Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kittens are great, but...


...this is frustrating! You know how thousands and thousands of animals are euthanized because of overpopulation? People are irresponsible pet parents. Isn't it a maddening and frustrating situation?

The people next door... OK, first of all, they haven't grasped the concept of adopting a pet and making a commitment to it for the rest of its natural life. When they moved in, they got a dog. A big old barky mutt. A few months after that they got a cat, a little feisty stinker that we got really attached to (after all, we were taking care of it more than they were... feeding, visiting, and putting on Frontline for flea infestation). The dog was kept in the fenced back yard, but the cat received no care beyond having some food thrown onto the driveway. He was not neutered or given shelter.

After about a year, the dog got "stolen" (riiiight) and the cat disappeared, neither to be seen by us again. At almost exactly the same time, a new dog showed up, a Pomeranian which they leave outside a lot (even in bad weather!! a little fluffnutter!! what are they thinking?), even letting it run through the snake-infested back alley.

Shortly after that... TA DA!!! Another cat!!! This is a girl kitty, and she had sex in our yard a couple of weeks ago, so I'm thinking "Oh no, just what this neighborhood needs. More kittens that will grow up to be un-fixed roaming cats". Well, we just found out that she already HAS a litter of kittens over there and they are pretty good sized now (I wonder if the second litter will prompt a visit to the vet? What's more likely is that she will eventually get "stolen" too). grrrrr.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Making the most of the time

Bizzy bizzy bizzy! Hardly had a moment to spare all weekend. I've been working my tail off on the music CD artwork, and the final crunch on that comes this week with a due date of June 1. Wheee!! Managed to work in a few other projects that were back-burnered too. Also managed to go out in the evening and see live music.

Friday we went to the Oasis for the South Austin Jug Band, and they put on a great show as always. Beautiful night too, and a free show.

Saturday it was another fantastic free show at Stubb's with the Mother Truckers (wow!! This is a new local band, CA transplant, and they kicked our collective ass!), James Hunter (from somewhere over the pond - sounds like... Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, Roy Head...), and my beloved Del Castillo! Absolutely great show!

Sunday we went to Momo's for the Deschamp band and Warren Hood. A bit of Momo's weirdness: when we walked in (and the same thing happened to my friend later), they asked what band(s) you are there to see, so we tell them. At no time was it mentioned that Warren Hood would not be playing there for a couple of weeks, no mention until Gary Primich started playing. Gary Primich is just fine, he's a blues harmonica dude, we like to listen to him on First Thursday up a Jo's Coffee, and he has Mike Keller in the band (plus another good guitarist) who is also in Warren's band, so it was a good show and enjoyable but not a fiddle in sight. [snort] Well, I should be fiddled, mandoed and hillbilly-jazzed sufficiently with Deschamp and the Jug Band.

Today I got the bad news that one of my cousins in Albuquerque has cancer. She is ~5 years older than me, and I spent a lot of time with her growing up. I don't know any details and they may be hard to find. She is a sweet person and I am sorry to hear it. I am going to have to write her a letter. Electronic communication is a less than ideal option with my family. [sigh]. Well, between that news and Clifford (whose funeral home visitation I attended on Friday), it certainly has been a week to dwell on the shortness of our time on earth. It's Memorial Day.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Cat - He's got legs!


Jax can't do anything without being funny, not even lay on your lap. I know he must be dreaming about those crunchy birds and lizards he used to eat... before he was brought inside. Now he's only allowed to eat that $40 per bag special food. He still catches an occasional unfortunate lizard though. His poor belly! He has licked all the hair off along with some of the skin. We are working on that.


- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Niobium on Sunday - - -

Thursday, May 25, 2006

People will be talking about this one for years


They put together an unbelievable show at Antone's last night to honor Clifford. The club opened around 4:00 pm, and it was my understanding that the music would not stop until dawn, if then. (A photographer I spoke to said he had to be at work at 6:00 but had brought a change of clothes in case the show went straight through.) We got there about 6:00. It was packed of course, and there were long lines waiting to get in all night. We made it up to the stage where my friend was already stationed.

