Friday, June 29, 2007


[LINK] This is one of the rare lemur triplets born recently in Florida. There are only about 1,000 left in the wild. Welcome to the world, little funny dudes.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Catblogging - sweet feets

Henry demonstrates that every bit of him is totally cute, even his hind feet.

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

O'Reilly blames murder victims

It's his M.O., blaming the victims of violence and tragedy for their demise. Jessie Davis and the wife of Chris Benoit were to blame for their own deaths, and were bad mothers. [LINK from raw story]

Remember back in January when he tried to suggest that Shawn Hornbeck, abducted at age 11, prolonged his captivity on purpose? It's not just O'Reilly, of course. It's par for the course if you are a cold-hearted fascist like so many of the puppet mouthpieces in right-wing media. It's outrageous.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The design on the tee-shirt pictured is what started this little customer service email exchange that was included in the newsletter (which is always entertaining!). I got a laugh out of it and wanted to share.

From: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
To: "The Wailing List" (
Subject: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 06:14:25 -0400

i don't get it. what does "Fe" mean? is it supposed to be "FEE"? if so, youre an idiot for spelling it wrong. talk about irony! try harder next time stupid.

yvonne (removed)
From: "The Wailing List" (
To: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
Subject: Re: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 08:28:46 -0400

Please unsubscribe.
From: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
To: "The Wailing List" (
Subject: Re: Re: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 11:02:03 -0400

youre are an idiot. im trying to help you guys out and yuo(sic) tell me to unsubscribe? way to go, igmo.

im writing a mail to dr kiersten(sic) to let him know how you respond to constrctive(sic) criticism. what is his address?

From: "The Wailing List" (
To: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 12:44:21 -0400

His email is Please write him immediately.

And seriously, the last time I heard "igmo" used unironically was in 1985, when I was in junior high. It's time to update your vernacular. (Please tell me you don't also say "Butt smoke!" when you hear people get insulted...)
From: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
To: "The Wailing List" (
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 14:02:03 -0400

nice try idiot but im not so stupid. i just called your customer "disservice" group and mike (mark?) somebody gave me his cell number so you might want to start searchng(sic) for a new job.. cause im raising hell about this.

From: "E. L. Kersten" <(removed)>
Subject: Customer Complaint from Yvonne (removed)
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 11:09:56 -0500
To: (my real name) (removed)>

(My name):

Please unsubscribe <(removed)@(removed)> from The Wailing List. I just spent 15 minutes trying to explain the Ironic Tee to her- unsuccessfully. She does not appear to have ever ordered anything from us- despite being on the Wailing List since 2003. So I don't believe she'll be missed.

Also, please remind Mark and the others in the call center not to provide my cell phone number to people who aren't either peers in industry or reporters with high-circulation periodicals. It is more than a little awkward to be discussing remedial chemistry with an incensed, sub-literate, non-customer while test driving a Lexus LX470 with the Lexus head of sales.

p.s. - In case your wondering, yes, I got the car. What a beauty- and truly a steal at $70,000!

p.p.s. - Please don't share the price of the car with other employees. Since that's more than twice the average salary here, I'm afraid it might be damaging to morale.

E.L. Kersten, Ph.D.
Despair, Inc.
From: "The Wailing List" (
To: "Yvonne (removed)" <(removed)@(removed)>
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Wailing List - TWO New Shirts
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:21:02 -0500

At Dr. Kersten's request, I am unsubscribing you from The Wailing List. Thank you.

p.s.- Butt smoke!

Despair, Inc. | 800 Interchange - Suite 102 | austin, tx | 78721

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Son of God Zilla: the sequel

As a continuation of the last post, I googled up some more bizarro images and websites on the dinosaur theme, some poking fun and some dead serious -- all funny. This first one (found here) might be my favorite and is begging for captions.

...and you were expecting...who?

It's supposed to say "raptor", not "rapture". There was a typo. heh heh.

I found this one in lots of places, including here. I see that Jesus has his staff in a defensive position... just in case.

This one was all over the place too, but I pulled it from this evangelical watch site. To me this looks like "Rodeo Jesus". Yeeehaaww!!

Great costume. It's a dino-headed Jesus: J-Rex no doubt. Found here (there are a bazillion photos at the link, all you dialups)

Raptor Jesus, went extinct for your sins: T-shirt. Get your own.

