Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Well... What's up wi' me?

Hi readers...

Okay, so yesterday I got a chance to go out and make photos... Finally. As most of you know, I've been a bit under the weather for the past couple of weeks. Anyhoo... Having pneumonia-esque illness is rather crippling. Especially when one needs to walk about and hold STILL whist one makes photographs.

That being said: I finally was able to go out and make some photos yesterday... And I'm planning on making more in the next few days... Thus, that's right... My Photo Blog is back up and running.

Not to be outdone by my OTHER blog... I thought I'd throw up a few photos here... With explanation, of course.

My Lady and I are currently "house-sitting" for a friend, just over the border from Minneapolis in St. Paul. Living in THIS general area:

Image borrowed from Google Maps.

Anyhoo... In this general area, there are three buildings being rehabbed and turned into "Artist Loft" apartments. My Lady and I are both drooling over the whole idea of it. Obviously, we're stuck at the 'rents' house for a while, yet... However... Our self-imposed exile in the homes of others, is not going to last forever... So...

Here's a few pics of the warehouses that are being "rehabbed" and hopefully one of these may become our home in the next 6 to 8 months...

If you notice by the satellite image, above... It's in a fairly "industrial" sort of area... But the fact of the matter... Is that the locale is WONDERFUL. We're really enjoying living in this area now, and the thought of being able to stay in this vicinity is exciting.

Anyhoo... I'm off. Smiles,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Anniversary.... Whoo-hoo

Hi gentle readers... And thanks for visiting on my "Blogger Anniversary!"

That's right... One year ago, today... I began blogging on Blogger.

That's not to say that I've only been blogging for a year... 'Cause actually my first blog was here: Fotki-Journal.... Which I started on January 10th, 2006. Or actually... My REAL first blog was HERE: Tucker's News which I started on the 16th of September the day I left the U.S. for Britain.

I started blogging to keep in touch with friends and family whilst I went to study in Britain. And there's an element of "Keeping in Touch" that remains one of the primary reasons for me maintaining this blog. I've been lucky enough to make and have friends from all over the world, and this blog goes out to my friends. Not just the one's here in the U.S. that have been with me since September of 2003... Oh no... It also goes out to my NEWER friends from Britain/Greece/Australia/Russia and everywhere ELSE my readers seem to live.

Thanks to all of you for your continued interest in my rants, my news, my puppy Memnon, and the trials and tribulations of an EX-ex-pat Yank...!

I'm going to celebrate today... It's a nice anniversary. Cheers readers!

-- Tuckmac

Monday, June 26, 2006

What's a living wage in the States?

Thought I'd start out my blog today, with a great quote by one of the most important "Fathers of America."
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

Man... What the hell's HAPPENED to my country? Shite.

Anyhoo... Hello kind and gentle readers. I hope you're all doing well. I am. Finally. Better. I finished off the last of the antibiotics yesterday, although they're meant to "linger" or something for yet another five days. However, I haven't had a fever since "day two" of the course of antibiotics, and although I still have a bit of a cough and runny nose, I'm definitely feeling better. That... And My Lady has let me return to the marital bed! Yep... I am not relegated to the couch anymore due to me being: "Too hot, too snore-y, too snotty, and too bloody annoying" to sleep with.


Okay, so... What's up in the world today that has raised my ire? The fact that the Senate of my great and wonderful country has decided to maintain the $5.15 per hour minimum wage for the ninth year in a row. This comes up in the Senate basically every year, and... It's stuck at a very, very... Low number. How low, you ask? Okay... Let's do a bit of maths, hmm???

$5.15 per hour X 40 hours per week (usual full-time schedule in the States) = $206.00 per week.
$206.00 per week X 52 weeks (the space of a year) = $10,712 per year BEFORE taxes.
Basic tax rate approx. 1/3 of your income if you claim "Zero exemptions"... $10,712/3= $3570.67
$10,712 - $3570.67 = $7142.00 per year "take home" money.


$7142.00/12 months = $595.16 per month
Basic one bedroom apartment rate in Minneapolis = $750.00 per month


Get it?

Yeah? Really? Are you seeing my point here? If you work FORTY HOURS A WEEK at what is usually a pretty crap job, you don't make enough money to have a PLACE TO LIVE! Let alone buy FOOD, buy CLOTHING, Pay UTILITIES... Nothing.

You get under $600 a month, and that's it.

People wonder why there are "So many homeless, starving people in the 'richest country in the world'" and... They don't get upset that the government doesn't see it necessary to actually supply a LIVING WAGE to it's workers.

Okay... So, here's what I'm going to do... Do you want to know what a "Liveable wage" is in the Twin Cities? Here you go:
A "single" person living in a single one-bedroom flat in Minneapolis, living "frugally" PER month:

Cheap Flat in shit neighbourhood = $595.00
Food and beverage costs = $300.00
Bus/train transportation = $80.00
Utilities (water, gas, etc) = $150.00
Fun (one night per week at pub) = $120.00
Credit card bill (we all got 'em) = $50.00
Misc. Expenses = $80.00

Total? = $1375.00 per month

Salary needed for year = $17,875 take home
Before Taxes = $26,812
Hourly wage? = $12.89 per hour

So... There you go. To live "cheaply" where I live, one must make at LEAST $12.89 an hour.

