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Friday, August 31, 2012

Something Pithy This Way Comes

I wanted to put in a post with much pith.  Something erudite and philosophical.  But let's be real, shall we?  I'm not that learned.  And all these $40.00 words(*) are a lot like taking a trip to Paris to eat at Burger King.  What's the point?

Primordial Badger's Media Hoard has, sometime this last week, racked up an impressive 2k in views in a very short time.  It's just over a month old - I think 1 month and 1-1/2 weeks.  And I couldn't be more proud of P.B. in figuring this whole blogging thing out.

So here's a quick guide to P.B.  He likes:

(I trust he'll put appropriate links in here soon.)

And speaking of links - I'm impressed with his subtle link-humor.  Sometimes where you think you'll go isn't where you'll end up.  Clever fish.

Now, it's off to the poker tables for me.


     I talked about my Cyborg Father. Some might think that inappropriate, or callous but here's the secret.

     Most of us are cyborgs. Most of us use devices that while possibly not implanted in our very flesh are nonetheless mechanical aids to our daily function. I have a smartphone-it's not as smart as some, but it's smarter than me sometimes. It remembers things I can't. And here at home, I am hooked up to an electronic information system so that information is only a few keystrokes away.

     That lady at walmart in the electric cart- Cyborg. The man with a Cell-phone headset permanently attached to his head- cyborg, cyborg, cyborg. Sam and her MP3 player- Cyborg(although needing an upgrade)

     So this is the new humanity- welcome to the 21st century, fellow cyborgs. Where is my Bionic Eye and arm mounted Particle Beam?

on a related note- Cyborg Hate at McDonalds

And more about Cyborgs on a general level

Thursday, August 30, 2012


     Sam and I had Dinner at Chick-Fil-A, and as we were starting our meal, one of the staff came around with samples of the "Chicken Minis" off of their breakfast menu.

     Basically, it's a Chicken Nugget in a buttered roll(honey/cinnamon butter) and it's pretty damn tasty. and I took that sample, and enjoyed it.

     Thing is, both Sam and I have eaten breakfast there before (many times), and we pretended innocence of all things breakfasty with regards to Chick-Fil-A.

     I'm not sure why we covered that up- was it the eagerness of the lady to introduce us to the pleasures of Chick-Fil-A at 6 AM? I didn't think she was going to deny me a sample, because I had tasted it before-That couldn't be it.

     So I don't know the reason for the terrible Chick-Fil-Lie, only the guilt that haunted me until...

Evidence Destroyed, meal completed. And I got a refill of lemonade

Literary Talk with a Cyborg Father

     Spent some time today Talking Louis L'Amour with my father- it amazed me that I could rattle off a couple of details from the short stories of The Frontier Stories Volume 1 and he could give me the plot of the whole thing-. Of course that is not much different from my own capacity for details and memory for quotes. I got the loan of Hondo, which is a novelisation/expansion of one of the stories in the book, Last of the Breed, and The Frontier Stories Volume 7

     But it is not Dads capacity for memory on these stories to which I allude his Cyborg-iness. it is the Device

     Some time ago, My Dad, already a pretty mean hand with a PC, was given an IPad. while he does not carry it low slung in a holster, gunslinger-style, it is not often far from his hand. And not far from his hand was its location this afternoon.

     Sometime in the discussion rolled around to the weather. I remarked that according to Weather Underground, the max teperature today was 91 degrees.

     Dad: "I think you're wrong"
     Me: "well, I put it in for my location, Lakewood- could be different where you are"
     Dad:(looking on the IPad) "...91"

     We went back to discussing westerns

Wish FulFillment

     Not sure what got me thinking about this, but it seems that popular culture tells us that wishes are bad. More specifically, the fulfillment of those wishes by magical means or entities is bad, and will always turn out causing more harm than good

     Finians Rainbow- Finian McLonergan lays hold of the leprechauns crock of gold, resulting in a vengeful leprechaun following, his daughter nearly being burned to death, the "blackening" of a US senator, and the full transformation to human of the leprechaun. only when the magic of the crock of gold is gone forever is there a chance for happiness

     Darby O'Gill and the Little People- Darby O'Gill is captured by, and then captures the leprechaun king Brian Connors, and as ransom, the king must grant him three wishes. His wishes indirectly almost cost him his daughter, until he uses his final wish to trade places with her in death. King Brian Connors then tricks him into wishing a fourth time, negating his prior wishes. Again, only when the magic is gone, can the ending be happy

     Aladdin(Disney)- Aladdin gets the lamp, uses the Genie to wish himself prosperous and attractive, marries the girl, and loses everything until he tricks the evil Grand Vizier(is there any other kind?) into taking the Genies place in the lamp and frees the genie with his final wish. Only after he gives up the magic is he actually happy

     Bruce Almighty- Bruce Nolan curses God and challenges him that he could clean up the mess the world is in in nothing flat; he is led to a warehouse and given God's powers, where he proceeds to prove that he's selfish, foolish and unwise. He proves that Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely and only in buckling down, doing a hard days work, and surrendering to Gods plan is he made happy.