This is from a kid's fundy page where a naked Adam is riding his dinosaur, and as soon as you load the page, this animated dude that reminds me of Neo in the Matrix says "Jesus created everything"... and who would I trust more than The One?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fundie Monday. Spoof, goof, or troof?

I found this on the sidebar of a right-wing blog. At least, it looked, for all the world, like a right wing blog. The content in some of the blogs is so preposterous that it's hard to tell if they are serious or creating a parody. I'm sure Texas Oasis fits that description for some folks.

Sing everybody:

He's got a baby T-Rex
In his hands

My theory on this graphic is that it was created as a parody, then misunderstood as being sincere and posted as a right-wing fundie banner. Then again... maybe not.

Captions, anyone?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cool houses, Hot Fuzz, cool bug, and hot fun

Working backwards through the weekend, today we went on the "Cool House" tour, which is a tour of houses that have been built or remodeled for a maximum green factor... green energy, water conservation, recycled materials, etc., and as much of as a learning experience as it is, it's more fun just to get to do a lookie-loo at some of the most interesting houses around. One of the houses was the one featured on the PBS series This Old House as a green remodel. All the houses were wonderful, but there was one house that I wish I could be more creative in describing other than to say it was a dream house. It was part of a little "artist colony" at the end of a dead end road branching off another dead end road right in the heart of South Austin. The rock letters in these pics were just a small part of the wow factor. It even had a fabulous view.

Saturday I had a lot of work to do, but we did make it out to see Hot Fuzz, which gets two thumbs way up! It equals or surpasses Shaun of the Dead. Very funny stuff. Now I feel a strong urge to rent Bad Boys II and Point Break.

Friday afternoon I slacked and went to KGSR's Fan Fare Eldercare benefit at Threadgills. It's an annual event held around the Summer Solstice so it's always hot enough to remind people that if you are an older person on a fixed income with no A/C, a fan could be a life-saver. I was down there from noon until about 7:30. Saw Ruthie Foster, my beloved South Austin Jug Band, Dale Watson, Ray Wylie Hubbard (whose storytelling as as good as his songs, and that's a compliment for both), The Band of Heathens, Charlie Sexton, and Elana James (and the Continental Two). We hadn't seen Elana since The Hot Club of Cowtown. They used to have a regular gig at the Continental Club, then they went on tour opening for Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, then they broke up! Elana has been back touring with Dylan as one of his band members. 2 out of 3 Hot Clubbers are in this band but still it's not called that anymore. Here's the Heathens pictured below. Gordy Quist, second from left, just released a solo record and I bought it from him (my favorite way to buy CDs). It's a good one!

Here's Charlie Sexton getting ready to play. Coincidentally, Charlie also played in Dylan's band for awhile.

The sighting of the day was this magnificent giant bug. It flew into Threadgill's beer garden looking as big and making as much noise as 2 bugs. Landed right on my chair and scared the holy crap out of the woman behind me. And in the weirdest coincidence of the week, the guy sitting next to us spoke up and said he was an entomologist!! Of all the times when you really want an entomologist to show up and they don't... so here was this guy, who explained that this was a Cottonwood borer, a member of the Longhorn Beetle family. This picture really does not show off those antenae very well, but pics on this page do. That's his arm, but I did let it walk on me (that was a little too tickly for me and I told him to please take the bug) but he did hold it up to my ear so I could hear him hiss. I did read later that they can bite you if you mishandle them, so I'm glad I didn't do that.

Still recovering from the cloudburn I got on Friday -- cloudburn, that's when you stupidly think that because it's overcast that you aren't getting a sunburn, even though you should and do know better.

Tags: - - - - -

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Catblogging - Jax, love can be heavy

Here's my pretty boy, Jax. He has become quite the lap cat lately! We never thought he would do this. We rescued him about 4 years ago and he was never the type to stay on your lap more than a nanosecond. But recently he really camps out there. Trouble is, he's big. Big-boned and pear-shaped -- weighs nearly 20 pounds. We've got him on a diet but he's not crazy about it, and who would be?

Here he is on my husband's "lap" below. Jax takes over the area no matter what. It's also not always wise to try and move him.

