John's first homepage version 7.184932

"Concrete is grown-up mud, steel is grown-up cardboard, building is grown-up play."

Temple Grandin

"We'll wipe them out, [the rebel Chechens] even in the outhouse."

Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister, Russia

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

Albert Einstein

Fryin' Pan Jack

"Jack and I were in that camp - that's where he said to me (you know he'd been trampin' since 1927), 'I told myself in '27: If I cannot dictate the conditions of my labour I will henceforth cease to work. I learned when I was young that the only true life I had was the life of my brain, but if it's true that the only real life that I had was the life of my brain, what sense does it make to hand that brain to somebody for eight hours a day for their particular use on the presumption that at the end of the day they will give it back in an unmutilated condition?'"

Utah Phillips

"We were put into our bodies, as fire is put into a pan, to be carried about."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
from The Poet: An Essay 1844

"The future is not just an extension of the past; like a particle being measured, it eludes prediction."

John Updike
The Future of Faith New Yorker, 11/29/99

"There's only two things that kept the other guys from doing what I did back then. Those were fear, and the hole between the ramps. People say they have better suspensions on bikes these days, and its easier. Well, big deal. If you don't have the guts to pull the trigger, it doesn't matter what kind of suspension you've got, because you're not going."

Evel Knievel
from an interview by the AMA's Grant Parsons, 12 days after leaving the hospital with a new liver.

"You do not do the things you do because others will necessarily join you in the doing of them, nor because they will ultimately prove successful. You do the things you do because the things you do are right."

Desmond Tutu

"To be happy at home is the ultimate aim of all ambition; the end to which every enterprise and labor tends..."

Samuel Johnson

"I had nothing against the good doctor except that he had worn away, as we all do...."

E. L. Doctorow
The Waterworks

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

Albert Einstein

"If you love someone, set them free; if they come home, set them on fire."

George Carlin

"The single purpose of life is to grow in wisdom and learn how to love better."

("Often expressed by those returning from near death experience," don't remember the source.)

"One takes the most momentous steps unaware."

Dick Francis
In the Frame

"For a problem to be resolved, it first has to become a problem."

Omar Torrijos Herrara

"And having all that stuff--the TVs and all that stuff--it don't make our people so happy. Maybe it makes you happy, but you don't act so happy."

"The Desperate People," sorry, again don't have the source; gotta do better at this.

".....From the collar hung a cameo brooch that rode minute distances, like a small ship at sea, as her bosom rose and fell."

E. L. Doctorow
The Waterworks

"James Madison believed that the primary goal of government is "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." As his colleague John Jay was fond of putting it, "The people who own the country ought to govern it."

Noam Chomsky
Interviewed by David Barsamian
The Common Good

"Children do not much care for gooseberries. As a child, I thought them an inferior fruit. In part, this was because of their color: pale green, while I thought that a real berry ought to be red. Also, they were extremely sour: so sour, indeed, that—as the Germans say—they draw the holes in your socks together."

Theodore Dalrymple from "Gooseberries" a bit of an autobiographical essay in The New Criterion

"At my age, I am no longer intimidated by the opinions of others."

Doc Sheehan
Running & Being


Here's lookin' atcha

Who is John anyway?

"There are three parts to a life: drama, simplicity and sleep."

Clement Salvadori
Simple Pleasures
Rider, January 2000

Good question, but you're on your own here; God knows, I've tried, but I still can't seem to figure it out, either in your terms or my own. And of course, in the end, who gives a hoot. In this feeble attempt to learn HTML, I'll be putting some stuff up here that has caught my attention for one reason or another over the years. Most is presented out of context - its meaning to me not neccessarily at all what the author had in mind, nor even the same to me now as when I first encountered it. So follow along and see if maybe you find a clue to who John is, or was. (Or thinks he might like to be - Naw... scratch that... too pretentious... just enjoy.)

Y'all come back now and then ya hear.

...who knows

"...this kind of talk makes me twitch."

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye

Subject: The Moon

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 10:52:22 EST

Fwd: full moon on the winter solstice This year will be the first full moon to occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, commonly called the first day of winter. Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurs in conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth). The moon will appear about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in it's elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth). Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at this time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon is about 7% stronger, making it brighter. Also, this will be the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming. If the weather is clear and there is a snow cover where you live, it is believed that even car headlights will be superfluous. On December 21st. 1866 the Lakota Sioux took advantage of this combination of occurrences and staged a devastating retaliatory ambush on soldiers in the Wyoming Territory. In laymen's terms it will be a super bright full moon, much more than the usual AND it hasn't happened this way for 133 years! Our ancestors 133 years ago saw this. Our descendants 100 or so years from now will see this again. I hope someone else might find this interesting! Remember this will happen December 22, 1999.....

From an email FWD from Marci to Jane to John

Just looking at the epoch that we are in now, it seems to me that our present level of technology permits enormous possibilities for eliminating repressive institutions.... It is often said that advanced technology makes it imperative to vest control of institutions in the hands of a small managerial group. That is perfect nonsense. What automation can do first of all is to relieve people of an enormous amount of stupid labor, thus freeing them for other things. Computers also make possible a very rapid information flow. Everybody could be put in possession of vastly more information and more relevant information than they have now. Democratic decisions could be made immediately by everybody concerned.... Of course, that is not how this technology is actually used. It is used for destructive purposes.

