Monday, January 31, 2011


Your happy dog story of the day:

These days, though, Little Red wags her tail a mile a minute and is almost inseparable from her new, best buddy — a cattle dog mix named Google. And Ellen, a tannish-brown bundle of energy, still loves her food but loves her visitors even more — smothering them with kisses as soon as they walk through the door.

Michael Vick's dogs.

All of them are much better off now, obviously, although some cannot be adopted because they were too traumatized or damaged.  What a wonderful thing, though, that places like this rehab center exist.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring is Coming!

Noble Pils is out!

The End of Dead Tree Books Is Nigh

Via The Weekly Standard, the Washington Post had a piece last week about the decline of Borders Books:

Borders, they know, is struggling to survive. It recently suspended payments to book publishers. Dozens of its stores across the country, including several in the Washington area, have closed. For many in the industry - and for this group of Borders regulars - the question is not whether the chain will go under, but when. 

As far as I know, we don't have a Borders in the Shreveport/Bossier area, but we do still have our Barnes & Noble.  

It seems that much as Netflix and other video-streaming outfits have done to Blockbuster, so too goes Borders.  Will Barnes and Noble be far behind?

Once, Borders was, with rival Barnes & Noble, the long tail of reading, with supermarket-size stores offering thousands of obscure titles alongside bestsellers. Now, Borders confronts the limitless, more efficient supply chain of Amazon's online emporium. Borders, which helped a generation of readers learn the pleasure of diving into a book for hours at a stretch, now competes for the attention of readers who dip into a few pages on an iPad, open Facebook, read some more, then tweet random thoughts. Printed books don't need a power outlet or a data plan, yet for some people, their utility seems to be fading. 

That line:  "...dip into a few pages on an iPad, open Facebook, read some more, then tweet random thoughts"  pretty much sums things up, I guess.  We live in a society that feels the need to "Tweet" when they put their socks in the dryer, when they eat a cheeseburger, get stuck on a train, or are watching a soccer match.  Don't get me wrong - I tweet.  Twitter is fun.  It can be a great way to spread information quickly; it has it's advantages.  But what does it say about us, really?

No, it's more the decline of the dead tree that I'm worried about.  I know there will always be books.  Won't there?  An analogous situation seems to be the closing of my local Blockbuster store.  What am I to do if I suddenly decide on a Saturday night that I want to watch High Anxiety or Top Hat?  I can't just go rent it.  I have to figure out how to stream Netflix onto my TV.  I'm sure it's easy - I've never tried it.  For the record, I'm scoping out all the Red Box outlets near me so I can at least attempt to rent a movie if I want to.

Back to books.  I've tried the Kindle.  I have.  Bride of Rove made me and she loves hers so I gave it an honest legitimate shot.  I downloaded the app for my iPhone and bought two e-books.  I bought a Sue Grafton mystery and I got Andrew McCarthy's The Grand Jihad.  I finally figured out I could highlight and make notes, but's just not the same.  I can't retain what I'm reading as well.  It's too...well, transient.

I can't imagine reading The Pacific on an electronic format.  I'm constantly flipping back and forth for something, looking up something, comparing something, looking at a map....  I suspect you can still do that on a Kindle, but it's not the same.

I'm trying to imagine our landscape without tangible things.  No books.  No DVDs.  No vinyl record albums, and now precious few CDs.  No actual money -just electronic transfers.  It's odd.  We're becoming such a transient society with our streaming this and streaming that.  Digital photographs.  Even our household items like furniture have, in many cases, become disposable and temporary.  None of those sturdy, durable antiques of your grandmother's!

No, what we'll leave behind for archeologists will be broken down computers and parts, remnants of some plastic something or other, lots of styrofoam....  Future generations looking back will find precious few books, family photographs, fragile letters, or sturdy heirlooms.

Cue REM:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chris Monson: 1948 - 2011

It is with heavy heart tonight that I post the sad passing of one of our fellow conservative bloggers, the infamous Snaggletoothie.

I received an email from Chris's father this evening telling me of his son's death.  Chris suffered a seizure Monday, fell and hit his head, and by the end of the week he was in a coma.  He died Friday afternoon.

When I started this blog in August 2008, snaggletoothie, Chris, was one of my earliest readers and frequent commenters.  Chris was one of my staunchest defenders when I was attacked by hostile commenters; I could always count on him to leave something in my defense!

