Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, June 30, 2012


We got "out" this evening for the first time in awhile.  Can't beat Bayou Place for convenience for us in downtown Houston, especially since we live only about a mile from the place.  

They normally charge $7/night for the underground parking, but I have a special, magical parking card from my job that gives me 24-hour access to the garage, and the monthly fee is subsidized greatly by my company.  I think the regular monthly fee is $125 for an unreserved parking spot, but we get it for $50/month, which is subtracted from the paycheck so it's a snap.  Doesn't matter what the weather is like, it's dry underground.  (Not that cool since they turned off the fans, but it still beats getting rained on).

So tonight we went to The Blue Fish in Bayou Place for dinner, and then a short walk next door to the Sundance Cinemas to see the new movie, "Ted."  I can't remember the last time we say a new movie on the first weekend of its release.  Seth MacFarlane wrote, produced, starred in and directed this one, in his directorial debut.  If you know Seth, you would know this movie was going to be funny, and it is.  Fucking hilarious.   

Ted is a teddy bear that comes to life after a wish by an 8-year-old Mark Wahlberg.  Once you suspend that disbelief, well, it's mostly laughs from there.  

They did a pretty cool "Ted is Real" website.  

We had some excellent Philadelphia rolls and Rainbow rolls at The Blue Fish, topped with a crab cake and some sort of beef teriyaki.  All of them were outstanding.  Turns out the wasabi mashed potatoes won't make you cry after all.  They were doing quite the booming business, and most of the outdoor tables were full too.  Outdoor!?!  Yes.

This was our first visit to the Sundance Cinema since Robert Redford opened it up about four months ago.  There are still 8 screens, as there were when the place was known as Angelika.  They replaced every chair with a wider, more cushioned rocker, with padded armrests and multiple cup holders.  Quite comfortable.  

Our theater seated about 175, and it was almost full.  The website says that they have an Art Gallery onsite that features a different local artist every three months.  I asked one of the attendants where exactly the Art Gallery was, and she pointed to one picture on the wall.  That's it.  One picture.  Wow.

Cool theater.  Great restaurant.  Funny movie.  

Here's one of the "restricted trailers" for the movie:

Ted: Restricted Trailer - watch more funny videos      

Friday, June 29, 2012

Transvaginal Mandate

Do you even need another example of Republican/conservative hypocrisy?

Now there's a quote that stands out.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) accused Republicans of hypocrisy for pairing protests against a health care mandate with demands for increasingly invasive restrictions on women's health.
"The only health care mandate they can embrace are transvaginal probes for women," O'Malley said Friday during a press call.
Of course, it's worth appreciating this as more than just a political zinger. For months, state officials -- most notably Republicans in Virginia, led by Gov. Bob McDonnell -- pushed measures intended to force women to have medically unnecessary ultrasounds before they could choose to terminate their pregnancies.
What if the women didn't want to have the ultrasound? Too bad. What if their physicians said the ultrasound served no medical purpose? It doesn't matter. Government would require women to make this purchase -- paid for out of their own pocket -- regardless of personal choice.
This, in the eyes of Republicans, was fine. But if President Obama follows Mitt Romney's lead, and creates a tax penalty for folks who can afford health insurance but refuse to buy it, that's an abusive, freedom-killing, communist plot that puts government between Americans and their doctors.

Electric Bonnoland

This is the 4th in a new ongoing series put together by one of my old college buddies.   He calls the series "Electric Bonnoland."  I get a kick out of them and you might too.  Here's wishing you success, Chris, but most of all here's wishing you happiness.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Despite his shortcomings, at least Obama has appointed some reasonable people to the SCOTUS.  (click it, baby)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Call Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and tell him the following:


(1) Becoming a multi-millionaire through connections made as an elected public servant.
(2) Your past crimes involving arson and gun violence.
(3) Voting FOR Mexican Cartel gun-running in 2006, then turning around and creating a non-existent conspiracy with "Fast and Furious" -- a program begun in the Bush administration.
(4) For conducting a multi-year witch hunt against President Obama instead of doing your job to stimulate the economy, assist your needy constituents who are homeless, unemployed, or hungry.
(5) For putting party ahead of country.

Issa's D.C. Office: 202-225-3906

...and here are a few more tasty morsels from Veracity Stew on Facebook.  IYAM, Veracity Stew is one of the best things about Facebook. and steal at will...

talk about activist judges?!

VP material?

---oh, there is so much more---

Rice: LOL

Let me count the ways this is laughably absurd....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Color test

Take The Color Challenge: How Well Can You See Color?

