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Open thread 5/31/23

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  • ghostsniper May 31, 2023, 8:10 AM

    “Then Came The Last Days Of May”


    They’re ok, the last days of may, I’ll be breathing dry air,
    I’m leaving soon, the others are already there.
    Wouldn’t be interested in coming along, instead of staying here?
    They say the west is nice this time of year, that’s what they say.

    • DT May 31, 2023, 4:23 PM

      That stanza influenced me. And she came along …
      Doesn’t seem 50 years …

  • ghostsniper May 31, 2023, 10:46 AM

    wrongly accused
    Yeah right.
    Whoever put this article together should be arrested.
    But the story itself is common and not surprising.
    The poor store owner is trying to make a living in a now communist state and his fate lies in the hands of the machine. This story is infinitely maleable.

    He had his whole life ahead of him.
    He had turned his life around, and was seeking to become successful in the music business.
    His Mammy says not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about him and he didn’t deserve this.
    The local savages made the store look like the rest of the neighborhood.


    • John A. Fleming May 31, 2023, 8:54 PM

      That’s the state of self-defense of life and property these days. It may suck but that’s the way it is until is isn’t anymore. Don’t chase the perp beyond your property even if he’s armed, and for god’s sake don’t shoot him in the back. If you do these things, you are going to the slammer for a long time. Even if the crim is in your house and he’s running for the door, don’t do it unless he’s reaching back to shoot at you. That store owner screwed up, and he’s going down.

      Even police have to watch out for this, they get cut a little more slack, and they used to have unmarked guns that they could plant on the perp, but not anymore in the days of body cams.

      John Wayne was adamant about this, in all his movies he made he never shot anyone in the back. He left that for “the kid”, Clint Eastwood (as reported by Don Siegel during the making of Wayne’s last movie The Shootist. In all the old Western movies, the back-shooter is reviled as a low-down dirty-dog cowardly scoundrel, the worst human scum.

      As for the kid, well, he screwed up too. He learned the difference between carried by six or judged by twelve. I’d be willing to bet he was bereft of caring fatherly instruction.

      When the war between crims and folks start, and the folks start shooting back, as in any war, “It Will End. Soon. But Before It Does, A Lot More People Gotta Hafta Die.” The crims don’t realize that having John Law swiftly throw their sorry butts in jail is a lot more merciful than what the folks will do. We hire the police to do this dirty job of criminal justice for us, so that we don’t have to go to war. Unfortunately, the folks in the cities have lost their minds, and vote for protecting the crims before themselves. They will learn the old hard way. The folks will take all the casualties up front, before they start returning fire.

      • John A. Fleming June 1, 2023, 10:15 AM

        Well, use of firearms and shooting people in the back, your legal jeopardy depends on your politics. It’s articles like this that convince me there is no justice and no equality before the law in these United States. There is only power. If you have it, you and your allies are not subject to the law.

  • ghostsniper May 31, 2023, 12:47 PM

    Quote of the Day
    “The Ukrainian people are not the same as their corrupt government.”

    “The Russian people are not the same as their corrupt government.”

    “The American people are not the same as their corrupt government.”

    “We the People are innocent victims in a deadly game being played by evil people.”

    The first person that says, “Yeah, but they’re MORE evil than us.”, gets punched square in the face for being childishly stupid.

  • ghostsniper June 1, 2023, 6:45 AM

    Was just looking at the tomato plants and one of them has a little tiny yellow tomato on it, maybe 3/8″ diameter. YAAAAYYY!

    The plants have been in the ground less than 2 weeks and were started from seeds from last year in our hydroponic Aerogarden in the breakfast nook starting in early April. Got bell peppers too but no fruits as of yet.

    The tomatoes are the Celebrity version that I originally purchased as fruits 3 years ago from our neighbor Jim Bond. Lotta meat, not much water – all good! Come late Aug I’ll knife off about a 1/2″ thick slab and slam it bewteen 2 sheets of whole wheat slathered with mayo and a dash of salt n peppa. Stand out there on the porch at lunchtime and inhale that thing and get the jooce all down the front of my shirt and puddled around my feets. DAWG!

    • jwm June 2, 2023, 10:05 AM

      Too bad we can’t do pics. My cacti have all been in for five years, now. Five years seems to be what it takes for the plants to settle in and thrive. After this wet winter, they’re goin’ for it! The peyote is going nuts this spring. I started with seven small anemic plants. Five years later they’re all fat and firm, and I’m up to fifteen buttons. I have sixteen more popping out right now. The Bolivian Torch is putting out buds, and the San Pedro has dozens of them. More than I’ve ever seen. It’s going be pretty in a few weeks.


  • Joe Krill June 1, 2023, 7:47 AM

    Ah Ha, The halls of the Starship Enterprise. Beam me up Scotty–

  • John A. Fleming June 1, 2023, 11:55 PM

    As my chosen communitarian duty, I interact with the local boys and teens. We can’t quite do quarter-staff training, we don’t have the protective gear so I came up with a poor substitute: poles 3-6 feet long, keep them below the waist, and touch either the foot, or the legs of your opponent. Poles like closet rods. Parry, riposte, feint, lunge. I remember that stuff from when I was younger, for a while I hung out with the fencing club at university, it was another way to meet girls. My older brother introduced us younger brothers to real fencing. Several nights mom came home to find us brothers fencing with foils in the living room without protective gear, and she was mad. Relax mom, we said, we’re not going to poke our eyes out. Now, with the wisdom of years of experience, working with the neighborhood youth, one of the few dangers I watch for with a keen eye is hazards to the eye. Lots of injuries can be recoverable, but eye injuries are forever. That’s why I’m the enforcer of no poles above the waist.

