Bear Droppings
Friday, May 30, 2003
It comes as a mirage out here. You never really believe it will be on top of you, the wind will change or the storm will simple give up. It's dry country in case you don't know, yes in the mountains we get it, but the snow in winter almost seems more commonplace than a simple thing like real water falling from the sky.

I drove out to run errands, sure I had heard it earlier outside, but didn't believe these drops were reality until I am half way home and they pour down. That seems their way either nothing or a deluge often accompanied by thunder. Even today a good month maybe more from the true monsoon season when in theory we accept it as reality, but even then it never seems so...

I am sitting out on patio looking at sheets dropping from clouds to the West, but even as I expect them for the last half hour of watching I still remain unconvinced of their arrival. Not that they provide too much relief, maybe 5 minutes and then they are gone like a ghost in the wind. You accept them and the cool break in the heat they bring, but even as they evaporate away you can hardly believe you saw them at all.

So I sit and await my mirage, while the thunder echos on the hills.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Sedona Pizza
Been a while since I tipped folks off for good eats, but since I just had a stellar dinner I can't help but share. First off this pizza has nothing to do with Sedona but I liked it so deal with it. And no Jen no meat, but I think you'd love it anyways.

Dried Porcini mushrooms
Handful fresh mushroom
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 zuchinni (or half the amount and use yellow squash, I was out)
pizza cheese your choice
2 cloves garlic
1 cheap, but decent glass of red wine
olive oil
Boboli pizza crust (I used two 5/6 inch ones, but hey go wild and adjust the recipe as necessary)

Soak a handful of dried mushrooms in warm water for 10-15minutes and rinse well. Dice big chunks. After rinsing soak mushrooms in glass of red wine in same dish from earlier (rinse dish to get out potential dirt, drain from initial soak for sauce later if you are so inclined)

Diced and sauted red onion in large pan. As red onion starts to carmelize add garlic gloves that have been diced. Dice fresh mushrooms. Add to mixture after garlic has a few minutes to warm. Saute mushrooms.

While mushrooms saute dice zuchinni/squash. As mushrooms are half done add dried mushrooms wine and all. Continue saute.

When mushrooms done add zuchinni/squash, saute. Guess the next step? Right clean and dice the red bell pepper. As zuchinni gets close to done add peppers. Add oregeno.

Broil the Boboli in oven for 2-3 minutes, shut off oven and close the door. It will warm the Boboli without burning it.

Now to the question of tomato sauce, I did one with and one without. I honestly liked without a bit better, though it was a hair more dried out, so if you don't want any tomato sauce on yours I'd recommend a splash or two of red wine into the sauteed veggies about 30-60 seconds before you take them off the heat just to make them have alittle more sauce, if yours are wet ignore my advice. If you want tomato sauce go for it.

Top the Boboli GENEROUSLY with the veggies, sprinkle with just enugh cheese to hold the veggies together. Broil until the cheese melts. Serve. Very yummy.

The bio and links page will be going dead in the next few days as the host is going offline. The good news is it means I am getting alittle more motivated about the site redesign.

ps- The woodback will disappear and we will be back to the ugly Brown that this site's name so accurately reflects. :)
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
As I sat and pondered these words at Thousand Yard Glare, the only clear deliniation I can trace it back to is the Cold War that such views began to become more common place. Not necessarily the immediate beginning in the 1950s if you read Goldwater's bio, it talks about playing card with Democrats and Republicans, but I wonder if it began with Johnson who very much embodied the 'with me or against me' spirit. You look at the campaign of him and Goldwater and see the formation of alot of bitterness with the Republicans out of power in Congress for a generation or more and it only built. Only when the fundamentalist faction gained power did they take control of Congress. There was alot of bitterness in the House at that moment, the Republicans took out their historic bitterness on the Democrats. The Democrats changed from a minority party opposing just issues to going against normal House operations because of their bitterness. At lower staff levels I was only just starting to see staff reconcilliation when I left, to the point when one friend, a Democrat, left the Hill he said "you were the first Republican I ever liked".

