Sunday, January 31, 2016


My tomatoes are doing nicely but the peppers haven's sprouted yet. One thing one learns from gardening is patience. And giving plants the time and conditions to do their own thing their own way. I planted three varieties of lettuce this morning: Grandpa Admires's, Butterflay, and Verdil. All are heirlooms and supposed to be slow to bolt. These will stay inside and I will plant a new batch for the fall garden.

I wonder how much the final costs for the Rio Olympics will be. And how much (or how little) Brazil will recoup on the project. How much is national self-promotion worth? That is what the Olympics has become. When is psychic masturbation on a national scale not worth the price?

I read something related to this yesterday. And that article indicated that the World Bank was also involved and other possible recipients of the financial institutions' "help" were Venezuela and Columbia as well as Azerbaijan and Brazil. Here is the Express article on the issue. I had two thoughts on this. First, we have gone from bailing out banks and other financial "too big to fail" operations (and putting in place "bail-in" practices which will plunder depositors while protecting share/bond holders and national treasuries) to bailing out countries. Second, where will the funs come from and will the conditions demanded by the IMF and World Bank as the "price" of their "aid" create four more economic zombies like Greece?

Michael Moore on Flint. This is what happens when government is run like a business. The costs of poisoning a city whose residents are mostly black and poor is merely a "cost of doing business." Unfortunately, while businesses pay fines that amount to only a fraction of their bloated profits, governments pay the costs out of the taxes that didn't go to prevent the problem.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


The tomatoes I started last week have all sprouted. Only two varieties for now. The Red Robin is a small patio type I can keep in pots in our--relatively--sunny south window. The Arkansas Traveler is a standard sized plant that tolerates low light levels and supposed to be a good plant to keep in the house. The pepper hasn't come up yet but we keep the temperatures on the cool side so it might be a bit slow even with the heating pad.

The coaster set is done and delivered so I can go back to other projects. I have to figure out what is going on with the new row instructions in the shawl pattern. I can't quite see where it is going yet.

I couldn't resist linking to this post given the current concerns over Zika virus and its possible consequences. I stress the word "possible" because we don't have any firm link and a lot of questions. Just because there has been a spike in birth defects at the same time as a spike in Zika cases doesn't mean the former was caused by the latter. Nor does the mere fact that the genetically modified mosquitos were released months before the spike in birth defects mean that there was a causal link either. It is intriguing though.

Damn good question this. But I think it needs a bit of tweaking. Most of us aren't sleepwalking into anything because our news media isn't really a news media any more and are colluding with our political class which follows the old Robert Heinlein dictum: in a government of the people, by the people--don't tell the people. One has to wonder what gains the powers-that-be hope will accrue from another excursion into Libya.

Tom Englehardt has another good essay that ties into a different aspect of the previous paragraph: how do you define "victory" in a process of which most of us are unconscious? I think we are perilously close to insanity (if not already there) as defined by Einstein (or attributed to him): doing the same things over and over (and over and over and over) expecting a different result.

This Bloomberg article cites two failure of our military procurement process. We have a ship that can't reliably sail in rough seas and a fighter-bomber that doesn't do either job well. And we are paying through the nose for them. If this Salon article is right in describing our military strategy as a hammer looking for a nail (and unfortunately finding some semblance to nails everywhere) then our hammers are defective. There is also the fact that the tool misused for purposes it wasn't designed for fails eventually and often disastrously.

Friday, January 29, 2016


We have read repeated articles about the low performance of American students on various tests trying to measure their skills. We have seen program after program implemented by the educational "experts" that haven't made much of a dent in the deficiencies. This article suggests the answer might be as simple as reinstating Latin and Greek instruction.

There is only one comment I can make on this: those F#%king Bastards!!! Can we get out the damned pitchforks now?? As one vulture said to another: f#$k patience. I want to kill something.

