We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Turtles All the Way Down

Midsommar                                                                   Most Heat Moon


It’s a wonderful morning. Blue sky with high wispy clouds over Black Mountain, lots of sunshine. Solar panels soaking up energy direct from the source. Temperatures have cooled a bit.

The sun, risen again after our mountains spun away from it last evening, shines. But, upon what does it shine? Read this surprising conclusion:

“Many (flat earthers) subscribe to the “ice wall theory,” or the belief that the world is circumscribed by giant ice barriers, like the walls of a bowl, that then extend infinitely along a flat plane. Sargent envisions Earth as “a giant circular disc covered by a dome.” He likens the planet to a snow globe, similar to the one depicted in “The Truman Show,” a fictitious 1998 existential drama about an insurance salesman unknowingly living in an artificially constructed dome.”

flat earthTurns out that among other distinctions Colorado has a central spot in the Flat Earth movement:

“The Centennial State has been the cradle of the American flat earth renaissance since birth. The first Flat Earth International Conference, which will be in Raleigh, N.C., in November, features a number of Colorado-based Flat Earthers, including Sargent, Knodel and Matthew Procella, or ODD Reality, a Denver-based rapper and YouTuber with 75,000 subscribers and nearly 7 million video views.”  These Coloradans Say The Earth Is Flat.

Now if you’re under the continuing delusion that the earth is a globe, here are Youtube channels that will correct your misguided perspective, Jeranism and Globebusters. (Get it?)



Baphomet Among the Hay Rides of Belle Plaine

Beltane                                                                      Rushing Waters Moon

On occasion I would drive on Mn. Hwy. 169, not often, but once in awhile. What I remember most about this exurban community to the south of the Twin Cities is Emma Krumbee’s Restaurant. It’s a country style dining experience cohabiting with an apple orchard, hayrides and lots of cute candles, apple related gifts and smiling waitresses. It always reminded me of Morristown, Indiana where my mother was raised. Downhome, rural comfort food.

Emma Krumbee’s is in Belle Plaine, not a place I expected to see in the New York Times and, in particular, not a place I expected to okay a Satanic Temple Veteran’s Memorial. Read some material* about if from the Satanic Temple’s website.

This is a photograph of the proposed memorial from the same website.


I like it. It’s spare, a bit ominous, but so is war.

I’m not sure what to make of the Satanic Temple itself. It looks a bit tongue in cheek with its Shop Satan webstore. Here are a couple of items from their webpage.





*”The path was paved for this historic event when Belle Plaine displayed a distinctly Christian veterans’ memorial in their ‘remembrance park.’ In response to claims that Belle Plaine was preferencing one religion over others, the 2-foot steel cross was removed. Some residents protested the removal and urged the City to find a legal means to bring back the statue. The City responded by opening the park as a “limited public forum” where anyone, including Satanists, are welcome to donate monuments of their own.”


“The Belle Plaine city council was professional at all times. They adopted a clear set of guidelines which they adhered to. There was no push-back,” Greaves explained, “unlike some other localities where public office holders have wasted public funds in losing lawsuits, trying to gain unconstitutional exclusive privilege for their own prefered religious viewpoint. Belle Plaine recognized the legitimacy of our request and followed the law as it applies to public forums.”


“The Satanic veterans’ monument, a black steel cube adorned on each side with a golden inverted pentagram and adorned at the top with an empty soldier’s helmet, is expected to be installed on park grounds within the next couple of months.”

Semiotics. Up Close and Personal.

Spring                                                                              Passover Moon

Female Golden Stag Beetle

Female Golden Stag Beetle

In a long ago TV program, the name of which I can’t remember, a character said of his Porsche, “It’s my carapace.”  Yes. The vehicle we choose is a statement about us, carmakers learned this from the carriage makers. Kate and I drive a Rav4. It’s functional, unexciting, and a mostly serviceable way of moving from point A to point B. We bought it in a hurry when our Tundra had a fatal seizure not long after I’d given the Celica to charity.

