Thursday, May 31, 2007

Catblogging - Alex toe-pad charm

Her real name is....

drum roll please!! .....


And here is Alex being the sweet little lap cat.

Had to provide a closeup of the cuteness on the paw-action here. If you were not charmed by the eyes and face, curled paws are the deal-maker.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Justin's Random Thoughts - - -

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

1967 - Summer of Love, Beatles, and the Zodiac

There's been a bit of hoopla over the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album... and it is worthy of hoopla! It was an absolutely groundbreaking masterpiece that has had volumes written over it. There's not much commentary that I can add to that mountain of work. The 60s were an incredible time for music, and when I looked up the wiki entry on 1967 music, it was amazing to go over the list of musical events for the year. So many of these things were (in the long run) every bit as groundbreaking as Sgt. Pepper's.

These artists started their musical careers and/or released their first album:

Toots & the Maytals (released one of the first reggae songs. I understand that Toots was responsible for that music style being called "reggae")
Sly & the Family Stone (maybe the best live dance band ever)
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico* (with the peelable banana). I loved this record. And I loved Nico. I didn't know this before, but she rehabbed from being a heroin addict, got into a healthy lifestyle, but then died after a bicycle accident that was caused by a mild heart attack.
Procol Harum - Procol Harum
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?*
The Doors - The Doors*
Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield* (with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Neil Young as members)
The Grateful Dead - The Grateful Dead
Moby Grape - Moby Grape*
Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant*
Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Cream - Disraeli Gears*
David Bowie - David Bowie

Notable releases:

Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow and After Bathing at Baxter's*
The Moody Blues (re-formed and late in the year released Days of Future Passed*, the first real melding of rock and symphony, also arguably the first prog record).
The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour*
Love - Da Capo* and Forever Changes.
Cosmic Sounds - The Zodiac* (several artists, including members of The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix have given a nod of influence toward this trippy concept album, which bears the instruction: "Must be played in the dark".)

*we wore these records completely out!!

More 1967 events and trivia:

The Beatles in 1967 -- admitted that they had dropped acid. Later in the year their manager, Brian Epstein, died while they were with the Maharishi.

Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar for the first time. He was on tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdinck. Hendrix, later in the year, was nixed from a support tour of The Monkees after complaints from the conservative Daughters of the American Revolution. Hendrix's manager Chas Chandler later admitted it was all for outrage publicity. Interesting term: "outrage publicity".

Rolling Stone Magazine came out in 1967. I had most of the first several years of issues (it's that old "packrat" gene -- always thinking that things are going to be valuable later -- then there's the "lack of good sense" gene that makes me get rid of stuff at rock-bottom rates when I should have held on to them. Those things WERE valuable).

The Monterey International Pop Festival happened -- the first rock festival, and the "birth" of all rock festivals of its kind. The Rolling Stone's Altamont show in 1969 is considered to be the final death-knell for rock festivals of the "outlaw" variety. Nowadays they work and are profitable but are a very corporate production. Not the same animals at all.

The Monkees were the best selling group of 1967, outselling the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

They might as well call it a "Lie-bury"

Welcome to the future home of the officious George W. Bush Presidential Library. This patriotic website will serve as an authoritative digital archive, dedicated to preserving and celebrating the godly legacy of the most honest, peaceful, and intelligent leader in the 6,000 year history of the planet Earth.

It's his own fault for not grabbing "" first, but then the internets is not his strong suit.

Another fine Chickenhead Production, found via J-Walk blog.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of those holidays that nearly lost its meaning since they made Federal Holidays fall on Mondays (in 1971) so we could have extended weekends. It mainly signals the beginning of summer, with summer vacations starting somewhere near that time, with Labor Day, another Monday holiday, being the other goalpost of summer. It's a time when there are huge sales on everything imaginable, consumerism gets a big boost. The long weekend is also an opportunity to release movies that are expected to be summer blockbusters (with Star Wars back in 1977 setting the trend). The Indianapolis 500 happens. I think most people either have family gatherings and cookouts, get out on the waterways, go camping. We are no better. I used the opportunity of the Monday holiday to add a day or 2 vacation from my day job (just because I can) so that I can catch up on other work and maybe even have a few extra free hours here and there.

