Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue

Strange Angels - Laurie Anderson

They say that heaven is like TV
A perfect little world
that doesn't really need you
And everything there
is made of light
And the days keep going by
Here they come Here they come
Here they come.

Well it was one of those days larger than life
When your friends came to dinner
and they stayed the night
And then they cleaned out the refrigerator -
They ate everything in sight
And then they stayed up in the living room
And they cried all night

Strange angels - singing just for me
Old stories - they're haunting me
This is nothing
like I thought it would be.

Well I was out in my four door
with the top down.
And I looked up and there they were:
Millions of tiny teardrops
just sort of hanging there
And I didn't know whether to laugh or cry
And I said to myself:
What next big sky?

Strange angels - singing just for me
Their spare change falls on top of me
Rain falling Falling all over me
All over me
Strange angels - singing just for me
Old Stories - they're haunting me
Big changes are coming
Here they come
Here they come.

The Day the Devil - Laurie Anderson

The day the devil comes to getcha
you know him by the way he smiles
The day the devil comes to getcha
He's a rusty truck with only twenty miles
He's got bad brakes he's got loose teeth
He's a long way from home

The day the devil comes to getcha
he's got a smile like a scar
He knows the way to your house
He's got the keys to your car
And when he sells you his sportcoat
You say: Funny! That's my size
Attention shoppers!
Everybody please rise

Give me back my innocence
Get me a brand new suit
Give me back my innocence
Oh Lord! Cut me down to size

Well you can hide under the porch
And you can hide behind the couch
But the day the devil comes to getcha
He's right on time
Here he comes

Well I'm sick of hearin bout your problems
Yeah girlie your breakin my heart
I'm the original party animal
Hey! Hey! Babaloo
So don't come bangin your Bibles
Cause you've been laughin
all the way to the bank
And don't give me those crocodile tears
Cause you've been doing it for years
I'm everywhere! Sign right here
Mr. Jones

The day the devil comes to getcha
He's a long way from home
And you know he's gonna getcha
Cause you're stuck in the middle
Everybody please rise

Give me back my innocence
Get me a brand new suit
Give me back my innocence
Oh Lord! Cut me down to size

Give me back my innocence
Get me a new Cadillac
Cause when I get on up to heaven Lord
You can have it all back
Cause in heaven, you get it all back
In heaven it all comes back
Cause in heaven, you get it all back
In heaven
Cause in heaven......
In heaven......

Enforcing Acquiescence

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's Just a Jump to the Left

A little slow to load but worth the brief wait.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


A Slice of Sky.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Balls O' Cotton Goodbyes

I have read numerous times that cotton is one of the most chemically dependent crops humans grow. Someone forgot to tell that to the cotton tree that has been growing in my garden for the last fifteen years.

Cotton in my garden is a large perennial shrub that makes cotton bolls 2 and 3 times a year. I have never sprayed it with a thing or fertilized it except with the same leaf litter compost that everything else is mulched with. It grows huge. Quickly.

I look at this shrub and I wonder why cotton isn't grown like grapes, year round and on a trellis system for easy picking.

I killed it once before many years ago when it had engulfed a huge swath of the back corner of the garden and its charm no longer outweighed the space it was hogging. I let one grow back though. A rambling shrub, it climbed 20 feet into the top of the Dwarf Poinciana trees.

The process of simplifying my garden is going to be a long task and the obvious monsters have to go. I chopped and tugged the cotton out of the thorny Poinciana and stacked it neatly along the fence line to decompose. Here it lies in a heap in the back corner under the Dwarf Poinciana trees.

A Big Pile O' Cotton
Fine absorbent nesting material I am sure for the denizens who lurk back there.

Hibiscus Horrors

Someone knows my fondness for Hibiscus has faded. I was never overly thrilled with hedges of the common Chinese Red Hibiscus. They grow fast and need to be trimmed 3 and 4 times a year to be kept as rectangular walls. Trimming a hundred running feet or more of a hedge 8 feet high on ground that can be sloped and rocky is not a task for the timid.

Then the bugs arrived.

First it was the Hibiscus Mite that caused warty galls to form on leaves that became stunted and shrunken.

Then the Papaya Mealybug launched an assault of plague like proportions that encased the upper stems in a gooey cottony sticky froth. New leaves didn't grow and old leaves dropped after getting covered by black mildew growing in the excrement of mealybugs raining down from above.

Not to be left out of the feast a new species of Whitefly joined in.

Hibiscus was an exceedingly common shrub in Hawaii. It was used in landscapes to the point of boredom. A veritable monoculture of Hibiscus encased swank hotels, condominiums, suburban and commercial landscapes.

