Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's Up With Selfish American Farming Interests?

This story touched me deeply this morning, and angered me. It was hard for me to leave for work without posting about it but I had an appointment and a job to do. And by the way, this has to get the Photo of the Week award.

Photo: Evelyn Hockstein for The New York Times

The Bush administration, with odd-bedfellows support from liberal Democrats, has called for allowing the purchase of some food in poor countries to quicken responses to emergencies.


Families participating in an American-financed irrigation project from 2002 to 2006 were promised payment in corn for clearing the land and digging canals. The Kenyan government objected to the importation of American corn because the country was awash in a bumper harvest that had caused corn prices to plunge.

The result: American officials, prohibited by law from buying the corn locally, could not deliver it. As the impoverished families waited in vain for sustenance from the American heartland, malnutrition among the youngest children worsened and five people died of hunger-related causes.

Most farmers I've known were, or claimed to be, Christians. However, the opposition behind this are hardly Christlike.

Across Africa, the United States is more likely to give people a fish — caught in America — that feeds them for a day than to teach them to fish for themselves. Since last year, for example, the United States has donated $136 million worth of American food to feed the hungry in Kenya, but spent $36 million on agricultural projects to help Kenyan farmers grow and earn more.

And even that small budget for long-term projects in Kenya is expected to dwindle.

Pay close attention to all of the dollar figures quoted in this article, which I am emphasizing in bold and/or red.

The Senate Agriculture Committee chairman, Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, where growers and landowners got $1.58 billion in corn subsidies in 2005, is advocating a $25 million pilot program to test buying food in poor countries for both emergency and long-term aid.

Even that modest proposal is meeting stiff resistance from farm state legislators. The House Agriculture Committee’s version of the farm bill includes no such pilot. The committee chairman, Collin C. Peterson, Democrat of Minnesota, said of his members,` “They’re still of the mode that this should be American products we’re using our tax dollars to provide them.”

Mr. Peterson’s district got $367 million in corn subsidies in 2005, according to government data analyzed by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization.

It's really obnoxious to me that a wealthy nation such as America (apparently filled with selfish spoiled brats who put their own financial gain ahead of small compromises to aid those in dire need) can display such brazen disregard for the have-nots of the world.

It's sickening. How in the hell do we explain our broken promises, and do we even care?

Crossposted at B3

Monday, July 30, 2007

Big Is Still Beautiful

Anyone see Mo'Nique and her Paris runway show of fat bitches?

Beautiful. We put too much emphasis on size anyway. As for me, when I see a skinny runway model, I cringe.

Because, by and large, (no pun intended), thin people aren't that talented.

Feline Psychologist Needed ASAP

What's up with this? Sissy was lounging in the litter box when we got home from work. We moved the litter box to the other side of the room after ripping up carpet. This is also the box which Samantha would use for urinating. Is this some type of feline mourning ritual or what? Maybe it's the side effects of the Revolution dose she got on Saturday to kill the fleas. I have no idea.

I just know I've never seen a cat rest in a litter box before. It's unnatural.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Aveda: Kiss My Burning Hot Asshairs

I fucking HATE having to walk into an Aveda store in a mall. I don't even like malls. I hate them. And I HATE Aveda stores. And here's why:

When I walk into a store, I'm often browsing, and want to be unannoyed. When I walk into a store and know exactly what I want, I definitely want to be unannoyed and LEFT THE FUCK ALONE.

Such is not possible at your local neighborhood Simon Properties megafuckingmall.

I was promptly greeted by an ironclad bitch from the depths of hell.

I can't remember her phrase or phrasing, but her attitude was, you don't belong in here now go away.

Bitch. Listen to me. This is why I shop at the Wildflower Salon. They have a similar approach but it's not quite so garish.

I told her I was befuddled and could not remember the name of the product I had come to purchase. This is not an unusual konagod trait, I tend to get befuddled in social situations in FUCKING MEGAMALLS.

Then she got rather condescending on my ass. She said roughly (I'm paraphrasing), "Well, perhaps if you could tell me the type of product you're looking for, I could help you find it."

God damn yes I'm paraphrasing, because the bitch was rubbing me raw with her choice of words and tone.

I struggled to find the words "shampoo" and "conditioner" as txrad simultaneously found my Sap Moss product. Thank God.

Things never did really improve. That gal was just an obnoxious cunt from start to finish.

I already spent over $100 and we asked about the Elixir. It's been discontinued but she still had a small stash in the back. I got one bottle.

