As I’ve noted before, holy crap but you accumulate a lot of stuff when you’ve lived in a house for twenty-three years, and have raised four kids in that house. On the weekend past we filled a thirty-foot roll-off dumpster with old crap from garage and workshop. A lot of stuff has been given away or sold, and a fair amount more will be disposed of the same way.
What’s interesting about this move is taking firearms and ammo through Canada. Most moving companies will handle firearms but not ammo, meaning we have to take our substantial ammo supply through Canada. For most of our stuff, the bureaucratic hoops aren’t too bad. The AR-15s would have been problematic but they are already safely stored up north. To any of you considering this move, though, I’d offer the following advice; firearms can be transported via the airlines in checked baggage, and that’s probably the least troublesome way to make this particular move. We’re moving as much of our collection that was as we can manage, just to save the trouble. If much of your collection is Tacticool instead of our assortment of old shotguns and hunting rifles, that advice goes double.
Rush Limbaugh: The Left is still scared of Trump. In light of the lengths to which they are going to silence him, I’m inclined to agree. And it’s funny, because if the last election is any judge, the best tactic the Left can follow is to say as little as possible.
We’ll be a bit abbreviated this week, as I’ve only started gathering the weekly links on Sunday. Too much fun last week with family to pay attention to current events; these days it’s not that often these days that we can get all four daughters in one place with sons-in-law and grandchildren, so I was enjoying my role as benevolent head of a large and growing family too much to worry about the rest of the world.
I’ve long been a fan of the Grateful Dead. Mrs. Animal and I were fortunate enough to see them live in the old Mile High Stadium in the summer of ’91. They were a bit of the American Dream made good, a Bay Area garage band that made the big time and toured incessantly; for the Dead, it was all about the show. Here, also from 1991, is a live clip of one of the songs most loved by their fans, Uncle John’s Band. Enjoy.
Like a lot of folks, I like a cold beer from time to time. Following our upcoming (can’t be soon enough) move to the Great Land, the distance to a source for those cold beers will be expanded by an order of magnitude. In our current Colorado house, there is a liquor store with a reasonable selection a five-minute walk away; following the move, the nearest store will be about a fifteen-minute drive. So, planning would seem to be the order of the day, as it is with all things around a rural life. We figure we’ll have to go down to Wasilla for our regular trading every other week or so, depending on how well-stocked with fish and game our freezer is at the time.
But the other option, of course, may be brewing my own. That might be a fun little hobby, along with benefit of ensuring my supply regardless of what challenges winter weather may bring. So, if any True Believers have any advice on this front, I’d welcome such in the comments.
I also like a nip of good whiskey now and then, but that’s probably a whole ‘nother prospect, when it comes to making my own.
I have a small mental list of the top five best guitar players that ever lived. While that list includes Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, the only member of my list still breathing is the great Carlos Santana.
Carlos is still around and still producing great music. Here he is with someone named Rob Thomas on vocals, with his 1999 hit Smooth. Enjoy.
Scientists worry that if Chuck Norris chooses to outwardly live as his fully manly self, it could be the end of all life in the universe as we know it. Chuck Norris has assured us that if he does accidentally end the universe with his epicness, we don’t have to worry because he’ll just slap together a new one.
While it’s true that Chuck Norris never has to turn on the shower – he stares at it until it cries – I have been told that, in person, he is one of the nicest, most even-tempered people you’re likely to run across. I’m sure that’s true, as he can afford to be whatever he wants, being, after all, Chuck Norris.
How dinosaurs thrived in the snow. Dinosaurs in fact still thrive in snow today; there are more species of dinosaurs alive now than there are mammals, and a lot of them live in snowy environments. We call them birds.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the U.S. Supreme Court over unconstitutional changes to election laws.
“The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election,” a press release states. “The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.”
Bob Dylan, America’s Songwriter, has had one hell of a career. He released his first album the year I was born (and I am admittedly no spring chicken) and is still producing original music today. His performing style may be something of an acquired taste, but I’ve always enjoyed his work. His voice conveys emotion in a way that’s not often heard in today’s auto-tuned, carefully tweaked young performers. In 1983, he released his twenty-second studio album, Infidels, which included this song, Sweetheart Like You.
What’s interesting about the composition of this video is that Dylan’s apparent audience consists of one person, a sixty-ish cleaning lady who manages, with only a pose leaning on a mop and a blank expression, to somehow convey that she was once a beautiful young girl, the object of the song – and not only that, but that that beautiful young girl is still there, inside the shell of the old woman. It’s a neat bit of performance art. Enjoy.
One of the things I will miss about Colorado is the winters. In the current Casa de Animal, on the high plains just east of Denver, we are routinely seeing temps in the fifties and sunny skies, even now in the first week in December. At the site of our new Casa de Animal, in Willow, Alaska, this week has temperatures in the twenties and snow throughout the week.
I can live with that. Aside from the more extreme daylight hours, the winter weather in the Allamakee County, Iowa of my youth was arguably no worse than southern Alaska, which has some benefit of warming from Pacific Ocean currents. Those daylight hours, though; today, in Willow, sunrise is at 9:55AM, sunset at 3:44PM. That’s not a lot of daylight for the inevitable choring required in a rural residence. But, boy howdy, do the long, long summer days make up for it.
When it comes to country music, you really only need two words: George Strait. Unlike a lot of musicians, George is the real deal. An Army veteran, George started out in music in rock & roll (!) before finding his feet as one of America’s greatest country & western performers.
George Strait is America’s Troubadour, and here, bearing that out, from his album of the same name, is his elegy Troubador. Enjoy.
Tomorrow, as all good Americans know, is Thanksgiving. Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt., along with two of our kids and one kid’s fiancee, will be enjoying our Thanksgiving repast at the home of Mrs. Animal’s parents. My in-laws are two of the finest people who ever drew breath. They value seeing the family together more than anything, and while all of us show no symptoms and have been prudently washing hands and keeping a short distance from strangers, I’ll be damned if we’re going to give up our usual family holiday meal. Anyone who doesn’t like that, well, you can kiss my middle-aged white ass. And if Governor Polis wants to send someone to check on us, they’d better have a ruttin’ warrant.
We’ll have a placeholder post tomorrow on the holiday. Regular posts will resume Friday. Happy Thanksgiving!
One of my favorites from back in the day is a guy who is amazingly still touring now. I’m speaking of Boz Scaggs; here, from his best-ever album, Silk Degrees, is one of my favorites of his tunes, Lido Shuffle. Enjoy.
Brian Stelter — two parts potato, one part experimental estrogen replacement therapy gone tragically wrong — is worried about you poor, slobbering rubes, and what you might be allowed to read.
“People are going more and more into their own echo chambers, more and more into their own bubbles, especially Trump voters,” Brian Stelter recently lamented on CNN.
“There’s this new social media app called Parler getting a lot of attention, because conservatives are leaving, saying they’re leaving Twitter and Facebook, going off to Parler, because they believe Parler is a safer space for them. What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality in right-wing media. And ultimately that’s not good for the country.”
Well, we can’t have the rubes out there deciding for themselves where to interact with other, like-minded people. Our betters don’t like it!
For this week’s musical selection, let’s focus on percussion. The history of rock & roll is full of great musicians. There are great vocalists, lead guitarists, bass players, keyboards, you name it. But when it comes to drummers, I can only offer four words: Neil Peart stands alone. Here is Rush and their hit YYZ, featuring the Neil Peart cam, from a live performance in Rio. Enjoy.
Boy howdy, when you’ve lived in a house for twenty-three years, you sure find you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff.
With a 3,500 mile move in the offing, and a big portion of that through Canada, we’re making a concerted effort to pare down our stuff to bare essentials. The problem is, that list of essentials includes a rather extensive gun collection, all of my Dad’s paintings that I have here, and a library of between 1500 and 2000 books, that’s still a lot of stuff – and we aren’t even taking any furniture except one futon frame and a white oak rocking chair my Dad made for Mrs. Animal the year after we got married. And by the way, does anyone out there have any idea how to get a rather large amount of ammo through Canada?
The guns will be the interesting bit. There are a couple of moving companies that specialize in moving military and ex-military people and who have the necessary permits and so on to transport things that a general traveler can’t bring into Canada, like most handguns.
As loony as Colorado is getting, it will be a reflective moment when we leave this house for the last time. Mrs. A and I have both lived here longer than anywhere else in our lives. We raised four daughters in this house. We’ve loved this house, as we’ve lived and loved in this house. But a house like this one needs a family in it. It’s come now to the time when our great big barn of a Colorado home moved on to have another family grow up within its walls.
Life is an unending series of big and little transitions.
My Dad actually had a great singing voice, one in a long list of his native talents and most assuredly one he did not pass on to me. From the time I was very young he was fond of singing this little ditty, which always made my Mom cringe a little when small children were around. This is Oscar Brand’s Humoresque (Passengers Will Please Refrain.) Enjoy.
Well, it’s all over but the shouting. And some remaining counting. And maybe a little rioting and looting. As of yesterday morning, my prediction was a narrow race; I figured we’d see a narrow Trump win but reckoned a narrow Biden win possible, which if that was to be combined with a Democrat Congress, well then Katie-bar-the-doors, because we’re probably fucked.
One of the nicer things about being in Alaska, where we are house-hunting this week, is that East Coast returns start coming in at 3:00PM, and you don’t have to stay up late to get a pretty good idea of who is winning.
And, well, now we know. It sure as hell looks like a toss-up. As of this writing, Trump needs to hold Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and flip either Wisconsin, Michigan or Nevada to win. Arizona, despite being “called,” is still supposedly in play. Good news: The GOP holds the Senate, so a supposed President Biden will have some brakes on what stupidity he can commit.
More election analysis on Friday, and believe you me, it will be worth every penny you paid for it. And so…
This week we bring to you probably the best American railroad song ever written, City of New Orleans. While the song was written by Steve Goodman for his 1971 album, I’ve always liked how Arlo Guthrie did it. Enjoy.
In two weeks, we might know who will be President for the next four years. Then again, we might not.
At this point I’m not sure what to think. I see the polls, sure, but then, I saw them in 2016 too. We were out elk hunting on Election Day 2016, having filed ballots in advance, and I went to bed that night pretty depressed at the idea of Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, actually sitting in the Imperial Mansion. Next morning, I went out and started up Rojito, flipped on the satellite radio, and was flabbergasted; when loyal sidekick Rat opened the other door to climb in, I looked at him and said, “Holy shit, he actually pulled it off!”
I also see a huge enthusiasm gap. President Trump is speaking to thunderous crowds of tens of thousands, while Groper Joe is speaking to tepid crowds of tens. And, in a stunning admission of his campaign’s low energy levels, he has again called a “lid” – this time from Monday morning until after tomorrow’s debate. Four whole days!
I hope the President can pull it off again. If the Democrats once more gain control of the Congress and the Imperial Mansion, they clearly intend to rig it so they never have to give it up again. They’ve said as much.
This week’s song comes from one of the best (and completely self-taught) female vocalists alive today, Mary Fahl. Mrs. Animal and I have seen Mary perform live twice, and she’s amazing; both times we had the opportunity to chat with her after the show, and she’s as warm, friendly and charming as she is talented.
This audio-only cut comes to you from a live performance at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in New York; this is Be My Hero. Enjoy.