Doing nicely with feedly so far. Thanks to Doc for the comment. English and Baltic ivy are among some plants added to our landscape this weekend. The a/c has not been on yet this year. Us:1 – GA Power:$0 Really wondering if I can keep this up… Only 226 more shopping days until Christmas. I think I finally got chocolate chip cookies right – all shortening, no butter – gasp! Toronto, I was cheering for you. Maybe next year?
So glad Mother’s Day is over. Now maybe FB can get back to posts of lost dogs and hilarious cats. Uncovered that Mike has had at least one direct line relative who come through Ellis Island. Clematis is beautiful, and we will have some in our yard this year. Keurig seems like coffee abuse. It’s not all that hard to grind your own beans. Study recently brought to my attention. It’s totally true. !I wish I spoke Spanish so I could use exclamation points at the start of sentences.
As Google Reader’s death date has been set, I had to find a new RSS reader. I’ve opted to go with feedly for now. It allowed me to import my google reader feeds, and was really easy to set up. I’m not particularly fond of the layout/look, but I suspect it’s because of my ‘old-school’ preferences for website design.
Anyway, the point of this post is to test feedly for my own blog feed and to test the comments feed. It sure would be helpful if one or two of you would leave me a comment for my testing purposes. I realize I can comment on my own blog, but that seems really desperate and sad, so help your favorite virtual Innkeeper out.
Some stuff to read and comment on:
•Important, yet bittersweet news: LTK returns June 2
•Hilarious and awesome news: Five reasons the Canucks are out of the playoffs. They did forget #6, actually the REAL #1: whiny, lying bitches don’t win cups.
•Just Hilarious: What time is it? 8 past Luongo! A joke stolen from my brother; I’m not sure if it’s his.
•Anticipated, but not news: Season Finale of Person of Interest tonight. I freakin love this show. Thanks, Erik. Of course, we’ll be recording it in lieu of staying up to watch the Hawks. One for the Dagger, and one for the one you believe!
•If you haven’t found any interest in commenting on the above, consider this: think of the people in your life who play a musical instrument with any regularity. Now divide them by gender. More men than women on your list, right? My question is: why is this? Why do more men play music as a hobby than women? Mike gave me an answer that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but is probably pretty well founded. If you leave me a comment, I’ll tell you what that answer was.
While still not being back into the political debate groove, a few random thoughts I can’t resist –
* It appears I will be losing my representative to a Senate campaign. Assuming that is Thursday’s announcement, that will leave me with 1 elected official representing me on the federal level – Johnny Isakson. Chambliss is retiring and Kingston will be campaigning, neither will be interested in the representation portions of their current employment for the remainder of their terms. What a joke. It is for this very reason I support Mike’s idea that a person should not be allowed to run for office while holding an office.
* Attention, People of South Carolina, District 1: If you vote in Mark Sanford as your representative, you will have proven yourselves far stupider than I had ever thought of you. Bonus points to Rand Paul, however, for further proving to us he is simply another politician with his endorsement of this exemplar candidate.
* I was saddened to learn Leslie Conn is leaving the Savannah Morning News. Other than Bill Dawers’ columns, I have no real reason to visit that site anymore. Lame. Also of note, which is also lame – I couldn’t link directly to Bill Dawers’ columns from anywhere on the SMN. I could only link to the columnists generally. So again, lame.
* 100% non-political: our new appliances arrived Friday, a refrigerator and a dishwasher. I felt like a kid on Christmas. They are so freaking awesome. Homemade ice cream returns this summer – huzzah!
I have a post drafted belaboring the bombing in Boston and it’s aftermath. At this time, I am opting not to post it as it doesn’t seem productive, and likely to make me enemies I don’t want or need. Suffice it to say, it was a bad day for liberty. Let’s leave it at that.
*Happy 10 year anniversary to us living in this house. My big, old, white house with pillars on the front porch…in Georgia. Nearly the exact place I used to dream of as a kid. I’m in the very early stages of putting together a scrapbook covering the history of this house and the land on which it sits. It’s a fun side-project away from genealogy but still history related.