We left after I had to show my ID for my purchase and had a slight miscommunication about their buyer incentive program (translation: we screw you; you think you got something, and you did: a good screwin'.)

A short time later we passed by this Beverly Hills-esque boutique from the bowels of SATAN himself, and decided to re-enter. After all, that damn ELIXIR has been discontinued and no replacements of any adequate performance have proven effective, I decided I'd buy two more bottles. They were only $9 and some change.

The bitch did not look happy to see us return to spend more money. Her sidekick associate has the opposite reaction but never opened her mouth on either visit. That's my kind of sales associate. But alas, we were not so lucky.

I announced that I'd like another two bottles of Elixir to the... "sales person" who let out a sigh and trudged to the back room again for two more bottles.

I spent another $19 and something. That bitch acted like she had to work for the transaction.

What is it about living in 2007 that I don't understand? Have these people never had difficulty? Perhaps I should have confessed.

AVEDA: The Art and Science of Pissing Off a Konagod and Making Him Rant Like the Fires of Hell Were Burning His Ass Hairs.

The Den Project

I got the rest of the ugly shit-brown and piss stained carpet pulled up in the den this afternoon. I'm a happier man already. This is a room we don't use for anything but CD storage on some shelves and the two litter boxes. The litter boxes have sat for years to the left of the fireplace and I knew it was going to be an ugly scene when I pulled that carpet up.

I won't go into gory details but the wooden tack strips which hold the carpet were actually rotted in that area. I have kept one of those large plastic mats under the litter boxes as well -- those mats that are used in carpeted offices for the chairs to roll around on when you're at your desk. Apparently this damage must have already been in place before I got the idea to use one of those. Or perhaps urine ran over the edge and under the mat. I told you Samantha was a messy pisser.

The den yesterday:

The den today:



That is an upended coffee table in front of the fireplace, just in case you thought it was some abstract art piece.

Also, we have made our carpet selection for the living room. Portly Dyke and Camera Obscura, you're going to be very disappointed I'm thinking. We didn't go with either of the two samples I posted earlier, but I'm keeping the final selection a secret until it is installed in about 3-4 weeks.

However, I think you'll both like what I have planned for this den. I haven't made any decisions yet but this is going to be my colorful room since it tends to be very dark.

We have also discovered mold in the garage and I'm concerned about it creeping into the house. txrad has sprayed a mixture of bleach and water on the moldy areas but we're thinking maybe we should call a professional.

This series of home improvement posts is apparently going to continue for a while.

My House Looks Like Shit

Damn those cats!

This makes me want to rethink purchasing nice carpet. Maybe I should just get the cheapest I can find, and in a dark brown perhaps.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Living Room Renovation

I'm quite excited about how things are progressing. The walls are basically done. I've spent about 7 hours on it so far. I still need to do the trim which is going to take awhile. I have to tape around it and that will take almost as long as the painting itself. I'm guessing another 3 hours which probably means 4 hours.

Since I took this picture late this afternoon we have moved the leather sofa back into the room so we can watch Food TV. We have not viewed a TV show in almost a week.

One of the doors into the kitchen has been removed in case you are wondering where it is.

Now the bad news. We went to Home Depot today to select carpet, and they only had a very limited selection which could be installed in 3 business days. The rest of their extensive selection has to come from the mill and may take 3 weeks. We brought home a couple of samples we really like. That's why we decided to go ahead and set up the TV and move the sofa back in because we need a place to relax in the evenings if we're going to be waiting 3 weeks.

Initially I was really fond of this one in this color. It really compliments the green paint. And the pattern is interesting.

txrad liked this one but in a different color more similar to the one above. But after bringing both samples home, I'm starting to lean towards txrad's choice, and actually, this color isn't bad.

You can flip the big samples over and see all the available colors. I think we need to get drunk and decide, which is how txrad decided on the paint colors. Hey, what can I say? We're on a roll.

Feel free to vote on your favorites.

I would have preferred to put in wood floors or tile, but honestly, after hearing the echo from the bare concrete floors, I don't think it would be a good idea to have those materials in an entertainment room. We'd have to buy a rug and those things can cost more than carpet installation.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What a Week

Let's recap: Monday afternoon about 5:00 life was hunky dory as far as I knew. Until I got home to the flooded kitchen with soaked carpets in the den and living room.

Tuesday morning -- rear-ended on the way to work.

