Sunday, January 30, 2011

In my head

This was my to do list today.

This is what it felt like.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egyptian Revolution Jan 25th 2011

This video was created by Tamer Shaaban. "Another Egyptian who's had enough."

Song: "Into the Fire" - Thirteen Senses

Thanks to the following news sources for their footage:
Daily News Egypt
The Guardian
New York Times
Al Masry Al Youm

I am especially moved by the comment of the man in the bright blue jacket at 0:06.

And this at 0:45. "We will not be silenced. Whether you're a Christian, whether you're a Muslim, whether you're an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have our rights, one way or the other. We will never be silenced!"

More at Reddit
Reposted from TYWKIWDBI

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cool dog moving lawn

This clip has made the rounds so you've probably already seen it. I just found it but, if it doesn't make you smile again, I'll refund your money.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"We point - You shoot"

Given the way things are going, it's time to consider if charges of Vicarious Liability and Felony Intimidation apply to public figures like Sarah Palin, Roger Ailes, Glenn Beck and FOX News.

"Someday Boooooom while you’re setting in your offices"
"And you know I won't even be the one pulling the trigger"
Cheryl Allen

Last week, after directing death threats to elected officials and staff from her Facebook page, Cheryl Allen was arrested on eight counts of Felony Intimidation. The charges carry a possible sentence of 4 to 24 years in prison and up to $80,000 in fines.

Two days ago, the Center for Constitutional Rights sent this letter to FOX "News" CEO, Roger Ailes. In it they ask him to stop his employee, Glenn Beck, from further harassing Professor Frances Fox Piven. As a direct result of his smear campaign against her, Beck's followers have sent Priven seriously disturbing death threats. Here are few unedited examples of their messages:

"Maybe they should burst through the fron door of this arrogant elitist and slit the hateful cow's throat." Reckless

"We should blow up Piven's office and home."

"I am all for violence and change Frances: Where do your loved ones live?"  Green Manilici

"Somebody tell Fances I have 5,000 rounds ready and I will give my life to take our freedom back. Taking her life and any who would enslave my children and grandchildren and call for violence should meet their demise as they wish. George Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to deveat the British. He shot them." superwrench 4

"Again, why is this woman still alive?" capnjack
"Big lots is having a rope sale I hear, you buy the rope and I will hang the wench. I will spin her as she hangs. Here is your velolution Piven wence, Alla Akbar!" ham4mohammed
"We need a target? OK...Here's one, Frances Fox Piven. Let's go string her up, as this mess is directly due to her and her husbands meddling." Voted against carter.

I doubt "Reckless", "superwrnch 4" or any of other the other loons threatening Piven would be doing so if Ailes and Beck had not loaded them like bullets into a chamber. This is not "robust discourse". FOX doesn't care if their listeners are crazy, drunk, stupid, high, political or just plain violent. This "We point -You shoot" policy endangers us all.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No butts? I think not.

 What the citizens of Kansas City do not realize when they stroll by the Busy Bee Cafe is that, while the place appears to be a grubby joint with dirty windows frequented by writers, photographers, travelers, artists and other mysterious hang-outers, it is much more. The Busy Bee Cafe houses a very strange wonderful device, the Alternate Reality Generator. The ARG as we say in the comics. So today, when the entire staff at the Bee so very earnestly insisted that the suspicious looking object in the popcorn hopper could not possibly be a cigarette butt, I did a little research and discovered what, indeed, they are trying to hide.

This photo was taken by Judie Ellis, an unsuspecting Brit, while on holiday in the Maldives with her husband Tony. What Judie and Tony did not realize is that the quaint little thatched-roof Maldives beach bar where they had just had lunch and a few too many beers, resulting in Tony dropping his ciggies in the sand to the delight of a couple of smoker crows, regulars who routinely entertain tourists in hope of the occasional peanut or bit of beer-soaked chapitis, is actually an alternate reality to the Busy Bee.

We all know crows, like ravens, are frequent travelers and emissaries between alternate realities. Obviously, Judie took her lucky shot just as the ARG rang back at the Bee. Blow back happens. It's simple, my dear Watson. The bell rang, it startled the crow causing him to drop his cigarette just as reality went into flux and that cigarette fell into the popcorn hopper back at the Bee.

