Saturday, August 18, 2018

WKRLEM: Do You Think I'm Sexy?

Weird, frustrating vocabulary that's the most useful, and Ptahhotep's maxim 6, Table Manners

I shouldn't complain but I do. People who learn English as second language face the same situation except even more extreme. It occurred to me dealing with this and becoming increasingly frustrated and extremely impatient with it to the point of anger that I've already dealt with this in English and still do.

Nearly any word works for example, but some words make better examples than others.

Ever been around someone who for some reason that moment answers everything you say as if it were a sexual remark? Once on the challenge of perverting innocence to crudeness, the habit is unstoppable, at least for the night. Nearly every innocent thing that you say can be interpreted  as something sexual. Almost everything can be turned into a pun. And that's why puns are considered the lowest of all the humors, because nearly every word has multiple meanings. Check it out, off the top of your head. "Cinnamon."

Spice or color or Spice Girl.

Okay, "key." Flat object to unlock a door, an island, the way to solve a code, an inset to a map that shows distance. The answer to a puzzle, A synonym for "main." Essential.

Each definition will offer new samples, "lock" has multiple meanings including one about hair, another about water and boats, another about a safe box, another about anything that's certain such as a lock on a prospective job. "Main" has multiple definitions, and so on ad infinitum.

And the more common the word, the smaller the word, the words with the least letters, the most basic, will be the words most loaded with multiple meanings so that eventually the meanings contradict.

This is the most frustrating thing about learning English. The alarm clock goes off then you get out of your pajamas and put your clothes on. Facing this language, your clock goes running away somewhere and you must go catch it, you climb out of your pajamas like outgrowing your carapace shell and you put your folded clothes on your head as a shelf. Our prepositions are all multi-faceted.

[75 contronyms]

1. Apology: A statement of contrition for an action, or a defense of one
2. Aught: All or nothing.
3. Bill: A payment, or an invoice for payment
4. Bolt: To secure, or to flee.

And so on for 71 more examples, but there are certainly more than that.

Praise to those souls who take up English from another language. They can use the help that we offer with grace.

I just wasn't in the mood last night for sentences that begin with such words and phrases that could mean virtually anything, like starting a sentence, "well, anyway."

That could also mean, but, therefore, therewith, herein, besides, colostomy bag, extra-vehicular-activity suit, poo on a stick, toasted pound cake.

You really do have to scope the whole sentence looking for groupings and pick out the groups with clear meaning. Look for something unequivocal while holding in mind that too can be reversed, and build around it to discover the meaning for all the little bits surrounding it. Each symbol is not a word, it's a word-cloud. So you have a string of word-clouds that form and re-form continuously until they click into place with something reasonably sensible. With several good alternatives. You cannot start at the beginning of each sentence, as I do, and go through them one-by-one and come out with anything sensible. I just flat doesn't work.

And this has nothing to do with table manners. The maxim is a another boring lesson about knowing your place. It's own place long dead. And good riddance.

<<Anecdote alert>>

I keep remembering this scene. I was young, early twenties. Well outside my own status group. Everyone older than me. Everyone already successful. Me, only just started. Yet, for some reason I don't understand people were interested in me and I was accepted. This was a late dinner at doctor's house. A fancy elegant upscale holiday celebration, but hosted by somebody else. Somebody else was using the doctor's house because it was the best place to have a large dinner. A veritable forest of crystalware glistened across the table as we sat down. Glasses for water, for white wine and for red wine.

All I wanted was Coca-Cola.

Kool-Aid would do. The host, not the doctor, is a pompous asshole.

And still is.

The doctor is sitting next to me, he at the foot of the table, his wife on his other side, I faced his wife. The host was w-a-a-a-a-y down there at the opposite side, the head of the table. He ran the show.

The service door to the kitchen was nearest to him.

The young waiter was in my peer group.

The host kept nattering at the waiter. It was pissing me off. I felt empathy for the waiter suffering abuse. I kept thinking, leave the guy alone already, he's doing fine, but the host kept criticizing his every move, as if he were teaching the guy how to be a proper servant. The waiter took it all in stride and accepted the corrections, but I did not.

The host was establishing his primacy the most awkward way possible, by embarrassment, he was embarrassing me by subjecting me to his lesson-giving. Finally, someone else at the table felt the way that I did and spoke up and told the host to stop it. The host defended himself. A conversation about manners ensued.

"Well, how are people supposed to learn good manners unless we teach them?"

By your actual parents, and by books, I thought. I had just read a big fat book on manners by Letitia Baldrige, Executive Manners, because I imagined I might turn out to be executive some day. I dressed like one. I acted like one. I thought like one. I studied the things that they study. So why not? What the heck. The book is not worth the read, there is nothing in there that great of value, but one thing did stick out that did match this occasion so I let 'er rip.

"Manners are designed to ease us through moments of uncertainty, the proper handshake, to ease the discomfort of first encounters, and so forth, not to make us feel stifled and uncomfortable. Hard and fast rules are stifling such as 'don't put your elbows on the table.'"

That was something my parents brow-beat into all us.

The host had both elbows on the table. I didn't speak directly to him, rather, to the whole table of people, so my periphery vision caught the blur of him removing his elbows from the table reflexively as if his own father ordered him,  before anybody could see him being so mannerly offensive, as if his elbows on the table were worse offense to him than embarrassing people in private locked-audience setting where there is no easy escape. His weak spot. I thought I would pass out from holding my laughter. That was so intensely funny to me the scene was seared into memory to rank as a favorite. That is table manners, how to privately embarrass your obnoxious host publicly (in private setting) to everyone's satisfaction, not this useless maxim.


I haven't been posting or commenting much the last few weeks. I haven't been up to it and I am trying to enjoy the summer. What I have been doing of all things is Instagram. The wife turned me on to it and she posts up a storm. It is easier than blogging since you just take a photo and post a couple of sentences. What pissed her off was that she has been doing it for years and got only 500 or so followers and I am doing it for a week and got 186 already. Now most of them seem to be cat fishing me. I guess they see an old guy and want to take him for all his money. Little do they know that I don't have any!

