Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tank Mk9

By Jamhamster on YouTube. The title is actually Crap Tank Mk9. By his description it's a 40 kilo skid steer RC tank powered by electric scooter motors, now with added Claw.



You're privileged. The video has less than 500 views. 

President Trump starts fight with a mentally retarded person

Actually, the mentally retarded person started the fight by saying something outrageous about Trump in a somewhat public situation, but everyone knows presidents of the United Sates are supposed to let mentally retarded people say whatever they wish.

Politics marches on!


Vocabulary

Seen online. People actually used these words to communicate. Maybe they were trying to lord over us with their superior vocabulary.  Maybe they got lost inside their own head. Maybe they speak those fer'ner languages all the time. Maybe they are just whacked.

There are seventy-six entries. Some are duplicates. I'll take the whole file of "new words" and dump them into the old file of "words" The laptop will stop the ones already there. Hang on.

* gammon
* interstitial
* kayfabe
* locus classicus
* suppurating
* thimblerigger
* tisane

Some words are so strange that your brain rejects them for you. Your super editor caring for you.  Those are duplicates. I'll add a "2" to their title so I have both definitions. That way we tell our brain who's boss around here.

Other words seem too easy. I don't know why they're here. We see them all the time and know them. They are not obscure. I must have been accidentally high again.

* affinities
* circumflex
* Gramscian
* imperium
* incommensurable
* inter alia
* interstitial
* jizya
* metonymically
* numinous
* plenum
* revenant
* roundelay
* sangfroid
* skein
* solipsistic
* suppurating
* triturate

What was wrong with me? This is embarrassing. It seems to show that I'm going brain dead. Again. I just have to face the facts. I'm losing it.

Here's the new list:

*  aerophone: Any musical instrument that produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound.

Clue: certain aerophone
Answer: oboe

*  affinities: A natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship. A natural tendency or ability to use or do something. Relationship by marriage. An inherent similarity between persons or things. An attraction or force between particles or chemicals that causes them to combine.

Elites do not see their fellow citizens in exceptional terms of the affinities of a common language, shared history, or sovereign geography.

*  ambulette: A specially equipped motor vehicle for transporting people who are convalescing or have mobility issues.

A teenager who was pushed in front of an ambulette and killed likely lost his life to the same subset of Trinitarios gang members who killed Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.



*  Basta cosi: that's enough.

*  bedlamite: A mentally ill person.

Ms Langmuir goes on to share other tales of bedlamite sorrow.

*  beguine: A ballroom dance similar to the foxtrot, based on a dance of Martinique and St. Lucia. The music for this dance.

Begin the Beguine

*  bobodon: word doesn't exist. some stupid shit J.J. Sefton (Ace, morning report) made up. bobo is urban for  a liberal, highly educated person who combines a bourgeois, affluent lifestyle with bohemian nonconformist values and attitudes.

*  bursar: A professional financial administrator in a school or university.

 UC Berkeley takes a hit in the bursar's office for censoring conservative students

*  caparison: An ornamental covering for a horse or for its saddle or harness; trappings. Richly ornamented clothing; finery. To outfit (a horse) with an ornamental covering.

[images show electric guitars]

Clue: Equine trappings.

*  casemate:  a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired.Originally, the term referred to a vaulted chamber in a fortress. In armored fighting vehicles that do not have a turret for the main gun, the structure that accommodates the gun is termed the casemate.

Sometimes erroneously written casement

In this casemate Jefferson Davis, president of the confederate states, was confined, may 22 - October 2, 1865.

[images show cellphone covers]

*  cherce: Urban dictionary, "choice."

Not much meat on the links today but what we got is "cherce," so let's get with it.


C-Span Trump

There are several one-minute videos of this interview posted around a few places. This is the full interview.

You could have answered Steve Scully's questions yourself for President Trump. It's a little bit disappointing when you can predict all the answers. But that comes from having paid attention all along. Let's make it a game.



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chopper presser, Elijah Cummings smackdown edition

I love these things. I have never found an American president this interesting. Italy's Berlusconi was similar but Trump is more accomplished and more combative, less refined and more extroverted.


Boy asks Flash and Wonder Woman for help

A boy is temporarily separated from his father in a crowd at Comicon and freaks out so he goes to the superhero he knows and asks for help.

If you've ever been to one of these conventions you'll know the boy could have approached anyone and they would have helped. On the surface they seem odd, due to the costumes and the hobby, but they're actually all quite beautiful people.

If only Flash could go *ping* and disappear then reappear, "I'm still looking." *ping* disappear again. Reappear again. "Still looking." *ping* disappear again then reappear with his dad.

C-5M Super Galaxy

The largest Aircraft in the U.S. Air Force.



How the U.S. president travels. 

Bill Pulte's plan for demolishing abandoned houses in inner cities

Pulte's awareness is that abandoned buildings are magnets for crime in inner cities. His solution is tear them down in concentration form by the thousands.

