Category: Verandah

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:55 am

“They often worked under pressure against time. During early periods of the war, many actions were taken without prior precedent in the War Department. One of the foremost requirements seemed to be, ‘get a sound, workable solution’ and apply the lessons learned in meeting subsequent problems of a like nature.” – Lt. Col. J. P. McKnight, U.S. Army (quoted in Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, United States Army in World War Two)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:42 am

“The probability of finding a particle exactly at any particular point is zero.” – Richard P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. III

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:40 am

“Remember that the city is a funny place, something like a circus or a sewer. And different people, they’ve got peculiar tastes. And the glory of love just might see you through.” – Lou Reed, “Coney Island Baby”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:12 am

“I spoke on the phone with Elena, an employee at a zoo outside Kharkiv, an area subject to constant onslaught. She is the director of the zoo’s children’s theater, where children perform together with dogs, mice, and rats. Since the war started, employees have been trying to feed and evacuate the animals. But as soon as the Russian army sees any cars, bullets begin to fly. On March 7, Elena tried to reach the zoo one last time in order to bring food to the animals. On the phone she explained to me that many animals remain in their pens: ‘The deer were shot at. Some of them died. Others managed to escape through the ruined fence into the forest. When we arrived by bus, the shelling started. We ran out of the bus with the feed and made it to the pens. Some great apes had been shot. We ran through the damaged rooms trying to distribute as much of the feed as possible. Then we ran to the bus, but the driver was already dead. We tried to get another car to go back and transport his body to the city. Another colleague was fatally injured. Only one other person and I were able to escape. I can’t cry,’ she went on to say. ‘I can’t even believe what happened. I keep seeing the exhibit window where the monkeys were waiting for us. Many of them were standing there with babies pressed against their bodies. They were hoping for food, but we didn’t manage to feed them that day.’ Elena has stopped going to the zoo for the moment, but other staff members are trying to reach the pens so that the animals, the ones still alive, don’t die of hunger. I don’t want to write a ‘last’ sentence. Every day we encounter our choices.” – Yevgenia Belorusets, “Day 27, Tuesday March 22, The Houses That Disappeared,” War Diary (trans. Greg Nissan)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:14 am

“Is it possible to condemn me, my city, the people of Mariupol, the people of Melitopol and of all those other cities to death? Is it possible to play this game of annihilation with us, in front of the whole world? I keep thinking about these questions. What happened to us all that this became possible? I think the answer will determine the future of a great many people.” – Yevgenia Belorusets, “Day 25, Sunday March 20, Drones over Kyiv,” War Diary (trans. Greg Nissan)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:58 am

“Live for the sensation of life, not for the story you tell about your life. But never take anything, including that commandment, too seriously. That’s the great lesson from our feline friends. No animal is more spontaneously playful than cats. Which is why, if they could philosophize, it would be for fun.” – John Gray, quoted by Sean Illing in “Why Cats Rule”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:16 am

“You have to remember—everything that occurs in war is horrible. Everything.” – Justin King, “Let’s talk about good guys and bad guys in Russia”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:15 am

“All Indians grow up with drunks. So many drunks on the reservation, so many. But most Indians never drink. Nobody notices the sober Indians.” – Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:35 am

“The Indian world is tiny, every other Indian dancing just a powwow away. Every Indian is a potential lover, friend, or relative dancing over the horizon, only a little beyond sight. Indians need each other that much; they need to be that close, tying themselves to each other and closing their eyes against the storms.” – Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:11 am

“Pythagoras is said to have discovered the fact that two similar strings under the same tension and differing only in length, when sounded together give an effect that is pleasant to the ear if the lengths of the strings are in the ratio of two small integers. If the lengths are as one is to two, they then correspond to the octave in music. If the lengths are as two is to three, they correspond to the interval between C and G, which is called a fifth. These intervals are generally accepted as ‘pleasant’ sounding chords. Pythagoras was so impressed by this discovery that he made it the basis of a school—Pythagoreans they were called—which held mystic beliefs in the great powers of numbers. It was believed that something similar would be found out about the planets—or ‘spheres.’ We sometimes hear the expression: ‘the music of the spheres.’ The idea was that there would be some numerical relationships between the orbits of the planets or between other things in nature. People usually think that this is just a kind of superstition held by the Greeks. But is it so different from our own scientific interest in quantitative relationships? Pythagoras’ discovery was the first example, outside geometry, of any numerical relationship in nature. It must have been very surprising to suddenly discover that there was a fact of nature that involved a simple numerical relationship. Simple measurements of lengths gave a prediction about something which had no apparent connection to geometry—the production of pleasant sounds. This discovery led to the extension that perhaps a good tool for understanding nature would be arithmetic and mathematical analysis. The results of modern science justify that point of view. Pythagoras could only have made his discovery by making an experimental observation. Yet this important aspect does not seem to have impressed him. If it had, physics might have had a much earlier start. (It is always easy to look back at what someone else has done and to decide what he should have done!) We might remark on a third aspect of this very interesting discovery: that the discovery had to do with two notes that sound pleasant to the ear. We may question whether we are any better off than Pythagoras in understanding why only certain sounds are pleasant to our ear. The general theory of aesthetics is probably no further advanced now than in the time of Pythagoras. In this one discovery of the Greeks, there are the three aspects: experiment, mathematical relationships, and aesthetics. Physics has made great progress on only the first two parts.” – Richard P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. I (emphases in the original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:03 am

