Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Funeral

We drove half-way across the state this morning to attend the funeral of my good friend Rick's mother.  I can't remember how long I've known Rick, but it seems like a long time.  Rick married my wife's best friend a few years ago and the four of us are like family, if you were given the luxury of choosing who your family members are.

Carol was born in 1935.  She and her husband raised six sons on their farm in Iowa County.  All six sons, their wives, children and grandchildren still live near the farm.  Carol's husband died six years ago.  ALS.  Rick took a six month leave of absence and moved into his parents' home so he could take care of his father.  The idea of putting Dad or Mom into a nursing home was unthinkable.

Carol was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago.  She had surgery and chemo, and was sick as could be.  A different son took her in to the city for her chemo treatments three times weekly.  A nurse was hired to spend overnight with her.  Three weeks ago she called all her sons to come visit and told them that she was done with chemo.  She surrendered.  It was time to die.   An eighty year old woman said enough is enough.  Carol's physicians said that she might make it another six months; she lived two weeks and died in her home with her family around her.

The funeral was this morning.  It was a beautiful winter day here; light, dry snowflakes gently floating to earth in the absence of wind.  We watched the snow through church windows, falling as quietly as the tears of the family.  The snow seemed to be whispering a message to the family that everything will be okay.

The church is in a small town, Spring Green, and is the third church built on its site.  The first church was built in the 1850s.  Stone was quarried near the plum thicket and set in place by hand.  Timbers were floated down the Wisconsin River from Necedah, where they had been harvested, and then dragged over sand roads form the river to town.  The first church was small, a white frame building on a stone foundation on a lot surrounded by a white picket fence.

The second church was larger, built of bricks and frame in the 1880s.  Parishoners built this church, made the stained glass windows, built the pews and the altar and plastered the interior.  Hard labor done by loving hands.  This church burned down in 1988.

The third church, the present one, was designed by William Wesley Peters, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is both beautiful and humbling by its simplicity.  It has elements of Wright's Prairie Style architecture, but is appropriately subdued for a church.  We felt like we were in a special place, which is how a church should make one feel.  Simple, but beautiful.  Welcoming.  Warm.  Peaceful.


Great story telling. Roger Taylor (Queen's guitarist) helped out.

"I'm definitely going to call them,"

"Russia – Alexey Sobolev reached into his pocket and pulled out the most famous iPhone in Russia. He tapped the Photos icon. And then he started critiquing the dozens of naked pictures women had sent him in the last 24 hours."
"Yeaaaaah," he said, pointing to a particularly nubile woman. "She is really good."
Sobolev laughed, and those around him joined in. Even though he had failed to make the slopestyle finals Saturday morning, the 22-year-old Russian was the talk of the competition anyway because of his board featuring a caricature that evoked images of the anarchist band Pussy Riot and a helmet on which he had written his phone number for the world to see.
Russian snowboarder's iPhone crashes from photos of naked women after he puts number on helmet

Baby, it's cold inside

""We're going to study matter at temperatures far colder than are found naturally," says Rob Thompson of JPL. He's the Project Scientist for NASA's Cold Atom Lab, an atomic 'refrigerator' slated for launch to the ISS in 2016. "We aim to push effective temperatures down to 100 pico-Kelvin."
100 pico-Kelvin is just one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero, where all the thermal activity of atoms theoretically stops. At such low temperatures, ordinary concepts of solid, liquid and gas are no longer relevant. Atoms interacting just above the threshold of zero energy create new forms of matter that are essentially ... quantum.
Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that describes the bizarre rules of light and matter on atomic scales. In that realm, matter can be in two places at once; objects behave as both particles and waves; and nothing is certain: the quantum world runs on probability.
It is into this strange realm that researchers using the Cold Atom Lab will plunge."
I sometimes envision our social relationships, as a species, in the same manner.

The turmoil of the sun's surface versus the relative seeming peace of the moon. The moon a dead thing, essentially, of course.

As similar to the huge cultural differences amongst the various cultures in the world, versus two people, of any culture, strangers, sitting on a park bench, or on a plane, or a Greyhound. Mostly we ignore the opportunity to learn of another, preferring instead our fortified castle. Sometimes though, through what quirk I know not, we talk.

"I didn't wash my jeans for 7 months—and it's the Internet's fault"

"It’s fair to say that I have an unhealthy relationship with my trousers—but I’m not alone. There’s an online community dedicated to freeing the world from the tyranny of washed denim. It was these people who I turned to last year when I embarked on a hunt for the perfect pair of jeans and subsequently found myself being sucked into the world of raw denim fandom."

"So, what is raw denim and how does it differ from the pair of bootcuts rocked by the average Joe? During their construction, most modern jeans undergo a washing process after they have been dyed. There are multiple reasons for this: It takes off excess dye, it reduces future shrinkage, and it makes the denim softer. In essence, customers buying a pair of washed jeans will know how their jeans will look, feel and fit for the foreseeable future."