     Is the message here something like "Don't expect magic to solve your problems, only hard work can do that"? are these movies just a love song to the industrial culture than tells us to buckle down and do our jobs, and good things might come to us if we work hard? The Aladdin story in Folklore comes out different, with him using another magic to counter the magic turned against him. it speaks more to using magic wisely. I may just be talking out of my hat, too, but I would love to see some other folks thoughts on this. I would also like to see any examples that prove or disprove my point!

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's the Worst That Can Happen

WOW!  Okay, the first minute of this video is the longest.  This is VERY MUCH worth watching.  Oh, and he calls Al Gore's global warning prophesies a Pollyanna View.

"Why does this terrify me?  Because we only get to play this game once."

This is the response 2 years later.  I find both videos well done and somewhat hilarious. BTW: don't worry about the polar bear.  He gets a survival suit and a ray gun.

U. C. P. F.


There is no Tunnel this bird will not explore...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Grill

     I have never given any thought to the quality of fire on a barbecue grill and how the size of the lighter actually affects it. I had always assumed that if the lighter generated Prometheus' Gift to man that the coals would catch, and food would cook

     Clearly I could not have been more wrong. It appears that a barbecue lighter shaped like a Shotgun, an M-16, a fishing pole, an Arrow, is needed for a truly quality flame, and other flames are somehow lesser.

     And then I came upon this:
     For Professional Barbecue Chefs only- the Big Dog Lighter- I'm not finding any info on it online, just a bunch of pages where it was sold, but is no longer. Wal-Mart, however,  had a big challenging display. This lighter is about the size of a dustbuster, and I just know it will make me a better cook just by having it...

the display- madness invoking, isn't it?

and a comparison to the badgers not-exactly-small mitts

For Women Only - NSFW!!!!

     I think the funny thing is so many people are looking at this and going: Oh, Bic, how you understand me.  LOL.  NOT!  And how many women did you piss off by creating this marketing campaign?

     I think the funnier thing is that it's free advertising for Bic, and has done it's job.

The Bookie's Review 
Matt's Review
Basketball Jones
H. Speaks "Hovercraft"
David's Review

Now for something similar: Is Steampunk Racist?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coupla' Shinned Westrens

     Just today, I finished the second of two Zane Grey books, The Spirit of the Border and Shadow on the Trail. The prose was absolutely beautiful- the written dialect both of the Ohio valley and Texas/Arizona in the 1800s drove me a little crazy, trying to pronounce it in my head

      The Spirit of the Border was about the Ohio river valley during the revolutionary war. It follows two brothers, Jim and Joe Downs. Jim is a christian missionary, trying to convert the Indians to Christianity. Joe is a fairly wild spirit, and wants to roam the trails and woods. He falls in with Lewis Wetzel, a historical figure, whose Aim is to convert the Indians to horizontal and stationary(and dead, if that was not clear). Both young men love the same girl, Nell, but both are noble enough that they each want the other to win her.

Best line in the book for me was where Joe is fingering the bullet holes in the logs of the fort, and remarks that he'd wished he'd been there when it happened. The colonel in charge of the fort responds that they day it happened he wished he was back on the Potomac river. The contrast between eager youth and a man of experience is spelled out that simply.

     Shadow On the Trail concerns the flight from prosecution of Wade Holden, late of the scattered and dead Simm Bell gang. On his escape from the Texas Rangers, he is wounded and hidden by a 16 year old girl named Jacqueline Pencarrow. She bandages his wounds, he continues his flight but is now a man in the midst of a moral change. His first real moral choice after this has him choosing to help cattlemen instead of the rustlers who invite him to join them. He is still a man of severe temper and fierce pride, which work against him as character flaws and get him into needless fights. Despite this, he tends to make moral choices toward the good. The bulk of the books "meat" comes when he falls into an opportunity to help the family of the girl who saved him.

      I can't pick out a favorite part of this one, as the whole book was a thoroughly satisfying read, and I plowed through it. good story, good ending. I recommend it.

     I like Grey as an author- he's a bit of a romantic- boy gets girl, often against all odds. He seems to have a common theme of the love of a woman making men do amazing things. A stark shocking contrast from the "girls will make you give up wandrin'" attitude of Riders of Death- very refreshing.

Shinned: borrowed, as in "I Shinned these here two books from my Dad"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Luminaria in Potentia

     Somewhere in our house is a short that will occasionally knock out power to my office. Our landlord is trying to locate and resolve the issue, but as it stands right now...

     The least thing can turn off the power in half the house. So I am currently hooked up to an extension cord, which runs to another room, which powers my surge protector, which powers my modem, router, and other surge protector, which powers my PC and monitor, which powers the house that Jack Built. Our neighbors upstairs may have found the short, a wall socket, but for the moment we live on a razor's edge of "don't flip that switch!" so we don't brown out the house again.

