Eric, My Dude, Wha’ Happened to Ya?

Cantor-0bcf9-4269 Frank Luntz really got one thing right. “The GOP is lousy when it comes to doing polling.”

By all accounts, Eric was blindsided by his rather convincing loss to a third-rate “economist” called Brat. He dinna see it cummin’ as they say.

As all politicians do, they manage to put on a thin smile as they stumble to the podium to admit their loss and congratulate the nobody who was somehow good enough.

The punditry is all awash in ‘splainin’ how this happened.

Some say it was his flirt with immigration reform. Other’s his watering down of a bill that would have but a stop to insider trading by congress people, who are as you know, so danged overworked and unpaid that it’s only fair that they should be able to do what nobody else can do without going to jail.

Some say Eric was just a total shit, arrogant and dismissive, failing to act, ya know, like one of his constituents, on those “hanging out  in the district” times. He was in a word, (words actually) full to the brim with the sweet smell of his own poo.

He will likely be replaced by an even more odious (ideologically speaking) commodity, the Brat guy. Who is some sort of economist, but apparently not much of one, who when asked what his position was on minimum wage increases, said he hadn’t had time to work out a “fully crafted statement” on that yet, or some such bullshit. What freakin’ economist doesn’t have a thought on a subject that, ya know, DEALS WITH ECONOMICS?

But I guess one shouldn’t wonder since his economic philosophy seems to be “Brat believes in free-markets as run by some curious amalgam of Presbyterian theology and Ayn Rand’s economic sociopathy.” If that don’t make your head spin I don’t know what will. The atheist Rand married to a dude who claims that his win was a “miracle from God”. I can’t wait to see how it pulls that off.

It is however, most comforting to know that there are plenty of GOP tenderfeet waiting in the wings for their chance on the national stage.

As well as some old has beens who are still trying to be relevant to something that passes for significance in this political world.

johnmccainshocked

Enter one John S. McCain. A meme last week on Facebook asked commentors to sum up Johnny in three words. My favorites were “still not relevant”, “still not President”, and “Sarah Palin, seriously?”. Fresh off his flopping like a dead flounder all over the Bergdahl mess, he ‘s moved on to utter more stale bullshit to an increasingly deaf audience.

You may not have heard, but Iraq is being overrun at the moment with Al Qaida–you know–the crazies who came into Iraq when George W, following orders from Cheney and Rummy, decided to invade it, because they wanted to? That war. The war that we sorta fought to a tie, which gave us our escape window? And we escaped. And like everyone on the planet knew that chaos (or more chaos I should say) would ensue until the damn country became a bloodbath? And a few hundred people have died in that country every month, but Syria was worse, so we didn’t notice? Until the deaths started being several hundred a week? Now ya remember?

Yeah, well, now Johnny, setting aside his blatant memory loss, has declared that we won that war, (more specifically George did after following John’s instructions), and now Obama has gone and lost it, and his entire group of foreign security advisors should be fired, and replaced by the old crew from George’s tenure, and hell, while you’re at it, let George take over, cuz God we all felt so much better and more secure when he was at the button. Such is the way John sees things, or forgets things.

MillerMeet Jeff Miller, (R-FL).

Look carefully since Jeff, is a zombie. Not walking dead, but walking brain-dead. He is shown holding on to his head, for it would float off to the ceiling if he didn’t. It’s full of nothing but helium.

Florida, as you may know, if one of those areas of the country that will soon lose half its sovereign soil when the oceans rise due to climate change. It is of some minor concern to its residents not all of whom are ready to trade their land based homes for boats.

So in their brilliance, they, in part at least, elect this fool.

Jeff, make no bones about it, is a fool, in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Frank has that wonderful ability to hold lots of facts in his empty brain that are in utter conflict.

First, Frank says that scientists are not agreed about who is causing this particular climate change. That’s not true, of course, for they are, to a degree of more than 97%; the rest being dismissed as owned and paid for by Koch brother enterprises and others in the fossil fuel industry.

Frank chooses to side with the paid-for deniers, and of course reminds us that “the climate is always changing”, as indeed it is. The planet we call home has, over billions of years, undergone plenty of change, most of it taking millions of years to build up. No doubt Frank doesn’t believe this because he must stay on the good side of the funny-gelicals who don’t believe the earth is more than 6,000 +/= a few hundred years old. But, for purposes of this argument I guess he believes that climates change over time.

