Monday, March 31, 2014

Time is an allusion. No, it isn't.

New studies about time.

Everything that happens in the universe is determined by laws. “Laws are absolute – they don’t change with time.” The laws also seem to reveal the true nature of time. “They suggest the flow of time is just a convenient illusion that can be replaced by computation.” Time is a trick that makes the equations spit out the right answers.

Here’s the deal: Either time will end or it will not. Whichever, we won’t be here to know.

Folks get paid money to do thinking most don’t care about because in daily life, none of it matters. What matters is day-to-day life and the rules that apply. There was a cloud of smoke. Moses went up the mountain. God said, “Here are the rules.” (OK, no book quotes God as saying that, but that’s pretty much what he delivered.)

Link at maggiesfarm, where writers often write stuff that matters only to Yankees (old definition) and psychologists.

A ‘Duh!’ headline

“Yellowstone earthquake: Biggest in 34 years, but not the ‘big one’”

(If it had been the big one, you wouldn’t be reading this, because your power would be out and you would have ash falling on your house.)

Philippine navy disguises front-line ship …

as rust-splotched WWII run-aground landing ship in dispute with Red China over possible oil- and natural-gas-containing rock outcrops 120 miles from Philippines and 700 miles from China.

Ukrainian jokes

This week's joke in translation was sent to us by Natasha Petrenko.

Taking Out the Garbage

A man is naked with his lover in her kitchen when they hear her husband coming home earlier than usual. His lover quickly grabs a grabage bag and runs to meet her husband in the hall, saying:
- Darling, I am just out of the shower. Please take out the garbage while you are still dressed.
The husband dutifully agrees and while he is away, the man sneaks down the stairs and leaves the building unnoticed, marvelling at how smart his lover is for thinking so quickly.

When he arrives home, he opens the front door and is in the process of removing his coat and hanging it up when his wife enters the hall with a garbage bag and says:
- Darling, I am just out of the shower. Please take out the garbage while you are still dressed.
He takes the bag and goes out, marvelling at how stupid his wife is because she's home all day and hasn't found the time to take out the garbage. –

An elderly Ukrainian man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite Ukrainian Perogy's wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs. With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen.

Where if not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite Perogy.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted Ukrainian wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in a crumpled posture. His parched lips parted, the wondrous taste of the pierogies was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to the pierogies at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a wooden spoon by his wife......

"Back off!" she said, "They're for the funeral."

What do you call a Ukrainian hanging from a tree?

Branch Manager

How do you kill a one armed Ukrainian in a tree?

Wave at him

What do you call a Ukrainian living in Crimea?

That’s not funny.

Angry driver

Sunday, while taking John to his group home in Texarkana, Priscilla turned into a truck stop southwest of Malvern. Ahead of us a big pickup with a travel trailer goosenecked also turned in. Priscilla drove across the lot and then into an empty pump area. We both looked up and saw the pickup and trailer headed for the same pump, but about 40 feet away. Priscilla said, “I’m sorry, mister.” I said, “Don’t be. We’ll be filed and gone long before he would be.” I got out and pumped in 16 gallons and then got back in the car. I happened to look left. The pickup driver was standing at another pump. He mouthed, “F--- y---.” I kind of grinned, which did not help his anger. He gave me the finger and mouthed, “F--- y---, m-----------.” I told Priscilla. She said, “Don’t say anything to him.” I assured her I intended not to.

That much anger because of being slower to get to a pump, and it wasn’t like Priscilla zoomed across the lot just to beat the man to a gas pump. After we turned in, we didn’t even see the truck until we were entering the pump areas. The driver had taken a longer route to the pump, because he was pulling a big trailer.

I don’t know. Maybe he’s always angry. Maybe he was so focused on driving and turning he just got red when he saw he would have to make another plan. Maybe his wife had been directing him, and when we got to the pump, her directions became, “Well, congratulations. You let that other car get in first.” Lots of possibilities.

Friday, March 28, 2014

We're from the government

This afternoon Priscilla got a call from a social worker. The social worker said she will be here tomorrow morning to inspect our home. I suppose the inspection is to make sure we have adequate facilities for taking care of Mrs. R.

“Well, that’s fine,” Priscilla told the social worker, “but we won’t be here.”

This Saturday is John’s bowling day. We will be in Texarkana, taking John bowling and then bringing him here for the weekend. We have hired a CNA to take care of Mrs. R. while we’re gone Saturday and again Sunday when we take John back to his group home.

It is quite inconsiderate for anybody to call and announce an inspection the next day.

The social worker said she will make the inspection whether we are here or somewhere else.

That old sarcasm “We’re from the government and we’re to help you” has become a real “We’re from the government and we’re here to do any damn thing want.”

G. Washington: Religion and morality lead to political prosperity

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. ... Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

-- From Washington's final address.

Those dastardly conservatives now want freedom to carry a knife

So mean! First they fought for gun rights, now they want knife rights! The horror!

‘Inside the Knife Rights Movement’

(The writer dude does admit knives “can be just as lethal” as a gun.)

Maggie’s Farm.

NC cops need to try this on Uncle Si

Man arrested for drinking ice tea after refusing to hand over can to dude not in cop clothes.

Reckon the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood had anything to do with the white cop acting the way he did? Nah.

And a thing learned from newspaper police beat years: Cops on the street never admit making mistakes.

Maggie’s Farm.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

‘Taste like lobster’ beaver tail

By brewri92535


1 beaver tail

1 stick of butter

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 roll aluminum foil (You won’t use all of it.)

1 beaver tail


“Shoot one beaver. I prefer by bow and arrow. Cut off the tail. Take back to camp. Singe fine hair off using campfire. Wrap beaver tail tightly in aluminum foil boat with a stick of butter and garlic powder. Place in campfire for about an hour. Unwrap aluminum foil. Pseudo-lobster tail thanks to beaver. Serves usually about 4.”

Hey! This might not be bad. Have to find a beaver first, though.

Eating habits

The first morning Mrs. R. was with us, Priscilla served grape juice to her because Mrs. R. likes grape juice.

Near the end of breakfast, Mrs. R. dipped her white napkin in her glass of grape juice and dabbed at a corner of her mouth.

In an inquisitive, but not accusatory, tone Priscilla said, “Mother, what are you doing?”

“I’m getting food off my mouth,” Mrs. R. said.

“With grape juice?”

“Yes,” Mrs. R. said.

She now gets paper napkins.

Tuesday of this week for supper, Priscilla made chicken pot pie – carrots, potatoes and onions, cooked chicken, and a crust on top.

We served Mrs. R.’s ice tea in a plastic glass with a lid and a straw, because twice when finished with drinks in glass glasses, she just extended her arm and dropped the glass on the floor. Glass breakage is not in itself a terrible event, but we eventually would have been out of glasses.

When serving Mrs. R.’s plate, Priscilla told her the meal was chicken pot pie. She was just sitting down when Mrs. R. sucked tea through the straw and then spit the tea onto her chicken pot pie.

Priscilla asked, “Is it too dry?”

“No,” her mother said. “I just wanted some vinegar on my dressing.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

UN Security Council concerned about Crimea …

… but unable to find any way to blame Israel for Russian invasion.

Or: Secretary of State Kerry “concerned” about Crimea, but unable to find any way to blame Bush for Russian invasion.

Or: Former VP Gore “concerned” about Crimea, but unable to find any way to blame global warming … climate change for Russian invasion.

Idea at

You don’t own a gun? Get one. Now. Before these people arrive in your neighborhood.

At Fark.

Come on, dude! Grow a pair!

This guy was banging his high school science teacher, but they got caught and now he’s suing her and the school district because the trauma of their sex has delayed his joining the Marine Corps.

At Fark.

With sundown comes confusion

Mrs. R. said, “Well, I guess I should get my things together and get in my car and go home.”

It was just after 8 p.m. or before 8 p.m., the sun down not for a long time, Monday or Tuesday, any day of the week. Mrs. R. was in her wheel chair in the living room.

Priscilla said, “Mother, you are home.”

“I am?”

“Yes. You are in our home, Bob’s and mine.”

“I’m not in my home.”

“This is your home,” Priscilla said. “You live here, with us, now.”

“Well … okay.”

Confusion in Alzheimer’s patients that time of day is called “Sundowner Syndrome,” Priscilla said a doctor told her. Not all dementia patients exhibit symptoms.

A few minutes after talking about driving to Texarkana, Mrs. R. said, “I don’t see John anywhere.” John is her physically 57-year-old, mentally 5- or 6-year-old son, for whom she gave daily care until he moved to a group home about four years ago.

Priscilla said, “Mother, John is at his home.”

“His home? How did he get home without me?”

Priscilla explained John’s group home and the care he gets there. “By now, he has had his shower and he is sitting in his recliner and watching TV.” She gives the same explanation every night.

A number of web sites address the syndrome. gives a short explanation, noting no one knows what causes the confusion. As with all things medical, there are several possibilities, garnered from guesses and studies, including sensory overload during the day, hormonal imbalances that occur at night, simple fatigue or inability to see well in the dark.

A few minutes after being informed of John’s whereabouts, Mrs. R. said, “I see John’s shoes by the couch, but I don’t see John.”

One night last week she thought the couch cushions were John.

After a time, Mrs. R. begins to stir in the wheel chair and say she needs to get up and get ready for bed. Priscilla and I put her in bed. The questions continue for a while, Mrs. R. asking which bed room we will sleep in, if we have fed the dogs and why is the door open behind her bed? There is no door behind her bed. One night last week when Priscilla went to the back door to let the dogs in, Mrs. Rodgers asked, “Are you going outside to the toilet?”

Do not get any idea of Poor Priscilla or Poor Bob. We are doing what needs doing. There are people who don’t want to know anything about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, who do not want to admit they will be the old people in nursing homes. If you don’t get out early, you will be, though.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More mush from Obama

Obama Assures NATO But Says Force Won’t Be Used In Crimea

Dismisses Russia As A ‘Regional Power’ Acting Out Of Weakness

President Says New NSA Proposal Alleviates Privacy Concerns

Mistake: Man tries to rob male dancers’ dressing room

They’re male dancers, yes. That means they have muscles.

The story says the suspect was “left with a black eye.” There is a mug shot, and the dude’s face looks more like he “got the piss beat out of him.”

At Lowering the Bar by way of Maggie’s Farm.

Spending too much money

Mrs. R. stopped cooking when Mr. R. died in 2004. She never enjoyed cooking, and without a husband to take care of after work, she saw no reason to do something she didn’t want to do in the first place.

Until temporarily staying with Priscilla and me last year and then going to an assisted living place and now living permanently here, Mrs. R. and her son John followed a routine for meals: Breakfast, cereal with milk; lunch, Wendy’s hamburger with fries and drink; dinner, Catfish King or Big Jake’s barbecue. She had canned food and frozen food, box dinners and pasta in cabinets and freezer, but she did not cook.

