Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Watch Out for that Hairy-Handed Gent Who Ran Amuck in Kent

Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair....Happy Halloween, yall! This, I admit, is a repeat of a blog I wrote a couple of years ago. But, as I say here, Halloween will always belong to Warren Zevon, and this Halloween is no exception. I hope your Halloween brings you lots of treats and a few tricks, if you truly want them! Along with costumes, parties, goodies, and just plain scary fun, Halloween has always meant music to me. Everyone knows and enjoys "Monster Mash" and "Haunted House". But to me, the quintessential Halloween song has to be "Werewolves of London", from his 1978 album Excitable Boy.

 This song is by far his most popular, although by no means, only recording. Warren Zevon was an amazingly talented artist who, sadly, never achieved the fame so many of his peers did. For me, Halloween will always be bittersweet. It is my favorite day of the year, as it is also in the middle of my favorite season of the year. However, because it is impossible to escape Zevon's "Werewolves of London" this time of year (not that I would want to), it is also a reminder to me of a life cut too short.

You see, Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, a particularly deadly form of lung cancer in 2003, not even a year after he was diagnosed. He was only 56 years old. I believe he still had much music left in him, as his last album released just before he died, The Wind, proves. From The Wind came his last and my favorite song by him, "Keep Me In Your Heart".

This song is simply lovely, a stunningly heartbreaking performance, and a contrast with his darker, more "excitable" music. Every time I hear it, I remember that the world has lost a great artist and feel slightly melancholy. I loved this song from the very first moment I heard it, and it affects me on the deepest level. It is astounding to me that in essence, Zevon wrote his own epitaph with this incredible melody.

Take a moment to celebrate Halloween and Zevon's life by watching these great YouTube vids I have linked. Also included is a great live performance of "Splendid Isolation," a song I have long admired from his 1989 album, Transverse City. To me, Halloween will always belong to Warren Zevon. Keep him in your heart for awhile, won't you?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I just love Halloween!

So what are YOUR plans this Halloween? Are you having your own "Monster Mash"?

Whatever you're going to be up to, be safe out there, kiddies, and if you cross paths with a certain - er - furry creature, tall man with bolts in his neck, or a debonair chap with fangs, well....consider yourself one of the lucky ones!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You Gave Him Power in Your God's Name

Take it back, America!

Only you can set you free!

The choice is yours, America!
Romney/Ryan 2012!

Monday, September 17, 2012

For My Ladies

It's a girl thing.

Martha, Mildred, Debbie, Brandy. Virginia, Bridget, Beverly, Carla. Cheryl, Lori, Erna, Freda. Valerie, Maria, Vicky, Jeannie.

You are all worthy. You are all loved. And you are all good.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Call It Divine Intervention

A good time is guaranteed when this song plays. Seems someone read my mind last night....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Are Losing the War

The nefarious action of a Beta-lactamase upon penicillin.

Evolution is a bitch. Seriously. We humans think we really are evolved, what with our opposable thumbs, large skulls, and I-Pod inventing brains. But in truth, we are losing the race to lowly single-celled organisms that are rapidly developing ways to circumvent our best attempts at eradication. Bacteria - yes, bacteria - that ubiquitous life form that is scattered all over our planet - and within ourselves - are continuing to prove that our best efforts at controlling our environment always come to naught. For every "wonder" antibiotic we invent, the bacteria quickly figures a way around it, actually changing its own DNA in order to produce certain enzymes, the most basic of which are termed Beta-lactamases, to virtually cleave Beta-lactam rings (the working part of many antibiotics), thereby rendering them completely ineffective. Make no mistake about it. This is not adaptation. THIS is evolution.

