Friday, May 30, 2008

Furbaby Friday - your fabulous clothes

[Jax] The best place to be in the entire house is right here on your jeans. You want to put them on but I forbid it. They are too wonderful.

[Henry] You wore these and and I want to wear them too. One is enough for me. You can go ahead and wear the other one.

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hank, Hill's, Horton and Heathens

It was our first time to Hill’s Café. They have free “live on the radio” shows on Wednesdays in summer. The history of the venue goes way back to the 1940s (see the link), and The Band of Heathens were playing, so we tried it out.
[Click photos to enlarge] One of the most interesting features of Hill’s is their display of the Skyline Club neon sign. For those not familiar with the Skyline, it was a club that used to be outside of Austin and was the last place that Hank Williams performed before his death. It was also the last place that Johnny Horton (North to Alaska, Battle of New Orleans) performed, he was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver after leaving a gig there.

Horton and Hank were also coincidentally married to the same woman (Hank’s widow married Horton nine months after Hank’s death), and both died in Cadillacs.

The patio of Hill’s has several beautiful and huge live oak trees and a backyard feel to it, complete with the smell of BBQ (which for us is a smell we can do without… but hell… this is Texas. It’s unavoidable.). There was a really nice cat cruising around for pettings. Not sure if he lived there, but he was an intact male, packing a set, and sure to add to the burden of cat overpopulation.

The first band was Ruby Jane, a girl fiddler who’s only 13 years old! She was good and had some good players in the band. Here is her merch table above. The cow was not for sale. The venue was also making sure that the opening band did not guzzle down more than their share of cold refreshments.

The (Band of) Heathens is one of our favorite bands in town. They’re a force of three singer-songwriters/guitar players plus rhythm section, and loaded with flavors. They always put on a great show and I have to say that this show was one of the best. It was a real WOW, and also a very hot and sweaty experience dancing to a band like that when it’s as sweltering as it’s been lately. Whew! I’m exhausted… but trying to knit myself back together for another freebie tonight when Del Castillo plays at Shady Grove. I’m tired as hell but can’t miss that one.

Radio station KVET took photos of last night’s events. The Blueberrys are in some of the shots, HE: very cool and together. SHE: hot and sweaty. Ain’t it always like that?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Looks like bark instead of a bite

Can you see him?

Great camouflage on this Spiny Fence Lizard [see comments]. It's not a chameleon (even though people might call then that), but it does put on a good disguise. Here he is from the side:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Armchair Report

How was your weekend? Did you have to work? I had a few hours of work to do, but not everyday so I got a chance to be lazy. Probably too lazy. Spending time photographing this snail demonstrates how lazy. I did have to dance out of some spider webs afterward, so that probably qualifies as exercise.

It's been pretty hot (mid- to high-90s) and very humid for about a week, so I was not inclined toward some of the outdoor activities, concerts and such. We stayed indoors in front of the TV or a book, and kept the A/C going, except for going to the Alamo Drafthouse to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I had been half-dreading that one because of the George Lucas effect -- that effect being that we loved the Star Wars Original Trilogy but were very disappointed in the second trilogy, therefore nearly spoiling the whole thing for us and creating a lump of resentment and loathing for Lucas that made me want to yell WHYYY. This movie, we thought, actually measured up to The Last Crusade and was a little better than The Temple of Doom. Noooo, nothing is going to top Raiders of the Lost Ark, but don't be afraid. Go and see it. It's fun and yes, silly too. Not a lot of thinking required. Spielberg saves the day, and the series. Harrison still has it going on at age 65, not diminished yet as an action hero, but I don’t know how many more he will go. I’m thinking that Indiana Jones could keep going for decades, like James Bond, even after Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford are gone.

On the tube -- we were kind of disappointed in the new Meerkat Manor TV-movie. We love the series, and thought this didn't measure up for several reasons. First, it has very cheesy sappy music in it that I don't think goes with it, very Hallmark card trying to over-manipulate your emotions when the subject matter can do that without much help. Second, it's not really a documentary like the series. It's about Flower and her history before the regular series kicked in. You see her from birth, there's her family and all these things are happening... but... it's not her. The filmmakers knew her history and filmed similar things to present to us as being her... so it's more of a biopic but we didn't learn that until it was over. I was naive and originally thought they were actually making the movie from old footage of Flower. Those meerkats... they all look alike, and all 100% cute, yes. Gotta love that part anyway, and the kids will like this one.

Not disappointing was Part 1 of The Andromeda Strain on A&E. Part 1 reruns tonight prime time, followed by Part 2. This is pretty darned good stuff for a TV-movie. So it's back on the sofa again tonight, chilling in the A/C. Not sure I have embraced the onslaught of summer yet.

Trailer for A&E's Andromeda Strain:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Will this scrape off the Teflon?

You've probably seen this absolutely scorching Special Comment by Keith Olbermann, but here it is in case you haven't.