Wednesday morning -- Samantha died.

Thursday afternoon -- I started painting the living room and I should be finished on Saturday.

Friday -- my first full day back at work since Tuesday. And I'm so sore from 3 hours of stretching and squatting while painting. Honestly, I can barely get in and out of the car, and just touching any square inch of my body brings pain. How can anyone be so out of shape?

I've been thinking a lot about Samantha. I miss her and I can hardly believe it was Monday morning when she was on the kitchen table reaching over the top of the newspaper to try and pull it down so she could have more of my attention. I miss seeing that paw although it annoyed me when she'd do it.

One thing I don't miss is her pissing habit. She would often pee over the edge of the litter box even though she was standing in it. I noticed today how much easier it was to clean. It's also a LOT quieter in this house because she was so vocal and probably the loudest cat I've ever heard in my life. And when she was near either of us, she would start purring like a jet engine. Again, the loudest purring cat I've ever heard.

I will miss her standing on me while I'm trying to take a nap this weekend. I think she looked forward to the weekends because she knew at some point I'd get on the bed and she'd join me, walking back and forth across me until she found her spot. She would get in my face, as if to smell my lips to try and determine what I'd had for lunch. I could always see my own reflection in her eyes because she was so in my face.

She did more than love me. She absolutely adored me and I kind of miss being adored. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and I used to joke when talking with txrad that she got "her daddy's eyes."

I'm not sure why, when I was burying her, I tried to blind myself to what I was doing. I would not look at her. I was seeing her obviously, because I had to place her in the hole and cover her with dirt. But I was only seeing her form, and not really looking at her. For me, that's the most painful experience. Taking someone I have loved for 11 years and covering them with dirt. But that's the way life is.

I know at some point I'll have a sobbing breakdown. I hope not, and if I can get past the next few days, I may get lucky.

But there is definitely a void in this house, even with the two remaining indoor cats.

There will be no official Friday Pussy Blog this week. I think I had that covered already.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Austin Sunrise

One of the things I miss about growing up on a farm in Arkansas were the awesome sunrises and sunsets. This morning I caught one worthy of capture.

Painting is Good Therapy

I knew after all the bad luck I've had this week, things had to improve. I'm finally tackling some projects I've had on the back burner for a couple of years at least.

The living room, while in the midst of a carpet removal, is being painted finally, in the color I always wanted.

Actually I wanted a darker sage green on all four walls. But txrad and I got drunk last night and I pulled out the color samples and he immediately picked two. We decided to do a dark green on the TV/entertainment center wall, and a light sage on the other three walls.

He picked the yellow for the kitchen and it worked out fine, so I trusted his drunken judgement on this one. I'm happy with it.

Right after I took this picture the camera shut down because the battery was dead. But I finished the wall on the left with the light sage. I'm going to work tomorrow and will finish up this room over the weekend. I'll post more photos showing the progress.

But wait until you see what I have planned for the den which I haven't photographed yet!

Finally, after 10 years, this is going to be OUR house!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

With the Help of God Almighty and Rufus Wainwright

I'll get thru this tonight. Things are going good so far.

Samantha: 1995-2007 RIP

She died today, sometime early this morning, behind the washing machine in true cat fashion: passing on in the most inconvenient spot imaginable and making daddy do more work.

As txrad was leaving for work this morning he said, "Samantha is behind the washing machine and I don't know if she's alive or dead."

So I paced around the house today moving furniture out of the two rooms where we need to rip out the rest of the carpet trying not to disturb my old girl. By 11:00 I was pretty sure she had died, but throughout the day I kept thinking I was seeing her out of the corner of my eye, or hearing her stirring about. And I kept thinking "please don't get up and stumble into the kitchen howling."

I absolutely could not take another trip to the vet with a cat needing to be put to sleep. That is an experience I've been through once with Jezebel and once is enough. There's just something about having that final moment with a living cat, complete with loving eye contact, and a minute later she's gone. It's terrible, and the decision to do it rests of me.

I'm very relieved Samantha chose to pass on here in our home. That's the way I wanted it and I know that's the way she wanted it. But I'll still miss her. She was our first cat together as a couple. She was born in Los Angeles and in the early days I referred to her as my LA girl who is a Texas girl now.

The picture I'm using in this post was taken in November, 2003 and I have it framed in my bedroom. That was when she was still fat and for a couple of years at least she was so overweight she could not clean her butt. I had that chore.

