Friday, November 26, 2004
Kev made a country song. And it was good, but kinda slow moving, and we couldn't figure out who (meaning which instrument) should play the melody. So, I kept saying that it was the kind of song that needed vocals, but neither of us can sing. Actually, Kev can sing, he just doesn't like to. Meanwhile, Pancho, our backyard 'possum as regular readers will know, had stopped frequenting our yard, and I was getting worried about him. Then one night a couple weeks ago, we saw a 'possum on the side of the road who had, um, gone to be with Jesus. It broke my heart. We of course don't know if it was Pancho, but it definitely could have been, so I was really sad. The next morning, lyrics to Kev's country song were born. So now, "Song for Pancho" had music and lyrics, but no one to sing. So, I called my friends Julie and Rob and invited them to record a little country song about a 'possum, and they both enthusiastically accepted! They came over on Tuesday night, and got the song in very few takes, and it sounds awesome. I want to say right here and now that Rob and Julie are really really cool and fun, and I am so excited that they were part of the PPHPHB this year. It is a goal of the band to have lots of other people participate. So if any of you would like to join in, you are more than welcome.
So anyway, that night I went to bed stuck on the Pancho song, which I had heard over and over that night. At about 3 in the morning, I woke up. There was lots of wind outside, but I began to hear a familiar scratching at the aluminum around our foundation, so I jumped up and ran to the back door, but I didn't see anything. I decided it was just the wind, or the pepperoni pizza playing tricks on my mind. Or maybe it was Pancho's ghost?
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I want to kick a shout out to my mom who made a great dinner, and my dad who tried to get everyone to play cards even though all everyone seemed to want to do was nap.
When we got home, it was pretty much time for bed, so I went to sleep only to wake up at 2 AM. The scratching sound was back! So again, I jumped up and went to the back door. What a racket! Suddenly, a critter emerged from under our house! I held my breath and waited, and there he was! A giant....raccoon.
You thought it was Pancho, didn't you? (Sigh). So did I.
So I didn't know if I should be disappointed that it wasn't him, or excited about my first raccoon sighting, or what. Was it being disloyal to Pancho if I decided to be excited about the raccoon? I was awake for at least an hour.
Well, as Kev said, even if Pancho is gone, he has been immortalized in song. I welcome the raccoon, and any other woodland creatures that want to live in my back yard. We have had rabbits, 'possoms, raccoons, birds, lizards, and cats and dogs. My parents have an armadillo. Kev's parents have had deer, geese, moose, wild turkeys, and recently a bear. And his sister has bobcats. I think it's good to have wildlife around. It makes me happy.
Anyway, be watching for your copy of the PPHPHB Vol.2, featuring Rob and Julie.
And if anybody wants to read something funny, check out
and make sure you have the volume up on your computer.
Time to go buy a Christmas tree!
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
My nice family, Kev, Kev's nice family, Albert, all of my friends, my good house, my front porch with swing, the brief periods of sunshine over the weekend, that the sun is supposed to come out again Wednesday, coffee, my friend Damon is OK, critters of all kinds, PBS, KERA (esp Fresh Air and Diane Rehm and Glen Mitchell), freedom to blog, White Rock Lake, Central Market, the groove, the Christmas spirit, housepants, nice people who don't litter and do take good care of their pets, and ice cream, popcorn, pie and various other treats.
Thanksgiving is a good holiday because it is about food and fellowship instead of gifts. And now that I am a grown-up, I like more of the traditional food items, so I don't have to ask my mom to make extra different stuff or order pizza.
