Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lighter Side of Getting Old

Sent to me in an email a couple of weeks ago.

All women should live so long as to be this kind of old lady!

Toward the end of Sunday service, the Minister asked, 'How many of you have forgiven your enemies?'

80% held up their hands.

The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.

'Mrs. Neely? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?'

'I don't have any.' She replied, smiling sweetly.

'Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?'

'Ninety-eight,' she replied. The congregation stood up and clapped their hands.

'Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?'

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said, 'I outlived the bitches.'

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hitchcockian sounds of Autumn and Winter

This is the corner of 6th and Lamar (Whole Foods, Waterloo Records), one of the places where birds congregate in great numbers in the Fall/Winter. Every tree or wire that you can see, as well as a lot of ledges and roof tops, are chock full of birds. The sound is incredible. I know of another area like this right next to Threadgill's on Riverside, and one at the intersection of MOPAC and Wm. Cannon. This area of Central Texas hits maximum bird population in November (by my perception).

{sorry for the shaky-cam}

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Disappointing, to say the least

Man goes looking for biological father... was really hoping for better news.

The other T-Day, TARDIS Day

This is the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Doctor Who on BBC. It debuted just one day after JFK was assassinated (what a terrible time to start a new show!) and had a very slow start, as you can imagine. It was just a little 25 minute sci-fi serial marketed to children, with episode cliffhangers to keep you watching, and now reigns as the longest running sci-fi show on TV.

We've only recently gotten hooked on this show (beginning with the new incarnation which began in 2005) as you can see by my DVD rentals list down there, and want to see as much of it as exists on DVD. David Tennant is my Doctor.

We might be turning into geeky Whovians, but we haven't gone so far as to having a TARDIS in the living room (yet). Picture below from a real estate listing for a house that not only has a TARDIS but a Dalek as well (click the link -- you'd hardly even notice the suit of armor standing there). You never where these things might turn up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 22, the simplest and most complex

The Crime of the 20th Century.

November 22, even the mention of the date will always make me sad. I am absolutely convinced that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy, and that there was more than one shooter. The only way there could have been a lone gunman would be if the "single bullet" fabrication was possible. Ballistics and other evidence from that day do not support it. Three shots: two hits and one miss. One of the shots hits JFK and Connally both, and manages to exit leaving more fragments behind than it was actually missing. When that 3-shot theory breaks down, then the lone gunman theory breaks down too. It's that simple. [JFK Lancer ballistics page] It's the only simple part of this whole incident though, and as far as I'm concerned, it's still unsolved.

Previous November 22 postings

My recommended JFK assassination reading list:

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty

Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy
by Jim Marrs

On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy by Jim Garrison

Coup D'etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Alan J Weberman, Michael Canfield

There are quite a few more that I've read and recommend, and lots that I haven't read too. Note: Oliver Stone had good intentions by bringing this stuff to the screen, but I dislike the fact that he changed things in order to make a movie out of it (as always must be done unless you are doing a documentary). This stuff is convoluted enough without making up composite characters, rearranging the timeline and stuff like that. Don't get the story from that. Consider the source, always.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There, I fixed it, and more.

Nice electric toothbrush. Good job of recycling too.
You said you wanted a hot shower... !
From nuts to soup.
Portable grill.
Proper labeling is so important.
These are all from a site I've been amusing myself with lately, called "There, I fixed it" (epic kluges and jury rigs, a celebration of duct tape, zip ties, stupidity and extreme MacGyverisms). Great, great collection of stuff. Also check these out, they are every bit as good, and are sister sites, (I think).

Item not as described (craigslist FAIL or just bizarro)
Lovely listing (hellish or extremely weird real estate listing photos)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend status update

Above, a closeup of one of the paintings on display on the East Austin Studio Tour going on this past weekend and next. The schedule was very complicated (too many events!) so we just meandered for awhile.There's one for you, Dr. Monkey! We like this example of recycling bottle caps, so now, guess what? We are saving bottle caps waiting for a creative use to hit us.

We only stayed a little while on the east side because the Green Austin event was going on at City Hall, where we went and won a nice attendance prize at a lecture: one of those "Kill-A-Watt" meters that measures the power you are using for one particular device or another. MrB loves it, as it's a green gadget, and it was free!

Saturday night we went out to Roadhouse Rags to see one of the new hot bands in town, The Trishas. The four official Trishas are Savannah Welch (Kevin's daughter), Liz Foster, Kelley Mickwee, Jamie Wilson, and they had Trisha Keefer as a guest on violin, so she was the Trisha named Trisha. They are all talented singers and there are strong songwriters in the band too. Most of all they just really sound good together. Really awesome. Here is their opening song, it's an old spiritual called "Moses"

I looked up this particular song and found some background on this page. OK, it's a textbook analysis, but helps keep the perspective on songs like this that weren't just "church music."
Since Moses was also the name by which the famous Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman was known, the song operates on at least two levels: 1) It draws on the Biblical story of Moses as a source of inspiration, and 2) it offers encouragement to the African American “Moses” – Harriet Tubman – in her divinely inspired work. The lyrics point to the danger surrounding the Underground Railroad: the danger of approaching horsemen on a chase, the risk of getting caught and rendezvous points (e.g., the graveyard), the risk of disapproval by children or other relatives. The lyrics also provide a picture of the sacred aura surrounding the work of the Underground Railroad: “Jordan rolling,” “angels moanin’!”

On Sunday we went to see "The Men Who Stare at Goats" which we both really liked, and recommend. Monday came around too soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I "Was" Somebody Else

"So much has happened in 4 weeks, it's hard to know where to begin...

Shaving my chest was not that big a deal. The tattoos though, getting those has made me feel like a whole new person."

(actual ad, I just sliced and stacked it to fit here better)
(and they get extra points for the misuse of quotation marks)

Let us pray... er... prey.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book burning rained out

Remember that church that was holding the the Halloween Book Burning so they could burn all of "Satan's Bibles," the ones that were not the King James Version... and they also included "Satan's popular books" written by "heretics" such as Billy Graham, Rick Warren, James Dobson, Mother Teresa, The Pope, and a long list of others, as well as "Satan's music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc."? Here's a link to their site, but be warned... the pages play non-Satanic music that has no mute button, so you'll have to use your computer's sound controls to do that.

Well, it was proclaimed to be a great success even though nothing was burned! Wouldn't you know... on the day of the big burning event, God made it rain! And then "those in authority" reminded them that they couldn't legally burn stuff anyway, so they just tore everything up (indoors) and threw it in a trash can. They made a video of the whole thing. You can view it here (it's a .wmv file and will prompt you to download it*) and it is a surreal 30+ minutes featuring a plastic trash can being filled with ripped up books, shots of feet, and closeups of the preacher's butt as it moves back and forth retrieving more stuff. There is some non-satanic music playing in the background and announcements of titles as they go in... Andy Warhol would have been proud. The most disturbing thing in it for me is when he broke and trashed the Tom Petty's Greatest Hits CD.

The lack of fire was disappointing, just picture it... a raging bonfire of Bibles under the moonlight on Halloween... how very heathen!The church's website is a butt-ugly horror with a bazillion pages, including one for ungodly politicians, which includes Obama of course, but also includes Dubya Bush, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John McCain and Sarah Palin! Actually the whole site is perversely entertaining, with their lists of things (including the good, bad and ugly of their county, such as a gas station that doesn't sell beer or lottery tickets - that's in the category of "good"). If you want a similar website for yourself, you can get ahold of this guy. He did it, and did it godly.

*I was soooo tempted to upload it to YouTube, but was afraid people would think it was really my video.

Weekend Roundup

Here it is Tuesday, so I'm trying to catch up with posting (plus I still have an award to pick up and run with). MrB returned from St. Louis, bringing me this souvenir (he's allergic to peanuts, or I would not have been gifted with this).

Saturday was beautiful, warm and sunny. I shopped at the chains on Brodie (for necessities) and spent time pulling weeds and being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Ended up wimping out on Saturday night of my Home Alone weekend, but that's not surprising. These days I'm not used to going out alone and not that comfortable with it. It's been years since I did that. Even after my friend called me at 9:30 or 10pm to tell me that Eric Johnson was in the house at the Saxon Pub I couldn't bring myself to get presentable, drive across town, then try to find parking followed by trying to squeeze myself into an already packed house for Stephen Bruton's birthday celebration. (geez, I am pathetic.) The Saxon Pub is a great place but IMHO does not do big crowds well. It's the tables and chairs... standing room only is one thing (such as Antone's), but dealing with seated people who want you to get out of their line of vision is another. It can be unpleasant... {sigh}. Last time I went through that it was worth it though, because it was New Year's Eve eve, and Stephen Bruton himself performed a couple of songs. He was fighting cancer, which finally got him him a little over four months later. Anyway, Saturday night I did watch the Austin City Limits Band of Heathens episode on TV, where we did get a crowd cameo shot, as I thought we might. :-)

Henry the cat was doing much better over the weekend. His pain meds are doubled now, and that's been a helper. He was a very bad patient on his day admission Friday, and I have to think it was because of having pain.

Sunday found me running through a parking lot with a full grocery cart in the pouring rain, but most of the stuff in there is bundled in plastic, glass or metal (Save the oatmeal!!!!). The rain on Sunday also got me out of MrB's yard work duties. Birdbaths = filled!

Monday I started out by stupidly burning my fingers on the hot stove (my brain disappeared briefly at approximately 4:45AM). Great way to start the week! They are fine today. I put ice on them immediately after, which is exactly what the Mayo Clinic website tells you NOT to do... so don't do that... but it didn't hurt me any. Today (Tuesday) there's some tenderness and a possible blister forming but that's it. Fine.

It's coming up on 6AM now, so gotta go get in the traffic soon.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Home alone weekend

I will be on my own this weekend, MrB is going to St. Louis to see his family members, leaving me with the cat care, birdbath duties, and trying to figure out all these damned remote controls. There are lots of events I've got penciled in, but will probably end up staying home instead, at least at night.

Henry the cat is having some health issues (picking him up from his day admission soon) so I might need to ratchet up my role of kitty caregiver. He wasn't able to stand up last night, his legs wouldn't hold him. My theory is that he jumped down from something, and with his arthritis ended up temporarily hurting himself. This morning he could walk again, but I wanted the doc to check him out anyway. [back from the vet now, don't know anything for sure, could be what I thought with the jump impact triggering sciatica, or possibly a heart issue... we won't know without an ultrasound at the cardiologist -- sigh]

Some weekend options:
The Celtic Festival is this weekend, both days. I loooove that music and this festival. It's in the blood. Cost is $12 per day I think, plus beer and snacks (some of which contain "treacle"). There's also Fun Fun Fun Fest if you prefer something harder. One of my favorite local bands, Shearwater, will be playing but I think I will have to wait for their CD release tour to see them.

Saturday night, Ruby Jane is having her 15th Birthday party at Roadhouse Rags. There will be good music, BYOB, and admission is $10. Also on Saturday night, Crooked Still is playing a free show down in San Marcos [venue]. Two excellent choices.

This is the last weekend for the Chuck Close exhibit at the museum. I think admission is $5. I really want to go to this so will probably drag my butt downtown for it on Saturday, and knowing me, will wimp out on the nighttime events.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

heh heh.. yeah...

"Suck it, Jesus"... not just Kathy Griffin's Emmy acceptance speech, it could also be Ringo Starr's reaction to his image being discovered in a droplet of water. Take a look at it here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

You'll get weird looks but won't even know it.

Having problems with glare? Maybe you bought a Snuggie® and it doesn't quite bundle up all the right things? Or just need some privacy?

Featured as one of the 15 Stupidest Products of All Time.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Austin's Heathens out there in the world now

Saw the Band of Heathens on Friday night. It was a beautiful crisp night in Threadgill's beer garden. They've been one of our favorite local bands since sometime in early 2006... thereabouts. They are getting out there in the world a lot lately, constantly on tour, so we don't get to see them that often here anymore... no more weekly gigs at Momo's or the Saxon Pub, and their latest record is #1 on the Americana playlist chart (there's a little animated ad on the sidebar of that page that I make, you can probably guess which one if you are a regular here). MrB took a bunch of videos, which all turned out good and are posted on my YouTube channel. Here is one of their new ones, an incredible song. I just love it.

Here's another one, this one is about 9 minutes long with some sweet vocals, organ, and guitar jams. Sit back and enjoy (hope it isn't hard to load, might need to hit pause and wait for the buffer to get ahead of you).

If you get Austin City Limits in your area (on PBS), they will be on there next week. Check your local listings.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saturday Halloween, giggles and screams

Halloween was on Saturday this year, and MrB wanted to do a costume (two things that are many many blue moons apart) so we gave out all the candy and went out afterwards. We found out that his costume was way too scary for some of the really little kids, and a few of them freaked out when he opened the door... I mean screams, tears, the works. I finally had to started answering the door (sans the box), because I could pass myself off as a weird Santa, when actually I was Dick In A Box (except that my "dick" was Dick Cheney).

It was really very funny having a fake beard, because I really could have passed for a man. I was coming out of the stall in the restroom and some women freaked for a moment, then we all had a good giggle. Here are some pics from down on 6th street where thousands of people milling around in costumes.

Around 10 we went down to Cheer Up Charlie's on East 6th (which was away from the big crowds) to see Or, The Whale from San Francisco. They are a wonderful band but they don't really have a following in Austin. It was a patio party with a great band, a fire pit, vegan food, and free beer (for tips). The whole night, including the beautiful weather, was a real treat.