wild wild western washington

THE CASCADE MOUNTAIN RANGE cuts a wild and wide slash through the state of Washington from top to bottom. That part of the state between the Pacific Ocean and those mountains is Western Washington; that part between the mountains and the rest of the United States is Eastern Washington. It is Western Washington that everyone thinks of when they think “Washington”: clouds and rain, Seattle and lattes, bumbershoots and grunge, and more rain. The moist air from the ocean hits the mountains and rises to form clouds, which return most of that moisture as rain, causing our side of the… Continue Reading wild wild western washington

the astounding creatures of masayoshi matsumoto

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” Starfish. Centipede. Jellyfish. Bee. Lizard. Butterfly. Scorpion fish. Caterpillar. Hermit crab. Flamingo. Phoenix. Beetle larvae. Octopus. M asayoshi uses balloons only! Masayoshi Matsumoto has taken care to keep a very low profile: he is 25-years old and a recent graduate of Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he studied 有機高分子物質 (organic polymer materials). I did find what appears to be his website: Isopresso. There he claims, “バルーンで色々なものを作っています。このページに掲載している作品は全て風船のみからできています。シール・ペン・接着剤などは一切使用していません” (“I make many things with balloons. The images that are posted on this page are made only… Continue Reading the astounding creatures of masayoshi matsumoto

pangur bán and the nameless monk

EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT A COINCIDENCE IS: “The occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection”—at least according to Merriam-Webster. But of course it’s not that simple: ‘real’ coincidences not only catch our attention, they resonate with us. Real coincidences seem to ‘mean something,’ even if that meaning is just beyond our ken. Also, coincidences seem to be unique—they feel special. They feel woowoowy. They feel like God/Grommett or the Universe/Void are trying to call us out of our revery and pay attention! They feel like they’ve never happened before . .… Continue Reading pangur bán and the nameless monk

philosophical mutts and zen master cats

GUARDIANS OF BEING is a collaboration between Eckhart Tolle (words) and Patrick McDonnell (pictures). I have enthused over it since its publication in 2009, and have recommended it to everyone! The book describes beautifully and playfully how philosophical mutts and zen master cats help in grounding human beings—call us out of our reveries, our worries, and our self-absorption, and plant our feet back on the ground of the here and now. 1 “This wonderfully unique collaboration brings together two masters of their fields, joining original words by spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle with delightful illustrations by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the acclaimed comic strip… Continue Reading philosophical mutts and zen master cats

a note on the late great david bowie

MY TRIBUTE TO DAVID BOWIE was an account of how and when I was transformed from a Bowie-hater to a Bowie-lover in 1975. I titled it “Just How Did David Bowie Affect Your Consciousness” and posted it on my Rather Rare Records site last week. It had taken a few days to write it, as I was unprepared for Bowie’s passing. I should have added this note here when I published it last week so that readers of this site would know of it. Click on over and give it a read and accept my apologies for being late . . .… Continue Reading a note on the late great david bowie

art spiegelman’s very strange comic strip

I SAW THE ADS FOR WITZEND in late 1966 or early ’67, probably in the Rocket’s Blast Comics Collector. RBCC was the first fanzine that I bought in the ’60s; it was an adzine that featured articles on comics and ads from dealers and collectors offering stuff for sale. I sent my dollar bill off to some strange address in New York and eagerly awaited an entire publication by my faveravest artist, Wally Wood. 1 I waited for months and what I finally received was Witzend 2 with a note of apology from Woody in the mailing envelope. The… Continue Reading art spiegelman’s very strange comic strip