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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rainwater catchment

Today, shortly before I saw a herd (yes, a herd) of bunnies dashing into my backyard and frolicking (&^%$#@%%!!), I managed to get my first rain barrel set up.

Since I don't yet have gutters, I set the rain barrel to catch the runoff from the composting slash potting shed attached to the raised bed (with tomatoes, basil, sage, echinacea, pinks, and now sorrel and some other stuff) and grape arbor.

My plan is to get gutters installed next month, then set up more rain barrels beneath the downspout.

In any case, digging through the archives at Mother Earth News, I found some excellent articles on rainwater catchment. Here's a link to one, for those who might be interested.

Gardening Journal, Day Still Unknown

Saw my first toad of the season a few minutes ago. I'd just spent about half an hour wrangling with some bird netting and was weeding around the combination composting/potting shed attached to raised bed/grape arbor (when I first moved here, I referred to it as the rat holding pen --- long story, you really don't want to know, suffice it to say the last owners were kind of piggy).

So I was pulling out some weeds and lo and behold! A little baby toady nestled in tightly. I promptly covered him back up in weeds.

Things are now happening faster than I can keep up with out there. Mowing's begun --- I got about 3/4 an acre yesterday and maybe a third today. By push mower, mind you. You city folks may belong to gyms --- I mow!

I'm also going to strip the plastic off the greenhouse and turn it into another raised bed. The plastic has been beat to heck by the winds and storms, and the only way I can fix it is to take it off. So I'm going to start pulling it off tonight, and maybe get a bed built there tomorrow.

Damned grading! If I didn't have to grade, I could just get it done.

I also may build a permanent strawberry bed on the front deck. It's the only safe place I can think of to put it.

The noseeums are also out. Dang!!

Let’s Drink to the Slobbering Classes

One of the best reads of the week has gone almost unnoticed in blogotopia. Joe Bageant's meandering behemoth Let’s Drink to the Slobbering Classes is pasted together from reader emails. The end result is way too wordy (like I'm not) for conventional tastes, but nails it so often and so well, it shouldn't be ignored.

I read it while browsing Kos, which was an instructive experience. I love Kos, enjoy many of the posters there and believe it's serving a valuable function. However, some of the young Turks over there .... yeow! Eg, Lakoff posts a diary to announce Social Justice Sunday --- and here come the ambitious young highly educated extremely self-righteous and self-assured mobs "Excuse me, Mr. Lakoff, I believe your frame is wrong!"

Jeebus! Screw framing already, people, and grab a cluephone!

In any case, these are some of the very people for whom Bageant's big mess of an essay will make no sense, assured as they are of the security of their own place in the world and fervent that They Know Best.

When crap happens to working people, it’s usually a domino line of crap. It is bad enough that Poot lost his apartment when landed in the hoosegow, and will have to find a new one in August, along with a new job, unless he decides to starve to death by remaining at Gas ‘n Grubs. He also lost his truck along the way. I am almost willing to bet that his life will never recover from this setback. Meanwhile, something even worse has come of this run-in with American penology’s gulag system of white trash labor: By court order Poot cannot set foot in Burt’s Tavern until August. He may not survive such a blow.


the point is that for many working class Americans it is possible not to know a single person of liberal persuasion in daily life -- which must seem inconceivable to urban and metropolitan Americans. A night in any tavern in this town shows why this is possible. Can you spell American C-L-A-S-S system?


They have never been exposed to a union, never taken a college class, and do not expect too much out of life. Liberals, on the other hand, expect far too damned much, in their opinion. Life is tough. Suck it in. Don’t take chances. Be conservative and stick with what you know. Like most working people, they were born working class, never had college aspirations, and accept their lives. Such people do not have “careers”. They have jobs to pay the bills.

Meanwhile, the world outside Burt’s or Winchester, Virginia doesn’t exist. Not really. If you spend your days at a soul-numbing repetitious job with a brain simmering in anti-depressants, a belly stuffed with high fat, supercarb comfort food, and evenings half drunk or recovering on the couch from work . . . well . . . when the heck are you supposed to find time or mind to grasp the implications of global warming even as you contemplate being one payday ahead of homelessness? A while back I watched this bar full of people stare at a game of Afghani dead goat polo in silent, rapt attention. If that isn’t brain dead I don’t know what is. The relentless autocratic, blue collar American workplace has ground my people down, smashed ‘em right into the couch. There they are force-fed the huckster’s hologram of “personal freedom” in advertisements for off road vehicles. Getting a lousy public education, then being played against your fellow workers in Darwinian fashion by the free market economy does not make for optimism or open mindedness. It makes for a kind of bleak meanness nobody is openly talking about in the American political dialogue today.

I seem to remember a time when we weren’t so mean, back when most people in Burt’s believed in the American dream. A few still do, or at least pay lip service to it, though now they have been reduced to being grateful for having a job, any job. When you're easily replaced and are devalued you no longer pretend to have a choice. To feed your family you work harder and for less and without benefits. You eat shit and you ask for seconds. Eating shit eventually makes you bitter and resentful of anyone who does not appear to be eating their share of shit. So you feel that anyone else who gets a break, especially a government-assisted leg up is cheating you. From resentment it is only a short skip to hatred and the illogical behavior that comes with hatred. Like voting Republican against your own best interests.

American liberals have been wailing and moaning like a bunch of dying cats in a hailstorm. HOW COULD THEY BE THAT STUPID? Well dammit, we’ve always been that stupid. So get over it. But from time to time at least we were lucky enough to have real leadership, people like Franklin Roosevelt who understood that politics is and always will be about class struggle. Rich as he was, he had enough character to stand up for social and economic justice. Hell, even Nixon wanted universal health care. It took a truly godless pack of jackals from Texas to finally bring down and savage the Roosevelt legacy. 

The problem with the postmodern middle class and left is that they've forgotten about the class issue. Especially now that they are educated middle class citizens, urban dwellers, Jews and Germans and Italians and Irishmen, Asians and Poles, all far better off than their ancestors. They’ve come far from their Ellis Island roots and are now what is known as the “two shithouse Irish,” in redneck parlance.

Besides that, it's not easy for educated people with orderly lives to be on the side of overweight, undereducated, deeply indebted, and bitterly frustrated and prejudiced people, folks who have finally given up after being kicked in the ass one too many times. The system is so rigged against them that even those who strive seldom get out, which is in itself a lesson to others. These people, the people of debt counselors, joint custody, repoed vehicles and mobile homes, have been lied to, cheated, and robbed, mocked on television, and now once again spat upon by their supposed betters, this time the angry liberals. Show me the party that represents them. Who could they have voted for that would have improved their situations? Let’s face it, under the Democrats they would be getting screwed somewhat less (maybe), but they would not be getting ahead. In real wages they have lost ground under Dems as well as the GOP since 1973.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Social Justice Sunday, April 24

Read about it here and here.

Bout time, too. Nicely done, Lakoff and company!


Between mowing and planting and taxes and paperwork which desperately needs to be done and grading and crazed students and everything else, there just isn't time to do much else.

The autumn --- right before winter --- is pretty crazy. Plants have to be brought in, mulch scattered, delicates protected, windows reinforced, students are kind of nuts, on and on and on.

But spring is when it really gets hopping. Since about 4 this afternoon, I've mowed about 3/4 of an acre, dug a giant boulder (maybe a hundred pounds - !!) out from where I'm planting another variegated grape, snipped flowerheads off some sage, planted some more strawberries in their temp container, attached bird netting over a bed and worried over some peculiar indentations out back.

I think it might be the deer. I thought at first the horses had gotten in the yard again (*&^%$@##!!!), but I think it might be deer, which might explain all that strange noise I've been hearing about 9 pm every night.

It's a kind of cackling noise, really very similar to a human laugh. Although a medicine man once --- well, actually, several times --- warned me that the laughing sound means I got some haints looking to bother me. Around these parts, they get the shotgun and just shoot the haints. But I don't have a shotgun.


In any case, I kind of have a couple weeks off. I have minor grading this weekend --- although I have mega serious paperwork to do. ! But I really don't have any grading of substance til the first week of May.

So, maybe while I'm taking care of the planting, I'll do some blogging, too.

Rural Intrigue: The Honker Mystery

For about three weeks now, some guy in a red pickup has been driving by here and honking. It happens a few times a day, with the first honk usually sometime around 7 a.m. and the last, between 8-9 p.m.

The thing that concerns me is this: I'm worried it's some old geezer who's decided I'm just the right little lady for him and he can convince me with some big old wallet full of bank account numbers of something.

Of course, there's always the possibility it's a certain ex of mine, although I really don't think so, given all my exes either live miles away or are on Death's Doorstep, thanks to their idiotic overindulgence in ... in ... in whatever.

About all I know is honking is some kind of weird Hillbilly Love Call, surpassed only by the willingness to rassle a cow off your porch without asking for recompense. Or doing tractor work.

Instinct tells me it's some kind of geezer looking for a younger woman to spend all his money and take out for biscuits and gravy, to show off to the boys.

Problem is, damned if I want some geezer hanging around.

This is yet another good lesson to the women out there on the utility of large hairy dogs who look scary.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

More of The Negligent Blogger

Okay, so I only just now finished my taxes --- I ended up doing two tax programs at once, just to make sure I didn't completely blow it, and even took out Audit insurance, just in case!

But I haven't yet gotten to the pile of paperwork on just as pressing matters. Although I did manage to finish grading this round of papers.

Add to that, the two days lost from my life when first my car broke down, then the car loaned to me by a friend broke down. Yoikes!

But I really am almost back. Just too much to do, not enough time, etc.

If you think my neglect of the blog is bad, you ought to see my house. !!!