Thursday, July 31, 2008

You may pet the Jesus

A family has seen Jesus in their cat's fur. The cat's name is Sissy.

Blessed are those who provide unlimited fishes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ab stain

I really don't think you should put the word "STAIN" on your underwear.

... it must be OK to wear a thong in front of someone, as long as you don't arouse them sexually, because intentionally doing that would make it more difficult for both of you to abstain. That's the twist in these knickers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dubya gets Stoned

Here's the teaser trailer for Oliver Stone's movie about Bush Junior. It's just called "W."

James Cromwell is playing HW. He's an excellent actor, but I think I would have picked someone else. He's played the US President a few times (he played LBJ (in a TV movie), and a couple of fictional ones, plus he's playing LBJ again in a future movie) and I am having trouble picturing him as HW. Condi looks nearly perfect. Josh Brolin should be good as W., he's good at playing a dickhead but I'm not sure he can dumb down enough. I've got faith in him though.

I don't know if I will watch this one in the theatre. Probably a rental. And where was this movie when we needed it during the past elections, Oliver Stone?

So he's against polygamy, is that what he's saying?

(graphic snagged from a web ring called "Wholesome Christian Family Lifestyles!" No... really!)

This is almost a comical exchange where McCain appears to be unable to grasp that a couple is made up of two people, regardless of their gender. [ABC transcript]
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your position on gay adoption? You told the "New York Times" you were against it, even in cases where the children couldn't find another home. But then your staff backtracked a bit.

What is your position?

MCCAIN: My position is, it's not the reason why I'm running for president of the United States. And I think that two parent families are best for America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, what do you mean by that, it's not the reason you're running for president of the United States?

MCCAIN: Because I think -- well, I think that it's -- it is important for us to emphasize family values. But I think it's very important that we understand that we have other challenges, too.

I'm running for president of the United States, because I want to help with family values. And I think that family values are important, when we have two parent -- families that are of parents that are the traditional family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there are several hundred thousand children in the country who don't have a home. And if a gay couple wants to adopt them, what's wrong with that?

MCCAIN: I am for the values that two parent families, the traditional family represents.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you're against gay adoption.

MCCAIN: I am for the values and principles that two parent families represent. And I also do point out that many of these decisions are made by the states, as we all know.

However, he does not seem to be opposed to this type of family:

Cartoon from Pat Malach, Blue Oregon.

Starbucks won't be missed here

...mostly because hardly any of them are going away in Austin. They are closing 600 stores, and in a town where a missing Starbucks would be likely to nurture a local coffee house, they are closing only 2 locations.
HuffPo has published the entire list, and this is what I found:


OK, this one, if unprofitable, is kind of surprising. It's located within an apartment or condo complex, so you would think it would have a built-in customer base.


This is way down in a suburban wasteland where they are ripping out trees as fast as they can and replacing them with chain businesses that look the same as they do everywhere - stuff like Walgreens, ugly fast-food places, banks, etc. There is a picture of it on this page, and says it just opened April 2008 - so BOOOOOO on Starbucks for opening a new facility just to almost immediately close it down. That sucks!

There is another Starbucks about a mile away from that one, and I don't object to it so much because it's kind of famous for being green. The rooftop is a landscape of native Texas grasses and plants which help to filter runoff so that fewer pollutants will run into ground water, also they collect rainfall for irrigation. Read more about it here and here. It's part of a new development near us, and I hated to see that whole shopping complex go in, but at least they have not made it ugly. It's a good area for parking and walking around (or getting there on a bike), and it's mostly local businesses (except for the Starbucks with the plants on the roof). What a contrast it is from the other ugly crap just down the road that they are cutting down perfectly good trees for.

Missing Starbucks? Support local businesses! We love Ruta Maya, Flipnotics, Bouldin Creek, Jo's Coffee, Spider House, Whole Foods, Central Market, Pacha, Mozart's, and there are plenty more we haven't even visited yet. All have their own personalities.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Recovery wishes for Jon Dee Graham

Austin treasure Jon Dee Graham is in the hospital recovering from a car accident. He started out in intensive care, but reportedly his condition is now "fair."

Jon Dee Graham website

Addendum: I imagine there will be benefit shows for Jon Dee, I've read somewhere that he didn't have health care coverage, and the family is already strapped from their son's medical bills, a kid who was covered, then was ruled with a "pre-existing condition" in the course of an insurance company bureaucratic SNAFU. I'm hoping that JDG did have some coverage on himself. Lots of musicians don't.

More gun craziness

Like many of you, I'm disturbed by the whackjob who decided to shoot people in the UU church in Knoxville on Sunday. Nobody is yet revealing what they think his reasons are. According to this HuffPo story, based on a neighbor's testimony, the guy was ticked off at Christians. I can understand that much of it, but if that's his motive this is ironic because Unitarian Universalism is NOT Christian. It is creedless and openly welcomes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, Agnostics, Atheists... and doesn't require conversion of any kind. That's one big reason that I am a UU and attend nearly every week. Atheists are a small percentage of the membership, just as they are in the population in general, but they are included. If the guy wanted to target fundy Christians, he couldn't have been further off. The Christians who attend there are very liberal and open-minded in their beliefs. I am married to one of them. [note: see update at end of post]
From HuffPo: The church promotes progressive social work, including advocacy of women and gay rights. The Knoxville congregation also has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site.

Karen Massey, a neighbor to Adkisson, told the Knoxville News Sentinel about a lengthy conversation she had with Adkisson a few years back in which she told him her daughter had just graduated from a bible college. She said she was surprised by his reaction when she told him she was a Christian.

"He almost turned angry," she told the newspaper. "He seemed to get angry at that. He said that everything in the Bible contradicts itself if you read it." She also said Adkisson spoke frequently about his parents, who "made him go to church all his life. ... He acted like he was forced to do that."

