SLIDESHOW EXPLANATION

THE PHOTOS SCROLLING BY IN THE SLIDESHOW ON THE LEFT ARE ORIGINAL AND CAN BE VIEWED OR PURCHASED AT WWW.WIZARDPIXPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Monday, February 28, 2011

TEXAS GOVERNOR MISTAKENLY ANNEXES JUAREZ, MEXICO ( hopefully, they'll let us give Juarez back...)

              It's hard to keep up with Texas Governor Rick Perry.  One day he's firing off blanks into the air to celebrate his legislature's proposal to allow college frat boys to carry concealed weapons to the kegger, and the next day he's claiming that Juarez, Mexico is the most dangerous city in America.

              Considering the fact that the Texas School Board has rewritten all of the state's history textbooks to better fit their tunnel-vision of America's past, it's no wonder he's a little confused over issues of sovereignty when it comes to his state's borders.  Seems ol' Rick was holding forth in front of reporters about the Obama administration's failures on border security issues when he verbally annexed Juarez for Texas.
               Word out of Mexico is that they're holding his ass to it, and won't take Juarez back without a lot of cash and some of Perry's boot collection.  The governor's office is not taking calls on their offer, but frustrated staffers are said to be gathering stray shit-kickers from the Governor's Mansion in Austin.  One unnamed aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they were boxing up "the really ugly, pointy shoes the Governor uses when he's stomping bugs in tight corners."

               A while back Perry threatened to pull Texas from the Union, saying that secession was "an option."  Is there any way we can hold the door for these jackwads as they march off?  Maybe build that fence along the northern border of the state, instead of the southern one?
              At least a good fence along the northern border of Texas might keep them from sending  another moron from the Governors Mansion to Washington.  Jeez, we've not even had a chance to clean up after the last one...

GUANO, PARTY OF TWO? YOUR TABLE IS NOW READY!
















KEITH OLBERMANN'S NEW BLOG IS UP AND RUNNING

           I just got a heads-up from a friend that Keith Olbermann's new blogsite is available for scrutiny:  http://www.foknewschannel.com/   
           Love the blog logo!

" 'FREE BIRD'! PLAY 'FREE BIRD' , MAN!" ( my request at the Italian restaurant goes unfulfilled... )


          Ms. Squatlo and I like to eat out every now and then, just to give the leftovers a break, and because I can't stand for us to have money in our account.  The worst things always seem to happen to me when I'm flush with cash, so I've made it a lifelong project to stay as broke as possible to avoid smirking the Hooey Gods who watch over my checking account balance.
          Today we braved the second monsoon in as many weeks, hydroplaning along our little village's crowded boulevards to get to our favorite Italian bistro for lunch.  We were seated in a booth near the bar (our favorite location, because the rest of the restaurant is horribly TV free, and when those meteorologists are going crazy with colorful maps detailing the approaching tornadoes we like to humor them by at least faking interest in whatever they're so excited about...) ignoring the menus on our table, because this is OUR restaurant and we already know exactly what we want.
           Our waiter didn't bore us with the obligatory three minute litany of the daily specials, including the special sauce that would be drizzled over the salmon, should we choose to follow the restaurant manager's lead and order the one item he's foolishly overstocked.  Three fewer minutes between us and our meal.  Life's short, and we appreciate brevity in these situations. 
           But once we had our meals on the table and we no longer had to worry about a stray lightning bolt taking out the restaurant's supply of electricity during the preparation of our dinners, I relaxed enough to take note of the smooth jazz playing in the background.  This is one of those places that probably uses the standard Smooth Jazz channel offered by Sirius radio, and for the most part it's pleasant background music for a meal.  Any restaurant that doesn't subject me to the latest from Molly Montana (or whatever her is) gets a thumbs up in my book.  And truth be told, I recognize several of the jazz cuts they play on that channel every time we eat there, because I have a lot of those tunes in my own collection.  There's a place for smooth jazz.  That place is called "the bedroom," but it's their restaurant and they can go for whatever atmosphere they want to keep us hungry.
             Anyway, about halfway through the meal the restaurant manager paid our table one of those "wait-until-you-see-'em-both-put-forks-full-of-food-in-their-mouths" visits wherein he asked how everything tasted, knowing full well neither of us could do much more than chew and nod at that particular moment.  I'm convinced these assholes go to restaurant manager classes just to learn the most inappropriate time to ask that question.  But instead of waving him off like a dog-dick gnat at a picnic, I continued to chew and signaled for him to wait, I had something to say.  He smiled and waited for me to swallow.
              "Yes sir?" he asked, hopefully.
              "I was wondering," I said, as I took a quick sip of tea, "could you change the music and play 'Free Bird'?"
               The look on this guy's face was worth the price of the meal.  He smiled politely, then noticed that I was obviously not serious, and broke out laughing.  Apparently, 'Free Bird' isn't requested all that often in that restaurant.  I think he said he'd see what he could do for us, but I'm not sure I understood him through the laughter and the sound of my lovely wife's eye rolling groan of "Oh Jesus Christ..."
                A few minutes later the televisions lost their cable signal and the smooth jazz petered out on the restaurant's sound system.  I told my wife he must be queuing up the Lynyrd Skynyrd, and sat back in anticipation.  If I'd had a cigarette lighter I probably would have fired it up and held it over my head.
                Life's too short not to mess with people when you get the chance...

