Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Needed Break: Leonard Cohen and Judy Collins

For sanity's sake:

I am so tired of the media's hyperventilating over this non bail out situation and the Palin debacle - that they created - I think we need a breather, so; As a balm to turn off the economy doom shit I offer this video of one of my favourite songs featuring two of my favourite composers/singers.

The songs of Cohen and Collins saw me through some very dark times and they are always in my heart, mind and soul.

More later.

What kind of Moron...

...Could get the spelling of this word wrong? Jeez! No, not JUMP or YOU, the other one.

Looks like the natives are restless and that's never a good idea. Quick, start another war, or show them some bright and shiny thing.

And so it goes.

Kucinich Actually 'Read' The Doomed Bail Out Bill!

Shocking, I know, (that a Congress Critter would take the time to actually read a bill) and what he has to say is very important on this issue.

Bush and his Wall Street cronies jumped the shark on this one, falsely assuming that if they let the clock run out and cry wolf just before Congress shutdown, they'd make out like the true bandits they have shown themselves to be.

Here's Dennis discussing the the bill and the deceptive wording therein - before - the bill was voted down.

When I dropped by the bank this morning all the 'officers' were in a closed door meeting looking none too happy about being there.

Now good ol' Ben ordered the Fed to hand over 630 Billion to Wall Street and it didn't halt the nose dive, did it?

More later

Another Anti-Palin Rally?

Alaskans are pissed, but you aren't seeing any of this on network news. Nah, they're all too busy laughing it up at SNL's mock interview and haven't noticed that apparently Sarah believes that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. Sweet Jesus in a jumpsuit, her running mate should be Mike Huckabee.

And so it goes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Great Bailout: Why it Didn't Pass

It took most Americans 8 years to learn how to say no to George (trust me and follow me, it's a crisis!) who brought us to this point, and the world hasn't come to an end.

Sure it may be a long road, but I am not ready to give in to the alternatives.

I am tired.
More later.

Another Food Meme

I thought I had already posted this one, but, well, life happens. I found this one over at Peter's place.

1. How do you like your eggs? Over medium (yoke soft, white hard) with a side of sausage or bacon. Whole wheat toast. No potatoes, please.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? Coffee: strong homemade w/cream and sweetener. Tea: with honey and lemon hot, or iced in summer.

3. Favorite breakfast food: oatmeal.

4. Peanut butter: Creamy.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Balsamic & olive oil.

6. Coke or Pepsi? Neither. Ginger ale or water for me

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make? Peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Mushroom and sausage.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Barbecue beef short ribs w/garlic mashed potatoes and blanched asparagus. I don’t like cooking for one so I make large batches and freeze as single meals.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Oysters Rockefeller, Crawfish Etouffee, Lobster.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Rockfish.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? No. Foods remind me of places and times in my life.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? Rockfish, okra, and lima beans.

14. What was your favorite food as a child? Crawfish, watermelon and my grandmother’s homemade cream-cheese ice cream.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? I don’t think so.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? Liver.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: Fruit: Melons and berries. Vegetable: Asparagus, fresh spinach.

18. Favorite junk food: Pizza and pretzels

19. Favorite between meal snack: grapes or berries.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? I love chocolate covered bacon. Sorry!

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? I’ve only done one diet and it changed the way I eat and live. South Beach did it and I eat whatever I want but am aware of quantities and frequency.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? As in #21, I eat what I want to, but if I were to treat myself it would be a Filet (medium rare) & whole Lobster, usually referred to as surf & turf.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? Spicy means different things to people. I like spices, but not so hot that one could be feasting on a chunk of cardboard box. Identifying, enjoying what you’re ingesting is important to me, so Jambalaya yes, Vindaloo no.

24. Can I get you a drink? In summer: Gin martini with olives or Gin & tonic. Winter: Scotch or Bourbon. Anytime: Absinthe or wine.

25. Red or White Wine? I enjoy both but prefer a red.

26. Favorite dessert? Summer: Melon. Winter: Ice Cream.

27. The perfect nightcap? I have nothing before turning in. Usually causes strange dreams.

That's the truth.
And so it goes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman

"Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals." - Butch Cassidy.

Beautiful man, beautiful eyes, and beautiful mouth. Thanks for many moments in a darkened theatre and hours on video and DVD; thanks for everything.

Rest in peace.

More later.

Ex-Beauty Queen's Got a Gun!

Fun stuff with Julie Brown on the Stephanie Miller Show. You may have to listen to it more than once to get it all, but you will laugh outloud every time.

Great stuff for a gloomy Saturday.

And so it goes.
h/t Barb

Super Caturday

I just can't help myself.

More later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

McSame Wins Debate?

Obama called his bluff and McCain lost. Or as they're saying online, "McCain blinked" and the old fart realized he couldn't duck this debate. As the economy circles the bowl, ol' John made more trouble in DC with his presence. Ah, such a maverick!
From the Washington Post online:

Although the fate of tonight's presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it -- if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.

"McCain Wins Debate!" declares the ad which features a headshot of a smiling McCain with an American flag background. Another ad spotted by our eagle-eyed observer featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis declaring: "McCain won the debate-- hands down."

Here's the screenshot.

They really think we're this stupid. Talk about arrogance. Just in case they pull the page down here's the graphic.

You know what they say about counting your chickens...

A slow motion train wreck. No survivors.

Sarah bags another moose, so all is not lost.

And so it goes.

The 'We Deserve It Dividend'

This just arrived in my inbox. Funny, and sounds good to me.

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend. To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child.
So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend. Of course, it would NOT be tax-free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife team has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there. Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs.

Invest in the market - capital drives growth.

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves.

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else.

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And, of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ("vote buy") economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't. Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,


T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

I love it; makes more sense than what the Marx Brothers wannabes in Washington came up with.

The Economy: This Sums it up...

'Nuf said.

And so it goes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

About That Recent Gotham Trip

Back in the real world…

An uneasy feeling hit the stomach Friday evening not having received a response to an email warning of announcing my Saturday morning arrival. My primary concern was that the (new) old friends were putting aside important work on the theatre company to play host to and entertain me for the day. I couldn’t bear the thought. *

The bus trip was exciting as everyone talked about his or her plans for the day; the weather, as the bus sped northeast, became more beautiful with every mile.

