Monday, September 18, 2017

COYOTES - DON EDWARDS


Was a cowboy I knew in south Texas,
His face was burnt deep by the sun,
Part history, part sage, part mesquit,
He was there when Poncho Villa was young.
And he'd tell you a tale of the old days,
When the country was wild all around,
Sit out under the stars of the Milky Way,
And listen while the coyotes howl.
And they go... hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo
hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo

Now the long horns are gone,
And the drovers are gone,
The Comanches are gone,
And the outlaws are gone,
Geronimo is gone,
And Sam Bass is gone,
And the lion is gone,
And the red wolf is gone.

Well he cursed all the roads and the oil men,
And he cursed the automobile,
Said this is no place for an hombre like I am,
In this new world of asphalt and steel.
Then he'd look off some place in the distance,
At something only he could see,
He'd say all that's left now of the old days,
Those damned old coyotes and me.
And they go hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo
hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo

Now the long horns are gone,
And the drovers are gone
The Comanches are gone
And the outlaws are gone,
Now Quantro is gone,
Stan Watie is gone
And lion is gone,
And the red wolf is gone.

One morning they searched his adobe,
He disappeared without even a word,
But that night as the moon crossed the mountain,
One more coyote was heard.
And he'd go, hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo
hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo
hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo
hoo yip hoo yip hoo
hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo

Friday, August 25, 2017

TOTALITY

https://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-Total-Solar-Eclipse-700x432.jpg 

I traveled to Wyoming to view the total eclipse of the sun.  Rhonda had been camping for several days and was not up for another road trip!  I drove up to Laramie the evening before - got in touch with nephew David for a beer, and he suggested a place for viewing that would likely be less crowded.  I had planned on taking the back road to Casper, but the route I took was the back way to Douglas.  It was a dirt road called Fetterman that headed north shortly beyond Rock River.  David thought that it would be about 45 minutes to the area of totality, but it turned out to be about twice that. However, it was worth it.  

There were dozens of cars along Fetterman Road, and as the terrain turned from plains to canyons, there were numerous pull-off sites where people were gathering.  I saw one open area where about a half dozen cars had gathered, and decided to stop.  Got wonderfully lucky!!  A fellow from Texas had brought his 12 inch telescope and some modified binoculars for the viewing.  The 20 or so folks at the site were treated to some wonderful images along with the views through our glasses and the transition from day time to darkness.

I watched through my glasses and saw the progression shown above.  As totality approached, the air started to cool, and I went from comfortable in short sleeves to needing my hooded sweat shirt!  The bright blue sky began to lose its color, and transformed to a dusky gray.  All of the colors took on an other-worldly hue - not unlike when the sun is being partially blocked by smoke from forest fires, but still different from anything I had ever seen.  At totality, I had my binoculars ready to go, and the view was just as shown above.  However, I immediately noted a star adjacent to the sun/moon, and from the map below, it was Regulus, one of the stars in Orion's Belt.  Solar flares were also plain to see.  Venus appeared early on and was easily identified, and various other planets and stars came into view.  The two and a half minutes of totality passed way too quickly, but to use an overworked word - Awesome!!  As the total eclipse ended, the crowd broke out into spontaneous applause, and folks began to gather up for the trek home, knowing that traffic would be a zoo.  Fortunately I took the 'back' way home to Colorado and avoided the traffic-jam-from-hell along Interstate 25.


 http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/33/1503277129-regulus-planets-sun-8-21-2017-eddie-e1477595696172.jpg

The next total eclipse in the US is in seven years, and the path is shown below - I highly recommend making the effort to take it in - I don't think that you will be disappointed.

http://eclipse.siu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2017-2024.jpg

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

TWENTY FIFTH AMENDMENT

 http://www.k-zap.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/trump-crazy-nuts-.jpeg

I believe that it is time for Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Monday, August 14, 2017

GENTLE ON OUR MINDS

Glen Campbell - 1936-2017.  Obituaries here and here. I was volunteering at the Colorado Roots Music Camp at RMMC when we got the news of Campbell's death.  It seemed as though everyone there from the professional musician-instructors to the the music campers had a Glen story [mine was published in a previous post here].  Although Campbell had many famous hits, I am posting below one of his less-mentioned hits - this is prompted by the tribute to Glen given by the Music Camp organizer Charlie Hall.  Charlie and another master musician Louis Mock gave a goose-bump inducing rendition of Gentle on My Mind.  The video shows his masterful guitar playing, and the audience is an impressive group as well!





It's knowin' that your door is always open
And your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleepin' bag
Rolled up and stashed behind your couch
And it's knowin' I'm not shackled
By forgotten words and bonds
And the ink stains that have dried upon some line
That keeps you in the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
That keeps you ever gentle on my mind

It's not clingin' to the rocks and ivy
Planted on their columns now that bind me
Or something that somebody said because
They thought we fit together walkin'
It's just knowing that the world
Will not be cursing or forgiving
When I walk along some railroad track and find
That you're movin' on the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
And for hours you're just gentle on my mind

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines
And the junkyards and the highways come between us
And some other woman's cryin' to her mother
'Cause she turned and I was gone
I still might run in silence
Tears of joy might stain my face
And the summer sun might burn me till I'm blind
But not to where I cannot see
You walkin' on the back roads
By the rivers flowin' gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin' cracklin' cauldron
In some train yard
My beard a rustlin' coal pile
And a dirty hat pulled low across my face
Through cupped hands 'round a tin can
I pretend to hold you to my breast and find
That you're waitin' from the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
Ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind



Songwriter - John Hartford

Monday, June 26, 2017

GEOGRAPHY 101

Perhaps this is just yet another example of the level of education in the USA.  I will guess that the folks responsible for this are some millennials who are proficient at all sorts of social media but are bereft of basic knowledge.  The original map appeared in USA Today, and needless to say, the received an abundance of grief and ridicule!  Deservedly.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

CHRISTIANITY TODAY?

http://www.imsoblesseddaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/follower-christ.jpg

This poem may rankle some folks, but I found it to be thought-provoking and truthful in many ways. The poem and comments can be found here.



THE EXODUS

by

Dave Barnhart



I have seen your religion, and I hate it.
I have heard your doctrine, and I loathe it.
Take away your empty praise songs,
your vacuous worshiptainment.
Your mouth is full of religious words,
but your proverbs are salted manure.


“The sick deserve to be sick.
The poor deserve to be poor.
The rich deserve to be rich.
The imprisoned deserve to be imprisoned.”
Because you never saw him sick, or poor, or in prison.


“If he had followed police instructions,
if he had minded the company he keeps,
he would not have been killed,”
You say in the hearing
of a man hanging on a cross
between two thieves.


“People who live good lives
do not have pre-existing conditions,” you say,
carving these words over the hospital door:
“Who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”


“It is the church’s job, not the government’s,”
say you fat sheep,
defending your fat shepherds,
shoving and butting with shoulders and horns,
while you foul the water,
grass,
and air,
and scatter the hungry sheep.


You watch the melting glaciers and say to the waves of the sea,
“this far shall you come, and no farther,”
as if your will could change the weather,
as if your will could be done in the heavens as it is on this earth,
as if you could drill the sky the way you drill the soil.


In your telling,
in the story of the starving of the five thousand,
there are not twelve baskets collected of left-over food;
In your story, God’s abundance becomes scarcity,
and the crowds devour each other.
“Send them into the villages to buy food,”
and let the Invisible Hand’s miracle of the free market sort them out,
the worthy from the unworthy,
while you eat the two fish and five pieces of bread
volunteered by a child.
These ungrateful poor,
the welfare queens
with their anchor babies,
stop before your disciples’ raised palms;
they hear you say,
“The Master cannot be bothered to bless your children.”


You see Hannah drunk,
and you jail her for fetal endangerment.


Like Haman, you hide behind the skirts of the king;
you make laws and pay bribes
that allow vigilante violence
and private discrimination
against those you hate,
sheltering underneath plausible deniability.
“It’s not a Muslim ban,” you say one day.
“It’s about religious liberty,” you say another.


This Bible you wave, this word you claim,
it is sharper than any two-edged sword.
You wield it poorly; it slices you on the backstroke.
You know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
You tie up heavy yokes for others
whose burdens you do not bear,
but you will not lift a finger to help them.
To some you say, “Do not marry, but burn.”
You lock them out of the kingdom of God.
You cross sea and land for your missionary work,
and teach others to be as hateful as you.


Your kingdom is not the public park of Zechariah,
where children play in the streets
and old men and women lean on their canes for very age.
It is not the land where every fearless household
has its own vine and fig tree,
their own means of production and shade for their rest.
It is not the land where everyone has a home.
Your kingdom is the one with gates,
where homeless beggars have their sores licked by dogs,
where people who have the audacity to grow old
pay a premium for their insolence.
Like Ahab, you covet all the vines, all the fig trees,
letting your domain stretch as far as your eye can see,
adding house to house and field to field
until, in your gentrified land
there is room for no one but you and yours.
Like Pharaoh, you call those who refuse you “Lazy, lazy.”
You build walls, and walls, and walls, and walls,
and you stuff your ears to the sound of protest songs
that will shake those walls down.


I have seen your christ, and he is my antichrist.
He is the herald of a violent god,
a god of fertility but not fruitfulness,
a god of embryos but not emancipation, pro-birth and anti-life,
a god of war and retribution but not of justice,
a god of order but not of peace,
a god of might but not of mercy,
a god of marriage but not of love,
a god of sex but not of pleasure,
a god of platitudes but not of wisdom,
a god of work but not of sabbath,
a god who demands sacrifice from the poor but luxury and reward for Pharaoh.


Your religion is the religion of pyramids pointed heavenwards,
towers built to reach the heavens.
Supported by their flat base, built by slave labor,
they are stable monuments to wealth and death.
You fill their secret rooms with gold so that
in the afterlife,
you may cross to paradise
on the backs of the oppressed,
and live in forgetful pleasure for eternity.
Your gilded gospel is rusty ruin.


You are why the ancient Hebrews
seldom talked about an afterlife,
weary as they were of working
for Egypt’s dead heaven.
Your idols and your religion
are why those slaves left the yoke of heaven,
the land of binding,
for a wide wilderness,
for a nameless, faceless God
who told them they—even they—
were made in God’s image.
You are why your churches are empty
of those who love and believe in freedom.
You are why the Gentiles blaspheme the name of God.
You are the reason for the Exodus.


And if you pursue, may God throw you into the sea.
And the horse you rode in on.


References:
Amos 5:21-24
Luke 14:34-35
Matthew 25:31-46
Luke 23:33
John 9:1-12
Ezekiel 34
Job 38:11
Matthew 13:14-21
Matthew 19:13-15
1 Samuel 1:12-20
Esther 3:8-11
Hebrews 4:12
Matthew 22:9
Matthew 23:13-26
1 Corinthians 7:9
Zechariah 8:4
Micah 4:4
Isaiah 65:21-25
Luke 16:19-31
1 Kings 21
Isaiah 5:8
Exodus 5:17
Joshua 6
Genesis 11:1-9
Exodus 15:21