Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Who Let The Spring Out?

     It is raining in Indiana, the kind of dull, disconsolate rain that weeps at a slow and seemingly endless rate.  No soothing white-noise waterfall, no spritzing, just the sky sobbing quietly.

     What it's got to be sad about, I don't know; perhaps, this being February, it had hoped to be snow -- several feet of snow, the kind of snowfall people talk about for years afterward.  "Where were you during the blizzard of '17?"  Robbed of fame (or at least infamy), the sky weeps instead.

      The weeds and flowers are delighted; I've got ditch-lilies breaking through around the house and garage in little clusters like crowds of tourists.  They don't know from the calendar; it feels like growing time and they grow.  A similar effect can be seen with the squirrels, leaping and chasing and generally raising six kinds of squirrel trouble.  We're liable to have a bumper crop of tree-rodents this year.

     What March will be like, I can only wonder.  Winter may have a trick or two left even yet -- but for today, it's rain now and possibly storms later.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pruning The Time Sink

     I decided yesterday to begin ridding my Facebook feed of politics entirely.  Stuff I don't like and even the little bit I like -- oh, I may leave Reason magazine, their efforts to make lemonade from sour grapefruit and stones can be amusing -- but otherwise, it's all got to go.  Why?  Because it is entirely non-productive; most political postings there encourage and feed on rage and smugness.  They don't bring about rational discussions of important issues but instead run to shouting mobs of yes-men and naysayers.

     Well, to hell with that.  Y'all can have your grotty little civil war if you like but I'm not playing; just ring me up when it's my turn to be taken out and shot -- and don't expect me to go quietly.

     What, harsh?  If that hive of scum and villainy was the only sample you had, you'd be pretty sure bombs and assassinations were right around the corner.  The lack of faith in the structure and basic institutions of the Federal government is so predominant as to irk even my skeptical libertarian sensibilities.  While a lot of it is arrant nonsense, based on a lack of understanding of sheer inertia of the fed.gov juggernaut and a studied refusal to accept the Law Of Large Numbers,* it is nevertheless dangerous to the extent that a country's government runs on the faith people have in it. 

     Not even the Chicken Little media is doing a better job of undermining that essential confidence than the meme-of-the-moment fools on social media. 
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* Which I will render in simple terms as, "Sucks in detail, works fine in broad outline."  This isn't exactly right but gives the flavor of the thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Breakfast Report, Health Report

     First off: half of a "banger" sausage, cooked up,* split and served between two slices of buttered rye toast with a fried egg and a little horseradish sauce, is darned good.  Chimichurri might be interesting to try in place of the horseradish and butter.



     Second, after a fairly wretched Friday at work, in which I was getting out of breath from the strenuous effort of walking twenty feet down a hall or lifting a piece of equipment that might've weight an entire pound, along with coughing, sinus blockage, etc., I came home, slept like a very tired person, and woke up a bit stronger.  Still some productive coughing but I haven't had to use the rescue inhaler yet today.  After all the gastrointestinal issues (which, while controlled, have not gone away), I'm not taking anything; I had a serving of yogurt last night and will -- albeit reluctantly -- have more of the stuff today.  I'm getting to where I don't totally hate the plain version if seasoned with salt and pepper.  Don't judge!
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* I like to steam them in shallow, boiling water in partially covered skillet.   I added some rosemary to the water this morning, which I liked. YMMV.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Unsat

     Progress in the matter of my heath has not, to date, been entirely satisfactory.  Further description would be tantamount to whining.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Better Late Than....

     I had distressing gastrointestinal symptoms starting late yesterday, which I blamed on the two antibiotics.  Subsequent problems that evening resulted in my taking some saved prescription meds to control it.  And then this morning--  Problem came back.  More gut-quieting meds, and they are "do not operate motor vehicles" stuff, so I stayed home and mostly alternated sleeping, coughing and scurrying down the hall.

     Persistent chills haven't helped.

