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Tuesday, December 9, 2008     Stretching November
(1:07 pm)

Okay, I've stretched November to the snapping point already. I couldn't put off making an entry here any longer. I've been sitting at the computer more than usual lately, but with more to do than make entries here. I've barely kept up with my MySpace page. One might argue that keeping up with MySpace is less important that keeping up here, but I'd have as good arguments for the other point of view, so why bother fussing about it and just accept that priorities and importance have little, if anything, to do with it. I just didn't feel like writing anything.


Quote of the Day: "Nature repeats herself, or almost does: repeat, repeat, repeat, revise, revise, revise."

-- Elizabeth Bishop, "North Haven," 19-20


A lot has transpired since my last entry. My son Sean and I may be playing in a band together starting early next year. We've put off the initial practices and hammering out of details until after the holidays. We sort of had Thanksgiving twice. On the Saturday before we had a gathering of family at Ann's parents' building. On the actual Thanksgiving Ann and I went to Sean's fianceé's house. Her mom wasn't there. She had a bad infection on her upper lip and had been hospitalized the day before. Trish took over and did a wonderful job of cooking and organizing the feast. Bravo!

On a sadder note, Ann's brother's wife, Virginia, died on Ann's birthday, December third. She was only 38. Here's the verbatim obituary that appeared in the paper:


Virginia DerrickVirginia Lynne Derrick, 38, left this world on December 3, 2008, after a long illness.

She was a beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter.

She was preceded in death by her son, Jon Franklin of Dunbar; sister Jane C. Ray; and father Jobe F. Ray, both of Charleston.

She leaves behind a wonderful husband of 22 years, Elbin L. Derrick Sr.; five children, Angel, Amber, Elbin Jr., Russell and Jesse, all of Dunbar; and her mother. Betty Ray of Dunbar.

There will be no viewing, for she wished to be cremated.

Bartlett-Burdette-Cox Funeral Home, Charleston is in charge of the arrangements.

There will be a memorial service announced at a later date.

Please send your condolences at condolences@naplesyellow.com


I actually went out on Black Friday to do some shopping. It was just before dinnertime so the crowds had dwindled -- back home catching a nap before supper, I surmise, exhausted from shopping beginning at four AM. Idiots. The United States economy, based entirely on consumerism and the manipulation of assets has finally caught up with us, yet the old habits are hard to break. We can't continue to grow the economy without several things happening: the population has to grow, which is a bad idea in my estimation; we have to manufacture more, since wealth is only created by the concomitant creation of goods; and we have to export more goods and services, which means that there have to be foreign markets for what we make, which there aren't at present. It's going to be a tightrope walk from this point on unless we change our way of looking at the economy. We need to restructure things so that what we manufacture is more durable, not built with planned obsolescence or planned disintegration. We need to find some other way of measuring what we produce, sell, use, and export, instead of the totally irrational GDP, consumer price index, and stock market scores we currently rely on. The stock market needs to be made rational again. We have to eliminate such things as futures, derivatives, and the like and get back to buying and selling stakes in businesses and ditch the casino mentality that currently prevails in financial circles. We need to limit profits to a reasonable return on investment and not make the whims and vagaries of the marketplaces responsible for creating obscene fortunes that aren't and can't possibly be deserved or warranted. </soapbox>


Today's Fortune Cookie Message:

So true.

Here's a sign that was in front of the Rum Boogie Café in Memphis:

Eat, Drink, Boogie, Repeat.
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Monday, December 22, 2008     Ho Ho Ho
(1:11 pm)

I'm not quite sure why I've not written much here over the past few months. I have plenty on my mind and lots that I could probably articulate if I sat down and set my mind to it. Nonetheless, I don't write. I have written a couple of songs (one in collaboration with my son), but they are both instrumental. We played them in public the first time on December 12 at the Open Stage. They went over exceptionally well. We need to do more of that kind of thing. Maybe I should get a mandolin, too and work on some of that kind of thing. Hmm. . .


Today's Fortune:

Laurels are not the best things to use as a recliner.

