August 31, 2006

Water Under the Bridge


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Mother Jones, bless her heart, has created a complex interactive timeline. a tour de force, a cybermasterpiece, that chronicles the war in Iraq. It includes handy tags for the erosion of civil liberties, the fear factor, torture, true and false intelligence --- the works, folks. Unfortunately, it is entitled "Lie by LIe", so it is not likely to be examined by those who would benefit most, or utililized in the classroom..... yet. It will be updated as new lies emerge. Smooth navigation requires reading a one page operation manual, which momentarily dampened my enthusiasm.

Meanwhile the pot is calling the kettle black, as Rumsfeld resurfaces, democracy perpetrators scan the world for more oil resources in nations that could use a little liberty, and a new ad campaign has been launched to get send shivers up your ... I can't bring myself to be crass. W., meanwhile, has his nose to the grindstone inching his way to bookwormdom.

Since I have, once again, slathered my entry with cliche after cliche (to match the title thematically, of course), I am trying to keep in mind Robert Macfarlane's scathing review of Irvine Welch's (of "Trainspotting" fame) new novel. Methinks it applies directly to me. Apologies. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he doesn't google himself and find this.

Photo note: Water under the bridge

Addendum: Keith Olbermann for President

Posted by Dakota at 06:21 AM

August 29, 2006

The Crafty Patriot



in context

Just when you thought the rats were about to go down with the ship, Rumsfeld and Rove have resurfaced, and seem to be in the swim again with renewed vigor..

They're revamping the Bush android facade into that of an intellectual bookworm. No project is too monumental for these guys.

Driving the public-relations offensive is a newfound desire to boost perceptions of the president's intellectual prowess. U.S. News’ Walsh wrote that “portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls ‘gravitas’ to the Bush persona.” It's not an unreasonable goal. When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough did a 10-minute segment on the president’s dimwittedness two weeks ago, with an all-caps “Is Bush An ‘Idiot’?” caption along the bottom of the screen, it reinforced the fact that the president's lack of intellectual depth undermines his credibility.intellectual bookworm

And what have his advisors chosen for him. A little existential novel that's right up his alley, "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Two of the central themes in "The Stranger" are the meaninglessness of human life , and the importance of the physical world . ("The Stranger shows Meursault to be interested far more in the physical aspects of the world around him than in its social or emotional aspects. This focus on the sensate world results from the novel’s assertion that there exists no higher meaning or order to human life. Throughout The Stranger, Meursault’s attention centers on his own body, on his physical relationship with Marie, on the weather, and on other physical elements of his surroundings. ")

Wonder if he's reading any Noam Chomsky?

But enough of this political commentary, wouldn't we all rather watch watch the JonBenet case.

Photo note: An antenna cozy. For those of you who would like to undertake such a project, the pattern can be found here in the patriotic crochet pattern section, along with patriotic toaster and can opener covers.

Synchronicity watch: Look what I ran across googling Bush + intellectual -- and just when I have resigned from the Sprinkle Brigade too.

Posted by Dakota at 01:17 PM

August 28, 2006

The Morning Message - Mysteries of the Universe Revealed


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I was just about to resign my Sprinkle Brigade auxillary membership, due to lack of raw material (another public health success story, dog owners are actually picking up after their loved ones-- we did it with dog poop, we did it with the hole in the ozone layer , we did it with AIDS, now let's do it with the rest of the critcal issues here on earth, like climate change, war and epidemic post traumatic stress disorder). But I digress.

I set out on my sunrise walk on Saturday , sprinkles in hand, only to be rewarded by the small brown pile above. Because I am very myopic, at first I thought it subject for sprinkle. On closer examination, I realized that it seemed to have its own sprinkles, a stick, and a wrapper, and reached the conclusion that I had a melted fudgsicle on my hands. I can't remember my exact association, but let us say I took this as a good sign -- you know, dog poop to melted fudgsicle, a step in the right direction.


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Thirty yards beyond the fudgsicle, there was a fresh pink carnation lying in the road. Carnations are not indigenous to the seashore.

I wouldn't have taken this as a message if I hadn't been listening to an audio book entitled "The Secret History of The Pink Carnation" all week (lean pickings at the library in the audiobook section during the summer). The book concerns lighthearteded British undercover spying in France during the Napoleonic era. You are undoubtedly familar with the Scarlet Pimpernel. Well, the Pink Carnation is a fictional female version. Since I consider myself a lighthearted female subversive of sorts, though not as adorably brilliant, classically, or beautiful as The Pink Carnation, I do identify with the her. I was amused to find the flower at my feet.

