Monthly Archives: December 2016

Since You Asked… (someone asked?)

I’ve been both hounded and dogged by requests for for info about the author of my last post’s Guest Op-ed. The following is from the ‘About’ page on his Word Press site:

 “Dr. Dopp L. Ganger, originally from the Emmental area of Switzerland now makes his home in a more westerly hemisphere, specifically, the US Northwest. A writer and artist; (once a formidable math prodigy, he’s proud of his ability, even now, to, in his words: ‘paint-by-number, up to 19 digits, without a calculator!’)
Better known these days as a writer, a familiar face on the activist/gadfly scene, his chronicle of the noise abatement campaign he waged, and prevailed through: ‘Port-Noise Complaint’ is still read by students to this day. And not by all of them by mistake.
 His current work, a serious study of change-making strategies especially pertinent in this hour of great need, is titled: “Winning ’em over: It’s like…”

The handbook has been called both ‘original’ and ‘interesting‘ by critics, although, so far, not both. The Publisher blurbs: ‘Finally, a ‘go-to’ manual whose title ends in an ellipsis! Unique!’
‘El’, as he’s known to friends, hosts the weekly ‘Ganger Gang’ community-TV show on cable and is currently working on a long-over-due History of Palmistry, after, as he tells it: ‘spending altogether too much of my life searching for Heaven in the palm of my own hand!’
He lives, along with his many cats and dogs, who fell for him like the torrential rains there in Oregon, in a now-quiet neighborhood, saved , largely by his own efforts, from the once constant mind-numbing roar of the harbour’s tin ‘sound-box-from Hell’ storage buildings, now happily retro-fitted. ‘Hushed’ as they say. (See the riveting chapter of ‘Complaint’ titled: ‘Almost there: Re-riveting!’

Ok, anyone wishing to contact Dr Ganger is welcome to leave a note here, and I’ll gladly pass it onward.
The first, let’s say 10 ‘sign-ons’ will receive, post-paid, a signed copy of an earlier work of his: ‘Los Nogeros; a Reversal of Fortune’ which documents the fate of a backward lost-to-history Native-American tribe who once thrived on the exact lands where, now, ‘Dr. El’s ranch home stands.
Again; thanks, all, for your interest/ JS/ Tel Aviv

Serpentine bureaucracy has crippled the Snake river?

GUEST EDITORIAL: (These big guns write so colorfully; I’m in awe.

Serpentine bureaucracy has crippled the Snake river; let’s put it back on its feet!

Now just a toothless shell of its former glory, the famed waterway has been running on empty for as long as even an elephant can remember. Thrown under the bus by ‘cogs-in-the-system’ pointy heads in Washington for too long, we ‘out of the box’ visionaries now need to take off the blindfolds, to ‘push back’ on the Gordian knot of paperwork which has woven a rats-nest of dog-in the manger monkey-wrenches which threatens to stone-wall any hope of a cloud on the horizon.
Now, before any coldly-calculating hot-heads rush off mindlessly to storm the barricades, a bit of level-headed planning is, as one might guess, advisable: Leveling the playing field-of-dreams will not be ‘built in a day’, (nor , perhaps, before even the ‘fat lady sings’). Yet a journey of a thousand miles begins with reversing the course of ill-fated high-level decisions whose ‘low-hanging fruit’ are within our grasp. I refer to our building a ‘stitch in time’ ‘bridge too far’ with the lone-wolf countless myriads of fellow travelers whose support we shall need some fine day, like a fervid mushroom needs the Sun.
So: ‘What is to be done?’, as J. Lenon once plaintively asked. Demonstrations on the very banks of this once-mighty tributary will not, alone break the back of Pacific Coast vested financial interests, whose choke-hold on the reins of power will not simply melt away overnight upon seeing our restive mass of warm bodies willing to pop-tent a random night or two against the stream. Neither will Facebook ‘Likes’ , the digital ‘finger on the pulse’ so currently ‘en-vogue’ easily ‘un-friend’ the enemy within.
No, the Hour has come to finally de-fang the merciless and mis-guided Arrow of time; to wrest from the jaws of defeat even a transitory (but crucial, never forget) ‘Peace in our time’. I have a dream, as did M. Luther, that one fine day men and women of all hues, sons of share-croppers, salt of the Earth of crop-dusters, will sail, rainbow-colored, up the beloved Snake River to its watery feeding-grounds, the spring-fed heart of darkness from whence it draweth breath and sustenance.
Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: The author is the owner of, and principle share-holder in ‘Metaphors R Us’, a licensed advocacy group based in Portland, Oregon. He holds a degree in Environmental Polemics from a renowned university, and his latest self-help best-seller: ‘Winning ’em Over.. it’s like..’ is available at fine booksellers everywhere.

