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Bee wrangling and so on


And so our first season as professional bee wranglers comes to a close. Actually, we now wrangle bees and farm our small holding in Western Washington full time. I believe technically we are now officially bumpkins. Read more about Bee wrangling and so on

yes, we are still married

It is our anniversary. Nine years ago she and I promised to love honor, aid, and abet, as long as we both wanted to. And we said it in front of family, friends, and a duly authorized person in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. The duly authorized person was nicknamed the Big Mitten for no reason but her last name and that the fab GF does stuff like that. It was a beautiful summer day, very hot. Earlier that afternoon the fab GF had run down the street to fetch me an ice cream sandwich from an ice cream truck that was jingling-jangling by the way they do, with that demented music and a trail of bike-riding kids.

Then we ate ice cream sandwiches and looked at the front garden of the B&B hosting our wedding, still in our jammies.

That may have been the best day ever. I can't say for sure because there are still days ahead and I never really know what new joy or struggle will appear. But that one was a mighty good day. Read more about yes, we are still married

Ever been to the Badlands?

Not the Sissy Spacek movie.

They’re called that for a reason. Summer or winter, they’re a bad place to be. The climate is unpredictable and extreme, as in -40°F to 116°F, and you can look forward to the thunderstorms and blizzards.

Steep slopes, loose dry soil, slick clay, and deep sand. Lots of fossils, so people who hate the idea of evolution must also hate the place. The Lakota knew they were looking at fossils, that the area must have been underwater at some time and the petrified bones and turtle shells they found belonged to species that no longer existed. Read more about Ever been to the Badlands?

Singing hippies

Now that it's Xmas carol season, I would like to suggest that maybe it's time to change the lyrics to those beloved carols.

"Jingle bells / Hippies smell / Must suck for you they're right..."

"I'm dreaming of a fair Charistmas / With no one dying of monoxide poisoning because they had no heat and their kids were freezing and they lit a charcoal grill in their car to stay warm / With food banks empty / because no one's hungry / especially little kids who should never go hungry in this country because that's just wrong..."

"Rudolph the commie reindeer / Had a very weird idea / That people shouldn't get crapped on / And laws should apply equally to everybody regardless of their bank account..." Read more about Singing hippies

Busted window

Know why breaking windows is stupid? Because windows are useful. If you break them, they cease to be useful.

Buildings are useful. They give shelter. Why would you destroy what you can use? Read more about Busted window



Built a dome.

23.5' diameter, 14' at the peak. 3/4" EMT as the frame, bolted together. It's sitting on weed barrier, but I didn't do a very good job leveling the site and now I'm thinking I need to move the damn thing and put in some base material. But maybe not. Read more about Dome

The Church of Jeebus Crispy—send money now

I wrote a large check last night for my 2010 income taxes. The fab GF and I each had to file extensions this year because of this funny law that was passed in MARCH ferchrissakes that forces registered domestic partners (or those of us who have a legal relationship equivalent to RDP) to pool income, divide the total by two, and then use this total to figure income tax.

We can't split deductions, of course. And she's getting a refund, though not enough to offset the amount on that check I wrote. Yes, the law is structured to force us to pay more taxes than hetero people who are married couples. Intentionally. Cause everyone knows teh gaies are rich rich rich.

Jeebus Crispy. Read more about The Church of Jeebus Crispy—send money now

More music

This is a great performance. Ignore the dancing. I don't mind Cyndi Lauper's chicken dance (when she walks around jerking her head back and forth) as it just seems natural, but here she seems physically uncomfortable.

But not vocally. Vocally, she is superb.

Her interpretation of this song forces me to reconsider it---I am not a fan of Joni Mitchell, though I understand why people would be. But this version of this song causes me to think Deep Thoughts once the song has stopped reverberating throughout my entire self.

And when someone has found the thing she is supposed to do, that calls the best from her, well, that is glorious and to be celebrated. Read more about More music

Dogs part deux

Pal of mine is a member of an urban search and rescue group. She's working with the bloodhounds in this video.

Bloodhounds are great dogs and terrible pets. Just terrible. But if you want to work with dogs doing trailing, etc., they are amazing. They really are. The brown one is Kismet, the black and tan is Soze (whe is a doofus and is pretty young still, hence the doofusness).

If you want a dog to lay on the porch sleeping, you need a boozehound. Read more about Dogs part deux

A great music video

Yes, the world is a fucking mess.

And yes, I should be outside.

But here's to Grand Rapids.

French polishing---it doesn't mean what you think it means

French polishing refers to a way to finish wood using shellac and other cool stuff. Shellac is made by harvesting the shells of lac beetles. The shells are ground up, sifted, blah blah blah---what am I? Wikipedia?---and sometimes bleached to get it very clear. There are varying grades and colors, some shellac is waxed, some isn't, and so on.

It is very easy to apply---drop some flaked in a container, add alcohol (but not the vodka, I'm using that), and shake very gently to dissolve the shellac. Strain through a paper coffee filter. You can apply by wiping it on with a cotton rag all bunched up or spraying with an HVLP system. Read more about French polishing---it doesn't mean what you think it means

And the band played waltzing matilda

Irish band the Pogues.

Music and lyrics by Eric Bogle. Read more about And the band played waltzing matilda

Sunday music blogging: High Sierra

Yes, the world is a mess. But it is worth fighting for. This is one reason why. Read more about Sunday music blogging: High Sierra

Travels with Judy - my friend's show


My pal Vicki Cain set out to make a documentary about her journey to retrace the steps of John Steinbeck from his book, Travels with Charley. This was a huge undertaking for someone with experience, but Vicki had never made a doc before---she didn't even know how to use a camera. Read more about Travels with Judy - my friend's show

Ghost cities of China

Sixty-four million vacant homes in China.

The most famous ghost city: Ordos

So empty there aren't even echoes. Read more about Ghost cities of China


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