Saturday, August 28, 2004

Polling Place Locater

Don't know where you're supposed to go to vote? Use this handy polling place locater. Click here or the JUST VOTE icon below. This site has everything, maps, sample ballots. You can even check on the status of your voter's registeration card. During the last election, I wasn't allowed to vote. They claimed I wasn't registered, which was bullshit because I was.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Crow's Breath

This morning it was cold enough to see a crow's breath. I've never noticed a crow's breath before. I've never noticed any bird's breath before. It was a cool way to start the day.

The crows are here a lot. They're intelligent. They can make and use tools. They're social. They can learn words. Perhaps I can strike up an acquaintance with one; share some small talk now and then. I'm not a full on birdwatcher but the crows are here anyway so what the heck? It's not a formal project but perhaps the birds and I will have a little fun. It's a chance that it's always the same crow on roof broadcasting the morning news so I'll start with her.

Also, speaking of birds.... Plonk and his girlfriend were here this morning for breakfast, so she's okay after all.

"It was the saying of Bion, that though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest." --Plutarch

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rebutting Bush

Cross posted from Blogs for Bush Rebutted via The Fulcrum.

"A right-wingnut site called Move America Forward is asking its readers to call on the movie chains that plan to show Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 and complain. They have posted a page with contact information for executives for the major movie houses for that purpose.

I propose that we subvert their own resources: Please go to this page and pick one, two or all of the contacts listed there and e-mail them with support for their decision to screen this film.

Mention the First Amendment. Mention a couple of groups known for wanting to suppress dissenting views; Communists, Fascists, Dictators of all stripes. Throw in a few of your own. Then mention the fact that you can influence a group of people not to patronize their businesses; how many people read your blog? How many people do you speak to daily? Let them know there are consequences for backing down from these fascist tactics. Be polite, don't use any profanity. But be firm in your conviction.

Please pass this around - post it on your blog."

Neocon tries to silence Portland protester Kendra Lloyd-Knox.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Birds in the Bush

It's the down side of being a small world. Things get around and even though deserts aren't mosquitoes friendly places, the West Nile virus has finally gotten around to Nevada.

No mosquitoes, please.

The advance of the virus is tracked by the trail of dead birds left in its wake but, as usual, anything other than human is suffering gets little press. The Reno Gazette-Journel did publish a good article on the subject though. It's definitely worth a read. I sure hope Plonk will be okay. At least he's been around lately. I haven't seen his girlfriend though so I'm worried about her. I'm worried about them all... the roudy, morning bunch of crows, the tiny finches, sparrows, and big, lovely magpies. They are all at risk, and perhaps the crows in particular. And I've been complaining about them. How quickly things can change. Sad. Very sad.

Plonk (L) and his girlfriend.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Sometimes good things happen to bad people.

It rained last night. The smell of damp sage is coming in through my window, along with the sound of dripping water. The desert light is soft and bright. And my new keyboard arrived. A belated birthday present from Mr. Lee. It's a Yamaha s90. Holy crap!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Zero G Hotel

Midnight Wishes and Zero G Bars

I hope you enjoyed this summer's Perseid Meteor Showers. Mr. Lee and I went out about 10 and made a few wishes. Wouldn't miss it for the world.... even though the light pollution was a drag. It's times like these that imagination comes in very handy. There I had a perfect view from a big, comfortable chair bobbing in outer space. I could see Earth, among limitless stars, bathing in the comet's space river. Absolutely lovely. I'm sure when space tourism becomes afforadable, dinner for two in a zero G bar or hotel restrauant will be the place to be during the Perseids. On the other hand, meteors only light up after they enter Earth's atmosphere so maybe they won't be visible from the the bar. Hmmm. Well, I'm sure they will provide us with some kind of entertainment.

I hear that Anita and John sat together (via phone) at midnight watching the Perseids, making wishes. I hope they all come true.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Through the window

Plonk and the small birds.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bird Park Update

This morning the birds are contentedly nibbling away in the Bird Park outside my window. The weeds are taller then ever, but the taller they get, the more they like it. You could almost say the backyard has gone to the birds but it never was landscaped in the first place. We tried doing a lawn on the cheap but it failed. The effort did result in a more interesting variety of weeds however. Anyway, lawns are stupid. Especially in a desert. Think about it. In the first place, weeds are free. They don't require any watering or maintenance. You don't have to go out and weed em. Plus they hold the dirt down. And the more the merrier, as far as the birds are concerned. They love wandering around under the towering stalks eating the tasty seeds I sprinkle for them. You may think I’m exaggerating about how virle the weeds are. I only snap off the tops when they poke over the 8 foot fence. Out of respect for the neighbors. It is, truly, the least I can do.

