Oh, He Stepped in It Again

Yep, Mittens just can’t keep the old foot out of the mouth. When unscripted, the dude just falls to pieces. You can almost hear the wheels turning–focus on the middle class Mitt, focus on the middle class.

And he did.

And he said he wasn’t worried about the poor or the rich.


It’s not just the Left that is up in arms and shaking their heads. It’s the WSJ and Limbaugh, and his Right Wingin’ supports who are holding their heads and sobbing, “why can’t this man stop screwing up?”

Much is being made of Romney’s inability to “relate to the people”, and most put it down to his riches. But as many point out, riches do not a foot-in-mouth artist make. The Kennedy’s always related to folks just fine, as did FDR. Bloomberg seems to be “in touch”.

So it’s more than that, or other than that. It ain’t the money.

Dylan Ratigan suggested on Morning Joe today that it had a bit more to do with Romney’s living in Boston.

While Joe lamented that Romney was just “weird”, Ratigan noted that Romney has never been “accepted” by the insiders from the monied elite. Now, if you know anything about the elite in this country, you know there are two types of wealth–old family wealth and nouveau riche, those who have come by their money recently.

The two don’t mix. The nouveau rich must spend sometimes years, bowing and scraping to be admitted to the “best” homes. Romney was, so Ratigan offers, also not part of the inner “Wall Street” investment capitalists.

Couple this with his apparent personality of being ill-at-ease among people in general, and you have the Romney of today. Ratigan argues that Romney would be as “removed” if he were poor. This is man who was shocked and disgusted by the anti-war movement in the 60’s, he was out of touch with his peers.

So, look for more gaffes from Mittens. As much as they try to script him, (and that is painfully obvious too), he will slip the leash from time to time and venture out into the world “as he believes it is.” He will say things that sound “right” to him, but are simply awful to the rest of us. He can’t relate. He belongs in an office at the top of a building, working alone, and making people stop at the taped spot on the floor, so that he can maintain his distance.

To figure out why this guy wants to be President, requires a much deeper look-see, and I’m sure we will be getting to that as the months come.

They say it takes one to know one.  Pick you “one”. In this case it seems to support the rule. Rich guy endorses rich guy. The Donald is going to anoint the Mittens man. How nice. Who the hell cares?

This is Black History month. Do yourself a favor and pick a African-American historical figure, and make a point of learning more about them. You will be better for doing so, and so will we all. History is what helps us to understand who we were, and who we are, and who we can be.

I’ve chosen to read some things about Sojourner Truth, an amazing abolitionist in her time, and the first woman honored with a bust in the Capital.

I remember seeing this show several years ago about dogs. It seems that left to their own devices (stray dogs), they pretty much all end up very much the same. Medium in size, fairly short-haired, with longish tails. It also turns out that genetically there is very little difference between a Great Dane and a chihuahua. Just a few genes control all this “stuff”. So most of the cosmetic differences are due to human tinkering. Geneticists had figured to find something quite different, since humans are apparently quite a bit more complicated with it comes to differences.

We survived the shopping expedition. Barely. We had gotten half way there, when the Contrarian discovered he had forgotten his license and cash. So I’m being driven by an “illegal”, and a poor one at that. The folks at the Chinese restaurant that we frequent most trips, like us and all, but I’m not sure they would give us our food for free.

So we had to backtrack. Which is okay, except the trip down the lane is one exciting and hair-raising experience. Actually, we don’t ride the lane, but traverse the fields, which are kinda washboardy with cut-off stalks of corn studding it all over.

Today is not my favorite day, because I have to haul half that crap back out of the fridge, and “prepare” it for the long haul. That means cleaning and packaging celery, green peppers, well all the fresh junk so it will last a week longer than otherwise. I got some beets, which by the way, are great roasted in the oven. Well, contrary to usual, the beet greens were fresh and succulent.  (I love the word succulent. It sounds well, succulent) So I determined to save them. Washed and chopped and then steamed and packed in a freezer bag. I’ll have it with something or other, maybe some meatloaf or pork chops. Saute it in olive oil, salt and pepper, with a bit of balsamic vinegar perhaps?

