Thursday, December 13, 2007

get used to victimless meat

back in 2005 the University of Maryland reported:

In a paper in the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.

"Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat."

"healthy planet", "earth-wise", "living earth friendly foods for a humane future". I'm sure the large food processors are readying labels like these for the new lab grown "victimless meat" that will become available within the next five years. grown from single cells in nutrient baths and exercised by electroshock into lean, tender steaks, this "meat" will be less expensive, guilt free and available at walmart. "no animals were harmed in the production of this meat" says the fine print.

the "ewww!" factor of eating franken-foods, these GMO artificial life forms will be overcome because in the long run, surprisingly, it's the right thing to do. and the market will demand it. why?...

Barbara Kingsolver describes an idyllic coexistence with nature by relying on local grown foods in "animal, vegetable, miracle" (instead of the current system of shipping everything around the world via cheap oil), but face it -- with the world's population what it is and will be, we need more efficient means of producing high quality protein for hungry omnivores.

But I know I'm not even close to being able to grow my own food and raise poultry enough to keep my family fed -- not without major lifestyle changes, and even then the prospects seem so daunting I would try it only out of desparation. basic biology describes how much grain and oil is required to produce a pound of consumer beef and guess what - it's too much.

so sooner or later, just as non-embryonic therapeutic cloning cures will be accepted by your HMO, sure as shootin' biotech meat is coming to your local McDonalds.

the reality is, people don't care ~that~ much anyway. if they did, would they put up with the warehoused cruelty imposed on livestock today (you've seen the KFC chicken video right)? they do put up with it because "that's just the way it has to be done". anyway, I'd prefer meat not laced with hormones and antibiotics. who knows, maybe McD's could sneak in this new meat, serve it to an unsuspecting public, leak out the truth, weather the brouhaha and come out ahead as a forward thinking company when people realize the stuff's not bad tasting and better overall than traditionally grown meat... and much better than soylent green :)

science attempts to produce victimless meat
factoids from the mad cowboy
a bicyclist's perspective on the wastefulness of beef

just kidding! because the beef industry says that inefficiency claim is just a myth

Friday, December 07, 2007

truth or dare: the blogroll challenge UPDATE

I try not to waste time, so when I needed to delete a comment from my last post I disabled showing all comments on it. because blogger does not obviously enough explain how one can delete a single comment -- which is what I wanted to do and I am too lazy, impatient and proud (qualities of a really useful programmer) to play blogger's game and search for the proper way. I still want to know how though. anyone gotta clue?

Friday, November 30, 2007

truth or dare: the blogroll challenge

ok, it's not really truth or dare but I thought it sounded good. anyway, here's the challenge: give a short review (25 words or less) for each site on your current blogroll - when and why you added them, what you think of them, how often do you read them.

here's mine:

The Cutting Edge: anti-liberal blather. not worthy of my blogroll.
Dr. Helen: Mrs. Instapundit is a psych and raises good issues on this very popular blog. I rarely read it.
Kevin M.D. - Medical Weblog: interesting research but I don't have time to read. too busy with the comedy elsewhere...
Bring It On: conservative political stuff. fodder for arguement if you need it. I don't, really.
thinking blog: Ilkerry has a good popular blog I recall. He/she sends mybloglog messages now and again but I'm not really up on it. thinking too hard is not fun.
Balkinization: another political blog (I think) which I don't read. I should delete, huh?
Eugene Volokh: the famous UCLA expert on constitutional law. his dad is a character who kinda offered me a job once.
useless advice from useless men: title says it all. fun stuff.
worldchanging: another one I don't read. it's all about building a better future. ok, I'll read it dammit!
Wonderland or Not: Cooper has many adoring fans and is one of my few regular readers. I think she has a secret crush on me. I actually read this blog.
MoxieGrrrl: a good read if you need a daily WTF from an angry young woman. sometimes I do :)
wandering the ether: another like minded individual. good writing. I should visit more.
Nicholas Carr: more of a traditional media kind of guy - I guess that means profesionally respected. don't recall why I linked to him.
someday satori: literary oriented and thus, well written :) Shannon actually has a good blog and few people read it. please do. we like the same authors.
riding the astral plane: Titania Starlight is dreamy. I do go here for inspiration.
Educational Whisper: nice political tidbits by Windspike. I usually don't have time to visit;, but I've had this link a long time.
the autonomist: it's political and I may be against it. see how the other side thinks.
a big dooz: dooz is funny and I'm a fan, but she's quit on us. apparently her new blog is by invite only.
emma sometimes: hilarious. one of my favorites. she could make money as a comedian. maybe someday she will...
chaotica: as I recall, this is an interesting well written blog. I visit sometimes.
goodnessgraciousness: Jen is another of my favorites. she writes about a lot of interesting stuff and is always spreading love. she even reads my blog!
heidi of hollywood: a thoughtful young filmaker who blogs occasionally. I read her blog even though she cares not.
EclecticBlogs: another one which I don't read and it's been here forever.
Scary Personals: cheap humor. we all need that sometimes.
fugetaboutit!!!: funny guy. I've had this link forever and rarely visit his site. hmm, must have just forgotten about it.
Realistic Paintings: amazing work. for when I feel artsy and in need of ideas or new technique. not read too often.
grow-a-brain: as I recall, a quirky real estate oriented blog. check it out I should.
things they won't tell you in film school: Julie's been on hiatus and it's not because of the writers' strike. she's related some good stories but it's time to drop her from the roll.
uncommon sense: business and all kinds of other important stuff which I admire but never get around to reading.
Treat Me With Respect: rantings from inside the medical field. good viewpoint but hasn't been updated since 5/06. that's how often I read it. I know, delete from blogroll! business and economics ideas. read it 'cause it's good for you. or don't -- yes , I don't much.
alarmclockcatastrophe (emma agin): she's funny and prodigous (yes, that emma). must be all that coffee.
plain jayne: fashion and celebrities. it's like people magazine. just added. 'cause I'm into that :)
more stuff about things: just added. poetry I like. discovered via someday satori's blogroll.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

word of the day: poignant

I've never used the word "poignant" in a sentence before. I thought about it and how it could be used. I wrote it down on a piece of paper at my nightstand and went to sleep. I then had this dream:

I've entered and sat down in a movie theater or small concert hall. on the screen a movie starts and I see that the quality is lacking; for what has been filmed is a large flat screen television. playing on the television is a older concert of some famous band doing a famous song - led zeppelin, rolling stones or the who; someone like that, but I don't remember who or what. anyway, they are playing in a burned out building. everything is charred black. an interesting effect. now my point of view changes; no longer watching a film, now I'm in the burnt building, offstage to the side, while the band keeps playing that familiar song. I'm there and walking away. I go down some burnt stairs and see that I'm on the top floor and it is the only floor burnt. apparently someone set fire to this floor and it was put out before spreading. coming up the stairs as I go down is a woman with a small child - a toddler. as he climbs the steps with her he pulls a piece of charcoal from the stair and starts chewing on it. "stop that", she tells him. "that's bad!". she looks to have had some hard times, could be a drug abuser. then I realize - the burnt out place is a hangout and she wants to party. or at least it's a familiar haunt and now she needs a place to stay... flashback to her home the day before. with a probably abusive boyfriend (the father?), she is on the verge of leaving him. some sort of event (4th of July?) is going on and the guy is concerned about his dog - a big furry chow, st. bernard, or sheepdog type mutt. he's concerned that the noises will give the dog a heart attack. sure enough, something happens and the huge dog keels over, dead. problem is it lands on the baby. he's ok, but could have been practically smothered and crushed by the animal. and the guy is screaming about his dead dog. that's why they left...

did I do it? was there some poignancy in my little story? did you feel something reading it or was it just a fleeting sensory description?

Monday, November 19, 2007

words, words, words...

thought I should say a few words :)
actually, I've been reading Shakespeare and you might recognize the title line from Hamlet (when Polonius asks "What do you read, my lord?").

rich material to takes much time for me. and so, not much time for writing here. don't ask why, for I shan't explain.

fare thee well and havest thou a thanks-giving day!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

caliper assessment test redux

over a year ago now I did a post on what might be a "caliper profile personality assessment" question and ever since, on almost a daily basis, someone (~them~ I think), has been pinging my blog as a google search result of the phrase "caliper assessment test". I've had no other contact from them but they are probably checking up on me to make sure I don't reveal any of their intellectual property. so hard ain't it, to keep secrets when knowledge wants to be free. anyway, I thought I'd do them a favor (and maybe mess with their minds some more) by offering a new puzzler question that calipercorp is free to use as they deem fit. heck, they can even claim ownership of it. 'cause that's the kinda guy I am :). anyway, here's a tomawesome original:

a deceptively simple logical math question, pick the best answer:

what comes next in the sequence? x,y,z,a,b,c,__
1. e
2. i
3. n
4. r
5. t

feel free to explain your answer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

sock monkey behind the counter....

so you walk in to get a burger combo at the local fast food place and staring back at you to take your order is a sock monkey. you're first reaction is "ok, this is some kind of joke...". you know someone is under the counter holding the monkey, so should you just act like everything is normal and place your order? what do you say? should you address the monkey? do you really trust the food here now?

just a slice of life moment I thought I'd share...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

my celebrity lookalikes...

not to brag, but I've already heard these comparisons. ok, I am bragging :)
they didn't mention some other ones people have said: Christopher Reeves and Jeff Goldblum.

Monday, October 15, 2007

sea world story...

my mother-in-law told me this about a friend of hers. she took her son down to Sea World in San Diego for the day recently. the boy has Down's but is pretty high functioning. they had fun watching the shows and exhibits but then, this being during the summer and the park being crowded, suddenly they were separated and the boy was missing. as any parent knows, this is very frightening. she looked around, backtracked and after a while was starting to panic when finally, she found him. he was soaking wet and they'd already had a full day, so she decided that was enough and they went home. that evening, she was checking on the boy in his room and was surprised to see, standing on his bed, a live penguin! apparently he had found a way to catch the bird at the penguin exhibit and had put it in his backpack... he was smuggled out of the park without notice and didn't make a peep the whole car trip either. mom hurriedly called Sea World and told them what happened. they told her to put the penguin in the bathtub with cold water and ice cubes and they would come get it. and so they did... aren't kids fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

blast from the past

for some reason today I joined and looked up people I knew 30 years ago (westchester high, class of '77). haven't been in contact with any of them at all. didn't really have much contact with them back in high school either. so what was my motivation? why dig up these old memories, dwell and wallow in the past? is there something unresolved? I have a much better life now than those raw, tumultous years into which I was thrown without support. I guess it's the fact that it's still my history, regardless of how dull, unenjoyable and alienating it was. it is a challenge I must ping, like an old, healed wound against which I may test my strength and confidence. I read and note how old these classmates have gotten - like their lives are over. in many ways I still feel fresh and looking forward for new things; many new things to try, people to meet... I think I'm in better shape now physically, financially and emotionally than I've ever been in my life. I don't want to go back to that time of young helplessness. but I don't want to brag or look for a fight either. so what is my motivation? I think of the old U2 song "I still haven't found what I'm looking for", except hmm, I still don't know, what I'm looking for...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

a fish story....

I wanted to share my first rather successful fishing trip last weekend in the foothills of the Eastern Sierras with the Boy Scouts.DSC_0038it wasn't an uber-survivalist camping trip - the creek was just stocked last thursday and googling revealed that the powerbait I brought probably was the best choice for attracting the trout. still, for me it was an adventure.

I braved the weeds and mud and cold water to search out nice holes where I might find a large hungry rainbow. to catch a fish, think like a fish. and sure enough, I got one! he was just waiting for me to throw my line out it seemed. I was so excited and now that he was hooked, a whole new procedure began. I went and got a bucket to keep him alive in (later I find out a gill line would have been better). then the delicate process of removing the hook from the slippery guy commenced. I held him gently, his face next to mine as I figured how best to get that golden piercing out of his mouth. he looked at me with pleading eyes as if to say "please don't hurt me". with my hemostat I swiftly and confidently grabbed the hook down his throat, pushed it down so as to disengage, and quickly pulled it out. I released him into the bucket. we were both relieved I think. kinda like pulling out a splinter. he was still doomed, however. he swam around and poked his head up to look at me. it's an odd sensation to be looking at an animal and think "I'm going to kill you and eat you". so yes, there was a bit of empathy there. but not enough for me to let him go. I was determined to do the DSC_0034whole fishing experience. which of course includes the "cleaning" (which more realistically is called "gutting"). but before that, I went and did a little more fishing, now that I had gotten the hang of it (or the time and place were right - however you wish to define the destiny of your skills). sure enough, at a different secluded spot, I cast and quickly caught another trout - this one a little smaller, but still in the eatable range. since by this time my first fish was not doing too well (upside down but gills still moving), I figured it was time to face the music and commence with the butchering.

