Sunday, August 14, 2016

I heard you the first 20,000 times you said it

This is to every Trump stumper whose sole argument for the conservatives to cast aside their principles and vote for their man is this : because Hillary.

You have repeated this, as you say, ad nauseam (when you had the wherewithal to use the Latin, let alone spell it correctly). You say we aren't listening. You say, "Get in line or else."

Well, bucko, your arguments have not fallen on deaf ears. We have heard you, loud and clear. And our answer is a resounding, thund'rous, "GET STUFFED!"

Your choice for candidate is, insofar as both his and your  behavior indicate, precisely zero improvement over the frail, senile female crook the other party is offering as its choice. He, like her, is a proven liar and a kleptocrat. He, like her, promotes vast expansion of the federal government. He, like her, behaves as though people were put upon this earth only to serve his immediate desires. And you would hand over the security and safety of all of us in what is left of the free world "because Hillary."

In other words, out of fear that a nasty, senile old crook and her cronies might be put in the White House, you have demanded we support a nasty, insane, slightly younger crook and his insider cronies.

Well, I've listened to that argument enough. Neither of your disgusting options will receive my vote. If it means the White House is lost to the Republican party -- again -- so be it. That was YOUR choice, when you foisted that orange-skinned, tiny-mitted vulgarian thug upon the rest of us.

I will vote for every conservative and Republican I can, down ticket, but as far as you and your Cheeto Jesus are concerned, I am moving to Fukthatistan.

Are you listening to me, yet?

Friday, April 01, 2016

How to Keep a Nerd Out of Trouble

My family has a habit of collecting books. I get this from the distaff side, since Pop buys his history books, reads them, uses the data for his fun activities on the internet and touring, and then gives the books to the local college library, where he used to teach and I once attended a class or two. (I suspect, therefore, that my alma mater has the best Civil War and WWII selection of any school its size.)

Meanwhile, The Bat and I amass volumes. Between us, we managed to fill the pantry and kitchen with over a thousand cookbooks, and quite a few craft and art manuals. The downside to this is, one can never quite recall on short notice where a certain article or recipe is, and, if one does find it, one has to worry about smudging the pages or breathing in large volumes of accumulated allergens (yes, I have a dust allergy).

So, while my health is still fairly good, I decided to do something about both issues. Page by page, I'm putting the Bat's and my libraries into a digital form and storing it outside the house, in an online cache. I have a scanner, I have an internet connection (such as it is) and I'm not afraid to use it. This means stirring up all that dust, and even some mildew, so that all I will need for reference will be a phone or tablet.

I'm making myself sick for the greater good. Or, at least, for my own future well-being and comfort. I'm not sure how much of what I scan will fall into the category of public domain, so most will be stored behind internet walls. I hope to share my favorite pages with anybody who surfs into one of my public blogs, though. 

Besides the books, though, we have several ring-binder notebooks filled with pockets, each filled with loose-leaf projects, recipes, etc.

Like this one.

Click any image to embiggen

Because you know we all want to make an 18th-century-style wooden "fashion baby".

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Mom? Mom? Mom?

Ahhhh...nothing like a small creature to help you relax and sleep in, in the morning...

Friday, February 26, 2016

New Toy for the Cat

She played until she wore herself out... and then she sat and watched the little mousie scoot across the screen.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

One-Eye lives in peace

Little guy who feasts outside my bedroom window every day... I have no idea how his face got mangled, but he's getting along pretty well despite his loss.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Joy of Tech

I've been scanning some of The Bat's favorite recipe pages -- as well as my own -- from our rather extensive library of cookbooks. It's a fairly daunting task, considering how much we both like to cook and bake. But it just got a little more challenging, this afternoon, when my spiffy high-speed scanner decided to roll over and play dead.

Oh, don't worry. I do have another scanner. It's part of an all-in-one device I bought for an indecently low price at auction a few years ago. The part where I cry "Alas! Woe am i!" is when I consider the clock.

The backup unit is about as speedy at scanning as I am at walking. Sure, we get there, but having plenty of patience is necessary. With my good scanner, I was easily getting 140 pages scanned and filed in a single day. With the backup, I'll be lucky to get 40, because the scanner itself drags along, but also because each page file needs to be renamed before adding it to its proper folder. My poor dainty fingers cry out at this abuse it has not seen since...oh, four or five years ago.

I'd take the good scanner to the repair professionals first thing tomorrow morning, except my chariot and my accountant are both a thousand miles away (and I am not being figurative in stating that...well, not about the distance, anyway. The Bat is my accountant, and the chariot is a relatively late-model muscle car).

But I digress.

The scanner quit. It will not be repaired or replaced this month. I am going to continue to work on this family project, but will take better than double the expected time to do it.

I can tell your heart just breaks from my tragic circumstances.

Tree Rat Boogie

I see this character outside my window at least once every day.  He seems to have figured out that the cats are no threat to him, and, most of the time,  neither am I.

Plus, he pigs out on the free food...

Sunday, January 03, 2016

O Tannenbaum

Time to put the tree away again, until next year. After New Year's Eve, it was making me dizzy, anyway. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Like a Refugee

I've seen this meme floating about the web for a little while, now, almost always with some smug snark to head it, and tonight I finally decided that, before I try to sleep, I'd like to address this ridiculous Straw Man.

To begin with, very few people in this country have expressed any reluctance to take in true refugees from persecution in their home countries. Those who do object, generally have a problem not with the idea of helping those in need, but with being suddenly inundated with whole cities of people who have had no health checks, no way to check their backgrounds nor predict the likelihood of their becoming -- or being already -- a massive security threat that our own government not only invited in, but actually paid to come here,  using our own tax dollars.