I have been trying to make it fun and post interesting photos. People like this one. I call it fat Gilligan. "I ain't you're little buddy!"

So follow me on Instagram if you want. I want to have 1000 followers so I win a cookie or something.

Marilyn's Diary

I miss my Uncle Herman.

When we living in Southern California I spent a lot of time at the beach.  I had to get out of the house since it was getting too weird. My little pervert cousin Eddie kept trying to steal my dirty underwear. Grandpa was always playing show tunes and hanging out with his Hollywood friends Charles Nelson Reilly and Wally Cox. Worst of all Aunt Lily was starting to get suspicious about how close I was getting with Uncle Herman. I tdecided to spend more time out of the house.

I met a whole new bunch of friends at the beach. There was Frankie and Annette but they were kind of strange. She wanted to talk about mice and he was a real greasy guinea who tried to get into my pants. I preferred to hang out with the more white bred types. I knew my  friend Gidget from High School so I hung out with her and her boyfriend Moondoggie. Now just because they were Protestants didn't mean they were boring. They loved surfing and singing and drinking. Most of all they loved music. We would go out all the time to bars and shows and other places to hear good music. We especially liked this one club that had a lot of blues and soul music. It had a real groovy crowd. There were college professors and poets and hippies. There was this one old Jew named Allen who kept buying Moondoggie drinks and rubbing his back. Then one night we had a revelation. There was a young soul singer with a great voice who left her heart on the stage. She was from Detroit. Her name was Aretha.

Michael Pillsbury explains China's new respect for U.S. Trade policy

More appreciation at the Treehouse where Sundance explains Trump's eleven main squeezes, Melania, Ivana. Marla, Gabriela Sabatini, Rowanne Lane, Carla Bruni, Allison Giannini, Jackie Siegel, Kara Young, oops. I meant to say, economic squeezes on nations and on economic entities to urge them to see the light of genuine free trade that is fair to the United States. 

The American press finds it impossible to report on this accurately. They're genetically predisposed to get it wrong every time no matter which aspect they report on. Just this morning I read the intro to an AP story that went, "as Trump moves further away from free trade through tariffs." Poor things cannot see the forest for all the trees surrounding them. How do you get nations to move toward genuine free trade? By making them feel the same pinch they give to us and have locked into our agreements with them. By making them confront their own unfree trade hypocrisy. 

Until they bleed and cry, "Uncle!

1) Sanctioned Venezuela to stop their access to expanded state owned oil revenue. (Read it see how this squeezes Russia and China.

2) Influenced global energy prices to squeeze Russia

3) Pressured Pakistan through financial support to bring tribal extremest to the discussions.

4) Used India as leverage against China through trade deals

5) Initiated USTR Section 301 investigating China's theft of intellectual property

6) Dissolve(ing) NAFTA for better bilateral agreements.

7) Shift to bilateral trade agreement with China

8) Repositioned U.S. relationship with the E.U.

9) Repositioned Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

10) Formed new alliance with Japan

11) Cut off Beijing influence over N. Korea by engaging N.Korea himself. 

Much more details on each of these items at the Treehouse. If you want to be a smarty pants more informed than our news sources then you should read them. It's very good.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Overheard: rhhardin

"The third world desparately needs new moves, some commenter said "


John Brennan responds to Trump:

Check this out on Chirbit

Spring rolls

This photo was taken July 2011. It only has 400 views. I was notified by email that somebody just favorited the photo.

Don't those look good? 


I'm sick as a dog. My dad like to hop in his vee-hickle and drive. He just l-o-o-o-o-v-e-d driving around. No place was too far to drive to. That was never part of his calculation. I'm sitting in my dad's car with him driving down Federal Avenue, a street I avoid, but there is no street he avoids. We're going for lunch. We stop at  Vietnamese place. I order these spring rolls for the first time. I had no idea you assemble them yourself right there at the table. Lettuce, mint, rice noodles, bean sprouts, shrimp cut laterally so they're shrimp-shaped but only half as thick, shredded carrots, possibly sliced cucumber. Dipping sauce. Two types, one with peanut butter. A stack of large round crispy rice paper wrappers, and a large bowl of warm water. 

I could not get enough of these things. I ordered them three times. They're a splendid invention. Brilliant combination, delicious however they're put together, no matter how poorly, how thin, or how over-stuffed, or broken and repaired with two additional wrappers, whatever you do with this combination the result is delicious. I kept shoving them into my pie hole one after the other, fast as I could roll them, such that my pie hole was re-named "spring roll hole." 

"Apologies for being such a pig." 

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Bobby, it's a pleasure just seeing you eat." 

My weight was way down. 

Way down. 

*squeaky voice*  How far down was it?

You know how the smallest men's underwear is size 30 waist? I bought mine in the boy's section two sizes down. It goes, 16 then 14. Size 14, boy's. I was 38 years old. Dad was with me that day too. He couldn't accept what he was seeing. At home I had to show him they fit. Do you realize what a problem this is? And there goes my whole career dream as Calvin Klein model poof just like that. Too scrawny even for his heroine-chic phase. 

Anyway, that memory is indelibly etched. Along the arowana fish in their aquarium by the front door, just a fish in a tank with no natural decoration at all, nothing to make the fish feel at home in the Amazon, no insects to spit at. Like this, I'll draw you a picture. It is a large aquarium, but it's a very large fish.

Trump impersonators

Very good. I suppose. It's almost funny. Except Trump isn't this stiff. And drawing exclusively from his campaigning style misses the totality of Trump, so, satires only one side of a multifaceted entity. And that shows the source material for both, (for all impressonists, actually) is limited. Painfully limited. And imagined complete. And that does fit with most everyone, whose perspectives are also painfully limited while considered complete. Something you know from your own birthday parties. My birthday parties. My last twenty or so birthday parties in Denver, and regular dinner gatherings, all devolve to Democrat caucuses, as they must. Apparently. 

