Sunday, May 31, 2009

Goin' Up To The Mountains

I'll be takeing a little break here for awhile, maybe a couple of weeks.
I'm moving out of the Sonoma Valley up to the mountains, by the rivers and lakes,
the tall pines, just a little closer to heaven. Found some beautiful property, enough to
get lost in on a lazy afternoon, a place for my new puppy to run, a great house, with a great barn, and a beautiful sky hangin' just overhead.

My wife and I will rest there, we'll embrace the beauty of God's creation, we'll find new inspiration, and I'll continue to write and record. Coyote Studio's will be going up the mountain with me.

I may not get around to writing Coyote Tracks while I'm getting moved and settled, but you never know. My novel "Wilderness" continues to be on hold. Been writing it in my head though, and I'll get back to that in a while as well.

So, check in if you like, you may find an occasional posting, but if not, you'll at least know why.
And I'll be back to ya before you know it.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mental Chronicles

-Ever notice that tomorrow never gets here, and the present never passes?
I’m sure I’m not the first to make that observation, it just bears repeating.

-Oh, and yesterday never goes away, we just carry it invisibly into the present where it influences every tomorrow.
Actually, this is an observation it wouldn’t hurt for most of us to make a little more frequently.

-If we were more like Willows rather than like Oaks, the winds of ruin would just pass through us, rather than knocking us down. Their strength is in their flexibility.
But then again, a Willow would be a difficult tree to try and climb, or to build a tree house in for your kid. Or to crouch behind if the bad guys were shooting at you.
We need both kinds of trees. And both kinds of people.

-In talking about the political climate of different places to live, I said to someone “I don’t really fit in anywhere politically.” He said “I don’t either, in fact, in the South people think I’m a Communist, and in Marin County people think I’m a Nazi.”
Sounds to me like the sign of a balanced individual.

-I’ve noticed that since this Nancy Pelosi CIA torture thing has come to light that her approval rating has plummeted. What surprises me, however, is that Nancy Pelosi ever had an approval rating to begin with.
I saw an on-line poll that asked “Is Nancy Pelosi a liar?”
Of course, my first thought was, “We need a poll to determine if it gets dark at night?”

-Anybody tired yet of the cliché ‘Going Forward’? Beginning to seem like a convenient, and disingenuous, way of overlooking, and ignoring, the present? And of glossing over how we actually arrived here in the first place?
Or as Nancy Pelosi has said, “Going forward I will have nothing more to say on this matter.”

-Feathers float around, riding on the wind, looking for a momentary place to land.
Kind of like kids in their teens and early twenties.

-Saw a segment on Bay Area TV last night about a new business in Palo Alto exclusively targeting (I mean catering to) children. A day-spa offering manicures, pedicures, facials, hair styling, massage, and full body and spa treatment. It’s intended to accommodate girls specifically, although little boys are quite welcome, individuals or parties, ages two to about eleven. Yes that’s right, I said ‘ages two to eleven’.
Well, it’s about time somebody filled this long overlooked niche. I’ve been concerned that girls were not being sexualized early enough in life, or being groomed in the culture of vanity and self-absorption until maybe twelve, well past their prime.
I’ve also been afraid that boys were going to have to wait until their teens to ‘discover’ their ‘feminine’ side.
Good to see that somebody’s looking out for our kids.

-You’ve all seen and heard the endless commercials for ‘Male Enhancement’ products,
haven’t you? By the sheer volume of them you’d think every male in the country needs enhancing.
Well, I’d have to agree with that in one respect. With the continuing feminization of our men, and our boys (see above), it does seem like what this nation needs more than anything else is some good old-fashioned Male enhancement.
C’mon men, get a grip!

-By my count I’ve posted 140 blogs since beginning this endeavor. I’ve decided to put each one of them on the back of a T-shirt. 140 T-shirts, one blog on each shirt. So, the first 140 people to cover the range of Titles, who send in the name of the one blog they happen to agree with, will get their own custom screened shirt displaying that particular Coyote rambling.
Something for the guy behind you in the unemployment line to read while you’re both waiting for a break.

-I notice that the President just dangled some fresh meat over the crocodile pond.
I mean he just submitted the name of his Supreme Court Justice nominee for confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill.

-I was just wondering if people wonder about whether or not other people are wondering about them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Madonna Diatribe

First, let me say this, if I write negatively about someone it is because their self-serving lives have a continuing negative impact on our culture. Or because, after getting rich undermining the values that hold our society together, they now put themselves in the public eye wrapped in a new veil of righteousness. Duplicity is a word that comes to mind.
I write about Madonna not because I dislike her, although I do, but because she’s a malignancy that has infected, and continues to infect, our culture.
You know what I’m talking about.

Funny, how if you or I were caught buying a child from somebody else it would be a felony punishable by imprisonment. But when Madonna buys a little boy, I mean ‘makes a donation’ to build a Caballa Center, I mean a ‘school’ in Africa, she’s given a child in return, and it’s called an ‘adoption’.
Even though, I might add, the boy was not even an orphan.
And now she’s trying to buy a little girl?

Have you noticed how the Madonna’s of the world, who’ve purchased about everything there is on earth to buy, including men, invariably seem to turn their attention to buying children to add to their impressive collections of ethnic art.
Oooh, did I say that?

I see that the young model she’s just purchased, I mean her new boyfriend’s, name is Jesus. But of course, who would’ve expected anything else? Don’t be surprised to see, as her next conquest, Madonna trying to find a way to sleep with the Pope. Might be her most difficult undertaking, however, since the Pope probably doesn’t need the money.

Speaking of Madonna, do you remember the suck-face, lip-locked, tongue wrestling kiss she planted on Brittany Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards? Well, I remember telling my wife at the time that it would be the kiss of death for Brittany. I told her, “Just watch what happens to Brittany now.” Then, along with the rest of you, I watched her life fall apart in public. It was a devastating few years for her, and it has been nothing short of unexpected that she survived the aftermath of that kiss. Now, I don’t know Brittany Spears, but it appears as if she has begun reclaiming her life. And as much as I dislike the images these pop stars project for our sons and daughters, or the self -absorbed egocentric worlds in which they live, I do wish her the best. The odds of Brittany having a good life were pretty well stacked against her by the handlers who produced her early fame and fortune. Brittany was exploited. A girl that age is not even capable of informed consent. Her parents were, but that’s another story. Madonna’s moves, however, every one of them, have been self-calculated from the very beginning to exploit the naivety, and vulnerability of young girls.
And yes, I believe the kiss was intended by Madonna to be a kiss of death. She sucked the remaining breath out of Brittany and used it to resurrect her own salacious career while Brittany was left flopping around like a fish in the gutters of Hollywood. Madonna has always been a psychic vampire, preying upon the vulnerable lives of our daughters.

Oh, and has anyone noticed that, since that kiss, girls and young women have been falling all over themselves to get in sexual relationships with other women? Starting, of course, with a kiss on a dare. It’s become the popular thing to do. Madonna made it cool, and these impressionable, ungrounded, liberated woman wannabe’s have been lining up like sheep to replicate the illusion of cool. Ooh, cutting edge.
It’s Madonna’s Truth or Dare brought home to the mainstream.
Lovely lady.

Madonna is now, and has for sometime, been authoring children’s books, because, y’know, she feels there is no better influence for your kids than the Material Girl herself.
Thank god we’ve got her profound, and innocent wisdom to pass on to the next generation of impressionable children.

Hopefully this diatribe will satisfy the celebrity Jones of my readers so that I can now get back to doing what I do best
. . . . . . . . . observing more sophisticated forms of wildlife.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Need For You To

“Emory, I need for you to come here.” “Ashley, I need for you to put your coat on.” “Damon, I need for you to stop talking like that.” “Jacob, I need for you to get in the car.” “Christopher, I need for you to get off the swing.” “Abby, I need for you to have a drink of juice.” “Taylor, I need for us to leave now.”

You learn a lot about the culture of a place on the children’s playground. You learn a lot about the mind-set of the current crop of parents, and you learn a lot about what the new generation is going to grow up to be like.
Now, I could be wrong, but it occurs to me that by the time these kids are 12 they’re going to be so friggin’ sick of their parents needs that they’ll be telling them “I don’t give a shit about your needs. I’ve got my own needs, or haven’t you noticed? Life’s not all about you, y’know.”

I don’t ever hear the Mexican Nannies speaking to the kids like that, just the ‘sensitive’ American moms and dads.
The Nannies? It’s more like “Emory, come over here.” “Ashley, put your coat on.” “Damon, stop talking like that.” “Jacob, get in the car.” “Christopher, its time to get off the swing.” “Abby, come here and have a drink of juice.” “Taylor, it’s time to go now.” And you know what? The kids listen, and the kids do what is asked of them.

After telling the kids what they, as parents, need, the American moms and dads always end up negotiating with, or bribing, their children to get them to do what they want.
But, the Nannies, having come from a ‘less sophisticated’ environment, probably don’t understand, like we do, that it’s the kid’s job to take care of the parents needs. You’d think they’d learn from the rest of us, wouldn’t you?

Why is it that today’s parents are so afraid of their children disliking them, or emotionally abandoning them? Why are they so afraid they’ll hurt their child’s feelings? Why do they so overcompensate, afraid of not doing everything ‘correctly’? Why is it that, as parents, they want to train the kids to respond to their needs, rather than to their requests?

I have my own thoughts on these questions, opinions I find rooted in the stunted development of the baby boomers, my own generation, the parents of these new parents; but I’m not really interested in giving an exposition on the matter. I’m an observer of human behavior, and cultural trends, not a psychologist. As many of you are aware, I do tend to arrive at some pretty definite conclusions on most matters. In this case, however,

‘I need for you to’ arrive at your own.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Falling Tree Kills 5-Year-Old

That was the headline in the paper on Wednesday, May 6, 2009.
It happened not too far from my house, on a beautiful country road after a rain.
An old oak tree, snapping off at its base, fell across the road crushing the pick-up truck that little Nicholas Kirby and his family were riding in. His name was Nicholas, but they called him Bobby. The rest of the family, along with Bobby’s best friend, Elena, survived the horrific ordeal.

They were just a few minutes from home when it happened, running an errand like families do.

An unexpected tragedy. Tragedies happen. They happen to every family, not just this one. But they don’t happen to every family to this degree, or as completely out of the realm of comprehension as this one. And everyone is asking “Why?” Truth is, there is no answer. This is one of those life circumstances where there is only a question, and a rhetorical one at that. Not in a million years did anyone in the family expect that when they piled into the truck that day that an oak tree would crush their little boy to death before they got home. It was not even possible to think of that possibility.
Bobby had just got a new puppy. His name was Donut.

Which leaves us wondering, “What is the purpose of such a tragedy? What is the reason? What is the lesson? What sense does it make? We are left wondering because it is not an equation that settles comfortably into our consciousness. There is no purpose. There is no reason. There is no lesson. It makes no sense. There is only what we do with it having happened. That is all there is, and each person connected to it, family, friends, even strangers, will do something different with it. What we learn about ourselves in such a situation, and what we do with it, those will, ultimately, be the defining aspects of the tragedy.

Some of us will call it the will of God, and will accept it as that. Some of us will be angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen. Some will block it out, not wishing to acknowledge that something like that could happen to anybody, and at any time. Some will blame the County for not inspecting more closely the health of the trees that line our country roads. Some will be paralyzed with grief. Some will not even give it a second thought. Some will give thanks for the brief life of the little boy, and be inspired by who, and what, he has been. Some will draw more closely to their own children, realizing that life is but a fleeting moment in time. Some will become part of a lasting support system for the family members. Some will avoid them as much as possible, not having the words to speak, feeling too inadequate to even be in the presence of such unfathomable loss. Some people will provide services and comfort for the family through this extended time. Some will donate whatever they feel could help ease the immediate burden. Some will be thankful that it was not their child. Someone may start a foundation to memorialize little Bobby, to not let his death go unnoticed, to create something positive from the circumstances. Others will participate in the perpetuation of that foundation. Some will cry and experience a pervasive sadness, not even understanding why they are being so deeply affected. It will be about something in themselves, but this little boy will have touched that place within them.

The thing about such an unexpected loss of such an innocent, and vulnerable life, it requires something from us. We may try to put it out of our minds, but, nevertheless, it does require something from us, as individuals, and as a community. And we each respond with what we have. Bobby’s death will provoke something in our world that was not in play before it happened.

A witness at the accident site said a white butterfly appeared while the rescue workers were at Bobby’s side. It circled three times, paused over Bobby’s body, and then flew off.

I don’t know what that means, but I like that it happened. It will be an enduring image for anyone who hears the story of little Nicholas (Bobby) Kirby.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Nobility Of Confidence

My friend Curt gave me a pair of spurs several years ago. I didn’t have a horse at the time, but he wanted to give them to me anyway. Now I know what most people are thinking, ‘that spurs are a cruel and abusive device to use on a horse just to get him to do what you want’. Most people don’t understand anything about spurs, or horses for that matter.

Most people don’t understand anything about self-protection either. They think that banning handguns will reduce murder, robbery, home invasion, and other violent crimes. They think that is how we can protect ourselves. However, statistics prove exactly the opposite, by a huge margin. In fact, honest studies have shown very clearly that in the states where it has become legal for citizens to carry a handgun violent crime statistics have fallen so dramatically that the media, politicians, and fascist lawmakers, who are more interested in promoting their own ideology than in allowing people to protect themselves, have scrambled overtime to see that the facts are kept hidden from the American public. It is dishonesty at its very worst. Just because a politician says something, or has Hollywood trumpet it for him, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s anywhere even close to being true. However, because those lies are force-fed to us by the media, and other spineless ideological pressure groups, and repeated over and over, we tend to believe them. We make presumptions about things, they become assumptions, and then we adopt them as truth, even though our reasoning might be fallacious and incomplete. Fact is, we tend to mold our ideologies to suit our comfort level, our bias, or our ignorance, whichever is in greater need of reinforcement, regardless of the merit of such conclusions. Many of us cannot deal with an unmitigated reality. We prefer the comfort of our warm socio/adolescent blankets.

After Curt gave me those spurs he wrote a letter to me, part of which said, “Spurs are a sign of a cowboys strength and respect. His horse knows he can count on his rider to lead him through any situation, or rough terrain, as the trail demands. He knows, if need be, that the steel and brass of the spurs gently in his side are a sign of strength, not abuse, from his friend. His cowboy is only helping him succeed in the challenge.”
He went on to say, “There are not many today who are able to wear, or even own, a pair of spurs. And there is, at times, undoubtedly, no better sound.” “Denes”, he said, “You have the strength and respect to wear them.”

Now I don’t know about possessing those attributes to that degree, but I do know that I continually aspire to the challenge, to that position of self-reliance, the nobility of confidence, if you will. And my spurs are a constant reminder of the responsibility I have to wield strength as a positive provocation, rather than as a weapon.

The same would hold true of gun ownership. And as with spurs, a gun can help prevent some pretty tragic circumstances. It is incumbent upon a civilized society to put, and keep, the weapons in the hands of non-criminals, those who will wield them wisely, responsibly, and with reasonable forethought. Or swiftly, depending on the necessity of a given situation. The bad guys are counting on us being unarmed, and weakened by a steady diet of political correctness. That would actually make us VICTIMS, rather than urban sophisticates, as we’d like to think of ourselves. But victims are exactly what we are becoming.

Some people have NPR on their emergency speed dial. It is where they are taught how to think, or feel about life. It is the water they bathe in, to cleanse their thinking, to free their minds from the frightening grip of logic. I suppose they could call the hotline to find out how to defend themselves, and their families, if, and when, they’re being threatened. Good luck with that.

Or they could call my friend Curt.

In the absence of those options they could allow that beautiful combination of steel and brass to strengthen their position.

If you know what I mean.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Man Club

Spent the day with my little grandson, he’s three and a half now. Played some miniature golf, rounded up a couple of old tires from a dealership for some back-yard tire swings, spent time at the park on the playground, then watched some ducks cleaning themselves, ruffling their feathers and stretching their necks. My grandson chased some fish around the pond like they were puppies (I know, we’re not supposed to chase fish around in the pond. BUT WE DID. And he loved it. We’ll both make up for the PC indiscretion by not smoking big cigars together in a crowded theater.

After the park we came home to get some lunch and rest up a bit before our afternoon outing. I went into the bathroom to relieve myself of one too many cups of morning coffee. I was standing at the toilet quietly, when I looked down to see my grandson standing beside me dropping his pants to the floor. He then joined my stream with his own into the toilet bowl, got a big smile on his face, looked up at me and said “We’re peeing together grandpa.”
I laughed and said “Yeah, we’re peeing together, grandson.”

Now, I guess you’d have to have been there to appreciate the poignancy of the moment, (not that you would have wanted to be there), but life is made up of moments, some to be forgotten, and some to be remembered. Hopefully we have more of the ‘to be remembered’ kind than of the other. This was definitely one of those. This was a communication of trust, of bonding, of shared identity, of maleness. It was a little boy identifying with being like, or at least similar to, an old man, of being in the man club.

There are very few opportunities left in our culture today for boys, men even, to be in the ‘man club’. The club has been resented, targeted, infiltrated, diminished, and all but done away with by socio/political agendas teeming with antipathy, envy, and bitterness. It has effectively become the Co-Ed Club. But this is one aspect of the club that cannot be taken from us. In fact, the very next time I was with my grandson I was washing my hands at the bathroom sink before making lunch when he came in, dropped his pants to the floor again, looked over to me, smiled, and said “C’mon grandpa, come and pee in the toilet with me”. You gotta love that. How can you not?

My grandson’s probably peed in the toilet before with his daddy, and if he has a brother he’ll pee in the toilet with him, with his cousins, and maybe even with his best friends. It is a subtle act of defiance. It is a rejection of all things proper. It is a right of passage. It is our birthright, it is innate to our existence as males, and it is one of the few ways we have left to express our uniqueness, an action that cannot be compromised, or taken from us.
Except, of course, by some unhappy mothers suffering from piss envy.

C’mon now ladies, don’t be that mother, or that hostile female.
Not good for the boys. Just not good for the boys.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Road To Where We've Never Been

Every road leads to somewhere we have never been before. That makes for a lot of places yet to be explored. Sure, we’ve driven on some roads several different times, and several roads many different times, but no road goes to the same place twice. Ever.

Let me explain. Travel to a previously visited destination, over a road already driven, is a duplicate experience, but duplicate only in the fact that the road doesn’t move, and the place we’re going to doesn’t either. They remain constant. They remain exactly where they were the last time we traveled. But nothing else is the same. Everything else changes. Everything else is different. And that is what makes for an interesting life.

The people are each in a different mental/psychological/emotional framework. They are in a different physical condition, they are a little older, hopefully a little wiser, and their interests have waxed and waned since the last time we might have been there. Some babies have been born. Some people have been diagnosed with unexpected illness, and some have recovered from illness. Some folks have died. Some have lost their jobs, and others have started new jobs. People have moved out of town, or into town, made diet changes, colored their hair, had surgeries, adopted a new style, or a new life style, undergone spiritual or philosophical awakenings, learned different skills, a different language, taken up new hobbies, got married, divorced, broken up with boyfriends or girlfriends, found new loves, adopted a pet. Etc. Some people have gone to jail, and some have been released. Some kids have started school, and some have quit school. Some have graduated and gone on to higher education, some to new careers. Some have joined the military, or returned home from service overseas. Some have discovered hidden talents, started a band, raised a calf with the 4H Club, painted a barn, bought a new car, or sold an old one. Some have signed on to the unemployment rolls, or welfare. Some have purchased new homes, lost homes, moved into, or out of rental units, or hit the road in a trailer.

It might feel like we’ve been someplace before, but if we look more closely into a given situation, rather than just looking at it, we’ll see that it’s actually much different than it was. As I said, that is what makes for an interesting life.

The same holds true in our relationships with people.