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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, August 20, 2005

The new bluebird

I've had Western Bluebirds here for forever, but a month or so ago, a new kind of bluebird showed up. And I'm almost positive it's an Eastern Bluebird. I should know --- Eastern Bluebirds were my favorites when I was a kid --- but these guys are so much deeper blue than I remember. Not the best pics, but definitely the best I've been able to get of them so far.



They appear to be getting ready to nest here, and are having mighty battles with the cardinals who aren't at all happy about this turn of events.

Gardening Journal, Day Completely Unknown

Classes have started, which means I can no longer spend days on end dressed in ragged t-shirts covered in paint and horse manure, and even more filthy jeans. Worse, I have to comb my hair.

But there's a positive side to it all. Not only do I teach back to back classes, but I teach e-a-r-l-y. So I wake up at an ungodly hour, drown myself in coffee (home roasted in a decrepit popcorn popper), get there and teach my little heart out til noon. At which point, I am out for the day.

Which leaves plenty of time for gardening chores. Well, of course, there's the lengthy drive home, a drive which has become even longer because in the interest of saving money, I'm refusing to go over 55 miles. Which totally annoys all the cowboys and dually ropers out there, but it really does work. I drive 60 miles to work and sixty miles back --- and this 55 MPH driving, now I haven't figured out exactly how much it saves, but it might be a gallon a trip, which is nothing to sneeze at these days.

Which means by the time I get home, it's getting later than I'd like, so I have plenty of time to stop at the place right down the road and chat with the charming little foal over there --- as long as the people who own the foal aren't around. He's really darling and has such a charmingly grumpy look about him, like McCauley Caulkin (?) looks in that movie "Home Alone" when he first wakes up and before he realizes he's home alone.

You can see the little baby horse is still annoyed about being put over there with some (gasp!) goats, of all things. There's practically a little cartoon bubble over his head that says "What have you done with my mother?? Give her back! And goats? Are you people kidding?"

So truth be known, there isn't much time by the time I get home to do much gardeing. but i have done a bit. I gathered seeds from the Indian Peace Pipe flowers yesterday and started basil for this winter. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to convince a friend of mine with a pickup to go with me over to the lumber store to get cinder blocks (and dek blocks - !) for building two new beds, this time, a la Sister Scorpion style.

And I'm trying to decide on trees for the front. I need a combination of fruit or nut and privacy screens. I want to plant at least three come the end of October - mid November. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Is it that ...

... truth is stranger than fiction?

Dr. Strangelove? Or classic NeoCon?

Or that life imitates art?

What Bush aspires --- and fails --- to be.

Or is it only that the more things change, the more they stay the same?

Dowd verges on redeeming herself

First, a picture of loofah becoming loofah:

Next, in recent weeks, Maureen Dowd has begun redeeming herself. I've been extremely disappointed in her and, in fact, have refused to read her for months.

But --- maybe it's just me, but --- suddenly, a few weeks ago, Dowd suddenly dropped the simpishness and actually began injecting some substance into her style.

I'm still not completely convinced. But it's a start.

Hummingbirds are here

Unfortunately, I'm out of film --- and it couldn't happen at a worse time because the hummingbirds are now out in full force.

I sat at my front door earlier today spying on them. They weren't only feeding --- no, they were also investigating, first the wild poinsettia and loofah, then on to the Indian Peace Pipe and lion's ear. Gad, what gorgeous shots those would have made! They would flit over to a flower, then sit absolutely still looking it over.

I won't get new film til Friday, so until I can get pics of the hummers, here's some pics I took the other day of the tropical hibiscus.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Day Two, Schedules

The hell that is creating schedules for the students.

Although it has led me to one of the first assignments of the semester, an essay addressing the following:

Do I really have to come to class and do all the assignments? That's so not fair.


MJ nails Herr Bush over Cindy Sheehan.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The drought and heatwave may have broken

But I've just spent an entire day doing the schedule for one month in one class. The good news is, this schedule will now become the basis for the other classroom schedules I have to do.

The bad news is, I have to do the other schedules.

I've decided to become classroom diva and intolerable bitch of a teacher this semester. I've spent the past few days watching All About Eve over and over again, in preparation for my role as the scariest teacher these students have ever seen in their entire lives. I plan to kick their butts up one side the room and down the other, and scramble their brains with assignments and difficult grading and the demand for the "how high?" attitude, as in when I say jump, their only comment is ...

They are getting no leeway whatsoever. I've finally learned my lesson with them: give them an inch, they'll take forty kilometers.

And I will find the opportunity this semester to scream at them: Not mouse. Never mouse! If anything ... RAT!

Now, to find some stylish shirtwaists and fashion my hair into a pageboy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

80 yer old grandmother on rampage against Bush for killing her grandson

What Bush has wrought.

... on Friday, Comley's grandmother, 80-year-old Geraldine Comley of Versailles, described herself in an interview as a former Republican stalwart who is "on a rampage" against the president and the war.

She said she would like nothing better than to join Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has been holding a peace vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Texas.

"When someone gets up and says 'My son died for our freedom,' or I get a sympathy card that says that, I can hardly bear it," Geraldine Comley said.

She said her view, developed before her grandson's death, is that Bush pushed for war because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had tried to assassinate the first President Bush, and to get control of Mideast oil.

"And it irritates me no small amount that Dick Cheney, in the Vietnam War, said he had 'other priorities,'" Geraldine Comley said. "He didn't mind sending my grandson over there" to Iraq.

Geraldine Comley's daughter, Missy Comley Beattie, also was critical of Bush and the war in a column she wrote for Friday's Herald-Leader.


"I've never seen my father cry, but I've heard him cry this week," she said. "And he will look at the picture of Chase that's on their hearth and say 'George Bush killed my grandson.'"

Yet another reason ...

... to never never never buy Tyson products.

Via Political Sapphire:

Top U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. has denied claims of racial discrimination after being sued over two black employees who complained about the posting of a "Whites Only" sign on a bathroom at a poultry plant in Ashland, Alabama.


In a press release on Thursday, the EEOC said the two black employees were subjected to disciplinary action by Tyson management, including suspensions, after they complained about the segregated bathroom.

The EEOC said it filed suit only after attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

The suit alleges that Tyson discriminated against Henry Adams, Leon Walker and other black employees by establishing and maintaining a locked bathroom, which on occasion had signs posted on it stating "Out of Order" and "Whites Only."

Right. Knowing what I do of Tyson and of a few too many people in Alabama, I certainly believe this is all a huge misunderstanding.


Tallying the end of summer

Who cares what the calendar says --- we're having our first fall-like rains, and what a relief, given we're also in the middle of a drought and have been declared a disaster area.

Hm. Parallelism or not? Ah, who gives a shit.

More important, classes start this week, meaning I go back to work.

And I haven't even begun to finish all my summer projects. I got the floors halfway done, but not all the way. I didn't even touch the ceilings. I'm still scheming on moving the greenhouse, building more beds and tearing down the fencing up front. And then there's the sleeping porch. And the not even halfway built patio. And pathways. And that barn, the damned barn. And gutters, always the gutters.

I also gained ten-fifteen pounds because of the heat and drought. And quitting smoking. So much for getting back into my jeans.

But I did manage to get grapes established --- the Niagara from last year have gone totally mad! And the variegated and Concord vines I planted this year not only survived unusual and prolonged heat and drought, but look sturdy enough that they'll make it through winter, no problem. And my ongoing project, getting the naturalized passion flower here going all along the fencelines, is going well, as is getting loofah established all along the front fence. Although the domestic elderberry hasn't yet made it into the ground. And two blueberries are still in pots.

I got two lilacs in the ground, though. But my attempts to root forsythia failed.

I also made it through the entire season using pesticides only twice: once at the beginning of the season and once a few weeks ago, because of velvet ants. As a result, I'm drowning in butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees, little honeybees. The skinks and the toads and the frogs are thrilled.

I got myself in the habit of scooping out my bathwater and the rinsewater from the washer for watering. I haven't yet figured how to set up a greywater system, but I am cultivating some awesome triceps from carting around 5 gallon buckets of greywater.

I also got myself in the habit of using my sun oven.

And I didn't use the dryer once. Not one time. Not once since last March.

So here's the plans for fall:

1. Plant trees across the front and along one side. Plant a combination of quick growers and slow to establish. Plant as privacy screens and for fruits and nuts. So far, the list has black walnut, pecan, hickory --- absolutely NO BRADFORD PEAR, though. Enough with the damned Bradford pear. Although I might get a crabapple. And I would love to get another yellow poplar (tulip tree) going. And some catalpa.
2, Bushes. Plant more lilacs and forsythia. The forsythia out back which nearly died first year i was here are now almost ten feet tall. Must have more of them!
3. I have got to get the back porch built.
4. At least two more beds. Expand the combination compost shed slash raised bed slash grape arbor. Move greenhouse out back.
5. Gutters!
6. Earth oven --- need to begin scheming on this ....