Thursday, February 26, 2009

Purrsday Night - The Bystanders

These are a couple of neighborhood cats. I have blogged the longhaired calico before, she demands petting by rubbing against your legs, but will offer you teeth and claws whether you pet her or not... but she's a prissy and pretty thing. Her name is "Fluffy." Here is Fluffy, playing the innocent kitty, not doing a thing wrong, just sitting here by the bird feeder. Is that a crime?

Cat #2 is one of our neighborhood kitlers.

A kitler is a cat who looks like Hitler. I didn't make it up. Here's the kitler website, and below is what they consider to be the best example of a kitler.

And here is Princess Fluffy, who has no problem jumping the fence to get into the backyard, but likes to wait until you come out and open the gate for her so she can leave the yard in a more ladylike fashion. She's a charmer.

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I was tagged on Facebook with this one by konagod, but decided to do it here since I don't have that many Facebook friends yet.

Here's the setup:
"Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. They might not be what you listen to now, but these are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world." After that you are supposed to tag 15 people, which I am not going to do - but if you want to play, tag yourself and let me know in a comment. :-)

Not too long ago I did the "Seven Greatest Albums of All Time", but this list will be stuff I just went crazy for and wore it out - mostly all from the 60s and 70s, all on vinyl. These are arranged chronologically by release year.

Meet the Beatles (1964)

I Want To Hold Your Hand, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, It Won't Be Long, All I've Got To Do, All My Loving, Don't Bother Me, Little Child, Till There Was You, Hold Me Tight, I Wanna Be Your Man, Not A Second Time

I was just the right age when the Beatles came to America to have my world turned upside-down by a rock band. This album, and The Beatles' Second Album came out in 1964, I got them both, and was absolutely flipped. Crushing on John Lennon was only part of it. They were simply different from anything I'd ever heard before, and still can't be beat.

The Rolling Stones Now! (1965)

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Down Home Girl, You Can't Catch Me, Heart of Stone, What a Shame, Mona (I Need You Baby), Down the Road Apiece, Off the Hook, Pain in My Heart, Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin'), Little Red Rooster, Surprise, Surprise

I never chose between The Beatles and Stones, I loved both of them. The Stones were fascinating, and their "bad" image was impossible to resist. The drew heavily on old American blues, soul and Chuck Berry, and had a sexy, seductive sound and look - that soulful harmonica and Mick's James Brown styled dance. I crushed heavily on Brian Jones at age 12, but Mick and Keith were also part of the obsession. The topics were more grown-up than me, but I was familiar with the rural dive bar, roadhouse, and barfly so it wasn't altogether alien.

The Yardbirds - Having a Rave Up (1965)

Mister You're a Better Man Than I, Evil Hearted You, Still I'm Sad, Heart Full of Soul, I'm a Man, Train Kept A-Rollin', Smokestack Lightning, Respectable, I'm a Man, Here 'Tis

OK, can you tell that I am a British Invasion freak? Yes, I still love that music, and back then I still searched beyond the hit singles for those deep album cuts. As you probably know, the Yardbirds had 3 of the greatest ever rock guitarists as members: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. All of them have very distinctive styles, and of those 3 (and I love them all), Jeff Beck is my favorite. This album's covers of old American blues numbers are what I love most about it - they are very intense and fresh takes: I'm a Man, Smokestack Lightning - that stuff is just awesome. Heart Full of Soul is classic Yardbirds with a sound that foreshadowed the psychedelic guitar-oriented rock that wasn't really around yet, but was influenced by tracks like this (among other things) {grin}. If you added For Your Love to this album, it could stand as a Yardbirds album that didn't need anything else. I will never forget when we moved to Greece in 1965 - I was a 12 year old kid and know what to expect the place to be like - then on our first night there in the hotel someone was playing For Your Love at full volume on the nearby beach. It's hard to explain how it made me feel.

Them (1965) UK name The Angry Young Them

Here Comes the Night, Mystic Eyes, Don't Look Back, Little Girl, One Two Brown Eyes, Gloria, If You and I Could Be As Two, I Like It Like That, I'm Gonna Dress in Black, (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66, Go On Home Baby

Continuing with the British Invasion, this is Van Morrison's early band, and contains 2 incredible timeless rocking tracks: Here Comes the Night and G-L-O-R-I-A. It's hard to top Gloria. I am an eccentric freak who prefers Van Morrison's THEM to Van Morrison solo. I know you don't agree, hardly anyone does, and I don't expect it. It's just personal preference.

