Alexis de Tocqueville: 3 Quotes & 2 Bumpers

November 7, 2012

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”


“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”


“A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”

Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). — Wikipedia, for those who don’t already know.

Welcome to the United States of Zombieland, Alexis. Two Bumpies for you:




All Those Empty Chairs

September 3, 2012

Amusing that today has been dubbed “Empty Chair Day” — usurping Labor Day. Appropriate, I suppose, considering the mess we’re in now — but when I think of an empty chair this is what comes to mind:

The National Memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing. One empty chair for each lost soul. More chairs than than you would want to count; too, too many chairs. And small chairs, for the children. The most moving memorial I’ve been to yet. Everyone one of us should see it. I’ll step off my soap box now.

Another symbolic empty seat:

Vacated lifeguard stand, Honolulu, Hawaii. Rather nicely represents the end of summer, don’t you think?

And totally off topic, here’s a recent visitor to our backyard — a baby king snake. We left him alone, because he’ll eat rats, mice, rattlers and other critters that wander over our wall.

Hope your Fall is off to a great start — and speaking of babies, my baby is a young man now, off to college and all that that entails.


Watch the Skies!

May 23, 2012

Really, especially after this week’s solar eclipse (excuse me, “ring of fire”). Learned recently that this phrase, “watch the skies,” is also the name of a song in the video game Skyrim. As far as I can tell, the phrase — in the context of UFOs as we know it, came from the Howard Hawkes 1951  film, The Thing from Another World.  It was one of my Dad’s favorite movies. The film was later remade as John Carpenter’s  The Thing — one of my favorite sci-fi movies. Both from the original short story, “Who Goes There,”  by John W. Campbell, Jr. — first published in Astounding Science-Fiction in 1938 (!). Just proves the rule that a good tale is both adaptable and eternal.

Anyway, none of the posters below have anything to do with any of those  Things. But, as Scotty advised in The Thing from Another World —  ” Watch the skies everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.”  ‘Cause you never know what’s coming. So, from my little collection:

Rocket Ship! 1936. The first appearance of Flash Gordon. All hail Buster Crabbe!

The Flying Eyes. 1962. Monarch Publishers. When book covers made great movie posters.

Things to Come. 1936, an Alexander Korda production. (First published as  The Shape of Things to Come, George Orwell, 1933.) 


Of Evolution, Mass Murderers & Nursery Rhymes

April 23, 2012

My son took this pic for me when we were out running errands last fall. Notice anything ironic  about it?

Dinosaur vs Christians — who will be the winner (winner, chicken dinner*)? Godzilla would be proud!

We don’t always remember (or are taught) the full version of nursery rhymes. Case in point (and one of my favorite examples): “Birds of a Feather”

Birds of a feather flock together,
And so will pigs and swine;
Rats and mice will have their choice,
And so will I have mine.

Which made me think of those two beacons of social justice/engineering, those two maestros of orchestrated death — particularly the “pigs and swine” line:

Che Hitler

So I united them into one image. Apropos, no?


*Thank you, Charlie Sheen!


And Now Our Hearts Are Broken

April 6, 2012

Earlier this week we lost Samurai Jack, our crazy little 13 lb. rat terrier. Feisty and smart and funny, we’d had him as an integral part of our family/pack since we brought him home as a pup in 2001 — a month after 9-11. My son was then six; he and Jack have grown up together.

One of the hardest lessons we learn as pet owners is this: There comes a balance due from the love, loyalty, companionship, protection and absolute joy the furriest members of our family bring to us. And that balance is a broken heart when we lose them.

Welcome to the pack, puppy!

Road trippin’ with the pack.

Having a blast in White Sands, New Mexico.

Exploring the woods with Mho in Flagstaff, AZ

Best way to keep warm in Hannigan Meadow, AZ.

Napping with the Big Dog.

Momma gets all the best kisses.

Samurai Jack.

Jack was also the star of several Youtube shorts:

Now something less scripted:

In Doggy Heaven, Jack, we hope you are wrestling with your brother-dog Mho, doing lots of tricks for lots of treats, going on beautiful Spring day walkies, chasing down rats, dashing after balls, and going on road trips with God (with the windows down) — who will then warmly snuggle you all night long. We will miss you so much, Prince Tiny Feet. R.I.P.


If Obama had a Vice President, He’d Look Just Like Joe Biden

March 29, 2012

And people said Dan Quayle was stupid, updated:

That’s DOCTOR Pepper, to you.

“So let me say it again: Thank you, Terry, and thank you, Dr. Pepper, and thank you, Chancellor — Dr. Paper — and thank you, Chancellor, for this partnership of yours. . . ”

— Joe Biden. Davenport, Iowa. Reported March 28, 2012 via ABC news.


Mexican Cookery for American Homes

March 29, 2012

Finished a book recently on the 1950’s (British) kitchen — amusing, colorful, and delightfully tacky. But the book reminded me that I have an old cookbook (pamphlet, really) from 1943 on Mexican food.  Published by Gebhardt’s ( a San Antonio, Texas, chili powder outfit in business from 1896 to 1988). So for your culinary amusement:

And now for a colorful sample of some exotic dishes:

Mmmm, chili dogs.

Enchiladas — now that’s more like it!

Don’t know what those little blue sandwiches are, or how they’d taste, but — they’re blue!

Chili spaghetti — once upon a time, my Dad actually liked it.

And my favorite, the Sombrero Salad:

Not that I would eat it, but it’s fun to look at.  C’mon — little hats!

Now the back cover featuring the 1943 Gebhardt product line up:

My, how our tastes have changed.