Sunday, April 29, 2012


Original IBL art - chalk, crayon, scoring (scissors) and water on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/26/12.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Pen and felt pen on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 2/19/12.

(In Which Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle Outs Mr. Guy Stilson (Esq.) and Your Humble Narrator...)

Dago Mary's was a fine, old school restaurant in San Francisco which existed for nearly 80 years until five years ago.  Recently, I was thinking about the Carl Nolte article I have attached below (a farewell to Dago Mary's piece, it has some good history if you are interested), in which both my friend Guy Stilson and I were quoted.  I was going to write something about this yesterday but my brief musings on Brandon Inge's release got in the way; HAD I written about this yesterday, it would have been five years to the day of the article's original publication, a coincidence I only discovered this morning.  So then: five years and a day, and just two things -

First, Guy Stilson had never set foot in Dago Mary's before, though Mr. Nolte (who seemed like a nice guy) would have you believe he'd been going there for 40 years.

Second, though Guy was there with Irene and I with Danielle, Mr. Nolte was able to see through our feeble ruse: one paragraph refers to Guy's " ... companion, Michael Murray...". 

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...

Farewell to Dago Mary's by Carl Nolte, SF Chronicle, 4/27/07...


Friday, April 27, 2012

The Detroit Tigers Released Brandon Inge Yesterday

Brandon was, is, one of my absolute favorites.  How can that be, one might ask (even me), when you see his .234 career batting average and a frustrating number of strike outs.  Well, he'd been with the Tigers for 12 years, and they were the only team he ever played for.  He was there in 2003 (I think it was) when they lost 119 games, a truly bad ball club; but he was also there in 2006 when they made it to the World Series (defeated by St. Louis).  Originally a catcher, he was forced to switch positions when a certain Ivan Rodriguez showed up in Detroit.  Brandon never complained, just moved over to 3B where he made spectacular play after spectacular play.  In 2007, Curtis Granderson, the center fielder at the time, opened the season on the Disabled List.  Brandon played CF on opening day (if he'd EVER played out there before it's news to me) and, in the 9th inning, threw out a potential go ahead run at the plate.  Last year his time became limited (a batting average in the .190s will do that, not matter how good the D) and, with the arrival this year of Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera's return to 3B, there was just no place to put him and live with his low production.

He unabashedly loved the city and people of Detroit.  He loved playing for the Tigers.  In interviews, he was charming and articulate.  He always hustled his ass off.  Last year, when they sent him, a veteran, to the minors in the late summer to work out his shit, his first comment was, in essence, "I hope I can work my shit out so I can come back and help the Tigers".  And there he was in last year's post season, appearing in 6 or 7 games (in a limited role, to be fair), and contributing a batting average of over .300 (with a few walks), a couple of doubles, a couple of RBI, and scoring six runs.

Yesterday, after his release, more of the same class when he said (again, in essence), "No hard feelings, I wasn't producing.  I will always be a Tiger, this is my home.  I hope they win it all this year."

And, finally, this - a few years ago in New York I saw a random interview with Brandon on some sports network (possibly during a rain delay), and he spoke about the work he did with children with cancer, visiting them in the hospital, playing catch and like that (an easy gig, no doubt).  So, as these things happen (and I can't remember if the kids initiated this, but I'm pretty sure they did), on two occasions he promised a child that he would hit a home run for them that evening.  And the man who hit 140 homers in 12 seasons delivered both times.  He could barely speak as he tried to describe how important this was to him.

I will miss seeing his name in the Detroit box score, and watching him glide into second (in the home whites, of course), after doubling in two.

Cheers, Brandon.


Shane MacGowan, Tigers' Fan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A New Blog, Friend to Infection By Light -

An ongoing discussion of art and the process of creation with Bryan Daniel (IOTAPRIME around these parts) and YOU should you be so inclined.  Some of Bryan's original art will be on display, as well...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Castanets", Alejandro Escovedo

A fine, fine song by Alejandro Escovedo - I'm even willing to forgive the brief synthesizer due to the appearance of the nearly always fabulous Ryan Adams on backing vocals...



