Wednesday, August 22, 2018

111


Let’s TRY THE TRICKLE DOWN APPROACH
The media is making noise again about how the mini house will save the day and eliminate the homeless folks. They even went so far as to show a rendering of several such tiny house on a large lot on a nice flat area. Someone doesn't understand the process of any kind of housing as the site cost and lot can be even more than the cost of the little house.  Think about it, a tiny house for one person will pay the same amount for the sewer hook-ups and rates as a large family in a large house. Not my idea).This may sound like some Socialistic concept but let’s face facts. In a Communist regime, the government would own it. ; What would you call our Social Security system? Our Medicare System?  Susidized housing? Food Stamps?, Schools?  Etc.  The same thing goes for the rest of the utilities to a lesser degree (Power, Water, Gas, Cable, etc.). Someone better add in the costs of the streets, storm drains, sidewalks,water & sewer. etc. as you don't think the authorities will be able to just put in dirt roads do you? How about the cost of the actual land? Someone owns it at first , don’t they?
     Maybe we should approach the problem from a different direction, like from the earning capacity of an individual.  Let’s see how far $15 an hour gets us.
 $15x 10days = 150 a day x 6 days = 900 A WEEK.  
X 4= 3600 a month,
 X 12= $43,200 A YEAR.
   That would be OK if no taxes were taken out & no Health ins. and   Day care was free.      Consider 1/3rd of that($1200/Month) for rent .
Maya Codex

BOOK REVIEW
MAYA by Diego de Landa  Account of the Affairs of Yucatan in the mid-1500’s. (Warning;  This padre is a poor writer and is very boring! But it’s all pretty interesting.)
                Translation by A. R. Pagden in 1976
Diego de Landa, The Catholic missionary who served in Yucatan in the 1500’s was largely responsible for the destruction of most of the breakable or flammable Maya artifacts, but at the same time, he wrote about the culture of the original Mexicans, which gives us a are view of the every  day life of the people and their practices while at the same time he describes the terrible treatment by the Spaniards trying to overlay their religion on a culture they considered inferior to theirs.  You can actually get a grasp of their Codex, kind of a herrogliphics like Egyptian , but very different.

                                                               
Toshiro MafuniMYAMOTO  MUSASHI   by Euji Yoshifawa
Toshiro Mafuni
   The story of Japans’ greatest swordsman, he was renown for his prowess probably due the movie , (1956) starring Toshiro Mafune, the perfect fit for such an enigma.  To while away his time while in prison for three yrears, Mushashi  studued painitng and poetry to balance his brutal strength This is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. Subtle and imaginative, it is teeming with memorable characters,, many of them historical. It transmit a clear picture of the way of the Samuari, interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, and absolute dedication to the ‘way of the Samurai,’ it depicts a world We westerners know only vaguely, full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal.
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ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCOO NEST    by Ken Kesey
   Americans (USA) don’t generally like reading stories about the Hero who dies or is killed at the end , bur Kesey is not of that genre. You’ve probably all seen the move, featuring Nicholson and the awsome ‘Nurse Ratched’ but there is so much more going on in everyones head (especially ‘Chief’s ,the supposedly deaf & dumb Indian with the mop & bucket) . Kesey’s description of MacMurty  is writing at it’s best. Kesey had gained a lot of insight due to his having worked in a nut-house in Oregon, and it shows.
                         
FALL FASHIONS
Hangmans' Bolo
   My initial offering for my FALL Collection is my version of the Bolo tie. As I believe we have gone overboard , wearing expensive,  idiotic ties., my first is a miniature version of a hanging noose.   Of  course, I would like to use a better quality rope and maybe a couple of silver end pieces, this model will have to do as my introduction to the world of fashion.   Stay tuned for my summer shirt with the ¾ sleeves, soon to be revealed.

FROM TOM WOLF
   “I went to see the the  Beatles….And I heard 20,0000 girls screaming together…. And I couldn’t hear what they were screaming, either…. But you don’t have to …They’re screaming Me !  Me !  Me !... I’m Me !... And that’s why wars get fought….”
                             

HUGO GROTIUS
  While in the medieval town of Delft in the Netherlands, we wondered who the statue was in front of the huge church (The ‘New’ church was built in the 13th century.) The name of Hugo Grotius didn’t mean much to us until we asked a lawyer friend when we returned to the US. It seems he was an international figure even in the 16th century as Holland was always at war with someone and he wrote volumes regarding International High Seas Navigation and use. Grotius notion of the freedom of the seas would persist until mid-20th century, and continues to be applied even to this day for much of the high seas, though the application of the concept and the scope of it’s reach is changing.  He was jailed for his writings on Church theory but escaped in a
trunk to France where he was welcomed.  He is probably more famous for his trunk escape than his writings.

Modular moveable plant

Plant all packed

                                                
FARM HOUSING
 since everyone is caught up talking about mini-housing, modular-housing and farm housing  I
Thought I'd unwrap a thirty year old study of housing farm workers that I did for a corporation that was not able to get the concept off the drawing boards. By that time, I had designed and initiated at least two modular plants that actually constructed housing units. 
  The concept was that a modular plant capable of building a minimum of 25 units cold be designed to be portable on just a few trucks and set up near an area that needed farm housing, for permanent homes. The units would be of the same design and would be financed by large growers. And not just seasonal housing. Each grower might need two or so units for his operation , primarily for his managers and family. You would have to go to my seasonal workers housing consisting of wood platforms with theft structures or seasonal workers, such as harvesters for your crop.   I won the contract due to my actual experience with building modular 3D  (three Dimensional) units, even selling  one company to Ford Motor Co.. My mobile p[lant took inspiration from circus workers clever packing of their various components and materials on trucks and trailers. My plant was based on about four trailers that unfolded into various aspects of the plant line, it's and even the entire covered structure, including fencing. Semi-skilled workers would be sourced from local labor markets, where skilled foremen would be an integral part of the package.
3 bedroom, one bath
  There is a lot of exposure about 'Modular Housing' these days, but if you dig deeper into it all, you will notice most of it is for million dollar homes and although it does save a few months of construction time, it may cost more than conventional housing. 

