Monthly Archives: June 2021

SMV: Hot Tuna Speed Of Sound Festival Live

I saw Hot Tuna many times during my misspent youth. They remain one of my favorite roots rock bands. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were 75 and 71 respectively when they played this set, but they sound as good as ever.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone

The Long Line Of Texas. Near Dallas by Dorothea Lange.

It’s Juneteenth. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that they’d been freed two years earlier. It’s been a Texas holiday for decades and just became a federal holiday over the objection of 14 Republican congresscritters.

The featured image is a photograph by Dorothea Lange when she worked for the WPA documenting the ravages of the Great Depression. The number at the top is its Library of Congress reference number. I’m not quite sure that I get the title, but the picture was taken in Texas.

This week’s theme song was written in 1969 by Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby. I’ve always associated it with Doug Sahm, but it was first recorded by Charlie Pride.

We have three versions of Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone for your listening pleasure: Charlie Pride, Doug Sahm, and the Texas Tornados.

Since I mentioned Galveston, let’s run this Glen Campbell-Jim Webb song up the flagpole and see who salutes:

Now that we’re done saluting, let’s jump to the break.

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Stars Fell On Alabama

I had other plans for this space until I wrote my Stupid Fell On Alabama post. It would be stupid not to follow up on that.

Stars Fell On Alabama was written in 1934 by Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parrish. It was inspired by a spectacular meteor shower 100 years earlier.

My favorite version of Stars Fell On Alabama comes from Frank Sinatra’s A Swingin’ Affair album. I posted it on Wednesday, so we begin with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with my main man Oscar Peterson on piano:

Next up, another small group arrangement featuring Friday Cocktail Hour regular Billie Holiday.

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On Justice Breyer

They haven’t learned anything. The they in this case are progressive pressure groups determined to bully, browbeat, and guilt Justice Stephen Breyer off the court. These tactics didn’t work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, why would they work with Justice Breyer?

I, too, hope that Justice Breyer retires at the end of the current term. Despite some of the patronizing voices on the left, Justice Breyer is aware that Mitch McConnell has vowed to stop any Democratic nominee from getting through a Republican controlled Senate. FYI, Breyer used to work in the Senate as an aide to Ted Kennedy. He gets it. He’s neither naive nor stupid.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Breyer has tried his level best to be an apolitical technocrat and dealmaker. There’s nothing wrong with that: every court has such a justice. Because of this role, Breyer is uniquely resistant to political pressure. The louder people yell at him, the more likely he is to resist. He does not want to appear to have resigned under pressure.

Slate legal wizard Dahlia Lithwick who knows Breyer discussed him with Rachel Maddow last night:

MADDOW: In terms of the closed court session as we look towards the end of next week, and the court issuing its rulings. A lot of people around the country are looking at the court and wondering if Justice Breyer is going to retire so he can leave on his own terms, and it gives not only the Democratic president but the Democratic-controlled — narrowly Democratically controlled Senate a chance to replace him.

What do you think of all the strum und drang around that?

LITHWICK: It`s such a funny situation, Rachel, because the only person in the end who is the determinant of what he`s going to do is Stephen Breyer and he`s made clear time and again, including in an interview he gave me at Christmastime that he just doesn`t think that court justices are political, and that this is a political question, and it will retire when he wants to retire. But all of these swirling questions about we have a 50/50 Senate. We have Mitch McConnell announcing this week that he`s not going to ever confirm a Biden nominee if he gets control of the Senate. None of that seems to be part of Justice Breyer`s calculus.

And I would say paradoxically, the more he`s pushed, there is a bunch of ads coming out in the next couple of days. A whole bunch of liberal scholars, 18 scholars signed a letter saying please get off the court. The more he is pushed, the more, in some sense, he is persuaded that this all looks really political, so he better stick around.

I’m delighted that Rachel removed her ill-fitting amateur lawyer hat and talked to a legal expert. She should try it more often.

Each generation of justices has their own reasons for retiring. Earl Warren and Richard Nixon had been enemies in California politics, so Warren retired to allow LBJ to appoint his successor. That didn’t work out, so Tricky appointed the pompous Warren Burger to replace the Super Chief.

Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall watched Hugo Black and Bill Douglas cling to the bench despite deteriorating health. That led Brennan and Marshall to retire even though Poppy Bush was president. The good news was David Souter. The bad news was Clarence Thomas.

Breyer and RBG watched Sandra Day O’Connor retire earlier than expected because of her husband’s failing health. He died before she left the court. She always regretted that decision. That’s the backdrop to RBG and Breyer’s reluctance to retire while they still thought they could still do the job. Breyer’s majority opinion in the ACA case shows that he can still do the job.