I read how to clean a fish on the Internet, but words don't always get the whole lesson across. it got bloody. two knives sticky with blood. not enough water to wash things with. gross guts to be ripped out by hand. someone challenged us to eat the beating heart. my knife had a hard time cutting off the head and tail. manly, animalistic grunts usually heard in the gym helped out with getting over that hurdle. and then the deed was done. the boys scaled the fishes (not really neccessary 'cause we weren't going to eat the skin anyway and I put them on ice. the last and biggest fish I "cleaned" was a female that another boy had caught.
DSC_0035we knew it was female because of the little orange eggs pulled out of her.

man (and nature for that matter) can seem pretty cruel. but it is what it is and its good to occasionally face the reality of life and death. others die that we may live; something we distance ourselves from when we buy plastic wrapped packages of meat or drive-thru filet-o-fish sandwiches. last weekend we ate what we caught... and that wild fish became a part of me and my spirit.

how to clean and fillet fish

Friday, August 17, 2007


c 021
a flickr comment on this pic above that I took a while ago (raw toast coming soon!) got me started on a new project exploring the artistry of graffiti. I looked at the commenter's stuff and found some interesting shots like this:
c 021
and this:
c 021
which led me to wander to places like this flickr freight train graffiti set (or this one or this and this -- thx guys). there's some talent out there busy dopin' up the drab canvases of boring soCal infrastructure. public art for us all to emote upon. hey, I appreciate the work y'all are doing. I'm gonna hunt down some pieces myself and post soon. BTW here's a pic I took quite a while ago that still is kinda fun:
c 021

of course that's nothing compared to the beauty of pieces like this:
c 021 (thx kezam)
anyway, I understand why people call it vandalism... it sux when nice places are defaced. on the other hand there's a lot of creative juice bursting to be expressed, and it's all temporary anyway. kids... ya gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

musical postery

first selection for today is
"Invisible Ink" by Aimee Mann (from "Lost In Space"). I like her wordplay, her voice (good range, slight accent - Toronto?) and simple clean guitar strumming (reminds me of Jimmy Page on acoustic actually):

There comes a time when you swim or sink
So I jumped in the drink
Cuz I couldn't make myself clear

Maybe I wrote in invisible ink
Oh I've tried to think
How I could have made it appear

But another illlustration is wasted
Cuz the results are the same
I feel like a ghost who's trying to move your hands
over some ouija board in the hopes I can spell out my name

What some take for magic at first glance
Is just sleight of hand depending on what you believe
Something gets lost when you translate
It's hard to keep straight
Perspective is everything

And I know now which is which and what angle I oughta look at it from
I suppose I should be happy to be misread-
Better be that than some of the other things I have become

Invisible Ink

But nobody wants to hear this tale
The plot is clichéd, the jokes are stale
And baby we've all heard it all before
Oh I could get specific but
Nobody needs a catalog
With details of love I can't sell anymore

And aside from that, this chain of reaction,
baby, is losing a link
Though I'd hope you'd know what I tried to tell you
And if you don't I could draw you a picture in invisible ink

But nobody wants to hear this tale
The plot is clichéd, the jokes are stale
And baby we've all heard it all before
Oh I could get specific but
Nobody needs a catalog
With details of love I can't sell anymore...

it's on my ipod and I like to hear it now and again. also in my eclectic set today are a couple songs I don't have (but have heard recently:

Dead or Alive in '85 - "You Spin Me Round" like a record baby right, round round! music to dance or workout by :)

lastly we have Marshall Crenshaw, former faux Beatle in "Someday, Someway"... just another catchy little old power pop tune I heard playing at BevMo.

thanks for reading, maybe I'll talk about my weekend backpacking trip next...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

meditation news...

yesterday I was listening to fox news while changing in the gym locker room. surprisingly, a guy was being interviewed about meditation (TM I think).
"a little hippy-dippy for the faux", I thought. what are these guys up to? my google search on the subject doesn't pick up anything on the story (as of today), but I noticed it does find a fairly large number (197,000) of results linking "fox news" and meditation. is this some kind of brainwashing being attempted? or something else?...

anyway, the interviewer asked him "do you think a group of people sitting around a table meditating can will the world (emphasis mine) into a better place?". this is a good question and deserves a good answer, but the dude ducked it with something like "meditation generates positivity which gets reflected in the participants' other social interactions". ok, so that's nice, acceptable and harmless, but it dodges the question about the possible full power of meditation. (refer to my previous post about being players in our own play.) if indeed we are the actor and playwright of our world and can tap into some fairly unknown physical power source like Jen speaks of -- that's big stuff. can focused mental intention magically make things real? what happens to causality? if you imagine something will happen and it then happens -- what made you want it to happen? ok, thats enuf mind bending for now. if you want more, try reading these best sellers: "The Secret" or "Law of Attraction". and if that's too much of an infomercial, try boning up on what this guru said a hundred years ago. as I was saying, this is not the blog you are looking for. you can go about your business. move along. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

tired old religious arguments...

So I was having a conversation with a coworker. I mentioned how as we age and develop various ailments what’s happening in a sense is that we are dying in little ways. We avoid death by staying healthy and fit for as long as possible because it’s in our nature. She, being the fundamentalist christian that she is, replied that when she died she knew she would get a new perfect body. I argued, well, you don’t know anything, you have belief or faith that that will happen. “No”, she said, “I know it’s true. It’s a fact that’s in the bible”. “But”, I said, “you only have belief that the bible is true. You don’t know something is true merely because it self-references itself as true". This basic logic statement puzzled her a bit. “What do you mean?” she asked. “Well, you need evidence to prove something, external evidence”. “Oh, but there is lots of evidence that the bible is true!”. (she also believes the bible is without error and the contradictions I’ve pointed out in the past are merely misinterpretations taken out of context).

