The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.

Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku

"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Carpe Diem #1263 - Neighborhood of Colors

I took a sharp turn from Italy to Puerto Rico, so beautiful only a few short days ago, now a pile of rubble. Making things worse, out idiot predisent* has shown no enthusiasm for getting them any aid. There may also be corruption involving shipping laws to complicate things further.

{Mitch McConnell's wife is from a family that owns Foremost Shipping. I have not been able to verify the allegation that they have near- exclusive rights for shipping to Puerto Rico due to the Jones Act. John McCain has been trying for years to get the Jones Act - which stipulates that only American made, owned, and crewed ships can deliver freight from one American port to another - lifted. This Act has been harming the Puerto Rican economy for a century, and it looks like big profits for McConnell. I have no doubt that this rat would never lose a minute''s sleep over thousands dying, as long as he could add to his own already enormous wealth. It's also very hard for me to believe that racism is not a factor.}

To help victims of the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida, the Jones act was temporarily lifted for those states - as has happened several times in the past. Puerto Rico - completely isolated from overland transport - has not been given the same consideration.

There is a desperate need for food, potable water, medications, shelter, fuel for generators. People are dying for want of these basic things. But aid is slow in coming from our great nation. Evidently the people of Hispanic heritage on the island don't rate the same kind of assistance that quickly came to those in Texas and Florida.

Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and Puerto Ricans are U. S. citizens.  Could their skin color be causing our Republican Party leadership to downplay their worth?   Sure looks that way to me.

It only took a few seconds on the Google to discover what I guessed might be the case - that Puerto Rico also had houses of many colors.

Colorful Houses

many house colors
many tints of human skin
grey puerto rico


*Some time ago one of Trump's attorneys mispelt "president" as "predisent" in a document.  It's good, since "predisent" is a portmanteau of "predator" and "president."  Columnist Charlie Pierce refers to occupant 45 as the president*.  I've combined these ideas and always refer to this genuinely corrupt and horrible man as the predisent*.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Carpe Diem 1262 / Imaginary Garden -- Courtyard Blues

Today's Carpe Diem inspiration is this picture [attribution lost.]  Looks like an anything goes day at The Garden, so I'll share this there as well.

Took a sad, lonely turn with this blue image.

Courtyard Blues

in the blue courtyard
we shared blue margaritas
salty memory


in the blue courtyard
we met alone at midnight
taste of stolen sweets


in the blue courtyard
long i sat waiting for you
 you with him loving


in the blue courtyard
where our tempers flashed red hot
sitting cold and blue


in the blue courtyard
now i drink the blues alone
you and he are gone

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - Bruce Haight

Theme - HOMOPHONIA.  Silly three-word phrases starting with the letter A, and having the indefinite article A in the middle constitute internal echoes.  Actually, the clues themselves are also quite silly.  Call me crazy, but I love the word play in this theme.

17 A. Fall in love with something at the home improvement center? : ADORE A DOOR.  Furniture and appliances are OK, but seldom give you this kind of an opening.

25 A. Bring Bugs into harmony? : ATTUNE A TOON.  TOONS, of course, are cartoon characters.  Bugs is one of the truly great TOONs, and great TOON singers.  And how could he be more ATTUNED than this?

37 A. Get voices in all ranges? : ACQUIRE A CHOIR.  Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses [not to be confused with 61A.]  Anyway, there are no bugs here.

52 A. Severely criticize the store special? : ASSAIL A SALE.  This is a correct usage for ASSAIL - I checked.  Any time you come to The Corner, you get your money's worth

61 A. Criticize the stringed instrument? : ABASE A BASS.  More like degrade than criticize.  But bassist Christian McBride, who I had the great pleasure of preforming with a couple years ago, is above reproach.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's see what else Bruce has in store for us.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation - on the river

This time our challenge is to construct a troiku.

It is based on the haiku by Basho, seen below.

This took a light-hearted turn that surprised me.

I always strive to have proper form: phrase and fragment structure and 1st-3rd line interchangeability.

The last one took some effort, but I think I got there.   Actually, I think it works better 3rd line first.


on the river
lights float to the horizon
the dead rejoice

© Basho

on the river
children dangle their bare feet
fish nibble on toes

lights float to the horizon
as children stare in awe
a phalanx of fireflies

the dead rejoice
on the bank of the river
 lively children frolic


Friday, September 22, 2017

Fireblossom Friday - The Distorted Lens

So I've wandered back, at long last, into the Imaginary Garden.

Fitting, since I did just see a real toad on the walkway in front of my house.

Today's challenge: 'So, your task is to write from the point of view of someone who is seeing reality through a distorted lens."

And here it is, if it qualifies.  I have no idea where it came from.


it's you again
coming here

i did not invite you
to fling your fervid finger dance
on my hilltops

to slyly slither your stealthful 
wending way
along my hedge row

nor play your probing game of sinking
for a short while
into my silent secret bog

a short while 
too short
too short

and look at you
how you thrash and flail
spewing ragged steamy breath spasms
until that final gasp
when you heave your heavy ploughman's sigh


are you still here

alright then
kiss me if you must
you must

not there

yes there
more deeply







Afterthought: after reading Hedgewitch's entry, it occurred to me that this might also be about the incubus. A new and intriguing slant, perhaps.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carpe Diem #1259 Creating Beauty

Here I am, back at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai after another long and inexplicable hiatus.

Can I create some beauty?   You be the judge.

ancient myth of god
from the wet clay of the earth
creating adam


if i place my life
in the mold of your strong hands
how will you form me


rotund symmetry
in the spinning universe
a cluster of stars


That last one might be a haiku.

The others seem more like senryu.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - Adam T. Cobb

Theme -- Hey, what's in this drink?  Here we have a complex theme: circled letters [and good luck if you didn't get the circles, since the letters are scattered] within the theme entries are anagrams of hidden words.  And better yet, the hidden words are liquid assets [so to speak] of the things in which they are hidden. 

17. Name on a two-liter bottle (and what's inside) : ROYAL CROWN.   ROYAL CROWN, is, of course, a brand name and COLA is the generic name for the product variety.

23. Independently owned suds producer (and the suds in question) : MICROBREWERY.  MICROBREWERIES are independently owned and operated purveyors of craft BEERs and ales.  The quaffs that they offer typically have more flavor and character that what you find in mass produced products from the big, international BREWing companies.  I'm a fan of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale.

38. Where Starbucks began (and a product it popularized) : SEATTLE.  LATTE's are not unique to Starbucks, but you certainly can get one there.  Our wildly over-achieving oldest granddaughter is, among other things, a certified barista and trainer at Starbucks.  A LATTE is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk.

49. Pepperidge Farm treat (and its ideal companion) : MILANO COOKIE.  This is a sandwich COOKIE with a dark chocolate inner layer between two flat biscuits.  It's marketed to adults, but even they can enjoy a nice cold glass of MILK with it.

And the unifier -- 59. What's clued in parentheses for each of four answers, and found in corresponding sets of puzzle circles : MIXED DRINK.  This is an in-the-language phrase indicating a libation made with alcoholic spirits and some sort of mixer, such as some flavor of soda.   Here, the word MIXED is a hint that the letters of the respective DRINKS have been scrambled.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, your host for today's adventure in a glass.   Let's pop a few lids and see how this tastes.


1. Green Angry Birds animals : PIGS.  I dunno.  Never played the game.

5. Salon style : PERM.   Short for PERManent wave.

9. "Jabberwocky" opener : 'TWAS.  This poem by Lewis Carroll is included in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, from 1871,

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

13. Les __-Unis : ETATS.  United States in French.

15. Eye layer : UVEA.  This includes the iris, which displays eye color.  Brown-eyed people like me have irises pigmented with melanin.  Blue eyed people have no little or no pigment in their irises.  They appear blue due to Rayleigh scattering - the same optical phenomenon that makes the sky appear blue.  Other colors are due to combination effects from various levels of melanin and collagen, which causes Mie scattering

16. "For __ jolly ... " : HE'S A. Good fellow, and I can't deny it.

19. Double-crossers : RATS. Figuratively speaking

20. Like microwavable meals : PRE-MADE.  

21. Valued caches : TROVES.  Have you ever seen the word TROVE not associated with some sort of treasure?

26. Parthenon goddess : ATHENA.  From Greek mythology, the goddess of wisdom, craft and war..

29. "How cool!" : NEATO.

30. Length of most TV dramas : HOUR.

31. WWI battleship Graf __ : SPEE.  Read about it here.

33. Kin by marriage : IN-LAW.  

37. CIO partner : AFL.  The American Federation of Labor merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955.  The organization is made up of 56 national and international labor unions.

40. __ snail's pace : A TA.   Moving slowly.

41. Note above A : B FLAT.  It's enharmonic equivalent, A Sharp is rare, but I have encountered it already this week.

43. Snoop (around) : NOSE.  Because that is what gets poked into a place, whether it belongs there or not.

44. Blockage : CLOG.

45. Slangy "It's cool" : NO BIG.  I guess the "DEAL" is implied.  Anyway it's not a problem.

47. Currently combusting : ABLAZE.  On fire, right now.

53. Novelist Waugh : EVELYN.  Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh [1903 - 1966] was a prolific English journalist, and author of novels, biographies and travelogues.

