Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just Let It Go

Stolen from Flickr without credits, so sue me.

Keep Austin Weird takes on a whole new meaning on Halloween. I swear I wish people would just spontaneously celebrate Halloween everyday of the year. The world would be a more enjoyable place.

I ran to the supermarket this afternoon and saw a square aluminum robot heading in to purchase something.

What was the best costume you saw this weekend?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Farewell to Limboland

If my life was a book, it would have many chapters. Most of them are short. The current one is long and rather boring, but things are about to ratchet up a few notches.

Austin, Texas has been my home now for 13 years and aside from my life growing up on the farm, this is the longest I have ever remained in one place. When I moved here, George W. Bush was the governor of Texas. I absolutely love Austin and I think it's one of the best places I have ever lived. It's not just the city I love, but my house here has proven to be ideal in terms of comfort. It feels like home. Leaving it might be one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. However, I am being pulled away by feelings I cannot ignore. I need a change.

Normally I sit here at my desk on Saturday morning and hope the weekend can be stretched for as long as possible before I return to work on Monday. This one is a little different. Election day is Tuesday and frankly, I'm ready to get on with it. I need to know what awaits us all in 2011 and beyond. And it could easily have an impact on the next chapter of my book: Where to go next. But the election is just the start of it.

November is going to be pivotal in another way. By Thanksgiving, it is my goal for txrad and I to have filed for personal bankruptcy. This is something that has been hanging over our heads for 3 1/2 years and it will be such a relief to put it behind us and move on, figuratively speaking, and probably literally.

In December I plan to officially bury the rotting carcass of a corporation which was the catalyst for our financial calamity. And by some date in February the debts should be dismissed by a judge, just in time for the new growth of spring. And by late February we should be getting a nice taste of what the new congressional makeup will be like.

In the meantime, I am focused on my immediate goals and pondering the great what next and where next question, even as a firm date for that decision is far from certain. I figure I really have about 3 years, if I need to take that long, unless I want to still be here when this asshole gets out of prison.

Having the freedom to basically go anywhere is reminding me of when I was deciding where to go to college. It was exciting to have that choice and I can tell you there probably isn't a college anywhere in this country that wasn't under consideration at some point. I bought the Fiske Guide to Colleges, or whatever was available back then, and figured I might as well get my money's worth out of it by working through all 700 pages! And there's not a state in the US where I haven't looked at real estate. Well, that's a lie actually. Alaska is off the table. Wasilla is not in my future. A view of Russia from my back porch is not on my priority list.

As with college, there are some practical matters to take into consideration when deciding on our next place of residence. Practicality takes a lot of the fun and spontaneity out of the process. At some point I will need to narrow down the list of options and get serious. And as much as I would like to live in a place far removed from extreme right-wing politics, this election cycle has demonstrated to me that there might not be such a place. Sure, there are places which are probably better suited for progressives than Texas happens to be, but there's really no escaping the nut-bags entirely.

After Tuesday, we'll have a good idea just how short that short list really is. And that will be the first day of my Farewell to Limboland chapter.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Guidelines For Lovin' Edition

Tater Tot is designed very efficiently for maximum pleasure stroking. Notice the clearly-defined stripes on his head. Those are your guidelines for running your finger, or even a fingernail, down the length of each line.

Follow each line from his nose to the back of his head. He's a happy boy.

Ditto with the side of his face. Stroke from the corner of his eye down the side and to the back of his head. Run a finger from his whiskers around his eye, and again across his cheek. It is very important to follow the Tot directions explicitly.

Gee I can't believe it's Friday. WOOT!!!!

Please note this will be the last Friday Pussy Blog before election day.
And if you don't vote, you don't get no pussy.

(And if you vote Tea-Bag Republican, you don't get no pussy.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The #1 Issue

Seriously. Prop. 19 in California, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana (well, to a large degree), is the one I have my eye on most closely. And despite what happens in Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, and every other state with an important congressional race, Prop. 19 is the one that gives me the most hope for progress, and the one that will crush me if defeated.

I have thought it might make me seem shallow to have my focus on marijuana legalization when so much else is at stake. Thanks to Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, editors-in-chief of and Reason magazine respectively, for this reminder why the issue is so important.
The 858,000 marijuana-related arrests made each year -- many involving minors, non-violent offenders, and those possessing insignificant amounts -- accounts for more than half of all drug-related arrests and takes a huge toll on the criminal justice system and lower-income communities at every level. No one seriously questions that the drug war disproportionately impacts minorities and that most "drug-related" crime is in fact a result of the black market status of drugs. Mexican drug gangs may be violent but there is no reason to believe that Mexican marijuana merchants would be any more violent than Mexican mango merchants.

