Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pronunciation guide

My aunt is not my "ahnt."

A small space is not a "neesh."

One does not conduct "nego-c-ations."

That last affectation is the oldest, I think, at least as far as its use by talking heads. Edwin Newman (who's still alive, as if you care) mocked it way back when in Strictly Speaking, if I remember right. It's bothered lots of people, of course, but it was surprisingly difficult to find examples (I found two) by googling. One, oddly, was in the comments to a post on the (really good) jazzbo blog, Rifftides.

"Niche" pronounced "neesh" is more recent. It's the second pronunciation in the American Heritage Dictionary, so I guess it's not wrong, but it sure sounds wrong, probably because I never heard it pronounced that way until about five years ago. Weird.

"Nego-c-ation" is maybe just a case of plain old snobbery. Makes the word sound more French, so maybe people will think you actually, you know, speak French. Oo-la-freakin'-la.

"Ahnt" is reverse snobbery. To sweepingly generalize (the Drunkablog way!), "ahnt" is how African-Americans often pronounce the word; now, in politically correct solidarity, so do whites (or is it "Whites"?).

Update: The AP stylebook is shockingly sensible on racial designations. Under "African-American" one reads, "The preferred term is black." Under "nationalities and races" it says, "Lowercase black (noun or adjective), white, red, mulatto, etc. See colored."

Update II: As for "colored," in case you were wondering: just don't use it, okay?


Update: Hi, Normatives! These pictures, I should explain, were taken on an October canoe trip on the Green River in southeastern Utah. More here and here.

Update II: Since this post contains only one picture I probably shouldn't say "these pictures," should I? But what's done is done and damn the consequences.


Cliff and boat

Photo courtesy John W. Doyle.

Update: I posted a picture here I had posted before. This is a new one. D'oh.

Monday, October 30, 2006


It's getting a little scary. Circulation at major newspapers took another big tumble over the last six months. The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post weren't spared, of course, though they did better than the Los Angeles Times (down eight percent) and some others. According to the Denver Business Journal:

Separately, daily circulation for the Post dropped 3.2 percent to 255,935 copies from 264,300 and the News daily circulation fell nearly 3 percent to 255,675 from 263,425 copies a year ago.

That's on top of the 4.7 and 4.3 percent drops, respectively, in the last reporting period. The Journal dissects the new figures:
The Saturday News fell to 552,567 copies compared to 593,747 last year and the Sunday Post dropped to 694,053 compared [to] 725,178 copies last year. The numbers include a category of distribution called "other paid circulation" that includes copies paid for by advertisers, but distributed to homes and business that didn't order the copies, or those given to schools for free.

Without those "other paid" copies, the combined dailies circulate 452,957 copies during the week -- 221,366 copies for the Post and 231,591 copies of the News.

The "other paid" category is counted in total paid circulation, but it is considered less desirable circulation for advertisers. Many newspapers have moved away from distributing and counting the "other paid" copies, also called "third party sales," as more financial industry research firms have begun tracking such sales, according to a July 2005 edition of trade publication Editor & Publisher.

Huh. You learn something new every day. Or you will be beaten. So it's even worse than reported for the Denver dailies, a lot worse. But it's the longterm trend that's really scary. The Journal again:

Combined circulation for the dailies has decreased 39 percent since the two papers entered a joint operating agreement [JOA] in 2001 that combined the business operations of the two papers but maintained separate, competitive editions of the two newspapers.

The Post, owned by Denver-based Media News Group, and the News, owned by E.W. Scripps compete head to head Monday through Friday. The News has the sole Saturday edition and the Post has the exclusive Sunday edition.

Combined daily circulation was 839,496 copies in 2000, the year prior to the JOA.

The Journal seems to be pointing a finger at the Post/News JOA as the culprit in the circulation decline, but Michelle Malkin, who linked to the E&P report, notes that only one major newspaper defied the trend, and offers some advice: "Hemorrhaging left-wing newspapers could learn a thing or two about gaining and keeping readers from the NYPost, don't ya think?"

No, I don't. They're beyond learning, as a cruise through Poynter Online (which has the story) any day of the week will confirm. The newspaper industry is old, arthritic, and crotchety. We should wrap it well in warm blankets and give it (arsenic-laced) tea. I want my inheritance.

Update 7:29 MST: Neither local daily has the circulation story yet.

Update II: I cut a paragraph of the Denver Business Journal story mentioning that the Denver Newspaper Agency just announced it was cutting up to 5% of its workers.

Update III: They better bar the windows at the Boston Globe. The paper lost 6.7 percent of its daily circulation and 10 percent of its Sunday circulation. In six months.

Update IV: Both papers have the story now. The Post, after noting the coming layoffs at the Denver Newspaper Agency (they never seem to refer to it as the DNA) consoles itself with this last graf:

Even so, the agency said in a statement that its total brand audience, print and Web readers combined, "has increased nearly 1 million a month over the same six-month reporting period to a total monthly audience of 8.3 million."

A million non-subscribing readers, of course.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sat Eve Post 8-24-68

There's been more crap written about the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago than about almost anything else in the history of the world. This week's Post weighs in before the disaster happened, and You Are There.

In an editorial, the Post refuses to endorse Hubert, saying that his recent statement, "I happen to believe that our stand in Vietnam . . . was right," makes them question his "fundamental presidential qualities of wisdom and judgment." This was after the Tet Offensive, of course.

