Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Rio Grande.
As rivers go, it is not a very large one, maybe 40 to 50 feet across. Yet for the difference in lifestyle from one side to the other, it may as well be thousands of miles wide. With all the contentiousness surrounding the emigration bill in the news, I thought it might be time to let the world know how Brave Sir Robin feels about it. If you come here often, I think you’ll know.
First off, nobody chooses to be poor. People aren’t poor because they are lazy or shiftless or choose to be that way. They are poor, most likely because they were born poor. Period. I know I’m digressing already, that is another post entirely, but I felt it needed saying.
Let’s look at the differences from one side of the river to the other –
North of the river –
Just a few miles south of the previous photo –
As in any society the women and children are hit the hardest by poverty. #2 and #3 son had never been to Mexico before. #3 son was particularly struck by the beggars and the children selling trinkets on the street. As we prepared to cross over for our second day in Mexico, he made sure he had small bills and change to give them. And yes, he used his own money.
#3 son giving money to a woman, as her son sings a song.
This beautiful and shy little girl had to be coaxed to pose for this picture. Like many, many others her age, she helps support her family by selling gum and trinkets to American tourists.
This precious little boy was asleep under his mother’s street vending cart, oblivious to the raucous crowds teeming on the street.
These people aren’t lazy, they aren’t looking to milk the welfare system, or even “take our jobs”, they are looking for the true embodiment of the American dream; the opportunity to work hard and make a better life for their family. It shouldn’t matter what side of the river you were born on. The uproar over immigrants and this bill isn’t about economics or welfare or protecting our borders from terrorist. Make no mistake; this is about the color of their skin. Because they are brown people, they are unwelcome. Look at those children above and tell me what makes them any less beautiful or precious than my children?
Is it any wonder that the world is turning more and more anti-American?
Don’t forget – unless your ancestors are pre-Columbian, we are all immigrants here.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Well, I made some.
The recipes I found online were either too ambiguous or contradictory with one another, so I compiled them into my own interpretation.
Here's how I did it:
One gallon jar of dill pickles. (I used Best Maid whole dills)
2 packages of Tropical Punch Kool-aid
3 cups of sugar.
I took the pickles out of the jar and marked the level of the liquid.
I poured the brine into a pitcher and set aside.
I sliced the pickles length way. I then mixed the 2 packages of Kool-Aid and three cups of sugar with 2 quarts of water. I did this right in the pickle jar. It didn't quite reach the mark I had made so I filled it up to the mark with the reserved pickle brine. I placed the pickles back in the jar, shook it up real good and placed it in the refrigerator for a week.
Here are the results:
How do they taste? Well, they taste like a pickle that has been soaking in Kool-Aid for a week. I must say the kids really like them. The garlic in the pickle comes through the Kool-Aid pretty strong. I may look for a brand without garlic. Also, I think next time I will not top off with brine, but with water. I think maybe a bit more sugar as well. I will keep experimenting. I will choose a different kind of Kool-Aid as well. (But that's another post)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Son #2 graduates from the 8th grade today. Hard to believe he will be a Freshman next year.
A couple of shots from this morning.
If you detect a slight magenta tint to #3 Son's hair, you are correct. He celebrates the last day of school each year by adding a tint to his already shockingly red hair.
Brave Sir Robin is ready for the summer break.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I'm sorry for the dearth of Posts the last few days. I have a project at work that has been eating my lunch, the last few days of school have been hectic, and I have been dealing with three separate personal issues all at the same time.
To the blogger (and friend, I hope) who helped me sort out one of those issues, (you know who you are) thank you!! Even though the decision had been made, getting it all out there was helpful.
Every time I think I am over Rene', something happens to remind me that I am not. Mother's Day weekend was difficult enough, and today I saw her car. I tend to drive out of my way to avoid driving by places where she might be. Today, I knew she would be at the Theatre, so I avoided it only to see her car at the school her daughter attends. I know it doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it is. It puts her right back into my thoughts, both conscious and unconscious.