I love to be efficient like that, using all the “stuff”. I even put the leaves from the celery in a bag in the freezer to chop up in some soup. Frugal. (I don’t like the word frugal by the way, it sounds, like a frog, and I don’t find frogs attractive usually, except the colored ones, and they say they are poisonous and shouldn’t be touched. If I’m ever in South America, where most of them are, I am determined to remember that. Which reminds me, that I haven’t written a crazy post in quite a while–what are you looking at?)

Until the mood strikes again. Au revoir. (Just to piss off the Right)

Annual Grifters Conference Held in Shangri-La

Grifters from around the world are gathering in Shangri-La for their annual conference.

This years attendees seem to be particularly numerous especially from the “dictatorship” category, as many now deposed autocrats are looking for a refresher course in “how to dupe all the people all the time.”

We scurried in and grabbed a program of seminars that are hot this conference:

  • Dissembling: The Art of the Dodge
  • Slight of Hand: as in Where are the Jobs?
  • Perfecting the Non-Answer and Redirecting the Discussion to Banalities
  • How to Spot the Lazy Mark
  • Methodology in Fear Tactics and Creation of the Other to Blame
  • Developing and Massaging the Greedy Publisher: Lies Sell!
  • Staying on Message: The Art of Lying

Prominent speakers at this conference are listed as:

  • Sarah Palin “How I Turned My Lack of Knowledge into Big Bucks”
  • Newt Gingrich: “Creating Nice Sounding Organizations that Pay YOUR Bills!”
  • David Barton: “You Too Can Re-Create Your Country’s History with These Easy Steps” CD’s and books available!
  • Muammar Qadaffi: “Secreting Billions for That Future Retirement”.
  • Brian Fischer: “Finding the Target: Who to Hate?”
  • Panel Discussion by perennial favorites: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh–“How to be Svengali At the Workplace or Any Where You Want Control”

Yes folks, and a time will be had by all.

I suppose it was inevitable. That little report from CERN that perhaps a certain type of neutrino might, (possible) go faster than the speed of light, long believed to be as fast as anything could go, has brought out the usual crazies.

Climate change deniers ponder, if Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then perhaps plug in your favorite scientists might be wrong about plug in your favorite “wrong” science.

This has led to the Twitter hash tweet: #WSJscience, where in, the WSJ stands for Wall Street Journal and the idiot Robert Bryce. Apparently all manner of funny tweets have been produced, so head over to Twitter and look it up and enjoy the fun.

Samples include:

“If serious scientists think that Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then we might have to rethink whether the sun revolves around the earth.”


Which all suggested to me that it might be fun to visit the antithesis of rational thought, Conservapedia and see some of these items of misinformation.

  • The scientific evidence points to a young age of the earth and the universe. The biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International published an article entitled 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, that provides much of the scientific evidence in support of a young Earth. (prominently cited as proofs are St. Irenaeus and Arthur C. Clark, the science FICTION writer.)
  • Creationist research is having a global effect that is worrying the atheists and secularists of this world. They have had it all their own way for over a century but things are slowly changing. For almost twenty-five years now, Journal of Creation has been publishing cutting-edge creationist research that has been fueling the war against evolution, creating little fires all around the world, including Great Britain. (This from Creation Ministries Int’n, and references to “Evolutionists Stumped Confused and Dumbfounded by 15 questions!” a YouTube entry)
  • Creation science shows that dinosaurs lived in harmony with other animals, (probably including in the Garden of Eden) eating only plants[4]; that pairs of each dinosaur kind were taken onto Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood and were preserved from drowning[5]; that many of the fossilized dinosaur bones originated during the mass killing of the Flood[6]; and that possibly some descendants of those dinosaurs taken aboard the Ark are still around today. (Yep, you just turn left at Albuquerque, and head to Middle Earth. Watch for Hobbits crossing!)

