29 September 2008

I Swear...

...I leave for ten days and the House goes nuts. Lets get our poop in a group US.

Also, big shout out to Cobra Dinner who's currently hiding away in his panic room with enough rice and beans to feed a small country. Stay Strong My Man!

My toe....i believe i have some sort of toe disease. It could be falling off or slowly rotting away as I trudge through the Wyoming Countyside.

Speaking of countryside, I have a couple good photos to post but they were taken on my cell phone (left my camera in my other bag) and i am unable to send them via text because, again, I am in wyoming.

One photo is of the Brokeback Mountain painting in my hotel room...i bet you can hardly wait, right.

I began the Chocolate War. I didnt get far before my brain shut down and I fell asleep (dont worry folks, as is usally the case with my trips away from cuddling, i promptly woke up and was awake listening to random noises all night).

Anyway, so far, i am like ten pages in and so i have nothing to say yet. I am hoping to read more tonight and will get back at you.

Colorado Amendment 51

Not all "taxes" are really a "tax" in the true sense of the word.

180 to $186 million dollars are needed to serve the people on the wait lists. An increase in the state sales tax from 2.9% to 3.1% will yield that much money each year. The state sales tax does not apply to groceries, prescription medicine, medical services, rent, mortgage payments, insurance, gasoline or utilities.

A $10 sweatshirt will cost an additional 2 cents. A $50 pair of jeans will cost an additional 10 cents.

Lets vote yes on this one eh?

~That is all

28 September 2008


My feet hurt. I love walking up sand hills all day long.

Even with the crappy sand i was in high spirits. It is very pretty and cool temps and not horrible terrain (though i am so out of shape and it is kicking my ass).

I found a nice projectile point, Late Prehistoric corner notched, but it was outside the project area so what can you do.

I began the Chocolate War but havent gotten far (sleepy).

More posts soon...

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


25 September 2008

That Time of Year Thou May'st In Me Behold...

Preseason hockey has begun. I love hockey. Read this today and it made me happy...

"So if you're going to Mellon Arena tonight and a hoser happens to be displaying a little too much spirit for your liking, simply say "Sixty-Seven."

They probably won't clam up, but you'll feel better for pointing out that man has explored the moon more recently than a Maple Leaf has touched the Cup."

Poor Leafs..

I am off to Casper Wyoming, jealous?, tomorrow for a ten day of actual survey. Can you believe it? I havent done survey work in...two years? jesus...

Anyway, banned book posts and other random dispatches will be coming from Casper next week.

Until then- Happy weekend to you all!

~tweet tweet goes the bird~

24 September 2008

Banned Books

***Banned Book Week September 27th-October 4th***
Perhaps it is my age, but to me the idea of banning books seems antiquated. Like littering, who the hell is trying to ban books in the 21st Century?

Turns out, lots of people. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 420 challenges last year. "A challenge?" you might ask, "I thought you said banned books?" A challenge is "defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness." This is the same as asking to have a book banned so using the term Banned Book is accurate.

As will come to no surprise, the majority of people challenging books are parents and the top three reasons include books that are "sexually explicit” contain “offensive language,” and are “unsuited to age group.”

I can certainly understand that there are some books with sex, violence, offensive language that parents may not want their child exposed to. However, the way to prevent exposure is to sit down with your kids and talk about what types of books they are reading. Go over their reading material and have some open dialogue with them to make sure you can deal with questions that may come up if you child stumbles upon a book with questionable material.

In short, Be A Parent.

What you cannot do, however, is tell my child what is appropriate or inappropriate for them. And you certainly cannot tell me what i should or shouldn't be exposed to.

Ideas can be scary, but reading about two male penguins who raise and hatch an egg (based on a true story by the by), isnt going to make your children homosexual. It isnt "Anti-Family" or "Anti-Ethnic."

Why oh why are people scared of ideas? Why do they think that somehow THEY are able to decide what is best for everyone? Why cant they just focus on screwing up their own child?

I could go on and on about banned books and what the hell is wrong with people. There isnt enough time or breath in the world for that.

Here is a list of the top ten challenged books of 2007 and beneath that, the banned book I plan to read. I would invite you to choose a book from this list or from the Top 100 Challenged Books From 2000-2007 list.

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

I have chosen to read The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. I have heard the book title as a teen but never picked it up. It is about a boy who refuses to sell chocolate for a school fundraiser and ends up turning the school on its head. Someone who gets in trouble for bucking the system seems like an appropriate subject in these crazy times.

Cubie is reading the Golden Compass by Philip Pullman..mostly because it seemed like the kind of book that as a kid would have pissed off her parents. If you decide to read a banned book, and i hope you do, please let me know which selection you made.

Happy Reading~

19 September 2008

The Pledge of Allegiance

I was reading an article about how horrible McCain/Palin are...or maybe it was about how horrible Obama/Biden are? I can hardly tell these days. Anyway, the article mentioned the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now, i dont know about you guys, but I hardly ever think about the pledge. I think the last time I said it was at the Arapahoe County Dem. Convention and prior to that...high school? When i do think about the pledge...i have no real feelings about it. It was written a long time ago and you have to say it in school...that's about it.

So you can imagine how surprised I was by a couple Pledge Facts I am about to share. I have lived these 30 years completely oblivious to anything having to do with the pledge...it is much like the lies about the Horny Toad.

You dont know about the Horny Toad lies? Well let me fill you in. They arent fucking toads at all! Sigh...they are lizards, as you can see in the photo. I found this out several years ago but at the time I was so mad. How come no one told me sooner!

The Pledge stuff is just like the horned lizard stuff. Why didnt anyone tell me sooner that:

~The Pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy~
Dang, 1892? I thought for sure it was written near the framing of the constitution and all that jazz.

~The original salute that accompanied the pledge was called a Bellamy Salute and looked like this

Needless to say this was changed in the 1942 Flag Code to placing your hand over your heart~

~Perhaps the most striking of all is the original wording of the Pledge, "I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The words 'my Flag' were changed to 'the Flag of the United States' in 1923. The words 'of America' were added in 1924. These changes were done, ostensibly, so that it was clear to immigrants what countries flag they were talking about.~

Then came the real shocker for me...

~The words 'under God' were added in 1954~

What what what?

Some guy at the Knights of Columbus decided that it wasnt cool that the pledge didnt "reference a deity." Yeah, cuz it was clear that not only the aforementioned framers of the constitution were into that but also the original composer of the pledge, Mr. Bellamy. You can read the entire KofC/congress saga in the wiki page linked above, but the important bit is that the phrase Under God is just over 50 years old.

That means my mother and father used to recite the pledge without that phrase. McCain, Biden, Prez. Bush, all these guys recited the pledge sans 'under god'.

I used to be ambivalent about the under god phrase. I would sometimes skip over it since I dont believe in a deity. Sometimes i just didnt care enough to skip it and would just plow through it. I wasnt an "issue kid," not nearly smart enough for that in high school. As an adult, on the few occasions i would recite it, i would just skip it, not realizing that i was using the version intended by the author. I thought, eh the pledge was really old and is says under god and while i dont like that, who am i to change it? Just ignore it because does it really matter?

But now, now i am pissed off. 1954?! In 1954 McCarthy began his Communism investigations. First of the United States Army and later, Americans at large. In 1954, Russia recognizes the sovereignty of East Germany but Soviet troops remain in the country. In 1954 trouble was brewing in Vietnam.

In the build up to the cold war there was this fear of what communisim was and could do to our country...McCarthy himself said, "The fate of the world rests with the clash between the atheism of Moscow and the Christian spirit throughout other parts of the world."

And in this atmosphere we add Under God to the Pledge, even though it is clear that it was never the intention of the author. We add it to this Pledge, that all new citizens are supposed to say, even though it is in direct conflict with the idea that America has the freedom of religion...bound to no religion. That means, the freedom from religion as well.

It bothers me that very few people know about this. How come we never get told this? How come there aren't discussions about this?

Why didn't someone tell me this sooner?!

Sometimes the only thing you can do to make yourself feel better is to sing along.


18 September 2008

Happy Birthday USAF

Tomorrow- a post about the Pledge of Allegiance.

Hugs and Kisses

16 September 2008

The Random

A few things today.

#1- Heads up on Banned Books Week September 27th-October 4th.

This is a subject near and dear to me. I will blogging more about it in the next week and will have a series of posts (not too many) the week of. I will be picking out a "banned book" to read that week and would love for you to do the same. Perhaps number 88 on the Top 100 Challenged Books, Where's Waldo?

On that note, check out my bookshelf at Shelfari.com. I highly recommend this website, if only to get good recommendations.

#2- The Brian Meeker Allstars(me) are #1 in my Fantasy Football League. I only mention this because by the time week 17 rolls around (and lets be honest, week 5) i will be at the bottom of the pack and will have, again, missed the playoffs. Gotta get it while you can.

#3- I desperately want a NES and Super Mario Bros. What spurred on this sudden desire? Power Glove of course...

And i know i can play on the firefox emulator but it just isnt the same feeling the old controller in my hand and having to blow on the cartridge (NOT a euphemism). Sigh...

That is all for now.

14 September 2008



I knew that something would snap me out of my election doldrums.

Happy Watching

12 September 2008

I Feel Disconsolate...

Main Entry: dis·con·so·late
Pronunciation: \dis-ˈkän(t)-sə-lət\
1 : cheerless
2 : dejected, downcast

...I feel tired.

The election has made me sad and i dont want to care about it anymore.

10 September 2008

The Submarines!

Below is the song I am listening to over and over again today.

It makes me feel like spring (You may have noticed that most songs make me feel like a season...strange?).

Also like maybe even when it seems that the entire world is about to crash down on you that, in fact, there is something to smile about.

Swimming Pool by The Submarines.

"All we want is an open mind you know the kind you can earn and can't buy"

tweet tweet goes the smiling bird~

PS I would recommend You, Me and the Bourgeoisie as well.

09 September 2008

The Large Hadron Collider *UPDATE*

The Large Hadron Collider is a ginormous particle accelerator located 300ft below the Swiss/French border. How big you ask?

"The...circumference of the LHC accelerator is 26 659 m, with a total of 9300 magnets inside. Not only is the LHC the world’s largest particle accelerator, just one-eighth of its cryogenic distribution system would qualify as the world’s largest fridge. At full power, trillions of protons will race around the LHC accelerator ring 11 245 times a second, travelling at 99.99% the speed of light"

Look at what us humans can do eh?

Tomorrow they are going to turn it on and smash some atoms! Some think it will destroy the earth, while others believe that is just crazy talk.

Myself, i am just excited at the idea of mini-singularities, strangelets, and monopoles. I dont know diddly squat about theoretical physics but the idea that crazy shite like this exists is very exciting indeed.

So, just in case the earth gets sucked into a black hole tomorrow...it was nice knowin ya.

**Oh Noes! The Internets Lied!**

Turns out that they arent smashing anything tomorrow. CERN "plans to inject the first beam of protons fully around the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the circular particle accelerator 17 miles (27 kilometers) long straddling the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva."

In August they failed to get the protons completely around the collider and this is a second attempt. The actual smashing of atoms wont happen for another 6-8 weeks. Plenty of time for you to order the Time Life Sounds of the 70's discs you have been thinking about.

Know that when the smashing begins...Bird will be there.

08 September 2008

Happy Born Day Munpe Q!

Mister Q is having a birthday today. Congrats on being born and everything!



07 September 2008

Stupid Brian Meeker

I named my NFL knockout team the Brian Meeker Allstars. Do you think it was karma that i got knocked out in the first round by the fucking Colts?

Next year i am going to name my team the Michael Phelps just in case.

05 September 2008

Let The Race Begin

Watched McCain's speech last night. Not much to share except that it was completely serviceable. No big surprises. Not a ton of insight into what his policies are. Very few jabs at Obama...or at least less than you would have expected after Palin's speech.

All in all, I would give it a B.

Today, the relentless campaign ads begin. Since we are in Colorado, expect to see more than average.

I am going to lay off the heavy politics for a while. My brain is crammed full of speeches and slogans. Back to my regular blog style-random nothingness.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend!


04 September 2008

Gov. Palin's Speech

In an effort to be a better citizen, no scoffing Q, i have dedicated myself to watching the DNC and RNC. The first part was easy. Like minds and all. The RNC has been more difficult and yet, i did manage to sit through all of Palin's speech last night.

If you haven't seen it I would suggest reading the transcript, which i posted just below.

Now, to be fair, Gov. Palin didnt write most of this speech. Some people are saying that because large chunks were written by someone else it just shows how horrible the republicans are. But honestly, i think there are very few candidates who actually write the entire speech themselves. Some have more of a hand in it than others however. I didnt expect Palin to write this speech. She was just announced so it would have been a serious struggle for her. If i was McCain's campaign mang. i would have had someone working on it for a week in advance as well.

Also, keep in mind that this speech wasnt supposed to win over independents. At least, i hope not! It was a speech targeted at the Republican base...which is why all those folks ate it up.

The reason it wont, or at least i hope it wont, fly with independents is that it was so filled with vitriol and lacked any kind of substance.

She openly mocked Obama's community organizing work, which seems out of step with the "we are for the common people" line. She criticised Obama's stage design while standing in front of an IMAX sized screen. She made fun of his popularity while the republicans called her, "Our Obama". She criticised Obama for being soft on defense when he is the only person who actually wants to go after Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan...where we should have been the entire time.

In Obama's acceptance speech he specifically said that he wasnt attacking a person's character, just their policies. Yet, Palin and the McCain campaign offered nothing but character attacks. She didnt spend a moment talking about what exactly the republicans were going to do for the country, which seems like a bit of a waste.

What she did do, however, was lie. Maybe we are calling it half-truths. Specifically, the Bridge to Nowhere. The bridge to nowhere would have connected the city of Ketchikan to their airport. When Palin was running for governor she went to Ketchikan and expressed her sympathy for the media's representation of it as a bridge to nowhere and actually supported it. When she was elected, and congress gave Alaska the money for the bridge she cancelled the project in a press release. However...she didnt give the money back. She kept it and used it for other projects. So it wasnt quite the "Thanks but No Thanks" response to congress. More like a "Thanks, but i have another project in mind for this."

Regarding energy she said, "America needs more energy; our opponent is against producing it." Honestly, is she insane? First, Obama supports drilling in the OCS. Second, can you really say something as blatantly wrong as Obama is against producing energy?! He may be critical of oil and our dependence on it but a huge platform for the democratic party is to develop new energy...wind, solar, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear (or at least the investigation of nuclear...but I say come on Dems lets get those plants built baby!). He is just thinking to the future and realizing that the oil you so badly want to drill wont be available for just under a decade so lets get some other ideas going in the mean time.

Gov. Palin said that Obama had not authored "a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate." This is another lie. While in the senate he co-sponsored the ethics reform legislation as well working on legislation to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. While in the state senate he was a leader on several hot button issues, racial profiling and unfair interrogation practices of death penalty cases. Has he been in the senate as long as McCain or Biden? No...but I dont think Palin's time as a mayor of 5000 people is too impressive to begin with.

So...while she did very well as an attack dog, which is what the veeps are supposed to do i suppose, it will be interesting to see how well she does when it is time to talk about the issues. To explain ideas and policies and plans and the actual guts of it all.

Now, the last bit that really drove me crazy last night is a little snarky. Did you see all the "homemade" signs that said Hocky Mom! and Palin Power! They weren't homemade. They were just made to look like that and then handed out to mostly women by the rnc staff. Why? Why go to the trouble to look like all these people made signs? It seems unnecessary and...well, smarmy.

Tonight, McCain speaks. I read that he is having the stage rebuilt so that it will look and feel more like the Town Hall meetings that he likes so much. You know what that means...expect another comment about how "Greek" like Obama's stage was a week ago. Because it is clear that we vote for a person not based on their issues, or ideas but based on the size of their setup....yep, that's the important bit.

Happy watching-

Memories....Like the Corners of My Mind

I Love This

I will be blogging about Gov. Palin's speech at the RNC later today so enjoy the happiness while it lasts.

You Hate This

~tweet tweet goes the irked Bird~

03 September 2008

Ummm...What? Palin Into Banning Books?

According to this Time article as mayor of Wasilla Alaska, Gov. Palin "asked the library how she could go about banning books."


The librarian, "Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor."

Seriously, fucking banning books because they had inappropriate language? I really hope this story isnt true because i would hate to think that someone with such a closed mind could actually be in charge of something as important as the nation.

What also worries me is the McCain vetting of Palin. Did he know about this incident when he asked her to be his veep? If not, what else doesnt he know about. If he did know, I am left to wonder if these are ideals that McCain shares.



02 September 2008

Music Redux

It is very fall like today. I love the fall. It wont last so I am trying not to get my hopes up but i can say that I am in a crazy good mood.

Currently listening to a couple of songs that i think will make you feel as good as I do. Please check them out if you feel so inclined.

Love and Understanding by Red Pony Clock

A Little Bit of Arson Never Hurt Anyone by Matson Jones

and Common People by Pulp (which you will have to hunt out on your own, sorry).

In other bird music news, the Breezy Porticos, my favorite local band, is dissolving. Sadness.

You remember the Breezy P's right? Anyway, they are having a final show on October 10th at the most wonderful Hi-Dive and I think you should come. Yes, you. No, not you in the striped shirt, you there behind that guy. Yes, you! Please come.

01 September 2008

Louisiana SB 733

Pat Robertson said in November of 2005 that, disaster may strike a Pennsylvania town because "they voted God out the city" having ousted school board members who favored teaching intelligent design.

Strange cuz, Hurricane Gustav is currently raining down upon Louisiana and that state just made Louisiana SB 733 a law. This would allow teachers to bring supplemental material into classes to "help" teach evolution, global warning, and the origin of life. Seems like the big guy upstairs would give the state a pass on this one.

The "Science Education Act" has been sponsored by Sen. Ben Nevers the same guy who, in 2001, voted "in favor of a measure declaring Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution to be the cause for racism."

...So you can tell the kind of intelligent people we are dealing with here.

"Nine of the nation's most prestigious scientific societies sent letters to the governor asking him to veto the bill."

Goddamn people. Why cant we get past shit like this? How many times do the founding fathers need to be trotted out with quotes like "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man" from Jefferson, "Lighthouses are more useful than churches" from Franklin, and referring to the cross, "Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced" from John Adams.

Oh and yes, this from the constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." That means, no matter how much you want to, you cant put the ten commandments in the courthouse, you cant have prayer in school, and you cant teach creationism in science class.

Aside from how completely against the law it is...there is another reason not to teach ID in classrooms. It is wrong. The fact that there are complex organisms in the world doesnt point to a designer. Suggesting that there isnt a designer doesnt mean that we evolved out of chance. The two choices arent Design and Chance. They are Design and Natural Selection and only one is even probable.

However, that isnt even my problem. People will choose to believe what they want and i am not here to change their minds. What bothers me is that religion has no place in science. No place at all.

This bill will be overturned in court, like they all are, and another will be signed in its place. But it makes me wonder, why do we go through all this? Why cant people just keep their religious opinions out of schools? They are free to teach their kids whatever they want as the grow up. They can pull them out of public school and send them to a private school where everyone prays and sings hymns and so forth.

Why keep fighting this fight? Especially when you always loose.


Please see Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, et al. for further inspiration.