According to local media, this video allegedly shows about ten Russian attack Mi- 24 Hind helicopters entering Ukrainian air space through Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian republic where 58.5-percent of the population are ethnic Russians.... The Daily Beast claims that the 2,000 Russian soldiers are part of a Russian "private military force," not actual soldiers from the Russian Army. Other people are saying that these are disguised Russian special forces.
And he's bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
"Delivering a blunt warning to Moscow, President Barack Obama expressed deep concern Friday over reported military activity inside Ukraine by Russia and warned "there will be costs" for any intervention." -- AP
"The Obama administration is evaluating whether President Barack Obama will go forward with plans to attend an international summit in Russia this summer amid reports of Russian intervention in Ukraine. A senior administration official says it's hard to see how Obama and European leaders would attend the G-8 summit in Sochi, which is scheduled for June. "So let me get this straight. The "penalty" for Russia if it keeps its hold on the Ukraine is that it doesn't get to waste precious summer days in June in the presence of this cowardly little narcissist and his entourage of fluffers and fellators? Well, yes, that would certainly make any leader of Russia give up the security of his fleet's access to the Crimea, the Black Sea, and from there into the Mediterranean. Let's not forget that Russia lost the Crimean War in the middle of the 19th Century [not that long ago in the Russian mind] which took about half a million lives on all sides. In that war, most of the fighting took place for control of the Black Sea, with land battles on the Crimean peninsula in southern Russia. Deja vu all over again? Why not? That's the history of Russia writ large.
Simply put, if Russia cannot maintain control of the Crimea and Sevastopol it cannot maintain the Black Sea Fleet.
The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, together with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol. Formerly commanded by such legendary admirals as Dmitriy Senyavin and Pavel Nakhimov, it is a fleet of enormous historical and political importance for Russia.The Black Sea Fleet enables Russia to control and dominate its close in "backyard" of Georgia as well as have access to the Mediterranean and, hence, the Middle East and Suez. Without the Crimea and Sevastapol, Russia ceases to be a nation with global reach. This is something Putin will not do. Ever. This is one of those annoying strategic situations in which trying to force Russia to step back can easily become a trigger for thermonuclear war. And Russia is still in the strategic nuke business.
Instead of understanding how history lives in the present and shapes the future, this pig-ignorant "president" doesn't have a foreign policy, all he has is a series of poses and postures; none of which are all that butch.
Indeed, it would seem that the only group on the planet that are afraid of this putz are D.C. Republicans. And I'm not too sure about them any longer.
"Many will arrive with no military training, and no doubt most coming from Europe will have little if any experience handling firearms.
Few will have felt the heft of a machine gun, or realize how heavy and powerful it really is. Before the war, they will never have smelled the lubricant burning off as the barrel glows orange, and the gun becomes so hot that it begins to fire on its own. Their ears have not heard the tics and tinks a hot gun makes as it cools in the darkness after prolonged firing, and after the war, their brains might make the same tics and tinks, and keep firing on its own.
the scent of time fuse burning, and they will not have known before how to make a large bomb using little more than cotton. When they have not seen a female for a month, they will smell and sense her from a block away. For those who survive and return to Denmark or Germany, they will know this and much more, and with their passports, it is a simple flight to Orlando.
Syria War - Al-Nusra Front Insane Heavy Intense Urban Firefight. [Below] Men who can fight like this will find it a simple matter to take down a shopping mall, or to stage an audacious ground assault on a civilian airport. When the foreign fighters return home, and their brains begin to cool during long nights, some will be shattered and broken. Others will move on with life, while a smaller number will have found what they love most in life, war."Wars never end.
They just go home, and not always to the home they came from." From Michael Yon, Dispatches, Not a CrosswalkContinued...
"Commonly referred to as the “Boneyard,” the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., contains about 5,000 retired military aircraft throughout 2,600 acres. Crews at the Boneyard preserve aircraft for possible future use, pull aircraft parts to supply to the field, and perform depot-level maintenance and aircraft regeneration in support of Air Force operations. (U.S. Air Force video/Andrew Arthur Breese)"
Why this masterpiece isn't up for the Oscars is beyond me. Michelle Obama's Mirror:
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Source: The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)Continued...
"Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at,
because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now." -- U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio
In this intimate portrait of destiny, passion, and loss, Irina Markova, a solitary Russian poodle trainer, reveals her transcendent relationship with her dogs, the childhood tragedy that sparked a lifetime of working with animals, and the welcome isolation behind the red velvet curtains of the circus.
Peter and Jane go to a modern art gallery.
In one room there is an old master that has been defaced with a giant penis; in another a canvas scrawled with the words ‘Why did you f**k me and leave???’ hangs on the wall; in another there is nothing at all. “There is nothing in the room because God is dead”, says mummy. “Oh dear,” says Peter. - - The IndependentContinued...
"There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it." -- William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night (1981)
The pirate utopia's motto was "for God and liberty," and its flag was white, in contrast to a Jolly Roger.
They were anarchist, waging war against states and lawmakers, attacking their ships, sparing prisoners, and freeing slaves. They called themselves Liberi, and lived under a communal city rule, a sort of worker owned corporation of piracy. They had articles (shared codes of conduct), and used elected systems of re-callable delegates.
Misson was French, born in Provence, and it was while in Rome on leave from the French warship Victoire that he lost his faith, disgusted by the decadence of the Papal Court. In Rome he ran into Caraccioli - a "lewd Priest" who over the course of long voyages with little to do but talk, gradually converted Misson and a sizeable portion of the rest of the crew to his way of thinking:…he fell upon Government, and shew'd, that every Man was born free, and had as much Right to what would support him, as to the Air he respired... that the vast Difference betwixt Man and Man, the one wallowing in Luxury, and the other in the most pinching Necessity, was owing only to Avarice and Ambition on the one Hand, and a pusillanimous Subjection on the other.- - On Libertatia
BY LISEL MUELLER
This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.
Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.
The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.
Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.
Lisel Mueller, “The End of Science Fiction” from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. The End of Science Fiction by Lisel Mueller : The Poetry Foundation
Too many so-called conservatives just have sticks up their butts. They see a woman in a v-neck, they write their letters.
The younger generations might see it and get corrupted or something. So they mount their campaign to keep the kids from seeing certain things…ever. It looks like a campaign for ignorance because that’s what it is. And, it looks overly-controlling, neurotic and futile. Because it is all those things too. Saddest thing is: We do have a moral crisis in this country, and “please take that picture down” conservatives are helping to make it happen. - - Morgan @ House of Eratosthenes
"Welcome to the new Captain Tammany H. Plutocrat Seawater Economy.