Dropped off on West 47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue it was immediately obvious that this was a special NYC day. Light breezes made for clear blue skies, and the air was that of a crisp autumn day.

Being about a half hour early, I made the rounds of the theaters about to open new shows this month and next. The box offices for Billy Elliot (the musical) and the revival of Equus, starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), were doing a brisk business. I got some idea for other shows that may have tickets available on the December trip; then it was time to get to Dennis & David’s apartment.

Still apprehensive I head north and (thank you, Goddess) Dione appears near the subway station at 50th St. So I’m not alone and being reassured that everything is OK.

Big hugs, kisses and silliness greet us making me feel very stupid, but much better. The smells eminating from the kitchen are glorious, many not easily discernible, as we settle in for some small talk followed by homemade sweet rolls, coffee and political conversation. (It is so refreshing to be in the same room with a group of 8 people of like mind discussing the issues without screams being exchanged.)

Soon I learned that another old friend from NOLA, Mousey, would be joining us for lunch. I was thrilled; haven’t seen him in 45 years. When he arrived we I spent about a half hour catching up and discovering that we’re still on the same page regarding politics and human rights.

(Photo at right - That's Mousey on on the left with the usual suspects.)

The makings of roast beef Po-Boys suddenly appear on the dining room table, as we prepare our own sandwiches we’re anxious to get outdoors to the plaza for an al fresco dining experience devouring the quintessential NOLA sandwich in New York City. Great, sloppy, delicious fun.

Yes, we had a whole roll of paper towels with us.

After lunch we enjoyed some time at a street fair sponsored by the NYC Guardian Angels that ran for 10 blocks on Seventh Avenue - between West 47th street (Palace Theatre) and West 57th street (Carnegie Hall) – offering all kinds of ethnic foods, crafts and fun fashion items.

One the way back to D&D’s apartment we were stopped in our tracks by a steel drummer playing “When the saints go marchin’ in” and we smiled at one another then moved on in silence.

The ride back to the beach was subdued; everyone exhausted from his or her adventures, and I intended to read. No such luck. Instead I was a captive audience to the supreme waste of celluloid evah! A Disney flick titled “The Game Plan” starring Dwayne “the rock” Johnson. Need I say more? While not ‘kiddie porn’ it was certainly ‘porn for kiddies’ and that’s the truth. The guy has a great body and they made sure that he was bare-chested for half of the film. Nice body with little brain and acting talent. The script included every cliché in the Disney playbook. I survived.

Dwayne IS very attractive.

I slept well.

* Note to self: Trust friends to tell you when your presence would be a negative. It ain’t all about you.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vote No Bailout

Just received the following and needed to pass it on.

A country held hostage - Resistance Grows to Banker's Coup D'etat.

More than 100,000 letters sent through VoteNoBailout.org to Congress.
New Free Web Button Available for VoteNoBailout

The Bush administration and the richest bankers in the country, with support of some of the top leaders in Congress, have put a gun to our head: give us your money, or we will sink your economy. Yesterday, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, threatened the Senate if they failed to pass the $700 billion plan, they would be responsible for causing recession, more joblessness, and pushing more homes into foreclosure.

The bailout package takes our money and gives it to the same bankers and executives who drove the economy into the ground. The pay for chief executives of large U.S. companies is now at 275 times that of the average worker's salary in 2007. It was 25 times greater in 1965. The same bankers who will be given our hard-earned tax dollars refuse to support even the bailout of their own institutions if their obscene salaries are even slightly compromised. "We support the bill, but we are opposed to provisions on executive pay... It is not appropriate for government to be setting the salaries of executives," said Scott Talbot, executive for Financial Services Roundtable, a group representing the bankers.

I sent a letter and hope that everyone reading this post will do the same.

Remember that bumper sticker from the 2004 election that read something like this "Give Bush/Cheney Four More Years - It takes at least 8 years to fuck up a country." Boy, how prescient was the person who thought that one up?

And so it isn't going so well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain the Hypocrite: BlogActive gives the Roy Cohn Award to…

McCain’s Chief of Staff outed and wins, hands down.From BlogActive:

When the first source on today's Roy Cohn Award recipient came forward approximately six months ago, he and I decided to wait and see where the presidential election went and how this person's boss performed. Dismally.

First a multiple choice question: Which nominee for President of the United States is homophobic and has a gay chief of staff at his Senate office in Washington, DC?

A. John McCain
B. Barack Obama

If you guessed "B," you're in the wrong spot. You belong here. If you guessed "A," congratulations, you passed with flying colors.

Mark Buse is not just a Chief of Staff for a homophobic United States Senator, but he is helping that Senator get elected to the White House.

Does Mark Buse fit the Barney Frank rule? Without a doubt. While McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, he supports amending state constitutions defining marriage as between a man and a woman. McCain knows our country needs everyone who wants to serve in the military and he knows that DADT is wrong, yet he swings to the right on repealing it.

Worst of all, and a demonstration of his inability to act rationally and with the country's best interests at heart, he picked someone who, if she becomes president (very likely), will be the most homophobic in American history.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how gay people can work for those devoted to denying our equal rights. There must be a whole heap of self loathing involved.

Anyway, congratulations on this award, Mark. I guess.

And so it goes.


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Film: "W"! Why? And Why Now?

The trailer arrived in my inbox. 31 seconds of quick cuts about nothing. I have a few questions.

  1. Why would Oliver Stone choose to make a film about this man now? Haven’t we had enough of him?
  2. Why did the actors sign on to the project? Please don’t tell me they were hungry.
  3. Why would anyone want to watch the train wreck we have had to live through for the past 8 years – and pay for the privilege?
  4. Do you really believe that by paying for a ticket to the film we will learn more of ‘W’s inner workings?

Ollie, we’re not impressed with your source material. We know the family history.

We know his love of blowing things up. Why do we need to squirm through a fictional rendition of what we’ve already been subjected to for these very long years?

Sorry, but couldn’t you release this film say, 20 years from now, so that many of us having lived through his lies and fear-mongering might be dead?