And while recognizing the Right's shortfalls, it wasn't just Johnson who did this on the Left as this post illustrates...

The media isn't the solution they only feed on conflict and ratings, something that won't help the issue only throw more gasoline on it.

The answer 'maybe' is the web to open up conversation, but it's at a difficult time with status quo realizing the threat the net can have against it, both traditional politics and media.

The enemy in the end may be dogmatic beliefs and not recognizing that after a debate people are people.

Lex notes this Washington Post story on how little clear weather they have had this year and I honestly can relate, here in Sedona we have only had 125 or so clear days instead of the normal 149 so it rough all over, or not. Okay I'll stop rubbing it in.

Instead let's look out the window, going to be in the 90s, clear skies, beautiful red mesas off in the distance. Darn.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
WARNING - Cute Puppy Moment Ahead
Since I am not unusually at home during the day I have been keeping Bandit, my puppy, outside in the dog run so he will be used to being out there all day when I go back to work. Today is a bit hot, 95 inside the cabin when I turned on the A/C, so I thought it would not do any harm to let him inside to cool off a bit. I opened the door and saw no sign of my dog. Then suddenly through the hole in the floor boards, Instant Puppy!

Instant Puppy!

(Yes I am turning into a blogger who talks about their pet, so deal with it)
Review In A Sunburned Country
I picked up a copy of In A Sunburned Country and like usual, when I get hooked into a book I quickly devour it. Then there is a slight mourning time afterwards because I wanted to keep reading more. Bill Bryson's newest book takes a look at the land down under, Australia.

Having read A Walk in the Woods I expected Sunburned to be a great read and I wasn't disapponted. He conveys the danger of land in very clear terms, yet makes you aware of it's inherent charm. I'll confess to little interest in traveling there before reading Sunburned, not even for a good reason, I'd just hate the idea of being in an enclosed space for the the 24 hours the trip takes. But having finished Sunburned I'd like to give it a try sometime, though I think it would be in their winter season.

As Bryson tells the story of his travels he conveys his mistakes and disasters in a way that you can imagine standing next to him in the middle of the Outback wondering if he will indeed run out of gas before making it to the next town. He also informs us about the history and hardship of the land. It does in a sense lead us to understand the rye Australian humor and perpetual cheer, to be bluntly put, smile we are here today and you never know when a shark, jellyfish, snake, spider, or other wild creature may make you lunch.

Last and certainly not least his style of prose is fun to read. Perhaps it's his two decades of living in England that makes his writing engaging, but what ever it is he captures the readers attention and drops him into the story of the place be it the woods or the Outback. Looking for a good summer read for travel or even a bit of engaging writing then pick up this book.

ps- One rather minor complaint, the abrupt change between some chapters could have flowed better.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
This morning I read on Drudge this little tidbit about jets flying on patrol over DC, I have to admit it is one thing I don't miss. I am not saying jets don't pass over heard all the time, this is fly over country right along the flight path between LA and most points East. Plus with a small fire going on out in the forst North of town I hear the helicopters occasional and tourism flights over the region happen rather regularly, so I often hear aircraft, heck I do as I type this. What I like is that it's not the constant patrol of an aircraft back and forth overhead. My old house was along one of the flight corridors and I keep the windows open when I can and would hear these aircraft constantly, tough to sleep that September because of them, but eventually I got used to them. But on a level I wish I hadn't, not that it matters, but I don't like living in a place where some F-16 pilot is flying overhead 24/7 just in case. Not a blanket statement against the pilot or his duty, but rather it's not a condition of living I want, so it was just one more item in the reasons I moved. Things have gotten alittle difficult lately, but I don't regret my choice in the least especially when I see stories like that. Off to play with da puppy.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Poetry Wednesday

A local author here in AZ...