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Taken Sunday evening, April 22nd, 2012 at the Conway Pub, Conway, WA.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Danielle With Singer/Songwriter Knut Bell @ The Conway Pub in Conway, WA, Sunday Evening, April 22nd, 2012

(On the night, as God intended, Knut sang two songs entirely in Norwegian.)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

"I'd Give Anything To Eat My Tail"

Original IBL art - crayon, chalk, scoring (scissors) and water on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/15/12.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Theodore Nugent Endorses Mitt Romney for POTUS

So guitarist Ted Nugent went down to an NRA convention in Atlanta a couple of days ago and he said a few things. First, he was endorsing Mitt Romney for President of the United States of America (though he may have "officially" done this prior to the NRA appearance). Second, he referred to the Obama Administration as "evil", and branded Obama, Attorney General Holder and Mrs. Clinton "criminals" (I think it was due to the fact that they fail to uphold the Constitution, but it could have been something else that I missed). He then indicated that four of the current Supreme Court justices (the so-called "liberal" bloc, I'm guessing) don't follow the Constitution, either. Which leads me to this - Justice Anthony Kennedy is sometimes referred to as a "swing vote" between the "liberal" and "conservative" blocs on the Court. When Kennedy votes with the "liberal" block, would he then, too, be failing to uphold the Constitution, only to magically get his Constitutional marbles back when he votes with Roberts, Scalia, et al? I don't believe the Nuge addressed this, but I'd be curious to hear what he had to say on the topic.

In any event, as interesting as all these items are, I am more interested in a couple of his other statements, namely (and I will paraphrase) -
  • "We need to rise up in November and cut their heads off."
  • "If Obama gets re-elected, a year from now I'll be either dead or in jail."

So, of course, there were many responses to this. A Romney campaign spokeswoman said that all discourse in the election cycle should be "civil" (you KNOW we dig Civility here at IBL), but I don't think she mentioned Nugent by name (personally, I think it would have been nice if Romney had said something - if he did and I missed it please let me know). Democrats will attempt to link Ted to Romney and try and raise money off these statements. The Secret Service will pay a courtesy call to Nugent because, you know, what exactly did he mean by that? (The Man himself issued a statement saying he supports the Secret Service and realizes they have a job to do and will gladly meet with them.)

With regard to his first quote, the imagery is certainly violent, no doubt, but I have to believe it was more "metaphorical" than anything else - come out in November and vote against Obama. That's just my take on it. The second one is a little more troubling and here's where I want to briefly digress - during the last election cycle, Ted got on stage one evening (or perhaps more than one evening, I don't know), and made violent statements against Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and Mrs. Pelosi. In the case of Obama, the quote was along the lines of "Hey Obama, suck on my machine gun." And Ted is, in fact, brandishing something that LOOKS like a gun as he says this, and I have no reason to think it's NOT a gun (and I'm not going to link to this video but it's easy enough to track down on YouTube should you need to see it).

"Hey Obama, suck on my machine gun."

"If Obama gets re-elected, a year from now I'll be either dead or in jail." (Presumably this does not mean a) suicide because of the depression or b) imprisonment for civil disobedience - neither really fits into his so-called "world view".)

The political discourse of Ted Nugent, someone so important that certain candidates for political office would seek out his endorsement. In fact, Ted says that, in March, Romney did just this; the Romney camp says they didn't. But it hardly matters if they asked for it or not. These quotes are a high drive to deep left field beyond "being civil". I mean, you know, being civil is not calling somebody "stupid" or "fat". This is violent, hateful speech pure and simple, and has no place in our democratic process. I mean, Good God - there are liberals who think Bush and Cheney are war criminals. There are liberals who think the OTHER four justices (and sometimes Kennedy) are ignoring the Constitution (and this typically translates into fundraising pitches along the lines of "If you don't want Romney appointing Supreme Court justices, send us money today.") In other words, Ted (and all the hateful speakers of any political stripe) -


But I would like to believe that we, as Americans, all Americans, could agree on a few things - that it's important to look at issues as other people might (yes, including those utterly and completely different than us), it provides perspective and, potentially, understanding (though we still might wind up in disagreement at the end of the day, sure); that it's important to be informed, and not by just once source: there are all kinds of informational outlets available to us and, really, no excuse to be passing along information as gospel when a) we just don't know for sure that it is and b) it can be easily disproved in two mouse clicks or with an encyclopedia; that we need to first recognize that we are doing it and, then, get over ourselves when we start to think we know what is right for anybody/everybody else.

And, of course, to avoid hateful, violent speech against our fellow citizens - Jesus, against just about anybody, I should think (hypocritically/humanly leaving myself some wiggle room with that "just about", yes). For those of us who care about this country, and try to engage with others in a thoughtful, compassionate manner (admittedly not always getting it right), this kind of thing is beyond sad, and so very unhelpful.

Everybody in, nobody out.


Levon Helm, May 26th 1940 - April 19th, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Look, Ma..."

