Monday, December 24, 2007


Slouching Towards Bethlehem

What's that they say about when you can't get transcendence you need it most of all? Well, maybe not in those words, but you get the idea.

With my spouse out of commission, I have spent the last couple of weeks on the run. She is a remarkably productive person otherwise, so when she's down and I pick up her end of things I realize anew what a dynamo she is.

In the meantime we have me huffing and puffing to keep the basic functions functioning, as it were. So I am not writing much (if at all) and wouldn't have much to say if I were. At the moment the best thing for me to be writing is lists of to-dos.

It's no wonder that I'm filled with tacky political thoughts rather than contemplations on a brooding Consciousness that hovers benevolently over us all. No (ah!) bright wings. We brought in the Christmas tree and then were too damned tired to decorate it.

Never mind. We still have our Commander in Chief busy, busy, busy, first presenting a Purple Heart to some poor guy at Walter Reed who looks ready to bite the hand that pats him.

Then there's the exciting banner over at the Huffington Post which announces that Dubya, concerned about the image of the US abroad, will undertake heavy travel in order to mend fences and restore trust and all that sort of thing. What a way to improve our image, wot?? Here he is heading up the stairs of Air Force One, although I think he looks more as if he is pissing on them.

Dubya traveling around the globe to Make Nice: isn't that a picture?

The other day at work a colleague who is friendly with a Pretty Famous Author told me that she'd (the PFA) been in Texas for a big-ass banquet of some sort and had ended up sitting next to Bush 41, who turned out to be every bit as shallow as his sonny boy. He couldn't keep his hands to himself (PFA is really nice looking for a grown-up) and proceeding to inquire about Dartmouth College's historical interest in Native Americans and then to yap ignorantly about the shortcomings of their culture (as if he knew anything about it). I guess he thought he was Among Friends, though the PFA was too absorbed in trying to get him to keep his hands to himself and therefore was in no position to correct him on his pathetic discourse.

It was interesting to me that our kinder, gentler picture of Bush 41 has been muted by Sonny
Boy's mischief. The apple, indeed. He is, after all, the asshole who made the cynical nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed Thurgood Marshall.

So for now I will wish you a holiday filled with blessings and hope that in the midst of tomorrow's craziness (just getting the wheelchair into the house should qualify as serious isometric exercise) a ray of wisdom will pierce my dull little brain.

Cuddle for peace!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Troot n' Byooty, Nor'Easter Style

As our little state sits here like a burnt wienie between two big buns of snowstorm,* I find myself thinking about what a nice woodpile my spouse has built this year.

We've had round one of this Nor'Easter (I feel like such an old salt when I use that term), and now we're waiting for the two of the ol' one-two. In the meantime we have a cozy fire in the stove, the dog asleep on her little bed, homemade soup on the stove--all those touches that enhance the four seasons approach to living.

If you look at this little satellite snapshot, we are right on the tip of the white in the Vermont shape, perched on the confluence of the White and Connecticut Rivers.

This year my baby's woodpile has turned out to be particularly lovely. She built it pretty much
without me, my absence permitting her a greater care, even fussiness as to the placement of the logs. I take a more slapdash approach, and I think that I literally cramp her style. So the little sneak worked on it when I was at the library, and voila! It's nice enough to move into! Maybe a very small rec room, anyway.

At the moment she is indisposed, laid up with bursitis on the knee. For those of you who have never experienced bursitis, it is very much like having a little sack of electrified nails slipped into what should otherwise be a shock absorber.

Today after I blew the snow out of the driveway, I was left with this lovely view of the woodpile.

Zap! It's immortal!

* OK, I know that Vermont doesn't look like a burnt wienie in the sandwich of the Nor'Easter... I was in the mood, okay?

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Pumped Up On America... and High on Life!

It's a good thing that George W. Bush isn't a baseball player.

As President, he works at a job that requires no drug testing.

Since Bush himself consumes extraordinarily high levels of testosterone, (follow link in headline) he would have a hard time with the major leagues, or with cyclist organizations, or any other sport demanding a certain biochemical integrity.

