Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolute Shuns

Question of the Day

What are your resolutions for 2010?

I always make them and I always break them. For five years one of my resolutions has been to learn Spanish, and this year I am going to succeed.

As for the oral habits, flossing, tongue scraping, etc., I'm going to leave that off the table. I'll do it, as I did today, but feel I can only keep one promise at a time, and Spanish it is.

I will tell myself I can't study Spanish until I floss. That might help facilitate matters.

What about you?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Progress Happens

Since my last post was five days ago you might have suspected something was up. On Saturday I went out and got a new HP computer after grappling with my old Dell for over a week trying to get a plug & play USB headphone to be recognized. And the more I tinkered with the old PC, the more sluggish it became, even as I was taking steps to improve performance and speed!

Since Saturday I have been sitting here loading software onto the HP, installing backups of data files, and configuring email accounts for Outlook, among many other things. This process is never easy. However, this was one of the worst I can remember!

Aside from the obvious things like your My Documents folder, photos, music and videos, there are some which are easy to forget like tax returns from prior years stored in the Turbo Tax folder as well as remembering to put links to websites on your desktop which you like to visit such as Google Earth and Google Maps.

And speaking of Google Earth, I spent quite a bit of time on the old PC saving little flags on places where I have lived in years past as well as where current friends live, etc. I'm glad I remembered to move the file over where those saved places are stored!

I got all my Quicken financial data backed up and restored on the new PC which is rather important to me considering I've logged all my financial transactions since way back in the mid-1990s! However, I did have to upgrade to Quicken 2010 because Quicken 2008 wasn't compatible with Windows 7. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I didn't have more software upgrades to do... that I know of.

Anyway, it has been an adventure straight out of hell and back. Blogging was the last priority.

Even today, I spent almost the entire day trying to configure my konagod email account to work in Outlook. A few months ago I moved my domain from one host over to Yahoo and it was a much better deal cost-wise. Unfortunately, it didn't come with POP email so I had to manage everything in a Yahoo email account. That had escalated way out of control since it's also where all the Facebook emails are delivered. You know the ones... someone you don't know has commented on such and such page where you left a comment.

Yesterday I decided it was worth a couple bucks a month to sign up for a business email for konagod which allows for one POP email setup so incoming emails can be routed to Outlook where I can better manage things. (If you want to reach me, it's my blog name at my blog name dot com.)

I've set these up many times. Sometimes it's easy; sometimes it's a hassle. But I've never had such a flurry of problems as this time around.

Finally got that taken care of and now I can start a new year with the ability to better manage my emails. I've set a rule to force any emails from Facebook into a Facebook folder so they don't clutter my Inbox and I can go delete them at my leisure.

I'm starting to feel like I'm about to get my life back. I've been so wrapped up in all this today I completely forgot this is the day my dad died back in 1983. If he was still around I'm certain he would have enjoyed hearing about my tech hell. After all, he gave me my first personal computer experience back around 1976 or 1977. Back on those days, you manually entered all software code yourself, or you connected the computer to a cassette player and plugged in a software cassette that made a fax-like noise as it spent 20 minutes loading software for some black & white simple Pac-Man program!

Even after all the hassles of the past week or two, I can't say I miss that early PC experience much at all!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Bitch Blogging: Christmas Day Edition

Some of you who stalk me on Facebook may know that I've been running back and forth to our neighbor's house every few hours this week to take care of dogs, walk them, clean up shit (only once so far), and generally wrangle them. It's been an adventure and it amazes me how quickly one can get "in tune" with dog habits.

And they have warmed up to me as well!

This is Rio. She has always been my favorite of the bunch, but now that I've gotten to know them better, they all have their quirks and interesting attributes.

But Rio is a slut.

She also really likes me. There was an immediate comfort level.

Nice tongue action.

Aura is really special, and now that I've had a chance to bond with her, I really love and appreciate her laid-back attitude. Not quite so paws hands-on, but still likes the attention and enjoys me.

I LOVE those eyes! What a seductress!

Scout is the regal one, and also the most aggressive in spreading the love around.

Beautiful snout!

But even the regal ones have to do their bidness.

Back rubs! Even if the human won't do it.

In the midst of all this giant canine activity is this tiny little thing known as Mickey. Back in his younger days he managed to get into our back yard and chased Sheldon back to the house! He and his chihuahua partner-in-crime really kept the neighborhood in check like the mafia.

