Sunday, May 31, 2009



"It is said that, in the very early days,
lying was a capital offense among us.
Believing that the deliberate liar is
capable of committing any crime
behind the screen of cowardly untruth
and double-dealing, the destroyer
of mutual confidence was summarily
put to death, that the evil might
go no further."
Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) Santee Sioux
The Soul Of The Indian, 1911
Now then, if America had such a
wise and insightful way of doing
business, we'd be rid of thousands
of worthless mortgage bankers, hedge
fund managers, lawyers, real estate
salespeople, and other similar scum.
America's lost its guts.

Friday, May 29, 2009



It is the old story.
The fisherman is a natural story teller.
No man's imagination plays more
pranks than his, while he is tending
his reels and trotting from one
to another, or watching his cork
in summer. He is ever waiting for
the sky to fall. He has sent out a
venture. He has a ticket in the
lottery of fate, and who knows what
it may draw? He ever expects to
catch a bigger fish yet.
He is the most patient and
believing of men [or women!].
Who else will stand so long in
wet places? When the hay maker
runs to shelter, he takes down his
pole and bends his steps to the river,
glad to have a leisure day.
He [or she] is more like an
inhabitant of nature.
The weather concerns him. He is
an observer of her phenomenona.
Henry David Thoreau
The River

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



It's almost Summer and so it's time to
rerun the "Windsurfing Prayer" Blog
we had up last year, plus or minus
a photo or two. WHOOOSSHHH!
The Patron Saint of Windsurfing
by John Rutledge
Ever been so deperate for a wind fix that you'd do just about anything--sacrifice a virgin, say a prayer to a patron saint? But virgins are scarce, their parents usually object, and exactly who is the patron saint of windsurfing anyway?
As far as I can tell, no saint has been named the official patron of windsurfing. Skaters have Saint Lidwina of Schiedam in the Netherlands (natch). Skiers have St. Bernard of Montjoux. Sailors, boatmen, and watermen have long had a patron in Saint Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan sailed the North Atlantic with his band of monks. Possibly they even reached America. Once they stopped on a small island, lit a fire, and began to say Mass, only to discover that the island was a whale.
Maybe we should adopt St. Brendan as the patron saint of windsurfing. The patron saint of windsurfing should be used to unpleasant surprises. The American connection is good even it it's only a remote possibility. St. Brendan's day falls on May 16, timing well with the height of the windsurfing season, at least here on the East Coast.
St. Christopher is another good candidate. Since he carried the Christ Child across a stream, he has a water connection, but no wind. And St. Christopher is rather much overdone. I won't put a plastic St. Christopher on my dashboard until a wind connection is better established.Of course the Virgin Mary can be asked to bring wind, but she's used for everything. A cult of devotion to Our Lady, Star of the Sea already exists. This devotion tends to focus on perils of the sea and hardships endured by people who make their living from the sea. Maybe good for professional windsurfers, but not right for us recreational windsurfers and week-end warriors who mostly work at other jobs so we can windsurf occasionally.St. Jude might be the logical choice. The obvious connection between needing wind on weekends and "lost causes" is too painful to require any comment. St. Jude may just be your man, er. .. saint.
Maybe the ideal saint hasn't been produced yet? How many certified miracles are required for sainthood nowadays? What would qualify as a miracle in windsurfing? Yours truly makes one hundred jibes in a row in rough chop at Jordan Lake? As the result of fervent and heart-felt prayers, we have two perfect days in July at Jordan?
What should the pagans among us do? Classical Antiquity had wind gods for the four prime directions and Aeolus was their keeper-or at least he tried to keep them in order. You want a good nor'easter? Boreas, the god of the North Wind, might listen to you. We rarely see east winds around here. Perhaps we have been neglecting Eurus, god of the East Wind.Greek sailors customarily poured out a portion of wine onto the ground as a sacrifice to the wind gods before setting sail. A glass of Chateau Neuf du Pape seems a small enough price to pay for a good day of windsurfing. Sadly, we have little objective data about the effectiveness of offering wine to the wind gods. So, what's desperate windsurfer to do when he needs a wind fix? Pray!
O great Saint Brendan, grant me just two hours of good, steady windthis afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m.Did you mean Brendan of Birr or Brendan the Navigator?Brendan the Navigator, of course.Well, this is Brendan of Birr. Too bad, no wind for you today.
Appeared first in MindJibe May 2002

Monday, May 25, 2009



"With God On Our Side"
Oh my name it means nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And the land that I live in
Has God on its side.
Ah the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.
The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns on their hands
And God on their side.
The First World War boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.
When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.
I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.
But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.
In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.
So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

Bob Dylan
From The Times They Are A-Changin' Album, 1964