Tag Archives: Dana Smith

Trouble in Nevada

Fletch's cabin small

Hot Spring Honeymoon

Just Enough Trouble to Call it Fun

Life imitates art. The recent standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and Clive Bundy is a more radicalized version of the politics I hinted at in Hot Spring Honeymoon. The free grazer movement depends upon more magical thinking than my character Garrett Harwood. My character is more or less disposed to free trade, less regulation and lower taxes. He’s a privatizer type and wants everything left to the private sector. He’s plenty angry but he influences things by means other than at the end of the barrel of a gun. I’m heartened by what I’ve heard on talk radio shows. Most folk as I’d anticipated prefer to see their community remain whole and healthy. People want their freedom but they’d prefer working from within the law. Garrett Harwood is a businessman and his temper while hot runs more or less to the civilized side of the road. He is not a secessionist and not a member of a militia. We do have a bulldozer in the book. There is also talk of “second amendment remedies,” but for reasons of comedy my villain only needed to quarrel and fistfight. I wanted a more nuanced conflict than this latest headline would allow. I prefer a man that still believes in democracy and capitalism. Once you draw down to the level of wanting everything your way and not any other way you have left the room of reason and are floating around a few French fries short of a happy meal…


Walking into the New Year

???????????????????????????????Hawaii for the last two weeks. Editing and organizing all sorts of various details to this journey in publishing and authoring. Here a steep footpath up the side of a North Shore O’ahu trail for purposes of self-revival. Hot Spring Honeymoon’s manuscript is on schedule. We’ve been working on three elements: first physical descriptions of characters, second physical descriptions of the town the story is set in and last cognitive and dialogue clues to the state of mind of our most important lover. Because so much effort has been put into the comedy I have tried to not dilute this aspect of the novel in favor of more narrative or description. I’ve tried to remain bare boned and fast paced. It is a tricky balancing act. Ultimate proofing of such an approach is how many can access the book, start and stay with it and finish.

Here at the end of 2013 I could not be more satisfied with the journey. It has been amazing.

 

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow…

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You say you want a revolution

The long term fallout to the disaster known as the global financial crisis is playing out on the right sided spectrum of the political scene. Economic anxiety translates into a turbulent, unpredictable, heated voiced, violence prone mob rule. Let’s go first to a little nugget from Andrew Sullivan. (for those not in the know, he is a gay conservative, if that is even possible.)

“In other words, this is not just a cold civil war. It is also a religious war – between fundamentalism and faith, between totalism and tradition, between certainty and reasoned doubt. It may need to burn itself out – with all the social and economic and human damage that entails. Or it can be defeated, as Lincoln reluctantly did to his fanatical enemies, or absorbed and coopted, as Elizabeth I did hers over decades. But it will take time. The question is what will be left of America once it subsides, and how great a cost it will have imposed.”

In other words not only do we have to worry about our ice caps melting and climate change sparking an extinction event, but wait for it, now we get to worry about the primitives and tribalists who are so sure that they don’t like what they see that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to insure that nobody likes what they see.

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Where to get your food while the tribes quarrel

But, all is not lost. Politics is one thing, but a skilled economist is another, and for this we turn to John McCain’s economic advisor during his run against Obama, punching way above his actual weight, let’s listen now to Mark Zandi, a man working for Moody Economics

The stalemate in Washington also may have long-term economic consequences for the U.S. as international investors grow wary of investing there, Mr. Zandi said.

“You will hear increasing calls and actual efforts to diversify away from the U.S.,” he predicted. “It could in fact impair this very strong economy that we have.”

The solution? Washington should “do nothing. Literally nothing,” Mr. Zandi said. “No change at all for the next three-four years. Let the private economy do its thing.”

Once the economy starts growing at a faster cliff, policymakers should consider making changes to rein in government spending and cut the U.S. debt, he said.