Memorial Day was originally intended to honor American Civil War dead but now is meant as a day to remember all dead soldiers regardless of the conflict. I don't see why it should be limited to American dead when so many people from so many nations have died fighting for our causes -- and the cause of all these deaths, when viewed from a larger perspective, is that people have answered a call of duty to defend their nation or homes from a perceived threat, and out of respect for their country and families, they do what they feel must be done. It is sometimes unavoidable to become involved as there are issues of self-defense and civil defense that are unresolved when the conflict arrives at your door.

I personally don't believe that it is possible for humans to not be at war with each other. I don't support war. I hate it and will never support it. But ever since our first ancestors formed tribes and created weapons we've been killing each other for land and power. There will be peace on earth when the planet becomes devoid of humans.

...and with that sad and cynical reflection, I have posted one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard that deals with the topic of war. From this band, most would prefer Brothers in Arms, but I give you Iron Hand, by Dire Straits (1.7 MB mp3)

With all the clarity of dream
The sky so blue, the grass so green
The rank and file and the navy blue
The deep and strong, the straight and true

The blue line they got the given sign
The belts and boots march forward in time
The wood and leather the club and shield
Swept like a wave across the battlefield

Now with all the clarity of dream
The blood so red, the grass so green
The gleam of spur on chestnut flank
The cavalry did burst upon the ranks

Oh the iron will and iron hand
In englands green and pleasant land
No music for the shameful scene
That night they said it had even shocked the queen

Well alas weve seen it all before
Knights in armour, days of yore
The same old fears and the same old crimes
We havent changed since ancient times

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Keep Austin Weird pic of the day

This is across the street from Bouldin Creek cafe, where we had lunch, and ran into Leslie. I read somewhere that he/she had left town, but the article was suspect as it was posted on April 1st. I didn't really believe it anyway.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Catblogging - Sock it to me

We are a little late for Lost Sock Memorial Day, which happened on May 9th, but Alex is still celebrating it by getting cozy in a pile of mixed socks, underwear and T-shirts. It's all men's -- Alex is very macho and wouldn't ever get caught snuggling in women's clothing... unless he thinks nobody's looking.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival location is at Fire Phil Garner - - -

Work, play, work

Memorial Day weekend is almost here! I am taking off an extra couple of days from my day job… so I can WORK on my freelance job! That is pretty typical for me these days. I am in a state of burnout and don’t know the way out. Yes, it’s true – we get out and do fun stuff a lot – but the fact remains that I still work every day, 7 days a week. I have a constant flow of tasks into my biz inbox, and most of it is deadline-sensitive so it’s not as though I can put it off. I have no one to fill in for me so not only do I not get vacation, I get no sick time. As long as I can open my eyes, I am able to work. If need be, I could drag the laptop into my sick-bed. So much for convenience. Sometimes it’s overrated! [grin – with gritted teeth]

Fun stuff, let’s see, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 starts Friday, so we are going on opening day. I am psyched!!! I cannot deny it. There are certain movies I have to see ASAP because I absolutely hate spoilers and they are hard to avoid. Reviews are often just a retelling of the story line – grrrrrrrr (ever listen to that guy on NPR? I turn that sucker down as soon as he starts talking). The Tomatometer is a bit in the splat range right now at a little over 50%, but I don’t care. I don’t usually agree with most critics, and the “tomatometer” is not a factor but it’s still fun to check out what they are saying. Put it this way, if a movie has a tomatometer rating below… say… 10%, it’s almost guaranteed to be a bona-bide stinker. It doesn’t mean I won’t give it a rental. Could still be good for a laugh, in fact, a laugh is a sure thing. Anyway, Jack is back and looks who's with him!!

What else is going on… It’s going to rain so that outdoor party we’re going to on Saturday might get rescheduled. There are loads of free/cheap shows. The South Austin Jug Band is at Momo’s late Saturday. It’s a possibility, or we could wait for Shady Grove next Thursday. Here’s a vid of them covering a Django tune. The video quality is not great, but check out this twin fiddle offering featuring a couple of the finest fiddlers in Texas (Dennis Ludiker and Brian Beken) – and they’ve got the papers to prove it. Those kids can saw!! Minor Swing:

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nutty Nuptials

We are now entering the most popular time of the year for weddings, and it's fun to look at how the already-weird rituals can get even more bizarre. Photo at right is from this site dedicated to hellish bridal fashions. Categories include such titles as "Strange Headgear", "Flower Abuse" and "Dear Wedding Lady, My Butt Isn't Big Enough". This style is referred to as "Bottlebrush". And oh, the evil that is thrust upon the poor Bridesmaids! Males are lucky, they get to rent something bizarre and then return it.

I’ve been a bridesmaid twice (for the same person!) and actually did get to wear the stuff again in both cases. The first time the color was burgundy and it was supposed to be kind of Victorian. I have reworn the dress for costume affairs, and actually won a prize once for impersonating Scarlett O’Hara in it. (I never went hungry again!). The next time she got married, the color was orange – so an orange sequined vest and black skirt did the job but looked pumpkinesque. It was a very odd ceremony held in a tiny attic room, and the “minister” used a cassette tape player for the musical interludes – unfortunately, the music itself was less memorable and impressive than the LOUD clunk sound made by abruptly stopping the tape in mid-song. There must have been a time limit on the service or something.

The most original and creative wedding I ever attended though, was a Star Trek wedding. It was held in a Planetarium with the reception in the adjoining Science Center. The Groom had made a little robot to be the ring bearer (the couple were both engineers). The Bride’s music was not from Star Trek, but rather 2001: A Space Odyssey, “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” (Richard Strauss). Star Trek life-sized standups guided our way to the reception area, where each table represented a different starship from the series (movies or TV), and the wedding cake was a replica of The Starship Enterprise. Absolutely unique!

Cakes, including wedding cakes, can get very creative – and why shouldn’t they be fun? [LINK 1][LINK 2] Those go to some pics of very odd wedding cakes, including Nintendo (that has to be a bad omen if there is such a thing!!), Super Mario Brothers, and R2D2...and the circular slide one... I know it's a Helter Skelter but to Americans that term only means the name of a Beatle song that inspired Charles Manson to orchestrate mass murder. So a “Helter Skelter” themed wedding is not advised.

Here’s a post about very odd wedding songs... mostly poor choices. Includes lyric links.

Live And Let Die
I Will Survive
Mrs. Robinson
Angry Young Man
Beat It
Stairway To Heaven

So, if you are getting married: Live long and prosper. Live and let die is a questionable sentiment. Also, if you are a woman, here’s wishing you don’t need to wear anything with “wings” on your wedding night. Ahem...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road to Austin, with stop in Pflugerville

Another music weekend here in Austin, Texas. That's every weekend really. More like every day, but when the weather is perfect and the shows are free...

The big "Road to Austin" concert was on Saturday. It went from 7:00 to 10:30, and since they were using a fantastic "house band" for backup there were no breaks in the show. Just continuous music with people on and off the stage. People who played:
  • Stephen Bruton
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Eric Johnson
  • Bob Schneider
  • Delbert McClinton
  • Joe Ely
  • Malford Milligan
  • David Grissom
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox
  • Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominoes) & Coco Carmel
  • Ian McLagan (Faces, Small Faces)
  • James Hand
  • Stephen Barber
  • "Scrappy" Jud Newcomb
  • Yoggie Musgrave
  • Ephraim Owens
  • Brannen Temple
  • Chris Maresh
  • Tosca String Quartet
  • Raul Salinas
  • Lisa Hayes
  • ...and more
It was all about Stephen Bruton, who is recovering from his throat cancer treatments. I really missed hearing his very distinctive voice, but it was great to see and hear him playing, especially with all these people that he shares history with. He was a bandmember of Bonnie Raitt's, Kristofferson's, Delbert McClinton's, Bob Schneider's, and probably a few I don't know about. He's also a producer, songwriter, and as a solo artist has recorded with plenty of folks. His bio is a mile long.

Highlights were seeing certain people together: Bonnie and Delbert, Kristofferson and Bruton, Eric Johnson and David Grissom jamming on Layla with Bobby Whitlock, Bonnie and Ruthie Foster Angel From Montgomery duet, Eric Johnson's techs running the show with Jeff Van Zandt's dog Trixie stealing the show a couple of times.

It was a corporate-staged event, sponsored by Freescale, but that was overcome by the camaraderie of the community on stage, and the people in attendance who don't want to lose another treasured musician.

Newspaper coverage of the event.

Day 2, Sunday, was much more laid-back as we went to the Deutschen Pfest in Pflugerville to see The Greencards (and work their merch table). Incredibly, here is a band now too popular for Threadgill's, the Saxon Pub, and many other Austin venues, playing before a small crowd of Pflugerville Pfairgoers and a pfew diehard pfans pfor a mere pfee of $3. Sorry!! I can't go to Pflugerville without putting a "p" in pfront of all the "f"s afterward. Sort of like being compelled to talk like a pirate after a viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyway, they played for 3 hours in beautiful weather, sold merch like hotcakes, then headed down to Gruene Hall for much more of a high-profile gig. Too short of a visit, and we probably won't see them again until November. Always hate to see them go, but they live on the road.

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Search terms of endearment

I've got this new counter installed here that lets me look at statistics, like search terms that brought people here. Very entertaining for someone like me is easily amused. Sometimes your search terms will land you in a very different place than you were probably hoping to be. For example, someone searching for "cute nipple blogs" found this. I would not personally have been disappointed.

"29 boys in the shower" brought someone to this post. "I need a picture of jesus that no one has seen before" also led to that one... not surprising in that case. (29 boys in the shower? Is this a phenomenon I've never heard about, like clowns in a Volkswagen Beetle?)

Some other things that people were seeking that landed on my archive pages for some reason:

"bounty hunter font issues"
Bounty hunters have font issues? I have font issues but didn't know that bounty hunters had them.

"dan blocker mural in dekalb texas"
Dan Blocker has a mural in DeKalb?

"myspace fart graphic"
Farts have a MySpace page? Well, if it's good enough for Beergas and John McCain...

"looking for condoms that are for lease in dallas, tx"
Uhh... I hope you mean "condos".

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catblogging - Jax and his Babe

Jax would like to say that he is tired of everybody else "hogging" the catblogs, and he is going to be the star this week, even if he has to resort to posing with a cute "Babe".

La la laaaaaaa!!!

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Cat Blogosphere on Sunday - -

Impeachy Keen

Seems like the tide is turning. Maybe not fast enough for some of us, but there is a growing movement that is finally starting to result in legislative action. Here's a website that is tracking the State legislatures, State and National political committees, cities, towns, etc. that have resolutions supporting Impeachment! They are tracking them with pass, fail or pending status. And Go You Detroit City Council! Saw the link on Raw Story today. Baby steps. Baby steps lead to bigger steps.

At this point, I don't even care if they do Cheney first or not. He's not going to make it to Inauguration Day 2009, and that's my fancy-schmancy prediction based on nothing but a hunch.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell's autobiographer

As soon as I heard that Jerry Falwell had died, I looked up his wiki entry to see if it had been updated... and of course it had been!! These people don't miss a beat, do they? Very sharp. Anyway, I picked up some interesting trivia there, something I didn't realize anyway.

Falwell's autobiography was ghostwritten by Mel White. Dr. White also ghostwrote books for Billy Graham and Pat Robertson. He is an evangelical clergyman who also happened to be gay, although he was closeted at the time. Although he was married, he began dating Gary Nixon in 1984 (his current life partner), and went through the gamut of snake oil offerings attempting to be "cured" of his homosexuality. From the wiki bio:
"He embarked on a long process of attempted "cures" for his homosexuality, including psychotherapy, prayer, Electroconvulsive therapy, and exorcism. None of these techniques changed his homosexuality, and after he attempted suicide, he and Lyla agreed to an amicable divorce."
It's heartbreaking that people are put through that kind of crap, isn't it? Mel survived that hideous journey with his sexuality intact, and (with Gary) went on to found the "Soulforce" organization. Here's their mission statement from that website:
"The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance."

Wherever you are on your journey of faith,
Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity,
Whatever your religion, race, age, ability, color, or creed,
You are welcome to join us in learning, teaching, and applying
the 'soul force' principles of relentless nonviolent resistance
as taught by Gandhi and King
as we work together to stop spiritual violence
against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people
that flows out of the teachings and actions
of religious leaders and their communities of faith.
-The People of Soulforce

One of their projects is to help other unfortunate people who have had to endure the attempted "cures" that are imposed on people whose sexual orientation is thought to be everything from a disease to a demon possession... so even though Soulforce is a religious organization of sorts I have to admire what they are doing.

In 1997, the Rev. Dr. Mel White was awarded the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award.

Falwell wiki
Mel White wiki
Soulforce website

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Mr. Blueberry Reaches the Big One

The Big Five-Oh! The half-century mark!! Over The Hill and beginning to slide!! Just kidding, at least in his case. He's fit as a fiddle, goes cycling, works like a fiend xeriscaping the garden and pampering the butterfies and birds. He's a treehugging liberal who loves cats and other creatures, doesn't eat animals, and does household chores! For his birthday, he gave himself a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certificate from the National Wildlife Federation. Guys like this don't come along everyday, sometimes never.

No Hawaii Five-O here, this one really is prettier. From 1979, it's The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin.

This is the springtime of my loving-
the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing-
so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing-
I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles-
flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes
it is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize-
These things are clear to all from time to time.

I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go
I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so
but I know that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion
And like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion-
I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient-
Upon us all a little rain must fall.

Monday, May 14, 2007

12 seconds

That's how long this Freudian bit of wishful thinking appeared on CNN. [LINK]

Seriously though. I don't think he will ever resign. [sigh]

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I was looking up "Today in History" in the Library of Congress (link on sidebar) and see that May 13 is the day that the first person was buried in what was to become Arlington National Cemetery (1864, and it was a Confederate prisoner of war). It now contains the bodies of soldiers from all of our wars back to the Revolutionary War. The picture to the right is not Arlington, it is the Santa Fe National Cemetery. This is where my mother was buried in 1993. She was not a soldier, but was married to one for 15 years until he died on active duty of natural causes, so she was entitled to this plot. Oddly enough, my father is not there, he is buried in his family plot in Makanda Illinois -- a place famous for being the birthplace of Sen. Paul Simon, and for having a water tower that looks like a big yellow smiley face (take that Wal-Mart, you didn't invent it).

We all agreed that this cemetery in Santa Fe would be suitable, even though she was not military herself. She was in Albuquerque, and dearly loved New Mexico. My maternal grandmother also ended up buried in (ABQ) New Mexico instead of beside her husband of nearly 70 years. Again, he is in southern Illiois. A bit non-traditional in both cases. Santa Fe would have suited my mother very well in life, even though she didn't live there (Albuquerque and Roswell were the NM towns where she lived). It's a lovely place.

All I have left now is a mother-in-law in Missouri, and I hope that she has a wonderful day. Glad that she lives on high ground. The floods have returned. I received a card from the cats, my only "kids".

Friday, May 11, 2007

Refuge EEEKS

Friday Fright blogging

[Article] Here’s a story that should give you the willies on many levels, and I am not talking the good willies.

First of all, in 1930 they established a wildlife refuge in this place. Then, just 12 years later in 1942 it became a practice bombing range (and where else would you choose to bomb other than a wildlife refuge? Aren’t there any other choices?).

