In Heavy Rotation

Now that I am temporarily without a radio show I must resort to my old format of the Top 5 list to enumerate and consider this week's musical addictions. In no special order, these are:

  1. Love without Anger: Devo.
    My recent interest in Devo was sparked when a reliable source lent us the "The Complete Truth About De-Evolution" DVD. I always knew I should love Devo more, and somehow getting visuals to go with the music really did the trick.
  2. Hollaback Girl: Gwen Stefani.
    I can't help it. I'm sorry. It's the cheerleader stomp that hooks me--it sounds JUST like high school basketball games. Bananas!
  3. Hots on for Nowhere: Led Zeppelin.
    It's so seventies. It's so summer. It's so Zeppelin. It's so Tony Alva. It's on every day at my house.
  4. Me Gustas Tu: Manu Chao.
    I first heard this on the radio and fell in love, I still remember exactly which street I was driving as I thought "did they just say marijuana on the radio? Did they just say it again?" I like the Chao because he recycles stuff, from beats to voicemails. It's efficient, and it sounds good.
  5. Cemetry Gates: The Smiths.
    I know they're supposed to be "gloomy," but the Smiths always put me in a super mood because of that perfect pop sound. Morr Marr!

That's it for now. I must just remind myself that my obsessions only last for about 2 weeks, so I've got a big change of scene comin' up.

Findhorn and other healing

Sometimes I have the fantasy of moving to Findhorn, Scotland, and learning to speak to cabbage devas and travel interdimensionally. I visited there in 1996 and took a tour of the community--they had neat houses constructed from large wooden whisky casks (Declan McCullagh photo here). Also an amazing "living machine" that processes raw sewage into drinking water through a series of tanks and filters filled with various types of plants and fish and things. I stayed at a B&B in the town of Findhorn and the lady there told me that she had come for a brief program and never wanted to leave, so bought a house there. I ran into a few other people who had similar stories, which I found slightly cult-like and odd, but still charming.

Then a couple years ago I read a wonderful book by Marko Pogacnik called "Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings - Working with the Intelligence in Nature," published by Findhorn Press. Learning that there are different fire, earth, air & water spirits all around us made perfect sense to me. It seems like there's a lot of interesting shamanic and healing stuff going on in Europe--for example also in Germany (see I really have no idea what it says) and Portugal (see Heck, even Barbara Brennan has an Austrian branch of her healing school.

How to smoke a pipe

Just discovered this article on my hard-drive--written when I was trying to come up with a classy reason to keep smoking. Don't worry, I've pretty much stopped smoking, for no reason at all.

How to Smoke a Pipe

If you are a tobacco smoker looking for a change, or if you are a non-smoker who would like to affect tobacco addiction, pipe-smoking may be for you. It's easy, pleasant, and nicotine-oriented. Yum!

You Will Need Five Things:

1. pipe tool ($1.00)
2. pipe ($7.00)
3. tobacco (c. $5.00/oz)
4. wooden matches ($.25 box)
5. filters (pipe screens, pipe filters, and/or the fabled pipe cleaners)

If you're using one, adjust the pipe-screen in the bottom of your pipe bowl by using your pipe tool to mold it into a cup-shape to hold the tobacco. Next, scoop up some tobacco with the bowl of your pipe. Mash it down with the flat part of your pipe tool, then scoop a second time. The ideally filled pipe should be about a quarter-inch from the top of the pipe, and tamped down with the pipe-tool so it's firmly in place, but still springy.

The test of proper tamping is lighting. Light a wooden match and hold it above the bowl of your pipe, then inhale. You are not supposed to inhale the smoke into your lungs, but instead puff it, hobbit-like, into your mouth and then blow it out. Suck and puff out a few times until the bowl is lit, then discard the match. If the bowl goes out, repeat this process. The correctly lit pipe will stay lit as you smoke it, which takes about ten minutes. NOTE: if you are accustomed to smoking cigarettes, pipe-smoking will take at least twice as long to complete, and is about twice as satisfying. Resist the urge to inhale, although it probably won't kill you (right away) if you do. While you are sucking on your pipe, contemplatively, think of all the pipe-smoking greats such as Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes, Jean-Paul Sartre. Meditate. Suck. Exhale. Enjoy.

After about ten minutes you will know you are done because the pipe will stop providing smoke. Do not take this personally; instead, begin the cleaning process. With the scoop part of your pipe tool, scoop out the ashes and any unused tobacco from your pipe bowl (I scoop them into the sink). Remove the pipe-screen and filter (inside the stem) if you are using them. Poke a pipe-cleaner into both ends of the pipe, then put it back together for next time. For those who truly enjoy pipe-smoking there are a variety of pipes and tools that you can buy.

cruelty, manipulation, meaninglessness

Saw a great infomercial the other evening--for Bernard & Vivian Jaffe, the existential detectives in "I ♥ Huckabees." Check out their website at Also I noticed the musician guy has a website at, which does not have many features yet...