The Snoozeletter @

Richard Chamberlain redux. From Wikipedia:

Richard Chamberlain on The Drew Carey Show"Chamberlain eventually retired to Hawaii, and has since stopped working. He and his partner (since the mid-1970's), agent-producer-director Martin Rabbett, own land in the state. [¶] Although it was generally known that Chamberlain was gay, having been outed by the French women's magazine Nous Deux in December 1989, it was not until 2003, at age 69, that he came out as such in his biography entitled Shattered Love, which describes how he felt obliged to hide his sexuality in order to have an acting career. He evidently ceased having any such inhibitions when he appeared in very high drag as Nigel Wick's (played by Craig Ferguson) (British) mother on The Drew Carey Show."



Old showbiz joke:

A low-budget producer visits the bank to obtain some financing for a new film, and the bank manager asks, "Do you have a director?"

"Yes," replies the producer, "Spielberg."

"Steven Spielberg?"

"No," says the producer. "Morty Spielberg from Buffalo."

"Do you have a leading lady?" asks the banker.

"Streisand," the producer responds confidently.

"Barbra Streisand?!"

"Well... er, no," the producer admits. "Loretta Streisand from Kentucky."

"Okay, do you have a leading man?" inquires the banker.

"Chamberlain," replies the producer.

"Richard Chamberlain?" asks the banker.

PHX goes for heat record today!

click for Phoenix forecastAs of right now, Phoenix has 28 days at or above 110°F, which ties the all-time record. High pressure continues to build, so our temperatures will soar. It looks like we'll have several chances to break that record by the weekend.

The NOAA site says yesterday's temps peaked at approximately 3 or 4 PM local time, so watch that weather sticker to see if we set a new record today. GO GLOBAL WARMING!

UPDATE - quote from a Zoetrope member: "It feels like I took a wrong turn at Hell and ended up in Phoenix."

UPDATE 2 - the record has fallen. Rah! Rah! Rah! Sis! Boom! Pah! [CSM article.]
A "God-cursed Sodomite."

ShōgunShōgun was broadcast in 1980, before Richard Chamberlain's homosexuality was general knowledge. The following dialogue is from disc 2, chapter 3. Anjin-san (Richard Chamberlain) sits with Lady Mariko (Yoko Shimada) and three other young women. One of the women speaks in Japanese to Lady Mariko.

LADY MARIKO (to Anjin-san): Asa-san asks, in pillowing, how do you compare your women with ours?

ANJIN-SAN: "Pillowing?" I don't understand.

LADY MARIKO: "Pillowing" is our way of referring to the physical joining of man and woman.

ANJIN-SAN: I have nothing to base the comparison on.

LADY MARIKO: You haven't pillowed since you have been here?


LADY MARIKO: You must be feeling very constricted. Neh? One of these ladies would be delighted to pillow with you, Anjin-san... or all of them, if you wish.

ANJIN-SAN: All? (The three other women giggle.)

LADY MARIKO: Certainly, but if you don't want any of them, there is no need to worry. They would not be offended. Just tell me the sort of lady you would like, and we shall make all the arrangements.

ANJIN-SAN: Uh, thank you, but, um, um... perhaps later?

LADY MARIKO: Are you sure? Please excuse me, but my master has given specific instructions that your health is to be protected and improved. How can you be healthy without pillowing? It is very important for a man, yes?

ANJIN-SAN: Thank you, uh, but I, uh... n-not now. Hmm?

LADY MARIKO: Or maybe... you would prefer a boy?


LADY MARIKO: Only if you wish it.

ANJIN-SAN: Well, I do not wish it. (He's indignant.) Do I look like a... a God-cursed Sodomite?

LADY MARIKO: Please forgive me. I've made a terrible mistake. I was only trying to please. But I have never known an Englishman before, so I have no way of knowing your... your intimate customs.

ANJIN-SAN: Well, Lady, my intimate customs do NOT include boys! (He stands up, in a bitchy huff.)
N.E. Mesa's Giant Red Nipple. 

Maybe it's just me, but whenever Red Mountain (our local landmark) comes into view, I think, "Nipple."

Recently, several Mesa (Arizona) establishments began to feature the mountain's profile on their signs.

So now I drive down Power Road thinking, "Nipple. Nipple. Nipple."

Red Mountain
Red Mountain Insurance
Red Mountain United Methodist Church
Red Mountain Christian Center

Rated: T for Titillating by an unbiased Zoetrope reviewer (female).
For the miners (2). Updated details: China, Utah.

