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Open thread 2/15/23

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  • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 8:24 AM

    A luvly picture Neo!

    Probably the stupidest thing you’ll read all day.

    “Brianna deserved a chance to become a beautiful adult woman, and to live to see a world where trans people are safe and respected,” lawmaker Nadia Whittome tweeted on Sunday.


    Remember when people would get the help their children needed no matter what?
    It’s stylish these days to just throw them under the truck it seems.
    Many layers of wrong in this one.

    • jwm February 15, 2023, 8:47 AM

      I wonder what salient information has gone missing from that sad story. A “boy, and girl” killed the unfortunate tranny.
      Must have been, “youths”, or maybe “migrants”.


  • CT February 15, 2023, 9:15 AM

    California poppies, the state flower.
    One of the only things CA has not yet been able to destroy.

    • Terry February 15, 2023, 10:49 AM

      Give the dot gov time. They will destroy everything.

      My mother’s paternal grandfather had photos of the Los Angeles basin that he took with an experimental color film camera. I do not know what decade this was. But the whole LA basin was covered with California Poppies. Thousands of acres of beauty. No rainbow freaks whatsoever.

      He was an inventor extraordinaire.

      • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 11:39 AM

        You’re replying to the pedo troll.

        • CT February 15, 2023, 6:58 PM

          I thought about ignoring your comment(s), above, as others have, but did a quick google search of “pedo troll” and found it listed there (already).

          Gerard knew (and now Neo knows) exactly who I am, from my registration for New American Digest, my posts, a few emails between me and Gerard, and the checks I have sent, which have my contact information on them. They also knew/know exactly who you are.
          The AD community is educated and experienced, and is not (I believe) interested in your continued defamation of me. So you might consider giving up your attempts to libel me.

          “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

          • ghostsniper February 16, 2023, 4:59 AM

            Just can’t stop telling everybody about these imaginary checks can you pedo?
            You’re “registration” of 30+ aliases is well documented pedo.
            Don’t you have a playground to go leer at?

  • Richard G. February 15, 2023, 9:44 AM

    In Flanders Fields
    By John McCrae

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  • John Venlet February 15, 2023, 10:30 AM

    No flowers are blooming in Michigan, yet, but I’ve noted daffodil stems poking out, and a few bits of crocus greenery, evidently coaxed out by our warmer than average February weather. I’ve also noted that on the recent full sun days we’ve enjoyed that a cardinal or two have sung the songs they usually warble in the Spring, along with the tufted titmice. They all might be a tad early.

    • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 11:43 AM

      Same here, 8″ tall daffodil stems reaching for the sun.
      Plenty of cardinals all the time here but the red wing blackbirds just showed up a couple days ago.
      Unbelievably it’s 69 degrees here right now, 2:40pm, and the sun is shining bright.
      I’m slammin burgers on the grill at 6pm.
      Come on down, don’t bring nuthin, we got it all!

      • John Venlet February 15, 2023, 11:49 AM

        Ghostsniper, our high temp was at 6 a.m. this morning, it was 48 degrees. I’d scoot down your way for grilled burgers, but that’s what the Lovely Melis and I had last night. Old fashioned charcoal grilled on a Weber. Was 52 degrees at grilling time last night. Haven’t seen any redwings here, yet, but if they’ve made it to your neck of the woods, it can’t be too long before they show up.

  • John A. Fleming February 15, 2023, 11:24 AM

    I expect Southern California will have an above-average spring wildflower season. It will be glorious from mid-March to mid-May. Anza-Borrego will be a riot of color. Different flowers bloom at different time, you have to keep going back. Farther north, north of LA and throughout the Mojave, there will be explosions of poppy orange across the golden and green and brown hillsides. All the disturbed open spaces will sprout dense thickets of five-foot high mustard stalks, with the profusion of tiny flowers the hillsides and meadows will glow pale yellow-green in the warming spring sun. If you like wild mustard leaves in your salads, well it’s just outside your door. The wild bees throughout the Mojave will empty their hives and work non-stop to collect their year’s supply of food. For several weeks the normally quiet and empty desert sky will hum with the sounds of bees. One time I was driving across the Mojave in spring, and thwack thwack thwack all the way as the bees splatted on the windshield. Perhaps even Death Valley will bloom this year. Down in Anza-Borrego, the flower riot brings out the fat caterpillars happily chewing on the leaves, one or more on every stalk.

    It’s tough to decide every weekend: go skiing in the mountains, go walk through color in the desert hillsides and plains, or stay home and do domestic chores. In every life there are only so many ski days, and so few glorious wildflower days.

    • John Venlet February 15, 2023, 11:52 AM

      John, I didn’t see any mention of trout streams. Any trout fishing opportunities?

