this week i

published our collaboration with the california health care foundation, this cartoon-ready duo. is anything on earth as beautiful as the rings of saturn?


attended the survey of income and program participation (be thoughtful about how you aggregate) then panel study of income dynamics (this is where i had it like a cooking show) short courses.  work start and end time one of the most sensitive questions, respondents worried about theft.  the 1999 supreme court decision barred the census from modifying the apportionment data with the post-enumeration survey.  the official count of linear age fluctuates like a heartbeat due to age-heaping: when neighbors estimate but round to five.  director robert santos said the words "dirty data" and opined about a time when "the next hot thing was landline telephone surveys" adding my own "there's no replication crisis in poverty research."  poster sessions most fun nowadays.  regarding diurnal variation in poverty i heard the words "a poverty rate can rise and fall throughout the day" and, elsewhere, "bayesian model to adjust for non-representativeness" plus multiple appearances of attrition's verb attrit.  what time is it?  attritin' time

met at terminal one, slammed as many beers, saw three dog night karaoke, next samira.  ruffles the younger jazzed till he realized just him and me


watched country music by ken burns.  merle haggard in johnny cash's san quentin audience, ring of fire mariachi, hank williams wrote jambalaya

why should the devil have all the good tunes?

itzhak perlman: we are all fiddle players

 the banjo: it's hard to ignore because it's so percussive

those songs were captured rather than written

tuberculosis - at the time, the leading cause of death

i want to die with my shoes on

a signal so overpowering local ranchers heard the music on their barbed wire fences

"just love them honey," he said, "and they'll love you right back"

tom dooley (perhaps l.a. county also): murder ballad

marty robbins on el paso: this won't sell 500 records but it's something i've always wanted to do

dolly parton: i was on television before we ever owned one  //  i'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes.  because i know i'm not dumb.  and i'm not blonde, either

on bobby mcgee (a woman named mckee): and i called kris..don't be alone when you hear this

read east of eden by john steinbeck, a book about heteropaternal superfecundation

cyrus trask mourned for his wife with a keg of whiskey and three old army friends who had dropped in on their way home to maine.  baby adam cried a good deal at the beginning of the wake, for the mourners, not knowing about babies, had neglected to feed him.  cyrus soon solved the problem.  he dipped a rag in whiskey and gave it to the baby to suck, and after three dippings young adam went to sleep.  several times during the mourning period he awakened and complained and got the dipped rag again and went to sleep.  the baby was drunk for two days and a half.  whatever may have happened in his developing brain, it proved beneficial to his metabolism: from that two and a half days he gained an iron health.  and when at the end of three days his father finally went out and bought a goat, adam drank milk greedily, vomited, drank more, and was on his way.  his father did not find the reaction alarming, since he was doing the same thing

the wooden leg made a side semicircle to get ahead when its turn came

once when he was very ill samuel asked, "liza, couldn't i have a glass of whiskey to ease me?" ... "would you go to the throne of god with liquor on your breath?"

in due course adam gave his name to a clerk and went to sit in the anteroom.  his father found him there.  it took adam a moment to recognize cyrus, and much longer to get used to him.  cyrus had become a great man.  he dressed like a great man - black broadcloth coat and trousers, wide black hat, overcoat with a velvet collar, ebony cane which he made to seem a sword.  and cyrus conducted himself like a great man.  his speech was slow and mellow, measured and unexcited, his gestures were wide, and new teeth gave him a vulpine smile out of all proportion to his emotion

people are felt rather than seen after the first few moments

"he would have admitted climbing the golden stairs and cutting st. peter's throat with a bowling ball," the judge said.  "be more careful, mike.  the law was designed to save, not to destroy"

"i can't understand why a girl like you-" he began, and fell right into the oldest conviction in the world - that the girl you are in love with can't possibly be anything but true and honest

things grow so fast in california they say you have to plant and step back quick or you'll get knocked down

another man, but he was crazy, said that someday there'd be a way, maybe ice, maybe some other way, to get a peach like this here i got in my hand clear to philadelphia

as a very young child she had learned to win by using the momentum of her opponent.  it was easy to guide a man's strength where it was impossible to resist him

"he was a spaniard, wasn't he?  they're artistic people, i've heard.  i remember in school about a painter - no, he was a greek"

there are no ugly questions except those clothed in condescension

we chinese have a well-developed demonology

he moved around as if he was alive but he left no evidence.  the lord in his wisdom gave money to very curious people, perhaps because they'd starve without

"samuel, do you think you can move this rock of a man?" // "why, i don't know, mother."  he had not expected this.  "i don't know." // "do you think it is such an important matter that those babies have names right now?"

i feel murder nudging my gizzard

when a man says he does not want to speak of something he usually means he can think of nothing else

i wouldn't have minded so much if she had wanted my death.  that would have been a kind of love.  but i was an annoyance, not an enemy

isn't it odd that cain is maybe the best-known name in the whole world and as far as i know only one man has ever borne it?

and the lord set a mark upon cain, lest any finding him should kill him.  and cain went out from the presence of the lord and dwelt in the land of nod on the east of eden

that thing about time doing the job dynamite can't touch

the american standard translation
orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance.  the king james translation makes a promise in 'thou shalt,' meaning that men will surely triumph over sin.  but the hebrew word, the word timshel - 'thou mayest' - that gives a choice.  it might be the most important word in the world.  that says the way is open.  for if 'thou mayest' - it is also true that 'thou mayest not'

all money, property, and securities to be divided equally between you and your wife

you sound like some goat-foot with a wheat flute on a hill in greece

he hung the receiver up and dressed.  in angry weariness he opened the wall cabinet and collected scalpels and clamps, sponges and tubes of sutures, to put in his bag.  he shook his gasoline pressure lantern to make sure it was full and arranged ether can and mask beside it on his bureau.  his wife in boudoir cap and nightgown looked in.  dr. tilson said, "i'm walking over to the garage.  call will hamilton.  tell him i want him to drive me to his father's place.  if he argues tell him his sister is - dying"

p.s. i notice that polly has not reformed one bit.  that parrot makes me blush

she walked on, and a falsetto followed her, "oh, aron, i do love you so"

clock-ticking silence

they thought she would be weak and delicate.  she smiled to herself - delicate like a steel trap

and they were silent, for it was too late to say hello and too early to begin other things

the manila envelopes were glued together with blackened blood.  the sheriff dampened the papers with a wet handkerchief to get them apart.  he read the will, which had been folded, so that the blood was on the outside.  he laid it aside and inspected the photographs in the envelopes.  he sighed deeply

do you know where your brother is?



this week i

exited asia to oaxacan dinner.  heathrow airport before entry flight, i'd ordered fish tacos, those were the final mexican anythings i'll ever eat again outside of north america.  you all just haven't a friend with an honest abuela yet.  past five months: south asian food, southeast asian food, east asian food, hamburgers, pizza, french desserts.  not far from lifelong averages, except in north america triweekly mexican cuisine, maybe more varied ice cream. legend has it (modern slang for "i read the headline, didn't click the link") one australian taco shop adds raisins.  airsick bag full

calibrated at san jose day. mapquest doesn't know where the clitoris is, santa cruz will have to do. monkeys with prehensile tails: look ma, no hands!

met john on the bayou.  why does a beard equal cthulhu?  stylistically i've always wanted to look like the grinch.  rocky blue man marshmallowed the swamp from airboat christened master gator.  we listened to clown kiss cover bands at french quarter festival, faced northwest on saint ann street, agreed we'd never seen credentials on a gravestone, dreamt what angry letters to send the nobel peace prize committee, in crayon of course


sketched ruffles noir.  quebec city opener: your female name paul pronounced exactly like chicken.  how did that one make it through the ages?


read the great gatsby by f. scott fitzgerald

dinner was announced: wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine, tom buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square

"it was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train.  i was going up to new york to see my sister and spend the night.  he had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and i couldn't keep my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me i had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head.  when we came into the station he was next to me, and his white shirt-front pressed against my arm, and so i told him i'd have to call a policeman, but he knew i lied.  i was so excited that when i got into a taxi with him i didn't hardly know i wasn't getting into a subway train.  all i kept thinking about, over and over, was 'you can't live forever; you can't live forever'"

one of the men was talking with curious intensity to a young actress, and his wife, after attempting to laugh at the situation in a dignified and indifferent way, broke down entirely and resorted to flank attacks - at intervals she appeared suddenly at his side like an angry diamond, and hissed: "you promised!" into his ear

philadelphia wants you on the 'phone, sir

the world's series had been fixed in 1919, but if i had thought of it at all i would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain.  it never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people - with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe

by the next year i had a few beaux myself

 her voice is full of money

i'll make you a mint julep.  then you won't seem so stupid to yourself

"he won't touch her," i said.  "he's not thinking about her"



this week i

hiked yangmingshan for the views.  on to the national palace for snuff boxes, jade, dragon clouds, both scrimshaw matryoshka and original


asked dall-e for nature photo with truffle in place of shell, nutty chocolate trail of slime behind.  ferrescargocher.  matthew: that's only funny to you

stared at shadows in edward hopper's most famous, going with nightturkeys for mine.  rosemarie thought coffee urns in the back.  hooray for taipei

read masters of mankind by noam chomsky.  he and kissinger both still live in new england

of using conscripts to fight a colonial war..we hear proposals for a volunteer army at "market prices" so that resistance will be cooled when vietnam is reenacted elsewhere

the fighting working class, basing itself upon marxism, will find lenin's philosophical work a stumbling-block in its way

the surviving myths of private enterprise insulate the industrial gains from social control, distorting the national reading of realities at home and abroad, concealing the galloping pace of corporate mergers and economic concentration, protecting the quasi-public status of narrow private interest

it is all too easy to mistake obscurantism for profundity

under communism man ceases to suffer as an animal and suffers as human.  he therewith moves from the plane of the pitiful to the plane of the tragic

the thoughts of thomas jefferson, who warned of the rise of a "single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations," which would enable the few to be "riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry," destroying democracy and restoring a form of absolutism if given free rein, as they later were, beyond his worst nightmares.  or alexis de tocqueville, who, like jefferson and adam smith, regarded equality of condition as an important feature of a free and just society.  he saw the dangers of a "permanent inequality of conditions" and an end to democracy if "the manufacturing aristocracy which is growing up under our eyes," "one of the harshest that has ever existed in the world," should escape its confines

debs had been declared "an enemy of the human race" by the new york times

the decade of the 1970s opened with the indian invasion of east pakistan, saving probably millions of lives.  it closed with vietnam's invasion of cambodia, ousting the khmer rouge just as their atrocities were peaking

sports teams use victims of genocide as mascots, usually with caricatures.  weapons of destruction are casually given similar names: apache, blackhawk, comanche helicopters; tomahawk missles; and so on.  how would we react if the luftwaffe named its lethal weapons "jew" and gypsy"?

"anticipatory self-defense," another euphemism for aggression at will.  the tacit assumption is that norms are established by the powerful, and that they alone have the right of anticipatory self-defense.  no one, for example, would argue that japan exercised this right when it bombed military bases in the us colonies of hawaii and the philippines, even though the japanese knew very well that b-17 flying fortresses were coming off the boeing production lines, and were surely familiar with the very public discussions in the us explaining how they could be used to incinerate japan's wooden cities in a war of extermination, flying from hawaiian and philippine bases

los angeles, which is now a total horror story - i don't know if any of you have been there - had an efficient electric public transportation system.  it was dismantled.  it was bought up in the 1940s by general motors, firestone rubber, and standard oil in california.  the purpose of their buying it up was to dismantle it so as to shift everything to trucks and cars and buses.  and it was done.  it was technically a conspiracy.  actually, they were brought to court on a charge of conspiracy and sentenced.  i think the sentence was around $5,000, enough to pay for the victory dinner

capitalism and the sharply attenuated democracy that goes along with it



this week i

updated medicaid coverage gap numbers.  at what level of wealth disparity do humans change political affiliation?  check out the big brain on plaid

listened to ivan yanakov play chopin, rachmaninoff with his tablet auto-turning sheet music pages.  rearview mirror on my uber up (aptly-named) mount shiti actually a camera live-feed.  plus first encounters with word rhoticity, taiwan scimitar-babbler, ropes to avert raw dogging each scramble


read farenheit 451 by ray bradbury

the salamander on his arm and the phoenix-disc on his chest

and at the museums, have you ever been?  all abstract.  that's all there is now.  my uncle says it was different once.  a long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people.

out the door..down the steps, across the lawn, where the path of kerosene lay like the track of some evil snail

we cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.  as in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at least one which makes the heart run over

how many copies of the bible are left in this country?

why waste your final hours racing about your cage denying you're a squirrel?

wielding axes, shattering window-panes to provide cross ventilation