Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Drop That Gas Pump, Ma'am, And Back Away Slowly

So I hear Bush is going to say "America is addicted to oil" in tonight's SOTU address.

Hey, I'm as glad as anyone to see our president addressing our oil issues, but isn't this a little like Pablo Escobar complaining that people snort too much coke?

A Tale of Two Shitties

I suppose you all know that 1) Coretta Scott King has died at the age of 78, and 2) Alito was confirmed.

Crappy day all around.

Broke Backlash?

Well, the Academy Awards nominations are out. Brokeback leads the group with eight nominations. I was particularly pleased to see Jake Gyllenhaal get a nod for best supporting actor. In truth, I was even a little more impressed with his performance than with Heath Ledger's. It would have been awfully easy to make Jack Twist a caricature. But Gyllenhaal added such amazing texture to what could have easily been a generic devil-may-care rodeo cowboy. Gyllenhaal perfectly portrayed the elusive truth that the "stable" partner sometimes depends almost totally on his more expressive partner as a conduit for emotional release -- in some respects, even as a means of feeling.

I'm rooting for Brokeback, but not just because it would be a wonderful thing in these medieval times for a gay-themed movie to win at the Oscars. It's the theme of self-emergence in the wilderness that captivates me most.

So since I'm rooting for Brokeback, the S.A.G. awards gave me some pause; I believe the film was almost or totally shut out (Wasteland? Full Moon?) I'm wondering whether there is a "Broke Backlash" forming that will affect its performance at the Oscars. Thoughts, film-ies?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Question for Portland Area Visitors

What's the best fishmonger in town?

(I love the word "fishmonger.")

Friday, January 27, 2006

Memes, Glorious Memes

Rose did not tag me with this meme. But I think she secretly wants me to do it.

So let's get after it:

Four places I've worked:

1. A large Atlanta law firm
2. A large Indianapolis law firm
3. Legal Aid Society in a southern town
4. A collection agency

Four movies I'd watch over and over again:

1. Office Space
2. Gross Pointe Blank
3. Arthur
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Places I've Lived

1. North-central Florida
2. Greensboro, North Carolina
3. Atlanta, Georgia
4. Lake Oswego, Oregon

Four TV shows I love to watch

Well, this is embarrassing. I don't have any.

Four places I've been on vacation

1. San Juan, Puerto Rico
2. Spain
3. Banff, Canada
4. Texas Hill Country

Websites I visit daily

1. Yahoo
2. Various left-wing and other blogs
3. The Washington Post
4. Blogger

Four of my favorite foods

1. Conch chowder
2. Succotash from Yats in Indy (it is too succotash, Flies)
3. Bloggerdad's stuffing
4. TH Mom's roasted potatoes

Places I would rather be right now

1. In the kitchen of my old house after a dinner party with the Wastelands, Full Moon, and the Pickerings. Though that would probably confuse the new owners.

2. The Montana house.

3. The Florida Keys. Or backpacking the Florida Trail.

4. At the Museo del Vino in Madrid, eating the Norwegian lobster cream soup and their signature rice pudding.

Friday Random Ten -- The I Want To Be In The Islands Edition

1. Loggins & Messina -- Long Tail Cat
2. Seal -- Love's Divine
3. Sade -- Kiss of Life
4. Jimmy Buffett -- Someone I Used to Love
5. Harry Nilsson -- Everybody's Talkin' ("I'm going where the sun keeps shinin'...Goin' where the weather suits my clothes")
6. Liz Phair -- H.W.C. (This would probably be more the "I Want to Be In Key West" Edition)
7. Gustavo Santaollala -- Snow (So much for the islands)
8. Jimmy Buffett -- Conky Tonkin'
9. Queen -- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
10. Carolyn Dawn Johnson -- I Don't Want You to Go

More Turkey Vulture Hijinks

Via the e-mail inbox, I am advised that if you google "turkey vulture anus," the fourth-listed item is Anonymous' comment from last week: "Was Scalia behind the turkey vulture anus search?"

Who's gonna be able to resist a teaser like that?

Now if only we could get it to the top of the list when you google "Scalia."

Your Liberal Media

What's wrong with this paragraph?