My Failed Plans
Write a poem
each day.
Don't spend all my money
at the bar.
Do 100 push ups
each day.
Do 100 sit ups
each day.
Lose fat
off my gut.
with that sexy bartender.
Keep up
on my correspondence.

Well, this isn't much
of a poem, but
I suppose, today, I did one thing
on my list today.

I sure as hell aint dropping
to give you some reps,
and that bartender is serving
dirty looks for nothing
all night.
-James Jay, The Undercards (go buy it already)

Monday, May 19, 2003
Since I suddenly have some unexpected time on my hands how I take advantage of it?


Cleaning the Cabin

Playing with the Puppy

Scanning State and Federal sites for potential jobs, Hey Yogi is it too late to apply to be a seasonal Ranger?
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.20
1. This seems to be the year for movie sequels (Terminator 3, Matrix Reloaded, 2 Fast 2 Furious, LOTR: The Return of the King, etc.). Is there a movie you would like to see Hollywood make a sequel to?
I think the answer is obvious, what the world needs is a sequel to the 1966 classic Manos: The Hands of Fate.

2. What movie sequel do you think should never have been made? Police Academy (blank), the first was kinda funny, but then they pushed a joke too far.

3. Are there any books (comic, novel, etc.) that you would like to see made into a movie? Who should star in it? Snow Crash, I think technology has moved enough to do it justice. But I think the lead would have to played by a total unknown.

4. When was the last time the you got a shot at the Doctor's office? Do you prefer them in the arm or your backside? Or would you rather just take a prescription? Propably a tetnus booster, many years ago. I don't really care where it goes.

5. Do you make friends easier in "Real Life" or online or is it about the same? Do you have closer friendships in "Real Life" or online? Why do you think that is? Are you ok with that or would you like to make a change? Friendships on line are different that irl, but I think they come just as easily, but they opperate under different social habits than rl ones.

6. When you first got your drivers license how did you feel ? Did you get it on the first try, second, third, more than that ? Do you have a license ? If no, do you plan to get one ? Why or why not ? Did really care, I got it late out of necessity. I just as soon walk as drive a car if I had a choice in the issue.

7. Have you ever had your tonsils removed? Did you ever come close? Tell me about that. Nope.

BONUS: Who's that girl? I have been askng myslf that exact same thing...

Friday, May 16, 2003
The Times they are a Changin'
Had my three month review for the new job and things didn't go well. I won't lie I never had much experience at local and state politics, hell I never took the class as an undergrad. My boss wanted someone who could get up to speed faster and since I wasn't learning quick enough I'll be looking for another position. I thought I had addressed his points of concern when we talked about it and made efforts, but not sufficently in his eyes. So I'll be looking for something else, starting Monday. As for tonight I think I'll have a beer or two. Peace.
Friday Five
Been a while, but I haven't much like the questions of late, these weren't too bad, so here goes...

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.? Tap water filter and the occasional carbonated bottle.

2. What are your favourite flavor of chips? The Crunchy Cheetos, but I don't really eat chips too often.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? Fresh Salmon poached in orange juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and just a bit of garlic. Served either a top a salad or side of black beans.

4. How do you have your eggs? Over hard. It's amazing how few waitresses and cooks know how to do it though.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out? BBQ Chicken, my father last Saturday, it was very tasty as always.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Great conversation on the CBS boards, evidently the story that Michael Moore's next film will be funded by Disney has caused a backlash among stockholders. It will be interesting to follow this and see if it has an impact on Disney. My read is they are already screwed up so any damage will be indistinguishable from everything else they are doing. I think there is an intentional effort at Disney to piss off every single American, between Moore, their intellectual property stance, and the ABC television offerings.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Wondering how many votes certain members of the House and Senate are missing while off on the Presidential campaign? RNC has some interesting numbers. Have to give credit where it is due to Kucinich, he's still working for his constituents.
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.19
1. Who are your favorite cartoon characters?
Pete Puma, definately. Oh three or four heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

2. Have you yet reached the point where you feel like you are from a different generation than today's youth? Yes, but what can you expect I am over 30.

