Sunday, April 30, 2006

Flowers. Drums. Songs.

It was a really beautiful, warm, sunny weekend. Saturday we started out at a CityWide Garage Sale Clearance, which was doing an "everything must go" for a funky little antique shop so we got some really fun stuff cheap.Eeyore's Birthday at Pease Park where everyone can let out their inner flower child. Here are a couple of pics from that, both from early in the day when it wasn't very populated yet. What a little angel, huh? It's the one day of the year I get to be more than an air drummer and make some of my own noise.

It was lots of fun, and the drum circle was going very strong when we had to leave to get ready for the show at The Glenn. It was the big Del Castillo show with Grupo Fantasma opening (I've linked to MySpace for quick listens). Two of my favorite bands!! It was a great show! I swear, we have the best local bands in the world! Director Robert Rodriguez was the special guest.

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Another one for Willie

Born in 1933 in Abbott, TX. Willie is a legend in his own time. I was just thinking about Willie and how he's got a universal appeal that I've really only seen previously in Frank Sinatra. People with very diverse tastes in music (or people who aren't even big music lovers) know Willie's music and love it. Hope it's a great day, Willie.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Messed up wacko

This is really one of the sickest crimes I've heard about lately. It's more than a little unsettling that the person who did this could get off with a fine, and even if they get locked up it would be a maximum of maybe 2 years.

Friday King Kong Kat

Alex: I'm pretty sure which one of us is Beauty and which is the Beast.

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

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shady Grove and Fragrant Fence

I always wanted a fragrant wall of honeysuckle, and now we've got one in the back. It has really spread and has been wrapping itself all over a tree from the alley, which makes it really tall as well. mmmmmm. Smells good. Here, take another whiff for the road. Careful not to suck a bee into your nose. Also, some Purple Martins have been spotted in one of our birdhouses... the regular house, not the Martin gourds... those have wasps living in them *again*!

Still having really great weather, with a few sprinkles of rain tonight, which gives me a stuffy sinus condition, but we need all the moisture we can get. We went over to Shady Grove for their "unplugged" weekly Thursday free concert. Monte Montgomery was playing tonight, he is a truly phenomenal guitarist. I've seen him many times, and the first time was back in St. Louis before I ever dreamed of moving here. I already had a couple of his CDs then. KGSR radio is the main sponsor of the show, and they always have a table of giveaways: paper fans, bumper stickers, beer coozies, various CD singles and odd CDs that they don't need. I couldn't believe it! There on the table was Kate Rusby's latest CD, "The Girl Who Couldn't Fly". Not just a single, the whole CD, something I haven't been willing to fork over the extra import $$$ for at Waterloo where it is found in the "Ireland" section. I am a fan of hers! Thank you KGSR! And it wouldn't hurt you to play this one, you know.

Here's a sign that would be funny if you didn't realize that in Austin they just passed an ordinance allowing dogs access to patio dining. Shady Grove isn't going for it though, but that's OK, especially on a Thursday night when it's so packed. It would be a disastrous combo of bare paws, spiky heels, lit cigarettes, close-quarter growl-fests and unscooped poop. Aaaaaaack.

We got there too late for a seat, and ended up on the lawn, so it was like live radio. I'm not really into being at concerts where I can't see the performers. I really only like going to Shady for shows when I can get in the first few rows of seats. I draw lots of energy and vibes from the stage, and without that I can get drained quickly from all the casual milling about in the back. Very unfocused. But the food was really good, I'll check Monte out another night, and I got a free Kate Rusby CD.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Today. It's a beauty. Perfect temperatures between 68 and 75, sunny. aaaaaah.

Don't forget Eeyore!

Eeyore's Birthday Party is this Saturday. A celebration of weirdness, good beer, veggie food, really fun costumes, and the absolutely cosmic drum circle which you can play in for hours without even realizing it! My avatar pic was taken there last year.

