a leftist, pinko, or whatever, his call for a return to a more spiritual approach to life seems ironic but is not. I think it’s just an example of how we all yearn for the same things, regardless of the stories we tell ourselves.

Monday, September 25, 2006

4 8 15 16 23 42...

...are the magic numbers.

I never watch TV, except when I do. Usually, I prefer to relax in the evenings with literature and classical music (on the radio at 88.7, KAGU, it just keeps on rolling). Now that may seem pretentious, but I’ve found that if you try hard enough, you actually become pretentious, and then it’s OK, sort of.

Enough of that…it turns out that watching a hit TV show on DVD is a splendid way to keep up. You can watch a whole season in a matter of days. I find the pacing of a weekly TV show interesting as it’s so different from a movie, and something you don’t really notice until you watch the TV show like a movie, a really long, digressive movie. An unfair comparison perhaps: a movie has about 2 hours to wrap everything up, a TV series keeps on rolling until the ad $$ dry up.

Lost is kind of like a cross between Mysterious Island, The Magus, and Survivor (with guns). With one cliffhanger after another, all you have to do is click to the next episode to see the (partial) resolution. I’m totally hooked, but after 25-30 episodes of season 1 and now most of season 2, I’m getting a little bit itchy as to what it’s all about. I mean, how can long can they string this thing out? The downside of watching via DVD is that the next set of DVDs is a year away, so you forget a lot about the show.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Never buy from Amazon…

…fooled ya, I buy loads of stuff, always from the Amazon marketplace. With almost anything, but especially with the likes of CDs and books, the Amazon marketplace is the place to shop. The marketplace is a clearinghouse for a zillion independent sellers worldwide of your favorite items, usually at a huge discount. I purchased a CD from Argentina once and it came in 3 days-how do they do that? After 20-30 or so purchases I’ve only had a couple of bad deals: one from the Amazon warehouse, a double CD that was missing a disk and the other a book that had the correct cover but was a different book inside (the book only cost about $1 plus shipping, so whatever).

TV on the Radio

...are pretty weird and take a lot of getting used to, but it's time well spent. Totally original, I've never heard anything quite like them. I think I prefer the last release Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes just because I'm used to it now. Their latest album Return to Cookie Mountain continues the weirdness. Nothing is quite as odd as the sound of the first song-great lyrics though-sort of like a sympathy card to someone...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ivan Illich

You’re about 20, in school, taking philosophy courses here and there, and just not getting it. And every so often, the instructor assigns a book that, well, you still don’t get but somehow never forget. Illich’s Tools for Conviviality is one such book.

He prose can be relatively dense and difficult to decipher, but not always:

‘I believe that a desirable future depends on our deliberately choosing a life of action over a life of consumption, on our engendering a lifestyle which will enable us to be spontaneous, independent, yet related to each other, rather than maintaining a lifestyle which only allows to make and unmake, produce and consume - a style of life which is merely a way station on the road to the depletion and pollution of the environment. The future depends more upon our choice of institutions which support a life of action than on our developing new ideologies and technologies. (Illich 1973a: 57)’

Yea-he's the man-pick up a used copy at Amazon or read more about him here.

---"Man must choose whether to be rich in things or in the freedom to use them” Ivan Illich

Saturday, September 02, 2006

La Puerca Gigante

Kerry got a piglet that was oh so cute, until it grew and grew and grew…I’m told that it’s small as far as pigs go-hello!’s huge. It has a name, but I call it in my fractured Spanish ‘La Puerca Gigante’ for obvious reasons. Kerry says it looks like a really fat dog running around the yard; I think mini-hippo is closer to the mark. When this thing is barreling through the yard, you stay out of the way, way out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

El Gallo Giro

If you like Mexican food, this is the place. I could eat here everyday, and sometimes I do. Here you have taco truck authenticity in a sit down setting.