As fresh stucco must be slapped on our little town church each year, a community project, lest the sparse rain dissolve the  poor thing into the mud. Heaven forfend we invest in sturdier building material. 

Sundance explains. We elected a person successful in the real world and not an inbred politician successful in one thing, getting elected, and with no real sense as to how the outside world works. Trump has changed the framework of accountability and transparency in government by holding two to three full cabinet meetings each month in which cabinet members give updates on the execution of policy priorities. Further, he invites the media in and we see for ourselves what full cabinet meetings look and sound like. 

During these meetings Trump says to cabinet executives, "Well done. Good job." And he would say that to the media too if they did anything well and if they actually did a good job. He gives them their chances to do well and to be good, but they simply cannot accept his offer, the way his cabinet members do.  It has nothing to do with being in agreement. It's about doing a solid good job. And asking about Omarosa's claims in her book, known to be nonsense, a reality show blowout, is treating the administration like the reality show that the media claims it to be, instead of doing their job of reporting on the administration's advancing government policies literally changing the world before our wondering eyes. 

In this manner they do behave as enemies of the public, for example, noticing Trump's numbers with voters of negroid persuasion have doubled, then media immediately doubles down on reporting anything and everything it can to support a narrative of Trump's racism, no matter how  sparse, threadbare, and unreliable the source. Just to have that on the airwaves.
No President in modern history has put that much accountability into the position of each cabinet member. No President has ever coordinated strategic objectives with such a high level of expectation and scrutiny. No President has folded transparency into the cabinet with full media access over White House cabinet meetings. This is a new executive branch standard.
Here is what Trump actually sounds like and there's nothing funny about it, save for the genuine humor. Not anything like the narrow impressions of him. Imagine how empowered these cabinet tops feel as part of cohesive administration led by someone who's capable of moving bureaucratic mountains to get things done. 

If you have time for it, I hope you choose to view this video. I find it fascinating. To an extent it matches our management meetings at the FRB, they were run this same way, except for this being far more consequential.

Ginger ale fail

The liquid tasted great before fermentation but after fermentation it tasted like the worst beer ever brewed. I poured out all five quarts. There was more sludge on the bottom than yeast that was added, and I realized, if it's anything like bread then the yeast multiplies in there exponentially until all of the sugar is consumed.

After just a few days the bottles were foaming like mad. When I burped the bottles they popped open with a loud report, foamed up, spit and spurted, and made a mess, roiled inside with tiny particles rising from the bottom and circulating, foaming out of the jars.

Within just a few days the lids were bulging so I put them in the refrigerator. Carefully. One wrong move and BLAM! I wanted them to chill out before opening. Wary of making a mess I pulled out a large bowl to catch the overflow that was certain. Clever, eh?

I put the camera on a tripod so you can see the explosion. First I'm showing the large amount of yeast residue on the bottom, except it doesn't show. Brace yourself.


Dead as a doornail. 

What a bummer!

I hate it just for that, right there. 

Eeeew, you dith-pickable juith. 

It tasted horrible.

I tried to repair it by adding sugar. 

A lot of sugar.

Tasted again, added more sugar.

Tasted again, added more sugar. 

Tasted again, added more sugar. 

I was beginning to think this cannot be repaired.

So I added more sugar. 

Tasted again and added more sugar. 

Tasted again. This crap has too much sugar. 

And it still tasted horrible. 

I drank a pint and I think I got a little bit drunk. On the worst alcoholic beverage in history of mankind.

And that taught me a valuable lesson.

Don't do that.

Maxim 5, Trust in God

Don't put trust in the plans of men because god's plans always prevail.

I don't know what that means.

They were always trying to coax their gods, discern their gods, predict their gods, understand their gods, bribe their gods. They hadn't a clue what their capricious god's plans were but that never stopped them from tying to cajole them.

If you cannot trust the plans of men then how can you do any planning at all?

First the line in hieroglyphs
Then the author's in-between bridge transliteration of sounds.
Then the grouping of that in red
Then the authors translation into English
Then what I find when I look up each little group.

All of that fairly fast.

And there's a lot of differences.

The author clears up some of the differences in notes.

He uses a sign that is seen only in this book. But I found a similar sign that represents the same sound. And he neglected a few signs, and a few letters, and added a few letters of his own, to mangle this thing into a brilliant translation. I'm dumbfounded they can do this with such coarse raw material. How can they know that a grouping is an enclitic particle? It blows my mind.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I never metaphor I didn't like

Just something that I thought of.


The organized creativity never stops. Young people continue to amaze. Why don't girls do this? Too bouncy? This is 2015.

May you rest in peace, Aretha

World of Dance.

The things kids do today. My goodness. This show will blow your mind if you give it a chance. 

Jennifer Lopez said, "you danced it perfectly" and I'm sitting here thinking, yes, now rate them 100, but they actually scored among the lowest on the show tonight. 

Someone in comments here said they don't dig all the synchronicity, but come on, that's always been a thing, Ester Williams, the June Taylor dancers, what have you, but now it's done precisely, militaristically, and the moves these kids are inventing blow my mind. They blow the minds of professional choreographers. Other routines on this show tonight are completely over the top. The combinations of athletics, gymnastics, ballet, group coordination, timing, inventive moves, break dancing, hip-hop, flamenco, tap, ballroom, is outstanding. Each individual is outstanding. It beats everything that I grew up watching. 

Here's another that scored very well. 

Maxim 4, Maat

James Alan is very good at explaining what this ancient way of thinking and speaking means. 

I always thought Maat means balance, and it does, but it's not the simple balance of nature as I imagined. It's the philosophy that evolves before there are codified laws that create the way civilization works. 