  • Modern feminists:
    • never wanted gender equality; they want power for the female left[4]
    • in movies, falsely portray the men as inherently evil, dumb or incompetent, and the women as inherently good, smart or competent (note that this conflicts with gender equality)
    • pretend that there are no meaningful differences between men and women when that advances liberal causes (e.g., women and men equally in military combat, to weaken the U.S. military), but reject equality when that results in more money to women (e.g., VAWA funding of women’s groups)
    • oppose chivalry and even feign insult at harmless displays of it (see battle between the sexes)
    • view traditional marriage as unacceptably patriarchal
    • belittle and mock other women who desire to have children or raise a family[5][6]
    • shirk traditional gender activities, like baking[7]
    • support affirmative action for women
    • prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses, presumably because men do[8][9]
    • seek women in combat in the military just like men, and coed submarines
    • refuse to take her husband’s last name when marrying[10]
    • believe marriage implies female servitude when it is in fact a mutual bond
    • distort historical focus onto female figures, often overshadowing important events (Eg: Henry VIII’s wives take precedence in common knowledge to his actual reign.)
    • often condemn the God-Given order of gender roles, as laid out in the Holy Bible
    • object to being addressed as “ma’am,” or feminine nicknames such as “sweetheart” or “honey”;[11] object to other female-only names, such as “temptress”
    • take offense at grammatical rules of the English language, like using the pronoun “he” when referring to a hypothetical/anonymous person, or phrases like ‘fireman’ and ‘stewardess.’
    • support of the homosexual agenda (why I’m sending in my KitchenAid mixer this very moment. The stuff about men being inherently dumb is mostly true, but I will change my name back to my maiden name. What WAS I thinking. Dusting off my Feminist membership card even as we speak.)
  • Liberal creep is liberal biasthat gradually creeps or distorts an entry, definition, explanation, description, or historical account.Former Utah state Sen. Bill Wright may have been the first to coin this term in spring 2008 when he “warned of liberal creep — the ‘education of indoctrination‘ — in which the media peddle “socialism and programs. We have been so dumbed-down, so indoctrinated with all this information we’re in a haze; we can’t see through it. We must find out for ourselves.”[1]Examples of liberal creep include:
  • Ronald Reagan left the White House with the best approval ratings of any president, up to that time, at the end of his term, yet the media and history books have since relentlessly tried to downplay and distort his political achievements.
  • Reverse to the above example, Bill Clinton [2] left office after a failed impeachment attempt on perjury charges, yet liberal creep ensures that this is downplayed and distorted.
  • Many early scientists such as Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei were heavily influenced by Christianity and would never have made their important discoveries without their faith in the Lord Almighty, yet that faith has since been downplayed in liberal atheistic public school textbooks and Wikipedia.[3] [4]
  • The ferocity and savageness of the Native Americans towards American settlers has gradually been downplayed, while the relocation of the Cherokee has been gradually inflated to the point that some liberal textbooks treat it as an atrocity comparable to the Holocaust. Similarly, there has been an increase in denial of the many technological and spiritual improvements the settlers brought to previous inhabitants. (gosh I feel all creepy now. The antithesis of Liberal Creep: Conservative Hate)

New Conservative Terms:

  • Drive-by media: liberal MSM assault on Conservative and GOP values and principles, deceitful attacks
  • fleebaggers: deceitful Democrats who deny their sworn duties for political gain.
  • Hoax and Chains: Keynesian economics (as opposed to trickle down)
  • manufactured outrage: fake Democratic anger used to pursue an agenda
  • schlockumentary: documentaries based on half-truths and lies
  • refudiate: combination of refute and repudiate as “coined” by Sarah in 2010

Oh gosh, one could go on, but my sides are splitting. Is it any wonder the right-wing TeaNutz® are ignorant? Enjoy your Saturday.


No Really, It’s Only a Flesh Wound

I braved the world today.

As usual it got the better of me.

It stands to reason.

I’ve been praying for a week at least for some important things. They have all come out as we wanted them to.

So, it was obvious that things would now return to normal–SNAFU. I figure God thought he granted us the greatest good fortune when we found one another. He figured it was good enough for well, twelve years and counting.

Shit just goes wrong a lot. Maybe we aren’t exceptional in that. My karma is crap. So, as I said, things returned to normal.

Remember I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we got our eyes tested and ordered new glasses? Yes. I see you do. They were promised WITHIN weeks. So I went to the optical zoo a full one day after the expiration of two weeks. The Contrarian’s new glasses? Sure! Got ’em. Mine? You must be kidding.

A quick check of the laboratory in Transylvania, Romania, assures the myopic clerk that they were made and sent. Myopia maven says, hey, they have not arrived here.

I forestall the desire to invite said glassified youngster on the high probability that she or one of her like drones has misplaced them, and it would be a good idea now to go start turning the place upside down and FIND MY GLASSES!