I was a little apprehensive about caring for this little fucker, especially since he needs heart medication administered once a day. But you know what, he's sweet too!

I love taking him out for a pee, and he always glances over in my direction to see if I'm there, and I see the whites of his eyes. Or maybe he's saying, "stop watching me!"

Anyhow, when he's done he's goes racing up the walk back to the front door, those toenails just going clickity-clack. . And in the cold weather he enjoys sleeping right next to Scout to keep warm I guess.

So, with four dogs to take care of, and four cats, and a screwed up computer, and some work, it's been a busy week for me.

As the saying goes, thank fuck it's Friday. But this all resumes on Saturday.

Hope your Christmas was equally as delightful as mine!

Friday Pussy Blog: Christmas Day Edition

How rare for Christmas to fall on a Pussy Blog Day. Coupled with my PC cleanup frenzy which resulted in a wasted afternoon, I'd like to simply reboot.

A few nights ago I let Sweet Pea in the house and he got to re-experience the Tater Tot.

Sweet Pea's eyes are glowing from afar!

Now I present you with Tot, the Contortionist. I had been hoping to snap a shot of him in the Cat Loaf position but he decided it was grooming time.

And Sissy was still on the bed...refusing to even open her eyes.

I guess there's no point in me saying "Happy Friday Everyone" since no one worked today anyway, or so I hope. Aside from me and my PC issues. Oh well, what's a pagan to do on Christmas but work?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Solstice Bells and Wedding Bells

Wow. Yesterday, Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage by a vote of 39-20 in the local assembly.

Unfortunately, President Calderon can't just let it be.
The conservative National Action Party of President Felipe Calderon has vowed to challenge the gay marriage law in the courts. However, homosexuality is increasingly accepted in Mexico, with gay couples openly holding hands in parts of the capital and the annual gay pride parade drawing tens of thousands.

The bill calls for changing the definition of marriage in the city's civil code. Marriage is currently defined as the union of a man and a woman. The new definition will be "the free uniting of two people."

As always, the Catholic Church is strongly opposed.
"They have given Mexicans the most bitter Christmas," said Armando Martinez, the president of the College of Catholic Attorneys. "They are permitting adoption (by gay couples) and in one stroke of the pen have erased the term 'mother' and 'father."'

What a crock of shit. Heterosexual couples who choose to have children are still mother and father. All they did was create an environment of equality and justice for people who aren't "mother and father."

Anyhoo, don't get me started on a rant this morning!

Despite some setbacks in Maine, New York and New Jersey recently, the world is still moving right along.
Only seven countries allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Argentina's capital became the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex civil unions in 2002 for gay and lesbian couples. Four other Argentine cities later did the same, and as did Mexico City in 2007 and some Mexican and Brazilian states. Uruguay alone has legalized civil unions nationwide.

Someday the list this short will simply be countries where same-sex marriage remains illegal. And I often wonder, when that day comes, if the USA still be on it.

Don't laugh. Look at the list of countries where capital punishment is still practiced with a vengeance.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice!

The daylight hours only get longer from here!

Ring those Solstice Bells!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Pooch Porn

Because I sorely needed a laugh and this provided it. Although I'll catch hell from txrad in the morning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Pussy Blog: A Pair of Duos Edition

Praise the Ceiling Cat, the work week hath ended. Or Praise the Table Cat.

From his high domain, the Totosaurus can look down upon Sissy who is trying her best to be inconspicuous under the table, and can, as he is doing in this shot, survey the outside boys as well. The Tot sure likes to be kept apprised of all feline goings on.

Hungry evil demon eyes!

Happy friggin' Friday everyone! What a week! I would like to say next week will be calmer. Tuesday and Wednesday should be fairly quiet. Monday most definitely will not be since I didn't get the the big work request today that I was expecting. Once I knock that out, it should be smooth sailing into the new year!

Friday Noon Hour Blues

With Mr. CeDell Davis.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Countdown to Extinction

I was thinking about life today and probably wasn't in a very good frame of mind while ding so since it was during work hours. But I decided that life is just a waste.

Kids are spending an insane amount of money these days, going into deep debt just to get an education in order to be productive members of our system, paying taxes, and contributing to our growth, which incidentally is probably going to stop at some point.

Between the time they graduate college and start seriously approaching retirement age, they will only participate in four census counts, or to put it another way, vote in ten presidential election cycles. And they should consider themselves lucky to still be alive by then. And if they are really lucky, they'll get another two census counts and/or four or five election cycles after that. And then presto: that investment dissolves and nothing is left behind but memories and money. If they were wise and successful.

