Archive for July, 2012

Tappin’ the laptop rap

July 28, 2012

While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly

There came a tapping, rapping on my laptop door:

 

Let us build a free nation, they said in 1776,

Let us mortar it with liberty; we’ll use this vast continent for bricks.

So then came our great exploration, on horses, on wagons, then on rails,

in a century of expansion, steeped in sweat, and debt, with bundles of tall tales.

‘T’was an age of corn and wheat, a time of tobacco and great toil,

boiling in a cauldron of soil and coal and oil.

On farms and orchards swelled our sweet fruits of sweat labor;

in pastures and ranches our blooms of prosperity’s favor.

Iron horse came a roaring over trestle and prairie

through a land ripe with harvest, rich with mineral and dairy.

 

We were milking the dream, skimming the cream,

moving on muscles and running on steam,

Across the tracks and over the roads, here rode the passengers, there the heavy loads;

extracting the mother lodes, knocking up white picket abodes.

Sodbustin’, soon with internal combustion, we rode, driving cattle and pigs with our pokes,

we volks and them blokes, all manner of folks with their yokes, ever now ‘n then tellin jokes,

we came casting off troubles, heaving the rubbles, and wielding our worn steel shovels,

we went building our houses, our stations and shacks, and nailing up mansions and hovels.

we’re blazin’ trails with ole Dan’l and Davy, eatin’ biscuits and gravy, ‘bibing a wee nip o’ liquor,

through sagebrush the saga and ragtime the raga with bustin’ raw rigor and unlimited vigor.

 

Let us build a rich nation! Let us form companies;

Let us develop, and envelope, opportunities.

We’ll raise capital, and stock it and sell it, until all the shares are sold.

Let us hammer out a Great Northern Railway, on tracks of steel, burning Appalachian coal;

We’ll wrangle our way to the West, dear partner; we’ll wildcat our wells while we roll.

Out of raw earth we summon a Standard Oil, a USSteel, and a B&O;

Across the wide prairies we’ll fence ranches and dairies, with windmills and farms, high and low.

Let’s sign up the hires and string up the wires, tapping Morse signals all the while as we go,

Till we’ve rolled and we’ve tolled and we’ve bought and we’ve sold all the long way to San Francisco.

~~~

Mr. Edison says let’s turn on the light; Mr. Bell says oh yes, and hello

Mr. Morgan proffers finance and wealth, while Mr. Ford cranks up our engines to go.

Summon the lawyers for incorporation, in big divisions, with a company town.

Call Wilbur; tell Orville: let’s drum up some capital, and get this great work off the ground!

Pack me a sack of groceries, will ya, from the corner at the A&P,

and buy us some trinkets and widgets and blinkets from the dime store, or the big new Kresge.

Here in our houses with spouses, in our homes with our loans, we’ll make and we’ll do and we’ll prosper;

now we’ve adorned Lady Liberty with a fashion outfit, and fed her and bled her, and yet we’ve not lost her.

And ‘though the folks in the old country drag us into their wars,

we’ll not lose sight of our stripes, nor dim our bright stars.

 

Let us run our great machines on American dreams!

Drive our Chevys to the levees for beer and ice creams.

Punch us an IBM card and we’ll flip out the bucks, at Kmart and Walmart and Radio Shack.

Bring in this Microsoft, this Apple, this modem and fax. Hey, buy me some Windows and Cracker Jacks.

Truck in the autos; pump in the gas; toss me a loan and float me a boat.

Fling wide the fridge!  Bring me some chips; hook me up with the tube. Where’s the remote?

Sign me up for a card; don’t make it too hard.

Just give me some credit; you won’t need to vet it. Approve my home loan; I’m ready to get it.

You know it don’t matter I’m makin’ half what I used to; I’m presently performing some credit jujitsu.

 

But our great yankee contraption having now been built,

and the boomer consumers all leveraged to the hilt,

the guys down on WallStreet were feeling the pinch.

With fewer and fewer equity opps, they’re no longer a cinch.

Traders squinting for spreads, on margins and bets,

our great growth machine slows, then it sputters and spets.

So let us whip up some synthetic collateralized debt obligations! they said

We’ll bundle those low-grade mortgages in convoluted configurations, and we’ll follow the Fed.

Let’s slice em and dice and twice em and thrice em

to pump up a million, trade up a billion, swap up a trillion, maybe gazillion.

Slap me some MBS, shoot me some CDOs and credit default swaps;

those sub primes are hot, triple-A, so S&P say, too complicated for regulatin’ by SEC cops.

 

So our great American ranches morphed to securitized tranches.

Maybe we shouldn’t have let the big players get in with bank branches.

Was this dot.com trouble– that real estate bubble, our last great Kapital hoorah?

Is this all we got left–this bubblin’ Booyah?

Have we bought for too long on the troughs, have we sold out too short on the peaks?

Are we so severely crippled by our insider leaks?

Have we reached the end of this long leveraging line? With our great capitalist expansion now running out of time?

Has our American Dream Machine run out of steam? Has it sputtered in the gutter  of avaricial schemes?

Say it aint so, entrepreneurial Joe!

Quoth the Trader, “Nevermo.”

 

Now that’s a rap,  on my laptop tap.

Glass Chimera

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Celebratin dadahood

July 24, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BII702alEMc

To father a child is awesome.

You can’t just grab the kid and toss ‘I’m.

To raise that child is a heavy duty–

gotta provide some food and some booty

Yeah,  it be a responsibility weight:

you gotta make an impact on his fate.

But raisin him up  has  benefits:

Satisfaction ‘stead of cracky fits and chasin tits

Yeah to love and care for mama be a joyous thing

make a man rap and hip and hop and sing.

Love is where its at I say

it really the best and only way

My Man Sneeze–he be a friend o mine–laid down his rappin hiphop track

about his dada, his life, his son, his escape from whack

job.

Ain’t no sob.

When a man realize he brought another soul into the world

by getting it on wi his precious girl

what a revelation to find that beautiful pearl

it make a man wanna change his world.

Yeah Sneeze say, yeah so Jah say:

(and I hear today)

“…wish I could be a makin up for the time I missed.”

(gotta  be better way than the rock and fist)

“…the —— wasn’t meant for us.”

(thats right you know we gotta get beyond the fuss)

Yeah Sneeze say, so Jah say:

(and I hear today:)

“Mysiah (my son) need to be in clothes;

thats why I’m in the zone–try and open up some bigger holes.”

 

(I say yeah the son gotta be taken care of

and Sneeze make a way for the boy to get out of

a way mo better that what his dada had

a way to make dada and son be glad.)

 

Tha’s a rap and tha’s a wrap,

aint no flap

and he told the world that

and I told the world what.

Glass half-Full

Let Us Make

July 21, 2012

Let us make love.

Let us make children.

Let us feed our children.

Let us do work to support them.

Let us teach them.

Let us make places where children can romp on grass.

Let them run and jump and romp and stomp.

Let them build treehouses.

Let them grow.

