Friday, August 19, 2011

Risky Behavior

On Tuesday morning, driving home at 2 a.m. down 19th Street, I slowed to turn left onto Broadway, and the car on my right side did likewise, cutting me off and nearly causing an accident. If I hadn't been slowing down, I would have ended up like E. last December, with lumpia all over the car.

On Wednesday night, a couple was locked in a mad embrace against the wall of my employer's. Looked dangerous! Looked risky! Looked frisky! Looked altogether like too much fun!

On Thursday, the hairy yellow cat was stalking Bailey the Bunny. Bailey wasn't in danger, but I'm sure he must have been annoyed. I did my big hairy ape impression and scared the stalker off. That cat had better watch out!

Apologies For Not Blogging As Much As Usual

The reason for my current-subjects blogging laxness is my massive blogging struggle this summer with my four "Breaking Bad" posts on this Weblog (see sidebar). With Season Four of the television series in full swing, the Breaking-Bad posts require editing and re-editing, sometimes every single day. Together with "OldeSaultie" in Virginia, we appear to be the current leading authorities on the subject of filming locations on the Web, at a time when interest in the subject is blooming worldwide. There is the additional burden of research, etc., etc.

I seem to be preparing for a future career move as a "Breaking Bad" Albuquerque tour guide. Not being in Albuquerque at the moment is something of a handicap. I'll have to return soon, perhaps for the Balloon Fiesta!

It's a great time! People all over the world are now becoming familiar with all kinds of mundane, even absurd, Albuquerque landmarks, like the Octopus Car Wash at Eubank and Menaul. There are probably people in Cambodia who go to bed at night wondering whether purchasing the Car Wash is a good idea for the Whites.

And there are amazing discoveries too! Last night, I discovered they filmed the head-on-a-tortoise scene just 4.5 miles SW of San Ysidro, NM. That's practically in my back yard!

"What's the matter, Schrader? You act like you've never seen a severed human head on a tortoise before!" Well, it would certainly be news to the folks in San Ysidro!

An amazing time!

Looking Over The Horizon

It’s still way, way out there, but this organizing tropical depression mentioned in point 1 of the link, 900 miles E. of the Lesser Antilles, might be in a position to affect Florida in about a week.

White Noise In The Back

Wednesday at Pepper Von's dance aerobics class, he urged people to have fun and dance with the music. "The music isn't there just as white noise in the back," he said. "You have feel the music and groove with it!"

Afterwards, I approached him. Pointing at my booty, I said, "the only problem here is the 'white noise in the back'". He smiled and said, "you'll find that, over time, that problem disappears."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Enzyme Dynamite - “Fly Away”

Nice video: one can still vote.

Brother of Amber Alert Suspect Recants Earlier Statements


J.: What do you think now? Don't you think this guy is crazy?

M.: No, I don't think he is crazy.

J.: Are you crazy? Do you think it's right his brother murdered that girl?

M.: No, not at all. I'm just saying that when family dynamics get caught up in the court system, people can get very, very angry. The fact that this fellow got angry and sided with his brother just shows he's a human being.

J.: A crazy human being!

M.: No, just an ordinary human being.

J.: Since this fellow's a lawyer there's a group in Marin County that wants to get him disbarred.

M.: As far as I know, this issue didn't affect his performance in front of the bar, so I don't think he should get disbarred just because of this interview. Just because he's a human being.

J.: He's obviously unfit to be a lawyer.

M.: That hasn't been demonstrated.

J.: It's obvious!

M.: (Sigh)

Christine O'Donnell Ends Interview When Asked About Views On Gay Marriage

Interesting interview end.

At first, I thought O'Donnell decided to trash Morgan as a cynical effort to win good will with her own supporters, but it may be a bit more complicated than that.

Piers Morgan had been a bit rude at the beginning of this clip, but then settled down and started acting like a professional again.

Meanwhile, Christine O'Donnell was probably getting steamed about the earlier cheekiness, and chose not to notice or respond to Morgan's later serious questions.

And, so we all agree to disagree!

Pepper Von Fitness Classes

Here are my peeps! I'm here in a few of the clips too!

The foreground of the very last country clip features Hannah Collins (before she joined the Navy).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The North End Caves

This article fills me with foreboding, because this is I.'s employer at direct risk here:
The population nearly quadrupled, from fewer than 60,000 in 1990 to 223,394 last year. North Las Vegas earned the fastest-growing city title in 2007. Nevada was the fastest-growing state during the decade.

