30 November 2007
2) Believe it or not, I have found the whole thing somewhat limiting. Let me explain. I started this blog back in March of this year, and I'm still working to find my niche. Occasionally I have deep thoughts and I try to write about them. But, in my opinion, way too many of my posts have been fluff and (hopefully) somewhat humorous. Still, I have managed to average, over the life of the blog, an average of just under one post a day. Which is somewhat surprising to me.
So, how do I feel the NaBloPoMo has limited me? The idea that I have to post (at least) one a day has kept me from delving into some of the ideas I've had - because they would be time-consuming and might make me miss a day. Also, I have put off more than one post simply out of fear that the next day I might not come up with something to say, and would need to use it then.
3) My loony bun is fine Benny Lava. [sorry, PD, I just can't help myself!]
4) In reference to Reflection #2, I find the intimidation of a daily requirement somewhat surprising. During a recent chat with a friend (you know who you are!), we were discussing the whole working under a deadline thing - not with reference to NaBloPoMo - and I mentioned to said friend that I really thrive under those conditions, and ever since my early school days, when I discovered that papers I wrote on the bus on the way to school the day they were due ended up with better grades than papers I actually spent time composing, I have pretty much used that as a guiding principle. Not just in writing, but in a lot of things. And have been labled[sic] as lazy because of it.
The point here is, I don't understand why I would feel intimidated, because I know that I can come up with something - always.
5) I've always felt like an outsider, and I sometimes have difficulty participating in group things, so NaBloPoMo has helped me to become more "civilized" - no word yet as to whether that's a good thing.
6) There is no Reflection 6.
7) Will I participate next year when this rolls around? I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to find that out.
29 November 2007
How is everybody today?
I'm tired, thank you. I did something today that I haven't done in a long time (no, not that). I... wait for it... went to work! Yep, the whole swinging a hammer, nailing nails, building stuff thing.
I realized, after about an hour, that the muscles I use for blogging and InterWebs surfing are not the same ones used in construction.
I be sore.
Anyway, here's today's Pythonity:
28 November 2007
Hey! Hey! Hey!
What's happening, Phriends! Turkey Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all behind us, and it's time for Phyre-ey Wednesday!! Err, or some such. Wev.
Phyre. Phriends. Phun. Phantastic.
You know where the Creek is by now, and the picnic table is groaning with the massive amounts of munchies, so Speak Up!
27 November 2007
26 November 2007
"...and my family and I are spending a litttle time in Iowa these days." ROTFLMAO
(Thanks to frequent Shakesville commenter Nik.E.Poo, who left the link over at PortlyDyke's)
25 November 2007
I have given up on the Panthers for this season (but I'll probably keep watching the games). I'm talking about the NFL here. The Carolina Panthers. Not the Pitt Panthers, or the Florida Panthers, or the probably thousands of elementary, middle, junior & senior high schools that have a Panther as their mascot.
If you watched the game today between the Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, you'll understand why.
If you're not into sports, then don't worry, 'cause I'll return to my normal test-posting, bs-ridden self tomorrow.
That is all.
24 November 2007
I am sans words. My fingers sit idle over the keyboard, waiting for my brain to send signals for them to leap into action and transfer my synaptic firings into words on the computer screen. But there's nothing.
I could say... no, no, not that. How 'bout... nah.
It's a hard thing to be a writer who has no words. Normally I get into the moment and somehow thoughts become words that become sentences and paragraphs and, if I'm very lucky, a cohesive post.
But not today. Today I got bupkiss.
I could write about the fact that it's cold, but it's the last week of November and it's supposed to be cold (in these here parts, anyway). I could let one of the Faithful Sidekicks write a post, but they're not really blog mascots, so.... I don't have any offspring, much less a bilingual child, so I can't post cute jokes in Spanish.
I'm telling ya, I ain't got nothing to say!!
I am blog-mute!
Now, if I'd driven to Chicago for Thanksgiving, I could do a whole series of posts, but I didn't go anywhere except next door and there's not a whole lot of post in "I stepped outside and walked through Teh Woods to Neighbor's house and had dinner."
The union of my ideas and the computer is an empty set.
