31 May 2008

Idea For A Blog Post For Next Saturday

I'm trying to get my writing juices (fiction, not blog posts) flowing again, so I'd like to try a little experiment.

Please, if you would, leave a comment describing an instant. Something like:

Bill turned to Jerry and said, "Where did that armadillo come from?"


and whichever one strikes a chord in me, I'll write either a short short or a "scene" around that moment - to be posted next Saturday.

Thanks!

UPDATED (17:00 SUN): Haloscan seems to not be working. Shocking, I know. Please try back later or send me an email - phydeauxspeaksATgmailDOTcom.

30 May 2008

Bush-Hogging


I rode this all day. Well, not exactly that, but one just like it, except kinda beat up with a bush-hog (big ass mowing deck) on the back.





I did the same yesterday, over at this house,




My brain is tired from being out in the sun all day.


Oh.

I was mowing a 12 acre meadow, in case anyone wonders why I was riding a tractor for two days.

Bet you thought, by the title, that this post would be about something else, din't ya?

29 May 2008

Thursday Python Random Monty

And now for something completely different - since I'm still having trouble getting YouTube videos to play....

Tell me in comments (and link if you want to) what is your favorite sketch by Python?

Myself, I have a hard time picking favorites of anything, but I would say that "The Ministry of Silly Walks" is right up there. It's one of the first bits of Python that I remember seeing (on public television waaay back), and it hooked me forever.

28 May 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The No Idea What to Call It Edition




Hey, All!

It's been raining here all day, gently at times and by the bucketfull at times.

Which of course means, my internet connection is spotty. So who knows if I'll be around tonight.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ALL CAN'T HAVE A CONVERSATION WITHOUT ME! Please, feel free to hang out and chat to your hearts' content - or not, as you wish. At the very worst, I'll read it later.

So, what's on your mind?

27 May 2008

A Contest!

Finish this sentence with your best alliterative phrase:


"John McCain is..."

My response is: "... a putrescent pandering pile of prairie dog pellets."

Winner receives ... something.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day 2008

A heartfelt thank you to all who have served this country - with especial homage to those who gave their lives so that we could live free.

We continue to hope that their sacrifice has not been in vain.

25 May 2008

Don't Panic!

And don't forget your towel!!!

500



According to my dashboard, this is my 500th post.

Yay me.

24 May 2008

Sunset

On Mars. How cool is that?



(photo from Discovery News)

23 May 2008

Cathartic Photography

My Siamese Cousin, The Cunning Runt, has posted the

Best.

Picture.

Evah!!!!

Thank you, Cuz.

Under The Wire

My power has been out for more than two hours for the third time in a week. It just came back on a few minutes ago.

When, exactly, did the US become a Third World nation?

Well, at least the power company stockholders are reaping record profits. So at least they can afford to buy generators to get them through the power outages, which helps their buddies in the oil industry, cause generators run on petroleum products.

See? A win - win situation!

Vote McCain!!

/snark

22 May 2008

Thursday Python Randomity

This week's installment comes to you courtesy of Christina, as I still haven't figured out what the deal is with my computer and YouTube. It was suggested that there was a problem with my Flash player, but a) I have the latest version and b) every other Flash app works fine.

Also, I never really noticed until I couldn't watch them, but there are YouTube videos freaking everywhere!

Enjoy!

21 May 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The I'm Pre-Posting This Because My Power and InterWebs Connection Are Both Iffy Today Edition



Whew. The power was out for three hours this morning, and the connection was out for an hour a little while later.

I may have to comment via pigeon or smoke signal, but y'all have at it!

20 May 2008

For Dusty

Because, no, I'm not mad at you. :)

Scenes of Teh Lair Woods, Teh Mountainz, NC.

Rhododendron! Covered with new growth.

Woods.

More woods.

Blackberry in full bloom.

Yeah, it's gonna be a good year for blackberries.

And don't worry, Dusty, I'll keep posting more pics.

19 May 2008

I'm a Minion! w00t!!




For an explanation (of sorts), see this post at Shakesville.

The Splotchy Virus Strikes Again

Brotha pidomon has tagged me!!

Here's the deal:

Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours. -Splotchy





I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words. (Splotchy)

Despite the throbbing pain in my knees and the dull ache in my lower back, I bent down slowly and picked up the envelope...