This year, the state leads the nation in bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment.

The collapse in North Las Vegas was sudden.

In 2005, more than 8,000 homes were built in the city. New construction dropped to 2,800 houses in 2008. Thousands of businesses within the city closed their doors as residents lost their homes, according to city records. Last year, about one in 15 homes in North Las Vegas was in foreclosure.

...The city added more than 400 employees to keep pace with growth from 2006-08. That number and hundreds more were dismissed within three years. In all, North Las Vegas has eliminated more than 800 positions since 2009, when it had 2,260 full-time employees.

...City workers are mostly appalled at the idea that the state government, which struggled to close a $1.5 billion budget gap this year, would have the gall to take over North Las Vegas.

"They are not in a financial situation to take over the city," firefighter Jeff Hurley said.

Even though police union leaders pulled down their warning signs in June, public safety officials said their concerns about being able to respond to multiple fires or violent crimes are serious.

"We haven't been able to catch up to the boom," said Hurley, president of the city firefighters union.

Less than a decade after they were built, the city's playgrounds, libraries and recreation centers could face closure. The new city hall is scheduled to open in October, but officials are considering trying to sell it.

Feelings of anger and despair were palpable at a recent city council meeting, as residents lined up for hours to implore city leaders to save their parks and recreation centers. Some residents hurled insults at the mayor.

"They just never thought that the ride would be over and the ride is over," longtime resident Tom Collins said.

Ana Tijoux - 1977

Excellent, excellent choice by the folks at "Breaking Bad" for their show. And to use the burned-out abandoned gas station on Nine Mile Hill too. Amazing!


Kelsey's And Matt Fox's Collaboration Is Out

On iTunes.

I was gritting my teeth about this collaboration (because I've found some dub step to be strangely undanceable), but Matt Fox has eluded that trap. A really fresh sound, and Kelsey sounds wonderful!

Reservation Dogs

Noel was kind enough to drop a note:
Thought you'd be interested in this article: "Stray reservation dogs blamed for attacks".
That is an interesting facet of life in New Mexico! Life on the Rez continues on its usual sad and chaotic path!

Back when I was a kid in Corrales, New Mexico, dog control was much looser than it is now. We saw and experienced some seriously-dreadful stuff. Like the day, when I was about nine years old, when the neighbor's dog was in heat, which attracted three dogs belonging to the other neighbor. These three dogs - two Dobermans and a little yippee dog - began crowding together and growling at each other. We kids started to intervene to separate the dogs. Then, the two Dobermans turned on the little yippee dog, and simply killed it in front of us. Violent, brutal death in three seconds. If these dogs would do this to their own housemate, what wouldn't they do to us? Witnessing this at close range, we kids reconsidered our plan to intervene, and headed indoors instead.

There was still an element of danger in Corrales when I was young. I had my share of dog bites, as many kids did. It made me shy around some dogs, particularly German Shepherds, or, God forbid, those Dobermans.

So, having grown up around it, I recognize the signs of trouble. For example, debarking from the cruise ship last November and walking seaside in Mazatlan, I saw loose dogs in the neighborhoods bordering the beach, and changed direction to avoid them. They displayed no animosity, and 99.9% of the time they would be fine, I'm sure, but it's that 0.1% of the time you worry about.

The Rez is its own place, and it operates by older rules:
On the vast Navajo Nation, wildlife and animal control manager Kevin Gleason estimates there are four to five dogs for each of the more than 89,000 households — or as many as 445,000 dogs, most of which roam unchecked, killing livestock and biting people with alarming regularity.

"They kill everything," Gleason said in a recent interview. "Cats, dogs, cattle, sheep, horses. We've also had people severely injured by them. We've had people with horrendous bites. We just had a case ... where a man lost 37 sheep to a pack of dogs.
"We have that going on all the time. Our officers respond to more than 25 bite cases a month, and 25 livestock damage cases a month."

...Animal rescue groups say dog overpopulation is a problem on most reservations.

...Polis pointed to a project on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as an example of a progressive community-based effort to stem unwanted breeding.