"Raw denim is sometimes known as dry denim because the washing process has been skipped, leaving them stiff with starch and dark with dye. That’s why the first wash is so important. With pre-washed denim, the dye comes off uniformly during the first wash because the jeans haven’t been worn. But the longer you wait to wash a pair of raw denim jeans, the longer they can’t absorb the wear and creases of everyday life. When they are finally washed the dye will come off unevenly; more will come off the worn bits of denim, revealing “fades.”

"This process has obvious aesthetic values that are impossible to replicate with pre-washed denim. No matter how hard designer labels try to get sandblasters to replicate the look of a worn pair of jeans, it will never look as natural as the fading causing by by months of hard wear.

The Daily Dot

Woody Allen's 'Manhattan': "New York was his town and it always would be"

On today's New York Times (Online), Woody Allen Speaks Out, the film maker answers Mia's daughter Dylan, allegation of sexual misconduct. Here is one paragraph.
I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.
Is it fair to wander how many drafts did he go thru before striking the tone he wanted?
Is the essence of writing indistinguishable from whether we categorize it as fact or fiction?
And finally, why do think Woody chose "champing" instead of "chomping", do we read anything into that?
"The district attorney was champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case...


Where time is just one damn thing after another.

When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way. -The Beatles 

On the list of health tips Haz posted recently, one of the recommendations was to ask for help when you need it. Do you find it hard to ask for help?


There is thoughtful writing at PJ media on Sochi. First, Driscoll's take on NBC's paean to communism; towering presence, ascended confirming colossal footprint, history's pivotal experiment, enduring passion, crafting through wonder of detail, magical fusion, distilled perfection, etc., aFisking, Ed's take on it is. He reminds readers of Orwell. 

Tattler, lets take a look at one of the disturbing moments. Roger Simon, Sochi, mon amour.

Jim Roberts on Twitter says you cannot watch live in the US so follow it on Mashable's liveblog.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Spillover From Trooper York

The first rule of Trooper York is "what happens at TY stays at TY"

I would never violate that.

However, I wanted to share a playlist on iTunes that I put together years ago and never did anything with: a list of bands who played the Whisky-a-Go-Go in L.A. in 1966:

   Mr. Tambourine Man    The Byrds
   Good Lovin'                 The Rascals
   East West                    The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
   Let's Live for Today      The Grass Roots
   For What It's Worth       The Buffalo Springfield
   The End                       The Doors
   White Rabbit               The Jefferson Airplane
   Happy Together            The Turtles
   Time Has Come Today  The Chambers Brothers
   Iron Butterfly Theme     Iron Butterfly
   Manic Depression         The Jimi Hendrix Experience
   Get Together              The Youngbloods
   I Got A Line On You       Spirit
   Summertime Blues         Blue Cheer

Can you imagine?


The original feminist?  If so, bless her:

Why don't you be a man about it
And set me free? (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Now, you don't care a thing about me
You're just using me (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Go on, get out, get out of my life
And let me sleep at night (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
'Cause you don't really love me
You just keep me hangin' on

Friday Night Happy Hour Conversation: The 25 Most Dangerous Cities On Earth

Don't read the linked article yet.  Keep reading here a bit longer.

Order a drink first and think about this for a few minutes.  You can probably rattle off the names of a few of the places if you've been reading the news for the past decade or longer.  That's the easy part.

Now ask yourself:  Should any American cities be on the list of the 25 Most Dangerous Cities on Earth?  Yes or no.  If your answer is yes, which cities?

If you think one or more cities in America deserve to be on the list, name those cities in the comments section.  If not, then list that answer.

Done with your comment?  Now go back up top and click on the link.

Of if this is not grabbing your attention, tell us about your week.  The bar is open.

"You've Got No Job!"

"Today, the pundits are a-buzz making sense of the latest jobs report. But most of us care more about the state of one particular job: our own. How relevant is this latest bit of data to that? Not very. So, to better understand the trends in the work environment most likely impact our own paychecks, it will help to look at another bellwether similar to our fuzzy groundhog friend: AOL. AOL, a once-important pioneer in the transition to the 'digital economy', is once again showing us where the future of work is headed. Unfortunately, like the health of AOL's business over the past decade, it's not a pretty picture. As we've transitioned to an economy in which corporate profitability -- and thereby, stock prices -- is THE metric for success, the employer-employee relationship has become much more superficial than in past generations; and the encroachment of automation remove income options for those temporarily out of work, but it's increasingly limiting the options for the large pool of unskilled labor with few other alternatives"

Zero Hedge - You've Got No Job!

