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"Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." - H.L.Mencken

Hillsdale College's choir sings "America the Beautiful"
James A. Holleman, Music Director | Debra Wyse, Accompanist/Assistant Conductor

America the Beautiful
By Katharine Lee Bates, 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

Arranged by Frank La Rocca

gerardvanderleun : July 4, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Photograph by by Carles -Vilarrasa

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.

- - Andrew Marvell

gerardvanderleun : July 3, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies


A short list. In no particular order.

We told our children that any child could grow up to be President. And then we made it come true.

We had car shows, boat shows, beauty shows and dog shows.

We ran robots on the surface of Mars by remote control.

Our women came from all over the world in all shapes and sizes hues and scents.

We actually believed that all men are created equal and tried to make it come true.

Everybody liked our movies and loved our television shows.

We tried to educate everybody, whether they wanted it or not. Sometimes we succeeded.

We did Levis.

We held the torch high and hundreds of millions came. No matter what the cost.

We saved Europe twice and liberated it once.

We believed so deeply and so abidingly in free speech that we protected and honored and, in some cases, even elected traitors.

We let you be as freaky as you wanted to be.

We paid you not to plant crops and not to work.

We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here. And when that was done continued for a century and a half around the world.

We invented Jazz.

We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysberg address.

We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.

We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.

When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn't get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.

We didn't care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.

We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.

We gave everybody the vote.

We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.

We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.

We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.

We electrified the guitar.

We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.

We had some middling novelists.

We had some interesting painters.

We had some pretty good poets.

We had better songwriters.

We ran our farms so well we fed the globe.

We made the automobile and the airplane.

We let you get rich. Really, really rich. And we didn't care who you were or what you were or where you came from or who your parents were. We just cared about what you made or what you did.

We had poor people who, even at their most wretched, were richer than any other poor people on the face of the planet.

We were the most nobel nation the world had ever known.

We had so much freedom that many of us voted to just throw it all away.

Even towards the end, as we dissolved into the petty bickering and idle entertainments that come with having far too much leisure and money, many among us were still striving to make it higher, finer, brighter, better and more beautiful.

Even towards the end, the best of us declined to give up and pressed on. "Where to? What next?"

[First published 2007]

Van der Leun : July 3, 15  |  Your Say (82)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Speech after long silence; it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
We loved each other and were ignorant.

- - William Butler Yeats

"It was the late '70s when artists Marina Abramović and Ulay began performing out of vans and fell in love. The relationship sadly came to an end, and they decided to walk the Wall of China to share one last embrace. That was the last time they saw one another. By 2010, Marina had a new art project. She would sit in silence with complete strangers. On the opening night, guess who showed up? None other than Ulay." | Diply

gerardvanderleun : July 2, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments


"Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Remington 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun right in the doorway. I put 9 shells beside it, then left it alone and went about my business.

"While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house.

"After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there, right where I had left it. It hadn't moved itself. It certainly hadn't killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had presented to do so. In fact, it hadn't even loaded itself.

"Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the Media about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people.

"I must be in possession of the laziest gun in the world.

"The United States is third in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out just four cities: Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC and New Orleans, the United States is fourth from the bottom, in the entire world, for Murders! These four Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the U. S. All four of these cities are controlled by Democrats. It would be absurd to draw any conclusions from this data - right?

"Well, I'm off to check on my spoons. I hear they're making people fat."

[A note found in my email]

gerardvanderleun : July 2, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile

"So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.... "


Note: A recent comment caused me to remember an article I wrote for a Time Magazine special issue on Cyberspace back in the Stone Age aka "1995:" TWILIGHT ZONE OF THE ID Wednesday, Mar. 01, 1995 By Gerard Van der Leun

The joint is called #hottub (pronounced "pound hot tub''), and it's open almost all the time. I've been soaking in it for two hours with "Bubbles,'' "Hard Charger'' and "Lush Lady.'' Charger and Lady are, shall we say, flirting heavily, while Bubbles is trying to get my attention. But s/he's a notorious transvestite, so I'm keeping my distance. People float in and out of this hot tub, which is open to all comers, but no one ever gets wet -- just a little damp sometimes. If you fancy someone, and he or she fancies you, it is possible to go private and exchange sexual fantasies until you're too exhausted, or bored, to continue.

This steamy place doesn't exist in the physical world. It is a "channel'' on Internet Relay Chat (called IRC among netheads). IRC consists of a series of real-time discussions on the Internet. Think of it as CB radio that you type instead of speak. Any number can play. And lots do.

A maze of steamy places that don't exist makes up the warp and the woof of sex on the Net today. The fact that virtual sex happens on the Net upsets a lot of people. Unfortunately, sex on the Net turns on a lot of people too. I know. I've been covering sex on the networks for nearly 10 years. Strictly as a professional, of course. I've seen things that would make William Burroughs blush and send Catharine MacKinnon into cardiac arrest. I've had a chance to order whips and chains by the gross, drop in on group sex and download more explicit pictures than are displayed in a decade's worth of Hustler. In one day, I've read more intimate confessions than are found in a year's worth of Penthouse letters. All this as an objective journalist, mind you. I report on cybersex, but I don't give it my essence.

Click Here to Continue
Vanderleun : July 2, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Back in the day, my first wife had this face. I always thought of it and referred to it as "anus mouth." At the time I actually thought it was caused by my presence. Alas, according to reports coming in over the decades, it wasn't. It was hardwired. She's probably still afflicted with it.

HT: El Dog @ Maggie's Farm

gerardvanderleun : July 1, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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and to the United States? Oh, Any Day Now

gerardvanderleun : June 29, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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If you can remember seeing this on television.... you might be a boomer.


According to the book "From Those Wonderful People Who Brought You Pearl Harbor," a book about advertising, a Bell 206 was used to sling parts of a stripped down Chevy to the top of Castleton Tower, also known as Castle Rock, part of the Fisher Rock formation in Moab, Utah. A mechanic was dropped to assemble the automobile.


Then a pretty young model, Shirley Rumsey, was air lifted to the re-assembled vehicle atop the 2,000-foot spire. Rather than leave Ms. Rumsey alone in that precarious location during the helicopter filming runs, it was decided the mechanic would stay behind to provide moral support. He was hidden on the backseat floor beneath her full dress.

The 206 landed at base camp, to have the camera installed, then proceeded with the camera crew to film the commercial. Once filming was finished, the 206 landed to have the camera crew and gear removed before returning to pick up the mechanic and model.

Problem was, the winds had become so strong that landing on the pinnacle was out of the question. And by the time the wind had died down, it was too dark to fly!

It was a cold night for the hapless mechanic and young model. Oil-Electric: Into the Wild!