      • John A. Fleming February 15, 2023, 5:31 PM

        Hi John,
        There are trout in the Sierras, most of rest of the SoCal streams and rivers are seasonal. The high mountains are snowed in. The lower rivers haven’t started the spring snowmelt yet. In April and May the now placid but cold streams will become raging torrents as they race down the hills to the reservoirs and aqueduct intake pipes. California should manage to get most of its reservoirs filled up this year, Central and Southern California are at 140-160% of April 1st average for the snow water content in the Sierras.

    • jwm February 15, 2023, 12:05 PM

      Very nice. I’m putting up work to take the bike out, and enjoy a little of this cold (for So Cal) day. You’ve got me itching for a road trip, now. I’ve been through that hidden corner of the state, but I haven’t been out to Anza Borrego itself. Sitting at the side of the house, is a good pile of Anza Borrego alabaster from the US Gypsum quarry out there. Here’s a piece of it:
      hope the link works…

  • jwm February 15, 2023, 12:07 PM
    • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 12:40 PM

      That one looks nice and it appears finished.
      Reminds me of a hood ornament of an old 40’s car.
      Might be cool material for underlit countertops.

      • Mike Seyle February 15, 2023, 3:00 PM

        It’s one of John’s carvings of a (to quote his site) “Fender Bomb, a front fender ornament for a 1950’s Schwinn/Whizzer motorized bicycle.” He’s quite the stone artist: https://catsofruatha.blogspot.com/

      • jwm February 15, 2023, 3:00 PM

        It’s modeled after a fender bomb for a 1950’s vintage Schwinn Whizzer motorized bicycle. Alabaster is beautiful stuff, but much too soft for anything like a countertop.


        • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 5:53 PM

          Thanks Mike.
          John, looks awesome.
          Couple Q’s.
          Is it actual size or bigger?
          How did you hollow out the inside of the ring?
          I’m guessing you did a series of drilled holes and then maybe a fret saw and then files?

    • Anne February 15, 2023, 12:54 PM

      Ohhh. . .what a treat! Dh and I enjoyed seeing the bikes.

      I lived on Balboa Island one year–1961-1962. Both summers of the Beach Boys at the Pavilion. I think I could still do a pretty good “surfer’s stomp”. The California Coast is a special place and I am glad to hear you have been able to carve out some bike trails.

      • jwm February 15, 2023, 3:07 PM

        Thanks, Anne.
        Our club hosts the So Cal RatRod Ride cruise every second Saturday of the month. We’ll celebrate eleven years of the ride, and ten for the club in March. We alternate between cruising to Huntington Beach Cliffs, or the Wedge on Balboa Peninsula. We did Balboa last Saturday. Any friends of AD who happen to visit So Cal, are welcome guests. We’ll even provide the bikes.


        • Anne February 15, 2023, 5:05 PM

          JWM. It’s nice to hear that there is a bike trail alongside the coast highway.
          Here is how I remember that highway at Huntington.
          We had only been married two months when the phone company my husband was working for went on strike. We were so young and full of hope. He had come home from a very early stint in Nam (1963) with a Honda 300. It would be our only transportation for the next two years. Boy, we thought that thing was hot and then he “souped it up” a little bit more. Thought he had it up to 325!

          My family had moved to Laguna by then and we had a small apartment at the back of their house. His boss at the phone company told us to drive up to union headquarters in Long Beach and get our free Thanksgiving turkey which we did. We started the return drive home with me sitting on the back and holding onto the turkey, we began the drive home down the coast highway. I was cold and after a while, my husband put the turkey under his jacket. In those days most of what is now Huntington was agricultural fields–green onions and/or strawberries came down from the valley all the way to highway 1. A solitary road came straight down through the fields and stopped at the ocean– at the only traffic light for miles. I think that intersection is now called highway 35. On that Friday afternoon we were all alone on the highway–some sun, some wind, some spray.

          We stopped at the light no other vehicles around when a car pulled up next to us. The driver rolled down his window and shouted something to us. At first, we could not hear what he was saying because of the wind, but he was crying so my husband yelled at him that we couldn’t hear what he said. He repeated himself: “they shot the president–they shot Kennedy”. Then the light changed and he drove on. We sat there not knowing what to think–we could not imagine that such a thing could be true. Maybe we didn’t hear him right. We sat there for a long moment trying to understand what we had heard and then continued down the highway. I remember feeling even colder for the rest of the ride–deep icy cold inside. We were 19 years old. We had no way of knowing that that day was the beginning of the long slide.

          • John A. Fleming February 15, 2023, 5:40 PM

            Hi Anne, I have a thought Gerard would have liked that story a lot. Oh my, it’s all gone to houses, golf courses, strip malls and a few parks now. The only real open space left is the Seal Beach Navy reservation and Bolsa Chica.

            • Anne February 15, 2023, 11:23 PM

              Thank you John–that is a very nice compliment–I hope he was listening!

              We used to have the ability to make corrections for a few minutes after posting our comment. Is it possible to get that put on to the new system?

              • ghostsniper February 16, 2023, 4:56 AM

                Anne, I don’t know anything about the inner workings of this site.
                Neo may know.

          • jwm February 15, 2023, 7:08 PM

            Ghost: Once I had the shape roughed out I used the old Craftsman drill, and a 1/4″ bit for a starter. Then I open up the holes with a masonry saw blade until I can get a small riffler file in there, then it’s all rasp and file for the shaping. I won’t put a chisel on something that fragile. Except for the power drill, this whole project was done on the primitive: Square, compass, pencil, caliper, and saw. All the shaping was done with hand tools.
            Anne, that would no doubt be HWY 39, Beach Boulevard. My family was from Michigan. In the summer of 1963 we visited some close friends who had just moved from our Mich. neighborhood to La Habra, which is twenty miles north, at the other end of Beach Bl. That summer I rode down Beach Bl in our friends’ station wagon, and saw the ocean for the first time. I learned to surf there. My father’s, Mother’s, and Grandmother’s ashes are scattered there. Mine will be too.
            I heard the news about JFK in my 6th grade classroom. Just a few words of a radio broadcast. Something about shot… Dallas cracked across the PA speakers, then nothing. The teacher sent me to the office, and the secretary told me, “Someone shot the president.” I sprinted back up to the classroom with the awful news, and a minute later the principal came on… Friday, December 13, the moving vans were gone, and my family piled into our ’61 Plymouth, and began the long drive to La Habra. Of the family and friends who migrated out here, I am the only one still here.


        • Terry February 17, 2023, 8:08 AM

          I would enjoy viewing some ratrod bikes. Had one back in the mid-fifties. More of a jalopy than a rod though.

  • Casey Klahn February 15, 2023, 5:32 PM

    Anne and John: that part of Orange/L.A. is magical. Please keep some of it for me to see when I get back that way.

    Elsewhere the Ohio derailment was mentioned. I just wanted to quote Bobus Dylanus: “I don’t dig nature. You can’t trust it.” I don’t get too worked up about enviro stuff.

    • jwm February 15, 2023, 7:11 PM

      If you ever get near here we got a bike reserved for you.
      Also food and Whiskey.


      • ghostsniper February 15, 2023, 7:28 PM

        From Crescent city to Redondo, I know almost every inch of PCH, the hard way.
        But I’m glad I did it, I have the memories.
        Saw The Empire Strikes Back in 70mm in Huntington Beach and sat right on the sand at Seal Beach and got wasted on guzz and grogg. The beach was huge and we were a long way from any establishment. The friend I was with said, “Man, I gotta go in that water and piss my ass.” We laffed and laffed and laffed.

  • leelu February 16, 2023, 7:00 AM

    Somewhere, there is a picture of my grade school BF and me in the middle of a hillside of those poppies.
    On one of my trips to the Sierras from L.A., I passed a cactus that had a small pile of snow around it, with a clutch of poppies a few feet in front of it.
    SoCal winter, beach, or skiing?

  • Anne February 16, 2023, 4:02 PM

    Following in the tradition of Gerard I am posting a link to this Robins Jeffers piece. It is long, but it is what made him famous. Pour a whiskey neat tonight and sit warm and read about half–you might want to finish it off this weekend sometime. “give your heart to the hawks . . .”

    • jd February 17, 2023, 7:31 AM

      Thank you for this, Anne. Enjoying by increments.

  • RigelDog February 18, 2023, 1:36 PM

    Neo posted her fine sonnet dedicated to Gerard and it reminded me of a poem I wrote to my husband for Valentine’s Day. For background, we are both criminal prosecutors and met at the office; we get along like peas and carrots and always have.


    I want to write
    Words tight and true
    To show how right
    Are me and you.

    And yet I pause,
    I hesitate,
    For word and phrase

    Words that are tall–
    The widest verse!–
    Would yet make small
    Our universe.

    Let me assay
    This little bite:
    You are my morning,
    Noon, and night.

  • Anne February 18, 2023, 8:28 PM

    Dear Riegeldog: My Dh and I love this poem! You did good, or as my DH said–“good for an attorney”!
    Keep up the spirit and good marriage. In the end that is what matters.

  • RigelDog February 19, 2023, 7:42 AM

    Anne, thank you for the lovely compliment! And tell your husband that I wanted the poem to sound stiff/lawyerly so there lol.

    • Anne February 19, 2023, 12:13 PM

      You did it just right! It came across the way you wanted it to! We are still giggling about it.
      Thank you,

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