Undiscussed is why rebuilding them in concentrated form is unacceptable. Let's guess. Too expensive, messes with the housing market, not worth the trouble, lowers home values generally.

Young people kill themselves in high numbers because the challenges they face in modern America are too great for them and home ownership is at top of the list along with paying for education required to get employment in advanced society. Those two things put thriving in America out of reach for many young people. From their tender young point of view. Here is a chance to affect that but the money is spent building better cities by destruction instead of rebuilding homes by construction. I suppose you'll say the buildings are too far gone.

Through all the tours that I've watched of all the dilapidated homes in Baltimore, each time I was thinking what it would take to rebuild them and get them back on the market.

But I'm an impractical bleeding heart.

Sock it to me. Set me straight.



Surprise homecoming

People like to play tricks on their family; spook them, scare them, punk them, set them up, give each other heart attacks. Because ... who else ya gonna do this to?

Matt Whitaker discusses John Ratcliffe replacing Dan Coats.

Whitaker is former acting Attorney General. He also discusses the status of AG Bill Barr's continuing reviews into prior DOJ and FBI misconduct. Whitaker says Ratcliffe will look at the combined intelligence apparatus for systemic issues and failures for how the investigations were started and the FBI and CIA engagements with other countries.

Whitaker summarizes U.S. Attorney John Durham's focus on the origin of the intelligence operation against Trump as candidate and "prosecuting any anyone that needs to be prosecuted."

Very quietly, tucked into a sting of declaratives the teeny-tiniest sentence crammed to compression so tight that it's barely noticeable and overlooked by the interviewer, Whitaker says that U.S. Attorney John Huber is reviewing "anything related to Comey's memos and the like." Sonic Boom. And you cannot see the jet that made the earth shake.

The president can declassify anything. He merely has to say it and it's automatically declassified. Documents are another matter. If any department has an issue with declassification they can stop it. Departments have been producing declassified documents with heavy redactions, half the text blacked out. It turns out they're protecting themselves from embarrassment  not protecting the United States.

Trump turned over his declassification authority to Barr. Dan Coats was a known inhibitor of declassification, a known Department protector from embarrassment. Now Coats is gone. It's expected this week will be a filled with unhappy surprises for people in Departments that attempted a silent coup.


Joe diGenova is confident that declassified documents will begin to made public starting Wednesday July 31.  [Telephone interview]


Chicken Jerusalem

Artichoke hearts, boom, it's suddenly Israeli.

This is my style of cooking. Fairly careless. As he went along I kept waiting for him to toss in some herbs then finally he drops in some scallions.

Everything is better with wine and butter.

And I mean everything.

Except possibly cereal.


I think artichokes are an example of making food out of a weed.

It's a huge thing with a tiny edible portion.

Artichokes are weird fer'ner food.

We ate the leaves. You steam them, then pull off the leaves one by one, dip them in melted butter, and pull them between your teeth, so you end up with a huge pile of steamed pointed leaves with Bucky Beaver teeth scrape marks in them. And you're still very hungry.  It's weird. All that for so little. Then finally the heart, but underneath the fuzzy hairy choke. The weed is ridiculous. And that proves people were starving and went for anything. And now they have chic-status. Too expensive for too little to bother. Boo.

I think this cook got his little bitty artichoke hearts from a tin. Or maybe frozen. Plus there were only three. Too few to change the title to Chicken Jerusalem.

I thought he said at first chicken breast with bone in. That makes a huge difference because cooking with the bone adds considerable flavor. But then he whipped out two flattened boneless breasts.


Reaction to Dolly Parton's song "Jolene"

Two dudes listen to a Dolly Parton song and give their reaction.



Their reaction is better than my reaction.

Siberian Husky temper tantrum

The dog wants the woman to turn on the water. The woman wants to take the dogs for a walk.

I wonder why the woman doesn't turn on the water and let her dog cool off. I expect they have layered coats. Splash in the water, shake it off and then go for a walk. What was the problem with the dog being wet?

In the video description the woman writes Huskies are intelligent but have low motivation to please their owners.

The Belgian owners I know call themselves handlers. They don't actually own the dog, rather, like cats it's more of the dog owning them, and Belgians handle their handlers. From what I saw there is a very good deal of back and forth to tremendous effect.

In the previous rat hunting video they were using dogs and minks to catch rats and the guy said the Border Collie wasn't interested in actually catching the rats, it appeared to be trying to herd them. I thought that was funny. The instinct of the other dogs is to kill the rats.


This video has 19,000 comments on YouTube to 9.5 million views. 3 thousand people didn't like it. What's not to like?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Eine kleine Nachtmusik


I wandered lonely as a cloud


That floats on high o'er vales and hills.


With blue above and orange below.



The light through the window slats kept being an incredible orange. I thought it would go away but it kept intensifying. Clouds make the sunset, not just the color. And there aren't any clouds. Finally I go, fine. I'll look, just before the whole color-show ended. 

