Friday, August 31, 2007

I need a remote that does garden chores

I have been left home alone for a couple of days while MrB visits his family in St. Louis. Even for for 2-3 days, there's a long list of "what to do and how to do it" that I've had to write down or remember. One of them is strictly for my limited entertainment purposes, and that is how to operate the TV and its playback peripherals. He is in charge of that system, and I do the computers. When I put a DVD in the computer, it reads the disk, the controls appear, and TA-DA, it starts playing!! What a concept. But, if I want to watch something on a much bigger screen with better speakers and a comfy couch -- it's another story.

Usually he has charge of the remotes, because the way things operate is always being tweaked, I can't keep up with it, so I quit trying. We sat down together before he left and I took notes on how to simply watch a DVD or the TV.

A DVD requires 3 remotes. (A), (B), and (C). Using (A), press POWER, then TV/VIDEO gets pressed 5 times until the right screen appears. Using (B), press the DVD/LD button, then the RECEIVER button, the the SOURCE button gets pressed until the right screen appears. Using (C), press POWER, and make sure that the VCR/DVD button is pushed instead of the TV/VCR button or the controls won't work (I learned that on my own). Insert the disk using the OPEN/EJECT button. The DVD can be controlled by (C), and has fairly clearly understandable controls, but (C) does not control volume, you can use (B) for controls as an option. Remote (B) gives me laughing fits, because it has a bazillion tiny buttons (as they all do) but these are really not marked well, or require bright lights and magnification. It has 4 colored buttons in a row. Green means STOP, and red is PLAY (not the logical color choices!!!), yellow is PAUSE and we don't know what blue is for. I'm writing all this stuff down, which covers a whole sheet of paper, and am thinking it would be easier to launch an ICBM than play a DVD, except that for nuclear missiles it takes 2 people to turn the keys (and don't even ask how to play or record VHS on that system, because I don't know. I use the simpler machine upstairs... and yes, we don't have TIVO). I muddled through the process, and Orlando Bloom was before my eyes before I knew it.

The other thing I have to do daily, and this is not in the category of entertainment, is to venture out into the backyard, which is very jungle-y because of all the rain we had this summer, and change the water in the bird baths. Seriously... it is very overgrown and rather dense. I'm proud of it, don't get me wrong, my MrB is a wonderful green and wildlife habitat gardener, but I can't be out there more than a couple of minutes before I'm being assaulted by something.

Usually it's a swarm of mosquitoes, or sharp pointy plants, or it could be an assault of the eyeballs as in the case of having TWO huge Argiope spiders living back there. Here they are in their glory and zippers.

The worst part of discovering a spider for a spiderphobe like me is trying to confirm its identity on the internet using Search Images. Aaaaaooooohhhaaaahhhcckk!!! The only thing worse than the hairy legged shots are the ones showing the results of brown recluse bites. At least some of the pages have unintentionally humorous random-generated ads, such as "Get Spider Ringtones", "Find Spiders on eBay", and "Top Deals on Spider Webs"

When I was over at Blockbuster picking out some vids tonight, there... attached to the black wire racks holding the movies... was a pretty large spider. It was dead, I believe, and I am not one to poke spiders, and after googling hideous spider close-up pictures tonight, I think it might be a Hobo Spider -- which IS venomous. Right there on the racks at Blockbuster.

I just might freak right out this weekend. Help!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Catblogging - Did you pack your own bag?

Henry is practicing for his new job as a bag-checker for airport security, and since his Dad's going to St. Louis for the weekend, he has a bag to practice on. First of all, this bag is plenty big, so there's room to take him on-board. If he can't go, he will send along some hair. His aunties are very allergic to cats, so it will make an impression. Henry wants to know if you are packing any liquids... and if not... would you like some? Well, this suitcase is really pretty boring and contains no toys, catnip or contraband, so his work is done, and the luggage has been properly scent-marked.

All clear! have a nice flight!

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

Molly: missed

I understand that this would have been Molly Ivin's birthday. Here is a little gem I ran across, some footage of Molly from 2002. A little shaky here and there, but worth it, and a great closing statement from Jim Hightower on that special brand of blueberry in the ketchup Texans.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's important for your age and IQ to match

Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina:

OK, I actually have no problem with beauty contests. Just be honest about it. Do the swimsuits, do the ballroom gowns, have a naked catwalk if you want. It doesn't matter, it's about the beauty of the face and body. Please just stop trying to pretend that the intellect of these girls and women matters one IOTA. Same for talent competitions. Does it matter to the people who watch pageants if the woman can sing or tap dance? Then stop making them do it.