OK, Ollie, if you want my money, this film had better be a toe-tapping musical, if not, fuggetaboutit.

And so it goes.


Welcome to the end of Democracy as we know it.

From HuffPo:


We have come to this place because Americans have become so complacent, if not down right ignorant.

Excuse me, but wasn't Socialism the great enemy according to the Republican party? So, now what we're facing is far worse and after all that's gone down during these last 8 years we're told to trust them to pull this off and bring us through...but don't ask for accountability. Like the last eight years?

Uh Huh!

And so it goes... sorry.

It's Now a Button.

Oh, you knew this had to happen.

Within 3 days this phrase from a caller to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR rendering the pundits speechless, was picked up by Thom Hartman on NOVA radio the next day, morphed into to a bumper sticker 36 hours later, and now this button.

I wish we could identify that initial caller to give her credit, I mean, people are making money off of her comment.

And so it goes.


I'm an Expert!!!

I took a walk on the beach today and the weather was so beautiful, the sky so blue, the air so clear that I could see New Jersey and I thought...

Doesn't that make me an expert on that state's politics, economics, and all it's other affairs? Can someone get Sarah Palin on the phone for me?

I'm just sayin'.

And so it goes.

Cars: McCain=13, Obama=1

Yeah, that damned elitist Obama has one fuel efficient automobile, but our poor POW McCain only has thirteen. What gives? Newsweek looked into this burning question, surely to be on, well, the lips of a few people:

When you have seven homes, that's a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates' cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here's the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one.

One vehicle in the McCain fleet has caused a small flap. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger, an Obama backer, accused McCain this month of "flip-flopping" on who bought daughter Meghan's foreign-made Toyota Prius. McCain said last year that he bought it, but then told a Detroit TV station on Sept. 7 that Meghan "bought it, I believe, herself." (The McCain campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

Obama's lone vehicle also is a green machine, a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid. He bought it last year to replace the family's Chrysler 300C, a Hemi-powered sedan. Obama ditched the 300C, once 50 Cent's preferred ride, after taking heat for driving a guzzler while haranguing Detroit about building more fuel-efficient cars.

McCain's personal ride, a 2004 Cadillac CTS, is no gas sipper, but it should make Detroit happy because it's made by General Motors. "I've bought American literally all my life and I'm proud," McCain said in the interview with Detroit's WXYZ-TV. But the rest of his fleet is not all-American. There's a 2005 Volkswagen convertible in the garage along with a 2001 Honda sedan.
Read the rest HERE. The last line is a killer.
Jeebus on a cracker. Focus, people, FOCUS!

And so it goes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Tea-Dance at the Boatel Fire Island Pines

It’s Summer 1974; following a day on the beach we're back at the house to shower and enjoy a cocktail with neighbors. As I remember, there were 6 of us that weekend.

Heading down to the marina music of the pre-disco era fills the air and gets our feet moving. Rock Your Baby, by George McCrae. At 5 p.m. the place is already a sea of tan, cheery, undulating bodies dancing to this song. The song is perfect for the time of day and the relaxed mood of the crowd. (note: not frenetic as the choreography in this video.)

Tea was a relatively new phenomenon and visiting friends in the Pines that weekend was revelatory for me. Prior visits to Fire Island had been seven years earlier and ended a relationship. They were also before Stonewall.

1974 is a whole new expewrience; I am single and not even looking. Enjoying the luxury of being a house guest, happily cooking breakfast every morning for the house, reading and relaxing on the beach, and now about to experience TEA was a real WOW!

This is one of hot songs of that summer and you can tell that this was the beginning of Disco by the length of the “mixed” song and video.

Speaking of video, I have no idea where this extremely funny video was shot, but it was during the time this song was topping the charts. Note a few things. There is one token black male and female dancer. There is no wireless microphone and the director used just about every visual gimmick available at the time, just because he could.


Continuing the search for the absolute BIGGEST hit of that summer. I will post it, if I find it.

Ah, memories. Now tell me, where does George register on your gaydar?

And so it goes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Going to Gotham

The date of this trip to NYC couldn’t have been better planned.

It turns out this is Sun Fest weekend in Ocean City, MD as well as NASCAR weekend in Dover, DE.

Oh, goodie! Enough drunk rednecks for everyone, and I had the pleasure of dealing with a few of them today (the early arrivals, getting in some tax-free shopping before everyone else) and thrilled that I’ll aboard a bus at 6:30 am tomorrow heading to New York City with 43 neighbors before they wake up.

Eating, drinking, laughing, and playing with friends for eight hours in the midtown theatre district. Not a replay of the June visit, but Act Two of catching up on our lives during the separation of 40 years. The First Act was incredibly emotional, and I am sure this one will be a bit so, Act Two promises to be a much lighter, more comfortable affair. And, there will be Cajun food and that can’t be beat. Everything in NOLA goes better with friends and good food.

Not seeing a play – this time. Maybe on the December trip. Of course, tickets to Broadway shows at Christmas are scarce, but I’ll see what is available, what I really want to see – and can afford.

And so it goes.


Life Begins at Rape... Ask Sarah Palin

The rumors are true. From Alaska Report:

I sat with a rape victim during the “harvesting of evidence”. Mascara smeared eyes stared blankly out from a cave of shame. “We’ve got swimmers,” announced the forensic tech in the lab next door. My friend didn’t look surprised. In her 60’s, she was still asked if she felt the need for emergency contraception. Surviving the process would have only been compounded and made worse with an itemized bill; victimized twice courtesy of Sarah Palin and the city of Wasilla.

Much can be learned about the Palin Administration’s family values from reviewing their spending priorities. Former Chief of Police Irl Stambaugh included forensic rape kits (up to $1,200 per kit) in his budget requests. He was fired by Palin in 1997. In her termination letter, Palin wrote, “…I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment. . . ” Staumbaugh headed the police department since it was created in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Department rising to the rank of captain. Sarah Palin hired Charlie Fannon as the new Wasilla Chief of Police and said it was one of her best decisions as mayor. Fannon eliminated the forensic rape kits from the budget. Though the number of rapes weren’t reported, Fannon claimed it would save Wasilla taxpayers $5,000 to $14,000 a year.

