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Sunday, October 31, 2004

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Saturday, October 30, 2004
For no particular reason this week, I have found myself thinking randomly of my maternal grandmother. I mentioned my fascination with her addiction to "As the World Turns" even from the black and white tv set days. I am thinking today of her collection of vinyl records that were very innerestin' and one LP that sticks out is Vaughn Meader's "The First Family". That was one historic 'comedy album' when it came out. It was considered pretty dogone scandalous at the time for anyone to profit by making fun of the Presdident of the United States of America. In another personal irony for me at the time was the fact that I was raised Roman Catholic yet my parents for some reason (still unknown to me) did not approve of JFK. If they were alive today it would be interesting to know for whom they might vote next week.

Vaughn Meader passed away this week and this event has obviously led to my reminiscing about the good old days when you could hear a voice over on a circular piece of vinyl. Instant fame for skewering JFK was his and was made grander with Ed Sullivan appearances. My recent obsessive viewing of the travails of Tony Soprano has brought up another innerstin' family memory...My parents hated Frank Sinatra. I could have gone one way or the other on the man but along with their fear of Vaughn Meader and their lack of gushing praise for JFK, looking back at the little things in your life always lead to the fact that all those little strings of memory and spider webs of the past somehow all join together in one big witchy cauldron of candy and the sweet sugar of memory.

There's a lot of orange here but you are welcome to look in on a Schiptober Halloween Gallery of our schipperkes...

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Friday, October 29, 2004
Bush was elected as the Top Movie Screen Villain this week beating out 'Leatherface' of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" among others. Way to go Bushie!

Our local Bush in the pants candidate , Heather Wilson has gotten her flu shot. Way to go Heather!! Didn't have to wait in line either. Smooth.

Coming to the high desert this weekend to bulk up on cheese enchiladas and green chile heart medications is Uncle Bill Clinton. Here yesterday with Old Man Bush was, the Twins, looking a bit silly to a crowd of 400 (not too much of a crowd) in Los Alamos. Martin Sheen to appear in Taos this weekend and according to the local paper " V.P. Dick Cheney will try to energize the Republican faithful at the Los Lunas HS football stadium at 5:20 p.m. [not 4:20?] on Sunday. Hey DICK can't you do better than that? Los Lunas ain't exactly hog heaven , no wait, it is hog heaven.

Ugly, Tasteless, Terrifying and Wild...Count Me In!
Dr. Hunter S.Thompson

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Happy Full Moon...hope you saw last night's lunar eclipse...eerie.

This is my latest issue of the POET'S CORNER published in Albuquerque's South Valley Ink. Kind of fits for this full moon night of Halloweenie Week.

Darkness Happens

October First/ brought rain and the soft scattered sound of geese, / fifty-four in flying vee; / chaotic wings / black against a sky of soft rain.

Those words came to me in 1981 after moving to the Pacific Northwest from Florida. Seasonal changes in my native state were inconsequential. Autumn meant that red fish came upriver chasing shrimp and that hurricanes or Nor'easters might blow. My heart is with Floridians this year. One hurricane is enough, four hurricanes ... apocaplyptic. At night in the high desert vistas are akin to those on the ocean. Wherever you go, there you are.

We move now into a dark season of the year. It can be a good time for poets. A time for inside things like hot chocolate, television, or good books. A time for going inside metaphorically as well. No small coincidence that we go to school in wintertime. The light of summer balances the darkness of winter. The full moon and the dark moon equally move the tides. This is a goes within time. Many love this time of year; many do not.

Darkness Happens. The advantages of this are more brilliant stars to light our night skies and crackling fires to warm our hearths. Did you know that just before an orange tree dies, it blossoms more fully than ever before? Deciduous tree leaves flash their most brilliant colors before falling off the tree.