Full transcript at AmericaBLOG.

I find it interesting that Hill has uttered this stuff about "assassination in June" 3 times previous to the Friday incident. I wish it had been called out before.

March 6th, TIME magazine, in interview (print)
May 7th, Washington, to supporters after Indiana primary
May 7th, Shepherdstown West VA
May 23rd, Sioux Falls, South Dakota <--- finally busted Maybe this one will stick. I'm watching the delegate count at this site. It's a painfully slow trickle.

Magic numbers as of tonight, May 25, delegates needed to win, small number is better ;-) :
Obama 52
Clinton 246

This is without MI and FL because how those numbers are still unresolved.

The little browsing I've done of the pro-Clinton sites show that their support is even more strengthened by this. In fact, one site (blog) in particular that I will not link to, but it's called "The Confluence", and in one post defending the RFK remark, they reference a FoxNews blogger's entry as valid source material (WTF?), and their own blog entry read as such:
Apparently it took the creative mind of Drudge to inspire the Obama campaign to tastelessly exploit the death of an American icon for political gain, in the very same week his sole surviving brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor… very classy. Now this is the kind of thing we expect from Drudge, but from a Democratic presidential candidate, and the left blogosphere? It appears that is the path they are choosing. But they still have some lessons to learn from the pros.

They think it's Obama who has done what their candidate has done? How delusional. [EDIT May 26: It's not just the bloggers slinging shit using Fox News as a weapon. Terry McAuliffe himself is using Fox to make this outrageous claim]

See, there are lots of people who are so koolaid-indoctrinated that they will likely stay home or vote for McCain if their candidate is not on the ticket. The Democratic ticket seems to be held for ransom. If the ticket doesn't have a Clinton person on it, I'm afraid it may not fly.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blind Willie and Cooder in Paris

Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)

These are two tracks from "Music by Ry Cooder," a double disk of music that Ry Cooder has done for movies.

Paris, Texas


I thought about them when Utah Savage said she was born in Paris, Texas. These tracks were done respectively for the movie of the same name, and for "Blue City". I have a vague memory of the former and have not seen the latter.

The music starts out with a mood more than anything, lots of textures and imagery. About at 2:30 into "Paris, Texas", he weaves in his signature riff, called "Dark Was the Night, (Cold Was the Ground)." This is from the old traditional blues piece from the legendary Texan, Blind Willie Johnson, (Sounds like a made-up blues name, doesn't it?) and Ry Cooder has woven it into what must be dozens of his own recordings.

"Greenhouse" is one of the most wonderfully lowdown and mean offerings of blues guitar that I've ever heard. It makes me squint my eyes, shake my hair while my hands grip with white knuckles and toes curl up. It's not so good for driving. Best-case scenario, I get lead-footed and end up where I'm going faster. The track also features a fierce tambourine. Yes, that's right. Tambourines can go over to the dark side, if in the right hands, and make you wail and moan. This music is haunting.

Ry Cooder has always been one of my favorite guitarists. Back in the late 60s he was practically a Rolling Stone, he was such in integral part of their sound, and in 1970 he backs up Mick Jagger in the movie "Performance," Check out "Memo From Turner" -- a real scorcher.

[Blind Willie Johnson wiki]
[A good article on Blind Willie Johnson]
[Ry Cooder wiki]

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Furbaby Friday - Henry on a Pedestal

Henry rules the porch with cuteness.

You may approach and pet him how.

Henry gives a shout to the Mancats Club, who are hosting the Carnival this Sunday. We've had all Mancats here for 17 years. The girls must be avoiding us.

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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pol Parrot

Parrot Loves Obama

Obviously this parrot has been to an Obama rally. He's got all the popular chants down:
"Yes We Can"
"Hey spunky butt".... WHAAAA?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer cork-popping time

MrB stopped during lunch and got a bottle of red wine this week, and it was in his car during the afternoon. He brings it in the house and stands it on the countertop. The bottle felt pretty warm, kind of like a cup of hot tea, and I was surprised to see that it was opened, and stoppered with the cork.

Now MrB is not in the habit of chugging red wine straight from the bottle while he drives home during rush hour. He denied opening it, and it seemed unlikely that it was open when he bought it, so we figured out that it got so hot in the car that the wine uncorked itself.

Yes, summer is here. It's been in the high 90s this week, and on Tuesday it got up to 101° so that's hot enough to pop your cork.

Do you ever buy wine initially because you like the label? How could we resist "Barking Sheep"? Actually, I like this one, it's very inexpensive, and, in fact, we buy it at Target. Seriously, it's not bad at all. From Argentina. I'm no oenophile, these days I like whatever doesn't give me heartburn or taste too much like vinegar. Who am I kidding? I actually drink vinegar... with lots of honey... it's good for what ails you. One of my mother's favorite remedies, along with hot toddies with brandy or whiskey, even for me. I don't think it stunted my growth or anything.

