Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Almost four hours later, to the minute, and I just saw my first hummingbird. I'm so excited. I was afraid I would only get bees and ants.

UPDATE: WhooHoo. There were two guys fighting over it this morning. Now I'm really excited. Looks like all that work to get the silly thing up is going to be worth it. I'm loving how the feeder looks from the street too. It reminds me of those little water powered rockets we used to play with as kids.

Just say no

This has nothing to do with the drug war but it's just as crazy.
EAST POINT, Ga. - The owner of a car dealership has been accused of killing two employees because they kept asking for pay raises.

Milinavicius, who was having financial problems, told police he shot the two Thursday after they kept asking for more pay, said police in East Point, which is just outside Atlanta.

Bejus. Couldn't he just fire them instead of firing at them? Insane.

Meanwhile, hour three of the hummingbird watch. No birds have visited the feeder yet.

I have built it...

Now, will they come? So far no takers in the last twenty minutes but I'm willing to give it a couple of days before I declare it a failure. This certainly turned out to be a bigger project that I expected. It took hours to find the feeder and figure how to hang it without drilling holes in the post but I'm quite taken with my cleverness over the engineering.

I used a shelf bracket for the hanger with an s-hook to hold the feeder onto the end. Figuring out how to attach the bracket was the big deal. The post and railing are plastic and I didn't want to put any permanent holes in it, being that I'm renting this place. I thought the strappy things was quite inspired although it took some searching to find any big enough.

May God and "the left" forgive me. I ended up buying them at the Home Depot and even worse, I bought this plant when I was there. Hey, I needed some color for the deck and have no time to put together one of these things for myself. Not to mention it's so late in the season, I needed one that was already matured. I really like the combo of plants and I'm hoping the pink throated guys might draw a butterfly or two.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog drama

Okay, this has been sticking in my craw for the last couple of weeks so I'm just going to spit it out. I'm not linking to anybody. Those of you who know what I'm talking about can find the links for yourself and the rest of you can just skip this post.

I think Stevie is wrong to pursue it and think she should have ignored her after the one post. I told her as much in her comments. But that being said, the blame for this latest flareup rests solely on Livey's shoulders and I'm a little sick of seeing people tell Stevie to stop obsessing.

Livey is not as smart as she thinks but neither is as dumb as she pretends to be. She knew exactly what she was gotdam doing when she put up that post, and her "oh poor me, I'm so bad at this and wish k was awake to proof it" is pure bullshit. Why didn't she just wait then? It's not like someone had a gun to her head and said hit publish. She knew it would set Stevie off and it did. Now she's the center of attention again among her shrinking group of supporters who tsk, tsk about how she's being hounded by that mean old Stevie. Eff that.

I appreciate loyalty and friendship and some people I know, like and respect are supporting Livey. All I can say is I think you all are being taking advantage of and are being badly misled by her. Her post wasn't only selfish. It was mean.

I was put off by it and I've accepted Rob's death. Anybody with two brain cells could see that Stevie is still very much greiving. I mean Jebus, she's singlehandedly keeping Gut Rumbles alive and she still talks about him all the time. Livey on the other hand, didn't even remember the anniversary of his death. I hadn't been there in months but I clicked over to see what she would say. I thought surely, after the theatrics she pulled at the funeral and justifying the whole sordid debacle by insisting she and Rob had a deep relationship that no one understood, she would have mentioned it at least. But she was too busy talking about herself and forgot. And I don't buy the "thank the academy" crap. If she had remembered she would have posted that first.

Then she puts up that post about how it was all worth it, even though she didn't find the family she's always wanted and it was all about an infatuation anyway? And anybody who lived through the whole sordid mess at the end is surprised that it upset Stevie? I call bullshit on that.

I don't blame Livey for Rob's death. But I do blame her for starting this whole thing up again and sorry if offend some of you who like her, but I don't and I think she what she did was just shitty.

Reefer madness

I haven't been able to track down a link to the new Reefer Madness propaganda film, Purple Brain, but I did run across this at Slate, who claim these are the best anti-marijuana ads ever. I guess if you use the threshold of the ONDCP's earlier attempts, they're pretty good, but I wouldn't even call them great, much less the best ever. I don't think they're going to work any better than the last bunch and the bad ones are more entertaining.

I would however call this one of the best anti-drug war posts I've seen in a good long while. GuyK gets his rant on in this post. Here's the money graf.
I am not a user of illegal substances..I get my kicks on Skoal. But the point is that legislation to control what I do to my body goes against my ideas of what freedom is all about. This country never learns from mistakes of the past such as the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcohol which led to an increase in organized crime and made criminals out of the public who wanted to imbibe in the adult beverage of their choice. We have done the same with the prohibition of drugs.

Where there is a demand someone will take the risk to supply the demand.
Guy is a straight as the proverbial arrow and as conservative as they come. He gets it and he's passing his insights on to a whole of folks just like him. This is beauty of Blogtopia. The people can talk to each other directly and the government's self-serving propaganda doesn't get the last word anymore.

This how the people are going to win the war on some drugs. When the non-consumers start demanding better policy, the politicians will have to listen eventually.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The birds and the bees

One of the worst things about summer in the south is not the heat. I love it hot and what they call humidity here is a joke compared to August in New England. No, the worst is the insects. They're big and they're aggressive. The japanese beetles are the size of quarters and they dive bomb you regularly and there are these blackassed bees the size of 747s that occassionally will chase you around the yard. But on the bright side, the butterflies are also huge and they're really friendly.

I thought this guy was going to land on me for a while. It took a long time to get just these two rather bad shots because he was flying from shrub to shrub on both sides of the sidewalk but whenever he passed by me he sort of flirted with the idea. He came close to landing on my shoulder. I wish he had. I've loved butterflies ever since I used to watch stuff like this. (I love Terry Toons too).

Meanwhile, I still don't have a hummingbird feeder, (or a bong substitute). I got lost on the blogs and didn't get out until late and the store that I thought I would score at was out of them. On the bright side, I remembered there's a bird store down the road in the bigger city so I'll be able to avoid the big box after all, even though it will probably cost twice as much to get one at the speciality shop.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I forgot to look for a hummingbird feeder when I was shopping this week but I was reminded that I wanted one when I was sitting on the deck this afternoon. A hummingbird flew in between the rails and hovered not six inches over my knee for a really long moment. He looked right at me, I swear, as if to say, "Where's the feeder already?"

I went out immediately to look for one but couldn't find anything in my usual haunts. I fear a trip to WallyWorld is in my future but I'm going to try Home Depot first. That's at least slightly less odious.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Got no time

I have a few things on my mind but it's been another busy week and I got involved in a blog spat with one of my critics that took up too much time that I would have been better off spending here with you my dear readers.

Hoping to drop in with a post on the new neighbors later tonight but don't give up on me if I don't make it. I'm looking at a week off starting Friday. I will be back.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Something rotten in Denmark

This makes me really sad. Copenhagen has finally managed to kick the hippies out of Christiania. I blogged about the pressure they were under from the government back in January of 04 (scroll down to Burn Out), when they were forced to burn down their hash stalls to avoid being busted.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The first hippies took over an abandoned military base that nobody wanted back in 1971 and grew it into a corporate free village but the city grew up around it and now that worthless real estate is worth a whole lot of money. So even though it's still a tourist attraction, the corporate profits are in condos. Gentrification eventually ruins all hippie havens.

Still it's sad. It's probably the longest running and biggest hippie commune in the world. I hate seeing history die such an unseemly death.

Aw Shucks!

My friend Chickie had given me the coveted Blogger's good schmoozing seal of approval.

“And what is the Power of Schmooze, you ask? It’s a blogging community involvement award for those bloggers who make the effort to connect and develop relationships in the blogosphere. Some leave great comments along the way, while others are faithful readers who’s presence you are aware of.”

I'm not sure I deserve such an honor considering how lax I've been about visiting the blogroll and especially commenting but I'm honored all the same and accept it in the spirit of my past contributions to the chit chat.

I guess I'm supposed to pass it on, but I can't pick just a few of the many bloggers who feel like friends now so I'm just going to pass it on to the newest blogger in the Rumblers cabal, Sweetthing for best schmoozing by proxy. Her partner in crime life, GuyK has been passing along her wit and wisdom for so long that I feel like I know her already and besides, every new blog should start with an award.

