Monthly Archives: May 2011

Kitten Update: Tuesday

MONDAY BEING A HOLIDAY we had a lighter work schedule than usual and spent a righteous portion of the day napping. Well… I did, anyway. Toni actually went into work. Go thou and figger.

Sometime during my late afternoon-to-early evening nap, Toni woke me up with a forefinger to the lips and pointed down at the other corner of the bed. I lifted my head and beheld…

Loki. Grooming Lady Jane.

And a moment later, mirable dictu, Elwood clambered up on the bed and got him some of that, too.

Also, this evening, we observed Karma actually playing tag with the kittens. And — was it Jazz? — grooming Jane.

Oliver is still a tad standoffish. Maybe he’s tired of being the maiden-aunt-good-with-the-children. Or maybe he’s just taking longer to adjust. But it does appear the old hands are coming — grudgingly — to accept the newbies.

Now, today, we’re back to work. Which changes the whole daytime dynamic. Should be interesting to see how they get along.

Karma and Jane

Cat Monday

HAD AN INTERESTING and hopeful development in kitty detente today.

I was sitting at my desk in the study. Lady Jane was badooping around, climbing on the stuff piled against the north wall (under my watchful eye). She made her way to the front window seat. Karma was already there. Anticipating some possibly good pictures, I turned my camera on and pulled the curtain aside.

Jane settled into the hand clearance at the front of the sill, while Karma got up and curled into the corner between the right book case and the countertop that forms the window seat.

I snapped a couple of pictures of Jane, but realized that Karma wasn’t going to push matters, and Jane was clueless and didn’t know there were matters to be pushed.

Then Sky jumped up on the windowseat. I immediately switched over to macro-focus and looked for a good angle on what promised to be some sort of confrontation. I was, however, unprepared for the sort we got.

Sky started licking Jane. At first, I thought it was grooming. But it quickly became clear that what was going on was tasting. I reported this fact to Toni, who came over to watch. So did Aqua, who popped up onto the typing desk and growled a bit. Karma, deciding discretion being the better part of valor, got down and wandered off.

Then Jane tired of the attention and stood up, breaking contact with Sky — but not before he got a few good licks in on her butt — and went to curl up where Karma had been lying.

Amost immediately, Jane’s place was taken by Elwood, who wanted to see what all the excitement was about. Sky started in on him.

Aqua growled a bit more. “Aqua!” I chided her gently. Toni put out a hand to stroke her back.

“Um… This isn’t Aqua,” she said. I reached out and felt the back fur of the one I thought was Sky (one sure way to tell them apart — Sky’s back fur is coarser than Aqua’s). Sure enough, it was AQUA who’d been tasting the kittens — the one of the triplets who’s been possibly the most hostile to the new kittens.

After all this time, we still have occasional trouble telling the two of them apart. This is Sky. DUH!

Seems as though the new babies are settling in faster than we thought they might.

And Bandit seems to really like curling up on my chest and snoozing away — motor on full purr.

Not supposed to be getting attached to him. When he gets a bit bigger, so youngest granddaughter (whose current family includes a sibling of our triplets, Harvey, who was a tad bigger when they got him) and Bandit are a bit better suited for each other sizewise, he’s going to be leaving us.

Blood Pressure Regulation

THERE’S NOTHING TO drop the old Hg column like a purring kitten curled up on your chest, trusting and asleep.

Even if he is the one you’re not supposed to get attached to.

So… kitten news.

Hey! It’s a holiday weekend! I can post a caturday post on Monday if I want to. Just wait ’til my birthday — which falls on a Saturday this year.

We have pretty much settled on names for the two kittens we’re going to keep for keeps.

The gray striped girl is named Lady Jane Grey, for her regal aspect (which you only see when she’s sitting or lying still — which isn’t too often — but those are the only times I can get pictures of her, because my #^@%ing camera that won’t TAKE THE PICTURE WHEN YOU PRESS THE #^@%ing BUTTON). The name is stolen from the usurper Queen of England of the same name, and from the 1986 TV Movie about Lady Jane, which introduced a young Helena Bonham Carter to the world.

The lilac-point Siamese mix boy is named Elwood Blues, for his brilliant blue (crossed) eyes. The name, of course, is stolen from the Dan Ackroyd character in the classic 1980 film, The Blues Brothers.

They are still spending nights in the crate. Seems a necessity, although one that’s getting less daily.

Their interactions with the other cats are getting less distant and hostile. I reckon that Karma will be the first one to actually play with them, with Belle not so far behind. Oliver will probably catpile with them by midweek, and by next weekend, only the triplets will still be standoffish — albeit feeling rather sheepish about being so stubborn.

Toni has not made any predictions, yet.

We’ll see.

Jazz and Aqua have seemed the most hostile — actually following the kittens around and growling at them. The rest just hiss and walk away when they encounter one of the newbies by chance. The big surprise has been Loki, who is usually equanimity itself — second only to Oliver. But he’s expressed some pretty deep misgivings. I do think he’ll come around. He did with all of the other kittens who’ve come in after him, from Rommie to Karma. He just needs a little time to adjust.

But then, don’t we all?

The Caturday Post (Take Two)

NEW BABY KITTEHS are home, now, with a surprise addition of a teensy (1#, 12oz) little tuxedo guy, destined for Number One Daughter’s household, but needing to have some weight put on him before he goes into a house with two large dogs, various assorted adult cats, snakes, two bearded dragons, and a noisy cockatiel. (Not to mention two young, rambunctious girl-children.)

Temporary Simon and Temporary Bandit.

Temporary Katydid in the crate.

The “Temporary” part refers to the names, which are the tags they got hung on them in the foster home. We’ll let them tell us their “real” names when they’re ready.

They’re in a crate to allow them and the current resident adults to become accustomed to one another without having to mix it up. So far, Aqua seems to be the most bent out of shape and Sky seems to be the least concerned. We predicted that Karma would be the most bent, but so far, she only seems puzzled and curious. More anon.

The Caturday Post (Take One)

NEW BABY KITTEHS come home today. Film at eleven. Or whenever they get here and are ready for their closes up. (Close ups?)

The Gas Price Myth

IT ALWAYS CROPS UP about this time of year. The media, of course, demonstrates that it has the collective memory of a fruit fly, witters on about how the trend is up and pretty soon will go out of sight, while the rest of us, who (however dimly) understand markets, know that the price will fluctuate.

A week ago last Tuesday, I filled up at $4.159. Today, same Shell station: $3.729. Eleven percent drop?

Of course, the error is to assume that the snapshot you see today is indicative of a trend that will continue unabated to infinity.

An Aphoristic Formulation

OF OBSERVATIONS ABOUT the piracy of intellectual property:

It appears that piracy is practiced mostly against those who either ignore or are ignorant of pricing signals in the marketplace. In other words, they ignore that a price should all the market will bear and charge more than the market… will … bear…

Hmmm. Something to that?

They Said It Couldn’t Be Done

UNTIL, THAT IS somebody did it. You’d think that “experts” — with their long vision and sense of history — would understand that the road of history is littered with the corpses of “experts” who said it couldn’t be done.

Run, Sarah! Run!

Ask Yourself Just How Stupid This Sounds

EVERYBODY BUT ME AND THEE is a fool. They’re easily led. They can’t see through a silk handkerchief, let alone the wool the media’s pulled over their eyes.

Dumb as a post turtle, right?

And the media is hemorrhaging red ink — lost viewers and readers and advertisers. Their influence doesn’t extend more than a mile beyond the Hudson, or outside the Beltway, and even there holds sway only with credulous fools and dedicated apparatchiks.

So, plainly, the vast majority of the country can get through its day without even referring to the media, let alone taking its marching orders from Katie Couric. Or that new guy, Scott wossname. ::snort::.

That all being the case, what on EARTH makes you so certain that the country even KNOWS the media has attacked Sarah Palin, let alone landed any telling blows? Or, for that matter, cares?

Is it possible that YOU are the one who’s been taken in?

It Should Go Without Saying

AS IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS to all but the self-nominated intellectuals of the world, but it seems to need to be said: Democrats start out operating in bad faith.

They never intend to honor the voice of the people. They seek to subvert the results of elections with endless recounts on the most specious of grounds. They fight unceasingly for their positions to prevail — even when they lose elections by landslides. They engage in intimidation, character assassination, and other dirty tricks when they have convinced themselves that they cannot win the debate on the merits of their positions (pretty much all the time). They engage in ad hominem, post hoc ergo propter hoc, strawman arguments, and so-forth, rather than argue on purely factual bases. When their facts and evidence are refuted or even called into question, they attack the messenger, and rarely even attempt to defend their (false) positions.

They make promises to constituents and prospective supporters they never intend to honor — indeed, must know would be impossible to honor.

You know all this to be true, and yet you continue to support them, even as they lie to your face.

Why?

I Have This Belief

WHICH I’M NOT SURE I’ve ever posted about here, but it goes like this: information about a person — much like the right of self defense — inheres to the individual, as much a part of the person as the name or self-ownership. It belongs to the person it describes, as intimate and personal property as you can get. Without a full-throated defense of this liberty, self-ownership — the very right to life itself — finds itself on a slippery slope to state ownership of the … well, they can no longer be called citizens, now can they? Say, “subjects”.

I believe that no one, no entity — state or commercial, public or private — has or can have any right to any bit of information about you. In this, I am a privacy absolutist.

In our relations with the state in particular, we should assert and preserve the right to be anonymous. The state has no need or right to know who we are, only that — in a manner to which it can be legally attested — we meet whatever criteria the state has chosen by which to parse the citizenry today.

The state doesn’t need to see your picture ID to grant you access to an airliner; the agents of the state need only an ironclad assertion that you have proven yourself trustworthy to be granted that access.

Your insurance company does not need your social security number (and lets not get started on the very existence of the SSN, as being too broad a subject for this venue) — nor your bank — merely those bits of information which permit you to interact, in total privacy with your bank or insurance company.

The state does not have the presumptive and preemptive right to be informed of your every financial transaction, only that you have made (rebuttable) assertions as to your income for purposes of taxation — and in order to rebut your assertions, the state must prove its rebuttal, in court, and under the rules of due process.

