Friday, February 28, 2014

Putin Flexes His Renowned Muscles

In 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin opined that, if Barack Obama were elected to the Presidency, Russia would invade Ukraine. She was universally derided and mocked.

Today, Russia invaded Ukraine.

Oh. Excuse me. Russia conducted some military "exercises." In Ukraine. (After the conclusion of the Olympics, of course.)

Obama took to the airwaves, promising that there would be "costs" for an outright invasion. Somebody else -- can't remember who -- suggested that The USA might boycott the G-8 Summit in Sochi in May.

Putin must be shaking in his boots.

Wonder who'll pick up the tab for those "costs?"

No, I didn't really think there would be any question, Mr. and Mrs. American Taxpayer and/or Soldier.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Carnival Break

Oops.  It looks like I fell off the blog wagon yesterday -- there was lots going on with daughters and grandkids and stuff. And, posting is only gonna get more sparse for a little bit.  We have a long-time friend coming over on Wednesday as house/dog-sitter, and we're going to the Mardi Gras! For a whole week!

Not hearing the drumlines and not seeing the floats and costumes has been a little harder than I expected -- after all, Carnival has been a major part of our lives for 14 years.  It's a hard habit to break. (Although the preserving-a-parking-place ritual is definitely not missed!  But where will we park when we go back to the old neighborhood on Bacchus Sunday?) We'll stay with a friend in Lakeview for the first half of the week, so we'll have to drive to see the parades! I don't know whether we know how to do that.

We'll be with our Military Officers' Wives Club for Muses, and Pepper rides Endymion for the last time on Saturday -- Carrie Underwood headlines the post-parade, black tie Extravaganza!  I really like Carrie Underwood. And ball gowns.  I'm gonna wear last year's Queen CAMAN dress, but begrudgingly, without the crown.  Those Endymion folk probably wouldn't understand if I showed up in my crown.

As I noted above, we'll be in the old neighborhood on Bacchus Sunday, and the nice folks who bought (and seriously transformed) Moogie's Mansion will give us another tour -- Pepper hasn't seen it yet.  I got to see the old girl when I went down in January to have the royal title ripped from my chokehold.  All I can say is, "Wow."  She is no longer a Victorian inside.

Mardi Gras morn will find us with the Krewe of Eggs, followed by an Open House in the Quarter in the home of the friends who are graciously hosting us for the second half of the week. Then, we'll pack up and head north on Ash Wednesday.

There will be lots of food and drink, probably not much sleep, and lots of revelry and renewed friendships. I can't wait to see beads in the trees and on the streetsigns, like in the pic above. So, think of us on Sunday -- we'll be right under that streetsign! Throw me somethin' Mistah!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stolen Stuff Saturday

There's some good -- and some slightly disturbing -- stuff out there to steal today, y'all!

For those who are still in the midst of Polar Hell, this one was stolen from Harvey at Bad Example:

Or May.

And this one I found over at MacBourne's Musings (WARNING! Might frighten susceptible young children and those averse to rednecks.):

. . . "Like two raccoons fightin' over a biscuit."  Quite an image, that.

And that reminds me -- I wonder what Brit-Brit has been up to lately?

Or Paula Jones?

See -- I told you there was some scary stuff out there.

Will someone please explain to me why Britney Spears even flittered across the surface of my mind, much less stopped off long enough to rise to the level of conscious thought?  Sweet mystery of life.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Where is Ernestine When You Really Need Her?

We recently received in the snailmail an Explanation of Benefits from Aetna in connection with Pepper's little "procedure" back in December.  We received it a little late because, once again, it was mailed to Moogie's Mansion in New Orleans instead of to the Manor, here in Little Rock.

Pepper had tried to change the address several times online, but his attempts apparently never took.  So, with that vein in his forehead throbbing to beat the band, he "suggested" that perhaps it would be wise if I called Aetna to speak to a human being about the address change instead of subjecting said human being to the wrath of Pepper.

Thus, this afternoon, beginning at approximately 1:23 pm, I spent 15 minutes on hold with Aetna (2 full minutes of which were responding to prompts to push a certain number for a certain service). Then, after acquiring a live human being at long last, I was sweetly informed that Aetna doesn't accept changes of address; I'd need to do that through Pepper's former employer, Entergy.  Would I like her to give me that number?