     So it's like this. we have lights and power in half the house, just as long as we don't actually try to use them. Flip one switch wrong, and it's electrical Jenga, and we just pulled the wrong piece- and that leads to a half hour of flipping combos of breakers and praying to the spirits of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla for their blessings

     Thinking about moving the entire operation over to eel power; Bioelectrogenesis is the future(or steam power). Pikachu, I don't choose you per se but I'm willing to let you give it the college try.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Parrotlets Share - Update

     I was eating leftover Pizza yesterday. Next thing I know, Aldo is eating it from the Crust end forward. And I am just trying to be careful where I bite

     With a name like Aldo, I guess I shouldn't be surprised she likes Italian food?? It's Ironic that her name means "the Tall One"

     Other things she has eaten that surprise me:

  1. Hamburger
  2. Lamb Stew
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Zucchini
  5. my lunch, any time, any place

The intial parrotlets share post is Here

6 Month Check-Up and Physical

    ...Not for me. Took Tango in to his vet appointment at the Glens. He was rated a healthy, happy, mellow and well behaved little parrot (on that last part, well, lets just say they do not know what evil lurks in the hearts of parrots). He's put on a healthy amount of weight, he's strong, temperature is good, and lungs sound good. the Doctor said it was nice to see a healthy bird. I'm happy my little friend is doing good.
     Why a vet trip then? To establish a baseline of health, and keep an eye on it. My little buddy means the world to me. And as Benjamin Franklin said: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" Tango's just happy he didn't end up getting his nails clipped like last time I took him on a trip.
See Also:


Thursday, August 23, 2012

11 months in the making...

     Last September, I ordered a third party transforming toy from a company called Igear. I had ordered from them before, an alternate head for Sergeant Kup ,but this was an ambitious new project, the PP05 Weapons Specialist (which anyone who watched the Generation 1 Transformers Cartoon would recognize as Ironhide)

   The initial release date was December, and that date kept moving, 2 months at a time, due to factory issues, until finally I was informed via email that all orders would ship before 8/10/2012. Yesterday, mine hit the PO box. Voyager Sized with like 9 million accessories, he was totally worth the wait

Comparison with Classics Ironhide and Movie Ironhide, Robot mode; PP05 is center

Comparison with Classics Ironhide and Movie Ironhide, Vehicle Mode

Comparison with MP10, masterpiece Optimus Prime, Vehicle Mode

Comparison with MP10 Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Robot Mode, with Big Damn Guns


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Falling Down

     I recently watched the movie "Falling Down", not for the first time. I've seen the movie several times and it always makes me thoughtful, in different ways.

     The Character of D-fens (William Foster) starts in a place where anyone can see themselves- A man having a very bad day. The movie follows him on his trip across L.A. to "go Home"- that is, to see his ex-wife and their child on his daughters birthday. His trip is a Stoic Odyssey on foot, crossing paths with situations that further aggravate him, and further fracture his mental state. I feel there is also something of an element of Arcade first person shooter- in his travels, he acquires objects and "weapon upgrades", sawn off bat to balisong, to a duffel with "every gun in the world". he also goes through something of a physical transformation, from his white shirt and tie to a fatigue jacket and boots.

     Following the trail of  D-Fens is Sergeant Prendergast, a good cop on his last day before retirement. He is working a desk job following being wounded in the line of duty, and counting the last hours until his retirement in Arizona. Prendergast is a man not popular among his colleagues, seemingly because he is too dignified, and too intellectual. The other detectives find him a bore, and an interference, his Captain considers him a coward, and effete. He trails sightings of the "white shirt and tie" from his abandoned car all the way to their final showdown in Venice Beach.

     There seem to be a lot of themes here- Order vs. Chaos, similarities or differences between the protagonist and antagonist. But I think the thing that always makes me the most thoughtful is I'm never really sure at what point I stop seeing myself in Foster. Who hasn't wanted to trash the store of a price gouger? Who hasn't wanted to stand up to a couple of gang thugs? who hasn't wanted to object to the disparity between what your meal looks like on the sign vs. what it looks like on the tray??

     So I'm never really sure at what stage I switch from vicarious thrills at D-Fens actions to the realization that he has gone too far. All I know is that I do see he has gone too far, when the character himself Does Not. All I know for sure is that his line at the end just kind of breaks my heart.

" I'm the bad guy? How did that happen?" Bill Foster in Falling Down

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wile E. Conure - Super Genius

     Late post tonight, was busy with Stuff all day

     Find the bird in the following Picture:

     If the location you selected was somewhere between "Happy Accident" and "Evil Genius"*, I believe you named the correct location. He ran over and jumped on the edge of the treat container, and caused Chaos, Confusion and Cleanup, the three horsemen of the Birdie Apocalypse to ride forth. And of course he helped with the cleanup by removing as many seeds from the shells as he could grab and eating them because...that's neater, right?

