Friday, December 31, 2010

As Seen On Facebook

Sometimes hardcore Christianity backfires. Sheldon was sent to Bible camp when he was around 15 and was awakened. He decided that was not for him.

I have similar tales to tell.

So, keep on pumping your money into these camps because somewhere along the way you are fueling the other side. Just as in real life. Just as in politics. Just as in relationships, and just as in life and cosmic debris. And if you procreate enough, you will eventually make another homosexual who will eventually stray. The cycle of life and philosophy is so brilliant and predictable. Why it's not boring is beyond my comprehension.

signed: konagod.

I pledge allegiance to the doom.

Looking Forward to an Odd Year

I get crazy every year between the Christmas holiday and the New Year. It always seems to pass in such a frenzied blur. Resolutions are always dancing in my head and I usually have the notion that I'm going to get a head start on one or two of them so that I'll already be in the habit by the time the new year has arrived.

On that note: fail.

Oh well, as I told a friend today, calendars are a figment of the human imagination, and tomorrow is another day. We can make resolutions in March, or September. Same difference.

As a means of measuring time though, I have noticed a trend over the past 20 years or so, and perhaps it's just a fluke, but I tend to have a happier life during odd-numbered years compared to even-numbered years. Again, may purely be a figment of my imagination.

In 1983 I went to live in London and it was one of the happiest years I've ever had. In 1984 I got booted out of England and landed back in the US where I promptly had my wallet stolen from a hotel room just as I was trying to make a fresh start.

In 1985 I went back to college to try and wrap up a real degree in something, and in 1987 I got my diploma.

In 1988 I had my heart broken and in 1989 I moved away to Denver for another fresh start. Great times that year.

1990 was the best and the worst of life. That is the year I met txrad but that event ushered in a tempestuous fury in my personal life. Not one of my better years.

1991 is when txrad and I moved in together in Los Angeles and I found work... real work, and that was the germination of a career that lives on 20 years later.

Major elections are always held in even-numbered years. And you know where that usually puts me. 2000 got us Bushwhacked.

This just keeps going.

Fast forward to 2006 when the year ended with my own advertising company in debt, no clients, and no source of income.

2007 was a fabulous year job-wise, but only for that year.

2008 began with unemployment for both of us and txrad being hospitalized with a severe concussion after a fall. I did find work again in 2008 so it wasn't totally bad.

2010 came in with me smashing my face to bits and having major surgery for the first time in my life. Then I turned 50 while I was recovering. And just recently, I filed for bankruptcy. 2010 will not be missed.

Sometimes I want to do something symbolic before the close of a year just to get a situation, a part of my life, behind me. I really wanted to dissolve the corporate entity I started in 2004 -- the entity which died in 2006 and was a major player in my need to file bankruptcy.

In Texas, this is a 2-step process. The Texas Two Step requires submitting a form to the state requesting proof that you have paid your fees to the state and have no outstanding liabilities to the state. Then when you receive the supporting document, that has to be mailed to the Secretary of State with another form to legally have a corporation declared deceased.

I am still waiting on step one to be completed, so apparently I will be dragging this nasty rotting carcass into 2011. So be it. One of the first of many great things to happen in 2011 will be killing off that thing.

Right off the bat though, my home office will be getting a paint job. Nothing says fresh new outlook like a coat of paint!

And I'm starting off this odd-numbered year with 9 days off from work. I know how to do this right!

What's on your agenda for 2011?

Friday Pussy Blog: End of a Decade Edition

Tater Tot grooming in the box.

Sissy relaxing in her new dog cat bed. It's plush!

Enjoy your festivities and happy new year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning in December

Why wait? I say get it done and toss it out with the old year.

I'm sure somewhere on the planet there is a wire geek with a far larger wire collection than I have, but honestly, have you ever seen so many phone wires and how the hell did I accumulate so many over the years?

Of course, I'm trying to get all this done under constant supervision by the Tot.

I'm not throwing out everything. If I know what it is and I know I won't need it, I throw it. If I know what it is, and think I might need it, I'll keep it.

Anyhow the stuff I'm keeping goes into a dedicated wire drawer.