Oh no. It did not say this, did it?

Oh yes, it did. It did.

The handwriting was familiar in a way that inspired a cold sweat and a bout of nausea. It was the penmanship of my former husband. You know - the one that was presumed dead.

He disappeared in a suspicious blogging related accident a number of years ago and was never heard from again. I was devastated. I had hated the blog, loathed the thing. What began as a hobby that took but a few minutes a day had morphed into an addiction, the proportions of which could not be measured. It was pure evil.

The blog turned into a cruel and demanding mistress and her siren song was more than I could compete with. One day he left for an evening event, never to return again.

All fingers pointed to one blogger, but I could never get the charges to stick. That one is slick- slick, slick, slick. He can talk a good game and write like nobody's business. But there is something about him, it just is not right.

So my husband was gone, that other one kept blogging and I had to rebuild my life, which I did.

So I finally had the bastard declared dead.(FranIam)

I took the envelope inside and got out a magnifying glass. I studied the scribblings on the front and made out the words “This is for you. You KNOW why” just above the undead bastard’s name. What the hell?

What could it be? What did he mean, I “KNOW” why? What did I do? I had never been anything but faithful to him and his "interests." I followed his stupid blog as it meandered through the vapid expanses of his small mind, trying my best to be polite when he talked about some comment he’d gotten on a particular post, or a funny link he’d dropped into a post.

Just thinking about it made my stomach hurt.

Despite a fleeting fear that there might be anthrax powder in the envelope, I opened it and pulled out the contents. (dguzman)

A noodle, a meatball and one of the six legs of a squid? (Squid have six legs, not eight, right? Unsure I rushed to my computer to ask The Lord Google. OMG, I was wrong! Squid do have eight legs. And two tentacles. Like cuttlefish. I digress. Damn you Google!)

What was he working on when he had that blogging accident? I thought back to the nights of feverish typing. The nights the keyboard fairly reeked of despair, flopsweat and ricola. He would babble "vision quest" "noodly appendage" "the alpha and the semolina" "green sticky spawn of the stars". This last I just attributed to far too much interest in the pussy photos of Britney Spears.

In shaky handwriting was the couplet:

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange ├Žons even death may die

I felt that I was beginning to understand. He had been killed in an epic battle of Good versus Not-So-Good or even "meh!" (Jess Wundrun)


Shakily, I set the envelope down and wiped my hands on my jeans. I got up immediately and headed for the fridge, from which I pulled a recently-opened carton of the cheapest wine I was able to find last time I went shopping, raised it over my head, tilted my head back, twisted the cap, and greedily gulped down about two liters of forgetfulness.

It didn’t work. Or maybe it did, because when I woke up that evening in a puddle of cheap wine and bitterness, I couldn’t remember how I got there or how I had gotten so desperate in life to be drinking wine from a cardboard box.

Oh yeah, him.

It was dark outside, so nobody noticed when I stumbled into the back yard and peed against a tree.

What? Holy shit! I must have been drinking cheap wine for more than just tonight! I’d completely forgotten I was actually male!

I raced back into the house and found a utility bill amongst the pile of unopened mail on the kitchen counter. Then, I extricated my wallet from a jacket pocket, pulled out my driver’s license and compared the two address. They didn’t match. They weren’t even from the same state! What the…. Who the….

And then it dawned on me. I’d spent so much time recently reading other people’s blogs, I had somehow managed to take on the identity of a female blogger. Cripes. What have I done!?!?!

I looked again at the address on the utility bill. The name read “Michelle Malkin”. And then I looked on the back of the envelope that had been left on the front porch. Rubber-stamped were the words, “From the office of the Democratic National Convention”. Time seemed to suspend itself while I headed back to the fridge, looking for another box of cheap wine. (Commander Other)

Because all I could find in the fridge at this point was a moldy orange and a styrofoam container of questionable leftovers, I decided it might be a good time for me to get the hell out of there. This "Michelle Malkin" might be behind my current identity crisis. I was vaguely starting to realize that I must have been hypnotized. But, why? What in the world would Michelle Malkin want from me? Some visceral image of a diaper and an airport bathroom was starting to come into focus, the discomfort of which made me happy to distract myself with the prospect of... escape?

