Saturday, January 12, 2019

Dragon fruit from seeds

I bought two and both were on their way out in just a few days. Boy, they sure don't last very long.

I didn't dry out the seeds as people do, because, pffft, why? They germinate right inside the tomato on the counter when I don't get to them so enough, and I figure this is how nature intended. The white stuff is food for the seeds, not for us. 

The seeds work best with sunlight to germinate. So everyone says. That means best on top of the soil. But I sprinkled the merest possible layer of soil on top of them. Only one granule thick.d

The seeds absorb moisture and form a gel around them like chia seeds do. Say, an even teaspoon of seeds will absorb 1/4 cup water.  If you'd like to see a dude completely freak out about that, here. After watching the guy run his fingers through the non adhesive gooey mass, another dude in comments wrote, "I think you need to be left alone with your seeds. Ha ha. Just kidding." 

So they're in their little dragon fruit terrarium. 

Transcripts of Lisa Page's testimonies provide new revelations in Spygate scandal

Spygate. Pfffft. Whatever. It works.

This report is so deeply in the weeds that it's insane. And yet omits so many species of weeds that it makes a weed survey nearly worthless. You won't like it. Reading it is 10x more wearisome and taxing than deciphering ancient and remote language behind Egyptian hieroglyphs. And I mean it. First you have what was said, boring, and then you must read between the lines, doubly taxing and boring. Finally you must collate with what is not said, and none of that is any fun.

Key takeaways listed on the Market Network by Jeff Carlson. Synthesized from original reporting at the Epoch Times from transcripts that were leaked. So then, for whatever they're worth.

* FBI considered investigating President Trump for obstruction before and after James Comey was fired.
* DOJ refused to pursue gross negligence charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of private email server to send classified information.
* Steele's handler was FBI agent Michael Gaeta, head of Eurasian Crime Squad. He received the dossier from Steel in July 2016
* FBI maintained a verification file for the Steele dossier that Congressional investigators did not know about.
* DOJ National Security Division headed by John Carlin was kept abreast of the FBI activities through FBI Deputy Director McCabe.
* Page worked with Bruce Ohr for five years and had met his wife Nellie.
* The role of FBI Agent Jonathan Moffia and DOJ official George Toscas was greater than assumed.

The report reveals the dates Page and Strzok joined the team of special counsel Robert Mueller, but it does not mention they were put there in the first place for their known intense hatred of Trump and their loyalty to Democrat Party. Instead we are told she was chosen to bridge the gap between what the team knew and the (bogus) evidence they gathered (contrived by underhanded means) on the collusion investigation.

Page agreed to work with Mueller for 45 days and at the end she left for ... wait for it ... spend more time with her children.

Page traveled only once while she worked for McCabe, to London. With Strzok, and three others. But not Bill Priestap, FBI head of counterintelligence. Page was prohibited by FBI counsel for detailing the purpose of her visit. To meet with Steele, obviously. Duh.

Prior to working for FBI McCabe, Page worked within the DOJ under Bruce Ohr.

[Bruce's wife, Nellie, worked for both CIA and for Fusion, hired for access to protected information and for her Russia expertise. She, of ham radio interest, is the person who wrote the Steele dossier. Steele sought complementing information then fed it back to American intelligence by various means. Steele cleaned up Nellie Ohr's work, separating it from American agencies to that those agencies could claim they were given credible information (that their members created).]

Page read memos written by James Comey almost in real time. She reviewed most of his memos the next day. Others also had access to Comey's memos. But not Strzok.

Page denies bias.


But says FBI focussed more on Trump than on Clinton.

Of course.
“If you were weighing resources with respect to which poses a graver threat to national security, which is more, frankly, important, there is no doubt—at least in mine or anybody else’s mind that I know—that the Russia investigation posed an incredible threat to national security, and whether we got into the Weiner laptop simply did not.”
Page returned to this topic several times.

What a strange reality partisan loyalty creates. Selling the office of State Department to the highest foreign bidders and laundering that money through protected foundations, and redistributing to political allies, and setting up a private server to conceal that activity while simultaneously opening the transmission of state secrets to spying is much less concern to DOJ and FBI lawyers than ridiculous charges presented in obviously bogus and partisan dossier about a political opponent during the late months of an election year.