I couldn't find much on the 'net about heat opening wines, but I did see that putting it in the freezer can make it pop its cork.

How's your summer going?

One red pom-pom, one blue one

[LINK] He said he'd do it and he did. Mark McKinnon, McCain's media consultant, stated last year that if Obama were to become the Democratic nominee that he would resign. Here's what he says now:
'I'll be transitioning, shifting position from linebacker to head cheerleader,' said the always-colorful McKinnon. He added that he would continued to be a 'friend and fan' to the campaign.

The reason he gave was that he didn't want to go against Obama... he likes him too much. Here are snippets of a 2007 interview:

In a question-and-answer exchange with Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau, McKinnon said he’d vote for McCain over Obama, but “I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy” and that a President Obama “would send a great message to the country and the world.”
Q: Are you committed to working for and supporting McCain no matter who the Democratic nominee is?

McKinnon: If the Democratic nominee is Barack Obama, I will not work in the general election. I will, however, still support and vote for John McCain. I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy. I think a McCain vs. Obama race would be a great choice for the country.

Q: Have you decided to back Sen. Obama if he is the Democratic nominee?

McKinnon: Not if John McCain is the nominee. (McKinnon said it is “too hypothetical” to say whether he would vote for Obama over a GOP nominee other than McCain.)

Q: What is it about Obama that attracts you?

McKinnon: I don’t think Barack Obama needs the mirror of politics to reflect who is. I think he has deep character and good judgment. I also think he’s wrong on some fundamental issues. But, I believe he is honest and independent and if he were elected, I think it would send a great message to the country and the world. (McKinnon said Obama is “wrong on Iraq and pulling out troops too early.”)

Q: How does Obama’s race impact his chances of becoming president?

McKinnon: I think Obama’s race could actually make it more likely he could be president. I think Americans would vote for an African-American in a heartbeat. Had Colin Powell run, I think he would have been president.

This is a Bush-Cheney guy who did great damage to Kerry last time out. He said he'd love going after Hillary. From the transcript of National Journal On-Air interview this March:
Q: So you've said that you will leave the McCain campaign if Obama is the nominee. Does that still hold and why?

McKinnon: Yeah. Well, this goes back to a memo that I wrote to the campaign when I came aboard more than a year and a half ago, and I simply let them know that I had spent time with Obama and read his book and I like the guy. I think he has strong character and a fascinating life story, and I disagree with him fundamentally on issues like Iraq and trade and a number of others. But I just flashed forward to the improbable scenario, at that time seemingly improbable, that John McCain and Barack Obama might face off against one other. And I just told them at the time that I thought that I would be uncomfortable being on the front lines -- being as aggressive as you need to be in a presidential campaign -- and not only that I would be uncomfortable, but that it would be bad for the campaign, and that if that circumstance were to come to be, that I would just take a step to the sidelines and continue to support John McCain 100 percent and be No. 1 fan and cheerleader. But just kind of take myself out of the front lines.

Q: So you are still going to do that?

McKinnon: I'm a man of my word.

Q: And it's because, what, you don't want to run negative ads against Obama?

McKinnon: Yeah.

Q: Or is there also a concern on your part that you don't want to run ads against Obama, the first African-American candidate to have this kind of a chance? Is that a factor as well?

McKinnon: I suppose that is in part, but it's more just that I like and admire the guy. I've come to a point in my life where I think character is important. I think he has great character. Again, I think he's really wrong on fundamental issues, but yeah, I just don't want to -- you know, I kind of want to put my guns down. It's just a matter of degrees, and like I said, I don't think I'm the best person to have in that slot for the campaign. So it would just be better for me to step to the sidelines.

Q: So if Hillary Clinton were the nominee, you would stay, presumably. So give us a preview of how you would not hold back if she were the nominee. What would be the campaign that you'd run against her?

McKinnon: Well, you know, I think that fundamentally she represents an extension of the Clinton legacy, which this country is just tired of. They are tired of the Clinton-style politics, and we've seen it manifest itself over the course of this campaign. And I have a lot of Democratic friends who like and respect Senator Clinton, but they don't want another extension of the Clinton administration for another four or eight years. And again, on some fundamental issues I think there's a great departure between her and Senator McCain, so that's where it sits.

Q: So you would look forward to that campaign?

McKinnon: Yeah, sure. I would.

(OK, so the blue pom is just a little bitty one the size of a cat teaser)

Mark McKinnon profile
(duh, me. I did not even realize he was an Austinite)
McKinnon on SourceWatch

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our Elder Champion

I was going to save this for early June on the anniversary of Bobby Kennedy's funeral, but I decided to post it now after the news about Ted Kennedy's brain tumor.

People have ragged on Ted Kennedy a lot through the years, mostly the right wing where he has been an easy target, mostly because he's done something that his two famous brothers did not do -- he got old and out of shape, and the scandals (including the horrible Chappaquiddick) at times got the upper hand. But, I'll tell you what... I have always cut Ted Kennedy and the rest of his family a lot of slack when it comes to personal matters. You may talk about how rich they are, but there are experiences that no amount of being rich can fix. We older people remember losing some of our finest heroes of liberalism to assassination on live television. I personally remember Nov. 22, 1963 as fresh as if it were yesterday. That weekend is burned on my brain, followed by all the conspiracy studies and it seems like the one millionth viewing of the Zapruder film. Then in 1968, both our beloved Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were publicly murdered. Bobby was looking like a strong candidate for the nomination of the Democratic party, and then there he was, over and over on film, on TV, in newspapers and magazines, lying on the floor with blood streaming from his fatal wound. It's easy for us, as liberals, to feel personally damaged by these events. But these men were his brothers. He became like a godfather to all the children, his nieces and nephews, who had also shared these horrors. The public aspect of the lives of these people, from the deeply personal things to their service of this country, is not something that even other celebrities know the likes of, because political figures don't usually get away with telling the public "it's none of your damned business," not if they want to stay in politics.

This video presents a slideshow of stills, and the audio is the Eulogy presented at Bobby Kennedy's funeral service by his brother, Ted. It is one of the most moving talks I have ever heard.

wiki overview of Sen. Edward (Ted) Kennedy

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It's All About Me(me)

I was tagged by ENIGMA4EVER on this one.

(1) Five Things That Were on My "To Do" List Today:
I actually have a list sitting here with at least 5 things on it! They are even numbered in order, 1-5. Not on the list is get up at 5AM, leave at 7AM and stay at the day job until 12:30. After that I go to the pharmacy to spend nearly $100 on cat medicine, go to Lowe’s and return some shelf brackets, go to the bank, the Post Office, and finally to the Library to pick up the second season of Deadwood on DVD which they are holding for me.

(2) Ten Years Ago:
My life radically changes every 5 years. I can pick out any two points that are five years apart and they are so different from each other that it’s unimaginable. So… 10 years ago --

I was living in an affluent and conservative Republican neighborhood in far west St. Louis County. We were reasonably affluent but NOT conservative Republican. Except for our Democrat signs in the window, we just tried to blend in and not get shot or something.

I was going through a recent job upheaval, transitioning from working full-time at a good paying job to being laid off after an ugly corporate merger that shut down our facility. I was working freelance from home until another job offer came my way.

I was going through a middle-aged crazy time, which was like being an old teenager. I had rediscovered an old favorite band, the Moody Blues, and was making several trips a year to see them around the country, and my friends were all other crazy Moody Blues fans from all over the world doing the same thing, and we would meet in places like Merrillville Indiana, Kalamazoo, Las Vegas, Louisville, Nashville, Chicago, etc. Texas music was calling me though, and it finally broke through and changed my focus during the following year.

(3) Five Places I Have Lived (besides Austin):
Good grief, there have been so many it’s ridiculous. I was born in the Air Force, remember, plus my folks moved a lot for no good reason.
1. Phoenix, Arizona
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
3. Athens (area), Greece
4. Sarasota, Florida
5. Carbondale, Illinois

(4) Three Bad Habits:
1. Worrying. I worry myself sick, literally.
2. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise… but without the love.
3. Not getting enough sleep.

Numbers 2 and 3 are more like saying these are good habits I don't have.

(5) Five Jobs I've Had:
1. photo lab worker in the 70s
2. barmaid
3. auto assembler
4. graphic designer and technical artist
5. web designer/webmaster

(6) If I Were a Billionaire:
Wow. First, I would change my name so that the relatives couldn’t find me. Like most people, I would get us a very “green” dwelling. Not a mansion, just big enough with ample closets and room for kitties. I’d design it in a way that would make Ed Begley Jr. proud. Probably in Austin. Then we'd have to have some green transportation. Then give what I didn’t need to charities. My favorite ones have to with animals in need, homeless people, and environment, but none that are run by churches, I don’t trust those. My first project would be the local shelters, they would be made no-kill… then there needs to be funding for spaying and neutering to help keep them that way. I mention critters first, because I don’t think of humans as superior to other animals, but since most people do, animals have hardly any rights and are the victims of our cruelty, neglect and complete irresponsibility. Before I know it, that billion would be gone.

Well, I think a lot of my readers and commentors have already done this one. So tag yourself if you haven't been tagged.

Monday, May 19, 2008


You have to wonder, doesn't anyone check these things?

[LINK: J-Walk blog]

Art imitates life imitates art

We watched a documentary about the Burning Man festival that happens in a Nevada desert at the end of August. I'd heard of it before, of course, but I had a misconception of it. I just thought it was unorganized, anarchic hedonism, which I would find frightening. It definitely has a Mad Max/Road Warrior look to it. But it turns out, it is not that at all. (The hedonism is there, yes, but that wasn't the scary part. It was the idea of people packing weapons in a lawless environ that scares me -- I am no libertarian) It is an art event where there are no spectators, participants are screened to make sure their contributions are big enough/worthy enough/etc. (qualifying as radical self-expression), and they do have rules such as no firearms and no dogs, no burning your art without permission, and the fundamental rule of "leave no trace". If anything does get left behind, it is rounded up by the crew after the event, so to leave the area as though untouched. People come together and build a magnificent city of incredibly creative dwellings (even temples!) and art, live in it self-reliantly for a week (or more, depending on the level of involvement), then climax it with the ritual of burning the man structure (towering 70 feet in the air), and dismantle or ritually destroy the rest. Learn more about the event at their official website and on wiki.

This is an event that, at one time, I would have longed to attend. These days though, I know very well that I could not physically endure this event. 8 days camping in the desert, plus all the work. I have become too much of an air-conditioned couch spud, so I have to live these things vicariously.

Burning Man has inspired several regional events, including a local one called Burning Flipside, which happens next weekend. Another tribal, no spectators, leave no trace event that ends with a burning.

The festival leaves no trace, and that is a concept that I carried with me for most of my life as a personal philosophy. Nobody can actually leave no trace or impact, especially environmentally, but I wanted to leave nothing behind, as though I had passed through as inside a tourist bus, not even a memory. My father died when I was not yet 14, I was an only child, my mother died in 1993, and my relatives that know me are getting up in years, in poor health, or mostly already gone. I am childfree as well, so it all ends with me, and maybe earlier on I was glad of that although I still have no regrets about not passing on DNA (and gawd knows there are enough humans on this planet!).

If MrB is here post-me, he will move on. When I die, my junk will go to Goodwill and my photos in the trash, but I'm now, at this stage in life, thinking I would like to be remembered well instead of not at all. I want my friends to feel that I did right by them, helped them out when they needed it, and that I didn't disappoint them or break promises. I have a couple of good stories and I hope they made people laugh or cry or whatever. At the end, the woman will burn and the ashes will leave no trace, but others can still take something intangible with them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Does soap in your mouth MAKE you cuss?

[LINK] Two women were hospitalized after a New Zealand cafe mistakenly served dishwashing liquid as mulled wine, a newspaper reported Tuesday.


"A check by cafe management indicated that a mulled wine container had unfortunately been filled with dishwashing detergent," McKenzie told the court.

An investigation showed the two liquids had been mixed up after 5.2 gallons of dishwashing liquid was delivered in a container formerly used to hold "Mountain Thunder" mulled wine.

OK, drinking soap is a horrible idea. How about washing with wine? Turns out that wine is sometimes an ingredient in soap! Not sure why you would do this. Just for color? Seems like a waste of wine. Here's a link to just one of many wine-soap products.

Trains, planes or automobiles?

Planning on traveling for vacation and want to be as green as possible? The Sierra Club has a quiz on travel methods called "How Green Is My Getaway?"

I scored 80%. Now all I need is the getaway. We can't afford to travel, and besides it would require medically-savvy pet sitters that I trust -- so that's another thing that doesn't exist along with vacation funds. I need to do something about this underemployed situation of mine.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Furbaby Friday - A Day in the Life

Jax's typical day.
Another point of view below.

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

MrB's B-day

Wishing MrB a happy birthday today! Treehugging, cat-loving, vegetarian, Obama-supporting, organic gardener.

Some other birthdays today: Eddy Arnold, who died very recently. He was known for his velvety voice and many sad love songs, like "Make the World Go Away," but the one that most people are familiar with is "You Don't Know Me," made most famous by Ray Charles, written by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker.

It's also the birthday of Wavy Gravy; activist, legendary counter-culture figure, and the inspiration for a flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. He and his Hog Farm fixed my brown rice breakfast several times back in the 60s at rock festivals. We also met him in Austin a couple of years ago when he was here for a gallery event and peace march. He gave us a red foam clown nose (which has since rotted) and autographed my Wavy Gravy B&J shirt. He's a very cool guy, you just gotta love him:

L. Frank Baum, the author of “The Wizard of Oz” and the rest of the related Oz series books that I loved as a kid, was born on May 15. Libraries can be wonderful things. Ralph Steadman, the artist closely associated with the works of Hunter S. Thompson, was born on May 15. His work is so intertwined with HST’s that it’s hard to think of them separately. These days, Steadman’s work can be seen in the tasty beverage cooler of your grocer as the illustrator for “Flying Dog” Brewery. Watch him work:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Skin deep thoughts

[LINK] This is a free tattoo being offered by a Hillary supporter in Baltimore. He thought that offering the tattoo would give Clinton more exposure. (I am wondering who in this country actually thinks she needs more exposure!!! I guess that question is answered.) The location of the tattoo is interesting... on the upper thigh... you can see a few short curlies... I am thinking that if Bill Clinton had been graced with this, he might never have ended up in the kind of trouble that got him impeached. At least it would have served as a possible deterrent. You think? (probably not)

All this HRC talk about being the better candidate because of getting the uneducated, white supporters... seems to me if you were a Democrat (and all Democrats in power are wanting to unify the Party, right? regardless of which groups might prefer you?) and you thought a whole bloc of people were voting for candidates based on their skin color or gender, that you might want to say a few words to inspire the populace to not be doing that. Tell them to vote for you, that's one thing, but to brag about your divisiveness is another.

If you are part of that bloc of voters who'd vote for a road kill possum before a black person, whether or not you've already got the Hillary on your thigh, consider the one below*:

...and if you're game for that one, you might be radical enough for this one, you shit-for-brains racist hick:

In fact, you just might be part of the demographic who would be proud to sport this*:


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lexus washed the "green" right off

[LINK] Can't blame Paul for this one. His spokesperson said that Paul would be horrified about Lexus sending him his gift Lexus Hybrid from Japan to Britain via plane. The carbon footprint of flying it is 100 times greater than sending it by ship, and according to Mike Rigby, director of, the impact of sending it by airplane is the same as driving the car around the world six times. The car has low emissions, but its 21 MPG isn't that great... not that Mr. McCartney will have any trouble paying the UK carbon offset fees. No troubles like the characters in the cartoon.

There goes the neighborhood

These folks in Alaska built a nice playground for the kids in the background -- and look who takes it over!! It's getting to where you can't have nice things anymore. sheeesh.

Stephen Colbert, are you paying attention to this?


snagged from Wildrun.

Here's one for MandoMama

This is from Mandolin Mayhem, the benefit show (for Juvenile Diabetes) that happened on Sunday. Some of the best players you will hear anywhere, and all mandolins! It was wonderful. If you want to see more, I took one more video: check it out here.

My love for mandolin, this is all Chris Thile's fault. I don't play, so I'm just a fangirl and enabler (good term, MM). Kym asked if I thought it was too many mandolins at once, and I said I couldn't imagine there being too many mandolins. Thinking about that later, I do think I've seen too many guitars on stage at once. I think that's because electric guitar players (even when they play acoustic) seem to be more likely to be all about their own solos and less about playing WITH the others... so more is not better in that case. One or two is great. Five can be overwhelming and muddy. Players with a bluegrass background seem to be used to the handoffs and sharing the spotlight. Does that make sense?

Anyway, this is the second annual Mandolin Mayhem and now one of my favorite recurring events in Austin.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Barn Etiquette

This is from a bar's blog on MySpace. I'm reposting it since linking to MySpace blog posts seems to get tricky. The bar is called "The Barn" and is in Victoria, Texas. That's south of and in-between Houston and San Antonio, near the coast.
Things that the Bartenders think are funny.

Okay here are a couple of things that the Bartenders at the Barn think are funny.
  1. Women with really bad tits flashing the band. We know ya'll (bands) hate it but we get a kick out of watching you trying to avoid seeing them.
  2. This one we don't think is funny, but we really like it. Good looking band members who feel the need to take their shirts off. Okay, so this has never happened but you can't blame a girl for trying.
  3. Prissy girls from town who get brought into the bar by their country ass boyfriends and look totally terrified to be here. (Hint: girls leave the high heels and strapless dress at home and put some jeans on for christ's sake.)
  4. All the drunks who ride our horses. You will just have to come in and see for yourself what we are talking about. It's really hilarious when our horses manage to throw them off.
  5. The deer in the headlights look the lead singer gets when the "I just got out of jail this morning and forgot to shower" woman decides he is her next husband. Relax guys, we'll rescue you before she decides to give you another lap dance.
So here is some stuff we don't think is funny.
  1. Girls, there is no pole on the stage so stop dancing like there is one. Then you wonder why the men don't respect you!!!!
  2. We can serve beer just fine, so keep your drunk ass out from behind the bar.
  3. Drunk bitches who scream play Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry to Country bands who have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. After the 20th time take a hint!!! Their not going to play it.
  4. Drunks who jump on stage and grab the mike to announce how bad ass the band is. We know they're bad ass that is why we booked them.
  5. Trying to walk out with our horses. Get your own damn-it!!
  6. Ordering food and thinking you are at a fast food place. It takes longer than 5 minutes. The cook has PMS and very large knives. Do we need to say more.
  7. Women who think that we can hook them up with a band member. This is the truth, if they are interested in you, you don't need our help. If it is the good looking member who took his shirt off, back off bitch! We want him!!
  8. Ladies, we don't know which beer has the lowest carbs. Plain and simple, beer makes you fat if you drink enough of it. Terri and Angi are walking proof this is a fact.
Just a few things from the 4 women who run this M***** F*****!!!!

Actually, I think some of the stuff they don't think is funny is kinda funny too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mandolins, fiddles, guitars (banjo too)

Friday was The Greencards' show at Threadgill's. We have missed them since they moved to Nashville. We don't get to see them very often. They were afraid that people might have forgotten them here. Not so. The place was packed with fans and friends.

Sarah Jarosz opened. Her set was wonderful. The most surprising thing about Sarah over the years has been they way her voice has developed. Her playing (mandolin and banjo) is incredible, of course, but that was apparent way back when. Anyway, she covered a Patty Griffin song ("Be Careful") and did it absolute justice. We were floored. We are big fans of Patty, her perfect voice and amazing songs. Sarah's big announcement was that she's just been signed to Sugar Hill Records, and will be cutting a record with Gary Paczosa(puh-CHO-zuh) as Producer, who is known for working with Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks, Tim O'Brien, and many more, including The Greencards.

It was a fantastic show, and The Greencards had a couple of new songs for us, never before heard in Austin. The new songs always amaze me, they are always so good and instantly likable. ("catchy tunes"). Also, I got introduced from the stage... so that's an honor that I don't often get. This is a nice bunch of folks! Here's video of The Greencards' finale with Sarah and Warren Hood (Hoodlums, Waybacks) onstage.

Saturday was a house concert (Prostate Cancer Awareness) benefit for Van Wilks, and I have video from that too, but it will need to process, and I want to get permission from Van beforehand too. This was the first of two benefits, with the next one being at Antone's on June 8 (and will include Eric Johnson). Today, Sunday, is Mandolin Mayhem, so more about that after the fact. The weather has turned beautiful, after 2 of the hottest, muggiest days of the year.

So we are benefit-poor from this weekend, but I managed to win tickets on KUT to see Cherryholmes next Sunday night, which will follow another Greencards show up in Pflugerville in the afternoon. It can sure get busy around here.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Raphael, you slutmonger!

On my recent post about my 3-year blogiversary (is that word in the dictionary yet?), I snagged a bunch of images out on the 'net that had a "3" theme, and reposted them to my Photobucket space. I didn't think any of them were obscene. Apparently, Photobucket disagrees. They have a more "John Ashcroft" attitude about it. Here's the image below that caused them to replace it with the image on the right. Renaissance porno.

It is called "Three Graces" and was painted during the Italian High Renaissance (around 1501) by Raphael. Yes... I suppose it does contain nudity, so that violated the terms of service, and I respect that. It's a free service that they are offering to me, and they can make their own rules. I am not dissing them for that. I wonder if they would allow this image, since there is a naked baby Jesus in it?

EDIT later in the morning: I didn't even realize when I posted this that it was John Ashcroft's birthday! So that "IMAGE VIOLATION" thing was like Photobucket's Happy Birthday e-card to him. Here's mine.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Great tits cope well with warming [totally SFW]

Actual headline: BBC Science News

Purrsday Night Mews

To start out the news roundup, here's a wonderful story about a woman who saves stray cats in Iraq. Her name is Louise and they call her the "Cat Lady of Baghdad." (that story is for real, folks)

Next up is the latest innovation in feline transport. I found this out there in blogworld.

This is not even a cat, but who could protest the inclusion of such incredible cuteness? This is so cute, it actually hurts. He's got money and needs to spend it!
Holy Hedgehogs! [LINK] This is one of three hedgehogs born May 7, 2008, a month before their due date. The momma hedgehog gave birth to the triplets a day after she was found starving underneath a shed in Britain. (Steven Haywood/SWNS.COM)

Jax couldn't be bothered with the news, though... not when there's a classic movie on TV.

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

This week's Virgin Mary

Man sees Virgin Mary in his scab. Photo and video at the link.

Sooooo, when it heals, does that mean he's been forsaken by God? Maybe he'll get a nice scar out of it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Don't you believe it!!

I spy a bit on some pro-Hillary sites that are covering the spectrum now between "I'm cryin' in my beer... luv ya girl... but it's time to quit" to "Screw 'em. I'd rather vote for a turd than Obama. Hillary should run as an Independent, because either (a) she will win, or (b) who cares who will win? It serves them right" blind loyalty. She could adopt the policies of Hitler and they'd still be rooting for her. My mother used to call this "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

It's that fringe element in the latter choice that worries me. You all need to put down that Koolaid, grab a cup of hot coffee and have a cold shower. Use your mentality. Step up to reality. Hillary has been getting a boost from the Limbaugh dittoheads, Republicans crossing over to vote for Hillary in the primary so she will be up against McCain. They are not going to vote for her in November. She and her hard-core followers are delusional if they think this is actual "support." The effect of this was more than enough to give her that "win" in Indiana.
[LINK] Indiana exit polls showed that four in ten Democrats who said they would vote for McCain over Clinton in a general election nonetheless voted for Clinton on Tuesday; however, just twelve percent who would vote for McCain over Obama voted for the Illinois senator.

