Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce the invention of the long-awaited
or, the bamboo tuba/竹製土巴/低音號

My giant bamboo was knocked over in the last typhoon, so I have used this chance to make a Bambuba, complete with bamboo mouthpiece. The bamboo is fresh cut and not entirely dry, so it now weighs about 15kg, so don’t ask me to join your marching band just yet. I am still considering whether or not to carve in tone holes. If I do, obviously the instrument will be tuned to the key of B, for Bambuba.
I am patiently awaiting news from Sweden, from the Nobel Prize Committee, to see if they will award me the Nobel Prize for Music and Magnanimous Contribution to Humanity this year, or if it’s too late this year, then next.
In the meantime, I am busy transcribing the score of Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello for the Unaccompaniable Bambuba. Wait for the world premier!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today’s nomination for a Darwin Award goes to ::::::: link
A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi.
Where do we begin to count the ways that’s wrong? 
All who are surprised that such a thing could happen in Arizona, please bang your head on a wall until you have some more sense. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The last typhoon blew over my giant bamboo (sob sob), so now to make good use of the bamboo, to make bows, bowls, bells, drums, or maybe a pair of really ferocious numchuks.
The shortest one, on the far right, is about six feet long.

Monday, August 25, 2014

今早金、木星聯珠 Jupiter and Venus lined up early this morning. Very early. Having taken some photos, being a sensible person, I went back to bed.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

或曰土杜仲亦名大丁紅、 本杜仲、 疏花衛矛,但又曰泰雅語為supeasupea當為spia誤,而spia當為梓樹。未聞spia有此威力。

Monday, August 18, 2014

When you least expect it, suddenly, out of nowhere! the missing foot!! ATTACKS!! aaaarrraaAAAAAHHHH!!! BEWARE!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Golly wolly, are we doomed? An asteroid is headed our way, at a speed of nine miles a second. Look at that headline!
The report says, “Human life could be wiped out by a huge asteroid that is heading for earth at a speed of 33,800 miles an hour. With the force of around 44,800 megatonnes of TNT, scientists say that there is a good chance it will hit earth on March 16, 2880.
2880? Well, okay, good to know, I’ll be sure to note that on my calendar, but I’m not going to worry about it just yet. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

I’m no runner. I will walk or ride a bike all day long, but don’t ask me to run for ten minutes. It bores me. If I have to, I can run on and on, but I’m not fast. But one time I ran very fast.
Since junior high, my avocation has been martial arts, and since high school, mountaineering. Football, basketball, baseball, ball games bore me. In school, ball games were sacred, but they still bored me, even more than running.
I went to high school in Pasadena, CA, not too far from Camp Pendleton, the Marine base. Most of our PE teachers had been Marine Corps drill instructors. The rumor was that they chewed through their chains at night to escape, and came to PHS to teach PE. Sounds about right. Maybe they really did even hold midnight rituals, sacrificing kids (goat and elementary school) to the gods of football and basketball.
To say they were serious about football and basketball is sort of like saying the surface of the sun is warm. We had endless drills. If I did not show sufficient reverence, or maybe even misbehaved (who, me?), Coach would tell me to run ten laps. No big deal, okay, I’d finish ten laps more bored than before, and misbehave again. I mean, do you really have to put the stupid basketball through the stupid hoop every time? Can’t you be creative from time to time and bounce the ball off someone’s shoulder? That takes some good aim, a moving target like that, and it’s even better if you miss and hit something else. I would rather run laps the whole period than shoot baskets.
But what I really wanted to do was practice Kenpo Karate. In junior high, I had the extravagant good luck to become a student of the great Ed Parker, the Big Kahuna himself, at his home base, the Pasadena studio. A good Hawaiian, Parker loved to break heads, ribs, and other vital organs.
One evening when I was 17, say December 1970, I was making my way home to Sierra Madre after a good workout at the studio.
In those days, I wore my hair long, partly because it bugged the teachers at school so much. Long for those days: long enough to reach my mouth in front and hang over my collar in back. For those days, long.
It did get in my way when I was practicing Kenpo, so I knotted together a broken shoestring for use as a headband. This particular evening, I still had my headband on, because I was walking and trotting.
I was following Sierra Madre Boulevard, the route of the Rose Parade, which ends at PHS. I had just passed a Chevron gas station, crossed a street, and was walking by the wall surrounding the gas works. (Through the miracle of Google maps, I see the gas works – Pasadana Propane – is still there, but the wall is moved back from the sidewalk, and lower. 250 – 268 N Sierra Madre, Pasadena CA, if you’re interested. I am checking the next couple street names on Google maps.) Further up Sierra Madre was a dead zone of torn down houses, making way for the new freeway they were putting in, the Foothill.
Although there were very few cars on the road, I thought I might hitch a ride, so once I crossed the street, I turned around, just as two guys appeared from around the wall. They were coming at me. “Hey, hippie, give us the headband.” Everybody knows hippies are all peace and love and flower power and don’t fight. But I wasn’t a hippie. I knew what they wanted. After a good two or three hour workout, I was primed, and more than eager to kick their heads for them, since that’s what they wanted.
We engaged in creative dialogue. “I don’t want to give it to you.”
“Then we’re going to take it.” Chicano accents.
They were black silhouettes against the gas station lights. I saw the one next to the wall was holding a ballpeen hammer, down his right leg. Okay, you go down first. Next to the wall, he couldn’t get a good swing. I was adjusting my angle of attack when suddenly a car roared out from behind the wall and stopped just behind me, cutting off my rear.
My reaction was instant. I turned, lifted my heels, and flew.
They hadn’t expected that, so they were just a bit slow in taking off. I heard them floor the engine. I crossed Del Rey Avenue – a two lane LA size street – in two steps. I ran so fast the car couldn’t catch me.
I reached the first house, on the corner of Bella Vista and hammered on the door. Just as the car pulled up and slammed on the brakes, the door opened. 
I told the young man who opened the door, “They’re chasing me.” He took in the situation in an instant. He stepped back, I stepped in, and we shut the door. The car waited a moment, and drove off.
The family asked if I wanted to phone the police. I didn’t, because first, the police probably wouldn’t care about a long-haired hippie in a headband. And what could they do? I could hardly ask them for a ride home, and Sierra Madre was out of their jurisdiction anyway.
I figured the guys in the car would think I’d phoned the police, so they wouldn’t wait around. I guessed I had spoiled their evening; they were done with me. I waited a while, all was quiet, so I set off again. I was a bit antsy going through the dead zone, but I got home without further event.
Maybe they had noticed that when they showed me the hammer, I wasn’t afraid; instead, I was getting ready to fight. Not easy prey, forget it.
Later I asked around. I had brushed into some nasty guys. They had strayed from their usual base in El Monte or somewhere. Nobody knew why they had come to Pasadena, but people knew about them. The car was full of more nasty guys with hammers and saws for their evening’s entertainment.
In the following months, before I went to Viet Nam, I never heard about their coming back to Pasadena. Maybe they figured that if people in Pasadena run that fast, chasing them is a waste of gas. Could be.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

“Captain, Captain, what are we to do? The sea is as smooth as glass, and there is not a breath of wind.”
“Alas, me matey, bad luck is upon us! I fear we are becalmed in 
the doll drums!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

When he was in junior high, my brother Peter and his friend John Tuck killed a rat. Certainly you should be able to find something creative to do with a perfectly good dead rat, right? Especially if you’re Peter.
I don’t know if it’s the same anymore, but in those days, the Vice Principal was in charge of discipline and maintaining order. The Vice Principal at Henry Huntington Jr High (San Marino, CA) was Mr Gilligan. So Peter got to thinking, hmmm, Mr Gilligan’s door opens inwards. He doused the rat corpse in gasoline, tied its tail loosely to the nameplate on the door, lit it, hammered ferociously on the door, and disappeared.
Right on plan, Mr Gilligan waxed wroth, came steaming out of his office to see who dared to hammer on his door, yanked the door open, and the rat flingo!! flew flamingly into his office. Without missing a beat, Mr Gilligan screeched, TALOVICH!!!
Small wonder I had such a hard time when I got into HEH Jr High. Mr Gilligan had some sort of grudge against me. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Congress is trying to use the impeachment process to besmirch a political career. It didn’t work well with Clinton. They didn’t convict him. It’s not going to happen with Obama.
"It's political shenanigans. Republicans like to wrap themselves in the Constitution but they have to understand what the impeachment clause is there for – it’s not just because you have political differences with a president. It’s a checks and balances system. It was with the greatest reluctance it was used in the Nixon situation.”
Wise words spoken by none other than John Dean, who knows a thing or two about impeachment. Comments on Nixon, Watergate, and Obama: well worth reading: LINK

Saturday, August 09, 2014

LDSD? LSD is more like it!

Friday, August 08, 2014

too long,
so long,
time for this typhong
to be gong.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014