Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Red Union Blues

I am going to observe the State of the Union Address by going to Antone's club and listening to SRV's old band, Double Trouble with Eric Johnson guesting on guitar. How better to observe something like that than with some Texas Blues?

I am truly sorry that Dubya is giving the world the impression that everybody in Texas is a moron. They have them in every state. Really. It's the truth.

We might collectively have the blues, but blue just might be the cure for this big ol' red map.
Is it 2008 yet?

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I am as scary as a kitten. Grrrrrrr!!!!

You Are a Little Scary

You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Not all Christians are messed-up wackos

Rev. Jim Rigby spoke at the UU church this Sunday. Normally I might not rally around a Presbyterian (or any Christian) speaker, but Rev. Rigby is an alright guy in my book. I always enjoy hearing him. He is somewhat well-known for being a champion of gay rights, and officiated over some 50 same-sex unions on the UT campus during a student-sponsored event on marriage equality a couple of years back, and has performed quite a few more at other times. Some of the more staunch conservative church folks brought a complaint against him, resulting in a "trial" with the purpose of de-frocking him. He was recently acquitted, but was not completely pleased about it because essentially nothing has changed in the Big Rule Book.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mandosaurus roams the earth!

Finally got out and went to a show in spite of still being under the weather a bit, but I would have to be dead to have missed this one. If you read this blog, you know that I idolize Chris Thile as a musician. On Saturday night, Chris and Mike Marshall played their duet show at the Cactus Cafe. Chris has been doing duet tours in the winter when Nickel Creek shows slow down - usually they are with Mike Marshall, not always - but they have skipped Austin up to now.

Mike and Chris are definitely in the same league as musicians, you can't really say one is better than the other, it all comes down to preference for style. They are both amazing players, and "Amazing" was the most commonly used word I heard used to describe the shows afterward (there were 2 shows). Music styles were all over the map: choro, Bulgarian-flavor, Celtic, and hard-to-categorize. Just beautiful music.

During the encores, they brought young Sarah Jarosz up on stage. I think she is 14, she's a great talent - mandolin player and what a voice! She knows these guys from attending Symposiums with them. With her, everyone played Bluegrass. It was extremely cool. The whole house was singing along. I won't be surprised if we see her onstage next week at the David Grisman/Greencards show at the Paramount. More on that one later! If you get a chance to see Chris Thile and/or Mike Marshall, DO it, especially if you love great playing and acoustic music.
EDIT: At the end of the show, they did an unplugged, unmiked version of the Strokes "JuiceBox" on two mandolins. Yes, that's right! It was funny and very well-done! I loved it! That's such a Chris-thing. Hard to explain.

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Birds and bees... er... wasps

It's late January and time to get the birdhouses ready for Spring, which can be a big ordeal. It's not a job I could do alone for many reasons. For one thing, it takes 2 people to take one down, and for another -- wasps take up residence every year in the center of the houses. Not something I deal with very well.

Maybe they're hornets, or even bees, I don't know my entomology but I know what a lot of my phobias are called, and spheksophobia and apiphobia (aka melissaphobia) are among them. There were unfortunately some wasps harmed during the process, and the rest were pretty danged mad, but they will be back, nonetheless.

It was about 80 degrees here today, sunny, and perfect. I got to get my sun vitamins while I watched my husband dig a new hole for moving the birdhouse. Fun was had by all. I love this place!

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Beetle Juice for real

Click here for the story. OK, now I am having another bug freak-out. Found this story via Fark about food additives. I didn’t realize that carmine and cochineal are food colorings derived from crushed beetles. They are found in lots of innocent-looking foods where you would not expect to find insect parts, such as popular brands of yogurt, fruit juice and candy (assuming candy can be considered “innocent”). The food industry is being all grumpy over the prospect of actually mentioning that there are insects in the food. But it would be nice to know, wouldn’t it? Not only does it make stuff not vegetarian, it might also be considered not kosher. Forget about the fact that most people don’t really want to eat bugs. Here is the wikipedia entry on these guys.

Now, is it really that important to change the color of the food? So what if you think it looks better? It's got damned bugs in it! Not appealing! And you're adding them on purpose!

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Workaholics Anonymous

Who would have time to go to the meetings?

Study shows that women feel more rushed than men. Well, this comes as no surprise. Seems like all I do is work work work work, intending to get caught up, and no sooner does that happen than more work piles on. Even if it doesn’t, I have forgotten how to relax and “do nothing”, I have no concept of that anymore. The only time I “do nothing” is when I’m sick or sedated, and relaxing is non-existent without drugs. (EDIT: I'm talking prescription drugs or booze. I quit the fun recreational stuff many, many years ago) Don’t suggest massage, it ain’t happenin’. It costs a fortune and they can’t seem to avoid my trigger points for pain [grrrr. I paid good money for THIS?]. I should probably really give yoga a shot, but who has time (or funds) for that? Basically, I'm in the wrong frame of mind to fix this problem. Too many other problems to fix. Too much to do.

That’s my whine for the day. I’m sure your stress and anxiety is worse than mine, but that’s why it’s called whining.

I think winning the lottery is the only solution to this. Stress toy from the Eyeball Shop .

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Friday cats love/hate relationship

Duncan really looks up to his fake big brother Alex...

Which only annoys Alex. For one thing, he can't stand stinking cats. He hates them all, and second, Duncan is one of those over-enthusiastic pesty little brother-types. Very sweet but needing constant attention. This always leads to fights (both cats' personality traits lead to fights).

Here they are right after one of those paw-swinging cat boxing matches. There's a short uneasy truce that will soon be followed by separation into different rooms.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Happy birthday today to Lucinda Williams, who got started 30 some-odd years ago in Austin, even singing on the streets for tips, so it's said. I think a drink and a toast are in order.

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Saint W - Joke

My ex-pat friend in the UK sent me this.
President George W. Bush was scheduled to visit the Methodist church outside Washington, D.C. Bush's chief of staff made a visit to the Bishop, and said to him, "We've been getting a lot of bad publicity among Methodists because of Bush's position on stem cell research and the like. We'd gladly make a contribution to the church of $100,000 if during your sermon you'd say the President is a saint."

The Bishop thinks it over for a few moments and finally says, "The Church is in desperate need of funds and I will agree to do it."

Bush pompously shows up, looking especially smug, and as the sermon progresses the Bishop begins his homily: "George Bush is petty, a self-absorbed hypocrite and a nitwit. He is a liar, a cheat and a low-intelligence weasel. He has lied about his military record and had the gall to put himself in a jet plane landing on a carrier posing before a banner stating 'Mission Accomplished.' He invaded a country for oil and money, and is using it to lie to the American people. He is the worst example of a Methodist I've ever personally known. But compared to Dick Cheney and the rest of his cabinet, George Bush is a saint."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

We Can't Make it Here

The State of the Union speech is coming up. We will be skipping listening to that one, as we do for all Bushtalks, we can’t stand to listen to him. It’s painful enough to read the transcripts. A radio DJ referred to this song as James McMurtry’s version of the State of the Union. Good description, I think. This is one damn powerful song, McMurtry is an amazing songwriter. His dad is Larry McMurtry, best known for Lonesome Dove and more recently for the screenplay of Brokeback Mountain, so apparently James inherited a way with words.
"We Can't Make it Here"

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

That big ol' building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can't make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna set there till they rot
'Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here 'less you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore

The bar's still open but man it's slow
The tip jar's light and the register's low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can't make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore

Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
'Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

And that's how it is
That's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you're listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore

James McMurtry's website where you can download the song.
James McMurtry on MySpace where you can hear the song on the player, and he's got a kick-ass blog there. It's just got a few posts, but like I said, the guy's got a way with words.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Would you say this computer has a "gooey" interface?

An old story, but still interesting. Computer Made from DNA and Enzymes. This kind of stuff scares me, especially if it gets turned loose inside a person and you can't get good tech support.

Some excerpts:
"A trillion bio-molecular devices could fit into a single drop of water."
"Think of DNA as software, and enzymes as hardware."
"Once the input, software, and hardware molecules are mixed in a solution it operates to completion without intervention"

Red flag!! Big time!! I know that there will be lots of benefits and helpful uses for this technology, but it's the yet non-existent monsters that will be created by this that scare me. Maybe I'm just paranoid and phobic. I thought so.

Sculpture from the "Bungled Jungle" collection.

The VWP Party

If you think Kinky is an interesting gubernatorial candidate, check out this guy! He's a Satanist, Vampyre, and has many other titles most of which I am not familiar with.
From his website:

Honesty is very seldom heard nowadays, especially from a politician. So, I am going to break from political tradition. My name is Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, Ph.D., L.D.D.D. I am a Satanic Dark Priest, Sanguinarian Vampyre and a Hecate Witch. My Magikal Path name is: Lord Ares.

I despise and hate the Christian God the Father. He is my enemy.

However, it doesn't mean that I hate all his followers. This Country was founded on religious rights and freedoms. This is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment of our great constitution. This right allows me to worship Lucifer and the Goddess Hecate, just as it allows you to worship the Goddess/God of your choice.

He goes into a deeper explanation of Satanism and discusses his other qualifications such as his wrestling career (he is running in Minnesota) and boxing career.

hmmmm. Well, isn't that special? At least he's not an atheist. A religious guy like this has a shot at getting elected. I'm not even sure an atheist would be allowed to run.

Here's more on The Impaler. Satanism seems as fine to me as any other religion. The Sanguinarian Vampyre part is quite mysterious and frankly sounds uninviting. L.D.D.D. has to be some kind of priestly designation. Either that or there's a dental degree I don't know about. Note the spelling of "vampyre". I think that means something.

His devotion to Lucifer doesn't really bug me, but this statement about Jeb Bush does (he worked to support Jeb's campaign): "Though Jeb did not win, he showed me the true meaning of a man of character."

Urggh! Also on his website, he trashes his exes pretty bad, and makes a case for using impaling as a punishment.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Started out at the bottom of the barrel, now digging.

This company, Life Partners Holdings, Inc., is in the business of transferable insurance policies. They buy the policies of people whose chances of living a long time don't look so good, and buy them for less than their value, promise to keep up the premiums, then cash in big when the person dies.

In this particular case, the client, who had AIDS, ended up not only not dying but these days she feels pretty good. Life Partners is now balking at the whole deal since they are losing money insuring the person. They expected to make $60,000 at her death, but since she didn't die not only are they trying to weasel out (gawd, I hate to use that word! It's unfair to weasels, who are cute and furry), but the woman has received harassing phone calls.

It's an ugly business. No doubt about that.

Found via Fark.

The Kinkster

You know... I like Kinky. I wholeheartedly agree with him on lots of points, and disagree just as strongly on others – and do you know how I know that? Because he lays it on the line. He is for prayer in schools and gay marriage. He is against allowing people to de-claw cats and against the smoking ban (well duh, he practically has a oneness with that cigar). He will give his real opinion to you. He is not a politician. He’s a musician, an author, and runs a no-kill animal shelter. He’s a real person, and an interesting one. He truly is an independent. Here’s a link to his 60 minutes appearance (text and video), which I missed.

Basically I want Rick Perry out of there and a Democrat in his place. I want it to be someone who is charismatic and ethical and outspoken and caring. I have no idea who this person is or if they exist and if so, are they electable? If that person does not exist, I will likely vote for the yellow dog on the Democratic ticket because right now we’ve got Perry. I am voting for not-Perry (and not-Strayhorn either), but unlike some people I do believe that you can waste your vote. Dividing up the not-Perry votes into lots of little pieces is not going to change anything, and I think that the purpose of an election is to either retain the incumbent or get someone else in there. It's not to show your funny side by voting for Mickey Mouse.

I am hoping that a Democrat will emerge soon and grow some legs (Gams will do. grin). If the strongest not-Perry candidate turns out to be Kinky… so be it.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

TV Series Heaven

Well, this is what happens when I get sidelined by a sick bug, and also get caught up on the freelance work: I get overinvolved with the boob tube. I am sad tonight because "The West Wing" has been cancelled. Pretty pathetic to be sad about that when all the other crap is going on in the world... but I am going to miss that show. It's a real liberal escapist fastasy in a very realistic setting. The President is a good guy, I really like these people. Hell! Even the Republican who's running for President isn't exactly a troll. I wouldn't vote for him over Santos and don't agree with him on most things, but he got integrity, as much as the job will allow anyway.

Oh well... goodbye West Wing. You can now join MST3K, The X-Files, Firefly, classic Trek and my other favorite cancelled shows. [sigh]. Although, I have to say that X-Files and MST3K were not cancelled prematurely. They suffered from castmember loss that was non-recoverable. EDIT: I know that the West Wing has lost a castmember, but didn't get a chance to "suffer" from it. The article I read said that they had made the decision before that happened anyway.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Grizzly Man and Richard Thompson

We rented "Grizzly Man" on DVD, and it made quite an impression. No matter where you come down on the subject matter and they way it turned out, this one is bound to stir you up. It's written and directed by Werner Herzog, but most of the filming is done by Tim Treadwell himself, the subject.

I have to think that waiting for the DVD release was worth it, because there's a whole extra featurette on creating the music for the film, with the primary musician being Richard Thompson. He is a very impressive guitarist and musician, and the whole process of making the film music with very exact needs with timing precision demands down to the second. There are also cellists, another guitarist and percussionists. Mr. Herzog was quite involved in the whole music process.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Cat - Push the button again, please.

Henry knows a perfect spot for a cat! It's toasty warm, there's a fleece throw (now, how did that get there?), and it makes a nice purry vibration when somebody pushes the button for another cycle.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Voices of reason heard on high

Link Jan 19, 2006:
The Roman Catholic Church has restated its support for evolution with an article praising a U.S. court decision that rejects the "intelligent design" theory as non-scientific.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said that teaching intelligent design -- which argues that life is so complex that it needed a supernatural creator -- alongside Darwin's theory of evolution would only cause confusion.

and from late last year, Link:
The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

Seems like most of the fundie insanity is coming from the United States (and the Middle East), but there's still hope as long as there's a shred of reason left somewhere in the world. The pendulum can still swing.

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There's a weirdness that goes with having 8 legs

Here are 15 pieces of interesting trivia from the online BBC Magazine article “100 things we didn't know this time last year”. There is more information on a lot of these at the link, plus 85 more items.

  • Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.

  • WD-40 dissolves cocaine - it has been used by a pub landlord to prevent drug-taking in his pub's toilets.

  • Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. Zoo keepers at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent are having to learn French to communicate with the baboons which had been transferred from Paris zoo.

  • Humans can be born suffering from a rare condition known as "sirenomelia" or "mermaid syndrome", in which the legs are fused together to resemble the tail of a fish.

  • It's possible for a human to blow up balloons via the ear. A 55-year-old factory worker from China reportedly discovered 20 years ago that air leaked from his ears, and he can now inflate balloons and blow out candles.

  • Lionesses like their males to be deep brunettes.

  • Bosses at Madame Tussauds spent £10,000 separating the models of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston when they separated. It was the first time the museum had two people's waxworks joined together. [that should teach them to join a Hollywood couple together in wax]

  • In America it's possible to subpoena a dog.

  • When faced with danger, the octopus can wrap six of its legs around its head to disguise itself as a fallen coconut shell and escape by walking backwards on the other two legs, scientists discovered.

  • "Restaurant" is the most misspelled word in search engines.

  • The name Lego came from two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". It also means "I put together" in Latin.

  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong's heart is almost a third larger than the average man's.

  • You're 10 times more likely to be bitten by a human than a rat.

  • Giant squid eat each other - especially during sex.

  • One in 18 people has a third nipple.

The beer is on Him.

This Catholic Church in Lithuania has a problem with Jesus appearing in a beer ad. I always thought the Catholic Church had no negative policy on booze, or at least beer and wine. Wasn't there always a kegger benefit in some parking lot, and beer with bingo, or a Catholic beer tent at the town festival?

Personal impressions of Wedding receptions:
Protestant (esp. fundamentalist) = polite family gathering in the church basement with soft drinks.
Catholic or Episcopal = all-nighter with open bar and eventually table dancing with lingering embarrassing photography.