His proof? Oh the dinosaurs. How in the heck could the dinosaurs have been axed if climate change wasn’t a “natural thing”. After all, he says, man wasn’t there (oh no screams Ken Ham–he’s an atheist!), and they weren’t driving around cars and such.

So the fact that the dinosaurs disappeared means that climate change isn’t man made. (Get the ropes and pinions, that jump across that chasm of logic is mighty wide!)

What Jeff doesn’t have a clue about is that the climate was rolling merrily along in old dinosaur land, when a comet or asteroid hit the planet and threw up so much dust and dirt, that the climate changed massively in a very short time (hint, hint like today’s human activities), and produced an unlivable situation for the dinos quickly. (purists note that this is the Alvarez theory to which I generally adhere or the catastrophic extraterrestrial theory. There are other serious theories which we aren’t going to get into here, suffice it that it has no effect on the argument.)

In other words, there is climate change which is normal and then there is that which is abnormal. What is happening to the earth today is abnormal, proceeding much too rapidly, and is demonstrably man-made.

The point is, there is no connection between the dinosaurs and the reality of man-made climate change. Never was, never will be.

And so we end, “Your week in GOP shenanigans and really stupid stuff.”

 

Items to Make You Queen of the Watercooler Next Week

large_overworkedSee that’s me. I mean, imagine a woman instead of a man, and that’s me. I’m spend hours reading just so that you don’t have to. I mean you can if you want to of course. God forbid that fine education goes to waste, but I have burned up the Intertubes in an effort to find all the news that you missed.

And I read it all. And some of it was crap upon further inspection, and so I ditched it. And the rest, well you gotta know this stuff. Especially if you want all your friends and aunt Tilde to think you are just a real smart ass. (meant in the kindest way of course)

So, let’s get to it, in no particular order.

Paul Krugman has a fine op-ed in the NYTimes detailing the crazy party, AKA, the GOP. What he says is very true. The GOP argument for deliberately toying with the very health of our economy goes something like this: I have put a gun to your head and demanded your money or your life. If you refuse to give me your money, it’s your fault that you’re dead. I gave you the option to live after all!

On the other hand, this may all go to prove that one can actually get admitted to Harvard and get through it with flying colors and still be utterly and profoundly stupid. Ted Cruz may be set to be one of the most spectacular blazing super nova that sputtered out in record time in the history of horses asses, err, super novae.

If it is true that humans have an individualized predisposition to violence, is it equally true that humans in community have a predisposition to violence in the form of war? It seems many assume this to be true. But evolutionary biologist, David P. Barash argues that this may in fact not be true. The latter may be only a capacity rather than an adaptation. Want to learn more? If you don’t think it matters, think again. We base our defense systems on assumptions of what other groups are likely to do. If we assume all people are driven to war to achieve ends, we build a different defense system than if we do not. And we’ve sure got the tax bills to reflect that.

I know that most of you are just thrilled every time you get a chance to read about quantum mechanics, I mean what self-respecting grease monkey or grocery check out lady  isn’t obsessed with the working of the universe at the extra-tiny scale? Ever heard of an aplituhedron? I bet not. It all means that all the complicated mathematical twists and turns are eliminated as well as the super computer to do the computations. Now little Bobby can explain the most complicated sub-particle interaction with nothing more than a pencil and paper again!

If you are going, uhh, okay so what? Well, you all know that physicists have been since the beginning of time, trying to join the big universe with the small universe (macro and micro forces?) and it has just never fit well, and well, the don’t call it the elegant universe for nothing. Everybody who knows this stuff figured the answer would eventually be simple. This might be it. I’m not a physicist as you might have guessed by now.

I mean this is simply delicious early fall reading. Get to it.  :)

Now I know you will love this one. There is a new book out there that you probably will want to get. I can imagine about half a dozen of you will be on Amazon in moments. It’s called Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing, by Melissa Mohr. Colin Burrows review of the book is worth the reading. Now read it your grouthead gnat snapper!

Steven Pinker from Harvard has written a book that details how we are becoming less violent as societies over time. He also argues that the world would be better led by science than by the humanities. Some beg to differ. A great essay from The Berlin Review of Books, and Gloria Origgi, A Reply to Steven Picker’s Scientific Manifesto.

overworked4111Love words? Lots of words? Okay.