What is the most I've made in my temp jobs, since being home? $12.00 an hour. Meaning that I wouldn't be able to "live" in the Twin Cities without some sort of monetary assistance. The budget above, does NOT take into account MY STUDENT LOANS or a CAR... Both of which I have... Making my "hourly wage needs" quite a bit higher than $13.00 per hour. So...

My government has decided that the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour should stand.

Kinda makes ya think, doesn't it?

-- Tuckmac

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A strange thing happened to me on the way to the forum...

Hi folks.

Well... What's new? Why am I not bloody blogging more??

Turns out the "Lurgies" that I've been suffering from, are about one step away from Pneumonia. That's right...

So... The doctor at the cheap-clinic wanted me to get a chest x-ray, and perhaps get some steroids... But being poor, and being in America where we have to pay for everything... I convinced the Doctor to just give me some killer antibiotics, and an inhaler.

So... I'm sick... I'm on enforced bed-rest, and I hate life at the moment.

Not to mention dying from lack of cigarettes... That's right... I've been off 'em since two days ago, when the fever hit me, and I'm not too happy about it. I'll tell you.

Dave... Personal note... Thanks for cancelling my "sub" job on Wednesday. I really couldn't have done it, although on Tuesday, I honestly thought I was on the mend. Shows you what I know.

Anyhoo... Back to the blog. Um...

I've been laying in the house... And I'm too tired and strung out to do a hell of a lot of surfing on-line... So... I got nothing. Absolutely NOTHING.

I'm going to take a nap.

Bye for now.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Still Dealing with the Lurgies...

Sorry I haven't been posting folks. I'm still suffering from my illness, and believe it or not, I'm too stuffed up to sit and look at a screen that long. Och weel.

Today I'm meant to "move" to the house where My Lady and I are house-sitting. Fi's been called into work, so... I have to move us all by m'self... And I'm not looking forward to it. Och weel... I'll survive.

Fi received her Social Security Number "S.S.N." (sort of like a National Insurance thing, Brits...) and can finally get PAID by the coffee-shop she's been slaving away at for the past three weeks.


Not only that, but she can also get her bank account BACK, since they took it away from her, due to the lack of the S.S.N. So, we're happy about that.

Abi asked about Crisco in a comment today...

Kelly was nice enough to answer (thanks Kel), but I thought I'd expand a bit on it...

Like Kelly said, Crisco is actually Vegetable Shortening. We Yanks use it in place of Lard (since the healthy crap started back in the 60's.) And the question... "What is Crisco" is interesting... Because also, like Kelly said... Crisco is a Brand that makes all sorts of cooking oils, fats and shortenings. However... When a recipe calls for "Crisco" they always mean the "shortening" not any of the other products... It's just a "cultural" thing... We Yanks KNOW what that means, but obviously... People from elsewhere wouldn't.

It's a conversation that My Lady and I were having last week...

American's tend to "Brand" everything... Not only "naming" something by it's brand, but also "verbing" occasionally due to a brand name... A short list of "Minnesotanisms" that we use...

Xerox = photocopy. Yep... We "xerox" things when we use a photocopier... Also, if we "need to copy something" we'd say, "Where's the xerox machine" even if it's a Canon, or some other brand... Basically... Xerox was the "first" copier, so it got the name AND the verb.

Kleenex = a tissue (for one's nose). Again... Kleenex being the first brand over here... We use Kleenex for the word "tissue." Case in point... "Mother, can you pick up some Kleenex on the way home, I've used up most of the stuff we had here." (Actual request made this weekend, by yours truly) Her answer was to purchase a bunch of "Puffs" tissues... Not actual "Kleenex brand" tissues. Puffs are softer on my poor 'ickle nose.

Legos - coloured bricks made by the Lego company. This one is funny, as the company keeps "asking Yanks" to stop calling them "Legos" and instead call them "Lego "brand" Bricks" Yeah... whatever... They're fucking LEGOS, okay?

Ovaltine or Quik - Chocolate milk-powder. This is really an interesting one... As there's two competing brands for the chocolate-milk powder market... Nestle's "Quik" and British Associated Food's: "Ovaltine" brand name. Anyhoo... I used to ask my mother for a "milk with Quik" as opposed to a "Chocolate milk" I've been told this is weird... But most people OLDER than me, don't think so... So.... There you go. Really strange thing... When I was looking for the link to "Quik" it's called "Nesquik" now... Which is I think the British/European name for it... Weird.

Velveeta - a type of "American" cheese 'PRODUCT" that melts easily. Usually, ANY really "melty" cheese that's "American" is called Velveeta... Although, Kraft Foods has done a good job of taking over the entire market in "melty" American cheese... So... I can't think of another brand at the mo'.

I'm sure there's more things out there... (Any Yanks want to give it a go?) We'll try to add to the list.

Okay... I'm off... Laundry calls.

- Tuckmac

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hola mi amigos!

Hoy, estoy escribiando en Espanol, porque tengo cansado y snotty...

Sorry... I don't know the Spanish word for: Snotty.

So, I guess I'll stop writing in Spanish.

