Poetry Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others

More From A.E. Housman

Confoundingly beautiful, brilliant and cynical, Housman’s poetry compares to little else. (internal link) It is a tragic world he sings of but his song is so sweet that we must listen.

The following are random snippets, you can find his poetry all over the web. I think he resonates more with the young, in that the young protest against unfairness until they find that unfairness is as much of the world as its clouds and hills.

Is My Team Ploughing

“Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?”

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

“Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?”

Ay the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.

“Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?”

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

“Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?”

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man’s sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my three score years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.


The Queen she sent to look for me,
The sergeant he did say,
`Young man, a soldier will you be
For thirteen pence a day?’

For thirteen pence a day did I
Take off the things I wore,
And I have marched to where I lie,
And I shall march no more.

My mouth is dry, my shirt is wet,
My blood runs all away,
So now I shall not die in debt
For thirteen pence a day.

To-morrow after new young men
The sergeant he must see,
For things will all be over then
Between the Queen and me.

And I shall have to bate my price,
For in the grave, they say,
Is neither knowledge nor device
Nor thirteen pence a day.


Yonder see the morning blink:
The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think
And work, and God knows why.

Oh often have I washed and dressed
And what’s to show for all my pain?
Let me lie abed and rest:
Ten thousand times I’ve done my best
And all’s to do again.


The half-moon westers low, my love,
And the wind brings up the rain;
And wide apart lie we, my love,
And seas between the twain.

I know not if it rains, my love,
In the land where you do lie;
And oh, so sound you sleep, my love,
You know no more than I.

Along The Field As We Came By

Along the field as we came by
A year ago, my love and I,
The aspen over stile and stone
Was talking to itself alone.
“Oh who are these that kiss and pass?
A country lover and his lass;
Two lovers looking to be wed;
And time shall put them both to bed,
But she shall lie with earth above,
And he beside another love.”

And sure enough beneath the tree
There walks another love with me,
And overhead the aspen heaves
Its rainy-sounding silver leaves;
And I spell nothing in their stir,
But now perhaps they speak to her,
And plain for her to understand
They talk about a time at hand
When I shall sleep with clover clad,
And she beside another lad.


In one of his collections Housman wrote a variant on the famous verse on the gravestone of Robert Louis Stevenson gravestone:


Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

‘Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

This is Stevenson’s original writing:

Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live, and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: “Here he lies where he longed to be. Home is the sailor, home from the sea, And the hunter home from the hill.”

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Why Do You Have Ads on Your Site?

The most unprofessional thing a job applicant or anyone showing off their work can have on their website are ads.

It is absolutely devastating to see fine writing or photography mixed in with ads that talk about emptying your bowels every morning.

There is no money in placing ads. None. Not for the small guy or gal. None.

Belive me, I tried everything I could think of when I was actively producing In 2001 it had over two million hits. Those were good numbers back before everyone got online. Yet ad revenue barely registered. There is a far better solution.

Get a sponsor. Get someone who likes your work to pay for your internet hosting for one year. You can find that person, I know it. Hosting shouldn’t be more than ten to fifteen dollars a month, less when you pay a year in advance. Or rather, when your sponsor pays.

I had a business pay me $1,000 a year to be the sole advertiser on privateline. That worked out very well.

Hosting back then wasn’t more than two hundred dollars a year so I appreciated the extra money. I crafted a modest and unobtrusive image and link that appeared on each page and that was it.

All artists need patrons. Even Michelangelo and Mozart could not have produced the work that they did without their patrons. Some of you have hundreds of likes for a particular post. Find those people. Make an appeal.

Your website is your job portfolio, it has to be professional. It might be a showcase for your art, again, it has to look professional, as good as what you create. Even with this silly personal website of mine, in which I am not trying to impress anyone, I still don’t run ads. It’s out of respect for you as the reader. And ads are damned ugly.

