Monday, July 30, 2012

Chick Fil-A

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," fans of fried chicken since 1960! Man oh man, both of my grandmothers knew how to fry chicken! I can still taste those crispy, moist, flavorful bird bits in the digestion-related regions of my brain!

Which is one of the reasons why I can happily forgo any fast-food chicken on the market. Something tells me that the tender loving care that should be showered on young poultry is sadly lacking in today's chain store chew shops.

There's a lot of flap-flap and squawk squawk about Chick-Fil-A in the news right now. This fast food scourge has been in my neighborhood for twenty years, at least. While trying to grab market share from formidable rivals, Chick-Fil-A absolutely boasted about its Christian mission. If you missed this, you weren't looking for a waffle fry on a Sunday.

It's no surprise to me that the idea of gay marriage, or gays themselves for that matter, is anathema to Chick-Fil-A. This is a private, family-owned company with no ties to the workings of the government (save, no doubt, hefty contributions to any and every right-wing Dominionist wacko running for dog catcher and all else). The ownership of Chick Fil-A has every right to maximize its profits in the Bible Belt by minimizing profits elsewhere. Folks, seriously. The market share of this grease bucket was built on all the Christian consumers out there who didn't have good grannies with cast-iron skillets and bricks of lard.

I have not patronized a Chick-Fil-A in two decades. On the other hand, my daughter The Spare and her friends, while as liberal-minded as they come, consider the local CFA their gustatory hangout. Well, what can I say? Both of my grannies had found the Summerlands before Spare was born. Her experience of great fried chicken is limited to our annual vacation to the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Truthfully, I wish more businesses were as honest as Chick-Fil-A. As consumers, we ought to know how private businesses are supporting political candidates, so that we can give our ducats to the stores that think our way, and avoid the ones that don't. For instance: Do you have a store named Urban Outfitters in your local hideous blight on the landscape shopping mall? Urban Outfitters is huge around here. This is a hip eporium that sells expensive clothes that look like they come from the thrift store. Forty bucks for a tee shirt with a faded logo and tears in the sleeves. Anyway, Urban Outfitters was recently outed for its huge contributions to conservative candidates nationwide. Cynical bastards love their Third World labor pool, no doubt, and want to insure that nothing in their wardrobe need be produced in the US of A.

Last Christmas Mr. J and I bought Spare a few threads from Urban Outfitters. This was before we knew about the company's agenda. Needless to say, I'll never shop there again. Spare doesn't need to, anyway. She is perfectly capable of buying a tee shirt at the thrift store, bleaching it, and cutting holes in the sleeves. In fact, she excels at this.

To shorten a long rant, I am glad Chick-Fil-A wears its dogma on its red-and-white logo. We are in the know about the company and can make our purchase decisions based on its transparency.

I don't know about you, but if I had to give up something, I'd sure as shootin' rather it be Chick-Fil-A than the Muppets. I am totally in love with Monster.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Queen and I

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Well, the Summer Olympics are underway, in London, with all the fanfare expected (and not particularly watched).

As for me, I have trouble watching anything at all about Queen Elizabeth II without dissolving into tears.

QEII was born the same year as my mum, five months before. Growing up in a little village at the base of a mountain, my mother and her twin sister, Peggy, had two heroines: Shirley Temple and Queen Elizabeth II. I'm surprised I'm not named Elizabeth, actually. I was named after Princess Anne.

I would think it very interesting to grow up the exact same age and gender as a monarch of a mighty nation (albeit a figurehead). When my parents moved out of their home in 2004, there were more than 30 books about the royal family in the attic, dating from the 1930s (the princesses and their corgis) to the Princess Diana era. My mum told me how she and her sister listened to the radio for news of the two princesses, both before and during World War II. Then, as my own mother was coming of age in Appalachia, Princess Elizabeth was coming of age too, marrying the love of her life and becoming queen.

Queen Elizabeth books were favorite birthday gifts between my mom and her twin. Many of the QE books I found were inscribed from Aunt Peggy. Later in my mother's life, she received numerous QE and Princess Di books from my godmother, Marianna.

Lifelong fascination with HRH Queen Elizabeth of England. That was my mom.

Perhaps as a reward for her devotion, my mother found herself one day expecting a personal visit from the queen, at our little two-bedroom house near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

It was an ordinary school day at first. But when I got home from school, my mother was working feverishly to prepare the house for Queen Elizabeth's visit. The fine china had been set upon the table, with the silver service Mom got for her marriage. Mom was dressed to the nines, and she ordered me to go to my room, tidy it to perfection, and put on my best Sunday dress. And fast, because the queen was on her way!

My dad was a school teacher, the sole earner in our household. When he got home, dead tired, he received the same instructions: Sunday suit, white shirt, the queen was on her way!

Dad and I stood there. We were never sure what to say in these moments. Our slacking got a huge tongue-lashing from Mom ... to the point that we acquiesced to her demands, all the while telling her the queen was not coming.

The evening proceeded as we sat in the small living room, waiting for Queen Elizabeth. Apparently the queen was supposed to bring the food, because Mom had not prepared dinner, only the appearance of the table. At about 9:30, Mom announced that the queen must have been detained. Dad went to McDonald's and got us some hamburgers.

Yes, this is a sad tale of life with a parent who had bipolar disorder. On that particular evening, Mom was in a manic state. Her mental wiring was a mess. She died of dementia at the age of 74. The queen, her peer, looks hale and hearty twelve years later.

I get teary over Queen Elizabeth because my mother was hell on earth to live with, but on the odd occasion when she could bury herself in a new Queen Elizabeth book, or see some royal event on the telly, she would  be lifted up from her demons for a short while. Mom never got to meet the queen (Aunt Peggy actually did). But Mom did get to see Prince Charles and Princess Diana once, in Washington, DC.

Prince William got married on the busiest morning of the Spoutwood Fairie Festival. Never mind. I got up at 4:45 and watched the whole doggone wedding. Wept from start to finish, especially when they showed the queen. And that movie, The King's Speech? Did you see that? I cried whenever they showed the little princesses with their corgis. Mom would have loved that movie.

Gods save the queen! Long may she reign!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mr. Applegate Shoulders the Blame -- Again

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's just a beautiful day in this neighborhood today, although I hear to my chagrin that many parts of the nation are being scorched. Why, it's as if Satan Himself sat down on the nation's bread basket for a nice long session of suntanning!

But Satan has better things to do. Like causing the murders in Aurora, Colorado.

Just out of prurient interest, I belong to several conservative Christian online magazines. There's one for women, and another called "Fire in My Bones" that seems to be for men, but not exclusively.

Today's "Fire in My Bones" cover story? You guessed it. Those killings in the movie theater? Work of Satan.

Here's what we in the writing biz call the "nut graph" from the story, author J. Lee Grady:

I’m not a crime sleuth. But if you ask me, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this tragedy.

This got me wondering if anyone has ever fingerprinted the devil. How would I know? So, reluctantly, I put in a text to one of my oldest "Gods Are Bored" interviewees, Satan. (Just like Floppy, Satan is sensitive about His name. With that in mind, I have agreed to call him "Mr. Applegate.")  Please give a tepid and/or mildly hostile "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Mr. Applegate.

Anne: Please extinguish all smoking devices, Applegate. This is a smoke-free work place.

Applegate: No can do, Anne. Get your netbook, and we'll go outdoors.

................. *done, and no one harmed in the process*

Anne: Well, you knew it was coming, didn't you?

Applegate: Yep. More predictable than the weather.

Anne: We all know that guns don't kill people. People kill people. So, is that young man in Your back pocket?

Applegate: Swear on my forked tail, I have never had a petition or even a casual nod from that kid. He's not one of Mine. Let's be logical for a minute. If I were to decide to initiate the killing of innocent people, I could start a World War, just by choosing the right human leadership for the job.

Anne: Have you ever done this?

Applegate: Last time was the Walls of Jericho. Pinky swear. As you point out, people kill people. Then they blame me, after the fact. I'm a convenient whipping boy, a useful target, a "round-up-the-usual-suspect" mark ... *weeps*

Anne: I've never seen anyone wallow in self-pity the way you do. Then again, you do get a lot of bad press, much of it undeserved. Not all of it undeserved, but some of it. In this particular case, I think it's undeserved.

Applegate: It was not my praise and worship team that created gunpowder. It was my praise and worship team that started using it to kill people ... but the humans always credited God for their use of firearms. Like it was okay with Him, He even supported the slaughter.

Anne: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Hmmm mmm mmmm.

Applegate: Exactly.

Anne: "Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war..."

Applegate: You made your point. You're going to bore your readership.

Anne: Mr. Applegate, I'm sorry to say that at this juncture of my life, I tend to look for hidden messages and motives in many things. Today's place-the-blame on You just reeks. I can just imagine that many readers of J. Lee Grady's "Fire in My Bones" probably own firearms ... strictly for hunting and protecting their families from hoodie-wearing thugs, of course. These Christian readers don't like to think that guns are dangerous things, and that gun users can kill people completely free of Your guidance. I'd be willing to bet that, for many "Fire in My Bones" readers, guns are considered a good thing. So, used wrongly, guns become Your weapons of choice.

Applegate: Yes. The logic breaks down. Either all guns that can kill people are evil, or none of them are evil. No such thing as a good gun, if you ask me.

Anne: This killer in question planned his rampage very carefully and amassed $15,000 worth of firearms. And You say You had nothing to do with the carnage? You never whispered in his ear?

Applegate: He was a neuroscience major, for God's sake. Try finding a neuroscience major who believes in Me. There are some, of course ... but the data skews to atheism or agnosticism, not to Satanic Panic.

Anne: So, what do you think actually did motivate that shooter?

Applegate: Misplaced rage. White-hot fury that years of boring book learning, studying for amazingly difficult exams, and living the poverty-level student life could afford him neither a job with a decent wage in his chosen field nor the prospect of studying further, because neuroscience gets so damned hard at the graduate level that you have to be a titanic genius to make a dent in the work load. I'm no psychiatrist, but I don't even think the kid is crazy. He just blew his stack at The Man ... and he couldn't find The Man.

Anne: However, he could find $15,000 worth of weaponry on the Internet and in stores. He purchased everything legally.

Applegate: Now just remember, Anne. Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

Anne: Actually, Mr. Applegate, I don't believe that. My philosophy is "production for use." Guns are produced to be used -- to kill people.

Applegate: Well, you can also shoot locks off things, like safes and doors.

Anne: Splitting hairs, Applegate. People don't buy Glocks to shoot the locks off safes.

Applegate: Just playing devil's advocate for a moment. *knocks head on wall* I hate that term!

Anne: I'm going to go on record absolving You of any credit for the Aurora shootings, Mr. Applegate.

Applegate: Thank you.

Anne: On the other hand, I see Your work abundantly in the messy paws of pedophile priests. ... ... Applegate? Applegate? Where did He go? He was here one minute, gone the next! Gosh, look at the singed hostas! Why didn't I remember that He's hell on flower beds and upholstery?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Never Go Godless into the World

I can tell a lot about people based on the way they respond when I tell them I teach kids from Camden. And trust me, I've gotten responses from all over the board.

Mr. J had a publication party for his book, and at that event, one of the liberal columnists from his newspaper literally got teary-eyed and told me what a noble cause I was devoting myself to.

Day before yesterday, other end of the spectrum, a woman said to me, "Wow. How come you haven't been shot yet?"

Of course, the truth falls squarely in the middle of these extremes.

The noble cause is complicated by the fact that I'm trying to teach teenagers. Remember when you were a teenager? Did you like sitting still and writing essays? Okay, okay, I did. But I was still rowdy. It's in the teenage playbook to be rowdy. Sometimes it's in the teenage playbook to be nasty and rude, other times sullen and even teary. Emotions all over the place. Kind of complicates the high-minded mission of the dedicated educator.

I was highly offended by the stereotype that all Camden teenagers are trigger-happy. Let me tell you, quite the opposite is the case. My students live their lives surrounded by gun violence, and they have seen the consequences of it more closely than anyone this side of Iraq. Shootings like the one this past week in Aurora totally baffle my kids. They understand targeted violence (and try to steer way clear of it). They don't understand randomness, unless it's a drive-by with collateral damage.

Having said that, my school is state-mandated to practice Code Orange drills where we act like there's an active shooter in the building. These drills make my students anxious. Inevitably they ask: "What if the shooter just shoots out the glass in the door and comes into the room?"

And I tell them, "I would try to protect you, even if it meant that I got shot. I've lived a good long life, and you are still young."

The sad truth is that I'm not sure I would have the courage to do that. This bothers me exceedingly, readers. If I could put a finger on one thing that really scares me, it's how I would respond if some person made crazy by the inequities of our current economy senseless lunatic started spraying bullets through my school.

This can happen anywhere. Last year this time, my daughter The Heir was in Oslo. She heard a pop like firecrackers, and all the glass blew out of the store she was in. A couple of hours later, more than four dozen teenagers had been shot dead on an offshore island. In Oslo. Freakin. Norway.

I find myself asking myself the most dreadful question. Would I have the courage, the faith in Higher Powers, to put myself in front of a bullet to save someone else's life?

See, this is why I take my bored gods with me to school. I may not talk about Them in class, but this economy is causing people to lose their minds. Never go Godless into the world, that's my philosophy. Hope that you can rise to any occasion. Hope even more that you'll never, ever face that test.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On Friendship

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," green background with white letters since I dunno when! This blog has been praising and worshiping downsized deities since 2005. It's fun, it's nutritious (for the soul, which means zero calories), and it's been a good way to make new friends.

Now, let's take Floppy here, for instance. I didn't know Floppy until I hit rock bottom, and one of my dear readers sent him and a flock of other golden vultures to cheer me up. Floppy and I hit it off immediately. It helped that he is a vulture, but he has many redeeming qualities. What is one important quality of a good friend? He or she makes you laugh. Well, Floppy has a great sense of humor, no doubt gleaned from a long association with Sacred Thunderbirds, who seem so serious when you see Them in the sky. Since he arrived at Chateau Johnson, Floppy has done everything to lighten my load, including allowing himself to take ribbing after ribbing about his name from the local turkey buzzards.

Those turkey buzzards are just jealous. Seriously. Look at Floppy! Straight outta Egypt, where the people knew what to worship and what bird should be guarding their kids.

Tonight I got an email from an old friend who I haven't seen since 1987. I still consider her a bosom buddy. We haven't chatted on the phone ever. She doesn't read this blog. But we worked for the same venal publishing house, we got downsized and abused together, and now we both have transitioned into other taxing jobs. So we have a lot in common. Three years ago, I bought a cute little teddy bear. I sent it to her at Christmas and told her to send it back to me the next Christmas. That way we always send each other a useful gift without having to spend any money. Floppy agrees: This is true friendship!

I live in one of the most densely populated states in America, but I can count on one hand my true local friends. I'm a fun person, not snobby, but I like people who can make me laugh and who will share their lives with me the way I share mine with them. Floppy has given his Golden Seal of Approval to: Celeste, Nettle, Monkey Man, and the entire workforce of Woodstock Trading Company. That's it.

I'm surrounded by four dozen colleagues or more at school, all very nice, but most of them don't float my boat. Just is. Can't help that.

A funny thing started happening when I began writing this blog. I started getting friends a whole new way. Back in the early days there was a dude named Scott. And then people just started flooding in ... and I love them all! I'd start mentioning names, but I would be afraid I would miss someone. Y'all know who you are. I've met some of you in the flesh-and-blood, and WOW, do I wish you were my neighbors! I'll bet you wouldn't even complain when Decibel the Parrot starts earning her name.

Awhile back someone wanted to be my friend. Since she had no religious affiliation that would be affronted by the content here, I told her that if she wanted to get to know me, she could do it the way all of my newest friends did -- by reading "The Gods Are Bored." Turned out she didn't like my snarky tone. Heave ho! Love me, love my blog. It's who I am.

Floppy loves my blog, principally because I've been writing about him. Turns out vultures are rather vain. They want to look good (mostly to other vultures).

Here's to friendship, new, old, near and far! Here's to meeting fascinating people who love the bored gods!

*If you have ever left me a warm comment, you are my friend.
*If you have ever sent me an email thanking me for my blog, you are my friend.
*If you have sent me links to vulture news, you are a true friend.
*If you come here because you are a Pagan and you want a chuckle ... are you local? Floppy and I will invite you to tea.

Gods bless you every one. Love you guys. *Anne starts to get sniffy and weepy*


Friday, July 13, 2012

Wiccans 4 Gettysburg

Greetings from "The Gods Are Bored!" My, it's hot out. Hope you and yours are staying cool.

I had a wonderful bored deity all lined up for an interview yesterday, but it turns out He got an assignment and had to postpone. We'll see if we can't get Him in here soon, because He does some really interesting things.

In the meantime, I grabbed this email from a Red Oak Grove member, to whom it was sent:

Greetings from Four Points by Sheraton Chambersburg in ******Chambersburg**,
**PA****! I hope that you are having a wonderful summer and had a blessed
Summer Solstice a few weeks ago!

It is my understanding that many followers of the Wiccan Tradition enjoy
making pilgrimages to places where there are a great number of reported
instances of supernatural activity—such as ****Gettysburg****. It is with
great respect and this understanding that I write to you today. As we are
only 30 minutes from **Gettysburg**, I would like to invite you and your
fellow followers to stay at our hotel should you ever decide to make a trip
to ****Gettysburg****!

Should you ever choose to bring a group to our hotel, we would like to
offer you a discounted rate on sleeping rooms. This rate would be valid
for rooms with either one king or two double beds, a full bathroom, free
wireless internet, a television equipped with in-room movies and games, a
telephone, a state-of-the-art one cup coffee maker, an ironing board and
iron, and so much more, including unbeatable comfort! Included in the
price of the room is also our hot and cold buffet style breakfast served
every morning. We have the largest indoor pool in town, a garden
overlooking Falling Spring Creek with a grilling area and picnic gazebo, a
workout room, a coin-operated laundry facility, and Premium Sustainable
Coffee available in our lobby 24/7! It just doesn’t get any better than

We also have four different meeting rooms, should your group ever desire to
have a place to meet, talk, form a circle, or simply mingle while in our
area. If you decide to book a group with us, I am more than willing to
work out a great rate for you on the meeting rooms—if you book enough
sleeping rooms, you could even get the meeting room for free!

I hope that you will take advantage of this offer and bring a group to ****
Gettysburg****. I myself really enjoy learning about the supernatural
activity in ****Gettysburg****—it is simply fascinating! If you would like
to discuss booking a group with us, or would like more information, please
do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to any opportunities to work
with you in the future! Blessed be!****

Well! I don't know where to start laughing about this one! A tremendous amount of research went into this email, don't you think? I, for one, did not know that people who follow the Wiccan Tradition make pilgrimages to places of mass slaughter in order to talk to ghosts. I thought that was what Psychics do. If you are a non-psychic Wiccan, and you would be interested in going to ****Gettysburg**** to enjoy the high quality supernatural activity there, would you please comment below? I just want to see if there's anyone who identifies as Wiccan who would want to book such a trip (and book it at a Sheraton hotel. And book it at a Sheraton in ***Chambersburg, PA***, which is 30 minutes from ****Gettysburg****, which has its own Sheraton).

Let's briefly and off the top of my head recount the facts of ****Gettysburg****.

The battle lasted three days and produced 44,000 casualties. It occurred during the July 4 week. The weather was hot as hell, so the wounded quickly got gangrene or died of dehydration. Think of this: Not one single battle in either WWI or WWII produced as many American deaths as ****Gettysburg****. In three days it produced more casualties than the whole Iraq War (not counting Iraqis).

Do any of you Wiccan readers want gory details on the weapons of mass destruction employed at ****Gettysburg****? I didn't think so.

Moving on. What's with the asterisks ringing poor ****Gettysburg**** in this missive? I guess it makes the name stand out better. Kind of like ****Mass Bloodletting**** or ****Bodies Strewn Everywhere over a Shell-Pocked Landscape****.

Do I think there are ghosts at ****Gettysburg?**** Yes indeed. Do I, as a Pagan, want to seek them out for a seance? Oh HELL no! I've been on that battlefield. It's hardly bearable in the bright daylight, with poorly-dressed tourists snapping pointless pictures at pathetic monuments to decimated regiments.

Now for you psychics out there who might want to help the remaining tortured soldiers to cross over. Let me ask you this: After a day (or night) of that kind of Work, would you want to retire to some sterile McMotel that looks like every other McMotel of its name brand, from Abilene to Yuma? Can you imagine having a circle meeting there to talk about the supernatural experience on that hollow ground? (It is hollow, there's limestone underneath with caves.)

I'm sure the Four Points Sheraton ****Chambersburg**** (not ****Gettysburg****) hires relatively intelligent people. I mean, the invitation above doesn't have any grammatical errors in it. But the assumption that Wiccans would want to go to Gettysburg and mess with its horrific karma is a bit of a stretch.

I saved the funniest part for last. The email was sent to a Druid grove. That's kind of like inviting a lot of  Methodists to ****Gettysburg**** because everyone knows that Baptists like to hunt for ghosts.

Geez, I was thinking of unsubscribing to that Druid message board! Changed my mind. Laughs are all what I'm about, even when the topic is more sad than funny.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back Yard of the Bored Gods

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Long time, no see! But now I'm back from meandering the sacred mountains and ready to don the good ol' "Gods Are Bored" riot gear!

There is a campground in south central Pennsylvania where all the happy bored deities go to chill and be with their various homies. The place is called Four Quarters Farm. It doesn't matter which deity or pantheon you call your own, this place will welcome you with arms wide open. For a gal like me who praises and worships Anything and Everything, it's like Wonderland.

Four Quarters Farm is in the same zip code as my former property. It's near Artemas, PA, a town that is hopelessly waiting for its one-horse application to be approved. I cannot tell you how happy I am to find a new home in 17211!

Over the weekend, the whole of 17211 sweltered just like everywhere else. But Four Quarters Farm has the answer to the heat: several first-class swimming holes, surrounded by fabulous geologic shelf formations. Instead of attending workshops, or yoga, or any of the other fun deity-service activities, yours truly just ensconced herself in the upstream swimming hole, the one by the fairy cairn. Floppy the vulture sunned himself on the rocks, and Puck the faerie and I spent three entire days swimming.

When I pruned up like a California Raisin, I just got out of the water long enough to study up on my Walt Whitman ... trying to learn a new poem this summer.

In the evening, there's big-time drumming. And a bonfire. If you don't like that, you can have a brilliant tea party with all the bored deities. If They ever had quarrels amongst themselves, They've patched things up. It's great to see them laughing as the little kids run themselves ragged.

Four Quarters Farm is a family campground that even has a meal plan (delicious stuff). Caveat: the swimming areas are clothing optional. Not a problem for the bored gods or me.

I did some ancestor work on Sunday, and as I was visiting the most ancient spot in my Appalachian heritage, I was buzzed by a buzzard. Literally, the gorgeous fellow was just above my head. The moment was ruined when that buzzard started laughing about Floppy's name. Vultures are like that sometimes.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Going Walkabout

When my family farm was sold, and I got my share of the evil ducats, I thought about going to Scotland or England, to the land of my forebears.

Except you've got to ask yourself: How many generations of your family has to live in a place before you cut loose the cords with Europe? If the answer is more than ten but less than sixteen, I'm better off doing walkabout in Appalachia.

Therefore, for the next six days, I will be in Appalachia, walking among my ancestors, paying them the respect that has gone missing since my grandparents died. I will leave tokens for them from my shrine and petition their help for me.

I plan to take the waters at Berkeley Springs, a meditative site that is chock-a-block with faeries.

Then I'm also going to this thing called Drum & Splash, which is held yearly at Four Quarters Farm. There are two nice swimming holes at Four Quarters Farm, and the place is pretty much open to any and every bored deity you could imagine. I've never spent much time there before, but I do like to drum. I've got a great drum. It's an old wash pan that belonged to my grandma, that I found out in the woods. I beat on it with a wooden spoon. If the other drummers object to this heirloom musical instrument, I will take my talents to the perimeter.

Basically, I'm going home without going home.

Floppy and his band of merry golden vultures will be going with me as a Sacred Thunderbird escort. I hope the turkey vultures up on Polish Mountain will be polite. It turns out that Floppy is sensitive about his name. He's like me: very easily vexed. I think we are going to be great friends.

Oh yeah, one last thing. That reprehensible moron developer who wanted to turn 1,000 acres of mountain land into a town of 14,000 people is starting to make noise again. Therefore, also on the agenda is some earnest petitioning to Cloacina for her continued protection of that pristine watershed.

I will try to check in with all three of you readers on July 6. Until then, have a safe and happy 4th of July. Be careful with those fireworks!

PS: Heir and I spent two hours chasing a yellow budgie around Cooper River Park this afternoon. I think I taught him how to fly with my overzealous pursuit. We left him some bird food and a pamphlet entitled "Surviving Hawk Attacks: A Bird's Guide to Public Safety." I borrowed it from Decibel's library.