But then, maybe it's possible that they put their brains on the spot just to get a laugh. In this case, it truly worked.

EDIT: [LINK] They gave her a chance to change her answer on the Today show. Her new reply was "Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography."

Par for the course

I am back on the hamster wheel until late September, and not sure if there will be relief in October. Like yesterday, it was the kind of day that exhausts me. Up at 5, little rush jobs completed before leaving for the day job by 7, worked at the day job for 7 hours, spent an hour or 2 at the doctor, then home to work for 4 more hours -- with an hour and a half of down-time for dinner and some TV. Tired eyes. Today will hopefully be a teensy bit better. Apologies out there in blogland. I am not meaning to ignore anyone, just trying to keep pace. The long weekend will allow more time to work, but I am not planning on missing the big BatFest on Congress, at least on Saturday. A diversion!

In other news, Gonzales gone! Soon to be replaced with yet another unqualified Bush crony. Is there no end to the list? Hope I'm wrong. Pardon my cynicism. {yawn} Just wondering who else might get swept out in this bout of house cleaning? Seems like Cheney is doing a heckuva job but needs more time with his family, not to mention health concerns. Sound like a plausible set of reasons to leave. Dare we hope?

Bummer to hear about Owen Wilson. It's always shocking to see someone who does comedy roles do something so unfunny. After his breakup, people said "oh he's fine. He's partying". Well, duh. He's an actor. How can you tell how he's really feeling? Hope there's help for broken hearts... somewhere, somehow.

That's it's for random observations. Anyone got a good joke, funny story, some cheer?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spiders On Ice

No... it's not a hellish beverage.

Like many of you, I surely do miss MST3K (Mystery Science Theater 3000), where they try to find the worst movie possible, then riff and joke through the whole thing. We watched a Made-For-SciFi Channel movie yesterday that would have been a perfect candidate. It was called "Ice Spiders". Yes, even the title conjures up a humorous image of people skating around in spider suits.

Instead of that, there are some very CG-looking spiders which need more hair, romping around on the slopes - and there is a real LOL moment when 3 of them come flying off the ski jump. Wheeeeeee!!!!!!

The movie adheres to the science-mutation monster movie stereotypical formula very well, so it's easy to guess what's going to happen next. One of the stars is Vanessa Williams, who is not to confused with the OTHER Vanessa Williams, the beauty queen. This one is also a beauty, nonetheless, and plays a scientist who is gorgeous, well-endowed, and always wears very tight, bright pink clothing. If you have seen any cheesy, mutation monster flick, you already know the plot, so just sit back and watch it unfold.

I wonder if they were inspired by this line of ice footwear?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another trip around the sun

Yes, I had a birthday yesterday. I try to avoid them but it's very difficult. I don't normally get a bunch of presents, and don't like to get them unless they are very inexpensive. MySpace is fun because it shows your birthday to all your Friends, and it they happen to notice it they tend to leave comments. This video, from a band called "Venice", just cracked me up! What a brilliant idea. After their little birthday song and dance there are a couple of their songs so it's great marketing on a grassroots level. There was also a link to a Hobbitty Birthday song sung by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards. (How to pronounce it)

My friend over the pond sent over a great-looking beret with... TA-DA... cats on it. of course, I love it. She also sent over some Shaun the Sheep episodes (a Wallace and Gromit style sheep show). If the embedding doesn't work, watch it here. Very infectious!!!

Mr. B really surprised me because he got me a big helium balloon with Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow on it! Normally we don't do gifts, and he may not want to do this one again because this balloon is going to last a looooooong time (unless it has a mishap).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Catblogging - cat's cradle and silver spoon

I picked up this little "baby bed" as part of our cat motif, but never dreamed that the cats would actually use it for a bed. Here's Henry in the Cat Cradle. Duncan used to like it too, probably because he knew Henry liked it.

Close up of the cradle.

It's a cat's life!! Special placemat with some gross-looking food (sorry). The water bowl says "Cat From Hell", but that is, of course, impossible. Not our little angels.

And finally, here's something I got in an email promotion. The ultimate in cat furniture: the Cat Genie!!! Self-flushing, self-washing, self-scooping litter box, not on sale for only $300!! [video]. Well, you knew there was no such thing as a free cat.

