Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

"My beloved Princess, you eat meat.  Minks are vicious carnivores and the ones used for fur are raised for no other purpose - not trapped.  They are well treated, then killed humanely.  If your ancestors had not killed for meat and fur as the last glaciation retreated, you would not be here.  Illogical sentiment leads to the sort of tragedy you find in India and Bangladesh."
(from The Number of the Beast, by Robert A. Heinlein)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10 things I've learned (so far) from watching the NCAA tournament

01. ) The Big East was way overrated.  But we all knew that anyway.  Why is ESPN so enamored by them?

02.) The Big-10 held its own.  No more.  No less.

03.) The PAC-10 was as weak as those east coast skeptics said we were.  Yes, Arizona over-performed (or peaked at the right time).  Everyone else biffed.

04.) There is such a thing as karma, because VCU sent those arrogant bastards from Kansas home to watch TV.

05.) Duke needs to hire a conditioning coach.

06.) Baylor and Stanford have great women's teams.  But the UConn girls will win it all.  Again.  Easily.  (Yawns)

07.) As soon as you lose, ESPN refuses to waste even 5 words on your just-completed season.

08.) Bobby Knight and Digger Phelps are talking heads.  Thank goodness Charles Barkley hasn't succumbed to that yet.

09.) It's okay to cry if you lose.  Even if you're a guy.  Even if you're a Jayhawk.

10.) The Phoenix Suns first-round draft pick will be Courtney Vandersloot of the Gonzaga women's team.  Courtney will be the heir apparent to Steve Nash.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Steve Colbert on Newt

"Newt knows that before he throws his giant hat into the ring, he has to explain his past positions - specifically, why those positions were so often on top of women who weren't his wife." (Stephen Colbert) .

Iowa roughed little Newtie up pretty good. He better get used to it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blogger Blues

Oh, Blogger! Your formatting is unbelievably FUBAR this afternoon. I have to limit myself to a single paragraph to avoid your incompetency.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paul McDonald - American Idol

Liz and I are cheering for this guy - Paul McDonald on American Idol. There is a lot of talent out there this time around, but Paul has a great voice and even some musical skills - he plays guitar! . Of course, the fact that we are friends with his aunt and uncle also somewhat influences our choice. A bit. Just a bit. But he really is an outstanding contestant.

Friday, March 25, 2011

775 FaceBook friends

One of my FaceBook friends has 775 friends. Jason calls such people FaceBook Whores, and I think that's an apropos term, but that's not my point tonight. . Said friend does nothing but play games on FaceBook. Okay, games aren't my shtick, but I'm cool with that. If that's what you use FB for, more power to ya. . No, the real head-scratcher are those 774 other friends. Not one of them ever leaves a post on my friend's wall. Do any of them understand the concept of "social networking"? Guess not. But I find it incredible that ALL of them miss the point of FB.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Down with the Clown!

Liz and I will be making a trip over to the Mesa Public Library tomorrow after work, to sign the "Recall Russell Pearce" petition. Many thanks to the Arizona Democratic Party for the heads-up that they will be set up there until 7:00 PM tomorrow night. I doubt we can bring his highness down, but at least we'll try.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mark your calendar!

The 2011 Phoenix Gay Pride is Saturday, 16 April @ 10:00 AM. It goes north on 3rd Street , from Thomas to Indian School. . It takes about 2 hours, and is the most interactive and kewlest parade you will ever see. This will be, IIRC, our fourth parade. .
Afterwards, take in the Gay Pride Festival at the park on Indian School & 3rd Street (the terminus of the parade). The festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday, so if you're "sunned out" after the parade, go home, get refreshed, and come back later.
Besides being a good time, the weekend serves a more serious purpose - to take a stand against the bigots depriving gays of their equal rights. So strike a blow against Hatred, and show your support by attending the festivities!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Double Demotivational Tuesday

Mostly because it's the same theme in both. I swear the Tea-Baggers deliberately misspell words cuz they know we'll post their idiocy all over the 'Net. Yeah, they come off looking like morons, but they get free publicity. .

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

The sky was a velvety black paw pressing on the white landscape with a feline delicacy, stars flying like sparks from its fur. The cry of an owl, brooding over its ruby appetites, cut through the frigid air like a vibrating pin. Then, all was silent except for the soft crunch, like ants chewing wax, of his boots upon the snow. His steps quickened. They took up a gay rhythm. He was very nearly dancing across the frozen fields.
"The world is round," he sang, in tune with his footfalls.
"Existence can be rearranged. A man can be many things.
"I am special and free.
"And the world is round round round."
(from Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

cleaning up the wreck

It occurs to me that we'd have a lot more options in Libya if we weren't already illegally and immorally occupying two other Muslim countries. I'm happy the way Obama has handled this current crisis so far - consult beforehand both with our allies in Europe AND the Arab League. But committing US ground troops is frankly out of the question. And this greatly increases the odds of Libya devolving into a bloody stalemate. Neither the rebels nor Ghadhafi being strong enough to vanquish the other side. . So, thanks again, Dubnutz. You, with your phony "evidence" justifying the invasion of Iraq. You, with absolutely no idea what to do once you brought Saddam down. You, who have us bogged down in Afghanistan - can't stay, can't go home. . Ah, but that's what happens when we elect an idiot. Twice.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Wilfred Owen!