In this article, one may witness one small skirmish humans have won over KPC, a particularly nasty feature in certain bacteria that is gaining traction in organisms' battle to stay alive. Be assured that, impressive as these scientific sleuths and their methods may be, skirmishes do little to win wars. This article gives excellent background information on Beta-lactamases, KPC, Amp-C, MDM-1, and other methods of antibiotic resistance developed by bacteria. Throw in viruses that are, by definition, no more than packages of genetic material (one cannot even truly say they are "alive", as we understand the meaning of the word) which are notorious for mutations, and multi-drug resistant and extremely drug-resistant strains of that age-old scourge, Tuberculosis (MDR-TB and XDR-TB), and we have in our midst bugs that now have the upper hand. Perhaps they always did. It is our folly to think that we could actually eradicate these life forms from our planet. They have been here much longer and have billions of years more experience at evolution than we. I personally see increasing resistance in the form of KPC, ESBL, Amp-C, MRSA, etc. each and every day in our humble lab. Smallpox? Yes, we have virtually wiped that virus off the face of the Earth, except for two small stockpiles reserved for research. Or so we are told. Polio? Yes, we are gaining ground, but it still ravages underdeveloped areas of the world. Even if we do completely kill these misery-causing organisms off, what will take their place? What are we creating with our chemicals, our genetic tinkering, our own yearning for a brave new world?

KPC is just the beginning, folks. We may win skirmishes. We may even emerge victorious from a few battles here and there. But we will not win the war. We are outnumbered and outsmarted. Make no mistake. This is not our world to rule. It never has been.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strawberry Letter 23

This is just one of the coolest songs EVER. Can't get it out of my head. I don't think it's ever sounded so GOOD.

Or does everything just sound good when you're in love?

Hello, My Love....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

17 Years Without You

Jerry Garcia, 08/01/42 ~ 08/09/95

And still the loss lingers.

Rest in Peace, Jerry. We will forever be Grateful.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Get Down!

Turn on that mirror ball, put on your high heeled sneakers and platform shoes and GET DOWN!

You know you like it!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Punky Boy soon after he joined our family.

Finally, we have our sweet orange tabby boy, Pumpkin. Pumpkin, who I am sure is the brother to Lovie, is the easiest-going, most loving cat I've had in quite a while.

Pumpkin has a close bond with his sister, Lovie.

Or does he have me? Such is the relationship with a feline.

Pumpkin knows that if he waits long enough, his humans will turn on the faucet for him.

Pumpkin is exquisitely smart just like his sister, and has become a most handsome fellow to boot. The good news is both Lovie and Pumpkin have grown into their once-outsized ears. He can open doors by himself to let himself (and partners in crime) outside.

Pumpkin opens the door so that he, Hamlet, and Lovie can join Romeo on the back porch.

He never misses a meal, or a treat, or a chance to be brushed. He is sweet and kind to all the other animals and I have never seen him get rough with any of his friends.
Pumpkin with his friend, Juliet.

Always gentle, our Plumpkin (no, that's not a typo; he's round like a pumpkin) is a charming little man. Also known as Pumpkin Pie, Punkin, Punky Boy, Angel Boy, and PumpkinMeister, he adores attention.
Pumpkin enjoys playing in mommy's sunflower display.

If you so much just look at him, he will begin purring and reach his paw out to touch you on the arm, just to let you know he loves you.

Lazy day!

Pumpkin loves to go outside to watch the birds and dragonflies fly around. He doesn't bother them too much, as he is a lover, not a fighter.

Pumpkin loves his sister, Lovie.

Once in a great while, though, he will bring mommy a "present", so proud of himself presenting his quarry. I could almost swear he smiles as he knows he makes his humans happy, offerings or no offerings. He asks for nothing in return except a nice brushing or a scratch behind the ears. Even an occasional treat is not taken for granted by Pumpkin.

Waiting patiently for Santa.

After all, he does have a figure to maintain!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Resting after a game of fetch.

So now we come to one of the great loves of my life, my Lovie.

My Love in her favorite place, atop mommy's library chair.

I say "my" Lovie because I am lucky enough to have been chosen as her human. She won't relate to anyone else in the household, although dad was the first one to hear her cries. When she was underneath dad's abandoned trailer, he heard a small meow. He couldn't find anything, but suspected we had a cat there and told me about it so I went to investigate. I neither saw nor heard nothing at the time, so forgot the matter. A couple days later, he said he heard a cat again, so I went outside and heard it too. I sat there patiently, "talking" to the kitty I heard but had not yet seen. Then, slowly, a small kitten emerged, but would not get close to me. I didn't think it would be so tiny, as we usually get full-grown cats dumped at our place. So, I do the natural thing any mommy would do: offer food. The poor thing was starved but resisted me trying to pick her up. I stayed there most of the day trying to get her to come out, and she did, eventually, and that was the last day she spent outside as an orphan. By that night, she was sleeeping with me on the couch.

