and to end the year on a note entirely consistent with the rest of the year...

President Obama signs National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law:
“Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today."
Luckily, Ruben Bolling has the useful info you'll need.
"So... You've Been Indefinitely Detained! Helpful Information From Your U.S. Government!"
And even if you're absolutely convinced that Mr. Change You Can Believe In would never use this indefinite dentention power for ill (which, to be clear, I'm not), are you as confident that the next Republican president won't? Really?

And to end on an up note (that's sarcasm), read this.

Happy New Year.




(Give it a bit of time to completely load.)


clockwork meme

Yeah, there's been a million of them, but this has to be the winner.
(Via someone on Twitter. Original source unknown.)


when worlds collide #2

Miles Davis and Kenny G hang out.


quote of the day

"Every time you try to “manifest your dreams”, a smarter and less superstitious woman beats you at something! And also angels cry. Logic angels."
- Jennifer Dziura
(via Molly Crabapple)



Happy birthday, Mom.



Music video for Shipwreck by Berlin-based electronic music duo Modeselektor in collaboration with Thom Yorke of Radiohead.


oh, the horror

Given that I definitely don't consider myself a fan of horror films, I was rather surprised to realize I'd actually seen 14 of Slant's "25 Best Horror Films of the Aughts," including one of the few films I've ever seen that I actually wish I could unsee (#5).

On the other hand, if you're looking for something to watch on Halloween (or anytime, actually), I can heartily recommend numbers 14, 12, 4 (don't read the synopsis) and 1. And, if batshit insane is your thing, 23 and 2.


things that make me sad

That I can't send a link to today's xkcd to Rocket Girl.


another year

Happy birthday, Dad. Miss you more then ever.


compare and contrast

It's unlikely that many people in the USA, unless they're in the Korean or otaku communities, have ever heard of the hugely popular Korean girl group, Girls' Generation. For the purpose of today's lesson, I'm posting one of their first big hits, Gee, from early 2009. It was named song of the decade by the Korean music site, Melon and, at the time I'm posting this, the video has 52,219,736 views on YouTube. (I'd recommend that anyone prone to diabetes limit themselves to no more than the first minute or so of the video.)

One year later, they released the video for their hit, Run Devil Run.
Just sayin'.



As documented in this early post, a little less than three years ago Theya, one of our four doggie companions, began to exhibit signs of congestive heart disease. She has been on medications during the intervening years and had, by all appearances (and vet checkups), been doing well on them. This morning, as is my routine, I gave her her morning meds and took her, along with our other three dogs, outside for a bit of a walk before leaving for work.

When I returned this evening, I got her evening meds ready and was surprised that she didn't come running for them (I'm sure you know where this is going). When I didn't find her sleeping in her crate, I got a very bad feeling. Which was borne out when I found her lying dead in the middle of our living room.

Theya's arrival in our family was accompanied by a great deal of drama. And she was not exactly the most mellow of dogs. But she was a sweetheart. We'll miss her.


in the details

I came this ->||<- close to dropping out of this year's collaborative tarot deck, but somehow The Devil made me do it. Not exactly as playful as past cards, but there you go...


anniversary 2

At the new Scotts Valley Library.
I can't believe it's been a year.



Today would have been my and Rocket Girl's 27th anniversary (not counting the 15 years of friendship pre-marriage). To mark the day, these photo memories of Rocket Girl and Chica, the best dog in the history of the world (with a bonus pic of the inimitable Buster, the cat Rocket Girl rescued from Maui in 1994).

In mid-1986, Rocket Girl awoke one morning with the certain knowledge that our dog was waiting for us at the pound. Rushing there, she found a chihuahua/rat terrier (and who knows what else) mix in heat, with kennel cough, and scheduled to be euthanized that evening. At the time, our local SPCA had the reputation of having pet adoption standards that were only modestly more stringent than those for adopting a child. But Rocket Girl recognized her as our dog, so took our sons out of school so that they could be interviewed by the SPCA staff and, as I was out of town on business, had me paged out of a meeting so that I could assure the staff by phone that having a small dog would not constitute a threat to my masculinity.

Chica was an integral part of our family's life for the next 14 years. And although everyone maintained the fiction that Chica was "our" dog, in reality, there was no doubt about whose dog she really was.

Miss you.



seeking investment advice

Do any of you know if there's a market in which you can invest in cat food futures?


plot device

The fact that this is basically a commercial (for Magic Bullet Suite 11, a video post-production tool) does not in the least diminish its fucking awesomeness.
Making of (which is actually more of a commercial, but still interesting) here.


come alive

Janelle Monáe live at Glastonbury. Two nights ago.


movie night

A double feature.


the next-to-last...

...of the "firsts."



airport '11

Every time I fly, I'm reminded of the extent to which the terrorists did, in fact, win.




Sometimes, I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.


this ain't no party

This ain't no disco.



The latest in the continuing series. This particular memory inspired by a friend's standing-room-only reading that I attended this past week at one of our local bookstores. Watching her read in exactly the same place Rocket Girl read nearly sixteen years ago.

Capitola - Summer, 1995.


not quite a hiatus

As you might deduce from the weeks that have passed since the last post, things are currently a bit (well, actually more than a bit) unsettled chez citizen. But rather than just let this sucker sit here untended while things either do or do not work out, I thought I'd fill the void with assorted stuff I happen upon during my increasingly sporadic random net exploration - minus the scintillating commentary that this blog has never actually become known for.

Today, via Clayton Cubitt, it's the video for Woodkid's Iron. Both the song and video are by Yoann Lemoine (who, coincidentally, was also the director of this previously posted video). While you can watch it below, it's a lot better at its orginal size on vimeo or at Yoann's web site.


what matters in america

From the front page of today's Huffington Post:

Plus, it's hot on Twitter!


cold war

Still not much bloggin' energy, but I'd been meaning to post this for a while with some would-be clever writing about how you should go buy the album and listen to it all the way through in one sitting while giving it your undivided attention. So, sorry about the lack of cleverness, but do it anyway. This woman is an artist of astonishing potential (which, if you're not already familiar with her work, will only become obvious when you've heard more than just this song).



irish spring

On Monday afternoon, August 2nd (our 26th anniversary), Rocket Girl went shopping at the local Costco and bought, among other things, two very large packages of 4 oz. bars of Irish Spring "Original" soap. They were put away in their traditional place in the bathroom cabinet next to the shower where they would be within easy reach whenever it became time to replace a bar that had eroded past efficient cleansing utility.

This morning, I opened the last of those bars of soap.

For the first time in a little over six months, Irish Spring soap is back on our shopping list.



ecstatic dances for the human sacrifices

Not much energy for bloggin' around the Citizen's place these days, so what better time to fulfill my goal of making the archetypal liberal blog post:

What digby said.


emperor tomato ketchup

In honor of an unexpected development in another of my sources of distraction, here's Stereolab performing Cybele's Reverie and Les Yper Sound live on Jools Holland back in the mid 90s.



Especially baritone saxophone. (And although Blogger limits the size of pictures to the point that you probably can't tell, there's one playing trombone as well, which is also pretty awesome.)

* Gratuitous tumblr reference


not a rant

One of the principles I adopted upon returning to the blog was to avoid using it as an outlet for the personal outrage so often generated by the political and social state of our nation. Frankly, there are others who do it much better (Glenn Greenwald and the Rude Pundit for two), and, probably more importantly, it's just too damn depressing.

So, as the post title says, this is not one of the rants that used to occasionally appear here. Instead it's just a strong suggestion that you read this (and be sure to read the updates at the end about the treatment of David House and Jane Hamsher at Quantico this morning).

This is what is being done in all of our names. What the hell have we become?


we got more

Not feeling particularly inspired, so here's a pretty neat video instead.




(Back from the southland.)



A match made in heaven (or somewhere).
(Nobuyoshi Araki, Vogue Hommes Japan, September 2009. via Suicide Blonde)


tone of everyday

To reiterate my sign-off from the previous post, I really have nothing to add. Instead, entirely irony free, I offer this.


jesus fucking christ

From back before the November elections:
(That Facebook page is the one with the map with the gunsights over the target congress people. The map that was scrubbed without comment this afternoon.)

Nothing to add, really.
(screen grabs via skippy the bush kangaroo)


mostly scenery

In going through boxes of pictures, I've discovered a small cache of largely unlabeled old photos that appear to date from the early twentieth century. I'm somewhat perplexed about why I don't remember ever encountering these before, but I suspect that they are pictures of my parents' families and relatives.

I have no idea who the three young women in this photo might be, but, while I have no way to know for sure, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to believe that the young person intruding into the frame at the right is my father.



birthday 2


Today would have been Rocket Girl's 59th birthday. Perhaps it still is. I don't know.

To mark the day, I'm inaugurating an occasional series of photos selected from those that inspired the previous post. Today, it's Bermuda - July, 1988.

The concept of "missing" doesn't even exist in the same universe with what I'm feeling.

Happy birthday.



the citizen's #1 photo tip

Over the past few months, I've reviewed literally thousands of family photos spanning the last 30 or so years. As a result, I've had a number of epiphanies about the creation and preservation of photo memories. Unfortunately, many of them are only applicable to the quaint, soon-to-be archaic practice of actually getting prints of your photos to mount in albums or (more commonly) file in shoe-boxes in a closet. (This change is actually a big deal. More about it in some future post.) But the single most valuable insight I've gained is applicable to any personal picture taking. And it is this:
No matter what your reason for taking pictures, be it a birthday, graduation, party, date, vacation, goofing around or whatever, take more pictures of the people who mean a lot to you and fewer pictures of the scenery. When you revisit those pictures years or decades later, the fact that you have personal proof that Hawaii has nice beaches, or that there are spectacular waterfalls in Yosemite, or that the Eiffel Tower is, in fact, in Paris, will mean absolutely nothing compared to having a rich visual record of who you and the people you've known and loved were, back when you were experiencing those beaches or waterfalls or Paris.
Trust me on this one. You'll thank me later.



Sort of. Maybe. We'll see...


interior portrait

(Profound thanks to N for sending me the poem.)