Friday, February 28, 2014

News From Down The Lane

I took a walk down the lane this afternoon, all the way past the road to the boat landing, and out to the County Highway, then back again.  Lord, it's still cold here in the northernmost part of Wisconsin.  The temperatures are below zero and the harsh winds today gave birth to wind chills near thirty below zero.  I walked fast, my face covered so the cold air couldn't harm my nose and lungs.

There is more snow here than any winter in the twenty years we've owned this place.  There is so much snow that we don't know what to do with it.  The piles around the perimeter of our drive now reach above six feet.  The snow along the lane became so deep that the town plow couldn't move it.  The boys at the town garage started up the road grader and ran it up and down the lane to push the snow farther off the shoulder.  The lane is passable but drifts over each time the wind picks up.

We had to shovel our way DOWN to the back stoop and back door to get into the cabin when we arrived Thursday afternoon.  The piles of snow on either side of the back stoop now tower above my head.


I'm a'feared you had to be there, April. But one of these days I'll have to see if I recognize anything from the seventies. Or Music Wiz Guy could just post them for me :) link
This is another one-hit-wonder from the early 1970's. There are several YouTube versions of "Troglodyte (Cave Man)," but I thought I'd pay homage to its creator, James Walter "Jimmy" Castor. Sadly, he passed away in 2012.

If I recall correctly, there was a brief public interest in all things troglodyte around that time, perhaps stimulated by Joan Crawford's final movie, Trog.

double lotus, card in progress

This post shows how to fashion two of these lotus petal-type paper flowers for a pop-up card .

They will be fitted with proper insides for either lotus or water lily. In the pop-up world invented flowers needn't be perfect. Unless they are made for a botanist and they claim some fidelity to nature. These do not. 

As it is, this specific card is intended for a florist, so it does matter a bit, either fantasy flower, which is fine, or at least some amateur attempt at coming close. 

A child's compass helps determine the size circles that work, a child's protractor provides 60˚ marks but this is not necessary, I am showing how I arrive at a petal shape for flower that will lay flat, but a flat flower as drawn is not the thing that is wanted, it must be more like a funnel, not flat. Still, the petals overlap. 

So there are conflicting guiding aims for arriving at the ideal petal shape, non-flatness when connected, overlapping petals, open center not a pin-dot as here with the compass, strength at the edge for a slot so it doesn't tear, room for tab, tabs that do not interfere with petals or with the whole look. 

Tabs through slots will hold the arrangement together.  

What John McWhorter Said About Spike Lee

John McWhorter wrote an essay published in Time Magazine.  McWhorter wrote it in response to Spike Lee's statements in this expletive-filled interview at Pratt Institute.
There are those who think recreational contrarianism is the soul of blackness — surely, if we aren’t mad, we aren’t truly black.
But history records no human group whose core essence was eternal indignation. Lee’s films, ironically, teach much about what black is and what it will be. Odd that in real life he thinks hearkening back to the social politics of Fred Sanford is moving on up.
Spike Lee in his interview railed against the gentrification of  traditionally black neighborhoods in Harlem and Bedford-Styvesant and Fort Greene.  He doesn't like seeing his old neighborhood filling up with what he calls "hipster honkeys".  Note that these are Lee's old neighborhoods - Lee now lives in Manhattan, apparently without concern for the racial mixture of his neighborhood.
When racial barriers come down, people mingle, cohabitate, and mate. People grumbling on the sidelines about the losses and appropriations and whatnot that this involves are historical detritus. That becomes ringingly clear in how impossible it is to scorn the multiracial children who grow from processes like this, who grow up to be perfectly normal adults — and life goes on.
And life goes on.  McWhorter's excellent essay here.

House flipping rises

"Oddly, this sign of real estate madness isn't considered to be a bad thing. But certain observations about the general economy hold true here as well: Upscale is doing well for itself.
More expensive homes were especially popular with home flippers, as sales made up of flip-related sales from homes valued at more than $400,000 were up 36% last year. Sales of less valuable homes bought and sold within six months were up 16% over the same period."
Kitchen Drawer

Ever flipped a house? I think it'd be kind of fun. With the rash of Boomers retiring, I think there's a great market out there for smaller, geriatric friendly houses.

It Never Rains In Southern California...

...except for days like today.

"7 Totally Epic Rules For Writing on the Internet"

"Rule number 6 is so incredibly true, it hurts."

6. Recognize that your career depends on people like Miley Cyrus moving their rear-ends in ways that give you an opportunity to engage in criticism and commentary regarding the relative benefits of their gyrations. Pay dutiful homage to all such rear-ends.

For the 6 un-copied rules link , and, for my personal favorite ...

NYT Science: "Stupider With Monogamy"

"Forcing male flies into monogamy has a startling effect: After a few dozen generations, the flies become worse at learning."
This discovery, published on Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, isn’t a biological excuse for men who have strayed from their significant other. Instead, it’s a tantalizing clue about why intelligence evolved. 
Concluding paragraphs...
The evolution of learning remains a puzzle for scientists. A smart animal can learn how to find more food or how to avoid predators. But if learning were such an unalloyed good, then one might expect all animals to be as smart as we are.

They are not because there is a cost to learning. Dr. Kawecki and his colleagues have found that flies that have been bred to be good learners are more likely to die when competing for scarce food with regular flies. Even when they’re not threatened with starvation, their life span is 15 percent shorter than average.

It’s still not clear why that is so. Changes to the nervous system that come with learning may cause long-term damage of some sort, or learning may simply use up energy that could be directed to other uses.

Because of the cost, evolution may increase learning only when its benefits outweigh its drawbacks — such as when it affects mating. Dr. Hollis and Dr. Kawecki suspect that fast-learning males may be able to swiftly recognize receptive females, and thus mate with more of them before they die. Forcing the flies into monogamy, on the other hand, gets rid of learning’s benefits, leaving only the cost behind.