In fact, the Catholic Church and beer are associated through history, with the blessing of beer, Trappist Monk breweries, and there are apparently three Saint Arnolds associated with beer, one of them being the Patron Saint of Brewers, whose "Miracle" apparently was creating a bottomless mug of beer. Of course, this happened in the days before there was snopes.com and other urban legend debunkers. Texas has a microbrewery named after him... er... one of them anyway. I guess history gets cloudy when beer is heavily involved.

Now, Christianity and wine... that's an even longer topic.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Evil pod monsters disguise themselves as bananas.

I took a banana in my lunch today. It was one of this bunch, pictured. Organic. Dole. A little green, mostly yellow. When I tried to peel it, it was nearly impossible! After using all my strength (which isn't very much), I managed to break it in half.

That's when all this sticky stuff oozed out! Pictured is another banana from the same bunch, and the oozy goo that came out when I sliced it. It still looked perfectly good inside so I tried tasting it, that's when I got this awful tree-sap type stuff all over my hands and face! It was hard-core sticky. There was nothing banana-like about this thing except for the appearance.
The thing that made it personal is that some of the goo dripped on my favorite off-white Liz Claiborne jeans... and look at the stains!! The darned things are ruined! I will be pounding the pavement at the Thrifts trying to find another pair that I like as well. What is up with a bunch of evil, insidious banana imposters like that? I think the Rapture Index just went up.

Anything is possible.

Here's a relationship that I really hope works out in the long run. They put this hamster (named him "Gohan" which means "meal") in with the ratsnake, and they ended up as good buddies. They've been together since October. The snake eats frozen mice but doesn't like live ones. Can't blame him. I couldn't eat something that cute either.

I only wish these cats got along that well.

Got a prescription, but it was for "more cowbell".

Still down with the bug and trying to rejoin the land of the living. Ughhh.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Got any beer and nachos in there?

Click the title bar for the auction.
That's quite a souvenir this guy's got! And it's going for only a penny right now!

Actually we could use the rain.

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Dog is my co-pilot.

Activity here at Texas Oasis has been light lately. It's a combination of working like a dog and being sick as a dog. I've been sick with the crud for a week now... bad cold turned into possibly... something. The doctor today thought it might be pneumonia, then the chest X-ray said no, but they put me on the same meds anyway.

Then as soon as I get home from the doctor today, I have to turn around and go to the printer to look at a proof. Oh well, timing can always get worse.

I haven't even mentioned Martin Luther King Day, but I have thought about it a lot, and the radio (KUT, public radio) has played a lot of things related to Dr. King directly or indirectly, or the causes of civil rights and human rights. Listening to Bobby Kennedy tell the crowd that Martin Luther King has been killed is one of the most moving things I've heard. The holiday, amazingly, is still meeting resistance to being fully accepted, even though it means a day off. My husband, who works in cube world and gets normal holidays is working today, but gets President's Day off. Huh?

Well, I have work to do, and it's time for a nice coughing spell.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Woe unto those who falsely report a smiting.

The title sounds like something Jules* in Pulp Fiction might say just before he blows you to kingdom come, but it looks like the religious right maybe ready to lock Pat Robertson up in the attic like their crazy old aunt. This segment (audio link also available) on NPR tells how Richard Land (president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics and religious liberty commission) and Michael Cromartie (director of an Evangelical studies project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center) have both denounced and distanced themselves from Robertson after his remarks about Sharon.

He's lost a lot of steam and certainly credibility with this last bit of finger-pointing.

*[Ezekiel 25:17 among others]
Jules: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Bare essential

Care to take a guess on the proper way to wear this article of clothing? Scroll down.

That's right!! It's a "thong sock" for sandals. Whoodathunkit?


My inner shameless fangirl wins out this morning in wishing a happy birthday to the lovely Orlando Bloom, born in 1977.

No... I don't need to be reminded that I could be his mother. (aware of it...yessss)

I like the facial hair gone, prefer the elf look but the dark hair is nice too, and the chocolate-colored eyes. He's a great action actor, oh what magnificence on a battlefield!

Now that I have that out of my system, shutting up about Orlando Bloom for a good long while. At least until this summer's piratey pairing goodness with Johnny Depp.

