Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Proving that Matata can still get her move on.

Marcel Duchamp got nothin’ on this boy.


If it were even remotely a Jewish holiday, we’d probably call it Erev Yom Kol ha-Tzadikim.

Our neighborhood is rife with Little Ones, and so Hallowe’en Chez Elisson involves constant shuttling back and forth between den and foyer. As of this writing - it’s 8:07 pm - we’ve doled out candy to over 110 kids ranging in age from Barely Able to Toddle to Definitely Able to Drive. Everything from adorable babes-in-arms to high school-age honeys in outfits that seem to have been cobbled together at Victoria’s Secret.

Some advice: Kid, if you’re old enough - and dressed alluringly enough - to be giving Elisson a chubby, you do not need to be out trick-or-treating. Unless the alternative is turning tricks.

More advice: If I am handing out Air-Heads (a candy that most kids inexplicably love), do not ask me for a Coke. This is not a fucking restaurant. Extortion that is socially acceptable in its limited annual context, yes. Restaurant, no.

If you don’t live in this neighborhood but are trick-or-treating here to enjoy the Upscale Treats that you can’t get at home, fine - just don’t make a big fucking pumpkin-splattered, shaving cream-schpritzed, trash-scattered mess out of mine, capisce?

The drill is simple. If you’re old enough to speak and you don’t know it, then you have no business being out on the We’en Streets:
  • Ring the doorbell. Once. When SWMBO or I open the door, speak the Ritual Invocation: “Trick or treat.” You may append the additional benediction, “Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat” at your option.
  • We will deposit a Sweet-Meat of our option into your Candy-Carrying Device. What, you do not have a Candy-Carrying Device? Bad form. It means you do not take the Ritual seriously. You are a Hallowe’en Dilettante.
  • Do not request alternative types of Sweet-Meats; do not request beverages. Exceptions to the latter will be considered only in the event you are (1) extremely weak, (2) extremely cute, (3) personally known to Yours Truly, and (4) clearly dying of thirst.
  • Upon receiving your Sweet-Meat, you should say, “Thank You” and then be on your way. Omitting the Ritual Expression of Gratitude - no matter how little gratitude you actually feel - is nekulturny.
SWMBO has no problems dressing down the ones who do not know that the Forms Must Be Obeyed; she’s a teacher, after all.

I don’t want to seem a Hallowe’en Grump. I can remember when I was of trick-or-treating age, and how excited I was to inspect the haul after a long, cold evening’s door-to-door trek. I’m old enough to remember getting small paper sacks of loose candy corn or other detritus, back in the years before everything was Sanitized and Hermetically Sealed For Your Protection. I even remember one elderly lady who would have us in for doughnuts and hot cider. Those days are gone, alas.

I remember taking our daughters, hand in hand, to canvass our neighborhoods: first in Atlanta, then later in Connecticut. One cold, rainy Hallowe’en in particular stands out, with Elder Daughter, all of nine years old, dressed as Marilyn Monroe. I held the umbrella as they made the collection; later, we all drank hot chocolate by the fire.

Now it’s time for the young parents and their kids to create those Hallowe’en memories. I just want a hot chocolate and a few minutes without having to answer the bell.


Laurence Simon’s lovely bride Gina will apparently have a Panini Griller among the pile of Birthday Swag delivered unto her today, courtesy of Bob (with whom I’ve been privileged to break bread chez Simon on a few occasions).

A Panini Press is kinda sorta like those George Foreman grills - a device with heated metal plates. Instead of merely grilling and compressing your Hamburger Patties, however, a Panini Press grills and compresses your Panini.

And WTF is a Panini? you ask. Let Mr. Debonair explain:

“A Panini is the Fancy-Pants version of the old Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Imagine, if you will, a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. But instead of that old reliable Whole Wheat or White Bread, use a nice, chewy Ciabatta bread. And throw out that glossy, fluorescent orange American cheese. Use Asiago, or Fontina, or maybe Brie instead - and stuff in some turkey, ham (gack), some roasted red peppers, and a few basil leaves. Mash it flat and grill it in a Panini Press, and you’ve got a grilled cheese sammitch that can hold its own in the jet-set capitals of Europe amongst the Moneyed Elite!”

Thank you, Mr. D.

Years ago, before the Marketing Geniuses figured out that they could take a George Foreman grill, double its price, and sell it as a Panini Press, there was a similar Kitchen Gewgaw that did pretty much the same thing: the Sandwich Mold. You stuck a couple of slices of bread in it, added your fillings, and closed the mold. In a few minutes, out would pop a Molded Sandwich - a Panini in all but name.

SWMBO became enamored of this device a number of years ago and purchased one. It was very useful for a while - the Missus loves her a Grilled Cheese sammitch every now and then, and this thing made good ones - but, as with all single-purpose Kitchen Devices, it eventually fell into disuse.

When we moved from Houston to Atlanta, the Sandwich Mold was packed up along with all of the other Kitchen Stuff.

Eventually, several years later, we came upon the Sandwich Mold. It had been put aside, consigned to that peculiar oblivion that is the fate of the Rarely Used Appliance.

To our horror, we found that there was a Mummified Sandwich in it.

The sandwich had to have been five years old, perhaps more. You would’ve expected it to have had so much green mold growing on it, it could have been mistaken for an especially hirsute Chia Pet - but no. Apparently, the combination of Fluorescent American Cheese Preservatives and being hermetically sealed inside the sandwich mold had put it in suspended animation. Amazing! The thing had not only retained enough of its shape that it was immediately recognizable, it looked almost brand-new. Shit!

No doubt one of the kids had been preparing herself a sandwich in the Infernal Device and had gotten distracted. That’s our theory, anyway.

It was a Zombie Sandwich, and we buried it with a toothpick in its heart.

The Sandwich Mold itself we burned at the stake. There was no way we could think of salvaging it after having housed a decomposing Grilled Cheese for over half a decade. I mean, what would you do?

To this day, when I see Panini on the menu, I cringe inwardly...

Panini? Pah! No! No!!!


Readjusting to Standard Time takes us a while here at Chez Elisson.

