Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Snarls and traffic snarls

Last Friday I got delayed a bit at work and left a little late, then when I was trying to get on the highway the service road and entrance ramp were closed down because of a really bad accident. My husband was already home so I called him just to have someone to whine and complain to. What a hassle!! All this heavy rush hour traffic getting re-routed, and having to deal with that along with not being too sure about where some of the flyover cloverleafs would take me. I saw the little wrecked car. It looked pretty bad. I got home maybe 15 minutes later than usual, not too bad.

Then on Monday my husband tells me that the person in the accident turned out to be a man who worked in the same office with him. They have filled up their cube-world with employees, so they schedule their Friday afternoon meeting at a hotel on the other side of the highway... so he was leaving that meeting when it happened. He was killed.

I felt bad about having thought of the accident as an annoyance, as though it was something that had happened just to inconvenience me and all those other people who didn't want to spend extra time getting somewhere. I am sorry that I looked at it that way. It's never alright to do that.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Searching for that balance

That's no way to live! Actually I've been working 7 days a week for a long time. The hours vary. It's usually not a full 8 hours on weekends (just occasionally) but several more than 8 on weekdays. Holidays don't mean much to me. We are running a geriatric center for cats, and don't travel anyway and never stay longer than overnight. Besides, I usually use my holidays to get work done. I really enjoy what I do though, and I like being able to be flexible with the hours. In 2 weeks it will be time for SXSW Music in Austin, and I do take off for that. Everybody knows the schedule gets cleared, and I build in a recovery day afterward (for blogging and sorting photos I imagine). It's too much fun! Way too much!

- - - - Dilbert -

This week's movie reviews

We've seen some interesting movies lately. Domino, starring Keira Knightley as a beautiful bounty hunter (based on a real person) and directed by Tony Scott. It was very artistically edited and colored, and one would assume that it was done digitally, but as the featurette on the DVD explained, he actually uses the film itself as an art medium. He uses various methods such as hand-cranking the camera to achieve special effects like double exposures, and the film itself very creatively is processed with chemicals that produce many bizarre colorations. So it's like he's making a hand-dyed scarf with acids and waxes, there's no starting over and you don't know exactly how it will turn out. Really fascinating. I didn't realize he worked that way.

We enjoyed the movie and the actors. Some good paraphrased quotes:

TV Exec assistant referring to her boss: He's like a ferret on crystal meth.
Bounty hunter: I've seen that.
TV Exec. assistant: What?
Bounty hunter: A ferret on crystal meth.

TV Exec (played by Christopher Walken): [watching one of his shows and screaming into the telephone] They changed the font? THEY CHANGED THE FUCKING FONT!!! WHY DID THEY CHANGE THE FUCKING FONT??? [then to the bounty hunter team] I've got font issues!!

Being a graphic designer, I guess the font rant was particularly amusing to me.

The next fun rental was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. Really recommended if you love bad sci-fi and horror from the 50s and 60s like we do. It's a new movie with good actors doing bad acting on purpose, and there is one scene at the dinner table that made me laugh so hard I was crying. Can't even explain it. Just see the thing for yourself.

The third one was Walking on the Moon in 3-D, which is playing at the IMAX. You've really got to experience seeing a movie in 3-D at the IMAX theatre. It's unbelievable how totally well this works, and with a screen that size you are completely transported by it. Looking forward to the deep sea IMAX 3-D movie coming in March, looks really great, and has Johnny Depp (and Kate Winslet) narrating. That has *nothing* to do with me wanting to see it. ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pick a peck of peter peppers

These are apparently for real. It's an eBay auction for seeds that grow these cuties. I found the link at Vegan Porn, which doesn't normally actually feature porno veggies.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

I am soooo three!

This is good quiz found via Spicy Cauldron. Only 2 questions! Click the title bar for link.

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
HarperSanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages
Your Enneagram type is THREE.

"I need to succeed"

Achievers are energetic, optimistic, self-assured, and goal oriented.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Leave me alone when I am doing my work.
  • Give me honest, but not unduly critical or judgmental, feedback.
  • Help me keep my environment harmonious and peaceful.
  • Don't burden me with negative emotions.
  • Tell me you like being around me.
  • Tell me when you're proud of me or my accomplishments.