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

Like a Rolling Stone, Tombstone Blues, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, From a Buick 6, Ballad of a Thin Man, Queen Jane Approximately, Highway 61 Revisited, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, Desolation Row

I was a big fan of Dylan from early on, and love all his records up through and including Blonde on Blonde. This is the newly electrified Dylan. I love every minute of it.

Help - The Beatles (1966, UK version)

Help!, The Night Before, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, Another Girl, You're Going To Lose That Girl, Ticket To Ride, Act Naturally, It's Only Love, You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, I've Just Seen A Face, Yesterday, Dizzy Miss Lizzy

The records I got in 1965-1966 were bought in Europe so they are the UK versions, and this one is really a lot different than the American one. Again, I don't have a Beatle album I didn't obsess over, but I will pick this one because of the movie. I saw it in Greece at an outdoor theatre, it was like a drive-in without cars, everyone was in rows of chairs with the big screen in front of us, and we were under the night sky. Watching the band playing these (new) songs in living color - and they were so beautiful (the band *and* the songs) that I was ecstatic.

The Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds (1967)

OK, this is trippy, as trippy as it gets. This album has been listed as a major influence by Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and others. The instructions on the back say that you must listen in the dark. Dramatic poetry and mood-inducing compositions using flutes, Moog synthesizer, harpsichord or whatever else was handy. You can listen to some of here on its MySpace page. Wonderfully dated.

Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (1967)

The Day Begins, Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling, The Morning: Another Morning, Lunch Break: Peak Hour, The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?), (Evening) Time to Get Away, Evening: The Sunset, Twilight Time, The Night: Nights in White Satin, Late Lament

The record label wanted the Moody Blues to record Dvorak's New World Symphony and they were going to release it as a quadrophonic aural experiment. Instead, they balked in the studio and recorded their own compositions, but it was still what the label was looking for: a perfect blending of rock and the symphony. If you listened to The Zodiac, you can really hear the influence of it here, especially with the inclusion of dramatic poetry recitation.
Late Lament
Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another days' useless energy's spent
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her son
Senior citizens wish they were young
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is gray and yellow, white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion.
I am quoting that from memory only, no cheating, no looking. (it might have errors.) This is simply a gorgeous album. I think that Twilight Time and Dawn is a Feeling are my favorites.

Jeff Beck - Truth (1967)

Shapes of Things, Let Me Love You, Morning Dew, You Shook Me, Ol' Man River, Greensleeves, Rock My Plimsoul, Beck's Bolero, Blues De Luxe, I Ain't Superstitious

Rod Stewart, before his pop commercial day, just wailin' the bluesy soul!! He's incredible, and the guitar stylings make this album something unique, even to this day. And look at these credits (pasted from wikipedia):
* Jeff Beck - guitars, vocals, arranger; bass on "Ol' Man River"
* Rod Stewart - vocals (except on "Greensleeves" and "Beck's Bolero")
* Micky Waller - drums (except on "Greensleeves" and "Beck's Bolero")
* Ronnie Wood - bass (except on "Ol' Man River", "Greensleeves" and "Beck's Bolero")
* Nicky Hopkins - piano on "Morning Dew", "You Shook Me", "Beck's Bolero" and "Blues Deluxe"
* Keith Moon - drums on "Beck's Bolero", tympani on "Ol' Man River" (credited for the latter as "You Know Who")
* Jimmy Page - 12-string rhythm guitar on "Beck's Bolero"
* John Paul Jones - bass on "Beck's Bolero" and Hammond Organ on "Ol' Man River" and "You Shook Me"
* Mysterious Scottish Bloke - bagpipes on "Morning Dew"


Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland (1968)

...And the Gods Made Love, Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland), Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Chile, Little Miss Strange, Long Hot Summer Night, Come On (Part 1), Gypsy Eyes, Burning of the Midnight Lamp, Rainy Day Dream Away, 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be), Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away, Still Raining, Still Dreaming, House Burning Down, All Along the Watchtower, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Jimi Hendrix, at some point in the late 60s, exploded into space. He was no longer of this earth when it came to his music. You couldn't even tell where it came from because it was so unlike anything before it. You can't explain it away with drugs, because the same level of drug use does not turn most people into a Jimi Hendrix. This double record will blow you away. I was lucky enough to see him live in 1970 at the Atlanta Pop Festival.

