Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tolerable in Small Doses

Next Friday, May 6, 2011, Scowl-Face will be yammering at a captive audience attending the Evergreen Indiana annual conference sponsored by the Indiana State Library.  Those unfamiliar with the experience who will be in attendance should bring an ample stock of Bismuth subsalicylate or comparable medicinal compounds.  Intestinal fortitude is an absolute must.

Although quite tolerable in small doses, Scowl-Face can exhaust even the most enthusiastic of spectators.  So it is helpful to concentrate upon any accompanying visual information (to distract attention from the verbal discourse).  I like to help whenever possible, so I recommend watching S.F.'s PowerPoint slideshow, which is available online.  Downloading instructions are available on two of my Library's other blogs (click here and here).  If you are attending his workshop, watching the slideshow beforehand might make some sense out of Scowl-Face's gibber.  Post-workshop viewing might accomplish the same.  It's something analogous to the "hair of the (slobber)dog," if you get my drift.  (If you're not attending his workshop, consider yourself fortunate.  You might want to watch the slideshow anyway; it might be helpful, who knows?  Anything's possible.)

Seriously, good luck to Scowly.  More luck to his listeners.  As Buffalo Gal says, it's okay to yawn and doze.  Snoring, however, is bad form.

Sawing the Logs Already, Just Thinking About It,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Public Speaking News Beat

Weavers - So Long It's Been Good To Know You (when the hyperlinked page opens, look for the "play online" box a little ways down the screen)

P.S.  Thinking about sitting in Scowl-Face's workshop assemblage made me think of "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," by Woody Guthrie, and sung here by the Weavers, from the album The Weavers Greatest Hits (1957; re-released on CD, 1990).  This clip is only a little more than half the song, but you'll enjoy what there is.  The album is available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog; if you have an E.I. library card, you may check it out.

Just so you may enjoy listening to the Weavers in concert, here's "Wimoweh" (1952).  If that didn't do it for you, then try "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" (1949), captured live in this 1951 television recording.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Makes Paintings Valuable

What makes paintings valuable?  It certainly isn't the ingredients.  Some pigments smeared onto a canvas.  Anyone could do that, right?  Well, of course, it's not as simple as that.  If mere smearing of pigments were all it took to make an artistic treasure, then Scowl-Face would be rich and famous.  How you smear the pigments is the trick.

My Library is fortunate to have many beautiful works of art, including paintings by several local artists, some of whom you may have heard about.  (Don't give me the grammar lecture about never ending sentences in prepositions; those rules apply to people, not felines.)  Let me share some with you.

 "A Memorial to Ernest & Ada Freeman,
Florists Over 50 Years,"
by Sara Jayne Hogue

 "The Methodist Episcopal Church," by Helen Cook

"Farmhouse," by Richard Squires

Each of these is a fine representation, but there's something missing.  Some crucial, integrating element that, if present, would result in skyrocketing prices for the paintings on display at my Library.  What could it be, I wonder?  Hmmmmmm . . . .

 "[Cauli's] Homestead," by Helen Cook

 "[Cauli's] Room at Roselon," by Paul Hadley

Fine Just the Way It Is

 What do you suppose these paintings are worth, comparatively?  Let's get an expert's estimations.

Art Appraisals Real Cheap
Jules Le Chat, Proprietor
  Behind the Dumpster
23 West Main Street (More or Less)
Mooresville, Indiana 46158

"Pricing Art Since 8:45 This Morning"

Artist (Painting)                       Before Cauli                After Cauli
Paul Hadley (Roselon) $36,000 $3,850,000
Helen Cook (Homestead) $8,500 $975,000
Helen Cook (M.E. Church) $10,200 $1,443,000
Richard Squires (Farmhouse) $8,700 $992,000
Sara Jayne Hogue (Sunflowers) $8,800 $1,066,000
Unknown (Girl and Kitty) $4,975                      N/A

There you have it!  CauliArt is MUCH more valuable than non-CauliArt. Put that in your bubble pipe and make with the bubblies, already.

Don't Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Artsy News Beat

P.S.  Sorry, Junior.  I know you're the special arts & crafts correspondent, but, sometimes, you have to send in the A Team.

P.P.S.  Appropriately enough, let's enjoy "The Painter" by Neil Young, from his CD Prairie Wind (2005).

Theme Song Update

We have the top two reader selections for my theme song, from among The Music Man's compositions.  They are:

(Copyright © 2010 by Daniel E. Buckley.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by Permission.)

