Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Very nice, like a super-slow tango, or something. Charming.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
You see the pink piggy toy, eyes bulging, quaking with fear, futilely trying to scooch itself to safety under the lap throw on the sofa? Alas, poor piggy! It's doomed! Doomed! Doomed, I tell you! No amount of scooching could save piggy from the rapacious maw of Miss Mandible.
Praline chewed piggy for hours and finally decided a game of fetch was what this party needed. She dropped the toy on the sofa by my leg and sat there wearing patience like a statue until I noticed my wee hairy obsessive one sitting, staring at me and awaiting my pitch of the beloved object. This happened over and over, and I would realize she'd been waiting patiently and silently for no-telling-how-long, as I watched a film on the DVD. This one could give seminars on focus.
I will say this piggy gets major points for staying power. Mumsy's little FurGirlie is a ferocious toy de-squeaker(sometimes only taking a minute or two to disembowel a toy), and she has had this toy for over 10 hours without putting the kibosh on the squeak. I chalk this up to the thickness of the hard rubber on the toy-- it actually takes a huge effort for her to squeeze hard enough to make it squeak. Now, it did have two little appendage ears, but we snipped those off when it looked like she was going to eat them, and she's been obsessing over piggy ever since. She finally wore herself out and is passed out in her kennel cab with piggy.
We'll see how much longer this lasts, but it's already a record-breaker, methinks. More pupdates to follow.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I don't need to add anything to that at all, do I?
Let's see if there is hue and cry about this, hmm? Surely this is more of an outrage than some guy kneeling when he's scored a touchdown, right?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
He sings to his jet-lagged baby girl (he and his family live in London but hail from Australia) that she'll won't understand, but with the family she'll be handed round like a puppy at a primary school, and she'll come to understand one day that these are the people who make her feel safe.
This song is incredibly sweet and still manages to be funny occasionally. If your parents did it right, you'll be yearning to spend Christmas with them. My parents did it right, and I had a lovely time with Mom and Dad. I hope your Christmas was as warm and happy as mine was. :)
Here's a great site that shows examples called Bridges that Babble, and features 15 amazing Roman aquefers. The scale of the architecture is breathtaking, and the skill of the craftsmen who built these water delivery systems is nothing short of exquisite.
I also found this one online at Nerja, on the Southern coast of Spain.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I don't claim to be any kind of gun expert. Though I love to shoot, I don't shoot nearly so often as I would prefer. I'm just a regular, rapidly-hurtling-into-middle-age woman with tastes related to comfort as well as style and sheer functionality. I'm short but I'm not tiny, and though I do have an approximation of a waistline, I have a junky trunk and angular things don't tend to fit well on my person. Generally, I've carried the J frame in an inner pocket of my handbag, but I feel like my posture is being affected by that carrying method. A couple of pounds wouldn't seem like they'd make that much difference, but they really have. The J frame seems sticky-outie in that small holster when on my belt, and was bad to catch on clothing due to the angle. Other methods for carrying the J frame are in the offing, but that will be talk for another time.
The Dragon Leatherworks holster arrived much sooner than I expected it, and it was visually and tactilely pleasing. The craftsmanship is quite well-executed, and the color options make for increased potential to put your personal touch on what you are wearing. I can't say enough how beautiful the stingray hide is. If I could, I'd cover a wall in the stuff-- it's that neat, and it seems far more durable than I would have imagined it to be. I also take the pretty underwear approach to holster aesthetics: though I would not show all and sundry the very pretty bra I'm wearing, I like knowing it's there. Same thing with my holster-- I pray there's never need for anyone around me in a non-sport-shooting setting to know that I'm even carrying, but I like knowing that the holster is something in keeping with my own style. To this end, the flatjack is very satisfying.
As for functionality, as you see in the photo above, the Flatjack sits nicely against my round hip, and yet the butt of the pistol does not cant out at an angle that would grab excessively on other things. In this photo, I have a long sweater pulled up to reveal the gun, but I can actually wear that sweater down over this pistol/holster combination without printing.
The pistol fits smoothly and snugly into the holster, but I also don't have to struggle to pull it out.
The best thing I can say about this holster comfort-wise is that I don't notice it being in the way or uncomfortable. I have started to notice not having an ache between my shoulder blades due to a heavy handbag, and I don't seem to have any ill physical effects from the weight being held snugly against my person. Neither the pistol nor the holster dig into my ribs or my side or my hip, which was something I worried would happen with my short waist and this larger gun.
I think this design and model of holster is an excellent value, and I hope Dennis has a long and distinguished career in this art. I definitely plan to buy his holsters for more of my pistols in future.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I highly recommend this clear-thinking article by Christopher Hitchens:
She's No Fundamentalist - What people get wrong about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
There, Christopher Hitchens calls media pundits on the carpet for mis-characterizing Ayaan by calling her a "fundamentalist" and dismissing her views as "absolutist."