OK. Now it’s a bombing range, so what else is done with the area? They also decide to use it for chemical warfare training, so the place becomes populated with vials of toxic agents, such as mustard gas, chloroform, chloropicirin, pure phosgene or cyanogen chloride. There were chemical weapons as well as incendiary devices possibly intended to destroy the chemicals. And you thought that bombs and nesting birds were a bad combo! We’re now looking at a hellish triple threat.

OK, now fast forward to the present. The area is back to being a National Wildlife Refuge, and is also used to attract tourists who like to hunt crystals there. A Boy Scout who was hunting crystals found a vial, which broke and made him ill. Authorities have now found 130 vials of yellowish liquid on the site, but of course it’s impossible to know what is still there and what’s been taken home for souvenirs. One of Oklahoma’s few tourist attractions just got a hell of a lot more interesting, but not in a good way.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Catblogging - Bottlebrush and other psycho cats

This one of our neighbor cats relaxing in her favorite spot in the yard. Here's a closeup of her. Isn't she pretty? We call her "Bottlebrush" (not her real name) because she has this huge fluffy bottlebrush tail. She's a real beauty, and loves to entice you to pet her by rubbing against your legs, cute meowing and waving that fluffy tail, but if you do try to pet her she will lay into your legs and hands with every tooth and claw she's got. She's a bit psycho.

Like the following stories of psycho cats, she is probably very well behaved with her own human family, and they couldn't even imagine their sweet little girl on the attack.

Here's one about a docile declawed kitty (as the owner describes the cat) who has terrified the mail carrier so bad that she refuses to even go there anymore and the person has to pick up their mail at the Post Office.

Here's another story about a cat who has a restraining order against him. He has 6 toes, claws to match, and what has been described as "catlike stealth" (well, of course it's catlike! He's a cat!!). A half dozen people watched him ambush the Avon Lady. He looks like PoP's Fred, doesn't he?

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at TBIFOC - - -

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lonely at the top

Look who is reportedly looking for love on the internet. Mr. "can't get a date" himself, Orlando Bloom is, according to this article, using a friend as a cover on Facebook in order to meet a nice partner who loves him for himself and not because he's a fabulous elf (the MOST fabulous elf) or fabulous pirate. Actually, I will always prefer the long blond hair to his natural brown along with the shaved face, but the chocolate-colored eyes are every bit as nice as the blue. The "Paris" (boyfriend of Helen) look is nice too. That accent? It doesn't hurt. Yes, I realize that I am old enough to be his mother.

So... what if the internet soulmate ends up falling for his friend, and is disappointed when they meet? I suppose love never goes smoothly. Something tells me that Facebook is going to be getting a couple of extra hits.

Orlando wiki
Dress up Orlando Bloom

KO awarded first Molly

Congratulations to Keith Olbermann, who has been awarded the First Annual Molly Ivins Award.
Quoting the article: "It is intended to recognize a journalist or media figure who's reporting or commentary has had a profound impact on the public's understanding of vital national issues, and who's work embodies the spirit of Ivins' courageous legacy.

"Describing her own style of writing, Molly Ivins once wrote, 'Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.'

Maybe someday there will be a Keith Olbermann Award.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Maybe I should get a fish tank. It's quieter.

Your Ideal Pet is a Cat

You're both aloof, introverted, and moody.
And your friends secretly wish that you were declawed!

Found this over at Nick's place. Again, it's a "well, duh!" Crazy cat lady. Actually these cats are going to put me in the poor house, and then move in with me and keep me up all night. Need. sleep. soon. It's mostly Alex. He doesn't feel good and yowls all night (that why they call it "caterwauling" I guess), so I feel really bad for him but even with ear plugs I am getting no sleep. I need some sleeping pills... for HIM. Poor little dude.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Episode 2 of This Week in Critters

OK, now I'm going to clear away that hairy-legged vision from the last post with -- TA-DA!!! -- another bug! This is a Leopard Moth and it's the first one I remember seeing, although I've seen the wooly caterpillers that turn into them. Isn't she gorgeous? [Steve Irwin voice] What a beauty!