Hell, if I had a pair of cute-cute-cute new house slippers, I could talk about them... alas, I do not. Were I able to read Hebrew and Aramaic, I could become a biblical scholar and write authoritatively about National Bible Week, but I do well to maintain my ability to communicate in English.
I no can haz wurdz.
So, I suppose I will just have to admit defeat and stop staring at this blank screen.
The only thing I have to say is...
My loony bun is fine Benny Lava.
(my thanks to konagod, pidomon, Jennifer, DCup &MathMan, Cunning Runt, and Portly Dyke for helping me to say nothing today. Go ye all and visit their fine establishments. They all have words a plenty! [Links to each and sundry available in the sidebar])
23 November 2007
22 November 2007
In honor of the calmness that pervades all family get-togethers.
Make sure you get lots of rest tonight, so you can be a Good American tomorrow and spend, spend, spend!
(h/t to QuakerDave [who's back blogging again] via this Shakesville post)
21 November 2007
(subject line in a spam email I received a few minutes ago)
There are so many things wrong with that, I would grow old and die before I could list (and expound) on them. So I won't bother.
Except to point out that it's the womb that makes teh baybee, and I hain't got one o' them. Being a male, and all that.
If you need more instruction as to the multitudiness of wrongity, go visit Shakesville.
Welcome to the Turkey Day (before) edition of the Pheaux Phyre! In honor of the American holiday, have some Turkey:
Oops, I mean:
Crap! I mean:
No, no, no! That's just wrong.
One more try....
As always, beer and mixers are in the creek and the munchies on the picnic table. All that's missing is you!
20 November 2007
It would be worse, but the wind has been blowing a bunch over the last few days and some of the leaves that decorated the car were, like, totally blown away, dude.
That's all about to change, however, as yesterday I betook myself (in Neighbor's truck) to the Offices of Insurance and License Plating and received in return (drum roll please)...
Yes, Friends, Acquaintances, and Those Who Randomly Ended Up On This Blog & Are Wondering What The Idiot Author Is Going On About, I can now (legally*) drive Teh Car!
I feel like perambulating - just because I can!!!!!!**
* - I did not drive the car whilst it had no license plate on it. There are some things too stupid for even me to do.
** - I won't, though, because a) it would be a waste of gas, b) there ain't hardly no gas in the car and what little money I have with which to put gas in the car must be hoarded carefully for a time when I have a reason to drive, and c) gasoline is expensive as shit these days!
19 November 2007
A# - I'm having all kinds of trouble with all sites Blogger/Google this evening. Am I the only one? In any case, that is the reason behind this short post. I hope I can get it to go up before midnight. It would suck to fail at the NaBloPoMo thingy because Blogger/Google is having hiccups.
18 November 2007
17 November 2007
I realize that this means hordes of my fans will be popping by to see me and my faithful sidekicks (teh kittehs, Puff and Callie), but that's the price of fame. Plus, I can charge admission and give tours and such.
I figure ten bucks a head (and five bucks for non pot smokers) ought to be about right. For that low, low price you get to see how "an anti-capitalist misanthrope who lives in a camper in the woods" lives, join in the grubbing for roots and berries, learn how to build a proper campfire, and many other fun and useful tasks that keep a misanthrope busy!
I'll even offer retreats - both weekend and week-long, where you can learn how to follow in my footsteps (size 12's, so they're easy to follow) and start your own hermit community! I'm still figuring out the cost of the retreats, so stay tuned!
Back to today's task: The Revealing!
After lengthy discussions and "enhanced interrogations", I have been granted permission from the Pentagon to publish the following picture, wherein the location of the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago) is shown.
Here it is (click picture to embiggen):
That's me, right there. No, to the right a little. There.
I hope you have enjoyed this unveiling as much as I have.
(photo courtesy of GoogleEarth, and a tip o' the hat to konagod, who gave me the idea on his new photoblog BLACK SOAP)
16 November 2007
15 November 2007
For self-appointed decency monitors, Fox News sure shows a lot of soft porn... take a look.
Visit Fox News Porn today!!
