Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Uneventful Day

Surprisingly. Maybe they had second thoughts about giving people the axe on Halloween.

I got all drunk and shit last night so that I'd be in a "fuck it all" mood at work today, and it backfired.

Nothing happened.

So I spent the day working on my resume and cover letter and chatting back and forth with my boss who informed me that the new agency taking over the big account doesn't really like to do telecommuters.

Gee, what century are we in?

Anyway, I spent most of the rest of the day checking out New York apartments and researching cost of living comparisons. I found several apartments I like in Manhattan, some are walking distance to the agency. Most of them are between $4,000 and $5,700 a month. The gourmet kitchens are particularly attractive.

I also learned that to maintain my current standard of living I'd need to make a wee bit over $200,000 in New York. Granted, my current standard of living is a bit distorted because I'm trying to sock away so much extra cash with my overtime, so the true figure is probably more like $100,000, and I'd have to do a major compromise on the apartment options.

On the other hand, I do like socking away extra cash every month. And something inside me says moving from a nice house on a one-acre lot about 20 minutes from downtown Austin to a smaller apartment in Manhattan is not exactly maintaining the same standard of living.

But it is New York. Plenty of people would give anything to live there. I know I wanted to when I was like.... 16. It has lost a lot of appeal over the years, for me at least.

I have a feeling it would be fun for about 2 weeks, feeling like a vacation perhaps, and then reality would set in.

Here's my definition of fun. Sending my juicy resume to the agency, getting them all hot and bothered with my experience (rumor has it they are freaking out about not having this account in capable hands), and then saying "oops, sorry, I can't move. No way."

They could take it or leave it. The only problem is, I don't have a backup plan. There's no option B on the table yet. And when there is one, it's also likely to result in a significantly lower standard of living adjustment.

So, I'm not happy right now. Downright depressed.

Happy Halloween!

A song from txrad's head this morning:

Bad Taste

From Petulant’s quick trigger finger:

And Bad Omen perhaps. As I trudge into work this morning, on a day when layoffs are rumored to be likely and widespread, that might be the phrase of the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Democratic Debate:

Everything I ever needed to know about politics

I learned from my cats.

First off, you rip at delicate thresholds. Then you disrupt flow.

Then you accuse the disadvantaged of waging war against the machinery.

Then you revel in your patriotic glory.

If it's all so simple, WHY don't we get it?

R.I.P. Robert Goulet

He was 73. The man and his music:

"Keep Off The Grass"

"Did you ever stop and ask yourself why?"

When the Shit Hits the Fan I Have a Front Row Seat

But I know where the showers are.

Important files saved to disc. Check.
Outlook Address Book saved to disc. Check.
Resume located and ready to update. Check.

Supposedly the shitstorm could happen on Wednesday. I'm wearing my waterproof and stainproof parka.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I DO plan to go into the office on Wednesday with a hangover. It might be the last hangover I can afford to have for awhile. And even if I don't get the axe, at least it'll numb my nerves to the chaos around me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Monday Beer Blogging!

Shiner has a new brew out, presumably for Halloween perhaps, or maybe because I'm just getting back into a Goth/Heavy Metal mood.

Black is beautiful. And depending on whom you ask, probably dangerous.

We shall soon find out.

Yum! Gotta love those imported Czech and Styrian hops and that decadant chocolaty essence. "Schwartzbier" rocks!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Save the 'Shrooms!

I knew this was coming after I read about efforts underway to ban magic mushrooms in Holland.

Photo credit: Koen van Weel/Reuters

"Boss of your own brain." I like that one!

Education and information can go a long way.

Meanwhile, on a far less humorous note, read this and ask yourself what the hell is wrong with our nation! This is how we treat our ill people... by harassing them to death.
She was a high-profile campaigner for the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, and like others, she was dismayed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that drug agents could still arrest sick people using marijuana, even in states that legalized its use.

The ruling came to haunt Prosser in late March, when DEA agents seized less than a half ounce of marijuana sent to her by her registered caregiver in Flathead County.

At the time, the DEA special agent in charge of the Rocky Mountain Field Division said federal agents were “protecting people from their own state laws” by seizing such shipments.

Great! Just what we need in America: federal agents "protecting" us from ourselves.

Jesus H. I hear the unmistakable sound of the Nazi lock-step.

Georgia Injustice

Genarlow Wilson is a free man after spending nearly three years of a 10 year sentence in prison for the absurd "crime" of having oral sex with a minor when he himself was not yet a legal adult.

The Georgia Supreme Court had to intervene on his behalf.

