Friday, February 29, 2008

The First Signs...

...of Spring are in the air.

Well, that's not quite true. To be technically accurate, snowflakes are in the air, but Spring is just around the corner, the Signs are there!

First, the Red Sox are in training camp and I spend lunchtime reading about the Sox in the sports pages, not the Patriots. That means Spring is almost here.

Also, on Tuesday I suddenly had sun in my eyes in the late afternoon. Our house is oriented exactly North-South (front faces North) and one of my office widows faces due West. In the late afternoon during the Summer the sun shines in, reflects off my computer screen, and generally annoys me. Well, as much as I can be annoyed by a sunny Summer day (which is not much). In the Winter, when the Sun traces a much more southerly course, I don't get it in my window in the afternoon. So another sign of Spring here is that the Sun is moving back into the sky high enough to shine in my eye in the afternoon, and that happened on Tuesday.

Then on Wednesday when I was driving to the dump, I passed a neighbor putting the taps into his maple trees. There are lots of big old sugar maples around here, and lots of folks tap them. You'll drive around in the early spring and half the trees in people's front yards will be ringed with big white plastic buckets with hoses running into them from the tree trunk. And I saw the first taps going in on Wednesday.

So Spring is really, truly, right around the corner.

So here's my question- if Spring is so damned close, why is it 3 fucking degrees outside right now, and why are we going to get yet another foot of snow tonight?


oh Christ, it's snowing again... shit! shit! shit!!!

- -

There's some new political news over at Mulligrubbers. I swear, nobody can make up stuff like this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


you always sorta knew, deep down in your heart, didn't you?

Monday, February 25, 2008

On the road again...

On the road all day.
Is there anything left to say?
Can Billy C. hold sway,
even after Hillary gets laid?

On the road again.
Betting all of my old friends,
who used to get into the swing,
are now wondering about the thing-

Who to vote for?
Who to vote for?
It isn't quite a chore.
Even if McCain s hard core.

Who to vote for?
If Hillary is a bore?
If Obama is a SCORE!
Who to vote for?

On the road again-
thinking Cheney is my friend-
Nuking Iran is THE END!
And then on the road again...

On the road again-
Obama's in a turban, then,
I guess McCain is my friend-
Say KABOOM! on the road again.

On the road again-
Even if Bill is steering down the highway-
and Monica is sittting on the skyway-
it's our way-

On the road again,
even if Hillary says she is my friend,
and the clintons seem to never end-
on THAT road again...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

We have apparently entered an era where immigrant-bashing is again in style. I'm on record here as saying, HEY- you want to come here and you want to work? Come on over! This country was built by hard-working immigrants, and it was always the last generation who wanted to pull up the plank to keep the next generation (which was from somewhere else) out.

I find it especially ironic that the current anti-immigrant hysteria is focused on "illegal" (i.e.- undocumented) immigrants from south of the border, since the 9-11 attacks came from perfectly legal visitors from north of the border.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I have always been annoyed that the Bruce Springsteen song "Blinded by the Light" is known to most people from Manfred Mann's distinctly inferior version. The song is from The Boss's "Greetings from Asbury Park" album, back when he was still toying with the idea of being the 1980s Bob Dylan, and I have always preferred the more raw Springsteen version.

Ok, so how to these two thoughts tie together? I bring you, Saturday Night FEVER-

Friday, February 22, 2008

Food for Thought-

Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain are making much of Barack Obama's lack of "experience", and suggesting that it makes him unfit to lead the nation. I have to admit that personally I don't give "experience" a lot of weight when it comes to supporting Presidential candidates. In fact, I think that when weighed against qualities such as the ability to weigh both sides of an argument rationally, the ability to listen to those who disagree with you openly, and the ability to work with others cordially to achieve your goals, experience means nothing.

There's an example in the news right now- Obama said he would be willing to talk with the new leaders of Cuba without preconditions, while Hillary Clinton would refuse. John McCain probably still wants to bomb them. I know McCain wants to bomb Iran, because he's said so. That's really helpful. When the most experienced foreign-policy guy in the race wants to bomb Iran, I throw experience out the window as a qualification for a President.

We now know that when another inexperienced former-Senator faced a military crisis, all his far more experienced advisors gave him advice which he ignored. It turns out that JFK was right during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his advisors were wrong. His gut feeling that he needed to give the Soviet leadership a bit more time to save face let him defuse the issue and bring it to a peaceful and successful conclusion. Recently-released Soviet records now tell us that if f he had followed the hawkish advice of his experienced advisors and faced down the Soviets it would have started World War 3.

George Bush had all sorts of experience to rely on after the September 11th attacks. I may not agree with Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, George Tenet, et al, but I cannot deny their deep and long experience in world affairs. So that all turned out well, didn't it?

Finally, I caught this historical tidbit in George Will's column yesterday. Yes, I know, you won't find me quoting George Will very often, but in this case it provides further food for thought-

The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to being ranked as America's worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow."

