Thursday – Mom Surfing at Bolsa Chica

As most of you know, my mom recently quit her job teaching junior high so she could have more time to surf. My mom, Surfer Sue, has been surfing since the mid-1950s.
On thursday, she went surfing down at Bolsa Chica and was lightly stung by a baby sting ray on her baby toe. This caused stress and anxiety but the nice young lifeguards recommended soaking the offended body part in the hottest water one can stand. The LA Times on Friday reported a rash of sting ray attacks in Seal Beach and Bolsa Chica recently due to increased ocean temps. Mom says the water feels like Hawaii.
But the real highlight of her day was while paddling out to the break a big set came in, she was on the right shoulder of wave when 3 dolphins were surfing towards her on the shoulder of the wave. To avoid a direct hit by large marine mammals, mom turned parallel to the wavew hich is not a good idea for the human who ought to be perpendicular to the wave. By being parallel to the wave mom barely avoided being sucked into the wave as it broke but she did avoid hurting the dolphins with her board or being hit by 800 lbs of Flipper.
Mom says that it was very amazing to see them so close. She said that in the last two years there has been a definite increase in dolphin sightings, as she now sees them at least every weekend.
On Sat., Erika sent me the following “amusing” dolphin stess test.

Dick Cheney – the man for our times???

The Vice President of our nation seems to be a man of many talents and interests, talents that are well hidden and interests that are not necessarily in the best interests of the people but of his corporate friends. At what point do we the people demand accountability from our elected officials? Are we a nation of which sex and scandal much more interesting and impeachable than shady business deals from elected office and bad ethics are?
From the news column at and the AP news wire:

Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq’s oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq’s oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled “Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

The current administration has shown itself to be much more interested in helping their friends and former business colleagues in business than in democracy. Are we now a nation run by an oligarchy of businessocrats?
God forbid that the French and Russians could have gotten the Iraqi oil contracts and not US oil companies! Mr. Cheney is not only a shadowy figure, but one with very bloody hands. Blood for oil anyone?

I rant and rave, Mr. Derek P. says it all elegantly…

I have been ranting and raving to anyone who will listen, mostly my mom and best friend and the message board, about the flimsy reasons that Shrubya took us to war, but Derek Powazek has said it much more elegantly:

So there we have it. Clinton lied about sex, Bush lied about bombs. The difference? In the Bush version, over 6,000 people died. In the Clinton version, there was only a petit mort. So you tell me: Which man is unfit to lead?

Bravo, Derek!

More on the non-jug cheap wine front…

Step aside Charles Shaw (Trader Joe’s) and 2 Buck Chuck (Beverages & More), here comes Wal-Mart into the Cheap Overblown* CA Central Valley Wine lottery.
Jish has proposed a list of really funny wine names for cheap Wally-Mundo wines.
* Everyone asks, “Jen what do you mean by Overblown wine?” Here is what I mean: wine from a hot region with hot nights (Calif. Central Valley) has tastes of hot roasted tomatoes and bell peppers mixed with the sweetness of some berry. Very bad, even Worse Headache. Just say no to Charles Shaw, folks, retain your dignity.
Spend $2.99 more at TJs and get the Spanish Sangre de Toro ($4.99) which is a very good grenache based red – tasty, balanced, not too sweet, not too dry, great price, and no headache.

The Scavenger Hunt


On Tueday evening Erika and Thomas came over for dinner and as I was prepping the food, 4 junior high school aged girls came down the driveway carrying a large lamp shade. They knocked on the screen door and told us that they were on a scavenger hunt. They needed something bigger and better and weirder than the lamp shade that they could trade us for.
Erika, Thomas, and Lauren and I looked at each with mental wheels turning, when I said, “Let’s go look in the garage.”
I opened the garage, and tried to interest the girls in my broken grey plastic Honda glovebox still containing last year’s registration & insurange. No go. Then I tried to interest them in the 4 feet of 80 yr. old cast iron Y-plumbling joint that had been excavated out from under the house during the Christmas Eve Plumbing Disaster. No go.
Just as they started to get discouraged and concerned that the boy team from their school would win, Thomas looked down the little dead end side space between the garage and the fence and he had a huge impish grin on his face.
“The Car Hood!” I said, smiling as well. “Can I interest you ladies in an old car hood?”
The girls looked and exclaimed, “Ooh, that is good.” They talked amongst themselves, decided that they wanted to canvass the neighborhood to see if they could get anything else, but knew they would win the contest with the car hood – due to weight, size, and plain oddness of the item. They said they would come back and asked us to not tell anyone that they had been by or about the car hood. We told them that if they did come back, that they could have the car hood for free and they did not need to bring us a trade item.
The Car Hood was discovered six or so months ago when the next door neighbors decided to install a new fence running down the property line and they had to have the gardeners clear off all of the ivy and morning glories from the old fence and from their source root spot, the side dead-end space between the fence and my garage. When the mass of 20 years of plant material was cleared, all kinds of old junk was found in this space, including the car hood.
I was able to get the city and Waste Management to take all the bulky items except the car hood. They wouldn’t take it. As a renter, I was not about to find a truck to take the car hood to the dump myself. So, it continued to languish in the space that some previous tenant had left it.
Until the young ladies of the Scavenger hunt! Ha! They came back about 30 mins later and decided to take off with the Car Hood. Bless them. I hope they won, because I sure did!

Viva La Raza – or thereabouts

Rusty from Black Monday and Brian from Shot to Hell in Las Vegas, April 2003, photo by Ms. Jen

Last Saturday night I was sitting outside the Doll Hut, enjoying the fresh breeze, Disneyland fireworks and cool air, when Rusty & Jorge from Black Monday came on over and regalled me with lovely tales of the Hootenanny, of boredom, of how they didn’t know anyone, etc. Basically, “we have been drinking all day in the hot sun and now we just both had more Fosters” sort of tales.
The upswing is Rusty started teasing me that I was “Irish” racist and putting the brown man down because I don’t list his band enough on the SoCal Calendar. Of course I said, “And when do you email me your shows?”
It devolved from there, and I couldn’t defend myself no matter what as Rusty was determined to give me a rash of shit. It was very funny and very disturbing all at the same time, esp. since Rusty ranks as one of the top Cutest Guys in LA in my book.
Basically, the whole thing made me laugh but also made me disturbed about the responsibilities of one’s website. I have listed plenty of bands on the SoCal calendar over the last 4.5 years, with no regard to race or ethnicity, but with the caveat of did the band take the time to email me and have I heard or seen good things out of the bands that I find listed on club websites.
The SoCal Calendar is a huge time suck, as it takes up to 4+ hours to properly compile it. In the effort to not let it take over my life, I only work on it once every two weeks, usually on a monday or tuesday morning. If a band does not email a show listing to me at least two weeks in advance, I can’t guarantee that they will get listed. When I am particularily rushed, I only update the calendar with the emails that I get from bands and don’t search the web at all. So, if a band doesn’t email me their shows, I can’t take responsibility for their lack of listing. Unless they want to pay me $40/hr….
Ok! So, don’t forget that after the Warped Tour on Friday, 7/11, that Rusty’s band, Black Monday will be at the Doll Hut with Speedbuggy and the Irish Brothers! Get to the Doll Hut before 9:30pm, and watch the Disneyland fireworks from the partking lot, as it is a great view and a whole lot cheaper than the $47 admission to the Maus.
And Manic Hispanic will be at Alex’s Bar on Saturday, 7/12.
Viva La Raza, Viva La Punk!

Robert Scheer on Weapons of Mass Destruction

Much like Mr. Robert Sheer, LA Times columnist, I have been incensed for months about the Iraq War and the Bush Administration’s flimsy reasons for being the World Bully. Bless Mr. Sheer as he has refused to shut up about it in print and continues to raise the spectre of treason and impeachment.
Here is an exerpt from his Op-Ed piece in the LA Times today, “A Diplomat’s Undiplomatic Truth: They Lied“:

They may have finally found the smoking gun that nails the culprit responsible for the Iraq war. Unfortunately, the incriminating evidence wasn’t left in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces but rather in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson publicly revealed over the weekend that he was the mysterious envoy whom the CIA, under pressure from Cheney, sent to Niger to investigate a document — now known to be a crude forgery — that allegedly showed Iraq was trying to acquire enriched uranium that might be used to build a nuclear bomb. Wilson found no basis for the story, and nobody else has either.

What is startling in Wilson’s account, however, is that the CIA, the State Department, the National Security Council and the vice president’s office were all informed that the Niger-Iraq connection was phony. No one in the chain of command disputed that this “evidence” of Iraq’s revised nuclear weapons program was a hoax.

What I want to know is Bush in cahoots with Cheney and Rumsfield and the gang or is our President just a puppet? And if the puppet gets impeached, how do we get rid of the puppetmaster?