At 4:00pm today she was buried in our back yard, between two large boulders, in a shallow grave covered with smaller rocks. It's not easy digging a hole after 5 or 6 inches of rain. That girl was really good at making me work.

So, let the wake begin. I had already decided my LA girl was going to get this video as her send off.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Idea

This house was built specifically for an artist.

As we have removed the carpet, we have discovered various painter marks. Like a paint can, a yard stick, and other signs of creativity.

What txrad came up with is that we leave it, and celebrate, and add to it, with our friends coming over for a party, and being able to paint what they want on our floor.

How cool is that?

And then when we sell, we just carpet over. Our friends are preserved, and our buyers will never know. Well, eventually. Therein lies the fun.

Carpet Demolition: Part 1

After the wild night we had last night, we decided to turn off the alarm and just sleep until we woke up, which was around 7:20. I'm normally on my way to work at that hour. I called the vet but they didn't have any slots open for Samantha today but suggested I give her a shampoo to take care of the flea problem. Since the house already smells like a wet cat, bathing her wasn't such an ordeal. But she is no better this evening.

We decided to go to the office to finish up a few things. We left here about 10:00. While at a stop sign downtown, we felt a surprising hard bump in the car. We had just been rear-ended by a guy in a Jeep Cherokee. Lovely. Just what I needed after worrying about a dying cat and having rain water flowing through my kitchen the prior day.

txrad is doing a great job ripping out all this nasty wet carpet and padding. It's going to require some very well organized furniture placement elsewhere in order to get all the carpet removed from two rooms.

I'm going to stay home from work on Wednesday and take care of as much as I can. I need to get the cat to the vet; I need to take the car to a repair shop for the estimate; and I can use the rest of my free time to get this house ready for the next phase of improvements.

I was really hoping the concrete under the carpet had been in good shape and I would have considered staining it. I guess that's not an option. This is exciting in a way, starting with a clean slate and being able to get two rooms done the way we want them. I have already decided I'm going to paint the two rooms before we put down flooring. All of these projects have been on my agenda for years. I guess now is the time.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Old Cat Wants to Die

Listening to music resonate through wood.

If I have to put this old bitch to sleep I swear I'll have a screaming moment. She is my girl. I cannot take another loss at this point. I just can't.

Who Engineered THAT Shit?

It's wet in Austin.

Highway sign says "curves ahead."

We have begun speaking to each other in total musical terms. It's a mathematical relationship. Beautiful. Every stroke of the black key.

Wet Clean Up at Kona Ranch

It wasn't raining when we came home from work but there were visible signs of debris on the streets in our neighborhood which indicated water crossing the streets. It got worse when we opened our garage door to find lots of water. Unfortunately, there are two steps down from the garage into our utility room and kitchen, and you know what they say about water seeking the lowest point.

One cat food bowl had washed from near the utility room door all the way across the kitchen to the living room. The kitchen was soaked, the carpet in the den and living room is soaked several feet into each room. It's a mess.

I walked across water standing in the backyard to check the rain gauge. We'd had over 4 inches and I suspect that must have fallen in a very short amount of time.

This necessitated yet another in a series of trips to Home Depot -- this time for a wet vac.

I just hope it will get a lot of the water out of the carpet. I don't even want to think about the damage to the TV stand. That thing wasn't cheap.

txrad is having fun with his new toy.

Meanwhile it has started raining again. I have no idea what we're having for dinner, but konagod needs a stiff drink.

UPDATE: 8:58pm. Kona has his strong drink. We got the TV removed from the stand (the TV weighs about 300 lbs and the stand another 100 lbs or so. The bottom was wet on one side but should be fine. We moved it into another part of the house to dry. The carpet padding is what was holding the bulk of the moisture.

I have a feeling we're going to have to pull up the carpet in both the living room and den, which is fine with me.

Meanwhile, I'm very concerned about my Samantha, who is in terrible health right now. She's dying and that was my intention today when I left work early to come check on her and I'd have time to take her to the vet if she hadn't already died. That plan got sidetracked.

She's been busy checking out all the goings on around here tonight but she looks like hell and probably isn't long for this world. But that's another chapter, another post, another day.

I'm tired. I'm going to get drunk.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Kitchen Lighting Project

Anytime you hear me mention any type of home improvement project, you know there's going to be some swearing and plenty of drama involved.

For a long time I've wanted to replace our fluorescent lighting fixtures in the kitchen. They are dated and ugly (much like our vinyl flooring -- another project overdue) and had recently begun to function sporadically, so we assumed the bulbs needed replacing.