The Georgia Legislature did modify the law to make similar behavior a misdemeanor, still punishable by up to 12 months in jail. However, they did nothing to help teens who are shackled to Georgia's sex offender registry for similar acts. It's reprehensible and while I'm happy with the outcome for Genarlow, I'm still angry that injustice remains.

From today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Those sweeping limits have stranded other young offenders with virtually no place to go. Also convicted at age 17 of having oral sex with a 15 -year-old, Jeffery York, 23, of Polk County has resorted to sleeping in a camper van in the woods to comply with the registry. When she was 17, Wendy Whitaker, 28, of Harlem had oral sex with a teen about to turn 16; her sodomy conviction landed her on the registry and forced her and her husband to move twice already.

Teen sex is natural and unstoppable. It's an instinct and brilliantly illustrates our disconnect from understanding that you cannot draw a line in the sand and say "tomorrow you turn 18 and can go do adult things, but today you are still 17 and therefore a criminal." It's not that simple and it's unfortunate the Georgia Legislature prefers to bury its collective head up its ass instead of addressing the fact that consensual sex between teens doesn't warrant a sex offender registry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Full Toke: Hash

How you doin?

I'm doin' fine.

How you doin?

I'm flyin' thank you ver y m u ch.

Why you doin?

I'm flyin; thnk you ver y m uch.

Did you take my drugs?

I did.

Did you take my drugs?

I did.

Well, then listen to what the fuck I said.

Which was what?

That you should put on some Cramps and maybe, just maybe, masterbate.

I don't know if I want to say what I want to say. It's so expendiatorial.

I'm gonna be tuggin' at my dick because of this chick:

The Full Moon Kicked My Ass


This is a pretty cool widget. Not sure how long I'll be allowed to keep it based on the Terms of Use:

Moon Module Copyright/Terms of Use -

This module, design, and code is protected under United States and International copyright laws. You are not allowed to remove any of the links pointing back to The text link (i.e., "moon phases") at the bottom of the module MUST remain unaltered. All copyright notices embedded in the HTML and Javascript code must remain unchanged. Also, this module may not be used on websites that have any of the following content: pornography/adult content, excessive profanity, racial intolerance, illicit drugs, hacking/cracking, or any other content that promotes illegal activity. By using this module, you are stating your acceptance of these Terms.

I guess it depends on your definition of ”excessive” as well as the definition of "illicit." And how can illicit drugs actually be on my blog? What does that mean? Am I not allowed to talk about them, pro or con, report about them, or horror of horrors, post a picture?

What about my open homosexuality? What if I'm breaking a law in some locale where this blog is read? Aside from that, there's definitely not any hacking/cracking going on here, so maybe I can skate on by this one. Just curious, what about good old-fashioned American freedom of speech? Is that a problem?

Just for fun, and because I like to know who I'm dealing with here, I went back to that moon phase site and found out the guy who created this thingey lives in Utah (that could explain some things) but he seems like a nice enough guy. Into hiking and healthy stuff and all -- your basic tech nerd. Cool. I'm feeling a little better. Just didn't want some big conglomerate Googleish beast flying up by butt for some minor Terms of Use infraction.

But since we're now on the subject, I have a question. Why is marijuana illegal, not just to consume but simply growing it can result in confiscation of your home and/or other personal property AND a lengthy prison sentence while American-style football, particularly for high school students who are too young to even buy a beer or a cigarette, is not only legal but encouraged by many parents?

I just don't get it. Marijuana never gave me so much as a headache. About the worst thing I can say about it is that I sometimes laugh at stupid stuff, and sometimes laugh at not so stupid stuff, and then I actually just go to bed and have a peaceful slumber. But I never got no friggin' CONCUSSION from it!
A recent study found that 47 percent of high school pigskin players suffered a concussion each season, according to statistics gathered by the National Center for Injury Prevention.

Thirty-five percent of players say they had more than one concussion in the same season.

Multiple concussions increase the risk of long-term damage to the brain, doctors say.

Yet, most concussions at the high school level go unreported to athletic trainers.

Anyhow, I have digressed from the entire point of this post. The full moon kicking my ass. I am still in recovery from Thursday. The big shocker was hearing the news that the biggest client at our agency is about to pack up and head to New Yawk City. And my position and future is far from certain. After a full workday feeling like an episode of the Twilight Zone (or a David Lynch film), a few of us headed out to a happy hour hosted by one of our vendors -- a local TV station.

Tequila and beers were flowing freely and generously. Too bad we all forgot to eat anything. Liquid dinners all around. And plenty of sorrows needing a quick drowning.

