Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Kick A Leg Up Edition

Sissy rarely ever sleeps without one or both legs up in the air. It is the "slut sprawl."

Tater Tot prefers to assume the cat loaf position unless he's on the carpet in the bedroom catching some sunshine. Then he might be on his back with a leg or two up in the air.

I'm about ready to put a leg or two up on the coffee table, have a cocktail, and erase my memory of this outrageously busy week.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Facebook Humor

I can't be the only one who relates to these. I've had a number of Facebook incidents lately, not to mention the damn games and farms -- particularly the farms, which I'm either downsizing or abandoning completely. You know, after 2 or 3 days in a row when your crops wither because you didn't harvest in time (OK, I have a FUCKING JOB, OK?) you start to realize how annoyingly ridiculous this shit can be. And it's excess stress during a time when I don't need it.

So, time to blow it off and have a laugh.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday 俳句

Morning ponderings
more stench of rotten apples
fear in the country

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Thotful Spot

[Tigger Warning for excessive Pooh belly and bad music.]


Friday, April 23, 2010

Don't Fuck With Mr. Giggles

I was just checking downloaded photos from the past day or two and apparently txrad got his hands on the camera and caught the Tot in a pose I've never seen before.

I'm thinking I need to move out while I still have life and limb.

Friday Pussy Blog: Red Or White Edition

Another incredibly hectic week behind me, with a milestone birthday wedged in there somehow. Had a small celebration last night. A bigger one might be in order tonight since it is FRIDAY!!

Tot can't decide whether to suggest a red or a white.
(When in doubt, one of each?)

(Yes, litbrit, those two on top are both a Masi from Italy.)

Nothing new with Sissy. Same pose EVERY damn week. She's such a sweet girl though. Poor baby didn't get much nap time with daddy today. Daddy got all of about 10 minutes to rest after lunch before scurrying back to his desk.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's My Birthday and I'll Blow If I Want To

You didn't think I'd not blog on my birthday did you?

I got to blow two candles.

What a day.

And now on to something completely unrelated to age (or is it?):

I really hate bands with drummers who are the vocals also. I want some prancing around, but not too much.

"Life in the Fast Lane" by the Eagles comes to mind.

But drummers who go on to become vocalists are fine by me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Last Post of the 40s

I wanted to write something special for my 50th birthday which is April 22. This will be my last post as a 40-something. I had hoped to write something very introspective and inspiring. Alas, a draining workday has dealt a fatal blow to that plan.

Basically, it is coming to pass like any other day. Cat litter needed scooping and I wanted to get it replaced today so I wouldn't have a to-do list on my actual birthday that included hauling out clumps of feline piss and shit. Alas, there is no litter in the house. So I can add a trip to PetSmart to my to-do list on my birthday.

It will also be like any other day in that I'm working. I may take off at noon. We'll see how that pans out. The grass is still green, and the sky is still blue. (And the clouds are still white or gray.) The wind still blows and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Turning 50 is just a day older than turning 49.972603 which is my approximate age at the moment I'm typing this.

I'm a workaholic and a drunk with a penchant for wine, weed and wimmen whisky.

I am no stranger to depression and distression.

I can be pretty hard on myself for not completing things I wanted to do while I was in my 40s. (Well, if they haven't gotten done by now, lighten the fuck up why don'cha?) I'll just reschedule. Simple.

When I moved to Austin at the age of 37, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd still be living here when I turned 50. In the best case scenario this is about twice as long as I've ever stayed in one place previously.

I've been obsessed with the census since 1970. I participated in my first one, with great joy and fanfare, in 1980. This is my 4th census in which I participated and the first one in which I've been living as an adult in the same city and the same house since the last one!

So many things have stayed the same since that dreaded day 10 years ago when I went from 39 to 40. And so many things have changed. Even 5 years ago I had no idea what a blog was. HTML were meaningless consonants. My cellphone was probably the size of a fanny pack and it didn't do a fucking thing but make and receive calls. Ahh, those were the days.

So, txrad is going to make me a cake biscuits with maple syrup for my birthday. That's something I've been wanting him to do which he hasn't done -- probably since I turned 40!

