Yesterday, I met my sister at a bar in Ybor City to watch the first half of the early football game. Ybor City is sort of like Tampa’s version of New Orleans’ French Quarter, except smaller and with a Cuban rather than Creole influence — plus lots of cigars.
As I was strolling past a parking lot on the way to the pub, I heard the unmistakable peeping of little chicks. Here they are with mama hen:
Moments later, I saw this gorgeous rooster engaged in an activity that has caused endless speculation on poultry motives from human observers:
Notice that he used the crosswalk! Here he is when he reached the other side, his purpose still shrouded in mystery:
He’s a beautiful creature, and quite tame. Later, when I left the pub, I saw another chicken cross another road:
Why? To get to the other side, I guess. Alternative explanations here and here. Open thread!
If I mention that they look like good eating can I get another food fight started today?
I AM KIDDING PEOPLE!
The episode of “Dirty Jobs” where Mike Rowe did a day with the Miami feral chicken-catching squad justified the existence of the entire ridiculous series. Simply one of the funniest damn episodes in “reality” TV history.
To really see feral chickens you have to go to Kauai. Feral pigs too. I’m sure Obama is responsible for the problem.
I’ve golfed at a public course on Kauai, and you have to chase the chickens off the tee box on every hole. Never wanted to imagine what’s happening on the fancy resorts and golf courses where you never see the critters.
It seems the Republican candidate with the famously problematic name is thinking, 2016 might not be his year either. (Via The Daily Beast.)
arroyo grande has some feral chickens that hang out around a parking lot near a park. used to be fun to go get ice cream with the kids and watch em chase tourists around.
That rooster crossing in pic #2 –– he wasn’t on his way to the local KFC by any chance?
ETA: The street looks deserted. No cars, no people? City of Chickens?
@Amir Khalid: I thought you meant Bush! Oh well. Santorum is just in it for the grift anyway. I don’t think his departure from the field will change the long-term dynamics. If they want to block a Trump win, the RNC needs the establishment splitters to thin the herd.
I have a relative who is married to a guy from Trinidad. Both of them are smart (both with grad degrees from Carnegie Mellon U), tech folks, etc…
But when she went to visit his family in Trinidad for the first time, she got obessessed with chickens walking down the streets. Took lots of pictures of them. This reminds me of her photos, she had as many of them as pictures of them on the beach, etc.
I am jealous when she points out that she has a natural place to go should there be a Trump presidency…
Post title is a good novel title as well, Betty. Just in case you need some more shit to do in your “spare” time.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the possum it could be done.
Hand to God, I had no idea he was even still in the race.
@Schlemazel: Next up in food fights, an FP warning us of eating dangers of onions and garlic.*
* Supposedly onions and garlic arouse your baser instincts and no I didn’t just make that up, there are vegetarians who eschew onions and garlic.
@Emily68: That’s good.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because all the best mojitos and cafe americanos are on the other side.
I think these Caribbean pigs are also pretty wild.
Swimming Pigs Exuma Caribbean
I have a dream that one day, chickens will be free to cross the road without having their motives called into question! –MLK
@schrodinger’s cat: Onions and garlic go very well with roast chicken. And a cream gravy made with dairy is the icing on the cake. :)
ISTR that Jains believe that, and I know there are some Buddhists who do as well. The latter is important to me, because I have a friend who gets terrible migraines every time she eats onions, so knowing about any kind of food that doesn’t include them is valuable.
@Roger Moore: Didn’t he also say that the arc of history bends toward the other side of the road?
Thus is justice delayed during periods of high volume.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: It can have waves within our dead pool. After he quits, probably need to have an update on the standings.
Silly me for assuming that was Jeb! effing Bush.
ETA: I see Betty C got there first.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Santorum-acknowledges-end-of-campaign-may-be-near.html#w5SeMY5iTDzZ3Ta1.99
Somewhere, the greater good is smiling.
When chickens go wild
The feral chickens of Kauai provide a unique opportunity to study what happens when domesticated animals escape and evolve.
Paul in KY
@schrodinger’s cat: I’m guessing that’s why I eat a lot of onions & garlic!
@Brachiator: Texas has a bit of a feral pig problem.
I thought Robert E. Howard used it for a pulp Conan novel way back when.
@Roger Moore: Also many observant Hindus will not eat garlic and onions either at all times or at least on days with special religious significance.
