Meditations on a Seasonal Psychosis

i think this must be one of the best
of the year to be broke.

a better idea

there's no worries about what to buy
or which one to pick, because i have
no money.

not "no money" as in "ohmigod,
the VISA's over-heating"...

... more like "no money" as in no more
loonies or toonies in the change jar.

brain storm

ha ha!

forward into history



fortunately, no one i know
- including me - really needs
more stuff.

freedom of choice

ha ha!

homeward bound

...so given the full-court press
on everywhere now about Stuff,
feel even more like a cultural
tourist than usual.

i feel like Spock,
or maybe Alice.

he knows when you are sleeping.
that kind of creeps me out.

Alice Spock.

it's all about the weather

an interesting name
for a syndrome.

run, paint run run

captain beefheart's passing has kept him
in my thoughts this week.

riding MS to death was a hard way to go,
but i think he enjoyed his life, and ever
the shaman, he remains a powerful inspiration.

earth boring

...and i'm trying not to imagine
spending 4 days
and nights
at Heathrow Airport?

those poor bastards.

i've been there. woof.

they would have been taking me out
in bubble wrap after about 24 hours.

but hey...
private room.


the solstice has finally turned
towards the sun again.

it's carazy how much i feel
that each year.

gord's home

my brother's home.

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Have an MBA Christmas!

London-Heathrow is usually the second busiest airport in the world. During the holiday season, more than 200,000 passengers a day arrive at
the terminal on their way to spend Christmas
with their families.

Like most airports most days, flying out of Heathrow is rarely a pleasant experience,
but on an OK day, it more or less works.

For the last 5 days, though, things have been
pretty f*cking far from OK.

The trouble began with some bad weather on December 16th, just as the busiest travel time
of the year got underway. Then, on December 19th, disaster struck, with 4 inches of snow falling
and temperatures plunging to -3 Centigrade.

Typically, 1,300 flights come and go, but on
this day, only 15 were able to pull it off. Given the nature of contemporary travel, the ripple effects were immediate, and global.

Planes that were expected at foreign destinations were unable to leave Heathrow and planes seeking to fly there were unable to, as they say, go there.

Millions of lives have been affected so far, as
people's plans for happy holidays turn to into
so many lumps of coal.

Luggage losses are estimated in the hundreds of thousand of pieces, with particularly heavy losses among those checked in after the airport was effectively closed to travel.

What makes this such a Masterful moment
in Business Administration?

BACKSTORY -  In 1987,
under the auspices of Ms. Margaret Thatcher, Heathrow Airport was one 6 Britsh airports privatized (sold) to BAA, a subsidiary of the Spanish company Ferrovial.

This year,
Ferrovial spent £500,000* on equipment to deal with snow and ice at Heathrow.

During that same time period, BAA spent £35,000,000 on upgrades to retail space in Terminals 3 and 4.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow's chief executive, will
be paid more than £1,000,000 in salary, bonuses and pension contributions this year.

Ferrovial is expected to announce pre-tax profits
of nearly £1,000,000,000  (
$1,574,048,610 CAD) for 2010.


These four facts alone might conjure a shit-storm among stressed-out holiday travelers, particularly as some head into their fourth night sleeping on the floor at the airport....

but as usual, there's more!

At the same time over in socialistic Finland, at Helsinki airport, temperatures dropped to -25C
and almost 3 feet of snow fell, but no delays were reported.

And at the also socialistic Stockholm airport, where more than a foot of snow fell, they remained open and the only flight cancellations were the ones destined for the UK.

Similar reports came from several other airports across Europe, and even Canadian travelers were quoted as saying "3 inches? WTF?"

Some petulant British travelers have also pointed out that the 2010/2011winter is the 3rd consecutive one where "proper snow, decent depth, staying for a few days" has occurred and that this also happened in 2005 and 2006.


What takes this to the Masters
of Business Administration bonus round?

The company faces a public relations nightmare
of unusually large dimensions. These travelers and their families will not soon forget the Christmas
of 2010.

The embarrassment fall-out has spread to include the Mayor of London and a variety of government ministers whose Christmases are now also being 'impacted' in a most unfavourable fashion.

BAA's average loss of revenues each day when their airports are not running is estimated at £5,500,000 per day.

...which, as some passengers go into their fifth day of sleeping on the floor and/or praying for deliverance, means that cheaping out on snow and ice services have already cost BAA more than £25,000,000***.

...and things are still pretty f*cking far from OK at Heathrow. The best estimate is that schedules will not return to anything like normal til after Christmas.

* In a second announcement 2 days later, the 'official' figure
had gone up to £3,000,000**

** In the most recent announcement, the company has claimed more than £6,000,000 was invested in weather preparations
for the winter of 2010/2011

*** estimate includes an allowance of
£2, 500,000 for extra food and beverage expenditures by travelers effectively
trapped at the airport.

follow the fun at The Telegraph - don't forget to read the comments sections after each article about this debacle!

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Martin Rowson has been a full-time
freelance cartoonist since graduating
from Cambridge University in 1982.

His latest book tells the story of Earth,
from the Big Bang to
9/11 and beyond.

It's fucking brilliant.

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the Real Captain America

has left the building. 

Captain Beefheart
was a nom de plume used
by the closest thing white rock music ever had
to a true shaman.

A man with more gris-gris than Mac Rebennack,
and more poetry than Jim Morrison,
who was more far out than Mercury
or that other Morrison,
or Morrisey.