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

Midsummer in Macheteville

It's June and in peak sunflower season at our house. We seem to have made our own hybrids unintentionally by favoring the seeds of the really tall plants. Most roadside sunflowers here are maybe 4 feet tall. A lot of these are 10-15 feet tall! This was the view out the back gate before that one storm beat a lot of them to the ground. These are not like the midwestern/northern sunflowers with the humongous flowers. I love those too!! Even more, actually. But those are not native down here and although they might grow if you work on them, we tried to favor the natives -- or whatever grows without much altered soil or extra water. See below our house from the street. (the back yard is much worse!)

The signs in the yard have helped keep complaints down, especially the latest one: WILDLIFE HABITAT. A lot of people would say, "Wildlife? Looks like a good place for snakes!" and my response would be "snakes count!" The other sign is for the city's Green Garden Award for having a space that's green in the eco sense of the word. It's all Mr. B's doing. He does 99.9% of the work. I take a few pictures, give some advice, and dart back behind the mosquito screen ASAP. Occasionally I get out the clippers and play Edward Scissorhands.

In a couple of weeks we will harvest seeds and take out the sunflowers for the year.

Good solstice everybody! And if this doesn't look like the middle of summer, I don't know what does. I have gotten stubborn and refuse to call it the first day of summer.

New Berra-isms. Good luck and Bob's speed.

[LINK] I just ran across this today although it's from nearly a month ago, but, Berra-isms are classic and endure the test of time! This is Yogi accepting an Honorary Degree from St. Louis University and giving their commencement speech. He may be parodying himself these days, or someone is doing it for him. He sounds more like himself here than he never did before.

"Thank you all for being here tonight. I know this is a busy time of year, and if you weren't here, you could probably be somewhere else. I especially want to thank the administration at St. Louis University for making this day necessary. It is an honor to receive this honorary degree.

"It is wonderful to be here in St. Louis and to visit the old neighborhood. I haven't been back since the last time I was here. Everything looks the same, only different. Of course, things in the past are never as they used to be.

"Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. As you may know, I never went to college, or high school for that matter. To be honest, I'm not much of a public speaker, so I will try to keep this short as long as I can.

"As I look out upon all of the young people here tonight, there are a number of words of wisdom I might depart. But I think the most irrelevant piece of advice I can pass along is this:

"The most important things in life are the things that are least important.

"I could have gone a number of directions in my life. Growing up on the Hill, I could have opened a restaurant or a bakery. But the more time I spent in places like that, the less time I wanted to spend there. I knew that if I wanted to play baseball, I was going to have to play baseball. My childhood friend, Joe Garagiola, also became a big-league ballpayer, as did my son, Dale. I think you'll find the similarities in our careers are quite different.

"You're probably wondering, how does a kid from the Hill become a New York Yankee and get in the Hall of Fame? Well, let me tell you something, if it was easy nobody would do it. Nothing is impossible until you make it possible.

"Of course, times were different. To be honest, I was born at an early age. Things are much more confiscated now. It seems like a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. But let me tell you, if the world was perfect, it wouldn't be. Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

"You'll make some wrong mistakes along the way, but only the wrong survive. Never put off until tomorrow what you can't do today. Denial isn't just a river in Europe.

"Strive for success and remember you won't get what you want unless you want what you get. Some will choose a different path. If they don't want to come along, you can't stop them. Remember, none are so kind as those who will not see.

"Keep the faith and follow the Commandments: Do not covet thy neighbor's wife, unless she has nothing else to wear. Treat others before you treat yourself. As Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'The only thing you have to fear is beer itself.'

"Hold on to your integrity, ladies and gentlemen. It's the one thing you really need to have; if you don't have it, that's why you need it. Work hard to reach your goals, and if you can't reach them, use a ladder. There may come a day when you get hurt and have to miss work. Don't worry, it won't hurt to miss work.

"Over the years, I have realized that baseball is really just a menopause for life. We all have limitations, but we also know limitation is the greatest form of flattery. Beauty is in the eyes of Jim Holder.

"Half the lies you hear won't be true, and half the things you say, you won't ever say.

"As parents you'll want to give your children all the things you didn't have. But don't buy them an encyclopedia, make them walk to school like you did. Teach them to have respect for others, especially the police. They are not here to create disorder, they are here to preserve it.