Apparently “lost in transit” happens a good deal, since without batting a coke-bottled eyeball (really really big eyeballs she had), she orders my glasses again and yells “RUSH IT”. Which means that it will be coming by whatever has now replaced carrier pigeons as transportation from Eastern Europe.

I swear she called the guy “Peggy” when she hung up.

Well, of course that kind of SNAFU should be enough for anyone in one day, and you would guess it was. You would be wrong. So very wrong.

I proceeded to a HYVEE grocery. Now out of pure unadulterated hatred, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart unless I can’t find it anywhere else. But let’s not mince words. Wal-Mart’s prices are better, so it behooves any other store to really (and I mean seriously) out customer satisfy me.

So, I am humming along collecting my goodies, and I am nearing the finish line, when all shit breaks out. I arrive in the veg-a-ta-buls, and immediately spot a big problem.

WHERE THE BEJEBUS ARE MY TOMATILLOS? I look up and down, and from side to side. There are no other dimensions, so it ends there. Not a single papery skinned green appearing tomato can be found. Not even a sorry excuse for one that has been tumbled from the shelf and resides in the murky corner of a public floor.

I whimper and figure I’ll have to alter the recipe now to use an enchilada sauce and, am wondering whether I should return to the “Ethnic” aisle to locate a commercial brand from that “authentic” EL Paso (isn’t that in Texas?) brand, when. . . .wait for it. . . I discover there is a big opening hole where the freakin’ fresh basil should be.


I am now seeking a anyone who dares to wear a garment that associates them with this insipid store and when I spot the victim I wave furiously. I can almost see him shrink into his shell as he approached with the look of one who is hen-pecked at home and at work.

“You, Sir, are destroying my menus in one-fell-swoop.” (Seriously if you have a clue what a one-fell-swoop is let me know)

“What do you need Ma’am?” he wheezes, his eyes darting around looking for an escape.

“I need tomatillos and fresh basil!” I declare. I do this loudly, so that everyone within a three-mile radius is aware that I am unhappy. That pleases me to know that my pain is visible.

“I have them in the back, I’m sure Ma’am,” he says in a pained rush as if releasing the air from a balloon. “If you can wait just a minute, I’ll find them for you,” his voice nearly breaking with the plea.

“I’ll be here for a few more minutes collecting my other veggies,” I announce, not wanting him to think I would stay a lifetime now to obtain my precious items of food.

He rushes off.

He returns with the basil, and assures me that he just has to open the right magic box in the back to retrieve the tomatillos. I have just finished getting everything but one item when he plops down a box of my lovely green orbs and he breathlessly offers,”take as many as you need” and rushes off to save another damsel in distress.

Oh, enough?

No. Not yet.

I go to the highfalutin’, oh so ritzy, international cheese display, with wheels of parmesan and asagio, and bries, and goat’s nectar. I love cheese, and I’m happy to peruse the shelves, my eyes caressing the blocks and wedges.

Um. . .where the frackin’ crapola is the Mexican section? I mean, they are part of the international aren’t they?

When it is clear that there is no Mexican section, I collar a bakery minion who has the ill fortune to pass by.

“Where is the queso fresco?” I ask with a hint of friendliness, masking a dark and evil seething heart.

“I am from bakery,” she starts to mumble, but the cold steel look in my eye, convinces her immediately that there is no escape. “I’ll ask the cheese people for you,” so blurts out and rushes over to the deli counter. “This lady need some queso fresco. Where is it?

“Case -o- what?” comes the reply.

“It’s a Mexican cheese,” I spit from tight lips.

“Oh, that’s in dairy.”

“That is on the other damn side of the store,” I scream, as this little slicer backs up and her eyes grow wide in something akin to real fear.

Well I go over there, and it is not even with the idiot cheese (store basic yellow and white). It’s on a shelf across from it, and they don’t have any of it anyway, just four lonely rounds of other Mexican cheese, and an even lonelier single package of chorizo, which is a far piece from where all the other sausages reside.

“What is wrong with you people?”

“Look, all cheese except cardboard crumbles of fake Kraft parmesan and that glue called CheeseWiz and Velveeta are kept in coolers. Keep them all there! You morons have cheese in four different places in this warehouse.”

