Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vulture for Little Lamb

Not the greatest picture, these Egyptian vultures at the zoo were pretty far away, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New futon, old tricks

Austrella isn't spoiled or anything, but she did get a new futon after her old one bit the dust. It had gotten pretty bad, and the fact she dug a hole into the cushion didn't help much. We put a pad and a sheet over the futon to keep her from wrecking the futon itself, but she has mad nest building skills and can strip the sheet off in a blink. Everything has to be arranged to her satisfaction before she can be comfortable.

The nest building extends to our bed as well. It is easy to see upon arriving home that the pillows and sheets have been carefully rearranged to conform to a curled up husky. Fortunately she hasn't tried to burrow into the mattress...yet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Old video games don't die, they wind up in my son's garage

Curious about old video games? Check out the Retrovideogameloser, AKA Spawn of Phos...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parties aren't always fun

Political parties are the bane of most any government, particularly the people the members of the part in Congress (parliament, whatever) are supposed to represent. The party turns the representatives into "replicants" that are just there to advance the parties needs and wants. If someone in the party goes against the current party line funds are cut, endorsements are lost and the party will work hard to replace them with someone more tractable in the next election.

I have looked long and hard for a party that fits right, but have yet to find one, maybe that is just as well. Did a stint as a Young Democrat in high school (didn't help me score any chicks though), handed out fliers canvassed neighborhoods, the whole nine yards. I kind of lost interest in the whole process as time went on -- I just wasn't as zealous as some of the other members.

One of my high school courses was a history Russia and Eastern Europe. I think some of the things we covered that year must have spoken to me, because in my first try at college I became a socialist. This phase lasted right up until I met some of my "brothers" and found they weren't quite what I expected. The only reason most of them seemed to espouse socialism is so they could hook a free ride.

Not one to leave any stone unturned I became rather conservative after joining the military (I didn't mention my stint as a socialist to my recruiter). It was a rather practical consideration as the Republicans were all for big military and our benefits and pay hung on their largess to a great extent. I remain somewhat conservative to this day and have developed the notion that folks shouldn't go running to the government every time they have a problem and that the Founding Fathers went to a lot of trouble writing the Constitution so maybe we should use the thing. I have however, become disenchanted with the Republican party and in fact any party.

Then there was the rise of the Tea Party. I thought a grassroots movement like that would spawn some new candidates, have some fresh ideas, and espouse less government. I've blogged on their site and was pretty happy with the whole thing until Sarah Palin was selected as a keynote speaker at the national rally. That was followed rather quickly by the discovery that the whole Tea Party was just a front for the Republican party, much as Move On works for the Dems. You can rebrand your group the Hitler Youth, but when all is said in done they're still Nazis, and no one in their right mind wants to head down that street.

Libertarians have the right idea, but many of their candidates are buffoons, other third parties may have one or two planks that resound, but for the most part fall short and in the end have a snowball's chance in hell of ever winning anything. Add to that the Media ignores them -- and why not when the regular party clowns have millions and millions to pay networks off. It is a lopsided affair at best.

In the end I wind up voting against candidates rather than for them, writing in my own name (what the hell, eh?) or crossing party lines in the hope a new face might help make a difference. I'd like to think that some day someone will come up with a candidate or party that is palatable and actually gives a shit about the people they represent, but then if geese had plane tickets they wouldn't have to fly South for the winter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Waiting on the rain

After a week of setting heat records for September (107 yesterday) we are finally getting some relief. A nice low has moved in and is sucking up moisture from Old Mexico, one thing we appreciate coming over the border. Even if we don;t see nay rain here in the Far West Valley, it'll cool things down into the high 90's, but back up in the 100s over the weekend. It has been unseasonably warm here, just waiting for the Canucks to start sharing some of their cold Northern air...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The missing generation

As far as generations I kind of fell through the cracks. The beat moment and hippies happened while I was around, but I was much too young for either. I've often thought I would have made a good Beatnik, until I found out that my favorite writers of the era were running on Bennies and alcohol. It was tough realizing some of the best writings in American history were a product of drug riddled brains. Hippies were also into a world of drugs and that never really appealed to me. The world around us has hard edges, they are there for a reason and trying to soften them with "mind enhancing" drugs is not the way to go. Drinking oneself into oblivion (which I have done ) is also just a temporary escape. The damage the drugs and alcohol do far outweigh any advantage to them.

What I lack is a movement I can identify with, but none are a good fit. I have problems with be identified as a "Baby Boomer," as though I am just a product of a postwar explosion of sex frivolity. Maybe the pundits are right in using letters now, such as Gen X or Y, though that seems the lazy way out. I am much to old to be lumped into those groups anyway, though I enjoy a lot of the music and get a charge out of watching YouTube videos of skate rats biting the dust. I did have a skate board when I was a kid, but only saw the thing as a quick ticket to the emergency room.

Maybe I am part of the disenfranchised generation - no outstanding characteristic that can be used for a tag, no political voice, did the usual things such as maintain some patriotism, went to church (really, I used to go all the time), fell in love with a wonderful brown-eyed girl, got married and raised a family together. Never got divorced, wear my seat belt, don't kick dogs, and give the kid's ball back when it flies into my yard. I don't drive a fancy car, have a "beautiful job," as my mother had wished, or have accomplished anything that will be remembered in generations to come.

Maybe the Humdrum Generation, or the Plain Vanilla Generation might work. Tough to tell for sure and I don't have any catch slogans or Hollywood Star power to push the idea. Guess I'll have to think more on it and come up with something that involves Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders of Victoria's Secret Angels, a real attention grabber. Or maybe I don't need to be part of any generation, maybe I am Generation Phos -- for better or worse I don't think there are many like me. It's probably a good thing though.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vas Gibst?

Tiny house is once again kid-less, kind of like empty nest deja vu. It just gets too quiet, especially without Yukon wooing for food all the time. No grandson getting into everything or helping "Ginging" (his name for granny Phos) make some of the best pumpkin bread I ever had. He is quite the baker. The granddaughter has a lot to say, and is starting to fledge, so soon she'll be running amok throughout the house.

We also had two grandpuppies, both adorable of course. With our kids, their kids, and dogs packed into the tiny house a pleasant sort of mayhem ensues. Of course all things must come to an end and like the last moment after the grand finale in the firework display there's that period of dead silence -- that is what the tiny house is like.

It was fun though. Got to cook up a storm, even making breakfast (my usual breakfast is a Kimchi noodle bowl and a Dr. Pepper, made some Chili Rellenos, even made fish for lunch - my daughter, son, and I are the only ones that eat fish, so it's a good excuse to grill up some Mahi-Mahi. Got out to the Rio El Mirage, a nice local Mexican restaurant giving my stove a much needed break.

Hope you all had a good weekend -- enjoy your families, the visits , the conversations because to me that is what life is all about...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back from the wilds

Been an awesome couple of weeks. Was down in Tucson with my son and his family, then they came up this week. My daughter came over and stayed so we had an impromptu family reunion. Fun was had by all. Lots of dogs, kids, and spending hours playing GTA 4 with my son thrashing bozos. Fun and frolic in the far west!!!