     In the awake time, I e-mailed and then called the new doc-inna-box (which does have the advantage of being run by the same doctor factory as my primary care physician's office), to learn that one of the antibiotics, the Z-pack, was prescribed due to, and I quote, "an error."*  Ooops? So no more of that, and I guess I will be trying to choke down some of the right kind of yogurt for lunch, well away from antibiotic-taking times.

     Until this very moment, my intake today has been limited to water, coffee, tea and crackers (and, okay Tam, some potato chips).  I'm now trying some soup and orange drink.  Here's hoping for the best.
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* How can this happen, you ask?  In true modern-efficiency fashion, M.D.s and their nurses are required to task-nest. (Unlike the neighborhood doc of yore, they are, after all, supporting an office, a rather large staff, and a big ol' corporation.)  So, nurse does the intake interview and doctor reads it before she does exam; after seeing me, she adds her initial notes, starting with request for nebulizer treatment.  Nurse sets that up while doctor completes notes.  Nebulizer runs while they work with other patients.  Doctor returns to check nebulizer, sees it is not done and I am not looking as chipper as hoped, leaves promising to return in a few minutes, modifies notes to change antibiotic.  Meanwhile nurse is setting up prescriptions to be faxed or e-mailed, sees new medication, adds it to order, sends it off.  Doctor returns, hands me paperwork (listing only one antibiotic), and I'm surprised to be given two later at the pharmacy, but the right doctor's name is on them. 
     This goes unchallenged until I call, at which point the electronic paperwork is backtracked and the mix-up found.  I know that because I was on the phone with an admin type who talked her way through the process while she sorted it out.  Someone in comments is going to tell me I otta sue, but that just makes medical stuff cost more.  They may need better software -- and I need to question stuff that doesn't match the paperwork I was handed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sinus/Inner Ear Infection, Bronchitis And Probably Yaws.

     I think that's what the doctor said, but you should never ask, "What's yaws?" unless you're willing to buy the next round.

     Ended up with prescriptions for two different antibiotics and a rescue inhaler, plus a nebulizer treatment right there in the doctoring-place.  It helped; I'm still wheezing and coughing but I haven't had a really bad out-of-breath episode since.  On the other hand, I haven't done much since, either, other than a stop at Panera Bread with Tam for a quick dinner while waiting for the prescriptions to be filled.  Went home, took drugs, laid down and woke up an hour later, overheated.  Laid on top of the covers and let the TV talk to itself (a series of declassified films about A-bomb tests in 1946, back when a poncho was plenty of protection from fallout) while I drifted in and out.  Finally pulled a sheet and blanket over me and fell asleep again, to sleep like an inert object until the alarm woke me, chilled, at 0600.

     Up now and I'll see how far I can get. To work?  To work would be good.  One step at a time, and I'm pretty sure the shower is my first step.  I'll see how things go from there.

     ETA:  Never got that far. Started coughing, can't seem to get it under control.  Sheesh.

     FETA:  (Mmmm, goat cheese!)  Eventually managed to stop coughing.  Laid down for a half-hour, decided I could be just as miserable on the clock and possibly slightly productive, and went into work. In hindsight, possibly not as clever an idea as it seemed at the time, but it worked out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm Chilled

     ...Except when I'm overheated, which happens infrequently.  Then I'm not chilled.  Yeah, still sick.  Managed to do laundry yesterday, very slowly, but ran out of energy.  Today I'll go to the doc.  Probably after Tam gets back from work.

Monday, February 20, 2017

And, so

     I am sicker than ever.  Slept Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday.  Woke up short of breath and feeling as if I were on a forced march.

