Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tooting and Quacking

queen bees(Community Matters) from our friend & beekeeper Micah King:

“The most interesting of all the hive sounds, however, is the piping of the queen. Naturalists have long known that queens inside the hive emit two kinds of sound, called “tooting” and “quacking.” A close analysis of these sounds and the circumstances of their emission now provides the strongest evidence that bees use sound to convey specific messages.

Tooting is the regal identification of a virgin queen soon after she has emerged from the cell in which she developed. A hive cannot tolerate more than one queen at a time. In a hive that lacks a queen several queen-bearing cells develop simultaneously in a comb, but one matures earlier than the others. Once this queen has emerged, has hardened and has become steady on her legs, she proceeds to visit other queen cells, tear them open and sting to death their potential but not yet mature queens. Often, however, the worker bees do not allow her to dispose of all her potential rivals in this way; they bar her from some of the cells. She then begins to toot and continues to do so day and night, perhaps for a week or more. Her tooting rises in intensity and sometimes can be heard more than 10 feet from the hive.

Meanwhile the maturing queen bees still in cells try to get out in their turn. The worker bees hold them back, however; as fast as one of them opens the cap of her cell the workers push it back in place and glue it shut. Thereupon the imprisoned queens also start to pipe, but in a different pattern and at a lower tone than the free queen. The workers let out some of these quackers, but only one at a time. The reigning queen and the newly released rival then battle until one is killed. Sometimes the series of fights between the survivor and the new rivals goes on until only one queen is left. This survivor, still a virgin, then flies away from the hive to mate successively with several drones (on the wing) and returns to begin laying eggs.
go to utube and hear a piping queen

Frank Bruni on Jason Collins

Washington Wizards' Jason Collins and Wizards' Jan Vesely battle for a rebound against Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer in Chicago, Illinois(Community Matters) “He’s letting us focus on his gayness precisely so we can focus less on others’ down the road.”

some readers routinely tell me that they’d be less bothered by homosexuals if we’d just please shut up about it.

When the federal government outlaws discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, which it still hasn’t done.

When immigration laws give same-sex couples the same consideration that they do heterosexual ones. When the Defense of Marriage Act crumbles and our committed relationships aren’t relegated to a lesser status, a diminished dignity.

Bruni column

Austin Knaplund’s Art

(Community Matters) Godson Austin Knaplund’s art work is exploding.

austin knaplund fireman rainbow hose


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Speaking of Basketball Players

(Community Matters)

FRENCHPAKS photo fred goudon D  (4)


Fred Goudon Photography 

NBA Player Comes Out

(Community Matters) The closet door squeaked loud enough to be heard around the world while it was being opened by NBA player Jason Collins – in Sports Illustrated. It’s a huge deal. 

jason collins

La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana

pit(Community Matters) Bummed to hear John Lewis is moving to CA but I gotta check out the meat from his new trailer.



thanks Byran Jones for the hat tip


936216_10200400869877698_487160448_n(Community Matters) Fusebox closed with a bang – a Digestible Feats, POP, SIZZLE, SHATTER, featuring food by Sonya Cote and music by Graham Reynolds. (series and drinks curated by Hank Cathey). Held at the Center for Maximum Building Potential Systems, what an awesome and eclectic location. We had our first course in the graveyard with Graham demonstrating electrified sounds. Second course in the gardens serenaded by kodo drums from up high and favorite drums below. Main course seated around the stage. Gins and bubbles. Kudos to Ron Berry, Brad Carlin & Natalie George (the Fusebox empresarios)


Rosemary Lehmberg Should Stay

rosemary lehmberg(Community Matters) I’ve changed my mind – I thought Rosemary Lehmberg should resign as Travis County District Attorney. Her behavior while under arrest was deplorable and still makes me mad. Of course she should be punished for drunk driving. I think my initial reaction was fine, and I’m glad time allows us to consider matters more closely.

As I’ve continued thinking about this, Travis county citizens are rarely sentenced to jail for their first DWI. Rosemary immediately plead guilty and is serving 45 days in jail.. There’s a long list of elected officials and prominent citizens who have fought DWI charges and won on technicalities. Rosemary choose not to fight, delay, or cash in chits.

If other electeds were as quick to admit guilt and pay their penance, our state and our country would be a much better place. What example does this send to kids, to other citizens?  . . . that even elected officials have to pay a price for their mistakes, that honorable ones do – and that once a citizen pays, they can be forgiven. It’s a better example than most send. I’m looking forward to a more humble, experienced district attorney. I’ve always thought Rosemary was among the best. We’ve enjoyed her 37 years of exemplary public service.

I have been unpersuaded by arguments that Rosemary can’t resign because Gov. Rick Perry would appoint her replacement. That has no bearing. And, I initially voiced that she should resign (after seeing the video tapes), imagining what I would have decided had it been an elected official who I do not support, perhaps even vehemently. But, as I’ve thought about this, I’d love to see more confess to their criminal acts, serve their time and return to public service with  humility and compassion.

Toy Joy Moving to 2nd Street

(Community Matters) Toy Joy has announced it’s moving to 2nd Street. Major loss for my hood. I’ll miss walking out the back gate to this eclectic little store with my nieces, nephews and godchildren, but then again, they are all aging out. hmm, still gonna miss it.



Bette Midler: I’ll Eat You Last

ST emily 0413(Community Matters) Joining Steven for a night in NYC  to see Bette Midler’s one woman play, I’ll Eat You Last (& for breakfast with our godson, Luke Hayes). Emily Keeton joined us for dinner at Bistro Benoit and the show. Rob Oppegard joined us at the theatre.

Exceptional performance. Surprisingly the last 10 minutes weren’t as tight as the rest, but you don’t want to leave her so didn’t matter.

es bette midler 0413 cropped



Happy Birthday, Eli

(Community Matters) Hard to believe my nephew is now 14 years old. He’s a great young man. We all love being around him.

Happy Birthday, Eli


A Bright Spot in a Tough Week

(Community Matters) Witnessing today the care, love & professionalism staff at Baylor Medical Clinic show toward their patients.

hmm, as I think about it, Steven & I are lucky. There are routinely many bright spots in our weeks, tough or not.