Tuesday, November 30, 2004

First snow

Here's some photos of the snow which is still hanging around by the way. In fact, the other night the temperature was below zero. Lee and I have been walking to the park the last three or four days and feeding the ducks and geese. We thought they might appreciate a little extra. Seems like we're not the only ones thinking that way. There was lots of food scattered near the trees and birds just laying around nibbling at it. Sorry. No photos of the ducks. Maybe tomorrow. They swarm and eat out of my hand but here's some nice photos of the park.

Reflections of a cockroach

I've finally updated the Cockroach Diary A lot's gone on in their little world since Ha'penny died. They even have a pet now, Edgar Beetle.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


It snowed today. Good thing my daughter left yesterday. Sixty-nine flights were cancelled at the Reno airport due to equipment failure and poor visibility. Some people may be stranded here until Tuesday. On the up side, flights have been going on as usual around here.



Friday, November 26, 2004

Ghosttown Holiday

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a nice day. My daughter came home for the holiday. She wasn't feeling well when she arrived but cheerfully took all the herbal tea, vitamin C and aspirin I put before her. She's a great sport. On Tuesday, feeling a bit better, the three of us loaded into the Jeep for a little adventure. We visited Bodie, a ghosttown a few hours south of here.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Under the weather but ready to go.
Bodie is an eerie intersection with the past. Take, for example, the school house.

Within its one dusty classroom, desks, books, papers and belongings still sit as though the children stepped outside for recess one day and just never returned.

At the undertaker's, coffins still wait for people who have long since died.

Bodie's streets, hotel, general store,



and firehouse,

all await people and events that faded away long ago.

Lee doesn't like taking the same road both ways so we went home the back way, following a creek through the mountains and desert. It's a risky thing to do in November, but we live to tell the tale. It was great fun. On Thursday, we had a scrumptious, vegetarian feast and she left today. :(

But in three weeks we'll get together again for Christmas in Las Vegas! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving
How about Tofurkey instead?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Photos from Mexico

Church on the beach

I took thousands of photographs in Mexico and have been planning to post some but haven't gotten around to it yet but here's one of a village church near the beach.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Thanksgiving transmogrified

Bird and Piano Wire Compass
Thanksgiving is a hellish time for the turkeys so I'm dedicating this drawing I did recently to them. I don't know about you, but we're having a yummy Tofurky for our family feast.

We're just not into supporting slaughter house food. This turkey, for example, may still be alive. By law, they are supposed to be stunned so that they feel no pain before their throats are cut; but very often the stun only paralyzes their muscles, leaving them fully conscious and filled with great fear and pain. "You are what you eat." And it is not uncommon for these poor creatures to still be alive when they are dropped into the vat of boiling water, meant to remove their feathers.

If you're like most people, this is an unwelcome subject but ignorance is not bliss. If you've got the stomach and the heart to see what happens to that bird before it reaches the table, there's a pretty good photo journal at all-creatures.org. The sit's a bit too religious for me, but I certainly agree in spirit. For instance, they believe the breeder's practice of masturbating male turkeys is wrong because it's a sin. But that's an obtuse argument, especially if you don't believe in god. It's simpler than that. The practice is inhumane and therefore a violation of animal rights. Why drag god into the argument, especially as some people think their god wants them to torture and kill. Take Bush for example. But back to my Thanksgiving rant. The turkey report is accurate and timely for the upcoming Christian holidays. Some moral majority. Didn't Falwell's Jesus tell them, "What you do unto the least of them, you do unto me."

I'm all for liberating the turkeys and feeding them pumpkin pie.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Attila the Attorney General Torture Memos

Attila the Hun
Texas, Alberto R. Gonzales (ARG) has been Bush's moral ghost writer. There, ARG penned minute memos for then Governor Bush knowing that Bush has a serious distaste for facts. To speed things up, ARG brushed aside bothersome trifles like "crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence." As a result, innocent people died, murders stayed free to kill again and Bush, Praise Jesus!, had more time for golf. No wonder ARG remains part of Bush's born again, good old boy network.

Bush / Gonzales, good old boys on a roll.
Now, Mr. Mission Accomplished wants to appoint Gonzales our new Attorney General. Lovely. Gonzales, like Bush, is on the beginning rungs on the ladder of moral evolution. Perhaps he is a reincarnation of Attila the Hun. After all, he wrote the Torture Memos. ARG considers the compassion required by the Geneva Conventionquaint”.
Too much to take in? Too bad. The rule of the day is either get informed or bend over and kiss your ass good-bye. Here in the Reality-Based Community, Gonzales rubberstamped torture. Why? Because the Bush Administration is a corrupt, arrogant maverick group who make it clear though their actions and mouth pieces like Gonzales, that they prefer to be law unto themselves. And, in case you’re confused by the administration's shell game, torture is NOT condoned by a moral society.

Which brings us back to another known fact, born again Bush and his born again cronies, are not moral men. They are racist, sexist bigots. They are priests in the fat cat corporate religion, GodCo. It’s not skin color that gets you into the club these days. It’s how low you go and how many people you’re willing to fuck on the way down. Roll over Hitler and tell Stalin the news.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004


Right wing Christians call it "Right to Life". Sounds good. What beast could possibly be against it? But look beyond the spin. What they actually mean by "Right to Life" is that they want to outlaw abortions even in cases of rape; even when carrying the child to term threatens the mother's life. Forget about the inevitable return of the coat hanger abortions, Right to Life means these zealots even want to force a woman to bear her rapist's child even if it means she will die during the birth.

Richard Thompson Ford, a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School wrote a good article on the power of the Republican spin machine. Check it out.
Nice guys finish last.

But as always, the extremist Right Wing Christian Army is on the move. Here's the latest from one of their leaders, Jerry Falwell:

"Falwell announces new coalition to build on evangelical momentum

By HANK KURZ Jr. / Associated Press 11/09/2004

Trying to seize on the momentum of a presidential election in which moral values proved important to voters, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced Monday that he has formed The Faith and Values Coalition to guide an "evangelical revolution."

Falwell, a religious broacaster based in Lynchburg, Va., founded and led The Moral Majority from 1979-89, which was credited with boosting conservatism nationwide.

He said the new coalition will have a three-pronged mission that includes ensuring that pro-life conservatives are chosen to fill any vacancies that emerge on the U.S. Supreme Court, a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the election of another conservative president in 2008.

"The group's central premise is to utilize the momentum of the November 2 elections to maintain an evangelical revolution of voters who will continue to go to the polls to `vote Christian,'" the 71-year-old Falwell said in a statement released Monday night.

He called the organization a "21st Century resurrection of the Moral Majority," and said he is committing himself to a four-year stint as its national chairman."

Seeing as how the evangelicals are a political organization, I say they should have their tax-exempt status revoked. After all, why should taxpayers be forced to contribute to their Vote Christian campaign?

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Circus Games

It's really a shame that the Gay Marriage Revolt was the deciding factor in the election. However, I wouldn't blame the surge of lovers who made national headlines sharing nuptials and rebellion. Dollars to day old doughnuts, Karl Rove masterminded that one, with a little help from some gay Republican field ops. I hand it to them; they played the hell out of the gay scene. Their unwitting accomplices fell in line like lambs frolicking to the slaughterhouse...or Wedding Tent. Now they can amuse themselves watching the Bushwacker perform slight of hand tricks in the Domestic Issues Tent, making things like Lawrence vs. Texas (which overturned state sodomy laws) and Roe vs. Wade (granting abortion rights) disappear.

Republican hand puppets

There is a fine economy to this blood-letting, again compliments of Karl, who keeps Bush on a need-to-know basis. Karl is a bright guy. He understands his road blocks to civil rights will be challenged sometime in the future. It's the old hop-scotch game of democracy, but for now it pays off the tunnel vision voters who kept Bush in office and keeps all the kiddies focused elsewhere as the Iraq civil war and the terrorist jihad reach boiling point; something the rest of the world is already acutely aware of. Certainly they are gnashing their teeth over how stupid and dangerous we Americans are but, here at home, there's a bright side to it all. The newlyweds will be spared the cost of a divorce.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Nameless Writers

Cowee and I are going to Reno this morning to attend the monthly Unnamed Writer's Group speaker event. They have a pretty good tshirt. Otherwise, I'm not so sure. Cowee and Ellen Hopkins recently became officers there and have plans to bump it up a bit; offer monthly publishing information, that kind of thing. They will definitely make things more interesting. I attended one of the UW meetings a couple of years ago and wasn't much impressed. They definitely could use a kick in the ass. The guest speaker didn't even know her magazine had an online edition and that all the back issues were available there.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Day Two

Okay, the stun guy effect of Bush's re-election is yesterday's news. It's another sunny day, somewhere, even if only here in Nevada or the future. For now, Bush will lurch onward, waving his so-called mandate and half the people will press on with him, waving their little flags.

The way I see now, just about every other person on the street is someone who thinks and feels like me; that Bush is very, very wrong and by following him, American is falling behind. And there is some dark humor about it all. Bush spent his first term loading the fan with shit. Now let him face it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Dawn of an old day

Okay. Kerry has to make a show of wanting every vote counted. That's his job after Gore stiffed us in the last election. The upside is that we know we're not alone in our view. But no surprise really that George won this time. He is the straw Americans grabbed in the moral aftermath of 9-11, their panic over the gay marriage revolt, the continuing rise for people of color, developments in technology and science, and as always, more and more women empowering themselves. But his fusing of politics and evangelicalism is a mere place holder, a stand-in for the eclectic moral compass we seek. It is a shallow pond in a time of deep thirst.