Nothing trumps something when if you try to do something what crawls out of its hole looks like Sarah Palin, spits nonsense like Grover Norquist, and has the face of Joe McCarthy (hi Teddy Cruz). The vast sea of ordinary citizens trying to enjoy the ride of one lifespan here on earth have literally been drawn into a grand coitus interuptus.

I can explain in shorthand what needs to happen, anybody can. Raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, get control of health care spending, and do something about climate change.

There, see, it isn’t that difficult now is it?

But, as it sits at this moment the mob would become so flipped out by anything other than getting their way or the highway that we can go back to Zandi’s prescriptive and of course even that milk toast proposal, the do nothing proposal will not be easily sustainable against the right wing heavyweight championship of the post-confederate-cause that will be playing out across the country.

Nothing really here that a few decades on holiday in Costa Rica might not cure…

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/10/16/corrosive-political-conflict-is-holding-back-u-s-growth/ http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/16/the-tea-party-as-a-religion/

No, But We Are Working On Bringing This Book into the World

Flyer 2A

Editors are editing, the author is revising, but it is coming soon…

There is a very intricate process to preparing a manuscript on its journey into the world. In the beginning there is the outline. Next come’s the first swing at a chapter. I prefer to polish and revise and balance that process with the initial composing. The early manuscript is always raw and the sentences always ask to be smoothed, but in this initial outburst we are looking for life, for the blood and sweat and tears of the thing to be in the work. Finding the comedy in a scene is sheer time at the desk. You may or may not find it, but seldom does it leap out on first swing of the bat. It seems to come when the moment allows slipping out when least expecting it. Here is a glimpse at a mockup of a flyer style card I’ll hand out.

Her Name Was Lola…She was a Dancer

Alex and Dante

 

Alejandro and Dante Loading Up for Shows

Today in Playacar, Mexico was shopping day. Stand-up comic roommate Ted Holum and I walked across town into Playa Del Carmen and replenished the cupboards. Teddy’s a month younger than me, so he’s the kid in our odd coupled family. We share an apartment here. We share the same stages too.

He’s the old pro really. I am the green “gringo” from San Francisco taking a bite of show business by way of playing the stages and bars at the resorts along the Caribbean here in the Yucatan. They are all targeted to tourists. We do our show in our English. The language we speak translates well to people from the United States, Canada and England.

Ted’s strictly stand-up. I’m a juggling comedy act and so the English kind of have something to hang onto while trying to fathom the mystery of the American mind playing with comedy via the mother tongue that they know.

I’ve survived the first action packed week. Six different shows, six different nights, six different resort stages, six different supporting staffs, and as you might imagine six different results. First night was like learning to swim. You have to trust the water, learn to float, trust. Night two kind of other problems arise not anticipated after the first night. By the third night I’m realizing this isn’t going to be an easy gig. On the fourth night I finally hit the ball and almost knock it out of the park. Hey! I connected pretty good even if it was right over the middle of the plate.

I’ve got the shows running order figured out. I got the piece I improvise. I got the closer. I got pretty much the whole enchilada dialed in. And then there is the utter unpredictable nature of each room, each night and each resort.

Alex

 

You Got to Love this Guys Face…

I come from San Francisco. It is foggy, but its California, we don’t have this thing called humidity. Humidity is what other parts of the world have. I have not spent my career juggling in sticky, hot, wet, slick a sn_t weather. It makes juggling different. Let’s put it that way. Unpredictable perhaps another word that comes to mind.

Anyway, off for work around 6. Back from the show about 11. We get the show. We get one free meal. We get to talk the Alejandro. He is 29. He is a gem of a human. He’s got the eye for the ladies. He has girlfriends. He finds it impossible to believe I am married. He finds that possible I suppose, but finds the whole idea of being married impossible, and therefore I am performing the biggest most amazing trick and I haven’t even done a show.