On the last day of September, I was cruising down Interstate 25, when a most unusual end to the month literally exploded in front of me. A semi-truck hauling a long concrete barrier jack-knifed and lost its load, which plunged into the dividing median, causing a giant cloud of dust, dirt, and pulverized concrete to explode across and over all three lanes ahead of me. There was a huge cloud of confetti-like debris, rising up in slow-motion like Mt. St. Helens erupting. It seemed unreal and much like a mass of papers blowing in the breeze. Meteors of debris showered down on me, tearing into the hood, windshield, and driver door with the force and sound of shotguns. Made me thankful that I am not in Iraq with our troops. Made me thankful, period. It was my first "accident" ever. It shook me to the core. In a split second, all changed. Those moments ended an already tough month marked by a death in the family. Those moments began a swing toward a new season. I have work to do on those lines about those geese in the soft rain. In so many ways, October First has come and gone with all the magic of Albuquerque's hot air balloons. Already changing leaves fall. Soon Kookooee burns. Dias de los Muertos and All Hallow's Eve will precede Thanksgiving time. Already the aisles of Wal*Mart are packed with Holiday Gear.

This is a time of harvesting; a time for looking back. Take time to enjoy where you are coming from and embrace where you are going. Soon after you read this our country will be embarking on a journey of its own. Not in my lifetime has there been an election year of such electric magnitude. Our country is split like those Mt. St. Helen fissures with deep down possibilities for serious explosion. America will harvest what it has sewn. We will all become a part of that harvest. These are dark times. There will be lighter times. We move on through the light. We move on through the dark. Though our confidence may be shattered, it doesn't matter. Poetry can help. Poetry encompasses both the light and the dark. Don't be afraid of it. Poetry is a magical gift waiting for you to open it.

Jeff Hartzer
copyright 2004

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004
A balmy Halloweenie week sort of day here just one week more to go in the big crawl to whatever happens next in Amerika... Armageddon awaits. Kinder gentler machine gun handed Father Bush hits ABQ later this week. Yesterday, the New Englander who will be Prez was here for the second time in a month. W came and went to the Little Texas area of Nuevo Mex this week. Uncle Dick was here [not queer] a day before that. And the phone rings off the hook each night with recorded calls telling us for whom to vote. We've already voted. Hope you have, too.

Tonight if you can break away from the boob tube or 'pooter screen long enough to go outdoors, check out the [almost] full moon lunar eclipse. Seems like we are having a lot of eclipses of late; that and volcanos, earthquakes, hurricanes, and red socks thrown on high. Odd times continue to roll in the Chinese year of the Monkey.

A year or so back, we were undergoing odd times at FRESHCHAOS hacienda and found relief to the chaos by watching Sex and the City. As with many tv shows, we came late to this show; got addicted immediately, though, and had to run out and buy the dvd's. Our latest 'guilty or not so guilty pleasure' has been watching from the number one episode, The Sopranos. HBO is showing every single episode (starting about three weeks ago), one a night on weekday evenings. I used to wonder why my grandmother had to eat her lunch and revolve her whole life schedule around As the World Turns every day of her anciently wise life. I can see now that getting caught up in the goods and bads of fictional folks struggling to pass their own time on the planet pleasantly can become a wild addiction. By the way, that whole 'guilty pleasure thing' ... how did that get started? Is it defined by a 'wasting of time' by enjoying something others may critize you for? It is too bad so many folks in this world today find criticism easier to speak than praise or support.

What is it these days that about half the population of the United Stateas of America, the so-called RED STATES, find it a mortal sin to pay a compliment to anyone preferring to instead be hypercritical? Put downs are the way today...And admitting when you make a mistake...ah, sorry, the word 'mistake' is not even in the vocabulary of many, it seems. And, RED? Is red for action? Anger? Fire? STOP! Seeing red? B-L-O-O-D?

Funny that Blood is BLUE until it hits the air...Happy Lunar Eclipse...GO SOX...war is terror.

Where and when you can see the moon go dark.

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Monday, October 25, 2004
In April, 2003 an intergenerational team of Niko Matsakis of Boston, MA and Elias Vlanton of Takoma Park, MD created After maintaining it on their own for the first year, they gave it to the National Priorities Project to contribute to their ongoing educational efforts. The numbers are getting too large to really comprehend the amount. That is very alarming.