When she stayed with us Monday-Friday for six weeks last year, she gained six pounds. Her doctor was pleased.

Following breakfast this morning, Priscilla and I began making a grocery list. After a time of Priscilla writing and both her and me talking, Mrs. R. said, “That certainly sounds like an expensive list.”

Priscilla said, “It’s a grocery list.”

“Well, it certainly sounds expensive.”

Priscilla and I decided on more goods. Mrs. R. said, “That is a very expensive list.”

I said, “We don’t go to Wendy’s or Catfish King or Big Jake’s. For one thing, we would have to drive 25 or 30 miles.”

“One way,” Priscilla said.

“Well, it just sounds like a lot of expensive food.”

Beginning 6:30 a.m.

“Good morning,” I said to Mrs. R.

“Well, good morning,” she said in a surprised voice. She was in the hospital bed near the wide, curtained windows that faced west and southwest. She said, “I didn’t expect you all to be back so soon.”

“Back where?” I asked.

“At my house,” she said.

I explained she and Priscilla and I were at our house, near Little Rock.

“Near Little Rock?” she said.


“Oh,” she said. “OK.”

Mrs. R. and Priscilla had been up since before 6:15. Priscilla had done the changing of diaper and dressing her mother in day clothes and now was loading the washer. She joined me in the kitchen. I said I would cook oatmeal. Priscilla said she would chop apples to go with the oatmeal.

Mrs. R. said, “I hear water running somewhere.” Priscilla explained she was doing laundry, and the sound was the washer filling. Mrs. R. said, “I need to do laundry, too.”

“We’ll take care of that,” Priscilla said.

“Oh. OK.”

Priscilla and I worked on breakfast. After around five minutes, Mrs. R. said, “I hear water running somewhere.” Priscilla again explained she was doing laundry. Mrs. R. said, “Well, my washing machine is in the kitchen and the dryer is in the storage room.” That is true, at her house in Texarkana. Priscilla said we had everything taken care of. Mrs. R. said, “I need to do laundry, too.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Writing coach

Someone in charge of something at the newspaper in Fort Worth, Texas, decided the paper needed a writing coach. Not a fulltime coach, but only for a month, the month coincidentally a summer month when the coach, husband of an editor, was not teaching his literature classes at a local university.

The coach wandered the newsroom, drank coffee, talked with people and read the morning and afternoon editions of the newspaper and held occasional meetings with writers, re-writers and copy editors.

I never asked what re-writers and other copy editors thought about the one session in which the coach informed us of our shortcomings, but “one session” might indicate something.

The coach opened the session with: “We have too many ‘It was’ and ‘There were’ leads.’”

I thought: “Oh. You mean as in ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …’ Too much of that sort of writing.”

I don’t remember anything else the coach said.

In the same vein, last year I read an online piece on “How to Write.” I remember this: Do not start a story with someone waking up.”

I thought, “Oh. You mean as in ‘One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.’”

Stuff at

31 photographs of abandoned places.

For other meditative pictures, search “abandoned Russian churches” and “abandoned Armenian churches.”

Walrus asleep on Russian submarine.

“Turns out it's a Russian sub, too; paint the hull yellow and you've got a visual pastiche of at least three Beatles hits.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

1800-year-old letter: Roman soldier asked for mail from home

"I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind. But I do my part writing to you always and do not cease bearing you (in mind) and having you in my heart. But you never wrote to me concerning your health, how you are doing. I am worried about you because although you received letters from me often, you never wrote back to me so that I may know how you.

"I sent six letters to you. The moment you have(?) me in mind, I shall obtain leave from the consular (commander), and I shall come to you so that you may know that I am your brother. For I demanded(?) nothing from you for the army, but I fault you because although I write to you, none of you(?) ... has consideration. Look, your(?) neighbor ... I am your brother."

At Maggie’s Farm.

Obama USDA: Hey, let's build wooden skyscrapers!

Statues made of matchsticks
Crumble into one another.

“The White House launched a new campaign to sell its global warming agenda to rural America: ‘sustainable’ buildings, including skyscrapers, made out of wood to lower carbon dioxide emissions."

USDA has a $1 million competition “to demonstrate the architectural and commercial viability of using sustainable wood products in high-rise construction.”

“The wood industry applauded USDA’s plan to promote wood from rural America, saying that such efforts would help the environment and save energy.”

One thing for sure – a 50-story wooden building would make grand footage for ELF.

Found at Moonbattery by way of Maggie’s Farm.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Glad to give you a little slack there, Vlad

Thanks For Being So Cool About Everything

By Vladimir Putin

As you know, the last few weeks have been kind of crazy around here. Last month, protests in Ukraine ousted the country’s Kremlin-allied president and ignited a wave of Ukrainian nationalism that threatened to destabilize Russia’s economic and military interests in the region. Of course, I couldn’t simply stand by and let that happen, so I intervened and ordered a forceful takeover of the strategically important peninsula of Crimea—a territory with historical ties to Russia that our nation had long desired. It’s certainly no easy task to forcefully annex an entire province against another country’s will, so I just wanted to thank you—the government of the United States, the nations of western Europe, and really the entire world population as a whole—for being super cool about all of this.

Seriously, you guys have been amazing. All of you. I really appreciate it.

To be honest, I was really dreading a whole big fight over this thing. When you first condemned the seizure of Crimea as patently illegal and in breach of the Ukrainian constitution—which it absolutely was, by the way—I feared for the worst. But then everybody stopped short of doing anything to actually prevent what was essentially a state-sponsored landgrab, and I just thought, “Wow, these guys are a pretty laid-back and easygoing bunch!” It really was a huge load off when you let everything slide like that.

