When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

28 June 2005

Google Earth

A while back, I blogged about Google's purchase of the innovative satellite imagery and mapping company Keyhole, and later I speculated a little about what improvements or additions might be in the works, after the introduction of Google Maps.

Good God, y'all
.

Check this out:

The proverbial view from 50,000 feet
The proverbial view from 50,000 feet.
Well, 7,000 and change, actually.

Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country.
The application (a 10MB download) is Windows-only at this time, and if you've got an older computer or a dialup connection you're probably out of luck. But if you're on a newer machine and you've got broadband, check this puppy out right now.

Did I mention that it's free? (Or that a version with GPS overlay capabilities can be had for $20?)

P.S. Check out these common sightseeing locations.

Geeks, unsurprisingly, can do the math

As tens of thousands of engineering jobs migrate to developing countries, many new entrants into the U.S. work force see info-tech jobs as monotonous, uncreative and easily farmed out -- the equivalent of 1980s manufacturing jobs.

The research firm Gartner Inc. predicts that as many as 15 percent of tech workers will drop out of the profession by 2010, not including those who retire or die. Most will leave because they can't get jobs or can get more money or job satisfaction elsewhere. Within the same period, worldwide demand for technology developers -- a job category ranging from programmers to people who maintain everything from mainframes to employee laptops -- is forecast to shrink by 30 percent.

Gartner researchers say that most people affiliated with corporate information-technology departments will assume "business-facing" roles, focused not so much on gadgets and algorithms but corporate strategy, personnel and financial analysis.

(Read the entire story, by Rachel Konrad of the Associated Press, via the Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal.)

I love primates.

From today's New York Times, a story about the Barbary apes of Gibraltar:
Like the adorable pint-sized pickpockets that abound in some European cities, often with the blessing of their parents, the monkeys do their utmost to charm and distract before making off with the loot. They have learned to preen in front of cameras and mimic snapping a picture; they jump on the heads of tourists for a laugh; they perch on the side mirrors of touring taxis and wait for their treats; they have even figured out how to unwrap candy bars.
My goodness. These folks have a monkey infestation on their hands.

"Inshoring" jobs... to North Dakota

An interesting take on outsourcing to lower-cost areas without offshoring, from the Associated Press (and published in the Cincinnati Post):

WATFORD CITY, N.D. - After two rounds of layoffs, Ellen Wagner still had a job - training the programmers brought in from India to replace her co-workers. Frustrated and tired of resisting the changes, Wagner decided to take a bold step. She outsourced herself.

She quit her job in Seattle and took another paying half as much. She sold her house and traded it for a split-level overlooking a pasture here, for a third of what it would cost in the frenzy she left behind.

She piled into an SUV with her golden retriever and two cats and beelined away from the offshoring trend that has siphoned thousands of white-collar jobs from the U.S. economy. The journey took Wagner to this town of 1,435 - a self-dubbed "oasis on the western horizon," nearly 50 miles from the closest traffic light - and a job in an office fashioned out of an old John Deere tractor dealership. The slate blue cubicles around hers, decorated with pictures of faraway skylines, house programmers from Chicago, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, Fla.

Read the whole thing.

27 June 2005

RINO Sightings

Run for your lives! Raging RINOs on the loose!

(Sorry, folks - that's the best I can do on one cup of coffee. Waking up slowly this morning.)

Later today, over at Say Uncle, the first (of many) Carnival of the RINOs will go live. I've been sampling some of the writings of my fellow RINOs this week, and it's a very eclectic and interesting group. Should be worth a look.

I'll try to update this post during the day once the Carnival goes live.

UPDATED: The RINO Sightings have been, um, sighted.

(And just in case you missed it, here's Der Commissar's original post explaining this whole RINO business, and my original post explaining why I'm signing on.)


26 June 2005

Mister Gato - Helpful to a fault

Something's gone a bit funny with our digital camera--the flash isn't really firing correctly--and now interior pictures have a kind of blurry, grainy, almost pointillistic look to them.

Exhibit A: Carrie snapped the following pic of yours truly, working from home over the weekend, with Mister Gato helpfully resting his head on the keyboard and offering moral support:

Gato and Barry 004
A fat man and his kittycat hard at work

Speaking of kittycats and hard work, the Carnival of the Cats is hosted at LabKat today.

25 June 2005

Kansas City restaurant recommendations

For our good friend Chap at Chapomatic, who is making an overnighter to Kansas City on business...

I am not a Kansas City expert by any means, but wife Carrie is from KC and has a lot of family still living there.

Here's a short list of places we've enjoyed recently.

If you're going to KC, you've gotta eat some barbecue. The traditionalists adore Arthur Bryant's, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but for our money Fiorella's Jack Stack (multiple locations in metro KC) is the way to go.

Arthur Bryant's
1727 Brooklyn Avenue
Kansas City, MO
816-231-1123
Locater

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue (this is the location we go to; there are others)
13441 Holmes (135th & Holmes)
Kansas City, MO
816-942-9141
Locater

When you go--whichever place you go--make sure to get an order of the burnt ends. These are little carbonized nuggets of brisket and they are entirely fabulous. (Sorry for my choice of adjectives. It's Pride Week and my not-so-latent "fabulous" side is coming out.)

Stephenson's Apple Farm
is a good family-style joint.

Stephenson's Old Apple Farm Restaurant
16401 E US Hwy 40
Kansas City, MO
816-373-5400
Locater

Stroud's has fried chicken to die for, but waits can be long. Worth it, though.

Stroud's
1015 E 85TH St
Kansas City, MO
816-333-2132
Locater

Finally, if you're in the mood for upscale Italian, uber-restaurateur Lidia Bastianich has an outpost in Kansas City that is easily the equal of any high second-tier or low first-tier Italian joint in NYC:

Lidia's Restaurant
101 W 22nd St
Kansas City, MO
816-221-3722
Locater

This thread from "Ask Metafilter" may also be of some use to you.

To whom it may concern...

I have a new standard response to a lot of the spam I've been getting.

Saturday music menu

Carrie and I are both working this weekend - ugh - but our standard program of Saturday morning and afternoon music is making it easier to cope.

Saturday morning, we catch at least the first couple hours of Felix Hernandez's Rhythm Revue on Newark's excellent jazz station, WBGO.

A little after 1PM, we usually switch over to Columbia University's student radio station, WKCR, for "Across 110th Street."

Hours and hours of soulful and funky goodness. And you needn't be in the New York City area to tune these great shows in, through the magic of streaming audio:

WBGO-FM (Newark, NJ) - Real Audio stream
WKCR-FM (New York, NY) - Real Audio stream / MP3 stream

Greenmarket bounty

Roastingly hot in New York City today, so we got up early this morning to take the Chows to the dog park and to make our run to the Greenmarket.

Today's haul: tender young onions; perfect, tiny new redskin potatoes; green beans (I'm going to cook the taters and beans together, southern-style, in a very small amount of water seasoned with a slice of fatback), yellow squash, fresh basil, and some astoundingly good hothouse tomatoes. And some great-looking radishes, which I plan to eat raw with a sprinkling of kosher salt for an afternoon snack.

But the really good news: my tomato supplier tells me the first honest-to-god grown-in-the-dirt Jersey Tomatoes will be available next week.

Legal medical marijuana alternatives in Canada

A quick pointer to a post over at Compassionate Use... Canadians who suffer from multiple sclerosis will soon have the option of using Sativex, an under-the-tongue prescription spray.

New York City invokes eminent domain...

...to take over New Jersey.

"The Supreme Court decision makes it easier for us to justify this course of action in the name of economic development," said Bloomberg, "although actually we could easily have made the case that taking over New Jersey would be analogous to condemning a blighted property. I mean, come on. Have you been there lately?"

New York will compensate the current residents of New Jersey with "fair market value" for their property, a total amount estimated to be well within Bloomberg's ability to pay out of his own pocket. After evicting all current residents from New Jersey, New York plans to add a new Olympic stadium, a Trump apartment complex, international airport, and, most critically, a 4,000 square mile landfill.

Read the whole thing at the very funny (and topical) Watley Review.

Hat tip: Mu and Jazz at Running Scared.

24 June 2005

The lowdown on mortgage lending

If you think that you might be getting a mortgage, or refinancing one, you know... ever... run right over to Searchlight Crusade and read this amazingly useful and informative series of posts by Dan Melson.

Dan, a professional real estate loan officer, shares his expertise freely and fully, and reading his posts (assuming that you're not an expert yourself) will do much to reduce the information asymmetry between lender and customer in a mortgage transaction.

Well, that didn't take long.

Federal agents executed search warrants at three medical marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday as part of a broad investigation into marijuana trafficking in San Francisco, setting off fears among medical marijuana advocates that a federal crackdown on the drug's use by sick people was beginning.

About 20 residences, businesses and growing sites were also searched, leading to multiple arrests, a law enforcement official said. Agents outside a club in the Ingleside neighborhood spent much of the afternoon dragging scores of leafy marijuana plants into an alley and stuffing them into plastic bags.

[...]

The raids and arrests were the first large-scale actions against marijuana clubs and providers since the Supreme Court upheld federal authority over marijuana on June 6, even in states like California, where its use for medicinal purposes has been legal since 1996. The raids involved agents from federal agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service.

"We will not turn a blind eye to serious and flagrant disregard of federal law," Gordon Taylor, an assistant special agent in charge of Drug Enforcement Administration office in Sacramento, said in a statement. "There may be those who think we can disregard the court and Congress. D.E.A. will not be among them."

More delightful details here.

I, for one, am glad that the D.E.A. is on the scene to show everyone who's in charge. Crystal meth is a scourge all over America, there's even an apparent resurgence in the popularity of crack cocaine, but the jackbooted thugs brave souls at the D.E.A. are making sure that sick Californians can't get their medicine. Well done, folks.

(Also posted at Compassionate Use.)

Flame Warriors

Mike Reed, clearly a battle-scarred veteran of discussion forums on the Internet(s), is back with a greatly expanded set of Flame Warrior Profiles. The descriptions of each archetype are pointed and priceless, but it's Mike's illustrations that really make these wonderful.

Here's one that hit a little close to home for me:
Capitalista is not always a wealthy fat cat; being a Capitalista is a state of mind rather than a reflection of affluence. A strident and extraordinarily self–satisfied Warrior, Capitalista takes every opportunity to extol the superiority of the free enterprise system and has a powerful aversion to the welfare states of Europe. Capitalista fiercely defends the market economy, bludgeoning “fuzzy-minded socialists” with Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. Though rather limited in his range of interests, Capitalista’s command of carefully selected historical facts, abstruse statistical comparisons and arcane economic theory make him a formidable foe.
(brightly) Anybody want coffee?

Sorry, sir. This developer needs your neighborhood.

In a breathtakingly wrong-headed decision with wide (and negative) implications for economic liberty and the property rights of homeowners, the Supreme Court has just ruled that the power of "eminent domain" can be used by local governments to take private property--well, pretty much whenever they damned well please, as long as the taking can be covered by the fig leaf of "public use":

After approving an integrated development plan designed to revitalize its ailing economy, [New London, Connecticut], through its development agent, purchased most of the property earmarked for the project from willing sellers, but initiated condemnation proceedings when petitioners, the owners of the rest of the property, refused to sell. Petitioners brought this state-court action claiming, inter alia, that the taking of their properties would violate the "public use" restriction in the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause. The trial court granted a permanent restraining order prohibiting the taking of the some of the properties, but denying relief as to others. Relying on cases such as Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U. S. 229, and Berman v. Parker, 348 U. S. 26, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, upholding all of the proposed takings.

Held: The city's proposed disposition of petitioners' property qualifies as a "public use" within the meaning of the Takings Clause.

Kelo v. City of New London (opinion text provided by Findlaw)

As a practical matter, this means that you've got good title to your property, and the right of ownership, as long as there isn't a politically connected developer in your hometown who'd like to build a Wal-Mart where your family home sits now.

The attorneys at the Institute for Justice--an enrevanche Preferred Charity, by the way--were litigating the case on behalf of the New London homeowners, as part of their nationwide campaign against eminent domain abuse. They are, of course, utterly horrified:
Dana Berliner, [a] senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, said, "It’s a dark day for American homeowners. While most constitutional decisions affect a small number of people, this decision undermines the rights of every American, except the most politically connected. Every home, small business, or church would produce more taxes as a shopping center or office building. And according to the Court, that’s a good enough reason for eminent domain."
And once again, it's the conservatives on the Court who are on the right--er, correct--side of this issue. Justice O'Connor writes, in her withering dissent:
Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded--i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public--in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings "for public use" is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property--and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
And, later, the kicker (and the real point):
Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: a principled conservative is the little guy's best friend in the judiciary. Court conservatives were a beacon of sanity in the recent medical marijuana decision, Gonzalez v. Raich, and here they are again--an oasis of common sense in a desert of interpretive insanity.

Tiger stripes and carpetbags

Cats sit in the strangest positions sometimes. This one doesn't look comfortable to me at all:

Tiger stripes and carpetbags
Mister Gato props himself up on the sofa

But Mister Gato seems to enjoy it. It might just be because the bag he's leaning on is full of Carrie's yarn. (I like the range of colors in this photograph. Please ignore the schmutz on the wall behind Mr. G.)

See The Modulator and The Carnival of the Cats for more bloggers' cats from around the world. This week, the Carnival of the Cats is hosted at LabKat.

22 June 2005

That Bible Belt might be cutting off the flow of blood to your brain

You know that you're back in the Bible Belt when you pick up a magazine in a waiting room and this is the cover story:

DNA Toppling Evolution
In other news, the scientific method makes the Baby Jesus
cry and Galileo is roasting on a spit in Hell


The Intelligent Design folks are trying hard to force their point of view (Creationism) to be taught in the public schools, and the current level of scientific illiteracy in our country is making their job a lot easier for them.

Two major advantages...

...that Raleigh-Durham has over New York City.
Yep, I'm in Terminal A, waiting to board my flight back to LaGuardia. Blogging and IMing with my wife, and actually listening to a podcast at the same time. God, I'm such a geek.

Another cool but slightly goofy thing they do here: Airport police officers, armed to the teeth, zooming around the concourse on souped-up Segways.

As Carrie observes, it could be much goofier. They could be riding one of these.

19 June 2005

Father's Day at the nursing home

Just got back from spending the day with Dad in his (hopefully temporary) new pad.

I realize that I'm biased, but my father is one of the toughest and smartest guys I know. He's been in a wheelchair since an ill-fated motorcycle ride he took one day in November of 1967 left him a paraplegic, totally paralyzed from about mid-chest down.

While this may have slowed him down a little, it certainly didn't stop him; he picked himself up, continued on with his successful career as an engineer at IBM and, more importantly to us and to him, as a good husband and father.

Dad and Mom made sure that I had everything I needed in this world and probably more of what I wanted than was really good for me, strictly speaking, and supported me in just about everything I've ever done or tried to do.

Whenever I am tempted to feel sorry for myself--and believe me, I would be embarrassed to recount the number of occasions when this has been the case--I consider my father's example, and usually I just suck it up and count my blessings.

Dad retired about ten years ago, and has been in what is politely and euphemistically referred to as "declining health" for some time now, the truly precipitous decline coming a couple of years ago. Mentally he is just as sharp as ever, but physically he is increasingly frail, and he has lately been bouncing in and out of the hospital with alarming frequency.

His latest hospitalization was at the one-month point when the insurance weasels and vermin helpful public servants at Medicare declared that he had to leave the hospital... "time's up!"

Too sick to come straight home, he was discharged into a "skilled nursing care facility," which is where I went to visit him this weekend.

I didn't announce my visit. I grabbed a Saturday flight at the last minute out of LaGuardia, rented a car at the Raleigh-Durham International (sic) Airport, and drove straight over to see the old man.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he said, blinking, by way of greeting.

"Eh, I'm thinking of retiring here," I told him, and kissed him on the cheek. (Truly, I have stayed at worse-looking hotels when travelling on business; the place he's bunking at is bright, clean, and pleasant, and the staff seem kind and professional.)

So we caught up a little bit before he got too tired to keep talking, and I let him get some rest.

Today I spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race with my old man. Dad, like many North Carolinians who grew up when and where he did (right down the road from the Earnhardt family, as it happens) is an automobile-racing fanatic, and he hasn't lost his taste for speed and noise.

At one point this afternoon, Sterling Marlin's car experienced a catastrophic mechanical failure and started spewing burning oil. The producer quickly cut to Marlin's crew chief on the radio, who helpfully observed that the car "just blowed up!" (Mr. Marlin got out of his car unhurt, thank goodness, but his race day was over.)

"Blowed up!" I repeated, mildly amused.

"Son, that's a technical term," my father admonished. Then he sort of caught my eye and we both cracked up.

Yep, Dad's still "all there."

Not everyone in the facility is, of course. All there, I mean. Out by the nurses' station, there is a big signboard with slots in it. Today, it read:
Today is SUNDAY
The year is 2005
The month is JUNE
The date is the 19TH
The weather outside is HOT.
Before I left for the evening, one of the attendants gave me the activities schedule for the month of June. There are activities planned every day of the week, weekends included. But there was one activity that was the same on every single day, and I think it may have something to do with the signboard by the nurses' station:
9 AM - REALITY ORIENTATION
I found this sad, touching and darkly funny, all at the same time. A dozen cheap-shot jokes occurred to me, chiefly in the form of a long list of public figures I thought could benefit from a daily Reality Orientation.

But then it hit me.

My father has been my very own Reality Orientation for going on forty years now.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.

Father's Day thoughts from Barry (audio post)

this is an audio post - click to play

Greenwich Village Idiot for June 19, 2005 -- with guest host Chap

Mad props (as the youngsters say these days) to our buddy Chap over at Chapomatic, who has very graciously made sure that we aren't Idiotless this Sunday while I'm down in North Carolina visiting family. Chap has the best record collection of anyone I've ever met. I can't wait to listen to this one... and at 33.6kbps, I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

Direct download: June_19_2005_gvi_guesthosted.mp3

(or subscribe to the podcast feed)

UPDATE, 7PM: Chap sends along the music list from this week's podcast. My man C. is nothing if not eclectic:
  • All Your Base Are Belong To Us: Internet meme
  • DJ Lockarm: Bring The Muzik
  • Doo Rag: Doin' It To It
  • Bollywood Brass Band: Gur Nalon Ishk Mitha
  • Australian Pepsodent radio show from 20 October 1940
  • Ken Nordine: What Time Is It?
  • Chicken Man's Origin
  • Bob Dorough: Walk On
  • Pete Johnson: Death Ray Boogie
  • Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby: Groovy Gravy
  • Me'Shell Ndegodocello: Love Song #1
As Chap himself puts it, "much of this stuff is not available any more and never really was except for the five minutes it was on the Web, and that's when I grabbed it."


Greenwich Village Idiot - the enrevanche podcast

18 June 2005

A little RINOplasty

Just one quick post on my way out the door...

I've been blogging for about a year now, and so far have resisted any urge to join a "blog alliance." Historically, I've been something of an independent, and I've always loved the old Groucho Marx line about not wanting to join any club that would have someone like me as a member.

I am throwing my lot in, however, with the Raging RINOs. (Here's a link to an article by the Commissar of the Politburo Diktat--and let me hasten to assure you that this nomenclature is used with the deepest irony imaginable--explaining the intent of the group.)

"RINO," which traditionally means Republican In Name Only, is an epithet used by the True Believers to describe anyone who deviates from the Party Line by even one millimeter. (Jonah Goldberg uses this term at least once a week over at The Corner, the National Review's quasi-blog.)

Now, I have been a Republican since birth. In fact, I am actually named after this guy. I apologize for my GOP conservative bona fides to no one.

On economic and defense issues, I am so far to the right that I actually lean at a 45 degree angle when I walk.

While I would prefer to see victimless crimes decriminalized, on criminal justice issues I am generally slightly to the right of Torquemada.

On social issues, however, I have a strong and deep libertarian streak. (I like the entire Bill of Rights, and I like the penumbras and emanations too.)

A despairing social-conservative friend and colleague once summed up my position as
Abortions and pornography for everyone! Talk dirty to me! Hey, ask your gay husband if I can have a hit off that joint he's smoking...
Which overstates the case, but only a little.

On religio-political issues, while I am a person of deep and abiding faith myself, I have never seen the remotest conflict between religion and science... and when people want to put warning stickers on biology textbooks, or when (for example) James Dobson declares a fatwa against Spongebob Squarepants, I want to bang my head on my desk.

Needless to say, this puts me at odds with the current leadership of the Republican party. On social issues, they are far too reactionary for my tastes, and on economic issues they are entirely too free-spending and irresponsible... pretty much the mirror-image of the kind of principled conservatism that I espouse.

The Raging RINOs are reclaiming the "RINO" acronym. In our world, it stands for Republicans (and) Independents Not Overdosed (...on the Party's Kool-Aid.)

Glad to be on the team, ladies and gentlemen. I will be following the group's evolution (ahem) with considerable interest.


17 June 2005

Blogging limited; podcast on hiatus

Blogging is likely to be very limited for the next five days or so, and we won't be doing a podcast this weekend. (Too bad, as we were all set to do a soundseeing tour of the Louis Armstrong House in Corona, Queens with tour guide par excellence Francis Lunzer... but it'll still be good next weekend!)

I'll "see" y'all again on Wednesday, June 22nd here on the blog, and on Sunday, June 26th over at the podcast. (The 26th is the date of the Gay Pride March, always a big deal in NYC and especially my neighborhood... if I'm feeling especially daring, I may brave the crowds to bring you some sound samples from the parade and attendant festivities.)

16 June 2005

Showing a little leg

Mister Gato, perched on his very favorite cardboard box, shows a little leg. Note the devastation that has been wrought on said box, which is designed for the long-term archival storage of paper records.

Apparently Mister G's English reading skills are coming right along, as the area that he has obliterated is clearly marked "Destroy by..."

kickstand
Just following directions

"Destroy by Cat," looks like.

Earlier Mister Gato posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. See The Modulator and The Carnival of the Cats for more bloggers' cats from around the world. This week, the Carnival of the Cats is hosted at Blog d'Elisson.

15 June 2005

Dorian @ Kenny's Castaways, June 18th

Many of you have written to tell me how much you enjoyed hearing New York City singer-songwriter Dorian, who was featured on our May 15 podcast (MP3 link.) In fact, it remains the most popular edition of our podcast to date.

I am pleased to announce that those of you in the greater-New-York-state-of-mind area can hear Dorian live and in person this Saturday night, June 18, 7PM at Kenny's Castaways (157 Bleecker Street, between Thompson and Sullivan Streets, in the Village.)

The cover charge is $5, and for that princely sum you can hear not only Dorian's set but quite a few other bands as well. Come on out and hear some great music... for once, you won't have to deal with the Washington Square Park crush of Eurotrash tourists (and undercover officers from the Sixth Precinct posing as dope dealers) to hear Dorian play!

Heat wave

We're havin' a heat wave
A tropical heat wave
The temperature's rising
It isn't surprising
She certainly can can-can

Whatever the hell that means, Mr. Berlin.

1:30 in the morning, it's 85 outside (and probably 95 in our fourth-floor walkup) and it's entirely too hot to sleep.

An e-friend in Boston IMed me earlier tonight... the cold front that Manhattan is supposed to see tomorrow night, they've already got in Massachusetts. It's in the low 50s up there.

Bring it on.

14 June 2005

Important note

The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, an attempt to keep the Feds from prosecuting legal users of medical marijuana in states where the voters have chosen to make it available, is coming up for a vote today. Take thirty seconds and contract your Congressman!

Why is this important? Ask Eddie and Dianna Davis:
Medical marijuana ruined Eddie and Dianna Davis' lives. Several years ago, a spat with an ex led Oconee County authorities to get a warrant to search their Walhalla, S.C., home. The next thing they knew, the South Carolina Department of Social Services had sundered the family, taking their four children into custody. Diana and Eddie's crime? Possession of 7 grams (less than a third of an ounce) of marijuana

Omid and the mullahs

A communique from the Committee to Protect Bloggers:
IRANIAN BLOGGER FACES COURT DATE WITH NO LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Omid Sheikhan, an Iranian who blogs as Shurideh, was arrested last year in that country’s initial crackdown on bloggers and journalists. Sheikhan now faces a court date of October 8 without the benefit of representation.

He faces the same court that sentenced Arash Sigarchi to fourteen years in prison and Mojtaba Saminejad to two years. But unlike them, Sheikhan does not have an attorney. His father is ill and cannot contribute to an attorney’s fee.

The unlikelihood, in the wake of the continued crackdown and convictions, that Sheikhan’s legal experience will be fair is compounded by this lack of legal help. Iran does not have a public defender program and Sheikhan is likely to face conviction and sentencing with a complete lack of even procedural competence.

According to a source close to the situation, Sheikhan was arrested in September of 2004 and imprisoned for two months in a Tehran prison, one of which was spent in isolation and under torture, and an additional month in Ghezel Hezar prison.

“Of course they forced him by mental and physical torture to confess about having unlawful relations and drinking wine, because they couldn't find any crime from him and his weblog,” said the source. “Also, because his weblog was satire, they tried to force him by torture to confess that he had another weblog with political contents.”

As with most of twenty-plus arrests of Iranian bloggers over the past year, the charges rarely correspond to the actual activities of the detained bloggers.

It is one thing to arrest an alleged criminal, even in as far-fetched a situation as Sheikhan’s. It is quite another to do so without providing a transparent court to try him in and without providing the detainee with competent legal advice. Omid Sheikhan cannot get a fair trial in Iran under these circumstances.

It is of paramount importance that this unfair conviction be headed off before it happens. Please spread the word and visit the Committee’s blog for continuing updates and for information on other threatened and imprisoned bloggers.

CONTACT:
Curt Hopkins, Director
Committee to Protect Bloggers
(541) 729-4146
committeetoprotectbloggers@gmail.com
http://committeetoprotectbloggers.blogspot.com

12 June 2005

Carnival of the Cats #64...

...is up and running at Music and Cats.

And hey, Music and Cats has a brand-new home with their very own URL! Another blogger kicks the Blogger habit... looks like they're on WordPress now.

Greenwich Village Idiot for June 12, 2005

Greenwich Village Idiot for Sunday, June 12, 2005, is now available for download at the podcast site.

Direct download: Greenwich Village Idiot, June 12, 2005 (13.2MB MP3, 18:38)

(or subscribe to the podcast feed - RSS/XML)

This is the Barbecue edition of the Greenwich Village Idiot, in which we visit the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
Greenwich Village Idiot - the enrevanche podcast

Support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment

A pointer to a post at the new blog Compassionate Use:

The House of Representatives will be voting soon on a major appropriations bill for the Justice Department. If you're concerned about the availability of medical marijuana for sick people in this country, urge your Representative to vote for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2005

Just back from the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (Sunday edition) where we had a blast.

The logistics were managed much better this year than last; pitmasters were spread out on Madison Avenue between 23rd and 26th Streets, they took cash at each booth (so you didn't have to queue up to buy food tickets beforehand) and the restrictions on how many plates each person could purchase were lifted, within reason.

We went with a group of nine people, got the lay of the land and immediately devised a strategy. Carrie and I got into line for Ed Mitchell's whole-hog North Carolina 'cue and each bought several sandwiches for the group. (A minor quibble - no sweet iced tea or lemonade on offer. Oh, well.)

Barbecue Block Party 005
Queueing for Mitchell's 'cue on Madison Avenue - noon, Sunday

Others in our merry band got in line for Texas-style brisket and barbecued sausages, two kinds of ribs (one with a dry rub from a Memphis crew and one with a wet sauce--"St. Louis style," from an Arkansas group), and some surprisingly good smoked pork shoulder from a Mississippi-based team.

We got into line at noon on the nose, the declared opening time for the Block Party, and got sandwiches made with Mr. Mitchell's 'cue about forty-five minutes later. Sandwiches, water and wet-naps in hand, we circled back into Madison Square Park and met our friends by the bandstand, where we assembled our Barbecue Tasting Menu.

Barbecue Block Party 006
Table One.

Barbecue Block Party 009
Table Two.

Barbecue Block Party 010
Mississippi pork shoulder
(actually, that wouldn't be a bad name for a Delta blues singer)


A good time was had by all, and we all got plenty to eat.

I cannot recommend the following strategy highly enough:
  • Go early.
  • Bring bottled water, napkins and sunscreen with you.
  • Go with a group, split up and then assemble your own tasting menu.
There are more pictures at the Flickr site... and you know what I had to do for the podcast, which was interview random people in the 'cue line. (Podcast will be posted later today.)

11 June 2005

Governors Island tours - Summer 2005

Governors Island, a nifty little chunk of real estate in New York Harbor about 700 yards off of the southern tip of Manhattan, is usually closed to the public. It's being rehabilitated (slowly) and portions of it are now actually a National Historic Landmark District.

In the summertime, however, the Island is open for a select number of tourists (advance-purchase ferry tickets required) to come over and visit. There was a big celebration today (June 11), and regular tours start next Saturday.

Carrie and I visited one day last summer and had a grand time taking a tour of the beautiful grounds, eating a picnic lunch and napping a little on the cool grass in the shade of the old fort. We're definitely going again this year at least once.

If you're in the NYC area this summer, see the info on Summer Saturdays at the Governors Island web page:
Enjoy the beauty of New York Harbor from Historic Governors Island. For more than 200 years, Governors Island was off-limits – serving as an American military base from 1800 to 1997. Today, visitors can explore the Governors Island National Historic Landmark District, featuring fortifications, arsenal buildings and residences dating back to the early 1800s. Or, simply sit back and take in the breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Governors Island Ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building every hour on the hour beginning at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Boats return from Governors Island every hour on the ½ hour until 5:30 pm. Ferry transportation tickets are required to travel to Governors Island on Saturdays.
In the meantime, maybe you'll enjoy some pictures that Carrie and I took last year.

military barracks at governors island
Military barracks

protestant chapel on governors island
Old Protestant chapel

schooner and skyline
Manhattan skyline view from Governors Island

picnic on governor's island
A picnic on the grass

Announcing: Compassionate Use

In a post last week, I vowed that enrevanche was "not going to turn into a marijuana blog," medical or otherwise.

Well, this one is.

Announcing Compassionate Use, a blog which tracks the effort to make medical marijuana safe, legal and available to every sick person in the United States who might need it.

Compassionate Use is going to follow news and events as they develop, link to online resources, and generally serve as a clearinghouse for information on this issue.

Why am I doing this? See here.

This is Compassionate Use's "soft launch," meaning that we are in but the preliminary stages of development--but if you care about this issue, please help me get the word out.

Ed Mitchell IS at the Barbecue Block Party

Up-to-the-minute, vital and accurate intel from the culinary front lines:

Ed Mitchell, God's Own Pitmaster, is in fact at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party this year. (We blogged about Mr. Mitchell's legal and financial problems last week.)

Here's a report from user "Bob192" at the excellent site Chowhound.com:
Just walked past, [Mitchell's] got a whole line of cookers smoking away, on Madison, just north of 23rd. The first tub of ready 'que is already on the table, and he does have a crackerjack organization, so I'm sure things will start moving very quickly at the stroke of noon. Try it the eastern N.C. way, on a bun, with coleslaw to slake a bit of the vinegary edge. There'll probably be little tubs of sauce if you want extra.
Oh yeah, baby. Don't stop.

Today I'm stuck working at home, but we'll be at the Block Party all day tomorrow (Sunday.) Meeting like-minded friends there, and I'll be doing some recorded soundseeing for the podcast. Expect a report at a near-pornographic level of detail.

Chapomatic: "This is what we need to beat to win"

A very thoughtful post over at Chapomatic on the nature of the information war we are currently engaged in.

Go read it (and the comments, too.)

There's a follow-up post that's worth reading (and watching comments) as well.

Saturday movie meme

Having been tagged twice with this blogmeme (hi, prairiesong! hi, Mira!) I am badly overdue for a response.

Without further ado:

1. Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

Roughly 100. 70% VHS, 30% DVD.

2. The last film I bought:

I initially felt very smug about this answer, as I was going to burnish my Cinema Geek credentials and report that it was the recently released DVD of Le chagrin et la pitiƩ (The Sorrow and the Pity), Marcel Ophuls' masterful and incredibly moving documentary about life during the Nazi Occupation in a small city in France.

(If you haven't seen it, you must--but be prepared to be outraged. There are genuine heroes to be found in this film, but the behavior of many of the French would've had to improve significantly in order to be considered disgraceful.)

However, I remembered that there was--ahem--a more recent purchase.

Team America: World Police, Uncensored and Unrated Special Collector's Edition (read: "extended puppet sex version.")

America, fuck yeah!

(hangs head in shame)

3. The last film I watched:

Actually not a film, but the entire first two seasons of HBO's fantastic crime drama series, The Wire, rented on DVD from Netflix. Does that count?

4. Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
5. Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal/blog:

Nooooooooo! (said in my best bad William Shatner voice)

This. ends. here.

10 June 2005

A very very long cat

sleepy kitty 400x120
Mister Gato is a very, very long cat.

Earlier Mister Gato posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. See The Modulator and The Carnival of the Cats for more bloggers' cats from around the world. This week, the Carnival of the Cats is hosted at the delightful blog Music and Cats!

09 June 2005

Speaking of shoes...

...I might want to make a practice of wearing slippers in the house.

One of the dogs (don't know which one) left a little present on the living room floor sometime last night.

No, not what you're thinking - it was the remnant of a steak bone that she had been hiding somewhere for God knows how long.

I stepped on it in the middle of the night, and cut my right foot rather badly. Walking, even in gym shoes, is kind of challenging this morning (actually, really painful) so I am going to work from home today.

May I say for the record, ow. Ow ow ow.

08 June 2005

A few words in favor of shoe repair

But first, a note from our sponsor -

Response to this weekend's Greenwich Village Idiot podcast has been both strong and positive. If you haven't given my new obsession hobby a listen, please consider doing so. (To answer a Frequently Asked Question: no, you don't need an iPod or other portable MP3 player to listen in; any computer that can play MP3 (recorded music) files is capable of playing the "podcast," and that's just about any computer made in the last five years. Click the link above and sample away.)


So, shoe repair.

Weird topic for a blog post? Maybe. But I have long maintained that among the list of top-quality professionals and specialists that every adult needs access to (accountant, analyst, attorney... and those are just the a's) a really good cobbler is high on the list.

I don't have extravagant tastes when it comes to fashion, but one thing I learned long ago is, Be Kind to Your Feet and They Will Be Kind To You. I just won't wear cheap or poorly made shoes. That's an area in which you are almost guaranteed to cause yourself pain if you try to save a few bucks.

Given a choice, I'd live in my New Balance gym shoes, but five days a week I do have to dress sort of semi-nicely for work, and a good pair of men's shoes is expensive.

Yeah, fine: call me Imelda. But I won't be limping around town with blisters or fallen arches, sucka.

The Shoe Guy in our neighborhood, a true prodigy at the cobbler's bench, closed his shop down a few years ago. It was replaced by a chi-chi new luggage store (sigh), and ever since I've been lost and adrift, footwear-wise.

My genius wife, however, located a shop near her workplace that looked promising, and with anxiety and misgivings, before I split town for Phoenix I turned over four pairs of dress shoes in desperate need of professional attention. They all needed resoling, new heels, and in general some serious cosmetic surgery.

(One pair of shoes--an ancient set of Florsheim Imperial wing-tips, referred to as my "twenty pounders" because of how sturdily they're built--is actually over twenty years old; my dad bought them for me to wear to my high school graduation, and as goofy as this must sound, they actually have considerable sentimental value to me.)

The rehabbed shoes arrived over the weekend. It wasn't cheap, but for about the price of one pair of good new ones, I have four good-as-new, thoroughly broken-in and molded-to-my-feet pairs of dress shoes. Resoled, new heels, polished to a shine that even a drill sergeant couldn't fault. And already broken in! Did I mention that?

It is the official editorial policy of this blog that shoe repair is a Very Good Thing and an industry that is vital to our national interest.

Dino's Shoe Repair of Columbus Circle in Manhattan, we salute you!

06 June 2005

The Supremes smack down medical marijuana

By now, you've all heard the news... the Supreme Court has ruled in Gonzales (formerly Ashcroft) v. Raich, and the news is not at all good for medical marijuana supporters.

Essentially, the Supremes have overturned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision from 2003, and have "[upheld] the power of Congress to prohibit and prosecute the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, even in the 11 states that permit it" (New York Times, June 6, 2005.)

The decision overturned a 2003 ruling by a federal appeals court that had shielded California's Compassionate Use Act, the medical-marijuana initiative adopted by the state's voters nine years ago, from the reach of federal drug enforcement. The appeals court had held that Congress lacked constitutional authority to regulate the noncommercial cultivation and use of marijuana that does not cross state lines.

But "the regulation is squarely within Congress's commerce power," Justice John Paul Stevens said for the majority today. He added that the court's precedents had clearly established "Congress's power to regulate purely local activities that are part of an economic 'class of activities' that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce."

The decision, Gonzales v. Raich, No. 03-1454, was not necessarily the last word on medical marijuana, either from the courts or from other branches of government. Under the terms of the opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, will now consider other challenges to the application of federal drug law, including an argument made by the two patients who brought the case that depriving them of what they say is the only drug that eases their suffering from a variety of painful conditions amounts to a violation of their constitutional right to due process.

Full text of the Times article here.

Full text of the Supreme Court decision here (Findlaw)

Now, here's an interesting development. Guess who turned out to be the only principled, hard-core federalist on the high court?

That's right... this guy.

Justices Rehnquist and O'Connor were also disturbed by this blatant abuse of the Commerce Clause and dissented in part, along with Thomas, but only Justice Thomas laid it out in the clearest of terms, in a separate dissent:
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything--and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
Amen, and that is clearly just exactly where we're at. So much for the "federalism revolution" in the judiciary.

A flood of European carpetbaggers

From the Hindustan Times, June 6, 2005:
"Indian call centers to swell with foreigners soon"

Indian call centre workers, often victim to racial abuse and rude behaviour from British and American customers, are facing a new threat as professionals from all over the world, especially Continental Europe, are relocating to India to work in local BPO companies.

"There will be a potential demand for over 160,000 foreign language professionals in the Indian offshoring industry by 2010," say analysts at the research firm Evalueserve. Evalueserve estimates that currently between 20,000 to 30,000 expatriates are believed to be working nationwide.
I've always liked a little slice of irony with my breakfast coffee. IT workers of India, beware the invading European hordes!

By the way, I'm sure it's just the compulsive copy-editor in me, but note the cultural schizophrenia in the spelling of the word "center" in the headline vs. article body. The writer can't decide whether he's writing to British or American standards.

As my astute buddy Rob observes: "Note the term 'threat' being used ... so now they're protectionists? Human nature is the same everywhere and everyone is a hypocrite.''

(Just for the record, Rob isn't against outsourcing in principle, and neither am I.)

05 June 2005

Greenwich Village Idiot for June 5, 2005

Greenwich Village Idiot for Sunday, June 5, 2005, is now available for download at the podcast site.

Direct download: Greenwich Village Idiot, June 5, 2005 (16MB MP3, 22:05)

(or subscribe to the podcast feed - RSS/XML)

This is the Beach Music edition of the Greenwich Village Idiot, in honor of the coming of summer. (Yes, I know, the solstice isn't for a few weeks yet, but trust me, it was high summer already in New York this weekend.)
  • Music includes:

    • "Backfield in Motion" by Mel and Tim
    • "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" by Ruth Brown
    • "Money Honey" by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters
    • "Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars
    • "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols
    • "Groove Me" by King Floyd

  • Web sites referenced include:


Greenwich Village Idiot - the enrevanche podcast

Carnival of the Cats, 63rd Edition



Welcome to the 63rd edition of the Carnival of the Cats!

Come in, make yourself at home. But behave. Mister Gato has his eye on you.

We've done this before, so we won't go over all the rules again, but, briefly: actual Carnival entry links are in bold type.

(Extraneous links and parentheticals are just evidence of my borderline ADD.)


The Carnival mailbag is quite full this week, and some of it isn't even Japanese spam.

Please, I implore you... I am a monoglot (read: "American.") If you are going to spam me, kindly do so in my native language.

So without further ado... let's get to the Carnival!

Anne, over at moonpath, actually had to borrow some cats from a friend in order to participate, but don't worry, that's allowed. She brings us a couple of pictures of a giant furry grumpus who's almost as big as the ottoman he's sitting on, and a wild-eyed kitten who looks like he might be smokin' the crack. Welcome to the Carnival!

At The Tattered Coat, Matt's kitty Luna asks, "Papa, is that kibble for me?"

Brendan of The Irish Trojan sends us a shot of Sasha contemplating some potentially very fresh sushi, along with pix of Toby and Butter as well. And more: here's a nice picture of Froggy, and proof that there are plenty of blogging cats owned by catbloggers.

Drew at DrewVogel.com gives us an update on Mr. Face, a grievously injured kitty who is now thankfully on the mend.

Oscar, TJ's cat at zazzafooky, knows the best way to get attention: climb on the desk and sprawl all over whatever Mama's working on.

Elisson of Blog d'Elisson offers us three entries this week: one in which he documents the well-known love affair between cats and cardboard boxes, and another in which he activates the Wayback Machine and introduces us to Stripes, of blessed memory, circa 1985. Finally, here's a nice picture of thirteen pounds of cat in a size seven shoebox.

srp at Melange shows us Clover playing a game of hide and seek.

And sfp (I wonder if they're related?) at Pages Turned shows us Claudius's reaction to the news of the day. I couldn't agree more.

Ferdinand T. Cat at Conservative Cat offers some helpful instruction for all you kitties out there in developing a course of Basic Training for your humans.

The Robot Vegetable at Middle-Fork presents Sabaki Laps It Up... demonstrating, once again, that a cat's favorite beverage is Anything, As Long As It's In Your Glass.

Matt from Martinipundit has three guest kitties this week. From the looks of them, I'd say they're no more than three months old. Oh my God, the cuteness.

Julie at i-pets.com blog observes that you can't hide anything from a cat! And how.

Gir from Your Moosey Fate sends a picture sequence documenting Hi and Mischief actually companionably getting along, destroying any plausible deniability these "rivals" might have wanted to maintain.

The Lab Kat is featuring a picture of a very relaxed Coby sleeping in a highly improbable position. How do cats do this? I'd wake up all stiff and sore.

Chuq Yang at 7610 is breakin' out the catnip.

Alicia at The Venus and Mercury Cat Blog introduces us to Mercury, a cat with a rich inner life.

Tamara at Cybervassals presents Clyde the Cat, who is clearly a very Clyde Cat.

D.E.D., who blogs at DEDspace, shows what happens when cats do the laundry... before and after. And after the laundry is done, what could be better than relaxing in your condo?

Barb at annoying little twerp, in another laundry-related posting, reminds us to always check the dryer.

Trish at Trish Wilson's Blog offers us a picture of Lucky playing with a bit of string this week. (Lucky appears to adhere to the same philosophy as Mister Gato - "the world is my cat toy.")

Jazz Shaw from Running Scared is dealing with a little feline jealousy this week. This is Pepe's best "don't f*** with me" look; it scares Jazz a little, and it scares me, too.

Jazz's other cat, Colin, hasn't been feeling too well. Our thoughts and prayers are with y'all.

Storyteller at Scribblings checks in with Posing Problems, in which Amber proves a little camera-shy.

At The Blue Parrot, Doby the cat is contemplating life outside the window.

Loretta at Dust my Broom has some incredible photos of a pacifist cat utterly failing to eat a baby bird.

Sweetie, the shop steward wants a word with you. You're in danger of losing your union card.

Brian at Lunar Obverse is showing off some pictures of Smacky the Cat, including one that looks like it might have been taken on a night-vision setting. (That's a great idea. Mister Gato is decidedly nocturnal, and I love that groovy/spooky Silence of the Lambs look.)

Ogre at Ogre's Politics and Views gives us some cross-species feline/camelid action with Cat + Llama.

Okay, poetry break:

The one-l lama,
He's a priest.
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.
- Ogden Nash

Jessi at Enter the Faerie sends us some kitten blogging. I think my blood sugar just spiked.

Romeocat at CatHouse Chat documents a little friendly ear-chewing. I've it before, and I'll say it again: when a cat chews your ears, you know he likes you.

At Music and Cats (where Kimberly is hosting next week's Carnival!) we see lucky Lyra in her window seat, which she really doesn't want to share with Sergei.

Laurence, at This Blog Is Full of Crap, is horning in on the University of Phoenix's turf with Frisky University's new distance-learning programs.

Perhaps in response, lisaviolet from lisaviolet's diary offers to improve your kittycat's mind at Handsome's College of Street Smarts.

Sissy Willis of Sisu has a trio of posts for us this week. First, a nice picture of Baby on the terrace... and here, Tiny stops to smell the hostas (but doesn't think that they were Intelligently Designed.) And finally, just making it in under the wire... here are Baby and Tiny on homeland-defense duty, accompanied by a real groaner of a Ralph Waldo Emerson pun.

(You'll never find erudition like this in the mainstream media. When was the last time your hometown newspaper made an allusion to the Transcendentalist poets?)

frightwig at Sundappled Wood gives us an idea of what Saturday with Izzy is like. That's a happy, sleepy kitty right there.

Tom Hanna at Tom Rants discovers that he's only four (cat) degrees of separation from The Gipper.

Rahel, who blogs at Elms in the Yard, introduces us to Pinocchio. This artsy kitty apparently lives in a frame-and-poster shop.

The estimable Chap, of the Chapomatic blog, sends along a photo of the AcropoliCat... a well-fed stray who was making a nice living for himself as a mouser-in-the-ruins a few years back.

Tommy at Almost Average continues to innovate. He just posted the only work-safe image of a wet pussy that you're likely to find on the Web. (That's one peeved-looking cat, by the way.)

BJ from Quite Early One Morning shows us Molly's summer quarters. A comfy basket on a shady plant-lined patio... that's the feline equivalent of a house in the Hamptons right there.

At Mind of Mog, Friday catblogging means a picture of Bazel the hedonist, lolling on some overstuffed pillows on a comfy couch. In a sunbeam, natch.

El Capitan at Baboon Pirates performs a badly needed public service by conducting a cat treat taste-off. Our favorite swashbuckling primate really takes one for the team here: he tastes the treats himself.

Pipsqueak at The Common Room has been adopted by a stray cat who has just had kittens. Here's a nice picture of one of the newborn kittens curled up on the family dog's paw. A very small kitten and a very big dog!

Martin at EGO shows us a picture of Morris the outdoor cat, master of camouflage.

Last but certainly not least, Mira at The Oubliette sends along some meditations on feline beauty.

A final note - several catbloggers have hipped us to the fact that June is National Adopt A Shelter Cat Month. (A tip of the enrevanche chat-chapeau to Trish Wilson, B.J. and D.E.D.... and here's a great post at DEDspace in which D.E.D. debunks the myths of cat ownership for the benefit of the uninitiated.)

We can't get behind this idea fast enough or far enough -- our beloved Mister Gato is a shelter/rescue cat, and he's one of the most delightful animals we know. If you are a non-cat-owner who is living vicariously through all of this catblogging, and you're looking for a feline buddy to share your living space with, we can't recommend this avenue of adoption strongly enough: you're saving a cat's life and enhancing your own immeasurably at the same time.

Thanks for visiting! And thanks to Laurence Simon, organizer and administrator of the Carnival of the Cats, for letting us host again this week.

Be sure to mark your calendars for next Sunday, when the Carnival of the Cats moves to the delightful Music and Cats. Submitting your entries couldn't be easier: use Ferdinand T. Cat's excellent multi-Carnival online submission form.

(And don't forget the Friday Ark at The Modulator, always an excellent source of blog posts about furry quadrupeds as well as other members of the animal kingdom.)

naptime for gato
Whew, Papa. I'm knackered.

Credits

Mister Gato eats only IAMS cat food (and occasional table scraps.)
Kibble, catnip and toys cheerfully delivered by Beasty Feast.

Additional research and not-strictly-necessary external linkage by the
Enrevanche Catblogging Support Outsourcing Centre in Bangalore, India.

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog entry.