Some interesting thoughts on our health care system from Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Andrew Bacevich posted a good analysis of the election this year at Tomdispatch. Bottom line: nothing will change until it all comes crashing down.


An excellent commentary from Margaret and Helen on Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump.


A week or so ago we were watching some unusual flights of birds around our neighborhood. Taking a closer look we were surprised to see the were robins. It is January (at least that is what our calendar says) here in northern Indiana and they should have flown south at least two months ago. We have flocks of resident geese and those flocks appear larger than in the past. Evidently we aren't the only ones noticing the strange behavior of our birds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Welcome to the last Monday of January 2016. I tried out a new bread recipe for a cottage cheese/herb bread yesterday and it turned out really good. I wasn't too sure about it until it came out of the oven prettily brown and well risen. We did a taste test last night and have marked it for repeats.

This story brings back memories of about ten years ago when Walmart eliminated its fabric and needlework sections. That hit me rather hard because Target had done the same several years before, and Michaels and Hobby Lobby hadn't yet expanded to our town. I clicked on numerous message boards where the customers were furious because Walmart had driven out the local small craft stores leaving crafters with no options but mail-order or driving very long distances for their supplies. I can sympathize because Michaels no longer has much of what I want and I detest the sanctimony of Hobby Lobby. I barely got enough of the kind of yarn I wanted though I had to settle for a slightly different color on my last visit to Michaels. I think I will be going on line from now on. But just think about ramping the pain up a factor of 100 or so because your only source of groceries and pharmacy supplies is gone. And as far as Walmart having conversations with the political and civic leaders of the towns they are leaving high and dry is concerned, I will remind you that talk is worth its weight in gold.

Fabius Maximus has some interesting thoughts on the migrant "crisis" in Europe with a couple of hints that the U.S. should be prepared for the same.

I set up the heating pad for the seed starting tray and it works well. Started a couple of Grandpa's Home peppers, Arkansas Traveler tomatoes and Red Robin tomatoes. The first two are supposed to do well in low light levels so they can grown inside overwinter. I'll find out. Today I think I will start a couple of pots of greens. Gardening season never really stops. You start seeds then you have to transplant, tend, harvest and plan next season's garden.

I finished the fourth crocheted coaster for my sister-in-law. I still have the table cloth and shawl on their hooks but I want to bet the promised pieces done.

Friday, January 22, 2016


The "hooverboard" as a modern parable? Maybe. I like the description of the process of bringing a "fantasy" to reality as favoring "speed over competence." Seems to fit.

A successful plant breeding program that shows why we don't need Monsanto's (and its buddies') GMOs.


Interesting little article from the Financial Times on how technology is changing us.

Juan Cole posted a good piece on the dishonest linguistic generalities the Michigan GOP and Governor are using to absolve themselves of responsibility for the Flint water debacle poisoning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


We woke to a dusting of snow. Just enough to make driving treacherous. At least the temperatures are in the teens rather than the single digits. I have bread baking on my to do list today as well as adding more rows to my crocheting projects and reading over the instructions on the pressure canner we just bought. Like so much else, we debated the pros and cons of canning our own for a long time. Those discussions are usually the result of increasing dissatisfaction with commercial products we once trusted and no longer do for a myriad of reasons: too much salt, too much sugar, too many preservatives, declining quality and the reduction of package sizes to mask price increases.

Found this video by way of Musings of an Archdruidess. Fascinating symbiotic relationship between fishermen and dolphins.

I saw a headline proclaiming "Palin endorsement brings gravitas to Trump campaign." Really?? Gravitas?? How can Palin bring something she doesn't have? I think the New York newspaper that showed a picture of the two of them pointing to each other with the headline "I'm with stupid" about sums up the situation. Reading the article I hope the headline was tongue-in-cheek because the whole tenor of the piece undercuts any notion of "gravitas."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Weather same as yesterday--damn cold. Single digits with below 0* wind chills. Program today is same as yesterday: stay in, stay warm, stitch a bit, read a lot.