3 BR, 1 B, for family c. 1980
MINI--HOUSING (OR TINY HOMES)
  Also there is a lot of noise about Mini-housing, but certainly not much done about it. We Americans (North America) have an aversion to living in  small, multi-story housing, unlike the Europeans, who can rent you a well designed unit for an amount you can afford.
  Here in the USA we order why so many families can't afford even older rental units and I believe it's due to the fact we  haven’t looked at the problem from the upper end, in other words, How much does a family have to earn in order to pay for a minimum place to. Live?
  In other words, "Let's take it from the top" .
  Let's begin with how much we can earn, starting with the magic $15 an hour.
If I work 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, I can make $720 a week.( Let's not take anything out of his check right now). That's $2,880 a month. Let's say 1/2 goes to rent or $1440 a month. Maybe that works for you in the Deep South, but you cannot even  get a studio here for that in the Western market area. That may work for a single person, but add a couple of kids into the equation, it doesn’t' look good. But what if there was free kid care ? Then the parent could actually make it, but the care  center would have to consider maybe opening earlier and closing later.

HAVE I MENTIONED ?
That a guy named Garoppolo is paid about $30 million each year? He’s a football or baseball player!  And he’s playing a game all us kids played in junior High school!  Do you think a good teacher earns that much in the USA? Just kidding!

GRAFFITI
 On a lighter side, the Eropeans have a great sense of humor, adding a few notes to their One-Way signs.                                     







Saturday, July 21, 2018

110 Ruminations


Calatrava in Venizia

For the Crippled in Venezia
BRIDGES OF EUROPE

ROCKER BASCULE - Belgean Canal
Old Swing Bridge, Belgean Canal
Firth of Forth, Scotland
Old Style Bridge
Pedestrian over Canal



Milleau Viaduct, France



     One of our first priorities when we went to Europe about eleven times was to be sure to investigate at least one major engineering project. Most of these were bridges but some were others, especially when we got to Holland.  The small bridges over the canals were all over the place but the Dutch engineered devised a sort of balanced type that one person could operate. That's like the one Van Gogh, the mother of all bridges. But we rented a barge and traveled over several canals of the continent and once in a while, you just have to stop when you see one ahead, and say "What they fuck is that?" On the canal near Brugge,(A)  there is a new bridge that basically rocks on a couple of arm and lifts the roadway up high enough for the boats to pass under. It's a strange feeling, calling the controller and they stop all traffic, even at rush hour, to let our small barge through. Another one is older, (B) but swings up sideways to get the clearance. But it drives me nuts, when I can't figure out how the designers integrated the  interface with the road, same thing  with the ( Falkirk Wheel, a mechanical device that replaced about 11 locks, which took a lot of time and effort to get through, and replace it with a giant "Ferris Wheel' utilizing the forever cleverness of the Scots engineers. But that's another story) The   Venetians have lived for hundreds of years with one or two bridges, but now they needed a fourth one due to increase of the hordes of tourists there. It had to be very unabtrusive, of coarse, so they hired Calatrava to design a slim pedestrian bridge over he Grand Canal next to the Gare. The Architect Calatrava, who does not bother with such details as Budgets, managed to throw one across the canal, but due to the use of steps (Glass, of course) they had to add a Gondola for the infirm to ride across alongside the bridge. Couldn't they just have a hired porter to help them across, instead of the millions pent on this which still requires someone 12 hours a day to help run it?  Well, the French seem to have mote sense and recently hired The architect Foster (British) to design the most beautiful and functional bridge in the world, the Milleau Viaduct.. This made the main highway from Paris to Nice or Marseille a beautiful experience in contrast to the horrifying road that had to go down into the little town of Milleau (Me-You) which always took dozens of lives each year. I just have to add that the cost was only 700 Million, in comparison to the new San Francisco Bay span, which cost about five Billion to complete, and about four times as long. 
Uxmal in Yucatan 1965
THE MAYA IN YUCATAN
   I made a trip to Yucatan in the mid 1960's , as a client wanted me to see how his house weathered a hurricane off he coast of Belize, Honduras, an English colony at the time. Sure enough, when I got to their side of the river, There stood a small guardhouse with a couple of straight-laced British guards, shorts and all, with rifles.  Belize was hit hard by the hurricane and the roof of the small movie theatre was blown off, which gave me carte blanche to anything playing as I rented a small room next door overlooking the devastation.  After renting a small boat (think 'African Queen' and. Perusing the island, I determined my friend's house was pretty much intact but on the neighbor's lot. Miraculously, it was the only house that survived on that Island. But that's not my story here, as I wanted to rant about  how the Catholic missionary, Diego de Landa, destroyed most of the Maya artifacts, as they were in direct conflict with the teaching of the Church. Anything that was breakable or flammable he ordered destroyed. Fortunately , a  couple of  Codex's (Hieroglyphic documents) survived and scholars were able in time, decipher them. As a sidelight, when my daughters went to Cancun for fun and games, ,I didn't think find it on my maps as it wasn't there yet.
Across street from Colosseum


GREAT MOMENTS IN EUROPE
  I''ve been writing about how some bummer times happen when traveling but I should relate a couple of great moments ha occurs once in a while that make it all worthwhile.
THE GREAT RESTAURANT EXPUNGING.
  On Joy and I's first trip to Rome, we had just experienced the giant colosseum and found a nice Ristorante across the street on the second floor of an old building. Being American, we were the first customers to enter, so the proprietors found us a table and gave us our menus, after taking our wine order, of course. Well, is wasn't long  before his second customers arrived and were duly seated with their menus. Now these folks were obviously British subjects, a nice couple with two pre-teen children. Our waiter (Owner) stopped by to take their order, and that's when the problems began.  The couple kept trying to change the menu as they wanted certain things on each item. Now this was an Italian restaurant that served spaghetti and Italian food that probably dates back to Caesars time, and not prone to dabbling. Anyway, we could hear all the  back and forth Brauu hau that escalated into the final order , loudly said, Get out!, Please".   get out of my ristorante! You do not want to be here, as I do not want you to be here!, GET OUT! ". So they left.
   Although we were completely flabbergasted, we could do nothing but applaud this behavior of human rights to protect one's own area, to actually clapping our hands together. After all, there was no one else in the place except us, and it was quite a large place. We even ordered an extra glass of  wine or two as a solidarity measure for the rights of man.

