midnight_tn

Happy New Year!

| The calendar is all screwed up. The new year ought to be celebrated on December 21, the winter solstice, for it is then that the darkness of winter starts to recede and the promise of brighter days begins. In fact, if we could skip right from the solstice to New Year's Day, we could cut out all that Christmas silliness.  more

powell-mtp_tn

Pitiful Colin Powell

| At the end of the first Gulf War, Colin Powell — who had served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs — was one of the most respected men in America. He was seriously considered by many as a potential presidential candidate. He was held in high esteem around the world. Then he took the job of Secretary of State in the George W Bush administration, and that was the ruin of him.  more

unclepaul2_tn

Statute of limitations needed

| My niece Carol, third daughter of my third sister Edna, sent me an email saying, "We were digging through some old photo albums, trying to find a picture of Nancy [first daughter] and/or me with blonde hair (some of our kids don't really believe we used to be blonde), when we came across some really great pics that we thought you might enjoy."  more

tom-delay_tn

Amazing discovery!

| Archaeologists digging deep in the rubble of the House of Representatives in Washington found a trace of GOP shame, thought to no longer exist.  more

dew_tn

Dew drops on cactus

| With all the moisture in the air from recent rains and a chill in the air, the dew on the golden pin cushion cactus this morning looked like itty-bitty icicles.  more

gonzales_tn

Not again!

| It has come to this: the nominee to be Attorney General of the United States — the chief law enforcement officer of the land — is promising he will uphold laws against torture.  more

mri_tn

Living proof

| I am living proof of Darwin's theory, having evolved from being a pain in the neck to having a pain in the neck.  more

bubble-bush_tn

Bush 43.2

| George W Bush will be inaugurated for a second term on Thursday. I think it should be declared a national day of mourning.  more

lunch-bunch_tn

Lunch-Bunch reunion

| Once upon a time, long, long ago, several of my HP co-workers and I formed a regular lunch bunch. We ate together in the Mayfield site cafeteria almost every day and shared stories and jokes, gossiped, and laughed about everything. It's been at least six years since we all saw each other (no one can figure out exactly how many years it's been), but we all got together again in Palm Springs for a few more laughs and good times.  more

marshal_tn

Marshal Paul

| I volunteered to act as a marshal at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic golf tournament again this year. This makes my third year to work at this event. If they give me the same assignment next year, I'm going to demand combat pay!  more

punxsutawney-phil_tn

Groundhog day

| Once a year, a rodent in western Pennsylvania emerges from hibernation in his comfortable den to report on the weather. And once a year W emerges from hibernation in his comfortable White House to report on the state of the union. Both events are fantastic, as in "sheer fantasy."  more

paul_tn

Linksys WVC54G camera

| In December, I bought a new Linksys internet video camera, model WVC54G. Setting it up in the first place drove me half nuts. Then in late January I discovered that I was the only one who could watch it! Until then I had assumed that my friends' difficulty connecting with the camera was "pilot error" or attributable to difficulty installing the needed ActiveX control.  more

finger_tn

Awake at 3am

| My body clock is set for a different time zone, Iceland Standard Time, perhaps. When I was a youth, I was very much a night person, as seems biologically predetermined for youth. But now that I am a geezer, I am very much a day person, or at least I would be if I lived somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, at what my friend Patrick calls "the crack of stupid." For a long time I fought it, but I no longer do. I wake up when I wake up and that's that.  more

dale_tn

Homeland insecurity

| Friends Alan and Dale are in town again, and I met them for a late lunch at More Than A Mouthful. Well, actually, they had lunch — I had coffee and dessert, having already eaten by the time they called.  more

trip-overview_tn

Cross-country adventure

| Embued with determination and a spirit of adventure, my youngest sister Edna is traveling by van all the way from Minnesota to Palm Springs for a visit. She is accompanied on this lark by her husband Carl and two of their adult children, Joni and Tom.  more

mail_tn

I've got mail!

