Thursday, December 22, 2005


That's right. Even if Christmas ain't exactly your thing religiously or otherwise, I still hope you have a merry one. Couldn't hurt, could it?

Health and happiness to you all at the end of another trip around the sun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hey Roy!

Epiphomatic Machinations seems to have disappeared. Anybody know why? Roy? Are you reading, if not writing?

No time for more. My ride's here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Split Second Decision

I am not a supporter of the Iraq War, but here's some proof that our troops over there can display humanity and political acumen all at a moment's notice. This from an article in the SF Chronicle about veterans views of the war, concerning a Marine Corporal Squad leader in Ramadi. Samarov is a Marine Major from SF:

"Samarov told the story of how a group in his unit rounded a corner one day and came on an Iraqi funeral procession, which, in traditional fashion, featured both gunfire and shouts. What to do in such a case? Draw your weapons in defense? Protect the procession in case there is violence? Disrupt the procession by passing? Such a situation isn't covered in any field manual. Making a split second decision, a young corporal ordered the troops to lower their guns, remove their helmets and bow. The Iraqis, after a pause, broke into applause. It was a brilliant stroke. Samarov said there was never again any problem in that neighborhood. And it was the result of trying to pull the best possible idea out of thin air and hoping it is the right choice."

Semper Fi'.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Black and Orange Blues

The SF Giants have officially cut their ties with JT Snow, having not offered him arbitration. This is the end of an era. As a columnist in the SF Chronicle sports section wrote, it's the end of a Golden Age. Snow was far and away the best defensive first baseman in the game. His fielding percentage was a point higher than Derrick Lee's, who won the Gold Glove for some reason. He was a real pro, of the type that really makes up the majority of long time major leaguers; a veteran who showed other players how it's done.

He was my favorite player. I have a soft spot for defensive geniuses, and especially for great play at first base. I love good hitting, home runs, and so forth, but love it more when its combined with great play in the field, as though the batter has earned his at bats. Snow did that and more. Bonds is exciting. Omar Vizquel is astonishing. When he's on, Schmidt is an executioner on the mound, but the Giants without Snow will be much less than they were with him. This is nearly as bad, for different reasons, as the departure of Matt Williams in 1997.

I guess nothing lasts, but Snow's Era didn't have to end yet. One more year would've been enough. He could then have retired as a Giant. Once again the business end of major league baseball has intruded on the game like a big, stinking bag of trash spread across the diamond.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

General Clark's Opinion

Here's an interesting piece by Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) reprinted from the NY Times. While I'm against this war and I completely distrust the motives of our morally bankrupt administration in invading Iraq, and I go from wanting us to pull out to not wanting us to pull out, I appreciate Clark's more dispassionate look at it. From a brutal realpolitik point of view, it makes more sense than some vaguely defined "strategy for victory."

Monday, December 05, 2005


I once had a dream wherein I had great, neatly delineated sections of flesh flensed off the back of my hand, and underneath was a bony shell, rather than an intricate network of tendons and nerves and veins. On this bony shell were Don Martin cartoons. They were set in as though the bones had developed with the cartoons forming along with them. While I'm a huge fan of Don Martin's work, this was a deeply disturbing dream for some reason.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Storm's a comin'! Bettah head for the cellah!

A brief moment now to post something.

We're finally into the first good, brutal storm of the season here in the SF Bay Area. For some twisted reason I'm digging it. Of course, I don't have to walk around in it because my wife gave me a ride to work and will pick me up any minute. Still, there's something about the first real heavy blast of wind and rain that gets me rolling. I get to see if the mink oil on my Red Wing boots is still good, or do I need another coat on there? In moments of lessened rain, or no rain, I notice water dripping off foliage that is somehow much greener in the few hours since it started to rain. I'll notice on the weekend that our back lawn, which normally suffers greatly from neglect, is getting some payback and is flourishing, green and thick. I will be reminded tonight how Springheel Jack doesn't give a damn if it's blowing a gail...he MUST be walked. I won't mind. Walking the rainy, nighted streets of northeast Richmond with a canine force of nature dragging me along excites the imagination. Some of the images may survive to get posted here. Most probably won't, but I'll have seen them in my mind's eye for at least a moment. In that regard, I'll take what I can get.

To top it all off, I will need to facilitate the drying off process with a small glass of bourbon and a handful of almonds. Gotta warm up on a darrrrk, and storrrmy nicght!