They have found a multiple-page handwritten letter in the man's car that they are calling a "manifesto", but no details on its content have been revealed. The investigator has said that his intention was to kill everyone, and not just a particular person.
From the Knoxville News: A Knoxville Police Department investigator was observed Sunday briefing Knox County Criminal Court Judge Kenneth Irvine Jr. on the letter.

The investigator, who could not be identified, was seen in the lobby of the Knoxville Police Department Safety Building while in the process of securing a search warrant for Adkisson's white basement duplex at 1919 Levy Drive.

The investigator told Irvine that in a subsequent interview with Adkisson, the suspect had said he entered the church Sunday morning with the intent of killing everyone inside, although he denied having specifically targeted any children.

The kids in the church at the time of the shooting were performing scenes from Annie Junior.

Tennessee Valley UU

UPDATE: It's now being reported that the church was targeted because of its liberal views.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our Friday in the Live Music Capital of the World

Friday afternoon we went to the in-store at Waterloo Records for Grupo Fantasma, one of the best bands in town. This is Latin dance music, heavy on percussion, horns and guitar with exactly the right amount of cowbell. Here's their website, but there's more music to hear on their MySpace. We love these guys. You can't NOT dance if you see them live.

After Waterloo we went straight over to Central Market to see LZ Love (pictured above). We met her at a party not too long ago, and she is surely a sweet person, and a great singer too. I got a video, below, and it's really a lot of fun. It kind of captures the Central Market patio experience. You just buy your food and drinks in the grocery store or the restaurant (we like to get a bottle of wine, a baguette, salad or soup, and sweet snacks)(mostly for me, because I'm not sweet enough on my own), bring it on the patio. Pets are welcome. Usually it's dogs, but here is someone's parrot. It's very much a kid-friendly event, and I think it's so great that the kids who live around here can be exposed to so much great live music up close and personal.

There was still time to hit clubs after LZ's show, but we are the early birds these days and get silly satisfaction out of getting home before 10pm.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


These stories are all from this month (July)!!!

(More about the video on the right later in the post. It's a bit loud, you may want to turn down the volume a tad before playing. Wild!)

117 cats, raccoon, rabbit found in Omaha home
Some of the cats were dead. This is a woman who had previously had 200 cats taken from her home. I wonder if the raccoon and rabbit just sort of sneaked in disguised as cats thinking nobody would notice. The other cats would... ;-)

Woman Says She'll Fight For 80 Cats Removed From Home (followup on first story) They started with 117 and 80 were removed so there must have been 37 dead ones.

Woman, 64, Taken From Home With 50 Cats
Only 50 cats? Well, this time they didn't count the 24 dead ones they found.

Woman Found Dead With Nearly 70 Cats
This was an elderly woman involved with the Cat Network doing trap/spay or neuter/release. Apparently the "release" part was not done. This seems to be the isolated case among the others where the cats were all healthy.

50 cats found inside condemned home
This time there were 2 young girls apparently living in the condemned home with the cats.

Tehachapi Home Raided, 60 Dogs and Cats Found
In all, they were able to save 15 dogs and 37 cats. They found 14 dead dogs in trash bags in a freezer.

Animals, Dead Kitten Found in Buffalo Home
Only 15 animals this time. It would not even be worth mentioning except for the dead kitten.

29 Dogs, 15 Cats Removed From Home
A 1,150-square-foot house

Man pleads not guilty to 50 counts of animal cruelty
50 cats rescued, most of them were malnourished and had upper respiratory infections and had to be euthanized.

Informational links:
CFA: hoarding
wiki: Animal hoarding

Animal-hoarding behavior should not be confused with people who truly ARE rescuing the cats and are helping them. Sometimes the hoarders start off with the best intentions, and continue with them, but what happens is that the hoarding compulsion makes them dysfunctional (and maybe delusional) and they are no longer able to see the situation reasonably. Animals become neglected to the point of abuse. The whole purpose of giving them shelter is defeated. Sometimes the hoarders are not able to even let go of the dead animals. They keep them in freezers, or even allow the other animals to eat them.

Below is some expanded coverage of the Russian cat lady who had over 130 cats in a tiny apartment. I have to admit, I really understood her reasons, it would be hard to turn a cat out into the Russian winter, and what do you do when people start leaving kittens on your doorstep? I developed some empathy with her after watching. Looks like she's really trying to take care of them -- but looking back over our years, we had up to 4 cats at once, all with health issues and personal issues, occupying lots of time, losing lots of sleep, spending a fortune on medical stuff, plus foregoing even the thought of a vacation that's not a "staycation" (the new buzzword). What a commitment it would take for a houseful!

People probably think we are crazy cat people. We have 2 cats left and try to take really good care of them. I am resisting all urges of adding any more, and not allowing MrB to trap me into taking in any more. But you know how it goes. Cats happen.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

SPAM subject line of the week

McCain sex tape surfaces

Yes, that's right. I guess that's supposed to entice me to click it open. It didn't.

These things crack me up sometimes. Some more goodies I've gotten:

tomato counterbalance
A reference to the latest FDA finding on that one jalapeno pepper with salmonella?

wiener wiener chicken digger
I don't have a clue about this one. I'm getting some visuals but they're all disturbing.

Update your penis
Yes, you've been trying to use your old Beta version penis, and now there's a software download for the full 1.0 version.

Sperms of endearment
Every sperm is sacred. Even John McCain's.

Monty Python explains it all:

Depp's star power

The star in this case being our Sun. My adopted actor, Johnny Depp, made the eco-news by deciding to purchase a solar-hydrogen energy system for his house on the island that he purchased a few years back. [LINK ecorazzi] He was inspired to buy a Caribbean island after his friend Marlon Brando bought a Tahitian one. Inventor Mike Strizki created the nation’s first solar-hydrogen house in New Jersey, and expects Depp's costs to run between $250,000-$500,000. More on Strizki here.