Yesterday we went to Homo Depot and after checking out a rather pathetic and unattractive selection of fluorescent fixtures, we decided to just get new bulbs. We picked up 4 new full-spectrum lights. After txrad got them installed, the lights worked less well than they had been working. In fact, they never came on at all. So he put in the old bulbs again with the same result. Damn.

We discussed purchasing two new ballasts but I was thinking this was the ideal time to just replace the dated fixtures with something new.

After lunch today we went back to Home Depot to shop more seriously. Although I'm not pleased with their selections, they did have on display a fixture identical to the ones we have (which are probably 20 years old) in a white metal vs. the ugly faux wood metal frame of our old pair. Since they were only $45 each, we decided that would be a good choice. Unfortunately, they were out of stock.

OK, let me digress here with one of my classic kona rants. Nothing quite pisses me off like a mega-home improvement warehouse being out of stock of something basic like a kitchen lighting fixture.

We decided to try Lowe's, and honestly, their selection was worse. As we were leaving we did bump into one of our co-workers from the ad agency.

We came home to chill out and do some research online, then around 3:00 we decided to go to a different Lowe's out in the village of Bee Cave. (I could do an entirely new blog post about Bee Cave and the new development, but I'll save that for later.) They had the same crappy selection so we journeyed on to a Home Depot a couple of miles up the road to see if perhaps they had the white metal fixture we wanted. They did! We bought two, and realized the bulbs required were T8 size instead of the T12 our current fixtures used. T8 bulbs are smaller in diameter and I was concerned about whether the light would be bright enough. We bought two packs of those and came home for the installation.

At this point, txrad was moaning about this project, especially since it involved electrical work, and I was getting cranky because he seemed to be wanting to put this off. This is a prime and rare example of txrad and I being so different. I wanted to get this done and NOW! We do a lot of cooking and I need light in the kitchen. Besides, when putting off projects like this, I could see it being NEXT weekend before we got it done, with our work schedules.

We actually have a ceiling fan still in a box from Home Depot that has yet to be installed. What's funny is that we bought it to install in our house in Los Angeles 10 years ago. We still haven't installed it, so I wanted to get moving pronto on this project.

I went out to the garage to the circuit breaker to try and figure out which switch shut off the power to the ceiling lights. I found it and txrad proceeded to get to work removing the old fixtures. While removing the first screw which anchored the fixture to the ceiling I heard him say something along the lines of "oh shit."

The screws were long and not anchored into wood studs. txrad knew what we needed and they are called toggle bolts -- little things with metal "wings" that you press flat, stuff into the hole in the ceiling and then they spread wide again to support the weight of the fixtures. Of course we didn't have any so we had to return to Home Depot. We would have had to go back anyway to return the T12 bulbs we purchased yesterday for the old fixtures, so it all worked out. It just wasn't something we wanted to do at 4:40 on a Sunday afternoon when we wanted to finish the project.

txrad started muttering some nonsense about not finishing this project today, and I went on a tirade about how it wasn't going to get any easier on a weekday after work.
No way in hell was I going to be looking at this ugly sight all week.

So, the project began. As soon as we returned home from purchasing the toggle bolts, this was the scene in the kitchen with our little feline helpers.

A short time later, Samantha decided she wanted to see what life was like INSIDE that LONG box.

As txrad began to disassemble the old fixtures, it became apparent why they worked so sporadically. The ballasts were a mess. They were actually melting in areas.

In the process, txrad cut his finger. There was a round section on the backside of the fixture that needed to be chipped out with a hammer in order to pull the wiring through, and it left a razor-sharp edge. This caused me to curse more.

Actually, this project went as smoothly as I knew it should have once we had all the things we needed. The end result is mahvelous and I love it.

It's actually brighter than the old lights and I immediately spotted coffee stains on the counter which needs to be cleaned up. I'm happy.

We finished up about 6:20 which was only an hour later than I had initially predicted. Not bad considering we had to insert another trip to Home Depot in there.

Home improvements are such fun!

Oh, and did I mention that all this shit we purchased, including the step ladder were made in China? Can we not make ANYTHING in the USA now? Or as txrad said, we make shit to bomb shit. Oh yeah. We can at least do that!

One Down, 84 To Go

Don't you hate it when you remember posting a comment somewhere a few weeks afterwards and for some odd reason you want to find it? As with any lost item, it's hardly ever where you think you left it, and often it turns up where you least expect to find it. I just got lucky.