Experience. It's a good quality in airline pilots and hookers, but I don't count it so highly when I'm choosing a President.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008



So, I broke a fingernail this morning. Don't you hate it when that happens? So when I was driving to work I was biting the jagged little stub on the end of the nail, and then I realized that it was bleeding and I had blood on my clean white shirt, and I looked down to see how bad it was and I rear-ended the car in front of me at a stop light.

It turned out that the car was being driven by the security guy who looks after the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN, and because he and I were standing there screaming at each other in English and Klingon, or whatever they speak, he was late to pick up the Ambassador, who got into a taxi instead to get to the UN.

But it turned out that the taxi was driven by an ex-Iraqi army officer who's now in exile in America, and when he recognized the Ambassador he kidnapped him and drove him to his apartment in New Jersey, and then phoned in a ransom demand, saying he was from Iran and that unless he got six million dollars he was going to kill the Ambassador.

But it turned out that since Bush is in Africa, Dick Cheney took the call instead and finally saw his chance to "do something" about Iran before he leaves office, so he dispatched 60 nuclear cruise missiles to hit Teheran, and the Iranians responded by attacking Saudi Arabia and Israel, which responded by attaching each other, and so now tonight the entire Middle East is in flames, and the world's oil supply is all plutoniumed and won't be usable for the next 500,000 years, and the entire western economy is in collapse.

And my damned nail still hurts. Doncha just hate it when that happens?

Monday, February 18, 2008

3,000 Channels, And There's Nothing On...

The New England Sports Network (NESN), the cable-television network that carries Boston Red Sox games (and is, incidentally, also owned by the Red Sox) is televising Spring Training live this year.

Now let me make sure you fully understand what I just wrote- I don't mean they are televising Spring Training games live this year, they've been doing that for many years. No, no- this year they have started live broadcasts of Spring Training itself. You know -guys running laps in the outfield. Guys playing catch. Pitchers Fielding Practice.

Not only are they televising this live every afternoon- they are running edited highlight summaries each evening.

And I'm sure people will watch, that's how baseball crazy we are around here. This is the region where several tv stations broke into regular programming to carry live video of the Sox' tractor trailer truck pulling away from the loading dock at Fenway Park to start its trip to Florida last week.

So this got me thinking... what else could be televised that would be even more boring and meaningless than live coverage of Spring Training calisthenics? What could we put on tv that would kill the few remaining brain cells Americans have left after 7 years of the Shrub and Britney Spears?

So let's put our heads together and come up with a schedule- I'll start off with a few of my own suggestions-

PGA Ball-Washer Cam: 24-7-365 live streaming video of the Professional Golfer's Association's official ball washing machine. Includes BREAKING NEWS RSS Feed whenever Tiger Woods' washes his balls.

Where's The Donald's Hair?: Donald Trump's "hair" finally gets its own television show as it strikes out on its own across the USA.

It's 3 A.M.- Do You Know Where Your Bologna Is?: Live coverage of the cold-cut drawer inside Bill Clinton's refrigerator.

6-Feet Under the White House Lawn: New this fall on Grub-TV: live video of worms and grubs from a camera buried under the Rose Garden, right next to Dick Cheney's Sense of Decency.

Is Anybody Actually Listening?: Live daily coverage of the floor of the US House of Representatives. Watch as Representatives grandstand for special-interest groups back home by making rousing speeches to an absolutely empty House chamber. (oh, wait- this one is actually already on CSPAN).

You get the idea, fellow campers! What else can we put on our Spring Schedule?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

Still feel buried under work here- not only work, but also snow and ice, and about 150 boxes of books and catalogs. I haven't had much of a chance to do much blogging this week, or visit many of your blogs- sorry about that. I'll crawl out from under soon.

In the meantime, it's Saturday night, and Amy and I are going out to a friend's birthday which turned, somehow, into a Star Trek birthday. It was all a joke at first, but you have to be careful about jokes or they can become real, and now we're all going dressed as Star Trek characters- I'll be Commander William Rikker from "The Next Generation. This should be interesting (and it'll be even more interesting if everyone else wimps out and we're the only ones there in costume...)

And since it's Saturday night, it's time for some music! Here's one of my favorites from Patty Loveless, in honor of Valentine's Day...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Boston: In a series of stunning turns of events in the Presidential Race, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have announced that they are divorcing their spouses so they can marry each other in a civil ceremony in Boston today. Hillary Clinton, faced with running against her ex-husband's spouse has announced that she will withdraw from the race and devote the rest of her life to becoming a singer on American Idol.

In a noontime press conference Barack Obama introduced former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as his running mate. Romney, who vehemently denied having run for President as a Republican, said that his heart "has always been with my gay brothers", and insisted that he has always been at the forefront of he gay rights movement.

When asked what she thought of the Democrats running a gay black man who was married to Bill Clinton for President, Ann Coulter's head exploded.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday, Monday-

It's been a hectic week or two here as I've been buried under books and catalogs. Gotta go catch up on your blogs and take a look at the weather forecast- oh, shit, it's gonna snow tomorrow. Well, all the more time to blog. I have to share this one- 'Arlo and Janis' is one of our favorite comics, and Jimmy Johnson has a special affinity for drawing their cat, Ludwig.

(That's a little small. Full size is here.)