"We don't have a big problem with (attacks on people) although we do occasionally have dogs that are hungry and will pack up and kill young livestock," said Virginia Ravndal, who started the Lakota Animal Care Project. "Probably a bigger issue for us is disease, starvation and freezing. Mange is a huge problem. And going into South Dakota winters without hair, a lot of dogs don't make it."

..."You can't just go in and say your animal has to be spayed and neutered. You really have to develop a relationship," she said.

She has also developed a kids program called Shunka Scouts (shunka means dog in Lakota), in which children can interact with animals and earn "acts of kindness badges" that help teach them basics of animal care. Part of the message: "Animals are our relations and no one should go hungry, no one should go cold, no one should be sick."

...When the project started, she said people who could no longer care for a starving or freezing dog would call and say, "'Can you shoot the dog for us.' Now they call and say, 'Can you help us find it a home.'"

Water World

I haven't looked at Wonkette for a million years. What's over there? Maybe something truly bizarre:
(E)ccentric Silicon Valley tycoon Peter Thiel will do everybody one better and use a little of that billionaire barbecue tinder pile to the tune of $1.25 million to fund an adorable lunatic venture proposing to build an island nation of Paultards “oil-rig style” somewhere off the coast of San Francisco/ wherever. “Will there be Internet forums?” Oh, uh, probably! The organization behind this blockbuster premise is called the Seasteading Institute, a group that devotes itself to arguing on its Wiki about what kind of man-made island would be most likely to live up to Ayn Rand’s paradisiac vision of total lawlessness while trying to avoid tsunami death. No one claimed libertarian utopia was easy!
Is Wonkette exaggerating? This reminds me when I was planning new and exciting cities in my early adolescence! That was fun then; it could be fun now. Let's look deeper:
It goes like this: Friedman wants to establish new sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters—free from the regulation, laws, and moral suasion of any landlocked country. They'd be small city-states at first, although the aim is to have tens of millions of seasteading residents by 2050. Architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered, 12,000-ton structure with room for 270 residents, with the idea that dozens—perhaps even hundreds—of these could be linked together. Friedman hopes to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year; full-time settlement, he predicts, will follow in about seven years; and full diplomatic recognition by the United Nations, well, that'll take some lawyers and time.

"The ultimate goal," Friedman says, "is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government." This translates into the founding of ideologically oriented micro-states on the high seas, a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.

It's a vivid, wild-eyed dream—think Burning Man as reimagined by Ayn Rand's John Galt and steered out to sea by Captain Nemo—but Friedman and Thiel, aware of the long and tragicomic history of failed libertarian utopias, believe that entrepreneurial zeal sets this scheme apart. One potential model is something Friedman calls Appletopia: A corporation, such as Apple, "starts a country as a business. The more desirable the country, the more valuable the real estate," Friedman says. When I ask if this wouldn't amount to a shareholder dictatorship, he doesn't flinch. "The way most dictatorships work now, they're enforced on people who aren't allowed to leave." Appletopia, or any seasteading colony, would entail a more benevolent variety of dictatorship, similar to your cell-phone contract: You don't like it, you leave.

Well, if the imaginary cities of my adolescence didn't work out so well, neither will this, but it will be interesting to watch!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bungy-Jumping Opportunity Scorned

Next time, bring some friends and some scaffolding, and make it a carnival ride for the neighborhood kids:
A man who scaled an Oklahoma TV tower last week has finally come down. Video posted on KTUL-TV's website showed the 25-year-old man climbing into a lift Tuesday night that was attached to a Tulsa Fire Department ladder truck.

...Dozens of onlookers had flocked to the site. Mental health experts urged caution and compassion from members of the public, who have taken to the Internet to weigh in on the situation.

Jury Duty Is Over

Shortest jury duty EVER! I am sad :(

Listening To The TeeVee

I LOVE poaching chicken!

It's all about the broth!

Let me show you how to make a dumpling using a pizza cutter

(I think I'm slowly going over the edge)

And something about a Strawberry-Pretzel Jiggle-Puff Pie. .....

Yeah, mom waited all day!

Sitting Like A Frog In The Jury Pool

I need someone like 'Randall' to narrate this. Not as exciting as African wildlife, however.

My luck would be to encounter great bloggable stuff, and not be able to blog about it at all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Live-Blogging ABQ Storms - 08/15/11

What a depressing monsoon season in ABQ so far! It isn't raining that much, and what rain there is goes elsewhere. It must be because I'm blogging about it!