But is this an isolated incident? I wonder, given the odd disclaimer on the hopper. "Busy Bee Popcorn . . . Mmm mmm good--no butts about it!"

Monday, January 17, 2011


This is not an ad for Tesla. I just happened to see one yesterday and thought it was pretty cool. Look ma. No tailpipe! The one true all-electric car. I am not a car nut but I do appreciate when beauty and function come together in an eco-friendly manner. There are less than 1500 on the road worldwide so that makes this an Official Sighting and the first in a new category here at the language barrier. I scrubbed the license plate because it gives the owner's identity away, at lease if you live in my county. He was one of the first software engineers at Google when it was a start-up. These days he does his own thing which includes helping develop eco-friendly projects, education and the arts. Oh and don't miss the fuzzy dice. Pure class.

Base price for a Tesla $109,000(US), £86,950(UK) and €84,000 in continental Europe. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Robust Discourse"

I used to wonder how the rising tide of hatred in Germany went unnoticed by its citizens, the ordinary people, but now I understand. It didn't. They embraced it in the name of "robust discourse". They felt empowered by it. Bigger than life. "Safer".

US Representative Gabrielle Giffords warning
Sarah Palin "there will be consequences to cross-hairs map."

OTOH, if regular folks don't get that so many people tittering and winking about taking up arms doesn't effect crazies, I fear for us all the more. But our problem is not the crazy, isolated ones. Our problem is that supposedly sane public figures boast about using a "second amendment solution" and "gettin' 'er done". We all know what that means. Shoot to kill. As my NRA instructor friend once told me, you NEVER (emphasis hers) point a gun at anyone you don't intend to kill. Violence as "The Solution" is in the air just like it was in Germany. Don't think so? God help us.

How ironic that Representative Giffords was shot by a gun wielding madman. Welcome to the NRA's America. The NRA buys legislation that guarantees its members huge, ever increasing profits from gun sales. Conservative bastions like Arizona are model NRA communities. Everyone who wants one has a gun under their jacket or in their purse. Any crazy can walk in off the street and buy a gun as easily as buying a bottle of beer, hell . . . easier. A thirteen year-old kid can walk in alone, buy a gun, then walk out and shoot somebody with it, even an armed citizen carrying a concealed weapon for protection. It's the bullet you don't hear that gets you. Gun stores sell truck loads of guns to anyone with the cash, no questions asked. In Arizona it is even illegal to keep records of purchase. Perpetual war. It's the perfect loop. We're all being played.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day's end

Long day come to an end. Obama spoke at the memorial in Arizona today and he did a fine job but, like he said, "words cannot express". I did the moment of silence NASA held.

In his excellent article at Slate today (Palin Failed the Test), and indeed she did, John Dickerson linked a poem on grief by Philip Booth, "Sorting it Out". It's universal, not heavy handed. Just describes what we live with after everything is said and done.

Anyway, the flu/food poisoning whatever got bad for a while and now seems to be on the wane. Tonight I got to eat cheesy bread. It's that silver lining thing when you're sick, things you get to eat because you can't. Well, that's about all the news from out here along the language barrier. Next chance you get, be kind to someone in another species.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the score in the inter-species contest Man vs. Dog is

Dogs:1 / Humans:0

Moving on

Another bleak day here. Yesterday was one of those do a million things, accomplish nothing kind of days and today looks like more of the same. Plus I'm feeling a bit sick. Maybe flu. I dunno. Headache, slightly nauseous, no appetite, general malaise. I washed my hands with sandlewood soap this morning and the fragrance is bothering me. That heightened sensitivity is generally a sign that it's more than a slow start. We shall see.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time out

Keith Olbermann's commentary on the Arizona shooting is a must watch. Please do. I know it's more fun to play but take a time out... just for the next few minutes. Come on....  

(There will be a test.)

"Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. Because for whatever else each of us may be, we all are Americans." - Olberman's concluding remarks. I could not agree more.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sarah Palin's America

Last year Sarah Palin called for conservatives to target Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She marked Giffords district on a map with cross hairs and people have threatened Giffords in various ways ever since. It will be interesting to watch now how the blamestream media backs away from the criminal implications of their ongoing hate speech while continuing to goad people to, as Palin puts it, "take a stand".

Click to enlarge

Morning musings

An “actual” dove just dropped by the Bird Park. I say “actual” because, although pigeons are actually doves, Mr. Lee is given to calling them flying rats, as though rats and, by comparison pigeons, are somehow nasty. There are varieties of doves, just like there are varieties of people and yet we are all still people. Right? Cretin racists need not respond to this point. Racists do not deserve "equal time" because they do not represent a legitimate “other point of view". Anyway, pigeons are doves but, what people generally think of as a dove, showed up this morning and that's pretty cool.

What was I talking about? Oh yes. Bananas. I am having my breakfast at the moment, oatmeal with bananas, banana, and every time I open a banana I think of monkeys. And my Irish mother. How could she possibly have been an expert on the best way to peel a banana? But when we were kids we didn't question it. She taught us most of those little life skill things, but guess what? Peeling a banana from the stem down really doesn’t work as well as peeling one from the top down, not from the stem up. Which is how I do it now. However, every time I peel a banana I wonder about two things.

Click for tutorial

How much other childhood misinformation I still hold dear and how do monkeys open bananas? After all, they are the experts. I am always on the lookout for a monkey opening a banana whenever we're in Central America. So far no such luck so this morning I did a a little research. Thanks internet. I believe I finally have an answer.

If it weren't for good luck....

Okay, here's a video to go with your morning or whenever coffee.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Second shift and One-Legged Pete

Grackles and the one-legged magpie

The grackles were late for breakfast again today. Competition is fierce here at the Bird Park and five or ten minutes late can mean the difference between eating or not especially since the starlings have started showing up. Their specialty is muscling up to the trough. Anyway, I refill things during the brief break after the magpies leave so there was still food when they arrived although there are always a few lingering from the first shift. Notice the magpie drinking water. That's One-legged Pete. He does pretty good.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Harp Seal in my backyard

Last night's storm left a Harp Seal in my backyard.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Behind the scenes

Harry and Max have both been Invisible Theatre cast members for quite a while now but only recently, actually over the New Year's weekend, became new best friends. It's kind of nice as they are both, well, odd. Max was a total loner and Harry's only other friend until now has been Clown Girl and then awhile ago she started hanging out with the gorilla.

As for me, I re-shuffled shelving around in my office this morning. Everything is much more accessible now and the light is better. Plus I finally dragged myself to the gym. Woo-hoo.The new year is off to a roaring start.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011 everybody

While I'm waiting for the magpies to finish their breakfast of kibbles, nuts, cheese, soy chips and apples I want to wish everyone happy new year. So happy new year. May all your dreams come true. Dream wisely. Gotta go. Time to restock the buffet for the shift change. The grackles arrive about 7:30. Today they will be getting rice with oil along with kibbles, nuts, grapes and apples all served with a generous helping of guilt as the birds in the Bird Park are enjoying a better new year's breakfast than many people in the world. Life is strange. I hope you feed some birds today too or someone who is hungry. Here's a little something you can do in flick of the wrist magic. Just click the pretty purple icon below and feed a hungry shelter animal.



:( The grackles didn't come today. Too bad. I like them. They have very cool songs. But the little birds are here filling the trees and the starlings came plus, of course, the hip to everything magpies came back for seconds. I swear, they have a sentry posted in one of the trees keeping an eye on the place all day. They don't miss a thing. Oh, and the one-legged magpie came for breakfast this morning. That was nice.


The grackles just showed up but they are an hour late and the place is totally picked over. It's snowing like crazy and there are lots of birds rummaging in the mounting drifts. At some point, someone will get startled and they'll all fly off for a few minutes and then I'll sweep off the table and restock it with goodies.


It just occurred to me why there are so many birds today. It's not just because of the snow. There are NO CATS. The bastards are staying inside this morning because of the snow.