And keep repeating that, Lisa Page, the more you say it the more real it becomes in your mind.
The notion that there might be more emails that have not previously been seen that existed on Hillary Clinton’s email server just simply don’t even enter into the realm of the same room of seriousness. The Clinton investigation involved activities that had taken place 3 years prior. It’s an entirely historical investigation.
The notion. A fancy little notion. An idea that flutters through the mind briefly then disappears. The high crimes of state, and felonies, and RICO-rich material is just so three years ago. Now the subject is going to be president. And this Trump guy's activities from birth, and everyone who ever spoke to him, are far more important.
In the assessment of the Counterintelligence Division, they still don’t even come close to the threat posed if Russia had co-opted a member of a political campaign. 
Except there wasn't any co-opting. You didn't know of any, you couldn't find any and you couldn't properly create any. And now we have Mueller investigation taking over your three illegal Trump investigations specifically to protect the departments that your partisan loyalty destroyed.

Much more at the link to the Market Network.

If you choose to click over, you'll see more about Page not caring for Hillary Clinton, and about the influence of DOJ on not prosecuting Hillary Clinton. How the DOJ loaded the FBI-Clinton interviews with their own people.
There was a great deal of discussion between the FBI and the Department with respect to whether to proceed, obtain the server which housed the bulk of Secretary Clinton’s emails, pursuant to consent or pursuant to a subpoena or other compulsory process.
Right. But candidate Trump is a much greater threat to National Security.

* Emails to a third party

* Commentary on the DOJ
She is so loathed, she is a very polarizing figure, Secretary Clinton, and so we all knew it was 100 percent consistent and universal that she was—there was not a prosecutable case. And we, the FBI, thought that that message was more credible coming from the FBI, who is independent and is not a political sort of body, in the same way that the Justice Department is being headed by political appointees who have closer relationships with the White House.
* Gross negligence and intent. They get hung up on the term gross negligence, and that being prosecutable. While setting up a private server to conceal transactions of State do not require that term. The fact is that DOJ would simply not prosecute Hillary Clinton. The entire section is precise legalese rigamarole.

* John Carlin's role. This section is interesting for its contortions. Carlin was a political appointee who was kept abreast of investigative activity. When there were conflicts Carlin would contact McCabe and make his team's pitch.

* Brennan's role.
I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.
Devin Nunes previously disclosed that no official intelligence was used to open the FBI's investigation.

This section gets deep into Brennen knowing about the Steele dossier before the FBI did, and using that (bogus, contrived) dossier to brief Harry Reid.
... if Director Brennan—so we got that information from our source, right?  The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did, because the first time we —
* FISA Briefings and White House knowledge.

* Steele's FBI handler.

* The FBI's verification file and the dragon FISA.  FBI is putting pressure on speedy FISA warrants 4 weeks prior to the election. They want to ruin Trump and ruin him good and fast.

* Page's Russia Bias.
Russia poses the greatest threat certainly to Western ideals of any of our foreign adversaries. And we have vast foreign adversaries.  But even the threats that are posed by China or by Iran or North Korea or others doesn’t speak to sort of the core of Western democracy, right?
Stop it. You're killing me. Your boy-Jesus told us to tremendous sustained international laughter during debate with Romney that Russian threat is so last century. And nothing is so threatening to our democracy as corruption within our government departments such as your overtly biased official actions and private communication reveal combined with your official inaction in not prosecuting Hillary Clinton selling her office to foreigners for her own political gain and revealing state secrets.

"You mean wipe as with a rag?"

* Comey's draft memo. A few questionable elements about the draft are highlighted during Page's questioning. More nonsense about the term gross negligence upon which so very much hinged.

* The insurance policy. After babbling.
Perhaps realizing she’d been less than perfectly clear, Page attempted to clarify her position, noting, “this reflects: Let’s be reasonable, let’s not, you know, throw the kitchen sink at this because he’s probably not going to be elected, and so then we don’t have quite as horrific a national security threat than if we do if he gets elected.”
* Kortan's role in Page's leaks to the media.