     Also- the glint in his eye is a combination of Madness and Wired Bird; Never a good sign. I think he is waiting on a package from Acme

(*not a mistake- Same link intentionally- I don't believe in accidents or coincidence)

ASL cover Somebody That I Used To Know

I love the twist/depth that this gives to the words 'cut me off'.  This video speaks to me on so many levels.  Considering that the original video by Gotye is damn good, I still kind of wish I'd seen this one first.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Bird Makes Me Look Like an Idiot

     He talks -a lot- to me. Right in my ear, within sight of Sam.

     So I ask her, "did you hear that?"...nothing. she didn't hear him say (distinctly) "what's up?". She hasn't heard him make his gurgling noise to ask for water from the faucet. She hasn't seen him make his zip sound on the sheet.

     So I fear that I come off sounding like I'm hearing voices. And the next step is for him to start telling me to do...terrible things. I am Son of Parrot.

     To be fair, I've not heard some of the things she has heard from Tango, either. And I didn't hear anything from Aldo until I got used to her soft voice.

     But I can't shake the feeling on some level as I look into his innocent questioning face- The face that says to me "what? I don't talk. why would you ask that of me?" every time I ask him to say "what's up?" to Sam- I can't shake the feeling that somewhere in his complex little birdie mind, he is having a huge laugh at me.

    Conure Humor- What would we do without it?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Hobby Account and the Plastic Monkey

     A few months ago, Sam Suggested I set aside money in a second account for hobbies- Movies, Books, Art, and Toys. I've had some toys since the 80's, and I have added more than a few to this collection inne moderne tymes. I have posted Pics here, so you know it to be true. So into this account I put whatever I can set aside from Bill Budget, Rent, Car, Medical, Etc. I also add monies I make from selling stuff I have chosen to get rid of.

     It's interesting, because when people discover there is a second account for hobbies, they assume it's money I am hiding from my spouse, when it's often her urging me to put money in there. We Keep our money and bills separate, and I am convinced that is a key to a happy marriage. But Sam likes to make sure I have money there for Mental Health, and to stave off the Attack of the Plastic Monkey.

     The Plastic Monkey is an invisible creature that digs his shiny plastic claws into my back when it's been too long between purchases. I get nervous...I want to go into every store because they might just have gotten that October released Transformer two months early. And he digs his claws in deeper and deeper still, until I buy something I don't want because it's there, or maybe it's on clearance.

     Anyway, somehow, having that second account with set aside money helps me focus on the things I really do want, and will value. I'm not advocating it for everyone, but it works for me.

     I think in their own way, everyone has a Plastic Monkey. It might be video games, it might be photo equipment, or it might be toys that remind you of your childhood. The Monkey isn't evil, he's just insistent. It's all about feeding him enough to get him to leave you alone. I prowl stores. Sometimes I pick things up, and put them back down, and handling them helps keep the beast at bay. I shop online, and see prices that I consider too high. The Monkey chatters a little, but settles. he's a patient monkey, when he's handled right

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Vampire, A Werewolf and A Ghost...

     ...Live in an apartment together, and this is not an early Hallowe'en Joke. It's called Being Human, and forgive me if I am the last guy on the planet to find this series. it's on the SyFy Channel, I've been watching it on Hulu in my free time, and it's an interesting series. I've managed to catch about 3 episodes, enough to get the flavor of the characters.

     This is an American version of a British series of the same name, and I would like to see some episodes of the British version. It is supposed to be comedy/horror fusion, and the producers are very clear that they want to US series to develop down a different path

     That being said, it's an enjoyable watch, with roommate drama/comedy and occasional moments of shock and horror, often followed by a moment of shock humor as well. Of note, the ghost lore on the show seems to follow somewhat the same path as what they use on Supernatural, with salt trapping a ghost, and Iron temporarily dissipating one. not sure what kills a vampire or a werewolf yet, although a staking is mentioned at one point

Turkey Vultures by Sam

It helps if you read this post first: Turkey Vultures

     I expect they'll be back.  We have a booming prairie dog population.  We have too many, actually, and they're at the point of not caring who comes near their dens.  So the food source for the Turkey Vultures is, to quote the Jurrasic Park: Lost World movie, 'A moving buffet'.

Anyways, it's not the prairie dogs that we're so worried about.  It's the people in the Federal Prison that the land of  Prairie Dog surrounds.  Poor prisoners just waiting to be picked off by buzzards.  Before y'all die laughing about it think on it.

Anyways, that's a spooky cell block entry right there:

"Vulture landed on the weight benches.  It looked at me.  I said many prayers."

Speaking of Vultures . . . 

P.B. and I were at Wal*Mart the other day.  P.B. was trying to find a parking space.  Out of the store comes this woman eating a snickers bar.  She was an old bitty who insisted on walking right down the middle of the lane.  Her entire attention was focused on that snickers bar.  It almost got her killed by a guy backing his big ass bronco out of the space.  The irony?  His entire focus was on a snickers bar he was eating.  

How About A Completely Unrelated Link?  The Flooding House

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dad on Literature

     I spent the afternoon with my parents, and brought up Riders of Death with my Father. He read my Amazon Review, decided he was not interested in being the recipient of said book, but looked up the author, Lee Floren. Turned out Lee has quite a library, of about 92 books (although some titles may be renamed from earlier books, such as "Cottonwood Pards" into "Riders of Death").

     While my Talk with Dad did not make me rethink my initial thoughts on the book, it did make me wonder if perhaps he was writing to an archetype, that if not exactly heroic, was what the publisher wanted. Riders of Death may have also been a first book, and may have been initially serialized in a Pulp Mag.

     I found some Additional Info on another Blog, which gave me some more thinking material.

     What I really wanted to post about though, was the wonderful Chat I had with Dad about some of his favorite Authors. I got to take home two Zane Greys, The Spirit of the Border and Shadow on the Trail, and we talked of Louis L'amour and my dads favorites by him.

     The sound you are hearing is me, Kicking myself for not flipping on the recorder

     We got into Erle Stanley Gardner, Rex Stout, Agatha Christie, and Tony Hillerman. we talked about how some characters, when written after the original author has passed away, should just be left alone, as no one ever quite gets them like their creator. I love conversations like that. Open, Honest, Full of info and 80+ years of perspective

     I want to do it again, soon, and can't wait to finish these books so we can discuss them

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musings on the Journey with a Pet-Companion

     A serious post this time, and not a sad one, either. Just a thought I had. When you take a pet into your life, you are embarking(no pun intended) on a trip together. And as you travel along, you each learn the others ways.

     You may find that your cat meows a little differently for water, than it does for food, or for petting. You may find that your dog looks at you skeptically when you do something silly in the house.

     I've grown older, and a little wiser, through a lot of pets- Cats, Dogs, Reptiles, Hermit Crabs, and birds. and when I've paid attention (which I haven't always done...I tend to spend a lot of time lost in my head, as my wife has pointed out) they have all taught me amazing things. Creatures which seem to be the simplest have shown amazing ingenuity and done truly amazing things. There are stories I may tell later if the mood strikes, but for now...

     Just pay attention to your pets, and watch for what they are learning from you. Pontification over

Fifty Shades Darker Green

More Conure Adventures

  • The Hopeful Bird- he sits at one particular corner of his cage, waiting patiently for the moment the door opens and he can Cry Havoc(and let slip the parrot of war)
  • the Wretched Bird- we put up a little fleece hammock in his cage for him to sleep in, we thought. It is actually just a prop to his personal Drama. When he is very bored or at any time he feels that he has been completely abandoned (such as 10 minutes after he has last seen a hooman) he will sit and mope in the hammock
  • Ultimate Conure Pillow Fort- This is new- he got down behind the pillows on the bed with just his tail sticking out. so I figured I would sneak up on him, under the pillow. Nope, he was entrenched and ready. No ambushing him; this is an advanced version of The Tunnel Rat, as listed here
  • The Delaying Tactic- We are in the process of teaching Tango to fly(so when his primary feathers grow in, he will have the confidence to use them). When I ask him to fly to daddy from off of his cage, he will suddenly come up with several urgent errands he needs to look into on other parts of his cage, such as "be right with you, man, I just need to get this...empty sunflower seed shell picked up"
  • Conure Competitive Solitaire- See here
  • Thread-Count Test- See here
  • The Green Mile- See here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Turkey Vultures

     ...are fascinating. I may have to see if Sam will let me keep one as a pet. The vultures we saw were about 1/2 mile from a prison. Sam was speculating about how freaked the yard would be if a vulture landed there. I responded that I wouldn't want to be the unlucky prisoner the vulture looked at...

Turkey Vulture Facts

We're Going to need a much bigger cage

Samurai Delicatessen

     A significant percentage of my life is spent at Walmart, buying food, picking up needed and unneeded items. Today I was picking up my lunch meat and cheese as I generally do on Tuesdays. I had asked for a half-pound of Muenster, and the deli lady had to open a new package up to slice for me.

     So I look back behind the counter, and she is using what could be described as a machete, or possibly a short sword to make an incision in the plastic so she can peel it off. I watch this for a few seconds and I ask "Is that the only knife you have to use back there?" she nods. this monstrous blade is about 2 inches wide, by at least 24 inches long. the deli lady was about 4'9" and built on the delicate side. So watching her with this knife was unsettling to say the least

     I hope she stays careful...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Share It Maybe

I was forwarded this by a friend.  I love the people playing the instruments - how can they do it and keep a straight face!  The ending is really great!


     This is the sound Tango makes when dragging his beak across the weave of a bed sheet at a fast walk. This has been a test. Had this been an actual Emergency, you would have been directed how to teach your own bird to do this (although I'm not sure how mine learned it).You may now return to your regularly scheduled cat pictures

Riders of Death

     Another of those books from that garage sale box, this book by Lee Floren was published in 1971, but was apparently originally published under the title "Cottonwood Pards"(year unknown)(and I'm not going to spend that much time looking).

     the first thing I noticed was a consistent use of the word "drouth" in place of Drought. Apparently this is a real spelling, if an unfamiliar one. I don't intend this to be a comprehensive review of the book. I just spent a month reading this gem one week, and thought I would get a few thoughts down. If you do happen to come across it at a garage sale or wherever, you can be forewarned.

     The Plot: the "hero"(more on the Quatation marks later) and his sidekick arrive at Wolf Ridge Basin in arizona to discover the friend they have come to help being robbed at gunpoint of the tax money of most of the folks in the valley. they chase the bandits, kill one but lose the other and the money. The "hero" and his sidekick stay in town to puzzle out why the Boss Villain, who owns most of the area, set up the robbery-that is, why he wants everyone to default on their taxes so he can control this apparently worthless land

   Recurring themes: just about every time the "hero" or villain make a prediction about what the other is going to to do, or can accomplish, they turn out to be 100% wrong, often with unintentionally funny results(unintended by the author-this is not intentionally a comedy)

   The Characters:
  • The "Hero": Buck McKee is described as tough and intelligent. I'm reminded of the line from the movie "the Mexican" where the hero's wife tells him "You have managed to Forrest Gump your way through this."...yep, Buck McKee made me feel a lot like that. Also, apparently in the west the Author has created,  any crime can be justified if the person you are committing it against is a bad guy. the "hero" commits Assault(kicks the chair out from under the town doctor) Robbery, (the bank and the general store owned by the master villain) and Arson(Same general store) in his pursuit of  justice for his friend Mike. Just one problem with that. during the initial robbery, his friend Mike is thrown out of his wagon and hits his head against a rock. The "hero" pursues the bad guys instead of tending to his friend because "he's just unconscious". Apparently the Subdural Hematoma was not invented until after 1894.
  • The Sidekick: Tortilla Joe is a one line joke striving to be a one dimensional character. over and over as I read him, I kept thinking of Etta Candy from the golden age Wonder Woman Comics. That he is a more than able gunman and a talented Safe Cracker do not make up for this.
     To sum up, the only characters in the book who come across as vaguely heroic are actually the kidnapped U.S. Cavalry Lieutenant Henning and the half-breed Redbird.

     The Author has another book listed, "Shoot Out at Milk River". I'm going to be looking long and hard for that one...

Birdwatching from my Civic

     We added a new bird to our list of oddities seen out in the Denver area today; Previously, we have seen tons of Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, Magpies, Starlings, Crows, Ravens and Blackbirds. We have occasionally seen Double Crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets(which you can only see once*), Herons, Anhinga, Coopers Hawks, and Eagles, both Bald and Golden. and one late night Sam was buzzed by a Great Horned Owl

(*because if you see one again, it's a ReGret)

     But up until today, we had never seen Vultures

   I initially thought Ravens(Big Ravens!) but Sam said we needed to go back for a better look. there were about 5-7 Turkey Vultures hanging around a prairie dog Colony off of Kipling and Quincy. they were rather Shy around us(and I guess you don't want a vulture being too friendly...) so this is the best I could get picture wise

this is an artists rendering of what they might look like a lot closer and computer generated

Update- I updated this picture- it never looked right until I really futzed with it. Now I'm Happy

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Simplifying the Complicated

     Spent today Simplifying...going through years of tools and spiritual Bric-a-Brac.  We took several books and tools to a used book store and let them go, so they can find someone new to teach. Some sadness, but a lot of relief, too. Simplifying feels good once you are past the stess of the moment, and discovering a hard candy has melted on stuff you are!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Green part 2

Continuing Adventures with a Jealous Conure

  • the Grip of Iron: "you can't put me down if I don't let go". His feet are like steel springs

  • the Shrug: "ok, OK, you can put me back as soon as I...Stretch...These.......Wings........."

  • The Conure Lambada: Tango does a weaving, bobbing dance which is common to his species(Green Cheeked Conure). it's very ritualized with a lot of stalking back and forth

  • The Tunnel Rat: if there is anything to burrow under, he will burrow under it. Blankets, Papers, you name it. In addition though, if there is anything tunnel-like, he will investigate. Pant legs for instance. Bird claws on the back of the knee...
  • The Fleecing: I have a fleece blanket that is simulated alpaca and he loves it. He will roll around on his back in birdie ecstasy and groom the fleece

  • The Gandhi Bird: his mastery of passive resistance to being picked up would impress even that famous man. He just sits there, giving you the look that says "I'm right where I want to be...perhaps it is you that is out of place?" (he backs this up with the aforementioned Iron Grip)

  • The Crow: he loves shiny stuff, earrings, buttons, whatever you happen to be holding...

  • The Bird-Dog-Bird: as I walk around the room, he follows so he can be at the closest point to me at all times. When he grows his primary flight feathers back in, he shall be a terror of the earth
More to Come...

