Thursday, December 31, 2015

Delray Tree and Fire

Outside by the tree

inside the tree

by the tree entrance

Worst Wifi Password Ever

Is this funny?

False advertising. Easily solved. Difficult to communicate verbally in English to thickheads is not the same thing as worst wifi password ever. 

I was hoping for a really technically bad password.

Modern "Who's on First?" And that routine gets more credit than it deserves. They stick with the same construction, locution, syntax that confuses to extend the same confusion instead of switching, or switching forms.  I'm surprised to learn that it's a film about a baseball Vaudeville act. I've seen the original movie, and the I've seen the routine a dozen times, it seems, apparently people are taken by humor in ambiguity. 

They should hire me. I could write a dozen of these easily.

To be honest, there are too many personal examples, a few that by repetition, and not by me, become similar tales that from my point of view at the time from within them desperate without anything funny to them. Not one thing. Different situations. Pits of despair where earnest sincere communication attempts fail in series by wheels spinning in miscomprehension. They are not funny, in each example I'm quite stupid, yet somehow hilarious to others. 

"State Dept. breaks judge’s deadline on Clinton emails"

We have worked diligently to come as close to the goal as possible, but with the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule we have not met the goal this month. To narrow that gap, the State Department will make another production of former Secretary Clinton’s email sometime next week,” the department said in a statement.

It’s the latest embarrassment for the department, which has repeatedly struggled to handle the more than 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton returned to the government nearly two years after she left office.

The department is under a federal court order to release emails every month since the summer, but broke the order by missing the first deadline under that order. It had caught up, but has now fallen behind again.

I'm old... I'll clap when there's something worth clapping about

Link to source

Missouri, Illinois Face 'Slow-Motion Disaster'

At least 21 people have been killed in Missouri and Illinois and there have been widespread evacuations in the wake of a powerful winter storm. Two rivers have risen to record levels set in the so-called "Great Flood" of 1993.

Videos and story at the link

"Florida store offers free firearm with jewelry purchase"

"We kind of took the take off the shotgun wedding and twisted it a little bit so more people could get involved,... This kind of gives the guy an incentive to purchase a piece of jewelry for his wife,” Czerok (Shop owner) told reporters. “Or, vice versa, we’ve sold a couple of gentlemen’s rings and the wives got the shotgun.”

The jewelry store has been around for 14 years, says Czerok. Her husband Nick, the jeweler, opened the gun store addition in 2012. Both of the Czeroks are firearm enthusiasts.

Don't you just love it when people have an aha moment? All of a sudden nothing is the same again.

philosophies of life

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ian Tuttle on Samuel L. Jackson

Writing for National Review Ian Tuttle tells us that listening to Samuel Jackson lowers America's collective I.Q., that Jackson knows nothing about anything important. The article is nearly entirely what Jackson has to say on his insights about comparative religion and the intersection with politics and Tuttle assumes Jackson's perspective is so ridiculous it needn't be taken apart, you do that yourself as you read it.

I have to ask, come on now, if only to be contrarian, what does Jackson say that is actually wrong? Save for the thousands of years thing and conflating Christianity with its sects and the United States' historical relationship with Islam, apart from those three rather essential misconceptions, where does Jackson go wrong? Because a lot of people think exactly like this and it does no good to argue.

Help a brother out.

Jackson speaks as they do, as you often hear people even your own relatives who do have a perception on these things beyond being informed by CNN and MSNBC, a valid point of view, informed by their values, but it's a point and not a sweep of view as you're used to having so feel a strong impulse to fill in the gaps as he goes, but there's no stopping Jackson, no convenient places of entry without restructuring the entire worldview. Provided with insight forced upon his innocent self, Jackson scans the geopolitical landscape through a prism then examines a single color of bandwidth projected. His grasp of history is partial and fractured and the pieces assembled incorrectly but his grasp is not entirely wrong.

My question is, how do you agreeably chat with Jackson, imagine this if you will, without accusing him of lowering your I.Q., how do patiently endure the trial of listening sympathetically and identify the neglected spots and gently and kindly fill them to satisfaction, because he sounds exactly like friends and relatives and even our president.

National Review, Breaking: Celebrity Says Dumb Things About Subject He Knows Nothing About.

"Fight breaks out at Newark anti-violence rally"

A skirmish broke out between rival activists on the steps of City Hall Wednesday during what had been intended as a demonstration against violence in Newark, several witnesses who attended the rally confirmed.

Police were called to the scene after a small crowd began arguing over escalating violence and the city's attempts to curb it, witnesses said.

The noon press conference was called by a group of activists led by Salaam Ismial, co-chair of the New Jersey Study Commission on Violence, and Abdul Muhammad, a longtime Newark anti-violence activist. In a release announcing the event, the two said they planned to ask Mayor Ras Baraka to "unleash his quality of life plan in addressing ongoing violence facing Newark residents."

Nobody does it better

Trump not catering to NH campaigning traditions

"And while Christie has seemingly taken up residence in New Hampshire, Trump has stopped in the state for just 23 events, a strikingly low number.

The Trump campaign attributes the large venues to demand and enthusiasm from his supporters.

But Trump is a known germaphobe who dislikes shaking hands, which might be another reason he’s avoided the diner appearances that are a staple of New Hampshire politics.

In any event, none of this has hurt him in the state, at least so far."

Obama spies on Congress... again

But don't expect anybody to do anything about it.
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.
White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

My question is will California senator Dianne Feinstein claim shock and ignorance a second time?

Barack Obama's Twitter account, SOTU

Skid Row 2 - Suburb Security cameras edition

Published on Dec 27, 2015
Just a Montage of Videos We Have Captured Here in Chilliwack Bc...

Drone through skid row L.A.

Documentary filmmakers fly a drone through L.A. and encounter trouble. The discussion is between filmmakers and police who explain the situation in L.A.