"Throughout my career, I found good things always came in pairs of three. There will be times when you are an overwhelming underdog. Give 100 percent to everything you do, and when that's not enough, give everything you have left. 'Winning isn't everything, but it's better than rheumatism.' I think Guy Lombardo said that.

"Finally, dear graduates and friends, cherish this moment; it is a memory you will never forget. You have your entire future ahead of you.

"Good luck and Bob's speed."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I haven't fallen off the earth

Just spinning away in this wheel. Hope I'm getting somewhere but the road ahead looks a lot like the road behind. Hope to post a thing or two on Thursday.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Scary sight

I saw something frightening on a car bumper today.

Frightening because I'm thinking she could win if she ran. What do you think?

EDIT: P.S. - I am at least temporarily disallowing anonymous comments to prevent anon trollage fallout from another post. Apologies to unregistered folks that I know.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Here's hoping that if you spend time with your living father today, that your visit goes well and not marred by arguments or resentments. Neither of us have living fathers (or grandfathers, almost needless to say). My commitments on Father's Day consist of assisting these cats on "picking out a card" for their daddy-cat, and goodness knows these cats need lots of caretaking. They are our kids. We are those people (the ones who think that). His efforts and attitude are deeply appreciated.

I did get out my father's final paperwork, his death certificate and Certificate for dying while on Active Duty with the USAF. I also looked through his medals from WWII and various bars and pins. I don't know what they all mean. He died when I was (almost) 14 so I can't ask him about them. If I could offer advice to anyone, it would be to ask questions, write things down, and try to let love overpower the resentments. Difficult, especially if both parties won't do it. It's never easy, is it?

Please be neat and wipe your seat.

[LINK, and more pics] It's for a good cause. It's the World Naked Bike Ride done to protest oil dependence. Well, good for them, it gets attention, although I don't know if the attention is toward the cause and anything that helps raise awareness. Nudism is a cause in itself, and looks like plenty of awareness was raised!

I'm pretty shy about my body. Everybody else would have to be naked first before I would do it (unless I was drunk, and I never get that drunk anymore). Also not sure I'd want to be that intimate with a bicycle seat. OK, I take it back. I am sure. But different strokes... different folks... and so on, and so on...

Riding naked with an umbrella... does the umbrella help? I guess it keeps your hat dry.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's all about the cuteness

This is the pair of Pedicabs I saw a couple of weeks ago where one of them had the little Toto dog riding in the front wicker basket. I was finally fast enough with the camera this time.

Instead of being in the front basket, he's riding in the cab itself. I hope he's on a short leash. As cute as it is, it gives me fits if I think an animal is being put in danger by riding in traffic in an open vehicle (like the back of a truck, for instance). I think I see the hint of a leash there, and wanted to share the cuteness.

We are having a very unplanned weekend. Considered watching the "Keep Austin Weird 5k" runners (there's a costume contest and one for pets too) but decided to veg out at home instead. Ended up yelling at the TV because Tift Merritt rates an appearance on Austin City Limits when we think there are so many more artists (especially some local ones) that should go on there instead. I think it's the blonde hair tossing. My husband thinks she padded her bra since her boobs looked much different on the show than they looked when we saw her opening for Nickel Creek. To be honest, I didn't notice that part previously. Well, I guess that's what happens when you live under cat rule. You get a bit "catty".


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Catblogging - Beach Blanket Bummer

Another vet visit for Henry. Somebody has to go to the vet for some reason every week around here. They spread out this beach towel with "South Padre Island" written on it.
But you aren't going to fool Henry that easily. A clipboard and stethescope... he knows what's coming... a rude thermometer and a needle.

Was this trip really necessary?

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

Watch out for Revenooers

[LINK] It's not so much drinkable moonshine they're looking for as that other kind of fuel you might be cooking up in your backyard. The guy (see the link) was trying to do the right thing. He spent $1,200 converting his diesel car to run on vegetable oil. He bought soybean oil (at a higher price than diesel) to make the fuel. then topped it off with a bumper sticker that said "Powered by 100% Vegetable Oil".

Then he got slapped with a $1,000 fine for not paying motor fuel taxes, and to expect another $1,000 fine from the Feds. He can then use his homebrew in the car after posting a $2,500 bond.