There is one thing I want to say though, and I feel a little silly admitting this, but there was
actually a moment earlier when I did feel a little dread. For one unnerving second there, I thought
you imposed sanctions on Russia’s broad national economy, but then I saw the sanctions were just
directed at a few of my advisers and some bank I don’t care about. Boy, talk about a major relief!

Believe me, I know it must have been hard to stand idly by and do nothing as a foreign military invaded one of your allies, or just sit back and watch while we set up a complete farce of a referendum—a referendum supervised by heavily armed members of the Russian military, mind you—and used it as grounds for backdoor annexation. It also couldn’t have been easy to keep your cool when we sent commandos to raid the Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea. But you didn’t really make much of a fuss over any of it, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. It made my job way, way easier.

I totally owe you one, no question about that.

Now, of course I get that you in the international community had to issue some sort of response. After all, you had to at least look like you were trying to fight for the people of Ukraine as we rolled armed vehicles into their country, made it clear that any dissent would be punished, and essentially rendered an entire people totally and utterly powerless in the face of a bigger, stronger country’s national interests. I totally get that. But I’m just relieved that you decided on a response as harmless as humanly possible, with no real and tangible repercussions on myself or my government. You really have no idea how much stress that lifted off my shoulders. It was a real lifesaver.

I also understand that moving forward, you’ll feel pressure to call a lot of high-profile NATO meetings, make statements to the UN, suspend this summer’s G8 summit, that sort of thing. I also get that all that kind of stuff is just a formal procedure you have to follow, because really, at this point you’ve laid your cards on the table. So I just want to thank you ahead of time—honestly, from the bottom of my heart—for ensuring that I can just concentrate on doing whatever I want in any formerly Soviet region that is of geopolitical, military, or economic value to Russia without having to worry one iota about suffering any consequences. Thanks for making that 100-percent clear to me.

There is one thing I want to say though, and I feel a little silly admitting this, but there was actually a moment earlier when I did feel a little dread. For one unnerving second there, I thought you imposed sanctions on Russia’s broad national economy, but then I saw the sanctions were just directed at a few of my advisers and some bank I don’t care about. Boy, talk about a major relief!

Really, this whole thing has gone so smoothly that my only real regret is that I just wish I had known earlier that you guys were this mellow about hostile military takeovers. It makes me wonder what took me so long to get around to this.

But you know, I really shouldn’t have been surprised, given how cool you were with my longstanding record of handling opposition political groups or independent-minded journalists, all those gay rights protests that cropped up last year, or even that whole ordeal in 2008 when we tried to take over separatist regions of Georgia by force. Just knowing I’m free to do things my own way—that I can fully ignore any domestic or international laws and any basic principles of human rights—just takes away a ton of the stress involved in making these big decisions.

And, by the way, if you ever need me to play along and act like these little Crimea sanctions and rhetorical warnings are in the least bit threatening, or feign anger by instituting entry bans on U.S. lawmakers and officials, or issue a few sternly worded responses to the international community’s condemnations, I’m completely down with that. I get the back-and-forth charade we’re playing here—the one that says you’re actually considering some real action against me. Seriously, going along with that kind of ruse is the least I can do, given all you’ve done for me.

I just hope you’ll all continue being so nice and accommodating moving forward—especially with what I’ve got planned for the rest of Ukraine over the next few months.,35584/

Responses I might have given me …

… had I been cashier at Dogs R Us and a customer made the same sort-of smart-a$$ remark I did about the price of dog food:

“Well, sir, you can always put it back.”

“You, sir, are a reason I thank God every day for giving me patience.”

“My mother told me about people like you, but I thought she was kidding.”

“Well, sir, you can always go to Walmart and get some real cheap-s--- dog food.”

The thing is, she was a friendly young woman, all “Good afternoon, sir. How are you today?” and meaning it.

I apologize.

Is that each or per case?

In the Texas Army National Guard, company-level full time armorers ran supply rooms during the week, with supply sergeants in charge during drill weekends.

Sgt. Johnson took to his job as armorer, but even more so as de facto supply sergeant. He studied the Army’s microfiche lists of supply items and found many listed as “expendable.”

Among the expendable items were bags of cat litter, for use on small oil spills in the company maintenance bay. Sgt. Johnson ordered 20 five-pound bags.

A few days after the requisition went in, First Sgt. Abercrombie, armory NCOIC, got a call from a supply friend at USPFO at Camp Mabry in Austin. After the usual catching up, the state-level sergeant said, “What kind of oil spill do you have at your armory?” When Abercrombie asked what he meant, the friend said, “Well, I’ve got a requisition here for twenty bags of cat litter. It comes in 100-pound bags, so I was wondering why you were ordering a ton of cat litter.” The order was changed to one bag.

A training NCO at another company decided his soldiers should have meal trays to eat from instead of the usual paper or plastic plates. Not a bad idea, except for likely doubling of KPs for washing the trays. The sergeant ordered 120 trays. That’s 120 each, individual trays.

The trays didn’t come as each, but by case. Fifty in each case. At a battalion meeting, the NCO said he had enough trays to feed the battalion, so if the other companies wanted some … Nobody took his offer.

Civilians make the same mistake.

A woman at my wife’s office several years ago ordered 60 free cookie tins. She was surprised when 60 cases of 70 tins each arrived.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Obama sings ‘Crimea a River’ and other greatest hits

Putin on the Ritz

It’s Ukrainian Men

What’s Kiev Got To Do With It?

