Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cheney's Toy

The pic is mine, and it's hard to resist adding a filter or two. James McMurtry's got a new record coming soon, and on Feb. 4-5 (Mon-Tues) you can download FREE his new political song, Cheney's Toy (listen to it right now on his MySpace). McMurtry doesn't mince words in this little parting gift for this damned administration, and Our Emperor-in-Chief deserves all that and much more.

There's a link on that page for reading his blog, but I think it requires a login, so I will post the highlights here, including the lyrics and info on making your own video for Cheney's Toy.


In preparation for new album Just Us Kids


"Cheney's Toy" available in time for Super Tuesday as free mp3 download via eMusic exclusive on Monday February 4

AUSTIN, Texas – Singer/songwriter James McMurtry is once again making a political statement through his music. On his new song "Cheney's Toy", McMurtry picks up where he left off with his controversial anthem "We Can't Make it Here." "Cheney's Toy" reminds us that the war in Iraq is still going on — with veiled references to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the stark image of a soldier who returned from the conflict, blind and brain damaged.

In order to make sure people get the message, McMurtry is giving away the song for free on February 4 exclusively through eMusic's Daily Download. On the Super Tuesday primary day (February 5) fans will be able to download the mp3 from McMurtry's MySpace page and Lightning Rod Records' website (links below).

McMurtry and Lightning Rod Records are encouraging fans to use the free mp3 to create their own videos and post them online. McMurtry will choose the best videos and post them on his official MySpace page and website. If needed, fans can create videos using slideshow applications at Creators of each of the top five video creators will receive t-shirts and autographed copies of McMurtry's new album, Just Us Kids (in stores April 15, 2008). McMurtry's choice for the best overall video will also receive an 8 Gb Apple iPod nano with video capabilities. Fans can send links to their videos to

"We Can't Make it Here" reverberated wildly across the internet and the airwaves, igniting a grassroots firestorm that has brought legions of new fans to the singer/songwriter's work. Fan-made videos of "We Can't Make It Here" have been viewed more than 170,000 times on YouTube.

"Cheney's Toy" at eMusic:

James McMurtry's MySpace page:

RockYou slideshow application:

James McMurtry's YouTube page:

Lightning Rod Records mp3 link:

"Cheney's Toy"
Words and Music by James McMurtry

Another unknown soldier
Another lesson learned
Kick the gas can over
Strike a match get back and watch that sucker burn

Keep smiling for the camera
Keep waving to the crowd
Don't let up for an instant
Stay the course and make your mama proud

You're the man
Show'em what you're made of
You're no longer daddy's boy
You're the man
That they're all afraid of
But you're only Cheney's toy

Another unknown soldier
Who's seen it all before
All in the name of Jesus
Behind the razor wire and shackled to the floor

Just keep smiling at the cameras
And keep that twinkle in your eye
We don't need to know the answers
Long as we're safe, just hit your marks and say your lines

You're the man
Show 'em what you're made of
You're no longer daddy's boy
Take a stand
Give 'em what they paid for
'Cause you're only Cheney's toy

They'll take a fork and turn you over
While the fat lady sings
One more pin on one more shoulder
Is all the future brings
For another unknown soldier
Who don't know his own name
And he won't get any older
And he can't see for the shrapnel in his brain
Tags: - - - - -

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Legend of Sports

Here's something look for on Super Bowl Sunday. The Urban Legend that the movie Back to the Future II predicted that the Marlins would win the World Series in 1997 has been debunked by Snopes... BUT, the 2007 movie I Am Legend contains a prophecy, via a news crawler. Read more at the link. I believe the movie was set in 2009 but then the broadcast was an old one....sooooo it could have referred to 2008.... just maybe. Whaddya think, Nostradamus?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

[LINK] It is hard to top this for pure assholery. A woman driving under the influence of twice the legal limit for blood alcohol, ran over a bicyclist and killed him. Then, during a phone call in her jail cell, she is told that her neighbor remarked that "she should get a medal and a parade because she had taken out a "f***king tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot." Her response to that was laughter! Then, after saying she's not supposed be laughing at that, she adds that she would have to agree.

The Judge called the conversation "breathtaking in its inhumanity". She was sentenced to 10.5 years. She was driving on a suspended license from a previous DUI conviction.



Let's see... is anything on TV tonight? They are re-running the first Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. That’s a good one to catch if you missed it. Then there’s a damned speech on a lot of the channels. It’s not one I will watch. I can’t stand to watch that man! Someone out there will type up what he says and I can read that later. The nice thing about this speech is that it’s the last SOTU Address from this president. There aren’t enough good things to be said about that fact. Facts are in short supply when it comes to these spin-fests, and that one can’t be denied or disputed.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A smile and a whistle

The commercial has a very catchy whistled tune running through it, and here's a cockatiel who has watched the commercial extensively too!

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is soooo me!

Someone I work with got me this T-shirt. I love it! All I gave her was an origami pig (she has a pet pig). I folded it myself, but still... this is just a bit nicer!

So whaddya think? (that dude in the middle is troublemaker... yes?) ;-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Purrsday Night- Face Time

Please put that camera down and we'll talk. Seriously. I mean it.

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

Absolut Everything!

Ever make your own deodorant? Yeah, me neither. But check out this recipe for homemade deodorant [source]
Put 2 parts vodka, 1 part lemon or lime juice (if fresh, be sure to strain the pulp), and 1 part water in a container. (Optional: Use a few drops of the essential oils of lemon, lime, and/or lavender) for fragrance. Pour final mixture in a small pump (non-aerosol) spray bottle. Use liberally and adjust water content if skin sensitivity ensues.
They do add that it's safe for children but not recovering alcoholics. Sounds a bit like a vodka gimlet, doesn't it? (without the fragrance... and the spray bottle) Here's another page on that site that offers a perfume recipe make from 3 cups of vodka, and a half cup each of essential oil and orrisroot. hmmmmmm.

I also came across the following list of vodka uses. Who knew??
  1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves the adhesive.
  2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set 5 minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.
  3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.
  4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.
  5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.
  6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.
  7. Add a splash of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.
  8. To treat dandruff, mix 1 cup vodka with 2 teaspoons crushed rosemary. Let sit 2 days, strain through a coffee filter, massage into your scalp and dry.
  9. Fill a 16-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.*
  10. Pour 1/2 cup vodka and 1/2 cup water in a freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, reusable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.
  11. Fill a clean, empty jar with freshly packed lavender flowers. Fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly, and set it in the sun for 3 days. Strain liquid, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.
  12. Make your own mouthwash by mixing 9 tablespoons powdered cinnamon with 1 cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Strain through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. (DON'T SWALLOW!)
  13. Using a cotton swab, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.
  14. If blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.
  15. To treat an earache, put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain. Vodka will kill the bacteria causing pain in your ear.
  16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.
  17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.
  18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.
  19. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.
  20. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.
  21. If all else fails, just turn the bottle upside-down and drink it.

* not advocating this... unless it's you or them, and if bees are after you, you might need to cut back on the vodka perfume.

Try "la la la I'm not listening"

If the Virgin Mary or any other voice you hear tells you to kill someone, ask for some ID, and it can't be on a piece of toast. Then... call 911. They will take it from there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Austin Music Poll - vote

There's still time to vote in the Austin Music Poll. You don't have to live here and you don't have to fill out the whole form. The musicians really do appreciate (and need) your votes.

There are lots of criteria to use in voting, whether you are a fan or just want to show some love to someone who had a tough year. There are musicians living around here who are pretty famous, and oddly enough, they don't usually win these awards although by no means are they exempted from the contest. Michael Corcoran, in this post, lays out his description of the difference between an Austin musician and a musician who lives in Austin, and tells why he doesn't think Iron & Wine qualifies. (When Sam Beam moved here, he was already big enough to sell out Stubb's, so he doesn't have to bust his ass every night in little clubs for tips. No crime there.) There are soooo many choices in every category you could list a hundred for each slot, but it's still perfectly alright to plug a few people.