| Those Republicans are at it again — flogging pictures of a lame-duck president in an attempt to raise yet more money.  more

m_tn

Doin' the Moneydance

| My frustration with Microsoft Money reached the boiling point, and I have switched to Moneydance to manage my personal finances.  more

bellagio_tn

The meaning of 'ugly'

| I was browsing through the photo galleries at the Washington Post this morning and came upon the canine specimen shown here. Bellagio is a Neapolitan mastiff, a breed shown this year for the first time at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and Bellagio won the Best in Breed award.  more

sb39_tn

Peripatetic Superbowl Party

| Previous Super Bowl parties  more

window-sill_tn

More travel

| Chez Paul has apparently become the site of choice for travel commentary. The following unsolicited contribution is just in.  more

michael_tn

Almost too painful to watch

| Just when you think the Michael Jackson story can't get any more weird, it does. Last week Jackson failed to show up in court for his trial, supposedly because he tripped and fell while dressing for court and had to be taken to the hospital for back pain. The judge, having already once postponed the trial while Jackson was hospitalized for "flu-like symptoms," issued a warrant for Jackson's arrest and revocation of bail if he did not appear in court within an hour. Jackson did appear, although not within the hour allotted, wearing slippers and pajama bottoms.  more

prius_tn

Maiden voyage of the Prius

| I drove my brand new Toyota Prius from Palm Springs to San Jose and back for its maiden voyage. It performed superbly and demonstrated many of its tricks, not all of which were fully appreciated.  more

schiavo_tn

Politics and pathos

| It would take a particularly cold and heartless person to be unsympathetic to the wrenching case of Terri Schiavo unfolding before us. It would take particularly craven people to exploit Schiavo's case for political gain. Sadly, Washington seems full of the latter.  more

bonnets_tn

In their Easter bonnets

| If it's Easter Sunday, it's time for the Easter Bonnet contest on Arenas Road in Palm Springs. But if you're thinking of entering, you'd better be very imaginative and start planning early. The competition is tough!  more

poppy_tn

In pursuit of poppies

| Yesterday, I took a drive with friends Real and Bob to Lancaster to check out this year's crop of poppies and other wildflowers at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.  more

news_tn

News of the day

| A brief look at the stories in today's news.  more

sleep_tn

Things that go weird at night

| Maybe it was something I ate. Maybe it was the onset of a head cold. Or maybe it was the working out of deep-seated, unresolved, Freudian conflicts. All I know is, things got really weird in my dreams last night.  more

wave_tn

Reclaiming the patio

| It's already mid-April and I had not yet fallen back into my normal routine of starting the morning out on the patio with my coffee and my laptop. The spring has just been too cold, too wet, too windy to even think about it most days.  more

politicians_tn

Culture of life

| You have to admire the marketing savy of the Bushies and the right-wing conservative religious fundamentalists. They are masters of coming up with slogans that sound innocuous but have special meaning to their supporters and that can be used to cudgel their foes. The slogans help them appear to hold the moral high ground while in pursuit of crass, self-serving ends.  more

bellyhands_tn

Culture of life, part 2

| A German couple plans to celebrate the "culture of life" by delivering their first-born child in a museum. Somehow I suspect the Family Research Council and their politician counterparts will not be supportive. Just guessing.  more

speak-out_tn

Speaking out

| There is something I simply must speak out about: speaking out!  more

iris_tn

Tripping

| On Friday I flew to San Jose where I met up with Jim for the drive to Twain Harte to spend the weekend with friends Bob and Carolyn.  more

bush-handhold-detail_120

Friendship

| George W Bush invited Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, where the two of them strolled hand-in-hand through the bluebonnets. So far, there has been nary a peep from the Fundies.  more

bush-newsconf_tn

Bush energy proposals

| Having failed miserably to convince the American people that diverting money from Social Security taxes into personal savings accounts invested in the stock market is the way to solve the Social Security problem, President George W Bush is now taking up another of his favorite hobby horses, energy policy. Tonight he will deign to give another prime-time press conference in an attempt to prod the Senate into passing an energy bill and shore up his dwindling job-approval numbers.  more

