30 April 2008

Happy 75th Willie!!!

If I still smoked, I'd burn a fatty in your honor!

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The What to Call This Edition Edition


Oh, sorry.


What's going on, people? Tell me in comments. (open phorum)

29 April 2008

This is a Post

And so my Blog365 commitment is fulfilled for today.

That is all.

No, that's not all.

George W. Bush is the biggest sack of lying, hypocritical, festering, craptacular shit in the history of the Universe.

Now I'm done.

28 April 2008

And What Were You Doing?

Must see poetry by Suheir Hammad:

(h/t to Manila Ryce)

27 April 2008

Post #463

I had no idea about what I would post today - I'm tired of politics, and the kittehs have been boring lately. Luckily, I've been saved by Linda! This is one that went around before, but I have a different book lying next to me now, so....

Teh Rulz:
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The book: The Venetian's Wife, by Nick Bantock.

The sentences:

Forgive my paternalism, but I do wish to give you a modicum of fatherly advice. The things you've learnt about yourself from the sculptures cannot be translated into words. They are physical memories that manifest themselves in your growing feelings for Marco.

That's not a bad teaser for the book, btw. It's one of the several I've received in the last couple weeks from people who are special to me, and I very much enjoyed it ... both the story and the illustrations.

Also, I can't live by your rules, man. I'm not tagging anybody this time.

26 April 2008

I Swear There's A House in the Background

Part III in a continuing series (which may, in fact, be done now)
Part I and II

If you look at Part I, you'll see where the house is ... you know, the one that can barely be seen now.

25 April 2008

A Friday Video

For any and all who are going through tough times these days, be it economically, physically, or wev.

Peter Gabriel and Paula Cole, from the "Secret World Live":

24 April 2008

23 April 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The To Sleep; Perchance to Dream Edition

Happy Birthday, Master Shakespeare!

Proposéd, for thy consideration, most excellent Phriends:

A converse and a dialog,
Betwixt and 'tween us all
With potent potables, victuals
Our phriendships do enthrall.

What say ye all?

The Bard's Birthday

In honor of the day, a selection from Much Ado About Nothing.

For those of you who may not know the context, Benedick and Beatrice have both been long sworn to the single life. But, thanks to the machinations of their friends, they have come to realize their love for each other - but ... well, I'll let the words speak for themselves:

BENEDICK: Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

BEATRICE:[Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?

BENEDICK: Do not you love me?

BEATRICE: Why, no; no more than reason.

BENEDICK: Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
Have been deceived; they swore you did.

BEATRICE: Do not you love me?

BENEDICK: Troth, no; no more than reason.

BEATRICE: Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.

BENEDICK: They swore that you were almost sick for me.

BEATRICE: They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

BENEDICK: 'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

BEATRICE: No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

LEONATO: Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

CLAUDIO: And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.

HERO: And here's another
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

BENEDICK: A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.

BEATRICE: I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield
upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.

BENEDICK: Peace! I will stop your mouth. [Kisses her]

DON PEDRO: How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

BENEDICK: I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of
wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost
thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No:
if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear
nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do
purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
purpose that the world can say against it; and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said
against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my

And a clip from the 1993 Kenneth Branagh version, containing the above lines:

22 April 2008

I Am Spicy!!!

Your Score: Juniper Berries

You scored 100% intoxication, 25% hotness, 75% complexity, and 75% craziness!

You are Juniper Berries!

You're a drunk. No, really. Cool it with the hooch.

Just kidding. You're really good at adding flavour to boring old life. You can be astringent at times, but once the harshness passes, you're quite relaxing. And you smell good, too.

Link: The Which Spice Are You Test written by jodiesattva on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(jodiesattva)

(h/t to Samurai Frog)

My Ass Has Been Tagged!

My Siamese Cousin, The Cunning Runt, has tagged me for the following meme...

Here’s The Deal:

Link to the person who tagged you (done. )
Post the rules on your blog (done. )
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.
Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment (on their blogs).
Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

And off we go....

1) I have sported a beard almost my entire life. Well, since puberty hit, anyway. The only times I haven't had a beard were the times when I worked in the food service industry.

2) My first vehicle was a 1972 Volkswagen Microbus Kampmobile. It was fully decked out, except for the pop-top sleeping loft. I loved the Bus, and drove the hell out of it. The best thing about it was the fact that I kept it stocked with "emergency" camping supplies, which meant I could, at any time, take off and go camping.

3) I love camping. See #2 above, and note that I live in a Winnebago RV now (and for the last 7 1/2 years.