You know, their street sweeping service has fallen off. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Reporters claim PTSD from watching violent news"

Second hand smoke?
Most have never left the comfort of their big city offices, but a growing number of reporters and editors are claiming to suffer trauma from watching and posting violent videos on news sites, according to a new study of media and human rights workers.
Their coping mechanisms can be just as bad: heavy drinking, binge-eating and sex. Said the study: "Unhealthy coping mechanisms included frequent one night stands or, as a documentary journalist called it: 'Head-down sex with different people every night.'"
The study uncovered claims of PTSD and "vicarious trauma" from those working with video and audio showing terrorist beheadings and city shootings. The biggest impact came from the sounds of victims screaming.
"Whether it is a broadcaster, publisher, human rights or humanitarian professional, symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - which were previously only observed in professionals deployed in the field - are now evident amongst staff working in offices on what we call the digital frontline," said the study from British-based Eyewitness Media Hub.
"Forty percent of survey respondents said that viewing distressing eyewitness media has had a negative impact on their personal lives...."

How close is too close?

"Bernienomics 101"

Megan McArdle: The day after Christmas, Bernie Sanders asked a question on Twitter: “You have families out there paying 6, 8, 10 percent on student debt but you can refinance your homes at 3 percent. What sense is that?”

Finance types may snicker. But I’ve seen this question asked fairly often, and it seems worth answering, respectfully, for people whose expertise and interest lie outside the realm of economics.

The short answer is: “Loans are not priced in real life the way they are in Sunday School stories.” In a Sunday School story, the cheapest loans would go to the nicest people with the noblest use for the money: single mothers who need money to buy their kids a Christmas present, say.

That’s splendid for the recipient. But what about the lender? Let’s say you had $150 that you really needed to have at the end of the month, say to pay your rent. Would you want to lend it to the single mother whose income is stretched so tight that she needs to borrow money for Christmas presents, or would you want to lend it to some heartless leech of a securities litigator with an 800 credit rating who happens to have left his wallet at home? C’mon. You know the answer; you just don’t want to say it. If you really need the money -- if you cannot afford to turn your loan into a gift -- then you lend it to the better credit risk with the higher income, not the person who may find themselves too short to pay you when the loan comes due.

In aggregate, most of the money in your savings account is loaned out using this cold calculus, and unless you could afford to have that contents of that account suddenly vanish, you want it to be. That’s why poor people, on top of all the other unfairness heaped upon them, pay higher interest rates. And that is why secured loans, like mortgages, get lower interest rates than unsecured loans, like credit card balances and student loans. (read more)

"Texas 'affluenza' teen taken into custody in Mexico"

ReutersA Texas teen from a wealthy family, a fugitive after breaking his probation sentence for killing four people while driving drunk, has been taken into custody in Mexico, a law enforcement official said on Monday.

Ethan Couch, 18, nicknamed the "affluenza" teen, was serving 10 years probation for intoxication manslaughter in the 2013 incident.

He and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, disappeared this month...

At age 16, Couch was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit when he lost control of his pickup truck and fatally struck a stranded motorist on the side of the road and three Good Samaritans who had stopped to help.

Several passengers riding in Couch's vehicle were hurt, including one friend who was permanently brain damaged.

Shaq O'neal's aquarium

He has two of them installed by the Acrylic Tank Manufacturing featured on Animal Planet's television show Tanked. His new one is Egyptian. It takes up the whole room. The team was assigned the project of designing the entire room. The team got their idea from a Las Vegas lounge.

Goodie gumdrops. What's not to like?

The eyes go directly to the hieroglyphics and the instant they come into focus I'm disappointed. Dadgum these gumdrops. 

The beetle is seen first and three marks under it, a half circle (basket) at bottom and sun disc Re on top Kepher-y neb Re, the becoming, the images lord Re. It just looks like "the  images of Lord Re" and that's Tut. Come on. We talked about this before. All of us recognize this. Does it have to be so common? 

Skip the squarish thing, it's nonsense. It's a 3 and the symbol O33, a palace facade, itself sometimes used as cartouche in oldest style hieroglyphics, this time inside a square cartouche. 

The proper rounded cartouche on the left is instantly recognizable as Tut, the most common cartouche in all history by that quail that sticks out. The hieroglyph quail chick with the two semi circles placed in the negative space of the ligature creating a sort of percent sign says, Tut, or more often twat. Maybe twet. It's more often a w than it is a u but we'll give them Tut for tradition.

Because nobody wants to go around saying Twatankhamun.

And they never say what the rest of that means. The top is very common ligature in royal names, "Amun" more exactly Eh men (redundant) n, again, the frond is "eh" the game board is "men" and the zigzag water is redundant "n" and we see why these pictures went out of style. Those zigzags are hard to draw and even more difficult to carve in stone, one wrong move and the whole row is messed up, and all for a redundant sound to fill negative space in a ligature satisfyingly artistically. It's ridiculous. 

Anyway, from the top to the middle, it says, Amun ankh Tut. They switched it around to give the god written priority out of respect. It's confusing because sometimes they don't. So far, Amun, Tut, life. 

They say it means "the living image of Amun" 

But "tut" means courageous or strong, not image, kepher means that. We already know that from the beetle. This whole time all over the place they're telling us the wrong thing when you break it down to its bits. 

The bottom row are shepherd's hook and symbols for places and most translations never even bother with these. The hook refers to dominion of royalty the thing that looks like a butter churn is actually an architectural column with a peg on the top of the sort to fit into a cross beam or into an empolia, a centering hole in another column. The symbol is translated "Iunu", their name for a place at the far southern border, Heliopolis in Greek, also "On." The plant is translated  "sw" or "swt" and refers to the northern Egypt, the delta area, rather like saying, "rules from New York to Los Angeles" and they always leave that part off in translations. 

