31 August 2008

31 August 1945

Part of an email received from my Dad:

Sixty-three years ago today, August 31, 1945, I stood at an altar in Duke University Chapel and watched as a lovely young lady danced down the aisle to the melody, “Here Comes the Bride.

Happy 63rd to my parents!

Dog Whistle?

I figured out why the presumptuous -- err, I mean presumptive Republican nominee chose the Governor of Alaska to be his running mate. For the next two months we'll be hearing the good bloviators of the MSM say:

"Let's look at McCain/Palin next to Obama/Biden."

McCain paling next to Obama.

I can see the Confederate Battle Flags waving as I type this.

30 August 2008

Political Obeservations

In a highly unscientific poll - meaning, I've been looking around while driving and, when I've ventured out to the local supermarket, I've walked around the parking lot and looked at bumpers - I have concluded that if there's anybody around here who's thinking of voting for Jamakane, they're not proud of it, or letting the world know who they support.

Barack Obama Jamakane
Yard Signs 12 0
Bumper Stickers 127 0
TOTAL 139 0

What makes this even more surprising is that Henderson County, where I live, is predominantly Republican (somewhere around 70-75%, I can't find the actual numbers).

Somehow, I don't think that Jamakane (POW-AZ) choosing unknown, untested, unexperienced (she has roughly 1/6th of Obama's political experience - looking only at time served) and possibly unethical Sarah Palin as his running mate will evoke a wave of yard sign/bumper sticker placements for the Republican ticket.

Can Diebold rigging overcome a 20 percentage point loss? We shall see.

29 August 2008

My Sentiments Perzackly

Gleefully stolen from FranIAm. If you have an open mind, please go read her post.

Wake Up America!

I watched the Democratic National Convention online at the DNC site, mainly because I wanted to see the convention, not listen to the talking heads tell me what to think.

The entire convention was fantastic, in my opinion.

Somehow, though, I missed this speech from Representative Dennis Kucinich (D- Ohio) on Wednesday:

If only our system wasn't so skewed, we could have Kucinich (and others like him) at higher levels.

28 August 2008

Thursday Pythonica

Fawlty Towers:


Thanks to Liss for posting this.

27 August 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Democratic Convention Edition

Yes, we can!!

So, who's been watching, and who hasn't? I've been watching online, here, and there. are. no. talking. heads. Some dude named... ummm, "Bill Clinton"(?) is gonna Speechify tonight. Might be interesting, might not be.

Anyway, open a ber[sic] and pull up a log!

26 August 2008

Demo Graphic

Latest Poll Reveals 430 New Demographics That Will Decide Election

Damn, I love The Onion.

Image of the Morning*

*Could actually end up Image of the Day.. or even the Week. We shall see....

25 August 2008

You Know That Old Joke About Oceanfront Property In Arizona?

May not be a joke in a few decades.

From Discovery News comes this wonderful news:

Locked away in the frozen soils of the Arctic tundra, there lies a ticking time bomb.

Nothing more than accumulated leaves, roots and other plant matter, the unassuming detritus is rich in carbon, giving it the power to dramatically enhance the effects of global warming should it ever get into the atmosphere. But for now it mostly lies dormant, in cold storage in the permafrosts of Siberia, Alaska, and Canada.


In a study published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience,
[the team of researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks] estimate there may be almost 100 billion tons of carbon in the first meter of soil alone.
(emphasis mine)

In the permafrost.

Which is starting to thaw.

That's equivalent to about a quarter of the amount currently in Earth's atmosphere, or 10 years' worth of global emissions from human activity.

Read the whole article here.

24 August 2008

Sunday Place Holder

About 2 years ago I was watching Public TV out of Tennessee with my antenna, and this video played between programs. The picture wasn't quite clear enough for me to tell if it was and actual instrument, or if it was computer generated, but it really didn't matter because, as I watched, I noticed that every placement on every string was correct for the music.

In other words, it was fucking awesome.


And here's another one that ... just rawks.

23 August 2008

Saturday Video

The Moody Blues:

22 August 2008

Quote of the Day*

I predict that by the time the Republican National Convention rolls around, the GOP's entire platform will have degenerated into a series of grunting sounds and vaguely threatening snorts.

Found here.

* don't even expect this to become a regular feature.

My Inner Nerd Just Creamed

Let's just hope - for the sake of the whole world - that John McCain fails his savings throw.

(found at +2 for hope... h/t to C&L)

21 August 2008

Thursday Pythonica

I forgot to post the final part of the Science Fiction skit last week, so here it is:

Genre Bending Music

And I like it...

20 August 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Is There Some Sort of Sporting Event Going On? Edition

Greetings, Sports Fans!

