Saturday, June 30, 2007

sea otter

Here is a critter that was once pretty much extinct thx 2 the Russian fur trade.Still surviving. Still kickin it.

pet troubles part xviii

My pet dinosaur, Noam, prefers to attack books, and sangria wine. One cannot just give these things to her- Noam absolutely must hunt her meals, or she will not eat at all, and - "Waaaagghh!"
So this meant leaving the backdoor open, at feeding time, so Noam could get to the bookshelves.
Thankfully, this house has an overabundance of poor prose along its shelves. But anyway
Today, something most unfortunate occured.
Well what used to be today was when Noam got loose, and went after an ice-cream truck. Far as I know, my pet dinosaur has no craving for ice cream, nor human flesh... but the ice cream truck driver had been drinking sangria wine, and he had been pulled over by a flock of schoolchildren.(they smelled like books) .
Noam has many fine qualities. Discrimination during a feeding frenzy is not one of them.
The ice cream truck is crunched in half, gushing aortal chocolate. The driver is nowhere to be found, nor the jugs of cheap sangria wine he kept under the drivers seat. Strewn across my neighborhood are diminutive bloody ribcages, tiny limbs ripped asunder, ghastly visages of caramel and gore. The local ravens love it.
So I'm thinking about taking Noam to the pound. I dunno... I'm the only friend this poor cenzoic puke lizard has.

Smack the blogger

I just got hit with a pine cone. I should have seen that coming. But I still have an open window.

A bumper sticker

Or in this case, a window sticker:

al-Sadr's website hacked

Today's oddity in asymmetrical warfare is the hacking of Moqtada al-Sadr's website.
Iraq: Al-Sadr Website Hacked; Hacker Says Shiite Sites To Face Same 'Fate'
Iraq-- OSC SummaryFriday, June 29, 2007

When checked on 29 June, Al-Sadr website,, which used to post statements and news of Muqtada al-Sader, was found to be hacked. The site now has a black background with the following written on the homepage:

"Peace be upon you

God damn Shiites wherever they may reside or goMay they and this site of theirs never rise for as long as I live, God willing

This will be the fate of all their sites, God willing."

The hacker, who calls himself "Billy", posts a hyperlinked e-mail address.

What's odd is that the hacker calls himself "Billy Gonse", but he's very fluent in arabic. Some of his posting includes the most creative uses of arabic expletives I've ever read, and a lot of Shia are going to be extremely offended.

My kind of protest

From Norway, Maine:
At noon on Saturday, July 7, a group of what Fuda describes as "very pissed-off citizens" will march into town carrying protest signs against the Iraq War, President George W. Bush, and marijuana and nudity laws. As they make their way to Butters Park at the head of Main Street, where they have been assigned as part of the Downtown Festival activities, Fuda promises there will be open marijuana smoking and nude streakers.

At least it has some entertainment value.
Fudafest, or Fully Unclothes Dancing Activism Festival, is described by its founder on the Fudafest Web site as "a clothing-optional protest against unjust laws, especially marijuana laws." The 39-year-old Norway resident said he began the festival in 1992 on his McKay Road property in hopes of "bringing the hippies, punks and metal heads together to fight for their rights. Their right to party, dance and be naked."

Failure in Congress

I imagine that Nancy Pelosi must be getting really frustrated by now. She set goals, and the House passed the bills.

In its first 40 hours, the new majority of the House of Representatives kept their promise to voters and passed legislation—increasing the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prices on drugs, cutting interest rates on student loans in half, revoking big oil subsidies and using the money to invest in renewable energy—that provided a down payment for a new direction for this country.

These bills are overwhelmingly popular, and are simply common sense reforms.
Yet every one of them—and many more—got held up in the U.S. Senate.

Conservatives boast about the “success” of their strategy in discrediting the new majority. As Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., put it, “the strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it’s working for us.”

How is it working? It’s dragging the reputation of the Congress down to the level of the failed president. Conservatives lie in the road of progress and then complain that nothing is moving.

The problem is the Senate, where the filibuster has killed the bills.
The fact is that Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate so far this year - and this includes the ones with wide, bipartisan support.

In the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been 13 cloture votes on motions to proceed. This kind of formal vote to simply proceed with debate isn't often required and only occurs when one party cannot agree to even move forward with debate and a subsequent up-or-down vote on an issue.

Republicans have forced 13 of those in less than six months. To give you an idea of how obstructionist that is, there were only four cloture votes on motions to proceed in the two years comprising the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses.

"Once known as the Grand Ole Party, today the Republican Party can more aptly be described that the ‘Grand Obstructionist Party,’” said Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday. “Perhaps they see progress in a new Congress as defeat for them rather than a win for the American people. Whatever the reason, they need to know that by their obstructionism, they’re not hurting Democrats, they’re slighting the American

Funny how obstructionism is OK when Republicans do it.

Cool map site

If you like history and maps, you'll enjoy this site. Maps of Europe through history that show different times by clicking an arrow, starting at 100 a.d. Enjoy.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bush is still an idiot

This statement is just plain mind-numbingly stupid:
Bush said in a speech on Thursday that he hopes Iraq will be like Israel, a
democracy that faces terrorist violence but manages to retain its democratic

' In Israel, Bush said, "terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq."

I mean, aside from the dubious goal, does he even realize how this is playing into Jihadi propaganda?
That sort of scenario is precisely the propaganda message broadcast by the Jihadi websites in Iraq and the Arab world! They say that the US military occupation of Iraq, in alliance with Shiites, has turned the Sunni Arabs into Palestinians! Bush could not have handed the guerrillas a better rhetorical gift. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that DVD's of Bush's comments will be spread around as a recruiting tool for jihadis, and that US troops will certainly be killed as a result of this speech. You could say that the US military presence is already pretty unpopular in the Sunni Arab areas. But what of the progress in al-Anbar Province? Will Bush's speech help or hurt Sunni Arabs who want to ally with the US against the foreign Salafi Jihadis?

As usual, Juan Cole has a brilliant assessment:
These words may be the stupidest ones ever uttered by a US president. Given their likely impact on the US war effort in the Middle East, they are downright criminal.

The US political elite just doesn't get it. Israel is not popular in the Middle East, and it isn't because Middle Easterners are bigots. It is because Israel is coded as the last European colonial presence in the region, an heir to French Algeria, British Egypt, and Dutch Indonesia-- and because the Israelis pugnaciously continue to try to colonize neighboring bits of territory. (This enmity is not inevitable or eternal; in 2002 the Arab League offered full recognition of Israel in return for its going back to 1967 borders, but the Israeli government turned down the offer.) But for the purposes of this analysis it does not really matter why Israel is unpopular. Let us just stipulate that it is. Why would you associate American Iraq with such an unpopular project, if you were trying to do public diplomacy in the region? .

(Sometimes I wonder why I bother blogging on the Middle East. I should just post "go read Juan Cole" everyday.)

Car Bombs

So 2 car bombs in London, that luckily were defused, were both Mercedes. I know this is somewhat irreverent, but why would you use a Mercedes? If you're going to blow up a car, wouldn't a Ford be a better choice? I used to own a Mercedes, and it was a marvelous car. On the other hand, every Ford I've ever owned left me feeling a strong urge to blow them up (not as an act of terrorism, but because they deserved it).
Really though, if your just going to blow a car up, shouldn't it be a cheap crappy car?

Boobie time

It's Friday, so it's boobie time:

A masked boobie with egg.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One for Zymurgian

So he'll learn how to have fun with photo's:

There's a subtle joke here. If you "get it", let me know in the comments. Otherwise, I'll explain later.

Another boat

When I posted on the Animas trip, I mentioned that I really didn't like rowing a duckie. I just gained a duckie, and now I'm much more fond of them. Got the boat in really good deal. This is someone else rowing the same boat:

The immigration bill is dead

And that's a good thing. It was a total mish-mash that wouldn't have accomplished much. Sometimes doing nothing is better than further complicating the problem.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

what i meant to say is...

My grandfather- Jack Welsh, lived to be 98. My mom's dad. He was such an asshole.
I mean, the dude absolutely hated anyone that wasn't "hardscrabble irish-catholic. Anyway, he had a special vehemence for "colored folks." He called them "porch monkeys".
Well Grandpa, you hateful dead curmudgeon, I happen to like hanging out on what passes for a porch on my dwelling. I kick it on a couch, watch all the poor darkies across the street make the best of their toys... I mean, uumphg... I appreciate the changing hue of the peaks and ephemeral birdsong. I am, Grandpa, an official porch monkey. So vomit a little more whiskey into yer casket, noteworthy ancestor!

a zymurgian interlude

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the prose of Joe Bageant:

"We are insulated by ignorance, body fat, cheap spectacle and electronics. Hang around the working class places very long and you'll see that they almost never talk of current events. They never mention politics except in an election year. They never mention any larger issues than sports, movies, and where to get good ribs and seafood and why GM just can't seem to build a decent engine. They put up flags and patriotic symbols because it seems like the right thing to do because everybody else does. But no conscious analysis takes place. Most workingclass whites, blue collar, technical, service or whatever, are nonpolitical. And to the extent that they hold beliefs, they hold the beliefs they think they are expected to uphold. Just like they hold little flags and ribbons for the troops. That's to tell you who they believe they are. Americans and Americans only. Plain Americans cut from the rest of the world by a self-isolating belief that it's better to be American than anything else, even if they really can't prove why. Ignorance is bliss, and somehow America is where supposedly everyone wants to be. No depth of thought or consciousness involved or required. There is the American on top and the rest of the world who is envious and plotting to steal their freedom.
One thing for sure. Traditionally, we can count on working white Americans to go off in a homicidal swarm to "defend our way of life" whenever our leaders periodically declare it to be threatened. Whenever they nail the cowhide to the barn. Right now we have a full-blown case of the cowhide syndrome. Anyone who grew up on a farm knows what happens if you butcher a cow, then nail the hide up high on the barn. The rest of the cows go absolutely freakin berserk until it is removed. Now George Bush and the neos have nailed the hide to the barn and they have no damned intention of taking it down. For the moment, however, it is not election season so things have calmed down a bit. It is mostly the neo-con leadership and the liberal herd that is agitated and bellowing out there. Everybody else is at Wal-Mart.
Nothing to do but go home, break out the Old Grandad, and drink it straight from a rusty canteen cup. The voice of a ghost breaks in on the reverie-"AND DON'T EVEN BOTHER TO WASH THE MOTHERFUCKER!"
Right, Hunter."

Right, Joe.
(from his site "Deer Hunting With Jesus)

you have been warned

This fella has read way too much of this blog.

pet pic

See? I told you she was pretty! (when she's sober)

Truth vs. Rhetoric

Here's a test for you all: How many members of Iran's parliament are jewish?
Feel free to read the correct answer in the comments, then bear this in mind whenever you hear anything about Iran in the media. The "Islamic theocracy" isn't quite as extreme as you might think.

The Bush Legacy

While I find a new reason to scream about the Bush administration on a daily basis, I think the worst part of his legacy (even worse than Iraq) will be his appointments to the Supreme Court. This weeks decisions are a sign of things to come. Consider the 3 decisions related to the First Amendment: corporations and churches are protected by free speech, but individuals are not. That's the bottom line of the decisions. Corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, churches can get taxpayer money to promote their values, but you can't carry a sign reading "bong hits 4 jesus". And that scares me.
The corporatocracy controls this administration, and they're going to do everything they can to hang on to power. So expect more de-regulation, slime ads, and environmental destruction.
We're stuck with John Roberts for a long time, and that scares me.
Added: Tom Toles illustrates:

Sweaterman's 8-ball List

  1. I'm adopted, and the only thing I know about my birth parents is that they were in college and (I assume) felt that a child would interfere with their educational goals, so they put me up for adoption (at the time, abortion wasn't really an issue/option in the U.S. as it wasn't legal). I was in a foster home for 2 weeks until my current parents got me (for the bargain price of $200!). The foster parents called me Kevin. I met them once when I was in my late teens and there is a picture of newborn me with them somewhere, but I couldn't find it on a bet.
  2. It took me until I was 31 years of age to truly, deeply understand the phrase "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll".
  3. I have a severe allergy to Bermuda grass, but managed to mow the lawn weekly for seven years. Without a mask.
  4. I am, by my own admission, too loud, boisterous, and "life-of-the-partyish". Even sober.
  5. I am rational and skeptical and scientific, so even though I grew up in the 70's, curiosity about mystical things like astrological signs, chakras, and auras really holds no fascination for me.
  6. That said, by birth I am (apparently) a water sign, and as a life-long swimmer and scuba diver, maybe there is something to all that.
  7. I have the honor of having won not one, but TWO Ladmo bags. The big ones. Once on the show, and once at the old Christown Theater. For those who don't know that that means, you can check out: And, of course I didn't save them; I'm not one of those obsessives who rat-packs every little fucking thing in the hopes that it'll be worth a fortune someday on eBay. I have a life.
  8. I have an inordinate fondness for number theory; specifically Goldbach's Conjecture (go ahead, Google it, you know you want to). I wrote many programs in graduate school for prime number generation, integer decomposition (factoring) and the like, and found some fascinating patterns, but finally gave most of it up, as it tends to make you batshit insane (see the movie pi, if you can stand the jerky camera shots).

Cupcakes for all

I have no idea where Jack found this sign, but I have a feeling this could be a very expensive promotion:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

comments from the shortbus

1) I have had my toenails painted by beautiful girls on rafts, a few times, on the Colorado, just like Pygalgia.
2)I would rather be serving donuts on Alpha-Centauri. Hard job to get.
3)after having spent today hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, with a lovely lady, I've decided my next sentient incarnation should be some kind of falcon- nesting in cliffs.
4)someday I will be capable of completely manifesting, at will, beef jerky sandwiches on rye, with third-world mustard.
5)today I learned that the bark of very old ponderosa pine trees smells like vanilla.
6)I still think the band "A Flock Of Seagulls" is way boss.
7)if a hot chick blinks constantly, while facing yer gaze, instead of looking in yer eye, is she aloof from the true fathom of emotion, or does she just think I really suck?
8)I'm starting to feel that ole stirring in the groin for my pet dinosaur. My fathomless cenzoic lass?

Moving Stuff

Our Buddy Monkyfister is moving and I wish I was there to help him. I am an expert at moving large heavy objects. My job at the local university included some really big pieces of scientific equipment (large,heavy,fragile). Just ask Sweaterman if I know how to move stuff (OK, I did say "get more people").

I know some tricks.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I've been tagged by Whig to say 8 random things about myself. I hate these games.

1. All right, here are the rules. 2. We have to post these rules before we give
you the facts. 3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things
and post these rules. 5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight
people to get tagged and list their names.

OK, here's how I do it:

1. My toenails are a work of art. On my last river trip a beautiful woman decorated my toes.

2. I was once a Girl Scout troop leader (see pic @ right), but for all the wrong reasons.

3. I'm really a very good cook.

4. But I'm lazy.

5. 53 times down the Grand Canyon feel's like a warm up.

6. As a 14th generation American, I can call you names.

7. Number 7 is for comments.

8. Yes Gary, I stole the moose. But the Moose rally wanted to be stolen.

I refuse to tag other people, but if Sweaterman, Zymurgian or Ghandisxmas feel like listing random things about themselves I'm for it.

pet troubles, part IX

You might ask, "what color is your pet dinosaur?" I would describe her as travertine mauve. Most assurably cenzoic, probably early-jurassic, Noam has lots of scales. She appears ponderous, but can be quite lithe. Hmmm... howtaputit.... a cross between a tracheosaurus and an allisaurus, with a feline disposition and an olfactory wit better than a beagle's. She purrs when she's pleased and it makes the ground shake.
She's been with me for a spell now. At first I kept Noam tied with a titanium leash to a big tree. -kay first of all Noam is a jealous creature, demanding affection and consolation constantly much like canis stupidis. While I'm at home and she knows it, my dinosaur is compliant and restive, munching contentedly on vapid philosophy books(seems to be her preferred diet) But the absence of my scent renders Noam inconsolable. Noam yowls and yowls when she sees me go to work every morning. "Waaaaaaagh!"
One time I left my house to go to a party, a couple miles away. Well, shortly after arriving there , here come Noam galumphing down the street, dragging, at the end of her leash, a ponderosa tree.
My pet ruined some one's birthday party. Not only with her girth and indelicacy, but my dinosaur sniffed out all the watery sangria wine them folks were drinkin, and she took a fancy to it.
Howtaputit- my pet is distressing to most folks, but she did show up to the party with a pride of stray cats...that, and she's wasted on sangria and dragging a pine tree around downtown. Damn, well , shit- I'm really thinking about taking Noam to the Humane Society. Unless any of ya'll got a hankerin for a fickle dinosaur?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Sunday River Pic

'cause I got nothin' to say.

From this spring's San Juan trip.


So I ran this blog through a site that gives ratings on the movie scale, and it got an "R" rating. They noted the words "bastard" and "bastards" as the reason for the rating. They gotta be kidding. I mean, when I was growing up my mother wouldn't say "Republican" in front of us children. She'd say "Bastards" instead, so I never thought it was a big deal. But if any kids are reading this blog make your parents read it with you. You can get your own blog rating here:

What's My Blog Rated?