Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Hillary Clinton: Women Who Support Trump Are ‘Publicly Disrespecting Themselves’"

Via Drudge:  "When I see women doing that (supporting Trump), I think why are they publicly disrespecting themselves? Why are they opening the door to have someone say that about them in their workplace? In a community setting? Do they not see the connection there?" Clinton said in an interview on AM Joy.

She added that the fight against sexism is ongoing, even for women. She also pointed out that, while more women voted for her, she lost white women's vote. However, she said progress was still made because she won more votes from white women than former President Barack Obama did.

"We had such a public and still an ongoing movement to expand civil rights. Again, I'm proud of the progress, but we still have a lot of problems we have to confront," Clinton told Joy Reid during the interview.

(Link to more)


Related: Football player/murderer had brain damage.

Top rated comment for the song: "This song without eclipse immediately following feels like a ruined orgasm."

My choice of YouTube videos was deliberate -- the down side of analysis.

It's funny how the lyrics can be recast on a Sunday morning. Full lyrics after the jump.

"A’s Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel for anthem"

Via Drudge:  A’s rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell, who earlier in the day profanely bashed President Trump on Instagram, became the first major-league player to kneel during the national anthem on Saturday before Oakland’s 1-0 win at the Coliseum.

“My decision had been coming for a long time,” Maxwell said, citing his own experiences with racism while growing up in Huntsville, Ala., which is where Trump on Friday made disparaging comments about NFL players who choose to kneel for the anthem. “The only way we can come together is by informing. ... To single out NFL players for doing this isn’t something we should be doing — I felt it should be a little more broad.”

Maxwell plans to continue kneeling for the anthem.

“He’s very courageous,” said A’s outfielder Khris Davis, who hit his 40th homer Saturday. “I respect his decision, he’s just exercising his rights as an American.”

The product of a U.S. military family, Maxwell placed his hand on his heart and faced the flag during the anthem while taking a knee before the game.

Green Machine, tank setup tutorial by James Findley

It's a long video. Relaxing. Even if you have no interest in this hobby it's still worth viewing to see what other people get up to by way of good clean fun. Plus you can speed it up. No alcohol. No team loyalty. No fights. No swearing. No national anthems. No patriotism required. No broken bones. No CTE injuries. No club owners. No league presidents. No ticket scalping. No tailgate parties. No jersey merchandise. No arguments.

So what fun is that?

It's peaceful and creative and beautiful fun. And that's all.

This is a British outfit using Takashi Amano's method. They're using Takashi Amano products. The gravel and the additives are all Takashi Amano as well as the style. The idea of how to do this is entirely Takashi Amano. And I'm a little bit jealous that Great Britain has such a great ADA distributor as this. They're loyal to his conceptualization. They speak his language of Latin names for plants. It's the weirdest thing, you can go pretty much anywhere in the world that carries these aquarium plants, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, England, France, Netherlands, United States, Australia, Canada of course, Mexico, and other Central American places, and all the hobbyists speak these same Latin plant names, these very strange names roll off their tongues as if they were all real words and not at all so highly specialized. This phenomenon occurred in my lifetime because of Takashi Amano. His affect on this endeavor cannot be overstated. All those sacks of pebbles that James is pouring in come from Takashi Amano as do the specific stones that he's using. The thing that he's doing is copying Takashi Amano. Their business relies entirely on Takashi Amano.

Don't you think England has its own perfectly fine stones? James wants this specific kind.

I'd use Rocky Mountain stones. I'd just go up there and get some.

One time Mum said, "Ew, look at how pretty that driftwood."

They're actually weather worn tree roots. I asked, "Mum, which ocean do you imagine that wood drifted in on?"

She goes, "Smartass.

Iwagumi means "rock formation." James is creating a hardscape. The softscape plants are secondary. And the fish are tertiary. They're afterthoughts.

After much thought I decided I don't like it.

All that glass, all that effort and expertise for mere serenity when it could be truly spectacular and dazzling. All the elements are right there. But James didn't do that.

I understand the choices. It's that I wouldn't have made them. I wouldn't waste the middle on nothing. I wouldn't miss the chance for wild bizarre spectacular driftwood or for gigantic stones. I'd choose different plants. And I'd choose different fish.

But what the heck, he's got a hundred tanks and he can do whatever he wants. This is just another example.

Notice the tiny fish don't actually swim. They dart one yard at a time in pulses. Other fish swim gracefully from one side to the other but the small tetras do not. To get from one side of the tank to the other they go, zoop, zoop, zoop, zoop, as if handicapped, constantly stopping, where other species tear across the whole thing or glide across or dart like rockets. These all swim like a local bus and not an express. James missed his chance for spectacular fish. He thinks small fish make the tank appear larger, they don't, they make the tank look like wasted space. The fish would feel better in a smaller tank or in a tank that's more cluttered. Fish like clutter. Hiding places.

I've been studying plants for quite a while and I'm baffled by James choices given all else that's available. These are James' choices.

Staurogyne repens. The densely planted foregrounds. There are a thousand foreground species. This is a rather odd broadleaf choice. He wants the tank to seem larger, other foreground plants would do that better.

Echinodorus Vesuvius. Hobbyists use this one for odd corkscrew accent plant. It's another strange choice for background bulk and filler. It's something weirdly stringy, scraggly that James is using for bulk. Not odd having the plant here and there, but the sole plant used to anchor the flora portion. He's really deemphasizing the plants by using this thin twisting specimen for main background bulk. It cannot fill out suitably to appear lush. Apparently James doesn't want an extravagant lushly planted tank. That would take away from the rocks.

Hydrocotyle jepartica japan, another scraggly weed-like plant. They'll take off and invade other areas. They'll move right in among other plants.  They'll fill in but with as much stems as with foliage. Looking a bit like clover. Its appearance is tangled and somewhat weak and delicate. F'or a midground plant it is diaphanous. 

Echinodorus tennelus, the grass species among a hundred that James chose. There are a lot of grass species. This is good as any other. Did you notice when James was inserting the grass tufts here and there among the protruding rocks to appear as if the top side gardener cannot quite get in close enough to trim them with a Weed Whacker, with the stones jutting upward and with smaller stones to each side that the tufts look like pubes on male sexual organs. As if James is being just so careful in pube placement. It's funny. This actually makes an excellent foreground or carpeted area as he did with the staurogyne repens to look like an unkempt lawn.

Riccardia chamedryfolia, lastly James added a moss. The narrator said "liverwort." I learned by experience with five different species of moss never to put them into a tank. They take over militantly. They're beautiful and they do what you want them to but they break off and invade every other area of the tank where you don't want them taking up at the bases of all other plants and robbing them of fertilizer and carbon dioxide and light. They get into all the equipment. The narrator said that James is placing it where he wants them on the rock and once established James can relocate the wire mesh but James won't have to do that. On the contrary, James' new job will be to control the utterly unmanageable moss. The plant will move everywhere by itself. And grow so densely that it fills the entire tank completely if allowed a few weeks. There is no way to knock it all back. You need a microscope and 29 hour days to do that. It's going to be an endless battle for domination from here on out. 