Please, get rid of the ads. Many of you are doing fine work and it’s despoiling to see the weeds among the orchids. Get a sponsor, I know you can find one. Your art deserves it. Good luck.
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comedy Uncategorized

Bring Back The Answering Machine!

Bring Back The Answering Machine!

Sometime In The 90’s

Well, you’re not around so you lied, so you’ve got to change your message now.

But I have an idea.

Actually, we have an idea.

If, uh, Avery gets home early tonight, well kind of early at 8:30, and I suggested maybe going to the fair tonight ’cause I hope, I think I heard you right, you said, uh, it stays open really late, so I was thinking if you and Nancy would like to go to the fair tonight, please come over or give me a call, again, he’s going to be home, probably about, well, um, well 8:00, between 8:00 and 8:30, most likely probably not as late as 8:30, but we’d like to go if you’d like to go.

And get ahold of me ’cause I’ll be home the rest of the night and that’s aint no lie.

And I heard Nancy — I asked Nancy and she said she was off and I promised her we’d have fun and I told her earlier that we weren’t going to have fun but we’ve gotta have fun.

So, give a call, I’ll be here, or actually come over, I’ll be here, and we also have to do Montel’s medication.


So I’ll talk to you later.


Below: Amy going to work at Rogelio’s restaurant in Isleton, California on Halloween night in 1996.
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art Photography Uncategorized video

The Fountain and Garden Patio Area at the Marin Civic Center

This is video I am putting into the public domain at Wikimedia Commons. It shows the beautiful outdoor seating area in the fountain and garden patio area of the Marin Civic Center. You can buy something inside at the Civic Center Cafe and then go outside to marvel at the exterior of Frank Llyod Wright’s last great commission. He died a year before the complex was completed.

When it reopens to the public, make sure to visit on a weekday. This is a working county facility and as such the bureaucrats and paper pushers lock it up on the weekend when most people have the time to see it. Walking through that building is like walking through the mind of a great designer. You see his vision realized everywhere.

“The fountain-garden patio area exemplifies Wright’s belief that work environments should be places of beauty. The design of the pond conveys the impression of blending into infinity. The pond uses re-circulated water and camouflages the heating and cooling systems. It is also home to a family of ducks that return here each spring.” (external link)
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Uncategorized video Writing by others

The Welsh

The Welsh voice is unique. There’s a lilt and delivery that’s magical even if you can’t understand a bit of the language.

Years ago I visited Wales for a week. You know you have entered Wales when the wording on every sign is completely unpronounceable. A few days ago I had to send a package to a city in the UK. My mind couldn’t focus on the spelling, it was as if someone had mixed up letters in a blender. Sure enough, a city in Wales.

On my visit our tour guide pointed out the then empty stadium in Cardiff. He said that you haven’t lived until you have heard the Welsh national anthem sung by every single person before a sporting game or event. I finally looked that up on YouTube. He was right.

‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ – or ‘Land Of My Fathers’ in English

1. This land of my fathers is dear to me
Land of poets and singers, and people of stature
Her brave warriors, fine patriots
Shed their blood for freedom

Land! Land! I am true to my land!
As long as the sea serves as a wall
For this pure, dear land
May the language endure for ever.

2. Old land of the mountains, paradise of the poets,
Every valley, every cliff a beauty guards;
Through love of my country, enchanting voices will be
Her streams and rivers to me.

3. Though the enemy have trampled my country underfoot,
The old language of the Welsh knows no retreat,
The spirit is not hindered by the treacherous hand
Nor silenced the sweet harp of my land.

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Drone editing writing Magazine article non-fiction writing organizing writing Photography Thoughts on writing Uncategorized video WordPress tips Writing tips

You Do Not Control The Weather

Gathering images should be top of mind for any writer working under deadline.

Most publications require you to submit your own images. If you can’t produce them yourself, you need to look at stock photography or public domain photos immediately and begin the process of securing permissions while you write your article. Some permissions take months to get, some impossible to get before deadline. The race to collect images begins immediately upon acceptance of an assignment.