Work was a little better today, I met with my client and gave him a progress report and explained the difficulties I was having. He seemed to understand and was encouraging. That is an enormous relief.
I hope to be back to more frequent posting soon. To my regular readers I say thank you. Thank you for being interested in what I have to say. The comments are a tremendous boost to me.
I worked all weekend; most of Saturday and about 6 hours on Sunday. Sunday afternoon we drove to Port Aransas and hung out at the Condo. The kids swam, we had a few beverages, ate some seafood and came home. (Designated drivers were used - I didn't drink and drive). It was an incredibly needed bit of relaxation, even if it was only a few hours. I am hoping that the long weekend coming up will be stress free. The forecast for that doesn't look good, but here's hoping.
Brave Sir Robin is tired, stressed and lonely.
Enjoy these -
Pelicans gliding over the pool. It took about an hour to get a shot, they move fast!
Monday, May 21, 2007
As he walked around the scene, Detective Bartlett suddenly realized the years hadn’t left him as jaded as he’d thought. He pulled out his handkerchief and covered his mouth and nose, hoping to cover up the smell of raw starch. He stepped back and took it all in. Body parts scattered about here and there, like some bizarre mis en place.
Sure, Jealous Dames, he understood. He’d seen his share of crimes of passion, but this… this was beyond anything he could even comprehend. Holy avocados, she took off his whole ass!
This Ms. Potatohead must be one salty spud, he thought.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Ahh, Sunday Morning.
Is there anything better than the pace of a Sunday morning?
On Sunday, the coffee is pressed, not brewed. Breakfast is leisurely, not rushed, and more often than not more adventurous than its weekday counterparts.
The older I get, (shudder – did I just say that?), the more I appreciate this time.
I have been an early riser my whole life. My favorite time of day is early, before anyone else is awake. I love to go outside with my coffee and watch the sun rise as it peeks over the bay. No rushing to work or school, no cars on the street, just me, the sun, the coffee and the birds. The birds are never so loud as on Sunday morning. The chirps and twitters and calls no longer have to compete with delivery truck exhaust pipes or lawn equipment. This is their movement, and they perform like virtuosos for about 45 minutes. Then, as the rest of the orchestra wakes up and joins in, they are content to take the backseat again, still there, just removed to accompaniment roles until next Sunday morning.
Alas, today I over slept, missed my Sunday morning symphony, and have to go into the office for a few hours.
Well, I can look forward to next Sunday all week.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Mark Foley has nothing on Ted Klaudt (allegedly).
Klaudt, a Republican Representative in the South Dakota Legislature has been charged with 8 counts of rape. Five girls have come forward with allegations, but so far, the charges only involve two of the girls.
He's accused of performing "ovary checks" and "breast exams" under the guise that he was helping young women donate their reproductive eggs, according to court records.
Is that what they call it now?
Dude, it’s a good thing you live in South Dakota, because that line ain’t gonna fly in pretty much any place but Hicksville and Appalachia.
FSM, where do I start?
Ok, first of all, why do the Republican sex scandals seem to have a disproportionate amount of molestation, rape and “closet” homosexuality? Shit, at least Monica was of age and a willing participant. (discloser - I was going to make the above sentence link to appropriate scandals, but there were just too damn many to choose from. If you are really interested, just type Republican Sex Scandals into Google, you will find freaky shit you never even heard of, I promise!!)
As long as the Republican party makes all sex “illicit” and women’s bodies “dirty nasty things” we will continue to see this type of perversion from the “Family Values” party.
OK, you may think that was harsh. You may say, "Well, Brave Sir Robin is jumping to conclusions, this is bad, true, but he's really coming down on this guy." Well to you I say:
The girls were his FOSTER CHILDREN!!!
Dude, Woody Allen thinks you crossed the line!!
Bloody hell, Foster children and (of course), legislative pages! I guess he was auditioning for a National office huh?
Go read the article, this bastard is one nasty, sick misogynist asshole.
Family values my ass.
Brave Sir Robin feels the need to shower after writing this post.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I don't wish to take away what the Representatives are doing, I think it is brave and terrific, but let us not forget that the whole point is, living on a food stamp allowance is hard!