Lineup of who I saw: Guy Forsyth with Gary Clark Jr., Ruthie Foster, Tyrone Vaughan (Jimmie's son, Stevie Ray's nephew), LZ Love, Guy Forsyth again, this time with Papa Mali and Leann Atherton, Del Castillo (all electric!!), Monte Montgomery, and an all star continuing show (musical chairs and rotating musicians) with Jimmie Vaughan, Roscoe Beck, Denny Freeman, Derek O'Brien, Riley Osborn, W.C. Clark, James Cotton, Charlie Sexton, Double Trouble (Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon), and more waiting in the wings.

Malford Milligan, Roky Erickson, Jake Andrews, and Joe Ely were spotted. Also Jeff Van Zandt, which leads me to think that Eric was probably going to play a bit later. That breaks my heart a bit, because we really couldn't stay any longer. It was around midnight by then, and Mr. Blueberry was trying to use my shoulder as a pillow. He was faded to be sure, needed to get up at 5:00 AM for work, and had retired to a nice spot near the door. There's only so much the body can do. Mine could have done more, but then I didn't have to worry about an alarm clock.

Tonight and tomorrow there with be funeral home visitations for Clifford, and on June 3rd there will be a big bash at Auditorium Shores. Next Tuesday, Antone's, Home of the Blues was to be released on DVD, and Clifford had already been set up for autograph signings.

EDIT: Turns out that Eric Johnson did play (EDIT2: Here are a couple of pictures of EJ and Malford there], also several of the other people I mentioned plus Cyril Neville. Also, I truly apologize to users of Internet Explorer for the way this blog is displaying. I know the pictures are screwed up, and the right column shifted down.

EDIT3: I've got a whole slew of pictures posted here.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

R.I.P Clifford Antone

The first time I came to Austin it was to go to Antone's. It was before I ever thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be moving anywhere out of St. Louis, and I was coming down to see Eric Johnson do his live recording at Antone's. Now it's one of the clubs where I go regularly, and probably always will. Such great music there, such an atmosphere, and what intimate surroundings! It's a fan's dream, and although that part of it is probably not so great for the performer, it's still an honor to be able to say that your band played at Antone's.

It is too hard for me to try and sum up what Clifford has meant to Austin and what he did for it. This stuff has already filled books. There's a documentary. Maybe two. There will be many tributes and eulogies written. I will most likely post a few good when they turn up.

EDIT: I had a couple of pictures posted here, but they were having loading problems in IE. This blog and its technical difficulties are giving me fits.

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How does it look to you?

Lately (since late last week) this blog has started looking funny in Internet Explorer for Windows. The right sidebar is pushed way down on the page by the left column. Firefox for Windows and Mac, Internet Explorer for Mac, and Safari all look fine to me.
EDIT: I take back the part about IE for Mac. It looks like crap in IE for both Mac and Windows.

Does it look screwed up to you, and what Operating System/browser are you using?

Voir Dire Straits

What a long week it's been already, and it's only Tuesday morning! Yesterday I was summoned for jury selection. I was not picked, so I am very relieved (I guess I am literally relieved). I'd like to be on a jury sometime but not right now, I really can't spare the time. It would have been an ugly case: man with cancer versus a bunch of corporations. Even though I hate big corporations, I had made up my mind that if selected, I would really try to be fair in the verdict.

Juries are frightening. Most people are going to bring so many biases to the table with them. Still, I think it's a good system that helps keep a smidgeon of corruption out of the process.

Note: a good way to not get picked is to tell the court that you are PMS-ing. One woman actually did that. It might be TMI, but she was not picked. They didn't let us out of there until 7:00 pm, and that was followed by a group fiasco of Dillo newbies trying to get on the right bus, and watching the right bus go by because we were in the wrong place at the right time.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hidey Hoe Holy Grail

Thoughts on the whole Da Vinci Code business:

First of all, the movie could have been better, could have been worse, better than expected based on the critics. If you can wait that long, it's a good rental. Ian McKellan is fantastic in it. The book is a great fun read but not as good as a Harry Potter, also the puzzles in Harry Potter are harder to figure out.