Agents of the state may not observe and record your conversations without a warrant, as described under the Fourth Amendment, without regard to the venue. Jurisprudential precedent on this matter notwithstanding, there is no exceptions clause in the Bill of Rights, and the imperatives of the law are clear. Weasel-wording does not make the state’s importunings better, it makes it worse. Agents of the state may not follow you around — in public OR in private — and observe your actions and behavior without following to the letter the forms prescribed in the Constitution. If they want to “tail” you, they have to get a judge to sign off on a warrant, and demonstrate probable cause. And, when the agents of the state object that that will make their jobs more difficult, let us reply, “That is a feature, not a bug.”

And the agents of the state do not have the right, the license, the authority, or anything but the naked, illegitimate power to invade your home without notice, breaking your house, killing your pets and livestock, putting your family’s very lives in danger, and expect to be met with anything but equal force in opposition, and have no cause of complaint when members of their armed gang of thugs is killed in the commission of their crime. Rather, they should expect to be hauled before a magistrate and tried on charges of felony murder.

(Side question: if it is permissible — even praiseworthy or in some cases mandatory — to use force, indeed lethal force, to stop the commission of a felony in progress, what level of force is permissible, praiseworthy, or mandatory in the prevention of a violation of the Constitution?
Hmmm?)

And most certainly, agents of the state do not have the lawful authority to meddle in the relatioship between a merchant and his customer, and require the merchant to build into his product that which renders it a tool of the state in the violation of the citizen’s — I contend absolute — right to privacy in all his person, effects, and affairs.

NO BLACK BOXES IN CARS.

Far from expanding the state’s reach in this, we as a people must insist that said reach be shortened.

This is, incidentally, one reason why I will never buy a GM product. Two words: On Star.

Actually, it’s one: OnStar.

WHAT. Everr. They even brag about how an operator in some phone room in … wherever … can shut your engine off if the police tell them to.

I don’t care what guarantees and assurances GM makes. They’re in no position to protect my rights to privacy from overweening state intrusion. I, for one, do not care to give anyone outside my automobile’s cabin control over my vehicle. I would be — as would anyone — a fool to trust them that far.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road

Appostion

OR AS THEY SAY hammering it home.

Many times over the years, I have muttered in my beard my horror at the very existence of the notion of a — scorn quotes — “compelling state|public interest” which putatively trumps individual rights.

No.

NO!

Aw, HELL no!

When I was a tad, and on those rare occasions I misbehaved in public, my mother would threaten to haul down my drawers and spank me barebottom red, “Right here in front of God and everybody.”

At this remove, I’m no longer sure whether it was God or everybody who frightened me worse.

Any jurist or other public official asserting this interest in this context deserves a righteous bitch-slapping — right out in front of God and everybody.

And we have to do it pretty damned quick, too, and make it stick, or else, as Our Curmudgeon puts it, Americans have no rights.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road

Looks Like I’m Getting Paid Back

FOR MY COMMENTS TO Sarah about the size of our herd, here.

Toni called me at home over lunchtime on Wednesday, telling me to check her Facebook page.

I’m assuming she means the link to this little fellow.

As we used to say in high school — May the Lord smite me with it.

Squee to your heart’s content.

Photo by Toni Alger, © 2011, used by permission.

Brother and sister. It’s cruel to break up siblings, so we’re adopting both of them.

Driving Home for Lunch Tuesday

I WITNESSED A TRAGEDY A mallard hen was standing on the pavement near the edge of Columbia Parkway, just by the Jersey barrier (a half-mile from the nearest body of water — the Ohio River). No drake was in evidence. The little hen did not look like she had a lot of energy. She just stood there as the cars wooshed by her. It wouldn’t surprise me to find she was hit very shortly after I saw her.

I can almost guarantee you that she lost her mate, and fairly recently, and was dazed and confused and not sure what to do next.

Live Blogging the Thunderstorm

WITH THE TORNADO in Joplin, all of Tornado Alley, from the Rockies to the Appalachians, is on notice that Tornado season is underway in earnest.

It’s God’s own air-conditioning system — circulation, cooling, humidity control, insertion of healthful ions into the air…

The Tornado warning has 15 minutes to run. The temperatures have dropped 10 degrees in the last half-hour — probably more and faster, but that’s what the official readings say. From being warm and muggy, the air has gone to cold and dank.

You can time the distance by the sound-speed lag as the storm moves off to the East.

Open the windows and cool down the house.

At least we didn’t lose power — this time.

And JUST as I type that, a lightning strike hits very close — maybe up on top of our hill here. Scares the cats. Serves me for getting cocky.

Quote of the Day

The radical creed is a religious myth – the most destructive religious myth in the history of mankind.

–David Horowitz, Rules for Revolution, p38.

Sinfonia Is Up

AT LONG LAST Just a quick note to inform readers of the Apocrypha that Sinfonia de la Inamorata, a short story, is up at the Apocrypha site.

From my perspective, this is where the characters of Xe and Sappho began to work for me, where Xe in particular stepped out of the shadow of Xena: Warrior Princess and became Xe Doll — an independent and oh-so-very-discrete character all her own.

All the usual disclaimers apply, especially the part about being NSFW.

Blasphemy Dept.

AND ON TAKING the Lord’s name in vain? I don’t even KNOW the Lord’s name. And I suspect YOU don’t, either.

Oh! I Almost Forgot

THE WORLD DIDN’T END

But then, you knew that already, didn’t you?

So is the idiot who started that whole thing going to commit honorable seppuku in expiation for being a terminally moronic panic merchant?

Dunno, Dolly. I kinda doubt it. But he ought to lose his entire radio audience at least.

As Much as I Hate to Even THINK It

THE MORE I READ AND hear about stories like the atrocity that took place in Pima County, Arizona (read that article and its predicate), the more I am driven to wonder when these unlawful raids are going to be met with equivalent opposing force. It’s not like the expertise isn’t out there. It’s not like the police intelligence work isn’t shoddy enough to be misled into a trap, should a well-organized group of appropriately skilled individuals purpose to set one.

What would the headlines look like were an entire SWAT team, its command and control structure and civilian support just taken out in the course of committing one of these out-RAGE-eous rapes of the Fourth Amendment by an anonymous group that then just faded into the background? What would the media write, officialdom say?

And you KNOW — you just KNOW — that the Only Ones would draw exactly the wrong — the diametrically-opposed lesson from the one they should take from the experience.

Damn it, there are too many good cops, who stand between us and the law of the jungle, who are being blackened by this … war on the American people. In no WAY is the murder of innocent citizens justifiable in ANY cause, let alone one that is unlawful in its foundation. It MUST end! Repeal the drug laws. End asset forfeiture. Ban no-knock raids. Outlaw the militarization of the police.

When a Bottom-Feeding

MARXIST AGITPROP like Charles “Chuckie” “Chuck-you” Schumer (D-NY) calls you extreme, you should wear it as a badge of honor.

The Long-Awaited Caturday Post (Updated)

BEEN A WHILE SINCE I did one of these.

Karma on the side windowseat in the Study at Casa d’Alger, The Lane, Cincinnati, April 17, 2011.

Loki perched on Mark’s Typing Desk in the Study at Casa d’Alger, The Lane, Cincinnati, April 17, 2011.

All resident cats as of picture date, gathered on the front windowseat in the Study at Casa d’Alger, The Lane, Cincinnati, May 20, 2011. L-R: Karma (tabbico), Loki (gray and white longhair), Aqua (seal point siamese mix), Jazz (blue point siamese mix), Sky (seal point siamese mix), Oliver (white shorthair), Belle (black longhair).

Mama wants text. Mama gets text.

Ditto, Toni’s office bird from The Animal Clinic, is here at Casa d’Alger once again for the semi-decadal Painting of the Office ritual. Even low-VOC paints can cause little birdy lungs respiratory issues, so she brought him home for a couple of weeks. We tried earlier to situate him in the bedroom — atop Toni’s dresser, where he was last time — in a lightweight cage. That was a semi-failure, first because the cage was so light, it looked as though the cats could dump it on the floor (not good), and where it was situated, Ditto could be startled by someone passing the door (such as I coming up the stairs and going into the study), and he’d bait like a frightened hawk. Toni was afraid he’d be injured.

AND they put the painting off for a month or so for some reason I don’t remember.

So, this time, when the Actual Painting ritual came around again on the guitar, Toni took a road trip and found Ditto a new cage — one that is heavy enough to withstand the cats’ shoving it around, and one that’s small enough to fit on Toni’s desk here at home.

And what’s this got to do with Caturday, you ask?

Well, Ditto can meow like a cat. Most convincingly. And he has a warped sense of humor. And he’s not afraid of cats climbing all over his cage. For some reason, he knows they can’t get at him. Or he knows he could Tear. Them. Up. If they tried. Not exactly raptors, parrots, but close enough in dealing with small ambush predators. You betcha. And wicked schmaht, too.

So he sits there on his perch, cracking seeds, and muttering to himself. And when all the cats are looking the other direction, he’ll go, “Meow!”

And look all innocent ‘n’ shit.

And when all the heads swivel instantly in his direction, he’ll chuckle to himself, kinda like Popeye, “Hank-ank-ank-ank-ank-ank!”

We call that Pimping the Cats.

And that’s what the bird has to do with Caturday.

If You’re So Inclined

FOLLOW THE LINK and vote to Repeal Obamacare.

And inflate NewsMax’s ego. Whatever.

This Looks Inevitable

IMMEDIATELY THE INTERNAL Revenue Code was jiggered for social engineering, it was corrupt. That would be about thirty seconds after the 16th Amendment was ratified. The fundamental concept of an income tax is corrupt, and nothing in the history of the thing suggests anyone ever tried to rein in the corruption.

And all this news means is that, now, it’s out in the open.

There will be a lot of pain before it’s over, but it’s becoming ever more clear: we must abolish the income tax, repeal the 16th, and dismantle the IRS. The whole edifice is fundamentally incompatible with a free republic.

Quote of the Day

OBAMACARE EDITION

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

— Professor Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Jumping Off From

SARAH HOYT’S post “We Didn’t Invent Sex”, I find myself wanting to muse about sex in the Dolly Canon.

As readers of the Apocrypha know, there is a great deal of the stroke book in those stories. I plead guilty to the artist’s fascination with the erotic, acknowledge that a great deal of the aesthetic sense is driven by the same hormones flooding the brain as in titillation, and freely admit that I was all too easily influenced by the other list members’ egging me on. (Go to the CFXS list archives, in the time period around December ’98 – March ’99 to see what I mean.)

And: I apologize for the massive delays in getting the Apocrypha up in its permanent home.

In attempting to re-cast the skits and mailing-list nonsense of the Apocrypha into something that might be pro publishable, I have come to realize that explicit sex in pop-lit is problematic and that publishers are (perhaps rightly) skittish about printing such unless there is a bulwark — such as a big name author’s outsized reputation — against criticism. It gets so that people will just not read — without prejudice, so to speak — anything that smacks of the erotic. My younger sister, for one, refused to read an early draft of Genesis, even though there really isn’t any explicit sex in it, for the erotic overtones I had to admit were there. And she’s no prude, trust me.

But still… The element of sexuality is there. They tell you you must be totally honest in what you write, that the reader can detect insincerity like a dog smelling fear. It would seem to me at least dishonest to write about a female action-adventure heroine and then ignore the sexual aspect of her perils. Do you really think that no bad guy will ever manhandle her?
Will never try to humiliate and degrade her? Won’t — tell it bang, as Bobby the H used to say — rape her?

And then there’s the circumstances of the relationship between Dolly and Drummond. I could change this — it’s not cast in stone — but it would irrevocably alter the overall arc of the Dolly saga so as to render it unrecognizable. Plus: I’ve done a lot of research, and struggled to weave the allusions into the stories without infodumps — the stories of Gilgamesh, Pygmalion and Galatea and Aphrodite’s part in all of that, the Golem, Pinocchio, and all of the stories that descend from the tales of Hoffman. To write about a middle-aged man who undertakes to create a living body for the spirit of a girl and ignore the sexual aspect of it… talk about the height of insincerity!

And, lately (for those who’ve read early drafts of Geppetto’s Log this is a major shift), I’ve been re-thinking the relationship between Drummond and Witchlet.

Drummond, although he doesn’t know it at the beginning of GL, is a demi-god. His mother, a second daughter of a scion of a minor sept of the East families, his father Hephaestus, Greek God of fire and industry. As we know from myth, legend, and Stranger in a Strange Land, demi-gods, like the gods, have their own rules about sex. Well, about everything, but mainly about sex, because Man invented gods to cast pornos about taboo subjects.

One of the problems I’ve always faced with Drummond is that he’s not the hero. He has to be a strong and noble enough man that it makes good sense that Dolly would love him, but he can’t be so outstanding an individual as to overshadow her. If I had to pick a singular flaw in the Apocrypha it is that, for the most part, Drummond is the hero, and he spends his time getting Dolly out of trouble or trying (and failing) to keep her out of it. It’s something I want to change. Dolly has to solve her own problems — in a loving partnership with Drummond (and Pete), yes, but still, the solutions have to come from within her nature and her deeds.

As it had stood before this rethink, Drummond is dumped by his longterm SIGGO, Semiramis East, at the beginning of GL

(Spoiler alert: if you think you might ever want to read these books and are spoiler averse, STOP RIGHT NOW.)

We learn later on in the story — as it happens, at the funeral of Charming Billy East, Semi’s younger brother, and Child of the East for the period in question, as well as Drummond’s nominal boss — that Semi was seduced away from Drummond (and, as it turns out, away from the party of Hephaestus within Upothesa, the kiretsu of kiretsu between and among the gods and members of the East families (the Atreides of Bronze Age Greece brought forward to modern times)) by the Norse fertility goddess Freya. Semi pays for her betrayal almost immediately by suffering to be raped by Marduk (in order to demonstrate his male-fides*).

(OK, so saying “she pays for it” is a bit off-kilter, but there is a moral causal connection. Figure a better way to explain it in shorthand. Remembering that Marduk is the Babylonian fertility god whose principal myth is about how he slew and raped Tiamat, the earth goddess (rough equivalent to Gaia), thus bringing about life on earth — there’s a metaphorical parallel, here.)

Also, in the original, Witchlet — Morgan Gitan Miranda — is a lesbian, in a deep, committed relationship with Rowan Leaf, the Crown Princess and Heir Presumptive to the Throne of Faerie, (a parallel world inhabited by Elves, rather than humans, but in other wises resembling an Earth as settled and civilized by a feudal society — don’t ask)(Hey: it IS a fantasy!). They live together in grad student housing at East College of the Americas (the literary descendent of the Center for Xena Studies). Morgan is a bit of a celebrity for being the lover of the Princess of Faerie. There’s a scene in the first chapter of GL as currently written which is a tearful airport goodbye between the two young women on the occasion of Morgan’s departure to Athens to take employment with Hephaestus Industries (HEAE — HEY-aye) as the team thaumaturge in the Executive Operations Team, (Drummond’s crew).

As originally written, Drummond at this point was kind of a nice guy. Milquetoast, really. Too much like me, as a matter of fact, as I’ve complained before. So how can I enhance the tension? I ask myself. How can I heighten the drama, increase the pain that the characters endure?

OK. Suppose Rowan, who, being a royal, is a bit of a spoilt brat, doesn’t want Morgan to go — despite the fact it’s a major career-making opportunity. Suppose the parting, rather than tearful and loving, is stormy and resentful. Suppose, on her trek from Ohio to Piraeus, Morgan begins to question her commitment to Rowan, and she begins to doubt herself and wonder if she isn’t one of those lipstick lesbians she and Rowan so derided — GUG (Gay Until Graduation). Except for her, it would be GUD (Gay Until Doctorate). Suppose she arrives in Piraeus in even more turmoil than I’ve originally portrayed?

And, suppose that Drummond, Rebound Man, meets Morgan — remembering that the meeting takes place at the very moment Drummond learns of the killing of Charming Billy and of the duplicity-in-foreknowledge of Hephaestus and Aphrodite in the event — and conceives an immediate attraction to her.

And, suppose that, rather than having been loyal to Semi for fifteen (or however many) years, he’s been a semi-divine sonuvabitch womanizer, chasing and bedding any willing — or semi-willing — warm body in a skirt, cutting a wide swathe across Europe and Upothesa for all of his twenty-plus years at HEAE.

And Morgan, a little bit like a baby waterfowl imprinting on the first mother-like thing it sees, falls head-over-heels in love with Drummond.

(Trust me, I am mondo trepidatious as to how to portray this change in Morgan.)

Then through all the adventures in Hong Kong and Auckland, and through the mad chase around Mt. Hymettus (in which Drummond was originally accompanied by Pauhlÿn), the rough edges of this “relationship” wear off. Sort of witness marks of the rubbing together of the two of them. Witchlet begins to find her feet and learn to stand on her own, and Drummond (at the tender age of 44) begins to realize the difference between sex and love and takes the first few steps on his journey to redemption that Dolly will eventually guide him to the finish of (in You Could Spend Years).

And, realizing that evolution is not so much a smooth continuum of change as it is accomplished in violent, jerky fits and starts, the killing of Witchlet at the end of GL is one of those spiritual body blows that just sucks the guts out of a character, and completes the beginning of Drummond’s transformation from dick-focused asshole to decent human being.

“Fair enough,” you might say. “But how does that require explicit sex?”

Well, first, why and how does Drummond end up the way he does — so damaged as to threaten to ruin his life, but not so much so as to obviate his chance for redemption? The hint is in his being a demi-god. Let’s say, he has that little extra something that, while nearly any random woman you stop on the street will tell you in complete confidence it doesn’t matter, but — nevertheless — arouses sufficient curiosity in a certain subset of women as to assure that he never lacks for female company. From a very early age, he’s had women coming at him. Older women at first — the cougar friends of his dipsomaniac mother — but, as he matures (physically at least), those nearer his own age, and then younger. But it is to notice that this denies him any chance at a normal emotional development. (Whatever that is.)

Second, my kind of storytelling is about the emotional kick — manipulating the readers’ feelings in aid of an more-intense experience. (And, one hopes, a most thorough catharsis at the end.) You don’t get much more intense in the emotions department than new lust.

Third, there is the need therefor to get into that intimate space that is exclusively between the two people in the bed. On the couch. On the desk or the kitchen counter. In the airplane seat. The boss’s swimming pool. The back of a motorcycle… well, you get the point. There’s a bubble — a shared head space — the getting inside of which requires at least some degree of detail about what ELSE is going on in there.

Not to say that it needs to be so much about plumbing and friction as the Apocrypha. But still.

Like, the first time Drummond undresses Witchlet and discovers she has pierced her nipples. And how it both turns him on and turns him off at the same time. What does that say about the generational gulf between them?

Or, when Astarte catches them at the end, and Witchlet has to fight the old bag naked, fresh from having had mad passionate jungle sex up against a marble column in a temple to Aphrodite. While Drummond looks on, helpless in his inability to participate in the fight, and helplessly aroused by it.

Where does YOUR mind go, presented with that scenario?

*Male-fides, (pron: MALL-uh-fidez), the opposite of bona fides — credentials as an evildoer.

B.S. of the Day

THIS FROM an item at Future Pundit is such obvious Barbra Streisand as to make me wonder if it isn’t a false flag play.

Environmentalist opposition to drilling in some areas has done us a favor by delaying the use of that oil until we really needed it. Of course, that wasn’t their intent. But the practical result of their opposition to drilling was to prepare for Peak Oil.

Can ya say, “Broken window fallacy”? Sher ya can.

And that’s leaving aside that Peak Oil is utter B.S., too.

But of Course They

WON’T EVER PERMIT laws requiring truth in political advertising, now, will they?

Saw This Over ‘T

BOREPATCH’S jernt, and allowed as how it was just worth a hearty, “Amen!” Herewith: said selfsame.

Insty Asks Why

THE MEDIA IS IGNORING Herman Cain.

Oh, I don’t know…

Couldn’t be because he makes Obama look like a lightweight?

Could it?

An affirmative action marxist agitprop red diaper baby in contrast to Cain’s earned-it-by-damn resume of real accomplishments?

Nah! That couldn’t be it, could it?

A Seven-Day Wonder

IF THERE EVER WERE one. Looks like Friday the 13th comed on a Friday this month.

Back When

I STARTED out to develop ResumeWorks.biz (write it down), I was a little worried, initially, that associating the business with this site — and having my name on the business site — might be tantamount to commercial suicide. Toxic wingnut views and all that. Can’t have people espousing liberty and prosperity, after all. It’s counter-revolutionary. The example of what was done to Kim du Toit, among others, was stark before me.

But then, I realized that the types who might try to do me damage — rabid running dog leftist revisionists (lefty heads exploding in 3… 2… 1…) — are a bunch of wittering incompetents. As evidenced by the — scorn quotes — “Reasoned Discourse” going on in certain sinkholes of the fever swamps of the left.

The name is Roy Kubicek. I’m gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name.

And my strain of opinion is held en large by the majority, who tend to support like-minded individuals — witness the successes of Rush’s advertisers. So what am I worried about?

Plus: I’ve asserted, albeit desultorily, that if you have the courage of your convictions, then you ought to own them. Sign your work.

Or at least exert the minimal imagination to make up a plausible pseudonym.

There is that, Dolly. There is that.

I came to the realization late, and my name isn’t all over ResumeWorks.biz, but that’s a matter of accident more than anything. I do sign the emails that come from the system, and am (obviously), engaged in unabashed cross-promotion.

Moving Targets

BELLEVUE, A LITTLE RIVER town in Northern Kentucky, has instituted a safety campaign. It started with traffic wands planted on the double yellow at all major intersections, then banners on light poles with the legend: “STATE LAW to [Yield sign] to [Pedestrian silhouette] in [XWALK].”

Fair enough.

Does this mean that all the iggerant hilljacks who dart out from between parked cars like so many squirrels to cross in mid-block are now fair game?

Meme for a Day

What everyone owns, no one owns.

–Me

I’ve always thought that the Tragedy of the Commons was really the tragedy of the Commons.

Common

LOT OF CONTROVERSY about this rapper being invited to the White House.

::shrug::

Obama’s the President. He can have anybody over he wants. Still it says something about him — the people he chooses to associate with.

Now, I’m not one who believes that rap lyrics cause the denigration of women, the abuse of drugs, the violence in the streets. If that were so, Romeo and Juliet would cause teen sex and suicide. Can no one accept the notion of a tragedy as a cautionary tale?

That said, I choose not to associate with people who glorify cop killers, regardless of how their other works perform community service, uplift humanity, and glorify God. As somebody else said in another context, I don’t believe that there’s a bye for one murder every 30 years.

And a President who chooses to associate with such is no President of mine.

For a Number of Years, Now

I’VE BEEN RUNNING MY MOUTH about how people need to get out of the rat race. Escape the wage-slave trap. Achieve independence of means. Become one’s own boss.

I’ve also spun a lot of pretty theories about how human commerce seems to be trending — ever so painfully slowly — toward a more natural model, where all business is done between individuals, rather than monstrous commercial edifices, where decisions are made by small, nimble, autonomous and atomic units, operating independently, but cooperating ad hoc, that the world will some day be made up of kiretsu of high tech cottage industrialists, enabled by the Internet and the leverage information technology gives the small enterprise.

Well… It’s finally time I put my mouth where my money is.

I’ve actually been working toward this all the time. I’m just not a person generally given to boastful behavior, or claiming abilities I don’t have, making promises on which I can’t deliver. So I’ve been sounding off about what I’ve been working toward, but without accomplishment of my own, there’s no point in saying, “You should be like me.” So I’ve been pointing toward an idealistic future, rather than something more concrete.

And that’s what’s changed. I’m hanging out my shingle. The business is freelance commercial writing. The first gig is writing resumes and ancilliary documents. The store is named ResumeWorks.biz, and it’s located at, well, ResumeWorks.biz.

If you’re in the market for a professionally-written resume, check me out. If your friends are in the same market, give me a mention. If you are of so a mind, throw a link my way. I don’t have an ad budget yet, but I will, and obvious first markets will be those places that have already sent me traffic.

And, as the dust settles from the site construction, I’ll be ramping up the blogging there, at The Free Clinic. The topics will be economics and the employment market, on which we all have opinions, and in which we all have an interest.

Grand Opening is Sunday. Until then, we have a discounted offer. Call it an early bird special. Details on the front page.

We Don’t Spike the Ball

WE DON’T SPIKE THE BALL?

WE DON’T SPIKE THE BALL?

(!!!!)

Even in an age when leftist wrong-headedness, ignorance, focus on irrelevance, wishful thinking, and downright stupidity has seemingly turned every concept, meme, thought, idea, or standard on its head, how abysmally ignorant of simile and metaphor does one have to be to say TO AMERICANS, “We don’t spike the ball.”

Gib mir ein frickin’ brech!

We. Spike. The. Ball. This is the LAND of We Spike the Ball. We invented spiking the ball, first in high school gym class everybody-rotate volleyball games, and then on the field of serious play, the gridiron, home of REAL football, where only the lowliest specialist actually kicks the ball, not the metrosexual, Jheri Curled-and-cologned, final-score-of-nil-nil-in-a-global-tournament swaydo-balletic game that the losers of the world like to call football, but is really named sucker.

We smashed our way through several tons of defensive linemen, marched our way down the metaphorical muddy field, dove across the goal line, and you fucking BETCHA,

WE. SPIKED. THE. FUCKING. BALL. !!!!!!.

And when the mere spiking of the ball wasn’t intense enough, wasn’t IN YOUR FACE enough, when merely stealing second called for SLIDING INTO second, when drinking a glass of milk became spraying champagne around the entire winner’s circle, when broken glass backboards just wouldn’t CUT it for grinding your enemies’ faces in the dust (und hearingk da lamentation uff da wimmen), we created the End Zone Dance. The Lambeau Leap. Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and the Chicken Dance. The Atlanta Falcons’ Dirty Bird. The Icky Shuffle.

We don’t spike the ball. Yerass.

This is addressed to that imposter in the White House: Who the fuck are you and what did you do with our real American President?

You better be ready, Freddy, ’cause when he gets back, he’s gonna be pissed. It’ll be ON like the Second Coming of Chuck Norris. And then we’ll see who doesn’t spike the ball. So pack your bags.

To quote The Real King of France: “USA! UAS! USA!”

Re-posted at Eternity Road

Quote of the Day

Even on my weakest days I get a little bit stronger.

–Sara Evans, “A Little Bit Stronger”

I Don’t Know These People

WHO OBJECT TO THE publication of photos of the Dead Osama on the grounds of “That’s not who we are?” In response, I must echo Roger Daltrey and ask, “Who the fuck are you?!”

We are the people who celebrate the deaths of our enemies. We are the people who publish whole BOOKS of pictures of dead people.

We are the people YOU DON’T WANT TO FUCK WITH BECAUSE, AS NICE AND FRIENDLY AS WE ARE, YOU FUCK WITH US, WE WILL KILL YOU.

And then, we’ll put pictures of you on the Internet for the mockery of the world. So don’t fuck with us.

Sheesh! How hard is that to figure out?

The rest of these assholes can get off at the next stop.

Not Impressed by All the Chin Pulling

OVER WHETHER TO RELEASE the most recent photo album from the bin Laden household. All the pundits seem worried as to how the islamist tumblefucks will react.

Scroom.

Why should we care? It doesn’t matter what we release or don’t release, the ‘splodeydopes are going to sieze on … whatEV-errr … as icons of martyrdom. Trembling in fear of their reaction is not the way to go.

Rub their faces in it. “Do you see? This is the fate that awaits you when you attack us. Not glorious martyrdom, but ignominious death, hiding behind women, scrabbling for your very life, your rotting corpse dropped unceremoniously in the nearest ocean, while your executioners shower and tuck in to steak with all the trimmings and ice cream for dessert.”

The Problem with This Otherwise

LAUDABLE NOTION, put forward by Vanderleun:

All members of the team that put a bullet into Bin Laden’s cranium and then took the body out with them deserve honors, medals, ticker-tape parades, and all bar tabs covered for life.

In order to do that, we’d have to know who they are. Probably not too good of an idea.

Since they most likely will have to remain covert, it won’t be known for certain which 25 79 high-speed, low-drag operators were actually on the mission, let alone who it was made the actual double-tap did the job. Guarantee you: there’ll be all kind of false claimants.

“Yeah… I can’t exactly say, but… I might have been on the op… Got Oh-Bee-Ell.”

Which makes it a kinda shame we probably can’t acknowledge the real heroes. Leastways, not in public.

So They Buried

OBL AT SEA, after he’d been killed by American special ops forces in a technique called a “double tap.” The practice originated, I seem to recall, with snipers firing over long distances through obstructions, such as window glass. Two rounds are sent downrange in rapid succession, servicing the same target. The first round is meant to clear the obstruction, the second to take the target out. The reason they need to be fired in rapid succession is that the target may move in reaction to the results of the first shot, and must not be allowed the time to do so. Therefor, the second round must seem to arrive before the first is detected. More recently, the term has come to describe any situation in which two rounds are fired in quick succession at the same target.

Which brings to mind a drink to be named after the al Quaeda financier. The Osama: two shots and a splash.

Badump-bump.

PWND!

OBL IS DEAD! Coon’t ‘ha’ happened t’ a nicer guy.

Please to inform da Doll of where he’s gonna be buried, so I can do the Snoopy Happy Dance on his grave.

An’ to the asshole who said Americans don’t gloat, da Doll has four words for you! IN. YOUR. FACE!

BITCH!

A little Buffy reference for ya, there.

Oh! And: what to do with the body? Easy. Poke out the eyes, cut off the hands, bury it swaddled in pig skin with the deceased’s favorate Koran in on its chest. Let pigs shit on the grave.