She Who Must Be Obeyed, in particular, hates the fall time change...and as I get older, I find that I also like it less and less. Maybe it’s a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, if one must put a name to it. All I know is, I feel a powerful urge to curl up and go to sleep once the sun goes down this time of year.

But Standard Time has its benefits. Now, at the bitter end of October, sunrise takes place as I am heading out the door to morning Minyan rather than when services are over. And this morning, just as I was grabbing my jacket, I saw dawn beginning to break through the windows at the front of the house.

It was glorious. And so, I grabbed Mr. Camera.

This was the view towards the southeast. As I swung around farther east, the colors in the sky grew steadily more dramatic.

And then, looking north, this is what I saw:

Mammatus clouds!

Homer, in his epic poetry, spoke metaphorically of Rosy-Fingered Dawn, but here was a more obvious, more earthy metaphor: Rosy-Titted Dawn.

Mammatus clouds are relatively unusual; yet, dramatic as they are, they are harmless. According to the University of Illinois website,
As updrafts carry precipitation enriched air to the cloud top, upward momentum is lost and the air begins to spread out horizontally, becoming a part of the anvil cloud. Because of its high concentration of precipitation particles (ice crystals and water droplets), the saturated air is heavier than the surrounding air and sinks back towards the earth.

The temperature of the subsiding air increases as it descends. However, since heat energy is required to melt and evaporate the precipitation particles contained within the sinking air, the warming produced by the sinking motion is quickly used up in the evaporation of precipitation particles. If more energy is required for evaporation than is generated by the subsidence, the sinking air will be cooler than its surroundings and will continue to sink downward.

The subsiding air eventually appears below the cloud base as rounded pouch-like structures called mammatus clouds.
I really don’t care for the scientific explanation - all I know is, I saw a flock of Sky-Titties this morning, and they were gorgeous.

And they didn’t stick around long. By the time I had put my camera away and started backing the Elissonmobile out of the driveway, they were gone - another Evanescent Aerial Memory.

But what a nice way to start the day, this Hallowe’en of 2006!

Monday, October 30, 2006


When I was fourteen, our family moved to a larger house.

It was not much of a move: roughly three blocks, less than half a mile. Our new home was on Pocahontas Street.

My hometown, it should be explained, was riddled with Native American place names. The town itself was Massapequa, from the Indian tribe that ostensibly had made its home there. We had street names like Unqua Road, Shinnecock Avenue, Iroquois Street, Algonquin Avenue, and (of course!) Pocahontas Street. That’s how we honored the people whose land our ancestors drove them from: we named streets after them. Sweeeet.

Shortly after we had established ourselves in our new home, we got a dog, a purebred Airedale whom we named Bengal’s Princess Pocahontas - after our new street, naturally. “Pokey” - for thus we called her, Bengal’s Princess Pocahontas not exactly something that rolled trippingly off the tongue - was a sweet thing whose life, unfortunately, was cut short at ten years due to a spinal tumor.

What is the point of all this Useless Reminiscence? You may well ask.

It is said by the Lords of the Internet, in a meme that has circulated extensively via e-mail and at various web sites, that one’s Porn Star name is the name of one’s childhood pet, conjoined with the name of the street on which one lived.

Which would make my Porn Star Name Pokey Pocahontas.

That’s a great Porn Star Name - but not necessarily for me. It seems to conjure up images of a buckskinned Native American maiden with a strap-on...

Sunday, October 29, 2006


The Ark settled down on its resting place atop Mount Ararat as the floodwaters receded.

Noah threw open the doors. It had been an arduous journey, but he felt cleansed - cleansed down to his very soul. He smiled. Time to plant a vineyard and build a new world!

Three years later, a grumpy Noah sat around the fire after his thousandth postdeluvian meal of wine and fish.

“I sure miss all them critters, Lord. A steak once in a while would be nice.”

A heavenly Voice boomed, “Don’t blame Me, Noah. I quite clearly said ‘animals,’ not ‘enemas.’”


Friday, October 27, 2006


Yes, today She Who Must Be Obeyed and I hie ourselves to the Great Silver Aerial Bus Terminal, there to take the Big Metal Bird that Eateth Kerosene to that most excellent city of Chicago. Because it just ain’t cold enough for us here in Georgia.

We will have a full schedule and a limited time in which to pack in numerous Family Events, but if any of my Esteemed Readers feel like being adventurous, I can probably be tracked down to my temporary lodgings at the Lincolnshire Marriott, where I will be pleased to share a Pleasant Tipple in the late, late evening.

Meanwhile, Elisson’s Little White Choon-Box is practically champing at the bit...or is that byte?...to spew out Yet Another Randomized Assortment of Mellow Moozik. Here ’tis:
  1. Pink Power Ranger - Bickley

    Mid-Nineties punk at its finest, from the Pogo Au Go-Go CD. One of the guys in the band was a colleague of mine from the Great Corporate Salt Mine. Talk about leading a double life: Corporate Suit by day, screaming about fucking the Pink Power Ranger by night...

  2. Devil In Her Heart - The Beatles
  3. Act II, Scene 3, Dance - Philip Glass, Akhnaten

    It was January 2001 when I flew to Boston to catch a performance of Akhnaten, Philip Glass’s landmark Modern Opera, with Elder Daughter. We sat in the nosebleeds, seemingly a mile from the stage, yet we were transfixed. I was already thoroughly familiar with the music, but seeing it staged was whole new experience, a magical evening.

  4. Sofa No. 2 - Frank Zappa
  5. Dem Rebn’s Nign - The Klezmer Conservatory Band
  6. Gravity Rides Everything - Modest Mouse
  7. Nierika - Dead Can Dance
  8. Hi De Ho Man - Cab Calloway
  9. Hello In There (live) - John Prine
  10. The Black Page - Frank Zappa
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


Friday Ark #110 sets sail today at the Modulator. It’s an especially auspicious week for the Ark as this is the week that we read the story of Noah in synagogue...the very portion that I read 41 years ago at my own Bar Mitzvah. [It’s also appropriate because it is raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock here in Atlanta. Building an Ark sounds like a good idea right about now.]

I can still remember the sensation of my knees knocking together as I stood at the reader’s table, chanting from the Torah scroll for the very first time. “Eileh toldos Noach: Noach ish tzadik tamim hayah b’dorosav, es ha-Elokim his-halekh Noach...