Yesterday I went out and spent way too much money on a bottle of single malt scotch which I shall relish at the exact moment I turn 50 on Thursday. (It's after-hours in case any work folks are reading this. Around 6:35 PM if I recall.) This scotch was poured into a barrel when I was 33. Shit, I'd barely learned to use the internet back then. A fax machine was still pretty fucking cool and I was probably just learning how to put color in cells in a spreadsheet. River Phoenix hadn't even overdosed yet in front of the Viper Room, but he was getting pretty damn close. I'll bet he wishes he was 50. (Or not.)

Bill Clinton was starting year #1 of his two terms and had no idea he was going to eventually blow a load on Monica's blue dress. (But I'll bet he was thinking about it.) Jurassic Park was released! (Wait, that doesn't seem that long ago!)

Babies born that year are packing for college. Whitney Houston had a #1 hit on the Billboard charts. There's been lots of water under the bridge since then!

This is why I hate milestone birthdays. I can't get my brain to fucking shut itself off. So while I may turn 50, I can sip and relish something sublime from another era, an era that is lost except for memories and the contents of a bottle. And that too shall soon be pissed away.

I've decided these annual birthdays are a crock of shit. Henceforth, I will only acknowledge birthdays which are prime numbers. The last one was 47. The next one is 53. Fuck everything in between.

Primes make the number of birthdays a hell of a lot more palatable.

Whatever happens, it's a big improvement over last year.

The Next Wave

For months I've been hearing about this so-called "recovery" we're in and all the while I've believed this is a premature celebration. Of course, most of the celebrating has been on Wall Street, and a few upticks in department store sales. But nothing has really screamed recovery yet.

In fact, the devastation at the state level is beginning to trickle gush down to basic essential services -- our backbone. Atlanta's MARTA is feeling it.
On Monday night, workers and officials at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority volunteered to paint the X’s on a third of the system’s buses and trains to symbolize the 30 percent cut in service the agency is facing because of a decline in sales tax revenue and a Republican-dominated Statehouse that has been slow to help.


“We are just crawling out of a recession,” said Sam Massell, a former mayor of Atlanta, “but we will be knocked back into another one if the salespersons are not behind the store counters, if the restaurant workers are not in the kitchens, if the office staff are not behind their desks.”

About 46 percent of the more than 100,000 people who use Marta to get to work each day say they do not have access to other forms of transportation.

More than 80 percent of the nation’s transit systems are considering or have recently enacted fare increases or service cuts, including those in Kansas City, Mo., Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., according to a survey released this month by the American Public Transportation Association.

Teachers are also about to become acutely aware that the recession is far from over.
From coast to coast, public schools face the threat of tens of thousands of layoffs this year in a fiscal crunch likely to result in larger class sizes and fewer programs to help students in need.

Reports of deep staffing and service cuts are emerging in several states, including California, Illinois and New Jersey, as school officials say that finances have been stretched to the breaking point.


Education Secretary Arne Duncan estimated that education layoffs could total from 100,000 to 300,000 unless Congress acts.

"It is brutal out there, really scary," Duncan told reporters on Capitol Hill. "This is a real emergency. What we're trying to avert is an education catastrophe."

The irony here is that we are making cutbacks in areas that cannot be outsourced to India or China.

While Wall Street banks may be celebrating, millions of people at the other end of the spectrum are bracing for yet another clusterfuck.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Contemplative Pussy Edition

Lordy, it's been a busy week at work and a long day. Guess you figured at much from the lack of substance here all week.

Sweet Pea enjoying the wet and cool yard.

Tiger staying dry on the patio.

And the almighty Tot having a stretch.

Happy Friday! Three day weekend for me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day

Like you need to be reminded, but it is tax day 2010. The Tea Party Day From Hell.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Honk 4 Ignernt Assholes

Oh, the irony!

You are not alone.

Just make sure you remember where "your country" came from and how you got it in the first place.

Conflicts generally known as "Indian Wars" broke out between American government and Native American societies. The Battle of Little Bighorn (1876) was one of the greatest Native American victories. Defeats included the Creek War of 1813-14, the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the Sand Creek Massacre (1864) and Wounded Knee in 1890.[68] These conflicts were catalysts to the decline of dominant Native American culture. By 1872, the U.S. Army pursued a policy to exterminate all Native Americans unless or until they agreed to surrender and live on reservations "where they could be taught Christianity and agriculture."

