"All over now, baby bluesy . . . " And a good thing, too, any more of this holiday cheer and I may be going down on the count, er, down for the count, goose down that is, and a good time was had by all, as evidenced.

We traipsed up the stairs of the Beat Museum in North Beach, a place everyone should visit. There's my wife, Eileen, Freddy Hahne's wife, Helvetica, and Freddy himself.

That's the shirt Neal Casady wore on the bus trip to Madhattan and back in 1964. We all wore striped shirts but everyone else's shirt was horizontally striped and only Neal wore the vertical. I found the shirt at Kesey's one time and gave it to Neal's son, John, who donated it to the Beat Museum. There's Neal, wondering what ever happened to his shirt.

Ace photog, Freddy Hahne, with his reliable digie which also takes movies and he has put together a short vidie of the evening, which by the way was New Years Eve, and you can access it by clicking on


After the Beat Museum, we went to the Leftover Dead show at the Bill Graham Auditorium and got there just in time for a great trio set: Bob Weir and Phil Lesh and a drummer and it was marvelous, the rapport and affection between Bob and Phil drawing oohs and ahs from the crowd. Just before midnight, young ladies dressed in white at either end of the stage, raised their arms imploringly and, obligingly enough (as the band finished playing Terrapin), a huge turtle descended head first and hovered just above the stage, then turned slowly so its back was revealed to the audience and in the middle of its back was a clock counting down to midnight at which time the sign said, what else? Time to go home. No, not yet, first the deluge of thousands of balloons and massive kissings and then the curtain raised to the after hours band featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh and Jackie Green and others. Then it was time to go home. Still gotta take down the Christmas tree.


Cold in Oregon, temperature in the teens, snow on the ground, schools closed for two days, but now a break, schools are open today but this evening more bad weather is in the forecast, freezing rain, then snow, continuing through next week. And I still haven't done any Christmas shoppingl


Wintry weather, hailstones big as aigs, snow and the roads all iced, schools closed, hunkered down, cranking out WOW NRPS INTRO DVDs, getting ready for the onslaught of orders.


Tonight's full moon is the biggest of the year, astronomers say. Here, a full moon is seen from Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, today, December 12, 2008, photo taken by Ken Prentice.

Earth, the moon and the sun are all bound together by gravity, which keeps us going around the sun and keeps the moon going around us as it goes through phases. The moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days. But the orbit is not a perfect circle.
The moon's average distance from us is about 238,855 miles. Friday night it will be just 221,560 miles away. It will be 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during the year, according to NASA.
Tides will be higher Friday night, too. Earth's oceans are pulled by the gravity of the moon and the sun. So when the moon is closer, tides are pulled higher. Scientists call these perigean tides, because the moon's closest point to Earth is called perigee. The farthest point on the lunar orbit is called apogee.
--John McConnico, AP

A sunset shot from Jamaica. When the moon and sun are looking at each other and the clouds hang over the mountains, light makes for a colorful display. Plus the rare occurence of venus in conjunction with jupiter and the moon makes for an astrological timepiece. The ancients knew of the cycles and this day long ago. On November 12th we moved out of the fifth night of the Mayan Claendar which was ruled by the Lord of Darkness. The last Katun(approx. 19-20 year cycle) ruled by the Lord of Darkness occured from 1933-1952, and we all know how trying of times those were. So realize that we have shifted out that Tun(360 day cycle) and into Day 6. The challenges and difficulties will be tough during the next 360 days, but they will provide a framework for the progress that lies ahead. It takes massive fallout and discomfort to make the masses change. If things were comfortable people would cling to the old with all their power and might, but when things are uncertain and painful, people are open to change and its implementation. The next few years will be very crucial as we shift into the new age, and although the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 or Nov. 2011, depending on your sources we must realize this is not the end. Our planet will shift into the center of the Milky Way signifying the passage into a new era. The older Mexican culture known as the Izapa culture called the new era or age that we will be moving into, The Spirit and Oneness of all living thngs. So hold tight, gather your friends and family and get ready to love like never before.
-- Gabriel Nehl



That's Gopal on the far right.

It was a costume party so there's Dorothy and there's the belly dancers.

Walker T. Ryan and Ken Babbs

Over the top payback for earlier diry tricks foisted on unsuspecting citizens
by unscrupulous greed heads selling easy credit promises of buy now pay later for
houses and cars and trucks and motor homes and boats no one can afford and when the
crash comes and everyone goes under and the people are drowning those self same shysters
are walking on the backs of the hapless victims all the way to the banks where they store
their ill gotten loot, yes the banks are made of marble and there's locks on every door
and the vaults are filled with silver the miners suffered for. It's a sucker deal and
we won't settle for anything less.

Faithful fans.

Hmmm, oh, okay. I guess.


A hearty thanks to all for a fine job at the WOW hall last night and many thanks to the NRPS for letting us perform.


The Academy from the freeway

The Air Force Academy gig was real good, the people there terrific, from the students on up. Here's a report:

Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Clark Pratt

John Clark Pratt wrote a Viking critical edition of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I met him when he came to Oregon in '71 to talk to Kesey. Pratt and I hit it off real well because he was an Air Force pilot. He taught English at the Air Force Academy for a number of years and when he retired from the service he became head of the English department at Colorado State.

Captain Greg Dandeles

He knows Captain Greg Dandeles at the Air Force Academy who teaches a senior English class. This fall they are reading the Beats and Kesey, and Pratt suggested Captain Dandeles get me to come to the class and talk. I said I'd do it

We'll start with close order drill: hup two three four, I love the Marine Corps

They tied me up like a calf for the branding, didn't give me a moment to breathe on my own, hied me from pillar to post, wouldn't let me out of their site, no time for lollygagging or relaxing, no by gar they paid me and paid me well and thus bought my every minute in Colorado. I repaid them in kind thanks, steam rose from the building.

I talked first to a senior English class. I told a bunch of Kesey stories, how we met and the things we did together over the years. I spared them no gore, filled them with historical lore, hipped them to pranks, gave them my best writing tips, soon as you think of something, write it down, otherwise you'll forget it, type it later.

The faculty lounge, everybody had a lunch but me so I chewed on words

Next up was a lunch with the English faculty, more of the same from me, but knowing beforehand that I was doing three talks and many of the same people would be at all three, I broke my stories into three sections so I didn't repeat myself. At lunch I told them about Kesey faking his suicide so he wouldn't have to go to jail, then splitting to Mexico where the Pranksters and the bus joined up with him. Plus more about how the CIA turned Kesey on to LSD.

I'm the photographer so I did a magic trick to get in the pic

After the faculy lunch talk I was treated to a meal at a neat old restaurant sprawling around trees and bushes. No menu, just what was prepared for that day, I had a tostado. Captain Dandeles's wife joined us and a few of the instructors.

Prior to sitting down, still enjoying cocktails

The final presentation was at a dinner at the officer's club, a semi-regal affair where I spoke after the meal, like at a Kiwanas Klub function, this time I was wearing my glad rags of slacks and dress shirt and blue blazer.

Remember, a vote for Barry is a vote for fun

When I got up to speak I shed the blazer to reveal my flourescent orange loggers suspenders to great laughs and cheers. I started the talk with the question, "Is anybody here ready to have a psychedelic experience?" whereupon two cadets raised their hands and cried, "We are."

They were promptly expelled, just kidding, everybody got a good laugh and it got me off to a flying start, going hard and uninterrupted until Colonel Kathleen Harrington, head of the English department said, "Ken, we have to wrap it up I have to get my baby sitter home." Turns out the department head is married to a retired University of Washington English professor and they have a two and a half year old daughter. Impressed even me.

Now I am exhausted and picked up a cold on the way home breathing that stale airport and airplane air, so it will take me a few days to recover, then back to work full time on the novel, no more interruptions, unless we count Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years as interruptions.

There was once a red-haired man who had no eyes or ears. He had no hair, so he was called red-haired only in a manner of speaking.
He couldn't speak, since he didn't have a mouth. He had no nose, either.
He didn't even have any arms or legs. He also didn't have a stomach, and he didn't have a back, and he didn't have a spine, and he also didn't have any other insides.   He didn't have anything. So its hard to understand whom we are talking about.  
So we better not talk about him anymore.

-- Daniil Kharms

Yes, I know him. He is a skypilotclub member in no standing. He can't stand. His song is on the radio by the Gnarly Boys: if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. Yep, that's me, I think you've read my book: Gullible's Travels.


Dogs use tire mail. They pee their message onto the tire and it goes all over town, all over the state, sometimes all over the country. Getting read everywhere and more messages being added all the while.

One time when we had our office where we did our work and planned our pranks I drove up to see Kesey walking down the row of offices. He was carrying a pail and a rag and had a sheepish grin on his face.

We went inside where his dog, Happy, was hiding under the table. Kesey put the bucket and rag in the bathroom. He came out and sat down. Kesey said, "I'd let Happy out and went looking for him and saw him down the line peeing on a big new SUV. Some guy came out and started yelling at him so I went down to cool the guy out. He was furious. Dogs are supposed to be on a leash, the guy was yelling. Look at my wheel, all covered with dog piss."

Kesey said he took Happy back to the office, fetched a pail of water and a rag and went back and washed the guy's wheel, the guy standing there ranting all the time. Brand new car, just washed, just polished and look at it now, all the while Kesey was washing the guy's wheel. The guy was shaking he was so mad.

-- kapnken


Now that all the huzzahing and teeth gnashing over the election has settled down, time for me to get back to work on my Vietnam novel. When last heard from I had finished it all the way through and sent it off to my agent in New York. After a lengthy pause, I have heard back, he likes the book but says it needs more work, smooth the rough edges, beef up the weak spots. I concur heartily. So it's another go-through, get on it, stay with it, gotta concentrate, no more distractions and you know what that means: I'll be laying off the website except for certain items so audacious they can't be ignored, as they come up, of course. And speaking for all the candidates, I want you to know we appreciate your vote. Hic. Now get to work and straighten out this mess.

-- kapnken