Speaking of the census, I first started digging that after the 1970 census. I became obsessed with population data and could reel off exact figures for many cities during my teen years. Ever since then I have eagerly awaited the next census to see how cities have grown or shrunk.

We have one coming up next year, and it's only the 4th one since my obsession began in my teens. By the time the next one rolls around, I'll be retired, if I'm lucky enough to be alive. And I will have voted in 3 more presidential cycles.

I keep wondering if anything is ever going to change in a positive direction in that regard. I think not.

What a waste.

Anyhow, I plan to be counted as a Travis County resident in 2010. One in a million or so.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Should We Write About

I'm saying the road


Tell the driver to give it all you've got.

Same-Sex Marriage South of the Mason-Dixon

It could be legal by late spring in Washington DC (thanks Tracy for the clarification request), with any luck.
The City Council passed a measure Tuesday legalizing same-sex marriage, making the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction below the Mason-Dixon Line to allow such unions.

The bill, which passed by an 11-to-2 vote, may still face obstacles in Congress, among city voters and in the courts, but most advocates of same-sex marriage say they expect it to become law by spring. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has said he will sign the bill.

Councilman David A. Catania, an independent and the author of the bill, gets my applause for opposing a referendum on the issue by summing up precisely why that shouldn't be on a ballot anywhere.
“It isn’t that I’m fearful of losing,” Mr. Catania said. “I think the process is diminishing. I think that putting the rights of minorities on the ballot and allowing the forces of intolerance to spend an unlimited amount to demonize and marginalize a population is unsavory.”

Speaking of "forces of intolerance..."
In November, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said that if the ordinance were passed, the church might have to limit its social service programs that help residents with adoption, homelessness and health care.

That's nice, huh? I have to Bite. My. Tongue.

What's really twisted is that somewhere across this great nation, a vast number of fundies sincerely believe that God will seek revenge against Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, and eventually DC and New Hampshire, by sending a catastrophic hurricane to the Florida panhandle or something. You know, God sucks at geography.

Monday, December 14, 2009

RIP Paul Samuelson

Paul A. Samuelson, the first American Nobel laureate in economics and the foremost academic economist of the 20th century, died Sunday at his home in Belmont, Mass. He was 94.

Photo credit: Robert Spencer for The New York Times

I've always been in awe of his brilliant mind. But it wasn't until I read this entire obituary that I knew just how amazing and influential he had been during the course of his long life.
When economists “sit down with a piece of paper to calculate or analyze something, you would have to say that no one was more important in providing the tools they use and the ideas that they employ than Paul Samuelson,” said Robert M. Solow, a fellow Nobel laureate and colleague of Mr. Samuelson’s at M.I.T.

Mr. Samuelson attracted a brilliant roster of economists to teach or study at the university, among them Mr. Solow as well as others who would go on to become Nobel laureates like George A. Akerlof, Robert F. Engle III, Lawrence R. Klein, Paul Krugman, Franco Modigliani, Robert C. Merton and Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Mr. Samuelson wrote one of the most widely used college textbooks in the history of American education. The book, “Economics,” first published in 1948, was the nation’s best-selling textbook for nearly 30 years. Translated into 20 languages, it was selling 50,000 copies a year a half century after it first appeared.


His most influential student was John F. Kennedy, whose first 40-minute class with Mr. Samuelson, after the 1960 election, was conducted on a rock by the beach at the family compound at Hyannis Port, Mass. Before class, there was lunch with politicians and Cambridge intellectuals aboard a yacht offshore. “I had expected a scrumptious meal,” Mr. Samuelson said. “We had franks and beans.”

I actually saw the man briefly while on a family vacation in 1973. We were visiting my aunt and uncle in Belmont and during a drive through the town, we saw him out walking and stopped for a quick chat. Even then I felt like I was seeing a celebrity!
Mr. Samuelson is survived by his second wife, Risha Clay Samuelson; six children from his first marriage: Jane Raybould, Margaret Crawford-Samuelson, William and the triplet sons, Robert, John and Paul; and 15 grandchildren. Mr. Samuelson is also survived by a brother, Robert Summers, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Pennsylvania and father of Lawrence H. Summers, director of President Obama’s National Economic Council and former secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton and former president of Harvard.

I also had no idea his brother is the father of Lawrence Summers! Funny how interconnected things can get.