That's right friends... I'm ill. Oh... I'm a bit better today. Yesterday was the "typical day of the lurgies" as My Lady would say. I don't know about any of you, but when I get a cold, I typically have a progression of symptoms culminating in the "drowning in mucus" phase... Then the long slog back to health.

I started on Thursday (although, it may have been as early as Tuesday, but I thought it was just allergies.)... You know... The symptoms... Scratchy throat, blowing of the nose every hour... Sneezing... Then, instead of every hour... It becomes every half hour... Then every 15 minutes... Then every FIVE minutes... Finally... You just sort of hold the kleenex box below your nose, and let it drip... (Okay, that was kinda icky).. And exaggerated... But it's a close call.

Anyhoo... Then Thursday night into Friday morning, I didn't sleep. This is my least favourite part of being ill. I never sleep the first night. So...

Friday, I spent the day being not only ill, but also being very tired.

Last night (Fri night) my wonderful mother bought me some NyQuil (It's like Night Nurse, to my Brit-readers)and I slept like a baby.

So... Today, I'm finally coming OUT of it... I'm feeling a bit better... My nose is back to the "blow once an hour" thing... And the main "weird" symptom is the fact that I feel a bit tipsy... Strange floaty feelings in my head, and an issue with balance (which is probably due to my inner-ear being a bit messed up.) and the coughing... Which is due more to me being a smoker, than to the cold itself.

Well... I just relised that no one really cares about my "lurgies" and that I've probably just wasted everyone's time. Soorrrrry...

I'm off... Going to take a really hot shower, and hopefully clear out my sniffles.

Oh... Follow up on the post from YESTERDAY... I spoke about how I wasn't going to hold my breath for the "Community College" gig. Well... It's now official. I did not get the job. Just got the "let down letter" in the post yesterday. Crud. So... Please KEEP me in your thoughts, as I continue my long hard slog through the job-postings and internet search engines. Thanks!

Have a great one!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Promised "Cheese Sandwich" blog - or Diary entry...

Hi folks. Well, Abi's been after me to update the world (which really means friends around the States and in Britain) to what I've been up to. So... Here we go.

First, job stuff (just to get it out of the way):

The "really awesome" job at a community college in the Twin Cites that I was REALLY REALLY hoping for... STILL has not contacted me. As I haven't heard anything... I'm not going to keep holding my breath. I've been asking around, and it seems that the way most educational-type places handle a job search, is to NOT tell you much UNTIL the job is actually filled. This way... If the person that they've interviewed and given the job to, doesn't sign the contract... Then they can go back and start looking again. Or something... But as I didn't even get an interview for the position... I'm thinking that I'm probably not in the running. I really wish I were. I think the college is making a mistake, as I would've been the best person for the job... However... Not much I can do about it.

I've just applied for another position at a different "trade-school" sort of place... Literally JUST... And it would be interesting... It's not a "teaching" position, it's more of a coordinator of sorts. I have quite a bit of experience in educational/academic support... So, who knows? It would be a nice job to get, and so we'll see.

The continued search for a "job" job isn't going anywhere. Folks... If you think that you can get a Master's degree, and then work as a bartender or server somewhere... FORGET IT! They take ONE LOOK at your education, and figure you're a bad risk.

You know... The annoying thing, is that I'd LOVE to get a "job" job. Not that I think of myself as a bartender or something, but... It would allow me to "support" myself, and My Lady, and still do artwork. Which, of course, as an artist... That's what I really would like to do. But... Nope.

So, I continue my search. Wish me luck.

Secondly, the puppy

That's right... Memnon... He's fully recovered from his eunuchisation... Poor little thing... He had his "post-op" check at the vet's yesterday, and he's doing really well. He's returned to chasing after tennis-balls and chew toys... And to prancing around the yard with a chewed up trainer (tennis shoe). Since getting the "cone" off his head, he's also happily crawling underneath the back-deck, and keeping out of the hot sun. We're not sure why he squeezes himself under there, but... Whatever... My Lady and I are sincerely hoping that once we have our own flat... They'll allow for Memnon... As we really don't want to leave him at the house with my mother. It's not that she's a bad owner... But the fact is... He's really MY dog, and I don't think he'd like it, if I weren't around.

Third: The house-sitting opp.

That's right... It's all sorted. We're SO FREAKING HAPPY! Starting next Tuesday (the 20th) My Lady and I will be house-sitting in St. Paul. It's right on the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul by the University of Minnesota campus. It's a great little house... And there's NOT A PARENT AROUND! Gah! You know, the funny thing... Is that Fiona and I lived BY OURSELVES for only two months before the wedding... And since just before the wedding, we've either been living with HER parents, or with my mother... Not a good thing for a married couple. Oh... Don't worry... We're not at each other's throats, or anything... But it's going to be VERY nice to "live alone" for a while.

This first go, is only for three weeks or so... But then, in September we're moving back to the house for a "second" house-sit that will last through December. So... We're really happy.

For any visitors from Britain... Sept 15 through Dec 7th would be a GREAT TIME to visit!

After moving out of the house-sit in December... Fiona and I are hoping to have a flat... So we won't have to return to the "parent's house" situation again! Wish us luck! There's a great new "Artist-Loft" building going up only a few blocks from the house we'll be "sitting" at... It's three big warehouse conversions... And we'd LOVE to get in there. It's again, just on the border of the two cities, is on a major bus line... And is "someday" going to have the second "light-rail" track going through... We'll see if we qualify for it. It's $850 a month for a studio/loft/home thing... And usually it's bigger than most places for the price. We're going to be contacting the leasing company soon.