The philosopher says, if you are a leader than seek the most effective actions and polish your conduct. Bypassing the customs that take the place of codified laws are acts of greed. 

Here is where by surface reading he sounds like Obama, the whole nation together built the social environment for contrarian aggressors to be greedy within it. Without that social space, there would be nothing to be greedy about. And this social structure is from the beginning of time and will outlast us. 

Government sure is jealous of their space. Anything that occurs within State's space, boom, you're married to government. It's an awful marriage, and awful jealous demanding business partner. They see themselves inextricably linked to everything you do and even think. And they will not leave you alone. It goes way beyond taxes to force you to pay for the audacity of occupying thier space, walking their sidewalks, protected by their governance, under the umbrella of their resources. 

Marijuana legislation is a good study in government attitude. They dislike the business that provides them so much unearned income. They're actually hostile to the business. The absolute worst business partners imaginable. Digging for problems endlessly and naturally finding them and classifying the business such they can levy "sin" level of taxation. 

The owners accepted this terminology just to have peace. But I wonder why they didn't fight that classification. Pot people don't like to fight. Government does. 

The Christian baker is another study. State government continues to dog the guy even after the Supreme Court ruled. They're straight up anti-Christian. The Supreme Court left an opening by saying it was the manner of prosecution that was unacceptable, so the same people are bedeviling the man constantly in different manners. They're even more vicious now. He's getting outrageous requests for cakes that the people ordering know the baker cannot satisfy. Cakes with actual dildos on them, cakes for transgender celebrations, cakes with obscenities, cakes for satanists and so on. The Colorado gay pride parade featured the two men from Illinois who sought him out for the original challenge, heroes to them, even after the Supreme Court loss. Prideful of what they are doing. 

Yes, government is jealous of what happens within their space. They want to control everything as they thwart you, even as they take their share from you after making business difficult for you. 

And because of this, I've come to regard state legislators as exceedingly jealous, envious, control freak type people. Damaged personalities. A permanently unhappy sort.

And that goes for pharaohs and viziers. Maat means being very jealous of what occurs in your space.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Notice anything?


A friend is getting pacemaker.

I thought he would be really down about that. First, he is vain. Second, he flat cannot handle mortality. He cannot believe that he's old, and life itself is convincing him the hard way irrespective of his belief. Oh cruel world. Rage against the machine.

I also had no idea what they are.

I thought it was like a box that you wear on your chest like an old fashion hearing aid, except with a wire that goes inside your chest to deliver tiny electric shocks to keep the heart going like a motor. And that would be such a bummer.

But now they go inside your chest.

And now they're quite small. The size of a bullet.

And they don't go through your chest. Instead, they go through your groin.


Man, oh man, the things they come up with. I swear. They just want to see peoples' penis and test tickles. 'Cause they're always digging around down there when you're out. Who would even think to insert something into your heart by poking a hole in your groin? This is Norman Mailer territory. I cringe at the thought of it.

As for attitude, it's been long time since I've heard him this cheerful.

I think that's because he's been down for so long due to irregularity with his heart, and now he has an answer for the problems he's been dealing with and now he has a solution. Now he can see that he's fortunate to have life. That these things can be dealt with. It's a marvel. A true marvel. He is experiencing something marvelous.

Looks like this: [medtronic micra pacesetter]

It's a one-day deal. Overnight hospitalization, is what he was told. 

If a thing like that can change your life, who wouldn't be for it?  

Brazil nuts

For now on I shall call them Bolivia nuts.

And when I saw all those people cracking open the nuts, saw how the processing is manual, I felt a deeper respect for the workers who do this. For us. And the whole time I'm thinking, did you wash your bugger-picking, butt-wiping, cell phone tapping hands? All those people got their fingertips all over my nuts. Which you can buy here. Amazon [brazil nuts].

Aside: Notice how you can always cut off the video early? They habitually go, "be sure to hit the 'like' button and subscribe, and view my other channels, and check out my web page, and do ten jumping jacks and get me a glass of wat... *click* gone.

I only just started hitting the 'like' button for videos that I actually like. Eh. It's their currency. And it's how YouTube works out what to show me.


Maxim 3

This is last of the first three maxims advising on how to deal with troublesome people, this time with an inferior. And for you fine people, that would be everyone. Ptahhotep says: Don't let your mind rage because they are wretched, just put him (her) aside and they will punish themselves. Don't even bother discussing the matter, they'll change their minds to align with yours by the opposition of your officials. That is, call the police.

I overheard the most excellent thing a few nights ago. Very early morning, actually.

A very clear masculine tenor voice shot through the dead stillness of the night. "Hey! You're not allowed to go in there."

A resident was protecting rented property. It's no business of a resident if a ne'er do well is trying to break into a door. The doors are always jimmied around here. They're constantly being replaced. Crackheads all over the place trying to break in. The resident could have easily called the police. But instead, he took matters of the immediate moment into his own hands.

That's testosterone for you, right there.

mumble mumble bumble gerk disten murf garble.

"Fine. I'll come down there and see for myself."

A voice like a bullet. An electric bolt. Piercing. Crystalline. Authoritative. I wouldn't want to mess with the guy.

It's like transactional analysis by Eric Berne. Remember that?

It's based on types of communication, parent, adult, child. When a parent speaks to a child and a child responds as a child to their parent, that is a good clear unfettered transaction. But when an adult speaks to another adult as a parent and the adult responds as adult to the parental voice then that is a crossed transaction. The back and forth is not parallel.

This was such a crossed transaction and it was a thing of beauty to behold. Overhearing it by my door being wide open to the city and to the summer.