It is crippling that most publications will not pay for your own photographs nor will they pay for the tremendous cost of stock photography. You need to understand this before accepting a low paying assignment. If you still want to write that article, realize that it won’t be making money for you and consider the article to be resume building instead. Now, weather.

Even in the middle of summer, conditions may not be right for photography. The San Francisco Bay area is often socked in fog throughout the summer, the best time for clear photography is in the fall. Clouds can happen anytime in any season and they, too, can wreck what you have in mind.

You must think about the weather, especially if you are traveling for an article and cannot return for better conditions. If you get rain, take the best rain shots you can. Take as many photos as you can, maybe some will be picturesque despite conditions. If you return to a site a few weeks later, realize your photos may not match up with each other as the weather may be very different from your last visit.

This video shows me setting up my drone in the dramatic location of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area close to Las Vegas. Many beautiful sandstone cliffs in layers of red. The idea here was to photograph dusk in the canyon. A fine idea, everyone loves a good sunset.

Here, though, clouds intruded on this late afternoon, gathering enough that all I had at dusk were grey clouds and dark mountains. Gloom. At the start of summer. Who knew? It was really too bad, as there was no wind at all which would have been perfect for flying. Yet, unusable footage. Another day. Don’t waste your time in post trying to improve really poor photographs. That’s a job for experts, if they can do it all. You probably don’t have those skills as a writer. I sure don’t.

You must think about forecasts and locations and get that all figured out as you work toward deadline. You do not control the weather.

As an experiment for you Word Press geeks, here’s my Instagram video taken at the time of setting up the drone. Portrait mode, of course. This unedited video resides in my media library at this website. The second video is the same but hosted at Vimeo. Can you tell any difference? Which do you prefer? Vimeo allows you to pick a thumbnail frame from your video. That becomes the image a viewer sees when deciding to watch a video. WP doesn’t let you do that.

Getting the Drone Ready at Red Rock from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

Also, do not leave your soft sided drone case open while at home, lest you face this terrible vision.
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art Uncategorized

A pHun and Creative Company

Just ordered this bright yellow nylon wallet. My dark colored wallet keeps getting lost. This was only twenty dollars with shipping.

You can customize practically everything wearable at Zazzle, including face masks. There were at least 30 cat icons to choose from and many fonts.

This is an unsponsored post, I never have ads or sell anything at my sites.
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I Really Want to See The Dawn

“[A]nd in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.” Fitzgerald.

Tens of thousands of people around the world are dying of COVID-19 and there is no room on this earth for lesser complaints.

Yet in sickness we become our own island, surrounded by the pain of others but having to concentrate first on getting ourselves better. In my condition I can still send money to help others and I have been doing so, but that good is only for other people. In the meantime, I continue to get more and more mentally and physically tired.

Wrenching my back last month was an awakening experience. I threw out my back several years ago and got better within a week or two. This is different.

It seems I injured a nerve in my lower back but somehow that nerve is connected to others. I have radiating pain down to the sole of my left foot, pulsing throughout my left leg. Yet, I can walk two miles or more without much discomfort. How odd. It’s just when I move the wrong way that my life collapses into screaming pain.

After weeks of any irritating condition you’d think I’d get impatient and angry at it. That’s not happening. I don’t have any energy to work up frustration or anger. I’m just numb and tired. As Dylan once penned, “I don’t have the strength to get up and take another shot — And my best friend, my doctor, won’t even say what it is I’ve got.”

This is much like the anxiety I have had since the third grade or my nightmares which started in October of 1988. Eventually, after decades of pursuing treatments, you resign yourself to your life. These problems have become chronic. Even the best boxers reach a point where they can’t get off the canvas any more. There’s only so many knockdowns you can take before you tell the ref to call it.

But I have always come back from physical problems and healed quickly. This is truly new for me and I don’t know how to handle it. Again, it comes down to a lack of physical and mental energy. My world has been reduced to waiting for the dawn which leaves things visually and therefore mentally brighter. Being awake from midnight to six in the morning for weeks on end is like dwelling in a dark dungeon.

