Monday, July 31, 2006

Not your ordinary hateful spew.

I have spent a good amount of time enjoying a newly found blog that consists of stupid "christian" hate mail written to Bobby Henderson over his Flying Spaghetti Monster. This is some really hilarious stuff, and not just the letters themselves but the comments are great too.

Over and above the usual stupid hateful misspelled spew that makes up these kinds of letters is one thread from someone who must have some kind of multiple personality disorder, or is pretending it -- long tirades followed by "someone hacked my account" posts that read just like the hacked ones, followed by everybody and his brother pretending to be this guy. (Mouseover the poster's link to see who the pranksters are)

A bit like the Darwin Fish symbol, this thread's got legs! And it's stretching them right now! hee hee!

Pastafarians, may you all be touched by His noodly appendages!

FSM Hate Mail found via Fark.

Microsquat says "Huh??"

Human to Microsoft Vista's new voice recognition software, demonstrating its fabulous ability to take a letter: Dear Mom.

Vista writes: Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

What they are admitting they did wrong? Attempting to demo it onstage.


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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Don't believe everything you read.

...especially when it comes to truth in advertising. You know those sealed plastic bags of baby spinach, mixed greens, etc. that say "Washed and Ready to Eat"? Well of course, I always wash it anyway, you probably do too. Well, I found a guy who looked a whole lot like this one in a bag of spinach. I don't think he ate much, probably nothing at all. Poor thing, dead of course. Anyway -- the bug theme continues.

Picture from here.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Biiiiig weekend so far

A pretty good weekend so far. Friday night we braved the heat and went to Central Market to see the Malford Milligan Band. There was no need for bravery, we got a shady spot right by the stage and it turned out to be a beautiful night with great music, and the sound was good too! Not bad for a grocery store event! I love Austin. Lots of people got up and danced, mostly children, and they are so much fun to watch. This boy had his ukulele and was looking really cool playing it. Another boy was really hamming it up with some dance moves. Fun! Had some really good food and a bottle of wine at a grocery store price (vs. a restaurant price... biiiig difference).

And speaking of biiiiig, this morning (Saturday) we went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They had the Big Bugs sculpture exhibit that I wanted to see. Really cool big bugs, completely made out of wood. All very beautiful. Here's the spider. I am arachnophobic so seeing a spider this size is probably therapeutic, although this one is not hairy-legged and drooling. aaaaakkkkk. The mantis (above) is something I was phobic about as a child. It's only because my mother and grandmother told me that a praying mantis would spit tobacco juice in your eye, so when we were in Hawaii (when I was only 2-3 yrs. old) I got cornered by a mantis... well maybe not cornered, but I needed to walk past it to get home and it wouldn't budge. So I was stuck there (it was a balcony deck) for what seemed like hours, waiting for someone to help me get past this mantis without a tobacco juice incident. Relatives!! What would their job be if it wasn't to scare the hell out of you as a kid, or embarrass the hell out of you as an adult? So anyway, my mantis phobia is long gone, and I visited the guy above without even a flinch (although I am still terrified of tobacco juice). No problem with these ants either. They had 3 of them positioned way out in the trail/field behind the center looking very much like "Them" had arrived.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Cat - resting up for a big night

Oh man! Is it Friday already? Time for another cat blog. I'm Jax, the cat-of-the-week this time. This is pretty much what I did all week, except for Friday night when I watch Meerkat Manor with the humans. Meerkats... need to rest before Meerkat time. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The most interesting thing that happened to me this week is that these cute California girls emailed us their picture! Gotta get out to California sometime. I'm on my way right now... in full mosey, can't you tell? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at The Scratching Post - - -

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A dry state

The town officials of Lubbuck, Texas are organizing a "Pray for Rain" day on Sunday. The drought is bad, it's bad here in Austin too. They're doing it because it worked for them in 2004. Well, we shall see. NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) posts a Drought Information Center, so it makes it easy to see if the prayers are working. The state of the dry conditions which include Lubbock are called things like "extreme" and "severe", and the outlook through October is "persistence". Around here it's like the rain clouds form, they spit at us, and move down the road (...although it did rain here on the 4th of July. Did that mean god wanted to ruin the fireworks?). Just as sure as the hurricanes will be extra bad again this year, it's going to be hotter and drier than usual through central and west Texas. It was incredibly hot and dry here last year while the coasts were being pounded by storms. Maybe some of these people will pray that people will start making more effort to reduce global warming.

I truly believe that a whole lot more needs to be done to conserve water, especially during these times, and make it mandatory if people won't comply, dammit [grrrrr]. It's OK for grass to be brown. Like that patch of grass out there between the Target store and the highway. Stop pouring water on it with your damned sprinklers!! Here's a page for Austin with general info for conserving water. Sorry it's no help for Lubbuck.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

9/11, Pax Americana and the New World Order

Next Wednesday, August 2 there is free viewing and discussion of the movie "What's the Truth?" which you can download in several formats here []* if that's more convenient. Here's the info on the event. Dr. Davidson Loehr will also be speaking about the New World Order, Cheney, the Bushes, Rumsfeld, Economic Hit Men, PNAC, the Fourth Reich and all sorts of wonderfully inflammatory topics that need to be discussed in public more -- probably most of which is included in this article posted on I've blogged about Davidson before. He's one of my heroes.

Anyway, just a heads-up for Austinites who can attend in person, and some stuff to chew on for the rest of ya'll.

*EDIT Aug. 1: according to the Chronicle, the movie shown will be this one, "Martial Law 911: Rise of the Police State" instead of "What's the Truth?".
EDIT Aug 3: Follow up.

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Old Rubber Lips

This is birthday of Mick Jagger, he's 63 and seems to be fit as a fiddle. He's in fantastic shape, and watching him is still a guilty pleasure. This is my ink drawing I did about 30 years ago, give or take. My ultimate Stones show, 1969, West Palm Beach, stageside. Also saw them twice the same day in 1972 (in their prime as some would say) and a couple of other times since. They are coming to Austin for sure, it's confirmed. I guarantee we won't be this close. I'm expecting the "cheap seats" to be in the $60 range if other shows on the tour are any indication. Bring the binoculars. A telescope wouldn't hurt.

The title, "Old Rubber Lips" comes from the nickname given to Mick Jagger's character "Turner" in the movie "Performance". He played an eccentric, semi-retired rock star. Stretch, huh? Check it out sometime. It's a wonderful old cult classic and has absolutely great Ry Cooder guitar all through it.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.

'What will your obituary say?' at

This is funny because I have thought about Chuck Norris recently - mainly because he's been in town conducting some kind of martial arts thingy. Here is the website for Chuck Norris Facts. You can even design your own Chuck Norris t-shirt! I have wondered whether Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer would come out on top in a confrontation. I'm sure that they would manage to work things out peacefully.

Quiz found via The Goober Queen

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot Vegans

This is not new news, but it's ongoing and I still wanted to do a post on our Austin vegan firefighters. Team C at Engine House 2 wanted to get their cholesteral down, particularly one of them whose male relatives had all died from heart disease by age 59 - and he himself had triple bypass surgery in his 50s. Firefighters have been know for their cooking, and so are these. Their website has the whole story, plus pictures and a whole bunch of recipes. It's a great success story in the health category, and they even sell "Hot 4 Vegans" shirts and hats (you know you want one!). Plus, these guys REALLY need to put together a calendar if they haven't already done it.

I really admire vegans. It's harder than vegetarian, we tried it for about a week... once... and I think eventually will get there... someday. There is dairy and egg in everything!! Reading labels will provide surprises. I wanted a little jar of horseradish and could not find one without eggs in it. Yup. And you have to read all the fine fine print for lacto-this and whey-that. We have both cut way down on both items but haven't been as strict as I would like.

It would be a good way to lose weight -- no muffins, cookies or cake temptations in the break area (yes, they are out there in the shops but not usually in the break room), no ice cream, no milk chocolate, no cheeeeeeze (sorry, I don't do vegan cheese, I would rather do without or with a substitute like olive oil).

An article in last week's Houston Chronicle claims that according to a poll, vegetarianism has gone up from 1% to 3% in the past year. It didn't cite specifics on the poll, and I want to see more data, but if that's true it's great news. A percent of that many people is a hell of a lot. (This is Houston we're talking about, and I am trying to imagine being vegetarian in Houston! In Austin I know the percentage is much higher, but don't have the numbers to back it up -- not with me anyway, all I know is that I've never run into this much vegetarianism anywhere but California)

Their website - NYT article - - - - -

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A striking site!

Whoa! This is certainly one of the coolest lightning shots I've seen. [source] This one just happened a few days ago. Ever been to the Luxor in Las Vegas? Indescribable, really. The most outstanding feature is the beam of light from the top that it sends out into space. It's very different from the other major casinos in that this single beam of light takes the place of having millions of lights all over the building. The outside of the pyramid is fairly dark except for the 4 defining lines of the pyramid's sides. I don't even know what kind of damage this strike did to the building. I doubt if the tippy-top is a "people" area, not that close to the monster-beam anyway.

Here's a shot from 2000 [source]

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Texican trouble

Looks like the Boys are not immune in Austin.* This morning at 10, JoJo Garza was arrested for assault... and they found some pot. It happened at the Omni downtown, there was a disturbance, there was a woman there... someone was hurt, no more details yet. Their manager Kevin Womack has got to be under some major pressure to come up with an official statement right now.

They were supposed to have a little pre-show show at Stubb's, a soundcheck show for people who bought their new CD at Waterloo Records. My friend was down there and called to tell me it was cancelled -- but I swear she said the reason given was because the guys were stuck in Ft. Worth. Maybe they didn't want to start a riot. I didn't even try to go to the show. The Boys are just too popular, makes it tough, fans are hardcore, and I saw them "when" as they say. Saw them in the clubs in Austin before they hit it big and have seen them since then too. LLB put on a great show, lots of charisma and energy.

...and speaking of hardcore, great shows and charisma, the buzz is that the Rolling Stones will play Austin (in Zilker Park) in October! I am both happy and dreading this... dreading it because I can no longer afford the Stones like I could at one time. Arrrgh. What to do?

* referring to Ringo's previous arrest for drugs in San Angelo. I seriously doubt that if they would have stayed in Austin the band would be stalked for drug arrest, and I don't think this arrest would have happened without the "assault" part of it. Just waiting to see what happened now. I don't think the previous arrest really hurt the band's image. Look at Willie Nelson. He's a big pot-supporter and one of the most well-loved celebs I can think of. This arrest, though, involved a woman being assaulted (at least that's what's being said now), and that's a whole 'nother thing. The band's fan base in very family-oriented: moms, dads, young people, young couples with babies and toddlers. They connect with the little ones big time. I think this whole thing is going to hurt their image because of the family violence aspect. NOT GOOD (and not restricting that comment to just their image).

EDIT Monday 24th: Now the woman is saying no assault, just a misunderstanding (even though earlier reports definitely said the woman was hurt). They are in love. No problem. Sorry for the disturbance. EDIT Wednesday 26th: The person who was in the next room says there was a loud argument and someone was slammed against the wall. The woman had visible scratches according to the police report, and wouldn't let them look at her back and mid-section. Jojo, this is bad news. Her official response is all too familiar sounding. Sad.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Cat - Cute with bad habits

It's been Weird Duncan week! Here he is with a green bean stalk in his mouth... NOT something he was allowed to keep any longer than it took to take this picture. I can't even show you his true weirdness, his new crazy-hour habit now includes pooping either on the couch or the bed -- whichever is available. It's turned into a daily affair of running extra loads of laundry, laying out plastic and shaking our heads over this weird cat. Is there a cat psychologist in the house? It's not litter pan aversion, this only happens during crazy-hour, and the litter pans are cleaned a couple of times a day, AND he does use them. Urgh!

Anyway, the big sweetie redeems himself. How can anyone be mad at cutie-paws here? This big old fuzzy purr-beast. I mean, really?

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

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Wow! St. Louis just had a hell of a storm! I used to work in the building that's just one block from this one, so it is a little bit freaky for me to see this pic!

Google Earth shows what looks like a big hole in the top of it, and that didn't help the old guy out much.

Snake snack

Weird critter story of the morning, snake swallows queen-sized electric blanket, controls and all, needs surgery to remove.

But it was so delicious...

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Only 60%?

You Are 60% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

Actually, I have no concept of "normal". I prefer to rate things on how "dangerous" they are rather than how normal. On that scale, I would be Mostly Harmless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Heart of Gold, and 2 true stories about liars

Two good DVD rentals this week. First of all, Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Aside from the obvious feature here of getting to watch Neil Young perform a whole album of new material in a great venue, kudos to the director for not using the MTV editing style that has been bugging me all these years: jerky, rapid camera movement, not letting you see anything longer than a second. This was delightful and I never once felt the concert video frustration of wishing I could move the camera myself. Thank you Jonathan Demme.

The other one was “Shattered Glass”, a true story about a liar, which redeemed Hayden Christensen as an actor (an aside -- I win the little debate with Mr. Blueberry. It’s not the actors in the latest Star wars Trilogy that are to blame, it’s just that George Lucas can no longer get a good performance out of a human no matter how good an actor they are).

I used to have a friend who was that kind of liar – so anxious to be popular that he would fabricate all kinds of stuff about himself, a regular Jon Lovitz “yeah, that’s the ticket” kind of guy. Whatever you liked or admired, seems like that was what he tried to become. Technically I don’t know if it’s classified as a pathological liar (I’ve read that they actually believe their own stories) or some other kind. I will call him PG for "phony guy".

Anyway, this was back in high school, it was about 1970-ish and went on for several years. PG said that his Grandparents were Native American. He was an amateur artist and had painted their portraits as Native Americans. There was a whole story to go with it, very plausible. OK, cool. He liked to dress in Indian-style garb, feathers, headbands, beads. Not unusual at all for the times. Seemed like a nice enough guy and started hanging around with our little crowd, usually at our house. When I say “our” I mean my mother and I. She was 34 years older but was really much more of a friend than a mother. We had the same friends, liked a lot of the same music, went to the same places, even rock festivals, both got high… [OK, my upbringing was anything but typical, and this was a remnant of our sixties lifestyles][and I'm fine... really.]

Some of our friends were gay. After we’d known PG awhile, he told us that he was gay. He even started moving his body differently, adopting new, more effeminant mannerisms to seem more convincing. (oooookaaaay…. fine… maybe he was and maybe he wasn't, it didn't matter to us one way or the other) One of our friends was not only a drag queen but also a self-proclaimed Satanist. He said it was his mother’s religion and he was raised that way -- an interesting person and very dear to us. (He also worked at the funeral home, and got us to take in his co-worker who needed a place to stay. None of us knew this co-worker guy was an escaped murderer, but that's another post for another day maybe) Also, my cousin who also hung around with us was a big Alice Cooper fan, so, it wasn’t long before our friend PG is now not only a gay Native American Indian, but he starts wearing these hooded black capes, black nail polish and geez, I can see where this is going!! Add Goth to the recipe and impress a couple more.

I probably could have even believed all of the above (people do go through plenty of changes), but a lot of people were starting to get seriously pissed off about various things he'd told them that didn’t gel, make sense, couldn’t be true. I don't remember all the stuff, it was a mess. The Matriarch (my mother, the only adult) and some friends decided to have a mock trial for him (which would these days be called an “intervention”). Basically, when he showed up after being asked over, everybody just put him on the hot seat about stuff and we all tried to clear the air. Basically we got to yell and he got to apologize, confess, grovel, and whatever. Did it help? I don’t know. There can’t really be friendship when all someone has lied about so many things, who knows what to believe… even if PG is really sorry about it. Trust is about the hardest thing in the world to get back after it's gone.

The Irresistables

Well, here we go. As soon as the neighbor's kittens entered our lives, we decided not to get attached and basically just try to keep them away and leave them alone even though they won't get good care. As mentioned here before, they don't fix their animals, barely give them any shelter, food or water. It's the old pro-life problem -- they must give birth but care and survival after that is their problem.

We CAN'T save the world, one cat at a time. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

They love us, of course. When our garage door opens, here they come at full speed in 100% cute mode. Getting out of the driveway in the morning will require about an extra 5-10 minutes as one person holds the kittens back while the other pulls into the street, gets out and the holds back the kittens for the other one. The car horn doesn't frighten them away.

The kittens are always panting when we see them, and yesterday it was over 100 degrees (today will be hotter than yesterday!). Last night we gave in and put out some water for them, theirs was gone and their "folks" were gone too -- they took really long drinks. Poor little sweeties.

I think their kitty mom is pregnant again. I will be surprised if another litter is allowed, I will not be surprised if she disappears or gets "stolen". And how long will it be before this little baby girl is pregnant too?

Previous posts on these babies:
Kittens are great, but...
New cats on the block
Yard cats

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The worst kind of nuts

Newt Gingrich says we are already in World War III and Bush might as well go ahead and say so. Isn't that a bit of an extreme measure just to make sure the Repugs keep power? Does anyone really believe we can survive World War III? That last question is rhetorical. I know there are people who believe that. I'm not one of them.

It's not just nukes to worry about, even if Bert the Turtle's advice were helpful. It's that triple-whammy of NBC - nuclear, biological, chemical. It's all pretty incomprehensible.

Book image from, a place where boomers can relive a bit of their childhood. CONELRAD found via J-Walk.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pink Myrtle

The Crape Myrtle's have been blooming with fat pink blossoms for the longest time... so pretty. All the fallen petals on the garden path have turned everything pink, because there are still plenty left on the tree. That extra accessory is a hunk of pink slag, one of my few contributions to the yard. (c-r-a-p-e is actually the correct spelling in this case. I was surprised by that one the first time I saw it)

The Crape Myrtle is the State Shrub of Texas! And you thought the State Shrub was "Bush". I guarantee that Bush is far more red than pink. Here's an eye-level view of the flowery jungle, and you can enjoy it without the mosquito swarm I braved to take the picture (and no, I didn't make it out without about a half-dozen bites), not even mentioning bees. I love screen.

I don't see how it can be called a "shrub" because I thought shrubs were short. Most of the blooming branches are eye-level from the second story. Here's one more little shot closer to ground level.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Local boy in the spotlight again

This week’s movie to see is “A Scanner Darkly”. It’s a local production from Richard Linklater and I think the previews look really good. Have not read the book, but would like to. We did not opt for the special screening with the live performance / appearance from the score composer Graham Reynolds, and did not attend the local Premiere with the director et al (all cool stuff, but took a pass this time. A $6 matinee has its benefits too)(and I can’t believe that prices have gone up to the point where $6 is considered “cheap”).

When they were about to start making this movie, I very seriously considered answering their ads calling for people who know Illustrator, Photoshop and Flash. It was so tempting I practically had to slap myself back to sensibility. What a cool job, and I think I might have been hired… buuuuuut… the reality on projects like that is that you are working round the clock, who-knows-how-many hours a week, anywhere from 80-100. The truth is that I can no longer work like that, or at least I shouldn’t, not even if it’s just for a few months…uh… years. It not only makes me ill but goes against my personal goal of having a life separate from work. My other personal demon prods me to go after the coolest job, but demons are not always the best counselors.

Anyway, tomorrow at noon, I will see the results. Linklater is really quite an interesting filmmaker. He and one of our other film dudes, Robert Rodriguez, have really produced some innovative and extremely creative projects, especially in the area of pure visual effects.

I am not necessarily a big fan of some of Linklater’s most admired projects, such as Slacker, or even Waking Life (Slacker on acid), although they are all quite interesting, but I preferred School of Rock. That’s just me and my preference for the cheeeze. Anyway, I am psyched for this one a bit.

EDIT: Two thumbs up! This is a good one. The visual effects helped it, which could have easily gone the other way. Linklater supposedly came up with this effect, and in this case it was a good tool (whereas in "Waking Life" it was more of a toy). Just my useless opinion, and I'm not about to offer any spoilers.

Friday Cat - The Results Are In

It has been scientifically proven that kitty-cats prefer big fluffy piles of freshly washed folded quilts on a pedestal over the other less appealing choice of a cold craggy rock.

- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at For The Junta - - -

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still no cure for cancer

Pot may indeed lead to heroin use, rat study shows

Whoa!! Hang on there, Nelly! I think they are making some very broad assumptions and drawing some off-the-wall conclusions from this study!

They took some teenaged rats (teenaged being a developmental stage, not age) and administered some of them doses of THC and some got none. Then, they fit them all with catheters where they can give themselves heroin or not, and they can control the amount.

The rats conditions with THC gave themselves more heroin than the "straight" rats. This is supposed to prove that pot may lead to heroin use in people? pthhhhtt!! Silliness!

First of all, THEY gave them the THC doses, they administered the drugs, which, first of all, turned the rats into drug users (without being given a choice in the matter), and raised their their tolerance for drugs.

OK, they've been forcedly given a drug for a period of time, then they are catheterized and given the option of another drug (and these are LABORATORY RATS, remember... not people) and the results of this experiment are relelvant to the experiences of a human teenager in society with free will plus the whole bundle of issues surrounding drugs including parental guidance (pro and con), social norms (pro and con), personal ethics and beliefs, and knowledge of the law and repercussions of breaking the law? Those things are not factored in here whatsoever.

Pot is illegal, heroin is illegal, and so exposure to both substances may happen in the same places. Not like booze, if you go in a bar and have a nice legal beer it's probably unlikely that you will encounter heroin. How about this: condition the teenaged rats with booze, then offer the heroin and see if your results are any different. Does this mean booze leads to heroin? How about tobacco? Or aspirin? Does that lead to rats giving themselves extra heroin? Try putting vitamins in the catheter. I'll bet the doped rats turn into "health nuts".

How about this: make pot as legal as booze, and see how it affects use of harder (still illegal) drugs. Also, leave the rats the hell alone.

1942 Ford

Today is the birthday of Harrison Ford. He was born in 1942. What scares me (probably scares my husband) is that I don't have to look that one up. I'm not obsessed with Harrison (uhhh... not anymore... back in the 80s... welll...), but some little tidbits of trivia just lodge themselves in a safe part of the brain where they will always remain.

Well, Mr. Blueberry shouldn't complain. Remembering my birthday or the day we met, especially what year, is still a very funny guessing game for us. He usually gets them in 2 guesses now. It's funny because I know that after all these years (pushing 20), this is not going to change. Accept it and laugh, there's no other choice. Maybe the affinity for remembering dates is somewhat gender-based.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I wish this were true

I mean I wish that Ann Coulter were only a cartoon and she could be erased, recycled or otherwise dropped out of existence, or that she had a "Pause" button. Duct tape that sucker down. Click here to watch the animation by Walt Handelsman.

Work, play, collapse

It's been a packed weekend and week, hardly time to breathe. Not all work and no play though (I have only those 2 settings. I have no setting called "relax"). Two fantastic Del Castillo shows Friday and Saturday at Antone's included a Saturday surprise of Monte Montgomery playing electric guitar with the brothers for the finale (afterward he told me that he's done that maybe 3 times before, but nobody I know has ever seen it!!). All three of them distinguish themselves by playing hella acoustic like you can't even believe, and they play really good electric too. Man, was it loud. My ears were nearly bleeding even with earplugs. Whoo! Tomorrow (July 12) is Mark del Castillo's birthday, by the way. Still a baby at 34.

Also saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean on Saturday. Of course, you should go see it silly!! It's loads of fun and Depp goodness. Not sayin' any more, me hearties and scabrous dogs!

Well, just wanted to drop a note in here. And totally off the previous 2 topics, here's a Pink Floyd quiz to amuse you. I only got 2 out of 10 right and those were wild guesses. See if you can beat that!! I don't know my Pink Floyd stuff. Enough of this fluff, back to whipping myself into an early grave.

EDIT: Geez!! This is just super-weird coinkydinkyness. I'm freaking myself out. Syd Barrett has just died, but I didn't know that when I posted the trivia quiz link. Not really a survivor of the 60s (known for being mentally ill), he still lived to be 60 years and still has a humongous fan base. Apparently it happened several days ago (on the 7th, according to Wiki, but I don't think there's been an official announcement as I type this).

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Proud Plugging

I am going to plug something here. This new CD is from Dennis Ludiker and Heidi Labensart. Dennis is a fiddler with the South Austin Jug Band, and Heidi is (so far) a non-performing fiddler but both are multiple time champions and award winners. It's crazy good fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. Some traditional pieces and some new ones. Lots of other really good players on it too.

I did the CD artwork for it, and am in the process of building this website: Going Places Music. You can buy it on the site (and right now, nowhere else except from the artists, although it will be on CDBaby soon), but there aren't sound clips posted yet (hey, I've only got 2 hands and one keyboard), but you can listen to a couple of songs at Dennis's MySpace and on the Jill McGuckin PR news page.

Oh yeah, and support Indie Music, home-grown, non-corporate, and straight from the heart and soul.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Truth is Free!

Get some free movie tickets!! Here are a couple of sites giving away free tickets to see Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". Neither one looks to be too invasive, the tickets are through Fandango so you'd need to be set up with that. There's Share the Truth, and here's a surprising one: Inconvenient Christians. Not to worry, belief in stuff is not required to get the tickets.

Go for it! This is one you oughta see!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Friday Cat Chat - All the Live Long Day.

I have been watching this one for a couple of days. It's too funny! We were discussing whether they are trying to mimic human speech. I think maybe the first 2 might be. The third one is just goofy, and the last one is about to barf, sometimes they make the wierdest noises on earth pre-hairball.

They are obviously saying something very provocative in cat language, as Alex is determined to put a stop to it. Of, course, he hates cats and everything that looks or sounds like cats so it might be as simple as that.

EDIT: Blogger might be eating the comments on this post. I've had one disappear already, so if that happens, I apologize for Blogger in advance.

- Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Music and Cats - - -

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cat soothing, peace, and staying out of trouble

With the holiday on Tuesday, and me working in the office Monday, it was kind of like having 2 Mondays this week. The 4th of July (day) was spent shopping! What are holidays coming to when all the stores are going to be open? Yes, I know we are part of the problem by being shoppers, but I really wish the the people working in those stores had the day off too.

We opted to cocoon with movies instead of going out in the heat, floods, lightning, crowds, whatever. The fireworks displays in Austin are kinda puny (even without the storms they had this year), and there are some things where size DOES matter... size, quantity and budget. I am hopelessly spoiled. Oh well, no use whining. Some good movies watched on DVD: "Everything is Illuminated" and "The World's Fastest Indian", both recommended.

The fireworks in our suburban neighborhood were not puny enough, however, as we were still wondering at midnight if that last one landed in our yard. Yes, it's illegal. I don't care whether it's illegal or not, I just think it's bad citizenship. These are houses set close together with lots of animals running around seeking shelter, lots of stuff that could catch fire... and not ALL of us have a summer vacation you stinking little punks!!! [...OK...settling down... breathing...] Sorry about getting all bob-dole- get-off-my-lawn- or-i'll-stick-this-pen-in-your-neck, but some of these kids! A few days ago they took off on their skateboards leaving behind a broken beer bottle on the sidewalk. I don't even care if they drink at 14-15, I just want them to show a little respect if possible. (there's a reason I don't have kids)

The cats were pretty traumatized all night, especially Jax who spent the night in our room... either hunkering down in a corner or pacing all over EVERYTHING while making trilling sounds. Jax lived on the streets for years so I know he's acquainted with fireworks first-hand. All our cats are catching up on their naps today. I'm happy for them.

Enjoyed reading the various Peace postings yesterday. I wonder if peace is possible as long as there are people. I would like to think that it's a possibility.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

...thinking of Brian Jones, deceased.

I remember hearing that he died. I was at the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969 and it was July 4th. Let it Bleed had just been released and they were playing it over the loudspeakers in the non-stage areas, it was incredibly good. Then they announced that Brian had died on the 3rd. He was 27 years old.

He was probably my biggest teenage crush, although John Lennon was first. Man, can I pick 'em? John was murdered, and Brian Jones was more than likely murdered as well. His "Death by Misadventure" will never be truly solved, and he certainly wasted and ruined enough by substances to have been his own victim. When you are too stoned and messed up for Keith Richards to put up with... well... although Keith's real beef probably had more to do with a woman (Anita Pallenberg, who later married Keith).

