Sunday, May 31, 2009

Angel Kitty

The weirdest story of the past week concerns a cat in China growing "wings". The MSNBC article on it is here. The word photoshopped always comes to my mind when I see a pic like this, but for the moment, if MSNBC is buying into it, I'll warily do the same. . The bizarre parts of the story are that the appendages didn't grow until the cat was a year old, and that this phenomenon is not unprecedented. And while some will find a message from God here (feel free to leave a comment as to what that celestial message might be); I, being a chemist, am a bit more suspicious of this being linked to the quality (or lack thereof) of the water and air in the cat's neighborhood.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Texas Rangers win again!!

The Texas Rangers, of whom I've been a fan since Ted Williams managed them a long time ago, are 30-19 after drubbing the Athletics today, 14-1. Whoodathunkit? . However, there is a small matter of a road series at Yankee Stadium coming up next week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mick Ronson

I don't know that will tear me away from my musical first loves of Applied Metal and Prog (*), but they are introducing me to a host of obscure acts. . One of which is ("was" actually) Mick Ronson. RFP played a track from his Heaven And Hull album called "Life's A River". Absolutely fantastic guitar work. Ronson worked with David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust days, and was chums with Ian Hunter as well. I'm definitely gonna have to ask RFP to play some more of his stuff. (*) : well okay. I like folk too. And bluegrass. And anything psychedelic. And light classical. And Pink Floyd is sacred in this house. And today I listened to some Gangsta Rap that was unexpectedly good.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Today's New Adventures of Queen Victoria strip nicely sums up my feelings about the California Supreme Court's self-contradictory and cowardly ruling re Proposition 8. How can you allow existing gay marriages to stand, but take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in the future? . Not to worry though. If SCOTUS doesn't overturn it (they don't have to worry about being up for re-election every two years), the California voters will come to their senses and reverse their vote in 2010. It will be on the ballot again then. . (*) : Chicken-Sh*t Supreme Court of California

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mr. T Chart

Something quick and mindless tonight, as I'm working on a slideshow for my moonlight company - TC Video. Which even has its own website at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tweaking Twitter

I think we'll try to make fun of Twitter at least once a week for a while. It's amazing the number of comic strips that are taking potshots at it. Here's an offering from one of my favorite cartoons - The New Adventures Of Queen Victoria. Way to tweak 'em, Your Highness.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mexicans with Milk

Liz's Memorial Sunday pool bash was a rousing success - lotsa fun and food. Pics to follow shortly, on espère. In the evening our own professional Geek Squad, aka Ryan & Ryan, took a look at our new-but-inoperative DVD player and unequivocally declared us under-equipped. So it was off to WalMart @ 9:00 PM to find something called a Component Cable (as opposed to what came with the DVD player - a "Composite Cable"). . WalMart had a big poster showing those two types of cables, and urging us to choose the correct connection. Nice. Unfortunately and inexplicably, they don't stock Component Cables. Weird. That's like going into your local McDonalds, seeing a poster advertising a Big Mac, and then finding they don't sell it. . Well, between my own Instant Gratification urge, and the Geek Squad's sage advice, we ended up instead purchasing a PlayStation 3 (or, as you young'uns call it, a "PS3"), which, according to Ryan & Ryan, will not only play Liz's DVD's, but also cool games and Blu-Ray DVD's. And give the TV an Internet connection which, I am told, is primarily for playing PS3 games against other peeps, not for surfing da Net. That's all well and good; for now, I'm content just to be able to watch a movie. Although it is a bit strange, manipulating the DVD menu with a PS3 controller. Now to explain the two Drabble cartoons in this post... . As we were exiting WalMart last night, we were all bemused to see one of their greeters stopping a shopper and forcing him to show a receipt for his goods. Or should I say "good", since all he had purchased was one gallon of milk. The shopper was Hispanic, and you can't be too careful with Mexicans carrying milk. . Meanwhile, there was us - three scruffy-looking gringos walking out of the store with $500 worth of electronic equipment. Certainly no need to ask us to show our receipt. Gotta admire those ever-alert WalMart greeters.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dali Fix for May

Dali combined with Magritte. How cool is that?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chillin' with the Grillin'

We now have a new grill for Memorial Day festivities. The burners on our old one were just about eroded away, so Liz went out and bought this 4-burner baby. We'll give it its initial work-out tomorrow at the pool bash. . The only problem is what to do with the old one. Methinks it's time to make a midnight donation to Salvation Army.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Liz's 2009 Memorial Day Pool Bash

Where : Our house
When : Sunday, 24 May
Invitees : People. Dogs. No cats.
Starts : 2-ish. Or so. Whenever.
Ends : Who knows? Who cares? We don't work Monday.
Outside : Swimming, philosophical discoursing.
Inside : HDTV; philosophical discoursing.
Sustenance : Burgers, booze, homemade ice cream, and more.
What flavor ice cream : Vanilla is rumored. with chocolate topping.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Radio Free Phoenix

I take it back. I've said that Phoenix radio sucks royally. And that's still true, at least as far as the local "traditional" stations go. But I've discovered a new concept - Internet Radio. And it just so happens there's a great station here in Phoenix. . And it's free!! And you don't have to be in Arizona to enjoy it. You can find it at Oh my! At long last, I can once again hear groups like
Mason Proffit
Randy Newman
It's A Beautiful Day
Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Beat Farmers
Incredible String Band
. ...and a slew more. It isn't perfect. They don't list Al Kooper, Strawbs, or Jaime Brockett on their artists list. Then again, Firesign Theatre (who?, you say) isn't listed either, and they played a cut from them tonight. . So check it out! And rejoice that there still is an alternative to the repetitive, "vanilla" drivel that fouls up the airwaves on my car's radio.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prancing With The Stars

After the heartbreaking conclusion to The Bachelor, I thought Liz was through with reality shows.
Alas, twas not to be. I got roped into watching about 15 minutes of Dancing With The Stars last night. It's down to three couples, and - surprise! surprise! - Melanie's still in it.
I have to admit, the bit I watched was impressive. But when it came time for the "freestyle", the first couple came on stage looking like a pair of black-&-white-spotted teletubbies, which was my cue to head off to the computer room.
This is all so obviously contrived. The three couples got scores of 28, 29, and 30 (in that order, IIRC) in the part I watched. Melanie and Wotzizname are going to win, and you can bet the farm on it. Vote if you want to, but it won't alter the already-scripted ending.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Conference Dominance

We don't give a lot of pixels to sports at this blog, but some mention simply has to be made of the PAC-10's performance in the first-round regionals of the NCAA women's softball tournament. 16 regionals; 64 teams. 4 teams in a double-elimination tournament at each regional. The PAC-10 had six teams get in : ASU, U-of-A, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, and Washington.
The result - all six teams won their regionals. We call that TOTAL DOMINANCE! It remains to be seen who the best team is, but there's no doubt which conference is the strongest.
One thing is sure - the perfect record won't continue through the next phase - the eight "super-regionals". We know that because U-of-A plays Stanford in one of them. Still kudos to the PAC-10 for this amazing feat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Intercourse, Pennsylvania

There really is such a place as Intercourse, Pennsylvania. It's about 20 miles from where I grew up. But it's not filled with a bunch of perverts; it's filled with a bunch of Amish. Somewhere we have a photo of Liz standing beside the "Welcome To Intercourse" sign. If I come across it, I'll post it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

46 inches

We've joined the 21st Century! We've replaced our obese and old 26" television with a sleek 46" flat HDTV. It's a "1080/120 LED", whatever that means. . Oh, and the "we" is a bit misleading. Liz did the research, picked out a Samsung model, bought it along with a new DVD player; unhooked the old TV, and hooked up all the new stuff. I supplied a credit card and grunt labor. . To make it fit, the side shelves had to be cut out of the entertainment center. Many thanks to JE's crew for that. You can see in the photo where they'd been attached. We're waiting on some matching stain for that portion of the job to be completed. And of course, we still need to call the cable company and have them come out and set us up for HDTV feed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

C'est a rire...

For all you non-Francophones out there, a Royal Cheese is a Quarter-Pounder With Cheese.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Would I lie?