“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generation; Noah walked with God.”

Yep, Noah was definitely one of the Good Guys, despite his weakness for the grape...

Meanwhile, I have a weakness for Kitties, and as if the Friday Ark were not enough, there is Carnival of the Cats, the 136th incarnation of which will be hosted at Watermark this Sunday. Save the date!

Update: Carnival of the Cats #136 is up.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Because let’s face it - sometimes a Cat-Gut will not wait until Tuesday to be skritched!

[Click to embiggen.]

“Thank you, Daddy!”


By the old Mayretta Diner, many miles from the sea,
There’s a Jawja girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the pine-trees, and the auto horns they say;
“Come you back, you Jawja Blodger; come you back to Cobb Parkway!”
Come you back to Cobb Parkway,
Where the great Big Chicken lay;
Can’t you ’ear their mouses clickin’ from the Interstate Highway?
On the road to Cobb Parkway,
Where the Blodgers like to play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer Roswell ever’ day!


Tonight, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I wanted something for dinner that could be prepared quickly.

We have a busy night ahead of us: packing for our weekend jaunt to Chicago-Land, there to attend the Bat Mitzvah of one of SWMBO’s cousins. [A first cousin twice-removed, if you care about such details.] And as if that were not enough, SWMBO is making a couple of Breakfast Casseroles for a school function tomorrow morning. I don’t know all the details, but it involves a lot of challah, eggs, milk and cheese.

Rooting around in the ol’ Fridge-Crisper, I found a gargantuan sack of asparagus spears. Immediately, the grill seemed an attractive option. All I had to do by way of prep was to trim off about an inch from the bottoms of the stalks, rinse and dry the asparagi, drizzle them generously with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For a little extra flavor fillip, I added a dash or two of Piment d’Espelette - Basque red pepper. It also helped kick the Pretentiousness Index of the dish into the stratosphere.

Along with the asparamagoosalum, I prepared a handful of cheese-stuffed jalapeños in the style of Laurence Simon. Havarti works well here, but this time I used Münster cheese just for the sheer eyeball-popping hell of it.

For the main course, we had Salmon Filets with Basil Butter, à la mode de Costco. All we had to do was stick ’em in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, and Bingo! Dinner. Checkit...

Alas, we had neglected to prepare a starch, and so SWMBO came to the rescue with her usual creative flair. Pirate’s Booty!

Well, from a distance, it kinda looks like spätzle, them little free-form German noodles...

...and besides, it’s Styrofoama-Licious!

All told, a fine meal, easily prepared within 30 minutes (including prep time). Next time I’ll not be quite so lazy, and I’ll plank the salmon instead - provided I remember to allow an hour or so to soak the frickin’ plank.

And now: Packing Calleth!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Yes, it’s another one of those stupid-ass Blogthings that seems to be making the rounds...

Your Hallowe’en Costume Should Be

Colander Borg-Man

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to KeesKennis for the link.]


Went to shul on Sukkot, davened hard as I can,
Bring home my
lulav, you take my lulav, wave it with the Rabbi man.
I should have quit you, baby, such a long time ago.
I wouldn’t be here with all my troubles, down by this
sukkah door.

Squeeze my
esrig, till the juice runs down my leg.
Squeeze my
esrig, till the juice runs down my leg.
The way you squeeze my
esrig, I'm gonna fall right out of bed.

- Led Kreppilach

The 90th edition of Haveil Havalim - Vanity of Vanities - is up at Soccer Dad.



The Grouchy Old Cripple may not be getting any Grouchier...but he is getting older. And that’s always a good thing, considering the alternative.

Today, Denny carves another notch in the Gunstock o’ Life, having blown away another Annual Solar Circumnavigation. And when I say “blown away,” I mean it. Denny does not sit back and let life happen to him; he goes out and wrestles its ass to the ground. He takes great vacations in exotic places, he goes scuba diving, he skis, and he holds a pilot’s license has flown private aircraft solo.

He can hang with the Blown-Eyed Blodgers one day, and then go with his Sommelier Guild buddies and enjoy fine wines and Gourmet Grinds.

Plus, he plays a Mean Axe.

He does not suffer fools gladly. Trolls who leave asinine, obnoxious, or stupid comments on his site get Grouchisized™.

Happy birthday, Denny! May you have many, many more, without limit to any good thing.

Now, Esteemed Ones: Go thou and congratulate him!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Back in my Snot-Nose Days, I liked Arts and Crafts - the business of creating beautiful things. Or, in my case, Gawd-Awful Eye Cancers.

In Day Camp, we made things like tile mosaics and enameled pins...and, of course, the Ubiquitous Gimp Lanyards. And, as I got older, my modeling talent found its outlet in hobbies like Model Rocketry.

Alas, my Arts and Crafts capabilities have shrivelled from disuse. The last “crafty” thing I did was to write out my wedding contract - ketubah - in Hebrew-Aramaic calligraphy over 29 years ago. The parchment resides in my nightstand, with the illumination half-complete. I rationalize this by saying that my marriage to SWMBO is an ever-evolving, ever-growing relationship, one that will never be “finished” while we both live - but that’s an excuse, and a poor one at that.

Elisson’s hand-inscribed ketubah (Detail).
Click to embiggen.

A few years ago, I did some découpage and made myself a nice Cigar-Box. But that’s about it. A few years ago, we took the Mistress of Sarcasm to a big-league Craft Show here in Atlanta, and you would not believe the stuff we saw there. Beautiful...and way, way beyond the ol’ Gimp Lanyard.

Elisson’s hand-made Découpage Cigar-Box.

The Mistress studied Metals and Jewelry at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and she just called today to say that she just got a substantial order for one of her designs, a Hitchcock-inspired pendant. She seems to have inherited any Arty Talent I may have had, and then some.

The Mistress’s Hitchcockian Bird Pendant.

As for me, I’m tempted to get back into Arts and Crafts, thanks to this site. Lots of creative ideas!

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Christopher Trottier of quixoticals for the link.]


If we are what we eat, then America is doomed. Lookit:

Jimmeh Dean

I found this over at pesky’apostrophe - if you follow the link to the original post, you can also see Jon Stewart’s snarky take on this wonderful new Comestible Product.