It’s up to Justice Breyer to decide when to retire. I hope it’s at the end of this term, but that’s his choice. He’s a proud man who has accomplished much in life. The louder people yell, the less likely he is to do the right thing. The pressure campaign reeks of ageism, which seems to be the last acceptable prejudice on the left.

Repeat after me: If pressure tactics didn’t work with RBG, why will they work with Justice Breyer?

In other news, the tropical system in the Gulf is finally getting its shit together. It’s likely to be mostly a rain event and hopefully New Orleans will dodge the worst of it. #fingerscrossed

If it becomes a named storm, it will be Claudette like the movie star and the Roy Orbison song. That’s why Roy and Dwight Yoakam get the last word:

A Postcard From Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon Postcard

Portlanders say it’s necessary to keep Portland weird.

Sorry gang, but that horse has left the barn, the door is closed, and the fat lady has sung. The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day.

Oh I’m not saying Portland isn’t quirky. Sure it’s got it’s quirks. Except those quirks are only quirks if you have been living in a cave for the past ten years. In fact those quirks aren’t even quirks anymore. Portland has gotten less quirky as the rest of the country has turned quirky into mainstream.

Donut shop with wild flavor combinations? That trend has taken over the deep fried sugar breakfast industry throughout the land. Voodoo Donuts might have done it first, but they have been copied to the point where it’s the expected, not the unusual. Civic artwork splashed across every formally blank wall in town? Um, have you seen the Windward Walls in Miami? Or the Arts District in Los Angeles? Or the Mission District in San Francisco? Or the one in, well you name the major American city, you’ll find it. Civic engagement in the age of COVID via taking the annual Rose Festival Parade and turning it into a stationary parade of people’s front porches decorated with what would have been the parade floats? Eh, well talk to New Orleans about this past year’s Mardi Gras.

Don’t get me wrong, Portland is a beautiful city with warm engaging people. They are the kind of people who will go out of their way to help a stranger in town find the best brewpub (Deschutes Brewing in the Pearl District) or let you know about the off the beaten path ramen joint (Kayo Ramen on North Williams). They take their eating and drinking seriously in this town. But it’s not anymore serious than any other big city has become.

We’ve homogenized “weirdness” to the point of sameness across the land. Portland is no more or no less weird these days than New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles or any other urban mecca. It’s all a heady mix of coffee shops, vegan restaurants, non-traditional companies looking to shift the paradigm, etc.

OK the citizenry might have a few more tattoos but let’s face it, tattoos are soooo 2012 on the weirdness scale.

I really want to make this clear, I love Portland. What a wonderful livable city it is. Mile after mile of tree lined streets with single family houses on either side. It’s even quaint the way so many of the residential streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass one another. Forget it if there are cars parked on the street, maybe one car can get through. And I love that the city has done it’s best to keep major chain retailers out and given room for the local guys to try and make a living. And the food scene is incredible. No matter what kind of food you want to eat there are probably a couple of restaurants serving it, complete with their own house brewed beer or locally sourced wine. And when push comes to shove, the Rose Garden in Washington Park is the place you go to shove the push out of your life for a few minutes.

But really how many pot stores do you need? I don’t mean the kind of pot you put a bird on. I mean the kind of pot that their state legalized back in 2015. There are streets where it’s literally one shop after another and arguments can be heard over which one is best. It may not be the way your town boogies, but it probably will be real soon.

Portland is not weird. Not the way they want to claim it to be.

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Friday Catblogging: Basket Case

Claire Trevor is a weird cat. This clothes hamper in our bathroom is one of her spots. Does that make her a basket case?

The Geneva Sip and See

Photo via Reuters.

What a difference three years makes. My post about the infamous Putin-Trump post-summit press conference was called Straight To Helsinki. It gave everyone a sinking feeling as the wannabe dictator deferred to the real thing.

The Helsinki summit definitively established that the Kaiser of Chaos was a weak and stupid man who was submissive to Tsar Vlad. Somehow the message didn’t get through to Trump’s supporters who continue to believe he’s a tough guy because he’s a dick. In my experience, dickishness is a sign of weakness as well.

The Biden-Putin meeting was as much a sip and see as a summit. A sip and see is a Southern custom whereby parents invite their family and friends to meet a new baby. The Biden administration was 147 days old when the democrat met the dictator. Many expected Putin to slap the newborn around but his tone was somewhat subdued.

If the summit was a sip and see, Putin was the cranky uncle nobody much likes but who had to be invited. He wanted to be there to show off his country’s only current claim to power: the nuclear arsenal built by the red tsars who preceded him. Otherwise, Putin’s Russia is a basket case: its economy is the same size as that of Texas. The rub is that Texas’ population is 29 million and Russia’s is 144 million.

