Monday, January 31, 2011


Odd as it may seem, I get a lot of spammish stuff in comments on old posts here. Most direct you to some electronics or movie site. Some have no discernible point. The watchdog on this site is effective and catches and rejects almost all of them. This was in the cull list today:
What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

I love it; would that it were real.

A forwarded headline

from herself with subject line reading 'brave new world':
"A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned by Gay Rights Advocates"
I didn't read the story and don't think I want to know the rest of the story. Strange times, folks.

The graven image

Friend of mine forwards this pic with the note, 'Jasper, Arkansas, apparently has a different visual concept of God than other folks.' I think this would be the divinity that Lloyd Blankfein spoke of when he said that Goldman Sachs was 'doing the Lord's work.'

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh, the horror!

The students at an MLK Day banquet in – where else? – California managed to feel offended because the menu featured fried chicken and waffles. The egregious human-rights violation occurred at Cal-Irvine.
UC Irvine student Ricardo Sparks, the 20-year-old co-chairman of the university's Black Student Union, lodged a formal complaint with the administration.
. . . . .
[The director of communications for the Black Student Union said], "It takes all the radicalism and activism that we tried to do with the symposium and then [the cafeteria] serves chicken and waffles and takes away from all the stuff that we did."

Read it all here. The university, of course, did the obligatory ritual grovel for the silly bastards. Nothing undercuts your revolutionary agenda as badly as fried chicken and waffles. When the biggest bitch you can muster is chicken and waffles, you've pritnear run out of bitches. Give 'em the same gray roast beef and soggy peas that everyone else gets.
"There is nothing quite so enjoyable as a huge, living, daily increasing grievance that does one no palpable harm." – Anthony Trollope, "Can You Forgive Her?"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Merry mustellids

Get a load of these otters all atwitter about the prospect of dinner:

I can understand that attitude.

Monday, January 24, 2011

World's wonders

I am constantly amazed at the wonderful things the Internet brings to our desk by the window. Friends send me photos of odd things, manmade and natural. I can get the latest on-scene news from faraway places. People I love can communicate instantly without intruding. I'm leading up to this delightful blog I found in the comments section of a site I fancy. The author lives in the East End of London and shares what he sees. Writing about an old craftsman:
Make no mistake, Maurice [Franklin] is a virtuoso. When rooms at Windsor Castle burnt out a few years ago, the Queen asked Maurice to make a new set of spindles for her staircase and invited him to tea to thank him for it too. “Did you grow up in the East End?” she enquired politely, and when Maurice nodded in modest confirmation of this, she extended her sympathy to him. “That must have been hard?” she responded with a empathetic smile, although with characteristic frankness Maurice disagreed. “I had a loving family,” he told her plainly, “That’s all you need for a happy childhood, you don’t need palaces for that.”

Read the rest of Maurice Franklin's story here and spend time with other people in the East End.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jes cause I happened on the guy

An Aussie surf guitarist:

Guy's great. You practically need subtitles to understand him. I like surf guitar. It seems in some way optimistic and cheerful and full of fun. I can figure out pessimistic, gloomy, and dark on my own. It's always seem a quintessentially American form, but I guess those other Brit descendants on the Pacific could figure it out, too. Don't see Hong Kong surf guitar.

Nyah Nyah, Vicad

Well, the Vicad's accumulated enough nyah-nyah points to merit a mention. Lots of newspapers have some sort of consumer editor who rights wrongs and goes after miscreants who take advantage of the public. Couple of weeks ago the evildoer was some cosmetologist type who'd shaved off half a customer's eyebrow. It'll grow back in a couple weeks. Annoying, but hardly malfeasance.
Then today they had a woman who'd been overcharged by the price of one taco. I didn't follow either story to the end, just not worth it, but in my experience any vendor will make good on something like a tiny overcharge.
Then a huge amount of territory on today's Page 1 and jump was the obit of a recently deceased Victorian. I didn't know the guy, and maybe he was such an exemplary car salesman that he deserved all the ink. Yeah, yeah, I know, any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, but somehow I never made it to the end of this one, either. Maybe I'm just not the ideal reader, or maybe the Advocate's not the ideal paper. Clearly one of us is painfully flawed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The bears explain it all for us

Some really clever people are making those goofy little vids that use the cartoon bears. This one has a nice summary of the situation with Chinese trade. I fret about economics but with little understanding. I've only had a couple of econ classes and read a bit, but my constant nagging fear is that eminent economists also have little understanding.
Craig Stephens on MarketWatch has an illuminating discussion of this week's visit from Chinese President Hu Jintao to America. Someone had better do something in the best interests of middle-class Americans while there are still a few left.

Monday, January 17, 2011

On the road again

Herself went out to Junction on a genealogical pilgrimage last week and then drove on in to San Antonio, where I met her. The deal was a little bit celebration of her birthday – she's now caught up to me in age – and little bit babysitting while The Girl did some of that mysterious business she does, telling people about their insurance policies.
To entertain the baby, we went to the big snake-and-creepies exhibition at the Children's Museum in downtown SA, as the little one's generally besotted with snakes. She was a little off her form, being in the grip of one of those dreary infections that babies get, but she nonetheless had a good time, as did we. That's our Lily in the pink coat.

The little kids in attendance were mostly dead game sports about the herps and arachnids. That tiny little thing in the polka-dot dress was much taken with it all. Note the left thumb on the guy holding the tarantula. It stops one joint sooner than yours and mine. He got bit by a snake and lost the end of his thumb. Happily, he remains one of those engaging herp-happy people and was great with the kids, too. I liked the Australian blue-tongued skink for having a very blue tongue.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Just because it came to hand:
There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.
No pun in ten did.

Har har. I love puns.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wow! Nature kicks up

That ferocious front came blasting through about 4 this morning, violently enough to wake sound sleepers and scare timid dogs. This tree is an old hackberry that formerly lived in the front yard of the house just across the street. Fortunately it missed the house and all wires. Not all the wires in town were missed; we were without elec from around 4 until 10:30 this morning. Streets were full of people driving around and looking at damage. Our neighbors' tree was about the most dramatic damage in town, but a mess down by the harbor had the AEP troops out and working on downed power poles. Also, a tin roof blew over onto a shrimp boat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

And for something completely different ...

Cuca Roseta, a singer of fado, the Portuguese blues. Makes you wanna go to Lisbon and cry in your vinho.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Report on meeting of blog conspirators

Went to a social affair this afternoon, a fine finale for the holiday season, and it turned out to be all full of Vicad bloggers, half a dozen or so. There were exchanges of information and opinion, all executed with lots of giggles. Everyone is agreed that the paper is cratering quickly. As someone elsewhere said, 'Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?' Pore ol Advocate.
And just because I like it for the beginning of the year, this:

I've seen Irma Thomas at the Jazzfest, long time ago, as I haven't been in more than 20 years. I once wrote about Jazzfest for the SW Airlines mag and took the fee and went to New Orleans. Best act I ever saw there was Aaron Neville in the Gospel Tent. A breathtaking voice, Neville's. I'll just throw him in. Doofus vid but such a voice:

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Not any reason besides the fact that it will be eleven years, one month, and a day before I can use a title like that again. Better grasp the oppty ... might not be around. Ya never know.
Oh, and there's this