No, Sweet-voiced Young Lady. I'd rather just take my chances feeding random numbers into the phone.  Of COURSE I'd like to have that number!

Then she had to put me on hold to find the number.


Once I was armed with the number to Entergy's HR & Benefits Department, I climbed up the next phone-prompts tree of pushing a certain number for a certain service. Fortunately I wasn't put on hold this time for too long, and was soon speaking to a very nice lady whose name I won't even attempt to spell.   As she was typing away on the changes, we chatted about the differences between New Orleans and Arkansas, and I bade her Happy Mardi Gras as we hung up at 2:01.

So that's how my afternoon has gone.  And here's how I feel about that:

TAKE THE FLIPPING ON-HOLD RECORDING AND FINE TUNE IT!!!!! Listen to it yourself every now and then to hear how it sounds.  If it's so scratchy and garbled that it sounds like it's being played on a Gramophone, FINE TUNE IT!!!!  CHOOSE SOME BETTER BACKGROUND MUSIC!!!!  Elevator music is for elevators from which you're fairly certain that you will be escaping shortly. DO NOT TELL ME REPEATEDLY THAT MY CALL IS "VERY IMPORTANT" TO YOU!!!!!!!! The fact that you've had me on hold for eons is proof positive that you don't give a good diddly squat about me or my call. If you insist on regularly interrupting the lovely background music, and getting my hopes up that I'm on the brink of speaking to a human being, simply tell me that you remain cognizant that I exist and am on hold in your queue; don't court me with your declarations of my import.

Whew. I feel better now.

I'd feel even better if businesses would just return to the days of having switchboard operators -- the sources of all information. Or, at least the repository of everybody's business.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The NFL Joins the Louisiana Casket Cartel

Remember a few years back when the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors threatened to throw a bunch of Benedictine monks in jail unless they ceased and desisted selling simple, wooden caskets to help support their Abbey?  Remember a little later, after failing to get the stupid funeral industry protectionist statute repealed, the monks sued the Board?

Well, it seems that the case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and last October (after I'd already moved North), the statute was declared unconstitutional!  The monks have successfully resumed their craft and are doing quite well, thank you very much.

And, remember back a few years when the NFL sent cease and desist letters to mom and pop businesses who were using the phrase "Who Dat" on merchandise before the Saints played in and won the Black and Gold Super Beauxl?  And how the NFL ultimately relented?

Well.  These two subjects have merged.

It seems that, shortly after the Supreme Court decision last fall, a new business opened in Esplanade Mall, near the New Orleans airport, named "'Til We Meet Again." 

They sell caskets and urns.

(Does the very notion of having a Casket Store in your friendly neighborhood mall creep anyone else out as badly as it does me?  *shiver* )

Anyway, the particular casket pictured above (and you do not want to know how many tricks I had to try to get that image to download!) has raised the wrath of the NFL and they're furiously sending out casket cease and desist letters, alleging trademark violations.

The store slightly modified the fleur de lis, but that wasn't good enough.

So far, the NFL has refused comment.

*Snicker*  It's gonna be fun to see where this goes.

What is it with Louisiana and caskets, anyway?!?!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Look at me, posting more entries in a few weeks than in all of 2013!!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Presidents' Day PTSD

Presidents' Day will probably never be the same after 2016.  If there are future presidents.  I mean, other than the Emperor who occupies the White House at present.  I just don't see him willingly packing up and moving on. There's still a lot of Hope and Change to be bulldozed out there, and he is so very skilled at operating the bulldozer.

In just a few short years he has managed to throw a sixth of the nation's economy into turmoil with a few deft strokes of his magic Executive Order pen.  I ran into an old friend at last week's wedding who recently retired from the health insurance biz. She says she left just in time -- clients have been increasingly asking her what's going to happen to this or that provision under Obamacare, and what's the cost going to be for this or that policy, and the only answer she could give them was, "I don't know.  I don't know.  I don't KNOW!!!"

Apparently neither does the White House. Nor Congress.