People don't like warty sticky black slimy plants.

People pretty much hate all bugs.

Like I was Moses and had called down this curse upon the land, I was implored to fix this. I was the gardener. I must have some magic potion or spray to relieve them of this burden of unsightly appearances. It was my job to end this plague.

I look to the heavens from which these creatures flew in, cargo or first class who knows, and I think to myself, your money can't make this go away.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Procrastination as an Art Form

From Xris at Flatbush Gardener comes an introduction to this internet computer play thing.

You can paste the address of any blog or any other site into this Websites as Graphs place and it will generate a graph of that site based on the links and HTML code or some such things. Each site is like a unique snowflake.

Xris has the instructions for how to copy a shot of your site to save. I followed them and the picture above is Tropical Embellishments.

I could be working on my resume or filling out the GE tax forms and writing a check to the State of Hawaii or......

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Bur Up My.....

Ego is sometimes a mean task master. It can tell you all kinds of wild tales. Patience and humility are not part of ego's makeup.

Andrew Sullivan, the political blogger who has been doing "The View from your Window" asked for more submissions so I thought I would try again. He said including part of the window frame would take you to the front of the line. So I did.

This is the real deal folks, the view from my kitchen looking out over tropical suburbia and my neighbor's collectibles to the Pacific Ocean beyond.

So I sent my lovely view in and the very next day what do I see, a picture from Maui at the other end of town. I know the house and the fishpond in that picture. I can pretty much figure out where that picture was taken and can tell you that a Rented Window was used in that picture.

Sure it is a million dollar view, probably a two million dollar view by now. My lower middle class partial view apparently didn't make the grade.

Fine then, I can certainly borrow a window and compete with that view.

I read his political blog regularly and "The View from your Window" pictures from around the world are a definite treat. Having seen them from the beginning, I might say Vista is a more appropriate word than View for the pictures he selects to post.

Determined creature that I am to have my ego stroked with one of my pictures posted on his well read blog, I sent him this 4.2 million dollar Borrowed Vista. It is from the back porch off of the mostly glass walled living room of a house I am very familiar with. I had to be there anyway today.

This is the view from the bedroom windows.

Sitting on the front porch.

But poor me, I have to put up with this cheapo sunset view back at home.

He has posted "Window?" pictures from Maui and Oahu two or three times already. I'm sure he doesn't want to bunch up views from one place when there are so many to choose from. Now it is time to wait and see if the 4.2 mil Borrowed Vista makes the cut.


Do I need to say anything?

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Chopping, hauling and sweating this weekend after the rains lowered the branches of the larger shrubs, all the orange flowers in the garden caught my eye.

I am fairly certain this is a variety of Portea petropolitana. It was smuggled in to Hawaii from the San Francisco Strybing Arboretum by my landlords brother twenty five to thirty years ago. When some starts were placed in my care I made them happy.

Your basic Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis by its botanical name, which turned from a very desiccated grey to a plump green color in five days. It is primarily a winter bloomer so the recent rains should really set off even more bloom.

An obscure to me succulent, a Crassula species maybe that turns vibrant orange in full sun.

A closeup of the Portea petropolitana.

The camera does not do the deep burnt orange color of this dayliliy justice.

There is a surprise on the flower stem in the forground. Click the picture and then expand it to see.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Drive Like the Venetians

There was another little downpour when I happened to be in the very heart of Kihei. There is a sidewalk at this intersection.

Monday, October 16, 2006

And Then the Rains Came

It woke me up at 3:30 am.

It was still raining at 7am and it was raining hard. This was going to be a gully washer.

At 2pm at the start of the third wave of torrential rain I headed out. I had missed an earlier much larger flow through this gulch today. Another chunk of the bank had been scoured away. The Agave attenuata at the base of the palm tree had washed away two years ago. Now the roots of the palm were exposed.

About four years ago from this point on down, the bed of the gully had been scraped clean down to solid rock. It is a very striking natural feature. During the dry season the irrigation system puts out enough water to let Impatiens seed themselves freely and grow on top of solid rock. They were all gone today.

The irrigation pipe that dips into the gully to water the shrinking bank on the opposite side was snapped off for the third or fourth time.

Some wet gratuitous foliage, Dracaena reflexa

And a gorgeous Bromeliad.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Feel the Earth Move

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you're around

Mother Earth is alive and kicking today on Maui. We had a 6.3 to 6.5 earth quake at 7:07 am this morning while I was sitting where I sit so often. It was the strongest quake I have ever felt here. Normally they are very mild in the 3 to 5 range and I read about them in the paper more often than I feel them. The power went out for about three hours and now I am waiting patiently for it to please please rain which may cause the power to go out again.