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Friday the 13th Peek-a-Boo Alex

Cats can't resist a game of Peek-a-Boo, and they will always win it, chasing down the Peek-a-Booer in a final standoff. Alex here is feeling a lot better these days. He's back to crazy hours, Bite-the-Toes, and other pounce games. He feels lucky even on Friday the 13th, and is not about to let either of our 2 black cats cross his path without a showdown.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A little personal hygiene helps.

OK, now I am completely freaked out.

- -

Nice Tackle!

I am intrigued with the wording and descriptions in this story. I need visuals!

via Dave Barry.

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Beatle Bob

Beatle Bob stealing the show from Calexico.

Happy birthday today to Beatle Bob! If you see Beatle Bob at a show, it's automatically deemed "the place to be". Bob is always "where it's at", if you will pardon my 60s slang (which I deserve the right to use by means of being there). He was even present at the infamous Ozomatli Austin conga line bust (he has a sampled cameo on their latest CD)

We used to see Bob all over the place back in St. Louis where he still lives, but didn't meet him until moving to Austin, as he is a VIP fixture at SXSW and now the ACL Festival, dancing space guaranteed no matter what!

Write-ups, etc.:
Austin Chronicle

Riverfront Times

Matt Dentler (SXSW producer)

Google Bob

Test your Bushspeak IQ

Your score is 60%. Your knowledge is slightly above average. As George W. Bush might have said, they misunderestimated you.

So if my percent correct = my Bushspeak IQ then I may be approaching Bush's actual IQ... give or take a couple of points.

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These days it's more dangerous to do this to a chicken.

This does not look pleasant for anyone involved.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesday redeemed by a new episode of Lost.

After another hour and a half drive home in traffic (at least a half hour longer than it should take! Yesterday was no different.) I have a full evening of freelance work awaiting...again. I will have to figure out why I do this to myself someday when I have more time.

Almost as soon as I walk in the door, Duncan, our freaky black cat, does a mad butt scoot all the way through the house...tile, carpet, rugs.... Man, I hate it when hairballs come out the wrong end, and stinky to high heaven. WHEW!!! After that welcome home cleanup task and a quick dinner, the new washer shows up.

The appliance gods are still angry! The 12 year old washer broke this week, and the new one was delivered this evening... unworking. My husband thinks the delivery/install guys didn't do the job right, and the new washer broke during testing. grrrrrr. Who knows when the appliance curse will be lifted? We still have a working dryer and dishwasher. Most everything else was replaced in the last year.

EDIT: The hopefully working washer will be delivered Friday... and not a moment too soon. We have some dirty rugs, thank you Duncan.


No Deal, Pat!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


In a recent post, I linked to a cute Flash movie on Becoming Republican, and on this screen they've got 8 types:

Wanna-Be Rich
Tough Guy

Funny. Well, maybe not so funny, but over on Public Eye there's a more serious breakdown with major types: Secular Right, Religious Right, and Xenophobic Right. In turn, those are broken down into 12 different types of right-wingers. Like lots of people, I tend to think of them as a big lockstepping lump, but that's not really true. It's interesting anyway, and now I'm wondering if there's a similar listing for lefties... something serious I mean. I don't really need a definition for "moonbat".

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Utah cinema-goers out of luck. Netflix is OK with that.

Someone in Utah certainly has their undies in a bundle. The movie is already rated R, but I'm sure they don't want to corrupt anyone by perhaps letting an adult make their own judgement call regarding a romantic film.

EDIT Jan. 11: Heath Ledger responds with “Personally, I don’t think the movie is [controversial] but I think maybe the Mormons in Utah do. I think it’s hilarious and very immature of a society...” It was also mentioned in another article that the same cinema apparently had no moral problems with showing Hostel.

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The Frown

I just discovered thefrown.com. I know that means I've probably been living in a cave or something, but check out this great little bit on Becoming Republican.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hard Rock bites the dust.

I just read over on the Austinist (who quoted The Statesman) that the Austin Hard Rock Cafe closed this week. It was open only for four years.

I can see why it didn't carry the cred here in this town that it does in most. Corporate chains, even though they make money and have clientele, are unpopular here. We love to hate them because they are competing with places that have "real" Austin music history and don't have to ship in the memorabilia. Also, it was an awful music venue, really awful. I was glad to see that they made an effort to put up some stuff related to local artists on the wall, especially Eric Johnson, but you know... he never played there when it while it was the HRC, not to my knowledge, and I sure don't know everything. Most of the places he has played don't seem to have his picture up though. Go figure. I can't.

And commenting on the Austinist blog post: I hope to hell we don't get a Planet Hollywood there, and we get enough Hollywood glitterati here on a regular basis not to get the quivers over a visit from the Governator.

I really do like that mural though. Here's hoping they put in a home-grown club, even another restaurant.

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Buckle that belt!

The comments on this post over at Neil Shakespeare got me wanting to revisit the Rapture Index and see just how we are doing and if any progress has been made. Looks like we are up to a score of 151, which is in the "Fasten Your Seat Belts" category. hmmm. Well, I'm not going anywhere but I think it's kind of funny that they think people will need seat belts for this. I say "unbuckle your seat belts so we can get your cars".

They even have a photo gallery of possible candidates for the AntiChrist! Bill Gates is first on the list (note, a quote from the page: "Please note I do not put any stock in these men being the Beast."). I don't know... I don't think Bill Gates is so bad anymore. He's just an ultra-successful businessman who is now giving tons of money to charity. I hate Windows and love my Mac but I'm resigned to be part of that little minority of Mac-heads, and besides, it's just an operating system and GUI. It's not the end of the world.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

There's a NEW Mexico?

[edited] Happy Statehood Day to New Mexico, which became a state on this day in 1912. It's the Land of Enchantment, the land of unfortunate aliens. I mean, if you were to crash ANYWHERE in the galaxy, would you pick someplace exactly halfway between El Paso and Lubbock? There are some people who don't seem to realize that New Mexico is part of the United States. Oh well, Americans don't generally excel in geography.

I've lived there a couple of times. My dad was transferred there, and a whole bunch of relatives followed us there from the midwest and never left! They love that place! It's a fine place and pretty enough but they can keep it, I never cared for it. Sprol featured the Albuquerque nukes recently on their "Worst Places in the World": Kirkland Underground Munitions Storage Complex (KUMSC) feature.
If Albuquerque were to secede from the union, it would immediately become our planet's third largest nuclear power. Certainly this, paired with the location of Sandia National Laboratories in close proximity to the world's largest nuclear weapons depot near the runways of the Sunport, paints a huge bull's eye over Albuquerque for anyone who is angry with our country.

Google sightseeing! Gotta love it! The title of this post is a quote from Montgomery Burns of the Simpsons.

Some new favorites!

Just wanted to mention some new blog links over on the sidebar that I've added in the past week. All well worth reading, I'm not going to try and categorize, just check 'em out yourself. There's The DrewL Bucket, Cerulean Blue (even though I used to paint in oils, that phrase will forever remind me of the X-Files), Pam's House Blend, and Spicy Cauldron (Jeen Lilly, I recommend this to you!). Godless Mom in the Bible Belt says she is going on blogging hiatus and will take the whole thing down soon, so you might want to check hers out while it's still there.

Friday Cat Togetherness

Not much going on in the world of Duncan and Henry this week, as you can see! So much time, so little to do!

I found a really fun flickr slideshow via Me and the Cat called Airborne Cats, and these are some wild and crazy cats! A lot more energetic than our two who have only managed enough energy to cram into the same bed.

And in a heroic cat story this week, a cat dials 911 and saves his human.

Love those small motor skills!

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

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Can grass get a parking ticket?

Now it can! My husband sent me a link to what I think is a pretty weird product. It's called "Park(ing)", a temporary urban park. You roll out the sod, bring in the tree(s) and bench, then feed the meter. Instant greenspace! Well... close to instant. I've thrown sod before (and never will again).

Not sure why someone would want this. Maybe just "because".

Finally catching a breather here, off the wheel, and planning on taking the whole evening off!! Going to veg, watch TV and be generally worthless and non-productive. I will pay for this offence later, I'm sure. The guilt is already setting in. The wheel starts turning agin at 5:00 AM and, by gawd I'd better be walkin' on it! I think I might be overworked.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's a hamster week.

Man, I am working like Jelly again (Garden State reference), can't seem to figure a way off this wheel. It's a miracle I've been able to waste ANY time! ;-)

Hopefully there will be something to show for it someday, something positive.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No admittance except on party business!

This is the birthday of J. R. R. Tolkien, who would have been eleventy-four today, January 3rd!

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Counting the seconds.

I've got a new little countdown thingy on my sidebar showing the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds remaining in Bush's prez time (which I found through People's Republic of Seabrook). Then I thought, well what if he's impeached? New code would have to written for it. Sounds like a great thing, and I'm all for it, but then who have we got? President Cheney? And if Cheney dies or is impeached, then who? Sheeesh!

How in the hell did this happen?

Here we go again!

Intelligence indications and warnings abound as Bush administration finalizes military attack on Iran 2006-01-03
Intelligence and military sources in the United States and abroad are reporting on various factors that indicate a U.S. military hit on Iranian nuclear and military installations, that may involve tactical nuclear weapons, is in the final stages of preparation. -- Plausible Futures

This one could very well give us an up-close and and personal look at some real WMDs if this happens, and maybe not just over there. Does anyone doubt the real likelihood of the US going after Iran? Is fake intelligence already prepared? With BushCo dropping in the ratings, I wonder if they think a fresh enemy would help their cause... not that Iran is all that *fresh*.
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Blonde joke

This blonde joke is really pretty funny!

Monday, January 02, 2006

What City Limits?

Looks like Austin City Limits has definitely left the area. Here's the lineup for Season 31 now in progress and it's a really great lineup for an excellent music program, but I only see one Austin Act on the list of new broadcasts: Spoon. I suppose you could count Sheryl Crow who is here for Lance (and not exactly working her butt off in the club scene)... but anyway... I'm just sayin'...
Michael McDonald followed by Joss Stone, Elvis Costello, Coldplay, Blues Traveler followed by Café Tacuba, Ryan Adams followed by Tift Merritt, Widespread Panic, Gretchen Wilson followed by Miranda Lambert, Death Cab for Cutie followed by My Morning Jacket, John Fogerty, Sheryl Crow, Wilco followed by Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse followed by Guided By Voices, The Flaming Lips followed by The Shins, Trey Anastasio, Jack Johnson followed by Rilo Kiley, Alison Krauss and Union Station followed by Kathleen Edwards, Etta James, Ben Folds followed by Ray LaMontagne, The Killers followed by Spoon, John Prine followed by Amos Lee, Franz Ferdinand followed by What Made Milwaukee Famous

I think it's a little sad.

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His Darwin Award was nearly ready!

Not a good choice for a pet!

via Fark.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

This kind of thing really pisses me off!

FEMA throws away a million cans of donated water.

There are just so many things wrong with that! At least they recycled the cans. I wish we could recycle FEMA.

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You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

This December 30th show at the Continental Club was more important than all the New Year's Eve shows in Austin. Dale Watson is moving to Baltimore to drive a UPS truck and spend more time with his kids. Read about it in the Austin Chronicle, and click title bar for his website. Dale is a Texas country music legend with a very devoted following all over the world, and people showed up for this little show from lots of states. It was as much a party as a show, as Dale was doing plenty of chatting and storytelling, talking to the audience, opening and sharing gifts (the pic shows a nice little Texas-shaped cake from the waitress), and drinking plenty of toasts as shots were provided in liberal amounts. More pics from the show are here. Opening was Jon Dee Graham, and Dale's guests were Guy Forsyth (Mr. Ukulele if you have one of Jon Dee's Naked calendars) and Gordy 'Grady" Johnson.

It was a sad goodbye, but a musician's life is not all that family-friendly. The compromises that need to be made are hard on the career and it's tough to find a balance that works out for everybody.

Dale and his devils are the subject of an upcoming documentary called "Crazy Again" and later a full-length feature called "Austin Angel", both from Zalman King (9-1/2 Weeks, Red Shoe Diaries).

Dale plays real country music, and not that plastic cardboard-cutout cowboy crap that Nashville churns out to make the awards shows look pretty. Music without integrity ain't worth listening to.

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