Let them learn.

Let us learn.

Let us try.

Let us fail. Let us repair and recover.

Let us do.

Let us do what is right.

Let us make stuff.

Let us make goods.

Let us craft.

Let us think.

Let us prosper.

Let us profit.

Let us do business.

Let us excel. Let us hope.

Let us cope.

Let us worship God.

Let us take care for one another.

Let us give.

Let us breathe.

Let us laugh.

Let us sing.

Let us speak.

Let us preach, teach, and reach as far as we can.

Let us keep a world where men and women can choose to do what is right.

Let us ride. Let us glide. Let us confide.

Let us hide every now and then.

Let us go; let us stay.

Let us pray.

Spare change?

July 14, 2012

Flip a nickel; turn a dime.

Let’s spend our money one more time.

And when it passes twice again around,

we hear its jingle-jangle sound.

We go to town.

 

Spend a dollar; pass a buck.

Buy another pickup truck.

Pump some gas and drive a mile,

shine it up and drive in style

for a while.

 

Scan my plastic; pass my card;

software data, currency hard.

At end of month the bill comes due.

I’ll pay a lot and then a few.

What’s it to you?

 

Build a country; churn the economy.

Fuel the industry; grow some agronomy.

Dems want gov to do it all;

Repubs want private sector out of the stall.

That’s all.

Not quite.

 

Tea Parties cry don’t tread on me

while Occupyers want everything made free.

Get outa my way vs. soak it to the one percent:

two polarizing passions that won’t relent.

But uh oh; it’s time to pay the rent.

 

It happens every month; it comes around every year,

with principal and interest so steep, so dear.

At midnight our stimulus turns into a pumpkin.

But I’m no bumpkin: I’ll spend a dollar; I’ll turn a buck;

‘though our limo has morphed to a clunky pumpkin truck.

We’ve stayed too long at the ball.

That’s all.

Glass Chimera

Come Saturday morning, in Boone

July 7, 2012

On this sunny Saturday morning I hopped on the Vespa to ride the two or three miles into Boone and do coffee with my dear old friend, Terry. An old song blew into my mind while I was whizzing along:Come Saturday Morning, by the Sandpipers.

“Come Saturday morning, I’m going away with my friend; 

 we’ll Saturday spend till the end of the day…”

While we did not spend the whole day together, Terry and I did take about an hour and a half to drink coffee, solve the problems of our little world, and reminisce.  He had blogged earlier in the week about an emotional, even tearful, moment he had had pertaining to this mid-life thing that we’re experiencing now in our ’60s.

I had commented that we should get together, come Saturday morning, and explore our two perspectives to glean some wisdom. I suggested we meet at a donut shop recently opened by an old friend of ours; but Terry said he is not doing wheat these days, so we met at 8 at the Earth Fare.

We spent some precious time discussing the ins and outs and ups and downs of living life according to our own expressions and goals, as opposed to living in order to accommodate the demands of everybody else, such as peer group, employer, society at large, etc. This dilemma is something that we 60ish folks understand completely, especially because our g-g-generation had spent our prime youth years IN the 1960s, if you know what I mean, where we had both discovered that the free love thing wasn’t going to work out so well. Consequently, we had both become Jesus freaks, still are, and had each faithfully loved wife and  raised our now-grown children during the last 30+ years.

After we had solved the problems of our little world, or at least gained some friendly perspective on the prospects, Terry went his way and I went mine.

Feeling adventurous, with the sunshine and Saturday and whatnot, I cruised the Vespa on up the hill to our local Farmers’ Market to pick up my weekly loaf of bread from my bread man, Bruce. This would save him the side trip of delivering the rye loaf to my front door, which he often does.

Earlier in the week I had experienced some fears about the future of free enterprise in America. But no more. One fifteen-minute stroll through the Farmers’ Market was all it took to restore my confidence in small business in America. Blooming forth from all directions, from all booths, from the many tents and stalls, were: the healthiest veggies you’ve ever seen, all locally grown, squash, spinach, kale, broccoli, spices, herbs, you-name-it, and then the arty stuff: pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, flower arrangements; Terry’s wife Sandi was selling her colorful Appalachian grape-vine baskets. She was weaving one right there, as  hundreds of curious shoppers lollygagged around us. There was music in the air: hammer dulcimer player zinging out his tunes, old-time group plunking out the ancient but ever-livening traditional fiddle-standupbass-guitar melodies, and hundreds of smiling folks buying stuff, ambling in the mountains sunshine.