3. What was the first Music Video that really impressed you? What made it so amazing? Take On Me by A-ha. The stylized black and white images I thought were really cool.

4. Name a song and an era that comes to mind when you hear the word "Retro." There was a website, I don't event remember the name, I think it might have had retro in the title, but was all about culture, social, and memoriablia from the 20s-50s. That to me was retro.

5. How has your life been affected by HIV or AIDS? Not directly, I can't think of anyone I know who has ever been infected.

6. Yesterday in the USA, we celebrated "Mothers Day," a day where we honor the mothers in our lives. If you were on a "special day" nominating committee, who or what would you recommend that we create a day in honor of? Noone. Too many days that are trying to honor people that we don't need to add more, instead, honor everyone, everyday (okay alittle trite, but I liked it)

7. Last week, we have several Tornadoes tore through many neighborhoods, destroying homes and devastating the lives of the residents. How would you feel if you lost every possession you owned? Or would it matter? How would you go on with your life? It can happen, toronados in the central states, earthquakes out West, Hurricanes in the east and south. It can happen, I'd hate to lose everything I'd written, but I am not worried over most of my other belongings.

BONUS: Do you remember the 21st night of September? Nope.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Global Warming
You know for all the talk about global warming I think I am colder in Sedona in May now than I was in Flagstaff in May ten years ago (Flag is 2-3k ft higher in elevation) Let's just clean up our mess and let it be...just a thought.
A Night on Beaver Street
"Got any change?" he slurred to me...

"Excuse me" I replied indirectly hoping he'd just vanish off the face of
the earth so I could ignore him and go home after the long day. The day was
fading in the twilight and I had left home well before dawn all I wanted
was to get home to a warm home and a cold beer.

"I need to catch a bus back to the rez, can you spare any
change Mister?" his lie slurred out of his mouth. It was obvious to the
both of us then Navajo wasn't going to use the money to get back to the
Reservation, but the lie provided a convenient excuse.

I decided to take a new tack on the issue hoping to divert
his mind off the subject of money and get him confused enough for me to
make my escape "So what is your name?"

"Cannnnnnnnttt say it," he blurted out.


"I cannnnnnnntttt say it." he said with even more conviction.

"But why not, I don't understand, it's a simple thing, if I
am going to give you 50 cents I ought to know who will be the
recipient." I realized my comment had committed me to giving him something,
exactly the point I was trying to avoid, but I couldn't help myself, I mean why
would he refuse such a simple request?

"You know much about Dine?" he asked.

"A little why?" I asked wondering what cultural taboo I might be over stepping.

"Well, we have many beliefs," his posture seemed to raise as he spoke, the
pride of his people evident. "Among them is that we don't speak the name
of the dead, because it draws the spirits to us, brings sickness to the
one who says the name."

"I have heard something about that, but I don't understand what it has to
do with you and me?" I asked puzzled, by him bring this cultural habit to

He peered at me, trying to assess what to say, how to explain himself
through the alcoholic haze that drew like a curtain between him and the
world that he inhabited. I looked at him and became uncomfortable as a few
seconds dragged out to 30 seconds to a full minute or two, it could not
have been anything more than that but it seemed to me like an eternity.
Thoughts raced in my head. What the hell is his point? Why won't he tell
me his damn name? Why don't I get in the car and get away
from this drunk? And why was it always so fucking cold in Flagstaff even as
late as May?

The harshness of his words, their sourness and self-pity startled me, no
shocked me as he uttered them. "I won't speak the name of a dead man, in
case our stories are true. You ask for a name, but that name is dead, that
man died long ago. His family no longer recognizes it. No longer speaks of
it. You say you want a name, but I have none to give. So please Mister,
give me some change."