NIGHT TRAIN TO VENICE
   While we're focused on abominable folks, they are all not British (or German) but could even be from the great state of Texas. We had reservations on the train to Venizia from Nice and duly arrived on time and found our carriage and even our compartment, even though their was a lack of custodians to direct us.  The entire binarioes (platform) was kind of quiet and it took us a while to realize we were in the middle of the dreaded 'Greve' or strike. Evening was just beginning but the lights of the train did not turn on , actually, the entire train was being enveloped in darkness.
    We managed to get onboard. And find our tiny compartment consisting of a bunk bed with ladder, and a small corner lavatory, with the . toilet and shower at the end of the car.  A loud and boisterous couple got on and immediately began complaining about how  they did things in  Texas (When you can afford it and loudly extended their Ugly American persona to everyone on the train. "Where is the attendant?, where are the lights? How are we supposed to exist in such a primitive environment?, we paid good money for this trip, do we get any of it back? (No).etc, endlessly. ) We tried to reason with them, explaining that strikes are an every day occurrence here in Europe and we have to make the most of it. Naturally, this fell in deaf ears and they thought we were some hippies from California. (Well, partly true!). The train somehow began moving, sans any concierge or attendant and still lacking in lights. Slowly, order was being restored by the time we. Got to the next town, with even the lights on and an attendant just for this car. Fortunately, the Texans we're at the other end of the car and we busied ourselves with the luxury of our own compartment, were we opened our bottle of wine, broke out some fresh cheese along with a bagette to partake of a small repast as we sped thru the night with our window all the way open, watching the small villages slip by and wonder how the engineers can switch cars so readily and  end up with the the propper amount of compartments left on the train at the end of the line. Somehow, a small, tasty breakfast was brought around shortly before we pulled into the Venezia Train station, situated right on the Canal Royal.


BOOK REVIEW:
HIROSHIMA     As the Saturday Review of Literature says ;” Everyone Able to Read Should Read it.” Author Jorhn  Hershey  has followed the lives of a few survivors of the first Atomic Bomb and later,  tells their version of the terrible things that can happen to human beings and surprisingly, how many actually survived the results of radiation. A small pocket book which you will keep and hopefully re-read.

“THE EXPLORERS”  with SIR RICHARD BURTON
  No, not the actor but one of the most controversial explorers of the late 19th century.  One of those amazing people who could readily learn to speak about 20 languages, the first non-Muslim to penetrate the Kaaba and the co-founder of the source of the Nile river , unknown until late 1800’s.  His partner was John Speke in this endeavor  fraught with many dangers.  As just an aside, Burton s’ translation of ““A Thousand and One Nights” is still the preferred one.

1924 - The year HITLER SPENT IN PRISON by Peter Range
  If you want to get inside the mind of a Mad-man, see how Hitler created himself and got the power of the German people in order to rule Europe and kill all of Jewish descent.
He had made some real progress with his agenda but was arrested and incarcerated for a few months before his Masterpiece transforming himself from  ‘Traitor’ to Hero in 1924.  After avoiding the death penalty, he spent a few more months in a posh prison before becoming the National Hero for a few years, until he killed himself (Well, someone had to do it.).  Reminded me of someone currently employed by the USA. 


Thursday, June 21, 2018

108


 
 
108 rant  & Ruminations


Earth flatenend
Earth
                                 

WE'LL MISS YOU, MR. FULLER
    Younger followers of this miserable rant probably don't remember Buckminster (Who would name their little baby "Buckminster?) but let's just call him "Bucky" Fuller., after all, I believe he was the first to remind us that Earth was "Spaceship Earth". His geodesic structures are world known. I had  even bought one second hand that was just taken down to  build on my own Top of the World in Laguna Beach. However, I needed to find some stainless steel strapping tape to pull it off, but my finances were in jeopardy and the erection was off, but my favorite invention of his was the first map of the world that did not distort the size of the  Iceland which I never could determine the relative size. But he derived the form from dividing the land masses into a  dodecahedron sphere where each continent is whole. 
                                                         
MAX HEADROOM
  The saga continues. I finally discovered the there was a whole series of 'Interviews' (The complete Series) by the TV screen but everyone forgot about the original movie. I finally located it and will give you a rundown about it soon. However, I ended up on a porno website and had difficulty getting out of it, if you know what I mean.  I did recognize the actor  Matt Frewer (Max) in a Netflix series by the Canadians called " Intelligence", which gives an interesting view of our Spy agencies (CSI, FBI, NSA, etc), currently.  Anyway, I finally tracked down a copy of the virtually unknown movie and have it on VHS. You do know what a VHS tape is, don't you? Most don't know he got his name due to his running thru a gate on a motorcycle and nearly getting killed. The barrier said 
"MAX.  HEADROOM".




A  BRIEF HISTORY OF COFFEE
  This may not be relevant to the dark stuff you load with milk, sugar and what ever, but coffee originally was a 'wake you up" system derived from earlier monasteries.  Some Europeans still drink it full strength, nothing like the watered down beverage we Westerners like.
 Maybe it originated in Yemen, near Sana'a. Or was it Ethiopia? The story goes like this; A shepherd noticed his goats (or was it sheep?) up and about all nite. He saw they were eating fruit from bushes so he tried some and was invigerated and his acuity increased. But he had only been eating the fruit and it was discovered soon enough (several centuries, probably) that the nut has the good stuff in it. So they dispensed with the fruit and found methods to roast the  nut and made a very strong drink. There seem to be two types; Robusta and Arabica. Legend has it that it was shipped from Mokha, a city port on the Red Sea, ergo the name "Mokha". Monks used it in their ceremonies . Bahia = Kave = coffee.
  Ethiopians chewed the beans at first  but Ali Ibn Omal Al-Shadhili, a Sufi, first brewed it and as it was the Sufi's who traveled around brought it to the Middle East. But like tea, one could be executed if caught exporting a seed or a  seedling. Early coffee houses, called Qayveh Kaneh appeared in Arabia but we're all closed in 1511 by Khair-Bey as they were hothouses of insurrection. 
   Ethiopia was probably home to first bush, but Yeman cultivated and processed and organized the coffee trade. Qat, a mild narcotic, chewed like coca leaf by all the men, became more profitable to grow, ergo the coffee trade went away.
  The first coffee houses were called Kiva Han and may be still there. The Dutch smuggled seeds out of Yemen to their colonies in Java and Ceylon.
   The French got involved due to the King Louis XIV in 1715. He got a tree from the Dutch and set up farms in Martinique.   The story of how it got to Brazil is better. A Brazilian Lieut. Col. Francisco de Melo Paheta visited Martinique to mediate a dispute between the Dutch and French. The story says he seduced the wife of the French governor as a parting gift was sent a bouquet containing viable coffee seeds and shoots. those are the origin of Brazilian coffee production, being in the proper climate zone. 