Status interactions are similar. We create our status by the manner of our speech. In a bureaucracy it's how you control your fate. It can be used to explain where I failed. I didn't realize this until employees at the FRB sent me cards when it appeared that I wouldn't be around much longer. There were things they wanted to tell me before I was gone for good. They are extremely status-oriented. The bank examiners, all with masters degrees in finance and such serious dry mind-numbing things did not intermingle with entry-level employees or others without college degrees. They socialized and had lunch separately. Very cliquish. 

I busted through all that. I sat with them at lunch and pulled out a NYT crossword and challenged their general knowledge. I conversed freely with all levels of management. I gave the janitors and low-level employees the same respect, the church-goers, the same regard as the pot smokers. I mingled and had fun with all of the races. One card-writer told me he marveled at that and admired it. (My mother wept when she read it.) Until then, after it was gone for me, I had no idea I was doing that. Ptahhotep's advice does not apply to me. Nor to the resident who shouted crisply at the intruder.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ginger ale

This is a project started five days ago. I mentioned the website that says ginger ale begins with a starter (like sourdough), that in the ginger ale business is called a "ginger bug." Frustrating. You take two cups of water in a 1 quart Mason jar and add a tablespoon grated ginger and a tablespoon of sugar and stir. Then that same thing again the next day. Again, Again, and Again. Boom it's ready.

So you can't have ginger ale NOW! Not by this method.

Then you boil water for your desired amount, say a gallon, with more ginger, and more sugar, and lemon peel, and molasses, I suppose for minerals and depth and more flavor. 

But I got no molasses around here. 

So I used brown sugar that has molasses added to it. 

My liquid tasted distressingly weak. So I jazzed it up with a LOT more lemon and a few oranges and all of their peels sliced off separately. Cinnamon and exceedingly scant clove. And now it tastes muy fantastico!

The videos are all over the place. Everyone has their own conceptualization. One followed the recipe that I read. So I trusted that video. But the guy talks like a chipmunk. Honestly. Who can even listen that fast? In comments he says, "I get excited." He gets a solid response and much appreciation. He says it's not anything like the stuff that you buy. It's not all that carbonated. He does not show a close up of the result. Just him chillaxing drinking some and admonishing again that it's different. 

Another woman uses her Soda Stream. 

Another woman adds baking soda for bubbles.

Another person adds cider vinegar.

Another guy uses champaign yeast and express concern for bottles breaking so he uses plastic bottles and when they get hard it means the pressure is tight. Then at the end his wife comes on for testimonial and, "Hello." Let's party.

I like this couple. They seem nice. He calls it ginger beer. (I want to take the contrast knob and turn it to 11. But there is no contrast knob.)

[Once you've done this first step then you can keep it alive and never have to do it again.] But keeping it alive is doing it again. And again, And again. For the rest of your life. Just like sourdough. It's a new pet. One that needs your constant and reliable attention. Who is he kidding?

My ginger bug is like everybody's ginger bug. Opaque liquid with layer of floating shredded ginger. Except I strained mine today, used it down to 1/2 cup, replenished it to 2 cups of water and re-fed it with ginger and sugar. But why? Am I going to actually do this again? 

I don't know.

Since everybody is doing their own thing from natural fermentation, to Soda Stream to baking soda, to champaign yeast, even cider vinegar, then I can do whatever the heck I want. 

I have brewer's yeast that I bought downstairs to experiment with bread. It failed. Too slow. W-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too slow. Yet it's named Turbo. What a fake out. 

It's turbo for beer but slowbo for bread. It's slower than sourdough starter. By far. So I put 1/4 teaspoon of that in each jar, not expecting much immediate action. Because I want a lot of bubbles. 

I bought a 12-pack of the wrong jars. This was an online order and I didn't know they'd deliver non-wide mouth jars, the type that I wanted. I cannot stick my hand inside these jars. When I unscrew the lid from the brand new jar it pops in my hand like a balloon bursting. Each one is under a LOT of pressure. Surprisingly high pressure. My arms literally blew in separate directions. So I think that they're sturdy enough to take the pressure of beer yeast. 

I tested a few hours after production. The yeast was already working, already producing fizz. When I unscrewed each lid it popped slightly and fizzed a lot inside the jars. How fun! And this is going a lot faster than I imagined judging by everything that preceded. My ginger ale has a lot more sugar.

A LOT of sugar. You wouldn't like it.

But I figure the yeast will eat most of the sugar.

Kind of dark, huh? 

It smells a little bit like Christmas.

Strzok creates Twitter account and GoFundMe page

And trashes Trump. We elect a guy famous for making "You're Fired" a catchphrase and suddenly anyone and everyone who's been fired has something very important to say.

I didn't even read it. It's over at Gateway Pundit, if you care to learn what Peter Strzok has to say about Trump. There might be something new that he didn't say while conspiring against him, and us, while employed by the FBI, but I doubt it.

And I didn't read the item by Michael Graham at the Boston Herald about Strzok being a D.C. disgrace.

And I didn't read about James Gagliano's feelings as a former FBI agent published on the Washington Examiner.

Because I'm busy right now doing other things like making ginger ale, real ale, I think mine is going to be like beer, and I'd rather draw pictures. Like this. It's a cartoon. See if you can guess what it's about. The subject is deeply concealed in arcane metaphor.


I lied again. 

There's no metaphor. 

Maxim 2

This is the second of three maxims addressing conflicts in speech between levels of rank. They were totally class-oriented back then.

Everyone was.

Forever, since the beginning of time.

And that presents a slight problem for authors of historic novels. Their main character will be stuck in his/her class, so their perspective limited. Very few people, relatively speaking, go upward or down. So the novelist's view of the world he describes is circumscribed by the class of his narrator. Good writers break out of this in some fashion, Great Gatsby is an example. Norman Mailer surveys the various classes of Egypt in the most obscenely imaginative way possible. His method of breaking out of this shows he was quite mad. The problem itself presented a challenge that allowed his imagination to devise something magical. Something amazing. Something nearly too rude to print.