Climb aboard the Ship of State, a wholly owned subsidiary of Titanic, Inc, they said. But there isn't room for everyone on board, and most of us are cast adrift in a rowboat, and there's nothing but ocean in sight. We sailed until becalmed, rowed until our back gave out, and the map we were given said land was just over the horizon, but of course the horizon, by definition, is always on the horizon. The canteen we were given is dry, but has a Groupon for water in it. The ration cans are filled with nothing but dietary advice. Captain Plutocrat buzzes by from time to time on his cigarette boat, made from the finest flotsam of our lives dashed on the rocks he steered us to, and gives us advice. First it was: You don't need all your possessions; why not throw them overboard? Then throw the people you don't like overboard. Then the feeble. Eat the fat ones before they get skinny. Why not chuck the kids in the ocean, too? Finally, when we're all alone with nothing, he tells us to stop whining and drink seawater if we get thirsty." - - Read all @ Sippican Cottage
APOD: 2014 February 20 - Comet Lovejoy over The Great Wall
Image Credit & Copyright: Jiajie Zhang
Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky, a delicate apparition in binoculars or small telescopes. The comet, a relic of the solar system's formative years, is seen here rising in the morning twilight on January 12 among the stars of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Posing near the comet is bright star Alpha Ophiuchi, also known as Rasalhague, from Arabic "the head of the serpent collector". Of course, the serpentine shape below is the ancient Great Wall of China, along the Panlongshan section northeast of Beijing. Panlongshan is translated as "a coiled dragon". A moving and fortuitous scene, it was captured with a digital camera and telephoto lens in two consecutive exposures. The exposures were merged to show a natural looking foreground and twilight sky.
The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free. Yours, A. Lincoln.
[Happy Birthdaythis week to Ansel Adams, 1902- 1984.]
Unknown photographs from when Adams was, if only for a few days, an urban photographer.
I don't recall what I was searching for when I came across the Ansel Adams photographs of Los Angeles at the beginning of World War II, but I don't think it was a handsome rendering of Half Dome or a Moonrise in New Mexico. It was something much more gritty. On reflection, it might have been photographs of my original elementary school, Benjamin Franklin in Glendale. In any case I was running a search in the Los Angeles Public Library's immense online collection of photographs when something in a record caught my eye, the name "Ansel Adams." The image attached to this record was of a parking lot with a cars jumbled together around a prominent No Parking sign.
I don't normally associate Ansel Adams with ironic snapshots of parking lots or small format urban photography at all. Like you, a photograph by Adams means the classic evocation of the great American wilderness. It never crossed my mind that he had photographed any of the cities of men, much less Los Angeles. But there it was. Maybe, I thought, there were more.Continued...
2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. - - Hebrews 13
Up to 18 babies a month end up in pastor Lee's Baby Box, a box attached to his house for women to leave their unwanted children in.
"The babies that come here are the ones who'd otherwise die," he says. The shame of having a baby out of wedlock leaves many women feeling desperate. But some say the Baby Box encourages mothers to abandon babies without registration, slowing down the adoption process. Pastor Lee's been ordered to shut down his facility, but remains defiant: "There is nothing illegal about saving someone's life."
Jeremy Bufford: Well, honestly, it was a way for us to be a first mover in the space, because we won’t be able to actually operate our treatment centers and our laboratory facility until mid-to-late 2015. We have the opportunity from now until then to operate under our business name to go ahead and brand ourselves as the trusted place to get your education around medical cannabis.
Abraham Lincoln by Byers, 1858
Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by its own undoubted friends -- those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work -- who do care for the result.
Two years ago the
Republicans Americans of the nation mustered sixty-one million strong. thirteen hundred thousand strong.
We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us.
Of strange, discordant, and even, hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy.
Did we brave all then to falter now? -- now -- when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent?
The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail -- if we stand firm, we shall not fail.
Wise councils may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later the victory is sure to come. - - "House Divided" Speech by Abraham Lincoln, 1858
[ By the way, for those Americans worried about the coast-to-coast SWATification and militarization of American police forces..... well, move along.... nothing to see here:]Continued...
"You are old, father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head —
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it would injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."
On August 31st, 2013, Nyad jumped into the shark-friendly waters of Cuba and swam some 110-odd miles—without the protection of a shark cage—to eventually reach the shores of Key West, Florida, some 53 hours later. At age 64. Unprecedented.
Management suggests full screen mode when viewing the video after the jump. This in order to examine the more critical elements of this very scientific experiment.
For more details please pursue your scientific studies at Swimsuit 2014 - Kate Upton Zero Gravity - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014 - SI.comContinued...
And --as in all wars -- Mistaeks kan bee maid.
Paktika Province, Afghanistan â After spotting Taliban forces on a distant ridge line, U.S. Army mortar teams engage with 60mm mortars. A simultaneous airstrike is called in which accidentally drops a 500 pound bomb on a U.S. Army infantry outpost, mistaking the position for Taliban fighters.
Luckily there were no friendly casualties in this incident. It is still unclear what caused the pilot to target the wrong position.
Q: What events led up to this bomb drop, and what was going through your mind after the bomb hit?
A: We had been taking harassing sniper fire for a little over a month and could not find out where this guy was, so we were up in the OP, took a few rounds and battalion heard we were in a TIC. Then about a minute prior to being cleared hot we heard they were in route. We heard weapons free, they told us to get small, and I replied with “Yeah, I get small” sarcastically, and then it landed about 15m behind us.
Honestly we had dropped so many bombs up to that point that the thought never even crossed my mind that this could even happen, especially with all the checks put into place. About a half second before impact you could hear the bomb screaming in like I hadn’t ever heard before, and I definitely knew at that point something was off. After the initial realization that it had hit behind us, we were so scatter brained trying to figure out what happened. It hit so close to the guys in the tower it actually knocked the fill out of radios.
Then we went up to check on the rest of the boys. Luckily our First Sergeant called up and put everyone on stand to, inadvertently saving the lives of at least 3 soldiers who would have been in the bay that had shrapnel sent through every inch of it including shearing holes into weapons. Once the smoke had cleared and we realized that no one was seriously injured, we were just sitting there in awe as the anger started to build.
If it hadn’t been for the decision of the First Sergeant to bring everyone to “stand to”, three of our guys would have died in that wood building. His decision saved three of our men.
It is still unknown how this mistake happened or why the friendly location was mistakenly targeted.
"It's unnatural to date 25 women at one time. It felt wrong."
"They labeled him the virgin bachelor for starring in the often scandalous reality television show "The Bachelor" with a rare commitment to purity.