Musician of the year: Stephen Bruton
He's battling throat cancer but still out there playing at the Saxon Pub, solo or with The Resentments. He threw a huge concert last summer called The Road to Austin, a FREE outdoor show with Kristofferson, Raitt, Eric Johnson, Bobby Whitlock, Joe Ely and lots more. He's a wonderful songwriter with a lot of soul. He's a treasure, and he got my vote.

Electric Guitar: Eric Johnson
He's world-class, and my favorite guitar player... period... and as unconceited as he can possibly be. If you want to embarrass him, tell him how good he is. His Cliffs of Dover is part of Guitar Hero III, Legends of Rock.

Acoustic Guitar: several plugs: Eric Johnson is great. Also Rick del Castillo or Mark del Castillo are favorites, and Monte Montgomery. All as fine as they can be. Monte is busting his ass every Wednesday night at the Saxon Pub, and that's not his only gig. This is a guitar town, so there are hundreds of choices for both electric and acoustic.

Bass Guitar: Chris Maresh. Versatile to the max, plays every kind of music and can keep up with the best of them. Roscoe Beck, also a good choice.

Drums: Tommy Taylor, who usually plays with Eric. There's also Terry Bozzio. You may have heard of him. Used to be in a band with Jeff Beck. Rattletree is a Zimbawean-style marimba band, and they made their own instruments.

Latin anything: Del Castillo or Grupo Fantasma.

Bluegrass: South Austin Jug Band

Strings: Brian Beken, Warren Hood, or Dennis Ludiker (my favorite fiddlers!)

Kid Band: though not technically a "band", our young friend Sarah Jarosz and her amazing mandolin won this last year, and she is still eligible. Also write her in for "Miscellaneous instrument -- mandolin"

Blues: Gary Clark Jr. hits the big screen this year in the movie "Honeydripper" directed by John Sayles. He's been playing in these clubs since he was way too young to be in them. He's the real thing, and my pick this year.

Bands, Roots Rock, Folk, Male and Female Singers, good grief there are too many to mention: The Band of Heathens, Mother Truckers, Gougers, Reckless Kelly, Texas Sapphires, Joe Ely, Mario Matteoli, Del Castillo, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Iron & Wine, Dale Watson, James McMurtry, Ruthie Foster, Terri Hendrix, Belleville Outfit, Jon Dee Graham, The Resentments, Tea Merchants, any band that plays any night at Momo's, Antone's, The Saxon Pub, Emo's, Flipnotics, over on Red River, or at the Continental Club (what have I left out?).

Novelty or none of the above: Austin Lounge Lizards, Asylum Street Spankers, Friends of Dean Martinez, White Ghost Shivers, Eggmen...

World Music: Mundi

My favorite club this year was Momo's, the best acoustic listening room is still The Cactus Cafe.

Best Record Store: Waterloo Records

Want to explore Austin music? There's not a comprehensive guide, but there's this and this or this.

Tags: - - -

Another annoying gnat buzzing around my face

With the Oscar nominations just being announced, it reminded me of one of my peeves.

When are they going to drop that tired old term “actress”? There is already a gender-neutral term in use, it’s “actor,” meaning one who acts. This is not one of those make-it-politically-correct-by-creating-a-new-term nit-picks. The word “man” is not contained within the word “actor” as it is in the job titles Spokes-man, Chair-man, and Congress-man. And we don’t have directresses, editresses, artistesses, photographresses, designresses, doctresses... see how silly it is?

I do see the term webmistress a lot, but I don’t use it (any more than I use designress or illustratress). What am I? Married to a website? Having an affair with it? Being "kept" by a sugar daddy? Cut it out.

(If you are going to remind me that Mrs. is short for "mistress", go ahead. I also hate the term Mrs. (Missus).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger

This is a tragic loss... so young and beautiful and talented. I am shocked and saddened. It doesn't even seem real.

