Welcome to Swamp Gas in the Imajica. Similar to the You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU) section, Swamp Gas will focus solely on news and items of interest in the sunshine state of Florida.
They say, "All the nuts in America roll downhill to Florida." So let's just see how true that phrase really is.
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Swamp Gas v. 007
Tropical Storm Katrina is strengthening in those warm salty waters between the Bahamas and Miami. She's expected to grow to hurricane strength as she slowly heads for landfall somewhere along one of the beach communities north of Miami. People there are somewhat nervous after experiencing the monster hurricane Andrew in 1992, but this slower moving, less intense hurricane is likely to be more reminiscent of last year's Frances. However, a category 1 hurricane is still a hurricane with sustained winds over 74 mph, and is very destructive.
I felt I should add this news nugget into this version of the Swamp Gas reports because Florida is known as the Sunshine state. Unlike Katrina which will likely make landfall as a category 1 hurricane, the Sun has just unleashed an extreme G-5 geomagnetic storm, the highest on the NOAA Space Environment Center scales. Geomagnetic storms are disturbances in the geomagnetic field caused by gusts in the solar wind that blows by Earth which can impair or completely knock out our modern communications systems. Can you hear me now? Blogdrive lag? Now, you know why.
Skiddy is an active kitten, and almost old enough now to just be called a cat. Although she started off last year with a bum leg that someone even suggested should just be amputated to my extreme horror, months of chasing imaginary creatures and games of fetch with me have improved her mobility to a fairly normal state. Although she seems to limp a little and get tired after playing fetch for too long a time, her leg is certainly much better from the time when she pathetically dragged it limply behind her.
The picture above shows Skiddy waiting alertly for me to throw her fetch toy from her favorite perch, the back of a stuffed chair in my living room. When I sit in that chair and start typing on one the keyboards, she has a habit of leaping up onto the top of the back in order to look over my shoulder to see what I am doing. Sometimes, she reminds me of a pirate's parrot perched up there next to my shoulder.
When she plays fetch, though, she reminds me of a hockey player. She gets tunnel vision chasing her fetch toy down the linoleum hallway. It's not uncommon for her to overshoot her prey and slide past it in that cartoon-cat-on-the-kitchen-floor way. One thing that makes her look like a hockey player is her unwaivering bravery to chase the toy to the end of the hallway and slam into the door like a player going behind the net and into the end boards. For her own safety, I have had to leave a cardboard box in front of the door to soften the inevitable collision.
Last month, while in the throes of being in heat, she spent the night outside. I worried about her getting pregnant because I haven't been able to get her spayed yet. Fortunately, she apparently got scared and spent her first night outside hiding safely under the house. The next morning, she started meowing when she heard my voice calling for her and she was rescued without incident ( no kitty sex for you! ), except for being a little dusty for a cat.
One of my personal heroes, Hunter S. Thompson, will be memorialized on Saturday at his Owl Farm ranch in Colorado. A relatively small group of 250 friends and associates will be partying into the night to watch Hunter's mortal remains be shot out of the top of a 150-foot-tall monument in the shape of a fist in a psychodelic fireworks display. After playing Hunter in the film Fear and Loathing, actor Johnny Depp became close friends with Hunter and his family. It is said that Depp has worked with Hunter's wife Anita on these final festivities. Hunter was known by all as the Gonzo journalist because his own alcohol and drug-induced escapades often found their way to the forefront of any serious news stories on which he supposed to be reporting.
For his own reasons, Hunter took himself out with a bang, Hemingway style, in February. Now, his friends will remember him with another bang.
Goodbye, Hunter S. Thompson. I will drink a shot for you Saturday night and promise not to sell my copies of your books on Ebay -- except Curse of Lono -- which I saw is out of print and going for about $300.
[ 08/21 update ]
I thought I'd add some post-party thoughts here. The best articles with some curious details of the memorial come from the Denver Post and the Aspen Times writers. Here are two photos of the gonzo fist monument.
While scanning news articles, I came across this quote in USA Today:
"I'll always remember where I was when Hunter was blown into the heavens," said Thompson's neighbor, Rita Sherman, who watched the spectacle from the deck of her house.
Hello, Rita ?!? I hope you'll remember where you were because you are sitting on your deck, you frackin' drunk!
The National Collegiate Athletic Associaton (NCAA) has decided to ban the use of any names or mascots that they consider to be racially or ethnically "abusive" or "hostile" toward American Indians. The nickname/mascot ban will be enforced after next February in any post-season tournaments. One NCAA member college, Florida State University, may take legal action to continue to use the Seminole name and mascot. Apparently, the Florida Seminole tribe has given FSU permission to continue using the Seminole name.
Here's the funny thing (to me). I had taken this photo of these two plastic bread clips before the NCAA name ban news came out. I snapped this photo on the same day when I took a photo of the mystery object.
I think there is a very simple solution to this politically correctness problem. These colleges should pay any tribe for using its name. If any given tribe feels offended, they can simply refuse the renumeration.
BaD DoG Karaoke v1.0 CD My MP3 files posted on Thunderstorms' blog entries via the [headphones].
You can get any of my BDKv1.0 MP3 files absolutely free for some time after the date of the blog entry in which they may appear in the [headphones] link. If the MP3 file is still available for download, you can simply click on its name. Due to file server bandwidth limitations, bandwidth theft, or hot-linking, my MP3 files are eventually rotated off the server and the [headphone] links in the blog entry itself will be broken. However, this list is always updated and current.
You can download, copy, host, distribute or complain about the following files as long you follow the guidelines in Creative Commons license available to you via the icon in the lower left corner of every page of Thunderstorms in the Imajica.
If you want a custom meatspace playable CD with all the BaD DoG Karaoke V1.0 songs on it with which to play very loudly and annoy your neighbors or fellow commuters in your car, contact me. Currently downloadable MP3 files are highlighted links. Alternatively, you may also find these MP3s on various P2P nets.
I decided to list some of my favorites. I live in the middle of nowhere where many important or simply amusing sources of information and entertainment aren't commercially viable or available. I personally enjoy freedom of expression, unconventional thought, and hearing from voices not always approved by the BushWorld FCC. Most links are dialup friendly.
People have often asked me, "Where the hell did you get that audio clip?" So to help answer that question, I thought some list may be helpful to organize my often schizophrenic surfing and research techniques.
Here are some utilitarian links to software that you can download. You need these programs to listen, manipulate, convert, or create Ear Candy online -- or just locally on the happy magic box at which you are staring, right now, in front of you.
Ear Candy related posts on Thunderstorms and other sites. If I am foolish enough to attempt to explain something audio related, or post Ear Candy related things that might be worth a second look, I will list it here.