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Ping lblanchard

Should you ever decide to automate your springerle:

FWIW, I think yours look much better.

Disgusting and barbaric

Church sign:


Celebrate blood sacrifice.  That's the message?  It's barbaric.  It summons images of ghouls dipping their hands in the entrails of their victims.  shudder



The little dog across the street who always runs up and down the block at top speed, decided to cross the street today and come investigate me.

The only time I've ever seen him hesitate was when he got to about ten feet of the porch and saw all three cats lying stretched out on the steps. He thought twice about it, and decided he liked his own side of the street better.

The cats watched him but with little interest. Cats are so weird.

The (almost) Great Escape

I'm sitting on my front porch, and I see, across the street, the small dog who always runs at top speed. He is, as usual, running at top speed down the street. Today, however, he is followed, also at top speed, by a toddler wearing only a diaper. Whoa! Just as my alarm bells go off, I see said toddler is also followed, again at top speed, by his mother. That kid is fast!

Okay, so she corrals him and carries him back the way he came, and the dog changes direction and runs at top speed after mom and toddler.

Not two minutes later, dog at top speed, followed by toddler at top speed, followed by mom at top speed.

You have to (a) admire the kid's tenacity and (b) hope the mom survives the kid's toddlerhood.

I love my neighborhood.

Big fat moon

Last night and tonight we've had the loveliest, big fat moon rising about 21:30. From where I sit surfing on the back porch, he first peeks his round head from between two trees. He's so bright! And for once Chicago isn't socked in during interesting phenomena.

Such a friendly face.

All hail the conquering... me.

I have a new cat, a lovely tortie the neighborhood children have named Mocha. She probably should have been named Houdini.

As I was going to bed one night after she'd been here about a week, my doorbell rang. It was my downstairs neighbor, ringing to get me to let the cat in. I thought she must have gone out when I came in. Okay, says I, I'll be more careful in the future.

The next day Doc started hissing, and I turned to see Mocha squeezing herself through a two-inch hole in the screen. She apparently got out onto the sill, then onto the roof of the porch, then jumped down to the ground. How a five-inch diameter cat got through a two-inch diameter hole is still a mystery. She left a little ring of fur around the hole.

Okay, so I got some cardboard and I used monofilament fishing line to secure it to the screen, until I could get the screen fixed. I went outside with Doc, and he kept hissing up at the window, so I looked, and there she was, peering over the edge of the roof at me.

The little Houdini had managed to pull off the cardboard and break the line that held it. Sigh. So off to Menards I go, and now I'm very, very proud to say I replaced the screen in the frames of two of my windows, all by myself.

It's very satisfying to do something for your own home by yourself - I feel like a giant.

Now if only Mocha will stay in. I've been bringing her out when I come out, but I want her to stay in if I'm in. I got extra-strong pet-proof screening, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Hard to type that way, though.


Minor rumblings of thunder, then ginormous thunderclap and sudden accompanying downpour. I don't believe I've ever seen it do that so... dramatically. I could only describe it as 'the skies opened up'.

I love weather. I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Pi, however, is hiding somewhere. It's okay, though, when he comes out, pretending that he wasn't scared at all, oh, no, not him, I'll give him some nip and he'll forget all about it.

Whatever you may think of him..

You have to admit Obama can be a pretty inspiring speaker:

Ashamed of my government

If anyone ever tells you we are a fair country, tell them they lie.

The sequester hurts everybody, right? That's the whole point, right? Across the board cuts, right?

So the well-off (air travelers) are inconvenienced, and Congress rushes to take money from other programs (food stamps? medicaid? education?) so that air traffic controllers won't be furloughed any more, and the well-off will no longer be inconvenienced.

What a great country.

News you can trust? Count on? Anything?

I've come up with a new standard for the integrity of news outlets. It's the Kardashian Ranking.

The Daily Beast? According to Google, 45,500 hits for "Kardashian".

Fox News? 24,200 hits.

BBC News? 5,360 hits.

CBS News? 5,320, but that doesn't include on-air mentions, of course.

CNBC? 2,470, but again that doesn't include on-air mentions.

Al Jazeera English? 78.

Draw your own conclusions.



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June 2014


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