Some decent tributes and coverage:
Awards Daily
SF Gate

Oh yes, and Entertainment Tonight, you suck! Well, that's just stating the obvious, but this was all over the news well before your slot came up, but not one word about it was mentioned. I know that exclusive interview with Britney's paparazzi boyfriend was expensive, and everyone is dying to hear about American Idol ad nauseum, but this snub is inexcusable. You would think that with his being a previous Oscar nominee for Best Actor (Brokeback Mountain, 2005) that you could have worked in one sentence about his passing. Same thing happened when Hunter S. Thompson took his own life, not a mention of it or the subsequent unique funeral arrangements made by Johnny Depp. But then we get months and months of Anna Nicole and what Dani Lynn ate for breakfast and the creepy Osmonds and those automatons you've got hosting. ugh. Sorry for the rant. I will change the channel from now on.
addendum: the day after it happened, they (ET) are all over it, but the rant stays!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another night at Momo's

Saturday we got to Momo's early to see The Steps [listen on MySpace], who I've been wanting to see. They are a really good (teenaged) rock band. Their playing is tight, all are good musicians, and they've got a sound that's a bit of a throwback to the early 60s British stuff that I love so much, and I am not talking about the sweet stuff, I mean the Kinks, Van Morrison's Them, the Yardbirds, and early Beatles and Rolling Stones -- they are often compared to the Strokes as well. They are so young, 2 of them are still in high school, but they've already played the Austin City Limits Festival, toured in London, and have a record coming out next month. [read more about them]

I picked up their set list (which was written on a restaurant order check) and got them to autograph it afterwards. They seemed surprised, but they did it happily with a grin and a WTF look... but they might as well get used to requests like that. I think they are going to go somewhere if they can stay together, especially when that CD comes out. The kids are alright!

The main band we went to see came on next. It was the Band of Heathens, one of our favorite bands. They were having their live DVD release (Live at Antone's), and we were there at Antone's for the taping of it last June. The mayor of Austin was at the show too (he's a fan) so I got him to autograph my DVD too. The Heathens put on a great show, as usual. Mark del Castillo and his wife were sitting behind us, and he tapped me on the shoulder to say hi. They are doing an early show (7pm) at Antone's later this month, and we both agreed that their Austin shows are kind of a family affair (babies, moms, uncles, aunts and grandparents in attendance) so early is good, and besides... lots of us (including some in the band) have to get up early. They are both really nice people, it's always a pleasure to run into them or anyone else from Del Castillo.

There was one more band on the ticket, La Tampiquena, which is Will Dupuy's band (ex-Jug Band), and Warren Hood (Waybacks) (also ex-Jug Band) was sitting in, and it was sounding really good but it was time for us old folks to go home to some lonely cats, unhappy to have been left for the evening without the regularly scheduled pettins.

Tags: - - -

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scary-ass Tilt-a-Whirl

We went to see Cloverfield yesterday, opening day. That's our preference when a movie holds a lot of big secrets and people are bound to spoil for you as soon as they can. I won't do that here. I will say that I thought it was great, and should become a sci-fi classic. To say that's it's a wild ride is not a spoiler, and it's a warning that the movie deserves. MrB gets motion sickness (maybe not the proper term for this since the person is not actually moving except for their eyes trying to follow rapidly changing images), and he was feeling pretty sick for the duration of it. He was still a trooper and stayed in his seat until the credits rolled. He watched most of it with his eyes closed (does that count as a viewing?), and I had to drive us home. In spite of that, he gave it a thumbs up. So -- if you like a good scare, go and see this one and see it on the big screen.

(note: don't EVEN visit the Wikipedia for this one until after you've seen it. It's a total spoiler. The link I provided is for the IMDB)


Friday, January 18, 2008

Get it while you can

If Janis Joplin had lived, she would have been 65 on January 19. I was a huge fan of hers back in the 60s. That's my ink drawing of her that I did sometime when I was in high school.

I’ll bet you she would have wandered back to Austin occasionally, maybe to play at La Zona Rosa, or more likely at Threadgill’s where she had some history. Kenneth Threadgill hooked up with Janis before she got famous, gave her an opportunity to sing on his stage -- her first job singing! [LINK] She remained his close friend, and even went way out of her way, at great expense and hassle, to sing at his 70th birthday party (just 3 months before she died). They held the party out in a field that is about a mile from where I live now. [LINK] Back in 1970, I didn't live here though, I lived in Florida.