After about 2 hours of this, the gay bar across the street was looking mighty fine. So the six of us trotted across the street for another round. I remember feeling quite fine as I crossed the street. I even still had most of my memory. But something unexpected happened in the next 10 minutes or so.

I remember ordering something -- a beer perhaps, in this empty bar/club except for a few obvious regulars sitting around the bar area. The dance floor lured us in. Actually it was a small elevated area accessed by a couple of long steps. That's a bad idea.

I remember (s)tumbling under the swirling disco lights as I tried to navigate my way up and down. Those steps were rendered damn nearly invisible. I still don't remember what I drank and I'm sure I only had one drink, but the flood of alcohol from the previous tequila shots was hitting me like an 18-wheeler at this point.

txrad says I have a new theme song:

As we tried to leave, I had trouble finding my way out the front door. I remember going into an alcove area which was like a room of mirrors with no way out. What kind of sicko pervert would do something like this to a hapless drunk?

I also had a scrape on my elbow which I would not discover until Friday morning. I assumed I had fallen while trying to find the steps at the dance area. When I spoke to one of my friends from work who was with us, she informed me that I had actually fallen completely off the stage, and then got back up like nothing had happened and kept dancing. That probably explains the scrape, as well as all my sore muscles.

Heavy drinking and exercise don't mix. kona's new motto: exercise or dance your ass off while sober (or at least sober enough to remember what the hell you did the next day), and get rip-roaring drunk at home.

No need to walk 7 or 8 blocks to find a car that you shouldn't be driving anyway.

Another kona motto: If you are too drunk to find your car, you are too drunk to drive.

And that's illegal, isn't it?
Damn, I'm gonna lose this moon phase calculator.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog

I found a picture of Tater Tot which was saved with the name "Donahue." Obviously we were struggling to come up with an appropriate name. This photo was probably taken just a few days after he showed up, and a couple of months before he was allowed to become a house cat. He looks so sad here, clearly a ploy to coerce us to bring him in.

Here he is a few months later as the same sassy house cat he is today.

Caption: "HA! I'm in now and the joke is on you!"

We love our boy.

A Big Train Wreck


The news came down yesterday morning around 10:00. Although there are some mixed signals still being generated about whether the portion of the account we work on will stay or go, there is a high probability it will go. And if so, a much higher proobabilty that I'll be unemployed at some point between now and February.

Deja vu. Just like last year.

Yesterday was a very surreal day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Fence Me In

Believe me, the border fence and the passport requirements (oh, how nice of them to exclude Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands!) will not slow me down when I decide to leave the grand old USA because when I do, I may not return.

If shit like this doesn't stop soon, I'll be feeling the urge to pack my bags and vacate for some more reasonable climes.

you say potayto, I say potahto.

And not to let Osama Obama off the hook, this shit pisses me off to the extreme.

What are these guys thinking? I'm sorry, but if this busy working stoner in Austin, Texas has time to educate himself about who I'm associating with, and how it might be perceived across Americana, then I sure as hell expect a presidential candidate who is spending tens of millions of dollars to lock down my vote to know the right thing and the wrong thing. And this is wrong.

Fuck him. He just lost my vote. Are there no gospel groups in South Carolina that aren't homophobic?

And what's up with the Disaster-in-Chief asking for another $46 BILLION on top of the roughly $150 billion he’s already requested?

I'm sick of Bush, I'm sick of the disgusting pandering for right-wing voters by those who seek to sit on the potty that he has taken a dump in for the past 7 years, and I'm sick of two-faced politicians who would do just about anything for a dollar. Up to and including selling out the United States of America for what it's worth, which isn't a helluva lot these days.

And I'm sick of us pumping money into a failed drug war.

This shit must stop, and soon.

And don't even get me started on Mike Huckabee.

I swear it seems like the ENDA times.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) thanks President Bush for signaling a likely veto should the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) be approved in Congress this week. Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues, said, "This dangerous bill would pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion, a situation which is unconstitutional on its face. Members of Congress should join the President and exercise their sworn duty to defend the U.S. Constitution by voting 'no' on ENDA."

Concerned Women for America need to go fuck themselves.

This concerned fag for America is way more concerned.

There IS NO SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE so get the fuck over it, bitchez.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Other Angry Inch

I was working at home today so you'd think I'd have gotten up a few posts, particularly since there were several things in the NY Times I wanted to mention. Such is the life of a busy boy.

There are plenty of things to blog about: the water crisis in Atlanta, the fires in California, the situation in Iraq and Turkey, the mortgage crisis, the price of oil, but here's one I really wanted to bring to your attention if I didn't have time to address any of the others.

Yet another crisis is developing in the Great Lakes with dropping water levels which is adversely affecting the shipping industry.

