"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Don't fence me in
I think we can all look forward to Dave Neiwert's response to this bit of dimwittery from the knuckledragging Minutemen

Minutemen to Bush: Build Fence or We Will
Thursday April 20, 2006 4:01 AM
AP Photo NYET888
Associated Press Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox has a message for President Bush: Build new security fencing along the border with Mexico or private citizens will.
Simcox said Wednesday that he's sending an ultimatum to the president, through the media, of course - ``You can't get through to the president any other way'' - to deploy military reserves and the National Guard to the Arizona border by May 25.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Revenge for all times you bit his ears off?
More Easter Bunny violence and video at
man.descending: The Easter Bunny Hates You

Go read...

The Rude Pundit :Three Signs That Your Superpower Is Becoming a Cheap Rip-Off of the Soviet Union:

Go read Billmon, NOW!
Whiskey Bar: If It Quacks Like a Duck

In Your Ear....

Kevin Wood / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

Morph the Cat
Warner Music, 2,580 yen

A new album of smooth, jazzy R&B-inflected pop from Steely Dan is always a major musical treat and a new solo album by Donald Fagen, one half (some might say more) of the creative brain trust behind the band, is a very close second. The casual listener might be hard pressed to hear the difference, but Fagen's solo work seems to lean a little more heavily on old-fashioned R&B and a little less on radio-friendly rock hooks.

That isn't to say Morph the Cat is a noncommercial album--far from it--but Fagen indulges his love for extended solos and dense horn arrangements a little more when on his own and nearly half of the album's eight songs clock in at over six minutes. Most of that length is taken up with intricate and artfully executed guitar solos, by past Steely Dan sidemen Hugh McCracken, Wayne Krantz and Jon Herington. All three manage to scream and wail enough to put most heavy rock guitarists to shame, yet do so in the most tasteful way imaginable, never veering into vulgarity or seeming out of place.

Also reminiscent of Steely Dan is Fagen's love of offbeat humor and storytelling. "H-gang" tells the story of the "ultimate five-chord band" and "Security Joan" is a meet-cute tale for the era of the "war on terror."

Behind all the fancy arrangements and clever lyrics lies the rock upon which the tarnished chrome church of Steely Dan was built--Fagen's solid talent as a composer, pianist and singer. His versatile voice remains as expressive as ever, straining just a little to hit all the highs and lows as it always has, with just a hint of decadent indulgence and corruption and a large dose of ironic humor.

Besides, you have to love anyone who can get away with describing a character in a song as a "Rabelaisian puff of smoke."

The Little Willies
Toshiba-EMI, 2,500 yen

Pulled together in 2003 by singer-songwriter Richard Julian and his longtime friend and pop-jazz sensation Norah Jones, the Little Willies were originally meant to give the two a chance to play some old-time country music with some pals in a one-night stand at a New York bar called the Living Room. Fortunately for all, the gig proved to be so much fun that it became a recurring irregular engagement whenever the band members' conflicting schedules permitted.

That sense of fun permeates this collection of western swing and old drinking songs penned by the likes of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. There is even an Elvis cover, with Jones languorously crooning Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller's "Love Me" with backup vocals provided by "the Ordinares."

Julian adds three of his own songs and a contribution from bassist Lee Alexander rounds out the collection.

Jones and Julian split the vocal work evenly with Jones' authentic sounding honky-tonk piano and some tasty guitar work by Jim Campilongo grabbing the instrumental spotlight.

Purists may question whether a bunch of New York jazz musicians can do justice to country and bluegrass classics such as "Streets of Baltimore" and "Tennesse Stud," but their infectious sense of enjoyment and obvious affection for the material make the Little Willies more appealing than the bluff jingoism and Nashville cliches of Toby Keith or Garth Brooks any day.

Besides, you have to love a band that can get away with writing a song about Lou Reed going cow tipping.
(Mar. 30, 2006)

Land of the Weird, Home of the Strange
New airline slogan: Fly with us and get a free Transportation Security Agency uniform
or did the bag-searcher just run out of thank-you-for-letting-us-invade-your-privacy notes and decide to leave his shirt instead?

You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't poke the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with the Easter Bunny but you could sue his fluffy butt.

I wonder if these kids were studying the Constitution the day they were locked in like criminals

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No monopoly on stupid
Christian creationists who insist that Darwin is nonesense and the cleave, uh...religiously to literal interpretations of the Bible are by no means confined to red states of U.S. or even North America. They say and do thing that many of us find odd or funny (like setting up creationist dinosaur parks) but are really at their most hilarious when they try to show "scientific proof"

"There will even be a week-long Family Creation Conference in tents at the Cefn Lea Christian Holiday Park near Newtown in mid-Wales, for which about 40 families have signed up, at which Mr Mackay will attempt to answer fundamental questions such as: Did bees sting before Adam sinned? Why would birds need to migrate in a good world? What would polar bears do in a world with no ice and what did great white sharks eat before Aussies went surfing?
The answers may seem obvious, but it is proof that even believers in the inerrancy of the Bible
feel the need to seek something scientific to bolster their case

Five weird habits
I've been tagged by Dave over at the Galloping Beaver, who was tagged by Sandra at Lesser Spotted Bunting and asked to reveal five weird habits. While I have a variety of weird habits, many of which I will not discuss in polite company, let me say that I'm sure my friends and especially my wife could name many many more than five weird things I do, say or think.

1. I always carry a harmonica and play it everywhere - waiting for the bus, walking down the street, waiting at the stoplight when I drive. When I used to spend a lot of time on the road for work I used to wear one in neck rack occasionally and play non-stop on longer drives.

2. I put mustard on dill pickles and cheese, sweet pickle relish on grilled cheese sandwiches and hot sauce on just about everything.

3. I almost never wear sneakers - a lifelong habit- and notice other people's shoes. I do not have a shoe or foot fetish and doubt I have ever owned more than three or four pairs of shoes at any given time in my life.

4. As a (recovering) literary critic, I read obsessively and rarely leave the house without a book. I regularly go back and reread favorites. I read everywhere (when I'm not playing harmonica, though I have been known to do both) and have a such a book-buying jones that I try not to go into bookstores if I have money in my pocket.

5. I never leave or return to the house without my pockets overflowing with stuff: wallet, notebook, pens, pencils, lighters (I don't even smoke anymore), food, hipflask, handkerchief, harmonicas, penknife, change purse, safety pins, matchbooks with phone numbers or ideas written on them, business cards, harmonicas, chopsticks, comb, cell phone, ipod, reciepts for thing bought weeks, even months ago, newspaper clippings, train schedule, etcetera ad infinitum.

My car, when I drove one, used to be much worse - the backseat floor I used as a garbage dump, the trunk was stuffed with camping gear and tools and odd and ends like stray cans of beer, old newspapers and leftover firewood, I could, and occasionally did, live out of it for days on end.

So between all that and being a blogger I suppose I can pretty much count on ending my days as a mustard-stained derelict in brogues pushing a shopping cart full of books, playing the harmonica and shouting at traffic

And I'm tagging:
Dave at Axis of Evel Kneivel
Baz at Oi! Thump!
CC at Canadian Cynic
Cathie at CathiefromCanada
The almost daily Mike Daley