Not if they bundled up.

gerardvanderleun : June 29, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Everybody is wondering, what do we do now? Economy dumping, politicians creeping, social fabric unravelling, God being shoved out of the way, brother turning against brother, death wish just below the surface."

"Now is the time for better men to make a difference in this world. It is time for better men to speak up. It is time for better men to take a strong hand in the everyday affairs of the world. It is time for better men to show up in every aspect of daily life. It is time for better men to lead by example. It is time for better men to be the strong and positive influence in the daily outcomes of the people they meet. It is time for better men to live out "square dealing" in their affairs with all mankind."

Found at Spillers of Soup: SOUND THINKING

gerardvanderleun : June 28, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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To gaze at a river made of time and water
And remember Time is another river
To know we stray like a river
And our faces vanish like water

To feel that waking is another dream
That dreams of not dreaming and that the death
We fear in our bones is the death
That every night we call a dream

To see in every day and year a symbol
Of all the days of man and his years
And convert the outrage of the years
Into a music, a sound, and a symbol

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
A golden sadness, such is poetry
Humble and immortal, poetry
Returning, like dawn and the sunset

Sometimes at evening there's a face
That sees us from the deeps of a mirror
Art must be that sort of mirror
Disclosing to each of us his face

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders
Wept with love on seeing Ithaca
Humble and green. Art is that Ithaca
A green eternity, not wonders

Art is endless like a river flowing
Passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
Inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
And yet another, like the river flowing

gerardvanderleun : June 28, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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'All hands on deck, we've run afloat!' I heard the captain cry
'Explore the ship, replace the cook: let no one leave alive!'
Across the straits, around the Horn: how far can sailors fly?
A twisted path, our tortured course, and no one left alive.

We sailed for parts unknown to man, where ships come home to die.
No lofty peak, nor fortress bold, could match our captain's eye.
Upon the seventh seasick day we made our port of call,
A sand so white, and sea so blue, no mortal place at all.

We fired the gun, and burnt the mast, and rowed from ship to shore.
The captain cried, we sailors wept: our tears were tears of joy.
How many moons and many Junes have passed since we made land?
A salty dog, this seaman's log: your witness my own hand.

- Procol Harum

gerardvanderleun : June 27, 15  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Summed up in RIP: The great cholesterol scam (1955 - 2015) by Barrel Strength

What I have to say here reflects upon the course of this great fallacy. The cholesterol scam bears a strong relationship to the anthropogenic global warming scam.

1) it is propagated by scientists on a non-scientific mission.

2) it is believed because it plausibly explains an observation (increasing global temperature [for a time], increasing heart attacks from smoking in the 1950s and 60s). It taps into large anxieties about too much wealth, too much happiness, in western societies. There must be sin somewhere, and the public is ready to flog itself in the cause of a secularized idea of God, uh, I mean Good.

3) the causal relationship is weaker than first supposed; the research is found to be sloppy, the facts have been fudged, subsequent studies do not fully support the original claims, nevertheless the orthodoxy is promulgated all the more harshly for being doubted.

4) by now, powerful economic and ideological interests have taken hold. They supply an ongoing source of funds and opinion to ensure the perpetuation of the alarm: in the case of cholesterol, the margarine industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical establishment, and in the case of AGW, the tribe of bureaucrats and leftists who seek to control markets, whose god of Marxism had failed, and who needed a new god (Gaia) to justify their rule.

5) The skeptics who have patiently argued on the basis of facts that the science of each phenomenon was weak, are ostracized by the opinion establishments of medicine and global warming. Cranks, but the cranks are right and the orthodox priests and Levites are wrong.

6) Eventually, after fifty or sixty years, the subject of discussion just changes. In the case of cholesterol, the evidence gets weaker and weaker, and the problems caused by too much sugar consumption (obesity, diabetes), caused in part by people not eating enough fats and meats, reaches a stage where it can no longer be ignored.

7) the retreat of the orthodoxy is covered by a smokescreen of fresh concerns for some other catastrophe. No admissions of error or apologies for wrecked careers and following bad science are ever issued. Time flows on, bringing neither knowledge nor greater understanding of the role of folly in human affairs.

8) stages 6 and 7 have been reached in the cholesterol cycle; they are beginning in the anthropogenic global warming scam. Fifty years from now, there will still be clanking windmills in the North Sea, but whether they will be still linked to a power grid is less likely, and whether anyone will pay attention is doubtful. The lobbies that keep them there, however, will still exist.

gerardvanderleun : June 27, 15  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Fools rush in where fools have been before."

I'm with Dorothy Sayers on this one:

As I grow older and older
And totter toward the tomb
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom

We've got a lot of problems with marriage in this country, but can't we take a step back and draw a deep breath, smell the winds of change and admit that Gay Marriage is a done deal?

It's here. It's queer. So what?

Enough with all the whining and carping and running about with one's hair on fire screaming, "Oh! Gay Marriage. I got the fear!" If a couple of normally insane Americans want to get a bunch of friends or Elvis impersonators together, seek out a whompingly liberal priest, rabbi, minister, or Marryin' Sam to hitch them up... so what?

Yes, so what? If yet another brain-damaged, oh-so-victimized minority wants to move into another white, heterosexual fantasyland after white heterosexuals are finished with it, so be it. Nothing like inhabiting the ruins of a dream to make dreams come true.

Speaking as a twice married, twice disappointed, compulsively heterosexual male, I have heard the arguments and seen the yearning and felt the love of gay and lesbian couples from sea to shining sea. And I have felt their gay pain and now wish only that they share my straight pain. It will bring us together faster than Obama explaining economics to stoners everywhere on the Daily Show.

Deep down all our fellow gay Americans want is to be allowed their right, at long last, to enter the, ahem, Holy Realms of Sanctified and Blissful Matrimony. I take them at their word.

And I say: "Bring.... It.... On! Get... Down! Let it be, at long last, Mission Accomplished!" It is the morning of a decade of fabulous parties in America, and not a moment too soon.

As someone with not a little experience inside the obsessions, the compulsions, the addictions, the rages and the long-term quiet desperation of marriage, let me say that I cannot wait to welcome my gay brothers and sisters to the Holy Realm of Sanctified Bliss. I believe with every drop of rain that falls that any two or three or four or more of gay, straight, quadrogendered, pawed or tentacled Americas that want to get into a marriage should not only be encouraged, but tossed headlong into the institution.... before they sober up and snap out of it!

Looked at in the right light, there's a lot of upside in this Gay rush-to-nup for everyone in this country.