I've been involved in a number of "Santa sightings" recently. Saturday was a real good day for it. Several little kids spotted me wearing my Santa hat. That, along with the snowy beard and they put it together and decided I must be the man. Far be it from me to discourage such a notion. I should be charging the parents for the improved behavior. I've worn my Santa regalia in years past and small children would see me and shut up in mid-snit, tears streaming down little red faces. They'd do their damnedest to put on their best "I've been good really I have really really" smiles while wiping away the flowing snot with their sleeves or little sister's hair. Sometimes I'd even put myself in the line of sight of some little brat raging against the world for not bending to his or her will and wag an accusatory finger. Amazing how that cuts off the crying and wailing! Sunday was great when a mom brought her son over to say hello when he instisted that "Santa's over there MOM!" She told me that he thought I was Santa Claus. I just looked at her and said, "I am." For the briefest of moments I saw the little kid in her eyes who believed me and once again believed in ol' Saint Nick. She quickly came back to reality, but the little boy still had that shit-eating grin on his face, assured that he'd made contact with the bringer of goodies. Who does Santa rely on for his grounding in goodness and generosity? Why the kids of course. Another thing: I'd pay good money for that naughty list (female, over-18 group).


Quote of the Day: "He who jumps into the void, owes no explanation to those who watch."

-- Jean Luc Goddard


I've been watching too much television. Now that the shows have all lapsed into reruns I'll probably not sit in my chair staring at the screen quite as much. I do get interesting information and such sometimes from the boob tube, though. Next month is my regular checkup. From watching commercials for Cialis I have to ask my doctor something. Cialis works for 36 hours. At least once during the effectiveness of the drug is one sleep period. They admonish you that if you have an erection lasting more than four hours you should seek medical attention "to avoid permanent damage." Lord knows I don't want any permanent damage of that sort. So, my question is, if you wake up with an erection should you immediately call your doctor, since you don't really know if you've had that boner over four hours or not? Just a thought. . .

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008     Auld Lange Syne
(8:41 pm)

This is the last entry here for the year 2008. I'm coming up on ten years doing this under this auspices. I've had an online presence, on and off, since 1985. My first foray into the online world was a BBS, run on an Amiga computer. It was called Checkpoint Zero. I used to ride the Telenet dragon onto the old ARPANET and link up to various online nodes, including the old Gopher syestem run by the University of Minnesota. My first web page was on the University of Denver's NYX server. I wrote some rudimentary HTML. I didn't even have a graphics-capable browser to view it with. It wasn't much more than "Here I am!" I maintained that site and used a purloined Telnet connection. In 1997 I put up something more than just a banner page on AOL. Once I got off that teat and started poking around in the deep end of the pool, I put up pages on Angelfire, Tripod, Citynet, and other places where I could get free space. In 2000 I finally started using web hosts and putting up legitimate sites with my own domain name. In 2006 I signed on to another web host, having had a couple of unpleasant previous experiences, and one fair relationship for several years. My new web host is 1 and 1. They offer a good deal as far as domains, web space, and bandwidth. It's under ten bucks a month and I've barely scratched the surface. I'm using three domains, with 37 e-mail addresses for myself and others. I have the capability of doing 2500 e-mails. I'm currently using about 154 MB of web space out of 250 GB available. I think I'm set for some time to come.


Today's Fortune:

Trust me!

Who knows what the new year will bring. I think perhaps part of the fun and adventure of it all is not knowing. We barge ahead into the present, from the present, always remaining in the now, thinking, as we do in our delusion, that something is passing through us, namely time. Time and space are united, as Einstein figured out in 1906, and Buddha taught 2500 years ago. Baba Ram Das admonished us to "Be Here Now." It's difficult to do, and it's the simplest thing in the universe. Just be. Don't waste your psyche on riding the crest of the moment. It ain't goin' nowhere.


Quote of the Day: "To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting."

-- e.e. cummings, poet (1894-1962)


Paul Steele, who I used to do typesetting for, had a floral oil painting by e.e. cummings. It is a really nice sort of impressionistic work. A lot of times talented people are not limited to one artistic field. For instance, Anthony Burgess is a renowned painter as well. Kevin Bacon, Bruce Willis, and a lot of other actors are musicians as well. John Lennon was in art school when he and Paul McCartney started the Beatles. I've put my toe in the waters of poetry, prose, art, photography, and music. I probably should have immersed myself a little more.

See you next year!

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