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Surreal existentials: On this morning's mission, I fly with the clarity of the red hawk and long-legged whooping cranes toward that elusive unknown which is seen only through closed eyes and open hearts. May all of our joy be found this week in the attuned souls of pygmy rattlers winding deep down into their autumn lairs. May autumn winds reach past soon-to-be-bare trees dancing toward freedom and everlasting peace buffeted by the aggressiveness of mean-spirited avenging folks... White folks, blind folks, raising their red white and blues for all to see. Raising their Buds and PBR's to the sky with an angst that leads to strokes and heart failure. May we begin our move toward a unity of vision with a heartfelt calm.
Oh yeah...GO SOX!

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Saturday, October 23, 2004
This just in; our readers write: I just noticed that you haven't posted on Fresh Chaos since Monday.  How are you doing?

God Bless Amerika, we have readers that notice these things!! Let me just say on this autumnal Saturday that things have been both gorgeous and busy as the leaves of time begin to fall quickly here in the high desert country. We have been sleeping out in our new 'vehicle' purchased this week, following the 57 tons of concrete falling on our old vehicle [ scroll way down...there's a story about this from the last day of god-awful day of September; and, there will be more stories to come...].

Just in the nick of time for high gas prices, we have moved from a handy dandy four cylinder Sonoma longbed to a six banger Blazer with four wheel drive. What the heck, we're all gonna die anyway; let's live it up with car payments and all the heaters in our homes blasting away this winter. W's Iraq War II sure has helped THE OIL SITUATION (and Wall Street) ...Not!

Already dipped below the 'freezing' mark here in this so-called UNdecided state of NM. Judging by a count of visible stickers and signs, I don't know how undecided we are actually. Our new vehicle sports a CANINES FOR 'you know who' sign. Our Schipperkes have cast their votes early for Captain K.

Early voting seems to be storming Amerika. The lines for early voting are almost as long as the lines of those awaiting their elusive flu shot. Who are all these early voters voting for? Why the rush to 'be counted this time around'?...Could it hint that the coming landslide for JFKerry is already underway? There seems to be a bit of THE FEAR in the Grand Old Partay of late.

The New JibJab is Out!

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Monday, October 18, 2004
This just in : a reader writes on voter registration from the African-American perspective...

The days are clicking away towards the election. I continue to be in deep thought about this. I realize that I am at the same place that my parents were in the early 60s when they were getting the newly registered people out to vote. Those were the first elections [in which] a few Black people in Henderson [N.Carolina] could run for election since Reconstruction. There were no elected Blacks during Reconstruction.
I wish there was more research on that aspect of this issue.

Although my father was a principal and my mother a teacher, [when] they had been registered in the 40s, they had to take a literacy test. The person administering that test was illiterate. My father read him the questions that he was administering. My father said he wanted to just walk away but realized the importance of getting even a handful of Blacks registered and having a voice in the political arena. I am there again now. It deeply saddens me at times. Have we really made progress?

And for some really scary S**T about art, education, and almost free speech versus Homeland Suck-urity, read about the plight of art professor Steve Kurtz!

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Sunday, October 17, 2004
I have never been much of a researcher. I am not good on quoting others to back up my own beliefs or positions. I am not much of a follower. I am intuitive and often shoot from the hip without even knowing exactly WHY I feel the way I do. On the eve of the final debates last week, I watched the Edwards-Kerry campaign plane on the tarmac at Albuquerque's quasi-International Sunport; and, I felt strongly that despite the polls and the many reasons to believe otherwise, John Kerry is not only going to beat Bush and be our next President but that he is going to do so with surprisingly high numbers.

If you have followed or searched the archives, you will see that I am back there with the Dixie Chicks in my overwhelming disapproval of the Iraq War II. Call me unPatriotic but I hate the idea of the Patriot Act. Read what it says sometime and you might hate it too. View a gallery of photographs I took of W in our town two weeks before 911, Bush in 'burque. My opinion of W was the same then as it stands now.