I found Bruce and Brandi’s Owl Creek Breadworks tent and picked up my ciabatta, paid them for the month. Their daughter Madison handed me a  garlic bagel. It looked so delicious I bit right into it then and there. Moving right along, I passed down into the shady grove amphitheater where the thespian troupe was rehearsing for tonight’s outdoor drama, Horn in the West.

And I’m like, all is well here, nothing wrong with small business in America. There seems be plenty of vigor (as President Kennedy had called it) exuding from every nook and cranny, every holler and glade, especially in the midst of  our keep-on-the-sunny-side Blue Ridge mountain morning heritage.

Well, maybe there was one little thing wrong with it. The downside of this experience came when I was negotiating the traffic jam that surrounded the place as I was leaving. I hated to think of all those little fossil-fuel emissions slithering from their respective exhaust pipes into the bright Saturday sky. My fantasy about having a Disney-style monorail running right through our little town jumped into my mind for a moment, but then it vanished in a whiff of cerebral smoke.

I leapt again onto the Vespa express and headed for our quaint downtown to drop a book at the ASU library.

Not much traffic in downtown, vehicular or pedestrian, compared to the crowded Farmers’ Market vicinity. We need to get something going here town-wise, to even out the enterprise factor. Maybe some of those vendors at the market would do well here in the downtown where there’s more space to get around. Unfortunately, the expense of real estate in the central business district is high. But that’s neither here nor there.

Still feeling adventurous, I headed out Blowing Rock road to Josiah’s shop, the Local Lion, for another java and one of his unique 1930s-style  donuts.  By this time I’m thinking maybe I’d be over-caffeinated and over-carbohydrated to do such a thing.  Lately I’ve heard a lot of folks, including my friend Terry with whom I had started this trek, trash-talkin the carbs. But hey, I’m a bread-man, always was, always will be. Jesus said “I am the bread of life.” If he was willing to make himself a bread metaphor, and to have the wheat stuff passed around every Sunday in his name, that’s good enough for me. I can hang with carbs, because my job as a maintenance guy keeps me hopping all week long, and burning those little carbohydrates off like spilt coffee on a woodstove.

So I dropped into the Local Lion and did that coffee and donut thing. I talked to Riley, who was there enjoying the goodies with his two young children and his wife. Thank God he was there, and here in this life, to even do such a thing. Riley spent the better part of a half-hour answering my numerous questions about his 2004 and 2009 tours of duty in Iraq.

And lastly, there at the Local Lion I happened upon a copy of The Journey, a local magazine published by another old friend, Ben. And so I was able to embellish my Saturday morning travels and contemplations with an accounting of his interview with our late, great, local hero and musical legend, Doc Watson.

Then I hopped on the Vespa, rode home and wrote this, after Saturday morning had come and gone. It was a good one.

Glass half-Full

Higgs-boson is One.

July 5, 2012

Higgs figured it out but they wanted to remove all doubt so they cranked up a hadron to run ’til they had one– a particle that would prove to be the real article. it would show up in the collider maybe disproving for some the theory of a Provider. it would happen at the CERN somewhere near Lucerne as soon as they could discern what Higgs had already inferred ‘though the elusive thing had not yet been interred; but as soon as they were certain that there was higgs-boson behind the curtain they would know that they had sped a proton as fast as a friggin photon, gathering data for the theory to float on, as soon as they could get the thing to go fast enough it would provide proof of energy celebrating mass, not a a catholic one but rather  a quirky quarkic one. when at last they had smashed the little thing to get a quark as certifiable as noahs ark– just a very small piece of cosmology to outweigh all the ethereal theology, when they had found the god particle then journalists could write the article to present the evidence, no longer was it unproven like providence. no not a god of the cosmos but of the inside of the atom, deep down among the neutrinos, hoodwinking the casinos, and they’d wagered that the higgs-boson was one, somewhere inside the atom. now we can forget about the adam, and eve. now we have found the boson so we know how the world goes on. yes it still goes and goes,  with all its woes and woes, and toes.

Glass Chimera

Mr. Robert’s Rule-breaking Ruling

July 3, 2012

What this country needs is more men and women like Chief Justice John Roberts, whose decision on the Affordable Care dispute  broke all the rules of polarizing politics, while reinforcing the reasonable rules of governance,  which collectively attest that somehow somewhere along the line we’ve all got to get together and figure this thing out and run a country where all citizens can live in peace, act on opportunities to prosper, and maintain a reasonable level of healthy living.

Glass half-Full