Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is that a gecko in your pants...

 ...or are you just happy to see me?

Looks like some guy got busted for trying to smuggle lizards (44 of them!!!) out of New Zealand in his pants.  That's a hell of a reason to end up in prison.


Took a noontime drive about 5 minutes west of where I live; it is close to the Oquirrh Mountains, and near the old Hercules Powder Company property.  As usual, click on the photo to enlarge.

Hercules is on the left, those are the Oquirrhs straight ahead.

The property is fenced and posted no trespassing, so there aren't a lot of visitors other than these guys.
 This is a shot from the same spot as above, only toward the property itself.  You can see part of the herd of deer browsing.

Some of them were quite close to the fence, and didn't get too spooked as long as I made no sudden moves.

This doe starting getting suspicious; I was only about 20 feet from them on the other side of the fence.

I took a couple more pictures, then left.  They are out there in the early afternoon almost every day during the winter.  During the summer they usually don't come out until late afternoon.  We sometimes get a herd of elk in the same area, but I haven't seen any of them this year.


Tiger Wood's wife doesn't want a divorce.

Gary Coleman is a jackass.


The guy who drew attention to ACORN has stepped in it this time.  It seems he and three others tried to sneak in and to some illegal phone-tapping at a Democratic senator's office.
I don't know what he thought he was doing, but this sort of thing is unacceptable.  I don't care what party a person belongs to, you don't break in and spy on people unless you are in law enforcement and you have a damn good reason and a warrant. 


         "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" by Waylon Jennings
         "Tales of Brave Ulysses" by Cream
         "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells
         "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol
         "Beg, Borrow and Steal" by Rare Breed
         "She's Not There" by The Zombies
         "North to Alaska" by Johnny Horton
         "Venus" by Shocking Blue
         "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
         "Stay" by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs

The last two:

A popular song from the eighties.  This one is for Terri.

This one if from 1960, and was quite popular. Yeah, it's 50 years old, but I still like it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And verily I say unto you; go forth into the digital wilderness...

The Pope has decided that Catholic priests need to catch up with the modern digital world, so he is encouraging them to start blogging.   I guess next we'll be hearing from the other Christian sects about "Blogging for Jesus", and "What would Jesus blog?".


The POTUS and the Democratic Party are still all butthurt about the MA elections; Obama has decided that what they need for the November elections is better campaign management, and better spin doctors.  I'd like to make a novel suggestion (to both parties): how about just doing your job, and trying to do a better job of representing your constituents?  I realize this is sort of heretical idea, but it just might work.  I get annoyed by people who go to more trouble to make you think they're doing their job rather than putting some of the effort into actually doing their job.

"The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop."
-P.J. O'Rourke

"There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators."
-Will Rogers


China claims it has nothing to do with cyber attacks on Google.  Yeah, right, pull the other one, it's got bells on.  The Chinese may loan us money, but they are not our friends.  I'd be willing to bet that most of the cyber tomfoolery is directly sponsored by the Chinese government.
The Chinese government does not like its citizens unlimited access to information; education is the worst enemy of totalitarian governments.  Back in the days of the cold war with Russia, they had the same attitude to copying machines.  All Xerox machines were registered with the government, and records were kept concerning what was being copied.  Wouldn't want information to get spread around too much among the peasants, you know.
Our government, however, will probably just go along with the farce, since I doubt anyone in our government will have the stones to actually disagree with them. If they do, it will be in the form of a stern reprimand; that'll show 'em!

Teddy Roosevelt once said "Speak softly and carry a big stick."; the current motto seems to be "Walk softly, and be ready to bow. "


 A tape that claims to be from bin Laden has surfaced in which it is claimed that Qaida is behind the Christmas would-be bomber.
In the first place, I'm not really sure bin Laden is still alive; I wouldn't be surprised if we found out he got killed years ago and is just being held up as a figurehead.
In the second place, if they are the ones who recruited that incompetent ball-burner, then they are really slipping.  Hopefully they will train more of their bunch like him.


Got looking over the list, and it isn't the most cheerful thing I've ever read.  Must be because of the mood I'm in today.