What was she thinking, that uppity woman, to shoot her mouth off about Islam? Doesn't she know we're all supposed to be towing (or toeing?) the politically correct party line? We can't afford to piss anyone off - shhhh! - they might bomb us.
Here are some great links & blog posts from Zelda at Sleeping Ugly about Ayaan and what she's been going through in recent years. Zelda's first post in that grouping features a link to a clip of Bill Maher's show on which Ayaan makes minced meat of the empty-headed windbags on the panel, including Maher. Her elegant, directly stated observation is the ultimate soft answer which turns away wrath, and impossible to refute.
What I'm wondering is if Islam is the religion of peace, as so many of its clueless defenders in the self-loathing Western media claim (indeed, they are so Godless that they admire anyone who can muster fervent belief in anything -- with the exception, of course, of Christianity), then where are the men of Arab and/or Muslim origin who are standing up to this fundamentalism which nakedly aspires to dismantle Western civilization? Where are all these supposed Muslims who are opposed to fundamentalist agression? Either they are cowardly, or they do not exist.
Yet one mere woman dares to raise her voice in opposition to the culture of violence and oppression to which she was born. It's nice to know someone has the cojones to call a dog a dog, even if that someone is female-- someone has to be one of the first to scramble over the barricade.
Thank God for uppity women.
Thanks too, to Christopher for all the energy and thought-provoking observations he brought to every argument. He will be missed.
Monday, December 19, 2011
I give you Big Dwarf Rodeo from Reverend Horton Heat's 1991 Smoke 'em If You Got 'em.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
I've bought some new furniture and shelving recently and I'm trying to get the house more organized, but the net effect is that it looks more like a tornado hit the place. Darkest just before dawn, eh? At least I have a lower bed now and I will worry less about Chuy and Praline doing long-term damage to their joints and spines with the leap onto/off of the bed. Plus now I don't have to climb up, either. Everybody wins, on that one. :)
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I went over to the light fixtures and got a new one for the bathroom, then moseyed over to light bulbs and then to the checkout stand. I was facing the checkout, waiting for the guy in front of me to finish, and I noticed paint chip lady was standing there, kind of in my personal space. If I was facing 12 o'clock, she was at about 3:30, and verrrrry close. I turned and smiled at her and she looked startled and said "I'm not trying to buggy-f**k ya."
Wot? omg. It was especially odd because she didn't even have a buggy.
This utterance made it my turn to look startled, then she started prattling about having lived in Germany for a long time and how those Germans just love to buggy-f**k ya even when you can't possibly move forward at all, and she would never be doing that to me because she hates having that done to her. I smiled and said "It's okay. I wouldn't let you if you wanted to."
How strange is that, though? I mean, have you ever even heard of "buggy-f**king" and if so, how long has this been going on?
Just when I think I've heard it all...
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
I had a bad day at work last Tuesday, and I applied for a state university in the area that day. I've gotta get my transcripts ordered from all other school and then I'll at least be back on the slow boat to china with regards to my education.
I interviewed for a position a couple weeks ago and knew I wasn't a fit for the posting even before the interview. This really took the pressure off, and I hope I was able to make a favorable impression on a neat new boss lady. But if I never get promoted, I stay homE with my pups, right???
I'm not seeing a down-side.
I'll try to post more, m'dears.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011
The house is toasty warm with all the new insulation in the attic and the new windows, but the floor is still a bit chilly. When the weather started getting colder, Chuy wanted to spend the whole day on my lap, and that's not conducive to me getting work done, so last week I purchased a heated pet bed for them, and they like it a whole whole bunch. :) And on my lap or not, they remain my teeny tiny toasties.
I'm having a bear of a time updating my blog, of late. I've been dizzyingly busy in a good way, and the phone updates I've attempted to post have failed more than half the time. This time, I'm trying to post with no photos, and hopefully that will make the difference. I hope you are all having a grand holiday season with your dear ones. I'm cherishing every moment with my sweet puppydogs. Cheers to you all, and I'll post at greater length very soon.
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Friday, December 09, 2011
I'm not feeling grumpy, but I'm kind of tired of all the pop tart noodling, them hosing up the Christmas standards they way the intercourse up the National Anthem before games of every stripe.
Nope. Not gonna do grumpy, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some vicarious grumping. Here's Miles Davis' Blue Christmas. You'll recognize the vocalist Bob Dorough (Multiplication Rock) from some of the Schoolhouse rock songs. Good stuff! Also known as Blue Xmas, I think?
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
After two months of generally feeling sick and crappy, the last week I've been feeling healthy again. I feel [touch wood] that exercising won't put me into a pneumonia-vulnerable state any more, so I only worked an hour late Monday. After work, I showered with a lovely lavender soap and went to yoga for the first time in over 2 months, hair swept up in a long ponytail. It felt amazing and I loved the smell of the soap and the fresh workout gear. I arrived at this class, and classical music was playing as the teacher put us through a slow-flow fusion of yoga styles. The studio was nearly dark, with a couple of indirect soft lights, and there was a nice scent-- vetiver or somesuch. Some poses were utterly unfamiliar, and some were glove-fit-perfection, and the first half hour was pretty rigorous, but by the end, laying in corpse pose felt like a great reward, eyes closed. The instructor put a cloth over my eyes and a nice lavender sachet on top of that. The scent was heady and relaxing.
