Sunday, July 30, 2006

Stupid Horse Tricks

FB and I went to a Morgan Horse show last night at the nearby Northampton Fairgrounds. It's held every July and is apparently the 2nd biggest Morgan show in the country. We spent the evening and watched a variety of riding events in the main ring, which was all very enjoyable until a woman came and stood beside us and began yelling at three or four of the riders each time they trotted by.

Why was she yelling, you ask? She wasn't a heckler or a drunk, she was their riding coach, and she was yelling instructions like- "Less rein! less rein!", "Up to the fence, Get up to the fence!", and best of all, "Relax!! Relax!! You Have to RELAX!!!" at the top of her lungs.

And these were not kid's classes we were watching- these were adult riders. Most of the riders she was "coaching" looked resigned but at least one looked as if she wanted to kill her.

I thought Soccer Moms were bad... I wonder how much those riders were paying her to scream at them.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Phoebe's Friday Beefcake Machine seems to have blown a gasket, and in an effort to erase the images from my brain I decided to shamelessley copy her and do a Siren Saturday. So here we go with Rita Hayworth-

How about Dolores Moran, the sultry siren from 'To Have and Have Not'?

Ok, let's hit the button again and se what we get-

Oops. My machine seems to have the same bug Pheobe's does... but never fear. Audrey Tatou will save us!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Fair is Fair...

I was reminded by a friend on the Beekslayers List this morning that no matter how much I love and support President George Bush, the recent incident where he groped German Chancellor Angela Merkel has to be placed in an historical context:

1. touching a woman inappropriately while being President is an impeachable offense.

2. George Bush touched a woman inappropriately while being President.

3. therefore, Fair and Balanced Fox News supporters must be willing to admit that by their own standards, a motion for impeachment of George Bush must be brought before the House.

Makes sense to me. I'm going to tune in right now and wait for the announcement.

UPDATE: Several hours later- still nothing on Fox. I wonder if something is wrong with my cable...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Random Thoughts-

One thought keeps popping into my mind when the latest news story about violence in the MidEast comes on the radio- it's a comparison. Just imagine for a moment that the leaders of Canada had declared that they were dedicated to the destruction of the United States. Then let's say that Canadian guerillas came across the border and attacked a U.S. Army outpost in Lansing, Michigan, killed a few soldiers and kidnapped a few and dragged them back to Canada. Then let's say the Canadians started shooting rockets across the border at Buffalo, Seattle and Chicago.

You know what would happen next, right? They'd be picking glowing, charred pieces of Canada out of the Indian Ocean is what would happen next.

Just an interesting comparison to keep in mind when people start wondering about whether certain countries are over-reacting.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Well, we're back from vacation, refreshed and regressed, and just catching up on the news. We tend to zone out on vacation at the beach- no newspapers, tv, radio, etc. There is actually both a radio and a satellite tv there- we just ignore them. We did watch the All Star game and the Wimbledon finals, and bought a pair of Boston Globes earlier in the week so we could read about our Guv'nor, the "Mittster", running around making an ass of himself ovet the 1-90 Tunnel roof collapse.

It's disheartening- in my memory of better times, folks like governors tended to try to provide a steady, calming influence in the face of potential disaster and emergency, but not our Mitt. He's running for President, and has his own political axes to grind, so he didn't miss a beat in stirring up panic and hysteria for his own political ends, actually declaring that he didn't see how anyone could feel safe driving through any of the tunnels that are the main highways in downtown Boston. Paint me green and call me a cabbage, but I think that in actually trying to cause a public panic to promote his own political career he's crossed the line, violated his oath of office, and should be impeached. Of course that's going to happen about the time Madonna changes her name to Olestra and retires to a nunnery in Guam to teach blind children how to knit tube socks for deaf, orphaned goats, but it's my opinion. As I said, the man is running for President- watch out for him, America, he's tricky.

In other news that caught my eye this morning, Ebay, the owners of Paypal, have just banned Google's newly-launched electronic payment system as a method of paying for Ebay auctions. On the one hand, I suppose they have a right to do it, on the other hand, it's pretty tacky. I'd also watch out if I was Ebay- a move to ban one electronic payment service when you own the other one comes dangerously close to being an anti-Trust violation. Ebay is rapidly moving into Microsoft territory, being the only game in town and controlling all the means of business from start to finish. That's called a monopoly, and it can be illegal. Not that the current political hacks in Washington will do anything about it, but we may have new hacks come November, and they may not look so benignly at anti-competitve actions such as this one by Ebay.

Speaking of Microsoft, they've announced that they are dropping all support and updates for Win98, which still is used on an estimated 48 million computers, including the computer I'm typing this on. A Microsoft spokesman said "he anticipates the percentage of users running the antiquated operating systems to drop to 6 percent of total Windows users by the end of 2006." Well, you bet it will. We're all gonna go out and replace our Windows 98s with those spiffy new Macs.

I sure am.

In final news, June Allyson died last week, which is a shame.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton

"Mutterings of a Mad Bookseller" will be taking a short break, and will return on Monday, July 17th. Thanks for reading!