  • Going in there's a major boost to the retail clothing and footwear industries.
  • Our financially floundering churches ( It ain't no real weddin' lessen it be a church weddin'! ) are going to get enough in donations to morph themselves into cathedrals.
  • Cathedrals are going to have a five year waiting list.
  • Forget about getting any caterers above the level of the Second Avenue Deli for the duration. They will be either baking enough caviar canapes to drain the Black Sea, or out shopping for Gulfstreams.
  • Salmon will become an endangered species, as will wedding singers.
  • Wedding planners will charge more than Bill Gates' estate lawyers and they'll get it.
  • You want any Spode china, 500-count Egyptian cotton sheets, or monogramed towels? Better snap them up now.
  • Ditto the booking of weeks at any spa resort that offers in-room jacuzzis.
  • Vacations to anywhere other than Bike Week at Daytona are right out too. And even there you'll probably have to sleep on the beach.
  • Don't even mention the word "Disneyland" to your kids for a decade. (See, you just saved about $7,000 right there.)

Then there's the immediate after effects.

  • Have you been thinking about redoing your window treatments, and perhaps junking that Santa Fe look for something crypto-modern you saw in Dwell? Forget it. Every decent interior decorator in the hemisphere is going on a honeymoon, and not taking on new clients until his or her own window treatments are made new. Relax. With a few push-pins and your worn beach towels, you should be able to weather the storm.

Speaking of storms, brace yourself and do not be fooled by the return of peace and quiet to these states. Once the initial tsunami of coast-to-coast gay marriage scours this fair land down to a series of moral nubs, a period of calm normality can only be enjoyed for, well, anywhere from 18 to 36 months before.... the Aftermath.

The Aftermath is when the millions of gay believers who have thrust themselves into the sylvan dream of wedded bliss.... wake up to find out that they are, Aieeeee!, married. And when they do, they will want what nearly every clear sighted heterosexual couple wants out of marriage these days.... a divorce.

And since gays lust after not tolerance but "approval," they are determined to inhabit every burnt-out fantasy of straight life. Hence, it will be a "traditional" divorce. Not a good new-fashioned no-fault divorce, but a brimming-with-blame, spite-spitted Prozac-popping divorce American style. Full of fights, slights, sullen silences, and a craving from the spouse for "my own space."

About half of the gay Americans getting in the long, long lines at divorce court will discover that the "craving from the spouse for 'my own space'" has a very special meaning. It usually means either your space, or a space you will pay for one way or another.

Because make no mistake about it. Whether it is a gay professionals' divorce, or a gay crackers' divorce, somebody's losing a beach house or a double-wide.

Children adopted by gay male couples will probably be treated in a kindly and caring manner during the divorce, but when it comes to the pets, get ready for the mother of all cat-fights over the puppy or the pussy.

Children born to lesbian couples will probably fare less well. Besides a lifelong predilection for comfortable shoes, the best they can hope for is for the courts to okay that they can, should they elect to do so, live with their sperm donor.

To be a classic American divorce a gay divorce has to come complete with that must-have divorce fashion accessory -- the gob-stoppingly expensive lawyer. (Make that two. Three if kids or pets are in the mix.) This is not really the lawyers' fault. The lawyers have to be expensive since it is the only way the lawyers (gay or straight) can continue to pay off their ex-spouse or spouses or farm animals.

Alas, not only is marriage due to be a downer for hundreds of thousands of gays in the same way it is a downer for millions of straights, the non-stop depression generator of divorce is going to weave its old black magic without remorse or regard to sexual orientation or good intentions. And the moralists are "afraid" that all gay marriage will do is to open the door to polygamy?

Dear moralists,
Be not downcast. Do not despair. You are simply failing to see the entertainment value for tens of millions of your fellow divorced heterosexual Americans. Instead, picture your deep and abiding pleasure when you get to unfold a comfy lawn chair, pop a cold one and kick back to watch a stream of four-cornered gay divorces carom through the "family justice system" like drag-queens on steroids trapped in God's Foosball court.

There may be a lot of fuming and fussing and fighting and hissy-fits down in the old Family courthouse, but let them roll on! Out on the lawn we'll just be kicking it, betting on which one of sixteen snarling coon dogs comes out of the pack with all four legs still on.

Do you doubt that these little contretemps will make for big box office on all 40 screens in the vast multiplex of the American mind?

As hinted above, I have three little words that make one big pitch: "Gay Divorce Court!"

"Gay Divorce Court!" would be a reality show with more legs than a queer centipede. "Gay Divorce Court!" is appointment television that could launch a million office pools, and probably some Vegas-sized lines for the inevitable Brad Pitt vs. Tom Cruise de-fornication fiasco.

It is time we all switched from boxers to Speedos in keen anticipation of the gay decade ahead. Gay marriage is a done deal. It's time our gay brothers and sisters stopped having the ACLU pay for their legal battles, and started to pay for some of their own.

And pay they will. I here prophesy that, verily, via "Gay Divorce Court!" they shall be cleaned, reamed, fucked, plucked and hosed through the nose.

Gay Americans say that without marriage they are, like the slaves of yesteryear, only half-a-person. Let us remove from the marriage of true minds all impediments to their assumption of whole-person-hood. How else can at least half of them can learn that special feeling that comes to a whole person when half one's net worth is lopped off by the courts like some robed Loreena Bobbit on crack? Yum!

Gentlemen, start your vows!

Me? I'm out front on the church lawn. I'm making the popcorn, getting out the lawn chair, and popping a cold one. Y'all come too.

Vanderleun : June 26, 15  |  Your Say (124)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Watch out! You might get what you're after.
Cool baby! Strange but not a stranger.
I'm an ordinary guy,
Burning down the house!

-- Talking Heads

Call him "Carl."

Many, many years ago I founded and ran my second magazine in San Francisco. In time, I sold my share out to my partner and, flush with cash for the first time in my life, decided to move to New England with my then live-in love whom I shall always think of as "The Socialite." The Socialite's family was one of the 500 and, although fallen on hard times, they retained their position within high Eastern society because of their illustrious name. Their family seat was in Newport, Rhode Island, and The Socialite would, years later, live there with her husband and their daughters. I think about her from time to time and saw her once five years ago. She'd turned into her mother -- slim, patrician, and slightly nuts.

But this is not about her, or those white nights, or even the oh-so-social summers at Bailey's Beach. This is about Carl, the most unwise lover I ever met. I'm telling you about him because by doing so it makes me feel less stupid about love and that's a feeling that's far too rare for me these days.

When the Socialite and I moved back to New England, we rented the oldest farmhouse and grounds in Litchfield, Connecticut. Litchfield is a Norman Rockwell village that is more of a Norman Rockwell village than Norman Rockwell's village.

Our house had no street number. Our house, about a mile out of Litchfield Center, was simply called "Wolfpit Farm." It was an immense house of some six bedrooms upstairs and two down with a parlor and dining room and large open kitchen. Attached to this large house was the original structure; a squat 17th century post-and-beam antique with two stories crammed into about 15 feet. This made each floors ceiling come in at about 6 feet four inches. People were smaller then so I assume this didn't crowd them.

Carl, the unwise lover, was already living in this colorful but squat structure. His ceilings were 6 feet 4 inches and Carl stood 6 feet 6 inches, an updated and somewhat dazed Ichabod Crane. Every time Carl stood up in his house he had to squat down and shamble from room to room. He had to be especially careful when going through the doors of his place since they were shorter still.

His living area, much smaller than ours, shared one wall with us in the kitchen. As a result, every so often when Carl became a bit too rushed, we'd hear a thump and a muffled curse as Carl missed his stoop level going from room to room and his forehead collided with the top of the door.

This usually happened after happy hour in the Village on Fridays.

"Thump!" "Jesus! Oh, Jesus! Arrrr!"

In those days I don't recall ever seeing Carl without a Band-Aid or a scab right in the middle of his forehead. He was permanently in recovery from beam collision.

He was also in recovery from his desire, like George Costanza, to be an architect as well as a divorce. The two were not at all unrelated, as I shall now relate.

Carl was not an architect. He was a small town school-teacher as was his high school sweet heart whom he married while in college. She too loved the idea of being an architect, but would never be one. She had some small skills in art but no concept of calculus. Together they loved each other and the idea of modern architecture. Together, upon their marriage, they determined to build one of the finest modern homes in Litchfield as a monument to their love. They both wanted a great house more than anything else in the world. More than, even, children.

In the confused thinking common to those who value things above all else in this life, the Carls ran the numbers. They found that they could, on two (maximum) salaries as small town school teachers, afford either a really great modern house of substance or children. Not both.

Carl later claimed to be sort of ambivalent about this. He wanted kids and probably wanted the great house too. His wife was not at all ambivalent when she talked to him about it. It was a house, house, house. Full stop. Period. Kids had no place in her fantasy. And what's more, she told him, they needed to be sure.

Solution? She could get her tubes tied or Carl could get a vasectomy. They discussed it and came to the typical marital compromise. Carl conceded and would get the vasectomy. It was, his wife pointed out, much cheaper than her getting her tubes tied. After which they could be secure in their building of the finest modern home known to Litchfield in the mid 1970s.

Land was not an issue since Carl's father owned vast acreage around the town given over to apple orchards. As a wedding present, he gave the lovebirds a prime ten acre building site and enough money to retain the architect. In those days, the bankers were still local as was Carl's family and they secured the financing quite smoothly. The wife brought little to the marriage except the expectation of a fine house and a vasectomy.

Carl married her, they both signed for the loan, retained the architect, went on a honeymoon, and came back to their jobs as school teachers and the beginning of the building of their dream house.

Carl used Spring break that year to get and recover from his vasectomy which was, in the mid 1970s not quite the well-worn and somewhat painless procedure it is today. At bottom it was the same in effect. An incision is made in the man's scrotum and a tube that conveys live sperm to the penis is snipped and sewed shut. You still can have good sex, but you are firing blanks. The recovery now is mostly benign. A little discomfort for a day or so and then some careful weeks and you are good to go. Back then it was slightly more painful for quite a bit longer. But Carl was doing it for a house and for love. He had not heard the phrase "Faustian Bargain," but he'd learn.

Love, as all men and women learn, is often only for a season, but a mortgage is for 30 years. The Carls worked with their architect and even got some of their more grandiose visions incorporated into the house. A spiral staircase running the three floors made of brushed aluminum. A three story atrium of ground to roof windows in which plants that never got closer to New England than the Amazon Rain Forest would thrive in all seasons. A slate roof. Copper gutters. Open. Edgy. It was the talk of the town. And then the talk was all over town.

It seemed that one of the brawny men who came to install the slate roof and put up the copper gutters had a smooth way of talking and a very big hammer. He also had a strange attraction to Mrs. Carl. It was an attraction that was, it would seem, returned numerous times on the job site and in the apple orchard. It was, in short, a new an unexpected love for Mrs. Carl. Whatever the roofer had it was powerful since, within a month of the completion of the Most Modern Home in Litchfield, Mrs. Carl ran off with the roofer to points far west and left him with a note, a huge house, a jumbo mortgage, and one teacher's salary with which to service it.

I won't go into the emotional train-wreck that ensued in the wake of her betrayal and abandonment except to say it was everything you are thinking and more. I don't know what happened to her. As far as I know nobody does. She exits stage west with a roofer with a large hammer. Fare well and God bless.

Carl had to stay behind, sell -- or rather give away -- the house since nobody around could be found to buy the Most Modern House in Litchfield for anything close to what it had cost to build. The 3-story atrium emptied heating oil into the New England winters like a supertanker that had been blown in two on the high seas. The slate roof, probably because one of the roofers had been distracted, had a tendency to develop a new leak onto the white shag wall-to-wall after every weekly ice-storm. It was a pale, pale elephant of a dream and Carl was going down with it.

He sold and took about a $75,000 loss. His family had been local for generations so bankruptcy was not discussed. His father was too upset with losing 10 acres of land to people from out of town to help Carl with his folly for at least a year.

So Carl took the hit and moved from owning the house of the Most Modern and High Ceilings in Litchfield to renting the house of the Most Antique and Low ceilings in Litchfield. If it was Friday it was: "Thump!" "Jesus! Oh, Jesus! Arrrr!"

But, in spite of it all, Carl still believed that somewhere out there in the world love was waiting for him.

And he set out to find it.

I don't know when the idea to travel around the world with a smile, shoeshine and rucksack occurred to Carl, but once it did he set about planning for it ruthlessly. I imagine he thought that finding love was a matter of Brownian Motion -- if you just ramble around enough you're bound to bump into the right thing. He failed to see how rare real love is and how easily it is discarded once obtained. Romantics tend to love not others, but romance itself. And when the "romance" fades they can't move to a higher, deeper love, but only on to the next incident in a long chain of catastrophe tarted up into cheap opera. Like Carl's wife, they're off moving on to the next big adventure. Their perfect defense is that they don't have to taste the fruits of their desertion.

Carl determined to learn, at least, this lesson. The key, he thought, is in motion that takes you far away. And the farthest away you could get, he reasoned, was to go around until you got back where you started. He made meticulous arrangements for a year long voyage. Got the addresses and contacts from friends and family to their friends and families in at least 15 countries. Got the books. Got the maps. He even dated a local travel agent to get some advice and discounts. He was honest about this and she didn't mind, love 'em and ticket 'em was her motto.

Having lived in Litchfield all his life, Carl had a lot of friends and we invited over 250 to his send-off party at Wolfpit Farm. It was a superb bash with a lot of toasts to maps and globes and the start of a great life adventure. The last guests left at dawn with Carl in an airport limo we'd all chipped in to get him. It got to Kennedy International and the sendoff continued. In those innocent days it went on until the final boarding call was made and Carl kissed and hugged everyone and took the evening plane to London, the first stop on Carl's Round-the-World Tour. Bon Voyage!

About ten days later, The Socialite had gone to New York to see her mother and I was alone at Wolfpit Farm. I came down from my studio and into the kitchen around sunset to make a cup of coffee and consider the evening cheese and fruit plate. I was bustling about in the kitchen when, suddenly, "Thump!" "Jesus! Oh, Jesus! Arrrr!"

Carl was back and before I could even begin to think what that could mean he was knocking on my door.

We sat down for coffee and he filled me in on the miracle that had happened to him.

His plane had landed at Gatwick and he'd gotten to his small hotel in Kensington early in the morning. That day had been spent on the tube and on buses just taking in the sights and sounds and smells of the familiar yet always strange city of London. At around six in the evening, exhausted from the trip and the day, he made his way back to his hotel and went into the small pub next door. He took a pint and sat down at one of the tables and looked about. Sitting at the next table was a gamine and gorgeous woman who smiled at him. He smiled back and said "Hi."

"You're a Yank," she observed and picked up her beer and sat down next to him.

Two days later, they admitted to each other they were in love. Four days later they were even more in love. A day after that they'd determined they would marry and live in the Norman Rockwell village of Litchfield happily ever after. There were some visa and other diplomatic issues so Carl agreed to come back first so he could get a place ready for them.

"This place won't do," he said. "We'll need at least three bedrooms."


"For sure. She's got two daughters by her first marriage."

"Don't you think all this is, ah, a little sudden?"

"Sure. But when you've found the real thing, why wait for your life to begin? You have to grab love when it comes along."

And so it was written and so it was done.

The house was found and Carl rented and furnished it. In time the woman came with her two daughters -- who were very cute but tended to have some problems with discipline. The woman was not really a hit with the village and the family who were, to say the least, suspicious of her motives even though she was invariably polite, amusing and charming. All in all, they settled in well enough.

Somewhere about this time, I'd gotten my first important magazine job in New York City and I'd given up my rambling place at Wolfpit Farm. I spoke to Carl on the phone, and always received a glowing report on how happy the four of them were, and it was only a question of time before they'd take the final step and get married. But the calls tailed off as the calls do, and for a number of months I heard little from Carl but wished him well in his new life. He deserved a little happiness.

I was in my garden duplex on East 86th street when his call came.

"Hey, I've got a favor to ask."

"You in trouble, Carl?" With Carl it was always best to ask that first.

"Not at all, not at all. We're going to get married very soon now."

"Great news," I said, knowing through the grapevine that there had been some unexplained delay in the marriage plans.

"And, there's better news," Carl said. "We're going to have children."

"Oh?" Thinking of the vasectomy Carl had gotten at age 23 in order to 'finance' the Most Modern House in Litchfield. "Don't you already have her two girls?"

"She wants to have one that's ours, ours alone. I've looked into it and it is possible to reverse a vasectomy. They just go in and sew the tubes back together. Once that's done she says she'll be ready for the wedding."

I had a few thoughts about there possibly being a more ulterior motive for a woman who was not a natural born American wanting to have a child with him, but I kept them to myself. You never liked to disappoint Carl when he was in one of his believing moods.

"The only problem is that money's tight and the operation is expensive. I can afford it but not the hospital stay afterward and the doctor says I can't take a three hour car trip for at least three days after the operation. I want to know if I can recuperate at your place. I won't take up any space and I won't be any trouble."

"Sure," I said. After all, how much trouble could it be? We confirmed times and dates and I assured him I'd be home to help him out as soon as the hospital released him.

"Do you want me to come pick you up?"

"Don't be silly. I'll just take a cab. It only about 20 blocks."

The day came and I left work early in order to be there for Carl. The Socialite wasn't pleased but she said she could put up with it.

At about four in the afternoon, my doorbell rang. I went to the building entrance and greeted.... a taxi driver.

"You Van der Loin? Get out here. You're pal's all messed up and I ain't gonna be cleaning out my cab. It's gonna take two of us."

What I saw in the back of the taxi gave new meaning to the phrase "pillow-biter." Carl was essentially immobilized in a hospital smock and perched on a pile of purloined pillows. It is hard to imagine how a man can sit in a cab and not sit down, but Carl was managing this feat of levitation. What he could not manage was movement. The jouncing ride over the Manhattan potholes had frozen him in a sitting, but not sitting position. A sphere of bandaging beneath his waist was the reason.

In those days, long before the more bizarre realms of body modification that have been achieved in this blighted era, you would not have thought it possible for a normal man's scrotum to swell to the size of a grapefruit, but that was what Carl, in his quest for perfect love, was sporting.

The cabby and I carried him, very gingerly, into my duplex and deposited him, oh so gently, on the large sofa that was to be the center of his realm for the next three days. I've never known a deeper sense of empathy nor a deeper gratitude that I was not the man I beheld. I'd like to say I felt his pain, but the truth was that here was a pain I never wanted to feel.

He rolled onto his back and lay there, forehead bathed in sweat, gazing blankly at the ceiling. I paid off the cabby, who was only too glad to be rid of this fare and he was off.

Carl, pale -- very pale -- glanced down at his bandaged nether regions. "Ice," he croaked. "Lots and lots of crushed ice."

Getting and fetching and crushing ice for Carl's reverse vasectomy was to be my role for most of the next few days. I told him right up front that there would be no application service. He'd have to do some things for himself.

The Socialite was kind to Carl and even kinder to me. There were no "I-told-you-so's" spoken, but her long suffering looks were all it took for me to get the message.

Three days later, Carl, still tender said some profound thank you's and hobbled off to the cab that would take him to the train and back into the arms of his soon-to-be-loving wife.

We shook hands at the curb and he got, still with a lot of care, into the cab.

I never saw him again.

But I did hear, a few months later, what happened next.

Carl recovered from the ordeal of the reverse vasectomy. In a week or two it didn't hurt and full sexual function had returned. Sadly, since the operation then was much more crude than it is today, the sperm function did not return. There would be love making but no baby making.

It didn't take long for the English woman to decide that she was not going to get everything that she wanted from Carl after all. The wedding was called off, and she announced that she and her daughters were going back to England. Carl was not invited.

He was a good sport about it. He bought their tickets, helped them pack, and even ironed some blouses for the girls just before he drove them to Kennedy to say farewell. He still loved this little artificial family. It was his family even as it was blowing him off.

They parted at the plane and Carl drove back to his now empty three-bedroom house in Litchfield.

As Carl came up the last hill and into the little valley where the house was, he noticed a plume of smoke rising over the trees. When he got over the hill he saw the trucks of the Litchfield Fire Department pouring water onto the smoldering ruins of his house.

