Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan. 31, '10: My Parents' 67th Anniversary

Today is a bit of a poignant day for me. Both my folks (pictured to the left, on the occasion of their 50th Anniversary) are gone, for almost a decade. Had they lived, today would have been my parents' 67th anniversary; they wed Jan 31, '43.

Dad immediately left for the Pacific, where he floated around on a sub-tender destroyer for most of the next two-and-a-half years. He was home on leave in July, '44, with Mother in Santa Fe, on or about the date of, and no more than 100 miles or so, as the wind blows, from, the Trinity test. I have come to refer to myself lately as among the first Atomic Zygotes.

Mother died Feb 5, 2000, Dad on Feb 16, 2001. Sometimes I miss 'em, especially when I have a really funny story to tell... Cigarettes killed 'em. Both were life-long cigarette smokers. Daddy bragged he'd started when he was 10. He was known in the school where he (and spookily, later, I, too) taught for never having been seen without a cigarette in one hand and a book in the other...He quit about the time he turned 70, and died just past his 82nd B'day. Mother started later and quit sooner, but it brought her down, too. She had a stroke, finallhy, but it was the smokes that killed her, at age 79.

Emphysema/chronic bronchitis = Congestive, obstructive pulmonary disease. I also suffer from it: shortness of breath, mainly, and spasmodic coughing--well, "suffer" is a bit strong now, but it will become much more pertinent as the next decade or so unfolds...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lamy Station Cafe --

I am probably going to have to wend my way up there and sample this one. I have a deep and abiding love for railroad dining car food. I recall rail travel when they used real china, even crystal in the dining cars. The ice in the water in the glasses clinked jovially as the train sped along. Railroad dining car on the Santa Fe line served breakfast eggs perfectly: perfectly boiled, which one opened, and scooped and mixed thoroughly with heavily buttered slabs of toast torn into fragments, all liberally seasoned with salt and pepper.

Maybe I'll invite my very old friend, Jennifer. She won't kvetch if we go 'Dutch.'

Another shot of "Pink", & Harley: BadRap dogs

She seems just the sweetest pup...

Also from the BadRap folks: Harley

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apocrypha: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This was forwarded to me by an old friend from Grad School:

Pocket Tazer Stun Gun - a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary, and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized tazer. The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short-lived, with no long-term adverse effect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety...

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.
AWESOME!!! (Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.)

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh and blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it...she is such a sweet cat. If I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference, pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsybitsy AAA batteries) thinking to myself, "No possible way!" What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best.

I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as if to say, "Don't do it, 'dipshit,'" reasoning that a one-second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and...


I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs! The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three-second burst would be considered conservative. IT HURT LIKE HELL!!!

A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently I pooped on myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my nuts and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P.S. My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Multi-tasking in three languages is taxing, and multi-blogging in no fewer than six or seven different avatars can be exhausting, but there is no challenge on EARTH greater than "multi-dogging," when either/both dogs have conceived an animus for the other. As in the case of my pack: Budreaux and Hannah once were the best pals, slept, ate, and walked together. Then something happened, and all canine comity between them fled like a rabbit with Hannah in pursuit. I am lucky in that I have facilities and time to devote to giving both the best life I can give 'em. (When not in the house, at my feet or in/on the bed, Budreaux resides in a 300 sq ft 'abuelita," and when she's in and he's out, she has a heated shed.

There would be fierce impracticalities even if they could be reconciled, but it's a faint dream of mine, and in that vein, permit me to proffer this link to a great page from the folks at BadRap, the Bay-area Pibble rescue group. My situation --in which I didn't actually select the dogs, but let them select me; they literally followed me home-- violated the very first rule:
The Golden "Ca-Nine" Commandments of Multi-Dog Management

1. Select your pets carefully. Some dogs habe good, immediate chemistry; some don't.
(My first violation. See above--W)
2. Maintain a strong leadership role so the dogs respect house rules.

3. Keep pets separated when owners leave the house.

4. Know the most common fight-triggers, and work to prevent them.

5. Know how to break up fights, and how to prevent them from ever becoming more than spats
(Which all dogs will sometimes have--W)
.6. Involve everybody in the house in multi-dog management.
(Here's another one I'd fail, since there's only me. A vet pal once told me you shouldn't have more dogs than you have hands--W)

7. Understand that inter-dog dynamics can and will change over time, and temperament may undergo alteration, too.

8. Spread your affection and attention evenly and equitably. They notice.

9. There is no such thing as a second "first" encounter, so meeting new members of the pack is a big event.
Undertaking the care and responsibility for another being is never a matter to be attempted lightly, and thye difficulty of the task rises not arithmetically but geometrically with every additional life for which you assume responsibility. This is especially true for LARGE dogs, whose feral ferocity, unbridled and unregulated, is truly terrifying.

Me? I have been bitten at least once by just about every dog I ever had, one way or another, and mostly not maliciously; I just got in the way. And so I assure you, I NEVER want to be in the middle of another dog fight, again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Via my sister in Silver City, who's the cook in the fambly:
Quick Green Chile/Apple Cider/3 Cheese Rarebit Sauce

(Our Family Recipe)

1 Pint of Unfiltered Apple Cider
8 Ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
8 Ounces Gruyere Cheese
8 Ounces Double Glouscter Cheese
1 13 Ounce Carton of Frozen Chopped Green Chile (thawed)
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon Hot Paprika
1 Tablespoon Coleman's Dry English Mustard Powder
1 Teaspoon Lea & Perrin's Worcestshire Sauce

1. Pour Apple Cider into a heavy sauce pan;
2. Whisk in Cornstarch until smooth;
3. Add the Paprika, Mustard Powder, and Worcestershire Sauce, and whisk in until powders are dissolved;
4. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and reduce heat to medium;
5. Whisk in Chopped Green Chile;
6. Add the Cheeses (Cubed or Shredded);
7. Stir with a whisk until all the Cheese is melted and thoroughly combined;
8. Lower the heat to low;
9. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching;
10. It may be necesary to add a little more Cider (or dissolved Corn Starch) to get the desired consistency--ie. similar to commercial Nacho Sauce.

We enjoy this sauce as a topping for "La Fonda-Style Santa Fe Omlettes" (which inspired it); as well as on English Muffins (with or without Bacon, and Tomato, slices), "Welsh Rarebit Style"; or as a topping for Baked Potatoes when served as a "Meatless-Main-Dish"; or as a "Cheese Fondue Sauce" with cubes of "Artisan Bread", served with a Green Salad on the side. It can also be "Dipped" with Corn Tortilla Chips "Chile Con Queso" style.
FYI: I LOVED the green chile/cheese omlette at La Fonda. With french fries. The year I worked at the LaFonda pool (a postage-stamp, but it required a life-guard--mebbe '64?), I HAD IT FOR LUNCH every day!

For those with a taste for "Old Santa Fe" (a la VEH!) check out this FB Froup.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bushes Wiggled...

My sister and her husband live up in Colorado, outside the Springs, on the Palmer grade. It's pretty well developed, with lots of people, houses, cars, and dogs.

And a bear or two (cuz where there's one, there's often another)...

Last summer, they were noodling around and my Sis said she suddenly felt someone or something looking at them. Looking around, and out the window, they saw the Visitor. She grabbed her trusty camera and the following images are the result.

The title refers to an old family joke, of which "The bushes wiggled" is the punch-line...I am not enough of an ursinologist to know what that broad band of gold fur across 'her/his' shoulders means, but it is a glorious color...


Shiba Inu new-borns, w/mom.
Live video chat by Ustream

Saturday, January 16, 2010

She's "Pink" --Via BadRap.Org...

I think this is a really nice touch: each adoptable pit-bullie at BadRap has their own page. She's a total cutie and, if Budreaux would tolerate a companion, I'd drive to Oak-land to get her today...

Friday, January 15, 2010

On Garrison Keilor's Broadcast Today, there was:

If you have had a beloved canine friend grow old and frail, you know every move of this drama...
At the Vet's
by Maura Stanton

The German shepherd can't lift his hindquarters
off the tiled floor. His middle-aged owner
heaves his dog over his shoulder, and soon
two sad voices drift from the exam room
discussing heart failure, kidneys, and old age
while a rushing woman pants into the office
grasping a terrier with trembling legs
she found abandoned in a drainage ditch.
It's been abused, she says, and sits down,
The terrier curled in her lap, quaking
as the memory of something bad returns and returns.
She strokes its ears, whispering endearments
while my two cats, here for routine checkups,
peer through the mesh of their old green carrier,
the smell of fear so strong on their damp fur
I taste it as I breathe. Soon the woman,
Like the receptionist with her pen in mid-air,
Is listening, too, hushed by the duet
swelling in volume now, the vet's soprano
counterpointed by the owner's baritone
as he pleads with her to give him hope, the vet
trying to be kind, rephrasing the truth
over and over until it becomes a lie
they both pretend to accept. The act's over.
His dog's to stay behind for ultrasound
and kidney tests, and the man, his face
whipped by grief as if he were caught in a wind,
hurries past us and out the front door,
leaving the audience—cats, terrier, people—
sunk in their places, too stunned to applaud.
In a world in which we are much detached from one another and our special tragedies, they teach us the meaning of loss...Below, a tribute to the breed I love:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Honor Them; They'd Do The Same For You.

A FB pal (Susan T-C) from Albuquerque of all places linked to this this morning...
Ten Things Your Pet Needs You To Know

Friday, July 31, 2009 at 12:45pm

"My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

Give me time to understand what you want from me.

Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

Be aware that, however you treat me, I will never forget it.

Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not too.

Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

PLEASE take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old...

On the ultimate difficult journey, please be with me. Never say you cant bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters.

We do not have to wait for Heaven to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness it is here on earth and has four legs!
I have posted the following poem a couple of times when memorializing one of mine, and I cannot read it dry-eyed:
The House Dog's Grave (for Haig, an English Bulldog)
by Robinson Jeffers

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you,
If you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no,
All the nights through I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read‚
And I fear often grieving for me‚
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.

No, dears, that's too much hope:
You are not so well cared for as I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided...
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.
The photo above is of my darlin', dearly departed Dixie-belle, who crossed over almost exactly a year ago. She was a goooooood grrrrl........

Friday, January 8, 2010

Orphaned Pit-bulls Needing A Home: Cash

Name: CASH (here since 10/10/05)
DOB: Oct. 1, 2003 (approx)
Gender: bratty boy
Size: approx. 60 lbs
Other dogs: Decent
Cats: No
Kids: older kids good

Profile: Yet another Katrina dog. Like so many of them, it took some time before they were over the trauma of what they endured. Cash was one of them. In the beginning he showed some signs of passive/agressive behavior, and of course all fear based. Poor guy. What else could be expected? So he's finally coming around and showing that he is improving with each day. Though he get's along with most dogs, he ends up getting too rough, so he would do best placed as the only pet in the home. He loves his toys and he loves going on walks. This guy is a sweetheart and a lot of fun!
Cash is a guest of the Villalobos Rescue Center, which discourages mere tourism, and will only admit visitors with prior approval. They also are hesitant to release dogs to out-of-state owners, and do NOT release their clients to homes in which there are already canine residents...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Through the Glass, Blurrily

The first of three, local/regional (and the 10th Annual) "Whisky-Fests" in 2010 will occur in Chicago, on April 23. Tickets, which cover the cost of tastings, a banquet and assorted extras, are pricey for the three-hour fandango: $150 for the VIP, $110 for the proles.
America's Largest Whisky Celebration

WhiskyFest Chicago will feature more than 200 of the world's finest, rarest, and most expensive, single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, bourbon, Tennessee, Japanese, Welsh, Canadian and other whiskies from around the world to sample in one Grand Ballroom. High-end rums, tequilas beer and other spirits will be represented as well.
The focus is on education, and many distillery representatives will be on hand at the pouring booths to explain how the whiskies are made. Seminars, many featuring their owns tastings, run throughout the evening. Meet distinguished members of the whisky community, and learn first-hand how their brands are made.
Attendees will also enjoy an expansive gourmet buffet all evening, plus coffee, tea, water and soda. Each attendee receives a commemorative Glencairn whisky glass for tastings. See where your favorite distillery will be located at the event.

If you’ve never attended a WhiskyFest event before, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page link.
The event pouring list, selection of whisky speakers and their seminar topics will be posted when this information is available.
To keep up with the latest event updates and news, please sign up for our WhiskyNotes newsletter. You'll be among the first to know what whiskies will be poured, who will be speaking and what special whisky experts will be at the event.

WhiskyFest Chicago e-tickets will go on sale December 7th for immediate delivery to your inbox.
The other two annual, regional WhiskyFest gatherings will be held in San Francisco on October 8 and in NYC on Nov. 9.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Pooch-insky": The Trailer

Either the best dog/cop-show never to run on Network TV--or the worst...But I'd like to see the pilot...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Before the deed; note the chin pony-tail. I usta wear my hair tied back in a pony-tail, too. That way I could be a horses ass coming and going...
First the chin-tail went. We rolled it into blunts and smoked it...

Then thinning began in earnest. The first comb was 3/4 inch...

My old friend Patty, from Santa Fe, had come down for the event. She took over fofr the shorter cuts.

Final trim.


Budreaux took it all in with his usual savoir faire.

Pfotos by Jay Hevey