Armed-&-Hammered Dick Cheney has taken it upon himself to defend the Dubnutz regime and criticize Obama. Personally, I'm liking it. The 2010 elections aren't all that far away, and it would be nice to have it be another "dittohead versus integrity" referendum. So keep on yapping, Dick.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Camouflage - Part 2

Yeah, I know. It's baby birds, not chickens. And it's vegetables, not vegetation. Still, they are well-camouflaged. . And of course you know what these are. ...ahem.. They're chickpeas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Magna" Karta

This is Karta, an orangutan at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia. Karta dumbfounded zoo officials by figuring out how to short-circuit the electric fence around her enclosure, then piling debris into a makeshift ladder to successfully climb onto the top of the now-neutralized fence. You can read the MSNBC article on it here. . After 30 minutes atop the fence, Karta apparently determined further escape was impossible, so she climbed back into her enclosure. For now. One gets the feeling she hasn't given up. This proves two things. First, the great apes and chimpanzees are a heckuva lot smarter than what we give them credit for. And second, don't let the zoo spokespeople fool you - the animals hate being caged up and yearn for freedom.
Oh yeah, my gorilla friend, Kong, also asked me to post his message to the zoos on my blog. Happy to oblige, dude.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Groovy newspeak, daddy-o

Okay, all you hep-cats out there. The word for the day is "arlo". This is a verb, not the toking folk-singer pictured above. As in the phrase "Arlo'd for content". Here is where I saw it.
So what does it mean? I can't find it as an acronym, and Wikipedia, the source of all my knowledge, doesn't list it. Changing the "o" for a "zero" didn't help either. I haven't been this nonplussed by a word/acronym since "w00t".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

GIP, Molly

Molly has been given a reprieve on life. The one-year-old heifer escaped a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York on Wednesday, and had a merry 0ld time gallivanting around the city for a few hours before being cornered on (appropriately enough) a street corner. Her future was in doubt until a cow sanctuary announced they would give her shelter for the rest of her days. You can read all about Molly here. The episode is reminiscent of Cinci Freedom (pictured above) who jumped a six-foot fence back in 2002 to escape a slaughterhouse, and outwitted us humans for 11 days before finally being captured. You can read about CF, and sadly, her recent death, here.
I had the opportunity about 10 years ago to walk through a slaughterhouse in Texas. Let's not fool ourselves - the cows can smell their coming death, just like dogs and cats can in a city pound. It was the only time in my post-collegiate life that I considered becoming a vegetarian.
So Graze In Peace, Molly. Here's hoping that your body overcomes all those growth hormones that were pumped into you, and you live another 20-25 years contentedly munching on grass.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Chicken Camouflage

This is for Harvey, who commented on the 05 May post that it would be impressive to see a chicken disguised as a hedge. I'm sure that's what we have here. You have to admit, the bird is doing an excellent shrubbery imitation. It could've fooled me.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Internet Problems

My modem gave up the ghost last night. At least I hope that's the problem. So I'm off tonight to buy a Motorola Surfboard, whatever that is. And we'll see if I'm savvy enough to figure how to install the thing. Something about having to call the ISP and tell them the serial number. Wherever that is found. . If successful, we'll be back in business by the time the second glass of red wine gets poured. If not, there will be light posting until someone techno-geekier than me stops by. .
-- UPDATE --
. Oh yeah! Look out, Geek Squad. I am a freakin' Modem Maestro!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Carrie Prejean