I had keys in my pocket to a car in the garage that I didn't recognize and I got in the car and drove instinctually toward what appeared to be a down town area. I decided I had to get myself to a hotel room and a location with internet access to find out who this Michelle Malkin was and how the hell I ended up in Dallas, of all places. (Freida Bee)

Instead of a hotel I cut through the fence at Six Flags and slept for the night in the log plume ride. Wet but comfortable. I-30 was a mere moment away and I could change direction and go to Ft. Worth instead and eat BBQ'd cow until the cows came home.

Once in Ft Worth I met up with a Kay Baily Hutchinson outside the the Colonial Golf Course. Boxes of wine were everywhere

She on one side of the fence and me on the other all she would say is "All will be revealed" and then shanked a 3 iron into the rough.

Confused I got back into the car and drove. My destination unknown. (pidomon)

I drove for several hours, taking random turns, hoping that I could shake the Republican tail that KBH sent after me. I knew that if they caught me, I would be in a gulag faster than I could say, "Help, help! I'm being repressed!!" Finally, the fleet of Hummers all fell by the wayside, out of gas. I smiled, and thanked whomever it was that had bought the Prius I was driving.

Then I aimed myself southward, and headed towards Austin, since I knew that the blogger konagod lived there. I hoped he and txrad would hide me for a couple of days while I tried to figure out what the hell was going on.

Once I reached Austin, I pulled into the parking lot of a Panera Bread restaurant, and used their wifi to log on to the InterWebs and buzz kona. "Get your fucking ass over here," he said, and sent me directions to the kona ranch. I pulled in to their driveway just as the last rays of sunlight faded into dark.


I tag kona, Portly Dyke, and Space Cowboy.

18 May 2008

A Story For a Sunday

Over at Little Bang Theory, my Siamese Cousin has posted (his inimitable version of) Friday Kitteh Blogging, which reminded me of something that happened years ago.

Back when I was in the Boone, NC area, I lived for several years in a small farmhouse out in the western hinterlands. One Sunday in late summer, as I was watching a football game on the idiot box, I heard a clomping coming from outside. I walked over to the window to look out, and at first I thought the pot was exceptionally good, as I saw a half a dozen llamas charging up the road past my house. "Now, that's something you don't see everyday," I said to myself (luckily, my self didn't answer). They were really there, though, and then it got even weirder.

The llamas were being herded by a Jaguar. No, not the big cat - the car. Turns out, one of my neighbors up the road had bought the llamas from another nearby farm (there were several llama farms in the area) and, since it was only a couple miles from their old home to their new one, he decided to to have a "llama drive".

Oh, how I wished I had a camera that afternoon!

The Real John McCain

The latest from Brave New Films:



Please pass this along to everyone.

17 May 2008

Geekified!

78% Geek



(h/t to SAP)

16 May 2008

Appeasement?

By now you've all seen or read about The Current Occupant's speech before the Israeli Parliament yesterday, wherein he accused (unnamed) Democrats of being like the Nazi appeasers leading up to WWII - because they've expressed a willingness to talk to our 'enemies'.

You also know that (as usual) Georgie's full of shit.

But do you know that G Dub is a hypocritical lying sack of shit? His grandpappy made millions of dollars off the Nazi war machine?

From the Guardian (UK):


George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.


Read the rest here.

15 May 2008

Thursday Random Python(ish)

As you may recall, I am unable to watch YouTube videos /curses vehemently/. But that's not gonna stop me! Oh, no! After much cajoling and begging, I got Jen to find me something post-worthy. I think you'll all be pleased.

And now for something completely different:



And a bonus, non-Python video....

2008 Dem Ticket?

I know this video is all over the place, but it was sooo nice to hear John Edwards speaking again, I just have to post it:



(thanks to Dusty for the video)

14 May 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Trojan War Edition



Hello, everybody!

I'm still having trouble with this statue of a horse that's taken up residence in my computer, but the Phyre must go on!!!

Feel free to commiserate with me.

What else is happening out there in InterWebs Land?

13 May 2008

Poll Results for "Embiggen" Question

Always 4 (16%)
Sometimes 18 (78%)
Never 0 (0%)
Didn't know I could 1 (4%)
Why the hell would I want to do that? 1 (4%)


Thanks for the input, my phriends. I've always wondered if people looked at the photos in a more than cursory manner, and now I know.

12 May 2008

What Did I Do Today?