She appeared on the Dick Cavett show a few times (Dick Cavett was delightful, wasn’t he? He seemed so straight-laced, that was his schtick, but was really pretty savvy and not at all clueless), and I love those interviews. I recorded one of them by holding the mic from my cheesy reel-to-reel tape recorder up to the dinky mono TV speaker. Well, crap quality was all we could get...

I finally got to see her play at the Atlanta Pop Festival 1969. I was there with a bunch of friends and my mother as well. My mother was not there to watch me, she was there for the party, just like the rest of us. Here she is at another rock festival later that year. Note the boots in the window. We were having some down time, resting, reading, playing the guitar or otherwise getting prepped for the shows. That weekend she managed to get backstage by telling the guard that she was Janis Joplin’s mother! She was always dressed in bright patterns, stylish vintage thrift store stuff, and accessorized with fascinating and beautiful old or handmade jewelry pieces. Anyway, the guy fell for it! Then he ran her off when he figured out that she had fooled him, and she didn’t get to see Janis or anyone else back there, but she did have that little story to savor. I saw Janis' show, then she came out later and joined Johnny Winter on stage (one of my favorite guitar players, and in his prime one month before Woodstock). He was hugging her (with his guitar still strapped on) and they were spinning around so that I thought sure they were both going to tumble into the crowd.

Janis, here's to you, heart and soul, you are remembered.
Mural at top from wall of Cheapo Disks, Austin, TX

Tags: - - - -

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Purrsday Night - Screen burn

This was taken about a week ago when the weather was balmy and we had the windows open. Now Henry is back to snuggling his radiator instead of looking for fresh air.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Missy, KC & Bear on Sunday - -

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sad news for clowns

A study conducted by the University of Sheffield showed that kids don't like clowns. They asked 250 patients between 4 and 16 whether they liked seeing clowns, and none of them did. [LINK]. I think that clowns have been becoming increasingly unpopular as there have been more and more "scary" clowns, mostly in pop culture. The scariest clown in real life, of course, has to be John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted and executed for the murder and rape of 33 boys and young men. That's him in the picture.

Fear of clowns is called coulrophobia.

I used to live in Sarasota, where the Ringling Brothers had made the circus a big part of the culture. A couple of our friends were enrolled in Clown College, and were constantly trying to balance the brim of their hats on their noses (homework, I guess). That was back in the 60s, and I don't recall clowns being considered "scary" back then, and I loved Red Skelton as a kid. Gawd I'm old!!

Gallery of Gacy's scary thrift store quality paintings.
Anti-clown wear.
Why do people hate mimes?
What, exactly, is an ass-clown anyway?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

...and you thought Bush disrespected the American Constitution...

Bush *does* disrespect it, but this guy has outright contempt for it.

Found via Raw Story
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

When religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages.

This is very scary, folks. Huckabee just *might* be the scariest candidate on the right, because he's folksy and funny and likable and it helps him to sell this kind of un-American crap to the sheeple, idiots, average persons who aren't giving this whole thing a lot of thought one way or the other.

Turn on the lights, it's getting very dark around here.

January 15

This is the birth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a person who truly was an agent for change... that word is being run into the ground now... but not unnecessarily. We still need it, the whole world needs it. I also have a dream: that the USA will stop its march toward fascism, imperialism and One World Government. Those are our enemies and we are fast becoming them.

Let freedom ring.

Still here

I survived the cardiac testing yesterday with just a residual upset stomach from eating such a high-fat lunch (part of the regimen) and some red, itchy skin on the chest from my allergy of those sticky doodads. What I had was the Nuclear Stress Test where they inject something radioactive that attaches to the heart so they can look at it. Oh well, whatever it takes.