Plonk's back since I stopped putting out so many crow goodies. As you might remember from an earlier exciting Bird Park update, he started hanging out next door while we were in Mexico and, o_pain_o_me_heart, he didn't dash home the minute we returned. But I don't blame him. He's a shy fellow and doesn't care much for raucous types. Crows land with a thump and stomp through the crowd snapping up everything in sight. They're a pain in the ass but they're grand. I wouldn't want Plonk to know this but I'd love riding around on a crow's back. Or better yet, a magpie's. But Plonk is number one around here; Plonk and the little birds. I haven't seen Plonk's girlfriend lately but then I'm staring at the monitor most of the day and forget to look out the window. Anyway, here's a photo of Plonk from this morning.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Señor Muerte and Lagarto - 08.09.04

Tarjeta del Días, número nueve

Shakespeare and the Clown

They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose grave's this, sirrah?

First Clown
Mine, sir.

Act 5 - Scene 1
Number nine. La Calavera is the last card of this silly Tarjeta del Días extravaganza single-digit-day-in-August birthday party I sucked myself into. Like yesterday, the bug backed out so Will volunteered to be presenter again. Poets always get the dirty work. Part of the job. So... if today's your birthday, don't say you didn't get anything. If it's not, lucky you, I guess. But then, as always, it's all in how you see things.

Whew. Some party! I'm glad it's over. I think I won't do this next year.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Shakespeare and the Spider


How blest am I
In my just censure, in my true opinion!
Alack, for lesser knowledge! how accursed
In being so blest! There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd, and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts. I have drunk,
and seen the spider.

A Winter's Tale - Act 2, Scene 1
Understandably, the bug did not want to attend today's Tarjeta del Días so the task naturally fell to Bill as interim copy editor at the Ashabot. Yes, it's a dirty job but poets always get the dirty jobs. At least, that's my experience.

If you're thinking that I am exploiting Wills, that he's over-qualified and the arrangement is an offense to him personally and the scholastic tradition in general...hell, doesn't bother me. Times are hard for poets so it's good for both of us. He's glad for the work and I'm glad for the help and the company. With this morning's drawing, we're debating what knowledge acceptance will not temper.

Tarjeta del Días, número ocho

Saturday, August 7, 2004

El Cotorro

El Cotorro looks a little bit freaked out, but I sure feel better. Okay. You've got your friggin card for the day. Now go do something productive. Jay-sus. I've got work to do. Providing you with these 10 seconds of entertainment has already laid my morning waste.

Tarjeta del Días, número siete WHEW!

Tarjeta del Días, número siete...up close.

Luck of the draw

Day Seven

Day seven of the single-digit-day-in-August birthday party. At this point it's become like a haunted house I'm entering on a dare. I'm afraid. What if THE HAND is inside? Yes, I'll draw the damn card. In a minute. I just need to calm myself first. Okay, chances are against a fourth appearance of La Mano and besides, I've decided the hand is a good thing, if a bit persistent.'s a game anyway. They're Mexican Bingo cards fercrissake. Bingo cards!

I did play an interesting game of War one time. Remember that one? This one particular game was very peculiar. It lasted one round and ended in a stalemate. We both put down exactly the same card every time. What are the chances of that happening?

But, back to Tarjeta del Día. I'm going to draw the card now and will post it in a few minutes. I'm sure it will be a different one today. I long can these silly coincidences go on?

Friday, August 6, 2004

Tarjeta del Días, número seises

The Hand...for the THIRD time.

Okay .... now I actually am a tiny bit spooked. The card for today is ... again ... The Hand. Third time in a row. Now let's get one thing straight. I really do shuffle the deck and I draw the card with my eyes closed. And there are fifty-six cards in the deck. So what are the odds that I pull the same card three days in a row? I'll tell you. Slim. The bug and I are a little concerned you think this game is fixed so we called in three character witnesses to vouch for us. They have put their personal reputations on the line to back us up. You many not believe me, the bug, the lizard or the dog but at least, for god's sake, you can trust Shakespeare. That's red ink on his cheek. He's been filling in around the Ashabot until I can find a new proof-reader to replace Orbalina. Plus, I'm from the great state of Nevada. We take our gaming very seriously here. This is a bonafide true and balanced wheel folks. Fate has spoken. La Mano is the official Tarjeta del Día, número seises.

So, it's Hippolyte Lizard's birthday. Happy Birthday HP! Looks to me that, along with The Inner Swine, the Hand of God is on your brow. Whew! Esteemed company. And Happy (Un)Birthday to everyone else, as the case may apply. No offense, but I can't wait for this damn party to be over. Three more days to go. I'm really hoping that tomorrow I'll get a different card. I don't think I can take much more of this.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Tarjeta del Día, número cinco
Sniffing the hand that feeds it?

The Hand...AGAIN!

Haaaaaaaaaaaappy Birrrrthdaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, El Swino. Now, WTF did you do to the damn Mexican Bingo cards? I drew La Mano again! Even the poor bug is freaked out. We all know about your plans to rule the universe Somers, but this is going too far. We're having a birthday party here. La Mano belongs to the August 1st single-digit-day-in-August birthday kids. What are you doing with it on your birthday?

Yes, I put yesterday's card back in the deck. Can't blame me for taking the rare opportunity to play with full deck but I shuffled the hell out of it. Here's where you come in. Before drawing I thought, "What card would Somers take?" The answer was obvious ... the top card, the fucking plum. And what did it turn out to be? La Mano...again! What does it all mean? Dare we assume that the Hand of Fate, the very La Mano del Dios is on your brow? Maybe. You've claimed that all along. Perhaps you're right. In any case, the hand has spoken.

I confess. It kind of spooked me. Plus I've got my reputation to consider. I don't want people thinking I stooped to a bribe, that the fix, in any way, is in. The Tarjeta del Día is strictly on the up and up. I barely resisted putting the card back and reshuffling the deck but I don't want to go down that crooked path. So here we are, barely half way through our single-digit-day-in-August birthday kid's party and chaos! The August 1st bunch is crying because you are wearing their hat and blowing their horn. Well, I wash my manos of the matter. I suppose that's why people call the hand of fate fickle. In any case, La Mano has spoken and it is yours and my wish stands. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

La Mano

Metate and arrow head

Mano y Mano

I don't know if these Mexican Bingo cards are talking to you but they are beginning to get to me. Funny how that works. What you see is what you get. You just have to... belieeeeeeeeeeeeve.

Where was I? Ah yes! Just a few days ago I posted about the mano and metate we found on our last camping trip and now the August 1st card is La Mano. Woooo! See the connection? Hmmm?! Well, just to make it clear, the mano and metate we found were no ordinary kitchen items. They are remanents of a civilization living in the Utah/Colorado area that suddenly vanished about eight hundred years ago. The camp we found is in Nevada, which makes it all the more rare. It amazes me that these things have been laying there for maybe a thousand years.

So, here are a couple of pictures so you can see what I'm talking about. I put the almonds on the metate, just for scale. No. I didn't leave them there. I circled the broken arrow head near by. It's made out of an unusual, light stone and hard to see unless you're looking for it. We found the mano pretty far from the metate so it may go with a different stone. We didn't do any excavation. That's for the experts. These things were just laying on the surface and for that alone tell an interesting story.

Tarjeta del Día, número uno

August 1st - Tarjeta del Día

Okay then. Here's what the mysterious Mexican Bingo game picked for the August 1st card of the day. Interesting. Now, we rejoin the present where another gripping episode of What Will She Flub Next? is already in progress.

The Inner Swine and Day Four

So continuing along in what Hippolyte Lizard called the "single-digit-day-in-August birthday kid" party, tomorrow is the Inner Swine's birthday and HE WANTS PRESENTS damn it, so send him something!

My apolgies to all the single-digit-day-in-August birthday kids born on August 1st. I'm so damn self-referential. I just now went back and corrected the count, in case you've been paying attention and I'll draw a card for August 1st and post it in a bit. Jay-zus! What started out as a sugar-powered fluke is turning into a part-time job.

And now for day four of Tarjeta del Día...

Tarjeta del Días, número cuatro

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Tarjeta del Día, número tres

Mexican Bingo

As my life follows the maniacal second hand of the clock around the wheel, falling back with its each jump forward....I have hit upon another wonderful way to squander some of the precious time still left me. It comes as a pledge to you, my few but extraordinary visitors to this distant outpost along the Language Barrier. At least until Friday, which is Hippolyte Lizard's birthday, I pledge to post a card a day from my new Mexican Bingo deck (Juego de Loteria).

If you like the pick, consider it a personal message from the Universe, one whose meaning is know only to you. If not, screw it. Try a fortune cookie instead, but then you’ll have to buy a meal first while the bingo card is free. Don't worry. I’m not going to heavy up on you. I'll stay completely out of the process. The Fickle Hand of Fate will select the card each day. So, without further fuss, here is the first Tarjeta del Día …

Monday, August 2, 2004

Sirenas del Cumpleaños (Birthday Sirenas)... Tarjeta del Días, número dos

Birthday Sirenas

It's my birthday today. I had big plans for a tempered day beginning with a little quite meditation and introspection followed by an powerful visualization for the coming year, followed by a day of inspired work but instead I instantly plunged into a microscopic maze of inter-related details in my website and by the afternoon I was half nuts. Luckily, just then Lee decided to present me with his masterpiece, home-made card and a couple of gifts. Rather promises of gifts (to arrive soon in the mail). Then my son John called from Texas. He's a good boy. We had a nice talk. About five, in spite of my resolve to be sensible, I suddenly wanted a special birthday dinner. So much for low key. We dashed out to the casino, overate then grabbed a half-gallon of ice cream on the way home. Enroute we picked up the mail. A bright, flowered package was waiting from my daughter. She covered all the bases. There was a tiny, blue plastic Mexican Saint's wallet with several teensy photos of saints inside, a pair of kartals (brass symbols used for chanting), a green plastic bug in a small, clear box and a homemade photo magnet of her riding in yet another marathon, er I mean race, and Juego de Loteria (a game of Mexican Bingo complete with great cards). Then Anita called and we had a nice, long chat. Then my daughter called. Delightful day! So... Happy Birthday to all the August 2nd babies and to everyone else....Happy Unbirthday.