Blogger kactus is a single mother, living in Milwaukee with her daughter.
She is on a real life Food Stamp Challenge, except hers isn't for just a week, or to bring awareness to the issue. Sadly, the challenge of feeding herself and her daughter with the food stamp allotment is what she does every day.
She has begun blogging her experiences in "Food Stamp Chronicles"
For ease of following along, here are her posts so far, in chronological order.
Food Stamp Chronicles, week one.
Week one, part two.
Chronicles, post four.
The Meat Deal.
Week Three, part two.
Several things of note in these posts.
Nothing is easy when you're poor; transportation, getting the food home, access to what we often take for granted, all factors to make her choices more difficult. Something that particularly struck me was this; she bought her daughter a box of hot pockets to reward her for working hard at school.
Let that sink in. Basic food is a reward or treat. I'm not talking chocolate cake, or indulging in a pint of Hagen-Daz because your feeling blue, I'm talking about a young girl who gets to eat a hot pocket as a special treat.
This country must find a way to take care of its own.
I will be following her chronicles. As an aside, the Food Stamp Chronicles is only part of her blog. Much of what she writes is fascinating. I will be reading her site as often as I can; I think you should as well. I certainly appreciate what I have a great deal more after reading about her daily life.
h/t to Redneck Mother
This picture is a little over three years old.
It is Cappuccino playing in my beer bucket when he was just a wee lad.
Here is another about the same time frame. I call this:
"look how even back them he strutted around like he owned the place."
Thursday, May 17, 2007
We knew Falwell was dirty, but how did I miss this?
Excellent post at Salon about loyalty in the Bush regime.
The New York Times on the (lack of) FDA oversight.
We live in a very, very sick world.
Can't wait to see this.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Food Stamp Challenge
Four members of Congress, Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Jo-Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill) are going to spend the next week living on $21.00. That is the amount the average person on Food Stamps gets per week. That’s three dollars a day. One dollar a meal.
Let that sink in.
One dollar per meal.
The Washington Post has an article about their efforts. McGovern is quoted saying:
"No organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything. We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat -- the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it's expensive. It's almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet."
No shit. It is no coincidence that the poorest Americans are the ones most likely to be obese, or suffer diet related health problems. We have all been following the Melamine story and trying to make choices that include local or organic food, but how about if you had $1.00 per meal? Impossible.
I urge you to read the article, and I applaud these four Representatives for bringing the issue to light in this fashion. I find it disappointing that only four took on the challenge, which was presented to the entire Congress to gain understanding and to get more money for the Food Stamp program written into the Farm Bill.
McGovern says it is important to get the debate going:
"We don't have to wake up worrying about the next meal. But there are a lot of Americans who do. I think it's wrong. I think it's immoral that in the U.S., the richest country in the world, people are hungry."Gee, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I said it.
McGovern and Ryan are blogging about their experiences here and here.
If you have time, you might ask your representative why they aren’t taking the challenge. I plan to, and mine is running for POTUS.
**UPDATE - Make sure and check out the blogs - a couple of quotes -
Lisa McGovern :
As I began cooking, separating and freezing food for the week, I began to worry that we won't have enough food to get us through Tuesday. It seems there are two ways to think of this: if we want to eat healthy food, this is like a very strict diet or a semi-fast. There is strict rationing of protein and fruits and vegetables. If we want a more satisfying portion size, the only way to do it is lots of rice, pasta or beans (but we only have 2 cans of those). And that goes against what I think of as healthy on a plate (which would be 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs and 1/2 fruits and vegetables). But it's a long time until Tuesday and we have a limited amount of the "good" stuff so we're doling it out carefully.
Tim Ryan :
My biggest concern today is running out of food before the end of the week. One loaf of bread doesn’t make as many sandwiches as you’d think, and I’m running through my cottage cheese pretty fast as well. The budgeting was hard enough, rationing what I do have will present another challenge.
Today, I'm 45.
