August 31, 2005

haiku of the moment

if there is a need
for food or future gazing
call jim lanahan

August 30, 2005

haiku of the moment

exquisite beauty
can be found on every face
in a deck of cards

quotes of the moment

"no one speaks in poetry, unless they want to be thought mad."
- greg "sarcasmo" jorgensen

"how can i miss you if you won't go away?"
- scott "zz" zimmerman

"it is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not."
- andre "don't call him 'the giant'" gide

August 29, 2005

haiku of the moment

there is a beauty
in 17 syllables
when the world's too much

yet mo' big neon glitter

mo' big neon glitter

me, darkly

August 28, 2005

insane wall mural -- d.i.a.

this isn't making me feel any better about my life ... and who REALLY thinks it's a good idea to have a picture of burning *anything* in an airport.

space alien prostitutes -- gotta hate 'em (haiku)

spectacular sex
but wait -- she called cops "the fuzz"
damn alien whores

haiku of the moment

work would be better
if days had a bit more time
and nights had no end

August 27, 2005

so, briefly, what's my point?

although i've always associated diaries with crackpots, a bunch of my pals coerced me into starting this blog, a deal that was sealed by a message from god/the jones soda corporation.

i started writing this to capture a haiku a day. over time i've put less emphasis on haiku and more on what is essentially a mental scrapbook that includes low-resolution digital photography and individual lines i run across in my daily life. free to comment if you so desire (i get notified any time you comment anywhere in the blog), but don't feel compelled to do so. in general i'll tend not to comment back to what you say on the site -- it doesn't mean i don't appreciate the comment, i just don't think of this as being that type of back-and-forth. there's an email address in my profile if you'd rather write me directly -- i'll always respond.

if you've come here because of a comment i've made on your blog, it's probably because i've searched on some word in either technorati or google and hit your site. (as an aside, i'll automatically link back to anyone who links to me -- if that's the kind of thing that thrills you.)  don't fret.  i'm a lot of things, but i'm not a blogger stalker.

be warned that you will find old skool blasphemy in here. if you're offended by such matters, just go elsewhere -- i don't share your fundamental precepts of judeo-christianity, and it'll keep our (meaning yours and mine) collective blood pressures down.

you'll also find the occasional reminiscence.

what you won't find is a ton of "this is what i did today" drivel. i figure you want to read it even less than i want to write it.

welcome to my world. i'm glad you're here. i hope you find your stay worth the sliver of time you spend.

(a much longer-winded version of this explanation can be found here, although i'd recommend just diving right on into the site instead.)

[this written 10/16/05, with minor additions on 2/20/09 and 1/16/10, but pre-dated to sit near the long explanation.]

so whats my point?

* get a journal, load your gun *

when i was a kid, i thought keeping a journal and being a whacked-out assassin type was a tautology. every time the media would shine a light on someone like charles manson, or arthur bremmer, or lee harvey oswald, or james earl ray, or sirhan sirhan, sure enough every one of those crackpots would have a journal and the public would get a big peek into their individual versions of warpland.

so you can imagine my shock when i was in my twenties and i discover my wife having a journal. i mean here was a woman who wouldn’t even dare go to bed without the dishes being done, let alone fire a gun at a famous person – and yet she had a journal.

it piqued my interest enough that i started keeping my eyes open and paying attention to what at that time were always called “diaries.” surprise, surprise, it turns out it’s something people do. hmm.

* when the pen is a sword, and the depth to which it cuts *

for years i wanted to be a writer. i’d write and write and write. copy this. practice that. do this in that style. but i’d never show it to anyone. i thought it was all crap and as a result i destroyed a lot of writing.

then, through a series of coincidences, i did a little writing for apple, then did some more. i found out my work was tolerable and learned the huge advantage of having an editor. then i did some writing for infoworld and then got hooked up with a daily column. quantity was becoming important and, strangely, it was actually improving my quality.

i picked up several marketing jobs as a consultant and my breezy-jokey-smart-ish style was popular with the internet bubble set. and that too was improving my quality.

somewhere between here and there i hit my stride. i became confident that i could do something “on paper” and i became less worried about how it seemed. (and believe me, anytime i get convinced that i can do something of quality, it takes a monumental amount of proof – i’m overwhelmingly under-impressed with myself and what i do. i don’t have an inferiority complex – i have an entire inferiority apartment building, complete with moat, gates and a lame security staff that’s always at lunch whenever you want to go in.) i guess you could say the effort was more important than the final product.