*Speaking of anniversaries, I’m almost two years into playing bass. I’ve learned that practice really does get you somewhere. Well, I suppose I always knew that, I just am lazy and never really applied it. It helps to have a fabulous teacher, whom I’m sleeping with. I’d recommend learning an instrument to anyone. The things playing has done for my brain and body can’t be described. It’s worth every minute. Now that I think about it, I’d rather be playing. Have a nice night!
After a double check of my last post, it appears I neglected Clan Horne. Robert and Margaret Horne were my 4th great-grandparents who left Ireland and came to the US via Ontario sometime in the 1850s. This puts me at or near 7.8125% Irish heritage. No fun latin motto for these guys though. Semper ubi sub ubi!
St. Patrick’s Day draws near, and as in years past, Savannah is gearing up for it’s usual parade and party. While most approach this holiday as a reason to drink outdoors, I’m of the minority that celebrates the history.
Last year, I mentioned my Irish ancestry. As promised, I have done additional research since then; although, I’ve made no progress on Mike‘s side. However, I can add County Antrim to the previous list of locations to where I have narrowed my roots. Actually, I can further narrow that to Ballymena, where my 4th great grandparents were married. Altogether now, I have sources verifying that I have 6.25% Irish heritage (my siblings and all my dad-side cousins can say the same). I suspect I’ll increase that percent a little bit with further research. Someday, I may even stumble upon actual Irish-Catholic ancestors instead of all the Protestants I’ve uncovered so far. I can now identify with Clans Eaton, Ferguson, McCreight, and McDougal.
In light of all this, it’s only fitting my favorite pipe & drum song is the Scottish National Anthem.
March 4. The only day of the year that is also a command. March forth. (Thank you, Mr. Lubbe).
My recovery is going great, not much pain anymore – just some dull headaches. I’m almost back to eating completely normally. I do have a lot of sensitivity, and so have my first prescription toothpaste, really more of a fluoride treatment. I still can’t get over the science behind what is happening to my head. I have new bone growing in my skull. Hello 2013! Thank you to everyone who has asked about my well being.
I have spent most of the last two weeks doing exactly as I planned – reading lots of retro sci-fi, studying genealogy, and watching lots and lots of hockey. I wish hockey was more popular in the south, but I also recognize the logistical issues preventing that from ever being a reality. Center Ice is worth the price, although the NHL should have comped all satellite/cable subscribers with a free year as thanks for our patience in waiting out their strike.
March 1st was St. David’s Day, as I was reminded by my Welsh friend, Julian. He asked at America’s Debate if any of us were familiar with the day and/or Welsh heritage generally. It’s odd I wasn’t aware of the day until Julian first mentioned it, although I was aware of some Welsh ancestry I have. He inspired me to work on that line again. In the process, I ended up going down a slightly different route. The end result was that I have uncovered yet another Canadian based line. This time they appear to be French Canadian, although I’ve not narrowed them to any place beyond their immigration to Cheboygan, Michigan. I’m not sure how far I’ll be able to take this line since I can’t read French or Latin.
Here’s the list of stories I’ve read while recovering, and of course, my quick synopsis/review: Modus Vivendi, Walter Bupp
synopsis: attorney addresses civil rights issues for disliked minority population of psychics, telekinetics, telephaths, etc
review: rather cool story. believable future/legal problem. rather rare in that it is legal and sci-fi, bonus points for that.
Impact, Irving E Cox Jr
synopsis: future interplanetary Federation fooled by seemingly native culture
review: pulpy, somewhat silly, more narrative than action
Attention St. Patrick, Murry Leinster (aka William Fitzgerald Jenkins)
synopsis: terrible, Eire planet, dinies
review: worst story I read the whole recovery. don’t read this. unless you’re a masochist; then, read away.
The Coffin Cure, Alan E Nourse
synopsis: common cold cured, sense of smell becomes really good, too good, the world stinks
review: based on an idea that dogs don’t get colds, something from their noses is extracted and whala – no more colds, sense of scent is overloaded. meh. not a fan.
Meeting of the Board, Alan E Nourse
synopsis: ironic – middle management goes on strike against lazy corrupt union
review: cute. easily sympathetic to the idea even if a mediocre story. would probably work well if modernized.
The Nothing Equation, Tom Godwin
synopsis: really good. remote bubble outpost in space – goes crazy as ‘nothing’ trying to get in
review: one of the best I read all recovery. total psychological thriller. very short, so read this one for sure.
