Multiple Dimensions

May 22, 2014 at 10:21 am (By Ron)

You may not believe this but this sort of ties into the previous post.  When I was a wee lad, I was quite the taper of things….not video tape, but audio!  I taped everything I could; TV shows (nearly all the Peanuts specials), radio….what have you.  When I heavily got into classical music, I had no records except an 8(!) disk set of 78’s of Bruno Walter conducting the Beethoven 5th.  These disks….could have been back up shields for Captain America, man, they were heavy!  I failed horribly trying to put them on the skinny spindle my sisters used to cue up their 45’s.

Detroit had a host of classical music on WJR, Karl Haas, who had a show called “Adventures in Good Music”.   Haas was fine, but he never told you about pieces he had just finished playing, only what was coming next!  So one day I would up recording something I really loved, but had no idea what it was!  I thought it was Haydn or maybe Mozart.  I would play this thing over and over just for background music when I was on a tear of reading… Finally I figured out it was the 3rd movement of the Beethoven Piano Concerto #3.  This was electrifying for young Ron…loving a Beethoven piece without even knowing it was one!

I mention all this because I’ve come back around to it again…in my old ways, with 20 things going on at once in my head.  I cook, I watch and emjoy my tree, I read online 10 things at once, writing crazed notes about subjects I know nothing about…but want to know.  And of course, I write….and like a conversation in rhythm, Beethoven is right there, right in my ear, my heart, my head, sometimes even adjusting how I type my ideas in “keyboard rhythm” to the music.  I don’t even see myself doing this, sometimes, and really notice when it stops!

So I knock off this little post, just to share for you….in the hopes that you too can find that rhythm for something you love….and want to do more of.

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May 20, 2014 at 7:28 am (By Ron)

Well, hi folks….It’s not a rolling beach, or a stunning cityscape, or misty mountains….but it is spring and I do have a tree outside my window.



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What Woke Me . . .

May 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm (By Amba)

. . . at three a.m. may have been the cats chasing something round and round the house. I didn’t know whether it was a giant roach or a house gecko, and I didn’t want to know, though from the zeal and style of the hunting—a rapid slapping down of paws in which running doubles as serial pouncing—I suspected the latter, having seen Buzzy hunt an anole the same way.* This morning I found the gecko, tailless (the least of its troubles), multiply punctured, and bled-out pale. It was still alive, and it cocked its head and looked up at me, as if to say, “Are you going to torture me now?” When I stroked it with a finger instead and put it on the outside stair landing railing, it closed its eyes wearily. A little later I found tiny ants already probing it. Alive, it had haunted me; almost as soon as it was dead, its little sand-colored scrap of a body merged into the inanimate, and it was of no further separate significance, except as a bonanza to the ants.

That’s how our consciousness has to withstand being hunted and tortured by death until it can’t hold out any longer, too much damage has been done.

The next time I hear such hunting I’m going to get up and gently intervene.


*I did save the anole from Buzzy in time. It appeared dead, but on closer inspection could be seen to be surreptitiously breathing. I laid it in the sun, and when its protective death-mimic shock wore off, it took hold and ran away. I think I have seen it, tailless but robust, going about its lizardly business.

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“When you slam on the brakes, you’ll be ahead of the pack!”

May 7, 2014 at 7:44 am (By Ron)

So on Facebook the other day, Amba — remember her, bantamweight, the Bulldog Drummond of copyeditors — mentioned that the Chinese may make Detroit a Chinese City.  Now, I thought, why?  Don’t they have enough empty cities of their own?  Or are  they trying to complete the set, like baseball cards?

But there must be a million things we could do with Detroit.  They’ve already got a new business in “ruin porn” tourism!  Can’t screw up that by fixing their problems, can they?  It would be just like Detroit to do just that.  So I put it to the floor — what would you do with it?  Blow it up?  Make it into an 11,000 hole golf course?  Maybe a place to test new weapons!  Oh, we do that now?  Never mind.  Maybe Detroit is the cutting edge of America’s future….the canary in the fiscal coal mine, setting the standard for collapses to come.  Endless possibility — that’s what Detroit has always been about!