While James chose Hydrocotyle jepartica japan, there is another plant in the same group that's better. They didn't mention this one but I like this better and for the same reason that James chose his species. It's wispy and tanged and delicate random silly appearance. This one is Hydrocotyle verticillata

Actually, I'm ready to place my own order. James chose all green plants. I did that one time too. My younger brother came over and he and his Navy diver friend helped set up the lights. The lights were heavy. The men were really into it too. They had a blast. When finished I asked what they thought. Always so religiously honest they both said, "too green." 

I took a second look and realized it really was too green. It was boring unicolor green. No matter how dynamic, it was monochromatic. While there was variation in foliage size, and shape and texture there was no variation in green tones or green value just straight green as if a can of green paint was dumped into the tank and reflected back brilliantly. As if there is only one green crayon in the box. And I realized that if these two guys can notice that then anyone will have the same impression. They're not designer types. Whereas with red plants there are hardly any two shades alike among various plant species. That wide variety that includes gold depending on conditions, and near black, contrasted with green is spectacular. 

But this is not what James in the video wanted. He wanted serenity and he designed a hardscape, not an underwater softscape. He was looking for see-saw balance, he named the design Reciprocity, after all. And he wanted a naked unused barren area in the center, and he wanted scraggly wispy plant tuffs here and there, not lush luxuriant flora, and he wanted insignificant fish with their handicapped swimming to emphasize size and luxuriously sweeping slopes of gravel and with emphasis on unused wasted central space. The bulk of the tank is empty. As if you can climb in and lay down in it. 

All that thoughtful design and advanced aquascaping techniques, CO2 injections and splendid lighting and expensive fertilizer supplementation and layers of substrate gravel of various sizes. while relying on United Nations style cheap ass granite tiling for their aquarium base. Stuck on with glue. A tank that looks like a million £ with a base made of cheap Home Dee-pot scrap granite. It's an irreconcilable dichotomy that shows where their heads are at. In the tanks, and nowhere else.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Democrat offers a winning tip to the NFL

Via Drudge:  Former Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) tweeted that she hopes all NFL players kneel during the national anthem on Sunday in response to President Trump's remarks attacking Colin Kaepernick.

Edwards, who left Congress earlier this year, called Trump a "white supremacist who squats in our White House" in her tweet.

Trump suggested at a rally Friday night for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange (R) that NFL players like Kaepernick who kneel during the national anthem should be fired and fans should walk out.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now,'" Trump said, adding, "'He is fired.'"

"When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it's one player, leave the stadium," Trump added Friday. "I guarantee things will stop."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Trump's remarks on Saturday, calling them "divisive" and saying they show a "lack of respect" for the league and its players.


"Little girls are being ‘cut on kitchen tables’ in Manhattan"

Via InstapunditSome practitioners are happy to perform brutal female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures on little girls on kitchen tables in New York City, warns a leading organization.
More than 48,400 women and girls in the state of New York are at risk of or have undergone FGM, estimates the Population Reference Bureau.

And the AHA Foundation — a global activist group fighting for an end to violence against women — says these terrifying and brutal procedures are happening right under our noses.

Senior director Amanda Parker told Metro US: ‘With that number of at risk women and girls from communities where FGM is practiced in the state, with a large concentration in New York City, we are deluding ourselves if we think it’s not happening right in Manhattan.
Meanwhile, NYC's mayor is busy hunting down hateful statues.

The FBI, Still Stonewalling

Via InstapunditByron York has been following the saga of the Trump “dossier” and the FBI’s possible role in paying for it or using it for improper political purposes. I grew up believing that the FBI was incorruptible, but I don’t suppose anyone thinks that anymore. The Obama administration corrupted everything it touched, most emphatically including the FBI. Byron supplies some background:
The dossier is a collection of what former FBI director James Comey called “salacious and unverified” allegations of collusion between Russia and Trump campaign figures in the 2016 campaign. The Russia allegations were compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was commissioned by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which is thought to have been paid for the work by wealthy supporters of Hillary Clinton. The FBI reportedly considered taking over the dossier project in the fall of 2016, when the campaign was at its height, leading Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley to say the dossier matter raised “questions about the FBI’s independence from politics.”
Both Grassley and the House Intelligence Committee have been interested in learning if the FBI ever used the “salacious and unverified” dossier as a basis for requesting surveillance on anyone in the Trump circle. Those questions only intensified this week with reports that the FBI wiretapped Trump associate and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort during the transition period.
Four weeks ago, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the FBI and the Department of Justice to produce documents, including:
…all internal FBI reports “incorporating, relying on, or referring to” information provided by Steele, his sources, or Fusion GPS. The committee also asked for documents on any FBI or Justice “efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate” Steele’s information. And the subpoena sought any surveillance applications that included any information, or were based on any information, provided by Steele.
The original deadline for production was September 1. The deadline has been extended twice, most recently until today, and the FBI still has not responded.

(Link to more)

"Glitch Allows Non-U.S. Citizens In Pa. To Vote"

Via Drudge:  Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt says a glitch in the state’s “motor-voter” process has allowed non-U.S. citizens to register to vote, even though he thinks they did so accidentally.

The glitch has had no impact on elections, as the number of people mistakenly registered was small, but Schmidt thinks that statewide there could be many more and he wants the state to review registrations. He also wants it to cross check all active voter registration records against all current PennDOT records containing INS Indicators.

Secretary of State Pedro Cortes issued a statement saying PennDOT is changing its system to prevent the problem in the future and has already made improvements. He did not address reviewing and cross checking registrations statewide. A spokeswoman for Cortes said they are conducting their own review.

(Link to story)

Jacob Laukaitis compares North and South Korea

There is nothing in this video that you don't already know very well. You could have written this video yourselves without any research, right off the top of your heads. The thing that is new is a new generation of young people discovering what you've known from the beginning.

How do I know that Jacob Laukaitis is Lithuanian? He answers common questions on his YouTube profile page.

By Wikipedia:
In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania.
1990-1944= 46 years of Soviet domination.

Jacob is 23 years old.

2017-23=1994 Jacob was born into Lithuanian independence. Has not experienced straight up Soviet domination.

It's fun. I found the content a little teensy bit boring while the rest compensates with fun. I like seeing Jacob having so much fun. I like seeing him smile. He's having his own strange adventure. He reminds me very much of a one-time friend named Frank whose last name Seibert must be kept secret. Still alive, still nearby, but we no long speak due to Frank's obnoxious politicalization of everything along common media and Democrat lines. Truly obnoxious. I've never had anyone tell me who I must despise in order to comport with civilized people while their information is derived from the worst and most obnoxious of all Soros funded sites, He knows better than to confront me with that material. Frank made himself into the perfect little Soros soldier so that even a haircut is incomplete until the customer is envenomated by a political asp. He closed the subject. Then kept persisting. He decided to make me a project of indoctrination. The only way remaining to shut him off was shut him out completely, he was that obnoxious. I was fond of Frank until then, so it was a great loss. They're both rather short legged. And Jacob's nose is wider. Other than that, they're alike and that's what kept me watching as Jacob discovered things we already know. His realizations so shocking.


But it's not just Jacob being surprised, it's all the followers of Jacob's channel. All his viewers are similarly shocked and dismayed. They're all young. This is all new to them. They're discovering all this on their own. And that is simply beautiful. By sharp contrasts they're led to appreciate the great political system that they've inherited. 95% of the comments to this video consider it excellent and new and mind blowing. They're all young.