Troop likes 'em old

Here is yet another example of one of his favorite brunettes - well, it's actually the same actress I posted last time. This is from a 1956 episode of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, and every story is 100% factually accurate and every one of them is based on a true story that really happened.


She must have had a clause in her contract that required actors comment on her beauty every time she was in a scene. Well, not every scene, but at least a couple of times in every episode. Hmm - she was born in 1931 so she would have been about 25 in this picture. And about 88 today. Just Troop's speed. And Troop is a bit younger than her boyfriend Larry King. Maybe.

K.D. Lang, Crying

I didn’t warm up, I haven’t sang for a long time, I’ve never rehearsed with this band. You’re putting me on the spot here.

So we get to hear how a top voice does this cold.




Induction forging



The process involves an electromagnetic field and conductive material.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

120 rats destroyed by mink and by dogs

The YouTube title says "not facts and logic."

I don't get that.

By Joseph Carter, the Mink Man.

This is for our friends in Baltimore.

Conservative sites refer to Orkin for rat infestation information. Baltimore is 8th after Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Detroit.

After Baltimore, Seattle-Tacoma, Dallas-Ft. Worth.

It's a thing right now because Representative Elijah Cummings started a fight about conditions at the U.S. southern border, a point missed by most U.S. reporting on this new dispute. They pick up the story at Trump's response citing Cummings' hometown a rat infested poo-hole.

We all know, Trump picks his fights with clarity exceeding the perspicacity of his sparing partners. He wins these types of disputes. He counts on American media corruption to cover them inaccurately and in biased form, while most everyone capable of independent thought see through the shoddy reporting. Trump thrives in chaos of his own making. His chaos out chaoses the chaos created by Democrats. It's infuriating. And it's splendid to watch in real time. Eat it, Democrats. You totally own rat-infested cities. Chew, Democrats, chew.

In the meantime, let's enjoy some rat hunting. This guy makes fun out of dread.



Patricia Dickson: The America that I experience is not racist



The sitch-u-ation isn't this ... black and white. 

Yesterday was interesting. My friends are not racist. Nevertheless, their fairly large parties are purely white. Now, why is that? 

Two came over yesterday to help me get rid of a large aquarium and its cabinet/stand. And bring up a new replacement aquarium and replacement stand. 

They're so adept and they work together so well they made it look easy. Plus they went well beyond that. They pulled out my carpet cleaner machine and hand-scrubbed the area before using it. They did the dishes that were in the sink. They hung out all day, took out my trash, straightened up the place. They stayed busy while waiting for a pizza.

The call box is out of order so two of us went downstairs. A black man parked in front we assumed he was delivering our pizza. It turned out to be my neighbor, Barry, who lives across the hallway. He greeted us in a gracious manner and asked if were were waiting to go inside imagining I didn't have my key. 

Then another black man his age ran up to him and totally invaded his space. A younger muscular man, Dexter, another resident of my building. This man is extremely outgoing and he knows everyone and gets into as many things as possible. He asked me to take pictures for his portfolio. 

Then a black woman, Cynthia, lives down the hall. Tiny, attractive, she likes me because I gave her a few plants upon returning from a nursery. Last week she encountered me on the street returning from a walk at the point where my legs were giving up. I was having a very difficult time walking. The pain was incredible. That particular moment was horrible. It's the point where people decide they need a wheelchair. But having been in a wheelchair, it's the point where I decide I needed to keep walking more everyday. Still, a terrible broken down moment. She didn't have to say anything. I could read the pity on her face. 

Now this moment with my white friend in passing again outside she puts her hand on my shoulder and asks me how I am doing before moving on. 

All this in the span of five minutes waiting outside for the pizza. If he didn't already know differently my friend waiting with me would think the whole building is mostly blacks. 

Second unrelated racial-related anecdote

Painting an Airliner in Gouache—an hour before boarding

That's the title on YouTube. How gauche.

Step 1: dress like a boy.
Step 2: give the TSA guy $20 to let you sit there and paint

Gouache: Opaque pigments similar to watercolor in that it can be re-wetted. (Watercolors are transparent.)

He speaks too slowly for me. I watched this video impatiently, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, done. Maybe you can do better with it than I did. I admit that I'm impressed with the result.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

WCPE-FM



Dog watches rodeo on t.v.

Seen on Small Dead Animals.

Give us your best Bob Mueller impression

It's a Daily Caller thing. Everyone does the same impression.



Love the instantly pervasive lightly cold-hearted humor. Forevermore the name will be Robert Can You Repeat the Question Mueller. Acquired late in life.

Trump organizes a new deal with Guatemala

Boy, things sure do happen fast with this administration.

Guatemalan Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart and acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan signed a joint asylum agreement. Guatemala is now a safe third country, meaning any South American migrants intending to pass through Guatemala must accept Guatemala for asylum and not the United States.

He's winning all over the place. If our media weren't so hopeless they'd be lauding Trump's successes but they're so corrupted themselves his success read as defeats for themselves. That's why they're the enemy of the people. Pretty much everyone that I know still rely on them for information and they're each very poorly served.