“Put that fake cheese with the other fake foods, you know the Hamburger Helpers and the canned “chili” and Hungry-man frozen dinners. You can have a whole aisle of stupid garbage food. Include the juice-less juicy juices, and you can take care of the fake people who eat that swill.”

“Either that, or provide limo in store service and I’ll just point and you drive me around.” One or the other.

And I left the store and only one middle finger later from an irate teenage who wasn’t able to use the road as an exercise of “from 0-60 in three seconds”, I got home without further incident.

It’s only a flesh wound, just get me some peroxide and a clean bandage. I’ll be good as new in no time.


Cul-cher-alee Speakin’

On Friday, or any other day that the mood strikes me, we hear at AFeatherAdrift (doncha love that “we” crap?), like to offer a more culturally mature post, directing you to the kinds of things that will impress your boss, your uncle Bart and the mail deliverer.

So grab a chair, belt up, and be prepared to be bedazzled with high-minded fare.

The New Atlantis has a nice long but very entertaining piece about travel in the age of GPS. If you are like me, you have had the experience of landing after a long plane ride, all of a sudden thrust into a wildly different environment, all peopled by folks who seem to take it as quite normal to be there.

The author muses about Kerouac, Odysseus, Huck, Quixote and others and how they would have found traveling in a world where “you are here” is a constant given. Good writing to boot. What more can you ask for?

It’s downright amazing how things just come to you. Ironic things, or sudden connections. Oddities and as “they” say these days, “ah ha moments.

Well, if you recall, Darwin was talking about changes the species over time caused, as we now know, by mutations. He posited that those species whose mutations led to their being better able to survive, did so at a greater rate than those that were not so fortunate. Over time, the better abled might well push out or “cause” the extinction” of the less abled.

Some (so they thought at the time) smart intellectuals (the very ones no doubt that the knuckledraggers of Trailer Town USA, so loathes today, thought it wise to slap Darwin’s species “survival of the fittest” onto ONE species, that of humanity. They posited that those humans most able would naturally rise to positions of power and wealth because of their superior survival abilities–abilities they believed were inborn.

Well, here is the ironic part.

The Republican intelligentsia  and their followers are to an inordinate degree not believers in Darwin per se. A goodly number agree with their uneducated mob that Darwin is an atheist nightmare and belief that we “came from monkeys” is some satanic plan to destroy us all. Darwin and his “theory” is only just that–a theory–a barely workable working hypothesis that is so full of holes and “gaps” that we can relax, read a much easier tract (read Bible), with a much much shorter story, and rest happy in our salvation.

Except that juxtaposed along side this treatise of idiocy lies their other chief tenet–survival of the fittest, which is nothing much more than the hidden framework for the much touted and Godly “Protestant work ethic.” You see, the reason that the likes of Rubio, Ryan, Perry, Bachmann, and all the other swill (read Republicans) are so against such things as social security, medicare, welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and so forth is because they think it makes us “weak” as a people. We aren’t striving to survive which is what insures our evolutionary dominance. Oops, did I say evolutionary?  

I wonder do they catch themselves making that mistake? How do they live with the contradiction? I mean I know how the masses live with it. They aren’t smart enough to either realize it or if they did, make any sense of it. But some of the Republican intelligentsia must get it. I suspect they do, but they aren’t really creationists either–just for the masses.

Ironic isn’t it?

Ever thought about walking? In our house it’s a topic of conversation now and again. The Contrarian is not a walker–he will get in the car to drive 100 yards. He saw nothing so awfully wrong in Chris Christie’s taking a limo to drive him the twenty yards from helicopter to baseball seat. 

I have a love-hate relationship with walking. I like to walk on flat ground, not so much uphill. We gotta lot of uphill crap here. I’m hoping for more flat in the neighborhood I will inhabit in Las Cruces.

Once upon a time, walking a few miles a day was fairly ordinary. I recall reading about Henry Ford walking from Dearborn to Detroit to work every day. I lived in both, so I have some sense of the distance. We see refugees on long marches across often inhospitable territory in the hopes of finding safety. They often walk for days, even weeks.

Walking is great for thinking. As one writer says, you need to walk because it slows down the brain. We need the time and space. Nothing else quite gives that to us.

