31 March 2008

A Post In Which I Attempt To Shame A Phriend Into Posting

Why* hasn't she posted? It's been eleven whole days without any Portly goodness!! We all miss you!

Remember, I have a copy of a picture of you wearing a Viking helmet. Don't make me post it.

Love ya, PD!



*(I have it on good authority that she's been superplusbusy in the real world, btw)

Video For Sunday (That Wouldn't Load, So It Didn't Get Posted 'Til Monday)

Weblog Stuff



How cool is the Interwebs Tubes? Here I sit, in the Not-so-Secret Lair, in Teh Mountainz, NC posting away (okay, posting at least once a day...) and people from all over are reading me.

On the left you will see the nation of origin for my last eight visitors.

For those who don't know, the flags are (top to bottom): Greece, US(HI), US(NC), Italy, US(NJ), Croatia, Canada and US(FL).

Hello, world!

30 March 2008

A Fiction Teaser

There's a story I've been working on - on and off - for the past while. Okay, more off than on lately, but.... Anyway, below is the first page or so.

It began on a Monday.

I had awakened early, downloaded my mail and the day's weather forecast, as usual. The weather service said that strong thunderstorms were likely in the afternoon. My publisher, Dennis, was screaming for an outline, which I was supposed to have sent him a week ago. And still no reply from Janna. I fixed some breakfast and scanned the world headlines of the day. Only two terrorist bombings, one in Baghdad, at the occupation headquarters, and the other in Tokyo, at a bath house on the Ginza. Crude oil was lapping at the $125 mark again, and the stock market was on the downside of its manic depressive cycle.

All in all, the morning wasn't that unusual. Certainly, not with respect to the events that fate would unfold before me over the next... well, very long time.

Instead of working in the garden, which had been my nominal plan for the day, I decided to see if I couldn't fix the opening chapter of my new novel. I hadn't sent Dennis the outline because the story had veered sharply from where I had intended it, and the outline I had was no longer valid.

What started as political satire had somehow devolved into slapstick, and every time I tried to work on it, visions of Mel Brooks films would flash through my mind. Nevertheless, I sat down at the computer and got to work. I managed to snag a line of thought that I liked, and was soon engrossed in the story and oblivious to everything else around me. With much effort, I slowly steered the plot back onto the course I had intended.

Several hours later, I leaned back and stretched, and realized with surprise that there was rain falling on the roof of my cabin. I stood and walked to the front door, and was surprised to see how much rain had fallen while I was writing. Puddles of water stood in the small yard in front of the house, and even the leaves on the maples were plastered together, though only a soft shower was presently falling.

I stepped back inside and turned on the television to check the Weather Channel. After a story about skiing in Australia, two commercial breaks, and some strained banter between the co-anchors, the regional map of the Southeastern US came on the screen. The radar image showed several bands of heavy rain marching across the Appalachians, one of which was just about to reach the Toe River Valley of Western North Carolina, and my home.

I hurried back outside to double check that everything that needed to be was still covered, and got back on the porch just as the wind picked up and the rain began falling harder. Leaving the television tuned to the weather, I switched on the radio to see if any warnings had been issued. As I scanned the dial listening for weather statements, I began to hear thunder in the distance. Soon flashes of lightning began illuminating points across the valley, each one striking more quickly than the last. As a lover of electrical storms, I was out on the porch again, watching the lightning and the rain, driven almost horizontal by the wind, when a gust practically knocked me off my feet. At nearly the same instant, lightning struck two trees on opposite sides of the cabin. The hair on the back of my neck prickled as I felt the residual energies of the double strike. Then I remembered that the TV was on.

Cursing myself for an idiot, I ran inside and unplugged everything. Then I went back onto the porch and watched the rain fall.


Any comments?

29 March 2008

Saturday Video

Robert Earl Keen, The Road Goes On Forever...

28 March 2008

Why, I Do Believe It's Spring!*

(*sounds best when read as Val Kilmer doing Doc Holliday)

I took this photo this afternoon for someone in particular, but she has generously given me permission to share it with the whole world.



These are two of the early bloomers round these parts, the Redbud (even though it's purple) and the Smoke Tree.

Now, who's your huckleberry?

