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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arizona Bound

Later today Jen and I will be winging our way to Phoenix for a holiday with my bud Jenny. J and J have never met but I just know — sure as The Amazing Bob's apple pie is  the best brekkie in the entire universe —they'll be simply wild  about each other.

I know these sorts of things. Honest and true!

Meantime, here's a little Arizona themed musical interlude.

You're welcome.

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn't last.
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass.
The Beatles — Get Back 

 Well, I'm a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin' down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don't say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
Eagles — Take it Easy 

n early memory
Mission music
Was ringing 'round my nursery door
I said "Take this child, Lord
From Tucson Arizona
Give her the wings to fly through harmony
And she won't bother you no more."
Paul Simon — Under African Skies

By the time I get to Phoenix
She'll be rising
She'll find the note I left hanging on her door
She'll laugh, when she reads the part that says I'm leaving
Cause I've left that girl, so many times before
By the Time I Get To Phoenix — Glen Campbell

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Know

orange dawn
Day three of no internet

I have friends who will leave their doors unlocked for me so that I can pop over at 4:30 in the ever lovin' AM to use their computers. Yes, I am a fortunate, lucky duck to have such pals.

I know.

Things I need to remember when I, so early, plant myself at Paula's or Jen's for email checking, Words with Friends, bloggy goodness and general surfing
A) It'd make a boatload of sense to know, to learn how to navigate on these foreign to me machines before attempting to load images from my camera. I've almost always tippy tapped away on Macs versus Windows. I'm totes at sea here!
B) Passwords! Those suckers aren't saved on any other system 'cept my own. Doh!
C) I have an old, creaky but def fab-for-my-needs version of Photoshop living on my computer. I use it ALL the damn time. It'd make oodles of sense to remember that most folks don't have this handy dandy, awesome app. I hear tell there are, possibly, other image manipulation apps that come standard, built in even, on most computers. Huh. I should learn more about that, eh. This'd, of course, be more of an issue if I could actually sort out how to download pics from my camera to begin with.
I miss my computer *sob*! (whine, snivel, kvetch)
 Paul Simon — I Know What I Know

Monday, October 20, 2014

In the Rafters

We had a bunch 'o' visitors over the weekend so my poor boy Rocco the Not-So-Fierce was back up in the basement rafters. Again. Poor scared, scarred boy.

I was able to tempt him out at supper time with a bit of baked chicken breast. Yes, stunning amounts of pampering. I know.  


There's a definite, solid state chill in the air now. Our brief dalliance with late summer temps, with afternoons in the mid 70s, being able to casually sit out on the veranda in the gathering gloaming is, I think, done for the year. Time to break out the lap rugs and spark up the outdoor fireplace.

Fair enough. It IS late October after all. Sigh.

I suppose this also means that it's time to don sneaks versus sandals, socks (!), light scarves and my wooly autumn jacket too.

FINE as long as the snow holds off until at least late December. FINE.

Unknown to birds and butterflies
A flower blooms
The autumn sky


In the bitter radish that
bites into me, I feel the
autumn wind


On this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall

~Matsuo Basho

Autumn Movement

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
       the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things
       come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
       not one lasts.

~Carl Sandburg

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Technical Difficulties


There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and nothing wrong with your television set.
Man, The Outer Limits  just freaked me right the fuck out. I can't imagine that my folks let me stay up to watch when it was first out in 1963. I was five.  I must have seen it after it went into syndication.  Still, I know I was just a kiddle.

I've vague memories of Saturday afternoons, alone in the house, glued to the TV watching creature double features, Twilight Zone and then (cue the scary intro music) Outer Limits. I'd hide behind furniture during the most exquisitely, pants wettingly horrifying parts, quite sure was I that the credenza could  protect me from the bad monsters.//snort//

I never let on to the parental units that I did this, watched these shows, while they were out because..because... I figured they'd be pissed and forbid future viewings.