They said "no news is good news" until my follow-up appointment in two weeks, so I'm hoping for no news.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stressed over stress test

I am not looking forward to Monday. Per doctor's orders I am not to have any coffee or chocolate (or anything with caffeine, including decaf) from Sunday afternoon until Monday night. The reason for this deprivation is that I am scheduled to have a cardiac stress test on Monday afternoon. Worrisome, and looks like no fun at all. Can't remember the last time I was on a treadmill, and certainly wasn't decked out like this!

Sometime over the holidays, I was just sitting there as close to relaxed as I ever get, and I started having pretty strong chest pressure that extended to the arms and hands. It was a constant feeling that lasted 10-15 minutes, and then I was fine. I know it wasn't heartburn or indigestion because, believe me, I know what those are like.

I decided to see a cardiologist, because so many people on my father's side died from heart disease. He himself died of a heart attack at 44, and this was after having a normal EKG the same day. No medical person has ever shown much concern over my heart risk factors before. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are enviable (thanking being vegetarian for the lack of cholesterol worries), and was not overweight until this year. Stress, anxiety, nerves, working too long hours at the keyboard and other (medical) factors have now pushed me just a smidgeon or two over the "ideal" level. A couple of years ago, a doctor tried to prescribe a drug that was not recommended for people with a family history of heart disease. They actually poo-pooed that lonely little risk factor of family history as insignificant. I refused to take the drug, not only for that reason, but one of the other possible side effects was "death", so I decided it was not worth it. Good grief! Who's the doctor here? Me? The drug was not even designed for my particular ailment! Anyway, back to the present situation. The cardiologist said it was possible that the latest episode was angina, so here I go. Let the testing begin.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Faux Music

Faux Music Meme found at Dr. Monkey's place.
This was fun. I enjoy reading lists of band names I’ve never heard of anyway. SXSW music conference is just around the corner, and they have about 1500 official bands plus hundreds of unofficial ones playing in every nook and cranny in town.

1. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

The name of my band is “Opera Colorado” if you can't read it (that might already technically BE a band name... sortof). More readable if you click the pic. If you love band names and want to browse, check out this great link. It’s hard to think of a better time waster.

And here’s a challenge: a quiz to see if you can tell the difference between a discontinued Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor and a band found on MySpace! I got 50% right.

No tags, just do it if so inclined.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

All patrons must have valid ID and a note from Miss Manners

[LINK] I used to live in the town that this is about. Here's what's being proposed by a City Councilman for the bars:

no open bar, no drinking games or contests, no dancing on tables, and no indecent, profane or obscene language, songs, entertainment and literature.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This makes me sick and angry, but don't shoot me

[LINK] His name was Tusker and he was 50 years old. He was at a New Year's party, maybe he shouldn't have been there, but it was where he lived, and was too ill to be moved somewhere else. He was used to people and was well-loved, but after being taunted and abused at the party, having fireworks and bottles thrown at him, being slapped, having his hair pulled out, he was provoked into trashing some cars and stomping on bottles. No people were hurt.

Nevertheless, less than a week later, Tusker was executed... shot by rangers who thought he was a problem anyway, and this must have been his last straw. Johnny Rodrigues, head of the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force did not agree with them, but what's done is done.
Rodrigues said that the elephant was provoked into trashing cars by some of the hundreds of young people at a New Year's party, and that no one was hurt.

"Despite this senseless abuse, we have had no reports of Tusker hurting anyone, which is testament to his basic good nature," Rodrigues said. "It is shocking these parties where drugs and alcohol are abused should be permitted in wildlife areas."

Music from powerful speakers at the party could be heard for miles across the bush, he said.

Witnesses told The Associated Press the elephant stomped on beer and soda bottles and attempted to eat broken glass. They reported drunken party goers taunting the elephant by throwing bottles, lighting fireworks, flashing car lights, hooting and even plucking hairs from the animal's tail and slapping its rump.