Mau-mau-ing the Bat-Stabbers: A Tutorial

 Ok, I’m no Thomas Wolfe, not even in sheep’s clothing. But I’ve vowed not to ‘go home again‘ until I figure this all out . (Oops, wrong wolfie.)

Anyway, it does not appear that I’ll cease creating/discovering Palindromes anytime soon. So far it’s a controllable addiction ‘(Don’t ‘pal’ until after sunset!’) and it powerfully staves off a host of mental ‘wormies’ while falling asleep. Just me, the alphabet, and my remembered English vocab there under the covers. ‘Mechanical‘, I admit, but I’m in the good company of none other than Bugs Bunny, who already in 1946 questioned the approbation cast on , in his case, a wind-up femme fatale bunny. Oy, don’t give me ideas!

I promised a Tutorial:
See, when you’re writing these things you often end up with several ‘threads, all ‘killers’ of course.
And then the challenge is to fit ’em together seamlessly. Wolfe didn’t have this problem in the ‘Electric Koolaid Acid Test’, Owsley’s ‘master-key’ kinda tied everythang together, at least in our imagination.
But, dammit, We Be Here Now, and in more prosaic days. ‘Get to work, bro.’

1) ‘STAB BATS‘ in this example-segment is what we’ll call a ‘Center-hog‘. Maybe because it’s short? And by the way, adding a shared S’ (STABS BATS) neither adds nor takes away from its category. Yes, I suppose, one could in principle go on about a ‘STAB’, interrupt the story for a while, and continue with a BAT , but whatever. Don’t pry my fingers from the clutch they barely have on this explanatory window ledge.

2) Our second ‘category’ is Divisible fragments: In this case, as an example, a poor fellow named ‘K.C.ENDER‘. Newly arrived in South Boston from Scranton, PA; he finds the ‘bright lights, big city’ a perfect place to, like ‘accelerate’ his ‘Oxy-thing’. Spell him backwards and he is, as you might guess, a ‘RED NECK.’
But for our narrow purposes, his name, and then his demographic identity, can be separated by intervening text in the resultant PAL. With any luck.

3) Oops, he’s got no luck. He ‘took too much’. And so Boston General’s got yet another ‘John Doe’ DOA for the morgue.
Wish I could feel more empathy; he prolly petted his little doggie, ‘Checkers’ every day or so, before leaving ‘down on the farm’ for ‘Paree’. Between deluded night-time outings with his kitchen knife, searching for bats. And so our ‘Framework-guts’ Category-3 here now needs to use BOSTON ‘OD’, matched later with ‘DO NOT SOB’.
This paired group above, in our example, is easily and fruitfully separable , I’m hoping you can realize, in the full version. You mention the bare facts, blah-blah some exposition, and conclude with a moral lesson.

Now not all scribbelings of ‘3AM ‘Gold’ are so easily categorized. Still, a glance at this post might, in the future, salvage a few of my many ‘hopeless mess of word-salad’ candidates from the Recycle Bin.

And, working by the Heirarchy we’ve clarified here, we end up with, for better or worse:


Ok, the ‘Sand Tart Battles’ you’ve all been hearing about; Whasup wid dat?