Wilfred Owen. Born 18 March 1893; died 04 November 1918. One of the last casualties of World War One. A dedicated soldier; probably gay long before gayness was acceptable; and (most notably) a fantastic poet who employed something kewl called "consonantal end rhymes" in his poetry and bravely wrote about the horrors of war. . My review of one of his books of poetry is found here. The Wikipedia article about this fascinating hero is found here. All of his poetry was published posthumously.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

... as herewith, we give the true details of St. Patrick's miracle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

"(W)hy would I want to be Coronal?"
"The power," said Shanamir, wide-eyed. "The fine clothes, the food, the wine, the jewels, the palaces, the women-"
"The responsibility," Valentine said somberly. "The burden. Do you think a Coronal does nothing but drink golden wine and march in grand processions? Do you think he's put there just to enjoy himself?"
The boy considered. "Perhaps not."
"He rules over billions upon billions of people, across territories so huge we can't comprehend them. Everything falls on his shoulders. To carry out the decrees of the Pontifex, to sustain order, to support justice in every land - it tires me to think of it, boy. He keeps the world from collapsing into chaos. I don't envy him. Let him have the job."
(from Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Demotivational Tuesday

Giving a new meaning to the phrase "Horseplay". Or even "Horse Hide".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

March 14 is National Pi Day (because pi = 3.14...), a holiday revered throughout all of geekdom. Albert Einstein was also born this day, but what did he ever accomplish? . And on the horizon - National Tau Day on June 28 (2x pi) and Pi Approximation Day on 22 July (because in fractions, pi is roughly 22/7). And National Mole Day, but that isn't until October 23.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant

The 22nd Annual Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant was held last night. There were 15 contestants, ranging in age from 62 to 83 (you must be at least 60 years old to enter), each of whom had to give an opening inspirational speech and perform in the talent section of the competition. The five semi-finalists also had to answer an impromptu question in the final phase of the competition. . The winner was Myrna Foster, who thoroughly deserved first place; although in something like this, there are no losers. Last year's winner, Dr. Madeleine Paschal, can be seen in the pink dress in photo above, and she finished First Runner-Up in the national competition. . It seems to me that in a pageant like this, the competitiveness is downplayed, with all of the ladies encouraging and pulling for each other. They seemed to be enjoying simply the accomplishment of being in front of an audience and epitomizing beauty, grace, and elegance. Congratulations, not only to Myrna, but to each of the other entrants as well. . This was the second year we attended this affair. It was, as always, superbly staged by Jasel's mom, Marilyn Joyce. Liz and I had a ball. . This was also the first time I got to use my new, "Canon Rebel"camera, with its telephoto lens and its uber-powerful flash, in a big, indoor auditorium. We had fantastic seats, and the flash and telephoto really made a difference from last year, when I only had my dinky digital camera. I took 153 pics, over the course of about 2½ hours, and which, I discovered, almost completely drained the two AAA batteries in the flash. . We will almost certainly be making this an annual event. Anyone who wants to go with us to the 2012 pageant is more than welcome.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Best of Leon - Leon Russell

I bought this album for $2 at the used-record shop a while back, and converted it this past week. Leon Russell's career has been revived by his recent album- and tour-collaboration with Elton John, but back in the day (early 70's), he put out some pretty good music in his own right. . "Best of Leon" (1976; Shelter Recording Co.) has all his early hits. Most rock, but there are a couple ballads too. Track 12 was pretty scratchy, but the rest of the LP was in great shape. . Track List (my favorites in pink) :
01. Roll Away The Stone
02. Delta Lady
03. Tightrope
04. Out In The Woods
05. Shoot Out On The Plantation
06. Stranger In A Strange Land
07. Hummingbird
08. Song For You
09. Lady Blue
10. The Masquerade
11. Bluebird
12. Back To The Island
. It's hard to rate a "Best Of" album. The selection here is good, and with 12 tracks, you get your money's worth. It doesn't appear to be available in CD, but there are several other Leon Russell compilation CD's out there. I'm still on the hunt for a couple of his early studio LP's. The last track, Back To The Island, was new to me, and was a pleasant surprise. So we'll give this 8*/10, and a high recommendation. Keep on truckin', Leon. You rock.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mangalitza Pig

Did you ever hear of a blonde pig with wool like a sheep? Me neither. It's called a Mangalitza Pig, and the image below is not photoshopped. Really. Google it. . This is what happens when you read one too many Uncle John's Bathroom Reader articles.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