Halfway between 40 and 50. I'm not exactly thrilled about it, but as there is little in my life that I am thrilled about it hardly matters.
Well, they say 50 is the new 40. Whoever they are.
I share this birthday with:
1973 Tori Spelling (actress) Ewww!
1971 David Boreanaz (actor) Angel!! YEA!!
1969 Tracey Gold (actress) Tragic!
1966 Janet Jackson (singer) Yuk!
1956 Olga Korbut (Olympic Gold medalist Gymnastics) Cool
1955 Debra Winger (actress) Way Cool!
1952 Pierce Brosnan (actor) wev
1948 Jim Langer (football) ????
1940 Yvonne Craig (actress and dancer) Batgirl!!
1930 Better Carter (Lillie Mae Jones) (jazz singer) Way Cool
1928 Billy (Alfred) Martin (baseball) Baseball was better when he was around.
1925 Robert Pierpoint (newsman) ????
1922 Eddie Bert (jazz musician) ?????
1919 Liberace (Wladziu Liberace) (concert pianist and showman) Fabulous!!
1913 Woody Herman (bandleader) Cool
1911 Studs (Louis) Terkel (writer) Classy guy!
1905 Henry Fonda (actor) Nice.
And Diane Dallas, an old girlfriend. Happy birthday Diane.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Today is the DVD release date for the best film I saw this past year, Pan’s Labyrinth.
If you haven’t seen it, you simply must. If you live in a large city, see if it is still playing in a Theatre. I know it was still playing in Houston last week. As excited as I am about the DVD release, this film should be experienced on the big screen. The camera work is lush, the sound is simply amazing. The thought and detail that went into every shot is truly phenomenal. It also won three Academy Awards, for Cinematography, Art Direction and Makeup. (It was robbed in several other categories, but that's another post.)
I won’t give any spoilers or plot points, because those are readily available out there, if you want them. Suffice to say it is a film which seamlessly blends an adult fairy tale with the stark realities of war and fascism. In the hands of a lesser director these two elements might have easily clashed or at least, intruded on each other, but Guillermo del Toro brilliantly weaves you in and out of these two stories to the point were you wish they were both on screen at the same time. The entire cast is amazing, Ivana Baquero, the young actress that plays Ofelia is just stunningly good.
So tonight at my house, I'm having friends over and you are all invited! Dinner is at 7:00, film to follow. On the menu is Balsamic glazed chicken breast, zucchini, lemon asparagus risotto, salad and peach cobbler. Haven’t decided on the wine yet, but I have it narrowed down to three. I’m leaning towards the Sauvignon Blanc because I think it would play well with the lemon in the risotto. Then again, the Chardonnay would stand up against the balsamic in the chicken. Then again, everybody loves Pinot Grigio. What to do?
Anyway, hope to see you there!
One more warning. This is a B.Y.O.T. party. (Bring your own tissue – you’ll need it for the film.)
Monday, May 14, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
I'm sure that at least 90% of the people who read my site read Litbrit either at her own site or at Shakesville, but if you don't you should.
She has been doing an unbelievable job of following and posting about the broader story of contaminated food from China and the FDA's inability to correct it.
If you eat, you owe it to yourself to go read her here.
FSM bless you Litbrit, thank you for your perseverance in this matter.
The New York Times is reporting today about the pending testimony of Monica Goodling. Goodling was granted partial immunity this week. I for one will be looking forward to hearing what she has to say.
What I don’t know, is how far her immunity goes, and what it covers. I will be digging around and looking when I have time. (Unfortunately, I have a project due Monday, so I have to go into work today.)
The thing I bring away from this article is that it sounds like the Party and the Justice Dept. are going to set her up as the fall guy. I think she will be portrayed as a loose canon that was acting out of her own heartfelt conviction and not on any orders from above.
Time will tell if I’m right, but I’ll bet I am.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I have a sick kid.
#2 son has missed the last two days of school with a fever and cough.
What does this have to do with Tom and Jerry you ask?
Thanks for asking.
I’ll tell you.