But one thing sticks out more brilliantly than others in comments.

* Those kids singing for Kim Jong Un made me so sad :(

* Tears came to me when I saw those northkorean children performing

* The Children singing about Kim Jong un made me sad

* I feel bad for those brainwashed kids in north Korea.

* 9.32. Those faces are sooo clueless... (children singing)

* Those children ):
They look so confused and lost, having to be forced to perform to strangers singing and dancing not even understanding that they're being completely brainwashed by that sick fuck that they call a leader.

* The kids singing in north korea... their face was so sad :(

Really? Then you'll be dismayed when you see the same thing here in the United States. You'll recognize propaganda as it's delivered.

The comments go on forever, apparently. I got tired of reading them. They all say the same things over and over and over and over, they become quite wearisome. He looks like like Matt Damon, He he looks like PewDiePie. The game is called kickball. But the most ridiculous of all are the few gratuitous vapid anti-American comments, so common, so trite, so thoughtless, just axiom, and from slogging European socialist countries, that Americans are stupid, stupidly assuming wrongly that Jacob is American, thus revealing their own dumb lazy displaced socialist arrogance. They see a video that strikes them as silly for whatever reason, too much smiling perhaps, their engrained prejudice is that Americans are stupid, by their socialist media drilling, video matches their prejudice therefore the uploader must be American. Must be. There is no other possibility by their dimmed lights. And they're too thick to know what they're hearing is no way an American accent. While they do know for certainty that all Americans are stupid. So they're free to display their own bottom lingering stupidity. And if they were to be challenged, but nobody does, they'd maintain, well, it's axiomatic, Americans are the most stupid people on earth, and their being wrong specifically here doesn't change the generality. Even though they're too stupid to check the guy's nationality before commenting. That's how strong their own ridiculous prejudice. And that's why engaging them, any European really, on anything whatsoever political is pure waste of time better spent picking your nose because you'd be arguing with a malevolently poorly programmed very stupid socialist robot. 

All those comments about children being programmed, how sad all that is, without mentioning or even recognizing our own political party doing precisely the same thing through public schools. 

I searched [schoolchildren singing obama] while a new one arose involving Hillary's book, and there are far more results than I was aware of. One site lists six videos of elementary school children singing paeans to Obama. They're all terrible. Some are re-worded religious songs, "Jesus Loves Me." 

Incidentally, speaking of that song.  Okay, now I'm off the subject of North/South Korea for a minute.

I got into trouble at five years of age for questioning that song. I recall the scene distinctly because it was big for me at the time. The cold harsh uninviting cement walled basement of a scary looking Presbyterian church in Coplay Pennsylvania where they stuck us little kids for babysitting to get rid of us while the adults attended regular services. Or maybe they were just partying. I knew I was left abandoned for indoctrination and I didn't like it one single bit. I didn't like being separated from my brother who was put with another age group. We were singing this song. When we finished I asked.
"How do you know Jesus loves us?"
"Because, the song says, the Bible tells you so."
"That's just a song."
"It says, the Bible tells you so."

This was not convincing. The woman charged across the floor to my little chair and loomed over me menacingly. I was terrified. It looked to me like an attack. Adults are irrational. They hit wildly unpredictably. I recall her purple floral print dress swirling in the aggression. I nearly pissed my pants. But I just couldn't be expected to go along with this song. It was worse than Frère Jacques and all the dormez-vous-ing, worse than all that plumaraing le alouette. Worse than the weird songs from other places. Adorable. But ridiculous. Adorable. I got that. I could do that. It's how I got my way all the time. But ridiculous.
I was already told not to believe everything that I read. I didn't even read anything, and that came as a surprise because I was willing to trust anything. And now contrarily this woman is telling me I must believe something that I can't even read because it is written. I don't know anything. My mind is empty of facts and I'm trying to fill it, but this doesn't match. And that's why I'm asking. How do you know what to believe. I don't even know what belief means. I'm trying to understand this strange idea, so I'm asking. That's all.  To believe something you cannot see or even know for sure. How does that even work?

"So! So! The Bible was written by God!"

How dare I disbelieve the word of God, or a children's song that purports to derive from His word, or a minder I only just met insisting the song is truth. Who is this woman trying to fool? God didn't write a book.
"People wrote the book."
She snapped, "God inspired people to write it. The Bible is inspired writing. Inspired by God Himself directly! God filled the peoples' hearts and they wrote the books."
"All books come that way."
I didn't even know what inspired means. While I still thought even coloring books seemed untouchably inspired. But this woman was trying to tell me that the Bible is different, unique from all other books ever written in history, and five year old children know better than that. Eventually I would grow up and be able to read the Bible myself. Multiple times, as literature. As the best collection of ancient literature available. Back then the woman actually reported to my parents that I'm a non-believing problem, that I'm a disruption for her whole kindergarten babysitting thing they were doing. But I wasn't. I was just sincerely trying to get a handle on the very strange idea of belief. And I never did get a satisfactory straight answer from anyone. Not once.

She delivered a serious smackdown to my incipient spiritual journey. All over a question about a children's song.

And it's fine to go all John 20:29 on my butt. I'm familiar now with the beatitudes, "Because you have seen me you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe."

Yes, bless their pointed little heads for believing their kindergarten church minder and their charming children's song and the inspired books that they read, but I can't.  I'm just not blessed that way. If this is the best you've got you're going to have to try a lot harder at this whole indoctrinating thing. The dissatisfaction of that early incident put me off religious indoctrination for the following decades. After that I really was an agnostic little shit, from five years old onwards well past my twenties. She should have done better than repeat the refrain, "because the Bible tells us so."

So much smarter to say, "I don't know" about the things you don't know. Don't you think? That was my attitude.

North Korea contrasted so sharply with South Korea is its own object lesson for all to see plainly and they don't need us poking our noses into their bizwax. At this late historic point the conflict between us is contrived. Except for the part about North Korea being menace to the whole world, and U.S. being presumptive world leader.

But all that is harsh and it puts us in a personally negative space where we don't need to abide. It causes our atoms and molecules, our organelles and our cells, our internal organs to form rigid patterns that over time become destructive for our souls to inhabit. Like a white board it must be erased but not forgotten and written over with something more pleasant, more enduring and good. To avoid the early fate of my Japanese birthday fake twin Takashi Amano here is something better than all that, along similar lines.

Searching YouTube for Jacob Laukaitis' video a lot of other similar North / South Korea videos display for selection. Any one of them will say similar things. The Korean people are compared, war readiness is compared, soldiers are compared, sports, 10 differences between them, weaponry, surprising things that North doesn't know about South, differences in language, statistics, and cold noodles.

Cold noodles? Now that's interesting. Another bright happy dude with another broad nose.

Wow, that's amazing. When this guy smiles all his teeth show at once. He's got like every single tooth that he was born with. No cavities. None pulled out. All lined up, and his mouth can open wide enough to show all of them at once. It's amazing. If I used my fingers to open my mouth wide as possible I still couldn't open wide as this guy does automatically unassisted. Let's count them.

That's awesome! I bet this guy can really chew.

The buckwheat-tasting noodles are actually made from flour of various starches including buckwheat, but also potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot and kudzu. Buckwheat is not related to wheat, rather, the plant is related to sorrels. It was used to put nitrogen into soils. Less so today.