* In Ayurveda garlic and onions are labeled as tamsi as opposed to sattvic (good)
Hello Juicers. If any of y’all are in Memphis this week, gimme a shout. I’m in your city, playing the International Blues Challenge with April Mae and the Junebugs , getting a couple of runs in, and -in chicken-related news- going to Gus’s for fried chicken. No word on the specific venues yet, but will post. I’d love any suggestions from locals.
@Felonius Monk: Sounds wonderful, when should I drop by for dinner?
Here for your viewing pleasure is another one of the Malheur occupiers in fine form challenging Gov. Chris Christie to a sumo match. And no, this isn’t from The Onion…
Kelly Gneitling, the next militia sumo champion
Paul in KY
@Brendancalling: Which Bug are you, Brendan?
@Paul in KY: There exists among every religious tradition a fraction of killjoys who are not happy as long as everyone else is not as miserable as they are. When new agey peeps go on about how wonderful and open Hinduism is, I am guessing that they haven’t encountered the
real thing ( by that I mean a strict Brahminical version that can be quite puritanical and harsh) but an Oprahfied version of it.
@Brendancalling: The Four Way is the place for soul food.
This is kinda interesting: “Keeping tabs on their numbers is a difficult task, as the eyes of feral hogs do not reflect light at night like white-tailed deer and other animals.”
And is there a distinction between pig and hog?
Just One More Canuck
@Elizabelle: where will his voter go?
I was thinking the same.
Q: What’s the more common name for feral chickens?
The Other Chuck
@jeffreyw: One effect has been on the art: you won’t find a touristy shop on Kauai that isn’t full of chicken-related items, whether it’s t-shirts, paintings, or carvings.
As a former Iowan, and thus familiar with All Things Suinae, I will say the word “pig” is inclusive of wild and domesticated Sus while “hog” is used only for domesticated examples.
Hogs are intentionally mistuned at the factory for that “distinctive” engine sound.
How neat! They don’t seem to be going anywhere, just out for a swim.
Did they come to the boat out of curiosity or because sometimes boaters give them food?
I missed the “Dirty Jobs” episode about feral chickens in Miami, but I can testify that there are plenty. My office is north of downtown and when I get to the office, usually about 5:30 a.m., I hear roosters crowing.
Key West is another place where the chickens seem to outnumber the pigeons.
Another place that has interesting livestock near the city center is Albuquerque. Go ten blocks north of Old Town (or even less) and people have cattle in their backyards.
@schrodinger’s cat: Very good.
And Jeb! is a piglet.
I go to Tampa a fair amount on business, so I am very familiar with Ybor City. It’s a very fun place with lots of good bars and restaurants. One thing I remember very vividly from Ybor, is watching two elderly Cuban (I think) gentlemen rolling cigars from raw tobacco leaves. My friend said they did this all day. Their hands were permanently dyed a deep chocolate brown from the tars and nicotine. It was very gross and I remember wondering what their wives and children thought of the smell and grossness of being touched by hands like that. I felt so sorry for them. I didn’t see any chickens though…
@chopper: Not too far from Arroyo Grande (an hour or so south) we keep a pen of 8 hens… well we did. One day I was out tending to them, and I swear I was hallucinating… I counted and re-counted and there were 9 hens. I had to get my wife and kids to confirm, but yes, we had somehow took on another chicken. Not feral exactly, but I guess we have a domestic house guest. Our only green egg layer too. And hey, its a pleasant change from the direction our number of chickens usually goes.
A co-worker vacationed in the area and took photos.
The pigs are just out doing their thing. They are not responding to boaters are seeking tourist handouts.
You might say that they are natural hams.
And it’s surreal to see photos of them in the clear blue waters.
Cotton leads effort to sink sentencing overhaul
A cadre of conservative Republicans is lining up against the bipartisan measure, imperiling its future.
01/25/16 05:20 AM EST
Sen. Tom Cotton, the hawkish upstart who’s already made waves railing against the Iran nuclear deal and government surveillance programs, is now leading a new rebellion against a bipartisan effort to overhaul the criminal justice system — hoping to torpedo one of the few pieces of major legislation that could pass Congress in President Barack Obama’s final year.
GOP tensions over a bill that would effectively loosen some mandatory minimum sentences spilled over during a party lunch last week, when Cotton (R-Ark.), the outspoken Senate freshman, lobbied his colleagues heavily against the legislation, according to people familiar with the closed-door conversation. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall with bipartisan support.
“It would be very dangerous and unwise to proceed with the Senate Judiciary bill, which would lead to the release of thousands of violent felons,” Cotton said later in an interview with POLITICO. “I think it’s no surprise that Republicans are divided on this question … [but] I don’t think any Republicans want legislation that is going to let out violent felons, which this bill would do.”
Cotton isn’t alone. Other Senate Republicans, including Sens. Jim Risch of Idaho and David Perdue of Georgia, also registered their strong opposition during the lunch, even as Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) vigorously defended the bill, which he helped negotiate. Risch stressed this message, according to one Republican source: Shouldn’t the GOP be a party of law and order?
you don’t think the Chamber of Commerce noticed this?
China Deepens Its Footprint in Iran After Lifting of Sanctions
By THOMAS ERDBRINK
JAN. 24, 2016
ZARRINABAD, Iran — Rising from the yellowish, treeless plains so typical for central Iran stands a square labyrinth of pipes and conveyor belts, topped by a silver chimney that glitters in the summer sun.
Sanctions against Iran failed to halt the construction of the complex, a steel mill that went into operation in September and now churns out ingots and billets. The sanctions also did not stop Sheng Kuan Li, a Chinese businessman, from pouring $200 million into the project.
Mr. Li is one of many Chinese investors who in recent years worked around the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and other world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.
His steel mill and other similar endeavors are the result of a strategic pact that gives China a much-needed western gateway to Middle Eastern markets and beyond, and that has saved Iran from international isolation and economic ruin.
On Saturday, both countries agreed to increase trade to $600 billion in the coming decade.
I couldn’t even make it through the entire article.
Didn’t even know her and felt he had the right to take her life because she wasn’t interested?
HER NAME WAS JANESE TALTON-JACKSON. AND SHE WAS KILLED BECAUSE SHE SAID “NO”
Damon Young, 1/25/16
I did not know Janese Talton-Jackson on a personal level. There’s a chance I might have seen her before. And a lesser chance I might have spoken to her. But if I did either, I don’t remember.
But after news of her death began to circulate Facebook Friday afternoon, and more and more people spoke of her, I learned there weren’t many degrees of separation between us. Practically none, actually.
She left behind three children. Twin girls and a one-year-old son. The father of her daughters is the son of my mom’s best friend, Ms. Debbie. She also lived in a house owned by Ms. Debbie; a house right next door to my dad’s house. They’re separated by two driveways and a line of hedges. My dad was devastated by the news. And, if that’s not enough of a connection already, Janese’s brother happened to be Pennsylvania State Representative Ed Gainey, a man I’ve known for 25 years. I first became acquainted with Ed through basketball. When my dad would take the nine-year-old me to the courts behind Peabody High School to work on my game, Ed was one of the older teens and early 20-somethings who’d often be there too. Some days, after I was done drilling, my dad would play with them, and I’d watch them play. And then, as I got older and better, I’d play with them too. Today, Ed is a popular politician and a friend. And now, as of early Friday morning, brother to a murdered sister; a woman shot and killed in the street by a man because she said no.
According to the police report, Janese was at Cliff’s Bar, located in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. As the bar neared closing, she was approached by Charles Anthony McKinney, who apparently was interested in her. The interest wasn’t reciprocated, and she left. McKinney followed her outside, was rebuffed again, and then shot her in the chest. She was declared dead at the scene. She was 29.
@schrodinger’s cat: LOL. A bit insulting to pigs, hogs and boars though which are all rather cute in their own way.
@Amir Khalid: Can’t believe he’s still wasting his time. It’s amazing how Santorum has tumbled into irrelevancy since 2012. But there are so many louder, delusional Clowns running this time around that his bigotry is just not special this time around.
@Betty Cracker: At this point do they even want to block Trump? The Republican establishment may have decided that Trump is their best hope to take the presidency. They’ll take it anyway they can. Sure its obvious to any rational person that the Trump candidacy is clearly first and foremost an appeal to whites and is a racist campaign, the VSP mostly will ignore it.
@Zinsky: I used to work in a building that had a cigar shop in the lobby. There was a very elderly Cuban lady who rolled cigars all day there. I’m not a smoker (anymore — reformed!), but the smell of cigars doesn’t gross me out — especially if they’re unlit! I actually find the smell of an unlit cigar pleasant. Less so once it is lit, but still better than the stink of cigarettes.
Paul in KY
@schrodinger’s cat: Excellent point on religious extremism.
@SenyorDa: I don’t know. The consensus seems to be forming among many establishment Republicans that Trump is preferable to Cruz, but my guess is they’d rather have Jeb, Kasich, Christie or Rubio than Trump. If they thought they could harness Trump’s white nationalist appeal in service of more tax cuts for the wealthy, reduced social spending and a return to neocon foreign policy, I’m sure they’d be on board, but I don’t think they trust him with that agenda.
