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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   jealousy for the fate of Zheng Xiaoyu
Thursday, July 12 2007
I'm the sort of person who cannot get my mind around more than a couple things that need doing at one time. Beyond a certain number of things, all other things must queue up and wait for my attention. Recently I've been doing a jihad of web development on three different projects for three different people, and this hasn't left mental room for much other than the basic biological needs of myself and the animals. The other day I impressed myself by hand washing some clothes in a five gallon bucket out in the yard, but that's been the extent of my over-and-above-basic responsibilities. I haven't even washed any dishes since Ray left on Saturday.
Today, though, I finally got around to the beginning (and it could only be that) of a lawncare jihad. We have two human-powered push mowers now, and this second one (Sunlawn Brand) seems not all that much more effective than the one it was supposed to replace (a Great States), and it's decidedly flimsier too. It cuts a wider swath and has adjustable mowing height, but these are irrelevant niceties in the wilderness that is our lawn, especially in the unkempt state it was in when I confronted it today. I made a few half-hearted runs down the length of the yard with the mower and soon found myself soaked in sweat. Luckily, the garden affords me privacy when I want to get naked and hose down. I just sit behind the cabbages and tomatoes and none of the cars driving by are the wiser that my willy is, indeed, free.
More immediately satisfying was the detail work I could do in the lawn: weeding the gardens and using a pair of convential scissors to trim the grass and weeds growing from between the stones of the walkway (until I developed a blister, as this job always leads me to do).
As I worked I encountered wildlife, and unlike 99% of lawn mowers, I felt bad to be intruding into their habitat. The honeybees from earlier this season are all gone (dead?), replaced by bumblebees, and it's their cloverheads I'm mowing now. One tiny bee among the blueberries of our new blueberry bush stung me on the lip when I inadvertantly loaded her into my mouth along with the berries. I also saw two or three garter snakes slithering out of the way of the lawnmower's swirling spool of blades as they approached. The monkey in me always recoils at the sight of a snake (no matter how small), and that's always the first response, but some other part of me finds them adorable, so then I just stand there admiring.
One last bit of yard business today was the transplanting of the "Patio" (that's the name of a cultivar) tomato from a pot into the soil of the garden. Its leaves had been whitering away, probably from some nutrient deficiency, so I thought I'd try to give it a new lease on life in the wider world of garden soil. To ensure it had nitrogen, I poured several gallons of urine-soaked leaves (what my urinal system is generating these days; I ran out of sawdust) into the hole beneath its root ball. I also threw in some wood ashes, since they are rich in the mineral needs of most plants.

The news today of the execution in China of Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of its food safety agency had me feeling a twinge of jealousy. While admittedly China lacks the moral authority to execute anyone, and while I believe this is also true (to usually a lesser degree) of all countries, I can't say that I don't experience a little delight that the crime of high-level corruption lead to the ultimate penalty. High level crimes result in widespread damage, and arguably an official who fucks up and causes many to die is a much greater villain than a solitary Jeffrey Dahmer killing his victims gruesomely one by one. So why am I jealous? Well, in this country we have an executive branch staffed from top to bottom with Zheng Xiaoyus, and the resulting damage measures in the hundreds (or even thousands) of Jeffery Dahmer units. Those who have been most like Zheng Xiaoyu have been promoted, while those who blow the whistle on the likes of Zheng Xiaoyu have been demoted, attacked via anonymous leaks, and been libeled by Fox News and other propaganda arms of the Republican National Committee.
Our downhill neighbors recently put up a sign with red letters on a white background reading "IMPEACH!" The jealousy I have for the fate of Zheng Xiaoyu has me wanting to put a sign in front of our yard reading "HANG!" For those in the secret service reading this, let it be known that I would of course want there to be a trial first, though I wouldn't care if it was of the completely perfunctory sort (such as is planned for the inmates of Guantanamo) and if the accused (and I would hope there would be many) were forced to prove their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, since in "the war on tair," that's the new standard.

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