The show featured revealing wardrobes, a fantasy suite, and all the innuendo you can fit into primetime. His stint on the show made Sean Lowe's love life the hottest topic in entertainment news. But can you truly find love on reality television? Can he stay strong in the midst of tabloid rumors and public scrutiny? His story and his struggle tell of the unique influence a man of faith can have on a nation's infatuation with love and romance."
As seen in the comments to: The Top 40: Current Seattle Beverage Option
"Before ya start flamin' me I'll tell you that I know what I am talking about. I am 67 years old and have not always been on the straight. Here's what I'd say at an NA meeting. (I didn't like them, too many losers there, I got my sobriety in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous):
I betcha I smoked more dope than what you weigh and, kid, pot brownies were not invented yesterday; I have popped pills; snorted coke — speed with a better alibi; shot junk in all forms, took it orally — methadone in Tang, it did the job; never tried opium suppositories, would have but they were unavailable; I did peyote, psilocybin, mescaline — never dropped acid, didn't want to get too out of control, haha.
"( Boy, I am drifting a bit. Don't fear, I have not lost sight of shore. )
"OK, patterns of addiction can be applied like workaholic, sexaholic, the gamblers, people who get off on violence.
"The thing is, the substance is only a symptom, the rest of an addiction is an Inside Job.
"(Here we go, headin' for shore.)
"I quit all that crap twenty seven years ago. I followed the program of AA and have never regretted it. I got God in my life (now don't go EEK, all running away from that concept, it worked for me). I maintain that all chemicals that alter our reality are essentially not good for us as individuals and certainly not good for society as we all seem to wish it was — according to all the commenters.
"I am reading about this all around the sites. Much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, “Oh how good we could be, uh, just as soon's we get up off the couch".
"(Awright, up on shore and waiting for what will be excellent replies. )
"Work with me, folks, we're all in this together. I am sure I can learn something, there appears to be a whole lot of commenters smarter than I am." -- Posted by: chasmatic at February 18, 2014 1:08 AMContinued...
1. We admitted that like crazed pale metrosexuals we were powerless over Obama huffing, puffing, and fluffing — that our political lives had become unmanageable, bereft of truth, justice, and integrity.
2. Came to believe that a Constitution once again greater than Obama could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our political will and our Obama addiction over to the care of Common Sense as we understood it.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and saw how continually conned we were to believe that this hybrid charlatan was in the game for anything other than his own enrichment, power, and aggrandizement.
5. Admitted to America, to ourselves, and to another drooling Democrat the exact nature of our inability to criticize and dump Obama simply because of the color of his skin even as the content of his character dwindled into negative numbers.
6. Were entirely ready to have the Constitution remove all these defects of our political disease.
7. Humbly asked the Constitution to remove this sham of a president even if it meant, yes, Biden.
8. Made a list of 317+ million Americans we had harmed by our stupid, stupid, selfish, and -- dare we say? -- braindead votes for Obama (twice because, yes, we were just that stupid), and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would cause their teeth to burst into flames as they shouted, “WE TOL' YOU DAT BITCH WAS CRAZY!”
10. Continued to ask ourselves “How could we be so stupid?” and -- when we grew even stupider as Hillary shook her commodious tush -- promptly admitted we were still not cured of our addiction.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve the chances that a random asteroid strike would reduce Washington DC to smoldering rubble, praying only for enough mass and orbit change to carry that out.
12. Having had a reverse political lobotomy as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message of Obama’s deep and enduring suckitude to others, and to remind ourselves to take a hot lead enema rather than ever voting Democrat again.
Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge may speedily pass away.
Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address - Wikisource, the free online libraryContinued...
By 1794, as he contemplated retirement, Washington began organizing his affairs so that in his will he could free all the slaves whom he owned outright.
.... At the time of Washington's death in 1799, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon: 123 were owned by Washington himself, 154 were held by his wife as "dower slaves", and 40 others were rented from a neighbor. Washington's will provided for all of his slaves to be freed upon the death of his widow, but she chose to free them about 12 months after his death. The will also provided for the training of the younger former-slaves in useful skills and for the creation of an old-age pension fund for the older ones. - - George Washington
Left to Right: Joe Nocera, Thomas L. Friedman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Carmen Reinhart, Andrew Rosenthal, Paul Krugman
Another former Times writer, someone who has gone on to great success elsewhere, expressed similar contempt (and even used the word “embarrass”) and says it’s longstanding.
“I think the editorials are viewed by most reporters as largely irrelevant, and there’s not a lot of respect for the editorial page. The editorials are dull, and that’s a cardinal sin. They aren’t getting any less dull. As for the columnists, Friedman is the worst. He hasn’t had an original thought in 20 years; he’s an embarrassment. He’s perceived as an idiot who has been wrong about every major issue for 20 years, from favoring the invasion of Iraq to the notion that green energy is the most important topic in the world even as the financial markets were imploding. Then there’s Maureen Dowd, who has been writing the same column since George H. W. Bush was president.” The Tyranny and Lethargy of the Times Editorial Page
Strap in and pre-deploy the airbags. It's a wild ride.
What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.
- - Design by Robert Frost
The latest addition to its SUMO volumes, TASCHEN presents a limited edition book of photographs by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. Over two and a half feet tall and weighing 57 pounds, the enormous book comes with its own Marc Newson-designed stand. Leibovitz drew from over 40 years of work, starting with the reportage she created for Rolling Stone in the 1970s and extending through the stylized portraiture of her work for Vanity Fair and Vogue. A supplementary book contains essays by Leibovitz, Graydon Carter, Paul Roth, and Hans Ulrich Obrist and short texts describing the subjects of each of the over 250 photographs. Limited to a total of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, this book is now available online for $2,500 USD.
The Collector’s Edition is available in four different dustjackets:
Whoopi Goldberg, Berkeley, California, 1984
Keith Haring, New York City, 1986
David Byrne, Los Angeles, 1986
Patti Smith, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1978
"This is sure to rile some feathers. But hey, you're not the target market anyway. Enjoy your gluten-free lattes and income equality. I'm likin' this guy's house!" -- Homchick
"What is it about? Like all Greek songs, about Love and Death." -- Melina Mercouri, Phaedra
"The Politics of life are easy. It's the Poetics that are tough."
I'm still working out what I meant when I wrote that. It'll take me life plus 99 years.
The Poetics of life are much more persistent in their knocking at the door of your inner self than the Politics. Politics have their seasons, but the Poetics are our constant companions, waking and sleeping, thinking and dreaming. In a very real sense, since they run deeper than the Politics, the Poetics are the Politics' power source. But what are the Poetics about? Simply put, they are "like all Greek songs, about love and death."
I've done a dance or two with death over the years. I've found that he's not very graceful and he always wants to lead.