One week down. I’ve got the night off and tomorrow I start a second six night run. You would be incorrect to make any assumptions about this gig. It takes a certain skill beyond anything you might present on stage. And then you know there is being suddenly thrust into a live version of the Odd Couple. One last clue…I’m the neat one.

Iguana

Iguana in the neighborhood

 

 

Tree Hugging Sailing Home of the Solar Electric Fuel Cell Powered Future

Unsurprisingly, they support the policies that allow them to do this: things like low taxes, risky speculation, sky-high executive pay, and pulling investment out of education and infrastructure. What happens to our economy in the long-term is not really their concern. There’s a motto on Wall Street: “I.B.G.-Y.B.G.” or “I’ll Be Gone, You’ll Be Gone.” As long as you’re making money right now, what happens tomorrow is not your problem.

Lynn Parramore   The Depressing Tale of How Greedy Financial Titans Crushed Innovation and Destroyed Our Economy

technology one

This is not what a modern grid is supposed to look like…

 

 

My wife and I installed 33 photovoltaic solar energy panels on the roof of our home. Our electric bill went to zero.

In 1993 I volunteered to help build a straw bale house in Rim Rock, Arizona. The properties water source was a well powered by a specially designed solar powered pump that lifted water to a holding tank where gravity then delivered the requisite 30 psi flow at the sinks nozzle. A warm shower was flash heated with a propane heater. While the straw bales performance during the winter was stellar summers were not as cool as had been hoped for.

An earthship (rammed earth construction) up in Durango, Colorado was an all-around better performer than a straw bale, but the labor involved in building one compared to the other was significant.

A new race to Hawaii in sailboats of 21 feet in length has just completed their inaugural race. Most of these mini 6.50 sailboats use fuel cell technology to power their electronics while sailing offshore. Think suitcase sized device that is nearly silent in operation creating all the electricity you will need for this voyage. Better still you will still have enough fuel to make three more trips on just this one canister of liquid propane gas.

Smart grids, electric vehicles, wind turbines, increased energy efficiency of homes, the build out of additional mass transit systems in our worlds cities and we’re well on our way to right action.

Fukushima is an unmanageable disaster and we are far from out of the woods. Radiation levels spiked in the last few weeks and if things really went nuts most of the Northern hemisphere could be threatened by the uncontrolled release of radioactive materials.

Legacy technologies continue to block the development of new technologies. Big oil and lobbyists stifle innovation. Fortunately the cost of solar panels continues to plummet and by the end of next year will be the cheapest method of making electricity in the world. We figure a means of storing the suns energy for nighttime use, think massive lithium batteries the size of railroad box cars strategically distributed on our power grid and you can soon see what our future is going to look like.

We’ve got millions of people looking for work. A robust ramping up and deployment of alternative energy technologies across the country ought to be right at the top of our list of things we should be doing.

Are you a climate denying capitalist or a tree hugging environmentalist? Profits now at the expense of our future, or are you for finding the means forward that leaves those who will follow us a chance to enjoy their journey into this place called earth.

 

turtle

 

Snapping Turtle After a Little Egg Laying in Philadelphia…

Hot Spring Honeymoon

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Gretel said, “A man is many things, but one sure thing a man can be is driven clear out of their mind over the thought of losing the one true thing that they care about most.”

“But, what we did won’t last forever,”

“Of course not, you know that, I know that, but a man doesn’t know that,”

“Look at me, I’m a mess, I think I’m so clever, put the ultimatum to Fletcher McCrea, end up in bed with the town’s most evil outsider ever to come to this place, and instead of getting a bunch of pictures we could use to save our little town, I end up falling for a man whose about to do something I could never ever forgive him for.”

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-test-are-you-a-capitolist-climate-denier-2013-07-24?link=home_carousel

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/lynn-parramore-the-depressing-tale-of-how-greedy-financial-titans-crushed-innovation-and-destroyed-our-economy.html

http://www.mini650pacificchallenge.com/

http://www.balewatch.com/

http://www.earthships.com/