4) In high school, I played every single brass instrument in band. (not all at once, you understand) In marching band, I played the baritone (freshmen year) and flügelhorn (soph, jr, sr years). In concert band I primarily played the euphonuim (baby tuba), but in my senior year I was part of a brass quintet, and played tuba, trombone and euphonium. And in the Spring Concert, I played french horn on one of the selections.

5) For two years I was part owner of, and ran, a head shop in Asheville, NC. I advertised in the local free weekly (Mountain Xpress). I normally would do a Top Ten reasons to shop at my store, and one week I added, at the bottom of the ad, "Ask about our naked shopper discount!" I never expected people would take me up on it. Silly me. Some people are quite exhibitionistic. And, yes, several people, both male and female, took advantage of the discount.

6) I am a big fan of hippie chicks. See #5 above.

CR tagged the people I would have tagged, so I'll just let anyone who reads this and wants to have at it.

21 April 2008

I've Been Making Out Like a Bandit

No, not like that, you dirty minded people!

I have had, over the last week or so, four packages arrive in the mail. My neighbor, whose address I use for mail (since I live on his land and all), must wonder what is going on.

The Take (click to embiggen)

In the photo are 2 books, a bag of coffee, and a package (alas, now empty) of chocolates from Jen and 3 books (well, technically 5, as "one" of them is a packaged trilogy) from my sister.

Also, rumor has it that Linda is sending (or has sent or will soon be sending) me some cookies.

It's good to be the Bob!

20 April 2008

Poll Results for "Labels" Question

In a conversation with Jen a few days ago, I remarked that I was thinking of eliminating the list of labels (tags, categories, wev you might call them) in my sidebar, in an attempt to have less ... stuff ... flowing down the side of the page.

She said, "But they're useful, don't you think?"

"Meh," I replied.

She was persistent in her opinion, however, so I put it to you, my Dear Readers.

Sigh, I am well and truly put in my place. By an overwhelming margin, you have agreed with her. 10 out of 15 people said, "Yes", 1 said "No", 3 said "What are Labels?" and 1 said "Why would I navigate a site?". Why, indeed?

The list stays. And I thank you for your input.

Special Sunday Python(Monty)

Just because, that's why*.

(* h/t to DCup, again)

19 April 2008

In Harmony, Heading Toward a Movement!

First, a "cover" of The Element Song:

Second, the man himself performing The Pollution Song:

Because Jen said so, that's why.
(h/t to DCup)

18 April 2008

My Memories Go Farther Back Than I Do

The Jesse Lee Home, in Seward, Alaska.

My dad was the administrator of that orphanage for three years back in the late 1950's, and took that photo from a mountainside nearby. My family lived in Alaska for five years (back before I was born) and dad took thousands of slide photos. When I was little, I used to look at them all the time.

My next older sibling was about the same age in the photos as I was when looking at them, and, being brothers, we looked somewhat alike. For some reason, this convinced me that the li'l boy in the photos was me. Oh, yes, I insisted so. To the great amusement of my family.

Whenever we all get together now, it doesn't take long for one of them to ask me if I remember such-and-such from Alaska.

17 April 2008

Pydom Ranthon

The "debate" last night made me think of this:

Politics As Usual?

Let's assume for the moment that Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee for President this year. Okay, not really that much of an assumption, because the math is very much in his favor at this point. Anyway, that means the Republican operatives are busy marking out the word "woman" and all the other misogynistic pejoratives they had in their talking points when they thought that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee, and replacing them with racist and xenophobic ones - because, you know, Obama sounds like Osama ... plus he's black!!1! And their target audience won't really notice the difference. Cause we all know that wimmins, minorities and ferrners is beneath consideration.

The good news is that with things the way they are these days (housing market collapse, deep dissatisfaction with the direction the country is headed, etc., etc., etc.), that Republican target audience is pretty small, and Obama has a chance to become President. Further good news is Obama has invigorated young voters, with his Audacity of Hope and all.

But that scares me.

I suppose it's because I first became aware of politics during the Nixon Administration, but I have a pervading mistrust of politicians. All politicians. And I have a sinking feeling that Obama's words are no more than that - just words to help him get elected - as are the words of Hillary Clinton and, even more so, John McCain.

So what I'm afraid will happen is that all these first-time voters who are energized by Barack Obama will be permanently disillusioned by the entire political process when President Obama turns out (if, indeed, he does) to be no different than anyone who has occupied the White House in the last 30 years. Beholden to the wealthy and the corporations.

Of course, why should this generation be any different than previous ones?

What do you folks think?

16 April 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The We Miss Christina Tonight Edition

Alas, phriend of the blog Christina is sans internet at home tonight, and will not be able to join us. We'll just have to muddle through, somehow.