         "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
         "Ferry Across the Mersey" by Jerry and the Pacemakers
         "The Gallery" by Joni Mitchell
         "Ain't Even Done With the Night" by John Mellencamp
         "Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel
         "Red, Red Wine" by Neil Diamond
         "In My Time of Sorrow" by Marianne Faithfull
         "Willow Weep for Me" by Chad And Jeremy
         "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" by Kenny Rogers
         "It Was a Very Good Year" by Frank Sinatra

The last two in the list:

This is a blast from the past; most people these days wouldn't even recognize Kenny Rogers from back when he was in The First Edition.

Another classic; this one seems to get better and make more sense the older you get...

Friday, January 22, 2010

And the week slowly winds down

Everyone is still either crowing or groaning over the Massachusetts election earlier this week.   Democrats are freaking out or making excuses why they lost; the  Republicans are busy celebrating and telling why they won.  Truth be known, I doubt if either of them have it right.  Personally, I wish they and the media would just move on.  I'm getting tired of reading about it; it happened, it's over, now get on with your lives.


Some interesting stuff going on over in Russia.  The stray dog population is going through a change.  It would seem they are gradually evolving back into wolves, both physically and mentally.  For those who don't believe in evolution(why?), this is a good example of it happening in a relatively short time.  It'll be interesting to see how things work out with them over the next few years.


The anniversary of Roe v. Wade has got marchers out, both for and against abortion.  I have something to say for each of you.
For:  YOU WON!! Why are you out waving signs and making noise?  If you want to do something useful, how about trying to work on education and birth control so that abortions can be kept to a minimum?
Against: THEY WON!!  The law found for them, and it isn't going to go away just because you march around and wave signs.  My advice to you is the same as to them; how about working on the reasons that abortions are done, and maybe you can get them down to a smaller number?
Seems like in this country every time someone gets an idea in their head they have to organize a march and hoot'n holler until the press gets interested.  You have the right to do it (I am a firm believer in the First Amendment), but that doesn't mean it's working.  Half the time it's just annoying.  Just because you have a right to act like a jackass doesn't mean you have an obligation to do so.


I'm hoping to get out and do a little photography one of these days.  I've been tending children the past three weeks, and have been dealing with a 24-hour a day back problem (constant spasms of varying degrees), so I've been spending most of my time indoors.  The children are going back to school next week, and hopefully the weather will change a bit, which is the main cause of my joint problems.  What we could really use around here is some rain or snow.  The Salt Lake Valley is prone to inversions, and when that happens the pollution gets trapped in the valley, causing a multitude of problems.  Most people I know, including myself, have been plagued with sinus problems and lung congestion.  We need a storm to wash the air out a bit.


See anything you like?

         "I Wanna Go Back" by Eddie Money
         "Gypsy" by The Moody Blues
         "Alone" by Heart
         "Strange Days" by The Doors
         "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" by Johnny Cash/Waylon Jennings
         "Kicks" by Paul Revere & the Raiders
         "Run Through the Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
         "For Ladies Only" by Steppenwolf
         "Gunpowder And Lead " by Miranda Lambert
         "Promenade" by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

The last two on the list:

The girl in this video is not the singer, but the video is a hoot, nonetheless.

Most people are not familiar with this piece unless they enjoy classical music, but I find it quite beautiful, and uplifting; it is from Pictures At An Exhibition.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More hysterical hand-wringing...

...courtesy of SCOTUS.
WASHINGTON — Government cannot restrict corporations from spending money to influence political campaigns, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in an opinion that immediately reverberated across the political landscape and drew strong criticism from the White House.

The decision upends the political battlefield in time for November's high-stakes congressional elections. It also is likely to affect state contests. Twenty-two states prohibit corporate spending in state candidate elections, and two more, New York and Alabama, impose limits on such spending.