Back on Friday, July 6, at 7:54pm, while intoxicated with the holy spirit, I posted this comment in the Virtual Pub over at Shakesville:


What are those lakes in Africa?

It was followed one minute later by this:

Quaker Dave,
you readin' this?

The reason I distinctly remember this is because Quaker Dave is deeply involved with the Darfur crisis and until recently (as you'll see from the link) maintained a blog devoted to covering Darfur.

There's rarely any good news coming from that region, but the discovery of one underground lake at least provides some new hope.

Unfortunately, as the New York Times article suggests, this may or may not be good news.
“Like all resources water can be used for good or ill,” said Alex de Waal, a scholar who has studied the impact of climate variation in Sudan and who witnessed the 1984-85 famine that is often cited as the beginning of the ecological crisis gripping Darfur. “It can be a blessing or also a curse. If the government acts true to form and tries to create some sort of oasis in the desert and control who settles there, that would simply be an extension of the crisis, not a solution.”

Let's hope that is not the case.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Watch the Colors in the Ball

Last weekend I had a wild hare up my ass and decided to go to the mall.

I didn't buy nuthin but some wife beaters that need some trimmin.

As we were drifting thru Old Navy.

txrad spied a gum ball machine dispensing rubber bouncing balls for 25 cents. I happened to have a spare quarter.

And now I'm a happy man.
The jazz has gotten kinda sloppy around here tonight.


via Ginviren...

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.

Like many such quizzes, I'm not sure how many various scenarios are possible, and they are peddling a book, but some of the questions and answers were hilarious. And yes, I'd love to travel back in time to the Summer of Love with a truckload of condoms!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog: Special Edition

It's the "cats in classic poses" edition which was open to anyone to submit cat photos and we got a few! So let's get on with some classic Friday feline festivities.

Maurinsky sent in a couple. Here's Casimir, "he's the most handsome cat," she adds. Yes indeed, he is.

And I love this one of Medouc she submitted, the "queen of all she surveys."

This next one came from Sherry with the following comment:

"She had a rough life before we got her. She has 1 eye and broken teeth but she is a sweetie.

Bob, a lynx point siamese. My big boy but a real chicken and Layla's servant.

Both lying in the sun pretending to sleep but really looking out for ferocious chipmunks!"

Rebecca, who came up with the idea for this gang-bang pussy post, sent her sweetie Gidget who is listening:

"I am talking to her from the other room, and she is pretending not to pay attention. But, of course, she hears every word."

Very true. They DO hear every word, and they understand as well. But compliance is not a cat virtue.

txrad surprised me with a few shots of our Tater Tot drinking from the toilet. Thank God I had cleaned the latrine a few days earlier or I would not be posting these.

If only he'd learn to shit in there instead of doing it behind the TV.

Here's my own contribution, also the Tot, taking care of some office paperwork which I probably should have filed months ago.

This is also the perch from which he supervises our work when we're home.

And here's a classic from the kona archives of Sissy and Samantha napping on daddy's bed.

Lastly, Elizabeth sent this one in a while back of Georgie and Lily in the ultimate feline poses. Georgie is the one who's head you see. I have no idea where Lily's head is; he must be sitting on it. I think this is hilarious, so it deserves a repost.

Happy Friday everyone! Now, let's get to drinkin' and having a relaxing weekend! This post was more work than I imagined!


You know, someone always comes thru at the last minute, and this week's award winner is Jacq, who has submitted 3 classics:


Sweet little Raney in the front door:

And finally, one of the most evil looking demonic cat poses I've seen in a long while. Stormie is a megafine demon, for sure:

Kona's Weather Station


It's late July in Austin, Texas. At 5:53 pm it could, and should, easily be 95 degrees. It's 71. I've lived here almost 10 years and I've never seen anything like the summer we've had thus far.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Calling All Cat People

Rebecca emailed me an interesting idea for this week's Friday Pussy Blog. We'll dedicate it to interesting "classic" cat poses and anyone can submit photos of their kitties in a classic cat pose. Be sure to include relevant information if you wish, such as the names of your felines, because we all know how easily offended they can be.

Email them to me at konagod "at" konagod "dot" com.

I seem to be lazy this week. Not posting since Monday morning and soliciting guest cat bloggers for Friday. Hmmmm. Not only am I being lazy, but I'm severely overworked this week.