This week alone:
1) The Mueller hearing was a total disaster for Democrats who now all look like perfect jerks.
2) Guatemala signed this 3rd party agreement
3) Supreme Court allows 2.5 billion transfer of DOD funds to build border wall. This is a huge win for Trump. Vote was 5:4 with the liberal judges voting treacherously. This overturned a lower court decision.
4) Democrat squad was humiliated
5) Fake News Media yells "racist" again.
6) House Speaker Pelosi diminished.
7) Democrats are now seen as Socialist party
8) France put on notice for taxing American technology companies. Trump insists if anyone taxes American companies it will be us and not them. Trump adds, he always said American wines are better than French wines.
9) Sweden put on notice over A$AP rapper.
10) U.S. trade representatives instructed to take action to stop rich countries from cheating the WTO system at the expense of the U.S.
11) Apple moved to China despite American tariffs intended to bring China to true free trade then asked Trump for waiver. Trump said, "Bite me. Make your McPro parts in the U.S. instead."

Don't watch this. He's reading. It's boring. He tells us what we already know.


Watch these instead.


Kevin Rose tosses a raccoon down the steps

To save his little dog, Toaster.

Rose is co-founder of Digg along with other internet sites, Revision3, Pownce and Milk.



I didn't think animals could throw things, but that monkey does fling the raccoon.

One time a guy told me dogs are amazed we can throw things. That's part of their fun in retrieving is being a part of us doing something so amazing to them. Come on, come on, come on, let me see you do that amazing throwing thing again. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Boris and Natasha must die!


There were many problems on the Bullwinkle show. There was the problem of Rocky the Flying Squirrel's satyriasis. He banged anything that moved. He had affairs with every cartoon character in Toon Town. His bouts with Betty Boop were legendary. That is why she sounded so funny. It was because of all the rabid squirrel come she had swallowed. 

Then there was Bullwinkle's homosexuality. He had many beards through the years. I mean he went on a date with Natalie Wood for crying out loud. But then so did James Dean and he was a big old homo. Bullwinkle always had a young protege in his entourage that he was banging in his trailer between takes. Many a young actor in the early sixties passed through his clutches as they worked as his "assistant." Robert Redford. Sal Mineo.  Jack Klugman. Dennis Hopper. Even Jack Nicholson when he was down and out. They were a constant problem on the set with their drug use and wild sexual antics.

Mike Roe on TED

By way of performing as apprentice to a sheepherder family castrating young sheep, Mike Roe explains anagnorisis and peripeteia. It's classic Greek up in here!

Flydini

The Great Flydini.

Steve Martin on Johnny Carson 1992

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Trump vs Sweden

On behalf of American musician A$AP.


Denim magnifying glass case

1) I have a magnifying glass that I use all the time. Every time I pick it up the thing must be cleaned. Apparently it's also a dust magnet.

2) Working on another project I spilled Gorilla glue onto a new pair of jeans. I tried soaking the area in fingernail polish remover a million times. Possibly twenty times. To no effect. The glue is in a noticeable spot. All the birds check me out, it's a thing with them, and the spot is right there. Where the checking out occurs.

So the pants have to go.

Size 30-34. Personal history is there's a good chance I'll be that size again so I'd much rather keep the pants but not with that spot on them. This is a sad tale of woe and terrible waste. I'd much rather keep the pants. They've been sitting around on the 2nd bathroom floor with the bottle of fingernail polish remover purchased just for this. Everything's a waste of cash, time and effort.

So I cut off the bottom leg and made a cover for the magnifying glass.

I sewed!

It took ten minutes to thread the needle with one of those needle threading things.

Finally I got the needle threaded by turning on my superpower vision and by using the magnifying glass, but mostly by using the magnifying glass. 


These pants were originally tan. I dyed them green. The dye is great but it works on natural fibers. The stitching is synthetic so the stitching sticks out in white. 


Ew, I hate that glue to pieces.





Finally no more stinking scum dust on my magnifying glass. 

It is summertime

High summer, in fact. We have had a couple of cool days after last week's heat wave, and that has been a welcome break. This morning I took my dog out for a long walk, we both needed it:


Here we are on the back straightaway - it was very nice out there walking in the shade. Even though we had torrential rains earlier this week the river is right back down to drought stage as the watershed is quite small - water pours down from the sky, clogs up and floods everything briefly, then drains away in no time at all. I didn't even take a picture of the river - it was just too sad looking.

I made a couple of colorful bowls this evening:


They are colorful. 

And while I was resting after today's walk I decided to watch some television. One sees the darnedest things on the ol' tv - today I learned that both Grandpa and Uncle Herman served together on the NYPD - who knew? I know Trooper knew that, and maybe he can explain where Marilyn was while this episode was being filmed, but who knows?


There's a holdup in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights...

Some things never change.

Boris and Natasha Must Die!