Lack of Power may just produce enough of a spark for me to attend to neglected chores.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gratuitous Foliage

Detecting Fall in Hawaii can not be done by looking at the foliage of plants for a clue unless you have the eye of a botanist. This Croton is in its full fall glory year round.

Late September and October can be some of the hottest, muggiest and most miserable weather of the year. This past two weeks has been just that. The trade winds stop and a slow humid southeasterly flow, I don't think it really qualifies as a wind settles in.

This air brings with it Vog, a thick hazy natural pollution created on the island of Hawaii by a volcano that spews out in the metric of tons volcanic gasses on a daily basis. In a Kona Wind this Vog which normally blows away from us is carried up and over the island chain. Our usual clear blue skies start looking like the thick dirty air in parts of the mainland.

The pink blush of the bromeliads is a function of the quality of sunlight they receive from direct to filtered. There could perhaps be a subtle change in their color as the shadows lengthen from the shifting orbit of the sun, but location is more important than the time of the year.

The wretched Bougainvillea does seem to favor the cooler seasons to bloom and this one is currently putting on an early show.

A persistently green Ponytail Palm, Beaucarnea recurvata adds a starting point of comparison to this year round riot of color.

Yesterday the Vog seemed to lift though it was still distinctly visible in the southwestern sky as a thick grey band. The sky and the air were changing and this meant something was up. It seems there is a possible Storm a Comin. We may be in for some real rain. Our first low pressure front of the winter season may soon bring a cleansing bath to the dust encrusted landscape.

There will be plenty of clean foliage for Halloween and Thanksgiving decor.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mother Death

Aldo Buselli came from Peru to New Orleans Louisiana to become an architect. He was already an artist. School was his main focus and his art was "playing" for him.

A young man shrouded in South American Catholicism arrived in that most different of southern US cities where the raised above ground cemeteries are major attractions. These cities of the departed were focal points for a culture.

Statue of Grief - Metairie Cemetery

I do not know all of Aldo's story. He was a friend of a friend and I think I met him only once very briefly during one of my visits to the city.

Aldo's Catholicism seemed to merge with the spirits of New Orleans and his senior architecture project was a design for a cemetery.

Perhaps he knew before it was known. This was very early in the AIDS epidemic before it had a name. He died not too long after he returned to his home in Peru. By then it had a name.

Pencil drawing
Aldo Buselli

Fifteen years later I was visiting my same friend, now in Orlando. She pulled out a long tall and narrow cardboard box and said please go through this and pick some thing to take. This is Aldo's art work that I have been carting around all these years. It is time for me to let some of it go.

Most of the works contained in the box were rough sketches and drawings. Some of the pieces had a more finished look. The subject matter was diverse. As I went through the large quantity of contents that had been contained in the long narrow box nothing was calling out to me. It was nice but if it didn't speak to me I was not going to be taking it back to Hawaii.

Then she appeared as I turned the pages in the pile of art and I stopped. Pressed into thick heavy paper was a faceless dark feminine figure. The image was textured and the folds of her garments actually existed in the folds and creases of the paper. That pressed image was then colored degrees of black. She appeared again in the pile and then a third time. Three images of this dark figure each slightly different. One was signed and titled by Aldo. This is what I wanted.

Aldo Buselli
'Mother Death'

Mother Death spoke to me of her gentle loving embrace. This dark feminine image said what I felt to be true. Death is not to be feared. I sleep under her watchful gaze, ready at any time and in no hurry. Life may be made just a little bit easier when there is no need to worry about death.

Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love's not worth going through
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life, I was loved by you.
(Listen to Braddah Iz - n dis Life)

It is this Life that matters and what you leave for the living.
Not what may or may not come after.

Vincent van Gogh - Pieta

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back When things Made Sense

Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul

Tis the season and time to start getting in the mood. I thought I would learn how to use a new toy.

Dark Magic

Also called Procrastination.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


It looked like the regular full moon as it rose in the evening sky over Haleakala. I was thinking it may have taken on some new warped dimension as it passed over Washington DC. What could account for the madness pouring out of the halls of Congress? The lock step message machine was off kilter. The Mighty Wurlitzer was spinning out talking points faster than facts could be invented.

Crazy, crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted
And then someday, you'd leave me for somebody new

Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wond'ring, what in the world did I do?

Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you

Patsy Cline

The Full Karmic Gay Moon of "come back to bite you in the ass" had passed over the nations capital. Maybe it should have risen through a pink cloud or surrounded by the halo of a fairy ring created by high cirrus clouds, but it looked and moved just like all the other Full Moons.

It's a Full on Freak Show that passes for regular normal now. Crazy.