* count it out *

i’ve always had a fascination with haiku. when i was eight our third grade teacher gave us an assignment to write a haiku, and instead of sitting in class and churning them out by the hundreds, i asked to be excused to the library. the idea grabbed me and i needed to know more.

i learned things that i remember to this day. haiku as a form was refined by bashō in the 17th century and in its pure form has three essential elements:
* three lines of five, seven and five syllables.
* it should be about, or make reference to, nature.
* the poem, typically in the closing line, should have an “aha” moment (there’s some japanese word for this concept that i forget) – the point where the poem wrinkles and you suddenly understand a new nuance. i always like to think that about the closest thing we have to this in the west is the concept of a punch line.

i put on my thinking cap. this would be my first haiku ever and i needed to really lay it down. i was a math kid and this was words – but there’s math stuff under the hood there. i could dig it. at the end of the hour there were kids in the class that had turned massive numbers of haiku, but after reading in the library and thinking for 20 minutes, i wrote this single one:

one-eyed snail slowly
climbs up mount fujiyama
and looking back, dies

nice and solid. a good reference to japan (which was so exotic to my eight year old mind it might as well been another galaxy). a little bit of nature. a little bit of weirdness to keep the teacher off-balance (even if she did have those ultra-groovy dior bell bottoms). and an aha moment to set you right on back. the ambiguity of 17 syllables was my super-friend. and, really, who cares if it has a comma?

it got a call to my parents.

my mom thought it was horrific and hinted that there might be deeper problems in my eight-year old mind – this was reinforcement of a concept that a school psychologist had dropped on her three years earlier. my dad thought it was funny and bought me an ice cream. with a reaction like that i knew i was onto something.

in retrospect, and if you ignore the mind that wrote it, the only real flaw is “fujiyama” is japanese for “mount fuji,” making the second line redundant. but hey, gimme a break, i was eight – and when backed into a psychological corner, i’ll tell you that i consider it to be the wabi-sabi (“beauty in imperfection” for you non-buddhists) element of the poem. if you overlook that one triviality, the poem is good news and bad news for me …

the good news is it’s the best haiku i ever wrote. a watermark that i only occasionally see well above my head as i tube down the aqueduct of my writing canal.

the bad news is it’s been all down-hill since i was eight.

{as an aside, modern haiku now is thought of as not having to necessarily follow any rules, the loosest maybe being “any poem you can read in one breath,” so …


… could be considered haiku. however i exclusively use classic structure (often minus the nature references) – i like the forced meter and limited form of expression. and it actually pleases me to know that i’m abiding by some stupid rule somebody else made up. it's important to note, however, that i consider english haiku to be a fake -- i don't care how jingoist it sounds, i think of haiku as having been developed by and for the japanese language and mind; therefore when i write in english, it's actually a fraud. but that doesn't mean i don't love it.}

* all together now *

i put all this together one day and thought, “maybe i should have a journal that is just one haiku a day.” describing the day’s events in 17 syllables for posterity later. then i thought maybe i should just write a haiku a day. but in the end i thought, no way, i’m not a presidential assassin.

then came the internet and suddenly the logistics of writing it all get easier.

then blogs.

then tools for blogs.

it’s right about here in the timeline that i started getting pressure from a small circle of friends. the conversations varied, but essentially went like this:

them: “you should write a blog.”
me: “why?”
them: “because.”

the because reason varied a little: you’re smart, you’re funny, you’re interesting, you’ll be famous, you’ll be rich, dinosaurs will return to the earth and honk like buicks … that kind of thing.

and i thought that i couldn’t *really* be that narcissistic. could i? no. not really.

but still, these people are all smart friends. in general, your life goes quite a bit better when you listen to your smart friends than when you ignore them.

no matter. it wasn’t enough. i told them “no,” in no uncertain terms.

as if that did any good. the debate continued. in fact, it became a regular topic of my standing friday breakfasts.

three days after a particularly spirited discussion (essentially them screaming “yes,” and me bellowing “no”), i got a jones soda when i was out with my friend bo3b and his spinner girlfriend. jones all have fortunes in the bottle caps and i cracked mine open only to find it saying, “start your journal.”

okay. now i am vain enough to believe that some things happen for me specifically and do think that some coincidences actually have deeper hidden meanings. i had no choice but to take it as a sign. this was no longer a discussion, it had become a law, and one that i would abide by.

now the only question was when to start. i waited, waited. more than a year passed.

then my third cousin, hunter thompson, died and they announced he was going to be shot from a canon. for some reason i suddenly thought of the journal idea. that was the signal i had waited for. the death of a distant blood relative and a great great man who both lived and died by his own rules. in the grand scheme of parity, when a writer goes away, another needs to step up. and i’m no hunter, but i have thompson in my blood, so that’s where this starts. and that act is why you’re here.

