Taming the backyard, phase four

It doesn’t look that impressive because there’s still a lot of waste baking in the sun before I can throw it out or better yet, find someone with a wood chipper to convert this into mulch; a preferred solution. I hate putting yard crap into the landfill. Originally, I wanted to get to the fence but the chainsaw’s chain slipped off twice and I had other things I wanted to given yesterday being a heavy running around/shopping quest.

Next Saturday will be put aside for Moontower so I can pick this up again next Sunday. Get a more clear, visible path to the fence. See how much damage was done to my 20-year-old pear tree I received as a gift from my former landlady turned realtor on this house. I dread to see how much damage has been done to my fence by the neighbors on the other side who tend to leave their animals outside all the time, like we’re still in the countryside where no one cares if the dog lives/dies, there it’s a tool.

Next up, probably hiring a landscaping team to till up the ground so I can either plant grass seeds or lay down sod, I think a combination of both. I know renting one would be “smarter” or “cheaper.” Not really if you put in the learning curve.

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At least there’s one honest undertaker

There’s a saying recently attributed to the NeoCon and MAGAt movement, never miss the chance to a turn a crisis into an opportunity. Yup. And every time, they make the situation a hundred times worse. Over 3000 killed in 9/11 20 years resulted into failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with more to come. Katrina turned New Orleans into a bigger dystopia. The election of the biggest despot since Andrew Jackson (not Lincoln or FDR) has but the economy in the ditch again.

However, I love this funeral home! I know death is their business yet I think they’re really “pro life,” because dead people can pay the bills or pick out an overpriced, needless coffin. Plus the Deep South has the highest death rate and lowest vaccination rate which I’m guessing prompted them to ask the locals, “Hey, slow it down. We’re out of room at the morgue to store the stiffs!”

6015

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Remember, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day 2021

Yesterday, whenever I got thee chance to talk to thar “little” people, I let ’em know ’bout the annual holiday. I also knew to just tell them the safe joke I knows. When they’re older, then they can knew the better one involving th’ pirate asking for help from the surgeon.

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Good thing they’re on the case

This is probably one of the best jokes involving Nicki Minaj being the fat kid on the playground who told us that Mikey from Life cereal died from eating Pop Rocks (Cosmic Candy in the Midwest) and drank a Coke at the same time. Too old a reference since it’s a Gen X one and was easily dispelled by Mythbusters? I can’t think of one equivalent the Mills and Gen Z have. If you all know, spill it. I figured there’s ten times as many as the lies  I heard growing up thanks to the Internet. At least I know how the Rod Stewart myth originated, ouch. If you’re curious about that one, drop me a line.

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My side hustle has been outed!

Well at least would be a more modern-looking Pope and the High-Tops were already in my possession, no need for Catholics worldwide to pass the collection plate for me.

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Tim Burton is re-imagining The Hunchback of Notre Dame

And why not! He’s already crapped on Willy Wonka, Planet of the Apes, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Batman.

Seriously, who in their right mind rolled out this horrendous pukatronic color combo that makes the model resemble a Thirties football player from a boarding school who moonlights fighting crime? Ladies, if you really don’t want to go on a blind date or meet someone via OKCupid, just politely say so. I know ghosting is rude but showing up like this, it causes impotence far longer than it should.

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RIP Norm Macdonald

What a pisser! Much like Andy Kaufman, I thought his suddenly reported death was a joke since it seemed like him. Sadly, it was true as he had been fighting cancer for a decade. Norm hid it very well. There’s some you can tell they’re clearly losing the battle and they’ll be dead in a week.

I did have the great opportunity to see Norm live at Apple’s now physically defunct Cap City. No chance to talk to him after the show as I’ve gotten to with others but I think it was due to my friends wanting to split right away. Despite a dumbass constantly running his mouth until a bouncer escorted him out, Norm just assaulted us with an incredibly funny arsenal of jokes only he could tell. He was definitely clever and think on his feet. The evening I saw him, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for not being Bush II and NASA fired an object at the lunar surface to see it the target was ice. Norm brought this up early as I paraphrase, “It’s amazing. President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the same day he was trying to blow up the moon!”