Citing this figure, the Obama campaign sent an e-mail to reporters Tuesday night arguing that 7 percent of the Indiana electorate could be attributed to the "Limbaugh effect" -- 41 percent of the 17 percent who said they'd vote for McCain over Clinton but still supported Clinton.

(I did that crazy koolaid photoshop composite at the top)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Best wedding ever

This is our wedding anniversary - 14 years. Really, it's more the anniversary of that really nice party we had where we signed those papers, because we had already lived together for about 6 years. In my mind, our real anniversary happened 20 years ago on June 4.

Our wedding is still regarded by the 20 or so people in attendance as the best wedding they ever attended. We rented out the "Presidential Suite" at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton (St. Louis) MO. It was regarded as the best hotel room in town. Bill and Hillary Clinton had already stayed there (before and during their reign), Paul and Linda McCartney stayed there right before and right after we did. The Emperor & Empress of Japan were guests, Elton John, and every major political or entertainment superstar you can think of has likely stayed there. The service people are tight-lipped, but one did say that Robert Goulet had lived there for some months... with his cat(s)... but we were already pretty star-struck by the rest of the known list. We rented the place for the day and night (ceremony, reception and honeymoon... low-rent when you think of it that way), and they catered the food, including the BEST cake I ever had or will again (white cake layered with white chocolate and raspberry).

To describe the place: It occupied the eastern half of the top floor of the hotel. It was the size of a house, included a full kitchen, formal dining room, living room, foyer, bedroom, 2 full baths, and multiple balconies with skyline views. All the rooms were spacious. In the living room there was a fireplace, entertainment center including stereo system, and a grand piano (I couldn't help but think about Paul McCartney possibly having recently played it). One bathroom was equipped with a nice-sized hot tub big enough for about 6 friendly people. The other one had a dry sauna in it.

My new brother-in-law did the walk-around video task including narration, so one of the toilets gets the introduction of being the place where "Bill Clinton did his business."

I didn't want a church wedding or to be married by a preacher. I was (and still am) hiding my heretical status from my relatives. They think I'm still a Christian and I see no reason to EVER discuss that topic with any of them, those conversations would serve absolutely no purpose. Anyway, one of MrB's old family friends was a Judge, so he was a perfect choice as far as everyone was concerned. I played some beautiful classical music on CD during the actual ceremony, then after the deed was done, we put on something more fun. Not for dancing, just loud enough to hear without conversation being drowned out. MrB picked out most of it. NO Proud Mary. NO Donna Summer "Last Dance". My wedding dress was a nice, burgundy wine colored evening dress that I got at a closeout sale at a mall store for less than $20. No sparklies, I wore my parents' gold wedding bands around my neck like Frodo, and our exchanged rings were also plain gold bands. I can't stand diamonds. Never could. We left out a lot of traditional stuff (I'm not too big on traditions that don't make sense to me), like somebody giving me away. Please! I was 40 years old and my parents were deceased (in fact, I had no blood relations there), so I was making the ceremonial decisions and did not yield to pressures.

I would recommend that tactic for anyone getting married. Have the celebration that YOU want to have. Also, save your money. You'll need it later.


It's another blogiversary! This blog is 3 years old today. I never dreamed I would be a blogger, being the shy type with lots of baggage. Turns out, that's the perfect recipe for a blogger! who knew? I will also pass 1,200 posts this week. That 1,000th post went by unnoticed. I'm sure it was brilliant!! heh heh.

Originally, I intended this to be a weekly roundup of events, then it got to where it more than daily on the average. You know what it's like. It's habit-forming. All topics are fair game here. I write a lot about this town (Austin) and events that we take in here. I love the local music scene.

I’ve never had a really high readership, it has leveled out at around 50 a day, with a few occasional bump-ups when I’ve pissed off someone’s fan base, made someone’s fan base happy, or gotten a linkback from CNN or The Darwin Awards.
This blog is occasionally personal. I did have a very unusual childhood, and adulthood too. When I mention family here, I want to stress that I mean MY family and not MrB’s.

I love the news of the weird. Bizarre, tacky, absurd. I also write about religion, the weirdness that happens because of it, and the right to not believe. I respect everyone’s beliefs unless they involve hurting others, but at the same time I am quite irreverent and cynical toward them.

I do cat blogging every week, and have not missed many. I enter the weekly posts in Carnivals, and I always keep them free of politics, religion, or any ideology other than pure cat-worship. I am a big animal-lover.

Lastly, there’s the subject of politics, which is coming up more than I want right now because of this damned Democratic nomination race. I want that part to be over ASAP so we can end McCain’s vacation and start making him work for the prize he wants (and will get by default if we don’t stop this bloodletting)

Thank you all for reading.

To cap off the “threme”, here’s Christopher Walken reading the story of the Three Little Pigs, as only he can tell it.