Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Official Sandwich of New Mexico

Burt's Burger Bowl, in Santa Fe? and of course Blake's Lotaburger, state-wide. They're drive-in's. Johnny's in Las Vegas. Smokey's La Mesita in Pojoaque, long since departed into the mists of time.

Last autumn, I conducted a truckful of 'greenhorns' to the Owl Cafe in San Antonio (about 5 miles west of the Stallion Gate, on the road that leads ultimately to the Trinity site). And, as I now recall, there is an "Owl Cafe" scion in Albuquerque, now, too. or there was, until lately, anyway.

And I do feel the truly visceral NEED for a really GOOD green-chile cheese-burger, fries and a Carta Blanca, or two...

It's gotten so that I seldom consume comestibles which do NOT accomodate the flavor of green chile...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cannabis Use Increasing Among "50-somethings"

I have pretty much eschewed attending to "Slate," for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that the fuckers pretty much ran me off a couple of years ago, and it wasn't worth enduring their bullshit bourgeois bloviating when I could no longer grind their noses in their mediocrity. Any site that would give the demented, sexually repressed dwarf William Saletan unbridled access to the site, or the fuckwad Mickey Kaus, can be safely ignored.

But my ol' pal Suzzz put this piece up on her FB page today, and I followed the link. Bourgeois sensibilities still are NEVER affronted on Slate, but the piece is mildly interesting, even if it culminates in the same-old, eventual censoriousness of the "Slate" bullshit. Note the "cute" hed, and the implicit put-down in "Puff Daddies," where elsewhere the writer also disses "pot mommas."
A 2008 paper published in the American Heart Journal takes these findings a step further: Although its sample sizes were small, the study found that marijuana users were significantly more likely to die, from cardiovascular distress or other problems, than those who didn't use illegal drugs. According to the paper's first author, Kenneth J. Mukamal, marijuana appears relatively safe when looked at across the general population. But it may be risky for certain subgroups, like those with incipient heart problems.

Then again, there may be some good reasons to keep smoking. In August, researchers at the University of Edinburgh published evidence that the drug might help prevent osteoporosis among the elderly. Cannabis can also be used to treat nausea and unintentional weight loss, and it may (or may not) have some salutary effect on older patients with glaucoma or Parkinson's disease. Advocates for the medical use of marijuana cite many other potential applications.

I called Dr. Mukamal to find out whether he thought cannabis was good or bad for old people. He didn't seem too impressed by its age-defying effects. "People of heart-attack age are smoking marijuana. Frankly, I think those folks should be concerned about it."

My parents didn't seem perturbed by this doctor's warning. Nor were they put off by my cautionary tale about the 65-year-old grandma who'd recently been caught with 33 pounds of premium marijuana in the trunk of her car. I tried to nag them, but they were pretty mellow about the whole thing.
Since 1967, I have pretty much not drawn an un-stoned breath, if I could help it...

(N.B.: The accompanying foto is NOT a self-portrait, superficial resemblances to the contrary notwithstanding.).

Friday, September 25, 2009

PATRIOT ACT Provisions Targeted "Non-Terror" Activity, I.E., "Drugs.'

Remember Obama saying he wanted to return the Constitution to the people? Well, he--or some of his senior lick-spittles--are apparently having second thoughts about that. Apparently the power is more important than the promise (d'oh!)

Obamanaut DoJ Asst. AG David Kriss (the same guy to whom Sen. Franken handed a brand-new ass to the other day on another 4th Amendment violation) blandly and blithely reveals that a provision in the PATRIOT ACT known as "sneak-and-peak," permittiing warrantless searches, has been used hundreds of times more often in 'drug' cases than in 'terror' cases. At HuffPost today:
In the debate over the (original, 2002) PATRIOT Act, the Bush White House insisted it needed the authority to search people's homes without their permission or knowledge so that terrorists wouldn't be tipped off that they're under investigation.
Now since that the authority (has been) law, how has the Department of Justice used the new power? To go after drug dealers.

Only three of the 763 "sneak-and-peek" requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) quizzed Assistant Attorney General David Kris about the discrepancy at a hearing on the PATRIOT Act Wednesday. One might expect Kris to argue that there is a connection between drug trafficking and terrorism or that the administration is otherwise justified to use the authority by virtue of some other connection to terrorism.

He didn't even try. "This authority here on the sneak-and-peek side, on the criminal side, is not meant for intelligence. It's for criminal cases. So I guess it's not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases," Kris said.

