Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Arnold Schwarzenegger looked like the cat that ate the canary in that venue. A competent speech from a, hmmm, solid person. "Don't be economic girly-men."
Laura Bush has grown since the last campaign. Very pretty, erect and confident.
The Kerry girls appeared a real credit to their parents. These Bush girls are giggly, their clothes are inappropriate for the venue, their material is terrible, and the impression they are making is embarrassing.

UPDATE: I've read "But they're just 22." Right. College graduates.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Obama was an inspiring speaker, Clinton is an excellent speaker, John McCain is a man I'll closely listen to, but Rudy Giuliani is the man I want to dance with.

All right, all right. I have a weakness for Italians.
Lucy is one ticked-off little biddy.

She had her beak and toenails trimmed today. You'd have thought they were preparing her for dinner.

If she were quiet and cooperative, the whole process might take four minutes, if they were being extra careful. What with all the screeching and battle and rests, the whole lot of us are worn out when it's done.

I told the vet that if she were a good-looking 20-to-30-year-old man it would be a lot easier. That's Lucy's type.

Where did she learn that?
Lyman came in yesterday with a cucuzza squash. I would never have imagined that Louisiana has the largest farm of that kind in the world. Hype, maybe, though it could be true.
Bloomberg, Giuliani and McCain speak tonight at the convention. Wading through Google-ups I can't find the schedule for all the protest info. Does someone know the approximate time these gentlemen will be speaking?

It was much easier to track the DNC.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Fine. Many men would like nothing better. Now whatcha gonna do, honey?

(Girl's in the wrong city. She should move to Los Angeles. She'd be well on the road to her dream there.)
Kitchen Hand in Melbourne, Australia, has a post here that combines possums and parrots, so how can I not link?

He cooks and gardens, among things. I check there frequently for his recipes, though I don't have a clue as to where I'd find skate. These mussels frustrate me no end.

His site slipped onto my blogroll there on the left a short while ago.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A 4-foot pet monitor is loose in town:
Neighbors suspect the lizard is what ate two new roosters a resident on Camellia bought recently.

"He got two brand-new roosters," neighbor Michelle Bumgarner said. "They didn't even get to crow the next morning."

Friday, August 27, 2004

The old mattress on the guest bed was a cotton mattress, covered in blue ticking, with a roll and roping at the edges. The springs were covered in blue ticking with roping. When were sets like that last made?

The bed, end tables and chest of drawers date from the forties.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The new Bemco bedding arrived today for the guest room.

I inherited an odd-sized lovely four-poster bed when we married. The mattress size is 51 x 75 inches (well, 50 7/8), not on the showroom floor. We measured the top of the box spring, and ordered the set custom-made at considerable expense, to us, anyway.

The poor fellows who delivered the set couldn't get the springs in for anything, even after removing the little plastic corners.

"Stand the mattress up in the room and go on, we'll handle it."

The size was only a smidgen off, so Lyman and I paired up and plonked our hineys on each of the corners to set the springs. It worked.

Then we placed the mattress. It is not a pillow-top. The crown of the mattress is 32 inches off the floor.

I guess we'll pretend to have a big house and have the carpenter build a step.

My gosh, that sure looks high.

The moral of the story is to always measure the springs at the bottom, especially if you're measuring bedding fifty years old. I'd like to say also measure the depth of the bedding, but we didn't have a lot of choices, so do the best with what you can. The old mattress had to go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Continuing the theme of teenagers and birds, and adolescent birds, Lucy's relationship with the telephone has taken a step. Now she says "hello" after we have punched a number in.

Since she has "What you doing?" down pat, she only has to learn "Nothing, what you doing?" to be able to communicate just as Lyman's boys did at a comparable developmental level.

Next comes "You want to do something later?" followed by "I don't know. Do you?"
Serious local trouble here. Reaction here.

This bears close watching. Four or five shots?

UPDATE: Here is another story from the local weekly, the Concordia Sentinel, with more details.

UPDATE II: The promised rally here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Another phrase for when I feel exhausted and blue:

"I feel like I've been whipped with a dead snake."

(Link via Obscure Store)
Geez, I never thought I could feel sorry for a cockroach.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The house next door is an attractive two-story, modeled after a New Orleans townhouse (the Thomas Toby house, now known as the Toby-Westfeldt house, first house built in the Garden District, 1838. Can't find a good picture). At 4 the other morning, alarms began screaming and talking, and fire trucks and police cars arrived in front of it. They were there for some while.

Lyman talked to the owners later. It was a false fire alarm. It is a beam-based alarm that goes into fits when smoke or other particles block the beam. Firemen examined the house thoroughly and found no trace of smoke or fire.

They finally resolved that the alarm must have been set off by harvest dust.

Just another quiet night in rural America.

UPDATE: Interesting note here on Thomas Toby's association with Texas.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste has gone big time:
On the NASCAR Busch circuit, Boudreaux is one of several sponsors of Crosby, a middle school principal in Slidell, La., and longtime driver of just about any type of vehicle that can reach unholy speeds.

Last year at Talledega, Ala., Crosby's "butt car" gained as much attention as the eventual winner of the race. Considering that millions watch racing, Crosby and Boudreaux have been inundated with variations of "Butt Paste? What's that?"

"It's a joke at the track that if you put it on the rear end of the car, it'll go faster," Crosby said.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Lucy seems to like the word 'apple'.

Every time I give her food, I pronounce its name carefully. She hasn't picked up 'corn' or 'pepper' or 'bean'. Just 'apple'.

When she goes on one of her vocalizing streaks where she experiments with her voice with all kinds of sounds, from high-pitched chirps and screams to belly-growls, she always plays for a while with 'apple'. She prolongs the syllables and plays with the p's in her throat. It's interesting and odd, evocative of Eve and learning to read.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Do all teenagers say "hunh" when you ask them a question?

"Lucy, what are you doing there?"


Hers is a pretty "hunh", drawled as you might expect from a young Vivian Leigh.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I do like a compliment.

When we worked on the great room, after much comparison and thought, we decided on native willow for the fireplace facade and the nine-foot bookcase.

Our carpenter selected and planed the wood himself, and created raised panels for both. I finished them in linseed oil, with all the concomitant work - sanding, wiping, finishing, four times over.

Today, when he came by to pick up experimental ribs from the smoker, he checked the finish. "It might be time to put another coat on."

"You'll have to keep Lucy. That means more sanding and mineral spirits."

"No, you don't need to sand. This is nearly gun-stock smooth."

Nice. He's still wrong.
This story threw me for a loop. Here are the passages I find interesting:
[...] When Mike Johnson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents conservative politicians and "pro-family" organizations, called Rawls a "homosexual," Rawls charged at Johnson. Rawls' voice rose and his face turned red, and he approached Johnson, pointed his finger at him and labeled him a "homophobe."

"I am not a homosexual," Rawls angrily told Johnson. "I am a gay man."

Rawls considers the term "homosexual" derogatory. "No one calls me the 'h' word," he said later.

[...] "He just went nuts. I was shocked by it," Johnson said of the courtroom encounter. "He lunged at me because I used the word 'homosexual.' I thought that was an appropriate term, I didn't know it was derogatory."

The encounter took those in the courtroom by surprise and highlighted the fervor the gay marriage issue has ignited.

"Just as I would expect no African-American to sit silently when he or she is insulted, nor would I expect any woman to stand by silently while she is insulted, nor any other group that traditionally has been denigrated by language," Rawls said in defense of his courtroom outburst. [...]
When did the term 'homosexual' become derogatory? 'Homo' has never been a neutral word, but 'homosexual' is a descriptive term, like its siblings 'heterosexual', 'bisexual' and 'asexual', isn't it?

(For the record, I am against such a ban being written into the Louisiana constitution. And I think gays should stop pushing the loaded word 'marriage'. I was joined with my husband in a city judge's law library with a secretary as a witness, a civil union if ever there was one. Many sects would not consider us married in any sacred sense.)

UPDATE: Maybe it's going the way of 'negro'?

UPDATE II: Since I received no other response, I called my local authority, my gay brother. He sees nothing wrong with the use of 'homosexual', since it has been used for a couple of thousand years as opposed to 'gay', which sprang up about 30 years ago.

UPDATE III: See Sean Kinsell's take here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Poor dumb baby squirrel.

(Link via Obscure Store)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

When the grandfather clock strikes nine in this household, it is time to put Lucy to bed.

Wipe the top of the cage and perches with Lucy chasing the cloth, clean the dishes and wash and refill the water bottle, change the newspaper in the bottom every other day, and add pellets to the 24 hour snack dish.

Put Lucy on my shoulder, lower the pleated blind behind her cage, turn off the Lucy light - a floor lamp that stands next to her cage (with a personally decorated linen shade in cranberry and pomegranate, very nice with the walls) - and get a goodnight kiss.

Lyman is usually in his office chair. "Time to go nite-nite, Lucy. Can you give Lyman a kiss?"

Sometimes it works for him. Sometimes it doesn't. Lately, she has taken to faking yawns right in his face. Then she turns to me, gives me a kiss, and into the cage she goes, to the highest perch, without a single bonk.

"Nite-nite, Lucy."


Sunday, August 15, 2004

Lyman's first employer gave him a bit of advice that holds in any situation, up and down the line, as employer or employee: "Never keep your money and your honey in the same pocket."

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Well. I think the scandal surrounding Governor Jim McGreevey of New Jersey is evidence of either a worldwide Zionist conspiracy or exceedingly bad judgment in pissy queens. We'll see.

UPDATE: Seriously, more facts need to come out before many judgments are made. Gay activists might like to reserve some of their energies recently spent lauding Gov. McGreevey's "coming out" for condemning him if Cipel's allegations are true.

I doubt that lawyer Lovy's assertions that Cipel is heterosexual will prove true. In any case, you could have a powerful governor threatening Cipel's jobs if he doesn't perform according to the gov's desires, and that is ugly stuff in any sexual context.

Yes, there's the argument that Cipel might have obtained a job outside the realm of the governor's patronage to get out from under his thumb. That still wouldn't make harassment charges less true.

Just keep a little powder dry, I say. Homosexuals have a right to say "no", too. Don't they?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Ooooooh. I like shiny things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The, ummm, posterior has been a little sore today, having to do with reduction of lead levels in the home.

Lyman found mondo grass on sale at Carter's Nursery. He brought home thirty 6" pots. We divided 22 of those in half, and some of those again to plant around an oak in the front yard.

Bend and stretch, bend and stretch. I need more exercise.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Alice Cooper's python swallowed a heating pad. I like this statement from the surgeon:
"That's an outrageous X-ray," Jacobs said Thursday, looking at the pre-op picture of the snake that showed the wires and contacts from the heating pad - plus a rodent. "It's probably the most astonishing X-ray I've taken in my career."
(Link via Obscure Store)

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Click here to see a picture of Lucy as a full-feathered fledgling.
Little Lucy is just whipped. Dislocation from her home on Thursday afternoon was followed by an unanticipated visit from her big brother and a lady companion that only ended this morning. Disruption, disruption, disruption.

Lucy needs a nap.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Lyman was wrong. The weather was ideal today. It was sunny, about 85 degrees with a breeze.
Lucy is a pretty good girl. She's mainly obedient, but she does disagree with our actions at times.

Yesterday, she went to stay with friends while we ran the self-clean feature on the oven, which raises all kinds of nasty fumes, and Bug Busters came to work on our ongoing problem with sugar ants. (The new iron is fine. Hasn't been used yet.) Because they have a cat, they put her travel cage on top of a stool in front of a window in a bedroom and shut the door.

Miss Priss doesn't take too kindly to being away from the center of activity. When they checked on her she would stomp around the cage and bonk her beak against the walls.

Beak-bonking is her favorite way of expressing displeasure. Don't want to step up? Bonk the perch or the floor. Ticked because interesting things are going on outside and you're not? Bonk the window. Mad because Janis puts you in the cage at midday? Bonk the walls.

She'll obey, but she doesn't have to like it. Bonk.
This post is one of the reasons I love the Internet. I'll be looking for one of those toothbrushes.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

We're watching HGTV. "Re-run," I say. "Everything is a re-run these days. Looks like the weather is a re-run," he says.
Mike Hollihan has further observations on lack of southern hospitality to the Iraqi delegation here.

You know, of course, this episode just validates Lyman's view that Tennessee is not really a part of the south.
Larry Anderson hosts the Thursday Three this week. He asks:
1) Can you name three good things about southern weather in August?

Okra grows well.
Grass grows slowly.
Shade trees grow more valuable.

2) What do you consider to be the best time weather-wise to be a southerner?

The light in October is best, but I always feel best in November.

3) Who is the most manic weather person tornado-wise?

I can't say. Our "local" stations are 80 miles away.
The kids at Duncan Black's site are silly over this article.

I don't like to play with the big boys, but an intervention is in order. Who knows more about Memphis stuff than the Axis of Weevil's own Mike Hollihan?

I e-mailed Mr. Hollihan, who is a gracious respondent. He allows me to reprint any part of his mail. He writes:
[The original article is] this story(register if you will, not much different) from the Memphis Commercial Appeal, our daily paper. [...]

As best I can puzzle it out, the folks who set this visit up didn't do a good job of communication. There appear to have been a lot of crossed wires and missed messages involved. It seems that the City Council President, Joe Brown (BTW, he's the former Judge Joe Brown of television court show fame!), was called when the Iraqis showed up at City Hall for their tour and he had no idea what was going on. Given that a heightened terror alert had gone out over the weekend, he predictably over-reacted. Our local government takes their personal security very seriously, as you can see.

Originally, the City Mayor's office claimed that no written requests had been made to them; the Mayor has since issued an apology to the Iraqis. The County Mayor ended up meeting with the Iraqis at our local Civic Center with City Councilwoman Carol Chumney, who was either spearheading the visit or jumping on the publicity bandwagon after the trouble surfaced; it's hard to tell. The Councilwoman has a record of publicity hogging.

By the time everyone had the story straight, it was too late and the
word was out that we had "snubbed" the Iraqis. I guess in a manner of
speaking we did, but it was also poor planning and execution, too. And a bit of grand-standing by Joe Brown and Carol Chumney. But they did get to meet with some City and County officials, so it wasn't a total loss. Just a bad show to the Iraqis.

However, the story took another turn when two of the delegates were
robbed on Beale Street! You can read stories here and here.

They were walking along in the "blues tourist district" when a local
pulled a gun on them and robbed them. This story isn't getting quite as
much play as the snub story because it will affect tourist dollars, but
it's actually worse than the snub since it confirms the repeatedly
denied stories about crime in that big-dollar tourist area.

So, even though we're getting pasted by the nation as racist yokels,
it's a more benign and more commonplace story than that. Grandstanding,
posturing politicians; too many overlapping political activities (John
Edwards spoke here today) not well coordinated; and a not-surprising
Memphis crime event were the basics of the story. Had the delegation not
been Iraqi goodwill ambassadors learning about democracy, it wouldn't
have rated much of a mention, if at all. We'd still look like idiots,
just not to the nation.
That won't cool much heat, but at least it's from someone there.

UPDATE: Read comments here for more from Mr. Hollihan on the Memphis City Council.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

How do you discipline boys like these? Without going to jail yourself?

(Link via Obscure Store)

Monday, August 02, 2004

What a pitiful, pitiful year for tomatoes we are having. It's hard to say what is wrong, apart from the heavy rains for a while.

Lyman accuses the pecan tree next door of casting too long a shadow over his garden plot. With the agreement of the neighbor, that will be removed this week, too late for much help this season.

I was hoping to can this year. Home-canned tomatoes in winter soups, stews and pastas are hard to beat. They're good gifts, too.

When I married Lyman, I didn't know the first thing about canning. A retired USAF officer, since deceased, taught me how. He was best friend to my father-in-law. He and Lyman used to compete and trade tips on growing tomatoes.

One year when the crop started coming in at a pace, he called me in the morning and said "Get ready. I'm bringing my equipment." He brought his pressure canner, funnel and tongs. I had laid in the jars, lids, lemons and salt. We worked together until the lids were ready to pop. "I'm going home to get a shower. I usually sit down, open a beer and listen."

We had taken a flat of tomatoes from his garden to share with my family for Thanksgiving in Dallas when Big Daddy called to say he had died after cancer surgery. Miss him still.
Lyman's stuffing wasn't much to crow about, just a variation of dirty rice, but he did a fine job of deboning the chicken.

It baked into a moist, pretty bird that would add a little glamor to a dinner party.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Lyman is playing with his food again. He boned a chicken by this method, then improvised a stuffing. I sewed a chicken's butt closed with a crewel needle and kitchen string.

"Ma'am, would you like some dinner tonight?"

"Sure. Just another olive in that martini, heh?"
It was Wednesday morning when we noticed something wrong with Lucy. She wasn't moving much and appeared depressed.

On Thursday, she was obviously keeping weight off her left foot, though she could curl her toes. On Friday, I called Craig and Debra to see if there was something special I could do for her. "Watch," they said. On Saturday she was allowing more pressure on the foot.

On Sunday, she was holding food in the foot. When she begged for a crust from Lyman's sandwich, he said "Go limp around for your Mama. She'll get you something."