Assassin, J.F. Bone
synopsis: human kills alien invaders acting benevolent
review: this has the makings of a badly done action flick aimed at white conservative males, 17+. coming to a theater near you.
Pandemic, J.F. Bone
synopsis: widow volunteers in 1 man, sealed lab to fight plague/find a cure
review: this reeked of that silly positivity we see in so many post WWII stories. oops, I guess that ruins the ending for you, so you can skip this one too.
I made it through osseous gum surgery #1 (top jaw) without much incident. Certainly it was, and is, painful, but there has been relatively little bleeding, which is reassuring.
I find myself thankful to a whole number of you who have helped me through so far. Topping the list, of course, has been the amazing care provided by my husband, Mike. He has a great knack for visualizing what needs to be done with all sorts of various projects – be it a major home repair or creating/enhancing music-related items or in this case – caring for me. Prior to the surgery, he went and bought all sorts of foods that I would be able to eat, filled my Rx, and got the house in a general working order. Since the surgery, he has been so attentive and helpful. Thank you so much, Mike. I would have never gotten through this without you.
I also owe a load of thanks to my periodontist W. Lee Young, DMD and his accommodating staff. Dr. Young utilizes top technology and has a ton of experience. I felt safe in his hands, and am a lot less nervous about my eventual bottom-jaw surgery.
A bit of sarcastic thanks to Mom for dumping her periodontal genes on me. Truly, thanks for being an inspiration to go through with this surgery, Mom.
Of course, my sister, Jen, has been a sweetie-pie with all of her texts and offers to help. I particularly enjoyed your visit the night before. Also thanks to Mark for being kind enough to share his chocolate covered strawberries with me. Leading up to this surgery, I ate like a queen (again, more thanks to Mike for his kick-ass cooking abilities).
Thanks to my friend, Trouble, for his super-kind message the other day. Thanks to my friend, Lindsey, for making time to have lunch with me leading up to this as well. I don’t know when I will be able to have a nice, greasy, diner burger again, but I am looking forward to it.
Mucho gracias to all the folks at work. If this were a year ago or even two, I doubt I would have been able to get through this with the ease I have. I am coming up on my year anniversary with the ‘new’ place, and can’t imagine working anywhere else. I am beyond grateful to have such a good team I know I can lean on when needed.
I can only guess I’ve forgotten to thank someone or something, and for that I apologize. For convenience, I will blame the meds.
For the rest of this weekend, I’m taking it easy. My big plans are to catch up on old sci-fi (ie mags from the 50s-70s), some genealogy research, watching lots of hockey, and eating mushy food. I hope I can contain my excitement!
We have had record rainfalls this week in Savannah. It already nearly being mid-February, these rains mean spring must be here. We’re already seeing the early bloomers bloom – daffodils, redbuds, carolina jessamine. Even the azaleas have made an early appearance.
All of this spring time makes me appreciate even more an old family story I came across very recently. It was a dispatch sent by my 3rd great-grandfather to the St. Cloud Journal, dated January 18, 1872. At the time, he was living at or near Lower Fort Garry, Manitoba. He was a steamboat engineer for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Based on other writings I’ve found from him, I can presume he mostly had winters off due to the Red River freezing over entirely (thus, no steamboating). Having winters off might explain why he chose to embark on a months long journey to remote places like the Saskatchewan River and Lake of the Woods, apparently by dog sled. It’s almost hard to believe he and my delicate southern-by-choice self are related.
From The St. Cloud Journal, January 18, 1872, 2nd column, lower third:
From RED RIVER—A private letter from
Mr. E. R. Abell, at Fort Garry, Manitoba,
gives an account of the mode of traveling
most in use in that hyperborean region.
“I have had some experience this winter
in traveling by dog sleds, having spent
some two months on an exploring expedition
to the Saskatchewan river north, and
to the Lake of Woods east of this settlement.