Such a pity, because I had stocked a big bottle of Jameson's. More for the rest of us, I suppose!

Beer and mixers in the creek, munchies on the table, and comments .....

The Greening Continues

Part II

Four days later. Spring comes fast and furious.

Part I here.

15 April 2008

Sweet Jeebus!

In addition to the racism exhibited recently around (meaning toward) the Obama campaign and Rep. Geoff Davis' (nice name that) statement, the Heritage Foundation is now whipping the dogs into a frenzy for another Civil War!!

As if the first one wasn't bad enough.

UPDATED TO ADD: I forgot all about the fact that we heah in tha Souwth ah already occupied.

14 April 2008

A Question for Email Spammers


Seriously. I can see - just barely - being duped by Viarga[sic] ads, and things like that, but this?

(click to embiggen)

Am I supposed to think, "Oh, wow! Something in (presumably) Mandarin! It must be important!"


(*as ever, thanks to Mama Shakes, via her daughter Liss)

13 April 2008

Science is Seriously Cool, Innit?

Awesome photos of Phobos, the smaller of Mars' two moons.

Phobos is only 13.5 miles in diameter.

Article here (Discovery News).

12 April 2008

A Saturday Photo

The trees are starting to green up around the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago). In just a few weeks, that house in the background will disappear until next fall. If I remember, I'll take more photos from this same spot to show the progression.

Oh, there's a chance of snow showers here tomorrow night and Monday morning.

/rolls eyes/

11 April 2008

More on Mending Building Fences

It was back to Gentleman Farmer's yesterday for more fencing. And this time, I remembered to take my camera!

A section of the old fence. Seriously, there's fence leading to that barn,
in amongst all those vines and stuff on the right side of the flat area.
(oh, and that white lump on the ground is a sleeping - but very much alive - dog)

Looking back down the hill at the work we have accomplished.
Looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Looking up the hill at the new fence.

Look for future installments of this riveting work!!

10 April 2008

Remember the Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur?

Quaker Dave does. Go here, and take part. Now, please.

Thursday! Python! Random!

09 April 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Clarinetist's Dream Edition

Greetings, y'all!

It's another Wednesday, which means Phydeaux's Phriendly Phorum is on the air!

The creek is running cold tonight, so the beverages are extra chilled. I went to the store this morning, so munchies are plentiful. And the discussion is .... waiting for you!

So, have at it!!!!

A Note to All My Phriends

If you're on my blogrolls, I do read you. But I've been using Bloglines lately, which, unless I click through to your site to comment - which, I freely admit, I suck at ... but then "You said it!" or "Yup." don't really add much to the conversation, anyway - your stats don't show a visit from me.

It's nice to have all of you there in one place though.

And, I'll try to be more comment-y.



But Was it 18' or 18" Tall?

Whilst doing my morning reading, I come across the fact that archaeologists in England are doing a dig inside the confines of Stonehenge - for the first time in almost 50 years. The first thing that made me think of was this:

In ancient times, hundreds of years before the
dawn of history.
There lived a strange race of people...the Druids.
No one knows who they were, or what they were doing...
but their legacy remains...
hewn into the living rock of Stonehenge...

Anyway, after that, I went to the BBC site, to read all about the dig. Complete with video for each day, and an awesome interactive panorama.

Cool stuff. UPDATE: The BBC link is dead, but here's a good replacement.

08 April 2008

Observations on a Tuesday

I spent the day today working with Gentleman Farmer. For several years now, he has wanted to redo a fence line that runs by his house, and today was the day to begin tackling it.

The people who lived there before GF and his family had the idea of raising beefalo (a cross between a cow and a buffalo) to sell to restaurants. So, they put up a four stand barb wire fence, with the lowest strand about 5" off the ground (apparently the beefalo were tiny?), and the top strand at about 3'.

The beefalo jumped this fence (they may have been tiny, but they could jump!), so they added chicken wire on the pasture side, to make it 4' tall. Then for some reason they added chicken wire to the outside of the fence as well (makes no sense to have two layers of chicken wire, but there it was.

Apparently none of the chicken wire did any good, because they then strung two lines of electric fence on the inside (which has long been disconnected). So the fence has four layers of wire to it.

[As an aside, GF's neighbor, who was born and raised next door, said that the beefalo continued to 'escape' and would have to be chased down and herded back regularly]

Oh, and then they planted English Ivy along the fence line, which has had at least ten years to grow and intertwine through all that fencing.