My Loviebug poses for mommy.

She was at first so tiny I was afraid of rolling over on her and squashing the poor thing. Little did we know she was just one member of at least two litters at our place. She was found first simply because she was the loudest and the boldest. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lovie, always inquisitive.

My Lovie is now a VERY big, beautiful, active, affectionate, and so very smart grey tabby. She will catch and fetch toys for me, and she loves playtime.

Waiting patiently for mommy to come play.

She will call me for an "encore" if I leave too soon before she is finished playing. She loves to climb ladders and claim the top, and she loves nuzzling mommy's stinky feet.

Lovie, queen of the mountain, showing Pumpkin and Romeo who's boss.

She has grown especially attached to my adult cat, C.C., as C.C. is probably the only mommy she really knows.
Loviedove and her best friend, C.C.

Lovie will follow C.C. and me anywhere we go, and she adores her catnip treats.
Lovie with a favorite mousie toy.

My Lovie, who I also call Loviebug, Loviedove, Love, Beautiful Girl, and Sweetie probably did more to rescue me than I did to rescue her. She has livened up our household with her smart, playful antics and her nearly 20-pound lovely frame. She and brother Pumpkin, to be spotlighted next, are roughly the same size, and are markedly intelligent felines.

My Love's first Christmas. She loves climbing the Christmas tree!

They sure know how to wrap a human around their fuzzy little paws. She and I have bonded in a most amazing way. I fall in love with this beauty more every day! Now excuse me while I go cater to my Love. She demands my attention!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hamlet, he of the super-long legs.

Have you ever seen a cat that is half-feline, half-jackrabbit, and all acrobat?

You have now. Meet Hamlet, the biggest surprise to us from the original "gang" of kittens who found us a couple of years ago and decided, much to our fortune, to keep us.

Slim Jim in his favorite chair, taking it easy.

Hamlet was a wild one, hanging out in the garage with Romeo and Juliet, but refusing to be touched by humans. He would acknowledge your presence, and even walk up to you as if he wanted to touch you, but then he always backed off, and no amount of cajoling could get him to come forward for a petting.

Hammie with his best friend, Romeo.

We had to enact a devious plan to get him into a carrier for his neuter and shots, then when we got him home, he stayed in our game room to recover. Much to our surprise, he laid on the couch in that room and let us get close to feed him. Then, to our amazement, he let us pet him. It's as if he knew he was finally home and had humans that cared about him. I was certain that we had brought home the wrong cat, but, no, I could tell it was definitely our Hammie. Within a couple days, he had explored the house, declared it his territory, and was laying on the couch in the living room with us, flipping over to expose his belly for a rub.
Waiting patiently for his daily belly rub.

He would let us pet him, rub his tummy, pick him up and carry him. Who knew? We surely could never have guessed that this gentle, scared little soul would transform into a loving, playful cat who enjoys being around his people. He did a complete 180 in the span of a few days. Once he decided to trust us, he trusted us with his whole heart and knew we would take care of him.

Sweet Hamlet, posing for mommy.

Now Hamlet, otherwise known as The Hamminator, Hambone, Hamhock, Slim Jim, Daddy Longlegs, Senor Hamburger, and Hammie, rules his world here. He has grown into an extra L-O-N-G, lean little man that is all muscle and curiosity. He can jump flat-footed from the floor to the top of my 8-foot tall bookshelves in the wink of an eye. He can turn flips mid-air in the pursuit of dragonflies and junebugs, getting enough power from those super-long jackrabbit legs of his to catch whatever he has his eye on. He can contort his slim body in myriad ways, with one half facing one direction and the other half going the other way. I don't know how he does it, other than believing that in one of his previous nine lives, he must have belonged to a circus, performing as an acrobat, contortionist, and clown.

