Thursday, September 30, 2004

Presidential Debate #1

Kerry did a great job in the debate tonight. He knows the facts, understands the realities we are facing, and delivered real answers. He was dignified. His presence and intelligence commanded respect.

Bush was rigid, jittery, dull-witted and out of touch with reality. He relied on rhetoric, sentiment and one-liners. His only promise, more of the same. Bush doesn't know the difference between a rope and a snake. I have to hand it to him though. This evening he did seem to realize that he was in the presence of the better man. I bet Bush's speech writers and coaches were writhing in their seats watching Slow Boy sweat and squirm in front of the cameras.

Obviously Bush is coached to stick to one idea, that he is a Great Leader because he does "not change his approach under any circumstances". So I ask you this. The car you are in is headed over the cliff yet the driver insists on "staying the course". Do you let him stay at the wheel or do you peel him off and get back the car back on the road? I peel him off.

Second Hand Wedding

The Obscure Store just posted a link to about a wedding between a Omaha Goodwill employee and a customer. He met her while she was working at the store, they dated, fell in love and decided to get married, at the Goodwill. They also decided to purchase as many wedding items from the store as possible. They did a good job of it finding, among other things, her wedding dress, the cake topper, guest book, champagne glasses, and the invitation kit. Many of the items were still in their original wrapping.

I'd forgotten until I read the story that I went to second hand store wedding one time. However, the bride and groom were not as organized as the Brozacs from Omaha. There was no guestbook. In fact, there wasn't really any guests. Besides a couple of Goodwill employees, I was the only person who attended. I loved it. I think everything must have been second hand including the cake which looked like one of those day old delights that finds its way to charitable organizations. It was near closing time so the ceremony, held unceremoniously in one of the isles, was brief. There was no special decorations. The Justice read the parts, they nodded, we smiled benignly and it was over. They cut the cake, the moment dissolved and we all went our separate ways. I never did find out their names but they didn't seem to mind at all.

TV Time

I would like to tell you about the ancient, stone knife blade I came across during my last camping trip in central Nevada. I would like to tell you about the chilling crossroads we re-visited near Area 51. At the moment, I can’t. I just spent the last few days in Oregon and my mind is completely polluted by the Brain Drain (television). My god! I’m so glad we don’t have a TV. The feverish spin of the election “news” is so polluting. I found I was watching more television to counter act the effect of watching some television. At home, I get my news online. I control the sources and the pace. The dis/ease spewing from the propaganda machines of Fox and CNN etc. is really unsettling. After a couple of days of being force fed poison pap, I felt ill. I can see why TV is the preferred brain-washing tool of Corporate Amerika and its agents in Washington DC. It works.

The first time I voted, I voted for Ronald Reagan. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t because I thought Reagan would make a good president. Even though I was living on a religious commune and barely knew what year it was, I knew Reagan was an asshole. I just didn’t care who was president. However, it was the opinion of our spiritual leaders was that voting for Reagan was good because “preaching would be so much better after the war” (he would start). So I voted for Reagan.

The other night, instead of sleeping, I lay awaking thinking that maybe Bush should win this election. After all, he deserves shit on his face, for all the shit he’s hurled at the fan. Maybe after four more years of his ever increasing shit storm, people would wake up…. blahblahblah. But, the fact is, we don’t learn “later”. We either learn or we don’t. Plus, it already is later and the behind the scene guys running the Bush administration are the same guys that ran the Reagan administration…the good old boys over at the Project for the New American Century, moldy wine in new bottles. They are everyone’s enemy and Bush is merely their latest poster boy.

But the brain dead dummy christian religious fanatics have fallen for an illusion of security, sweetened with the promise that gays will go away and creationism will be re-enthroned as the state philosophy. These dopes are simply the well-fed counterparts of the muslim (etc.) fanatics. In fact, the evangelicals, whatever name they give their “god”, are closer to each other than to anybody else on the planet. And the christian and muslim extremists are out of the same pod. And what particularily erks me is that they are both lopsided, oppressive patriarchies claiming exclusive access to The One and Only True and Jealous God who just happens to want men to control women, for their own good of course.

But for however smart they claim to be, people who can but don’t vote are no better. Silence is compliance. After I left the commune, I was dejected for a long time. For all the soul sucking, it’s hard transitioning out of the safely cloistered world of a religious community. I was pretty numb but it life returned. Eventually there was evan a local measure on the ballot I actually felt strongly about. A first. About fifteen minutes before the polls closed I found myself directly across the street from the library where the voting was taking place. But instead of going over and casting my ballot I gave in to the old thought, “Oh well. Why bother? One vote won’t make a difference one way or another.” The measure I would have voted for lost by one vote. So vote, damn it.

Oh, and if you want to watch the so-called debate online and comment afterwards go to Talk Left.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Requiem for a Cockroach


La Mort de Ha'penny
We got home from camping yesterday to find out that Ha'penny had died. There was an unseasonal cold snap the day before and the drunken neighbor who was watching over things didn't think to turn the heat on. She was the baby of the bunch and just got too cold. Bummer. This Christmas we would have had her three years. I can't really blame the neighbor. Cockroaches are cold-blooded so I always meant to get a heat pad for them but didn't get around to it until yesterday. Delicata and Nugget are pretty happy about it but sadly it's too late for Ha'penny.


La Delicata and Ha'penny with Nugget on tube.
It's funny the things we can get attached to. Mr. Lee and I were really shocked when Ladybug gave us three giant, hissing Madagascan cockroaches as our Big Present, Christmas 2001. I have to admit, cockroaches were not on the Wish List. We named them La Delicata the big fat pig, Nugget because, after all, we are in Nevada and Ha'penny because she was the watermelon seed sized baby who hitchhiked a ride in the shavings. There were only supposed to be two. But life is life, big or small, and she became part of mine. So I will miss her now and then. I put a chunk of crystal in the terrarium as a place holder marking the mystery of things.