Have You Ever Seen Ukraine?

I Just Called to Say it's 3AM

Singin’ in Ukraine

Brand New Kiev

Blame It On Ukraine

Barack in the USSR

Ukraine Drops Putin on My Head

Who’ll Stop Ukraine?

("Crimea River" is one of the funniest things in a long time.)

Georgian joke

A Georgian delegation comes, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin's corridors. Stalin starts looking for his pipe. He can't find it. He calls in Beria, head of the secret police. "Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe," he says. Beria scuttles off down the corridor. Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria - "Look, I've found my pipe." "It's too late," Beria says, "half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning."

New Crimean PM Tweets pic of FSB Lt. Col. Obama

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, unfriended by Obama: "Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Have you not thought about it?" Rogozin Tweeted, implying that the U.S. President is acting like an erstwhile Soviet apparatchik. "I think some prankster prepared the draft of this Act of the US President," he added later, in both languages. "Here it finally came to me: the real world-wide acclaim)) I thank the Washington Obkom!" he fumed sarcastically eight minutes later, using the abbreviation for the Regional Committee of the Communist Party - a once-powerful organ run by bureaucratic despots in the Soviet provinces. (Same link.)

How’s that Nobel Peace Prize working these days?

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," said the Norwegian panel.

has a roundup of Obama’s international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.

Fighting words

“Azerbaijan continues to make various statements by its official and unofficial levers which just prove its diplomatic and international non civilization.”

‘Catherine Ashton’s visit to Armenian Church in New Julfa raises hysteria in Azerbaijan’

(Actually, those are fighting words in a region where “Good morning” can lead to “What’s that supposed to mean?”)

Maybe they will find good homes

PINE BLUFF — The Jefferson County sheriff's office is scheduled to host the auction of hundreds of firearms.

Sheriff's Major Lafayette Woods Jr. said the auction will be conducted by the sheriff's office, the Tri-County Drug Task Force and the South Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Society Gun Club starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The weapons include 137 shotguns; 110 rifles; 270 pistols; 169 revolvers; 18 muzzle-loaders in addition to paintball guns, air pistols, pellet and BB guns and a Chinese air rifle.

Pre-auction viewing, pre-registration, and background checks will be Thursday and Friday starting at 9 a.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., when the auction is to begin. – Associated Press.


“A Walmart on every corner?

“According to the northwest Arkansas newspaper City Wire, the mega-retailer is testing a convenience store dubbed Walmart To Go in its hometown of Bentonville, Ark.”

(If Walmart ever gets in the business of governing … Well, we might be able to afford our own senator or representative.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You wonder: Why are we going to Hell in a handbasket?

Or without a handbasket, for that matter.

Here is a headline, an honest-to-goodness headline:

'Maggie Q Goes Without Underwear in Little Black Dress at Divergent Premier'

The story is at Yahoo main page. I did not read the story.

Questions 1a and 1b: Who is Maggie Q? Is Q her last name?

Questions 2a and statement: What was the premier diverging from? Or if the event was the premier for the movie Divergent, the word should be italicized or in quotes.

Questions 3a and 3b: Did the writer of the story learn nothing in Journalism 101, or even take that course?

Non-Christians get hiring preference by Michigan school district

“Should there be two (2) or more of these applicants with equal qualifications for the position and one (1) or more of these applicants with equal qualifications is a current employee, the current employee with the greatest seniority shall be assigned. Special consideration shall be given to women and/or minority defined as: Native American, Asian American, Latino, African American and those of the non-Christian faith. (Emphasis added.) – Contract between Ferndale, Mich., school district and teacher union.

Link at

Hospice home care and a dying patient

Yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, a home hospice company delivered a hospital bed, a wheel chair, a hydraulic lifting device, an oxygen system and a portable tank.

Around 7 p.m. Mrs. R. was brought to the house. She will stay with Priscilla and me until she no longer can or until we no longer can take care of her.

Not long after Mrs. R. was placed in the bed, she said her mother and her brother told her she should stay at her brother’s cabin in Smyrna, northwest of DeQueen. Mrs. R.’s mother died in 1994 at age 97, and her brother died in 2009 at age 88.

Mrs. R. also believes she should get out of bed whenever she wants. She sometimes tries with as much strength as she has, when no one is looking.

She can be taken from bed with the lifting device, which has a hammock-like attachment and straps. This morning Priscilla lifted Mrs. R. from the bed and then positioned the wheel chair and lowered Mrs. R. into the chair. Priscilla and I had to make some adjustments and repositioning, but considering it was the first-time use of the equipment, we did okay. Mrs. R. didn’t have any complaint.

The schedule is for a CNA to visit two hours a day, Monday-Friday, and a registered nurse once a week.

Having Mrs. R. here will not be easy, especially for Priscilla. She will be taking care of her mother’s needs, physical and mental and administrative, and she will continue overseeing and doing administrative work for her brother, who is in a group home 140 miles from here.

Some of the country’s socialized medicine works; maybe more than we know or believe.

The first RN left just a few minutes ago. You know how some things work, that whatever your problem is, someone else’s is … not worse, but more immediate? The RN’s 32-year-old daughter, Kelly, is at Baptist Heart Hospital. Kelly has had four heart transplants. Her diagnosis “is not good,” the RN said. Kelly has an 11-year-old son.

The RN prays consistently. “I want God to become tired of hearing her name, and he will say, ‘Okay. I don’t need to hear her name any more. She’s cured.’”