“What we need is some rain,” said Mr. Daniels, director of the Port of Oswego Authority, one of a dozen public port agencies on the United States side of the Great Lakes. “The more we lose water, the less cargo the ships that travel in the Great Lakes can carry, and each time that happens, shipping companies lose money,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s people like you and I who are going to pay the price.”

Photo credit: James Rajotte for the New York Times

What does an inch mean to you?

Water levels in the Great Lakes are falling; Lake Ontario, for example, is about seven inches below where it was a year ago. And for every inch of water that the lakes lose, the ships that ferry bulk materials across them must lighten their loads by 270 tons — or 540,000 pounds — or risk running aground, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group for United States-flag cargo companies.

None of this is good news.

Most environmental researchers say that low precipitation, mild winters and high evaporation, due largely to a lack of heavy ice covers to shield cold lake waters from the warmer air above, are depleting the lakes.

In case some of you cannot access the NY Times link, try this link. Let me know if you experience trouble accessing the story. It's really quite interesting.

The Blast Chiller

So much for me planning to do any landscaping on my day off from work. Yesterday it was 88. Right now it's 49 at our house just outside Austin. And it rained heavily last night.

Apparently, it's 30 degrees colder here than in Maine. Excuse me, what month is this?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Plumbing Issue

For those of you who indulge in herbage (Phydeaux), I'm sure you can relate to this story.

Our pipes are clogged. So I found a Stanley screwdriver (wow, what a multitasker!) and proceeded to shove it into my pipe to dislodge all the resin. A bubble appeared in the bowl but we can't get any suckage because the pipe is still too clogged.

I licked the screwdriver and now I have this feeling of chewing gum stuck to my teeth.

And I'm starting to not care.

I got out the other pipe and did the same maneuver.

Etymology: French manœuvre, from Old French maneuvre work done by hand, from Medieval Latin manuopera, from manu operare to perform manual labor.

And the same result. We now have two pipes with two black bubbles.

Meanwhile, I'm licking this shit off my teeth slowly but surely.

Thank God we aren't working tomorrow. It's sure to be a fun day, unlike anything since I baked marijuana brownies way back in the 80s.

I have a feeling a new pipe will be on tomorrow's shopping list.

I can transfer the bubble and all will be well.

Exterior Motives

This is my next project. I need something outside the house for a change. I've tried to turn this into something very attractive for the past 10 years and basically the only thing that grows well here are salvias, lantana, and poison oak....and unless its maintained regularly, grass grows well, as you can see.

The annoying poison oak keeps coming from under the concrete walk so I'm not sure how to eradicate that nuisance.

I'm thinking of two options, either a rock garden with cactus and succulents which are winter hardy, or amend the soil and maybe try growing some veggies and herbs. A variety of chili peppers would add some color. I'm leaning towards the latter option.

I'll update this post and move it to the top with new photos once I get started.

And I'd like to get started on Monday since I'm staying home from work.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

R.I.P. Richard Allin

The Arkansas Gazette was the daily paper I grew up reading and to this day I feel it was one of the best newspapers in the US, as well as the oldest west of the Mississippi, dating back to 1819. Richard Allin was a columnist.

I had no idea Richard Allin had died until I read the post over at Big Brass Blog late this afternoon by blackdog.

Here is an interview with Allin from 2000.
....Gannett took this paper and destroyed it.

What's so strange is that while at lunch today, and I had no knowledge that he had died until I read blackdog's post late this afternoon, I was thinking back on the Gazette and what a great paper it was, and I was cursing Gannett. I have no idea why that would pop into my brain today.

But another beautiful and relevant piece of American journalism is no longer in our midst.

This shitrag is all that is left of a legacy.

Kona's Balancing Act

No, this isn't a circus routine. I've just spent several hours going as far back as 2003 trying to balance two IRA accounts and another brokerage account. I'd missed entering some data along the way so things were very much out of whack.

I knew something was up about 2 weeks ago when I went online to check my brokerage account and it indicated I had over $1,000 in CASH sitting in there and I had no idea. Turns out one of my stocks started pumping out cash dividends about two years ago.

All three accounts are now balanced to the penny and that makes konagod very happy. That also explains the lack of posting today. I haven't even been on a blog all afternoon, and that probably makes a dozen or so bloggers very happy as well. HA!

Tomorrow I'm going to work on my mortgage statements which are off by a few dollars compared to what Quicken shows we owe on our house. I don't know why I'm suddenly wanting to wear the accountant hat except that is sure does feel good to know I'm looking at accurate data.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog: The Close-Up Edition

The Eyes Have It

These are all the cat eyes that have blessed our lives and supervised us during our time together. I'm glad we still have four of the six. The other two are sorely missed.