Below is a young snake, maybe even just a hatchling (and now I'm freaking out the snakephobes -- oh gee, now I've got to look up that phobia) (hsssssss-teria? just kidding*), it's only about a foot or so long and was inside the screened porch. It's a non-venomous rat snake, but still a concern since snakes and cats don't mix well, and we really don't want to know who would be injured worse. This little guy crawled into a crack that looked like it went inside the walls of the house, so I'm still wondering where, or IF he came out again.

And finally, below is the only thing that you really don't want to mess with whether you are human or feline: a prickly pear cactus, which are all getting beautiful blooms right now. I don't know if the flowers smell pretty. I won't stick my nose in the blossoms, because I can see what's inside them: bugs. Beetles aren't that scary but bees are not something I want to inhale. Besides, the star jasmine covering the back fence is fragrant enough to fill the whole yard right now. This is part of a monstrously big cactus that grew from an ear that had laying by the curb in a median. It's a lot happier these days.

*actually "snakephobia" is correct.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Arach Lobby

Warning!! This post contains lots of hairy legs!!
Brace yourself

We saw Spiderman 3 on opening day at the Alamo Drafthouse. The Alamo is known (among other things) for featuring some fun related things in the lobby, and this time they brought in a velcro wall for the kids and some live spiders for kids of all ages. I am an arachnophobe, as I've mentioned. I am dealing with it. I can deal with little spiders now without a freakout, but most of the spiders they brought were not little. If you wanted to handle a tarantula, they would let it crawl around on you, and my husband took them up on it. The pic on the left shows the same one crawling on someone else. I don't think I am ready for that. Pretty sure, in fact. The one that was not allowed to crawl on people was a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula, the biggest tarantula in the world and I think the one they had there was as big as they get. The leg-span can be as large as 12 inches. Take a look at the pic on the right I got off the net. That's a dinner plate, folks! Picture a 12 inch pizza.

As for the movie, I think if you liked the other two, you'll like this one. We enjoyed it. Peter Parker has some really funny bits. See it on the big screen. That's the extent of my review, except that there are no tarantulas in it.

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Blogiversary X2

I started blogging 2 years ago today. I never thought I would be blogger in a million years. In public forums I was always very shy and would hold back my real opinion to the point where you couldn't beat it out of me. This blog has helped me to come out of my shell a bit (OK, Ok, some of ya'll know that I have been keeping a personal website since... er... about 1997, but I'm very well-behaved over there. The website is more of a "display window", and this blog is kind of like "my house"... a place where I can let my hair down and say what I like.

Up until the "middle ages" of my personal history, I always tried to leave no footprints, make very little impact on the world around me, and I was very close to doing that. I was an only child whose parents had been dead for years, and I bore no children. I am also a military kid who grew up all over the place so I'm not even "from" anywhere. Because of all the weirdos who affected my life, I wanted to affect no one. I think that I reached a turning point where I started wanting to leave something behind. Just a memory if nothing else. Basically, not a lot of people have ever cared about me one way or the other, and I knew that when I died, people would not know enough about me to even come up with a eulogy, I'm extremely introverted and hard to get to know, much less understand -- and besides, why would they bother? I believe I reached a turning point in the last few years where I decided to at least introduce myself to the world. For what it's worth. for what I'm worth, which I don't think is much, I'm just a person who will not leave much behind except a bunch of odd collectables that nobody will know how to sell (Helloooo Goodwill!!!)

There's very little about me that dwells in the "average" areas, I live out there on the edges of the bell curves... where it's weird and non-standard. But that's where I belong. I got used to the fact that hardly anyone ever agrees with me. I just live with it. I don't need their agreement, I accept the fact that my opinion on the issue at hand is likely to be different than the other person's, especially people I deal with in my daily face life.

You are all welcome here. All readers are welcome to leave a comment. Just say hi.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Conduct Unbecoming

Click to enlarge.

