Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weekend Music Embed
By way of welcoming the Enigmatic Misanthrope to Pugs of War, I make this weekend's embed the remarkable performance of Queen at Wembley Stadium in 1986. The opening of this demonstrates the absolute genius of Freddie Mercury as a showman. He brings the entire crowd into the song and the crowd follows. Then he has the temerity to mildly denigrate his own singing! Not that anyone in that crowd ever would believe that. The song is "Under Pressure" which, according to the extended blurb on YouTube, evolved from a jam with David Bowie whence everyone involved got a shard of the writing credit. That's class. The song is nearly iconic with "Bohemian Rhapsody" bumping it out of the trophy case of icons. Personally, I prefer this to that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

From The Bookshelf
I'm about a third of the way through John Barth's "The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor," a book of slight vintage (copyrighted in 1991) and, in the Barthian tradition, of great invention and humor. But my intent is not a review. It's to copy out a passage that I found particularly appealing.
At forty-two, Jane Price was a striking woman still, long and lean like their daughter though more amply tushed and breasted, an eye-turner yet in snug jeans and a sleeveless top that set off her fine arms and shoulders. Her sunglasses were perched stylishly atop her walnut hair, the more attractive for its seasoning with a touch of gray, as was her face for the crow's-feet forming at the corners of her eyes. Those eyes were the color but (in present company, at least) not the warmth of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which So Far had crisscrossed for the past week; her tone was no warmer.
So Far is the bareboat charter rented by the narrator and his family for an off-season cruise in the Virgin Islands. I haven't bothered to determine where that channel is but it's immaterial to the passage of prose. I read that paragraph and I am enchanted. That sounds like as beautiful a woman as I could conjure for the circumstance - a "striking" (I think that's a wonderful word to describe an attractive woman) woman who is not merely aging with grace but with greater beauty still.
Of course this description comes in the midst of the narrator's telling of his (and her) infidelity. Perhaps that's all a part and parcel of the necessary dramatic tension. But I see that woman in my mind's eye and want to ask the narrator, "Are you nuts?"
After writing the above, I thought I might follow my own link to the Amazon page and cast an eye on the customer reviews. Interesting. The book would seem to be a bit polarizing. It rates four stars but it's divided between 11 five-star reviews and three one-star reviews. There are no three-star reviews. It seems the book is more generally loved but those who dislike it, hate it. Nothing "meh" about this one it seems.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Want To Have A Show About Opera
For the sole reason that I'd use the name "Don G. O'Vanni." And I'd have a female co-host who'd be called "Donna A. Mobylay."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Take It Back, I Take it All Back
A while back I blogged a little "American Idol." I said I liked the one with the bifurcated skunk stripe who's been bounced for a while now. And I said I liked Carly Smithson. Well, not any more (read the whole thing). It seems that Carly "Smithson" has had quite the career over her short life. When she was Carly Hennessy, she toured as Cosette in Les Miz, put out an album that, despite being backed by millions of MCA cash sold in the hundreds.
"AI." methinks, is about giving undiscoverd, new talent the chance to reach a nationwide if not worldwide audience. It's not about giving professionals who've failed a second or third chance.
So, Carly Smithson please go straight to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect any more votes on "American Idol." AI? Try FU.
Passing Along A Deal
A little love from the Bargainist website: A sale on chockies at Amazon. Here's the scoopage, scooped directly from the Bargainist:
Amazon - Extra 50% off select chocolate

In one of the best grocery sales we've seen at Amazon, they're cutting select chocolate items by 50%. Use coupon code CHAWCLAT at checkout. Some of the eligible products include Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunk Morsels, Hershey's Sticks Filled with Carmel, M&M Mars Milkyway Miniatures, and many more. Offer good while supplies last.
The Dagoba Lemon Ginger chocolate bar looks particular toothsome to a confirmed ginger-holic.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend Music Embed
I've been wanting to post a viddy by the superbly talented ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro (though I rather think that some time ago, before the weekend embeds, I posted one of his uToob vids). I think of Jake S. as the "other" Jake since Jake Armerding is "the" Jake. In point of fact, the Jake is coming to DC on the last day of the month and I'm going to get my ample ass down to the big town to see him. The connection is deeper though as I saw the Jake open for the other Jake in Philly.
The song is the Beatles' classic "In My Life" which is one of my all time faves. Really, who doesn't like this song? It's been on my mind lately since it was used by a local radio personality, Mike "Don Geronimo" Sorce of the "Don and Mike Show." He left the airwaves at the end of last week when he found he no longer had the heart for broadcasting after losing his wife in an auto accident a few years ago. He played "In My Life" at his sign off and it was strangely moving for me who had come to dislike Mr. Sorce for the lousy way he treated listeners. But he gave an emotional and touching valediction ushered out by the original of this song. Enjoy:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meanwhile…”back at the ranch”..rumor has it..