“Not to marry a young Woman.
Not to be peevish or morose, or suspicious.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People.
Not to be covetous.
Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses.
Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it.
Not to talk much, nor of my self.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, etc.
Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman.
Not to be positive or opiniative.
Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.
Desire some good Friends to inform me which of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, & wherein; and reform accordingly.” – Jonathan Swift, “Resolutions When I Come to Be Old”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:46 am

“Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” – Zechariah, ch.7, vv. 9-10

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:58 am

“People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it. Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive. We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of it—everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life.” – Bob Dylan (interviewed by Robert Love in “Bob Dylan His Way,” 2015)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:03 am

“Talent is one thing, but getting up in the morning and putting on your boots and doing something about it is another.” – Daniel Lanois (interviewed by Rick Beato on The Beato Club, published May 17, 2023)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:37 am

“Somebody might study debate for five years in the university. That’s fine, but I’ve studied how to get along with people and how to get things done, in those five years. What would you call that? Is there a department that teaches cooperation, productivity, agreement, working together in such a way that you get to a better place collectively? These are the big lessons for me.” – Daniel Lanois (interviewed by Rick Beato on The Beato Club, published May 17, 2023)

Subsets and VariablesSubsets and Variables

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:29 am

Some wives get up in the morning and say,
“Good morning.”

Some wives get up in the morning and say,
“This place stinks.
We need to open some windows.”

Some objects are massive,
Too heavy to be easily moved.

Some objects are dense but small,
And will sail across rooms.

(Published in Weekly Alibi, Vol. 5, No. 5, Feb. 7-13, 1996. Copyright 1996, 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

christmas party with paralegalchristmas party with paralegal

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:59 am

hi how nice to meet you the weather’s been awful late-

ly would you like to hear about an interesting
gangland murder how about the counselor up on
assault charges with his car let me tell you who has
a messy history of assaulting lovers and
wives how about child molesters there’s much of inter-

est one could learn with regard to those odd fellows or
if this were halloween and not the birthday party
of a swaddled infant there’s the dark tale of the qui-

et guy who drugged his trusting roommate then video-

taped what they did together a genuinely night-


inducing story sure to keep the children up for
days oh then there’s the matter of conditions in the
jail that’s a perennial favorite plus ça change
this is wonderful cake by the way the icing is
so creamy and smooth i think i’ll have another drink

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

not too far from herenot too far from here

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 4:03 pm

it happened not too far from here, last night,
just a few blocks up that way. there was this
guy beating his wife. she ran outside
and down the street, screaming for help. he ran
after her. a neighbor stepped in, told
the husband, hey, stop beating your wife.

the husband said, she is my wife and i
will beat her.
the wife screamed. the neighbor said,
no, really, stop beating your wife or i
will shoot you.
he had a gun. the husband
said, she is my wife and i will beat her.
you won’t shoot me.
the neighbor said, yes, i
will, so stop.
the wife screamed, but the husband
didn’t stop, so the neighbor shot him, twice.
once to stop him, and once to make sure.

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:52 am

“Space of itself, and time of itself will sink into mere shadows, and only a kind of union between them shall survive.” – Hermann Minkowski (quoted by Richard P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. I)

lost causeslost causes

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:04 am

i’m reading about kosovo
its unmiks and kayfors
its pee-ohs and various constitutions

and i truly want to care about all this
—i am an educated, liberal man—

but i dreamed last night of a girl i had sex with
twenty-five years ago

(i will spare you the details i will not spare myself
or maybe i’m just being selfish)

then there was the girl i saw yesterday walking slowly away from me
she had a tattooed hip showing above the low waistband
of her pull-me-down pants

sex fractures my fragile concentration
leaving me just another of the world’s lost causes

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:01 am

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.”
– Dorothy Law Nolte, “Children Learn What They Live”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:59 am

“The whole idea of a teacher is to be able to teach the student how to learn on their own so the teacher’s not needed.” – Rick Beato, “Did Dire Straits Create the Coolest Riff Ever? Yep”