Noam Chomsky

From an interview with New Left Review, reprinted in Language and Politics, page 147. See also Reflexive Water: The Basic Concerns of Mankind, edited by Fons Elders (Souvenir Press, 1974), pages 193-194

"Now it's full night, clear, moonless and filled with stars, which are not eternal as we once thought, which are not where we think they are. If they were sounds, they would be echoes, of something that happened millions of years ago: a word made of numbers. Echoes of light, shining out of the midst of nothing.

"It's old light, and there's not much of it. But it's enough to see by."

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye

"He is isolated among his contemporaries, by truth and by his art, but with this consolation in his pursuits, that they will draw all men sooner or later. For all men live by truth, and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
from The Poet: An Essay 1844

Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light:
how could I help but recall the seine net
Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how
beautiful the city appeared and a little terrible
I thought. We have geared the machines and locked all
together into interdependence; we have built the great
cities; now there is no escape. We have gathered vast
populations incapable of free survival, insulated from
the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
dependent. The circle is closed and the set is being
hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet
they shine already. The inevitable mass disasters will
not come in our time nor in our children's, but we and
our childen must watch the net draw narrower; government
take all powers--or revolution, and the new government
take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls--
or anarchy, the mass-disasters.
These things are Progress.

Robinson Jeffers
from The Purse-Seine, written a bit before 1920

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

Henry David Thoreau

"In both the 1980 and the 1984 elections, they (the Reagan administration) identified the Democrats as the "party of special interests," and that's supposed to be bad, because we're all against the special interests. But if you look closely and ask who were the special interests, they listed them: women, poor people, workers, young people, old people, ethnic minorities -- in fact, the entire population. There was only one group that was not listed among the special interests: corporations. If you'll notice the campaign rhetoric, that was never a special interest, and that's right because in their terms that's the national interest. So if you think it through, the population are the special interests and the corporations are the national interests, and since everyone's in favor of the national interest and against the special interests, you vote for and support someone who's against the population and is working for the corporations.

This is typically the case of the way the framework of thought is consciously manipulated by an effective choice and reshaping of terminology so as to make it difficult to understand what's happening in the world."

Noam Chomsky
Chronicles of Dissent

"... I wonder where all this cloth ends up. People cart it away, stuff it into their houses: nesting instinct. A less attractive concept if you've ever seen a nest up close. There must be a limit to how much cloth you can cram into any one house, but of course it's disposable. You used to buy for quality, things that would last. You kept your clothes until they were part of you, you checked the hemlines, the way the buttons were sewed on, you rubbed the cloth between your finger and thumb."

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye

Ten thousand flowers in the spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.


"The world has become more worldly. There is more of dissipation and less of enjoyment. Pleasure has expanded into a broader but shallower stream, and has forsaken many of those deep and quiet channels where it flowed sweetly through the calm bosom of domestic life."

Washington Irving
Sketch Book, 1819

"The welter of religeous phenomena is not necessarily comforting to the professor of a specific faith; the very multiplicity and variety suggest that none of it is true, other than manifesting an undoubted human tendency. ...It is difficult to imagine anyone shouldering the implausible complications of Christian doctrine - the Christian story, however pared-down since the days when Italians were painting it into walls of wet plaster - without some inheritance of positive prior involvement. ...Against the terrific tide of rational disbelief must stand an inner sense of contact that is rather cumbersomely signified by terms like "witness" and "knowing Christ," or a sense, at least, of one's life being shaped, broadly, by transactions with the supernatural. ...If the neural wiring that determines the religious instinct is "hard," it is not surprising that religions have so strong a family resemblance."

John Updike
The Future of Faith
New Yorker, 11/29/99

"The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don't belong; it doesn't include me, and it never has. No matter how you care to define it, I do not indentify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood, improvement committee;I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.

So, if you read something in this book that sounds like advocacy of a particular political point of view, please reject the notion. My interest in "issues" is merely to point out how badly we're doing, not to suggest a way we might do better. Don't confuse me with those who cling to hope. I enjoy describing how things are, I have no interest in how they "ought to be." And I certainly have no interest in fixing them. I sincerely believe that if you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope!"

George Carlin
from an intro to bits from his book, "Braindroppings,"
at his website

Ken knows...

"Let me take a crack at who John is or would like to be.

"Life can be a great and wonderful thing if you don't get all caught up in measuring it by money, trappings and all society's other "measuring sticks". Showing acts love and kindness to others, or simply learning, doing and experiencing things on your own can provide much enjoyment and self satisfaction. In fact, simply sitting back and watching others get caught up in all of life's foolishness, stupidy, greed, stress and "political correctness" can provide many hours of amusement, sometimes far greater than anything that could be produced by Hollywood."

the Cuz you?

"'Great flaming blue-headed balls of Jesus,' she says. 'It's good to be out of there.'"

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye

"There is never only one, of anyone."

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye