Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wildflowers 1967

We have some excellent radio stations and programs on the airwaves around here. There's KGSR, which sticks to its own playlist (decidedly not mainstream and heavy on the locals) and goes eccentric at night and on weekends. There's KUT, which is our NPR affiliate, and also have some great programs. There's KOOP/KVRX, at the left end of the dial with a nice mixed bag. But the best... THE BEST radio station I think I have ever heard anywhere is a pirate station that has no genres (it plays them all), and I am talking lots of obscure, excellent stuff. Range is limited to about 10 miles in one direction. You won't get the frequency out of me. Anyway, it was there I heard some Judy Collins a couple of weeks ago, particularly a track or two off of her 1967 release "Wildflowers". It prompted me to buy the CD. I have loved this one particular song all these years. It represents Judy in her finest form, and although she was the Queen of the Cover Song, this is one that she wrote herself. I think it is stunning.


What I'll give you since you asked
Is all my time together;
Take the rugged sunny days,
The warm and Rocky weather,
Take the roads that I have walked along,
Looking for tomorrow’s time,
Peace of mind.

As my life spills into yours,
Changing with the hours
Filling up the world with time,
Turning time to flowers,
I can show you all the songs
That I never sang to one man before.

We have seen a million stones lying by the water.
You have climbed the hills with me
To the mountain shelter,
Taken off the days one by one,
Setting them to breathe in the sun.

Take the lilies and the lace
From the days of childhood,
All the willow winding paths
Leading up and outward,
This is what I give,
This is what I ask you for;
Nothing more.

(Music player by Jeroen Wijering)
Picture: our back gate

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gary Primich

It was a very weird way to find out. I check my stats for keywords and such, and earlier this week a couple of people were searching for information about Gary Primich being dead. They found my blog because I have posted about him a few times. I looked through Google myself and turned up nothing, but today I have learned that he did pass away last Sunday, the 23rd. He was only 49. So far the cause of death has not been made public.

He was a fantastic blues harmonica player, and one of the only Chicago-styled blues guys in town (that I know about), it's a lot different from Texas blues or any other kind. I can't explain the difference to you, but if you are listening you can tell the difference for yourself. I don't know how many times we got to see him, most of the time it was at Jo's Coffee on First Thursday, sometimes at Momo's or elsewhere. The video above was shot at Jo's on First Thursday in March of this year. Gary will be missed, that's for sure.

Gary Primich Website

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Flower of the Kalahari

Here I am getting choked up over a character on a TV show, but in this case it's the ultimate reality show. The deaths are real, and not in a script or otherwise orchestrated by someone. Have these meerkats stolen your heart too?

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Purrsday Night - Henry's checkup

Henry is proud of his weight, a nice normal 11.125 lbs. Not too fat, not thin. Just purrrrrfect. We took him to the vet because he has been coughing a little, and now he has been diagnosed with a mild case of asthma. MrB said half-jokingly "oh, I'll bet they have special little cat inhalers", and guess what... they do. We now have the AeroKat (shown in the little pic at right), but, knock on wood, have not yet had to use it. Henry has coughed a little occasionally, but so far nothing bad enough for an AeroKat session. This is all new to us, and apparently cat asthma is pretty rare and he doesn't fit the typical profile -- 1% of cats, mostly Siamese/Himalayan and youngsters. Henry is none of those, but he is 100% special so we are hoping that all goes well with him.

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

Katie shows her unfluffy balls.

Katie Couric, speaking at the National Press Club meeting:
“Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war,” said Couric, adding that it is “pretty much accepted” that the war in Iraq was a mistake.

“I’ve never understood why [invading Iraq] was so high on the administration’s agenda when terrorism was going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that [Iraq] had no true connection with al Qaeda.”

Further, Couric said the Bush administration botched the war effort, calling it “accepted truths” that it erred by“disbanding the Iraq military, and leaving 100,000 Sunni men feeling marginalized and angry...[and] whether there were enough boots on the ground, the feeling that we’d be welcomed as liberators and didn’t need to focus as much on security.” She added “I’d feel totally comfortable saying any of that at some point, if required, on television.”

The former “Today” show anchor traced her discomfort with the administration’s march to war back to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable. And I remember feeling, when I was anchoring the ‘Today’ show, this inevitable march towards war and kind of feeling like, ‘Will anybody put the brakes on this?’ And is this really being properly challenged by the right people? And I think, at the time, anyone who questioned the administration was considered unpatriotic and it was a very difficult position to be in.”

Let me say that I don't care what kind of hairdo a journalist/anchorperson has, I don't care what they are wearing, I don't care if they are young, old, fat or thin. I also don't care a rat's patoot about network ratings, and I don't particularly trust the news I'm being fed because of government, and especially corporate influences upon broadcast media. Not of it is truly fair, none of it is complete, and none of it is without some bias and spin. I have no respect for a journalist who won't demand answers to the hard questions. "And is this really being properly challenged by the right people?" Katie, you are the "right people" you were talking about.

It's nice to hear Katie expressing her own very frank opinion on this war and what's behind it, and have her comments "on the record". Keep it going. [LINK]

Found via Raw Story

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another damned spider post

This is the new guy in the garden. It's called a "Green Lynx Spider". I hate it when a new spider shows up and I have to google it to see what it eats and how we should deal with it, because it's page after page of spider pics -- mostly closeups of the eyes and mouth parts -- looking like some horror movie. GAAAAAAA!!!!

This one does not make webs or bite humans. According to this page, "it often lies in wait for insects in the blooms or on the pads of prickly pear, for which its bright green color offers ideal camouflage. It pounces on its prey in a cat-like manner, which is the reason for the name 'lynx.' "

Unfortunately, (MrB, take note) it loves to eat moths, butterflies and bees. We'd rather keep those guys around, but we sure could use some mosquito-eaters.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The last jungle on the left.

Here it is right past the equinox and time for a report on the change of seasons in the yard. This wet summer we've had has made everything grow like crazy, and I DO mean crazy! We would never be allowed to live where they have a Neighborhood Association -- nor would we want to live where they have one. I was not brought up to respect silly rules like that. Witness the striped house in the picture. My mother painted it that way (in 1968) as a way of saying "in your face!!" to the neighbors, and it got worse too. A story or two for another post there. Sorry... I wandered off... showing my age too. Back to the present day...

Here is one of the Summer Solstice pics and the post on it for comparison.
Fast forward to Now, and here are our Autumn colors. Orange has taken over the yellow, here is the new predominate flower. We don't know what it's called. It's something they were giving away over at The Natural Gardener. Click all to enlarge.
The front yard is always very tame compared to the back. It's a wonderful place if you are a bird... or a bee... or a spider (our orb weavers, aka zipper spiders, have both disappeared. I wonder where they will turn up next?)

You would be advised to stay on the path if you can find it!!! your head, and for pity's sake, watch out for pointy plants, snakes, geckos, spiders... and you'll need mosquito repellent!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Knit Pick!

GREAT little ensemble over at Revolutionary Knitting! Go over and see more of and read about the Larry Craig Sweater!! I DA HO. R U DA HO 2?

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Link: More radical knitting at Steal This Sweater.

Hey Vern!


If Autumn is the season heralded by the Autumnal Equinox... then why isn't the season associated with the Vernal Equinox called "Vern"?


Happy Autumnal Equinox this weekend, all you Pagans, Heathens, Treehuggers, and other Earth Lovers.

Melon Cat

Too busy and hectic here this week to come up with a proper Catblog, so here's a video with a Summer theme -- a kitten eating a melon. I used to have a cat who would eat as much canteloupe as you'd give her.

Found on Cute Overload.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Throw away the key with the Constitution

Yes, I know. I'm disappointed too, just one damned thing after another. The hard reality is that there aren't enough non-Bushits to change anything. I am just trying to wait this stuff out (see the countdown clock on the sidebar) and always hoping for good news. I'm counting 6 Republicans and 1 Independent voting YEA... 1 Republican "unclear". Even McCain is a NO.
Click on the graphic to see how your Senators voted. Phone numbers provided, although my Senators are both red, and I'm sure that calls from those flaky dirty hippie Austinites are a source of endless amusement to Hutchenson and Box-turtle Cornyn.

News link.

Found via POAC.

Blogger Play

Have you checked out "Blogger Play"? It's a never-ending slideshow of images that are being uploaded to blogs. You can click on any image as it goes by (or click the back button if you miss it) and see the blog posting it and see the context.

It is addictive. You have been warned!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Sweet Buccaneer

I be aft from th' the steamin' yo ho ho weekend an' buried up t' me neck in tasks. No sign 'o daylight or calm seas. Jus' barely enough time t' remind ya sea dogs an' land lubbers that 'tis "Talk Like a Pirate Day", ya horn swogglin' scabrous dogs!

Bloody links:
Pirate palooza
Need a leg up? Pirate Speak

Sunday, September 16, 2007

ACL Day 3

Today, still recovering from humid heat, I wasn't physically prepared to endure another long day in the blazing heat so I talked MrB into getting there later in the day, and that's how it went. I mainly wanted to see the Decemberists, and the rest of the festival was optional. We watched Amos Lee from the same stage right before, but the Decemberists' fans were more hardcore than I was, so I was unable to get closer than second level back -- so when MrB bailed, I compromised and settled for a spot in front of the sound board. This band is very popular and get lots of airplay in Austin. Are they as popular in your town too? It was our first time to see them, although they've played here a few times. We loved this show and can't wait to see the band again in a better venue. Check them out.

Another ACL Festival done come and gone.

Decemberists review, Statesman blog
Day 3, AustinIST
Day 3, Drublood

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

ACL Day 2

This day was another humid scorcher, and I wasn't able to endure a whole day of it. Also, there was no one on the schedule that I simply had to see, so it was mostly spent seeking shade, coolness, and other relief. We really only saw one band which was around 1 PM, and that was Mario Matteoli. We are fans of his now. He used to be with The Weary Boys, a bluegrass outfit who just broke up. His music is not bluegrass at all, I guess you could include it in that catch-all genre of "roots music" if you had to, anyway, he rocked our socks off. Good songwriting, singing, 2 good guitars, slide trombone, keyboards...

We got tired of trudging around in the sun, so we walked down to Chuy's -- which was packed of course -- and ended up sharing a small table with a nice Austin couple. Turned out that the man was my pharmacist!! What are the odds of that? He said he didn't want me to get a bad impression of my pharmacist when off duty, but frankly, I am more concerned that the next time I am instructed to get the pharmacist's counseling with a new prescription, that it's not one of those "apply to infested area" type prescriptions!! LOL!! Anyway, they made a good music recommendation for the afternoon in Ocote Soul Sounds. The band sounded great, but this was our view of them. They played in that white tent in the background. Note the guy sitting in the tree. Anyway, it's a good choice of a band to see in a proper music venue sometime. We came home to our lonesome kitties after that, and here I am blogging and looking through my pics.

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ACL Day 1 and pre-Day 1

Started out the weekend with a private party on Thursday (sponsored by BMI), just a nice little happy hour (6-8pm). There was a certificate presented to Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton (a.k.a Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section), Bill Carter and Ruth Carter for one million broadcasts of the song Crossfire. (all 4 are the composers of the song). Then there were performances by Adam Hood and Kara Grainger. Kara is from Australia but works with a lot of Austin musicians. Chris Maresh and Michael Ramos are in her performing band. Here's a pic of Guy Forsyth at the party. I wanted a pic of his shirt.

We usually get to the festival each day before gates at 11:00 so we can get free parking within walking distance. It's a hot day in store, in the 90s, and humid too.

Sahara Smith (local) started the day for us (and the entire festival). I was reading in the paper that she got her name from her Dad, who was trying to pronounce "Sarah" and hiccuped in the middle of it. Asleep at the Wheel, as is the tradition, were the first band to play on the Big stage on the west side of the park. If you don't feel like dancing for Asleep at the Wheel, then you aren't listening.

My big plan was to get front rail for Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, then hang on to it for Crowded House. Asleep at the Wheel started at 12:30, and I got my rail for Bela, whose band put on an awesome show. They are a 4-person powerhouse, just unbelievably great. I was in front of Futureman, who is one of the coolest-looking people on the planet with his Drumitar invention looking like something straight out of The Road Warrior. He managed to shatter a drumstick to pieces playing it with one hand and the Drumitar in the other. The Security guy offered me the broken stick afterwards, but I fought my collector instincts and let the kid next to me have it. While Bela was playing, the big fire erupted on the other side of the park, a propane tank exploded in a trailer, injured a few people pretty badly and burning a bunch of stuff including some port-o-potties.