If I have no idea what it is, then I keep it until I can figure out what it is, and then decide. Although, one could make the point that if I haven't used it in 5 years or longer, then I probably don't need it. But seriously, what the hell are these cables with the white ends and the funny looking prongs on them? They come with every computer I've ever bought, and not once have I ever used one. So I have about 4 or 5 of them waiting in the drawer.

Or save me the trouble, tell me what it is and whether I should toss them.

Once I'm done cleaning out the file cabinets, I hope I will have reduced my need down to just one of them. And the other 3 can exit the house along with a lot of junk and wires. Anybody in Austin want some file cabinets?

I'm keeping the nicest black one. The beige one could be used in the garage for tool storage I guess. So maybe I'll only be getting rid of two.

Once I get this place cleaned out, next up on the agenda is painting the office a new color for the new year, and then replacing the flooring.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Pair of Monday Surprises

Witchay Woman stopped by just a few minutes ago with a whiskey plum cobbler made by the hubby we call "Alton II."

That was the good surprise.

We have a wonderful piece of her art on the wall above our fireplace and had lately noticed what we thought was some charcoal dust around the base of the matting.

She said that's fairly common and while we were discussing it, she asked to take the painting off the wall. Doing so revealed another surprise, and not a pleasant one.

Nasty black mold.

The paper on the back of the frame is damaged, so that black stuff on the matte may well be mold and not charcoal. We will be needing to head out to a frame shop and get this re-matted and I'm just very happy we caught this before more damage was done.

And we need to figure out where this moisture is coming from and correct that problem. Ugghh. More joys of owning a home.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Little Fringe "Benefit" to Republican Victories in November

Voters should have pondered this before having a knee-jerk reaction in November.

The Republican strategy is to eliminate anyone on the genuine left because it makes their case more compelling when they call someone a socialist who is slightly right-of-center.

Amurika 2012, here we come!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Remote Control Edition

Because it is a holiday Friday, kinda, sorta, I tend to forget that it's Friday and have been known to forget to do the Pussy Blog. That is not the case today, I've simply been lazy. But yielding to tradition, I will throw something up.

I got a new universal remote today and have been busy this afternoon trying to get that programmed to turn on the TV and Dish Network DVR.

Needless to say, I encountered some difficulties and needed tech support. And while I was on the phone with tech support I was getting additional directives from none other than the Tot himself. He got smacked in the nose by accident while trying to supervise my tweaking of the satellite receiver.

Bad devil child.

It was a scenario not unlike this:

Big hat tip to Witchay Woman for the artistic effects on photo #1 and for photo #2 of her family. Good thing I keep everything for when I just might need it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Set Beer Goggles to Stun"

For the past several days I've been saving bottle caps from the Big Sky IPA. Thought I'd share...

Hard tellin', not knowin'.


Finally! Something to get excited about today as the US Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The stubborn holdouts continue to include Texas and the drab underbelly of the Deep South. But today, common sense and decency have won. (Screw John McCain!)

Map via the New York Times.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Sofa Cat Edition

Sweet Pea has been coming in the house at night for a few minutes. He usually goes straight for the sofa in the den, grooms himself, and then is ready to go back outside. I like to annoy him by poking my finger between his toe pads.

The Tot never gets up on the sofa unless I'm sitting on it. He will discreetly inch his way over to my lap, as if I won't notice that 15 pounds of cat meat is suddenly standing on me. And then he'll gradually position himself for a nap with one foot extended onto the sofa. Strange boy.

Happy Friday!!

(No, you don't get full konagod photos with the cats; this is all about the felines. Sorry!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Blake Edwards

Blake Edwards has died. He was 88.
Edwards will be remembered as a comic genius for creating Peter Sellers's "Pink Panther" character and for writing and directing a slew of comedies -- including "10," "Victor/Victoria" and "S.O.B." -- the last two starring his wife of 41 years, Julie Andrews.

So very true. Thanks for all the laughter until I cried.

An American Problem

At the time of the auto industry bailout, it sure sounded encouraging when President Obama announced that we were ushering in an era of "creating new jobs, unleashing new prosperity and manufacturing the fuel-efficient cars and trucks that will carry us toward an energy-independent future.”

So, how's that working out, Mr. President?

Oh, of course.

