Friday, December 2, 2016

Bear's Ephemeris Turns 4 Today

Today, St. Corbinian's Bear ephemeris turns four years old. What an excellent reason to leave a comment, or some nourishing salmon as he tries to bring his Hindenburg of a novel to a safe landing, despite gusty winds of excessive creativity. ("Harder to land than the Isle de France" - who will get that one?) Just days away, now. Then, he will once more be prowling the woodlands, providing what passes for wisdom and entertainment on these dubious pages.

The archives only go back to February 2014. The Bear went mad and burned the woodlands down while working on his Masters in Theology. But today is still the birthday.

What an interesting time to have an ephemeris. You can read The Bear Who Woke Up - the first piece after the Great Fire - here, if you want. It has all the elements you've come expect, except for third-person writing. The Bear has continued to diligently maintain this flea-bitten circus ever since. The little eclectic Catholic blog written by a Bear is closing on one million views.

Judging Angels is on short final (three metaphors now). Crosswind right at spec limits, gusty and variable. We were heavy, so had to burn off some fuel. Have tried to land several times, but had to declare missed approach at the last second every time. And made up a new excuse for the passengers every time. ("Badgers on the runway;" "Maintenance repainting the centerline," etc.)  Completely lost sight of the airport at one point. But Captain Bear knows his passengers expect a silky smooth kiss of rubber on runway that will make them break into spontaneous applause.

He will deliver nothing less, and you know it.

This is the one. Here is the landing. Crab right, coming in at an impossible-looking 30-degree angle, but inerrantly, straight in. Last-second rudder kick to point the nose of the beast at the centerline, perfect flare, and sweet touchdown right on the numbers just to show off. Handoff to Ground, which is so impressed, all other traffic is stopped while we taxi to the gate. There, fire trucks are spraying an arch of glistening rainbows for us to pass through, while within, TSA employees are linked in a line, high-kicking, while singing "Happy Birthday."

Style is important to Bears.

Bear Air from the ursine imagination of the country's next , well, only, greatest Bear novelist, arriving at Gate 22. A Catholic psychological novel (totally NOT urban fantasy) that will confound every expectation, and subvert all your most beloved tropes. The Bear will playfully slap you around a bit, and you will suffer from repeated psychological whiplash, but it's exhilarating to safely play with the magnificent ursus arctos. Just don't get too invested in anything you read, because it's probably not what you think.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bear Case Files: The Man Who Flung Poo

You'd be surprised...
Still buried in final edit of Judging Angels. Chapter 42/49! Hit a rough patch, but nothing the Bear can't handle. The Bear likes it! You will, too, he promises. In the meantime, enjoy an edifying tale from the files of the Bear's storied legal career. Not all of his cases were glamorous...

"This was the glamorous defense practice in which your humble correspondent found himself: defending poo-flingers in a socks-optional courtroom."


Cairo was considered for our nation's capitol. At the tip of Illinois; at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio; a rail center; and where north and south; east and west meet. Why, all you had to do was look at a map to see its bright future. Charles Dickens invested in it. It was Grant's HQ for a time during the civil war. But somewhere along the way, it became a decaying mockery of grand dreams. Dickens lost a fortune.

However, it is remembered by the Bear as the site of  the funniest moments in trials. It had more than its share. Regular floods by the ancient rivers left a Flannery O'Connor miasma that hangs low behind the levies to this day.


Tamms prison was in the same county as Cairo. The Department of Corrections looked at the map, too, but now, Cairo was as far away from network affiliates as you could get. So that's where they built Tamms. Illinois' last execution took place there in 1999. Ripper Crew member Andrew Kokoraleis. No doubt, a bad guy, but worse in the Crew were spared. The warden told the Bear all about it, but another time, perhaps.

If you were bad, you went to prison. If you were bad enough in prison, you went to Tamms. You spent 23/7 in a tiny concrete box, with a narrow concrete bed, all alone. It was a national disgrace. It was also the source of many cases for the Bear, as part-time Alexander County PD. Need he add that defendants from the prisons' prison were often difficult?


However, about the only way prisoners in such a totally controlled environment could get into trouble was to fling poo at guards. This is a popular diversion for all prisoners. Especially those with hot plates, but no one at Tamms had those. (One day the Bear will tell you about the Great Escape case, though.)


The judge hated poo-flinging cases. He hated Tamms. For once, the defense counsel was justice's favorite son. But it had its limits.

They brought the Bear's latest poo-flinger in for trial, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, so he would not be stigmatized by an orange jumpsuit. But he was unshaven and looked awful. When the Bear complained. the judge recalled a lawyer who was often in his courtroom, who looked far worse, and did not wear socks, besides.

This was the glamorous defense practice in which your humble correspondent found himself: defending poo-flingers in a socks-optional courtroom.

The next legal question was whether the Bear could give Jolly Ranchers to his client. It was a little trick he had, and more important than it sounds when managing poo-flingers. (File that away; you never know.)  DOC was horrified because... well, just because. The Bear won that great legal issue.


The Bear's client wanted to represent himself, which was his right. But the Bear was relegated to standby counsel. This is a nightmarish demimonde where you're never quite sure if you're the lawyer or a potted plant.