The other editorial, "Watch out for Wallace," urges us, naturally, to watch out for Wallace:
We have come . . . to such a state of fear and hysteria that one American in six openly supports a candidate who promises to suppress dissent by force.
Openly! The implication that one in six Americans is a fascist was probably a little exaggerated.

Look, here's a non-fascist, "comedian" and "activist" (he's still the latter) Dick Gregory:

Comedian at work: "The northern white cop brought into the ghetto the same psychological attitude the hunter brings into the forest. It is a violent sickness, an ego-feeding device to prove one's manhood." To which one can only respond: Ha-ha?

Then Joan Didion's column. Hard to believe, but Joan's depressed again. At least her piece makes a nice companion for Gregory's. Titled, "On becoming a cop hater," it's all about how cops have talked mean to Joan not once, but a couple of times. Concluding sentence: "I do not go around using words like "blue Fascism," but it has been a very long time since I thought of a cop as a friend in blue."

First ad:

"Ideal for the 99 out of 100 wives who refuse
to fuss with their husbands' Cameras."

Funny that so many wives refused to "fuss" with their husband's "Cameras" back in the swingin' 60s. Oddly, the first thing I found about the Fotron was a class-action lawsuit against the company that made it. The "electronic" color camera, selling for more than $450 (in 1968!), apparently didn't work worth a damn.

Then a profile of Hubert by Stewart Alsop. Not enthusiastic at all, as the accompanying cartoons echo:

Waaaah: Hunter Thompson's line about Hubert (one of them, anyway): “Hubert Humphrey is a gutless old ward-heeler who should be stuffed in a bottle and shipped out on the Japanese current.”

Then writer Milton Viorst on Chicago Mayor Richard "J." Daley and the convention:

"Later this month the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to come to town, and unless Daley puts on a virtuoso display of skill and authority, all hell is certain to break loose."

Probably anybody could have guessed that.

Finally, another ad, which I include only because it's the second one in the mag that has little disembodied heads floating around in it:

Here's a close-up:

And here, again, are the li'l heads in the Fotron ad:

Amazing: There's much to learn about these tiny-headed people. Do they have a union? Why are all the women wearing papier-mâché wigs? Is LaSalle graduate James M. ("Thanks for your splendid cooperation") Umphlett still only a little Umph?

Update: The odd-haired women, by the way, will remind longtime Drunkablog readers if any of the sainted Mother Watson.

Update II: Christopher Hitchens' in the Times reviews a book about Hunter Thompson by his longtime illustrator, Ralph Steadman (via a Judd or reasonable facsimile, in a post titled (referring to Thompson), "Great stylist, miserable human being").

Friday, October 27, 2006


Rocky Mountain News:
They weren’t mellow or takin’ it easy when Gov. Bill Owens talked on the Capitol steps Friday morning in opposition to a statewide ballot measure seeking to legalize marijuana possession.
Crap lead, but soldier on:
About 50 people of all ages shouted him down as he and Attorney General John Suthers cited statistics declaring pot dangerous.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sad day for Colorado," Owens said. And then he had to repeat what he said over the chant, "What do we want? Safer drugs. When do we want them? Now."

Suthers couldn’t even be heard much of the time he spoke.
Dumb. If the amendment had any chance before, that may have blown it.
For about four minutes, he plowed through data showing the dangers of marijuana, but it was lost in the din of another chant, "Hey, ho, you say drink, we say no."

The crowd never let up and cheered when Suthers finished his speech. They taunted the governor: "Lie louder Bill, we can’t hear you."
Dumb, dumb, dumb. On the other hand, there was some provocation:

Owens and Suthers were also joined by Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener, who became famous during the Platt Canyon High School shooting in Bailey that resulted in the sexual assault of several girls and the murder of 16-year-old Emily Keyes [the shooting resulted in the sexual assault of several girls? How'd an editor miss that?].

Wegener tried to link the amendment to the tragedy.

"What about the possibilities of this individual being a pilot or a bus driver?" he asked the crowd.

"The potential consequences of their actions are too horrific to ignore. Couldn’t happen? That’s what was said about a school shooting in Bailey."

The crowd jeered.

Pretty jeer-worthy, you have to admit. SaferColorado plugs a post-Owens press conference of their own (also on the Capitol steps) but hasn't updated with it or this story yet.

Update: Favorite Otto line: "My name is Otto, I love to get blotto."

Update II: The Rocky has the audio. Don't bother.

Update III: Rocky reporter David Montero got a chance to rewrite his original story. It's better, but now has this bit of almost unbelievable cluelessness:
Pot smokers will tell you the most intense part of the joint is right at the end - the roach clip, in drug parlance.

The news conference was getting to the roach clip.
Good God.

Update IV: What a surprise. The Rocky gives the hippies the Easy Rider treatment today in an editorial titled "The disgrace on Capitol steps" (definite article alert has been issued):

Amendment 44 backers would like your vote to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. And if you disagree, they expect you to shut up about it.

That, in a nutshell, is the message that members of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), who back Amendment 44, dispensed Friday at the Capitol when they tried to shout down some of the state's top law enforcement officers and the governor . . . .

Owens was justifiably irate and had harsh words for the protesters. "In my almost three decades of public service," he said afterward, "I have never seen a time when people with a permit for the west steps of the Capitol couldn't be heard. These people in green shirts remind me of their predecessors in brown shirts."

Oh, Billy.
Owens was referring to the green shirts worn by SAFER and, of course, the brown shirts worn by storm troopers in the 1930s. Hyperbole? Sure, but disrupting speeches is nothing to make light of, either. It's a direct assault on the First Amendment and is a routine tactic of bullies less interested in civil give-and-take than in forcing their views on others.
Does it matter that Owens and the others tell some whoppers in their effort to combat the Evil Weed? Absolutely. Should they be shouted down for it? Yes. Wait! No! Of course not! We can judge Owens' (lame) arguments for ourselves, ya freakin' hippies. Let him get them out before you laugh at them.

Weird Bird Friday

It's hard to look dignified while standing in your own poop, but somehow I manage to pull it off.

Another from the aviary in Puebla, Mexico

Update: Sorry for the lateness on this post. I'd like to blame it on the blizzard and say I was stuck upside down in my car, buried in a snow bank for 29 hours before being rescued by a passing egret, but really I was just busy with work.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More pictures

More Green River photos, this time from the glibly ontological "Mr. B."

Tent Bottom at sundown.

Random Drunkablog diary note:
Mountain House Chicken and Festered Rice ($9.95) for dinner! (10/4/06)

Taken at dusk: See the sandbar lower right? It was under a couple of feet of water the next morning.

Another random note:

Hippies again. Camped on mud flat in the middle of the day. Apparently overcome by urge to play bongos--actually just empty coffee cans. Savings in Bongo-age spent on beer and pot and 'shrooms and downs and meth and Southern Comfort. Bongo playing very, very bad. Howling like diseased wolves no better. They're Bongoloids. (Bongoloids. Funny. USE IN BLOG!!!!) (10/6/06)

Toxic-waste containment vessel: This is a "groover," which everyone is required to carry on the Green. To use you unscrew the lid, try not to look inside, slap down the plastic ring (in yellow mesh bag) and sit down, creating an airtight seal. (Be sure to create an airtight seal.)

It's also a good idea, for obvious reasons, to carry the groover behind you in the canoe.

Random note (this conversation actually took place):

Idiot 1: I'm taking the groover tomorrow.

Idiot 2: Who says?

Idiot 1: I'm taking the groover.

Idiot 2: It's my turn to take the groover. Why are you always hogging the groover?

Idiot 1: I'm taking the groover.

Idiot 2: You better keep it in your tent tonight, then. I wouldn't sleep too easy, neither.

Idiot 1: I'd like to see you try something.

Idiot 2: Oh, I'll try something, all right.

Too much realism: back to gorgeosity.

Update: More Green River (this trip) heah and heah and heah.

Update II: Picture of the groover was taken by me. Yes, I won the argument.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blizzard warning

for Colorado tonight, and it's so warm I've been working outside without a shirt. (Ladies! Cease your vomiting! And head-banging! And eye-gouging! At once!)

Indoors, of course, I wear a burqa, as required of men in the U.S.

Update: An e-mailer claims men in the U.S. are not required to wear burqas. Yeah, like I'm going to believe some anonymous loony over my own wife.

Update II: Downgraded to a winter storm. Still calling for up to 12 inches of "wet, heavy snow" in Denver, though. That means lots of shoveling. Better get the cardiac arrest kit out for the D-a-W.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


TomKat set the date.
Hollywood's most high-profile engaged couple have finally set a wedding date. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will marry in Italy on Nov. 18.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will marry in Italy on Nov. 18, Cruise's representative, Arnold Robinson, confirmed to The Associated Press today. Holmes will wear a dress designed by Giorgio Armani, Robinson also confirmed . . . .

Cruise and Holmes were first photographed together in Rome in April 2005. Two months later, the "Mission: Impossible" actor announced he had proposed to Holmes atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Drunkablog covered the Eiffel Tower Proposal at the time.

Ah, love:

Potent potables for $200, Alex

The Rocky suffered a bout of reefer madness this weekend, with pro (Mason Tvert of SAFER) and con (Colorado attorney general John Suthers) op-ed columns on the Colorado pot legalization amendment. At this point, of course, there's nothing very interesting, and certainly nothing new, in anyone's arguments on the issue. With the election only two weeks away, why would there be?

Dave Kopel's regular column this week begins, "You can call the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post a lot of things, but one thing you can't call them is 'fair and balanced.'" He concentrates on the papers' coverage early this year of (education) amendments C and D, but mentions the papers' biased coverage of Amendment 44 in passing.

Update: The Post, not to be left completely behind in the pothead stakes, ran a round-up type story on the amendment yesterday, citing a September 28 poll showing it failing with voters 36 to 29 percent, with 35 percent undecided.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Orson Welles, mortician

Hello Americans, the second volume of Simon Callow's proposed three-volume biography of the legendary film director (the first, The Road to Xanadu, was published a decade ago) makes for semi-fascinating reading, at least for anyone interested in Welles or his fillums. He's even pretty good on Welles' radio career.

But Callow sure ain't much of a stylist, and his admiring treatment of Welles' boneheaded leftism, particularly his support for proto-Maoist agrarian (and FDR's second-to-last vice president) Henry Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket in 1948, is highly idiotic.

But he's got some good stories, including one about Welles' supposed involvement in a very famous murder case. In his (30-page, one whole chapter) analysis of Welles' The Lady from Shanghai (don't worry though; I skipped most of it), Callow says that the "Crazy House" scene (not to be confused with the more famous "House of Mirrors" scene, you drooling rubes),

led to some fairly feverish speculation about a possible involvement in a murder that took place in Hollywood in January of 1947, the notorious Black Dahlia case, in which a young woman, Elizabeth Short, was found cut up and mutilated in a very distinctive, highly skilled way. According to Mary Pacios, childhood friend of the murdered woman turned amateur sleuth, writing in 1998, the mutilations on the faces and torsos, the ways in wbich the limbs on the mannequins are arranged and the skeletons severed at the waist in Welles’s scenery are all uncannily like those on Bette Short’s corpse. It seems that the production shut down on 15 January, the day of the murder, and the following day; that Welles took out a passport a few days later; and that, most bizarrely of all, a few days before he had made a formal written application to register as an assistant with the local mortuary [my emphasis--ed.] (this application is to be found in the Mercury archive at the Lilly Library). In the way of these things, Miss Pacios kept on finding more clues: that Bette Short was seeing a man called George (Welles's first name, used by certain of his intimates) and ate in a restaurant that Welles frequented, Brittinghams's near the Columbia studios; that the body wa left, carefully arranged, on the former site of The Mercury Wonder Show on Cahuenga Boulevard--where, of course, Welles had so famously sawn a woman in half; and a collage message from the murderer sent to the police with the girl's address book and birth certificate, which heavily features the letters O and W . . . . More appositely, she cites an oration given by Welles at the funeral of Darryl F. Zanuck in 1976, in which Welles said, "If I did something really outrageous, that if I committed some abominable crime, which I believe it is in most of us to do, that if I were guilty of something unspeakable, and if all the police in the world were after me, there was one man, and only one man I could come to, and that was Darryl. he would not have made a speech about the good of the industry, the good of the studio. He would not have been mealy-mouthed or put me aside. He would have hid me under the bed. Very simply he was a friend." . . . As it happens, a book appeared in 2002 (Black Dahlia Avenger) which definitively and beyond reasonable doubt identified the Black Dahlia murderer--it turned out to be the father of the book's author--so Welles is off the hook; it is irresistible to reflect how he would have loved the story. It had all the elements of a perfect Wellesian film, a la A Touch of Evil, with crooked cops, seedy club-owners, girls on the brink of prostitution, and an innocent who, determined to prove that her murdered friend wasn't a whore, finds herself blocked at every turn, finally stumbling on a terrible truth, to which everything points but which it is now impossible to prove. . . .

Two points: First, Callow writes very long paragraphs. Wait, that doesn't count. First, Callow is strangely incurious about Welles' registration at the local mortuary, which apparently happened. Why the hell would Welles do that? And why didn't Callow follow it up?

Second, despite what Callow says, Steve Hodel's Black Dahlia Avenger is very, very, very (did I say very?) far from general acceptance as the truth about the Black Dahlia case. "Definitively and beyond reasonable doubt" my hairy yellow ass. The fat boy did it!

Update: The peg for this drivel was supposed to be the relatively new (and apparently lousy) movie about the case based on James Ellroy's fine novel, but I forgot.

Update II: I took this post down for modification (adding more lies) and Bogger wouldn't let me put it back up. Someday . . . (insert impotent fist-shaking here).

BBC admits bias; minorities, women, children hardest hit

Late to this (had a dog with unnatural holes in her to deal with), but you could have knocked me over with a cinderblock: "We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News."
At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

One veteran BBC executive said: "There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

"Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it."
Read the whole thing, for it confirms practically everything the BBC's critics have ever said, and contains the felicitous BBC phrase "impartiality summit," to boot.

Not even sure where I first saw the story. LGF has it, as do the Judd Bros. Biased-BBC's lovely Natalie Solent, in a post deservedly titled, "Told you so," compares this quote from then-BBC political editor Andrew Marr in 2001:
We get from time to time people saying you're biased in favour of the Labour Party. Every time I ask people - show me a case of that bias, explain to me where we got it wrong and why what we said was so unfair - they seem to be unable to do so.
To what he said at the impartiality summit (aka, "secret meeting"), according to the Daily Mail:
"The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias."
Maybe while they're having this (no doubt temporary) attack of honesty the BBC will quit fighting release of that "highly critical" report on its bias against Israel.

That's a joke, son.

Update (10:38 a.m.): Well at least I beat Dennis Prager to the story. He's talking about it now on his daily program broadcast over the radio machine.

Update II: A few years ago the only thing I knew about the Daily Mail was its mention in the Beatles (Lennon) song Across the Universe (never knew why it was mentioned, though). Now I read their best columnist, Melanie Phillips. The internets (sorry, the AP prefers it capitalized: "Internets") is cool.

Update III: Helen Boaden, director of BBC news, responds to the stories.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Triumph and tragedy

Only yesterday our newish little dog Josie was the picture of health, cheerfully ripping out Billy Bob's throat because he said he preferred Laika to Lassie:

Note BB's rear leg kicking in throes of death.

Now look at her:

Makes you wanna cry: She has a splint on her right leg and a bandage on her left.

We have no idea what happened. She was out in the back yard and when she came in both her front legs were bleeding in roughly the same spot, just below those useless pads dogs have on the back of their legs. At first the emergency vet thought Josie had been burned. She hadn't, but she cut the tendon in her right leg bad enough to require surgery.

The only thing we can come up with is that the little nitwit somehow got both her paws caught in some chicken wire strung around the flower beds (to keep the dogs out), and cut herself getting loose. Problem is, the chicken wire seems undisturbed. Also, lots and lots of dogs have hung out in that back yard, many of them dumb even by dog standards, and none has ever managed to do anything like that.

Whatever happened, it's not gonna happen again.

Not if Billy Bob has anything to say about it.

Update: Yes, the surgery etc. was unbelievably expensive. We thought about having Josie turned into a tiny area rug instead, but the vet said that would cost just as much, so what the hey.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weird Bird Friday

Still life with stress bird. This picture is certified as an unposed, unretouched picture of Drunkawife's desk.

Stress bird, up close and personal.

Just let me hold you: Stress bird, undergoing stress.

UPDATE: While I was taking pictures for this week's Weird Bird Friday post, Josie came over to say...

What'cha doin'? What'cha doin'? Can I do it, too? Huh, huh, huh? Can I, can I, can I?

Then she said...

Lookie, lookie, lookie! I just got a brand new purple collar and a bright, shiny dog tag! Do ya like 'em? Huh, huh, huh? Do ya, do ya, do ya?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Somebody else's pictures of the Green

These were taken by another of the regulars on our river trips, the enigmatically asymmetrical MingusEye. As you can see, the differences between his photographic "style" and mine are profound.

For one thing, his pictures show "talent."

For another, he apparently knows how to "use a camera."

More pics later, of course, inevitably including mine. You sapless haps.

Redford: "To save this land, I had to develop this land"

Speaking of the Grim Reaper, Robert Redford was in town yesterday to speak to 6000 "real estate professionals" about responsible development:

After watching the character of his native Los Angeles slide off into a sea of concrete after World War II, actor Robert Redford understands the importance of land-use planning.

"The landscape I grew up with disappeared," said Redford, the keynote speaker at the Urban Land Institute's fall meeting Wednesday. "Whenever greed plays a great role and development gets ahead of planning, sometimes you end up with L.A." . . .

A conservationist and environmentalist, Redford built the Sundance Village in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with the goal of avoiding the same trap as Los Angeles.

"I had strong feelings about how things might look, so I bought land from a sheepherder," he said. "It was self-indulgent because I wanted to buy a piece of land to preserve it, but then was faced with the reality of paying for it."

Redford's preservation mindset made it impossible to find a financial partner, so he developed the property himself, taking a slow and thoughtful approach.

So Redford bought the land to preserve it, then developed it. Hey, Bobby (his friends call him Bobby), ever heard of the Nature Conservancy? They also buy endangered land, but unlike you (here comes the tricky part) once they own it they pretty much leave it alone.

Useless article, all in all, but at least I learned a new term of developer-ese: "grayfield." That's a "parking lot" to you, scumbags.

Doggie heaven

Radio yakker and dog lover Laura Ingraham finally had to have her 13-year-old Black Lab, Troy, put to sleep yesterday. "Quote of the day" on her website:

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

All I know is, Ann Landers used to tell pet owners that since God promises we'll have everything we ever wanted in heaven, our dogs will be there too. Ann Landers was always right. Good thing too, because:

Somebody's sneakin' up on Billy Bob.

Update: Yeah, I know: somebody's sneakin' up on me, too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

300 million people noticed

Everybody and his dog except me and my dog has linked by now to Oz-blogger Tim Blair's posting of wonderful reader-submitted pictures of some of the 300 million Americans now officially infesting the planet. The pics are great, but be sure to read the comments; they'll make you cry like a leetle gull. They like us! They really like us!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Got The Associated Press Stylebook 2006 in the mail today. It's the 41st edition since 1977, but was actually first stapled together for in-house use in 1953. Why 41 editions in 29 years? AP CEO and president Tom Curley doesn't say, but he does point out that
Today, the 21st-century ["Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10; the first century, the 20th century"] Associated Press has become the essential global news network. And the AP Stylebook has become the essential tool for anyone who cares about good writing.
Yeah, sure. Anyway, this edition is huge, with, besides the A-Z style guide, sections on sports, business, media law, and punctuation(!).

Among the "new entries" this year: retarded ("do not use retard"); Rhodes scholar; Shiite; Taser; 20-something . . .

Deletions? Uh-oh. Unbelievably, the very first word listed is "blog." AP deleted the word blog from its stylebook! Nothing under "weblog" either. No explanation.

Of course, as a charter member of the MSM, AP has every reason to hate blogs. But eliminating the very word, as if to eliminate the concept itself? That's Orwellian*.

There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but rest assured that the D-blog I-Team will be on the story drunk and early tomorrow morning.

*Well, it is.

Update: "Drunk and early" line stolen from Groucho Marx. I forget which movie.

Update II: The next two words the Stylebook de-lists after "blog," by the way, are COBOL and FORTRAN. It's humilitatin', I tells ya.

Update III: Stylebook editor Norm Goldstein replies:

Thanks for your interest in AP style.

We deleted the term "blog" only because we thought it no longer necessary to include or explain. It is now a familiar term and needs no special entry. Use it at will.

Ummmmm. Okay. Is that why you eliminated COBOL and FORTRAN too, Norm? Answer me that! (Drunkablog runs away.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Norton bashes Amendment 44 on Hewitt

Don't know why, but Hugh Hewitt always comes to Colorado during election season. He was here again today, and among the many Colorado Republican candidates he interviewed was one non-candidate, Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton. Hugh asked Norton about Amendment 44, which would legalize possession of up to an ounce of pot in Colorado. I couldn't write anything down so from memory:

Hugh: Amendment 44 is funded by George Soros, right?

Jane: Yes.

The hippies at SaferColorado, the organization that got Amendment 44 on the ballot, still don't have permalinks or a search function, so I'm not going to look for it, but organization head (heh) Mason Tvert has denied receiving any money, ever, from Soros.

Hugh: How many joints in an ounce?

Jane: Thirty to 84.

This was a contentious point for some reason having to do with SAFER's claim that alcohol is worse than pot.

Hugh (jocular): Legalization would attract tourists.

Hugh and Jane (giggling): But who'd want that kind of tourist!

Hugh: What about minors?

Jane: A loophole in the amendment would allow adults to give pot to teenagers.

Hugh: Saints preserve us!

We've been all through that one before. What is it with the anti-44 campaign? It's the dirtiest thing I've ever seen, and as a lad I was exposed to Illinois politics. Don't much like that Hewitt is participating, either. Man's been getting on my nerves for a while now, he'll be upset to hear.


Front page, below the fold: "Earth Day founder joins One Sky":
The One Sky One World festival and John McConnell have worldwide attention to their message in common. Around the world, citizens of the world participate in flying kites on the second Sunday in October as a way to celebrate world peace. According to their purpose stated on the website, "One Sky One World promotes annual activities in concurrence with events in hundreds of locations around the world on the Second Sunday of Every October utilizing the multi-cultural symbol of the kite and the ocean of air that we all share."
On the front page. They covered One Sky last issue too.

And what a coinkydink: there's a guest editorial by John McConnell. "A Global Call To Action":

We are now in the greatest global crisis in human history. It is imperative the whole human family mobilize for a moral equivalent of World War II.

In our past wars we forgot our differences and joined in heroic efforts to kill our enemies [note sincere tone]. Killing will no longer stop killing. Now we must join in an all-out effort to eliminate the causes of war.

All people who receive this message are urged to quickly choose what they will do. [He thinks he's that silver-suited gink in The Day the Earth Stood Still]. Think about it, talk about it, pray about it--and then act.

Here's one of McConnell's recommendations for action:

Every radio and TV station should program a daily "Minute for Peace." A voice would state, "In this minute for peace let us join our hearts and minds, each in our own way, with faith and commitment to peaceful actions today and every day."
This would be followed by the sound of a Peace Bell and appropriate music.

Crime Beat!

This week Crime Beat recruits neighborhood snitches in a piece titled, "Nuisance Abatement: The importance of calling police and requesting to see an officer." Biscuit crux:

People in the community have voiced concerns about having police respond to their homes because they are afraid of retaliation.

We damn well better be. But Lt. Donna Starr-Gimeno has the solution:

Officers have cell phones in the police cars and can contact you by phone. Moreover, you can request the police officers meet you at a public place away from your home so there is no connection with police response and the person who called.

Here's a list of the "Public Nuisance Offenses" they want us to call about:

Prostitution, Gambling, Controlled Substances, Theft by Receiving, Drug Paraphernalia, Child Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation of Children, Disturbing the Peace, Weapons, Gang-Related Criminal Activity, Drive-By Crime, Sale of Alcohol Beverage to Minor or Intoxicated Person, Sale of Alcohol Beverage without Valid License, Transportation of Storage of [sic] Stolen Goods, Storage or Concealment of Weapon Used in Criminal Act, Eluding of Police, Speed Contests, Habitual Traffic Offenders, Sexual Assaults or Attempted Sexual Assualts & Indecent Exposure.

Guess which offenses the Drunkablog personally has committed and win a new car! As soon as the Drunkablog can find a child prostitute to steal one! Which won't take long!

Update: The trivia section of the wiki for The Day the Earth Stood Still is pretty interesting:
  • [Director] Robert Wise once joked in a seminar at the USC film school that he originally wanted to entitle the film "The Day the Electricity Went Off for Half an Hour" (which is a literally accurate description of the story.)
  • Knock wood on water

    The Rocky Mountain News has the clumsy headline (the D-blog knows clumsy headlines): "Drought over, at least from Denver's vantage."
    Denver Water's reservoirs are fuller now than they've been in any October since 1999 . . . .

    Denver Water reservoirs are at 90 percent capacity, three percentage points higher than the long-term average for this time of year, 87 percent . . . .

    In October 2002, during the depths of the multiyear drought, water levels in Denver Water reservoirs dropped to 51 percent of capacity.

    The Oct. 1 levels rebounded to 79 percent in 2003, 76 percent in 2004 and 88 percent last year.
    Oddly, Denver itself is still flirting with the record for least rainfall in a year:
    In Denver, recent rains make it appear less likely - though still possible - that 2006 will be the driest year in the city's history.

    The current holder of that title is 2002, when just 7.48 inches were recorded at Denver International Airport.

    That's less than half the normal year-end total of 15.81 inches.

    As of Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service had recorded 6.24 inches of precipitation at the airport this year - 7.33 inches below normal.
    Unfortunately the News fails to mention that Denver International Airport isn't in Denver, it's in freakin' Kansas. Denver's received a lot more rain than that, just judging from my little home rain gauge.

    It's even worse with temperatures, by the way. DIA is often five or seven or ten degrees warmer or cooler than Denver far to the west, but it's still where the city gets its official temps.

    Update: Coincidentally, Oz-blogger Caz describes the extremely severe drought in Melbourne and surroundings in comments to this post. Sounds a lot like Denver, only worse. Maybe they get their official rainfall from DIA too!

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    More pics

    MEGO, man.

    These are not ducks:

    They are little baby grebes (l.) and their ma (r.). Cute, cute, cute.

    We camp on this sandbar almost every trip.

    But the waterfall runs only when it rains.

    A panel of petroglyphs at Anderson Bottom:

    It's about 40 feet up a nearly vertical cliff. The mysterious Anasazi probably used a ladder to get up there.

    Update: Baby grebes is good eatin'. You don't even have to sneak up on them, just paddle alongside and whap! whap! whap! Dinner! (Serving suggestion: Six on a spit = a perfect fit for the average appetite!)

    A life of adventure

    It's a beautiful Sunday morning, I've ten million backbreaking and/or humiliating things to do before breakfast, and I'm sitting here watching Bill O'Reilly at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace (not necessarily in that order) sign his new book (whatever it is) on C-Span2. He didn't give a speech or nothin'.

    Update: Now they've got a close-up of O'Reilly's wrinkled old hand. It's signing away while O'Reilly stares around like it's not even attached to him. I think he (O'Reilly) just wants to go home.

    Update II (20 minutes later): Isn't the first job of a possessed hand to, you know, kill? Who wants to watch a possessed hand--even Bill O'Reilly's--autograph books? Oh, yeah.

    Update III: In case you didn't notice, Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay for The Hand.

    Update IV: In case you didn't notice, Bill O'Reilly is a dickhead.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Green on the outside, mud on the inside

    Somehow I keep complaining about all the rain we had on this trip and posting pics full of brilliant blue skies. This is our campsite at Tent Bottom.

    Purty: But looks are deceiving. The tent on the right has a small lake of mud in front of it.

    It rained three or four times overnight, and everything was muddy.

    Including the river. Kinda looks like a lake full of happy brown lily pads, doesn't it?

    But up close, a bubbly horror. The sucking mud pies were two or three inches thick, and you had to sort of drive your paddle through them. It was totally gross, but hardships like this give a depraved girl scout like the Drunkablog renewed appreciation of what explorer John Wesley Powell had to endure.

    Weird Bird Friday

    Metrosexual Bird

    Don't you know guys who spend a couple of hours trying to get their hair to look as good as this? I wonder what product he uses.

    From the Aviary in Puebla, Mexico

    Posted by Drunkawife (even though it says "posted by jgm" below--we haven't figured out a way to change the "posted by" message on a single post. If I change it on this post, it changes everything posted throughout history. Anybody have any ideas?)

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Local(ish) stories

    The Post carries an AP story about the Nevada constitutional amendment which, if approved by voters next month, would legalize and "regulate" marijuana in the state. First time the Post has mentioned the story, and only a month after the Drunkablog spotted it. The News, on the other hand, had their own reporter on it over a week ago, and also mentions the amendment today.

    Museum addition DAMned

    The Post links to reviews from around the country of the new addition to the Denver Art Museum under the headline, "Critic heavyweights pan the DAM." The New York Times is more or less typical:

    Yet this is a place for viewing real works of art. And if criticizing contemporary architects for creating flamboyant museums that mistreat the art they house has become a tiresome pastime, it is overwhelmingly justified here. In a building of canted walls and asymmetrical rooms — tortured geometries generated purely by formal considerations — it is virtually impossible to enjoy the art.

    That phrase, "tortured geometries," occurs several times. Is there nothing Bushie McChimplerBurton won't stoop to?

    Green River memories

    A long hunk of rock (sorry for the technical jargon) across the river from our first night's camp at Tent Bottom.

    My journal entry (yes, the D-blog sometimes indulges in the ladylike habit on these trips) says: "Sitting up here in the wind and rain [sic], eating my freeze-dried [word missing--I think it's "feces"] and looking at the SUPER CHIEF OF GOD [DON'T KNOW WHY I USED CAPS HERE]. I try to think deep thoughts but--no luck. All that comes is, 'It was a dork and Stormy Knight, the ex-porn star, who murdered my
    brother . . .'"

    My river-running buddies say journaling keeps me safely out of the way!

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Mineral Bottom

    This is the road down to Mineral Bottom, our usual put-in point on the Green River. Have you seen that commercial where the guy kisses his wife, walks out his front door and jumps off a cliff to parachute down to his Suzuki SUV? Our triple-threat shuttle driver Sean (river runner, poet, former bodyguard for Suzanne Somers) claimed that this is the cliff the guy jumped off.

    Not me, buddy: it's scary enough riding down in a Sean-driven short bus.

    In the interest of easy copy the D-blog put on his journalist's hat and researched Sean's claim. He's right. Here's a link to Suzuki's "making of" video. Yes, there's a "making of" video. You can see the Green (and the road) in a number of shots.

    Hell is a river

    After we launched last week dozens of people were trapped at Mineral Bottom when flooding and rock slides "decimated" (as usually reliable sources put it) the road. I believe they had to be taken out by chopper, though I can't seem to find a published account. In any case, it rained almost two inches in 24 hours while we were on the river, just over a third of the area's normal yearly rainfall. The number of rockslides personally witnessed by the Drunkablog went from zero to about ten on this trip.

    Update: Forgot to mention, a "bottom," according to my 1939 Webster's Unabridged, is "low land formed by alluvial deposits along a river." There's also a "Queen Anne Bottom" on the Green, which is invariably and unimaginatively rendered "Queen Anne's Bottom."

    (Portrait of Queen Anne from the Liberry of Congress.)

    Update II: "Hell is a river." Great title, he said modestly. Now all I have to do is write the screenplay.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Losing ground

    The old Drunkablog manse had the grace to wait until I was back to resume falling apart in major ways, but now it's had an attack of colitis or perhaps diverticulitis--in any case something really gross--and I'm way behind on stuff anyway, so posting might continue slow for a bit.

    But you should see these two idiot dogs play. Josie has a new strategy where she runs full tilt down our long upstairs hallway, leaps two feet in the air and rolls into Beelzebob, who (being a dog) falls for the gambit every time.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Drunkablog safe after River Trip of Death!

    Make that, "after River Trip of Serious Inconvenience."

    But sucks to that right now. As soon as we got home (very late) I pulled up the blog to see if Susan had managed in my absence to "salvage" it, as she'd put it--or had she "scrapped" it because it wasn't delivering "the ol' puncheroo, blogwise," as she'd threatened.

    So I was pretty happy to see that not only had she not "euthanized" the ol' Drunkablog (the blog, not me), but that she'd been blogging like a mouse hitting the coke lever. More, she'd been posting pictures that make my efforts--well, let's just say that the first one I saw was the one of clouds through an ex-convent window, which is better than anything I'll take in my whole p*th*tic fucking life. My woman, my woman, &etc.

    Still don't get her obsession with clowns, though.


    We got her. She's a half-sized Billy Bob, except cuter. Billy Bob's more of a manly man's dog like Karl Malden--I mean, like Karl Malden if Karl Malden were a dog. In any case, within .8 seconds of their meet-sweet (Billy Bob with the ol' attempted humperino) he and Josie were playing. They're so much alike they employ exactly the same strategery, going entirely for each other's ankles. When they do this at the same time their heads make a pleasant "bonk" sound.

    Aside from many years of redoubled dog-mockery, though, I'm really looking forward to training Josie to take a running leap off my chest and catch a frisbee like this amazing nerd did with his dog. I've never tried it with Billy Bob because at 45 pounds he'd crush my bird-like sternum, as the poets say.

    Josie's light enough, and she'll learn fast--at least, if I use Rudy's Recommended Frisbee Training Method. (Dog trainers are big music buffs, aren't they?)

    River trip

    It rained a hell of a lot, but we still had fun, as long as you define "fun" as "a desperate struggle for survival." I'll maunder on about it non-drunkenly but with pics soon as I have a few minoos.

    Update: Good God, Karl Malden is still alive.

    Heads! (exclamation point just for you, Snaps!)

    In addition to doors and plants, Mexico also has LOTS of heads. Ancient heads...

    Baby Olmec Head, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico

    ...to modern heads...

    Sprinkler Head, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. I was wandering around the sculpture garden, being totally delighted by everything, when I saw one more thing that looked particularly delightful. I had it framed in my viewfinder before I realized that it actually was a sprinkler head, not art (or is it?)

    ...to in between heads.

    Victor Hugo Head, Parque Hugo in Puebla, Mexico. Apparently, Mr. Hugo was a big supporter of Mexico during the French-Mexican war. Puebla is the site of the Battle of Puebla, which is the battle celebrated hugely in the United States and Puebla, but nowhere else in Mexico.

    It's the old heads that are most fascinating, I think. Here are some more.

    I-don't-like-you-very-much-either head. Museo Amparo, Puebla

    Head in the Sand, With Stone Beads. Museo del Templo Mayor, Mexico City. All from a funerary stash.

    Pierced-Earred Punker Head, Anthropology Museum, Mexico City

    Shock or Awe Head, Museo Amparo, Puebla

    Fountain Head, Hotel Patio, Taxco

    And, finally, Happy Buddha Head, Museo Amparo, Puebla

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    Pitiful Post

    I told Drunk-a-Husband that I would try to post every day, even if it was just to post a picture. Well, this is one of those days. I've been on my feet training all day and am too tired to think, let alone write.

    Here is one of my favorite pictures from my time in Mexico.

    Window in the Oaxaca Cultural Center, housed in the ex-convent of the Church of Santo Domingo with the cactus gardens on site (see "Plants" for pictures from the Oaxaca cactus garden).

    BTW, I have enjoyed creating little "albums" of my Mexico pictures to share with you (see "Doors" and "Plants"). I'm working on another called "Heads." I won't spoil the surprise by telling you what it will have in it.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Weird Bird Friday--Inaugural Post!

    Owls at the Aviary, Parque Ecológico, Puebla, Mexico

    I have decided that it is long overdue that Drunkablog have its own "animal Friday." Following in the great tradition of The Blog's Cat Blog Friday and Avatar Brief's Duck Friday, I have decided to initiate Weird Bird Friday on Drunkablog.

    In Mr. Drunkablog's absence, Mrs. Drunka made a unilateral decision to begin this new series. And, since D-a-B had to give Mrs. D his password so she could offer her insightful and entertaining guest posts, Weird Bird Friday just may continue even after the return of D-a-B.

    If he doesn't approve of Weird Bird Friday, he can just start his own animal Friday. Then all you clowns out there in Drunkablog land can vote on which you like best!

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Hot DAM

    The new Denver Art Museum (DAM) building opens this weekend. The hope is that it will become the icon of Denver in the style of the Sydney Opera House. I love the new building, I love the art museum, I love just about everything about Denver, but I'm not so sure that the shape of this building can grab people like the shape of the opera house. It's just not quite graspable enough (whatever that means).

    What do you think?

    The new Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum. The little pointy thing behind and a bit to the right is part of the oh-so-cool Denver Public Library. The gray building to the left is the original DAM, built in the 70s, also a very cool building.

    Maybe there will be a particular angle that will become iconic. I like this picture better. Sorry I couldn't find one without advertising for the museum on it.

    Now you all can see that I didn't come up with the ever-so-clever "Hot DAM" by myself. I'm so embarrassed.

    You can see more here.