Thursday, February 24, 2005

Waiting for the Laundry to Dry

Sounds like a new hit for Travis Tritt, doesn't it? But that's what I'm doing on this rainy Thursday morning. Looked at birds for a while...lots of woodpeckers out back, and lots of finches in the front. The birds seems a little on edge...very fiesty and territorial lately.
While I was enjoying my morning coffee, I opened up the blue ValPak envelope from yesterday's mail to see if there were any good coupons. Just the usual...Empire Dry Cleaner, Nuevo Leon, Tree Doctor, etc., and then...AAARGHHH! A coupon for "Lakewood's Friendliest Dentist...Dr. Todd Calvin." On the coupon, it actually says," He loves children and they love him." Gross. I'll bet ValPak is gonna get some phone calls for this faux pas.

The PPHPHB has been hard at work lately. Poor Kev, having to deal with me as his only other band member. I have limited patience for doing take after take, and I am easily discouraged by the fact that I can't play my instruments very well. My abilities unfortunately don't match his vision for the way the songs are supposed to sound. But, in spite of that, the latest song is sounding pretty good.

I want to say that everyone should try watching Scientific American Frontiers on Wednesday nights on PBS. Last night, Alan Alda took us all around to learn about hydrogen as an energy source. It was very interesting and exciting. People should really pay more attention to the scientists of the world.

I got to see American Idol last night. I am going on the record and saying I like American Idol. It isn't great TV, but it's good to get a break from war and disater and murder and stuff. I think at this early stage, I like the Moon River guy. But I haven't really seen much of the performance part of the show. That Ryan Seacrest, as Kev put it, is "a soul-less bastard in a yellow suit." I think that dude who got kicked off last got a bad deal. It was just mean they way they did it. That kind of manufactured drama isn't going to boost ratings.

Laundry is done, and I need to start getting ready to go to work. Still waiting for those get rich ideas...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rock Stars

One time at a Sound Warehouse in-store (autograph signing thing), I got to meet the Cult. The singer would only sign "Wolf Child" and not his name. Then my friend's brother, who was an insider-type, went to dinner with the band, and the singer threw up in the restaurant.
Another time we went to a party for Yanni at the record company office. Why? Free food and the opportunity to schmooze record weasels I reckon. I did not make any effort to meet Yanni. He is creepy.
At a Richard Marx in-store, some chick brought Richard Marx a dozen roses. When the in-store was over, I said, "Hey Richard Marx, here are these roses from that chick," and he said, "You take 'em." So I did. He wore his sunglasses the whole time he was in our store.
Another time we had Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe. Anderson was very weird and short.
Other in-stores I participated in were Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, the Alarm, Whitesnake, and Tora Tora. At the Whitesnake one, I got to stand right by the band's table the whole time, and tell all the fans when it was ok for them to move up to the table. A rare moment of feeling powerful for me. It was a cool job for a teenager I guess.

Getting Sirius

Woke up in a terrible mood today. Don't know why. Maybe because I watched about 4 hours of really troubling TV last night, about wars and terrorists and giant violent forest fires. Now I am doing some work at my parents' house, and listening to Sirius 1st Wave - Classic Alternative. This is improving my mood ever so slightly, but you have to sit through a lot of crap to get to the good stuff. Does anyone really ever need to hear "Turning Japanese" ever again? But I was cheered up by some Tones on Tail and Elvis Costello. I wish I had a radio station. It would have a lot less Howard Jones and a lot more Talk Talk. Talk Talk. That's what I could use today. Few things create more lift than some nice Talk Talk.
I was thinking today about how I have a lot of really talented and creative friends, and there ought to be some way we could use that talent and creativity to all do something that would allow us to make lots enough money and quit our jobs and do stuff we want to do like go to Alaska or the Galapagos Islands or whatever. Any ideas?

Just want to make it clear that I am not against flags and I am not against teams. But I think team mentality can sometimes be dangerous. Like I think it is the need to feel like a part of a team that makes people join gangs or cults or terrorist groups. And I think it is bad when people on one team are really narrow-minded about the views or ideas or culture of other teams. And I think it would be nice if people stopped to think a minute about how things might improve a little if we all felt like one big global team. That's all I was talking about.
There was some GOOD teamwork last night among the American soldiers on Frontline. But it is largely due to religious teaming up that they were involved in their difficulties in the first place. Anyway, one reason I steer away from these kinds of debates and discussions is that I never seem to be able to express myself very clearly. Think I'll stick to bird reports and so forth.

Here are two reasons my brother is cool: He bought me a ticket to Elvis Costello, and he burned me a bunch of cool stuff off LimeWire. I can't wait to see Elvis Costello again. It will be my first show at Nokia Live. We have good seats.

Time to get lunch and go to my office now. Think about how we can all make some money doing something cool.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Nice flower creates lift. Posted by Hello


Porch plan quickly thwarted by mosquito, but overall mood lifted. Was thinking about how silly Bauhaus was, and yet how great at the same time. Also thinking about how it is time to get serious about my gardens. The yard looks pretty bad except for the daffodils, and Kev's parents are coming in a couple weeks. Few things lift the spirits like a pretty yard. The red bud tree is blooming, and there are buds also on the pear trees out front.

There will probably be home made pot pies for dinner, so not all is bad.

I reckon I'll head up to Plano now.

Cheeky squirrel and downy woodpecker, peacefully co-existing in my back yard. Posted by Hello


This morning I took a nice walk in my neighborhood and noticed lots of American flags, for President's day I guess. Kev put his flag up yesterday. The people across the street have a Texas flag flying high. I've also seen an Australian flag, and Irish flag, UT flags, and various signs in people's yards about "my kid is an STA wildcat," and so forth. What is it with humans? Kev is always saying how people have to feel like part of a team, and it's true. Nothing unites people like a common foe. And everybody thinks their team is right and good, while the other team is wrong and bad. Republicans vs Democrats, Catholics vs Protestants, Yankees vs Red Sox, Smooth Jazz vs Young Country...dangit. I'm with Rodney King. Can't we all just get along? I want a flag that indicates I play for team Planet Earth. About the only chance we have is if there turns out to be some aliens we can all be against. I am having a "troubled" day. I am going to go sit on my porch for a while and try to focus on the birds and the nice daffodils that have recently bloomed around my tree, so I don't have to go to work later with this bad attitude.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Gull and brown ocean. Posted by Hello

Wacky Kemah novelty photo.
There is one of these of Kev, but he won't let me post it. Posted by Hello

About to get me some Good(e) Barbecue Posted by Hello

Houston, you have some problems.

Happy President's Day, and today I am celebrating the great Jimmy Carter for being a nice honest man. Thanks, Jimmy!

We had a fun trip to Houston. We headed out on Saturday morning. You know the drive. HWY 45. Depressing little town, Dairy Queen, field of hay, field of cows, depressing town, field of cows, field of horses, funny billboard, field, field, (I get bored, I do get boooored...), and finally trees, trees, trees, giant Sam Houston, trees, prison, trees,and then you're almost there. When we were about 30 miles from Houston, the traffic became stop-and-go for the rest of the trip. On a Saturday afternoon! Then we finally got to Houston and tried to cut west on 59. Stop and go traffic on Saturday afternoon. I can not imagine what rush hour is like. But without passing GO or collecting $200, we finally exited on Kirby and made our way to the place I had been thinking about all day: the great Goode Co. barbeque restaurant! And the stress from the long boring drive and ridiculous traffic melted away as I enjoyed my smoked turkey sandwich with a side of Texas jambalaya and a bottle of St. Arnold's Root Beer whilst listening to country music on the patio. This place has one of the best bbq sauces I've ever had. Sadly, the shop next door that sells bottles of the sauce was closed so they could remodel the inside and erect a giant armadillo outside.
We had 4 hours to kill before the party, so we headed down to Clear Lake, where Kev used to live. He showed me his apartment, literally across the street from NASA, and across another street from the Gulf of Mexico. Then he took me to a bird area where there were ducks, geese, gulls, pelicans, and some kind of plover or sandpiper (I failed to bring my bird book). The we went to a place called Kemah, which is on the coast and has a boardwalk with shops and restaurants and amusement rides. I was happy to see the "ocean" but a little sad that it was very brown and murky. Still, it made me wish to be at sea again. It was a lot of fun. Anyway, by then, with all the humidity and ocean breeze, my hair had become about 3 times its normal size, and my good mood turned to dread because I had a party to go to. Our plan was to stay at the people's house who were hosting the party. I had never been there, and thus had no idea what to expect, but luckily, we had our own room, and even better, our own bathroom, downstairs, so I was able to shower and get my hair back down to a somewhat less ridiculous volume. The party was fun. There was a lot of engineer talk, but that was OK. There was also some really good soup, cooked by Troy, our host. I stayed up until after 1 am, which is almost unheard of. We went to a good breakfast place on Washington the next morning called the Daily Grind filled with hippies and good food. On the way out of town, we stopped in Kingwood to see Kev's great uncle and aunt, Vinnie and Sophie. Since they are old skool Italian, they insisted on feeding us, even though we had just eaten a big breakfast. But that was OK. These were some of the nicest people I have ever met, and I was happy to have a meal with them. Kingwood, which describes itself as "liveable," is liveable indeed. Big tall trees everywhere. It hardly seemed like Texas.
So, Houston has some really good fun stuff, but you have to be willing to put up with bad traffic and poor drivers and humidity to do any of it. My hair and my nerves could never live in Houston.
The drive home was uneventful. Lots of roadkill, therefor lots of black vultures and turkey vultures. Also, lots of hawks, which I couldn't ID from the car. Overall a great trip, but it was good to see the Dallas Skyline and get home again.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Skunk Smell Update