“Being well assured that every individual of this excellent society is solicitous for its prosperity, we are confident that a few observations given in candor and good feeling will be received in that spirit,”

All indecorum of the members is strictly forbidden at all the Society’s meetings,” one rule read, banning “smoking, the wearing of hats or caps, violent language, &c. &c.”
Those founding documents of the Philharmonic — the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States — are now available online, the orchestra announced on Wednesday..."

"The documents from that first season, which have been posted on the Philharmonic’s website as the latest installment in its digital collection, paint a vivid picture of the orchestra’s earliest days, when it was founded as the Philharmonic Society of New-York, with an orchestra of 53 members, and charged with “the advancement of Instrumental Music.”
"Among the future highlights, the Philharmonic said, would be first editions of Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini” and Wagner’s “Rienzi” overture, and a score of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with evidence of a spat between two of the orchestra’s most illustrious music directors."

"The score bears the markings of Gustav Mahler, who made some changes to it when he led the orchestra. Those changes apparently offended Arturo Toscanini, who led the ensemble from 1928 to 1936: He wrote on the score “unworthy of such a musician” and signed his name."

NYT - New York Philharmonic’s Archives Going Online

Greenwald plans return to U.S. soon

"For months now, members of Congress and government officials have floated the idea of going after Glenn Greenwald for being an “accomplice” to Edward Snowden. Even members of the media have questioned whether Greenwald has been “aiding and abetting” Snowden. Well, Greenwald has had enough, and he told Salon that soon enough, he will be returning to the United States to “force the issue.”
Greenwald has been living in Rio de Janeiro with his partner David Miranda for years, and has not been in the United States for a while, because he has been very worried about all the heated rhetoric being used about him and his role in reporting on NSA surveillance programs. Greenwald even said he tried to get assurances from the government months prior that nothing would happen to him if he returned, and he received no such assurance.
And now he plans on returning to the U.S. at some point soon, saying, “I’m going to go back to the U.S. for many reasons, but just the f*cking principle is enough… On principle I’m going to force the issue.”
Greenwald is somewhat confident nothing will happen to him were he to return, but “everybody recognizes that there’s some risk.” Most recently, the head of the House Intelligence Committee called Greenwald a “thief” who is “selling stolen properties” that Snowden gave to him."
In light of this article, what one word would you use to describe Greenwald's frame of mind?

"Because we make unsettling music, we can see it being used in a weird way. But it doesn't sit right with us."

"We sent them an invoice for our musical services considering they had gone ahead and used our music without our knowledge and used it as an actual weapon against somebody," keyboardist Cevin Key recently told CTV News. "I am not only against the fact they're using our music to inflict damage on somebody else but they are doing it without anybody's permission."

"Skinny Puppy first learned about the alleged use of their music from a former Guantánamo Bay guard, who was "affected or offended" by the detention camp's practices. Although the Vancouver-born band originally planned to use their new album cover as an invoice to the Pentagon, they have now received "coaching" and apparently sent an actual physical document to government officials. They are even considering a lawsuit."

"Industrial band Skinny Puppy demand $666,000 after music is used in Guantánamo torture"


Where tacking back and forth, we eventually get there.

The fortune taped to my laptop says 'Chance favors the prepared mind.' Does anyone else have a fortune taped to their computer? Or keep one in their purse or wallet?

Gay Patriot: "Rick Santorum was right!"

Thursday, February 6, 2014


The Doors first released "Indian Summer" on their 1970 LP Morrison Hotel, but that song -- or part of it -- was already 4 years old.* "Indian Summer" sounds out of place amid the raucous strut and swagger of "Roadhouse Blues" and the others. Only "Blue Sunday" -- inseparable from the cynical "Peace Frog" -- echoed a message of love. But those two entwined songs juxtaposed where The Doors were in 1970 and not four years earlier.

"The accident that killed me"

"This story starts on May 22, 1988. It is important to appreciate that what happened on that day was quite literally life changing for many people. Not just me. As I write about what transpired, I will rely chiefly on the memories of my husband, Jim, the only living soul who was present on that day and can recount what happened. Or at least how he remembers it happening. I was there, too, of course, but my memories are lost. My two sons were there, but they were too young to remember what took place that day."
Here, then, is what would have happened on a typical Sunday for me in the spring of 1988. I can’t stress enough that this is not a factual account of what transpired that day, but merely an educated guess...

It’s the next moment when Jim’s memories come into sharp focus. He distinctly remembers seeing Patrick out of the corner of his eye, crawling from the family room into the kitchen...

Nobody knows what exactly happened next. Jim’s back was turned. “I hear this noise,” Jim recalls. “I have only an auditory memory of what it sounded like. I remember being startled. I turn, and this is the picture: It’s something out of the movie Carrie, where I’m standing, I’m turning, you’re holding out Patrick, and as you’re handing him to me, you’re collapsing, blood flowing from your head down your front.” As I crumpled to the floor, Jim says he watched the light in my eyes go out...