Give me a "Hell Yeah!!"

What I Like About Being a Three
  • being optimistic, friendly, and upbeat
  • providing well for my family
  • being able to recover quickly from setbacks and to charge ahead to the next challenge
  • staying informed, knowing what's going on
  • being competent and able to get things to work efficiently
  • being able to motivate people

All true!

What's Hard About Being a Three
  • having to put up with inefficiency and incompetence
  • the fear on not being -- or of not being seen as -- successful
  • comparing myself to people who do things better
  • struggling to hang on to my success
  • putting on facades in order to impress people
  • always being "on." It's exhausting.

Tell me about it! Where's the "off" switch? Probably doubles as the "die" switch.

Threes as Children Often
  • work hard to receive appreciation for their accomplishments
  • are well liked by other children and by adults
  • are among the most capable and responsible children in their class or school
  • are active in school government and clubs or are quietly busy working on their own projects

...yes, that describes my potential, but I was too quirky to live up to it. Long story...

Threes as Parents
  • are consistent, dependable, and loyal
  • struggle between wanting to spend time with their children and wanting to get more work done
  • expect their children to be responsible and organized

All I have to parent is cats, and they are anything but responsible and organized. It is true that I wish all my kids would be less demanding while I'm trying to work... which seems to be pretty much all the time. I do try to "make time" for occasional belly rubs, and of course if Alex is in the room, he demands constant lap snuggling or sink drinks.

And while dwelling on such stress management tools as belly rubs, here's a worrying article on the state of things.

Friday cat Peek-a-Bamboo

Do you see anyone hiding behind that chair? I don't. Nobody at all.
Wait a minute! I see some pretty eyes!

Duncan is such a little flirt! Well, maybe not so little. Isn't he Mr. Mysterious here?

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

More crony baloney?

Man, here we go again! Just how far is this administration willing to go for the sake of cronyism?

From AP:
McClellan dismissed any connection between the deal and David Sanborn of Virginia, a former senior DP World executive whom the White House appointed last month to be the new administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Transportation Department. Sanborn worked as DP World's director of operations for Europe and Latin America.

"My understanding is that he has assured us that he was not involved in the negotiations to purchase this British company," McClellan added.

"In terms of David Sanborn, he was nominated to run the Maritime Administration because of his experience and expertise," the spokesman said. Sanborn is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He is an operations professional.

*and if you believe that, you probably think the world was created in a week.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Not the brightest bulb in the knife drawer

...and the tree don't fall far from the nuts.

Someone at work sent me a link to this video on wimp.com.

This would explain why Bush seems to say and do all that dumb stuff - this guy's been filling in for him.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

What I've been up to.

Saturday before last we went to see the awesome South Austin Jug Band at the Saxon. Here's a pic of the fiddlers, the only decent pic we got. That link represents my first attempt at setting up a band profile on MySpace. It has become a force to be reckoned with in the last 6 months. If you are *anybody* you have to have a profile! Today I am mulling over ideas for their web design. Still at the "creative" stage where a lot of of is done in the head. Very excited!

All week I worked my danged fool head off, day and night, and even worked some freelance on Friday when I had taken a vacation day. I honestly cannot remember when I had a real whole day off. It's been months. That situation will be resolved or on its way to being better soon. If I don't fix it, it will fix itself and that's not the optimum choice.

On Friday we unfortunately lost another tree in the back! The roots were rotted from something and the tree was beginning to sway in the wind, and not in a pretty way. We took it down to prevent an ugly fall-down. Sad. Just a couple of months ago we had to remove another one from the backyard. Huge limbs had already fallen from it, and it was not a tree that we wanted to save as it was a non-native water sucker. Water conservation is too important! The backyard will be a whole lot sunnier for a long time, but what can we do?