Not a whole helluva lot. The winds blew hard all night long, and woke me several times through the night, as the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago) shook.

And then about noon, the power went out. It came back on about a half hour ago.

I missed you all today. A lot. I am addicted to my friends and to the internet.

It was getting dark (and a bit chilly), and my neighbor told me the power company said the power wouldn't be back on until 1PM tomorrow, so I decided that I should build a fire in my firepit.

A real one, not a pheaux phyre.








All in all, not a bad day - especially compared to the folks in China and the midwest - but my thoughts were very different from the last time I was without power (and internet).

My neighbor needs a generator, so I won't be without Internet again. ;)

11 May 2008

Mother's Day Photos

My Mom, before she was a mom (1945 or 46, I can't remember - hey, I wasn't there!):


And on my parents' 60th anniversary:



Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!

(she doesn't read this blog, but I will be calling her later on this afternoon )

Last Update on the Disappearing House

This shot was taken from the same spot as the previous ones.




Also, it looks to be a good year for blackberries:


And azaleas (that's Neighbor's house):

My Brain Pattern




Your Brain's Pattern



You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.



Just what I imagined it would be. And, the rabbits agree.

(h/t to MathMan)

10 May 2008

Blog Note

For some reason ... okay, it's a Trojan I'm having trouble zapping ... Google/Blogger is, at times, under the impression that I am a virus.

I finally managed to get my page to load, so I'm posting this real quick.

So, if I don't get around much today, you'll know why.

09 May 2008

Shocking News!!!!

Big Bidness interested only in profit!!!

Okay, not so shocking, after all.

Monsanto, the the agro-bidness that brought farmers crops that produce non-viable seeds (so that the farmer has to buy new seed each year, unlike the time honored practice of using seed from this crop to grow the next) is now - well, actually has been for some time - schlepping Genetically Modified (GM) crops that produce lower yield than nature's own.

But you can spray Round-up on them without killing them. And, hey, if rain washes the herbicide into the streams and rivers of Middle America©, oh the fuck well. I'm sure they're working on GM trout and bass and ... wev. Not to mention that even more acreage of corn will have to be planted to make energy negative ethanol to fill the maws of SUVs across the land. It's not like people can eat corn, after all ... oh, wait.

If you are in a place where you can grow your own (I'm talking veggies here), then two words for you:

Buy heirloom.

08 May 2008

Thursday Python Random Monty

As luck would have it, I can see a video today, and so am able to post this week's randomity.

Flying Sheep:

07 May 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Where Are My Cookies Edition



(Just picking, Linda!)

Evening, everybody!

May is here, the trees are in full pollen (/sneezes ... for the thousandth time today/), the windows are staying open all night and ... all that Spring stuff.

I've restocked the beer weir in the creek, have munchies on the table, and all I need is comments from my phriends!

How is your May going?

06 May 2008

Teh Fish Pit, Part II

A month and a half ago, I posted this.

Downstairs Neighbor has now begun Phase II:











Just another 2500 gallons of water (or so), and some stonework around the lip and in the bottom, and some waterfall work, and a pump and ... well, there's still a lot to do.

He wants to be done with it by the end of the month. Shouldn't be a problem.

A Post About Work

... and jobs in general.

As long time readers and friends know, I have been working for Gentleman Farmer for the last six years or so, doing whatever needs doing on his farm or at his various properties. I met him in the summer of 2001, when I was renovating the basement of the old Woolworth Building (which he owns), in an attempt to open a theatre and performance space. In fact, the name of the place was going to be "The Performance Space on Haywood Street". As I explained in this post, that didn't work out.

GentFarm walked in one day as I was building a long wall (the whole thing was about 60' long, though split into sections by the support columns that ran down the center of the basement). He introduced himself to me and said he was looking for L, the Artistic Director of the company. She wasn't there, and he and I got to talking and he mentioned how impressed he was by how straight the wall was that I was building. I laughed and said, "Well, walls are supposed to be straight, right?" He agreed, but added that they often, especially when so long, aren't.

Anyway, when it became apparent that the Space was never gonna happen, GentFarm mentioned to me one day that the handyman/helper that he had working for him for the last several years was no longer able to work, and asked me if I would be interested in helping him out with some stuff at his house. Needing money with which to purchase food for myself and teh kittehs, I said sure. The first thing I did for him was replace some bad siding on the back of his house, and then I spent a couple of weeks clearing brush and poison ivy off a bank next to his house, to open up the view to part of the pasture.