Hard to believe that those thin, flat, and tasty Christmas cookies (Ellen, my HS contact back in PA made hundreds of ’em, bless her healthy heart, and without even knowing about the big debate here)… are like, dominating the news!
It seems the E.C (European Community) that top-down guardian of (post exit) Continental Health is getting what is now called, disgustingly, ‘pushback’ from emboldened ‘Merkin’ interests, now that America is ‘great’ again.
Only two months ago, the Chairman of EC matters, both nutritional and medicinal, a colourful Italian, Dr Primo Leaviano, quietly trial-ballooned reports on a study done, no, not on POWs, but on willing volunteers. ‘Let them eat cookies!’ I suppose one could call it, in this sarcastic season. (The real title was, like ‘IT-407-GH’, but ‘Cookie-gate‘ stuck and went viral, as everyone now knows.)
The two half-groups, among the 256 subjects in all, were of course blindfolded, and were fed, by blind-folded staff, either ‘Modern Medicine’… or innocent ‘Sand Tarts’, devoid of any pharmaceutical effect. Both ‘cookies’, of course, looked identical, as any fore-knowledge of what the participants were receiving would have, duh, flawed the trials.
Not to worry, (and also, kinda, not for broad publication) the participants were all (how’d that happen?) exposed to a range of common maladies. (None fatal, God forbid; this is the 21st century!)
 And so, quickly stated, the Result was that a statistically-significant 79% of the ‘cookie-eaters’ had better outcomes overall than their chemically-doused ‘Control group’ cohort (!).
Now on to the Brouhaha, hahaha:
Our Dr Leaviano,a well-known figure internationally, probably knew who awaited him if he published the findings: Nestle, Keebler, and worst of all, giant Crass Bros; these concerns had no hope of ever securing a US FDA permit to sell their munchies on the US market as ‘therapeutic’ and were almost guaranteed to switch into ‘attack mode’ as soon as the ‘Good news for Humanity!’ blurbs hit the press.
And, as you’ve doubtless read, ad nauseum, that’s precisely what happened!
These days, any 400 pound loser in his Mom’s basement can make a cartoon of a sick man eating a cookie … and dying on the spot. No one has as yet ‘followed the money’, but even the AMA has a budget for ‘promotion’….
Crass Bros, as expected, ‘took no prisoners’, making sure that any media venue they advertised in had their ‘Last Dance’ ‘GIF-C’ dangling on its front page. Almost un-noticed, but certainly intended, was the caricatured ‘Dr Primo’ in the background, all hook-nosed and David-starred, in case anyone missed the hint.
Dr. Leaviano, still in-sufficiently versed in the Age of Drumpf, responded by calling out Crass Bros’ long record of prosecuted mis-doings, and their history of fabrication.
For what it was worth he also released footage of the Fun-Time foot-race the Study’s staff had organized for the volunteers once the blindfolds came off. High-fives from the winning ‘cookie-eaters, mixed in and professionally edited with ‘Oy, I lost cuz of a stupid throw-of-a-dice!’ from many in the ex-medicated control group.
Not that his PR efforts did him, or the global society much good, even with solid EC support. And we are now all awaiting the next chapter in this saga.
Note: This post interrupts, for a spell, the recently over-oxygenated Palindrome spurt, but only until I (tomorrow) post a ‘candle in the darkness’ Tutorial on the creative Pal-Process. Eat cookies, for now/ JS.

A Present for your Brain at Christmas!

I’m so lucky that I always ‘read and weed’, selectively, my Spam Folder.
Otherwise I would have blithely deleted this innocent (and fortuitous) ‘Not Spam’ gem. How ‘Monica’ knew that I’m suffering from abysmal brain-function lately, and that my blood tests came back: ‘Zero-point zero’ Niacin? (This critical ‘don’t leave home without it’ Vitamin, B3, of ‘pellegra’ fame, will be the subject of another post.)

Me: ‘Before:

Anyway, her Indiana-based Company, ‘I. N. DEE New Age’ has now, in addition to enabling me once again to add 2+ 2 without a calculator, finally found a use for that gross liquid draining from the bottoms of corn-silage silos. (As an amateur organic chemist, I’m embarrassed I didn’t check it out myself). ‘Who woulda thunk?’, I claim in my defense: First-rate ‘A’ level Niacin, it turns out, is easily and economically isolated from the smelly gunk. Her company, not one to ‘perfume’ the facts, calls their product ‘Silo-Pan-aid’. TM
I even rated a holiday-season discount by faxing my sad blood-test results, and took delivery a few days ago of the ‘A’Level option: a ‘cookable’ -Hcl powder which thankfully has never yet clogged my ‘works’. Ok, my ‘‘fit’, in street parlance. Just when my right arm was almost back to normal appearance. ‘Course it’s now Winter anyway, and short sleeves are off the worry-list, plus, ‘desperate times… etc.’ You can feel the rush before you pull the needle; an odd kind of bliss when you suddenly can the remember names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone you ever met, bills you forgot to pay, hundreds of birthdays you swore never to forget… And for me, effortlessly putting my shoes on the right feet(!) That alone is worth the $29.99 plus shipping.
Take-away: Hiding there amongst the ‘F*ck me Hard, Solberg!‘ dross are gems like ‘Monica’, bless her heart. Go for it!


