Histrionic and Narcissistic|
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|Wednesday, December 27th, 2006|
If everyone was together
I guess no one would be alone
Life's a lot of trade offs in the end.
Somewhere in the fields of heather
The proud souls laugh and love together
somewhere between passion and losing friends
(from Proud Souls, Jason Boland)
|Wednesday, October 11th, 2006|
|Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006|
I have a confession... I spent the last five days in San Francisco, visiting with Dale (bikerbaer
) and Les (nashobabear
). I took advantage of Dale's generosity, and what seems to be nearly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of his having actual TIME OFF (!!) for a few days while he is between jobs. I didn't tell anyone else I was coming, and other than extremely brief chance passing-in-the-street meetings with that_dang_otter
and Terry (don't know his last name, the big tall one with all the hair and beard) I didn't visit with anyone else. My profound apologies to other dear friends that I missed (especially ogam
!!), but this was the first chance for actually visiting with Dale after about 2 years of constant correspondence, spanning several major upheavals in his life including one that was nearly fatal. And it truly is an exceedingly rare thing for Dale to have more than just a brief, rushed weekend off from work... so we decided to make it a quiet private visit. Next time, I PROMISE, I'll make time for more socializing!
|Sunday, March 12th, 2006|
|Friday, March 10th, 2006|
|About American old houses
One thing that our Brit and European friends might not appreciate when we deal with 100 year old buildings as "old" and "historic." This is on beyond the relative shortness of our history versus old world history...
Given the American obsession with "new" and "updated," even architectural styles from as recent as the first half of the 20th Century are lost rapidly. In some ways it is like endangered species conservation. This area where I live was settled in the late 19th Century (shortly after our civil war, and after al the natives had been removed) by german and swiss immigrants. Yet, in the entire county there is exactly ONE surviving example of the 19th century swiss-style gingerbread that was in wide use at the time: OUR FRONT PORCH. All the rest have been "updated," which means torn down or allowed to rot, and replaced with something bought at Home Depot. Of those wonderfully rustic hand-tooled limestone chimneys that predominated in the 19th century across this region, only a handful remain intact and standing in the county -- and we own two of them. My mom's turn-of-the-century Queen Ann is almost unrecognizeable inside and out -- no chimneys, no fireplaces, vinyl siding, cheap panelling, linoleum, and slapped on additions that have destroyed its lines. That is the normal condition for anything built before 1950 in this nation, unless it was just torn down entirely.
|Wednesday, March 1st, 2006|
|Pinched from "Misquoting Jesus"
As a demonstration of the difficulty of interpreting text with no spaces between words:
So was I tripping, or just well-fed?
Night before last we were awakened by sounds of distressed chickens. Dashed outside with flashlight to discover a great horned owl in the chicken house closest to our house, having entered through a gap in the roof. No harm done to any chickens yet, and the owl was throughly panicked, unable to find a way out. Being careful to stay out of the way of snapping beak and slashing talons, I opened the door, got myself out of the way, and the owl flew off into the night in that amazing silent way. I'd never been that close (like, two feet) to a wild great horned owl before. And one of the first things I noticed was...
I've heard about it from raptor rescue people, and been told that museums hate freshly-arrived great horned specimens because of the stink. Seems that one of the major components of the diet of a great horned owl in the wild is... skunks. It was so strong that when I came back to bed Peggy could smell it on me, and I had not even touched the bird. The next morning the chicken house still smelled of skunk, and had I not seen the owl I would have been certain that a skunk had broken in during the night.
Trade off -- does the owl itself do more damage to the chickens than the benefit it creates by eating all those skunks (and minks and possums and raccoons and weasels) who are fond of eggs and chickens, too?
About New Orleans -- saying that parts of the city should not have been residential areas and should not be rebuilt as such is not blaming the victims. It is a criticism of city planning, which the individual victims had little, if any, part in. Now the city has the opportunity to make difficult choices that will improve the situation permanently, and provide fair and just compensation for those who will suffer from these choices. But they seem to be talking themselves out of doing so.
|Monday, February 27th, 2006|
I'm listening to all the residents of New Orleans talking about how the Katrina flooding was a man-made, not a natural disatser (as a justification for rebuilding the city just like it was).
Yup, they're right. It was a man-made disaster -- caused by having a huge city with way too many people living in really stupid places for neighborhoods to exist!
Now that I have lowered the scaffolding around the porch (to continue working my way downwards), the upper parts that are all painted, golf-leafed, and inscripted are much more visible from the street. Neighbors are slowing down as they pass, and last Saturday while I was out there scraping away one stopped to holler up at me.
"It looks beautiful," she said. "I would never have the patience to do that!"
Been thinking about that comment ever since. It may encapsulate so much of the early 3rd millenium in Western Civilization.
Beauty just isn't worth the bother, it seems...
|Sunday, February 19th, 2006|
|Chickens don't skate
At least not very well.
Snowmelt runoff from the road into the front yard, refrozen by the single digit temps overnight, resulting in a little skating rink right in front of the house. It's's very entertaining watching the chickens try to walk across it.
|Saturday, February 18th, 2006|
|Wednesday, February 15th, 2006|
|Latin grammarians: Libri, Libre, Libro?
The latin motto translated "Beware a man with only one book" I have seen rendered variously as:Cave ab homine unius libriCave ab homine unius libre
with disagreement as to the declension of liber
(book). Now, I looked it up, and it looks to me like BOTH are wrong. "With Book" should be the ablative, yes? In which case it should be:Cave ab homine unius libroLibri
is genitive singular, and libre
is not a form of liber
And now to confuse the issue even further, homine
is the singular ablative of homo
. Shouldn't it be accusative (object of cave
), which would be hominem?
That would be consistent with Cave canem.
So now I'm down to:Cave ab hominem unius libro
Can anyone confirm or correct me on this???
EDIT: I suppose the genitive for libri
could be correct if you mean to imply the man is of the book; i.e owned or governed by the book. But still you would need hominem
EDIT AGAIN: OK the preposition "ab" seems to be misplaced, and confusing the structure here. Dropping it, one gets a simple sentence.. CAVE HOMINEM UNIUS LIBRI
beware a man of [governed by] one book
Peggy just sent me an e-mail she had received from her mother. It was a lengthy explanation of why you should always use BCC when you send to multiple recipients, and why you should always delete e-mail addresses from the included headers of forwarded e-mails.
Peggy's mom sent this out with a long, publicly visible, multiple recipient "To" list...
Bless her little heart
|Tuesday, February 14th, 2006|
|Monday, February 13th, 2006|
|Can you hear her now?
A while back I posted a quot from Molly Ivins to the effect of "Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president, listen." Someone replied that we should ALWAYS listen to Molly Ivins.
OK, is everyone listening now?
"AUSTIN, Texas --- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.
Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges. "
Full column at:http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2006/1304
Unfortunately, that sort of contemptible little dodging seems to be exactly what gets someone the Democratic presidential nomination. And what makes it so easy for the NeoCon political war machine to rip them to shreds in the popular media (which they OWN, do not forget). The warlords must be clapping their hands in glee at the thought of running against Hillary. Alas, I have little hope that the Democratic political machinery will fail to nominate Senator Clinton or someone made of a similar mix of Wishy and Washy. Thus, I fear that in January, 2009 we will be watching the coronation of Die Kaiserin Kondolihza Rais, continuing the Reich for another eight years... at the end of which our government and society may be scarcely recognizable. I know I said that 2004 in the US was not Berlin in 1936, but if the NeoCons do get 4 more years, I suspect 2012 may well be.
Does that thought give you the screaming heebie jeebies? GOOD. Now lets find someone WITH A SPINE
, not just a name and political connections, to run against the NeoNa... I mean NeoCons.
|Sunday, February 12th, 2006|
|Four years ago...
...we were in Prague... the Winter Olympics coverage on Czech TV was mostly of curling, a sport we Americans just seem utterly unable to comprehend. The night of the Czech-Russia hockey match up, we walked to Old Town square to watch the game with a mob of thousands on a giant high-def TV screen erected amongst the grand medieval architecture, with the statue of Jan Huss watching alongside us all, the masses waving the flag of their ancient nation and its decade-old government. What an encapsulation of Europe at the turn of the millenium, I remember thinking. The Czech team lost, and thousands of Bohemians adjourned for a beer and a bowl of goulash. Had the Czech team won, the mob of Bohemians would have adjourned for a beer and a bowl of Goulash. Not much fazes those Bohemians. After watching Nazi tanks roll in to town from one direction, Russian tanks roll in from the other direction, empires rise and fall around them... what's one hockey game?
|Tuesday, February 7th, 2006|
|Knee Deep in the Big Muddy
But the Big Fool says "Push On!"
Yes, I know, the "Big Muddy" may not be the best geographic metaphor here, but it's the thought that counts.
We've got a new name for it... the "Long War:"http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1704004,00.html
This is getting more Orwellian by the day.
P.S. My Mom says that JC did not even shake Shrub's hand at Coretta's funeral today. Good for him!
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