Fifty Shades of Green

     Life with a jealous bird
     Tango loves attention , and wants it when he wants it. How do I Get and Keep thy Attention? Let me count the ways...
  • the Nip: not my favorite, I am trying to school him out of it. Sometimes all you can do is bite

  • the Snuggle: I love you, daddy. I'm so cute that you have to keep holding me
  • the Mystery Word: Tango is a master of saying something once, and never repeating it, no matter how I try to get him to do so. He said "what's up ?" to me several times until I repeated it, have not heard it since...(and that leads to...)
  • the Mystery Voice: when I am away, he will freak out Sam by talking low in my voice. She's never quite sure what he's saying but "huh!" is part of it
  • the Jingle: Tango is possessed of several bell toys in his cage. they can be rung to summon hoomans (note- Sometimes he "drowns" said bells by sinking them in his water dish which leads to...)
  • Feeding the Babies: Tango has three balls with bells inside them. he will "feed" and "water" them by putting them in the appropriate dish. you can always tell which one is out of favor because it is pointedly not in the dish. As to how they actually fall out of favor, that is a mystery known only to Tango
To be Continued.....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Every Time Shockwave Said As You Wish...

     What he was really saying was "I'm staring at you"

As requested by Sam in Comments

Almost Jetfire

     Back in the day,  when the G1 transformers were coming out, Hasbro took from a lot of japanese toy sources to get characters to make. I had the generation 1 jetfire/skyfire toy, and he was very, very cool. he was also based off the fighter from the robotech series(valkyrie I think, or veritech). today, at a garage sale, I found this:

     He's close to my long lost G1 toy, not quite, but kind of fills that space.

Until they make a masterpiece jetfire, that is...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brain Tired

no post of any sustance today- brain is tired just HI, everyone

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Parrotlet's Share

    The Pasta sauce turned out really well, but the shells I made were not mine...not at first.

    The Ancient Custom of Droit De Nuidle also known as Ius Primae Pastis holds sway in our house. The first share of any pasta goes to my wifes parrotlet, for approval or disdain (there is not much pasta she disdains).
     Aldo loves her some pasta. Tango wants pasta if he sees her with it, but he doesn't really eat it, just sort of carries it until he can unobtrusively drop it (Pastis Demittere in Abscondito).
     So, the sauce...Spicy, rich, full flavored. the addition of some last minute rosemary just made it even better. Happy with that meal- if you try it, let me know how your sauce goes, and make sure you give the parrotlet her share

Chef Badgers Easy Red Sauce

    I dabble in cooking. My wife seriously more than dabbles, she's very talented. I am learning from her. One thing she says over and over(and over) is to simplify. Keep things down to a minimum of ingredients, and make every ingredient count for something. No throwaway ingredients. I made this sauce, and folks seem to have liked it.

1 can diced tomatoes (I buy the all natural, no salt added-great value brand from Walmart)
1 can tomato paste, small (great value brand again)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar to cut the acidity

     At this point, you can add whatever you like. Neither my wife nor I happen to like onion or garlic, so I will add olives, or peppers or mushrooms. I pre-cook Italian sausage and add it(with the juice) for even more flavor. Serve over Pasta, or (my wife's preference) Slices of zuchinni. She loves the nice thick sweet sauce this makes. Her sauces tend to be more liquid and sharper

A nice easy sauce, no need to scream at anyone

I have a pot simmering now. Sweet peppers and kalamata olives with hot Italian sausage

Huh! Spell Check on Blogger does not recognize kalamata olives. I find that odd!
Kalamata olives may just be the most delicious thing in the world.

More recipes as the mood strikes

Anchor Management

     Trying to learn a little HTML now, to up my skillset here on the blog. The Wise and Wily Ninja Wife already knows this stuff of course, and runs circles around me. I am however very pleased that I managed to create a simple link in comments on the loki post. Like, from scratch, not using bloggers workarounds. Always cool to learn something new, and after my Debacle with the Amateur Skeptics Site, where they threatened to put training wheels on my admin account, I figured I needed to do SOMETHING

Wife Humor: Even with a Map You're . . .

     Primordial Badger was in a mood to blame this morning.  My big infraction?  I brought the trash cans in.  In order for him to leave the apartment he had to pass right by them.  But according to PB he got outside and they weren't there!  He looked down the street, but no.  They hadn't rolled away!  He looked to the trees to see if it was windy - maybe windy enough to roll them into the park.  Nope.  No wind!
     After his complaint I said, "Life works better if you leave your head sometimes and look around.  You won't be so lost."
     Conversation continues in another direction.  A minute or so later PB said, "I'm not lost."
     I said, "Oh?  You have a map?"
     "A treasure map?"
     "Yes!  I have a treasure map!"  He's obviously thrilled with this idea.  He turns his back on me and is hurrying into the office to make a post on this.
     That's when it slipped out.  My little wife-humor* comment:  "Even with the big "You are here 'X'" you'd still be lost."
     PB whipped around.  "What?  What did you say?"
     I said, "You know there's always something to look at."  (Or something like that.)  I don't think he believed me.  But he was still overjoyed with his treasure map win.  I didn't have the heart to tell him this conversation was going in a post.

(*Wife humor = ninja snark.  We wives are so very good at it.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Things I Am Waiting to Post About...

Until the DVD comes out and we can podcast it

#9: there is no #9
#8: ditto
#7: likewise
#6: Same Song, Second Verse
5: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
4: " "
3: don't you love ill-thought-out top 10 lists?
#2: Cowboys and Aliens(OK, this one we just need to get)

The Deadliest Game...

     I have an old PDA, an Ipaq 1900 series. I use it to play mainly solitaire, so I'm not really fully utilizing it's capabilities or intended use. Sam wants to see it go (she's all about simplification) but I'm still resistant. Anyhow, I have a freeware version of Spider Solitaire installed there, and I just came across a much more challenging variation of the game

Conure Competitive Solitaire

     This is a game of intense strategy, Skill, Sleight of Hand, and acrobatic ability. You try to win the game by solving all the stacks down while simultaneously keeping the PDAs stylus out of the beak and feet of Tango as he maneuvers across your arms, chest and face. If he gets the stylus, he will attempt to take it from you completely so he can fully conquer it and try to shred the plastic and metal.

   There was a lot of Lingua Tango spoken and a lot of complaints about me palming the stylus so he couldn't get it. We both got a little exercise

     On a similar note, he spent several minutes trying to open the Velcro on my cellphone case. I was amused until I realized that if he masters the technology, how far is he from taking over the world? How many steps is it from opening that velcro, and dialing that phone to a world of Conure Tyranny, where the Hoomans are assigned to do nothing but scratch necks and cut up bell peppers so the conures can have the seeds? Not that that's a bad life, Per Se, but...we have aspirations! We still think we are the apex species!

" If you want a picture of the future, imagine a zygodactyl foot climbing on a human face—forever"

Loki Is the Root of All Evil

It's funny but I'm not a Loki fan.  Well, I wasn't.  But two things have changed my mind on Loki recently.

#1. I found on Zerochan:
Tags: Anime, Marvel, Loki (Marvel), The Avengers, Princeofredroses
(Also available here!)

#2. I found on Mlkshk.

BUT overall, this is the Tumblr image that made me change my mind on Loki:

I'll leave Primordial Badger to throw up an acceptable deep link. ;)

Arms Race

     Found this short Film on YouTube. It's Pretty good, my one complaint is that the revolver looks like a .45 colt rather than a Webley (thank you, Top Shot). but whatever points they lost with the revolver, they won back and then some, when the Private Lights his cigarette...

I found it as a YouTube Suggested Video off of This Post by Sam

Monday, August 6, 2012

Some New Bird Toys

     We raided my Sister, the Crafters, store of buttons for new bird toys. we found quite a few interesting textures and colors for them to play with(supervised). It's all about the BAI, you know. One button in particular really fascinates Tango:

It's a purple, plastic flower with hollow petals, so he has a lot of places to grip on it

     I tell you that, in order to tell you this. So Tango, clever creature that he is, laboriously carried this button, by foot and beak, up my arm to my shoulder. And I see out of the corner of my eye, he is working it around in his beak and playing with it

   And then plop...thump. and this sad "chirrp?"

   Daddy found the toy and brought it safe back to the baby bird. It was just so sad and so funny, and so human, that I had to share.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Box of Garage Sale Books

     We bought a box of books at a garage sale for $5, went through it and kept the ones we were interested in. I was primarily interested in about 12 old Doc Savage books, as I am interested in the old Pulps. I had read a book a while back called The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont, which was fantastic, and piqued my interest

     what I was not expecting though, was to really enjoy a couple of John D. MacDonald books that were in there. I started A Flash of Green, it didn't catch me, didn't like the characters. Just couldn't feel them. Then I read The Green Ripper, and Cinnamon Skin, and was amazed at the eloquence of some of the passages.

     I remember my Dad having some of his books, they all had a color in the title (at least the Travis McGee ones do) but I was never that interested in picking them up.

    Now...well, I'm not going to rush out in a mad quest to find them all in first edition hardback, but if I saw them in a used book store, I might pick up more. He's worth a read.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chubby Kid In Nike Ad


I cannot tell you on how many levels I absolutely LOVE this ad.  Not just for the simplicity of it.  But for the narration.  I think Nike hit it right on the head!

Watch It Here: Nike: Greatness

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not My Shot...(But Interesting)

     I like the fact that the arrow actually pierced the fluorescent tube without shattering it. it must have been fired from a very high velocity bow, to have gone through the wood and still been moving fast enough to kill the light fixture. I would not call this a good shot, but it is a unique one worth sharing. I imagine the range owners were none too happy, when they had to extract the arrow