This sums it up pretty well…

July 24, 2009 at 6:31 am (Meanderings, Patriotism)

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio speech, 26 October 1939

This is the post in which my politics become completely obvious. Most of the time Pundit Kitchen is just pretty funny.  This one, however, makes me feel sad.



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Where Does the Title Come From?

July 22, 2009 at 7:28 am (Meanderings, Music)

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all. ” — John Lennon

Someone asked me where the title of this blog came from, so I thought I’d explain. It is a lyric from a Beatles song Tomorrow Never Knows.  The lyrics have a lot of meaning to me. (And no, a psychedelic experience is not necessary to appreciate them, although it can’t hurt.  But that is a topic for another day.)  It’s easy to appreciate on a technical level as well; there is a lot of innovation in the way the song was recorded.

The song is the final track on the brilliant album Revolver, and there is another amazing version of it on Anthology 2. If you haven’t heard these works of art, now’s the time!

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It’s hard not to anthropomorphize…

July 5, 2009 at 10:57 pm (Critters, Meanderings)

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”–Khalil Gibran

I learned today that one of the peregrine falcon chicks that recently fledged from a nest box in downtown Boise has died.  Apparently, Madge Ellen (Maggie for short), as she was informally dubbed, hit a high voltage line.  It is a sad fact that while peregrines have adapted well to nesting in cities, there are dangers to them there that don’t exist in the wild (although the wild has dangers of its own, of course).  According to a citation in this Wikipedia article, the mortality rate for young peregrines is 59 to 70 percent, so something like this is not unexpected, or even unusual.  And still, I am sad.  I become even more sad when I think about the parents.  Do they wonder where she is? Are they mourning her?  I know there are many out there that would scold me for anthropomorphizing these amazing creatures.  But who am I to judge whether or not they feel emotion?

I know that what I am feeling is real, though.  There have been some major stresses in my life in the past few months and watching the baby peregrines grow has been a great source of comfort, delight and amazement to me.  I suppose that makes the pain this loss brings somewhat easier to bear. Good bye, Maggie! You were a delight to so many in your short time with us.

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Happy Independence Day

July 4, 2009 at 6:14 am (Meanderings, Patriotism)

What we need are critical lovers of America – patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.  –Hubert H. Humphrey

(This one is especially dedicated to my husband.)  And to everyone else, although I feel very cynical about the U.S. sometimes, I believe this is still true, for the most part, and I’m grateful for it.  (OK, I probably wouldn’t fight to the death for Bill O’Reilly, but that’s more because he’s Bill O’Reilly, not because of his views.)

Happy 4th

Credit where credit is due:  Cartoon by Dwayne Powell.

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Darren McGavin, We Miss You

June 26, 2009 at 3:53 am (Meanderings, Nerd stuff, SciFi) (, , , , , )

“I promised I’d show up with a haircut, a new hat, and pressed suit… but I lie a lot.” — Carl Kolchak

Kolchak faces down a vampire!

Kolchak faces down a vampire!

I didn’t actually see Kolchak the Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin when it first ran in the 1970s. I was a bit young for it.  I did catch it later, though, on the Sci-Fi channel.  I got interested in seeing the show after Chris Carter mentioned that it was one of his inspirations for the X-Files. Later, when the entire show (which was sadly, cancelled after one season) became available on DVD, I purchased the  box set.

I have gotten quite a lot of enjoyment out of watching the episodes over and over again, although there are a few that I tend to enjoy more than others (I think the first two-the jack the Ripper episode and the zombie episode are my favorites).  As it seems to be a time honored tradition with cult classic style TV shows, I began to ponder whether or not there was a Kolchak related drinking game. My scientifically conducted internet research 10 seconds of Google searching showed that this didn’t appear to be the case.  Since that definitely needed to be remedied, I present to you, forthwith, my official Kolchak the Nightstalker drinking game. Of course, we all know that drinking is dangerous and sinful. You can play this game with soda pop, chocolate milk,  plain old water, or other…imbibables.  Whatever suits you.  Personally I don’t drink anymore, so this is purely a mental exercise.  (Just smile and nod with me here.)

How to Play

If you don’t have a copy of the boxed set of the series, get one. It’s not that expensive.  Pop in the DVD, take hold of your favorite intoxicant (or some chocolate milk), and imbibe as follows for each event.

One drink

  • Kolchak and Vincenzo get into an argument.
  • Kolchak asks snide questions at a police press conference.
  • Kolchak’s camera and/or tape recorder gets confiscated/broken.
  • Vincenzo rips the article Kolchak is working on out of his typewriter while Kolchak is actually typing it.
  • Carl’s voiceover announces someone’s death in a dramatic way. For example—“She wanted to be a famous masseuse…she should have settled for being alive!”
  • Kolchak walks out of the office to pursue a story in the middle of the day over Vincenzo’s protestations.
  • Updike makes an appearance.
  • Kolchak uses a  library book on some obscure occult topic with cool esoteric pictures to explain whatever supernatural event is occurring. (The person(s) he is explaining to dismisses it, of course.)
  • Kolchak goes out after the monster by himself, gets scared, and runs away screaming like a little girl (usually to great comedic effect).

Two drinks

  • Carl mispronounces Updike’s name as Uptight.
  • Kolchak’s hat is disparaged, stepped on, run over, etc.
  • Vincenzo has to bail Kolchak out of jail.
  • Vincenzo has indigestion.
  • Miss Emily makes an appearance.
  • Monique makes an appearance.
  • Kolchak’s photos don’t come out.

Three drinks

  • You can see the zipper on the monster’s costume.
  • Kolchak makes a sudden u-turn in his big convertible after he hears something on the police scanner.
  • A cop is actually nice to Kolchak.
  • Gordie the Ghoul makes an appearance.

Can you think of any more?  Leave them in the comments.

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