I am writing this from my brother's house, where I am visiting Albert the Dog because he is sad from people not wanting to be around him. Actually, he doesn't smell that bad. I can still detect a little skunkiness, but not too much. He is a good boy, and I am glad he is almost through this ordeal.

I can't believe the response my previous Albert/Skunk blog received! I'll have to write about Albert's adventures more often.

In other news, Kev and I are going to Houston tomorrow for a going away party for a friend. It will be nice to get away for a couple days and have some fun. I am hoping to go to Goode Company barbeque while we are there.

This morning I sent letters to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn of Texas regarding the Artic Refuge. These were not computer generated letters, but real ones that I composed myself. I will be very interested to see if I get a response, and if so, how quickly. I feel like a good citizen today. So that's something I guess.

Kev and I could use a little good news, so if any of you have some, please tell us about it via the "comments."
Tales of Adventure in Houston coming soon...have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Late Night Visitor

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of back-yard critters. But after last night, I might have to say that at times these visitors are not such a good thing. Albert the Dog was spending the night at my parents' house, and had to "go" at 4am, so my dad let him out. Albert saw a cat, and chased it under the fence, only it wasn't a cat at all. It was a skunk! And it sprayed Albert all over, which he didn't like. Then Albert ran inside and wiped skunk smell all over my parents' carpet, which they didn't like. So they called my brother to come get his dog, which he did. And now, Albert, my dad, my mom, their house, Jeff's house, and probably Jeff, all smell like skunk. I went over to my parents' house to do some work, but didn't stay because I didn't want the smell to get attached to me. My mom came outside, bending slightly forward, saying "smell my head." I had to get out of there. There is talk of tomato juice baths for all. Pancho would never have caused such trouble. How I miss that possom! Anyway, poor Albert. I feel sorry for him. He has to go get a booster shot now, because the vet said rabies can travel in liquid (skunk spray) as well as in bites. Kev once said we should get a skunk for a pet. I think you can get them de-smelled. But I think maybe a skunk is not the pet for me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


This is from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Ten Steps to Reduce Your Global Warming Impact
Individual choices can have an impact on global climate change. Reducing your family's heat-trapping emissions does not mean forgoing modern conveniences; it means making smart choices and using energy-efficient products, which may require an additional investment up front, but often pay you back in energy savings within a couple of years.
Since Americans' per capita emissions of heat-trapping gases is 5.6 tons—more than double the amount of western Europeans—we can all make choices that will greatly reduce our families' global warming impact.
The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision.When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class. Each gallon of gas you use releases 25 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Better gas mileage not only reduces global warming, but will also save you thousands of dollars at the pump over the life of the vehicle. Compare the fuel economy of the cars you're considering and look for new technologies like hybrid engines.
Choose clean power.More than half the electricity in the United States comes from polluting coal-fired power plants. And power plants are the single largest source of heat-trapping gas. None of us can live without electricity, but in some states, you can switch to electricity companies that provide 50 to 100 percent renewable energy. (For more information go to
Look for Energy Star.
When it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star label on new appliances (refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters use the most energy). These items may cost a bit more initially, but the energy savings will pay back the extra investment within a couple of years. Household energy savings really can make a difference: If each household in the United States replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we would save $15 billion in energy costs and eliminate 175 million tons of heat-trapping gases.
Unplug a freezer.One of the quickest ways to reduce your global warming impact is to unplug the extra refrigerator or freezer you rarely use (except when you need it for holidays and parties). This can reduce the typical family's carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 percent.
Get a home energy audit.Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts, can each reduce a typical family's carbon dioxide emissions by about 5 percent.
Light bulbs matter.If every family in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-saving model, we could reduce global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road. So, replace your incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents, which now come in all shapes and sizes. You'll be doing your share to cut back on heat-trapping pollution and you'll save money on your electric bills and light bulbs.
Think before you drive.If you own more than one vehicle, use the less fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers. Driving a full minivan may be kinder to the environment than two midsize cars. Whenever possible, join a carpool or take mass transit.
Buy good wood.When buying wood products, check for labels that indicate the source of the timber. Supporting forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion makes sense for biodiversity, and it may make sense for the climate too. Forests that are well managed are more likely to store carbon effectively because more trees are left standing and carbon-storing soils are less disturbed.
Plant a tree.You can also make a difference in your own backyard. Get a group in your neighborhood together and contact your local arborist or urban forester about planting trees on private property and public land. In addition to storing carbon, trees planted in and around urban areas and residences can provide much-needed shade in the summer, reducing energy bills and fossil fuel use.
Let policymakers know you are concerned about global warming.Our elected officials and business leaders need to hear from concerned citizens.
Sign up for the Union of Concerned Scientists Action Network to ensure that policymakers get the timely, accurate information they need to make informed decisions about global warming solutions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Something Positive

Here is something good to do that is free and helpful.

Oh, Who are the Sickos in your Neighborhood

Gross. I just found out I was wrong about the FBI drug raid in the big ugly new house a few doors down. The Dallas Morning News has informed me that instead, the house was being searched by the FBI because its owner, popular dentist Dr. Calvin (aka "the singing dentist") has been arrested in San Diego with some of his sicko friends for being part of a group of people who support - and in fact participate in - what they like to call "man/boy love." I will not go into detail since I like to keep it clean here on the LRHS. This is a dentist I almost chose, as his office is near my house. This guy has two kids, and I assume a now very embarrassed and despairing wife. You never know about your neighbors I guess. I believe that a link to the full story is in the comments section of my previous blog. Shout out to John for that. Anyway gross gross gross. Gross. I feel sick. I wish it had been drugs.

I am having a lot of trouble with hotmail at the moment, so forgive me if I have been unable to reply to your emails. I don't know what the problem is, but I hope it is sorted out soon.

This cold I have is an absolute beating. I have to stop down every five minutes to go blow my nose or sneeze. In fact, just as I was typing the word "sneeze" I sneezed. I took some Dayquil, but it hasn't done any good at all. I have to go to work later, which really sucks. I hate dealing with the public when I am all stopped up. What good is a speech therapist who can't say one's "m's" and "n's" due to severe congestion. Anyway, since I am not contagious, I can't really call in sick or anything. I'll just have to suck it up and do the best I can.

And appropriately enough for this depressing day, Joy Division has just come on my sirius station.

Blah. Positivity later.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Killing Time Between Kids

Let's face it. I'm sick. The tickle has won. I did my best since November, but no amount of saltwater, juice, and positive thinking can overcome daily encounters with snotty children, and sick husbands, and Lord only knows what's on the hundreds of doorknobs I've touched. I'm good about washing my hands a lot, but looks like it just wasn't enough. Well, I guess I haven't been sick since the awful Christmas Party Day flu of 2003, so I won't complain too much. Could be worse I guess.

Here is some gossip: Yesterday as I was eavesdropping on the loud conversation between a couple of across-the-street neighbors, I learned that one of them is the goalie for the Dallas Burn (or whatever they are called now), and that some of the people who live in one of the ugly giant brick Plano (west) houses on our street were drug-raided by the FBI the other night. I was probably asleep. I miss all the action.

A quick word about the band. I hope that everyone out there realizes that we are having a band just for fun, and that we don't think we should be big rock stars, nor do we have aspirations to be. It's hard to tell how things come across in a blog. Anyway, the whole reason Kev put the songs on Nowhere Radio was so he could get some feedback from some home-recording guys about how to do better mixing and so forth. With that said, I am still pretty stoked to be able to say our songs are on a chart somewhere. The Chipmunk song has moved up to number 1! Also, we have a reggae song in the works, but we really are gonna need someone to sing it. Any volunteers? There are no lyrics yet, but I promise it won't be about a possum or other critter. It might be about food though. Or you could submit your own ideas. We really want more people to participate.

On to nature. I am really really concerned that no one is listening to the global warming scientists. This is not just about the polar bears. We could all be in serious trouble, or at least our grandkids could. I received some info in the mail from the International Arctic Research Center, which spells out everything in easy to understand language. I think I am going to send my copy to President Bush, and order another one for myself. Maybe I should send mine to Laura Bush. He listens to her. Mostly, I encourage those of you who have never really considered environmental issues to be important, to read a little about them with an open mind.

Well, I think my next kid has arrived. Good news is, I can stop being paranoid about the snotty kids. They already got me.

Monday Monday

First of all, Happy Birthday to my friend and fellow blogger over at Pills Thrills and Bellyaches! I hope he has a good year this year so he can blog all about it.

Did you guys watch the Grammy's? Oh man, it was horrible. Well, at least the parts I saw. I was flipping to it during commercials of the Alaska show I was watching, and kept seeing bad performances by people with lots of bling and very little talent. The J-Lo / Marc Anthony thing was unbearable. I was pleased to learn thanks to the graphic at the bottom of my screen that the great Charlie Haden won a Grammy for best Latin Jazz album. He has no bling, but tons of talent. That's why he didn't get to be on the broadcast I guess. I missed the Tsunami relief song. Did they show it, or was it only for computer viewing? I remember when I used to like the Grammy's.

Good news...PPHPHB has enterred the nowhere radio jazz chart at number 8 with Sock Monkey Man. PPHPHB has no bling at all, and the talent is questionable at times, but I still appreciate the support we get in spite of that. I suppose it's possible that some of the play we are getting is because some guy listens to a song, and then calls out, "Hey Marge! You gotta come get a load o' this sock monkey nonsense!" and plays it again. But I'd like to think that maybe some people out there find house band songs refreshingly un-slick and characterful.

I am still not feeling great, but I have to go to work today. Probably by the time the weekend rolls around again, the weather will have turned back to crap. I really want to ride my bike. It is so nice out.

No more alphabet, so I'm gonna have to come up with something new for days when there's nothing to blog about. Suggestions are welcome, but not expected, as always.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sunday Morning Blog

After a couple days of being very under the weather (but not sick!), I am back up and around and blogging. The sun is out, and I can see some nice birds outside, and some potential new neighbors looking at the duplex across the street. They look pretty nice I think. Kev took good care of me while I was feeling bad, so a shout out to him for that. He is now entertaining me with some nice guitar music while I blog. there are some different people looking at the duplex. They look nice too. I bet the rent is really high over there. We thought about maybe getting a place to rent out, but I don't think being landlords is the job for us. People usually don't like landlords. I want to be something people like. Like a park ranger or concierge. Hey! I wonder how much the ice cream man gets paid? Everyone likes the ice cream man.

I am excited to report that the PPHPHB is Number 3 on the nowhere radio Latin Charts for Otra Parte, and is Number 2 on the Children's chart for The Chipmunk Song. So thanks to you guys for boosting our ratings.

I am very very sad to report that I killed another bird. An injured pigeon was crossing northwest highway. I slowed down, but it was too late. Ugh. Why do things like this keep happening to me? I love birds. Even pigeons. I wonder if the PETA people somehow set up this "Accident" to make me feel bad because of the whole nickel episode. Anyway, I am very sorry Mr. Pigeon.

Napoleon Dynamite and Garden State are both good movies that we have pay-per-viewed recently.

Kev has the accordian now! I am in for a real treat!

Check out Larry Feathers for some interesting fun facts about flounder.

Examine Your Zipper


Yoga, yogurt, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and yurt.

Zoology, zebra, and zither.

And that concludes the Alphablog.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Reason to Celebrate

As I sit here in my house pants with my chai tea and look out the window at some birds, I am pretty sure that my friend Damon is on his way home from his service in Iraq. He was due to head home today after a long and scary caravan to Baghdad. I think he has to spend a little de-briefing time in Oklahoma, and then he'll be back in Dallas where he belongs.

I am still fighting the sick. I feel I am operating at about 70%. But, I am not officially sick. No time for sick.

I am craving warm fruit cobbler something fierce.

READER POLL (please participate): If someone said to you, "I haven't left the house for several days," what is the first number that would come to your mind as the number of days "several" implies? Thanks!

How You Can Help Support House Bands!

If any of you guys are bored at work or home, here is something fun to do. Go to:

It is a website for amateur or independent musicians and housebands and if you go there you can listen to people's songs. Some of them are pretty good. If you want, you can even listen to the Palo Pinto House Pants House Band, by plugging "pphphb" in the search and then going to discography, and if lots of people listen to our songs, they might end up on the charts at nowhere radio! That would be cool. So if everyone at your work seems in need of some cheering up, you could put on a little "Otra Parte" and get some dancin' going on, or if you feel nostalgic and want to kick it old skool, play "Sock Monkey Man" for some good fun. Or check out other's people's stuff, because you might find something you like.

Your choices for playing songs are lo-fi, hi-fi, and download. Lo-fi doesn't sound great, but if you play it hi-fi, the songs are real skippy. Of course you can always download them too, and that would maybe be best. Have fun and thanks for supporting housebands!


Whale, wine, winter, wildlife, walk, White Rock Lake, Winged Migration, wedding, watermelon.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Taking Action and Random Stuff for Thursday

This morning, I filled in some of the more rational questions on the survey from the Democrats, and added in the "comments" section that I was troubled by the tone of the survey and mission statement. I mailed it in with no financial contribution. Do you think it will be read and counted? Or do you think they throw away the ones with no money?

Then I sent a small contribution to Alaskan wildlife via Robert Redford and his nice organization.

I kept the PETA nickel, and plan to put it in the next SPCA collection box I see.

Diane Rehm had on some people from the Westminster dog show today. They kept calling it a sport.

I am troubled by North Korea. Kev says I should stop reading the news every day. I think he is beaten down by my troubledness (troubledism? troubledocity?) and my desire to watch a little network TV now and then.

Valentine's day is silly. But it's a good excuse to go to a nice restaurant.

The brown-headed cow birds have taken over my yard. I am going to change the kind of seed in my feeders.

I have a throat tickle again, but this one isn't like the others. The others were annoying, but this one is downright painful. Still, I think it is more of an allergy feeling than a "I'm getting the flu" feeling. I hope so. Anyway, the fight against sick continues.

My parents keep their house at a ridiculously low temperature. That is where I am now, and I am freezing. At least I get to hang out with Albert over here. He is good and smart and much more sporty than the dog show dogs.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Be Careful Who You Help

As many of you know, I am a proud member of KERA, the Sierra Club, Audubon Dallas, and the National Parks. Unfortunately, I have now been pegged as someone who cares about stuff, and my name and address have been sold to people who target people who care about stuff in order to solicit money to help them with stuff they care about. It's not unusual for me to get two or three mailings a week from the tree people, or the ocean people, or the sick children people, etc. Today, when I arrived home and looked at my mail, I found I had received solicitations from PETA, Robert Redford, and the Democratic National Headquarters. They all want my signature, opinions, and most of all my money.

PETA sent me a nickel, which is supposed to somehow remind me of animal cruelty. I am now either supposed to keep the nickel and be reminded, or return the nickel with my hot animal cruelty opinions and some more money. This is a ridiculous tactic which I think is supposed to make me feel guilty. I love animals, but I think the PETA people are a little over the top. I am keeping the nickel, and I am throwing away the free address labels, as I don't think I want to be associated with this organization. I hope they don't try to teach me a lesson by putting a dead cat on my lawn or something. I wonder how many dollars worth of nickels they spent in this campaign.

How the Democrats got my name, I have no idea. I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican. But somehow, the Dems think I am on board and so they sent me a survey about my thoughts on the State of the Union. First, they stated their mission:
" ...We must hold the line against the radical, mean-spirited agenda of George W. Bush and forcefully assert positive policies to improve the lives of all Americans..."

Then, the survey questions are so ridiculous and one-sided. Example: How important is the support of people like you to the efforts of Democrats in Congress to block Bush's radical agenda? Do you support the Republican-led Congress giving President Bush the authority to increase America's debt levels and run us further into the red? Do you believe President Bush should be stopped from taking over the world with his evil plans?

OK, so I made up that last one, but that was the feeling I got from the survey. Then they asked for money. It made me mad. Now, I disagree with the current administration on SEVERAL issues, but I don't think it is a good sign for possible compromises in congress when the opposing party is calling the president mean-spirited in official printed materials. I hate politics. The right is too far right, and the left is too far left. So the creepy Nancy Pelosi's attempt to get my money is failed too.

That leaves Robert Redford, spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defence Council. Mr. Redford has asked me to please help the Polar Bears, and Caribou, and various birds and so forth by signing a petition and sending money to assist in the effort to stop a policy that would allow oil drilling on Alaska's north coast. I have been reading up on this issue, and it is very important to me. So I have decided to send in a few dollars plus PETA's freaky nickel in an effort to help. The thing is, I have been looking for a way to help this cause anyway. So they were getting my help with or without the mailing.

I don't really know what my point is. I mean, I like getting mail. And I like helping stuff I care about. But I don't like the gigantic guilt-trips and the fact that my name has made it around the bleeding heart circuit and now everybody wants a piece. Ugh. I am more and more disappointed in humans every day.

LRHS News for Wednesday

First of all, a belated Happy Mardi Gras to everyone. We celebrated by Kev making Gumbo, which was awesome. This is one of his specialities, but he has never made it for me, because of my selective palate. I was mostly concerned about the presence of green bell peppers, but Kev assured me that they would mellow out in the cooking process and take on the flavors of the herbs and spices and other ingredients. I was suspicious, but dang-it if he wasn't right! It was a fabulous meal, and the best news is that we get to have more tomorrow night, and there was enough to freeze for sometime in the future. I like gumbo!

Today when I was reading about some monkeys in Bolivia on, I found out that for $689, I can become a certified wildlife conservationist by taking a course at home! Plus they throw in your very own Swiss Army Knife and Compass! I might just do it. This could be the career change I have been looking for.

Wouldn't you know it though, things are picking up at work. I just started a new client, and have three more new possible clients in the works. How will I have time to become an assistant park ranger or wilderness guide?

I made a list and discovered that without leaving my property, I have seen 20 different kinds of birds in 2005. I will spare you the list, but I reckon that's a pretty good cound just for yard birds.

Another possibility I have considered is becoming a consierge. Kev just laughs at me, but I think it would be fun to stand at a podium and recommend to people good restaurants and fun things to do.

Have you guys heard about this Limewire thing where you pay a small fee like $28 for a lifetime subsription and then you can download all kinds of free music forever and it's legal?

Well, time to go to work now. Enjoy the Wednesday.

New Good Blog Alert

If you are interested in biscuits and gravy and Garland, and even if you aren't, then have I got a blog for you! I know, I know, after the whole horseheadfairyland thing, you all think I am crying wolf, and that you'll go to this new blog, get sucked in, and be disappointed that nothing new ever appears. I don't think this will be the case this time (and by the way, horseheadfairyland has assured me there will be new material in the near future). Anyway, please check out "Screaming from the Pulpit," at

for some good stuff. This blog is written by someone we'll call "Robby Two-Takes," who can tell a story like nobody's business. His blogs are sure to create lift in your day. Maybe if we are lucky, he'll tell the story of the toothpick lady from his old job! He's got a million of 'em! So check it out.

By the way, here is a fun fact: no melon no lemon is a palindrome!

Double Letter Score

Missed writing yesterday, so am doing two letters today to make up.


Village, vacation, Volkswagon Passat station wagon, violin, Voo-doo Barbeque of New Orleans.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Time for T!

Trees, tea, tin-whistle, Thanksgiving, teacher, tumbleweed, thyme, tapas, tikka masala, Texas, Thunderducks, Thurber (goldfish), and Thurber (James).

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Letter S

Samurai Jack, soup, State Fair of Texas, strawberry, science, spaetzel, snow, spring, Saturday, Sunday, sock monkey, sleep, serenity, sea, Sierra Club, SPCA, squippies, Simpsons, Seinfeld, sparklers, "Summertime," sea lion, and spinach salad.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Bird of the Day

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker!

There was one in my neighbor's back yard tree today. Very exciting! I was so excited that I went to the front porch to tell Kev, and I jumped up and down saying "Yellow Bellied Sapsucker! Yellow Bellied Sapsucker!" and so he made fun of me and said I was like Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels saying, "OklahomaOklahomaOklahoma..." and that's OK with me because I wasn't expecting a new bird today so it made me happy, and anyway I think secretly Kev thought it was cool too.


Robert the dog, Roscoe the dog, rain, ravioli, recording, raven, rosemary, raspberry, rollerskates, risotto, roasted garlic, Ralph Stanley Monkey, REM (old skool), Run DMC, rocket science, robin, Rocky Mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park, and redbud.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Fighting the War on Tara

Many people I know are sick, or have been recently, and I have been exposed to many a germ, and fought many battles these past two months against tell-tale throat tickles and feelings of general malaise. I am, however, happy to report that I am winning the war aginst this Axis of Ev-ill by using my arsenal of salt-water, fruit, and positive thinking. I refuse to get sick. I don't like being sick. I don't have time to be sick.

In other news, yesterday we went to the lake for a walk, and saw a black swan, several black-crowned night herons, cormorants as usual, mallards, coots, gulls, gadwalls and ruddy ducks, and two very entertaining pelicans, who bathed by splashing around wildly and then stood on a log in a Karate Kid pose to dry.

Tonight Kev's soccer team is playing in the championship game for his league, so a shout out to them for good luck. Kev will be playing with a possible hairline fracture in his foot, as well as some type of cold, so I put him right up there with Dirk Nowitski in the tough category.

Elvis Costello is coming to town, which is always cause for celebration.

I was reading a blog dedicated to the London Underground, or "Tube," (the subway), and there was a funny story about one tube station that was having trouble with gangs hanging out, so they decided to pipe in some classical music. This was apparently confusing and unpleasant to the gang members, so they left. Problem solved.

I was thinking that I might like to have a career do-over, so that I could be like a chick I saw on TV who gets paid to go on fabulous adventures for the PBS series, "Globetrekker." She got to go to the Galapagos Islands last week, which would be my ultimate vacation destination, but you have to be rich to go there (unless you are the chick on the TV show or her cameraman). She did have to drink some kind of mixture of juice from the yucca plant mixed with human spittle, so as not to displease the Ecuadoran tribesmen, but I reckon that's not a huge price to pay for getting paid to go to the Galapagos Islands. I also want to go to Cuba, but so far I can't figure out a way to do it legally. Actually, it is fine and dandy for American Citizens to go to Cuba, but we just aren't allowed to spend money there. Hey, maybe I could become like the new (and ever-so-slightly less annoying) Rick Steves, only my medium would be a Travel Guide Blog! And then I could get permission to go to Cuba for "work." Hmm...

Well, I hope everyone has a nice fun Superbowl weekend. I am for the Jets, and since they aren't playing, it isn't likely that they'll win. But one can always hope.


Quality cookware, quilt, Queen (the band), the quiz, Quaker oats, and quiet time.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Could it be?

Is that the sun I see out my window this morning? It's been so long!

My day was off to a bad start, as the pilot went out during the night again, and it was freezing in my house. I hate lighting the pilot. I know one of these days there will be an explosion. But I'll take that risk, because I gotta have my indoor heating. I was thinking about the pioneers, and how fun it would have been to travel through the wilderness before it was covered with strip-malls. And then I was thinking about extreme temperatures and lack of bathrooms and killing one's own dinner and I just don't think it's my thing. I'm not very tough like those pioneer women. Anyway, I am happy that the sun is out and that my house is warmer now and maybe it won't be such a bad day. Maybe I'll even go make pancakes!

Hey, does anyone know what is going to happen to Cuba when Castro passes away? I was just wondering, because I'd really like to go there. The PPHPHB is working on a Cuban song, but it's too early to tell if it's CD-worthy. If any of you have some timbales and would like to be a special guest, let us know!

Also, does anyone know how I can get a meeting with the President? I need to talk to him about some stuff.

P is for...

Pie, pi, pancakes, pizza, Pancho, porch, puppet, pirate, piano, PPHPHB, polar bear, puffin, pesto, penguin, PUPPY!, popcorn, parasailing, peace, and Prince.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


O is for octopus, orange (color), orange (food), orangutan, October, Oklahoma, opossum, Old 97's, owl, ocean, olive oil, Ouchitas, Oktoberfest, Olympics, Oscar the Grouch, origami, oreo, and Office Space.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I Killed a Bird

There is a dead male purple grackle in my back yard, and I can't help but feel it is all my fault. I am the one who put all the food in the feeders, attracting birds to my Yard of Peril. I tried to shoo away the cat, but I failed, and the grackle, who was just minding his own business trying to enjoy a snack, became the cat's little toy. It would somehow be different if the cat actually ate the bird...needed it to survive. But this cat has a home and people who feed it, so there was no natural reason for the bird to have to die. Cats will be cats, I guess, but it still makes me sad.
At the moment, there are several birds outside at the front-yard feeders, including two red-wing blackbirds...the first I have seen in the neighborhood this year. Red wing blackbirds are very pretty and have a nice sound. I hope the cat stays home today.

It sure is gloomy, but the gloom will be worth it if it snows as predicted. It is also nice to have an opportunity to wear my new light-blue rain parka that Kev got me for Christmas. I can't remember the last time I needed my sunglasses, though. I don't know how people can stand it in places like Seattle, where it's like this most of the time.

I was going to go on a long rant about cell phones, but I'll save it for another time. I need coffee.


New Orleans, New York, New Albany, Nero's Italian Restaurant, National Parks, Northern Gannet, nest, and nap.