I especially like the self-serve salsa bar, as it's the best salsa bar in town and one of the best I've seen anywhere. Today they had guacamole, carrots, salsa fresca, salsa roja, salsa verde, mild salsa, a fresh chipolte salsa (the best of the lot), and a pickled jalapeno/onion mix. It changes from day to day; some days they’ll have a fresh jalapeno/onion/cilantro mix or a genuine habanero salsa (really, really spicy, so be careful, but oh so good!).

They are located on the corner of 3rd and Freya, attached to the gas station.

The plastic building...

…is where I live during the week. Some people don’t like it ‘cause it doesn’t fit in with the historic architecture on West Riverside--they do have a point. Taken by itself though, I think it’s magnificent and very cool. A splendid example of 70’s architecture and a building Spokane loves to hate. My daughter Kerry took the second pic to contrast the dark exterior with the flood of light within.

Yesterday Kerry took me down the stairs to the west of the building that lead the way into Peaceful Valley, an old, quaint neighborhood on the river. There were homeless kids (actually young adults, I suppose) living in the woods along the stairway. When we went back to the plastic building it felt very peculiar that they were in the woods and we were ‘safe’ in this plastic citadel.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ee cummings

Since he was in all the grammar school literature texts due to his way with punctuation and spelling, I always thought he was a poet for children and didn't think much about his work. Until I came across this…like all great poetry, it operates in that sublime space beyond words. How can one speak of the essence of love except in such a way?

[somewhere i have never travelled]

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands


You just know it's true...

PostSecret is a site I keep going back to. It’s updated once a week on Sundays. I feel a little voyeuristic when I read other peoples’ secrets; I just can’t seem to help myself. Some are funny, like the one above, some are really sad, and some are creepy.

PostSecret is a weblog that asks people to submit 4-by-6-inch postcards that contain anonymous secrets. The postcards are scanned and placed on the website.

In the words of the PostSecret bloggers: “Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before".

Yea-as if anyone could resist checking it out.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Towering Above the Rest

Radiohead-Towering Above the Rest is 186 tracks spanning the length of 10 cds of rarities, live performances, promos, demos, b-sides, and other assorted hard to find tracks. Covers and collaborations range from Glen Campbell to The Posies, Carly Simon to Michael Stipe.

My kids somehow downloaded this onto their iPod, apparently the only way to get it--you can’t buy it anywhere. The originality, playfulness, and breadth of styles is, well, shocking. I just never had a clue these guys were this good. This isn't top of the pops-but way beyond-pop music as Zen. I really enjoy the latter studio albums by Radiohead, but after hearing what this band is really about, the studio albums seem narrowly focused and a bit tame—probably at the direction of their record label (Capitol) to ensure a palatable mass market 'product' and mega-million sales figures.

Now, it’s becoming clear why the record companies are so adamant about controlling downloads—their marketing and distribution model is irretrievably broken. What once appeared as breach in a dike is actually a tidal wave of musical creativity that won’t be stopped or controlled.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Bukowski…the uninhibited bachelor: drunk, slobby, anti-social, vulgar, utterly free, and possibly the best American poet of the 20th century. I watched a movie the other day where one of the characters said the secret words of life were ‘be present’. Bukowski was the only poet I got as a young adult (yea--so I was a bit slow when it came to such things) probably because he was so present and direct, as Bono says in the documentary ‘Bukowski: Born Into This’ he went to the bone, the marrow of the bone with his direct style.

He didn’t even start writing poetry until he recovered from a life threatening illness in his 30’s, but continued to work as a postal clerk to pay the bills. It wasn’t until he was 49 that he started writing full time. As he explained in a letter at the time, "I have one of two choices -- stay in the post office and go crazy ... or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.”