The American Scholar has a fun essay called Is There a Word for That? Words are being made up all the time, but you knew that. Want to know who created some words we now take for granted? Who is responsible for katydid? Or neologize ? Or Anglophobia? Blurb? Gerrymander? Bromide? Oh I bet I got your attention now.

Similarly, if you have ever remembered the quote but not the quoter, and the more you looked the harder it got? Who Really Sad That? You would be surprised at how often we get the attribution wrong. Amaze your friends by correcting their quotes!

“Whoever is not a socialist when he is 20 has no heart; whoever is not a conservative when he is 30 has no brain.” Usually attributed to Churchill. Actually? Nobody knows.

Enter the fine world of WAS–Wrongly Attributed Statements.

I betcha thought that the human mind created the gear, that round thingie that has “teeth” and meshes with other objects similarly constructed? That together makes things turn and other things go up and down and maybe side to side? You would be wrong. Scientists have found a gear in nature for the very first time. And YOU are some of the first non-specialists to know that, so don’t you feel so very proud?

A cute little guy called a planthopper (he has a very important scientific name you need not memorize) has a couple of gears in his back legs that mesh together and then when he calls on them to, spin backward sending him off on a leap across the earth that looks pretty fun. I’m sure it made sense to him too in terms of escaping predators or getting up as high as he wanted to feed. It’s called evolution folks. There is a little embedded video so you can watch him go!

Must a life be meaningful in order to be happy? Do we prefer meaningfulness over happiness if we can’t have both? They are not the same by the way. Happiness in part is getting what you want or need in life. Meaningfulness can have zero to do with this. Similarly happy people report that health is essential, yet health has nothing to do with meaningful lives. Happiness is apparent in the now, while meaningfulness tends to be a future assessment. This is a long article but one that raises lots of questions to think about. Well worth your time.

Nautilus brings us the ever-beloved essay on dinosaurs. The discovery and explanation of our bird predecessors have had a varied history as scientists working from small numbers of bones, continually revised their thinking of these creatures over time. As is usual, it is the unsung tiny dinosaurs that have done the most to correct our understanding over time of what these cuties looked like and how they lived. For the kid in all of us, this article will satisfy. I still wish there had been Brontosaurus, they were so neat!

With the advent of all the cute devices we have now from phones to tablets to readers to computers, all with calendars and reminders of one sort or another, there is less and less reason to have to memorize things. Nobody has to write down a phone number or address. The call is registered, switch it to contacts and it’s saved forever. Enter an address in your Google maps app, and you don’t need to record that address again. And maybe, just maybe that’s a good thing. Memorization may be a much over-rated thing. Curious? Read on.

How many late night gab fests have lingered long into the night over the ever-present question– Why was Spinoza excommunicated anyway? I mean this guy was ostracized with a big O, like in members of the congregation being order to be no closer that four cubits to the man. That’s some serious excommunication! Worse, payment of a fine served to dissolve most bans. Spinoza’s was life long. Spinoza himself never spoke of the harem, most of his works and fame came long after it. What is as interesting as why is by whom: Jews who had escaped forced Catholicism in Spain and Portugal and once free in Amsterdam, practiced a form of Judaism that was anything but normative. All in all, quite fascinating.

Happy reading everyone, and to all a good day!

books

When is a Cruise a Cruz?

Tom-Cruise-tom-cruise-374640_1024_768When your name is Contrarian, that’s when.

A bit of history is in order.

The Contrarian, bless his heart, has this issue with names. I am not sure of the reason, but I rather think it’s lazy ear syndrome, as in “I don’t give much of a shit what your name is–I haven’t yet decided whether you’re worth remembering” syndrome.

He says otherwise of course.

You can decide for yourself.

Anyway, his bastardizations of names has become fairly comical on occasion as he comes up with new and unique ways to identify of whom he speaks.

For instance, the Williams  sisters, of tennis fame are not Venus and Serena. No they are referred to as the flytrap sisters, since Venus is related to a plant called a Venus Fly trap. You get the logic I presume?  Liam Neeson becomes something like Leland Nelson. Some of them are quite hilarious. Woman who pulls on ear is the illustrious Carol Burnett. I’ve become quite adept at figuring out who he is talking about. When it comes to Spanish names, well, it is unreal. He really can’t get his heard around the concept that LL in a word is pronounced like a y. So our historical Old Mesilla is to him Missilla instead of MaCeeya.

So anyway, last night we are watching the football game when there is a Bud commercial and I see this guy whose name I don’t know but he’s bald and wears sunglasses and is supposed to be “hip” if that world is still understood by anyone below the age of 60. I had seen a similar commercial with him in it some months ago and thought he was simply an actor, but saw him later singing on the American Music Awards, so I figure he is “somebody”.

So I said to the Contrarian. “I don’t know what his name is, but I find him intriguing. You know what I mean. He’s not classically good-looking but something about him is compelling. No doubt men find some women like that too–like Cleopatra who was thought to be quite plain-looking but was adored by men.”

Well the guy looks at me, and says, “yeah that Penelope woman would be like that.” PenelopeCruz_071222

And I looked puzzled, which is a normal state of look for me around the Contrarian as you can imagine, and said, “Penelope? Who are you talking about?”

And he up and says, “You know, Penelope, the one who was married to Tom Cruise and had the baby Sookie Balooey.”

“Are you talking about Penelope Cruz?” I queried.

“Yes, Penelope and Tom Cruise,” he replied with satisfaction.

“They were never married dear.”

“But they had that baby, Serius or something like that.”

“No they didn’t, that was Katie Holmes.”

Cruise and Cruise, I think I’m right.” he pontificated from upon high.

“NO! Good grief, Charlie Brown, they are not the same. Do you think that Tom is Hispanic or something?”

“Huh?”

“Tom Cruise is spelled C R U I S E. Penelope’s last name is spelled C R U Z.

“Huh, you don’t say? Well she still has a big nose.”

Whereupon the Packers scored again and the world arighted itself. Once more the hapless Lions whimpered their way off the field, and I dear readers was gifted with yet another blog post that writes itself. Everyone is happy at Casa Peyton.

PS. Every time Selma Hayek appears on anything thing, I get: “Hey I thought she was dead!”  “Selma Hayek” Where did you get that notion?” “Ain’t she that Selana woman?” “You mean Selena? No she is not Selena.” Sigh. . . .

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Apparently it’s part of therapy to announce your failures openly to anyone who will listen in an attempt to come to grips with the reality of your life.

Thus Mitt Romney, goes into the locker room to meet Manny Pacquiao by saying, “hi I’m Mitt Romney. I ran for president. I lost.”

Mr. Pacquiao went on to suffer a knock-out in the 6th round I hear.

I’m guessing that many a football team will politically request that Willard NOT come to their games, and certainly not enter the locker room.

He’s now the creeping angel of losing. I wonder if crucifixes and garlic would work?

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Dead but they won’t stay dead: Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich.

Can you tell me why anybody asks Newty to give his opinion on anything other than how to get a divorce? I mean really. Seriously.

And why is John McCain always on the Sunday circuit of talk shows? All he ever says is: “I love war, I lost in 2008, and did I tell you I love war?”

whale

I’m not sure if this is the same story but I think it is.

A few days ago there was a report of a whale that had become entangled in fishing lines and was having trouble surfacing to breath. Divers went out and carefully cut all the lines off the whale.

She swam in circles happily for a bit following her liberation, and then, according to reports went to each diver in turn and nudged them, before swimming off.

We have much to learn I believe about the species we live among.

We would do well to think more carefully before we destroy them or ignore them as we busily go about the business of trashing the planet.

I continue to be dumbfounded at the price wildlife is asked to pay for our stupid ideas. Elephants are being slaughtered because somebody thinks it valuable to have a piece of sculpted ivory on a shelf to look at.

Turtles are killed for their livers, considered some sort of delicacy in some places.

The list is long and disgusting.

When will we learn?

Oh, did you see this one?

jelly

Oh Todd, Can Ya Feel the Love?

 

 

Don’t name you kid Todd. It’s a bad name. Bad things happen to guys named Todd. They are born stupid for starters. They suffer from foot in mouth disease, and we hear it’s dang near incurable.

And they become TeaHatters and anger is their number one priority. They are angry about everything, but mostly they are angry that they aren’t winning the hearts and minds of normal people, which would be stupid when you think about it, but given they are stupid, they get angry at this.

