Monday, June 30, 2008


Calling all faithful readers! I am looking for information regarding the lovely flower known as hibiscus. I have developed a very recent, impossible to ignore craving for iced hibiscus tea, which I have been drinking every day since. I have never cared much for this tea before. I am looking for any and all information regarding this plant: herbal, botanical, folkloric, agricultural, whatever. Does anyone know which cultivars to grow for the tea? I am also interested in any information about other related plants- rose of sharon, hollyhock, manihot, mallow, you name it, I care.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mercury? Retrograde?

People like to go around blaming human weirdness on the planets. Like, for example, last night. SG and I decided to watch Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD. We decided to watch it outside on her back deck on her computer. The air was fresh and cool and the moon was out. We got all cozy with sleeping bags and lawn chairs, and cookies. We went to press play, and the computer wouldn't do anything. We messed with it for 20 minutes or so, and finally decided the computer was screwed up and went inside to watch it on the TV/DVD player. Well, we got all settled in there and hit play, and the movie came on. Ahh, the movie was just beginning when for some reason the sound of Pirates of the Caribbean stayed on, but the picture switched over to a movie that was in the VHS player- David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals. Suddenly we were watching a beaver frantically chew a piece of wood, while hearing the dramatic music of the intended Feature Presentation. We enjoyed that for a moment, laughing our asses off, and then SG somehow fixed the problem. We turned the movie back on, and settled in once again. In about 5 or less minutes the TV blew out. Just quit. Forever. SG checked everything. It was dead. We moved back outside to the back deck and got my computer out. This was our last resort because my computer's volume is so low, it's nearly impossible to listen to a movie. But we were so invested by that point nothing was going to stop us. We turned my computer on, popped the video in, leaned in so we could sort of hear, and we were off. It was spectacular. Johnny Depp with his eye shadow. Keira whatever her name is doing whatever she does, which seems to be the same in every movie. Hollywood at its finest. Every time a train or a car went by we couldn't hear the movie, but it was sort of OK because it was so predictable. About halfway through, we started hearing mysterious noises coming from the back of the yard. We turned the movie off and listened for a while. It was some weird animal noises. We thought maybe cats, but, no, it wasn't cats. After a few rounds of the noises, I crept back there to investigate. There were cats back there, but they were silent. Finally we realized the animal noises were coming from inside a neighbor's house, and it was nothing other than 2 middle aged hillbillies making whoopy. We turned the movie back on and finished it. Supposedly all the glitches that accompanied that movie viewing were because of Mercury in Retrograde.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Eagle takes out deer

Watch this-it's only 15 seconds long.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Slingshot repair

So over the past 10 years, I have been friends with and become quite comfortable with the "M" family. They are the ones with all the goats, for all you people who know them... I have spent many a morning, afternoon and evening sitting around their kitchen with them, chewing the fat, cracking jokes, eating good food, bantering with the whole clan, watching the girls grow up, etc. About a week or 2 ago, I was at the kitchen table, chatting with RM and the girls, and I was mindlessly playing with some weird tool device that was on the table. When RM noticed me messing with it, she developed a big shit eating grin and informed me that it was a castrating device that she had just used on the goats that morning. I put it down. RM went on to explain how it works. It has 4 little prong-nubs around which you attach a tiny, thick rubber band. Then you squeeze the handles and the nubs move apart, thus stretching the rubber band open. The rubber band is stretched open enough to place over the testicles of the poor young goat, where it is left to cut off the circulation of the balls for the next 3-4 weeks. During that time, the balls shrivel up and eventually fall off. Delightful.

Flash forward to last night. I was getting ready to go to a party of young hip Hot Springs people (peers), and I heard that they were going to have lots of alcohol and maybe paintballs. Well, the thought of quantities of alcohol didn't excite me much, and neither did the paintballs- that is until I spotted my slingshot while I was getting ready. Slingshotting paintballs is really fun. However, my slingshot has been in disrepair for almost a year because the rubber broke and I got some replacement rubber, but I couldn't get the damned thing on because the rubber tubing was too damn tight to slide over the nubs. Do you see where this is going? The castrating device flashed into my head, and visions of slingshot paintballs flooded my psyche... I rushed up the road to RM's kitchen with my slingshot and replacement rubber tubing in tow. Sure enough, after several tries, the tubing was effectively placed on the slingshot nubs with the castrating device. I was very delighted.


As it turned out, repairing the slingshot with the goat castrating device was by far the best thing that happened to me last night. I went to the party with SM (bless her heart) and after a couple hours of being caught in the middle of a big ass water balloon and water gun fight, I had an asthma attack (induced by a combination of very vigorous air guitar which left me breathless and then way too much second hand cigarette smoke) and left before dusk became dark. I didn't even shoot my slingshot once.