So, on this Presidents' Day, to let the current occupant of the West Wing know what we think of him, I think we should encourage him to stay in good health by exercising.  Toward that end, we should send him a little gift -- how about a warm-up suit made by a small American company that sells its products in France?  Here is the label that provides cleaning instructions:

Don't you think he'll love it!

Quick!  Someone hide the keys to the heavy equipment!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sniff the Air and Take a Stroll With Me

I just finished reading the "High Profile" section of the Sunday paper.  It's akin to the "society" pages of days gone by.  On the front page, one person is featured, and part of the feature is asking the honoree to answer seemingly silly, insipid, Barbara Walters-esque questions (Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party? What is your favorite color?). One of today's interview topics was "a smell that makes me nostalgic."  The subject, a Vietnam Vet and long-time Director of the North Little Library system, gave such an elegant and insightful answer that it caused me to go digging around in my head for scents and aromas and smells that make me nostalgic.

There are the obvious ones of course, like french toast and maple syrup, or Jergen's Lotion, or leaves burning in the barrel-shaped wire incinerator, or freshly-scrubbed babies' heads, but the two I finally settled on are two I haven't encountered in a long time. The first is:

Purple irises.

The scent of an old-fashioned iris takes me to both sets of grandparents' homes.  Nonnie and Pop's backyard in Little Rock had the most beautiful iris garden.  They must have planted a hundred bulbs.  When I was a little bitty girl, they would set me in the big middle of the garden on a bright, sunny day in the spring, when my eyes were sure to crinkle, to take my picture with their old Kodak box camera.  I remember closing those eyes, turning my face skyward, and drinking in as much fragrance of iris as my little lungs could hold, then puffing it all out at once while giggling a little girl giggle.  Then we would go inside where I could be the manager of a "store" created by opening the two corner floor cabinet doors so they would intersect.  I would get behind that "counter" and "sell" them dishes.  Then I'd make a big production of closing and locking the store, and we would all go to the den to watch "Wide World of Sports" and share a big bowl of Yarnell's vanilla ice cream.  Pop passed away before my sixth birthday.

Bee Mama and Daddy Gus's house in Nashville (Nashville, Arkansas, not that place in Tennessee that mispronounces itself.  It is pronounced NASH-vul, not Nash-vill.  The emphasis is on the first syllable, both syllables do not have equal emphasis.)  had purple irises in the front yard, right beside the biggest purple hydrangea you've ever seen. Granted, I was a little girl, but that hydrangea seemed like its own forest to me. There were yellow irises out back. They had a slightly less powerful fragrance than the purples, a little softer. I remember "helping" Daddy Gus weed his garden with that yellow iris scent in the background, then passing by the purple iris scent when we rounded the free-standing garage on our way to the kitchen for some home-cranked fresh peach ice cream made with peaches that Bee Mama had "put up" in wax-covered paper   freezer cartons the summer before.

Hmmm.  It seems that ice cream seems to be playing a prominent role in Moogie's journey into memories today.

The next fragrance to stand out is:

Chanel No. 5.

Every year when I was a child, without fail, for their December wedding anniversary, Daddy would carefully wrap and give Mama a small bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume.  Not cologne, mind you, but the real thing -- french eau de parfum.  He might have messed up and given her Arpege one year, but Arpege was more for everyday use, not just for special occasions. I probably could still tell you today what it is if I saw a wrapped Chanel No. 5, so distinctive is that box's shape and size.  Mama made that bottle last almost the entire year -- she often ran a little short in December if they'd had a particularly social year.  She always kept it in the box on her poudre dressing table; it wasn't good for perfume to be exposed to sunlight, she said. When I saw Mama gently and sparingly applying little dabs of Chanel with the glass rod that slipped and clinked inside the bottle, I knew she would soon be dressed to the nines, and that I would have a special babysitter who would bring me little girl treats like bobby pins or Archie comic books.  I would also get to have a rare feast of Austex Spaghetti and Meatballs in a can, or a frozen Chicken Pot Pie, or -- heavenliest of all heavenlies -- a Turkey and Gravy TV Dinner with a little chocolate cake dessert in the corner of the aluminum pan!   You know, instead of those boring ol' homecooked meals with real meat and vegetables. And cornbread.