Todd Akin is one angry man. He’s angry because he is stupid for starters. The “I’m Stupid” engraved on his butt in bright red pimples reminds him every morning when he showers, and every time he sits down.

He’s angry because a lot of people, mostly from his own dang party, want him to step down, step over, or more hopefully fall into a black hole. He figures they are just spendthrift RINOS. Like stellar intellects like Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell, he feels misunderstood. He reminds himself that he too is “not a witch.” So what is the deal?

I mean this man has worked nigh unto three whole weeks to become the candidate for the Senate representing the GOP. He’s not gonna lie down, go away, slip-slide into the weeds just because some GOP politicians tell him he’s ruining their chances of taking the Senate. He ain’t payin’ no attention to finger-waggin’ ole Sean Hannity, whose finger has been stuck up his ass all night long and is getting a fresh breath of air waving under his nose! No! I say no!

Run Toddy Akin, run! Or get run down by a bus, hurts the most. And dude, you couldn’t find a woman’s vagina if’n you had Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass. Now go wipe that big L off your forehead and kick a can down the street.

(the foregoing was the work of bad Sherry who knows exactly where her vagina is and thinks that Missourians must be crazier than Floridians and Texans put together–don’t pay her no mind, she’s a product of desert delirium.)

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This just in–Diana Nyad has failed once again in her attempt to swim from Cuba to the US. She fell victim to the jellyfish again. Since she is not Cuban, I cannot see this woman’s fascination with trying to get to the US. Can’t she just fly?

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The Piglets are busy in the pen drafting the GOP platform. That is the document that they will wave about, and then throw in the trash win or lose the election. It’s just for show. But in keeping with their usual backward and “only white straight war-mongering white people count” mentality, they have so far:

  • Decided to ignore civil unions where ever they might think they are, while not seeing them, because God wouldn’t approve so they conclude from their 7th grade religious primer, “God Wants YOU to Obey”.
  • Voted down any suggestion that a two-state solution is right for Israel, because of course we all know we gotta fight that grand final battle there, so peace is not an option.
  • Dancing with the distinct possibility of writing a “human life amendment” to the constitution which would outlaw abortion for any reason. The religious right is in orgastic spasms of happiness.
  • Auditing the Federal Reserve made the list bowing to the nuttery candidate Ron Paul. All nuts are welcome and we accommodate them all!
  • Wind tax credits were removed, which made Iowa sick but made Willard happy since he thinks tax credits impede “free markets” except when it comes to oil and gas and coal because they are “natural” you know, whereas wind is sneaky, invisible, and only real if you believe in science. Need I say more?

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I hear two women have been offered membership in the erstwhile male bastion of testosterone (assuming that sort of thing is possible when your “sport” is golf), Augusta National. Why they want to join is beyond me. The jackets are shit-green ugly. But those Augusta boys were smart, I’ll give them that. They picked a white chick and a black chick, killin’ two birds with one stone. (if you are British you see the other play on words with birds, no?) How does Augusta do with Jews and Asians? Is there more excitement to come?

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They say that Jesus walked on water in the Sea of Galilee. Somehow it seems kinda creepy to skinny dip in it.

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The headlines keep saying that scientists were stunned when they found a cave-dwelling spider–in a cave. They said it was a new family of spider.

I can understand all this I guess. But our neighbors were not “stunned” when we moved in as a new family. And frankly, unless that spider can speak French and do the breast stroke in Olympic time, I’m not that impressed.

More than likely, I would have stepped on it, and saved the scientists all that “stun”. But then, I’m not a spider person.

Ø

Willard is just an idiot. He said this in New Hampshire:

Mitt Romney, returning to New Hampshire on Monday with his new running mate, lasted only about 30 seconds before stumbling right into the issue that has dogged his candidacy like no other. ‘Gosh, I feel like I’m almost a New Hampshire resident,’ … Romney said. ‘It would save me some tax dollars, I think.’ D’oh! Does Mr. Thirteen Percent really want to remind everybody how determined he is to keep his tax returns private?

The dude pays less than most of us and he’s STILL complaining. And he’s still hiding something he figures will be a deal breaker if we knew. We KNOW this Willard, and frankly, we are treating it the same as if we KNEW the real thing. So game, set, match old boy. . .back to dressage.

