Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Barton Creek Beast Barks!

A rather large and bizarre, otter-like creature was spotted in Austin's Barton Creek Springs over this last Memorial Day Weekend:

Evoking absolute terror in several local swimmers that day the beast was eventually captured by one intrepid aquatic animal expert who happened to be perusing those riparian shores...

After wrestling the biological anomaly back to river's edge calm was restored to the area, and the beast was whiske(ere)d away to a nearby 'Lab'oratory for further observation...

Once safely secured it was determined that the toothy specimen was at least ... part alligator!

(OK, this entry is utter crap-nonsense but I hadn't posted in a while...)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Proclamation

Unlike many of the corporate "Hallmark Holidays" that Americans are abused by yearly (may Valentine's Day and its ilk forever be banished to the dustbin of history!) the origins of "Mother's Day" here in the U.S. was actually based on a more noble cause: an anti-war statement against the carnage of the American Civil War.

The following poem by Julia Ward Howe was written in 1870 as an early call to celebrate Mother's Day and asked that women take on more responsibility in shaping the politics of their country (given the current political landscape its as relevant as ever...):

Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

--Julia Ward Howe (1870)

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


As promised(!), now that the furniture is mostly in place, remaining boxes put into "storage" (read: stuffed away in the Garage somewhere...), the lawn freshly "weed whacked", the cats having made peace with the dog (sort of ... nah, let's just skip that last one all together), and the rooms freshly painted, here are some recent photographs of our new home.


Enjoy the intoxicating stench of "new house scent" at your own risk...

The Front Yard area (some bastard won't move his car from our Driveway. Wait. Damnit, that's my car...).

The view from across the "Boulevard" ... Avenue, actually (aka - our swell neighbors, The Kroll's house).

The Front Door and Living Room area (a Triffid-like creature invaded this frame despite my protestations).

The Stairway to many wondrous rooms above (complete with dueling Chat Noirs! Pouvez-vous voir les chats?).

The Living Room proper (there is no bird in that cage, by the way; we think that one of the chat noirs must've gotten to it).

The Dining Room table with the lovely Triffid-bouquet from my dearest Mum!

The Kitchen area (smallish but, goll-dang-it-all, can we cook up a Texas-sized storm in here!).

Out back is the Backyard Porch and Deck area (complete with swing chair and cat-doormat!).

And, there's a Bamboo Garden with another raised swing chair so the mosquitoes can't reach us (pffff...).

Oh, look! Loki's in the Bamboo Garden ... eating something foul no doubt.

In the Backyard there's a tomato garden a-bloomin' (a-fruitin'??) and one raised-lumber enclosure in progress... don't even get me started about the "lawn"! Hey, do you know how hard it is to grow grass in Texas!?

Xeriscaping: 1

Flora: 0

Loki helps with some of that lawn irrigation... (n.b. - she's buried one of the cats right where she's doing her business...).

Speaking of cats, let's go Upstairs, shall we? Watch out for them kitties, though! I swear to god Marley will trip you while Anubis pushes you from behind to encourage your rapid downward momentum...

The Master Bedroom (yes, the dog sleeps with us ... we fit comfortably in the crate and she lets us out in the morning ... most days).

The Office (and Cat Room)...

... functions as the Guest Bedroom, too (don't mind the Cat Room part ... seriously, we keep the litter box downstairs).

The "Entertainment" Room (fishtanks are more interesting than television sets).

Exit through the Entertainment Room's French Doors and out onto the upstairs Deck (see the catnip plant in corner...? I kid you not).

The Zen-like Treehouse Deck (bamboo canopy shields us from the onslaught of incoming egg attacks from our neighbors).


Well, that pretty much completes the tour (aside from the two-and-a-half Bathrooms; I just always thought photographing toilets was a touch ... gauche, ya know?).

Ah, Home, Sweat, Home (as always a constant work in progress).

Ya'll come down and visit us sometime, ya hear?