When Eric Croft, a Democrat Legislator from Anchorage, learned of Wasilla’s policy, he drafted HB 270, which Governor Tony Knowles signed into law. The new law made it illegal for any law enforcement agency to bill victims or victims’ insurance companies for the costs of examinations to collect evidence of a sexual assault or determine if a sexual assault actually occurred. Upon signing the law, Governor Knowles said, “We would never bill the victim of a burglary for the cost of gathering evidence, nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.”

Wasilla Police Chief Fannon protested the new law stating it would require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams. Really? Are the true costs of sexual assault and forcible rape in a community only measured and reflected in the dollars spent on the forensic rape kit?

Alaska has the nation’s highest per-capita rate of forcible rape. A disproportionate number of rape and sexual assault victims are Native Alaskan women. Alaska Native people in Anchorage were 9.7 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than others living in the city between 2000 and 2003.
When a friend was raped back in the 60s these kits didn't exist, but the police and medical personnel were compassionate and comforting. Not like this. Jeez

Read it all at the link above.

Words fail.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ask for the Nagin Special?

NOLA (absentee) mayor C. Ray Nagin may be a star in his own mind but not the brightest bulb on the tree. Here's his latest "gift" to the evacuees from Houston in the face of Ike. From the Times Picayune online.
Mary Jane Bernard arrived at the Best Western French Quarter Hotel on Rampart Street on Friday morning with what she thought was a simple request.

"When we got there, we asked for the Ray Nagin special, " said Bernard, a Baytown, Texas, resident who was evacuating in advance of Hurricane Ike with her sister. What she got, though, was a perplexed front desk worker and the opportunity to star in a scene replayed at least a few times Friday.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Ray Nagin had encouraged Texas evacuees to book hotel rooms in New Orleans by requesting the "Mayor Ray Nagin special rate."

The offer was designed, the mayor said, "to say to our friends in Houston and Texas that we want to take care of you, since you have taken care of us, " according to a transcript of his remarks. Thousands of New Orleanians evacuated to Texas shelters and hotels because of Hurricane Katrina.

Trouble is, as Bernard found out, the special rate doesn't exist.
You just can't make this stuff up. Read the rest HERE

And so it goes.

Celebrity Collage

I found this at Just David, and gave it a try. Bizarre, to say the least. What do you think?

Yes, these comparisons surprised me, too. I mean, Phillip Glass???

And so it goes.

Palin is the Bridge to Nowhere: A Poem

I received this from someone who said that it was written by an 80+ year old woman. Whatever the case, it's brilliant.


Nowhere is a place where woman have no choice regarding their bodies,
and are forced to bear babies even if their pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Nowhere is a place where wolves, bears and other wildlife are hunted and killedwithout mercy, at the whim of gun toting hunters.

Nowhere is a place where we can spread lies about our political opponents without
regret or shame.

Nowhere is a place where we don't worry or care about global warming and the health of
our oceans, lands, and creatures because we are assured that whatever happens is "God's will".

Nowhere is a place where separation of state and church does not exist.

Nowhere is a place where government has the right to decide what books are in our public libraries.

Nowhere is a place
from the Dark Ages,
where the rich and
the powerful rule at
their whim, where lip
service is given to
helping all the people,
when in fact the powerful
help the powerful.

And so it goes.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oil Drilling Stunt Smacked Down by Sen. Whitehouse

This short video ought to be used - as is - for a political ad. Enough of this 'drill baby, drill' crap. From Think Progress. Heres a snippet and the video:

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) tore into the energy protest House Republicans have been holding for the past several weeks. This political stunt was meant to demand a vote on oil drilling and “attack Democrats for leaving town” in August “without doing something to lower gas prices.”
After listening (to) all the problems currently facing the country, Whitehouse asked the experts whether anyone thought drilling was the “number one issue” right now. Almost nine seconds went by with complete silence: Watch and listen:

The transcript.
WHITEHOUSE: Gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a near total mortgage system meltdown in this country. We have a health care system that burns 16 percent of our GDP, in which the Medicare liability alone has been estimated at $34 trillion. We’re burning $10 billion a month in Iraq.
This administration has run up $7.7 trillion in national debt, by our calculation. And there is worsening evidence every day of global warming, with worsening environmental and national security ramifications. In light of those conditions, do any of you seriously contend that drilling for more oil is the number one issue facing the American people today?


WHITEHOUSE: No, it doesn’t seem so.
Did you notice the smirks and grins on the faces of 'experts' in the room? Quite a moment and great bit of tape.

Thank you Senator, for bringing a touch of sanity back to the Senate.

And so it goes.

Rally Non-Coverage: A Theory - For What It's Worth

I’ve received a number of emails from readers of the ‘Rally Against Palin’ posts below and the writers were consistent on one key question: With the many 24-hour news outlets on the air, why did the rally story itself take three days to hit the airwaves?

My theory, for what it’s worth, deals with the hourly and tri-hourly programming cycles. Think of ‘Headline News’ as an hourly programmed network, and how the top news is recycled every 15 to 20 minutes, or so. Using the same copy accompanied by the same video in the same sequence over and over.

As I see it (and I am not the news junky I was long ago, there is only so much monotone, bland delivery, so many imprecise catch phrases “the best political team on television” one person can take before their head implodes) regurgitating the preprogrammed tri-hourly cycle – repeating the same stories every 45 minutes or so – allowing for ‘breaking items’ and ‘updates’ on previously reported ones to be thrown into the mix for variety requires no effort on the part of reporters or news directors to actively change the cycle for about 24 to 36 hours. Copy changes so the teleprompter-reading talking heads have the real job. They’ve got to sell it as ‘fresh’ news.

Weekend News and The Situation Room are prime examples of this theory. I cannot comment on Fox Noise; I don’t have to watch, there’s this note from my doctor.

To be fair, this happens in a small way on radio; an example is NPR’s Morning Edition, as the 4-hour program is live only for the first two. The second two hours are taped replays that include the on-air gaffs made live during the first two. At least, there’s a completely new program the following morning.

Not so on the 24-hour news channels. They get maximum mileage out of audio and video by simply cutting and pasting ‘updates’ to those same – sometimes-inaccurate – stories.