Driving home afterward, feeling turbo-chilled and like nothing but nothing could possibly harsh my mellow, the path curved around when too late my headlamps illuminated the roadway ahead leaving void a distinctive wodge of negative space waddling into the roadway, white stripe cleaving its middle like a belligerent middle-finger waggling the threat of olfactory horrors my way. Whoopsie. Having swerved over as far right as I might without leaving the roadway, my left front tire still managed to squish the varmint soundly and I was in paroxysms of squick as I drove the rest of the way home, suddenly unmellowed to a profound degree. Went to the little supermarket in my town and noticed the folks seemed -- something-- odd-- I didn't think about it too much. I approached the cashier and she smiled then her face clouded as I drew near. I suddenly fancied I smelled something undesirable and blurted "do you smell skunk?" and she seemed not to want to say so, kind of screwed up her face and said, meekly, "kinda."
I stink of skunk. Goody.
I got home and the pups seemed to think I smelled interesting. Too interesting. Clothing got bunged in the washer and I gave meself a proper scrubbing and hair-washing. *shudder*
Later, dear friend Daniel came by in his luxurious new sedan and took me for a ride around the block. I asked if he smelled skunk. He said he didn't but then again, he'd just run over one about 20 minutes earlier that had recently been killed. What are the odds that your friend in a new car will run over the skunk you just killed? Anyway, I suppose if you're going to have friends, it's nice if you're all inured to the same kind of stink, innit?
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
I like these stories. I'm sticking to them. Or they are sticking to me.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The digital thermostat I have in now keeps re-setting itself to heat the house to 70, which is much too hot for my tastes. I'd already prepared for a cold night by putting on a down comforter and a large heavy blanket, plus installing after-burnered furballs in bed for area heating purposes. Praline sleeps by my feet (toasty!) and Chuy is always against by stomach or my back, so I'm pretty much covered for furry hot-water bottle style heat.
Anyway, I'm going to get the old manual toggle style thermostat, since this one clearly answers to Sauron, and no amount of fiddling on my part will compel it to do my bidding. Piece of crap. Yes. This one's going to be blown to bits on some upcoming range day.
...and speaking of range days... I'll be posting my view soon of a gorgeous holster from Dragon Leatherworks. Watch this space.
Monday, November 28, 2011
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Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I have a pot of beans cooking in the slow cooker with some nice spices and a heaping helping of roasted Hatch chiles. I can hardly wait. There may be cornbread in the offing later on, too. Teh puppehs have their sweaters on, and it's time to roll up the old sleeves.
I have all my crown molding for the house. I need to paint that and to prime and paint the remainder of the corner and divider blocks for that trim. I really want at least one room of crown molding up before I go back to work on Wednesday.
I decided to dispense with mitering the corners by using these corner blocks, and I already have two rooms' worth primed and painted and ready to go up. Several weeks back at Seconds and Surplus in Dallas, I was able to purchase a pre-primed wood crown molding for the entire house for less than $250, including tax. However, due to the limitations of my glorious little chariot, I could only buy the 8' lengths, rather than 16', so nearly every wall in the house would need a mitered join for the molding. I've decided to put a divider block (not the size on ad, btw) on each wall, obviating the need to miter the molding, thus sparing the horse wot am performing the odious task for me. The rooms are not huge, so I hope that breaking of the line of the molding with dividers doesn't make the rooms look even more chopped up and wee. I definitely don't need things to look more small and cluttered than they already are.
Pictures soon to follow. Hope you have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
There's loads of videos of these on YouTube, but I like this one in particular. Fascinating stuff.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
aepilot_jim: It's the capitol of Ohio.
LawDog: So... 5,000 people?
aepilot_jim: Spoken like a true Texan.
Still, I'm pleased to be in the cast and I'll do my best to fit in while not hiding it under a bushel.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
They seem to have retooled their email address, because this week I got a new come-on from them with a whole bevy of new career prospects for me. The top match for me?
Among the requirements: Must have a current Funeral Director/Embalmer license with the state
Hmph. Let me check my little index of certifications. Embalmer license? Check. Embalmer license for the State O' Texas? Curses! Foiled again!
How they made the leap from my job history/qualifications to Funeral Director/Embalmer is a mystery to me. And not to disparage that job type at all-- I'm sure they make metric butt-tons more money than I do now, and obviously, they fill a necessary niche that is not for everyone. I'm still just baffled this was sent to me as an option.
By the way, careerbuilder, I don't have an arc-welding license or a degree in rocket surgery, either, FWIW.