WASHINGTON - Senate GOP leaders plan to confirm Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito early next week after dealing with a filibuster threat from Democratic die-hards who worry that the conservative judge would swing the court too far to the right.
First to get it right in the comments gets the Trailheadcase Turkey Vulture Award.

Dangerous Vegans

Anyone see this in the national media? Yeah, didn't think so. Apparently the great national security threat of our times comes from people who literally wouldn't hurt so much as a honeybee:

For example, more than two dozen government surveillance photographs show 22-year-old Caitlin Childs of Atlanta, a strict vegetarian, and other vegans picketing against meat eating, in December 2003. They staged their protest outside a HoneyBaked Ham store on Buford Highway in DeKalb County.

An undercover DeKalb County Homeland Security detective was assigned to conduct surveillance of the protest and the protestors, and take the photographs. The detective arrested Childs and another protester after he saw Childs approach him and write down, on a piece of paper, the license plate number of his unmarked government car.

"They told me if I didn't give over the piece of paper I would go to jail and I refused and I went to jail, and the piece of paper was taken away from me at the jail and the officer who transferred me said that was why I was arrested," Childs said on Wednesday.

The detective did not comment in his report about why his license tag number was already visible to the public.
Thanks be to God the gummint is there to protect us from those militant pacifists.

The detective wrote that Childs was "hostile, uncooperative and boisterous toward the officers." Childs said today that the agents shouldn't have been there in the first place, squelching legal dissent.

Boisterous. Boy am I in trouble. Anyone ever seen me near a chocolate cake?

Does anyone have any more on this? Did this little carrot-eater actually threaten someone at some time, or does the DeKalb County Division of Homeland Security really have this much time on its hands?

Via Pandagon.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Google Search of the Week: Return of the Turkey Vulture

Is there some issue I'm unaware of with respect to the anus of a turkey vulture? Some urban legend I'm not in on? Because this is the second time "turkey vulture anus" has landed someone on this site. And it's from a totally different part of the country, thus precluding the likelihood that its some high school kid doing a project on the anatomy of a turkey vulture.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Like a Case of Road Rash, Only Funny

I am in physical pain from the brutal hilarity of The Beast's 50 Most Loathesome People in America, 2005. Don't forget to read each person's "sentence."

Not for the faint of heart; there are a couple that even I winced at.

Give yourself plenty of time to savor it. It's a work of fucking art.

Here's a teaser, from the 43rd most loathesome person, Rush Limbaugh:

If political discussion were sex, the Limbaugh audience would be a horde of virgins beating off to deranged rape fantasies.
No. 35, Michael Brown, is utterly breathtaking in its display of the cold, hard truth.

Amazing stuff.

Via Shakespeare's Sister.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wherein Your Blogger Attempts to Stave Off the Urge To Become Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Introducing: The Florida image marathon.

It Burns, It Burns! Someone Make it Stop!

Probably not much posting today, as I'm absorbed in some work.

In any event, this is enough to make me want to stay off the internets and out of the TV room for the foreseeable future.

I believe it was Arun who said, "as I travel the world, I sometimes cross a cultural desert."

Friday, January 20, 2006

Molly Ivins is Mad As Hell

And she's not gonna take it anymore. Molly says "not no but hell no" to Hillary for Prez.

In what amounts to a "fuck you, Hillary, et al," Molly Ivins prescribes the cure for what ails ya. I love you, Molly:

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

After reminding the Democratic Surrender Monkeys what the plls really say, we get to my favorite part:
Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

I feel all tingly all over. Go read the whole thing. Every word is delicious.

Off to the Races

I feel it necessary to commemorate a milestone in the young life of Rose's offspring, Astrid. Miss Astrid acquired not only a good deal of mobility this week when she up and started crawling, but also achieved a significant alteration in the power structure. Fortunately, Rose is on top of things, and has created a "baby run" for her.

Plus, here is the funniest photo essay ever, captured while Rose and Uwe were trying to prevent their daughter from becoming the kind of foot-fetishist whose google searches land her on Trailheadcase.

Congratulations, Astrid. Give 'em hell, girl!

No Good Googles This Week

Where are all the pervs and excrement-fetishists?

Update: Oops, one of the pervs is back. "Kidnapped and gagged," this afternoon. They're baaaaaaack....

Friday Random Ten

Because it's fun, and comparing mine to the young hipsters keeps me humble:

1. Killer Queen, Queen
2. Simply Complicated, Jimmy Buffett (are you happy, cayo loco?)
3. Vahevala, Loggins & Messina ("I'm thinkin' 'bout, when I was a sailor...")
4. Wild Montana Skies, John Denver (Yes, damn it. John Denver. You don't know the half of it.)
5. Slide, Goo Goo Dolls
6. The Devil's Right Hand, Steve Earle
7. Why Can't I? Liz Phair
8. Bears, Lyle Lovett
9. The Lighthouse's Tale, Nickel Creek
10. Big Yellow Taxi, Counting Crows

Look at that list. What the hell is the matter with me?

Steve Earle and the Goo Goo Dolls, for crying out loud? Liz Phair and John Denver?

Friday Cat Blogging and a Bonus Dog Pic

"My belly needs scratching. Get after it already, wouldja?"

Everyone, meet Cosworth, the most recent addition to Trailhead Brother II's household, and...

Everyone say hello to Full Moon's Sam ("Yam," to TK), who is delivering a similar message.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wherein Your Blogger Relates How Technology Has Thrice Grievously Failed Her in as Many Days

I was sitting up here a couple of days ago, diligently working – a rare state of affairs in any event – when I began to hear the soothing sound of a waterfall in my peaceful, zen-like mind. Only it wasn’t in my zen-like mind, it was in my laundry room. I leapt up as though bitten on the ass and bounded into the guest room, which houses our laundry facilities. Whereupon I was met with the sight of gallons and gallons of water pouring (zen-like) out of my brand new, front-loading washer and onto the floor.

I screamed a little, then began grabbing towels and things to throw on the floor, and screamed a little more. (Fortunately, we’re not very good at folding laundry, and so there were a bunch of clean towels piled on the guest bed.) Then, like an idiot, I realized that water was still pouring out of the washing machine and I frantically hit the cancel button, to no avail. The deluge continued.

I took the stairs four at a time, emitting little yelps along the way, and grabbed a couple stock pots, then took the stairs back up four at a time. After positioning one of them underneath the cascade, I grabbed the phone and called TS.


Him: Wha--? [Apparently not discerning that I was asking for reasons beyond general enlightenment.]


Well, I finally got it shut off. By that time, the carpet outside the laundry room was not merely wet, but could fairly be called sodden, and I had nary a dry towel. By the time TS got home to help assess the situation, gravity had interceded, and there was a goodly amount of water in the garage.

Well, the insurance guy has been out and he assures us that it’s probably not the end of the world, and that it will all dry out, even inside the wall. My washing machine guy, on the other hand, is still uncertain why my washing machine declined to stop spewing forth water at the appropriate time. But because he is a washing machine guy, he ordered a part and promises to install it on Monday.

Then today, I met TS and Tony for lunch, whereupon I discovered that the driver’s side door on my Volkswagen Jetta had developed an antipathy to performing the most basic door-like function: closing.

Have you ever driven a manual transmission vehicle while using your left arm to hold the door closed? No? Good. Don’t – and then you might not nearly die a horrible fucking death because you failed to make the sharp left-leaning bend in the road while steering with a single hand, since your other hand was busy keeping the door from swinging open into oncoming traffic at the apex of the curve.

No sooner had I returned home and settled back down to work than my computer flashed, for approximately an eighth of a second, a blue screen with a bunch of words, one of which was “VIRUS,” before shutting down entirely. It must have been just kidding, because it fired right back up again. Or it might just be waiting to utterly fail me at the worst possible time.

The Luddites had a fucking point.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More Brokeback

For the Brokeback junkies among us: read this.


Paul Hackett Makes Me Hot*

Because he says to hell with the genuflecting, craven Democrat paradigm, instead choosing to be bluntly honest about matters:

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren’t a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world," he said. "The challenge is for the rest of us moderate Americans and citizens of the world to put down the fork and spoon, turn off the TV, and participate in the process and try to push back on these radical nuts – and they are nuts."
Thank you, Paul, can we have another?

With succinct coherence, Hackett said: "I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-gay-rights, I’m pro-gun-rights. Call me nuts, but I think they’re all based on the same principle and that is we don’t need government dictating to us how we live our private lives."
Then he applies a much-needed smackdown on marriage equality issues:

Asked to define being pro-gayrights, Hackett said anybody who tries to deny homosexuals the same rights, including marriage, as every other citizen is un-American. Are you saying, he was asked, that the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted in November 2004 to constitutionally deny same-sex marriages are un-American?

"If what they believe is that we’re going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that’s un-American. They’ve got to accept that. It’s absolutely un-American."
You're got-damn right it's un-American, junior. I love you, Paul.

Go read the whole thing.

And you know what else? He refused to apologize when the Repubs started squawking about it.

*I'm just stodgy enough to feel the need to apologize to his wife for this statement. But I just can't help it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hey Look, Everyone!

Flies with Moose.

Aliens Kidnapped Al Gore in 1999

But they've apparently returned him, and retrieved that ineffectual stick-up-the-butt they dropped off for the 2000 election.

Al swipes back at the Bush Administration's response to his speech.

Observations Across the Spectrum

The Supremes have upheld Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. If I have some extra time today, I'm going to read the opinion, at which point I will report back. (Yes, I know, I said I had trouble doing legal analysis unless I was getting my hourly rate. But I'm interested in this one, so bite me.)

You know, Oregon does a lot of sensible things that the rest of the country won't touch. Mail-in ballots, assisted suicide, medical marijuana. Interestingly, Oregon's state constitution is modeled after Indiana's. Which should give you some small idea of the vast oceans of difference in how they get interpreted. I have concluded that it's the rain. You just start to not give a shit after awhile. "Fuck it, it's been raining for the last 45 days. Let's pass an assisted suicide law."

Anyone watch the Golden Globes? Is it just me, or would it be a real pisser to co-write with the computer-eschewing Larry McMurtry? Let's hope he had an assistant kind enough to scan his typewritten drafts and e-mail them to Diana Ossana.

As for the award for best score, well, just insert heavy sigh here. I will defer to the words of Shakespeare's Sister:

How does Gustavo Santaolalla not win for Best Score? I. Get. It. John Williams is a great composer blah blah blah. He doesn't need any more awards. And none of his scores have ever given me the shivers the way Santaolalla's did.

What's everyone up to today?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Passed Along Without Comment


(Yes, I still use that as shorthand. I'm tragically unhip, I told you.)

What's going on with everyone today? What happened this weekend? What are you listening to? What are you reading? Blogging anything fun? Planning any trips? Just feeling like a smart ass (Tony)?

Here are some links to what I've been browsing this morning:

I like this article. I'm not crazy about some of the views on animals displayed in this piece. But I love it anyway, mostly because this is one cool cat.

Al Gore is back, and he's pissed off. And I'm glad someone is, because every other eunuch in the Democratic leadership is too busy beard-stroking and navel-gazing to stand up to these right-wing lunatics.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Over The River and Through the Woods

To Mt. Hood we go. Gotta get out of this rain now that it's the weekend. So we're throwing the backcountry skis, the snowshoes and TK's little sled into the truck and heading east. A little elevation and -- poof, you've got snow.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Because its fun and indulgently self-referential, I'll partake this week. From my tragically unhip iTunes shuffle:

1. If You're Here When I Get Back, John Eddie
2. He Was a Friend of Mine, Willie Nelson (Brokeback Mountain Soundtrack)
3. Opening, Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain)
4. The Fox, Nickel Creek
5. Another Road, Loggins & Messina
6. Melissa, The Allman Brothers
7. The Painter, Neil Young
8. A Horse With No Name, America
9. Ocean Front Property, George Strait
10. A Love Song (Live at the Santa Barbara Bowl), Loggins & Messina

Google Search of the Week


From no less distinguished an institution than the United States Supreme Court, believe it or not, someone landed here today doing a search for….I can hardly wrap my brain around this….

“O Karma Where Art Thou”

Some things are just too precious. Where indeed??

UPDATE: TV-junkie Wasteland, after allowing this to sit for six-plus hours, has reluctantly clued me in to last night's episode of My Name is Earl, from whence this phrase arose. Still, funny to imagine the justices enjoying an episode of Earl.

(Last week's Google Search (turkey vulture edition) here.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Couple of Light Thoughts on Brokeback Mountain

We saw Brokeback Mountain awhile ago, and it’s been beating the shit out of me ever since because, like a good film is supposed to, it splits you open and leaves you trying to gather your own emotional entrails for a week or so.

In the end, I decided I had just a couple of points to make about it. First, I hear a lot of people saying “this isn’t a gay movie.” That bugged me before I saw it. After all, what is a “gay movie”, anyway? Philadelphia? The Bird Cage? But whatever a gay movie is, Brokeback Mountain ain’t it, according to them. No. What it really is, they say, is a love story, and a tragic one.

As if it couldn’t be both a gay movie and “just” a love story. One or the other. Pick.

Now, I think there are several different reasons why people say “it’s not a gay movie,” but the one I’m talking about reflects a certain truth – that it’s just never occurred to a lot of people that a pure love story could be about two people of the same sex.

And once that occurs to you, well then wow. You’re in a whole new world, Junior. What these folks are finding is that they relate to Jack and Ennis – and their tragedy – as just people in love, and not as GAY PEOPLE in love, and therefore it isn’t a gay movie. I see this disconnect as a salutary development, in a way. People are finally – finally! – seeing the love, instead of their bias.

But part of me still hates it when someone says “Oh no, it’s not a gay movie!” (with the unspoken “don’t worry!”) Well, folks, it patently is a gay movie, and I’m not going to cheat my gay friends out of one of the most compelling love stories ever made by denying it. So, it is a gay movie, dammit.

But then again, it isn’t. It isn’t a gay movie, in the sense that there are several themes running through this film, and the gayness of the main characters is only one of them. And it’s probably not the most important one, though it’s related to the most important one, which is what happens when you can’t, don’t, or don’t know how to live authentically.

While it’s clear that Ennis deeply feared violence should he openly acknowledge his relationship with Jack, that’s not the whole story. He didn’t just keep his homosexuality on a short leash – he rationed himself every feeling, every joy, and every human connection on the stingiest terms.

I don’t think it’s an accident that Ennis and Jack came together “out there,” or – as the overused and insufficient cliché goes – “in nature.” John Muir said, “fears vanish as soon as one is fairly free in the wilderness.” Things get genuine. Because that’s all there is.

Aside from the interpersonal, the film itself is awesomely gorgeous, with the Rocky Mountains of Alberta standing in for Wyoming. I know it’s a cliché, but see it on the big screen if you can. The soundtrack is masterful, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Willie Nelson’s music as much, or Emmylou Harris's. (And that’s saying a lot.) But if you’re not willing to let yourself be a little bit emotionally hijacked, maybe you should skip it until you are. Or maybe you should just go anyway.

More on Anonymous Annoyers

Welp, the lawyers are all over this like a pack of dachsunds on a snausage. Wasteland included a valuable link to much of this discussion in the comments to the previous post, and I'm pulling it up to the front page. So, go here for more discussion on what lawyers think the statute means, doesn't mean, and what constitutional principles it violates and why.

For my part, I have trouble doing legal analysis unless I'm getting paid my hourly rate for it, so I'll leave it up to those for whom it's a compulsion.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My Name is Trailhead, and I Approved This Annoying Message

Hmmm. This provision was signed into law last Thursday:

"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

Lawyer friends: Anyone care to take bets on how long this steaming pile of unconstitutionally vague* dung lasts?

* Not an exhaustive explication

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Karmic Justice?

Wasteland has sent me this little tidbit, suggesting that Earl Hickey might find some karmic justice in these events. I pass it on to you with no further comment:

FORT SUMNER, New Mexico (AP) -- A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire.

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house.

No one (human) was hurt.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Post-Christmas Multimedia and the Trailhead Family

We're reading, watching, and listening to so much good stuff we got during the holidays that I thought I'd plug it on the ol' blog.

Thanks to Bloggerdad, Trailhead Kid has been enjoying (along with his parents) The Life of Mammals, a multi-DVD set hosted by the irresistible Sir David Attenborough.

