We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To enhance Bird Dog's experience with Customs when he visits Europe in a few weeks, we've ordered some stickers for his luggage. Yeah, full body search. If you visit the site, there's one for his female companions.
I once booed Jewel at a performance. It was the year she toured with Bob Dylan, and I saw them in New Haven. (She once said that she thought Bob was gay because he didn't hit on her during the tour. Disappointed by that, it seems.)
I booed because she had to bring some political snark into her chatter, assuming as such folks do that their audiences are all on the same page politically. Rude of me, but that sort of presumption bugs me. As usual, my friends were embarassed by my behavior. She was not really known, then.
Here's the whole song that was chopped up on Dr Merc's fun post:
One of the ideas that has proved to be almost impervious to evidence is the idea that wise and far-sighted people need to take control, and plan economic and social policies so that there will be a rational and just order, rather than chaos resulting from things being allowed to take their own course. It sounds so logical and plausible that demanding hard evidence would seem almost like nit-picking.
"Things taking their own course" means, of course, people exercising free choice.
Some of us here have been accused of being elites ourselves. If I am in that category somehow, put me in the subgroup that has no interest in controlling anybody but myself. Just that is difficult enough, and often impossible.
One pesky little computer problem is when you run a program most of the time the computer is up, like an email program, but it minimizes to the Task Bar and clutters up the place with its icon. For 'permanent' programs that run all of the time, the better routine is to stick the icon in the SysTray (the area just to the right of the Task Bar) and leave the Task Bar area for current projects.
Some programs have a setting in their Options that tells them to minimize to the SysTray, so check that first.
To solve this little poser, we have a program with the cheek-pinchingly cute name of Trayconizer. It's not promised to work on every program, but it's worked on the three I've thrown at it.
Unzip the file to its own 'Trayconizer' folder in a place you'll later be able to locate. This is, if you put the Trayconizer folder in a 'Tools' folder, remember it for the next step.
To set up a program for trayconizing, go to the Start Menu, find its icon, right-click on it and open the Properties.
In the 'Target' box, put the full path to Trayconizer before the path to the program.
(capital letters are only used for clarity in the following)
For example, if you placed the Trayconizer folder in a 'Tools' folder, the path would be:
C:\Tools\Trayconizer\Trayconizer.exe <existing path to program>
If you stuck it in a folder with a blank space in the name, like 'Program Files', you need to put the whole path in quotes:
"C:\Program Files\Trayconizer\Trayconizer.exe" <path to program>
If there's an error in the path, Windows will let you know when you click 'OK' to close the box. If you get stuck, open the Properties of the Trayconizer icon, highlight the 'Location', copy it to memory with Ctrl-C, paste it into the 'Target' box with Ctrl-V.
Now when you minimize the program the icon should go to the SysTray. Single-click on it to get a few options, double-click to pop the program back open.
AVI on a kids' mission to paint houses of the poor. These kids should just buy the paint for the poor, and spend the summer painting their own barns and sheds and houses for their parents. Power wash, power sander, coat of primer, coat of lead-based paint.
As I always do before trips, I am catching up on history. This trip will be Vienna and the Danube. I view these places historically as the hinterlands, but you cannot fault their production of music in recent centuries. Music, wars, and sort-of hideous baroque architecture.
Vienna had been a Roman frontier outpost, but surely had been a barbarian settlement before that.
I do recall that European History in high school made my head spin from the endless alliances and endless wars and the reconfigurations of empires, kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and nations. With my ADD, it's a wonder I did so well with it. Forgot most of it. The War of the Spanish Succession.
I did not forget some details of the devastating Franco-Prussian War, but I certainly had forgotten that "German Austria" wanted to be part of Germany after WW1, but the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations forbade it. German Austria reached down into the (still) German-speaking areas of northern Italy. The Austria of today is a relatively brand-new nation (1945 or 1955 - pick the date) although it was a Babenburg duchy in 1156 and later was roughly the core of the Hapsburg's power for 640 years.
The Hapsburgs are credited with keeping the Ottomans out of Europe in 1683, but the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, deserves lots of credit. There were 300 years of resisting the Ottoman Empire's invasions. I have never understood why Middle-Easterners coveted Europe, but they still do.
I find it amusing to think of what was going on in the wilds of the American colonies at the same time. Only Spain really cared, because of the gold. Otherwise insignificant except as pawns in larger European power games.
In the early 1700s, the Hapsburgs counted among their imperial control Belgium, Sardinia, Corsica, the Duchy of Milan, Naples, and Sicily. Two hundred years earlier, HRE "Emperor" Charles V in 1516 also happened to be King of Spain, bringing Spanish America, for a while, into the bounds of the Holy Roman Empire - such as it was: A crown, a flag, a bunch of castles and palaces, a title, and some truly snazzy outfits with fancy medals on them to impress the gals. Being King of Spain, on the other hand, was probably a cool gig with plenty of perks and babes.
The modern European nations are all younger in their configurations and their governmental structures than the US (except for the post-Empire island core of Britain).
One thought this perspective gave me is that the EU may be little more than an expanded reconstitution of the Holy Roman Empire - combined with the old Roman Empire. In time, it will pass too.
Photo below, Palace Schoenbrunn, first constructed as a hunting lodge in the early 1700s. "Hey, honey, have you seen where I put my camo and my ammo?"
