Goat Blogging

goats-grazing-lock-the-gate1Finally, the definitive goat blog!

The goat blog the world has been waiting for was just launched yesterday, but already it has advice about every kind of goat exigency anyone could imagine. What if your goat needs a job? What kind of goat do you need for allergies? And is your goat namby-pamby?

For instance, what about goat politics? In the section on Head Butting, all is explained:

What’s the point of being head goat?  It is mostly about food.  You get first choice of everything while the others just stand back and wait until you are finished.  If there is a catch it is that the other goats are going to be expecting you to stand in front when they come face to face with a panting great dane.

The blogger lives in Norway with his goats and other family members.    Welcome to the blogosphere!


Photo: –the sign (in Norwegian) says “goats grazing, please lock the gate”!

Posted in Goats. 2 Comments »

Corpse Photography

There used to be one curious photograph in our family photo album–a picture of a baby in a casket on the porch of a farm house. All of us were either not born yet or too young to remember when the baby died, so the photo was our only link with it. Did the profile look like the any of us? I don’t know, it was a baby, but people did linger over that photo. It was also the only photo of a deceased family member I have ever seen. Until now.

I was unable to be at the funeral of a family member who died recently but the photos are now online at the funeral home website–photos of the deceased from various angles and photos of family members I don’t know–probably the grown up children of people I do know. None of them look like they are exactly at their best, and none of them look like how I want to remember them. Yes, you can order them online for a fee, and no, no one I know in the family plans to buy one.

During the Cold War, I don’t remember pictures of corpses. It was always sort of a taboo. In the newspaper business, the policy was always to show any dead bodies so that the faces were not identifiable. Can you imagine a family having to come across something like that by accident?

Now that our wars have moved to the Middle East, corpses have became the new propaganda tool. In Somalia the photo of an American soldier killed in fighting and dragged around the streets galvanized public opinion and got American troops out of the country. In Palestine’s West bank, photos of dead Israeli babies were posted on the streets with gloating victory slogans, while photos of dead Palestinian babies were shoved under the noses of visiting westerners by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. During the Iraq war, friends in the Middle East–people who were normal by Middle Eastern standards–sent me links to pictures of dead Iraqi babies. In the latest Gaza war, Hamas again trotted out dead baby pictures as part of the propaganda war.

It seems we have now become so calloused that seeing pictures of corpses is now normal, where it was never normal before. Is that why I can now see a picture of a deceased family member online halfway across the country? Or maybe it’s just a matter of different customs in different parts of the country or in different families.

Is there anyone out there whose family does take pictures of the deceased?

Questions are a Burden

prisoner-penny-farthing-550Which is your favorite quotation from The Prisoner?

  • Questions are a burden to others: answers a prison for oneself
  • I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I am not a number, I am a free man!
  • The butcher with a sharpest knife has the warmest heart

Patrick McGoohan fans can vote for more of their favorite maxims or watch the series free online.

Posted in Curiosities. Comments Off on Questions are a Burden

Mike “Are you people nuts” Doogan turns cyberstalker

blogger-dooganLet me add my voice to the blogosphere echo chamber of outrage over the actions of Alaska representative Mike Doogan.  Mike Doogan stalked and outed the anonymous author of the popular Alaska politics blog, Mudflats. Not only did Doogan publish her name, he did so at taxpayer expense in the House Democratic legislators official newsletter, where it still appears. (No, I’m NOT going to give a link.) I guess they must not have any lawyers on their staff to advise them about that.

She also published the “Are you people nuts?”  letter received by some of his constituents on Christmas Eve.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1) Bloggers are entitled to free speech, 2) Bloggers have the right to political speech, 3) Bloggers have the right to stay anonymous.

Yet another example of liberals eating their own.

Posted in Technology. Comments Off on Mike “Are you people nuts” Doogan turns cyberstalker

Puma Man Mystical Icons

pumaman-chest-logo1Ah, a new Puma icon. Puma Man is a totally camp super hero flick from the 80’s.  Here is a trailer in English, an Italian promo, and a ten-page plot description.  Not much here for plot, but there are some definite possibilities in the sartorial and iconology departments.

Apparently the real hero is not Puma Man, but an Aztec shaman who discovers Puma Man’s identity by a series of mysterious defenestrations throughout London. Eventually the movie’s namesake, Puma Man is tossed out a window and survives, proving his capability for flying. (And what’s that puma symbol on his chest?)

pumaman-magic-belt-buckle1pumaman-shaman1While Puma Man learns to fly (with the help of the mystical Puma belt buckle), his ams and legs flailing blindly in front of the low budget special effects backdrops, the shaman, dressed in the latest Puma-shaman muscle shirt with mystical designs, keeps kissing his amulet and thanking the Puma Gods, but he still ends up fighting all the bad guys himself single-handedly. It’s another case of “you were the change you were waiting for.”

What is Puma Man doing now? He’s now a medical malpractice lawyer in New York City (altonlawfirm.com).  When the Daily Show did a video about malpractice lawyers in 2005, he was one of the talking heads.

H/TBrad of Rumproast, formerly of PumaPAC, who posted the link at Rumproast on 03/27/09 at 01:36 AM;  honorable mention to ritamaepuma (who posted it 7 minutes later on PumaPAC 03.27.09 at 1:43 am).  They obviously read each others’ material on a minute by minute basis. Sometimes the fights these blogs engage in remind me of religious zealots whose theological points are minutely different from each other in such esoteric ways that they cannot be fathomed by outsiders but who nonetheless persist in fighting each other to the death rather than turn their attention to those at the opposite end of the spectrum or to the social ills they both claim they wish to solve.

Posted in Curiosities. Comments Off on Puma Man Mystical Icons

Bedouins and goats

Here is a Jordanian goat.


The goat belongs to Fatma. Fatima is the one on the left. Yes, they have tatoos on their faces. I found out later that Jordanian women don’t usually allow themselves to be photographed.  I hope I don’t get into trouble with the Bene Sakr for this one.

Fatima is stirring up the goats with a stick to try to get them to be more photogenic for the picture.


Then Fatma took a picture of me with the goat. I don’t know if she ever used a camera before.


[photo edited]

I know a Jordanian guy who put a photo of his wife on the internet–she had a proper scarf on, hair completely covered  and everything.  He had to take it down after some guys at work started making nasty comments about her. There were pictures of his kids too, but that wasn’t a problem.  I wanted to take a picture of her–I had stayed with the family a few times–but by then she didn’t want anyone taking her picture because of the bad experience.

It’s too bad when women’s photos have to be removed–in any culture. You don’t see that happening with men.

Starting a blog

wordpress-blog1So your friends want you to start a blog.  And yourself, not so much.  Maybe.  Depending.

A lot of work, right? You have to post regularly and keep thinking of new topics, right? You have to deal with personalities and readers, right?…build up a core of readers who are interested in your topics?

No.  Forget all of that.

You don’t have to do anything.

You don’t have to have any comments at all. You can close comments on individual posts or for the whole blog. You can have just a title page if you want. Some blogs are nothing more than a resume or a collection of frequently used links. Some bloggers post once a month, others even less, and some just post pictures.  Their  blogrolls are gold mines for the right enthusiasts and the blogs serve as an introduction to the person’s way of looking at the world.

Okay, so you’re convinced.  You want your own blog.  What do you do? First you need a domain name. There are several blogging services that will give you a free one. Blogspot and Livejournal are popular, but the best one is WordPress. You can do a lot with their format and it’s very intuitive. The utilities for dealing with images are very easy to use and they give you enough space to upload almost limitless photographs. The only drawbacks to WordPress are 1) You can’t use your blog for commercial purposes (like Google ads). 2) If someone views your blog with Internet Explorer, they may see it with ads that WordPress puts there.   Still, I like WordPress better than the others.  Or, if you want to spend money, you can get your own domain.

goat-blog2If I had a friend, purely hypothetical of course, who wanted to do a quick blog that would give him an identity page to link to and make his friends deliriously happy, I would recommend a WordPress blog. This type of blog is totally free and could have anything in it from goats to architecture to cruise ship lavatories to just photographs.  Did I mention goats?

How to get started?  Go to WordPress.com and register for a blog.  You will need a unique name that no one else has. If you want to blog anonymously you might also want to set up a separate email account just to register, so your real email address isn’t visible if you comment on a blog with the wordpress format.

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