Think of it: a tasty Breakfast Sausage, encased, Corn-Dawggy Style, in a pancake. And not just any pancake - a chocolate chip pancake!

Because Americans don’t get enough chocolate chips during the course of the average day.

What? You don’t like chocolate? Try the (artificially flavored) blueberry version!

To really enjoy Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick (Carnival Food - at home!), Mr. Debonair suggests deep frying them in beef tallow, followed by a quick dunk in Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Laugh if you want - it’ll be a hit in Scotland, home of sausage lovers and fried candy bars.

I dunno. There’s something about a pancake-enrobed Sausage on a Stick that speaks to me on a level that goes way, way deeper than the guilty pleasure of Junk Food. Deep enough to wrap its tendrils around that ol’ Reptilian Hindbrain, where lurk thoughts of hot dogs and buns...or perhaps of other, more mechanical delights.

But I could be wrong. Sometimes a Sausage on a Stick is just a Sausage on a Stick...unless it’s the End of Western Civilization.

[Image lifted from the Junk Food Blog, for which Elisson offers a tip o’ th’ fedora. Another tip o’ th’ fedora to Christina for the mechanical delights link...]

Monday, October 23, 2006


SWMBO likes Hallowe’en. Except maybe for the part where we have to get up and answer the frickin’ door eight hundred times during the course of the evening...

Any of my Esteemed Reader-Ladies out there get your nails done up Zombie-Style?


Exhibit A:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, an hour ago this bed was freshly made - and yet, now, it bears the unmistakable indentations of a Hairy Intruder!”

Exhibit B:

“Please forgive the coarse nature of this Photographic Evidence. As you can see, the Bunwad Roll on the left bears the mark of the Feline Culprit, who, unable to wipe her own ass, leaves the unused paper in a heap on the floor! Shocking!”

“Who, me? Why, I’ve been here resting on the sofa the whole time! Yeah, that’s the ticket! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”


...are two separate topics, unless one is an aficionado of certain unmentionable Asian Cuisines. But you can easily get your Minimum Bloggy Requirement of each, simply by visiting the respective Carnivals of the Recipes and Cats.

Carnival of the Recipes #114 is at Nerd Family, and this week’s Carnival of the Cats is hosted by the Cat-Daddy Catblogger himself, Laurence Simon, at his Houston Chronicle reader blog, Catcall. It’s the 135th CotC, well worth a visit.

Food and Felines! Fun for fans of Feasting and Fur!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson Fedora to Caltechgirl for the photo!]


Kachina HorsieI have been remiss in not announcing a winner of the last Caption Contest.

Who knew that a Kachina Horsie would generate so much obscene speculation? OK, admittedly, that Saddle Thingie looks perfect for Holding a Lady’s Nethers like a Bowling Ball...Lisa and Richard, I am appalled...and yet, strangely, not surprised...

Anyway, Da Winnah is Dash Riprock hizzownself, with this gem:

“Much to Gumby's dismay, Pokey finally decides to come out of the closet.”

Caption Contest Winner!

Dash, feel free to use this Winner’s Button in your sidebar...it is a veritabobble Badge of Shame Honor. And thanks to everybody who contributed a caption!

And now, for the next Caption Contest...

Does this Exotic Rock suggest anything to you? Leave your caption in the Comments.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Yesterday, I was So Happy It’s Thursday.
Today, I Thank Gawd It’s Friday.

Today, I’m going to steal an idea from Groanin’ Jock. GJ has come up with the idea of adding a little commentary about each of the ten tunes in his Random Assortment. That’s gotta be more interesting than just posting the lyrics, eh?

So: lessee what’s on the ol’ iPod d’Elisson today...
  1. What Is This Feeling? - Wicked, Original Cast Recording

    Probably a touch of the grippe.

  2. Pachalafaka - Soupy Sales

    This is a truly dopey song.

    Pachalafaka, pachalafaka
    They whisper it all over Turkey
    Pachalafaka, pachalafaka
    It sounds so romantic and perky...

    It’s one of those damned earwigs that, owing to having heard it at a young, impressionable age, has a tendency to pop into the Thought Stream at random moments, causing an intense desire to gouge out one’s eyes with a golf tee.

  3. The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles

    This is the deconstructed version from Let It Be - Naked. Without Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” orchestral sweetening, this is a much different song than the one I grew up with...and far better.

  4. Saltydog - Flogging Molly

    Something the Mistress of Sarcasm stuck on my machine. The name of the band sounds like an Irish euphemism for masturbation.

  5. Take The Power Back - Rage Against The Machine

    These boys sound pissed off all the fucking time, am I right?

  6. Intro - Bill Hicks

    The start to a lengthy comedy set recorded in London. Brilliant stuff.

  7. All Neon Like - Björk

    Did you know “Björk” is Icelandic for “birch”? Did you care?

  8. In Limbo - Radiohead

    From Radiohead’s Kid A disc. Wish I had had this one back in the late 1960’s. Freaky.

  9. Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Donovan

    “I’m Just Wild About Saffron,” my ass.

  10. Marie’s Wedding - Van Morrison

    Van Morrison returns to his Irish folk roots with this rendition of a classic. Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express covered this song too, but with decidedly equivocal results.
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


This week’s Fuzzy Friday post is dedicated to Gracie, one of Meryl Yourish’s kitties. Gracie has been ailing these past few days, and she underwent exploratory surgery this morning. The operation revealed no obvious physical problems, a real “good news - bad news” scenario...but hopefully, with some anti-anxiety medication, Gracie’s touchy stomach can settle down. Please hop on over and wish Gracie a speedy recovery.

The 109th Friday Ark is sailing, thanks to the good offices of Steve, the one and only Modulator. I see my fellow Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodger Dax Montana has signed on for this week’s voyage with his centipede photos...some folks are just not all about the warm and fuzzy, innit?

Speaking of warm and fuzzy, be sure to visit Carnival of the Cats this Sunday, when the most beloved Carnival in the Bloggy-Sphere is hosted at Catcall, Laurence Simon’s Houston Chronicle reader blog. Lair is the King-Daddy Catblogger, so you know this Carnival is gonna be a good one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


[Being a recap, more or less, of the recent Hysterics at Eric’s in the style of the Straight White One’s favorite poet.]