Once, during a long-lost summer, I was the night driver for a hearse at a mortuary. In the wee small hours of the morning, I'd drive the on-duty mortician to pick up a man or a woman's or a child's body from wherever it had become just a body. In the hot California delta night I'd drive the mortician, both of us in Blues Brothers suits, to a hospital basement, a home bedroom, a city morgue, or, one time, to a shabby skid row hotel where the leaking wicker basket holding the suicide had to be held vertically in the creaking ancient elevator for all eight slow floors.
I've been alone in the waiting room with my mother when the surgeon, still drying his hands on a towel, walked through the door and said, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Van der Leun, but we just couldn't stop the bleeding."
I've stood in a room high above Central Park West where the only sound was a death rattle in an old man's throat, and told the doctor on the telephone that there was really no reason to send the emergency resuscitation crew for the twelfth time in half as many months. I sat quietly holding the old man's hand for around thirty minutes until his breathing stopped. Then I left that room, told my in-laws he was dead, and watched them mask their expressions of relief.
I've found my name carved into the stone monument at Battery Park that lists those that died at sea during the Second World War. I've found the names of two men I went to high school with carved on the Vietnam wall in Washington.
If I'd managed to keep one address book for my contemporaries since graduating from high school, it would, as they say, be beginning to fill up with dead people and that rate would increase.
I've stood on the Promenade on the Heights and seen two towers fall and reduce thousands of people to ash and dust in what seemed like less time than it has taken you to read to this period.
I have sometimes, I confess, "been half in love with easeful death," but no one living escapes that siren call. The trick there is to lash yourself to the mast of the day, pray, and somehow, through the grace of God, just sail on by.
By now, like many others of my age, I've seen death personally and professionally, retail and wholesale. There really is, when you move with it, nothing to love about the dance of death. The only response is, as Prufrock knew, to see "the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker, and in short, I was afraid."
So I know something -- not a lot, but something -- about that old Greek theme of death and it scares me about as much as it should scare, I imagine, any man. And, having now briefly been dead, the fear is perhaps less shrill but more persistent; a tempo of a fading drum heard far off, cast back over the horizon but still approaching.
What I know increasingly little about, and what really frightens me, is the other theme of the Greek songs, love. These days it seems that it will take more than a lifetime to figure love out.
Love frightens me because, unlike death, love cannot be understood. Love can only be given, gotten, taken or dropped. Like death, it would seem that, once discovered, there's no end to it -- or, to take Hemingway's point of view, no good end to it since one way or another death will trump love -- in this world at least.
Love is where the Poetics of life collide with the Politics. It's a collision where the possibility having to call in the MedEvac helicopter and the coroner is always present; where wreckage is assured and survival never promised. Falling in love is, as a comedian noted, like buying a puppy. You are purchasing a tragedy.
No, that's not quite right. Say rather you are purchasing a hybrid; a tragicomedy or a comic tragedy, since love always has, for those of us removed from its immediate drama, elements of the ridiculous, slices of the sublime, and not a few moments of boffo laughter at the shambling human animal.
Still, it would be nice if I could understand the nature of love and my absurd role in the love dramas of my life. If the joke, in the end, is on me it would be nice to be able to say that I "get it."
Nice but not, I think, necessary. Even if I never get it, I do know one thing for certain about love, "I wouldn't have missed it for the world."
First published 2009-- added to and altered since.
The Monkey King: The simple story of a Buddhist monk's pilgrimage to India to collect religious texts.Continued...
Set and Setting
"I am the Guardian of the Gates of the Emerald City. May I inquire who you are, and what is your business?" -- Oz
When the winter is long and the sun declines to shine I find my mind begins to glide on green. It’s then that the unquiet ghost of Andrew Marvel appears
“Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade,”
and I attend to the world that is rather than the world as I would wish it. There’s comfort in the “world dimensional” -- cold though it may be, green as it has become. The comfort comes from attending, from paying attention to the shades of green in the green shade.
If you attend you can catch the quick blue crocus jumping over the damp moss tendrils -- bright cups of cerulean with slashes of yellow and orange in the center -- bursting in a day and flash-frozen and slumped to a sigh in one night. Slumped against the earth’s daubed quilt of green which in a motley of hues endures.
Here high on this hill above Seattle, the blocks below form an island of Ireland where green is the keynote color of this time in this place. What lawn I have that is still unconquered by armies of weed is a symphony of greens painted by the tireless fingers of grass, lichen, mold and moss, punctuated by a single errant crocus with a tip of vermillion gleaming at the top of its jade tower at the edge of the walk where no hand planted it. Out on the everdamp peninsula of my postage stamp backyard the slab of aggregate and concrete has taken on an ebony green sheen from an algae bloom on its misted surface. All the flower pots and buckets brim with water waiting for the lotus and the lily pads.
Strolling the sidewalks one sees that this or that car, left too long parked, sports on paint and trim, on safety glass, a dusting of moss. Looking up you see that the roofs of the houses display mainly moss in small gardens on cedar or asphalt shingles. Where their walls touch concrete slabs clots of moss cluster ringed with miniature moats. Behind the moats they seem to make their own soil through some strange alchemy of rain and air and rise in small hillocks higher by the day.
It is early in the year but late in the long winter of 2013/14 and the Great Northwest is the Empire of Ice Green. It is that storied Great Green Room, sans telephone, sans red balloon, lacking comb and brush and mush, where Someone unseen is whispering, “Hush.”
Of green, the color out of space.
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.” -- Frost
If not for the tyranny of the color wheel green would be “primary” color. There is nothing “secondary” about green. Green seen holds good and ill, death and life, upon one tether. Green is growth in stalks, shelter in boughs, splendor in the grass. Seen around the gills green is the sign of sickness, the promise of decay and death. In the realm of the mammal, green bodes ill. In the realm of the vegetable, green foreshadows or announces the edible. In the realm of the mineral, green gleams shows the emerald, glows from the jade, and as patina on copper’s conductivity delivers transmitted, transmutable energy with the sting and the speed of light from sun to socket.
Green. Secondary on the wheel of color, primary within the world. Green. The sheen between seed and grain, between the sowing and the harvest, the premise of bread, where waves of green turn amber and from that fruit we form the holy wafer that once blessed becomes the flesh of God -- “This is My body.”
And in the ages before, in the time after Eden -- previous, previous -- when the ice sheets receded and the green man stirred, and decked in boughs walked the paths in Druid echoes, uprooted and ambulatory along the spine of life, of years, the ancient of days when trees and flowers spoke in glades
Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
like a buttercup
upon its branching stem-
save that it's green and wooden-
I come, my sweet,
to sing to you.