Not-so-fun fact: Domestic turkeys aren't very bright. Many of them die because they don't know how to eat when they are born. Also, they have been know to drown in the rain by looking up.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
This morning, I got up at the crack of dawn to attend my first Sierra Club field trip. I met some others at the carpool location in Plano at 7:00am, and managed to get a ride with some people in a mini-van to our destination, the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area. This is an area behind the dam at Lewisville Lake which is closed to the public, and good birds were promised. I've been interested in birds for over a year now, but this was my first guided excursion, so I was looking forward to having an expert there to point things out. I did end up seeing a few new birds for my list, but I didn't learn very much about them. And I think maybe I missed the excitement of figuring things out for myself. It seems to kinda lose something when someone else is solving the mystery for me. Anyway, here is what I saw today:
- Red-tail hawk
- American Kestrel
- Yellow-bellied sapsucker*
- Song sparrow*
- Turkey Vulture
- Ruby-crowned kinglet
- American goldfinch*
- Rock Wren*
- Savannah Sparrow*
- LeConte's sparrow*
- Downy woodpecker
- Cedar waxwing
- Harrier hawk*
*indicates new bird for list.
I also saw coyote tracks (pictured above), and a family of bobcats, which was really the best part of the trip. And it was my first time to be in the official prairie I think. So that was cool.
Anyway, I was hoping that I might make some new friends, but I don't think it's going to be easy. For one thing, I am shy. And I don't really know if these are the friends I am looking for. They are all very nice, but all much older than me. And they are all VERY serious about birds. These are people who use the word "bird" as a verb without the slightest hint of self-consciousness. "First, we'll bird by the beaver pond, and later we'll be birding in the prairie." They all have high-powered binoculars and some even have telescopes that they carry around. I think they think I am a bird poser. That's OK though. I will still go on field trips sometimes. And I will still go to meetings. And I will still try to make some new friends. I think today my heart just wasn't in it. I am cranky.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Yesterday as I was going down a street around the corner from my house, there were some chickens. I was glad to have my camera. I live in the city, by the way. I showed this picture to one of my students. He said, "Yeah, that one would make a real nice meal." It was disappointing.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Saw an interesting "Frontline" about Wal-Mart last night. This country has problems.
Lazy Russian Horses Show Volunteer Reader Participation Activity courtesy of Carl Pope:
Immediate Action Needed: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Under Attack.The Bush Administration is pushing hard again to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. The Sierra Club is urging members and supporters to sign a petition to Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader-elect, urging him to rally opposition to the Bush Energy Plan and any proposal to allow development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
If that link doesn't work, tryYesterday I got a letter from a congressman about landfills and it was really signed! So, some of them really do pay attention I think.
In spite of last night's defeat, I like what I'm seeing from the Mavericks. I wish Mark Cuban would be more behind-the-scenes though. He is a creepy guy.
Fun Fact: George Jones' nickname is Possom.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
This is a picture of my sock monkey. He isn't quite finished. He now actually has one eye, but this picture was taken before I stitched it on. Anyway, he is going to need a name. Please submit your ideas via "Comments." No swear-words or obscenities please.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Yesterday was Topsy's birthday party, and what a production! Ron invited all of his (or Topsy's) friends from the dog park, and in the early afternoon, they all began to gather in his back yard. There was Spike, Junior, Woody, Yogi, Yoda, Draper, Emma, Suzy, Leo, and Mr. Wiggles, just to name a few of the guests. Oh, there were also some people. Kev and I were the only dog-less couple there, so it was a little awkward, but we enjoyed watching the other people's dogs run and fight and play, and they also did a few kinda gross things I won't mention. ( We here at the LRHS like to keep things rated G). And as promised, there were tamales from a place called Luna, which were really good. Ron gave us some of the left-overs. I put them in the freezer, because I have found that tamales are the kind of food you can't go around eating every day. Anyway, back to the dogs. Here's the thing. They were all really cute dogs, but I gotta say, most of them didn't appear to be very bright. I think this may be due to in-breeding. The smartest one there I think was Mr. Wiggles, and he is a mutt. There were some (3) bull-dogs, who were very cute, but had terrible manners and a great deal of difficulty breathing. I once knew a bull dog that belonged to my brother's friend David. My brother was dog-sitting one time, and I went with him to David's apartment. Upon arrival, I was shocked to see the nearly unrecognizable remains of David's couch and a lot of other damage. I don't think I would like to have a bull dog. But, the party was fun, and I'm glad we have a nice neighbor like GNR.