My plan to hang on to my front spot went awry due to being roasted in full sun on a hot metal slab for 3 full hours, so I really wasn't physically able to do it for the next 2 hours it would have required to be in the front for Crowded House. I took a little break and watched Neil Finn and company on the video monitors, I still loved it.

James Hunter was my remaining "must-see" for the day. James and band are a bunch of Brits who play old-style American soul music ala James Brown, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. He is a delight. I was really ready to leave the grounds after that, but tried to hang in there for the sake of Mr. B, who wanted to see one of the headliners: Bjork.

Seeing the evening headliners at ACL has been problematic and stressful for me for the past few years. The sound on the stages is turned up too loud to be so close to the other stages, so there is massive bleedover. We couldn't get close to Bjork because that takes an investment of time and suffering that were not made, so we found a spot mid-crowd. The plan is for the stage nearby to be finished as soon as the other one starts (except for the 2 smaller stages, which have to simply put up with being drowned out). I was enjoying hearing the music from the nearby stage, which was Gotan Project, when Bjork started her little pre-show which unfortunately started about 15 minutes earlier than she came one -- so instead of creating a mood and dramatic effect, it just made an ugly cacaphonous din that there was no escape from. Here is our view of her show. That's not a giant, it's a guy standing on something. The view sucked and I was dead-dog tired from 10 hours in oppressive heat and humidity, so we started the mile-long walk back to the car.

On the way, I could see the sharp contrast between the real Austin and the corporate shebang that is the ACL Festival. There were a couple of bands playing on the sidewalks -- just some fantastic percussion-only bands playing for tips and exposure. One was Rattletree (listen to them here), and the other one was The Oziene Experience. Awesome! Our walk was also enhanced by some wonderful wild cherry shaved ices. It really rescued the evening. I love this town.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

ACL this weekend

We are at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival all weekend. Should be some coverage here whenever I get caught up and recovered from yet another September roaster.

Henryblogging - Sweet 16

Henry, who the King of Sweetness, turns 16 this weekend. He is sitting here on the combination scratching post/Henry booster. We use burlap coffee bean bags stuffed with pillows as scratching posts and they work better than anything I've ever seen. Also, Henry needs a "stairstep" for jumping up and down on things, like the bed for instance. He can still do but why not make it easier? The King of Sweetness gets whatever he needs.

[EDIT] And look at this, Henry!! The guys over at the Hot(M)BC made you a cake!! It's purrfect for the King of Sweetness.

Henry says THANKS!

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at The house of (mostly) black cats - - -

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Family sadness (long)

My cousin called me last night. I think she may have been saying goodbye. She has had cancer for awhile, not sure how long, and is about to start radiation therapy. They've already tried surgery and some other methods, but the cancer came back.

I don’t want to put her real name here, so I will call her “L”. She had a hard life. Her mother (call her “N”) was one of the biggest drunks and whores in several counties. N was married to my mother’s brother, who was in the Navy and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, but came home to a less than desirable family situation. Another of his brothers (a 13 year old) was living with them at the time, and his wife was already having her way with the boy. There were 4 kids altogether in the family. The firstborn baby was sitting in his highchair, and made a mess of some kind. N got angry and slapped him hard. His highchair fell over and the baby’s head fell against a metal bucket, part of it pierced his temple. He developed an infection from the injury and died. The mother tried unsuccessfully to blame her mother-in-law (my grandmother) for the incident. N was put in a mental institution for awhile, but was not charged with a crime or anything, I doubt that there was evidence (other than heresay) to prove it was anything but an accident.

My Navy uncle developed some kind of medical condition (sorry, but I am depending on family stories here, and do not have specifics) that required a special diet that should have been low fat, but instead he was served only the greasiest fried food, and soon died from his ailment. On his deathbed, he asked his younger brother to make sure he married N and took care of the kids, which he did. That is the family history that was told to me many times by my mother and her mother, it all happened before I was born.

