April 2006 Archives

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Saturday catblogging

Loco is ready to go ... "I am a tightly wound spring" ... you will NOT distract ME ...

Loco is ready to go

Life in the City is good ... when the humans are not annoying us ...

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Posted April 29, 2006 11:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)


World's smartest cow - what if there were 2 of them?

"We've never seen such a friendly cow," farmer friends kept telling me. True enough. When people enter the pasture, Elvis comes running up to greet them. The effect is rather like a building lifting off its foundations and charging down a hill: You just pray he can stop if he wants to. He sticks out his big tongue and slurps. He grabs at shirts and hats. If you sit down, he'll happily put his head in your lap. But since his landings are neither graceful nor accurate, it's not an entirely welcome gesture.
. . .
But Elvis has changed my ideas about cows. He's very social, fond of me and my helper Annie and my Labrador Pearl. When I take the dogs out for their morning walk, he moos repeatedly until I bring him an apple. He's figured out how to move bales of hay into place so he can snuggle next to them (when he lies down, you can sometimes feel the vibrations all the way to the farmhouse). He especially seems to love the view, staring out at the valley much of the day.

He is amiable, happy to hang out with the donkeys and sheep, given the chance. He coexists peaceably with the chickens—with everyone, in fact. Once or twice a week, he has a burst of cow madness and goes dancing playfully around the pasture in circles. Trees tremble.

Plus, he comes when called, stays when asked, and doesn't grab clothing anymore. Not all of my dogs will do (or not do) those things as reliably. I'm very happy to have him on the farm. It will cost me more than $1,000 to keep him in hay next winter. A bargain.

"The World's Smartest Cow: What my steer, Elvis, has taught me," by Jon Katz, Slate, April 28, 2006

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. They outvote you 2-1 to ban all meat and dairy products. You go bankrupt.

See "You have two cows. The government...." from TheCapitol.Net

Posted April 28, 2006 08:03 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Road Naming Rights and Gas

How About the NYSE Tunnel?

[Chicago] is auctioning off naming rights for the Chicago Skyway, the 7.8-mile long, 125-foot high toll road built in 1958.
. . .
Of course, the big question here is what happens when, say, there's a massive accident with 20 fatalities on the Coca-Cola Highway? Or how good is the publicity if there's a carjacking on the General Electric Freeway?

"This Traffic Jam Brought to You by Cisco," by Zach Patton, 13th floor, April 26, 2006

Gas Prices

Why do gasoline prices rise? Because either supply is shrinking or demand is increasing. And indeed both of these are happening as we speak.

"The Oil Conspiracy Conspiracy," by Tibor Machan, The Atlasphere, April 25, 2006

Gasoline prices are going up around the world, but the pain is not being felt everywhere the same way. Drivers in some countries pay a lot more than U.S. consumers. But others pay substantially less. That’s because pump prices don’t reflect just the cost of gasoline.
. . .
Elsewhere in the industrialized world, the actual cost of gasoline ranges from $2.15 a gallon (France) to $2.61 in the Netherlands. But the after-tax price is $5.80 in France and over $6 a gallon in most other major European countries. Japanese drivers get off relatively easy: taxes there only push pump prices to about $4.50 a gallon.

"What does gasoline cost in other countries?" by John Schoen, MSNBC, April 23, 2006 (also see accompanying chart, "Pump prices worldwide")

Posted April 26, 2006 06:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Saturday catblogging

Loco is ready to go ... knows where the tickets are ...

Loco is ready to go

Life in the City is good ... when we're packed on time ...

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Posted April 22, 2006 12:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

"In search of the perfect shave"