We walk to get from place to place, and we walk to make statements, and to raise money. We walk for health, and for penance. We walk because we can. Do we walk as a reminder of one of the things that makes us unique in the world? We walk to discover that which cannot be seen or appreciated by driving or riding in some vehicle.

Sit down with this article this week-end. Not so long.

Ya know I noticed something the other day. The Contrarian and I were headed to the VA for his yearly check-up and we were on a main thoroughfare through the city of Cedar Rapids. One that once was probably a more pleasant and quiet neighborly street.

Near the urban center, the houses were large with two stories, and wide wide porches, open or enclosed. Some were clearly not being used, others had the obligatory furniture of chairs and plants, making the house look cheery and welcoming.

As we progressed farther from the heart of the city, the houses abruptly changed. Gone were the wide and long porches, and porches became nothing more than a small platform from which one launched to the driveway or into the house. One couldn’t fit A chair on the “porch” and still open the door.

I’d say the first section were homes built in the 30’s and 40’s, and the porchless houses were circa 1950+. Times change, nobody sat out on the veranda and chatted with neighbors passing by in the evening any more. By the 50’s socializing with a family affair, conducted out in the back yard, privately.

Funny, that I just noticed that very physical transition the other day.

She Was Our “Girlie”


First let me thank all of you for your kind words in our time of grief.  


What follows is a tribute to our dear girl. Of course we,  like everyone who has a pet, believe that ours was unique, and indeed she was.  Each of us believes with our whole heart that we have the best dog or cat or iguana in the entire world. And we are all right.


To have a wonderful companion from another species is a privilege. If we have enjoyed them for many years, we learn that each and every one is utterly different in personality.  They are all special.


Brandy was no exception. We first met “girly”, (for that was her second name) at a dog shelter. She was in a cage with at about three other litter mates. She was about three months old. As all the puppies struggled to push and climb over each other to get to the front,  my eyes found hers and an instant lock happened. She was pushed and shoved, but never took her eyes from mine. I knew she was the “one.”


Bear is a super “A” type dog. He was rough on the girl. He knocked her around, sending her tumbling head over hills more times than can be counted. She yelped in pain as he nipped at her for various infractions. She knew that a good ear-splitting yip would bring us hurrying to protect her from her stern brother.


She frankly adored him. She followed him all over the meadow and as she got up to size, they went on many a trip in their mile- sized stomping grounds. They learned to hunt together as an effective team. We will never forget the first rabbit she caught. She carried it proudly, and kept the skin as her “treasure” for weeks.


Once Parker shot a pheasant  a few hundred yards from the house, but we lost it coming down. Parker took one side of the creek and I the other, neither of us having any luck. Suddenly Brandy appeared, sitting quietly, holding the pheasant in her mouth. You could almost see her chuckle. “Hey what are you guys looking for? Me? I found this nice bird.”


Parker used to blade the lane in the early summer, smoothing it down. In their younger days, she and Bear would run along beside, up and down, from the top of the hill to the road. One day she went off to the creek that bisects the field and caught herself a muskrat. She carried it up and down the lane alongside the tractor three trips. You could see the pride in her face.


She was an oddly put together dog. She had a barrel of a body, with a too large head, and short legs. She couldn’t bend much. She looked fat, but she was nothing but muscle. She wasn’t fast like Bear; he could accelerate rapidly, she just had power and over a few hundred yards, her speed picked up so that she could keep up with him.  


One day Bear barreled into her, expecting her to go rolling, and he bounced off her. Her weight was now over his and her neck and chest muscles were hard as rocks. Things changed a bit after that. Bear was more wary, but she remained docile and subservient for the most part.


She did love food. Any kind and any time.  The day before she died, she pirouetted as she saw rib bones in Parker’s hand as he walked to the door. She always pirouetted for bones. Think dog chasing tail, but with her head held high, staring at her treat.


Her most single characteristic was an utter lack of belief that we could ever be angry with her. No matter how much you screamed, shook your fist, and uttered every “bad dog”  epithet you could imagine, she looked at you joyfully and with her tail wagging happily.


That was the picture I shall always hold. Her tail was never quiet. She was blessed with a nice long feathered tail and she often wagged it while eating or even getting a drink of water.


A couple of years ago, her and Bear raced into the fields after a rabbit. The field was full of beans and it was late, so they were nearly two feet high. As she raced down the rows, her nose to the ground, all one could see was that tail, moving along like a shark fin, between the beans.