The large N. Korean dumplings are called Mandu and they contain the usual dumpling ingredients beef, pork, dark soy sauce, ginger, garlic, kimchi, bean sprouts, tofu, chives. Here's a recipe from International Cuisine.

The trick for making the dough is add baking soda. This changes the pH making the dough more elastic. It's how Chinese make outrageously long noodles that they keep stretching and dividing exponentially so that within a few folds they go from one fat noodle to a few hundred thin noodles.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Whose that Author?

[Johnny Torrio] liked my ideas, like setting up a legitimate front to keep the reform crowd from asking embarrassing questions, some easy thing to maintain, like a second-hand furniture store. This was the beginning of Al Brown, Antique Dealer. It wouldn't fool a baby, but it wasn't busting the law in their face, so there wasn't any public show of disrespect, which when you come down to it is the only thing they really care about, the church committees and politicians. Johnny said I had too good a head on my shoulders to make thirty-five bucks a week slugging drunks.
Sometimes, I have to admit, I lost that head. In the fall of 1919 I was drinking in a harbor saloon when this character Artie Finnegan comes in. I didn't know him. Short, squat, face like a cheese. He sees me and starts cussing me out, greasy nigger wop this, greasy nigger wop that, stinking up the place. I'm thinking, what's your problem, Paddy, you got piles or what? Stranger minding his own business, you want to start something over nothing? That's kid stuff. After Five Points I never in my life went looking for a fight. In Chicago I never hit back but that they hit me first. Well, he keeps on, and now he's dragging my family into it, my mother, my father, my wife if I've got one, bastards and whores all of them. He's dotting i's, crossing t's. He didn't come here to lift a pint and sing "Danny Boy."
I beat the Irish clean out of him. My hands still ache when I think about it. They had to drag me off him. Now he's on the floor leaking blood from everywhere, even his ears; I think, well, there you are, you cocksucker, you wanted to dance, now you're dead. I really thought he was.
I wasn't worried about the cops. I'd been pulled in before over a couple of scraps and questioned, roughed around, turned loose with the charges dropped, and when the doctors said they figured they could put Artie Finnegan back together after all, minus a few pieces, I knew the cops wouldn't waste their time looking for an eyewitness that wouldn't say Finnegan slipped on a puddle of beer and fell down a couple dozen times. It was the White Handers I was concerned about. Finnegan was one, and Dinny Meehan didn't like his boys being abused any more than Frankie Yale did his. Dinny sicced Wild Bill Lovett on me.

"Poliovirus kills off cancer cells, stops tumor regrowth"

The new research - which is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine - shows how a modified poliovirus enables the body to use its own resources to fight off cancer. The modified virus bears the name of recombinant oncolytic poliovirus (PVS-RIPO).

PVS-RIPO has been in clinical trials since 2011 and preliminary results have offered hope to patients with one of the most aggressive forms of brain tumor: recurrent glioblastoma. So, the researchers set out to investigate more deeply how exactly PVS-RIPO works.

The researchers examined the behavior of the poliovirus in two human cell lines: melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer. They observed that the poliovirus attaches itself to cancerous cells. These cells have an excess of the CD155 protein, which acts as a receptor for the poliovirus.

Then, the poliovirus starts to attack the malignant cells, triggering the release of antigens from the tumor. Antigens are toxic substances that the body does not recognize, therefore setting off an immune attack against them.

So, when the tumor cells release antigens, this alerts the body's immune system to start attacking. At the same time, the poliovirus infects the dendritic cells and macrophages.

(Link to more)

"NFL Players Want League To Make November A Month to Protest Police"

Via InstapunditFour NFL players submitted a 10-page memo to the league’s top officials asking for “overt league support” and a month of anti-police activism.

The 10-page memo was obtained by Yahoo Sports and was endorsed by Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles’ Torrey Smith and former NFL player Anquan Boldin. The memo was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.

Bennett has sat during the national anthem during games and raises a fist on the field after making plays in protest of the police.

The memo asks for the league to make the month of November as “activism awareness month” such as the league does with breast cancer.

The memo also blames police for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, not the police.

(Link to more)

the fox offers to guard the hen house

Via Instapundit

"Kim Jong Un Called President Trump a 'Dotard.'"

Via my Online Home Page:  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called President Donald Trump a “dotard” in response to Trump’s speech on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly.

“I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue,” Kim said in a statement from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

Following the release of the statement, Merriam-Webster said online that searches for the definition of the word dotard are “high as a kite.” According to Merriam-Webster, a dotard describes a person who is in a state of “senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”


Rio Negro

I'm researching aquarium plants, narrowing down from a million available species to less than ten. Why get carried away with ten species? I've settled on mostly red with a few green for contrast. I'll have contrast in shape, in texture, in height and shades of red. I learned that to bring out the red requires strong light, CO2, and iron supplement. I recalled a video produced by Takashi Amano about his trip to the Amazon to explore natural habitat of fish. To copy them. The type fish that I like come mostly from Rio Negro. I found this lovely video with no sound.

Did I say lovely? I meant ugly video. Turns out the natural environment is a complete chaotic mess covered with debris and rotting leaves. It's not a pretty environment. While it does have imitable elements.

Did you know, to breed these fish from the Amazon you must have exceedingly soft water? The water that is run through a kitchen ten-stage filter works fine, it needn't be so extreme as reverse osmosis water. But with all those dead leaves and debris, why is the water so soft? Wouldn't the water be loaded with minerals dissolved from fallen wood and from leaves and runoff from the soil? Wouldn't it be loaded and dark with tannin? Turns out, the answer to that is all the minerals of the Amazon and its tributaries are locked up in the canopy. Any mineral laden material that falls into the water gets sucked right back up. Slurp. There are no minerals leftover in the soil or in the water. It's all in the trees. The water is very soft. And the fish need that to breed.

This video is twenty minutes. It's slow. Little is forfeited by changing the speed to 2X and that way you'll see a lot of fish. I want all of them. I like seeing all these fish in their natural environment. But it won't do for an aquarium. Too gross a mess. It can be inspiration, but it'll have to be cleaned up considerably to more idealized representation. Or else it's not pretty.

So how's that for an ugly video?

I must say that I am heartbroken.

Here's why.

The man Takashi Amano changed the world of aquarium plants single handedly by the simplest comprehension. He put to practice what we all learn in 3rd grade science class at pubic schools worldwide. That plants evolved on Earth first. The atmosphere back then did not contain oxygen. Plants produced the oxygen that we breathe. Plants made animal life possible. We need plants a lot more than plants need us. 

Takashi Amano dumped bottled carbonated soda water into his small home aquarium and it didn't kill his fish while it did make his plants pearl tiny oxygen bubbles. But he had to keep adding soda water. So his tiny apartment was littered with empty soda bottles until he devised a system to sparge CO2 in the right dose. And he had to increase light. And he had to find the proper substrate material with minerals to anchor his plants. He built a company to provide these things to hobbyists. He amassed tremendous recognition, fame and fortune by simply and sensibly and persistently pursuing his interest. He wrote books describing his activities. He gave demonstrations on setting up tanks. He opened his own shop. He traveled, he gave speeches. He inspired the Asian world, then the Europeans, then the North Americans all latched onto his bright ideas and his Japanese aesthetic. 

