Yeah, that’s how I want to live life. I want to get dirty. I want to lose myself to pure exuberance anytime/anywhere, I want to bellyflop and make a mess and drench myself with the joy of being alive on this beautiful planet, I want to experience the rapture of sight and touch and taste and sunlight and sunsets, color and sparkle, and sweetness, and I also want to be so damn cute that I can get away with anything.
Speaking of color and sparkle, I found the first Blue Jay feather of 2021. On Wednesday I had just started out on my daily run and I spied a gray feather on the roadway so I took a chance and picked it up — it was a primary flight feather (such as that one, above, on the bottom left). OK, that’s fine, a good omen and all, but I am greedy so as I continued my run I said thank-you to the universe, but told the Great Spirit that I’s appreciate a tail feather, please (that’s the feather in the middle, above) because those are the big prize as far as Blue Jay feathers go.
75 minutes latermyI was on the return jog, less than three minutes from home, when I found it! I found a Blue Jay tail feather!
Actually, I found about a dozen tail feathers. And about 20 primary flight feathers, plus an array of brilliant secondaries and tertiaries.
OK, I found a dead Blue Jay.
The bird was lying by the side of the road and I was thankful that it was early morning and no one’s dog had gotten to it first. I said some words of gratitude to the bird spirit, and then I took off my T-shirt (I had a tank top on underneath) and wrapped it around this treasure and brought her/him (male and female Blue jays have identical plumage) home. Then I drove to the grocery store for corn meal and laid my bird to rest on a bed of corn meal, under a thick blanket of corn meal.
This is the third deceased Blue Jay that I have had the honor to gather so I’m an old hand at the native American method of desiccation (bury the body in corn meal). So my bird will be in a linen-covered box in a cool, dry place for the next three months and then I will remove the feathers, and frame them in a shadow box for my collection.
In case you’re wondering, it is illegal to stuff a Blue Jay or, for that matter, any song bird in America, and believe me, the taxidermists of North America are very honorable when it comes to strangers asking them if they will stuff a Blue Jay PLEASE. When I found my first dead Blue Jay I called taxidermists from Oregon to Ontario and not a single one would even consider doing a Blue Jay on the sly. Who knew that taxidermists had higher morals than politicians?
Trick question. EVERYBODY had higher morals than politicians.
Anyway, if stuffing a Blue Jay is illegal, I’m not sure it’s totally legal to possess the body of a Blue Jay, so don’t tell anyone that I have a dead Blue Jay in my cedar closet.
Does this make me a hypocrite? I call myself an animal lover, but, then, I do have a dead Bue Jay in my cedar closet.
Taffy and Bibs (above), some of the live animals I share my living space with.
Teddy, the newest addition to our live live-in animals, had a grand week. He got a blue mousie filled with home-grown cat nip from Dear Reader MaryAnne from VA, and Teddy got drunk ASAP:
My vet has suggested that Teddy might not be a Ragdoll, but a Birman. He does have more of a Birman coloring, in that his points are more consistent with Birman than Ragdoll, and he has white mittens on all four feet. But he has a very Ragdoll personality, the main characteristic being that Ragdolls don’t like to be alone and they will follow their person from room to room.
I’m sitting in the den, and Teddy is the only cat who hangs around me here. He found a box that I had forgotten about under my desk, and this is him now:
Shall we move on to the news of the week?
Der Trumpf made a speech in North Carolina last weekend and whined about losing the election and hinting that he will be back in a big way and blah blah blah, but all anybody could talk about was whether or to he was wearing his pants backward. So, yeah, that’s all he’s good for these days, is for a little laugh, when he’s not trying to stoke another insurrection.
In other GOP (Republican) news, the Texas Attorney General wants everyone to know that he did his best to keep people of color and Democrats from voting in 2020:
And this MAGA shitbag, Steven Brandenburg:
Brandenburg intentionally removed 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine from its refrigeration during two successive overnight shifts in December, prosecutors said, possibly rendering them ineffective because the vaccine vials must be stored at specific temperatures.
Brandenburg then returned the vaccines to the refrigerator after knowing that they had been left out, leading to 57 people being injected with the potentially spoiled inoculations.
Brandenburg is an “admitted conspiracy theorist” who “told investigators that he believed that Covid-19 vaccine was not safe for people and could harm them and change their DNA.”
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the Wisconsin pharmacist to three years in prison.
After completing his 36-month sentence, Brandenburg will face another three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $83,000 in restitution.
The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board suspended Brandenburg’s license earlier this year, which prohibits him from practicing at state pharmacies.
Some guy slapped French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, and by Thursday the guy had already been hauled into court and sentenced:
Why can’t we act that fast re: MAGA shitbags?
GOP Rep. Mo Brooks was served a lawsuit filed against him by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell over the January 6 Capitol insurrection after months of trying to evade it.
“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks said on Twitter.
Swalwell is suing former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Brooks, and Rudy Giuliani for inciting the insurrection. He accused Brooks of dodging being served and hired a private investigator to track him down.
Brooks was one of several GOP politicians who falsely claimed there was voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“Brooks-acting in his personal capacity- conspired with the other Defendants to undermine the election results by alleging, without evidence, that the election had been rigged and by pressuring elected officials, courts, and ultimately Congress to reject the results,” Swalwell’s lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said Brooks “directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed” when he addressed the crowd before the riot, urging the crowd: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
And here’s the latest on those shitbags who decided to follow Mo Brooks’s advice and go kick ass on Jan. 6, 2021:
Prosecutors say Sean McHugh fought with police as the mob of Trump supporters tried to breach the Capitol. Police body cam footage captured McHugh yelling, “You guys like protecting pedophiles?” “you’re protecting communists,” “I’d be shaking in your little shit boots too,” and, “there is a Second Amendment behind us, what are you going to do then?”
McHugh was convicted in 2010 on a state charge of unlawful sex with a minor. He was sentenced to 240 days in jail (which he did not serve the full term) with four years of probation. The victim was 14-years-old and McHugh was 23 when the crime occurred.
McHugh has been charged with 8 federal crimes in regards to the riot, including trespassing charges and charges of obstructing congressional proceedings and assaulting police officers with a dangerous weapon. He hasn’t entered a plea yet.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines, Iowa, man pictured prominently with a QAnon shirt ahead of a crowd of insurgents inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack asked a judge on Monday to release him from jail, saying “he feels deceived, recognizing that he bought into a pack of lies.”
Douglas Jensen, in a document filed by his attorney, said he believed he was a “true patriot” for going to Washington at the urging of President Donald Trump. He said his intention was to only observe.
Jensen claims he is “a victim of numerous conspiracy theories that were being fed to him over the internet by a number of very clever people, who were uniquely equipped with slight, if any, moral or social consciousness.”
Jensen’s attorney Christopher Davis said in the document that Jensen was not part of any mob and simply went to Washington to watch. Davis acknowledged Jensen was in front of a crowd but argued he did that “for the now disclosed silly reason” to show his QAnon shirt to get it recognized.
Davis said Jensen neither threatened physical harm to anyone nor destroyed property. Jensen had his work pocketknife on him for protection when he went to the Trump rally preceding the march to the Capitol. However, video and photographs of Jensen have been widely distributed, showing him wearing a QAnon shirt as he pursued Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman as a mob follows them up the stairs inside the Capitol.
Jensen, 41, was arrested and jailed in Des Moines two days after he returned home from Washington.
The court document describes Jensen as the product of a dysfunctional childhood and said he doesn’t fully understand the reasons he was pulled into the QAnon conspiracy. It speculates he could have been influenced by a mid-life crisis, the pandemic, “or perhaps the message just seemed to elevate him from his ordinary life to an exalted status with an honorable goal.”
His love and concern for his family was a “wakeup call that ended his victimization,” Davis said in the court filing.
He asked for Jensen to be released to get his affairs in order. He said Jensen’s wife is willing to drive him home to Des Moines, where he would remain under house arrest.
Shawn Price, 26, of Rockaway, New Jersey, is a self-described member of the Proud Boys and held a leadership position in the extremist group’s northern New Jersey chapter, according to court documents. He was charged with six federal offenses over his alleged role in the attack and made his first court appearance in his home state Tuesday afternoon.
Price was seen in photos taken at the Capitol’s lower west terrace as a crowd pushed toward police as officers fired chemical irritants, the affidavit said. Price reportedly wore goggles.
In messages to another Facebook user identified as L.H.P., whom law enforcement understood to be his mother, Price wrote that he “led the storm” of the Capitol. Price allegedly sent her a video in which he calls U.S. Capitol Police “fucking scumbags” for shooting chemical irritants at the mob on the grounds of the Capitol. The Facebook user identified as Price’s mother asked him when he was heading home and told him to “get out of there” and to “try washing… with baby shampoo” to help with the pepper spray.
Stephanie Baez, a 27-year-old California woman, told authorities she traveled to Washington, DC, in January to attend then-President Donald Trump’s rally and to look at medical schools, according to court documents.
She was arrested in connection to the riot on Friday in Alabama, according to the Department of Justice. At the time of her arrest Baez told authorities that she had permission to be in the Capitol on January 6 because she had previously looked up the building’s operating hours to confirm it was open so she could tour the site.
Baez documented her experience during the attack in extensive Instagram posts, praising the “patriots” who “stormed” the Capitol and offering to give an interview to a fellow Instagram user.
You know who is a better than all those MAGAt rats put together? Yeah, that’s right. An actual rat:
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — After five years of sniffing out land mines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia, Magawa is retiring.
The African giant pouched rat has been the most successful rodent trained and overseen by a Belgian nonprofit, APOPO, to find land mines and alert his human handlers so the explosives can be safely removed. Last year, Magawa won a British charity’s top civilian award for animal bravery — an honor so far exclusively reserved for dogs.
Magawa has cleared more than 141,000 square meters (1.5 million square feet) of land, the equivalent of some 20 football fields, sniffing out 71 land mines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance, according to APOPO.
APOPO decided that African giant pouched rats were best suited to land mine clearance because their size allows them to walk across mine fields without triggering the explosives — and do it much more quickly than people. They also live up to eight years.
In retirement, Magawa will live in his same cage as before and follow the same daily routine, but won’t be going out to the minefields anymore, said Lily Shallom, an APOPO spokeswoman.
He’ll be fed the same food, have playtime every day and get regular exercise and health checks. He eats mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, said Shallom, supplemented with small sun-dried fish for protein and imported pellets for vitamins and fiber. For 20-30 minutes a day, he is released into a larger cage with facilities such as a sandbox and a running wheel.
You might be wonderingHow do shitbags like Louie Gohmert get elected in the first place? It’s the old story, that mediocre white men are so sure of themselves that they get elected through sheer audacity. But it’s not just Republican politicians who get by in the world because of their entitlement. Here’s a selection of stories from a website that collects examples of Mansplaining from women in all walks of life, and it shows how highly most men think of themselves:
Here’s the antidote for all of that shitbaggery:
And that’s all for this week, Dear Readers. I hope you’ll find a great mud puddle this weekend, and go for a nice long dunk in exhilaration. BTS is dong two live concerts this weekend from South Korea, so you know Teddy and I will be back at this desk at 5:30 AM on Monday and Tuesday, watching the feed from Seoul Olympic Stadium.
And then we’ll both curl up in Teddy’s box and dream filthy, mud-splatterd dreams. Good dirt. Isn’t that what being alive’s all about?
See you next Friday.