27 March 2008

Thursday Python Random Monty

Eight Weeks and Counting!

I haven't mentioned this lately, but today is the 8 week mark of me no longer being a smoker.

I recommend it to everyone.

26 March 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Pogonophobia Edition



(If you don't know what pogonophobia is, see my previous post)
Gooood Evening, InterWebs!!!!

Beer, munchies, and such are all in the usual places, all I'm missing is you!

How is everyone out there this evening?


And, in honor of the title of the post, another photo:

This Post is Not For Those With Pogonophobia*

If you haven't seen it yet, you should go check out Liss' post at Shakesville, The Gayest Looks for Leno Collection. I submitted a (scary) photo for the collection, and in comments one of the other contributers complimented me - at least I think it was a compliment - on my beard.

This reminded me of the photo below, which was taken about a month or so ago. Ladies and Gentlemen (and Others), I present to you ... my beard:




* Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.

25 March 2008

Sausage Tuesday Links

Two of the funniest things I've read in a long time:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein did an Easter Post.

Angry Ballerina found something on Facebook.
(pidomon, you must read #12, if you read no other part)

Fear Loathing and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

Found at Huffington Post, and the perfect complement to Bush's statement that his presidency has been joyful, which I linked in my previous post.




(click on above link to get to a huge size image)

I truly hope there's a hell, so The Decidererer can rot there for all eternity.

Truly.

They Hate US For Our ....

God Bless America

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

Harold Pinter January 2003

h/t to True Blue Liberal who left this as a comment on this post at Shakesville. If, by chance, there is any doubt in your mind that Bush and Cheney are soulless, evil bastards, that post will erase it.

24 March 2008

Monday Memories

When I was a wee lad, my dad had boxes and boxes of reel to reel tapes. All kinds of stuff from Bing Crosby to The Sons of the Pioneers to classical recordings, and I used to listen to them all the time.

One of my favorites was Victor Borge, who was a classical pianist comedian. You may remember him from his phonetic punctuation that he did on Sesame Street, I think it was.

Anyway, I was talking to my dad tonight, and we were remembering all those tapes and wondering what happened to them.

Which made me go to YouTube and find this:

23 March 2008

Easter Post

A powerful video from Manila Ryce:

22 March 2008

Random Bits For a Saturday

1) I went with Neighbor this morning to the Big Box Home Store (not the orange one, the other one), to advise and assist him in buying some flowers and shrubs ... cause he's in the mood to do some spring planting.

ii) Here, in Teh Mountainz, NC, on only the second full day of Spring ... it's freakin' 74°F right now! I'm sitting here with all the windows open, wearing shorts and a t-shirt.... Oh, the weather forecast for Monday morning calls for a chance of snow showers. W.T.P.?

c) A gratuitous link to pirate eggs, because it turns out I can.

δ) I was gonna include a couple of photos of the plants,... but my camera (which I just used earlier today) is being obstinate. Okay, actually Picasa is being obstinate. If anyone wants to stop by, I have the photos in the camera ... or, better yet, I can just show you the plants themselves.

Hmm, there's this thing called Google, where one can search for things ... like photos of various flowers and plants. Of course, these are fully grown and blooming plants, and the ones Neighbor bought this morning are small and not-blooming. Anyway...


He got three more rhododendrons, cause it's not like the freaking
mountain is covered with rhodos already.



And purple azaleas, of which Neighbor bought three.

21 March 2008

Ow

Sorry I haven't posted anything yet today, my phriends, but I've been in the bed with a towel over my face all afternoon, trying to block out the light to ease the incessant pounding of my head!!

I don't get headaches very often, but when I do ... Jeebus.

I am feeling a bit less puny now, so may come up with something better than this later this evening, but, just in case I don't, why don't you peruse my blogrolls. Just make sure you start at the top (why, yes, I am biased about that blog... but it is alphabetically first). She's got pictures of her beautiful daughters, catholic acolytes, and Roman "soldiers".

20 March 2008

Thursday Python (Monty) Randomness - Spring Edition

For all the bankers out there:

19 March 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The It's All In The Open Edition



Happy Odin's Day, everyone! You know what that means ... Odin's ravens, Hugin and Munin ("thought" and "memory") are flying about. What will they inspire you to say, I wonder, on this open thread?