(12:10 p.m. PDT) Hey there's a line of weather that looks like it's pointed straight at ABQ! How can Albuquerque possibly miss rain today? (Oops, I blogged about it - now watch what happens.)

(12:20 p.m. PDT) Gust front out near Alamo.

(1:20 p.m. PDT) There is a spreading gust front from Mt. Taylor too, even without a source storm that seems large enough to merit it. The small storm cell near Belen is riding the Alamo gust front into the Rio Grande Valley: the storm cell just south of I-40 is riding the Mt. Taylor gust front into ABQ.

(2:30 p.m. PDT) Storm arrives in South Valley/Isleta, collapses, and sends out a gust front.

The wind direction has now switched from the NW, so does that mean no more rain?

(3:30 p.m. PDT) Gust front has reached Los Lunas from the north. But all the action is farther south - pretty bleak north of ABQ.

(5:15 p.m. PDT) It's late, but maybe the Jemez will try to send something south.

Gang Flamingo Versus Team Baboon

So, How Are "Our" People Doing?

Joe The Plumber called and asked: "Would you like to see how our people are doing?"

I was bewildered. Whom might "our" people be?

He replied: "Our Native American brothers, of course!"

Well, the blood connection is pretty darn tenuous with me. Hundreds of years ago, in fact. But one must keep one's family connections strong! So, off we went to the 17th Annual Sacramento Pow Wow, where dancers baked on the field in their heavy (but colorful) garb on Sunday afternoon down on O'Neill Field near 5th & Broadway, and also competed for prizes.

This is part of a procession in honor of Sun Dancers injured in a recent Montana automobile accident.

The junior level dances.

Performing under the gaze of a judge.

The teen girls dance.

Dancing in a more-traditional manner.

The teen boys dance.

Breaking Bad - Season 4, Episode 5

I spent most of the episode saying “where the heck are they?”

For Walt driving like a maniac, "OldeSaultie" suggests:,-106.645553&spn=0,0.019205&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=35.097231,-106.645532&panoid=UyD-X2VmzPneUxSKU3rtsA&cbp=13,16.24,,0,0

This sounds right. What is it with Walt and his crazy driving?

Some places were clear: Garcia’s CafĂ©; the Trainyards, the Laundry.

The views on the east side of either the Sandias or Manzanos were designed to confuse.

And that windmill place. There are several possible candidates south of Q Studios, but it’s hard to say for sure.

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (original narration by Randall)

When I think African wildlife I can't help but think gay.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Scraping Peeling Paint From The Shed This Afternoon

My life abounds with mystery and excitement....

Kelsey B's Interview In Arizona Dance Magazine

I like this interview, particularly:
Q.: Do you think the direction the music industry is headed compliments your musical style?

A.: It's the perfect time for Kelsey B.! My style is electro pop with gypsy euro cabaret flair. Beauty Queen was a club treasure, and secretly dark. I speak the truth in my lyrics, so much so, that a few of my future releases frighten me. I almost cried in an interview talking about “See You Go” because its too painful, personally.

... Q.: I've seen in earlier interviews with you that you participated in a lot of theater and dance groups as a youth. Do you think those years helped or hindered your jump into the actual Music Industry as an adult?

A: I would be nothing without my training. It was the work that made me. My years in musical theater as a child and touring with Ghost Road Theatre in college gave me depth. At an early age I understood the stage gave me purpose; gave me life. I think the discipline I learned in theater and dance allows me to remain grounded and calm. I'm a performer, that's why I'm here. The challenges of the industry are manageable because of the lessons I learned as a child in similar industries.

Gaffes Are Sometimes Just People Saying What They Really Think

There is some tendency on the part of people to say that Mitt Romney's statement that "corporations are people too" was a big flub, but in this case, it's just Romney saying what he really thinks. There has been a big movement on the Right in recent years to give corporations the full verisimilitude of personhood, in order to get those rights that only people possess. Inalienable rights. Like free speech. Which makes campaign spending limits automatically void. The Supreme Court, in particular, has been enthusiastically behind this campaign. It's the new frontier of the law!

The trouble is obvious, of course. Corporations generally speak only as their management sees fit. They possess huge pools of money to amplify their speech. And the like. There are plenty of obvious problems with corporate personhood. A child can point out these problems. Why the Supreme Court can't see these problems is a real mystery.

But at least people are saying what they think.