He used his own local Japanese plants while other hobbyists did the same and now the best of all these plants available worldwide are exchanged through internet marketing so that Asian plants are available to Europeans and African plants are available to North American hobbyists and so forth. Plants are cloned all over the world. You can buy any species on eBay and Amazon only to mention countless specialized forums and exchanges.

I leaned by reading his first book where he introduces himself right off that we were born on the exact same day. What a surprise to see my own birthday and year. 

When he discusses how and when his interest in aquariums developed, I realized those were the years that I lived there, where my interest began through a school class. When he says where he lived on the outskirts of Tokyo I realized that we were neighbors. Our interest started precisely the same time. I went onto my strange wending way, and he changed the world of aquarium hobbyists permanently. He is a true inspiration. 

When I searched YouTube [takashi amano, amazon] looking for his trip there for his own inspiration, I encountered eulogy videos instead. He died! Two years ago. 

It struck like an arrow through my heart. I'm still stupefied. He was supposed to outlive me. He had all the advantages. He died of pneumonia. I had that too. It very nearly killed me, it took years to recover. But I did. I've had serious seizures and he did not. I have MS and he does not. My nerves are seriously shot while his were not. I cannot comprehend how I am alive and he is not. I cannot process him dying. I just can't. What am I, made of iron? 

Very stupid iron.

It makes me feel like angels really are watching over my stupid ass. Protecting me from my own stupid shit. Why? Because I invited them? I just cannot accept that Takashi Amano is gone and I am still alive. It's like my Japanese twin died and I'm still alive. 

Researching plants I've watched a dozen of this young man's videos. Jacob Castro. He's a bit of an oddball. Aren't we all? You can tell by the Apple t-shirt he wears in one of them. And by the way that he tiptoes around his point delaying getting right to it. And by the way he address his viewers in Italian sometimes.

Oddball, kindred spirit, same thing. Say, you don't care about aquariums and you cannot bring yourself to care about Takashi Amano nor underwater gardens. Still, here is a touching eulogy from and oddball addressing kindred spirits. And the comments to this video on YouTube are equally touching. Hobbyists considered Takashi Amano their hobbyist god. I cannot imagine a higher honor for a regular guy than to have affected so many young people so beautifully. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

WKRLEM: Let the SJW heads explode......


Irani clerics must train for equanimity like CIA spies. Every photo of Hassan Rouhani is nearly the exact same unemotional stoic visage held resolutely as if fixed permanently, and that's no fun at all. Whereas searching photos of Trump by sharp contrast reveals a broad range of facial expressions. It's all right there in search images. His face is nearly so plastic as Nigel Farange's whose face is like rubber and both of those guys are very facially expressive. They're both perfect for Photoshopping. It's irresistible. Hassan Rouhani is not. What a drag that must be to have such a sour deadpan for president, over and over and over, like some kind of born king.

It must be like living in Timbuktu except a lot worse.

Last night I did a crossword that had for a clue, "the country of Timbutu." I thought Timbuktu was the name of a made up country signifying some place with a funny name remote where nobody actually goes. The answer turns out to be Mali. I looked in images to see what the place looks like. Turns out people actually do go there. But not many. All the images show the exact same thing. A mud brick pyramid with wooden sticks poking through. Like the wood beams of American Southwest stucco ceilings. Except these are the height of a goat, making the pyramid seem taller than it actually is. That's the only building of note in all of Timbuktu.

Google Earth shows one road going through the place. So remote, so vacant, that street view is unavailable. Apparently a one-time camel caravan intersection. Photographs are available and they all show the same thing. The same building, and others similar but smaller, brick huts, and poverty that is abject. The photos of markets are  one person with blanket spread out and bowls of small squash and bags of beans. The only decorative elements are hinges on heavy wooden doors. A memorial to martyrs of independence goes untended in the blazing sun. The only animals are goats.

And Iran is hardly better. Their scenery is a lot nicer, nature is kinder,  but the entire population lacks imagination to do anything with it. Their society does not allow imagination, far less invite it. They can do only one thing and that's make religious war. Just as Timbuktu, all the mud that they have goes into the the making of mosques.

Then in the middle of all the dried mud are fantastically bright textiles. Where do they even get all that fabric for such abundant clothing? Entire bolt for a single garment. It doesn't match everything else. And then I wonder, they probably wear the same thing all week. All month. It's not like they can toss it into the washing machine. It's not like they shower everyday. It's not like they have twenty different outfits. This is unbelievable poverty.

You can learn a lot by pictures. The images in Firefox, in Brave, Google images, the photographs uploaded to Google Earth that fairly pinpoint the sites, and photo collections in places like Flickr. By way of comparison try both Timbuktu and Iran. The exercise is depressing. They're both rather like ancient Egypt. As civilizations they have not come very far.

Let me touch your luxurious beard. That is magnificent. It's perfect. It's like it's held on with a strap. You are the picture of health. It must be all that hummus. 

RIP Hit Man

I caught all of his movies on the Duece back in the day.

He was the real deal as an NFL player and he was the real deal as a movie star.

Check out the trailer.,,,,,, his dead brother in the coffin.....dead ringer for Al Sharpton.

The hot chick with the big tits getting eaten by a lion is only a little of the cool stuff you see in this seminal blacksploitation flick.

Reason 666 why gay marriage is a great idea

Lesbian Couple Who Abused Son So Badly He’s Had Two Strokes Gets 20 Years in Jail

Breitbart News by Warner Todd Hudson September 21, 2017

A lesbian couple arrested and convicted of beating and torturing their five-year-old boy so badly that he had two strokes from years of beatings has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Police in Muskogee, OK, arrested the boy’s mother, Rachel Stevens, 28, and his “stepmother,” Kayla Jones, 25, last year for what doctors said appeared to be months of vicious child abuse.
Police became involved after the child was transferred from a Muskogee, Oklahoma, clinic to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa because of lesions on his face and after a series of seizures. But when he got to Tulsa, doctors became suspicious over his injuries and determined that he was abused and not just suffering some sort of ailment as claimed by the lesbian couple.
The women even had the gall to create a GoFundMe page to raise money to help them pay for the child’s medical care.

"Yoko Ono sues drinks firm selling lemonade called John Lemon"

Via Drudge: She was upset the drink was promoted with an image of his round spectacles and the line: “John Lemon, Let it Be.”

And an online image showed a mural of the singing legend — who was shot dead by a loner in 1980 — grasping a lemon tree.

Yoko sent legal letters to the Polish drinks firm and their UK distributors.

She threatened fines of £4,500 a day for hijacking John’s image and ordered them to recall all bottles.

The firm said it registered the name “John Lemon” in 2014 — two years before Lennon’s name was trademarked.

But it avoided a financially crippling court fight by agreeing to rebrand as “On Lemon” from November.

(Link to more)

"Samantha Power sought to unmask Americans on almost daily basis"

Via InstapunditSamantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.

In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had learned "that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration."

The "official" is widely reported to be Power.

(Link to more power mad Power)

'He Can't Hear You!': Deaf Man Killed by OKC Police

Via NBC News online: The encounter unfolded after witnesses called police to report the hit-and-run, and said the driver, Sanchez's father, had fled the scene and driven to the residence. Mathews did not know if anyone was injured in the crash, but said the car hadn't struck any people.