Boris and Natasha were estatic. They had finally fulfilled their destiny and won the approbation of their fearless leader. You see Natasha had managed to seduce a young New York Real estate mogul who had grown up on their cartoon and had a fetish for Eastern European floozies. Natasha met him one night hanging out at Studio 54 with Margaret Trudeau and Andy Warhol. The young pup was just feeling his oats. She let him feel something else. She took him home and they went around the world in eighty ways. All while Boris was in the closet. Not with his sexuality. But with his camera.

They did nothing with the photos until forty years later when that young horn dog was elected President. When they tried to get him to change his policies toward the Motherland he just laughed. "Get in line Nasty, there are hundreds of bimbos with photos."

The Fearless Leader was not amused.

(Jay Ward and Alex Anderson, Rocky and Bullwinkle, E True Hollywood Story)

Boris Johnson

Two things. But before those, the hair.


It was thicker last time I noticed. 

But still cut as if he did it himself with scissors in his own bathroom. He grabbed clumps and snipped. He's wealthy, so this is how he wants to look. He wants his hair to be a mop on top of his head. This is his choice for himself. 

Sidepanel: 

[I was having lunch on the roof of a friends carport with a small group of other friends. Across the street a small red-haired woman entered her car and just sat inside it. I noticed she took out papers and read them. She had her checkbook. She balanced her checkbook. Her red hair was frizzled and ratted outward so that she looked like she stuck her finger into an electrical socket. 

Right then her two teenage boys ran up to the car from behind it, jumped onto the trunk then onto the roof and flew onto the hood then kept running ahead. Both of them did. Like this BANG BANG BANG, then BANG BANG BANG. Two animals leaping over the car.

I said, "The woman's hair is the perfect outward expression of her internal mental status. She is what she shows us." 


That put an end to the lunch. My friends cracked up so hard they couldn't continue. We were done. They knew the family. They knew the boys were driving her insane. They were nothing but trouble. And I mean nothing but trouble. She went out to her car for a moment of solitude and peace, and the boys would not leave her alone, and her hair expresses her near suicidal frustration.]

In the video below as Johnson is speaking he reaches into his hair and messes it up a few times as if scratching his head, but he's actually messing up his own hair. He draws attention to his hair, he draws energy from his hair. He uses hair-fiddling as physically expressed verbal pauses. He is not scratching his head. His hair is like Samson's hair was to him, Biblically speaking. 

Toby Young writes an awesome description of Boris Johnson for Quillette. Young met Johnson in school. He is thorough, the young Johnson to the present day Johnson, the virtuous Johnson with the profane Johnson, the statesman Johnson with the schmuck Johnson, the good, bad and ugly of Johnson. 

Young encountered Johnson at Oxford Union debating society. Johnson was disheveled, an oversized schoolboy with imposing physical stature, thick neck, broad forehead. Young imagined Johnson as Viking. 

Johnson spoke as if he were making a parody of theatrical, dramatic, self-serious British politics and the next moment seem to forget where he was. He asked the audience which side was he supposed to be on. Then proceeded before anyone could answer, in even more oratorical manner. Then within a few seconds suddenly realize the opposition has an equally compelling argument for the opposite views. So he flip-flopped for fifteen minutes giving the impression that he was some random person pulled from bed and dropped into debate room at Oxford Union without a good idea of what he was supposed to be talking about. 

Young knew how merciless the crowd was at Oxford Union toward those who came unprepared. But Johnson's chaotic approach had the opposite effect. The motion was deadly serious, "This House Would Reintroduce Capital Punishment" yet everything that Johnson said provoked laughter. Johnson was no ordinary undergraduate proposing a motion, rather, he was a Music Hall veteran performing a well-rehearsed comic routine. He came off as less the unprepared debater and more as someone sending up all the other speakers as well as the pomposity of the proceedings. Viewers sensed Johnson could have delivered a highly effective speech if he cared to but he was too clever and sophisticated and honest to enter into such absurd charade; to do what everyone else was doing. He was openly insincere and by being so, somehow he seemed more authentic than everyone else. 

Trump's House of Wings

I saw one copy on YouTube but it's slathered over by CNN propagandists taking out all the fun of it and smearing their own diaper poo. SNL over a decade ago.

Trump in!

Friendship tree

Dead.

D.E.D, dead.

Emmanuel Macron gave President Trump a live oak as symbol of friendship. They made a big photo-op dealio out of planting the thing using a golden shovel.

Psst. Don't tell anyone. Whispers: It's a regular shovel spray-painted gold. Trump is like Midas he likes everything gold.

It was all show. 

The tree was immediately dug up and placed in quarantine as all live trees must. Whereupon by chance or perhaps by neglect or maybe even by lack of genuine friendship the tree perished. 

And let this be a lesson. 

Whenever passing off an oak tree to represent enduring friendship between nations, pick one with leaves on it. 

Or else you're actually saying, "Here, have some sticks of friendship." 


"I was never actually a gardener type." 

But that's the thing.  We gardener types learn by making mistakes. 

We're thinking, maybe it was the gold paint on the shovel.

Post-Mueller presser

Featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, Intelligence Comittee Ranking Member Devin Nunes and Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan.

They're feeling their oats.

All Too Familial

I'm heading back to Madison in the morning. My mother suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage this afternoon and is hanging on by a thread. She's unconscious and the doctor's prognosis is grim. I'm in such shock that I barely remember biking home from work.

Here is something I wrote about her a few years ago:
_______________________________

My mother was born in small unincorporated township in Richland County, Wisconsin. Her ancestors were Anglo-Saxon peasant stock, farmers mostly, but some were property holders. There’s a famous [locally] geographical feature named after her mother's family north of Madison.

Born in 1937, she wasn't a depression child and yet wasn't a boomer.  She was a middle child and had older siblings: two sisters and a brother [added: she outlived them all]. I heard stories of siblings who died tragically: an older sister near her age who accidentally burned to death as child; two others died in infancy. For quite a time my mother was the youngest in a poor but relatively happy family. But something happened.

I never knew what my grandfather did for a living -- itinerant may best describe him. He was a talented gunsmith is all I knew. I met him once -- when I was about 8. He left or was kicked-out by my grandmother when my mother was young. The family then moved to the small town of Richland Center. She has memories of him meeting her after school and of him carrying her piggyback and giving her treats, and of her mother then taking away those treats.  A reconciliation was attempted around the time that my mother must have been 7 or 8 and two more siblings--twins (a boy and a girl) resulted, but the marriage ultimately failed.

My mom was raised by a single mother in the 1940's and 50's in the days before being a single mother was commonplace.  She babysat the younger twins while my grandmother worked nights in a restaurant, eventually working herself to any early death. My mother claimed that she raised herself, watched over occasionally by older siblings and by a neighbor woman, who was also either divorced or widowed. These women -- my grandmother and the neighbor, were key to developing her character. But the misfortunes of others played a role too. As an adolescent, she watched her eldest sister marry, have kids, and then descend into single motherhood by the fault of an abusive and alcoholic husband. She became determined to escape that cycle.

She was good-looking and met my father while still in high school. They dated for a year and then married a month after she graduated from high school. She had my brother and then me and raised us before returning to school when I was 8, getting an AA degree in dental assisting (just like Goldie Hawn in Cactus Flower my dad teased her). She eventually ditched the dental assisting.

She outlived my father who died in 1995. She was utterly miserable for a few years but then, five years later, met a wonderful man who became my stepfather.  He's been a wonderful companion for her and he's a millionaire (on paper) [added: I'll be seeing this wonderful man again tomorrow]. My wife says that my mom will now live forever.

Here she is front and center with some diving friends when she was 28 or so. The photo was taken by my dad.  That's me and my older brother looking on (was my head really that big?).  The photo was taken at Devil's Lake, WI circa 1964.


I'm eternally grateful to her for raising me. She made all those untold sacrifices that many women did in her era as a homemaker before the term became somehow pejorative. Of my parents, she alone was the one who encouraged me to go on to school after high school and she made sure that my father was on board too (he preferred that we boys learn a trade).  She had seen the lasting damages that wrong choices had on individuals and families and was determined not to pass these things on whether by nature or by nurture.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Troop's favorite brunette

I watched some Perry Mason episodes from the 1950s. Season one episode 23 featured a woman referred to as "a good looking brunette", AKA Angie Dickenson.


A later episode included a Bufano sculpture in the frame:


That one is still extant out there somewhere, or at least it was last time I was there. 

While I was going through my old pictures the other day I found one I took back in the 1970s. This is the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.


Bufano did some friezes around the original version, who knows what's up there now.

White House press masochists assemble for their regular Chopper Smackdown

They ask perverse and irrelevant Democrat-designed questions and Trump smacks them down. It's a real pleasure to watch. Too bad we don't see their faces or hear their names but we can guess.

They're aggressive howling jackals. Judged by their uncouth public behavior. Utterly ridiculous by anyone's standards.

It's fun.



John Ratcliffe shoots Weissmann's and Mueller's dogs and ponies.

Ratcliffe dismantles Weissmann's and Mueller's interpretation of DOJ rules.

As you know the Democrats last dying breath of resistance is to put on a dog and pony show by dragging Mueller in front of Congress for extremely tightly scripted questioning. They do this while keeping America's southern border wide open to veritable invasion and while our country thrives under Trump leadership.

You might not know that Nancy Pelosi released Democrat "Mueller Blitz" designated talking points (pdf) to get her people on track. It is long and utterly ridiculous. Too ridiculous to waste time on. It's a document of serial lies. Debunking it would be a massive waste of effort better spent doing the dishes.

Mueller has a stolid scary face but that's it. Behind the no-nonsense military general visage is a marshmallow. He is not leader of the investigation. He did not choose his team. Rather, the team was already in place, already active, and they chose him. They're the same team of people who protected Hillary Clinton from Ben Ghazi investigation, the same team that organized the Russian collusion narrative against Trump, the same people who tacked together the FISA court inquiries to spy on Trump campaign, the same group that organized the resistance to aggressively protect FBI and DOJ by attacking Trump, the exact same people on the investigative team who selected Mueller as their leader, the same people leading this impeachment effort against the will of the people.

So having Mueller testify, is dangerous for them. He is following, not leading the group, and frankly, he doesn't know what he is talking about. He doesn't fully comprehend the distorted efforts of his bizarrely whacked team. Notice the real team leadership is sitting right next to him during questioning.

Ratcliffe tears Mueller a new butt hole and it is glorious to watch. Mueller sits there stunned like the dope that he is unable to answer. Ratcliffe shoots the dogs and ponies jumping and prancing around Congress today.


There are many more videos along these lines.


Empty Nest Challenge, Mouse Trap Roulette

Cute dog accepts photographic suggestions

Or does it?


SNL 1986, Penn and Teller

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Another tradition

Listening to serene music prior to retiring.


Live at the Fillmore West. I have been by it, never in it.

I used to commute an hour and forty five minutes each way...

...when I was working in the D.C. area. I listened to the classical station WETA during these long drives and their announcer Bill Cerri had a tradition of playing certain songs at certain times of the year. This was one of them, and I got to know it well:


But familiarity did not cause me to grow fond of it.

Another tradition was this song, which I did grow to like and it became a tradition in my family:


Sadly Mr. Serri had a stroke while on the air and later died. That is an unrepeatable tradition. 

R.I.P., Mr. Serri, listening to your show was a tradition for me and I learned a lot about classical music during those years.

White Castle sliders


I went to a White Castle in Englewood only once.

At that time, mumble-mumble-ifty years ago their little hamburgers began as a meatball. The meatball was smashed on the grill with a spatula to such thinness that it cooked in fifteen seconds. As sixteen-year-olds we could easily eat five.

The buns were steamed separately.

"Hey, do you want to go to Newcastle?"

     "I only have a couple of dollars."

"That's perfect."


10 crops to plant late July.

I like her.

I.D.


Karma over there in India

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go-oh-oh-oh.
Kicking you is easy so your colors will match your m-e-e-e-e-a-n-ess.
Red, black and blue, red, black and blu-ew-ew-ew.



Diving board, lake, boy, dog

Three second video.

Toxic masculinity

NAACP Convention, Pelosi's stuttered speech

You don't have to watch. A few seconds will do.



No sympathy.

Retire already. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Why?

Because.


Because twice as much cowbell is almost enough:


We drove like bats out of hell, that was the way of our people:


The conversation:


This one keeps disappearing from the intertubes - watch it while you can.

Bad grammar notwithstanding

I can't find an ASL version of this song:


My search fu is not good on YouTube.

Rashida Tlaib bounced from 2016 Trump event

Want to have some fun?

This is a 10 second video of a crackpot being ejected from a political event screaming at people she disagrees with.

She actually went there to do this.

Good going, Michigan. This is who you hired to represent you.



Navy Seal climbs pole to fix an American flag barely attached

“After a 3.5 mile run and being smoked from the previous attempts, this was my fourth attempt at trying to get up and fix the flag. Literally had to visualize what I was doing wrong and what I had to do to correct my inefficiencies in order to improve for the next attempt.”
America! Fuck yeah.

More at Daily Wire.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Three days in July 1969 that changed the world

The 18th:


The 19th:


The 20th:


We all have our burdens to bear.

Here comes Mr. Hand

President Trump attacks Thomas Friedman

About his chin.


I laughed so hard I was choking.

The president of the United States speaks like a UFC fighter. Hitting low. Sounding adolescent. Trump called Friedman "The Chin" and I fell out laughing. 

I've never seen a president behave this low class, this hilariously. None have ever been this funny. I imagined myself with other people incapacitated with laughter, hearing my own laughter getting physically weaker, hearing myself literally dying from laughter.

And now that the hysteria passed it's no longer that funny.

Now it seems normal. Rather prosaic. 

Our president is prosaic. And hilarious. 

The man kills me.

Apparently Trump was speaking to somebody else on his cellphone when suddenly the opposite end put on Thomas Friedman. Their conversation went pleasantly. Then Friedman wrote a column contrary to his telephone manner. 

Everyone knows by now when you do that Trump will punch back devoid of any compunction. Absent any traditional presidential restraint. Trump's attitude is, 'why show manners to unmannered people?'

It's the opposite of Lincoln attaining manners from rural cabin beginning. Rather, with Trump it's more being born into manners and deigning to street-level. Sinking to street-level, if you prefer. That's the thing that's hilarious. Mannered people count on manners and rely on restraint of high-minded office, but Trump doesn't give it. Then simultaneously he and the queen of England have such a great time together. She probably finds him a breath of fresh air like the rest of us do. 

