Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Picture of the Day: Please Don't Feed the Scientists

I don't like zoos, though I can understand the need for keeping an injured animal in a safe place if it can't be returned to the wild.

I wonder what happened to these scientists. I hope the California Academy of Sciences has them properly tagged, in case they get out of their cage. We all know how dangerous wild, roaming scientists can be.

Pretty neat how their natural environment has been carefully replicated. Judging by their coats, they're in good health, but I'm curious about there only being one male and how the gender groups have staked out territory on opposite ends of the enclosure. That could easily be part of their daytime sciencing behavior, foraging for research funding and making fun of wandering tribes of creationists.

The installation seems somewhat sterile. I didn't see any openings to sleeping pens. Poor creatures.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Song of the Day: Happy Anniversary to "The New Guy"--Neil Peart Joins Rush, 1974

Thirty-nine years later, Neil's still the New Guy after replacing original Rush drummer John Rutsey.

Here's "Finding My Way," live at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena, August 17, 1974--his first concert:

...and here's the band June 2, 2013 playing "Clockwork Angels," the title track from their latest album:

It's really weird seeing any musicians other than Lifeson, Lee and Peart on the stage. Guess THEY'RE the new guys.

Bonus: "Far Cry" from 2007, just because:

Remembering Jim Barrett & Dr. John Britton (7/29/1994)

Hard to believe it was 19 years ago that they were murdered, barely a mile from where I'm sitting. The clinic was firebombed in January of 2012. Bastards finally destroyed the building, but the clinic reopened pretty quickly in new digs.

I'm just gonna repost what I wrote July 29, 2009:

On this day in 1994, Paul Hill walked up to a pickup truck in the driveway of a Pensacola clinic and killed Jim Barrett and Dr. John Britton with a shotgun.

I stood in a parking lot across the street with some of the other clinic escorts (Jim was one of ours) for a few hours. The bodies were laid out and covered with sheets while the crime scene guys did their thing.

I never met Dr. Britton; he was one of the volunteers who stepped up when David Gunn was murdered barely a year before.

Jim was a good guy, a sort of grandfather figure. He's buried at Arlington:

I'm gonna hoist a drink in his honor sometime today and hope that someday crazy religious douchebags will no longer exist.

And for the rest of us, if you know a guy like Jim, buy him a drink.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pic of the Day: Missed it by This Much

Shot May 1, 2013: That building in the middle is Loved To Death, the shop seen on "Oddities San Francisco." I'm glad I got this shot (I was admiring those bay windows, which are different from those of the surrounding buildings), since this is the closest I got to the store.

We walked the other way on Haight Street. East instead of west. I did see the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, saw some of the neighborhood's infamous panhandlers and touristy shops, lots of psychedelic colors. I got about half a block past Ashbury, took a long rest in the Panini Cafe (right across from a pair of giant bestockinged legs hanging  in the Piedmont Boutique's upstairs window), and made my way back toward the car. Round trip was barely half a mile, and I had to stop for rest every hundred feet or so.

As my friend shopped in a nearby record store, I sat on the curb where we'd parked and watched people, looked at places, and rested. Very annoying knowing that I was so close to the one shop I'd really have wanted to visit. I did hit the Haigh-Ashbury Music Center; bought some guitar picks that I could have gotten anywhere else--but I can point to the price tag: "But they're from Haight-Ashbury, man!" So that's something.

Oh, and I completely forgot to troll anyone--ANYONE--in the SF area asking them where the Rice-A-Roni Factory Outlet was. Dammit.

Still not quite up to the final Road Trip installment for the San Francisco trip.

[Editing to add: After looking up one store we hit (the one with red door trim to the right), it turns out I was right NEXT DOOR to the place, then walked right past it as we headed down Haight. Crap!]

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pic of the Day: R. I. P. Tunch

Part of my daily routine is reading the "Balloon Juice" blog.

The blog's owner, John Cole, just had an utterly awful weekend. His beloved cat, Tunch, was killed by a visiting dog. It doesn't look like he suffered much (broken neck) and he left some claws in the dog's face.

There has been an incredible (and humbling) outpouring of support from the Juicers: almost $12,000 in donations to Marion Animal Resource Connection. They handle dog and cat rescues and until now they were on a shoestring budget, paying for spaying and neutering and other expenses out of their own pockets.


One regular sent John this:

[Update: Just read that the donations have topped $15,000! That's a lot of help for rescue pups and cats.--11:37pm]

Lots of love from the Juicers for that 20-pound floofball.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Failure in Florida.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but fuck George Zimmerman, his family and lawyers, and his supporters.

Charlie Pierce at Esquire says it in a more righteous manner:

The judgment, when it finally came, was a dull and predictable thing. Pictures of Trayvon Martin showing off on his Facebook page trumped pictures of him on the ground, blank-staring at the night sky, a hollow point through his chest, the way so many of us hoped they wouldn't, but suspected they would. It was hard at that moment, when the jury gave George Zimmerman back his gun, to remember that this trial wasn't supposed to happen at all. The Sanford P.D. was ready to hand Zimmerman back his gun with a fast shuffle until people got into the streets and suggested, loudly, that maybe the circumstances required another look. This is something that should be remembered now by all those sharp guys who talk about how the evidence cut both ways, and about how the prosecution overcharged the defendant, and about how well the defense mounted its case. There wasn't supposed to be a trial at all. In theory, George Zimmerman could have been back, standing his post, watching for assholes and fucking punks, the very next night, according to the original assessment made by local law enforcement. Instead, people who filled George Zimmerman's fevered definition of assholes and fucking punks roamed free, wearing their hoodies at will. The gated communities of Sanford have had to do without his watchful eye, and his ready aim, for longer than the Sanford police thought was suitable a year ago. I am glad the gated communities managed to survive the siege.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Song of the Day: Awesome young woman busts up some Goppers.

Awwww, yeah. (more here)

Funny how she was such a threat that it took FOUR deputies to get her out of there.

Fark republicans.

"Awe" and "Heroes" tags for the young lady who busted 'em up, all the other tags for the scumbags.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Song of the Day: Sweet Dreams (Moby)

Working on a CAD drawing and sort-of watching "The Next Three Days."
As soon as I heard the enormous-sounding piano in the scene just before the cops pop in to arrest Lara Brennen, I had to know what song this was. Fortunately, it's second in the movie's IMDB soundtrack page.

There's not a lot going on, musically. Plenty of open space. Can't get over how amazing that piano sounds.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pic of the Day: Republican Derp.

This poor little Texas filly had an abortion that made her look like a Republican Dumbass.

Oh, wait. That's just a Republican Dumbass holding up a sign. If he were a hipster I'd accuse him of doing it ironically. But being as how he's a dumbass, it could just be that he plain cain't read.

Mr. Dumbass was protesting in Texas with some other guys from the Dumbass family; Wonkette has some pics of them in their natural, stupid plumage.