Drinks, munchies, etc. are all in the usual places.

Oh, it's raining here this evening, so I may be in and out as the weather does its usual number on Neighbor's (and therefore, my) InterWebs Tubes connection.

If nothing else, you can talk about that. :)

And so, phriends, what have you got on? Your mind?

18 March 2008

Got Karma?

So, I was taking my walk a while ago - getting it in before the rain starts. The threat of rain which is the reason I'm not working today. And so I took a nice long walk.

And, whilst walking, encountered a neighbor up the road - up on his roof, spreading a tarp. "Need a hand?" I asked. "Sure, if you don't mind," came the reply. The storm last week took some shingles off his roof, and he was worried about water soaking in. So I helped him spread the tarp over the questionable part of the roof, and weight it down with bricks.

He was happy, and I got not only the satisfaction of helping someone, but a cup of some pretty decent coffee, out of the whole thing. And then continued on my walk.

No rain yet. And I'm sure that the installation of the tarp on that roof will be the insurance that it will not rain today.

17 March 2008

Another Theatre Photo!

In this post, I talked about my most recent theatre experiences, and included some photos from a rehearsal.

In that post, I mentioned that I had no photos of the set of Death and the Maiden. Turns out a photographer friend of mine had a black and white he took one afternoon.

Here 'tis:



Yes, that's me on the stage. And everything you see in that photo, except for the furniture on the stage, and the actual seats for the audience, was designed and built by me.

/sigh/

At least I now have a photo.

:)

16 March 2008

Teh Fish Pit

So, my downstairs neighbor ... umm, ... Mr. Rogers*, has decided that he wants a small fish pond for his four koi. He's mentioned this for three years running. So, I'm used to hearing it.

Yesterday, he hollered over, "Ya got a minute?" As it turned out, I had several minutes, and so I went over to see what he needed. A level and a tape measure. Yep, got those.

"I wanna see how big my hole is!"

Hmmm, I was unaware that you had a hole, Mr. Rogers.

"For my fish pond!"

Oh, so you've started that, have you?



Whoa!

I'd say he's more than started it, wouldn't you?

(for scale, the hole is 15' x 9')

He's planning on having a 3' deep pond, so, at an average of about 28" depth, he's over two thirds there.




And there will be a waterfall feeding the pond as well. It's all going to be very nice. I expect I'll be helping him more than just a bit as this project continues.




I'll also try to get some better shots in the morning, when the light is better on that side o' the house.


*names changed to protect the innocent.

15 March 2008

Post #401

This is, that is.

Yesterday's post was #400.

I was gonna write something else for today's post, but the universe handed me this topic and I'm gonna run with it.


Ummm.

:)

w00t!

I can haz lots posts?

14 March 2008

The View From Over Here

Just about all of you reading this have read (or even come here from just reading) this post by Jen.

I am the man she fell in love with online. Just as she is the woman with whom I fell in love. As Jen says in her post, "even if neither of them has the remotest intention of entering into a deep and meaningful relationship...". And neither of us did have any such intention.

I will not speak for Jen, but for my part, when I met Jen (and pidomon) in person back in December, I had no intentions whatsoever beyond meeting a couple of people that I had gotten to know and like online. I have been alone for nearly a decade - by choice - and had grown to believe that I was happy being alone, to the point where I had consciously avoided emotional attachments.

As Jen and I began talking more and more, I realized, slowly at first, that feelings and emotions that had long lay dormant were resurfacing. At first, I put those feelings aside because, well, because of Jen's marital status. Eventually though, she and I realized together that there was a strong, and growing, attraction between us.

As Jen said, this was both marvelous and devastating. On the one hand, we were both feeling love, which is by definition a wonderful thing. On the other hand, the growing love we were feeling was not something we could really act upon, again, because of her marriage.

We talked about this, at great length - as, indeed, we have talked about a lot of things, at very great length. We have exchanged thousands and thousands of words over the past few months. An amazing number of words.

At any rate, events have led Jen to take the steps that she is now taking, but, as she said, it's not about me. It's about her doing what is right for her, and making her life the best it can be.

Do I hope, once she has effected her separation and had some time to settle into her new reality, that she and I will explore our potential to be together? Yes, I do - very much so. Do I know this will happen? Of course I do not. Jen and I have talked about this as well. We cannot know what the future holds, and (once again) as she said in her post, if this relationship is "the real thing," then it will still be there in the future.

Personally, I believe it is "the real thing", and we shall see what we shall see. But I do know one thing. No matter what the future brings, I have already helped Jen take a step towards a better future for her, and I am glad for that. I also know that I will be a better person for this experience, come what may. Life has a way of doing that, doesn't it? With the teaching. We just need to be wise enough to listen to the messages.

And I am honored to know - and love - such a brave, strong, and beautiful woman.

12 March 2008

Important Message

Go read this post, now!

Please.

I'll be here if you have any questions.

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Early Edition



Howdy!

It's Wednesday, so it's time for my weekly open phorum!

I'm posting it waaay early in the day today, as I'm heading over to a friend's house to do some sheetrock work for him and may not get home until late. I'd hate to disappoint the two of you who ... okay, I'm joking, there are several people who regularly stop by.

Anyway, beers and mixers in the creek, munchies in the bear-proof containers hanging from the trees.

Tell me what y'all got on your minds this Odin's Day!

Oh! Almost forgot ... yesterday evening I had a non-pheaux phyre for a while, as an energy focus (hope it was helpful, darlin'), and I took a picture:

11 March 2008

Fun With Screen Caps ... And A Milestone

First, an ironic Google Ads juxtaposition:


so you can start a religious discussion and then scrog like rabbits during the breaks!


And, second, the milestone:



I would like to thank the Academy, my fellow Bloggers, and all the little people without whom this wouldn't have been possible. Thank you, Ares! (since it's a Tuesday, and I refuse to use the Romanized name)

So, 10k hits in a year and 11 days (and, actually, it's a year and 6 days, because I didn't sign up for Sitemeter until 5Mar07 ... wev). Not too shabby, I don't think.

Onward and upward! The Acropolis or bust!! ... oh, I mean ... next stop 100,000! Thanks, everybody, for visiting my humble online abode.

10 March 2008

Built Ford Tough

As I said the other day, we had a pretty severe thunderstorm blow through here. I mentioned a neighbor's truck that was unlucky enough to be in the path of a falling poplar tree, and that I had taken a photo that GIMP had eaten.

Well, I walked by that house again today, and apparently the insurance adjuster has not had a chance to stop by. The tree (actually two trees, the one in front is a pine) is still on the truck.

And so I took another photo:



It looks pretty bad, but the damage appears to be confined to the bed, which is a fairly simple and not terribly expensive replacement. He's lucky the tree didn't fall on the cab, eh?

09 March 2008

20 Photos Meme

Through pidomon, who got it from Becca:

1. Go to photobucket.com
2. Type in your answer for each question into the PhotoBucket search bar.
3. Choose your favorite photo to represent your answer.
4. Copy the html and paste it here.
5. Answer only in picture form.




1. What is your first name?


2. When is your birthday?


3. What kind of car do you want?


4. Where did/do you go to school?


5. What is your favorite season?


6. What is your favorite type of shoe?


7. What is your status?


8. What is your favorite movie?


9. What is your favorite song?


10. Who is your favorite Disney character?


11. What is your favorite clothing line?


12. What is your favorite vacation destination?


13. What is your favorite dessert?


14. What is your favorite letter?


15. What are you most afraid of?


16. What is your favorite TV show?


17. What annoys you the most?

(I actually chose the "image removed" image)



18. What is your job?


19. What is your favorite animal?


20. How old are you?



I'm not tagging anyone, cause I've seen this several places already.

08 March 2008

A Saturday Quickie

Hello, Faithful Readers (and those who just happened by)!

This is what I've been seeing for ... a while, now today:




Blogger seems to have the hiccups today, so I'm gonna post this while I can get to my page - cause I've got the Blog365 obligation to fulfill.

I'm on the south edge of the snow system that's hitting the Eastern US today (not that I think that has anything to do with Blogger's problems) and it's been snowing on and off all day. Windy and in the mid 30's.

Not really coming up with anything else to say at the moment, and, as I said, I want to post this while the posting's good.

I hope you're all doing well!