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

Ain't no cure

From this week's David Letterman newsletter:
Top Ten Things Dumb Guys Like About Summer

10. All the sand you can eat.

9. Easy on the pocketbook pets -- ticks.

8. If you have a light blue shirt and you sweat a lot, voila! A dark blue shirt.

7. Eating shrimp salad that's gone bad in the heat equals a week's vacation from work.

6. Wait, this summer or last summer?

5. On 95 degree days, the wind chill factor makes it seem like a delightful 90.

4. Great deals on snow shovels.

3. Drinking some cold beers and then going into space.

2. Them beachballs is purty.

1. Get to spend 12 weeks in Crawford, Texas.

I am happy for those adults out there who got some time off this summer. I would dearly love to sit and look at purty beachballs, maybe wipe the sand off of the beer glass, somewhere far away from Crawford. Austin will do, but I am still locked up by this crazy workcycle.

My best friend has summers off, and makes the most of every minute of it; traveling (sometimes even to Europe), workshops, concerts, sleeping in. Still, what I am hearing from her is how hard it is to go back to work, it's depressing, and how she wanted to do SO MUCH MORE during the summer, it just wasn't enough time. She also feels that people in her profession really need summers off because the stress of dealing with the children year-round* added to the stress of always needing to do exactly the right thing (and make no mistakes) would mean that the nerves would not endure it -- not year-round. I pointed out that lots of professions have those qualities, such as air-traffic controllers, police, and medical personnel (and I could think of a lot more, such as pilots, bus drivers, emergency 911 operators, etc. yada, yada), none of which get summers off. But then I am reminded that those people, although their work stress level is many times the amount of mine, DO get a little actual time off here and there... and I don't. (Whether or not they are able to leave their job at the office door is another matter.)

I have 2 part-time jobs. On one of them is the "day job" where I work for someone else and get a benefit package, but the other one is me being self-employed doing my "dream job". A few years ago, I turned a hobby into an occupation, and it has been growing on its own. I really enjoy it and it's what I want to do, but the "dream" is not always a good dream. For years I envisioned this very occupation, except that in my dream I would make good money and be able to take my work with me to exotic locales since I would be able to do it all from a laptop. Warm breezes, cool drinks, blue waters... and wired. The reality of the situation, however, is that I don't make enough money to afford hotels and cat-sitters... and the nature of this job is that almost every day there is something that needs to be done that cannot wait. It might take a few minutes or several hours but it won't wait until someone's vacation is over, and I have no helpers. It's just me. (Sounds easy to solve, doesn't it? It's not.)

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am taking off of the day job, but will probably work all day at home on a new project I am trying to complete on a deadline. It's an exciting project, and I'm glad to do it, also I really need the $$$. Tonight is a show night, and Saturday night (maybe Sunday afternoon too) we will be out and about, kicking up our heels, but I think I will spend my birthday evening watching good old Friday night TV: Meerkats and Monk.

Laptop pic snagged here.

*I am not talking about children being or not being in school during summer. I am just venting about adults who have summer off and are always forgetting that others are not so lucky. I also don't mean to put my friend down. I think she's great and I'm lucky to have her, and hope to see her this weekend. I'm also glad that she has a job that allows her those particular perqs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Here's a song I heard on KUT this week, an older one from Billy Bragg with Wilco (and that's Natalie Merchant on backing vocals). It's an even older Woody Guthrie song. According to this wiki on Wilco, Nora Guthrie contacted Bragg to record some of her father's songs that he had been too sick to record himself. I hadn't heard it before, and the melody and the purity of it kind of got to me. Check out the song Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key

Here he is getting wonderfully political in a Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, accompanied by Austin's Own Ian McLagan (of Small Faces). He doesn't even sound like the same singer to me here.
Enjoy it! Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Amazon, follow-up, more

EDIT, Sunday Aug 19: I am bumping this post to the top, because of a new tactic that Amazon is taking. I clicked on the first link below, Gamecock Magazine, to find that they have removed all the negative comments (including mine)!!! There is some customer/user discussion of this in the forum. Looks like they have also done this for some of the other items too, like the "Dog Pit" book. At least they have (for now) left the tags in place, and the forum(s) as well.
***/end update/***

***/original post from Friday Aug. 17/***
I am just following up on my Amazon animal-fighting post from earlier in the week. Here's more that you can do to tell Amazon what you think: writing customer reviews. I'm thinking that those things are going to be very effective in the long run from Amazon's point of view.