BUYING A  WIFE  (An excerpt from my book "the Education of an Architect).
   BIG SUR. -  Mrs Deetjin, as everyone called her, was a mountain of a woman, so fat, she could not get out of bed. She was kind of the local newspaper, as she knew all the gossip.  That is where I first met Henry Miller, as I knew his close friend, Emile White.  Emil lived across the highway just a couple of feet from the road. When you stepped out his door, you had to be careful not to be run over by a speeding car. Emile was an artist who was completely color blind, but refused to admit it and did primitive type of paintings with outrageous colors. He also did many sketches of Miller ( Trying to capture his homeliness?) which actually captured his disjointed  facade. Well, he and Miller had sent to France for a couple of mail-order wives a few years previously. They (THE YOUNG GIRLS) actually came over, lived with them for a short while, then split for better pastures. I don't know if they ever got married, but it's probable as that is the only reason to come over here is to get citizenship. Emil eventually opened a gallery for Henry Miller near Nepenthe restaurant, which still exists.
Coaster
  
NOTEWORTHY COMMENTS BY LIAN PEARS
" A corporation is a moral imbecile. It has no sense of right or wrong,  Any restraints must come from the outside, laws and customs."

Brugge snack
BEERS OF THE WORLD
  Unless you've been to Belgium and.were a connoisseur of good beers, you may not have heard about "Delirium Tremens", Voted one of the 50 great beers of the world. Why would you choose a pink elephant for your logo and alcoholic Tremens for a name? Most of these beers use the old 1516 Beer brewing laws and ingrediants.
Anyway , trust me, it is as good  as it they claim.

DO YOU FEEL INEFFECTIVE WHEN VOTING?
  I do understand that total representation of any politician to be inserted in our senate can be disruptive, as did happen when  Hitler was established in such a mode and the dis-function of legislatures such as Italy and Greece. But a recent columnist brought to light RANKED -CHOICE VOTING , whatever that means. Our Two-Party system has descended in   a non-compromise situation and seems totally separate from  the specter of the "Lobbyists" who seem to be more in control than the voted-in Pols.  All the hub-bub on Gerrymandering has gotten our attention but that may have a small feed the on or voting.  But maybe Proportional voting would work better, as it does in Europe.  Recently, voters in Maine passed a referendum regarding ranked -choice voting, of course the State Legislature had done everything to fight it but it may  be on their June primary ballot.  A Group. Called Fait Vote has been advocating this system for a long time. I wish we could hear more of it.

UNISEX TOILET
  I've put up a small note on our Unisex toilet (Men & Women ):

THIS FACILITY : FOR USE OF;
  GAY BOYS
  LESBIANS
  BI-SEXUALS
  TRANS-SEXUALS
  TRANS-SPECIES (Please clean-up after yourselves).
  TRANS-KARMAS
  WAIT - WHAT ABOUT US FEW HETEROSEXUALS?


ANOTHER LOOK AT THE DATE
  A monk (Dionysus Exiguus) introduced a new calendar based on the birth of Jesus Christ around 532. Up to that time dates were named for the Roman Consul. He designated the years after Jesus as Anno Domini., which did not catch on until after Exiguus death. A monk, Venebale Bede, began using this calendar in his writing around the eight century. When is someone going to start using my new system of Dates? (It begins about the time of invention of writing).


ON THE BEACH
  I've just finished Daniel Ellsberg's book aptly called DOOMSDAY MACHINE, and saw him and Peter Coyote at the Vets' auditorium in Petaluma.
  Maybe only the older folks will remember "Deep Throat", the first whistleblower who copied thousands of pages of Top Secret Material from the Pentagon and gave it to the Washington Post which started a Shit-storm among our top level politicians. That was him! He was trying to get us out of the drawn out war with Vietnam, but his exposure of the tenuous hold  our dear leaders have on the 'Button' is exposed brilliantly. We all know that we have literally thousands of Nuclear warhead missiles in the US and Europe,(We do know, don't we?)  as well as a scattered all over the Pacific Ocean. You may know of the 'football' briefcase that accompanies our president at all times, but you may not know that it is a hoax. There are a plethora of 'buttons'  that  have to be worked thru to set off any one missile, either from North Dakota, an Air Force bomber (always in the air!) , a submarine loaded with a dozen Nukes, as well as a bunch of silos all over Europe, all pointed at Russia and China. This book describes how close we have come (several times) to extinguishing all life on Earth.  At which time I had to get the Video of 1959 "ON THE BEACH" again. It is very difficult to find as most people of the world do not seem much concerned that at any moment the and the rest of all life will be dead in a couple of years. Even Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner can't seem to make it popular. it seems amazing that we don't want to know any message that tells about our certain destruction but just try to find the video, which was done in 1959! I finally had to buy one. I think I'll try to get the book also.  If you get frustrated trying to see a copy of the video, let me know and I will loan you mine.