Disappointingly common. After all the resources Shaq makes available and nice as it is, this is the best they can do. Surely they know there will be people coming through who recognize all this on sight and know it for the tritest of all possible trites. I could dip into my laptop's trash bin and pull out the addresses of a dozen avid student Egyptologists who would all eagerly fill all the available space on those walls and throughout that aquarium with authentic hieroglyphics that say whatever you want them to say. They'd cheerfully take up the project for free as homework and discuss their production between them with no goofy nonsense or anything trite. What a bummer, with all that money and end up with basically a gift shop. Set designers do better. 

It's a very cool room if you don't care anything about Egyptian script. 

The wall paper looks similar to the tomb of Ti who followed Tut. The carving style is similar and blue background is similar but there are significant differences too. Ti's tomb is mostly pleasant scenes of daily life and less scenes formal religious scenes of Going Forth by Day. I've used pictures of his tomb many times. Ti has boat scenes as do other tombs with bas reliefs with blue background but they're all different from these. There are cartouche hieroglyphs showing but they're too tiny to read. Google images: [Dendera Temple, near Qena] looks similar.

The wallpaper beats the rest of carvings on the aquarium. They could have done much better with all that. Had they only asked we could have helped Shaq have a better more convincing Egyptian lounge room. But NooOOoooo. 

clear ice win

* 1 small cooler
* freezing winter nights
* tap water

The Weather Channel explained this.

You don't freeze the whole thing, just a top layer.

Pros: Perfectly clear ice. Total win. Simple instructions. Inexpensive. Large mass of ice at once. Impurities pushed out. No filling ice trays.

Cons: Hassle. Jacked by Global Climate Change™and el Niño and ordinary weather disruptions. Wet mess. Must be thawed to release and refrozen causing problems. Must be chipped to fit glasses. Out of doors airborne debris. Knife hazard. 

Monday, December 28, 2015


Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead Dead At 70

Lemmy's PSA regarding drugs:

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

I reviewed his biopic, "Lemmy" here

Dec. 28 evening time lapse with transitional Van Gogh

Dwarf Vader by Kevin Curtis ep. 3

 The series is picking up an eager following. 

Cleveland officers will not be charged in Tamir Rice's death.

CNN: "No indictment in Tamir Rice case, prosecutor says"
Rice was holding a pellet gun when he was shot. It was "reasonable" to believe that the officer who killed the boy was facing a threat, (prosecutor) McGinty said.
The officer was in training outside a Cleveland recreation center in November 2014. The shooting sparked controversy given Tamir's age and the fact that he had a gun that resembled a handgun.
A witness called 911, reporting there was "a guy with a pistol," adding that the weapon was "probably" fake.
Information that the gun the caller saw was probably not real and that the person holding it appeared to be a juvenile was not conveyed to Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, according to recordings that law enforcement released.

Luntz: Donald Trump’s bile is a healing balm for spurned Americans

The simple truth is, the more provocative his language, the deeper and more passionate his support. He is no dummy; there is a method to his proverbial madness. Mr Trump says — to the growing legions who will listen — what tens of millions of Americans are already thinking. Respect or revile him, the man has hit a vein.

I spent three hours in a deep dialogue focus group with 29 Trump supporters. The phenomenon of “The Donald” is rooted in a psyche far deeper and more consequential than next November’s presidential election. His support denotes an abiding distrust in — and disrespect for — the governing elite. These individuals do not like being told by Washington or Wall Street what is best for them, do not like the direction America is headed in, and disdain President Barack Obama and his (perceived) circle of self-righteous, tone-deaf governing partisans.

Trump voters are not just angry — they want revenge.

Mr Trump has adroitly filled the vacuum of vitriol, establishing himself as the bold, brash, take-no-prisoners megaphone for the frustrated masses. They see him as the antidote to all that Mr Obama has made wrong with America. So to understand why millions love Mr Trump so much, you have to take a step back and listen to why they hate Mr Obama so much. (read the whole thing)

Drudge: Hillary's Magical Xmas

Link to story

Christmas Is Over -- Are You Trying To Lighten Your Carb-Based Footprint?

Islamic Scourge

I was not aware that ISIS was in Afghanistan until just now. ISIL (the President's favorite term) will no longer do and nor will ISIS, given their etymologies. I suggest just IS which stands for Islamic Scourge.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Trek across the Colorado Rockies

Or possibly a walk down the block.

YouTube video is better than uploading directly to blogger.

I'm too slow. Missed the best part. Climbing the first snow mountain they encountered piled up at the corner, making snow angels, following the difficult crest instead of boring flat surfaces on both sides of it. The real chore of taking the dog out to poop, even putting pants on to do it, and kids and little dog will have an adventure.

Kentucky's Mall St. Matthews Shuts Down After Brawls Involving Up to 2,000

"It was a series of brawls" involving 1,000 to 2,000 people ages 13 to their early 20s, McDonald (a police spokesman) said, adding that "the entire mall" was affected.

"It took about an hour and a half, close to two hours, before things were calm," But no one was arrested...

McDonald said investigators haven't determined what sparked the outbreak of violence, but they don't believe it was planned. (read more)

The Cautionary Tale of La Befana

I posted that video a few years ago. It has over 83,000 views and is by far the most popular thing I've ever produced.

Yet, it's interesting that such a benevolent cautionary tale garnered 15 "thumbs downs."  Skimming the comments, I see that a disgruntled few were chafed and not chuffed that the recording claims the La Befana legend is relived each year on January 5th and not on January 6th -- the true Epiphany). The truth is that like St. Nicholas' Day (December 6th), children celebrate the day before (la befana is Italian dialect or childspeak for la epifana -- the Epiphany.  Dutch kids put their little shoes out the night of December 5th and Italian kids put hang out their calzones on January 5th. Of course, the Holy days are the calendar holidays.