N.R.P.S.: New Riders of the Purple SageDirty Business
By: John Dawson.
From: N.R.P.S., New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Well the marshal came to town
And his hat was pulled way down
He looked like he had business on his mind
He didn't stop to say
He just rode along his way
Till he stopped in at the office of the mine

CHORUS: Dirty business, dirty business
Dirty business down in Coal Creek
Dirty business down in Coal Creek
This morning

Well, I make two bucks a day
And that ain't a healthy pay
My kids are just beginnin' to get sick
There's talk been goin' round
How they're gonna shut it down
If The Man don't come and fix things pretty quick


Pretty soon there was a crowd
It was gettin' pretty loud
And the men all said there'd be no work today
But the owner wouldn't budge
He just sat there like a judge
And he wouldn't give a nickel more in pay


Just then they heard the sound
That rumbled from the ground
And everyone went rushing for the door
The dust came pouring out
And it finally left no doubt
That the mine was not at issue anymore

For the miners (1). Details: China, Utah.

Workingman´s Dead: Grateful DeadCumberland Blues
Lyrics: Robert Hunter. Music: Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh.
From: Workingman's Dead, Grateful Dead.

I can't stay here much longer, Melinda
The sun is getting high
I can't help you with your troubles
If you won't help with mine
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Gotta get down to the mine

You keep me up just one more night
I can't stop here no more
Little Ben clock says quarter to eight
You kept me up till four
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Or I can't work there no more

Lotta poor man make a five dollar bill
Keep him happy all the time
Some other fella's making nothing at all
And you can hear him cry:
Can I go, buddy, can I go down?
Take your shift at the mine?

Gotta get down to the Cumberland mine
That's where I mainly spend my time
Make good money, five dollars a day
Made any more, I might move away

Lotta poor man got the Cumberland blues
He can't win for losing
Lotta poor man got to walk the line
Just to pay his union dues

I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again
I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again
Beverly Gilbert Baird is a pistol.

My mom recently finished a bicycling trip through Germany and the Czech Republic.

She celebrated her 78th birthday last winter.

As you might imagine, I'm very proud of her.

Star Wars Saguaro.

Star Wars SaguaroI walk past this weird-looking saguaro (right) a couple of times each week.

It always seems vaguely familiar.

Today, I finally remembered the Cantina scene from the first (1977) Star Wars film:

Hem Dazon in the Mos Eisley Cantina

Update: a female Zoetrope member says the saguaro looks "sorta vaginal," and now I can't get that image out of my head.
Rainy Day Femmes #12 & 35.
Rainy Day Femmes #12 & 35
I created this image (right) five or six years ago.

It's entitled Rainy Day Femmes #12 & 35.

I planned to use it as a CD cover.

But the CD project was abandoned. Sigh. Maybe I'll resurrect it, someday.

The image is an homage to the music of Bob Dylan and the simple-yet-elegant line drawings of Pablo Picasso. That's why it's signed "Picassoed."

Some items featuring this design are sold here.

It was recently entered in the "New Nude" art competition sponsored by Christiania Vodka, at Their contest ad appeared on the Ovation TV Network.

The drawing survived their initial round of judging and is now on display in their gallery. It's currently #54 of 168, and will probably remain about 114 from the end.

The winning entry will be showcased on a billboard in downtown New York, starting on September 4.
Why not ask for more? 

Songs from a Room: Leonard CohenBird on the Wire
by Leonard Cohen

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old-fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.

If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

Like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, you must not ask for so much.
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, hey, why not ask for more?

Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Our own little neighborhood bridge collapse. This one was about a mile away from our house. Nobody was hurt, thank God. It happened yesterday, while Anikó was driving to work. For the last several months, local traffic on Power Road (i.e., us) took a minor detour through the area where this collapse occurred, while the construction company was finishing the part of the overpass that actually goes over Power Road. Back then, the only pieces of this section that existed were the bridge piers. When the Power Road portion was finally ready, they re-routed traffic under the finished section, "straightening out" Power Road again. During the next few weeks, a crane installed those girders at lightning speed. It was really amazing to watch, especially after the months of driving around that little detour curve. We went out there a few minutes ago, to take a picture (click to enlarge - and here's the AZ Republic story):

bridge - click to enlarge

Update: remember Galloping Gertie, and that classic footage of a bridge tearing itself apart?
·-· ·- -·· ·· --- ·- -·-· - ·· ···- ·· - -·-- 

The Mix: KraftwerkRadioactivity, by Kraftwerk... from The Mix:

·-· ·- -·· ·· --- ·- -·-· - ·· ···- ·· - -·--
(Morse code: R A D I O A C T I V I T Y)
Chernobyl, Harrisburg, Sellafield, Hiroshima
Chernobyl, Harrisburg, Sellafield, Hiroshima
Stop radioactivity
It's in the air for you and me
Stop radioactivity
Discovered by Madame Curie
Chain reaction and mutation
Contaminated population
Stop radioactivity
It's in the air for you and me

