Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: April 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

Nature Sounds

I got an iPhone for Christmas and one of the cool applications I downloaded was Griffin iTalk. It’s a voice recorder. You can download what you record via an application you install on your computer. I’d intended to use it to record podcast interviews. Well the microphone is pretty darn sensitive and I have on occasion recorded animal sounds in the neighborhood. This is the first one that came out really well. I’m not going to id it till later because I wanted to give you all a chance to see if you can identify what kind of animal it is. I did process it a bit. I amped up the animal sounds and deamped everything else. It’s 42 seconds long.

I’ll give you a hint. The very last noise it makes will help you narrow it down.  Enjoy the animal sound.

I heard it this afternoon about 4 pm. I knew it was coming from the center median. There’s lots of cacti, brush and trees in the median. Anyway, I couldn’t see it. I started recording and walked towards the sound. Eventually I spotted it but then the creature had moved on.

Headlines To Piss You Off

Where to start? It’s been a while since, I posted a HTPYO. I know some will say it’s a thinly veiled attack on Republicans. I don’t know where anyone would get that idea.

Republicans Gutted Pandemic Preparedness Spending From Stimulus Bill

Dept. Of Bad Timing

Swine Flu outbreak

Republicans Decry Volcano Monitoring

Volcano in Alaska erupts

Republican Pundits upset DHS report targets right wing extremists

Right wing extremist kills two deputies in Florida

Right wing extremist kills three cops in Pittsburg
http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/emerging-portrait-richard-poplawski-< Oklahoma Man Arrested for Twittering Tea Party Death Threats http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/twitterraid/ Those whacky teabaggers. Won't they ever learn? (dialog NSFW) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGNWCwCrUKk The GOP: divorced from reality The Republican base is behaving like a guy who just got dumped by his wife. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-maher24-2009apr24,0,927819.story

Look, I get it, “real America.” After an eight-year run of controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this latest election has you feeling like a rejected husband. You’ve come home to find your things out on the front lawn — or at least more things than you usually keep out on the front lawn. You’re not ready to let go, but the country you love is moving on. And now you want to call it a whore and key its car.

That’s what you are, the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him — obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will.

But it’s been almost 100 days, and your country is not coming back to you. She’s found somebody new. And it’s a black guy.

Snakes Alive!

I stepped out of house this morning to get the Sunday paper when I saw a snake crossing our driveway. I knew it wasn’t a rattlesnake by the look of the tail, but didn’t know if it was venomous or not. It’s not. I was told it was a bullsnake by someone on Twitter. My Audobon Southwest book did not have it in there so I wasn’t able to ID it. I thought it was going to be like identifying a bird. The pictures and illustrations sometimes don’t really help. There can be a lot of variation within a species.

This is the first snake we’ve seen since moving to Tucson. I’m not going to worry about snakes in the driveway or in the front of the house. I’ll just avoid them and they’ll go away eventually. Though I suppose if I’m expecting visitors I’ll have to warn them. If one gets into the backyard, garage, or–shudder–house then I’ll have to do something. Anyway Melissa did not freak out. I guess it helped there was a screen door and 20 feet separating her from it.

I also took a short video of it so you can see its tail better.

So far I’ve seen rabbits, jackrabbits, quail, lots of other desert birds, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and a bobcat in our neighborhood. I’ve heard but not seen coyotes. I think my foothills experience will be complete when I see javalinas.

Baja Oklahoma

As a former resident of the Great State of Oklahoma I thought we had the most embarrassing politicians in the nation in our Senators, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn. The only way you could tell which one was more embarrassing depended on which one was speaking. Then along came Michele Bachmann from the Great State of Minnesota. I really feel for you guys up there. She does have an Oklahoma connection. She got her JD from Oral Roberts University when they had a law school. They sold it to Pat Robertson’s Regent University, the one the Bush administration hired a lot of law grads from. The craziness of these politicians and googling them will turn up numerous examples of their nuttiness.

Now the entire state of Texas has gone bonkers with the probable exception of Austin. Yeah, I know it is the capital but the rest of the city is sane. The Governor of Texas has just out-crazied Sarah Palin and Bobby “We don’t need no steenkin’ volcano monitoring” Jindal combined. Rick Perry is making secessionist noises. He’s complaining the Federal government is becoming oppressive. Hey Rick, where were you the last eight years of the Bush administration, with their secret prisons, torture, spying on American citizens, imposing draconian travel restrictions and putting in place an onerous airport security and screening process? Seriously, what the fuck are you complaining about? Letting Bush’s tax cuts lapse on the top 1% of income earners.

It’s only been three months, folks, since the Republicans were out of power, and they are just going bugnuts, with their teabagging, and Glenn Beck lunatic ravings, and Sean Hannity lying, and Rush Limbaugh’s oxycontin addled screeds. Not to mention the largest gun buy spree in history when Obama won. How many of those gun buyers have lost their homes? How many of those gun buyers have lost their jobs? How many of those gun buyers are sitting idly in their pick up trucks listening to Hannity, Beck, and Rush on the radio? Let’s hope today all they are doing is teabagging.

We may have to contact the International Red Cross to send care packages to our friends and loved ones in Texas and to keep in contact with them if Perry’s Texas sized bullshit keeps up. We may have to have a Berlin airlift for Austin to help keep them free from the wingnuts. The Republicans continue to double down. I really feel for you guys in Wingnutistan. I hope the good people of Texas can recall him the way the Californians recalled their governor. Even if they did it for the wrong reasons. Texas, your governor is a total jackass.


I’ve started doing freelance work. At the beginning of the year I was helping a company get their feet wet with Plone. A lot of work and I learned a lot. I’ve set up a website for a an author who has a book coming out. I’m looking for other opportunities. Plone is a long term project and really requires me to be part of a team, but for solo projects I’m very good at helping people set up WordPress websites. It’s good for small websites with a small number of users and there are many many skins available that can be easily customized to meet the needs of a client. I’m also familiar with Django, but still have much to learn about it.

I’m a firm believer in content management systems. It allows non-technical people the ability to manage their own websites. Plone is by far the one of the best open source CMSs available. It can take time to set up one but if you have a lot of information to manage and a fair number of end users, it’s the way to go.

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