As Mom often says of this political season "it is the best comedy on TV." Or anywhere else. It seems we have a choice between laughing and crying.

And now for another bit of comedy. A big bad militia man with a gun gets knocked on his ass by an unarmed 79 year-old retiree who simply wanted to check on the owls.

Unfortunately, this is where politics becomes a crying game. This is what happens when government is run on the same lines as business and the bottom line is the only measure of "success."

Politicians, Repthuglicans in particular but all of that various tribe in general, are used to employing linguistic legerdemain to spin situations in their favor. Evidently idiot governor of Michigan wants to claim the Flint water catastrophe is a "natural" disaster. And not gaining any traction. Not even. It was entirely man made and the man most responsible is Snyder himself. I would love to see him impeached and, if there were any justice in this world, he should be prosecuted for manslaughter (if not murder).

Monday, January 18, 2016


A nice quiet day yesterday and we actually had some nice sunshine though the temperatures were dropping. The weather people said we won't get much warmth today because a cold blast is coming down from the northwest. It won't much matter for us. We have only one event planned for the week on one of the (forecast) dry and sunny days (though not at all warm). Otherwise--we hibernate.

I got some stitches in both the table cloth and the shawl. Have some plants to water today. Otherwise nothing new or exciting here.


It is really cold this morning--like -3*. We won't see anything out of single digits today. Thankfully, we did our shopping last Thursday so we would be well stocked till next week. For basics we can go even longer.

I am trying to get some order into my new (growing) collections of patterns, recipes, and other fascinating bits of information. I started with the bread recipes but only got about halfway done with them. Thinking about my needlework collection also. Not sure what I will do with that. Though some of my stash is in the SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy) range and I have been using more of what I already have, I always find I need something I don't have. When the weather turns warmer I need to get some yarn in a color I don't normally use for the coasters I have planned for my Sister-in-Law. I didn't stitch yesterday since I was doing over my recipes. Maybe I will get some of all of it done today.

A snippet from an article I read yesterday led me on an interesting odyssey. The author said that if we wanted to vote green this election the place to do it might well be in local city elections since some cities are taking action on the environmental/sustainability/recycling/urban agriculture front. It occurred to us that we hear damned little of our local politics here. The broadcast news comes out of Chicago and barely, infrequently mentions our news. The local newspapers are ghosts of their past selves and not very informative. Ferreting out who is running for what offices and what their positions on what issues are will be an interesting challenge. And this in a year when we have a lot on the ballot.

All I can say about this is "DAMN."

Saturday, January 16, 2016


We had a good rain yesterday--lasted most of the day (in waves) and wasn't hard or driven by wind. The temperatures are supposed to drop throughout the day but I don't have anything planned for outside. I got the bird feeder trays cleaned up and refilled so they can find some food. Have you all had robins that normally have migrated by now hanging around? We have--lots of them. I wonder if the unseasonable temperatures have confused them as it has some of the plants. Two thirds of my seed orders are in. I think I will start a couple of tomato varieties and one of the peppers next week. One tomato is a small patio variety which I can keep under lights and the other is a type that tolerates low light levels which might make it a good one for our south window. The pepper is the same--likes low light. Maybe start some greens also. I can keep them in pots for early eating.

We watched the Martian and both of us are somewhat underwhelmed. I liked the book much more. The characters were better developed in the book and the movie lost much of the ingenuity that ran throughout the book. Mom's damning with faint praise assessment: they could have done it much better.

Leigh at Five Acres and a Dream posted some comments that resonated here. We aren't nearly as far along as she is in eliminating plastic though we have much less than we once did. Mom never did like plastic drinking glasses so over the years we have eliminated those. We have gradually converted to using glass canning jars and other glass containers for much of our refrigerator and freezer storage. I have been threatening for several years now to start canning much of our tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes. This year because our freezer space is getting so tight I plan to do just that. And I hope to branch out to other veggies as well, home grown and from the farm market when it is in season. We have become increasingly unsatisfied with what we get in the supermarket.