Team Biden’s refusal to hold a joint press conference, as is customary after such meetings, was a wise one. Putin was inside at what looked more like a bunker than a ballroom. Biden appeared outside with Lake Geneva as his backdrop. It was a photo-op worthy of Team Reagan in the heyday of teevee news.

The dictator’s tone was gloomy as he fended off questions from the Western media. He seemed to view the summit as a Russian novel as indicated by this statement: “There is no happiness in life.”

The democrat’s tone was realistic. Biden wanted the meeting so Putin would know that he was serious about human rights and Russian misconduct. He has no illusions about who and what Putin is despite this exchange with a CNN reporter at the end of the presser:

   Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior.  Where the hell — what do you do all the time?  When did I say I was confident?  I said —

Q    You said in the next six months you’ll be able to determine —

THE PRESIDENT:  I said — what I said was — let’s get it straight.  I said: What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world.  I’m not confident of anything; I’m just stating a fact.

   But given his past behavior has not changed and, in that press conference, after sitting down with you for several hours, he denied any involvement in cyberattacks; he downplayed human rights abuses; he even refused to say Aleksey Navalny’s name.  So how does that account to a constructive meeting, as President — President Putin framed it?

THE PRESIDENT:  If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.

President Biden was vexed by this exchange with good reason. He was misquoted and “constructive” is diplo-speak for a meeting that did not blow up. The Geneva Sip and See was neither a roaring success nor a total flop. It was a constructive meeting.

The end of the press conference reminded me of how different summitry is in the 21st Century. In the 1980’s the Big 3 news anchors were NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s Peter Jennings, and CBS’ Dan Rather. They personally covered all the Reagan-Gorbachev summits. Most people can’t even name the network anchors in 2021 because the media landscape is so radically different. The only thing that’s comparable is the photo-op staged by Team Biden.

Because of the Onion’s depiction of then Vice President Biden as a wild-and-crazy guy, people tend to forget his foreign policy chops. He was chairman of the foreign relations committee as well as John Kerry’s secretary of state in waiting in 2004.

Foreign policy is Joe’s jam: he’s a seasoned pro as opposed to his predecessor who kissed up to dictators and kicked down to democrats. What a difference three years makes.

The MSM often describes Team Biden as boring and criticizes them for not immediately dealing with all the wreckage left behind by Team Trump. As Joey B Shark himself would say, “Come on, man, it’s only been 148 days.”

Tea For Two strikes me as the perfect theme song for the Geneva Sip and See. The last word goes to Oscar Peterson:

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?

CRT Is The New Black

It’s been a long week here, so I’m going meta and linking to Adrastos’ post below with my own .0002 cents (OMG, inflation!).

Wingers always look for something to hate.

It’s surprisingly effective as a political tool (see, ads, political, negative); despite lofty rhetoric, it’s far easier to motivate with a bloody rag, scapegoat, Those People®, etc.

It only takes a small reason to hate.

And it’s even easier to play to ignorance and prejudice.

So, CRT gets the treatment…

And worse (sorry to beat this rented mule…again), the wingnut media becomes a megaphone (or, if you prefer, a puke funnel), while the rest of the elite press retreats to full stenographer mode.

But Kyle Whitmire (local media) shows a surprisingly effective way of calling out the bullshit.

Ask a simple question.

What, exactly, is CRT?

Wingers: Um…

It’s the same with quite a number of other issues.

If the non-wingnut media would do it’s job, instead of phoning, texting, or tweeting it in, there’d at least be a chance we could get beyond both sides, or the nonsense allegations of socialism.

Really? Socialism?

A country with a central bank issuing fiat currency and reliant on global trade networks secured by treaties between nation states in conjunction with a mechanized (and thermonuclear) military, and international financial institutions is…a free market?

Laff: I guess Santa Claus is the invisible hand.

And the wingers themselves are apoplectic over losing an election. that, if they really were against big gumbit, they shouldn’t give a shit about.

Why’s that?

Oh, right…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: A Delivery Of Furies

Victor Canning was an English writer who was more or less the poor man’s Graham Greene.  A Delivery Of Furies is set during a rebellion in a Caribean country. Greene, of course, set several books in that part of the world.

Stupid Fell On Alabama

Kyle Whitmire is a columnist for the Alabama Media Group d/b/a online as AL.Com. He’s a national treasure who coined the phrase “the Alabamafication of America.” His Twitter handle sums up his approach: @WarOnDumb.

Speaking of dumb, the latest wingnut craze is attacking critical race theory. CRT came to prominence because of the NYT’s 1619 Project, but it’s been  around as an academic discipline for decades. It takes a revisionist look at the history of race in America. That’s my simplistic thumbnail sketch. The simpletons who are trying to ban it have no idea what CRT is. One could even call them CRT cretins.

Whitmire decided to ask the sponsor of a bill banning CRT in Alabama schools what it is.

There’s been a lot of talk about critical race theory lately, and I’ve felt at a loss. I’ve heard so many conflicting things about critical race theory, I’ve gotten more and more confused.

So I did what middle-aged white men are prone to do — I asked another middle-aged white man. But not just any. I called an Alabama lawmaker, state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, who wants to make it illegal to teach critical race theory in Alabama.


How would his bill define critical race theory?

“It basically teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period,” Pringle said.
That sounded very serious, indeed. Nazi-like, even. So I asked Pringle if there were any critical race theorists he could point to who have been spreading such toxic garbage?
“Yeah, uh, well — I can assure you — I’ll have to read a lot more,” he said.

A canned answer from a guy who shares his surname with canned chips.

Shorter Pringle: I heard about it from Tucker and Hannity. It sounds scary and fear is a great fundraising tool.

The Canned Chips Chap’s story got even weirder when he discussed an article he supposedly read:

“These people, when they were doing the training programs — and the government — if you didn’t buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp,” Pringle said.


“The white male executives are sent to a three-day re-education camp, where they were told that their white male culture wasn’t their —” he trailed off again.

Re-education camps? So, there are concentration camps for racist peckerwoods? Who knew? That’s some serious shit.

The good news is that Pringle is making shit up. There is no such article, and nobody is teaching CRT in Alabama K-12 classrooms.

The bad news is that we’re having this discussion at all.  I wish the culture war would cancel itself.

Anything that CRT cretins such as Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Canned Chips Chap are against, I’m for.

Waging the war on dumb is exhausting. I don’t know how Kyle Whitmire does it. Actually, I do. I live in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, after all.

The last word goes to the Chairman of the Board:

Welcome Back, Normal Life

The weather here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has finally warmed up and I have been spending time on our back deck, tending to my flower boxes and my vegetable and herb container garden, and serenaded by the distant cicada spaceship chorus, and the ever-increasing sound of the close-in singers who have synched up in their search for mates.

I wrote earlier about my anticipation of the Brood X emergence and I am happy to say that after feeling a bit anxious that we wouldn’t see or hear them, they have been putting on an incredible sound show. When they first emerged en masse, Magicicada septendecim began chorusing, making this spooky spaceship sound all around:

A few days later you can hear the spaceship is still hovering, but you can also hear the rasping of Magicicada cassini, and the tick-tick-tick of Magicicada septendecula:

Two days later, the Magicicada cassini chorus, the dominant species in this area (although the septendecim are more numerous), got their act together. I measured a peak sound of 98 decibels that hot, sunny afternoon:

I knew they had a 100+ decibel reading in them, and a few days later they proved me right:

We had 5”+ of rain over the last few days, and they were noticeably quieter. But when the sun returned they were back on point, singing at 95 decibels. And yes, you can hear them inside, with the windows closed.

The cats are interested in the cicadas. Our male cat Finn knocked one down, and put it into his mouth and brought it inside. He is a weird cat because he does not bite his prey. Then again he’s big and strong enough to kill stuff with his paws alone. The cicada began buzzing and Finn was very annoyed because he hates noise. Then the cicada began walking toward Finn’s throat and Finn had had enough with this noisy sharp-edged toy, and he spit it out. That hasn’t cured him of trying to catch another one, of course. Rey doesn’t find their clumsiness to be much of a challenge and she has largely ignored them after her initial bout of excitement.

I’ve really enjoyed this twice in a lifetime (for me) event. God willing, we’ll be settled in a sunny spot in the Keys the next time Brood X starts singing. I am also very aware of how this event dovetails with the end of a once in a century event as the pandemic begins to wind down here in the United States.

My county has ticked back and forth on the Harvard Covid map from “orange” to “yellow” to “orange” and back again because the difference between “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” is confusing to people who want to take their oh-so-oppressive masks off. I thought about going without one at the grocery store the other day but decided against it, and someone sailed past me coughing the croupiest cough I have heard in a very long time, and I remembered that the law of unintended consequences is a double-edged sword.

The online community I am active in has several ongoing Covid conversations, and they are almost entirely driven by conspiracy nuts and deniers. You would think they’d be happy about states lifting all restrictions, right?

Of course they’re not. They’re obsessed with people who are still wearing masks. Every day 1 of them has to wonder anew about why people are still wearing masks, despite being repeatedly given the reasons:  small children at home, compromised immune system, their doctor wants them to have additional protection because of an underlying medical issue, they live with or care for someone in one of the previous categories, or they have been traumatized by the illness or death of someone close to them, or their own close call with death and Covid. Or they could just be still adjusting to post-Covid life and mourning the death of 600,000 Americans.

I asked one of them why he cared that someone he didn’t know did something  which had zero effect on his life, and he didn’t answer. It’s not about “trusting the science” for these people. It’s about bullying other people because they themselves were frightened for those dark months and they want all traces of that fright erased. Well, too bad for them, because not only am I going to continue to wear a mask in places where I will be exposed to a lot of people and thus to the common cold and other communicable diseases, I like to be a thorn in the side sometimes, and wearing a mask seems to be a super easy way to do that. (Those of you who know me in real life can attest to that.)

Masked or not, like the cicadas, I have emerged from isolation. I am back to in-store shopping, and seeing friends. My parish has resumed in-person worship, and our bishop okayed the return of my beloved choir (provided we are all masked and vaccinated), and that weekly outing has brought a lot of normalcy back to my life.

My husband is dealing with an injured knee so we’re not back to eating out just yet, but that will change soon enough, and I CANNOT WAIT to eat a hot meal I didn’t have to cook myself. My sense of humor is slowly returning and I actually can stop worrying for part of every day.

I’m back to visiting my town’s wonderful farmers market and having that community time again, reaffirming old friendships made there, and getting to know new people and finding common ground with them after not walking through the market for a year.

All of these little things add up to what Serbian people call “merak”, or contentment bolstered and fueled by small pleasures that make you feel connected to the universe. It’s a good place to be in June 2021. Joy be with you all.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Renaissance

Vanilla Fudge were among the founding fathers of hard rock, so it’s only fitting that they have their own monument:

Here’s the whole damn album:

Steve Scalise Plays Button, Button, Who’s Got The Button

I haven’t mocked my hometown horror Steve Scalise for quite some time. He’s actually a nightmarish neighbor as he hails from next door Metry in Jefferson Parish. I could technically call him my homey, but I’d rather stick a needle in my eye, so I’ll pass.

As House GOP whip, Scalise is in charge of vote counting and nagging his members to vote the party line. It can’t be easy when your leader has the backbone of a jellyfish, but I have no sympathy for either Scalise or KMac.

It turns out that Scalise was disoriented by a vote *for* impeachment by Tom Rice of South Carolina. I’ll let TPM’s wonderfully named Summer Concepcion sum up the story for you:

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) recalled House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) being caught off guard when the South Carolina Republican voted to impeach former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection” in a Washington Post report published Sunday.

Shortly after voting to impeach Trump a week after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Rice rushed off the House floor to catch a flight back to his home in Myrtle Beach.

Scalise, however, wanted a word with Rice before he could scurry away from the chamber.

Rice told the Post that Scalise’s staffers called him up and insisted that the South Carolina Republican had “hit the wrong button.” Rice quickly denied that was the case.

“I didn’t get to the bottom of the steps before Scalise called me and he said, ‘Tom, you hit the wrong button’ and I said, ‘No, it was the right vote.’ Then he said, ‘You sure?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely,’” Rice told the Post. “I think a lot of people were surprised.”

I always think of butts when I contemplate Steve Scalise. He’s a butthead and buttinski who, but for Bobby Jindal, would have been first elected to the House in 2004. He even has his own decorative butt-plug as you can see from the featured image. I’ve posted it before, but it never gets old.

Now Steve Scalise is playing button, button, who’s got the button with Tom Rice. Even if his leader is the Candyass Candyman, Scalise is no Willy Wonka:

Now. Button, button, who's got the button?

How can I top Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka? I won’t even try but the Oompa Loompas are game. They get the last word.

A Postcard From Ashland Oregon

Ashland Oregon Postcard

Greetings from balmy Ashland Oregon where the temps today will stretch all the way to the mid 70’s and the cloud cover will, well, cover the sky most of the day.

It’s an interesting change from Sonoma where the temps will hit the hundreds while we’re away. Ah, too bad. Along the drive it was astounding to see the change in topography as we sped north, from the arid brown of the Golden State to the lush green forests of the Beaver State. No jokes please, we’re woke around here.

This is our first stop as we wind our way through the PacNorWest ™. Five hours from home, it’s one of the longer drives we’ll be making. That’s a good thing as the wife (Cruella) was just about done with my bad jokes and choice of music. Apparently Gregorian chanting isn’t her thing. Go figure.

Ashland is of course home to the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Since 1935 the Festival has presented a variety of plays both Shakespearian and modern in their five performance spaces. The most famous of the theaters is the Elizabethan outdoor stage, a model of Will’s own Globe theater. Fortunately the modern audience all get seats, no groundlings allowed. The season runs from early March to early November.

Of course COVID hit the Festival hard, cancelling the entire 2020 season and forcing a drastic cut down of the 2021 season. Usually 10-12 shows are done per season, this year there will only be two, a new musical called FANNIE about the life of civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer which will be presented in the outdoor theater starting July 1 (too late for this trip) and IT’S CHRISTMAS, CAROL a gender bending take on the Dicken’s classic opening in late November.

Actually the real reason we come to Ashland is to eat at this place:

Omar's Restaurant Ashland Oregon

This is Omar’s Steakhouse and with neon like that you just know it’s going to be good. And it has been for the last 75 years. A dry martini, a fine steak, some Dragonfly Tempranillo  wine, what more does a man need? A good story to go with? It’s got that too. Seems the man who started it was named Omer and that’s what the sign was supposed to say, but Noodnick Nate the Neon Man screwed up and old Omer didn’t want to offend so he just went with it.

We on the other hand just go with the mouth watering steaks and coma inducing desserts. This is old school eating. Bring your second stomach and be prepared to fill it.

steak at Omars

Coupe Denmark Sundae

Ashland is also home to Southern Oregon University, where “artsy” children are sent by their parents who have compromised in order to at least get them to go to college and not head up to Portland to live out their coffee house and poetry dreams. That and the fact you have a Shakespeare Disney World right next door might lead you to the conclusion the town is just a tad liberal. You would be correct. But it’s a small island of blue in a sea of Southern Oregon red.

The larger city nearby, Medford, for many years has been the home of Harry and David, the gift packaged fruit kings of the world. If you’ve ever opened your door to find a gift from your Aunt Gertrude containing fruits and nuts lovingly arranged in a reusable, if you use those sorts of things, gift basket it was probably from Harry and David. They are a huge company with 8000 employees but most of that is farmed out labor. They were purchased a few years ago by 1-800-Flowers and in the midst of the pandemic closed down all their stores, laid off all the store employees and went completely online. Complaints are up, mostly about the quality of the fruit and the customer service. The company’s response? Teach your Aunt Gertrude how to use a computer.

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Tweets Of The Day: Satire Edition

There was some swell Michael F-style satire on my Twitter feed today, so I thought I’d share.

First, a poster celebrating the departure of Bibi Netanyahu:

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were funnier and only a danger to themselves.

Here’s an oldie that popped up on my feed as a retweet. Remember when Trump got all pushy at a NATO summit?

Joe Biden would, of course, not do such a thing but not all satire has to be realistic as long as it’s funny. That’s spit-take inducing funny, y’all.

I didn’t follow Paul Lee Teeks until today, but I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the future. Grazie, Signor.

In honor of the second tweet, the last word goes to the good old Grateful Dead:



Yogi Terror?

I have a positive impression of people who do yoga. They’re normal people who live normal lives. Their namaste rarely turns nasty.

Then there’s this abnormal guy:

A retired California police chief-turned-yoga instructor and five others in his crew are the latest defendants charged with conspiring to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6.

The conspiracy charges in the indictment against the Alan Hostetter and five others, which was filed online Wednesday and unsealed Thursday, are more serious than the typical trespassing or disorderly conduct charges faced by most defendants in the Jan. 6 attack.

Conspiracy allegations are reserved for those who prosecutors believe planned their actions ahead of time and worked together. They’ve also been lodged by feds against members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. In this case, the indictment against the crew noted several indications of ties to the Three Percenter militia movement, which so far has been largely absent from Jan. 6 case dockets.

The indicted men allegedly participated in the riot at the Capitol with the intent of preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Hostetter founded the group American Phoenix Project last year to protest COVID-19 public health orders, and his presence in D.C. on Jan. 6 was the subject of a late January Washington Post column on support for Trump among the “wellness community.” TPM has covered Hostetter and the American Phoenix Project’s intimidation tactics aimed at local officials.

Wellness is definitely NOT the Impeached Insult Comedian’s bag. These creeps should rebrand themselves as Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.

Incitement is Pennywise’s art form. It’s depressing how many people have fallen for the BIG LIE and Trump’s entire shtick. To paraphrase a better Republican president from New York, the Kaiser of Chaos talks loudly and carries a small stick. He leaves that to others.

What is it with Trumpers and Teutonic symbolism? That eagle logo resembles avian imagery used by Prussian militarists and their Nazi successors. It’s ironic given that America helped defeat the Two Hs: the Hohenzollerns and Hitler. In fact, imagery is one of the few things the Nazis were good at: genocide and propaganda being the others.

Speaking of Teutonic symbolism, when I dubbed Trump the Kaiser of Chaos, I had no idea how perfect the nickname would be, especially in exile. I wish I could claim premonitive powers, but I cannot. I’m no Kreskin, I’m not even a Carnac:

It’s depressing but unsurprising how many members of law enforcement participated in the Dipshit Insurrection. The same goes for people from Orange County in Southern California. The yogi terrorist, Alan Hostetter is the former chief of the La Habra police department in the OC.

Orange County may be better known for reality teevee shows in 2021, but it has long been a hotbed of right-wing political activism. Orange County *has* changed and become a more diverse place but it remains hospitable to teabaggery and Trumpism. The OC’s airport is named for bigoted chicken hawk movie star, John Wayne, after all.  FYI, one of my favorite social media moments in recent years was when the kids “discovered” the Duke’s racist Playboy interview. They cried, I laughed,

This post is title driven. Yogi Terror came to me in a flash after reading Matt Shuhan’s marvelous TPM article. It should have come to me when Alabama lifted its bizarre ban on yoga in schools. Better late than never.

I should thank these guys for inspiring such a punny title:

One could even say that Alan Hostetter is dumber than the average bear.

Finally, now that the head Yogi terrorist is in the pokey, the American Phoenix Project should change the slogan on its logo from the melodramatic, “Let hope rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of a suffering nation” to “Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.”

The last word goes to the Beatles with John Lennon’s scathing song about an earlier false prophet, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It applies equally to Alan Hostetter and his hero, Donald Trump:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “It’s just the flu, bro” edition

Good morning, everyone! Get your ISO suits on, because not only are we doing a deep dive into stupidity, we’re going into a highly infectious COVID-19 zone.

If you weren’t already aware of it, there’s been a frequent series of threads entitled “Flubros and flubras” aimed at COVID-19 deniers, even as the pandemic has slain Americans by the hundreds of thousands  It follows the former guy’s dictum of :

Finally, after deciding that he’s beating a dead horse (another Freeper started a mocking series of posts entitled “The Butcher’s Bill (it’s just the flu, bro)“, the “Flubros and flubras” originator, “impimp” (insert your own joke here) is giving up, but is still a disbeliever.

Flubros and Flubras Final Daily Thread! Year 2 (a place for Flubros and Flubras) ^ | 15 May 2021 | Impimp

Posted on 5/15/2021, 12:11:10 AM by impimp

It’s just the flu, bro.

There are a few TBD items with the Coronavirus: 1.Will they resume the lockdown in the fall/winter when flu season picks up? 2.Will there be a vaccine passport in any way? 3.When will laggards like churches, schools and hardcore blue states finally see the light?

I will post a Flubro thread if anything related to these items, or something else interesting pops up. But the daily thread is over now that the CDC has relaxed somewhat. It’s been great fun and I have enjoyed discussing Coronavirus items with Flubros and Flubras over the past 15 months. I like to think that we influenced many Freepers, who are, of course, more influential politically than the Illuminati. I also like to think that in some small way we made things better and freer here in America. Well done FRiends!

1 posted on 5/15/2021, 12:11:10 AM by impimp
To: who_would_fardels_bear

If a man with a pair of testicles can identify as a woman then surely you can identify as a vaccinated person, no?

6 posted on 5/15/2021, 2:11:58 AM by Tipllub

Dunno – let’s cut yours off and find out.
To: impimp
Thank you, impimp! You did a great job, day in and day out, to keep the FReeper FearPorn from infecting our brains.

“Freeper Fearporn” is the name of my next band.

It was a  magnanimous  worthless and lethal effort.


Too bad so many were, and still are, so afraid that they will only obey they overlords, no matter how willy nilly the rules of the overlords are.

23 posted on 5/15/2021, 8:15:05 AM by FamiliarFace

Then, the author of the “Butcher’s Bill” posts just has to ruin “impimp”s fun :
To: impimp

+733 DEAD

+39,095 NEW CASES

***599,314** TOTAL DEAD

31 posted on 5/15/2021, 10:20:11 AM by Kozak (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TV)

Killboy  Killjoy.
Fortunately, it’s just the flu.
UltimateClassicRock ^ | April 28, 2021
Posted on 4/29/2021, 1:56:38 PM by nickcarrawayTed Nugent has revealed that he feared for his life during his recent battle with COVID-19.”Five or six days ago, it was really bad. I didn’t think I was gonna make it,” the guitarist declared during a live webcast tonight. “I literally couldn’t function for about 20 hours… I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”He described his symptoms as a “six-foot-two, 225-pound headache, like nothing I have ever experienced. I mean, from the tip of my toes to the top of my hair I literally was dizzy and weak and struggled to get up to go to the bathroom.”Nugent then explained that a group of doctors came to his aid, with one even paying for a private plane to take him to a hospital. “They came from around the world, they go, ‘Uncle Ted we got the stuff, Uncle Ted don’t worry we got you covered, Uncle Ted we’re sending a plane and we’re taking you to the UT medical center and we got ya, man!’ I could literally cry, it was so powerful.”
1 posted on 4/29/2021, 1:56:39 PM by nickcarraway
“I literally was dizzy and weak and struggled to get up to go to the bathroom.” 
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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “Five stages” edition

The Stages Of Barbara’s Unemployment

I wrote this some years ago, when Barbara was unceremoniously dumped from her long-time job at SEI.

I believe that there are enough people looking for work again to make this relevant today.

(Oh – and since the death of Brillo the Scottish Deerhound, the house is petless for the first time since we met 20 years ago)


Stage 1 – Elation.

Sleeps late.

Gets dressed

Goes around the house singing “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”. (her former boss was an asswipe)

Plays a lot of computer Maj-Johng.


Stage 2 – Catching up.

Gets up with me.

Gets dressed.

Starts cleaning house like the proverbial white tornado.

Washes and waxes pets.

Catalogues everything in house alphabetically.

Puts resume out.

Cleans house again.

Attempts to alphabetize firewood.

Calls all her old friends – as an afterthought, calls her brother.

Attempts to alphabetize pets – discovers that placing Bailey Bulldog next to Kingsford Kitty doesn’t work very well.

Looks for bandages.

Cooks dinner for me.


Stage 3 – Apprehension.

Posts resume again.

Goes around house turning lights off.

Gets cable bill.

Gets phone bill.

Gets water bill.

Goes around house making sure taps aren’t dripping and tuns sprinklers off.

Gets electricity bill.

Turns main breaker off and hides in closet.

Turns electricity back on again long enough to post resume again.

Turns breakers back off and returns to closet.

I cook dinner.

Stage 4 – Panic

Wakes up at 3:30AM.

Puts on warm clothes and turns heat off.

Thinks about going to the store because we’re out of everything, but decides not to, because she’s almost out of gas.

Tests her email to see if it is actually working.

Beats animals for being hungry and whimpering

Posts resume again.

Calls all her old friends again, but by now they are watching their Caller ID, and refuse to pick up.

Posts resume again.

Starts calculating how much the furniture will fetch at a garage sale.

No dinner.


Stage 5 – Depression

Stays in pajamas all day.


Pets are all dead from starvation.

I have started eating out to avoid her.

Accuses me of not loving her any more.

Screams at me for not washing my breakfast dish.

I take the slide and magazine out of the Glock and hide them.


Stage 6 – Gets new job !!!

Goes shopping for all new wardrobe.

Has car washed.

Back to normal again – whew!


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Sunday Morning Video: James Taylor Nice Jazz Festival Live

That’s Nice as in the French town, not nice as in JT is nice, which he is.

Saturday Odds & Sods: To The Island

Tahiti and Picnics by Paul Gaugin.

This was the week that the celestial pendulum swung to full tilt summer in New Orleans. We’re looking at nothing but ninety-degree highs for the foreseeable future. Time to crank up the air-dish and the ceiling fans. It’s fucking hot, y’all. That concludes this week’s weather report.

I wished Neil Finn happy birthday late last month. The celebration continues with a theme song from the new Crowded House album. Dreamers Are Waiting is the most cohesive and consistent album the band has released since Together Alone.

I think the band’s new lineup has a lot to do with the excellence of the new album. Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy are onboard, and their presence seems to have inspired dear old dad. The family band twist is reflected by Bee Gees and Beach Boys influences vocally, but unlike the latter, the Finns seem to get along swimmingly. They may even have fun, fun, fun til their daddy takes the T-Bird away. I doubt that Neil would do such a thing. He’s the epitome of the cool dad.

To The Island is the first single from the new album. It was written by Neil Finn. Anyone surprised?

We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the video and the Crowdies live on The Ellen Show. FYI, she’s not from New Orleans but from Kenna, Brah.

I think To The Island is destined to join Don’t Dream It’s Over as fodder for a future New Zealand tourism campaign. It’s that catchy.

We have another islandy number for you before we jump to the break. It’s an instrumental from The Band featuring the multi-instrumental wizardry of Garth Hudson:

Now that we’ve gone to the island, let’s jump to the break.

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