Friday, November 30, 2007

8 Is Enough

So I'm minding my own business and get tagged to do a meme I've done before by the very person who tagged me last time. Thanks, Ben. The old one is here, if you want to read it, and it had rules and stuff, and I'm supposed to go and tag 8 people, but that's just ridiculous (and do I even know eight bloggers who might do it?). Cough cough. So, if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. I did it gently on an appropriately public place of your body.

Things You May or May Not Know about Me
(The You Won't Believe What You Heard at All Edition)

  1. I was once part of a band (1993-94).
  2. I played bass, or as I like to say, "I don't play bass, but I play a bassist in Yam."
  3. The band's name was Yam.
  4. For our first public performance at a Halloween party, before we were fired by our original drummer which was tough as we practiced in his laundry room, I performed in a pink dress. As part of our performance we offered up a sacrificial Yam-shaped pinata, which was destroyed by mad dancers who then proceeded to mash candy into the hosts' carpeting. This may have happened during our cover of the Young Marble Giants' "Final Day."
  5. We mainly played originals, many of which were about ourselves, as Yam rhymes with lots of things and makes for a handy lyric tool.
  6. The only song of ours that I wrote the lyrics for was a ditty called "I Want to Be Your Text." (I don't have the lyrics around anymore and really can't recall them, or perhaps I mean really can be bothered to recall them.)
  7. The only song I sang some of the vocals on was our most controversial tune in which I got to join in on the chorus that went "I pulled the trigger on Kurt Cobain...we all pulled the trigger, we all pulled the trigger, we all pulled the trigger on Kurt Cobain." In 1994 them's was sort of fighting words.
  8. After years of not really playing my lefthanded Fender jazz, I donated it to a program providing instruments to musicians who lost their stuff during Katrina. So I sure hope that bass is happy in a real musicians hands.


Friday Random Ten

Radiohead "The Bends" The Bends
Lucy Kaplansky "Still Life" Flesh and Bone
Roxy Music "More than This" Street Life--Greatest Hits
Amy Rigby "That's the Time" Little Fugitive
Sinead O'Connor "Someday My Prince Will Come" Stay Awake--Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films
The Velvet Crush "Heaven Knows" Free Expression
Graham Parker & the Rumour "Soul Shoes" (live) Passion Is No Ordinary Word--The Graham Parker Anthology
The Arcade Fire "My Body Is a Cage" Neon Bible
Roger Eno & Kate St. John "We Stay Still" Familiar
Matthew Sweet "This Moment" Sweet Relief--A Benefit for Victoria Williams

The Mekons "One Horse Town" F.U.N. '90

Random, indeed. That's a terrifically Sweet cover of Vic, a fine Velvet Crush song from a sadly unknown album, the Roxy cut is one of their late period best even without Murray karaoke visions, and there's lots of loved artists, but it's not exactly the best list o' songs. Oh well.


Mooks Hits the Big 1-0

For Dog Blog Friday: Last Saturday was Mookie's 10th birthday, so I figured a series capturing him on that day would be fitting. Note Nigel still drives him crazy, even after 6 years. Or else he knows Nigel really slobbers in the water fountain.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feeling the Power of the Internyets

My entry and Patrick's comment made it in the big city--Curbed Los Angeles referred to us in an entry today about the Bonaventure.

And not one commenter there said, "What do they know, they're Santa Barbarians!"

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At the Other End of the Microscope

Everyone but Wikipedia agrees that Friday is the 313th anniversary of the death of Marcello Malpighi, the father of microscopical anatomy, so the mistake is but a small thing. It's difficult to imagine that setting out as a young researcher, Malpighi yearned to have his name attached to corpuscles in the kidney and spleen, let alone a tubule in the excretory system of insects, but we all can't be Thomas Crapper and invent the flush toilet* and in that way go down in history (why, yes, history swirls in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere). Malpighi also was the first person to see capillaries, realize they connected arteries and veins, and not say yuckoso. This discovery was particularly a shock to the frog to whom the capillaries belonged. Malpighi did have a storied academic career, studying at the University of Bologna (I always loved their fight song: "My university has a first name..."), taking a professorship of theoretical medicine--since humans didn't know enough to really have medicine yet--at Pisa, well, he was leaning towards taking that job, and then working at the University of Messina years before it merged with Loggins College.