Saturday is Eeyore in the daytime, and Grupo Fantasma/Del Castillo at the Glenn in the evening.

A day with an adequate amount of cowbell.

- -

Monday, April 24, 2006

As American as a tofu dog.

You Are 46% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over. (EDIT: I wouldn't mind giving it a Queer Eye makeover)
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

46%. Sounds fair if they are measuring patriotism, actually it might be less, I am definitely don't support it "right or wrong" [good grief! how dumb is that?]. I'm pretty darned American. I was born on an Air Force base in this country, my dad was a lifer. When I lived overseas as a teenager, I would get offended when people put down America, but that was a long time ago. I was very naive and frankly it didn't happen that often, plus it was before VietNam was being protested en masse. It was after the Kennedy assassination but before I was exposed to any conspiracy theories about it that involved people in our own government. Still naive. Since I grew up, I have thought that America was headed down the wrong path, and will eventually self-destruct as an Empire. I'm afraid I am going to witness it. It's very sad.

There really isn't another country where I'd want to live. I love Austin. I'd love to visit the UK, Ireland, but that's about it. I travelled so much as a kid, I think I just about had enough of it. Ramblin' Fever can wear off. I think... and besides, I don't really think the grass is greener somewhere else.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sun and Earth, use one, use one up

At one of the Earth Day events, James McMurtry played a plugged-in set powered by the sun. As you can see there was plenty of it... and he sounded great, good and loud too.

I'm glad they are still having Earth Day, even though no one seems to know how to prevent humans from wiping out most natural life forms. Was it always human nature, or the way we evolved? Do we practice dominionism because of a scriptural passage, or is the scripture there because we need to rationalize our dominionism?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Going nucular over artic - rantlet

Click to enlarge.
Foxtrot hit one of my pet peeves! If the strip was longer, it could have rounded out my trio of annoying "mispronounced words by people who should know better". ARCTIC has a "c" after the "r". It is audible. Weather-people in the media are highly compensated and don't actually get it right that often. Pronouncing this word as ARTIC just adds a level of incompetence to the deliverer of an already rather unreliable product. grrrrrr.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Rough day and night at our Zoo

Hoo boy! What a day and night! Yesterday, I lugged 2 heavy wiggling cats in carriers to the Vet. Henry needed his annual and a steroid shot for his various itchies. Jax’s various itchies have led him to lick all the hair off his belly and elbows (do cats have elbows?), and was proceeding to take off the skin under it with that rough cat tongue. It’s an old problem for him, but needed looking at. He also got a steroid shot, so now 3 of our 4 cats are getting prednisone! They must be awfully special.

We had one hell of a storm during the night. Lightning hit waaay too close and scared the crap out of everybody (seeya later cable TV and internet access), then even after the storm passed, the cats continued an agitated freak-out tirade for the rest of the night. Alex started by throwing up his guts in about 6 places (I bolted up and threw him off the bed just in time! There’s no warning on this), including one of the bean bag chairs which lucky for us are vinyl. I love vinyl. Then he made as much racket as possible for several hours (ripping paper and knocking things off the dresser is a good way to get attention and blow off steam for a cat) until he got traded out for the Duncan and Henry pair. Henry is a perfect angel cat. Duncan was out of his mind, and spent the rest of the pre-dawn hours trying to pick a fight with Henry, meowing loudly, and (I soon found out) filling the OTHER bean bag chair up with pee. Like I said, I love vinyl. That cat is like one long crazy hour! Jax was lethargic this morning, but not licking himself. It’s either the prednisone or post-storm exhaustion. Hard to tell. Lightning photo by Jason Echols.

Friday Cat - Love me no matter what.

Duncan will not do "the pose". He has his own set of cute poses, like stretchy legs...

...and stretchy legs combined with lovey dovey gaze.

Can you believe this bundle of cuteness peed on the bed this week? Usually he poops on the bed instead, and believe me, I prefer that. He does it during his crazy hour. It's not for any of the standard reasons given for that behavior. He is just a nut and that's the story of that. We still love him.

