Wednesday, December 31, 2008

words fail me as 2008 ends.

the yin and yang of the 2008 to 2009 cusp seemed to require some comment. then the classic dickens, 'it was the best of times, etc.' popped into my mind. i factchecked my recollection and found the whole quote was more than worthy of repeat. so today i offer it followed by a wonderful youtube piece. together they speak to my thoughts and mixed emotions today.

'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we are all going direct to heaven, we are all going the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities on its being received for good or evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.' Charles Dickens, the opening words of A Tale of Two Cities written in 1859 imagining the days of the french revolution some 70 years before.

New Lang Syne 2008 [Thank god It's Over]

Courtesy of Larry 'avguy' at filmstrips original:

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

DECEMBER 28, 2008, AND I AM 66
its 7:30ish and a small but nice sunrise follows a yesterday rain.
the year seems determined to blow my mind up to the very end and my birthday morn continues to provide the agonies and ecstasies which i suppose define life. i wish for my friend john who soon will get to go home from the hospital in denver after surgery that is the first part of treatment for a condition we didnt know he had until a week or so ago. and my thomas is home from denver beginning a long regime of physical therapy from the wreck that took his mother from us. the family continues give both warmth and fears that dealing with its agonies will be part of my personal and legal job description until the end.

in the end i am above all still here because of - or in spite of - my factory second body. and i suspect i will still cling hard to my determination to find joy and beauty everywhere and every day. and i bet life will continue to support my plan and make it a challenge.
so today i begin with the always wonderful cbs sunday morning show. and i read my email and find my distant friend jen has published her pengotoon today rather than on saturday and every part of it feels like it was written for me:
happy whatever day it is to you world.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

senior music videos +
here's three animated videos that are - dare i use the words - oldtime sweet. first two music videos. then one not so oficially musical that allows about as much romance as i can enjoy these days. their common source is a place called frogprintz that might be somewhere in texas.

amphibian blues

nite cafe

a time for love

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xmas day 2008. bernie and i have been cooking the official meal very slowly and deliberately. it seemed like a good time to organize my 2008 penguin pics and publish them. so i decided a slideshow added here would do so and allow those less enamored of penguins to look quickly and get a giggle or two. the problem is this required me to learn and practice. and it turns out i'm gonna have to do just a little more learning and trying so for now i can only offer a quick link to my slide show. but i'll keep working on getting it over here for easy viewing.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


a new york time editorial strikes me as a nice 40 year lookback appropriate for the beginning of a 'holiday season' that leaves me not quite sure what or how much i want to think. so i offer this along with a special greeting to some friends who aren't here with me in okie land at the moment - thomas littlebird, john canny, tommie rose cravatt, tom and kathy hoffman.

December 24, 2008

Forty years ago today, the crew of Apollo 8 gave the planet what this page called “an ennobling Christmas present.” The astronauts — Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders — orbited the Moon, beaming pictures home in two live broadcasts, one in the morning and one later that evening. They read the first verses of Genesis, then signed off. “Goodbye. Goodnight,” Colonel Borman said. “Merry Christmas. God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

Much has been made of the well-timed solace that the broadcasts gave at the end of a horrific year. From Vietnam to the Middle East to the streets of Paris, Mexico City and across the United States, the view from the ground was bloody and bleak. But not the view from afar.

“To see the earth as it truly is,” wrote Archibald Macleish on Page A1 of The Times, “small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now they are truly brothers.”

Ah, optimism. This page felt it keenly, likening Apollo 8 to the discoveries of fire and the wheel. Our editorial looked ahead to the moon landing in 1969, then to the building of moon bases that would be a steppingstone for manned voyages to the planets, “even to distant Pluto.”

It hasn’t worked out that way. Humans have outdone themselves with unmanned spacecraft, of course, sending probes far beyond distant Pluto. But manned space flight quickly went down a dead end, with an aptly named shuttle making trips to an orbital parking lot about 240 miles up. (Apollo 8’s voyage to the Moon was 240,000 miles, one way).

War, poverty, disease, genocide are still with us. Humans have not evolved beyond greed and foolishness.

The world may never again be able to gaze at its photo with awestruck wonder. But two startlingly fresh images of our planet come to mind. The first is the virtual globe that appears when you open Google Earth. The planet as information tool, waiting to fly you anywhere you choose. The other is a haunting image from the movie “Wall-E” of a brown husk left lifeless by consumption.

The real Earth seen from the Moon is surely as lovely as ever, even with thinner ice caps, smaller forests, fewer gorillas and tigers and a few billion more people. We are still brothers and sisters in the eternal cold, but increasingly connected by invisible threads, able to see — and hear and understand — one another as never before. That, at least, is reason for optimism.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

friday nite and team penguin works quietly to prepare for saturday

somewhere in new york state, jen, the world's most dedicated penguin computer artist prepares the cartoon that will bring joy to her fans on saturday morning. we've never met and probably never will but we each enjoy the other's expression of appreciation of penguins. it seems the least i can do is a little penguin inserting while she does the same but with originality.

actually i probably should consider the holiday season a celebration of penguins. i don't really qualify for hanukkah, christmas or kwanzaa. but it is the time when the penguins appear magically everywhere. so why not offer up some of my own.

first i lead you to jen's blog site that shows both this week's cartoons and some of the wonderful and usually hilarious penguin products she sells online.

then i offer one youtube evil penguin xmas thing and two ads with nice penguin tales. the bbc ad offers the penguin fantasy - flying. the guiness is a special story 2 penguin buddies with a nice surprise ending. at the bottom of youtube you can end up watching related videos there are links to other related videos just like you you were viewing the video directly on youtube. these are not part of my official show but the guiness ad leads you to two of my favorites which i can recommend - the penguin mother on the ice with her yellow [?] chicks and the penguin and the ostrich. if you liked the evil penguin one you might well get into some of the other down on christmas videos like 'depressing times funny christmas card' and the country classic ' dammit i'm vixen.

i'll offer an link to a mastercard christmas ad with a penguin star even tho they have the bad taste to keep youtube from allowing them to circulate the ad. sounds like more free advertising to me, but i don't have a mastercard. to quote my words to master card in the comments section on youtube: 'there's some things you don't need money to buy.'