here is the correct text for this one. Thanks, Tim. (And Monica)



Off to Valhalla, Home of ‘Vern’s Vehement Vehicles’….in my Vauxhall.

Note: I persist for now in posting these bi-directional creations (‘PALs’) not from any illusion that they are the next ‘War and Peace’, (though a perfect one, I dream, could help to prevent the former), but because they always inspire deeper thoughts, and research in sadly-overlooked corners of knowledge.
If an over-paid motivational speaker can make mega-bucks telling executives: “Always ask yourself, in board meetings, where a giraffe fits into the picture!” well, I got plenty of giraffes to Google lately. Oh, and snakes.  Meanwhile, this one is more down-to-earth. (Except being 80% fictional. Hey, my ‘real life’ lacks circus animals, sue me.
PA Route 22; far enough east of Pittsburgh that the locals haven’t yet decided whether they’re cowboys.
Whatever they are, ‘Laverne’ Hollyfield is a real piece of work!
Owner, chief (only?) mechanic, he sits there at a greasy desk ‘between jobs’. That is to say ‘most of the time‘.
In the 60s we used to call him ‘VHF’, for ‘Very Frequently High’. Nowadays, ‘Vertigo Vern’ is the more common nickname. His frequent ‘lost in space’ episodes are a legend; you can be discussing ring ODs, glance down, and find him holding a piston-ring in two outstretched hands, staring through the thing with an infinite-focus, transfixed gaze.
“Just goes on and on,” he mutters. “Internal!”
“Eternal?“, you offer, helpfully.
“No, I meant ‘external”   he snaps, gruffly, and, back home safely, adds “Yeah, .’.20 over’s a safe compromise, after I bore the cylinders.”
‘Welcome back, cadet’, you say to yourself.

Hey, it’s genetic. His twin daughters, Gwendalynn and Mandolin both show early, but unmistakable signs of the same chromosomes.
Right next door, they run ‘Vox-haul Audio Inc.’ The sign, once illuminated, until the ‘Winter of ’94’ (or the Johnston Flood?) boasts: ‘Loud Speakers: When you need your Voice to Carry!’
I greet them with warm, yet careful, hugs, then ask ‘Where’s Monte?’
Frank Montecello, the real reason I’d braved the cold without a heater in the old Vaux, was supposed to meet me here. A retired elementary-school teacher, he had ‘pull’ up at the ‘Epson Center’ on the hill coming into town, there near the giant ‘Valhalla, Home of the Gods’ sign we’d all used to confirm, to our dazed ‘Bacon sizzling in a skillet’ minds-on-drugs’ that, yup, we’d made it home. For now…
Cello’ was actually waiting, drinking coffee, in a back-room. Glad I hadn’t called him ‘that old fart’.
And at least he remembered why I was there.
But first, a ‘pop-quiz’? Seems like he’s kinda ‘having what I’m having’. Lately, and frustratingly, I remember only the skeletons and routines of past events.
And so I patiently complied with his impromptu 2nd-grade spelling test, perhaps expecting a hilarious joke as a punch line:
“Spell HAT” he demanded.Followed by ‘BAT‘, then the tough one:’ CAT’. Think I got at least a ‘B’, but, for my efforts, I then learned mainly that he’d quit working up there. And in a huff.
Bummer. I’d have to change clothes somewhere and talk to ’em myself.
Meanwhile I jotted down in my diary:
So I’m now thinking to stay on my side of the Susquehanna River.