That's from a time when royal governments lived off the labor of the people. Not like now, right?
Stumbled across this web site today. An oasis of calm in a world of chaos. As a semi-amateur photographer, I'm always amazed at the way creative people come up with new ways to make and create new and interesting photos: Mila's Daydreams.
I came across a Japanese Type 14 Nambu pistol. These were reasonably well made Japanese semi-autos, used from mid-1920's until end of WWII. The ammo is available for around $25/box of 50. I had planned on using it for a project that didn't work out
If interested, I can email photos. I'd like just what I paid for it - $300.
I don't need one and do not want one, but it's an interesting firearm from an historical point of view.
...Made in America is not simply an entertaining narrative history. It is also an argument, or rather a set of arguments, about character and culture. The first is that "modernity" entailed less wrenching and negative change than most today believe. In the realm of culture and society, continuity -- or the intensification of already apparent patterns -- was the rule. Fischer writes, for example, that his is "not one more account of how American character was corrupted by rising individualism, egoism or selfishness." Instead, Americans "remained by Western standards remarkably committed to family, church, community, job and nation." Second, like Potter, Fischer sees abundance as the engine of American history: not simply economic wealth, in his telling, but an ever-increasing stock of security, health, social opportunities, political freedoms, and self-mastery. Third and most significant, he declares a Tocquevillian "voluntarism" -- a highly socialized individualism that led Americans to join groups and build communities -- to be the substrate of national character, the key trait that binds Americans together.
This Sherrod story. I thought I was sick of the story even before it started, but I guess this is a slice of America too. Every country has moonbats but, as Palin would say, these are "sick puppies," determined to live in anger and hatred.
... the problem is not that the political system is breaking down. That system is working pretty much the same way it always has and always will: it promotes irresponsibility. Republicans and Democrats are merely responding to the incentives created by the system in which they operate. (If they didn’t respond to those incentives, the political system would throw them out and replace them with people who do.) If investors don’t already understand that, the sooner the better.
Encinitas, where I live, is the last refuge of traditional laid back Southern California beach towns. We have the usual run of art shops selling third rate paintings to tourists, any town's laughing-up-our-sleeves joke on the gullible.
But, the beachside bronze paid for by the local Cardiff Botanical Society (WTF does surfing have to do with botany?) has run into disdain for its insufficiently iconic image. Locals don't consider it realistic enough, and aren't to be treated as gullible by purveyers of public art who foist their artistic sense (or not) upon the populace.
The statue, disdainfully titled "Cardiff Kook" by surfers, has been dressed in tutu and bikini, but the latest Encinitans-gone-wild prank is the best yet.
Overnight, a huge papier-mache replica of a great white shark was erected devouring the statue.
The Sheriff Lt. at the scene said, “It wasn’t considered vandalism because there wasn’t any permanent defacing.” The sculptural addition will be removed, to the sorrow of locals and the crowds who consider it an improvement and stop to admire and shoot photos.
Encinitans will strike again.
What public sculpture in your town would benefit from a puckish aesthetic addition?
While feasting on late after-dinner hazelnut gelati a little over a week ago in the relatively non-touristy lakefront village of Baveno, just up from the small piazza on the main drag, we were drawn to the sounds of a church choir, and sat on the stoop of the side door of the sanctuary for a half hour listening to them practice as darkness fell.
Nothing can make a 20-person choir sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the way a small stone 900 year-old church can. Excellent group, too, with an exuberant organist.
Saint Gervaso is the patron saint of Baveno. Like many old buldings in Italy, the church was built of stone previously used in Roman buildings, some still bearing Roman markings and lettering. Recycling. We noted that they never took stones from the Roman bridges or aqueducts, though. Smart - and a conservative message.
This is no famous church, just an ordinary village church. Clearly pre-Gothic. The church and tower were built in around 1100 (but the front of the sanctuary was expanded a bit since then), the Baptistery in 1628, and the open hall of the Stations of the Cross probably in the 1700s, when Baveno became wealthy from its quarries of pink marble (which are still in use).
Palm trees right up there near the Swiss border.
More photos of this small, unknown parish church below -
Ah, no better way to start off a pleasant Sunday than with a couple of horrific airplane crashes, is there?
Okay, maybe crashes is the wrong word. I mean, everybody survived and all that, but no near-death experience should be taken lightly.
Just ask the terrified passengers.
Now, it's true that video clip might have been slightly doctored in a professional lab by the airplane's insurance company to further their lawsuit against that jackass who got in the plane's way and broke its landing gear, but what happens when a plane crash is real?
Just ask the terrified passengers.
Exit question: A commercial airline company where the female passengers run around in bikinis? Where's the ticket counter?!
The climate modeling approach is so similar to that used by the CEA to score the stimulus that there is even a climate equivalent to the multiplier found in macro-economic models. In climate models, small amounts of warming from man-made CO2 are multiplied many-fold to catastrophic levels by hypothetical positive feedbacks, in the same way that the first-order effects of government spending are multiplied in Keynesian economic models. In both cases, while these multipliers are the single most important drivers of the models’ results, they also tend to be the most controversial assumptions. In an odd parallel, you can find both stimulus and climate debates arguing whether their multiplier is above or below one.