As a casualty of adult-onset allergies, fragrance is no longer worn by Moogie.  But there was a time, early in our marriage, when Pepper gave me Chanel No. 5.  That's when I came truly to understand that he kinda likes me. I probably have that bottle stashed away somewhere.  I think I'll go look for it.

And, maybe have a little ice cream.

Why don't you join me?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Goings on and Humor

I don't have much.  I've been out playing with the dogs in this gorgeous weather, and now I'm trying to avoid watching the Arkansas/LSWho game because both teams really need the W if there's to be any post-season play.  My Hogs have had quite a drought in the post-season department for waaaaay too long now.  But, I can hear it in the next room, so I might as well go subject myself to it.

Ran across this on Facebook this morning:

Heh. This is nothing new, though, is it?  I wonder if the "losers" will be paid the new prevailing federal minimum wage.  Hopefully, some of them will be able to spell.

Go Hogs!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day With a Twist

Well, here's a distasteful little twist on Valentine's Day/Presidents' Day:

This billboard is located on I-30 in Little Rock.  It advertises, a "dating service" for married folks whose copyrighted motto is "Life is Short. Have an Affair."  For real.

In a recent press release, the founder of the site explained the connection among the former presidents and her "service" --

"Throughout history powerful men, particularly those in politics, have sought out the romantic company of women who weren't their wives. We chose to honor these three men as each had well-documented affairs during their time in office." In addition to their wandering eyes, Noel Biderman says the men have another major thing in common. "Despite their dalliances, they were still considered heroes by the American people, who never stopped viewing them as great leaders."

The website includes a link to "Infidelity News" and an online Adult Toy Store "by popular demand." And a freakin' blog!

"Great leaders" my foot.  Great politicians, yes, but I'm not so sure about the leader thing, and Bill Clinton is certainly not a hero by any stretch of the imagination.  Maybe JFK, but he went off and got all dead and stuff, so we never saw his full evolution.  I'm not even going to acknowledge that Progressive FDR.

If this is a legitimate business and not some colossal, cosmic joke, then as a society, We. Are. Doomed.

Or, perhaps you may call me "Pollyanna."

It is kind of a clever ad.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Memories in My Blog, Because There Aren't Enough Corners in My Mind

I've had such fun recently, getting back into blogging.  I've even been reading many of my old posts.  (Come on, admit it.  You do that, too!)

This morning I ran across one that made me laugh out loud  (mostly made me laugh  -- there was that little encounter with Ohio State), and brought back some wonderful memories.  From early 2011:


Just Another Week in New Orleans, With Pictures!

Okay -- I have a semi-serious post rolling around in my head, but first I need to get this one out of there so there's more room for reflection.  Bear with me -- this one's gonna be kinda long, but it's mostly for me so I won't forget all this stuff.  Some is kinda irreverent, but it actually happened, so documentation is appropriate.  Some is just fun memories.
This is Grandson#1, all decked out in his new Razorback gear on Christmas Eve at The Son's house.  Heh.
This is Trevor, The Son's lucky puppy, not in motion.  This needed to be documented because it's a rare occasion when Trevor, the lucky puppy, is not in motion.

This is a group of good friends and family at She-Who-Should've-Been-My-Sister's Little Rock home on New Year's Eve after we devoured all the food brought to the potluck.  SWSBMS's other home is in Hong Kong, so it's wonderful when we can all get together on the same continent in the same hemisphere.  You'll note the conspicuous absence of SIL#1.  He and his college buddies had met in Ft. Worth to watch TCU's first BCS Bowl appearance together, without wives and significant others.  Thus, Elder Daughter and SIL#1 spent their first New Year's Eve as a married couple in different states.  Elder Daughter, being Moogie's progeny, devised a way for SIL#1 to make it up to her, however; she persuaded him to secure 4 tickets to the Sugar Bowl from her FIL and went without him, taking her college friends, now living in Upstate New York, and Younger Daughter instead.  And they were Club Level seats to boot!  Clever Elder Daughter.

Here is what midnight in New York looked like on New Year's Eve at SWSBMS's house, and Pepper.  You can tell it's reallyPepper because there's a Blackberry in his hand.  Unlike at most of our recent New Year's Eve celebrations, we actually stayed out past midnight in New York, and beyond when it became midnight in Little Rock.
This is what New Year's Night looked like: a 1-1-11 wedding in the Chapel at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.  The Son was best man (he's the squared-away, handsome one with raised saber).  I managed to catch the precise moment when the other groomsman lowered his saber to swat the Bride on the rear end and shout, "Welcome to the Army!"  The newly-married couple would leave central Arkansas on January 3rd to honeymoon at Moogie's Mansion where the Bride was lucky enough to share one bathroom with her new husband and 4 of his best friends.  The Bride was a very good sport.
Here we are at the Super Dome, getting ready to head inside to watch the Hogs trounce the Buckeyes.  There were plenty of raucous Razorback fans to add to our Sugary spirit.  And there was apparently at least one young lady (at the far right) who looks like she has not been adequately schooled in just what, exactly, a Hog Hat is.

Here are tens of thousands of Hog-callers and the Razorbacks thundering onto the field before trouncing the Buckeyes.

In cased you missed it, The Hogs failed to trounce the Buckeyes.  And that's enough about that.
Before the Big Game, several happy events, and one rather bizarre event, took place at Moogie's Mansion.  We celebrated the 30th birthday of Elder Daughter's college chum with mimosas, brunch and cake.  Cake, both birthday and wedding.
The wedding cake, and tons of other leftover wedding reception fare, was courtesy of the honeymooners, who got the very best guest room and pink roses.

After the Razorback fans departed to return to a soon-to-be-frozen-over Arkansas and other destinations, and after Moogie quickly changed a few beds and cleaned a few bathrooms, two Mardi Gras revelers arrived to join us at the CAMAN Ball -- our first big celebration of Carnival season.  Reveler#1's daughter was ever-so-slightly embarrassed by #1's gleeful immersion in the Carnival spirit.  Can you tell?  R#1's daughter was also less than pleased when Moogie manipulated several eligible young men to dance with said daughter, but she's young and will get over it.
The Ball's theme was "CAMAN Under the Big Top," and the decor was quite festive.
King CAMAN XXXVII enjoyed his entrance and hammed it up for his subjects, also showering them with doubloons of the realm.  Queen CAMAN XXXVII was regal, radiant, and very, very happy.
Following the Ball, the Revelers were snowed out of Arkansas, so their departure was delayed by three days.  We took that opportunity to turn their extended visit into "The Early Winter Eating Tour of New Orleans."  This was one lunch, at Pascal's Manale, on Tuesday the 11th -- Mushroom Ravioli with Crab Alfredo Sauce and Crabcake.  Oh my freakin' goodness! 

The Revelers got the "all-clear" to return home on the 12th, and it's been kinda quiet around here since then.

Oh yeah.  I mentioned something a few days back about ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

While we were brunching before the Big Game, Honeymoon Man meandered into the dining room from the front porch and said, "There's a Viking in a track suit leaning against your fence."  I peeked out the window, and, sure enough, there was a Viking-ish looking guy (or a lost member of ZZ Top) leaning against the fence.  I asked Honeymoon Man whether the Viking needed to talk to me, and he replied, "I don't think so."  I gave it little more thought, this being New Orleans and all.

Twenty minutes later, Honeymoon Man, having been upstairs and having looked out the window, came back down and announced, "The Viking's down."  I thought it prudent to go check on him; one male Hog Fan accompanied me as my protector, fearing that the wrath of a prematurely-roused Viking might befall me.  He took his camera.

Meet the Viking in a Track Suit.

I called to him in a loud mother-ish voice, "Sir?  Are you all right?  SIR?!?!," while also noting his rather battered and swollen face.  Then I hot-footed it inside to call 911.
Here are a few of the emergency responders.  When they finally got the Viking onto a back board and roused him a bit, they asked him the typical questions -- what's your name, do you know where you are.  To the name question, he responded with a strong display of the one-finger salute from beneath the back board straps.  To the location question, he replied, "Pennsylvania."  We're still not sure what happened to him, or who he is, but if he planned on being in Pennsylvania, he definitely took a wrong turn somewhere.
Here are the Honeymooners with emergency responders in the background.  They kept the discarded instructions on "how to apply a neck brace" as a souvenir.

After the excitement quieted down, one police officer noticed all the people wearing Razorback tee shirts and told us he really liked the Razorbacks and wanted us to win the Sugar Bowl.  Then he said he really liked "that cheer," too.  Then he asked us to teach him how to do it.  So, with the Viking strapped to the backboard and being rolled to the ambulance, we all called the Hogs along with New Orleans first responders on the sidewalk.  The cop "woop-wooped" his siren at us and waved as he drove off.
Several of the Hog Fans were smokers.  They did not empty the ash tray provided for them on the front porch.  And you know who you are!
It was a hectic, sleepless, delightful week.  And there's lagniappe!  One pair of Fans brought a bottle of wine, another a lovely piece of Who Dat art, and the group of guys brought this delight for the nose and the palate -- 21 year-old single malt!  Ahhhh.  I didn't realize that Pepper had partaken as much of it as he has until I took this pic today; I've enjoyed one tiny snifter, preferring instead to keep it forever and savor it by occasionally removing the cork and deep-breathing the aroma.

So.  Such is life at Moogie's Mansion.  And Carnival season has just begun.

I'll sign off with this pic snapped before Christmas, en route to Little Rock, in heavy traffic.  It just reminded me of all my wonderful Blog Buddies, and a few in particular.  See if you can read the name and home base of of the trucking company.


So very New Orleans!  Viking in a track suit.  Heh.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

See ya, C. Ray!

It took the federal jury a little more than six hours to deliberate 21 counts in the corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin.  The case went to the jury on Monday after 3 1/2 hours of closing arguments, and they got about three hours in the jury room that day.  Oddly enough, there was no deliberation yesterday because of a juror health "issue," and the judge thought it advisable to delay a day instead of pulling in one of the four alternates.  Probably a wise decision for appellate purposes.

Six hours.  That ain't very long, folks.  It would take almost that long to read and fill in all the verdict forms. So, what is the verdict?

TWENTY GUILTIES to one not guilty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Mayor of Chocolate City is gonna be sportin' an orange jumpsuit.

Nagin's story runs along the lines of a Greek tragedy.  He was a very popular figure during his first term -- heck, even Pepper and I voted for him the first time around.  He campaigned on corruption reform and brought a businessman's perspective to the government table.  He got along fairly well with the City Council. He was an affable, sharply-dressed schmoozer with a dynamite accent who could work a room almost as well as Bill Clinton (and that's saying something!).   And then Katrina hit, and hubris got the better of him. Combine hubris with power, cover it with a self-actuated, perceived cloak of invincibility, and you set the stage for lots and lots of corruption.  And that's what the people of New Orleans got.  With second and third curtain calls.

I sat on the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee during Nagin's tenure. During that time, we sponsored a number of activities, including job fairs, informational events, air shows, and awards.  He showed up at maybe three events over an 8-year time span.  And those were early in his first term.

His sentencing is scheduled for June, but that will probably be put off a number of times.

 (Remember, it took former Congressman William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson nearly three years to report to prison after his conviction and sentencing. Being the "model prisoner," he was transferred to a federal fenceless "camp" in January of this year.  The same camp where the infamous former Governor Edwin "the only way I won't be re-elected is if they find me in bed with a dead girl or a live boy" Edwards spent a little time before early release, after which he entered into a third marriage with a thirty-something woman who had corresponded with him during his unfortunate incarceration, and became a father again at age 86.  The creepiness factor of all that is just simply immeasurable.)

Some expect him to be shown leniency, but I have my doubts.  Remember, a number of those 20 guilty counts concern federal tax evasion, and we all know how the Feds feel about tax evasion.  He will remain under house arrest until sentencing, but I don't think he has a house in New Orleans anymore.  I wonder where he'll stay.

In other news, the former Coroner of St. Tammany Parish was also fined and sentenced today to 24 months in prison following his federal corruption conviction.  At least he offered an apology to the good taxpayers whose money he misused.

All in all, this has been an unfortunate day for corruption in Louisiana. And that's a very fortunate thing for the people of Louisiana.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fluffy Tuesday

Did you watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics?  You know -- the flashy production that's going to land at least one Russian lighting engineer in the Gulag because a ring failed to light up?  Yeah -- this is a great comparison:

And, this just in:

Sad, sad fact.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'd Check My Appetite at the Door, if I Were You . . .

. . . because it seems that a restaurant in Nigeria was recently shut down by police after a tipster let the cops in on the restaurant's "secret ingredient" -- human head meat.  Two human heads wrapped in cellophane were confiscated during the bust.  A local pastor who had consumed some of the, er, meat dish delicacy, and who was (allegedly) ignorant of its source, complained to police not about the composition of the dish, or how he suffered projectile vomiting after being let in on the secret, but about its price. Way to be compassionate there, pastor ol' pal.

As a Facebook friend noted, when aggravated in Nigeria, it's probably best not to yell "Eat me!" at the source of your aggravation.

I think it's probably best not to schedule pleasure travel to Nigeria anytime soon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This, That, and Dogs

The thaw has set in today, just in time for the next round of winter storm to kick into gear tomorrow. About noon-ish, they're saying.  That means we need to get to the Krogerville in the morning to re-stock the wine rack.  No Sunday liquor sales in Arkansas.  Stupid, archaic Blue Laws.

We had a case of Kamikaze Birdies yesterday! A Cardinal, a Junco, and a little Chickadee were chasing one another around the deck and feeders and all 3 smashed into the windows. Really hard -- I heard the impacts from the other end of the house! Pepper went out to see how they were, got them uprighted, and petted them a little to calm them. A few minutes later, he found a box and brought the Chickadee and the Junco inside. Inside the house! On the kitchen table! He said he didn't want them just sitting out there, shivering, while they tried to recover. (At least he covered the box with some newspaper.) The Cardinal managed to fly up to the rail outside, so he left her alone. Some 15 minutes later, I heard a commotion in the next room and went to check it out. The Junco had come to his senses and flapped out of the box toward the window! Remember, we have 2 large, very interested bird dogs. Pepper managed to catch the little guy before Bouie and Mysti could, and I opened the door so he could go to  set the little guy free. He flew away, along with the Cardinal, gratefully. The little Chickadee, unfortunately, didn't make it. Pepper gave him a dignified send off. My big, bad husband is such a softie!  No bird casualties today.  Yet.

We were able to get up the hill last night, so we were also able to make it downtown to a beautiful wedding reception for a young woman we raised along with our girls, held at one of Little Rock's prettiest hotels (The Capital Hotel).  She was radiant!  I know no one particularly wants to read about the wedding of some total stranger, but that's beside the point.  This is what's important:  while we waited for the bride and groom to make their appearance, there was an open bar (always a nice thing), and passed hors d'oeuvres were served.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I now have a new favorite -- baked bacon on a stick!!! A little piece of piggish heaven -- on a stick!  The bride is a big bacon fan.

And now, to make me smile, a few dog pics:

 Our Mysti Girl, all grown up and "helping" me with my lunch.

 Sweet old man, resting up from a puppy hassling him.

 Bouie and the sunbeam -- his new favorite nap spot.

 Mysti, performing her version of "cute" on her birthday.

 More cute.

 Bouie apparently likes this spot, too.

 Ol' Bou is growing more and more gray hair.  Pepper calls him "Graybeard."  Talk about pot and kettle . . .

 Mysti like to play with the neighbor Border Collie pup through the fence -- can you see the Border Collie snout and paw poking through at the corner?

 Bouie has a raccoon.  And, apparently, a little anxiety.  Look at those ears!

 More cute and perky.

 Mysti is what we like to call a "leaner."

 Lunch companions.

 Christmas duck (that we had to hide from them before they drove us nuts with the quacker!)

I love this grin!  Baby fox, seen on the floor, is now a baby Fox-cicle since Miss Mysti took him through the doggie door and left him in the snow.  Big Fox is now just a fox torso since he was the biggest loser in a game of tug-o-war.

 Watching "The Life of Pi" and hating on some wild hogs (in the previous scene -- I know that's an elephant on the screen now).

Life is good when you're off the leash.  Happy Sunday!