bush-jester_tn

Bush speak

| George W Bush gave his prime-time news conference last night, moved up a half-hour as a compromise with the networks who really, really didn't want to disrupt the first night of the May ratings race — a Thursday night no less!! (Washington Post, April 29, 2005).  more

doves_tn

Dove love

| Early this morning a pair of doves landed on the patio gate and perched side by side, shoulders gently touching.  more

happy-bday_tn

Happy birthday to me

| It's my birthday. Today I'm 62 years old, and that's a good thing, considering the alternative.  more

ducks_tn

Compassionate conservation

| All together now: Awwwww! After a bird-brained mallard hen made a nest in front of the Treasury building, the government spared no efforts — and presumably no expense — to protect her and her eggs from the consequences of her bad judgment.  more

map_tn

Shake dat booty

| When it comes to high schools, Texans know their priorities: football and cheerleaders. It is perhaps understandable, then, that of all the education issues the Texas House could be concerned about, the bill they brought to a vote and passed was one that prohibits high school cheerleaders from performing "in a manner that is overtly sexually suggestive."  more

bride_tn

Flights of folly

| I was going to pass on the Jennifer Wilbanks "Runaway Bride" story. I figured it was best to let such an absurdity pass with as little note as possible. That was before I surfed across CNN carrying a live press conference by her pastor reading a statement.  more

bible-capitol_tn

Activist religionists

| Activist religionists are out of control and waging a war on the separation of church and state.  more

airshow_tn

Cessna threat thwarted

| I feel so much better now, knowing that the nation's capital can be protected against threatening Cessnas.  more

newsweek_tn

Beating up on Newsweek

| Newsweek is the press punching bag du jour. And there is no question they deserve a good drubbing. They published an item — which they later had to retract as unsubstantiated — about an incident at Guantanamo in which a copy of the Koran was reportedly flushed down a toilet. This news triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan and elsewhere.  more

frame_tn

Framing the debate

| I have tuned in sporadically these past days to watch the Senate "debate" over President Bush's judicial nominees. Good grief. It is all a bit reminiscent of an amateur performance of a Greek tragedy. And I do not mean to defame the Greeks nor their drama.  more

byrd-warner_tn

Extremism in defense of moderation

| Even as the Senate housekeepers were setting up cots under the watchful eye of Strom Thurmond's bust, the "Gang of Twelve to Fourteen" reached an agreement to avert the nuclear blast about to be set off by Senator Dr Bill Frist in the battle over judicial appointments and the filibuster.  more

minn_tn

Trip to Minnesota

| Over the Memorial Day weekend I went back to Minnesota for the funeral of sibling number five, Edna, whose road trip to visit me in Palm Springs was chronicled here so ably by guest author Niece Carol. Edna's battle against the team of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and other assorted health "challenges" ended peacefully last week at her home, surrounded by her family.  more

faces_tn

Dubious conclusions

| This morning I received two news emails that authoritatively reached opposite conclusions from the same fact: employers added 78,000 jobs to payrolls in May. It's a wonder anybody knows anything.   more

haircut_tn

Haircuts 2005

| If it's the end of May, it's time to give the palm trees their summer haircuts! And right on schedule, intrepid young men all up and down the valley clamped on their climbing spikes, cinched their safety belts, and ascended the palm trees one by one, machete in hand, to give each tree its forty whacks.  more

curtains_tn

Curtains!

| When you have a south-facing patio, as I do, draw curtains to shut out the summer sun are practically a necessity. Mine were old and worn when I moved in, but there were so many other things to take care of that I put off replacing them. This spring an unusually mean-spirited wind thoroughly shredded the valance. It was easy, the curtains were essentially disintegrating in place.  more

sucking_tn

Suckin' on the public tit

| I am officially a Geezer. I received my first Social Security check today.  more

wolfblitzer-logo_tn

All the news

| The vacuousness of television news has seldom been so obvious than during the jury deliberations in the Michael Jackson trial. And there is hardly a better example than CNN.  more

chainsaw_tn

"For your security..."