It was fun to listen to him preach to the ball players who popped up in the Mitchell report:

"I understand the impact that professional athletes can have on our nation's youth," he said. "I just urge those in the public spotlight, particularly athletes, to understand that when they violate their bodies, they're sending a terrible signal to America's youth."

The president's comments were necessarily shallow, since he hasn't the faintest idea why steroids aren't a good idea for athletes. He probably views the rules against them as one more form of guv'mint interference.

Of course, we've all become so hardened off to the arrogance of professional athletes that fans reported the Mitchell Report contained few if any surprises for them. Nobody's reputation seems to be in jeopardy, even as a tearful Marion Jones was stripped of her Olympic medals a couple of weeks back.

I guess taking loads of testosterone doesn't have the same impact on the nation's youth when it's the President as Consumer-in-Chief. Or does it?

Aside from enhancing the Presidential Basket in the Mission Accomplished flight suit, perhaps those extra steroids contribute to the bellicosity for which the US has become notorious.

America, I fear that we're dying.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


It's All About Priorities

I must be the only blogger who isn't disdainful of Larry Craig's presence at the global warming conference in Bali.

Unlike Princess Sparkle Pony and other cyber-glitterati, I am thrilled that a politico as powerful as Craig is attending the event. I know that Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott (well, Mitch, anyway... Lott is outa there come January, no doubt to milk the contacts he's made in all these years of Service) are sitting on the edges of their chairs awaiting his report. "Tell us, Larry," I can hear them begging, subtly keeping their feet away from his, "Tell us what the rest of the world needs to do. We are so concerned about global warming."

Or not. I hope that Larry has a very nice time. He may get a little multicultural opportunity over there. Did he take his wife, or does this trip provide him with a sweet final junket and an opportunity to bond with the Balinese in ways that are too personal to mention?

Of course, any attendance at all is perfunctory. Former UN Ambassador and Bush stalwart John Bolton announced recently that no one knew what the proper temperature for the Earth should be.

So it makes sense to send poor Larry Craig out upon the People's Bidness. His presence is a perfect statement of the respect that the Bush Administration has for the issue of global warming.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Brave Little Birds

It's time to re-think the term birdbrain.

A couple of years ago I read an article in the New Yorker about studies that naturalists and neuroscientists had done on the chickadee. Apparently they spend the summer months stashing away seeds in a zillion different hiding places so that they will be able to draw upon them in the winter. These sites differ from year to year; the chickadee is able to remember them all, nonetheless. Neuroscientists were contemplating the implications for memory in general.

Then the latest National Wildlife magazine arrived this month, and there were the chickadees again. This time the focus was on their winter survival powers, the stashing earning the tiniest mention. Apparently the chickadee is also able to lower its metabolic rate at night in order to conserve the food it has taken in during the day. It then burns up what it needs to by shivering all night, the shivering a way of combating the cold.

(It may turn out to be the Next Big Thing. Fitness buffs, bored with Jazzercise and Pilates and Tai Bo, turn to Aerobic Shivering, the chiackadee emblazoned upon t-shirts, leotards, gymbags... you read it here first.)

We have three bird feeders and a platform which the birds share with the squirrels. Apparently the chickadees, who may appreciate but not need our assistance in the mild winter, increase their chances of survival when winter temperatures hit below zero, usually part of January.

Our chickadees are joined by house finches, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, nuthatches, hooded juncos, downy and hairy woodpeckers, and tufted titmice. We love 'em all, but there is something special about those brave little black-capped chickadees.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Put on this blindfold. Now defend yourself like a man!

The life and crimes of W's administration roll on. The latest?

Defendants in the war crimes trials of Guantanamo detainees will not be allowed to know the names of their accusers, much less confront them in a court of law, this according to a military judge who has issued an order to that effect. It's significant to note that he issued this order without public disclosure. I'm sure his commander-in-chief has a rosy new commission all picked out for him, just in time for the holidays.

This morning I listened to interviews with two attorneys representing some of the detainees at Guantanamo. They noted that many of them had been turned in for the $5000 a head reward money offered in Pakistan, where the annual income is frequently around $200 a year. Great motivation!

How much more blatantly can these clowns stack the cards?

I'd read Naomi Wolf's The End of America, if only we could keep it in at the library. It flies out as soon as it comes in. I'll just have to wait and wonder.

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