To test this idea, Dr. Hollis and Dr. Kawecki compared the mating prowess of the evolved flies. They put a group of male flies in a vial with one receptive female and five unreceptive ones and tallied how many mated in an hour. The scientists found that the polygamous males quickly zeroed in on the receptive female. The monogamous males, on the other hand, wasted time courting unreceptive females and being rejected.

“They’re just not figuring it out,” said Dr. Hollis.

While no one has yet carried out an experiment like this on other species, Dr. Hollis suspects that the relationship between sex and the evolution of learning might apply beyond flies — perhaps even to our own species.

“I think it really can inform us quite a lot about what’s going on in nature, and why we have the brains we have,” said Dr. Hollis.
NY Times 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jake Bugg

Johnny Cash was BUMMING ME OUT. I cannot have negative things in my iTunes.  Oh, the end-to-end whinging. Grow a pair. However, an energetic song along similar lines of uncertainty is fine.

I like this new talent a lot. The way he sings strikes me as raw and naïve, in places a bit like yelling almost like a bird testing its voice and that thought cast me back to the moment I did that myself, discovered my voice can yell. It seems we all discovered the same thing at once on the same day because we were in the back yard screaming at each other at the top of our lungs for no reason at all except to exercise our voices and fully explore how far they can go. Three of us filled with the loudest joy ever. Just screaming.

Without fences our yards connected into one large field, I do not know where, Winston Salem North Carolina or Bedford Virginia, we were spread out in the yard , competing in screaming. The discovery was fantastic. She yelled. "Yaaaaaaah"  A neighbor girl, I yelled back, "Yaaaaaah" she screamed, "I-i-i-i-i-i-i-" I screamed, "I-i-i-i-i-i-i-" another kid matched our scream, "I-i-i-i-i-i-i"and we were not to be outdone. We pumped it up to deeper breath, higher-pitched scream, sustained it as long as we could, and it felt glorious, the possibilities endless, we sang like mad angels together we yelled, "Y-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I..."

"CHIP, KNOCK IT OFF! You sound like you're being murdered." 

When I hear children doing that, rarely, thank goodness, I know what they're doing, relate to that actually, and I am not bothered by children exercising their voices. Oddly, that is what Jake Bugg reminds me off. In places, howling, making noise.

Sorry I Missed Your Birthday John

It was yesterday, and I just plain forgot.  I apologize.  You were born in 1932, right?  You'd have turned 84 yesterday and there would have been a big cake and a lot of friends calling and probably some television people with cameras and boom mikes jonesing around for a 3 minute interview for the evening news.  Your kids would have been there, and maybe the grandkids, too.  They'd all sing Happy Birthday To You and then make you blow out the candles on the cake.   But really, they'd want you to sing to them.

Just like you sang for everyone else all those years.

cosmogonic art

Volokh: "Not safe to display American flag in American high school"

"Today’s Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholds a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. (See here and here for more on this case.)"
The court points out that the rights of students in public high schools are limited — under the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comm. School Dist. (1969), student speech could be restricted if “school authorities [can reasonably] forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities” stemming from the speech...
After citing the relevant cases, which I left out here, Volokh expands on what the decision means and it's possible ramifications.
This is a classic “heckler’s veto” — thugs threatening to attack the speaker, and government officials suppressing the speech to prevent such violence. “Heckler’s vetoes” are generally not allowed under First Amendment law; the government should generally protect the speaker and threaten to arrest the thugs, not suppress the speaker’s speech...

The 9th Circuit decision may thus be a faithful application of Tinker, and it might be that Tinker sets forth the correct constitutional rule here...

Yet even if the judges are right, the situation in the school seems very bad. Somehow, we’ve reached the point that students can’t safely display the American flag in an American school, because of a fear that other students will attack them for it — and the school feels unable to prevent such attacks (by punishing the threateners and the attackers, and by teaching students tolerance for other students’ speech). Something is badly wrong, whether such an incident happens on May 5 or any other day.

And this is especially so because behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.
WAPO, via an Iowa hawk tweet of Instapundit.


Hoping this is war of worlds? Sorry. Skip if you like, I won't be offended.

I mentioned spread the sign before with USA's awful definition for the word "climate" rather than the offering the simple word climate that was asked for and that anyone would recognize, a variant of the word "weather" made with "C"s instead of "W"s, but now I want to see how they say the word "wow" and to see if that is even a word other places. It is a reaction, not a word. This is my curiosity.

Ukraine: Beautiful woman, "f" each hand, as Chef Boiardee says "fine" presented forward, crossed at the wrist, make a sudden swipe as the word "liberate" straight across as if to say, "table here perfectly set." It is a beautiful movement, the most elegant of all the wows offered. I like this word. A lot. I adopt it.

India: Playful girlish woman. Pulls an "O" from an open hand, splayed fingers, no actual "W" then opens the "O" and smashes the two hands knitting the fingers without bending. I like this one too. I'm taking it.

Var. Flapping both hands as if something too hot, while shrugging and expressing facially wuuuuuuuuu.

Republic of Baden, a mysterious place that I do not know about: Storybook beautiful girl. Rapunzel type. Closest to my amusing way of saying wow when not actually wowed. Mouth forms "O" W placed on each side of the mouth. "W" extends away from the mouth then returns, for cartoon effect.

They all wear the same shirt over there at spread the sign. I cannot link the words, you see, nor the videos clips each country offers, only the front page where a word is entered the results splayed on a new page, each country's flag displayed, for countries that responded with video to that word. Not all words have results. Some words have a dozen results. The shirts being all dark brown and all the same simple type is very good for consistency throughout the entire dictionary, eminently humanizing for all those people participating, it'd be a jumble otherwise.