Anyway, she asks if I’ve ever heard of the book "Evidence Which Demands a Verdict" written by a christian apologist. I hadn’t, but the internet is a wonderful thing, so I just did a little research. Didn’t find the book online, but I did find a good rebuttal: "The Jury is In". the verdict. apparently, is that christianity really hasn’t got a lot to stand on besides faith and belief. Scientific evidence isn’t there. And paradoxically, those who are looking for evidence to bolster their convictions are doing so because of a lack of faith -- and faith is the only saving grace of the whole religion!

Getting back to new bodies, last week I listened to an interesting podcast recorded in a Chicago diner a while back and was played on “This American Life”. the woman “Nancy” is in her early 40’s, and says the following (please excuse the grammar):
“where am I and what time is it? I don’t think I'm really here. I'm doing a two dimensional kind of thing, so there's part of me that’s here and there’s part of me that’s somewhere else. The future me. So what time is it? Earthly time it’s 1:15 AM and there is no time where my future self is. You know when you go to sleep and you dream, how you can bend and shape the events that take place in that dream? Well, what if that was your reality, and what if this were the dream? You know you can actually paint your future and you can make everything that’s ever happened, is happening and will happen has already happened. It’s shape shifting time and events so that you know why your soul is here. And that’s the purpose. To know why you’re here. To know why you came back. I know one past life I was a cowboy. And I was shot by accident. And I’ve met two of my four buddies that I was with together here. We agreed to come back on some kind of subliminal basis. So yeah, I was a cowboy in one lifetime, probably right before the turn of the century and my other lifetime I really don’t know but I know I was crushed. I don't know by what, but probably by a large building. I haven't identified the time yet; I'm still working on that."

Nancy may be easy to dismiss on first glance as a nut; a victim, perhaps, of too many acid trips. but on further reflection, her story holds up probably better than my christian friends. could it be true? are we the players in our own plays? if so, that could be the leverage needed to really make a change for the better in our world (if you have that intention!). because face it, without leverage you're not going to make much impact.

my verdict? I'll just quote from John: "whatever gets you through the night... s'alright, s'alright..."

for more info see:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Reincarnation

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

boring thoughts...

ethics, bioengineering, neuroscience, thought, philosophy, sociobiology.
these are all subjects in which I find interest and I'm discovering most people care nothing about! under which category of digg would posts about those topics fall under? general science? mahalo knows nothing about these things... I am figuring out why my blog remains unread. it's not due solely to the lack of quality. it's because I'm just boring!
oh well. "it is what it is" as they say.

or I could get more personal and write about my weekends? like this recent outing w/my boys:

we'll see (as the dad says)...

not that this will help any, but I've started a new blog for programming oriented topics: the name came to me and somehow seemed appropriate - a place to be annoying, attention getting, where I'll make mistakes, get better and maybe help someone. I need to rant in a safe place about my frustrations with building software. I'll still post here too though.

hey lookee below, I've installed an easier, less committing way to enter comments. dang there's some clever people out there!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

becoming a positive deviant

just finished reading "better" by Atul Gawande, the surgeon/writer who does frequent New Yorker articles. his goal in this book is to suggest how medical practice can improve (his answers are not what you'd expect). at the end he gives some suggestions that could apply to anyone looking to improve whatever they're into:

1. ask an unscripted question: beyond the routine grilling, ask something off the wall -- you might learn something worth knowing about someone.
2. don't complain: why bring others down by bringing up depressing topics? it's boring and doesn't solve anything.
3. count something: be a scientist, if you count something interesting, you will learn something interesting.
4. write something: hmm, I think bloggers all know this one... "you should not underestimate the effect of your contribution, however modest."
5. change: don't be a cog, take risk and responsibility.

Monday, June 25, 2007

just compensation for unjust imprisonment

questions about our evolving legal system...

what does the state owe for it's mistakes? what about culpability of the prosecuters? what about incompetent defense lawyers? is disbarment enough? payments are being made, so where is the accountability for us taxpayers? and if there is compensation, where does it end?
should we punish juries that get it wrong?

How do they figure the payouts for people who were wrongly convicted?

sorry, I've only got questions on this one. I know it's a half-baked post but I wanted to put something here for my thirsty readers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

have you heard these lately?

musically, this weekend for various reasons these oldies appeared:
American Pie
Good Vibrations
Earache My Eye
Garden Party

I'll update with some lyrics soon. in the meantime, ponder (or plunder?).

update 6/19:
American Pie - simple song that's easy to sing along with in a group ('cause the chorus repeats at least 5 times). the lyrics sound Dylan-esque, but I think they're just bad poetry. I did think this line was poetic; apparently I misheard it, but I like my interpretation better: "fire is the Devil's home and friend" -- interesting idea isn't it? something warm, comfortable, inviting and destructive - the metabolism of life. this was a bit hit in jr. high, made into a movie, covered by Madonna and is still getting radio play.

Good Vibrations - Beach Boys classic with like 9 chords, resulting in "good frustrations" by other musicians trying to play it. their harmonics were great and I'm thankful Brian Wilson was able to write songs like this regardless of the marketing pressures. this song came together with luck (it was recorded in three studios). according to a BB documentary I saw on father's day, the love theme was put in the lyrics later - the original inspiration was spiritual "vibrations" felt from the family dog. another whatever!

Earache My Eye - Cheech and Chong classic that I again recall from jr. high. haven't heard it on the radio, but was explaining it to my sons and had to get it -- will play for them tonight. now that summer's here, they can appreciate the luxury of staying in bed till whenever. the song itself is played by obviously good studio musicians; here are some credits I found:

Written by: Chong/De Lorme/Marin

David Sanborn - Saxophone
Gene Page - Horn Arrangements
Steve Katz - Engineer
Stanley Sheldon - Bass
Waddy Wachtel - Drums
Jai Winding - Keyboards

These are the credits given on the album sleeve,
but there were a number of rumors that Clapton
played guitar and Billy Preston played the B3
Hammond, but I have no evidence to support


Garden Party - another 70's pop song getting exposure lately and I don't know why. all I know is "you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself".

so there ya go!