And make no mistake: The drug war is effectively a war on marijuana, by far the only illegal drug used by more 1 percent of the adult population on a regular basis.

Think about that. 858,000 marijuana-related arrests each year. And given that we are still living in an era when some major politicians can't even get on board with medical marijuana initiatives, I would gladly trade you a Harry Reid for a Sharron Angle in exchange for a cultural shakeup that would result from the passage of a marijuana legalization measure. Gladly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I Am An Angry Voter

Some Democrats In Name Only don't get no respect. And it's not because they aren't real Democrats with real progressive values; it's because they aren't perceived as worth the effort by the Democratic National Establishment.

The National Democratic Establishment is precisely the reason why I am reluctant to vote for anyone but a 3rd party if I find myself in a lesser or two evils situation.

Case in point, both in Arkansas, (where I won't be voting anyway since I don't live there):

1. Bill Halter, clearly the more progressive, vs. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary earlier this year.

Lincoln squeaked through that one when she clearly shouldn't have because the national Democratic party refused to move left...not one fucking inch.
Sen. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln has "proven once again she is a true independent voice for the people of Arkansas."

They were not willing to follow the winds within the local Democratic camp, frustrated by Lincoln being a true DINO, and thinking her incumbency would prevail in the end. Wrong. Bad move, and Democrats will pay that price on November 2nd.

2. Joyce Elliott vs. Tim Griffin (Karl Rove protoge) in Arkansas' 2nd congressional district.

The 2nd district, dominated somewhat by Pulaski county (Little Rock), a reliably Democratic district, being vacated by Democrat Vic Snyder, is slated to swing heavily in favor of Republican Griffin this year. I chalk this up to two facts: a) Elliott has the same skin color as the much-hated Kenyan president, and b) the Democratic committee wrote her off as a loser and spent their supporting funds elsewhere...Harry Reid comes to mind.

So...pardon me if I refuse to automatically throw my support to the Democrats, even in a state where they have a chance to win, if I'm not even 10% as enthusiastic about their positions and their candidacy (thinking Democrat Bill White of Texas) as I would have been had I been able to vote for Halter and Elliott.

This is why I get frustrated by the guilt-trip that voting for a 3rd party is a wasted vote, or that we must hold our noses in many cases and vote for the Democrats because the Republican alternative is repugnant. Yes, the Republican alternative is quite often a disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen, but voting for some Democrats is like rewarding the abusive spouse. Some of us are fucking fed up with the abuse and are ready to walk away.

I don't want to hold my nose when I vote. I don't want to reward greed and corruption in an effort to avoid more greed and corruption when I vote. I want to hold my head up and vote with pride for someone I'd be thrilled to represent me in office. Someone who is on the record as shutting down the bullshit. Even if they don't stand a chance in hell of winning.

If enough people would do this, it would send a message, sooner or later. We need to stop playing the money game and the bullshit game.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hand-Wringing and Pearl-Clutching

We have about a week remaining in this circus known as the 2010 mid-term elections. Not long after President Obama took office I started to realize it was probably going to be a brutally ugly year for Democrats. And that was before the Supreme Court ruled in January of this year that corporations have the right -- as persons-- to spend freely on political campaigns.

Aside from that insidious infusion into the campaign season, I can understand why so many people are conflicted. A sizable number of Americans have been directly impacted by the recession. There's anger on the left and there's anger on the right. And we certainly don't have much common ground on the solutions.
Filings with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend show that one Republican group, American Future Fund, has purchased more television advertisements attacking Representative Bruce Braley, Democrat of Iowa, who was expecting an easier path to re-election. Another group, the 60 Plus Association, reported spending more than $150,000 against Representative Solomon P. Ortiz, Democrat of Texas, who has been considered a likely victor in November against his cash-short challenger, Blake Farenthold.

“As you know, they have been dumping tens of millions of dollars of secret money into these campaigns,” Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview. “I would say the outside groups have shuffled the deck in a number of these races.”

I shouldn't be surprised either that so many Americans are straddling the fence between Democrats and Republicans. Some people don't mind paying taxes but want their rights to own guns as well as wanting to restrict the rights of women to seek abortion.
Or consider James Cherry — no handy label for him either. He is a structural engineer and an unaffiliated voter who leans, he said, toward the Republicans on gun rights and abortion.