| When I go to the airport I am made to take off my shoes and jacket. I must surrender my cellphone, small change, and any electronic devices for scrutiny in the x-ray machine. Occasionally my bags are swabbed and analyzed for traces of contraband, chemicals, or cat hair — who knows? At times I must assume a spreadeagle position for wanding with some detection device. And always I must present my photo identification. All of this for my security.  more

rights_tn

Disappearing rights

| I unexpectedly received a marvelous gift. It is a coffee mug imprinted with the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the US Constitution.  more

schiavo_tn

Where are they now?

| The autopsy results for Teri Schiavo were released today. One might expect that cable news would be all over the story. After all, three months ago they gave us all-Teri, all-the-time, 24/7 coverage of every sordid twist and pathetic turn of the end of her life.  more

statue_tn

Statuary scandal

| Just when you thought the end of the Michael Jackson trial would bring relief from obsession with celebrities and sex, a new front has opened in the ongoing search for scandal.  more

rambler_tn

Gotta love those Brits!

| The British have an unparalled sense of eccentricity and humor. If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them, probably as a Monty Python episode.  more

to-summit_tn

Verbing run amok

| Language is changing all the time, of course, and only a crotchety old fossil would pretend otherwise. One of the more insidious types of change is when a perfectly good noun starts to be used as a verb.  more

boeing_tn

Huh?

| In the words of the immortal Vinny Barbarino, "I'm so confused!" Every now and then I see something that makes me realize that economics really is the the "dismal science." If there's anybody out there who understands, please step forward and make yourself known!  more

casket_tn

Way to go!

| There have been a number of events lately that have made me think of how people make the transition from this life, not the least of which was the recent death and funeral of my sister Edna Mae (Chronicles, June 2005). Among the others:  more

target_tn

Targeting public broadcasting

| The right-wing is so determined to stamp out all vestiges of non-conservative thought and speech that they have expanded their attack to a full-frontal attack on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the very agency created by Congress to give public broadcasting "maximum protection from extraneous [political] interference and control."  more

bride_tn

Runaway explanations

| We were all puzzled about the case of the "Runaway Bride" that was covered so exhaustively, and exhaustingly, in the media a few weeks ago. Probably few were surprised to learn that she has since turned her time in the limelight into a book and TV interview deal. Probably fewer still were surprised at the conclusion in the recently-released FBI report that she ran away because she feared she could not be the perfect wife.  more

bagdad-dick_tn

Who ya gonna believe?

| The Supreme Court says people can't smoke marijuana, even for medical purposes. It may not be marijuana, but those people in the Bush administration are smoking something!  more

puff_tn

Up in smoke

| That puff of smoke you see this afternoon at 4pm Pacific Time will not signify the election of a new pope, nor even an advance of the wildfires burning nearby. No, this will be all that remains of the now-worthless pile of HPQ stock options that I had when I retired from Hewlett-Packard.  more

novak_tn

Contempt of court

| Something very strange is going on in the grand jury investigation into the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak.  more

mad-cow_tn

Mad as a hatter

| I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. But as Sherlock Holmes is reputed to have said, once you eliminate all the other possibilities, whatever is left must be the truth. The explanation for George W Bush's perplexing behavior and delusional speeches is now clear — he's mad. Simply mad.  more

comet-008_tn

Great comet caper of 2005

| My friends and I went up to Joshua Tree National Park last night to watch as NASA's Deep Impact mission played chicken with the Tempel 1 comet. We knew it would be dark in the park, and we wanted the best chance of seeing something — anything — with as little interference from light pollution as possible.  more

bowling_tn

Bowling for bozos

| In a moment of utterly irrational exhuberance, the Sunday Brunch Bunch decided to join the summer bowling league.  more

bush_tn

Bush "collides" in Scotland

| The story leads are remarkably consistent:  more

pom_tn

Lazing about in Laguna Beach

| This week I went to Laguna Beach with friends Bob, Carolyn, Jim, and Angela to see the Pageant of the Masters and spend a couple of days lazing about. This was the fifth time we have gone to the Pageant together.  more

mtp_tn

Putrid smell of politics

| The furor over Karl Rove's role in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA officer has finally brought the American press to life, and it serves as a terrific illustration of why politicians are held in such low regard by the American public.  more

pandora_tn

Pandora's box

| Yesterday I made a quick trip to Laguna to fetch my latest art purchase, La Caja de Pandora by Cecilia Garcia Amaro.  more

south-view_tn

Days of schmutz und schtink

| It's summer. As I write this on Friday evening, it is 112°F — more or less — with relative humidity around 15%. That may sound awful, but it is actually much, much better than it was earlier in the week. On Wednesday, the temperature was equally high, but the relative humidity was around 45%, and the wind was from the southeast.  more

side-by-side_tn

Proof of evil twin

| What many have long taken as a matter of faith has now been proven: Paul has an evil twin.  more

eviltwin_tn

Evil twin II

| Everybody's a critic! Hardly had my story about the discovery of my evil twin taken its place in cyberspace when word came that I held a flawed concept of "evil twin," towit:  more

cnn_tn

CNN makes you stupid

| I came home from shopping this afternoon and flipped on the TV. All the cable news channels were in a lather about the plane crash in Toronto. Pick your poison — I settled on CNN.  more

storm_tn

The big blow

| Weather in the desert can be capricious — sunny and bright one moment but storming fiercely the next. The other day an absolutely ferocious storm moved through in the middle of the afternoon. The winds roared and the rain came down in buckets.  more

moviemax_tn

Twain Harte MovieMax Theatre

| Faithful readers may remember the introduction of the world-famous Twain Harte MovieMax Theatre in August 2003. Friends Bob and Carolyn proudly introduced the new and improved version 2.0 this weekend.  more

econoplus_tn

Economy plus

| United Airlines has impeccable timing. They sent me an email this morning, only hours before I would board a United flight to Hawaii, touting what they call Economy Plus. The email was illustrated with a sketch of two leggy passengers lounging comfortably in their airline seats.  more

mom_tn

Mom power

| The Democrats haven't been able to call the Bush administration to account, but a single Gold Star Mom has done it.  more

birthday_tn

Happy birthday, Kyle!

| Dave and Stephanie's youngest son Kyle's first birthday would be celebrated by a big luau on Kauai. So, the gang and I — Jim, Angela, Bob, Carolyn, and another Jim — packed our Hawaiian shirts, sun screen, and flip-flops and headed for Kauai. Wouldn't anybody?  more

bowling_tn

Bowling update

| The story line: Retired gentlemen of a certain age and utter lack of recent experience decide to join the summer bowling league as a lark. With one week left in the season, the Brunch Bunch — as they dubbed themselves — cling to a half-game lead for first place.  more

beach_tn

Kauai: Beach picnic

| What do you do with a left-over luau? You take it to the beach the next day and continue the festivities there!  more

house_tn

Kauai: Poipu rental house

| Bob volunteered to arrange housing for our stay (Thank you, Bob!) and asked nothing more in return than a blank check.  more

misc_tn

Kauai: Et cetera

| When you come back from a vacation, there are always pictures that don't fit neatly into categories, but still have some interest. That's what this slideshow is about.  more

sunrise_tn

Kauai sunrises

| The lanai of our rental house in Poipu was a prime spot for watching the sunrise. First light would silhouette the mountains slightly to the northeast, and then as dawn got closer and closer, the clouds in the eastern sky would brighten, followed by sun itself.  more