Some suggestions for Amazon animal-fighting products to review:

Gamecock (magazine)
Grit and Steel (magazine)
The Game Cock (book)
History of Game Strains (book)
The Dog Pit - Or, How To Select, Breed, Train And Manage Fighting Dogs (book)
Feathered Warrior (magazine)

Tags: - -

The purple traitor

What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color purple, which embodies the characteristics of sensuality, spirituality, creativity, wealth, royalty, nobility, mystery, enlightenment, arrogance, gaudiness, mourning, confusion, pride, delicacy, power, meditation, religion, and ambition. Purple falls under the element of Earth, and was once a European symbol of royalty; today it symbolizes the divine.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Purple does happen to be my favorite color.

Uh... wealth?? Nope. My retirement plan mostly consist of winning the lottery. I'd better start buying tickets.

I will go along with the mourning, confusion, gaudiness and delicacy. How do those go together, I wonder? Would I be good at planning irreverent funerals? No doubt.

Meditation, religion, ambition, the divine... those things are not happenin', folks.
Take the quiz at the link... unless yer yella!!
(hmmm... what should I do if my belly IS yellow?)

Found this quiz through Red Nava and Orange Michael.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Catblogging - Couching Cats

transitive verb
1: to lay (oneself) down for rest or sleep

Jax is doing a good job of hiding -- in plain sight!
Just a big, fluffy couch-matching lump.
Want something that matches the sofa?
Here he is!

Just showing the slightest bit of ears, but still blending in.

Aha! Unmistakable catty outlines are a sure giveaway!

OK, now he REALLY no longer blends in! And speaking of cats hiding on or in couches, here's a good story about a lucky cat who saved itself from a burning house by wedging into the couch cushions! (Firefighters thought feline had perished, then found it after dousing flames)

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I told Amazon I'd blog this

I wrote a letter to via the Humane Society's campaign to get them to stop selling cockfighting magazines and dogfighting videos!! This is utter crap. Barnes & Noble and other online sellers don't sell this stuff, and nobody should be selling it.

Humane Society: "Amazon claims that its commercial sale of these publications is protected by the First Amendment. But the First Amendment does not protect companies advertising illegal contraband, and that's exactly what the magazines sold by Amazon are doing."

Want to let them know what you think? Here's a link to get you started.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove admits to committing a felony

The South Austin Jug Band have a fun newsletter, and today they offered 2 guest passes to answer the trivia question:

What felony did Michael Moore point out that Karl Rove had committed involving him (Moore)?

OK, I didn't know that one so I had to look it up. Old news for all you Late Night watchers, but here it goes.

Hello. FBI? We have a problem.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Did I say unicorn? I meant ox.

This is a parody site of the Creation Museum site. Here's their premise:
Based on the idea of ‘if it’s in the Bible, it must be true’, The Unicorn Museum promotes belief in the Biblical Truth of unicorns, a creature mentioned nine times in the KJV Bible.

Sounds fair, doesn't it? I love that rear-view they've used. Nice statement.

Here's a Christian site trying to explain what the Bible really meant when it mentions unicorns... or yeah, and satyrs too.

There's a lot of magical stuff in the Bible, whether miracles, curses or plagues. Why do they even bother trying to explain how the translation turned the original intent into what's there now (depending on version)? Why not just say the creatures existed and the dinosaurs aboard the ark had them for dinner or some other preposterous story?

And where are the centaurs! What about merpeople? Sphinxes? Dragons?

found via J-walk

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Soul - What It Is!

What do you think about "soul"? It means a lot of things to a lot of people, and it gets confusing trying to talk about soul, or the soul, because of all the different concepts and beliefs. Do I have soul? Yes, I think so. Do I have a soul? Am I a soul? Yes, no or maybe.

Here's a snippet from the dictionary:
Main Entry: soul
Function: noun

1: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life

2a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
b: capitalized, Christian Science: GOD 1b

3: a person's total self

4a: an active or essential part
b: a moving spirit: LEADER

5a: the moral and emotional nature of human beings
b: the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment
c: spiritual or moral force: FERVOR (syn: passion)

6: PERSON [not a soul in sight]

7: PERSONIFICATION [she is the soul of integrity]

8a: a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers
If you've "got a lot of soul", that usage of it fits in with #4, #5 and #8. Not just the average amount of fervor, spirit; not cowering in the corner, afraid to speak up, to extend a hand, sing out loud, bang on a cowbell, call it as you see it, dance like a fool... a full cup and maybe a bit over the top. It's not from being educated, or even just smart, it comes from the emotional part of you -- what you might call "the heart" -- where you decide for yourself what's right and wrong.