 

Oh, He Stepped in It Again

Yep, Mittens just can’t keep the old foot out of the mouth. When unscripted, the dude just falls to pieces. You can almost hear the wheels turning–focus on the middle class Mitt, focus on the middle class.

And he did.

And he said he wasn’t worried about the poor or the rich.

Oops.

It’s not just the Left that is up in arms and shaking their heads. It’s the WSJ and Limbaugh, and his Right Wingin’ supports who are holding their heads and sobbing, “why can’t this man stop screwing up?”

Much is being made of Romney’s inability to “relate to the people”, and most put it down to his riches. But as many point out, riches do not a foot-in-mouth artist make. The Kennedy’s always related to folks just fine, as did FDR. Bloomberg seems to be “in touch”.

So it’s more than that, or other than that. It ain’t the money.

Dylan Ratigan suggested on Morning Joe today that it had a bit more to do with Romney’s living in Boston.

While Joe lamented that Romney was just “weird”, Ratigan noted that Romney has never been “accepted” by the insiders from the monied elite. Now, if you know anything about the elite in this country, you know there are two types of wealth–old family wealth and nouveau riche, those who have come by their money recently.

The two don’t mix. The nouveau rich must spend sometimes years, bowing and scraping to be admitted to the “best” homes. Romney was, so Ratigan offers, also not part of the inner “Wall Street” investment capitalists.

Couple this with his apparent personality of being ill-at-ease among people in general, and you have the Romney of today. Ratigan argues that Romney would be as “removed” if he were poor. This is man who was shocked and disgusted by the anti-war movement in the 60′s, he was out of touch with his peers.

So, look for more gaffes from Mittens. As much as they try to script him, (and that is painfully obvious too), he will slip the leash from time to time and venture out into the world “as he believes it is.” He will say things that sound “right” to him, but are simply awful to the rest of us. He can’t relate. He belongs in an office at the top of a building, working alone, and making people stop at the taped spot on the floor, so that he can maintain his distance.

To figure out why this guy wants to be President, requires a much deeper look-see, and I’m sure we will be getting to that as the months come.

They say it takes one to know one.  Pick you “one”. In this case it seems to support the rule. Rich guy endorses rich guy. The Donald is going to anoint the Mittens man. How nice. Who the hell cares?

This is Black History month. Do yourself a favor and pick a African-American historical figure, and make a point of learning more about them. You will be better for doing so, and so will we all. History is what helps us to understand who we were, and who we are, and who we can be.

I’ve chosen to read some things about Sojourner Truth, an amazing abolitionist in her time, and the first woman honored with a bust in the Capital.

I remember seeing this show several years ago about dogs. It seems that left to their own devices (stray dogs), they pretty much all end up very much the same. Medium in size, fairly short-haired, with longish tails. It also turns out that genetically there is very little difference between a Great Dane and a chihuahua. Just a few genes control all this “stuff”. So most of the cosmetic differences are due to human tinkering. Geneticists had figured to find something quite different, since humans are apparently quite a bit more complicated with it comes to differences.

We survived the shopping expedition. Barely. We had gotten half way there, when the Contrarian discovered he had forgotten his license and cash. So I’m being driven by an “illegal”, and a poor one at that. The folks at the Chinese restaurant that we frequent most trips, like us and all, but I’m not sure they would give us our food for free.

So we had to backtrack. Which is okay, except the trip down the lane is one exciting and hair-raising experience. Actually, we don’t ride the lane, but traverse the fields, which are kinda washboardy with cut-off stalks of corn studding it all over.

Today is not my favorite day, because I have to haul half that crap back out of the fridge, and “prepare” it for the long haul. That means cleaning and packaging celery, green peppers, well all the fresh junk so it will last a week longer than otherwise. I got some beets, which by the way, are great roasted in the oven. Well, contrary to usual, the beet greens were fresh and succulent.  (I love the word succulent. It sounds well, succulent) So I determined to save them. Washed and chopped and then steamed and packed in a freezer bag. I’ll have it with something or other, maybe some meatloaf or pork chops. Saute it in olive oil, salt and pepper, with a bit of balsamic vinegar perhaps?