Anyone who can name them correctly gets an official konagod t-shirt if and when I produce such a thing.

(OK, I'm vain. You know I'll do it eventually just so I can wear one myself.)

Name the two who are no longer with us and be entered in a drawing for a limited edition konagod coffee mug.


An Ocean of Sperm

And perhaps another reason to avoid swallowing ocean water.

Photo credit Emma Hickerson

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even lowly corals do it — but infrequently, forgoing sex for as long as a year.

Then, at night, just after the full moon, under warm tropic breezes, the corals dissolve in an orgy of reproduction, sowing waters with trillions of eggs and sperm that swirl and dance and merge to form new life. The frenzy can leave pink flotsam.

Not to mention a huge wet spot.

Way cool!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So Long Brownback

See ya in the Kansas Governor's Mansion in a few years.... perhaps. Or the Kansas State Rodeo. Anything but the White House.

I'm sure a rodeo clown is always a good payin' gig.

No offense to Dusty Rhoades intended

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting Old Is a Bitch

I have a boss roughly my age. We all went out for lunch this week and the place we went to was a beach/skateboard themed fish taco hut in downtown Austin, Texas. But it was a gray misty day and it could have easily passed for a foggy Malibu or Santa Monica locale. They were playing hits and one-hit-wonders from the 70s and 80s.

We had a nice conversation and my assistant mentioned that he was born in 1983 and I blurted out that I was living in London in 1983! My boss then asked me all kinds of questions about living in London. I gave out a lot of info which is really not relevant to this post.

Right before we got up to leave, I heard this song over the sound system, and my boss reeled off the year it came out. 1982 or some such shit.

I couldn't remember who it was and it was driving me crazy. Finally as we were walking out the door, I said to my boss, "That was Billy Squier, wasn't it?" And she said yes.

And then I started thinking, I have all this music shit in common with my boss, and during the course of our lunch conversation, I learned that she is 43. Let's do the math. I'm 47. When I was a senior in high school, if she'd been going to the same school, I wouldn't have know who the fuck she was.

And now, she's not just my boss. She's actually the boss of MY boss. What's wrong with this picture?

So I said to her, "Yeah, he was one of those one hit wonders." And she said, "Well, two actually."

What was the other hit? Please tell me.

Meanwhile, when I said she was the boss of MY boss, let me tell you about MY boss.

txrad has the same boss and he just asked me, "is she senile?"

I replied, "No, She has Age of Aquarious syndrome."

Getting old in the workplace is such a joy to behold. I think I'm going to have a stroke.

Kinky Kona Wants to Pick Your Brain

I thought this would make a fairly decent Question of the Day.

What was your earliest recollection of having a turn-on or sexual arousal?

Mine was when I was in grade school, and probably 1st or 2nd grade. I'd be on the playground during recess, and when the bell would go off for us to return to class, I'd start climbing one of the poles in the playground and I'd climb all the way to the top and hang on, waiting until the last child disappeared back into the school before I'd slide back down and return to class.

I think the reason I remember this is because of the feeling I had when I was doing it. I had no idea what the feeling represented at the time because I was too young. But I can remember the feeling precisely and it was definitely a form of erotic stimulation. I honestly remember how it gave me that funny feeling down in my private parts.

That's some strange stuff for a 7 or 8-year-old to experience but I kept doing it because I enjoyed the feeling. I think the drama of the ticking clock and being the renegade who was the last one back from recess probably played into the fantasy.

And a hard pole is good to find.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Haz Ben Nominated Agin

I can't believe it's that time again for the 2007 Weblog Awards and I only just realized it tonight and I've nearly missed out on the nomination process.

I know there are several blogs I want to nominate. It appears the deadline for nominations has been extended to Wednesday, October 17, unless I misunderstood.

I know I was at least nominated in this TTLB category by Jon Swift:

  • Best of the Rest of the Blogs (8751+)

Thanks Jon!

This crawly amphibian is currently hovering in the 10,300 range which sucks since I was in the 7,000-8,000 for awhile... back in the glory days when I actually had time to blog all day every day.

Let the Water Wars Begin

txrad told me several days ago about the drought conditions around Atlanta and that the city's water source could be dry before the end of the year. I guess the NY Times finally considered that news "fit to print."
In the Atlanta metropolitan area, which has more than four million people, worst-case analyses show that the city’s main source of water, Lake Lanier, could be drained dry in 90 to 121 days.