Of green. Protean, fecund, Leviathan of colors.
“... in a green shade.” Say, rather, shades -- when through enough green leaf the light is rendered as light, light green when seen in shadow on the skin -- for in its sliver of the spectrum the shades of green proliferate beyond the eye’s ability to discern them. There are the greens seen in the light, the light greens. There are the greens seen in darkness, the dark greens. Between? The greens of yellow, black and blue; the greens of the haunted groves, the swollen rivers, the swaths of green seen in the wine-dark sea. The greens on which our games are played. The greens we grind to gray salted dust in our wars. The greens of lovers’ glades.
Green is shy of no colors except the red. In the heat of red times, in the halls of the red death, we seek the cool greens. In the midst of the vast blue, hovering above the deep, we maintain lookouts to call out the first hints of green on the far horizon. Green is either the bass note of our lives in the verdant forested spaces of the Earth, or the high cry sounded when seeing the longed for oases that accent our deserts, inner or outer, of sand, dust, desolation, ocean. Even faring far forward, voyaging beyond now, when we’ve gone out from this home at one AU from our star and scanned the stars with eyes of beasts our bodies space bound will yearn to return; to recline on the slopes of green:
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth.
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool green hills of Earth.
Shanghai Tower (650 meters): "Today we will show you how to climb on second tallest building in the world."
[ NB: I've put this after the jump in order to say that if you have Acrophobia, vertigo, or any fear of heights whatsoever think twice about watching this. That or have a bucket handy.]Continued...
No doubt about it, these dogs are a credit to their breed.
neo-neocon: This White House photo…posted by Michelle Obama of the First Family’s two dogs comes under the heading of “what if the Bushes had put this up on their website?
And will the regal couple be chomping on while entertaining the far left socialist President of France? Quite a feast:
“The first course will feature American Osetra caviar, farmed from the estuaries of Illinois, paired with quail eggs from Pennsylvania and a dozen varieties of potatoes from farms in New York, Idaho and California.
“That will be followed by a salad of petite radishes and baby carrots on a bed of lettuce and splashed with red-wine vinaigrette made using honey from the beehive on the South Lawn. The salad will be served in a clear, glass bowl and resemble a terrarium.
“The main course, dry-aged rib eye beef from a farm in Greeley, Colo., will be served with blue cheese, charred shallots, oyster mushrooms and braised chard.
“Dessert is chocolate malted cake, described as a modern version of a layer cake made with bittersweet chocolate from Obama’s native Hawaii, Florida tangerines and served with vanilla ice cream from Pennsylvania. After dinner, guests can dip into a serving dish made entirely of sugar to sample fudge made of Vermont maple syrup, shortbread cookies made with lavender from Mrs. Obama’s garden and cotton candy dusted with orange zest.”
Most impressive. How many Americans are able to feast as well as our public “servants” are dining at the White House? Not very many, I’d guess, considering the $500,000 average price tag for these state dinners.
Any smaller and MO could conceal him on her person.
Michelle Obama wears '$12,000' Carolina Herrera dress at White House state dinner | Mail Online Michelle Obama chose Venezuelan-American designer, Carolina Herrera, for the gown she wore Tuesday to the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.Continued...
If you live in a place where snowy and icy winters are the norm, you know the dangers of falling through the ice. And this guide is especially pertinent for those areas of the country where freezing weather only visits sporadically. When frigid temps descend for a short time upon a location that’s not used to seeing them, people, especially children, are apt to go out exploring their neighborhood ponds and reservoirs. As you can imagine, this creates a danger because the cold weather hasn’t been around long enough to create ice strong enough to walk on. That very scenario has happened here in Tulsa this winter, where two young men, in separate accidents, both drowned when venturing out onto a thinly-frozen creek and pond.
On the other hand....Continued...
123 layers. Embiggened after the jump
HT: Kathy Shaidle+
Somewhere inside this Gigapixel ArtZoom are these (and many more). Seek them out.
Beginning on a brilliant sunny day in October, we climbed up to the roof to capture our first panorama using a Canon digital SLR camera, a professional 400mm lens, and a Gigapan robotic tripod head. We captured two half panoramas from opposite corners of the roof because no single spot had a perfect view in all directions (this explains the seams you see). All together, the full panorama consists of 2,368 twenty-two-megapixel images. : About
HT: Mumblix Grumph
Delta's 1980's themed In-Flight Safety Video
Jay Leno: "Randy, you always go up to Oregon and smoke something and come back with these fabulous looking vehicles...." - - Jay Leno's Garage
John C. Wright ponders. Ponder with him.
"Perhaps, like me, you have wondered how it is that so many people, otherwise honest, can adopt without demur the Orwellian anti-language of Political Correctness; how it is that so many people, otherwise rational, can adopt without demur the paradoxes, self-contradictions and logical absurdities involved in relativistic morality, materialistic ontology, subjective epistemology, and the other nuggets of vacuous blither forming the foundations of modern thought; how it is that so many people, otherwise possessing good taste, can without demur fund and support and praise the blurry aberrations of modern art, praise ugliness, despite beauty; how it is that so many people, otherwise good and peaceful, can praise and support and excuse the hellish enormities and mass murders of figures like Che and Mao and Stalin and Castro; or can view with cold eye the piles of tiny corpses heaped outside abortion mills, and make such enemies of the human race into heroes; or can rush to the defense of Mohammedan terrorists with freakish shrieks of 'Islamophobia!' and 'Racist!' even thought to be wary of Jihadists bent on your destruction is rational rather than phobic, and even thought Mohammedanism is a religion, not a race; how otherwise happy, moral, reasonable and decent people can not merely excuse sexual perversion, but will be swept up in a fervor of righteous indignation even if someone points out the biological or Biblical reality of the situation; and likewise excuse lies in their leaders, and adulteries, and abuses of power, and abuses of drugs, and any number of things these otherwise ordinary people would never do themselves.
"And, finally, perhaps, like me, you have wondered why it is that these people who are otherwise civil nonetheless can neither explain their positions nor stop talking, and their talk consists of nothing, nothing, nothing aside from childish personal attacks, slanders, sneers, and accusation, accusation, accusation. Why are they so angry? Why are they so noisy? Why are they so blissfully unaware of the vice, injustice, ugliness and evil they support?
Ponder all this and more at Restless Heart of Darkness / Part Four | John C. Wright's Journal
You know how you always wanted to know what to say during a massive Swiss avalanche? Here's your chance....