Original IBL art - pen, scoring (pen tip), water and glue on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, April, 2012.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Levon Helm Will Be Leaving Us in the Very Near Future...

...and that's a Goddamn shame.

Here he is with the late, great Rick Danko doing Evangeline and Down South in New Orleans...


"Apparition of Knock Poem"

- Knock knock.

- Who’s there?

- Apparition of.

- Apparition of who?

- Apparition of Knock, Bitch, who the fuck do you think?


Monday, April 16, 2012


Original IBL art - chalk and crayon on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/15/12.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Smile, and the World Smiles With You"

Original IBL art - felt pen, scoring (scissors), water and glue on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, April, 2012.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Poor Bob"

Original IBL art - pen, felt pen, and crayon on Little Red Hen table reservation (glossy paper), 6.75 x 3 7/8 inches, 4/8/12.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Box Score From My Second Baseball Game, Detroit @ California, 8/20/74

On February 8th of this year I shared the box score from the first baseball game I ever attended, which was in 1973. Now, for your April pleasure, here is the box score from the second baseball game I attended -

Tuesday, August 20th, 1974 - Detroit Tigers 1, California Angels 0 (11 innings; @ Anaheim)

First of all, briefly about the Detroit Tigers - they were my first baseball love. How can this be, you ask, growing up in La Habra, California, in Orange County, which is right on the border of Los Angeles County? The answer is this: when I was maybe 8 years old and started watching baseball regularly (typically Saturday morning's/afternoon's Game of the Week on NBC), I didn't understand that there was a National League. So that left the Dodgers out. And, then, before I could comprehend that the Angels were right down the road from me, I saw the Tigers on television in a home game with those crisp white uniforms with the gothic D (in black to my eyes as we didn't have a color set), and I was sold. They went to the playoffs that year and lost to the A's (Bert Campaneris flinging his bat at Lerrin LaGrow in one game), and it wasn't till the '74 season I was able to see them in person. And, if you look at the box above, you'll notice, among other things, that even though the game went 11 innings, Mickey Lolich (who, along with Aurelio Rodriguez, was my favorite player at the time) and Nolan Ryan both pitched complete games, and that Ryan was the losing pitcher even though he struck out 19. And even though the game went 11, it clocked in at less than two hours and 45 minutes - please take note 2012 Yankees and Red Sox (extra - Bobby Valentine, the new Red Sox skipper, played 3B and SS for the Angels that evening).

And more extra - I did, subsequently, become a pretty serious Dodgers fan around 1975 or 1976, partially because they were GOOD, sure (and I had an older friend who was a big fan who drove me to a hell of a lot of games); but, also, they were not in the same league as the Tigers, so there didn't seem to be a conflict there (and here's hoping there are no Tigers/Dodgers World Series' in the future). Years later I received an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan (1993 to 1995), and attended a fair amount of games at Tiger Stadium, rekindling my childhood love.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two From Singer/Songwriter Hayes Carll...

...who will be live here in Seattle at The Triple Door this Thursday evening, April 12th. I saw Hayes with his entire band in San Francisco last summer, and it was a fine show; sadly, Danielle was under the weather that evening and missed him - she won't miss him this time...

(And as if Hayes wasn't enough (let alone Danielle), at least TWO Little Red Hen bartenders - Megan and Sherry - will be on hand for the show, likely giving you even more reasons to get your tickets ASAP...)

Hays will be performing solo this time around, so I picked more acoustic tracks to share. First, KMAG YOYO (Kiss My Ass Guys You're On Your Own), the title track from his last album. Then, from the same record, Another Like You, which apparently had a working title of Fox vs. MSNBC...


Monday, April 9, 2012


Original IBL art - chalk on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/8/12.


Original IBL art - crayon and water on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/8/12.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Smoker You Drink...

Took this photo my very own self, it's true. Sitting on the front porch of The Fletcher on 6th Avenue in Tacoma, Washington, probably early December of last year. I share because I care...


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Pen and felt pen on postcard, 2 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches, 2/18/12.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Welcome to April...

...and the start of baseball season. One of my favorite times of year, I have to say.

Briefly, I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of things off to the right - first, we are proud to announce there are now TWO Memos From the Big Desk (at this pace I should have all ten by sometime toward the end of 2013); second, you will also find the poem from whence the name of this blog is derived (I will likely leave it up for an extended period of time - I'm not sure why I didn't post it sooner).


Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Centurion Piercing Christ's Side"

Original IBL art - chalk on paint (living room wall), 2 x 1.5 inches, 3/17/12.