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Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Gosh Darn it all, things are all going so well today in Iraq. A smooth transition that takes my mind off of that fat guy's movie for the moment...Stocks are in the green today on Wall Street. Deaths of our soldiers seem sweeter just now. Hell, I admire a Vice President who can say F--k You; don't you? Life isn't so bad I guess. I think I might actually vote for old Geor...W...Bush-saster-waiting-to-happen. Nah.

Maybe I am just 'feeling lucky' today because last night in the High Desert, it finally rained really hard and this morning my heart broke open.

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Monday, June 28, 2004
U.S. Turns Over Power To Iraq Iraq is a sovereign country today...

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Sunday, June 27, 2004
In a world of websites, directtv's, iTunes, and cellular phone misconceptions, the idea of reading a book has become passe. I actually read one last week. Couldn't stop reading it and had the luxury of reading away cover to cover some 500 pages in a relatively short time. It was not Clinton's World by the way but a 'dysfunctional family book', called 'We were the Mulvaney's'.

For a time I was able to let go the Iraq situation, the forest fires, the faux pas' of our country's President, skip over the latest Michael Moore reviews/interviews. I was able to ignore the deaths, tragedies, traumas, and all those things I call your basic freshchaos.

Thinking back on my last week's reading adventure, it was scary. I was completely at the mercy of Ms. Joyce Carol Oates. I was completely taken in by her world of words and images. Distracted into a three dimensional completeness by a world not of my own imagining or making. God, reading a good book is a miraculous and mystical experience not to be missed. It is an experience that can not be matched by the greatest DVD played out on the greatest home theater system; it is sometimes almost matched but not equalled by dragging oneself to an air-conditioned theater for a movie...Nah. Reading a book has it all over a movie in any form.

I used to spend long hours in summertime at the Willowbranch Library in Jacksonville, Florida. I would collect stars for reading books trying to win contests set up by crafty librarians. But really, most truly of all, I just loved to read. The worlds of Tom Swift were mine for a time. I read every book I could find on tornadoes after my first but not last viewing of 'The Wizard of Oz'. Read books on snakes, planes, trains and automobiles. Magazines, comics. Words. Glorious words spilling out onto a page of actual hold-in-your-hand material...

I once even liked a song simply called, words. Never been sure exactly what the author, Neil Young, had in mind with this song. I learned that he was suffering the worst parts of his bout with polio when he penned these words...words on top of words spilled out into something to behold.


Someone and someone
were down by the pond
Looking for something
to plant in the lawn.
Out in the fields they
were turning the soil
I'm sitting here hoping
this water will boil
When I look through the windows
and out on the road
They're bringing me presents
and saying hello.

Singing words, words
between the lines of age.
Words, words
between the lines of age.

If I was a junkman
selling you cars,
Washing your windows
and shining your stars,
Thinking your mind
was my own in a dream
What would you wonder
and how would it seem?
Living in castles
a bit at a time
The King started laughing
and talking in rhyme.

Singing words, words
between the lines of age.
Words, words
between the lines of age.

This is going to be a heavy duty week for the world. We are more than halfway through the Year of the Monkey. Transition seems to shriek in the winds of the planet's turning. We have passed Solstice on our way into winter. Laugh if you will, but the light of day is indeed growing shorter now.

Undoubtedly riots in LA may spring up out of boredom, fear of forest fires, the GAPING loss of the Lakers or maybe inspired by the latest over-played news video shot from a skycopters hovering wildly over a scenes from COPS GONE WILD live and in color. Are news channels hoping to stir up some HOT summer ratings in this dry time before the Democratic/Republican CHAOS and Summer Olympics begin?

SPIDER-MAMA DOS hits theaters with a bang and a web of colorful things to buy at our Wal*Marts run by underpaid women and big fat guys. You got your Vice President saying FUCK YOURSELF to a fellow on the floor of the United States Senate...and oh yeah...You got your simple end to that simple little war in Iraq when this week, we will hand over control (control?) of a dreamy democracy to a loving bunch of Sunnis and Shiites who love those WORDS : peace, love, freedom, Big Mac . Those flaming swords and ploughshares of fresedom and happiness bombed down over their city and country in a shocking aweful show of vengeance for the hurts of a father who merrily parachutes to earth surrounded by military men and secret service folk paid for by you, me, and your neighbor down the street.

It is so HIGH TIME for me to find another good summer reading book .

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Thursday, June 24, 2004
So...I made it to the end of my latest summer reading adventure...We were the Mulvaney's...Quite a tale. I have also watched now, the incredible movie from a Master of Weird, Tim Burton, called Big Fish. Though I don't exactly see the reasoning, this movie has been called, a modern day Wizard of Oz. It certainly is surreal enough and yes there are characters to rival The Munchkins, but the comparison slips me by. I missed Big Fish in the theaters but the DVD is a keeper. Albert Finney is superb as a tall-tale telling Father and Billy Crudup stars as his son who seeks The Truth from his past. The movie certainly is not your traditional 'dysfunctional family' fare. It's a visual and emotional treat; well worth a trip to Blockbuster or Netflix online.

Speaking of tales, it will be truly interesting to see tonight's Comedy Channel Daily Show guest, Michael Moore discussing his latest inflamatory production Fahrenheit 9-11 due in theaters this weekend. Quite a weekend ahead...IRAQI CHAOS, Spider-Man Dos, Fahrenheit 9-11, and the release of a movie long in the making about two 'brothers' who are also TIGERS where a Schipperke dog gets killed. I for one will be boycotting that movie (Two Brothers).

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Well, there certainly is no LACK of FRESHCHAOS this week. It is hard not to see it everywhere but I am working on avoidance of it all by placing my head deep inside a bit of summer reading this week, blissfully passing up the news of beheadings, British prisoners going down in Iran, JFKerry coming then not coming to Albuquerque . My world this week has taken a seat center stage to watch the family known as The Mulvaney's.

I have often started a book or short story by Joyce Carol Oates and been put off by an intellectually dry something or other. A friend recently recommended We were the Mulvaney's. I began to read it and now just can't stop. This deeply woven tale of a farm family in upper state New York starts simply enough. There are gorgeous descriptions of life on a big family farm. Of course, there are more than cock-a-doodle-doos and horse manure. I recall other summertimes in my life falling/rolling deep into the manure of other 'family' books like this one, with summer readings of The World According To GARP and The Prince of Tides. There is plenty more of that warm family manure in this book by Ms. Oates.

Summer reading allows one to completely let go all of the worries of one's own making and concentrate on the freshchaos of others. Aahhh...The richness of Joyce Carol Oates descriptive tapestries is pretty awe-inspiring to me as a writer. Her unfolding 'storyline' of this particular family is unnerving to me as a member of the human family. This Mulvaney family is a not-so-slowly unwravelling time bomb of ecstasy and malevolence. I'm more than halfway through. Gotta go.

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Sunday, June 20, 2004
It's a gorgeous Father's Day and I find myself taking an online questionnaire while at my computer...
GET A LIFE, Dude...The questionnaire goes some thing like this:
Check any of the difficulties listed below that you experience.
 ___Chronic sinusitis
___The sudden discovery of scars from unknown causes
___Unusual skin rashes
___Divorce--yours or your parents
___Abusive parents or family members
___Painful or swollen joints
___Chronic neck pain

Do you have any of the following?
___Extra or transitional vertebrae
___Very sharp eyesight
___Keen hearing
___Strong sense of smell
___Very low blood pressure
___Rh negative blood type
___Hypersensitivity to electricity or electromagnetic fields
___The peculiar ability to disrupt the function of electrical appliances
___A "normal " body temperature lower than the standard 98.6
___An adverse reaction to high humidity

If you answer YES to a majority of these questions then congratulations, YOU MIGHT BE A STAR CHILD according to the old Guru of such things, Brad Steiger...
So whatever happened to all of those kind aliens who were going to save us from things like the Iraq War numero dos , high gas prices, and leaving all those children behind? Where's a good ALIEN when you need one?

Ok, it's time to go outside and contemplate what it means to be or Not to be a 'father'. Happy Father's Day!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Click the Psychedlic Bush to see our main man W in what has been called THE TRUE AMERICA, Kansas.

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Monday, June 14, 2004
Poets are Nuts

You might be a poet if you can find "used words" and turn them into something new like the phrase "You might be a redneck..." and make those words your own. Do you enjoy working with "found objects"? Some call "found objects" garbage. A poet often sees the potential in things that others toss aside. Poets are first and foremost CREATORS. Do you have a garden to tend? Do you keep a journal ? Do you like to draw, paint, or take pictures? If you like to create, you might be a poet.