* who are me? who? who? who? who? *

one of the things i hate about the ‘net is the fact that so much happens anonymously. you never see the man behind the curtain. i don’t like the way it makes people behave and i don’t like the direction it drives society.

and yet, there’s a snoop-factor of today’s connected world that’s mildly disturbing – you can poke around and find anything about anybody. it’s not that the ability to snoop hasn’t always been there, it’s just that it’s so damn much easier now. google makes everyone look like a genius.

so i’m posting this anonymously, even though i think that’s a pretty damn weak thing to do. that may change in the future, but for right now, no.

* what you’ll find *

i consider this to be a scrapbook of thoughts, ideas, stories, and email exchanges that in the past would have been lost.

i also have a mild passing interest in low resolution digital photography – especially pixelvision and cell phone cameras. you’ll find occasional shots i find interesting. what you learned looking at naked aboriginal peoples in national geographic when you were five is still true now: picture books are more fun than those with just words.

as dumb as it may sound, the fundamental thing i’m trying to do is have a home for my haiku. everything else is just filler. in the future i may split the haiku out from everything else, but for now, it’s just hodgepodge. (i’m showing a lot of enthusiasm here in the early days – it’ll be interesting to see how it’s going in a year. or ten.)

(you’ll probably be pleased to know that you will not be finding lots of long-winded explanations … in fact, this will very likely be the only one you run across.)

* your rights and responsibilities as a viewer *

the majority of posts will allow you to comment. feel free to do so, but please don’t feel compelled to. in general i will not respond directly to the comments you make -- i don't really think of this sire as being "conversational." i’ve got an email address set up for contacting me directly if that seems better suited to your needs.

in general i’m a blog hater (there’s only one i read religiously) because i think they’re filled with ideas that are either insipid, inane or profane. so if you hate this one of mine, i don’t blame you, and believe me, i understand.

the one thing you will find here is what judeo-christians would call “blasphemy,” and i know a few of those i’ve invited are fairly hardcore christians. if this bothers you, i have exactly one piece of advice: don’t read it. my perception of god and religion is not in strict alignment with fundamental judeo-christian precepts, which means the mere concept of blasphemy doesn’t even register for me. like it or not (and you very well may not), you’re getting a peek at my world here. if you don’t like it, don’t go away mad, just go away -- with what you believe, beelzeebub will have his way with me anyway.

if you’ve been passed this link by me it’s solely because you’ve shown interest in my writing in the past. you’re welcome to pass it along to anyone you’d like, although it’s completely beyond me why you’d do so. my anonymity isn’t required. be warned that any comment you send to me about the writing on this blog, including my personal email account(s) may be posted as a comment here.

if you’re reading this by some other means, well, i hope you find something here interesting or worthwhile. for you this must be a lot like saratoga, wyoming -- it's always interesting in hearing how you got here, and i'm even more curious as to why the hell you stayed.

[10/6/05 -- i use auto-notification on my comments. you can comment on any part of this blog, at any time (and again, don't feel that you have to), and i'll know about it immediately.]

[10/16/05 -- if you link to my blog, i'll link right back atcha.]

[2/20/09 -- minor changes to reflect the current state of the 'blog.]

there and not -- palo alto

street chalkings -- palo alto

pollen delinated drainage pattern -- work parking lot

Re: Paranoid music producer

On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 11:26, my brother wrote:
Never heard of this guy-- but pretty strange

Missing Music Producer Found, Hospitalized


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nearly weeklong search for a Grammy-nominated producer ended Friday after a resident spotted the man sitting naked in a backyard creek, washing his jeans.

The Topanga Canyon resident found a distraught Christian Julian Irwin saying he feared he was being pursued by Nigerians who had contacted him in an Internet scam, sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy said. Peavy said there was no evidence anyone was actually pursuing the 48-year-old producer, who has worked with Carly Simon and David Bowie, among others.

Irwin was taken into custody because he was deemed mentally incompetent and possibly dangerous to himself, Peavy said. He was found at about 4:30 p.m. and agreed to go with police about two hours later after negotiations in which authorities, at Irwin's request, located his sister to help calm him.