Monday, June 11, 2007

ensoulment entrapment

drawing lines on imaginary slippery slopes to preserve human dignity...

this story is timely, but of deeper consequence than PH news. I'm referring to the recent mouse experiments which achieved creation of embryonic stem cells without embryos (Scientists Use Skin To Create Stem Cells).
scientists have:

"coaxed ordinary mouse skin cells to become what are effectively embryonic stem cells...all adult cells, including easily retrieved skin cells, carry dormant genetic instructions for turning themselves back into embryonic cells."
notably, the first word I heard from the church was positive:
"Morally and practically, this new approach appears to be far superior," said Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
his blessing is of course for the eventual avoidance of human embryo destruction while pursuing miracle cures for the already born. politically religious types applaud because human lives (the innocent, almost microscopic type) will be saved.

this opens an avenue of acceptance for therapeutic cloning.

it also points out the crumbling foundation of moral reason the church must now logically dance around.

why? because according to doctrine, people are not supposed to "play God"; yet science is shoving into our faces the fact that we do and must "play God".

if we oppose advances in modern medicine we'll tend toward the extremes like the Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse even blood transfusions, prefering to let "nature take it course". but soon, for us in the mainstream, we will be able to "preserve human dignity" and also avoid debilitating illnesses.

hopefully, sometime in the near future, I will have the option of using my own skin cells (hundreds of which I destroy daily one way or another), to generate new organs for my aging body so like a classic car, I can keep going a long, long time.
as my different parts wear out I'll grow new kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, intestines, skin, bones, brain cells... where does it end?
like the story of the ancient ship whose rotted wood was replaced piece by piece until none of the original boards remained, I'll still retain my "me-ness" throughout. I won't even be a chimera, because all these new organs I grow will have my own DNA - just as the food I eat becomes "me", so will these new parts be incorporated.

so after all my parts are replaced, what's happened to the "me" that was conceived and grown in my mom decades ago?
the answer lies in viewing personhood as not a discrete object (or particle) in time, but switching to the "wave theory" view of being like my buddy Ray Kurzweil, the "patternist" describes. he sees personhood as a bundle of memories of experiences interacting with other bundles of consciousness and describes in analogy the view that "being" is less like a unit of water, and more "being" the pattern or shape of water flowing over rocks in a stream.

but back to the question about playing God...
as was explained to me, the church's philosophy is that "life begins at conception" (pro/con) because, without better evidence, that is the earliest possible moment the soul, or personhood as it were, could be incarnated. therefore, to be on the safe side, it's immoral to destroy human zygotes (the church looks at intent - if you are willing to murder what may be a person, then you for all intents and purposes are guilty of homicide).

but soon, with embryo-less therapeutic cloning there is no murder... only creation anew and the continuum of life is maintained without conception.

isn't this a problem?
well, what we're talking about is these embryonic stem cells (traditionally made via sexual reproduction). one problem with placing personhood or "ensoulment" at conception has been the fact that after a few divisions the little bundle of joy can split up and become twins. hmm, so there was one soul, one person, now two...that's a bit of a problem. but what's worse, what about of all the skin cells I'm destroying? please realize that with this newfangled procedure, each one of them will have the potential to become an embryo!
in other words, a cell of me can revert back to embryonic stem cell status from which it can proceed to become another person. so much for starting life at conception. this discrete view of being is going to be as antiquated as the view of the universe revolving around the earth.

you could say skin cell destruciton is not murder because "well it's only a potential"... yes, but isn't that what the pro-choicers have said all along? and yet the church seems to now agree!

I guess is the best defense is to keep having good intentions. that should keep us out of hell, right?

"Ordinary cells reprogrammed to mirror stem cells" (LATimes)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

the visionary is reading...

my friend Jennifer at invites us to "blog about your vision of what is possible" because "We need to imagine a world healed from its illnesses. We need to allow the images of peace and goodness to enter our consciousness, our minds, and our souls. We need to believe a world of compassion and care is a real possibility."

keeping that in mind, I was planning on doing a little book report today anyway and it kind of ties in with that meme.

"The Razor's Edge" by W. Somerset Maugham, 1944:
as Jeffery Leach writes, "'The Razor’s Edge' really has a simple message. It asks us to reflect on how we lead our lives. Do we follow the masses or seek inner fulfillment? Is it right or wrong to drop out of society and follow our inner selves?".
I can identify with Larry Darrel, the main character to some degree; however we are in very different situations. my path to enlightenment has not led me to a guru in India for one...

an excerpt dealing with reincarnation:
'Am I right in thinking that it means that the soul passes from body to body in an endless course of experience occaisioned by the merit or demerit of previous works?'
'I think so.'
'But you see, I'm not only my spirit but my body, and who can decide how much I, my individual self, am conditioned by the accident of my body? Would Byron have been Byron but for his club foot, or Dostoyevsky Dostoyevsky without his epilipsy?'
'The Indians wouldn't speak of an accident. They would answer that it's your action in previous lives that have determined your soul to inhabit an imperfect body.' Larry drummed idly on the table and, lost in thought, gazed into space. Then, with a faint smile on his lips and a reflective look in his eyes, he went on. 'Has it occurred to you that transmigration is at once an explanation and a justification of the evil of the world? If the evils we suffer are the result of sins committed in our past lives we can bear them with resignation and hope that if in this one we strive towards virtue our future lives will be less affected. But it's easy enough to bear our own evils, all we need for that is a little manliness; what's intolerable is the evil, often so unmerited in appearance, that befalls others. If you can persuade yourself that it is the inevitable result of the past you may pity, you may do what you can to alleviate, and you should, but you have no cause to be indignant.

they also made a movie from the book (starring Bill Murray) if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the mechanic's uncertainty principle

best illustrated when you take your car to the mechanic and it doesn't make that nagging noise anymore. usually described as "unable to duplicate the problem", I come across the mechanic's uncertainty principle frequently at work helping people with their PC's: a printer doesn't work, a document won't format correctly, a file won't save, a database error, etc... they call IT for help, I look at what's happening and magically, just using my laserbeam eyes or a few simple keystrokes, the problem disappears. "what did you do?" and "of course it works for you!" are the normal praises I get. that's ok; my magic with computers is the main reason they keep me around, put up with my abuse and feed me doughnuts.

