Saturday, April 16, 2022


Here's a picture from a year ago.  A bubble designed to let the dog in the yard look out turns into something terrifying when the dog barks at me.

Otherwise I haven't much to say.  I haven't really been much on the internet today.  Is anything going on?

Friday, April 15, 2022


Today I had to say goodbye to a friend I usually saw on our walks.  Her name was Janey & she was a very sweet girl, with a friendly & chatty mother who was amenable to me giving Janey treats.  Janey initially would bark when she saw or heard us down the street, but when we got to the fence, she would be a little shy.  But she very much liked treats, & the few times I ran into her when she was on walks, she was very waggish & happy to see me - treats are a powerful tool for making friends with dogs.

How old Janey was I haven't asked but I think definitely older than ten.  She suffered a little from arthritis I think & maybe was a bit overweight.  She loved behind outside & even in the rain she'd come to get treats from me.  In her bed on her covered porch, often under a blanket, she'd rise to come to the fence - sometimes dragging the blanket behind her.

This is the face I'd see, looking down at her as she waited patiently for a treat.  We'd visit her on what I call our "neighborhood walk."  Our other three regular walks take us to parks, so the walks are named after the park.  But when we visited Janey, we'd simply make a stroll through the neighborhood.  When I gave her treats, I'd also give my dogs treats, so it was a nice stopping place for everyone involved.

When we first met Janey, she was actually recovering from an attack by a pit bull.  Someone in the neighborhood had a dog which had assaulted Janey.  I don't think you can tell from the pictures but one of her ears was the worse for wear from the encounter.  It might be why she was so shy at the fence.  I told Lisa, Janey's mom, when we found out she was gone, I told her that Janey stopped being shy at some point & boldly demanded treats from me.  I felt like that was a kind of acceptance.

Janey had been feeling unwell & had a tumor on one of her organs that was causing her pain.  It's always a difficult decision to decide when to say goodbye to one of your non-human friends.  Janey was not going to get better, & it had become obvious.  Janey would've stayed around as long as she was needed.  I've experienced that time & again.  When we walked by her house today, her family was outside, all of them grieving.

One day I took a supercool picture of Janey that I need to print out for Lisa, it is how I think of her, she was a good thing with nothing but sweetness in her.  She was bigger than our dogs but she was a cuddler, & I would have gladly cuddled with her if I had had the chance.  Alas, all I got was a sweet friendship from someone who was the highlight of the walk.  I'm glad she's not in any pain anymore.  I want to remember all the good vibes she sent out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Self Help Radio 041222: Outlaws

(original image here*)

Everyone's a little bit of an outlaw, in their own heads at least.  Here's a show for the little bitty outlaw in you.

In addition to songs about outlaws in general, the show features sets about specific outlaws: Robin Hood, Jesse James, Billy The Kid, Bonnie & Clyde.  Plus interview with experts about those & other famously infamous men & women.  It was such a celebration of criminality that for a brief moment, the show dreamed of being on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list.  Then of course it realized it would never survive in prison.

You can listen to the show at both the Self Help Radio KBOO page as well as at the Self Help Radio website.  I'm not breaking the law telling you that, at the latter site, you'll need a username - SHR - & a password - selfhelp - to listen.  But I wish I was!  All the stuff that happens on the show is below.

Let's hope this ends well.

Self Help Radio 220412: Outlaws
"Outlaw Blues" Bob Dylan _Bringing It All Back Home_
"Outlaw" Ruthie Foster _Promise Of A Brand New Day_
"So You Wannabe An Outlaw" Steve Earle & The Dukes _So You Wannabe An Outlaw_

introduction & definitions - featuring the Definition-O-Tron 3000!

"Ladies Love Outlaws" The Everly Brothers _Chained To A Memory_
"England 1747 Dennis Moore" Monty Python _Monty Python's Previous Record_
"Outlaw" War _The Very Best Of War_
"I'm An Outlaw" Kurt Vile _B'lieve I'm Goin Down..._
"Dennis Moore (Part 2)" Monty Python _Monty Python's Previous Record_
"Outlaw" Sarah Shook & The Devil _Seven_

interview with Robin Hood expert (?) Sir Archibald Von Poesy

"True Tale Of Robin Hood" Wallace House _Robin Hood Ballads_
"Robin Hood" Dick James _Hello Children Everywhere_
"Robin Hood" Louis Prima & His Orchestra _Jumpin' With The Big Swing Bands_
"Robin Hood" The Mekons _So Good It Hurts_
"Robin Hood" Momus _Otto Spooky_

interview with Jesse James expert (?) Ned Dry

"Jesse James" Woody Guthrie _Some Folk_
"Jesse James" The Pogues _Rum Sodomy & The Lash_
"I'm Bad Like Jesse James" John Lee Hooker _Boom Boom_
"Just Like Jesse James" The Mooney Suzuki _Guilt By Association_
"Jesse James" Freedom Fry _Summer In The City_

interview with a Billy The Kid expert
phone call from someone claiming to be Buckee The Bandit

"Billy The Kid" Ry Cooder _Into The Purple Valley_
"Me & Billy The Kid (feat. Peter Rowan)" Ramblin' Jack Elliott _Friends Of Mine_
"Billy The Kid" John Hartford _Good Old Boys_
"Billy The Kid" Jonathan Winters _Here's Jonathan_
"Billy The Kid's Dream Of The Magic Shoes" The Mountain Goats _Protein Source Of The Future...Now!_

interview with action movie star Dan Cash

"A Day In The Life Of Bonnie & Clyde" Mel Torme _A Day In The Life Of Bonnie & Clyde_
"The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde" Georgie Fame _The Third Face Of Fame_
"Bonnie & Clyde (feat. Anita Lane)" Mick Harvey _Intoxicated Man_
"The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde" Merle Haggard _Down Every Road (1962-1994)_
"The Story Of Bonnie & Clyde" Flatt & Scruggs _1964-1969, Plus_
"Pair Of Bonnie & Clydes" Early To Bed _Early To Bed_

interview with historian Jarvis Brezing

"Belle Star (feat. Bill Miller)" Michael Martin Murphey _Cowboy Songs III (Rhymes Of The Renegades)_
"Belle Star" Emmylou Harris & Mark Knopfler _All The Roadrunning_
"Butch Cassidy" My Morning Jacket _The Tennessee Fire_
"Pancho & Lefty" Townes Van Zandt _The Late Great Townes Van Zandt_
"John Wesley Harding" Thea Gilmore _John Wesley Harding_

conclusion & goodbye

"Hard To Be An Outlaw" Willie Nelson _Band Of Brothers_
"Outlaws" Rose Melberg _Homemade Ship_
"Outlaw For A Day" Lame Drivers _Chosen Era_
"The Cowboy Outlaw" Brian Dewan _Tells The Story_
"Outlaw" Mission Of Burma _Signals, Calls, & Marches_

* "Wanted poster" by gorbould is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Whither Outlaws?

(image from here.)

Outlaws have an enduring popularity - from Robin Hood down to the "outlaw country" stars of the 1970s, many people seem to find something good in being actually quite bad.

A few months ago, I found myself doing a deep dive with the song "Jesse James." I kept hearing several versions in quick succession, from the first recording by Bentley Ball to the Pete Seeger version to re-discovering that the Pogues covered it on Rum, Sodomy, & The Lash.

But I certainly didn't think I could fill three hours of a radio show with songs about Jesse James - & I didn't just want to play version after version.  I've heard other radio shows do that, & I think I'd be as bored as the listener would find it tedious.

Thus began the idea of a show not just about Jesse James, but other outlaws.  Once I included Robin Hood, & Billy The Kid, & Bonnie & Clyde, & others - & of course just songs about outlaws - I figured I might have a decent show.  Tonight you'll get to decide if that is the case.

Self Help Radio airs from midnight to 3am on 90.7fm KBOO in Portland & everywhere at  As an honest, law-abiding citizen I cannot condone the bad deeds in the songs I'll play.  But like everyone else I can succumb to the mythology & live vicariously through them!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Preface To Outlaws: Goody Two Shoes

(image from here - the story too!)

This blog post was supposed to feature a mild confession from me that - unless you count shoplifting when I was a kid, or running red lights, or sometimes using torrents to find movies I really want to see, I have never really broken the law.  Certainly I would never be called an "outlaw."  Indeed, I was going to say, an outlaw would called me with disgust a "goody two shoes."

That was the plan until I discovered that the phrase "goody two shoes" - which seems self-explanatory - actually lent itself to a story with that name.  Here's how the Wikipedia summarizes it (you can also click the link below the image to read a longer version):

Goody Two-Shoes is a variation of the Cinderella story. The fable tells of Goody Two-Shoes, the nickname of a poor orphan girl named Margery Meanwell, who goes through life with only one shoe. When a rich gentleman gives her a complete pair, she is so happy that she tells everyone that she has "two shoes." Later, Margery becomes a teacher & marries a rich widower. This earning of wealth serves as proof that her virtue has been rewarded, a popular theme in children's literature of the era.

The Wikipedia notes - as does the blog linked under the image - that the phrase was used long before the story.  But while "goody" to us seems a so-sweet-it's-insulting thing to call someone, it was actually short for "goodwife," a kind of precursor or synonym to missus.

The Wikipedia also tells us that, "The story popularized the phrase 'goody two-shoes' as a descriptor for an excessively virtuous person or do-gooder."  I guess Margery Meanwell was an excessively virtuous person.  It's strange that it's become something of a pejorative.

The truth is, I think I was thought of as a goody two-shoes as a kid, & sometimes used it to good advantage.  A teacher might let me take a make-up test in an empty classroom & not suspect I might cheat.  When I sometimes did.  & when I was in my shoplifting phase - which didn't last long - I was often overlooked as a nicer kid while my more unsavory fellows were watched like hawks - which left me to steal things unobserved.

But I would also probably tell on you if you did something really bad.  & most probably I'd be called a "narc" more than a "goody two-shoes" at that point.

In any event - I was never an outlaw.  Never really aimed for it, but had I done so, I would've missed spectacularly.