But he is also heavily involved in philanthropy, and the federal health care overhaul passed by the Democrats touches on his passions about caring for others. He enthusiastically supported the change and has no patience for Republicans or Tea Party enthusiasts who want repeal. Indeed, he is unhappy with both parties that the law does not include a single-payer government option that liberal Democrats had favored. His wife, Julia, is on the same page.

In my mind, the problem we have as a society is that we can't seem to come to terms with the notion of individual liberty. Many want the federal government to stop meddling in the rights of states, but they have no issue with the states meddling in the rights of the individual, depending on the rights. Guns: yes. Abortion: no. Same-sex marriage: no. God: yes. Muslims: No. Evolution: No. Stem-cell research: No. Prayer: Yes. Hell yes! And so on...

Until we learn to live and let live, we are doomed to repeat this cycle over and over for decades to come.

I wish I could say the far rightward march and the potential for the success of it was limited geographically. Unfortunately, this debate isn't limited to places like Texas, Kansas and Mississippi. This ill wind is blowing from Massachusetts to California, from Washington to Florida.

The anger isn't just about what Obama has or hasn't done in terms of the change we were promised. There has been progress on many fronts, and a glaring lack of progress on others. If we were simply dealing with an electorate feeling disenfranchised because we didn't get enough of the change we were promised, I seriously doubt more than a very small percentage would be switching their vote back to the Republican column from whence we just came. It's about far more than change, or the lack thereof. It's about anger and fear, lies and distortions, with a surprisingly gullible and ignorant electorate.

And that's what scares me the most about this election cycle. I will be voting here in Texas, and that doesn't come without significant hand-wringing on my part. I so desperately want to see Governor Rick Perry tossed out that I'm willing to consider casting a vote for Democrat Bill White who is proudly on record as being in favor of something I see as a major moral shortcoming, and his opposition to another I view as being grossly lacking in compassion.
White and Glass said they favor the death penalty; Shafto said she opposed it as uncivilized.

White said he would oppose legalizing medical marijuana. Shafto said the nation learned nothing from Prohibition and that making drugs illegal already is creating crime. Glass said as governor she would sign a law legalizing medical marijuana, but she said it was only a "hypothetical" because a Republican Legislature would never pass it.

Or I may have to "throw my vote away" on the Green Party candidate, Deb Shafto.

It is unlikely that Texas will ever field a viable candidate who is truly progressive. And I don't plan to spend the rest of my life in Texas waiting for one.

For the sake of my own sanity, I need to let it go, disengage, and just observe the spectacle unfolding. Chalk me up as yet another very angry voter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Name Dropper Meme

It's a cloudy and drizzly Saturday -- perfect for sitting here making a list for a meme!

I thought this would be a fun meme to do. I frequently think back on famous people I have seen randomly in public, and have decided to make a list for myself as it's rather easy to forget some of them. (And I'm still going to forget some.)

If you want to play along, be my guest, but here's the rules. It has to be something random and unexpected. You can't list Madonna if you paid money to see her in concert! However, if she invited you up on stage, then yeah, you can list her. For this reason, I won't be able to list Bob Hope, Lawrence Welk, Elvis Presley, or The Cramps.

Keanu Reeves - several sightings. Riding his motorcycle in LA, and another time, talking on a pay phone outside Tower Video in West Hollywood. (My guess is that pay phone is long gone, and I wonder about Tower Video!) And at a tiny bar called, appropriately enough, Smalls.

Edgar Winter - at the same bar and same night as mentioned above. (Or was it Johnny Winter? Now I'm second guessing myself. Gimme a break! It was a bar! I was drunk!)

Andrew McCarthy - at some club in Hollywood. May have been the Rainbow on the Sunset Strip. Anyway, I was walking through the club and nearly ran head-on into him. It was about as up close, face to face, as you can get.

Forest Whitaker - shopping at a pet store in LA.

Michael Gross - he showed up at my office one day as he was about to shoot an infomercial for one of our clients. I gave him my newspaper to read while he waited.

Russell Simmons - Another work-related sighting while I was working with the production team for some Def Comedy Jam spots. We pulled in one of my employees to do the voice over work. Incidentally, his name was Montell Jordan. :-)

Ali MacGraw - at a coffee shop in Santa Monica.

Nicholas Cage - at the Erewhon natural foods market in LA shopping for something dairy, if I recall.

k.d. lang - shopping at the Erewhon in LA. She was pushing a shopping cart and coming towards me down the aisle. We had eye contact and I think she knew I was a fan. I was probably bug-eyed.