venturas_tn

Kauai: Visiting the Venturas

| Dave was going to get a lesson in wooden bowl-making from one of his in-laws, and we decided to tag along to see the place where Stephanie grew up. The story is that years and years ago the Ventura clan moved to a place in the hills above Kalaheo. Over time, more and more of the extended family clustered around so that now they have a veritable subdivision of their own with houses all right next door to each other.  more

waimea_tn

Kauai: Waimea canyon

| One of the "must-see" sights on Kauai is Waimea Canyon, dubbed the "Grand Canyon of Hawaii" by Mark Twain (or so the story goes). It is truly an awesome sight. Alas, it is difficult to get good pictures that do justice to the grandeur without special — read "expensive" — equipment. That said, I did come away with some respectable snaps for the slideshow.  more

expunge_tn

Profiling wordsmithing

| They're at it again. Just weeks after a White House advisor was found out editing away inconvenient scientific findings about global warming, the White House has exacted revenge on a respected statistician for wanting to reveal inconvenient findings about racial profiling by police.  more

robertson_tn

Robertson runs amok

| Pat Robertson styles himself a "broadcaster, statesman, author, humanitarian, businessman and Christian." This past Monday, however, Robertson used his bully pulpit on The 700 Club to call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, elected leader of a democratic country:  more

aristocrats_tn

Shun 'The Aristocrats'

| You'd think that the audience at a movie about a joke would be laughing their heads off. You might think that, but if the movie were The Aristocrats, you'd be wrong. Very wrong.  more

allen_tn

More fake news

| You have to give this White House credit: they never give up on their attempts to push their version of the message. They now have a new ploy, this time in cahoots with CNN.  more

usbclogo_tn

Bowling final

| The Fun Handicap summer bowling league season is over and the results are in.  more

coyote_tn

Morning visitor

| A beautiful coyote sauntered across the lawn this morning while I was having coffee on the patio. This time I managed to get my camera and grab a shot before he got out of range.  more

s-happens_tn

Katastrophe Katrina

| Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast. Government turned it into a genuine Katastrophe.  more

polls_tn

Polls: Bush palls

| This just in: Abe Lincoln was right: You can't fool all the people all the time.  more

dance_tn

The 'Governator' runs and hides

| How the mighty Arnold has fallen! When the unpopular Governor Gray Davis was recalled, Schwarzenegger swept into office as a larger-then-life character straight out of Hollywood casting. He had charmed the voters and even survived a last-minute scandal about his womanizing. (Whatever happened to that investigation, anyway?) Once in Sacramento, Arnold installed a big tent outside his Capitol office where he could schmooze, smoke cigars, and cut deals. To the surprise of many, Arnold achieved early successes by pushing through a number of items on his agenda. But it has been all downhill since then.  more

keyboard_tn

What were they thinking?

| I don't know why this pseudo-concept of 'intelligent design' gets so much traction. God knows evidence abounds that much of what passes for design is anything but intelligent. Take my new HP laptop for example.  more

auth_tn

Rita's revenge

| Mother Nature seems to have taken pity on poor George W and has given him a do-over on disaster response. When Katrina hit, W went on his oblivious way, vacationing at the ranch in Crawford, speechifying to his base, and raising funds in California.  more

delay_tn

Justice DeLay-ed

| House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was criminally indicted by a Texas grand jury. It's about time!  more

roberts-testifying_tn

Here come de judge!

| As expected, the Senate confirmed John Roberts to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As expected, all the Republicans and the one Independent voted in favor of Roberts' confirmation. As expected, a large number of Democrats voted against his confirmation (see sidebar). They just can't help shooting themselves in the foot.  more

fan_tn

Home improvement

| First Paul bought the house. Paul saw the chandelier in the dining room, and Paul said, "That is butt-ugly." Then Paul rented out the house. Paul's tenant saw the chandelier in the dining room and said, "That is butt-ugly. I will remove it and replace it with a fan."  more

bush-nominates-miers_tn

Harriet Miers

| There aren't many famous Harriets: Harriet Nelson, Harriet the Spy, Harriet Tubman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe are the only ones that come easily to mind — my mind. Thanks to George W Bush, Harriet Miers can likely to be added to the list.  more

idyllwild_tn

Idyll in the wild

| My friends Ed and Bret are here for a visit, Ed from Montana where it's already snowing and Bret from Vancouver where the rainy season has already started. The signboard for Chez Paul ought to have a new tagline: Eccentricities accommodated. For example:  more

rattlesnake_tn

With friends like these...