Led Zeppelin (1969)

Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, Dazed and Confused, Your Time Is Gonna Come, Black Mountain Side, Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, How Many More Times

This is still my favorite LZ album, maybe because when I first saw the band it was only a few months after this was released, I'd never heard of them but was blown away, to say the least. This is still an intensely wonderful listen.

Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed (1969)

Gimme Shelter, Love In Vain, Country Honk, Live With Me, Let It Bleed, Midnight Rambler, You Got The Silver, Monkey Man, You Can't Always Get What You Want

This one is not any better than Exile on Main Street or Sticky Fingers, the Stones were hitting full stride with those 3 records. I picked this one because I saw them (from the front rail) on the tour where this was released, but truthfully it's impossible to pick one over the others.


Johnny Winter - Guitar, Vocals
Edgar Winter - Keyboards
Uncle John Turner - Percussion
Tommy Shannon - Bass
Guest: the great Willie Dixon

I'm Yours & I'm Hers, Be Careful With A Fool, Dallas, Mean Mistreater, Leland Mississippi Blues, Good Morning Little School Girl, When You Got A Good Friend, I'll Drown In My Tears, Back Door Friend

If Robert Plant had my favorite howl then Johnny Winter had my favorite growl. I saw him numerous times at festivals in the 60s, and he was my very favorite flat out blues rock guitar player. His whole band was Texan, and the sound was all-Texan too, although that didn't mean anything to me at the time. I just liked it... a whole lot. Since I moved to Austin, I've seen his rhythm section, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John Turner (now deceased) many times at club shows, but passed up the chance to see JW when he played at Antone's last year. I guess I was secretly afraid I'd spoil my memories, or what's left of them. There's always a danger of that when you revisit things/places/people from your childhood or teenage years.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will The Circle Be Unbroken (1972) (3 record set)

Grand Ole Opry Song, Keep on the Sunny Side, Nashville Blues, You Are My Flower, The Precious Jewel, Dark as a Dungeon, Tennessee Stud, Black Mountain Rag, Wreck on the Highway, The End of the World, I Saw the Light, Sunny Side of the Mountain, Nine Pound Hammer. Losin' You (Might Be the Best Thing Yet), Honky Tonkin', You Don't Know My Mind, My Walkin' Shoes, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Cannonball Rag, Avalanche, Flint Hill Special, Togary Mountain, Earl's Breakdown, Orange Blossom Special, Wabash Cannonball, Lost Highway, Doc Watson & Merle Travis First Meeting (Dialogue), Way Downtown, Down Yonder, Pins and Needles (In My Heart), Honky Tonk Blues, Sailin' on to Hawaii, I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes, I am a Pilgrim, Wildwood Flower, Soldier's Joy, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Both Sides Now

This features a long list of legendary country/folk/bluegrass/traditional performers (like Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Vassar Clements, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and more) and material. Country music had always been an important part of rock'n'roll, but this album brought the old traditional stuff, its form left intact, to the rock crowd. I was brought up on that music, so I didn't need much convincing, but I know this collection was a life-changer for lots of people. It's titled appropriately because it brought me back to my roots music, full circle.

Bruce Springsteen - The Wild the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle (1973)

The E Street Shuffle, 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), Kitty's Back, Wild Billy's Circus Story, Incident on 57th Street, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), New York City Serenade

I moved out on my own right after high school, moved to the big city (St. Louis) all by myself. I rented a seedy, roachy apartment in a four-family brownstone, 3 rooms, no closets, no sink in the bathroom. I could hardly even afford that. I was very poor, and even working full-time for minimum wage I wasn't really able to afford basic things after the rent was paid -- but living on my own was so liberating, and the inner city presented an adventure, even though it was dangerous (and there's no way I would want to live in a place like that now, I'm too scared of things, but back then I was fearless). I guess that's why these songs really resonated. I got really hooked on them. Bruce Springsteen played St. Louis in 1974 in a fairly small theatre and I talked my live-in boyfriend into going. He had never heard of Bruce Springsteen (this was really early in his career) but we went and it was one of the best live shows I ever saw in my life. I hung around afterward and got his autograph (on a torn matchbook) as he was sitting in the car with a woman. A few years later, I gave the autograph away during a whacked-out religious phase where I was purging "earthly treasures." What an idiot I have been at times. All water under the bridge.

Dicks du Jour

[LINK] Company lays off 3,000 workers (one third of workforce) (1,200 of the jobs were local) without providing severence pay. Now they can afford to restore executive salaries to their previous levels after cutting them by 10% last October.
Workers noted that former CEO Bertrand Cambou was paid a full year’s base salary (just over $751,000) plus a four-month consulting fee when he resigned suddenly at the end of January.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Willie's friend in high places

I like this picture! Two of my favorite people. This was taken during Willie's 2005 FarmAid. Obama has come a long way since he needed an all-access pass around his neck to get backstage. OK, he was a little more than backstage, he was there as the Senator from Illinois, and got to introduce Wilco. Watch and listen at this link, and read Willie's recent letter to Obama on behalf of FarmAid.

Found on Austin360 music

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday shopping bargains

This is a mural over in East Austin that I like a lot. I believe (but could be wrong) that the artist is Federico. It's on the side of a restaurant about a block from the Obama Store ("Presidential Sweet" as the window banner proclaims) at 1111 11th Street in Austin where CASH was KING today. They were planning on being open until Inauguration Day but it's remained popular so they have moved the closing day to the end of March. We really need to spend more time over there in east Austin before they bulldoze it for McMansions and condos. Here's what I got for $10 at the Obama Store.

The weather was beautiful today and I got the shopping bug, so I also went to Goodwill, where I got these fabulous flip-flips! They were brand new, and still had the original tag for $29.99 on them. I got them for $4.99 (and loving them!). Here's the website for this flip-flop company who understands that there are adults who want to wear kid's stuff but it's hard to find in our size. ;-) Check them out! They're called "hotflops,": these have grapes, banana, butterfly, lily and bee. Lots more options at the link.

Blueberry's blues

 I need to chill.

Get away from the computer. Be unavailable.

Maybe grab the bag of pennies and go out on the town a little. Socialize!

Or just do nothing and try to relax.

Probably not gonna happen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

These aren't the movies you're looking for

Star Wait clip (first 10 minutes or so)
I just got this DVD called "Star Wait" for $5 at Half-Price Books, it's a documentary about the hardcore Star Wars fans who lined up 6 weeks in advance for Episode II: Attack of the Clones. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Hardcore fanaticism is something that is bound to weird you out, but only if the level of it higher than your own. Yes. It is definitely waaay over the top to wait in line for a movie for 6 weeks on the sidewalk, as these people did (a lot of them did it all 3 times... and that was after Episode I disappointed them as they admitted later), but as the whole thing progressed you could see what an absolute blast they were having, and how so much of it just about bonding with others - plus I would absolutely LOVE to watch a movie where the crowd is loving it so much that it's like a live concert of your favorite band. Anyone seen Fanboys? I want to see that one. I am a fangirl at heart, and I've gone overboard for more than one passion in my lifetime. I tend to obsess until I wear myself (and people around me) out - then move on to something else. One of the things I obsessed over briefly was Star Wars, and I am talking about roughly ~1980-1985. (I was an adult.) I was hit with too much real-life between that time and when Episode I Phantom Menace came out to maintain the same level of interest, but, because of Phantom Menace I have developed a love-hate thing for George Lucas - whatever I worshipped about him is either gone or maybe never was there. It's like being in love and later seeing things differently when your head clears. The trailer for "The People vs. George Lucas" below really illustrates a lot about this particular passion/obsession. One quote from the trailer struck me: "The hatred that people claim they have for the new films proves how profoundly they love them." It actually makes a lot of sense to me. I have watched Ep III Revenge of the Sith, (which most people agree is the best of the newer trilogy) many times, and I think that I am hoping it will grow on me, that my old love will be redeemed. Not so far. Here's a vid that I always get a big kick out of. It's "what if George Lucas had directed The Lord of The Rings," which is my Reigning Favorite Trilogy Ever (also favorite movies ever). I saw Hayden Christiansen in a movie called Shattered Glass which was made in between the 2 SW movies, and I thought he was good in it, but Lucas managed to even get mediocre performances out of Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson and many more good actors (biggest. waste. of. Sam Jackson. ever.)... and the script in this trilogy!!! Blehh. (The only acting exception for this trilogy in my book was Ian McDiarmid/Palpatine). Ditch the good stories and character development in favor of special effects, computerize as much as possible, and merchandize! I still love the SW Original Trilogy, especially Eps IV and V. That's good moviemaking. I still don't think I could have spent 6 weeks on the sidewalk though, not even for those (or for Lord of the Rings either).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Countdown = Caption Kings