Paul in KY
@Brachiator: Which means that pigs are strictly diurnal & have been for a long time.
Paul in KY
@Zinsky: They would also have a perma-nicotine buzz, as that stuff is absorbed thru the skin.
Will BC chickens be prominently featured in the next BJ pet calendar?
Can BC find enough cute chicken pix to compliment the cute other pet pix, or will there be doses of cranky an cantankerous in the calendar?
Will the feral chickens of Florida make the grade?
I want answers.
@Anoniminous: Sounds like they’re all Sooooooeeeee generis.
Very good. You can ride a hog, but you have to carry a pig.
@Betty Cracker: It turns out that the German language has a word for Senator Cruz.
@Elizabelle: “You reach a point when you realize that you aren’t going to accomplish what you’re going to accomplish..” So, in addition to being a puritanical nutcase he can’t even string a coherent sentence together. Deep bench there guys. Deep bench.
I knew a guy, back in the ’70s who claimed too hot or too cold was bad for you also. He drank room temperature water & would not eat hot food, it had to cool to room temp. Lovely time eating with him
Damn I sure miss your blog! I imagine it was a pain to keep it up, particularly the worst part – having to call those asshole & talk to them on the phone. Hope things are going well for you & yours!
Man, this post really brought back the Zevon memories…….”Chickens of Ybor, aaaa-oooo!”
Ybor City Chickens are famous.
@Patricia Kayden: True, there is nothing cute about the Republican Presidential candidates.
@Brendancalling: hi Brendan, I’m in Memphis and would love to come hear you play. Which bar on Thursday? And what time? A friend’s band placed 2nd last year at the IBC, and this year their album has been in the top ten . So it’ll be great exposure for you guys. If you want to play some Texas Hold Em with my free bar league tonight or tomorrow, let me know. I don’t usually play on Mondays, but will to meet new people.
There several good restaurants down there near Beale Street. Flying saucer has a huge selection of craft beers. Central BBQ is down there as is the Rendesvous. Kooky Canuck’s used to have an amazing bbq egg roll. BBKings has really good fried pickles. And make sure you go in to Lansky’s the clothiers to the King for kicks . I can heartily recommend the Sun Studio tour and the Stax tour, the Smithsonion exhibit of rock and roll is also good. And the Gibson guitar factory is fun too. You can get a back stage pass exhibit for all of those and Graceland for like $80 and it’s quite worth it. I just did it this summer with friends from England.
Anyway let me know when and where on Thursday and I’ll do my best to get down there. And if you wanna play hold em please do.
Enjoy your stay. And good luck in the IBC!
a different chris
Very cool video of animals in Russia who know how to use crosswalks…
Everything in that save the chicken would probably cause me digestive grief, because cream, wheat, garlic, and onions are all high in FODMAPs and cause tummy troubles for me.
@Paul in KY: I think that’s true, Paul. I wonder if a person could get cancer just from skin absorption of nicotine?
The big bird in the first photo looks more like a Canada goose than a chicken.
From the first fantasy novel I ever read…
‘So you’d rather fight?’ said Holger. ‘I knew you had no intellectual staying power.’
‘No, no, no!’ howled the giant, starting a minor landslide. He stalked about for a while before getting enough self-control to sit down again. ‘Time presses,’ he said, ‘so I’ll yield on this one and ask for the answer. Why indeed does a chicken cross the road?’
‘Because it’s too far to walk around,’ said Holger.
Poul Anderson, Three Hearts and Three Lions
J R in WV
As a forever non-smoker, I never-the-less helped my elderly neighbors with every step of their tobacco crop, which supplied their entire cash income of $2,000 or $3,000 annually. Some parts of that nearly year-long task were quite distasteful, but one thing that was really nice was housing the green tobacco in the barns to cure.
Curing tobacco in a barn smells great. It’s a rich rural smell that if it could be captured would be a great component of men’s cologne. I hate the smell of tobacco smoke, why I never tried to smoke tobacco in any form. But green tobacco curing in the fall, a wonderful smell. I think cigars smell OK too, usually, until you light one.
We brings up this old nugget of wisdom:
Q, Why did the chicken cross the road??
A. To show the possum that it COULD BE DONE.
Paul in KY
@Zinsky: Maybe. I stripped tobacco one Fall & had the worst reaction to that stuff. Bleah!