I'm surprised to see nobody else has given this phenomena a good name yet. so allow me to make my contribution to the vernacular. Dr. Sam the dentist called it "threat therapy" and "The Magical Curative Power of the Threshold", but I prefer my more generic term... it ties in with the related Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which explains in part why the universe fundamentally needs some randomness and why focused attention can sometimes change (and fix!) things. now if I can just get my new term to catch on. digg this or something people!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

you're mormon or a member... have fun in Salt Lake City that is, according to someone in our party. I'm definitely not mormon and agree with Groucho Marx that "I'd never join any club that would have me as a member". yet here I was last weekend at Murphy's Bar newly bestowed with a lifetime membership (drinking only allowed in "private" clubs in Utah) and slamming down car bombs with the "wild cousins" in celebration of the impending wedding of a family member. (earlier, during enjoyment of a few microbrews at Squatters Pub and being asked my relationship to the wedding couple numerous times, I figured out I was the bride's-aunt's-step-son-in-law.)

it was a fun, whirlwind weekend trip in crazy Utah. now and then it's nice to feel like you belong, to be inside and included. I'm not the bar hopping gregarious type. my normal state is one of peaceful solitude. that's where I'm most comfortable and productive. but it's good to get dissolute once in while... and what better excuse than a new marriage?

while I claim to be religious, my religion is not organized. sunday afternoon as we toured the spotless gardens, buildings and statues in Temple Square and I read the official proclamations chiseled in stone, I kept wondering out loud "why was Joseph Smith murdered?" (story here). how else is my religion disorganized? I enjoy reading the gutsy athiest reasoning and debates by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (skewering the corpse of the recently departed Jerry Falwell).

my god of course allows suffering, hate and discontent, and a general lack of caring as well as good and love. the best evidence for my god is existence itself - "I am" is all I need. the proof of our existence is self-evident. another man's view of the probabilities of our existence happening as it is are
"The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System"
"Probability For Life On Earth"
. take that with a bit of salt please.

anyway, the most religious conversation I had in salt lake was downtown sunday not in temple square where the pleasant zombies greeted me, but at carls jr -- one of the few places open on the sabbath. on the way to wash up I came across a paraplegic borderline homeless guy (looked rough but had bought lunch and had a cellphone). he was complaining about a hobo outside the restaurant begging and stealing from the salsa bar - "It's not right, him doing that...". I started to engage in conversation saying saying we all do what me must, we all have our crosses to bear. but he wasn't interested in listening, so I moved on. after lunch and exiting carls I was approached by aforementioned hobo at the corner. our conversation went like this:
"excuse me sir, I'm an american indian. you know, your father defeated Superman".
"Superman? my father?"
"your father defeated Superman. and he defeated Spiderman."
"are you talking about the great father?"
he paused and smiled. he didn't know what to say.
from behind me came a yell. "aaaaah! where you going?"
I turned and saw a mildly disabled (physical and mentally I think) guy pushed an overweight woman in a wheelchair. they had trouble coming up the curb because a concrete barrier and my body were blocking the way somewhat. the two started arguing. they were well practiced and quick about it. my american indian friend tried to intervene: "don't fight. please don't fight. I'm an american indian..."
they were gone quickly and the hobo came back to me. "I was hoping to get a quarter or maybe fifty cents".
"oh, feeling lucky are you?"
I placed a quarter in his thick palm and looked at his aged pocked face and cloudy eyes. he took the quarter and said "call it" with a smile.
"tails", I said. he deftly gave it a flip. I lost.

so where was god in all of this? where was god witnessed in salt lake city? in existence itself.. in each of the interactions described. that maya is my pantheistic heresy, part of my catholicus religion. like the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear, I tell my stories to the universe of the internet and say "yes, god was here. this did happen."

from the hobo's coin flip to the blessed union of Brad and Emily, God indeed was with us.

lastly, don't know how this all fits in, but it seems I just missed bumping into another religious leader in SLC: Rev. Al Sharpton was doing the mormon thang today (story). politics dontcha know. I think I prefer the Rev's debate with Christopher Hitchens. hmmm, that's all about book promotion, right?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hillary to win: a backlash to violence

violence is it's own reward for men. that's my interpretation of a
1987 rat experiment by Swanson and Schuster where high testosterone mice were preoccupied with maintaining dominance hierarchies (fighting) and low testosterone mice cooperated in a democratic fashion to earn rewards.

while I myself admit to enjoying high energy testosterone induced levels of excitement, I sense that a shift is needed to foster real progress away from the current specter of Farfur the AK47 toting mouse.

in the emerging world order women are taking more control.
take the legal arena for example. yesterday I was introduced (in a sexual harrassment prevention seminar) to the "reasonable woman standard" of legal judgment -- that is, what the typical man thinks is not considered proper and sufficient in judging sexual matters; instead, what a typical woman would decide is how evidence is weighed. despite the recent supreme court ruling on "partial birth" abortions, women in general are going to get more of what they want, because they are better at cooperation and support.

so while the he/she ratio is still strongly biased towards male newsmakers, expect that to change as the new Clinton presidency formulates.

the competing view I have is that the best looking candidate always wins; there I thought, Edwards or Obama had it. not any more.

so reasonable women are the new standard bearers. but then what of reasonable men?
as George Bernard Shaw wrote: "The reasonable man adapt's himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man" (Man and Superman, 1903).

maybe that's why I don't play by the rules?

in light of this, to close, I must share a female perspective:
Heidi of Hollywood said "In general, I think men are great. I think they’re a lot like horses. Beautiful to look at and fun to play with sometimes, but at the moment I’m definitely glad I don’t have to take care of one."

mark my words people!

Monday, May 07, 2007

'on earth as it is in heaven' indeed...

Norman Mailer recently spoke about his latest book "The Castle in the Forest", a fictionalized biography of a young Adolf Hitler, a child loved by his mother who yet became history's evil incarnate as the unexplainable killer of millions.