There are strange things done in the Blog-World, son
By the peeps who write their posts;
The Internet quails to hear the tales
When they drink their many toasts;
The Tennessee heights have seen weird sights,
But the weirdest of all - Oh, my -
Was deep in October when we all came over
To party with Straight White Guy.

Now Eric the Red was Tennessee-bred, where the cotton blooms and blows.
He opened his home to the bloggers that roam - why he did it, Gawd only knows.
But I heard him say it was his birthday, a good time to celebrate,
So we cleaned up our hides and got in our rides, saying, “Boy, this is gonna be great!

I really don’t know who the first was to show, over there in the Englewood glens.
I know Jimbo was there (with Farookin’ Great Hair™), driving down with his bodyguard, Ken.
Next, the Grouchy Old Cripple, who posts pictures of nipples (it’s Saturday Boobage, you see)
Drove up in his fast car, bringing his gee-tar, to sing about Raccoon Rocky.

Zonker then made the show, with Caltechgirl in tow - the Neurobiologist Lady.
Bringing Good, Good Juju was the famous Yabu - “Cool Runnings” to you, Sammy baby!
And close behind them was the great RSM, who can navigate (when the smoke clears),
Then came That 1 Guy, with the twinkling eye and the Brain that Containeth the Beers.

As if that’s not enough, then Boudicca showed up, with Morrigan firmly in tow.
(Mo is Boudicca’s sister, who’ll be hitched to a Mister just a few months from now, don’tcha know.)
With them came Sissy - a most lovely missy - who wanted to see What was Next,
And, in NASCAR leather, dodging Ohio weather, the one and the only Redneck.

Now, wouldn’t you know, here came ol’ Johnny-Oh, a Closeted sort of Extremist,
And Velociman up from Jacksonville ran, to brag ’bout the size of his penis.
Teresa joined in, with her infectious grin, to hang with the rest of us nuts.
Sure enough, here came Dax (always cool to the max) with the fixin’s for Redheaded Sluts.

Of course, we all knew that Recondo Three-Two would arrive with Miss Georgia, his wife.
She said, “Never fear! We will have enough beer!” There’s a lady that lives the High Life.
Almost last to arrive (’twas a two-hour drive) was Elisson and his wife SWMBO.
Tommy made an appearance, then a rapid out-clearance, for off to his job he had to go.

We were more than twenty, and with liquor aplenty, the stories and bullshit did flow.
Yabu pulled a rocket from out of his pocket, and, boy, did it make quite a show.
Landing on Eric’s roof (it’s the Gawd’s honest truth!), it was Johnny-Oh came to the rescue.
But to climb to such heights - well, it just isn’t right, cause the booze coulda caused a Bad Miscue.

And then, just for fun, Recondo brought guns - the kind that shoot gumbands for ammo.
Emboldened by Scotch, I shot V-Man’s crotch. He shoulda been wearing some camo.
All of us, we called dibs on those delicious ribs, the ones that old Eric was grillin’
They were cooked to perfection, that Meaty Selection, and I’m here to tell you, ’twas fillin’.

No ifs, ands, or buts: we drank Redheaded Sluts, and Jim’s choc’ late vodka was tasty.
Fiona drank lots of those dangerous shots, and by four in the morning got “wasty.”
Eric got him a shovel and stalked out to the hovel where Dax and Yabu lay asleep,
Resolved to bring strife. “Who’s that tanked up my wife?” But nary a one made a peep.

Sunday morning dawned clear with the funk of stale beer, the bloggers on unsteady legs.
Jim and Ken grabbed a pan and fried up Taylor ham, and Elisson scrambled some eggs.
To the breakfasted crew we all bid an adieu - goodbye, Eric and Fiona dear...
You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more kind. Happy Birthday! Let’s do this next year!

There are strange things done in the Blog-World, son
By the peeps who write their posts;
The Internet quails to hear the tales
When they drink their many toasts;
The Tennessee heights have seen weird sights,
But the weirdest of all - Oh, my -
Was deep in October when we all came over
To party with Straight White Guy.


This morning, as I was leaving the synagogue after morning Minyan, I looked to the eastern sky to see a beautiful rosy sunrise, patches of blue sky contrasting with a layer of clouds lit up in the most remarkable colors.

Eraj, one of the other regulars, was getting in his car. “Look at that!” I said, pointing east.

Wordlessly, Eraj smiled and pointed west. I turned to look...

...only to see a brilliant rainbow, a complete unbroken 180-degree arch stretching from horizon to horizon. It was jaw-droppingly magnificent.

Appropriate, too, for this morning we read the narrative of Creation. Next week will come the chapter having to do with Noah (my Bar Mitzvah parasha), a story in which the rainbow features prominently.

Never have I more regretted not having my camera with me. I rushed home to get it, but, alas, by the time I reached our neighborhood, the rainbow was gone, replaced by a layer of grey mist. I was left with only the memory of a fleeting moment of beauty.

Kirsten Namskau may have said it best:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Last Friday night, we caught Kathy Griffin’s standup act at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center. “We,” as used here, refers to a small army of our friends: She Who Must Be Obeyed and Yours Truly, Gary and Joann, Don and Laura Belle, and Marc and Shelley.

The show was howlingly funny, but after a while, we all began to realize that we were, quite possibly, the only eight heterosexuals in the entire audience. [Not that there’s anything wrong with that.] Kind of like going off to see, all unawares, the comedic equivalent of Bette Midler or the late Judy Garland.

For once, it was nice to see a comedy act that was completely uncluttered by emcees, warm-up acts, and openers. The lights went down; the show started. Boom.

And damn, what a show! Ninety minutes of pants-pissingly funny material. I was even able to snap off a few pictures from our fine location just a few rows from the stage. Enjoy.


Soaky soaks you clean
In oceans full of fun
Flubbitty bubbity bibbity bubbity
Clean before you’re done!

Soaky soaks you clean
And every girl and boy
Gets a toy when it’s empty -
When it’s empty, it’s a toy!


Esteemed readers of a certain age will remember the “Soaky” jingle all too well, an earworm even more pernicious than that stinking Mnah Mnah choon.