Also on Friday we went to Antone's in the evening to see Eric Johnson and Double Trouble again. This show was far from being a rerun of the one 2 weeks ago. EJ was jamming with a new drummer named Kyle Thompson (and this 3-man combo is apparently called "Ant B" and means the flavor is freeform jazzy. If Eric has Bill Maddox on drums it's called "Alien Love Child" and has a bluesier flavor, and with Tommy Taylor the band is just called "Eric Johnson" and is maybe a tad less bluesy and more rock. All 3 combos have Chris Maresh on bass. There will be a quiz.) Most excellent show!!

Saturday I *almost* had a whole day off. Woohooo!! We went to a matinee at Alamo Drafthouse to see "Munich", which was very good. It was about a half hour too long though, I think he could have hit us with the punchline a little sooner and perhaps harder, but worth seeing. After that 3 hour movie we decided against spending the evening outdoors at Mother Egan's (since it is below freezing this weekend for that twice-a-year cold snap that Austin gets) listening to Browncoat (Serenity/Firefly) drinking songs performed by an Irish band called the Bedlam Bards and also the Brobdingnagian Bards. They (the Bedlams) have a whole CD of Firefly/Serenity themed songs. Dang!! I really wanted to go to that but the Alamo was freezing, and it was freezing outdoors so we made a fire and put in the extended Return of the King DVD. It just doesn't get any better!!

Today (Sunday) there was another fine sermon from Davidson, a visit to the freezing grocery store and then had to clean out the remaining birdhouses. A filthy job, but well-timed since last week a hawk or falcon either killed or put the fear of bejesus into our little bird community so they were all gone... leaving only a couple of nests of wasps that were too cold to show their feelings about getting ousted. It's now 3 in the afternoon and I have work to do. surprise, surprise... but all is pleasant and there's a cat on my lap, so life is pretty good.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday cat - Alex does laps

Mostly my lap! If I am sitting at my laptop I am almost 100% sure to have another laptop. Here he is asking (or rather telling) me that he's on his way up.
He is so cuddly. Here he is "almost comfy".
My skinny little old man cat! Doing pretty well with his tummy troubles, but still only weighs 7.5 lbs. He's got the physique of Mick Jagger.
It's hard to get any work done with my permanent laptop accessory, but who could resist this guy? He is on my lap as I type this. Such a mama's boy!

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

Thursday, February 16, 2006

War is a Racket

"He’s like a post turtle. You see a turtle on top of a fence post, and you know that thing didn’t get there on its own, doesn’t belong there, can’t do anything useful and needs to have someone get it down."

Dr. Davidson Loehr in his Sunday sermon referring to George W. Bush.

He didn't make that up, but is definitely one of the few ministers who would use it in a sermon. This was another powerful pull-no-punches sermon on Sunday. It is now posted in its entirety here, and brought up some really interesting topics that I want to know more about.

Topics like the activities of Economic Hit Men, referencing the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins. It’s about the sort of teamwork used by major corporations, the World Bank and the government to dominate and take the resources of countries in 3 phases of what amount to a con: lure and entice the countries into infrastructure improvements needed for them to acquire fabulous wealth from their resources paid for by huge loans and worked on by companies like Bechtel and Halliburton, then knock off the leaders through violent “accidents” or some other covert means after the endeavor fails (which it always does). If the leader survives but won’t play ball, the troops go in. Iraq is just one of the places that has been victim to such a scheme.

The second punch of the sermon was about some of the various evidence and possible motivation for the complicity of the USA in the events of 9/11, covering not only the various theories regarding explosions and architecture, but in the area of motivation there is a lot to speculate about. He referred to this document (link goes to a PDF) from the year 2000, which suggests that a cataclysmic event such as another Pearl Harbor could be a factor in hurrying along America’s military progress. I noticed that in the back, Scooter Libby is listed as one of the authors. I’m just sayin’…

Scooter and Shooter… that would be cute if it were two puppies.

Anyway, go you Davidson, and thanks once again for speaking your mind. This is all stuff that we should be thinking about… a lot. The sermon is worth a read.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cowboy Willie

You gotta love Willie Nelson! Seriously! You gotta love him. Here is a link to a flash video for his new gay cowboy song (that you can buy from iTunes, or just listen here. Willie doesn't mind, either way, I got this link through Lost Highway Records).