And why would that be a bad thing considering how stone, solid unnerving, chilling and nightmare inspiring these shows were? For some reason I thought these pants wettingly, horrifying flicks, were the epitome, the very essence of what it meant to be a cool older kid. Hells, Julie Altrogge'd seen The Bad Seed  AND Whatever Happened to Baby Jane at least twice (!!!) and she was a year younger than me!

Hmmph! I was outta step, behind the times, a callow, jejune petite fille! This sitch HAD to be rectified!

Sigh.

What I began to say, before I distracted myself with the Outer Limits, is this -- my internet connection's busted. Yes. Again. The Network Conjoinment Wizard will be here later this morning to work some magic. Thank Bast!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Swarm

Rocco
Coco
The other night I couldn’t sleep to save my life. Why not? Eh, hot flashes, worries and what not. The important thing here is, I came downstairs at one AM, shocking and delighting the cats — Coco and Rocco.

Naturally they needed brekkie right there and then, followed by mega copious pats.
"Oh LOOK, our doormat's up! Finally she's on our schedule and not selfishly sleeping the wee hours of the morning away."
After slopping the mini herd I sat down at the computer to read email, depressing political blogs, take stupid quizzes and play Words with Friends. And then (cue up the spooky tunes soundtrack) I got an unsettling feeling. Someone was watching me. At this point I felt a soft push on my thigh and one to my shoulder and jumped three feet straight up.

Rocco was sitting next to my chair. Coco was sitting directly behind me on the dining room table. My tuxes were swarming me, both making it all crystal clear and shit that I needed to give them more attention right that minute!

You know what this means don’t you? Yes, I had to pat the two of them at the very same time because, of course, they'd feel desperately hurt otherwise.
"How can you pat him/her and not ME? Don't you love me anymore?"
 I have two of the most insecure cats on the planet.

And, just so you know, The Amazing Bob's just informed me that Gaston (AKA Loud Boy) and Gus have yet to show their hungry whiskered faces this gorgeous Saturday morning. He suspects they're in town to watch the Regatta.

Of course!

Friday, October 17, 2014

ANN AND MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCE BIG CHARITABLE EFFORT — THREE WEEKS BEFORE ELECTION DAY

A post from the fab Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Yes, I'm going there. Yes, I'm questioning the timing of this:
"... On Tuesday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, the Romneys are launching the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases, a research facility that will focus on finding cures and new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (known as ALS), Parkinson’s disease and brain tumors.

Fresh off a presidential effort that raised nearly a billion dollars, Ann Romney hopes to raise $50 million to lay the groundwork for the center’s research into the five diseases that affect about 50 million people in the U.S.

Romney describes the center as her answer to the scores of MS patients who approached her on the campaign trail, desperate for advice and guidance from a fellow MS patient...."
I understand that multiple sclerosis is a great burden to Ann Romney, even though she's able to afford the best care and therapies. I also recognize that the establishment of this center could help bring about significant breakthroughs in the treatment of terrible illnesses.

But I'd like the timing of this announcement to generate at least a tiny fraction of the skepticism occasioned by the timing of Chelsea Clinton's pregnancy. Because while it's true that this is an act of generosity, it's also true that the Romneys are just loving this little comeback tour they're on, and bringing a veneer of high-mindedness to a lot of down-and-dirty campaigning. I happen to think that Mitt Romney, despite the decent-guy act, is the angriest, most vengeance-minded presidential loser since Nixon lost to Kennedy, and yes, I'm ranking him ahead of John McCain, whose emotional excesses seem much more free-floating and much less specifically targeted. McCain wants war with President Obama, Democrats, ISIS, Iran — whaddaya got? Mitt Romney, on the other hands, wants a rematch with Obama. No, that's not right — he wants to win his one contest with Obama retroactively. In the public's mind, he wants the results of the 2012 election overturned.

Beating Obama by proxy in this year's midterms, beating him in polls, and possibly beating his likely successor in polls — a new Des Moines Register survey says Romney would top Hillary in Iowa by 1 point — this is what Romney wants. The press has been saying for a year now that Romney wants to play "kingmaker," and, yes, I think he very much wants to get Republicans elected, but the king he wants to make is himself. He wants to be widely regarded as the guy who should be president. If he attains that, he probably has pretty much everything he ever wanted out of the presidency without having any of the job's burdens. He has his due.