Soaky was a bath detergent for the kiddies. The Marketing Geniuses came up with the brilliant concept of selling it in molded bottles shaped like popular cartoon characters: Popeye, Alvin and the Chipmunks, et alia. The Intellectual Predecessor, if you will, of the Shampoo in the Darth Vader Bottle.

Once the bottle was empty, it could be used as a bath toy by the intellectually challenged, or refilled with cheap, industrial-grade detergent by canny parents. You can find them today, offered for sale on various Internet sites to Baby Boomers with more nostalgia than sense.

But it’s that fucking jingle that stays with you. I wonder if the ad agency drone who wrote it ever thought that, 45 years down the line, it would still be stuck, peanut butter mouthroof-like, to the brains of those impressionable young tykes who heard it...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Because who the fuck wants to try spelling “Boeuf Bourguignon”?

A couple of days ago, on the way back from the Hysterics at Eric’s, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I made a Costco run. Gotta love Costco, home of Mass Quantities of Tasty Protein.

SWMBO’s eyes settled on a honkin’ humongous package of beef stew meat...for there’s no stick-to-your-ribs comfort food quite like a good beef stew.

This evening, when the Dinner Hour approached, I got in one of my Cooking Moods, and so the Missus (reluctantly) yielded the kitchen to me as I prepared Comfort Food, Continental Style.

Boof Booganoon, AKA Boeuf Bourguignon, AKA Beef Burgundy

You’ll need:

~3 lbs beef chunks
kosher salt
black pepper
~ 3 tbsp butter
~ 3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 carrots
1-2 medium yellow onions
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 rib celery
~ 6 parsley stems (leaves removed)
2 cloves (optional)
~1/2 cup Cognac
750 ml Pinot Noir wine
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups small boiling or pearl onions

First, I dredged the ~three pounds of meat chunks (you can use beef chuck, hacked up into convenient one-inch cubes) in flour into which I had added a generous dollop of fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt. These went into a hot skillet into which I had put some olive oil. I browned the meat in several batches - you don’t want to crowd the meat in the skillet, lest it steam instead of developing a nice dark crusty glaze. Add more oil if the pan dries out.

Once the meat was all browned and put aside, I deglazed the pan with about a half cup of Cognac, being sure to scrape up all the delicious knobbly brown stuff from the pan. This all got dumped on the meat, after which I wiped out the pan for the next step.

Next, I peeled and cut into chunks three good-sized carrots. I also chopped up a yellow onion and three cloves of garlic. These went into a Dutch oven with a tablespoon of melted butter at medium-high heat to soften and lightly caramelize. After the onions were nice and soft and just beginning to brown, I added a tablespoon of tomato paste and continued cooking for another minute or two. Once all this was done, I dumped in the meat and added a 750 ml bottle of Pinot Noir. [If you want to get all Continental, you can use red Burgundy wine (the dish is, after all, “Beef Burgundy”) or a Côtes du Rhône Rouge.] What you do now is bring everything to a low simmer and let it cook for 3½ - 4 hours, partially covered.

While the stew is coming to a simmer, prepare a bouquet garni: take a rib of celery and, using butcher’s twine, tie about half a dozen parsley stems and two bay leaves to it. You may also wish to stick one or two whole cloves in there; I did not. The bouquet garni goes in the stew while the excess twine is used to tie it to the handle of the Dutch oven. This makes it easy to retrieve it when the dish is finished cooking.

Once everything is simmering along nicely, blanch a couple of cups of small boiling onions or pearl onions in boiling salted water for one minute, then shock with cold water. Once you’ve done this, peeling the slippery little fuckers is a snap. I used Cipollini onions - they’re a convenient size for eating, and, unlike pearl onions, it doesn’t take two months to peel a few cups of ’em.

Take the peeled onions and sauté them in a small saucepan in a tablespoon of melted butter until they have a few nice brown spots on them - about 6 minutes. Then, add two cups of water and let the onions simmer slowly for about 20 minutes. Then, crank up the heat and boil until the liquid has been reduced to a few tablespoons. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Rinse and drain the mushroom slices and sauté in a tablespoon of melted butter, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the water released by the mushrooms has cooked off and the mushrooms start to brown. Remove from heat; set aside.

Once the beef is tender, add the onions (and the few tbsp of cooking liquid) and the mushrooms to the stew and let cook for another 10-15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni (that’s what that string is for, remember?) and serve it forth, accompanied by new boiled potatoes or buttered noodles.

Me, I enjoyed this with a nice Kenwood red Zinfandel, and it hit the spot - a perfect dinner for a blustery, rainy Autumn night.


Because there can never be enough Gratuitous Pussy Shots.

And besides, who better than Matata - she of the Ample Apron - to bare all for Tummy Tuesday?

Technorati tags: Tummy Tuesday


There is something about fast-moving projectiles that fascinates the Male of the Species.

Some people satisfy their Projectile Jones with guns, which are eminently suited to the task of propelling chunks of metal at very high speeds. This property makes them extremely useful for those occasions when you might need to make holes in various objects.

Guns work by forcing projectiles through a cylindrical barrel through the force of rapidly expanding gases, gases which are produced by a chemical deflagration. Boyle’s Law and Newton’s Laws pretty much handle the rest.

Others prefer to use projectiles which carry their own motive force with them. Rockets!

And who else but “Bombs Bursting In Air” Yabu - he of the Fireworks Arsenal That Could Level An Entire City Block And Which Almost Caused Him To Get Arrested In Helen, Georgia - would think to bring a Rocket to the Hysterics at Eric’s?

Yes, Yabu brought with him a Rocket - a veritabobble Estes model rocket - the better to entertain the Fine Peeps who came out to celebrate Eric’s birthday this past weekend. Proof positive that, within the skull of every Weapons-Loving Fireworks-Hound Male lurks the perfervid brain of a Nerd.

Trust me on this. I know.

An Estes model rocket! Gawd, did that bring me back to my Snot-Nose days.

Of course, forty years ago, you had to build your Model Rockets from scratch. Even if you purchased your rocket in kit form, you still had to do all the gluing, painting, etcetera. It could take days or weeks to make a rocket in flight-ready form.

Not anymore.