54. Scolds harshly : BERATES.  You could be BERATED if your behavior were less than A-rated.

58. Jones with a locker : DAVY.  The origins of the phrase are unclear.  DAVY Jones' locker is the bottom of the sea, where the remains of drowned sailors and sunken ships find their final resting place.

62. Don Juan's mother : INEZ.  I only know this from crosswords.

63. Just : ONLY.  Only this article can do it JUSTice,

64. __ protector : SURGE.  A device to shield your electronic items from potentially damaging power fluctuations.

65. Give a darn : CARE.  Be concerned. There is a lot to CARE about these days.

66. Horseshoes turn : TOSS.  Having your turn at the game of tossing horse shoes.

67. Dijon dad : PERE.  More French.


1. Cop's quarry : PERP.  The PERPetrator of a crime.   Or, in Corner lingo, a word in a puzzle that is PERPendicular to a given word.

2. "Like __ lump ... " : IT OR.  Take it or leave it.

3. Marvin of Motown : GAYE. [1939-1984] He was a singer, song writer and producer who helped create the Mo-Town sound.  Sadly, he was killed by his own father who shot him when he tried to intervene in an argument between his parents.

4. Speech therapist's challenge : STAMMER.  Speech with involuntary pauses and repeated initial consonant sounds.

5. More virtuous : PURER.  Like even whiter snow.

6. President Morales of Bolivia : EVO.  Juan Evo Morales Ayma [b 1959] has been president since 2006.

7. DVR "back up" button : REWind.

8. Chanted word : MANTRA. A word or sound repeated as an aid in achieving a meditative state.

9. Add, as a shrimp to the barbie : THROW ON.  Aim carefully when adding a shrimp to the grill.

10. Go this way and that : WEAVE.   Zig-zag.

11. Autumn bloom : ASTER.  The name is derived from the Greek word for star, due to the shape of the bloom.

12. Flip : SASSY.  Said of disrespectful back-talk.

14. "'And hast thou __ the Jabberwock?'" : SLAIN.  A bonus mini-theme.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

18. Music box? : CD CASE.  Protective box for music medium storage.

22. Deal with, as loose laces : RETIE.  Which is why I prefer slip-ons.

24. "Almost there!" : ONE TO GO.  I associate this phrase with American football, in a situation when one one yard is needed for a first down.

25. Borscht veggies : BEETS.  I think it was on a long-ago Rocky and Bullwinkle episode when one of the characters said, "When it comes to borscht, you can't beat soup!"

26. Quaker captain of literature : AHAB. Pursuer of the great white whale, Moby Dick.  I didn't recall him being a Quaker.

27. Fashionable Brit : TOFF.  A derogatory stereotype for an aristocratic Brit is what I found.  Perhaps Steve can explain.

28. Ship frame : HULL.

32. Freak out : PANIC.

34. 2016 Best Picture nominee "__ Land" : LA LA.  2016 movie, 2017 Oscar nominee.

35. All-inclusive : A TO Z.  Everything from A cups to Zebras.

36. Salary : WAGE.  Not exactly.  Wages are based on actual hours worked, while a salary is a fixed amount per week or month, irrespective of actual time on the job.

38. Like a path that's cobbled together? : STONY.    My favorite way of thinking about a cobblestone path.

39. Allowed to get out : LEAKED.  As information, not caged animals.

42. Examine in detail : ANALYZE.

44. Go from cloudy to fair : CLEAR UP.  Better weather.

46. Wisecrack : BON MOT.

48. Tweeters : BIRDS.  Not stereo speakers.

49. Physician at the front : MEDIC.  In the military.

50. The first Mrs. Trump : IVANA.

51. Prying tool : LEVER.  A beam or rod pivoted on a fulcrum.

52. Acts like a good dog : OBEYS.  Sits, begs, and rolls over.

55. Lose steam : TIRE.  Get used up.

56. Elec. or mech. expert : ENGR.  Engineers.

57. __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE.   The game is played by rolling balls up an incline and scoring points by having the balls fall into holes with different values.

60. Suffix with concert : -INO.  A concertino is either a composition that is a smaller version of a concerto, or a subsection of an orchestra that is featured in a composition.

61. Big tee sizes : XLS.  Extra Larges.

That wraps another Wednesday.  With the libation of your choice, a toast to all.  It's always 5:00 somewhere.

Cool regards!