I remain disappointed that our President, who after 911 stood at a peak of power no US president has stood at since the world witnessed Japanese planes detroy Pearl Harbor, took our country on a solo journey to hell instead of a unified journey to at least Purgatory.

Some folks change facts to match their own opinions, some folks may alter their opinions to match newly learned information. Some quote others to prove a point. I found the following article an affirmation that Common Dreams do exist. I am not the only one on the planet who feels strongly that this four year term of the Dubster is as far as it is going to go.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004


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Just don't take that flu shot!

Say what you will about G.W.Bush or J.F.Kerry, give me all 'the spins', tell me about their families, recite me the he said/ she said 'litanies', show me the red, the blue, or the grey states, give me the Michael Moores , the Roves, the Armies of doesn't matters to me anymore. The man I will vote for, is the man who in the final Presidential Debates strongly emerged as a genuine 'President' of what was once the most powerful country in the world.

Both candidates have those same Secret Service issued flag decoder/locator/transmitter lapels and both seem to be dressed by the same tailor (of the same 'cloth' ) wearing matching red ties and similar suit-age. Both have two daughters and supportive wives, though one seems to like his mother more than the other and who knows how each feels about his father.

One feels that "Education is how to help the person who has lost a job." There's something not so educated about that sentence structure. If you just lost your job, someone telling you to go get 'educated' at a local 'community college' might make you look like one big dumb-ass but it sure won't help you pay your mortgage or make your car payment, let alone pay for your healthcare or keep your children from getting left behind.

One of the candidate's mouth is drooping down to the left apparently from the strain of smiling while spinning. His thinning and more rapidly greying hair matches his thinning lips and pointy pointy ears which actually seem to be growing into a pre-Halloween Star Trek Vulcan-look, though this candidate hasn't the intelligence of a Vulcan. This candidate suggests that for the latest major shortage of this year's flu vaccine (thanks to those damn English who spoiled a batch of the vaccine) that younger folks just don't get the shot. Further he reassures old folks that they will still 'get their checks' at least through Nov. 2nd but the young This is the candidate who says that "Government controlled health [care] leads to rationing" [rationing???] He also says the USA is the envy of countries with 'federally' run health care programs...What country with Universal Health Care for All envies the US of A's answer to health care? None that I know of.

One candidate quipped,"Being lectured by the [other candidate] on fiscal responsibility, is a little like Tony Soprano talking to me about 'law and order' in this country". One candidate tried to make a 'quip' but fell flat with the rudely insane statement," In [with] all due respect , I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about...oh nevermind...heh...heh..." Has this candidate completely lost his mind ? Or is this candidate just too used to having crowds who signed loyalty oaths, laugh at his 'jokes' ; or maybe both?

One of the candidates sees himself 'in the mainstream of American politics' while he sees his opponent sitting out on 'the far left bank'. This same candidate says," It is important to promote I think a culture of life, [that] a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters.' This same candidate shows little remorse for the thousand plus US soldiers killed obeying this candidate's orders to aggressively destroy a country for its not having any weapons of mass delusion (or destruction either) all in the name of those ARMIES OF COMPASSION letting FREEDOM MARCH.

One candidate spent the two days prior to the debates in our Enchanted state of New Mexico where he was 'blessed' by the Natives and apparently able to clear his head and to prepare for this final debate. The other candidate for President of the United States of America got left behind in his own 'buggy and horse days' fantasy world. Come to think of it, this candidate may have a friend in Michael Jackson.

I guess what I am writing in this blog entry, can be viewed by at least one of the candidates as being just one more rumour from the internets. I don't care; that candidate has lost my vote for re-election, if in fact he was ever (yeah, yeah) truly 'elected' .

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Our astrologer du jour, Cynthia Hess points out that today/tonight is a new moon, solar eclipse... Yowsers Dudes! Expect this eclipse to move events along this week as it shakes up weak foundations and unstable conditions...this is an electrifying period... Could bode for an innerstin' Presidential Debate...especially if the Dubster's elecrified earplugs tuned to Uncle Carl are all plugged in correctly.

This just in:our readers write:
E.L. Doctorow, novelist, writes in the East Hampton (NY) Star that "this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find....He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn....To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing....He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to."

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004
I love airports and Albuquerque has a dandy one.
One 'dandy' aspect is its closeness to the city with easy access.
I drove through there earlier this evening and snapped this photograph of the non-presidential but pretty damn palatial KERRY EDWARDS flying mobile unit. It was almost sunset with the Sandia Mountains behind the plane. I am confident that Kerry's two days here in the high desert have readied him for flying to Arizona for the final debate. There is a strong future ahead of this man and his veep to be. Bon Voyage..HipHip and Steady as She Gores er Goes...

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Monday, October 11, 2004
does Albuquerque again

In October 2003 Michael Moore came to Albuquerque for a quiet sit-down affair at the University of New Mexico's Popejoy Hall. [ see FRESHCHAOS archive for 10/22/03 ] There was no mention of that visit in local newspapers. This year, there is a one column entry by Dan Mayfield in the Albuquerque Journal. Mr. Moore has come a long way in this past year with the huge success of Farenheit 911 which was only a working title back in 2003 when JFKerry was but a fly in the democratic hopefuls wolf pack.

This year's 21st stop in the sixty city SLACKER UPRISING TOUR took place in THE PIT, home to the New Mexico LOBO basketball teams. Following introductions by Representative Tom Udall (N.M. Democrat) and Richard Romero who opposes Ms. Heather 'Leather' Wilson in the race for New Mexico's First Congressional District seat, almost 8,000 fans roared their slackerly approval of the UNM baseball cap wearing, rotund, and rumpled, Michael Moore. This year there were even more 'mafioso cia secret service-like undercover dudes' staring into the crowd eager to protect this man who is as loved and as hated as the Dubster himself. The friendly crowd didn't flinch at Moore's remarks about 'the extremist radical right' to which he he cajoled, "The chicks and faggots have taken over."

In 2003, Moore opined that the best candidate to defeat Bush would be OPRAH . "Michael Moore is not America; J Lo is America ". All the latest demographics point to J LO and OPRAH as taking over control from the 'angry white man' demographic. Minorities own two thirds of our nation now. New Mexico, he said last night, is a state where whites are the minority. More importantly he added that 'the eyes of the world' will be on New Mexico in three weeks.

A year ago his litany of bugaboos included: The Patriot Act, No child left behind should be No billionaire left behind; First class passengers get a green light at airports when all the hijackers were in first class; 87 billion for the War; HumVee tax breaks; Joblessness; Homelessness; Health Care is free anywhere but here...and [only] 300 soldiers had died in THE WAR.

Last night a rendition of Bruce Springstein singing the Dylan/Byrds' tune, The Chimes of Freedom got things off to a rousing start. It was a cheer fest providing a boost of energy for the up at noon, beer drinking slackers for whom Moore offered Top Ramen and clean underwear as incentives to vote.

There is a majority of people now who believe in the issues together (ie: more gun control, females deserve equal pay, tougher environmental laws, better health care for all, fewer FBI agents sent to college dorms to bust downloaders or to check the authenticity of blue dress stains). The problem is that this 'majority' doesn't vote. There is before us not the hard work of the Suffragette Movement or of the Civil Rights days. All is set; just get bleeding heart liberals to use the system. It is not even necessary for this 'majority' to work as hard as their right-winged counterparts...just get them slacker liberals to GO VOTE.

A big fat bottomline of the evening was the fact that BUSH HAS GOT TO GO. Even if you believe Bush and Kerry both suck, vote for Kerry anyway. Or if you are feeling oh-so-pure-and-good about voting for Ralphie, please recall your parents telling you that 'five minutes of feeling good can have lifelong implications'. BUSH HAS GOT TO GO and Ralph should follow the example of the Green Party which has stepped back in this election for what they believe to be the betterment of a larger whole.

In America there is a bottom line of 'Enforced Ignorance' . He talked of wanting to share whatever information he has; stated that we could use any of his words in his books, copy and distribute his dvd's, take anything from his website . In regard to his juts released on dvd this week, Fahrenheit 911, BURN IT, baby. Spread the word. A government that keeps us in FEAR only keeps us from asking the questions we need to ask and getting answers we deserve to hear.

In a multi-media vein, there were 30 second spots shown poking fun at the Swiftboat-Vets-for-truth ad campaigns that Moore says he has offered for FREE to the Bush campaign. The most revealing one to me, showed a veterans' cemetery with an overdub voice stating that "Fifty thousand American soldiers died in Vietnam but John Kerry was not one of them. If Kerry truly loved his country he would have. Vote Bush."

Most recently, Moore has published a book of letters sent to him from soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is called, Will They Ever Trust Us Again-Letters From The War Zone. Moore's next big project will involve taking a hard look at HMO's and Health Care issues in America. In a funny aside , Moore gave out Pfizer's Michael Moore Hotline number that pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, recently emailed to its employees. Moore urged his audience to give the number a call and to say in a hushed tone, He's here and he's taking all of the Viagra. What should I do?
That number by the way is 1-212-573-1226. Have some fun.

A Neil Young tune has been bouncing 'round the room all day. In some odd way, it is a salute to my mood and to the historically layered concerns of this day...Like many Neil Young tunes , I don't 'understand it exactly but works.
Happy Colombo Day from all of us here on a soft rainy high desert day...

For The Turnstiles

All the sailors with their seasick mamas
Hear the sirens on the shore,
Singin' songs for pimps with tailors
Who charge ten dollars at the door.

You can really learn a lot that way
It will change you in the middle of the day.
Though your confidence may be shattered,
It doesn't matter.

All the great explorers are now in granite laid,
Under white sheets for the great unveiling
At the big parade.

All the bushleague batters
Are left to die on the diamond.
In the stands the home crowd scatters
For the turnstiles,
For the turnstiles.

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Super Man is dead; and, Michael Moore speaks tomes from deep inside in our city's Concrete Palace, The Pit. A connection? Synchronicity runs deep, into our hearts it will creep. Stay tuned.

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Saturday, October 09, 2004
I have finally, just this moment, realized why last week was a week from hell frozen over...I did not answer nor did I send out to five hundred people that chain email I got on Sunday evening promising riches or doom ; cake or death. I deleted it.
Damn it.

WHO WON? GWBush or JFKerry? Cheney or Edwards? Who cares...should we care? Has it all become one big NFL game? Is there a chance that freedom can ring without aggressive wars for oil? Can we survive without Vioxx or Maalox or Exlax or Exxon Mobile [Please insert any/all other any other X word posers] ?

We need a winner and conversely a loser with a big L. In recent Kodak moments, the only two losers seem to be the eggsellent grimaces of the dubster for first place and finishing second in the L category is Theresa Heinz who can often be seen creeping into the shadows of her husband who is merrily smiling and cavorting on camera with his daughter. Poor (not so poor) old Tear-ay-sa.

Even Mt. St. Helens and tropical depression Matthew have petered out this week. Next week comes a new moon, Ramadan, Indigenous People's Day, Columbus Day, and a lot more football...Hooray.

And now for something completely different...

Fun with Martha

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Friday, October 08, 2004
When all else fails, go to a movie! Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a mind blowing adventure akin to the first time you see King Kong the original. Filmed entirely in front of a BLUE not GREEN screen, this film blasts you through many ozone layers of time and space. This move-eye is worth a look see while it is still at the actual theater as opposed to buying the dvd later.

Michael Moore returns to 'burque-ville this Sunday. He will be 'performing' at the University of New Mexico's 'University Arena' home to the Lobos and to the annual 'World's Largest Indian Pow-Wow'. In the sports world this place is known as THE PIT and Captain Moore should wear earplugs whilst playing up to his fans on Sunday.

Moore's new DVD was released this week as well as the latest GOP putdowns of THE MAN in a hat who say that Michael Moore illegally offered underwear in exchange for voting. I can't wait to see the great underwear salesman this Sunday at the World Famous Pit.

I can't speak for you dear readers, but I know that I feel safer today knowing that THE EVIL ONE, Martha Stewart, has begun doing her Five-Month Prison Sentence.

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Monday, October 04, 2004
According to an AP wire story, US and Iraqi officials are afraid that Iraqi weapons scientists will leave Iraq and make horrible, terrible WMDs in countries other than Britain or the US. Those officials were hoping the scientists would stay in the war-torn Cradle of Civilization that is Iraq and help to rebuild the country from the might rubble of the invasion ... er, liberation.

Apparently Saddam's work on banned arms ended over 10 years ago and scientists and engineers were given jobs working on conventional weapons or on peaceful pursuits. (What an concept!) Unfortunately, our carpet-bomb-heavy humanitarian liberation effort last year destroyed many of their workplaces. So, what's a mesopotamian scientist to do?

But not to worry, we have begun arms trade with Iraq! Just in time for elections! AND we have bullied other countries who opposed the invasion into NOT selling arms to Iraq. AND W's Administration and Congress approved diverting money slated for public works projects in Iraq to paying for various "security costs." This despite the fact that restoring runninng water and the like has helped to appease the Iraqi people and the insurgents among them more than once. Dear God Allah Dude, do I feel safe!!

Like to have a natural disaster or two to compliment your political ones? Well, Florida is still hanging on to the mainland like a big old polyp, despite the best efforts of nearly half our alphabet-worth of hurricanes and such. And all the way on the upper end of the lower 48 Mount Saint Helens is burpingly threatening to a sequel to its last famous monkey year of 1980 show. Check out the latest via the official MSH the volcano webcam! Frankly, I could do without another spew of corrosive, sticky, dark ash in the midst of all the corrosive, sticky, dark crap being spewed in this BIG election homestretch.

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Sunday, October 03, 2004
I am fed up with polls! Latest Gallup poll - or rather USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll - is making the rounds. Chances are you didn't receive a call, as the poll was conducted among just over 1000 people, a teeny tiny fraction of the American voting population. In fact, if only 100 million people vote this year - 10 million less than 4 years ago - then this poll was conducted among only .001% of people who will actually vote. Many polls are conducted among this number of folks, and yet the results are touted everywhere I look as an accurate picture of where the voting public stands.

For you math-challenged out there, I'll break it down. If you were to represent 10,000 people by polling 1% of them, you would talk to 100 people. This randomly chosen group might truly represent the feelings of all 10,000 in the right proportions - or they might not. (We won't talk about the guesswork that is "margin of error" in these things.) If you decide to poll .01% of the 10,000, then you would speak to only 1 person. That one person is probably not going to have the range of positions of 10,000 people, unless you're talking to a person with a serious mental disorder.

.01% of 100 million is 10,000. I understand it's difficult to poll 10,000 people across the country, but why do we give so much weight to polls of a fraction of that fraction of us - only .001%?! (Apologies to mathphobes for frequent use of the "f" word!) Is it so hard to think for ourselves, that we would rather have pollsters tell us what we think, based on so very, very few? Are we so narcissistic that we will listen to people talk about us and analyze us as a whole, even if they're basing their "in-depth analysis" on a sample so small as to be scientifically insignificant?

Just remember, what you do behind that voting curtain is for you and you alone to know. Let's spread some fresh chaos and just lie our asses off to exit pollsters and see how that meshes with the results! Sample response, "Hey, I voted for Nader, because I forgot to take my meds and I'm completely insane!"

For another opinion about Gallup polls: The Left Coaster

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Saturday, October 02, 2004
It's Hot Air Balloon season in Albuquerque. Check out the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta or follow the sound of those gas burners overhead to see Balloons over Bunnytown !

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Friday, October 01, 2004
Yesterday, September went out not with a whimper but with an explosive bang [see entry for 09/30/04] . This morning, I cleaned out our personal items from amidst the shattered glass and concrete rock chunks in our trusty GMC Sonoma truck which sits sadly in an Albuquerque junk yard. It is odd looking at a vehicle in which you experienced trauma. Also odd seeing local tv news stories about an accident in which you were involved. Insurance limbo is also an odd thing not knowing if you have technically totaled a car or if it can be saved with repairs. All the recent tune ups and cd player add-ons, new dash mats and the fun and work of owning a vehicle certainly fly out the window when your vehicle lands in a wrecking yard.

Re-visiting the concrete chunks left in the truck cab brings the reality of how easy it would have been for one of those chunks to have clobbered the driver [me] instead of the front and rear windows. 'Blessed Be' as they say.

Hot air balloons lifted off in our fair city this morning on a clear blue-sky day. When the tv crews arrive next week to film 'Good Morning America' from here, it will undoubtedly be rainy or windy; today it is gorgeous. The air is crisp and leaves are turning. I grew up in North Florida where the seasons did 'change' but with little to show for it. I love living in a place where the seasons change with a bit more 'action'. October in New Mexico is especially nice. As a life long 'educator', I was always glad to 'get through' September. As a Florida native, September was also the major hurricane month though the season is only half over.

I wrote a poem about this day, back in 1981, while a resident of Tacoma, Washington. I had just moved there from Florida and the mystical sounds of geese overhead, bright pumpkin fields, and brilliant foliage helped me enjoy a major life transition that year. 23 years later, my life still turns in its own transitions...

October first

October first
brought rain
and the soft scattered sound of geese,
fifty-four in flying vee;
chaotic wings
black against a sky of soft rain.

Jeff Hartzer
© 1981-04

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September was some month. Although we can't compete with those many folks who had their roofs blown off or their first floors flooded by hurricanes, we here at 'Jeff and Deb's Fresh Chaos HQ' won't be too sad to see September fade away.

Debra had a double-dosed tonsillectomy on September 8th. Her recovery time became an 'endless summer' without the big waves and pretty surf. On day six of this delightful jaunt through sore throat hell, Debra's mother died. No death is completely 'expected' but her mother was a mere 60 years old. Ever try crying with a tonsillectomy?

Then to wrap things up on this, the last day of September, I was cruising down Interstate 25 on the way home from Wal of the Mart driving Debra's gorgeous fuchsia colored GMC Sonoma longbed truck when a most unusual end to the month literally exploded in front of me. A semi truck hauling a long slab of concrete to be used as a highway median, jack-knifed and lost its load which plunged into (ironically) the concrete median on the interstate causing a giant cloud of dust, dirt, and pulverized concrete debris to explode from the median out across and over the whole interstate ahead of me...It looked like a slow-mo oak tree size mass of confetti rising up, like Mt. St. Helens blowing spewage. It seemed unreal and much like a mass of papers blowing in the breeze.

The meteor of debris showered down on Deb's truck with concrete chunks tearing into the hood, windshield, and driver door with the force and sound of shotguns. Made me thankful that I am not in Iraq with our troops. The end result is that Debra may have now added the loss of her truck to the loss of her tonsils and of her mother.

I am happy to be alive, and well enough to have witnessed our President and JFKerry duke it out as best they could under the stringent 'rules' of Debates in the New Millennium. We shall see how the morning papers and polls play out the spin of it all. I thought old W looked and acted kind of flibberty gibberty at times but his supporters seem to support him no matter what he says or does. It continues to amaze me how a cadre of six or seven white guys can so totally run this country of ours and run it with such a clear lack of conscience or without any sense of 'oneness' with the entire rest of the world.

Maybe October will be a better month than this past one has been. This weekend between 700 to 800 hot air balloons will rise over our city for the ten day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Things will be looking up. Geese and sand hill cranes will return to winter here along the Rio Grande. Already changing leaves will fall. There's already miles of aisles of Christmas lights on sale at Wallie World. Gotta risk life and limb on the highway to buy more stuff !

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So much Chaos,
So little time.

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