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

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hail, insecticide, and a new definition of cold

Sorry for the lack of posts, just having a busy week, but good busy. Started a business yesterday to legitimize my hobbies finally! Spent the late night waiting for a new website I did for a customer to finally present itself after a nameserver change. I'm not so good at waiting, very fidgety. I've been in an annoying mental state of "Are we there yet... are we there yet?" My eBay auctions are going fine, with most of the stuff selling for a couple of dollars, but keeping me hopping with trips to the Post Office.

The mid-April run of 100 degree days (bringing the rolling blackouts that made the news) finally broke with a "cold front", which means that the temps went down into the 90s with some waves of hail and rainstorms. There was one hailstone reported that was big as a GRAPEFRUIT! You *never* want to see that coming. Most of the bad stuff was about 20 miles north of us and was the size of golf balls. Sheeeesh! Our hail was more like nickel-sized, but there's more hail coming today probably. Having the cars in a garage is sooo nice, wish I didn't have to take mine to work, it will probably get peppered there this morning. Lightning is supposed to get bad too. Aaah. Spring in Texas. Sure beats snow and ice though.

They also did a heavy bug spraying very close to this house to kill the gypsy moth, which is apparently endangering oak trees. In that little war, I have to side with the trees. Hope we didn't inhale too much of that one. I stayed indoors along with all our new palmetto bug friends that seem to be escaping the heat or dryness (palmetto bug = giant cockroach). I opened the fridge the other day and there was a mosquito in there. Am I seeing a trend?

No shows planned for awhile. Just fluffing up this cocoon here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I am energy in its purest form

You Are Diet Coke

You are energy in its purest form. No need to complicate things with sweetness.
And while people may hate your aftertaste, you are seen as a necessary evil.

Your best soda match: 7 Up [EDIT NOTE: Make 7 Up Yours. Whatever happened to that slogan?]

Stay away from: Coke

Diet coke is featured in this series over at Neil Shakespeare. Well, I'm not sure how I feel about being a necessary evil. I'm pretty sure I'm not evil. Don't know how necessary I am. I definitely don't complicate things with sweetness. And Diet Coke is the only soda I drink. This is scaring me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Before you go all "Sweet Home Alabama"...

(Reuters) - Veteran rocker Neil Young has recorded a protest album featuring an anti-Iraq war track with "a holy vow to never kill again" and a song titled "Let's Impeach the President," the singer said on Monday. [LINK]

We all know that Neil Young was born in Canada, but before you get bent over someone who's not a natural-born citizen of the USA expressing an opinion on a USA political matter, keep in mind that our Secretary of Labor was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Secretary of Commerce was born in Havana, Cuba [LINK]. All three of them have lived here for many years.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hot Spring weekend

A really nice weekend! Friday night we went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see V for Vendetta. We both like it a lot. We will see it again, probably on DVD. The Alamo is a fattening experience, so I've been trying at least half-heartedly, to behave since that. One of the things that sucks about being this old. Always on a danged diet! Sucks!

Saturday, there was a free show at Emo's by Calexico, who are one of my favorite bands. It was excellent, and too short, like all the other Calexico shows I've seen. They've all been openers, or SXSW, or ACL, or something that means you play an hour or less. Maybe Jovita's last year was a little longer, but I'm still waiting for my headliner Calexico full-length full electric show in Austin. It was great anyway though. I think maybe Joey recognized me from meeting him briefly a time or two, not all people will do that but some will (or maybe it's that dancing old lady factor). I've got more pics posted here. Afterwards went to Koriente for great veggie fare and powerful wasabi. It was a beautiful night.

Today, Sunday, it got up to between 94 and 98 degrees, depending on your part of town. Hello Spring!!

- - -

Saturday, April 15, 2006

God _less America

Hey!! I resemble that title!!

