Sunday, April 30, 2006


My oldest and best friend is a guy who is a hard core, unbending Conservative. Yeah... I know. But the truth is that he is mostly right and very hard to argue with in the wicked old "long run". Of course, I have a few other friends who don't necessarily fall into line behind Tommy. My friend Dan is one of those. And... lots and lots of the time I find myself agreeing with Dan and Tommy at the same time. Bob the hypocrite? Well, maybe. But the truth is that my own personal opinions are formed mostly from what I've read.

Knowing that, perhaps you can understand why I grieve the end of one of the best economists to write on the subject of the dismal science: John Kenneth Galbraith died last Saturday. He lived well into his nineties so his passing was no surprise. My friend Tom is quick to laugh at me trying to understand any economics, and that is fair enough. I freely admit to the fact that Tom has a much deeper understanding of the subject than I do. Anyone who needs proof need only look at the bank balances to compare us two. I admit it... when it comes to shuffling the money, Galbraith was one of those guys whose ability to write managed to get my attention. I liked the way the guy wrote so he managed to get at least some of the dismal science through my thick skull. Hell, I even got a good grade in Econ back in my salad days.

But he was one of those guys who made my friend Tommy's hackles rise... a Harvard liberal. I should point out that my friend Tommy who runs lumber yards and shuffles money in the trillion dollar crap game known as the construction trades... is a medium shot consultant for Harvard University on some kind of housing think tank that maps future home building trends in academia (that in itself sounds sort of liberalesque doesn't it?). So, my point is that in the long run the ghost of John Galbraith has the last laugh with Tom Leete. My friend Tommy became a faculty member at liberal bastion Harvard University at the same time as John Galbraith was still sitting as a faculty member at the old ivy covered walls there in Cambridge. Ha.

I'm still afraid to invest in hog bellies and I don't actually understand what it means to "sell short" on plywood, but while I don't agree with much of his politics, I'll admit to liking John Kenneth Galbraith... for the same reasons I like my friend Dan Gilmartin. Yeah, he's a hard core liberal but he's my friend. I like to hear his voice. If nothing else, he gives me something to smile at. A rare quality in these unsmiling times.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Alexander Bird put out a biography of Thomas Kuhn not too far back. Kuhn is one of those guys who did something terribly important but nobody has really realized it... oh, a few have (snobs like me I suppose), but mostly he has gone the way of all important philosophers. Klunk.

Kuhn was the guy who posited the notion of the paradigm shift in the study of the history of science. I know. I know. Yawn. But wait a minute. I paid three bucks a gallon for regular unleaded this morning. You did too, I bet. What's that got to do with Kuhn? Well, he once wrote a book about scientific revolutions and how they come about... and what happens before, during, and after the shift of those scientific paradigms. We should revisit that book guys. It's one of those "must reads". Believe me.

A little history -- the English used to run their whole culture with wood. Everything. They cut down trees to burn so that they could make steam so that they could run machinery... but they needed lots and lots of wood to burn, and it was very much in short supply. And trees were getting a trifle thin on the ground. In fact, it was a capital crime to cut down one of them. Yup, the whole industrial revolution was sitting there on pins and needles, waiting for a way to go forward... but they needed a cheap, ready source of steam so that all those hordes of laborers could come off the farms and work in factories in the cities made up of slums. The trouble was that they didn't have a way to dig up the coal that was right below their feet. They knew all about coal and knew that it represented one solution to the problem of unlimited resources... but the damned stuff was under water. And the pumps that they had could not pump out the water in the mines so that they could lurch ahead with the industrial revolution. Hmmm.

Well, the ever resourceful English offered a prize to the first man who could design a pump that would make it possible to get ahead of the water in the mines. And low and behold... shortly after the invention went on line the water started coming out and the coal started getting mined... and the rest is history. We still use that sort of high speed "jet" immersion pump to push water out. To this day the house pump attached to your house is just the same sort of pump. Shazam! Rather than lift the stuff we get behind it and push it up the pipe... works like a charm.

Kuhn took a good long look at the process that goes into that shift in paradigms, and believe me, I believe we are in the throes of the next big shift. And what happens in our future will make the last hundred years of dependency on oil and internal combustion engines the exact parallel of buggy whips and cottage industry poverty that predated the English industrial revolution.

What we need to do is start harnessing the inventive geniuses among us. What we need is a better pump. Eh? So you tell me... why isn't our government sponsoring a prize.. coupla million should be enticing... to the first guy who can find a cheap, abundant substitute for that $3 a gallon crap that we are burning up just to get to the Handy Way Store in the morning? Who's working on fusion power? And why weren't we pouring money into that twenty years ago? Why don't we get off our asses and do something to fix this mess? I'd really like to just walk away from the tree growers and the damned ragheads and go burn something else in my steam kettle and get to work.

For starters... we should all get a copy of Kuhn's text. I think it is still in print. Here's the link. We should all do something other than just sit around whining about the damned arabs.