Farmer Robert Pikes’ daughter Joyce, age 16,
operates a side delivery rake during haying season on the family farm in Cornish, Maine in July 1945. With labor shortages due to the war, women helping in fieldwork was not an uncommon scene. From - History World War II - Family Farm Fieldwork Hay Hay Season Maine Rake Tractor War Women World War II - History By Zim
Reaffirmation Post: In which I discuss how I got from "there" to "here" back in April, 2006....
My Back Pages: Debating on the step of Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley, 1966. (Left to right:) Me (Somewhat younger but just as strident), An Iranian friend named "Jaz" -- worked with me in the UC library, a refugee from the Shah's Iran -- probably went back after the fall of the Shah, (foreground right) He lost his eye in the Hungarian Uprising and had to run for the border and on into the West to stay alive. In this picture he's attempting to convince me that Communism is an evil ideology. I'm not buying it then, but I buy it now. (Click to enlarge)
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am,
But everybody wants you
To be just like them.
They sing while you slave and I just get bored.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
-- Maggie's Farm
A friend with whom I have a daily correspondence takes great pleasure in needling me on my, shall we say, adamantine position that we need to start fighting the First Terrorist War to win it and not as if we are engaged in a game of patty-cake. In March of 2004, after the Madrid bombings, while I was trapped on a Cruise Ship somewhere deep inside the sixth circle of Hell, he decided it was an ideal time convert me to his policy of "reasonable accommodation." It was the moment in which, as he put it, "...the common citizens of Spain and France are saying 'Tell us again what this got us, other than lots of angry teenagers with bombs?' "
I replied that I'd lived for years in France, with months in and about Spain, and most of the 'common citizens' of those countries would surrender to anything and sell out anyone if it meant they could shop in peace for a few more years. Vichy and Franco came to mind as examples.
Yesterday, in Tel Aviv, the angry teenager with a bomb on his body came again, as he has so many times over the last few years, and as he will in the years to come. Maybe Spain was right to see the effort as futile. Maybe Europe as a whole should just roll over and not just play dead, but be dead. Perhaps Israel should just shrug and say, "Okay, you win. We'll move or we'll die. You tell us."
After all, what's really in all this fighting and dying for anyone? None of the countries that are engaged in this war against terror seems to be ready to do the terrible things necessary to end terror. ("Don't you see? That would make us just like them!" "Perhaps, but we would be alive to repent and reform.")
I once admired the subtle thought, the careful parsing, the diplomatic pas-de-deux of policy, but lately I seem to have gotten a taste for straight talk. It seems to me that if you don't go to war ready to achieve victory by any means necessary -- by any means necessary -- why would you bother to go at all? And of late, I'm only hearing the weasel word "win." I'm not hearing a lot about "victory," which is quite a different thing.
It seems to me that if you are actually "in" a war, victories, big and small, are what you seek to achieve. Once you have the final victory, and that means that the enemy and all that supports the enemy, is so destroyed and laid waste that there's no fight left in him, then and only then can you say you have "won." Absent a drive for victory, there seems to be nothing in this war for any one fighting terror on any front other than pain and death -- and the added insult of an unremitting disparagement from many of the citizens for whom they fight.
That's certainly true when it comes to the United States of late. We seem stalled at the stage of the struggle that brings to mind Churchill's proclamation that he had nothing to offer except, "blood, sweat and tears." We've had those three things constantly for years -- as our media are so keen to remind us every three minutes of every day.
Another factor in the dumb-show called "Bringing Democracy to the Middle East" seems to be that our leadership has become, shall we say, less than inspiring and more like Monty Hall emceeing "Let's Make A Deal" with contestants and a studio audience packed with crazed and crapulous mullahs. Finally, we're seeing a host of our fellow citizens so immersed in their hatred of George Bush that the impression we are hip-deep in demented traitors is getting hard to shake.
All of these things conspire, on a daily basis, to shake our belief in ourselves, our institutions and our commitment to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism. Lately we seem to be living on a daily drip-feed of despair for our future and estrangement from our past. It's not a new diet in this country, but it is starting to assume the proportions of a runaway fad diet, a political Pritikins. And yet this thin gruel is what's being poured into us from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.
If you look closely at this diet for a diminished America you see a familiar list of "ingredients." The list is composed of the ideological stock and trade of a significant segment of Americans to whom this nation, as conceived by our founders, and struggled for for more than 200 years is merely one long, large joke.
And I should know. After all, that boy in the picture up there -- that boy that thought Communism was "something we could live with" -- that young boy was me.Continued...
This movie packed a powerful reminder:
no matter how much incessant propaganda tries to make people believe a lie, one perfectly-packaged dose of truth is enough to make it all go away. -- VDARE.com
Paul Kersey: Nothing to do but cut and run, huh? What else? What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don't defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.
Jack Toby: We're not pioneers anymore, Dad.
Paul Kersey: What are we, Jack?
Jack Toby: What do you mean?
Paul Kersey: I mean, if we're not pioneers, what have we become? What do you call people who, when they're faced with a condition or fear, do nothing about it, they just run and hide?
Jack Toby: Civilized?
Paul Kersey: No.Continued...
What you need to know for the Seahawks victory parade: Parade temperature to dip into 20s to 30s. The Seahawks and Seattle officials are telling football fans to dress warmly for Wednesday's parade and celebration. The high temperature for the day is forecast only in the 30s. It will be sunny, but breezy conditions will make it feel like it's in the teens.
An estimated 300,000 will show up downtown for the victory parade celebrating the Seahawks’ NFL championship. Virtually every downtown hotel room is sold out. Seahawks aboard Ducks | Sportspress Northwest
During the daytime, a shadow cast by an opaque object illuminated by sunlight has a bluish tinge. This happens because of Rayleigh scattering, the same property that causes the sky to appear blue. The opaque object is able to block the light of the sun, but not the ambient light of the sky which is blue as the atmosphere molecules scatter blue light more effectively. As a result, the shadow appears bluish.Continued...
If you're missing Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, you are missing.... out. Seinfeld 2.0; “I wanted to make a show for a phone. Network TV just seems smaller to me than the internet. Why would I put a show on a big, heavy rectangle in your house when I can put it in your pocket?” -- Jerry Seinfeld
The latest episode is George Costanza "The Over-Cheer" - Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee by Jerry Seinfeld
B. Lewis states, "I know these dudes!" and then identifies them.
(Left to Right, Top to Bottom)
Toby Witchett: semi-literate white trash kid who lived down the block from our house. Once borrowed my notebook in ninth-grade English class for the sole purpose of writing "YOU ARE A PECKOR HEAD" in it. Worked for the same car dealership in Texarkana for thirty-five years. Now retired, fat, and bald.
