Friday, July 19, 2013

ABQ Looks Like It's Being Hit By Thunderstorm Now

It's been a sucky monsoon season so far. The only thing worse than July, 2013 appears to have been July, 2012, which, if anything, was even suckier.

But, after being completely shut down this week, the monsoon is showing some signs of feeble life. It's apparently raining in ABQ now.

Google Earth Changed Imagery On Our Study Site In Van Nuys, CA


Woo-hoo! I'm On B3ta's 'Best Answers' Page This Week!

Usually my contributions shut down the amusement over there, but not this week!

This week's question was:
Body Horror
Mictoboy writes, "I once picked a spot on my cheek only for a half-inch long ingrown hair to coil out covered in pus."

How has your own body made you recoil in disgust?
My answer is:
Dead Eye
I had a partial retinal detachment in my left eye a few years back. They decided to reattach it by peeling back the eyelids, make the eye even more elongate than near-sighted normal by wrapping it with a silicone band (thus bringing the retina back into contact with the eyeball), and then use liquid nitrogen to freeze the eye from the outside-in to make the reattachment. Lots of manhandling of the eye socket, and related bruising.

I went home with an eye patch, which was good, not because it was sensitive, or anything, but because the bruised and battered eye looked dead. No personality showed forth for nearly a week. Even more striking in appearance than having a stroke! I could frighten small children, large adults, and cognizant animals alike by whipping off the patch, moaning, and running towards them.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Innocuous-Looking Boxes

Hmmmm..... Boxes. What could be in them?

Like the BrBa Thanksgiving parody said, "Viola, bitch!"

He's Everywhere! He's Everywhere!

I blogged a few weeks back regarding Steve Walker's billboard campaign. He's the landlord of the property next to mine, so it was weird to see someone I know on a billboard.

Now, he's emblazoned on every shopping cart over at Safeway. If it was weird to see him on a billboard, it's doubly-weird to see him on every shopping cart.

Lewis Black On Rick Perry's Campaign To Woo Business To Texas

As a New Mexican and a Californian, I approve this ad.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jetta's National TV Appearances - Reel 1

I’ve put together a reel of Jetta's appearances on national TV. It’s a bit awkward. NBC and Fremantle immediately jumped on the video for copyright violation, and now govern its presentation. So, no embed video. Just go to the link for the reel.

C’est la vie!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The End Approaches To "The Best Crime Show Ever" ...

Beautiful article:
And so began the most unlikely crime show ever to ignite American audiences. Breaking Bad does not take as large a view of the world as did, say, The Wire, which detailed the web of corruption binding all human institutions, high and low. Like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad gets a lot of juice from juxtaposing criminality with the humdrum of the everyday—setting after-murder meals at Denny’s gave the writers endless pleasure. But Breaking Bad is something else entirely. It tells a story central to Western civilization, from Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan play Doctor Faustus to The Godfather—of a man who gains the world but loses his soul—and it tells it in a new way, in a way that makes that dusty tale profoundly personal and alive.
Meanwhile, some episode titles (and they return to To'hajiilee?):
Episode 510 -- "Buried": While Skyler's (Anna Gunn) past catches up with her, Walt covers his tracks. Jesse continues to struggle with his guilt.

Episode 511 -- "Confessions": Jesse decides to make a change, while Walt and Skyler try to deal with an unexpected demand.

Episode 512 -- "Rabid Dog": An unusual strategy starts to bear fruit, while plans are set in motion that could change everything. (Note: Every season of "Breaking Bad" has featured an episode whose title contains an animal name.)

Episode 513 -- "To'hajiilee": Things heat up for Walt in unexpected ways. (The title is the name of a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.)

Episode 514 -- "Ozymandias": Everyone copes with radically changed circumstances. (Named after the Shelley poem about the inevitable fall of kings and empires.)

Episode 515 -- "Granite State": Events set in motion long ago move toward a conclusion. (The Granite State is New Hampshire. Is this when we catch up to the events seen in "Live Free or Die"?)

Episode 516 -- "Felina": The series finale. ("Felina" is an anagram for "finale" and also is related to the word feline.)

Lucy And The Football Again In The Senate

Dems are played for chumps once again. Got to take the power from the Reps when they abuse it. They won't learn, otherwise:
Republicans are still insisting on 60 votes for everything, but they’ve shown some flexibility in response to previous threats of majority-imposed reform. There are still reasons for Democrats to avoid going nuclear, at least if they want to retain the filibuster when they’re in the minority in the future. All of which is important to know for anyone who wants to think clearly about the choices facing Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell this month.

Isaacson Move Day - 07/15/13

"Cats" Closes - DMTC - 07/14/13

Very good choice of a show, with very good people!

The Ass Of Radio Farts Once Again

We've been here before: the adoption of language calculated to insult with florid declamations that it intends the opposite. Remember how George Wallace used to use "nigra" to insult African-Americans trying to assert their dignity? Sharp knives that bastard wielded. In comparison, Rush Limbaugh is like a kid who defecates in the middle of the living room to get attention. It's mostly just an embarrassment for a shock jock in decline:
In an epically unhinged racist rant on Tuesday, conservative entertainer Rush Limbaugh said that because of Zimmerman trial witness Rachel Jeantel’s post-trial CNN interview, he will now take it upon himself to use the “n-word,” but with an ‘a’ at the end because “it’s not racist.”