Although she understood a lot of words,  she ignored any word that kept her from doing as she wished. She would plead dumb. For a good while we thought perhaps she wasn’t too bright, Bear setting such a high standard in that regard, but careful watching proved otherwise.


A “B” dog frankly is often smarter than the “A” dog, and I suspect Brandy was no exception. They are forced to plan out an intricate series of steps to get their way. 


For a while, we had a loveseat in the living room with broken springs, so we let the dogs lie upon it. Only one could fit at a time. Brandy would lie on the floor watching Bear luxuriate in the soft “bed.” She could, of course, not force him off.  Here was her plan:


First she asked to go outside. After about five minutes, she let out a howl, that was known to all as “WE HAVE AN INTRUDER!”  Bear would jump up and run to the door. Once out, she would stare off in some direction, continuing to growl and yip.  Sooner or later, he would head off in search of the raccoon or deer dumb enough to enter “our” land.


Quietly and carefully, Brandy would hang back, then trot up the stairs of the porch, come in, and look at the loveseat. “Nobody seems to be occupying this,” she seemed to say. Up she would go, settling in and smiling to herself.


She pulled that trick on him dozens of times.


She loved her vehicles. All of them. She loved to ride. She loved to sit up front and view the passing world. She had a car ride the day before she died.


She never had a bad day. She thought she lived in the best place on earth. She thought she had the best “parents” ever. She never held a grudge for even a second, never thought an inadvertent slap on the butt was anything but an accident, never growled in anger at either of us.


She was patient. She would watch the cats at their milk, and the minute they walked away, she tiptoed into the kitchen. She never headed right for it, but ostensibly was headed toward the water. She seemed to whistle, “oh don’t mind me, I’m not heading for that milk. No not me.”  You were almost sure she looked out of the corner of her eye, and “whoa, there is milk here. Better not let it go to waste!”


We’ve been remembering all the fun stories about her today. How she loved to swim in the Wapsi, and how she loved rawhide bones.


She was never sick, never sad. She was the most joyous animal I’ve ever known. She was our “girlie” and we loved her, and we miss her. The house seems simply wrong. Her dish and rawhide bones mark her grave. I had a nice visit this morning as I took them up. There were tears, but finally we just talked about her meadow and what a nice view there was.


She granted us who loved her, a long life, and a death that was quick, easy and without suffering. She was simply fine one day, and leaving us the next. In her final hour, we both had the privilege to sit with her, petting her and talking of our love for her. She was not frightened, and in no discomfort. She was just worn out. I kissed her forehead and our eyes met as on that first day. Our bond remained.


I don’t know as I believe that our animals go to any “heaven” but I believe that the intelligent essence of them somehow continues in some form. She is running in a meadow chasing a rabbit, rolling around in the prairie grasses scratching her back and laughing at the clouds.


Brandy, my baby girl, we will always remember you. You brought out the very best in all of us.


It Was A Dark and Stormy Night. . .

We were awakened this morning around 5 a.m. by a tremendous clap of thunder. That sent the Contrarian scurrying to unhook the computer. Rains ensued, but what came after was much worse–intense winds.

We at one point heard a great bang and then I saw a tree limb again laying across the front. As the winds subsided and dawn filled in the sky, we saw another destructive wind storm and it’s victims.

While we didn’t lose as many trees or as big limbs, the Contrarian has had to use the chain saw to cut limbs too big to move out of the lane to get up town. I went out and found him and helped move about four good-sized limbs.

Power went out about 5:30, came on about thirty minutes later, and then shut down again after about one minute. It has now been restored at around noon.

So, I have not the time to get the post up I was hoping for. Tomorrow for sure, if the creek don’t rise nor the wind blow us to Nebraska.

We have yet to see what our roof damage is. There is a long water stain on the ceiling in the living room, so one limb must have busted through, enough to let in a bit of rain. Not a lot, so it won’t be a big problem to get a tarp over it.

It appears the meadow wished to offer us one last sign of its displeasure with our leaving it. Given the crap others in this country are enduring, we consider ourselves lucky.

It’s been a day. Hope yours is ever so much better!



Okay, I Was Just Minding My Own Business, When. . . .

