A Closer Walk

Ever feel the need? The need to get down on your knees and pray?  California dreaming? Many years.  Many years…

“Sail along silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine all your dreams on their way. See how they shine. If you need a friend. I’m sailing right behind like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind. I’m on your side when times are rough. And friends just can’t be found. I will lay me down.”

“When you’re down and out. When you’re on the street. When evening falls so hard I will comfort you. I’ll take your heart, oh, when darkness comes. And pain is all around. I will lay me down. When you’re weary. Feeling small. When tears are in your eyes I will drive them all away.”  Etc.

So As I Have Seen Thee In The Sanctuary And Meditate On Thee In The Night Watches

Citrix has been acting up and the site keeps wanting to shut down but it only works for a few seconds and bounces back and we’re on again.  I can’t log off.  It won’t let me.  It’s like this thing has a natural life of its own, it just doesn’t want to go away, and I’ve no idea, but in reality it’s simply a help desk thing because my shift is done. Chad will follow up. Nobody said anything about overtime. My mistake was ticking “Remember Password.”  I want to be an author and commentator now.  It’s like “Experienced parking lot sweeper”. Something that looks great on your resume.

Plus it’s October Fest.  And the one thing that really goes with October Fest is Ocktoberfest Bier.  Brought to you once again by our friends at Paulaner

Don’t worry about the prompt are you old enough to be at the site, yes or no.  Nobody’s checking and you can lie your face off.

The perfection of this bier.  Just back from München and nothing’s changed. The screams of the tourists.  “Hofbräuhaus!  Hofbräuhaus!”

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto The Hills, From Whence Comes My Help. The Sun Shall Not By Day Nor The Moon By Night

It was that platter of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Greatest Hits” I saw in the dumpster that got me off on the wrong foot here.  I had to hear it.

It was never intended as a prayer stool as built but that in fact is exactly what it is, Mr. Unger.  Step up to the Lord and kneel in supplication if you must.  We call it the utility stool. It can’t just be about prayer.  You need more than that or you’re not well-rounded.




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Scarborough Fair

“The troop was at Quan Loi, northwest of Saigon, in 1969.
The terrain was different from the Hiep Duc-Que Son Valley area.  The war was different now.  Here were dense, lowland jungles, occasionally broken by the straight rows of rubber plantations.  The most dangerous assignment in the troop was now the Scouts.  They cruised along at treetop level, looking for targets and being targets.

Mr. Murray was a slightly built scout pilot with a thin mustache and the kind of swagger I have since seen only among the Irish street kids of Boston.  He was damned good and he knew it.

He was the only scout pilot that the Blue Platoon ever got close to.  We were often sent out to bring back the bodies of the Scouts, and didn’t particularly want to know them first.  But Mr. Murray was different.  He survived.  He was a special pilot that every scout gunner wanted to fly with, because he was the lucky one that would bring them home after each mission.

As time went by, other scout pilots would last a day or a week or a month, but Mr. Murray kept flying.  The Blues began to regard him as a good-luck charm and, the rarest of things, began to talk to him.  He was different—a philosopher who thought about history and astronomy and the reasons that things had to be the way they were.  We could talk to him about any subject and he would listen and give us an answer.  The officer-enlisted man gap suddenly didn’t exist.  I still remember his favorite song, “Scarborough Fair.”

“Doc told me that some of the old Blues had gone home, and others had been hit in an ambush on May thirty-first.  The Blues had made landings around Khe San in March, but most of the NVA had fled before the Cav arrived.  The troop had also been the first Americans into the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, which had been overrun by NVA tanks in February.  Doc said that Khe San had looked like a huge garbage dump after the siege, filled with trash and demoralized, shell-shocked Marines.  He said the way you could spot the newly arrived cavalrymen at Khe San was the way they behaved during rocket attacks.  The cavalrymen would wait for the black explosions and take pictures.  The Marines would dive for the nearest foxhole or ditch.”

President Bannon Heads Out For Burgers

“The scouts were enjoying “good hunting.”  The Communist divisions were massing southwest of Saigon for another Tet offensive, but this time the big bombers would crush them before they left their jungle camps.  One morning a scout chopper surprised a long column of NVA coming out of the jungle, walking along a streambed , and re-entering the jungle further ahead.  The LOH hovered over the streambed and the gunner shot a number of NVA, he wasn’t sure how many.  Then the little chopper landed while the gunner loaded aboard a 57mm recoilless rifle, a .30 caliber machine gun, and some rifles.