My cousin is married to one of Mr. Samuelson's surviving sons.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Houston Did It

Yay, Houston! It's not often you hear me say that.

Houston became the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor on Saturday night, as voters gave a solid victory to the city controller, Annise Parker.


“Tonight the voters of Houston have opened the door to history,” she said, standing by her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard, and their three adopted children. “I acknowledge that. I embrace that. I know what this win means to many of us who never thought we could achieve high office.”

With all precincts reporting, Ms. Parker, the city controller, had defeated Mr. Locke 53 percent to 47 percent.

I'm thrilled.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Pussy Blog: Head Shot Edition

Another day from hell and I'm running behind.

Tiger came in for a close-up.

So did the Tot, and looking a bit grumpy.

"Where's my damn food?"

Gotta love that Borg eye. Very Bowie-esque.

Sissy never gets pushy for food. She always seems content to wait... except in the morning.

Happy friggin' Friday!

I'm beat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

War & Peace & Excess Emissions

Gotta love the irony of a war president accepting a peace prize.
Nine days after announcing a major escalation in the war in Afghanistan, President Obama arrived at Norway’s City Hall on Thursday to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize, evoking the notion of a “just war” and robustly defending the use of military force “on humanitarian grounds” and to preserve peace.

At least he sees it.
“Still, we are at war,” he said, “ and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict — filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.”

So did a few others.
Across the street from the institute, a crowd chanted and held up a yellow banner, saying: “Obama You Won It, Now Earn It.”

Many Norwegians were annoyed that Obama's trip was so short, and that he skipped a few traditional formalities surrounding the event.
The president is scheduled to return to Washington on Friday.

Oh, but not for long. He'll be hopping back on Air Force One next week en route to Copenhagen.
The United States will have representation in Copenhagen throughout the negotiating process by State Department negotiators and Cabinet officials who will highlight the great strides we have made this year towards a clean energy economy.

Great green strides indeed! Like going 10 miles in a Hummer to pick up a can of tomato paste at the supermarket and returning home, and then an hour later going back out two miles beyond the supermarket to a post office to fetch a single stamp.

Nice carbon footprint!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

Courtesy of Thomas Friedman.

If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent.


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Mass

Massachusetts will very likely fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat with Martha Coakley who won in Tuesday's Democratic primary. If she wins as expected in the general election against Republican State Senator Scott P. Brown she would be the first woman to ever serve as Senator from Massachusetts.

Now for the bad part:
Although this is the state’s first Senate race with no incumbent since 1984 — for a legendary seat that John F. Kennedy, Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams held before Edward Kennedy — polling places reported strikingly low turnout. Election officials said that may have been because voters were preoccupied with the holiday season.

Hello? Filling this seat with a progressive in an era when we desperately need it should be a top priority. But voters may have been "preoccupied with the holiday season?" On a TUESDAY? For fuck's sake!

If I lived there I would have been scrambling to get to the voting booth. As a Texas resident, it's not like I have an opportunity very often to vote for someone like her.
She secured an early endorsement from Emily’s List, the influential fund-raising network for candidates who support abortion rights. And she quickly came out against the amendment restricting abortion access in the House health care bill last month, saying, “It’s personal with me, and it’s personal with every woman.”


She billed herself as “a different kind of leader,” even though all four Democrats had nearly identical positions on most issues. All, like Mr. Kennedy, espoused liberal values, supporting abortion rights, same-sex marriage and universal health care and opposing the death penalty.

Wow, what's not to love? Now for the ugly...
Mr. Brown, 50, is a lawyer and a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard who has served in the state legislature since 1996. He opposes same-sex marriage and the health care legislation being debated in Congress, and supports President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Winning unaffiliated voters, who make up half of the state’s electorate, will be crucial for Mr. Brown. He has emphasized his ability to work across party lines, while casting himself as the only candidate with conservative values.

Exactly what Massachusetts and the nation doesn't need: another Texas-style bullshit artist clinging to a "conservative" label. Let's hope in the general election that most voters aren't "preoccupied" with something trivial.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Imagine Living in Springfield

Are there really some people who managed to get tickets to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver who are stupid enough to be booking hotel rooms in Vancouver, Washington?

Apparently so.

“The joke among the hotels,” said Elson Strahan, who helps oversee a historic site in town, “was that with tourism down, everyone should book as many of those rooms as they can.”

I guess I'm a geography snob asshole after having spent so much of my life from the very early years studying maps. But I am just perplexed by people who think, for instance, that New Mexico is not part of the United States.