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Saturday, April 28, 2018

107


1


TAKE A LITLE TIME FOR CULTURE
    Living out here in the hinterland of apple orchards and vineyards, I was delighted to come across a couple of up-to-date  dances as I am frankly bored with classic ballet , not so much as their incredible technique but the use of the same old stories, no matter how great they were 200 years ago.  There are a very few Groups out there who ask "How can I utilize an old story
     and make it it into modern culture? I've already mentioned the fabulous movie made by Carlos Saura, a Spaniard, featuring Antonio Gades, who has a Flamenco School of Dance in a very modern building, Gades is rehearsing his contemporary idea of Bizet's 'Carmen" and significantly finds a young , beautiful student who fills part , at least in Antonios mind.  He guides us all the way thru he rehearsal, with all manner of Flamenco ; older women, who really know how to dance & sing, to guitarist such as Paco de Luca, some  fighting using canes for damage and rhythm. This is one video you will want to own. Which I did.  Done about 1970.  I recently found another version of 'Carmen ' by Gades & Saura. It was a performed in the Teatro de Madrid and a different version of the movie, but so well done.
   I became interested in the derivation of Modern Dance, which seems to have originated in North America, so I started with Ted Shawn, who seemed to be breaking the mold a bit, but he mostly had a male dance group due his preference for homosexuality. Maybe around  1916, But from his group came Ruth St. Denis, around 1916, and then, thank Allah, Martha Graham came out of that group. Then from there was Merce Cunningham and even later, Twyla Tharp. I got into all of that as I had met Cunningham in later fifties to help him set up a show in Scottsdale, then a small western type town in Arizona. By the way, Martha Graham died of old age and alcoholism and not by losing her scarf around a playboys sport car. (Sorry)
  Anyway, back to some great dancing for your enjoyment on You Tube. I might add that the artists Stella, Raushenberg and Jon Cage (music) worked  with Merce for quite a while. Cages music was the perfect foil for Merce’s movements.
  Next, I found Twyla Tharps 'Barishnikov  does  Sinatra’, and I was shall we call it "enchanted".
   Now I've set you up for the ultimate (so far) interpretation of the Tango by Roland Petits' . 'Bolero'.    Petit was the choreographer for the Le Ballet de Paris, the oldest ballet company in the world. (Yes, before the Bolshoi) .He used the music "Bolero" by Ravels and with only two dancers (Takes two to Tango,eh) did an exemplar art job of producing the ultimate tango, using Massimo Murro and Lucia Lacarra, she on points and he throwing her around except succumbing at the end to full blossoming love. I would like to watch it more but the Bolero music is the kind that sticks in your mind. I can't imagine how many years I took to clear the dancers' brain.
Wee, these will keep you occupied for hours on end but  you will gain  from it. 

  This all got me thinking about the reason and derivation of dance or 'Movements" as the highly esteemed and revered Georgi Gurdjieff calls it. he was an /Armenian (Russian) mystic who escaped Russia just before the revolution of 1917. He gathered a small group of "Seekers of Truth" and bounced around the Caucasus, evading capture by one side or the other. He was (is) a very controversial figure as no one seems to know what he was teaching. Anyway, he had studied much of the esoteric dances of the monasteries of the East and incorporated them in his teachings. His legacy is mostly from his music that he had Thomas de Hartman, who had done some work for Bolshoi Ballet, which spawned several CD's of the music One of the first was performed by Kieth Jarret, The jazz pianist.
   The derivation of Dancing turns out to be too much for your humble ranter to document, but at least let me get in a rough outline to begin;
  Who began dancing around after the apes? Or do apes do it?

1.      Did Mr. Caveman dance around the fire after a good kill?
2.  Were the first dancers organized  to transmit sacred knowledge?
3.  Each. Country seems to have a dance for festive occasions, where the whole village got involved, such as the "Greek" dances to the tune of the balaliaika.
4.  When did the first dances performed for an audience? Who were the audience? 
5.  Only as  late as 1400's did ballet (as it was called) appear on the French scene due the the involvement of the King.  Now you will know why all the moves are in French, even in Russia
6.  By 1800's the Russians had the franchise to develope it  to the greatest  extant  and become the premier group for hundreds of years.
7. But early 1900's The Bauhaus and dance schools in the US  and Germany (Bauhaus) appeared  were tired of the usual boring shows.
8.  Was it Ted Shawn who broke the mold around 1915?
9.  Ruth St. Denis followed suite in 1916. She had studied East Indian Dances that told stories (Although pretty uninteiigble to us)
10.  Was Martha Graham the truly first Modern Dancer?
11.  Merce Cunningham came out of that of those studios about 1940's, utilizing the talents of avant guarded musicians like John Cage, artists such as Frank Stella & Raushenberg for sets and costumes.
12. Twyla Harp is about last on my list as I have Been lax these last few years., although I thorouhly enjoy her use of Barishnikov interpreting some of Sinatras Songs. 
   If you don't believe me, see some of the Sacred Movements that Gurdjieff learned in the East and transmitted to his students. (You Tube) The difference here is that his 'Students' were all 'amateurs & seekers'  but not professional dancers at all. Google "Gurdjieff Dances".
13.  But I did come across some Esoteric Eastern dancers where the men danced mostly on their balls of the foot but more surprisingly, a few had on Toe shoes, looking pretty much like 'Pointes'. I'm trying to re-find it on You Tube. That makes more sense as there is little creativity in dance groups, except for the leader.


Old BMW??



CALIFORNIA MILLE MIGLIA
??
    This seems to be a secret but it happens every year at this time and the route is all around us. 
the original race is still performed in Italy but it's more of a Rally as they stopped racing when a car crashed into a couple of dozen by-standers and killed them all. They will be going thru Valley Ford Thursday and we'll be in the bar of the restaurant watching them wiz by in their old Bugatti's, Jaguars, Alfa Romeros etc.on their return to the Bay Area For details, see California Mille.  It's a strange sport group in Europe, fans will camp and wait for days until the bicycle or old classic cars flash by in seconds. And I suspect most of the old car owners are wealthy as some send their cars over from Italy on a plane.
  
FOR THE YOUNGER FOLKS who may not know;
  About the time you were born an artist by the name Jean Tinguely built some very complicated and incredible stable  machines that don't move but can draw, make squeaky noises  and will amuse you endlessly.