I love to be efficient like that, using all the “stuff”. I even put the leaves from the celery in a bag in the freezer to chop up in some soup. Frugal. (I don’t like the word frugal by the way, it sounds, like a frog, and I don’t find frogs attractive usually, except the colored ones, and they say they are poisonous and shouldn’t be touched. If I’m ever in South America, where most of them are, I am determined to remember that. Which reminds me, that I haven’t written a crazy post in quite a while–what are you looking at?)

Until the mood strikes again. Au revoir. (Just to piss off the Right)

From Upside Down, It All Makes Perfect Sense

These four days are the best of the year. After hours spent slaving over a hot stove, I produced a meal that lasts for 4 freakin’ days. And I relish every day, lounging, and napping, and just hangin’ out around the TV, with a book in hand should I desire it. Sigh. . . .life should always be so good.

Speaking of life.

I hate people who use partial words, or make up new words, combining others. It is not cute. It is not accurate. It is silly.

I would ban the use of “delish” and “terrif” and vics and perps (NO self-respecting police office I have ever known–and the number runs into the hundreds–ever used those words. It’s victims and suspects or defendants, period). I hate the “word” fantastical, and stupendulous, and spectaculicious.

So stop it.

Do you have stupid homemade words that you hate?

Before we get on with funny things: a couple of links you should follow.

David Frum, who is a legitimate Republican wrote a long piece for the NYMag. I subscribe to a site called “longreads” which sends me their picks every week of five really good articles that are longer than the usual Internet fare.

Frum writes about what has gone so terribly wrong with the GOP. You probably should read it.

On a completely different note. Did you know that bulldogs are getting close to being America’s favorite dog? Not quite, but close. Did you know that they have  a lifespan of about 7 years? Did you know it’s almost exclusively due to the manner in which we have bred them for their famous traits? Do you know that they have more health issues than any other dog, and have a fairly lousy quality of life?

Well you should know. And if you go here, you will find out all about bulldogs and their plight. If you think this is an isolated case, you would also be wrong. Collies were bred for a long time for very long and flat noses. Race horses are bred for very long slender legs that make it much more likely that they suffer broken legs. We bred animals to suit our esthetics or our needs, with little or no thought as to how it will affect the animal.

Be aware, and buy accordingly.

Okay, back to some fun.

I love Calvin and Hobbes.

So much so that  we named two of our cats after them. Not that they resemble either in character and personality.

This is one of my favorite frames.

Like Star Trek, much of life can be explained through their relationship and adventures.

I miss reading the funnies every day in the paper.

Speaking of which, is your local paper this weird-looking thing now? They chopped off about 1/4 of its width. It looks silly. I don’t read it any more. It doesn’t look serious.

Michele Bachmann is going to be at Barnes and Nobles in Cedar Rapids today. The Contrarian wondered if I wanted to go. As far as I know, you can’t speak to the silly woman unless you buy her book. Who would want to do that? And you couldn’t say much anyway, before her “handlers” shuffled you aside and away.

But I could do this.

And it would be even more satisfying.

I’d like to do this a lot.

To a lot of politicians.

To a lawyer or two.

To a TV “personality” or two.

To a host of so-called celebrities.

To God on occasion, but not often.

To our pets every night at 3: a.m. when somebody has just “GOT” to go out.

And then one of them crawls into my lap, and rolls his head and peers at me with such sappy sweetness that I want to do this:

You know what I mean.

And that’s the way I like to stay most of the time.

Soft and sweet, and loving and sappy happy.

And mostly I do.

Until I get on this infernal machine.

And start to read things, and ponder.

And then I see this:

And my blood begins to boil.

And I pound the table.

And I question the existence of intelligent life on this planet.

And I want to go to my bunker.

Except that I don’t have one.

And I’m too old to make it in the outback of Alaska with nothing but a hatchet and a shotgun. (I was always too old for that).

And besides, Alaskans, by and large are too strange for me.

So, I’m going back to contemplating my navel.

Supply-Side Blankets

The Contrarian and I seldom go to bed at the same time.

Last night, I happened to awaken just as he was getting into the bed.

“Hey, hey, hey,” I uttered.

“What?” he intoned.

“You’re stealing the blankets!”

“I’m not settled yet,” he grunted. “It’s supply-side blankets.”

“WHAT?”

“When I’m settled, the blankets will trickle down.” he chuckled.