It's an admirable effort on his part, but if you are going to try this at home you might want to be prepared to pay The Man.

Fame reduced to 3 seconds

There we are... the Blueberries... in our 3 second cameo in the live Rolling Stones DVD that was released on Tuesday! (My digital A/V skills and software tools are a bit lacking, hence the relatively low-tech "screen shot".) I figured we'd probably end up in it. We were on the front rail and standing next to someone in a motorized wheelchair. The cameras is looking for something interesting, something non-generic, and she got even more attention when she asked the concert promotors standing in the photo pit (the guys who brought this show to town also do the Austin City Limits Festival and Lollapalooza) if they were going to stand there for the whole show because they were blocking her view! It worked! They not only moved, they were very nice to her, bringing her guitar picks and making sure everything was OK for the rest of the show. Good for her!! Good for us too. I hate it when people block my view. More on the DVD and Austin.

It's become almost a joke that we keep turning up in concert videos. Back in 2004, my face appears for a couple of seconds on Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival video. Coincidentally, I show up right after Eric Johnson plays (my favorite guitar player! How could they have known? )

The last one where we got face time is Willie Nelson's Tsunami Relief (Austin to Asia) DVD. Again we were on the front rail, and standing next to someone in a motorized wheelchair! This time it was a celebrity, a local legend if you will, it was Liz Carpenter. She was at work on a book about Bobbie Nelson, Willie's sister who plays the piano. She wasn't familiar with all the performers who played that night, and after Joe Ely played she commented to us that she didn't know who he was but he sure did sweat a lot. Don't tell Joe she said that. It wasn't unkind, just an observation.

We turn up in the extra features of Los Lonely Boys Texican Style DVD, standing at the front of the crowd at Waterloo Records. Then there seem to be countless little preserved snippets in other concert videos or TV coverage where we know that's the back of our heads or my hand waving or something. I've decided that it's just our job. Need a couple of old-timers to be colorful in the front row of your live video? Just let us know. We'll squeeze you in somehow if you can squeeze us in. (and a tight squeeze it can be.)

Tags: - - -

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wilburys (Traveling)

The Traveling Wilburys were brought together by George Harrison in 1988, and were a perfect blending of Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison. It amazes me how good they sound together, and it's not just because they are all so good. Some of the worst-sounding things I've heard have been pairings of extremely talented people that I like -- just not together. Not sure I want to name names... maybe in the comments... (Worst duets ever? Good people, bad pairing? Anybody want to start?)

But this is very different. Very good stuff. I always meant to buy their 2 CDs, put it off, saw them in the used bins, figured I'd pick them up later -- eventually. Then they went out of print. Then they became valuable and I couldn't find them in the bins anymore or afford them on eBay. Bummer! But finally, just today, both discs have been reissued and packaged with a fun "making of" DVD (the video clip above is included). There apparently were lots of legal barriers toward getting this re-released, and check it out -- nowhere on the cover does it mention or picture any of the legends who play on it. If that's all it took to get these back in print I'm sorry it took so long.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Pottermania of the first kind

The link goes to an article about how booksellers are going to lose money over the next Harry Potter book. Many large chains and online sellers have deeeep discounts, 40-50%, so smaller sellers will have a tough time because they can't discount that much, and larger sellers are making no money on the book.

hmmm. I don't know. Normally I support my local indie bookseller whenever possible, but being a person of limited means these days, I went for, which was offering a 49% discount, no tax to pay, and free shipping... IF... IF... you spend $25. OK, Deathly Hallows costs $17.99... and I need to spend roughly $7 more to get free shipping. I bought a case of soap for $10. I'm happy, and I'm wondering if is not also happy.

FYI, carries every kind of soap I've ever seen, outside of the homemade stuff at the Farmer's Market. They also seem to carry every other imaginable product.

Something tells me that some of these other stores will feel a ripple effect of people coming in to buy the new Harry even without direct profit. Need a Hogwarts bookmark with that?


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pottermania of the other kind

A teaching assistant (in the UK) was suspended, then resigned, because she refused to let a 7 year old child read from a Harry Potter book. She said it would have violated her Christian faith. In fact, she told the child that she refused to do witchcraft in any form and would have been cursed through hearing the novel read. Now the T.A. is suing the school seeking $100,000 in damages for religious discrimination.