And so it came to pass that the poo-flinger addressed the jury in opening statement.


Most  people think closing is the most important part of trial, but for a good defense lawyer, it's opening. The jury is going to doze through the rest of the trial, waking up only to pay attention to the most damning evidence. Opening is the one time you have their attention, and can tell a plausible story before everything gets ruined.

More cases are decided during opening than closing. Jurors have already made up their minds by closing. You're just giving your jurors (if you have any) arguments to use in the only one that counts: the one in the jury room.

Your Bear's poo-flinger delivered his opening. He rambled, and eventually admitted to every last element of the charge of Flinging Poo in the 1st Degree. Finally, he returned to counsel table shaking his head.

He leaned toward the Bear and said, in these exact words: "Man I [messed] that up. I don't want to represent myself anymore. Take over Bear. You gotta save me."

"A rum bit of luck, that iceberg. Take command, Bear."

"Sorry, but I wasn't trained to land the Hindenberg when it's on fire, so you take over Bear."

Needless to say, he was convicted of this heinous offense, although when you're already in Tamms, there's really nothing they can do to you except tack a on few more years to a sentence already so long it doesn't matter. The judge recognized the futility, and figured getting poo flung at you was an occupational hazard for corrections officers and zoo-keepers at primate houses everywhere.


Whenever the Bear is tempted to feel proud of his sexy career as ace murder defense counsel, he always remembers his historic number of cases defending men accused of throwing their own feces at other men, in a court where just showing up wearing socks, and not wearing what you had for lunch, was already a win.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is why I love this country. The vaudeville acts. True, they're amateurish and predictable, but the old "Searching for a Reason" (sometimes "Motive") routine never fails to crack me up. But note the new gag. It's kinda okay because he was "scared to pray in public."

So, Muslims are scared to pray in public because... no matter what they do, America will roll over and show its cultural belly? Because when they're bent over praying, they might get trampled from everyone kissing their a**es?

Hey, I've got a great PR strategy for scared Muslims. Murder as many innocent people as possible shouting Allahu Akbar. Because then no one will have any reason to mistrust you or dislike you when you're praying.

And the big hook drags yet another loser off the stage of life, to make room for the next hilarious act, Muslim leaders failing to make an unqualified condemnation of terrorism while singing the ever-popular "Backlash" song.

BTW, can I be the first to blame the election of Trump? I mean, seriously, what CHOICE did poor little Amtar have? Muslims are the cuckoo in the American nest. The Bear just doesn't trust them, and never will. It's not just here. The Bear has the Green Eggs and Ham approach to Pope Francis' "Great Abrahamic Religion That Worships the Exact Same God We Do and are Practically Catholic."

THAT is the Bear's litmus test. Slobber all over Muslims, and you are forever written off as an unserious person who values your PR above truth - even revealed truth. The Bear will waste no further time on you, because you're an idiot or a liar. The Bear has simplified his life by crossing off nearly everyone in the world with a title in front of their names.

Muslims kill far more people in America than Bears. But when someone gets mauled to death by a Bear do we start whining about "Bear Backlash?" The Bear supports non-violent, cultural backlash. Remove Muslims from top place of America's Culturally Protected Groups. It's been a long time since Blacks were there. They are really far back in the pack. The Bear says give them a turn at Number 1 again and take Muslims off the list entirely.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Surprise

For those who are still visiting the Bear-less woodlands, he wanted to drop in and say hello. He had a wonderful Thanksgiving, the first one since 2010 all the cubs were in Bear Manor. The Bear's mom was alive then. Since 2010, the twins served in the Army, with one having a harrowing deployment to Afghanistan. The Bear's golden daughter, his pride and joy, got married. The Bear left the practice of law for his dubious literary pursuits, this ephemeris. He certainly hopes you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

The Bear has vowed to submit JA within seven days. Not so different as imagined, recently. The chapters the Bear wrote serve as good background for the author. But they were really a sequel. And that is exactly what they will provide the nucleus of. The next generation, that will explore the consequences of the parents' bad choices on the teenage son, Michael Van Helsing Corleone - in spirit, if not in name. I intend to explore elements of Judging Angels through different eyes, and different genres. If the project is realized, it will combine conspiracy, horror, science fiction, and cosa nostra.

Here is a gift for those of you who have been visiting the overgrown woodlands. The beginning of JA... a portrait of a man who knows less he thinks he does.

It was the day of very last things.

A well-dressed man approaching the street squinted against a morning sun that offered brightness, but not warmth. He knew that today, his old adversary, Death, would collect 150,600 souls, and no one would notice. Just like every other day. More or less.

If a tsunami took them all at once, it would be a tragedy. People would question God’s existence. Let an attractive white woman be murdered, and she’s a celebrity. Someone else dies of colon cancer, and nobody cares. George Able held the proper, unsentimental perspective on death. Everybody dies one at a time, and in the dark, and that was all. The rest is just selling the news.      

  Most people die surprised. At least murder victims, which were his specialty. He had seen it in their eyes. Not wildly surprised, but mildly. Not condemned men, though, and not him. Today held no surprises at all for him. On this very last Christmas Eve, it was George Able who held all the surprises.