I am so sad for everyone who has died.

I continue releasing my photos into the public domain through Wikipedia Commons. I think this is the best looking mariposite pig carving you will see all day. My collection, unknown artist:

Link here: (external link)

Photography Uncategorized video

Figuring Out Another Video Problem

Here’s some early footage of the Nopah Range when I first got my drone. It’s too dark but forget about that for now.

The real problem is how the video deteriorates during quick movement and the way it shudders and stalls, especially at full screen. That’s not due to compression. I just realized this is the same problem I had when I got my camcorder. The problem is a slow media card.

Just like the Cannon, the ability to write data quickly to a card is the key to smoother motion. Any card will do for static photos, but you need a card that can write quickly to handle incoming video. Just too much data at once and continuously for a slow card to handle.

It’s often not capacity when it comes to a card, it’s how fast it can write. Don’t stick with a cheap memory card.

My Dji drone uses a micro SD card. They are smaller and don’t write as quickly as bigger cards. Top write speed seems to be 90 mbs compared to the card in my Canon which may be able to do 270 to 300. No matter.

The drone is only recording at 720p, not 4K. I just ordered a $40 micro sd card which should dramatically improve video card compared to the drone’s original card, a card selling on Amazon for eight bucks.

I may have just solved the fundamental problem I have had with my drone with a simple upgrade. Just like the Cannon.

If you want to see what the results are like with a faster card, look at this page.(internal link) This video of zooming in and out of a distant helicopter could never have been done with a slow speed memory card. There is also a better, longer discussion on that page about the speed of a memory card.

The new card improved my Cannon with a single purchase although I think that card cost a little over $200. The original card bought at the time of the camera also suffered from terrible video during motion, just as my drone does now. We’ll see what happens when I install the new card. I’m sure it will put new life into my old drone.
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music Uncategorized video

Me and My Uncle

The Grateful Dead performed Me and My Uncle at nearly every performance. They were a great story telling band, either with their own songs, or someone else’s.

I remembered the first time I heard this song by the Dead, with that ominous threat delivered perfectly. “Accused him of cheating, oh, no, that can’t be! I know my uncle, he’s as honest as me. And I’m as honest as any man can be.”

You can find the Dead’s versions on YouTube anywhere. And if you know the song, you’ll find this solo performance by Joni Mitchell to be fascinating by contrast. A rough and tough Western song delivered by high female voice, the beautiful Joni Mitchell with a quirky guitar style that is mesmerizing to watch.

In the end, it’s all about gold. It always has been.

Me and My Uncle
By:John Phillips

Me and my uncle went ridin’ down,
South Colorado, West Texas bound.
We stopped over in Santa Fe,
That bein’ the point just about half way,
And you know it was the hottest part of the day.

I took the horses up to the stall,
Went to the barroom, ordered drinks for all.
Three days in the saddle, you know my body hurt,
It bein’ summer, I took off my shirt,
And I tried to wash off some of that dusty dirt.

West Texas cowboys, they’s all around,
With liquor and money, they’re loaded down.
So soon after payday, know it seemed a shame;
You know my uncle, he starts a friendly game,
High-low jack and the winner take the hand.

My uncle starts winnin’; cowboys got sore.
One of them called him, and then two more,
Accused him of cheatin’; Oh no, it couldn’t be.
I know my uncle, he’s as honest as me,
And I’m as honest as a Denver man can be.

One of them cowboys, he starts to draw,
And I shot him down, Lord he never saw.
Shot me another, oh damn he won’t grow old.
In the confusion, my uncle grabbed the gold,
And we high-tailed it down to Mexico.

I love those cowboys, I love their gold,
I loved my uncle, God rest his soul,
Taught me good, Lord, Taught me all I know
Taught me so well, I grabbed that gold
And I left his dead ass there by the side of the road.
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