“I’m trying to figure out what to do next,” he recalls, “because what I’m seeing makes no sense.”

My body lay on the floor in a heap, inert.

With Patrick in one arm and the phone in the other, he dialed 911.
“Nine-one-one. What is your emergency?” “I’m in my house. My wife has collapsed.” “All right, sir. Is she breathing?”

“I don’t know.”

“All right, sir. We’ll get someone there as soon as we can.”
Excerpted from "I Forgot to Remember"

In Which It Is Presumed No Training Was Taken

Worst motorcyclist ever.

"a side note on the sphinxlike front desk clerks, by the way: I am legitimately infatuated with their unparalleled ability to deliver bad news"

Just How Bad Is the Scene in Sochi?

CVS pharmacies to halt tobacco sales

[I]ndustry experts say the strategy shift is less an altruistic endeavor than a savvy marketing ploy from a drugstore giant trying to promote itself as a retail health hub in an age of increasingly self-serve healthcare.

...Amid a shortage of primary care doctors and legislation that expands access to healthcare coverage, CVS and many of its competitors are investing in more in-store urgent care clinics. They're also featuring pharmacists who can offer medical counseling and extending outreach efforts to clinicians and medical centers."

We've seen for a while the option of getting flu or shingles vaccines from pharmacies. I think it's a logical step forward, and will help streamline the medical process. 

Has anyone here gotten the shingles vaccine? Shingles are very painful, and "usually appears in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body."  If you had chicken pox as a child, left over viruses can hide in the nerves:

"Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" (is dormant) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. Some medicines may trigger the virus to wake up and cause a shingles rash. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.

You can't catch shingles from someone else who has shingles. But there is a small chance that a person with a shingles rash can spread the virus to another person who hasn't had chickenpox and who hasn't gotten the chickenpox vaccine."


Where everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine.

For me, this song a personal anthem. Is there a song that especially speaks to you?

Former Red Sox Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer

"Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers," Schilling said in his statement."

He added: "My father left me with a saying that I've carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: 'Tough times don't last. Tough people do.' Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means.

"With my incredibly talented medical team, I'm ready to try and win another big game. I've been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I'll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on."


berger belge groenendael

All three of my Belgians handled as this dog does with this woman. The woman has the knack for their frenetic timing. They are fast and so is she. Mine were trained in basic obedience, the first level, but did not show. There would little point to that, so no cups or ribbons for my dogs. I was not interested in confirmation either. The whole thing was for fun and to have something she (they) can do reliably well and be praised up for and filled with k-9 happiness.They all crowded as this dog does. It's a trait. "Points off for you!" Fun to watch, but "Points off for crowding!" Judges are looking for points to knock off, not how much fun you are having with your dog. They miss the whole point us playing together. 

The video is showing a couple of dogs in their line, field work, tracking, rescue, agility, goofing around, seeking, goofing around, companion, basic obedience, tight heeling, goofing around, cups and ribbon, goofing around, herding and protection and goofing around and babysitting, least favorite because they cause separation - stays both sitting and down, and my favorite of all, perfect recall like an achingly long anticipated reunion. Followed by joy and glee.

They train on grass because their "down" commands are so fierce and fast they tend to damage their little elbows.

Poetry in motion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

“No matter how you calculate this number or how the administration tries to explain it away, it’s about two and a half times as high as the number was when they looked at it the first time,”

"A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Tuesday predicted that the Affordable Care Act would shrink the work force by the equivalent of more than two million full-time positions and recharged the political debate over the health care law, providing Republican opponents fresh lines of attack and putting Democrats on the defensive."
The budget office analysis found that the law, in effect, nudges workers to work less. The insurance expansion reduces the need for a person to take a full-time job just to get coverage. The premium subsidies effectively bolster household income. Higher taxes for richer households also reduce the incentive to work.
That last paragraph, above, was number 13th, in a story that must have been very painful for the NY Times to have to write. Everybody is on board with the CBO as the 'nonpartisan' voice of the government.

And by the way, as if this 'we have to pass it to find out what's in it' news was not bad enough, the projections in the report do not include the Obama delayed employer mandate. The report doesn't project the mandate, because it hasn't happened yet. We will have to wait until next year, to find out how many more jobs Obamacare will drown out. ObamaCare is Obama's waterboarding.

NYT Health Care Law Projected to Cut the Labor Force


Lemmy's PSA regarding drugs:

Lemmy's signature hit: "Ace Of Spades:"

I reviewed his biopic, "Lemmyhere

"Complexity simplified"

"These are collective decision-making systems," says Couzin. They have always looked fearsomely complex but maybe they follow rules that are much simpler than we have suspected. By observing the individual behaviour of these swarming cells we may be able to discover those rules, giving us new ways to intervene."