    I’m not particularly good at activities that require forward-thinking actions: chess, fencing, wrestling. I want to be good, but skill comes slowly. I rush my attack, and the patient opponent waits for the opening I leave and then tags me. It’s frustrating. I’d try all the moves I’d been taught, chaining them together, and then the university girl I was paired with would just calmly and with a smile reach out and touche, point for her. Darn it!

    I teach the boys the basic moves, and then let them go at it. They get pretty enthusiastic and their bouts will go for an hour, quickly changing from one opponent to the next. As long as they are having fun and showing good sportsmanship, that’s all I can ask for. Occasionally when the action flags, I try my luck with a round against one of the older boys, my old man strength and wiles against their lightning fast reflexes. I usually lose, but it’s all good.

    Recently I was paired with a 14-yr-old. We were going to five, and I lost 0-5. Same old story, I’d rush the attack, following Napoleon and Patton’s maxim “”L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace”, and get my foot tagged every time. I just wasn’t fast enough and light enough to get my foot out of the way while I was pressing forward, and I didn’t vary my attack. These bouts are fairly quick and athletic, I’m almost flying through the air trying to get around the opponent’s stick and at his fleeting footwork. It’s great fun.

    Well, on point #5, after getting my foot tagged, I lost my balance and went sprawling forward and splatted into the dirt. One of those things where your legs and feet keep trying to get back under you and catch your fall, and all they do is push you forward even more. For a moment the boys were concerned, but I hopped back up with a smile and said, “nope, I’m all right, it’s all good, only my pride is hurt”. I have to say, it was a pretty good full-on splat, I haven’t done that in a while.

    And today we had the spectacle of the Fraudulent tripping over a sandbag. He’s so frail now, his visibility is restricted because his balance is weak, his gait is stiff and he can barely walk, and he can’t do a quick look around and down, and probably forgot the sandbag was there anyway. Down goes Fraudulent! He was down before his legs even had a chance of catching him.

    That wasn’t so interesting compared to what happened next. He couldn’t get up. He tried, and collapsed back down. The people next to him had to reach down and pull him back up to standing. I was surprised that his praetorians didn’t instantly take down his helpers for daring to touch him, a lèse-majesté.

    The doctors say (harrumph, as if that means anything anymore), that when a person can’t pick themselves up off the floor after a fall, that it’s a pretty good sign that they are on the final glideslope. That rotten grifter needs a walker now, cuz he can no longer take a fall. Get off the stage gramps, do us all a big favor and get in your rocker and let the young guys have a go. It’s clear now your time is over.

  • azlibertarian June 2, 2023, 12:21 PM

    We’ve had an ideal spring and our cacti and succulents have never looked better. The obvious stars of our yard are a pair of Octopus Agave that have come into bloom. Our stalks are 14′ tall and now have thousands of bulbils, each of which is a clone of the parent plant (which, unfortunately, will now die off). Mrs. azlib has a couple’o dozen bulbils in little pots as we’re hoping to grow replacements. [Not my picture, but ours are very similar.]

    My favorite cactus is the Argentine Giant. We’ve got two….one which blooms a white flower, and the other coral colored. When they bloom, you’d better not be late to enjoy them….the blooms last 24-, maybe 30 hours, and then quickly fade. We’ve had simultaneous quadruplets on the white Giant and two sets of twins on the coral (which has another 6 buds yet to bloom). [Again, presented as an example, but not our plants.]

    • ghostsniper June 2, 2023, 2:37 PM

      Luvly. Like something you would see in a book.
      I’ll never see anything like that in person.

    • John A. Fleming June 2, 2023, 3:36 PM

      I have always been perplexed by the brilliant ephemeral gaudiness of desert cactus flowers. Such beauty from these hardy plants in so harsh a landscape. For what, for why is there such a gift?

      Perhaps the plant must shout loud to be seen by the far-ranging bees, flies, moths, and bats that feast upon them and provide pollination and seed-dispersal services.

      The Tohon O’Odham people living in the Southern Sonora desert, the cacti fruits were one of their seasonal food sources. Different foods in different seasons, and starvation in between. We humans too are now part of the cacti family survival strategy. We cultivate them for their beauty and their forms, and disperse their seeds.

      Nevertheless, they exist apart from us. Far out in the Mojave desert, there is a plain where little grows. And then one comes upon a set of low rocky hills, with a desert wash cutting through them. The wash brings flood or gentle runoff waters from the winter rains collected in the distant higher hills, and has cut a deep rift through the granite boulders. That extra water is just enough for a gaudy community of barrel cacti and their smaller cousins lining the rift, living in the dirt-filled cracks between boulders lining the wash. These cacti can’t live in the alluvial plains, but here they are, patiently living in the deeps of time. To them our presence is but an eye blink, like those slow frame/sec movies where it’s an hour long, covers a span of days and weeks, and there is one frame with a visitor, and all the rest of the frames are constant and unchanging.

      Those cacti give me hope. No matter how hard life can be, beauty will find a way.

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