·-· ·- -·· ·· --- ·- -·-· - ·· ···- ·· - -·--
(R A D I O A C T I V I T Y)
·· - ··· ·· -· - ···· · ·- ·· ·-· ··-· --- ·-· -·-- --- ··- ·- -· -·· -- ·
(I T S I N T H E A I R F O R Y O U A N D M E)
·-· ·- -·· ·· --- ·- -·-· - ·· ···- ·· - -·--
(R A D I O A C T I V I T Y)
··· --- ··· ··· --- ··· ··· --- ··· ··· --- ···
(S O S S O S S O S S O S) etc., repeat

Stop Sellafield: The ConcertRadio-Activity was originally recorded in 1975 by Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Wolfgang Flur and Karl Bartos.

The song was re-recorded and remixed in 1991 by Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider and Fritz Hilpert. (Here's the German version.)

In 1992, rock bands U2, Public Enemy, Big Audio Dynamite II, and Kraftwerk held a "Stop Sellafield" concert for Greenpeace to protest the nuclear power station/factory. Stop Sellafield: The Concert was later released that year on VHS, and all proceeds went directly to Greenpeace.

"Kraftwerk" means "power station" in German.

Chernobyl Reactor #4 Sarcophagus smokestack (250 feet high), courtesy of Google Maps:

Chernobyl Reactor #4 Sarcophagus
Fave wallpaper(9): RIP, saguaro. Anikó and I like to take early-morning walks in Las Sendas. It's a fancy housing development, with many spectacular cacti in the public areas. When we first saw this ancient saguaro (below), it immediately became our favorite saguaro in the whole wide world. What character! What grace! What convoluted arms!

So I shot a photo. It's not a great picture, because I had left my tripod at home, but I kept promising myself that I would bring the tripod someday, maybe even tomorrow.

Today, we walked past the place where that saguaro should have been, but... it had disappeared. However, when we looked closer, it actually WAS there: lying on its side, amongst the desert chaparral. Its delicately curved arms had been flattened, casualties of the vicious monsoon winds.

Damn. I wish I'd brought the tripod yesterday.

RIP, saguaro - click image for 1106x690 pixel version

[wallpaper instructions]
The AZ-FL connection.

When Arizon(i)ans tell you, "but it's a dry heat," don't believe 'em. The monsoon season has come to our state, with a vengeance. A few evenings ago, we were watching the gale-force winds and sideways rain through our patio doors, when a tiny bird ran across the back yard and over into the 90-degree angle where our wall meets the neighbors' walls. That bird tucked his head down and leaned into the corner, obviously trying to escape the hurricane-like conditions.

We timed him: he stayed in that corner, looking like a child who was being punished, for seven minutes.

BTW, Anikó and I are really pissed off about this "monsoon" crap. For the last two years, we enjoyed the blistering DRY summers in the northwest corner of the Sonora Desert, near Palm Springs, California. When we moved to Arizona's portion of the same desert, we assumed it had a similar climate. I mean, if we had wanted heat and HUMIDITY, we would have moved to f*cking Florida. ;-)
Good? Bad?

There's an old Chinese legend about a farmer whose horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit him. "Sorry about your horse," they said, full of sympathy for his misfortune.

"How do you know it's bad luck?" the farmer asked.

Next morning, the horse returned, bringing with it three wild mares. "Oh, this is wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.

"Wait and see," replied the farmer.

The next day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses and was thrown off, breaking his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy. "What terrible news," they said.

"Well, we're not sure it's really negative," answered the farmer.

The following afternoon, military officials visited the village to draft young men into the army, which was losing many soldiers in a drawn-out war. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

"Maybe," said the farmer...
Is That All There Is? Written and performed by Peggy Lee (1920-2002):

The Best of Miss Peggy LeeSPOKEN: I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire. I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement. I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over, I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"

REFRAIN - SUNG: Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing.
Let's break out the booze and have a ball,
If that's all there is.

SPOKEN: And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth. There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears. And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads. And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle. I had the feeling that something was missing. I don't know what, but when it was over, I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a circus?"


SPOKEN: Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world. We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes. We were so very much in love. Then one day he went away and I thought I'd die, but I didn't, and when I didn't, I said to myself, "Is that all there is to love?"


SPOKEN: I know what you must be saying to yourselves, if that's the way she feels about it, why doesn't she just end it all? Oh no, not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment, for I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you, when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself...