Friday, April 30, 2010

Have a Willie Nice Day

Happy Birthday to Willie Nelson: Texas, American, and International treasure. He is 77.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Austin City Limits taping (it's a big f-ing deal)

[Austin Chronicle review][Statesman review: Sarah]
Just trying to catch up here. Our second Austin City Limits TV taping was on Tuesday: Sarah Jarosz and Steve Martin. Although we casually know Sarah and her folks, so does everybody and his brother around here (almost literally) so instead of asking for confirmed entry tickets I took a chance on the lottery email drawing - and incredibly - I won one of the 70 drawn (the drawing is for 2 tickets each). The ACL TV studio only holds 320 people (I think), the artists have a limited number of people they can invite, plus KLRU (our local PBS station), high roller benefactors, and corporate sponsors of the show are allowed a certain number of tickets - so even if you get a Space Available ticket, you better get your butt in the line early or you may not get in.

Early was 1:45 pm (for an 8pm show) and I was 3rd in line. Luckily, it was a beautiful, breezy, cooler-than-normal day, and the early-in-line bunch had a good time chatting around a patio table until it was time to hand out the line numbers at 5pm.

They line up the confirmed tickets at 7pm, and it looked like there were at least 200 people in that line (edit 4/29: I just learned that all the Space-Availables DID get in). The place was pretty packed when we got in, so we stood in front of the stage, one row back, for most of it.

If you've seen the show, you know that the studio setting is incredible-looking with amazing lighting. Also, the sound, especially front and center, is unbelievable.

Sarah was on first. Her career over the past year has been like the launch of a rocket - a well-received debut CD which got her a Grammy nomination, and now Austin City Limits. Up up up. She sounded amazing, and her new songs are stunning.

We both idolized Steve Martin back in the 70s, he was one of the funniest men on earth. His early movies were classic must-see comedies. He played the banjo (and very well) mostly as a prop or break during standup routines. He's been on a music tour in 2009/2010 with a band called the Steep Canyon Rangers, and they are quite a good bluegrass band.

I don't know why, but I didn't know that Steve was still a really funny man onstage. (Why would that surprise me?) Examples:
  • He started his show with the almost typical "Appearing on the Austin City Limits stage has been a dream of mine for many years... and tonight I am one step closer toward fulfilling that dream."
  • "I write from personal experience. This next song is called, 'I Think My Masseuse Is Too Chatty' "
  • On exiting the stage to let the band do a number alone, he said had to go because he hadn't googled himself for 25 minutes.
  • He's got a song called "Atheists don't have no songs" which was a funny song no matter what persuasion you are.
  • He played King Tut!! (I kind of prefer the old SNL version to the bluegrass one, but still... he played King Tut!!)

Our first ACL-TV taping was with The Band of Heathens last summer.

Newspapers still have value

From the magnificent clippings collections of

Monday, April 26, 2010

A quick update

I will get back in here soon with some updates! Have been busy either doing stuff or trying to recover. Went to Eeyore's Birthday Party on Saturday, then to see Sarah Jarosz and her wonderful band on Sunday. Here's a video below of them playing that old classic "The Way You Look Tonight." Sarah is the oldest of the three, being a month from turning 19, Alex Hargreaves on the violin just turned 18, and cellist Nathaniel Smith is only 16. Listen and enjoy!

I also won Space-Available tickets to see Sarah and Band along with Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin) at their Austin City Limits taping tomorrow night! It will be our 2nd ACL taping. It's very difficult to get tickets, and we got ours purely through the luck of the draw.

More on all of this later. Things have been very hectic.

Friday, April 23, 2010

If you've seen one nuclear war, you've seen them all

Ok. Well... this might is the weirdest public service announcement about avoiding nuclear holocaust that I've ever seen. Us boomers all had to sit through the cartoon turtle and his "Duck and Cover" where they told us if we got under our desks after being nuked that we'd probably be fine. Hay Joe here (the puppet) explains how to build your bomb shelter and what pamphlets you'll need. I was wondering why I hadn't seen these before, and now I think I know. These are off the scale, and the scale goes way out there. Running time, 10:30.

[source LINK]
found via my EJlist, FB, and blog friend RG.

Here's another one from Archive. org. This is your standard gov'mint issue PSA explaining how it's no big deal so stop worrying. The specific topic is radiation. Running time 20:14.

Beginning: Nuclear radiation, it's like the sun, it's natural, and it's your friend.
16:47 your biggest worry might be... baldness!!
9:48 A nuclear blast is not going to break up that card game - and keep on smoking, you may as well...
19:40 Mutations can be a good variation, an improvement... face the facts, your principal worry ought to be that your offspring *will* look just like you. Har har har.
Nuclear war is very much like conventional warfare, but with radiation, so try to be someplace else.
[source LINK]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Craziest. Health Care Reform Idea. Ever.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This woman actually thinks that doctors, hospitals and pharmacies should except barter for services - such as giving them chickens... or you could paint their house in exchange for a heart operation...

...and she is beating harry Reid in the polls. Oh, Nevada. You are bringing the silly.

More on this here (including more video links)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Jack Bauer finally meets his perfect woman. She actually loves torture more than he does. Last time around, he shot her in the neck and buried her alive - but she forgave him because he was undercover – and she was perfectly fine after an hour or so with just a bandaid on her neck and no pain, and they were hopelessly in love (unconsummated until recently, just a minute before the sniper shot her). During the current 24-hour segment (the 8th), she was so distracted taking vengeance stabbing on her old boyfriend (pumped up after cutting off that other dude’s thumb) that when cohort Jack came in she stabbed him too – right in the stomach!! But it was totally OK with him, and an hour later he is fully recovered with just a bandage and doesn't even seem to be in pain. Click the fuzzy thumbnail (a symbolic one, thankfully) for a hilarious fakebook status entry for Renee's character. That is 24 World. More impossible than than the most outlandish daytime soap opera, or even LOST.

We watch this show like a train wreck. I swear, the plot is so silly and outrageous, I think they might be making it up as they go. Yes, I know... it's a rightwing favorite with rightwing writers, but they have had many sympathetic characters that you would not expect from the political right, even progressive Presidents and well-meaning Muslims.

If you can look at it expecting the ridiculous, then it can be enjoyable and fun. I think the most outrageous character from this season (day) is the hillbilly white trash Russian mole at CTU.

After each episode of 24, I go and read Dave Barry, where there will be live-blogging that sums up the mood fo the show perfectly. I found the Facebook Renee on this blog, where there is plenty of worthy 24 homage.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring bugs

Saw a couple of swarms of these insects flying upwards from the ground. There were thousands of them. Unfortunately, they are almost certainly Swarming Termites. Chem-Free has been called. They are probably not an immediate threat to the house (especially since they are not IN the house), but call me freaked-out anyway. This is one of those "remain calm" situations. Not gonna happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Helloooo Springfield!

This was our view from the place we had lunch last Saturday. MrB looked at this and said it reminded him of the Simpsons' opener. This is what happens when you watch a lot of TV.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We have been cruelly misidentified!

Taken at Austin Zoo (which is a rescue organization), and I'm sure they know what these critters are. ;-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Seen at...

Waterloo Records. Plushie hand grenade.

Loco programming

It's hard to find anything good on TV on Sunday morning. On Sunday, I prefer to avoid politics, and seems like the rest is preachers, sports I don't care about, travel shows about places I can't go or cooking shows featuring food I won't eat. Then there's Public Access, where you can often find some wild and crazy stuff. This is a link to the exact show I saw this morning (that goes to a ~30 minute clip, but here are a couple of shorter ones featuring the same *star*)

I can't even tell the purpose of this Public Access show (religious, probably)(?), only that he gets a caller that he can't hang up on because the phone is malfunctioning. Even after he thinks he's finally managed to disconnect the guy, he comes roaring back. It's a hilarious interaction between a couple of idiots.

This caller to a Christian show has been reading the Rick James Version of the Bible.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Caturday: Talk Birdy To Me

This is Martin. He lives next door but spends a lot of time in our yard. It's easy to see one reason for that. We don't approve of bird-traps (like this one that just popped up with the emergence of these tall poppies), and so have since moved the birdbath to another area.

Martin is an absolute sweetie-pie, and greets us almost everyday asking for belly-rubbins. He will do this 'til the cows come home.

He cohabits with another black cat who is very people-shy, and he has not let us pet him yet. Here's a closeup of Martin from the above shot, looking adorable.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The truth shall set you free

The truth shall set you free, but healing the damage caused by the lies is going to take some work.

The "most hated person in America" used to be noted atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair. It's somewhat interesting that now the "most hated person" is Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, and his family and followers. They are hated because they do everything possible to spread a message of hate and fear. Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son became a Christian fundamentalist whose organization does its best to try and turn our government into a theocracy.

Nate Phelps, the son of Fred Phelps, is a freethinker and a non-believer. Read more about how he managed to endure the cruel, harsh conditions dealt out by a patriarch with more openly expressed hate-mongering than any rightwing pundit you can think of.

He escaped becoming one of the "God Hates ____" crowd, but is still dealing with post-traumatic stress and the lingering fears that are hard to purge after they've been pounded into your brain so hard. He was one of the main inspirations for the forming of this support Group, "Life After Christian Fundamentalism" (which I think I may join when I get more time to participate).

Also, check out Nate's website, and blog.

This is a topic that I feel close to, as it's a journey that I have made as well, and want to say more about it but it is just going to have to wait until work eases up on me a bit.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Me Me Meme

I stole this from Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein, who is worth visiting every day without missing any.

Hi, my name is:
Blueberry (not my real name though)

Never in my life have I been: a mother.

The one person who can drive me nuts is: [was] my mother.

High school: is something that I cared nothing about, and still don't.

When I’m nervous: I get a red face.

The last song I listened to was: on the new Shearwater album.
If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honor: I'm not one to respect wedding traditions, and don't need a maid of honor in any case. That's just silly.
My hair is: still brown and not dyed, but always unruly.

When I was 5: I loved mythology, dinosaurs, and Liberace.

Last Christmas: was barely even noticed.

I should be..: retired, but that may never happen.

When I look down I see: a cat who wants something.
The happiest recent event was: SXSW music annual day party crawl.

If I were a character on ‘Friends’ I’d be: oops. I forgot to ever watch "Friends."

By this time next year: I have no idea because I don't plan that far.

My current gripe is: I am underpaid.

I have a hard time understanding: the enjoyment of killing animals.

There’s this girl I know that: doesn't like being called a "girl"

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: MrB

Take my advice: don't stay in a situation that makes you unhappy or doesn't let you grow as a person.
The thing I want to buy: I'd love an iPhone but can't afford the bill.
If you visited the place I was born: you'd be on an Air Force Base in Arizona. Visit in August for the whole experience. Take a sun hat, and watch out for scorpions.

I plan to visit: someplace when we know longer would need to hire a cat nurse.

If you spent the night at my house: expect to have your sleep disturbed by cats, also the guest bathroom is owned by a cat - expect to play second fiddle to cats, that's what we do.
I’d stop my wedding if: I was asked to promise to "obey" or be Christian.

The world could do without: hateful religious nuts.

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: vote Republican or TeaBagger.

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: for ME and not US? Jeans from Goodwill.

Most recent thing someone else bought me: an Xmas "pressie" from the UK.

My favorite blonde (blond) is: Legolas

My favorite brunette is: MrB

My favorite redhead is: my friend Lee who moved from the USA to the UK and ended up married to a Moody Blue.

My middle name is: not going to be revealed here either.

In the morning I: get up way too early.

The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: capybaras, or maybe pigs.

Once, at a bar: I met the love of my life.

Last night I was: at the Nutty Brown Cafe watching Del Castillo.

There’s this guy I know who: plays guitar.

If I was an animal I’d be: a big cat.

A better name for me would be: Rose.

Tomorrow I am: working a long day, repeat that 4 more times and you have described my week.

Tonight I am: finished watching a DVD and hoping to get some sleep.

My birthday is: Aug. 24.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Not So Good Friday

Filipinos nailed to the cross for Good Friday

Hellish tradition repeated again this year.


Well... they are celebrating a crucifixion by crucifying themselves. There is some very sick and twisted logic in there.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Rush Limbaugh is leaving the country over the Health Care Law! He is keeping his promise! Read more here.