Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Playing "The Shack" on Saturday, September 3

The Shack is a very cool Northern Beaches venue. You're even encouraged to bring your own snacks and a bottle or two:

The bio:
Little Thom sings wickedly funny songs about medical procedures, bikinis, an obscene dog, whiskey, and whether or not life is really all it's cracked up to be. And some other stuff. He has written hundreds of songs in his three-decade-long career, and has released three recordings, the latest of which, Bottomfeeders, contains no hits whatsoever, including the tender, "I Can't Wait (To Do a Tracheotomy)."

Friday, August 19, 2011

American With Terminal Bone Cancer Has Yard Sale Shut Down

A yard sale she was having to help pay her medical bills:

A woman fighting a terminal form of bone cancer is trying to raise money to help pay bills with a few weekend garage sales, but the city of Salem says she’s breaking the law and is shutting her down.

Jan Cline had no idea, but the city of Salem has a clear law that states a person can only have three yard sales a year.


“We make such an effort of making it back here (backyard) so that it’s not goobering up the neighborhood, so it’s not like a garage sale all laid out day after day after day,” she says.

Terminal bone cancer. She can't work. And she has to have yard sales to pay her medical bills. Ai yai yai.

The video is a bit tough to watch at the end:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Email From a Fan in Thailand

Just noticed an email in ye olde email receptacle. I thought it was spam, naturally, but turns out it wasn't:

Dear Little Thom,

Hi. This is Kiattisak from Thailand. I found one of your songs 'Inside Joke' from a podcast of The Word Nerds, and liked it very much. I bought the song from iTunes Store last year, so it's been a while but I can sing along only roughly. May I ask you for its lyrics, please?

Best Wishes,

Kiattisak is in Thailand, singing along, if unintelligibly at the moment, with one of my songs, possibly right now. Take that, Bob Dylan!

Oh, wait...

Thank you Kiattisak. (And yes, I sent him the lyrics.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

One-Legged Cockatoo

Here's a video of the one cockatoo we still feed. Her name is Peg:

And seconds after I stopped that video, Peg flew off with the dish. Cheeky bugger:

And this poor bugger looks like something out of a horrror movie:

We believe this bird to be suffering from Psittacine beak and feather disease. It is no fun:
Psittacine beak and feather disease is a viral disease affecting all Old World and New World Parrots (Psittacini, Hookbills). The virus belongs to the family Circoviridae. The virus attacks the feather follicles and the beak and claws-growing cells of the bird, causing progressive feather malformation and necrosis. In later stages of the disease, the feathers develop constrictions in feather shafts, cease development early until eventually all feather growth stops.

We saw something in the paper saying that you should actually try to capture these birds and take them to the local WIRES, as the disease is communicable. We'll look into that some more before actually throwing a blanket over one. Poor fella.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aussie on Marriage Equality

Just one graf:
This kind of silent segregation harks back to pre-civil rights movement America, as aptly put by Ellen DeGeneres, the gay American talk show host: ''Telling us we can't get married but can settle for a civil union is like a bus driver saying to a black schoolkid, 'I'll get you there if you insist, but you can sit at the back of the bus.' ''
The writer is 16 years old.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I'm putting together some research for a possible book, titled, for now, "Boxcutters, Icepicks, and a Gram of Polonium: the story behind history's most infamous murder weapons." I honestly can't tell you fully why. I just find it fascinating that, for starters, in the case of the boxcutter, such a simple weapon could be used to pull off what remains one of the biggest crime in history. And the story of that Russian killed by polonium poisoning - fascinating, horrifying, compelling. Is there something to learn from such things? I don't know. Maybe it's just unhealthy fascination with the macabre.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Morning Bird Calls [updated]

It's 6 a.m. Since about 5 this bird has been serenading me:

I wish I knew what it was. I think it's a currawong, but I'm not sure.

If you listen very closely after the string of bigger, more obvious notes, there is sometimes (I think twice, here) a very tiny, two-note trill, very high. Just beautiful.

Update: It's a magpie!Thank you to the commenter below!