Brian created the Rolling Stones, it was his band that the others joined, and he thought up the name. He was innovative in adding unheard-of instruments to rock music in radical new ways, and making it work. He was also a fashion pioneer, and was largely responsible for inspiring the wild 60s fashion trends (starting it early enough to have inspired The Beatles). This was my drawing from a picture of him at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967.

Jim Morrison wrote a poem for Brian after his death. July 3rd is also the death anniversary of Jim Morrison. There are those who believe that he is not, in fact, dead... that he faked his death, and I've heard some speculation that the day July 3rd was not just a coincidence. Morrison was also 27. (27 was apparently a tough age to get past, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix also died at age 27.)

Poor, tragic Brian. I always wonder who really could have saved him.

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Archeologist named Arch finds Ark?

"There's this idea, if we can prove that the ark existed then we can prove that the story existed, and more importantly, we can prove that God existed," said Bruce Feiler, author of "Where God Was Born."

OK, well which god is he talking about? Is it Enki, An, Enlil, Ea, Chronos, Zeus, Bergelmir (the frost-giant), Titlachahuan, Viracocha, Huracan, Sotuknang.... on and on... so many gods and monsters, so many flood stories, so many heroes.

Finding a boat in the mountains is pretty cool, and not that surprising considering some of the wild geological and geographical changes that have happened. Now the animal part of the story... that's pretty hard to swallow. I mean really!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Americana in ATX

It's been an exhausting week between all the live music and the inevitable work filling every possible gap. Thursday, Mr. Blueberry had to stay home and study so I went out alone. Started out at the Continental Club for their 6:30 regular happy hour (a 3-hour hour) with The Mother Truckers. I borrowed that cool picture from their newsletter.

Here's my snapshot from Thursday. I really like this band, and the Continental Club has to be the rockabilly capital of the world. If it isn't it must be tied for first. When they took a break, I went over to Ruta Maya for the Instruments for Peace benefit. They were trying to raise some money for a couple of anti-war groups, Iraq Veterans for Peace and others. I saw The Texas Sapphires (a hot new honky tonk band), Michael Fracasso, The Ginn Sisters and more. The Ginn Sisters have a lot of local buzz going now. I really enjoyed them. Their new single "(You've Got Everything Going For You Right) Down the Drain" is getting lots of airplay. Great lyrics!

Friday night we went to Houlihan's (and boo hiss on Austin getting another chain restaurant!) rooftop to see Big Blue Hearts. They are a transplanted L.A. band but have not really spent much time in Austin yet. They've got an incredibly sweet twangy 60s sound - a little rockabilly ala Elvis and Roy Orbison. Think Chris Isaak or maybe Raul Malo.

Stayed out too late Friday and almost didn't even get up in time to make it to the Bee Cave Farmer's Market for the South Austin Jug Band at 11:00 am Saturday. I never thought 11 AM could be so bright and early! They played until 2 PM, we went home for lunch, took a nap, drank some coffee and went out to Momo's for Rob Socia and the Beckham Bros. All these shows I've mentioned were free except for Momo's, which was $5 per. All the band links I've provided go to MySpace (even in the couple of cases where I made the websites!) because it's the quickest way to hear the bands' music.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Our 15 minutes

Well, the sign is up, we got the t-shirts, and now we are famous on the world wide internets via the city of Austin website for basically pulling up grass, not watering the rest of it, letting the weeds grow, no... PLANTING weeds! Also, now everybody knows that I recycle found objects as yard art. Maybe even YOUR stuff! They also know that I make tea out of some of the weeds.

If you go to the link, you will [GASP!!!] see our real faces and learn our real names, so there goes the mystery*. They got the address wrong though, but I don't care. I supplied a lot of the photos since they had camera problems.

The sign is cool. Now everybody on the block will be impressed instead of being frightened... well, not everybody. Wondering how long it will stay there before being stolen.
Keeping Austin Green, the prequel.
*we don't color our hair. I always say it's not gray yet because I don't have kids. I don't really know why it's not gray.

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