Prayers and kind thoughts are appreciated.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Obama unfriends Putin

Except he didn’t. He unfriended 11 of Putin’s hired guns, but not the don himself.

“U.S. President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on 11 Russians and Ukrainians on Monday blamed for Moscow’s military seizure of Crimea, including ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, and Vladislav Surkov and Sergei Glazyev, two aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin himself, suspected in the West of trying to reconstitute as much as possible of the former Soviet Union under Russian authority, was not on the blacklist.”

“’First, as authorized by the executive order I signed two weeks ago, we are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine. We’re making it clear that there are consequences for their actions.’”

Both at

(“There will be consequences.” Translation: As president I will make some meaningless announcement.

(Nothing he says means anything. He knows what he says is meaningless. He doesn’t care.)

Russian leaning tower

And leaning building.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Some channel had a couple of Pompeii stories last night. As is usual with documentaries these days, the script included quite a bit of guessing and presuming.

The host/narrator concluded that 1st century Rome was the best of times, since rich and poor ate “well-balanced meals,” and slaves could buy their freedom and become wealthy.

A guest archaeologist spoke of Pompeii’s sexual freedom, mentioning that Romans saw sex as a gift from the gods, a gift to be celebrated with both genders and with all ages, and with a lot of wine.

The host/narrator said, “I like that philosophy.”

Yes, if only we could be like Rome, capital of an empire.

Mid-March and the weather’s still cold

Well, that’s because we have not yet celebrated Passover and/or Easter Sunday.

Priscilla brought that up yesterday (Sunday).

“People are complaining because the weather is so cold, but Easter is late this year,” she said. I said I hadn’t thought about that.

She is right, of course. Dogwoods are not yet blooming, but they have another month. (From my back door I can count 20 dogwood, when they are in bloom. It is neat, seeing all the white blossoms amid trees still unclad from winter.)

I said to Priscilla, “Winter will not leave as long as Jews are still enslaved in Egypt. The angel of death has not yet passed over.”

Over-spoken, but true.

St. Patrick’s Day and we have snow

Not such a big deal in parts of New Ireland (AKA USA), but out of the norm in Central Arkansas.

Bare ground was mostly clear this morning at 7, but snow covered leaves and roof. One-half inch, local weather persons said.

It must have been late spring or summer when Patrick convinced snakes to leave Ireland; otherwise they’d have been asleep somewhere.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Obama gives up another US invention -- SOS

We didn’t need it anyway.

‘U.S. to relinquish government control of Internet’

“March. 14 (UPI) -- The United States will hand over government control of administration of the Internet, bowing to pressures to globalize the management of the networks that connect billions of people around the world in a move meant to ease fears following last year's revelations of NSA spying.

“U.S. officials on Friday announced plans to relinquish its oversight role over the group that manages the Web's critical infrastructure, said Lawrence Strickling, the head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration at the Commerce Department.”

That’s the government version – “relinquish control.” Here, we get more truthful U.S. to “hand over” Internet:

“Short version: the messiah you computer geeks believed to be a second coming is selling all of you geeks you down the river; or as is more commonly associated with Barack Obama, throwing you under that muchly over-used bus. How many millions of dollars did you fools funnel to this man who now sells you down the digital river, where you are no longer Americans, but rather subjects of a world body not particularly friendly, if not openly hostile, to American technological superiority?

“I hope you’re ready for millions of you to be replaced/displaced by the poor in third world nations you were always so concerned about, whose plight you always so piously proclaimed. Of course there’s always the option of your relocating from California to Tajikistan’s global networking headquarters, or some other similarly appealing enviro to pursue your digital dreams.

“Hey, geniuses, you bought the guy a ticket and he took you for a ride.”


After passing out and banging my head against a tile floor 18 days ago I have concluded this: SOS.

Same Old Stuff.

Republicans and Democrats shriek that the other is an Enemy of The People and a Threat to Democracy.

Russia invaded another country.

A Moslem suicided and killed several possibly innocent other Moslems.

An airplane crashed and TV news networks hustled before cameras two dozen experts on: why airplanes crash; how airplanes work; how radar works; why pilots sometimes screw up; why modern airplanes will not allow pilots to screw up … et cetera and et cetera.

Every big-name American business takes advantage of its workers and does not pay enough in hourly wages. Salaries, too much; hourly wages, not enough. Here’s a clue for you all: Nobody is paid enough. Just ask.

An electronics/telephone company announced something that you must install on (buy for) your device or devices that will absolutely improve some aspect of your life. (As Bernadette said on The Big Bang Theory, last year the company she works for both invented and cured restless eye syndrome.)

Oh, well. Regular season baseball begins in 11 days. Even then, though, play-by-play/analysts/commenters will forget the game on the field and talk about their own careers or a player’s history of doing something good or maybe not so good.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

P-39Q crashed November 1944 recovered from Russian lake

Remains of 22-year-old pilot Lt. Baranovsky were in the cockpit. The aircraft also carried six cans of stew and extra ammunition in the wing gun trays.

Pictures and maintenance log.

Differences between kosher and halal

Differences between kosher and halal

Kosher – requires the animal be slaughtered quickly and humanely, strictly forbidding cruel slow methods like strangulation.

Halal – requires the animal be bled out in agony while sick people who get off watching that kind of thing have a “festival.”

Kosher – requires the blood be drained cleanly from the *carcass* of the humanely killed animal, removing toxins released from cells into the bloodstream at the moment of death from the meat.

Halal –leaves the meat *filled* with toxins released at the moment of death because the blood is removed while the animal is dying and therefore is not present in sufficient quantities to remove those last toxins.

