Chelsea the Airedale: Nov 23, 1992 – May 29, 2006

My sister Joyce’s devoted Airedale Chelsea died in her arms in the early hours of Memorial Day. Chelsea was 13 years old. Her health had been declining for several month.

Ann and I saw Chelsea every year when we traveled to Virginia at Christmas. In the mid-1990s Joyce would bring Chelsea to our parents’ home when we all converged there for Christmas. Playing rough with her in the front yard was a flashback to my childhood, when we had an Airedale named Ginger, who really liked to play rough and tumble.

After my mother passed away in 1997 and my father sold the family home to Jay Frith, we celebrated Christmas at Joyce’s home in Richmond. Chelsea always welcomed us with barking and affection. She liked the rest of the family but she loved Joyce with all her heart. Chelsea and Joyce had an intuitive connection that was evident to everyone who knew them.Chelsea_christmas_2003

Everyone always brought Chelsea a Christmas gift and she delighted in tearing open the wrapping paper. Most of the time we gave her a stuffed animal. Even the toughest stuffed animal rarely lasted more than an hour or two with Chelsea holding it down with her front paws and pulling it apart. We played tug of war with stuffed animals — she would growl ferociously and shake violently, but she never bit me.

Chelsea had an ongoing relationship with Grendel the Siamese cat across the street. They would meet, nose to nose, separated only by a pane of glass in the storm door, and fiercely growl and yowl. Each wanted everyone to see just how tough they were. I’m sure Grendel will miss Chelsea too.

Chelsea liked to sing. When my nephew Burk played a harmonica, she would howl along with him. This video is from Christmas 2003.

On Chelsea’s last weekend, she had what she wanted most — Joyce’s undivided attention. Bill and Burk were away and Joyce was able to be with Chelsea. In Chelsea’s last hours she was blessed with loving care. We should all be so fortunate.

The Big Buy – Movie Reviews

FYI: I went to elementary and high school with John Bryant, who composed the soundtrack for this film.

"The Big Buy" presents its evidence clearly and with a welcome sense of humor.
– New York Times

“In tone and texture, the film suggests a hard-boiled mystery of the 1950s with a brassy film noir soundtrack and a Raymond Chandler feel.”
– Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News (Bush’s Brain)

“Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck methodically assemble a damning case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay”

“The filmmakers capture a battle for the soul of a state and country”
– Village Voice

Birnbaum and Schermbeck create a film noir atmosphere. The stylistic choice seem appropriate given the dark, disturbing subject matter and the chilling presence of anti-hero DeLay.
– Film Journal

Cat Surprises – May 27, 2006

Last Sunday, Sweetie (our wildcat) walked into the kitchen and dropped a big skink (lizard) in the middle of the floor. The skink couldn’t run fast on the hardwood floor. I called Ann and grabbed Sweetie. Ann picked up the skink and took it outside. Sweetie was very proud of herself. I think she believes that Ann ate the skink. This is her fifth skink catch of the year.

Blue caught a skink on Monday, breaking the monopoly that Sweetie had on catching skinks. Ann was able to get the skink from Blue and release it. The skink had lost its tail during its capture.

Our cats cannot go out. They are catching these lizards in the greenhouse or on the screened-in back porch!

Blue and Sweetie cats in greenhouse

On Wednesday, a young bird took its first flight and landed on the screen of our back porch. Unfortunately, it landed just above Blue, who took the opportunity to play Spiderman, jumping onto the vertical screen and sticking. I finally had to go outside and prod the innocent bird to take its second flight, because Blue was getting crazy.

This morning when I got up I heard running water downstairs. I ran downstairs to see our kitchen faucet on — full blast. Ann said she heard it at 3am but thought it was the dish washer. Our kitchen faucet is controlled by a push/pull lever. The window above the kitchen sink was open about 8 inches. Blue and Mist like to lie in that window. I’m glad the kitchen sink drains well.


Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

Eckhart Tolle

Monsanto Announces Accidental Cross Breeding of Boll Weevil and Chiggers on The Spoof

Gentleman farmer and friend John Langlois had a timely article published on The Spoof.

Congratulations John!!!

Monsanto Announces Accidental Cross Breeding of Boll Weevil and Chiggers.

Written by John Langlois

In a surprise announcement, Monsanto admitted what many have suspected for some time, that their genetically modified crop program is out of control. But unlike the usual complaints of ruined crops and dead farm animals, these complaints involved people.

Medical authorities in Indianapolis, Indiana were bewildered when patients began flooding local hospitals, claiming that bugs were eating holes in their butts. Upon closer examination, doctors discovered a new insect whose DNA has never been seen before. University entomologists say it appears to be a cross between a boll weevil and a chigger…. (continue)

John Bryant composes soundtrack for movie about Texas politics

Note: I went to elementary and high school with John. We’ve stayed in contact over the years.

John has been working on this project, The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress, for many months. When Delay unexpectedly resigned from the House of Representatives, the producers and their team had to adjust the film accordingly.

Are the buzzards circling Tom Delay or is that my imagination?

Type: Documentary
Distributor: Brave New Films

Rating: NR
Directed by: Mark Birnbaum, Jim Schermbeck

Shining a Light on Agribusiness and It’s Poster Child Monsanto

Lazy Way advocate Fred describes the side effects of agribusiness and the devastating contributions of Monsanto. Why are we surprised that hospitals are overfilled and cancer is common? Click on the link below to read the whole article.

Source: The Lazy Way to Success: Organic Musings of the Concept of Calling

Agribusiness is polluting our (yours, mine and everyone’s) air and water, depleting and eroding our soil, and poisoning our food. We unwittingly ingest all the environmental toxins which agribusiness indiscriminately pours on the earth. And since these toxins cannot be metabolized, the body stores them in the fatty tissue where they have a 40-year half life. There is no way to get rid of them from the body. And studies show their concentrations are increasing at an alarming rate.

Studies also show that these toxins have been associated with hormone disruption, immune system suppression, reproductive disorders, several types of cancer, and other disorders such as allergies. But farmers and the manufacturers of these poisons don’t care. They happily dump still more of it on our dear Mother Earth and, as a result, more and more of it ends up in our bellies and permanently in our bodies. Even if one government bans a substance because of the environmental havoc it causes, the manufacturer happily sells it for use elsewhere in the world.

And God only knows what future disaster awaits us with all the genetically modified organisms Monsanto et al are foisting on our planet.

(Is there a larger environmental anti-Christ than Monsanto? They are responsible for one ecological catastrophe after another – DDT, Agent Orange, rGBH, dioxin, PCBs, and Roundup. And now we are trusting Monsanto, a company guilty of lying and covering up their contaminations, when they tell us that their genetically engineered seeds are safe. In my view, Monsanto is a modern day Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi Angel of Death. Actually Monsanto is worse because it is more unconscionable.) 

This is why eating organic food is so absolutely important.