Here’s todays photo of the hardy and enthusiastic little vegetable warriors that now occupy my desk/table. Poor things, they have no idea what’s in store for them. In another week or two I will pluck out at least half of them and terminate them with extreme prejudice.


In the aftermath of that impending massacre, I am seriously considering taking out a restraining order against myself, barring me from getting to within 100 yards of the surviving plants, which would improve their chances of growing to adulthood immeasurably. My respect for the judicial system being a bit thin, however, I am pretty sure I could violate that order without much in the way of consequences.

For instance. In what kind of coo-coo system could a single zealot judge cut off the entire country’s access to a necessary drug? A medication that has been used safely for 23 years? One guy! Gawd! It.is.simply.not.to.be.believed.



I read a couple of days ago that the average price of a new car has risen sharply in the past several years, outpacing inflation by quite a bit. The interesting part is that the base prices have not increased any faster than you might expect. It’s those blasted accessories that are doing it.

… the average new-vehicle transaction price is still $48,763, according to Kelley Blue Book. Before the pandemic, the average new vehicle sold for $37,876.


Across the board, automakers have been focusing on bigger, more luxurious, more expensive vehicles. And the ones they make also tend to be packed with extra features that bump up prices even more.


When I go shopping for a car, the part that annoys me to the point of wishing bad things will happen to the salesperson is the add-ons. Instead of being able to buy one item, we find them bundled with others that we have no interest in at all. For instance, we’ve found that what is called “leather seats” are much easier for us to keep clean than cloth upholstery. And when we could get just those seat materials we were happy as clams.

But try to do that today. In the world of Subaru, for instance, leather seats always come bundled with at least a moonroof, which we never use. Perhaps if we were involved in more parades, where we were expected to stick our heads up and out through the roof to make it easier for snipers to get at us, that would make some sense. But we are not moonroof people. If I want to lean back and look up at the sky, I much prefer to do it while lying on a blanket on the grass without a large sheet of tinted and distorting plastic to look through.

Besides the moonroofs there are other useless things in those packages – heated steering wheels, back massagers, and laser-guided nose-blowers to name a few. Those add-ons can add several thousands of dollars to the purchase price. (I have to stop here for a moment. Just typing this gets me worked up.)

I don’t expect the auto industry to be a charitable enterprise, but it doesn’t have to fly the Jolly Roger, either. So far it has used the onset of the electric vehicle era to build bigger and more powerful cars again, after being forced by emission regulations to cut back. And while it is true that the 800 horsepower behemoths don’t belch more bad gases than a compact car does, the power plants that produce the electricity to charge them are still largely (60%) burning nasty old coal and other fossil fuels, and it obviously takes more juice to operate a big car that goes 0-60 in 2.9 seconds than one like my Subaru that will eventually get to sixty if one has patience.

So here’s what in all modesty I believe we should encourage. Making sensibly-sized EVs and allowing customers to buy accessories one at a time. Radical.

That way I can get better upholstery for my next Outback without being forced to purchase some other unwanted junk. (But I’m thinking more about that nose-blower. It actually sounds like a pretty good deal … .)



I have a quandary. In most news stories of the day, all I have needed to do to know what my position should be is to watch Tucker Carlson or Lindsey Graham, listen to what they say, and know for a certainty that the opposite direction is the way to go. It has been that easy now for years.

Until this week, that is, when those two scamps put themselves on opposite sides of an issue – what to think about the guy who stole those military secrets and made them public. Lindsey thinks he is a traitor, Tucker says that he is a hero.

Ay ay ay – I hate it when I have to think for myself. So much energy, so little profit. Also, the idea that I might be giving aid and comfort to either one of these malevolent bozos makes me slightly nauseous. What was that … you say that Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks the secret-stealer is a hero, too?

Well, let’s hear it for good old Lindsey, he finally got one right. If there is a wrong way to go, Greene is always leading the charge.

We Just Disagree, by Dave Mason


Now here, my friends, is a great face. It belongs to Leslie Marmon Silko, the author of one of those must-read books in American literature, Ceremony.

An interview with her was published in The New Yorker this week and it makes for interesting reading.

I think that’s why I’m here—the contradictions and the kind of madness. I wasn’t surprised after January 6th that the weirdest-looking guy, with horns and the outfit, was from Arizona. I’m not surprised that the most batshit crazy of the crazies are from Arizona.

Leslie Marmon Silko Saw It Coming, New Yorker, 2023

We really need to have her over for coffee. No kidding.

A Love Idea, by Mark Knopfler (from Last Exit to Brooklyn)


2 thoughts on “Ceremony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s