Elvin "the Brow" Bisshop: scary junior-high loner; huffed Krylon out of a paper Things Remembred shopping bag in the parking lot every morning before school. Proudly and un-ironically drove his grandmother's car -- a Salem-reeking, harvest gold 1972 Caddy Eldorado -- to school. Big fan of REO Speedwagon. I assumed he was a burnout, but, surprisingly, he went on to be a successful accountant. His hair is gray and much shorter now.
Todd van Kamp: the King of the Drama Department -- with all that entails. Liked punk; wore Vans and Panama Jack exculsively. Died 1984.
Barry Norstrom: Aspiring guitarist and oil-change guy at his dad's lube shop. Quiet, studious, non-drinker/non-druggie. Ga-ga for Amy Grant. 48-year-old bachelor with two illegitimate children. Now Assistant Pastor (Youth Ministries) at the Summer Road Assembly of God.
Robert Nordstrom (no relation): Tenth-grade Casanova. Nicknamed "Bob the Knob" after being called to stand and read in junior-year British Lit class (Jane Eyre) while sporting a painfully-visible boner. Involved in a physical relationship with Mrs. Vanessa Delano, his zaftig, Linda-Lavinesque ninth-grade art teacher, for all four years of high school. Shot at the E-Z Mart out on Highway 71 by Mr. Delano in late 1983, but did not die. Currently the nighttime/fill-in jock for KOTX-FM Country Gold in Hooks, Texas.
Francis "Fan" Tudyk: unabashed jocksniff and Sabrematics guru. Knew everything about every sport, pro, college, or high school, despite total lack of athletic ability. Obsessed with Ferguson Jenkins. Baylor grad (B.S. Mathematics, '84) and enthusiastic Sig Eps; singlehandedly justified Waco's nickname ("Sodom on the Brazos"). Now, unsurprisingly, the regular 6:00 p.m. sportscaster for KJIM-TV in Fort Worth.
Ethan Joe Pechard. Coonass immigrant from "Nack-A-Dish, Looziana". Perfect hair; worst breath in school. Mormon. Lead vocalist in locally-succesful garage band Ape Drape in eleventh grade. Died one year after graduation from "alcohol poisoning"; bullet-perforated body found beneath floorboards of Dizzy's, an unlicensed but well-known poolhall in Wamba, Tex. the local "Darktown".
Danny del Vecchio: Surprisingly sensitive busboy; worked at Hot TomMolly's Irish/Mexican Bistro out on FM 559 from age 15 to age 22. Soft-spoken yet tough as nails; he once broke a customer's arm for yelling at a waitress. Left Texarkana without fanfare in 1988 after several of his poems were published in The Paris Review. Moved to New York. Framed photo c. 1987 from New York magazine of him drinking cocktails with George Plympton at "21" still hangs on the wall over the buffet line at TomMolly's. Current whereabouts unknown.
Ruben Reilly: Evil half-Mick, half-Jew son of local stationer. Used his dad's money and City Council membership to full advantage when pursuing chicks. Texas High's #1 pot dealer and DEVO fan. Captain of Debate Team '82-'83, UIL 14-5A Varsity Cross-X Forensics Champion 1983. Arrested while selling weed to an underage Rolling Stones groupie at a concert in the Cotton Bowl in 1987. Reformed after prison and converted/reverted to Christianity; returned to the family stationery business in 1992. Downtown store closed after construction of Office Depot out on the Interstate; now lives alone in his parents' empty home and works at the paper mill as a forklift driver.
Joshua Crumb: Nicknamed "J.C." for obvious reasons. Harmless stoner with an encyclopedic knowledge of Yes lyrics. His brass shop-class-made bongs were standard equipment for all THS dopers. Inherited his dad's Firestone dealership; now a major donor to the Texas Republican Party and one of the wealthiest men in the Ark-La-Tex region, yet still looks like a G__d___ned hippie. Loyal fan of original-rules Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Gary Gygax version only). Straight, but never married.
John Babcock: Nicknamed "John the Baptist" for obvious reasons (not the least of which was that he really was Joshua Crumb's first cousin). A brooding, hot-tempered fellow, he kept his distance from most people. Beheaded in 1985 while riding his motorcycle on Hayrod Road (two ten-year-olds had strung a nearly-invisible steel cable across the right-of-way "just for fun".)
Nigel Burk: exchange student from Sheffield, UK. Groovy hair + near-incomprehensible Yorks dialect = teen pussy machine. Good-natured and cheerful; devotee of Celtic and Rod Stewart. Expelled and sent home after giving syphilis to his host family's mother. Now a paraplegic and living in a residence hospital in Bristol after being severely injured whilst acting as an extra during the filming of the BBC's 1984 TV movie Threads.
Lonnie Dale Pirkle: Cartoonist, charcoal sketch king; the best artist in school. Ironically, did not take art class (he took the music elective instead). Nice, but undistinguished personality; dated my girlfriend's second cousin Lisa MacKay. Spent his time building 386-based PCs instead of partying. Now married to Lisa and a father of four. Catholic (ex-holy roller). Works as a systems analyst at EDS in Plano. Harmless.
Billy Post: Varsity QB, Arkansas High Razorbacks, '82-'83. Hated "arkie", known to me only because he was dating Eva Kristoffersen (hottest chick at Texas High), a girl who by some incredible coincidence sat directly in front of me in one class or another from eighth grade through graduation. Proud owner of a red 1978 Pontiac Firebird with T-Tops. Loved Winstons, Billy Squier, mini dirt track racing. Passed over by the college scouts, he majored in Agriculture at Austin College in Sherman, Tex. (B.S. Ag, '88) and pursued an unsuccessful career as a singer of Christian praise/worship songs. Now the Minister of Music, the Church in the Shed, Royce City, Tex.
Travis Lee Hooker: The school's #1 source of recreational RX meds (his dad was a gynecologist). Made a fortune selling speed to junior high kids; got away with it scot-free. Comic book nerd (Legion of Super-Heroes collector) and Star Wars nut. After college (NYU: B.A., Radio and Television, '87) he became an A&R guy for Atlantic Records, but his career ended in failure after an unsuccessful attempt to revive the career of New Wae/NuRo singer Limahl/Kajagoogoo in 1989. Now a concert promoter for Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, La.
Antonio "Guapito" Ximenez: Exchange student from Ferrol, Galicia, Spain. Owned a Russian sniper rifle "taken by my father from the filthy hands of a dead Communist". Current whereabouts unknown.
Identifications by B Lewis at January 31 For Some Men in the 1970s a Bad Hair Day Lasted a Decade @ AMERICAN DIGEST
US Debt has now surpassed the size of US economy in 2011-- rated @ $15,064 Trillion. Statue of Liberty seems rather worried as United States national debt is soon to pass 20% of the entire world's combined economy (GDP / Gross Domestic Product).
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” - Thomas Jefferson
If the national debt would be laid in a single line of $1 bills, it would stretch from Earth, past Uranus.
"Passenger airplanes are extraordinary machines. They are a crucial element in a worldwide system that transfers millions of people safely and efficiently through thin, icy air over vast distances in a very short time. Day in, day out, they fly higher than the highest mountain ranges and move faster than any other means of public transportation. Yet there are surprisingly few of them: the total world fleet of all passenger airplanes presently amounts to 25,000 at the most, including almost 1,500 Boeing 747s.....
"No doubt one of the most heated debates concerned the basic shape of the fuselage. The general belief, one shared by many of Sutter’s personnel as well as by PanAm CEO Juan Trippe, was that the design process would inevitably produce a double-decker craft: a tall, narrow airplane with two floors. This was mainly due to cues taken from ship design and the general idea that the passenger airplane was a flying ocean liner. Words like ‘crew’, ‘captain’ and ‘purser’ still bear witness to this association."
"There was a halftime Super Bowl ad you probably didn't see. You should fix that right now."
"At some point a man must ask why God created him."
"During the first local commercial break of last night's Super Bowl broadcast, residents of Savannah, Ga., were treated to something truly incredible. Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino bought the entire two-minute block of local advertising and aired the masterpiece you see above." -- Deadspin
All of which operates as the already produced leadin for a new Netflix mini-series that combines elements of "Archer," " The Sons of Anarchy," " 24," and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Called? Called.....?
Hell, can't improve on "Jamie Casino," and Nick Cage is overdue for farming himself out for a few seasons of television. What's more, he's already got the wardrobe covered with the non-singed side of Ghost Rider.
"ANNUAL DINNER [held by] NEW ENGLAND SOCIETY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK [at] DELMONICO (RESTAURANT) 1882" - - Design Observer
It would seem, upon deeper research, that there was no such thing as a light repast in the long ago evenings at Delmonico's in New York. To translate the menu above:
Start with endless oysters with finger bowls brimming with Olives & Radishes along with other amusing tastes of this and that.... Then two "soups" which are:
Consomme Sevigne, made as follows:
And/ Or Fausse tortue or Mock turtle soup:
"Take a large calf's head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop't very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop't very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop't. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeatballs made small and the yolks of hard eggs."
Then things really get rolling with Bass A La Rouennaise:
Dress the fish and put it into a fish kettle, moistening with a mirepoix (No. 419), and white wine, adding to it a few branches of parsley; when the fish is done, drain the stock, and reduce it; mingle it with a Normande sauce, finished with lobster butter (No. 580). Dish up the fish and garnish around with blanched oysters, mushroom heads, and pike quenelles (No. 90), molded with a teaspoon (No. 155), the whole arranged in clusters. Cover over with half of the sauce, and serve the remainder in a sauce-boat. Besides these garnishings an outside row of trussed crawfish should be added.(I can't imagine anyone ever said, "Hold the crawfish!")
Or you can simply have Fried Smelts with tartar sauce... or both.
Then it's time for a nice slab of Boeuf Matignon. What was "matignon" you ask? A light concoction, a bed for the beef if you will:
To prepare the dish, a little butter is melted in a pan and the sliced vegetables, the ham or bacon and the herbs are fried in the butter on a medium flame until the onions have turned translucent and the ham has turned brown. The heat is then turned low and a little salt and some white wine are added to the pan to season the vegetables and the ham. The mixture is cooked, stirring occasionally, until the white wine has evaporated. The matignon is now ready and can be used for a variety of purposes. It may be eaten just as it is or it may be used in the preparation of roast chicken, beef, lamb or fish. In this case, the cooked vegetables and ham are placed in a layer at the bottom of a casserole, and the meat, which has been brushed with melted butter, is placed on top of the layer. The casserole is then roasted in the oven, and, as the meat roasts, it absorbs the flavor of the vegetables and ham.
Of course the physical effort of eating all this has probably left you famished. No problem, just tuck into Dindonneaux a la Viennoise aka Breaded turkey cutlet with mushroom sauce, followed by some Mignons de Chevreuil (Venison fillets) and perhaps a brace of Cailles Braisses Macedoine or stuffed quail. Then just step back and get busy with Roti Canvas-Back -- Roast duck. You'll have potatoes, beans, and salads to dabble in and then....
After multiple desserts and coffee, as the New York Times reported, "It was nearly 9 o'clock before the descendants of the Pilgrims concluded the frugal repast which Delmonico had provided for them, and when cigars were lighted, the President, Josiah M. Fiske, called the assembly to order...." And it was time for the speeches. Most notable of which was the toast "Woman--God Bless Her," assigned to "Mark Twain." And while not exactly politically correct by today's dumbfounding standards, he did not disappoint:
"For text let us take the dress of two antipodal types--the savage woman of Central Africa and the cultivated daughter of our high modern civilization. Among the Fans a great negro tribe, a woman, when dressed for home or to go to market or out calling, does not wear anything at all but just her complexion--(laughter)--that is all; that is her entire outfit. It is the lightest costume in the world, but is made of the darkest material. It has often been mistaken for mourning. It is the trimmest and neatest and gracefullest costume that is now in fashion. It wears well, is fast colors, does not show dirt. You don't have to send it down town to wash and have some of it come back scorched with the flat iron, and some of it with the buttons ironed off, and some of it petrified with starch, and some of it chewed by the calf, and some of it exchanged for other customers' things that haven't any virtue but holiness, and ten-twelfths of the pieces overcharged for the rest "mislaid." And it always fits. And it is the handiest dress in the whole realm of fashion. It is always ready "done up." When you call on a Fan lady and send up your card the hired girl never says, "Please take a seat; madame is dressing--she will be down in three-quarters of an hour." No, madame is always ready dressed--always ready to receive--and before you can get the door mat before your eyes she is in your midst. Then, again, the Fan ladies don't go to church to see what each other has got on and they don't go back home and describe it and slander it....." Full text HERE of Twain's 1882 Toast to WomanAll in all, a kinder, gentler, more forthright and much more well-fed time was had by all.
"My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states,
does hearby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.
"Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th, he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled, Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifteen feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment, the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poor design and engineering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or non-existent steering system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled led it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.
"Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernst Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts on all four legs.... Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme 'Little Giant' Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. - - Ian Frazier, The New Yorker : Feb 26, 1990
On the other hand.....
With the terrorists as Palestinians rather than Tea Party grandmothers for a change. Who knows but that -- taking the long view -- such an event might not be the best thing for the country? But I digress....