In an interview w/Micheal Silverblatt, Mailer describes his religious beliefs which provide structure for the story:

"When George Bush speaks about 'evil', he speaks of an enormous sweeping force that we have to mass up with our own huge sweeping forces and face him, face to face and fight him down, knock him down. Let me speak about fundamentalism, because I happen to be religious, I happen to believe that God exists. I believe it because it's simpler for me to believe that there is a creator than there is not one. I was an atheist for many years and the problem I always had with it is how do we all begin, what are we all about? Here we are with our rich complicated lives, so moral, so immoral, so good, so evil, so sweet, so ugly, and all of that has come out of a couple of germs colliding with one another? It never made sense to me and so over the years I began to think that what if one were to see God as a creator; an existential God, a God who could succeed or fail, a God who has a vision. And this is a God with whom we are entwined. And I began to see Satan in the same way, as also existential. Satan doing his best (or her best, just as you'd see God as his or her), to diminish human beings, to destroy civilization, to end this creation of God's. Now, the fundamentalists are exactly opposed to all this. The fundamentalists believe that there is only one way to live and that way is found in the Old Testament and even more in the New Testament. And this was all written by God and that's all you ever need to know and to have any ideas that are outside the Old Testament and the New Testament you're in danger of heresy and evil and ugliness and so forth. So they're absolutely monotonous and uninspiring as thinkers. They are totalitarian in the extreme. I've gone so far as to say that fundamentalism could end up being the last weapon of mass destruction. In that sense, I'm opposed to that -- my little notion that God is existential. But following that out makes for a very interesting study of what the devil does and what God does in relation to us. Which is it's small acts with small people all the time. So it's as if each small personal life has their own notion of what they want to do and become and at the same time they are affected to the right and to the left (however one wants to describe it) by activities of small gods and small demons -- and there's a huge bureaucracy on either flank. Not to mention our own bureaucracies of corporate capitalism..."

so this is the sense Mailer has made out of the world in his eighty some years. is it right? what do you think? as someone once said, "there are no answers. there are only questions".

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

it's all new, it's all good...

I was doing a little searching and came across something I posted elsewhere quite some time ago. it's interesting and maybe correct as much as it is, but also quite incomplete if you subscribe to the notion that you have in your head a set of "rules to live by". so why do I post it (again)? well, like the "eternal return", some things just keep coming back and never really get outdated. and the possibility is it's new to you, my reader:

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!”. here’s a nutshell of that book that a reviewer on amazon gave:
1. This is it!
2. There are no hidden meanings
3. You can’t get there from here, and besides, there’s no place else to go
4. We are all already dying and we’ll be dead for a long time.
5. Nothing lasts!
6. There is no way of getting all you want.
7. You can’t have anything unless you let go of it.
8. You only get to keep what you give away.
9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
11. You have the responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
12. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
13. You don’t really control anything.
14. You can’t make someone love you.

so what was it I searching for? I googled "wonderland tomawesome" and wandered a bit. I searched because of a note from someone I've forgotten all about. she bumped into my profile on mybloglog and said "hi". (as a side note, I even have her on my blogroll -- see wonderland or not below). funny, when we keep forgetting (which I guess we must prepare for in old age), what tools we are left with to cope.that little mental jostle also reminded me to consider making a commitment to blog more often (courtesy of an idea podcasted by my pal Jason Calacanis a while ago "how to become an 'A-list' blogger"). I have no shortage of things to write about (could start by elaborating on my links), but the quality, I fear, would suffer. so what is my decision? for now, time and priorities dictate no changes. btw Alice, yr blog has mos def improved in the last two years and inspires (guilts?) me to somehow improve this blog. maybe :)
hey if this post inspires anyone, let me know and let's see what kind of connections reappear!

p.s. Jason, I may be linkbaiting you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

currently reading...

yes, it's time to post my reasons for not posting. besides taxes, here's what I've been spending time on:

As reviewer: Growllingbear (Half Moon Bay, CA USA) - said in 1999:
Raises disturbing questions about nature of evil
If you can find a better bang for the buck than Wicked, please let me know. I picked up Wicked, knowing nothing except that its subject matter was the Wicked Witch of the West, to be drawn immediately into Maguire's splendidly imagined world of
sentient animals, multiple societies, and unique physical laws. Wicked is an enthralling, great read, hugely entertaining. On top of all this, Maguire has Bradbury's gift for creating atmosphere. The pages are heavy with dark, mysterious magic; its moral laws are ultimately incomprehensible.

Black Swan Green
I meant to include some good quotes from the book, but I've already returned it to the library. sorr, chum! I don't really like what the amazon reviewers say and much prefer the KCRW Bookworm interview of Micheal Silverblatt with the author (which got me interested): It's not a "coming of age" story; it a prequel to coming-of-age. It's easy and incorrect to pigeonhole it as being like "Catcher in the Rye" -- Jason Taylor is not Holden Caulfield. I was thinking of having my son read it, but he's a few years away yet from the terrors of early teenage years.

both fun reads which I recommend!

p.s. a little shout out (since we're on books) to my recently passed pal Kurt Vonnegut whom I mentioned a year ago. thanks!

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Stolen Car" by Beth Orton

little change in direction here. this woman is a great vocalist and (I think) a pretty good lyricist too. may not make much sense to you, but who knows, maybe something will stick. here's the lyrics from a good 1999 song of hers:

You walked into my house last night

I couldn't help but notice
A light that was long gone still burning strong
You were sitting
Your fingers like fuses
Your eyes were cinnamon
You said you stand for every known abuse
That was ever threatened to anyone but you
And why should I know better by now
When I'm old enough not to?