     Called in sick and promptly fell asleep again.  Just finished rustling up a meal, nothing much, and I'm going to get cleaned up, find enough clean clothes to to wear and get myself off to the doc, assuming I can find a doc-in-the-box that is both acceptable to my insurance company (the one I've gone to for years hasn't been since late last year) and still in business.  At my present rate of activity, that's going to take all day.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hamfest Haul; Still Sick

     I did get to the hamfest, and picked up a bunch of connectors (PL-259s for RG-8 and 8X-sized cables) and a few books -- Rider on Resonance and Alignment, one of their "An Hour A Day" tutorials, a bit stuffy but packed with useful information.  Also Elmer Bucher's The Wireless Experimenter's Manual, a 1920 book aimed squarely at the then-burgeoning amateur radio community, with lots of late spark-era data and projects as well as very early vacuum-tube and radiotelephone equipment for the home constructor.  Better build that rotary gap quick! The next ten years would see enormous advancement in the field, as broad, noisy spark signals gave way to needle-sharp CW, clear voice and the beginning of radio broadcasting.  I found a nice reprint of the Hugo Gernsback 1935 Short Wave handbook, too, with equipment as different from the Bucher book as a laptop is from a portable typewriter.

     Other finds included a trove of Cannon "P" connectors, which are king-sized microphone plugs dating back to the late 1930s (and my house-standard for low-impedance, non-carbon mics); a collection of telephone-type lever switches for an ongoing project; a nice 0 - 1 Amp RF ammeter in a box with coaxial connectors that will be a useful gadget, if it works; and, of all things, a telephone dial mounted in a soup can with an L bracket so you can fasten the thing in a convenient location for -- well, I'm darned if I know.  The price was right and it was interesting.  Also, I have a nice old Art Deco phone with a seized-up dial that this one appears to match, so....

*  *  *
     Returned home after a couple of hours, very sleepy, and proceeded to do nothing much.  Nuked a lasagna (Evol brand -- not bad!), ate it, fiddled around a bit more, and went to sleep early, waking multiple times only to cough, sneeze, and eventually discover that sleeping on one side had caused my sinuses on that side to fill in a manner both horrible and not (you'll be happy to know) especially describable. So here I am, enjoying sausage hash with onion and egg (and a layer of flour in the bottom of the pan* with some paprika and pepper), and almost tasting it.  Going back to bed is looking better and better.
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* Just a thin layer, fingertip-sifted.  This helps with the excess grease and forms a nice, crunchy crust.  I'm sure it's not good for you.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday

     I still don't feel great -- yesterday afternoon was an exercise in willpower -- but there's a hamfest this morning.  So I am hoping to do a walk-through, get back home on time for brunch, and go back to bed.  Is this wise?  Probably not.

Friday, February 17, 2017

No Bench

     It turns out that whatever Tam's got is not what I had earlier -- and now I've got it, too.  I woke several times during the night, coughing, and had trouble getting back to sleep.  It's a nasty, insistent, near-dry, wheezing cough that tastes metallic, not easy to ignore.

     So, call in sick, right?  Wrong.  We've got a tech out on vacation, the third day-shift tech is only on days Tues-Thurs, and that leaves exactly one genuine Engineering Technician on duty after the early-morning tech departs: me.  So if I can possibly haul my wheezing self out of the house, I need to proceed onward to work.  It's not dedication -- I don't trust the technical managerial types* to not make a mess of whatever will break today.  Nice fellows, but they don't hardly sling solder and haven't for years.
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* From 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., there will be three (3) Engineering managers to one maintenance tech.  In fairness, there will also be one or two operating techs and a technical assistant, so at worst it's a 1:1 ratio.  I have absolutely no opinion to share about this.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

And It Continues (Also, Television)

     I'm figuring Tam's ailment for some strain of flu -- some strain that the flu shot I got may have conferred some protection against.  She doesn't seem to be having the kind of horrific sinus drainage my cold of a few weeks ago was causing, and has been achy, chilled and exhausted for several days now, with a persistent cough.

     Whatever it is, it is very clearly No Damned Fun At All, and about her only consolation is the weather.  Yesterday was about as cold as it's going to be for the next week, and even then it was as sunny and cheerful a day as could be wished for, especially in February.

* * *
     On the recommendation of multiple friends, I have been watching the series Better Off Ted.  Highly amusing, especially if you happen to be working for a Large Soulless Corporation (or even a small one).  I'd like to pretend the absurdities of Ted's workplace are new to me, but a lot of the fun is watching some of the familiar daily madness get played all the way through. 

* * *
     One other wonderful treat: on my way to work yesterday, the college radio station I listen to -- a rare non-NPR noncommercial station that alternates classical and jazz -- played the entire overture to Rossini's The Barber of Seville.  While I can't quite say it is the most fun you can have at the wheel of moving automobile in city traffic, it certainly comes very close.  Thank you, Bugs Bunny, Chuck Jones, Michael Maltese and Carl Stalling!  --And you, too, Mr. Rossini.   (Of course, I was listening to it again after hunting up links; I put on headphones when Tam came into the office, but she stopped me and said, "Oh, don't, I was liking the music!")

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Guess We're All Sick Here

     I have a lingering sore throat, mild cough and assorted sinus nastiness but poor Tam was feeling pretty bad yesterday afternoon and worse this morning.  When I went to wake her for breakfast she was suffering aches, chills and occasionally coughing in a manner reminiscent of a Victorian tragedy.  Thankfully, the clock -- and preventive medicine -- has moved on since Victoria's day, though not quite far enough to spare all the trouble, so please step quietly as you move around the Internet today and let Tam get some rest.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Another Movie

     I recently watched The Dish, one of several films with this title; the one I watched tells the somewhat-fictionalized story of the role the big radiotelescope dish at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia played during the historic Apollo 11 flight and landing, complete with power outages, high winds, and inconveniently-timed VIP visits.

     ...And what a role it was!  The big dish at Parkes was used for more than telemetry and voice reception; video of the first human footsteps on the moon was received there and relayed to the entire world.  The control/receiving room at the dish was meticulously recreated for the film, exteriors were shot at the dish itself, and the wondrously-askew Patrick Warburton plays NASA's man on the scene.

     An entertaining film, filled with engaging personalities and a positive attitude.  I recommend it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

At The Range; At The Little Screen

     Sunday, Tam hauled me off to the range, something I have sadly neglected over the past couple of months.  Holidays, cold weather and illness had done for my free time and available energy, but I am happy to report that my hands and eyes still know what to do.  The Ruger Mk. III .22 with its Millet red-dot sight continues to be one of the most confidence-building firearms I own: at 21', I can make holes appear in the target right where the red dot tells me they will.

     One reason for the range trip was to check out my Ruger LCP, a tiny .380 that I had not yet shot.  It is exactly as jumpy as you might expect from a very lightweight 380, and suffered a few failures-to-feed with underpowered Blazer ammunition.  I'll try something with a little more zip next time -- it's not so bad to begin with a light-shooting round, since it is easy to develop a flinch with something so small. It is best for me to think of these tiny blasters as "flat snubby revolvers" and not precise tack-drivers like the .22; handled that way (finger though the trigger guard to the second joint, hands wrapped around tight as if it might get away), they run well. The sights are lined up,* and I was keeping shots in the ten ring after a few wild ones out in the 8.  --Why would I fiddle with such a thing?  You see, over the time I have carried my little Colt "Pony," a small alloy-framed .380, it has gone from being a reliable (if slightly old-fashioned) choice to a near-$700 collectible.  It's getting too dear to carry!

*  *  *
     In the afternoon -- after a delightful lunch at Twenty Tap and a less than delightful walk to and from in gusty, chilly breezes -- Tam was online and I decided to look at TV.  The BBC historical TV movie Castles In The Sky had been on my watchlist for awhile, so....

