Jul 25 2012
Driving from Texarkana TX to Huntsville AL, this is what the corn looks like. Cornbread and tortillas won’t be cheap this next year.
Opinions, about almost anything
Jul 25 2012
Driving from Texarkana TX to Huntsville AL, this is what the corn looks like. Cornbread and tortillas won’t be cheap this next year.
Sep 19 2010
This video made the rounds a few months ago and I like listening to the guy sing. The Star Spangled Banner is not an easy song to sing and he does a good job. At about 50 seconds in, this former Marine sings the 2nd verse of our national anthem.
He could learn something from Isaac Asimov. There are four stanzas.
One of my favorite bloggers, Eric at Classical Values has finally put Asimov’s essay “All Four Stanzas” online.
His reason for doing so is important. In his words:
Sometimes I have trouble sleeping peaceably in my bed at night because I know that rough men stand ready to do violence to quotations on the Internet.
May 15 2010
My youngest grandchild, Penelope, was born on April 6 and I think she’s beautiful! That’s a completely unbiased assessment.
Along with more photos of the baby and her big sister, I’ve got stories about my Amazon account being hacked, my car breaking down, a stinky motel room, a horrible hospital stay, rigid unreasonable health insurance rules, my husband’s 27 hour Greyhound bus trip. Let’s just say it was all interesting.
Mar 05 2010
Call the Nestle Hot line at 1-800-295-0051.
Jan 27 2010
Oct 14 2009
While neo-neocon may be correct in her assessment of the strategy behind Obama’s war on Fox, I think it’s possible that she is over-thinking the whole thing.
I think Obama is declaring “war” on Fox because he knows he can’t keep “running” against Bush forever and this is the next best thing.
It’s a proxy war.
There is very little that Obama is “for” that does not meet with protest from the electorate. Actually, there is little that Obama is “for” unless one turns upside down language and accepts a negative for some as a positive for all.
Oct 13 2009
Assistant Village Idiot has a short post on simplifying possessions. It’s really no more than a note of how one task has inspired him to another.
But for me, it’s an emotional issue. He speaks of getting rid of perhaps 50-100 books, and how his children will not curse him for this decision. He is implying they will be grateful.
I left a comment there, expressing the comfort that being surrounded by books gives me… and expressing the discomfort I’ve felt after having sold books I wish I still had. I acknowledge obliquely that I am a packrat.
Whether I am the blessed recipient or helpless victim of items beloved deceased individuals have put into my possession… I’m not sure. I certainly can’t quite keep up with them even if they are so small as snapshots. When the items are furniture, machines, keepsakes, collections… there’s a space problem as well.
Books are a special problem for me. I have, without doubt, absolutely worthless books on my numerous bookshelves and in piles in various not-so-out-of-the-way places.
My fondness, love, attraction, addiction to these printed and physical items might be related to my love/hate relationship with digital everything.
While I have physical prints of my children and grandchildren worthy of framing that have been framed and which I cherish, there are those snapshots not necessarily worthy of framing which mean so much to me. There are the “action” shots where personality shines, but the composition isn’t ‘artistic’ or even pleasing. Yet, the expression on the child’s or adult’s face is timeless and worthy of remembrance.
Sometimes that snapshot captures an essence that ‘art’ does not.
So… where am I going with this post? Mostly, it’s that my children and grandchildren are going to have to deal with a lot of junk to get a 3-dimensional image of who I am. And… that while it may not be easy, it will be – I hope – enlightening in some way.
Sep 19 2009
My mental clock runs 7 hours late. I won’t get into how my physiological clock runs other than to say it’s not exactly on time.
The mental clock was programmed by working for years in a 24 hour industry. Three shifts, and the last one started at 11 pm. Can we agree that it would be a mathematical and bookkeeping nightmare to be accurate and calculate the hours and pay spanning two different days rather than one?
So, a day — for minimal distress and the payroll bookkeeper’s sanity started at 7 am. Of course, a simple solution would be to start the work day at midnight, but… frankly that would be too damn simple and still confusing for the workers who headed off to work on the 2nd day of the month but didn’t clock in until the 3rd.
Also, it’s just best to not have shifts end at noon or midnight. There’s always that 59 minute question, is there not? Does morning end at 11:59 am? Does afternoon start at 12:01? Frankly, every 24 hour business would lose 2 minutes of work per day. That adds up to an entire 12 hour shift being lost every year per worker.
Business could not function under that loss, since it would be added to the 3 hours per 8 hour shift lost to surfing the internet and general goofing off.
What should be understood is whether I finally finish this post at 11:59 on Saturday, September 19 or 4:02 am on Sunday, September 20, it is still a Saturday night post.
This manner of time-keeping also comes in handy for those who have had instilled in them the idea that drinking on Sunday is a bad thing. Using this method, Saturday night parties can last much longer. An there’s no reason why one can’t drink until 2 or 3 am, then have a leisurely breakfast at Waffle House and still grab a few hours sleep before church.
Don’t think I can’t sense the rumblings of some of you disagreeing out there. Rationalization, you say? Hell yeah! Why else did we evolve big brains?
Mar 02 2009
From left to right: Issie, 5 days old; Issie 5 mo. old; Issie 2 years old. The last photo was taken by a professional photographer who I highly recommend, Gina Kolsrud. She is in Chandler AZ and takes wonderful photos even when her subject is not as wonderful as my granddaughter. Here’s her photography website.
I’m fairly proud of the first two photos which I took, but artistically they don’t quite compare do they? (Of course the only reason is equipment, grandma said… Yeah, that’s the ticket!) What doesn’t show is that those two photographs are two out of a few hundred that grandma snapped. Everybody gets lucky once in a while.
The other thing that should be immediately apparent to everyone is that the model is exceptional. Even to a non-grandparent this should be apparent! It will, however, probably not be apparent to other grandparents. I understand.
I have three other grandchildren that I did not have the opportunity to spend lengthy times (30 days+) with and thus didn’t have time (it takes a LOT of time for an amateur photog) to get what I’d call artistically good photos. I am suggesting the parents of the other three to get to Chandler post haste. Gina Kolsrud is an exceptional portrait photographer.
I have great photographs of my other three grandchildren, but I feel a little guilty scanning them in without being able to give credit to the photographer. I think Nonna should spend a month with them taking her own, don’t you?
Feb 14 2009
I’d have been hard-pressed to explain why Jimmy Carter’s win over Gerald Ford caused a few tears to flow in 1976. I was not politically involved at that time. In fact, I had two children under the age of two. I really didn’t have time for politics. I don’t remember paying much attention to the campaign at all. Yet, I was incredibly disappointed that Ford lost.
On my old, now defunct blog created in the fury of Dan Rather’s last hurrah, then continued because I thought defeating Kerry was a good thing, I wrote:
Shocking, I know.
I once said that even though Jimmy Carter was a horrible president, that as a person I’d be happy to invite him into my home because he was a decent man. This was in contrast to Clinton, who I thought was a much better president, but not as decent. Forget it, Jimmy. I rescind the dinner invitation.
After reading that post, my brother (who I identify there as merely a reader) lent me
Jimmy Carter has proved he’s smart and tough; I also suspect he’s about half mean. This conviction is based on more than the observation that his mouth often smiles when his eyes do not. He’s a “born-againer,” an evangelical. You can shake every goober plant and magnolia bush between here and Stone Mountain without finding a group more wedded to its absolutes or less tolerant of dissent. Jimmy may prattle on about love and Jesus, and believe it, but at the bottom that soft spiritual goop is a bedrock conviction that the vengeful Old Testament God, extracting eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth, is what makes the mule plow.
Evangelical proponents of anything make me suspicious, whether it’s politically right or left, spiritualism or materialism, PC or Mac, Coke or Dr. Pepper.
Ain’t no free lunch, you see. You gotta pay the piper for all dances. Jimmy Carter’s creed teaches that what you sophisticated Damyankees often call fun is the sort of sinful mischief certain to be taxed — even to the extent of eternal roastings. Maybe that’s why you’ll never discover more than a nickel’s worth of humor in Jimmy. Fun is for the frivolous, and Jimmy sees the world as a hard and serious place.
A humorless world view is a bleak one. Only a humorless man could have engaged in “the most remarkable exercise in presidential navel-gazing in American history.” [Steven Hayward, Reagan biographer]
That navel-gazing produced the “Crisis of Confidence” speech, called by some the most important speech of the Carter presidency. It was at least equally responsible for his failure to get re-elected as the Iranian hostage crisis. It was a sermon. And liberals today worry about George W. Bush’s religious roots?