*OK, he just popularized it. But sometimes being accurate ruins a joke. It's not like I did any Powelling--lying about WMDs--or something.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Building of Los Angeles, Four, Five, Six

As a comment to my last entry, Patrick wrote:

The Disney Concert Hall and the Westin Bonaventure are both eye-popping implants unrelated to the rest of the city, each a world unto itself in a city with too many self-contained worlds. The Westin is especially typical, its round towers like so many middle fingers raised to its neighborhood.

And so I have to respond, although suggesting LA is the home to implants is so fitting I almost shouldn't say anything at all. First, you have to look at the two buildings quite separately. Rickey Henderson was concerned that I liked Disney Hall for he distrusts anything Disney, but of course this building is really just Disney money. Frank Gehry wouldn't make it in the Magic Kingdom, which offers cartoony versions of the past (Main Street, Frontierland, Adventureland, Toonland) and a version of the future (Tomorrowland) they have to rennovate constantly to keep it from turning into bad sci-fi the MST3K gang would make delicious mincemeat out of. It has no room for the modern or the post-modern; indeed, folks might be so comforted by the park because it ignores most of the 20th century.

Disney Hall, on the other hand, actually literally reflects what's around it, to the point where its shiniest component (the Founder's Room area--donors have their privileges) reflected so much southern California sun that neighbors complained. What's more, while the building is massive--a whole city block--it comes with lots of pedestrian access and gardens. It's one of the few spots in its area where stuff grows. Plus, its undulating skin allows for people to "pierce" the building without ever entering it. Sure, that's illusion, but it's also not so far from metaphysical and physical Hollywood. And, I have yet to mention in any of my writing that it sits atop the very cool REDCAT space, with a coffee shop-book store, gallery, and a black box theatre that can do performance or film, and tends to do stuff out on the edge (Stephin Merritt writing Chinese operetta, say). REDCAT, short for Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater, has to be the least Disneyesque thing to bear the Disney name--the current website is pushing short films of Harry Smith (now there's a corrective for Main Street USA), Degenerate Art Ensemble/Cuckoo Crow, and LAPD--Los Angeles Poverty Department: Utopia/Dystopia. Disney, the degenerate dystopia. Walt must be turning over in his freezer.

The Bonaventure is much more problematic, and its five towers with a taller middle do sort of give downtown the finger. Yet, downtown around it is so much bigger, it probably doesn't notice. Not that it excuses the building, but it's the other plazas that make the area foreboding on a human scale. We tried walking around, and until we got to Broadway, which is now sort of scary if for no other reason than as a very white person you have to realize the world normally isn't very white, that was hard to do. You'd cut under roads in passageways dark at 3:30, not see any other pedestrians, not really see the street, either. It's sort of like being in the subway tunnel but you've lost your train. Then you end up in buildings, guess which door to pop out of, wind up in a fountain-dominated plaza, but realize it only leads to other doors to the building. Escher had nothing on these architects.

This might be an involved way to say something banal like LA is built for cars. Of course, modern downtowns weren't meant for habitation, just the making of lucre--they even leveled Bunker Hill and its Victorians to make LA's. Of course, having a metropolis of millions in a land that should be desert [ed. note--typo corrected, so Averageman comment no longer makes sense] is a sort of folly on its own, and thereby begs for each of us to live in our own controlled-comfort bubble, our automobile. But as a place to sleep with a view, as a place to drink and drink in kitsch, the Bonaventure has its charms as it embodies one type of LA with open towers.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

The Building of Los Angeles, One, Two, Three

There's a thing some chefs like to pull off, working a course that's three variations on one main ingredient, a trio of ways to exercise all their cleverness edging out repetition and variation of flavor and texture. Of course, doing such a thing isn't anything new, for the simple fact that there isn't really anything new--we're all left trying to figure one more way to kick start any art we mess in. That's a highfalutin way to say Amy and I got served a terrific trio of architecture this weekend, as we spent Friday, Nov. 16 in Los Angeles taking in a catalog of wonder-full buildings that each time capsule their eras so well they might be stand-ins for an entire decade. And that's leaving out finally visiting the Bradbury Building, which is brilliant in its "demure exterior, you'll never guess what I'm hiding" extravagance, yet a tad disappointing, too, as the fantastically filigreed lobby iron-work is in a distinctly narrow atrium. It seems so much bigger in Bladerunner.

Not much seems bigger than Union Station, though. The last great U.S. train station, built in 1939, it's also one of Art Deco's last gasps, something way too hopeful for a second world war so soon after the war to end all wars. Yet while it's Deco, it's also Noir, and a bit Mission--it seems totally LA. Like the Bradbury Building, if it didn't exist to be a film set, Hollywood would have had to build it. Opulent and rich, it's a cathedral to our nation as movement, to LA as a place to arrive. We had dinner at Traxx, and that too, was fine. Not much gets risked at Traxx, but it simply nails simple dishes like a crab cake that's all crab and perfectly fried, or lamb chops done to a perfect medium rare with some creamy canellini beans. That Traxx Martini--Hendrick's gussied up with a splash of dry vermouth and a float of Dubonnet Rouge--is beautiful to the eye and the tongue.

We moved on to other sorts of beauty--Neko Case performing at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Gehry's curvy aluminum is already sort of cliche, I know, but it's one pretty building, sort of looking like it swooped out of the sky to land near the otherwise moribund Music Center. Inside, the richness of all that wood, set off by the colorful prints on the seats, makes the space sort of dance, too. It's all about movement.

Turns out we are totally behind Neko Case, we're such fans--our seats were directly behind the stage. I got them as my pledge to KCRW, so on some level can't bitch, but it still seems odd something called a "premium" is less than that. Case also needs to get some pants that fit--she hiked them up prior to every song, it seems. The hall made her amazing voice even more so--the moments when the band would drop out and it would be just her were almost chilling in their beauty. And she did "The Tigers Have Spoken" and "Maybe Sparrow" back-to-back, enough to leave me a happily, emotionally wrecked man. ("Sparrow" got me from the first listen with that last cracked note, but since then I've somehow freighted the song's sadness with both my parents' deaths, as if the poor sparrow needs more, so the song really hits me. There's that refuge of how goddam beautiful sadness can be that makes it almost bearable.) somehow the acoustics that served her singing so well didn't help her patter, though--maybe part of that is not seeing the mouth words come from--but before launching into "Sparrow" she said, "Here's another animal song. Don't know why I sing about them so much--guess I feel sorry for them. Not that keeps me from eating them."

After the show we walked (yes, we walked in LA) from Disney to our hotel, the Westin Bonaventure. On some level this is a monstrosity, a five tubed, metal and glass paean to all that was wrong in the 1970s, including the outside glass elevators made famous by The Towering Inferno. But I grew up in the '70s, not only seeing The Towering Inferno but reading both The Tower and The Glass Inferno on which the movie was based. Staying there was like being plunged into my leisure-besuited past. It's actually quite fascinating, an age when what they wanted to be futuristic became almost instantly silly. The place does have views, though; our 30 floor room looked down upon Disney Hall and out to points east. More importantly, the place has a 35th floor rotating bar, because if you're going to be ridiculous, don't forget the maraschino. We upped the rotating bar ante by ordering cocktails that came in programmatic glasses you keep as souvenirs (because you'd steal them otherwise). Which means we now have one ceramic that looks like California and one that looks like a 45 record (I wisely opted not to drink enough to build my own Capitol Building out of them--the room was spinning when we began, remember.)

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The Last House on the Left-Over

Originally uploaded by Luntzilla

Poor Ned was just told he was to be served turkey for the seventh straight day.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Hood Do You Love

Originally uploaded by rubén díaz

When Shriners join the KKK you get racially insensitive practical jokesters who drop water balloons on the folks they don't like.


Udderly True

Originally posted by GROGG.

"Have you seen the new Coen Brothers' film? Now, how do you think we feel, given there are hundreds of Anton Chigurhs out their for us?"


Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Richard Thompson "Meet on the Ledge" Small Town Romance
Alex Chilton "Funky National" 1970
Neko Case "Maybe Saprrow" Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Glenn Gould "Toccata in C minor, BWV 911" Bach--Toccatas BWV 910-916
M.I.A. "Come Around" Kala
Thelonious Monk "Criss Cross" Ken Burns Jazz: Thelonious Monk
The Replacements "Back to Back" Don't Tell a Soul
Moebius & Roedelius "Emmental" Apropos Cluster
3 Mustaphas 3 "Benga Taxi" Heart of Uncle
Medium Cool (Adele Bertei) "My Foolish Heart" Imagination

Otis Redding "Chained and Bound" The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968

We went over 20,000 cuts in iTunes last week (thanks, Amoeba!) and this list, while not always full of stellar cuts, certainly exhibits the range of what goes on in the collection. And "Maybe Sparrow" has to be one of my favorite songs of the aughts.


Couch Mashed Potatoes

For Dog Blog Friday: So confused about the way we've re-arranged the living room for Thanksgiving dinner, Mookie and Nigel accidentally get very very close.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just One Small Peek in the Window of Why I Haven't Been Posting

"Streusel" is not in Yahoo Mail's or Blogger's spellcheck.

There's nothing right in the world....


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monkey: Not So Brilliant Corners

Originally uploaded by NorjonRealty

People tend to forget the fourth rule is "carve no evil."

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Orange and Sacre Bleu!

Originally uploaded by leahbrooks

The Mets show off their new road uniforms for 2008.


The Agony of the Ecstasy

Toby would have never done LSD if someone had just told him that it would make him feel like a character in Tron.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Pete Krebs "Dressed to the 9's" Loose: New Sounds of the Old West, Vol. II
Professor Longhair "In the Night" Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues
10,000 Maniacs "These Are Days" Our Time in Eden
The Mekons "Ring O'Roses" I Have Been to Heaven and Back
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions "Rattlesnakes" Rattlesnakes
Sleater-Kinney "Light Rail Coyote" One Beat
Arizona Amp and Alternator "Re-Entry" Arizona Amp and Alternator
Los Lobos "Carabina 30-30" KCRW Sounds Eclectico
Archers of Loaf "Big Joe and Phantom 309" Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits
The Klezmer Conservatory Band "Slow Hora/Freylekhs" Dancing in the Aisles

Esquivel "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" Merry X-Mas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad

Great, even iTunes is forcing Christmas down my throat. An interesting, far from killer list this week.


The Upright Greyhound Brigade

For Dog Blog Friday: Nigel and Dewi, the Early Years (January 2002). To think he wasn't much bigger than a Corgi once. But then look at those legs....

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

From the Inner to the Outer to the Ouroboros

Blog doth eat itself warnings.

In a follow up to the post "This Doesn't Phrase Me," it turns out that I'm the number 1 Google hit for "It was kind of sexy but it was kind of creepy." But you regular readers knew that. (And all apologies to The Hold Steady.)

And in a follow up to the post about the blog's reading level, while looking at the graphic that goes with my award it hit me that it associates a test tube, an atom, and a rocket with "College (Postgrad)." Now really, if I was a rocket scientist, I'd have time for a blog? Well, time for a blog with pen-is jokes? Nope, that's strictly liberal arts postgrad territory.


Any Way You Slice It

Channel-surfing while dinner cooked last night, and a program about pizza pie caught my eye. The show Food Heavens even managed to snag Evan Kleinman, host of KCRW's tasty Good Food, to answer pizza questions, so they clearly wanted to do things right.

Until they decided to go to the video tape. As Kleinman's voice-over explains that pizza has its doughy roots in Naples, Italy, we get a ten second shot of the Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower. In Florence. 331 miles to Naples' north.

OK, the Duomo and Bell Tower are mighty pretty, and while they didn't do much for pizza, unless one wants to argue its divinely inspired, they did help kick-start the Renaissance. But for some reason I'd expect the TRAVEL CHANNEL to know one city in Italy from another. Like I'm supposed to trust them then when they tell me which Ray's Pizza in Manhattan is the real one.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sway

I am so getting 22 of my friends together and starting a band.

Don't even have to move to Barcelona--these folks are Swedish.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Will Work for Fool

On the drive home at lunch today to check in on the dogs, I was stopped at the light on the 101 offramp at Las Positas and a person, as there often is, is panhandling. Out of the way, holding his "desperate enough to do this--please help" sign. As I wait to make my left turn, a red pick-up comes up on the right, and as he makes his right on red, he shouts something out at the person begging. I couldn't make it out, but from his tone, it was clear it wasn't complimentary.

All I could think was, "Gee, how big that guy must feel, having told off a beggar."

Now I still can't figure out what the point of belittling a person down on his luck is. I can only assume that the pick-up truck guy either was offended that the beggar had to ruin his day and point out lots of folks aren't doing well in today's economy or that the beggar frightened him into thinking "shoot, that could be me, so if I distance myself from him by heaping bile on him, I won't ever be him." You know, the way kids at the playground join in picking on the weakest/fattest/whatever not the norm-est so they don't end up the ones picked upon.

Or maybe it's just people refuse to see. There have been arguments over at Blogabarbara of late trying to figure out what the housing bubble bursting might mean locally. That discussion continued yesterday and one commenter wrote:

1 bedroom condos are going for $350,000. Going rate for custodians is $60,000 plus benefits and it goes up from there. Please tell me why you cannot buy a $350,000 condo on a $120,000 joint salary?

Three sentence that prove you can write anything you want, but facts can be nice, too. Let's start in the middle--where, exactly, does a custodian make 60 grand a year? At least one website, which claims to review 50 million job postings total, seems to think otherwise, saying the going annual rate would be $25,000. That puts a couple doing such work at a combined salary less than the one "anonymous" suggested they would each earn individually. Indeed, Wikipedia quotes 2000 census statistics to say, "The median income for a household in [Santa Barbara] was $47,498, and the median income for a family was $57,880." Which of course means that half of the city has jobs worse than being a janitor.

But let's give anon his magical world where custodial help gets paid more than most teachers. Note he assumes these people will never have kids, as they will only need a one bedroom condo and neither will ever have to raise a child (or, if you prefer, both will not have to pay for childcare). So his world has some clever "family planning" practices, too.

The trick will be getting those folks into that $350,000 condo. If you go to and do the search, you'll find there are 213 condos currently on the market in Santa Barbara. Of that number, 5 are one-bedroom units under $350,000. That's a lot of custodial help in the scrum for 5 places to buy. My guess is the prices will go up.

All sarcasm aside--what the hell is this person thinking? Things aren't good for many people, and not just the poor guy panhandling on the freeway off-ramp. We have to stop pretending that all you have to do is work hard to make oodles, and that anyone of any color or gender has just as good a shot as the next guy, and I say guy advisedly, as it's probably a guy born in the right zip code. More wealth is in the hands of fewer people than ever before--how can that be a good thing?


See, Ma, Those Three Masters Did Me Good

cash advance

So it is true--INOTBB brings you all the snoot, plus as of yesterday's random Flickr-blogging, more boobs.

You can have it all.


Monday, November 12, 2007

I Thought You Said Jazz-Bowl, Not Jazzbo

Originally uploaded by ksergeyev

The musician in the plastic bubble comes to the realization he should maybe have taken up guitar.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Even Dreadful Flickr Blogging Must Run Its Course

Originally uploaded by zac.sonoio

The oddest thing is, this is the before picture.


The Thrill of It All

Originally uploaded by Friskey Brown

Selenka is saddened when she gets the call that she will not be on the Roxy Music Country Life album cover.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Going, Going, Ron

The LA Times reports:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is unable to find or account for tens of thousands of valuable mementos of Reagan's White House years because a "near universal" security breakdown left the artifacts vulnerable to pilfering by insiders, an audit by the National Archives inspector general has concluded.

I'll pass on the easy joke--how fitting the Reagan Library can't remember where they put things--and point this out instead: you can lead a Republican to a library but you can't make him be honest. I mean, they're stealing from the country (the article states: "most gifts to presidents become property of the American people") and from their greatest hero's legacy. Plus you have to assume the pilferers, as they get called in the article, aren't doing it because they just have to have one of the billion Western style belt buckles the Gipper got in his years in office. They're doing it to sell the stuff. If you ever want to know where's the line when capitalism crosses over into greed, just look about 50 paces behind a rightwinger.

The article goes on to say:

The audit found that the Reagan library was unable to properly account for more than 80,000 artifacts out of its collection of some 100,000 such items, and "may have experienced loss or pilferage the scope of which will likely never be known."