See y'all in the next day or two, and lets be careful out there!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

Amy and I used to go to Cajun and Zydeco dances every few months when we lived near Boston, but it's harder out here in western Mass. I especially miss it during the winter, when a good Cajun dance would really get you all warmed up. Here's one of my favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter songs-

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Doncha Hate...?

A few days ago Mike posted an excellent list of things that drive him nuts. He pretty much listed all the things I find annoying on a daily basis, but then I thought, what about those odd things that always seem to be popping up that drive me nutty as well?

So, don't you just HATE it when-

- you're in bed, making passionate love with J-Lo, and your cellphone beeps and it's Carmen Electra wanting you to come over
right away?

- you get your Ford Exploder up to about 85 mph and broadside the President's limousine, and he gets out, brushes himself off, laughs, and insists on taking you out for a beer?

- you win the Grand prize in the 'Spend a Week Backstage on Tour with Bruce Springsteen' contest, and a day later The Boss embraces Islam, changes his name to Yakami bin Mohammed, and takes up the sitar?

- you find half a finger in a bowl of restaurant chili? I mean a
whole finger, ok, that's a nice lawsuit. But only the last half of the finger? That's gross. Not to mention the prelude to a whole bunch of shots.

- you buy a lottery ticket that wins you $250 million, but when you go to pick up your check the lottery guy laughs and says "April Fools!", so you kill him on live tv, and then you get sentenced to life in prison, and when you get there your cellmate is that annoying guy from high school who cracks his knuckles all the time, but now he weighs 250 lbs. and belongs to the prison's gang of Neo-Nazi Skinheads, so there's not a damn thing you can do about it?

- one of those little African countries has a revolution and changes its name, so you have to spend all day with your "Cut 'N Rub" stencil letter set changing the names on every single globe in the house?

- Catherine Zeta Jones moves in next door, but it turns out to be Michal Douglas who likes to sunbathe nude in the backyard?

- you invade a foreign country because all the "Yes-Men" you've surrounded yourself with tell you it's a great idea, but then it doesn't turn out at all the way it was supposed to, and everybody starts blaming you for it?

Yeah. I just HATE it when that happens.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Souper Tuesday-

Well, we're almost at SouperTuesday, as 24 states will vote or caucus1 to pick some poor schmoe to run for Official Dickhead President of the United States. Adding to the misery suspense, while the Democratic contests tend to award delegates based on percentages of votes, the Republican contests are pretty much winner-take-all affairs. Well, that makes sense- to Republicans, if you come in second, you deserve to be fucked.

I know all the political asshats pundits are predicting results, so I thought I'm at least as much of an asshat as they are why not make a few predictions of my own?

ALABAMA: A surprise on the Republican side, as the frantic candidates discover there are actually no registered Republicans in Alabama. When an ABC News reporter poses the question "Then why did Rudy Guiliani spend $7 million campaigning there before he dropped out of the race?" a political analyst answers, "Because he's an idiot."

ALASKA: Since the Alaska caucuses are held about 18 hours after everyone in the rest of the country goes to bed, nobody will ever know, much less care, who wins there.

ARIZONA: John McCain scores an easy win on the Republican side, but loses points when a You-Tube video surfaces showing an out-of-control, obscenity-spewing McCain beating a 90-year old Romney poll watcher over the head with the man's own walker.

CALIFORNIA: No results are available in the Democratic races as Republican Governor Arnold Schwartzenaeger declares all Democratic voters to be "Sissy Girlie Men", who are "probably illegal immigrants anyways", and suspends the Democratic primary until everyone can prove they are U.S. citizens. On the Republican side everyone in Orange County votes for Ron Paul, who wins handily.

MASSACHUSETTS: John McCain surprises everyone by beating former Governor Mitt Romney 87% to 13%. Romney faces reporters in front of his longtime home in Belmont, Massachusetts and heatedly denies ever having been Governor of Massachusetts, ever having been to the state, or ever having heard of it before. Fox News airs the tape without comment, and Roger Ailes delivers a harsh diatribe accusing CNN, which questions Romney's truthfulness, as being "part of the Liberal-Homosexual Anti-American Left Wing Media Conspiracy."

MINNESOTA: According to the state's new Diebold voting machines, former Richard Nixon aide General Alexander Haig wins the Democratic primary with 36,000,000 votes in a state that only has 166,000 registered Democrats.

NEW JERSEY: Returns are not in yet, as New Jersey's governor holds polls open until all the dead citizens can vote. He declares he'll announce the results sometime after the Conventions.

OKLAHOMA: Mike Huckabee wins the Republican contest, after promising to ask God to divert all of next year's tornadoes to Texas.

UTAH: In an effort to "streamline" the election process, the state announces that Mitt Romney's will be the only name to appear on the Republican ballot. He loses to John McCain anyway.

- -

1 From the Latin, "carcass" -a putrid, smelly dead thing nobody really wants to touch.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

Although I am leery of becoming a blogger who does nothing but post video links, I've been having some fun on You-Tube lately, and am going to start a series on Saturday night, featuring music videos that I've enjoyed. Here is the inaugural video, which comes from the great Jimmy Buffet. Enjoy!