Sunday, January 24, 2010


Congressman Alan Grayson is my hero!
“The Supreme Court in essence has ruled that corporations can buy elections. If that happens, democracy in America is over. We cannot put the law up for sale, and award government to the highest bidder.” Congressman Grayson said.
Grayson has proposed a series of 5 laws to counter the reactionary ruling by the Supreme Court.
1) The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431): Implements a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.
2) The Public Company Responsibility Act (H.R. 4435): Prevents companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.
3) The End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434): Prevents for-profit corporations that receive money from the government from making political contributions, and limits the amount that employees of those companies can contribute.
4) The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act (H.R. 4432): Requires publicly-traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than to promoting their products and services.
5) The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433): Applies antitrust law to industry PACs.
GRAYSON: "SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY" | Congressman Alan Grayson, Representing the 8th District of Florida

Illuminated GE floor tile - detail

The GE Healthcare datacenter in Milwaukee has a very cool illuminated floor tile.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

25 Things about me from Facebook

I am such a sucker...
  1. I am such a sucker.
  2. Music is very important to me and I like most kinds. Even some country. I have to thank my Dad for my love of Johnny Cash but my friend Joe for my love of Rush.
  3. I can remember obscure lines from obscure movies better than I can the birthdays of my nieces and nephews. It's sad...
  4. I take Prozac (but I don't inhale)
  5. I am impatient in restaurants to the point of spousal irritation. Slow or indifferent service drives me batshit. As a former waiter, it is my right to be this way.
  6. I once used the urinal next to Tom Jones in a dinner theater in Connecticut. He's short.
  7. My best friend when I was 12 was the drummer for Soul Asylum. Now he and his wife run a little store in Ely, Minnesota way up north.
  8. I love Paris, New York, Chicago and Hyderabad. I adore India...
  9. I'm a Buddhist, and an atheist, and a freethinker.
  10. I secretly like my job, though you'll never hear me admit it
  11. I've been known to write a poem or two
  12. I miss my Dad (he died of pancreatic cancer in 1996)
  13. I'm stridently non-superstitious but I still "knock on wood". Sue me.
  14. I flirt shamelessly with waitresses. Really, any woman who brings me food.
  15. I abhor violence but love violent movies, especially movies about WWII.
  16. I am leading a Gil Scott Heron revival. The man knew what he was talking about.
  17. I love archaeology and the memories of doing field work. But I hate field work when I'm doing it.
  18. I agree with Oscar Wilde when he said "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." This is why I would have dinner with Genghis Khan but I would not have dinner with the Pope.
  19. Baseball, as a game and an artifact of history, is the closest thing to perfection-on-Earth, steroids or no steroids.
  20. I know that Han Solo shot first. Suck on it, Lucas.
  21. Secretly wish I had a brother. I love my sisters to death, but I wish I knew what it was like to have a brother. I'll never know. And that makes me sad.
  22. My biggest political fear is that Obama is not liberal enough!
  23. I hate fishing and hunting. Wisconsin is clearly the wrong state for me.
  24. I secretly believe that aliens walk among us.
  25. I no longer strive to excel. I strive to endure.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Carl Sandburg

I've always loved the poems of Carl Sandburg. But I never really knew much about the man. So I had a meeting cancel on me this afternoon and I took a peek at Wikipedia's entry for him only to discover what an utterly fascinating man he was.
Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois to Swedish immigrants. At the age of thirteen he left school and began driving a milk wagon. He subsequently became a bricklayer and a farm laborer on the wheat plains of Kansas. After an interval spent at Lombard College in Galesburg, he became a hotel servant in Denver, then a coal-heaver in Omaha. He began his writing career as a journalist for the Chicago Daily News. Later he wrote poetry, history, biography, novels, children's literature, and film reviews. Sandburg also collected and edited books of ballads and folklore. He spent most of his life in the Midwest before moving to North Carolina.

Sandburg fought in the Spanish-American War with the 6th Illinois Infantry, and participated in the invasion of Guánica, Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898. He attended West Point for just two weeks, for failing mathematics and a grammar exam. Sandburg returned to Galesburg and entered Lombard College, but left without a degree in 1903.

He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and joined the Social Democratic Party. Sandburg served as a secretary to Mayor Emil Seidel, mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912; Seidel was the first person to be elected mayor of a U.S. city on a socialist platform.

Sandburg met Lilian Steichen at the Social Democratic Party office in 1907, and they married the next year. Lilian's brother was the photographer Edward Steichen. Sandburg with his wife, whom he called Paula, raised three daughters.

Sandburg moved to Harbert, Michigan, and then suburban Chicago, Illinois. They lived in Evanston, Illinois before settling at 331 S. York Street in Elmhurst, Illinois from 1919 to 1930. Sandburg wrote three children's books in Elmhurst, Rootabaga Stories, in 1922, followed by Rootabaga Pigeons (1923), and Potato Face (1930). Sandburg also wrote Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, a two volume biography in 1926, The American Songbag (1927), and a book of poems Good Morning, America (1928) in Elmhurst. The family moved to Michigan in 1930. The Sandburg's house at 331 S. York Street, Elmhurst was demolished and the site is now a parking lot.

He moved to a Flat Rock, North Carolina estate, Connemara, in 1945 and lived there until his death in 1967.

Sandburg supported the civil rights movement, and contributed to the NAACP.
Too cool! He lived in Milwaukee and was a Socialist! How awesome is that???

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I remember putting stars on your ceiling
One afternoon. And we lay there in bed
That night looking at our very own cosmos
Twinkling in your dark bedroom

Later, we went outside and
Lay on the grass
Our backs moist with spring dew
And we looked at the stars
The real stars
And held hands
And cried
Because you were leaving
To follow your dreams
So far away
That I could not follow

You were my dream
But I wasn't yours
And because of that
I had to let go
It was as if
I never had you
In the first place

In an instant you were gone
And I lay there on the wet grass
And watched your plane fly

And I cried and I laughed
And I wanted to be with you
But this could never be
As you followed your dreams
And left me behind

Poetry Assignment: Tattoo


"Do you like it?"
"I guess."
"It's cool."
"Is it?"
"Yeah, it is."
"'Cause it's a tiger."
"It is?"
"Hell yes, it's a tiger."
"Ok, if you say so."
"What do you mean?"
"If you say it's a tiger
it's a tiger."
"Damn right it is."
"Whatever you say, Steph."
"Fuck you, Daphnie."
"Thanks, Steph."
"Aren't you getting one?"
"No, I don't think so."
"No, it's not for me."
"You're chicken."
"No, I'm not chicken."
"Yes you are. You are."
"I wasn't chicken when
we got our labias pierced."

All the while the needle
Buzzed, the ink flowed,
And the artist wiped away
The blood. The tiger,
For that's what it was,
Emerged from her shoulder.
Like Michelangelo and
His blocks of marble
Carving away what shouldn't
Be there, the tattoo
Artist revealed what was
Already hiding just
Beneath her skin.

Poetry Assignment: Phone Book

Not for the easily offended... You have been warned!

Room Service
for cb

I strolled down the hallway
with Ed's wife Sara, her eyes

Together but not together
scatterings of early room
service litter the hallway
bits of old food cling
to chipped hotel china
my stomach rolled

Into the room, silent
undressed under dim
fluorescent light
that cast a pallor over
Sara's pale skin

Sara, her 110 pounds naked
bent in half before me
"Do it!"
I hit her ass with my hand,
hard. And again. And again.

"Hit me!" she screamed
"Harder, you fuck!"
hands clench ankles,
her tight body bent double,
tits dangling from her
chest, swaying gently,
her bare ass flushed
with blows already

From the desk, I grab
a phone book in both hands
and wind up for another shot at
that perfect, round ass. The
sound of contact
paper on flesh
echos off the
dingy walls.

Anonymous paintings by
anonymous painters
gaze down impassively
while we dance
our potent ritual.
"Fucking pussy! I said HARDER!".
"Oh God, YES! YES!
Fuck YES!"

Casting the paper weapon aside I
rammed my stiff cock into her as
far as it would go.

I catch sight of the phone book
laying open on the floor
to the restaurant section.
it's pages a subtle, erotic V

Moving rhythmically
in and out
in and out
in and out
the smell of our sex swirled
around us, cloying, intoxicating,
breathing harder
and harder
and harder

"How about Chinese?"
She moans a vague agreement.
My body shudders as I come hard
inside her.

"Kung Pao Chicken," she gasps.