It blamed the problem on lack of supervision, concluding that "adequate management controls were neither implemented nor properly monitored."

Gee, you'd think the people in charge of the Reagan Library where the same people in charge of Iraq.


Friday Random Ten

The Futureheads "Fallout" News and Tributes
Okkervil River "For Real" Black Sheep Boy
Elvis Costello & Steve Nieve "My Funny Valentine" For the First Time in America
Baaba Maal "Fanta" Missing You (Mi Yeewni)
Beck "Get Real Paid" Midnite Vultures
Chavez "Top Pocket Man" Ride the Fader
Richard Thompson "Tear Stained Letter" (live) Watching the Dark
Damien Jurado "Chevrolet" Loose: New Sounds of the Old West Volume II
Son Volt "Flow" Wide Swing Tremolo
Elvis Costello "Mystery Dance" (alternate) My Aim Is True

The Blind Boys of Alabama "Hush" I Brought Him with Me

"My head was beating like a song by the Clash, writing checks that my body couldn't cash." A whole random ten is made by that one line. (There's some other good stuff, too.)


Happy French Greyhound Birthday to You

For Dog Blog Friday: A few weeks ago, Mookie gave his mom a special birthday kiss. Nigel's keeping an eye out for the party pooper police.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

What a Pill

Friday we celebrate the birth, oddly enough, of a person most responsible for us not celebrating other births, Gregory Pincus. Often called the Father of the Birth Control Pill (AKA Phyllis Schafly's Worst Nightmare), Pincus was indirectly responsible for the Sexual Revolution (which would not be televised, at least until HBO's Tell Me You Love Me), Pamela Des Barres, Cynthia Plaster Caster, and previously unknown levels of early morning regret in college dorms throughout the country. Most don't know that Pincus was a somewhat discredited genius after having created a test-tube rabbit in the 1930s. For if there was anything the world needed, it was more rabbits. To make up for that, he would later help everyone you-know-what like rabbits. No kidding.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hey You Big Bully, Quit Beating Up on That Little Bully

The AP reports:

President Bush urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Monday to "restore democracy as quickly as possible," choosing mild disappointment over punishment or more pointed rhetoric to react to the declaration of emergency rule in anti-terror ally Pakistan.


Bush said he directed Rice to deliver this message: "We expect there to be elections as soon as possible and that the president should remove his military uniform."

The President went on to say, "We hope Musharraf can follow the lead of the United States. We hold elections. He just needs a Florida-stan or Ohio-stan to help him win elections. Clearly he doesn't have enough Scalias on his Supreme Court."

Bush concluded, "And Musharraf really needs to take off his military uniform. Leaders of democracies look really stupid when they play-act like that."


Monday, November 05, 2007

Feinstein Monster and the Abby-Normal Voting Record

This weekend, after announcing she would vote to support Mike Mukasey for Attorney General no matter his stance on torture,

after supporting the 2002 Iraq resolution that gave President Bush the "authority" to start an endless, unwinnable war,

after voting for the May 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill which continued to fund the Iraq occupation without firm timetables for withdrawal,

after joining Republicans in the Senate in August 2007 in voting to modify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by narrowing the scope of its protections to sharply alter the legal limits on the government's ability to monitor phone calls and email messages of American citizens,

after being the the original Democratic cosponsor of a bill to extend the Patriot Act,

after working as the main Democratic sponsor of the failed 2006 constitutional amendment against flag-burning,

after she voted to confirm Judge Leslie H. Southwick to the US Circuit Court, despite his having an 89 percent record of voting against workers, consumers, and other victims in divided decisions,

after she voted to condemn MoveOn for the General Betray-Us ad...

has just announced she is forming the California for Feinstein Party.

Rumor has it she can't wait for the next State of the Union speech, just so she can get a big smooch from W. After all, she's been planting big one's all over his butt for years now.


The Pen-Is Mightier with a Sword

Originally uploaded by enjoy.silence

So...anybody else think my penis is too small?

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Pussy Says Sock It to Me

Originally uploaded by clague_family

Interspecies generic sock monkey and cat sex--it's stuff like this that makes Rick Santorum and his daughter cry. The rest of the Republican Party, however, is oddly excited...and ready to deny everything.