Speaking of which, I also began to notice that I was walking without pain. Tui na has almost cured the plantar flexed forefeet which have plagued me for a number of years. I had also seen my nutritionist the day before and she, divining rods whipping around like helicoptor blades, had given me a remedy that seemed to really help.

Reaching the shore, I proceeded to take my usual four hundred shots of the harbor at sunrise.


view inside up close

As I rounded the bend, hoping to catch the rare blue heron of last summer in a reflective pose, I was buzzed by a flying formation of migrating Canadian geese overhead, honking their heads off, (my shot is too blurry to publish), and then I happened upon a pair of black slippers with a purple swirly lining sitting on the retaining wall. This could be construed as a message about my improving connection to the earth through my healing feet -- that is, if I were completely psychotic. Did I giggle? Yes, so I dare to mention it.

And finally, because the sun had fully risen, I looped back to shoot my fudgsicle, once again, hoping that it would be illuminated more brilliantly. That's when I noticed the magenta strings. I picked it up. It turned out to be a mobile of sorts, made in the Phillipines of coconut shell pieces, and some kind of unfamiliar Phillipino rocks strung together with magenta string, and tiny white shells (as small as sprinkles). Of course it had been run over by several cars, so it undoubtedly had lost some of its charm. Quite the transformation, as twere.


I brought it home and dropped it on the table on the deck. When it was discovered by others, they were relieved to hear that it was something that I had collected, and not an ominous talisman left as a curse upon our household. Well , they might not have said that directly, but that's what they implied.

Oh I do wish I knew what it all meant -- that is, if it means anything at all.

Photo notes: A simple documentation of signs observed, and minor lunacy. Nothing pretty about it.

Posted by Dakota at 07:37 AM

August 27, 2006


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If you simply
a minute
to whip up
snide commentary
with informative

try a
or two
for a



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Photo note: The light was lovely at the beach this morning. Sunrises in late summer are the best.

Posted by Dakota at 10:14 PM | TrackBack

August 25, 2006


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A shocking little video to blow your mind, while I go to the beach in the rain.

Perhaps our president could use a little brain cozy to keep all those lies straight in his head.

Photo note: The American voter in a thinking cap -- or maybe a not thinking cap.

Posted by Dakota at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

Snuggling Up in the Flag


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As those of you who follow me regularly know, I have an American flag photo collection, which I use from time to time to illustrate a patriotic point --- true patriot that I am. No kidding. I believe that the Constitution documented an amazing spiritual vision of freedom and equality for all (okay, almost all -- that's why we are allowed to amend it), well before it became a reality. .I am awed by the idea that the framers could create something so revolutionary, and so enlightened from imagination.

Like the Bible and the Koran, there are those who have distorted the meaning of the Constiution for purposes of gaining power, but that takes nothing away from its splendor as a dream.

OkeeDokee -- I'm sure you didn't drop by to read this sappy stuff.

In my flag photo collection, I try to capture bizarre flag utilization and treatment, generally done in the name of what I'd term aggressive patriotism. For example, using the flag as a beach towel, seems less than respectful in my estimation. Then again, I am old fashioned.

In sharp contrast to the photographic evidence of the cavalier manner in which the flag is often treated, is the story of a farmer, who had the audacity to hang it upside down on his own property, as a small gesture of protest. In addition to being charged with disorderly conduct by the authorities, "he faces death threats from a forum on a Marine vets’ website,, which calls itself the 'Marine Corps Community for USMC Veterans'. " Quite an impressive reaction to this dreadful deed. Let's hear it for patriotism.

Photo note: Would that the seagulls were American Eagles. Dream on , honey.

I got this when I googled aggressive patriotism - it's totally irrelevant, but interesting

Posted by Dakota at 02:40 PM

August 22, 2006

Dead and white


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It seemed a coincidence that "Little Miss Sunshine" , a delightful, demi noir film about a family road trip to a baby beauty pageant, (and the only decent movie of the summer, I might add) was playing the same weekend that JonBenet Ramsey's ostensible murderer confessed, and put the poor dear back into Google (3,404 search results), the headlines, and all over television to the point where, even I know what her confessed, maybe murderer nibbled and sipped on the way home from Thailand.

Although I , personally, don't watch TV, I understand that JonBenet is, once again, the dead white subject of the distractomedia -- you know, the junk journalists who call our attention away from all the dead girls to whom we should be paying attention.