For a list of those who advertise on The Faux Noise Channel, go here, then contact them and tell them how much you love seeing misogynistic programming!
14 November 2007
Evenin', Folks! Today started off in the upper 50's, got to 70 by mid afternoon, it's in the low 60's still, and there are snow showers predicted for tomorrow afternoon! Let's hear it for Fall/Winter!!!!
Pull up a log... cold drinks are chillin' in the crick.... munchies on the picnic table.
So, tell me, what have you got on... your mind?
Almost forgot: The cold front heralding the cold and possible (fingers crossed) snowfall is also going to be bringing rain and strong winds... so my interwebs connections might be iffy tonight. So it's not my fault if I disappear from the comments... it's beyond my control!
12 November 2007
This is the promised follow-up to Saturday's post.
To quickly recap, Neighbor wanted a doggy door installed in his sliding glass door. I figured out an insert that would fit the opening so that the operable door would close up against it. A fairly simple project. After we got the materials and I began cutting the pieces, Neighbor decided that he wanted it done differently - to install the doggy door in the screen door frame.
This required a different "mode of attack" and some stretching of materials, as I am loathe to throw away an already cut sheet of luon (that real thin plywood that you often see as backs of dressers and such).
Anyway, the job is (mostly) done. All I have left to do is a second coat of paint on both sides of the newly created sliding wood door. What do you think?
11 November 2007
I can think of no more moving commemoration than the comment thread on this post over at Shakesville.
As a civilian, I nonetheless salute all veterans and those who serve this nation today.
10 November 2007
Anyway, today my neighbor asked me to help him install a doggy door in a sliding glass door opening, and, being the helpful, friendly (stop laughing) person I am (seriously, knock it off), I agreed. It seems that he finally realized that the best option in cold weather was not to leave the sliding door open a foot or so, allowing the doggies free access to the outside.
So, around 12:30, off we went to Lowe's (for building material) and PetSmart (for the door flappy thing kit).
The shopping center where said stores is located lies downhill from the roadway, so as one turns in a wonderful vista of acres of parking lot is afforded. And let me tell you, on this chilly November Saturday, the lot was almost full. It gave me shivers (and not the good kind).
Luckily, most of those cars belonged to people who were shopping at Target and/or Best Buy and/or the two or three other big chain stores in that particular
At any rate, we popped into PetSmart (which I actually enjoy, 'cause they've always got kittehs! And today was no exception - they had two(2!) tortoise shell kittens that look just like Callie [no more kittehs in the Secret Lair, no more kittehs in the Secret Lair]) and Lowe's, got our required booty and boogied on outta there. Back up the mountain and into the woods we went, and I could relax. Then it was time to construct the frame and sheeting as an insert to fit into the doorway in which to mount the doggy door.
Now, I had a simple but effective plan for accomplishing this goal. Neighbor, on the other hand, had... other ideas. And, since it's his slidong glass door, I agreed to (try) to build what he wanted. Since he changed his mind about what he wanted after we went to Lowe's for me to get materials, I didn't have the proper stuff. So, as I worked on part of the project, he went back to Lowe's.
Anyway, to make a long story short, dark overcame us before the job was finished. Oh, and he no longer has a screen for the door. More on this tomorrow, unless it's just too painful to relate.
09 November 2007
08 November 2007
I was not aware until searching for this at YouTube, but the sketch actually predated Monty Python's Flying Circus.
From At Last the 1948 Show:
Last, but not least, here's Eddie Izzard, Alan Rickman, Harry Enfield and Vic Reeves performing the sketch in 2001 in a concert for Amnesty International:
Thus endeth today's lesson in Python history.
What the hell is he going on about, you are asking yourself. Well, I'll tell yourself. From today's New York Times, comes this article:
Markets and Dollar Sink as Slowdown Fear Increases
It seems that the high cost of crude oil, coupled with a downturn in the housing market, is likely to adversely effect the average American's quality of life. I know, that's a real shocker... I'll let you catch your breath for a moment.