My post title comes from Bruce McCall’s Bulgemobile series from the old National Lampoon.  His cool book is The Last Dream-O-Rama.


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Some personal updates

May 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm (Icepick)

Thankfully, these are all positive.

First, my idiot fugitive neighbor got arrested again Thursday. So he now sits in cell BRC3CN7 of the Orange County Jail. (He had skipped his trial date of April 14th on the hit and run and became a fugitive. He showed up several times next door after that.) Now just awaiting the foreclosure and then his girlfriend and their dogs will be gone permanently.

Second, Disney claimed the other day that they actually HAD cancelled my ‘benefit’ on February 28th. But it took them until April 30th to process the incorrectly billed statements and mail something to the diagnostic lab. Hopefully that is FINALLY sorted.

Finally, some friends are in town this week, and I’m hoping to finally meet them. If lucky, we might even get an appearance from our hostess.

Anyway, hope things are going well elsewhere, too.

UPDATE: Looking forward to tomorrow!

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“He looks sort of cranky. Maybe he should take a nap.”

May 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm (Icepick)

That’s what my daughter had to say after seeing … maybe you’d like to guess first. I’ll show you who below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

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More cheery stories of the economic “‘recovery'”

April 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm (Icepick)

For many Americans, ‘temp’ work becomes permanent way of life

Moving in with parents becomes more common for the middle-aged

Cheery stories, both, five years into the “‘recovery'”.

Every other story right now is a side-show to the big news, which is that the American economy is being hollowed out like a melon rind, and our elites just don’t care enough to even address the issue. I’d tell you to remember that come the fall election season, but that just doesn’t matter anymore either.

NOTE: I’m now using three marks for the opening and closing of the scare quotation marks around the word RECOVERY because two just don’t seem like enough.

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UPDATE on a Theban Tragedy

April 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm (Icepick)

Several months after I was PROMISED, one more time, that everything had been fixed, things aren’t fixed. I cannot believe … My frustration levels are really climbing. I have been trying to get this fixed for YEARS. YEARS! And they will not fix it.

I am starting to think of hiring an attorney to sue their goddamned dumb, evil asses for emotional distress. John Morgan is here in town, and he’s as scary a lawyer as you can find in the country. Yeah, maybe that’s what I need to do….

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Not so fast with the optimism, buddy!

April 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm (Icepick) (, )

CAVEAT: I try to avoid political posts here at Ambiance. But today, as yesterday, there is some economic news worthy of note.

The new jobs report was released today. I have heard a few people make some optimistic noises about the fact that private sector jobs have matched the 2008 peak in terms of numbers. (See here, for example, though they do have the decency to caveat the hell out of the article.)

What I’m not hearing, and don’t expect to hear from the Administration, is a comment about full-time jobs. As of March 1 2014, the US economy had 3,872,000 FEWER full-time jobs than it did at its peak in November 2007. And that’s after almost five years of recovery.

And given that the working age population has grown considerably in the intervening years, the employment situation is actually even worse than it appears.

So don’t let the bastards tell you how goddamned good we’ve got it, and what a wonderful job they’ve done. Because it just ain’t so.

(Sorry, I’ve been trying to get the graph to embed, but wordpress isn’t accepting the FRED site’s code. I’ll see what I can do to fix it later.)

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That whooshing sound you hear …

April 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm (Icepick)

… is the air being let out of the middle class. More and more people that DO have jobs are getting priced right out of the housing market.

People with money to burn, both domestic and foreign, are buying up all the property, leaving the middle class with nowhere to go. Make no mistake, our rulers on Wall Street and in DC are doing this deliberately, with an eye towards making certain that only Lords and Serfs remain.

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