#3 and #6 seem almost the same. A soul is a person, a living person. Most people seem to use the word this way. Old King Cole was a merry old soul...

It's #1 and #2 where most of the debate comes in. Is there a "soul" inside you, something that IS you (like #3) but is not really part of your body and can live AS YOU without your body? There's a whole field of study about astral projection and out-of-body experiences. Now, I don't know how this works, but I've actually had a limited OOBE once while getting anesthesia pre-surgery. There's something to it. I don't believe in the concept of the supernatural, so whatever makes this possible, it's something weird about our personal electrical impulses that can take into a realm where things are just plain unexplained. Can you live, after the death of your body? There are people who have died briefly and come back, and have experienced a whole lot of very odd things that can't be explained, and unless you yourself have been brought back from the brink of death or beyond I don't see how you can make judgements about what other people have been through. It's hard enough to make judgements about your own experiences. Interesting stuff.

Calling it proof of having an immortal soul is a huge leap though. It's not proof of anything. If person A has seen a space alien and person B has seen an angel, or a demon, or the Blessed Virgin in a pancake, or Elvis alive and well, does that count as proof? Let's leave it as "interesting".

Our family were Jehovah's Witness for a few years, and I learned about a lot of alternate mythology there, and I have believed various things like that in my life before I became a skeptic and a non-believer. They believe that the soul resides in the blood, and they base it on these bible scriptures:
Genesis 9:4 - "Only Flesh with its soul - its blood - you must not eat"
Leviticus 7:26 - And you must not eat any blood in any place where you dwell"
Leviticus 17:11 "the soul of the flesh is in the blood"
Leviticus 17:14 "The Soul of flesh is its blood"
That why they won't donate blood or take tranfusions, in case you always wondered about that. Well, being a vegetarian, I'm pretty much 100% off eating blood these days. Doesn't sound good. Doesn't look good. Blah. Are animals "souls"? Are they "persons"? No worries about eating souls here.

Will I live forever? As Joni said, ...we are stardust... I am composed of a lot of things, not only my personality, what people think of me and what they will remember about me -- but there's a strictly physical part that will break down and live forever whether as DNA (some of you have passed yours along, I chose not to) or just chemicals. You really only die when you are forgotten. That is my feeling.

Image by David Ho.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Catblogging - Sheepy

Henry's counting sheep in a fleecy bed. I think he may have gotten as high as... 2.
...on closer examination, maybe 3.

Aaaah!! Endless summer!!

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Momma Grace & Company - -

I must BE the blue pyramid!

You're Egypt!
Curator of ancient mystical secrets, your life on the surface is fairly typical these days. Though you are in denial about more things than most people. Nevertheless, you're trying to convince people that you're safe despite your more volatile and unstable times that seem to be behind you. You like cats a whole lot. You'd probably really appreciate The Blue Pyramid.

Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

Quiz found via Kay

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The China syndrome and other rants

I slacked off “work” work last night (not to mention missing that tasty Happy Hour at the Continental Club with David Grissom and Warren Hood) to assemble a couple of nifty new chairs we got at Target. My home office chair has been killing my legs (seat too high for my hobbitty frame) so I needed to find something lower to the ground. This chair is that, plus it swivels beautifully (wheeeee!!!). The first thing I do after opening a booklet like this is to get some nice background distraction going on the tube; preferably a vintage gem like this one. One comment on AMC is this: I thought they showed stuff uncut. They don’t. This one, “Easy Rider” included female nudity related to sexual activity, but didn’t show the bird-flipping near the end (and both are important to the plot). Boobs and butts can be shown but not a finger? Wha??

So my work was laid out in front of me. Two chairs to assemble that looked like this after sweeping up lots of Styrofoam. Only $68 for each one, on sale until Saturday. Of course they are made in China. The sad part is that I doubt I could afford them if they were made here. It’s a broken system, for sure. An unbelievable number of things are not made here, including a high percentage of American flags!!! Apparently, the number of imported flags shot waaaay up after 9/11 due to demand. How ironic is that? I also bought underwear, some of which was made by the company Hanes, which identifies itself with the tagline “An American Original”. The imprint says they were made in El Salvador. I guess Central America technically is “America” so their butts would be covered by that (and thankfully, mine is too). The other brand was Gilligan O'Malley, which was made in Malaysia. I wonder if the CEO’s money even goes into an American bank?