The 5-4 decision rolls back at least two decades of restrictions on what unions and corporations can spend in elections and frees special interest groups to unleash a flood of advertising to sway the outcome of races close to elections.
I have a question to those who are pissing their pants over this: Are you people stupid, or just amazingly naive?  Are you trying to tell me that large corporations and organizations have not been throwing money into campaigns and buying candidates for years?  Who the hell do you think is funding all the lobbyists in DC?  The only thing I see any different about this is that now you might be able to see them buying and selling their political pawns. 


It now appears that a teenage Orthodox Jew saying prayers is indistinguishable from a terrorist hijacker.  Evidently, tefillin can be mistaken for weapons or bombs.  What kind if idiots are running security on these planes?  If this is their idea of sniffing out terrorists, then we may as well give up now.


Seems there are some people here in the states who think that the  US government is being remiss because their relatives in Haiti have been missing since the earthquakes started.  They feel that everyone should drop everything they are doing and concentrate only on finding their family members.  I realize that parents are worried about their children, but it's not like the people down there have magic wands.  There is a lot of confusion and chaos, and rescuers can only do so much.  So to those people that are making all the noise, STFU and quick acting like a bunch of arrogant selfish assholes; you give Americans a bad name.


Not sure what this list shows about my mood, any thoughts?

         "Autumn Leaves" by Cannonball Adderley/Miles Davis
         "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" by Gordon Lightfoot
         "Comin' Back to Me" by Jefferson Airplane
         "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles
         "Magic" by Olivia Newton-John
         "Walk on By" by Leroy Van Dyke
         "Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel
         "Africa" by Toto
         "Looking Back" by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
         "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" by Meat Loaf

The last two songs below:

An older song from one of the great blues bands.

Not the most photogenic guy in the world, but he sings right from his heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another trip around the sun accomplished

As of today I'm 58 years old.   Where the hell did all the time go?
Thanks for the e-card, Karen.


Haiti is hit by another aftershock; hopefully this will be the last, but the tectonics in that area could have some more bad news ahead for them.


It'll be interesting to see what sort of repercussions and backlash (both local and national) will result over the election in Massachusetts; I think this will cause it bit of consternation on the Democratic side.  Right now there are probably more than a few wondering if they will be next when November rolls around.  Time to start listening to your constituents, guys.  I imagine there are also some Republicans who think they are safe, but if so they are mistaken.  From what I can tell, this was not really a Republican victory over the Democrats that so many people in both parties seem to think it is; they both need to look at who made the difference.  Many of the recent elections (including the 2006 and 2008 elections) have been very close; both parties have been in about the same numbers.  The difference has come down to who are the independents voting for?  It is the independents who are tipping the scales in these elections, and both the major parties can't seem to get it through their heads.  Take the Teaparty people, for instance.  The Republicans view them as belonging to them, and the Democrats agree with the Republicans.  They may be somewhat conservative in many respects, but they are not Republicans.  Many of them are ex-Republicans who have broken from the Republican party, but do not believe in the Democratic party.  The Republicans need to quit taking them for granted, and the Democrats need to quit believing the idiotic idea that anyone who is not left of center is a Republican. They have treated the independents with contempt, which is the last thing they should be doing.  Show me where the Democratic party is any better than the Republican party, and you may get some followers.  From what I see, the Democratic party  is just as stupid, corrupted, and crooked as the Republican party; both want to tell people how to run their private lives, both believe in a large powerful federal government, and both seem to favor elitists running things.  The independents that both sides seem to discount are citizens who are tired of the two parties telling everyone what they should believe and who they should vote for, like the rest of their branded and gelded sheep. 
Do I think a new third party is the answer?  Unfortunately, I don't think it would fly.  Human beings tend to polarize to one side or the other; they don't like more than one decision.  I think it's because basically we are hard-wired to look at other people as being in one of two categories: Us and Them.  We think of people as either being in our tribe, or as a potential enemy/competition.  I think the best people can hope for is to try to change one of the parties into something worthwhile.  If you look at the espoused principles of each party, neither one is what you would call 100% bad.  The problem is in the interpretation of the people running each party.  The Democratic party has turned to socialism; it wants a large government that runs every part of everyone's lives except the elite few who run the government.  The Republican party wants a large government that also runs people's lives, but with a different group of elites.  Both are bloated bureaucratic monsters that do nothing but suck all the drive, creativity, and ambition from their subjects (yes, at this point they become subjects, not citizens).
Sorry about the extended rant; sometimes I just have to get some of the bile out.


Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Late Show.
Tiger Woods, sex rehab clinic.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

Who cares?


 Lot of old stuff in this bunch.  Any favorites, or commentaries on some of these?

         "American Pie" by Don McLean
         "Stardust" by Artie Shaw
         "Hold Me Now" by Thompson Twins
         "Saginaw, Michigan" by Lefty Frizzell
         "Baby, It's You" by Smith
         "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper
         "Burnin' for You" by Blue Öyster Cult
         "My Mirage" by Iron Butterfly
         "32-20 Blues" by Robert Johnson
         "I Drink Alone" by George Thorogood

The two last ones, both blues:

For those who may be confused as to the title, a 32-20 is a caliber of gun that was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Blues doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The sky is falling in the Nanny State

It appears that there might be a Republican senator elected in Massachusetts, and Democrats all over the country are pissing their pants in fear.

I don't really see why it is such a surprise.  The Democratic candidate didn't really get that excited over the campaign until it looked like she wasn't winning by a landslide.  There seems to be general feeling that their party is somehow entitled to the position, and that anyone who disagrees is some kind of unpatriotic lowlife.  You know, judging by the way that party has been running Congress, they shouldn't be surprised if the independent voters are getting a little skeptical of the integrity and credibility of the Democratic Party.  In case you hadn't noticed, Democrats are just as crooked and untruthful as Republicans.  The main problem we have with the two party system is that now and then one party gets a large majority, and they look at it as an excuse to rape and pillage the taxpayers, and bully the opposing party.  The Republicans did it for several years, and now the Democrats have done it for the last three years.  They haven't done anything positive, so now public reaction is against them, and they think it's unfair.  Maybe the best thing is if everyone from both parties would just STFU and let Massachusetts settle its own politics, without everyone else butting in.
Just my opinion.


Haiti is still reeling from the earthquake and the collapse of law and order.  Hopefully the aid coming from the various countries will help them get back on their feet.


 Somali pirates get a record ransom.

Ridiculous.  Why does the world put up with these thugs?  There was a time when pirates got a stretched neck for their trouble.  Instead of negotiating with these dumb animals, how about putting some fear into them?  Someone tries to hijack a ship, blow them out of the water.  They know where their bases are at, why not drop a daisycutter on one to show them the error of their ways?  All they are doing is rewarding them for criminal activity.  

That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

-Rudyard Kipling

Start paying in blood and bullets, rather than dollars, and you might be able to end this farce.


Any favorites, or comments?

         "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
         "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett
         "Right Kind of Love" by Quarterflash
         "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" by The Moody Blues
         "El Nicoya" by Santana
         "Don't Miss You at All" by Norah Jones
         "Red, Red Wine" by Neil Diamond
         "Photograph" by Def Leppard
         "The Poor Side of Town" by Johnny Rivers
         "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon Jennings

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Still shakin' it here, boss"

 I'm assuming most of my small handful of readers recognize the title to this post.  It seemed sort of fitting based on my irregular posting habits.


I've been reading about the earthquake in Haiti; looks like quite a disaster.  As bad as a lot of man-made stuff can be, Mother Nature has a nasty was of sucker-punching people that cannot even be imagined by most people.  It's pretty hard to be prepared for something that you can't really predict as far as time or intensity.  Hopefully the aid being sent by various countries and organizations will help.


Give me a break.
Under fire for backing away from a campaign promise to open up health care negotiations to C-SPAN cameras, the White House on Monday highlighted a report from a coalition of watchdog groups awarding the Obama administration an “A” for its openness.
"Watchdog organizations"?  Sounds like they need to start actually watching the White House, instead of doing a verbal emulation of Monica Lewinski.
H/T to Random Nuclear Strikes


 Personally, I think Harry Reid is a jackass.  That said, how long is this nit-picking about politically correct speech going to go on?  Plenty of people in all areas of the political spectrum have popped up with dumbass remarks on occasion; he apologized if it bothered anyone, so let's move on to something important, like the stupid shit he does in the Senate.