Meet Carrie Prejean. Aka, Miss California (for the moment); aka Runner-Up Miss USA; aka Homophobic Tart who drew the wrath of Perez Hilton (who the heck is he, anyway?) by coming out against same-sex marriages in the recent Miss USA contest. In the unlikely event that you've missed all this hoopla, here's a link. Not surprisingly, I'm a bit peeved at all this, but not for the reasons you think. Let's look at some of the juicier points in this controversy. . She gave a homophobic answer to Hilton's question regarding her view on legalizing same-sex marriages. That doesn't bother me, despite the fact that I'm 100% in disagreement with her. It's actually kinda refreshing to hear an honest answer to the questions in these contests. . Perez Hilton says she ought to give answers that "unite America", not divide it. Sorry, Perez. If that's the case, then the Miss USA contest should have stayed with the bimbo questions that Beauty Pageants usually ask. You know, "Do you like puppy dogs?" or "Are you in favor of happiness?" If you ask controversial questions, you have to expect controversial answers. . She claims she's a Bible-thumping Christian and yet she posed for that photo above. Okay, so she's a self-righteous hypocrite. If that was a capital offense, our churches would be empty. The photo(s) will almost certainly cost her her Miss California title. They may also cost her endorsement jobs from Moral-Majority-type organizations such as NOM. Or not. Heck, Bristol "octamom has nothing on me" Palin is doing the talk circuit advocating abstinence right now. Fundies will forgive a lot if your politics are right-wing. . She's lying when she says she was 17 when that photo was taken. Yeah, more on that in a bit. She seems to be vacillating between claiming she was naive and claiming that she's a model, and models do those sort of photo shoots. Let's face it, all that finishing 2nd Place in a Beauty Contest gets you is $10 from Monopoly's Community Chest. Carrie is yesterday's news. She needs jobs and she needs money. Do you think the Miss California title is going to supply either one? . The Miss California USA officials paid for Carrie's Boob-Job. Now we finally come to what irks me. Apparently, the Miss California "wardrobe department" paid a call to Carrie after the contest, and suggested she was a bit "lacking" in certain areas. So they bought her a boob-job. You can read about that here. Should pageant funds really be spent in things like this? I know it's all phony anyway, but shouldn't the winner be judged on what she is and not on what an extreme makeover might do for her? Is this how pathetic these contests have become? . And yeah, that photo above definitely is a post-operation one. She certainly isn't "lacking" there. Seveteen and naive, my a$$.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Art Appreciation Tuesday

Cuz you can never get too much appreciation of art.

Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm seeing a shrink(age)

Beginning yesterday, they reduced the Sunday comics section in The Arizona Republic from 6 pages to 4 (or 1½ full sheets to just one).
I guess I can live with that, as the five strips that got the axe were pretty yucky. Shylock Fox and his quizzes for kids, Zippy The Pinhead (which in 30 years I've found funny exactly twice), etc.
What I can't live with is the shrinkage they did to the remaining strips. They're squeezing some of them in a half a page wide. That's okay if it's something minimalist like BC. But Doonesbury often has lots of text, and yesterday was no exception. Even with my reading glasses, it's anybody's guess what the three vets were talking about.
The crazy thing is, the comics are the one thing everybody reads in a newspaper. Not the world news; not the business section, and not even the sports page. Start chopping away at the comics, and pretty soon it will be more convenient to read 'em all on-line. Then there isn't much reason to susbscribe to the paper, other than twice a week - once for the sales blurbs (Sunday) and once for the coupons (Wednesday).

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Motivational Irony

Our gym is on the ground floor, so no escalators are needed. However, we all fight like the Dickens to get a parking space close to the gym doors, so we don't have to walk very far to get to the treadmills.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It's here !!

Five weeks after debuting in the UK, the mag has finally made it to Arizona. Maybe they shipped it by UPS-Ground. This be my kind of music, folks.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Wake up, North Carolina!

We've already introduced you to Arizona stoopid here, and Texas stoopid here. Now North Carolina brings you its own cretin - U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx. And wouldn't ya know it - she's a Republican! . In 1998, Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming. His assailants beat him senseless, tied him to a fence, and left him to die. His offense? He was gay. . Today, Congress is debating an amendment that would expand the federal hate crimes law to cover acts motivated by sexual orientation. Incredibly, Ms. Foxx decided that Matthew's murder was a "hoax". You can read more details about Foxx's homophobic bigotry here. . Wake up, North Carolina!! How can you allow this dittohead moron to represent you?! Impeach her. Recall her. Deport her. Have her declared mentally incompetent. Vote her out. Declare her an embarrassment to the state (Arizona once did that with one of our governors). Choose any or all of the above. I don't care. Whatever is the fastest. Just get rid of the b*tch.