Thursday, November 26, 2009


Once upon a time they taught interesting things in highschool. Now, you're hard pressed to find a college with such offerings.
Available Here (PDF format).

I've found, or own, several other high school course books on similar things. Things long gone from common knowledge in the first world, but essential everywhere else and soon to be here again as well.
At some point, when I have time and energy, perhaps I should put together a collection of links or find hosting for this library of "Things You Should've Learned in School, but Didn't".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Corb Lund

I think the first reference to Corb Lund I came across was from a forum friend, who had lyrics from Lund's Horse Soldier in his signature line. The lyrics seemed pretty appropriate, this fellow having been an Army Ranger and Special Forces Reservist, as well as being a cowboy up in the sagebrush north of here. Somehow it got filed away as an “I should check that out, sounds up my alley” sort of thing, and not revisited for quite some time. When I finally did, man, I was impressed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cormac McCarthy's Horseshit

(Or, an Open "What The Hell?" to One of My Literary Heroes)

I’m a big Cormac McCarthy fan. He is my favorite writer. Living, dead, unborn – My favorite. I’ll go to the mat, or the concrete, in defense of his craft at the drop of a hat and I really enjoy talking about his writing in general. I’m a fan. So, it was with some surprise that I walked away from his latest interview, with the Wall Street Journal, disappointed and pissed off.
I learned a long time ago that artists whose work you like are not necessarily people to get to know. Sometimes there is something lacking. Not always, but often the real person simply fails to live up to their creations. On one hand, I could take or leave being disappointed with McCarthy as it’s his work I truly value and not his person or opinions. On the other, I can’t quite let slide something he said in the otherwise excellent interview.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Human Chauvinist

I've read that people, formerly ordinary everyday mundanes of normal people perspectives, who are experiencing some kind of awakening to the plight of the world move away from anthropocentrism (human chauvinism). As they do, supposedly, they have a moment where their thinking shifts from “I'm saving the planet”, to, “I'm part of the planet fighting to save myself.”
This begs the question, at least to me: What does it mean to be an anthropocentrist and have always held the view of one-self as part of the planet, not apart from it?

I've never seen myself as apart from the planet or the rest of the world. I am still terribly fond of human beings and our accomplishments, and my aim in life is to further my species. Until the day some big bad mother of a species comes along, wipes us out and builds his outhouses on our bones, I plan to continue holding that view. As a part of the world as a whole.

Doesn't mean I undervalue any other species or thing on Earth. I try very hard not to. I just think that, generally, we're wielding the biggest swinging cods this side of the viruses. No reason not to feel at least somewhat accomplished over it and try to keep it so – That's what the whole affair is about, isn't it? Thought so.

What good is a species that isn't wired to think highly of itself?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Dead Monkey Falling Down-Adobe Forge

Every good blacksmithy has a name. Mine doesn't really, since its been a transient smithy so much and will be again at some point. But, on the old home place there is a small adobe building I'm slowly renovating to be a permanent smithy for the ranch. Right now, not-quite-falling down, three walled, half-roofed and crumbling, but good things will come. There is also some sort of a monkey skull (yes, really) laying on the floor, that I'm debating nailing to a sign above the door. So, the Dead Monkey Falling Down-Adobe Forge is its name for now.

Everything is heat, light and motion. Energy and movement, fluidity and violence and everything on the edge of burning down. There are moments of sudden, zen-like, stillness on the part of the smith, but he is alone, an island in madness. While he is still, the fire will burn, the oil in his quench will smoke, the air will be filled with sound and smell. The light will flicker and dance on the broken walls and into the eternity of energy.

We are strange priests of arcane things. Of our sins we fathered the alchemists and the engineers. For a time, if it was built we had our hand in it, and then our sins outstripped us. As relics we returned to our solitary and smoky chapels. We dance, ancient in our ways and wordless prayers of struck steel.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have a Twitter account for my business, and think its worthwhile. I've also ooohed and aaahed over the things other people are doing with their Twitter's. Still, I have regarded having a personal Twitter as a waste, and indicative of being a waste (of amino acids). But, I'm slowly changing my mind, and as such have stuck a toe in the water.
Changing my mind have been artists I like, such as Corb Lund and Amanda Palmer, various writing movements like Nanoism, writers like Steve Pressfield, and the recent happenings in Iran where Twitter was put to such good effect.
So, I now have a Twitter. At present, I'm enjoying it and delighted that things I see there already make my world feel more right and well adjusted (which I did not expect). Like the Kindle thing, it may stay, or it may go the way of the Sardinian Dhole.

I think I'll be using it to follow people primarily for now, but I expect I'll be tossing up some original 140 character prose from time to time as well.

Twitter: WhatTheNagrom