* A possible obstruction case. This section is remarkable for its inversion. The illegal FBI investigation is itself obstruction. It's interference with legal election. It is an actual coupe by government departments. The case is the crime, and Page discusses in reverse view the non-crime being investigated by criminals as authentic. She's still in Mirrorland looking back through the separating glass at reality imagining she's one of the good guys and not a refection herself of evil personified.
Page: Sir, I need to — I need to take back my prior statement. 
Rep.: Which one? 
Page: Whatever the last thing I just said was. Sorry. That there were no discussions of obstruction, yeah. That is — I need to take that statement back. 
Rep.: So there were? 
Page: Well, I think that I can’t answer this question without getting into matters which are substantively before the special counsel at this time. 
Rep.: Well, I think you’ve just answered it by not answering it. Was Andy McCabe privy to those same conversations? 
Page: I can’t answer this substantively, sir. I’m sorry. 
Rep.: Well, were these related to some charges, whether obstruction or other charges, potentially against Donald Trump? 
Page: I can’t—I can’t answer that question, sir, without getting into the substance of matters that are now before the special counsel.
Ah yes. The special counsel set up to take over 3 bogus FBI investigations that went so far south over fake foreign dossiers and FISA warrants all by anti-Trump partisans and other foreign anti-Trump agents, that they had to be turned over to an entity that has no such legal constraints as FBI, for the protection of corrupted agencies. So that Lisa Page can say things like this while Mueller with unlimited resources is off digging, scrounging, snorting for tidbits that resemble crime instead of prosecuting actual known government crimes such as committed by FBI and DOJ and Secretary of State.

The original story at Epoch Times.

The top 3 most beautiful things

Tristan Newcomb, Never Got Famous. Not that many YouTube videos, but each one is gold.

I believe that you are better prepared to understand this comedy than the British who wrote they do not understand it. They, who presume they comprehend satire and also state flatly and repeatedly that Americans do not. "Americans don't understand satire" is axiomatic among British.

F.U. You not being funny is not the same thing as us not understanding ridiculously low-level satire based on miscomprehension. 

They have it backwards. Their comedy is stupid bullshit, and Monty Python proves my point. Their so-called satire is adults acting ridiculous and that being funny; Ministry of Silly Walks, Dead Parrot, Taunting from Castle, Attack of the Killer Rabbit for examples, not one them is actually funny. Their political satire is even worse, all informed by the songs of the Borg, the hum of the hive, the soothing sounds pervading their sleep providing the material of their dreams and their awakened imaginings. It's oxymoronic socialist humor. It's dull and childish and surface and 100% wrong. And for those severe limitations they couldn't satire their way out of a paper bag. Their best material is absent so they use what they've been spoon-fed; pap prepared for infants. And homogenized mush is not funny.

But Newcomb is American genius. 

He is positively unrelenting. His character is drawn out from reality and extended to psychosis such that it could even be real. You're not even certain that you're being put on, it's that dry.

We hear it's not funny when it must be explained, but let's explain anyway.

Just in case you are British.

The top 3 most beautiful things are not the most beautiful things to most people. These 3 things are top beautiful only to a particularly specific mind. A singular mind. And running along an incredibly narrow track. Only one person. It's a list for one single person.

And you were expecting something actually beautiful.

And that's hilarious when presented as if it would be general as the key frame misleads us with kittens and flowers.

Come on! The character this man has developed is real psychoses surviving in the real world, in American society, misperceiving everything yet based in that reality. Getting hung up and strung out on tidbits, as we do. A bit frightening when portions overlap your own thoughts. His thought-character is made hilariously solid. His thought-struggles are real!


Are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me?
Are you taw king to me?
Are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me?
You must be talking to somebody else.

And her Lady Godiva hair that we must see fully displayed is all the hair that she's got. All of it is pulled to the front. On purpose. We notice it's important psychologically for her to have us see all of the hair that she's got.

Because it's such a massive pain the ass to maintain, hair all over the place, all over the bathroom, all over the bed, clogging the drains, clogging the vacuum, waking up in the morning with hair in her mouth, picked out of her food, even seen in the unread pages of new books. How does that even happen? A pain to wash and even greater pain to dry. Looks terrible when not clean. And most of all shown unnecessarily in her videos.

I know this because I had more hair than that.

You see, I had fantastic hair, like Sampson but without all those overbearing muscles rippling all over the place like a maniac, but my dad wouldn't allow long hair. So at seventeen years of age I got all ballsy and said, "fuck this chickenshit outfit. I'm tired of being bossed around" and I left. And grew my hair down to my butt just to prove a point.

A stupid point, but I proved it.

And I was fre-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e.