In addition...

Boston Globe Tuesday August 22, 2006 --Letter to the Editor

Why do the Globe and other newspapers continue to refer to the murdered child, JonBenet Ramsey, as a former "beauty queen"? The term as applied to a 6-year-old us disgusting and perverse. Regardless of who the child's murderer may be, a lot of people believed she was abused by her parents just the same by being dressed up as a living Barbie doll and paraded around.

Why do you play along with this sick idea and perpetuate it? This girl was just this side of a baby, a small child used by adults who were supposed to be looking after her. You might refer to her as ...I don't know, a child. And leave it at that. MIKE MAGUIRE Boston

Abigail Breslin, the child actress who plays the heroine of Little Miss Sunshine, could never be mistaken for an authentic child beauty pagaent entrant. The contestants, at least in the movie, hit the uncanny valley `hard --little girls well on their way to androidhood.

Photo note Dead, white, get it?

Addendum: Hit this clickie again, and be sure to scroll down, because I bet you missed it. We're somewhat innured to seeing dead boys, a pretty dead girl seems much worse, especially if she's an American soldier.

Short Excursion: go to Google and type in failure, look at what comes up. Hurry, before Google fixes it. Wonder how long it will take them. Maybe a while, since failure isn't a word neocons use much.

Posted by Dakota at 07:43 PM

The Buzz About Honey


bigger bee

Since I have launched my new project, in which I am likely to be exposed to more bacteria than usual, I thought it would be wise to have a little medical honey on hand.

It has already been proved that medihoney even puts paid to multi-resistant germs such as MRSA [sic]. In this respect medihoney is neck and neck in the race to beat the antibiotic mupirocin, currently the local MRSA antibiotic of choice. This is shown by a study recently published by researchers in Australia. In one point medihoney was even superior to its rival: the bacteria did not develop any resistance to the natural product during the course of treatment.

It is also known today why honey has an antiseptic effect: when producing honey, bees add an enzyme called glucose-oxidase. This enzyme ensures that small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, an effective antiseptic, are constantly being formed from the sugar in the honey. The advantage over the hydrogen peroxide from the chemist's is that small concentrations are sufficient to kill the germs, as it is constantly being produced. As a rule much larger quantities of hydrogen peroxide would have to be used, as hydrogen peroxide loses its potency over time. However, in large concentrations it not only damages the bacteria, but also the skin cells.

As an auxillary Sprinkler, I ordered (what I figure to be) the most potent kind at epharmacy in australia, although the milder complexion creams are available in the US on ebay, and you'll save postage.

I guess I could use honey right out of the jar, but I worry about attracting swarms of flies while sprinkling

Photo note: A gauzy bee replica, with a little something growing on it for creepiness value. Below - the universe telling me to pass along this information.


bigger buzz

Posted by Dakota at 06:18 AM

August 18, 2006

Shameless Psychological Development


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Okay -- this is my first attempt as a self-appointed auxiliary member of the Sprinkle Brigade, Northeast Chapter. Lame, lame lame. Sprinkling is not as easy as it looks.

Lessons from the first foray into the medium.

1. Keep a supply of decorations on hand -- sprinkles are light weight and can be carried about upon one's person, freeing one to be spontaneous. I rushed right out to to get a supply for my already groaning purse, but made the mistake of going to Wild Harvest. Evidently sprinkles do not come in "organic", (should you chose to fill that gap, remember who gave you the idea) Instead, I purchased birthday cake candles in neon colors, a package of incense, multicolored fussili, and raspberry yogurt covered tiny pretzels. A good start. Other useful items could be tiny buttons and bows, sequins, stars, feathers ( best to stay away from black), Rainier cherries ( while they're still in season), or, more elaborately, a gingerbread man with a leash. Ideas are evolving.

2. Throw a latex glove or two in with those decorations, maybe a small bottle of hand sanitizer too. Your raw material will have more handling appeal.

3. If your project needs alot of arranging, as did this one (the gummy worms kept rolling off), be prepared to do your creating in the public eye. As I completed the work above (in front of a few disinterested passersby, which was uncomfortable enough), and snapped a shot, the third floor tenant, whom I have met twice, pulled up. I distracted him from the work at hand with my neigbborly chatter, as I walked him away from it. I noticed that I was hesistant to go back and tweek it when he went upstairs. Maybe if I were more punk and had spiky purple hair it would be different, but I look like a little old lady playing with dogshit. I could probably be taken into custody.

3. (This pertains to completing a project in a timely manner.) It's undoubtedly best to use the freshest raw material you can find, particularly if you have any notion of embedding. Strike while the iron is hot

4. If your raw material is oversolidified, or you are in a crowded area, simple sprinkles are a good choice -- quick, no embedding required.

5. People who own dogs have a much better shot at catching the raw material at a perfect time for creating

6. Remember each time you create a piece, you are also reminding a dog owner of his or her responsibilites to the community.

Safety consideration: Later, it did occur to me that using gummy worms or pickable uppable candy for decorations increases the possiblity that a child would find and eat it (I read somewhere that the mechanism for disgust and distaste doesn't kick in until about age 3). Best not to Sprinkle on the playground. Stick to sidewalks where small children are closely supervised lest they run into the street.


Freudian stage: Anal

Erikson stage : Autonomy vs shame and doubt.

Unfortunately some parents see the attempt to assert power and independence as a personal threat. Threatened by the strong will of their child, many threaten back and attempt to punish and control the child who is trying to assert his independence. This negative censure is a particularly cruel punishment for the "self" in formation. If the child is constantly the "loser", he loses his sense of power and self-esteem. To avoid punishment the child may cease active exploration. Filled with SHAME AND DOUBT, the child becomes dependent on others to tell him what to do and when to do it.

Sound like anyone we know?

and from Gerard Keegan

"the anal stage (1-2 years). The second stage of personality development, where according to Freud, libido moves to our anus, or bottom. The anal stage is all about how strictly or liberally we were toilet trained, at a time we get pleasure from playing with our bowel movements. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but please read on!). An overly strict toilet training regime can give rise to an anal retentive personality. This is the adult who is obsessively neat, tidy, and organised. They can be stubborn and tight-fisted with their cash and possessions. This is all related to pleasure got from holding on to their faeces when toddlers, and their mum's then insisting that they get rid of it by placing them on the potty until they perform! Not as daft as it sounds. The anal expulsive, on the other hand, underwent a liberal toilet-training regime during the anal stage. In adulthood the anal expulsive is the person who wants to share things with you. They like giving things away. In essence they are 'sharing their s**t'!

As you can see, I'm reworking my anal stage and hoping to develop a little more anal expulsiveness -- er..r..r autonomy and self esteem -- in the process -- not that I was EVER anal retentive. MaMa, on the other hand....let's put it this way, --did not encourage the personality characteristics found in the expulsive.

That's obviously why I'm getting such a big kick out of this inane project -- just like a shameless two year old.
Honestly some of the things a reader has to put up with.

Photo note: Lacks necessary irony, because you can't tell the yellow things are gummy worms. Like those flies.

Addendum: A dear and close personal relative with whom I shared the Sprinkle Brigade link, told me that during the 2004 elections, tiny, toothpicked American flags emblazoned with Bush's photo , could be found on Manhattan dog doodie. Wonder why they stopped?

Posted by Dakota at 07:58 PM

August 16, 2006

Supplied for the Weekend


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All of us here at Dakota are, once again, about to abandon ship for the weekend. We figured you will need lots of complex clickies to keep you busy until the New York Times Sunday Styles Section arrives.

Watch savant Stephen Wiltshire, aka The Human Camera, draw an astonishingly accurate aerial map of Rome, after viewing it during a 45 minute helicopter ride. Stephen is autistic, and has a very special gift indeed. The wonder of the brain.

For the feline fanciers and cowpokes among you, here's a short film that you might find amusing. All of us here at Dakota are so highly allergic, that we can only appreciate cats from from afar.

Talking to Americans, a five part series produced by Canadian Broadcasting, would be hilarious if it weren't so totally disheartening. It provides a great deal of insight into our current political pickle here in the USofA.

For the serious Bush watchers, Keith Olbermann has compiled an excellent summary of the relationship between the timing of terrorist alerts by the administration, and the events from which these "alerts" are meant to distract the public. That is not to say that, for example, those involved in latest airline liquid problem were not plotting something, but the timing of all the ruckus is rather suspicious, given that there were other events in the Middle East that might have lost the administration a poll point. Just think what these spurious tactics cost each time they "release" a faux alert. Which brings us, quite perfectly , to our final offering.