The covering was the blue canopy
of heaven and the bedding the downy snow,
improved a little by pine boughs when they
could be had. With the exception of one
night I had a rousing fire, which made even
the wild forest look cheerful. At one time on
the Little Saskatchewan river I was for
four days with little or nothing to eat,
when I luckily came upon an Indian village
on the banks of Martin’s Lake. The Indians
gave me two large white fish and sixteen
potatoes, the whole of which I ate at
Regulars to the Gull Reef Club know me to be a political junkie, currently on hiatus. Try as I might, I can’t figure out when, or even if, I want to return. I can’t stomach it right now. When I try, I get mean and jaded and am left wondering if it’s: i) the politics and politicians, ii) the media delivering the news, iii) society getting stupider, iv) me turning into Grandpa Simpson or v) all of the above.
I re-read Franz Kafka’s Before the Law this evening. It seemed to suit my day of excruciatingly long hold times and unread email to numerous government agencies.
Exactly a year ago today, I was given some poignant advice on what had developed into a very crappy job situation. Keep in mind, I had held this position for ten years (to the date!). I was a hard working and loyal employee, who was facing removed benefits not based on merit. In this regard, I was told by a mean-spirited person in a very rude way that, “If you don’t like it, find a new job.”
I took that advice to heart, and within two weeks I had already accepted a position with the wonderful firm I am now with. I would never look back. I am thankful everyday since that I left that old place.
Thank you, mean-spirited man, for your awful advice. It was some of the best I’ve ever received.
*During the height of my illness, over the weekend, I was witness to one of those odd, universes-converge moments. Mike was surfing Google images to try to help me get an idea of what color I may want my bass. While contemplating ‘surf green’, he came across an etsy artist, whom at one point sold this: ?????. No, we did not order that. Meaning, there is another Mike and Jaime out there who married on 7-20-2012. It was a little stunning. I sort of want to meet this other Jaime and Mike. I hope he’s a guy Jaime. Cute craft, too. I’d buy it…if I were a crafts buying person.
*I’ve made some significant progress on my family tree. In fact, I was surprisingly productive on the first two nights of my illness (last Fri/Sat), and uncovered over 90 documents related to my great, great aunt. I opted to look more into her because I learned she had written a biography of her father/my 3rd great grandfather. Turns out that I opened the door to researching a very accomplished person. She was born in either Canada or Minnesota sometime between 1856-1863. From what I gather she was widowed young and remarried in her late thirties/early forties to an artist, who was an interesting fellow as well. Much of my research focused on my gg-aunt’s years spent in Washington DC. While her husband was illustrating microscopic images for NIH publications, she was participating in a number of organizations. Most remarkably, she was a long time member and former president of the League of American Pen Women. She worked to promote various causes including forestry and conservation, English opera, and something I can’t quite peg – the anti-food trust. I don’t know what that one is, but that phrase appears in a few articles related to my gg-aunt. I intend on continuing my research as I’ve found very little of what she has actually written. She was a pioneer pen woman, I know her words are out there. I just have to find them.
Here’s Aunt Annie:
*If you see this lovely bride anywhere today, wish her a happy birthday!
Obviously, I’m a bit late, as it’s now just after midnight. I’ll extend the deadline to get your picks in to midnight (EST) tonight, Jan. 1, 2013. I’ll post a comprehensive list of everyone’s picks after that.
Another Christmas has pretty much come and gone. This was a quite a good year. I’ll try to get around for for reflection before come as we close upon the year. For now, I really just wanted to show off some of the delicious orange harvest Mike and I were part of on Christmas Eve Eve, right here in Savannah:
Thanks to Jen and Mark for letting us join in.
Yet more affirmation on why I live on the Southeast coast. Hope your holiday was as orange and bright.
Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Peace on Earth (and other nearby planets).
Home from work for a mini-vacation, I’m already enjoying truly just relaxing and not being stressed about much. While randomly searching online for Gull Reef Club related items, I ran across an amusing book review of Don’t Stop the Carnival from LIFE Magazine published near the book’s release, March 5, 1965:
Some of the contemporary cultural references flew over my head, but it’s a pretty cool review overall. This review adds a lot of historic perspective for me about the story itself. When I first read it, the book was already old enough to be ‘retro’. I couldn’t help but to read it that way. This review reminds me that when it was published, it was set in the current time. There was nothing retro about it. Probably doesn’t make much of a difference to anyone but me and maybe Jimmy Buffet, but I thought this worth sharing.
As a post script, I’d be remiss to fail to mention the overtly racist cover of this issue of LIFE. It can be easy to forget how accepted such blatant racism was then. That’s why I study history. I never want to forget.