To fail in every way possible.  Except being arrested. And I learned things. Like short hair is a lot better. Especially when it grows thickly like a dense string mop. My hair was truly glorious. But way WAY WAY too much trouble to bother.

So that's how I know.

Finally, with that out of the way, literally, she tells us everything we already know about beans. So she must be talking to somebody else. She could have put her hair up or tied back before starting, but it was too important that we see it first. That's the main thing. More important than beans.

She's talking to somebody else. Not me. Not you.

Let's watch anyway to see what other people don't know about beans. And have pity for them. Her real audience does ask questions in her comments section. She had better say not to add anything acid until the beans are done. And she should not say that about salt. It's the pH that toughens the surface of beans, not salt, as widely believed.

I'll tell you my secret to great beans. And this is top secret. Add anything that you like, *whispers* pork, and I mean anything *whispers* jalapeño, but you must add some kind of *yells* fat, and you must add something *yells* sweet and something *yells* sour.

Did I mention cumin and cilantro?

I like watching children. Watching them grow is adorable. Watching them teach one another is fascinating.

Then from the ethereal plane Jesus goes, "I know, right?  Like I'm watching you."

And I'm all, "What? Jesus, are you talking to me?"

Friday, January 11, 2019


Overheard at Lem's:

Sixty Grit said...
I am back in ASL class and one of the movies assigned as homework is "Through Deaf Eyes". Your comment reminds me of that title. I also recommend that movie to anyone who wants to learn more about the deaf community.
Wasn't there an old song that had some lyrics involving seeing what someone heard? I will remember it eventually.
January 11, 2019 at 3:19 PM

Was it this?

Classic Moon. I idolized Keith Moon in my teens.Well not the person but his attitude and style on the drums. But when I got a chance to see him play in 1976, he wasn't much like that. It was kind of like idolizing Marlon Brando and then getting a chance to meet him and he shows up looking like Marlon Brando did in "Apocalypse Now."

And I wrote about something fishy at that Who concert: Who played Madison?

CNN disinvites KUSI after learning San Diego wall actually works

Well, seeing how your discussion will not contribute to our narrative then just forget it. Have a good day.

     But we'd really like to be on your panel. 

I said, "good day!" 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

WKRLEM: I saw the Peter Jackson World War One Documentary

If you see one movie next year make this be the one you see.

Joe "The Boss" Masseria

"Honey, we don't like anything soft. Everything we do is hard."

Anthony Anderson, Ghetto MacGyver

How otallytay upidstay.

Ghetto because a flat head screwdriver would lift off the plate and because of the deplorable caulking of the marble shower.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I know nothing of Emily Dickinson

But while watching a comedian on Netflix this evening I heard him recite the following poem:

I dwell in Possibility 

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

The show is entitled "The Bill Murray Stories" and I recommend it. I'll try avoid spoilers, but it is more about philosophy, living and being than comedy. He read that poem to some workers who were working on a poetry place - I have no idea what that place is, but it was being built and Bill showed up and read that poem to them while they were on break. Mr. Murray leads an interesting life. He took the lessons he learned studying improv and applied them to his life. That made me reflect that perhaps that's what life is - we are all doing improv, some days we hit our marks and carry it off, some days we miss our mark and are carried off, but the show does go on.

We have had some very pleasant weather but since winter will be back soon I have been being productive while I can. First up, a walnut bowl:

The wood for that one came from a tree that blew over here in town due to a microburst in the year 2000. I sawed the tree up and that wood has been drying ever since. Now is the time to make something out of it. That is thing one.

Next, a bowl I turned out of a piece of SpectraPly I was given recently. I hear it is very colorful:

Here is what the chip pile looked like:

It got so cold today I burned all that, plus a bunch of other scrap. It was briefly tolerable out in the yard.

Yesterday afternoon I set about finishing this bowl:

I rough turned it nearly 2 years ago to the day. The wood is red maple with some ambrosia going on. It is a live edge bowl, that is, the bark is still on it. Stop by sometime and I will explain how that is done.

That tree, and another similar one were given to me by a nice woman who lives over in the big city. I gave her two bowls from those trees - she will keep one and leave the other with the house when she sells it. She lives in a house that was part of a historic homestead (read plantation) with a name you would recognize from the news. Anyway, she is a lovely woman who was lookin' out for ol' 60.