Hello. I'd like to volunteer providing words for your asl dictionary. I'm quite clever sometimes. Here is my transcript.
That great! Here put on this shirt.
That's okay I have my own shirts.
This is a special shirt, made with special threads, for us here at Spread the Sign.
Noice. Actually, I have couple like these. I'd prefer to wear my own, if you do not mind.
Aaaactually, we do need you to wear this shit. Our video picks it up best. And no jewelry. Please remove your ring and your watch and your whatever that is. what is that? 
It's a snake.
Remove your sna... why do you have a coiled snake on your arm?
It's a thing, but about the shirt, the vibes are all wrong, I can tell from here, please allow me to buy one.
That is not possible. We have only seven of these shirts, and six are for women, see the bumps? You cannot wear those. All the men share the same shirt. 
You know what?, I just realized this is probably out of my league. You guys are experts and now I realize I'm not good enough.
But you passed the exams.
I cheated. Sorry. I'm a bum. I'll try to repent.
But I'm sure we ca...
Good day, apologies, I said, gotta go, that's my mom calling.

It makes a plain background straight across the entire dictionary through time as the collection of video clips is assembled. You'll notice interpreters at large are quite plain and if they're not plain then they're showing off jewelry or fashion and that is wrong.

Estonia: Dude. Raises loose fists in "A" position up to in front of  face and pops both up "A" hands to a higher level at forehead height. Looks like the word "limit."

Austria: Toll! Blond, "A" hand churns excitement at heart.

Iceland: open hand flicks splayed fingers as shaking off dust.

Poland: Blond woman. Straight up lewd in any language, immediately recognizeable as pumping action for low-level thrill, the "eeeEEEeeew" facial expression confirms the sign, like a taunting schoolboy. It looks like punk type sign. I would be offended seeing it, not supported.

Google translates the description offered in Polish for the word "wow"
ale jaja!, a niech to!, jej!, no no!, o! (wyraz aprobaty)
but eggs!, and let it! her!, no no!, oh! (an expression of approval)

There you go. But eggs!

United States. Excellent. Giant glass cock. (invisible jack off) One spurt wow. That is what that sign means, and it is amazing, she is impressive signing it. I want to know this woman immediately. If I noticed this from a distance, my impulse is join her.

Turkey: Mind simply blown. A single thought leaves the hand hanging there dead where it happened.

France: Excellent. What? Wow at the face, expression of shock, shake off the hand. Unmistakeable clear pure reaction.

Czech Republic: attractive woman, clearly demented. Holds up middle fingers of both hands, crossing the "fuck you" birds in an "X", slips one of the birds off into an "O" then returns to its exceedingly rude double perch. They must know the middle finger means "fuck you," they must, and that is why I am shocked. This is a cynical wow.

I'm always shocked. Maybe I'm wrong.

Finally, Sweden, a delightful appearing brunette, a woman I would like to know just by seeing this, zips two "W"s from her exaggerated "wow" mouth, then zips them back to normal size. She expresses a perfect WOW on springs, a delightful reaction shot.

I will now incorporate these reactions into my vocabulary and cause confusion at first and questions, when asked I'll say, "Oh, that's wow in Ukraine, or wow in India."

It's how I got "foxhole" from "foolish," incorporating "foolish" into "fox" is not the way to say fox, the real way involves whiskers, but by using "foolish" instead and twisting at the nose, provided an exceedingly silly pointed fox nose that fit the foolish situation of gathering for drinks at the Foxhole exceedingly well so it surpassed in usefulness the actual word for fox. It was picked up immediately and used throughout the period that club was open.

For my natural wow, my body automatically says that, no thinking involved. It shoots two Ws at the amazing thing while vocalizing audibly "Wow" so the "O is a black hole in my face, the Ws bolt out on their own and stick the object of awe in amazement, the abrupt pinching of both pinkie fingers and tossing both hands throws the Ws like six darts. It is an honest wow.

POWERLINE: Happy Birthday to the Tea Party

"There will be a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party today in Washington DC. The Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Riley gives a run down here. The Tea Party is the best thing to happen to American politics since the tax revolt of the 1970s. Paradoxically, its broader focus has made it both less easy to lead and organize effectively, and easier for liberal media to attack, such that polls show many voters in the middle have an unfavorable impression of the Tea Party even while they agree with many Tea Party points of view on individual issues. It was ever so in politics."

"In any case, on this fifth anniversary (and here’s to the next five years, where the Tea Party will be even more important), it’s worth savoring the famous Rick Santelli rant that got it all going (about four minutes long):

CBS Denver: "Vets Seeing More Dogs Eating Edible Marijuana"

"An animal hospital in Denver is seeing an increasing number of dogs who have eaten edible marijuana and is finding that the diagnosis isn’t good."
VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital is open 24 hours a day and they see hundreds of dogs every week from checkups to emergencies. Since Jan. 1 the clinic says dogs have been getting into their owner’s supply of marijuana, specifically edibles.

“What we are seeing is dogs getting into the baked products,” said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.

The concern is that edibles have a concentration of marijuana meant for controlled human consumption and dogs weigh far less than humans and have no control.

There’s no antidote for marijuana but Fitzgerald said those worried about a pet’s recent exposure have a limited amount of time to take action before it’s too late.

“Don’t wait. Your vet is as far away as the telephone,” said Fitzgerald.

Doctors suggest that owners try and keep they’re marijuana out of their pet’s reach.

The Weekly Standard: "Harry Reid Denies All Obamacare 'Horror Stories'; 'All Are Untrue'"

"Harry Reid spoke about the Obamacare "horror stories" on the Senate floor this morning. He said that "all are untrue."

"Despite all that good news, there's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they're being told all over America," said Reid.

"The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled [and] could die without her medication, Mr. President, that's an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It's absolutely false. Or the woman whose insurance policy went up $700 a month--ads paid for around America by the multibillionaire Koch brothers, and the ad is false. READ MORE

Video of Senator Reid's remarks at the links.

Chester draws

Chester really does draw, or you draw Chester.  How to Draw the Life And Times of Chester Arthur (Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America). Don't bother, it's just that it really is there. Chester draws.

"Where are the scissors?"

"In the chest a draws."

I know what is meant, chest of drawers. I figured that out a long time ago.