(And if the title of this entry doesn't get me some traffic for all the wrong reasons, nothing will.)


Sea Plus World

Originally uploaded by dboy

With one mighty shove, Flipper and his friend Phinny tell Diver Dan to go find his own damn pool.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Danny Thompson "Idle Monday" Whatever
The Handsome Family "My Beautiful Bride" In the Air
The Wailers "Out of Our Tree" Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
Los Lobos "The Word" Good Morning Aztlan
Charlie Parker "Hot House" Ken Burns Jazz: Charlie Parker
Calexico "Mazurka" Spoke
New Order "True Faith" Substance
The Pine Valley Cosmonauts (with Sally Timms) "Right or Wrong" The Majesty of Bob Wills
Jack Logan "Teach Me the Rules" Mood Elevator
The 6ths (with Dean Wareham) "Falling Out of Love (with You)" Wasps' Nests

Brian Eno "Out/Out" The Drop

Starts with a killer instrumental, ends with a great one from the mind of Stephin Merritt, and let's consider the 2 minute Eno coda the music over the end credits. Quite a range in here, quite a range. You could say I'm home on it.


Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed

For Dog Blog Friday: Nigel when his natural Xanax runs low.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not Waving, Drowning

So President Bush's line is "If I can't have my Attorney General we won't have one. Na-Na!"

Dana Perino tries to make things pretty (that is her job, after all), and says, "No nominee could meet the test they've presented."

The "they" turns out to be senators feeling suddenly spine-full who don't want to confirm Mukasey until he makes it clear where he stands on waterboarding. It seems if he says waterboarding is torture, and the US doesn't torture--and as AG he would then make sure that's true--he'd pass the test.

So really what Perino means is the US waterboards. And Bush sort of admits that, too, saying "it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques about which he has not been briefed. 'He doesn't know whether we use that technique or not,' the president said during the session. 'It doesn't make any sense to tell an enemy what we're doing.'"

And VP Cheney "said classified CIA interrogation methods are not the same as those of the military, where waterboarding is not a permitted in the Army Field Manual. 'This CIA program is different. It involves tougher customers — men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and it involves tougher interrogation.'"

OK, so according to the President, we need secret ways to interrogate or the enemy will study up and beat the system. Although any surprising way to "interrogate" would seem to involve putting the terror in the interrorgate, so to speak.

And according to the VP, as long as the person is bad enough, whatever we do to him is what he deserves. After all, the only way the US can remain a nation of laws is to bend those laws every now and then. Guilty until tortured and you confess and all that.

So to beat the terrorists, we must become as uncivilized as they are. Gee, wonder who is winning this war?

Before anyone suggests waterboarding isn't torture, go watch this video. Hard to take, just watching it, no?

Before anyone says, "But if they captured someone who knew where the bomb was to go off, wouldn't you want an immediate answer?" go read this article in which a Marine major discusses why torture doesn't get you the truth.

After all that try to figure out why this President seems so determined to do away with the checks and balances in the Constitution and any sense of international law, too.

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Hughes Got the Will

It was 60 years ago this Friday that Howard Hughes got it up for its only time. Of course I'm referring to his massive dream, his infamous creation the Hughes H-4 Hercules, better known as the Spruce Goose. Of course the massive flying boat (it's a boat! it's a plane! it's a goose more than a city block big! imagine the cleanup! it's a multi-million dollar federally funded boondoggle that Halliburton would be proud of!) was made of wood as WWII rationing meant it couldn't be made of important materials like metals or nylon, and while women could paint a stripe on their legs and pretend they were be-hosed, soldiers refused to sit in a drawing of a plane and fly across the ocean (at least they did after a few ill-fated early prototypes of the Cellulose Cygnet). Oddly the Spruce Goose was mostly made of birch, not spruce, but newsmen couldn't come up with a rhyme that seemed belittling enough for birch (Birch Lurch? Birch Perch?), and refused to let the facts stand in the way of their wordsmithing. Till his death Hughes maintained the plane, hoping to fly it if nothing else than to show Ice Station Zebra to a fuselage-filled with 750 captive flyers.


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