"Taking the idea even further, Couzin contends that neurons act like swarming animals. The brain is the very definition of complexity: it contains about 86 billion neurons, all interconnected by physical, chemical and electrical channels. Couzin and his colleagues wonder whether each might act as a simple sensor which, when networked, generates complex emergent behaviour. "We're interested in how they integrate local information from those around them, and how that gets encoded," he says. This might, he suggests, be a key to understanding how consciousness emerges. Perhaps it is collective information processing, analogous to the way groups of fish detect light gradients that a single fish cannot perceive."

In The News

• Mayor de Blasio won’t march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, because it bars pro-gay messages. But he won’t stop uniformed city workers from marching. [Politicker]

• Four people were arrested with more than 350 bags of heroin in connection with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, the authorities said. [New York Times]

• Police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl in Far Rockaway. [New York Post]

NY Times

Jeopardy! contestant's head-game tactics

Arthur Chu uses strategies that outrage some home viewers:
"He has two ways of boosting his odds of success: searching for the Daily Doubles and eliminating them from the board, even if he knows he’s not going to guess it right, just to make sure his opponents can’t get ahead of him; and being careful when he bets on the Final Jeopardy, so for example, he takes the chance that he will tie with the second place winner.
...Chu joined CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday to reveal his secret, unorthodox, unconventional methods: “The very first thing I did when I got the call to be on Jeopardy! was I sat down in front of my computer and Googled ‘Jeopardy strategy.’”"

Follow the link and scroll down to see a Jake Tapper's interview with Chu.


Where resistance is futile.

M.C. Escher had some interesting drawings reminiscent of Egypt. I have always assumed the mysterious bird in this drawing depicts the animal form of Horus, the god of vengeance, sky, and protection:

Fifty Five Years After The Day The Music Died

The Surf Ballroom opened in its current location in Clear Lake, Iowa July 1, 1948.   Clear Lake is a small place in northern Iowa, about a ninety minute drive north from Des Moines.   You probably haven't been there, maybe you've never heard of it.  Clear Lake is the last place you'd expect would be a venue for major touring rock and roll acts.  But it was (and still is) and the Surf Ballroom has a big history.
Artists like the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Ricky Nelson, Jan and Dean, and Little Richard all took the stage here.  The Surf Ballroom was one of the first ballrooms in the state to feature rock 'n' roll, and the big name rock acts featured here made it a "must play" venue on the performance circuit.  This was the case on February 2, 1959 when Anderson brought in the famed Winter Dance Party featuring Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Dion.  It was this fateful show that made the most lasting mark on the Surf Ballroom.
It's been fifty-five years since February 3rd, 1959, the day day the music died, when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper died in an airplane crash near Mason City, after playing a gig at the Surf Ballroom.  Waylon Jennings was new to the band, and didn't fly as there was no room for him on the plane.

The Surf hasn't changed.  Here's how it looks today; the same way it looked in February, 1959.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets.  Were you even alive when they played?  I was, and I was just old enough be captivated by the new music coming out of the Philco radio in my bedroom.  The signals from WCFL in Chicago had just enough reach to penetrate my bedroom walls late at night.  To understand how revolutionary Buddy Holly was to the music world at the time, just look at the person who introduced him, and at the others in the background.

The Big Bopper.  Hellllllo baaaaby!  If you weren't alive back then, you've heard the Big Bopper anyhow, at every school dance, and on every oldies program on FM radio.

Richie Valens.  Valens was slick, and was one of the young Italian crooners venturing from the standards into rock and roll.  EDIT: Sixty Grit points out that Valens was not Italian, but was Mexican.  Thank you, Senor Grits.

February 3, 1959.  The Day The Music Died.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Untitled (King and Queen)

 Evan Izer, Untitled (King and Queen). 2005-2008.
10" x 12".
Lapis Lazuli, carbonized ivory, gamboge resin, mercury sulfide, 

hydroxypropylcellulose, calf skin vellum, Hiromi washi, cotton-rag paper.

Egyptian Valentine card


I ♥ U.  

In hieroglyphics a heart is two-eared jug. The word is "ib" the hieroglyph is categorized under "F" parts of animals, F34. It is used all over the place, it is a common sign.

The arm swings 45˚ from straight out to straight up and appears to fling the hearts. He just fetched from the marsh with flowers and he is filled with love and hearts.  

Instructions for the step platform crimp mechanism follow, but first Robert Sabuda is offering four templates for make-it-yourself Valentine's Day cards that might work better for you. On account of them being templates and on account  imagination not being required, just obedience on your part and when it comes to projects people seem to like that.


These templates are all well and good, they will be fine. The thing is, for production purposes, content and tabs and the mechanism itself are combined into a single thing. 