Of course. How the hell did the savages get by for 20,000 years, before whitey showed up, without knowing a damn thing about agriculture?

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

This land is my land, it is not your land
I've got a shotgun, and you don't got one
I'll blow your head off, if you don't get off
This land was made just for me.

You sure about that? Or do you just want the portion of it back that benefits you at the expense of others?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Loaf From Hell Edition

Words cannot describe this week from a work perspective so I won't even try except to say TGIFF. And you know there's an extra F in there for a reason.

The Tot has assumed the position and is ready for daddy in the living room.

Yep, he's ready for a lap to sit on.

Sissy was actually awake and standing up this afternoon when I caught her on the bed.

Had a request in comments last week for more outside cats:

Tiger needs to start shedding some of that fur soon.

Sweet Pea, casting a glance to the kitchen window where someone will soon pass carrying cat food.

RIP Malcolm McLaren

He was only 64 and died of mesothelioma.
Mr. McLaren was a keen student of the French Situationists, who believed in staging absurdist or provocative incidents as a spur to social change

This is the first I've heard of the French Situationists. That sounds like a movement with konagod written all over it!

I also respect McLaren for his keen business sense.

In 1972 Mr. McLaren and Ms. Westwood took over a store on King’s Road in Chelsea called Let It Rock and began selling hipster Teddy boy fashions. The business was run along unconventional lines.

In a 1997 article for The New Yorker, Mr. McLaren recalled, “We set out to make an environment where we could truthfully run wild.” On most days the shop did not open until the evening and closed within a few hours. The goal, Mr. McLaren wrote, “was to sell nothing at all.”

Brilliant! Recession-proof!

Although I can't quite forgive him for stealing the Antz -- destroying what I considered to be a kick-ass obscure band -- to form the pop-oriented Bow Wow Wow, I still must mourn the passing of Malcolm McLaren. He was an integral player in what is still my favorite music genre of all time.

I was still in high school when the Sex Pistols toured the United States. I knew nothing about them other than what I read in the press, and needless to say, I'd never heard any of their music on the radio. But I was obsessed with the entire aura surrounding the Pistols, and the fact that a British band was coming to the states, behaving absurdly, and playing in a lot of redneck havens, like Tulsa. It was a carefully orchestrated worst tour of all-time! What's not to love?

By 1979 I made my first trip to London and promptly headed into a record store to pick up their album God Save the Queen, which unfortunately I would still not have an opportunity to hear for the first time until I was back in the States.

McLaren was a catalyst who shaped my future for at least seven years, culminating in the 14 months I spent living in London in the 1980s.

Thanks for that!

Adam and the Antz: Before McLaren set his sights on some key musicians.
(By the way, I have this single, same sleeve and everything!)

If you really want to hear them at their best, get your hands on a copy (also on CD) of Dirk Wears White Sox.

There's also a plethora of material on YouTube. I was shocked at the number of demo recordings and b-sides available, many of which I'd never heard until today.

And "this is fucking ridiculous."


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Feeling Blue

I love this time of year. The days tend to be warm while the nights can either be pleasant or cool. Best of all, the wildflowers are in abundance for a short time -- too short for the bluebonnets. Enjoy them while they last. For me, this is one of the highlights of living in Austin.

Consider them a gift from nature. However, they do come with a price. In just a few weeks we will have traded bluebonnets for chiggers and we'll be scratching our legs and genitals until they're bloody. Remember: nothing comes without a price.

Photo credits: Top - Alberto Martinez AMERICAN-STATESMAN; Bottom - Kim Usey

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ready for Alternative and Cleaner Energy Sources Yet?

Sorry, but in the 21st century this method of acquiring an energy source is absolutely barbaric.
The death toll from a blast at a West Virginia coal mine rose to 25 on Tuesday, federal safety officials said, making it the worst mining accident in the United States in 25 years.


Mine safety officials said that there were three groups of miners affected by the blast. One group consisted of nine miners who were leaving the site at the end of their shift in a vehicle known as a “mantrip.” Seven of the miners in the man trip were killed by the explosion while two others were injured and taken to the hospital by rescue workers.