…home boys who’ve learned the difference between Pouilly-Fuisse and RC Cola, or who’ve had their tastes for Moon Pies replaced by craving for caviar, may find Carter more a throwback to laissez-faire, simplistic Rotary Club solution or even Nixonian repressions than will comfort them. Jimmy’s talked a fair liberal game, sure. But Mo Udall wasn’t just whistling Dixie when he cracked, “If Carter’s elected he’ll never make Mount Rushmore because there’s not enough room for two more faces.” Jimmy is as hard to get a handle on as a greased pig, which is about as elusive as a lightning bug.
Awright. I’m admitting my reservations. My fear is that I’ve seen hundreds like the man, ruling boondock courthouses and marking up prices in their shops on the square, and, yes, I gotta squirm a little bit when a humorless man grins like he’s in a grinning contest. But there’s this history, all this goddam haunting history, of the South having been shut out for so long that even us lontime expatriates defensively feel that should Jimmy Cah-tah prove to be a sumbitch, then at least he’s our sumbitch.
And, dammit, that’s what Jimmy has forgotten about: loyalty to your own sumbitches. He’s already forgotten his own words, “Whenever you have a chance, say something good about our country.”Instead, since at least 2000, he seems to be going out of his way to say not-so-nice things.
Dangit, I have an even worse time trying to figure out where Obama’s coming from. Chicago? Sure, that’s easy and probably applicable. Perhaps someday a political scientist will compare today’s Chicago with yesterday’s Ole South.
Yet, it is as difficult to get a handle on Obama as it was Carter. They are twins in their combination of upper/downer talk. They are, IMHO, twins as far as a mean-streak. Though Carter didn’t (to my recollection) try to remake the entire country and its economic system in the first month of his presidency, both Carter and Obama have different historical and future visions of this country than do most of its inhabitants.
The stimulus bill passed this evening was never read by a single Senator or Representative or by the President and his staff. No one person knows what the hell is contained in the full thing. I expect Obama to sign it Monday, not knowing having a clue what he is doing.
This is the reason for my tears tonight.
Jan 16 2009
And shouldn’t they get what they want? The dog is obviously for them, as neither of the adult Obamas has shown interest in owning a dog.
But more importantly, how can dog lovers show more love for a rescue dog than for a “breed” ?
Aren’t both dogs? Don’t both deserve a loving family? It isn’t like the Obamas are special ordering a specific breed, but that they’ve narrowed their choices down to breeds acceptible to their family and situation.
As we’ve just brushed away about a pound of hair from our Great Pyrenees puppy (he’s 10 month old, near a 100 lbs. now) I can’t recommend that breed for any child who has allergies. But, for one who doesn’t, this breed is the most gentle I have ever seen for his size.
When it comes down to basics, children love dogs and dogs love children MOST OF THE TIME. Get the girls a dog and everything else will work out.
Nov 03 2008
Barack Obama’s grandmother, Toot, has died. The report said her death was peaceful. May she rest in peace.
Jul 23 2008
Unlike the New York Times I am open to the free exchange of ideas without trying to put words into someone else’s mouth — which (via Betsy’ Page) is exactly what the NYT editorial page editor is trying to do:
It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.
Eric, at The Fire Ant Gazette says:
I’m in no position to dictate to my fellow bloggers what they should do with their pieces of the media pie, but I hope that others will elect to fill the vacuum left when a mainstream media source neglects its responsibility to present a complete picture of an issue that so strongly affects our nation.
He is right, so here is McCain’s rejected editorial.
In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.
Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”
Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.
Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.
The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.
To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.
Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.
No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.
But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”
The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.
I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.
Jun 23 2008
The first time I had a computer prank pulled on me was by my 7 year old nephew who hid all the icons on my Windows 3.1 desktop. It backfired a little bit because I became much more likely to say, “why, no I don’t think you can use my computer” for a few days after that.
Hopefully, he’ll read this list — The 25 Best high-Tech Pranks – and convert them use on a Mac if possible and drive his mother an itty bit closer to the edge. She’s so far back from it right now that I can hardly see her.