Irwin was questioned by medical and mental health workers and taken to a hospital to make sure he was in good physical health. He was to be transferred to another hospital for observation.

Authorities began looking for Irwin on Sunday after he made a panicked phone call to a friend, saying he was being pursued by people with dogs. He told his friend he was running through water and had lost his glasses and shoes in a creek.

Topanga Canyon, a rustic area long a favorite with artists and musicians, is about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains.


you know,

it's a bad thing, if not a heinous one, to revel in someone else's
problems, especially if it's mental illness, because it hits so close to
home in so many ways ...

but i have to tell you, i love the fact he thinks he was being pursued
by internet scam nigerians ...

let's see i've totally lost it and my mind is running wild ... what's
the thing i fear most? ... the VERY most? ... it needs to be evil ...
really evil ... something's after me, i can feel it ... it's not freddy
kruger ... it's not the i.r.s. ... i don't *think* it's that hairband --
who was it? yeah, fastway ... i don't think so ... but i can feel the danger
... what is it?

I KNOW WHAT IT IS. IT'S THOSE GODDAMN NIGERIANS AND THEIR INTERNET SCAM. GODDAMN THEM. THEY'RE AFTER ME. THEY WANT MY MONEY. they call me "friend" and tell me to help them expedite money and they'll give me a percentage BUT THEY DON'T MEAN IT. i've deleted their emails before BUT THEY KEEP COMING BACK. a few months pass and BOOM THERE THEY ARE AGAIN.

i know. i know. they probably SMELL me. they do that. space aliens
do that too -- god knows i don't need that again. not now. but if i
take my clothes off and go to the creek, i'll be safer. the Good Things
are there. the Good Things will help. i'll need to make a wide path
around those fake rolexes, and those home loans and all that viagra, but i'll make it. and i'll be SAFE.

August 26, 2005

never debate someone when you can go for personal attacks instead

the following are in response to this site:, where a woman manages to essentially slur both the japanese and haiku.

speaking of haiku
in inane and stupid ways
makes me want to puke

there's an idiot
who speaks of haiku usage
through a large sphincter

peg kay hit her head
and split her skull wide open
feces were inside

a woman named peg
has some interesting genes
being part jackass

when peg kay is dead
they'll plant a tree in her name
i will pee on it

there's a special place
for those people like peg kay
near hemorrhoid cream

in heaven there's god
in hell there is the devil
in peg kay there's dumb

frogs will plague the earth
things will be unbearable
get a fork, peg kay

my name is peg kay
i like talking down to kids
and humping stray dogs

i have a web page
where i spend time lecturing
who knows about what

special delivery
for a woman named "peg kay"
a red ass to kiss

peg kay can't sue me
for what i've written on here
haiku has no point

click here for more of b1-66er's world

August 25, 2005

haiku of the moment

life is much better
if you're the recipient
of a caring touch

August 24, 2005

haiku of the moment

is it good or bad
to sate your bodily needs
with cup-o-ramen

sic 'em, robots

i use a t-mobile sidekick, partially because i helped bring it to life, but mostly because it makes my life better at a level that's hard to imagine.

what isn't as great is two "gentlemen" have taken to spamming me lately, both with t-mail accounts ... and the sidekick doesn't have a built-in spam filter ...

of course those things that are weaknesses are also strengths, so here's to you:


oh, and PLEASE, if anyone seeing this would like to add them to mailing lists of any type, feel free to do so -- i'm sure they'd appreciate the love and attention.

enjoy your electronic lives, fred and drake.


an old college roommate, who grew up in denver, asked me what i remembered about "scrubbing," a form of hazing that was common in schools, but looked down upon by the social communities, in the 70's.

part of the reason i started this blog was to catch these types of exchanges so we'll see how this goes ...


my memory fades on all this stuff, but i remember the possibilities as being scrubbed by 7th graders ("sevvies") on the last day of 6th grade class (which was no problem for me, because i lived across the street from the school ground) ... and then getting scrubbed by the 9th graders when you were in 7th grade -- again i remember that event being attached to the last day of school.

getting "pantsed" (having your pants forcibly taken off) was considered to be a real possibility (i seem to remember that happening to a friend of mine), as was getting your mouth washed out with soap, or getting lipsticked (i saw a kid who'd gotten that once). getting an extreme version of what was in our neighborhood called a "chinese sam" (what others called a "wedgie" or a "melvin") was part and parcel of the affair, and it was understood that you'd just generally get roughed-up -- possibly severely -- as part of the deal.

it was, essentially, a medium form of psychological terrorism ... and the pre-pubescent need to just-get-along, crossed with the rumor mill of the 12 year old social set, made the whole thing pretty goddamn daunting.

unlike the act of smashing pumpkins (which at the time i felt was unbelievably destructive of personal property, but i now think of as kind of funny, if not outright endearing), i still think of scrubbing as heinous. i was a tiny, geeky kid -- shortest in my class, always *sitting* on the floor in the front row for photos -- and i got picked on mercilessly. scrubbing was the jewel in the crown of abuse, and mine was somewhat bigger than most thanks to my binge-alcoholic father (who may-or-may-not have been drunk when i walked through the door at my safe-haven of home).

remember, i went to the jeffco schools, not denver ... so i'm sure it was a bit different where i was.

and even though i was never scrubbed; i feared it, i dreaded it, and i'm glad those times are passed.

August 23, 2005

me and robert moog

several years ago i worked at apple computer as their human interface evangelist ... one of the highest profile positions amongst the lame(r) rank-and-file jobs at the company -- it involved a lot of public speaking and dealing with third party developers ... the gist of all work involved the concept of making software and hardware easier to use -- a surprisingly interesting, subtle and deep concept ... if you excluded the weirdness in supervision that came from the head of our department (a drug-addled 60's casualty who was uncertain of what he was doing) it was fun and interesting work.

fads come and go in computing and the flavor of that time was speech: both speech synthesis (text-to-speech) and speech recognition. speech was the type of software that stood out both in its ability to seem like magic, and its uncanny way of making you want to destroy everything in sight when it didn't work right. it was *just* stable enough that it'd go wrong only after you were pretty convinced that it was now okay to use.

at one point i needed to get some information from kurzweil a.i. -- they were doing cutting edge phonemic work in speech synthesis and i was trying to dig up some information for engineering getting apple's to work better. (just for the record, it wasn't corporate spy stuff, it was collaboration.)

i'd been batted around departments for several days before getting in a l-o-n-g phone conversation with the *perfect* guy at kurzweil. after nearly two hours he'd given me everything i needed to know, as well as some good ideas for further analysis and thought.

in closing i said, "hey, this has been a GREAT conversation. you're exactly the guy i've been wanting to talk to. thanks so much for your time. can i get your name in case i need to call you back for any follow-up stuff."

"sure. it's bob. moog. m-o-o-g."

i'm scribbling the information down half-absent-mindedly in my quadrille notebook and borderline-mumbling back at him, "moog ... hmm ... that's funny ... you have the same last name as the guy that invented the synthesizer ... " and as i'm saying this i'm thinking ... i've been talking to a guy in synthesis ... and where the hell *is* robert moog these days? ... i remember something about him being with some sound companies ... i go on "... only his first name is rober ... JESUS CHRIST, YOU'RE ROBERT MOOG!" ... i'm now red-lining and have lost any sense of cool, head gaskets will blow in under ten seconds.

he laughs, "it's been a long time since i've had that kind of reaction."

i gurgle something about being sorry and how great a man i thought he was and how i knew who he was when i was six and how i was a *huge* fan and how i was sorry and how i loved the song "popcorn" and about another two minutes of high-speed blather that i'm sure only i could understand and then i ended it with being sorry.

he laughed some more, "you can call anytime. we don't have to talk about speech stuff."

now lying on the floor with my feet in the air, taking deep breaths, and watching the ceiling spin, i said, "i'm not sure that's a good idea." i've met a lot of famous people, many of them in very strange situations, and i'm usually very cool with it all, but a couple of times i've lost it. and even though this isn't exactly "meeting" robert moog, it was the worst case of "star struck" i'd ever had.

and though this isn't the point of the story, it doesn't mean it's not worth saying: robert moog was a great man and he helped make this a more interesting world. we all wish we could only do as well.

big neon glitter

haiku of the moment

circuits are droning
a sad electronic dirge
for robert moog's death

bug as wide as my foot -- las vegas

unexpected slot machine -- henderson

August 22, 2005

haiku of the moment

black and white -- all dark
sparks in an old fashioned way
bride of frankenstein
good line to remember for later: the mute and squelch of kids

August 21, 2005

haiku of the moment

there are things that change
but one truth overrides all
sequels aren't as good

August 20, 2005

starting haiku

an end and a start
both marked a familiar way
with a big ol' bang