CANADIAN SLED DOGS SLAUGHTERED BECAUSE "NO LONGER VIABLE PROFIT SOURCE"

         A friend posted a link to this story on FB, and I'm copying the story from Animal Rescue Site:
In April 2010, 100 husky sled dogs who participated in the Canada Winter Olympics were slaughtered. Reportedly, one man carried out the killings utilizing both a shotgun and a knife. The slaughter took place because the company who owned them — Outdoor Adventures — felt the dogs were no longer a viable profit source. They then ordered them slaughtered.




There is no justification for this savage act of murder. Killing animals — and especially the manner in which the dogs were slaughtered — should never be tolerated, period. That 100 dogs were so brutally executed for such callous and selfish reasons is reprehensible.



All of those who were part of this act need to pay for what they've done. Sign the petition urging the Canadian government to further investigate the slaughter, punish those responsible, and enact stricter legislation that would combat such savage acts of animal cruelty.

          Here's a link to the story:
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/campaign.faces?siteId=3&campaign=CanadaSledDogs

A RANT WORTHY OF CHARLIE SHEEN...

        
            I usually try to avoid posting about the silly shit that Hollywood 'stars' do for publicity, or what they've done that's gotten them bad press.  Sometimes bad behavior and ridiculous rampages of public humiliation just bleed over into the real news of the day, though, and our boy Charlie Sheen seems determined to get ink any way he can.
            Usually, when one of these self-proclaimed gifts to humanity decides to go off the deep end, we get a momentary lapse of insanity while they dry up or clean off or go into "rehab" for a few weeks, just long enough for us to move on to the next star's train wreck to come along and capture the public eye.  The obvious exceptions to that rule usually don't fare well in the court of public opinion OR actual court when their shit becomes a hazard to the general public.  Ask Lindsay Lohan.
            But Charlie seems to have nothing like "quiet time" in mind.  Like he says, he only has one speed:  GO!
           The thing is, I REALLY like Two and a Half Men.  I got into the show when it went into syndicated reruns, and since finding it have been hooked.  For whatever reason, I find that twisted shit funny as hell,  think the show is well-written, and can't believe anyone would want to mess with an obviously winning formula. 
            But Charlie has his own reasons.  In recent interviews he's threatened to sue CBS for $300 million for pulling the plug on this season's remaining episodes because of his drug and alcohol fueled rants and ravings.  He was quoted on one morning show saying he wanted his pay bumped up from the measley $1.8 million per episode he currently receives to a nice round $3 mil per show.
And he wants CBS to publicly apologize while licking his shoes.  So there.
             Shit, for three million a show, I think Charlie should be willing to lick anything CBS puts in front of his drunken ass...
            
           
           

JOKE OF THE DAY

         A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.'

         (IF YOU ARE A FACEBOOKER, CHECK OUT "ANGRY LIBERAL MAMA"... SHE'S ONE OF THE GOOD ONES!)



GLENN BECK'S RANTS LEAD TO DEATH THREATS FOR FRANCIS FOX PIVEN (and why this matters...)


             It's been a few weeks since I last heard anything new on the Glenn Beck theme of blaming everything that's wrong with modern American society on Francis Fox Piven, but after receiving an email from a friend I was informed that NPR had done a segment on this sordid story on yesterday's All Things Considered. 
             If you've ever tuned in to watch this madman scratching away on his chalkboard, you probably already know he would like for you to take from that professorial pose the impression that he must indeed know what he's talking about, because he has chalk and seems to have a lot of 'facts' at his disposal.  What you SHOULD take from even a cursory viewing of a typical Beckspew is that he's dangerously unbalanced and will most likely off himself on the air any day now.  Get your popcorn ready for THAT chalkboard diagram.