An amusing little post about an obscure revival of an ancient religion in Iceland. And it isn't Nordic in origin.

And for a not so amusing boondoggle--new U.S. Navy ships that can't handle heavy seas and rough weather. Surely this isn't the best our tax money can buy. FUBAR.

Friday, January 15, 2016


The warm temps (well, warm for the season) have melted most of the snow we had. The new round of cold and precipitation hasn't come in yet. We moved our shopping errands to yesterday instead of next week so we won't have to contend with the (possibly nasty) weather.

I see more and more odd things when we go out on our errands and shopping. Last weekend it was the sign at our local supermarket's meat section meat coolers announcing the animals were U.S. raised and slaughtered. They can't put country of origin on the labels anymore thanks to the WTO and our U.S. Congress but they can tell us that the product is from somewhere in the U.S. Well, we came across another oddity yesterday. We stopped into our local Menards for some new burner pans for the stove and found they had pressure canners in their kitchen section. First time I can remember. Do they suddenly have a demand for pressure canners?

I read this item yesterday and was, at first, astonished by the prices. Then I took a second look after finding out what the current exchange rate between Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars is and finding our where the examples actually came from geographically. Canadian dollars are worth about 70% of U.S. values and many of the examples come from Nunavut, one of the Northern territories. Considering those two factors--the lesser value of the Canadian currency and the transportation distance--the prices don't seem any more outrageous than our own. We stopped buying Tide some time ago because of the price and because our clothes don't get so grimy we need the cleaning power.

 I intend to plant a lot of mints and other flowers the bees like.

Did you play Powerball? I didn't and was surprised when I found I wasn't even tempted to run out and get a ticket. John Beckett has an interesting post on Powerball dreams and I realized that he is absolutely right. Those dreams aren't mine. And for the same reasons. They never made me happy or satisfied when I dreamed them and pursued them. There was always something more just out of reach that the snake oil salesmen hawking those dreams promised would make me happy and fulfilled. Liars all.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


It is warmer this morning. Considering the miserable weather we expect for the next week we will do our grocery shopping today. I will continue putting some stitches in that table cloth I started and maybe the shawl.

Another addition to the "Big Brother is getting bigger and is still watching" file. The author notes the problems that arise with human judgement in policing situations and asks what happens when that is combined with a computer assessing the threats involved in a situation. It simply adds another layer of complexity and danger. Totally FUBAR.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Another really frigid morning (barely above 0*F) with possibilities of flurries later. We are still hibernating and looking to next week for when we might venture out for our errands. Right now our choices rest on whether we want to deal with the cold or rain/snow. The couple of days when temperatures should reach the high 30s or low 40s sounds nice but those come with rain. Since I have finished the coaster set planned for us and haven't got the yarn for the set for my sister-in-law, I decided to try the same pattern in bedspread cotton with a much larger hook than I would normally use to make a table cloth for a small round table. So far it looks quite nice. If it works out, I think I will try to adjust the pattern for an oval for the dining room table.

Here is an item for the "sounded like a good idea at the time" file. Where do you put 950k tons per day of waste? I read a headline which said Alberta, Canada has suspended fracking because of a 4.8 or so earthquake. If I find it again I will try to link.

I can relate to this author's situation. Well, not entirely since I an a 65 year old retired woman who never started a tech company. But we noted this morning how little we miss running the TV like we used to. A couple of years ago it was on 16 hours a day--from the time we got up till we went to bed. It was an ubiquitous presence but an increasingly irritating one. The news shows, which were the mainstay of the day, were more and more repetitive (even when we changed channels, when they weren't pure nauseating fluff. Channels we once watched for informative shows became venues for (un)reality shows. The movies offered were more moronic as time went on. We reduced our service till we now have barely basic cable. We thought as we stepped down to lower and lower service levels that we would miss it. We don't and we are happier for cutting it off. The day may come when we get rid of cable all together as the morning and evening news is becoming less and less news and more and more inconsequential fluff.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The snow we expected for the last several days finally arrived. It is still cold though a couple of degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. We are hibernating. I did finish the set of crocheted coasters I was working on. Nice to have one of my many WIPs done.