OK, I understand that your religious beliefs may prevent you from experiencing certain pieces of literature, but I think that in this case it thoroughly makes her unqualified to be teaching children because if you are forbidden from being exposed to "witchcraft" you will be severely limited in choices for children's literature. You would have to avoid all faeries, gnomes, elves, leprechans, dragons, flying carpets, genies, Aesop's Fables, anything in Greek, Roman, Norse, or Celtic mythology, King Arthur, The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Cinderella. (What do kids read these days?) What is the test for witches? Is it OK if they are not called witches but still have supernatural powers? Are talking animals OK? Using "the force"? How about wardrobes that open into a parallel world? People who walk on water or make fish appear out of nothing and turn water into wine?

Image from "Cinderella" from The Beacon Second Reader posted by Project Gutenberg.

Found via Fark.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Scottbert turns 50

Happy 50th birthday today to Scott Adams: a cat-loving vegetarian atheist Mensan (WOW! Who does that remind me of?) and the creator of Dilbert. I love his blog, check it out if you haven't already done so. I certainly relate to that cartoon too. I am really happy for all you folks who truly believe that life begins at 40, or 50, or 60, or what-have you -- but that has not been my experience. If I could freeze my age it would be at 30... OK... 29. When you are well into middle-age your body starts falling apart, also it doesn't look as good as it used to, either (unless you're like... wealthy and have good genes and a good plastic surgeon and personal trainer). The best thing about being in my 50s is that I'm not dead yet. Ain't no flies on me. Shoo flies!!!

EDIT: Scott has a post up about being 50 here. My own experience differs -- except for the cat-petting part. I've had a love/hate relationship with diet and exercise, and at 53 I'm in the "hate" part of it. I have reasons.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Catblogging - Hard-working cats

What a good kitty! Someone sent me this clipping. It's about a seeing-eye cat who works for a deaf and blind dog! Well, it's more like she volunteers for him.

And speaking of working, Henry is tired after snoozing on the couch all day, so he is getting some rest on his favorite porch chair, a little sling stool that makes a perfect cat hammock. A cat's work is never done.

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

Another KO from KO

Seems like when I was growing up, the government wanted us to feel safe even when there was possibly danger, they didn't want to stir up waves of public panic because the fear itself was considered to be a risk to National Security. I'm not necessarily defending their keeping some of those frightening things hidden, but I do see the merit of the national security aspect of the tactic. This administration, on the other hand, seems to either orchestrate, unneccesarily dwell, or attempt to control the news coverage on "terror plots" in order to draw attention away from negative Republican events (trials, subpeonas, etc.), newsworthy Democratic events, or just to stir up public fear, panic, xenophobia and jingoism in order to convince The People to give up their freedoms and allow the Constitution to be gutted. If you look at the history of Fascism and Nazism, you can see that these tactics have been used before. That's a "terror plot" all by itself.
Tags: - - -

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sometimes they gotcha.

"Scooter" Libby is sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and has to pay a $250,000 fine, plus two years of probation. I love this quote from the Counsel: "Many defendants are first offenders, most defendants have family. We need to make clear that the truth matters and one's station in life does not matter." He's convicted in spite of glowing letters from the likes of Rumsfeld and Kissinger.

In other news, a woman was arrested and subsequently convicted for drunk driving, in spite of offering to show the Officer her boobs.

I guess you can't always schmooze your way out.

To me, the "D" was for Daddy - June 6

Having my father's eyes made life more difficult sometimes. Not only did I have his eyes, but his smile, his walking gait, height, sense of humor, sarcasm... lots of things. His family told me that seeing me was like seeing him again. The reason it was difficult was because my mother couldn't seem to ever forgive me for being so much like him -- as though I had any control over that. They were separated when he died in 1967 at the age of 44 (forever young!). June 6th was his birthday, so that's what the day will always mean to me.

I wrote more about him in this older post.