Here is the sunrise the other day:

I almost missed it - the sun is rising earlier every day and I was tired, wanted to sleep in, but peeked out the window and then hustled out to snap that picture. No telling what it looked like a bit earlier, but I will say this - in another minute or two it was gone. The sun had moved and the light had gone off that lower cloud. Sometimes they stick around, other days, bam, you snooze you lose.

Trump the big fat stinking liar

Don Surber, CBS caught Trump in a lie. Hilarity ensues.

Trump said one in three women have been sexually assaulted traveling to the border.

Fact check: Between 60% and 80% of female migrants traveling through Mexico are raped along the way, Amnesty International estimates.

Surber asks, who is in charge? Ralph Wiggums?

*looks up Ralph Wiggums*


Netflix racist comedians

American black comedians are incredibly funny simply describing the truths in our culture. Acting out situations from street perspective. Describing their home life. Contrasting how they see different behavior by different types of people without stating overtly so on the nose that their commentary is about general racial differences.

But they must keep up. That crap was old forty years ago.

I watched  Katt Williams on Netflix for a good ten minutes and the man never got off race. He began by calling out different races and nationalities and had the audience clap for themselves. He had his audience self-identify by race. His point is his audience is mixed race.

We know that, Dumbass. We're in it!

Then the audience is brow-beaten by mischaracterization of Obama and how everyone misses him. How fine and tender and appropriate he was as president. How black people finally go theirs. Never failing to do the right thing. How his whole family was perfect for the White House.

Then a mischaracterization about Trump not caring about anything.

The act goes like this: race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race race. Stop!

Then I switched over to Jo Koy, who stepped onto the stage, "Look at the audience. All different colors. Our audience sure is diverse."  *click*

F. U., Racist comedians. All of you.

I have no idea how funny the acts of these two men developed. Maybe they both got past their race-obsession. I wouldn't know. They lost me by their up front overt racism.

As did John Leguizamo Latin History for Morons. Funny in parts, ultimately its racism throughout, its tiresome preaching, overburdens its comedy and so collapses to humorless shit pile.

Before tonight, the composite young comedians act suffered the same race dominated fate. One after another, until the whole thing was dumped for something non-racial.

Each comedian from differing racial backgrounds discussing their "unique" perspective but not from a "look how my family differs from cultural norms," rather, "America sure is racist and makes life difficult for me." Not this highly diverse audience, of course, not any of the comedy show audiences across the whole nation, of course, but out there in the country at large. Of course.

That is the hive mentality. It's extremely racially divided within the hive.

Collectively, the preachy liberal bastards speaking from their collective hive mind are not funny outside the hive. Informed entirely by the buzz of hive, including liberal news media delivering corrupted information about the world, that forms the structure of their acts, in a constant hum, the songs of the Borg in their earpieces through the day keeping them company so they're never alone, keeping them connected throughout the night in their sleep through their dreams. Outside of the hive mind they are simply not funny.

I recall a time forty years ago when Bill Maher was actually funny. I recall marveling at his unique perspective. As standup comedian. Given any ordinary situation, Maher could see something different and articulate it such that his audience would think, "I noticed that too, but it never occurred to me to pinpoint it so incisively." He is genius at picking out the paradox that exists in everyday scenes.

Traveling around together, my younger brother told me, "You know, Bo, you are one funny motherfucker." And that right there is hilarious coming from a born again Christian guy who prays all the time in the manner of Jesus.

I told him I was a bit worried about that because there is a very thin line between humor and straight up cynicism. The things he is laughing at are the cynical things I point out given any everyday situation. I'm worried about allowing myself to becoming overly cynical. About everything.  Yeah, it's funny. For now. But when that takes over and characterizes my personality then it's no longer funny. Just wearisome. You can always count on me to point out the bugs in your bouquet. The thorns in your lemon tree.

But at least I'm not a f'k'n racist. Gawl!

Surely Netflix can find comedians who are not racially oriented. Surely. I'll find them. I can eliminate quickly, skip through entire acts, one after another, forget their names, give them no energy, and stick with the people who don't mention race, but describe it such you know what they're doing, who pinpoint the oddities inherent in all situations and do that without being overly characteristically cynical. Humor is art. From what I'm seeing on Netflix, today's humor is artless.

Trump's first national address, the crisis at the border

Trump began by saying it is his sad and regretful duty to report tragic news relating to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg ...

Psych! Just kidding.