Upon arriving at the house to investigate the accident, Lt. Matthew Lindsey saw Sanchez on the porch, holding a 2-foot-long metal pipe "wrapped in some type of material" with a small leather loop on the end of it, Mathews said.

A neighbor, Jolie Guebara, later told The Associated Press that Sanchez often carried the pipe to fend off stray dogs when he went for walks at night.

The lieutenant perceived the pipe as a weapon and called for backup. Sgt. Chris Barnes arrived.

"When the other unit arrived, verbal commands were being given to this individual to drop the weapon and get on the ground," Mathews said.

Instead of doing that, Sanchez kept moving toward officers, Mathews said. Lindsey and Barnes ordered him to "drop the weapon and get on the ground."

That's when witnesses started yelling "he can't hear you," according to Mathews.

"The witnesses were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf, and could not hear," he said. "The officers did not know this as the time."

Mathews did not know whether the officers heard the witnesses' screams.

He said Lindsey then deployed his Taser and Barnes fired a gun when Sanchez had got about 15 feet away from them.

Both struck him. Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene, despite medical attention that was given.

Sanchez's father, who was not named, confirmed to police that his son was deaf....

"When you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can lock into just the person who has the weapon, the threat against you," the captain said. "I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking ... But they very well could have not heard everybody yelling around them."

Lawrence O'Donnell: "Anybody can come into my ear at any time"

Link to video

Lawrence O’Donnell had a really bad night on August 29, 2017.

We draw that conclusion based on the above clip obtained by Mediaite, showing behind the scenes footage of a furious O’Donnell absolutely going bananas in what appear to be breaks in his show.

plastic bag PSA

Fatalities by suffocation through misuse of plastic bags are on the increase, I imagine. The harm occurring mostly to children, I bet. And sea turtles too probably. And other sea creatures most likely. And innocent babies, perhaps. And of course the occasional murder maybe.

I'm disgusting.

I meant to say disgusted. Three times, not in a row but close together, not on the same night but on consecutive nights. I've watched scenes on television shows depicting suffocation by plastic bag, murder actually, the last one on the television show Supernatural, where a guy comes up from behind and pops a plastic bag over the victim's head who then flails their arms wildly thrashing around helplessly as they suffocate to death, surprised and shocked and losing their air, they drop. The camera gets right up close to show the plastic stretched over their mouth. Three times I saw this similar scene filmed exactly the same way in the span of two days.

Therefore I felt compelled to issue this dramatic public service announcement.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Criminology student, 22, who falsely cried rape at taxi driver.."

Via Reddit:  A criminology student who lied about being raped by a taxi driver after he refused to accept a kebab-soaked tenner has been jailed for 16 months.

Wannabe cop Sophie Poniton told police officers that she had been sexually assaulted in the back of the cab she had been picked up in after a night out in Leeds city centre.

Pointon, 22, rang the cops in the early hours of Aril 22 this year then continued the deception by signing a statement giving an account of the attack.

Leeds Crown Court heard the driver, a father-of-five, was tracked down and kept in custody for six hours.

He was also unable to work for four weeks as a result of the claim.

(Link to more)

WKRLEM: That's just mean. (Very NSFW)

This is an obscure but heartfelt tribute. RIP Champ.

What's a pro tip all car owners should know?

Reddit top voted comments...

When your screen is frosted over, put both the sun visors down. Helps trap the hot air at the windscreen.

Your car has a Cabin Air Filter that's usually hidden behind the glove box. If your car smells musty or bad, there's a decent chance that thing is clogged like crazy and it's only about $15 to swap it out yourself. I found a freaking dead mouse behind mine last time I changed it.

Make sure the check engine light turns on when turning the key.
Sometimes the sleazy user car dealers will cut the cord on the engine light when things are shitty so it looks like there's nothing wrong with it.

Your ignition doesn't like 10 lbs of keys and keychains hanging from it. It will wear out over time.

The oil pressure light isn't just a reminder to check on in a few days. That's a pull your ass over now the engine is out of oil light.

Most loaded trucks WILL NOT stop on a dime like a car. If you can't see the trucker, the trucker can't see you. A truck tire blows up with the force of a grenade. Trucks always have the cheapest tires available, so when you're overtaking a truck STEP ON THE GAS! Don't dilly dally near the trailer tires waiting for one to explode and obliterate your passenger.

"Manafort Calls On DOJ To Release His Intercepted Communications With Foreigners"

Via InstapunditManafort, a longtime Republican political consultant, also called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the leak of details of secret surveillance warrants obtained by U.S. investigators.

“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.

On Monday, CNN reported that investigators obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Manafort prior to the presidential election. The wiretapping continued into early this year, according to CNN’s unnamed sources.

(Link to more)

"Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’"

Via TwitterTo the list of forbidden ideas on American college campuses, add “bourgeois norms”—hard work, self-discipline, marriage and respect for authority. Last month, two law professors published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the “cultural script” that prevailed in the 1950s and still does among affluent Americans: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. . . . Eschew substance abuse and crime.” The weakening of these traditional norms has contributed to today’s low rates of workforce participation, lagging educational levels and widespread opioid abuse, the professors argued.

The op-ed triggered an immediate uproar at the University of Pennsylvania, where one of its authors, Amy Wax, teaches. The dean of the Penn law school, Ted Ruger, published an op-ed in the student newspaper noting the “contemporaneous occurrence” of the op-ed and a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and suggesting that Ms. Wax’s views were “divisive, even noxious.” Half of Ms. Wax’s law-faculty colleagues signed an open letter denouncing her piece and calling on students to report any “bias or stereotype” they encounter “at Penn Law ” (e.g., in Ms. Wax’s classroom). Student and alumni petitions poured forth accusing Ms. Wax of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia and demanding that she be banned from teaching first-year law classes.

Ms. Wax’s co-author, Larry Alexander, teaches at the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution. USD seemed to be taking the piece in stride—until last week. The dean of USD’s law school, Stephen Ferruolo, issued a schoolwide memo repudiating Mr. Alexander’s article and pledging new measures to compensate “vulnerable, marginalized” students for the “racial discrimination and cultural subordination” they experience.

(Link to more)

shrimp and grits

I just now watched sixteen videos on shrimp and grits. Possibly four videos, I lost count at three. It seemed like a million. This guy, Charlie Andrews, is the best. Let's watch. When I watch it again, that'll be like, what, twenty-six videos.

I like Charlie. I like his eyes, his teeth, his voice, and his attitude.

He works too hard. And he uses four pots. And he uses commercial spices, and those are unacceptable. No self-respecting cook uses those things.

Pot for shrimp stock.
Pot for corn grits
Pot for shrimp sauce
Pot for garnish shrimp

But why not use commercial spices? 

Because whatever commercial spices contain, and that's not much, you already have the ingredients in your cabinet. They are not mysterious and they are not magic. And you have the real original ingredients, not their dehydrated ugly cousin versions. So you'll have real onion and not onion powder. Same with garlic. Same with lemon. Same with chiles same with vinegar. There is no point in ever buying Paul Prudhomme's "Magic" spices. You're never that hard up for flavor. The only magic is the magic of marketing that allows Paul Prudhomme to become wealthy by simplistic combinations and that separates cooks from authentic ingredients and fools them into thinking that Paul Prudhomme knows something about flavors that they don't.

Let's look. [ingredients label, paul prudhomme, spice]

Salt, spices, garlic, ground chile, onion

All chefs agree universally that the citrus juice concentrates that come in bottles are the worse possible choices. Every single one will tell you to scrape the peel of fresh citrus instead. And here it is even worse, lemon and lime oils. Those things are just awful. When you have fresh oils right there in the peels. 

Okay? Everybody has all these ingredients already. They're actually too simple to even market, but there you go, real cooks actually using them.

Eh. He's young. Maybe he's got some flesh in the game. Who knows? 

And that was a lot of trouble and a lot of time to contrive shrimp stock. It doesn't take that long to extract flavor from shrimp carapace and their heads. They give it up rather quickly. And vegetables likewise. Whereas drawing flavor from bones takes a bit longer. Even that is speeded considerably with pressure. There is no point in having those things boiling away for hours. Unless you like that boiling smell through your home. 

One time I did a bouillabaisse experiment. I made it several times in a row using different bases; the original French style using mirepoix and fish odds and ends, like Charlie does here, another using clam juice base, and another using Japanese style kombu and bonito flake dashi. 

Credit where it is due. Japanese really do know their seafood. They have their seafood stock act down pat. Home cooks have the ingredients to whip out superior fish stock in minutes. Their approach amounts to a gently steeped tea off the boil composed of dried seaweed and dried fish. The solids strained out for gently flavored water. 

You wipe the crystals off a patch of kombu seaweed, the basis of MSG, bring water to a boil then cut the heat, and soak the kombu for 10 minutes. It softens immediately and swells. Remove the kombu  and dump in a handful of bonito flakes, a dried skipjack that's shaved with a mandolin and purchased as flakes, bring the water with the flakes back to a boil then cut the heat immediately and steep again for another 10 minutes. Like tea. Strain the exhausted fish flakes. This fish stock, their dashi, is used as base for a thousand different things chief among them miso soup. It is unbelievably simple and straightforward, and good, and then with saffron, it makes the best base for bouillabaisse that I could come up with. Better than the neighborhood French restaurant. Kombu/bonto dashi wins.

But I did not do that tonight. 

Tonight I went even more simple. Because I add so many other competing strong flavors, powerful cheese, jalapeño, and hot red Hatch chile powder, garlic and onion, very strongly flavored smoked bacon, all that in overabundance and the delicate flavor of fish stock is lost in the background and the effort of making it separately is wasted. Another pot to clean. So I use commercial chicken stock instead. Now my combination has shrimp, pork, chicken, and cheese. And that's just insane.

Even though I ground my own grits from hard posole, my process is still faster than Charlie's. I cooked the grits in three minutes in the microwave, stopping three times to stir them while the bacon was cooking. One less pot to clean. Charlie must have his own restaurant dishwasher. He uses a fourth pot just for the garnish shrimp. If he lived alone and washed his own pots and dishes, he'd be more conservative with pots. I don't bother with keeping shrimp separate for garnish. That's a restaurant chef's conceit. Their preferred appearance. Mine are buried to surprise you how many shrimp are covered and concealed. Even though I cannot fool myself since I put them in there. 

But I did fool myself, again, I was all, what? What? Another three shrimp are still in here?

I don't know why chefs haven't latched onto the idea of milling their own corn. They have the knowledge and the equipment right there. The difference between popcorn ground at home, a few seconds in a coffee milll, and yellow grits from a commercial mill is amazing. The popcorn tastes explosively fresh. It's outstanding. While the commercial milled corn grits begin oxidizing immediately and taste vapid in comparison. I compared them side by side. And then threw away my box of grits. 

But why is oxygen so bad? The milling increases surface area times a million to interact with all atmospheric gasses and airborne organisms, not just oxygen. The difference in freshly milled and not so freshly milled is pronounced. Why don't cooks appreciate this? They're better at this sort of thing than I am. It's a mystery. And that is something that is not overwhelmed with strong flavors. While I admit the difference is more noticeable when they're prepared with water and without cheese.

This actually had too much shrimp. I got tired of eating it. By the end I was thinking, oh please, not two more shrimp. Will I ever learn to stop making so much? They're worse than a steak. 

The thing about shrimp and grits is, you eat a bowl and twenty-four hours later you're hungry all over again. 

WKRLEM: Rocketman......smocketman

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

cotton fields

When my dad finished his tour of duty in Japan and our family landed at Travis AFB, the plane flew way over the countryside circling around and the sight of California farmland from above created a feeling within us that is indescribable.

Here, let me describe it exactly. It's the deep satisfaction of homesickness in reverse. It's the motion picture Wizard of Oz when the house lands in Munchkin Country and the scenery turns from black and white to full glorious color. It's a very real thrill. It's the opening credits to Green Acres. It's the internal satisfaction and supreme pleasure of being American. It can make you cry. And that feeling holds true whenever I come back from anywhere. Denver is home, and Mexico is not. Denver satisfies, and Canada does not. Denver is beautiful and NYC is not.

But then within a few weeks we were traveling again through the West and Western scenery is foreign as Japan is to Pennsylvania residents. Pennsylvania is gone, and now there is this. The whole place is stranger than cowboy movies. Nothing is right. Not enough plants. Everything is too harsh, too dry, no ocean, insufficient advanced civilization. People eat weird food.The whole place rather naked. But nothing was ever so foreign as the immediate sights of Louisiana. Here is where we experienced true culture shock. We were stunned dumb. First the animals. Armadillos killed on the highways. We had imagined those existed only in Africa with anteaters. Pelicans gathering at all bodies of water. Vultures soaring the thermals high above. Vultures! But nothing was so truly shocking as shacks with rusting tin roofs. Old Cadillacs on blocks in the front yards, cars that don't work but are show off,  but no actual lawn. No real driveway. Old sofas on porches with living people sitting on them. We had no way to process the poverty that we didn't know even existed in America. It took a very long time to get accustomed to, but we did, and once we did then we loved the place and we still do. All of us hold an enduring fondness for Louisiana and for its people. We wanted to stay there. It is a good place to live.

I was as fascinated with cotton fields right off as much as I was fascinated with Hawaiian pineapple fields earlier, and I'm pleased to say that I experienced both. But cotton held historic significance. And both of them are total drags. They are not what I expected at all. Pineapple fields are pure messes, bromeliad growing over each other completely randomly, sharp strong foliage that cuts your legs and your arms like knives. They are terrible places to be. Pineapple fields are like Hell. And so are cotton fields. Both those agricultural projects popped my silly stupid imagination bubble. The plants are actually dangerous. They do not give up their pods that bursted open willingly. The cotton is actually hard to tear off the plants at that stage, bare thorny sticks. And when you do tear it off, it's not like a puffy bag of cotton that you buy in a store, it's filthy, there are bugs all around, the cotton is loaded with seeds, and the seeds are nearly impossible to get out. You could take all day picking at the cotton puffs struggling to tear out the seeds and then half stays on the seeds anyway. How a cotton comb was invented is hard to imagine, and why it wasn't invented sooner evern harder to imagine. It is a very strange crop. Cotton fields are not romantic as I had imagined by seeing them in passing from inside a speeding vehicle and yearning to get out there in the field and explore. No. Once you're in the field all you want to do is to get out.

What a bummer. Both my childish visualizations of a romantic life in the fields were dashed by reality and by simply walking through them. Once. Briefly. And experiencing what terrible plants they are in large numbers. Whoever is was who conceived of farming these plants, and having other people do the work, was out of their mind. And not very Christian. The farming of these plants is obscene. And all that I know comes from trespassing through a field.

Yes, I know other stuff relevant to cotton too. We were taught Eli Witney invented the cotton gin. But I was taught a lot of ridiculous ethnocentric nonsense. Cotton gins were used since the 5th century. They just weren't so splendid as Witney's.

And I think those branches with cotton tufts on them make excellent and thoughtful home decoration. They're weirdly beautiful, both scraggly, dangerous, brittle and contrastingly soft and explosively puffed,  and and they hold so much meaning. Not just about American slavery but about all human history. About clothes. About textiles. Weaving. Cotton is an important world commodity. It's my favorite fiber. It's awesome.

Like wheat is. I asked Dean if he would send me a sheath of wheat from his own wheat fields. He complied.  Kindly and very considerately he actually grew a patch of Egyptian wheat just for me. And I loved that wheat. I displayed that wheat proudly. I didn't have it very long because the stuff attracts dust like nobody's business and it's impossible to keep clean but while it was around I loved it.

I should have thought of stealing a few branches cotton but I wasn't into interior design at that age. After they harvest the cotton stays stuck on the branches. They cannot get it all, and it continues to produce, continues to open and explode bits of cotton like popcorn.

cheap green tiles

This is a screenshot taken from a video uploaded to Trump's Twitter account only to show the green wall. I didn't even watch the video. He's talking about Socialism being bad, coming down harshly on Venezuela and Cuba. His supporters are thrilled by what they describe an exciting speech while his detractors find a million silly reasons to hate it.

I don't care. From my point of view he speaks plain simple universal truths to an audience inured against them. All I care about is that disgusting cheap ugly wall. 

Every time a U.S. president stands in front of this green wall as backdrop my heart sinks. It's the same thing as standing in front of a samples wall at Home Depot. Even a coffee table made from these tiles would look cheap. Because they are tiles and not a full slab. They're on par with tile mirrors. A full mirrored wall, nice. A tiled mirror wall, cheap. It's just wrong. 

I don't even want to denigrate trailer parks by comparison because mobile home owners actually have more sense than this. One look at these bizarre tiles and one thinks, "He must be talking to goofballs in a goofball place." And he is.

The cheap wall ruins the fake out. The wall is the tell that the entire U.N. is basic cheap nonsense. 

Trump has a thing about walls. What they're good for, what they should do, what they signal, how they should look. We don't hear him talk this much about floors and about ceilings.

This is a screenshot of Trump's Twitter feed dated October 1012. (We had Twitter then?) It was found searching [trump twitter marble] boom, result right there at the top.

Thank you! And this is coming from a guy who builds things. Please, don't wait for them to ask. Just do it. They've always bothered me too. I bet they bother a lot of people. I bet they bother more people than they please. I bet they bother pretty much everyone who has ever noticed them. I bet the Arabs and Chinese laugh at them. Europeans too. Everyone laughs at this ugly cheap wall. Cheapening everything, everybody who stands in front of it, and everything that they say.

[Here's where we insert the joke, nowadays everyone has grand marble slab countertops we tend to take them for granite. But that's not funny. The countertops actually are granite. Granite is a better material than marble. More interesting patterns. Marble is too soft, too vulnerable to breaking, chipping, and especially vulnerable to stains.]

You can buy these tiles anywhere for $7.00 sq ft. They never were nice.

See, I'm thinking about granite slabs lately. Total change of subject, right here. The subject of cheap U.N. tiles is finished. 

I need a slab much smaller than the U.N. needs. 

Mine need only be 12" X 48" and that can be had rather cheaply.

I just now replaced a 50 gallon aquarium. The new one came with a very nice stand but I don't need that. Originally I thought I'd just toss it. But it turns out too nice a stand to be so dismissive. But it doesn't have a top. One granite slab of any color, any pattern will do just fine. I'm not picky about color. Even pink will work. And it will make a great long narrow table that can be placed pretty much anywhere including directly in front of the aquarium. I did put another table that same size in front of it before, and that turned out the best spot to fold laundry. The laundry machines are right there, the bedroom door is right there, and I can watch t.v. as I do it. But this table could actually go anywhere. It would be perfect to hold a model boat. Or plants in front of a window. Just as soon as I thought of how I'd dispose of the base, I also thought of half a dozen very good uses. 

About that. 

Yet another somewhat related issue. To aquarium bases, I'm not talking about U.N. tiles anymore.

The plan is coming together slowly. The idea is copy Takashi Amano's conceptualization of a nature aquarium best as I can. That means all natural elements. They're like regular outdoor landscaping sunken underwater with a definite Asian aesthetic. No toys. No gimmicks. Nothing cute. Nothing precious. Nothing sparkly. No glass, or glittery stones. No blue light paints. No SpongeBob SquarePants. No photographic backdrops. No bubbling tricks. No ornamentation. Nothing goofy. Just lavishly planted so intensely that fish schools seem secondary for calm movement.

And that requires a good fertile substrate. 

It takes awhile to get this substrate in place. It's here now but it's still not installed. A 50 lb. sack is needed. A lot. The substrate was ordered from a landscaping company, not through an aquarium shop. The product is actually for ballparks, a clay that is colored and baked to porous stone-like particles used to repair baseball fields. 

Look how this relates tangentially to public issues. 

Every single day I come across articles online discussing toxic masculinity. Just this morning on Instapundit Glenn put up a link to UNC writing about how masculinity contributes to perpetuation of violence. Didn't bother to read it. Just noted, here's another piece denigrating masculinity.

Maybe they have some kind of point.

And maybe they don't.

When I spoke to the man on the phone I visualized a small Mexican middle-aged man. He sounded that age, warm, kind, helpful, eager to assist for this rather small purchase, no business too small to engage fully, as if I was installing a full sprinkler system and full landscaping. He spoke as if glad to engage. When I got there he turned out to be mid-twentys Caucasian, somewhat heavy lumbering body type, a bit overweight, fairly opposite of what I had visualized. He walked away and retrieved a large box. Opened the box and discarded it. Inside a large unwieldy shifting uncooperative bag of gravel. I dreaded even the idea of picking it up. I had parked some distance away so I told him I'd go get my truck. 

"Don't bother. I'll take it out there." 

I didn't want him to do that. The bag is too heavy, the truck too far away.

Fifty pounds is not obscenely heavy, soldiers carry that much on their backs in Iraq, a hike that would lay me flat in five minutes. I told him, Seth is his name, that I used to handle 40 lb. boxes of copy paper, 10 reams each all the time, every week. I'd load up a 2-wheeler and deliver them constantly. The women at the bank, the men too are all soft, wouldn't touch the boxes when full. To a person they're all fully against blue collar type tasks. Anything that takes physical exertion, they're against it.  Just lifting one of those boxes is a drag. I wouldn't carry one very far. Just on and off the cart, or 2-wheeler, and that's it. He reiterated, "That's okay. I'll just carry it."  He slung that sack like a dead body over his shoulder and we walked together at my pace back to my truck then he tucked it inside. The ease in which he handled the heavy shifting sack is deeply impressive. That's masculinity. And it makes the world a fantastic fun place.