George Hamilton - also at Erewhon. txrad recognized him; I never would have.

Kevin Bacon - dancing at a gay club in Little Rock after a day of filming some movie.

Matthew Broderick - OK, this one comes close to violating the rules since I was cast as an extra in Biloxi Blues being shot near Fort Smith, Arkansas. But I had no idea we'd be the only two people in the makeup room (aside from the guys doing our makeup), so it counts!

Joan Rivers - in the Northwest Airlines lounge in Memphis while waiting on a connecting flight. She had her pooch with her, and her face was a mangled mess of raw hamburger. She had obviously just had some work done, unless that's how she travels in order to maintain a low profile! I doubt it.

Sammy Davis Jr. -- driving a Rolls Royce down a street in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles back in the 1970s when I was on vacation there with my parents. I think we were trying to find Johnny Carson's house. I was driving my dad's truck, and had stopped at a cross street and saw the Rolls pass in front of me. So all I really saw was the profile of Mr. Davis, but there's no mistaking it.

John Corbett -- seen right here in Austin eating lunch at Curra's Grill. I knew him from Sex and the City, but he's more recently been in United States of Tara.

Glenn Danzig -- this is another near-disqualification except for the fact that it meets the exception criteria like getting invited on stage which I mentioned in the rules. I was at a concert in LA in which Danzig was the opening act for another band. I was at the concert as a guest of a friend who was involved in the music business and that particular concert. At the end, I was asked to drive Danzig and his girlfriend back to his house in the Hollywood Hills since they did not have transportation for some reason.

George Clinton -- twice. And he's pretty hard to miss. Once on a Southwest flight from LA to Austin, and another time in a restroom -- probably in an airport if I recall. Apparently he flies a lot.

Gene Siskel - waiting for a flight at Chicago's O'Hare.

Cheap Trick -- they were checking into a hotel in Chicago at the same time I was.

The HMV Era

I saw so many well-known people while I spent 14 months working at the HMV record store in London that I'm devoting them to this section since the conditions under which I saw them were all identical.

Paul Weller - front man for The Jam. Not so big in the states, but in England, this was akin to seeing McCartney or Lennon.

Eric Idle - I have always thought maybe it was a dream. I know for a fact it was one of the guys from Monty Python because other employees were buzzing about the fact that he was there. But I was so completely flabbergasted, part of my brain tried to erase it. I'm 95% sure it was Eric Idle.

George Michael - he was actually checking me out while pretending to shop for something. What a slut.

Philip Oakey - singer and songwriter of The Human League. Ho-hum for most of you but I was a big fan at the time.

It's interesting that I've lived in Austin 13 years and haven't ever had any really noteworthy sightings that I recall. You'd think I would have bumped into Lance Armstrong, Sheryl Crow and/or Sandra Bullock at least once! I did have one near-miss a couple of years ago. I stopped in my neighborhood liquor store and Tommy Lee Jones had just left. Apparently he was drunk as shit and was picking up another 12-pack of some cheap beer. At least he had a driver.

How to Piss Off a Cop

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Vintage Tot Edition

I was just thinking that the Tot showed up here in mid-October and I couldn't remember what year. After digging through digital photos archived by year, I figured out it was 2005. That is hard for me to believe that he's been with us five years already!

He showed up seven months before I started this blog! Talk about a time distortion!!

Enjoy some vintage Tater Tot:

Tater Tot: 2005 when he was still an outdoors cat.

The Tot: 2006 after he took over the house.

My boy - 2006.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! I may be back on here this weekend with a rant... we'll see.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things that get my dainty white lacy Queer panties in a tight little knot.

Say whatever you want about climate change. Go ahead; call it a hoax. Say it's a mass conspiracy by the scientific community to drum up support for grant money. Call it a natural cyclical phenomenon.

You can even drag your religion into it, if you feel you must. I've got no problems whatsoever with evangelicals who want to argue that our earth is God's creation and it is our duty and responsibility to treat it with respect.

Make the case that we have a duty to wean ourselves off oil imports from unfriendly producers like Iran even while steadfastly making the case that it's not a reaction to global warming.


Just do me one favor, please. Don't ever say this:
“I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”

Because if you truly believe it is our God-given duty to burn through every resource on the planet, burning anything that will move a vehicle in the process, then you are simply an idiot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Gets Better

I'm wearing purple today, even thought I probably won't even leave the house. It's the least I can do to express my frustration.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Targeted Advertising

What? Because I wanted to hear some New Order, I'm suddenly a drug addict needing help?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Question of the Day:

What was your favorite album on 8-track tape?

