Tuesday, September 28, 2004

dog & cats

Flash chews on her butt. Not her butthole. No. But just this side of her tail. Sometimes she'll walk by and there'll be this wet tousled spot, like some creature is riding her pelvis. She hasn't chewed herself raw this year. Not yet. Hoping she won't. We buy the hella expensive flea stuff, the topical that supposedly kills every flea within shouting distance for a month and the internal that renders infertile those fleas that didn't hear the shouting. But she gets itchy anyway. She probably picks up fleas outside -- a few bites and her skin bothers her.

We treat the cats, too. I've seen Sutra stop suddenly and bite himself. I haven't noticed any bites on myself. But Kent said he caught a flea a week or so ago. And I think I saw one, maybe.

Last weekend I bought new cat toys to enrich their environment. The cats spend the night and our workday shut inside and haven't had anything new to pounce on in ages. I got two clear plastic balls, about golf ball size, one having a plastic fish skeleton inside that spins, the other having paddles around which tiny balls cascade. Kent saw that the balls always maintain a distance from each other, so they must be magnetic opposites. Also bought a ball that's made of some sort of foil, looks a bit like a chrysanthemum. Sundy likes to bite plastic and foil. The pet store had lots of catnip toys, but when the cats were kittens and we offered them a catnippy something they were uninterested, so I didn't buy anything with catnip. However, there's a bulk herb-spice store that I pass on the way home from work so I stopped in today and bought a half ounce of catnip. We wrapped it up in a rag, tied it shut with a rubber band & wire twist tie. A few minutes ago Kent showed me how dampened it is. Making Sundy slobber? So Sundance has played with the toys. Sutra seems mostly suspicious, if not altogether fearful. This evening he walked by the catnip toy on the floor, sniffed it, but seemed to find the smell disconcerting and jumped away, skirting the toy by several feet to get out of the room.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Republicans helping gay marriage?

It seems the Republican Party sent out a mailer claiming that "liberal politicians" want to ban the bible and "allow" men to marry. I just saw the mailer at Atrios' Eschaton. The fear picture of the two men who are to be "allowed" to marry is of two very ordinary-looking men smiling, wearing shirts they could've bought at Target or the Gap, short hair, white. I realize that for the target audience ANY suggestion of man-man sex makes them stay up late, sweating and beating themselves (off), but my thought was, what a nice picture. No leather, no funny shaped hair, no racial difference, no disparity in age. This would be a best face picture of gay marriage: American Dull. Seems to me in the long run this helps desensitize the American public to the idea of gay people marrying. Kinda like a photo of little black boys and little white girls holding hands -- to a segment of the population such a picture would inspire only fear & loathing, to others (more others?) it'd be nothing to be afraid of. Some who hadn't before might wonder what's been scaring them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bush and debates

In a new TIME article Joe Klein says, "I've never seen George Bush lose a debate." Curiously, I remember Bush losing the first Gore-Bush debate. As research is at our fingertips these days I easily found this CNN article from Oct 3, 2000, which says, "a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken immediately after Tuesday night's presidential debate indicated 48 percent of registered voters thought Gore did the best job in the debate, compared to 41 percent for Bush."

Bush won? Only the way he always wins, by losing but being handed the win by others. The Republicans managed to spin Bush's performance (remember the CW coming up to the debate was that he was an idiot and would look foolish); when Bush seemed adequately intelligent in the debate, that was blown up into a big success and the talking heads of the media happily parroted the notion of a Bush "win".

Friday, September 17, 2004


The last time I didn't vote in a presidential election was 1988 when I was in London. I put in a request for a sample ballot and I think it even got to the house where I was staying but the mother of the family was also an American so voted absentee. When the election was getting close and I wondered aloud if my ballot was going to arrive she casually mentioned she'd received 2 ballots and threw one away. I protested but she insisted both ballots had had her name on them and she wasn't going to vote twice. I had put on the absentee ballot application that the ballot should be sent to me in care of her so I suspect one of those ballots was actually mine. On the other hand, what does one vote matter, really? I didn't want to vote for Dukakis. He wanted to rip children out of the homes of gay parents and that put me off him right good.

This election I'm going to be at a resort in Hawaii so I won't be able to toddle over to the Friends Meeting House to do the civic thing. Whee! Yes, I will vote. Either absentee or early at the registrar's office. I'll probably vote for Cobb, the Green Party candidate. I'm pissed at Kerry for dumping on marriage. If the vote were close in California Kerry would be dead meat anyway. But if the race were close I would maybe probably could be vote for Kerry. There are good things about him. A blog I discovered recently, andrewtobias.com is optimistic about Kerry's chances. Tobias says, "We won last time ..."

Friday, September 10, 2004

can Bush win?

He didn't last time.

I look at polls that show scary and amazing support for our current criminal regime and am baffled and appalled. How could anyone think anything positive about these goons? Yet millions seem to. Could Bush actually win?

As he didn't win in 2000 Bush would have to get more votes than he got last time. In order for Bush to get more votes he would have to get people to vote for him who four years ago voted for Al Gore. Are there people who will switch?

Geotpf at MyDD was wondering the same thing. He found a poll that asked the question. And a much smaller proportion of Gore voters than Bush voters indicated that they planned to vote for the other guy this time.

Thus, says Geotpf, "Logically, Kerry is a shoo-in."

A coworker last week was going on about how certain he was that Bush would win. He didn't like the idea, but what can you do? I ran by this coworker the notion that Bush needed Gore voters if he was going to win. As we are in Berkeley CA there's nobody around us insane enough to switch, but coworker claimed to have grown up in the "heartland" and have plenty of friends and family there and people there, he says, really rallied around Bush. Perhaps coworker could find for me a few Gore voters who'd seen the error of their ways and were now planning to vote for Bush. I said I was honestly curious about what such people might say. It's been a week or so. I doubt coworker has actually asked anybody, but next time I see him I'll follow up.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

comments on version 4

When a poem changes this much from its earlier version(s) one may wonder if it continues to be the same poem. Maybe call this a new poem on the theme.

"Our Two Trees" version 4 (note title change)

Styles of the Season


The maple


The apple



The maple


The apple