Oh, you're back? I hope you were able to get over the shock. Anyway:
Stock markets plummeted and the dollar sank to a record low against the euro yesterday as investors worldwide grew skittish over rising oil prices and the prospect of a substantial economic slowdown in the United States.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 360 points and the broader stock market dropped nearly 3 percent, driven down by fear that the troubles in housing are likely to continue well into next year, contributing to further losses in credit markets and spreading pain to the rest of the economy.
Here's the cutting, in depth, no-holds-barred, why-didn't-I-think-of-that, people-get-paid-
Hold on to your bonnet, Etheline, 'cause that ain't all. Have you heard about all that US debt that is being held by China? Well...
The most immediate trigger for the sell-off in the dollar, traders said, was a jarring signal that suggested China might shift some of its enormous hoard of foreign currency reserves — worth more than $1.4 trillion, primarily in dollars and dollar-denominated assets — into other currencies to get a better return on its money.
“We will favor stronger currencies over weaker ones, and will readjust accordingly,” Cheng Siwei, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress told a conference in Beijing on Wednesday. A Chinese central bank vice director, Xu Jian, said the dollar was “losing its status as the world currency,” according to Bloomberg News.
Mr. Cheng later told reporters he was not saying China would buy more euros and dump dollars. But as markets opened across Europe, those words echoed as an invitation to sell the American currency.
Yep, the millions of Americans who drive SUV's that average what, 12mpg, and who purchased homes with an ARM, the payments on which have grown exponentially, have fought the War Against Terra just like Dubya told them to - spend, spend, spend. Use as much gas as possible to drive to the corner market for a pint of half and half! Buy a McMansion, mortgage rates will never be this low again!!! Bad credit? No problem, have I got a deal for you! Hell, we can put the downpayment on your Visa card!
Umm, what was I saying?
Right, spend, spend, spend. It's Teh Murrikan Way!
Meanwhile, the fed floods the market with cash (the better to spend with, my dear), which is bought up by nations around the world, because the US dollar is the benchmark currency. Suddenly, and (as Condi would say) "no one could have foreseen people who got mortgages at the limit of their payment ability would default on those mortgages when the interest rates increased", thousands of people are losing there McMansions (and lesser homes as well) - and the lenders are getting bailed out. The lenders, not the people who are now scurrying to find an apartment or a tent to live in. This puts a serious crimp on the construction trade, cause there's a bunch of houses sitting empty, so why build new ones!
And all those empty homes aren't just a problem for the (former) owners and whomever is holding the (now worthless) note. They are also a drag on home values for those who managed to hold on to their homes - and are now stuck because the value of the home is less than what they owe.
Then, due in part to the Current Occupant threatening to start WWIII by attacking Iran, the price of oil shoots up to all time highs , which no one could have foreseen either. This raises the price of gas, heating oil, and, well, basically everything because our whole economy is predicated on cheap oil - and lots of it!
Yeah, we're pretty much fucked.
What can I do to protect myself, you may ask? Well, for starters, you might want to follow the advice here. And here. And especially here.
07 November 2007
Good Evening, All!
It's gonna be a cold night here in Teh Mountainz, NC, so I've moved the sitting logs closer to the phyrepit and built a bigger phyre. Just remember to keep an eye on your shoes/boots; if they start smoking pull them back from the pit a bit!
I was tempted to name this the "Ron Paul Pheaux Libertarian Phyre" this week, but I chickened out.
Beer and mixers are in the creek, and munchies on the picnic table. The little boys' tree is on the left, and the little girls' tree on the right.
So, what's on your mind tonight?
06 November 2007
From the Campaign for America's Future website:
Readers of this blog first met Nancy Nord in this post from two and a half months ago. I had woken up to NPR's "Morning Edition," and heard a toy industry spokesman spinning the recent massive recall of Mattel toys for lead contamination—was admiring her skill at obfuscation, throwing sand in the face of the facts, serenely and sweetly muddying the waters to deny there was really much of a problem at all, but that good folks had the problem entirely under control.
I listened on, and soon learned that this was no toy industry spokesman. She was the chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She just talked like a toy industry spokesman—which, I soon learned, was no surprise: a typical revolving-door conservative crony, her relevant experience in protecting consumers was as a corporate lobbyist fighting to keep the government from protecting consumers.