He was definitely one of the best people behind the news desk at SNL. Doing better than Chevy Chase isn’t hard nor should he be gauged against such an asshole. Norm managed to exceed the last person to master the job, pre-9/11 right-wing blowhard Dennis Miller. To me, he wrote the playbook for Stewart and Colbert with their Comedy Central runs. After Norm, I don’t have any opinion since I think SNL should just be put out of its misery alongside Jimmy Fallon. I’m glad he never let up on OJ Simpson too. We all know the motherfucker was guilty. Those jokes may have cost him his lucrative gig but he did rebound pretty decently with a one-season SitCom on ABC and an underrated movie called Dirty Work. Coincidentally, I think Dirty Work was Chris Farley’s last flick. It’s uneven, some elements haven’t aged well but when Work is funny, you might have to pause the movie.

I think his post-SNL career was better anyway. He made cameos in movies. One many easily missed was him playing Michael Richards on Man in the Moon when Andy Kaufman (fellow Canadian Jim Carrey) refused to go along with a sketch on Fridays. For me personally, I loved Norm showing up as a voice in cartoons. The weasely genie from Fairly Odd Parents was him, even had his name. I think he was the first person to play Death on Family Guy, now it’s Adam Carolla. The Orville won’t be the same without him being the gelatinous alien engineer Yaphit. I’m hoping he completed all his ADR work for the third season and Seth MacFarlane finds a way to give the character and Norm a fitting farewell should there be a fourth via Hulu. Also watch The Mike Tyson Mysteries, his character Pigeon steals the show with his inappropriate everything!

Thanks for everything Norm. You were definitely a unique talent. Every comedians favorite bomber! The best at telling cringing “dad” or “screw you” jokes. Another legend at always surprising the audience. In private, numerous tales of how you were a nice, kind person. I want to close with one of the funniest clips from The Larry Sanders Show I realized I have been misquoting/misremembering for a decade-plus. It works because only Norm Macdonald and Henry Winkler could make fictional sidekick Hank Kingsley’s sex tape leaking out hilarious instead of the tragedy it was…

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A counter flag for the Freedumb Movement

I figure the snake is coiled up to wrangle down those swollen nuts we heard the R&B singer alleged in Trinidad.

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Another martini that prevents WASPs from starving to death

Last week, we made a side trip to San Marcos (here, they say MAR-kus) to see Jennifer’s favorite artist, Blue October. Since we arrived intentionally early, we checked out the exciting options this true college town offered. For those not familiar with my adopted state, San Marcos is the home of Texas State University. Although it has only had this moniker for…what? Eight years! Could’ve sworn at least a decade!

Anyway, poor San Marcos does live in the shadow of its older and younger siblings; Austin’s UT (since the 188os) and San Antonio’s UT-SA (since I think the late 1960s) which are cities. San Marcos reminded me of Bloomington-Normal in its scale and just how tiny the “university area” wrapped around a town square. Given it’s the Twenties of the 21st Century, nested in with various pizza joints are cell-phone repair shops and vape stores. One nearby place called Davenport’s was a pleasant surprise, a martini bar that also sold food. I was shocked. I thought the Cocktail Nation craze fueled by Generation X died out at the turn of the century alongside the Squirrel Nut Zippers’s career. In the photo above is one speciality I wanted to try, an Almond Joy. The glass is coated in coconut and chocolate to prevent scurvy? It was good. Then I followed it up with a Dreamsicle, no need for a photo…no, I forgot. Can’t remember what Jennifer had. She got through the first one and I finished her second. All delicious despite the taste of booze.

So if you’re in the area because you got suckered into the town’s lame-ass outlet malls (there’s no real savings) or you’re doing some research on LBJ’s early career as a teacher, look up Davenport’s.

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Whoops, wrong kind of cat

When I completed cleaning up my porch and reset the trap in an attempt to bring Dusty back, I got an odd result. A couple weeks ago, my neighbor said she had seen a skunk but I was skeptical. I thought skunks avoided people in general even though everybody Atari, a famous domesticated skunk shown on TikTok; I watch some of the stuff Jennifer is viewing, I will never subscribe to a Chinese spy tool.

I’ve chosen to name the poor, trapped creature Zorrillo (ZOHR-ree-uh) which is the Spanish word for ‘skunk.’ No idea which gender it is. The stink gland was heavily used up when Zor freaked out in the cage. The towels I used to camouflage the trap…they’re going in the trash because it would be too much work to get the stank out.

Nobody really wants to help my skunk friend find a new home. Some voluntary animal control people my vet recommended said, “Oh just turn it lose.” No. Back to my neighbor’s complaints and the suburbs aren’t a good place for skunks. I was also surprised they said it’s an adult based on the raw video clip. I asked some friends I know with some woods way back in their vast yard. They politely refused and I’ll leave it at that. I’m keeping Zor around for a while, do some better research for a safe place like a forest far away from coyotes.