In the Today Show studio [on January 29, 2005, Corey] Greenberg lathered up his face with English shaving cream and a badger brush, whipped out a vintage double-edge razor, and made a passionate case that the multi-billion-dollar shaving industry has been deceiving its customers ever since 1971, when Gillette (no small advertiser on network television) introduced the twin-blade razor. Everything you need for a fantastically close and comfortable shave, Greenberg said, was perfected by the early 20th century.
. . .
Wet shaving is far from being a mass movement, but it is growing, primarily because almost every man who tries it discovers that, in fact, Greenberg was right: with a little time and practice, shaving with a single blade can deliver an extraordinary shave, and is great fun besides.
. . .
The cartridge razor is safe, but it is ultimately dull. The double-edged razor, with apologies to Aslan, is not safe, but it is good. It is good to be at risk. It is good for me to face myself and hear the myriad plinks of each hair being numbered and shorn. It is good to wake up.
. . .
It will sound like madness to say it, but when I have rinsed the lather from my face and splashed it with intensely cold water, when I have patted my face dry with a towel and rubbed in the lotion to protect the newly exfoliated skin, smooth and supple—I have some sense of what Homer meant. On a good day, a good close shave is the Iliad and the Odyssey in one: the mastery of the dangerous blade, the return to the comforts of home. To shave well is to be a man, and to be a man is closer than Homer could ever have imagined to being like in appearance to the immortal gods--as Psalm 8 put it, "a little lower than the angels," and as Genesis put it, made in the image of God.
. . .
Our final redemption will be, I think, a razor's-edge experience. Like so many modern wanderers, Camus was both right and wrong. We will not ultimately be responsible for our own face. If the gospel is true, this life, where we face ourselves in the mirror and take responsibility for all we see there, is rehearsal for another. And that life will begin, if I read St. Paul correctly, with a very close shave, the best a man can get. Another will be the barber. If we have practiced well, we will know what is coming: the blade will be applied at just the right angle to shear off the stubble. It will be terribly sharp and terribly close, but wielded with tremendous skill and care, it will divide who we truly can become from what we were never meant to be. Then cold water will splash against our skin; fragrant oil will leave us glistening and new. We will arise and go, godlike, to the feast.

"The Best a Man Can Get: In search of the perfect shave," by Andy Crouch, ChristianityToday.com, March/April 2006

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Posted April 20, 2006 10:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Saturday catblogging

Luca relaxes after filing his tax return ...

Luca can now relax after filing his tax return

Life in the City is good ... my tax refund is on its way ...

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Posted April 15, 2006 08:03 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Faith the walking dog

Meet Faith. She's a dog with only two hind legs but still gets around just fine - she walks upright. She looks a little bizarre at first, but she's pretty amazing.

There's a link to a video in the post ... amazing ... Loco and Luca can't do that ...

"What Faith Can Do," Wizbang, April 7, 2006

Posted April 11, 2006 07:11 AM  ·  Permalink   ·     ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Big Apple Blog Festival - April 10, 2006

Big Apple Blog Festival (BABF)

Welcome to the Big Apple Blog Festival (BABF), a representative roundup of this week's posts by NYC bloggers.

The Big Apple Blog Festival likes to go on tour, and different blogs host it ... if you have a NYC blog or you blog about NYC and would like to host an upcoming BABF, let us know ... we're taking some time off for Easter break, so the next BABF won't appear until May 1, 2006, when it will be hosted by A Guy In New York ...

This week's Big Apple Blog Festival is hosted by Harleys, Cars, Girls & Guitars.

Some excerpts:

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The Big Apple Blog Festival is listed on the ÜberCarnival page and in Carnival News.

To nominate your favorite blog post about NYC, or if you have a NYC blog and want to see something in the next BABF ... or you have a NYC-related blog and would like to host an upcoming BABF ... send us a short write up and a permalink to aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... or use the Carnival Submit Form ... see you next week ...

You are free to repost the Big Apple Blog Festival so long as you leave this URL attached: BigAppleBlogFestival.com.

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Posted April 10, 2006 05:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Big Apple Blog Festival   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Saturday catblogging

Loco is ready for the Paparazzi ...

Loco waiting very patiently

Life in the City is good ... it is tough being a celebrtiy ... always having to look beautiful .... but I do it so ... well ...

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Posted April 8, 2006 04:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Big Apple Blog Festival - April 3, 2006

Big Apple Blog Festival (BABF)

Welcome to the Big Apple Blog Festival (BABF), a representative roundup of this week's posts by NYC bloggers.

The Big Apple Blog Festival likes to go on tour, and different blogs host it ... if you have a NYC blog or you blog about NYC and would like to host an upcoming BABF, let us know ... The next BABF, on April 10, 2006, will be hosted by Harleys, Cars, Girls & Guitars ...

This week's Big Apple Blog Festival is hosted by Suitably Flip.

Some excerpts:

___________________________________


The Big Apple Blog Festival is listed on the ÜberCarnival page and in Carnival News.

To nominate your favorite blog post about NYC, or if you have a NYC blog and want to see something in the next BABF ... or you have a NYC-related blog and would like to host an upcoming BABF ... send us a short write up and a permalink to aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... or use the Carnival Submit Form ... see you next week ...

You are free to repost the Big Apple Blog Festival so long as you leave this URL attached: BigAppleBlogFestival.com.

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Posted April 3, 2006 10:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Big Apple Blog Festival   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Free the Garden Gnomes!

A long time ago when mankind was still drawing pictures on cave walls there was a great city within which there lived the highest developed species on the planet - GNOMES.

Gnome City stretched as far as the Gnome eye could see; its sapphire towers dazzled against the clear blue sky; its golden walls glittered in the sunlight. In Gnome City there were no cars, no fax machines and no computers - all was well.

"Gnome Story," from Gnome City

When I returned to the States and heard about Le Front de Liberation de Nains de Jardin (the Liberation Front for Garden Gnomes) -- a French activist group that abducts the wee garden ornaments, repaints them in unrecognizable hues, and sets them "free" in nearby forests -- I knew my former neighbor would be in a torment.

"Garden Gnomes do not prefer woods," I could hear her tsking over a steaming cup of Earl Grey. "Otherwise, they would be Woodland Gnomes, wouldn't they, dear?"

More recently, I heard about a German group that has taken the "emancipation" to a more ominous extreme, photographing abducted gnomes at international landmarks and sending the pictures to the gnomes' former owners. One such photograph was taken at Mount Rushmore with the captors wearing bandits' masks that barely hid their mirth. Copycat crimes have appeared in other regions of the gnome-loving world: Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Finland, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and, here, in the United States.

"Gnome Sweet Gnome: Protecting against the threat of garden gnome theft is no small undertaking," by Silke Tudor, sfweekly, October 18, 2000

Plastic, gaudy and above all cheap, armies of garden gnomes huddle at Polish roadsides near the German border waiting to be snapped up by bargain-hunting tourists from the west.

The gnome armies are the apogee of central European kitsch, but they also signify something far more important. The little men are seen by many in Germany as pathfinders for other Poles who will offer an avalanche of cheap produce once the country enters the European Union on May 1.

A trade war has been raging between gnome manufacturers on both sides of the border since the early 1990s when Polish entrepreneurs, bursting for opportunities after decades of communist-era restrictions, recognised that with cheap labour, low-cost materials and lack of environmental legislation they could vastly undercut the prices of German gnomes. At least five million have been sold.

"The gnomes of Warsaw are lesson for future of new Europe," by Kate Connolly, news.telegraph, May 3, 2004

The dormant Garden Gnome Liberation Front has sprung back to life, stealing about 20 gnomes during a nighttime raid on a Paris exhibition.

"We demand ... that garden gnomes are no longer ridiculed and that they be released into their natural habitat," the Front's Paris wing said in a statement following its weekend strike.

France's first garden gnome exhibition in the exclusive Bagatelle park on the outskirts of the capital opened last month and has been a hit with the public as chic Parisians develop a taste for kitsch culture.
. . .
The Garden Gnome Liberation Front vanished from the public eye in 1997 after a northern French court handed its ringleader a suspended prison sentence and fined him for his part in the disappearance of around 150 gnomes.

The only suspected sighting of the organization since then was a mass suicide of gnomes at Briey in eastern France in September 1998, when 11 of them were found dangling by their necks under a bridge.

A letter found nearby said: "When you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration."

"Garden Gnome Liberation Front strikes Paris show," CNN, April 13, 2000

A secret underwater attraction that lured several divers to their deaths could have returned, police say.

The "gnome garden" complete with picket fence was removed from the bottom of Wastwater in the Lake District after several divers died a few years ago.

It is thought they spent too much time at too great a depth while searching for the site of the ornaments.

Now police divers say there is a rumour that the garden has returned at a depth beyond which they are allowed.

Pc Kenny McMahon, a member of the North West Police Underwater Search Unit, said the gnomes were well known among the diving community.

"Underwater gnome threat 'returns'," BBC News, February 14, 2005

French police are trying to find homes for over 80 garden gnomes kidnapped in eastern France earlier this year.

The tiny, bearded ornaments were taken by the self-styled Gnome Liberation Front from homes in the town of Saint-Die-des-Vosges.

They resurfaced lined up on the steps of the local church one Sunday morning.

Police have never caught the culprits, but the gnomes' owners seem strangely reluctant to come forward to claim their stolen property.

"French garden gnomes need homes," by Caroline Wyatt, BBC News, December 29, 2003

hat tip normblog, "War of the gnomes"

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Posted April 1, 2006 08:23 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Saturday catblogging

Loco and Luca comparing who has the prettier paws ...

Loco waiting very patiently

Life in the City is good ... we need a pawicure ....

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Posted April 1, 2006 07:43 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (1)