“Come to “W. Jeffs Polygamy Bunny Ranch” and join the gorgeous babes who just wanna have fun... with each other! See why these prairie garbed girlfriends don't miss their boyfriends at all! This is the wildest, craziest assortment of hot Stepford-like girls you’ll ever find, all real and uncensored, only at the Polygamy Bunny Ranch! Join non-stop action and excitement, with this country s most valuable asset... zombie-eyed, Elvis-coiffed beauties anxious to bare their breasts! “

They are running a customer special: "If you come in the Polygamy Ranch and say, 'I'm pimping for Jeffs,' you get two bunnies for the price of one." Free set of “magic” underwear with each visit.

Am I the only one turned on here??

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Steppin' The Deck Farm™
I have one of the homemade ErfBoxes (from now on the roll-my-own will just be called "ErfBox" while the store boughten ones will be called "EarthBoxes") complete. Looks like it'll work pretty well all things considered. The proof will be in the puttering. And the second is well on its way. I need to attach the pond basket and the 4" PVC support, drill out the drain hole in the side of the box and drill a slew of holes in the interior floor. But that's about it.
Oh, and I still haven't bought the potting soil but I'm going to try to hit Wally Mart today.
One other thing that looks intriguing is that I saved the outer rim of the tops which still "clip" onto the box. I should be able to use a sliced open contractor's garbage bag as the cover since I can clip it down all around. But I have real covers to spare so if it doesn't work, I'm (ha ha) "covered."

And speaking of slicing .... Do you know where the femoral artery is? Lucky for me my aim is not good. I was cutting down the interior floor this morning when the box cutter made a whoopsy-daisy and sank into my thigh. It's pretty impressive to see blood well up and flow out that fast. I'll take a snap of the pants and post it tomorrow (a slice hole and a blood stain - just for the record). Now I have to buy another pair of casual pants dammit.
In other news: Nature is about to blow a big-ole bubblegum bubble outside my front door as the cherry tree is blooming out. Again, I'll take pics and post them.
I'd like to welcome the Enigmatic Misanthrope to the warm, encompassing folds, unnhhh, fold of Pugs of War. I extended an invitation to him to join me as a co-blogger and he has decided to take up the PoW cudgel. I couldn't be more happy to have him on board.
Here is a list of celebrities I expect may not make it to 2009…not in ranking order of course but none look particularly well…
1. Muhammad Ali- Cerebral Evaporation?
2. Jerry Lewis -Terminal Bitter Asshole-itis?
3. Lindsey Lohan- STD/Drug Overdose- Combination?
4. Dick Clark- Complete skin failure, dry rot?
5. Patrick Swazey- Dance Cancer, Horse trampling?
6. Farrah Fawcett- Anal Cancer, bowel obstruction, hairballs?
7. Elizabeth Taylor- Vomit Aspiration, Acute Alcohol Poisoning, Loneliness?
8. Zsa Zsa Gabor- Dismemberment by a “Dust Devil”, dry rot?
9. Amy Winehouse- STD/Drug Overdose- Combination?
10. Dame Margaret Thatcher- Cardiac Oxidation?
11. Paul Newman- Blue-eyed Rollers Rhea, dry rot, cooking accident?

Given my druthers I'd choose to have a big cartoon anvil come whistling out of the sky and accordion me, with some cool brightly colored cartoon stars and stuff popping out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You're The Cream In My Coffee
But not, I repeat not! the lemon in my iced tead! (Hat tip to the Enigmatic Misanthrope.)

Linky Linky
Two great posts up over at Varifrank's place. "20 Reasons Why I'm Bitter" and Obama as the hypnotoad. (polite golf applause) Well played, sir. Well played. Though the image does make me wonder who put the collar on the hypnotoad.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I read recently that aging hag-slut Madonna spends some insane amount of money (like $10K a month) on water that has been "blessed" by the charlatans who've set up this "Kabbalah" nonsense. Which set me thinking on the idea of this new celebrity-sucking cult. Since it come across as awfully like another celebrity-sucking cult yet it's based off a Jewish tradition, can we just call it "Ziontology" from now on?

And since our poor, aged, addled ex-President and peanut head Carter is going off to give aid and comfort to the scum of Hamas, can we just call him "Dhimmi Carter" from now on?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Embed
Today we reach back into the "grooveyard of forgotten favorites" to steal a line from El Rushbo. Steve Winwood with the title track from the "Back In The High Life Again" disc from the mid-80s. Any song on that disc is worthy of selection as a feature but I went with this song as it is so silky and optimistic. Also, part of the video was shot in my neck-o-th-woods: the train station is in Manassas, Va. Pretty cool.
According to my iTunes info, the disc was issued in 1986. This was a singular year in that two albums of nigh perfect songs were issued that year: "High Life" (of course) and Peter Gabriel's "So." A disc where every song is superb is rare ("Who's Next" comes to mind, Joni Mitchell's "Hejira") but two of them being issued at essentially the same time is worth noting. Though Winwood and Gabriel have musical ability of depth and style so perhaps it's not so strange. Still. Enjoy:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Baby Steppin'
Another small advance on the home-made ErfBoxes. I cut filler tubes (water tubes) from 1 inch PVC pipe. I'm pleased with the way they came out. Ooh. I'll take pictures! More posting on that then. Also tomorrow I'll buy potting soil and begin the process of emptying out the prior years boxes. And I'll be cutting the 4 inch PVC pipe for the interior bottom (i.e. that on which the soil sits) as well.
I think the plants should be delivered sometime in the next several days.
One thought did strike me as I was finishing up the filler tubes. If someone called me and asked, "What are you doing?" I'd have to reply, "Oh, just deburring the filler tube apertures." These are the days of our lives.

UPDATE: Sans pictures yet but it's still a possibility. I have cut four sections of 4" PVC pipe to provide two supports for each interior bottom. I have cut the tops out of their edges but have yet to fit them to the level at which they'll be. Once I get them fitted, I'll drill out the multitudinous holes for airflow (and for strapping the pond baskets and support pieces on) and set the bottoms in place.
At this point, I still need to buy soil (hel LO Wally Mart!) and connect the hose pipe for the water flow. But I'm steadily more advanced toward the home-made boxen. Fingers crossed.
Not Much Blogging
Trying to get some things done today. And my left shoulder is (trying to avoid the word ... and failing) effed. Not much sleep the last couple of nights as it was hugely difficult to find a sleeping position where the shoulder didn't yield considerable pain. Actually sleeping on it seemed to work but since that means sleeping on my bad left hip, I can't do that for very long. I think it's a neck thing as well as the shoulder. And it's not like the ibuprofen I live on is going to do much beyond what it's already doing.
Ah nuts. Old age is not for sissies.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Just Whiskey
You can forget the Tango Foxtrot part for this gem...

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Monday, April 07, 2008

After posting below that I would have preferred to post Emm Gryner's music video of her song "Julia," I thought I might see if that video might be available somewhere on the web even though it's AWOL on uToob. Score! And it has the embed code.
I find this song to be enchanting and mysterious. The lyrics are, to me, all implication and misdirection. They are evocative but I can't say what she meant in writing them.
"Julia leave the dark alone
Every day is better than the last
Julia leave the dark alone
Speak your mind 'cause this life's going fast"
I swear her delivery gives me a frisson when I listen. The music is spare and haunting. In fact, I find Emm's arranging to be incomparable. She can make a big piano ballad with a cello come across like rock and roll. I hope you like it too:

Julia - Emm Gryner
UPDATE: I didn't mean that this song comes across as rock and roll. It decidedly doesn't. Despite its use of piano and cello. But other of her songs (I'm more thinking of the songs she covered on her "Girl Versions" disc) work that way.
Also, as much as I love the video, it does reveal what I consider to be a noticeable flaw in Emm's singing - breath control. The quick and audible intake of air just prior to the singing is all over this one. I'd love to see her take a course of opera training which would give her the tools to breathe unobtrusively.
I'd better listen to some of her newer music to see if that's changed. The problem with this small imperfection is that once I notice it, I can't ignore it. So perhaps the fault is mine.

Linky Love
A brief for all you sky-fie fans out there. io9 is a blog for things tech-y and sci-fi-y and geek-y and any number of things to which you could add an "-y." I don't consider it an every day read but I hit it at least once a week and believe I'm keeping up thereby. Apart from watching BSG and suchlike. Speaking of the battlescar: very good opening for the final season. Not perfect but better than 80% of what's out there, 90% of the genre output with the exception of what Joss Whedon does.
Oh lord. I'm a nerd.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Weekend Music Embed
I bring back the wonderful Emm Gryner in a live performance of "Almighty Love" on Irish TV. The song is from the superb "Summer of High Hopes" disc. I was hoping to find a viddy oher song "Julia" which how I first came to know of her. But it doesn't seem to exist on uToob. So I went with what's below. Don't miss the intro for a spot of info that's pretty impressive. I'm not the biggest Bono fan in the owrld but he does know music. For your delectation:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Secret Of His Success
Ted Turner, fresh from making his money off the humped backs of his bison by cutting them up and selling their grilled bits, has decided to look to the future with his new restaurant venture:

If the Democrats reach back to push Al Gore into the mix as their candidate, won't that put the party in a pre-Kerry-ous position?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Little Something New
If you peek over to the right you'll see a new link on my sidebar: "visit my store on cafepress!" Fairly self-explanatory innit? A couple of folks wondered if they could get the "OK McCain Then" bumper sticker. So I set it up on a store. It was easier to put it on a whole bunch of items so you may have to scroll through more crap than you'd ever buy. But you can get one if you so desire.
I hasten to add that the pricing in "my" store has absolutely no markup. The prices listed are CafePress's prices. I'd love you to buy something but I'm not making any money off you. Maybe when I come up with some original Pugs of War art, I'll make some products available and charge you a buck. Until then, I give. I give because I love. I love snark.
OK. Bite Me Then
This is an update on the savings post below wherein I was so pleased with myself about getting an inexpensive polo shirt. I'm still pleased with myself because I saved a couple of bucks but I didn't save nearly as much as I'd thought. I actually looked at the tag when I snipped it this morning (I'm wearing it now and it's quite comfortable). The price of this shirt, which was asking $22, is $13.98. In fact, it's online here for that price. So, in essence, I paid just short of a buck for tax and shipping by buying with the coupon.
I'll tell you though, if I'd ponied up $22 for a shirt that arrived with a tag saying $14, I'd be so pissed off.
UPDATE: I didn't give enough credit. The shirt wasn't $22 at their site. It was $16. Still $2 more than the tagged price but not an outrageous markup. Thus I retract my offer for them to chomp me. I'm just nice like that.

On the other hand, the Outer Banks website might prove to be a source for good, inexpensive clothing. I'll have to see how this wears.
Easter At Pug Acres North
As you can see, pugs are not into hunting wabbits much a'tall. That would be "cranky old bastard" Fred on the lap, Panda on the right and Chino in the middle. Thanks to the XMBD NMSE for the pic.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Would You, Or Would You Not Love This?
I'm listening to Dennis Miller talk about Bobby Flay winning a throw down with some woman who billed herself as the queen of mac and cheese. Which sets me thinking about mac and cheese. And I keep coming back to a dish with a mix of cheeses (heavy on the sharp white cheddar) and jalapeno pepper chopped into it.
I'll make that dish when I've dropped a century. About November.
A quick Googling results in this recipe at RecipeZaar. Looks good.
April Foolage
I think I'm past it. I haven't seen an amusing or truly funny April Fool's joke in several years now. I invite anyone to post a comment or a link to something that will tickle the funny bone. There must be some out there somewhere.
The Dan Is Everywhere!
As usual, it starts with Instapundit with a "Babylon Sisters" riff which is noted by the VodkaMan who brings in "The Fez." I, of course, have to weigh in on the comments. So what does Prof. Reynolds do to top it? Today he hits a line from "Black Friday." I sense a meme.
Actually, Steely Dan is like "The Simpsons" in a way. Both have been around so long and have so many words out there that it's likely you can find some verbiage to use as a comment on any situation you face in either one. Not to mention universals like "D'oh!" and"Woo hoo!"