It's effortless, thoughtless, natural, rather childish. But so was the thing that Friedman did. That was extremely low class. Friedman actually speaks to the president of the United States and then trashes him in writing. And now he has to go around being self-conscious about his flabby chin. 

I feel another laughing fit coming on. 

My laptop shakes off my lap from my laughing again. 

I would never think of identifying a prominent physical feature and name the guy after it. My appellatives are more crude. Trump's are more innocent, but also more undeniably accurate. Impossible to dismiss. He's showing me how to improve crudeness. Oh crap, here comes another laughing fit. 

I want another four years of this and I'm going to be sad when he's gone. This is the most fun I've had since being born.

And all that is gravy on top of a very great deal of serious global straightening. He punches back. Not wildly. I've not ever seen this before him. I can see how this infuriates people. But so far, he's infuriating people who've infuriated me all along with impunity. It's childish but it's also needed and it's hilarious.

[I must test these tweets elsewhere because they double up. It's why you see them doubled so often.]

It Was All Just Rocket Science



This weekend commemorates the historic trip to the moon by the heroic Apollo 11 astronauts 50 years ago. Let's also pause to remember the passion and drive of the men who designed and built the vehicles that put them there, in particular Dr. Wernher von Braun, designated rocket visionary.

Let's pause and also give thought to the victims of the German V-2 rocket program and to the slaves who died making those rockets under appalling conditions (The V in V-2 stands for Vergeltungswaffe = vengeance weapon). And spare a thought for cranky old Robert Goddard, our own homegrown rocket hero, who at least appeared on a stamp:


I am unconvinced by allegations that the Germans stole secrets from Goddard, having read the account of the V-2 program in Michael Neufeld's excellent The Rocket and the Reich. Neufeld, no fawning acolyte of von Braun, correctly points out that the Germans merely used Goddard's published ideas. In science and technology, success builds upon free and open communication.

The Smithsonian in DC has (or used to have) a collection of scale model rockets lined up side by side, showing the historical progression of rocket design. The models may have even been owned by von Braun himself (first photo above). I don't recall exactly where the collection begins and ends, however, a V-2 rocket stands in the lineup. What struck me then was that there were two V-2's next to each other in the collection: a German one and a V-2 that had been rebranded with American insignia.

Soviet advances in the spring of 1945 halted the V-2 program at Peenemünde. Von Braun and his team relocated to a safer location in the Bavarian Alps while the Third Reich collapsed. On May 2, 1945, with Hitler already dead and Berlin under Soviet control, von Braun surrendered to the Americans. He said later:
We knew that we had created a new means of warfare, and the question as to what nation, to what victorious nation we were willing to entrust this brainchild of ours was a moral decision more than anything else. We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through, and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured.
Von Braun and his team, criminally liable in some eyes for the V-2 rocket attacks on European capitals, were given a second chance. Goddard had died in August of 1945 and America needed rocket science. And did we ever get some. Von Braun first headed a secret team located outside of El Paso, TX, where under a sort of house arrest, he and his team reassembed captured V-2 rockets. In 1950, von Braun led the Army's rocket development program team that resulted in the Redstone, the rocket used for the first nuclear ballistic missile. Von Braun and his German wife became naturalized American citizens in 1955.
Von Braun's career really took off after the Soviets launched Sputnik. He was appointed director of the newly created George Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The ballistic missile team, still including many of the old school Peenemünder, all now worked for NASA. And they succeeded splendidly.

My own recollections of the Apollo heydays are still pretty clear. I recall as a boy visiting the Kennedy Space Center in the summer of 1968 on a family vacation to Florida. The giant Saturn V rocket used to launch Apollo 7 was then under construction inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building . My dad took super 8 mm film of this which I have to just dropped off to convert to digital format. I recall that hot and sweaty Wisconsin day a year later when the moon-landing happened. Relatives were visiting and we cousins had been playing tackle football in the backyard all day. The grown-ups called us inside to watch the historic landing on TV in the cool of the basement.

I also recall seeing von Braun on TV with Walter Cronkite. My memory is fuzzy exactly when that was, but surely it must have been between Apollo missions or perhaps during the long flight time of one of the historic moon missions; von Braun would have been too preoccupied during the take-off and landing phases of each mission to be chatting it up with the avuncular Walter. I do wish I could find that clip on Youtube. Maybe it will turn up as part of a Walter Cronkite retrospective.

Here is a brief clip I found on YouTube, but this is not the interview I remember:


Friday, July 19, 2019

It's 1972 All Over Again




"Dike Bomber" refers to the alleged bombing of North Vietnam's extensive dike system. This lie was promulgated by the likes of Jane Fonda and later shown to be propaganda. A majority of America women still still love and adore Ms. Fonda. Oh well, they're probably the same ones who despise Trump. It's easy to imagine an updated button reading "Re-Elect the Pussy Grabber???"

The "Dump Nixon" button is far too easy to update if it hasn't been done already.

On the pro-Nixon side, I have but two in my collection:


Both of these could update easily to 2020.