The other thing about this particular story is that the rally organizers sent out press releases to all major outlets (as stated in the video) and it looks like not one chose to cover it, for whatever reason.

To my mind this is why the MSM hates the news and political blogs. It’s too bad that a story has to receive a few hundred thousand hits on sites like YouTube before the networks wake up to it. That’s just sad.

Like I said, for what it’s worth. Can we now get back to McCain & Obama, please?

That’s my two-cents plain.


Rally Against Palin Organizers Threatened

Just when I thought the MSM wouldn't pick this one up, they do. But, only after a local right wing air-head decides to out the organizers by airing their names, addresses and phone numbers. Then is surprised when these women receive threats after he referred to them as 'maggots' on the air.

When I worked in radio a station could be fined big bucks for broadcasting personal information, the air-head would loose their job, and his/her FCC broadcast license would be suspended or revoked. Remember when this country used to have a real FCC? This guy ought to have been sacked on the spot.

Where in hell was the program director?

And so it goes, sadly.
UPDATE: Air-head suspended.
Good! But would it have happened if MSNBC had not picked up the story? Doubtful.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCainPedia - Count the Lies.

This new site now contains 52 instances of his campaign's lies, there were 51 this morning. Here's a few:

Salon: New McCain Ad Is False In Any Language. "It turns out John McCain can lie in Spanish, too. McCain's campaign is running a Spanish-language TV ad in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico that blames Barack Obama for the failure last year of a sweeping immigration reform bill. 'Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they?' the ad asks. 'The press reports that their efforts were 'poison pills' that made immigration reform fail.' ... Obama may not have been as involved in drafting the immigration legislation as McCain once was (though McCain was on the campaign trail for most of 2007, and wasn't as involved as he once was, either). And yes, he may have backed some amendments that supporters disliked. But it was McCain who abandoned his own legislation after the Republican base rose up against it, and it was McCain (and the White House) who were unable to convince allies on their side of the aisle to change their minds about the bill. Blaming Obama for the failure of immigration reform is simply wrong, no matter what language you do it in." [Salon, 9/15/08: http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2008/09/15/mentirosa/index.html]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for McCain Earmark Claim. "John McCain is trying to claim that black is white when he argues that his running mate, Sarah Palin, has not accepted earmarks as Governor of Alaska. While it is true that she has sought fewer earmarks than her predecessor, Governor Frank Murkowski, Alaska still leads the nation in terms of per capita spending on earmarks, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. ...I will give Governor Palin a pass this week, to mark her inaugural media outing. Four Pinocchios for McCain for his clumsy attempt to rewrite history." [Washington Post, 9/13/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/09/weekend_edition.html]

FactCheck.org: McCain Energy Claim "Not true. Not even close." Palin says Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. energy. Not true. Not even close. "Palin claims Alaska 'produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.' That's not true.... It's simply untrue that Alaska produces anything close to 20 percent of the U.S. 'energy supply,' a term that is generally defined as energy consumed. That category includes power produced in the U.S. by nuclear, coal, hydroelectric dams and other means -- as well as all the oil imported into the country. ...Sen. John McCain has also has used this inflated, incorrect figure. On Sept. 3, McCain told ABC News' Gibson: 'McCain: Well, I think Americans are going to be very, very, very pleased. This is a very dynamic person. [Palin's] been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply.' McCain repeated the false figure more recently, in a September 11 interview with Portland, Maine, news station WCSH6." [FactCheck.org, 9/12/08: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/energetically_wrong.html]

Bloomberg: McCain Campaign Misleading on Crowd Sizes. "McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal. Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events...The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers. 'We didn't provide any numbers to the campaign,' said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. Wiley said he would not confirm or dispute the numbers the McCain campaign has given to reporters." [Bloomberg, 9/13/08: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=a1J0tfV3XJYs&refer=politics]

New York Times: "Disrespectful" Ad Resorts to "Dubious Disregard for the Facts. "The advertisement is the latest in a number that resort to a dubious disregard for the facts. The nonpartisan political analysis group FactCheck.org has already criticized 'Disrespectful' as 'particularly egregious,' saying that it 'goes down new paths of deception,' and is 'peddling false quotes.' Even the title is troublesome. 'Disrespectful' is one of those words that is loaded with racial and class connotations that many people consider offensive." [New York Times, 9/13/08: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/us/politics/13madbox.html]

If you have the stomach for it, go and read the other47 at Count the Lies.

Time to get back to McCain and off that other distraction.

And so it goes.


Alaska Women Against Palin

See, there was this planned rally and, well Mudflats was there - and there's video. Funny, I didn't hear anything about this in the MSM, did you?

Here's a bit from Mudflats:

I attended the Welcome Home rally for Sarah Palin this morning. Hooo. It was an experience. About a thousand (maybe) hard-core Palin supporters showed up to hear her speak at the new Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage.

After shaking it off with a good double shot of espresso, and a brisk walk back to my car, it was time to head to the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally. It was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots”, and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received many nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

So, as I jettisoned myself from the jaws of the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ crowd and toward the mystery rally at the library, I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park.

Read and see the entire story HERE.
And so it goes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I See Crazy People

It's the Full Moon, everybody! Anybody?

That explains the whole of the past two days, but I didn't make the connection until driving back to the apartment this evening after work. It was huge, golden, surrounded by a light haze, and bright enough to cast shadows as I made my way in the dark.

Those in power have apparently emptied all the looney bins, allowed inmates to dress anyway they chose, told them how clever they are, laughed at their lame jokes and sent them on their way. Well, tra - fucking - la!

As if this wasn't bad enough, it's BIKE (and I don't mean Schwinn) weekend here on the Delmarva Shore. Thousands of loud, smoky Harley's bearing the weight of their loud, smoky riders whose overhanging bellies make it impossible to see the fuel tank; with their bald heads and shoulder length fringe billowing out behind them and occasionally blowing into the face of their {{{lovely}}} female companions, most of whom have asses larger than their mate's belly.