07 March 2008

Today's Post

A couple of days ago a real strong storm system blew through here - deluge of rain, trees blown down, multiple lightning strikes (btw, I've decided that the SL must sit on ground below which there is a huge deposit of iron ... all of the trees around here show signs of lightning damage) - the whole deal.

A neighbor up the hill had a large poplar tree fall on his truck. I took a really awesome photo of it, but GIMP ate it. The two photos below are not nearly as impressive/scary, but at least they survived the GIMP meltdown.







And some flares!!

06 March 2008

How Cool is That

So, I'm checking my blog stats, seeing who's visiting and what leads them here, and I discover something really cool. At least I think it's really cool, this being an extremely low traffic blog....




Yes, my humble post about Hillary Clinton is #2 on Google. Kinda makes me wish I'd been paying attention when I wrote it. As I've said before, when the writing muse strikes I'm just along for the ride. Once my fingers stop tapping away, I go back and make sure (or at least try to make sure) that there are no grammatical errors or egregious misspellings or sentence fragme

Python Random Thor's Day

Job interview, anyone?


05 March 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Bophy Edition



Greetings, phriends!

It must be Wednesday, cause I've got a phyre going!

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

Well, that would be up to you!

ALSO: A special request. If you've not been there, go read kona's two most recent posts at Black Soap(read the second one first), and give him and txrad some love.

04 March 2008

The View From Above

Yesterday I worked in downtown Asheville, helping Gentleman Farmer try to track down a leak that we thought we had fixed on the roof of one of his properties. Leaks are a strange thing, as the old saying goes - they're not a problem when the sun is shining, and when it's raining, you can't go up on the roof to fix them.

Anyway, we located another possible way for water to be working its way into the building and addressed it.

While I was up there I took some photos (click images to embiggen):


Looking Northeast, the sprawling, tile roofed building off in the distance is the Grove Park Inn, which some of you may have heard of. If you want to visit Asheville and stay in fine accommodations, that's your best bet.



Looking East, in the background you can see where they cut a mountain in two to build an interstate spur years and years ago. No one could have foreseen that slicing through a ridge like that would change weather patterns (*rolls eyes*).



Street view, Battery Park Ave. Note the tree just about to burst into spring foliage.

03 March 2008

Thanks For the Idea ...

... kona and commenters.

Gil Scott Heron:

02 March 2008

Sunday Video

I'm listening to Acoustic Cafe on NPR, and heard Willie Nelson sing a cover of Randy Newman's "Louisiana". I tried to find it on YouTube, but, alas, no one has posted it yet.

While searching, I found this video of Norah Jones singing Willie's song, "Hands on the Wheel", which is much more apropos to my life these days:



Chorus:
An' I looked to the stars, tried all of the bars.
An' I've nearly gone up in smoke.
Now my hand's on the wheel, I've something that's real,
An' I feel like I'm goin' home.

(entire lyrics here)

01 March 2008

Do You Know What Day It Is?



w00t!!!!

My bloggity blog is one years old! Or was that yesterday? Anyway, in that year I have posted 378 times. Granted, there were a lot of quizzes and Python clips, and, for the past 5 months or so, the weekly Pheaux Phyre, but still, I haven't done half bad since my first post.

In the year since I joined the blogosphere, I have met some wonderful people (see blogroll), some of them really wonderful (more on that soon, I hope), and been made to feel welcome at many other sites. The pseudonymous semi-hermit blogging from a "Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago)" has changed and grown (more on that to come as well).

And so, today, on this anniversary, I'd like to announce - to the world - the name behind Phydeaux. Many of you already know it, and it's time to tell the rest:


Hello, world, this is Bob speaking.


Now, if y'all still want to call me Phydeaux (or Phyd or Phy) please do. I, myself, like the name. But for those of you who know me, you no longer have to worry about not letting slip my real name.

Also, I'll still refer to the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago), even though its location is no longer secret, but it's only because I have to call it something, ya know?

And, I haven't really decided how I'll sign posts and comments. We shall see how that goes, but for right now I'm leaning towards "Phy/Bob", which has a sound I really like (for personal reasons).

So, that's pretty much it. Wow. Telling something like this... I wonder where that could lead?