Later it was determined that the cause of the fire was an iron that was left plugged in and had fallen, probably when someone slammed the door, into a hamper of clothes.

After that, the years rolled on and the city came to claim me and I lost track of Carl. I still don't know what happened to him, but I like to think that somehow he got a third chance to love and that he took it, and that he was, maybe, wiser at last.

All it would have taken was one good woman.

Vanderleun : June 25, 15  |  Your Say (34)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Found at the invaluable | Western Rifle Shooters Association

gerardvanderleun : June 23, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

"Sergeant A.M. Chandler of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Co. F., and Silas Chandler, family slave, with Bowie knives, revolvers, pepper-box, shotgun, and canteen." Handwritten label on back of frame: "Andrew Martin Chandler, born 1844, died 1920. Servant Silas Chandler. 44th Mississippi Regiment, Col. A.K. Blyth. Wounded in battle of Chickamauga."

In 1861, A.M. Chandler enlisted in the Palo Alto Confederates, which became part of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. His mother, Louisa Gardner Chandler, sent Silas, one of her 36 slaves, with him. On Sept. 20, 1863, the 44th Mississippi was engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga, where Chandler was wounded in his leg. A battlefield surgeon decided to amputate but, according to the Chandler family, Silas accompanied him home to Mississippi where the limb was saved. His master's combat service ended as a result of the wound but Silas returned to the war in January 1864 when A.M.'s younger brother, Benjamin, enlisted in the 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment. (See also: A Slave's Service in the Confederate Army.

gerardvanderleun : June 22, 15  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Keith Reid recalled the writing of the lyrics:

I had the phrase 'a whiter shade of pale,' that was the start, and I knew it was a song. It's like a jigsaw where you've got one piece, then you make up all the others to fit in. I was trying to conjure a mood as much as tell a straightforward, girl-leaves-boy story. With the ceiling flying away and room humming harder, I wanted to paint an image of a scene. I wasn't trying to be mysterious with those images, I wasn't trying to be evocative. I suppose it seems like a decadent scene I'm describing. But I was too young to have experienced any decadence, then, I might have been smoking when I conceived it, but not when I wrote it. It was influenced by books, not drugs.
It was twice as long, four verses. The fourth wasn't any great loss, but you had the whole story in three. When I heard what Gary'd done with them, it just seemed so right. We felt we had something very important. As soon as we played it for anyone, we got an immediate response.
In rehearsal, instrumentation was added. We had this concept for the sound of Procol Harum to be Hammond organ, piano and blues guitar. No other band had that; it gave us a bigger sound. It's a live recording… I think we did three takes. It's equal parts Dylan and Stax. On our own terms, we were always trying to make a Soul record. Funnily enough, Otis Redding wanted to do it, but we wanted our record out first, and Stax wanted the exclusive.
A Whiter Shade Of Pale /Songfacts

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, there is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as well've been closed

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

[Verses not recorded but heard in concerts from time to time.]

She said, I'm home on shore leave,
Though in truth we were at sea
So I took her by the looking glass
And forced her to agree
Saying, you must be the mermaid
Who took neptune for a ride.
But she smiled at me so sadly
That my anger straightway died

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

If music be the food of love
Then laughter is it's queen
And likewise if behind is in front
Then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
Seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
And attacked the ocean bed

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

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gerardvanderleun : June 22, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

By Daisy Luther| As found at | The Organic Prepper

Raise your hand if you survived a childhood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that included one or more of the following, frowned-upon activities (raise both hands if you bear a scar proving your daredevil participation in these dare-devilish events):

  1. Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids

  2. Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble

  3. Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria

  4. Riding your bike without a helmet

  5. Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets

  6. Drinking water from the hose in the yard

  7. Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)

  8. Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)

  9. Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)

  10. Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL

  11. Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)

  12. Camping

  13. Throwing rocks at snakes in the river

  14. Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians

  15. Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns

  16. Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns

  17. Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school

  18. Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)

  19. Working for your pocket money well before your teen years

  20. Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting

  21. Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode

  22. Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower

  23. Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper

  24. Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)

  25. Walking to school alone

gerardvanderleun : June 18, 15  |  Your Say (47)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102

An entire 4th of July picnic, packed between two buns.


How to Make The Burger Our Forefathers Would Have Wanted You to Make | I sat down with Sammy at his West Hollywood apartment to brainstorm the most quintessentially American burger possible. After a few glasses of Bulleit Bourbon and an entire Mos Def album, we settled on this towering monument of all things land-of-the-free-and-home-of-the-brave:
The American Pastime 2.0 aka Uncle Sam’s Meat Sweats.

IPA Sesame Seed Bun

BBQ Baked Bean Hummus with Blackstrap Molasses

9 oz 80/20 Beef Patty

Pimento EZ Chz Mac Salad

Budweiser Battered Ketchup

Hickory Smoked Heirloom Tomato

Bomb Pop Kool-Aid Pickled Onions

Iceberg with Texas Pete’s Ranch

Kaboom! 10 Facts About Firecrackers That Will Blow You Away


2. Firecrackers were not used in the earliest Fourth of July celebrations, as they hadn’t been exported to America yet.
“Interestingly, firecrackers were reported to have been part of Fourth of July celebrations only after the holiday’s 11th year,” Dotz says. “The norm before then was ‘illuminations’—where people placed candles in their windows—as well as bonfires, bells, musket fire, and loud parades.”

Also, the earliest Fourth of July celebrations involved using explosives to send anvils into the air. According to Firecrackers, “A blacksmith’s anvil was placed on the ground and a bag of gunpowder with a fuse was placed on top of it. Finally, another anvil was placed upside down on top of the bag, the fuse was lit, and everybody scattered. This was to avoid being crushed like a cartoon character, because the top anvil was propelled into the air before returning heavily to the ground. It was said you could hear the sound of a good anvil shoot for miles in all directions.” | Collectors Weekly

The basic tenets of the liberal narrative include:

Women are thriving in the workforce since being freed from the prison sentence that is the housewife’s life.
Southerners are stupid, racist rednecks who are proud of slavery. Undocumented workers are hardworking people who love their families and are just coming here for a better life. Islam is a religion of peace; the extremists are only acting like that because we made them that way. Gender is a construct. Gays are madly in love and can’t wait to devote themselves to the bliss of matrimony. Blacks are struggling a little, yes, but that’s because “systemic” racism is “alive and well” today and cops are out to get them. The only problem with America these days is white men. - - The Reality Disconnect

"For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it,


there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863,
the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is stll time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago…. – William Faulkner The Other McCain

Going the Distance: Till death us do part....


Jeanette Toczko, 96, and her 95-year-old husband, Alexander Toczko, from San Diego, California, died just hours apart as they held hands in bed. The pair spent their lives in love after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend when they were only eight years old.
Several weeks ago, Mr Toczko suffered a broken hip in a fall and was left bed-bound. A local hospice delivered a special bed to his home, which staff pushed up next to his beloved wife's bed. As Mr Toczko's condition quickly declined, Mrs Toczko's own health took a turn for the worse. The couple had always said they wished to die 'in their own bed, holding hands, in each other's arms'. And in scenes reminiscent of the 2004 film The Notebook, they passed away while clutching hands earlier this month: Mr Toczko on June 17, as he lay beside his wife; and Mrs Toczko, the next day. The couple's daughter, Aimee Toczko-Cushman, described the moment she told her mother she had lost her husband, who kept a photo of Mrs Toczko at her Holy Communion in his wallet. 'I told my mother he was gone,' she told 10 News. 'She hugged him and she said, "See this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I'll be there soon".' The dying embrace of husband and wife who were married for 75 years and died just hours apart as they held hands in bed

"Don't pea in my dip and call it guacamole." -- Iowahawk


Green Pea Guacamole Recipe - NYT Cooking Adding fresh English peas to what is an otherwise fairly traditional guacamole is one of those radical moves that is also completely obvious after you taste it.

The Treasure of the Santa Fe Mountains

He held on to the chest he'€™d bought, an ornate bronze lockbox, and spent years filling it.
Fenn tinkered with its contents constantly, aiming to create a stash that would dazzle anyone who opened it: gold coins, Ceylon sapphires, ancient Chinese carved-jade faces, Alaskan gold nuggets the size of chicken eggs — some of these items coming from his own private collection, others acquired just to add to the hoard. For the next 20 years, Fenn kept the chest in a vault in his Santa Fe home, covered with a red bandanna.... Then, sometime around 2010, Fenn did it. Without even telling his wife, Peggy, he slipped out and squirreled away his chest — to which he’d added a miniature autobiography, sealed with wax in an olive jar — somewhere in the wilds of the Rockies. It took him two trips from his car to get all of the treasure to the hiding spot, because it weighed 42 pounds and he was in the neighborhood of his 80th birthday by then. For a while, Fenn kept what he’d done secret. His own daughters didn’t find out about it until he self-published his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, complete with the poem he’d spent years refining. - - The Everlasting Forrest Fenn HT: Never Yet Melted

How to Improve Your Brain, 1596


A Rule to knowe what thinges are good and holosome for the Braine.
To eate Sage, but not overmuch, To drinke Wine measurablie, To keepe the Head warme, To washe your Hands often, To heare litle noise of Musicke or Singers, To eate Mustarde & Pepper, To smell the sauour of Red-roses, & to washe the Temples of your Heade often with Rose-Water. These Thinges are ill for the Braine. All manner of Braines, Drunkennes, To stand much bare-headed, Overmuch Watching, Overmuch Bathing, Cheese, Garlicke, Overmuch Knocking or Noise, & To smell a white Rose. -- From A Rich Store-House or Treasury for the Diseased Ask the Past:

Pet Semetary: 8 Million Dog Mummies Found in 'God of Death' Mass Grave

8 Million Dog Mummies Found in 'God of Death' Mass Grave
In ancient Egypt, so many people worshiped Anubis, the jackal-headed god of death, that the catacombs next to his sacred temple once held nearly 8 million mummified puppies and grown dogs. The catacomb ceiling also contains the fossil of an ancient sea monster, a marine vertebrate that's more than 48 million years old, but it's unclear whether the Egyptians noticed the existence of the fossil when they built the tomb for the canine mummies.

"Why would I want to do that?"

Don't you see? Can't you see it? It's the answer to everything
. It's the Swiss army knife of life, with the little can-opener dongle on it, except instead of opening cans it opens universes. If everyone would answer 99 percent of the questions put to them every day with, "Why would I want to do that?", the world would be a better place. Not just for the questioner. All manner of mischief would fold up and die and I wouldn't get messages from Nigerian princelings anymore because every offer to send a million dollars tax-free would be met with, "Why would I want to do that?" Sippican Cottage: The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

“Feed us first and then command us to be virtuous!”

Knowest Thou not that, but a few centuries hence,
and the whole of mankind will have proclaimed in its wisdom and through its mouthpiece, Science, that there is no more crime, hence no more sin on earth, but only hungry people? "Feed us first and then command us to be virtuous!" will be the words written upon the banner lifted against Thee–a banner which shall destroy Thy Church to its very foundations, and in the place of Thy Temple shall raise once more the terrible Tower of Babel. -- The Grand Inquisitor redux

I will pay a half-million dollars to each of my slaves, and free them immediately.

I am not sure how many I have, but will try to give you an estimate in even dozens.

Further, I believe that all blacks are entitled to a similar amount for every year in which they were slaves. However, I think you owe us royalties for the use of our civilization, which can be regarded as a sort of software. There should be a licensing fee. After all, every time you use a computer, or a door knob, you are using something invented by us. Every time you sharpen a pencil, or use one, or read or write, you infringe our copyright, so to speak. We have spent millennia coming up with things–literacy, soap, counting–and it is only fair that we receive recompense. - - Fred Reed

Lawn Chair, Cold Beer, Golf Clap: "Black Lives Matter Protesters Disrupt Gay Pride Parade"

Chicago’s 47th annual gay pride parade was disrupted several times by the usual city disruptions — gang activity, gunshots, and drunks.
But by far the biggest disruption was from a large group of “black lives matter” protesters. The group was joined by members of the black queer community of Chicago who announced the disruption on their website. - - Breitbart

Gay Americans Today: Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

The Ultimate Gun Free Zone: The Beach


I think it’s safe to say that even in some very gun nutty states like Florida or the Texas Gulf Coast,
your average beach goer, even the gun nutty types, aren’t going to take a piece when they head out for some beach time. It seems to me if this type of attack is to be a template, the only viable solution is a stepped up police presence at beaches, with the officers appropriately armed with patrol rifles (for those of you who are gun control advocates, ‘patrol rifles’ are what you people call an ‘assault weapon’) that can handle the kind of range you’ll encounter in a beach environment. | Shall Not Be Questioned

In a Just World.....

Amy Alkon ;

When It Comes to Titles It's Kathy Shaidle for the Win

The Orations of Monica Lewinsky:
"Having watched, by sheer coincidence, the 1945 production of The Picture of Dorian Gray on TCM last night, I was struck by Monica’s appearance in this TED-like talk. She still wears her hair and makeup the same way she did two decades ago, and appears not to have aged terribly much. But if that’s evidence of some sort of deal with the devil, it clearly hasn’t worked out. She is still unmarried and childless, and now, at 41, her chances of altering her status drop daily."

The great irony is that the Lovers of Nice are not nice.

They are not nice to the children who will be confused when told in first grade
that a mommy can marry a mommy or the children who will never know their fathers, the men who jacked off in fertility clinics and then left them for good. They’re not nice to the victims of homosexuality who will kill themselves, end up murdered by a not-very-nice partner, die prematurely from a not-nice disease such as anal cancer, bacterial pneumonia or AIDS, or if they are one of the small number of homosexuals who survive into old age, die alone and with no grown children to care for them. The Empire of Nice ォ The Thinking Housewife

To address a scourge such as Islam we must think in terms of extermination.

While all is being said, not much is being done. To address a scourge such as Islam we must think in terms of extermination. Think: Dresden; Think: Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Collateral damage? Every time some unfortunate guy gets beheaded and the video goes viral?

Really, collateral damage? You're worried some kids or old people are gonna get killed? When they kill one of ours, we kill one hundred of theirs.

It has been seen and experienced in most every other country in the world, from the "super-powers" to the Third World yocky-dock countries: Islam is not a good thing. It benefits nobody, apparently not even the adherents.

We are all listening to rumors that something bad is gonna happen. Instead of cowering and hoping that it won't happen near us we should be fire-bombing Baghdad and other concentrations of Muslim terrorists. Can't find 'em? Enlarge the target area.

The justification, if one is needed, is that the Muslims are Evil. Whether we are spiritual or worldly, believers or atheists, young, old, gay or straight, male or female, White or Black, or any other combination of the above, the paradigm in which we all repose dictates that some things are good, some bad, and some Evil.

The remedy to the damage and destruction, the murder most foul and the barbaric actions of Muslims can only be met with a force strong enough to overcome once and for all that which threatens all others.
Death sudden, overwhelming, final, no hesitation, and thorough by whatever means will accomplish the end result — elimination of the Evil.

Wait until they break out the nukes. -- Chasmatic at The Top 40: The "Droneiacs" Way of War [Bumped]

Let the diminishing number of unaborted children of the Left go fight the Left's wars of choice like Syria.

I am retired US Army officer. I wrote this about three years ago: Let the Left secure the Leftist State it has wrought So my advice to young men and women:
Stop joining the US military. Do not talk to recruiters or let them seduce you with sales pitches of job training or education benefits. These now have the main purpose of more deeply tying your personal prosperity, hence your liberty, to government control and largess. Let the diminishing number of unaborted children of the Left go fight the Left's wars of choice like Syria. The Left wants them, let the Left fight them. Let the Left sacrifice its own to protect the State it has wanted for decades and finally got. It is not the country the Founders made. It is not a country that believers in Constitutional liberty can defend with integrity. Comment on The Top 40: I won’t fight for a government

Greece ran out of its own money a long time ago and now,


as Madam Thatcher warned, it’s finally running out of other people’s as well, unless the West decides to triple down on it’s lost bet.
No country that employs 75% of its citizens in make-work government bureaucracies and produces nothing except spanakopita is going to be – to put it in modern terms – sustainable.Michelle Obama's Mirror

The long War Between the Whites that started in the 19th century and continues to this day. [Bumped]

Of course, the flag is not really the issue. That’s why normal people are caught off-guard whenever the Cult starts waving it around and ululating like lunatics.
The real issue is the long War Between the Whites that started in the 19th century and continues to this day. We call this the Civil War and that’s a good label, but I prefer my label, as it is more precise. Civil War implies both sides were equal or the same or viewed one another in that way. They never did and they still don’t.

In the 19th century, northern whites of mostly English ancestry used slavery as an excuse to attack and kill as a many Southern whites as possible. Those southern whites were of mostly Scots-Irish ancestry. The northern whites were ready to join their European coevals in the industrial, global age and they did not want those backward agrarian crackers holding them back. Slavery had to go and the people responsible for it had to be punished. The Cult at War | The Z Blog

I can't wait until Granny, on her death bed, marries her favorite granddaughter,

and the IRS watches all that Estate Tax money just drifting away into the sunset - instead of into the IRS coffers.
Two same-sex anyones even when not sexually connected can marry and same thing - there goes all that Estate Tax money. Same with SS spousal benefits, health care insurance, military pension spousal benefits, and I'm sure we can all think of other scams that will now become perfectly legal. Oh, the divorce lawyers and the tax lawyers are going to have a field day! || Posted by: SWOhio Gay Marriage: Just Do It! (And Welcome to It)

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice.

He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years' time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier

Haec dies quam fecit Dominus: exsultemus et laetemur in ea.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made.

Rejoice and be glad in it!"

Who is the protohomosexual?


He is the troubadour poet in twelfth-century France idealizing romance and sexual passion,
the knight of Arthurian legend pledging to serve his lady in trouthe and curtesie as if she were a goddess worthy of adoration. He believes erotic love is a high spiritual experience, the highest experience. Andreas Capellanus’ handbook advises that secrecy and suspense will fan the flame of passion; family obligations and children will stifle it. Lancelot and Guinevere betray King Arthur, Tristan and Iseult break the law, Romeo and Juliet go insane, and in the name of “love” every new fling causes undeserved pain for others. All of this is, of course, the raw material for blockbuster videos and bestselling novels in America today. - - Crisis Magazine

I won’t fight for a government

which has spent years importing filth from every recess of the third world to replace the children we never had because our women were too busy serving two buck coffees to pay off their six-figure student debts.

The government sees low maintenance immigrants as the future of this country. Send them to fight for it. I will not fight for the freedom of speech of people who use it to bully, belittle, and demonize Christians. I will not be lectured on the importance of the right to free speech and then in the next breath criticized for my disapproval of the proliferation of gay marriage and the false idols of equality. If freedom of speech is such a fundamental right to these people then they can take up arms and defend it. But we all know they won’t. Coming Home From The War On Terror

Are White Men Gods?

Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry.
Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Roads. Buildings. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.| HappyAcres

Happy Ramadan everybody! Yes, let's COEXIST in one big happy gay commune!

So, again, while the silly prancers prance and the idiotic dancers dance on the streets of DC, San Francisco, and Seattle,
the White House is bathed in the colors of the gay rainbow flag, our President continues to lecture us all on the evils of the Confederacy, and the Rebel flag gets ripped down from monuments across the South, ISIS & Co. continue their march toward an Islamic Caliphate. One in which, please note, gays do not get married, they get thrown from tall buildings or hanged from cranes. While it apparently takes a delusional white guy who shoots up a black church to get our President concerned about the deaths of Christians, or as he once labelled them "bible clingers," ISIS and pals such as Boko Haram have no problem slaughtering hundreds of Christians and bragging about it. As long as they don't fly the Rebel battle flag, I guess it's ok . . . The DiploMad 2.0: Meanwhile, Back in the Real World . . .

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