Kosher – contains little to no cortisol or norepenepherine (two stress chemicals that are similar enough from mammal to mammal to cross species) because the animal to be killed is treated well before it is put down and is generally not frightened as it is put down (because in a truly kosher slaughter situation, animals cannot be slaughtered in a sequential fashion, as the waste of one could contaminate the next, so they are not exposed to the “scent of death” the way non-kosher culls are)

Halal – animals watch other animals die during the blood letting festival, smelling their fear and raising their own stress. These stress chemicals “marinate” the meat in hormones known to raise levels of aggression and violence in nearly all mammal species (including human).

Kosher – requires cooking the cleanly drained meat completely, cooking any remaining stress chemicals into oblivion.

Halal – allows for a surprising range of cooking methods, including even some “tar tar” dishes (raw or nearly raw), allowing for the spread of disease and chemicals and hormones that were not removed by the idiotic slow bloodletting practice and half-measure cooking.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Want to read something really liberal and beyond stupid?

Well, do it anyway, ‘cause you will see stuff written by someone who thinks a poster on a middle school classroom door equating expression of “sexual feelings” with anal sex, oral sex, grinding and touching each other’s genitals somehow is part of normal sex education.

Also, the write says the bible is “pornographic.”

‘Kansas Republicans Want to Outlaw Any Free Speech They Don’t Like’

As the masthead says: “Real Liberal Politics.”

Found at often-Liberal

Read some of the comments, too, if you can stomach idiocy.

Which Russia does Putin want?

“After prolonged negotiations, Russia most likely will keep the Crimea. Europe, by way of something like a Marshall Plan, will prevent a Ukrainian state bankruptcy. Could there arise a pro-Russian government in Kyiv? Will there be an end to illusions in Washington? Too early to say. President Obama, like virtually all his predecessors, is an isolationist at heart, annoyed by foreign political crises that prevent him dealing with domestic problems that seem fare more important; in this field he feels much more at home. The main danger at present is a sudden switch from false optimism about the state of the world to near hysteria.” – ‘After the Fall: Russia in Search of a New Ideology.”

(Obama has always seemed arrogant and bored. Twice bitch-slapped by Putin, Obama continues with his “Things are as I want them to be” foreign policy. If fear replaces arrogance, we could have “near hysteria.”)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

About those consequences Obama threatened

I apologize. Obama does not threaten; he promises. He doesn't live up to his promises, but he will call you. One of these days. If he hasn't lost your number.

In the case of Putin bitch-slapping the president yet again (first on Syria, and now Ukraine), the consequence was on Obama. Except he dodged everything to go to a film festival.

‘Obama Skips National Security Team Meeting on Russia, Ukraine’

By way of:


A president certainly may pick and choose which meetings to attend, but skipping stuff when his diplomatic history is at stake and then to go all badass on “There will be consequences …” Well, badass looks more and more like dumbass.

California wants to know!

Can ACA funding “be used for voter registration activities”, are there “limitations on the scope of voter registration activities that can be undertaken”? If “funding cannot be used to support voter registration activities, Covered California will need to use revenues generated by assessments on our qualified health plans to support these activities.”,%202014/Covered%20California%20Letter%20to%20Gary%20Cohen%20Regarding%20Voter%20Registration.pdf

(DOJ is involved, so a likely answer is: “Sure! We can fund anything you want!”)

At American Thinker.

Carlos vs. the MPs

The bullet hit Chuck just below his left ear, a carbine bullet, probably; anything bigger would have caused massive damage. Any size bullet that close to someone’s head is hardly good news. If you have to pick a bullet, though, the relatively low-velocity, short .30-caliber carbine bullet should be on your list.

Chuck went down really fast. He didn’t remember anything between walking across the rice paddy and waking up in the Pleiku hospital -- no memory of the slam against his jaw bone or of falling into the wet rice paddy, no memory of Stevens holding his head out of the water, no memory of the Army medivac Huey that picked him up and took him to Pleiku.

After stabilization surgery and bullet removal surgery, Chuck went to Japan for additional medical attention. Then he was sent to Hawaii for more work and the start of his road to recovery.

It was at the hospital in Hawaii where Chuck and other ambulatory patients in the head-wound ward began placing bets on whether Carlos would make it back before the MPs caught him.

Carlos had been a squad leader with the 25th Division. On a day in 1966, Carlos’s squad was ambushed. Everybody else was killed. Carlos carried each of his dead soldiers to a clearing and then called for pickup.

Officers in Carlos’s immediate chain of command recommended him for a Bronze Star with V. But officers farther up the chain asked questions. How was it that he, the squad leader, was the only survivor of the ambush? If only one American was alive, why didn’t the VC just kill him? Those officers reached a conclusion: Carlos had run. His soldiers were dead, and he ran. He was a coward. He abandoned his soldiers.

But the officers decided the Army could not just up and court-martial Carlos. Officers who knew Carlos recommended a medal for valor. There must be something mentally wrong with Carlos.

The Army sent Carlos to Hawaii for evaluation. Hospital docs put Carlos in a special part of the hospital.

His first Friday evening, Carlos left the hospital and went downtown and got drunk. He drank Saturday and Sunday as well, and returned to the hospital Monday morning.

This will not do, said the hospital people. You must not leave the hospital.

Friday evening, Carlos left. He returned Monday morning. Doctors put Carlos in a room. He left on Friday and returned Monday morning. Doctors assigned a guard for the room. Carlos got out. Doctors reported Carlos to the MPs. The MPs decided they would catch Carlos before he got back to the hospital.