Not surprisingly, some people just don't get it.
“It’s really alarming,” said Janice Terry, co-owner of the Best Foods cafeteria in Siler City. To curtail water use, Best Foods has swapped its dishes for paper plates and foam cups.

Most controversially, it has stopped offering tap water to customers, making them buy 69-cent bottles of water instead. “We’ve had people walk out,” Ms. Terry said. “They get mad when they can’t get a free glass of water.”

Now, where to put all that garbage, the foam cups and whatnot. We are on the road to ruin and most of us don't have a clue.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Put On Your Radioheadsets

Time is warped tonight.

I have rediscovered Radiohead for free.

It's too bad they are trying to fuck with everything creative that I'm trying to do.

I keep selecting photos to upload and I get different photos when I upload them.

The evil fuckers have invaded my PC!!

Never mind. I figured it out. It wasn't them evil fuckers. It was simply incompetence.
Update: AHEM! Your host here would be advise to stay away from Photobucket while intoxicated. I had it open, but I was on page 2 or 3 of my album, and each time I selected the Thom Yorke photo, all I kept seeing appear on my Photobucket page was a scene from the yard or whatever. It was bumping the last picture from page one onto the the page I was on.

I'm gonna go there again.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In Today's Mail

I just went out to see what the gods had delivered. The box was full. There are two noteworthy pieces I'll share with you fine folks.

From Mercedes Benz of Austin:

Dear konagod,

Mercedes-Benz of Austin would like to invite you to our Customer Service Clinic on Saturday, October 27th, 9a-12p in our Service Department, where our factory-trained technicians will perform a complimentary vehicle inspection.

While you wait take the opportunity to test drive the 2008 Models and visit our complimentary coffee bar.

Oh my GOD! Free coffee and the opportunity to drop $45,000 or more on a new German travel vessel. I hope it doesn't have a rattle in the dash like my current model.

Oh, and they are doing a benefit for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I'm aware. I hate breast cancer, but what the fuck does that have to do with selling cars?

The next gem in my mailbox was from Chase.

Dear konagod,
We've noticed that your credit card account is past due.

No shit. Brilliant observation. Check with me next month.

Lastly, I had a letter from my mother. She always likes to include newspaper clippings and shit.

I got this clipping:

"Kona Joe is passionate about coffee."

Shit. Does she know about my blog?

I don't know about Kona Joe, can't speak for that dude, but KONAGOD LOVES COFFEE. Passionate doesn't touch it.

Monday Garden Blog

It's time for...

I suspended my Monday Garden Blog during much of the summer since there hasn't been much garden activity since late June or early July. txrad decided he'd go clear the grass and weeds from one of the beds Sunday morning. In the afternoon he decided he'd plant a row or two of collards for me. Sweet boy. I have to force him to eat them. I'll never understand why anyone doesn't think they are a gift from the gods, when picked at the right time and cooked in the correct way. txrad keeps a gardening diary and he noticed last year he planted collards on October 13.

These will be suitable for eating after the first frost which for us will probably be late November or early December, and we'll continue to enjoy them well into early spring. Just before they produce blossoms and seeds, I'll have a marathon picking, blanching and freezing session. After they go to seed, the taste goes to hell.

After he cleared the bed of weeds, he noticed there’s still a chili pepper plant producing, and even some green tomatoes on the vine just to the right of his leg. I’d love to pick those ripe. We’ve never had tomatoes much past July 1st.

Awhile back, I posted about how I hadn’t mowed the yard all year and as a result I expected to have a beautiful wild sunflower display in October. I am not disappointed.

There's also a nice Echinacea blooming... just one.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reducing Dependency on Oil: An Easy Start

I get so angry and frustrated when I keep hearing the Bush administration, or anyone else for that matter, talking about long-term plans for reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

From ramping up more nuclear power plants, to drilling in Alaska, to increasing our use of ethanol, all the ideas are goals set in the distant future. And that's fine, but I don't think raising the fuel efficiency standards from the current 27.5 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020 is really a plan. How many more cars will be on the nation's highways by 2020? And what good is that extra 7.5 miles per gallon average going to do if the price of a gallon of gas happens to be around $8.00 in 2020, if not by 2010!

But, whatever course of action we take, and it probably needs to involve some of everything -- including a tax increase on consumption, here's one idea that could cut dependency right now. Today. And you don't even need to go trade in your GMC Sierra for a Prius. In fact, this idea doesn't cost you a cent.

There are about 243,023,485 registered vehicles in the US. Let's say 150 million are in daily use, just to be extra conservative.