Now, you can buy a ready-to-fly model rocket, complete with safety ignition system and easy-to-assemble launch pad. All you have to do is snap the pad together, stick the engine in, install the engine igniter, shove in some recovery wadding, and Bingo! - you are ready to go. It’s the Perfect Pyrotechnic for a bunch of drunken bloggers, most of whom should not have been trusted with anything more complicated or hazardous than a Nerf Bat at this particular stage of the proceedings.

The damned thing - a Max Trax, in case you’re curious - even came with a snazzy built-in electronic altimeter. Not only that; it also came with a little note that said, “Sometimes the altimeter will fail to function even if the battery is installed correctly and you have followed the instructions to the letter. What can we say? It’s a cheap made-in-China piece of shit. So sue us.”

And, sure enough, the altimeter crapped out...disappointing the Altitude Handicappers.

But aside from the nonfunctioning altimeter, the Rocket o’ Doom worked perfectly, soaring to about 700 feet in its maiden voyage. Thanks to the almost completely windless conditions, it touched down within 100 feet of where it was launched.

Right on Eric’s frickin’ roof. Johnny-Oh had to scramble up and retrieve it for Shot Two.

The second flight landed even closer - a mere 20 feet away. We never had it so good when we were kids.

Recondo32, Yabu, Zonker, Jimbo, and Bodyguard Ken admire the Flight Operations.

Is that a Nose Cone in your pocket, or are you glad to see me?


According to Them As Knows About These Things, the population of the United States passed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:45 a.m. today.

Them’s a Whole Lotta Peeps, peeps.

When I was a snot-nosed lad of not quite twelve, I remember going to the New York World’s Fair. That would be the one in 1964-65 that featured the stainless steel Unisphere - not the one from 1939-40 with the more iconic Trylon and Perisphere.

The Unisphere still stands in Flushing Meadow, and other structures from the 1964-65 Fair exist today as well. The New York State pavilion, in particular, was featured prominently in the movie Men In Black.

World’s Fairs don’t have quite the cachet they used to. Global shrinkage, facilitated by (relatively) inexpensive international travel and communications, means that many places once considered exotic and remote are now easily accessible. Foreign cuisine is available in even the most provincial corners of the USA, and free trade has transformed the consumer goods marketplace. And as if that were not enough, permanent World’s Fair-like theme parks such as Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center have filled any remaining gaps. You can go to “Morocco” and then go eat a taco. Oh, boy.

But back in the day, the New York World’s Fair was exciting. And one of the attractions was a U.S. Population Clock that, in flashing digits, registered the slow, steady increase in the number of our nation’s inhabitants.

Back then, that number was something on the order of 192,000,000 people. The 200 million mark was still several years in the future, to be reached in 1968. About twenty some-odd years after that, the 250 million mark would be surpassed.

I do not recall the details of what drove population growth back then, but the numbers today are easily available. With one birth every 7 seconds, one death every 13 seconds, and one (net) new immigrant every 31 seconds, we add a new person to our National Roll roughly every eleven seconds.

Three hundred million people. Less than five percent of the current world population of six billion, five hundred fifty-one million...

...which means that those of us who have beaten the Cosmic Odds and who live here are truly lucky indeed. It’s like winning the lottery - the only lottery that really matters.

Monday, October 16, 2006


You, too, can be the Life of the Potty with this Extra Tasteful Hallowe’en Costume.

What sort of chucklefuck would allow his or her child to dress as a Shit-Repository for the annual Trick-or-Treat festivities? What sort of self-esteem issues must be boiling in this poor child’s dark and twisted psyche? I ask you.

Why, the mind fairly boggles. It’s a slippery, shit-slick slope, my friends. Next thing you know, there’ll be a WC-Themed Restaurant. Where will it end?

Now, if I had a rotten sort of mind, there would be no limits to the Photoshop Fun I could have with an image such as this. But photoshopping, say, someone else’s head onto this photo is too easy. Plus, it smacks of gilding the lily.

For once, I will exercise restraint. Alas, some of my Esteemed Readers (I do not name names) may not show quite as much restraint and discretion.

The question has been raised, “What do you give a child who shows up at your front door on Hallowe’en wearing a costume such as this?”

Why...a Baby Ruth, of course.

Turd in the Punchbowl?

Turd in a punchbowl
Kid’s dressed as a toilet
Turd in a punchbowl
Before wearin’ it, boil it.

Turd in a punchbowl
Kid’s costume is spiffy
Turd in a punchbowl
Avoid getting a whiffy.

Turd in a punchbowl
Next year, be a urinal!
Turd in a punchbowl
I’ll hand pucks out to all y’all.

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Laurence Simon for the link.]


...yet again.

Birthday greetings, that is.

The Thunderous One his ownself celebrates another year of walking the planet today.

I could poke fun at him, you know. He’s an easy target, seeing as how he rarely bothers to post - probably owing to a serious Real-Life work ethic. And when a Mullet-Wig is not available, other alternatives may be found...

[photograph deleted at the request of decent, Gawd-fearing folks everywhere]

But I’ll hold myself back. Because you can travel the length and breadth of the Bloggy-Sphere - or Meat-World, for that matter - and you will not find Person One who is as openhearted, gracious, considerate, and just plain bloodclot-shittin’ funny as The Man Who Styles Himself “Zonker.”

I have traveled to Japan, where a good host never lets a guest see the bottom of his sake cup. That’s Zonker. He, quietly and without fanfare, sees that nothing is lacking at any gathering of friends.

Saludos, amigo. May the wind be always at your back, may you live to one hundred twenty, all of that shit. Now, will you write a fuckin’ post? Don’t break your arm or anything, hefting that laptop...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


...are sure to be on the menu for this guy, who celebrates his 34th trip around the Sun today.

May there be many, many more, all in the best of health and without limit to any good thing.

Rumor has it that there will be some sort of party...and you never know who will show up...

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to the legendary K-Nine for the image]

Friday, October 13, 2006


Now Autumn cometh fast apace.
The wind is cold; the heat is on.
Third-quarter moon shows her white face.
Dry leaves are scattered on the lawn.
For rain (not dew) we daily pray.
Sukkot, it has come and gone.
The palms and willows put away -
Mais où sont les esrigs d’antan?