HAPPY ENDINGS
    What is it about ending books and movies with 'The Happy Ending' where everyone will be happy ever after? I recently had Seen the most recent version of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME where the ending was kind of obscured when the couple walked out of a small portal  of the Notre Dame,  leaving me a little confused. Therefore, I bit the bullet and procured a copy of Victor Hugo's , which he wrote in 1831. I can't comment on the other versions of the movie but this one got it all wrong. After two hours or so of superb acting , the director or some idiot changed the whole sene, ergo, the entire concept of the plot. I saw the version with Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo (Meaning half a person) and Rita Hayworth as Esmeralda.  They didn't follow Hugo's script as the luscious girl should end up hanging from the gibbet until dead, while Mr. Humpback  fell off of Notre Dame but should have disappeared and found the girl on the goul pile where  his  entertewined skeleton is found years later. The priest? Who gives a shit, he just died like everyone else falling or pushed off of the church, he just couldn't stand being I love with a teen-ager.

THINK ABOUT THINK TANKS.
   I've always been a little curious about how these illustrious schools for thought (Tank?) were funded, so I did the obvious and googled it.  I never thought much about them, but when I discovered Cato Institute had a FOX News person on the Board I thought I'd better take a closer look. It turns out 2/3 of the Think Tanks' took money from Oil companies. Half are funded by ExxonMobil, and 1/3 by Chevron. Koch, Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips-Phillips each funded three.  Hmmmmm. Do you think that has any effect on what they are supposed to be studying?   "Staffers are clearly instructed to check with the  'Tanks Development Team' before writing anything that might upset contributors


Friday, March 16, 2018

106


ALLURE

HERES a new mag I've been missing. ALLURE. It came to our house and it appeared to have a young, beautiful girl on the cover who was wearing only a brassier and panties. WOW!  Is this really legal now? I grabbed it and tried to fine the article regarding how hey managed that. I got side-tracked as there was virtually nothing in the entire rag but advertising. I finally ran across a small article regarding the cover model, who purportedly was wearing a transparent dress. Sure enough, when I looked closely, there were s,mall vertical lines on an clear plastic dress! Well, I was certainly fooled by that old ploy. 
   Anyway, while I was at it it I counted the add pages versus the written content, (not easy to tell the difference, sometimes). And found an astounding 96 full page adds mostly directed at young women who were already beautiful. There were only 16 pages of text! And this will only cost you $10 a year to buy mostly adds that the mag already is getting paid for by the advertisee. I''m truly appalled by this mis-use of time and money. At least it's not my time & money.

INFLATED VALUE
The sports folks are currently involved in buying up the best batters, pitchers, quarterbacks, Etc.   . And I am utterly flabbergasted about how much these guys are making. Here is a young guy who is being paid 20 million a year, but I suppose you have to look at the fact he has to pay about half of that in taxes to our government. (Bummer, only left with 20 mill?) I guess the only other guys who make as much are the Hip-Hop guys (What the hell is that?).

AMSTERDAM
GLASS DOME OVER SCHEEPVAART MUSEUM
The name means SHIP STOREHOUSE and was a substantial building in the 1600's. Today it is a museum contains a wonderful contemporary Cafe with good food, good prices and better beer and wine. It has been fitted with a glass dome recently, which was inspired by the Compass Rose found on all nautical maps of the ancients. Since I could't figure out how such a shallow dome (with Snow loads) was built, I asked several engineers to enlighten me to no avail, but I am still impressed at such a flat dome for such a large area.

FAUX FASHION
  Once in a while I come up for air and notice some new fashions going around. I was especially surprised when I noticed that most of the super sportsperson were wearing beards, and some really long! Everyone who plays with a ball (Base, Basket and foot) seem to be getting bearded up all of a sudden. I have mixed emotions about that as I have been hirsute for about 50 years now and like marijuana, didn't think it would become mainstream at some time in my lifetime, anyway.
   I am also noticing hat it seems 'fashionable for men to walk around with their shirts outside of their pants. Now this is a no brainier, as it is really a stupid look. But even worse than that, young girls (and their mothers) are all getting the Australian shoe/boot call Ugg, which has got to be named for a short version of Ugly!
  While we're dissing the new fads, let me vent a bit about why there is such a thing as high tables in, restaurants and even rental apartments (( this is what I call "a current fashion"). I suppose this is another of those wonderful inventions by your favorite Interior Desacrators.
 
THE EDUCATORS
  Let's talk a bit about our teachers. This as kind of similar to our health programs. Whenever we see a chart of our standing World-Wide, We spend less  on our teachers and less more on Health Care but get less and Less for each one.  But before I get into ranting about those, how about so many of our citizens have to have multiple jobs? I can understand a little of it as I had generally about 5 different jobs at the same time but I was a student, earning my way thru architectural school, not being supported by any Veterans tuition, and was too bright to get a student loan that would pay for it all (Parties!) and owing about a $100,000 as soon as I graduated. Who would be so dumb as to do that? I can now see that a college degree can be required to get those cushy jobs like Kindergarten Teacher.  Most think they are merely "Baby sitters" and that is what we really need, as that allows the mother to get a real job and support her kids. This is an area that I do not know much about, except what I read. But I have a feeling that our school system is pretty ,much regulated by the State and this bothers me. There are rules that limit the number of students, our type of history, etc.  How about looking at that problem from the top down, instead of gnashing our teeth about low paying jobs? (First, how much is adequate housing?)
Is there any way to look at how so many of our people are on welfare?   We have already built gigantic housing projects and the inmates (oops, excuse me!) turn it into a terrible, drug infested, violent environment, and it is therefore demolished *Pruitt-Igoe ( New York?) .
To quote a teacher ;"Isn't it amazing one can teach in a city in this country but not afford to live in it? Values in this country seem to be that entertainment, be it sports or Hollywood, is worth so much more that folks who teach our  children.