I don't know how people drive where you live, but I suspect it's not vastly different from how they drive right here in liberal Austin, Texas. I don't have what I'd consider to be a fuel efficient vehicle. I get about 23 mpg going to and from work each day. What my car does have is a MPG display in the dash which allows me to monitor my slurpage. I think these nifty little devices should be mandatory in all vehicles, not that I'd really expect most Americans to pay attention to it.

Even modest acceleration in my car gets me about 10-12 mpg, and less than 9 mpg on an average acceleration. However, when I remove my foot from the pedal it jumps to well over 50 mpg.

I pay particularly close attention to this when I'm on the freeway and see that traffic ahead of me is slowing or stopping, or when I'm on a street or freeway access road and approaching a red light. If I'm going 50 mph I can coast quite a distance and reap the benefits of minimal fuel consumption.

Now contrast my behavior with that of so many others who will accelerate to PASS ME as we're both approaching the same red light or traffic jam. They not only accelerate but they continue accelerating until the last few seconds when they have to apply the brakes. I see this phenomenon day after day, week after week, and it seems as if 90% of the drivers on the road feel they are in some kind of race to see who can get to the stopping point the fastest. It's mind-boggling, and almost all of them are driving vehicles with far less fuel efficiency than mine.

Getting back to those 150,000,000 vehicles in daily use, let's assume with the adoption of some less stupid driving habits, each of them could save 1/10 of a gallon of gas per day. Obviously some of the more aggressive drivers with longer commutes could save more.

That's about 15,000,000 gallons of fuel saved each day, or more than half a billion gallons of fuel saved each year. And that's just from adopting less aggressive driving habits. And again, I'm trying to be conservative with my non-scientific figures. The actual savings could be considerably higher.

Eliminating one or two unnecessary trips per week could save much more. We could literally stop using well over a billion gallons of fuel each year with minimal and almost unrecognizable changes in our driving habits.

It sounds like a lot but given the thirst of so many behemoths on our highways, it probably amounts to an annual savings equal to one or two days' consumption. But it's a start.

Put in more personal terms, I'm probably keeping an extra $100 in my pocket each year by coasting when possible, and accelerating only when necessary. That's about 2 1/2 tanks of fuel. And I pull away from those red lights at the same time as the assholes who whiz past me in some unpatriotic piece of shit like this adorned with Bush/Cheney stickers and Support Our Troops ribbons, imported from China along with just about everything else. And how much oil does that waste?

And who is the real conservative here? A Bush/Cheney war hawk or this radical hippie Kucinich supporter?

If you think I'm angry now, don't even get me started on the folks who sit with their engines running for 5 minutes or longer each day in a drive-thru waiting on their burgers and fries. Do the math.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog

Kona Wants a Second Ranch

From the time I was a child I have dreamed of someday having my own chunk of land. I attribute this to the fact that I grew up on a 500 acre farm at the end of a gravel road. I like the seclusion and yet we were only 3 miles from a town.

Most importantly, I like the option of having a self-sustaining lifestyle if I ever choose to go that route. txrad and I also need to be able to till the soil and have a large garden. Now comes the hard part.

Coastal regions and other low elevations are out. If and when Florida and Louisiana become submerged, what's that going to do to other areas of the country with major rivers feeding into the Gulf of Mexico?

I also want the land to connect with me on some spiritual level. A broad flat wide open space is beautiful in a way, but it doesn't really tug at my soul. Unless of course I could have 5,000 acres of it and then I might reconsider. Unfortunately that's a bit out of my budget.

Aside from some ugly personal debt related to loans I made to my failed business which also has a mountain of debt and with that corporation facing possible bankruptcy, things have never been better. Even with that ugly dark cloud looming over me constantly, I feel pretty damn good about life right now. I may never have a better opportunity to pursue my dream.

We are fortunate to be gainfully employed and drawing a combined income which exceeds any previous employment and I am socking away a good amount of money from each pay period. What's tricky is we have no idea how long this will last. So I have set a savings goal by the end of the year which is reasonable and I'm confident our employment will at least continue into early spring 2008 at least.

I have done a search of properties in four states for five or more acres of land within my budget. My ideal would be at least 10-20 acres, and more if possible. My ideal price is $25,000 or less, although I could go into the $40,000-$45,000 range by liquidating some stocks.

We have no immediate plans to build on the property; I just want to own it as a security blanket while I have the opportunity, and it's there when we decide to undergo a major lifestyle change, or we're forced to for whatever reason.

So, here are a few options. First, here's an example of what I'm not wanting:

I really want some contrast, some hills or mountains to lend some character.


39 acres in Snowflake for $25,000. Beautiful, the right price, and a good chunk of real estate. I'm sure the nearby towns offer some amenities, but it's a 175 mile trek to Phoenix and 200 to Tucson.

New Mexico

5 acres in Tierra Amarilla for $8,000. The acreage isn't much but for $8,000, it's something. And the remainder of my savings could be used for something else.

In the same area is this plot: 10 acres for $35,000. Twice the land, much more beautiful, but creeping to the top end of my price range. The area is roughly 80 miles from Taos and 90 miles from Santa Fe.

Another beauty is this one in Chama near the Colorado border. It's 10 acres with power for $42,000. The Chama area is a bit over 100 miles to Santa Fe.


This state isn't really my top choice. The politics aren't really to my liking. But for the price of the land and the beauty, I'll include it.

For $30,000 this is 35 acres and a nice view, with utilities "nearby."

I like this one even better. It almost qualifies as a "sweeping vista" or a "million dollar view." What's more, electricity is available "nearby." It's a 40 acre plot for $25,000. There must be some string attached -- as in the photograph is just the area and not taken from the actual property being sold.

As with the Arizona property, it's quite a haul to any major cities although there are some decent size towns in the area of southern Colorado. Pueblo is about 135 miles and Colorado Springs is closer to 185, as if I'd ever want to set foot in that evangelical Republican hellpit.


Property here has the advantage of being closer to a city than most of the previous ones, and also have utilities present. Unfortunately, Heber Springs is a hot area due to nearby lakes and attractiveness as a retirement area, so you don't get so much land for your dollar. But it's nice. And only about 65 miles from Little Rock.

Here's 5 acres for $30,000:

Another 5 acres for $32,000 with a very nice view:

A bit farther north in Mountain View, this 5.6 acre parcel can be had for around $14,000. I like! It's about 105 miles from Little Rock.

Feel free to comment with your opinions, advice, whatever. Call me crazy if you so desire.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ewwwww Gag Me With a Spoon!

You Belong in 1985

Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

Seriously, life stopped being fun around 1984.

via Jacq.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog

Since I neglected to post a picture of Tater Tot last week, I decided I'd better get back on track today, particularly since Phydeaux told me he was standing in for JackGoff who happens to be scarcely seen lately, and was pissed at the lack of Tot material.

So, I hope everybody is fucking happy now.

Just as I was grabbing the camera for tonight's shot, Tater Tot went tearing through the den and into the living room chasing Sissy. Poor girl. He always acts like he has some evil intent, but rarely follows through. That's her hiding under my chair.

Then when the Tot is confronted, he always rolls over and acts as if there was nothing at all going on.

"What the fuck are you talking about? ME? I wasn't doing ANYTHING!"

Please excuse me for calling your attention to his rather hefty lunch sack. The boy is not hungry, that's for certain. He almost has some cleavage that would make PortlyDyke proud!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Question of the Day

What musical artist, which you otherwise adore, makes you want to blow chunks if you hear them while hung over?

For me, Janis Joplin is the clear winner. I think Bob Dylan is a distant 2nd.

Even if I'm NOT hung over, if I had just a bit too much the previous night, Janis just makes me remember all those white-knuckle drives home from parties where I drank far too much.

As for Dylan, he only gives me the heebie-jeebies if I really did drink far too much at home, and feel like shit with a headache.

I heard this song outside today while leaving work and it made me want to vomit and I was sober without a hangover.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

R.I.P. Tarantula

The little devil should have stayed out of the garage!

This makes me very sad. We think it probably happened when we left for work this morning and it was still dark.

The Kona Ranch is a no-kill zone (no intentional killing, except mosquitoes) but shit happens.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hey, Ad Council, Eat This

The Ad Council has just lost all my respect. Primarily for this reason.

I can't find it now, but if you could see the commercial I just saw on the Food Network, you'd vomit your gourmet cuisine.

Brainwashing continues unabated.

If you knew that your tax dollars were being spent to keep you living in fear, by placing television advertising in popular programs, would you be amused?

I'm not.

The terror continues, until January 2009 apparently.

My Blog Is Worth More Than I Am

My blog is worth $27,662.46.
How much is your blog worth?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

We Are NOT Alcoholics

It was a wild night in the kona household last night....

Actually, I forgot to put out the glass recycling to be picked up on the last Wednesday in September. Oh, I put it out but it was too late to be picked up. Sometimes they do come late but I was not so lucky that day.

I left the container full of bottles at the edge of the street for the entire following week so I'd not be bothered with having to remember. Last Wednesday came and went and the friggin' bottles are still there. Our recycling and garbage service is on a credit card autopay so I know it's not a payment issue.

Bottles are now starting to accumulate in the house and it's making me insane. I need to go find a box. Because we'll certainly empty a few more tonight.