Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Mishmash

Alex of the Bald Tummy

I have not seen Alex licking his tummy since our return from the visit to his veterinarian on Thursday. More importantly, to my knowledge, he has not coughed up a hairball either; that’s good because he coughed up several as he was denuding his tummy of fur.

He has taken his medicine quite well, too, only spitting out two pills and none of the liquid.

He has also been napping lots. Even more than usual. I suspect that’s a side effect of the antihistamine. At the moment he is napping on my desk beside the computer and beneath the high intensity lamp, flicking me with his tail—Alex’s favorite napping spot:

Herr Gustav

The past day or so my thoughts have been more on Hurricane Gustav than on the Labor Day holiday. In my life I have only known one human named Gustav and he was as quiet and gentle a man as every existed.

Not so, I hear, of Hurricane Gustav. About half an hour ago, CNN reported:

A hurricane watch was issued Saturday afternoon for southeastern Texas to the Alabama-Florida border as Hurricane Gustav's sustained winds reached 150 mph on its expected path to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

My thoughts are on the sentient beings—animals and birds as well a human—who may be in the path of this killer storm. Pictures flash into my mind from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. And so I have been praying—I have been praying a lot.

Labor Day Thoughts

I have in the past posted about what is to me the real meaning of Labor Day: the celebration of the working men and women of this nation and their struggle for workers’ rights and justice. I believe the best of my Labor day posts was the one of September 4th, 2006, and so I linked to it.

This Labor Day of 2008 I simply want to celebrate with songs that probably won’t be sung much this weekend but were at one time very important in the labor movement:

1913 Massacre
written and sung by Woody Guthrie

Which Side Are You On sung by Pete Seeger

Joe Hill sung by Joan Baez

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he
"I never died," says he

"In Salt Lake, Joe," says I to him,
Him standing by my bed,
"They framed you on a murder charge,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

"The copper bosses killed you, Joe,
They shot you, Joe," says I.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says, "What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize."

"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,
"Joe Hill ain't never died.
Where working men are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side,
Joe Hill is at their side."

"From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill,
Where workers strike and organize,"
Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill,"
Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill."

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he
"I never died," says he

Coal Tatoo sung by me


  1. Bick thank you I enjoyed the songs.It had been a long time since I heard the song Joe Hill.

  2. We've just heard on the news that Gustav has been upgraded to a category five hurricane. That is one severe blow. I think Katrina was a cat 5. I do feel for those poor people in New tragic.

  3. Good to hear Alex is taking his meds and recovering well.

    I've been listening to the reports on Gustav, it must be terrifying to be living in it's path. :(

  4. Mike: You’re most welcome! I truly enjoy songs that deal with the realities of life and especially those that tell of people striving for justice.

    Puss-in-Boots: It would be very nice if Gustav decided to blow itself out in the uninhabited parts of the Gulf of Mexico! I fear that Gustav will not be nice.

    Akelamalu: I thank you and Alex thanks you. At the moment, my kitten is finishing breakfast; more so than ever, his activities are limited to sleeping, eating, litter-boxing, and being groomed and cuddled. I suspect the antihistamine is the culprit.

  5. I'm glad that Alex avoided the dreaded CONE! Poor kitty - it sounds like it's either itching or limited activities right now.

    Thanks for the music and the reminder that the purpose of this holiday is not just to give people a day off work, thus more time to party.

    Hurricane Gustav... I can't imagine...

  6. I had heard the song for years, but I only learned recently that Joe Hill was a real person: link.

    My vet gave me a little gadget that puts the pills deep down a cat's throat, so the cat instintively swallows. You might ask about that, if it becomes a problem.

  7. glad to hear that the kitty is taking well to the medication.

    hope as well that the hurricane doesn't hurt many.... i am reminded of Katrina as well even though i am so far away. That kind of devistation is just sadening.

    Nice sining there Nick! Who knew you had some skilz? lol... ;)

  8. Carol: Alex has avoided the cone so far; however, a bit ago I walked into the room and spotted him licking his bare tummy, so we’ll see if he continues to be coneless.

    Songs of protests are sort of like whistling in the dark: they provide courage and unify the oppressed.

    Thomas: Yes, Joe Hill was a real human being—a heroic man in my book. I did a longer post about him in my 2006 post In Praise of the Proletariat

    Xmichra: Yep, the furball is taking his meds OK; I just hope he’s not denuding his belly when he thinks I’m not looking. I still have the cone he had to wear when he had that surgery on the lump on his rump.

    Katrina was horrible in many ways; I hope and pray the Gustav is not a repeat! BTW, although it signifies nothing, have you noticed that both Katrina and Gustav are Germanic names?

    You should have heard me perform in years past when the damned nose hose and oxygen need didn’t impinge on my voice as they do now!

  9. Curses. The video of you singing won't work on my machine. Your blog doesn't load well on my machine. I have a fast internet connection, but my itty bitty laptop goes berserk on your site. Even my typing is in fits and starts. Very disconcerting. I suppose you have lots of bells and whistles and links and videos. Wish my machine was up to it all.

    I am glad to see that Alex the Blogging Cat is healing. Our Gulf of Mexico friends are in our prayers. And yes, you're right to think of the forms of life who won't be able to evacuate. Scary times.

  10. San: I’m sorry that the video doesn’t load. I have problems with my site using Internet Explorer, but from what I can tell you are using Foxfire. You’re right: it is probably something on my sidenbar that is causing your computer problems. I have removed several items as I have discovered they cause me problems in loading my blog.

    I agree that we are in scary times. I suppose that’s why I’m saying so many prayers in regard to Gustav. I would hate to see a repeat of Katrina.

  11. Have a fun Labor Day, Rev Nick.

  12. I'm joining everyone else in saying that I'm glad that Alex is doing better.

    Also worried about the folks in Gustav's path.

    Have a happy, safe holiday!

  13. Squirl: Thank you. My kitty is again napping beside me on my desk.

    My mother telephoned a few minutes ago and said that the TV is saying that Gustav will make landfall earlier than expected. I said a few more prayers.

  14. Just saw reports that the pets ARE a priority this time. Many people are here at the Expo center...what to do after the ir 10 days there???

    Happy to hear Alex is doing well. He knows it's for his own good. Is he also eating well? Was that a silly question? Hope you are doing good, too! :)

  15. Bette: I am so glad that this time the animlas have been thought about in advice!

    Yes, Alex is eating well—very well! He is also napping much more that usual, even for Alex. And he wants to be held and petted and cuddled more than usual, too.

  16. beautiful song!!! please do this again real soon :)

  17. Keep strumming my friend! ; )

    Coffee on it's way within the next two weeks 4 sure! ; )