Saturday, July 12, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Da goils hung out with Aunt Deborah at work today. Here they are busy at work, helping highlight figures. While offering their assistance they also took a break for popcorn. I see no greasy feet or flippers so I can only conclude that they are as refined when partying elsewhere as they are at home. It was another "take your daughters to work" Saturday.

I think they have a calming influence overall. (I initially wrote "claming," and Maggie thought I meant clamming and that would be all right with her but, alas, no.) My coworkers seemed on good behavior today and even I was less grumpy and stressed. At least most of the time. My cubicle partner yanked my chain at the end of the day and got the anticipated reaction as I threatened to go ballistic. Then he chuckled. He had told me his file did not zero balance and I informed him that he was not leaving the premises until it did, if I had to beat him about the head and shoulders. Well, who said I was easy to work with? I am at least a third-generation perfectionist and not fully recovered.

Mostly, though, it was a mellow day.

Church tomorrow morning and a tour of some of NOLA I have not yet seen in the afternoon. I will put fresh batteries in the camera.

--the BB

It takes time

The courtyard in the lower right of the photo above is where I saw the rat slither across the yard a while back. Intestingly, when viewed from above it gives the illusion of being one or two stories above ground level, which it is not.

Abandoned, for now anyway, buildings.

I love the curtains gathered behind the center window. It makes this appear somehow still lived in.

And, although the clarinet on one Holiday Inn downtown is a brilliant way to deal with a huge vertical surface, this side of this Holiday Inn is. butt. ugly.

I had to include it as one of the most affrontingly hideous bits of downtown architecture I have seen. There is really no excuse for it except a greedy desire for profits that refuses to invest in a modicum of beauty. Given the riches of the neighborhood, I consider this sacrilegious and I have wanted to hold it up for scorn and shame.
--the BB

When ordinary people claim democracy as their own - UPDATED

Bill Moyers commented, not long ago, that:
Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.
In These Times has an article with his words. They also note this:
This article was adapted from Bill Moyers’ keynote address at the National Conference for Media Reform Conference in Minneapolis on June 7. You can read and respond to the full speech at
Bill Moyers always merits a listen or a read.

h/t to don mikulecky at Daily Kos.
Don notes the challenges posed by Moyers and is troubled. He concludes (following the quote in the graphic above):
Ummmmmmm, but that is the answer? Most of the people I know don't find me a person who is a good substitute for Fox. Who is going to be listening as we go tell it to the mountain? The blogs, for example, are quite safe unless they begin to change things significantly. We just lost FISA as another in a long series of significant losses. We are fighting a covert war in Iran right now. This is all information that is available. The public just goes on plodding along listening and watching as the lies and distortions are spewed out to them. When I try to talk about how upsetting this all is, their eyes glass over and I pick up the brain waves "Oh no there he goes again. He doesn't even watch Fox." I wonder why Moyers is so good at seeing the problem yet comes across, to me at least, as helpless to change the situation? Anyone have any ideas?

The Collect for the Day read in church this morning (All Saints, River Ridge) seemed especially apt in light of the questions raised here, viz., what can be done? What ought we to do?  How can we accomplish it?

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

--the BB

544 - 4118

usnews: Afghan Warlords Now Turn Their Guns On U.S. Troops
The war in Afghanistan reached a wrenching milestone this summer: For the second month in a row, U.S. and coalition troop deaths in the country surpassed casualties in Iraq. This is driven in large simple cause and effect.

AFP: British soldiers injured by 'friendly fire' in Afghanistan
A British helicopter mistakenly opened fire on a group of British soldiers in Afghanistan, injuring nine of them, including three seriously, the defence ministry in London has said.

AP: Afghan official - U.S. strike hit wedding party
A U.S. military airstrike this week killed 47 civilians traveling to a wedding, the head of an Afghan government commission investigating the incident said Friday.

alalam: Afghan Blast Kills 2 NATO Soldiers
Two NATO soldiers were killed and one wounded Thursday when a bomb blew up their patrol in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance's International Security Assistance Force said.

07/10/08 : DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Douglas J. Bull, 29, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., died July 8 at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in Chow Kay Valley, Afghanistan, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during a mounted patrol.

Courtesy of iCasualties: Operation Enduring Freedom

Latest Coalition Fatalities

DoD Announces Change In Status Of Army Soldiers (2 of 2)
Killed were:
Sgt. Alex R. Jimenez, 25 at the time of his capture, of Lawrence, Mass.
Pfc. Byron J. Fouty, 19 at the time of his capture, of Waterford, Mich.

DoD Announces Change In Status Of Army Soldiers (1 of 2)
On July 10, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner positively identified human remains recovered in Iraq July 9 to be those of two soldiers who had been previously listed as "Missing-Captured."

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. 1st Class Steven J. Chevalier, 35, of Flint, Mich., died July 9 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered in Samarra, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle was struck by a grenade. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment...

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Spc. William L. McMillan III, 22, of Lexington, Ky., died July 8 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment...

Courtesy of Iraq Coalition Casualties Count

Friday, July 11, 2008

My ocean of sky

West Mesa, Albuquerque
--the BB

For Mimi

... who promptly identified the United Fruit Company building, a view of the carving over the entrance.

Pressed tin ceiling tiles on the porte-cochère of this Hilton.

Some interesting carving evocative of the late Renaissance (well, to my mind, anyway) on this building.

Traditional and modern juxtaposed (you probably need to click and enlarge this one to get the detail).

And a nice pale pink building viewed through the trees.

Sleepy this evening. I may crash very early. Tomorrow has a hint of promise that it may be productive at work. One must always hope.
--the BB

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Albuquerque


A few more

I'm teasing here. I do recommend clicking to enlarge the pics if you would like to see detail. More to come another day.
--the BB

And you were expecting...?

Washington - Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political guru, refused to obey an order to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

--CNN via Truthout (with h/t to Jane R)

You could not have possibly imagined that Karl Rove would honor a congressional subpoena. I know I could not, on my sunniest of days.

I expected him to, in very quaint legalese, tell them to shove their subpoena.

And he did.

Alas, I also expect that Congress will do sod-all about it. (If you're not familiar with that phrase it means they'll do absolutely fucking nothing.)

That I expect so little of Congress reflects the utter disgust and contempt they inspire in me these days. And that is a sad commentary.

Any member of Congress, House or Senate, who will not act to hold the Bush crime regime accountable needs to get his or her ass kicked off Capitol Hill. No excuses and no exceptions. (Dammit, are you listening, Nancy?) That is what our vote is all about - answerability to the People of the United States in whose name this nation was constituted.

I'm now going to get drunk and avoid politics for another 24 hours.
--the BB

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The United States Senate - updated

They won't stand up for the Constitution of the United States. With 28 exceptions, they need to be ousted.

What miserable excuses for Americans.

Here is the honor roll: those who voted Nay on final passage.

NAYs ---28
Akaka (D-HI)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Wyden (D-OR)

The topic, if you haven't heard, read, or guessed is FISA.

I'm going to bed.

Socalmonk said it all in a comment at Daily Kos:
By the time the election rolls around...
the only people left supporting Bush will be the democrats in the House and Senate.

--the BB


Since I posted this morning....

Less splendor but I feel at home there

Yes, this is more of Albuquerque, New Mexico: one of those stopped-at-a-red-light photos.

Not be confused with any of Albuquerque's numerous photographed-if-you-run-the-red lights.

Central Avenue (after brunch on Saturday)

And, if you are in the market for a wicker motorcycle, I'd be happy to send you to this store.

--the BB

While I am doling out pix

I took a bit of a stroll after lunch, snapping some more shots of the CBD.

Before lunch I went into the splendid lobby of a staid financial institution and sought permission to take photos of said interior with its massive fluted columns, excellent Corinthian capitals, and an absolutely stunning coffered ceiling. For security reasons, however, no photography is allowed there, even by seemingly - you may emphasize that word as much as you wish - harmless old white guys.

The de rigeur wrought iron balcony even on a modern high rise.

I had a street-corner shot of this building earlier. Here is a closer look at the street-level capitals.

"I live for those I love."

The pelican in her piety, the state emblem of Louisiana. For those to whom this image is new or strange, there was a medieval legend that the pelican wounded her own breast with her beak and fed her young on her own life's blood. This was deemed a symbol of Christ, giving his life for the faithful in the Eucharistic blood. The image of a pelican thus feeding her offspring is common in churches, ancient and new, and the phrase for this particular image is "the pelican in her piety." Now you know, if you didn't already.

Romantic nonsense, of course, but so is most of what we toss about in church. One really should not believe everything said by clergy. We are a notoriously unreliable lot.

Nonetheless, I could not avoid such a lovely bas relief on the corner of the Whitney Bank - speaking of which, here is the plaque.

Amid all the lovely columns and capitals of this area, I just noticed after work some that I have walked by almost every day for the past month, hiding behind the boarded front of another unrestored restaurant. I had to pause, haul my camera out of my briefcase, and shoot.

I took more photos but this is enough for the moment.

Have I thanked King Jesus and Holy Mother Mary lately for air conditioning? Thanks! Mwaaahh.

--the BB

4115 - 543

Courtesy of OEF

Latest Coalition Fatalities

MNF: MND-B Soldier attacked by IED
A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died as a result of an improvised explosive device that struck his vehicle west of Baghdad at approximately 9:30 a.m. July 8. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification...

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. 1st Class Anthony L. Woodham, 37, of Rogers, Ark., died on July 5 of injuries suffered in a non-combat incident at Camp Adder, Tallil, Iraq. He was assigned to the 39th Brigade Support Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team...

Courtesy of Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

I am grateful that I have not had to post many updates to this in the past week. I will not be satisfied until there are no more additions to this count.

Photos from the high grasslands of New Mexico

See, Mimi? Green.

A subtler shade than one encounters in Louisiana, of course, but green. Actually, this photo fails to show just how green the roadside plants are.

I stopped on the way home from brunch on Saturday to shoot a few pics. Here is one showing what I see, and enjoy immensely, when I commute in Albuquerque. Vast expanses and lots of sky. Of course, I live on the edge (for now) of town and often drive up on the west mesa where this picture was taken.

Here is a local mural on the fringe of the downtown area, snapped while at a stoplight.

I will have some more later.
--the BB

Sunday, July 06, 2008

La vie sportive

Realizing our awesome responsibility as the first place y'all turn for sports news, we present pix of Wimbledom and Rafael Nadal of Spain in his finalist victory over Roger Federer of Switzerland. Huge tip of the chapeau to the Contessa, Jane R.

A little Tennisbrüderschaft at the end.

Gratuitous beefcake photo.
Another shot of fraternal congratulations.
But the real point of this photospread of an international victory is... PRINCE BLOGGING! Yes that is Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias congratulating their homeboy, Letizia the Delicious and Felipe the Foxy their royal selves.

Dayumn, I would get the allovers if I got a hug from Doña Letizia.

I own a full size Spanish flag but I doubt I will process with it on any grand occasion. Rafa is the national hero right now.

The following is a sweat wipe from earlier in the competition, not a teary shot at loss. As we can see from the photos above, Roger Lederer is a gracious second placer. If he should need consolation, I recommend a trip to New Orleans.

Nadal-Federer epic the most thrilling of all the Wimbledon finals ...
ESPN - 2 hours ago
By Ravi Ubha Sunday's Wimbledon final was one of those times when you call a buddy immediately after the match ends and say, "Did you see that?
SIDEBAR: Wimbledon's Heart of Darkness bothers Federer Monsters and
Nadal-Federer marathon was a classicUSA Today