I normally do not have the TV on at lunch. In fact, I usually only stay home at lunch long enough to check the mail or unload the dishwasher. But, since he is home on the sofa, the TV is on when I get home, and at 12:00 noon, Tom and Jerry is on.
Today was an episode where they were tearing up the house and the black housekeeper was getting onto Tom and eventually threw him out of the house. This is what I noticed; the housekeeper’s voice has been dubbed. Those of us old enough to remember these cartoons will remember the voice was a stereotypical “mammy” voice. It has been re-dubbed and it didn’t sound black at all. In fact, the words were probably changed altogether.
How long has this been going on? Is it a good thing? Is it bowing down to the big bad “P.C.” police?
I can see where the “Mammy” voice could be offensive, yet the picture still clearly showed the large black, apron wearing housekeeper, only with a June Cleaver voice. It was discerning.
Please, discuss. How do you feel about this? Are these clearly dated cartoons racist? Offensive? I know Disney’s Song Of The South is unavailable in the USA, but apparently is available overseas. (I bought a DVD from China – don’t ask) Should they be removed from view? Should they be left alone?
It is hard for me, as a white male to write about race issues. If someone is offended, I understand and would generally want to err on the side of caution. Is this any different than a Christian being offended by a “racy” cartoon? There is always the option of simply not watching. Does it being a children’s program make the rules different?
Good questions. I don’t claim to have the answers, but if they are going to show it, I wish they would leave it uncut. I was never offended by Mammy Two Shoes, but then I guess that’s the point. I wouldn’t be.
UPDATE - The voice has been dubbed in America for several years by veteran voice actress June Foray.
Who knew? Even people who appear thin may have hidden fat deposits around vital organs, which can still lead to heart disease and diabetes according to a recent study at Imperial College, London.
According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.Here's the kicker -
"Even people with normal Body Mass Index scores -- a standard obesity measure that divides your weight by the square of your height -- can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside."
So all you skinny people can start to worry like the rest of us. Even naturally thin people need to exercise.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The chocolate was blended …. And it was GOOD!!!!
Oh my (insert deity of your choice)!!!! WOW!!
Did I find the quickest, easiest recipe for a dreamy chocolate mouse I have ever, ever, EVER seen?
Well, yes thank you, I did.
This was in the April issue of Bon Appetite, and it ROCKS!!!
Blender Chocolate Mousse
1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
¾ cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon instant espresso or coffee (I can’t find instant espresso here, I used coffee)
3 large egg whites.
Place chocolate in blender.
Bring water sugar and espresso powder to simmer in small saucepan. Stir to insure sugar is dissolved.
Pour water mixture over chocolate. COVER BLENDER and blend for 5 seconds.
Add egg whites and blend for 1 minute.
Pour into 4 prepared cups. (I used martini glasses)
Chill for about 2 hours.
Freak your ass out over how easy and delicious it is.
It should also be fairly low cal, and very low fat.
I suppose I might try it with cream instead of the water just to see, but it’s pretty damn good like it is.
UPDATE, 5-14-07 - My kids aren't crazy about dark chocolate, so this weekend at some friends house we tried this with milk chocolate morsels. It didn't work, it separated in the glass and never set up.
It always amazes me what some people eat.
Growing up in South Texas, we ate what I considered regular American food. Of course, we had an abundance of Mexican restaurants, B-B-Q joints, and plenty of places to buy seafood, almost always fried. It wasn’t until my Junior High years that I realized not everybody ate the same as us. I now know that our local cuisine was perhaps one of the more blended regions in the country. The Gulf Coast of South Texas is the meeting point for Southern, Mexican, German, Cajun, and Southwestern cuisine. (But that’s another post.) Now before you scoff at my ignorance, remember I grew up in a small town in the pre-cable TV era. If you are old enough to remember that time, regional differences were much more pronounced back then. We had no MTV to tell us what was cool to wear or listen to, nor any Food Network to tell us what to eat. Of course, we traveled some and experienced new things, but other than ethnic food, the only real regional cuisine I was aware of other than my own was Cajun.