Well, one thing that is definitely not made in China is this excellent Texas beer, Firemen’s #4 made by the microbrewer Real Ale. mmmm. A necessary ingredient anytime your evening can be described as "Assembly Required".

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm going to freak right out*

Brace yourself before clicking this. It's a real-life horror movie.

*quote: Agent Sands (Johnny Depp's character) in "Once Upon a Time In Mexico"

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hail Me a Cab

I believe that I may have been whacked upside the head by this band. Death Cab For Cutie. I've had the following song stuck in my head for 2 days now. It gets airplay locally (on the Indie-oriented stations), and for all I know it's the biggest hit song in the world. You see, I don't listen to Clear Channel or any top 40 radio or watch VH1/MTV, so I'm a little out of it (and not sorry, I just have other ways of being exposed to music).

Here, take a listen: I Will Follow You Into the Dark

(filmmaker's commentary)

So in browsing for more like that, I came across this gem that I've heard quite a bit, but can't tell you exactly where. It's just very familiar. It's a real beauty. The band's music is very melodic, haunting, and sweet sounding. The singing is great. Now I've got THIS one stuck in my head. Soul Meets Body

Both of these songs are fairly old (a year or two?). I don't even own any of their music and don't know much about them. Not yet anyway. Looks like there's a lot to choose from in the "bins".

Official YouTube DCFC channel
YouTube DCFC search


Sunday, August 05, 2007


It was a very nice Saturday evening over at Central Market where the Tea Merchants were playing. They are a 3-man band playing traditional Irish and Celtic music, or as they describe themselves on MySpace: "High-Energy TexaGaragIrish Trad! YeeHaw!!!". They play a combination of old trad songs and their own compositions, very good stuff. You have to go to the link and listen to Led Zeppelin Polkas.

That Central Market (on N. Lamar) is a good place for music. It's a big health food grocery (that I personally prefer over Whole Foods) and you can buy your dinner either from the restaurant inside, or in the store itself, including libations, and enjoy them on the large patio that adjoins a playground and a park. It's definitely a family venue, lots and lots of kids, dogs too, and grackles of course. We enjoyed a bottle of wine, a couple of good German beers, a baguette, hummus, wonderful olives and salad bar, while zoning out on music that seems to live more in my blood than in my head. I surely do love it.

The weather was beautiful too. No rain, and unseasonably cool for August (we are talking 90s, not 100s), with a nice breeze blowing as the sun set. Watching the kids dancing is always something that will make you smile.

Tea Merchants:

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Friday, August 03, 2007

First Thursday in August

Here's a wrinkly shot of my new Mother Truckers tee. I am ashamed to say that I have not seen this band in almost a year, not since my birthday last August. Always meaning to get out to the the Happy Hours in town, but it's been hard to do with the sick kitties. The MTs play a regular Thursday night gig at the Continental Club, a prime Happy Hour in this town (Happy Hour is from about 6:30 to about 9:00). A year ago I was trying to see them as often as possible. I even showed up at 8:00 in the morning to see them at a benefit once! They didn't have a big following then, mostly some people who had heard them on KGSR and liked them. Their Happy Hour was not crowded back then but had enough late-comers to make it cozy. I knew they'd get their little family of loyal fans and street teamers gathered around in time, and that has certainly happened. I changed into my shirt at break, and everybody was "alright!!! got your shirt on!!!" Here's Teal and Josh, not a great pic, sorry. Listen to The Mother Truckers here.

The Thursday Happy Hour just happened to coincide with First Thursday on SoCo, so a lot of stuff going on up and down the street. There was a Capoeira circle, called a "roda", going on in the parking lot of a dry cleaner. Here's the wiki on Capoeira. Looks like a lot of fun and very good exercise and discipline, also looks like it tones up the muscles pretty good. Gary Primich and Mike Keller were not playing at Jo's Coffee this time as they usually are. Most of the time we sit and listen to them play Chicago blues and people-watch (but there was no live music there this time). Funniest thing we saw was a woman carrying a pug dog like a baby in one of those front harnasses with his feeties pointed forward. Little bundle o' joy! Cute! That was about it for First Thursday for us.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Catblogging - Got Socks? Anyone?

Jax says "I am allowed to put my feet in your face, because mine are fuzzy and cute, but who gave permission for this? I am trying to look dignified, but believe me... you are making it very difficult!"

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Life From a Cat's Perspective - -