Gary Digs Tales of the holes I dig, the dirt piles I make, and the holes I fill at the B-Bar-Lazy-B

November 16, 2008

Credit where credit is due…

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — gary @ 7:45 pm

 I’ve gotta give props (no pun intended) to Keith Olbermann (who generally just irritates me as much as any of the rest of his ilk on the 24 hour news cycle) for the following:

 

Generally, I tend to think the more effective (and more accurate) tact is that in a supposedly “free” secular country “marriage” in and of itself has no place in government. All government recognized unions should be by definition “civil unions” and “marriage” can stay in the churches. The short of it in my view is that the government doesn’t really have any business mucking around in our bedrooms, but if it is going to, then in order to preserve the supposed separation of church and state, then the government needs to recognize consentual unions amongst any given pair or group of adult citizens.

November 4, 2008

“Lookin’ for a Leader” election day freak out…

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — gary @ 1:09 pm

first, you have to know that there are 2,532 songs on my iPod (which generally stays in my truck unless I buy or import some songs and need to sync up). You should also know I am a little bit obsessive about keeping it on “Shuffle All”. I enjoy my music, all of it, and I like the random surprises the “Shuffle All” provides.

Another important tidbit to keep this story in perspective is that my polling place is only about 10 blocks away from my house, so it is about a 2 minute drive over there (yeah, I drove, the truck over there…it is cold and wet, I wanted to swing by the espresso stand on my way home, and I’m a carbon nuetral driver with 99.9% bio-diesel in the F250).

So, there is only really time for a single song between here and my polling location, so my eyes started getting really moist when my iPod fortuitously and at random decided to play Neil Young – Lookin’ for a Leader as I drove away from the house. I should also mention I don’t “Rate” my songs, I don’t want to skew the randomness of my musical experience. I bought the song back in November of 2006, and I only recall it coming up on shuffle a couple of times since then, so I suppose it was about due.

I guess there still is some magic in the day-to-day, I sometimes forget that these days since it doesn’t seem to present itself with the same frequency it did when I was younger. Rationally speaking, that song is going to play about once every 2,532 times I go to vote…odds like that aren’t incredibly comforting to the consumate atheist…but, I’ve never said there aren’t unknowns, just that the notion of omnipotent hate mongering phantoms and a “one true religion” that sentences people to eternal damnation for various trivial infractions and moral disagreements seems pretty silly…

November 3, 2008

Today I’m so….

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — gary @ 7:16 pm

pre-occuppied with tomorrow that I can hardly stand today…

That’s all I’ve got for now, and tomorrow I will be stationed in front of the TV and the ol’ interweb until the cows come home…

Ok, can’t resist, saw this on FiveThrityEight.com

“And I swore I’d be in Chicago tomorrow, and made sure of that, taking a bus to Chicago, spending most of my money, and didn’t give a damn, just as long as I’d be in Chicago tomorrow.”

Jack Kerouac — On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/chicago-tomorrow.html

October 25, 2008

The cat came back…

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , , , , , — gary @ 10:58 pm

6 days later???

Strange that right after we finally posted signs that Bukowski waltzed in the house looking for dinner. Perhaps he can read…

Or, he got himself trapped in someone’s shed or garage…

Or, he has been in someone’s house and instead of calling they just let him go…which is disappointing, but we were sure excited to see him stroll in through the cat door and head up stairs to eat. He spent some time napping on the bed, and then he was off again. He came home in pretty good shape with the exception of a fairly gnarly, but in the process of healing, scab on the top of his back that looks like he has repeated sqeezed under something very tight and rough.

He wasn’t out front this morning waiting for some lap time, but that was a fairly recent phenomena anyway. We have grown accustomed to him carousing for a day or two and rolling back in to dine, but 6 days means he must have some other place, or something…I’m kind of baffled actually, so forgive the rambling, I hope we see him sometime today as well.

October 23, 2008

It’s the not knowing…

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , , , , , , — gary @ 9:32 am

a cliché, but “clichés, good ways, to say what you mean, mean what you say…” (Jimmy Buffet, Clichés, Havana Daydreamin’).

It seems we can’t get through a month without a little drama and disaster around here. Bukowski the cat has now gone missing. We last saw him on Sunday night. Historically this has not been unusual for him. I have often suspected he has an alternate home he visits, but as of today (Thursday) this is the longest he has been gone since he first showed up filthy injured stinking intact and feisty in our driveway. And throughout the summer he has been reliably present in the morning and evening for some quality lap time and hard-core cuddling just about every day.

So, today I make signs (we conveniently have lots of plastic slip covers for lost/found pets since we have the good fortune of encountering every stray wondering in the road for which we have to seek an owner), and hopefully our Bukowski cat is curled up in front of someone’s fireplace living it up on tuna and sardines somewhere… of course, as previously mentioned, it’s the not knowing that sets me spinning…

a lover, but a fighter (and a bit of a lap cat)

a lover, but a fighter (and a bit of a lap cat)

October 19, 2008

Ummm…I almost wet myself…

Filed under: Politics,Recreation — Tags: , , , — gary @ 8:11 am

First, you must follow this link.

and a very special thanks to M&M Incremental Updates for making my Sunday morning with that link.

October 16, 2008

This just in…

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , , — gary @ 10:42 am

Maya has written about and posted pictures of the spoiled girls of the house…

You must visit here.

A word or two about Joe the Plumber…

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — gary @ 10:02 am

2008-10-18 Update on Joe (not really Joe and not a licensed plumber).

I was reluctant to write this post. I’m not 100% sure why, but I think it might be because I hate to memorialize what I think was one of Barack Obama’s greatest gaffes through the debates. I just don’t think he addressed this Joe the Plumber nonsense directly enough…

McCain tried to make Joe the Plumber sound like Joe Sixpack, but the fatal flaw that Obama failed to call out was that Joe Sixpack isn’t generally contemplating BUYING HIS EMPLOYER! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Joe the Plumber. I know that since I started working for myself I feel a lot fewer stresses in some areas of my life (a considerable number of additional stresses in others given the current economic climate), but really…

Cut me a break… Barack should have addressed this head on. I just wish he would have said, “Joe, I’m very happy you have worked hard and put yourself into a position to consider BUYING YOUR EMPLOYER, but this is not the position that the majority of American’s are in, and we need to shore up the vast majority of small business that make less that a quarter of million dollars a year and we need to come together to help the vast majority of Americans who have not had the same good fortune.”

We’re all supposed to empathize with the guy because he has to reconsider BUYING HIS EMPLOYER because there may be negative tax consequences should he do that???? WTF? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all in the position to consider buying out our employer. Wouldn’t it be nice if those guys on the picket lines at Boeing could have an influential ownership interest in the company? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had the capital to take a DIRECT ownership interest in the engines of the economy? Call me an anarcho-syndicalist if you’d like, but I think that would solve several serious problems with the labor/industry relationship in this country. If the CEO could be fired by the employees when he chose to line his pockets with nice warm $100 bills rather than seriously propelling the company he leads into sustainable innovative endeavors, well, perhaps he would have an interest in actually helping the company succeed rather than driving it into the ground and walking away with an $8 million severence package.

Does the government need to oil the wheels of the economy? Yes. Can the government do this effectively by generically decreasing the taxes of the wealthiest citizens? Hell No! That doesn’t work. That’s Bush’s mode of operation and it brought us to this tragic point of overwhelming deficits and near financial ruin. Only very narrowly and carefully targeted incetives to business can truly develop jobs and the economy. As I recall this is part of why we were prosperous (beyond the bubble) during the Clinton years. Targeted incentives to the high tech industry, not across the board tax cuts for corporations, will rebuild this country’s economic infrastructure.

Anyway, the short of it is that at present Joe the Plumber will NOT see his taxes increase under Obama’s tax plan. And quite frankly, if Joe’s taxes will increase if he BUYS HIS EMPLOYER and has NET profits over a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000.00, write that down to get a feel for it), then he certainly has enough dough to sustain a tax increase. How many times does Barack Obama have to explain that his tax plan won’t impact the majority of us making a reasonable living wage (though $250,000.00 a year is clearly well above a living wage)?

I should mention it is a little bit difficult to type with the old man on my lap, but he’s happier there, so again, forgive the typos…

October 13, 2008

The cat is officially out of the bag…

Filed under: Politics — gary @ 4:41 pm

The Republican Party has succeeded in energizing its base, and now we know who that base is…

McCain struggles against his base

Of course, he could have done a better job of addressing the blantant racism and fear mongering, but then he would lose the election for certain.

October 11, 2008

Concrete buffet and I keep gettin’ a little teary eyed…

Filed under: Animals,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — gary @ 5:01 pm

Blume layed what could have possibly been the cutest egg in the history of chickenkind…however, it fell out of my pocket as I was creating the concrete buffet and fractured beyond salvage before anyone but I could see it in all its overwhelming adorableness. The egg was even smaller than usual, quite squat and exceptionally pointy. I wish you could have seen it.

What is the concrete buffet? Well, in one of those rare moments of pure genius that come along every so often, I put several chunks of broken sidewalk and a couple of small logs into the chicken pen. Every couple of weeks (give or a take a week) I expose a bounty of insect and worm deliciousness for the girls to enjoy by moving the objects around in the pen.  The girls now completely comprehend this ritual and follow me around from buffet to buffet to peck up the protrien treats each slab and log keeps hidden until I’m ready to release the next concrete buffet. Now, I just need to remember not to engage in this activity when there is an egg in my shirt pocket…next time I’ll do better, I swear.

Last night and tonight This American Life has been playing their 2 hour pledge drive special, and they keep playing a segment from Fresh Air where Terry Gross interviewed Max Kennedy (the son of Bobby Kennedy who was 3 years old when the last best presidential candidate was shot). I am too young to have any direct experience with the short lives and times of JFK and RFK. I’m realistic enought to know that a decent portion of their lives and the JFK administration have romaticized. I also know that this does not matter much, since in time the romanticization has become the reality when any of us (even generations later) reflect on the very critical moments in our history into which these two brothers were injected. The Terry Gross interview glances up against one such critical moment in our history when Max reads the words his father delivered to a significantly African-American audience in the poor section of Indianapolis on the night Martin Luther King was assassinated. The audience had not yet received the news (this was before text messaging mind you), and so it was thrust upon the young white Bobby Kennedy to notify the crowd of the comission of this awful act that could have easily threatened the very fabric of the nation. Of course, there probably wasn’t any other young white guy in the country better situated tha Bobby given the loss of his brother under similar circumstance and the contributions both of them eventually made to the civil rights movement. In addition to these circumstantial advantages, Bobby Kennedy was just plain smart enough and genuinely concerned enough about the well being of the country (and all of its citizens) to deliver exactly the correct message to a justifiably shocked, hurt, and angry crowd…

and, everytime I hear this speech, my eyes get watery and I tremble a bit, and long for a politics of intelligence and care rather than a politics of fear, deciet, pettiness, and ignorance. I long for leaders that lead and educate as they lead, rather than fear mongering zealots that simply attempt to capitalize on the ignorance and narrow mindedness of their constituents.

This year’s election will be important in so many ways for me. This country has the opportunity to decide in a very clear way what our priorities are for leadership. Suffice it to say American already broke my heart in November of 2004, and if this country continues to choose ignorance over intelligence, and hate over unity, and theocracy over democracy, and war over peace, bombs over diplomacy, and childishness over maturity (which I know sounds odd given the relative ages of the tops of the tickets, but I think we have all seen some genuinely middle schoolish behavior out of the campaign with the eldest statesmen on the ticket), etc…I may be forced to look more closely at land in Costa Rica…because a country without a standing army that clears out its entire government (all branches) every eight years sounds better and better every day.

If you’re reading this and you don’t feel like you know which ticket stands for what, then you really have to look more closely at the underlying principles driving each ticket’s decisions. If you are reading this and you haven’t every really thought about whether you want a secular government or a theocracy, please think about it for a bit, and try to understand that just because your religion feels a certain way about a topic doesn’t nescessarily mean that view should be enforced by the federal government. There are very important decisions to be made this year, and I’m just begging you America, please, please, please don’t force me to view you with simple pity and disdain, because if you choose the path of fear and hate rather than the path of hope and unity, I’ll have no choice but to write you all off as a bunch of petty ignorant beasts. I’m trying desperately one more time to believe in you, but I’m going to have to say three strikes will do it. Faith is for the intellectually lazy in my opinion, so I really need some strong evidence against the assertion that this country has fallen entirely into the hands of idiots…please, please, please give me some shred of evidence this year that there is in fact hope for us a country to work our way back to the secular ideals of freedom our founding fathers originally and idealistically proposed long before they could ever actually be realized in the policy of the day…these ideals have never been closer at hand, and they are under seige today in the rhetoric of divisiveness eminating from particular candidates and their followers…we have far too often strayed very far away from those ideals with internment camps, the house committee on unamerican activities, the anti-sedition acts, the USA Patriot act and oh so many other moments where simple fear took hold over reason and we gave ourselves over to hate…

America, when will you be angelic…

 

*my personal favorite recording of America by Allen Ginsberg is from The Beat Generation. Allen reads a much longer (and notably sillier) version in this discontinued disc set Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems & Songs.

**At this exact moment I can’t re-read this, forgive the typos and potentially overly vitriolic tone until I get back to take another look and exact a more precise level of vitriol appropriate to my actual position.

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