A second group of 18 miners was said to be working a bit deeper in the mine, closest to the area where coal was actually being extracted. All 18 of them died.

A third group of four miners — the ones still unaccounted for — was even deeper in the mine.

The miners were all thought to be working more than 1,000 feet underground.

And the problem isn't unique to the United States.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Morning News InDigestion

Disclaimer: I've been in a pretty foul mood since mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I'm unlikely to find a lot of news to alter that situation.

First, let me say this: cable set top boxes have long been a technological pet peeve of mine since the early 80s. This dinosaur should have died off in the late 80s, or early 90s at the latest.

But, I have satellite. Cable can bite me. That's not to say I don't have issues with the satellite receiver but at least it serves a purpose other than decoding.


A Jonesboro, Arkansas atheist group is cleaning up a stretch of a major highway leading into the town. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will provide signs indicating that the group has adopted the stretch of highway.

Two Four aspects of this story I find deeply disturbing to the extent that they grate on my last raw nerve.

1. Without a doubt, any town referred to as Fort God because of the number of churches, probably shouldn't have any litter.

2. Odds would dictate that much of the litter is being generated by people who would refer to themselves as Christians.

3. I wonder how many Christian groups are out cleaning the highway instead of bitching about atheists doing the grunt work.
But some religious leaders are already concerned about the image it could paint for Jonesboro. "I'm not excited about it," said John Miles, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro. "Not many of us want to be known as the town with the organized atheist group."

4. Oh, grow the hell up and deal with it! Garbage along the highways is preferable to having atheists clean it up if the atheists get any recognition for the effort?


Then there was the stench of rotting eggs emanating from the Vatican on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, the Catholic church's most joyous celebration, began with a senior cardinal defending Pope Benedict XVI from what he called "petty gossip" and hailing him for "unfailing" leadership and courage.

But the pontiff himself ignored accusations that he perpetuated a climate of cover-up for pedophile priests, even as sex abuse scandals threatened to overshadow his papacy.


Jewish leaders, and even some top Catholic churchmen, were angered after Benedict's personal preacher, in a Good Friday sermon, likened the growing accusations against the pope to the campaign of anti-Semitic violence that culminated in the Holocaust.

The preacher, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview Sunday that he had no intention "of hurting the sensibilities of the Jews and of the victims of pedophilia," expressed regret and asked for forgiveness.

He was quoted as saying that the pope wasn't aware of what the sermon would say beforehand, and that no Vatican officals read the text before the Good Friday service.

The apology satisfied one Jewish leader, Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

"Now that he has apologized and the Vatican has distanced itself from those remarks, the matter is closed," Steinberg said in a statement.

Whatever. Elan Steinberg is such a pushover.

Honestly, this has gotten to the point where apologies are meaningless. Only actions will carry any weight.

As much as I oppose aggression and violence though, I will confess to having a bit of disappointment in not being able to locate a video of the broom handle incident, not to mention the incense bowl used for (testicle?) protection.
Separately, in Germany, where the church is facing intense criticism about the widening abuse scandal, a man attacked the Roman Catholic Bishop of Muenster with a broom handle during an Easter service in the city's cathedral, police said.

Bishop Felix Genn, 60, defended himself with an incense bowl and was unharmed. After the incident, he continued celebrating the Easter service. The man's motive was unclear, police said.

How exciting was your Easter?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Where Zippers Don't Belong

Life is fraught with danger and peril. Therefore, I'm not sure why any guy would want to push it another step by having a zipper in his tight briefs.

But if this kind of thing is your scene, be my guest. $21.00, not including optional topical anaesthetic cream or wire cutters.

Better value: for one dollar more, you can solve the dilemma entirely.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Open Thread

Hosted by a warm pile of shit.

Screwing Around With $50

Count me out among those who are pushing to have Ulysses Grant replaced with Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill.
Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina wants President Ronald Reagan’s likeness to replace that of President Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill.

But the bill introduced by Mr. McHenry and 17 co-sponsors, the majority from Southern states, has run into a hornets’ nest of opposition from Ohio lawmakers who will not stand still for any slight to their home-state hero.

