After last night’s first presidential election debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I think we all need a little Citizen Kang.
Probably the BEST Simpsons episode (really, an episode within an episode) ever. Twenty years on, I still find myself quoting the classic lines:
I am Clin-Ton. As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands.
It makes no difference which one of us you vote for. Either way, your planet is doomed. DOOMED!
These candidates make me wanna vomit in terror!
Kang: Fooling these Earth voters is easier than expected.
Kodos: Yes. All they want to hear are bland pleasantries embellished by an occasional saxophone solo or infant kiss.
Oh, no, am I still here? I don’t wanna serve out my term naked in a tube…
Kang: The politics of failure have failed. We need to make them work again. Tomorrow, when you are sealed in the voting cubicle, vote for me, Senator Ka… Bob Dole. [applause]
Kodos: I am looking forward to an orderly election tomorrow, which will eliminate the need for a violent blood bath.
Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.
Man1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
Man2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away!
I visited the Jepson Museum today to see Mystical Arts of Tibet by the Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery. It was incredible to see it being made, grain by grain. Most of the monks were out to lunch, so we got to see it from a few angles. It will be gone Sunday, so visit if you can.
Not being one to shy away from a self-embarrassing story if I think I can get a laugh out of it, I have one I think you’re going to like.
Some background in case you’ve never actually met me – I am a small-sized human. Barely 5 feet tall, and a bit over 100lbs (some days more than others). I wear a children’s size 3 shoe and nearly all of my clothes are petite-sized or childrens. I have been called more “short” names than I can probably remember – midget, shorty, munchkin, elf, shrimp…you get the idea. Having dealt with this for nearly 40 years, I just roll with it. No reason to get mad over something I can’t change. Really, I sort of wear those names with a badge of (small) honor. It’s who I am.
So back to the embarrassing hilarity. Yesterday, Mike and I took our kayaks out for the first time on moving water – the Skidaway River. The weather was perfect and the tides appeared to in our favor. We made it to Burntpot or Burnpot (I’ve seen both on the maps) Island and hiked around a bit and had lunch. It was really quite lovely.
On the paddle back, we hugged the west side of the river to avoid the wake of motor boats, but still trying to stay deep enough so that our paddles weren’t hitting mud. About 2/3 of the way back, all hell breaks loose. I was innocently paddling and this wild, rogue Georgia shrimp jumped into my kayak with me – and I completely lost my mind.
The miscreant shrimp landed right between my legs. When I looked down to see what had jumped in my boat, all I see are two long antennae sticking out wiggling at me. I totally flip my shit and instead of simply tossing the shrimp out and carry on – I jumped completely out of my kayak. So now there I was swimming after my paddle and then back to my kayak where Mike had already grabbed it. I waded up to my kayak, because as it turns out, I was only in about two feet of water (with about a foot of mud under that). I look in my kayak and see that it is a teeny-tiny shrimp, not even big enough for eating. I toss him back into the water, and with the assistance of Mike, hop back into my kayak.
Mike said he overheard some folks on a motorboat that was passing as this happened say, “Did she just fall out of her boat?” “No, folks! That was intentional – I jumped out! I was being attacked by a shrimp!” I was laughing so hard after this that it was hard to paddle. It was just so ridiculously funny – the human shrimp freaking out over a real shrimp.
I am a little annoyed with myself because I really should be able to react to situations like that much more calmly. I don’t know what caused me to panic, but that is not cool. Gotta work on on that. Further, I am not bothered by shrimp- at all. I have no problems popping their heads off when I want to eat them, and while I’ve not used them for bait, if I had to, I’d have no problem popping them on the hook. Jump in my kayak and it’s a different story apparently.
While I had thought about blaming the shrimp and saying he extorted me out of the kayak (the Ryan Lochte defense), I figured it was much funnier if I just told the truth. I am an idiot sometimes, but I guess I learned something out of all this, so now not only do I have a hilarious story, I also hope I know how to react should something like ever happen again.
Watch out for them wild Georgia shrimp! They’ll get ya.
Amazing how closely it fits with today’s Progressives. Just replace the Old Guard dude’s head with Hillary’s and it’s suddenly modern. In 1916, however, the Progressives being referred to were Republicans. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
This morning, I logged into Facebook (I know, I know.) With the pre-election anger mounting in this country, I was curious as to where my friends and family are aligning themselves on one of the hottest topics of the summer – race and the police. Obviously, this is not a scientific work by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems people are falling into three categories: a) the obeyers b) civil rights advocates (not to be confused with sjws – I don’t/won’t have any of those as friends) and c) the checked out.
Personally, I find myself falling somewhere between b) and c). I can’t blame those who have checked out. I understand the appeal of not wanting to pay any attention to what is happening around us. Sometimes, it’s just easier on our brains and bodies to post pics of your kids/pets/food/vacation. Plus, I suspect many of us intentionally avoid discussing hot topic items on FB so as to avoid any conflict with people we otherwise care for and respect.
On the other hand, I also have strong sympathies for those who are recognizing injustice in our country, and are willing to say something about it. And this is where this post really starts to get difficult to write. I now feel a need to qualify anything I say going forward with the usual disclaimers – I have a number of friends and family members who are police officers. I love them all very much….however….I can’t be their automatic cheerleader. You won’t see me wearing a blue ribbon or putting up a blue light on my house. I can’t be in the obey category. I’ve seen too much injustice to know I can’t default to “the police are always right, obey them”.
Police officers are not military, but more and more they act as if they are. A standing army is unconstitutional, and should not be tolerated. Although, the way our police departments act these days are not really their fault. They are only following orders – the laws the politicians set down for all of us. Ultimately, what I would like to see is our police forces collectively standing up to those that put them in the uncomfortable and dangerous situations – the politicians. They are the ones who have the power. They are the ones who have created a system whereby the police feel like they need to act like militarized soldiers in a war zone. The politicians are the ones who have criminalized non-violent offenses. The politicians are the ones who have established the sentencing laws that see the incarceration of our minorities at a significantly higher rates than white people. The politicians are the ones who have created an us-versus-them mentality, all the while raking in the cash and being above the fray, and sometimes even prosecution (Hillary, I’m looking in your direction).
It should not be this way. The police should put down their arms and attitudes, and join the protesters. Join them and say they will not enforce unjust laws. They will no longer participate in a system where they are locking up their brothers and sisters for non-violent offenses and destroying their lives with criminal records. I’m open to other ideas, but this seems the best way to mend the fences between the citizenry and the police, and at the same time creating an alliance against politicians. They are the ones we all need to focus on. The politicians are dividing us – so let’s not obey them, and if you’re police, don’t do their dirty work for them.
There’s two cents from a chicken shit white person who will never actually protest anything. No matter where you stand on this issue, remember – we all have to live together in the end. Your choice in what kind of house it will be.
June started out as a pretty crappy (literally) month, but with each passing day has gotten better.
At the start of the month, we finally started to get bids for the new roof our house needs. As we were doing that, we learned we were also having a sewer drainage problem. We (ok, Mike) tried to initially fix it by the usual drain rodding, but that didn’t pan out. We feared it could have been a line collapse due to our house’s lines being so old and made of terra cotta. So the calls to professional plumbers began and we started to round up opinions on what was actually wrong and estimates to repair it. That process was awful and we learned that our repair was going to be anywhere from $1500 to $6000. Add that to the upcoming roof replacement, and we’re looking a lot of costs.
The plumber who provided the cheapest estimate wasn’t going to be able to come out for three weeks. With the impending Independence Day holiday and house guests set to arrive, we couldn’t wait three weeks. So Mike started digging. He dug for two days in upper 90° weather. On the third day, he found the problem. Fortunately, the line had not collapsed. It was, however, so packed with roots and other particulate, there was very little that was able to pass through. Lots of gagging, heavy rubber gloves, and hundred of flies swarming later, Mike removed over six feet of packed-in nastiness. He repaired the pipe (replaced with modern PVC) and we are free flowing again. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have him around. Mike is incredibly resourceful, and furthermore tenacious. Thanks, Mike.
Feeling like we scored one on the karma gods, we opted to have a little fun with the money we would have otherwise spent on the plumbing and invested in some used kayaks. We are now the proud owners of a Tsunami 120 and 125 Kayak. Mine is bright yellow, and given the shape of a kayak, it will appear that I am padding a banana. Going to have to get you some pics of that. I can’t wait to get out and try it out. Time to explore my beautiful home geography by water.
When we were in the Okefenokee Swamp earlier this month, we snapped a pic of the very rare, wild growing Cheetos. Still early in their growth. I think they have a big Cheetos harvest in September or October. So hard not to eat them!
My number has been selected, yetagain, and I have been invited to join the Justice Squadron at the Municipal Halls of Vengeance. My critical question for you – should I wear my brand new t-shirt celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the law firm for which I’m employed or should I wear my ‘The Constitution: I read it for the Articles’ t-shirt? Either will probably serve me well.
Georgia’s primary is tomorrow, wonkishly known as Super Tuesday. We’re an open primary state, meaning I don’t have to declare myself a member of any party to go in and vote. The issue I’ve avoided until now, is that I really don’t care much for any of the presidential primary candidates. I therefore, have no idea for whom to to vote. I don’t even know if I should vote R or D. I plan on heading to the polls tomorrow, but mostly because I want to vote for Sheriff. I’m obviously not compelled to even vote for any primary candidate, but I want to, if only to keep things interesting (and I can later say, ‘don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos’). So, I appeal to you – if you had my option, who would you vote for? And if you’re up for it – why?
We’re past the frost season (finally!). Yesterday, we planted our first vegetable garden of 2016. This is our early planting, which includes two types of lettuce mixes, spinach and cilantro. Hope your weather is nice enough that you can get started on your garden too.
Queen Bee Sugaree has gone on to be with her Jerry. She was a tough old girl, and for awhile there, I thought she’d live to see twenty. The last of our Illinois cats. My heart breaks. We’re going to miss you, sweet girl.
Not unlike much of the rest of the civilized world, I was saddened, although not necessarily shocked, to learn of the terrorist attacks in Paris over the weekend. One of my ways of reacting to situations like these is to seek out live webcams in the local area. I prefer raw, unfiltered information when possible and webcams certainly offer that.
I didn’t find much in the way of action-on-the-scene in Paris. I did, however, find one of the most mysterious and odd cams I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen hundreds). Essentially, it appears to be located in an underground HVAC/utility system or something industrially similar, and focuses on a poster. The poster is what is the befuddling part. If any of your are familiar with this type of chart, please let me know. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’ve done the usual, tangential searches (by IP, location, contents of the poster, etc) and still haven’t gotten very far.
Here is the link to it if you want to check it out yourself: Mystery Cam, Orange, France. Of course, clicking that may all put us on some NSA watch list. You’ve been warned. If you do click on it, please let me know what you think it is.
Vive la France!
Update: A little further sleuthing shows me that part of the poster contains an ISO 12233 Test Chart. This doesn’t explain what the other contents of the poster are – what is that building? and is that an eye chart? Then there are still the biggest questions – why is this chart located in this undetermined utility area? and why is there an live webcam on it running 24/7?
Well over a year ago, I promised I would share with you my ‘first’ ghost story involving my nearly 100 year old home (see: Ghost or Gravity). As we’re drawing near one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, I thought I’d finally share this.
I can’t specifically recall when this happened, but my guess is sometime between 2006-2010. It was a nice day and we had the windows open. I was in the laundry room, which is in the far back, downstairs corner of the house. My beloved Jerry Garcia was in that room as well, chilling on a shelf we made so he could look out the window. Mike was upstairs in our home office, which is on the exact opposite side of where Jerry and I were.
I was loading up the washer when I heard a man’s voice, very deep, very gravelly, rasp, “Jerry!” in a quite angry tone. I looked up to see why Mike was messing with our cat like that (this was not something that he’d ever do in jest), and saw Jerry rise up with the hairs sticking up all over his back. Jerry’s eyes were wide and he was clearly upset that he just got yelled at. “Mike?” No response. I calmed Jerry down a bit, and then proceeded to go upstairs. There, I found Mike, who was completely oblivious to everything that had just gone down in the laundry room. After a few go-rounds, I was convinced it wasn’t him messing with us.
To this day, I have never been able to figure out what it is I heard. I probably would have chalked it up to something innocuous had Jerry not reacted the way he did. I’ll never know what it was I heard that day, but as Jerry was my witness, I know we both heard something. Speculate on that as you will.
I celebrated my Jack Benny birthday* by taking a long weekend and enjoying the free time. I managed to maximize this enjoyment by avoiding the news and staying off Facebook. Many of you were kinds enough to send me birthday greetings and well-wishes, primarily through Facebook, so my apologies for the late thank yous. Thank you all for thinking of me. I did get notices of your messages and they mean a lot. I know none of you can blame me or think any less of me for avoiding news & FB. They are such time sucks, and free time is so precious.
The last four days were a bit of a mini stay-cation. I got a chance to renew my library card, ride my bike, play both my ukulele (a story for another time) and my bass, finish Halloween decorating, watch the Hawks (lose. Thanks, guys), and of course eat birthday dinner. Kept dinner simple this year – a ribeye from our local butcher, baked potato, mushrooms, and asparagus, with oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert. Overall, a much needed break.
Thanks again for all the well wishes, and especially to Mike for making the last four days so stress free.
*Kudos to Aunt Sue and anyone else who got this reference.