The whole speech is recycled material. It was not intended for us. It was not intended to inform low-information voters who don't watch such things, although it might. And it was not intended to change any one's mind, although it might. Rather, it was advised by White House legal team as legally defendable first step to declaring a national emergency; address the nation and declare a crisis. Then call on Congress to act and provide guidance. When Congress fails to act on the national emergency, then take executive action. The speech is short and sweet to the point. The first part is rather mechanical the rest more natural.

The prepared rebuttal by Schumer and Pelosi is material for comedians. Stiff as boards to avoid the dreaded body language experts, the two steps of first recording the hostage message and then the embalming are reversed.

 Care to see the speech? 9 minutes.

 Care to see the rebuttal? 5 minutes.

Text of Trump's speech, transcript, White House.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Kellyanne Conway and Jim Someone with CN-some letter

Massive Petrochemical splitter transported in Edmonton

Seen on Smalldeadanimals where Kate remarks, "You should see this thing corner." 

Review: Almond Joy vs Bounty

Should be Mounds vs Bounty but anyway. There's something a bit off. And I like it.

Blue Man Group, I Feel Love

I like this a lot and it does't bother me that I anticipate you'll hate it. Your taste in music is particular.

But I would like your opinion on a comment that does bother me.

I noticed this on a British site. It's not their usual sort of thing. Yet they connected to this. They like it, and that surprised me.  But they did not connect with the audience in the video. Odd, that. Because I noticed nothing unusual about the the audience. But they did. I was imagining whoever even goes to a Blue Man Group concert? Nerds, that's who. People who like nerdy things. I'm supposing. It's odd entertainment. Not something I'd think of attending. And if invited, then I'd have to be convinced. If I did go, then the purpose would be only to be with my friends and watching something weird. What other purpose could there be? Who even goes?


* What the fuck is up with that audience?

   * Proto-Hipster Cunts.

   * Americans.

F. U., British Assholes. You like the show but not the show's audience. I like your site but not your site's British members. Not one bit. And if you had spoken that instead of writing it, you'd sound even worse. And you are the precise reason why I have zero desire to even visit your sad sick little island populated with babbling mongs. You are intolerable.

The video takes awhile to get going, but when it does, it really goes. I'm surprised Blue Man Group could find a nerdy woman who can match Donna Summer's vocals so well. I could be wrong, this looks like a Las Vegas sort of thing.

This video is ten years old and commenters love it.

HO trains

My dad collected HO scale trains before he was married. After he was married and had kids of course the trains thrilled us. And not just regular thrill. The trains put us right into an imaginary space. We'd see the trains at Christmas.

Fascinating how they got those little bitty trains to have so much detail when the larger train sets had less.

One fateful day around Christmas at an isolated radar site in the Pennsylvania mountains, my dad left a floor buffer untended. He wanted the floors to be the shiniest possible for the holiday, a value we did not comprehend. The machine was way to big for any child to handle. Nonetheless, Barry and I tried it. We climbed on top of it to ride it like a bronco. Sitting on top of the motor, Barry reached up to the switch and flicked it on and before he could turn it off again the machine suddenly ripped an arc across the already polished floor and tore off the leg to the table in the corner holding the Christmas tree and train set. The whole thing came crashing down onto us. The train spilled across the floor, thin glass bulbs broke by the dozens, tinsel was strewn across the room, train pieces and tree decorations were intermingled and broken and we freaked the f out. We scrambled to put it all back. But we were little kids. How good could we possibly get it? Repairing the table leg was completely beyond me.

Oddly, my story ends there. The spot where a memory of consequence is blank. I have no recollection of being punished for that. Maybe punishment didn't happen. Maybe we did put it all back and nobody noticed. And that's weird.

But at the last house I never saw the train set up. The interest was there but always only in idea form. Dad took us to a place where they sold all this stuff and he continued to collect pieces that he purchased from flea markets.  I saw dozens and dozens of unopened boxes of train cars and pieces of model towns, pieces of nature to scale, material to create background, liquid plastic to make lakes, spray texture to create pastures, hundreds of little trees, miniature automobiles and trucks, tons of track, bridges and switches, enough stuff to open a store, but nothing was ever set up. Just collected. It took up a whole storage cabinet in the basement along with more boxes stacked to the side of it, fascinating all by itself and we wondered, "Man, this would make a fantastic scene if he ever got around to it." It would fill a whole room.

