Epiphany, the 12th day of christmas

It is Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas in Greece. Bells are ringing, priests moan into microphones everywhere. In honor of the Baptism of Jesus, the priest tosses a cross into the waters (which abound) and swimmers contend to retrieve it.

and furthermore

EpiphanyThe modern observance at Piraeus, the ancient port of Athens, takes the form of a priest hurling a large crucifix into the waters. Young men brave the cold and compete to retrieve it. These days, the cross is generally attached to a nice, safe long chain, just in case that year's crop of divers is something less than desired.

via About

White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars


White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to MarsForget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama's past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars.

via Wired


White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars | Danger Room | Wired.com.


Trip to Rijeka and Venice

Just back from our new year’s trip to rijeka, croatia with an extra bonus trip to venice. Had a good time in Rijeka, meeting and greeting some of the enthusiastic and friendly Croatian folks and fans, played on a boat, then a blissful little excursion to la serenissima, queen of the adriatic, wenedig, venice, dig. What a gas. Life is good.

The following is a favorite bit from “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” about Venice


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Christmas tree haid

This picture is me in front of the “christmas tree” at Syntagma square. They didn’t put up a special tree this year, for fear that rioters would burn it down as they did in 2009. This is an inadvertenet conehead shot from my boxing day bike ride around athens. Now we are going to Rijeka, Croatia. We will spend sunday and monday in Venice. Maria’s never been.


Wavy Gravy, my old boss' husband.

I worked for Jahanara Romney, this guy’s wife at Grand Central Answering Service in San Francisco from 1976 to 1979. It was a gas. I encountered ol’ Wavy a few times. I played Tuxedomoon’s version of “Night and Day” for him. He said “When I hear this and then the original….it’s like night and day!” A hyuk. I used to see him riding the bus in SF, twanging on a homemade tambura and chanting.

Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie – Theatrical Trailer on Vimeo on Vimeo

Wavy Gravy, my old boss’ husband.

I worked for Jahanara Romney, this guy’s wife at Grand Central Answering Service in San Francisco from 1976 to 1979. It was a gas. I encountered ol’ Wavy a few times. I played Tuxedomoon’s version of “Night and Day” for him. He said “When I hear this and then the original….it’s like night and day!” A hyuk. I used to see him riding the bus in SF, twanging on a homemade tambura and chanting.

Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie – Theatrical Trailer on Vimeo on Vimeo

Cheetah, him gone

Farewell, cheetah. Good night, sweet prince.  He now flings feces at the stars.


Cheetah was king of silver-screen jungleHe was a star of the silver screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age, but Cheetah, the original chimpanzee sidekick in Johnny Weissmuller’s “Tarzan” movies of the early 1930s, passed away quietly Saturday at a Florida primate facility. He was believed to be 80 and succumbed to liver…

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I dreamt of the King on Christmas Day

This is an image from my website from ten years ago. Me and Lee Self with the King.
Merry Christmas.
Last night I dreamt of elvis. He was sitting in my living room playing and singing CC rider on an acoustic guitar. I was singing along from the kitchen.  I told him “Elvis, you should do it like that in your show. The people would die! You would be bigger than ever!” He said “thank you very much”. Later I was at his show. The crowd were being led by some MC in a Hare Krishna-like chant of “Elvis Presley! Elvis Presley! Elvis PresLEEEE!”
I woke up to discover that Elvis’ picture in the living room had fallen down and was coming out of its frame! Ooooo-eeeeee! Too much, man.
Then I woke up and it was Christmas morning in Athens. Santa didn’t bring me nothin’. Maria gave me a scarf. I like it. It is black and blue. Last night, on our way home from the cinema there was a really good swing band playing Jingle Bells in the Platia Klathmonos. I dug it the most, cats. I found out later that they were the Athens City Band. Public employees.
Me and Maria christmas eve 2011.
Now we see what Christmas day brings. Ho ho ho.
later that same day….
Had some amazing food at an architect friend’s house. I overporked, so came home to lie down on my yoga mat and listen to christmas programs. I guess that’s that for that. Next big event is New Year’s Eve in Rijeka, Croatia. Stay tuned.
Pictures from christmas dinner

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Is Wonderful Life


Yes it is, I guess. You know, certain types of “Christian” are always on about how Christmas is a pagan holiday and has little to do with Jesus Christ and/or how society seeks to secularize it by saying “Happy Holidays” and so on. I say, “yeah, why not?” Why not just accept that Christmas is a winter festival of light like those in pretty much every human culture? During the winter when the sunlight is in short supply, humans like to light up their habitats in an effort to feel better and less afraid of what lurks outside in the darkness and the cold. As one with a tendency towards seasonal depression, I like these kinds of holidays. Why not just accept Christmas for what it is, the celebration of a series of syrupy mythical assumptions and folk tales developed in the 19th century to sell goods manufactured by the industries which arose during the industrial revolution? All human myths and folk tales came into existence in this manner, at some point they were initiated by a culture in order to enshrine and express the world view of that culture at that time. Our culture pretty much came into existence in the early 19th century, especially in the 19th century media landscape of print publishing in books, magazines and especially newspapers. The embryonic framework  of the global consensus hallucination of our daily raging media storm was in place by the mid-nineteenth century, especially in England and America.

Who can deny that Santa Claus, for instance, is largely the invention of  cartoonist Thomas Nast? Or, indeed that he was further refined and defined by the Coca Cola company?

Coca cola art

Coca Cola Claus


I have no trouble with all of this. I say that this is the festival that we celebrate, with little to do with the Middle Eastern cycle of myths upon which it is loosely based.

And so, Merry Christmas once again.  In celebration, here are the final scenes of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Don’t forget to visit the Xmas Album Gallery on this blog on your way out.

Pigeons moving up intellectual pecking order


Pigeons Can Learn Higher Math as Well as Monkeys, Study SuggestsBy now, the intelligence of birds is well known. Alex the African gray parrot had great verbal skills. Scrub jays, which hide caches of seeds and other food, have remarkable memories. And New Caledonian crows make and use tools in ways that would put the average home plumber to shame.

Kim Il Sung death sparks natural wonders

Interesting to note that the thing with the bird was a standard event in ancient times when a deified tyrant snuffed it.

Telstra BigPond News and WeatherEven Mother Nature is mourning the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, with ice cracking around his birthplace and expressions of grief from a bird, according to Pyongyang's official media.

The Juche Idea

Juche is the only government-recognized ideology within North Korea. Not traditionally considered a religion, but more of a combination of philosophy, educational strategy, and religious practices, Juche could be described as nationalist, secular, ethical ideology. Juche, literally “main body,” has often been translated within North Korea as meaning “independent stand” or “self-reliance.” Created in 1955 by North Korean President Kim Il-Sung, traditional Juche holds that even though humanity is independent and the primary agent in its own destiny, it also contains a collective unconsciousness grounded in the “Great Leader.” Juche teaches that the North Korean people need to be organized and guided by the “Great Leader,” who was Kim Il-Sung himself. Many consider Juche to be a personality cult created by Il-Sung to promote himself, his family, and his ideas. As a social and political ideology, many of the components of Juche are similar to Marxism as well as some Communist ideologies of China (Maoism) and the former U.S.S.R. (Leninism). Originally constructed as an ideology to assist North Korea with its independence, Juche also claims to be an ideology to assist other developing countries with understanding and developing their true independence. Juche ideology developed further in 1994 when General Secretary Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-Sung’s son and successor, added some of the ethical components of Confucianism to Juche, including doctrines addressing material possessions, family values, and self-sacrifice. Even though small pockets of Juche have developed in other countries, the great majority of Juche followers live in North Korea.

The Prophet Is Dead: Juche and the Future of North KoreaAs the North Korean government announces the death of Kim Jong-il, the future of the "hermit kingdom," along with its 25 million people, remains largely uncertain. It is no secret that life under the Dear Leader was no picnic.

The North Korean government and associated organizations use a variation of the Gregorian calendar with a Juche year based on April 15, 1912 CE (AD), the date of birth of Kim Il-sung, as year 1. The calendar was introduced in 1997. Months are unchanged from those in the standard Gregorian calendar. In many instances, the Juche year is given after the CE year, for example, 27 June 2007 Juche 96. But in North Korean publications, the Juche year is usually placed before the corresponding CE year, as in Juche 96 (2007).[38] Calendar schemes based on political era are also found in the Japanese era name (Nengo) system and in the Minguo calendar used in the Republic of China (Taiwan), though these are not based on the birth of an individual as in the Gregorian and Juche calendars. Incidentally, the year numbers of the Juche calendar, Minguo calendar, and Japan’s Taishō period correspond to each other even though they were not meant to be related.

In August 1997 the Central People’s Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea promulgated regulations regarding use of the Juche Era calendar, according to which for dates occurring before 1912 the Gregorian calendar year is used exclusively, so that there is no “negative” Juche year, or “Before Juche” concept. For example, 1682 is rendered as “1682”, while 2011 is rendered as “Juche 100, 2011” or as “Juche 100 (2011).”[39] Critics of Juche charge that the “Juche dating system”, as it is based on a person’s birth date rather than a political era, reflects a dynastic tradition where era names are specified for ruling Emperors of Japan and China, as well as the Korean sovereigns.[40]


Blow, winds!

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!


From King Lear, by Jackie Collins

Woke to quite a raging storm. Rain and wind in the night. I’m dreaming of a wet christmas.

Yesterday some kind of bug hit my picasa galleries and substituted all sorts of weird photos in the place of my elvis and christmas photos. It may have had something to do with upgrading to Picasa 3.9 while the web sync function was on in the galleries. while the library was updating, temporary photos uploaded to the web galleries from the local ones. It was a drag. I had incorporated the picasa galleries all over my website and my blog. Don’t want to think that they are not reliable, since they make things so much easier for image management and display. Looks like things are back in order again.

White Christmas

Hear my son’s 6th grade choir singing “White Christmas”. They were pretty good, actually. The music teacher this year was pretty good. Last year’s had seen too many episodes of “glee”. All karaoke singing and dancing.


And here’s Ian after the show, carrying a snare drum and his top-fighting arena (looks like a dog bowl).


Ian’s Sixth Grade White Christmas

New Camera

Bicycle with light, captured by new camera

Yes, thrill of thrills, my new camera arrived today. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I was afraid that it would get lost in the chaos of cutbacks at the post office, strikes, general malaise around here, but no. The most excellent thing about this arrival, aside from the fact that I got it on ebay for 100 euros less than it costs around here is the fact that I paid for it entirely from revenue generated by Bandcamp, in particular my theatre and dance album. Oh frabjous day! And this here thang, she takes HD videos and panoramic photos and even 3d photos, so very cool. My other camera, which is a most excellent Sony as well will now go to my beloved Maria.

Scene from my bike ride

I am also thrilled because I mounted my other ebay purchase on my bicycle, an LED light which mounts on the wheel and displays geometric patterns which it renders based upon the number of times it passes a magnetic sensor mounted on the frame. I hope to be a Rhinestone cowboy out there on the night streets of Athens. I was even humming Rhinestone Cowboy to meself out on the bike.

And tonight, Maria comes back from Cyprus. I will be happy to have her back in my arms but I have also been content to be on muh own for a spell.