As for the premise and all that... as it's been pointed out in a million places, including the court of law, much of it is based on the non-fiction research and speculation book Holy Blood Holy Grail. This is where all the stuff about the Priory of Sion comes from. The chapters on the P.S. in HBHG are really very fascinating! Trouble is, it's quite likely to be a hoax. Here's an article debunking it a bit, although I am always wary of anything like this that claims to have "the truth". The truth is that we can't know the truth, it's impossible to determine what is really "the truth". There is much more than just the Priory of Sion in the the book. It's a good read, especially if you love a mystery. Even if the P.S. is not real, the Templars and Freemasons certainly were (are), and the Bible has been tailored by the Church to suit the Church. Why that was done is going to be controversial.

My take on the main punch line of both of these books is this. I was raised as a Christian, but no longer believe in Jesus' divinity... or the divinity of anything for that matter. Gods are where you want them to be. To me, if Jesus even existed, he was a wise man and powerful leader but nothing more. Was he married to Mary Magdalene? I think it's very plausible. Could he possible have faked his own death and escaped? Don't laugh. If you are a Christian, then your own beliefs are far more bizarre than that if you can look at them objectively for even a moment. I'm not saying I believe these things. I have already stated my beliefs and disbeliefs. I am saying that I think either of these things could have happened. We just don't know. Can't prove anything one way or the other.

Jesus and MM both had kingly blood and their offspring would have had to be kept in hiding or surely be killed given the politics of the day (the same might be true today). Nowadays though, the only thing with real power is just the possible existence of that bloodline, and that wields the power to diminish the Christian church. So if the bloodline exists, why not reveal it? If there's paperwork, let's see it. I call. Show your hand or fold. Exactly what are you waiting for? I can't think of a better time to show your stuff.

Birthday thoughts for Jeen Lilly

Today would have been the birthday of ev brown, AKA Jeen Lilly of scrumptious monkey and others. The cake is taken from her last blog post. She was supposed to be starting a new cake decorating job that morning (it's an early morning post), and it's one of the last things she ever posted. I don't know if she ever actually started that job.

I only met her in person a few times, she was mostly an online friend. I really miss her and think of her all the time. When I post something, I think "ev would have responded to this", or when I hear Book People mentioned, or a certain show comes to town, or we do some activity like First Thursday or Eeyore's where I think "I would have invited ev to join us for this". Even Eric's forum has lost some luster, I just miss her.

Previous postings on her passing:
RIP ev brown, AKA Jeen Lilly
A Bright Spirit

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Cat - Afternoon Donut


Henry is looking sweet soaking up some afternoon sun. It's just what he does.
EDIT: News Alert!!! I just found out that today, May 19th, is "Hug Your Cat Day". I think you know what to do. To help mark the occasion (not the same way that Duncan would mark it... oooh... smelly!!), you can send these really cute cards or make a cat mask.


- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at IMAO on Sunday - - -

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Crunching and testing the tomatoes

Posting has been light around here, last Saturday I got a new assignment, something really fun, but is going to take up most of my waking hours that are available, plus a few sleeping hours no doubt. It's a CD artwork design! Trouble is, it's got to be sent to press by the end of the month... THIS month. I really want the customer to love it. I want to love it too, but will probably be tired of it by then.

We've had tickets to The Da Vinci Code's opening day for about a week, and according to most critics the viewing might require some rotten tomatoes. Arrrgh! That's why I like to see something as close to opening day as possible... to avoid being drawn to the reviews like a car wreck... don't look!!!! I'd rather make up my own mind before I'm told what everyone else thinks.

[shatner mode] ...one...more...day...must...not...read...those...must...not...listen...!!!!