Now, how's that for a visual. Count your blessings that you didn't have to actually see it. I mean, one would think an ass crack is an ass crack, right? No! Not when a tattoo of Betty Boop is winking at you and that crack represents Betty's cleavage. Wow! Another visual!

I know that there are some well-groomed, handsome, sexy, intelligent guys who love bikes, but see, they're intelligent enough to stay clear of this crowd.

A few of the knuckle-draggers darkened our doorway today reeking of beer and weed, and feeble attempts at humor , but then I realized that this was only a taste of what is to come...Next weekend is (cue the banjo) NASCAR!!!

Yes, I may have to deal with them on Friday, but Saturday will find me spending the day in Gotham visiting friends, and for that I am truly grateful.

Dinner is warming, and a martini is calling my name. It is good to know there is a reason for what has happened in the past 48 hours.

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Results of a Questionaire...

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

I guess that pretty much hits the nail on the head.
And so it goes.

R.I.P. - Ruthie the Duck Girl

Ruthie the Duck Girl, a French Quarter eccentric who zoomed from bar to bar on roller skates, often wearing a ratty fur coat and long skirt and trailed by a duck or two, died Sept. 6 at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. She was 74.

Ruthie, whose real name was Ruth Grace Moulon, had been suffering from cancer of the mouth and lungs when the residents of her Uptown New Orleans nursing home were evacuated to Baton Rouge as Hurricane Gustav approached, said Carol Cunningham, a close friend who watched over her for nearly 40 years.

"I've always looked at Ruthie like a little bird with a broken wing, " Cunningham said. "She was always so dear to me."

Miss Moulon, a lifelong New Orleanian, became a French Quarter fixture, achieving legendary status in a city that treasures people who live outside the mainstream. Along the way, she acquired a coterie of people like Cunningham who found places for her to live, paid her bills and made sure she got home at night....

Full obituary via the Times-Picayune

Caturday Drama...

From HERE, of course.

And so it goes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Like Day after Night

What a difference.

Alas, the Laundromat that pilfered much of my money, caused much angst, and turned off the hot water - only cold water was available no matter the setting - is closed.

Surprise, surprise!!! Imagine that.

Happily, as I checked out the new Harris Teeter supermarket last week, I noticed there was a Laundromat in the same strip center. So, before shopping I stopped in to talk with the owner and check out the place.

I was impressed; the place is clean, the machines are new and state of the art and the site offers many washing/drying options.

So this morning I decided to put it to the test. When I arrived at 6:30 am there was already one person there moving his things to dryers.

I put my things in a washer, set the temperature, inserted the coins, the machine hummed into action, water flowed, and history was made. It worked as advertised.

Everything ran smoothly and the cool thing is that the digital readout let me know the washing status at any given moment; even counted down the time remaining so I would know when to get ready for the dryers. Yes, I know, it takes so little to entertain me.

The newer dryers did the job in less time and more thoroughly than the other place and even allow access to the lint traps to aid the effort. Very pleased with myself I put laundry in the car and went shopping.

Another pleasant surprise, almost everything on my list was in the weekly sale flyer and more than a few were “manager’s specials” which means I saved more than 60% on the items I needed for the week/month.

Unbelievably good fortune for a change. Later in the morning I drove into town for a walk on the beach and boardwalk. The breeze was cool, but the ocean air did wonders for the soul. Feeling much better and with the luxury of a whole afternoon and evening ahead.

There is definitely an Absinthe cocktail waiting for me. I am not working tomorrow and while I could use the hours, I'm grateful for the ability to spend part of the morning at the beach watching the sunrise.

Yes, that's Absinthe in the glass and that's a sugar cube resting atop an Absinthe spoon waiting to be dissolved.


And so it goes.


UPDATE: Absinthe was banned in the US in 1910. The ban has only recently been lifted. For y'all who don't know of Absinthe and its history go HERE.

Ike Makes for Texas Coast

This could end very badly:

HOUSTON — Cars and trucks streamed inland and chemical companies buttoned up their plants Thursday as a gigantic Hurricane Ike took aim at the heart of the U.S. refining industry and threatened to send a wall of water crashing toward Houston.

Nearly 1 million people along the Texas coast were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm, which was expected to strike late tonight or early Saturday. But in a calculated risk aimed at avoiding total gridlock, authorities told most people in the nation’s fourth-largest city to just hunker down.

Ike was steering almost directly for Houston, where gleaming skyscrapers, the nation’s biggest refinery and NASA’s Johnson Space Center lie in areas vulnerable to wind and floodwaters. Forecasters said the storm was likely to come ashore as a Category 3, with winds up to 130 mph.

But the storm was so big — literally almost the size of Texas — that it could inflict a punishing blow even in those areas that do not get a direct hit. Forecasters warned that because of its size and the state’s shallow coastal waters, Ike could produce a surge, or wall of water, 20 feet high and waves of perhaps 50 feet. It could also dump 10 inches or more of rain.

Read the whole story HERE.

And so it goes.

Defenders of Wildlife on Palin.

Some of the video in this ad is difficult to watch, but I'm sending them some money so I (and the rest of the country) may get to see this on TV. I'm sure even the most avid hunter will be appalled by this kind of slaughter. Remember Cheney's hunting of flightless foul in an enclosed area of a private ranch? He missed the birds but shot an old lawyer in the face. Now that's butch!

God, stuff like this makes me angry.
I still want to take that Alaska cruise, but this bitch is a bad example for the state itself.
I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001: Never Forget

Though it was seven years ago I still remember the pain, fear, anger. Returning from a festive breakfast with friends and switching on the small TV in the kitchen to catch the final hour of Today on NBC I stared at the stunning images, the confused and befuddled talking heads and their reaction as the second airliner slammed into the second tower it was at once surreal and anticipated.

I was reminded of the first attack in 93 when the bomb designed to topple the towers went off in the basement parking facility.

I was working for a vile software company at the time and when the always on NYC radio station went silent – dead air – somehow I instinctively knew what happened. Don’t ask, but when my supervisor wondered aloud what happened to the signal, I blurted out, “there’s probably been an attack on the World Trade Center.” There were giggles all around. Never mind.

Tuning to a local station initially provided little information, but gradually as reports were verified (remember those times?) it became clear that I had been right.