Depp calls his piece of land "Fuck Off Island*," and it looks like the sentiment applies not only to the papparazzi who want to snap pictures of his kids, but to the electrical power grid as well. Shine on, Johnny Depp.

*and might refer to just doing pretty much whatever the hell you want to do on your own damn island.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kick the gas can over

Your soundtrack for this is on the right. It's James McMurtry's "Cheney's Toy," about a man who brings about great disaster and destruction, tries to shred everything about this Nation that's been good for humanity... and it won't be over in January.

This lame duck is not going to go out gracefully. He's setting up bureaucratic land mines and fast-tracking them -- lots of these changes might even go unnoticed until they are discovered down the line and will need to be dismantled and/or repaired. Anti-science, anti-healthcare, pro-religion, pro-corporate, and generally fascistic policies are getting sneaked by while the list of American terror suspects gets longer.
Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List
[...] Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,” Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.”

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Mr. Nassirian said students seeking the grants went first to their college registrar, who determined whether they were full-time students majoring in an eligible field.

“If a field is missing, that student would not even get into the process,” he said.[...]

U.S. Rushes to Change Workplace Toxin Rules
Political appointees at the Department of Labor are moving with unusual speed to push through in the final months of the Bush administration a rule making it tougher to regulate workers' on-the-job exposure to chemicals and toxins.

[...] Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said: "The fact that the Department of Labor seems to be engaged in secret rulemaking makes me highly suspicious that some high-level political appointees are up to no good. This Congress will not stand for the gutting of health and safety protections as the Bush administration heads out the door."

[...] "This is flat-out secrecy," said Peg Seminario, director of health and safety policy at the AFL-CIO. "They are trying to essentially change the job safety and health laws and reduce required workplace protections through a midnight regulation."

[...] David Michaels, an epidemiologist and workplace safety professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health, said the rule would add another barrier to creating safety standards, in the name of improving them.

"This is a guarantee to keep any more worker safety regulation from ever coming out of OSHA," Michaels said. "This is being done in secrecy, to be sprung before President Bush leaves office, to cripple the next administration."

A Government Threat to Birth Control
The legislation, a draft of which was leaked last week to the New York Times, stokes the debate over when human life begins by taking the position that birth control that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg actually results in abortion. It would prohibit federally funded medical facilities—including teaching hospitals and Planned Parenthood clinics—from refusing to hire doctors who don't want to dispense birth control pills and other types of contraception that may cause the expulsion of a fertilized egg. (It's already illegal to discriminate against doctors who refuse to perform abortions.) The new laws would also override state laws that require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims and those that require employers to provide contraceptives along with other prescriptions.

Then there's the war on Iran, the one that isn't quite started yet. If we attack Iran before Bush leaves office, it will please McCain and make one more hell for Obama to have to deal with - so it's win-win for Bush and his neocons.

"light a match, get back and watch that sucker burn"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Damn Yankees!

Well, I'm sure I won't be the only blogger to use that title for this topic.

[source] According to the story, Yankee Stadium is banning sunscreen!

Are they worried that you are going to make a bomb with it? They say they are protecting you from terrorism. And don't fear, when you get inside, they WILL sell you a one-ounce bottle of it for $5.00!

Dr. Babar Rao, a specialist at the Skin and Cancer Center of New York, is quoted as saying, "This is especially bad for children, as their younger skin is particularly sensitive. Sunblock needs to be reapplied every two hours, even if you are not swimming in the ocean or pool."

(This NY Post story adds that they are now allowing you to bring in as much as 3 ounces of your own sunscreen.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heat, pizza, nipple rescue and cat drugs

Talk about some odds and ends.

A weekend come and gone. Still scorching in the 100°s here. On Saturday after the IMAX noon show, we went down to South Congress, had some delicious Home Slice pizza, then caught about an hour of Redd Volkaert's free matinee show. He's one of the best guitarists around, used to play in Merle Haggard's band. Now he plays a lot at the Continental Club and some other clubs on a regular basis. We were originally going to go and see Mario Matteoli at Roadhouse Rags at 7pm, but it was too stinking hot for me for an outdoor show while the sun was still shining, so I weenied out.

Also on Saturday we sold the old Indigo iMac for $100 on Craigslist (with a nice little photo printer thrown in), making enough money to pay for a couple of months of Jax's Prozac. Yes... I finally gave in to the vet's suggestion. I was holding back that option as a last resort, because I was afraid of taking away his "catness". Does that make sense? People sometimes have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, sometimes they are severe and cause many problems, to say the least. Cats *always" have OC behavior... they just do. It's catty.

Jax "lick-shaves" various parts of his body, which is fine if the only issue is hairlessness! Doesn't sound like drug-worthy behavior, but he has been making his nipple bleed - I'm afraid he's going to end up licking it right off - and that's not OK. The prednisone and Bitter Apple* have not quite gotten the problem solved and I don't want to make him live in an e-collar. MrB suggested a tube top. A pair of overalls might work too, in fact, he could wear both. {not really... cats can't seem to walk while wearing clothing}

We had to get the Prozac made up into an ear gel since the boy won't take pills. {sigh... the gel is 10x the price of pills...}

It's our last ditch Save the Nipple campaign.

They keep saying the Prozac will likely not have negative side-effects. I hope they're right. You can all be thankful I have spared you the close-up shot of his overly-licked nipple. Poor kitty.

*the prednisone is another ear gel, and we never put Bitter Apple on an open sore... and neither should you. Major OUCH and irritation.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Got yours?

If you are planning on seeing The Dark Knight this weekend, I hope that you already have your tickets. I heard on the news that it's pretty much sold out through Monday already. We got these last Saturday, a week ago, and the ticket seller said there were only a couple hundred left for the day we wanted (the evening ones were already sold out, but lucky for us we preferred the noon anyway).

The Tomatometer on this one is a stunning 94% for 193 reviews, not that I use Tomatometers as a complete guide... I disagree with them quite a bit, but when you have one that high it increases the chances that most people won't think it's a turkey. (Don't get me wrong... I *love* [movie] turkeys sometimes!)

Normally we would go to the Alamo Drafthouse, and even though the promise of special Dark Knight beers and batty-goodness in the preview show -- we can't resist going IMAX.

Time to go get in line.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Little Gecko

Click to enlarge. This is a little guy we finally caught in the house this week. We either had 2 of them or saw this one twice. It's a baby Mediterranean Gecko. Here he is on this GREAT gecko site, Geckoweb, lots of wonderful gallery pics there. He would have been welcome to live in the house, but Jax the cat prides himself on being the lizard-killing champ, so we caught the little guy. Lucky for him, he got tangled in some cobwebs (allowing us to catch him), and also lucky for him we were there to rescue him from same cobwebs).

He is tiny now, about an inch and a half including tail. Here he is being motionless, still on the note paper we used to cover the bottom of the Rubbermaid critter-catcher (not an official Rubbermaid product. lol).

Of course, he's got plenty of perils out there in the yard too. Mostly cats that we don't have any control over. I'm sorry to say that we think this Fence Lizard from a couple of months ago has been pounced. Loose cats are hell on lizards and birds.

Tags and links: Friday Ark -

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Purrsday Night Head to Toe

Yer makin' my feets look too big!

Look at my face. That's the right thing to do. Hellllooooo!!! Here's Me!

FACE!!! Not FEETS!!!

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

Quote of the day, week, century maybe?

We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet.

-- Nobel Laureate and Former Vice-President Al Gore


An "earthy" event this evening

Sierra Club gathering of activists, City Council members, and YOU. Here's all the Austin info, maps, phone numbers, whatever you need. Everywhere else, click here to find the event in your town.

Austin Area Lightbulbs to Leadership Party

WHO: Sierra Club, Austin City Council Members and Austin activists, featuring a teleconference with Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, Green for All Leader Van Jones, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire

WHAT: Light bulbs to Leadership party at Austin City Hall. A call to action for a green economy and global warming solutions

WHEN: Thursday, July 17, 5:30-7:00 PM

WHERE: Austin City Hall, City Council Chambers
301 W. 2nd St., Austin, TX

Free parking in City Hall garage and light appetizers available

(yes, I noticed that they are serving "light" appetizers. Not sure if the pun was intended.)

Kinky Boots

This song will stick in your head like peanut butter. Watch and listen at your own risk.

Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On The Bench

I seem to be evolving into a different being, diurnal, a creature of the day. There’s a struggle going on between my Inner Child and Inner Mommy, and the Mommy’s been winning. I was waaay overcommitted (both in the “fun” and “no fun” categories) and sleep-deprived for years, when it really started to affect my health, mental and physical. I imploded last year, and realized that I had to change things… or else.

One of the hardest things to do was to make a loose commitment not to go out for late club shows on a weeknight (unless I can sleep in the next day), stick to genuinely early ones that start no later than 8pm, and not too many. It’s tough!! There are so many, and I seem to be missing a lot. Just 3 weeks ago we went to see Reckless Kelly’s CD release at Waterloo Records. I won free tickets for the show at Antone’s! A kickass show with The Gougers opening (a band I know since I worked for them, plus I did a gig poster for Reckless Kelly (shown on right) through their publicist but still haven’t been formally introduced. This is my own fault, especially I was hanging with their publicist at Waterloo. Dammit. Sometimes I am too shy for my own good). I gave the tickets away to someone who really wanted them, and I was sure he’d go so they weren’t wasted. Reckless plays Gruene-style Texas Americana Roots Country (that’s what I’d call it). Listen to Reckless here.

Then yesterday, I went to see James Hunter at Waterloo Records. His voice needed a rest, so it was a signing only (and I totally understand based on his unbelievably hectic schedule, including Jay Leno just the night before). His road manager offered to put me on the guest list for tonight’s Antone’s show… and I turned it down… getting up at 5AM… yada yada… I sure sounded like a weenie especially since the band is going on several days with no sleep… and I really wanted to go to that show especially since he didn’t play at Waterloo. {sniff} Now my Inner Child has been throwing a tantrum since that moment of missed opportunity. As for James Hunter, he’s like a combination of James Brown, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and lots of other 60s soul singers, except he’s a British white guy. He and his band are absolutely delightful, writes all his own stuff. Listen on his MySpace here.

Oh well… these days I seem to live for 7PM, curled up on the sofa with home cooking, MrB, a cat, and something good on TV – a DVD, a favorite show (waiting for most of them to return), or maybe just Olbermann. By 9PM I’m cleaning up the kitchen, trying to keep up with a few blogs, including this one, and propping my tired eyes open and thinking about the 5AM alarm. Mommy calling for Lights Out By 11. I'm a one-person dysfunctional family. The weekend will be here soon. Life is hectic enough.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Redshirt Superman

I've seen these on several blogs lately:

You are Superman (and you can do anything)
You are mild-mannered, good, strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Superman was always my favorite, because he didn't have to do anything to get his powers. He's not a mutation or an accident, he was born that way. He's a rescue. He has trouble fitting in, but his powers prevent people from bringing him the fate of this guy:

You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed, and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable. That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first episode you appeared in.
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Well, that is absolutely true. Look at that: 100%. If that guy were Superman, he's still be alive, but look at him... no superpowers... dead, and not remembered (except by the hardcore Star Trek geeks). MrB scored as Captain Kirk. Well la-di-da. Yes, I'm a little jealous. And could there BE a worse relationship? Well, I guess you can't have one without the other, huh? ;-)

Ram upgrade

 His name is Nick Boing and he was rescued as a sickly lamb. He didn't mix well with other sheep, so now he's a 3 year old house sheep who likes watching TV and raiding the cookie jar. The article is reposted below, with a link which includes more pics.

[Source article here] In the Palmer household, Nick is just like any other young member of the family.

He hogs the television, won't go to his room - and has even been known to raid the biscuit barrel.

Unlike the average child, however, he's more than happy to mow the lawn.

The sheep - whose full name is Nick Boing, because of his 'bouncy' personality - was rescued by former coach driver David Palmer three years ago, when he was just a newborn.

The 53-year- old found the sick lamb in overgrown grass on a trip to a nature reserve with his partner Caroline Clements, 54, and their 13-year-old son Nathan.

'There were no other sheep about so we picked him up,' he said. 'I didn't know anything about sheep so I took him to the nearest farm and left my name, but nobody contacted me and he came with us.

'Caroline had a baby bottle left from when Nathan was little so we fed him some milk and within an hour he was running around.'

The family twice tried leaving Nick with farmers, but he refused to go near other sheep and would not settle.

Now he has his hooves firmly under the table at Mr Palmer's house. He has his own purpose-built bungalow, complete with a carpet and windows, in the family's back garden.

But the 22-stone ram prefers to spend his evenings watching television in the living room, so he head butts the cushions out of the way and settles down on the sofa. Nick's nightly TV sessions usually end around 11pm, when he is given a swede or an apple and is firmly ushered outside to sleep.

However, as a lamb he was sometimes allowed to stay the night in Mr Palmer's bed.

In the mornings, Nick likes nothing better than to lie in the front doorway watching the world go by.

'He's part of the family,' said Mr Palmer, of Rhiwbina in Cardiff. 'He's more intelligent than your average sheep that's stuck in a field. He's in the house and in the car and meeting people. He's good company and he knows what's what.'

Mr Palmer added: 'If the biscuit barrel is out he'll butt it on the floor because he knows that the lid will come off.'

The Welshman concedes that his home 'probably smells' but says that he is used to it.

He added: 'Nick loves being shampooed and will lie on his back with his legs in the air for me to wash him. He's generally quite clean.'


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Slow news weekend

 No concerts, no whiz bang action movies, no political or environmental activist events this past weekend. Just steaming away in this amazing heat. 101° actual temp in our backyard yesterday. It's very jungle-y and wild back there.

The sunflowers are nearing their last phase, but still being enjoyed by lots of little birds and occasional bees.
This bee is hanging tough and looking a little ragged on the wings.

This cicada, also with battered wings, was barely hanging on when this pic was taken. MrB moved him off the pavement so he could die in the garden. He's a pretty bug.

A Purple Martin's nest was built right against a wall in a sheltered area of a church. We can't seem to get Martins at the house, even with Martin houses and the bug feast available.

Bad crazy gun news

Item #1

[LINK] A woman was trying to kill mice with a .44-caliber Magnum revolver while were running across the floor of her small travel trailer. She dropped the gun, which fired when it landed on the floor. The bullet went through her knee, hit some keys hanging on a man's belt loop, tore through his pants, grazing his groin and stopping in his coin pocket.

Item #2

[LINK] An Oklahoma church has postponed plans to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle to a teenager as part of an annual conference. Last year, they did give away a gun at the event, but this time it was postponed, not because it's a damn stupid idea or anything else that makes sense. It was postponed until next year because the Pastor running the event broke his foot and couldn't attend. Here's a quote from the Youth Pastor
“I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill,'” said Ross . “That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”

Ross said the conference isn’t all about guns, but rather about teens finding faith.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The good old days

Oh, the good old days. Lots of people think we can go backwards in time, and make everything the way it was back then. It's a 1940s, 1950s, early 1960s fantasy world that lives on in film, including these funny old educational shorts they used to force on us in school.

Welcome to opposite world. In this film, we learn how it is not that big a deal if your town gets hit by a nuclear weapon. It's hardly even as serious as a tornado. All the danger from heat and radiation is over in about one minute, then you can close the blinds, pull the curtains, stuff like that (in case there's another bomb, you can't be too careful), then listen to the radio until the grownups to come around and check on you.
Atomic Alert!

Far more dangerous than getting nuked is the common housefly. This video will scare you out of your wits! Seriously, it's worse than any horror movie of its day.

Part 2 is here, where the most frightening part (on modern terms) is how they absolutely saturate the living room with bug spray!

Well, I need a shower after that pair of shorts!! Yikes. And isn't cleanliness next to Godliness, after all? Here's a pair of 1950s neat-freaks. They are soooo perfect for each other. Remember boys - never choose that patterned shirt! In fact, why do you even have that outlandish thing hanging in the closet? Is something wrong with you? I think we all know the answer to that one.
How to be well-groomed
(wisdom from the Mississippi State College Home Economics dept)

If you are sufficiently starched, conservatively dressed, and completely sanitized, you can go to a party! Here's a hilarious instructional video on how to throw a great party. Make sure you've got fun activities planned, like making hats, then everybody can gather round and sing "Jimmy Crack Corn."

Here's one on the dangers of homosexuals, who were all pedophiles. Some people still think that. These films might be partly responsible for that.
Boys Beware!

Girls only needed to worry about learning to cook, clean, having good posture and being able to entertain friends (oh yes, they should stay away from older boys, and for gawdssakes don't get "in trouble").

So, don't worry about nukes, keep your fingernails clean, don't ever have sex with anyone (you can't be too careful), be sanitary, be tidy, saturate the air with poison, don't wear patterns, and learn the lyrics to Jimmy Crack Corn. Everything will be fine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Purrsday Night Duties

 A thorough combing has been scheduled.

Comb faster!! How do I look?

Nice foot.

Grooming will be followed by belly massage. Don't do the nipples. I do those myself when you're not looking (because if you are looking, you make me stop it)

Massage will continue for 5 more minutes, then you may be excused for your other cat-related duties.

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

Turning kids into grownups

...but not letting them develop their minds by encouraging thinking. Mummy's little Lolita: The 11-year-old girl whose beauty treatments cost £300 a month to make her look like Barbie

False eyelashes at 8 yrs. old. Hair extensions, lots of makeup, beauty pageants. No expense spared. Her name is "Sasha." I wonder if her mother named her after the coveted sash? Quote from the article:
Ask Sasha how she sees herself and she replies: 'Blonde, pretty, dumb - I don't need brains.' Her mum laughs her head off at this, proud that the child is so like her.

Here's an example showing the other side of the coin, the teenagers and pre-teens from the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) cult. They are not allowed exposure to the outside world, forced to wear these pioneer dresses (all very similar, only differing on the color, which is pastel, and you can see the online catalog for these clothes here). Seems like these two things are opposite extremes, but in both cases the parents are shoving their kids into early adult sexuality - in the second case they are being readied to be married so they can become mothers at a very, very young age.

-- the FLDS hair -- that swoopy pompadour thing most of the women have, what is the purpose of that?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Yeah... that's the ticket... hmm, I see it is.

These are real excuses offered to police from people trying to get of speeding tickets. I have a real one to add also, from my crazy uncle, and he was absolutely serious: "I couldn't have been speeding. I'm a Christian! And Christians don't break the law and Christians don't lie! Ohhhhhh, Jesus!!! Come right now!!!"

Others from the Kitsap Sun and more in the comments at the link:
"I didn't know I was, because my lights are off."

"I'm taking my friend to the hospital. He has alcohol poisoning." (The driver was drunk, too).

After crashing: "I put supreme gas in the car, which caused me to lose control." (He, too, was found to be drunk.)

"Don't I get a couple over when I am taking my grandkids to the airport?"

"I get 10 extra in the fast lane."

"My speedometer is broken."

"Gas pedal got stuck."

"I'm trying to catch that UFO. Can you try to catch it for me?"

"I had a bee in the car."

"I am late for church and don't want to go to hell."

"I have been drinking and want to get off the road quickly."

"I'm going to a divorce proceeding and if you met her, sir, you would understand why I am hurrying."

"I am wearing really heavy shoes today and they make the gas pedal go down more."

"I just got my license back from it being suspended and I am not used to driving."

"My doctor gave me the wrong meds."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


An enjoyable waste of time. They look fuzzy here, you have to click on them to go to the site where they look good. This is my recent post about sun protection:

This is the Flick Filosopher's review of Wanted:

Make your own.

Found via Blane Conklin's blog.

Monday, July 07, 2008

McCain - old and busted

He's trying to get the Latino vote, and Ana Navarro, co-chairwoman of the Latino voter advisory committee for McCain, made the following comment in an NPR story posted Monday:
"Let's be frank here: The immigration debate at times has been offensive and hurtful to Hispanics and immigrants. But John McCain has never once in his life engaged in negative, offensive rhetoric against any group," she says.

But this is what McCain said in 2000 during his presidential campaign
"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

He is talking about the people who held him captive during the VietNam war, and refused to refrain from using the word "gooks". It's completely understandable that McCain would be permanently bitter, angry, filled with rage, mentally scarred and psychologically damaged by his wartime experiences. Of course, we would expect that, and forgive it, and let it go. But this kind of psychological damage should disqualify him to be President of this country -- it should count against him rather than be touted as positive experience.

Yes, he has experience (just like that car in the picture has experience), but Gen. Clark was correct in saying that it doesn't automatically qualify him to run this nation. I think it goes beyond that. A cool head needs to prevail. Decisions from the White House shouldn't be made under the influence of extreme rage, anger, and hatred that exist because of personal nightmarish experiences.

Found via DailyKos

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Pinetop Perkins - 95

Happy birthday today to blues legend Pinetop Perkins, who turns 95 today! The video is about a compilation they put together in honor of this birthday, it's got B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and a real long list of people playing on it.

Front of the markerPhoto is of one of the roadside plaques dedicated to him in Mississippi. Pinetop was with Muddy Waters for a long time, so I must have seen him back in 1970 with Muddy. He moved to Austin back around 2004, something like that, so we've seen him a few times since that. He was pretty tight with Clifford Antone. The only time I ever kind of met him was at Clifford's visitation. The place was a who's who of music, local and otherwise, and Pinetop was right there with the casket most of the time we were there. I hate those things where they have an open casket. My friend knew Clifford fairly well, but she'd had some kind of falling out during that last year or so. She explained it to me, but it sounded like there had to be more to it, and I'm not nosy enough to to probe further... anyway it was a little odd going to Antone's sometimes knowing they were on the outs, so I never said a lot to him when we were both there, not much more than a hello and a nod. Who knows what the hell was up? In any case, it's too late to fix it. No going back.

At the funeral home, I really felt sad for Pinetop. It's hard to lose friends, and when you are in your 90s you've lost so many. Clifford was only 56... so much younger. Muddy's gone too, 20+ years now. But Pinetop is still with us, so congratulations on a long full life, having good stories, and being well-loved and honored.

Pinetop Perkins history on wiki

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Weekend at the movies

We didn't do the fireworks thing (haven't done that for several years for various reasons) but did get out some over the holiday. Thursday and Friday it was the Alamo Drafthouse to see Wanted and Hancock, respectively. It's summertime, Super-hero time, isn't it? I refuse to spoil without plenty of warning, so here goes my best effort. I try to post trailers that don't give away the whole damned plot. Trailers! Love 'em and hate 'em.

Wanted has some Matrix-y aspects but the religious fabric and premise are different. A little humor, not much though, and plenty of eye candy of course. James McAvoy was wonderful. His American accent in this is not quite perfect, and it definitely does NOT pass for Chicagoan (his real accent is so delightful, I wish they could have used it somehow). Angelina Jolie is in her element. Wow! We gave it 2 thumbs up for a popcorn movie (or in the case of the Drafthouse -- pizza).

Going against a lot of critics, we really liked Hancock. Superman was always my favorite superhero, and as you know if you've seen any trailers, this guy has a few similar things going on. I love to watch Will Smith. He brings the action AND the charm, even playing a guy like Hancock. There's some good 3-way chemistry here between the major stars (Will, Jason and Charlize), and plenty of humor.

Also, at the movies... a trailer for a movie that looks really hilarious. Burn After Reading. Coens! Pitt! Clooney! Frances! Malkovich! Tilda! More! Check it out.

Eddie Mullet

Your soundtrack for this post is above. It's called "The Ballad of Eddie Mullet" and it's an old South Austin Jug Band classic. It's about mullets as a lifestyle choice (and what else would they be?), and one particular case where it's part of the description of the guy the cops are after. World of hurt, all the way around. (Note, the guy in the pic here is not the one from this real news story, which is very much the same one - except the crime is different, deep shit but not as deep). The tune is from their 2003 self-titled album that you can buy here, or on iTunes.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fundy Fourth

These days, especially since 9/11 and now in light of the war in Iraq and the campaigns going on, the topic of patriotism keeps coming up. Patriotism is pretty simple. It means "love for or devotion to one's country" according to Merriam-Webster. It says nothing about the love of one's government.

This here is more like what seems to be expected as "patriotism" from the right wing conservative neocons: jingoism: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy. [chauvinism (as it relates to this): 1) excessive or blind patriotism. 2) undue partiality or attachment to a group or place to which one belongs or has belonged]

I have this aunt by marriage who is one of those extreme religious right-wing fundamentalists. Just one, you ask? No, there are more but some of the others have died by now or I've lost touch, but this one knows how to use email, so she sends me:
viral right-wing spams with wrong information in them (thankfully those have subsided), her poetry links which are posted on this butt-ugly site with awful music on every page and absolutely garish gaudy graphics and animations all over them (and I don't mean that in a good way). I'm not going to put a link to it here, because I don't want her to find this blog through Google or site stats. It's not that I care what she thinks of me, but she's married to an uncle that I love and who is in very poor health and doesn't need to know all about what a heathen his favorite niece has become.

I bring her up because she just sent out her America poem for the 4th. First of all, here's the soundtrack for it. It's Elvis from his later years. The spoken word part of it gets unintentionally funny, and of course, it really doesn't get any sappier. The page graphics are flag collages and these animated Statues of Liberty. Ironic, considering the racist "jokes" she has sent me before. Not exactly in the spirit of multi-culturalism that the Lady Liberty represents. See this post. The other thing she sent that is worth mention is the picture of Jesus that appeared in the shower while her son was using it. Priceless. We have a sighting! Anyway, back to the 4th of July poem.

A few paragraphs of the poem [with my comments sprinkled in]:
America, don't hang your noble
Head down in disgrace
Simply because someone has spread
Some dirt upon your face.

[blueberry: The someone who dirtied our face is our own selves. I am amazed at people who seem to think that the USA is an innocent victim of someone out there, someone who hates our freedom. It's Cheney's toy talking Bush puppet saying that, and they all bobble their heads in agreement]
God wants to wash away your sins...
To restore your purity.
America, you're still beautiful...
Still beautiful to me.

[blueberry: If she means "racially pure" the last time this nation was pure was when the native peoples lived here and had not yet been invaded. Since the Europeans and others showed up, it's been a violent and bloody land grab. Also this suggests to me that it might be one of those Pastor Hagee kind of things, like God is using natural disasters to "wash" away the bad people]
I believe the Lord still looks
Upon your giving heart.
For the things you do for others
Still play a leading part

[blueberry: We are going head over heels to bring democracy to every country that has oil or other assets that we can't have any other way. Play ball with us and we won't send in the jackals, followed by troops. The poem ends with a scripture about God's chosen nation, which is obviously meant to be the USA. Somehow the American fundies maintain the notion that Israel and the USA share the mantle of being God's chosen]

The 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays growing up, along with Halloween and Armed Forces Day. These days I don't go in much for holidays at all. Since 9/11 the waving of flags and patriotic music seems to used as a weapon of the conservatives to try and shame us liberals -- and so many of them have Christian themes, they are used to create more hatred against those with alternate beliefs. I do love my country, but not all the things done by my government. I love freedom, love the earth, and am not a terrorist. I still have hope for this country, just a smidgen.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Adopt an actor

Am I allowed to adopt Johnny Depp?

[edit July 5] All right! He is mine now. I've got a Depp label for past postings.

Adopt an actor.


It's easy to see why people have always worshipped the sun. First of all -- there it is, big as hell, infinitely more powerful and arguably hotter (and it's hard to argue over the physical characteristics of mythological places) -- so nobody can question the sun's existence or the power it has over life itself. Now with climate change undeniably happening, whether you think people are causing it or that the sun is merely getting hotter on its own, we have to deal with it as citizens of this particular solar system.

OK, that really went "out there" and got a little philosophical, but to get closer to home and the issues affecting you as you walk out the door, what about sunscreen? Do you use it? Back in the "Coppertone" days, we'd put on that stuff that was like a thick butter, and it smelled soooo good, but was only about an SPF #2 or something. Oh yes, you'd get a tan, and that oily stuff was probably good for the skin. Most people these days use products with at least an SPF of 15, and that's generally very effective at keeping away a tan. SPF is a confusing thing, though. SPF 30 is not twice as protective as SPF 15.

Now here is a study conducted on a whole range of sunscreens with some surprising conclusions, at least for me. You tend to think that the health brands would just automatically be safer. Uh-uh. They tested hundreds of products for effectiveness and safety. There are chemicals in these products that can harm you, and others that simply break down and don't work. They've got a grid with HAZARDOUS weighed against EFFECTIVE, and some of the worst products are as you might guess: some Coppertones, Walgreens, Gillette, etc, but there's also some Rachel Perry, Aveeno, and so on. And some of these products contains nanoparticles. That's an area where I am really not comfortable. Nope. And... it's worth pointing out that lots and lots of products that you put on your body contain sunscreen, like makeup (even face powder), lotion and shampoo.

I used to keep sunscreen on all the time. Nobody wants skin cancer, and I have a little spot on my nose that I have to watch out for. Then I wound up with osteopenia, which is the bone condition you get right before osteoporosis. Testing showed that I was losing Vitamin D (who knows why? I don't think the doctor was even certain, so now I take a prescription form of it, and I also pretty much gave up the sunscreen when my exposure is limited to in and out of the car (and haven't you heard the alarm bells sounded over even those small amounts of sun exposure?) because sunscreen... wouldn't you know it... also blocks the vitamin D you get from sunshine. Anyway, here it is a few years later and the ostopenia is gone. My bones are now considered normal for my age. Ta-da!!

This recent article brings up a lot of good points too, there's risk no matter what, and we all have to weigh these out for ourselves.

As the second article points out, clothing is protective and doesn't leech chemicals into your bloodstream. Hats with brims are good, sleeves (if you can stand them) work, and shade is a wonderful thing. Umbrellas (parasols) are designed for that (umbra = shade (Greek), parasol = shield sun [Latin, French, Italian roots]), so they should be brought back in style for sunny days. Don't wait for the designer, just do it yourself.

Have fun in the sun or out of it.
And don't forget your hat.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Arte y Pico!

Well!! I've been given an award! Utah Savage has bestowed this on me. It's a beauty, and features an angel in an evening gown. It has to be an angel in drag, since all the biblical angels I can think of were male. Of course, angels can wear what they damn please, and if you have anything to say about it, they'll happily kick your ass to Kingdom Come. (See the Lost Book of Petticoats, Chapt. 10: Verse 5).

The Arte y Pico blog from Uruguay is the originator of this award, and of course it makes me think of one of my favorite side dishes*, Pico de Gallo, which means "rooster comb," and fortunately for me does not contain any rooster comb, or it would be off my diet. Way off. Except that right now, I'm not sure those tomatoes are a good idea. Substitute red peppers. In fact, do that every time you use tomatoes, for awhile at least. (I'm a pepper.) "Arte y pico" seems to mean "Art and tip" or "Art and point" or "Art and sharp object" so this award is about sticking it to somebody.

These are the rules:
1) Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here: Arte y Pico.

Dr. Monkey, a Tennessee soulmate, whose honorary doctorate should be awarded for Anthropological Monkeyness, for chronicling all those cultural treasures, like other people's family albums, or League of Mullets movie reviews. It's a daily read, and always great.
Dr. Don, who really IS a doctor of a sort. He always has a thought-provoking topic and discussion going.
Mando Mama, my fellow music enabler (her term, and it works). It's always worth your time to promote something that's GOOD for humanity in general, like music, for instance. She loves the traditional stuff, and so do I. Always good topics and good discussions.
John Good, who not only has all the up to the minute political dirt, but also features great caption-worthy pics and thorough music features on people who deserve a listen.
Ptelea, who is all about nature and nurture of same... and photography. Cat-lover, treehugger, fellow Eric Johnson fan. Do go back into the archives there and look through the photos of daily sunrises. Now that's Arte y pico, to the best of my translation abilities!
Nava, I am going to break the rules (just to make a point... or is it pico?) and pick 6. She is a wonderful artist (or shall we say "arte-ist"?), and often takes me back to my previous days when I was an art student.

*yes, I know it's a "dip", but I prefer to eat it as a salad. :-)

Now I'm wanting to go to Maria's Taco XPress.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some people really DO hate puppies

This ad has caused Muslim outrage. Yes. For real. Why? Because dogs are "unclean."

I'm feeling a twinge of outrage myself.

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Roadhouse Rags

This is the place we went on Sunday night. I was still feeling pretty beat up from the party Saturday night (whining over my self-inflicted hangover) but couldn't miss Dennis and Noah at this cool venue. It's called Roadhouse Rags, and it's a vintage clothing store that has live music. Very friendly, good vibe, casual in the extreme. I think it was the other band, La Tampiquena, that provided the keg of beer, plus it was BYOB and potluck (bar-type snacks... I popped open a can of cashews. Done!). Shown above is a way to make regular old rocks look festive. There's a house dog, an old-timer who cracked us all up when he suddenly pulled an air somersault trying to catch a fly on his back. He did steal the show a couple of times.

I started feeling a whole lot better right away. The weather even cooled down a little and the coming rain brought some strong breezes, and we were long overdue for those. There's Dennis and Noah and all below, including house dog (actually, it's the South Austin Jug Band with a different guitar player), who are now calling themselves "Milkdrive."

Here was some of show-stealer's competition: a poodle with a very fancy haircut. That pic below... that's like Austin in a nutshell.

For me though, there was no competition for the "house kitten." I looked over and saw this tiny black tinkerbell angel poking her head in and out of the window of the shop. She was only a few weeks old, and was named "Aretha". I held her for a long time and she loved it. House dog looked really interested in taking a bite of her, and there wouldn't have been more than two bites. Such a sweet baby. I am making Henry jealous now with all this gushy talk about some other cat, but he should have no worries. He is top cat... infinity.

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