And the rest of you, as well!

So I hear there's some dude swimming really fast... not sure if I've heard his name... and that lesbians are taking over (and giving away toasters).

Thoughts? Predictions? Predilections?

18 August 2008

McCain: Man of the People?

Latest from The Real McCain:

"Most working families today do not have homes that have anywhere near ten rooms. John McCain has ten houses. Many working people in America have to work two and three jobs to provide for their families and pay their car loans. John McCain hops on a private jet. Is it any wonder why McCain champions a George Bush agenda of cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, helping oil companies turn record profits, and leaving working families to fend for themselves? McCain's velvet world leaves him utterly unprepared to make the tough choices we need to restore the middle class and ensure that everyone in America has quality, affordable health insurance."

- Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

But, as we all know, it's Barack Obama who is an elitist.

17 August 2008

This is Not Monday's Post

For Jen

UPDATED: Extra credit to Jen for recognizing the singer, when I got it wrong.


How can you not like music with the following lyrics:


Twas up the Bluestack mountains, D’arcy kept a bit of a still
We were sneaking home a bottle, when the guards came up the hill
“Lose the booze” cried D’arcy! And before we could reply,
He’d poured it in the nosebag of his donkey standing by.
The donkey had a ganky leg, and only one good eye.
When he got a lick of the whiskey, well you’d swear that he could fly
He rocketed through the roundabout, and down by jamsie’s bar,
Then he vaulted through the hedges at the track at ballintra

Here’s to you, to me and one and all
To the garda, and the gargle, and the trophy on the wall
Here’s to you, to me and one and all
the day that D’arcy’s drunken donkey won the race at Donegal

The gardai chased the donkey, and we followed in pursuit,
For fear they’d spill the whiskey, we begged them not to shoot
We barreled through the turnstiles we got there just in time,
To place our bets before the lot of ‘em reached the starting line.
The flag was up the race was on, the donkey looked behind
He saw the guards were after him but sure he didn’t mind
He had himself another sip and a second one as well,
Then bucked and kicked and knocked the competition all to hell.

Here’s to you, to me and one and all
To the garda, and the gargle, and the trophy on the wall
Here’s to you, to me and one and all
the day that D’arcy’s drunken donkey won the race at Donegal

The donkey past the post about a lap or two ahead
He finished off the whiskey and then toppled over dead
We went to check the bets and found when everything was done
The garda came in second and paid 35 to one!
So we dragged the donkey’s carcass down to jamesies for a pint
To drink up all our winnings, and to celebrate the night
We missed the poor old Donkey, but still we had to laugh
When Jamesie made a trophy of the Donkey’s better half

So raise a beer in the air, to that famous derriere
Everybody raise a glass to D’arcy’s ass! D’arcy’s ass!


Gaelic Storm, who first gained notoriety as the "Steerage Band" in the movie Titanic. If you're not familiar, check out some of their YouTube goodness.

I Am A Font of.... Something

You Are Comic Sans

You are a nothing but a big goofball. You're quite playful and fun!

You're widely known for your zany personality and your vivacious attitude.

To say that you stand out in a crowd would be a definite understatement.

Remember that you are overwhelming at times and that people appreciate you best in small doses.

(h/t to Samurai Frog)

16 August 2008

Morning Funny

On Thursday, over at Shakesville, Space Cowboy posted a funny SPAM subject line. I've been getting these same "CNN" and "msnbc" updates in my SPAM folder - and I've heard they contain some nasty virii, so don't click if you get one.

Anyway, I open my email this morning and find the following in the SPAM folder...

15 August 2008


I have been viciously accused.

This post is to rectify any misunderstanding.

That is all.

*sorry if that's spelled wrong. I don't parlez the Francais.

14 August 2008

There's Still Hope....

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
By Naomi Shihab Nye

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? We told her the flight was going to be 4 hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu-beduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late.

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of
It. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookies.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

(h/t to The General)

Thursday Random Pythonimity

The Crimsom Permanent Assurance

Because Christina didn't remember seeing it, that's why*.

( *stolen from DCup)

13 August 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The I Can't Think of a Good Name for This Edition Edition

So, when there's a warm spell after the first frost, it's called "Indian Summer". What about a gloriously cool spell in August? Does that have a name other than "Wonderful"? The high temperature here in Teh Mountainz, NC today was 75° - and that was at the airport down in the valley, which generally is 5-8 degrees warmer than here in Teh Lair Woods.



Haloscan is acting up. Won't let me comment for 18145 more seconds, so I'll see y'all in 300 hours. That's 12½ days. Jeebus.

12 August 2008

Tuesday Request Post...

Is up over at ShakesQuill.

You know what to do.

11 August 2008

Speaking of the Environment...

Go here for more info.

Unclear On The Concept?

A couple weeks ago I was doing some research for an article I was working on for another venue, and I came across a an article linked from E: The Environmental Magazine. I clicked on the link, and was told that to read it I would have to sign up for a free trial issue. Sure, no prob. It stated right there that I could opt out of the 1 year subscription, blah, blah, blah.

Problem #1: After filling out the form for the free issue, I was given access to the first issue of the magazine, not the article I was wanting to read for my research.

Problem #2: The bill for the one year subscription arrived in the mail a couple days ago - before the free issue ever arrived.

Problem #3: The envelope? From E: The Environmental Magazine? Came stuffed with about 30 pieces of paper, with all kinds of BS offers from I don't know what-all. WHAT!?!?

All hail capitalism!

Best. Cover. Evah.

(thanks to Jen for finding that for me when my Google Fu proved to not be up to the task)

((and, for those who didn't see it when it was going around a few weeks ago, here's a captioned version of Cocker singing the song at Woodstock. WARNING: Set down all drinks to protect your keyboard!!))

10 August 2008

Sunday Fiction....

has moved to its new home! So head on over and read it.

While you're there? Read some (all) of the wonderful posts my co-contributors have up.

This week's request post will be up over there on Tuesday,... but I'll prolly remind you of that on Tuesday.

08 August 2008

This Could Be My Last Post

Since I'm about to say something bad about the owners of the platform upon which I blog.

Have you been to the Google mainpage today?

Is anyone surprised that Google is touting the Beijing Olympics? They have, after all, bent over backward to give the Chinese government what they wanted infowise about users, in order to reap more profits.

I think it was a horrible decision on the part of the IOC to give the games to Beijing in the first place, and... anyway. I just don't want to think about it, really.

07 August 2008

Thursday Bonus Video

One of the best movies ever:

"As you wish"

Thursday Pythonica: Sci-Fi Sketch, Part II

Part I here.

06 August 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The I Can't Think of a Good Name Edition

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Hot & Bothered Edition

It's been in the mid/upper ninety's the past couple days, which - for these mountains - is above normal. Added to that is the approximate 165% humidity, and not having A/C - because it's not supposed to be this freakin' hot up on the side of the mountain - and viola. Hot & bothered.

Thank Ceiling Cat this is a virtual phyre.

So, what is on the minds of my phriends this summer night?

Paris For Prez?

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

"I'll see you at the debates, bitchez!"

(h/t to SAP, Mustang Bobby - who says "[Paris] proves she's more than just a hotel in the capital of France", and prolly a bunch of other people, but it's early)

05 August 2008

Important Breaking News Message Thingy

From the office of ... ummm, me:

♫ All in favor of banning weekdays entirely (and henceforth generating automatic income for all without need of doing such boring things as "going to work") signify by saying Aye

Replies so far are 5 (sorta) aye, and 3 n/v, and 1 "wants something sweet"

so it looks like everybody needs must stock up on beer and such, cause we're moving to the Socialist's Paradise.

Down with The Man!

Free Tibet!

Free Mumia!

Free Radicals!... oh, wait.

Creative Writing Announcement

Hey there!

Some of you may be wondering where the request post was that would normally be put up on Monday...

Well, there's been a change of plans. Beginning this week, I'll be posting the requests and the story chapters over at ShakesQuill, which is the sister site of Shakesville, and concentrates on literary matters - and yet, they've agreed to let me post my doggerel there anyway. ;)

So, head on over there to leave a snippet for this week's chapter!

03 August 2008

Sunday Fiction - Part IX

It had been a very quiet week in the city in the mountains. I was still recovering from my abortive attempt at camping, and the head wound that resulted. The antibiotics were doing their job, but I had been experiencing a headache and so had unplugged my phone.

Which wasn't doing my bank account any good. Of course, clients had been few and far between for some time, so maybe I wasn't missing anything. No way to know.

Another aftereffect of my wound - or at least I thought it was an aftereffect - was that I was cold a lot of the time, so I began to think that a warmer, more arid climate was becoming vastly appealing.

I spent several days holed up in my office with the lights low and the curtains drawn, and then, as I began to feel a bit better, I ventured online to check my email and such. Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw that I had a message from Arianne!

I clicked on it and read eagerly. She had received the package, and decided that it was time to be back in touch with me, and, according to her message, talk about us getting back together. And there at the very end was her Skype name and "call me!"

After my eagerness to be in touch with her, I was somewhat surprised by my hesitancy to do so now that she had requested it, and so I dithered for a day or so, then logged into Skype and entered her name. Almost immediately, I received confirmation that she had added me as a contact.

I clicked on her name, and the computer dialed.

"Hi, Guy."

"Hi, Arianne."

After a brief silence, we continued for a while with some small talk... "Yeah it's been awhile... Not much, how 'bout you...I'm not sure why I called... I guess I really just wanted to talk to you... And I was thinking maybe later on... We could get together for awhile... It's been such a long time... And I really do miss your smile"

I paused for a moment, then said "Well, either you need to tell me where you are or you can come here."

Arianne replied, "I'm over in Dandridge. Living on Rossi Street, down near the --" and the call dropped. Then my computer went crazy....

The virus had appeared out of nowhere, and so they found themselves cut off. I looked around the office, but there was no one else - I had no idea where the voice came from.

Arianne looked at her computer in a daze as window after window opened. She couldn't get it to stop, so she shut the computer off, laid down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. It was nice to hear Guy's voice again, but she wasn't sure what to do next. She continued thinking as she drifted off to sleep....

The howling of the coyotes woke her up. They seemed to be just outside her bedroom window, they were that loud. And it was very odd, because she had, up to now, had no inkling that there were coyotes in the area. She got up and looked out the window and saw Geneva in the yard, struggling against a strong wind, picking up fallen branches. There had apparently been a storm come through while Arianne slept. Arianne pulled on a jacket and went outside to help, as it was obvious that Geneva was having a hard time of it.

The two women worked silently for a few minutes, cleaning up the storm damage, and, just as they collected all the debris, a powerful gust of wind came along and scattered the pile. Arianne looked around disgustedly, and she sighed and began rearranging the tree branches. Again.

When they had regathered all the mess, they went back into the house and discovered that mayhem had taken place in the kitchen. Geneva had baked a pie before the storm came through, and had forgotten that it was sitting on the window sill. Feathers were everywhere, and apple pie was out of the question. Geneva had a crazed look in her eyes as she said, "I can't seem to rid my house of these dots." Arianne stared at her landlady, not knowing what to say - or do.

It took me a couple of days, and a visit from Jimmy the Bartender - who was a bit of a computer whiz - to get the virus out of my computer, and when I tried to get in touch with Arianne, I had no luck. So, I decided to go "old school" and send her a letter. I spent some time carefully composing a letter that I hoped would be well received and addressed the envelope as best I could. It was impossible to know if her letter was going to get to its destination, so vague was the address she provided.

By now my head wound was pretty much healed, and the headaches were gone, so I decided to venture out. I waited until evening, and walked down the street toward the Five Spot. The sun was bright and the size of a quarter, yet the moon appeared as a silvery dollar. The street was more crowded than usual, and I had to push my way through folks and to the door of the pub.

I entered and found myself looking at a standoff. The regular patrons were all crowded into one corner of the room, and Dirk Easley was standing in front of the bar, his hands held out from his sides. A large man was standing a few feet away, a gun in his hands, his eyes darting back and forth from Dirk to the folk in the corner. He saw me and spun around to point the gun at me and said, "Where would the plane land now? Can you tell me that?!?"

Dirk took advantage of my entry and lunged at the man, who reacted fast and fired the gun at Dirk. Jimmy and I moved at the same time and wrestled the man to the floor and disarmed him. Jimmy held the man down as I went to check on Dirk.

"Damn slugs," Dirk said, clutching at the wound in his gut. He looked up at me as his eyes began to glaze over and quietly said, "But how did my pants get wet?"

01 August 2008


At the suggestion of a blog maven who shall remain nameless, I was checking my visitor logs to see if I could find a "trigger" for the bo-o-o-gus spam charge against me, and found this:

UPDATE: I don't really think there's a conspiracy going on, but the above visit? Was on the date of this post.

This Video Can't Be Posted Too Often

I love this song.


So, yesterday evening I got an email from Blogger, which said, in part:
Your blog at: http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com/ has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at http://............

Your blog will be deleted within 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and you'll be unable to publish posts during this time.
Thank you for your understanding and for your help with our spam-fighting efforts.


The Blogger Team

¿Que? Spam blog? Moi??? Nuh-uh! Nichevo!! I may be a phydeauxp, but I'm not spam!!!

So I go to my dashboard and see this message:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I have to be able to post! I am a blogger, I must blog!!

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who got locked out of my own blog. All I can figure is that Blogger did an "upgrade" of their spam search code and it... FAILED. It couldn't possibly have been the installation of some sort of Gummint spyware - "persons of interest"/"subversive element"/"free thinker"/"this will go down on your permanent record" - thingy that didn't work quite like they wanted it to.... Or did it?

Hmmmm, I wonder if those FEMA concentration camps are finished yet?

Oh, by the way, as you can see from the screen cap above, this is my 601st post. Not bad for 17 months of blogging.