This is The Big Baby's personal favorite, The Sprinkle Brigade. All of us here at Dakota enjoyed this so much , it makes us wonder about our maturity, or at least consider at what developmental stage we are fixated. Do click on all the photos to the left --a triumph of creation that's right up our alley. We are starting a local chapter of the Brigade, wanna join? A cooperative canine has left a creative opportunity for us right outside the door, as we speak, and we're off with our gummy worms to decorate. TaTa

Photo note: A little twisted patriotism, a little light and some geraniums

Posted by Dakota at 10:12 PM

Fighting Fish


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more intimate fish portrait

I had best explain this photo.

There are two fish bowls (actually three, but, if I had included the third, the angle would have been less artful). The aforementioned bowls rest on a ledge in the front window of the famous village institution, Marc Anthony's, La Pizzera, where, most summer days, the dashing Mark Anthony, himself, holds forth at the top of his lungs with faux Italian belligerence. But I digress.

Each bowl contains a single fighting fish, snuffling the water surface, tail down. The fish are separated for obvious reasons.

Suspended above the bowls, illulminated in neon, are the last four digits of the phone number for La Pizzera (1-508-295-5956 in full, in case you're in the neighborhood).

Reflected in each bowl are two upside down SUVs, as well as the white building with black shutters across the street which houses the Pier View Restaurant.

There is a third (fifth in photo) SUV parked out front, with only its front bumper showing.

Looking through La Pizzeria window, past the fish bowls, you can see the front window of the Pier View across the street, upon which is FISH FRY is stenciled in red, flanked by two golden stars.

If one were inclined to interpret signs from the universe, or slightly psychotic --or both-- one might turn one's attention to the irony of the fish fry sign appearing just above the fighting fish ( actually, thirty feet away, a visual metaphor for the future) in the same shot. One could go even further and say that it is a message about the future of the "fighters".

The golden six-pointed stars are dripping with symbolic meaning (The Star of David's a good start). At second glance, maybe those stars are only five-pointed, but a star's a star and it certainly counts. toward metaphorophoto points.

More points are awarded for the presence of all those SUVs, and the backwards neon numbers (so..o..o Leonardo), too complex to analyze in a blog entry. We shall leave that task to a talmudic scholar. And the frosting on the metaphorophotographic cake? Reflected on the left hand side of each bowl is a barely visible (pity) American flag.

How's that for packing it in folks?

What do you think it means?

Photo note: As above, so below

Posted by Dakota at 01:40 PM

August 15, 2006

Trying to Get Back in the Swing


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I'm having a bit of a struggle maintaining my jolly hopefulness, given current world conditions.

There are some who believe that peaceloving conscious mortals can influence the woowoo in a positive way if they continue to imagine what they want, rather than what they don't want, and make the best of what already exists. Whether or not the technique works, doing just that makes everyday life much more appealing. I figure I should try, although it's been more of a struggle lately. My personal circumstances at this very moment-- sitting on my comfy couch on a warm sunny afternoon, snuggling with my laptop, plugged into the universe -- are quite divine.

I'm doing my best to envision love, compassion, hope and beauty. You know, the usual, and it's working a little. I must say that tui na this morning really helped me out.

Adrian White, a social psychologist from the U. of Leicester, has produced a world map of happiness. Unfortunately, the original interactive map at Leicester's website seems to have been removed, so you'll have to strain to see the one in the clickie.

The Danes are currently the happiest folks on earth and the Burundians the least. The US of A is # 23, but we're coping with George Bush. . You can read the list yourself.

Health provision, wealth and education are the most important factors in determining the happiness of a population. Mr. White left out countries that are at war. Had they been included, there would be quite a few black holes in this map. Evidently, it was a foregone conclusion that war doesn't contribute to happiness in any significant way;

I had heard that nations with the highest number of choral singing groups per square mile were happiest (of course, I can't find that reference) People who play in string quartets are also very happy. Since the only form of choral singing I've been able to do successfully is toning in the Tibetan manner, it's unlikely that my happiness will manifest from musical activity.

Maybe happiness isn't what we should be aiming for anyway. Like George W. Bush says, freedom is important.

Photo note: A pressed stainless steel panel from the side of Betsy's Diner - I thought it was pretty

Posted by Dakota at 11:25 PM

August 14, 2006


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I'm back

by what
has gone on
in the world
while I was
riding my bike
and swimming

honestly, a girl
can't leave her
blog for a minute
these days

Photo note: A picture of tranquility, while it lasts

Posted by Dakota at 09:10 AM | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

Still gone


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Still gone

just checking
my email
at an internet
in the coastal

scraping off
all the scummy spam
which was
clinging like
to my pristine site

as well as
a little
to all those
who are pining
for Dakota

me too

back next

Posted by Dakota at 04:40 PM