Do you have any idea how much of a pain in the ass it was to tear all that down? If you don't, picture the distance from your shoulder to the tip of your hand. That's easy. Now, picture the distance from the Earth to the Sun. About that hard.

Digging the postholes for the new split rail fence, which is absolutely not fun, was a comparative breeze.

Bob be a sore puppy.

07 April 2008

Why Don't We Give Him the Keys to the Country?

Bill Moyers has been awarded the Ridenhour Courage Prize, "in recognition of his fierce embrace of the public interest and his advocacy of media pluralism, and for contributing an unyielding moral voice to our national discourse."

The complete transcript of his acceptance speech is here, and is definitely worth a read, but I'd like to quote a part of it here:

Temptation to co-option is the original sin of journalism, and we're always finding fig leaves to cover it: economics, ideology, awe of authority, secrecy, the claims of empire. In the buildup to the invasion of Iraq we were reminded of what the late great reporter A.J. Liebling meant when he said the press is "the weak slat under the bed of democracy." The slat broke after the invasion and some strange bedfellows fell to the floor: establishment journalists, neo-con polemicists, beltway pundits, right-wing warmongers flying the skull and bones of the "balanced and fair brigade," administration flacks whose classified leaks were manufactured lies - all romping on the same mattress in the foreplay to disaster.

Five years, thousands of casualties, and hundreds of billion dollars later, most of the media co-conspirators caught in flagrante delicto are still prominent, still celebrated, and still holding forth with no more contrition than a weathercaster who made a wrong prediction as to the next day's temperature. The biblical injunction, "Go and sin no more," is the one we most frequently forget in the press. Collectively, we don't seem to learn that all it takes to transform an ordinary politician and a braying ass into the modern incarnation of Zeus and the oracle of Delphi is an oath on the Bible, a flag in the lapel, and the invocation of national security.

Would that we had more like Mr. Moyers.

06 April 2008

Sunday Video

For the past few weeks, I've been reading John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and participating in the ongoing discussion over at Jen's place (this week is the last chapter, btw). Those of you who have read the book know that Owen has ... THE VOICE. Since I first read that description, I've had this song in the back of my mind....

The Moody Blues, "The Voice":

05 April 2008

What A Difference....

... 32 years makes.

Yesterday I posted my 8th grade class photo, with me in my overalls.

Since I still wear overalls occasionally, I took a picture of me now (okay, I actually took the pic yesterday) wearing my Tradesman clothes [Carhartt's].

NOTE: This is for comparison purposes only!

ALSO NOTE: My beard is not Gandalfian (glowing white), the sun came out just as the timer went off on the shot, and I had the camera set for cloudy.

(I'm still awesome, though)

04 April 2008


The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

(h/t to BlueGal)

Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Farmer

That would be my 8th grade yearbook photo.

Just how awesome am I?

03 April 2008

Family News

I mentioned this last night in comments at the Phyre (see below), but for the benefit of those who weren't there, and don't wish to plow through the 500+ comments (btw, my blog phriends RAWK), I'll say it here in its own post....

I got an email from my Dad on Monday informing me that my Mom has been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

As I said early-stage. And she's already been put on Aricept, which is supposed to slow the progression of the disease.

I knew what Alzheimer's was, but, since I've never had a close family member or friend who has it, I didn't know much more than what everybody knows. So I went here to find out. There's a link there where one can donate to research, if one is so inclined.

Also, Jen found a way that we can all help with research, as long as you have a computer (which, if you're reading this....).

Thursday! Python! Random!

02 April 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Lyle Lovett Defies Categorization* Edition

Greetings, Phriends!

It's Wednesday, which means time for the Open Phorum Phyre!

Who's gonna show up this week? Only time will tell, I guess.

Beer and mixers? In the creek, chilling.
Munchies? On the picnic table.
Jug of Mtn. Dew (the real stuff, not the soda)? Behind that tree over there.
Comments? Waiting for you....

(*see my previous post for more on Lyle)

01 April 2008

If I Had A Boat

Linda mentioned this song in comments on the Sunday Video that didn't get posted 'til Monday post. It is a great song, innit?

Also, this video can't be embedded*, but was the first Lyle Lovett song I ever heard. I saw it done with Steven Wright doing the speaking part once, hi-larious!

(* thanks to my [beautiful] editor for correcting me on my spelling)

Wherein The National Weather Service Plays an April Fool Joke*

UPDATE FOR CLARITY: I do not for a minute think that the NWS was playing a joke. I think they were just WRONG.

Today's forecast (just screen capped):

Current conditions (same):

Gee, thanks, NWS. Those of us who earn money outdoors, and therefore didn't work today because to the overwhelming chance of rain, are so bloody grateful!