He spent more of his life living in remote areas
and painting than being a rock star, which if you
go by sales, he never really

mutually useful but volatile.


Typically a Beefheart album might do 50 to 60,000 units.
His sales volumes may have been low, but his demographics were something else.

His audience included Jerzy Kosinski, Igor Stravinsky, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Woody Allen, John Lydon, Joe Strummer, Devo, Pere Ubu...

...and 50 to 60,000 others.

Beefheart was a one-namer before Madonna
could cross the street
by herself.

'all roads lead to coca-cola'
Don van Vliet



I look at her and she looks at me
In her eyes I see the sea
I can't see what she sees in a man like me
She says she loves me

Her eyes
Her eyes
Her eyes are a blue million miles

Her eyes are a blue million miles 
Don van Vliet 1972

Fast goes fast
Slow goes slow
Rich are rich and the po' are po'
Everybody's doing the Low Yo Yo Yo Yo
Everybody's doing it
Deep down everybody knows they should
Do the Low Yo Yo Yo Yo

Low Yo Yo Stuff   Don van Vliet 1972

50 to 60,000 is also about the number of US dollars you would need to buy a painting or two of his now.

Funny business, art.

You used me like an ashtray heart
Right from the start
Case of the punks
Another day, another way
Somebody's had too much to think
Open up another case of the punks
Each pillow is touted like a rock
The mother / father figure
Somebody's had too much to think
Send your mother home your navel

Ashtray Heart   
Don van Vliet  1980

i told my mother - she showed it to me not too long ago, in this baby book in that horrible palmer penmanship method of writing that she used...on this old yellow piece of paper it's written out, that if she would stay on one side of the room and i would stay on the other, that we would be friends the rest of our life.
Don van Vliet

i met aldous huxley. i sold him a vacuum cleaner. i said: 'i assure you, sir, this thing sucks!'. he bought everything in my car. i was selling electrolux vacuum cleaners. i quit right after that - probably some time before 1959.

Don van Vliet

stars are matter
we are matter
but it doesn't matter.

Don van Vliet

January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010
after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Don Van Vliet

the Captain Beefheart Radio Station


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...sometimes this life's
      a long river



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you say it's your Birthday? best christmas ever!

furiously curious days.

the darkest of darks, and then...

we meet with my brother's care team
at the hospital today

and together, make plans

so he can come home.
three weeks ago,

everybody was writing him off.


we tried.

three weeks later,

no more MSRA.

putting on weight.



21 days

from write-off

to  outpatient.

3 weeks.

it's not how it usually goes

with lymphoma.

it's the best Christmas






with thanks to the Creator.

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O Canada

it's getting harder and harder to believe
that i live in a country where people
said things like...

We take the position that there is no place
for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on
the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom
and privilege.

I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to participate in that work as a representative of my country, Canada, whose people have, I think, shown their devotion to peace.
Of all our dreams today there is none more important - or so hard to realise - than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.

Usury once in control will wreck the nation.

Canada is our country. It belongs to us
and we belong to it. Let us join together,
in our time, and make history once again.

As a people, we know what we can do, we know how to do it, and we just want to get on with it. How? By ensuring that Canada's place in
the world is one of influence and pride.

The twentieth century belongs to Canada.

when's the last time this guy
said something that made
you feel proud?

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the only thing we have to fear

photo source

sometimes i wonder if i'm still living
next door to the same America...

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth,
the whole truth, frankly and boldly.

Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great
Nation will endure as it has endured,
will revive and will prosper.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that
the only thing we have to fear is fear itself
— nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat
into advance.

In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things

Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.


The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may
now restore that temple to the ancient truths.
The measure of the restoration lies in the extent
to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. 

Small wonder that confidence languishes,
for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.


photo source

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.


Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern
world has produced.

It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife,
of world relations.

It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance
of public procedure.

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. 

These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me.

I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe...

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

March 4, 1933


"the only thing we have to fear is..."

Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.

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Yogi Bear... the Horror

As a dog returns to his vomit,
so a fool returns to his folly.

Proverbs 26:11

... so i'm just having a cup of tea
and watching TV with my mom,
minding my own business when this
commercial comes on for a new movie...

it's 2010 and there's a new movie
about Yogi Bear?


dear god, please let this bomb. please...

...leaving aside the memory of Daws Butler,
and the fact that i don't want to hear Justin Timberlake sing, let alone "do" Yogi's
little buddy Boo Boo,

and never mind that it really doesn't look
like the imaging here is setting a new high
water mark for the industry...

my sense is that unless this bombs out,
i feel like it's the beginning of the exhumation
and re-animation of the otherwise immaculate corpses of every cartoon i ever watched
on Saturday morning.

this thought makes me want
to blow my cookies.

it was bad enough a few years back
when that wave of necrophiliac recordings
came out- all these people singing
'with' dead people.

that creeped me out big time, but at least
they didn't do saturation marketing
on TV, with merchandising tie-ins to other companies who also do saturation advertising...

the thought of more and more childhood memories coming back from the grave, yelling and screaming like rabid harpies on bad meth is disturbing
in the extreme...

aren't there any good ideas around
for a new computer-animated movie?

did i miss
some great public outcry
for "more Yogi" now?

was it even all that great to begin to with?

it's not like i believe these things are sacred
or anything. i'm just getting sick of the endlessly strip-mining of the media, by the media,
for the media.

in the natural world, this sort of cannibalism
leads to the development of what
we call "mad cow disease".

i may need to get my meds adjusted.



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