For the life of me I cannot say that phrase. My mouth will not say it. Cannot say it. Sometimes I do need to say it so when I get to that part I slip into Boston accent "chesta draws" and revert to normal which never fails to have unintended comical effect and provoke laughter I do not intend and I cannot help it, in regular speech the word "drawers" cannot be spoken. My jaw juts out for the "dr" open for the "aw" and inward for pushing "er over the open-mouth "aw" still being vocalized. It's a mess. Like pushing food out of my mouth and sounding like a growling retarded hillbilly with a mouth full of slop." I' really would prefer to act out pulling open a long drawer with two hands, than to vocalize the word. The word "drawer" cannot be spoken. So I don't. I say Chesta draws instead.

And I still conjure some random "Chester" whenever someone else says it, and everybody says it that way too. You probably say, "Chester draws." And I'm left to imagine Chester, no wait, some cabinet. Either way, saying or hearing, it gets me every time.

This search with quotes produces wooden cabinets and various objects: ["chester draws"]
This search with quotes produces more clearly mostly cabinets ["chester drawers']

Is there a city named Chester famed for its cabinetry?
Chester England
New Jersey
New Hampshire

cabinet? no bureau? no wood? no carpentry? no.

No mention of dressers, although the unique architectural style of the buildings in Chester England have second floors that extend beyond the fist above the sidewalks, and third stories that extend beyond the second giving the appearance on both sides of the street of dressers with drawers pulled out, or at least not fully pushed in, an observation, not a theory.

[chest of drawers] There you go. Clarity reigns supreme. Everybody knows it means a bosom full of illustrators.  Kidding.

This phrase gets me every time to this day. I cannot say it right nor hear it right. It will be one of those things with no resolution. It will be Boston accent for "chesta draws" for the rest of my life.

Please, I'm asking make me feel better about this shortcoming and relate one or two examples that are worse. Avoid using "Korea" as example, England already claimed affliction with that disability.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Corner: Who gets a Walter Cronkite Award, for excellence in journalism, after 3 days of work?

"His first television show has only been on the air for three days, but Ronan Farrow is already winning awards for his journalistic work. Reach the World, a global education group, will honor the 26-year-old Farrow with its annual Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism."

"Prior to the debut of his show, Ronan Farrow Daily, on Monday, Farrow worked as an adviser to the State Department and with UNICEF, among other humanitarian efforts; he’s contributed to various publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic."


"Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll."



Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark of The Byrds wrote "You Showed Me" in 1964, but they just couldn't fly with it. So they handed it off to a slower paced species.

"Rand Paul: Democrats Should Be ‘Embarrassed’ To Be Seen With Bill Clinton"

"Speaking to Fox News Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 White House contender said that the Democrats are mistaking Clinton’s popularity after the former president spoke at a campaign rally for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell."
“We have a lot of conservative Democrats in our state who go to church each week and really don’t approve of his behavior, what he has done with sexual harassment in the workplace,” Paul said, referencing the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “A lot of Democrats in our state don’t approve of that kind of behavior.”

Paul, who previously called Clinton a “serial philanderer,” thinks it’s a mistake for Democrats to view Clinton as some type of role model.

Talking about Clinton’s appearance at Grimes’ rally, Paul said Democrats should return money he has raised and that they should be “embarrassed” to be seen with him.

“I think he’s a bad role model for the workplace, for women’s rights, for all of that, and I think really they ought to be a little embarrassed to be associated or being seen with him,” Paul stated.
I love that Rand Paul is not afraid of the Clintons. Nobody else has ever talked like that about them. It's refreshing. Go after them Senator!

ADDED - I just remember why Paul's tone strikes a chord with me. Do you remember what Bill Clinton said, back when he first ran? How a vote for him would mean two, himself and Hillary, for one?

From a book review, For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary, the White House Years. 
Sally Bedell Smith's book, published in 2007, is a year-by-year account of how effectively Bill and Hillary work together to win elections, achieve political and policy goals, and contain scandal. In the author's own words, the book explores "how two intelligent, ambitious, and complex people confronted the challenges they faced in the White House, how they worked together and seperately, and how the push and pull of their marriage affected the presidency."

The main point of the book is the idea of "two for one," almost a co-presidency, and less overtly, both Bill's and Hillary's use of the word "we" when describing policy positions and achievements.
Going after Bill, politically, is the same as going after Hillary, because they've sold themselves to the voters as one entity from the beginning. So, that's how Rand Paul is going about attacking them politically. It's brilliant.

Is Spike Lee upset that longtime residents, like Trooper, might be choosing to leave the neighborhood?

"Speaking Tuesday night in Brooklyn, blocks away from his company headquarters and his father’s apartment, Spike Lee went off on how the neighborhood has changed. The filmmaker, wearing a Knicks beanie, orange socks, blue Nikes, and "Defend Brooklyn" hoodie, was at Pratt Institute for a lecture in honor of African American History Month, surrounded by locals, when he was nearly asked a question about “the other side” of the gentrification debate."

Partial transcript link.

Here’s the full audio, including the man’s response and Lee’s rebuttal:

NYT: "There was little consensus on why the decline might be happening, but many theories"

"Federal health authorities on Tuesday reported a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, the first broad decline in an epidemic that often leads to lifelong struggles with weight and higher risks for cancer, heart disease and stroke."
The drop emerged from a major federal health survey that experts say is the gold standard for evidence on what Americans weigh."
“This is the first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group,” said Cynthia L. Ogden, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the lead author of the report, which will be published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, on Wednesday. “It was exciting.”

She cautioned that these very young children make up a tiny fraction of the American population and that the figures for the broader society had remained flat, and had even increased for women over 60. A third of adults and 17 percent of youths are obese, the federal survey found. Still, the lower obesity rates in the very young bode well for the future, researchers said.
Another possible explanation is that some combination of state, local and federal policies aimed at reducing obesity is starting to make a difference. Michelle Obama, the first lady, has led a push to change young children’s eating and exercise habits and 10,000 child care centers across the country have signed on. The news announcement from the C.D.C. included a remark from Mrs. Obama: “I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans.”
While I gladly receive the good news, I'm also skeptical and I have good reasons supporting my skepticism. Just before the 2012 election, the job number were manipulated to help Obama's re-election. Now, there is a midterm election coming up and the administration is under some pressure from democrats made vulnerable by the ObamaCare disaster. Along comes news that child obesity, the first lady's pet project, is producing results? Like the church lady used to say “Well, isn't that special?”... 'Back-off, vulnerable democrats; we've ended an epidemic.'