It says "Godless" as though it's a bad thing. Actually, it says "liberalism" as though it's a bad thing too. As one of the godless, I have no reason to hate and murder hundreds of thousands of people because they have a different philosophy than mine. I have no need to convert anyone to my (lack of) beliefs. You can believe whatever you like, as long as you're not hurting anyone. That's the meaning of freedom, and one of the main things that brought about the founding of this nation. Just don't think that you have the right to shove your philosophies down my throat. Theocracy is a building block of Fascism. Religion applied wrongly is the cause of most hatred and killing in the world... always has been.

People seem to picture the godless as crazed, insane people who have no conscience and go around doing as many bad things as possible because there are no repercussions (and would have been right at home as the wackos in Reefer Madness). Well of *course* doing bad things in life brings repercussions. Duh!

My ethics and morals come from inside, they come from my thoughts and feelings and what I decide to do with life's lessons, not from some "being" out there who is impossible to comprehend (that's a given even for most believers, isn't it?) I want to make the very best of this life, and do all the good that I can with it, and be as good to the earth as I can, and be remembered fondly when I am gone. That's because I think that this is it, guys. There's no magical mystical place to go after the here and now. You're lookin' at it, so make the best of it. What to make peace with "God"? Make peace with yourself. Love yourself and you can learn to love others.

I don't need to worship some being whose existence cannot be proven, and who requires blood sacrifice before being able to cast a glance my way because I'm just a hideous lowly creature and soooo not worthy.

I'm *really* not dangerous. I don't own a gun. I don't eat animals or wear them. I brake for cockroaches, for cryin' out loud (if they're big enough to see from behind the wheel... heh heh). I became a non-believer after years of soul-searching and thought after being a former believer, fundamentalist, born-again, slain in the spirit, the whole lot of it. Yup.

I've been there.
Glad I made it out.
Never going back again.

Instead of relying on a blood sacrifice to chase away the demons, how about these things to make the world a better place:

  • Don't be a mean person. Mean people suck.
  • Don't waste your time on unworthy causes.
  • Help out when you can.
  • Give what you can, keep what you need.
  • Be good to critters (people are critters too)
  • Dance.
  • Smile.
  • Cry when you need to.
  • Believe whatever you want, but try to understand why it is that you believe it.
  • Share the chocolate.

- - -

Bushisms keep comin'

George W. Bush, Charlotte, N.C., April 6, 2006

"George says it" found via Me and the Cat

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bad Friday

This would really ruin my day. Don't do this. It's really sick. Several people are doing this, it says the one guy has done it 20 times. I guess it never gets old.

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Friday Cat - made for love

It's Jax's turn to do "the pose".
Compare to previous weeks' Henry and Alex.
You may pet me now. Head and belly. Nowhere else.
You'd never know I just dismembered a chameleon in the living room. Quite a delicacy. Light and crunchy. Aaaaaahhhhh. Now leave me alone. I will summon you later.

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

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Actually, I think this is a great idea, and gives kids (and their parents) some exposure to these very cool... did I say cool? Shoulda said "cold-blooded" critters. The page will show you the critter's picture if you mouse over the name. African Bull Frog... I like that outfit, guy.


EDIT: I like the t-shirt this guy is wearing holding the Yellow Rat Snake. Moody Blues! I used to have that same shirt! Rock on.

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April 13 - IPAD

Happy International Plant Appreciation Day! I don't know how you are celebrating it. I myself don't have any big plans, other than showing off the backyard again. We don't have indoor plants. We don't keep anything alive indoors that will be eaten by cats: no plants, no mice, no birds, no bite-sized lizards. Anyway, here are some of the outdoor guys.

Purplish. Always nice in a flower. Good going! Grow like crazy!