I remember the day I had my epiphany. It was in the summer of 1975. I was 13 and we had a boy from Kansas staying with us as part of an exchange program. My Dad always had a vegetable garden and one of my favorite things from his garden was okra. During the summer we ate okra almost every day. That night my mom made fried okra. Our exchange student had never eaten okra. He had never even heard of okra. That was the beginning of my fascination with other cultures and cuisines. That night at our table, I realized I was probably just as unaware of what other people were eating as he was of what was a staple food of my childhood.
Since then, I have become obsessed with food and what different cultures eat. If I had it to do all over again I would probably become a nutritional anthropologist. Of course back then, I didn’t even know what that was. Whenever I travel, one of the first things I want to do is go to the grocery store. You can learn a lot about the community, (or even the neighborhood for that matter), you are in by looking around the grocery store.
So what is the point of this rambling post?
This article in the New York Times about Kool-Aid Pickles just started me thinking about it. Now the Deep South eats some funky stuff, I can tell you – but damn! Kool-Aid pickles? Apparently these started showing up around the mid 90’s. I’ve never heard of them. And yes, I’m going to try them!! I’ll keep you posted on what they taste like. I’m betting my kids love them.
So what freaky thing do you eat?
My Dad used to have a favorite late night snack which consisted of a glass of milk with leftover cornbread crumpled up in it, and in my house cornbread was never sweet. I don't know what I eat that some may find strange. Whenever I go to New England I always stock up on Moxie. My kids hate it, but I think it is the nectar of the Gods.
Meanwhile – enjoy this site. It is along the same line of thought- but hilarious.
Steve – Don’t Eat It!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I run by the house to check the mail, I do errands, sometimes I actually get to eat, I go back to work.
There are a set of railroad tracks that I must cross to get home. Today, as I came to them I was behind one of these.
The woman driving it slowed down to a freaking crawl to cross the tracks.
You have the baddest, toughest vehicle on the planet, but you can't go over a railroad track? A very smooth, well maintained set of tracks at that. That would be bad enough.
Today also happens to be my bank day, so after checking the mail, I went to the drive through. Guess who's in front of me? Yep, Ms. Hummer. She apparently can't reach the tube from her lofty perch, so she throws it in reverse and starts backing up. Never looked back. No warning. I (barely) avoided getting rolled over. She has to get out of her bus and walk to the tube. She finishes, gets in and proceeds to cut her corner too close and runs over the curb on the way out.
It gets better.
She is still at the light when I exit the bank so I get behind her. The light changes and she takes off. She turns into Sonic. There is one empty spot. She tries three times to pull into the spot. She can't do it. She throws it into reverse (this time I was ready, and yes, I'm following her for the perverse pleasure of it now.) She goes next door to McDonald's and gets into line with no further damage. Since I have no reason to poison myself, I use the parking lot to make my turn and I get to see her vehicle from the front. There is what appears to be part of an oleander bush stuck in the front, pink blooms still intact.
I went back to work feeling much better about myself.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Ok the yuck factor on this one is pretty high.
I’m not generally one to get creeped out by crawly things like bugs and snakes and rodents. I will pluck beetles off my tomato plants, or caterpillars off the herbs, no big whoop. Spiders, on the other hand …. Uhg! I know they are beneficial, and yes I adored Charlotte’s Web, but they just give me the willies. Sorry.
So you can imagine the nightmares this story is going to give me.
Nine year old Jesse Courtney’s earache turned out to be two spiders living in his ear.
Go read it. Look at the pictures. Be grossed out all day.
The people of Chapelfield had no idea their "sculpture" was in reality a General Products Hull #2.
*Update: Explanation here.
General Explanation at top of page, a few paragraphs down the specifics of a #2.
Sorry for my geekdom. I read this book about 40 times when I was about 16-19.
I was sad to see this morning that one of my daily readings is gone.
Martini Republic has gone down.
Farewell old friend, you were a wonderful mix of politics, news, and of course spirits.
I will miss you.
But this site looks promising:
Sunday, May 6, 2007
I am so blinded by rage at this article that this post probably won’t even make sense.