On his own blog, Snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition, Chris posted on everything from politics to literature, fine music and the infamous fabulous car at the bottom of the page.  Chris had always posted "the beautiful woman at the end of the page" and one day he put a car up there.  Some classic, beautiful 1960s machine.  I told him he ought to quit with the women and put those cars up there!   He did.  Well, sort of...he kept the women, but he kept the cars too!

From his post on Jared Loughner:

Schizo-affective. Yes, I think that’s the diagnosis that most accurately captures Jared Loughner. This best describes Loughner weird amalgam of delusions, social isolation, long hours without sleep, and seeming congenital inability to connect to his fellows. Drugs were also a major exacerbating factor. But I have to figure that Obama and the rabid left welcomes whatever flowed from the drugs since they are so adamant about keeping the southern border wide open.

I am in the midst of writing a song about the shooting. It will be sung to the tune of “The Horst Wessel Song.”

Chris also had a lovely blog devoted to literature called The Chinese Jar.

Chris's last post on the 22nd was Ravel.  Here's to you, Chris.  We will miss you, your wit, and your wisdom.

His dad requests that any memorial or donations be made to the charity of your choice in Chris Monson's name.  Or just snaggletoothie.

His dad's blog is here and his post on Chris is here, should you like to leave a message.

Prayers to the family.

Update:  Sorry.  My erroneous headline has been fixed.

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Dog Whisperer Edition

I'm trying to channel Cesar Millan - is that his name?  The Dog Whisperer? 

Steve and I have been married since April of last year but have yet to consolidate everything between our two households.  We're scattered here and yon.  The house where he lived has a huge backyard and has been perfect for his white German Shepherd, however, the time has come to integrate her into my household of two dogs, and my smaller backyard.  I have Checkers, the Boston Terrier, and Jazz the young, goofy Lab.

The first day, Friday, was the first time we introduced them.  Steve brought Abby over and I met him outside with my dogs leashed.  We ALL walked around the block, trying to keep Checkers, my alpha female, and his dog side by side.  Jazz is just happy goofy.  He could care a less.  I could bring fifteen dogs in here and he'd be happy as a clam. 

Well, long story short, Checkers had a couple of alpha female temper tantrums on Friday, taking the occasional lunge for Abby's throat.  Abby is very sweet and opted not to bite Checkers's head off.  Yesterday was still tough.  Checkers was nervous, tense and quite upset, had another couple of attack episodes, and we had to pull her off. 

Nobody got any sleep around here last night.  Abby was pacing, Checkers was tense, and Jazz....well, he was fine.

Today?  So far so good.  When Steve brought Abby today I went out with just Checkers.  We made Checkers and Abby walk side by side around the block.  A couple of times tonight, Checkers has gone tense and into attack mode, but I've been able to deflect her verbally before she lunges.  We're hoping for a a calmer  night. 

The weather today was gorgeous!  Nearly 80 degrees and sunny!  I worked in the yard all day, which is why my FMJRA has been delayed.  I filled 15 bags with leaves, clipped, pruned, transplanted, and raked.  I have a lot more to do, but for a mid-winter spruce up I didn't do too badly!

On the reading front:  I have exactly 100 pages left in The Pacific.  I haven't been able to read much during this dog training thing. 

Enough about me; let's get to the links.  It's been rather a newsy week:

The Other McCain has extensive coverage on Egypt as does The Camp of the SaintsSister Toldjah also weighs in.

Paco made my day!  Oh boy!

The Daley Gator made note of Mike Pence's announcement not to run for the White House in 2012.

The Reaganite Republican posted on the Reagan/Obama TIME cover.  Disgusting.  And don't miss Ed Driscoll's two cents.  Be sure to check out No Sheeples Here - perfect.

Professor Jacobson concludes, "Joe Biden is an idiot."  True enough.

Pirate's Cove reminds us that George Bush is a class act.

Classic Doug Ross.  The world is falling apart and Obama is worried about tater tots.

Pundette is finding humor in EJ Dionne.

Obama = Sputnik.  Bwahahahahahaaa!

Critical Narrative remembers the Challenger.

This post from Bride of Rove is just classic, beautiful, and true.  The girl haz skilz.

Okay. It's a short round up, but I'm tired.  I had two hours of sleep last night.  Fried brain.

