Category Archives: Animals

Back in the game

hydrox june 2014

Hi readers.  Mr. Hydrox explained something for me I’d been wondering about a longish while.

Hydrox:  Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww.

Me: Jeeze Hydrox.  Ain’t it a bit late for this crap?  Something bothering you?

Hydrox:  No.  I just got to thinking about things.  Missing Niaid.  All those Y2K chickens and that cabin.  Mehitabel.  Tabby and that mountain place we used to live.  All I’ve got now is this other cat here, Shiva.  You.  And that woman who lives here with Shiva.

Me:  Well you do have that.  You’ve got to live for the moment.

Hydrox: I’m not asking for any of that cheap tripe philosopy.  You asked why I was weeping aloud and I told you.

Me:  I’m glad you did, amigo.  I was afraid you were getting sick again.

Hydrox:  So where’s that woman who lives here?  I haven’t seen her for a couple of days?

Me:  She’s off somewhere else, Hydrox.  It’s just you, Shiva and me for the next couple of weeks.

 Hydrox:  So I can meoooow as much as I want and nobody’s going to be kept awake?

Me:  I’ll sleep right through it.  You know that.  And who cares what Shiva thinks?  She used to be a good cow cat, earned her keep.  Nowadays she’s worthless.  I don’t know why Jeanne keeps her around.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but I’m glad she’s here anyway.  This place almost echoes.  I’d go crazy if there weren’t at least one more cat around.

Me:  You’ve got it then, amigo.  I’ll keep feeding her so long as the food holds out.  Maybe Jeanne will pick up some more when she gets back.

Old Jules

 

 

The best and the worst

A significant percentage of US voters believe Ronald Reagan was the best president in US history.  Despite Iran/Contra, arms for hostages, and trickle-down economics.  History is not the long-suite among high school graduates in the United States.

A significant percentage of US voters believe Ronald Reagan was the best president in US history. Despite Iran/Contra, arms for hostages, and trickle-down economics. History is not the long-suite among high school graduates in the United States.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Yahoo News conducted a poll of +-1400 voters and asked who was the worst president in US history.  The results were that 33% believe the guy in the White House now is the worst.  28% believe the guy who was in there before him was the worst.

The pollsters used subtle methods for determining what percentage of the voters believing the guy in there now is the worst did so because he was black.  They concluded +-5% simply could not stand the thought of a black man serving in the White House except as a shoe-shine boy.

Which leaves the question among non-racist voters precisely equal:  56% of US voters believe one of the last two US presidents was the worst in US history.  28% Bush, 28% wossname.

All of which should raise some alarming questions in the minds of everyone else.  When did they quit teaching children US history in school?

Sheeze! The freaking Civil Freaking WAR was fought during the watch of one US president!  Two were impeached!  One was responsible for the Trail of Tears and moving the aboriginal tribes east of the Mississippi the-hell anywhere west of the Mississippi and stealing their farms, barns, equipment, animals, crops for white people.  Even though those Cherokees and some other tribes were already doing their best to BE white people.  Hell, a few years later they even had a Cherokee general commanding troops during the Civil War.  Chreeeeeist!  They even owned slaves!  What the hell do you have to do to be civilized?

Then there’s Lyndon Johnson, faked the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and used it to justify carpet bombing of North Vietnam, had South Vietnam President Diem assassinated by the CIA, and did the Great Society.

There’s John freaking Kennedy, son of a damned bootlegging smuggling NAZI supporter during the pre-WWII years.  Responsible for the Bay of Pigs, among other fiascos.

Hells bells, there’s Clinton for Christs sakes.  Got a blowjob in the Oval Office.  No Jennifer Oneal, her, either.  Shot up Ruby Ridge, murdered a couple-score Branch Davidians outside Wacoi, and smuggled huge amounts of coke and crack into Arkansas on CIA aircraft.  Got almost impeached because of shady real estate deals he and the little woman were up to their asses in.

These two guys now and just before him are pikers.  Except where deficit spending and fruitless military adventures are concerned.  These two couldn’t find their asses with flashlights when it comes to real corruption.

Old Jules

Real synthetic meat

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Sitting around waiting rooms exposes a person to a lot of reading material he’d proabably never encounter otherwise.  Popular Science magazines are a favorite example for me.  They’ve always been great predictors of how our lives will be in the not-too-distant future.  As John Prine observed, “We’re all driving rocket ships and talking with our minds” here in this future we’re living in.

Anyway, the November, 2013 edition of Popular Science had a series of articles I found fascinating about some folks who are in the final phases of development of synthetic meats to replace those that came off living animals and poultry.  Indistinguishable from the real item.  Columbia University’s one of the places it’s happening, not because of better health, but because of the greenhouse gasses resulting from grazing livestock.

Evidently it’s so far along in getting it going they’re already producing real leather that never rode a cow for use on automobile upholstery, etc.  And they’re doing well with chicken, since almost everything tastes like chicken.

Naturally, if this doesn’t happen now it well be because the cow industry went in at night and destroyed everything they couldn’t buy up and squash.  It won’t be the fault of the lousy record Popular Science has in predicting the future.

Still, it’s nice to think of future generations being able to walk around in the woods without stepping on cow manure if they ever go outside.  And driving along rural highways in the west not having to see a yellow sign with a cow on it to warn there’s a rancher feeding his black cows on the pavement at dusk for the insurance.

Interesting stuff, and it ought to get more interesting.  Human beings ought to get a lot more violent in a world where there was no real meat that needed killing to take the edge off natural inclinations.  And thus far there’s been no mention of where Kosher fits into it all.  Synthetic pork might come from the factory Kosher and Jews and Muslims could start sitting down together to a nice ham instead of shooting one another.

Old Jules

Netflix, Mahjong, computer chess and good books

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

For the past while my physical prowess has been challenged enough to force me to find alternatives to just reading and meditating, while Jeanne’s pointed out my brain might be failing me from lack of oxygen.  So, she introduced me to Mahjong online to exercise my brain cells.  Which she has no confidence will help.

http://www.freegames.ws/games/boardgames/mahjong/freemahjong.htm

But I’ve been enjoying it.  Online Mahjong makes for a middling good way to pass some time so long as you make it clear you’re not going to put up with any BS from it.  Just hitting the reset button when it tries to throw near-impossible tiles onto that right side and top will keep it towing the line.

Similarly, computerized chess will throw a lot of BS at you, but there’s no easy way of escaping it.  Conceding the games early, immediately after it takes your queen, does cut down of the time wasted, but even that finds a traction point eventually.

And all work and no play leads me to movies.  A place I haven’t been in decades.  Jeanne’s son, Andrew, subscribes to Netflix and allows me to use unlimited streaming video [cheeze I love that phrase] access to their movies.

Watched out movies I haven’t seen except as a kid or teenager, watched movies I loved as a young adult, movies filmed in times a lot different from these. And sated myself out.  Huk, starring George Mongomery during the early 1950s is an example.  Movie about a ‘native’ Filipino uprising after WWII against the US plantation owners.  If we allow the moviemakers to tell us whom to root for we’ll be cheering for the plantation owners every time a little brown brother gets himself shot.

What I’ve learned is there are one hell of a lot of independently made low-budget movies out there capable of providing a type of entertainment I don’t believe movies and television have ever before quite managed.  Maybe the funniest I’ve seen yet was an independent titled, “A Fork in the Road“.    I’d never have had the pleasure of it if I’d not been blessed by a failing vehicle.

Another hilarious one was “Unidentified“.  And a number of Russian ones, Pakistani, Chinese and Korean made movies have offered themselves up for my admiration and piddling around waiting to die or whatever it is I’m doing.

As for good reading material, I’m getting more of it than I can absorb.  Jeanne’s library jobs are fine that way.  Catching up on Terry Pratchett novels, a nice history, Quantrill at Lawrence, The Untold Story, by Paul R. Peterson, One Summer, America 1927, by Bill Bryson,  Prescriptions for Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A Balch, CNC, and Trials of the Diaspora – A History of Anti-Semitism in England, by Anthony Julius.