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

the original green
i noticed back when that its was hard for people who were within a few generations of the irish homeland to decide what it meant to be an irish american is. one place i heard consecutive singing of 'give ireland back to the irish' and 'god bless america'. in oklahoma its more clearly fiction or fantasy to claim to be irish. its like the folks who claim indan based on their 'heritage'.

so i'm a happy irish lover without claiming i are one. i go for the joys given me in irish fiction, music, movies, political passions and views of the land.
in that spirit i offer you a chance to hear broadcasts from radio ireland. originally i had the little video itself but they seem to be recycling the same shows so i'm going to change to just offering the link to get you there: So far this hasn't worked as a link so for the moment i'll put the url in and you can cut and paste if necessary:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the new plan and clifton chenier

newest plan. write something everyday if possible and clean it up later as necessary. get an email way to send out alerts until i can find a better way.

decided to look for some background evening for my night and thought of zydeco. its an old love of mine. one of the nicer live moments in my history was hearing rosie ledet at the no longer existing teddy's.

today what i found was a web site called zydeco online which offered music online and an homage to clifton chenier on the anniversary of his passing - transitioning - with a video. check out site and the video if i can get it on for your pleasure

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Monday, December 15, 2008

penguin games

penguins have always been the subject of games on the internet. the cute thing seems to bring out something strange in game makers except for those who actually like children. there is also a regular tendency to make the classic mistake - mixing polar bears and penguins even tho exist only on opposite poles
today i offer a few of the more fun and/or most notorious. for you non pengophiles consider showing them to your younger grandchildren and then maybe play them secretly if you want.

poke the penguin. this really isn't a game - just a little bit of fun and minor tension relief. i'm trying to add it directly to this thing but the html the website tells me to add is rejuected here. [help anyone?]

slide the penguin and other games. yesterday i happened on a new site with a bunch of penguin games and the unlikely name, here's a link to a simple game which i haven't yet learned slide the penguin:
search the site for 'penguin' from the home page and you can find 13 more with thirteen different images of penguins. at least one contains the mandatory polar bear and another allows you to help the penguin deal with the effects of global warning. The description of the most interesting: Do you have what it takes to save the world from an Alien Invasion dedicated to stopping Christmas?

yetisports alias pingu throw. this is perhaps the most famous penguin game of all times and the most imitated and stolen. it even has its own wikipedia entry. unfortunately the penguins [pingus] do not do well at all. they are battered and tossed about unmercifully. but it is the most famous pengin game.
Yetisports (also known as Pingu Throw) is a web-based Flash game that originally appeared on the Internet in January 2004. The goal of the original game is to have a yeti smack a penguin with a club and try to get it fly as far as possible. The original Yetisports game features no name other than the words "1978 Reinhold + Yeti", a reference to Reinhold Messner's claim to have found Yetis.
The game is humorous and addictive at the same time and therefore very popular on the Internet. Very soon after release, there was a quick succession of many variants created by multiple people on the internet. None of these are officially sponsored by Chris Hilgert, even though many copy the original almost exactly save certain small changes
. [Wikipedia]
Here's the link to the real yeti sports site:
Play on mcduffs - i'm sure there will be more nominees in the future.

Friday, December 12, 2008

pictures at my own exhibition
i've sometimes hoped that our brains function somewhat like computers and our memories are simply files buried out of our immediate reach. i fantasize that someone will find a way to allow me to internally replay the feelings of those special moments in my life that i recall but don't actually remember. the computer model suggests to me a way but i have no real idea if my guess is right or possible 'in our lifetime'. its for the moment simply a nice 'logical fantasy'.
and then on the same day i happen on two relevant stories. first i read that '[japanese] researchers ... have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor.' the scientists are said to imagine the benign use of the technology for assisting the creative processes and therapy.
and then i happen on a blog in something called adlab which had also reported the first story earlier. these guys tell me that that '[american] scientists have developed a computerised mind-reading technique which lets them accurately predict the images that people are looking at by using scanners to study brain activity. the study raises the possibility in the future of the technology being harnessed to visualise scenes from a person's dreams or memory.' [emphasis in the original as i say in lawyer things]
perchance will my fantasy be made real by modern science? will scientists go on from accessing files currently open in my brain to the stored ones? will i get to see or feel my own replays? probably my grandchildren will but here's the rub. the scientists imagine the display on a public monitor: i'm not even sure i want any kind of display at all - just something that allows my brain to do a replay. and the public display of my - or anyone's secret memories - obviously leads to possibilities that my anti-paranoid self finds scary. advertising and social scientists look forward to the brave new worlds suggested but i'm afraid the price for my fantasy might be too high to pay. i hope my grandchildren notice.

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