That led to a complete renovation of a rental house that he was tired of dealing with and wanted to put on the market, and then we started a six month project to renovate the main floor and basement of the Woolworth Building to turn it into an art gallery - Woolworth Walk. As we neared completion of the renovation, he asked me - knowing of my past experience in retail management - if I would be interested in running the gallery for him, and made me a very good offer for pay. I accepted the job, and ran the place for almost a year, before the boredom set in.

As I mentioned in the afore-referenced post, Theatre is one of only two "careers" I've been involved in that haven't eventually bored the shit out of me. The idea of doing the same thing, day after day, for money is ... soul-killing to me. (NOTE: This has no bearing on my personal choices of doing the same thing, day after day, when I'm not working. Don't ask me why, cause I'm not really sure, but that's totally different. [although I suspect it has something to do with money]).

Anyhoo, I was getting more an more grumpy at work, despite the fact that the job had the best duties-to-pay ratio of any job I've ever had. Basically I had about a half hour of paperwork a day (and most of a day on the first of the month when sales for the individual artists - and gallery commissions - had to be figured) and dealing with the customers. The rest of the time I watched the scene on the street in front of the gallery unfold.

When I informed GentFarm of my desire to leave the job, he said that he was surprised that I lasted that long - that he wouldn't have been able to put up with it, either -
and that he hoped I would still continue working with him on other projects. I was fine with that, because doing carpentry and electrical and plumbing - working in The Trades, as it's known, is the only thing other than Theatre that has never bored me. (Which was why I had such high hopes for the Technical Director position in the failed theatre company I wrote about before). Even though you may go to the same job site everyday, the tasks for each day are always different.

I spent several months doing basically nothing, other than buying some power tools (chiefly a table saw and compound mitre saw) and building some display racks and pedestals for the gallery. This was not a problem, because due to my ... minimalist lifestyle, I had several thousand dollars in the bank when I left the job at the gallery. Finally, though, the "kitty" shrank down to next-to-nothing, and I called GentFarm to see what he had in mind for work. Which was just as he was ready to start a 1500+ sqft Master Bedroom Suite addition on his house. That project took almost a year to complete, and since then we've done several other, smaller, projects.

Sometimes he keeps me busy as can be, and sometimes ... not so much, but I always enjoy working with and for him, and I have been and am very thankful to him for both his friendship and, well, his money. :)

05 May 2008

Big Bad Blog-meme

Via konagod.

The rules are that all the answers have to start with the same letter as does your first name.

1. What is your name? Bob
2. A four-letter word: back
3. A vehicle: buggy
4. A city:Bangor, ME
5. A boy's name: Bart
6. A girl's name: Beatrice
7. Alcoholic drink: beer
8. An occupation: bricklayer
9. Something you wear: bonnet (well, I don't wear one, but they are worn)
10. A celebrity: Barry Bostwick
11. A food: beans
12. Something found in a bathroom: bidet
13. Reason for being late: besieged (by work)
14. Something you shout: Bastige!
15. An animal: Baboon
16. A body part: butt

Like it? Have at it!

04 May 2008

Don't Expect This to Become a Regular Thing

As you regular readers know, I like to post videos fairly often (some might say too often), such as the weekly Random Python on Thursday (which pidomon does on Tuesdays, and Ouyang Dan does on Mondays).

Well, thing is, for the last few weeks, I've hardly been able to watch any of them. Nine times out of ten, I get the "We're sorry, this video is no longer available" message - even though, through other sources, I know that they work. I've tried the (non)help(ful) at YouTube, to no avail.

So, a Question of the Day:

Do you have / have you had trouble with YouTube videos? And, if so, what did you do to eliminate said problem?

03 May 2008

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Thanks to Quaker Dave, I know that today is Pete Seeger's birthday.

I think of this song whenever I drive by the new subdivisions that are being built at breakneck speed all over the place:

02 May 2008

Yay!

From the Shortest Hiatus Department:

DCup said yesterday that she was closing up shop.

She has changed her mind.

And there was great rejoicing throughout the land.

01 May 2008

Thursday Python & etc....

"Five -"

(three, sir)

"Three Questions!"