Last night we went to the Son's of Hermann Hall to see what's left of Cowboys and Indians, but that's a story for another day. I'm gonna go sit on my couch and do nothing now. Because it's Sunday.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
- If you want to see a good movie and don't mind some swear-words and nakeds, go to see Sideways. It is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. If you are particularly beaten-down, it might make you feel better about your life, even.
- I was thinking maybe consumers should get together and stop paying movie theater prices for snacks. They suck you in with the popcorn smell. It isn't right.
- If you want a good meal, try Mai's Vietnamese restaurant at Bryan and Fitzhugh. The food is great and cheap, and the people who work there are very nice.
- If you don't have recycling in your neighborhood, you can take your newspapers to the SPCA or other shelters to be shredded and used in the crates for the pets.
- I wish Samurai Jack would come back to Cartoon Network.
- I recently got a mail-order catalog where you can order a life-size giraffe for your yard. Is there really a market for that? The same catalog also had velvet cloaks. They weren't trying to be funny.
- I am worried about Pancho. He hasn't been around lately.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Tomorrow is the Dog party next door. I found out there are going to be lots of dogs there, and I wonder what GNR is going to do if it rains. There will also be tamales.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
I just want to thank you for setting me straight tonight when you laid on your horn for several minutes behind me in the completely stopped traffic. I'm sure the six or seven other drivers in front of me appreciated it too! I don't know what we were thinking, having the audacity to follow traffic rules and exercise caution when entering the Service Road to 75 into fast-moving on-coming cars during rush hour tonight. It was inconsiderate of us to make you late for meeting your crack dealer or whatever it was you were in such a hurry to do. I know it must have been much more important than anything the rest of us were on our way to do. It was very silly of me to think maybe my car was on fire or that I was about to be car-jacked when I heard you honking and honking for no apparent reason. Why, important people like you don't have time to warn other drivers of impending danger! I should have realized you were only trying to encourage us to pull on out into traffic without a care in the world. If you ever catch me being such a rude driver again, please feel free to go ahead and ram my car from behind a few times. That'll teach me!
The Blue Buick
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
But in spite of nerves, I am excited about going to the meeting. I hope they assign me to writing some letters to senators. I recently wrote to a senator about landfills, and he wrote back! It was cool to get mail from a senator, even if it was a fill in the blank type form letter with a rubber-stamp signature. "Thanks for your letter, Tara H., I share your concerns about, landfills."
By the way, in case anyone was wondering, the mushroom lasagna was pretty good. Groove on!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
So I was working at my parents' house today and feeling all stressed, so I got Albert and went outside. I sat down on the swing and got the dog brush and Albert came over because he loves the dog brush. And suddenly, I was concentrating on the repetative motion of brushing Albert, and the cool breeze, and the singing birds and Albert's happy dog face and it was like BAM! Instant serenity.
Maybe this will be helpful to you if you are stressed and have a pet and a swing.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Our trip to Paris was fun. I got to see Whitney and Bob, and their cute girls and good dogs. Paris Texas has a fake Eiffel Tower with a big red cowboy hat on top. I will post a picture of it if I can figure out how to change a portrait-oriented photo to landscape. The drive up was pretty, with lots of hawks and farm animals to see along the way. We had good barbecue there, but I have forgotten the name of the restaurant. It is on the main loop across from the McDonalds. The service was excellent. I recommend the smoked turkey sandwich. Paris Texas does not have a Target, but it does have a town square.
The Simpsons Halloween show was pretty bad this year. I think maybe the Simpsons should probably stop.
Tonight's meal is Portobello Mushroom Lasagna, which I made this morning before I came to work. I hope it is good, and can help repair the groove damage from the chicken incident of last week.
The PPHPHB is in full swing again, and have almost finished the follow-up to Otra Parte.
Good Neighbor Ron is having a birthday party for his Boston Terrier, Topsy, this weekend. Topsy will be 42. There should be some good dogs there and I am looking forward to it.
No fun fact today. That's all for now.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
I do not like what this election is doing to people, which is why after today there will be no more election talk on the Lazy Russian Horses Show.