How, I don’t know to this day.

Today, seven years later, as the pomp and b*llsh*t hit the airwaves I was saddened by what 9/11 has become. I was told that NBC ran the video of that 2001 morning again today. If that is true I am so sorry for those subjected to the violence replayed for nothing more than ratings.

I know people who lost family that day. I lost friends that day, and the world lost Fr. Mychal Judge*; a gay Roman Catholic Priest who ministered to the first responders and was ultimately carried from the rubble by those who loved him and to whom he had ministered and cared for in life.

To my mind this was not a day to replay the events of the past, but to reflect on them and move forward with the treasured memories of what we all lost seven years ago.

And so it goes.

*h/t Mad Priest for the image. I lifted it, OK?

Gay Film Meme

Got this one from Lemuel. It's clear I have some serious viewing to do this winter.

Bold all the films you have seen.
Cross out any films that you would never consider watching.
Add personal comments about the film and if you own it.

Brokeback Mountain (2005) Words fail.
Beautiful Thing (1996) It’s just that…beautiful. (own it)
Shelter (2007)
Latter Days (2003)
Maurice (1987)
Trick (1999)
Get Real (1998)
Big Eden (2000) One of my faves. I watch when I get the blue meanies. (own it)
The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000)
The Adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) (own it)
Longtime Companion (1990)
Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Parting Glances (1986) One of the best films of the early AIDS era. (own it)
Just a Question of Love (2000)
Mysterious Skin (2004)
Summer Storm (2004)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Birdcage (1996)
Sordid Lives (2000) The cast alone is worth watching. (own it)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Shortbus (2006)
All Over The Guy (2001)
Another Gay Movie (2006)
Boys in the Band (1970) It’s dated, yes, but still relevant.
Philadelphia (1993)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) (own it)
Boy Culture (2006)
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Jeffery (1995) Love it. (own it.)
The Trip (2002)
Edge of Seventeen (1998)
Priest (1994)
In & Out (1997) An all time fave. (own it)
Eating Out (2004)
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Angels in America (2003) saw it on Broadway. Breathtaking on film, too. (own it)
Love! Valor! Compassion (1997)
The Sum of Us (1994) (own it)
Burnt Money (2000)
Transamerica (2005)
Victor Victoria (1982)
Bent (1997)
Yossi & Jagger (2002)
Bad Education (2004)
Gods & Monsters (1998) (own it)
Making Love (1992)
Rent (2005) Love it. (own it)

I would add one of my own personal favourites:
Touch of Pink.

And so it goes.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When racism comes to America...

...it'll be wrapped in bacon and wearing lipstick. From DWT:

Frankly, I prefer Miss Piggy and can't help wondering what she would have to say about this faux controversy. I am certain that she would bitch slap Palin into next week.
Anyway, I can dream, can't I?

And so it goes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Great Quote of the Day.

New York Times:

"Anybody who believes that the Republicans, whoever they are, can fix the mess they created probably believes that the iceberg could have saved the Titanic.”

Hillary Clinton
Tampa, FL
September 8, 2008

Too bad it's from yesterday's Gray Lady.

Enjoy it anyway.


Fifteen Minutes of Fame

If you read this space occasionally you may have noticed that multiple and similar incidents occur in my life on any given day. Today was one of those.

I set out this morning with to-do list in hand (always have to make a list and plan the best route) first stop the polling place to vote in the state primary, which happens to be an elementary school in a nearby town.

Entering the parking lot I notice it’s pretty full and smile to myself because primaries are usually low-turn out events. Spot a parking space and as I exit the car with license and voter ID in hand, a pretty young woman in a bright red dress, sporting a big smile and asking if I was there to vote hails me. Jokingly I reply, “no, I’m in 4th grade and late for class.” We both laugh. She asks if I always vote in primaries and when the answer is ‘yes’ wonders if she might ask a few questions. That's when I saw the van and cameraman waddling around from the back. They’re from a local TV station owned by notorious conservative. She explains that they just arrived, saw the smile as I past and thought I’d be willing to do so. Once I cracked that little joke, she said, she was sure of it.

With everyone in position before rolling camera, she asked a few truly sophomoric questions about the election process, campaigns, and primaries in particular, assuming I’m a bumpkin. My answers to these questions surprise her. She smiles again. Turns to cameraman...Ready?

Why do you vote in the primary?

Putting on my best on-air voice of authority she got a two-fur; voting in primaries is the opportunity to choose the most qualified person between or among candidates vying for the office. That, I said, is the way a good democracy works. The idea that both parties in the state have been toying with the idea of doing away with the process or limit the number of candidates is unrealistic because only those with really deep pockets could play. That can’t happen. (I didn’t think it was good, but the best I could do on the spur of the moment, with no preparation time.)

This surprised both she (I think her name is Jesse) and the cameraman who issued a low “wow” when the camera stopped. But, I wasn’t finished. Asked if she’d like my opinions of non-voters, they sprang into action and the camera rolled again.

I have no time for people who whine about government, but take no time to affect change by engaging in the process, that looking across the almost full parking lot I was more hopeful this time around. I ended with, if anyone complains about the process and they didn’t take part, in my eyes their arguments have no credibility.

This left them beaming. Camera guy shook my hand and they both thanked me for the time. As I made my way to the door I heard her say, “keep rolling until he gets inside.” I’ll be surprised if the interview is aired tonight. As I said, the owner is a wing-nut.

The actual act of voting was a lot harder; the shortage of poll workers and only two voting booths made every part of the check in very slow, indeed. But, that’s OK with me. It means people are engaged and that brings my hopes up.

Returning to the parking lot the news crew was interviewing two women; one heavy set matron-type dressed in a house frock, the other in business attire. I would have loved to hear what was being said, but there were other errands to take care of this day.

Next stop was a bit of shopping at a relatively new supermarket to the area. Again, list in hand (only buy what’s on the list!) and snatching the weekly sale flyer as I enter, there before me with three tables of equipment are the morning DJs of a local downstate radio station. I have no idea where the station lives, but I’ve seen their billboards around. Turns out it’s a country music station.