But at least something is being sold, right?
In particular, what Mr. Obama called his “one goal” — having Detroit “lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars” — is nowhere near being achieved. While the idea of improving G.M.’s and Chrysler’s fuel efficiency was doubtless a politically popular justification for the bailout, American consumers have not embraced the goal with equal fervor. Sales of fuel-sipping compact and subcompact cars have actually dropped this year, while pickup and sport utility vehicle sales grew by double-digit percentages.

Woooo hoooo! It may not be green, and it may not be next-generation as promised, but at least sales are up! That has to be a good omen. But... who is buying?
Another troubling trend is an increase in fleet sales — the delivery of huge numbers of units to corporations and government agencies. While fleet sales improve short-term volume, the profit margins are slim and the practice can hurt long-term sales as consumers come to view the models as unsexy “fleet queens.” And Detroit has gorged on such sales in 2010, with some 32 percent of all vehicles from the Big Three sold through October going to fleet operators. Furthermore, a quarter of all the hybrids built by Detroit since President Obama took office have been bought by federal agencies, showing that enthusiasm for Detroit’s hybrids is limited somewhat to government fleet buyers.

In addition, even when it comes to the trucks and S.U.V.’s that Americans actually do want to buy, the bailed-out automakers are building vehicles faster than they can be bought. Inventory levels at both companies have ballooned this year, to the point where G.M. now has nearly three months’ worth of sales sitting on its lots...

Feeling better yet about the success of these bailouts?
Allowing new cars to pile up on lots may well be the most deadly of Detroit’s new-old bad habits, as the practice not only artificially inflates sales numbers (which, ridiculously, are booked upon production, not when a vehicle is driven off the lot), but also lead to yet more incentives, fleet sales, subsidized leases and subprime lending.

Sigh. I keep looking for a silver lining in this piece, but I'm not seeing it.

I know, I know, we can't expect a 180° turnaround in two years after decades of behavior, but overall this does not look at all like any lessons have been learned. In fact, it reminds me of the state we're in politically: a lot of promises about change, efficiency, and a brighter future while bending over backwards to maintain the status quo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Anxiety Realities

I used to have a lot of anxiety dreams related to college. These usually involved a sudden realization that two months had passed and I had not attended a single class. Then I'd be wondering if it was too late to go drop the classes before getting the inevitable failing grades.

Another one involved taking exams when I hadn't actually been to the class or opened the textbook. I'd be sitting there staring at the questions on the exam paper and feeling totally perplexed. (I swear, in one of my dreams, the professor had the audacity to ask, "do I know you? What's your name? I haven't seen you before." Truly embarrassing.)

In my dreams, I simply want to get up, hand in my blank exam and leave as quickly as possible. However, being the first to hand in a paper and leave usually implies that you are the self-confident asshole who knows all the answers. And I never wanted to call attention to myself in the classroom. So I'd sit there, pretending to contemplate possible answers where I didn't even understand the questions, and wait until one or two other students were done. I would then grab my paper and place it in the pile on the professor's desk before making a dash for the exit.

Although I haven't had those particular anxiety dreams in awhile, today I was having similar anxieties in my waking state, but almost the reverse scenario. I am in control of the questions, but nobody out there is giving me answers, either correct or incorrect. Life can be pretty sweet when you have 95% of the answers. I'm one of those people who feels like I am doing pretty good when I have 75% to 80% of the answers.

Sometimes though, all you have are a bunch of questions and very few answers. And those are the days in life when you just want to slither out of the classroom unnoticed and head to the nearest bar and get ripped.

All of this brings me to another question: do teachers and professors have anxiety dreams in which none of the students pass the exams, or in which none of the students bother to show up for class? Or do the professors have anxiety dreams in which they have failed to show up for class for weeks at a time?

(And in 2010, do they still have exam papers? Seems like we would have moved beyond that by now.)

Hump Day 俳句

Southerly wind blows
with a fierce intensity
disrupting my chi

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh, For the Love of God!

It doesn't take much to rattle people's cages and get their panties in a knot. Bus ads, which are pretty easy to ignore, could even do the trick if the ads happen to be atheist messages, especially during this most blessed time of year when Christians of all stripes are on their best behavior.
But the reaction from believers has been harsher than anyone in the nonbeliever’s club expected. Some ministers organized a boycott of the buses, with limited success. Other clergy members are pressing the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban all religious advertising on public buses. And a group of local businessmen paid for the van with the Christian message to follow the atheist-messaged buses around town.

Because, you know, it's just all about the love of God.
The ads have incited anger in some places. Vandals destroyed two bus ads in Detroit, ruined a billboard in Tampa, Fla., and defaced 10 billboards in Sacramento. One billboard in Cincinnati was taken down after the landlord received threats.

And the local rapid transit authority in Des Moines pulled atheist ads off its buses in August last year because of complaints from local religious leaders. Four days later, however, the authority reversed its position after the local group that had bought the ads threatened legal action on First Amendment grounds.

Wait! What? What's the First Amendment shit? Sign up for God first and then you can start exercising that First Amendment right, you silly atheists! Where did you get this absurd notion that you have an equal right to not believe in a deity? Or to acknowledge publicly that others like you may be out there?

Sorry, that just poses too much of a threat so just keep your mouths shut and pretend to fit in here. You are making too many other people uncomfortable!
Some of the fiercest criticism has come from black religious leaders. The Rev. Kyev Tatum Sr., president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has called for a boycott of the buses, saying the ads are a direct attack during a sacred time in the Christian calendar.

Don't even get me stated on the sanctity of this "Christian calendar," and all those twinkling lights, decorated trees, Santa Clauses, and angry shoppers. Jesus would certainly encourage a fistfight if one of his followers failed to get that last iPad off the shelf before a hellbound atheist grabbed it!

And then things calm down a bit before moving on to colored eggs and bunny wabbits.

There is some hilarious irony in the fact that most of the atheists I know could be role models for many Christians. But that's not the point. Non-believers are supposed to sit down, shut up, and be invisible so as not spoil all the fun for the saved.

"Nobody owns December."

-- Terry McDonald, chairman of Metroplex Atheists, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How To Waste a Weekend

1. Find a new game, like Zuma Blitz. Guaranteed to waste hours.

2. Exercise your creativity by creating a new blog header, even though you have nothing to say because you are lacking creativity.

3. Take a long nap on Saturday and Sunday.

4. Eat out close to home so you can get back quickly for a nap.

5. Pick out a new paint color for the kitchen using paint samples you have had around the house for a year or two. Plan to paint in the spring.

6. Spend an excessive amount of time in a hot shower.

7. Check frequently to see if you are hallucinating that winter has arrived.

8. Stare at the New York Times newsreader but don't bother to read anything because you simply don't give a shit.

9. Think about everything you wish you were doing, and will do, oh... in a month or so.

10. Scold the cat.

Bonus round: Feel good about yourself because the day you have chosen to take off this week is forecast to be the warmest of the week. Whether you do anything productive with it remains to be seen.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Fishy Friday Edition

Around 4:30 every afternoon, the entire gang starts hanging around in the kitchen, or as close as they can get for the ones outside.

Salmon was tonight's entree.

Sissy waiting.

Tot waiting.

Sweet Pea waiting.

Tiger waiting.

I suppose it was rude of me to walk out with the camera instead of a can of food. They got prematurely excited.

Also, pardon the Tiger picture with the snotty nose. He's been carrying on lately with the wheezing, sneezing, and snorting. I feel so bad for the poor old guy. Anyone else have cats with that problem?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Joys of Bankruptcy

After meeting with my bankruptcy lawyer the week before Thanksgiving it was decided that our filing date would be Thursday, December 2. The reasoning for this is that it's a day before I get paid and therefore the least amount of cash would be in my bank account. One of the rules is that I can't have over $750 in cash available on the day I file. Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

On Thanksgiving I was checking my account balance and I had roughly $1,100 in the bank with a week to go before filing. I was getting nervous and started looking for bills to pay early. There was the utility bill which was not due until after December 2, as well as the water bill and the internet access bill. I went ahead and paid those online and that took me down to $735. Yes! I could now relax as that would still leave me plenty to use for groceries and other routine expenses prior to the filing date. I figured I'd be down around $300 by then.

There was a small glitch, however. My Dish Network service is setup to be paid annually, and in the mayhem of the moment, I suppose I had not paid much attention to any reminder emails from them.

On Friday after Thanksgiving, I went to the liquor store with my bank debit card and was unable to get authorization on my purchase. Then I went to the supermarket and had the same problem. I was a bit suspicious now. I came home and logged into my bank account online and there are few words to convey the shock of discovering that my balance was over $400 in the red. Yes, a negative $400 balance. And right there on my screen was that processed transaction of $1,215 paid to Dish Network, courtesy of my credit union, along with the courtesy of a $24 fee for being so generous.

Now, here's how this shit works, as most of you know. Once there is one fuck up, you are virtually guaranteed of having additional fuck ups, hence the term clusterfuck. Life would have been fine and dandy if the credit union had rejected the transaction and charged me a fee for insufficient funds. Dish Network would have been happy to get their money a few days later. All the other transactions I scheduled would have passed through the gates and I would have been relatively unscathed.

Yes, dear friends and other readers, once your bank does you such a favor, buckle up for the clusterfuck, because they will only do you one favor, not three or four such favors. The Time Warner bill bounced. Ding! Insufficient funds fee posted on both ends. The utility bill bounced. DING DING! Insufficient funds fee posted on both ends. The automatic deduction of $9.95 per month for my Quicken BillPay service bounced back. They did generously go ahead and pay my water bill while simultaneously suspending my account. Ding Ding Ding!!!! Suddenly I was $555 in the hole. And that qualifies as less than $750 by anybody's math.

Thursday rolled around and we headed to the lawyer's office for the 4:00 appointment. After waiting there for 10 or 15 minutes, the laywer emerged from his spider hole and proclaimed that there was "a problem." He'd had some computer glitch that erased all his appointments, he had no idea our appointment was at that time, and he had not even reviewed our paperwork yet!

We had to hit the reset button and start over. So between last Thursday and yesterday, I was thinking I had dealt with all my financial issues and laid them to rest. Oh, but there's always a straggler!

Yesterday I tried to make a call on my cell phone and THAT had also been suspended due to funds not clearing my bank. Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!

You gotta love how this shit just cascades! And I'm sure there are people out there less fortunate than I am who have this happen to them more often. And at some point those are the people who probably figured out they might be better off without a bank account, and just use cash.

Since I had been paid on December 3, I had already taken care of all these other problems by the time I realized there was an AT&T cell phone issue. I tried logging into my account online to do another bank draft and was instructed to call customer service. Yes, AT&T customer service! You know, that's the one getting rave customer reviews these days.

So I got a guy on the phone and I explained the situation to him, and he told me he could take the bank information on the phone and process it.... for a $5 convenience fee. I said, "You've got to be kidding me, right?"

As if I hadn't already been fucked enough, now AT&T was wanting to charge me a fee for paying my bill. GOD BLESS AMERICA and Wall Street. After I protested, he retreated and said he'd waive the fee since I had tried to do it online and failed. What a nice guy.

After a few seconds he informed me it wasn't going through, and that my only recourse at the time was to go to an AT&T store and pay CASH. "What?" I asked. "I have no other way of paying this bill than to drive 15 miles to a store and pay cash?"

"That is correct," he replied. I mumbled something about switching to Verizon, he mumbled something about that being fine, and I hung up.

By this point, my lunch was getting cold, and I was having back spasms so severe that I seriously contemplated taking a Lortab. If it hadn't been a work day, I probably would have.

Later, after I'd calmed down, and had spent half an hour or so checking out the offerings from Verizon, I logged back into my AT&T account and decided to try this again using a credit card. Voila! Payment accepted and service restored! My question is: why did that customer service representative not suggest I do that? Or offer to take my card info on the phone?

Ironically, after all of this, my cell phone is suddenly not staying charged for a day even with no usage. I think that is an omen.

Meanwhile, I am starting this entire scenario over again. I am waiting on the lawyer to set another filing date between now and next Thursday prior to my Friday pay day. And sooner would be better than later. Given the fact that when my pay check was deposited last Friday, I was already $555 in the red, going in to file bankruptcy with less than $750 in the bank is NOT going to be a problem the second time around.

If I can do this with a bank balance greater than say, $35, rather than a negative number, all the better.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Heads in the Beef Bowl Edition

This is one of those Fridays that started out mellow and peaceful and ended with a clusterfuck of shit starting around 3PM. GAH!! And around 4:45 when I was scrambling to get things finished, Sissy was in the next room just howling for her meal! I had to get up and feed them so I could wrap up my loose ends in quiet.

Beef: It's what's for dinner tonight. For them, anyway!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog Camaraderie

I've been thinking about this the past few days, and maybe it's because I don't blog as much or read as much lately, but I think it's time us bloggers got together to exchange notes. Turn each other on to hot blogs and such. This is our future for as long as our government deems to allow it so let's get going.

This one I love, and it's written by a co-worker on mine:
Let's Be Honest is a personal look at life 50+ with a glance in the rear-view mirror. And don't we all love the mirror!

Another one that is brilliant is written by txrad's 2nd cousin:
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is written by a woman with amazing talent. So much so, that when txrad returned from a trip to North Dakota 5 or 6 years ago carrying a CD of her music, we played it once or twice, and then every day for the next 18 months! I even embarked on an expedition to get her some musical exposure by sending her CD to my local adult album alternative radio station. She has a cowboy and he cooks!

I have also maintained a devotion recently to Cogitamus where I can feel at home with a few old friends like litbrit, oddjob, and minstrel boy. Ahh, those are the good ole days!

And I cannot leave out Brilliant at Breakfast for getting me wound up first thing in the morning over coffee.

I think these blogs offer it all. The food, the life, the personal, the angst, and the bullshit absurdity of the world in which we live. They have replaced a number of blogs for me in many ways, namely a need on my part to de-clutter and de-bullshit.

As we enter into 2011, it may be time for us to diversify, and explore new options, and to disengage from those who have gone astray.

Please, share in comments any blogs which are yanking your chain these days. That's what it's all about.

Friday, November 26, 2010

An Explosion of Cranberries

One of my favorite things to do during Thanksgiving is to make up a batch of cranberry sauce. Today was the day! And it's so easy I can't believe anyone buys the shit in a can.

Start out with the juice of a navel orange, and grate most of the skin with it. Add in about half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and I toss in a shot of Bouchant. Heat it on medium until the sugar dissolves and it's steaming.

Toss in a 12-ounce bag of those wild and crazy berries and crank the heat up a notch. Start stirring.

Soon they'll start to pop and you are on your way! After about 10 or 12 minutes they should begin to get frothy. This is when I gradually ease off on the heat, and keep stirring.

This will begin to turn into the familiar sight of cranberry sauce. There are always a few who resist popping and when it's pretty obvious you have sauce, and those holdouts don't seem eager to participate, I'll start mashing those against the side of the pan to facilitate the process. Then move the pan off the heat.

At this point I toss in a handful of lightly toasted pecans (that's about half a cup for those of you who insist on measuring EVERYTHING) and stir. Let it cool then chill it in the fridge. I've had a batch of this last me 2 ... even 3 weeks maybe. I figure I'll be making another batch just before Christmas.

Heavenly holiday bliss!

Oh, and while I was doing this, txrad was making hamburger buns!

I'm thinking a dab of cranberry sauce on the veggie burger tonight wouldn't be terribly awful.

Friday Pussy Blog: Seafood Dinner Edition

Black Friday always throws me for a loop and I usually forget to put up the pussy blog because it feels like a Saturday.

The Tot has just finished his seafood dinner and is in the process of grooming.

Sissy is still licking hers up! YUM!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's hard for me to believe it's Thanksgiving again already! Seems like we were just driving up to north Austin a few months ago for the annual tradition of a thali at Swad. But off we trekked again today on the 23-mile trip to our little slice of India. No tofurkey for us!

I actually took this photo as we were leaving. There was no line when we got there, and the food was delivered fast today.

The dosas at Swad are great but for my appetite, a thali is required.

Ahh yes, dear friends. This is heaven. Those puffy breads are pooris. Underneath there was a crunchy papadam, and some other kind of moist bread adorned with fiery jalapeños.

The thali itself was, needless to say, rather filling. I am a satisfied man right now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Nothing But Pussy All Week Edition

Sometimes the Tot looks to be in such a foul mood in his photos. Today was no exception. He must be absorbing it from his daddy who had a pretty shitty day as well!!

Happy Friday!!!!!

I can't believe I went an entire week without posting. (sh)It happens.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Pussy Blog: Family History Edition

I was going through some old photos this week and found this one from 2000. It's possibly the only photo I have of Big Thumbs -- she's the one looking at the camera and proudly showing off her thumb. Those three kittens (and yes, I do realize they were already as big as their mommie) are: Sissy (top), Sweet Pea (middle) and Coal Pot (bottom).

We brought Sissy in to be a house cat shortly after this photo was taken. The two boys stayed outside. Coal Pot and Sweet Pea were inseparable and often slept atop one another so that it appeared to be one cat with two heads.

Sadly, Coal Pot disappeared one day and never returned. I've always hoped he wandered into a neighbor's yard and was taken in by somebody as he was a gorgeous cat.

Sissy inherited her mama's thumbs. She's very happy being a house kitty.

We do occasionally let Sweet Pea come in the house to spend some time with his sister. It's rarely more than an "oh,hey howya doin, bye" visit, if even that much acknowledgment!

Hope your Friday went well! Happy weekend!

Oh, yes, I'm not going to end the Pussy Blog without giving everyone a Tot shot, so have no fear.

That boy still LOVES that small box.

Lapping Frequency

How cats drink is something that has been on my mind lately. And it's even more amazing than I imagined.
Writing in the Thursday issue of Science, the four engineers report that the cat’s lapping method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the balance between opposing gravitational and inertial forces.

What happens is that the cat darts its tongue, curving the upper side downward so that the tip lightly touches the surface of the water.

The tongue is then pulled upward at high speed, drawing a column of water behind it.

Just at the moment that gravity finally overcomes the rush of the water and starts to pull the column down — snap! The cat’s jaws have closed over the jet of water and swallowed it.

The cat laps four times a second — too fast for the human eye to see anything but a blur — and its tongue moves at a speed of one meter per second.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There Is No God. There Is Only Market Share.

A number of atheist groups are about to kick off a holiday ad campaign in an attempt to rally the troops.
The godless groups say they are mounting this surge because they are aware that they have a large, untapped army of potential troops. The percentage of American adults who say they have no religion has doubled in the last two decades, to 15 percent, according to the American Religious Identification Survey, conducted by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford and released in 2008. But the ranks of the various atheist organizations number only in the tens of thousands.

That is one reason for the multiple campaigns: the groups are competing with one another to gain market share, said Mark Silk, founding director of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, which is also at Trinity College.

“There’s a competitive environment for ‘no religion,’ and they’re grabbing for all the constituents they can get,” Mr. Silk said.

Relying on the largess of a few wealthy atheists, these groups are now capable of bankrolling efforts to recruit and organize a population that mostly has been quiet and closeted.

As a society, we may vehemently disagree on Democratic policies vs. Republican policies, hard right vs. hard left, fact vs. fiction, up vs. down, top vs. bottom, over vs. under, large vs. small, gay vs. straight, and God vs. godlessness. But if there is one true belief on which we can agree, it is the importance of market share!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

DADT Future Looking Murky

Here we are, fast approaching 2011, and "don't ask, don't tell" is still hanging out there like a loose chad.
The chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force have all expressed some reluctance about ending the ban, as has the former commandant of the Marine Corps, but the comments of the current commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, are the most vivid to date.

In comments to reporters in California this weekend, General Amos said that ending the ban in the middle of two wars would involve “risk” for Marines, who, unlike other service members who generally have private quarters, share rooms to promote unity. “There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women — and when you talk of infantry, we’re talking our young men — laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers,” said General Amos, 63. “I don’t know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that’s what we’re looking at. It’s unit cohesion, it’s combat effectiveness.”

And there you have it. We would destroy unit cohesion just as surely as we have destroyed the sacred institution of marriage.

Us gay folks are not to be trusted because we simply are driven to jump the bones of every straight man or woman who happens to be in a horizontal position. Although gays & lesbians have already served our country with honor and effectiveness, to do so honestly would suddenly render us without the self-discipline required to serve and get the job done, because all we would be thinking about is fucking.

Glad we cleared that up!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I'll Have What The Gentleman On The Floor Is Having

I can't think of a finer way to kick off a Monday morning than browsing through a selection of the funniest beer names of all time.

I'll have some Moose Drool followed by a Blithering Idiot, please!