             Here are a couple of back-facts for the story:  Francis Fox Piven and her late hubby Richard Andrew Cloward wrote a short article for The Nation magazine in 1966, in which they advocated for the poor in America's cities to register for welfare in greater numbers, thus overwhelming the cities with an unprecedented burden of social welfare, and causing the nation to focus more resources toward ending poverty.  It was their contention that America's urban poor were being neglected by a system intent on denying services through bureaucratic red tape and needless restrictions, and that if they could convince greater numbers of qualified citizens to apply for benefits it would force the country to address the problem in a more forthright manner.  Their article went practically unnoticed, because The Nation had a tiny readership in those days.
             But for some odd reason known only to Beck and a few other conservative conspiracy theorists, Piven's obscure little article from a little magazine 45 years ago is the reason we don't all live in Mayberry today, where everyone gets along, has fun, sips lemonade on wrap-around porches, and where everyone in every neighborhood is white, middle class, and friendly.  In Beck's twisted little mind, Piven is the root of America's social and economic decline.  Here's a clip of the Beckless one in action:

         (click anywhere on screen to see crazy man ranting)

            Every so often now Beck goes off like this, and quite often he puts Francis Fox Piven at the very trunk of the tree of revolution he predicts will bring down America.  For whatever reason, Beck has chosen this tiny little professor from City College of New York as the target of his rage at socialists and liberal intellectuals.  In short, she's become one of the scapegoats for his insane theories about America's impending decline, along with George Soros, Barack Obama, and others.
One of his frequent guests, Stanley Kurtz, has written a book entitled "Radical-in-Chief" that details Piven's alleged plot to have the American system of government overthrown, and you can read his take on this situation here if you have enough Pepto for the story.
             Here's Piven herself giving her take on Beck's fascination with her:

                (click anywhere on screen to watch Piven explain Beck's psychosis)

              On yesterday's All Things Considered they detailed some of the death threats Francis Fox Piven has received since becoming the target of Beck's ire.  You can listen to this segment of the show by going to this link: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=134104527&m=134111543   
               After the shootings in Tucson, we all took a deep breath and pledged to scale back the tone of our rhetoric.  Even the bosses at Faux News told their flamethrowers to tone it down and keep it civil.  But Beck only has one speed: Insane.  He knows his show's popularity depends upon fanning flames of unrest among the dry kindling of Faux viewers, and he plays to the most radical element of that viewership with these hateful diatribes.  As a result, people have been killed.  You can go back to the stories linked to in this petition to have Beck removed from the airwaves for all of the examples of how his hate speech has directly led to violence.
                Here's a video some of the Beckies like to say shows Piven advocating violence as a movement tactic:

               (click anywhere on screen to see the most dangerous little woman in Beck's mind)

               If you pick up a paper in the near future and read where an obscure little college professor was offed by some Beck-inspired lunatic, remember that we were warned in advance that the man's words were dangerous, and that his disciples were sometimes even more unhinged that their messiah at the chalkboard.

A COMEDIC INTERLUDE: EDDIE IZZARD ON DYSLEXIA (and Scrabble before the invention of words...)



         (click anywhere on screen to start video)

         My favorite comedian from his last tour, "Stripped"...

MOCKINHOLLY...

               This is the first halfway decent nature shot I've taken in a couple of weeks.  Winter just drives me nuts, because I can't get out with a camera without driving halfway to Cuba...

                This particular mockingbird poses for me whenever I ask, though, so I have to take pictures of his ass or lose my modeling rights.

QADAFFI'S SPEECH EXPLAINED...


        (CLICK ANYWHERE TO WATCH VID)

       This is Charlie Brooker explaining our relaxed attitude about Col. Qadaffi's murderous rampage.  Sure wish we could watch this show here in the states!

      Found this on Boing Boing, by the way...

IT CAN'T BE MONDAY AGAIN, WE JUST HAD ONE LAST WEEK! DAMN, WHERE'S MY GUANO?












Sunday, February 27, 2011

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE: ARLO GUTHRIE AND PETE SEEGER "UNION MAID"


         (CLICK ANYWHERE ON SCREEN TO START TOE-TAPPER...)

         Love how fresh and relevant this is, even today!

     Pulled this from Jazzbumpa's site at Retirement Blues
http://jazzbumpa.blogspot.com/2011/02/sunday-music-blogging-227.html

WHY DOESN'T SOMEBODY INVENT ONE OF THESE?