I wasn't aware of this aspect of the Tillman investigation until I saw this cartoon (I guess I am pretty pathetic getting my news from cartoons, but TMW uses direct quotes in their strip). Below is an actual news clip explaining more about the way the Tillmans were treated, partly based on the "Christian" views of an Army officer. As least his comments have been brought out into the open and are not receiving official support. As to what action will be taken, who knows?

"This Modern World" archives

Del Castillo plays tonight

Today is Cinco de Mayo [wiki], which a lot of people think is "Mexican Independance Day" (which it isn't).

We are going to see one of my favorite bands, Del Castillo, in an outdoor venue. This is a recent EPK (promo) video for them, and has a good sampling of their music. They are Americans (4 native Texans and 2 from parts further north) but their music has influences from around the world, and they are one of the best live bands I've seen. I'm acquainted will all of them except the new guy, Carmelo, and they are super-nice people. The brothers do some unbelievable things with acoustic guitars!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Catblogging - Alex and the Wild Kitty

Alex has a new vet so we got him a whole slew of tests run, just trying to find out more about all the things going on with him. Here he is at the vet. Look at that face!! That's the look that makes us do his bidding... except that he would rather not have endured the 2 days with the IV and wearing this crazy getup all night. Looks like a little Super-hero, doesn't he? That's what we told him.
Alex has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which we knew, and now he's been diagnosed with Pancreatitis. He is also dehydrated. So, even though he doesn't have to wear the silly cape anymore, we have to hydrate him every other day with a sub-Q needle and fluids. We've got pain medicine for him now too, which I'm sure he will appreciate. He has probably been needing that for awhile. Poor little Alex. He is a trooper.

Last week we went to a benefit for Thundering Paws, which is a no-kill shelter and rescue with mostly cats. We donated Duncan's canned food to them, since none of our 3 remaining cats eat that stuff. Marc Gunn played his "Irish Drinking Songs for Cats" set, which is a lot of fun. Marc is obviously as cat-crazed as any of us.
You can hear Wild Kitty, and even get your own copy right here at the link (CD Baby).

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at When Cats Attack - -

PS: And here's one more mention of Duncan being Catmodel of the Week last week. We miss our little D-man.

Birthday wishes across the pond

A Happy birthday today to my friend who goes by the moniker "Boudicea" (which has LOTS of spelling variations). She might occasionally read this blog, but probably not recently because where she has been staying in the UK, the sheep sometimes eat through the phone cables, meaning no internet. Since she stays with a flute player and happens to be a Pottermaniac, here's a video for her with great classic Moody Blues music.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tingling Spidey Sense

Sooo.... do you think Spiderman is smiling under that mask? Here's why.

I guess spider bites sometimes DO give you special powers.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1st - Work, Play, and Tell Stories

May 1st is many things. Today (and yesterday) there were many marches and rallies for worker and immigrant rights. The day already represents the worker or labour in many countries, including Germany, Italy, Finland, Poland, Norway, Sweden and socialist (Communist) countries. On May 1, 1886 in the USA and Canada, the 8-hour day became law (the concept being 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, 8 hours of sleep) (yes, I know, it doesn't exist for me either). The earliest celebration of May 1st is that of Beltane, the first day of summer (and I hold it to be the first day of summer too. To me, the summer solstice is MIDsummer, not the beginning of it), so enjoy your rituals if you are so inclined. Summer is here, for sure. It will be 90 this weekend for Cinco de Mayo.

May 1st in the USA is Loyalty Day, established in 2003 by Dubya on the same day that the war in Iraq ended. Remember that day? How wonderful that the conflict came to an end and we have now had 4 years of peace and freedom there. Here's an excerpt of the speech he made when the Mission Was Accomplished:
[Full transcript here]
President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended
Remarks by the President from the USS Abraham Lincoln
At Sea Off the Coast of San Diego, California

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment -- yet, it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.

I'm glad they preserved that speech. Otherwise, nobody would have believed it.

Happy May Day, everyone.