Still I wish em all the best, ‘out west’. Probably something in the water there. And with the EPA slated for de-funding, it’ll be even more ‘entertaining’ to visit next trip.

And here is the ‘correct’ text: Thanks, Tim for the proof-reading. Mine is apparently ’80 Proof’, ha


A ‘Chinese Hoax’. a POS ‘Prez’, and a broken romance

This fellow, ‘(NOT ME! ‘, I strenuously point out; I don’t even know anybody who’d have voted for a Drumpf instead of a President), he at least insists on rhyme until The End, as the Beast slouches on his gold toilet seat toward…Doom.
The bereft Poet’s got my sympathy and understanding (although he might’ve seen the writing on the wall even earlier, when she kinda blamed FEMA for Katrina, and Zika on the Olympics.
Anyway, here’s his lament. My takeaway is the wisdom of my own choices; (I once asked a total fox of a girl, all wet and bothered, what she thought of Velikovsky, that ‘Worlds in Collision nut-case a ‘candy candidate date’ back then should have known about, like ‘A Leppo’. Finding her answer ‘un-productive’, I went home alone that night. Yet I thereby perhaps saved myself from the horror our Poet here is going through:
‘I cain’t believe it!’ he wails. ‘…and I thought I knew you… and loved you.’
Here’s his plaintive cry:

My Baby lies,  over ‘The Ocean’
An’ my baby lies.. over ‘The Sea’
She used to be ‘Science-in Motion’
But her ‘Denial’ is just killing me

Hey, the Globe is a ball with a Problem
Which only an Ostritch could doubt
(Or an ‘-ex’ who just swallows this Pablum)
…A Discussion I’ll now live without.

So I’m hoping she’s stocked up on sun-screen
And dresses from head down to shoes
Cause the Danger’s still there, though it’s unseen
Through blindness.. or the ‘experts’ you choose

Still I loved all the sweet things about her
Even back when she ‘doubted’ the pros
Now I’ll burn, freeze, or drown here without her
What became of her brain, no one knows?

A Giant leap forward for Dr Nird

U GANDA?”,    ‘NIRD‘ ASKED. doing his theatrical best to evoke the classic: ‘Livingston, I presume?’
Hey, ‘a jungle is a jungle is a jungle‘, someone else once also kinda said.
The Idi Amin ringer-just shook his bald head, then repeated (backwards, as was his wont) part of the question: ‘DEKSA DRIN’.

“Ok,” thought Nird, “at least we got a tiny clue as to why the fellow’s got no fingernails.”
Our Doctor Nird was actually here in darkest Africa (he’d brought a flashlight) on a humanitarian mission, bless his altruistic heart in the Age-of Drumpf. Having almost single-handedly nailed down a cure, at the vastly-under-rated ‘B’-league’ Tirana Institute for Genetic Studies in Albania, for the dreaded bacterial agent ‘A coli’ (Aeoliaferagyrospiraduplicitus coli’, but it won’t be on the test, whew!) he’d somehow secured a measly 500 Euro grant from the WHO to further clarify the ‘vectors’; green monkeys (as a diet option) were very much on his ’round up the usual subjects‘ list, and N’gobu Eklesiabu Gana-doodah (“Ganda“, a village chieftan rumored to be ‘insane,yet ‘We have a choice?’, was his contact, if he was to have any small hope of ‘saving the world’s less Northern and Western also-rans.’
Dr. Nird’s breakthrough in the ‘double-helix’ racket is almost beyond words of praise…. A ‘short-circuit’ lab procedure which miraculously reveals DNA in all its glory in hours, rather than weeks. ‘SNAP DNA’ it’s being called in the bio-tech forums.

I, for one, won’t sleep at night till my Hero sits in Oslo and accepts the Nobel he deserves. (Even more so than Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ netted him a medal in Meteorology?)
Anyway, ‘Snap DNA’ allows, finally, for proscriptive cohort studies, within a reasonable budget, of the principle avenue by which this debilitating pox spreads itself…. sit down for this: Common kitchen Cook-ware! Missed by the firmly ‘inside-the-box’ ‘real pros’ busy separating skeeters from their teeters, this actually easily-conquered vector was totally overlooked(!). Not so these days, and largely because ‘SNAP-DNA’ has now enabled real-time data. Progress happens in ‘jumps, both forwards and backwards. (The US will be overdue shortly for a corrective leap in the preferred direction.)
And so:

The Snakes return, but happily, as roadkill.

Our hero here, fellow called Tim, the son of, yes, the proverbial Eve, kinda completed his Mother’s unfinished business. Not enough he deftly beheaded a rattlesnake which crawled into his dorm room at college, no, he followed its footsteps, learned how to castrate the species (one crushed testes puts ’em out of business) and went on to make a name for himself in the State of Kansas, fighting the mythical but very real ‘enemy within’… days and nights, until he finished his courses and moved back to Colombia.
Wichita wasn’t 100% happy with his campaign, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. (They preferred simply catching ’em and trucking the Evil Ones off to Missouri; Tim’s ‘power-neutering’ mass-attack program in due time made their bleeding hearts moot.
But the beautiful part of this chapter is that his Mother had actually started the job,(!) but only after some damage had been done; a snake had somehow tricked her into eating an apple from a tree that the great spirit had kinda ruled out as ‘un-kosher’. She never forgave the devilish reptile, and, (un-recorded until just now here on jxsolberg @ Word-Press,) chased the snake down, cornered it in the Garden, and smote it a mighty blow. All the while clinging to her new ‘fig-leaf’-inspired skirt, from the Fall collection of that Year One.
She’d be so thrilled to hear that her grand-son +++ continued her Revenge. With any luck, women will soon be able to dress as they want. Or not. I’m all for it.
The Snakes return, but happily, as roadkill.

….And for El, bless her 20-below but still warm limericked heart:

A righteously Spatula-ed Tim,
Just bursting with Vigour and Vim…
He ‘ka-bong-ed’ leg-less Tempters
But note: ‘caveat emptor’s
Hell is still filled with snakes to the brim!

(Yes, slay one Hyra-Trump, (‘inshallah’!) and twelve more rotten-apple-eating snake-oil salesmen bud from the stump.
Not the Future we planned on, eh?

Oy, they just keep ‘happening’.

…and if you think sentences spell-able in either direction just kinda ‘write themselves’, hey; go at it…  Like Dylan said: ‘You will find yourself, looking thru a key-hole.. on.. your.. knees.’
Anyway, I use this diversion as a proven method of falling asleep without the all-too-eagerly-present mind-grind of worrying about Death, Taxes, and fucking Drumpf. I would happily put the ‘work-around‘ on hold were there anything I could realistically do to save the environment, int’l order, and common decency from the horror my co-citizens (!) back in the U.S. have dragged into the White House like dog-shit stuck to a shoe.
 And so, meanwhile, a few ‘latest models’. My little palindromes are a kinda cryptic ‘cry-for-help’. As in: ‘What total desperation could make a man do this?   Read the news, and you’ll understand.


This fellow is Lost,  no other word for it. And this despite (or as a result of-?) his total 2016 contentedness!   GPS plus every App he, or his drunken sled-dog ever said “yeah, OMG yes!’ (or ‘woof-woof!’) to ‘Download?’
In his modern world there’s no further need to care whether the Sun rises on the left.. or right side of his out-stretched phone-holder arm.The Pole star: ‘I can Google that’.
Fine, ‘W’. …Your men are eagerly waiting to know, like, which continent you are on? Hint: take a compass and a wristwatch next time, guy.


An un-named traffic-controller in Geneva sees ‘Ron’s  Cessna Citation heading straight for ‘controlled impact into terrain’ with the Matterhorn. This is, like,  much too soon after his best friend and colleague in the same profession wasted his breath screaming from Paris at the un-responsive POS Germanwings pilot during his fatal suicidal dive.
Our hero had met ‘Ron’, in an odd coincidence, long ago, when they were ‘exchange-student’ roommates in Oslo. And spent long nights talking the fellow out of small depressions. No one in the program’s administration thought much, at the time, about his warnings. The Norwegian aviation authority, who stamped Ron’s first commercial ticket, will un-surprisingly express shock, while the choppers try to locate the debris field. Meanwhile, just another ‘hurt place’ for a helpless soul in a control tower.

Until tomorrow…./JS