"Pope Francis assures atheists"

"You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven"
In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.
Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”
The ultimate sanctuary city.


"‘Rape culture’ is a ridiculous term – mere gassy propaganda, too rankly bloated to critique. Anyone who sees sex so simplistically has very little sense of world history, anthropology or basic psychology. I feel very sorry for women who have been seduced by this hyper-politicised, victim-centered rhetoric, because in clinging to such superficial, inflammatory phrases, they have renounced their own power and agency."

Man tries to turn himself in for reward money

Link to picture source

Link to meme source

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday night dance party

First the lyrical original version....

Then the catchy mix that caught my ear...

Pro bodybuilder vs Pro armwrestler

Claim: Warren Buffett is a predatory lender

BuzzFeed: The company is controlled by Warren Buffett, one of world’s richest men, but its methods hardly match Buffett’s honest, folksy image: Clayton systematically pursues unwitting minority home buyers and baits them into costly subprime loans, many of which are doomed to fail, an investigation by BuzzFeed News and the Seattle Times has found.
Clayton’s predatory practices have damaged minority communities — from rural black enclaves in the Louisiana Delta, across Spanish-speaking swaths of Texas, to Native American reservations in the Southwest. Many customers end up losing their homes, thousands of dollars in down payments, or even land they’d owned outright.
Over the 12 years since Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, the company has grown to dominate virtually every aspect of America’s mobile-home industry. It builds nearly half the new manufactured homes sold in this country every year, making it the most prolific U.S. home builder of any type. It sells them through a network of more than 1,600 dealerships. And it finances more mobile-home loans than any other lender by a factor of more than seven.
In minority communities, Clayton’s grip on the lending market verges on monopolistic: Last year, according to federal data, Clayton made 72% of the loans to black people who financed mobile homes.
The company’s in-house lender, Vanderbilt Mortgage, charges minority borrowers substantially higher rates, on average, than their white counterparts. In fact, federal data shows that Vanderbilt typically charges black people who make over $75,000 a year slightly more than white people who make only $35,000.
Through a spokesperson earlier this month, Buffett declined to discuss racial issues at Clayton Homes, and a reporter who attempted to contact him at his home was turned away by security. (read more)
For those of you who are not following politics too closely... Warren Buffett is a big time democrat donor. Warren Buffett also benefited from Obama's killing of the Keystone pipeline. There is no reason to believe his cozy arrangement with Obama would change under a Hillary White House.

First world problem: Christmas is a bear

Any suggestions to lighten Yuletide stress?

"When my parents owned a huge VHS camcorder, they filmed everything..."

"Now that there's a video camera in their pocket, they film nothing."

Reddit top voted comments....
You stopped being interesting to them.
Merry Christmas!
So, since taking video and photos of everything is so cheap and readily available, people took photos of everything when smartphones were on the rise in the early 2010s. Food, cats, dog poop, whatever. My wife used to be this person and you know, you lose the spontaneity and preciousness of "the moment" when you're always making a desperate effort to preserve it. Honestly, there is something to be said about dialing down the onslaught of recording everything and take the time instead to be present with the feelings and energy of everything happening during that time. Maybe you don't have physical evidence that something happened, but that feeling you had is forever and irreplaceable.
Remember the feelings. Merry Christmas.

It's not interesting now that you can film everything.

Probably because they realized no one actually watches home videos after the fact

I wish people at concerts would learn that. They not only miss the moment they are in, but they ruin things for everyone else.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas, mom

Flutterbye Fairy

America's Funniest Videos 2014 winner.

This is still the best Christmas video ever. No guilt at all for laughing, you see at a glance of the first frame the girl will have a replacement soon as stores open. And she did see the thing fly.

It's not like it didn't work.

I love how the video is found so easily without knowing much about it [girl, christmas, fairy, fireplace] boom, a whole row of pictures, videos, and gifs of exactly the right thing. This fairy is famed for its fateful first flight.

But finding it also brings up an old comment, something I didn't notice. Daily Mail commenter writes: A father who would rather fiddle with a phone than share a special moment with his daughter. How sad :-((

Yeah. Good point. I transposed this scene over the picture my brother described via email of him right there enjoying his boys playing. Their discovering things is his excitement too. You can tell by the way he writes about them the boy's excitement about things is his life, not just the focus, the boys make his life. When he mentions his wife to me he also thanks her for his boys. Their helicopter would be batted or steered away. He's supervising their play, focused right there. Compared to that the man in the video deserves the chore of replacing it, assuming he's dad, and I think that's funny too.

Plus helicopter fairies are absurd and should be destroyed.

"Harvard Law dean puts ‘microaggressions’ in the same league as sexual assault"

The College Fix: Dean Martha Minow recently addressed graduating students at her alma mater, the University of Michigan, for the school’s winter commencement, The Harvard Crimson reported.

Telling students to be “upstanders” – those who intervene when they see injustice – Minow compared apartheid and forced segregation of public schools to … accidentally offending someone:

“Taking even seemingly small acts in one’s own school can build the culture that prevents violence, bullying, sexual assault, and racial microaggressions,” she said.

...the University of California was telling faculty that saying “America is the land of opportunity” was a microaggression.

"Japan can't get enough KFC on Christmas Day" It’s Christmas Eve in Japan. Little boys and girls pull on their coats, the twinkle of anticipation in their eyes. Keeping the tradition alive, they will trek with their families to feast at … the popular American fast food chain KFC.

Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan—only one percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian—yet a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” (the next best thing to turkey—a meat you can’t find anywhere in Japan) is the go-to meal on the big day. And it’s all thanks to the insanely successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974.

When a group of foreigners couldn’t find turkey on Christmas day and opted for fried chicken instead, the company saw this as a prime commercial opportunity and launched its first Christmas meal that year: Chicken and wine for 834 2,920 yen($10)—pretty pricey for the mid-seventies. Today the christmas chicken dinner (which now boasts cake and champagne) goes for about 3,336 yen ($40).