Word of the day: agnotology.

A related problem, however, is that scientific "knowledge" can change. Example here from the BMJ on cancer screenings. Something to think about: different levels of "knowledge." Mathematical certainty (one plus one equals two) is not the same as the "mathematical" models of economics or the statistics provided by epidemiologists. The most you can say about the latter two is that they use numbers but they each rely on the assumptions of the researchers, how good/complete their data is, and whether the lines of causality are what they think they are (does the change in A correlate to changes in B or are they related to some other hidden factor.)

Second word of the day: anthropocene. Several of the items cited have a longer history than 65 years. The Romans invented concrete and humans have long emulated beavers in building dams. However, the scale is definitely much larger. And some items, like plastic and artificial chemical fertilizers, are definitely new.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Cold--Cold--Cold!!!! Hummm, did I say "cold?" Chicago temps at 0*. Ours ranged from 2* to 5* depending on who was reporting with wind chills well below 0*. We had an errand on Saturday, a necessary errand, so we picked up a couple of items that will tide us over this week so we don't have to do our usual shopping. Since the next week is either very cold or snowy/rainy, we arranged things so we don't have to go out--at all.

This is a humorous side effect of our warmer than normal winter--so far.

For the interesting and very definitely strange file.

Grist posted this piece on the history of food adulteration, at least since the 1820s, and how to detect some of the fraud. Given the history of draconian legislation dealing with watered beer (since Babylonian times and Medieval Europe) and short weights (Medieval Europe--again) that story could be expanded pretty far back in time.

We noticed an interesting item at our local supermarket Saturday. The chest freezers with the ham and whole chickens/turkeys had signs indicating the meat was from animals raised and slaughtered in the U.S. Good!! Although the little meat market we patronize has always had that policy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Worked up the second coaster with the changes I mentioned and it looks very nice. I am going to do a set of them for us since I don't yet have the yarn for the set which will go to my sister-in-law. We are hunkering down for some snow/rainy weather and colder temps.


Got my seed orders in yesterday. They were light this year since I have so many seeds left from the last two years. A good many of the plants on the list of what I want to put in, especially the herbs, are available locally so that is how I will get them--as transplants. I did up another coaster for us and will continue today adding to the set. Maybe I will put in another few stitches in either my shawl or the cross-stitch table scarf. It is cold and blustery outside but the snow we expected didn't come--or if it did it melted and didn't stay on the ground.

I have been following this story for a while now. I think it is an excellent example of what happens when neither capitalism nor regulation work. On the one side, the economic incentives all favored ignoring the possible leak rather and spending the money received elsewhere while, on the other, the regulators were clearly ineffective. Loosening the regulations won't cure the problem as long as the economics favor recklessness.

Our morning TV news had a brief mention of this but most of what is in the article wasn't mentioned. Nothing about the involvement of the Governor or his special administrator in Flint. Now that the Department of Justice has gotten involved it is worth that brief and terribly incomplete and uninformative mention. I sincerely doubt that any justice will be served in the end.

Friday, January 8, 2016


The bread turned out very well--a bit sweeter than we are used to. I crocheted a coaster yesterday to test out a pattern. My sister-in-law asked me to make up a set for her. I noticed a couple of places where the pattern needed tweaking so I will do up another one today to test out my changes. I need to finalize the seed lists and place my orders.