Resting between adventures.

Then, in the next moment, he can come up to you for some petting, turn over onto his back for his daily belly rub (his favorite thing in the world) and go fast to sleep in your arms, still on his back.

Who would have ever guessed? Not in a million years would we have thought Hamlet would have been such a character, acrobat, sweetie, funny cat.

Daddy Long Legs, claiming the couch as his.

As I type right now, he is sitting in my lap, motor going full-blast, looking up at me, waiting patiently for his belly rub. I told him he's going to be famous, because I'm writing about him. He just looked to me as if to say, "I already am! I have my own admiring audience right here!"

Yep, that's our Hamlet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Relaxing on her favorite couch.

So now we've come to another striped feline, this time it's our Heart. Heart is quite the independent cat, but don't let that fool you. She enjoys her humans, especially when newspapers, food, or catnip is involved.

Did somebody call me for dinner?
Once wild as the March wind, she is now loving, playful, curious, and -oh yeah - still a little WILD!

Heart with her favorite scratching post.

Heart wants to be the center of attention, especially when her humans are reading a newspaper or book. She will hop up on the reading material, promptly plop her rear down, and refuse to budge. 
Waiting for attention.
She thinks we ought to be paying attention to her, not some silly old paper. She simply doesn't tolerate receiving less than her share of attention. 
Getting her claws ready for some spirited play!
Spoiled beyond belief, she has wormed her way into our hearts. Also known as Sweetheart, Braveheart, Brown Eyes (it's true, they are a lovely shade of brown, not green like her other siblings and friends), she loves to be held and cuddled. She has come a long way, as she once couldn't even be caught.  Now she knows where home is and takes full advantage of it. And her scratching post. And her toys.

Heart in one of her playful moods.
And her humans. Always showing off those beautiful, striking markings on her shiny coat.

Such a beautiful cat!

So glad our Heart has become a part of our family.It's hard to imagine our home without her and her brown eyes!

Heart (left) with her late twin sister, Bindi (right).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A most charming little boy!
Stop! Thief!

Somewhere in this humble abode, there is a stash of goodies. Carmex tubes, electric toothbrush caps, bottle caps, assorted toys, pens and pencils. Don't most charming males have their secrets? I am Sugar Magnolia and my cat Romeo is a thief.

Scoping out another object to swipe.

A sweet thief, mind you. This little black cat has his ways of gentle persuasion and distraction, all the while plotting his next trophy heist. Small in size, he uses his famous "head tilt" and "paw raise" to be noticed.

The famous "paw raise" and beseeching look.
When he's sure he's charmed you enough, *SWIPE* there goes another treasure. He loves to steal little items, and I still don't know where he hides them. That will be his little secret. For now.

The beguiling "head tilt".

Also known as Black Magic, Lover Boy, Midnight, Sambo, and Cat Burglar, Romeo - not much bigger than his petite Juliet - is so loving and so sweet that we don't mind the occasional missing item. He loves nothing more than a treat, a chin scratch, and a little attention from his humans.

Sleeping on his favorite chair.
He comes to visit me at my computer, and is never pushy or rude. He will ease up, always polite, and look at me to be sure he can ask to be petted, never wanting to disturb me. Sometimes he likes to be held and loved, but only when the mood strikes him. And only when he isn't busy looking around for things to steal. I've taken to hiding my Carmex tubes and writing pens. I have to - I have precious little left!

Whoops. Guess the flash woke him up!

Romeo was the first one of the bunch to let me pick him up as a very small kitten. He never was skittish or feisty. He was always easy-going and very tame. Just as he did when he was a baby, he reaches his arms and paws upward when I move to pick him up, as if to say "Please pick me up and love me!" And he never bites, claws or scratches. He gets up on the bathroom basin and sweetly cocks his head until I turn on the water for him, charming me into submission every time. He is indeed a sweetie and a loving cat.

Romeo says his prayers before bed.
Just watch your stuff around him. When he works his magic and uses his considerable charms, you won't notice the suddenly disappearing objects!