Barry wrote yesterday telling me that he gave the whole lot to a train enthusiast at his church.

And this whole time I thought it was already gone. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Summer resupply in McMurdo Station, Antarctica

From the Ice Pier in McMurdo Station. First the Coast Guard comes in and breaks up the ice, next the research vessel, the cargo ship and then finally the fuel ship.

*turn off sound. Your own mental music is better.

Be the first on your block. Only 936 views.

shower curtain

I had the best shower curtain ever. Patterned rectangular blocks and squares on the diagonal in rich Egyptian colors, deep blue, blood red, and tan. A masculine and classy thick heavy cotton fabric.

But thirty years of the same pattern is long enough. Wouldn't you say? Time for a change.

But I cannot find anything nearly so good. And I've looked at thousands. No exaggeration. I looked at all the places that specialize at this sort of thing and I kept seeing the same things over and over and over  end over end over Andover Andover until my eyeballs went out of their minds.

Why don't I just draw something and have it printed as they do? That's still an option.

I drove to Breckenridge just to have a slice of the worst pizza on earth. Along the way I took hundreds of fairly good photographs. One that I like that was taken with a wide angle lens shows a copse of Aspens in Spring. In large size the photographs looks like you can walk right into it. Less so printed on canvas. It's hanging in the bathroom so you have something to look into when you're standing there making a wee. If you're a dude. And that could account for why I have to keep cleaning that area so inordinately often.

I wanted the shower curtain to create sort of a theme without being overt about it. I wanted the curtain to suggest a forest, not be one. It should be the same palette of tones.

No luck.

I bought one that came close and I've hated it from the beginning. The vertical stripes are actually dentine and do not suggest tree trunks similar to the photograph. Fail.

So I abandoned that idea. The new curtain must go.

Instead, I'll go opposite the color tones. From green, white, tan, and brown with black flecks, to white with red and black. 

The old-new one with varied green and tan vertical dentine stripes looks horribly old-womanish. Something picked out for a nursing home. Gawl!

This one is feminine. No it's not. Yes it is. No it's not. Yes it is. Whatever. Hopefully it brightens up the space. When you're sitting there making do.

Pork belly fail

I was exhausted. And I knew that by the number of near falls and the alarm that causes in people nearby. My body hurt and my legs were failing, my ankles and foot-bones that suffered so many injuries were protesting to their extreme. I was up through the night translating hieroglyphics and it was going too well to stop. So there I was now. Wasted. My bright-eyed boyish look abandoned me. I had the appearance of an old war-beaten veteran. It's no wonder people treat me with such tender respect.

Half the people at the Chinese market do not speak English. And they don't understand American gesticulations. As you know, tofu has little to no taste, but the tofu they make there is the best that I've tasted. Its texture is the best. I wanted to tell that to the guy who makes it. I held up a package and gave the Chef Boyardee "OK" sign and "thumbs up" sign, two signals I thought would work positively. But he kept pointing to where they are at, where I just picked up one.

I asked four people where I will find spring roll wrappers, the brittle unrefrigerated kind, usually seen in large stacks such as prepared tortillas are displayed around here. But nobody knew. Then, there they were in a gigantic display right on the edge of an aisle on two tall upright shelves devoted to them with stacks of various sizes. I didn't know that they come in square shape too. As much fun as I've had there, I've only seen the interior periphery. The vast aisles in the center are yet to be explored. It will be jars and jars and jars and boxes and bags of thousands of things that you have only a clue about. On the edge by the spring roll wrappers inside an aisle, I saw GIGANTIC bags of bonito flakes, the exact type I've been ordering from Amazon.

Imagine the potential.

Anyway, back home I fell asleep after the pork belly was put into the oven on low heat.

Seven hours later it was burned.

To an impossible crisp.

What a f'k'n bummer!

One sliver in the middle was salvageable. I ate only a portion of that. It was oily and gross.

Had I done this in the pressure pot, it would have turned itself off. But then it wouldn't have been genuinely roasted.

Back to square one.

* cumin
* hot New Mexico mixed chile powder
* dry mustard
* salt
* black pepper
* brown sugar

* generous liquid smoke

Insufficiently intense. 

That's okay for now. Live and learn innit. As I say, university cost a LOT more than this, and this is a lot more fun. Plus, I have other experiments to get to. I want to try whipped fresh coconut cream mentioned in comments. I think that's a brilliant idea. 