Is going well... Still making photos. My Lady and I still do Motif Radio... We're still working on collaborative work... Fiona's still working on performance ideas... Etc... Etc...


That's about it.

There you go... Cheese-sandwich supreme!

Take it easy everyone...

-- Tuckmac

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blatent Plug for Motif Radio

That's right kiddies...

It's time for YET ANOTHER amazing and wonderful show on Motif Radio!

So go check it OUT!

That's all for today, I have to take Memnon to the vet for his "follow-up" appt. after his rather devastating surgery of two weeks ago, when he lost "his boys."

So... More tomorrow. Love ya!

-- T

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cheese Sandwich no. 372

Or something like that.

I've realised that I've been, like... ÜBER-political... And although I was going to start harping on "Global Warming" and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth film... And how George Will of the Washington Post (major "conservative" paper in the U.S.) Wrote yet ANOTHER commentary piece making fun of Gore... And saying that Gore's battle for the environment is simply a "campaign for the Presidency" or some such bollocks... And also pulling the same ol' same ol' argument that "Global Warming" is a myth with things like:
    "But this is not where debate ends, but where it begins, given that at any moment in its 4.5 billion years, the planet has been cooling or warming. The serious debate is about two other matters: The contribution of human activity to the current episode of warming and the degree to which this or that remedial measure (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol) would make a difference commensurate with its costs.
I mean... They KEEP DOING THIS!!! Why IS it that pretty much EVERYWHERE in the world... The governments and politicians KNOW that "Global Warming" is a real problem, and that we, as humans, are contributing to the down-fall of our planet...

Except HERE in the friggin' STATES?!?!?!?!

Gah! Look... I'll say it again... Contrary to the conservatives in the U.S.... Global Warming is a REAL human-caused problem, and no matter HOW many fake scientists are bought by the Big Oil Companies to "poo-poo" the whole idea... It's REAL!

Also... Since I'm here... I'll say that there's NO WAY IN HELL anyone would vote for Al Gore in 2008, 'cause he's STILL a boring old walking tree talking really, really slowly with a "Lurch-like" posture, and a frighteningly BAD public persona. Hell... I wouldn't vote for the guy, and I'm an environmentalist liberal of the first order...



As you can tell by the title... I wasn't going to GO there today. I was just going to talk about my life, and how weirdly boring it is.

Well... Okay, I guess this wasn't a "cheese sandwich" blog today. Hope you'all don't mind.


Monday, June 12, 2006



You know, even WITHOUT a job... Mondays still suck. Sorry, but they do. And I apologise to my readers if using the word: "suck" offends you, but... I honestly can NOT think of a more appropriate adjective at this hour of the morning on a bloody MONDAY! AAAAHHHH!!!

Well, to start off today's post for "real" I found a great quote in the Star and Sickle and I can't find a direct LINK to the damn quote... But I'll copy it here with the emphasis added by L.K. Hanson (Star Trib Staffer) because frankly... I like where Hanson put the emphasis:
    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are Conservatives - John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and political economist.

Ha... It's nice to know that my hatred of conservatives and stupid people is based on history that is older than 100 years.


The Minnesota DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labour) Party has just had their 'State Convention' where party delegates get together to 'endorse' their favourite candidate for the various upcoming elections in November. And once again... I'm depressed. Yep... That's right... I'm down-right tired.

I've been ranting on and on about my feelings about various and sundry issues... And a few things really cheese me off. It's really summed up by the founder of the Daily Kos... (I'll paraphrase, 'cause I can't find the exact quote):
    We've been failed twice. We've been failed by the Republicans, because they can't govern, and we've been failed by the Democrats because they can't get elected.

It's that second bit that really stands out to me as being a serious issue for the liberals in my country... The damn idiots can't seem to get bloody well ELECTED for anything!

I've been told... And I have read about... And I have 'heard' about... And I have been shouted at... ad nauseam, about electablity and how the candidates I would normally endorse are "unelectable" due to their being "too liberal" or "on the fringes of socialist/communistic ideals" or some such crap...

Case in point... The MN DFL has chosen to endorse Mike Hatch for our person to run for "governor" in November. Mike Hatch is a "okay" Dem, I suppose... He's currently our Attorney General of Minnesota... He has a history of going after "big business" and standing up for the little guy. Now look... I like Mike Hatch. However, this guy has already LOST the race for the governor of Minnesota twice before... What? We are just really desperate to have a "THREE TIME LOSER"??? I mean... Seriously... He's already FAILED against our current incumbent Governor, Tim Pawlenty (the great Satan of Minnesota) and we're going to put him in the race AGAIN??? What? We like LOSING that much? Jesus-Cluny-Frog!

Becky Lourey lost in the convention this weekend. She was tossed out of the voting pretty early on, against Mike Hatch and the other guy, that I don't remember the name of (yeah, he's THAT bad)... Who's Becky? A rural state-senator who's been called an "idealistic" and "naive" Liberal. I fell in LOVE with this woman when I read an article in the City Pages a few weeks ago... I'll let you read the article by Britt Robson for yourself. Perhaps you'll see why I like this rather indomitable woman.

Anyhoo... The DFL decided that the two-time loser Mike Hatch, would be a better candidate for Governor, due to him being "more electable" than Becky Lourey, due to her being "too lefty" or something...

I could quote you OTHER people that are "endorsed" for various and sundry "State and Federal" offices... Like Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate... Look... Great lady... More moderate than Clinton was...

I don't know...

Where am I going with this ramble?

Supposedly... My country is trending more "Conservative" (see the quote with which I started this scree, please) and that truly "Liberal Democrats" don't have a chance in popular elections. But I just really don't know. I've read TOO MANY blogs and opinions where young-people, and old people alike, are "tired of politics" due to how we can't tell the difference between the parties anymore. It's true. You honestly can't, really... Tell.... Anymore just who's a Democrat or who's a Republican. Both parties are more crooked than a bendy-road in Northern Scotland... Both tended to vote for the war in Iraq. Both seemed to like building huge stadiums using public money to fund private rich-people's businesses...

It's all just crap. And instead of trying something NEW and perhaps seeing if the people are ready to vote for a REAL Democrat rather than a Republican in "Lefty" clothing... The DFL/Dems have decided to ONCE AGAIN screw the Liberals... And endorse the "centre-left" crapolas!

I'll tell you, Tuckmac's ideal "Tuck-Democratic-Liberal" parties platform... And see just how much any of these things get brought up by our "so-called Liberal" candidates during the election:
  • Universal Healthcare for everyone
  • Raise taxes on the RICH, not the middle-class or poor
  • Prosecute BUSINESSES that hire Illegal Immigrants, rather than prosecuting poor people who just want a chance in the States
  • More money to Education
  • More money to Police/Fire/Safety
  • Early childhood funding
  • A "liveable wage" rather than a minimum wage
  • Shoring up security HERE in THIS country, rather than fighting an illegal war in a foreign country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11
  • FREE-FAIR-Trade
  • NEW Kyoto Treaty that actually protects the environment, rather than limiting third-world countries from advancing
  • HIGHER Gas-prices to spur individuals AND automobile manufacturers to buy environmentally SOUND cars
  • A new infrastructure of public transportation... Light rail EVERYWHERE... Electric/Hybrid vehicle Bus-fleets... Et Cetera
  • Constitutional Law once AGAIN superseding a false President in the White House
  • ANY OTHER THING I'VE FORGOTTEN, that I will probably bring up in the next few weeks.

I'm tired folks... I'll keep railing against my country, don't worry... I refuse to give up the fight... We'll have to see what happens this November... And in the final two years...

I'll stop for now. I love all of my readers... And thanks for letting me go off like this!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Okay... Okay... Stop harping on Gay marriage...


But seriously... This link has been up since October of 2002. I hadn't seen it till recently... And it's unfortunately STILL relevant today.

Letter to Dr. Laura (who's Doctor Laura?)

Ger... But anyhoo... The letter writer is my own personal hero... Tee hee... I've usually tried to use the "Other stuff in the Bible that our society ignores, nowadays..." thing... But it never really seems to sink in, to the bloody religious-right! Gah! Well... We'll keep trying, right?

Another "Bush-bashing" site with funny cartoon-esque things:


I love the funnies... I really, really, do.

Okay... So... An "art-site" being true that I'm actually an artist, and not a real political commentator?

Salvador Dali (dot) org is a great site, in several languages. I enjoyed the art work, and I'm sure most of you will too. The guy had an interesting brain.

And because you've all been getting off easy, with me not "Star-Trekking" on you'all... I just had to throw this in: Vaudville Picard. I don't really know where this came from... But I loved it.

Okay, folks... I'm off for the day. Have a good weekend.

-- Tuckmac

Friday, June 09, 2006

Okay... What to do today???

Fun site for not ONLY my Brit readers... But everyone else too, I think... Here's an example:

Bill Bailey Reference... I hope!?!?!?!

Check out the rest of these fun "British Small Ads" here.

My Brit readers and friends know about the "Bunny Suicides" book. In fact... I think I left my copy at the Bell and Crown Pub in Canterbury. Wonder what the new owners thought of that. Hmm.... Anyhoo.... For my readership OUT-side of the U.K. who may not have seen the wonder and the twisted sickness of this amazing cartoon... I give you:

The Bunny Suicides "on-line"

And because I AM a political whore... Great "political" art, collected in an easy to view page:

Peace Not War (dot) org

And finally... Yeah, you guessed it... I just HAVE to be political and do a rant.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Republican's tried to repeal the "Estate Tax." What IS the "Estate Tax?" It's a tax on inheritances on estates OVER $2,000,000 dollars. The tax would bring IN $355 BILLION over the next 10 years to our federal coffers... But the Republicans are ALL ABOUT cutting taxes... Even though our education system, homelessness, AND you know... That little thing called the "War on Terror" is underfunded. Still... We need to cut taxes. And WHOSE taxes do they wish to cut? Just the very SMALL 1 digit percentage of the richest of the richest in our already rich f-ing country!

Look, as a "Bleeding Heart Liberal" I get a LOT of guff over the fact that I don't "hate" taxes the way everyone else in my country seems to hate them. I think taxes are rather important... You know... To, like, PAY for stuff! Dems have been called "Tax and Spend" Liberals for a VERY long time now... And there's this bizarre ignorance of the Republicans, in general. You see... They keep "cutting taxes" 'cause that's what they do... But they tend to SPEND more than the Dems do.

Back in the 80's (under Reagan) our taxes fell... And our spending went up... And we had a HUGE federal deficit. Then... After the first "oopsie" with Bush I... We got Clinton... For the first time in a LONG time... The U.S. actually had a budget SURPLUS... We began LOWERING our federal deficit.

Now... Here we are again... Bush II, and the deficit is THROUGH THE BLEEDIN' ROOF!

Folks... Look... If you're fiscally conservative, I actually don't mind. Being "money-minded" is a great thing, and it's made our country great. But even YOU folks have to sit back and do the really basic mathematics. If you spend money... You have to MAKE money. We all do this everyday... We work for a living, so we can AFFORD to live.

Not so, the U.S. Republican Government. Och, nae! We don't need to "make" money... We'll just borrow it from the Chinese, or the Saudis... Or someone else, and continue to spend like we're bored housewives in a day at Harrod's.

Luckily... The Senate, yesterday, was unable to repeal the "Estate Tax." However... They also cut out a budget measure that would bump up security at our ports. It would only cost a few MILLION dollars, but... Oh no... We need to CUT Billions.


You know... A few more years of the Republicans in control, and Osama and his buddies (minus al-Zarqawi, of course... Good shootin' Yanks) won't need to attack the U.S... 'Cause China's goin' to OWN our ass.

Think about it.

Okay, ta!

-- Tuckmac.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hmm... How's about some links???

My Lady got me into a little program (addition) to the Firefox browser. Called... Stumble Upon. And the bloody thing is VERY addictive! I web-surfed for like, two hours today! Gah! Och weel... It was fun, compared to my late-morning/early afternoon trip to the Mall of America turning in applications for various and sundry places...

I f-ing HATE job-searching! Gah!

Anyhoo... Back to the happiness that is Stumble Upon...

You basically "check-mark" various 'catagories' of interests, and then the Stumble Upon program will "ramdomly" bring you to sites that match your interests! It's just REALLY cool. Okay... So I'm a dork. But here's a few things I found today using it:

Make you're OWN ASCII-Picture! asciiomatic

14 Signs of Fascism - Flash movie. This one's been around for a while, but as a "Bushie-basher" I feel it's part of my job to make sure people see stuff like this!

And finally (for today anyway) The difference between men and women... EXPLAINED!!!!! Muahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Senate votes against the ban on Same-sex Marriage

Okay... I've just read thorough the Constitution of the United States of America, and it's Amendments. Except for the 18th Amendment (alcohol prohibition)... (repealed may I add by the 21st Amendment) - NO PART of the Constitution takes AWAY rights from American Citizens. In fact... The Amendments to our Constitution involve themselves in ensuring rights for it's citizens.

The Constitution of the United States of America

Bill of Rights - 1-10 - Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

Amendments 11 - 27 (changes and additions to the constitution)

So... Why the push by Bushie and his buddies to create a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage?

It's been said by others, using much better elocution than I, that it's all about the voters!

The Republicans... Knowing that the Democrats are smelling blood in the water when it comes to the elections in November, have attempted to, as the talking heads say, 'Motivate the Base.'

Bushy knows that he's been cheesing off his Christian Right base, and is attempting to salve their hurt feelings. Here's a quote that really cheeses me off:
    "An amendment to the constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our nation with no other choice." - Bushie
You know... It's just crap. The one thing that the Judicial Branch of the American Government can NOT be accused of... Is being "activist." It's the Judiciary's mandate to enforce the law not create, or deny the law.

Anyhoo... As we all know... It's failed miserably. The congress voted this morning (Wednesday 7th June) to block the ban. Amendments to the constitution are actually quite difficult to get through... There must be overwhelming support (at least 60 of the Senate's 100 votes)... Plus it has to be ratified by the individual States as well... So... We all know that there wasn't a chance for this amendment to pass...

However, Bushie's plan wasn't to ACTUALLY have this work... No. You see... He succeeded in his goal. He's brought UP the ban of gay marriage... He's stated that he supports the ban... And now, the Republicans can all say that the Democrats "blocked the ban" in Congress... Thus allowing the "Voters to make their own 'educated' decisions in November."

It probably will motivate the Christian Right movement to vote. It's our job, as NON-Christian Rightists to ALSO get out and vote. We have to ensure that the freedom that is guaranteed by our Constitution isn't diluted even MORE by the Bushies and the (false) Christian-bigots of America.

Folks... Get out and vote. If you're not registered... GET registered... We can NOT have people of my generation and younger ignore the importance of voting. Not when we actually SEE how close the elections have been in the past six or so years! Bush has stolen the election TWICE, in 2000 and 2004... It's time for a PROPONDERANCE of people to vote against the evils of the Bushie Administration and it's political shills in Congress!

Get them out... Get them WAY out!

-- Tuckmac

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

First things first... 6-6-06 - And a birthday!

Happy Birthday Abi! We all know you're just digging on the date! How (un)lucky of you! Muahahahahahaha!!!!

I just HAD to throw up a few animated gifs... yay!

Okay... So... Sincerely, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you ROCK ABI!

Okay... A rather linky day! I have saved a few funnies... And then My Lady has also done some surfing, and found something that would fit MY rather "ranty" sort of blog a bit better. Go to HER site to see some COOL SHITE that she found though!

That said... A rather chilling "art/science/statistical" sort of site... Charting the deaths of the Iraq war... If the numbers haven't caused you worry... Then perhaps a visual representation of the horrors of the war, may just do it.

Iraqi War Coalition Fatalities

Now... To avoid getting "too RANT-Y" today... To find out why I received the marvellous words:

39% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee

Take the test yourself! (Obviously... Heavily slanted towards my "Yank" audience)

Are you a Yankee or a Rebel

Well... That's it for today! Again... Happy B-Day Abi!

-- Tuckmac

Monday, June 05, 2006

Worries and fear-mongering, by your's truly!

Some things just got me to thinkin', you know? Anyhoo... I found a rather interesting article in the Rolling Stone Magazine. I admit that it's a very LONG piece, but it's also very interesting, backed-up, and arduously supported in research.

Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

Now, what I find really interesting, is that I had NO IDEA that there were SO many discrepancies in the 2004 Presidential election. Me. I had no idea! ME???!?!?!?!

The article from the Rolling Stone gave me the reasons for my ignorance:
    "Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in ''tinfoil hats,'' while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ''conspiracy theories,''(1) and The New York Times declared that ''there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.''(2)"

Now... As a firm believer in a "vaguely partisan press" in my country... I've always known that the Wall Street Journal is a 'conservative' paper. However, I mistakenly believed that my 'New York Times' was the foil... The 'liberal' bastion in the U.S. press. Lately, according to many Liberal Blogs (example)... There's been a back-slide by the NYTimes, and I'm getting worried about it. Where are we supposed to get the "Democrat's Side" of issues, if there isn't a "Liberally Slanted" news source?

Anyhoo... Back to this stolen election... Most people in the WORLD know about Bushy and his cronies stealing the 2000 election against Gore.

But what if it's true... That Bushy ALSO stole the 2004 election? What would that mean to our democracy? What is in store for us THIS time around, with the mid-term elections for the Senate and the House of Reps?

There's a groundswell of anti-Republican sentiments in America right now... Dems SHOULD take BACK the Senate, and even the House of Reps... But... If it's true that the Republicans have made voter-fraud a tool in their war against the Democrats... Then we will see, in the face of overwhelming incontrovertible evidence of citizen support for the Democratic Party...

A Republican-sided election win.

Folks... There's a long way to go... November is a long way away. However... I firmly believe that if the Republicans win this upcoming election, it is PROOF that the votes are rigged. PROOF that America has gone the way of OTHER totalitarian states and countries... PROOF that the first democracy of the world, will have fallen.

-- T

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I couldn't resist...

Found this on another person's blog, and...


I laughed.


Tim Pawlenty endorsed for another run...

That's right folks... My favourite governor, Tim (don't tax, yet still spend) Pawlenty is endorsed by the Republican party of Minnesota to run for governor AGAIN.

A chilling quote by the governor himself:
    "I can tell you what your worst nightmare is," he said. "It's one of the big-spendin', tax-raisin', abortion-promotin', gay marriage-embracin', more welfare-without-accountability lovin', school reform-resistin', illegal immigration-supportin' Democrats for governor who think Hillary Clinton should be president of the United States."

Seriously... You know the really sad thing... Here's MY quote BACK to my governor:

I support SOCIAL big-spendin', tax-rasin' ON THE RICH, abortion RIGHTS promotin', gay marriage-embracin' (DIDN'T HAVE TO CHANGE THIS ONE), welfare SUPPORT, NON-LOGICAL school reform, and LEGAL immigration!

However... I don't want Hillary as the next president of the U.S. Mr. Pawlenty. She's FAR too conservative!

(Quote from Startrib article)

I look forward to doing my best to see that you're replaced by a GOOD governor in Minnesota. I'm looking forward to restoring Minnesota's LIBERALNESS and I'm going to do everything I can, Mr. Pawlenty, to get you the HELL out of MY state's government!

Good luck for both of us, I suppose.

-- Tuckmac

Friday, June 02, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wow... London seems a bit chilly.

Okay, so... I log onto my "Google Home-page thinggy" this morning.

One of the "widgets" is a weather forecast. I have a listing for London, Minneapolis and Edinburgh. Being the three places that I tend to be most interested in, you know... "Weather-wise."

Anyhoo... Check out how HORRIBLE the summers are in London:

Sort of makes me glad to be back in Minnesota.

Okay, I know it was just a glitch, but... I thought it was quite the "funny" glitch. So... I hope all my friends that live in London are doing okay, and keeping warm. Muahahahahaha.

Anyhoo... Trolling the internet, is always a fun thing... Check out THIS article, about on-line sex:

Sex Trumps Game from Wired News. You know... I think it's rather interesting... My friend Matt and I were OLD timers on the internet. You know... The 2400 baud modem, and things like ISCA. (If you don't know what that is, don't worry... It's just OLD pre-web stuff.) Anyhoo... Although I've been on the internet for a LONG time... There's a few things with which I've never really become involved. Chat, is not something I do often... Nor on-line gaming, nor trolling for porn. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with any of those things. On the contrary, I believe that there's a place for EVERYTHING on the internet, and I'm happy that people are participating.

I'll just stick with web-design and blogging, thank you very much.


Here's something that really gets me rather "hotted up," as they say in the South of England...

No Jail for US Army Dog Handler That's right... The guy gets off with some hard-labour, a dock in pay, and he's thrown back in rank. But no jail.

That's not really what cheeses me off though... What does is summed up in the final quote from the article:
    No senior officers have so far been convicted for the abuse at Abu Ghraib.

I mean... Really. You KNOW that the soldiers were ordered to do these horrific things... And yet... The soldiers are the ones paying for it, not the colonels or captains... Oh no... Can't bring up charges on the REAL culprits, now can we...


Just a bit of "cheese sandwich" today... Our puppy, Agamemnon, has had his life ended as a true "him" and is now a eunuch. Well... He's been neutered, anyway... And you have to see him:

The poor little guy... Anyhoo... He's half Border Collie, and half Newfoundland... And all energy! We're meant to "keep him quiet, and subdued" and... To be honest... That picture is the ONLY time he's laid down, in the past 24 hours! I usually describe him as a "really good dog, with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)." The vet said, "Just keep him calm."

Just keep him calm??????

Kee-rist! I mean... If it was THAT easy... I mean... They said, "Take away his toys, and keep telling him to lay down." Oh... Like THAT'S going to work! If you take away his toys (which we've done) all he does is find OTHER things to chase. Like his own tail... Like a feather from the down-stuffing of the couch in the living room... Like an imaginary bug (which I suppose could have been real, but I never actually saw what the heck he was chasing after.) I mean... GAH!

He's meant to keep "calm" for a week... And the cone has to stay on for a week... And he's not allowed outside (off the lead) or down in the basement (due to stairs) for a week...

He's going to go bleeding nuts... And SO AM I!!!!


Anyhoo... Wish both ME and the dog, good luck.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Less hot, yet profoundly tired.

I actually AM profoundly tired.

I like that description. It's so much more than just "very" or something... The word profoundly just seems to carry so many connotations, that go beyond the simplistic adjective.

However, although I like the word, it doesn't mean that I enjoy actually feeling profoundly tired. I don't. I think it's quite crap, really.

Och weel.

I don't really know what's up with me. I'm still doing the "exercise" thing with My Lady... I'm eating better... I'm sleeping for 7.5 to 8 hours a night...

And I'm profoundly tired.

I'm starting to believe it's one of two things...

1. I have Hypothyroidism. I know... It's usually found in women, not so much in men... But the fact that my mother, her sisters, and 60% of my COUSINS have graves disease, or something... I mean... Check out these symptoms:

Coarse and thinning hair.
I HAVE been losing my hair
Brittle nails.
Dude, they break like... Well... A brittle nail
Dry skin.
I'm positively leathery at the mo'.
A yellowish tint to the skin.
Well, I'm more greenish, you know... Damn sneaky Romany ancestry
Slow body movements and speech.
Well... Yeah, I guess I'm a bit slow
Inability to tolerate cold.
I HATE the cold... Wait, not really... Um...
Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak.
Yes... Yes... See.... PROFOUNDLY TIRED
Memory problems, depression, or difficulty concentrating.
Um... What's my name again?
I'm not discussing my bowel to any of you.
Heavy or irregular menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7 days.
Man... I've been going through the Tampax. Wait a minute... I don't menstruate!

Okay... I've got to stop searching WebMD!

Okay... OR numero 2:
They've been LYING to us... And exercise is actually detrimental to humans! I mean... Seriously... I'm fine, all is roses... And I start to exercise with My Lady. I do yoga every day... I'm jogging with her every other day... And doing some free-weight sort of stuff... Right... All good. I'm eating better, correctly... Trying to balance my carb and protein intake... Etc... Etc...

And I'm tired. All the bloody fucking time... I get done exercising, and I feel sick. And I spend the rest of the day feeling like death warmed over.

See... I'm living (albeit soon to die, at this rate) proof that exercise is the devil!

Be careful, folks... I suggest 20 hours in front of the telly, with a package of cheese and onion flavoured crisps, and lots of diet soda!


Anyhoo... Now that I've kvetched for the past half hour.... I'm going to finish up this "cheese sandwich" blog with a bit of interesting, and possibly exciting news.

A friend of a friend is travelling to Germany for four months... Sept. thorough Dec. And she needs a house-sitter or two...

Guess who THAT may be????

That's right... My Lady and I. Both Fi and I were planning on trying to save money, and hopefully getting out of the "parent's house" by next December... But... That's a LONG way away. But... In our own interests, perhaps a necessary evil. However... If we're house-sitting... For four months... In the very neighbourhood that we were planning on attempting to get a flat...

Well... The gods are smiling upon us.

We get to test-drive the neighbourhood, sort of... And we get out of the house four months earlier than we had planned.


So... We're meeting with the very nice person at her house next Wednesday. So... Yay!

That's it for today folks... I'm going to go take a nap.