They were put on display at Quan Loi.  I was looking at the  weapons when Bolten walked up.  It was the first time I had seen him at close range in twelve months, and he looked ten years older.

He looked fondly at the trophies.  “Aren’t they something, Sarge?”

“Yeah.  Did you have anything to do with getting them?”

“Of course.  The gooks never knew what hit them.”  He had made the proper impression, so he turned to leave.

“Bolten?  Can I talk to you a minute?”

He looked like a caged cat.  “Why?”

“You’ve been here a long time.  You know, the first time I ever saw you was the day you killed that tax collector near Bong Son.”

“I remember.  He was my first gook.  The lieutenant kept the money for the squadron orphanage, right?”

“Right.  I know it’s none of my business, but what I was wondering is, are you ever going home?”

I got a quick answer.  “No!  The Cav’s my home.  I don’t want to leave.”

Photo Globe&Mail.  Quotations Matthew Brennan.  “Headhunters” and “Brennan’s War”

Now stop all this foolishness and get some rest


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Violets In The Sun

It doesn’t matter where you are.  A statement, it must be admitted, that is open to interpretation. It’s tough when you don’t know what “interpretation” even means.  A Quebecer who can speak French?  Quebecois?  La Langue Francais?  Quebecois?  So let’s leave it.

There’s also no longer any reason for it.  I wish I knew myself.  Sometimes it’s about Jasmine flowers.  Sometimes, very rarely, violets.

Violets in this continuing warm, dry summer.  There’s a controversy brewing in England now about Mr Bernard Hepton and Mr Geoffrey Rush.

They bear a striking resemblance.  And the problem with the site now is it’s been tasked with sorting this out.  Who is who?  And who are we to believe?


Bernard Hepton

Geoffrey Rush







I was in Manhattan longer ago than I like to admit.  I love Manhattan.  Freedom reigns and all the old saws about America are working for you.  They’re selling saws in the street and it’s for America and you could still buy a pack of Camels for 90 cents.  You can’t give Camels away these days.

But migrating towards the grasslands and abandoned supermarkets in that stretch that used to be there this side of the village, going down and down into Lower Manhattan with a white cab driver, semi-long hair, cooperative, but you brandish your pistol anyway because you’re back in the States and aren’t sure if he’s okay with this trip, and of course he is, but good on you for checking, and he actually appreciated the gesture, in his New York way, and it’s forward to the village and Washington Square, which, by the way, they’re gonna rename now because the name”George Washington” has become hateful to Americans.

It’s early but if any of our audience can explain why Bernard Hepton, a distinguished British actor, as they used to say, and still do, he was great in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and many, many other performances, greatly resembles Geoffrey Rush of “The King’s English” and subsequent triumphs, please come forward now.  Because something is going on.

And now, reasonably recently, Mr Geoffrey Rush is making his way even onto City of Vancouver transit stops via large, full frame posters— “Pirates of The Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales”— an image I was dumbfounded by the first time I saw it, and I nearly passed out stumbling onto the “15 Cambie” bus by the “Liquor Depot” and bank there, heading south to get my freedom.  The whole experience made for dizzy work and I hate that.

I couldn’t believe that was Rush.  I didn’t even know the man was in the pirate franchise. What else didn’t I know?  Gnn…  And at the same time, as I started thinking about it, I couldn’t believe how these gentlemen, Rush and Hepton, Hepton and Rush, together in their separateness, seem rather to blend together.  It’s a mystery.

Geoffrey Rush


Bernard Hepton







At some point it’s going to matter.  We’ll make it matter.  Because this is serious. You’ll never get any sort of explanation in England, not really.  In private, yes, maybe at the right clubs, but this strange coincidence, if that’s what it is, but I doubt it, has never really gelled with Britishers because, it could be, Mr. Rush is Australian, and nobody bloody cares about Australia, but of course good luck to him. And Mr. Rush is as English as Dover cream.  There’s nothing else in it.  Have a beautiful day.

Violets image courtesy CSN



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