This administration cannot be trusted. They have spin, manipulated and outright lied too often.

Impeached Ukrainian President Yanukovich's abandoned

Forty-eight photos at

According to Wikipedia the president 18 other residences available. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blogger error message

It's been a bit testy lately.

Islamic Leaders Issue Fatwa Prohibiting One-Way Trips To Mars

Well, they've got that covered now.  No need to worry it any longer.  Seems like a bit of a wast of time, though, doesn't it?  Who wants a one-way trip to Mars?
You may be wondering why anyone would want to take a one-way trip to Mars, and honestly I wonder that myself. However, Dutch company Mars One plans to do just that, and they received over 200,000 applicants vying to take the trip. In December of 2013 the group was paired down to 1058 candidates. If there are any Muslim candidates they may now want to reconsider.
 Reportedly, around 500 Saudis and other Arabs applied for the Mars One mission. The fatwa committee believes that some of them may be fleeing to Mars to escape punishment from Almighty Allah. However, the committee says not even traveling to Mars will allow one to escape Almighty Allah's judgment. They say, "This is an absolutely baseless and unacceptable belief because not even an atom falls outside the purview of Allah, the Creator of everything."
Okay then.  But here's the kicker that makes the whole thing suspect.
Professor Dr. Farooq Hamada, who presides over the fatwa committee, shared the motivation for issuing the fatwa: "Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever merciful."
Let's look at that in slow motion.

Seems good in theory, but the application of verse 4/29 has been spotty, to say the least, for anyone who has been following current events since, say 700 AD.
Fatwa or not, I am a little too fond of good old mother earth for a one-way trip to a barren red planet. Sorry Mars One, but I will monitor your progress from the comfort and safety of my comfy earthbound couch.
Read more here.

Showdown at the NTTAWWT Corral

[Update: "Erich Holder: States' Attorneys General Can Ignore Laws"  h/t Icepick]

"McDonald's eyes extending breakfast hours"

"McDonald's is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day. Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald's after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.
Still, it's an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people's eating habits are changing - particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as Millennials.
"We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn't go very well," Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald's USA, said in an interview.

Stratton declined to provide any details on how McDonald's would adjust kitchen operations to make breakfast later in the day.

"Well, we're just beginning. ... We're just taking a look at it," he said. READ MORE
After reading the story I suspected they were leaving out something. What is this story not saying here? Would you care to speculate? Hint

Blind Man Who Shot Drinking Buddy Dead With Assault Rifle And Walked Free Under 'Stand Your Ground' Law Wins Right To Get His Guns Returned

Sometimes real stories are better than fiction.  This happened in Florida, of course.
DeWitt (the shootee) and his girlfriend had gone to Rogers' (the blind shooter) house to drink beer and had spent the night.  The next day the group had made a 10am trip to the store to buy more beer, according to Rogers' arrest report.  (note 10 AM beer run.)
The defendant testified that he had asked DeWitt to leave but that the victim had attacked him, so he went into another room and retrieved his rifle. After Rogers pointed it in DeWitt's general direction, he said DeWitt charged him.                (note that blind man walks into another room and fetches rifle, points it, and shoots.)
‘He felt like he had no choice but to shoot him, and he did, said Assistant Public Defenders Tim Caudill, according to the Sentinel. The men were 18 inches apart or closer. (umm...most rifles are longer than 18 inches.)
The story includes an obligatory mention of Trayvon Martin, and then wraps up with
Rogers - who has done probation for firing 15 rounds at a cousin and was jailed for pushing and punching a woman in a domestic disturbance three years ago—will have to buy new ammunition, however, since the state considered his cache 'too old and dangerous.'
Rogers' cache isn't the only thing that's old and dangerous, apparently. 

Full article here.

President Obama Proposes Deep Cuts to America’s Biggest Jobs Program

"The Pentagon plans to scale back the US Army by more than an eighth to its lowest level since before World War II, signaling a shift after more than a decade of ground wars."
Saying it was time to "reset" for a new era, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking American forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000.

If approved by Congress, the Pentagon move would reduce the army to its lowest manning levels since 1940, before the American military dramatically expanded after entering World War II.

The proposed 13 percent reduction in the army would be carried out by 2017, a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity...
For video of the announcement click read more


Where these are the days of our lives.

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare.

A whole scene that pops up.

If you jab a a pencil or popsicle stick into a book, say near the center, open the book at the pencil, the pencil stuck in there stays up in the air, nothing actually pops up but it looks like it does because the pages on both sides of it fall flat.

I-bars elevate a surface, create a table or partial table or lacy table to good effect but like the stick, they merely fail to lay flat.

V mechanism.

This mechanism is different from those do nothing types, by transferring the energy of opening the page into lifting another page in a different direction. Lifting another partial page, by connecting on both sides in the shape of V. For demonstration the V is symmetric, when asymmetric then strange and unpredictable things happen.

My very first earliest drawing efforts were scenes. A circus. The whole deal. Tents swing sets playground implements and elephants. Impressions of bits of movies I saw without understanding a word of it, combat scenes with castles in the background and knights slaughtering each other mid and foreground, horses, fire, smoke, clouds, dust, chaos all around. Romans with crazy things on their helmets, all soldiers centurions, and WWII scenes with tanks on the ground and planes in the air. Those kind of scenes can be depicted this way.

The whole scene flips up at once. It's odd too, when opening the card it goes, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, bang, entire scene.

I moved these pages today, part of some thirty or so,  from an inactive site to a new blogger digs and thought, hey, this really does show it.

The tall piece is folded in half and holds the hawk flying above the troop.

The X5 piece Is much lower broad enough to cross the whole card but trimmed so it does not go all the way across and to different length for variety. The shape of the V is symmetric, but the lengths of both sides are not. The V can be longer on one side than the other like .  

These are 5 bands cut straight across the sheet and glued on the back in the shape of a V. They will stand straight up because they were cut straight across. That makes for 90˚ upright when bent at the crease then bent in the middle into a V and the tabs glued flatly. When the card is closed these will fold reliably at 45˚ inside the closed folded card.

Cutting the strips in the shape of the V instead of cutting strips straight across changes the angle of the upright from straight up to leaning backward. If cut as a chevron and glued the same way they will all lean backward as one. They can be provided a roof and a whole new platform pops up, an entire scene can built on the platform and lift up, a tree can pull up and be part of a platform like this, an airplane, or bug can lift up and right off the page. In this case a bird will lift up and backward away from the viewer above the rest of the scene. 

[Conversely, if the strips cut into chevron aims up rather than down, then the mechanism will work on the page in the opposite direction. That is, content will lift up and off the page toward the viewer instead of away from the viewer as here, and sometimes that is a very good thing.]

Content. This is where we let our arts flow. If you are judgmental with yourself then nothing can happen. The thing that gets me over fear of being artistically insufficient is considering all the crap cartoons out there, not funny, not interesting, not well done, and they get paid. Come on. You keep saying your kid could do it, so just do it. 

That's my attitude. 

The tall post with the bird is in place. The short uprights ready to place. Slots cut so tabs can be glued to back instead of on top. It doesn't matter. The tabs can be drawn and painted and part of the background. It's just being fussy on a detail. 

Changed the uprights. Did not use the strips cut straight across. Psych! Cut new ones with broader tops, then cut waves into the tops for random hills or waves of grass. Why? Because I didn't want a straight line going across holding up the animals. 

There is an additional bit attached to one side without a corresponding half, that attaches to another on its own side so depends on it to be lifted. That is, the smallest upright in front is dead weight, it is not lifting. An animal attached to that will be dead weight too and must be short enough to fit in that corner when the card is closed.

Aw, just draw the little guys over and over and cut them out. They pretty much all do the same thing. That is what makes them so amusing. They are not all running around doing different things.

Although they could. 

Why not Egyptians?  They're later. 


I'm sorry, is that cover art NSFW?

I still remember buying that LP -- it came wrapped in opaque blue plastic. 

"Out Of The Blue" is great idiom. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Bless, planted five days ago.

Winter depression. I do not get that. How could I? The weather is incredible around here lately, but I needed a title with misdirection, wouldn't do to leave that blank.

It's fun.

The kits are fun. Usually I do not buy a kit, just use seed from things around here, but this time I did. And it wasn't on sale either. When you query [aerogarden coupon] there is usually something around to type in at checkout.

I could not find the place to type in the code. Nothing shows.

So I emailed aerogarden and said that. They wrote back immediately and said they applied the discount I found. The coupon code goes into the item line on the order, but like I said, I looked and saw no place to put it, and Maude, I PUT on my glasses and LOOKED.

The kits are expensive for seeds and that bums me out because they amount to a seven little cups each pre-packed with a single seed. The seed, the stuffing for the cup and the liquid nutrients, but the whole seed kit must be less expensive. And they are now. Before they were a little worse.

Expensive because that one seed in there really does need to germinate. When one or two fail to germinate there will be an anxious customer on the phone demanding replacement and becoming all bad-mouthy about your product. Guess how I know. For the company there is a lot on the line so the seed had better be good, the lights wasted for germination that did not happen, replacements out of synch with the rest, synch with the other type plants with varying times as with  herb gardens growing together. There is a lot to the organization, suggestions as to placement of cups, there is more to the product than meets the eye, for this is hydroponics for dummkopfs to be frank about it, and the company really is good with customer service, seed kits, lights, hydroponic units, all around very good service. That has been my direct experience.

Uh, what do you say when you admit something, disclosure, that's it, I own this company.

I love saying that. I hear it on the finance channels all the time and find it pompous as h-e-double cigarette holder sticks, like red carpet interviews, "Who are wearing?"  I have some stock because I like the idea of the company and that is what I base things on. Silly, I know. Hardly ruthless at all.  The stock was utterly cyclical at first, one year to the next the same ups and downs pegged at holidays, the units make great gifts, I bought stock, boom, the startup guy sold his company and bailed.

And that whole time I was imagining him the archetypical Boulder plant-loving alternate farmer type and turns out I'm wrong and he's all businessman.

The new major owners split stock to expand and there went its price.  I too could bail or keep the stock and see what happens. I did buy it because I like it. So I kept it and do not bother following the price anymore.

They expanded the product line. Modestly at first with smaller more affordable units, then expanded more dramatically with a line of larger more powerful units, the largest incorporating LED instead of high output fluorescent light.

They expanded the line of seed kits both herb combinations and flowers. Expanded the line of devices to assist independent of kits, trellises, reflectors water fillers and such things as ordinary hydroponics involve.

They hooked up with Scott's Miracle Grow company and expanded their distribution, a lot more outlets now, and Miracle Grow's marketing. The association with Miracle Grow and the expanded lines have already shown positive results. The company's quarter reports indicate significant steady increase.


No seasonal disorder around here. Disorder, yes, but not seasonal.


Nice people.

Gallup: "Fewer Americans Think Obama Respected on World Stage"

"For the first time, more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is. Americans' opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013."
The results are based on Gallup's annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Although opinions about a president's perceived world standing often track with his job approval rating, a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now...

Though the current data represent a personal low for Obama, they are not the lowest Gallup has measured since the question was first asked in 1994. That was reached in 2007, when 21% of Americans thought world leaders respected President George W. Bush...

Democrats and independents are mainly responsible for the slide in Obama's ratings. Independents now, by a wide margin, believe world leaders do not respect Obama.
The words "for the first time" reminded me of Michelle Obama's 2008 campaign trail statement "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country..." You might say Michelle was feeling respected in her adult lifetime. But, at what cost has that pride and respect come?

Gallup via Drudge

Meet the NYC flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

"Few of us ever get a good view of a flying squirrel, but then again, not many of us know they truly exist. Not unlike its cartoon depiction, as the brainy, be-goggled sidekick of Bullwinkle the Moose, the Southern flying squirrel is an impressively well-adapted resident of New York City. With a preference for older beech and oak woods, these squirrels are primarily nocturnal. An uncommon habitat and our very urban instinct to avoid late-night walks through obscure woodlands make finding one a deliberate effort."

"The flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) does not actually fly — it glides. When a squirrel leaps from its perch in a tall tree, it spreads its limbs, stretching out its two patagia (thick, furred membranes that extend from its wrists to its ankles). In this way, a squirrel less than 10 inches long (including a tail almost half that length) can, in a single bound, cover 150 feet or more, gliding through the treetops effortlessly" READ MORE

List: "What items might people be surprised to find in your fridge?"

"Here are 9 (out of 15) surprising foods you can--and sometimes should--stock in your freezer. (Be sure to check out our essential Guide to Freezing for smart tips on how to store and thaw food.)"
1. Nuts and nut flours: Because of their high oil content, nuts can go rancid very quickly. We recommend freezing both nuts and nut flours if you don't plan on using them right away. To freeze peanuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds (shelled or unshelled), simply wrap them well in plastic, then place in a resealable freezer bag.

2. Herbs: Chop up fresh rosemary, oregano, sage, or thyme. Pack in ice cube trays (about 1/2 full), pour extra-virgin olive oil over, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze overnight. Remove cubes from trays and store in freezer in resealable plastic freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw in a pan on low heat, or use in stews or soups. (Pesto also freezes well: Put in ice cube trays, freeze overnight, then store in resealable plastic freezer bags.)

4. Bacon: We love freezing bacon, not only because, well, it's BACON, but also because it defrosts incredibly quickly at room temperature. Wrap individual portions (3-4 slices) of raw bacon side by side in parchment paper or wax paper, pop them into a resealable freezer bag, and place in the freezer. (If you need to chop the bacon for a recipe, it's very easy to do so when it's frozen.)

6. Ripe bananas: Store very ripe bananas in resealable freezer bags (squeeze out as much air as possible and arrange them so they don't stick together). Blend frozen bananas (after peeling with your fingers or a knife) with yogurt and other produce for a super-creamy smoothie, or defrost them (they should thaw after about an hour at room temperature) and use in banana bread.

9. Bread: When freezing loaves of homemade bread, like French bread, be sure to let them cool first, then wrap whole loaves airtight in plastic wrap then place in resealable freezer bags. Lightly toast the bread to restore its texture and bring out its flavor. Can't finish that whole loaf of storebought bread? Freeze it, then toast slices right out of the freezer.

10. Coffee: If you're an iced coffee lover and you haven't yet made coffee ice cubes, I have to ask: What the heck are you waiting for? Pour your leftover coffee into ice cube trays, freeze, them toss the caffeinated cubes into your iced coffee to give it a boost. Because you do need that extra boost, right?

11. Citrus juice: Again with the ice cube trays! Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice into ice cube trays (measure out 1 or 2 tablespoons in each cube), freeze, then store in resealable plastic freezer bags. Add the cubes to iced tea or lemonade to give your drink an extra kick, or use them in recipes calling for lemon or lime juice.

13. Cooked pasta: Boil your pasta until barely al dente (so pasta isn't mushy when you reheat), then freeze without sauce in individual freezer-ready containers. To serve, microwave or just add to a hot sauce--ta-da!

14. Cooked rice, quinoa, and other hearty grains. I only very recently cottoned to the concept of freezing rice and other cooked grains. Just cook, let cool, then store in resealable plastic freezer bags. When ready to serve, pour into a bowl and microwave for a minute, or heat the grain with a little liquid on the stovetop. Read More

NYT Social Q's: "Have Gun? Won’t Visit"

Pulled from a NYT Social Q's as it appears on the Fashion & Style Section...
I am the mother of three small children. When the oldest was 2, we arrived at a relative’s house for a planned visit, and found a shotgun propped against the dining room wall and an open box of ammunition nearby. Fortunately, I was one step behind my curious son. But the incident caused a big fight; our relatives were offended that we asked them to lock up the gun during our visit. Since then, I’ve been proactive about guns in houses my children visit. But asking, “Do you have a gun in the house?” seems intrusive and somehow accusatory. How should I approach this?

Amanda, Fayetteville, Ark.
Talk about prying it from their “cold, dead hands”! You may already have met the only adults in America who think that leaving rifles and live ammo where toddlers play is a good idea. Still, you have every right to confirm your children’s safety. Why not just say: “We had a scary play date recently with folks who left a gun lying around. We weren’t comfortable with that. Are you?” And then you’ll know. (But given your recent luck, you may as well scope out the playroom for “Hunger Games” crossbows when you drop your darlings off.)
Do you see what this guy did there? Any comments?

NYT A version of this article appears in print on February 23, 2014, on page ST10 of the New York edition with the headline: No, Not So Smart.

World's Largest Nude Ocean Swim

Hundreds of people stripped off Sunday to take part in the second annual Sydney Skinny in an attempt to break the world record for the largest nude ocean swim.

The photos in the article are safe for viewing at work.  A few butts, but not much more.  I'll do better next time, I promise.
Over 700 people took part in last year's inaugural swim, which aims to promote a positive body image.
Seven hundred people?  That seems kind of low for a world record, don't you think?   A world record should be thousands of people.  Heck, I was at this beach one weekend and there were many more than 700 nude people swimming.  Maybe that didn't count because the Declarers of World Records weren't there. Still, a mere 700 people is an unimpressive body count for a World Record.
Creator Nigel Marsh said that people use the Sydney Skinny "to throw aside concerns of body image, to connect with nature and celebrate living with more courage and kindness".
Not really.  People used the Sydney Skinny to look at each others' nude bodies.   Otherwise, why even bother? Connecting with nature and living with more courage and kindness can be celebrated anywhere.  This dealio was about getting nude with other people.  Not that there's anything wrong with that; it was probably a lot of fun, provided you were age 21-40 and in excellent shape.
"Such an amazingly fun and well organised event. Thank you to all behind the scenes and those making it smooth today."
It appears the event was indeed quite smooth.  Not a body hair visible in any of the photos.  In fairness, the photos are the posterior view only, but still, smooth is the operative word.  Because being smooth and the desire "to throw aside body image" are totally the same thing.  And big thanks to the photogs, by the way, for not troubling the reader with  images of overweight bodies.

Body image, my ass.  Ba dump bump!

Hey, Happy Monday everyone!


Where we beg to differ.

What chains bind you?



If you wanted to write the word "Denver" in hieroglyphics -- and who doesn't? -- you can use the triliteral n-f-r, nefer, their word for "beautiful."

It is a popular word. A design element. It is used in jewelry. Made from various materials.

A necklace can be made of seeds and woven with other materials in such a way as to spell out 100 times the word "beautiful" and the museum placard will read:

Necklace, material cornflower seed.

Or the like. And the object is sitting there veritably screaming

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful

Like this.

All I did was type "nefer" and this came up first page. See what I mean?

Beauty, happiness, good fortune, and youth.

Imagine having a favorite young wife, wait! Imagine first being a pharaoh, then imagine having a favorite young wife, perhaps a royal daughter by such a wife, a real doll, a fortunate and happy girl, look at her, look at that face of hers, and bestowing her a gold and jewel necklace fashioned to perfection by your state craftsmen that reads "beautiful" hundreds of times, just to see her wear it. Is that hot or what?

I understand, I read in places, a lot of times actually, the symbol portrays a trachea rising up from the heart. And the whole time, years, I thought it a banjo. Type instrument. But come on, trachea is attached to lungs, not heart, and that does not explain the tuning pegs on top, but it does explain why Gardiner classified the sign under Parts of Mammals F35.

For Denver we still need a "D" and that is a hand. Human hand. Parts of Human Body D46.


Close enough. It is how they would do it. Take as many shortcuts as possible with biliterals and this snags a triliteral, and a great one at that. Beautiful. The sign is irresistible.

Sometimes you just have to take control and write it as you think it should be.

I drew that. Can you tell? This is not a legal thing, obviously, they were not so foresightful as to contrive a ligature in anticipation of American cities, (except for Memphis) but if they did, it could look like this. The "R" is redundant as they do to fill space, to balance things, to make sure, out of habit, union rules, what have you, we see inconsistency in these things all the time. R, human mouth D21. The wagon wheel depicts a crossroads, a spot where caravan routes meet become towns develop to cities. Crossroads O49 is a determinative sign that says, "this is the name of a place." All of these are very common perfectly acceptable signs.

Middle East Conflicts Wall War Memorial, Marseilles, Illinois

Watch it grow!


Land for the project donated by Illinois Valley Cellular, and it is beautiful riverside area too. Additionally Cellular built a museum to house the many artifacts left there, in reaction to them being discarded vandalized even thrown in the river. 

Jerry Kuczera and Tony Cutrano 

Today is the first I've heard of this project. Cheering. Mostly the urgency finding expression immediately gets me. Without slipping into diatribe about the slowness of monolithic distant government engaged in their own thing, still I still cannot help entertaining an alternate project starting from Washington and what that would look like, by seeing this before with the Vietnam memorial and Freedom Tower in NY,  how such a thing would proceed, how architects and artists are chosen, contracts dispersed, location chosen, even which country builds it, out of what material, the exact  placement, environmental impact, and all the attendant things I cannot think of, not dismissing the result just briefly entertaining an alternate federal project to this organic expression, because I cannot help it. 

Conversely, this is as if watching forest ants suddenly joining together in mass and doing something different apart from the usual doings, for some reason, some urgency. It is exciting. The way it comes about is exciting.

The usual thing failed or is failing or is too slow or otherwise unsatisfactory.

Having said that, I think, a good part of the descending mob aspect of it has to do with already owning a motorcycle and a desire, a strong desire, to do something useful. There you are with your motorcycle, what do you do with it? Ride around on it, of course, go places. It's fun. Pick up a few things load up the bags vrooom vrooom vroooom off you go, it'a good day. Then what? While enjoying the freedom of cycling and all that goes into sustaining that freedom, what purposeful meaningful thing can be done? And even if you are not  thinking such things, when offered, the whole effort sounds great because it does give meaning. Boom. Crowd of motorcyclists. Just like that. 

I have to say Illinois sure is interesting.

My son always wanted to own a motorcycle so when he was deployed to Afghanistan he told me when he come home he's gonna buy one. And he didn't come home. And so we bought one for him and had his pictures painted all over it and now we ride him everywhere. It's all in honor and memory of him and we ride it everywhere to all these events just so the world will remember and love our heroes because our soldiers are our true heroes in America ... They give their todays for our tomorrows.

Hang on, here comes a sharp turn. I risk flipping off the rails.

Aberdeen Washington is setting up a memorial for Kurt Cobain. I do not have a problem with a memorial to Curt Cobain, it is a good thing, he is famous after all, but by way of contrast it is offered.

Aberdeen Washington acknowledges Kurt Cobain had a big impact on music. It's something. They're avoided acknowledging him as a product of their town until now due to the heroin  thing and the suicide thing, two things there difficult to celebrate, still he had a big impact on music.


Don't shhh me.


The woman in the second video who lost a son and drives around a motorcycle that her son wanted, not her, and with his picture on it to take him in spirit all over the place frankly breaks my heart. Aberdeen have you no such heroes to acknowledge? My google-fu is just awful tonight I'm getting all sorts of anti-war things. ["aberdeene washington" iraq afghanistan died] I see that there are. But there is no such organic urgency in Aberdeen for a thing as happens in Illinois. 

Critique. Video marred by bagpipes. Sorry, Scotland, it just is. Amazing Grace on bagpipes at funerals makes all three things worse, song, bagpipe, service.