Delicata, Nugget and the Ha'penny Stone

Friday, September 10, 2004

Tonopah Public Library

Tonopah is half ghost town located along highway 395 in Nevada, but as long as it has a gas station it will never die. I happen to really like Tonopah and am here for the weekend at a conference. Lucky me. It's got a fantastic museum, a wonderful old graveyard and creepy, decrepit buildings such as the abandoned Mizpah Hotel which is perpetually for sale; plus plenty of boarded-up miner shacks, not much bigger than the cots they once sheltered, to make even the dirt alleys ripe or rotten (according to your perspective) with history. Tonopah has had several boom and bust cycles but is just too mean to die. The surrounding playa is dotted with sun-bleached pyramid shaped piles of tailings left by crazed miners ransacking the desert for gold. It sprawls between several wind carved peaks but even they have been shaved down to nubs and there's a defunct mine pit right in the center of town. But I digress.

I just checked my website and found that none of the photos are loading! Fuck! It may be that the library's computers are too slow or their settings are super restricted, something along those lines, but other sites load just fine. If you have a second, I'd really appreciate it if you'd check a couple of links for me and let me know if you see the images. If you go to the Nevada Journal (and can see anything) check out the photo of Bill Bailey, Sheik of the Desert. I took that in the Tonopah Museum. From the looks of things, Bill Bailey was high up in the social hierarchy here perhaps only a tier or two down from Madame Taxscine, Tonopah's favorite Madame fondly referred to as the Little Desert Mother. She's in the Nevada Journal too. Here's those links: Ashabot - Nevada Journal

It's undoubtedly my fault but I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I check my site from other computers whenever I get the chance and usually things are okay. But this is bad. I don't know crap about building a website. I just bang around in FrontPage and hope I get things right. If anyone has any tips, I'd really appreciate hearing from you. You can leave a comment here or email me directly at ... ashaATashabotDOTcom ... I'll pick it up when I can. I'd prefer hearing from you in email so I have a better chance of picking your brain, but then maybe you don't want your brain picked.

In happier news from the road, John called this morning just minutes before we left. He got home about 10 last night!!! I was ecstatic. I wish they'd all come home. NOW.


Outback and Apple Pie

It's late and we're leaving early in the morning for the back country. Sorry. I hate calling it that. Sounds so affected. But it's better than saying "outback", even thought it's perhaps a more accurate image. But "outback" sounds completely phony to me. What the hell? I'm not in Australia. But Nevada is a true and great wilderness. We will be completely off the grid. Sorry for using another cliche but it's a good image. That's exactly where we'll be. A cell phone wouldn't work, if we had one. The jeep is packed and both Mr. Lee and I are drooped over our keyboards, too wired to sleep. But we're leaving in 5 hours so I'm going to go now.

But one thing. I'm kind of superstitious about mentioning good things until I know for sure, but I'm going to take a risk and tell you anyway. Otherwise, I won't be able to say anything for a week or two. My son John is coming home! He's not going to Iraq after all, at least right now. If you don't know, he was recently deployed along with the rest of his Montana National Guard Unit and has been training in Texas for the last couple of months. But Congress sets tine limits on overseas duty and because he has already served abroad he would exceed them before the rest of his Unit. He wasn't told before he left. Once they're deployed, some guys "volunteer" to extend. He didn't, thank god. He was supposed to arrive home today but I haven't heard anything yet. Anita told me that he called the university when he found out he was returning and got permission to start classes late. I'm delighted! What a twist!! Oh my god!!! Last I heard, she stayed up late last night and baked him an apple pie.

Friday, September 3, 2004

Liar's Test

How can you tell when President Bush is lying?
His lips are moving.

You Don't Have to be Smart to be Mean


Finch and Feeders.

Case in point. I bought a cheap ass bird feeder the other day for the finches. Now finches are in need of a little TLC. They are those tiny song birds about 2 inches tall and, due to all the development and in particular the neighborhood cats, they are disappearing at an alarming rate. So a while ago I bought them a bird sock. They love it. The problem is the bigger birds love it too, gobble the seeds and in the process, drill out the holes. So I bought this cheap ass tube. It's clear plastic with four feeder posts. You can easily see the seed through the tube but the only way to get at it is via the slits made exclusively for finches. I envision a day when only the tiny song birds will dine at the tube. Of course they all hate it and have, for the most part, been ignoring the damn thing. The bag is much more bird-friendly. It's made of soft, perforated material they can easily cling to and nibble to their hearts content. And sometimes I think they riding the bag in the windjust for the fun of it. Anyway, I am slowly weaning them off of it. I only fill it a little bit and letting it hang empty for a while everything it gets empty. The result is that gradually the finches are using the new feeder and the larger birds are going elsewhere.

But not the dummy. This afternoon, two finches were eating from the new tube and one big guy. One big, dumb guy. He was pecking at the clear plastic and couldn't figure out for the life of him why he wasn't getting what what he so clearly saw right in front of him. He's like George Bush. Bush's words and actions don't match either, they don't even make any sense. Anyway, sorry for the slip into politics. Where was I? Oh yes. Birds. The other day the dummy noticed that the finches were getting seed, so he reached over, pecked them away then went back to the pecking at the outside of the tube. Dumb and mean. Like Bush.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

GOBs

SICK and TIRED of government "by the GOBs, for the GOBs? Me too. Here's a good rant on subject. GOBs, of course being the "Good Old Boys". If they make it through this upcoming election, we have only ourselves to blame.