That was when the betting started.

Every Monday morning, Chuck and the other head-wound patients gathered at the ward windows and waited. Soon, someone said, “There he is!” and pointed at the woodline. Sure enough, Carlos stood just inside the trees. After a time of observation, Carlos made his way toward the hospital.

He always got past the MPs, Chuck said.

What finally happened to Carlos, Chuck does not know. The Army sent Chuck to the hospital at Fort Hood, Texas, so he would be nearer his family.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

US, Iran talks more about Sunni and Shi’a than abut nukes

Azerbaijan caught between making wrong decision or worse decision.

“The Geneva interim agreement challenges existing arrangements. Not only the probability of a military strike is fading, but also the rise of Sunni jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East is pushing the US and Shi’a Iran towards at least some sort of tacit cooperation -- even without waiting for a final agreement on the nuclear issue. While a full-fledged strategic realignment is still far off, there is an obvious convergence of interests in countering the Al-Qaeda-type groups, and, at least in Iraq, some behind-the-scenes cooperation seems already to be occurring.

“In this context, emphasising Azerbaijan's anti-Iranian credentials as a strategic asset for the United States, as some American neoconservative pundits do, is counter-productive to US national security interests.”

(Sunni/Shi’a stuff figures in everything.)

They were one with nature

Nonsense. Man has always adapted his surroundings. If he hadn’t, we would not be here.

Plains Indians burned grasslands to direct buffalo. Forest Indians burned underbrush to give straight-line shots at deer. Some Southwest Indians made irrigation canals to their gardens.

Now, scientists find “undisturbed” jungles of SE Asia were not undisturbed at all.

‘The Remains of Prehistoric Plant Pollen Reveal that Humans Shaped Forests 11,000 years ago’

At Maggie's Farm.

Read “1491” and “1493.”

Friday, March 7, 2014


Bird in hand makes it hard to blow nose.

More brain rest again

Still a bit dizzy. Headache went away yesterday (Thursday). Back today. Strangely, I am not dizzy when going from sitting to lying, but the room whirls when I close my eyes after lying down. If the dizzy doesn't go away by Monday, I will see a doctor.

MLB Network is showing lots of spring training games.

Wild beavers seen in England for first time in 500 years

That’s right – 500 years; a century after Jamestown and Plymouth. england-devon-river

The big worry: Government might get involved.

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is investigating the sighting as it is against the law to release beavers in England. A spokeswoman said the department would ‘look into this case and will consider what action to take’.

“She said she could not comment on whether the beavers could be removed from the site or destroyed.”

(No one is saying the beavers were “released.” From the story, the animals sort of appeared. That happens in the US, too, with cougars appearing in places for the first time in 100 or more years.

(Given the opportunity, Nature defeats Government.)

At Maggie’s Farm.”

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sudetenland/Ukraine, Hitler/Putin?

Columnists and commentators are likely to make the simple linkage Sudetenland Germans/Hitler, Ukraine Russians/Putin. That’s too easy, but this guy did it anyway:

Back in the old days, any usage of “Soviet” and “compromise” in the same paragraph brought “Munich.” Some things in history, it seems they hang around long enough to be referenced.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Correction, More brain rest

As I was lying down for sleep brain rest at 2:15, I realized I meant "manuscsript" and not "transcript" as written in the previous post.

When I got up at 3:45, I asked Priscilla, "Is this what happened today? I got up at 9:30."

"About that," she said.

"We had french toast and strawberries for breakfast. Did I lie down sometime after that?"

"I think so," she said.

"I thoght I did, because at 12:30, I came into the living room and you were eating a sandwich for lunch. I fixed a sandwich and chips. OK. I just wanted to make sure I had lunch."

This smacking of the head is not fun.

More brain rest

Opened Word file a couple of hours ago, figuring maybe to work on the 100 or so chapters of the eight or 10 novels under construction for the past 35 years and discovered:

I don’t have anything to say.

Priscilla said it will all work out, this concussion or big head slam against the tile. “Just give it time.”

One of the first things I said after waking up from the aneurysm in 1986 was, “I haven’t finished my stories.” Actually it was more like “I … have … n’t … fi … nish … ed … my … sto … ries.”

Well, I still haven’t. I do have three novel-size transcripts (is that the right word?), 200,000 words; 92,000 words; and 86,000 words, plus a bunch of individual chapters on other things that are not in any kind of organization.

This not having anything to say stuff really sucks.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Brain rest

Yesteday afternoon I passed out and smacked the tile floor with the back of my head. Ouch. Priscilla called 911 and an ambulance took me to Little Rock VA emergency. The docs did an EKG and a CT scan. Heart OK, no sign of stroke.

I remember thinking my feet were tangled and I was going to fall on my backside, a known painful experience, but a padded fall. Then Priscilla was holding my head and calling 911. Then an ambulance guy was saying something, but all I knew was my head hurt. The EMTs put me on a gurney (I don't remember that, either). Two ambulances were in the driveway. On the way to the hospital, I tried to remember what had happened, but with no success. I remembered having breakfast, but nothing after that. I finally remembered when Priscilla said I had been on my way to the back door to let the dogs out, around 2 p.m.

ER people said there are no indications of concussion. I get dizzy when making 90-degree changes -- sitting to lying down, lying down to sitting. Priscilla said dizziness and confusion are indications of concussion, so I should rest my brain. No reading, no computer. If I can't read or do computer stuff, my only thing to do is go sleep. That's what I'm about to do.

Talk to you later.