No really, I really was just minding my own business. I was typing along on a post for your perusal. It was a good one too, about an Indian activist by the name of John Trudell. I was doing it in poetic form, and I was just sailing along on a brief moment of genius.

And then, Lord God almighty, the dang thing (the computer that is) just started to reboot like the power had been cut. Except the power hadn’t been cut. So I moaned, (loudly I might add) and waited for it to cycle back so I could see just how much of my stream of consciousness brilliance had not gotten saved.

I waited in fateful agony. This is no small thing. My brain is so chock full of exceptionally high quality thinking, that once a thought moves on through the synaptic bridge, it cannot fairly be retrieved again since another new and equally earth-shattering thought has come down the pike.

I waited.

And waited.

The harsh and angry letters IBM seared across the monitor. And they stayed. And they stayed. Until I was utterly worried.

I cried for Contrarian to come and fix his blasted machine. He sighed, grumbled something about “inner tubes and women” and entered my think tank. I was by this time holding my head, trying desperately to keep all those juicy thoughts in place (for you of course). He shut off the main power, and counted to ten. No, quite literally he counted to ten–out loud.There is something vaguely voodooish about that, but that’s another story itself.

And he turned it back on.

And it said something like, “I can’t find my mommy!”

I don’t know exactly, since I was by this time bawling my eyes out, as I saw the captivating ideas that I was about to transpose into beautifully metered lines, slide down my leg and out of the room, disappearing into the cosmos forevermore.

Anyway that was that.

A quick discussion ensued wherein the Contrarian and I decided that we were really bad at making good decisions really fast. Decisions about what to do next had to consider our plans for the future and well, what the price of hog bellies was, since this should always inform a good decision.

Oh, I forgot. All this was last Saturday.

So we went into town to do some shopping and we looked at laptops and new desktops. Just pricing.

And we came home, and I sat down, and twiddled my fingers.

And after twiddling those digits, I wiggled my toes.

And then I whistled–badly I might add. I’m not good musically.

Finally I took a nap. A very long nap, that was strewn with galaxies in which no computers existed, and people lived lives of utterly boring productivity. Imagine the dumbness of that!

So Saturday evening passed, and I drank a little wine, and I got up as late as I could on Sunday, and did all the same stuff I did on Saturday. And I napped. And I drank a little wine (a “little” is whatever you think it is). And finally it was Monday, and I cooked up some crap to eat–and it all tasted like dull ashes in my mouth,  because my beloved companion was sitting lifeless in the other room.

I asked a lot of questions. The Contrarian would look at my sideways and sigh, and then start at the garden of Eden and proceed to explain computering from the dawn of time. I grew bored, and I still thought it was all magic anyway.

So I announced: “It is most clear that I know nothing about this business. I therefore withdraw from the decision-making process here. Talk to whomever, and decide whatever. I shall endeavor to remain reasonable sane and polite. Please end my agony as quickly as possible.”

While the Contrarian didn’t much like being the sole decider (unlike a certain ex-president), he hauled ass on Tuesday and went off to discussion with other folks who have bothered to learn something about the subject in question.

He returned with nothing but a couple of quarter pounders with cheese, and I had little hope that I could type with them.

The information coming forth was that our CPU was probably not irrevocably broken. Something like a video card was the likely culprit. So it was going to be taken it. I signed wondering how many months I might be napping half my day away? By Friday I was told.

HA! You know it’s Thursday, so you have a hint that something else is afoot. That is called a “clue” in mystery writing, but I digress.

So on Thursday morning, he says (the Contrarian that is), says that he’s got a pretty good idea what we need in a lap top, so he might MIGHT just go buy one after dropping off the old girl at the fixer’s shop.

And he did!

We got us a brand new spanking new lap top! Course, it’s still operating on a dial-up connection, but still, it is all shiny and pretty and well, I am liking it. Most of yesterday was spent in retrieving my e-mail, finding passwords to this place and the usual reconfiguring all the stuff. I still got stuff to check out, but that is as they always say, a horse of a different color, or something.

Anyway, I missed you guys all terribly in my exile and missed your posts, and will try to get back to some kind of normalcy within the next day or so. Oh and we are going shopping tomorrow and pick up my ex (the old computer), so give me a bit more slack.

Later’s gators.

What’s on the stove: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread.