Monday, July 31, 2006


We spent Saturday in northern Indiana, while Mark and friends practiced for their gig on Labor Day. We slept on Wendell's water bed (my first time on a water bed) and the damn thing was heated. Well, hell, it was 100 degrees outside and 150 degrees on the water bed. I know how a freaking fried egg feels.

This is a photo of a frog at Uncle Wendell's pond. Zounds.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Too many mosquitoes!

I've been trying like heck to get a photo of this magnificent Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in my woods. Probably won't have too many more opportunities because the thistle has stopped blooming and it will soon move on.

But the mosquitoes have been unbearable. I got at least 10 bites getting a shot of the butterfly that is so crappy that I won't even show it on the blog.

Anyway, here is one of the swallowtail I got the other day. Still not great... But, man, repellant isn't working...

And here is another Red Admiral, too.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Democratic Party slogan!
"America: Paralyzed and Impotent"

Written by the Democrats' official party line spokesman, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who urged Democrats to keep fighting until "...American troops are chased from Afghanistan and Iraq, paralyzed and impotent ... having paid the price for aggression against Muslims and support for Israel."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sun showers

Unfortunately my lens was grimy when I took this. Drat. Could have been a nice shot. Plus it cost me something like 25 mosquito bites so I am posting it anyway! hahaha. I think this is a red-spotted purple.

Dark wood nymph?

This is the best shot I could get of this butterfly. I've never seen this kind before. At first I thought it was a buckeye, but I think it is a dark wood nymph.

Hummingbird tongue

You can see it better if you click on the photo, but this hummingbird has her tongue out!

Back... sort of

As you may have noticed, Mark Wayne is the only one who blogged during his vacation. But he's back to the old grind and I am too. Now my office manager is off on vacation and all my work is piled up. Thus, I won't have much time to blog now either.

But, hey, Mark Wayne and his uncle Wendell (pictured above) had time to do some pickin' in Mark's music room while he was off.

Bee on a thistle

I was trying to get a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail flying around in the woods... no luck there, but I got this bee on a thistle. Too much flash but interesting in a way.

Prehistoric bug

This is a living cicada on a hosta.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Quandary of a Teamster

As a twenty-year member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and therefore a lifelong registered Democrat, I find myself in a bit of a quandary these days.

From 1988 until 2004 (with my vote) the Democrats were in charge of the great state of Indiana, my state of residence for most of my life.

Now I must admit that they got some things accomplished. Gambling was legalized along with a state lottery (a vice that I admit submitting to from time to time).

During these sixteen years Indiana lost a great many manufacturing jobs. I know the trend of the whole nation was to lose these kinds of jobs, but it seemed Indiana lost more than our fair share.

In 1988 the state had an operating budget surplus. By 2004 the red ink was flowing. The bureau of motor vehicles was embroiled in scandal, it seemed no offense was enough to lose your drivers license if you gave money to the right people. Folks were talking about needing better roads between Indianapolis and South Bend and the great need to extend Interstate 69 to Evansville to bring economic progress to the southwest corner of the state.

In 2004 a Republican named Mitchel E. Daniels Jr. (former Bush administration budget director, and Eli Lilly C.E.O.) was elected governor. Since then even his enemies have to admit things have been happening at an astounding speed.

The most controversial thing he has done was to lease the Indiana Toll Road (a road that has never made money and in fact has always been a drain on the state budget) to a Spanish-Australian consortium for 75 years. The state put $3.9 billion in the bank and, in addition to making half a million dollars a day just in interest, now has the money to complete I 69 and upgrade U.S.31 between Indianapolis and South Bend to interstate status.

Indiana adopted daylight savings time (yes I know everybody else did it years ago) which led to Federal Express announcing on April 13, 2006 plans to greatly expand its operation at Indianapolis International Airport. Making it the second biggest air hub in the company, just behind company headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.

Toyota announced March 12, 2006 plans to move its popular Camry assembly line into the underutilized Subaru plant in Lafayette, Ind.
On June 19, 2006, Mitsubishi announced plans to expand their Indiana Packers plant in Delphi Indiana adding another 125 jobs.

On July 11, 2006, Dollar General Corp. announced the opening of their 1.1 million square foot distribution center in Marion, Ind., with 130 employees and another 100 or so to come.

On Feb. 10, 2006, Walmart announced an 895 thousand square foot distribution center in Gas City, Ind., scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2007 with about 800 new jobs.
On July 10, 2006, Honda announced plans to open a new assembly plant at Greensburg, Ind., with about 2000 jobs.

On July 11, 2006, Nestle announced a new plant to be built in the Anderson, Ind., area, making Nesquick and Coffee Mate, bringing another 300 jobs to an area of the state that desperately needs it.

My union brothers tell me that the Republicans are for the rich, and that the working man suffers when they are in charge. It seems to me however that a whole lot more working men (and women, too, for that matter) are working around here.

They say all politics is local. I wonder what my next vote should be?

-- Mark

Redneck country club

My mother invited us over Sunday and it was 90 degrees outside. So we brought out this 12-foot by 6-foot inflatable pool and Mark Wayne blew it up. Not THAT way! We're rednecks. We have an air compressor.

Anyway, we filled it with hose water. I'm telling you that was a COLD pool but it was 90 degrees outside after all and I enjoyed it. Let me tell you all a story 'bout a man named Jed.

Mark Wayne is on vacation this week and I'm really busy at work so I won't be posting much. So... enjoy WWIII and keep cool.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Down yonder in the pawpaw patch

We had no pawpaws last year that I know of. I looked for them but the season was very dry. This year it has rained every week and sometimes more than one day a week. You need a lot of rain for a good pawpaw crop.

For some reason, pawpaws refuse to be photographed. I can't get a good picture for anything. Probably because I am always swatting mosquitoes down there in the freaking patch. Neither photo accurately shows the color of a pawpaw. The top photo is too green and the bottom is too blue. The fruit is a very light green at this stage and it goes brown and spotted as it ripens.

Right now they are a little bigger than plums, but nothing like the ones this fella has. Who ever saw a pawpaw this big?

Here's another pawpaw photo that sucks just as bad as the first. But I think you can at least see in the photos the huge (untoothed) leaves of the scraggly "Indiana banana" tree.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Swallowtail on milkweed

The milkweed has such a lovely fragrance when it is blooming that it's amazing it is considered a weed.

This swallowtail butterfly seems to have injured one of its tails.

What is this bug?

Kind of furry like a bee but bigger and longer and not exactly like a wasp.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Red Panda's Joke

Watch for the head butt at the end of this video

Get this video and more at

The News-Press Liberal Smackdown!

There's this rich, dopey, liberal (but that's redundant) named Wendy McCaw who is the owner of the Santa Barbara News-Press. Once, according to Newsosaur, she ordered an editorial "denouncing the traditional Thanksgiving dinner as an infringement on the rights of turkeys."


Now a bunch of her editors have resigned because she meddles. Yawn.

Their reasons are typically insipid bullshit: The kind of claptrap ("newsroom sanctity") that has driven newspapers to the edge of extinction.

Give us something besides the kind of mentality that spawns "newsroom sanctity." You boys take yourselves way too freaking seriously. We're talking Santa Barbara here.

Give me a local newspaper with a different freaking point of view for God's sake. I'll even take an insane rich bitch who calls for the end of Thanksgiving. At least it would be some damn thing worth reading. Dang, if she keeps it up, she'll sell a lot of newspapers before she goes out of business.

Hell, if she keeps it up, I will open a newspaper in Santa Barbara. I'll cover everything the churches do. I'll run obits on page 1 and hire White Trash Republic as my society writer and I'd run her news on page 1 above the fold and with slightly more prominence than the obits as a hat tip to optimism. Singing moles, baby. Now that's news.

I'll have a newsroom run by some version of one-eyed Burt , if any are left, who was renown for hiring, on the spot, a woman to be medical reporter because her name was Marjorie Clapp.

Now that's newspapering. Thanksgiving denunciations. Now that's something to read right before you drive her out of business.

While the cat's away

I am not as naturally pugnacious as Hoosier Boy so I do care whether blog visitors are bored to tears over what I post.

So.... SORRY about the further adventures of Chip and Monk. The cat disappeared (probably because I could not decide if he was Smokey or Sugar Ray) and the chipmunks immediately got on their chipmunk telephone system with a county-wide ALL CLEAR.

The bad news: God knows what destructive little guys are doing under the house.

The good news: My office window is interesting again.

nanny nanny boo boo

Even the rabbits came out. I'm worried about Smokey now. Or Sugar Ray. Whatever.

Can you be a leftist and a scientist?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Red Admiral

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Name my cat

Help me name my cat or just vote for the name you like:

Chip, In honor of his favorite food.
Monk, ditto.
Zero, in honor of how cold it is going to be since I am too alllergic to have the cat in the house.
Stranger, in honor of his very presence.
Meat, in honor of what he will be if he turns left.

This is why I don't like doctors

Re: the story on Drudge about the brain damaged man who "grew" a new nerve connection after a 20-year coma

"The nerve fibers from the cells were severed, but the cells themselves remained intact," unlike Schiavo, whose brain cells had died, said Dr. James Bernat, a neurologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, who is familiar with the research.

You know two things about this story:

1. It was written by a politically correct dunce. You can't trust a thing that comes from the Associated Press.

2. The dunce interviewed a dunce.

This doctor doesn't know a g-d damn thing about Terry Schiavo and he doesn't know a g-d damn thing about people in comas. No one on earth knows a thing about people in comas. Yesterday the same doctor would have told you that people can't grow a new nerve. Today everyone except Terry Schiavo can.

Not subtle

Not that the adventures of the chipmunks and gray cat are of earth-shaking import. But, hey, I don't have that much going on. Here is a photo of the new cat on the bird/chipmunk feeding burl.

I saw one very cautious chipmunk this morning. I'm actually not sure I like this. I like the birds and chipmunks. But maybe the chipmunks need to be challenged a bit in order to be the best chipmunk they can be. Whaddya think?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Where's that cat?

I love to watch these little fellas, but they are getting destructive. Plus we have maybe 10 rabbits living around here. So I was not terribly unhappy when a highly verbal gray cat showed up and the chipmunks are watching their step.

I'm feeding the cat but I wonder if a cat can live outdoors in Indiana in the winter? I put an old dog house behind a tree, which is okay for summer and I can fix up an old sleeping bag in the house for winter but I am really, really allergic to cats so I can't let the little guy live inside. Plus we have three dogs. I keep telling the cat not to turn left into the dog fence. He's a smart little guy. I think he's figured out the dog fence.

Try it

Read the Declaration of Independence as if a group of Conservatives were declaring independence from Liberals.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of (Conservatives) and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the (liberal government)
is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Submit your facts!

So are ticks

"Politicians are always interested in people.

Not that this is always a virtue.

Fleas are interested in dogs."

--P. J. O'Rourke

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I truly do NOT think the NYTimes/WSJ article was that big of a deal. What do the terrorists actually find out, anyway? That we're following money? Duh. The biggest problem the article presents is that principles of the institutions involved will probably get pressure from fellow Beautiful People to not help the U.S. We'll see if that happens.

But Holy Moly. To be, even in the slightest, on the side of these anti-American morons in the press. I just can barely stand it.

Take Meet the Press today. Their idea of balance: 3 against Bill Bennet. Note that William Safire is on the side of the liberal journalists.

This RIDICULOUS assertion on the part of the reporters that there is a "Wall of Separation" between news side and opinion staff. That makes me laugh out loud. First, in another attempt to suggest that the press is above the law, the reporters now adopt of facetious language of the pseudo-constitution, to wit: Wall of Separation. I hope no one is fooled by that crap.

And, second, the newside and opinion side staff are exactly the same.

There usually is a literal wall of some sort between the reporters and the opinion staff. They are in a different rooms. But both staffs are exactly the same. The opinion staff on the New York Times is made up of liberal reporters and editors who all went to the right prep school and university. Remember that these people are all cut from exactly the same elite cloth. To take one high profile example: It wasn't Anderson Cooper's work in small markets all across the country that somehow got him a show on CNN. His mother is Gloria Vanderbilt.

The WSJ has some longtime conservative opinion staffers, Robert Bartlett comes to mind -- a man who has resisted socialism for 40 years. But that is changing. The conservative base at the WSJ is dying out and retiring and what you have left are the socialist reporters and editors who make up the WSJ staff. I know two of them personally and I can guarantee you they will pause to think if you ask them if they believe in private ownership of property. They will pause because they think THEY should own property, they just don't think regular people should. Seriously. They don't think people have enough taste to own property. Seriously.

Lovely pre-Fourth

We've been playing here and not blogging. Even the lovely and talented Gayle wondered if we had fallen off a cliff or something. Nope. Just off having fun.