OUTER SPACE

I do understand something about collateral building (Civilian benefits of War research, such as the iphone, satalites, etc.) but I don't have a number at hand that relates how much we budget on the Space  program.  I am concerned that the funding and development of outer Space takes precedent over our Health Care. What percentage of their budget do the Scandinavians spend on space inquired when they seem to have the health part of he equation pretty well handled. There are innumerable satellites zipping around our earth and they are a result of our other searches for the end of the universe, or something. Let's put off our trip to Mars after we've solved our Health program.  I recently saw a list of some of our space programs and there were 50 massive programs throwing shit in space , hoping for what?
Maybe we can leave collapsed stars and black or white holes alone for a while, and concentrate on problems at hand.

SEX AT WORK
It's not all bad! Remember, I met my 1st and 3rd wives at the workplace.


HORTA'S BALCONY, BRUSSELS

 HORTA
The Art Nouveau  architect , Victor Horta, built his house (Now a museum) with wonderful hand built twisty steel pieces, most built-up as this was before rolled steel I beams. To us, we can't quit figure out how the crafsmen were able to fabricate such forms. This done about late 1890's.

BOOK REPORT
Excerpts from  A FAILED DRUG WAR  (Plus some of my rantings. Stopping the Drugs)
 DRUG INTERDICTION. By Mathas Schwartz (New Yorker)
 In 1988, Reagan signed his Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which was to create a new, clean America by 1995.
 In 1911, George Shultz, Reagan's Secretary of State and our Official DRUG CZAR said "The war on Drugs has simply not worked, It hasn't kept drugs out of this country".
Jut like the war on Alcohol, or Prohibition, kept Alcohol out of the hands of  millions of our population, while engendering a vast crime syndicate, similar to what we are experiencing  but it has become a world-wide problem.
  Why did he realize this after so many thousands of people have been killed while hard drug use has increased vastly. They have finally realized that interdiction programs like Anvil, are negated almost instantly, and instead of wasting money, it would be better spent on treatment and harm reduction.  In 1920's , It took our government twelve years to realize that prohibition wasn't working The violence was extant, but nothing close to the violence that is occurring today. In Mexico, Middle America, South America and the Middle East
  These bureaucrats were a little confused and naive about the different drugs they were supposed to suppress. cannibas[1]  (Formerly known as Marijuana), Cocaine (From Coka) and heroine  (from Opium). Users were more dangerous than arid core addict as "they were willing and able to proselytize" which made them "highly contagious"  Never mind that a pot head would normally never ever want to be near a Heroine addict.

OPIUM - The cause of the Opium War in late 1800's between China and England, China was trying to get her subjects off the drug, but England couldn't care less as they were in it for profit. .

WEED -  A weed used by the American Indians mostly for religious purposes, It became prevalent enough by the 1930's to cause the US  Government to make a move ( a new medium) to show what a terrible thing it would be to be happy. For a few hours.

  COKA - A plant that was used (chewed) by the the Inca nation for millennia but was processed by some Americans into a short term high in order to work at the high altitudes to Peru & Colombia.

Our , lawmakers never realized it, but there it's a vast difference between the above drugs.
There will always be people who are easily addicted to a particular item, whether it be smoking, drinking or drugs. I've own people who over-use  cannibas, and their life can be a problem, (They drive slow, are peaceful, and can't remember anything.)

In 1988, the RAND cooperation study concluded that interdiction ( SEIZING) could not work. It cited six previous studies that had reached the same

When we invaded Afghanistan, we were surprised at all the Opium fields and farmers there. We didn't know what to do so we eradicated the farmers life income, just as we do in Columbia, Peru, and other countries that do not have a use problem.
Why do you suppose there are so many people in the 
US who use the harder drugs? 
    We are currently having a epidemic of Opoid over-use. I assume this is derived from Opium, and didn't we stop importing Chinese in the 1800's because they were all using this (Smoking)
   Iv'e been a felon all my adult life as I have used pot in lieu of alcohol to have a bit of fun with.  One of the problems anyone has had to study the effect of grasswas that it was so illegal, no one could study it unless they were using it.

COSTS?
  If we stop this madness, how do we fire the thousands of people who are making a living off this "Interdiction".?  IN 1989, CONGRESS APPROVED 2.2 BILLION FOR BUSH'S 5 YEAR PLAN TO ERADICATE COCA FROM THE FARMS IN ANDEAN AREAS OF SO. AMERICA.
Bennet, our drug czar, promised a 10 percent reduction in use by '91. Aur DEA budget trailed.eduction by 1999. Between '90 and '07, street prices declined by 80 % . During the same period, DEA budget triples.   What is happening these days is Rebellions and Insurgents are being funded by the growers of Pot, Coka and Opium.

I n  1998 our we. (The DEA) killed Escobar in Columbia, but before too long, new bosses took his place & business as usual continued as long as we have a population thaat needs it.
  This was a new thought, Clintons drug tzar said "If you want to fight a war on drugs, talk to your children. ". Do you mean education? We all know that can't work, don we?  We spent 5 billion in 6 years fighting the insurgents & drug  Guys in South America. , yet our DEA budget increased by three fold. Is anyone paying attention?
  We have incarcerated 320',000 of our citizens in our huge jail system. The most in  the world,
Our drug  budget for 2006? Was 25 billion , yet we spent 40% for treatment. I don,t remember anyone trying to convince me from smoking a joint once in a while.
  The US has tried paying Coka farmers to switch crops what what would you do?
Drugs. Are not a security threat . It has come to light that we couldn't even get Canada to a test how really bad is for us Only after prohibition can we get studies that show that cocaine & hereon are  not so good for us. (Surprise!).
   We don't seem to have any regrets when we spray farmers fields with Paraguat. Is this defoliant toxic? Do we care? What is happening when most of our citizens are approving of legalizing cannabis? This must be pretty traumatic to the DEA who have put so many of our otherwise citizens in prison, ignoring the catastrophic effect it had on so many family's. Are we gone to let all those thousands to go free now that the law has changed?  Why is it that we are the biggest problem in the world  Where most of the drugs end up in the USA?? Past presidents (Reagan) have declared "We’re running up the battle flag, , we can fight the drug problem, we can win". Do they really believe it, even after we failed so miserably with. The booze wars.?
  In Nicaragua, the villagers have nothing but scorn for the local authorities, the Army, The drug traffickers as well as the Americans who have brought. All this down upon them and their families. The collateral damage to local villages is tragic. They believe " All they care about is the drugs. Not who dies, not the evidence or the legal procedures, Just the drugs." That's about the same mind-set as the Drug traffic eras, isn't it?
  The. Amount of Coka needed to supply the Global Market is relatively small: a plantation of two hundred thousand hectares (about the size of Long Island) would be enough. The U.S. Has chased this plantation around the world, why not grow it here for our own folks and forget all about the "War on Druds"?
LUNCH TABLE AT THE BUTCHER OF PANZANI, ITALY
A VISIT TO DARIO
The most famous butcher in Italy is Dario Cechina, in a small village in Chianti region. Known for his disdain of his customers and their whims, he has opened a nearby open air restaurant where he serves about three dishes, A large steak-burger, a some other part of a cow, and a vege type ,which I had. Notice his paper place mats are a digragm of the various cuts of a cow.