Monday, April 24, 2006


enough there were some of our friends (gasp) who were uneducated as to who the fabulous Divine was. Now I'm torn by indecision. What if it's a mistake for folks to learn about this wicked boy? Hmmm... close your eyes Dana.

Go look here.



I've always liked John William Waterhouse's Pandora and I thought of her when Eric began ruminating on whether the girl was looking to see if there was anything else down in the bottom that hadn't gotten out before. Fortunate for us that she was curious, eh?


Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today is also John Waters' birthday. One truly strange dude. Personal friend of the fabulous Divine. Whatta guy.



Today's Marilyn Chambers' birthday. Whatta girl!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I love this! Just... just go look at this link. Here it is.


Sunday, April 16, 2006


That's a picture of Larry Earley, who owns a place out on the Center Hill Rd. near Okahumpka.. about twenty miles from my granddaddy's house. If you look close you can see his handgun sitting on the hog's left shoulder, where Larry set it down after busting a cap in the thing's ass. He's been having trouble with wild hogs coming out of the scrub into his pastures and tearing up his watermelon fields. There's no hunting pressure on the things so they get bigger and bigger until they turn into a threat to Larry's livestock, not to mention his kids on their 4 wheelers. What did he do? Well, you see it. Thanks Ashley for the picture. Look at the size of that thing! The beast dressed out over 1100 pounds. That's a winter shot that filled up the freezer, eh? Who needs Publix anyhow? Ha.



Let me go dig around in my pile of junk and find that photo of that giant hog that Ashley sent her daddy. This neighbor over in Okahumka has a twenty acre field out on the Center Hill Road and he shot the thing with a handgun (yikes!). That in itself should tell you something about the typical good-old-boy who lives in Sumter County. The daughter of my best friend Tom Leete, Ashley, who is a lumberbabe working for some lumber giant out on the coast, is a great hunter (good lookin' too) and this monster was so big the guy had to go get a tractor with a front end loader just to move the thing. Give me a minute... I'll find it.



As some of you know, I'm a long in the tooth Florida Cracker. My family has been sitting in the remains of the old Mosquito County in Central Florida since well before the Civil War. I've got a pic of a razorback hog that weighs way over a thousand pounds that was shot in a pasture twenty miles from my grandfather's old cypress house. But... I doubt if he had problems with pythons eating his gators. Look at that damned thing! Here's the link.


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Only in America could a group of three midgets and a 350 pound woman go on tour as a tribute band for Kiss... and get their picture in the paper. God, I love this. Here's the link.



Then there comes this little whisper from beyond the grave. Dr. Lecter... is that you?
Here's the link.


Friday, April 14, 2006


Blogs seem to come and go. People move on, get bored, worn out I suppose. Take a break. Notable of that group has been that Rambler from Atlanta, also Rachael... to a degree, Jim of Smoke on the Water (not really quit, just not really there a lot). And lots of these guys, like Kim duToit, transform themselves into something else by changing without changing, just moving their venue.

But for all that, I missed the Cheese Mistress. She took a little break to collect herself. Now she seems to be back. Welcome home girl. I missed you. The link is over there on the blogroll, or you can go see for yourself here.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


For those of you who are keeping score, it was on this date in 1633 that the examination of Galileo Galilei by the Office of the Inquisition began. This was when the powers of the Church lost all notions of truth they ever held in the conflict between empiricism and theism. Made just about as much sense in Galileo's time as it does today in the theism of the Mullahs when they decided to try to suppress the writing of books questioning the certainty of Allah. Allah akbar... right? What if your life hung in such a balance?



The good folks of Connecticut have amended the preexisting law to better define the assault definitions to include incidents where guys were just throwing some jizz at the ladies without any actual contact in the traditional battery sense. Hmmm. Battery being the unwanted touching of another person... Whatcha got there big boy? Here's the link.


Thursday, April 06, 2006


That's a picture of Deborah Whitlock. There's a bill in the California legislature originating with her murder and subsequent necrophilic molestation making it illegal to rape a corpse.

well, gee. Here's the link.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Another one slips out. Pitney did a set last night, claimed to want a nap, then was found dead later. No drugs, no drama, just gone in his sleep.

This is the guy that did Town Without Pity, Hello Mary Lou, Rubber Ball, The Man Who Shot LibertyValence. Does that ring any bells? It probably does if you're an old guy like yours truly.


Monday, April 03, 2006


One of the old time Key West landmarks may be at risk. Rumor has it that the old dump of a restaurant that I always liked to go hang out at after bellying up to the Malloy Docks in Key West has managed to piss off some of its uppity neighbors and they have the code enforcement board down on their ass. Sigh. Is there anywhere left in the nation that has not been screwed up by these damned yuppies? Here's the link.


~ OOPS ~

Talk about stepping on your own.... uh.... here's the link.