I'm kicking back and going to try to finish the last 100 pages of The Pacific this weekend.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pence is Out

So Mike Pence decided not to run in 2012.  This disheartens me.  Apparently he was finally persuaded by a bunch of Republican governors.  I rather expect he'll give it a go sometime in the future, but 2012 is beginning to make me a little nervous despite Charles Krauthammer's statement last night that it's still early.  He's right.  It is.  But I don't much like what I'm seeing out there so far.  I was really hoping Pence would be that strong conservative dark horse that would rescue us from the inevitable Romney, Gingrich, and yes, Palin runs. 

I know...this raises the ire of many of my conservative friends.  I can hear the "Not you, too SIGIS!  No!" 

Look, I like Palin just fine.  I do.  I think she's got strong conservative views and the right positions on many issues.  I just don't think the White House is her destined role.  Palin has a vital role to serve in the conservative community and I think she can be more effective in a number of other positions. In addition (and I'll probably lose 15 followers over this), I just don't think she's electable.  She's too polarizing.

So there. 

Seriously, even my mom, who is more conservative than Reagan, saw Palin flash across the screen the other day and said, "I don't like her."  I said, "Why, mom?"  (We seldom discuss politics).  She said, "She talks too much.  She's always got something to say."

Now, admittedly, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  We need someone talking...screaming to the hills about about what's going on in Washington.  I'm glad Palin is doing that.  She has a role.  But she puts a lot of folks off, like my mom, by her tone and her hyper-visibility. 

That said, I think there's much about Palin to like.  I'm the one who called her a ROCKSTAR! after her nomination speech.  I thought that speech was great!  I'm a fan.  I just don't think the White House is where she will end up.

And so.  I wanted Pence to jump in there.  I just can't bear the thought of the retreads.  I don't think Jindal will run, although he would probably go for a VP slot, if asked.  Christie isn't indicating a run, and I'm not sure it's his time. 

I'm waiting for the Rubio run.  That's the ticket!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bi-Partisanship is Over Rated

Did you watch the SOTU?  I didn't.  Just couldn't do it.  I've seen that man read off a Teleprompter for two years now and I don't believe anything he says, anyway, so why suffer?  I especially could not stomach the "date night" seating arrangements, which as I hear, had the desired Democratic effect of muffling the partisan applause.

As someone said to me last night, "Don't those Republicans get it?  Didn't they learn anything in November?!  We don't WANT them to go up there and hold hands and everyone get along.  We WANT things to be different!"  I understand this point.  Bickering is not necessarily productive, but bi-partisanship is over rated.

No, I didn't watch.  I went to eat Mexican food with my husband, then came home and got back into the Pacific War.  We're headed to Iwo Jima now.

But, if you watched, I'd like to know what you thought.

Photo Credit:  Doug Mills/The New York Times

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Damn.  My paycheck this month was $40 lighter thanks to the new tax codes.  Damn Obamacare and the tax and spend Democrats.

Time to tighten the belt I guess.  No more spending on anything non-essential. 

Beer is essential.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Will SIGIS be Cave Blogging in 2012?

Just checking in on a Monday morning, here.  There isn't much going on.

While I should have been out in the gorgeous weather this weekend doing some yard work and winter clean up, I was curled up inside reading a book.  I'm into the last 150 pages of Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific and am thoroughly engrossed.  The book is intended as a companion to the HBO mini-series but I'm enjoying it more.  The book adds two additional characters that you didn't get in the HBO version; also, it drastically trims Bob Leckie's part which was pretty significant in the video.  At any rate, I'm going to wrap it up this week and get into my Sid Phillips book next. 

My current tangent.  The Pacific War.  Go figure.

All the political buzz this weekend has been over the upcoming State of the Union address but frankly, I can't gin up much interest.  I don't care what Obama says...I mean, reads, off his teleprompter.  I don't believe anything he says and when he stands up there for his speech and promises more "investment" in ... whatever... well, I just hear "more spending!"

I think the "date night" nonsense, i.e.: bipartisan seating, is ridiculous.  For all the derision the Republicans took over their "symbolic" health care vote last week in the House, this bipartisan seating mule fodder is just that: symbolic.  Period.  Hypocrites.

I did find this Weekly Standard piece interesting.  I do have grave concerns that Republicans might offer up Huckabee or Romney as their next candidate and if that comes to pass, well, I'm withdrawing from commentary and moving into a cave.  A nice cave.  One with books.  And beer.