As I have mentioned before. I am a single father. The minefield that is post-divorce child-rearing, visitation, dealing with the ex is my daily fare. I live in constant fear that the slightest accident or misstep will mean another trip to family court and the kids going to their mother. The logical part of my brain knows this is highly unlikely, but the fear is so deep rooted that it is impossible to dispel.
Deployed soldiers are losing custody of their children while they are gone fighting the war. I just really can’t write anymore about this. Go read it, and get pissed off.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
As I mentioned before (see Comments), I had a loquat tree that was severely needing to get out of its pot and into the ground.
Well, I finally got it planted this morning.
So here is the newest member of the Brave Sir Robin Orchard.
Loquats are small evergreen trees that have dark glossy thick leaves. They are highly ornamental, and do very well here where I live. I have several friends that grow them and the fruit is quite yummy.
Friday, May 4, 2007
I lived in Houston for about 9 years in the 80’s and early 90’s. I still go there between once and 10 times a month, depending on various factors.
I like Houston. It is not as aesthetically pleasing as say, San Francisco, or Vancouver, but it has quite a bit of beauty, if you know where to look. It doesn’t get the press that Dallas gets, but having spent a lot of time in each city, I can tell you it is friendlier, has better freeways, and YES, the arts scene is much, much better in Houston.
Still, Houston doesn’t get much repect as big cities go. It is the fourth largest city in America, but rarely gets much good press.
All that being said, I was very pleased to see this excellent little article on traveling to Houston on National Geographic’s website.
Peruse it, enjoy it, and don’t believe all the bad press, weather aside, Houston is a great city, and getting better all the time.
I'll call this one "Disturb me here again and I'll go back to sleeping on the pool table"
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Have you noticed the phenomenon I'll call Ipod patterning?
You set your Ipod on shuffle, which is supposedly random, but the songs seem anything but random?
I while back I posted that my Ipod was conspiring against me because song after song after song was a song about love gone bad, breakups, or one of our songs.
Well, today wasn't like that, but here is my list, first 12 played:
1. Readymade – Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. M-O-N-E-Y (live)– Lyle Lovett
3. The Nearness Of You – Norah Jones
4. Eruption – Van Halen
5. No Woman no Cry - Bob Marley
6. The Refugee – U2
7. Nothing Compares To You – Prince
8. She’s Only 18 – Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley
10. I Shot The Sheriff – Bob Marley
11. Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan
12. Redemption Song - Bob Marley
Notice anything strange?
4 Bob Marley Songs and 2 Red Hot Chili peppers.
Ok, I have 1023 songs on my Ipod. 14 of them are by Bob Marley. That's 1.3%* Yet 4 come up in the first 12?
What about the Chili Peppers? I have a few more by them (43), with 5 albums represented, yet both songs came from the same album.
I know mathematicians will tell me I'm just looking for a pattern where none exists, but damn. That doesn't seem very random to me.
Anyone else experience this?
*Update: I screwed up the decimal place in the original post. It is now corrected!
h/t to Camera Obscura.
He has a post today about former Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s testimony regarding Milwaukee US Attorney Steven Biskupic.
Biskupic, you may recall was on the list, and then got taken off the list, just about the time he brought a case against the Democratic governor's administration.
As Josh puts it:
But then he got pulled off the list. That's made people take a second look at his prosecution of a bureaucrat in Wisconsin's Democratic governor's administration. That conviction got overturned by an appeals court last month. And not just overturned, but judged "beyond thin" and "preposterous" and sent back for a directed acquital.
Now, whether or not Biskupic was trying to save his job or not, I can’t say, and he seems to have some pretty trustworthy people vouching for him. My point is; this is the side of the scandal that is to me, much more troubling. We know about the 7 that were fired, what about the 86 that kept their jobs? We now what what Rove’s criterion was to keep your job. Do we have 86 political hacks willing to do Rove’s dark bidding in charge of meeting out justice across the land?
I’d say the odds are pretty good that at least a good majority of them fit that bill.
That my friends is the real scandal.