Could you be colorblind without even knowing it? While one out of 255 ladies suffer from mild colorblindness, a whopping one in 12 men can't tell the difference between chartreuse and lemon-mint. Egads!
Don't fret, we've found this nifty online quiz to test your color identification skills. Be warned: the test, made by X-Rite, manufacturer of color matching products, is not as easy as you might think. If you dare, follow the link to discover your true colors... or at least, your true color knowledge. Brag about or lament your score in the comments section below. (Note: We got a 12!)
I got a 114 the first time, and I thought I did very well.  The second time I got a 63, but now I'm seeing color spots all over the place.


Oh boy!  Micro Aerial Vehicles!  Something NEW to worry about!

Tiny insect size drones seen as a "tactical advantage in war " by U.S military

They look like mosquitoes and small flies, about the size of a pencil head. They are the newest trend in drones being developed by scientists working for the military industrial complex. The hope is to make the drones so small as to be near impossible to detect. They could then be used to spy, record, and even kill enemy personnel (by injecting them with nano poisons or exploding themselves in someone face or ear).

The new tiny drones are based on insect designs that have evolved over hundreds of millions of years. They represent a future trend now in science.

Expect to see more of them soon.

If the military gets their way they would deploy “swarms” of them on the battlefield.

Judging how drones are used now by the military to target, bomb and assassinate people, we expect that to continue in the future.

According to a recent RT news report the U.S. military is seeking to use these miniature drones to achieve what it calls a "tactical advantage in war."

You can go here or there or many other places to learn more.  Are they spying on you right now?!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yeah, I Said It

Just finished another book:  Wanda Sykes, "Yeah, I Said It." (2005).  Not a weighty tome by any means; just a bunch of short subjects where Wanda can stretch out a little and be funny.  Mostly funny.  Not exactly a Pulitzer Prize winner, but easy to read and you should get a FEW laughs out of it, at least, unless you're a conservative.  (Are there even any conservative comics out there??)  Sometimes you just gotta stop and do something that helps you to laugh.  It's very theraputic.  One of the funnier bits was a column she wrote for Esquire magazine called, "Ten Things You Don't Know About Women."  
You can read that here.     

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Life and Death

The wife and I had a near-death experience while driving from Austin to Houston this past weekend.

And I don't say that in jest.

I was driving east on Highway 290 from Austin doing about 70mph, the speed limit, in the right lane.   The wife was in the passenger seat.  We were at the head of a loose group of about 10 cars.  

I consider myself to be a pretty good, defensive, driver.  I glanced at the interior rear-view mirror and saw one car behind driving a bit erratically.  "Another asshole," I thought to myself.

I looked back at the road for a second, then glanced at the left rear-view mirror to see a silver car in the left lane crossing the middle and heading right for me.   It's not hard to distinguish a safe lane change from a maniacal lane change.

Seeing him on my left, I swerved to the right a bit, letting out a "Fuck!!" in the process.  As the wife gasped and hung on, the silver car sped past, barely missing my rear bumper by what must have been only inches.  He continued to veer to the right, right in front of me.  By this time, I was hitting my brakes.

The silver streak then, as if finally noticing he was about to go off the right side of the road, veered back hard left, locking up his brakes, sliding almost sideways in the middle of the road, with smoke pouring from his tires.

It was obvious he wasn't going to be able to straighten the car out before hitting the left guardrail, and he then veered just as sharply to the right and cut across both lanes of traffic, tires practically on fire.  The smoke was so thick I couldn't see.  But I could sure smell it.  It smelled like burning rubber.  Like a hospital.  Like a graveyard.  

Still slowing down, we emerged from the smoke cloud to see the silver asshole sitting in the grass on the right about 20 feet off of the road, right-side up, miraculously, tires still smoking.

I stopped the car on the right shoulder as did the car just behind me, thinking we might need to render some aid.  After all, the first person on the scene of a crash is supposed to stop to render aid.  It's the law.  I rolled the car slowly forward and could see inside the silver car at what looked to be four young adults.  The driver was stiff-legged and frozen.  It looked like he was standing on his brakes.  

I put the car in park and we were about to get out of the car when we see the silver asshole put the car in reverse and start to back up.  It appeared the driver was OK.  Well, maybe not OK OK, but OK enough, so we and the car behind me hit the gas and sped off.  I didn't want to be anywhere near that asshole.  

You know the old saying:  all's well that end's well.  Well, we narrowly averted a nasty crash.  Dodged yet another bullet.  The wife was a total wreck for the next 15-20 minutes, shaking and sobbing.  Understandably.  Somehow, I didn't seem too fazed.  After all, my defensive driving just saved our lives.  Or, that's what I'm going to tell myself.

Can't wait to get back out on the road again, right?  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Do it on the desk

Business and Pleasure

First thing's first: snag yourself a hot young multimillionaire entrepreneur (or someone to play the part). Then dramatically clear your desk for some desktop nookie!