Here they is!


Friday already!??!

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But this week seems to have flown by. That may be because it was a short workweek, with the Missus and I returning from a long weekend in Texas Monday afternoon.

But that was then, and this is now. Which means it’s time to check out the Little White Choon-Box to see what sort of Random Madness it will spew forth. Lessee...
  1. Another Generation - Fishbone
  2. Flamenco Sketches - Miles Davis
  3. MacArthur Park - Richard Harris

    Spring was never waiting for us, girl
    It ran one step ahead
    As we followed in the dance
    Between the parted pages and were pressed
    In love’s hot, fevered iron
    Like a stripèd pair of pants

    MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don’t think that I can take it
    ’Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh, no!

    I recall the yellow cotton dress
    Foaming like a wave
    On the ground around your knees
    The birds, like tender babies in your hands
    And the old men playing checkers by the trees

    MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don’t think that I can take it
    ’Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh, no!


    There will be another song for me
    For I will sing it
    There will be another dream for me
    Someone will bring it
    I will drink the wine while it is warm
    And never let you catch me looking at the sun
    And after all the loves of my life
    After all the loves of my life
    You’ll still be the one

    I will take my life into my hands and I will use it
    I will win the worship in their eyes and I will lose it
    I will have the things that I desire
    And my passion flow like rivers through the sky
    And after all the loves of my life
    After all the loves of my life
    I’ll be thinking of you
    And wondering why

    [extended break]

    MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don’t think that I can take it
    ’Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh, no!
    Oh, no
    No, no
    Oh no!!

  4. Fakin’ Jamaican - Skankin’ Pickle
  5. Jungle Boogie - Kool & The Gang
  6. Sunset Road (live) - Béla Fleck & the Flecktones
  7. Metamorphosis Three - Philip Glass
  8. Looks Like I’m Up Shit Creek Again - Tom Waits
  9. Human - Goldfrapp
  10. Big Eyed Beans from Venus - Captain Beefheart
I couldn’t resist posting the lyrics to MacArthur Park, possibly the most bombastic, bloated, overwrought pop song to come out of the 1960’s. Complete with ridiculous lyrics, Richard Harris’s breathless, quavery vocal, the extended Go-Go-style instrumental break, and the Mr. Bill refrain (Oh, no!), MacArthur Park is still a Guilty Pleasure. Sure, it sucks...but it sucks so good!

It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


Today being Hoshana Rabah (“The Big Hosanna”), the final day of the Sukkot festival, it’s yet another in a long parade o’ Jewish holidays this time of year.

[Well, technically speaking, Hoshana Rabah is not a separate holiday in and of itself. It’s the last day of Sukkot (AKA Succoth), the “Feast of Tabernacles” to those familiar with the King James Bible. It’s Chol ha-Moed - a weekday that falls during a festival - so the holiday restrictions against certain kinds of work do not apply...but HB is treated a little differently, with the morning service taking on some holiday-like aspects.]

Oh, say, what fun to be a Jew!
Hoshana Rabah: what to do?

We’ve built our little Succah-huts -
Our Christian neighbors think we’re nuts.

We’ve eaten meals out there all week.
(But it’s no place to take a leak.)

We march around and chant Hosannas
Whilst holding citrons (not bananas).

The citron is not good to eat:
Think “big-ass lemon with cellulite.”

We wave our palm fronds in the air -
Willow and myrtle leaves get in our hair,
[Despite them little hats we wear.]

Whack willow-switches on the floor
And say “Go forth and sin no more.”

Oh, say, what fun to be a Jew!
If only all the goyim knew.

The citron pictured above (the “big-ass lemon with cellulite”) is a thick-skinned citrus fruit, a symbol of the harvest. It is known in Hebrew as an etrog (plural: etrogim) - in Ashkenazic Yiddish as an esrig. Hyper-observant Jews have been known to pay exorbitant amounts - hundreds of dollars - for the most beautiful specimens; you may see them in parts of New York examining the golden fruits with jeweler’s loupes. Nuts, I tells ya.

After the holiday is over this evening (tomorrow and Sunday are yet another couple of holidays, but that’s another story), the esrig goes back in its box to dry gradually. Owing to its thick skin, an esrig will dry out nicely without decomposing over a span of months. Studded with cloves, they make dandy pomanders; without cloves, a mummified esrig is perfect for hucking at the rabbi when his sermon runs overlong.

One thing you typically don’t do with an esrig is to eat it - although I’m sure my Israeli friends will tell me otherwise. Esrig marmalade, anyone?

Esrig tree very pretty
And the esrig flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor esrig
Is impossible to eat...


On Half-Nekkid Thursday, ladies show off their Titties -
But now that it’s Friday, come show us your Kitties!

OK, that was lame. But lame or not, it’s still Friday, which means it’s time to set sail on the Friday Ark, the 108th voyage of which is graciously hosted by the Modulator.

It’s also a good time to mention that the premier Meowing Menagerie, Carnival of the Cats, comes to House of the (mostly) Black Cats this Sunday.

Enjoy your Fuzzy Friday!

Update: Carnival of the Cats #134 is up.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Because if you have Kitty Pictures, why wait?


Here’s a picture of Morris William’s cat Ringo, a playful Thomas-Cat sans nutsack. When we visit SWMBO’s family in Texas and get tired of baby-squeezin’, Ringo provides a fuzzy alternative.

Plus, no diapers to change. Ringo shits in a box!


Now that we’re back from a weekend of Concentrated Baby Squeezin’ with Morris William (the Kid Bro d’SWMBO) and his brood, maybe I oughta put up a couple of pictures so y’all can see what so attracted us to the wilds of North Texas...

Here’s our niece, Madison Ann, at the ripe old age of one month and one day.

Our nephew William blows out the candles on his cake. Conveniently enough, his birthday is one day before mine...but I’ve got an extra half-century of mileage.

Here’s the Missus with her momma and baby Madison: three generations.

And here’s Morris William with wife Rebecca, baby Madison, and William. Could you plotz?

Three days of this, and SWMBO’s hands are sore from all that Baby Squeezin’. But you can bet she’ll want to head back to Denton for another visit. To the Missus, holding a baby is as addictive as crack cocaine...