Plaque found on a bench in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

My cousin is now (playing) a serial killer

(Note: some corrections made on lineage, 3/2021) Well, actually it's my third cousin. See the chart below. First there was John Andrew Jackson Costner, our common ancestor from Banner, Mississippi -- then my grandmother and Kevin's grandfather were the offspring of two of his kids: Edgar Lugene (aka "Gene") Costner and Moses (aka "Mode" or "Bode") Amariah Costner, respectively; both of Oklahoma. My uncle was a geneologist, so I didn't have to do all that research myself. I've got several of his books full of funny names and cousin-marrying galore. A lot of my kin were afflicted with what they called "the Costner dawdles", which meant that they were so fat that they waddled when they walked -- like penguins -- but less cute. Anyway, Kevin was born in California which put some distance between him and some of the hillbillies, both culturally and physically. Not that there's anything wrong with hillbilly.

I must admit that I kind of quit being interested in Kevin's movies after Waterworld. It had a lot of potential but the end fell apart so bad it was maddening. I thought Tin Cup was boring. The Postman was reviewed so badly (

a Tomatometer of 10%) that I'm curious to see it for that reason alone, but haven't. Also saw Open Range, which was an alright Western with the benefit of having the delightful Robert Duvall in it. Kevin has made the most out of the Baseball theme (Bull Durham and Field of Dreams), but I think his real home run was Dances with Wolves. What do you think?

His new movie, just released (Mr. Brooks) has him playing a serial killer who is posing as a regular guy. I think all of them do that (serial killers, that is). Sounds like it might be good, maybe we'll see it... at least on video.

No, I've never met him and probably never will unless he makes a movie in Austin and is willing to meet another hillbilly cousin. There are sooooo many of us.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Live music in Austin

Catching up on our live music shows for the past week or so. Let's see... on the 23rd we caught The Texas Sapphires at Maria's Taco XPress. Rebecca brought her big puppy for his first public gig, and he was a big sweetie except for trying to steal one person's taco. They've got a new player who plays mandolin and banjo that looks like a mandolin, he's from a broke-up Sacramento band called The Beer Dawgs (you gotta check out their home page pic!!), and he's called Slim Bawb, and maybe Bawb Dawg if it sticks.

Saturday the 26th we saw a great show by The South Austin Jug Band at Momo's. It was Will DuPuy's last night with the band, he plays the doghouse bass, but here he is (center) during the part of the show where, if it's long enough and the band is having a good time, they switch instruments. And being a bunch of really good pickers they all play the other instruments well. Will has been a vital part of SAJB sound since they formed ~7 years ago, so it was sad to see him go... he is going for a more settled lifestyle.

Next night, Sunday, we are back at Momo's for Warren Hood, who happened to have Cindy Cashdollar for a guest player. She's a world-class player who recently toured as part of Van Morrison's band. Warren is one of the best fiddlers anywhere, and has a long resume as a sideman. He's currently part of The Waybacks when he's not playing solo or in other people's bands... he's a local legend. Warren's band's music is all over the map: swing, jazz, blues, folk, lots of Walter Hyatt stuff.

Thursday we saw the Jug Band again at their free show at Shady Grove. It was a relatively short show and more laid-back than the Momo's in the family atmosphere of Shady. We were sitting next to another older couple, discussing beer and other fun topics, when my husband brought up the topic of the Wal-Mart store that has weaseled its way into their neighborhood through legal but unethical methods and now it's created waves of protest and activism... all went to hell after that. The guy supports and wants Wal-Mart, said that corporations do the right thing and if not they are punished to the fullest extent of the law, but the corker was saying that he wouldn't care if they paved Barton Springs since he doesn't use it anyway. The conversation was getting heated and loud, so when the band took the stage I issued a loud "Both of you shut up!!! The music is starting!!". So... a mostly pleasant night at Shady except for that -- with apologies to anyone sitting nearby.

Last night (Friday) we went to a fantastic free show at Antone's. It was the live DVD taping for The Band of Heathens, and I have raved about them here before. Just an outstanding band on the edge of hitting it big maybe, or at least becoming "almost famous". Their following is still fairly small, but that is changing rapidly. EDIT 6/8/07: My friend John Grubbs from Rockslide Photography has a great slide show up of this show.

Tonight (Saturday) it's back to Momo's for Kara Grainger (it's a Flash site) (here's her MySpace). She's an Aussie who just *might* be moving here. She's toured, recorded and worked lots of Austinites, including Eric Johnson. Tonight we expect to see Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson) on bass and Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble) on drums.

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