Category Archives: World

Oil Spill

I had lunch yesterday with my writer friend Bridget and we got onto the  topic of BP’s broken oil well bleeding into the ocean.  I mentioned that of the major oil companies, BP is the one that insiders say has a history of putting profits ahead of safety.  I heard that from somebody who retired from Exxon-Mobil management.

Bridget retorted, “Say Exxon, and people think Valdez!”  She went on to say, “Every time the subject of government regulation comes up, the big oil companies say they can regulate themselves and it works better if it’s voluntary.  Well, then, they ought to volunteer right out into the Gulf of Mexico and not just leave it to BP.  They have thousands of smart engineers and billions of dollars.  Let every  one of those oil companies get out there and help do something about that oil spill.  That’s the only way they’ll come out of this with any credibility left.”

She’s got a point.   This one looks so bad.  And  so unnecessary.  The newspaper’s had plenty of reporting about blowout preventers having failed before, just not catastrophically.  This one is public knowledge to an incredible degree, too. My boss’ two-year-old grandson in Seattle asked his mom if he was too young to go help clean the birds and beaches!

The Death of Music

Kevin Winn is a professional potter, ceramics teacher, and artist in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here’s the work of art he named Death of Music. He created the  skeleton out of old piano keys and other derelict pieces of musical instruments.

The skeleton’s lair is an antique, sin-ugly bass violin case.  It was found in the storage shed when Kevin and Valerie bought their house in SLC’s old Sugar House neighborhood.

The Death of Music
photo by Alexis Glynn Latner
Kevin and The Death of Music

Valerie’s sister is my writer friend Bev Hale.  I met the creepy bass violin case a couple of summers ago, when Bev and I went and stayed with Valerie and Kevin for a few days after the World Science Fiction Convention in Denver.   I wrote the bass violin case into a dark western fantasy short story.   The short story became the first chapter of a novel that I’m revising now.   I think Death of Music will make a guest appearance in the book’s climax when demons assail Salt Lake City in 1880!