Mine was Led Zeppelin III.

That's about all I remember having on 8-track.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Captionless Pussy Edition

I am so spent from the workweek that I can't even caption these. But that worked in my favor in terms of thinking of a clever post title...

Happy Friday!

Why We're Screwed

Paul Krugman of the New York Times, writing about the "Mortgage Morass," says Happy Friday, ya'll.
True to form, the Obama administration’s response has been to oppose any action that might upset the banks, like a temporary moratorium on foreclosures while some of the issues are resolved. Instead, it is asking the banks, very nicely, to behave better and clean up their act. I mean, that’s worked so well in the past, right?

The response from the right is, however, even worse. Republicans in Congress are lying low, but conservative commentators like those at The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page have come out dismissing the lack of proper documents as a triviality. In effect, they’re saying that if a bank says it owns your house, we should just take its word. To me, this evokes the days when noblemen felt free to take whatever they wanted, knowing that peasants had no standing in the courts. But then, I suspect that some people regard those as the good old days.

Capitalism is hard at work.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canada Seems Curious

Mississippi...not so much.

But what's up with Oregon??

Data research from OK Trends. Link to site embedded in the graphic.

Beware of soymilk! :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mid-Week Ketchup

First of all, let's do a Songs From My Head segment since I've had this little ditty stuck in it most of the afternoon.

Whoa! Whole lotta sexy hot sweaty on that stage. No wonder it was stuck in my head for some odd reason!


Unrelated blog note: I'm taking down my swamp tree blog header for some maintenance. (Link provided for the benefit of the Guest who can't seem to remember from one day to the next -- or one year to the next -- what the previous one looked like!) Replacing it with the first ever collaborative header effort on this blog! A few days ago a friend of mine on Facebook offered to create one. That afternoon, Cody (aka =P) sent me his entry which was like three fabric swatches of different color and texture pieced together. Very calming and serene. Then I put the konagod finishing touches on it!

So much for the minimalist approach!

I chose to flash it up using two points of light to symbolize the two stunningly brilliant minds involved with it! :-)

(Hey, you know there's nothing low-key about me.)


Can't believe it's Wednesday evening already. txrad has been in high gear trying to get the fall garden ready. Seeds have been planted.

Exciting, huh? (Kinda looks like two grave sites!) Photo provided mainly for the benefit of Sherry P. who asked for one on txrad's Facebook if there would be something to see! Give it 2 or 3 months and you will see Swiss chard and collard greens! YEAAAHHH!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunflowers Announcing Autumn

At least, the few that remain.

Earlier this week, txrad purged the yard of most sunflowers. The entire backyard was full of them and by now they would all be in bloom. However, it was a necessary procedure as they are horrendous to clear out after they die off leaving hard woody stalks behind.

A few weeks ago I took one of those Family Feudish quizzes on Facebook. One of the questions was, "Name a sport that is played in summer," and I incorrectly answered football.

Chalk that one up to my geographic upbringing and current locale. Well, actually it is partially true as I pointed out in Facebook comments. Summer doesn't officially end until mid-September and football season starts beforehand. So I was essentially correct.

But here in Texas it can feel like summer well into fall. It is not until the wild sunflowers bloom in our yard that I start to realize summer is ending and a change in seasons is forthcoming.

Soon we'll have our first cold front of the season blast through here which will bring daytime temperatures down into the 40s. November will roll around, mid-term elections will provide a brief distraction from the upcoming frenzy of holiday activity, and before you know it, we'll be making those damned New Year's resolutions again.

Three months from today we'll be well into January, 2011. But for now, I can focus on the stillness of time from the sunflowers, enjoying their swaying in the gentle afternoon October breeze.

The few that remain.

New Blog Header / New Coulter

So it's kind of interesting that I would choose to redesign my blog header during a time when I'm so listless and uninspired I can't even find anything to rant about.

If nothing else, I guess I can just express myself by doing a new blog header ever few days.

FYI, for those obsessed with meaningless trivia, this is the first blog header in the history of this blog which wasn't derived in some way from the original coffee bean header I designed back in May of 2006 from a photo of my own beans.

I guess that means I'm making progress.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Orange Bulk Containment Edition

Sweet Pea has been spending a bit of time on the door mat lately. Tiger does as well, and it's kind of funny when they are both on it because there's hardly any room on it.