National Honor Society

I was in the top academic class in High School. About 85% of our class were voted into the National Honor Society. . You guessed it. I was in the 15%. My teachers apparently felt I had a crappy attitude. WTF did they know? ;-)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

His personal exposure to health care challenges only strengthened his determination to achieve his central goal in the Senate, the mission that drove both his daily schedule and his long term agenda: he wanted every man, woman, and child in America to have access to decent health care. In theory, it was a goal that could be accomplished with one, big national health care program, a plan that would ensure that pregnant women would have prenatal care, that children would get their vaccinations, that sufferers of rare diseases would have access to the medicines they needed, that workers could change jobs without worrying about losing their health insurance, and that seniors would not have to choose between food and prescription drugs. In practice, Kennedy would spend decades trying to make those things happen piece by piece.
(from Last Lion : The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, edited by Peter S. Canellos)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Vocabulary word for the day

Onomatopeia. What an awesome word! Right up there with Brouhaha and Susurration.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

HoneyBee - In Memoriam

HoneyBee, the truth is - I was against you coming to live with us. We already had two dogs, and didn't need a third. Huxley and Mr. Jynx are males. Would they fight over you (even though all of you are fixed); or would they turn on you, an interloper? You were older than them, and you were damaged goods. . You had lived a rough life. You had at least four other owners, one of which, early on, abused you to where you were now scared of all humans. More recently, you had lost a fight to see who was the alpha-female, and it had cost you an eye. Now, you were confined to a small cage 23 hours each day, for your own protection. . I hemmed and hawed and gave my very logical arguments to Liz as to why we shouldn't take you in. She listened and smiled, and nodded her head, then did what she had done with each of our other four dogs - just went out and got them. And one afternoon, I came home, opened the door, and there in the hall you were. . You came as advertised. You fled from us humans. At night you hid somewhere, while Huxley and Jynx slept with us on the bed. But that only lasted about a week. You warmed your way onto the bed, under the covers, and into our hearts. . Huxley and Mr, Jynx accepted you as one of the group. You quickly learned how to use the doggy door and readily went on our twice-a-day walks, even though your short, Pekinese legs meant you had to jog to keep pace. And before I knew it, you had become Daddy's Little Princess. .
And a princess you truly were. Our other dogs would jump down off the bed, but not you. If we weren't in the bedroom, you woofed for us to come get you down. If you had to get down in the middle of the night to go potty, you'd stomp on my feet until I woke up and put you down. If you thought Momma was a bit tardy in getting you your supper, you'd woof at her. And if your food was too hot or too cold, you wouldn't eat it until she made it "just right".
You and I had our (weekday) morning ritual. While Huxley and Jynx always got up with Liz, you stayed under the covers. I woke you up with a 5-minute scalp and tummy massage as you did your morning stretching. Then after I got up to take a shower, you stayed under the covers until Liz came in and got you up for the morning constitutional.
Did you know you saved a life, HoneyBee? Our friends, Daniel and Lupe, were amazed how well you handled your one-eye handicap. One day, they saw a poor, sad, one-eyed cockapoo puppy at the pound. For a handicapped dog, a stay there is a 72-hour death watch. Nobody adopts "damaged goods".
But because of you, Daniel and Lupe took her home and named her Sofie. I just saw her again yesterday. Sofie's a bundle of energy, loves her owners and new life, and just like you, is spoiled rotten.
Gradually your abused past faded from your memory and you overcame your phobia when people came to our house. Eventually, you even let them pet you. Which is good, because both adults and kids found you irresistably adorable.
Time flew by - we had you 5 years I think. And the day came when the two-a-day walks/jogs became too much for you. So when the leashes came out, you'd retire to the bedroom or backyard. That was to let us know you'd be skipping the constitutional. But always when we got back, you were there to greet us at the door and to remind Liz by wagging your tail that it was "treat time".
Now you're gone. And writing this eulogy today opens wounds I thought had healed. I hope we made the latter half of your life a warm and wonderful time. You enriched our lives more than you could ever know. I will never forget you, HoneyBee.
But you still have one more miracle to work - one more life to save. Liz has been hinting we should add another female to the brood - go rescue one from a shelter or pound. I've told her that we don't need a third dog, and that I'm not emotionally ready yet, and that it certainly can't be done until I write my farewells to you.
And Liz nods her head, and smiles, and listens to my logical arguments. And one of these afternoons, I'll come home, open the door, and there in the hall will be...

Friday, March 04, 2011


This is today's B.C. It's bad enough that I don't fully understand the humor (is she lying about how many strokes it took her to get to the green?). But what is even more mysterious is how the hole itself magically shifts over closer to Curls between the first panel and the last.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Something's rotten...

... and it ain't in Denmark.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tolstoy quote

Tolstoy rockz! But I still have no inclination to read any of his 800-page works. Particularly, War And Peace.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Best pun (so far) of 2011

From the fantastically talented mind of Justin Thompson at Mythtickle.