Texas has great wildflowers, but the sharp, pointy stuff thrives too. That poor agave on the right got too frosty last December and I ended up giving it an ugly trim to get rid of the dead stuff. I'm attempting to start making tea out of that mullein. Good for the lungs, they say.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Del Castillo at Waterloo

The new Del Castillo CD, “Brotherhood” is finally here. They had a big CD release bash at Waterloo Records yesterday. The place was about as crowded as it gets. DC is one of the most popular bands in Austin. They are still our own secret, they have not really broken into the market in other towns other than having small followings, but they are still opening for bands in other towns that would open for them in this one.

The show was at 5:00, and it was already crowding up by 4:15 when I got there. That’s early for Austin! Believe me! They had to put 3 people down on the floor, so it was very close quarters for the performers/audience. It looked like several official videos were being filmed, and I will be in all of them for sure. No way out of it. The dancing old lady in the front. That’s me. The one in your video.

You know you’re from Austin if… your favorite band releases a CD of songs you’ve been hearing performed live for years.

That’s the case here for the most part, there are a few exceptions, and there’s one with Willie Nelson. That’s great though. It’s wonderful to finally have a recording of these songs.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eye don't wanna

How hilarious! Stunning that this company has sold even one of these, but they say they've sold a hundred as of Feb.

It's a do-it-yourself LASIK kit. Make sure you don't blink! I like the cartoon of the fried eyelid. Found via J-Walk.

In other news, Bausch & Lomb's ReNu is causing blindness in some people.

EDIT: Snopes has outed the LASIK@home as a hoax. Good one guys! I do think the t-shirts are cute though.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A bright spirit

Yesterday was the memorial/ash spreading for Jeen Lilly (ev brown). The weather for the day was as perfect as you can imagine, about 81 degrees, sunny, low humidity, and a very light breeze. We gathered right before sundown, but early enough where it was still light when we finally left. It was a very small crowd because of her circumstances. She had hundreds of friends and many relations, but they are all over the world. Not that many actually live in Austin as she had just moved here on the last day of January 2006.

The ashes were in an old Chinese urn. There were candles, incense, simple yellow roses, and readings, mostly from her own works. She was a powerful writer.
A bright spirit is
gently passing between worlds;
breathe deep of heaven.

I believe that people live on as long as they are remembered, they live in hearts and minds. That's your afterlife, along with DNA and all the stuff it carries with it. She will be remembered fondly.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Slither - Jabba the Gut and the Zombie Penises from Outer Space

Get Slither wallpapers here.

I was excited to see that Nathan Fillion had a new movie coming out, but not too excited after seeing the trailer... looked like one long gore-fest with uninterrupted screaming. I am neutral when it comes to horror movies, it really depends. If they have "the devil" as the big bad guy I will usually take a pass (with exceptions made for Johnny Depp movies) because I am not afraid of the devil, seeing as how I don't believe in him/her. If the fear of hell and the devil is required to make the movie scary... bring it on. yawn. Also, don't just gross me out for 2 hours. It's boring.

This movie, Slither, is really very good! It's an out-and-out B-movie. Think "Shaun of the Dead" with American humor. A little of "Tremors". It's not trying to take itself seriously and be a "film". It's absolutely hilarious. Great popcorn fun... and I already mentioned that Nathan Fillion is in it, one of my favorite actors to watch because of his Firefly role.

Trivia on the director from IMDB, James Gunn: The Gunn character on Angel is named after him and his brother Sean.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

SOS vs. AMD - cute Flash movie

Friday Cat - Henry strikes a pose

Henry wants to give last week's Texas Oasis catmodel some competition. He knows he's just as cute. It's just a matter of doing the poses.
There's no substitute for that burlap catnip toy. It's everybody's favorite.

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

D is for dumb, disgusting, and D'oh!

Brian J. Doyle
Taking that domestic surveillance a little too far, Mr. DHS, eh? Talked that "14 year old" into getting herself a web cam, just for you, huh?

And sending the girl a picture of yourself at work with your Homeland Security pin on? that qualifies for Leno's stupid criminals collection. Not to mention giving out all your work phone numbers and names of people you work for over the internet to a stranger and doing it on a govt-issued computer.