And speaking of cats, Monday evening I was playing with Tater Tot in our kitchen. I was squatting down to pet him and he was getting a little too frisky. Rather than risk getting bitten or scratched, I quickly jumped up, not realizing how close I was to our countertop which extends out about six inches from the cabinets. I slammed into the edge of it with my back. It impacted squarely on a hip bone and I was in agony most of the day on Tuesday.

It's somewhat better today but still very tender and sensitive. Not fun.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this combination vomit/hair ball du jour... hope no one is eating or about to eat. OK, I'll be nice and make it considerably smaller than the image I was working with prior to cropping and resizing. Yeecchhhh.

Because I'm such a nice guy, I'm leaving that treasure for txrad to clean up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bumper Sticker of the Week Award

Goes to the stupid bitch in our neighborhood who drives the Toyota SUV with the asinine bumper stickers:

1. Peace - The Old Fashioned Way (a bomber over an American flag was the imagery accompanying the punch line.)

2. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier.

Now, pardon my French, but what the fuck? What soldier can claim responsibility for me reading in English? And what difference does it make what language I'm reading as long as I can read? And if I couldn't read her stupid-ass sticker, should I not thank a soldier? What if I could read it in English but didn't know what I was saying? What if I could read it in English and didn't know what the fuck she was on about?

I'm so very confused.

Monday Garden Blog

When I did the post on Saturday with the pictures of our green yard, I forgot to include this one of the crepe myrtle in bloom. I bought this for txrad about 3 years ago. He wanted one and I couldn't remember what color he said he preferred. The tag on this one said it would be white. I got home and txrad seemed disappointed because he wanted a pink one. Well, he got what he wanted apparently.

txrad harvested this eggplant bell pepper which we had on our Friday night pizza.

He also made the best batch of salsa I've ever tasted. The tomatoes are from our garden, and the habenero as well. He needs to market this stuff! Seriously!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quincy Jones

If we are going to evolve as a species, we have got to learn to play trumpet without risk of popping a blood vessel or suffering a stroke.

Perhaps Minstrel Boy can add something about trumpet players and strokes.

txrad is wondering if he should get another trumpet. He's worried about brain embolism.

In a Dark Blue Mood

Texas: Not nearly dark enough. What's up, people? Got a friggin' clue yet?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

That Is the Key to the City of Pasadena

Plight of the Tumbleweeds

Seeeeeeeee, them tumbling down.

It's a Jungle Out There

Back in the old days when I actually worked from home, I would routinely do all kinds of yard work during the week. It was so convenient to just walk about at 10:00a on a Wednesday and decide to mow the yard.

I've been suffering from a severe case of "I don't care" so much about a well manicured lawn for the past couple of years. When we first moved in here ten years ago the lawn was kept mowed and the brush had been cleared out from the yard near the street. I'm a big proponent of privacy and I actually prefer my house not be visible from a street. We're slowly getting back to that point.

It's amazing what happens when you don't mow for a year or two. The first thing I've noticed is a far greater number of wildflowers than I've seen in previous years. Plus with all the sunflowers I've allowed to grow, we're going to have a spectacular display of yellows around October or so.

In the meantime I would like to get the mower out and at least mow a path around the house so we don't have to walk through tall grass. Plus it's impossible to see any snakes with the grass so high.

It should be obvious from these photos what a difference an abundance of rain can make in greening things up. This is the path to the garden from our back patio. The cedar chips have decomposed mostly and the grass needs to be cut from the path.

You make a right turn down at the tree and there's a slight incline up to the garden area which you really can't even see in this photo. It's a very small plot of two raised beds enclosed in a wire fence.

Green, green and MORE green. This is another view directly into the back yard from the patio. That whirligig on the left was a gift from me to txrad for one of his birthdays. It has two segments which are supposed to spin in opposite directions with some help from the wind. I don't see it spinning very often.

The west side of our yard which would be a left turn at the tree as you walk the path to the garden is a lot of... grass. I really like it when the tall grass gets those slightly purple seed heads which sway in the breeze. Collectively, they will look very purple and I think it's a lovely sight. The street lies on the other side of those trees and I love the fact it's not even visible. Once I get those conditions in place on the east side of the yard, I'll be content.

Our neighbor across the street keeps his yard looking like a golf course. I'm sure he is appalled at our "landscaping." I don't care. We're rustic hippies over here.

Ahhh, life at the kona ranch.