To name the ones I’m in the process of reading right now.

Saw Harry and Tonto with Art Carney a couple of weeks ago on Netflix.  Reminded me of how differently I viewed it when I saw it sometime in the early 1980s.  And I resonated far too much with it, Hydrox and myself, to watch it through without dropping a few tears.

Hydrox is hanging in there day by day, for those interested.  Who will outlive whom is up for grabs.

Old Jules

 

 

Physical therapy

This thing's going to need some repairs before anyone can use it again.  Trying to get it airtight enough to do any good in outer space ought to be a full time job for someone.

This thing’s going to need some repairs before anyone can use it again. Trying to get it airtight enough to do any good in outer space ought to be a full time job for someone.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

This area abounds with covered wagons, plows, cultivators, the occasional intercontinental missiles and a few of the people who used them, coveted them, wore them down to a small frazzle, or just sneaked around admiring them when they were shiny and new.  The automobiles get pretty fair physical therapy, but a lot of it just sits rusting in decorative positions in parks, front yards and displayed in unlikely places.

VA Medical Center surprised me by deciding I ought to get some physical therapy they’re too far away to provide.  They’re paying for a few weeks of me going to the Olathe Medical Center for it.  Had my first run at it last week on the day I wasn’t having something done to my goozle.  It was a surprising display of a lot of really old bastards walking around panting and generally being a lot more friendly to one another than they’d probably spent their lives being to other people.

Most appeared to be the sort I smile and speak to when I  meet their eyes in a grocery store or on the street, and they turn their heads away as an alternative to acknowledging I exist.  I sometimes carry the conversation further with, “Don’t you dare say hi to me!  No telling what I’d do back.”

But down there at physical therapy you’re more likely to meet again soon, him on the electric walking machine next to my stationary bicycle.  Snobbing a person off who’s there for a stay in close proximity could lead to all manner of long time discomfort.

So I smiles perlightly and says hi, [first to do it mostly] and while we each try to make something inside us perform better, we discuss weighty matters involving.  That’s right.  Involving.

Involving things our opinions don’t have anymore influence on than they ever did on anything else.  Mostly the weather.

Old Jules

 

Mysterious Kansas Parrot Fetish Revisited

 

The feet definitely look more like robin feet than parrot feet.  But the hooked beak is more parrot-like in my expert opinion.

The feet definitely look more like robin feet than parrot feet. But the hooked beak is more parrot-like in my expert opinion.

Hi readers.

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish post left most of you on the edges of your chairs most likely in hopes I’d follow it up with clarifications, and maybe more music explaining just what the hell that parrot is doing to get itself venerated by Kansans.

I believe the purplish design on the right side of the thing is a stylized version of the parrot-head.  A sort of modern-Kansas equivalent of an ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus.  But what the hell do I know?

I believe the purplish design on the right side of the thing is a stylized version of the parrot-head. A sort of modern-Kansas equivalent of an ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus. But what the hell do I know?

I’ve seen a lot of these in a wide range of contexts since I posted the ‘mysterious Kansas Parrot fetish’ post.  I wish I could report to you with confidence it isn’t just a robin walkin’ walkin’ walkin’ to Missouri, but I can’t.

I think there’s still a strong case to be made that it’s a cryptic protest about the absurdly higher gasoline prices on the Kansas City, KS, side of the state line than on the Kansas City, MO, side of the boundary.

Fact is the whole thing was a lot nearer the public consciousness in verbal terms during the late 1940s and early 1950s than it is today.  Nowadays it’s just out there as flags and whatnot.

I wash my hands of the whole matter.

Old Jules

 

 

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Missing a couple of  days now.  Hopefully she's just on an extended adventure, but she's got Hydrox and me missing her a lot.  Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur.  But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water. Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here.  Jack

Missing a couple of days now. Hopefully she’s just on an extended adventure, but she’s got Hydrox and me missing her a lot. Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur. But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water.
Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here. Jack

The Cat in the Wood – Archibald MacLeish

The cat in the wood cried farewell cried farewell
Farther and farther away and the leaves
Covered her over with the sound of the leaves
And the sound of the wood O my love O my love
Farther and farther away and the sound
Of leaves overhead when I call to you
Leaves on the ground.

Socorro, NM, 1996 - 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate.  Beginning the long road home.

Socorro, NM, 1996 – 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate. Beginning the long road home.

Naiad sunset placitas

Hunkered down for the duration

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hi readers:

The coincidence coordinators decided last week that it’s still early times for figuring out what the Veterans Administration Medical Drama Department has in store.  Spang shut down their offices mid-week, filled up their voice mail boxes to overflowing before I developed the good sense to bow to the inevitable.

The cats appear to be indifferent to the challenges.  Whatever the hell it was caused me to decide I needed to sign up to see a VA medical person will have to get in line behind an ice-melt.  Evidently it had nothing at all to do with blood oxygen, anyway.

The cats are laughing their asses off at me about the whole thing.

Old Jules

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? The Catch 22 Timewarp Conspiracy

This might be the most important text you’ve ever read.

It’s certainly more important than Dick and Jane and their dog named Spot whatever they might be up to these days in Centerville, Ohio.  And anything else you might have read since then probably wasn’t all that important.  Instruction manuals written by English-as-a-second-language tech writers in Malaisia, labels on boxes of muffin-mix, even novels by Stephen King aren’t as important as this.

If you are like me you have to think hard to remember characters and dialogues in books you haven’t read in half-century.  But I’ve been waiting that long for Joseph Hellers prophetic novel, Catch 22, to get caught up with by events.

Yossarian to the mental ward physician:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Pages later, to Orr:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

Yossarian to Major Major Major Major, pages later:   “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

To Milo Minderbinder, a chapter or so later:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

Today all the spy-vs-spies in the world are asking themselves the same question.  Armed cruise missile operators are whispering those words into their microphones, “Give me the coordinates!”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

Moscow airport?  Am I allowed to target the Moscow International Airport?”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“Well of course you need deniability.  It has to look like an accident.  Rogue drone kind of thing.”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“World War III?  Hell, we haven’t even finished WWII yet.  Snowden was WWII.  We’re all caught in a time warp.

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“Yeah, we need to watch for anyone named Yossarian.  And Joseph Heller, if he’s still alive, needs to answer a few questions.  If we see someone trying to corner the Egyptian cotton market we’ll know where to look.”

Old Jules

Selectively breeding human beings for food

Hi readers.  Probably most of you know already that human beings are being selectively bred for food by competing species of space aliens.  That’s what’s causing so much trouble for us as a species.  Our damned overlords can’t make up their minds, keep changing what they want from us.

It’s the reason French mothers gave birth to a century of runts after Napoleon got a generation of their male breeding stock killed off in Spain, Portugal and Europe.  Then the other group of space aliens got into the driver-seat and brought Germans, British and Americans into France with WWI to impregnate all the French women in an attempt to undo the Napoleonic accomplishments.

It’s the reason cheerleaders want to propagate with football stars.  One of the groups of space aliens likes the physical traits, dumb as cluckshit, beefy males, big titty women, and they want a strain of offspring for their high-dollar eating joints.

A few people probably still doubt this is happening, but all you have to do is look around you to prove it to yourself.  Why do you think all those fast food joints are out there peppering the surface of our great land?  One of those groups of space aliens is fond of meat with a lot of fat on it.

The one thing all the space alien species agree about, though, is brains.  A human brain is about the same amount of food product for discerning aliens, whether it’s generally a brain with an IQ of 80, or one of 150.  And the one with an IQ of 80 gives them one hell of a lot less trouble.

Space aliens all do everything they can think of to improve the likelihood their breeding stock is nearer 80 IQ than anything higher.  And they’re fairly successful in that regard.

I just wish they’d make up their minds about the rest of it.  All this seesawing back and forth over football and wars gets old after a while.

Old Jules