N and her new husband were both alcoholics, and they lived in a tar-paper shack with no utilities and the other 3 kids. It’s a good definition of dirt-poor when you have no electricity or plumbing, and I lived that way myself for a few years: tar-paper shack by the railroad tracks with an outhouse and vegetable garden. I saw their drinking habits all my life, and heard stories of N lying spread-eagled and drunk on the bed with a good-for-nothing line of assholes waiting their turn outside the door. There were stories of kids alone for days way back then while their parents were on binges, with rotten food and soured milk in baby bottles laying on the floor with the rats and roaches. The kids were all good, and they learned to take care of themselves right away. L was mostly doing the cooking, cleaning and such for herself and her brothers by the time she was in Grade School and strong enough to hold a skillet. It was usually fried potatoes. That was her specialty. (edit: that was all in the Little Egypt part of southern Illinois)

Life improved a little bit. By the time they were all teenagers everybody had a job and they had a regular lower-middle-class lifestyle (there were still occasional binges, but they both cleaned up and turned to Jesus. N was the kind of Christian who saw Jesus in cloud formations and probably pizza slices too). N was not an evil person, just someone with some major issues and plenty of stuff to overcome and/or live with. She died several years ago and my uncle remarried, this time to someone who sees Jesus in shadows and reflections, and hates black people and the ACLU. [new aunt post 1] [new aunt post 2]

L was a very sweet girl who grew into a sweet lady. She was not a bright person, she always had the personality and the mentality of a young, happy child. She married a man who moved her way out into the desert of Arizona, somewhere outside of Wikieup. [map] He was an old-fashioned, libertarian sort to the extreme. They built their own house, had a bunch of kids, and L was responsible for all the work that any frontier wife had to do, including the home-schooling. He also abused her and the kids, they were all terrified of him. He once cracked her head open, gave her a concussion and more injuries that never did heal right, but visiting a doctor was not something that was permitted. He keep his brood under tight wraps and isolated from the outside world, and anyone attempting to intervene would have been dealt with by shotgun. One day, he was away somewhere for awhile and seeing her chance to escape, she took out walking across the desert. It was miles to civilization, which consisted of a lonely gas station, and she only made it halfway before collapsing. Fortunately, one of her kids was walking home from the gas station and helped her out with a drink of water, some comfort, and encouragement to keep on going. She escaped and returned to Albuquerque. Some of the kids eventually got out too, I don’t know all the details of all that, they were difficult to follow.

L remarried, and it was to a guy who did not abuse her. I saw them 14 years ago when my mother died in Albuquerque, and they had a cute little cottage with a bedroom that was better described a Holy Shrine to Elvis. A huge painting of Elvis on velvet hung over the bed, and the rest of the room was filled with Elvisiana (if that’s not a word, it should be). L’s husband, not unlike his wife (and my own mother too, come to think of it), believed the stories in that wonderful supermarket tabloid, The Weekly World News. He presented to me this newspaper as *evidence* that not only was Elvis alive, but JFK as well. JFK had been living all these years on some remote island paradise. A quaint idea, at best.

Even now, when she is nearly 60, she still says everything in baby talk complete with lots of girlish giggling. Even when she is telling you about her cancer, there is nervous giggling, especially when she explains that it’s “down there on that part where I used have sex and where I go peepee”, so I don’t have many specifics and she isn’t able to explain it any better, so I don't know if it's cervical or uterine or what.

I can't have a real conversation with her, but I do love her. As far as I know, she's never done anything in her life to hurt anyone. Life has dealt blow after blow, and she has always managed to give other people a smile and an "I love you". Her dad (my uncle) just turned 80, and has been in bad health for many, many years. He's a wonderful guy, always was my favorite uncle, and I am forever indebted to him and his family for taking care of my mother during her last few years. L says of him that he is most worried that L will go before he does, and at this point it seems like it could go either way. Visiting there is not an option for me (for many reasons), but my thoughts are with some of my family members there. They are long-suffering.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Alex, the parrot who burned bright

[LINK] I was very sad to learn of the death of Alex, the gifted African Grey parrot who was known for many things, including being able to count, identify shapes, colors, express emotions, and generally taught the world many things about birds of his kind, along with stirring up controversy over the findings. For example, he seemed to grasp the concept of "zero". His vocabulary included about a hundred words, even one that he made up, "banerry", meaning "apple", because he only knew the words for banana, cherry and grape, and apparently thought the apple was like a cherry banana.