Have your partner sit at a desk, then sensually straddle a leg over his lap and seat yourself on the desk's edge right in front of him. Have him stand, then wrap your legs around his hips to help him slide into you. Lay back on the desk, and either keep your legs around him, or stretch them up and over his shoulders for deeper strokes!

Go here for the rest of the sexy time stuff, thanks to "50 Shades of Gray."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mitt's donors

Why do the Republican's hate the poor so much?  They want to give big tax breaks to the wealthiest, while asking poor people to pay more in taxes.  The rich have been waging a war on the poor (and on government) for a long time in this country.  And they do appear to be winning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

The Summer and Winter Solstices are real reasons to celebrate and mark the passage of time, not some arbitrary alleged birthdays of the gods (which don't even exist).  You want something to give thanks for?  The sun is a really good candidate, for, without it, there would be no life on Earth.

Summer Solstice

StarDate June 20, 2012

For most of the modern world, the summer solstice is just another day on the calendar. Although it’s the longest day of the year, we generally don’t plan anything special to commemorate it.

That wasn’t the case in centuries past, though. In many cultures, the summer solstice was one of the most important days of the year — a time to come together in celebration. These cultures often set up Sun-watching stations to let them know when the solstice was at hand. A site in Egypt, for example, dates to before the time of the pharaohs. And one in northern New Mexico required the Sun-watcher to climb to a small niche in a mountaintop.

Another Sun-watching site may have been discovered in England. It’s not far from the city of Manchester, and it’s part of a complex known as Gardom’s Edge.

The site was inhabited as early as 4,000 years ago. It consists of cultivated fields, a few houses, and an enclosure where clans may have come together. It also includes a seven-foot triangular rock pillar that may have been aligned to the solstice.

The pillar appears to have been carefully prepared and aligned. It’s angled so that the northern side receives full sunlight only around the solstice. Researchers say that may indicate the marker was erected to give the gathering place extra significance — a symbol of the long, prosperous days of summer.

And this summer begins today, at 6:09 p.m. Central Time — just another day on the modern calendar.

Also, go here to Mother Nature Network for 8 modern celebrations of the summer solstice.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin words sol, meaning "sun," and sistere, meaning "to stand still." As the days become increasingly longer, the sun climbs higher and higher in the sky until it appears to stand still. Once the sun has reached its climax at the summer solstice, it will begin to descend as the days become increasingly shorter in the Northern Hemisphere until the winter solstice. In the northernmost parts of Finland and Norway, the sun won't set for months.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim's birthday was back on June 8.  This item ran in the Freedom From Religion daily email, and I thought it was interesting:

On this date in 1955, Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England. He became interested in computers while he studied physics at Oxford University. After his graduation in 1976, Berners-Lee became a software engineer.

While working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, he wrote a program called “Enquire.” “Enquire” allowed Berners-Lee to compile links to various files on his computer for personal use. The development of “Enquire” was integral to Berners-Lee’s proposal for the World Wide Web in 1989, allowing users to globally share information. Berners-Lee is responsible for helping invent some of the Internet’s most basic tools: the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and for creating the first Web server, Web browser and Web page. Berners-Lee is currently director of the World Wide Web Consortium at the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also director of the W3 Consortium, which works to improve the World Wide Web.

Berners-Lee was raised in the Church of England, but began questioning religion as a teenager. He says that his rejection of religion “relieved a great tension” (quoted in The Telegraph, Mar. 30, 2008). He is now a Unitarian Universalist. On a 1998 Web page titled “WWW and UU and I,” Berners-Lee described the appeal of Unitarianism: “Unitarian Universalists . . . allow or even require their belief to be compatible with reason. They are hugely tolerant.”

“I rejected [Christianity] just after being ‘confirmed’ and told how essential it was to believe in all kinds of unbelievable things.”
— Tim Berners-Lee, “WWW and UU and I,” 1998

Monday, June 18, 2012

Senate bill 3240

Don't Republicans want to reduce government regulations?  Here's a regulation - prohibiting the growing of hemp - that most anyone would agree should be repealed.  

We should unleash an entrepreneurial boom by allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Watch the short video...

Let U.S. Farmers Grow Hemp

June 2012 is a now a historic month and we need your Senators to support Senator Wyden's hemp farming amendment to the Farm Bill, S.3240, which will allow farmers in the U.S. to once again have the opportunity to grow industrial hemp.

From now until the last amendment to the Farm Bill is voted on, when you send an email to your Senators you will receive great coupons from leading hemp brands Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Manitoba Harvest, Food Should Taste Good, Nutiva, and Tempt.

Please click here to call your Senators and click here to email them. Take action now!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Romney doctrine

Yeah, the picture below says it in a nutshell.  I don't know why, but I keep having this feeling that enough Republicans are alarmed or disgusted enough by Romney to transcend party loyalty and not let this guy anywhere near the White House.  