When I make cards the mechanism comes first. It must have tabs to hold on so those are built in but they do not need be. They can be separate hinges. They can be tabs that fit through slots. In the case of the bear, the legs are the glue tabs, the body the V-mechanism, the head content separate from the mechanism, like the arms. But for production, since all that is worked out, they are combined. 

My way builds the mechanism then adds the content onto it. If they were to be mass produced then those elements would be combined as far as they can be. 


"If I had a rocket launcher...some son-of-a-bitch would die"

That song swayed a lot of tie-dyed hips back in the 1980's when it was all over alternative FM radio. Lesser known is that Bruce Cockburn (pronounced CO-burn) actually got handed a rocket launcher -- by his younger brother who volunteered for duty in Afghanistan:

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Following up on Lem's Seinfeld post....

Jerry Seinfeld picks up Jay Leno in an unbelievably rare Porsche and they drive around Hollywood, then stop for coffee.  Two great comedians letting us listen in on their conversation.

"I have no interest in gender, race or anything like that ..."


People think it’s the census or something,” Seinfeld said of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. “This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

Seinfeld went on to say that approaching comedy through the lens of race or gender or sexuality are “anti-comedy.” “It’s more about PC nonsense than ‘Are you making us laugh or not?’” he said.

"I still hold the top part of the pole"

"In the comments, tell us your stories of how your height affects your city life, and please include your height. Those on the shorter side should feel free to weigh in as well; the 5-foot-4 writer of this post has recently struggled with paying for her 50-cent coffee at the local bodega, which has raised its counter to about eye level."
I am 6 feet, and a woman. Most of the time I don't mind the endless "Your so tall!" comments. Now I answer them with "So I have been told." I have had a few funny height related incidents, but one sticks out:
I always try and hold the higher part of the pole in the subway so shorter people don't have to reach. It seems like a courteous, easy thing I could do. One day I was riding a moderately crowded L train and assumed my normal stance, arm up at a 90 degree angle, holding the upper part of the pole. When woman, who was significantly shorter than me, came up very close and stood right underneath my bent arm, effectively putting her head in my armpit. The train wasn't that crowded that she needed to stand so close to me. So I glanced down and gave her a look that was supposed to imply "I'm confused by your behavior." Then I noticed the camera filming her. I could hear her speaking, but figured it was a few NYU students making a film, so I looked straight ahead and tried to ignore them.
The next day my coworker sent me an email saying I was in NY Post video. Turns out Jennie Shupak, the NY1 Rail & Road reporter, had done a piece about subway etiquette and she chose me as one of her examples. Her lesson was to avoid holding the upper part of the pole because you end up putting your armpit in people's faces.
No offense to Ms. Shupak but I think her etiquette tips may be skewed to people of a certain height. And I still hold the top part of the pole.
Those of you not living in cities, maybe you have a story from when you were in a confined space, elevators or such, when people came in close and your height came in to play... as it where.
NYT Seeking Views From Your High or Low Perch

Sochi Olympics preparation exceeds $50 billion; corruption blamed

"The Games, which begin Friday, rank as the most expensive in Olympic history with an estimated cost of more than $50 billion and counting.
A recent study by a Russian watchdog group alleges that organizers paid far more than the going rate for numerous venues built in and around the Black Sea resort. One former official fled the country and has been accused of embezzlement.
"Athletes are not the only people who compete in Sochi," the Anti-Corruption Foundation report stated. "Officials and businessmen also took part in the Games and turned them into a source of income.""
Do you still get excited about the Olympics? I appreciate the decision to stagger them every two years, alternating Summer and Winter. Which one is your favorite?

Cancer Craves Carbs

Cancer needs the glucose from carbohydrates to grow and metastasize, according to research undertaken by Dr. Gerald Krystal, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at University of British Columbia, as well as Distinguished Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency.

How's your diet?  Eating a lot of carbohydrates these days?  Dr. Krystal thinks that may be causing yourself harm.
So, what makes the critical difference in what wins this silent battle: cancer, or your immune system? This is the question that has occupied much of Dr. Krystal’s career.
He began by observing that Positron Emission Tomography — PET scans used for tumour and inflammation detection — revealed a particular pattern of deoxyglucose use. Apparently, cancer has an appetite for glucose that is three times that than of other cells; that’s what the PET scan is looking for. This rapid ingestion of glucose leads to the secretion of lactic acid which decreases cellular pH and — here’s the aha! moment — that’s what encourages metastasis. And where does the body get all this glucose? Well, it gets it from the standard Western diet; a diet, it turns out, that’s perfectly designed to kill us all.
You're eating toast for breakfast, aren't you?  Or a muffin, or maybe cereal.  Or a donut.  Hash browns?  Bad choices, at least in terms of cancer prevention.  Bad meal you!