He was 31 years old, but his life expectancy should have been 50-60 years old. They don't yet know what caused his death as he had been pronounced healthy just a week previous. His name was an acronym for A(vian) L(earning) EX(periment)

To learn more about Alex and the research that he was part of, go to The Alex Foundation.
More links:
Wiki entry
PBS Scientific American Frontiers (video)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tie. Die!

Found this amusing story via This Modern World. Lufkin, Texas, City Attorney Bob Flournoy put on this patriotic tie right after 9/11. Vowed to wear it until Osama Bin Laden was captured or killed. He figured he'd have it on just a few weeks at most... but darn it if he hasn't been wearing it for the past 6 years. I guess if you vow to do something, you are not allowed out of your vows even if they are stupid and don't make sense... but hey... anyway, he's kept his vow, and at least he didn't vow to kill a kitten a day or something like that.

Not only is the tie unsightly and smelly these days, it attracts a few flies... AND, the article says he wears sweaters to hide it even in the hundred degree heat.

The latest development in the saga is that he's decided that Bin laden must be dead... and if he isn't dead, he challenges him to prove it by Sep 11, and issued the following challenge:
"If by chance Bin Laden is not dead and proves it by Sept. 11th, I offer to meet him, man to man, at the park at City Hall and fight him to the death of one of us," Flournoy said.

Now, if the guy really is a believer in Dubya's party line, I thought the idea was to fight them over there, not invite Bin Laden to Lufkin!

(something tells me that Bin Laden will die of old age, still keeping a set of stupid vows and wearing his own version of a smelly tie that represents them)

Link to Lufkin Daily News article.

Is this a Charades gesture for "Bull"?

...or another former member of the Bush administration getting his horns (or wishing for them)?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Shaun the Sheep meets Shaun of the Dead


Spent a lot of time at the Alamo Drafthouse watching new releases this weekend. Saw Black Sheep and Shoot 'Em Up. Both satirical and funny. I loved Paul Giamatti as a villian. It's a popcorn flick down to the last kernel.

I think that Black Sheep was my strong favorite of the two. Hilarious! It was filmed in New Zealand (what better place to do a sheep movie?) and made use of the WETA folks over there who did a lot of the movie magic for Lord of the Rings. The sheep-people looked a bit orc-ish at times, maybe intentionally? I would wager a dollar that Peter Jackson likes this one, especially considering his early films (the first one in particular). Anyway, the sheep are baaaadass. Impossible to come out of it without going through a day or so of sheep jokes.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

What kind of atheist are you?

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


Apathetic Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Angry Atheist


Militant Atheist






What kind of atheist are you?
created with

I scored almost equally as Scientific, Apathetic and Spiritual. I guess that's because I think that if people want to practice a religion of some kind, they should just do it but don't preach about it or try to change other people so that they are doing the same, especially by frightening them by telling them they are going to be tortured eternally if they don't conform, and don't hurt or kill other people or animals for religion... and most of all... remember that the voices in your head are all YOU... and please don't kill me. OK?

Found via NiCk (Mem Beth)

Friday, September 07, 2007


Buddy Holly was born on this day in 1936. He is as influential on modern popular music as anyone I can think of, and started blossoming in Lubbock, Texas back around 1956.
He died Feb. 3, 1959, a.k.a. "The Day The Music Died", a well-publicized plane crash. Now, I am old enough to remember Buddy alive, I turned 6 that year but I don't believe I ever saw him. I was still into my parent's music (and still am, by the way): lots of Bill Monroe, Carter Family, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, George Jones, Hank Williams, Patsy... whatever was in our collection of 45s or playing on the jukebox in places like the Blue Star Inn. Yes, there was Buddy Holly on some of those, that's true, but he was right on the edge of things, not very traditional.