     It's delightful.  Oh, all right, the critics were at pains to smirk there's no high drama if you know how WW II came out, and less so if you know why the Battle of Britain went the way it did -- but for my money, the story of how quirky outsider Robert Watson-Watt and an underfunded team of men who could be spared came to create RADAR and bootstrap it from temperamental breadboarded experiments to the Chain Home RADAR system in five years is a fascinating one.  It didn't hurt a bit that Auntie cast Eddie Izzard as Sir Robert.  If you know the tech of the time, there are a few trans-Atlantic anachronisms lurking in the corners -- but one reason they're there is the original RADAR gear was so thoroughly cannibalized to build subsequent generations that there's very little left.  I give them high marks for showing the proper A-scope displays instead of the PPI maps we're used to seeing. The film also gives passing mention of the brilliant system of command, control and communication that put the early warning RADAR provided to devastatingly effective use.  Highly recommended!   
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* I mostly own used firearms.  Not only can I not count on sights being properly aligned when I get a gun, sometimes they're missing!  My nicest H&R top-break .22 revolver had an ugly plastic improvisation in place of the rear sight; my friend the Data Viking found the proper item on eBay, a modern repro at least as good as the original, and it made quite a difference.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Red-Pepper Jackpot!

     This morning, I made another installment of Roseholme Breakfast Hash, and a quick taste-test of today's skinny red pepper (I'll look up what these are next time I'm at the market, honest!) revealed they are one of the varieties that can be either sweet or slightly hot -- and it was a hot one!  Not overwhelming, just enough "bite" to be interesting and with plenty of flavor.

     I added the remaining cherry pepper to my plate, diced up raw: peppers are supposedly loaded with pantothenic acid, or something in the B-vitamin complex.  And that's supposed to be good for my aching old joints.  See, it's all part of the Great Circle of Life.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's Noon

     I slept until nine.  I needed it -- somehow, this cold won't quite go away.  Oh, I'm 90% over it, but ten percent hangs on and on....

     Nevertheless, I have got myself up, made coffee, fried a couple of eggs and a couple strips of bacon (one each for Tam and me), and made a short stack of Swedish pancakes for myself because I'd been wanting them.

     Installed a new water fountain for the cats (so I can finally clean out the old one instead of just changing the filter), hoping the pump will be okay in the old one (the maker redesigned them for safety but the new ones don;t last as long), and now I'm Actually Changing A Litter Box, which is a job Tam ends up getting stuck with too often.

     That's about the limit of my ambitions for the day -- that and clear off my desk, renew the plates on my vehicles, and pay a couple of bills. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Breakfasting!

     How's this sound?
     1 "Banger" sausage, squeezed from its casing, fried and crumbled
     2 strips of applewood-smoked bacon, likewise
     1 nice red potato, cubed small and fried up
     1 red cherry pepper (alas, no firecracker, but flavorful)
     1 skinny red pepper, also mildish
     Chives to suit.
     Three good-sized golden-yolked eggs, from chickens that had a chance to eat weeds and bugs along with their chickenfeed.  Scrambled.

     It works for me.  Nicely smoky and complex.  One might sprinkle some manner of cheese on it -- even Parmesan would work. I could've stood some heat from the peppers; a little Serrano instead of one of the other two would not have been remiss.  The long-departed (and much-missed) hippy-dippy grocery chain had a line on locally-grown cherry peppers of consistent and delightful heat, but the ones from our corner grocer are highly variable in hotness. On the other hand, they have them at all, and in the middle of February, yet!
    

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Winter's Back

     Just for a visit -- Winter returned yesterday afternoon hauling two inches of wet snow, which it dumped and ran.  Cold as the dickens today, with a high well below freezing, but by the weekend, we'll hit 58 F.

     If you're at all stove up -- and here at Roseholme Cottage, we both kind of are, Tam more so than me -- this is the kind of weather that crawls into your bones and joints (not to mention sinuses!), sets its teeth, and gnaws.  If it'd get cold and stay, or remain mild, that'd be one thing, but back-and-forth is challenging.

     I'd still rather have this than three feet of snow!  I'd ache worse after shoveling through that.  The flip side is that this has been a bad winter for potholes, though it least the city has been able to patch some of them during the warmer spells.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Got Nothing

     Still getting over the cold, don't feel like fighting.  Mencken's comment about democracy has never been more apt.  Nether has Churchill's.

     If you don't know what they are, feel free to assume I'm making mock of you and/or whoever you voted for, and call me names in the comments, which I shall probably delete later.  Or you could, you know, look that stuff up, since you have ready access to more knowledge than has ever been widely, immediately available to ordinary people in all of human history.  Why waste it all on arguing with strangers?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Nope, No Better Today

     ...Some politician on TV (you'd never guess her name) proclaimed, "The future is [identity politics]," which is just about the most depressing thing I have heard.

     The two major parties used to proclaim they were "big tents;" now they're encampments of mutually-suspicious allies-of-convenience, each one with a "No Dogs Or Irish" sign on the palisade wall, for various and wavering values of "canine" and "Hibernian."  They'll feed their own into the fire for ideological deviationism as readily as they'll stab the other side frontally or from ambush, and trumpet their opponent's shortcomings as if they were their own laboriously-gained virtues.

     I have watched it get nastier and nastier for years, and allowed many of you to excuse it.  Not any more.

     This past campaign season, I was hoping what I was seeing was the two parties falling apart, to begin reforming along more-consistent lines.  Oh, not my own pet fave of Western Civilization vs. neo-barbarians, we'll never be that fortunate, not in a lifetime of Sundays, but something that fit more people better than the distorted garments left after multiple lifetimes of redefinition.

     Fat chance!  Nope, they're both getting worse, and the more askew from reality they both become, the more frantic and shrill they get.

     Parlous times?  No -- idiotic times.  I've reached my limit of idiots for now.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Here, Have Some Housepox

     When it comes to politics, many people -- maybe most -- disgust me.  Rationality goes out the window and whatever is wrong, it's always the other party's fault.  Elaborate justification for whatever might look hinky on one's own side of the aisle complete with no-true-Scotsman in full regalia, sporran, skean dhu, bagpipes and all, but those bloody-handed bastards on the other side are a single, solid mass, skilfully manipulated by their puppetmasters: Soros!  Koch! Bloomberg! Bannon!

     You know what the reality is?  Every one of those guys -- even the sneakiest, cleverest, richest of the lot, pick your choice, is floundering.  Oh, they may stumble a little less than we do, and get a little more light shed in one corner or another, but they, like you or me, are doing good to keep up.  It's 2017 and a goatherd barely out of the Stone Age armed with a can of gasoline can, for a short while, speak just as loudly and influentially as the greasiest √©minence grise.  Those fellows who look so confident, generals and zillionaires, Congressthings and shady wheeler-dealers?  It's a front; they've got their refuges and boltholes and they hope their ride will wait, but they have no better handle on the future than you do and their only real plan is to see the next sunrise with their skin intact.  They rely on custom and habit and the dull goodwill of their fellow humans every bit as much as you do.

     If you can't get that through your head, I'm done with ya.  If you'd rather live in Superman comic books -- and not even the good ones -- than the real world, then git.  We're not pals.  Not because you're a bad person but because you can't tell imaginary icebergs from real ice cubes or a real polar bear from a fake bearskin rug

     In January, we saw one of the great civil miracles of modern civilization: the peaceful transfer of power of a major nation going off without a hitch in a ceremony that's been performed every four years since the end of April, 1789, and you know what people did?  They went after trivia.  After speculative nonsense.  And it has only become worse every day since.

     Serious discussion has become impossible and I haven't got time to wrassle ants.

    

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Culinary Experiment

     I tried a toasted cheese sandwich with a fried egg in the middle.  It's quite good, and would only be improved by the addition of a little breakfast meat of choice.  Slice of rye, slice of Muenster, broken-yolk fried egg, cheese, bread, toast in skillet with a little butter.

     It'll probably take two breakfasts of oatmeal to atone for it, but so it goes.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Wrong Teams!

     One of the things that irks me most is that the fracture lines in 21st-Century American Society are in the wrong place.

     Oh, we've got the same old Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, who mostly differ on wallpaper colors, what directions judges ought to be activist in, and  if it's more okay to kill kids before they are born or after they turn eighteen.  Both parties love war when its going well, and they object to covert action and sweeping Presidential power any time their party is out of office -- after all, their guy wields it carefully and reluctantly, while the other party's fellow is liable to start WW III as he flails about.