Back to work now. There will be a Friday cat post tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Mona Lisa Tautou


Panic, terror, happiness, shock, surprise, love, excitement... they are all there in the expressions of Sophie. I'm just not sure which is which. Just like Mona Lisa... what is she thinking?? hmmm?

[feeling a bit catty this afternoon]

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Birthday boy

Happy Birthday to Mr. Blueberry! Sorry it has to be on a Monday this year, and that Bush is making a speech, but looks like Jack Bauer will arrive just in time to open a can of Whoop-Ass.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The M-Word

Hope everyone had a pretty good Mother's Day.

Mother's Day is a non-occasion to me now. All I've got left is my Mother-in-Law, who's a really great person and treats me well. She lives in another state and I didn't see her. My own Mother passed away 13 years ago (she had superstitions about and insisted on traditions relating to flowers, one was that you wore a white rose on Mother's Day if your mother was no longer living), my grandmothers have been gone for 20 years, and I didn't have kids. Kids are not for everybody, not everyone is meant to be a parent, and I feel lucky that I didn't end up pregnant by that abusive white supremicist trash I fell in love with when I was 17. Temporary stupidity.

The radio stations were playing songs with the theme of "Mother" this weekend, of course. This is one I hadn't heard before, and it cracked me up. How's this for a title: The M-Word Scares the F-Word Out of Me. Listen to it here.

Most of my female friends had very difficult relationships with their mothers, and I was no different. The usual story is one of rejection, being made to feel "not good enough", treated as not being capable of doing the right thing, and not returning love. Add this to a woman's struggle to be successful in a man's world and the constant pressure to look beautiful and it's a recipe for low self-esteem as best. Oddly (coincidentally?) most of these women friends did not want or chose not to have children. I think Mother's Day is important, but also wish there was more respect for choice and for women who made a choice.

My wish for Mother's Day is that all children would be loved, wanted, and sheltered. My wish for all mothers (all parents, whether adoptive or natural) is the same one.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Roly-Poly, Daddy's Little Fatty*

Crack me up! This Week's Jesus looks like someone's attempt to make God in their own image. If so, I would recommend cutting down on the beer and chips. Not sure where this came from or what they're trying to say with it.

* Title is from a Fred Rose song made famous by Bob Wills.

Friday Cat - Pure black magic

Jax glows in the sun.
He's the luckiest cat on the block and we are lucky to have him.
This is a happy cat.


Cats have been the subject of superstition for hundreds, even thousands of years, especially black ones. Here's a whole collection of them on this page, and just for fun, here's a little black cat quiz for you.

A friend sent me this little collection of Cat Superstitions, a couple of which are on the previous link. I couldn't resist adding a few comments [in brackets]

Dreaming of white cat means good luck. [Or maybe there is a new white cat in your future]
- American superstition

To see a white cat on the road is lucky. [Um, a dated sentiment. I shudder when I see any animals on the road. Bah!]
- American superstition

It is bad luck to see a white cat at night. [Not for you, for the white cat who wants to come indoors]
- American superstition

If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain. [Rain is predicted in England!]
- English superstition

A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. [Both of my black cats are very strange, and the prosperity they bring is humor]
- Scottish superstition

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. [Bless you!]
- Italian superstition

A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather ahead. [Another weather forecast for England]
- English superstition

When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true. [As reliable as a wishbone or a birthday candle]
- American superstition

In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town. [Now that's just catty!!]
- Netherlands superstition

- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Watermark on Sunday - - -

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Aaaaaaiiiiieeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

Who is this guy and why is he saying these things?

EDIT: I actually DO know who he is, or at least who he was before the pod person took over and started speaking for the Dems.

[Scream audio] from Political Humor

Dali would have been 98 today.



I have seen this painting. It resides in this museum that is devoted to Dali. He has always been one of my favorite artists, probably my top favorite, and quite a fascinating character too. Here are a few quotes from him:

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.

I don't take drugs: I am drugs.

...and the one that has driven me all these years, providing guilt motivation worthy of a mother...

No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.

Not that I am an artist... Many years ago, I was. I have long since sold out to the devil that tells you to be a responsible person, pay the rent, stay out of jail, remain on the path, and keep your madness in check. But I still admire Dali.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cockroach civilization

Nope. The picture is not upside-down. The guy is walking on the ceiling. HOW DO THEY DO THAT??? Wonders of nature. What can you say? This is a big guy, at least 2 inches long (not counting antenae and outstretched legs). He's walking on the ceiling right above the ceiling fan, which is running, and if he were to let go he would probably be propelled into your drink. Actually, he (or she) is winged so there would be a flight, but anyway, it's just the thought of it that is creepy.

We've been hit with another invasion of "the big guys". These seem to come (to the indoor area) after there is relief from drought, multiple rainy days. Haven't been supplied with the science behind that one yet, but that is what happens here.

We have been seeing a lot of these for a few weeks, at least one or two a day. This morning there was one upside down in my newly-washed ceramic teapot. It had a little water in the bottom that was air-drying, but enough to drown a guy this size. They swim as well as I do, looks like. Looking for water, but not quite that much. Poor guy.

This is a good opportunity to post this link: Cockroaches have a democracy, make group decisions.
Pretty fascinating stuff.

Never underestimate an insect. Especially a living thing that has been around this long and survived more than Keith Richards in his wildest dreams.

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Save Surface


I know, there's a lot of crap on TV, but I actually really enjoyed the first season of Surface. Noooooo. It doesn't have great acting, and it's not as though you will mistake it for some Spielberg project as the marketing suggests, but it's got a great plot with good scientists vs. evil scientists vs. good scientists who got sucked into the evil scientists plot and have no way out short of death. It's also got bad science gone haywire causing the imminent destruction of all life on earth, it's got the hot-looking young scientist, the savvy kid whose parents don't understand, and not-so-smart hick with good sense and a heart of gold. Above all it has the cutest critter ever, the little sea monster named "Nim" (short for "Nimrod") who is the little dragon everybody always wanted for a pet. Like a Siamese cat, he really only loves his master (young Miles) and those proven worthy, so you don't want to mess with him. Honest.

Anyway, the future of the show is up for grabs, and even though we're not talking "Firefly" quality here, I am going to miss seeing how little Nim turns out if it's cancelled. Sign the petition at the links (picture, title or sidebar)

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You woke me up for... what???

Today is National Nightshift Workers Day as well as National Third Shift Workers Day. Isn't is ironic that most of them will sleep through it? At least I hope they get some sleep.

It's also Root Canal Appreciation Day.

Monday, May 08, 2006

One word of advice

Don't.

OK, that's a contraction. But the point is, if you are drunk in a bar and try hitting on a woman who gives you this look, you'd be better off trying your luck elsewhere.
[video] - -

The rest of the weekend

Saturday was movie day. Started out with Mi:3 at the Alamo. It's really a pretty good action movie, and recommended for great stunts, car chases and stuff blowing up good. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a good bad guy, and Ving Rhames - I love his voice. I really think that Tom Cruise's celebrity persona has finally overtaken anything he could do onscreen. I didn't think this when we saw War of the Worlds. It was probably magnified this time by the Cruise clips that the Alamo was spinning (and they will always do this) - jumping on Oprah's couch, the Scientology South Park episode, and the SNL Ben Stiller spoofs (that include TC). Also, a note to the Alamo staff: when someone orders the veggie patty option on a burger, it's extremely likely that they will not want the BACON that normally comes with the sandwich. Thank you for taking it off the bill though. Yuck.

In the evening we rented Pride and Prejudice with the lovely and wonderful Keira Knightley. I am not well-read, and apparently my husband isn't either, neither of had read the book. Also had not seen any previous movie versions so they were able to surprise us with the ending. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, huh?

Sunday we went to the party that Van Wilks has for his guitar students. Look at these cuties. They called themselves "The Crabs from Outer Space" or something like that, from their song of the same name. Good age to start. Some of the older kids (in the 15 yr. range) were pretty impressive. It was our wedding anniversary so we didn't stay long, went out for Indian food. I am several pounds heavier this morning. Too much fun of the food and drink variety lately.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cuatro de Mayo y Cinco de Mayo

Sorry! My Spanish is like Peggy Hill's. This week was First Thursday, and we went down to South Congress for that. Spent most of it in my favorite place on First Thursday - at Jo's Coffee watching Gary Primich with Mike Keller on guitar. Great stuff!!

Friday we both had the afternoon off, so we went to the IMAX theatre to see Deep Sea 3D [Flash site]. WOW!! We highly recommend this, it was very well-done. Probably the best 3D project we've seen (out of 3 so it's not a long list), partly because of the movie itself. Polar Express was well-done too, but that is the ONLY way I want to watch Polar Express. See them in 3D if you can, even if you have to travel. I was reaching out to touch the jellyfish like a crazy person in their first 3D movie.

It was Cinco de Mayo so all the Mexican places were packed to the hilt. We went to Matt's El Rancho for the KGSR party, and I won 2 tickets to see Raul Malo! One of my favorite singers. I never win anything. Maybe my luck is changing. Matt's was too crowded to deal with, as was Guero's, and we wanted to be outside in the nice weather so Home Slice Pizza was out, Shady Grove had lost power (!!) and we ended up at that converted gas station on South Congress. Not recommended for vegetarians but the microbrew was good. We saw Dale Watson walk by, hollered out "Dale" and he waved. I knew it would be hard for him to stay away from Austin!

Picture is us negotiating some of the weird "sidewalk" on South Congress.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogiversary

Sorry about that horrible title on this post! Couldn't resist though. I can't believe it, but on May 6th I will have been at this for a whole year! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be a blogger. I'm very shy, pretty geeky, generally very private, and couldn't understand what made people want to pour out their hearts in such a public forum.

It has turned out to be very addictive, and very therapeutic as well. I think it's because this is my spot and I can do whatever I like with it. It's not like someone else's forum where I feel like I should behave and go by their rules. It's like my house vs. your house. I will be well-behaved in your house, but in mine I can rave and rant and do it naked if I want as long as the owner doesn't mind... [looking in mirror] sometimes I am even well-behaved.

Thanks for reading and commenting, everybody.

(my first post)

What would Captain Jack Sparrow do?

A keg that includes a dead man's chest. Actually I think that Jack Sparrow would barely even wince.

Friday Cat - Henry, the ultimate power in the hemisphere

Henry takes advantage of a prime half-circle-shaped sun spot.

- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Pages Turned on Sunday - - -

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tailies catching hell

A lament for lost Lost characters Ana Lucia and Libby. Ana Lucia has had her story told, but I can't believe we're done with Libby. Maybe it's just a flesh wound. I don't think we're finished with her. This ain't right. Above are their mug shots for when they were arrested for drunk driving (Thank you Smoking Gun) Here they are looking a bit better:


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Happy Bird Day to you!

Ukranian folk art by Zoya PASICHNA, Sign of Morning Dawn

According to The Library of Congress archives website, today is Bird Day! Has been ever since the first Bird Day in 1894!

Not coincidentally, I'm sure, it is also Respect for Chickens Day.
United Poultry Concerns (UPC) announces its second annual International Respect for Chickens Day May 4. The purpose of Respect for Chickens Day is to celebrate the dignity, beauty and life of chickens and to protest against the bleakness of their lives in farming operations.

Oddly, I first heard of this on John Aielli's Eklektikos show on KUT today, and the odd part is not Aielli doing a themed show, that happens pretty much every day, but most of the chicken songs were about disrespecting chickens in the worst way. Birds are wonderful creatures, beautiful, and fascinating. I'm really glad I don't eat them anymore. The thought of red-blooded living things being farmed for harvest is pretty barbaric. And it looks like no amount of paranoia over things like bird flu or mad cow is going to halt the practice anytime soon.


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