I never slept a wink last night.

I confess that I never thought animals were terribly thoughtful. I figured they were pretty much responsive to stimuli creatures. Brandy taught us otherwise. We learned from her that dogs at least can think and plan, and make choices. A new dimension has been added as we watch Bear cope with her absence.

Bear didn’t seem to express the typical mourning we expected, though he looked for her a lot, and avoids her grave. He went there once that we know of, removing a rawhide bone we had left in her dish and bringing it back to drop at the Contrarian’s feet.

Over time, we noticed a real oddity. The two had always had their own idiosyncracies. Brandy would lay impatiently in the doorway to the kitchen while we ate. Bear would lay elsewhere. Now he has taken up that position each day. When snacks are eaten at night, again, she was the pushy one, wiggling and twitching at each bite. He would lay back, appearing to not care. Now he does the wiggling and twitching. 

It is like he feels that he must take over all her behaviors as well as his own. We don’t know how he thinks about this, but clearly he is pondering his role within the house.

An article on recursive thinking, long thought to be the province of humans only, is being re-examined. Recursive thinking is the human ability to look backward in time at distant events, and then place them in future scenarios. Studies now suggest that chimpanzees engage in such thinking, and certainly I saw instances of Brandy doing the same as she planned how to get Bear off the couch so she could have it.

We are all of us living beings so much more alike than we are different. Evolution tells me so. :)

See the new Herm Cain ad? The one with his campaign manager smoking? Seems that his manager has some “issues”. Charges of voter suppression that got him banned in Wisconsin for three years, drunk driving convictions, foreclosures, unpaid bills and taxes.

Yesterday, I picked up this on MSNBC talk shows: The Cain campaign is in utter disarray since Cain is conflicted between his “book tour” agenda and where the VOTERS ARE. Also we understand that new campaign staff are informed that under no circumstances are they to speak to the king unless the king speaks to them first.  Doncha love that kind of stuff?

I was just a thinkin’ (dangerous I know). I’m really surprised that the scientific community doesn’t make more of  this, along the lines of the possible finding of faster-than-light particles. I mean it is revolutionary in a scientific sense. What do I mean?

Why the fact that “trickle-down” economics is a perfect proof that money at least doesn’t always obey the laws of gravity. The money seems to go up, instead of falling down.

Just a thought.

Do you find it tiresome that the clueless Right continues to whine that the OWS folks have no “message” and then likens them to anarchists?  Are they unable to read the signs? Or is it that the Right is so attuned to the “talking point” that it can’t understand that people might just be individualistic enough to think for themselves and create signs that reflect that? Slate has a good article on this today.

Need a laugh? Juanita Jean’s usually has one. This is Rolling Stones little nod to our boy Ricky (aww shucks, I ain’t no good at debatin’) Perry. This is The Best Little Whore in Texas. It’s Friday. It’s been a long week. Teaser: this description–”a goggle-eyed mega church Joan of Arc like Michele Bachmann”.  Or this one: “Perry is a human price tag”. Now that’s some writing I can love. It’s Mike Taibbi of course.

Seriously, if you want to know how Perry attracts money all the while being an awful speaker, this article gives  you a big clue. Long article but well worth it.

I am a jinx. We turned Game 6 of the World Series off in disgust. In the 8th inning. Texas was up two runs. The Cardinal pitching was awful. There had been five errors, causing me to question how these could be the two best teams in the “world.” Course, it turned into an exciting game. And now there will be a Game 7. We will watch it. But. . . it will  undoubtedly be a no-hit one run winner for Texas. That’s my prediction, since I’m gonna watch it. If I don’t watch it, it will be 24-23 after 15 innings and the Cardinals will win.

What to do, what to do?

If you needed any more evidence that Herm Cain is stupid, I mean really stupid? Well he went to Israel. And he refers to the Palestinians as the “so-called Palestinian people.” And he says that the only reason they want statehood is because Obama is so weak. Except that he was once in favor of a right of return policy. Sort of, as best he could understand what it meant. How can only a so-called people have a state to return to  Herm? And I think the desire for statehood on the part of the Palestinians might be a tad older than the three years Obama has been in office.

Do they not have a basic primer for you Herm? Can’t your smokin’ campaign manager find you a Dick and Jane version of world history?