Laeti edimus qui nos subigant! Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 86008595 In Association with Acme Industries Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000 Now

In Association with Acme Industries


See the fineprint for details about the product liability.



  • Aperture: ƒ/1.8
  • Camera: iPhone 7
  • Focal length: 3.99mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 30° 14′ 22.91″ N 97° 45′ 20.38″ W
  • Shutter speed: 1/15s
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At the Rock Shop Again Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000 Pink Flamingo

At the Rock Shop Again

Looks like Austin, At the Rock Shop Again, at Nature’s Treasures, for a Tuesday.

Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo

Often in Austin

Tuesday at Nature’s Treasures.

4103 North IH-35 Austin, Texas 78722
Store phone: 512-472-5015
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

It’s really him,” at the rock shop in Austin.

Use the code, “sparkle faerie” at the check out — for applicable discounts.

Vincit Qui Primum Gerit

“First to arrive gets the best deal.”


Two-Meat Tuesday – Kramer Wetzel

Two-Meat Tuesday: Astrofish.Net/Xenon


  • Aperture: ƒ/1.8
  • Camera: iPhone 7
  • Focal length: 3.99mm
  • ISO: 40
  • Location: 30° 17′ 52.22″ N 97° 43′ 2.86″ W
  • Shutter speed: 1/20s
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That Smell Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000 Greetings from Austin

That Smell

Walk into a grocery store, first Smell? Nag Champa incense. Where am I?

HEB, South Austin. Duh. They have it, like, on an end cap.

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Eclipse Quickie Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0000

Eclipse Quickie

No escaping, what you sow, you will reap

via the late, great Wendy O., as seen here — and yes, there is still a sale going on. That line is around 1:35 —

See the fineprint for rules.

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Virgo 2017 Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000 Virgo 2017

Virgo 2017

Virgo 2017

Virgo 2017

August 22, 2017 around 1635 hours.

Virgo 2017 image

Virgo 2017

Your mileage may vary.

Eclipse notes.

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Looking for Yeti Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

Looking for Yeti

Looking for Yeti.

See the fineprint for details.

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From Marcus Aurelius Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000

From Marcus Aurelius

“Well-being is good luck, good character.”

Book Seven, #17

Excerpt From: Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius. “Meditations.”

“17. Well-being is a good Being, or a ruling Reason that is good. What then doest thou here, O Imagination? Avaunt, in God’s name, as thou earnest, for I desire thee not! But thou art come according to thine ancient wont. I hear thee no malice; only depart from me!”

Excerpt From: Aurelius, Marcus. “Delphi Complete Works of Marcus Aurelius.”

Marcus Aurelius (Loeb Classical Library)

Delphi Complete Works of Marcus Aurelius – Marcus Aurelius

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius & Gregory Hays

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)

As always a free version is hosted on right here.


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Madman Sat, 19 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000


Red hair, and a formerly pale complexion, the quick glance, that first image. Angry, and a disquiet thought includes a joke about Red-Heads and emotions, but the seething diatribe makes it obvious this one step beyond normal.

The manager at What–A–Burger is short, maybe, less than five feet tall, perhaps as wide, clearly Latin in her orientation. We joke. I make a passing comment about being an obedient date, nod towards my apparent companion, the blonde. The manager smiles broadly, strong, white teeth flashing against the beautiful dark skin. Merry eyes danced under some dark eyeliner.

“His nickname, we all call him ‘Danny,’ for lack of any other connection,” she says, with a nod towards the front door.

Besides a clean–shaven, sun–crisp face even-complexion and his haunted, angry demeanor, he’s curious. Medium height, slight, but wiry build, dark eyes that are clearly haunted. His shirt is a red knock–off polo shirt over a clean, white t-shirt. As he passes there’s that all too–familiar aromatic blend of unwashed bodies and vehicle exhaust, with a slight tobacco–infused finish to the mix, like the way some cigarette smokers smell when they walk in from their smoke break.

He stalks through the counter area then angles around the booths and tables, muttering vehemently as he exits. He strides purposefully, and the white T-shirt — looks clean — the edges hang below the hemmed slash of red from the polo. His khaki pants look clean, not the usual grime associated with apparently homeless madmen.

He angrily strides out, muttering at his unseen demons.

    (c) Kramer Wetzel, 2016
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E-Readers Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000


Of the three parts, the only one I paid close attention to was the comment about i-Books. Hands down, the best software for reading. For me, this is, anymore, reading in bed or on the couch. Reclining, as it were.

Kindle UI is clunky, to me. Awkward and ungainly — that’s me. I adore that Kindle has brought reading to new heights with its inexpensive and quotidian E-Readers, but I like not the look or feel. That’s me.

The other reader I use frequently is the 3M Library thing. Its User Interface is actually the worst of all, but it it is merely an interface for a public library. As a digital equivalent of index cards with a Dewey Decimal system numbering? Yeah, it works — after a fashion — and with its price?

cloudLibrary – browse, borrow and enjoy – Bibliotheca Ltd

cloudLibrary – browse, borrow and enjoy – Bibliotheca Ltd

The convenience of the library itself makes it so I’m willing to put up with the non-scrolling, slightly wonky software — feels like an E-Reader from the early days. More like a text tool, only, no real selection process.

Support Your Public Library!

I’d complain more, but the software — like the public (digital) library — is free, and freely available. Its slightly anachronistic and archaic UI eccentricities are easily overlooked — the price is right, and the local digital library service is excellent.


Whenever I get a choice, I would greatly prefer the Apple user experience for the E-Readers — consider, too, that this is an opinion. I was late to try the readers, and despite some bleeding edge proclivities with certain technology, I was slow to adapt to the “books on tablets,” or phones.


All my books are available in either format, all three, printed, Kindle, and iBooks. Some are even still available as PDF — and one is currently free, for a little while:

San Pedro Springs free — for a limited time.

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From Marcus Aurelius Book 8 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

From Marcus Aurelius Book 8

“27. Thou hast three relationships the first to the vessel thou art contained in; the second to the divine Cause wherefrom issue all things to all; and the third to those that dwell with thee.”

Book VIII #27

When I looked up two alternate interpretations, they all seemed to so very similar. Makes it worthwhile, every once in a while, we nail it the first time.

Marcus Aurelius (Loeb Classical Library)

Delphi Complete Works of Marcus Aurelius – Marcus Aurelius

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius & Gregory Hays

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)

As always a free version is hosted on right here.


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Revisiting: Tales of the City Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000 Golden Ratio

Revisiting: Tales of the City

Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

Passing through SFO, when I was 12 or 14 years old, I have one startling image of fog rolling over the coastline hills and that fog cascading down into the bay. But I never spent time there until much later. Clouds spilling over the low range of care-worn hilltops.

I was 28 or 29 when I returned to San Francisco — as an industrial roadie; we drove all night across the desert, and up the valley with a van, packed over capacity, sleeping in shifts on the cartons of blank tapes in the back. That convention was near one terminus of the cable car. Drank coffee; ate Chinese; and we worked. Did not get to see much of the city, that time. Saw a lot of people.

I cannot seem to place when, but around the same time, those books were in mass market paperback. The cover art lured me in, and I read a first one out of sequence, eventually reading them all.

Since then, I think I have been through San Francisco and the Bay Area, maybe a dozen times?

There is some kind of magic, going back and rereading a book that had some sway, an impact. When I eventually sold off the collected works, I did not pause to think I would ever reference the material again. But next summer includes some San Francisco cultural arts, and I thought I would skim through, at least the first book.

Serialized, like it was, and the books presentation, each column was a standalone piece of about 500 words, if I recall. In the mass market trade edition, each story — each column — was two pages, four columns. Veracity is not assured. Big, comfortable, slightly stylized print. First published in 1978? That makes it near 39 years old? Don’t do the math.

Besides the topical narrative, what shaped me in my own work, as much as anything, was the serialized, episodic structure of the work. I’m thinking, it was 500 words at time. I might be off on that word count. With enough family and friends on the West Coast, and understanding the difference between Southern and Northern California, with an extra emphasis on the eccentric nature of the Bay Area itself, makes me feel at home in the story’s elements.

Revisiting: Tales of the City

Some point, maybe halfway through, I realized a connection to some other, highly stylized prose I was reading, again, about the same time, that first time. Density. The style can pack a lot of story, both narrative, plot, placement, and actions, then, the consequences of the action, quite a bit of material can be packed into a short chapter.

In the chapter, titled, The Diagnosis, a matron dies during the opera, Götterdämmerungget it? Twilight of the gods? Anyone?

Revisiting: Tales of the City

“… we’re gonna be fifty-year-old libertines in a world full of twenty-year-old Calvinists.” Page 272.

Straight guy to a gay boyfriend.

Revisiting: Tales of the City

Life, death, rebirth. Gay and straight. Not that I care one bit about sexual orientation, just that the books helped pry open a mind that might’ve been a little more closed. In my case, simply from lack of education, and that’s what the books did, as much as anything, educate. Worlds I would never have known, otherwise.

Revisiting: Tales of the City

500 words a day, say, five days a week. I wonder if that was the nuts and bolts of the series. I got done rereading the first, paused, checked out the second, and read the first chapter. Then I dropped that copy of the text back in the digital check-in box. Engaging, entertaining, and substantial, sure, but not necessarily twin excavations I would like to undertake, in part, a bit of fractured childhood, then, college education and reading these all for the first time, maybe a little less than decade later.

If it was serialized, imagine it as each chapter had to stand alone, but also be part of a cohesive whole. Touching on what is now termed LGBT issues, pretty sure it was ahead of its time, back then. Glad I read the first, revisited what that was, and pulled back a thin layer of my own dirt to see what was under it. There is my own, frank acknowledgement that this was highly formative material in the mainstay of my current work. Episodic. Each week, in my case, has to stand alone. Part of a coherent whole? That, too.

Roots in newspaper-style, if not actual papers.

Finally, gay? Straight? Doesn’t much matter, really. Almost 40 years later, so much has changed yet so much remains.

Revisiting: Tales of the City

So it was also launched as a TV show, mini-series, short run, looks like, and I missed it. Then, too, I just checked out the first one from the San Antonio Library, and nestled in on a hot summer night.


Tales of the City

Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)

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Published Last April Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:00:00 +0000

Published Last April

Published last April, but still so prescient.

See the fineprint for details.

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Sounds of silence Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

Sounds of silence

Sounds of silence – I would ask for my money back.

See the fineprint for details and rules.

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Life Lessons Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000

More appropriately, Life Lessons from a 3-year old.

In the pool, neighbor and grandkids, and so forth. I looked up, everyone was congregated round the grill, picnic. It was just me and him. The kid is all of about three years old. Don’t ask, yes, I’ve done the chart on the kid, but that’s not what was top–of–mind. I am a non–threatening adult–sized person. At three, or whatever, he’s much, much smaller.

He had on a floaty, and certainly more than water wings, and I doubt I even had those. I’m from an age when they just tossed us in, sink or swim.

Splash! “Good luck, kids, now swim!”

That three–year–old?

He was, big grin on his face, trying to wrestle me. He had on that floatation device, it had an armband and chest protector, pretty safe, and he wasn’t afraid to trust the floaty, him jumping in with no fright, confident that he would be buoyed upright with his head above water, no matter what. Next, he was tackling me.

“I’m winning,” he confidently assured me.

“Yeah, I don’t think so, I’m way bigger than you,“ and I held him, a single grip on the floaty’s chest piece; kid couldn’t get at me. Almost comic — to me? It was hilarious.

Grabbing his little legs, strong and brown in the summer sun, I spun him around, a somersault in the pool’s tepid water.

“I’m winning,” he assured me again, as he emerged from the water, against his behest.

He’s right at 35 pounds, so I got up from the hot tub, tucked him under an arm, took two step to the big pool, and splashed us in, “Who‘s winning?“

He grinned. “I’m winning,” as he grappled for a better grip.

I grabbed him by the floaty again, swum him around.

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Rules for Mercury Retrograde Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:05:00 +0000 MercurySave.Us

Rules for Mercury Retrograde

Just like understanding the British game of cricket.

Portable Mercury Retrograde

See the fineprint for details.

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Barely Legal Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

Barely Legal

Barely Legal – Stuart Woods & Parnell Hall

Yes, another. Last year at this time, it was Smoother Operator. Same authors. Similar send up, be my guess. Hardback, first-edition books like this are two-fold in purpose, one, proof that the bookbinding business can be better than ever, and two, a perfect example of why public libraries are so vital.

Always that point, I suggest to myself, if I read one more page….

Fast pace. Faster than a normal Stone Barrington novel. There is that one, comically sad point where love goes astray.

What I admire most about this author is the total and complete tale, simple, stand-alone, yet — this one is a collaboration so there is a certain amount of stylized text — but with Stuart Woods alone? Such perfectly rendered tales with an absolute lack of rule-bending, fancy chicanery to make it all work.

Barely Legal

Barely Legal – Stuart Woods & Parnell Hall

Barely Legal (Herbie Fisher)

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FatBoy Slim Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000

FatBoy Slim

Considering what you usually hear from recovering addicts, Norman has an impossibly nihilistic take on sobriety.


See the fineprint for details and rules.

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Dance Like No One is Watching Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

Dance Like No One is Watching

Dance Like No One is Watching
Because they are all looking at their phones.

See the fineprint for details and rules.

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Atomic Blonde Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0000

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde, in theaters now.

Staring… Oh never mind. Blonde, action-figure, cool as can be. Lots of action. Killer, if not totally accurate, sound-track. Might be, but some of the music seemed like re-imagined versions of what music sounded like in the late 1980s.

Who would re-mix disco hits?

However, as my sainted mother used to say, “Never let the facts interfere with a story.”

Highly stylized, comic-book like, to the extreme, and that made for an excellent film. Lots of action, the thinnest shards of plot, and like a good thriller, two tangible twists at the end. One of them?

“No one saw that one coming!”

Not exactly high-brow art, but rather enjoyable.

Insert gratuitous 80’s music here.

See the fineprint for details and rules.

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New Mercury Retrograde Survival Tool Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:40:00 +0000

New Mercury Retrograde Survival Tool

Mercury hit its pattern, essentially, as noted before, and in the book, The Portable Mercury Retrograde, August 12 to September 5, with allowances as need be. “As noted before,” and in the book?

Previously, I have written about Mercury in Retrograde Rituals.

This one seems to require some new tools, or an adjunct to what I already suggest.

New Mercury Retrograde Survival Tool

Shopping, the other day, or rather, availing myself of the free lunch, and yes, I realize it isn’t free, but it came at no direct cost to me, so I’ll assume the free samples were like a free lunch, although, as we all know, there is no free lunch.

I like me some COSTCO shopping. Warehouse style with warehouse prices. Turns out, they seem to have the smallest mark-up on certain items. I have been known to just make a lap through the store and gather up free samples, done right, it can almost be a meal. Years ago, at a competing Sam’s Club, I was limited in my samples, “You can only try one.” I no longer shop at that chain; one bad interaction (plus company policies and politics) soured me.

So, thinking through the synodic mercurial period and its current influences, as I meandered amongst stacks of groceries, the little sausage was good, shooters of granola-like material enjoyable, there was a whole-wheat cracker pita chip with all-natural fruits salsa that seemed tasty enough, and with that, I veered towards coffee. In part, COSTCO sells the old Ruta Maya brand of coffee, and it is relatively inexpensive through the wholesale giant. Runs a little less than $7 per pound, in 2 or 3 pound bags. Single-origin roast runs — at least — twice that in small increments, usually about $15 per pound, or $20 for those nickel-bags.

New Mercury Retrograde Survival Tool

A feature that I enjoy at the COSTCO is the visible pricing. Price for the item then, say, a pallet of water bottles? The price per bottle or the price per unit, like the coffee, it was listed at $7.xx per pound, or the Starbucks, at $6.xx per pound, or, and this is where the rubber hit the road for me, the COSTCO branded coffee was $5.xx per pound, in two or three pound bags, I don’t recall, but compared with Starbucks Breakfast Blend. So it was Starbucks Breakfast Blend Colombian Medium — or Dark — Roast, cost about as much as a small serving of single origin, artisanal beans that were hand-roasted over an open flame with wood that was naturally harvested, and the beans themselves were free-range. Probably cage-free, too.

My current morning ritual is a short walk to get a cup of coffee while it is still dark out, before the August heat visits itself upon us. Then, I follow that with a Chemex full of whatever is on hand. In recent experiments, yeah, still playing.

So the answer, though, now has started to emerge. Some of that COSTCO brand coffee, and if it is like most products associated with that chain? Good quality, low price, best bought in bulk.

Perfect for surviving and thriving when Mercury is Retrograde.

New Mercury Retrograde Survival Tool

More coffee, maybe buy the pallet, good stuff, cheap.

If only there was a manual to help with this mess…


Portable Mercury Retrograde

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