And the people come in droves. Many order their boxes of ”finger lickin’” holiday cheer months in advance to avoid the lines—some as long as two hours. (read more)


I swear to Blog,* Maurice is who I learned to do a French accent from in English. Well, it could have been La Le Beau on "Hogan's Heroes."


Considered a Christmas song, "2000 Miles" was not about what you think it was.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas music mix

Jonah Goldberg: The War on Christmas (excerpts)

[L]et me just say that I love Christmastime and I take no offense whatsoever when someone says to me, “Merry Christmas.” Indeed, I think it is written somewhere in the Talmud that if you make someone feel bad for sincerely wishing you a “Merry Christmas!” it means you’re a miserable, joyless ass (it sounds more high-minded in the original Hebrew). Of course, there’s a flip side to that. If you know someone is not Christian or hates Christmas for some reason, and you say “Merry Christmas” out of spite or vindictiveness, rather than with joy and good cheer, then you are the one putting the “ass” in Christmass. And that is part of the genius of the Left’s passive-aggressive war on Christmas. By forcing Christmas-lovers — Christian and non-Christian alike — to take time out of their day to marshal a metaphorically martial defense of Christmas, they further undermine the whole point of the holiday, and the Holy Day. Turning Christmas into a battleground in the culture war compounds the damage they’re already doing.

The war on Christmas can best be understood as the point at which several tectonic plates of the culture grind together. When they grind together really hard, we get earthquakes. The plates have been grinding together for generations, and they go by many names: secular humanism, nihilism, relativism, progressivism, Cthulhu, and others. The opposing forces have a lot of monikers as well: traditionalism, Christianity, conservatism, and, my favorite, the Good Guys. Christmas just happens to be one of the places where the Good Guys and Cthulhu fight on ground really favorable to the Good Guys. That’s because, properly speaking, Christmas should be about as controversial as puppies, kittens, motherhood, and Scotch: Just one of those things everyone agrees is a good thing. Indeed, that’s the underlying assumption among Christmas’s cable-show champions: Christmas used to be something that united us — but not anymore, thanks to the secular humanists, multiculturalists, and other killjoys. And that’s absolutely true. Christmas was uncontroversial for a while. Then it was controversial. Then it was uncontroversial. And so on. That’s because Christmas is in fact older than cable TV.

Thanks to Charles Dickens, Christmas became a time when parents thought about the Christmas they wished they had had when they were kids. And so they set out to deliver it to their own children. That’s one of the keys to Christmas’s enduring popularity. As Bill Murray says in Scrooged (you knew I’d come back to that), at Christmastime, however briefly, “We are the people we always hoped we would be.”

....take comfort in the knowledge that the Christmas haters are not merely losers, they are losing. Most Americans — who spend almost a trillion dollars a year at Christmastime by the way — understand those people are idiots. If anything, Christmas keeps winning in the war on Christmas because Christmas is so much Odin-damn fun! So enjoy the holiday on Dickensian grounds — faith, family, fun all mixed into one. Say “Merry Christmas” with joy in your heart and have a good time — if for no other reason than the fact that nothing pisses off the people who hate Christmas more than people actually enjoying Christmas. And by all means, let us redouble our efforts in our defensive war against relativism or the relentless erosion of our culture by political correctness. But there are other days of the year to have those arguments. The whole point of Christmas is not to have arguments. That’s what Thanksgiving dinner is for.

craft activity, nativity pop-up card

This post is for children. Should you find yourself with a house full of children I suggest this fun time activity. They will need card stock, scissors, glue, coloring pencils, pens, or crayons, regular child's imagination. The post is lengthy with photos in an attempt to avoid words.

The idea is concentric bands that stand up. They must be made. When the paper bands are folded in half then the length of the smashed band must fit the shortest dimension of the card.

The paper bands must be divided in three for six equal sections each. I'm using a string instead of measuring. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Take a Peak

"Take a peak" rear face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park. (enlarge)

"Driver Shouting 'Allahu Akbar!' Runs Down 11 French Pedestrians"

NBC News: A driver screaming "Allahu Akbar!" (Arabic for "God is great") appeared to deliberately mow down about a dozen pedestrians in the French city of Dijon before being arrested on Sunday, officials said.

The driver, who was in his forties, hit groups of pedestrians in five parts of the eastern city before being arrested, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said on French television. Eleven people in all were injured, two of them seriously, officials said.

According to testimonies on the scene, the driver also invoked "the children of Palestine"' to explain his actions, the ministry's spokesman said.

You had one job

"More than 3,000 Washington prisoners mistakenly freed early"
At a news conference Tuesday, [Washington] Gov. Jay Inslee said he has ordered immediate steps to correct the long-standing problem.
Authorities say a July 2002 state Supreme Court ruling required the Corrections Department to apply good-behavior credits earned in county jail to state prison sentences. However, the programming fix ended up giving prisoners with sentencing enhancements too much so-called good time.
An analysis showed as many as 3,200 offenders were released early. The median number of days for early release was 49. Based on a prior Supreme Court ruling, most of the affected offenders won’t have to go back to prison.

"What's the most ridiculous thing you've bullshitted someone into believing?"

Reddit top voted answers...
This was a few weeks ago.
I was discussing with my co-worker how scientists recently discovered a new dinosaur species; they found tons and tons of female fossils, but none male. So scientists figured that it might be the earliest evidence of lesbianism in the animal kingdom. She was like, "How can they tell it is female from a fossil?" And I told her it had to do with certain bones that are found only in the vagina area and the lack of certain bones that are found around the penis area. She was fascinated.
It went on for about 20 minutes until I told her they named the species lickalottapuss.