 Sarah Palin joins Fox News; liberal heads explode all across the country.
I don't watch news on TV myself; I prefer using the Web to search and cross-check without all the bullshit being pumped out by talking heads on the boob tube.
What amuses me is the almost insane reaction she gets from the left; anyone else and they get annoyed.  With Palin, she seems to bring out a frothing-at-the-mouth fervor that is completely out of scale; no one else seems to get that reaction.  Hell, I hope they keep her around for a while just so I can hear people sputter at mention of her name.  Sort of like when you were a kid and would tap a stick on a fence just to see/hear the dog inside going into a barking frenzy.
Wingnuts and moonbats; there's humor from both ends of the political spectrum.


Any favorites in this bunch?

         "Taking A Ride" by Don Felder
         "I Was in the House When the House Burned Down" by Warren Zevon
         "Substitute" by The Who
         "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams
         "Hero Takes a Fall" by The Bangles
         "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones
         "White Bird" by It's a Beautiful Day
         "The Great Gate at Kiev" by Moussourgsky
         "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" by Mike + the Mechanics
         "Downtown" by Petula Clark

A couple from the list.

One of the top songs from the mid sixties, Petula Clark was quite popular. If you have seen the movie/musical Finian's Rainbow, she is Finian's daughter.

This was a popular song in the late sixties. The lead singer/violinist grew up here in Salt Lake, and played first chair in the Utah Symphony before going to the west coast and forming a band.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First post of the new year

Took almost a week.  I would have made a resolution to blog more consistently, but I hate making promises I can't guarantee.


Looks like we've got all sorts of do-gooder idiots in the news.

There is a bunch of Bible-thumpers who think it is there duty to go to Uganda and preach.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

What a bunch of self-righteous jerks.

Over in the Southern Sea, a group against whaling have gotten themselves in a pickle.  They claim that a whaling ship rammed them, which scuttled their boat.  Looking at the video, I'd say it was their own fault.  It appears to me that they tried to cut them off by going across the whaler's bow, and timed it wrong.  That's what happens when idiots try to play in traffic.


If you're not in the mood for a rant, skip this section.

Looks like some major Democratic players are retiring, and the Democratic Party is getting all antsy about the elections later this year.   This is almost comical.
The Republicans spend several years getting everyone pissed at them and their POTUS, and so a big portion of the populace decides to throw the bums out and replace them with Democrats.
“This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”
–Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi 

This bunch had it made.  All they had to do was try to keep things above board, and represent their people better than the Republicans did.  They could have come off as heroes, and made all kinds of point with the public.
As soon as they get in, they immediately start emulating the people they replaced.   When the economy starts going bad, both party's solution is to go with a stimulus package which is stuffed with pork.
Now they have a "Healthcare Package" that is a misbegotten hodge-podge of new bureaucracies, new agencies, and enough pork and plain-ass bribes that even the voters can see there is something fishy going on.  They managed to dirty up their reputations, screw over the voters, and pump the already bad national debt to a mind-buggering level, and with all this money, the economy is still going down, and health reform is years away.
And now they are getting all butthurt because the polls show the the voters have an abysmally low opinion of them.  That's what happens when you overdo it guys; most of the populace expects a certain amount of bullshit from the federal government, but you idiots are trying bloat the government to the point where John Public has noticed.  You guys shit in your bed, now sleep in it.
Just my opinion.


Well, it finally got up to freezing around here, looks like Europe and a lot of the eastern States are getting some nasty record-cold weather.
Good thing we have the global warming...


Has to be something in this bunch that someone likes.

         "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell
         "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen
         "Back Where You Belong" by .38 Special
         "It's Only Make Believe" by Conway Twitty
         "Who Am I" by Country Joe & the Fish
         "Down in Mexico" by The Coasters
         "Bad Company" by Bad Company
         "99 Luftballons" by Nena
         "Smuggler's Blues" by Glenn Frey
         "Perfect" by Sara Evans

The first and the last songs, below: