A Wonderful Children's Book


I’m in  between seasons of life in which I buy children’s books, but if I weren’t, I’d buy Animal Band by my old friend Christopher Jennings.

I have known Chris since his high school days back when, and he is a ridiculously gifted illustrator and writer. Check it out if you have younger ones in your life.

Backyard: Liberated

It now appears to be safe for canines and humans to enter the backyard once more.  There is no sign of the grounded adolescent bluejay and the over-protective parental units are no longer screeching at and attacking every mammalian that steps out our back door.

Mrs. Blather, ever-positive and faith-filled, is convinced the youngster finally learned to fly and soared off to a happy, productive life.

I have a less uplifting hypothesis but I’m keeping it to myself.

Checking Out Now

I’m by nature and habit a news junkie. But this is a morning in which ever item of information I find either infuriates me, grieves me, or pushes me to the edge of despair for our country and culture.

So, I’m either going to have to check out for a while, or begin preparations to move to Costa Rica.

UK Times: "The Fans Killed Their Idol"

{As posted over at the Stop Worshiping Celebrities blog}


The Times of London featured a brilliant and brutally blunt op-ed piece by Janice Turner today on the maniacal Michael Jackson fan base.

The subhead to the headline quoted above gives you a feel for how Turner feels about the Jackson idol worshipers: “Those who professed to love Michael Jackson were vampires, feeders and jackals – their adulation hastened his end.”

Turner starts her dismemberment of the mindless Michael mourners this way:

Outside UCLA hospital they gather with their candles and their teddies, spooky lookalikes in full Thriller garb, wan teenagers wearing a single lace glove. They sway and sing I’ll Be There with sad faces to disguise the serotonin buzz from their frenzied collective mourn-in. Fans cry now for Michael Jackson, but they killed him. They always do.

Deeper into the lengthy essay we read a paragraph that could serve as the manifesto for this blog:

Fandom is the curse of our age. It has turned from admiration into obsession, respectful homage to idolatory. It is a virus to which no one seems immune. Once in New York, I passed a huge excited crowd outside a fancy hotel. What were they waiting for? Apparently Paris Hilton was inside having lunch.

Turner takes no prisoners but every word rings sadly true. Do read the whole thing.

(hat tip: Fergus!)

The "Kings" and Idols of Men All Fall

So the “King of Pop” is dead.

I’ll save my primary Michael Jackson comments for the “Stop Worshiping Celebrities” blog. I rarely update it but this seems like a perfect time.

Here I’ll just observe that our childish, morally bankrupt culture vainly tries to make gods and kings of celebrities. But they invariably end up being just as frail and flawed as the fools who idolize them, and often more so.

The day’s news also reminded me of the day another “king” died. I wrote about that day on its 30th anniversary, almost two years ago. Read “Summer’s End, 1977.

Backyard Held Hostage: Day 2


The maniacal bluejays continued to terrorize any living creature that ventured into the back yard today. (See blog post below)

Dogs having notoriously bad short term memories, our Abbie apparently forgot about the indigo kamikazes while she slept. She got about five steps into the yard on her way to do her morning business when screeching fury from above rained down upon the unsuspecting pooch. (I’ll try to get some video tomorrow.)

The offspring they’re trying to protect has managed to get himself up on a piece of our lawn furniture and today Mrs. Blather saw the mother feeding the poor thing. This generated no small measure of relief in my bride who has been pretty much obsessed with the welfare of the creature.

Nevertheless, our backyard remains a no-go zone. Abbie categorically refuses to go out there. When I open the back door and point toward the yard, she just looks at me with a face that says, “Are you serious? YOU go out there.”

A Crisis Unfolds at Blather House

It’s the Bluejay Crisis of 2009. Day 1.

We’ve known for several weeks that we had a pair of nesting bluejays in the back yard. As of today, however, any person (or dog) that ventured out the back door was subjected to screechy dive bombing about the head and shoulders.

Eventually, we deduced the cause for this anti-social behavior. One of their adolescent babies had fallen out of the nest and was hopping around on our back porch.This bird is about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the adults, is old enough to have all the color and markings of a jay, but not quite old enough to fly.

It’s difficult to determine at this point who is more agitated and distressed about the situation–the mama bird or Mrs. Blather.

Being a clueless male, I felt it my responsibility to point out to the women of the house that nearly 100% of birds that fall out of the nest don’t survive. I think this helped everyone.

My bride sent me out to rescue the helpless creature. Shrieking streaks of blue took turns targeting my corneas. I lasted about 15 seconds before running back into the house (in a manly way.)

Later, she decided to try to get some food to the grounded avian. Mrs. Blather took a piece of bread and headed out the back door. I suggested she chew it, swallow it, and regurgitate it for the birdlet. Again, I think this advice was appreciated.

Darkness fell with no resolution to the crisis. I don’t know what tomorrow may hold . . . but it might involve the renting of a beekeepers hat and 20 foot extension ladder.