| A person almost feels sorry for her. Here's Harriet Miers who's toiled loyally in the vineyards of George W Bush, and just when he rewards her fealty with a plum, lifetime job, almost everybody who should be lined up to sing her praises is, instead, stamping on her like the grapes of wrath. My goodness, but it's fun to watch!  more

haughty_tn

Where's the beef?

| The United States has such a superior view of itself, illustrated perfectly by its response to donations made for relief after hurricane Katrina. Faced with the need to provide food for so many evacuees, the US put out an urgent plea for help. Great Britain and other countries charitably sent hundreds of thousands of ready-to-eat meals. Now we learn that instead of distributing them to hungry and starving storm victims, the US stashed the meals away in an Arkansas warehouse. Why? Because the meals contained British beef.  more

clouds_tn

Boomers and shakers, oh my!

| In the olden days, before most television commercials featured seductive buxom babes with exposed cleavage, an ad for a margine supposedly so good that it could not be distinguished from real butter always ended with a fully-clad, white-robed Mother Nature exacting revenge for having tried to fool her, saying, "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature!" She must be pissed again, because she's certainly taking out her wrath on the Coachella Valley.  more

camby_tn

Rich man, poor man

| The NBA is going to impose a dress code on players in an attempt to clean up the league's image. The league is calling for players to dress in "business casual" attire whenever involved in team business. According to the league website, this means:  more

cheeseburger_tn

Suits do not suit House suits

| There seems to be only one thing that would suit the suits who sit in Congress, and that's if no business could ever be sued by anybody for anything. On Wednesday (19-Oct), the House passed, 306-120, a bill banning lawsuits against fast food companies by people blaming them for their obesity. The bill is popularly referred to as the "cheeseburger bill" and passed the House last year as well, but was never acted on by the Senate.  more

jackson-jury_tn

Jury summons

| Michael Jackson received a summons to report for jury duty in Santa Maria. His lawyer says he won't be able to fulfill his civic duty, however, because Bahrain is now his permanent residence.  more

libby_tn

Yesss!

| Scooter Libby, the vice-president's chief of staff, was indicted today on obstruction of justice, making a false statement, and perjury. According to the Special Counsel in charge of the investigation, Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby told the grand jury "a compelling story" about when and how he had learned the identity of CIA agent Valerie Wilson (nee Plame) — only thing is, the story was a pack of lies.  more

prius_tn

Prius does the Mojave desert

| Late last week, front-row center-seat tickets for a Pointer Sisters show in Las Vegas fell into my lap, courtesy of friends Alan and Dale, whose Las Vegas trip plans had gone somewhat awry. Of course I'd like the tickets!!! So, Saturday morning I pushed the "on" button in the Prius and set off across the Mojave short-cut to Las Vegas with Bret, my friend and perpetual houseguest from Vancouver.  more

words_tn

Truer words were never spoken

| A friend forwarded to me one of those ubiquitous emails quoting George W Bush saying people "misunderestimate" him followed by a cynical quotation about 'the people' getting the president they deserve:  more

shoes_tn

Pride and prejudice

| The Greater Palm Springs Gay Pride festival and parade were held over the weekend. All the usual sights were on display — barely-clad bodies (some of which, sad to say, would have been more attractive fully clothed); sequined and feathered drag queens; leather, levis, and cowboy hats; frou-frou dogs; and lots of lots of quite ordinary people.  more

webcam_tn

Webcam update

| The more they still don't work. Or so it seems. The webcam situation Chez Paul has been a bit dire recently.  more

arnold_tn

Governator terminated

| Arnold Schwarzenegger got smacked down royally by the voters in yesterday's special election. All the initiatives on the ballot, including the ones sponsored and pushed by Arnold himself, went down to defeat.  more

cheney_tn

Impeach Cheney

| Bill Clinton got a blow job from a White House intern, and the Republican House decided to impeach him for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Using that standard, George W Bush and Dick Cheney should have been impeached long ago. We don't know about any interns, but we do know tantalizing bits about abuse of power and failure to uphold the Constitution to get started. I am not the first to have thought of this, of course: Googling the subject of impeachment for those two (see sidebar) yields millions of results. I say, do Cheney first.  more

cat_tn

Mea didn't do it

| Two journalists who have gotten themselves into hot water recently have been all over the airways promoting themselves and their books, present or future. It's not a pretty sight.  more

cheney-bush-flag_tn

On the slippery slope to despotism

| George Bush and Dick Cheney have started the US down a very slippery slope to despotism. Born in the Age of Enlightenment, the US is regressing to the Dark Ages when irrationality, superstitition, and tyranny carried the day.  more

smoking-gun_tn

Gotcha!

| In the George W Bush era, Dana Priest and Dana Milbank, also of the Washington Post, seem to be playing a very similar role. It was Priest who broke the story recently of the CIA's archipelago of secret "black" prisons, some in former Soviet bloc countries. And it is Milbank who today broke the story of a smoking-gun White House document linking the major oil companies to the Cheney energy task force. (See sidebar for Milbank's article.) This is the task force for which Vice President Dick Cheney went all the way to the Supreme Court, run by his duck-hunting buddy Chief Justice William Rehnquist, to prevent us from finding out if Big Oil took part in the task force.  more

table_tn

Thanksgiving 2005

| Thanksgiving is one of, if not the best, holidays. All the others have been turned into merchandizing opportunities — cards, candies, flowers, presents, etc. But Thanksgiving remains largely a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate.  more

don_tn

Royal hobble-about concludes

| Shortly before Thanksgiving, my friend Don from Vancouver called up and asked if he could come for a visit. He needed to get away for a bit, he said. Well of course, I said, come on down!  more

confused_tn

Rx for chaos and confusion

| Millions of senior citizens are trying to sort out the choices available to them in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. It's a daunting task.  more

fake-stories_tn

They're at it again

| One thing you have to say for the Bush administration. They're persistent. Once they decide on a plan, they stick with it no matter what.  more

street-light_tn

Festival of Lights Parade 2005

| The Festival of Lights parade is a Palm Springs tradition, held after dark on the first Saturday in December. This year's parade featured the usual assortment of fire trucks, dump trucks, marching bands, horses, floats, miniature horses, important persons, and, of course, the crowd-favorite dancing tractor.  more

troupers_tn

The Troupers

| If you can't avoid Christmas — and that's impossible — the next best thing is to mock it. So, on Saturday night, Bret, Chuck, Gordie, and I went off to Club Whatever to see the Troupers' Christmas show.  more

cia_tn

CIA.gov

| You have to admire the creativity of the spammers and scammers and phishers out there. They keep coming up with more-interesting ways to entice and entrap unwary denizens of cyberspace.  more

cecilia-paul_tn

Cecilia García Amaro

| Friday evening, the Wentworth Gallery in Laguna Beach held a reception for Mexican artist and musician Cecilia García Amaro. I had to go and meet her, having bought a print of her painting La Caja de Pandora last summer.  more

beach_tn

Weekend in Laguna

| On Friday, Bret and I pointed the Prius to the coast for an overnight trip to Laguna Beach, where I would meet Cecilia Garcia Amaro (Chronicles, December, 2005).  more

bret_tn

Bret's book

| Bret finally finished the manuscript of his book. He is so happy and proud of himself!  more

filling-jars_tn

Merry marmalade

| I decided to try my hand at making grapefruit marmalade, and if I must say so myself, it turned out quite well!  more

Chronicles

Archives

Recent Articles