Be Kind

we are always asked
to understand the other person's
no matter how
foolish or

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
especially if they are

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
because they have
out of focus,
they have refused to

not their fault?

whose fault?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately

among so many


Charles Bukowski

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Just a portion of the Spokane skyline—hey, it’s a real city! Finally, the downtown area has come back-new restaurants, lofts, condos,’s a wonderful sight. Starting with the Ron Wells/Avista project at the Steam Plan, Riverpark Square, and the fabulous remodeling job on the Davenport, downtown Spokane hasn’t had it so good in many years. With gas heading towards $5/gallon, living downtown is starting to look like a really good idea.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon

Finally, a tortilla factory opens in Spokane-De Leon Foods at 102 E. Francis Ave. If there’s one thing a man needs it’s fresh corn tortillas (OK, a few more things-add wine, cheese, chilies, the list). I grew up in California and it wasn’t about the burgers baby. I’ve lived in Spokane all my adult life and have felt somewhat deprived, since supermarket tortillas are either full of preservatives and taste like it or are ‘fresh’ and usually inedible. Try these freshies yourself-there is simply nothing like a warm, fresh tortilla with almost anything! The possibilities boggle the mind.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


KYRS-the best radio station in the world or what? Well OK-how about the best radio station in Spokane. KYRS IS the best thing to happen to radio in this area since public radio was invented. Talk about eclectic-you never know what you’re going to hear. The music is all over the board, most of it, I guarantee, you’ve never heard before. That alone is reason to change channels and give it a try. It’s also a ‘community’ radio station, meaning you can have your very own show--most are quite good (understandably, there are a few exceptions). One of my favorites is "Around the World," hosted by Michael Moon Bear on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.(world music show) The talk portions are pretty lefty (while probably closer to the truth, kind of like the opposite of Fox News), but that’s OK as the 'mainstream media' has become pretty nauseating, so KYRS is a welcome antidote.

KYRS is one of a cluster of low-power FM stations licensed under new rules set in 1999 by the Federal Communications Commission permitting small broadcasters to run inexpensive stations. An outcry over media consolidation and more stations being owned by fewer large corporations triggered the ruling.

KYRS broadcasts over a 50 (or 100?) watt transmitter, which is minuscule compared to commercial radio. But I receive it in Newman Lake and on good days it sounds great. I was even inspired to purchase some old school fm tuners on eBay (they don’t make them like they used to) to take advantage of this wonderful cultural resource.

KYRS is the brainchild of station manager Lupito Flores, a true local hero.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Henry Gieger & MANAS

I'd like to be like him when I grow up...hah, fat chance! MANAS, a "weekly journal of independent inquiry," ceased publication on December 28, 1988, not quite 41 years after its first issue. Henry Geiger, the man who conceived the publication and wrote almost every word of each eight-page issue, died February 15, 1989, at the age of 80.

Abraham Maslow once called him "the only small 'p' philosopher America has produced in this century"' and a Canadian journalist who read MANAS for six months but had never met Geiger wrote a feature column about him entitled "Socrates Lives Again in Los Angeles."

Go to the MANAS site and read some of his stuff-it will make you happy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I've always been really fond of this picture of my daughter, Kerry. It was taken a few years back. The helmet she’s wearing fits perfectly-what a sweet little Viking!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Huichol Yarn Art

I love these yarn paintings for the vivid colors (again!) and the phantasmagorical subject matter.

The Huichol can be found in the most remote regions of the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. Today, the Huichol number only about 10,000.

These paintings serve as pages of their history, an explanation of the world they live in, and an accounting of good and evil. Each color, every line, every symbol, no matter how abstract, has a meaning.

White represents the cloud spirits. Blue is the south, the Pacific Ocean, water, rain, and femininity. The rabbit and serpent represent fertility. Red is the east, grandfather, fire, and masculinity. Green is the earth, heaven, healing, and the heart. The eagle is a divine guardian. The two-headed eagle is god looking all ways at once. The figure, with what appears to be long protrusions from his head, is a shaman talking with gods or the spirits. The deer represents peyote and the link between the shaman and the great spirit. Flowers, which always adorn their artwork represent the passageways of the heart.