On Countdown they did a little feature on Karl Rove's Twitter and the recent hunting pictures he's been posting. I have to say that this is one of the best captions I've seen them do:

Something else I stumbled across is Karl Rove's Youtube channel. Click here to see the happy dancing turd having a going-away card signed for Dubya (yes, he dances). I have to admit, I was just as happy about it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sodom and Gomorrah Teddy Bears


Conservative columnist is outraged by "How inappropriate commercials have cheapened an important holiday."

You know... ever since the "Saint" part was removed, it's hard for a right-wing conservative Christian to celebrate it properly. He's disgusted with the teddy bears and pajama-grams and the suggestiveness of...everything! He even used the phrase "galloping towards Gomorrah." Some background on Vs-Day is provided by the History Channel here:
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure.
February 14 has been a "romantic" holiday since the Middle Ages. Not sure what the columnist thinks the holiday should go back to...

I would tend to agree, though, that some of the advertising has become obscene simply because of the plugging of diamonds. Ugh. It's just not the kind of obscene he's talking about.

Weinermobile brings excitement to otherwise uneventful day

Yesterday (Saturday) turned out to be chillier than hoped for (cooler than 60°, overcast and breezy) so Central Market moved The Quebe Sisters onto the smaller patio and surrounded it with plastic, so of course, with less room there it was jam-packed so we bailed and went up the road to the Triangle. Mandola's (love that name, because I love the mandola!) provided some really really good pizza although it was packed to the gills too. Right across from that is the Flying Saucer, which has one of the best beer selections you can find anywhere, so we had a couple of pints and spent the rest of the evening in. Today was much nicer, weather-wise, and the highlight of the day - at least for MrB - was a close encounter with the Weinermobile. The camera was ready for the big event:

They were also giving away these provocative little whistles:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stuttering cat ironing in kitchen

This is one of my dad's old Valentines from school. I have a bunch of these somewhere in the trunks (::: looking for them :::). On the back it says "To Junior from Andy" Below is a pic of my dad in school in 1929 so it's likely that Andy is in the picture too.

Any plans for V-Day? I am notoriously unromantic, hate receiving cut flowers, and hate diamonds and all the bullshit that surrounds them (from the cruelty involved in their harvest all the way to the ad campaigns that tell you that expensive gifts create love).

We don't exchange gifts for any holidays, including this one... not that we won't do anything on Saturday. There might be a movie in store but I'm not even sure what I want to see. If you live around here, you might want to head over to Central Market North Lamar where the Quebe [quay-bee] Sisters are playing and singing old-timey western swing starting at 12:30 (noonish). Always a delight, and weather should be great. I probably wouldn't mind some red wine and chocolate on the patio.

Double Dog Dare - Hard to Resist

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Furbaby Friday - Fully vetted

Henry had his routine weigh-in, and although he's doing pretty well in general, unfortunately, he hasn't gained an ounce in the last month - but hasn't lost either.

While I was there with Henry, I mentioned that Jax was very itchy even though he supposedly had a depo medrol shot at the dermatologist's... so... I unloaded Henry at home and hauled Jax up there for a shot (cortisone, I think) that should get him out of this beautiful plastic cape (a.k.a. his e-collar) for a little while anyway. The shot went in the muscle - and it HURT. Also, he starting spitting foam while he was there (the vet thinks she may have accidentally smeared mineral oil on his mouth) - so all the rest of the afternoon he was a foam-spitting LOUD MEOWER who was definitely mad at all of us.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Three Tabby Cats in Vienna on Sunday - -

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Low rent travelogue, Chapter 2

Here's Chapter 2 of my Growing-Up-Military series, which I started last summer when I wrote about my first 2 years in Phoenix (1953-1955). After spending 6 more months in Colorado while my dad took a class, he was headed for Johnston Island and we were to follow shortly. I was a precocious little thing (disgustingly so), and managed to get in front of an open mic radio broadcast where I recited the Lord's Prayer from memory, and dedicated it to my mother and to each grandparent and to my daddy who was on his way to Johnston Island.
Johnston Island was originally used as a bird sanctuary until the American military took it over. The island was only a quarter mile wide and a mile long at the time (it has since gotten larger through dredging), so the base took up every square inch of it and made it resemble an aircraft carrier.
These scans are from an orientation booklet that they gave the guys - and I do mean "guys" because there were almost no women on the island at all - and the booklet points out in a couple of places that they can get all their necessities there - except "dolls".
My dad was very lucky that he wasn't there after 1958 because they started doing nuclear testing. The detonations were in space overhead, but there was one mishap (Starfish Prime) that caused the island to get a good dusting of plutonium, along with quite a few other thermonuclear events (Operation Dominic and others)

The base was used as a storage facility for all sorts of WMDs in the 70s, including nuke stuff, chemical weapons, sarin, Agent Orange, mustard gas... and there were a number of accidents involving those too during the 1990s (see the link). By 2003 the incredibly massive stockpiles and the facility were destroyed, and the island has been redesignated as a wildlife sanctuary, although not exactly the same condition that Mother Nature would have preferred. Below, a few barrels of Agent Orange, some leaky, from this website.

My mother and I didn't go to Johnston Island. The military didn't end up allowing us to go there, so our poverty forced us to have to move in with my maternal grandparents in Carbondale IL. They had a "room" in their basement, and those quote marks are appropriate as it was just an area with a couple of cots. The coal furnace was down there with us, and somebody had to continuously shovel the coal into the furnace to keep the heat going so it was a sooty and smelly place to live, although not the worst place I ever lived. It was very much the opposite of our next destination: Hawaii 1956. That will be Chapter 3.
[Unofficial website Johnston memories]

Waiting for the Cable Guy

(posting this remotely) Our cable went out yesterday afternoon, which also means no internet or email. I am so tied to those things, it's amazing - not to mention that I can't get any freelance work done, or even know that something has hit the InBox. I have been reduced to scrapbooking - looking through the trunks, sorting and scanning moldy old things. If I don't respond to something, it's because I probably didn't see it. It's times like these that I wish I had an iPhone.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Barking up the wrong tree

I got this survey along with a letter, addressing me as a member of the Republican Party. PHFFFFT! This note is what they will be getting back, and they will be paying for the postage.

(dontcha love this Obamicon? I can't take credit for it)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Post Cards from Nowhere, pt. 5

Either this poor, absolutely helpless and clueless man is utterly unable to get dressed without his daughter's assistance - or - his daughter has taken a fancy to his only shirt and run away with it.

This one seems to be both to and from Canaan, MO, although I can't blame Anna Weymeyer for spending the penny rather than walk the message out to R.F.D. No. 1 herself.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pointy Bird House

My second birdhouse made from a yard sign turned out stylish. It's made from the corrugated plastic sign left here by the tree trimmers, a company called "Good Morning Tree." Cute name but I keep wanting to call them Morning Wood. Down the street there's a sign from another company called "Adam's Apple," but the very best name of a local tree company is "They Might Be Monkeys."

Anyway, I decided to see if the birds will like this triangular pointy architecture. Just thinking of the words "pointy" and "birds" brings down the hell of getting a damned silly phrase stuck in my head, this one courtesy of Steve Martin in The Man With Two Brains:
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy,
Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

Steve Martin used to be so funny, it almost didn't matter what he said... HE was funny. The Pointy Birds had a little impact. There was (maybe still is?) a band called The Pointy Birds, and you can see them on YouTube googling themselves.

There is also this prize-winningly (although intentionally) hideous website based on the ode to the pointy birds. Oh go ahead - click it!

Must. Have.

[sent to me by a co-worker... and I do appreciate it!]
hee hee