31 July 2007

the balcony

tuesday, 6:00 PM

ageing well

. . . or not---each week, creative loafing, southern voice, and david are sitting at the door of urban outfitters, the gay-boy clothing store on the first floor---i usually pick up the first two, but not the latter, which is the last in a long series of little party-boy rags that have been published for the last 25 or 30 years---but i try to look once a century or so, so i picked one up the other day--- flipping through it (issue #459, by the way) just now, i am absolutely amazed at the number of ads for spas and "aesthetic surgery centers" and what not---laser hair reduction, juvederm & radiesse dermal fillers (i should google those), laser resurfacing, skin tightening, chemical peels, spider-vein removal (wtf does that involve?), and botox, but i spewed out my cocktail just now when i saw the ad for fkg pectoral implants!!! from a place claiming to provide "surgical and non-surgical anti-aging solutions"---i have been wondering about all of the spas around here, including one in metropolis and two just opening up in the plaza---i guess there is more to them than mudpacks and full-body massages, although none of them can keep you from being an asshole---

29 July 2007


dog enjoyed his birthday party a great deal---he thanks you for all of his cool gifts---

26 July 2007


the teevee just said that, each year, more people are killed by ostriches than by sharks---it just goes to show you, don't it?

24 July 2007

the kitten

another benefit of tax cuts for the rich

so the chinese are selling shit for food, but we don't even begin to know what is going on, since the dept. of agriculture, like every other agency of federal govt. except those agents of the police state, is underfunded and understaffed and simply can't keep up with what's going on---

Implementing a 21st-century food safety system in China poses a challenge. It is dfficult to standardize and monitor production practices in a sector composed of 200 million farm households who typically have 1-2 acres of land divided into 4-6 noncontiguous plots. Farmers have only usage rights to their land, so they lack ownership incentives to make costly investments. Many of China’s food safety problems can be traced back to the farm level. Farmers rely on heavy use of chemicals to coax production out of intensively cultivated soils and deal with pest pressures, a practice that contributes to food safety problems. China has one of the world’s highest rates of chemical fertilizer use per hectare, and Chinese farmers use many highly toxic pesticides, including some that are banned in the United States. Farm chemicals are sometimes mislabeled. The Chinese government is tackling this problem by encouraging farmers to buy agricultural chemicals only from approved outlets. Some farmers have little understanding of correct chemical use; for example, they may fail to wait the prescribed number of days between the last application of a pesticide and harvest, resulting in excessive residues in the harvested product. Antibiotics are widely used to control disease in livestock, poultry, and aquaculture products. Industrialization and lax environmental controls have also led to concern about the potential for heavy metal contamination of food products. Untreated human and animal waste in fields and water raises the risk
of microbial contamination.

plus, for five years, the republicans have blocked laws requiring country-of-origin labeling of all food stuff---it's required for clothing, but not for food? i feel sick---

possibly outstanding eats

1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ice cubes
1 cup buttermilk
Combine banana, blueberries, sugar, ice cubes, and buttermilk in a blender and blend until smooth.


i need to go to the store----


So your president is at 25% approval rating. Your attorney general is a laughing stock who doesn't even bother concealing his perjury and contempt for Congress (including members of your party). Iraq continues to spiral out of control. On just about every issue, your political foes have the upper hand. And on that one advantage you could always count on -- cash -- you're getting blown out.

So what do you do?

Seeing that Republicans can't function without an enemy, and seeing that efforts to demonize scaaary Nancy Pelosi have failed disastrously, they're moving on to Plan B -- Harry Reid.

"We really ought to be asking why this Democrat leadership won’t allow Congress to move forward on serious policy debates,” Mr. Kyl said, when asked about the talking-points memorandum he is circulating.

god, don't you just want to slap him? on top of that, the republicans are on their way to a record number of filibusters, which cnn and fox generally translate as democratic obstruction---

23 July 2007

mediocre eats

so i made gazpacho, but i didn't much like the recipe, so i kinda wasted susan's tomatoes---not wasted, really, since it was edible, but just not quite right---the recipe was from joy of cooking, but like all such, i consider recipes more as guidelines, a place to start---joy of cooking guided me to an excellent tzatziki, and she will guide me to at least a better gazpacho (as soon as i get some more tomatoes)---i liked the recipe because, unlike many gazpacho recipes, it did not call for chicken broth to start with----completely vegan---just tomatoes, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper---clearly a half cup of parsley, packed, is way too much for two-and-a-half lbs. of tomatoes, but beyond that i'm not sure what to change---next time maybe i'll try one of these recipes---

really bad weather

the caption for this image reads:

looks truly horrible, worse than the giant dust storms they had in the great plains in the 1930s, and apparently a nearly daily occurrence in the evening---

21 July 2007


tammy faye is dead
i remember rolling on the floor laughing with claudia at the bakkers, and tammy's constant tears and running mascara----but she somehow redeemed herself after jim's fall from grace---

19 July 2007


it's been within minutes of a full week since dexter arrived---and i gotta say, he is one fine kitty cat----
now if i can just keep robert or somebody from spoiling him----


i guess i will not call it good eats anymore, since somebody, probly brian, didn't much like the tzatziki----whatever, i wanted fresh tomatoes last night and, lo and behold, today, ms. hitchcock comes into work with a bag of beautiful home-made tomatoes---and promised to bring more---so i'm off to the store to get the fixin's for gazpacho---

18 July 2007

good eats

if i had access to decent tomatoes, i would be making gallons of gazpacho, but an excellent substitute summertime food is tzatziki:

1. two cups of greek strained yogurt (they've even got it in fat-free at publix---delicious taste and texture and two active cultures)

2. one large cucumber, seeded and diced

[2a. one medium vidalia onion, diced, which is technically not part of any authentic greek tzatziki recipes that i've seen, but is recommended nonetheless]

3. two cloves of garlic, mashed together with a teaspoon or so of salt until it is a nice paste and then mixed with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of white wine vinegar

4. fresh dill, a teaspoon or two, cut fine

5. black pepper to taste

mix all of that together and serve cold----you can be a pig, like me, and eat it with a spoon along with toast or crackers, or eat it like you are supposed to with pita or as a sauce on something else---yum


i just finished reading white flight: atlanta and the making of modern conservatism (kevin kruse, 2005), an amazing analysis of post-war atlanta, the civil rights movement, and resulting white flight----put a context to a lot of my childhood memories but it is not just a rehashing of the past----he makes a very strong case for how much from atlanta's segregationist and racist past still resonates today and puts words to much that i have always felt about all of that----

At the start of the twenty-first century, the politics created by white
flight are not simply still present; they are predominant. . . . Much of the
modern suburban conservative agenda---the secessionist stance toward the cities,
the individualistic outlook, the fervent faith in free enterprise, and the
hostility to the federal government---was, in fact, first articulated and
advanced in the resistance of southern whites to desegregation. No matter how
sincere conservatives may be in insisting that their politics are
"color-blind"---and, to be sure, a great number of them are sincere---a closer
reading of the historical record shows that the politics of race and racism did
inspire policies that no seem to have little to do with race. Recognizing the
legacies of white flight would be a first step in reducing the steady tensions
between the cities and suburbs and help bring together a nation that with every
year seems ever more polarized by race, regioin, and class. Before that can
happen, however, white Americans must stop running away from their past.



Q. How many neocons does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Neocons don't bother with light bulbs. They declare a War on Darkness and set the house on fire.

17 July 2007

15 July 2007

$600 per lb. coffee

Indonesia's kopi luwak is a rare delicacy of peculiar provenance -- beans
plucked from the droppings of wild civets.

i'll stick to blue mtn or kona, i think, for the exotic brew----

dog bed

dexter looks real comfortable there in the middle of the dog's bed, doesn't he?

14 July 2007

working it out

the dog and the cat have been quick to adjust to each other---but sometimes the kitten pushes it too far---shortly after i took this pic, there was a big outburst of snarling and dexter was literally reeling away---i think he will leave the dog food alone from now on, at least until hershey has finished----

13 July 2007

meet dexter redux

the little booger just meowed and jumped right up in bed with me and the dog last night, and spent most of the night there, him on one side, the dog on the other----excellent kitten, all the way around----

Kittens (Old English diminutive of cat) are young domesticated cats (Felis silvestris catus) that are not fully-grown. The young of species in the genus Panthera and of some other big cats are called cubs rather than kittens. Either term may be used for the young of smaller wild felids such as ocelots, caracals, and lynx, but "kitten" is usually more common for these species. Groups of domestic kittens are referred to as kindles.

what an embarassment

and i don't mean the hindu bhagwan or whatever who yesterday opened the senate with a hindu prayer, which was a first in that august body---i think the whole concept of prayers is ridiculous, but the christianists who interuppted him are an embarrassment to the entire country---

12 July 2007

meet dexter

courtesy of atlanta animal rescue friends, dexter was rescued from dekalb humane society and arrived on the premises here around 7:15, with me all prepared for a period of adjustment and getting used to the dog and all----by 8:00 it had found the food and water, explored most all three rooms, taken a crap in his new, enclosed, litter box, and put the dog in his place with a whack and a hiss--now, two hours later, the damn thing is asleep in my lap---like kitty bob, he's self-confident and sweet---i'm not sure if i should keep him----

awful waffle

waffle house is restoring their original place (1955) on college avenue near avondale estates---1500 locations in 23 states today--all "scattered, smothered, and covered"

10 July 2007

the river

the succession of ridges always show where the river is, but sometimes the fog rising off the river, with just the tops of kennesaw and the buildings at vinings, showing above the mist---

the view

not much rain or anything, but clouds were good---

brian speaks

and dredges up another excellent piece of evidence that there is nothing new under the sun:

You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives—the flower of our
youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the
people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your
generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the
shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable
lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a
numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the
burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture. Your
practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham
Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has
looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe—nay, I know—that in
general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have
carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian

that was mass. senator george frisbie hoar, berating the country in 1902--

07 July 2007

part of why we are so stupid----

this is hard for me to believe, but then again, maybe not:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins,

05 July 2007

the day after

i went over to robert's to watch the fireworks last night, all set to take dramatic images of the spectacle---unfortunately i forgot to charge my batteries, so all i got was this mediocre sunset--

04 July 2007

so much for bush's surge...

Al-Qaeda's influence in Mosul - the country's second largest city after Baghdad
- has grown tremendously since the U.S. military campaign to subdue Baghdad
began more than four months ago. The capital of Nineveh Province, Mosul used to
be a mosaic of faiths, sects and nationalities, a feature that has eroded
significantly since the 2003 U.S. invasion.

al-qaeda even brazenly held a parade through mosul the other day, so little do they fear bush's "coalition"----

hear, hear!

from keith olberman:

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live
up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate,
impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our
Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.Resign.And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.