Last night we let Sweet Pea in the house for a few minutes so he could visit with his sister, Sissy, and the Tot. After we let him back out, the Tot was just in a crazy state, sitting in the kitchen just talking about something. We suspect he wondered where Sweet Pea had gone, and wanted us to know he's perfectly capable of supervising another cat in the house. I have no doubt.

The Tot is still spending time each day in the amazon box. I guess I can never toss it out. I need to get him a decorative basket at least.

The box cannot contain all of his orangey bulk.

At least he can spread out on the floor!


Fall Gardening

Hard to believe it's time to start our fall gardening. It's a dual effort -- txrad will maintain the garden and I'll participate in the harvest and the eating.

Swiss chard and collards are my favorites.

My apologies to all the folks up north who cannot participate in this ritual. Sorry to be a tease!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thoughts On God And Heaven

If there is a God, I think He or She should be more like Me in terms of how I deal with my outside cats.

I'd like to hear "come on in the big house. Take a look around. See if it's right for You, and if You want to go back outside to think it over, be My guest."

Somehow it just doesn't seem right that We should have to buy into this sight unseen.

Word of mouth often goes awry.

Thursday Morning Buzz

I got a buzz just from watching a few of these cannabis videos.

But check out #9 from Gropech. Wow, talk about clinical and sterile. As with chickens, I could see a big "free-range" movement growing in response to this. Give those plants some fresh air!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Arkansas Trip: 2010

I left Austin Saturday morning on 9/25 for my annual trip to Arkansas. Interstate 30 took me from Dallas to Little Rock where I spent the night with a friend before journeying on to McGehee on Sunday morning.

Even though Little Rock isn't exactly what you'd call being on the direct route, I have found this is easier for me in terms of the drive, and I can arrive at my mom's house feeling a bit more refreshed and not so road-weary.

McGehee is a farm community, as evidenced by this grain facility, and also a wet community, as evidenced by the adjacent liquor facility.

It's also kind of swampy in those parts. This picture of me I took at the Wiley A. McGehee Memorial Park in town, or as I like to call it, the "Swamp Park." [click to embiggen.]

My brother and I drove out to the farm. This is the foundation of our farm house where we grew up. Too bad the house burned down a few years ago after being sold back in the 1980s. I have lots of wonderful memories growing up there.

The farmland begins at the edge of the 5-acre lot where the house was.

This year the entire farm was devoted to the growing of soybeans. This was probably the first year ever in which cotton wasn't grown. My mother was somewhat irked by that fact.

At the back of the farm is an area we called the break. It makes the "Swamp Park" in town pale in comparison. The water has always been coated in a green moss which creates the illusion that you could walk on it. I would advise against that.

I used to go back there as a kid and could find arrowheads and other bits of Indian pottery in the fields after they had been plowed.

It was also very dry and dusty. I have never seen dirt so fine and powdery. It was almost like driving through 6 or 8 inches of snow.

One of the neighboring farms did have some cotton and it was one of the few fields in which the harvest wasn't completed for the year.

Tuesday morning I drove back to Little Rock to have some Indian food. Ironically, this Indian restaurant was located in a building which had housed a Tuesday Morning store.

Just up the street there in this photo is another small Indian restaurant called Amruth. That had been my destination for lunch but unfortunately they were closed on Tuesdays! I was quite surprised to see this huge sign for Taj Mahal in the area as Little Rock had been lacking a variety of Indian restaurants until now.

The food was splendid and the mint chutney was probably the finest I have ever tasted. I will definitely be returning to this one.

Wednesday morning I was on the road ahead, being pulled deep into the heart of central Texas by noon on I-35, bound for kona ranch.

Not long after I took this shot from a Schlotzsky's parking lot in Belton, Texas, I passed a billboard of President Obama with "Socialist" printed on it.

Vacation over. Back to reality.

Friday Dog Blogging

During my trip to Arkansas I got to hang out with some of my canine buddies.

I spent Saturday night with my friend Elizabeth who was dog-sitting Baxter. He is a joy to behold!

When I got to McGehee, my brother was already there with TJ.

TJ wasn't quite sure what to make of me when I showed up. I could have been friend or foe.

It wasn't long before he loosened up.

Then we were buds.

Friday Pussy Blog - Back Home Edition

I'm back!

The Tot seems to have missed me as he's been a wild boy since I got home.

Deaf Tiger has taken to sleeping in the wild sunflower patch all day.

Nothing new with Sissy. Sleeping on the bed all day.

Sweet Pea preparing for his nap this morning. One last glance at his daddy.

Happy Friday, as meaningless as that is to me since I've been on vacation all week.