I once worked with a couple who liked the idea of going to Everest, but really didn't fancy the effort of the huge trek to get there.
I told them it was a lot easier now that a huge series of chairlifts had just been installed which went all the way to base camp.
One Monday morning they arrived at the office and had a pop at me because they'd been to a travel agency to book a trip and the travel agent had promptly laughed at them.

When my children were all much smaller, I convinced them that it was illegal to supply balloons to minors. I have PTSD and the sound of the balloons popping was terrifying to me, and I didn't want to deal with it. So I told them that they were illegal. It worked quite well except when we'd be in restaurants and an innocent waitress would sweetly say to them, "Do you want a balloon?" And one of them would say, "Do you want to go to PRISON?! I'm six!"

Washington Post Cartoonist Depicts Cruz Children as Toy Monkeys... Later Retracts

Cruz makes an ad...

Washington Post cartoonist mocks it...

To which I reply... Where was the Obamas cartoon? 

The Washington Post has retracted the cartoon with this statement posted at the original link:
 Editor’s note from Fred Hiatt: It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was
published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.

Edit by Chip:

random D words encountered online

* Daedelus: In Greek mythology, Daedalus (Latin, also Hellenized Latin Daedalos, Greek Daidalos meaning "cunning worker", and Etruscan Taitale) was a skillful craftsman and artisan.

* daemmerung: twilight 

* Daimler: a British motor vehicle manufacturing company, founded in 1896, and based in Coventry. The company became a subsidiary of BSA in 1910, and was acquired by Jaguar Cars in 1960.

* dariole molds: both a cooking mold and the food cooked and served in it. The word dariole comes from the Old French word that means a small, filled pastry. Darioles today do not necessarily contain pastry and can be filled with a variety of foods such as fish, pudding, vegetables or cake.

* das stimmt: Quite so, that's for sure that's right, verily

* dative: Noun 1(grammar): case used to express direction towards an indirect object—the receiver—and is generally indicated in English by to or for with the objective. They gave gifts to the sailors. They give water to the plants. Adjective dative (not comparable)1.(grammar) Noting the case of a noun which expresses the remoter or indirect object, generally indicated in English by to or for with the objective. 2. (law) In one’s gift; capable of being disposed of at will and pleasure, as an office or other privilege. 3. (law) Removable, as distinguished from perpetual; — said of an officer. 4. (law) Given by a judge, as distinguished from being cast upon a party by the law itself 5. (sciences) formed by two electrons contributed by one atom

D is not a long category without much that is interesting and a high percentage of easy to get foreign phrases. That's it for the da__ words. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Restaurant Trolls Burglars

Published on Dec 17, 2015
These nice gentlemen came looking for tacos...we think. 

Via Reddit

I can hear everything you are saying

Cut For Time (unaired): Christmas at Nana’s - SNL

"If Two Cars Crash and No One Is Driving Them, Does It Make a Sound? Yes: Ka-Ching!"

Bloomberg: Imagine a robot car with no one behind the wheel hitting another driverless car. Who’s at fault?
The answer: No one knows. But plaintiff’s lawyers are salivating at the prospects for big paydays from such accidents. If computers routinely crash, they say, then so will cars operated by them. And with no one behind the wheel, lawyers say they can go after almost anyone even remotely involved.
“You’re going to get a whole host of new defendants,” said Kevin Dean, who is suing General Motors Co. over its faulty ignition switches and Takata Corp. over air-bag failures. “Computer programmers, computer companies, designers of algorithms, Google, mapping companies, even states. It’s going to be very fertile ground for lawyers.”

"Intelligence genes discovered by scientists"

The Telegraph: They liken the gene network to a football team. When all the players are in the right positions, the brain appears to function optimally, leading to clarity of thought and what we think of as quickness or cleverness.

However when the genes are mutated or in the wrong order, it can lead to dullness of thinking, or even serious cognitive impairments.
Scientists believe that there must be a ‘master switch’ regulating the networks and if they could find it, they could ‘switch on’ intelligence for everyone.
“We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now haven’t known which genes are relevant,” said Dr Michael Johnson, lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College.
“This research highlights some of genes involved in human intelligence, and how they interact with each other.
“What’s exciting about this is that the genes we have found are likely to share a common regulation, which means that potentially we can manipulate a whole set of genes whose activity is linked to human intelligence.
“Our research suggests that it might be possible to work with these genes to modify intelligence, but that is only a theoretical possibility at the moment – we have just taken a first step along that road.”

Hillary Clinton: "I think we have to do whatever it takes"

Link to Story

Could this post 9/11 2001 Hillary/Sam Donaldson interview turn up in an ISIS recruiting video?

"The Most Googled Question of 2015"

Google’s most asked question of 2015 should just be down right embarrassing. According to Seventeen magazine, the top “what is?” honor goes to:
What’s 0 divided by 0?”
That’s right, basic math. The Daily Beast adds that Siri got so sick of the question she had to add to her endless supply of clever responses. When asked to perform the equation, Siri responds:
“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.”

Christmas card

"Now hasten ye hence and get thine selves cleaned up. And your little sheep too." 

 You can go ahead and have this. Suitable for printing. Published previously it's been updated this year with fabric softener. 

Monday, December 21, 2015


link in case the video doesn't load
Lyrics after the jump

"Men, women and Ikea: It’s complicated"

Washington Post: Psychologists have long said that men tend to be better than women at spatial tasks, like mentally picturing and manipulating shapes. Hundreds of studies spanning several decades have shown that on average, men score higher on tests asking them to rotate objects in their heads.

This is one of the few persistent and significant differences scientists have discovered between the brains of men and women....

Researchers at the University of Tromsø in Norway recently published a study showing that men are better than women at assembling IKEA furniture.

They were inspired by comments a few years ago from Petra Hesser, then the head of IKEA’s Germany division. Hesser claimed that the conventional wisdom was wrong. She argued that women were better than men at putting together the furniture because they are more organized and pay attention to the manual.

“Men never look at the instruction leaflet and have the most problems when assembling our furniture because they think they can do it without help,” Hesser said to a German news agency in 2008.

"A woman will neatly lay out all the screws while a man will throw them in a pile,” Hesser said. “Something always goes missing."

And yet, when the Norwegian researchers sought to test Hesser’s claim, they found that she wasn’t quite right.

"U.S. Support of Gay Rights in Africa May Have Done More Harm Than Good"

New York Times: “The U.S. support is making matters worse,” said Mike, 24, a university student studying biology in Minna, a town in central Nigeria who asked that his full name not be used for his safety. “There’s more resistance now. It’s triggered people’s defense mechanism.”

America’s money and public diplomacy have opened conversations and opportunities in societies where the subject was taboo just a few years ago. But they have also made gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable to harassment and violence, people on both sides of the gay rights issue contend. The American campaign has stirred misgivings among many African activists, who say they must rely on the West’s support despite often disagreeing with its strategies.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, the final passage of the 2014 law against homosexuality — which makes same-sex relationships punishable by 14 years in prison and makes it a crime to organize or participate in any type of gay meeting — is widely regarded by both supporters and opponents of gay rights as a reaction to American pressure on Nigeria and other African nations to embrace gay rights.

“The Nigerian law was blowback,” said Chidi Odinkalu, chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and the senior legal officer for the Africa Program of the Open Society Justice Initiative, which supports gay rights on the continent. “You now have situations of gay men being molested on the streets or taunted. That was all avoidable.”

“I’ve said to U.S. diplomats privately as well — the risk is causing more harm than good,” Mr. Odinkalu added. “You don’t want an infusion of good will to actually do harm to the community that you think you’re protecting.”

“In the same way that we don’t try to impose our culture on anyone, we also expect that people should respect our culture in return,” said Theresa Okafor, a Nigerian active in lobbying against gay rights.

Too Many Zooz

In the interview for Fashion & Psyché magazine at the Paleo Festival 2015 the three band members are passing a joint. Although the YouTube videos of the group busking NYC subway station show different number of members there are officially three. We learn that if there is a leader then it is the white guy with different color hair in each video. The drummer is consistent throughout, and the heavyset trumpet player does most of the talking, he speaks to the audience at shows, and he appears to be coolest of all playing with one hand in his pocket and virtually screaming discourse through his trumpet. Crowds love him.

When the baritone saxophone player, Leo P, does speak we learn it is his idea for some ten years to assemble the musicians and looking without really knowing what kind of drummer he'd have, he did want brass instruments to come out of the school band reputation and be cool.

Mission accomplished.

Leo P wants his music to be a way of talking to each other. Scream conflicting viewpoints at each other is more like it. Some songs are clearly arguments from different points of view, or sound where rhythm becomes melody gets worked up and carried away and yells, with trumpet steady as rhythm, then both resolve satisfyingly to harmony then trumpet takes over melody and sax falls to rhythm. Leo P talks about his reason for liking the subway. What he does not say is that he could not have chosen a better venue to burst through the floorboards bypassing customary channels, pure talent and raw honed skill taking over a space and mesmerizing commuters. People actually stop to take it all in. Nothing could vault talent faster than that to be seized by starving appreciative audiences. Due to choosing NYC subways he is hero to music lovers in London before he is well known in the U.S.

The interviewer asks if they've every been arrested  and Leo P answers, yes, just now in Paris. Their first trip. During the subway performance there the little children in the Paris station cover their ears and move away. Full performance, Rennes metro station, TransMusicales Festival 2014.

When asked what their craziest show the band agreed London where blessedly English is spoken and the people there are forefront on musical scenes. Reliably, they will pick out the things worth paying attention.  Recored by cell phone, parts shake because for sections the photographer cannot hold steady from dancing. Parts you have to turn away from the monitor or have your eyeballs shaken loose. The patrons at the club are all familiar with the music. They paid to get in and they're eager to see them. That is what makes London different. The kids vocalize with the instrumentation mixing in with the recording because they know very well the somewhat perverse melodies.

The live shows are remarkable. London full concert part two is better than part one that takes a bit to get wound up.

I do not care for blaring brass but I love this and I cannot get this music out of my mind. All my musical thought presently are these strange conflicting melodies. I downloaded my favorites and spent more than I have all year. I thought at first these guys really are made for busking, they must be seen live and not so good for devices, the moves that Leo P busts right there in front of people do not translate to stage as well, none of it shows in the London video and that is a good part of fascination. But I'm wrong. They're fine in playlists. It's a stomping kind of jazz reminiscent of Benny Goodman but much more raw, harsh and intensified.

Ace of Spades had this in their sidebar. I've been hooked since.

Phyllis Schlafly: Trump is 'last hope for America'

WND: Schlafly unloaded on Republicans in Congress for passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill last week, a move she called a “betrayal.”

“This is a betrayal of the grassroots and of the Republican Party,” Schlafly said in an exclusive interview with WND. “We thought we were electing a different crowd to stand up for America, and they didn’t. We’re extremely outraged by what Congress has done. Nancy Pelosi couldn’t have engineered it any better. I think the people are going to react by electing Donald Trump.”

Trump put out a statement Friday to ABC News saying, “If anyone needs more evidence of why the American people are suffering at the hands of their own government, look no further than the budget deal announced by Speaker Ryan. In order to avoid a government shutdown, a cowardly threat from an incompetent president, the elected Republicans in Congress threw in the towel and showed absolutely no budget discipline.”

Trump continued, “Congress cannot seem to help itself in bending to every whim of special interests. How can they face their constituents when they continue to burden our children and grandchildren with debts they will never be able to repay? Our government is failing us, so we must do something about it. Who knows how bad things will be when the next administration comes in and has to pick up the pieces?”

Schlafly applauded the GOP front-runner’s fighting spirit.

When Following The Law is Dangerous

"As it turns out, humans are kind of terrible at that. Which is a real problem for robot-cars."
One of the biggest obstacles currently facing researchers is the fact that driverless cars are engineered to always follow the law. So human drivers, who obviously don’t do the same, keep crashing into them when they’re “moving too slow” — AKA actually doing the speed limit.
As a result, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, driverless cars are now seeing a crash rate twice as high as cars with humans at the wheel. The report notes that they’re all “minor scrape-ups for now”, that they’re always the human-driver’s fault (usually human drivers hit the slower-moving computer-driven cars from behind), and that none of these accidents have caused any injuries.
But now researchers have to decide whether driverless cars should be taught how to break the law in small ways — like humans so often do — in order to make sure that they can safely do things like merge with high-speed highway traffic. Which gets into some murky ethical territory.

Drudge: Obama plays the race card on Trump.

New York Times: President Obama said in a radio interview airing on Monday that Donald J. Trump, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is exploiting the resentment and anxieties of working-class men to boost his campaign. Mr. Obama also argued that some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first African-American to hold the White House.

Demographic changes and economic stresses, including “flatlining” wages and incomes, have meant that “particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck,” Mr. Obama said in the interview with National Public Radio.

“You combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear — some of it justified, but just misdirected,” the president added. “I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”

End of year omnibus deal a "cake already baked."

This is an infuriating interview with Paul Ryan defending the massive spending deal covered on the Washington Times

Paul Ryan said the cake was already baked when he took over and he made the best of it and seized key GOP wins.

I know of one omnibus win that is no win at all, crude oil on the global market. It's never explained how that is considered a win. America, capitalism exemplar supposedly, and yet its own crude is not available on the global market until now. Somehow attaining that is a win for Ryan's conservative base of voters expressing their deep concern about federal budget.  And the cake analogy is rejected. It's offensive. We know how to get rid of cakes we don't like. You drop them on the floor and say, "There's your cake." You ruin the party shut off the lights send everyone home unhappy. Comparing expenditures of United States government to party bakery product is rejected. We are not talking about a cake.  
"In divided government, you don’t get everything you want"
But Democrats did get everything they what and more. Democrats are lauding Ryan on process. Ryan respects process, they say. They are saying this to assuage Republican base that has seen process abused against them for seven years by an administration that foils process wherever required, using  their money to do it, beginning with the beginning and persisting throughout and not yet ending. So process might be a good argument for Eagle scouts another time but not for Republicans and not now. Screw process. That is the present mood. 

Bless Ryan's heart for following good solid Roger's Rules of Order process. We've all had so much of that lately. And nice now to settle down to reliable law. Only Republicans straight laced conservative boy scouts do that anymore. This is the age of community activism by the highest offices. Having t others doing the dirty work for them of shutting things down. Ryan failed, and Ryan failed for process. The same people who laud Ryan for excellent process also mock Ryan for being a pushover. 

The interview is painful all the way through. It is impossible to resist Fisking Ryan line for line as you read slowing it down considerably as he repeats the same things we heard all week as if they are fresh and his dismissiveness is intolerable. 

He first states the crude oil thing. Ding. 
We fought for as much as we could get. 
No, he did not. No fight at all. Nothing. Nothing whatsoever far less newsworthy. He will say things were in committee being fought there out of sight as they should, but that's for their recommendations, not for them to gather with their lobbyists and list their demands as legislation as they have. That is not proper process. Because we are watching closely and it went like this: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, omnibus, vote. 

And that is why efforts to primary Paul Ryan are being stepped up. All I saw were a few Facebook posts and we'll see how far they get but the point is they're having Ryan know they are not pleased with him and his answer about a brighter 2016 doesn't cut it. 

Apparently it's conservative's fate to be ever disappointed and betrayed. Put to his first real test of consequence and Ryan failed his constituency in the same way John Roberts Failed conservatives his first serious test. As if it is Washington itself that wrecks people. The miasma irresistible. Once saturated in other people's money the permeation of fiat currency means nothing more substantial than air being breathed. 

Republicans lawmakers ditched the Planned Parenthood problem that their base presented them by stuffing it into an Obamacare repeal bill that will be reliably vetoed by Obama. They imagine their base will not notice, that they will forget, that the issue will soften. So, that means Republicans must do Democrats do naturally, push with tremendous enthusiasm, double the effort, take the signal to be activated, increase the heat, turn up the pressure, crank up the noise, repeat the catchphrases, slap on the bumper stickers, produce the satires, draw up holiday talking points, destroy careers and lives, make sure everybody is upset.
"We advanced our priorities and principles. Not every single one of them, but many of them. And then we’re going to pick up next year and pick up where we left off and keep going for more.”
More debt, and the principles of open market for crude oil and mere parliamentary procedure. He didn't hold any meetings behind locked doors and make deals without any Democrats present as did happen with Affordable Health Care. That sort of holding to procedure.  He didn't buy off any Senators as did happen with Affordable Health Care.  He didn't switch terms in the final stretch from fee to tax contrary every single discussion.  Didn't use any of the power available and vested to apply pressure but still insists that he fought. Didn't allow the president to shut down government and have Republicans absorb blame/credit for being ideologic and uncooperative.

Ryan finishes by saying the people who put him into position know he is conservative with an eye to actually achieving success. Doubly, as  Longfellow does, they know I come from a conservative movement and that I'm a movement conservative with an eye on the prize and that prize is achieving success.

Actual success, not fake success like access to markets that were closed artificially.  

The success of making Democrats happy and conservatives of all strips quite lastingly cross. 

Democrats must be wondering why they didn't demand more of everyone else's money.