This weekend, thanks to Mike‘s incredible instrument shopping abilities, I became owner of a sweet, little Fender P-Bass Junior. When I say little, I’m not kidding. It is so little it borders on adorable.
See? Just about adorable!
Not convinced it’s little? Try this:
When I first started playing, I was learning on the big Fender jazz bass (the far left one in that picture). The problem was, I couldn’t reach the G string easily to tune it. My very first bass that was mine (and not a loaner from Mike) was the silver vintage modified Squier Jaguar. It’s a short scale, meaning I can reach everything. This new one is even smaller. It really does sort of look like a toy.
However, it is a lot of fun to play. Probably one of the first times I’ve ever felt fat fingered about playing, an unusual experience for me. It didn’t sound ‘small’. That was something about which I was a bit concerned. While it didn’t have the booming low E like my Jaguar, it still had enough bottom to be effective and enjoyable to play.
I really wasn’t shopping for a bass. It’s Christmas time and I have no business spending money on myself. Yet, when a truly incredible deal arises, you have to bite. I somehow suspect this line of reasoning is how Mike ended up with the number of guitars he has. This could be dangerous. Perhaps Mike’s brother was right…we need an intervention.
Today was a great day, for me anyway. Greatness darkened by the long shadows of the tragedy that happened today in Newtown, CT. I hate that.
On a general media note, it was interesting to see this play out. Cable news, particularly CNN was sucking it hard, at least around lunchtime. It annoyed me to see some parents allowing their victim/witness/children to be interviewed. What kind of narcissistic parent would even stick around to talk to media?
It seemed most major media in tv and radio forms were doing their usual – making shit up jumping to conclusions and reporting falsehoods. Most of them couldn’t even get the shooter’s name right, initially. That’s more than lazy, that’s irresponsible.
The reactions from my friends and family on Facebook was a very different animal than tv and radio. By it’s very nature, the responses were more self-centered. Despite my tolerate/hate relationship with Facebook, I don’t mean ‘self-centered’ in a negative way. The posts were more searching, some desperate. So many people asking why or setting forth their opinions on why. I saw lots of potential answers. Thankfully none calling for less guns (so far). Good to see I surround myself with intelligent friends and family.
I suppose I’m going to thrown down my two cents on this. Since it happens so rarely, in fact I think this maybe the first time ever, that I agree with anything Martin Bashir has to say, I’ll give him some credit. He suggested that we need more and better mental healthcare in this country, and I completely agree. We need to destigmatize those who seek it, and from speaking about it generally. We need to educate ourselves on what to look for, and what to do. We all really need to learn techniques for coping with stress. So much could be solved if everyone knew how to constructively handle stressful situations.
Well, here’s to hoping you and yours will have the fortune to have visions of sugar plums dance in your heads tonight. Peace.
Were it not for Julian’s kind reminder, I might not have considered reviving the Death Pool. In fact, the last time I hosted the Death Pool (2009), one of the players, our dear friend Wertz, died that year (yes, for real). For what I hope are obvious reasons, I shied away from playing since.
It’s been three years. Julian wants to play. I sort of miss playing. Plus, Wertz would have wanted us to play. He loved Death Pool. So – I suppose I’ll host one again. The rules are pretty much the same as 2009, with the prize being the same as well. Post your picks here or email me with your list if you want to play – jaime @ americasdebate.com. Feel free to invite anyone you want to play as well. I’ll take all reasonable submissions. I’ll post a comprehensive list of everyone’s picks once they’re in. I guess I should give a deadline to submit your list of 11:59p edt, December 31, 2012. You know, if the world hasn’t ended by then.
Submit to me 10 names of celebrities/well-known people that you think will die in 2013. The people on your list cannot currently be hospitalized (care facilities like nursing homes and drug/alcohol rehab are ok, though), nor can they be on death row. If the person on your list can not easily be found by a wikipedia or google search, then that person is not famous enough to be valid. I recommend not copying someone’s list 100%, that’s rude and lazy. If one of your picks happens to pass away after you submit your list but before the end of 2012, you will be permitted to pick a replacement. If there’s a tie in the end, winner will be decided by whomever’s picks died earlier in the year.