Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fractals: They're EVERYWHERE, They're EVERYWHERE!

I just LOVE this stuff! In the LARGER view, one might come reasonably to think Geometry is God.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New "Conversation With Budreaux!"

In which Y'r Ob'd't S'v't and his Dog, Budreaux, summarize topics of interest to them and others...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Companion Volume

This is my Pit bull, Budreaux. He is the first pit bull I've ever had. I am sorry it took so long to learn about them. He's literally and figuratively the best "dog" I've ever hung around with. Our temperaments exactly coincide. If you ever need the words to end a relationship with me, attack pit bulls. That'd do it. Gay-ron-FUUKIN-Teed, cher!

This is a daily, sometimes more frequent, occurence. He seems sometimes to feel the urge or need to divest himself of these sentiments. They can last up to a couple of minutes. I'm sure he improvising. He's a natural, doncha think?

(Recorded with a desk-top mini-cam. I like the antic framing.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Top Ten Reasons NEVER to Trust a Pibble

By Jason Mann of

10. They will steal your spot on the couch while you are up getting a soda.
9. They will take the treat you give them and bury in the backyard like a paranoid crack head hiding their stash.
8. They will jump on your bed with muddy feet. Making you do laundry…again.
7. They will lick visitors with an uncontrolled passion only they understand.
6. They will cause children to smile.

5. They will make you feel horrible for not walking them by looking at you with deep sad eyes.
4. They will look at you like you committed a crime against them if you don’t let them lick your ice cream bowl.
3. They will cause wide spread happiness in large group settings.
2. They will crack you up by shaking their butts so hard you think they are going to snap in half.
And the number one reason why you can’t trust pit bulls…

1. They will steal your heart like a thief in the night, showing you complete and pure love that only a pit bull can show.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

16 Dogs, Behaving As One

This Is Remarkably Civil, For What It Is: A Condemnation of Ignornce, Malice, and Cruelty

This is pretty much just a place-holder image. Please, if you want to read the whole thing--and you should, animal lover/companion or not--follow the LINK to the site. I wish I had the link to the original. It helps a LITTLE if you click the image.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In News from Proto-Anthropology, There's Skin in the Game

I admit it. I am a science geek. A dyed-in-the-wool materialist. A skeptic. A tester of hypotheses. I love this stuff.
17:26 16 November 2011 by Catherine Brahic and Rowan Hooper

As London's Natural History Museum takes delivery of two replica fossils, palaeontologists hint that they have discovered tools with the fossils, and mummified skin on the bones

It is strangely moving to hold it, knowing that this is an exact replica of a hand of one of our most ancient relatives. The bones looked frail and slight lying on the black felt, but fit snugly on my palm, knuckles lining up to knuckles (see photo). This woman, who died 1.9 million years ago after falling down a watering hole in what is now South Africa, had hands remarkably similar to mine.

This morning, the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, gave a full cast of her fossil to the Natural History Museum in London, along with a cast of a child of the same species, Australopithecus sediba. Together, the two impressive fossils are calling into question the history of our species, and offering never-seen-before insights into how our very early ancestors lived.

At 1.977 million years old, the pair were nearly contemporary with Homo erectus, yet were discovered at the Malapa cave site in South Africa, far from the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia, which has traditionally been considered the cradle of humanity.

Mixed-up kid

The morphology of their bones – an odd mix of structures similar to ones seen in chimpanzees, australopithecines and even Homo erectus – backs up the notion that this is a transition species. Had some of the bones been found separately, says discoverer Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, it's likely they would have been ascribed to the different species of Australopithecus.

The fossils' hands and feet suggest that it could climb trees and yet was also bipedal. One possible explanation for these fossils' presence in South Africa, says Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum, is that environmental changes drove several simultaneous changes in australopithecines across the continent. "It's possible that the environment was becoming drier and more open, encouraging changes like meat-eating and upright walking. What if we were doing this in parallel in different places?"

That could explain the emergence of several transition species at roughly the same time in different parts of Africa, including present-day Ethiopia and South Africa. Most of those species would have died out, leaving just one that evolved into modern humans.

No toothpicks

So far we have had only a tiny glimpse at what these two fossils can tell us. This morning, Berger gave tantalising hints of what is yet to come.

Their tooth enamel is being studied for signs of what the pair's diet would have been – and traces of their last meal are still embedded in the crowns of their teeth. Tools have also been found in the area, and are being studied to see if A. sediba could have made them.

If so, they would not be the oldest tools ever found – those date back to around 2.5 million years ago, and evidence of butchery going back to 3.4 million years ago. "But what we have never found is direct association of an early hominid species with lithics [stone tools]," says Berger.

We have to be careful about what we conclude, however, he warns. For one thing, it is hard to definitively associate a tool found at a site with nearby hominid bones. If a fossil were definitely linked to a tool or set of tools, though, anthropologists would have a unique opportunity to explore how our bodies and brains shaped tools, and were shaped by them. "Given the brain, the dental reduction that's taken place, the long arms and the hands, what those tools are and how they're made will give us great insight into the formative process," says Berger.

Oldest skin

The two fossils were found in chunks of rock that came out of a deep shaft in the ground. The shaft may have been a watering hole, and one hypothesis is that the woman and boy fell into it while seeking a drink – fractures in the bones may be signs of a fatal fall.

Other bones are sticking out of the sides of that hole, including human bones and the remains of animals that would have been around at the time – antelopes, hyenas and false sabre-toothed cats, for instance. As Berger puts it: "We have the animals and plants that were with them the minute they died."