Buddy would have turned 71, considered well past an age that a rock-n-roller is expected to make it. Seems like if they turn 60, they are considered to have "survived". [LINK: Rock Stars Do Die Younger] (Well, duh. It's not a healthy lifestyle. Live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory. Even if they stay clear of recreational medicinals, there is constant travel in every kind of weather, poor nutrition, and lotsa tobacco smoke). You have to wonder what twists and turns Buddy's music would have taken over the years. Would he be playing down at Antone's this weekend? The Saxon Pub? Waylon Jennings (bass player for Buddy) gave up his seat on that airplane to the Big Bopper that night. Think about what a difference there would have been without Waylon and Willie and the Boys, and that whole melding of outlaw musical cultures in the late 70s?


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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Burning and burning out

I saw this article today on how getting up early is actually BAD for your heart. Well, sounds plausible to me, and all I can say is "NOW they tell me". I get up at 5 AM every weekday and not much later than that on the weekend (with the noisy cats), and of course, go to bed too late. The lack of sleep does wear me down, but it's my work schedule that I need to try revise in the future. The whole work/life cycle of balance is still evolving, not sure into what yet. This September is just pretty hoppin' busy, and that's why I haven't been posting so much. I'm trying to make deadlines and still go out and do fun stuff in the evenings on weekends while working every day. Friday and Saturday night, there will be shows to go to if I'm feeling less rundown than I do right now. Sleep should help. Sleeeeeeeeeep.

Catblogging - Amuse Me

You must be joking.
You are joking? Really? Oh. Well... in that case...


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

Monday, September 03, 2007

Another Weekend in Austin

The Home Alone weekend went fine, although everyone's routine was messed up (especially cats, who are almost Monk-like about doing things the same way all the time). It is nice to have MrB home again. I still worked every day but for only a few hours a day so I got in some downtime.

Saturday I went to the BatFest, which occupies the entire Congress Avenue Bridge. The main sponsor was Cricket, so maybe they were responsible for our being swarmed by crickets. There's been a cricket invasion here this summer, and the bright stage lights drew them in by the hundreds (thousands, more like), along with moths, ladybugs, and you-name-it bugs who enjoy the lights that the bats don't. The bands I saw were Maneja Beto and Del Castillo, who were dealing with the bugs very professionally. Both guitarists in D.C. had to get through hellacious solos while large crickets sat on their knees, gazing up at them (the guitarists sit in chairs). For a while, Mark had one perched on top of his head... like a little hat... and he knew it was there (he told us so later). Alex performed for a while with a moth planted right on the front of his trousers while we thought of puns that might be used to describe that situation. All in fun!

There were some kids on the front row by us, some girls maybe 11-12 years old... BIG fans of both these bands, and you would have thought the Beatles were playing by all the squealing and screaming, but everybody got a kick out of it... very cute. It was a great show, and the band let all us hard-cores go backstage afterwards to chat and exchange sweaty hugs, even though the show finished at midnight and they had to hit the road fairly early in the AM for Corpus. And with 1.5 million little bats emerging from under the bridge where we were located, I did not even see ONE. Maybe they gorged themselves on bugs and went back to ... bed ... or whatever.

Sunday, my concert-buddy suggested going to see Warren Hood at Momo's, so not much arm-twisting needed for that gig. It would take too long to describe Warren here, but he is quite beloved in the town for several reasons summed up simply (in no particular order) as:
  • lineage
  • musical history, bands, gigs, session work
  • loads of talent
  • really nice person

He has been a member of The Waybacks for a couple of years or so, but when he's not gigging with them he has his own outfit called The Hoodlums which could, on any particular night, include just about anybody. Last time I saw him, Cindy Cashdollar was sitting in. This time there was saxaphone in the band and Seth Walker sat in a bit. Also, Sasha Ortiz (daughter of soul-rocker Natalie Zoe), who I think must be barely out of high school and in a band called Blues Mafia, got up and belted out some fantastic soulful singing. Warren's music? Well, impossible to pigeonhole... always a little jazz, a lotta swing, some classical flavors, a little blues, a little bluegrass, Walter Hyatt, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana: put in a blender and serve.

Had no camera over the weekend, but if I had I would have taken a pic of Waterloo Records at night. Part of their neon sign is burned out, so that the only thing remaining lit is this:


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