Have a nice Monday. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The I've Been Reading Edition

I've been in my "reading-mode" lately.  For a while I stayed in a 24/7 "blogging-mode" and posted several times a day.  I find now that once I wrap up my day at school and exert much of my energy and creative thought there, my mind is ready to take a break, so I've been escaping into books.  The cycle will turn, I'll burn out of reading every spare moment, and then I'll probably blog again incessantly.  Meanwhile, my blog and I are floating along and I'm posting on what interests me when it interests me, which is cool because I don't feel the stress I felt previously about putting up a post to keep the hits ticking in.  It would be lovely, just lovely, if I could sit back and blog 24/7; I'd be happy as a clam.  I can only do that in the summer! 

Right now I'm deep in Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific.  I'd picked it up before but wasn't able to focus on it (probably because I was blogging a lot then!) and I put it down.   Also, when I picked it up I had just finished Eugene Sledge's With the Old Breed and a couple of other WWII memoirs, and they were all running together.  I had to take a break.  I'm really enjoying it this time.  Waiting in the wings is the new Sid Phillips book, You'll be Sor-ree!  I expect then I'll have to get out of the Pacific for a while and move on to something else.

Steve just finished Surviving Hell by Medal of Honor recipient Leo Thorsness.  He's going back into his Civil War books and has picked up Dark and Bloody Ground again, which he had to take a break from previously.  We spend a lot of time in the evenings with Big Band playing on the satellite radio in the background while we're curled up on couches with dogs, reading.  We're so exciting!

Meanwhile, thanks for not giving up on me and for still coming by.  We'll keep on as is until I run out of books to read, I guess, and then I'll start putting up five or six posts again as opposed to my current one or two.  It's all good, as they say.


So much for "civil discourse."  Pirate's Cove reports on death threats for Jerry Brown.

Professor Jacobson had a great week; he was recognized by both Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin!  Wow!

It's Sister Toldjah's birthday!

The Other McCain has the most thorough post on Olbermann's firing.  Ed Driscoll is right there with him.

Doug Ross has some funny pictures.

Pundette has a heart-breaking post about the Women's Medical Society of Philadelphia as does No Sheeples Here and Political Junkie Mom.

Reaganite Republican has a profile of Jerry Reed.

Backyard Conservative is not a Huckabee fan.  Really, if he's the best we can offer, we have problems.

Obi's Sister has a detailed list of the budget cuts proposed by the House this week.  Enough to send a liberal into fits.

Jim Brown's column this week notes the release of former La. governor Edwin Edwards from prison.  Brown was, of course, instrumental in commissioning and printing the recent Edwards biography.

Mind Numbed Robot has a great post on Obama and Hu.

Okay, that'll have to hold you for now.  Today is filled with grocery shopping, house-cleaning, and...reading!  Have a nice Saturday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Cold in Iowa

Steve's niece sends these pictures from northern Iowa.  I can't even tell what some of those ARE!  I've got to say, when I look at these and then I look at what we close the entire city for down here for "inclement weather," well, good grief.

Anyway, I believe this must be her deck.  The chairs are a hint.

This must also be the deck and I'm just going by the rail, here.

The sidewalk?  Something is under that drift.  I have no idea what.



I'm running out of superlatives:

She tells me it was a windchill of -25 today.  Omigod.  Do people actually go to work in that?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shooting from the Hip

Let's just "shoot from the hip" here and point out that this increasing paranoia of gun metaphors is getting ridiculous.  The "double barrel" effort of the left to paint every phrase and nuance as a cue to some nut job extremist or as a sign that Republicans are crazed gun toters is turning our discourse into a "tinderbox" of perceived missteps and inflammatory rhetoric where it just doesn't exist.

The Hill points out that Mike Pence wants to repeal Obamacare "lock, stock, and barrel."  Writer Mike Lillis suggests that this is Pence's refusal to restrain his aggression.  (To be fair, Lillis also points to Rep. Steve Cohen's comparison of Republicans to Nazis.)

While the left wants to depict the right as the only ones who use gun metaphors, we've seen that's simply not the case.  So, keep your powder dry, people.  Get off the hair trigger and keep your objective in sight by first remembering that some of these expressions are now just common American vernacular and your new perception of them doesn't change that reality. 

Get a grip.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Not much blogging here today as work is overwhelming me right now.  I have to get an early start today and must stay late to get caught up.  This isn't the proper venue to vent about all that but trust me, one day I'll write a book.

Just one question for any education people:  when did they start calling faculty meetings "professional development"?


The vote to repeal Obamacare takes place today, as you know, and though many on the left are scoffing that it's only symbolic, it's much more than that.  But they're perfectly free to keep their heads in the sand for all it matters.  It hasn't served them particularly well in the past.

I think lots of people are cranky lately.  Must be something in the air.  My mom was cranky yesterday, I was on a holy ripping tear yesterday, and even Bride of Rove was not a happy camper.  Well, here's hoping for a better day for us all. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

Take a Winter Time Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden

We have returned from our Minden adventure and what a fun day!

First of all we tried the new place to eat in downtown Minden which is conveniently located right next door to Milly Rose!  It's also very handy for the courthouse folks and also not far from the hospital.  The 507 Grill is a much needed addition to downtown Minden.  Here's the menu:

We both had the cheeseburger and fries which I can highly recommend.  The burgers are like good ole' homemade burgers - no processed pressed meat patties here!  And the buns were huge and sort of sweet, like a Kings Hawaiian bread.  At first Steve was a little put off by that but he ended up really liking it.  And for dessert...

Pure heaven.  This is a homemade cheesecake - not store-bought.  It's got a vanilla wafer crust and a gooey praline topping that is to die for.  Heaven!  There was also a rich chocolate cake with chocolate icing topping with fresh strawberries (brought some home for later!), a pound cake, a coconut cake, and a plain cheesecake.  All made from scratch.

The soup in bread bowls is next on my list to try.  Milly says they have a great bean and ham soup which I'll try.  Today was taco soup.

We took a cheeseburger over to Milly's and I started poking around.  The dogs were thrilled to see us, as always, and decked out today in Mardi Gras beads.  It's hard to get a picture of them because they move so much, but they're adorable Boston Terriers.

Milly had lots of new stuff.  Here's a view from the middle of the first floor looking toward the front.  You can see Milly peeking out at me:

One of the first things I noticed were these new hand-blown glasses.  Very pretty!

As I was crawling around behind the counter to look closer into the shelves on the wall, I saw this on the floor:

Not normally my style, really, but ....I'm intrigued.

How about some political memorabilia?

Here's the silver table:

I thought this piece was interesting:

I think it would clean up nicely!

In the very back on the first floor is this ancient safe; I suspect it came with the building  but I'm not sure.  It's huge, probably 5 ft. tall.  There's a couple of smaller ones upstairs.  I'd love to have something like that!  You'd need some serious lifting power to move it though.

I thought this footed teacup was unusual:

Up to the third floor?  Frames:

I'm glad I don't have to mow my yard with this:

These two pretty bowls belong to a set of four:

I like this chair, too, but it's so low to the ground!

Back on the first floor, Milly's case of knives and brass knuckles!

Some steins:

How about an Elvis knife?

Some military hardware:

I think I've posted these before, and I'm too lazy to go look, but I'm always entranced by this little salt cellars and their tiny spoons; I can't imagine a way of life when people actually used these things!

Another teacup:

Baseball gloves:

Some sort of liquor bottle:

My mom smokes Chesterfields so I took this picture:

Milly has these old photographs all over the place and there's a huge basket of them on the first floor. I always like looking through them and wondering about the people, their expressions, and I look at the jewelry on the ladies.  This looks like a happy family:

Milly went out to her car and every time she leaves the store this is what the dogs do:

How about a cake plate and server:

I actually think this ink set is neat:

And I liked this blue flower pin:

These old medical bottles were neat:

Steve liked this old art deco ashtray; it has the button you push to dump the ashes.

But I kept coming back to the lamp.  I had Milly dig it out.  Steve is not impressed - he thinks they belong in a bordello...

But I like them!  And guess what came home with me...

Omigod!  They're so cool!  They cleaned up beautifully.  They are 3-way lamps and so you can light the top, or the bottom, or both!  OMG!  What fun!

I also got this:

And here you go - take a walk through the third floor:

As always, if you see anything you can't live without, give Milly Rose a call at 318.371.9830 and she'll be glad to answer any questions you have and quote a fair price.

Previous posts and photos can be found here.