Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Only 7* this morning but a warm-up should be coming in. We had quite a bit of lake-effect snow but it won't last long with temps supposed to reach mid 30s and low 40s over the next ten days.

Well, the vultures are looking out for the vultures. We have a thoroughly predatory economy.

Still trying to get the craft/sewing section of the sewing/plant/storage room straightened out. I decided I need to simplify so stuff I know I won't use is going out. I had a small stock of eyelash and fake fur yarn I used for several projects over the last decade or so but won't use again. I really hate crocheting with it and don't intend to do any embellishment with it on any future pieces. I also got rid of the strips I cut from plastic bags. I crocheted a couple of items with some but with two new cats and a litter box to clean each day we have a different use for those plastic bags which we also get in far fewer numbers because we are pretty good about remembering to take our reusable canvas bags with us shopping. I am almost finished with another doily and plan to make a couple of pads our cats might like to lay on. They sure like the crocheted place mats we have for the table. A few years ago, when I visited needlework blogs, writers were talking about SEX (Stash Enhancement eXperience) and the, a bit later, SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Live Expectancy). I have been at the last stage for some time and Stash Enhancement provides much less bliss nowadays. It is time to use it down and hope to get it as near to 0 as I can before I expire.

As one who has spent far too much time in higher education as a student, graduate student, research assistant teaching assistant, and adjunct teacher I agree totally with this piece.

The US isn't alone in its misery. It is interesting how the author traces all the zombie ideas and policies back to Thatcher while over here we trace them back to Ronnie (the Great) Reagan and they were such pals.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Back in the deepfreeze this morning--only 3*. The weather people predict lake effect snow. Glad we got our shopping in yesterday.

Why so-called public/private partnerships are bad for the taxpayers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

18* with a couple of inches of snow. We should get more snow over the day. We are debating on when we should our grocery shopping. We could put it off until later in the week--after the snow ends and the plows and shovel gangs have had a chance to do their work. However, we are out of a couple of things that are "almost" necessities--sage and milk. We decided to hang loose and see what daylight actually reveals.

Found this piece today which illustrates just how messed up our political system is. One of these days the printing press will run out of paper and ink--or, to be more modern about the metaphor, the computer will choke on all the new blips representing imaginary money.

Most of the news reports about Hawaii's missile warning fiasco have concentrated on either 1) the bureaucratic mess of who is responsible and how to make sure "it never happens again" and 2) dramatic pictures of panic stricken citizens running around like headless chickens. This article goes a bit deeper into both. I have reached several conclusions on the issue. First, look for more information before making decisions. Second, think about what you absolutely need (food, shelter, water, energy) and how you would deal with a situation that made any of them scarce or non-existent. Third, watch out for all the yahoos out there who won't take the time to consider what might happen. I had thought that, if I were ever in the path of a nuclear missile, the last place I would want to be was Hawaii but, honestly, we would have seen the same chaos among clueless civilians anywhere. It is rather ironic that I have read of warnings by the German government, the Polish government, the South Korean government, the Japanese government and probably others I can't name off the top of my head for their citizens to prepare for emergencies, military or otherwise, but there hasn't been a peep from our own.

Well we decided to do our shopping. Daylight revealed a plowed streets and the sidewalks have been cleared courtesy of our landlords and our next door neighbor who decided they weren't quick enough. Streets passable and most drivers cautious.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cold this morning but it looks like we will have sun. The temperature should get into the mid 20s. Not bad for this time of the year. Can you believe January is half over? Damn!!

"Better life," "better world"??? Thanks, but no thanks. How many things have been sold us on this "pie in the sky" notion and then utterly failed to deliver what was promised? Another thought surfaced while we talked around this issue: how much of these shows are geared more toward finding investing in the companies developing what are obviously prototypes? That bigger fish might be the real target.

Josh Marshall at TPM has a good take on how the reputation of the word "shithole" has been damaged by #45's use of it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Low teens for temperatures this morning and snow. Thankfully we have no place we need to go and can stay in where it is warm and dry.

The Atlantic has a good article on our political situation and comes to the conclusion we have here--we are stuck in this s***hole situation for the next three years minimum. The best we can hope for is that #45 resigns, refuses to run again, or is defeated by someone who is not a Wall Street Damnocrat.

I seem to remember something like this a year or so ago only then it was Chinese women. Here is an article from CBS three years ago on the same topic, birth tourism, but the focus was on the Chinese connection.

I thought this was cute. The U.S. media has the problem of what euphemism to put in place of #45's s***hole remark. Foreign press have the problem of how to translate the term into what ever the local language is.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The temperature this morning is 30+ degrees less than yesterday at this time. The cold moved in much faster than the weather people predicted. The wind is very blustery and we have a light coating of snow that is being blown all over.

We had to replace lamps yesterday. A couple of weeks ago my light bulb blew out and I replaced it but the new one lost the lowest level right away and died altogether while tripping the circuit breakers on the power strip. Mom's lamp blew out its new bulb also. The lamps were old so we made a quick and frustrating trip to Wal-mart as the most likely source since we already knew Target and Menards didn't have anything we liked because we looked there for lamps to replace a couple of small ones in the bedroom. We thought we found a nice pair packaged as a unit with shades but then took a close look at the bulb requirements. Two problems: the maximum illumination would have been about 150w when we like the 200-250w for reading and needlework and we couldn't find a single three-way bulb that met those lower restrictions. So we traipsed back to the lamp department where we found a nice pair rated for the wattage we liked and could find bulbs for---but it came without a harp or shade. Evidently, lamps are sold by the piece today. We found a couple of nice shades and decided to cannibalize our old lamps for their harps which worked well. I feel nostalgic for the days when you walked into a store, said I want that one, took it home and put in a light bulb and plugged it in.

The new cats are settling in--oh, are they settling in. They are into everything. We had many years with older cats who were more sedate and laid back. We forgot exactly how trying dealing with young cats barely out of kitten stage could be.

I usually am not interested in sports history but I decided try The Perfect Pass by S.C. Gwynne. Delancey Place features it as their selection today. The section they quoted is beautifully written, amusing, and well researched. Lovely combination.

I have seen articles for the last couple of years about drought conditions in parts of Africa. I didn't realize it might be this bad. Several years ago Atlanta was almost in this situation but the rains came and refilled the reservoir.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Our temperature so far this early morning is 34* or 36* depending on which source you cite. The prediction is for rain and around 50*. The January thaw will be short lived--only today and tomorrow. After that we go back in the refrigerator with the deep freeze probable for one day early next week.

Hardly unexpected. After the fires the rains have come, and the mudslides and floods as well. Death toll as of the latest report I found: 13.

Those STEM programs in our schools may be less valuable than their backers hoped. I don't know how many fads in education I have seen pass through from the first panic over our lack of math and science skills in the wake of Sputnik to the current push for STEM. Through all of it we seem to have become less educated. In a way Brin and Page were not wrong in their assumption that only technologists can understand technology--if you restrict the meaning of "understand" to the nuts and bolts of how the technology itself is constructed. They were totally off base when a broad definition of "understand" is used: as in knowing how to effectively communicate that technology both to other technologists and a broader non-technical public and in predicting how that technology would diffuse through and affect society. The article concerned the narrow area of "success" in careers but the lack of people skills is apparent in the wider areas of society and politics.

Anyone else sick and tired of all the election hype which has been ongoing since #45 announced his candidacy 16 months before the 2016 election? Now there is the speculation that Oprah will run for president in 2010 and there is solid behind the speculations beyond a dynamite speech at the Golden Globe awards. Frankly it looks like desperate Damnocrats hoping that a black woman can do what the white woman couldn't: win both the popular vote (which Clinton did) and the Electoral College (which she didn't). It also provides a way to avoid looking at the reasons why so many voters decided they would rather have a con-man plutocrat instead of a Wall Street Democrat.

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Our temperature might have reached the 50* yesterday but with the fog and mist it didn't feel like it. The weather site we check each morning say it is now 56*. But the snow is rapidly melting even from the patio which is totally in the shade until after the spring equinox.

This is funny. Don't people look at the cover (or the picture of the cover if it is an e-book) before completing the purchase? Honestly, I would find the Fire and Fury account of the allied bombing much more interesting than the Fire and Fury account of 45's White House.