From The Guardian:

A day after Watergate reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward issued a stirring call for the press to hold Donald Trump to account, the president’s chief of staff said the White House is actively considering a change to libel laws affecting news reporting.

“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” said Reince Priebus, appearing on ABC’s This Week. “How that gets executed and whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

On the campaign trail last year, Trump responded to reporting on his policies and background by floating the possibility of a change to libel laws. Such a move would in reality require a change to the US constitution, which enshrines freedom of the press in the first amendment, the supreme court having ruled on the issue.

The Joys of Furry Friends

No, not those kind of furry friends. (Although I will readily admit I’ve had many of those over the course of my life.) I’m talking about the four-legged variety.

So once again I found myself wide awake at 4 am this morning. This time however, it is not from worry about Trump’s bombastic pronouncements to Korea; it was from a dog with diarrhea.

Bobo, our little pirate (so called because he has only one eye) came to live with us a couple years ago via Ben’s mom (a story any longtime reader of this blog is well aware of).

He has a crack habit.

His crack is the canned, wet version of Natural Balance Duck & Potato dog food.

We initially started purchasing this as a means of delivering a daily medication in a balled-up teaspoon of the stuff to Sammy, our other dog, since I’d read that peanut butter (our prior delivery system of choice) really isn’t all that great for dogs. Of course, we can’t give something to one without giving it also to the other, so that’s how it started.

More recently Bobo’s turned into quite the picky eater (it’s allowed, he’s an old man at 11 years). We discovered that mixing a bit of this wet food in with his kibble in the morning ensures that he eats it all before Sammy swoops in and finishes off what ever Bobo’s left. (According to Ben, Bobo has always been a grazer, eating when he wanted to and not being forced to wolf down the entire bowl at a single sitting. Living with Sammy, however, has forced him to “eat it or lose it” when it’s put down.

Well, occasionally as a treat we’ve been giving both dogs just the wet food for dinner. It’s literally gone in 30 seconds, even when Bobo’s portion goes into one of those special slow-eatin’ bowls.

We’d been giving each of the critters about an ounce and a half of the wet food; the same amount of the chopped log variety we normally give them in the evening. Upon reading the can, however, it was recommended for dogs of their size, they be given an entire can plus.

Ah, no. That isn’t going to happen. Last night, however I did give them each half a can. BIG mistake. All was well and good until sometime in the middle of the night I was aware of Bobo trying to get back on the bed. The poor lil’ guy doesn’t have the strength in his back legs that he used to, so most of the time he has to be picked up. I didn’t think too much of it; he gets down occasionally to go relieve himself (finally trained to use the puppy mats we have put down), but the fourth time he got down I figured I better get up and see what was going on.

As I headed down the hall in the dark in my bare feet (you know where this is going, right?) I stepped in it. Twice. I turned on the light and saw a string of deposits leading to the den door. It was obvious the way Bobo was dancing around that he needed to relieve himself again, so I turned off the alarm and he rushed outside while I cleaned up the mess (and Ben slept blissfully on).

Now anything that comes out of Bobo has never been particularly aromatic, but this…I almost hurled. When he came back in, we went back to bed and I slept—fitfully—until I heard him jump down again around 6. This is the normal time they get me up so I let them both out. Ten minutes after coming back inside Bobo started doing his “I have to go outside NOW” dance in the den. Let’s just say I still didn’t get him back outside quickly enough.

After cleaning that mess up it was then that I discovered his initial middle-of-the-night deposit on the new living room rug…because of course where else would he do it?

I have a feeling it’s going to be a long day.


I’ve reached that point in our absence from Denver that when looking through photos of our time there I find myself feeling a bit wistful and catch myself thinking, “Was it really so bad?”

Human memory is a funny thing. We tend to remember only the good times and tend to gloss over or outright forget the bad ones. It took me years to get over San Francisco—and that departure was forced by circumstances, not something I particularly chose. Even now, officially absent from Baghdad-by-the-Bay for longer than the sum total of the time I lived there, I still occasionally feel a pang—albeit brief—of homesickness when running across a particularly beautiful photo of The City. (Curiously, my own photos from my time there do not elicit such feelings.)

So I’m sure the same thing will happen with Denver as time goes by. “Was it really so bad?” YES, Mark. Yes it was. Remember the night you got stuck in the snow on the way home from work? How about the continual, hellacious traffic and the horrific drivers? Remember all those times waiting at a bus stop (because you finally wised up and refused to drive to work when it snowed) in -8°F weather? For chrissake if nothing else remember the abysmal employment that both you and Ben had to deal with!

As I’ve mentioned before, we wanted an adventure, and Denver certainly provided that. And Sammy. Mustn’t forget that Denver is where Sammy came into our lives! Sometimes I think that was the sole reason the Universe put us there in the first place.

Quote of the Day

We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all, to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before-that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment.” ~ Hanging Up My Spurs

Every. Goddamned. Day.

Since January 20th, it’s seemed like every goddamned day it’s been something with the Cheeto-faced Shitgibbon currently occupying the White House. It’s almost as if he’s set a personal goal to totally dismantle the last hundred years of progress in this country via crayon-scribbled Executive Orders within his first hundred days in office.

If that’s his agenda, he’s doing a fairly good job at it.

I mean, I can’t even open Twitter, look at my News Reader, or listen to NPR without being constantly assaulted with some felonious act that he, one of his Children of the Corn spawn, members of his demonic inner circle, or the Release the Kracken Republican Congress and Senate is doing, has done, or is planning on doing; things that if Hillary Clinton had even so much as fantasized would have already gotten her Impeached, removed from office and thrown in prison.

But yet with 45 for some reason all we hear is crickets and the sound of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan fighting over who gets to lick the Toupeed Jizztrumpet’s anus next. Why the fuck is that? WHY THE FUCK IS THAT?!?

I mean at this point, it’s easier to name people in Pussy Grabber’s immediate family or his administration who aren’t being investigated for one thing or another—and yet nothing seems to come of those investigations. WHERE ARE THE INDICTMENTS?!?

I suppose I should be thankful that we at least still have the ability to honestly report on and criticize the fucktard, and that brown-shirted thugs are not roaming the street pulling people from their homes in the dead of night to be shipped off to concentration camps—things that I can no longer say with any degree of certainty we will continue to enjoy if he continues on his present course of dismantling everything about this country we thought inviolate and immutable—all the while the parts of government created to prevent this from happening and prosecute them if they do are turning a blind eye to these transgressions.

And despite the egregious daily lies, the broken promises, and the abject failure that his first hundred days in office have proven themselves to be, a recent survey quoted something like 96% of the people who voted for the Shitstain-In-Chief would DO IT AGAIN.

Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE—and in fact the rest of the world who seem hell-bent on instilling their own versions of Cheetolini?

All I can figure out is that indeed, we have been taken over by shape-shifting aliens from Zeta Reticulii, à la Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

(photo courtesy of At the Altar of My Ego)

If that’s not it, I would then have to admit that some parts of the Bible—notably the Book of Revelations—are true, and that 45 (despite his utter and complete incompetence) is the Anti-Christ so famously written about. I mean think about it: the ongoing cultural narrative is that this person would (at least initially) be popular and a leader of business or industry. Neither points can be outwardly dismissed with the Shitgibbon, and never before has one man so completely lacking in empathy for his fellow Americans and at odds with basic human decency—not to mention reality—held in his tiny orange hands the ability to start a conflagration that could wipe out all life on earth. And yet his Bible-toting followers fail to see the parallels.

Being the rational atheist I am, however, I cannot concede that this is his true identity (although he still could easily kill every living thing on the planet). I find it far more believable that while his ego orgasmed at the thought of assuming the title “President of the United States” when he announced his candidacy, I doubt he ever considered the duties and responsibilities that went along with it—or that he even seriously believed he would actually win.

But since he did win, it’s obvious he discovered pretty quickly (although I’m sure he’d never admit it to anyone) that he was so ill-equipped for the job (remember that deer-in-the-headlights look he had when he met with Obama?) that he immediately surrounded himself with sycophants who stroked his fragile ego and told him he’d be the greatest president ever—but (unbeknownst to him) at best viewed him as nothing more than a puppet to enable their own aims that were far darker and posed a greater threat to the country than he would ever be on his own. Couple that with his obvious hatred of the Clintons and Obamas and all they accomplished—and the Presidency has given this sociopathic, narcissistic personality and his handlers (because there’s no other word to describe them) full rein to destroy everything his predecessors created and freely loot the coffers of the country in the process.

Leaving Russian interference in the election out of the equation for the time being, the fact that he was elected at all—much less that he still has support—leaves me absolutely speechless. I’m sure future historians (whoever and whatever they may be) will undoubtedly point to our increasingly-poisoned (and soon to be more so with 45’s gutting of the EPA) environment as the source for this mental aberration.

Goodbye to Titan

Maybe the next time we visit—assuming our species survives Donald Trump—we’ll send a rover…or a flotilla of boats.

From NASA:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has had its last close brush with Saturn’s hazy moon Titan and is now beginning its final set of 22 orbits around the ringed planet.

The spacecraft made its 127th and final close approach to Titan on April 21 at 11:08 p.m. PDT (2:08 a.m. EDT on April 22), passing at an altitude of about 608 miles (979 kilometers) above the moon’s surface.

Cassini transmitted its images and other data to Earth following the encounter. Scientists with Cassini’s radar investigation will be looking this week at their final set of new radar images of the hydrocarbon seas and lakes that spread across Titan’s north polar region. The planned imaging coverage includes a region previously seen by Cassini’s imaging cameras, but not by radar. The radar team also plans to use the new data to probe the depths and compositions of some of Titan’s small lakes for the first (and last) time, and look for further evidence of the evolving feature researchers have dubbed the “magic island.”

“Cassini’s up-close exploration of Titan is now behind us, but the rich volume of data the spacecraft has collected will fuel scientific study for decades to come,” said Linda Spilker, the mission’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

We’re going to miss you, Cassini.

38 Years Ago Today

“Bad Girls is the seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, released in April 25, 1979 on Casablanca Records. Originally issued as a double album, it incorporates such musical styles as pop, disco, soul, rock, funk and country . Bad Girls became the best-selling album of Summer’s career, achieving triple platinum sales certification in the United States, and selling over ten million copies worldwide.”

I was sorely disappointed with this album when it first came out. I couldn’t help but think, “She followed up Once Upon a Time with this?!” Even now, nearly four decades later, it fails to move me the way OUAT—or for that matter, even I Remember Yesterday or Four Seasons of Love does.

And then to have it followed only by the greatest hits album, On the Radio, which seemed like nothing more than a contractually-obligated release to end her relationship with Casablanca Records…

While Donna did put out a few very catchy, danceable songs afterward, IMHO there were never again any whole albums that spoke to me the way her mid-Casablanca releases did.

Not Once

So apparently we’re not out of the woods yet. In spite of the fact that the Cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing Shitgibbon didn’t have a clue where his warships were last week, the sabre-rattling has ramped up again between him and the other mentally unstable national leader with severe penis-anxiety.

The orange menace to humanity is apparently demanding that all 100 members of the Senate come to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea. This is not normal.

Does this bother anyone other than me? What insanity has 45 got planned? His popularity is tanking (although fully 98% of his brain-dead supporters who were surveyed said they’d vote for him again, go figger), his Russian collusion is closing in, and even members of his own party are starting to talk about Impeachment.

Can’t have that!

It’s times like these that I almost wish I was still a spiritual person and believed that nothing which happened in the physical realm had any effect on the true luminous selves that occupy and animate these skin-suits. I’d be able to rationalize the potential destruction of human civilization and all life on earth as nothing more than a lesson-to-be learned. Horrible, yes, but in the grand scheme of things, probably inconsequential. Another instance of a species rising from the muck, reaching for the stars and then self-extinguishing. (Probably why we’ve never been contacted by other civilizations; 99.999% of them follow this same path, and the ones who somehow manage to outlive their childhood are so distant from each other they never make contact.)

But I can’t think like that any more. I don’t want that to be our path. I don’t want to see all that humanity has accomplished disappear in a flash of light. And most importantly, I do not want myself or my friends and loved ones to be among the unfortunate survivors of a war started by the clearly deranged sociopath occupying the White House.

And so I worry, and I fret, and I go to bed every night wondering if I’m going to wake up the next morning to the horrific news that the Mangled Orange Hellbeast has touched off World War III…or if I will even wake up at all.

Going Through Photos

When I worked for CNIC, I used to pass this forlorn little building whenever I traveled between our Denver and Colorado Springs offices. It intrigued me, sitting out there in the middle of nowhere, so one day while on the way to or from the remote office, I stopped to snap a few pictures. I’m glad I did. I really like these.

In case anyone’s interested, it’s on Greenfield Road just east of I-25…

Ditching Disqus

After reading this, I’ve decided to return to the native WordPress commenting engine. I had no idea that Disqus cataloged, cross-indexed and obviously monetized its users to such a degree, and while I personally won’t stop using it myself, I won’t subject my readers—as few as they are—to such intrusiveness.

If you’d like to me return to Disqus (there is a certain convenience in it, after all), let me know since at this point I haven’t removed it from the site, I’ve just deactivated it…

World History

Ever wake up from a dream thinking, WTF was that all about?

For some reason I’d decided to take a World History course at ASU. Apparently everything was in place and after receiving all the confirmation emails I arrived on campus on a Tuesday morning for the first class. Why Tuesday? And why morning? Being a working adult, maybe only the first class was in the morning and all the rest were scheduled for the evening?

I realized after getting there that no physical class location was ever specified in the email and there no phone number to contact. I was about a half hour early so I wasn’t too concerned; I figured I could stop by the admin building or student union and someone there would have class schedules and locations and be able to point me on my way.

The information desks at both locations were unstaffed, and after aimlessly wandering around campus and asking random strangers, no one I managed to find knew anything. As time started ticking down to the start of class, I asked myself why I was even bothering with this; what was I hoping to accomplish? It wasn’t part of some program; I had apparently signed up for just a single class. To make matters worse, for some reason I’d called out from work the day before and now I was going to miss a second day…for what?

The last thing I remember before waking up was walking back to my car after deciding to just blow the whole thing off.

I can’t even find any symbolism in this that relates to real-world events.