I have been a fan of Apple computers and have had various versions since my first back in 1983. I emphasized the word "computers" because I haven't had and don't want an iPhone or an iPod. I don't want a "smart" phone--just a phone that can receive calls (real voice calls). I don't use texting and open only those from my phone service provider telling my bill for the month it ready for me to pay. This article on Atlantic resonates. For us it isn't because we are trying to withdraw from the heavily connected world we have been sucked into since we haven't been sucked in all that far. Rather it is controlling the technology in our lives and making sure it truly meets our needs not the manufactured "needs" the advertising tries to instill.

I have stayed away from commenting on the crackpot idiots occupying that wildlife refuge building in Oregon because they are crackpots. But, as the old saying goes, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you and just because you are a crackpot idiot doesn't mean there might not be a sane reason behind your crackpot actions. This article on Grist makes a lot of sense. It brings to mind other examples of protest arising out of changing economic/social conditions mixed with environmental regulations. Thirty years ago (or so) it was the spotted owl controversy and loggers who loudly proclaimed they loved spotted owls--fricasseed--after the federal government enacted new logging restrictions to protect the owls' habitat.

Oh, my!! Such a self-serving definition of abuse of power!!

So true!! Millennial anti-theft device indeed (by way of elfkat)!!

This is an addiction I share--whole heartedly!! And I don't want to hear about any cure.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Bread baking day. I found a recipe for beer yeast bread. I specified because I found a lot of quick beer breads but I wanted a yeast bread that would work for sandwiches not a cake. I got another two rows in my shawl and some stitches in a table scarf I have been working on for a good while. So a productive day.

Like Candy Sagon at AARP I like research that supports what I like to do anyway. When the research makes other conclusions we generally find good reasons to disregard it. Our morning starts with a pot of coffee which we brew much weaker than the directions call for. The pot provides about 3 cups for each of us which we drink slowly while watching (sort of) the morning news and browsing on the computers. We have a pot of tea with our main meal mid-afternoon which is usually a mix of equal parts green or black tea, and three kinds of herbs or herbal mixes. Yesterday we had a nice mix of Earl Grey/hyssop/chamomile/lavender. Many of the herbs I grow myself and dry for winter use.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Nothing much yesterday. After getting our shopping done we simply chilled out and did nothing more. We didn't have much shopping to do but it was tiring. We recognized some time ago that anything we do has to be done by mid afternoon or it won't get done at all. Nothing much planned for today: review the order list for seeds, find a (hopefully) good beer bread recipe, put a few stitches in my new shawl, read what is on my various internet lists.

Another reason to opt out of the "internet of things." I can just see the result of the linked linkage. You are driving along a country road and slam on the breaks to avoid hitting a deer, or some other animal or something, and you are warned to change your breaking pattern and your rates are raised. I often read about our "surveillance state" but not many write about our "surveillance society."

So the House Repthuglicans are trying to put through a "get out of litigation free" card for VW in its on-going defeat-device emissions scandal. The action would preclude consumer "non-injury" lawsuits. I would say customers who bought a VW (as opposed to another, perhaps cheaper, car) based on the company's fraudulent emissions numbers and projected resale value (which has tanked) were injured. They just don't die from that company malfeasance, or suffer broken bones and other serious injury. But they were injured. I hope the legislation is squelched in the Senate. I guess the representatives are showing who they really represent.

I hate one-size-fits-all statements like the title of this article. As the comments noted going without a bra isn't for everyone. And going braless in all circumstances isn't for all women. I understand the argument the scientists are making but socialization can be at odds with a lot of common sense. What are you comfortable with?

I have seen this but, as noted in the article, not often and not in any of the major media. I won't be surprised if the company faces minimal repercussions over the incident. After all, BP fought meaningful reparations to those harmed by its blowout and fines leveled by the Federal government and then fought for years to have those reduced in the courts. Exxon was fighting the same battle decades after the Exxon Valdez spill.

