Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mothershead for sheriff or president or something

This story restores faith in the American way:
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -- A clerk at a business in Western North Carolina punched a would-be robber and knocked him out cold just minutes after the man barged in with a gun and demanded money.

Read it all and watch short vid here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our cherub

The girl yesterday texted her mother that Lily Jane had called her father a wretch. We were at once pleased and a little concerned. 'Wretch' does beat hell out of 'poopyhead' [or most any other insult you'd get from most two-year-old kids], and we're a word-besotted lot, admiring verbal verve. Plus, 'wretch' will come up in discussions around our house and is unlikely at nursery school, so she may have acquired it at our hearth. Nonetheless, it's probably what they designate inappropriate for her to call her father a wretch. On the other hand, father and daughter share a certain spring-loaded temperament, and it might be well that she grow up to demonstrate her anger with Shakespearean invective rather than by throwing down on 'em with a .380. Kid's something. I can report that she has perfected the golden phrase, 'Pappy is a saint,' followed by a mad giggle.
The whole crew's descending upon us for Christmas dinner, and we'll be joined by a couple more of our regulars, folks you might style parafamily. Some are staying through Wednesday and some through Saturday. Damn but that's a lot of human contact.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pipe this tango

The Brothers Macana do a beautiful tango.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How about this, Tom Friedman?

Tom Friedman, sycophantic lackey of any rich Indian who will talk to him, keeps on telling us how the Indians are gonna bury us because they are all so smart and hard working and we are all so stupid and sorry.
Look at this stuff, posted by a Chinese visiting India. These are people who incinerate daughters-in-law who come up short on dowry money and who abort female fetuses.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday miscellany

A tour of Southern barbecue styles, delivered musically. Aesthetically satisfying and educational.

An amusing comment from a blog I fancy:
'As Claire Wolfe said: "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."'
And a nearby citizen from my parents' page on a 1938 voters' roll: 'Gunderson, Hendrick A. —Body Builder.' How about that? A body builder by profession. Of course, that was in California, but Fresno, at that time pretty much an annex of Oklahoma.

And the odd joke that tickled:
Subject: Donations Needed!
A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway outside Washington DC. Nothing was moving.
Suddenly, a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down the window and asks, "What's going on?"
"Terrorists have kidnapped Congress, and they're asking for a $100 million dollar ransom. Otherwise, they are going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire.
"We are going from car to car, collecting donations."
"How much is everyone giving, on average?" the driver asks.
The man replies, "Roughly, a gallon."

"To be stupid, selfish, & have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost." — Gustave Flaubert

And that's all I know tonight.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ay, El Paso

From the World's Worst Newspaper, an appalling list of local dignitaries run afoul of the law. List of people named in public corruption case. Go there and be amazed that any American city can have such a top-to-bottom culture of corruption. El Paso is like a city in Chihuahua where, occasionally, office holders are expected to hew to American standards of ethics. When I went to Chicago in 1969 from El Paso I was at first taken aback by the way things are done there, and then I understood: Chicago runs on Mexico rules. Anything could be sorted out with a mordida, a bit of baksheesh, some sugar. It offended; I expected better. These days I am less optimistic, or maybe less deluded.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

A hoot

I offer without editorial comment this note from a way-back friend:

"If you have a few minutes to kill, by all means go to Amazon.com and search on the book How to Avoid Huge Ships. It's out of print, but there are two copies available starting at $999. The fun thing, though, just as much fun as reading all 156 reviews, is looking at Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed (scroll to view all of 'em):

Go on; do it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Post offices, banks, and tiny towns

It's sad to watch the little towns of America disappear. The place in New Mexico where I spent much of my childhood has gone from 2,000 or so to something around 900 now. And many tiny towns are frightened that they will lose their post offices, the last little dab of glue that allows towns a distinct identity.
As businesses flee, towns die. From the Hutchinson, Kan., newspaper, a little story about a business going away in a place that can't spare any commerce:
On Feb. 3, the Citizens Bank of Kansas in Turon, one of the town's only two remaining downtown business and a staple in the community for nearly 125 years, will close.

Read the whole thing here. It seems to me that when I was a kid you could buy savings stamps, kinda like low-denomination bonds, at the post office. Why not let post offices in tiny towns take on some banking functions? If customers could cash checks [lots of old or poor people don't want any truck with big banks and have no internet access or savvy], maybe pay bills, maintain savings accts, that kind of small-time financial transaction, it would give the post offices a little boost and provide a useful service to tiny-town denizens. I can't imagine that even the sleaziest bank would profess that the government was stealing business and socializing a private function. After all, the idea of the post office is to serve the public, isn't it?