But we’ve added a bit to it. First, there’s that damage to the front end, unrepaired. Long unrepaired now, maybe 2 years. That’s a statement. We also have two stickers on the back: Our House Runs On Clean Energy and Fin Del Mundo: Ushuaia. During the presidential campaign, we also had a Bernie Sanders sign. There is a small sticker on the side window for the planetarium in Boulder. Gertie and Rigel ride with us from time to time. Another statement.

fishI mention the Rav4 and the Porsche first because these thoughts often occur to me while I’m driving. Vanity license plates. Fancy wheels. Political bumper stickers. Coexist. Rainbow pride. If you’re going to ride my ass, at least pull my hair. Keep honking I’m reloading. Flagpoles on the back of the pickup: the red white and blue on one side, the yellow, Live Free or Die flag on the other. Gun racks. Lowriders. Bentleys and Priuses. The occasional Maserati or Ferrari. Maybe you’re on a motorcycle wearing colors. Maybe you’re pulling a boat, or a camper, or a horse trailer.

As a culture we have chosen our vehicles as a prominent way to signal to others who we are, or who we would like to be.  I read an article that said the political leanings of a particular area could be sussed out by the number of pickup trucks on the road, the more pickups the redder the politics. I’m sure you could find a similar metric by counting Cadillacs or Hummers or expensive sports cars.

I used to have a ponytail and I’ve had a beard almost all of my adult life. Look at a woman’s nails, at earrings, necklaces, bracelets. All semiotics.

evolvedAt home. Even the dogs with whom we live. Semiotics. Furniture. Art. Books. Rugs and window treatments. Semiotics. Both to others, but also, and often more importantly, to ourselves. Reminders of who we are. Or aspirational signals about who we want to become. Or, false flags, representing how we wish others to see us. The solar panels on our roof. The well maintained exterior of our home. Even the stumps of the trees cut down for fire mitigation. All messages to the world.

We are opaque. Who we are, what we mean in the world, is not evident from our bodies. We want to know, need to know, what others are like, but we’re very poor judges. That’s why stereotyping exists. It attempts to add semiotics to skin color or body shape. Because we want some advance clue as to the nature of the other. Are they are a threat? Are they a potential mate? Might we agree with them on something important? Could they be trusted?

grateful deadWe all know this, at least at a subconscious level, so we offer clues. Those Grateful Dead Dancing Bears. The menorah lit in the window. The stylized fish. The stylized fish with legs and Darwin in the middle. A Bronco’s sticker. A Viking’s sticker. A lacrosse stick. Somehow we feel these things reveal a portion of who we are. Make us less opaque, perhaps a bit more transparent.

As a long ago student of anthropology, these kind of things fascinate me. I offer no conclusions, other than what they reveal about our essential opacity and our desire to be known in spite of it. The wide range of these semiotics are perhaps more necessary in a diverse nation with no tribal traditions, no single ethnic heritage, no long history as, say, Franks or Germans or Spaniards.


Now Entering Trumpland.

Winter                                                                             Cold Moon

chamber-of-horrorsWe have entered a long tunnel, dark at its core, though there may be a faint light faraway. This tunnel is the first two years of a Trumpist America. Perhaps it has a sign, somewhere near the entrance: Chamber of Horrors, Fun House, or Hall of Mirrors. It is a Disneyland populated not with Mickey Mouse or Goofy, but the spectre of starvation, a ghoul of no medical care, a banshee of Twitter posts. No one knows what to expect on this first ride through the politics with no name, the policies with no shame.

Each time I read the paper my breath catches, a silent groan followed by a not so silent oath. “God, can you believe this?” This is a theme park in which the theme is noblesse with no oblige. It is a neo-Gilded age fantasy realm in which bankers regulate bankers, climate change deniers run the EPA, a racist is Attorney General, an enemy of public schools runs the Department of Education and generals run the Department of Defense. Were this a parody, it could not have been limned with more precision.

One temptation for third phasers is to hunker down, watch our nest eggs. Keep out of the way. As energy, that most valuable of health resources, wanes, it would be easy to say I have no leverage here, no power in a Trump dominated political realm, so why bother?

Children of the Trump

Children of the Trump

That would be a mistake. We third phasers are the group with political experience, who know how to fight asymmetric battles with powerful establishments. It was our generation’s birthright to take up that fight in the 1960’s. We may not lead, but we must support. Why? Because if not us, who? An advantage, a strong advantage we have, is most of us no longer have careers to safeguard, families to raise. We can take risks, challenge politicians with less personally at stake. That’s a powerful tool in this fight.

Our ride through this Chamber of Horrors is no longer optional. That ended on November 8th. Our boats have docked and in just nine days we have to get in and brave the darkness. I hope the person next to you is someone you love.