If I wasn't cynical about careerbuilder.com before, I certainly would be now. As it is, this only pushed me farther around the bend.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The ladybug thing may be regional, though, FWIW. I was visiting my Great Aunt L. and her husband in the Ozarks one Autumn when the days were still warm but nights were chill, and there were swags of thousands of ladybugs trying to get into her house at the windows and doors. I would buy a bag of about 1000 ladybugs at Redenta's or some such garden centerin Dallas, but Aunt L couldn't give them away. The "one man's trash ..." principle applies here, I suppose.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Maybe they need a crone in this production...
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The singing on the video starts about 1:40, but it's fun to hear his charming accent, too. Check it!
Monday, November 14, 2011
They gave me a printout of the analysis of my films from the radiologist, including the one from when I went in two weeks ago. I pulled into my drive at home and looked at the printout and noticed this little depth-charge: Mild degenerative disc disease is demonstrated at multiple interspace levels in the thoracic spine, it said.
The first person I told about this said "it's an age thing, sweetie."
How did this getting old thing start happening to me?
Cough or no, I'm getting back into the yoga studio. Even if I only do half the stuff and end up laying in corpse pose for half the time, at least I'll feel like I'm doing something, instead of feeling held hostage by a cough like I have for the past 5 weeks. I don't think I have symptoms of the disc thingie yet. Let's hope I continue not to have...
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I'm still reeling from the aftermath of illness. Last week's business trip seems not to have helped. I'll work at least part of the day tomorrow, but this cough is still so bad that I'll probably go to the dr tomorrow. The dr a week ago yesterday told me that after all the shots and 20 days of oral antibiotics, I pretty much could not possibly still be sick and this must be allergies. I think tomorrow I'm going to insist upon another lung xray - because I still think this is pneumonia. Tuesday will make 5 weeks I've been sick.
Chuy and Praline are ready to go to bed when the sun goes down, and they actually seem indignant that I don't go to bed then, too, and now that delay is even more pronounced since it's getting dark so much earlier. Here they are asleep early last night, poor little lambs.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I first met the Marine in my family when he was a tall, skinny teenager dating my sister during their high school years. He was and always has been a quiet, reserved guy, occasionally opening his mouth to bowl us over with great wit. He and my sister broke up sometime around the end of high school and they went their separate ways. In the way life has of serving up a do-si-do, she and he circled back to one another several years later and all grown up, they were wed. I'll never forget how they were the loveliest couple I've ever seen at their wedding-- she with her post-punk artchick short shock of white hair and cooly unconventional but very romantic gown and he in his Dress Blues looking every bit the bad-ass buff Marine with arm-candy bride. I can see him in my gorgeous niece and nephew, too, and I know that so much of the principles of the Marines have been formative in their lives.
I'm thankful for S. and all the Marines who serve our great nation. We are indebted to you.
Happy Birthday, Marines!
I noticed there was a tv in the corner and glanced at the screen just in time to see a piece of Naan bread flying out of the tandoori pot in which it had been cooking-- they had a camera in the kitchen trained on that cooking vessel so you could see the flurry of activity. This was a very cool feature. And the Naan was delicious. mmmm.
It was nice to visit our other office. About 5 or 6 times, I heard someone approaching saying they heard my voice and couldn't wait to meet me. I disappointed a couple of women by declaring that I'd pictured them as brunettes, one of them having been downright insulted until I pointed out my own brunetteness. I managed to keep a somewhat firm grip on my couth, having only blurted inappropriateness a couple times, and I'm mostly not embarrassed about it.
This place is beautiful, and I could see living here one day, but I don't know if that will ever be in the cards. We shall see.
In the mean time, I'll be happy enough to be back at my house, because-- as ever-- home is where my dogs are. :)
I'll be so happy to roll into my driveway about 7:00 tonight. :)
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
I was so wiped out Monday night that I fell asleep and was not awakened by the earthquake that rattled the doors of my colleagues' rooms.
Meep! Meep! Meep!
I had enough presence of mind to set the two alarms on the alarm clock in my room, and I got as comfortable as I could be on the king sized bed with 4 pillows and woefully bereft of puppies
Meep! Meep! Meep!
That annoying sound was going off. All was pitch dark. It wouldn't stop. I opened my eyes and squinted at the clock.
Meep! Meep! Meep!
Unfamiliar with the buttons, I started batting at the top of the alarm clock, trying to shut it up. Wait a minute-- I set the alarm for 6:00 AM. This can't be right.
The noise stopped and I accepted I'd finally hit the right button to stop the infernal honking.
I didn't think about it again until one lady asked at breakfast if I'd heard the fire alarm go off in the hotel in the middle of the night.
Come to think of it... good thing there wasn't really a fire!
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Drove through torrential rains and then hit lots of gray misty weather, and the effect of the misty roadway coupled with extreme fatigue was soporific, to say the least. I managed not to nod off, but I did feel very, very sleepy. Then there's the lingering unpleasantness about the time change. Yuck. Going to bed Monday night about 8:30 PM, most likely. Going to try to get up early enough to wrestle my mane into submission, however futile the task may be.
Now I'm in a beautiful city in a nearby state in a pretty nice hotel room. After driving most of the day, I went to the local office here and met many colleagues who previously have only been voices on the end of the phone line. It's funny how my perception of some people on the phone skews dramatically with what they actually look like. One man, too, was precisely as I expected him to be-- and not in a good way. Will try to give you more content tomorrow, but for now I'm knackered.
Monday, November 07, 2011
Note how most of the folks in this video say they are involved in business but decline to go into detail. "Free businessman" is how one man identifies himself. Remember what I said about how it seems to me the whole movement has been coopted by homeless people who are legitimized by feigning righteous indignation and passing for protesters? Well, homeless people rarely describe themselves as homeless-- they think of themselves as entrepreneurs, which sounds curiously like how these people are describing themselves. This is a convenient place to pitch a tent and not get hassled by the po-po.
H/t to Matt G
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Saturday, November 05, 2011
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Friday, November 04, 2011
Apparently, the wedding ended in divorce, but he wants to remember the way are no longer. Also, after divorcing, his wife returned to her native Latvia, and he apparently doesn't know where she is, but that doesn't matter-- what's important here is that he's not happy with the wedding photos. From 2003. His name is Todd J. Remis, and apparently the reason this case is going forward in the courts is that his father is a partner in a big law firm. Is it my imagination or did he just get even more douchey?
Make that a million dollars for the Douchebag Jar*, pretty please.
Wow. Now someone remind me why people are cynical about lawyers and the court system and all that?
*shamelessly purloined from The New Girl
Thursday, November 03, 2011
I suppose she never had her manky yard-work day panties that had been wallowed by puppehs at the bottom of the laundry basket. *snerk* The royal monogram on them looks very prim, don't you think? I also found this little article that says the hand-me-down bloomers were likely to have been given to a servant.
I am reminded of Bill Clinton's first year in office and he and Hils filed their first tax return, replete with itemized write-off receipt for cast-off items donated to Goodwill. The listed his Ermengildo Zegna used underwear as having a high re-sell value of $12.00, which I thought was a bit cheeky. I think they should have taken a crack a ebay-- no telling how much they could have made!
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I can understand why seeing Daniel the wonderdog in the news would tug at the heart-strings and make people want to rescue him, but I was saddened by the story's statement that about half the applicants said they didn't want to adopt another pet if the survivor dog wasn't available. Where were those people BEFORE Daniel got gassed? I can't believe so many people would be blind to all the other anonymous pooches and kitties that will be put to death because no one cares and there are simply not enough resources to responsibly care for all these unwanted pets.
Let's be honest-- we as humans have had a great hand in the engineering of dog and cat breeds. We have made them what they are, really, and although animals can survive in the wild, we've bred pets-- particularly dogs-- to trust us and to be the gorgeous, loving things they are. We fail them if we don't do all we can to prevent unwanted litters from being conceived, and we fail them if we don't do all we can to see they are taken care of.
My pet story has unfolded here over the years. My first dog, Valentine, was kept as an only pet, and I was ignorant and though she was happy, I now know she could have been happier. When she died, I got one of her descendants, Praline, and I've been much more responsible. I wanted to get another pup to be a packmate with Praline so she wouldn't have as solitary a life as Valentine. I mentioned this to my vet and they practically forced me to take Chuy. "We have the perfect dog for you! He is wonderful!" My vet had rescued an entire litter of chihuahua/wiener pups from a shelter. I fought it. I always said I'd never have a chihuahua OR a dachsund, and here I was getting the best of both breeds. I could see how adorable he was, but I was still grieving Valentine and Praline was just so perfect that Chuy seemed like a booby prize to me at first.
The real boob in the story was me, because that little chiweenie-- that little beaner-schnitzel -- wended his way into my heart and is more snugly ensconced there than any heartworm ever dreamt of being. My pets have made me a better person, and if you ever look at a dog online at a shelter and feel stirred and you have the money and time and will not put yourself in the poor-house for doing so, pleasepleaseplease go to a shelter and get a pet. What you spend on the adoption will be nothing compared to what the little critter will do for you. And you may not realize it, but a pet can heal your heart like few things in life.
The life you save may be your own.
If you can't afford to adopt, but you could spare a little money, find a local no-kill shelter and send them $5 or $10 every month or so, and you'll be contributing to solving the homeless pet problem. Or go to the no kill shelter occasionally and help them walk and play with the animals. However small a gesture, it will mean worlds to the animal(s) you help. Don't cheat yourself out of that.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
I said so before, but I'd like to see the stats of homeless who are among the Occupy Wall Street Hoovervilles
I love this article on the group in Asheville NC with a photo of a guy lounging under a blanket reading a Kindle or a Nook.
I wonder what he thinks made possible the technology he's enjoying while slaving away at his protesting gig? Yes-- big corporations. Let's face it-- a vast majority of the modern conveniences we all enjoy were made possible expressly by big corporations. This fact is lost on the Occupy lot. They do not see that without the huge currency and stock exchanges throughout the world, instead of lazing about in broad daylight enjoying catered meals by bleeding hearts and perusing the latest in technology they would be schlepping to a neighboring burgh every so often in hopes of trading a goat, a ham hock and some nice taters Uncle Bubba dug out of the back 40 for Beaulah the cow in hopes of having milk for the family. Some may believe life would be sweeter and simpler without those big companies, but I contend they are far more socially responsible than reputed to be by the Occupy lot. That, and if I ever am to live like Grizzly Adams, I would like that to be out of a state of choice, thank you very much, and not simply because irrational lunatics were allowed to chop big businesses off at the knees.
I'd like to turn the Occupy gang's focus to all this technology in which our culture is steeped and how the relative luxury of the common person's life would stagger the wealth of even much of the aristocracy in other ages. Instead of the big current corporate giants, think in a more simplified fashion of what process birthed the big, modern corporation: think Dutch East India and British East India companies -- their exploration and shuttling needed goods from areas of surplus to areas of need was truly the beginning of a massive exchange between staggeringly different cultures and climates. Lest anyone want to tread down the hackneyed path befouled with cliches that such companies only exploited poor cultures and skimmed the wealth-- those companies had to pay their sailors and cooks and engineers and staff on both legs of the journey-- they did their best to keep their holds full on both directions of the trips. Also, let us save the argument about the contents of those holds for another time, as well. The point was big business was afoot, and it was only going to grow from there. And as a result, untold millions of little nameless people like you and me throughout the ages have risen in fortune, able to feed, clothe and house families, often in escalating degrees of comfort and luxury. All this because these little nameless people threw their lot in with the Big Guys.
If these people want to use their protest time productively, they'd do better to go camp out on their US Senators' and Representatives' doorsteps and hold THEIR feet to the fire for abject mismanagement of their responsbilities in shepherding the function of our nation's government. THEY are the bad guys, and in many cases, they have effectively hobbled the big corporations with punitive taxation and ridiculous regulation (compact fluorescent lightbulbs, anyone? regulation that caused the home mortgage industry crisis? I'm sure we could name others...) and they are making it increasingly difficult to open a small business that might one day blossom into something huge.
Big corporations built our nations rail system, and paved countless miles of roadway througout the nation. Look at what Henry Ford did-- he did not have a goal of producing a scant few boutique automobiles for only the wealthy-- he wanted his line workers at his factory to be living advertisement of the accessibility of his product. That's good thinking, and I think Ford is still in business (and not taking government bailout money, I noticed) for just that type of thinking.
Corporations in general are the rising tide that raises all boats. While I don't think they are all run on sterling principles, I think the ones that aren't won't stay in business permanently. I think they deserve a little credit, and I bloody well think they deserve to make a little money for their efforts. Last I checked, bringing iPhones and snuggies and grande lattes to the people isn't a crime, and neither is making money.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
*If you are of delicate constitution, you may wish to skip this one.*
Incredibly funny and actually cute in my humble opinion.
h/t to BlowFuzzy von Sassy
Saturday, October 29, 2011
If your local Team Occupy is in a non-residential area, it might be fun to have flash-mob convergences of UAWSYFH at 4:20 AM, wade through the clouds of pot smoke to blast Vuvuzelas to athletically support the Occupy crowd and get their day off to a good start. I think it would mean so much to them to know how much we really care.
And isn't it time we toot our own horns, instead of letting them continue to use them as funnels??? Honestly.
You can join Un-Ass Wall Street, You Filthy Hippies over here on Facebook.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Their other stuff is great, ranging from delightments such as Harry Potter to Dick Dale to a neato St James Infirmary Blues that goes all wonky-skifflesque in the middle. CLEVER!
FWIW, this is filmed in the city of Durham in North East England. Go there, if you ever have the opportunity. The cathedral is quite lovely, and sits atop a great hill, and the town's high street is one of the most dramatically slanted of any I've ever seen. Tiny shops along the road seem to have entrances several feet higher and lower than the ones flanking it. But be sure to wear your walking shoes, darlings. Then again, platforms are great equalizers, so long as you walk back downhill backwards.
Friday, October 28, 2011
I love that Charles Bronson-style mettle, that he stuck with it and would not just let it go as long as his daughter's murderer walked free. I think no one would have blamed the father if he had simply put the man down like a rabid dog, so kudos on the restraint of having merely left the bastard bound and bleeding in the street after tipping off French police to pick him up.
Here's hoping the court goes easy on the father for his actions, and brings their most severe of punishments to the other.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Personally, I'd have no problem forgiving Fido.
The Dirt Doctor- Howard Garrett - Dallas area organic gardening guru. Howard Garrett has a radio program called "The Natural Way" which is fantastic He also has a whole raft of fabulous videos related to gardening over on YouTube. If you garden at all, definitely check out his site and videos. He has some great recipes for natural pest and weed control, and they are almost always cheaper and way less toxic than the storebought chemical versions of same.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I can't stop giggling at it. I've only watched it about 20 times.
EVENING UPDATE: FWIW - I hate myself for having listened to this. I heard it in fevered dreams last night and I can't get it out of my head.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Shaggy left the company about the time I did, and when I saw him at the store last week, I asked how he was and what he was doing now, and isn't it great not to work in that pressure-cooker setting any more. He started talking about how it was terrible, the insurance companies in general, and that he's doing much better now, making more as a part time sales person and going to school full time with expected graduation in May. I asked his field of study, and he said it's marketing. He also made a point of saying that he'd sucked up to influential people at the insurance company-- whether he liked them or not-- so that he'd have politically well-placed people in his corner, should he need backup. I realize that is pretty typical-- to align oneself with the perceived power in a situation-- but I found that wildly hypocritical, considering his general stance was that HE has a higher standard of ethics than your average company (or ANY insurance company) or individual. I also sort of pictured him putting his marketing know-how to use with 12 monkeys style propaganda and attempts at social engineering, because it's hard to imagine him actually doing something constructive with relation to marketing.
I can't believe that anyone with more than two neurons firing in their brain can say that all healthcare should be free -- how do they propose that all the millions of nurses, medical assistants, janitors and lab techs be paid? Do they think that these people-- like all doctors-- should act purely out of altruism and with no personal regard to finances or securing their own futures and that of their families? Do they want to pay extra thousands per year on their utility bills to fund the utilities of health care facilities? Where the hell do they think all that money will come from?
And if healthcare should be free, then what about all the other fabulous crap in the world-- why should anyone have to pay anything for anything? The idea of anything being an entitlement is pretty much unsupportable, in my opinion.
Life is not fair, nor should it be. No guarantee of all the same opportunities will ever guarantee uniformity of outcome, because we each will make different choices in the exploitation of our opportunities in life. Shaggy may choose a part-time job based on lifestyle flexibility and-- presumably-- no drug-testing, whereas I need the stability of a full-time job with some access to the communal benefit of a shared group insurance pool. Call it whoredom or whatever you want, but I have to base my choices of jobs on what I know about my own life and my own needs. If I were very young and extremely healthy, then maybe health insurance wouldn't be such a high priority, but then again, I made sure I had insurance throughout my twenties, so I suppose it was a priority then, too.
I'm baffled by the general ignorance of people who don't understand how insurance companies function, and it's even more dazzling when you consider that some of those people have worked for insurance companies. A group of people- generally with a common employer-- pool their resources to make an insurance group which negotiates their own allowed rates with doctors and facilities, and in that way, there is a mutually beneficial arrangement. The drs and facilities know that working with individuals in this group and giving them a discount will offset the lower pricing by a lowered risk of not being paid for those services. Likewise, this insured group will have lower rates for premiums and services in part because they are statistically unlikely to be running around and getting involved in drive-by shootings and streetfights and holdups at the liquor store. Low risk, relatively speaking. Want lower premiums and lower rates on your insurance? When applying for jobs, act like a professional, use proper English and deodorant, eschew facial tattoos and don't apply for companies that hire gang-bangers or other reprobates and you'll be half-way there.
My sister says that insurance is all a gamble-- you are gambling you will need insurance, and the insurance company is gambling you won't need it. I'm not saying everyone should have it free, and I'm not saying everyone should be forced to buy it for themselves.
I am saying that I want the power to make career choices for myself in the marketplace based on the availability of health insurance as part of a benefits package between me and my own private employer. There is a price I pay in that this has an impact on what I am actually paid by my employer and I take that into account when making career choices. For me, this is worthwhile and I am willing to pay that premium, but I sure as hell don't want to pick up the tab for the premiums for the self-indulgent wastrel gangbanger thugs or the ne'er-do-wells who are content to sit idle in a park in some sort of Occupy brand of bushwa.
And as for the marketplace and capitalism-- that potential to make money on inventions or techniques of treatment has been one of the greatest incentives for people to develop new drugs and new technologies related to the medical field and is one of the primary reasons why the USA was the cutting edge of medical advancement for most of the 20th century. In nearly all cases, these same great scientific and engineering minds belong to people who are not independently wealthy and need to make money to support themselves and their families-- why should some addle-witted hippie's moral (in)sensibilities dictate that these brilliant people should be prevented from profiting (or even just making a living) from their efforts in the medical field? Else, why would they bother with the medical field at all -- they can make money elsewhere with less red tape and social pressure. Thank goodness anyone still feels inspired to enter that field.
So, to try to gather all this mud back up into a ball-- I don't want the healthcare/insurance choice made for me, and I don't want to spend thousands of own money every year on health care and insurance, only to have more of my money confiscated by the government to cover the healthcare for someone who spent their thousands on spinning rims or a crunked grille. I'll stand by my choices, and I expect other people to have to stand by their own, as well.
Is that so much to ask?
Monday, October 24, 2011
The good thing is the cough has been productive and I'm feeling generally better. I'm desperately eager for the fluid to drain from my ears, though, because I'm having to ask people to repeat things because everything sounds as if I'm hearing it from down a tunnel. I'm tired of this illness, and as of tomorrow, this will be two full weeks. I'm just glad I went to the dr on Saturday, rather than waiting until Monday.
Made some incredible turnip and rice soup, an Italian dish that is a favorite of mine. Bacon features heavily in this relatively simple dish, and it's very soothing. The recipe is nearly identical to this one, except that you put in chopped up bacon with the butter in the first step, instead of olive oil. You can also use pancetta, but bacon-bacon is more readily available, and I've never been unsatisfied with the results. They also say to slice the turnips very thinly, rather than cubing them as called for in this recipe. I find the slices are easy to coat with the bacon/parsley/buttery goodness, and they are pleasingly soft in the soup, and probably take less time to cook properly. This is a simple meal that's quite savory, and very satisfying. I recommend it highly, but not without the bacon!
Have a great week!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Friday, October 21, 2011
I gather from the article that this is purportedly aimed at folk who buy scrap metal, as this is a growing problem with thieves stealing wiring from utilities and homes throughout the country, but I think there are already controls in place governing buyers of scrap metal that require identification for those types of transactions. I don't foresee Charlie with his shopping cart of freshly harvested copper wire from the local strip mall showing up at Farmer Barleymow's Junk Palace for a cash tradeoff any time soon-- he'll go to a metals dealer with their scales and such. However, the encroachment of more gubmint regulation may drive my beloved Farmer Barleymow out of business entirely, and then where would we be? Trust me when I say that if you've any interest in anthropology, junk stores are one of the most fecund fields to explore the recent century and a half of our culture. Plus they have the most fabulous crap.
Anyway, this new law is seriously hosed-up. What next? Will SWAT teams descend on yard sales and wallop hausfraus with big fines for selling their used tupperware for a quarter, cash, not check/money order/credit card? This may seem ridiculous, but it's a slippery slope. And from the sound of the legislator in the video on the linked article, Louisianans have been firmly in that handbasket for a good long while already.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Another pet-peeve is space-saving design and devices. I suppose these things are primarily designed for folk for whom space and not money is the premium, because a lot of these little gadgets and decorative flourishes would send my budget reeling, quite frankly. I suppose one thing that is frustrating is that like most published magazines, their sites are funded by companies who are selling design concepts and rely on you shelling out bucks to have a very proscribed look to your home. Unfortunately for me (or moreso for them as I'll not be shelling out my hard earned dosh on their products), the only thing I've an excess of is elbow grease and that is limited by the confines of my schedule.
There's much that remains to do on my home to make it presentable. I'm still in baby steps phase, but fortunately, I have friends who seem to have grasped my design direction and are wonderfully supportive and encouraging to that end, so I don't have to wait until it's "done" to have friends over to visit. I have to consider the value of my home on the market and how long I am (or am not) likely to live here, and the cold hard realities of how likely I am to see the cost of renovations back out of the home when I do sell it one day.
To be quite frank, if I felt I would be living here for 20 years, I would be spending probably about $30,000 (more than half what I spent on the house) on the kitchen renovation, and it would be well worth it to me, as a cook and entertainer. Living in the real world, though, when this house sells one day, my future buyer will most likely be a single professional who doesn't need multiple bathrooms, or it will be bought by a small family with a very modest budget. I need to spend here accordingly, because those buyers are not going to be able to afford my long-term taste.
I'm currently vexing over the floor situation. The house was a Sears kit home from the early 30s. The flooring throughout is fir and in varying states of condition. The kitchen has an awkward step up ont decking of 3/4" plywood with shoddy (and torn in places) vinyl over it. I'm marinating ideas of how to address the overall situation in a way that doesn't have a huge outlay of cash. The simplest idea seems to me to pull out the vinyl and replace it with yet more vinyl. I wonder what host of horrors the floor is under that decking? Yes, sounds like a holiday for someone who espouses the Elbow Grease school of renovation, but the problem with that type of challenge is that peeling back old layers often reveals greater problems that require more money than elbow grease. So-- do I put down more vinyl? Or linoleum tiles? or just some cheap laminate flooring in the kitchen that will show traffic wear patterns in just a few years? Or do I just man-up and pull up the vinyl and decking and face the music of whatever is under there? I'm having a hard time deciding.
What would you do?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
For some reason, that's so much easier to countenance than mouth-to-beak resuscitation, isn't it?
Matt can't get it out of his head now, poor man. Tsk tsk. He told me "Wife has been unhappy 'bout the song, too. Apparently, I just don't have the range. :)) "
Practice, practice, practice, Matt. Carnegie Hall will see you yet! And we all want to hear you sing that again.
btw - did you know that Minnie Riperton was the mother of Maya Rudolph? At the end of this song she sings "Maya, Maya". It's rather sweet.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
One day, a woman called and asked if we allowed people with monkeys to rent there. I told her that I had no experience with that, but so long as general pet regulations were adhered to, I could not see any impediment to that, so long as the monkey was sufficiently small and at all times well-contained. She made an appointment to come see the apartment for later in the day.