And the Beltway press is absolutely on his side.

Here's the media lovingly retransmitting his lame joke about Obama at an Iowa rally for extremist Senate candidate Joni Ernst, a gag about Obama, Phil Mickelson, and Andre Agassi that's been floating around the Internet for at least three years (the golfer used to be Tiger Woods), and that sounds as if it started life as a kneeslapper about LBJ, Arnold Palmer, and Rod Laver. (Fun fact: one source for the joke is a site called Stuff Old Guys Like. Oh, and here's a version set in the Philippines.)

And here, in The Washington Post, is the 83,647th breathless is-he-running? story about Romney.
Officially, Mitt Romney returned to Iowa, the quadrennial presidential proving ground, to give a boost to Joni Ernst. But at a closed-door breakfast fundraiser here Monday, the first question from a donor had nothing to do with Ernst’s Senate campaign.

"When you get elected to the Senate, your job should be to convince Mitt Romney to run for president again," a donor told Ernst, according to several attendees. The Republican candidate said she would, while Romney laughed.

When Romney and Ernst gathered in a West Des Moines boardroom with about 40 agriculture executives Sunday night, one businessman after another pleaded with Romney to give the White House another shot.

And at a rally for Ernst in Cedar Rapids on Monday, the state legislator who introduced Romney said, "If his address was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I would sleep a lot better." After Romney and Ernst finished speaking, some activists chanted, "Run, Mitt, run!" ...
On the other hand, here's Ann Romney in the L.A. Times story about the new neurology center:
On another matter that has been the subject of much political babbling lately — a potential third run for president by her husband -- Ann Romney was happy to wave off the possibility.

"Done," she said. "Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done," she said, referring to her five sons. "Done. Done. Done."
But apparently not being a candidate just makes running like a candidate seem more high-minded for Mitt. He's not a grubby politician — he's a gray eminence!

It's often said that Republicans can't really make a comeback at the presidential level until they're perceived as standing for something, not just against Democrats. That's a lot of noble-sounding nonsense. All they have to do is find an appealing candidate — and right now they think they have one: the last guy. He's freed from the burden of actually having to run on the Republican agenda, and the party is doing a better job of trying to manufacture consent by getting the press to write "we all like Romney now" stories, which make casual observers think liking Romney is now A Thing. There's no Democratic effort to define Romney, as there was in 2012, so he's been allowed to become the gracious, above-the-fray shadow president, with Ann, now cutting ribbons on a medical facility and thus making a great show of generosity, as the noble shadow First Lady.

And if the 2016 election were held today, with Mitt and Hillary as the candidates, I honestly think that Romney would win the vote of the press corps, or at least its white males. I'm increasingly convinced that 2016 is going to be a rerun of 2000, with Hillary being treated by the media as the unloved, mocked Al Gore. The only problem is that the boys on the bus need a Republican to root for. I think they'd be delighted if it were Mitt.

Crossposted at No More Mister Nice Blog

Ex nihilo nihil fit

What Animal Were You in a Past Life?
You were the Dolphin. A cheerful, bright, energetic being, you are the life of your friends and family. You care about everyone immensely, and would go to any ends to protect them and keep them happy.

Yada, yada, yada...

Which Greek God Are You?
Hermes—Messenger of the Gods. You’re witty and creative, and a man (¿Que? Last time I checked the plumbing, I was def rockin‘ the girl thing) who loves to travel the world. Your thirst for the unknown knows no limits! You’re good with words, a skilled orator and quite possibly a writer. 

Blah, blah, blah...

Which Marvel Hero Are You?
Human Torch—You’re a true hero with your adventurous spirit and fierce determination to overcome any source of evil. You’ve been through some rough times, but have come out stronger as a result.

K...