The video is really quite a hoot. It's got bouncing ball lyrics and crazy dancing prairie dogs and squirrels, even the famous squirrel with the huge set!

I really hope that if we're going to erect a statue for this dear soul, that we do it while he's still around so he can get a look at it. What are they waiting for? To make sure he turns out alright?

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So funny I forgot to laugh

Looks like the White House is trying to smooth over the shooting with humor... cracking jokes and wearing orange. (According to the paperwork you can see over at the Smoking Gun, the blaze orange the guy was wearing on his head and chest didn't do him any good). Oh, Cheney's not amused. Is he ever amused? Is that when the snarl curls up?

I want to see how they laugh if the guy dies. Pretty not-funny. There might even be a tear or two shed over the contributions the Party will lose without one extra millionaire. He probably took care of that in his will, so that will help to dry the tears I'm sure.

They guy is an Austinite as I'm sure everybody knows. He lives within 10 miles of us... but in a better neighborhood. ;-)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hearty Greetings!

Happy Valentine’s Day if you are celebrating it. I really don’t, I am notoriously unromantic. I don’t like getting flowers, it makes me distrust the person’s motives. Flattery has the same effect. I wouldn’t wear a diamond if I had one. Cards are nice if giving them is heartfelt, candy will be eaten but will not improve my mood when the extra pounds show up. If you watch the show “24”, I am Chloe. A dinner/movie date will be nice, but it can wait for the weekend, and will not feature a romantic movie (we’ve already seen Brokeback Mountain and King Kong, and I can wait for the DVD on Pride and Prejudice. I adore Keira Knightley! Ohhhh, not that way! I am het, but she is delightful to watch.). Whatever the Day used to be, it has become one of those fake holidays thrust upon us by retail corporations.

The History Channel site has a nice little informative section, and a great time-waster on the sidebar called The Valentine Love Match Game.

Here’s a funny true thing: My previous mother-in-law gave her daughter a Valentine Card, and being a very naïve and sheltered person, she innocently signed it, "Have a nice V.D."

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Monday, February 13, 2006


Real life has been keeping me from posting as much on the Texas Oasis, not much time left over. I really hate it when I tell someone I don't have time for something or other, and they tell me that I can "make time". Make it out of frickin' what? And fabricating "time" is going to take a little time too. And where's the instruction sheet or recipe for that?

Seems like I have pursued my hobbies to the point where they have become a part-time job. Maybe this is a good thing, that's what they say anyway. Do what you love. I guess they say a lot of things, like "everything will be alright", "follow your dreams", and "you can make time". Maybe they are really full of crap. They also say that time is money. Unfortunately I can't go without money, so there's goes the time, and I'm always low on both.

I am wondering if I will end up on the median with a cardboard sign.

Will make you a website for vegetarian food.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's hard to think of anything more fun...

...than hunting quail with Dick Cheney... unless he happens to shoot you. Link.

Hell, the thrill of blowing birds to bits is worth occasionally getting peppered with shotgun pellets yourself according to the ranch owner. I paraphrased that. ;-). But imagine the thrill of carrying a faceful of scars put there by Cheney himself! Ohhhh. Now that's a trophy to display proudly. snort.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just for you, honey

My husband has declared a moratorium on the use of these words and phrases:


Baby bump

Just getting a little charge out of annoying him... heh heh... having one of those days...

Why is it that the beautiful movie stars just get a "bump"? I guess that's all you guess when you are a size 2. I've got a full-grown bump without even a baby in it. 24/7. Also, do the fathers develop a "sympathy bump"?

Friday double meatloaf stuffed donut

It may not get that cold in Austin, but these two don't need much excuse to snuggle up in the same bed. They think they fit perfectly in the donut-shaped bed. Who needs a cat-shaped pillow when you've got the real thing?

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

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Children of the corn

Neil Shakespeare posted a bit of art starring a kitten atop some ears of corn (and scroll down the page, Blogger has rearranged the post), and I was thinking about how benign, tame and harmless corn is. Oh… the cobs make rough T.P. but good pipes, and even inedible corn is pretty and decorative.