And FYI, there's a London in Arkansas (and also an England), and a Paris in Texas, and you don't need a passport to visit them. Hotel choices won't be so great. There is a Cuba in Missouri with no trade embargo and you will not be in violation of the law by going there.

There's also a pyramid in Memphis but that doesn't make it Egypt. No need to spend your الجنيه المصرى there. They wouldn't even accept it.

Tip for the geographically challenged: This is not Vancouver, Washington.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday Night 'Possum Posting

If it's not the raccoons, it's the opossums! Stealing our cat food!

Cute pink feet. Spread those toes wide!

What 'cho lookin' at, bitch?

Fuck you, I'm hungry and I'm gonna eat with my pink toes spread wide for your amusement.

Then I came back in the house and Roger Miller was on Sirius radio, the Loft. What a flashback. I actually had "Dang Me" on 45 RPM when I was a wee lad.

Only at kona ranch can you find a post with an opossum and Roger Miller.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Pussy Blog: Snow Day Edition

The snow in Austin just fizzled out today. We had maybe 45 minutes of flurries and that was it. The sky turned blue and the orange orb came out.

The Tot was adorable sitting on my work PC taking a nap. He had his feet tucked under and his nose was hanging off the front edge of the PC. But as soon as he heard me turn on the camera, he had to arise and pose!

My orange lovey woolly man.

Not quite awake, but turning to face the window.

Gazing out at the snow flakes falling.

Meanwhile, the princess was utilizing the down comforter in the bedroom.

TGIF!! What a week. I'm numb!

A Sunny & Snowy Friday

What else can I say except it's weird Austin and it's been one crazy weather week.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Meat: It's What's For Dinner

Well, not literally, since we're both vegetarians and have been for about 18 years. But we just walked out on the patio and scared away a rather large opossum. Txrad said, "those things scare me." I replied, "Not me; they're tasty."

Yes, I have eaten opossum as well as armadillo and a few other critters. I despised deer meat. It's way to gamey for my taste. And as for turkey, I could only handle the white meat. I hated the dark meat. But if my recollection is true, I thought opossum and armadillo made great BBQ meat.

So, Question of the Day: What's the most exotic meat you've ever eaten, and did you like it?

The guy who prepared the armadillo and opossum was the dad of my cousin's cousins in small-town southeast Arkansas. He'd do this big BBQ every July 4th and I was probably 11 or 12 when I tasted those delicacies. He also offered up some rattlesnake, but I politely declined.

The Big Problem

In a 38-24 vote, the New York State Senate rejected a same-sex marriage bill.
“Certainly this is an emotional issue and an important issue for many New Yorkers,” said Senator Tom Libous, the deputy Republican leader. “I just don’t think the majority care too much about it at this time because they’re out of work, they want to see the state reduce spending, and they are having a hard time making ends meet. And I don’t mean to sound callous, but that’s true.”

Yes, it is true. But this issue has nothing much to do with the "majority;" it's about those of us in the minority who are being denied equality in having our relationships equalized with those in the majority.

Oh, and it's also about the Bible.
During debate, Sen. Ruben Diaz, a conservative minister from the Bronx, led the mostly Republican opposition.

“If you put this issue before the voters, the voters will reject it,” Diaz said. “Let the people decide.”

Sen. Eric Adams, D-Brooklyn, challenged lawmakers to set aside their religious beliefs and vote for the bill. He asked them to remember that once even slavery was legal.

“When I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out,” Adams said.

“That’s the wrong statement,” Diaz countered later. “You should carry your Bible all the time.”

Fucking ridiculous. And a VERY big problem.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Beg To Differ

It's been a hard week with no blogging, but txrad and I are discussing politics, the state of the nation, let's be jolly, come on and share the good times while we can, along with the sunshine, there's gotta be a little rain, sometimes.

Afghanistan came up, along with a major cramp in my left foot.

30,000 young and unemployed bodies isn't so bad to put on the front line for a cause that is about as clear as oil.

Jimmy Carter was not owned by anyone except his god. The press derides him as the worst president ever, when in fact, he was among the best.

Sometimes we'll cry.... and we'll know why...just you and I...

Because you know, the Presidency is a high office. Shhhh, tis 4:20.

And higher ups don't let high control things. The president is a FUCKING PUPPET.

There. Was that enough? Did I satisfy a need? A posting gap?

Now I've just got to let the next Nancy Sinatra tune enter my realm.