If you are motivated by more than the almighty dollar, you might be a poet. Though a handful of famous poets are also bankers, doctors, and attorneys, monetarily RICH poets are a rare breed. If you live for yard sales, thrift towns, love the “real recycling” of old cars and old buildings and not just the buying the latest, newest thing, then you might be a poet!

Like to feel life around you? Do you notice the changing seasons, birds, wind, moon, and stars? Are you a lover of dogs, cats, fish, and children? Do you want to cry out at angry child pullers and screamers in grocery stores? If you care about others and yourself, if you are troubled by war and starvation , if you can feel empathy for others, if you know that there’s a dark side to the light, a dawn to every night, then you might be a poet.

If you are not a big follower of fads or fashion and mostly dress for comfort , if you want to eat all the chips and down ice cream clear to the licking spots, then you might be a poet. If you dare to run naked in the rain or listen to the music in your brain, then you might be acting like a poet. If you “gladly learn and gladly teach,” then you might be a poet.

Okay, so I might be a poet. Is that a bad thing? Not at all, it means that have deeper feelings than most. You have the eyes of a hawk and ears of a rabbit. You might even be like a big, inviting bowl of pecans on a pristine table with chairs set out for pecan eaters.

Imagine those pecans. They are hard-shelled, almost impenetrable. Crack open their shells and see what’s inside. Don’t those pecans invite you to crack them open? They may be tough on the outside; inside they are tasty and sweet. Those pecans are sitting there just like you, the poet, waiting for the chance to crack open and spill out good sweet words.


Poets are nuts:
Shells broken, scattered.
Hard to crack,
They beg to be peeled.

Jeff Hartzer

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NEWSFLASH: The Supreme Court at least temporarily preserved the phrase "one nation, under
God," in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Friday, June 11, 2004
After a great deal of work changing business and personal e-mail addresses I believe I have finally seen my last spam, aka high-volume direct e-mail delivered without the cumbersome mechanics of someone actually requesting such a ... uh ... service. So while this peace and tranquility lasts I would like to offer this Ode to Spam, featuring my reaction to an unusual and thought-provoking message. (And, as Dave Barry would say, "I am not making this up.")

From: Headrest Q. Rationalism
Subject: dynamic testicle conjunct arabesque already squatted parsley dragonfly jurisprudent exit

Allie Santos says this penis size augmenting patch changed his life! Even though Allie felt ashamed about the member in question since a teenager, this miracle product helped him regain his confidence.

Well ... at first I felt so betrayed! Such a surreal and extensive subject line and such an unimaginative spam. Hey people, ya gotta give a little! Then I gave it another read. I was a little surprised to learn that, despite his teenage angst about penis size, Allie at one point had confidence and then lost it somehow. Perhaps changing his name to something more manly would also help Allie in the confidence area.

Then I put the message and its subject together, and discovered that not only does Allie have more confidence along with a bigger penis (aka testicle conjunct) - all without having to change his name - he now has a more dynamic member that can not only perform squats, but also arabesques! Top that Viagra!

I admit I am still unclear on the relationship between these maneuvers and insects with garnish vacating a courtroom but, as Mr. Rationalism isn't writing to me any more, I guess I'll just have to live with the mystery. So long, spammers! May you never come a figuratively knocking again.

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Thursday, June 10, 2004
Not a good day for trees
This morning's Albuquerque Journal has a large headline Rio Rancho River Trees Drop Dead and an article which discusses the death of some 45 acres of trees in the 'Bosque' North of Albuquerque in the town of Rio Rancho home to Intel. An ironic story as a year ago at this time, National News carried the stories of Albuquerque's Bosque burning. This afternoon, as I write this, a large out of control fire is burning badly just South of Albuquerque in the Bosque. The Bosque is the stretch of green along both sides of the Rio Grande. Though houses can be built up to the area called the Bosque (Boss-Kay) , this green stretch remains an uninhabited 'natural' break all along the river. After last year's horrific blazes (two of them in the same week; one started by transients, one by kids with fireworks), a lot has been done to clear the Bosque of undergrowth.

This fire burning now and throwing heavily visible smoke across the Southern sky apparently started in a structure and spread to the trees on one side of the river with high winds blowing sparks to the other side as well where now the fire is raging.

Shortly before seeing the smoke of this fire while driving through the city, I heard on the car radio that Ronald Reagan is not the only aging man of fame to pass on this week. Ray Charles has also succumbed at the age of 73.

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Monday, June 07, 2004
Note to Mister Ballard and National G: The Titanic has indeed sunk and remains so. Get over yourselves.

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For the first time in 122 years, the silhouette of the planet Venus crossing the face of the sun will be visible from Earth Tuesday June 8th.Venus Specifics. For a live webcast featuring Brown University telescopes click: 6/8/04 webcast.

Even if you missed the other Harry Potter movies, the installment now showing EVERYWHERE is an amazing and magical movie treat. Movies should take you to 'some other place' especially when actually seen at the theater. With good air conditioning, properly outfitted chairs, and a professional sound system, you can truly momentarily escape the horrors of everyday life in the good old US of A circa 2004. The forty five dollars spent for tickets and munchies is all worthwhile if a movie adventure truly entertains. If it actually transforms your life, it's a big bonus. My life was made better, at least by a half iota or two, yesterday by simply following the antics of Harry and his crew of merry pranksters for two plus hours of cool darkness in a plush non-rocking movie theater throne. I don't know why this is, but I can never at random end up in an actual 'rocking' movie seat. Sure the drink holders are nice, but just like ending up in an Emergency Exit plane seat that doesn't go back, I just can't seem to sit my butt into a 'rocker' at the movies. That being said, my own personal Harry Potter # 3 adventure was a treat beheld.

I also recently saw Shrek 2 and thought it to be a fun diversion. The new CAT character played by or with the voice of Antonio Banderas is a hoot. They obviously spent more money on #2 after the surprise success of Shrek #1 as the Pixar animations are quite good for what they are. Compared to the more involving storyline and different sorts of animatronical magic though, the latest Shrek donkey anus incarnation doesn't hold an ogre's fart to the latest Harry Potter.

I love anything that allows one to experience the thrills of flying. There are several rousing broom fly-abouts as well as a trip aboard the Hippogriff (A Horsey Eagle Gryphonic character) which were worth the price of admission and this isn't yet a Theme Park. To play an online Hippogriff or Broomstick Game click: Homing Hippogriffs.

The whole Harry Potter world is a bit like entering Willie Wonka's world. It takes a bit of suspended disbelief, but once entered it is a world I could have spent more time in. The lovely images of enchanted forests and landscapes of Scotland are reminiscent of the New Zealand vistas seen in the epic movie tales of Frodo, et al (Lord of the Rings). The transitions from real to animatronic are flawless and allow for easily suspended disbelief of what's happenin' on the screen. Instead of constantly wondering 'How did they do that?' there was for me a simple appreciation for the artistry of this movie. Simply a Fantabulous journey with a heartfelt storyline. Next time though I must find a rockin' chair.

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Sunday, June 06, 2004
6-6-'87...Seventeen years ago today, Jeff Hartzer and Debra Landau were married atop this roof at 201 Princeton S.E. This is the house where N. Scott Momaday lived when he wrote A House Made of Dawn.

6-6-'44...Sixty thousand came ashore for D Day in the war to end all wars.

6-6-'04...Tony Soprano leaves the season with wet feet in the snowfall of New Jersey. Harry Potter strikes again in what is 'his' best movie yet. Smarty Jones settles into second class hay and oats for the summer. And a week of remembering The Gipper begins.

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Thursday, June 03, 2004
CIA Director George Tenet resigns for personal reasons. Too much sneaking around? Took too much truth serum? A deodorant situation? Well if Rummy can't quit to exonerate W, then maybe this guy will take the fall for him.

The month of June is blowing full force here in New Mexico. The mighty winds roared last night under an almost full moon and promise to do so again tonight for the truly FULL moon. Winds of change are arriving just in time for the forest fire season. Smoke and dust are in the air from a fire to our west. Current sunsets looking beautifully orange thanks to the smokey haze that is not 'purple'. Nothing like our mile high oxygen levels when combined with a tad of smoke and dust. Aaah...choo. Cough...sputter. Pass the green chile please. Bueno-bye.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Excuse me for a moment while I ... SCREAM! I recently asked my therapist why people just can't be honest. Her reply was something to the effect of You keep expecting people's behavior to make sense. Lots of folks aren't honest - deal with it!

Sigh ... By the way, I'm talking about Honesty - capital H and all. Not the little Oh, nice haircut sort of thing, but rather the total denial We don't torture prisoners kind of thing or the gross understatement (oooh, oxymoron time) Hey, wasn't any worse than a Skull and Bones initiation sort of thing.

I agree that the abuse of the Iraqi POWs at Abu Ghraib prison wasn't the absolute worst thing our soldiers, et al could have done and pales to what Saddam Hussein wrought at that same prison, but it is much more than a hazing ritual gone bad! For the prisoners these were not voluntary activities fueled by peer pressure and alcohol. (Same may not be true for the Americans involved.) Not only were prisoners forced to perform sex acts, but at least one person was raped and another died "under suspicious circumstances." And these are people from another culture. An Iraqi man, hooded, covered in electrodes, and forced to stand on a box was told he would be electrocuted if he fell off. He's not trying to not get voted off the island. He believes he's fighting for his life!

I believe the key to one's sympathy or lack thereof lies in how much one can relate to the dehumanizing and traumatic effects of threats and forced acts. Most people seem to avoid these issues. When they become unavoidable, many folks maintain distance by understating the case. Others attempt jokes. What is so funny about prison rape or priests abusing children? Threatening death when everyone knows that no killing will take place can be funny, given the right context - but everyone has to be in on it!

Now, I don't advocate constant whining and buying into a culture of victimization, but amidst our culture of denial and dismissal, I understand why so many victims of sexual abuse repress memories, suppress feelings, and hesitate to talk about their experiences. Many people don't want to hear it. Others dismiss it. Some ridicule the victim/survivor.

Meanwhile, I don't know how much more I can listen to pundits qualifying the this and that of the Prisoner Abuse Scandal. Most of them are debating the damage of the scandal as opposed to the trauma our supported troops brought to bear on our captive enemy. I agree with Nobel Peace laureate Bertha von Suttner who stated that putting rules on the conduct of war is comparable to regulating the temperature when boiling someone in oil. But then these are rules we agreed to long ago and we certainly expect everyone else to abide by them. Wasn't this war waged because some guy refused to follow the rules?

Let's just shut up and make it right! And screw all the partisan bullshit. Hey, Andy Rooney, get a grip, this is not the same as the mass murder of 9-11-01! Rush Limbaugh, you hypocritical bastard, this is not "letting off steam" practical jokery. Try to complete this sentence: Do not unto others ... Oldest rule in the book!

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In case you missed it, midnight last night took us into JUNE. Some newz stories that may have slipped under your door in the stark light of today's new dawn follow:

No biggie in the surprise category but Michael Moore's Cannes Fim winner has been bought out from under the apocalyptic skirts of Disney. Fahrenheit 9/11 has been taken under the high flying wings of Harvey and Bob Feinstein. Way to go Harvey and Bob. Burn Baby Burn.

Gray squirrels taking over London; Government puts a price on their heads. Gray squirrels are over running the habitats of the red squirrels. There are 161,000 reds to 2.5 million grays. Go Reds, Go Blues, Out with the damn grays. And while you are at it, take those Libertarians and Greens with you.

The Good War wins our hearts and minds this past weekend with the unveiling of the WWII Memorial. Nothing like a 'good war' to teach our sons to hate the Germans and Japanese. All those heroes turned into after-the-war-Insurance-salesman overnight. Long live the fifties. May those silent veterans speak out their pain and suffering at long last and celebrate surviving their own personal hells and holocausts.

Is Pat Tillman, footballer turned military pro, forgotten about already? On the next-to-last-page-of-section-one-news, word is out now that he was killed not by those bastard Evil Ones but by our own FRIENDLY FIRE! Let's hear it for Pat and for friendly fire. The entire shocked and awefully awesome fire of this quick and easy ENDLESS QUAGMIRE of a war is anything but oxymoronically 'friendly' .

Our enchanted small trying to be BIG city, Albuquerque, made the national news with our Head Judge, District Judge W. John Brennan not only getting arrested for a late night DWI spin in the old SUV, but also scoring highly in the BIG GAPE category with his younger and more beautiful ride along babe having cocaine in her possession. Well, at least they weren't smoking the EVIL WEED, marijuana!

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So much Chaos,
So little time.

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