November 30, 2007


Hi, my name is Tim...

Purchased from Miz UV a few days ago but not opened until now.


November 29, 2007


The final cut - perhaps


Proof that I smile!

Jen says I would look better having short hair with the new beardification. If I go that route I'm thinking even shorter than in this pic from late April, about the last time I got a cut. But I dunno.



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November 25, 2007


Fun with facial hair

I have sported facial hair of one style or another for close to half my years. The predominant sculpting has been a Van Dyke. There is debate about the difference between a Van Dyke and a goatee, and aside from the standard definition, most of us FH afficiandos would concur that the former is a fuller variation of the diminutive latter, a sort of combo ‘stache-chin beard à la:

Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 17th century Flemish painter and source of the nomenclature,

Reverend Jim Ignatowski,

Evil Spock (with apologies to Evil Spock) and of course,


There seems to be some debate about whether or not the mustache is connected to the beard in the Van Dyke, but to me that is just wasteful discourse in the light of more important matters at hand. On the other jaw a goatee, as noted, is just the whiskers on the chinny chin-chin, again displayed by real and fictional dudes alike, such as:

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers,

Maynard G. Krebs,

Dizzy Gillespie and of course,

Uncle Sam

Again, time-wasting hair-splitters would whine endlessly about the distinction between a goatee and a soul patch, a debate for which I have little tolerance. I mean really, who is going to save your soul patch when we all know goatees go to hell? And with puns like that I probably deserve to be down there holding the door for you when you arrive.

In the midst of the usual Googling that accompanies any good blog post one can be confident to yield a result that will freak one out. This time it’s HERE. It seems some people are into collecting beards, and I now realize that I’ve been a bit careless on those early morning bike rides through the woods during turkey season.

In “A Brief History of the Goatee” John Sulak dug up some interesting factoids:

• The first goatee may have been worn by Satan. The devil's image is based on Pan, the ancient Greek half-man, half-goat deity. When early Christians began abolishing pagan religions and their gods, they needed someone to play the heavy. They chose Pan, a lover of music, dancing and sex. His flute was replaced by a pitchfork and he was transformed from the god of woods and pastures to the ruler of hell.

• During the last days of the French Empire in the mid-19th century, the “imperial” was worn by Napoleon III. Wax or pomade was used to bring chin whiskers to a sharp point.

• In America, imperials became popular with officers on both sides of the Civil War. The look remained in vogue after the war, thanks in part to Buffalo Bill Cody, who toured the country with his Wild West Show.

• In late 19th-century Paris, poets, painters, intellectuals and dropouts — collectively known as bohemians — lived together in poverty and rebellion. For them, the goatee was a symbol of their free-spirited nature.

• By the 1940s, America had its own bohemians, but trendy haircuts weren't their thing. After World War II, the stereotypical “beatnik” look — goatee and black beret — was copied from jazz musicians of the time.

In America the goatee disappeared for twentysome years from the late 1960s through the punk, disco and new wave ages. “Only a person who was completely cut off from popular culture would grow such a beard,” Mr. Sulak wrote in 1996, about the time that goatees were experiencing a resurgence.

And so we come around the circle back to me. I’ve worn a Van Dyke for at least 10 years now, and for the past several weeks I’ve been pausing before various mirrors and thinking that I’m not a Major League baseball player, I’m not into Civil War re-enactment and I just sold my pickup, so perhaps it’s time for a change.

When facial hair reconstruction is undertaken, no man can resist the frolic of the incremental removal. In my last adjustment from full beard to Van Dyke I sported some killer mutton chops for about three weeks. With a bit of pomade to slick back medium-long hair, I took great delight in my menacing look. This time around, thinking as a blogger I say, “Why should Jefe have all the fun?” So with that in mind I figure on starting a new trend (see Rich Cohen‘s interesting and hilarious experiment at, and thereby submit to you without further ado:

Der Fuhrer’s Imperial Keel Boat

I figure a few days will be good to drive the wife batshit. Just kidding - she got the best of me by not even noticing it at first, and now it’s already been reduced to a chin style that can best be described as “The C. Everett Koop.” Of course I’m weirding out a bit on the bare lip sensation, testing it out on spouse lips, baby cheeks and doggie ears. This style will likely be reduced to a “Soul Strip,” that is, a removal of the bow and stern of the aforementioned watercraft. You know I’ll keep you posted.

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November 17, 2007


How about "Fatigue Outrage" instead?

I am grateful to Aiko Annie for turning me on to SF Gate columnist Mark Morford, and like her I now can't help but link to his masterful progressive commentary.

There's been a lot of outrage fatigue going around in the progressive neighborhoods of Blogovia through which I commute, and in my own household the calmer, smarter half has expressed concern over my anger at all things Bush. To some degree she is justified, and so it was with great relief that I came across this paragraph about outrage that Morford wrote in the above-linked column:

"It is, for me, all about modulation. It is about remembering that outrage does not necessarily equal misery. Outrage does not mean you must wallow in fear and fatalism and yank out your hair and wake up every morning hating the world and hating yourself and hating humanity for being so stupid/numb/blind and wondering how the hell you can escape it all."

Maybe I wasn't as wigged out as all that, but I was definitely considering the next exit toward despair. It's going to take so long to fix this shit, but Morford has inspired me to chill and thereby take stock of my reality to determine a reasoned course for contributing to the restoration with healthy outrage.