They do love wet cat food, much to Agamemnon’s annoyance, he’s not allowed to have any due to his digestive issues. There’s a clean, full water bowl. Shade to keep the sun from beating down on Zor. I put in a cat bed to should the skunk wants a place to sleep with nobody snooping. Hoping they share a cat’s desire to be “invisible” when they rest.

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A renewed attempt to recapture Dusty or a different kitty

I haven’t seen poor Dusty in over a month and I continue to cry a little over the poor guy. Despite his injury not being completely healed, I hope against all odds he’s still recovering, eating well and staying FIV free. With my patio having a new lease on cleanliness, I took some advice I found via YouTube from this cat expert. You may have heard of her, she’s Tommy Shaw’s daughter. Yeah, the dude from Styx and Damn Yankees. I put a towel under Jennifer’s trap so the cat’s paw won’t be as discomforted from the cage. The smarter trick is putting a towel over the bulk of the trap. This serves multiple purposes:

  1. The cat can’t see the whole cage, thus, they may not see this as a trap.
  2. They can’t easily access the food from the other side, as somebody had figured out a few weeks ago in my failed attempts to get Dusty back.
  3. The kitty will be shaded from the Summer heat until I get them water.

Fingers crossed Dusty returns or some new kitty takes the bait and I can save another life.

It may be dark inside but cats can’t resist stinky wet food

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The new, improved patio!

Yeah, pretty gross.

Since Saturday was spent on the yard and I really couldn’t get much further due to a lack of disposal, I decided to take on another sore spot in the divorce, the patio or as I often call it, the porch. As you can see in the “before” photo above, what a mess! I readily admit to contributing to the sorry state. When trying to lure in feral cats, I just threw the empty cat-food cans anywhere. Other crap was abandoned by the ex-, namely the shop vac that broke yet she never got repaired, some cabinet rotting away; hell, one door rusted shut. Various pieces of limestone, pots for plants, cat beds to comfort the animals I caught and the biggest nuisance, a mud-dawber nest (they’re a breed of super, mean-ass wasps).

Fixing this up took a mere two hours and it included my numerous water breaks triggered by my Watch alerting me whenever my heart rate exceeded 170 bpm. I feared the wasps were going to stay a couple more weeks but I stumbled upon some type of bug spray. It worked as I figured. Those sprays all contain something equivalent to nerve gas and kills insects as it gets into their spicules. I stamped on the buggers who fell to the ground. No luck on this scary spider at the gate catching any in her huge web.

Ta dah! ready for a new set of patio chairs!

Adding a new garden hose to the long-term shopping list at Lowe’s. A nice hosing down could clear out the stubborn dust. No wasps to fear. No more smell of cat piss, I hope it was cat. No more clutter. This is one of my proudest moments in turning my 20-year-old house around. I finally updated the Operation: Manhattan grid I almost forgot about from last year, thanks Jennifer, hee hee. I should’ve put the kitchen in there.

I also added another color code to cover the parts I let backslide. So green is clean and ready. Yellow is in progress. Sadly, blue is for the sections which used to be green (master bedroom/closet) or yellow (guest bathroom) and they’ve regressed. The master bedroom regressed due to laundry and I don’t really sleep there much neither. The guest bathroom is on pause thanks to the good advice I received from Jennifer and Holly to focus more on the more visible, practical areas I want to utilize. The kitchen! It was a sore sport leading to the divorce. Now it’s fantastic! I cook often. Clean dishes are put away in the cabinets. Dirty ones are in the dishwater 90% of the time. The inside of my microwave doesn’t look like a gremlin exploded in it. The floor is nice. The oven isn’t disgusting.

Now, when I’m not squeezing in yard work before it’s too hot outside or we might get the upcoming tropical storm to keep us indoors. I will connect the two bitchin’ green zones!

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Taming the backyard, phase three

Clear path to the AC unit!

My immediate backyard goal of carving out a “moat” around the house has been fulfilled! Through my chainsaw, machete and grit, I cleared out all the remaining dead branches, cut down the skank trees and chopped down the green weed-like plants. Now if I need to have a technician work on the AC (which is still in great shape) or I gotta’ check something out, there is no more dread. The ground is covered in leaves and dried plants. Maybe I’ll rake it out at a later time.

Don’t let the waste fool you. There’s plenty of space.

The second photo might night look so hot but it’s a temporary situation. Some of the waste is recently cut stuff I need to get the Sun to bake out the water on, then it’s lighter and easier to move into the trash. Sadly, I filled up the trash can quickly with previous crap I cut down weeks before. Much like the West side of the house, walking behind the house isn’t a problem as there’s more than a meter of space. This eliminates where the numerous feral cats can hide too.

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Never forget…Rand Paul is a dildo

As was expected, the toupée-wearing, Libertarian, ivermectin-promoting, Covid spreading, shitbag joined in on the superficial patriotism, jingoism, etc…about we should never forget the people who died to strengthen an illegitimate POTUS. One thing I will never forget is how often he has derailed every bill to provide any assistance the first responders who continue to die or live with failing health for 20 years. I will never forget how this asshole receives free, incredibly good health care that we taxpayers cover as he continues to object to anyone else getting a scrap of it with spurious arguments involving slavery.

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Dell tells us how small he is while showing his ignorance

You can always expect a billionaire, college dropout to demonstrate his ignorance when it comes to History, Economics, Fiscal Policy and anything involving government. Being a Sociopath who fucked everyone over to get to their wealth was their priority since they could speak. There are exceptions of course, as in those who did graduate or pursued higher degrees: Musk, Thiel and Ballmer.

What’s more fun to point out when the rich paid an obscene amount, yet were still rich beyond belief; the Republicans’ beloved Eisenhower and poster-child Tricky Dick were presidents who were OK with this. Oh yeah, income tax began under Lincoln to help pay for the war agains the insurrectionists and it was then put into the Constitution as the 16th Amendment via Teddy Roosevelt and Taft, the latter being a corporate bitch.

Spoiler alert as per Robert Reich and I’m sure Adam Ruins Everything covers it, despite the rate being as high as 91%, the Bezoses, Musks, Kochs and other assholes of their day never really gave up such an amount. They had their armies of lawyers and accountants to bring it down to something closer to 40-60%, depending upon how many libraries, opera houses or college buildings they bought. And yet they remained incredibly rich. You know, they owned multiple tackily furnished McMansions, sports cars, huge yachts, mistresses, airplanes, servants, politicians, businesses, sports teams, media outlets to express their shitty opinions, etc.

Then in 1980, St. Reagan suckered enough people with rich asshole backing to lower the rate to the 30-ish rate we’ve been adjusting ever since; I think we continue to be stuck with something as pathetically low as 37% (thanks Obama…seriously, I don’t recall if the Dems pulled it off). You’d think with a lower rate the über wealthy would drop all the shell games and just pay it; I would, 37% is easier to figure out than scheming a way out of 70. HELL NO. They continue to lie, cheat (stock options), hide (Switzerland’s UBS Bank actively helped, Ireland too), steal, find new scams (a form of “insurance” is the plan to avoid Biden’s taxes) and publicly bitch about how oppressed they are. In those four decades, American infrastructure has crumbled and the country can no longer disguise how far behind it is to Western Europe and related states. South Korea’s Internet speeds put us to shame. Now China is bagging on us with our decrepit airports and absent high-speed rail. Someone recently asked if America’s decline is comparable to the Roman Empire. The immediate answers was, no, Rome had good roads.

So when you hear another MAGAt asshat or apologist for the “moderate” Democrats saying the $3.5 Trillion plan is ridiculous, remind them how their moron grandparents said the same thing about how much winning WWII would run. Then hit them back after their moldy chestnut rebuttal of “how are we going to pay for it?” Obviously by taxing the über wealthy since they destroy jerbs or need tax abatements to create low-paying shitty ones. Besides, when it comes to pissing away trillions on war, spying on ourselves and inaccurate drones, you rarely ask the same question.

We also need to take back our Media (airwaves and the Internet we paid for) or least stop having them ask rich assholes for answers. As I said earlier, the majority are sociopaths. The only know how to save their selfish asses. They have NO CLUE and NO INTEREST in solving Climate Change. They do not know how real government works, only how non-democratic corporate governance does. Every time America elects a “successful” business guy, things turn out worse and in current times, they’re 0-2. The ones who haven’t used bankruptcy to shield their belongings, namely Sen. Mittens, think they can solve our problems like how they raped companies via their hedge funds…lay off half the citizens. Maybe they can be citizens of Mexico but stay here for a third of the wages.

Back to the picture/joke.

In conclusion. Ignore whatever Texas’ biggest welfare recipient, who isn’t a Walton, says.

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