But the most exciting possibility is that the woman and the boy – nicknamed Karabo – were mummified before they were fossilised. Many of the bones at Malapa are coated in a very thin layer of material that appears to be skin. There is at least the possibility that the two died in a deep, anoxic pool of water, which preserved them in ways never seen before.

If 'the bone coating does turn out to be skin, it will be the first discovery of soft tissue from an ancient hominid. Hair might be present, proteins such as keratin and even DNA might be extracted from the tissue, allowing us to dig even deeper into our history, and determine exactly how this species evolved, or even mated with other hominid species.

"It's not constructive to think about our ancestry as a linear chain of events," says Berger. "As scientists we would not have hoped to believe we could see a transitional, mosaic, evolving species in the mammalian record outside of horses – and here's one in our lineage, which is amazing."

Monday, November 14, 2011

ALMOST HOME, NM--Support 'em if you can...

These and several other fabulous, furry brothers and sisters are to be found at ALMOST HOME, NM.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hooooo-Leeeeee FUCK! That's a BEEEEG WAVE!

Estimated at 90 feet on the face, Garrett McNamara tackles and masters the BIGGEST FUUKING WAVE ANYBODY ever rode, of Portugal's west coast. Chuy, dat's some BEEG sumbyeotch...

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Differences between Cats and Dogs...

A Murmuration of Starlings!

30 years ago, I hung out with a bunch of folks who called themselves the Western Washington Space Patrol. We often spent Friday evenings in Bellingham, swilling beer in a tavern down by the harbor, watching the flocks of starlings which returned every night to their roosts under the wooden piers: these amazing, soaring, spinning, swirling clouds of birds.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Skeevy, Reaking, Oozing, Feculent, Dripping, Suppurating SLAG!

I repeat: That Skeevy, Reaking, Oozing, Feculent, Dripping, Suppurating SLAG! Sue Wilson Beffort.

GOPhux Senator from the NorthEast Wheights in Albuquerque...

Has had an on-going, years-long antagonism against Pit-bulls.

And appears to be preparing to begin another jihad, in the next legislative session:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico senator is pushing for harsher penalties for pit bull owners.
State Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort wants to hold owners of pit bull mixes accountable if their dog harms or kills someone. The push comes days after felony charges were filed against the owners of several pit bulls that were implicated in the fatal mauling of a Truth Or Consequences woman.
“We feel that the mixed breed pit bulls are a very, very dangerous dog and potentially easily provoked,” Beffort said.
The proposed bill would force mixed breed pit bull owners to register their pet as a dangerous dog. It would also eliminate proof that a dog was provoked, so charges could be filed faster."

Sue Wilson Befford: Your "Ignorant Cunt of the Year."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Always Remember: "They'd Do It For You!"

What our dogs think & want ♥

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful remember that before you get me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.

4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.

5. You have your work, your entertainment,and your friends. I only have you.

6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.

7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.

8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.

9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative,obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.

10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death. Remember that I love you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Restore The Sea: Baby Great White Returned to The Sea

A baby great white shark got caught with a fishing pole from Venice Beach pier. The locals brought it to shore, took out the hook and set it back out to sea.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Former Fighters Retrained as Certified Therapy Dogs

My F-book pal, Mae Sally, found this:
Ok, so the reporters kinda suck, but Wallace the Pit Bull totally rules and is wearing the CUTEST doggy tuxedo, and there's a clip of Hector the Pit Bull being carried on his back like a baby. You should watch it if only to see the awesomeness that is the Yori Dogs. :D
Wallace RAWKS!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cooking With Cannabis

A pal, who's been around the kitchen a time or two, provides this advice for those stoners who'd like to try their hands at alternative modes of consumption, specifically, as an additio to recipes in which butter plays a significant toll, as in brownies and other baked goods. Sez Phil:

Save your best buds for smoking. Take the lesser grade buds, shake, stems, as much as you can muster, but an ounce (I grow my own, so it is not a matter of $) to a pound of butter. I slow simmer it in a big pot all day! Then put it in the fridge. Next morning, about 3/8" of hardened lard will be on top of the pot. I break off the lard and then put it in a double boiler. When it is melted, I strain it and pour it into ice cube trays. Then whenever you bake, use in baking recipes as called for. Usually one cube = a big tablespoon. MMMMM.... so fine!
Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Up-side Down Pibble Challenge!

ANYONE who has spent more than five minutes in the company of pitbulls has seen 'en flip over on their backs, waving their legs in the air and grinning like really silly dogs!

Calling All StubbyLovers:
We need YOU to help the world see pit bulls in a new light! You, our amazing community of caring fans, can make a difference in the public perception of pit bulls. You can help others rediscover the pit bull by turning our Upside Down Dog video into a viral sensation!
Here’s how: We challenge every single one you to share the Upside Down video at least 5 times between now and September 10th.
Here are a few ways to spread the video: (
• Post it on your Facebook page
• Share it on Twitter
• Email the YouTube link to 5 friends
• Embed the video in your blog
Imagine how many people we can reach if, as a community, we each shared the video 5 times? That’s a lot of people smiling at our silly upside down dogs!
Here's our FB shared...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dog Humor: How Many Dogs...

Via Big Dogs Have Big Hearts :

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

Golden Retriever:
The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

Border Collie:
Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

You know I can't reach that dumb stupid lamp!

Cocker Spaniel:
Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Make me.

German Shepherd:
I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Oh, me, me!!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I?

Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.

Jack Russell Terrier:
I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Who cares? This squeaky toy isn't going anywhere.

It isn't moving. Who cares?

Australian Cattle Dog:
First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

Old English Sheep Dog:
Light bulb? I beg you're pardon but what lightbulb?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Russian Dogs Commute Via Moscow Subway

I have nothing to add to the following account. We underestimate our furry companions to our own undoing. The article, from the website The Dog Files, is about Moscow’s stray dogs. I’m taking the liberty of reproducing it in full.
Each morning, like clockwork, they board the subway, off to begin their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

But these aren’t just any daily commuters. These are stray dogs who live in the outskirts of Moscow Russia and commute on the underground trains to and from the city centre in search of food scraps.

Then after a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs, who usually choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train, say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop – after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.

Scientists believe this phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.

Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway – to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”

Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.”

The dogs have also amazingly learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.

With children the dogs “play cute” by putting their heads on youngsters’ knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy – and scraps.

Dr Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.”

By Elaine Furst for Dog Files

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Delicate Touch

This is some cat named Ozzie Wright, on a wave on a reef in Indonesia. I doubt I'd have anything interesting to exchange with anybody who, upon seeing this image, did not think: "STYLE!" He's also a musician. You can find out all about his trip here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

For Pibble People: If You Make It, They Will Jump!

Here's a training video on using the flirt pole to train/exercise your dog. Dogs learn best when lessons are fun, and this is a great way to turn basic obedience practice into big excitement. We've used these in shelter situations, especially with dogs that can't play with other dogs and it's been a favorite tool for tiring them out while reinforcing new commands. To keep this valuable as a learning tool, the game must stop anytime a dog grabs the toy without permission. Great for healthy dogs, but be aware that the fast turns and jumping could aggravate faulty joints, so use wisely. Enjoy!

Flirt Pole Basics from on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

12 Reasons to Oppose Breed-Discriminatory Legislation

The MAIN reason Breed-specific legislation exists is to impose a sort of 'second level' housing discrimination policy on folks whom the good (white) burghers regard as "undesireables."

There's more, of course, but that's the main one:
Breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) refers to laws that target dogs based on how they look rather than their actions. Hundreds of U.S. cities have already enacted BDL, and more cities adopt it every year. Many cities and counties—plus Marine Corps and Army bases—have banned select breeds altogether. Other cities enact BDL that automatically labels dogs of certain breeds as “vicious” or “dangerous” regardless of their behavior. These laws may require owners of the targeted breeds to follow strict guidelines, such as sterilization, proof of liability insurance, housing of the dog in a cage with a roof and floor, and muzzling the dog when on a leash. Currently, BDL most often focuses on pit bull types (dogs that have “pit bull characteristics”), but some cities also target Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinchers, American Bull Dogs, Bull Terriers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, other large breeds and mixes of the targeted breeds. Here, we outline the inherent flaws of BDL, why it doesn’t work and why it concerns every dog lover.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Academic Year In Review, from the Trenches

Thoughts from the Classroom, via Susan O'Hanian's vital, always relevant blog:Hearts and Minds
By: Doug Noon

In this end-of-year reflection, I’m tackling the “no excuses” dictum. Based on this year’s test scores, it appears we may at last have reached terminal status as a Level 5 (failing) school. Officially this means,

The district is required to prepare a plan to carry out one of the following alternative governance arrangements:
  • reopen the school as a public charter school,
  • replace all or most of the staff who are relevant to the school not demonstrating AYP,
  • enter into a contract with a private management company,
  • transfer operation of the school to the department, if agreed to by the department,
  • or any other major restructuring of the school’s governance arrangement.
It sounds bad. Yet…
  • Our principal was chosen by the Alaska Association of Elementary Schoool Principals as the National Distinguished Principal for 2011;
  • We have a strong school community, with a significant number of students coming from outside our attendance area boundary because they appreciate the work we do with their kids;
  • Parent input surveys were 99.9% supportive of our efforts this year;
  • Our average rate of proficient-level test scores for sixth grade consistently exceeds the district and statewide rates;
  • We passed our Title I audit and site inspection last year, with a complement from one of the monitors who said, “When I return to teaching, this is the type of school I want to become a part of.”
So, unofficially at this point, we may be nothing more than just another example of school policy roadkill, a perhaps-unintended casualty of what amounts to little more than a numbers game, and we’re left to wonder what will happen to us under our new special status – a status that nearly all schools will eventually attain as the demand for 100% passing rates by 2014 draws ever nearer. Hoping that none of those mandated “alternative governance” measures will kick in, we know that sentiment in Alaska runs from cool to openly hostile toward federal interventions in just about any area you look at. So we’ll wait and see.

As for me, I am done caring about reformist nonsense (Emphasis supplied). At a staff meeting earlier this year we were discussing our AimsWeb Data Boards put up around the room to show how many students in each grade level are below proficient, at risk, or proficient based on how well they handled an oral one-minute timed reading. To me, this was a disgusting display of a brain-dead method to evaluate reading. We were asked to say what we planned to do to improve our students’ scores. Since the data showed lots of kids scoring “below proficient” in first and second grade and very few in that category by the time they got to sixth, I observed that the trend was positive, and that at least as far as word-calling skills go, we seem to be doing all right. Teachers at each grade level announced what they planned to do, like focus on comprehension, vocabulary, decoding – the usual. When it was my turn, I said I’d be going with the happiness plan. What’s that? It’s getting the kids to enjoy reading so that they do it on their own. How does it work? Easy. Give them choices and time to read every day, and then celebrate their accomplishments. I got a round of applause. Kind of sad, really, when I think about what that might mean.

People say that testing narrows the curriculum. Pressure to make the cut does worse than that; kids with the greatest needs tend to get trampled. Diane Ravitch points out that the one sure way to succeed in this environment is to stop enrolling poor kids, or kids with language limitations, homeless kids, or those with learning disabilities:
Educators know that 100 percent proficiency is impossible, given the enormous variation among students and the impact of family income on academic performance. Nevertheless, some politicians believe that the right combination of incentives and punishments will produce dramatic improvement. Anyone who objects to this utopian mandate, they maintain, is just making an excuse for low expectations and bad teachers.

To prove that poverty doesn’t matter, political leaders point to schools that have achieved stunning results in only a few years despite the poverty around them. But the accounts of miracle schools demand closer scrutiny. Usually, they are the result of statistical legerdemain.
Being scapegoated for not being miracle workers, teachers and teacher unions should remind these critics that there is no excuse for child poverty, now running close to 21% in the U.S. If poor kids don’t do well in school, then let’s address the real problem and take care of them. Knowing that sick kids don’t do well in athletics do we blame coaches for not making them winners? People would ridicule the idea.

Ignoring what we know about the effects of poverty on families and children creates the impression that schools are somehow the cause of a social condition rooted in economic policy. William Mathis, director of the National Education Policy Center, explains the harm done to kids and to all of us when reformers “shine the light only on schools and leave the greater void in darkness”:
There is great harm in this myth, that schools can do it all. It provides the excuse for politicians, vested interests and advocates to wrongly declare schools “failures.” It gives a false justification for firing the principals and teachers who work with our neediest. It tells us a complex society does not need to invest in its skills or its children. It serves as a moral cloak for actions that are technically unjustified — as well as just plain wrong.
I’ve seen enough “data”. Next year my classroom is going to be about creativity, projects, and having fun with ideas. The way I look at it now, every year may be my last, and I don’t want to go out playing a numbers game that was rigged against me and my students from the start. Rigidly applied standards will fail the kids; that’s not my job.

"Patriotic" Pibbles Endure

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pit Proud: The History Of The Pit Bull

"Well, if the (Michael) Vick ('dog-fighting/abuse') case taught us anything, it’s that even fight dogs, when given a chance, would rather curl up on the couch next to it’s loving human..."

Pibbles are the best fucking dogs in the fucking world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meet The New Enemy, Gangly Basil! (Foto, below)

We’ve found the part of the brain that makes people want to do cocaine

Cocaine is a hugely addictive drug, capable of fundamentally changing the brains of those who use it. But that dependence doesn't necessarily come out of nowhere, as we've now discovered what part of the brain predisposes people to cocaine use.
Cambridge researchers scanned the brain of sixty people who had cocaine dependencies and another sixty people who did not. The cocaine users had greatly reduced gray matter in their brains, and the amount of gray matter loss was directly tied to how long they had used cocaine. The greater the reduction in gray matter also correlated with an increased compulsion to take the drug.

Of course, none of that is exactly news, since cocaine is well known for its highly addictive properties and its ability to change what people think and feel over time. The real discovery was that the basal ganglia, which is the reward center of the brain, was significantly enlarged in the brains of the cocaine users.

What's more, the enlargement showed no relationship with how long people had been taking the drug. That suggests the basal ganglia was enlarged before the people started taking cocaine. This might well mean that we've found the part of the brain that determines a person's vulnerability to cocaine use.

Cambridge neuroscientist Dr. Karen Ersche explains what this finding means:
"This research gives us important insight into why some people are more vulnerable to drug addiction. Not only is this important for the future development of more effective therapeutic interventions for people who have become dependent on drugs, it will also inform improved strategies to prevent drug addiction in the first place. People with cocaine dependence describe their out-of-control drug use as a 'compulsion' to use cocaine. Our current work has laid the foundation for a better understanding of cocaine dependence and why this compulsion occurs. Our findings are important because they show a clear relationship between the brain, the duration of cocaine use and some of the common attention problems that people with cocaine dependence report. These data show that cocaine dependence is a disorder of the brain, which is very relevant information for the treatment of people who are trying to beat their addiction."
Via Brain.
Just about EVERYTHING we learn new about the ways we "are" seems another verification of the notion of some kind of deep "determinism." Is "freedom" the intellectual antidote--the antivenin--to the snake-bite certainty that there's really NOTHING you can do?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pibble Training Day, #1: The Leash

Why, yes, we DO need those fucking leashes. These are 50-80 lb TERRIERS, bred to kill pests of fairly large size, yet to be gentle companions to their people. It's good to be connected.

holding the leash - dog training basics from on Vimeo.

Everybody Loves To Dance!

Monday, June 20, 2011

They ARE Still Ours

Dixiebelle, Canine Companion, October, 1995--Jan 2008: A lot of miles together.

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

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 night 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 than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, 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.
Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recuerdo de Mi Padre

My Dad, "Jack" to ALL who knew him, "went on ahead" in Feb, 2001, just over a year after his "lassie," my mother, had passed. Cigarettes hastened his (their!) demise: he smoked at LEAST a pack/day from 1935 til he quit (at mother's insistence) in the '90s sometime. His former colleagues at the school where he taught said they couldn't remember seeing him, ever, without a cigarette, a cup of coffee and a book. We gave each other cigarettes and books for gift occasions.

He was an inter-collegiate fencer (foil and epee) in his youth. Remember push-button electrical wall switches? He could stand facing the wall with an epee extended, and without any visible effort, just with his wrist, he'd turn the light on, then off, then on, then off, on, off,on, off, so fast you'd almost miss it. Something he taught me from the bouting mat, which stayed with me through now these decades of "fencing" with ideas was: "kill with the first riposte." Don't LET 'EM have a shot at ya...

I take my intellectual eclecticism from his example. Our last conversation, just a few hours before he lapsed into his terminal coma, was about Hawking's "Brief History." It was February. I'd got it for him for Xmas. I had been reading it to him. We were nearly through it. I paused at one point. He said, "Well, perfesser" (it was his way of being proud of me) "Do ya think I'm gonna find out what's what about all about this stuff now?"

I said: "I dunno, Pop. But if you do, you call me!" He laughed and coughed. I closed the book, cuz the rest of my siblings were arriving to say good-bye.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cab Calloway, undated.

This is a previously unreleased recording. There's a very hip/cool/swingin' catalogue of 'reefer music.' Just ask the Viper.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rescue Goes Right! Cogswell Goes Home

Straight off Facebook this morning:
Good (more like GREAT) Afternoon! We have the most extraordinary ‘rescue tale’ to share with you! Hold onto your hats, for you’re bound to soar beside us in gratitude and amazement :) Yesterday afternoon, an incredible member of the BNB Family (named Jill) BOARDED AN AIRPLANE from Florida, flew into JFK Airport in NY, and ADOPTED COGSWELL FROM THE MANHATTAN SHELTER!!!!!!! We are BEYOND ECSTATIC, OVERJOYED, & ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to Jill for her heroic (and no doubt exhausting!) effort in saving precious COGWELL’S life!!! I am literally giggling with joy as I type this post, as happy as a pittie in a pet store =) Jill saw ‘her dog’ in COGSWELL’S photo and put his life above all else. She took all the necessary steps – and then some! – to ensure his safety and his new place in her loving family. We often say that in rescue work, you see the worst AND the best of humanity as it relates to our canine counterparts. Jill: THANK YOU for restoring our faith in humanity and showing the world what is possible when you commit to saving a life. THANK YOU for proving that miracles can indeed happen when one is driven by love, and guided by compassion. May the glorious Florida sun bestow warmth and comfort upon sweet COGSWELL and his new, wonderful forever family. And may everyone involved in this rescue rejoice in the magnificence of a newly-saved pittie ♥ FROM DEATH ROW TO FOREVER HOME! ♥ [Jill’s latest message: He is the BEST!!! A total LOVER!!! We are homeward-bound this afternoon! I'll let you know when we're home safe. I'm eternally grateful to everyone for your support.]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Behavior Advisory: Dogs Really AREN'T Wolves!

From Terri Gross' program, Fresh Air, this morning, this is exactly the sorts of "Beeb-ishness" at which radio truly excels. The audio wasn't up when I posted this, around 11:30 MDT, 5/26.

(Edit: 5:35 pm, MDT: Here's the audio link. Thirty-seven minutes seldom passed quicker.)

I've cribbed the first grafs of the article. This is fascinating stuff. Dogs are NOT wolves. Cats and dogs can "count" to relatively small amounts/numbers.
What's the best advice to give man about respecting man's best friend?

Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw says it's realizing that dogs are neither wolves nor furry humans and that dog owners have certain responsibilities to make sure their dogs are psychologically healthy.

Bradshaw, who has spent much of his career debunking bad advice given to dog owners, is the author of a new behavior guidebook for dog owners, called Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet. The book details what pet owners should expect from their dogs and what their dogs should expect in return from their owners.

How To Reprimand Your Dog

One of the most common problems owners face, says Bradshaw, is knowing what to do when a dog misbehaves. For example, many owners might be inclined to immediately physically reprimand a dog for jumping up on visitors. But Bradshaw says that's the wrong way to teach your pet how to behave because dogs see any form of attention — even negative attention — as a reward. Instead, he says, owners should immediately ignore their pet completely.

"Most dogs require their owners' attention [and] they want their owners' attention," he says. "They want people's attention in general. And withdrawing that is a very powerful signal to the dog."

Bradshaw recommends folding your arms, looking away and pretending your dog isn't in the same room. Your change in body language will be apparent to your pet.

"Then you'll find that quite quickly the dog begins to realize that [their bad behavior] is not working," he says. "You can then use a distraction technique to get the dog to do something else, like sit or lie down and then it will get the idea that this is what it's supposed to do when visitors come to visit."

Bradshaw says that dogs naturally want to please and play with people, especially the people who love them.

"[When a puppy's eye's open they have] a very strong ability to learn about people and ... this behavior persists throughout life," he says. "And surprisingly, most dogs, given the choice, will actually prefer human company to other dog company."

Studies indicate that dogs will naturally gravitate towards humans, though Bradshaw says how that idea gets into a dog's developing brain is still somewhat of a mystery.

"But they have an exaggerated tendency to learn from anything that people do right from the minute they're capable of doing it," he says. "They're particularly sensitive to human body language — the direction we look in, what our whole body language is telling them, pointing gestures. They are much more sensitive to things like that than almost any other species on the planet."

Creating Expectations For Dogs And Owners

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Breed-Boosterism, Part (N)!

Don't come around here talking no shit about my Bubba!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Muppets: ~~ The Devil Down To Jamaica.

Thanks to FBFriend Marilyn Harrison for rediscovering this treasure.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Opening Credits, "Pirates of the White Sands"

Y'r Ob'd't S'v't in the role of "Kentucky Jack"; my only credited US role. I was in an Indian film, and got a line in it, too, in Malayalam, the dialect spoken in Kerala and much of South India.

"Pirates" won the People's Prize at the Duke City Shoot-Out, 2006.

Going to Pot? Probably Not!

Murkin Officialdom has a problem with hemp/cannabis: from the look of it, you cannot tell the difference between 'em, and the hypocritical fuckwitz who stand for prohibition of ALL psychoactive "recreation" will not relent...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to entertain a Pit-Bull!

By my pal, satirist & videographer Jim Terr, the greatest filker west of the Pecos.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shameless Breed Boosterism

Tougher Criminal Sanctions Against Animal Abusers

I'm all over this. People who needlessly, cruelly, wantonly injure defenseless animals would to the same to people who were enough weaker than themselves reliably enough to justify their total social isolation:
Patrick the Miracle Dog has captured the hearts of people across the world, but unfortunately the abused pit bull’s story is not unique.

Patrick is one lucky dog—rescued from the bottom of a Newark garbage chute in March—no one can dispute that. Having St. Patrick as a namesake, and the luck of the Irish, may or may not have played a role in his remarkable progress.

Patrick’s plight has called attention to animal cruelty in New Jersey and throughout the country and has inspired animal rights activists to call for tougher penalties for animal abusers.

The alleged accuser of Patrick appeared in court on May 6 and pleaded not guilty. Hundreds of protesters appeared outside the courthouse on Patrick’s behalf, attracting considerable media attention.

But a recent bill approved the day before the alleged accuser’s appearance in court didn’t get as much press. The New Jersey Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved a bill, modeled on a recently enacted Maine law, which would allow courts to include animals in domestic violence restraining orders. Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), deputy speaker of the assembly and Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Bergen) sponsored the bill.

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) applauded the committee for approving the bill and for “voting to protect all survivors of domestic violence,” said N.J. State Director of HSUS Kathleen Schatzmann in a statement.

Studies show that violent abusers in domestic violence cases often target their victims’ animals to maintain control over their victim, according to the HSUS. “Permitting judges to prohibit abusers from contact with animals, protects those animals and provides peace of mind to human survivors of domestic violence since abusers often threaten, injure or kill family pets,” according to a release issued by the HSUS.

“We’ve heard so many stories of pets being abused or even killed as retaliation against a partner when a relationship goes sour,” said Wagner in a press release issued by the New Jersey Assembly Democrats. “Oftentimes, it’s done without thinking of an attempt to hurt the other partner, but whether it’s intentional or not, animals should not have to suffer.”

The HSUS said that it is now encouraging the Senate Judiciary Committee to post its version of the bill for a committee vote, which is sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr., (R-Morris) and Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May).

On Monday, legislation calling for stricter penalties for killing a police dog will be on the agenda in the New Jersey Assembly. The legislation stems from a recent incident in Gloucester County in which a police dog named Schultz was killed, according to the Assembly Democrats.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Return of the Prodigal Dog: Chuck Returns!

The Nakkim family is celebrating the return of their four legged friend. Chuck went missing from his Palo Verdes Estates home in 2007 after breaking out of his yard, prompting an exhaustive search that was ultimately unsuccessful. “He was gone. We looked everywhere. We drove up and down the streets,” said Lisa Nakkim, Chuck’s owner.

It was only recently that the family started entertaining the possibility of getting another dog, but fate had other plans for them. Just a few miles from their home, Linda Shelton was walking to work in Torrance when she noticed an emaciated dog wandering the city streets. She befriended him and brought him to her office.

“He was, I’m sorry to say, the smelliest dog ever,” Sheldon said. “I could see the potential in the dog. He just has a wonderful, big heart.”

A coworker of Sheldon was able to read faint markings on Chuck’s ID tag – and the subsequent phone call was answered by an incredulous Nakkim. “Every word that she kept saying I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this really happening? Is this really Chuck?’” Nakkim said.

A happy reunion took place at the Torrance city hall, and Lisa Nakkim said her daughter nearly fell apart when she recognized her long lost friend. “My daughter said, ‘Oh, we got a dog,’ and I said, ‘No, Lexa. That’s Chuck.’ She started crying. She just lost it,” Nakkim said.

The reunion of Chuck and his family can be seen in the YouTube video below. The once 100 pound dog was down to only 60 pounds at the time he was found, but is said to be packing on the pounds already, and his family couldn’t be happier. “He’s back 100 percent,” said Nakkim’s husband, Eric. “It’s like a lost member of the family coming home.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Typical Americans Celebrating News Osama's Death

Outside the White House

And just off Times' Square

The Critics respond:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Biggest Wave Ridden Last Year

Cette photo de Benjamin Sanchis à Belharra prise par Bastien Bonnarme vient de remporter le prix XXL de la plus grosse vague de l'année !

Translation, courtesy of Babblefish:
"This photograph of Benjamin Sanchis in (at?) Belharra (is) taken by Bastien Bonnarme has just gained price XXL of the largest wave of (the) year!"
Benjamin Sanchis must have balls the size of coconuts to take-off on that monster. It's GOTTA be 60-70 feet on the face...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How SOON We Forget! (Hare of the Dog?)

Thursday morning--actually Thursday, pretty much all day--I suffered the consequences of alcohol poisoning.

Oh, yeah. That's what it is: Poisoning.
The Morning After
Contributed by Wayne Curtis

“The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did,” wrote novelist Kinsley Amis in 1954. “He resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again.”
The verdict is in: More great literature has been written about hangovers than about being inebriated. And thank heavens the fine arts are giving serious attention to the cold, gray dawn of the morning after, because medicine has not. I blame Calvinist doctors who believe that drinkers should pay a price for their indulgence.
Making matters worse, some people—and by “some people,” I mean folks that you’d just as soon not hang out with—like to smugly point out that a cure is already known: Don’t drink. (There’s actually another cure: Don’t stop drinking, although as a long-term strategy, this has noted drawbacks.)
The quest, however, continues, often led by those whose research programs were conceived while lying prone on a couch and balefully regarding a loose window-blind slat. The most common remedy involves the further application of alcohol—which as a short-term strategy can actually lessen the pain. Hair of the dog does work.
There’s medical research to back this up, but I’m going to guess that the very thought of glare on a page of small-print type makes you quail. So instead, just close your eyes and consider the time-tested efficacy of enduring elixirs like the Corpse Reviver No. 2 and the venerable Bloody Mary.
But no need to remain mired in a rut. Too much Irish whiskey this week? Try the Body & Soul Reviver, a compact bracer featured in Salvatore Calabrese’s excellent compendium Hair of the Dog: How to Cure a Hangover.
Contributed by Wayne Curtis
1 oz Branca Menta
1 oz Cognac
1 dash Orange bitters
Glass: Small
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake quietly and strain into a small, chilled glass. Consume. Come to life.
Wayne Curtis writes about drinks for The Atlantic and is the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. He is also host of the site

Friday, April 22, 2011

No MAVS This Year?

La Nina strikes. Fewer storms mens smaller, less frequent surf.

mavericks surf contest by broadbandsports

Lying Down With Lions!

This guy's got the BEST gig in the world. And if one day it goes wrong, well, he'll STILL have had a better life than 99% of us ever did...

While Baby Giggles, Family Dog Attacks Basic Cellular Structure of Universe

Via Boing-Boing:

My family will recognize the breed: Puro Nambe River-hound.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The "Oldest Stoner" In America

Dude started in 1936; gal won't say when. Lol.
I've been stoned for as much of the time as I could arrange it since I got out of the Air Force in '68.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Surfing the Sumatran River Tidal Bore: "Did You Mention The Crocodile?"

This is a couple of minutes longer than the clip I posted here last week. (N.B.: The "new" name.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

NOBODY Doesn't Love Echoes!

They're clearly enjoying the racket. You might want to adjust your own volume down a tad, just in case. Tarra, the one described as "barking," sounds almost as though she's laughing...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pup-py Love

Seal meets girl. Seal falls in love with girl. The end. from Bob Dobalina on Vimeo.

I Never Get Too Many Good Stories About Pibbles!

Hector the Pit Bull Therapy Dog:

Hector is one of Michael Vick's Pit Bulls. Since his rescue from the Vick fighting dog compound in California, he has undergone a complete transformation. No longer a menace, under the caring and knowledgeable guidance of Andrew 'Roo' Yori, he is not only a loving pet...but a Therapy Dog.

Traveling on our special invitation from New York, meet the dog who shows us what love and second chances are all about. This is the first time a Michael Vick dog has visited Indiana."

More Information:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sing Like Nobody's Listening!

All Dogs Need Jobs! Pibbles Are GREAT Therapy/Service Animals

The Working Pit Bull from Sydney on Vimeo.

Getting Your Dog Started On The Path To Becoming a Therapy Dog
by Patch O' Pits Therapy Dogs on Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 12:13pm

If you'd like to have your dog become a therapy dogs it all revolves first around a dog that has a good "rock solid" temperament, working ability, and a great love and tolerance for all sorts of people. After that, it's a ton of socialization and basic obedience and then from there a lot distraction training work and exposing her to many different types of equipment, environments, and situations.

Some orgs require a CGC and some don't. But is is always nice to have a CGC especially with a bully breed like the APBT just to show what great dogs they are. Some insurance companies will also give you a discount if the dog has one which is another plus. Just remember the CGC is NOT a therapy dog test. Some dogs who pass it actually may not be able to pass therapy dog testing. It is just another tool along the way.

Here is a link to info about it:

When you think your dog is ready you can choose to test from one of a variety of different orgs.
I have links to a few organizations on the links part of my Patch O' Pits Therapy Dogs facebook page. On there, I also have a TON of stuff written up in older posts if you have time to scroll down and in the notes section. Feel free to drop by the page to ask more questions.

Here is a note on what it takes to be a therapy dog/handler team:!/note.php?note_id=141516862531458

You can also post any questions you have here and I'll gladly answer. Another option is to go onto APBT Network University where I put a lot of that same info in easier format, but you have to make a quick account to sign into the site. Here is the link:

Look around and ask questions I'm here to help and there are a lot of other knowledgeable people on this page who are very helpful too. Let me know if you need more info or specifics on any aspect of it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just Ahead Of Actual Abusers Are The Abandoners

Howard Stern is just about my least favorite human being. But some folks like him, and so from him to them this message:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The White Whale!

Migilou, an albino humpback, probably unique in the world, known to science since 1991, means he's at least 20 yrs old.
Wicked Kewl!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Best "Pibble" Vid EVAR!

To reiterate what I put up in comments on YouTube:
There are no bad dogs. Just bad people, as so MANY of the fucknutz on this thread demonstrate with no apparent modesty.

The dog which inflicts the MOST bites on people is the Dachshund;cockers are in the top five, as are Goldies.

Breed-restrictive legislation is aimed at the owners of the "stigmatized" dogs, to exclude "undesireable" people, not the dogs themselves.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Into the Arms of Bunnies": A Hopeful Pibble Sojourn

Shamelessly, Cut & Pasted from "The Bark." Yippeeee for Parfait and bunn-friends!
As you can imagine, we get loads of fabulous dog images from Bark readers—handsome, adorable, funny and inspiring dogs of every stripe. But when Parfait arrived over the transom, we stopped in our tracks: Who is this recovering beauty with a harem of rabbits?

A little more than a month ago, Parfait was a feral, starving dog living on the streets of North St. Louis, a neighborhood known for dog fighting. She was found trying to keep her newborn pups warm in the cold and snow; they had already frozen to death. She was also near death, due to an infection from an embedded collar that was strangling her.

“She was originally saved by Randy Grim of Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Randy has spent many years going out daily to feed and save the suffering street dogs in his city. I admire him greatly,” says Janice Wolf of Rocky Ridge Refuge in North Central Arkansas. “I named her Parfait because she needed a sweet name to reflect her nature, especially being a Pit Bull off the streets.”

Wolf continues, “I specialize in helping animals with special needs and medical [issues], and at the holidays I always try to take on a special case for another rescue to help them out. When I learned of Parfait … I offered to bring her to my refuge.” A friend volunteered to drive her the five hours to Rocky Ridge.

“She was initially quite shy, but soon came around with the help of my other dogs,” Wolf says. “She is a young girl, no more than 18 months old. She will have no handicaps really. She does have a severe neck wound with a lot of scar tissue there, and will never be able to wear a collar. Her voice is a little funny because of it too. If I can figure a way to get the funds, I am going to see about having the vet reduce and modify the excess scar tissue to make a smoother and less restricted skin area there. Otherwise a healthy, smart girl that will be up for adoption.”

For now, Parfait is keeping company with a menagerie. She met the bunnies a few days before Wolf took the photo she sent to us. She has also cuddled with lambs and chicks. Check out more of the multi-species healing at Rocky Ridge in our slideshow.

“I don't know that there is an 'advantage' per say in having all the species together, it just kinda has to be this way here due to lack of space to do it differently!,” Wolf told us when we asked about her crazy-mixed-up soup of a refuge. “I love that the many different species do form a family and look out for each other though. For the most part it works amazingly well and some odd relationships have developed.”

She is careful to respect individual boundaries and tolerances, and she doesn't expect every animal to automatically love every other critter. Some of her rescued dogs will not safely live with fawns or lambs or chicks, due to their breed prey drive or past experiences.

Wolf, who is writing a children's book about Parfait to raise money for her refuge, told us she’s been rescuing animals since she was a child. She says, “There’s nothing better!”

Visit Rocky Ridge Refuge’s Facebook Fanpage to learn more about the refuge and to follow Parfait. Also, check out Bark’s story about Gateway Pet Guardians, a grassroots rescue group caring for the strays of East St. Louis, across the Mississippi River from where Parfait was discovered.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Almost Two Million You-Tube hitz: "Happy, Go Staffy!"

Since June, 2007:
"The SBT has been copping a bit of flack in the media, being targeted as dangerous and 'statisticaly' rating as one of the highest biters/attackers.

The trouble is, how are these statistics gathered? Who decides the difference between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, An American Staffordshire Terrier, A Pit Bull, or any Cross Breeds for that matter?

A recent article reported that an SBT was the offender, when in actual fact the picture they used for an example of the breed was an AmStaff... this highlights precisely that the media are pretty slap happy when preparing their articles and don't research these cases completely. They are looking for BIG headlines, and a quick blame solution.. Unfortunately it is ultimately the dogs that end up suffering.

This video is not about shifting blame from one breed to the next, its about recognising that it is not the dog or the breed that are the problem, but the OWNERS. Afterall, who do the dogs learn from?

We need to 're-educate' the public, our families, and even the media. Its about promoting "Responsible Ownership" - choosing the 'right' dog for your lifestyle, being dedicated to providing training and guidance, and learning how to be a strong leader.

As you will see in the video, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most loving and kindest of breeds, they are a family dog, who need to be included, loved and treated with respect... give them this and they will be your friend for life...

Thank you to all at Bull Breeds Online & Petbizzo who generously donated pictures for this video, even if we can reach just a few people with our message, it will have been worth it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There was Spanky, and Alfalfa, and Buckwheat, And Darla ...and PETEY!

Our Gang's Petey, the Pibble Pup, one of the MOST recognizable dogs in all American film lore:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Tia" Torres Goes The Extra Mile For A Homeless Guy & His Dogs

Tia is the founder/proprietress and main mover behind Villalobos Pit-bull Rescue in Santa Clarita, CA, on the spine of California, near Tehachapi. She is the originator of "Parolees & Pitbulls," a rehab program for both people and dogs. I admire her tremendously, support Villalobos any way I can, and urge you to do so too.. There's a link to the VRC in the resources in the left-hand column of this blog.