My brother actually got HATE-mail from a (supposed) good friend because he opined about the election, and I am getting slammed on other blogs about not voting. Ugh. No more.
On with other things:
Yesterday I had the blues because I think my groove is waning based on a kitchen disaster from the night before involving chicken and parmesan cheese. So in an attempt to cheer me up, Kev suggested going to the lake for a stroll. This was a great idea as the weather was perfect. The usual suspects were there: grackles, starlings, coots, great egrets, mallards, double-crested cormorants. But I added two new birds to my list because there were also ring-billed gulls and a kingfisher. It was exciting. There were also lots of turtles sun-bathing on logs, cool spider webs, and a guy flying a remote-control helicopter which is something you don't see every day. It cheered me up. Then we went to see "Ray" at the studio movie grill. Very good movie with excellent music of course. Jamie Fox was pretty remarkable.
Today I am driving up to Paris Texas with my friend Julie to visit our friend Whitney who just moved back from Tennessee. I have never been to Paris Texas, nor have I seen the movie. It should be fun. I hope the topic of politics doesn't come up.
I am going to go make some French toast now. Have a good weekend!
Thursday, November 04, 2004
I am pretty sure that moving to Canada is not the solution, although that seems to be the knee-jerk solution of many Americans, according to CNN. Now, I like Cananda. It was on my FOR list a couple of blogs ago. I have even gone so far as to wonder aloud what it would be like to live there, as it seems like a nice safe place where one doesn't have to worry about earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, and Texas summer heat. Plus it has moose and eagles and snow. All things I really like. But think about it. Many of the things that cause concern regarding the Bush administration policies are going to affect the whole world, including Canada, so isn't it better to stay here and try to do something about it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and we're doomed. But I don't think so.
I am only one person, and I have to accept that I can't change the world, but here are some things I am going to do to at least be proactive. From experience, I know that idle bitterness never really gets me anywhere.
- Learn about Islam and the Middle East
- Pick up trash at the lake and in my neighborhood
- model tolerence to those around me
- go to sierra club meetings and become active in some way
- save up for a hybrid car
- think about education reform possibilities to propose to important people
- try to represent positive American qualities when I am abroad
- and maybe write some protest songs
It's not much, huh? But maybe I can do just a little bit of good and feel better about things. Otherwise, I am just troubled all the time. And it sucks to be troubled all the time.I'd like to end by kicking a shout out to my friend Jamie McLeod who just won a seat on the City Council in Santa Clara, California. Congratulations, Jamie! Do some good stuff for people!
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I thought I'd have some fun and kill some time by making lists of things I am FOR and things I am AGAINST on this day of voting. These are opinions and I am entitled to them. If you don't like opinions, you can stop reading now, but come back tomorrow for some more stuff about birds and whatnot!
I am FOR: birds, dogs, penguins, owls, whales, opossums, snails, and all animals, garlic, mushrooms, Macaroni Grill, chocolate food, ice-skating, cruises, Jamaica, house-bands, England, Michael Owen, the Dalai Lama, Jesus, Mr Rogers, Japanese maples and other trees, the Old 97's, Nero's Italian restaurant, Christmas, sleep, Target, housepants, sock monkeys, the Artic Wildlife Area, the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Canada, John Wesley Harding, Elvis Costello, LarryFeathers, blogging, mountains, snow, Steve Martin, roller skates, fun, the Dallas Mavericks, the NY Jets uniforms, orange, green, coffee, Central Market, White Rock Lake, Kev, the Haitian people, and some other stuff.
I am AGAINST: speeding, cell phones in cars and restaurants and movie theaters, littering, smoking in public places, roaches, wind, mustard, pickles, drilling for oil in protected areas, cutting down trees in National Forests, over-testing children, sweetbreads, Elizabeth Newman's agenda, the death penalty, animal cruelty, sand, telemarketing, liars, and more.
Lazy Russian Horses Show Poll of the day:
How many of you have ever heard of "Pliney the Elder?"