(Clicking the hyperlinks above will take you to The Music Man's web page for each album.  Look for the track title and click the widget to play.)

Click here for a music review of Touch of Winter.  Click here, here, here, and here for reviews of several tracks from Through Abstract Eyes.

You may have heard "He Who Comes For My Soul" as the soundtrack to our book trailer for Go, Dog. Go!  If not, it's not to be missed.

"Seashells on the Beach" has appeared in a variety of our book trailers, program trailers, local history videos, and other offerings on the MPL YouTube Channel.  Here are a couple of examples.

Care to cast the deciding vote between these two candidates for Cauli's theme?  Leave a comment in comments (at the bottom of the posting).

I like both songs, myself.  But, then, I enjoy all of The Music Man's repertoire.  Who wouldn't?

Knowing Great Music When I Hear It,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Great Music News Beat

P.S.  Click here to listen to "Sick Doctors Treating Healthy Patients," from The Music Man's CD Music Therapy for the Deranged (2010).  To see how we used this piece in one of our videos, we offer our book trailer to The Treatment Trap, by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh (Ivan R. Dee, 2010).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slobberdog Rain Gear

Although, in my previous posting, I showed a couple of photos featuring a "dogbrella" and a slobberdog in a slicker, some of my slobberdog-loving readers asked for additional pictures of fashionable canine rain gear.  We aim to please, so here you go.

 Looks like my late pal, Shiloh (sniff!)

Come on, now--Does anybody honestly think this would work?

Kinda Cute, Actually

Raincoats, or slickers, like the one above are, admittedly, sorta cute on a slobberdog such as the one pictured.  Some of these outfits, however, seem to turn rainstorms on their heads.  Consider exhibit one for the plaintiff.

Rain falls from the sky, not the ground, Einstein

Only a human could think of a raincoat that leaves a slobberdog's back, head, and tail exposed.  I could, however, see a slobberdog wearing that if s/he were wading or swimming through high water.  Perhaps the tail area is left exposed for other, necessary reasons.  'Nuff said.

Truly Functional Slobberdog Slicker

This one makes solid sense.  Attach the leash, and your slobberdog is good to go, regardless of precipitation.  Dryness is all but assured, which is vitally important, because nothing, and I mean nothing, smells worse than a wet slobberdog.

You people can get in on the act, too.  There are slobberdog umbrellas (i.e., umbrellas that look like slobberdogs).

Complete With Dopey Expression

There are even "hands-free" umbrellas for people.  Are they suave, sophisticated, and stylish?  Ask a silly question . . .

Need I Say More?

Cute babes (as some of my people acquaintances would say) may improve sales of certain products, but, in this instance, I'd venture not.  Some apparel makes anyone look like a doofus.  We covered that in an earlier blog, but it bears repeating.

Wet Felines Smell Sweet (Thanks, in Two Words, to Personal Hygiene),

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Precipitation News Beat

P.S.  We close with "The Rain Song," by Led Zeppelin, live at Earls Court (1975).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Umbrella Music

I got sidetracked searching for that Ban roll-on advertisement in my earlier post.  Otherwise, I would have remembered this great umbrella song, "Bus Stop," by the Hollies (1966).  This television performance (below) is from the British program, Top of the Pops, June, 1966.  (Looks like lip-synching, however.  The sound is reminiscent of the studio recording.)

Another obvious choice is "Umbrella" by Rihanna (2007), but the music video is a tad racy for my blog.  If you want to watch it, it's easily found on YouTube or one of the other free video websites.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cat Umbrellas, Anyone?

It has been raining more or less continuously around my Library for the past week or so, and since I'm primarily an outdoor roving reporter, I need the proper equipment to keep dry.  Felines, as you may know, hate being physically uncomfortable (we are not afraid of water; that's an urban myth).  Being soaked with H2is no picnic, let me tell you.  So we should have the latest, most stylish and dignified dry-keeping gear available.

I said stylish dry-keeping apparel

Yet another casualty for feline dignity

Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse . . .

Okay, this is just totally wrong.  Slickers are right out!  Time to come-about and turn into the wind and across (that's called tacking) and get this sailboat heading the right direction.  Unless you're turning away from the wind and across (that's called gybing or jibing). (I'm no sailor, but I could play one on television.  Anyway, I did my homework.)

We need some sort of external dry-keeping gear to ward the dampness off moi.  I know just the trick.