     But that's just the usual B.S.  It's not really much of a problem and it keeps so many people in nice suits out of the competition to dig ditches and stock shelves -- 538 just at the top not standing in line when the Hyundayota plant has an opening for a half-dozen wipers, and that doesn't begin to include their flacks and flunkies.

     No, the problem is out at the fringes, where both sides wink at their jerks and fools.  That's the real enemy.  It's not cute to troll for the LOLs, and it doesn't matter if your Nazi/Communist pose is a mask or your deepest soul: you are fanning the flames.  It's not cute to treat an incoming President as your Fuhrer and it's not at all cute to riot, smash windows, set fires and try to silence your fellow citizens when they speak.  Yet both parties tolerate it, sometimes smiling at the "youthful enthusiasm" -- and then complain that good, regular Muslims tolerate ISIS and the like.  Gee, I wonder how that works? 

     If you like your nice life, if you like arguing politics across the fence with your neighbor, extremists are your enemy -- even the ones on your side.

     Waving signs and chanting slogans is one of the best traditions of the free world, right up there with boycotts and Letters to the Editor..  So's circulating petitions and ringing up Your Fool In The Capitol.   Smashing and burning is the opposite of that; it communicates nothing Attila the Hun didn't already scribble across human history in letters of blood.

     The barbarians are the enemy of every civilized person.  Don't let them get away with it.  The future depends on it.


Friday, February 03, 2017

A Generation Of Cyphers

     I was distracted from the morning's essay by looking up a Philip Wylie book that I remembered as having been written in more heat than light as the end of WW II approached and the commonness of the common man was becoming, well, perhaps a bit too common for Wylie, who looked ahead to 1950s conformity and averageness with a kind of inflated loathing.

     Alas, there is far more heat than light, but it does go to show something, pretty much the same thing as the ancient Chinese scroll -- or was it Cicero?* -- that complains, “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

     And so I have found for myself.  Freedom of speech, per the young, does not apply to speech one disapproves of, and Presidents are ever ready to "impose Marshall law and effect us all," although, sadly, it seems there will not be roving squads of Spelling Police dispensing summary justice.

     Et tu, Cicero?

     When tyranny comes, it will have beautiful, gleaming, straight teeth and a lovely line of pure-quill bullshit.
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* It was.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Everybody You Dislike Is One, Too.

     You know who ate with a fork? Hitler. And I hear Trump eats with a fork, too. Just sayin' -- but you kids better get way better with chopsticks in a hurry unless you literally wanna be just like Hitler.
(Haha-hahahah, I already get along fine with chopsticks, so there.)

      Cory Doctorow has some weirdemoid meme going about Hitler building Autobahns as a way to get more people to support him, and he points out that President Trump is talking about fixing up the interstates, so therefore... Well, he's just sayin'.

     I guess I'm going to need Cory's take on President Eisenhower, who *built* the U. S. interstate highway system (which indeed follows the Autobahn model) as much as that venomous lunatic built the German highways. Was Eisenhower a Hitler-wannabee, too? And if so, how do we square that with him sending soldiers to make sure kids of color got to their newly-integrated schools safely?

      There are always reasons to oppose some (or even all) of the policies a President promotes and follows, depending on how your politics align with his. They are real, actual, elucidatable points of difference. Crazy parallels? That's just clickbait memery, and serves no purpose other than working towards the blue ribbon in the "hates him the most" competition.

      You know who liked his dogs? Hitler. Do you like dogs? DO ya? H'mmm....? You Fascist.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Um, What?

     Sorry, readers; I slept in a bit and have been arguing on the Internet, seeing if I can't get hated by both sides at once.

     Who's in for C-SPAN and popcorn when the Senate hauls the new Supreme Court nominee into the center ring?  It's gonna be interesting, and we may get to hear Al Franken read an entire Chicago telephone book!  Make notes, there's a test later.