Go here to sign the petition to get her lead-loving ass booted!
We expect there to be elections as soon as possible and that the president should remove his military uniform.
Previous to his decision, we had made it clear that these emergency measures would undermine democracy and our hope is that he will restore democracy as quickly as possible.
He went on to say that if the Pakistani dictator doesn't accede to the calls for the restoration of the rule of law, the United States would... continue to send him billions of dollars.
That should get Musharraf's attention. I wish someone would threaten me in that manner.
05 November 2007
04 November 2007
03 November 2007
-- Take the Quiz! --
If you're wondering how I disagree with Dennis on Iraq, look at the question and responses and see if you can figure out which I chose. As far as the Energy question is concerned, a more nuanced answer is required than Yes/No. I may enlighten you at a later date....
Thanks to Scrutiny Hooligans for leading me to this.
02 November 2007
Countries that currently or until recently had female heads of state include: Ireland, New Zealand, Latvia, Finland, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Germany, Liberia, Chile, Jamaica, and Switzerland.
[NOTE: Since this article was written, a long list of nations have elected female heads of state, including Costa Rica (where I now live). See here for more info.]
Nations with past female heads of state: India, Israel, Iceland, The Philippines, and the United Kingdom. And that's not including the multitude of Queens who have ruled nations since time immemorial.
Why is the United States missing from these lists? It is a self-evident fact that women are just as capable of leading a country as men. And yet, in the US, there is still a 'question' as to whether we are 'ready' for a woman President. A significant percentage of Americans say they would not vote for a woman for President - period. What a load of crap.
Of course, a significant percentage also say that they wouldn't vote for a black candidate, or a Mormon, or a Jew - in fact, anyone who isn't a (rich) white dude. Is there a study out there that shows a Venn Diagram of these groups? I wonder if the union of them would encompass the entire sample....
Back on subject, I have had hopes for a woman President for over twenty years - ever since Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate in the 1984 election. In my idealistic youth, I assumed that since the barrier had been broken, that gender would no longer be a barrier to a "viable" candidacy.
Did I mention that I was idealistic?
The Mondale/Ferraro ticket got its ass kicked by the Reagan/Bush
By the way, at the same time the American electorate was putting women candidates "in their place", Margaret "Iron Lady" Thatcher was Prime Minister in the UK.
As the years passed, no woman came forward to lay claim to either of the major party nominations. All the while, women were ruling nations all around the world. But we here in America weren't "ready" for a woman President.
I got scared leading up to the filing period for the 2000 Presidential election, because there was a lot of talk (at least here in her home state of North Carolina) that Elizabeth Dole would run. For the first woman President to be 99 and 44/100ths concentrated evil would just be wrong.
Which is the perfect segue to Hillary Clinton.
There is actually a good chance that she will be the next President of the United States - an office that's been vacant for the last six and a half years. Oops, it's the occupant of that office that's vacant, not the office itself. My bad.
[NOTE: The paragraph above obliquely refers, of course, to the Most Execrable George W. Bush]
Must. Stay. On. Topic.
The first Madame President. About damn time, right? Hells yes! Senator Clinton has a commanding lead in the polls (and we know they can't be wrong - *cough* 2004 exit polls *cough*), and the MSM have already made their pronouncement.
But why, oh why does it have to be a woman who is just more of the same old same old? Beholden to corporate interests, tacking along with the prevailing winds, maintain the status quo (up with bidness, screw The People), don't upset the apple cart of profit, profit, profit!
I want to vote for a woman for President! It is so far beyond time that it's. just. sad! I just don't want my first vote for a female Presidential candidate to be for someone with whose policies I disagree.
As it stands now, the North Carolina primary will be held on 5 February 2008. This means that (unlike in recent years) the nomination will still be technically open... even though Clinton has all but been handed the sceptre and crown of the Democratic Party. So my vote - at least in the primary - has a "voice". I will not be voting for Clinton in the primary.
If, however, lightning doesn't strike and she does end up with the nomination, I will end up doing what I have too often had to do in the general election - hold my nose and cast my vote for the lesser of two evils.