Ronni Bennett has a good end-of-one-year-beginning-of-the-next column today. I have noticed for some time now how much of popular culture has passed me by. I once was a whiz at quiz shows like Jeopardy, which I still watch with considerable enjoyment. I also once enjoyed crossword puzzles. But so much of each depends on extensive knowledge of popular culture and the personalities involved in it. I don't enjoy crosswords do crosswords anymore because it is simply an annoyance and I simply accept that some categories on Jeopardy are simply not in my memory banks.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Welcome to the first Monday of the new year. Even though we don't do much to celebrate Christmas and New Years there is a very different feel for the season and it is nice to get back to something more mundane. The colder temperatures and snow flurries help restore the feeling of everyday normality.

The rye bread turned out really good. I am amazed how much better my home made tastes.

We have heard about the flooding but nothing on our TV news about the hit to Texas and New Mexico dairy industry. And nothing about the possible hit to our pocket books.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Bread baking day. I found a recipe for dark rye to try. And I need to review my seed/plant lists to whittle it down a bit more. I already scratched the passion flower. It is perennial and perennials don't thrive in my gardens even though the variety I saw is rated hardy to zone 3. My containers freeze in the winter and even hardy plants may not survive frozen roots.

Interesting critique on American reading habits. I have heard the complaint for years that we aren't reading. A Doonesbury cartoon of the 1990s summed up the complaint of the college level professors about their students. The lecturer recapped his recent experience whittling down his assigned reading list from a dozen texts, some of them quite lengthy, to three quite short books while one of the students protests "Whoa, three!!??" I remember some of the very disapproving remarks about a graduate student in another department who was writing her thesis from material found entirely on line. But the situation Jackson Bliss describes reflects my own recent history. I read almost from the moment I wake up (with breaks for bread baking, needlework, gardening, chores, eating, etc.) until I turn off the e-reader and computer just before I go to bed. And much of that is skimming--for particular information (like the rye bread recipe I found on line), to eliminate articles I read on another site, to avoid topics I am totally uninterested in (the Kardashians and their ilk). But I have also found links and citations to valuable material. Back when the only reading option was print on hard copy, sci-fi author Ray Bradbury quipped "Good writers touch life often. Mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies." The same holds for our digital reading matter in, probably, the same proportions: a few good, more mediocre, and a hell of a lot bad.

I notice the article didn't mention how much interest Amazon's customers would be charged for the "convenience" of being able to charge large purchases.

This is hilarious!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


I have spent a couple of hours over the last couple of days looking at my gardening and seed catalogs planning what to order for this coming season. I almost wrote "next year" forgetting that today is the second day of "next year." That also involves planning what I will plant where and checking what seeds I still have which are (probably) viable. In the fall I went through the stock and discarded all those more than 3 years old.  I should be ready to place my orders next week.

This little piece on Alternet tries to answer a question I (and a whole bunch of other older bloggers) have asked: why does our time seem to fly by so quickly. A year barely starts before it ends.

I have read a lot of history (having achieved a B.A. and an M.A.) but I hadn't read about this. Somehow it doesn't surprise me. The religious fervor over prohibition infected all levels of society and government, and such a passion easily justified murder which the deliberate addition of toxic substances to something someone is likely to ingest is murder--whether the imbibing of that something is legal or not. There is a saying that the only difference between a robber and a tax collector is official permission. The same can be applied here. For further insights into the complicated social/moral/political brew that produced Prohibition, Slate has a nice little article.

For a foray into linguistic history check out Riflebird's post. Like the author I didn't know the derivation of "piss poor" or "didn't have a pot to piss in."

This is one talented girl!! All the dresses are spectacular.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Welcome to the last day of 2015. We don't have any special plans for the day or night. It has been years since either of us have celebrated the change from one year to the next. Don't like the crowds or the noise. The year will turn whether we are awake at midnight or not.


Happy New Year!!!!

Hope you all had a good celebration how ever you celebrate and that the 2016 will be a joyous and prosperous one.