Of course, those Southerners are clever folks. It could just be coincidence that the $50 bill was chosen. And what a coincidence that would be.
Among other things, Grant also signed the 15th Amendment (a measure that [Keya] Morgan, [founder and author of the Grant Homepage, the largest collection of Grant material in the world], said made Barack Obama's presidency possible)

Among those "other things" that Grant did: he signed the law making Christmas a national holiday. (I wonder if the pro-Reagan currency folks would be willing to trade that perk in exchange for the smiling Gipper on a fiddy.)

There hasn't been enough time for the policies of the Reagan administration to be revealed as the disasters they were. A lot of us see it now as we saw it then. But millions more Americans apparently need a few more decades (or centuries) to see the effects of trickle-down economics and other policies of the Reagan era.

Also, I'm already feeling old enough as it is. I've been quite content to live my entire life seeing faces of dead presidents I never knew as living breathing people. The last thing I need to experience is seeing Ronald Reagan on my currency, even if I rarely have my hands on a $50 bill. Having one of those in my wallet is about as common as having a Kennedy half-dollar coin in my pocket.

I simply don't wish to be reminded of the 1980s. Nor do I have any desire to proudly show someone the Reagan portrait on a $50 bill and say, "I once saw his wife speak," or, "I was already an adult when he was shot." No thanks. It's bad enough being older than a current sitting president.

Reagan had charisma. Politics aside, I guess he was a likeable guy even though I didn't know him personally. But his two terms in the White House scarred this nation and I can think of many more people whose portraits would better dignify a $50 bill than Reagan.

Here's an idea. We already have trouble getting the $2 bill into circulation, despite tens of millions of them languishing in banks. Put Thomas Jefferson on the $50 bill -- he deserves a promotion, and give Reagan a shot on the $2 bill. [Poor choice of words but no pun intended.] Not only would it be a more accurate monetary reflection of his contribution to the nation, but the conservatives -- and particularly Southerners -- would suddenly be lining up at the banks to trade in their $1 bills and put the maligned $2 bill into general circulation. And for them it would be like a two-fer deal: it could double as a blow to Honest Abe and rub a little salve into their still-festering wounds from losing the Civil War.

Boy oh boy, then if we could only find a way to return to the days of the three-fifths compromise, that would solve the problem of that Kenyan-born, Socialist, Marxist, gun-melting Islamic Negro keeping the black folks in their rightful place.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Good Regular Friday Edition

Nothing particularly "good" about this Friday. It was supposed to have been a day off from work as was yesterday afternoon, and I ended up working 5 1/2 hours today and some yesterday afternoon as well. Can't even get a pussy post up in a timely manner on a holiday!

Honestly, the time change isn't helping much either. I still haven't gotten used to it and cannot believe it's already 7PM here.

Sissy was on the bed as usual. I caught her in "funny face" mode.

The Tot was in supervisory mode as usual, from atop the kitchen table.
He's giving me the "boy, you're in big trouble" look.

Happy Friday!

Graphic delivered to my Facebook page today by Maggie Jochild.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

March Liquor Consumption Plunges to 10 Year Low

This is not an April Fool's joke. However, it does only apply to our household, not the nation as a whole.

Today marks 31 days (last time I counted, that's a month!) during which time I have not had a tequila shot, a glass of scotch, a glass of wine, or even a sip of beer. No alcohol since March 1st.

By and large, the month of March was a wash-out for me. I've been focused on little else outside of recovery from all the broken and fractured bones in my face, and the surgery on March 18th. By my estimation, there were around 17 days in the month of March when I only consumed food via a straw. And there were some additional days when the solid food I "ate" was mashed into pulp prior to putting it in my mouth so that all I needed to do was move it around a bit and then swallow. I didn't actually start chewing food until this past week.

I almost wish my fall had happened on February 28th instead of March 1st. At least I could say there was an entire calendar month of distance between then and now. But 31 days is a month regardless. And April is a new month. Time marches on and healing continues.

This afternoon I got my stitches removed which hurt like hell on a couple of them. So now the only souvenirs I have are a couple of titanium plates & screws. I will treasure those for life.