As I stand there behind the empty shopping basket, slack-jawed, with list and flyer in both fists this dude (with a face made for radio) thrusts a microphone with a filthy wind screen in my face, says we’re live and asks where I live (I tell him) and where I’ve come from before shopping today. Seems they’re surveying customers to determine the demographic. (Whatever these surveys tell companies about customers is beyond me.)

Me: Just voted in the primary election.
DJ: Really? You’re the first person we’ve talked with today who said they voted. So, who’d you vote for?
Me: None of your business. It’s a private matter. (he laughs)
DJ: Do you vote in every election?
Me: Yes, do you?
DJ: I try, but in this line of work, its…
Me: I was in your line of work and never had a problem getting to the polls.
DJ: (changing subjects) Why did you choose to shop at this particular store today? It’s not like you live around the corner, more like 10 or 15 miles, right?
Me: First, I didn’t come from home, just a few minutes up the road. Yes, you got the driving distance about right. This chain is new in the area and I’ve been pleased with everything I’ve seen and purchased, so it’s worth the trip.
DJ: (believing I will repeat his station's call letters) What’s your favourite radio station?
Me: National Public Radio – WSCL and WSDL!
DJ: Aw, that wasn’t nice.
Me: I assumed you wanted the truth. (trying not to get the guy fired, I laughed) The fact is, I can’t receive your signal where I live – aside from NPR I can receive only one other station and that one is right wing talk all the time. No music, and I like your music.
DJ: Aw, thank you for that, and thanks for talking with us.
Me: You’re welcome and thanks for being here, too.

So I wander off to do the shopping. Evidently the store manager has heard the on-air conversation. He approached as I reached check out, smiled, shook my hand and thanked me for what I said on live radio. I smiled back and thanked him for his management of such a clean, well-stocked store and for creating a relaxed atmosphere in which to shop.

Why are those who deserve it always surprised or embarrassed by a compliment?

Too bad I cannot receive local TV channels because I would like to see if the interview is aired and how it was edited. However, with satellite local stations and the three big networks are unavailable.

Anyway, I giggled all the way home. I mean, what are the odds???

No autographs, please!

And so it goes.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Food Meme

I got this one from Peter over at Tippin' The Scales.

1) Bold all the items you have eaten.
2) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black Pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
- still have one now and then especially when low on funds.
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes - only once and they were quite remarkable
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras - once, but no more.
24. Rice and beans - I'm from New Orleans.
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters

29. Baklava - delicious in small quantities
30. Bagna cauda - used to make my own in my previous life.
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi -
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float - ah those memories.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - Cognac… yes, I hate the smell of cigars.
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - don't care for them.
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs - I'm from New Orleans
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - yes, and oh yes. (it's spelled Andouille - forget the "tte")
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash

88. Flowers - nasturtiums and carnations
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab - as often as I can get it. Sauted or broiled is best.
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish - I'm from New Orleans...
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox - you forgot the cream cheese
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake - once was enough.

I think that's about 63 % and please take into account that I couldn't reformat a few of the entries, blogger you know...but you get the idea.

Feel free to snip this and add it to you own site. We learn more about one another in these painless, little ways.

And so it goes.

Hanna is Gone. Presenting Brother Ike

September is said to be by far the worst month of the hurricane season and that seems to be the case this year.

Still no electric power in many places around the Gulf following Gustav (including many neighborhoods in NOLA); if Hanna had not come ashore in NC, but skirted the coast on its way northward the damage in the mid-Atlantic region would have been much worse, indeed.

Meanwhile, Ike is tearing across Cuba and into the Gulf threatening more damage along the coast of 5 states.

And, let's not forget that all three of these storms ground up and spit out residents of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and a few island chains - please keep them in your prayers.

And it's only September 7th.

A whole lotta cookin' has gone down these past few days. I (heart) my smaller crock pot, I really do. As you know from earlier posts yesterday I made a stroganoff; this morning prepped a pork roast for pulled pork sandwiches later in the week; the crock is presently bubbling with a fall-from-the-bone barbecue chicken recipe to be ingested in great quantities this evening with a beer and side of cole slaw.

Unfortunately, the slaw isn't my own. (sigh!) I lost the full size Cuisinart in the break-up and have only a small unit that would make perhaps 1.5 cups - hardly worth the effort, IMHO. The small one is just fine for my needs and present living conditions. I have no use for many small appliances and gadgets anymore. In fact, I wonder why I ever had them in the first place.

Admittedly, I do long for a grill. I haven't had a grilled steak, ribs, or vegetables in two years and without an oven I can't even broil. (sigh, again.) Apartment life isn't conducive to outdoor grilling.

Haven't surveyed the tree damage here yet, but I'm sure things will be under control by this afternoon. I'm still recouping and tomorrow is a work day.

It's cocktail hour somewhere. I smell a martini in my immediate future. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Best DUI Video Eveh!

You'd think this guy was a former Romano Dancer. Perhaps the other gay guy that I never met.
Spew alert.

OK, well clearly he's gay.
If I am ever stopped at a DUI check point I hope I have the same experience, but with a cute male cop. Yeah, like that could happen. Besides, I don't drive drunk. I'm homeward bound following one martini. Unless I am not driving.

More later.

Fox Attacks Obama with Same Smears Used on Kerry

I just received this from Robert Greenwald at Brave New Films:

Dear cajun,

Did you see Barack Obama go on The O'Reilly Factor last night-right into the belly of the beast? While we didn't want Obama to appear on FOX initially, he wisely chose the same night John McCain delivered his RNC speech (the same night FOX received some of its highest ratings) to make an appearance. Talk about stealing the GOP's thunder!

Obama was no doubt trying to appeal to conservative voters, since 88% of FOX viewers voted Republican in 2004. But FOX won't let their conservative base go without a fight. That's why O'Reilly needled and interrupted Obama, trying to get him to simplify many of his answers-a far cry from the softballs O'Reilly lobbed at many prominent Republicans like Rudy Giuliani in the past. And that's why FOX has been attacking Obama with the same relentless smear tactics that they used against John Kerry four years ago. Watch them use the exact same attacks.

Send this to five friends of like mind or those ill-informed friends who don't know the truth. Brave New Films.

And so it goes.
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