Click for bigger pic - Is the prairie dog the cutest animal on earth?On the way into Santa Fe from the Albuquerque airport, I noticed a bunch of prairie dogs in the dirt of an on-ramp, and I raved about them, so my sister-in-law told us about a store called Jackalope that actually has an on-site prairie dog colony in a walled-in enclosure. We also had a few prairie dog holes in a dusty median between our hotel and the IHOP next door, but I only saw one very briefly, so it was really cool for Emily to be able to gawk at them at her leisure. (And me too!)

Click the little pic for a page with a couple of bigger pics.

The coveted Asparagus Pee Duh! Award

Here’s a cool idea I just had: They should have a place on every prescription that describes what’s inside, especially if it’s a new prescription, like, ‘Small, round, blue pills, imprint “Watson 407,” or, ‘Pink powder. Mixed with water as directed, smells and tastes like cherry bubblegum.”

We've found your luggage - click for bigger pic...Sorry for the long no-blog. We’re on vacation and I’m blogging to you live from The Courtyard by Marriott in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This picture is where our journey began – the Sacramento airport has these really cool sculptures built up around the support posts near the baggage claim. I took this while we were waiting in line with, oh, maybe 200 people to get on the escalator to go upstairs to the security check.

We’re in Santa Fe for my father-in-law’s 75th birthday surprise. My sister-in-law lives here, so we set it up for F-in-L to come visit, then we all showed up, coming in from California and Connecticut. It’s been pretty hectic, with 7 people trying to decide where to go and what to do, but almost everyone else has gone back home now, and I’ve got a DSL connection in the room, and life is good.

The most impressive thing we’ve seen since we’ve been here is probably the Rio Grande Gorge and bridge. Here are pictures of the gorge, me and Emily out on the bridge, and The Lady Janet and Emily out on the bridge.

Awhile back, we bought a 2003 Civic Hybrid&#153. We thought it was important to try to get better milage, promote the new technology, and the icings on the cakes were a $2000 tax deduction and a flat $500 from some California energy commission, and we love it! So I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot more about the new Prius&#153, and I’m just wondering if anyone else feels a compelling need to squash one like a bug. I mean, that’s a silver cockroach, right? Sure, it gets a couple more miles to the gallon, but at 47 mpg, I’m not too concerned, and the Civic still looks like a car.

  • More good health news: Picking your nose and eating it is good for you.
  • Obligatory link to Noam Chomsky’s Blog.
  • Dr. Seus (Theodor Geisel) did Political Cartoons (Via Olie Eichorn)
  • Walmart has a computer for under $300 – think about this.
  • This link to Aerogel is everywhere, but check it out. The new Stardust probe is going to collect particles from a comet in this substance that is 99.8% air but feels like stiff styrofoam. Once again, folks, isn’t it cool to live in the future?

I may blog a bit later if I get a second wind, but I think I’ve accidentally used up all my blog juice responding to a thoughtful comment that was posted to my Passion of the Christ entry. If you’re curious, just scroll down and read the comments and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Fish say, what the?Update: OK, I worked past 10:00, but it’s now about 2:15 AM, and I’ve got my second wind or my fifth beer or something. Turns out I’ve finally figured out what to do with at least one of the many many AOL disks that show up weekly. Click the little pic for a bigger pic.

Hey! I learned a new word today! Someone named Fred mentioned to me this afternoon that he’d received an e-mail full of ‘mondegreens’ and I said ‘huh?,’ in my best Tim-the-Toolguy ‘huh-wuh?’ and he gave me a very accurate description of how Sylvia Wright had heard the Scottish folksong that goes

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands
Oh where hae you been?
They hae slay the Earl of Murray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

and thinking how wonderfully romantic was the tale of the Lady Mondegreen, she was surprised when she learned that it was actually ‘and laid him on the green,’ thus becoming the patron saint of mis-heard lyrics. Here’s a whole site full of Mondegreens.

This post is called Cats Never Learn. I’ve lived with my cat, The Duchess, since February of ’89, or about 15 years for those of you who may be math impaired. In all that time, you’d think she’d have figured out a few things that she’s experimented with on a daily basis – I mean, that’s over 5000 days, right? But here are some things she’s never figured out:

  • Contary to your experience, you can’t actually make a door open by staring at it.
  • Despite what you believe, the grass is not greener on the other side of the door.
  • When you eat grass, you throw up.
  • I’ve never fed you in the bathroom.
  • Our house has approx. 1400 square feet of free floor space. You take up less than one square foot, as do my two feet… with better than a 1 in 1500 chance, why are you always underfoot?
  • There’s nothing for you in the refrigerator, so I’ve closed it on your head something like 15,000 times with no positive feedback.
  • Those speakers over there that I blew half my student loan on are not scratching posts!
  • Litterboxes are not for losers who can’t mark their own territory.

Zug (?) had a prank this week where they pretended to be a 10-year old boy with a class assignment in Government, and they wrote to all of the US Senators and asked them what their favorite jokes were, and here are three of my favorites:

Q: What did the number zero say to the number eight?
A: Nice belt!

Q: Why did the pig have ink all over its face?
A: Because it got out of the pen!

Q: Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
A: Because he didn’t have any guts.

One of the old jokes that I still love is:

Q: Why was six afraid of seven?
A: Because seven ate nine.

Then there’s the one I made up for Emily when she was about 2 1/2:

Q: What do you call someone who counts kitchens?
A: A kitchen counter.

Here’s another rare photoblog update. It’s all about Asparagus, trying to get healthy, flowers, and Emily.

We’ve got real Asparagus growing out in the garden, but it comes up like one stalk at a time, so we cut them off and save them in a glass of water in the refrigerator. They’re still fresher than store-bought, and they really make your pee stink.

I’ve been working out for the last couple of weeks, and at nearly 42 years old, working out for the first time in a couple-three years, waking up stiff doesn’t mean quite the same thing as it used to! So I’m showing you a recent breakfast – ‘Old Chris’ would have had two or three eggs and half a package of Jimmy Dean sausage, and no juice or melon.

The flowers are self-explanatory, and there’s a picture of the garden with the new batch of compost about to be dug in.

The Emily pics in this batch are pretty neat. When I was weeding to prep the garden for planting, I caught a little red snake with a grey belly (they tell me it’s a Red Racer), and Emily wasn’t scared to handle it at all… she thought it was ‘pretty cool, Dad.’

Asparagus from garden in fridge.

Asparagus from our
garden in the fridge!

Asparagus still in the garden.

Asparagus in the Wild

Breakfast is served.

Healthy Breakfast?



Pond, with new growth on Water Hyacinths.

Pond with Hyacinths

Happy St. Patty's.

Perfect Reuben

Garden with Compost.

Garden w/Compost

Daddy's Little Serpentologist.

Snake Handler

Closer Look?

Here He Is.

Oh, by the way, the Reuben sandwich is a nod to St. Patrick’s Day – I love Reubens, so I alway buy a big Corned Beef when they’re on sale. This week, they were $1.89 a pound.

The recipe is easy. Get a piece of Corned Beef. Boil it to death, maybe 3-5 hours over a low flame. Slice thin on Rye bread with sliced Swiss Cheese and drained Sour Kraut. Butter inside and out, add sauce below, and grill in a pan over medium heat until evenly brown.

My Secret Sauce Recipe:

  • Miracle Whip Dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice

Blend about 2/3 Miracle Whip to 1/3 Ketchup with a couple of teaspoons Worcestershire to a smooth orange-brown. Enjoy!

Click for bigger version.My 4&#189-year old daughter recently put several rubber bands around every doorknob in our house. I lived with this for a few weeks, but then I decided it was a bunch of crap and I asked for her permission to take them off (we try the democratic method first). She said, “OK,” so I took them all off. All of them but one, that is.

I couldn’t get that one off because it was too tight and too far down in the groove between the door and the doorknob.

So I told her I’d have to get a pair of needlenose pliers, and she didn’t know what those were, so I tried to draw her a picture.

She said my picture just looked like scissors, so I turned them into a mutant barricuda with big teeth chasing a small fish (uh-oh!). Then she went and got her set of plastic tools and pulled out a screwdriver and asked, “Is this a needlenose?” which actually kinda makes sense if you think about it.

Anyway, I still need to show the kid a pair of real needlenose, but I went ahead and adapted the drawing to include the screwdriver she brought me, so click the thumbnail and prepare to be reassured that I am not a cartoonist.

Here’s another good Emily story. I go in to help her brush her teeth last night, and she’s holding the new ‘killer whale’ toothbrush that the new dentist gave her the day before when she got her first two fillings, and she says, ‘My toothbrush is already wet, daddy.’

So I say, ‘Well, that’s interesting… how did it get wet? What happened?’

‘It accidentally fell in the toilet while I was pooping,’ she says, ‘but it’s OK, daddy, ’cause I washed it real, real good.’

‘Hmm. Well, I’m sorry kiddo, but we can’t use that toothbrush tonight,’ I said, and obviously, tears ensued, but we’ll work it out, I’m sure.

Sometimes when you’re reading the news, different articles just click when you read them in the right order. Like a few days ago, I read that Obesity is second only to tobbaco as a cause of death, and a few seconds later, I read this warning that McDonald’s Salad Has More Fat Than Cheeseburger.

Then I read that scientist studying sonoluminescence may actuallly be getting close to achieving Cold Fusion, and turned around to read an article about shrimp in the ocean who are already doing it?

Here are some more good guidelines for writers: Ten Mistakes Writers Make.

Is this cool, or what?I just bought a 128 MB SansDisk MiniCruzer USB memory stick over at Staples for like $40 to move files around between machines, and it’s pretty cool, but now I find out I could have gotten a Swiss army knife with a USB mini-drive as one of the blades… Gentles and lady-men, we live in the future.

My yard seems to think it’s Spring, so I’m going to do a rare photo-blog and show you some flowers. One of my own original jokes that I like a lot and drag out this time of year is ‘April showers bring May flowers, and Mayflowers bring pilgrims.’

If you’re curious about the flowers comin’ up around this time in our yard, a virtual aquarium shadow play, or some cute kids, click on the thumbnails below for a bigger pic.

Before picture of our house.
Before Pic of House
After picture of our house.
After Pic of House
Calendulas in alyssum.
Emily with a friend on a horse.
Emily & a Friend
Shadow Play Aquarium.
Shadow Play
Garden before planting.
Unplanted Garden
Almond trees in bloom.
Almond Blossoms

I don’t have any strong feelings about other people’s reactions to Mel Gibson’s new movie, Photo by Philippe Antonello. - © 2003 Icon Distribution Inc. All Rights Reserved. and I didn’t plan to blog about it at all, but the building where I work shares a parking lot with a Baptist church, and they’ve got a big poster up on the wall near their front door with a picture similar to this one, and it says, ‘Dying was his reason for living.’ How messed up is that?

Maybe he lived to teach us about something, or set an example? Or how about this quote from John 10:10: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’

Bottom line? Thousands if not millions of people have died horrible, painful, drawn-out, torturous deaths, often at the hands of the church itself (he was probably lucky the Sanhedrin turned him over to Pilate), but if he was who they claim he was, it’s a big deal. I’ve phrased it that way on purpose because I know Jesus never laid claim to divinity and he did tell his disciples that with faith, the least among them could do everything he did and more. And all that crap about original sin and a new Adam came straight from Paul, the misogynist epileptic psycho whose best moment was when he recognized that women look much cuter in hats than men.

I need to go back and read the New Testament again.

I won’t be going to see the movie because the images I already have in my head from the website and the reviews are straining my psychological tolerance for witnessing human suffering.

If you feel strongly, as I do, that people shouldn’t be tortured and/or put to death, you might want to take your ticket money and mail it to Amnesty International.