Did you know that Amazon sells dull knives that are curved to work out the white part of coconuts? Nearly 1,000 reviews

I'm going to be buying a lot of coconuts. 

Fun with pork bellies. Fun with coconuts. Fun juicing everything imaginable. I bought seaweed and fresh water chestnuts to juice them and see what happens. Whole worlds of food related experimentation are opening up and a few failures here and there are expected. 


Thirty-five years ago the Jesuit University where I finished an undergraduate degree required eight hours of religion and eight hours of philosophy and we were all, "What? "

The philosophy class compelled us to read a book that now I cannot even find, that's how great a book it was. By Martin Buber, if I recall it correctly, Build Bridges Not Walls. Now a ton of books have that same name but none by Martin Buber. As I read it, I kept thinking, Buber is different from the others. Not nearly so serious. He didn't spent the first two million pages defining his terms like all the other philosophers did. He could have written the book off the top of his head. I couldn't understand why it was required. It was like candy.

The Chinese wall seems incredibly isolationist viewed from the present. 

I was in kindergarten when an iron curtain had descended from Stettin to Trieste. Now there's a visual image to arrest a 5-year-old mind. Those must be pretty strong curtain rods. I kept hearing the phrase and I kept wondering what that looked like. And then finally I saw it!

In the basement of my school. 

It was the most clever thing ever. I marveled at the ingenuity. There were actually two of them that divided the entire area. They were dividing walls that folded and tucked inside their own closet built for them behind the regular walls. When the school needed to divide the basement area then they would drag out the folded walls to stretch them along their own tracks in the ceiling. 

Closing them back into their storage space sounded like this:


Shut the door, boom, wall gone. 

I was so excited to put that together. Finally I understood what everyone was talking about. 

But why be so emotional about it? 

I learned that wasn't quite right.

We viewed it as East Germans keeping their people in. After all, they shot people trying to escape. More largely, though, they were keeping our ideas out, so they could keep their precious little world free of our contaminating influences. 

And now we're doing that.

I don't like the idea of a wall. It goes against my tender sweetheart nature that enjoys the idea of people going back and forth as they like. Free. Like angels.

But that's an absurd fancy notion that falls apart when confronted with socio-political-economic reality.

The Chinese knew what they were doing and why; a reasoned solution for their time and their situation. And the East Germans knew what they were doing too, for their time and their situation. And so on through history across the globe. Entire cites were circled by walls to give the place a chance from marauding armies.

And of course we build bridges. With gates. Bridges and walls are not mutually exclusive. While opening our minds to accepting others for enhanced communication doesn't preclude protecting ourselves from invasion.

Not all cultures are equal. That's apparent by such large numbers escaping their cultures. When you come not to assimilate but to change the host instead then you're bringing your ruin with you. 

Adam Ruins Everything on Netflix has an entire segment on why a wall would invite more immigration than it would prevent and I was in no mood to hear a Canadian explain his conceptualization of an American situation with no serious challenge. He doesn't think up all this by himself, his writers do his thinking for him, and I was no mood to listen to all of them. I would be having a private argument with his entire staff. I stopped listening. I've reached the mind-block stage of intense liberal indoctrination. That bridge is gone. Destroyed by overuse. Go ahead and run your little show, it cannot penetrate my psychic barrier. Nothing gets seen, nothing gets heard. Go yell at the sky.

I notice Steven Crowder has a longer video debunking this one.

But to debunk it, Crowder had to first watch it. And I'm not willing to do that.

Sunday, January 6, 2019


Check out this mash up:

It's kind of like Keith Richards collaborates with Nancy Reagan.

Dolly gets off the best lines: "I could be in 4 Non Blondes....Lord knows, I'm not blonde."

Deep into the clip, someone asks: "Did it feel different to you, working surrounded by women?"

Dolly: Oh Lord, I have been working with women all my life -- I have five sisters, my aunts, all my I love women...I love men too."  [big laugh].

Linda Perry gives Dolly a huge compliment regarding her work ethic and makes it sound like Hollywood musicians are slackers.

All in all, I'd say that Dolly made huge inroads into the first letter in LGBT. And here I only thought G's admired her.

Here is a rough version of their collaboration:

And here's how Linda Perry got famous:

Journalist Alex Newman provides a geopolitical sweep