Kitties know where it's driest

Noah jokes never get old
(Cats DO know how to spell, wise guy)

Why am I not surprised?

Cat umbrellas make a world of sense.  They even work for slobberdogs, although people have to attach their leashes to the umbrella, because, as we felines all know, slobberdogs haven't got enough sense to come in out of the rain.  (Hey, that slobberdog in the photo above looks stuffed, and not in the good way.)

Works as a boat, too, in case of high water

Don't feel left out, people.  You, too, can have a suave, sophisticated feline umbrella of your very own.

Quite debonair, I must say

Who wouldn't look cool with this?

The only difficulty I can see with a cat umbrella (i.e., cats using umbrellas, not the umbrellas that look like cats) is that we need a minion to hold it.  Not that we couldn't hold them ourselves; we have claws, you know.  It's just that we have minions to do those menial tasks befitting the human station in life. 

Where have you been?  My pedicurist is waiting

Don't hold the umbrella too high.  If a passing vehicle splashes water toward moi, use your body as a shield, minion.

How Dry I Am (There's an Old Advertising Jingle Lyric!),

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Meteorology News Beat

P.S.  Here's a late 1960s Ban antiperspirant television commercial.  Listen for the catch phrase ("How dry I am!") at the 27 second mark.  (Another version sang, "How dry I am, with New Dry Ban.")  Just be glad your grey matter isn't filled with this minutiae.

P.P.S.  If I hadn't already used the Beatles song Rain (1966) in a previous blog, I'd include it here.  In fact, I used a whole bunch of rainy songs in that posting. So I'll go with Gordon Lightfoot's Rainy Day People (1975), recorded in a live performance June 16, 2010, at the Palace Theater in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  (Sound could be a lot better, but it's probably a spectator recording video with his/her phone camera, so there you have it.)  By the way, The Lady With the Red Hair ranks her two Gordon Lightfoot concerts (April, 1978 and sometime in the 1980s) as the best she ever attended.  High praise, indeed.

P.P.P.S.  Notice I avoided describing the current deluge as raining cats and dogs (slobberdogs).  Some cliches even I won't touch.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Drawer Dude Fixed My Hat

Drawer Dude, who is a bona fide artist, graphics designer, Photoshop expert, and pharmacy technician, has fixed my hat.  You may recall that Scowl-Face edited my previously-posted picture, and stunk is, unfortunately, an insufficiently descriptive term.  Drawer Dude, on the other paw, really fixed up the photo nicely; in fact, it is the best, most professional edit I've ever seen applied to a photo of moi.

Do I Look Spiffy, or What?

You should see Drawer Dude's artwork and graphic designs, folks.  Well, I guess you have, if you've read the basket workshop post, which, by the way, is by far my most popular posting, with (as of this writing) 735 readers and counting!  You've also seen Drawer Dude's work if you've watched our zombie book trailer.  If you haven't seen it, here's your chance to take a look.  Watch for his sketches early on.

These are, of course, fairly rough and quick sketches, but you should see his portfolio.  Talent like his should be making beaucoup buckaroonies for him and for whomever he'd be working.  You artsy business types out there should take notice and hire Drawer Dude straight away.  Scowl-Face, who, if you can imagine, once worked in advertising and marketing at The Saturday Evening Post, said that Drawer Dude's skills would have been enormously valuable when he (Scowly) worked there.  Of course, Drawer Dude would have been only 3-6 years old at the time, but his creativity was precocious. so D.D. probably could have pulled it off.  He certainly couldn't have done worse work than S.F., that's for sure in a handbasket.

I think this new hat photo really showcases my beautificity, beautaciousness, or whatever the noun form for beautiful should be.   (Beautiful is an adjective.  Take that, grammar goose!)

Uh-oh.  Mentioning the word goose recalls Scowl-Face's nightmare experience of three years ago.  I've touched upon this before, but take another gander (ouch!)  Oh, and look here for another grammar goose reference.  I thought I had just thought up the phrase, being so terribly clever and all, but it looks as if others beat me to the punch.  (I got all the hors d'oeuvres, however.)

If Drawer Dude can vastly improve the quality of my photographs, imagine what he can do for yours.  Except Scowl-Face, of course.  Artistic abilities have their limits, you know.

Single-Pawedly Bringing the Fedora Back into Style,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Haberdashery News Beat

P.S.  Today's posting calls for "Don't Touch My Hat," by Lyle Lovett, from Road to Ensenada (1996).  Amazingly, I couldn't find a share-alike video of Lyle performing this song.  (Here are the lyrics.)  Thank goodness for bands covering other artists' works.  Enjoy a live cover of "Don't Touch My Hat" by Blue Train (2008).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Market Your Library Where the Action Is

Hey, all my library colleagues out there! Want to learn how to market your collections, programs, events, activities, and general libraryness to the world-at-large? Your patrons surf the web, just like everybody else, and you can reach them through social networking media like YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  But how?  That's the $64,000 question, or at least it was in the fifties on American television.

Fortunately, Broadway Gal and Scowl-Face are doing a workshop at the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) District 8 Conference next Wednesday (April 27, 2011) in which they explain the whole deal.  If you can't make it to the workshop, please feel free to download their MS-PowerPoint slideshow: 

I guess you could download the slideshow even if you're going to the workshop, but you might wait until afterwards.  I'd hate to spoil the surprise.

This is truly exciting stuff!  (They told me to say that, so it must be true.)  Extend your library's reach and leave your global online footprint.  Not as cute as mine, of course, but you can't have everything.

Leaving Some Footprints Outside the Library in the Rain-Soaked Mud,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Workshop News Beat

P.S.  ... Where the Action Is! was a 1967 album by the Yardbirds.  It was re-released on CD in 1997.  There are several live performances on the album, as well as studio tracks.  It includes "Shapes of Things" (1966). 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Had Better Hide Them Away

Tomorrow (Friday, April 22) is National Jelly Bean Day.  For lots of background details (plus some recipes), click here and here.

Grab a Handful or One-at-a-Time

You may or may not fancy jelly beans; they are, however, quite popular around Easter time, because of their egg-like shape, so the experts say.  Personally, I think people just like to chomp the little goobers.  Most felines turn-up their noses at J. Beans, because they're a tad too sweet for our palates, and they stick to the roofs of our mouths (which, technically, is called the palate, but I try not to be overly redundant in the same sentence).  Scowl-Face, on the other paw, is quite another beastie altogether.

Which brings us to my warning in this posting's title.  (Yes, I know it's a sentence fragment, but creative writers like moi can break grammatical rules with impunity.  Literary license, it's called by the literati.  Like James Bond, only not so rough a license.)  Sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment.  Oh, yes, the warning!  Hide your J. Beans away so that Scowl-Face cannot find them!  I kid you not, he WILL be rooting around your homes searching for the errant bean (any flavor will do).  He eats them by the fistful, and he gobbles them down like so many truffle-rooting hoggerpigs.  Well, here are some pictures to explain.

Black Truffles

Hoggerpig (Rooting Around for Something)

Cute Wild Baby Hoggerpig

I would include a photo of Scowl-Face, but why frighten my younger, more sensitive readers?  Here's a close-up of his belly, which is horrifying enough.

Close-up of Scowl-Face's Belly

Some people kiddies whose families celebrate Easter will be squealing for joy when they receive baskets full of faux Easter eggs (the kind that twist open and have candy inside), painted, hard-boiled Easter eggs (real thing, only more colorful), chocolate bunnies (okay to eat; not to worry, Morgan the Library Bunny).  Unless you want those happy faces to turn to floods of tears, you'd best hide away the jelly beans, at least until after the holidays.  We could try locking Scowl-Face in the Library staff room from now through next Monday, but there's food in there now, and there wouldn't be if he were left alone for an entire weekend.

Enjoy Your J. Beans, All You Squealing Kiddies,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Confectionery News Beat

P.S.  All this talk about J. Beans has gotten me thinking about musical candy.  Let's reach back to your (great?)-grandparents' (could be parents for some of you) generation with "Candy," written in 1944 by Alex Cramer (music), Mack David and Joan Whitney (lyrics) and popularized by Johnny Mercer, Jo Stafford, and the Pied Pipers (1945).

For the fifties American pop aficionado, there is "Lollipop" by the Chordettes (1958).


Of course, there's "Candy Man," written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  The song was most famously covered by Sammy Davis, Jr. (1972).  Here is one of Sammy's live television performances.

Although it pains me dearly to include this "bubblegum" tune, here's "Sugar, Sugar" (1969), written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim and performed by "the Archies," a "band" comprised of comic book characters.  The recording was made by studio musicians assembled by Don Kirshner.  Ron Dante sang the lead.

Happy Easter, Chicklets!

Now that our chicks are enjoying their foster time, I wanted to wish them a happy Easter (if they and their foster families celebrate it, of course).  Newly hatched chicklets are symbolic of the holiday, as are their marshmallow counterparts.

Tasty and Fun to Eat

I wonder why a bunny became associated with Easter, instead of a chicken.  (Notice, once again, that I have temporarily shelved use of my ordinary monikers, hopping breakfast and winged dinner, out of respect for our chicks and Morgan the Library Bunny, who are my friends and colleagues.)  I get the egg association; so why not an Easter Chicken?  Just asking.  I'm sure there are good reasons why we have an Easter Bunny.

1907 Postcard

So, for those of my readers celebrating Easter, I hope you save me some of your great chow.  I am partial to turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and biscuits with honey.  Make sure the potatoes are freshly peeled; none of this instant boxed stuff.  Same with the gravy; if it comes out of a jar, let your relatives eat it.  Fresh ingredients for moi, if you please.

We have loads of cute photos of our chicklets posted on Broadway Gal's Hatching Chicks @ MPL blog. Take a peep --er-- peek.

Half-and-Half With Sour Cream Makes Mashed Potatoes Creamier,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday News Beat

P.S.  Since some of our chicks are yellow (the Peeps certainly are), our closer today is "Yellow," by Coldplay (from the Parachutes CD [2000]).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Introducing Samuel . . . and Samuel

If you haven't been keeping up with the latest egg-citing developments in my Library's hatching chicks blog, then you really need to get on the ball and check it out.  A record number of chicks (notice I am not calling them winged dinners, because these guys are now my library colleagues and friends) hatched this year, and each was given his or her own special name.  Chick Samuel was named after Samuel Moore, founder of Mooresville, Indiana.

Broadway Gal recently announced a status update on Samuel and another chick, Harper (named, if memory serves, after Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird).  Thanks to my keen feline vision and insight, I immediately noticed the similarities between Samuel (the chick) and Samuel (the founder).  Consider, for instance, the white feathers under Samuel (again, the chick's) chin and on his chest.  Looks kinda like Samuel's (the founder) beard, eh?  See what you think.

Notice the dignified manner and posture?  The proud, self-assured stance?  The serious, "I'm one tough dude, so don't mess with me" expression?  Yep, so did I.  These guys could be brothers.  Well, not literally, but certainly kindred spirits.

Some people think chickens are none too bright, but that's completely untrue.  They are just single-minded and highly focused.  Their concentration changes from one moment to the next, but at any given instant, they are zen-like in mental direction.  I suspect Samuel Moore was similarly focused and driven, but he, unlike chickens, could hold a huge range of ideas simultaneously in his brain.  After all, he founded the town, developed real estate, ran several successful versions of his trading post and general store, raised livestock and crops, etc.  He was an extraordinarily successful businessperson.  That's no easy task.  Plus he was quite generous toward his fellow townsfolk, donating the land for the original annual Old Settlers gatherings (on South Street, known today as Old Town Park), and contributing anonymously a tidy sum to build the first high school in central Indiana (the Mooresville Academy, in 1861, which, by the way, gives Mooresville the distinction of having the oldest continuously operating high school in Indiana).  Any way you cut it, this fella was top-drawer stock.

We hope Samuel (the chick) continues to develop into a fine specimen of chickenhood.  We hope, too, that any relatives of Samuel Moore still living in Morgan County, Indiana (or elsewhere) and who, however unlikely, might see this blog, have a sense of humor.

May Have Known Samuel Moore in One of My Previous Nine Lives,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Chick/Founder News Beat

P.S.  I'm not overlooking Harper, the other chick in Broadway Gal's update.  Here is our book trailer featuring To Kill a Mockingbird.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Phishing" for Fish Bloggers at Westfield Washington

Folks who use email have probably heard about the nefarious practice of "phishing," by which email scammers try to obtain your sensitive personal information, such as user names, passwords, logins, etc., by enticing you to follow false hyperlinks or to pursue fraudulent ventures.  Well, I would never resort to such evil tactics, mostly because I am, if nothing else, a truly good kitty, and such behavior would undoubtedly scotch my chances for sainthood.  I used the term in this blog's title to mean something entirely different.  I'm referring, of course, to swimming suppers.  People call them "fish," but I think "phish" is a cooler spelling, if cooler is indeed a word.  (More cool?  Who decides these things?  Better check some definitions.  Wait--I found the answer, I think.)  In any event, Phish is a terrific band (more on that later).

We felines see swimming suppers along these lines.

Singing Swimming For Your Supper

Progress compels us to adapt to changing attitudes and societal needs.  So we will dispense with the "swimming supper" moniker for the time being and get down to brass tacks (whatever that means).

Last week The Lady With the Red Hair and Scowl-Face attended an Evergreen Indiana cataloging roundtable (more about roundtables later) and learned a bunch of cataloger stuff that is well beyond the ken (but not the Barbie) of the average joe person.  An interesting aside, about which I have been reliably informed, was provided at the meeting.  Shelley L. (I'm using her surname initial to preserve her privacy, sort of), who is the cataloging wiz at Westfield Washington Public Library (WWPL), in Westfield, Indiana, and who was one of the instructors at the cataloging roundtable, said that fish live in her Library (presumably in an aquarium, but I'm open to other possibilities).

This got me to thinking:  Resident library fish are no different than a resident library rabbit or a resident library cat (or, for that matter, a feline roving reporter such as moi).  We know about Morgan the Library Bunny (at Morgan County [Indiana] Public Library [MCPL]) and Tober the Library Cat at Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library (TPL), both of whom are world-famous (especially Tober) for their massive cuteness and erudite insights.  Everyone, needless to say, knows about moi.  Here's my proposal:  Westfield Washington Public Library should have its resident fish start a blog!  The fit is ideal.  Like the public libraries in Mooresville, Morgan County, and Thorntown, WWPL is an Evergreen Indiana library consortium member.  That makes them plenty special.  MCPL and TPL have resident critters, and MPL has moi, who hangs around mostly outside the place.  So Westfield's resident fish would be a perfect marketing fit.

Imagine the valuable information WWPL's fish could impart to blog readers and patrons.  Fish have big eyes that see everything!  Of course, WWPL has a web site, which keeps folks well informed.  But the fishy perspective would be much more interesting and just plain fun.  Face it, peeps (as Morgan the Library Bunny says)--whose blog would you rather read:  Scowl-Face's or mine?  I rest my case.

I'll be sending this blog to the power brokers at WWPL to see if we're on the same page about resident critter blogging.  My consulting fee, as always, is a case of canned tuna-in-oil, which, in the spirit of cooperation, I am gratiously waiving on this occasion.

Come on, Westfield!  Join the ranks of critter bloggers such as Tober, Morgan, and moi.  Your fish need a forum to voice their views.  Cuteness is a truly powerful marketing tool.

More Cute Than You Can Shake a Stick At,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Critter Blogging News Beat

P.S.  In keeping with our fishy theme, here's Phish playing "Theme From the Bottom," from the album Billy Breathes (1996).

P.P.S.  Talking about the E.I. cataloging roundtable reminded me of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, which, naturally, led me to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).  At the risk of offending somebody, I'll include the snippet from the movie featuring the Camelot song.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Broader Perspective

by Junior of Junior's Farm
MPL Special Correspondent
Arts & Crafts News Beat

Last Saturday I blogged about the 2011 Tri-Kappa art show on display at my Library.   I wanted to give our readers a broader perspective and include more photographs from the art work students submitted.  There were too many pictures (35) to upload directly onto this blog, so we have uploaded them instead to the Library's account, which you may access by clicking the hyperlink below.

We hope you enjoy this wonderful art exhibition.  If you are in the neighborhood, stop by my Library this week to see these expressive creations in person.

Art is Totally Cool,

Junior of Junior's Farm
MPL Special Correspondent
Arts & Crafts News Beat

P.S.  Enjoy Blue Man Group performing live (2007) its rendition of "Baba O'Riley" by the Who, which was originally released on the Who's album, Who's Next (1971).  The original song is pretty neat, too (see below).  For more about the song's history, click here.

A Matter of Dignity, Respect, and Self-Determination

In a previous blog, we did the readers' advisory thing and discussed a book called Why Cats Paint.  The same authors, Burton Silver and Heather Busch, wrote a companion book, Why Paint Cats: the Ethics of Feline Aesthetics (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2002) (ISBN 9781580084727).

Silver and Busch present the colorful photographs with informed commentary about the ethical and artistic principles involved.  There is a sense that the authors are having some fun with this art form, but they successfully deliver a serious analysis that is artistically substantive.  By all means, please read Why Paint Cats to make up your own mind about the subject.  The book is available at several Evergreen Indiana libraries.

Now I'll indulge in delivering a soapbox speech.

The distinction between cats painting and cats being painted upon may be reduced to a matter of respect, free will, and self-determination.  Humans providing painting materials that are harmless to felines (which, needless to say, does not include all painting supplies), which the kitties themselves then use to create their own art work, is different than applying such paints to cats' bodies. In the former case, the cat may choose to play around in the paint, creating whatever art may result.  The kitty can jump around and smear the paint on canvas here and there, or s/he may turn away with a derisive flick of the tail.  When the cat becomes the canvas and is compelled to serve as a "work of art" by a human "caretaker," that eliminates feline autonomy.  It is no longer a voluntary collaboration; instead, it becomes a coerced enterprise.

Allow me to provide a parallel example that may better impress my human readers.  How dignified do you think it would be if adult artist/people forced human children to become "living canvases"?  Let's turn the kiddies into walking, talking paintings!  If people are supposed to respect one another, especially the less powerful (i.e., human youngsters), then why shouldn't we, as felines, be entitled the same measure of respect from human caretaker/artists?  To a cat, dignity is everything.

Cats are intelligent mammals.  They know when they are being abused.  "Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked," to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. from his famous book The Common Law (1881). (Holmes later served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court [1902-1932].)  If people want to create art, that's fine.  Just don't force another intelligent life form to participate against his/her will.

Some of these artists might respond by postulating that the felines that served as the "living canvases" participated freely and willingly.  I frankly doubt it.  I have known cats all my life, being one myself, and I can assure you that kitties dislike feeling physically uncomfortable more than anything.  We don't like our fur dirtied by foreign substances like paint; that's why we groom ourselves so carefully.  We value cleanliness, and being covered in paint is hardly that. There is, of course, the related question of how one measures feline assent when a human artist decides to submit the cats' bodies to various and sundry artistic indignities, but that, I suspect, begs the question.

Primarily, I use this blog for humor, although we like to keep you informed about what's happening with my Library, too.  I'll climb down from my soapbox now.  Check back tomorrow to see if we have any new jokes or funny stories.  It could happen.  You never know.

Helping to Preserve Feline Dignity, Respect, and Autonomy,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Serious Stuff News Beat

P.S.  In his music CD The Persistence of Memory (2011), the Music Man composed an entire series of percussion selections musically interpreting the paintings of Salvadore Dali.  To hear a few tracks from this CD, watch my Library's program trailers and book trailers below, which use the pieces as soundtracks.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's ALL Good!

By Junior of Junior's Farm
MPL Special Correspondent
Arts & Crafts News Beat

If you like art, and who doesn't, you should drop by my Library ASAP to see the annual Tri-Kappa art show currently on display.  Featured are the many marvelous and varied creative expressions of the students attending the primary and secondary public and private schools in Mooresville, Indiana (including those Morgan County schools that belong to the consolidated school corporation).  Since everybody's art work is fabulous, I don't want to suggest that we are selectively showing photos.  If I could fit on this blog pictures of every entry, I certainly would, because each artist put considerable time, effort, and creativity into bringing his/her vision to life.  (Not literally, of course; we're not talking Frankenstein here.)

So, if you will permit me, I have selected a few images from the Tri-Kappa art show that particularly appealed to Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter, Jules Le Chat, MPL Special Nature Correspondent, and me.  We are cats of a common cause:  namely, to celebrate great art.

Looks Like Our Chicks, Broadway Gal

A Puddle Jumper

 Spooky Faces, For Sure

Santa Slobberdog

I'll be a Monkey's Uncle
(Well, a Chimp's, Anyway)

 Official Indiana State Winged Dinners

Help Save Our Wild and Roaming Critters
 Big Cousins of Mine

 Swimming Suppers
 Wise Winged Dinner
 Scowl-Face Mug?
There is so much wonderful art on display that you really shouldn't miss it.  Drop by my Library early next week and take some time to experience some grand imaginative works.

Art is the Soul's Voice,

Junior of Junior's Farm
MPL Special Correspondent
Arts & Crafts News Beat

P.S.   We close with Gordon Lightfoot performing "A Painter Passing Through" live in concert (June 10, 2007).  If you've never listened to Gord's music, you can't begin to imagine what you're missing.  Run (I mean it!) to your favorite public library and check-out any of his many albums.  Since his recordings span half a century, there's so much to enjoy.  Trust me, you will.