Cancer, it turns out, craves carbs. Typically, the maleficent Western diet is made up of over 50% carbohydrates and only 15% protein.
Well, maybe this is just some pie-in-the-sky (pun intended) nonsense.  But Dr. Krystal's research suggests otherwise.
 Dr. Krystal’s team continues to explore the subject of diet-related tumour growth and initiation. The clinical trials with mice, however, suggest that we should all be making massive shifts in what we eat. Almost half the mice on the western diet developed mammary cancers by middle age, whereas none of the mice on the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet did. Only one of the test mice achieved a normal life span on the standard western diet, with the rest of dying early of cancer-associated deaths. More than 50% of the mice on a low-carbohydrate diet, however, reached or exceeded a normal life span.
Step away from the Cocoa Krispies and read the rest of the article here.


Where winning is the only thing.

This is a beautiful song about gratitude. Has anyone heard of gratitude journals? They are especially useful for negative people, as they teach one to look around during the day to think what three simple things they'll list in their journals that night. 

old dogs

Air Force jets

The Air Force people are linking this video. Video shot at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa.

Training over the East China Sea.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cat Super Skateboarding Adventure


Cowgirl In The Sand

Tried that once on a beach & I don't recommend it. Grittier than sixty and it chafed.  Didn't take no 10 minutes either.

Vince Lombardi Stops By Lem's

And he reads the DeBlasio thread.

Whose That Girl?*

She used to be Jimmy Page's squeeze.

*A blog post in the style of Trooper York

The de Blassio Diaries: “Our young people of color are our future leaders . . . and we need to respect them as such,”

"All summer long, then-candidate Bill de Blasio pulled no punches in his opposition to aggressive policing — in particular, to stop-and-frisk — and so the principal question going into his mayoralty was this: When it comes to public safety, did he believe his own rhetoric?..."
Regarding public safety... the mayor gets it wrong on several levels — as did US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin in her original ruling (the latter so egregiously arrived at that an appeals court subsequently removed her from the case).

Stop-and-frisk is a shorthand identifier for a remarkably successful strategy that matched police resources to high-violent-crime city neighborhoods. “You got crime, you got cops” might have been a better way to put it — and the results speak for themselves. New York, once wracked by violent crime, is now the safest big city in America.

This meant nothing to Scheindlin, and it clearly means nothing to de Blasio. While it is statistically undeniable that virtually all violent crime in the city is committed by young African-American or Hispanic males — most often against other African-Americans or Hispanics — they say that it is racist to concentrate police attention in such a way.

This was the thrust of the discredited judge’s ruling, and it informs the city’s new policies, according to de Blasio.
Pulled from a NY Post Opinion piece.   Click "Read more" to watch the new NYC mayor in action.

Relic blood of John Paul II stolen

On January 26, a small vial of blood of the soon-to-be canonized pope was stolen from an Italian church:

"The theft sparked a major search operation involving sniffer dogs and dozens of police officers.
Italian authorities said they believe the theft was commissioned, as thieves stole only the relic and left many other valuables behind at the church.
Only three of John Paul II's relics contain his blood and they are all considered of great religious value.
As the late pontiff's blood would be difficult to sell, Italian police said it is possible the thieves may plan to use it for satanic rites."

"Mass chaos - again - after the 'Mass Transit' Super Bowl"

"Visitors to the Garden State were mostly thrilled with their Super Bowl experience, unless it involved traveling to and from MetLife Stadium on NJTransit. Thousands of fans are were stranded at MetLife waiting for NJTransit to figure itself out. Here's what they're were saying on social media."

Via Storify

When even the AP notices Hillary Clinton's politically tone deafness

"HILLARY'S ANALYSIS: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't seem to mind Seattle's Super Bowl rout of Denver. "It's so much more fun to watch FOX when it's someone else being blitzed & sacked!" she Tweeted."


Where the wild things are.

What do you say?

bonus army

Army veterans that wanted their bonus.
A bonus certificate "to be paid sometime in the future."

In 1932 veterans of the first world war marched on Washington in large numbers, 10,000 encamped with that many on the way, to protest a delay for payment they were promised. They were hurting from the depression, they needed the money now and time for them was running out. They came to demand from Congress the promise be fulfilled before they died. President Hoover was president at the time, left to deal with the mob after Senate refused their demand, ended their session and exited the building by backdoors and by using their wily Congressional tunnels to avoid confrontation and cut out of town.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Impetus and life, not withdrawal and death...

Two Drug Addicts On The Subway After A Fix

Evan Izer. Two Drug Addicts On The Subway After A Fix, 2013
Ink, gouache paint & crayon on laid paper

Due to financial considerations, my "Sketchbook" website is down, so I thought I'd post some drawings here until I get things running again.

I used to love to draw pictures of people that I saw when riding the subway in New York City. My usual practice was to make the drawing in a small sketchbook as quickly and furtively as I could, using a mechanical pencil or sometimes an ink brush pen. I would later choose the best of these sketches and work them up in other media when I was back in my workshop.

I usually chose subjects based upon extremity of appearance— extreme beauty or extremity of another sort. The two people depicted in this drawing had the paralytic flush of people who just shot up. They remained like this— eyes rolling underneath closed eyelids, mouths gaping, slow-motion twitching— for the entirety of my 25-minute ride.

Place Your Bets

Alright, you gambling degenerates, it's time to place your bets on the outcome of the Super Bowl.  Since Lem doesn't want to go to prison hasn't enabled the gambling option on his blog,  we'll just do this by poll.  Bets have to be placed before kickoff.  Make you reasoning known in the comments.

Winning Team  The point spread is 2.5 points.

Who Will Win The 2014 Super Bowl? free polls  
 Over/Under  The Over/Under is 47.5 Points

I Bet The Over/Under free polls 

The 17 Most Ridiculous Bets Of This Year's Super Bowl

There are actual betting lines for these events.

Seventeen.  What kind of hat will Bruno Mars wear during the half-time show?  Fedora is such a heavy favorite that you have to bet $100 to win $66. It’s for good reason too. Bruno Mars showing up without a fedora is like Peyton Manning taking the field without a helmet or Joe Buck going live without a can of Aquanet holding his hair in place. It’s possible Mars could rock a fur hat (11/2) or a tuque (5/1), but the “wears no hat” option at 5/2 is absurd.

Sixteen.  Will Richard Sherman get a taunting penalty?  The odds are 4:1 on Yes.  Two weeks ago, maybe. But after his Super Bowl week conversion to NFL statesman, there are better odds Sherman plays a down wearing Bruno Mars’ fedora.

Fifteen.  Coin Toss - heads or tails?  Even.  RJ Bell of says this is the most popular prop bet of the Super Bowl because it’s easy to understand for people who don’t know much about point spreads and over/unders. “There’s also a perversity to it,” he said, “and it’s a topic of conversation.” Plus, bettors like a little action before the game even starts.

Fourteen.  Peyton Manning total passing yards over/under 289.  If coin toss is the most popular novelty, the yardage for the game’s most popular player is always one of the biggest on-field props. Manning threw for over 289 yards in 14 of 18 games this season. Of course, he wasn’t playing the Seahawks defense in any of those.

Thirteen.    Even.  Will the player who scores the first touchdown have a jersey number above or below 79.5?  You’ll push if a player wearing No. 79.5 scores first.

Twelve.   2,500:1.  Seattle or Denver to score exactly two points.  Since the merger, a team has scored exactly two points in a game eight times. But two of those games happened in the past 24 months. I’m just saying.

Eleven.    20:1.  Red Hot Chili Peppers to announce that they have renamed themselves Chili Peppers during the show.  This is a weather related bet, obviously.  Novelty props are easy to bet and the limits on the wagering (often as low as $50 on the quirkiest of props) invite light action.  There’s also another motive for setting ridiculous offerings, like the one above.  The word of mouth and viralness of these is an important consideration, the sports books are thinking if all these media outlets are talking about this, it’s free advertising.

How Did Everyone Else Miss This?

Richard "Duke" Wagner

The Duke explains what happened here in a chirbit:

Check this out on Chirbit

 h/t: Ron at Ambiance

Hey Hey Hey, The End Is Near!

Here's my lovely friend Tim , performing Joanna Newsom's song, "On A Good Day", over a period of 18 hours. I did editing and post-production work on the video.

Why is Amazon so secretive?

"[S]uppose you wanted to know not about the future, but about the present or even the past. About how, for instance, Amazon’s grocery delivery service is working out in the test markets, or how many Kindles have been sold. Surely this would be the easiest thing in the world for Amazon to answer, because, you know, it’s past. Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the world, but it will readily tell you how many iPhones and iPads it is selling.
But Amazon will not tell you any of this. Every quarter, the analysts get on the phone with Tom Szkutak, the chief financial officer, and pepper him with questions. But whether it is past, present or future, Mr. Szkutak ably dodges each query. Here were his replies Thursday:"
“I am sorry I can’t help you … you have to wait on that … In terms of the details, I can’t really give you a lot of color … you will have to stay tuned on that one … I can’t talk to the specifics of that … there is not a lot I can help you with there … I wouldn’t speculate what we would do or not do going forward … I wouldn’t speculate. We might or might not do in the future … if you look back at what we have done, you can’t expect that we might do [it] going forward … I wouldn’t want to speculate what they would or wouldn’t do related to pricing … it’s hard to tell, honestly. It’s hard to know … it’s very early … that’s really all I can say … I can’t comment.”
NYT All Quiet on the Amazon Front


Where Woody Hayes would feel at home. 

The spread favors Denver over Seattle by 2.5, but keep in mind that three out of the four times the Broncos lost the Super Bowl, they were in orange jerseys, as they will be today.