Obama's Magic Wand

(Thanks to John for pointing this out.)

Michele Bachmann is unhappy, and for once I agree.
President Obama “has a perpetual magic wand,” Bachmann asserted, “and nobody’s giving him a spanking yet and taking it out of his hand."
I'm looking for that perpetual magic wand and spanking too, and pharmaceuticals may be the place to start.

Romping Squirrels

Since the last generation of squirrels all got squashed in their daily forays to get bird seed across the alley where I feed them, a whole new generation of quick, supple, more-intelligent squirrels have replaced them. Even edging towards tame, if they see I have peanuts.

Big Jumps Possible In Property Taxes

I liked this podcast regarding the odd effects that increasing property values will have on property taxes, not only because it demonstrates the lessening impact of Proposition 13 with time, and how a 2%/yr increase can outpace property values in a depressed economy, but also because it features Sean Bianco singing a Slim Whitman song:
If you held onto your home through the recession you may soon be rewarded with a bigger tax bill. You may be thinking, "Wait! Prop 13 keeps my tax rate from rising more than two percent a year." That’s true, but a proposition enacted the same year as Prop 13 - Prop 8 (not the same-sex marriage Prop 8) - allows your tax bill to go down as your property value decreases. The problem is there is no cap on how fast property taxes can rise once they’ve been assessed lower. So people who saw a 50 percent decrease in home value and property tax payments can potentially see a tax payment increase of 50 percent if their home value bounces all the way back. This tax increase may come over time or it may come all at once. One thing for certain, is it can come faster than two percent a year. To find out more about this situation (and whether there are ways to avoid a big fat tax bill) we’re speaking with county assessors from around the region, including Sacramento, Yolo and El Dorado counties.

Crossing My Fingers

Later this week? Oh, I hope so!

Kelsey B At Avalon

And in the studio.

Maybe A Second Family Of Scrub Jays?

It seems like I'm going through a bit of deja vu from a few weeks ago. Lots of juvenile Scrub Jays in the hedges are begging their parents for food, same as a few weeks ago. And some signs of conflict too (although it's a little hard to distinguish conflict from juvenile roughhousing). I suspect a second family of Scrub Jays has moved into the neighborhood and are now competing over my food provisions. Are natural food supplies down? In any event, the only solution is to increase the food provision. More peanuts for everyone!

Several of J.S.'s Scrub Jays have died recently from West Nile virus. I pray that that distinct evil stays away from mine. Scrub Jay populations are down in my neighborhood in recent years, probably because of the virus, and we need to boost bird numbers.

Ayn Rand Fanatics Destroying Sears

Great article about how Sears is now being run following an Ayn Rand-Hunger Games business model, and how it's systematically-destroying the firm:

Paul Krugman comments on this great article regarding Sears:
Via David Atkins at Digby’s place, Bloomberg Businessweek has a great piece about how an Ayn Rand-loving hedge fund guy is driving Sears into the ground.

...The first issue that should pop into anyone’s head here is, if the different divisions of Sears have no common interests, if the best model is competition red in tooth and claw, why should Sears exist at all? Why not just break it up into units that have no reason not to compete?

...Of course, that’s not how we do things. We may live in a market sea, but that sea is dotted with many islands that we call firms, some of them quite large, within which decisions are made not via markets but via hierarchy — even, you might say, via central planning. Clearly, there are some things you don’t want to leave up to the market — the market itself is telling us that, by creating those islands of planning and hierarchy.

...The thing is, however, that for a free-market true believer the recognition that some things are best not left up to markets should be a disturbing notion. If the limitations of markets in providing certain kinds of shared services are important enough to justify the creation of command-and-control entities with hundreds of thousands or even millions of workers, might there not even be some goods and services (*cough* health care *cough*) best provided by non-market means even at the level of the economy as a whole?

Monsoon Pretty Much Shut Down In NM Until The Weekend

NM gets screwed again.

Bulwer-Lytton 2013 Winners Announced

Always a delight!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rush Limbaugh Strikes Out Against Diet And Exercise

John writes:
Exercise is a liberal plot! Rush says so. So tell me why this guy still has an audience....
I reply:
Ha. Ha, ha, ha! ........ HA! HA! HA!

You know why this guy has an audience? Because he spews the most hilarious stuff, day in and day out!


Rush Limbaugh strikes out against the idea of diet and exercise! Because everything is politicized, you understand! And also inconvenient, apparently.

Choices in diet and exercise, like art and music, are often not very political. Ideologues like Rush, who believe everything is political, don't seem to get that.

I Hate It When Enviros Mangle The Facts

The NOAA diagram here purports to be radiation levels, but it's actually 2011 tsunami heights.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"The Wizard Of Oz" - Runaway Stage Productions

Dorothy (Lydia Smith), with sister Julia (at left), and Toto (Cricket).

24th Street Theater.


Amy Jacques-Jones made a marvelous Glinda.


Tin Man (Hal Dubiel), Lion (Bob Baxter), and Scarecrow (Eduard Arakelan).

Ruth Philips always does an amazing job with her roles!

Lydia's voice seems deeper, and better-trained, than I recall from 2011.

Bad lighting obscures Crows and Nikko.  Left to right, Tom Parkman, Tomas Eredia, Ana Hansen, and Hugo Figueroa.

"You're A Good Man Charlie Brown!" - Woodland Opera House

Scenic design, Jason Hammond.

Fine show, with a cast of six!