Romney is the perfect rep for the wealthy class, short of one of the Koch brothers themselves.  Do the right thing, Republicans.  You know Romney would be bad for the country.

Yes, I know how to whistle "Dixie."

Friday, June 15, 2012

King of Rome

Great tune from the Pet Shop Boys, "King of Rome" circa 2009.  Made me cry the first time I heard it, and still does.  The end is a little weird, though.  If there is an "official" music video by the Pet Shop Boys, I couldn't find it.  Woulda been great....

King Of Rome lyrics

Songwriters: Lowe, Christopher Sean; Tennant, Neil Francis

Small man, big world
Lost beyond the pale
I know you inside out
I can tell the tale

Across the sky the change of time
Last night I lost all day
I'm here and there or anywhere
Away from Manderley

And if I were the king of Rome
I couldn't be more tragic
My fate to roam so far from home
In search of mindless magic

Oh baby come back
Oh baby come back to me

The desert moon, a new lagoon
We glide upon the surface
Night falls fast, no shadows cast
Arriving without purpose

Oh baby call me
Oh baby call me today

And if I were the king of Rome
I couldn't be more lonely
With so much scope to dream and hope
Someday you'll deign to phone me

Oh baby call me
Oh baby call me today

I long for your inscrutable pale face
I hunger for your beautiful embrace

Midtown Garden

Well, whattayaknow?  The Chronicle had a nice write-up on the Midtown Community Garden.  

A patch of gardening paradise in the city

Published 05:59 p.m., Thursday, June 7, 2012

A few blocks from the skyscrapers, buses, cars and scurrying people of downtown Houston, a little patch of land is farmed by a little clatch of neighbors.
Surrounded by a donated picket fence with arched gates, the garden is a whimsical mishmash of vegetables, bedding plants and yard art.

Go here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What a wonderful world

Indeed.  Let's not fuck it up too badly, eh?

Let's Go!

Shell has developed a website where regular ol' folks can create an advertisement about Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic*.  Kinda makes you wonder ...

Here's one....

Many more here.

*Ed. note: Turns out this site is a spoof.  A hilarious spoof, but a spoof.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bath salts?!

Bath salts?!  Really?!  

Hey DEA!  You see this?  No matter what, people are going to look for and find a way to "get high" and have a good time.  "Good time" being a pretty subjective thing.  Considering what we've seen so far, you'd have to be pretty fucking STUPID to try to ingest bath salts.

What next?  Sheesh!

...from ""  

Ten of the most insane things people have done while high on bath salts.

When hallucinating on bath salts, the only way you know who's real is when they start reading your Miranda rights. 

Click here for the rest.

Cat wants privacy

This is not our cat.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Flowers 'n stuff

And now, a few shots from the garden.  They get bigger if you click 'em.  

The flowers are blooming.

The jatropha never stops blooming

The plumerias are simply amazing

Young plumeria flower stalks

The wood is rotting

The blackberries are growing

My method of trash removal from the deck.  Some of it gets composted.


The squash is creeping

 Outta sight, things can get ugly.

None survived.

 The world is deliberately out of focus

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Red Hot Patriot

It's long overdue!   When will the movie be made?

Main Street Theater to present 'Red Hot Patriot'

“Red Hot Patriot” is a funny, down-to-earth story of the unsinkable Molly Ivins, the famously brassy newspaper columnist and best-selling author.


The Main Street Theater will stage a production of "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins" from June 14 through July 1.

Performances will take place at Main Street Theater's Chelsea Market location, 4617 Montrose Blvd. in Houston. Show times include 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Ticket prices begin at $20 and vary depending on date and section.

Written by twin sisters Margaret Engel and Allison Engel, "Red Hot Patriot" looks at the life and work of the play's eponymous subject. A newspaper columnist, political commentator, author, humorist and Texas native, Ivins passed away in 2007.

"Molly Ivins was a bold, smart, determined woman who never forgot to laugh," said Main Street Theater Executive Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden in a press release announcing the production. "This play deftly captures her indomitable spirit and tells it like it is, just like she did."

Patti Bean will direct Sara Gaston as Molly Ivins. Gaston has appeared in works such as "The Rice," "Present Laughter," "The Best Man," "Ouroboros" and "Margin for Error." Mark B. Robbins will play the helper.

The design team includes Jeffrey S. Lane, set design; Eric L. Marsh, lighting design; Shawn W. St. John, sound design; Rebecca Greene Udden, costume design; and Dani Luers, properties design. Eva De La Cruz is stage manager.

A discussion with Bean, Gaston and Betsy Moon from the ACLU of Texas is scheduled to follow the June 24 performance.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 713-524-6706. Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office, 2540 Times Blvd. in Houston.

Original.  I do believe that we have tickets to opening night.