"As I recall it was in something called the USA PATRIOT Act," Feingold quipped, "which was passed in a rush after an attack on 9/11 that had to do with terrorism it didn't have to do with regular, run-of-the-mill criminal cases. Let me tell you why I'm concerned about these numbers: That's not how this was sold to the American people. It was sold as stated on DoJ's website in 2005 as being necessary - quote - to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists."

Kris responded by saying that some courts had already granted the Justice Department authority to conduct sneak-and-peeks. But Feingold countered that the PATRIOT Act codified and expanded that authority -- all under the guise of the war on terror.

Feingold, the lone vote against the PATRIOT Act when it was first passed, is introducing an amendment to curb its reach. "I'm going to say it's quite extraordinary to grant government agents the statutory authority to secretly break into Americans homes," he said.
Remember: No President (other than a relatively trivial case by J. Carter) since the reign of Washington has ever conceded back to the people poweres they arrogated to the Executive for emergency use...

President Obama has his own unique, personal way of living down to expectations...

Monday, September 21, 2009


cuz we can't be all gnarrrrly all the time!

I never had a pug for a companion, but I did rescue one, one time. I took him home while I found his people. He stayed a couple of days. I found him to be a most charming, enchanting, friendly, affectionate, smart lil beast...they're bigger than they look...and MUSCULAR!...DOTOF™ to Kathleen, on MLW, for the gift.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Pirates of the White Sands" -- A Review for TLAPD

(Left-to-right: Justin Tade as "Knobby Pete," Miguel Martinez as
"Cap'n Moab," and Y'r Ob'd't S'v't as "Kentucky Jack.")

One obscure gem is Pirates of the White Sand, which debuted at the 2005 Duke City Shootout film festival. Written by the Seeger Brothers, the script won the festival's Federico Fellini award, earning the brothers a chance to bring the film to the festival, in which directors are given one week to film and edit a 14-minute movie.

The crew experienced some serious technical problems, such as a failure of communication between the film-editing computer and the film-industry expert provided by the film festival to assist the production that resulted in all edited footage being lost just hours before screening time. But after a seriously intense all-night editing session, an extremely rough cut was available for the final public gala, at which, despite the technical issues, it won the Audience Choice award.

The film itself is a rollicking adventure involving a crew of unruly pirates, colonial Spanish gold treasure, and nuclear weapons. The pirates, led by Captain Moab (Miguel Martinez), descend upon the remote roadside café run by the ever-efficient Ruthie (Deborah Chavez), in their "ship," the Crusader, a 1964 (drop-top) Lincoln Continental (the one with the suicide doors. W.). This is the same model used effectively in The Matrix as a trans-dimensional transport device; it serves a similar purpose in this film.

The pirates have been on a search for treasure, a vast trove of gold looted by the Spanish from the Aztec empire, hidden somewhere in what is now the White Sands Missile Range never to be found again. While the pirates are on the trail of the treasure, someone else is on the trail of the pirates, in helicopters and big black SUVs.

After many weeks "at sea," Moab's crew is eager to unwind at Ruthie's café, enjoying "grog" (beer served in a pitcher labeled GROG that Ruthie keeps on hand for the pirates) and, of course, green chile cheeseburgers. The action is frenetic, matched with a punk-rock adaptation of the sea chantey "Here's to the Grog" that underlies the action and also emphasizes the anachronisms that run throughout the film.

Martinez does excellent work as the pirate captain, bringing a wide range of emotions to the role, as the swaggering leader of a crew of brave men, and also the man who is thoroughly in love with Ruthie but knows he will never be able to have her, as his pirate life keeps him from being able to settle down. It is easy to see why he won the Best Actor award at the Shootout. As the film industry's presence in New Mexico increases, look to see Martinez in small but memorable parts in future blockbusters. His talent should take him far.

The directing is good; director P.L. Fuego keeps the pace brisk, although in one or two places the action seems to drag. In on scene, in particular, a sight gag involving a nuclear warhead doesn't quite work right. Mostly, however, the audience will be carried along nicely by the action.

The film is, unfortunately, not widely available. Fuego has been working on a director's cut that fixes the technical problems that marred the film-festival version and adds some material that had to be left out because of the Shootout's time restrictions. He might let you have a copy if you ask him nicely, or you might be able to find a friend of his who has a copy and copy that. Uh, yeah, pirated Pirates.

Disclaimer: I know these guys. Oh, all right … I'm related to them. Uh, yeah, they're my brothers. Still, it's a good film. If it sucked, I just wouldn't have written the review.
I have a copy (in English and Czech) if anybody will 1) gimme permission and 2) show me how, I'd put it up on YouTube for posterity.

And, yarrrr, young Jim! Don't ye be farrrgettin' to "Talk Like A Pirate" t'marrrrow! (Or at least, to talk like Robert Newton...)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yar, Billy...Ol' Long John Woodn Lie To Yer. Aye, Sarrtutday Be "Talk Like A Pirate Day!"

I have a special fondness for "Talk-Like-A-Pirate" Day, since a 'Pirate" role accounts for my only speaking part and my sole and only entry in the IMDb, for this prize-winner, the People's Choice Award of the 2006 Duke City Shoot-Out, Pirates of the Caribbean. (Trailer--in Czech, believe it or not...)

September 19, this "Sarrturday," crank up your naval jargon, and "Arrrr!" Away...

Friday, September 11, 2009

And BEER! : "Beer Is Tasty"

Beavis & Butthead On Brewskis (a bit obnoxious)

COSTCO: The Best 75 Cent Bottle Of Beer in the Country!

"Kirkland Amber Ale" -- "Above Average"

I quaff a fair quantity of suds: sometimes a sixer/night, or more. I LOVE Pale Ale, and the "Kirkland" is darn good for Murkin beer: Near as good as New Belgian, and 3/4 (or less) the price...I agree wholly with their opinion of the Amber. I think pretty much all "heffe-weizen" taste about the same. Lagers FULL of flavor are rarer than honest bankers, so one doesn't really expect much (outside dear old Deutschland), so the so-called German lager gets a pass, too...

Twenty-four 12-oz bottles (for 18 bucks!): affordable, in convenient size, therefore. I always bring home a case (when it's in stock...ahem...). It's think it's pretty good beer and a dang good value...

By the way: Any home-brewers want to recycle my empties?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Best Blended Whiskey, EVAH!!!, According To "Hitch."


Johnny Walker BLACK! If he says so, it MUST BE TRUE!~! If anyone has drunk more of it than I have, it is surely Hitchens.

But I haven't drunk the either the JW "Gold Label," the "Green Label" or the "Blue Label."

They are dear.

I'd like to try a comparison test: a 1.75 liter bottle of each and a month to seriously compare them...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tillman, Canine Skim-Board CHAMPEEN!

A Belated Birthday Pressent To Me! (4/20/46)

Alternet explains it all for you!

Happy 4/20! The True Story Behind Stoners' Favorite Number

Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers Band guitarist, routinely plays with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, now touring as The Dead. He's just finished a Dead show in Washington, D.C. and gets a pop quiz from the Huffington Post.

Where does 420 come from?

He pauses and thinks, hands on his side. "I don't know the real origin. I know myths and rumors," he says. "I'm really confused about the first time I heard it. It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something. What's the real story?"

Depending on who you ask, or their state of inebriation, there are as many varieties of answers as strains of medical bud in California. It's the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It's teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler's birthday. It's those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.

The origin of the term 420, celebrated around the world by pot smokers every April 20th, has long been obscured by the clouded memories of the folks who made it a phenomenon.

The Huffington Post chased the term back to its roots and was able to find it in a lost patch of cannabis in a Point Reyes, California forest. Just as interesting as its origin, it turns out, is how it spread.

It starts with the Dead.
Go to the link to find out how. And on the way, "Smoke Two Joints..."
Incidentally, if you drop the "zero" at the end, the remaining numbers are the answer to the question, from HHGTTG: "What is the meaning of life?" Which, of course, is the kind of thing a 'stoner' would notice...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Of "Faith," Hope & Caritas...

My pal (and incredibly skilled masseuse), Sarah-bella, forwarded a message and fotos of Faith, the BiPedal Canine. I went out on YouTube and pulled up the following vid. The story's been around a while.

Nothing like a little furry courage to touch the heartstrings:

To a dog there is no such thing as a "small" dog. By the same token, also, there is no such thing in a dog's mind as 'courage.'

But I don't mind a little anthropomorphism...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vote! Just Go!

Long story short- commenter Laura W.’s (on Balloon Juice) friend runs an animal rescue, and if her dog wins this competition, she will get a lot of money to help animals.

So go do something painless, and register to vote for Little Bitsy here. You can vote every day.

At stake are a lot of dollars with which Laura's friend could support and expand her 'ministry' to the lost and abandoned 'furs.' "Bitsy" is cute--I have never seen a fox terrier which wasn't. Since there are literally THOUSANDS of dogs in the "running," even a relatively few votes can make a big difference. I have voted every day this week...Last time I looked, Bitsy was in or near the lead, with @370 votes...