COUNTRY PROBLEMS DUE TO DEMOCLEROSIS.
Or
MY HUMBLE SOLUTIONS TO OUR MAJOR PROBLEMS
  
WAR. Our military budget is insane.  Five times greater tan any other country and over 60% of our Federal budget. We don't need to build an Empire. So let's divest ourselves of Puerto Rico,
Guam and all the other small islands we desire in order to have an airfield in the middle of the vast ocean For our policing of the rest of the world.

SEX   It took us a while to realize that AIDS was a deadly disease due to a lifestyle we didn't
appprove of but also found that  heterosexuals did suffer from it and we finally got it where everyone didn't die from it. Now we're trying to understand that women Want to be men, and vice versa. What to do?  

EDUCATION. Young people should understand more about the ramifications of College. First of all, you don't need it if you don't know what you want to learn, like a profession. Trade schools are a great way to learn a trade and become a useful citizen, and make a good living. There is a peculiar relationship between earning capacities and college grads. Why is it that some teachers, with a degree, earn less than someone in the trades? There should be a better relationship between earnings and how much time one spends, learning to say nothing of the costs involved. Look at me;  four years of College (Paid my way) plus several years as an apprentice really learning the trade. But actually making minimum wages for years. Even now, as my own boss,  I don't make much money, but I love what I' m doing. Is there a requirement for that?  A few of my college friends, Jazz musicians, spent years in college with me, then earned a living with their music and not as an architect after they graduated.

HEALTH   We set up up jingoistic phrases like "Single Payer". What does that mean? Who is the single payer? Your employer? Your government?  You? And if you're a self employed entrepreneur? How do other countries do it?  Maybe we can't afford to give you a re-cycled Heart or lung , since you spent most of your life living a dissolute existence?
We tend to focus on morality issues like "Abortion" and such.
Our drug policy is strictly a morality issue, from 1930's.  What a surprise to find marijuana has so many health benefits, to say nothing of the fun you can ave if you can figure out the zillions of types of cannibas (The new word for it). (Also, how to spell it. I just figurered out how to spell marijuana).

POLITICS   Talk about Crazy!  Our politicians, who we voted for (kind of ) are now so beholden to the money  they receive from "Lobbyist" that it is really the Lobbyists who are running the country. I guess when you get so big, the only way to talk to your politico is thru a lobbyist. Why don't we just vote for the Lobbyists?


GUNS   Why do gun folks need assault weapons for? They can't use them for hunting squirrel & deer. Does anyone know why they need AK47 for target practice  Every one in a while, a loony massacres a bunch of innocents for an unknown reason. I have given this problem at least 10 minutes thought and here is my solution;  I don't know how many schools we have but it would be nuts to arm all the teachers and supply them with guns, with which they wouldn't know how to kill another human. But , hire one teacher in  each school who is a veteran with lots of gun skills give him/her a nice Utzi to keep in a class room locker and if a nut comes along, shooting students, he can take him out , at least make it a level playing field.
  
ACCESSIBILITY.   Has anybody calculated how much it is going to cost us citizens to change A LL THE CORNER CURB CUTS IN AMERICA to conform to the requirements of the ADA (American With Disabilities Act). I stand by helplessly watching my small town (Sebastopol) tear out and  replace all the corner ramps in all the cities  every ten years.  Meanwhile, I',m avoiding potholes In the  street that is  an embarrassment  to us poor car drivers.
  
SEX?
I'd like to inject my two cents worth here as SEX in the workplace isn't all bad. Remember, I met mt 1st wife and 3rd wife in the workplace. The first one lasted a year but the last one is lasting over 30 years!  ( This one is "until death do us part")  A note to the young who still feel the need, all my weddings had very few people around, especially the last one in Greece, when the mayor of Pahlio Pasihico was a pretty excited and the Brit expatriot were the only ones around. You don't need such extraneous people to muck up the moment.

A LUNCH SALAD IN CHIANTI

Some things are so simple and beautiful,  like the small salad on our street table in Castellani.
TV'S BEST LINE
"WANT TO END THE VIETNAM (IRAQ, AFGANISTAN) WAR?   PUT IT ON ABC AND IT WILL BE CANCELLED IN 13 WEEKS".  

PISA LEANING
It cost the Italian government several million euros per inch to stop the destruction.
It was moved back  a total of 16" . They probably figure that is far enough as they still need the tourists to awe at it.
  
HAVE I LEFT OUT ANY REAL ISSUES?

LOCAL ISSUES? (That directly affect us)

BIKES OR CARS?

PEDESTRIANS   When we can convince our pedestrians that when crossing a street in a crosswalk, whether it is flashing with light a on the side not in the pavement,  THEY ARE NOT IN A SAFE ZONE. IT IS DANGEROUS CROSSING THE SREET and one must be aware of that. How many times have I seen pedestrians walking across the street, unaware they are in a target zone?

A NOTE ABOUT LOVE?
  My experience has been that when a friend dies, it gives me an Idea how much I loved that one.
But recently, I read a cogent concept that we might ask ourselves occassinally..
"Make a list of those that you would make you  devastated by their loss."
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