       
           I'm going to admit right up front that retirement has made me more than a little bit lazy.  I used to be one of those jump-up-at-4AM-and-tear-into-it kinda guys, but now I sleep in whenever I can, and do a whole lot of nothing most of the day.  One thing that's a constant in my life is COFFEE!
           On those rare days when I'm forced to jump into action sans caffeine, I'm not very good company.  I like to have a steaming cup first thing in the morning, preferably with a little French Vanilla creamer and maybe a dribble of Kahlua or Baileys.  After that, I'm good to go.
            When I was working I used the timer on various coffee makers to ensure that my morning fix was waiting for me when I stumbled into the kitchen half asleep.  There's nothing more depressing than actually making coffee when you're jonesing for a cup, even though today's coffee makers and pre-ground beans have made it about as simple as it gets.  For me, it's just too much to ask of a person before he's got his eyes rounded up and adjusted to lights.
             But when you're retired you don't always have to set a clock, and you don't always know what time you're going to get out of bed for that first cup of coffee.  So setting a timer can result in a cool coffee maker that hasn't received it's preset signal to wake up and brew when I'm up and ready for a cup, OR a coffee maker that has already brewed the pot of coffee and then turned itself back off before I managed to get to it.  Life's a bitch, lemme tell ya...
              So this morning I nudged my lovely (and dangerous) wife and asked her if she'd gone to the kitchen to start the coffee yet...  She resisted the urge to punch out my right lung (which I really appreciate...) and told me that little duty was yet to be performed (and why don't I get my ass up and go do it, while I'm so concerned...)
               It was at that moment I had one of those epiphanies you sometimes read about.  We have remote controls for everything else in life these days, why not one for our coffee makers?  You can punch a button on a little keyring and make your car's horn burp and its door unlock, all with a flash of brake lights.  Some models even have a "start" button that allows the driver to warm up his car (or check for wired explosives) from the safety and comfort of the house, without ever putting on clothes or shoes.  We've got remotes for our televisions and stereos, even though we're rarely more than two steps away from them when we use the remote to change the channel or volume. 
               Why can't a person have a remote on the bedside table that tells the coffee maker in the kitchen to wake the fuck up?  And while it's up, it might as well put a little creamer, Kahlua, and Baileys in a cup for me, too.  And bring in the paper.  And put the sports section in front of the throne in my bathroom.
               My wife heard this bright idea and suggested I hire a maid.  The first "maid" that popped into my head was Berta from Two and a Half Men.  Look what having her around has done to Charlie Sheen.
               On second thought, I'll just get up and fix my own coffee.
               Have a nice Sunday, folks...

PANTS ON FIRE ALARM AT FAUX NEWS!

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/feb/27/safety-first/

            If there's a better political cartoonist than Clay Bennett working today I hope you'll send me a link to his site!  Chattanooga's so lucky to have this guy!

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE: ROY BUCHANAN "HEY JOE" from Austin City Limits



                 (click anywhere on screen to start video)

           One of the best rock and roll shows I ever saw was Roy Buchanan at Nashville's Exit Inn, circa 1978-'79.  It was the first time I ever saw a guy smoking a joint while on stage, while playing, and at the time it seemed pretty radical...
           It was said the Roy knew all he ever learned on a guitar the day he picked it up, completely natural to the instrument.  The man could wear out a Telecaster.
           This version of Jimi's "Hey Joe" doesn't hold a candle to the album cut, but it's pretty damn good.

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE: GILLIAN WELCH AND DAVID RAWLINGS "CALEB MEYER" live at St. Luke's in London 2004



                    ( click anywhere on screen to start video)

          I absolutely love the old-time sound these two make together.  And if you had any doubts, Rawlings is a terror on lead acoustic.

NO GUANO WILL BE SERVED BEFORE ITS TIME... (BUT ON SUNDAY, IT'S HOLY SHIT!)











Saturday, February 26, 2011

WANT TO SEE HOW CORPORATE MONEY MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS?

       I ripped this from my buddy Kulkuri over at Yooper in Crackerland (http://www.mannikko.blogspot.com/ and think it sums up the results we get when we allow unfettered corporate cash to buy our elections.

         There's a nice little petition at the bottom of the pic you can use if you're interested.

THE ULTIMATE POSTER TO EXPLAIN THE TEABAGGER PHENOMENON

       Check out Clay Bennett's political cartoons:  http://timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/