I purchased The Sex Lives of Cannibals at the Powell's in the Portland airport before we flew out to Indy. I haven't laughed so much on a flight since I read Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent on the trip from JFK to Indy on our way back from Madrid (ask Trailhead Brother how that went). Author J. Maarten Troost and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Sylvia move to an atoll in the South Pacific called Tarawa. Are you thinking a lush island paradise? Think again. Hilarious.

Finally, thanks to the Wasteland Family, TK has been enjoying his new They Might be Giants CD, Here Come the ABC's. My favorite: "C is for conifer, over 500 kinds...."

Highly recommended, all.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Scene of the Crime

Well, I see a couple of bright spots here. One is that it's orange highlighter, not black permanent marker. Another is that we made it three years and four months before having a major wall-scribbling event. Still another is that I hate white walls, so this was going to be painted eventually anyway.

Still, I didn't know when it was going to be painted, and I had hoped to have a little leeway on the matter.

And Bloggerdad, this is not funny.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Trailheadcase Google Search of the Week

"Does a turkey vulture have an anus?"

Listen, I don't even know where to begin with this one.

Why wouldn't it?

(And to think I almost ditched this image because I cut the top of the vulture's head off. But I guess the head isn't what matters.)

Pat Down

Well, we still don't know what Pat Robertson's New Year's Resolutions were, but we do know that "I resolve not to be such a douchebag" was not among them:

The Rev. Pat Robertson said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being punished by God for dividing the Land of Israel. Robertson, speaking on the “700 Club” on Thursday, suggested Sharon, who is currently in an induced coma, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by an Israeli extremist in 1995, were being treated with enmity by God for dividing Israel. “He was dividing God’s land,” Robertson said. “And I would say, Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the E.U., the United Nations or the United States of America. God says, This land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.”

It occurs to me that one of my resolutions should be to pick more challenging targets than Pat Robertson.

Via TPM.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I've been sitting, watching it all unfold. The joy near midnight as word came that "We Got 12 Alive!" The relief as one ambulance came down, then no more. We were told that the miner in that ambulance was unconscious, yet with no visible trauma other than apparent shock. I began to wonder why no more came. Then, out of the blue, a woman literally rushed Anderson Cooper during his broadcast with the bizarre, horrible news.

The families, so relieved, so happy -- then utterly destroyed.

The CEO of International Coal Group advised during a press conference that 27-year old Randal McCloy is the only survivor, and he is in critical condition.

May they all find peace someday.

Monday, January 02, 2006

An Astonishing Act of Self-Involvement to Close out 2005

I've been noticing that a lot of bloggers have been posting their "top ten posts of the year." Generally, these bloggers are picking out ten of their 2005 posts that they like the best and posting a wrap-up of them.

In almost all its incarnations, blogging is a pretty "self-referential" activity. (I cannot remember which blogger used that term and when, but one did, it stuck with me, and I'm using it.) Even so, it seems like a pretty striking act of self-involvement to actually take the time to pore over your work, pick out the ten posts you like the best, and create a whole new post with links to them.

So naturally I'm on board with it.

But because I do have a modicum of self-restraint, I will restrict myself to five:

In August, I reminisced about very nearly eating a grape I found on the ground once (after a mere three days of backpacking.) I like this post as much for the comments as for the actual post.

I like this post not because it's a prizewinning piece of writing, but because the described events encapsulate all the weird quirkiness of Montanans.

Here is "what passes for intelligent conversation at Trailhead House."

These two posts set forth my ethos of laziness.

That was kinda fun. Perhaps I should treat this as a self-originated meme. I think it's your turn, Rose!

(I'd tag you, Tony, but I'm not sure you've done five posts all year.)

Time-Waster of the Day

I'm always eager for humor that trades on my longstanding nemesis, word verification.

Zharc! The Comment Word Verification Dictionary.

This post is my favorite, I believe.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Chortle of the Day

This is one of those things that you are not supposed to find funny, because someone was injured, even if just on the ankle:

FREMONT, Calif. - A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer suffered minor injuries, including bites to his ankle, Detective Bill Veteran said.

The five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy's home and rushed the officer in the doorway Thursday, authorities said. The teenager had been detained after the traffic incident.
On this, the dawn of a new year, thanks be to God that we still live in a world where you can read a headline containing the phrase "pack of angry chihuahuas." For that, I am deeply grateful.

Via Feministe.