Egypt was all about magic. The book of the dead is a list of spells. Their writing is magic to them. Their symbols have life. That's why the threatening symbols are damaged, to mar their potential for mischief and evil and destruction. The hippopotamus is marred in tombs and on caskets, the Seth symbol is damaged. They just couldn't die with those symbols around causing them trouble yet they needed them to express so they messed them up.

Mailer invents his own version of reincarnation, one based on magic, a brilliantly specific Egyptian form. It's so brilliant it actually pisses me off. As I read it I kept thinking over and over, how can Mailer be this smart? How can he be this perceptive? I pushed through with no small amount of jealousy, and a huge amount of admiration because I was imagining Mailer researching for his book, I could see evidence of his research, I could actually visualize his files as he researched, because he put it all out there, and I burned with admiration of Mailer's ability to study a subject to write a book and show what he learned, and understand more than I do thorough a lifetime of study and application. Some people are just brilliant.

Mailer's reincarnation had to do with a lower class merchant gaining success through business and also being obsessed with magic. In his first life he decided he'd choose his own mother for his next lifetime by sexing it up with her in his present life. His trick, and it's a real trick, is to perish as he ejaculates and impregnates her so that his spirit flows out of his body through his sperm into her wherein she brings him back to life, nurtures him and upgrades him. And that's how he changed his status from one life to the next, moving up in status each time. His first life he upgraded through military. The second trick is to remember what he did in his new life. So readers see life at the bottom in mud huts during the flood, where it's mud and slop and filth and animal excrement, smell and mosquitos, all around houses on tiny hills. The military recruitment is basically kidnapping eligible young men. He was a good soldier so that put him in propinquity with nobles. One of his lives is among the scribes. In that one he's sexing it up with the queen who's a raunchy woman. "You smell like horse."

"Indeed I did. I had just ridden bareback from the royal stables."

The scene where they're having sex is one of Mailers research file dumps. A file such as you keep on your laptop as you do research. Every time you encounter an object that could be vaguely referred to as phallic symbol, then jot it down and drop it into the file. But how to use such a file? You dump it all in one place. The queen talks dirty to the main character such that she spends 20 pages straight speaking first in Egyptian then in English, paragraph for paragraph, so the reader gets the rhythm and the sexy sounds of it, with emphasis on "ach" and "ich" sounds that pervade that language group, the percussion of it, the drive of it, then English so we comprehend how uninhibited she is, how dominating she is, how demanding, how ruthless. Mailer's entire file of ancient phallic symbols, and there are hundreds of them not mere dozens, this is the genius of Mailer. The man is insane. I laughed like a loon as I read Mailers,very very insane book. He captured the feel of the ancients with perfection. The man understands people. Mailer understood the basic depravity of people.

I saw that before a couple of times. The Sun in Splendor has just such research file dump. Jean Plaidy needed a character to spew all the medieval curses she encountered during her research. They're too  precious to ignore. But she cannot have her upper crust characters swearing all through her pages. It would ruin the style of her writing. So she introduces a character, a beggar on the road, a knight rides by and kicks him to the side, sending him spinning off the road, and the beggar gets up and raises his fist and curses the knight as he rides off down the road, "A pox on your house! Let the plague take you. Have your skin covered with boils and pus," and so on, mostly having to do with the black death, foremost on their minds. Then the whole rest of the book, nobody swears. And that character is not heard of again. He was needed to deliver Plaidy's research file. Because the thought of leaving those out was unbearable.

The queen's son busts his mom having sex with the lower class priest. Angry and untouchable legally, with legal impunity he drives a knife into the back of the main character, killing him as he's having sex with his mother, just as he is ejaculating. So his spirit follows his sperm into the queen. That lifetime transfer was accident. His murderer, a prince, is now his older brother. And that's how he advanced to the royal family. And readers are sitting there thinking, Jesus Christ, Mailer, you are insane. You actually thought of this. Mailer imagined this whole thing. Fascinating. But I'm certain that I'd never care to meet him. And if I did ever meet Mailer, say, at Aspen where that would be likely as meeting Leon Uris.

It could h-a-a-a-p-pen.

If they were still alive it could happen.

And if it did happen I'd be outta there like, ping. "Hey! Where ya going?"

"I'm outta here!

"Why so fast?"

"Because I read your book, you freak."

The second maxim says pretty much the same as the first. If you find yourself with an equal who's having an argumentative moment, let him go. Restrain yourself and don't respond. Then people who witness the episode will form a bad opinion about the other guy and a good opinion about you.

Rising to every challenge isn't always a good idea.

This is what gets people about Trump. They believe it's unpresidential to punch people back after his detractors keep punching upward. But the people who voted for Trump are really enjoying observing their president refusing to be everyone's hapless punching bag above all the ruckus like all previous Republican presidents. Reliably so. Trump messes up the reliable formula.

It okay for a Democrat to advise to "get in their faces" and "punch back twice as hard" but not a Republican. That's out of character.

Would Washington have punched back? Would Lincoln? I don't know. All that I know is for now the media's impunity has ended. Now they collude openly against Trump, by the hundreds,  and we laugh at them, because that's what they've been doing all along. And they're so easily ignored.

The video is short.

This time I'm showing the transliteration, the divisions between words and phrases. Then the experts' translation in English. That's a lot of help right there.  Then what I find when I look at the symbols as they've been divided. And we can see it's a writing form that's like racing wearing cinderblock shoes.

Monday, August 13, 2018

meat and tomato

There's no food in heaven.


Food is a function of corporeal existence. There is no such need in spiritual existence. Neither is there any need to go the bathroom for there is no residual portion from digestion.


There goes another thing worth living for.

Going to the bathroom?

No! Eating. Eating is worth living for. This simple meal is worth living for. Tomatoes in season are bliss. Honestly, this simple sandwich on homemade bread is to die for.

I meant to say live for.

The shavings of carefully cooked steak are tender as the tomato. The bread is perfect. This simple meal is heaven.

The early days of Aretha

She traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and made her first million seller. The story is fascinating and this clip is part of a much longer movie:

The natural sevenths that she sings are unbelievable - she brought the church to popular music. Them good ol' boys in bibby overhauls made it happen.

Law #1 Never outshine the master

Not quite the same as Chip's summary of Ptahhotep's first maxim:

"It's pretty good actually. It's saying if your superior is mouthing off then hold your tongue and don't let your advanced knowledge trip you up. Let him go on and restrain yourself then he will get the reputation of being a know-nothing."

It worked for a young person I know. He was counseled by an older relative to not complain about his boss to her superiors, but to give her enough rope. He followed the advice and ended up with a promotion.

In the service it's called following the chain of command. Now what was that movie where someone defined the chain of command as something they would beat you with if you did not follow their order? Really, I'm asking.

If reports are true...

… that Aretha is in grave condition then it is indeed a sad day for me. Here is one of my favorites from her vast oeuvre, recorded in 1972 and it still gives me chills.

Our American media is holding back important information they have that runs counter to the narrative that they have so much invested

Sundance exposes them with new findings, and he is en llamas. Buzzfeed, WaPo, and NYT all had unredacted FISA application for over a year and sat on it. This makes them complicit. Sundance says, "participatory." As such they cannot be expected to report reasonably on anything having to do with the Mueller investigation.

But we were already there.

This confirms what we already know. Now there is solid proof. They (Sundance) urge their readers to think carefully about these three recently discovered empirical truths:

1) The Senate Select Committee on Inteligence had the full unredacted FISA application on Carter Page since March 2017. And to recall what every member of that committee said since then.

2) The Top Secret leak of the FISA application by James Wolfe to Ali Watkins means Buzzfeed, Washington Post and NYT had the full unredacted FISA application. Again, they urge to think about their reporting since then.

3) The media have deliberately falsified their reporting and kept the truth concealed.

* Michael Isikoff admitted his reporting was being used by DOJ and FBI to advance a political objective.

* Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were leaking from the Clinton investigation, the Trump investigation and the Mueller investigation to journalists at Politico, WS Journal and Washington Post.

* Andrew McCabe leaked stories to media then lied about it to INSD and IG investigators.

* James Comey admitted to leaking stories to NYT, and hired Andrew Richman giving him access to FBI and NSA databases, then leaked information to Richman along with another friend Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare blog.

* IG report revealed dozens of FBI officials were taking bribes from media for information.

* Mueller's #1 counsel prosecutor was coordinating investigative efforts with the support of four AP reporters who gave Weissman information to use in his court filings and search warrants.

* Christopher Steele stated in U.K. court records that the person in charge of the Clinton Campaign's
opposition research firm, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, arranged for Steele to talk to several journalists, CNN, NYT, WaPo, Yahoo, Mother Jones, while Steele was also primary source of information for the FBI investigators.

Truly, on fire.

* Steele meeting with journalists, journalists writing articles, FBI leaking to media, then citing the articles as evidence to support counterintelligence investigations and to validate the documents the FBI was receiving from from  Seele, who along with the leaking FBI officials was also the source of the media articles.

* Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm financed by Hillary Clinton along with fBI officials who were using thier strategic media leaks to authenticate and validate their own investigation.

Much more at the link. And comments over there are worth the time as well.

Maxim 1

It's pretty good actually. It's saying if your superior is mouthing off then hold your tongue and don't let your advanced knowledge trip you up. Let him go on and restrain yourself then he will get the reputation of being a know-nothing.

But we have to have real experts tell us that's what it says because we'd never figure it out for ourselves. Too many words and phrases are not in the dictionaries. And there is no standard spelling and no standard pronounciation. Sometimes the arrangements are in the dictionaries but with different determinatives that change the meaning dramatically, say, from "little bird" to "death by impaling." Most frustrating. Plus the translations add missing characters. I can see now that this book on the best of Egyptian literature is insufficient to learn the language. We'd need fifteen such books, and comb them like nobody's business.

That just reminded me. Some things are fairly certain. Soon as you see them, generally, you can form an idea. Unless the sound of the sign is used for another word unassociated with the original meaning. Like the ibis.

There are several ibis signs and they mean different things and they have different sounds. But when you see this one picking through the sand on the shore then you can be fairly certain the idea is "find."  And I think that's cute as heck.

I like this bird. For its certainty. Because it's picking. Is that great, or what? 

It also means "gm" so wherever those phonemes are required you might get the sign for "g" and the sign for "m" or you might get this ibis, or all three. 

The one center far right, sitting down, is the one that you see little figures of all over the place. I have one. Blue wood with bronze neck, head, and beak and feet. See them on eBay, for example, when it's not represented as Thoth, Ebay [egyptian ibis]

Luckily, most writing you'll see chiseled in stone on temples should you go there to take it all in, is formulaic as heck. It's formal. Codified. So a visitor has a chance to read it. At least read the names of  the pharaohs and recognize the formulas. 

One time Zahi Hawass asked his assistant, a young American working on her doctorate, annoying as heck because she is unfit to explore, if she knew what the hieroglyphs said on the tomb of Wennis. Also instantly identifiable by the hare representing "wn", Nobody else has that rabbit in thier name. You see the hare in a cartouch and you know instantly it's Wennis. 

She said, "Yeah."

He asks, "What?" 

She said, "Offering." 

He exclaimed excitedly, "YES!" Such a bright little girl. He was thrilled she could recognize a common formula seen everywhere. And the cameraman is all over the place. He cannot hold steady for three seconds. He swings back and forth sweeping across the hieroglyphs then on to something else that has his attention. He had no interest whatsoever in the stunningly clear hieroglyphs. And I'm going out of my mind because I wanted to read the offering. How much cattle was sacrificed? How much beer and bread spread around to the priests, how much linnen and fowl, what are the quantities? Is it a long formula or a short formula? Which god is it to. That would tell us how big a deal the dedication of the structure was. But mere "offering scene" satisfied Hawass. He assumed from that she knew all of it. She probably did. But we didn't get the chance to discover that. Their language is just not that interesting to people. Shame. Because they're telling us everything

As to the absence of common spelling I cannot be critical. Our own language lacked it since forever until recently. I was reading exerpts from Meriwether Clark's journal in Time magazine (before they dropped off into the deep end) and cracked up laughing at their clever typesetting. I doubt this was accident. They wrote Clark sounded out his words as he wrote and he didn't know how to pronounce some of them, spelled the same word differently at different times,  that Clark was an incredibly imaginative 

*turn page*


That's how these hieroglyphs are. Incredibly imaginative. I can see by the end of this book we'll be just as lost as we are now. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Learn by doing

Andy George asks some stupid f'k'n questions. I found his channel by watching videos on pickles in which he explores and makes the dumbest possible mistake of confusing brine fermented pickles with regular acid canning. Then seeks help from a pro pickler (who oddly refuses to reveal her exact ratio to her solution, succeeds with real pickles then challenges the claim that anything can be picked by pickling the most ridiculous things imaginable like bread and sandwiches. Then actually tastes each one. Fascinating. As hangglider crashes are fascinating.

Here he makes a man's suit from scratch. The effort is poorly conceived, hemp pants, wool vest, cotton shirt, silk tie, and alpaca jacket. Visualize that. It's already a mess before even starting. And even imagining it, the suit is too hot. For Inuit inside the Arctic Circle.

But along the way some twenty videos are combined into one. George sheers a sheep. George goes to Texas and picks and combs cotton. George harvests hemp with hippies in Colorado. George sheers an alpaca and felts its wool. George grows silkworms and unravels their cocoons and spins their silk and weaves fabric and sews a tie. George spins and then weaves the cotton and hemp. George sews his suit.

We see again all of the things that we already know from a lifetime of exposure and explaining and films, being rediscovered by a new generation: the brilliance of specialization; the things that people spend their lives perfecting pulled together in unimaginable ways, delived to us in their profound excellence, and cheaper than possible otherwise and far better than anything we could ever do. Andy George learns economics the hard way, and it's entertaining as all get out.

Greg Gutfeld

This is one one the few shows that I miss by cutting cable. Here Gutfeld talks about Trump absorbing attacks and his guests talk about journalists equating themselves with U.S. military protecting our freedoms. (In which our freedoms are conflated with their Party and military hazard is ignored. They get more ridiculous with each passing day)

Copying Jaques Pepin

This is funny to me because I did the same thing. And I used the same accent when I did it. But I didn't do it all at once. My trial occurred over years. Decades, actually.

I'm digging his editing style. His clips of himself, and his choices for music are excellent. I appreciate that he's cameraman, director, editor, and actor, comedian, and instructor and cook. You might say, he's a flake. But that would be missing what he's doing. And he doesn't need us. His numbers, of subscribers and views, are impressive.

Instructions of Ptahhotep

Ptahhotep is all over the internet. I'm amazed. Portions of it are. Nobody seems comprehensively interested. At least there is apparent insufficient interest to tackle the whole thing. Bits and pieces spread all around, and the utter nonsense is ridiculous. Care to see some ridiculous crap? Who wouldn't?   YouTube [ptahhotep].  Any of those will do. They make me barf. Some are good. They actually study the language. I've read PDFs that start out interpreting but then give up after the introduction, and others that don't include all the parts. Nearly all don't include all the parts.

The translations are interesting because they have the same intermediary transliteration as if they're copying each other and not writing what they see for themselves, but with differing translations. For example "ib" means heart. The picture looks like a vase with two handles.
It's actually the heart of an animal. It's in the category of "Parts of Animals" and not in the the category for "Parts of Human Body" and not in the category for "vessels of stone and pottery." In each instance of "ib" my book translates "mind." I suppose this comes from the comprehension that Egyptians didn't know what the brain does. It was discarded at mummification where other internal organs were mummified separately. To Egyptians then all thinking occurred in the heart. While some online interpretations have "heart." And that's what I see. But the author of the book that I'm using is smarter than all the rest of us and his translations are on a whole different plane. And when you think about it, mind and heart are nearly interchangeable in modern language.

Most material online doesn't recognize the fictitious elements. Titles for the king's son, for example. Much of the material is fiction but it's treated online as real. Many online sources believe that Ptahhotep, the actual vizier, there were a few with that name, actually taught students how to behave.

But none of them go the distance. This thing is outrageous. This goes on for 59 pages. There are three introductions. Then a prologue. Then the maxims. Then seven conclusions. Apparently, it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to wrap things up.

The maxims are the main interest. It's very Confucius-like, as they're discussions of how to deal with your place in society. They're about how to speak. They're things like; how to deal with an argumentative superior, an argumentative equal, an argumentative subordinate, Maat, trust in god, table manners, slander, behavior when successful, behavior toward someone successful and so on. You'll see as I get to them.

Here are the three introductions crammed together, and the prologue.

I know the presumed sounds of these signs like the 100-year old wrinkles on the back of my hands. (This is so distressing. I used to have artistic hands and now I have cadaver hands.) So I stopped writing them. I sound them as we do in English and other languages, and that makes the prologue run a lot faster without bothering with what I see and how Allen transliterates what he sees. These transliterations are really annoying. I include them to show the differences.  So far, they're nearly useless to me. Often, they don't even match. It's like they pull things out of their butt to force fit what is written into something that's sensible.

Then another possibility is, my dictionaries are what is known about hieroglyphics, and their language evolved over two millennia. My book is specific to Middle Egyptian so resources don't match up completely any more than Old English matches nicely to modern English. It continued to change, quite a lot actually, after the period I'm studying.