Well, corn actually is benign, but a toxin in corn mold (and in the corn tortillas) is thought to be responsible for a large number of babies being born between 1990 and 1992 without brains. This happened down near the Texas/Mexico border. Even horses died from brain disease after eating the corn.

It’s pretty scary because they are not yet sure what caused this problem to develop, and may not ever find out.

Stuff from Hellion

Crispin Glover freaked me out last year. We went to see him appearing live at the Alamo Drafthouse when he was presenting his film “What Is It?”. I embrace the weird, and Crispin is genuinely weird. He had Q&A for the film, and presented a narrated slideshow from his art/poetry book. I enjoyed the slideshow, including the grotesqueness of it, and he is hilarious sometimes but I honestly can’t tell if it’s intentional on his part. Anyway, the movie is kind of a disjointed nightmare where hundreds of snails are killed, and people in ugly masks (and ugly people) have sex with actors with Down’s syndrome. I know… sounds like tons of fun but it left me with some disturbing images that I still carry around. He weirded me right under the table (it was the snails).

Anyway, I’ve been messing around with MySpace.com and noticed that he has a profile*, and an absolutely hilarious blog entry on Chuck Norris.
It’s a list of comments on Chuck Norris. This one begins the list:

Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

*Actually, he has two; this one and his “official” one which does not have blog entries yet. This is his website.

I still embrace his weirdness, but will pass on a future re-viewing of "What Is It?"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Keeping the balls in the air.

Yep. Back on the wheel this week. If hamsters could juggle, the analogy would be better. Don't even have time to see Tommy Emmanuel at the Cactus tonight. grr. I am a little overbooked on the old personal schedule, too much work, too little time. Trying to fix this situation so that I actually have free time. You could say I'm working on it. Groan...

I will, however, have time to watch Lost tonight, because I might as well face it, I'm addicted to Lost.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stinky is good.

My office reeks of vinegar. At night the house does sometimes too. That's because I've been drinking apple cider vinegar and honey all week. After all the medicine and money spent at the pharmacy and doctor, nothing has really put me back on my feet after the bad chest cold I had a month ago. Apple cider vinegar and honey is an old folk remedy that is supposed to cure nearly everything you can think of.

This page covers ailments: arthritis, asthma, blood loss, colitis, coughs, diarrhea, dizziness, ear discharge, eczema, eyes (tired and sore), fatigue, food poisoning, hair loss, hayfever, headaches, hearing, heartburn, hemorrhages, hiccups, high blood pressure, insomnia, kidneys and bladder, and that's just A-K! It also helps you lose weight and helps you gain weight! Nifty!Here's another link with more info.

That's nothing though. There are whole books you can get on this miracle concoction. My mother swore that it cured her arthritis. She had been in traction, getting her head pulled up and released by a machine, and taking handfuls of pills every day -- then it magically went away after a regimen of apple cider vinegar and honey. I can't prove or disprove it, and doctors just shrug, say you're fine, and move on to the next patient. I think the high level of estrogen in the early birth control pills got rid of mine -- but again -- who knows, and who cares? It can't be proven or disproven.

Right now I'm hoping it will help clear the cobwebs out of my chest for less coughing and easier breathing. The side benefit is that people aren't likely to hang around in the office unless they've got business here (awfully busy these days), and the other benefit is that the ants in here are tickled to have the remnants of something sticky and pungent. I've washed the cup, emptied the trash and wiped everything off, but the air is still thick with vinegar. Whew!! Anything that smells this bad has to be good for you. Right?

I figure that it's powerful enough to scare off any lingering internal bugs, and besides, nothing else has helped. Anyone care to share a cup of snake oil?

Graphic from Vinegar and Honey Singing Telegrams. The title is a quote from an X-Files episode.

Monday, February 06, 2006

But can I balance my checkbook with it?

A 1950s concept of the home computer in 2004. The future just ain't what it used to be. As a matter of fact, the past ain't what it used to be either. This was shown in our company-wide meeting last week, and the boss wondered what the steering wheel was for. Good question. Gotta love the monitor too. hee hee. I think the whole machine is missing some rabbit ears though... you know... to pick up the internets.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shallow Super Bowl report

OK, I watched almost none of the game, I hate football. I really do like some of the commercials, but only saw a couple. In the way-too-cute department is the little Budweiser Clydesdale who doesn't quite fit into the big collar yet, but even better is the plug for the show "Lost" using Robert Palmer's great old video, and changing the lyrics to "might as well face it, you're addicted to Lost". Woohoo! Loved it! And, I would like to add the guilty pleasure of watching the Stones. I still think that Mick is hot, no matter how old he gets, and Keith really is the coolest rocker in the world.

One Dawg Night

We went to the David Grisman/Greencards show at the Paramount on Saturday. The 'Cards sounded just great!! I am flipped over the new song "Mucky the Duck". They were an opening act so the set was very short, too short. We went backstage after their set, but the guys were really very busy. They were whizzing back and forth, taking care of various business, so we didn't get to chat much more than "Hi, how are you, I'll be back, I've got to go [somewhere and do something]". So I felt lots of remorse for not being able to attend the Gruene Hall show the night before.

We watched most of the Grisman show from the wings of the stage at the Paramount (thinking the 'Cards might come back and hang a bit), so that is probably going to remain a unique experience for awhile. You cannot even really see or hear the audience at all, and the performers just have stage amplification, so it's kind of like they are in your living room playing -- if your living room is really huge and the band is facing to the side.

I watched some stuff from the wings once before at Kerrville, but that was completely different. People back there were enjoying themselves, hooting, applauding, and socializing behind the stage. This was very different, it was mostly security (and that's important I will concede) and was a very tight ship, hardly any applause form wing-watchers, and they cleared us out right before the end of the show. The 'Cards must have left by then, I'm not sure, and I'm not seeing another Austin show for them on the schedule until the ACL Festival. Can this be??
:::::::I'm depressed:::::::

David Grisman is a legendary mandolin player who is the father of a style of playing called Dawg Music. It isn't bluegrass. I am not that schooled in Dawg Music, but my impressions of it are that it's a combo of Jerry Garcia (who he used to play with under the name Grateful Dawg), Brazil samba, and Django. He is awfully good, but for my tastes I prefer The Greencards' Kym Warner on mandolin. Really and truly.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fur still makes me sick.

It is unbelievable to me that this crap is still going on. Business still has free reign, and even though most Canadians apparently oppose this, it will go on as long as people want the products. From the Humane Society:
Seal hunting is an off-season activity conducted by fishers from Canada's East Coast. They earn a small fraction of their incomes from sealing—primarily from the sale of seal pelts to European fashion markets. But the vast majority of the sealers' incomes are from commercial fisheries. Canadian seafood exports to the United States contribute $3 billion annually to the Canadian economy—dwarfing the few million dollars provided by the seal hunt. The connection between the commercial fishing industry and the seal hunt in Canada gives consumers all over the world the power to end this cruel and brutal slaughter.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Lucky Cat

Some people think that black cats are bad luck, and sometimes black cats just HAVE bad luck. Jax here has had plenty of that, but he's very aware that his luck has changed for the better in the last couple of years since he was rescued.

Maybe that's why he's trying to look like Maneki Neko, the Japanese "Lucky Cat". I think he's doing a good job. What do you think?

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

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Forward this to 1000 of your closest friends

A friend of mine sends me a lot of religious spam. She's not a close friend and doesn't know I'm an atheist and a left-winger, so I usually delete it and forget it. This time I returned it to her with a link where she could find out the truth about it. Here is the text of the email:
This is a personal issue. I have been burned doing this sort of thing before so I am not prone to do this sort or thing for just ANY reason, but I am compelled to act on THIS one!! I do realize the signifigance of the quiet protest that these types of emails are now starting to represent. I have sent this to a cherished you few friends who may realize the gravity of this situation. If used for the correct reason this type of emails have an overwhelming impact, points are driven home and the victory can be won. Send it if you'd care to help.

Please Sign this, if you don't wish to participate, return this to the person who sent it to you so they can at least keep this going or forward it to some one you think will wish to participate. Dr. Dobson is going on CNBC to urge every Christian to get involved. I hope you will think about signing this and forwarding to all your family and friends. Dr. James Dobson, with Focus on the Family, pleads for our action. An organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC. Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America. They got 287,000 signatures to back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped. This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools! You as a Christian can help! We are praying for at least 1 million signatures. This would defeat their effort and show that there are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country. As Christians, we must unite on this. Please don't take this lightly. We ignored one lady once and lost prayer in our schools and in offices across the nation. Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard. Together we can make a difference in our country while creating an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord.. Please press "forward," CLEAN UP THE MESSAGE, and forward this to everyone you think should read this.
[. . .]
Please defeat this organization and keep the right of our freedom of religion.
When you get to 1000 please e-mail back to: Lisa Norman at electric_yello@hotmail.com

It was sent to me with 759 signatures in it.

I usually check out this kind of stuff just to see what it’s about, who is doing it, etc. Here’s the real scoop on it. Dobson’s website (Focus on the Family) denounces this as a hoax, and encourages everyone to stay far away from it, and to by no means forward this stuff around. There is even an audio file where he says the same kind of thing with even stronger emphasis. Dodson is just suffering a backlash from one of the things that elevates him to where he is: his followers are sheeple, people who are likely to believe whatever they hear or read if they think it came from a "godly" source, and of course they do what they’re told because God'll get 'em if they don't.
Petition 2493: Still a Fake
The furor about a fictional petition to stop all religious broadcasting is still going strong — and now Dr. James Dobson is being pulled into the fray.

The Religious Right seems to have guerilla factions that start these hoaxes that are eventually sent to millions of people. They want to whip up the fear and paranoia factors in sheeple who already think the end times are here. All I can say is, even if you are a "believer", it's a good idea to understand why you believe something.

It's ironic that some of their fears are the same as mine but for the opposite reason. It's the fear that freedom of religion is being taken away by the government or by certain organizations. They are worried about the FCC and ACLU while I'm worried about the President and Congress. They think there's a war on Christmas and Christianity. I'm worried about a Fascist State forcing a State Religion down my throat.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

That's so Austin!

What a great show at Antone's! I'll tell you what. This was one of those shows that you will only see in Austin. We are still jazzed. Double Trouble (Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton) was Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. Double Trouble always has those two in it, although they have been part of other bands together (Arc Angels, Storyville). Malford Milligan sings with them, Riley Osborne plays keyboards, and Mike Keller has been playing guitar with them for awhile. They have plenty of guests performing with them, and they now have a regular Tuesday night gig at Antone's. I think that Double Trouble is almost more of a genre of their own (call it Austin Blues if you want) than a discrete band.

Last night they had the great Eric Johnson as guest and it was just a phenomenal show. Their set alone and their set with him was packed with powerful cover material, and everybody just seemed to be having a fun time playing some classics. He played just a killer How Many More Times?, Crossroads, and Politician handing-off to Mike Keller for some great jams. Eric was really channeling the Cream Clapton. There was an original Eric song Once a Part of Me that is on his Live and Beyond record, also with Malford singing, so that was pretty special to see.

It was really fun afterwards. I have gotten acquainted with several musicians (including Eric), and was happy to see Van Wilks in attendance (that was expected since he and EJ go way back), and also Alex Ruiz and Mark del Castillo from the band Del Castillo -- one of my other favorite bands. That was not expected but I'm not surprised that they are fans of EJs or just wanted to come out to a great show. Also it was nice to see my other music-crazed friends.

Eric Johnson
Double Trouble
Mike Keller
Van Wilks
Del Castillo

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Making the homeland safe for dead pigs.

Did you know that you can be arrested in America for writing down the license number of a car?

Caitlin Childs was picketing against meat-eating in front of a Honey Baked Ham store in Atlanta. Pro-vegetarian groups are among those targeted for surveillance by Homeland Security. She wrote down the license number of the man who had been photographing her and the other protesters. The car and its license plate were in full view of the public.

The article brings up several points about groups and events being targeted, and according to the Georgia ACLU, not one pro-war group has ever been under surveillance. Not one.

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