Don't forget your Party Hat

The presidential race here has certainly turned ugly, but not so in Sunny Town!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday as it should be

Saturday was the first warm day of the year, with temps pushing 80 (the weather chart says it got close to 80 around midnight and has cooled down today, Sunday), but it was a beautiful day but with a breeze strong enough to blow your hat off. We went over to DaVine Foods for lunch, located in Enchanted Forest. I have blogged this place before. It's located in an artist workshop and is a very funky little kitchen located in a little trailer, with tables all outdoors. It's not only all veggie, but organic and wheat-free (which is good for MrB, who is allergic to wheat). Pizza!! MMMMM! The car at the top was by our table, and looks like a dream car for me. First of all, I always wanted a golf cart, and second, it's off-the-scale cute. Even pulls a little wagon! I know it's not that practical for the highway and such. You'd get bumped off by a big truck or a strong breeze or you'd just fall out of it taking a turn, plus it's not that speedy... but it would be cool just to take down to the grocery store.

After taking a breather on the live entertainment front, we are getting back out there again on a more limited basis, about once a week. Here is a video I shot of the South Austin Jug Band last night at Momo's. They put on a fantastic show. This is a hot swing jazz version of that old 1920s Gershwin tune, Lady Be Good featuring two of the best fiddlers in Texas (ain't no joke), Dennis Ludiker and Brian Beken. My videography skills are horrendous, and the frame rate on the conversion makes it look as jumpy as the music demands -- so please pardon that and just listen. :-)

Tags: - - - - -

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Purrsday Night - Snow ski? No ski.

Have to share this cat "action" shot I saw over at webshots. Take a look at the rest of this very cute photo album here.

As for Henry, he's been known to pounce snow before, way back in the day (although he didn't have flair like the ginger boy above who looks like he's got invisible skis and poles), but those days are over. For one thing, it really doesn't snow enough to count here. The natives might tell you it snows here, but I've been here for 7 years, came here from the midwest, and heartily disagree. Back in 2004 we got 2-3 inches, which was enough to make THE most pathetic snowmen you can imagine if you scraped most of it up in a pile. Then, a year ago we had ice for 2-3 days, but it was mostly menacing, not pretty and pounceable. Besides, Henry is much more interested in laying around and being warm (and so say we all). In fact, the hotter, the better.

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

Dennis's menaces

Kucinich is getting snagged in bureaucratic red tape, and it's not even the government -- it's his own political party. He's been excluded from the Texas ballot because he wouldn't sign and swear an oath to “fully support the Democratic nominee for President, whoever that shall be,” something he crossed out on the application form. In turn he, along with supporter Willie Nelson, have filed a lawsuit against Texas, stating that a blind loyalty oath is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution! Willie Nelson's statement added that such a requirement is "un-American". [net news publisher] [Burnt Orange Report] Party spokesperson Amber Moon said that Kucinich wanted to change the pledge so that he wouldn't be required to support a candidate who would use war as a tool of foreign policy.
[Houston Chronicle]

It's not just Texas messing with Kucinich -- Iowa excluded him from the Des Moines Register debate because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront. That's according to his website.

Tags: -

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"I" Day

[LINK] Finally a holiday for people like me, Introverts. We are a misunderstood bunch. The article at the link makes a lot of good points. It was written by Diane Cameron, and truth be told, she just made it up but I hope it catches on. She writes:
Ahh, Jan. 2. The day that introverts get to breathe a sigh of relief. We can come out of hiding; it's safe to answer the phone, and to stop pretending we're under the weather. Hip Hip Hooray! The holidays are over.

Yes, from mid-December through New Year's Day, those of us with an introverted nature live in a state of perpetual dread. The weeks of office parties, neighborhood potlucks, and open houses drain all our energy. But today we can relax; we made it through.

I'm an INTP (and yes, I did notice the name of the guy who wrote the at the link), and really a very strong type. Here's another INTP page. What's your type? Any more INTPs? I always have to belong to whatever group has the smallest number of members. Typical. I seem to live on the flatter ends of the bell curve.

Here's another good article on Introverts vs. Extroverts, especially during the holiday season. Tomorrow my day job kicks back in, after a couple of weeks ago when I was dreading that holiday luncheon so bad that I actually got sick and left an hour before it started. Urgh. Not going to win that "Little Miss Perky" prize, am I?