While every line speaks the language of love
It never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I can't decide over right or wrong
I guess sometimes you need the place where you belong

Some may sing the wrong words to the wrong melody
It's little things like this that matter to me
Others feel that you should stand
For every known abuse to hand
And all the things that they could never see
You said you stood
For every known abuse that was promised to anyone like you
Don't you wish you knew better by now
When you're old enough not to?
When every line speaks the language of love
And never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I can't decide over right or wrong
You left the feeling that I just do not belong
One drink too many
And a joke gone too far
I see a face driving a stolen car
Gets harder to hide
When you're hitching a ride
Harder to hide what you really saw
Oh, yeah, you stand
For every known abuse that I've ever seen my way through
Don't I wish I knew better by now?
Well I think I'm starting to
While every line speaks the language of love
It never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I've lost the line between right or wrong
I just want to find the place where I belong
Why should you know better by now
When you're old enough not to?
I wish I knew better by now
When I'm old enough not to...
(this post inspired by a conversation on second life)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vietnam: Johnny Walker, the B52's, Huey and the logistics

war story relayed to me the other day at a party. a true story in the spirit of "Apocalypse Now", "M*A*S*H" and "Catch-22":

it seems that in the military wherever you are there's always a shortage of something and too much of something else. it reminds me of a time in 'Nam when a buddy and I "borrowed" a helicopter (that is to say we took it without permission), in order to go make a pickup of some cases of Johnny Walker Red whiskey. this was near the end in '72 and it seems an officer's club was closing down and they had all this alcohol that was going to be abandoned or poured into the dirt. so we flew in and found out sure enough, it was there for the taking, so loaded the Huey full of these cases of Johnny Walker and headed back, feeling pretty good. small problem though. since we hadn't filed a flight plan, this all being "unofficial business", nobody knew about us and we didn't know what we were flying through. until it was too late and we saw the bombs falling. apparently we were going right through a bombing raid. a squadron of B52's five miles above was carpet bombing the area below us and we were smack in the middle of it. these were 500 pound bombs that exploded about 200 feet above ground for wide area impact (airburst?). we could see them dropping around us and my buddy was doing everything he could to dodge them. he was laughing crazy and I thought we were gonna die. any one of those bombs hit us and we'd drop like a rock. the worst part was when they exploded, the air concussion rocked and thundered and I thought we'd get blown out of the sky even if we did dodge them coming down. this kept going on and I was terrified; I won't tell you what I did in my pants. finally, against all odds, we made it back to camp and landed safely. we were really shook up but alive and unharmed. unfortunately the cases of whiskey did not survive. every bottle broke from the concussion of the explosions. that helicopter was soaked with whiskey and it all just drained out. nothing left but soggy cardboard and broken glass. the guys at camp were not pleased with our accomplishment. and to this day I cannot stand the smell of whiskey.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the Spanish-American war, Moro warriers and Colt .45

100 years ago radical Muslim extremists helped correct a U.S. killing policy

the Spanish-American War brought out plenty of man's brutality (maybe even helped bring about the Geneva Conventions?), but you can find that elsewhere. this is, instead, a war story about making death quicker and less brutal; it's well known among gun enthusiasts but much less so for the rest of us. being the eclectric trivia sponge I am, I enjoyed it and so pass it on here...

it seems that after the war was won and the U.S. gained several territories from Spain (Phillipines, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.) there was still a matter of imposing our new superpower will upon the local population. most acquiesed, but not the wild fanatic extremist Muslims -- the "Moros" who would submit to no outside authority.

the Moro juramentado were among the fiercest guerrilla's ever faced. on their own personal jihad, these dudes took the fast track to paradise. imagine being encamped in a dark jungle clearing and being surprised by a suicidal savage armed with razor sharp machete like knives (the "kris" and "barong")
running and screaming at you, the target, to be hacked and slashed to death. actually "suicidal" is semantically incorrect because muslims are not allowed to go on a "suicide mission"... even though they prepare and expect to die (they even bound their limbs tourniquet style to slow blood loss to keep fighting despite multiple gunshot wounds). the attack is for the purpose of taking enemy lives -- just like the car bombers of today. a shining example of how religions distort our perception of reality if ever I saw one.

the old Colt 45 "Peacemaker" SAA (single action army) revolver, famous as the gun that won the West (or was that the Springfield Trapdoor?), favored by cowboys, had been issued by the U.S. Army as the "Calvary" model. problem was by 1893 they were considered old technology besides being worn out.

Colt brought out the "New Army" .38 model that had some technological improvements (double action) and was issued as the official sidearm for US officers for 17 years or so. big mistake if you were stuck in the Philipines with one of these though. that gun is infamous for not being able to stop the Moro warriors. sure they'd eventually die, but they could keep fighting and killing much too long with just .38 slugs in them. what worked was buckshot or big dum-dums.

quickly the US govt realized and dealt with the mistake. they refurbished and reissued the Colt 45, this time calling it the "Artillery" model.

that is the pistol you wanted to have handy if you were in the middle of the Moro rebellion in the 1890's.

so the .45 caliber became the new standard sidearm bullet for it's superior stopping power against the worst of 'em. later, the venerable 1911 semi-automatic govt model became the standard US military pistol for most of the 20th century all the way till 1985 when the beretta M9 (9mm) took over... but that's another story!

lessons learned: I was never taught any of this in high school american history. guess there was too many events to gloss over... I "remember the 'Maine'" but didn't get any of these gory details in school. but maybe someone will use this post as an inspiration for a theme paper or something! as for me, when I'm handed some weird 100 year old guns and get to hear their history while examining 'em (as I was)... that's what makes for an interesting history lesson.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

antiques roadshow moment...

Sidney Richard Percy (1821-1886), Victorian landscape artist extraordinaire

I'm no art expert, but I know what I like when I see it, and I saw quality.

as they say at

"Percy was a master of his craft...The artist seduces us with perfection - in the composition, in his technique, in the overall effect of achieving sublimity. He captures the full interplay between time, place, the elements - and his own emotions. S R Percy has emerged as one of the most accomplished landscape painters from a gifted generation."

how much perfection? well Mark Murray galleries has one of his works on sale for $28,0000. many of his works can be found in English museums.

so believe it or not, last week I got my own personal framed Percy original oil "Meadowland Home" at a thrift shop (location to remain undisclosed) for $10 (check out the pic)! but it's not for sale. I just like having it and enjoying it. studying it at my leisure is an art lesson in itself. and fine art makes for good long term investments...

so should I be planning a trip to be on "antiques roadshow" next time they're in town? mmm, maybe, but probably not. you see, I did some close comparison of the signatures and pretty much decided that my Percy is not THE Percy so admired. a nice painting in any case. and you never know (compare my pic with the links and you'll see what I mean)... anyway, the real lesson is that thrift shops in the right locations can be very good places to find your treasures.