Things I saw this week

I saw my first lizard. It moved pretty fast but I'm pretty sure it was a broadheaded skink. It was hanging around the trash compactor at the McCompound. I think I like the cute little green geckos in Florida better. This guy, or probably girl, was big enough to be a little scary. It made me jump as it slithered away.

There's this one spot on the road when I drive home where it always smells like sewage. It always surprises me because it's rural here in the outback suburbs and although this spot is on the road near the turnoff from the main highway, it's still not so developed that you would expect there to be a septic system problem.

Anyway about twice a week, I see an obviously homeless person lying under a tree on the small stretch of grass in the smelly zone that seems to be regularly mowed. His hair is so wild and long he looks like a woman from behind. He's always stretched out on the ground, not sleeping but with his back to the road and a half empty quart of cheap beer next to him. I always wonder why he doesn't sit somewhere else to drink. There's miles of road with good resting places that are more private and don't stink. I imagine he staggers that far from the store across the main drag and just gives up.

A couple of time a week I pass a jogger, who is always on the railroad overpass that carries the highway over the tracks. He's only there on the hottest days, red-faced and sweating, always with one shoe in his hand. I keep waiting to see him pass out before my eyes and fall onto the pavement.

He hasn't so far, but you have to wonder who in their right mind runs in the sun when it's still 98 degrees out there and why, with the miles of more pleasant and rural choices of route in that part of town, is he running along the bloody highway?

Sometimes I think I'll never understand southerners.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Drugs and thugs

Hilarious. Need a new drug?

Via Radley, who also clues us in on the latest drug war thuggery. Just your average botched raid on an 83 year old woman with high blood pressure and her 61 year old son.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I feel like I'm living in Key West

I really meant to post something of significance but we just had the most incredible sunset here tonight. The air was the same color as the sky. It lasted a really long time. I ended up on the outside deck drinking a beer with my neighbors. I ran out of beer before I ran out of sunset.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It filled the sky for 180 degrees. I'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Walters is whacked

Tits McGee sends me a link that reminds me I wanted to mention the latest insanity pouring out of the mouth of our drug czar. John Walters said the people who plant and tend the gardens are terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties.

What a putz. By definition, Walters is more a terrorist than the people growing the pot. He's the one responsible for killing innocent people and destroying lives with his policies.

Quiet on the McCompound

It's been a crazy week and it's only Wednesday. Between the heat and the job, I've been crashing early but my big revelation of the week is that I lost my little group of teenagers. It's been really quiet in my part of the hood since the beginning of the month. I thought at first, maybe they had gone on vacation, but I think the whole lot of them really moved out. Certainly, the two sisters that looked almost alike are gone.

I do seem to have a new group of slightly older girls as the replacement team though. They've been riding their bikes around the periphery in the afternoons but they're much quieter and they apparently aren't allowed to stay up late and hang around the pool until it closes.

In a way, I guess that's good because the last group were screamers and it freaked me out that they were hurt instead of just flirting. But oddly, now that they're gone, I kind of miss the noise.

Monday, July 16, 2007

For the birds

Man, I don't know where the weekend went. I was so tired I just dizzed around the internets and barely posted anywhere and now I'm back to another big work week. This whole month is going to be pretty deadly as far as scheduling goes but I'm determined to keep up some kind of content here, that is if I can stop falling asleep sitting up in front of the computer. It's uncanny, I can sleep for an hour before I wake up and realize I've drifted off.

But enough whining. I'm finally having some bird encounters at the McCompound. There's a mockingbird that seems to have taken up residence, maybe in the eaves. He (she?) hangs out in the front yard all the time and comes and sits on the handicapped sign every morning watching me drink my coffee.

I think it might be a girl because it was doing the pretend broken wing dance when I drove in the other night. I think they do that to deflect attention from their babies. Or maybe it's a boy doing a mating dance and was looking for some love. Who knows.

In any event, I've been toying with the idea of getting a bird feeder. I had pretty much decided not to do it until I saw the hummingbird yesterday. He hovered in front of the deck looking for a handout for a few moments and convinced me. I'm just going to get a hummingbird feeder. It's not as messy as a seed feeder and I LOVE hummingbirds. Maybe I'll get a little flock of them to visit me regularly.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to hang it without falling off the deck.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My neighborhood is so healthy

The McCompound is filled with health nuts. Since the last tenant turnover, even more people regularly parade past my deck on their daily walks or runs. A lot of them look to be in worse shape than I am, but nonetheless I feel a little guilty for not joining them in this daily nod to good health.

I get it over it rather easily though. I just pop a beer and watch. I figure I might be getting healthier by osmosis.

Drug policy reform goes MSM

Sorry I disappeared again. I've had a week that made the last horrendous work rotation look like a trip to Disneyland. But I've been thinking of you my dear readers and in an effort to maintain some small cred in the drug policy reform world, here's a decent column by Kathleen Parker in support of legalizing marijuana.

It's not long, so read it for yourself but here's my favorite quote.
Here's a Bingo thought for people concerned about the federal deficit, America's 4.5 million uninsured children or our soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security system:

If marijuana were legalized, regulated and taxed at the rates applied to alcohol and tobacco, revenues would reach about $6.2 billion annually, according to an open letter signed by 500 economists who urged President Bush and other public officials to debate marijuana prohibition. Among those economists were three Nobel Prize winners, including the late Milton Friedman of Stanford's Hoover Institution.

Friedman and others were acting in response to a 2005 report on the budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition by Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard. By Miron's estimate, regulating marijuana would save about $7.7 billion annually in government prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels.
I know that's nothing you haven't heard from me before, but when a columnist of Parker's reach says it, you can be sure the public debate is turning. This will be the first election where the candidates are going to be forced to take a position rather than ignoring the elephant in the room.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I wish I had done that

No really. I've had the same dream all my life.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Little things

I love being able to walk barefoot in my McPartment. I never felt comfortable doing that in the old house. The floors always felt kind of sticky, even right after they were washed and of course there was the bug problem. Here I can even walk out on the deck without shoes. It never seems to get really dirty. I guess because it's on the upper floors.

I discovered that the new grocery I go to, which an actually a very old store in bad need of remodeling and the produce section always has this vague smell of rotting veggies, actually has a great bakery. It's the first place in town that I was able to find real fresh bread. You know the kind with a crust and some tooth to it. I scored a garlic loaf that was quite good and pretty much ate nothing but that all weekend, that is when I remembered to eat.

I often forget to stop for lunch when I get lost on the internet. You would think I would lose more weight that way but I guess the lack of exercise cancels it out.

I am trying to exercise more though. I've been trying to get into the pool and do my little routine at least every other day. I probably look pretty silly doing leg lifts and my little stationary dog paddle routine that I invented myself but it's a great workout and it doesn't take that long to finish. I can see the difference already. The old abs are tightening up and my butt is looking more shapely again.

I working today. In fact I'm working all week, so that's all for now but I'll be back as I can.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Purple brain, purple brain....

I have that Prince song running in my head. If Walters was smart, he would have hired him to do a remix of the song for the movie I can't wait to see. Veteran policy reformers Marsha Rosenbaum and Paul Armentano tell us the ONDCP is about to release an updated version of the classic Reefer Madness.

I'd say more about it but this guy already put together a great post along with a fab YouTube of a remix of Reefer Madness so I'll just send you there for the details.

Suffice to say, I can't wait for the release of the new version and will be reviewing it for your pleasure in the future.

Song of the south

I haven't seen a bug since I moved into this place. They did pest control yesterday, or so the note in my door said and I came home to find a little parade of panicked ants running between a crack in the baseboard and the door sill.

I don't find this to be an improvement.

Friday, July 06, 2007

View from upstairs

I finally took a hike to the third floor landing to get my latest sunset shot. My cheap little camera doesn't really do the view justice. I almost wish I had taken an McPartment up there but the thought of lugging my bottled water up another flight of stairs makes me believe I made the right choice.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Hope you all had a great day at a big barbecue with fireworks. If I was still living in lovely downtown Noho, I might be at Maki and Jamie's annual bash at the Marina right now, but I'm not sure. I'm in a dark mood and spending a couple of hours poolside this afternoon didn't lighten it.

Politics have really got me down today. I know too much and somehow I don't feel like celebrating. I feel more like painting my house like this flag or this one. It feels like our country has gone all upside down and backwards.

But wait..... A change of mood. I had written that much when the phone rang. I just spent a couple of hours with a completely unexpected caller, a veritable pillar of Blogtopia, who was endlessly entertaining. There were fireworks. Literally.

I love surprises.

[Graphic gratitude to Journal of America History]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

DARE Generation explains the object of the game.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Busy, busy

Not really. I've been groggy all day because I stayed up until four in the morning catching up on blogs. It's comforting to see that some people have been more remiss than I have in posting. Marcus at On the Patio hasn't posted in two months. Hope he's okay, living in Texas and all. I'm worried he got washed away in a flood. Guy K of Just Charming is in Texas as well and his camper is close to floating away in some lake.

RSM at Smoke on the Water is about to deploy to one of the wars so click over and wish him well. It's on the side bar under Rumblers. I'm too lazy to embed links tonight. Tits McGee just got back from vacation and has some nice pix. Zonker has some audio of Acidman's songs. Elisson also has some nice pix and entertaining vignettes, as usual and Velicoman even has some weird thing up, which is more than we can say about Bad JuJu, who seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

Straight White Guy is still reliably poetic. Parkway Jim had a death in the family is off to the funeral while Kees is also off for a couple of weeks but for vacation to Lake Tanganika, or some such place. Must be nice to live in Africa and take exotic vacations at home. Oh and pop over to Chickie's to see the lion video. It's astounding.

Meanwhile, I'm just blogging along here and watching the McCompound population change. People move in and out every month. My building is just about empty judging from the remaining cars out front. But I've been fascinated by the new people who took over one of the storage spaces across from my deck.

It was amazing really. The guy who moved out had the thing full of furniture and a canoe. He was apparently giving everything to some other guy who took it away a little at a time in a pickup truck. It took three days to get it all out and an hour after it was empty, the new people showed up with a moving van. It's been fascinating.

For the last couple of days, they've been moving stuff in and out of the place. The first night they threw in a bunch of big toys and some furniture. Then they came back in the morning and took everything out and came back with the van and traded some of the furniture and put the rest of the stuff back in. They repeat the process a couple of times a day, along with much transferring of various items to their SUV. Near as I can tell they moved into one of the building around the corner. I have this vision of them moving furniture in, deciding they don't like it looks and moving it back out to the shed again. Seems like an awful lot of extra work to me.

And it being the holiday weekend, some family had a big picnic out back by the playground. It's astonishing how many people use those built in grills. Usually no one does at a McCompound like this does but you often see people out there cooking dinner, one assumes to bring home.

Anyway, I'm bringing my recyling out and as I'm walking by the barbecue chef announced that the hot dogs were ready. It was all I could do not to grab a bun and get in line. It smelled great and I love me a good charred weiner.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Well, if anyone is still reading this blog and cares, I'm still alive and I'm going to start posting here regularly again. I have dozens of links I haven't got around to posting, but it's late today and I've been recovering from a long work week, so I'm just going to give you the funniest one. Chickie found this for us. I know it's really funny but sorry, it still made me laugh.

It seems some firefighters got a little stoned while fighting a blaze in a warehouse full of pot and freaked out. They had to be taken from the scene. No word on whether the firefighters who remained on site enjoyed the high.

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful day at the McCompound. Perfect weather. Sunny but not too hot. I didn't even turn the ceiling fan on, much less think about going to the pool but I sat in the sun for while this morning and watched the hawks glide around. I'm still loving the deck.

I realized another benefit of being on the upper floors is that not many bugs fly this high so I can sit out there pretty much unmolested at any time of day or night. I did have a very confused little flock of Japanese beetles visit the other day though. There was about six of them buzzing around, looking really panicked. One crashed into the railing and ended up on his back, waving his little legs in the air. But once he got upright, they regrouped and just flew away. It was odd.

But the big McPartment news is I have a toaster. I've been without one for these two and a half years. I kept meaning to buy one but never got around to it. I never much felt like buying anything for the old house. So I'm sitting here thinking I need to go out and get one, and a listing pops up in my email on the Freecycle listserv from somebody a few blocks away. A funky little two slicer with wide slots for bagels that works fine. I love when stuff like that happens.

Very cosmic and very nice to be able to have a toasted bagel on a lazy Sunday morning.