These silly quizzes are surely that — just so much foolishness — but there’s more. The questions occasionally tease out just the teensiest bit of who you might mebbe be (if you answer them as honestly as humanly possible given their mega broad, limited scope) and spit back some result that they imagine would make us happy. Or that’s how it seems to me. I’ve yet to get back results that say anything like, fer example:

Past life animal?
In a previous incarnation you were a Saltwater Crocodile — big, hideous and ill-tempered.

Greek God?
Nope, you were Cerberus the three-headed Hell hound with a serpent's tail, a nasty-ass snake bouffant and a manicure that only an enraged lion could love. And your gig? Guarding the gates of Hades so those weasly spirits couldn’t escape. Yup — monster ugly, no god powers and, worse, you were the underworld equivalent of a mall cop.

Marvel Superhero?
You were Squirrel Girl, a mutated rodent girl. Your superpower? Lethal perkiness.

Yeah, somehow I don’t think the Quiz masters would get a lot of repeat biz with less than flattering test results. That maybe could queer their ad contacts with Honda, the NFL, Jeep and McDonalds too. No ads, no bucks, no more little ego-boosting, sometimes fun, silly quizzes.

Ex nihilo nihil fit
I think Mister Billy Preston put this best and in song, no less!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Like This

I don’t want to and WILL NOT shop at a store that allows these ammosexual, (as my beloved Tbogg calls them) open carry assholes to tote their big penis substitutes around. I’ve seen their defense/justification — that the only thing to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

How in the name of all that’s sane and chocolate infused do I know that YOU, Mister Assault-Weapon-As-Baby-Blanket, are the good guy? On top of that, let’s say that I somehow know, I deduce that you’re not a trigger happy mad man, how do I know that YOU, Mister Too-Dim-To-Know-The-Difference-Between-Your-Fantasy-World-And-Reality:
  1. Are thoroughly trained and fully competent in how to use a gun, any gun...hells, a pea shooter?
  2. Are mature and savvy enough to know when it’s wise to use your dick dummy and when it’d be a really, really poor idea.
  3. How do I know that you've had copious experience in chaos, war-like situations and will be able to cooly employ your *cough* weapons expertise.
Why, oh WHY, should I trust YOU?!
 Best I can tell, the only reason to go all Big Gun Open Carry is to scare the bejayzuz out of everyone around to, ya know, make up for never getting a date with the prom queen and life generally not having turned out like a Hollywood blockbuster  or Grand Theft Auto.

Or to play at war hero. How many of these gun fetishists are ex-military? I think I’m pretty safe in guessing “precious few.”

From More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence? at Mother Jones:
In the wake of the massacres this year at a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 62 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. And in other recent (but less lethal) rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, those civilians not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.
Go read the whole thing. Seriously.
Pro-insanity activists have also threatened those who dare oppose their decision to terrorize the public by stalking and spitting on a paralyzed victim of gun violence and shooting a female mannequin while joking that it was a representative of Moms Demand Action, and even showing up dozens-strong just to intimidate a group of four women meeting to discuss gun violence. One member posted a YouTube video explaining that he gets a “perverse pleasure” from terrorizing and intimidating the women.
Perhaps the most haunting and bizarre is a jittery (video) clip posted last year by Robert Pratt of Michigan. In the video, Pratt carries a shotgun while walking his dogs through suburban Plainwell. Two police cruisers intercept him at the curb, and four officers surround him for a long, tense conversation. One of the cops is James Pell, whom Pratt greets by name — Cassandra Pell, the officer’s daughter, was Pratt’s girlfriend. The officers try to reason with Pratt, asking him to go home and put his gun away, because it’s unnecessarily frightening his neighbors. Pratt says he is “just exercising rights as a U.S. citizen” and that he would continue to openly carry his gun in the neighborhood because “people need to be aware of laws.” He cites the specific state laws and city ordinances that allow him to carry his shotgun.

This June, Pratt used that same weapon to shoot and kill Cassandra Pell, and then to commit suicide.
Yeah pardon me all to hell and back but I just don’t see these open carry dudes as my knights in shining armor.