But that's really the only reason most people have concerns about allowing a massive influx of refugees into this country. And, by and large, it doesn't stop most people from opening their hearts to true refugees.

As to the part about electing governments which don't bomb the hell out of countries to make all those fugitives...well, the majority of the current batch of refugees hoping to mass to our cities seem to be coming from countries like Syria, Somalia, Rwanda, Venezuela, Guatemala, Haiti, even Mexico...none of which has, in this century, been subject to "bombing the hell out of," or other means of slaughter by anybody but their own governments or other regional adversaries (e.g. Boko Haram or the Hutu/Tutsi animus).

Further, the government of our country now has been effectively under the control of Democrats for nearly a decade. It's time the Left took responsibility for the messes its own leadership created, instead of blaming the Bush Administration, the Crusaders, the Roman Legion or whatever figure from deep in history is their favorite  target du jour for impotent rage. 

You, along with millions of others of your mindset, voted in the current "Warmonger in Chief" and his current batch of cronies, who managed to turn two hard-earned victories in Asia (such as they were) into one giant cluster...grenade, enveloping northern Africa as well, thus endangering our allies worldwide. So stop deluding yourself that your vote produces nothing but skittles-pooping, rainbow-farting, winged unicorn kittens, and that the people who voted against your particular flavor of political animal are cloven-hoofed, fire-breathing demon spawn come to rape the planet and murder babies for fun and profit. That kind of nonsense makes you look ignorant, parochial, adolescent, narrow, and dogmatically partisan, any one of which fails to enhance a discussion, but in combination they are stultifying, and contagiously so.

TL/DR: just stop. You look like a dipstick and you make your party look like dipsticks, too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Call Racism By Its Name, and Stop Right There.

In the shadow of the murderous assault at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, this week, there has been a demand – from both left and right – for the "white community" to "once again call racism by its name".

As stated by the young man who murdered nine good people, it was his aim to kill "those people" in order to start a race war, which makes his actions clearly racially motivated. Ergo, he is a racist.

But as of today, I have not seen anybody refuse to admit there is racism in this country. Not one. Indeed, there is no clear evidence before me that anybody has said white people can not be, are not bigots, have no trace of racist thoughts within them. We all know, and most admit, that there will always be those who prefer the company of those who look like themselves, disregarding the other commonalities. In a free society, it will always be their prerogative to be ignorant, to choose poorly. That does not mean the whole of society is driven by that ignorant behavior.

What I have seen is a years-long habit of labeling disagreement over policy as racism. What I have seen is a decades-long habit of calling crime statistics "evidence of racism" in law enforcement, without taking into consideration other factors. What I have seen is a justice system being labeled as racist because "a black man can't get a break" even when Michael Jackson, Orenthal J. Simpson, and others with money walk, despite the overwhelming evidence the public sees against them.

Even now, there are those who use the social media to "prove" the racial bias of law enforcement by displaying side-by-side photographs of a black scofflaw who died while resisting arrest and the non-confrontational capture of the very white Charleston terrorist. Obviously, to the people who post the paired images, there is nothing but open racism on display. There is no possibility in their minds that, ultimately, the behavior of each criminal is what will define the end result.

Again, I am in no wise saying there is no such thing as racism in this country – that would be an absurd statement no matter how peaceful our neighborhoods. What I am saying is, for years there have been cries of of racism a reasonable person would ascribe to other factors. It doesn't matter to some. The accusation makes it so. In this manner, as long as the accused continue to deny that racial bias has been the primary factor in X or Y or Z, then when a clear case of bigotry comes along, the accusers feel justified in shouting, "See? See? Racism is everywhere! And you're a racist to deny it!"

If there is no possibility of any other motivation, then  people should go ahead and call it by its rightful name, call it bigotry. But it dulls the meaning and stops real conversation when it gets tossed willy-nilly into every disagreement. And, where good people argue that racism is not the cause at hand, it is equally counterproductive to claim that there has been blanket denial of the presence of any such discrimination.

This is antithetical to free discourse. It is absurd. And it needs to stop.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What explosion and fire?

Around 5:30 yesterday morning, my alma mater, Monmouth College, suffered an accident which first required the help of the city fire department and then one of those professional cleaning crews. From what I was told later in the day, there was an explosion in the chemistry lab of the new business and science center, involving an organic compound in faulty storage.

My source tells me that the probable cause of the fire was several containers of ether having been stored in a somewhat-less-than-safe refrigerator. Said fridge, as its thermostat directed, would switch off and on, and each time it came back on, would create a small electrical spark in the motor...ultimately igniting vapors of the ether within. This caused an explosion which shook the entire building, causing "at least a half a million dollars in damages" to the newest academic building on campus.

We are all very lucky that this occurred when few students were awake and in the building.

We are not so lucky in this community when it comes to information. I learned details of the incident fully thirteen hours after it occurred, and then only because a member of the family spends his days on campus, and explained to us at dinner what all the fuss of the morning had been.

We have a daily local newspaper. Our neighboring city has a daily newspaper. Neither of them has seen fit to run anything about this on their web pages yesterday afternoon or this morning, about why the Monmouth fire department sped to the scene in the pre-dawn hour. And I guess none of the regional television news teams has anybody tipping them to real events in our sleepy little village, because I can't seem to find any mention of the accident anywhere -- even though one of them had a charming article about a cat stuck in a tree.

I am grateful to the powers that be for the news that there were no injuries in the explosion (I shudder to imagine, had it been later in the day, with the building full of people). I would also be grateful, though, if the news had come to me through something other than private channels. As a member of the community, I would like to believe we are better served than this.