Memorial DayMemorial Day

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:36 am

The final letter

July 23, 1950
Dear Folks
I have a little more time to write now than I did the other day. In case you didn’t get the other letter there was $80 in Travelers checks in it.
We are aboard a Japanese Ship (I can’t pronounce the name of it) We will get to Korea in the morning or at least we are supposed to. We have to sleep on the floor, eat “C” rations, wash in helmets all the comforts of home.
Tell Bob that I am in a 57 M.M. Recoiless Rifle Section, which we do not have yet and I
haven’t ever seen either but we will get them in Korea. I am an ammunition bearer and carry a carbine. There is five men in our squad.
The coast of Japan is in sight now, it is only about a mile (1) away. The name of it is pronounced Sasabu (I don’t know how it is spelled)
We pick up a convoy of ships and escorts here I hope.
We drew 40 rounds of ammo this afternoon and will get some more tomorrow.
Tell Toby and the rest of the kids to be good and to behave themselves.
Okinawa (or what I saw of it) was dirty, filthy and almost primitive beyond your imagination.
I got seasick on the first day out of Frisco and again on the 11th, 12th + 13th days as we ran into a typhoon. Don’t ever believe that it isn’t a miserable feeling. I wanted to vomit till my boots came out my mouth. One of few times and I hope for the last I missed three complete meals so you know I must’ve been sick.
I did not have time to get my baggage and equipment that was stored in the Walker, so they just gave me new stuff in place of it.
Please keep these pictures for me.
Well I can think of anything else so I’ll close. Write soon

Mother or Daddy
Tell Lib to send Ann what money that she (Lib) thinks neccessary. I have made out an allotment to Lib.
In case I don’t get back, and I certainly do intende to, make the kids go to school, they will need all they can get.

The Ascension of Henry Callis

Corporal Henry Callis, younger brother to my father, was on a troopship steaming to Japan in the summer of 1950 when the Korean War broke out. He was on his way with several hundred other troops to join the 29th Regimental Combat Team on Okinawa and be part of the post-World-War-Two American Army of Occupation there. The regiment was understrength and had only two battalions, instead of the three called for by its full complement. Nobody had expected war in Korea. If war came, everybody expected it to be nuclear and against the Soviet Union.
Henry and the others on the troopship arrived at Okinawa one morning and learned their mission had changed. They were issued combat gear and company assignments. By sundown they were aboard another troopship along with the rest of the 29th and were on their way to the port of Pusan on the bottom-right corner of the Korean peninsula. A day later they arrived. They disembarked and headed up to the front line, the location of which no one was certain. The North Koreans had launched a devastating surprise attack to start the war against South Korea a few weeks earlier, and were still on the march. What few American troops were available in Japan had been rushed to South Korea to help the shattered South Korean army. They were being overwhelmed. The North Korean army was large and well-equipped, well-trained and possessed of many veterans of the Chinese Civil War, which had ended the previous autumn. The situation was fluid and becoming desperate.
The soldiers of the 29th Regimental Combat Team were told they were going to fight a couple hundred communist guerrillas near a town called Hadong-ri. They headed that way by train and then by truck, and then by foot. Their rifles and machine guns were all new. The machine guns were still packed away in their protective shipping grease when the regiment got to Pusan. They hadn’t been test-fired and their sights hadn’t been aligned. And not all the equipment had been distributed. Not all the regiment’s doctors had medical tools and supplies.
The men — boys almost, like Henry, who had himself just turned twenty that spring — were very confident and very green. Very few of them, maybe about one out of every one hundred, were Second World War combat veterans. These were generally the sergeants and not the commissioned officers.
The regiment drew near to Hadong-ri and deployed along a ridge with one battalion on one side of the road and the other on the other. They saw a few soldiers moving around in the valley in front of them. They weren’t sure if these were stray South Korean soldiers, but they thought it likely that’s what they were. They had been told they would be mopping up guerrillas and they didn’t expect to see uniformed soldiers in front of them. The regiment’s commander and his staff got out of their jeeps and stood in the road at the top of the ridge and tried to figure out what was going on. They stood in a clump. Binoculars hung from straps around their necks and they held maps in their hands. Mortar and recoilless rifle fire slammed into the ridge. The first shots killed the regimental commander and his staff. The regiment was not facing a group of ragged irregulars they outnumbered five to one. They were up against a crack North Korean division that outnumbered them ten to one.
It was not long before the 29th Regimental Combat Team was shattered and routed. Its fragments were driven back down off the ridge and through the rice paddies behind it. Hundreds of American soldiers were killed or went missing. Henry was one of the missing. The soldiers were so new to their companies that many of them didn’t know each others’ names. There was no one who knew Henry Callis who survived the battle and could say what had happened to him. He was as gone as though he had vanished from the face of the earth, lifted up bodily in the rapture of war.


Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:57 am

i turn on the television while i roll my first joint.
markets are rising and falling.
the japanese are calling for calm.
the spa i summered in seasons ago has been destroyed by intelligent bombs.
the chinese are demanding revenge.
the vengeful are demanding chinese.
there’s cold carry-out in the refrigerator, on the bottom shelf.

i roll my second joint.
it’s another working day. anything could happen.

(Published in High Street: Lawyers, Guns & Money in a Stoner’s New Mexico (2012, Outpost 19); copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)