Where do they find these people? I guess we should relax. He was only the 4th highest ranking person there. [snort]

Smooth sailing so far

I am on my half-time schedule starting this week, and it’s absolutely fantastic! Right now I work 5 mornings and try getting in touch with my inner sane person in the afternoon. I know I am more than a little underemployed right now, but I doubt I will stay that way. Anyway, it’s another beautiful day in Austin, Texas.

Last night was our Teddy Thompson show at the Cactus. He has the most amazing voice, I’ve already gushed about that previously. He’s also pretty funny onstage. The venue was not packed like I thought it would be. He’ll be on KUT around noon today, (EDIT: audio archive is here) and at the Cactus again tonight, where I hope there will be a full house (KUT provides good exposure, even better than KGSR I think). I’m not going again. Don't want to appear obsessed [yet] and need to save money where possible. Underemployed, you know… need that money to buy CDs…and tickets for other shows!

The magic word is... eBay. $$$$

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Not only is it tomorrow already, but Winter is coming!

Happy birthday to Heath Ledger, who was born in Australia on April 4 (1979)... except that it's already April 5th over there...

Well, Heath, sorry we missed it. Hope it was happy. ;-)

Monday, April 03, 2006

ACL festival - sour grapes!!!

This sucks! Here I am, checking email all day, then when I'm having dinner and keeping up with the latest Dynasty Reunion news and Star Jones' boob job on Entertainment Tonight, the big super-duper ACL festival $35-for-3-days ticket offer goes out. An hour after it arrives in the inbox I am a sore loser again -- they sold out of the initial 3,000 tickets in 42 minutes.

Like I really want to pay more than that for that over-crowded heat-fest! grrrr.
Well crapinthepants! I will probably go if I can win free tickets. Maybe.

- - - - -

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Matters of Life and Death

Tomorrow is my first "half-day" and my first step toward preservation of sanity (I hope) and probably poverty. I go to work in the morning and come home at lunch-time... and stay there... or go where I want. I've been pretty stressed, overworked and sleep-deprived for months. After staying healthy for a couple of years my immune system must be suppressed because I've been sick twice this year -- just nasty cold bugs, almost pneumonia the first time, both with bouts of high fever and bad cough.

Friday I got up with a very high fever after being sick most of the week, but knocked it down with ibuprophen so I could attend a consulting business seminar. Unlike most of the others there, I am not trying right this minute to grow my business. I am just trying to figure out what kind of paperwork I need to fill out. Should I be a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership of one (a partnership of one? that's legalese if I ever heard it!!) The lawyers seem to think the LLP is infinitely a better idea, so I have to go through a little extra yada yada... but that's OK. Hopefully I will have TIME to do it. Some of the other seminar talks I am letting go in one ear and out the other because I am hoping to have lots of clients who would not even recognize me in a pin-striped business suit ("dress vertically!!!").

This week has also been filled with ev (Jeen Lilly). Because of her unique circumstances, the main responsibilities of bringing about her transition from one lifeform to another fell mainly upon acquaintences rather than family, and although we had known her online for years, few of us had very much face-to-face time with her. We personally had a couple of concerts, church, and lunch. Now I am charged with coming up with the words that with be read at her memorial, which will take place next Sunday. It's actually very easy to do that. The hard part is weeding it down, there is so much to choose from! An embarrassment of riches. That's how she described Austin, and it also describes the treasure trove of her own writings. Anyway, I will need to rest my voice. I have talked on the phone more in the last week than I normally do in several months, which has aggravated this awful cough that is still keeping me up at night. Gotta take care of that. Leaving the phone turned off except for periodically checking messages.

Maybe I'll read for awhile, and even take a nap. What a concept! Not one I've been very familiar with for a long time. Truly relaxing is not going to happen that easily. Hopefully it's down the road somewhere.