Here's how it's done (Keith Olbermann, October 18, 2006 and worth all 8 mins):


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November 15, 2007


So long, old friend


Since we acquired a more suitable car for baby transport and need neither three vehicles nor three insurance payments, I'm letting go of my beloved pickup after more than five years and 80,000 miles. It's been a great tool for the obvious things that a pickup is good for, and in some ways a source of bemusement for local 4WD fans who spied the Dirt Rag and purple dancing bear stickers affixed to it.

I've driven this truck to Chicago in January (a trip where the snowy weather was in Kentucky, go figure) and to the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee nearly as many weekends as not. It's been four-wheeling through snowy Michigan cornfields and tire-deep mud on Lookout Mountain.

I will miss it, but I will see it around as I sold it to a fellow just a few doors down the road. Part of the transaction includes his expert masonry skills to help me build a retaining wall behind a patio I installed this summer. I do love the barter, and I take comfort in knowing an honest working man will have a reliable new friend.

I hope to have another truck someday, but for now I'll have to suffer looking slightly more distinguished, and possibly Republican, in my four door Buick. I can usually assuage my middle-aged inferiority complex by cranking the subwoofer, opening the sunroof and hammering down on the supercharged engine that mocks most big boy trucks. I'm still up in the air as to whether putting a "Kucinich 2008" sticker on it will have the desired effect - one that does not involve vandalism.

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November 14, 2007


The Monthly Max

To allow for proper recovery from baby-in-a-pumpkin-patch photos, we've bumped the Monthly Max back several days. After this we'll feature the world's cutest Buddha Boy on or about the eleventh of each month to mark his monthly birthiversary.

"Mad Dog" Max

New skill of the month: pulling up and standing!

Just doing a little sinus therapy

Checking out the foliage over on Backbone Ridge


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November 09, 2007


10 Random Things

Mathman has tag-ed me.

1.0 Random Things About Me:

0.1 - I am fascinated by the "celebrities die in threes" thing.

0.2 - I restrung my guitar but broke the #6 E, so I salvaged the very dull old one and it sounded funny with the crispy new ones. All is well now except for having a pack of five strings.

0.3 - I dreamed about strangling W last night.

0.4 - Max giggled a lot today and it made me very happy.

0.5 - I wonder about what to do with all my cassette tapes.

0.6 - I don't worry about financial security but sometimes I feel that I should.

0.7 - I can't remember the last time I rode my mountain bike, or where I rode. That bums me out.

0.8 - I saw an old friend today and we're going to go mountain biking on Sunday. That makes me happy.

0.9 - I hate that W is a mountain biker.

1.0 - I am addicted to cheese

Normally I'm not a tag-er but I'm in the mood to find out things about: Cheezy , JennyJinx , Joe the Troll and my Bunches

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November 05, 2007


A good HOOT was had by all

We couldn’t have asked for more at this past weekend’s Back Porch Hootenanny at Cherokee Farms. We had great weather, great music and great people. I can’t express my gratitude enough to T-Dawg (peace and blessings be upon his name) for doing what it took to get at least one rockin’ event up there this year.

The musical highlights were many – Delta Moon was as solid as ever, Ralph Roddenbery’s energy indicates that he must be getting younger with time, and the quasi-Vaudevillian Newgrass that is Snake Oil Medicine Show kept things bouncing ‘round the room until the wees. I was most impressed by Aussie bluesman Geoff Achison, who is gracing the south with his presence for a couple of years. He is a very energetic and innovative guitarist, and I would not be surprised to see more fame come his way.

The humongous bonfire was essential after the sun went down and the clear skies above vacuumed out the day’s warmth. There were lots of smiles, good cheer, drums, guitars, and more good cheer going around even after the official gigs ended. Our host did finally make an appearance. By the time I saw Smokey he was - how shall I say? – well-oiled, and not far from being escorted to bed by his equally lubricated lady friend. The thing about Smokey is that he was probably up at 6:00 chopping wood. It was great to see the usual suspects and the new happy faces alike. Fellow Georgia blog friends D-Cup and her hubby Mathman made an hour’s trek north to join the fun for a while. I look forward to another gathering where they can spend the night and get the "full effect."

We’ve made plans for some more camping this winter out at the Farms, but the music, as far as paid talent goes anyway, will have to wait until spring (right, T-Dawg?).

Some impressions:

The view before

Evurbuddy's buddies at the HOOT!

Using his powers of geometry and chemistry, Mathman saves Propane Matt from the evil charcoal

Beware of fire-breathing blue beavers

It's the most foul, cruel and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

The view during

A talented Aussie bluesman

Artistic endeavors during the Medicine Show

The Ponds share some Snaky Oily love


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November 01, 2007


Max does it again

Max Blumenthal, that is. Just a few days ago he took his camera and his pointed inquisitiveness to the Value Voters Summit sponsored by right-wing Christian organization Focus on the Family and its D.C. lobbying arm Family Research Council. Before seeing this I thought I'd heard every idiotic and vitriolic angle from the religious right, but I confess I was astonished by several statements made by these so-called moral people in Max's video. In the accompanying column Blumenthal speaks about the new turn by some evangelical Christians to move away from the heated dogmatic issues and address ones more in line with benefiting all of society, not just issues that exhalt the people going to heaven while excoriating the hell bound:
Recently, there has been a lot of mainstream media noise about a new, more socially conscious evangelical movement rising from the angry ashes of the Christian right. Pastors like Rick Warren and "evangelical feminist" Bill Hybels are supposedly bringing issues like the environment and poverty to the forefront of the movement's social agenda, while pushing anti-abortion and anti-gay activism to the wayside.
Alas, Max says it seems that no one told those gathered at the Value Voters Summit about this friendly new initiative, and "If anything, the movement seemed more extreme and paranoid than it did four years ago."

Check out the video from his latest adventure

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