Lughnasa                                                                     Elk Rut Moon

What you see

place of business

place of business

Reverend Susan GreerReverend Rita Holt

OMGThe Western

A Likely Story

Summer                                                                         Recovery Moon

During the swirl of visits to various doctor’s offices before surgery I was not at my sharpest or most attentive. I lost my ART hat, the blue hat with the red ART. It was from a contemporary exhibit at the MIA and one of my favorites. Tracked it down at Eigner’s Littleton office. I visited him in Lonetree, Littleton and Englewood, so it wasn’t a snap to figure it out. Today I retrieved it.

After that I visited the shiny blue box of IKEA in Centennial. This was for yet another BILLY bookshelf in the birch veneer. While there I needed help and got it from a 57 year old guy who had an incredible story. Just how incredible I’m not sure since I’ve not been able to confirm it, but this is what he told me.

“I was a CEO, got cancer and lost my job. Ended up $1.2 million dollars in debt. Lost my house and lived out of my car for a year.”

“What company?”

“Pittney-Bowes. I’ve tried to get other jobs but the CEO jobs I’ve applied for turned me down because of my illness history and the middle management job interviews end at over-qualified. So now I work 100 hours a week, 40 here at IKEA and 60 at Broadway Pizza which is owned by a friend of mine.”

This guy was completely believable to me with the exception of his lack of bitterness. I mentioned that and he said, “What are you gonna do? You have to take life as it comes.”

When I got home and told Kate about this encounter, she asked why the CEO didn’t have good health coverage. Good question. The more I think about it I imagine this guy was like a few of the psychopaths I’ve met, able to tell a lie so convincingly that you become part of it.

I liked him, felt sorry for him and admired him. Strange event.

No comment

Summer                                                                     Most Heat Moon

file under it must have seem liked a good idea at the time:

SEATTLE — A man who used a can of spray paint and a lighter as a makeshift blowtorch to kill a spider in his laundry room started a blaze that caused $60,000 worth of damage, Seattle fire officials said Wednesday.

Not Sure Which Direction To Take? Read the Sign.

Summer                                                             Most Heat Moon

So often the real world outstrips the imagination:

“Motorists on Shepard Road  in St. Paul got an obscene message from an electronic road side sign instead of the information that was supposed to warn them of a flood-related closure ahead.

Sometime on Tuesday night, a hacker changed the message on the board near Chestnut Street to read “Local Moms Need [a man’s body part].” The vulgar message generated several calls to the city, said Kari Spreeman, a public works department spokeswoman.”

full blog entry from the Star-Tribune’s Drive.

And on a lighter note

Summer                                                        Summer Moon

found in the Denver Post

BERLIN (AP) — An American exchange student who got stuck in a giant vagina sculpture was freed by firefighters in southwestern Germany.

Tuebingen fire service official Markus Mozer said Monday that the young man slipped as he tried to climb into the stone sculpture to pose for a photo.

He couldn’t free himself, so the fire service was called. Four firefighters eased him out of the sculpture.

The incident happened on Friday and the student’s name wasn’t released.

Mozer says no damage was done to the sculpture, created by Peruvian-born artist Fernando de la Jara.


Shooting the Moon, Real Bad Luck, and We’re #7!

Beltane                                                                                 Summer Moon

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona man arrested for unlawfully discharging a firearm told authorities that he was trying to shoot the moon.

93-year-old man in medical transport van killed in W. Minnesota collision   Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune  Updated: June 11, 2014 – 2:24 PM

On a list of best burgers in the United States, coming in 7th, Matt’s Bar on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis! Kate, Joseph and I were there last Thursday.

94) Juicy Lucy, 5-8 Club, Minneapolis, Minn.

All you need to do is get a glimpse at the 5-8 Club’s menu to realize that the Juicy Lucy is no by-the-numbers burger menu item. The establishment features their most famous menu item smack in the center in bold, noting that their Lucy has been featured on Man vs. Food and Food Wars, and won a whole host of Twin City burger accolades. So what’s the secret? A mouth-watering, cooked-to-order half pound patty, stuffed with your choice of  cheese that melts in the center and mingles with the meat’s natural flavors. Just one look at this molten, mammoth burger creation is enough to kick in some serious burger and cheese cravings.

July 2017
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