I was shocked, almost scared, I wanted to feel pity, and didn't know what
to do. So I did the only thing that I could think of, I reached in my
pocket pulled out 82 cents and handed it to him. He thanked me and
wandered off into the night. And I said a prayer for him on the ride home,
my first in a while, I hoped he someday finds his name. - Thomas Vincent, 2003

A quick plug before I return to work from my lunch hour. During lunch I flipped through the poems in Undercards. James pours the occasional beer at my regular bar, so I wanted to buy it to help another local writer. But as I read it I was impressed his style is starkly different from mine, but perhaps more beat influenced than anything I write. I did find a number of poems enjoy mostly the ones about struggling as a writer and poet. Expect to see a poem or two of his appear on Poetry Wednesday in the near future and if you get the chance, click on the link above and buy a copy, I think you'll be happy you did.
This won't surprise any of my friends...

Germany -
Despite a controversial recent history, it has had
a tough and powerful history. A modern-day
technological and cultural beacon, it is still
target to stereotypes and antiquited thoughts.


Technologically Advanced.

Culturally Admired.

Global Power.


Target of Historical Fervor.

Constant Struggle.

Funny-Looking Ethnic Clothing.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to Gene at Blue Goldfish
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Back to Basics
I admit it I have been lax in Poetry Wednesday since me return, rather hit or miss, so here is a return to the effort hopefully alittle more regularly.

No Bear But One
High acove the ordered villages
among the serpentine and cypress
under the voiceless stars
we meet. Night after night
he sits, huge pawed,
shagged and bearded with extinction.
I pass through his embrace
soft and close as mist,
tread the twisting ridges,
night after night,
hair whitening, but not towrad dawn.
- Bill Noble, Grrrr, Poems about Bears

Monday, May 05, 2003
Zonitics discusses the Renzi staffing changes and possible primary challenges.

I have heard the Renzi primary opponent rumour too, but here is my read, it will all hinge on the way the budget is handled. If legislators handle it badly, then I think Flake's chances are poor. And the way things are going I am open to the possibility Napolitano is going to leave them looking bad.

Regarding fundraising, yes Renzi's campaign is in debt, but he loaned alot of that money to himself, so I doubt he's going to be too worried about it. On top of that he had an amazing 1st quarter fundraising report, for a Freshman with no record, so we will see where that goes.

Regarding the blurb in the paper on Renzi yesterday. Yes it could be bad that he lost two staffers in the space of a month. But, big but as a former staffer, he is my perspective. Outside of scheduler, the unsung hero of a congressional office, the two of the most important positions Chief of Staff and Press Secretary and they need to be 100% in line with him or there are problems. So their departure, might be good, if the new staff is more inline, OR it could be bad, if he loses more staffers in the coming
months. I think the second loss means close observation, but no clear message from the staff departures. If we see one-two more in the next month or two then he has issues.
Saturday, May 03, 2003
Jen your dream job awaits...
Female musicians searching for their dream job need look no further.

Courtney Love, 38, has placed a full-page advertisement in Los Angeles' alternative paper L.A. Weekly and New York City's Village Voice, seeking one hell-raising female bassist or guitarist to rip it up onstage as a member of her new touring band, E! Online reports.

The rocker-actress' ad reads: "Women required for International Rock Revolution . . . Join Courtney Love's touring band and get famous, see the world."

"Must play bass or guitar (really play), and look like a Goddess," the ad goes on. The most important requirement of all for the ex-Hole performer - "NO BOYS."
- AZ Republic
Let's just hope she'll talk to us blogger's after she's all famous ;-)
Friday, May 02, 2003
I spent a large chunk of yesterday out looking at the land for the Yavapai Ranch land exchange. If you go out and look at the tracks of land it's tough to assemble a good counter argument. The property the forest service will get out of the deal is breath taking, great views and with development coming down the road it seems like the deal is now or never. I hope it works out, but one never knows.

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