September 24, 2016

This and that

One Million Moms, the wingnut group that is outraged by virtually everything, should go after major league baseball for the term "back-door slider". I mean, really. It's just rude. In a similar vein, where is the canned Million Moms outrage against "Naked and Afraid Pop-Up Edition"? They're off their game.

Baseball players should be required to be ugly, so they don't distract me.

AP: "Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday announced he had signed three bills targeting abortion providers, including one requiring them to follow outdated federal guidelines for the most common abortion drug and prescribe it at much higher doses than needed."  That's our world in a nutshell, isn't it?

I think the news should be presented in cartoon format, so Americans can understand it. You think I'm kidding, don't you?

Said of good hitter in baseball: "he can rake." I don't get it. 

What's with the phrase: "Stick that in your eye"?

"I thanked god that there was a god." A woman's face uttered this on TV. Circuitous thinking in action.

The phrase: "Hopped up." I thought it had to do with the animation of people on drugs, particularly speed. But it seems "hop" is slang for opium and narcotics in general, and this was true as of 1887.

From AP: "A Kentucky man has been arrested in North Carolina after witnesses say he urinated on the floor of an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Charlotte." Whew. Long pee!

I heard a woman say, "He was comin' tworge me". Maybe confusion between toward and towards caused her Hail Mary snatch at another consonant, and she landed on a "j"? Tworj. Who knows? Fun though.

Old person's T-shirt "So many tunes to hum. So little time."

"It was all fathomed in her mind," said the pastor's wife about an affair-sniffing parishioner.

"What am I, kidding?" Like "what am I, chopped liver?" I love that delivery. May be a NY thing. Not sure. Say you?

Kayaktivists. I figured the term was coming but I still shuddered the first time I heard it.

I'm surprised religious people don't say, of the dead, "Oh, he's on eternity leave." They'd chuckle too, as if they knew something. They don't know anything.

I heard a mother on TV say her twenty-something daughter wanted to “get into some movie-starring."

"Thank God it's a rental," said a character in a movie. But I noticed that the captions (which I always have on during movies) said "Thank gosh it's a rental." And then captions said "scarry music". I always wondered what home-schooled Christian kids do for a living, once they grow up. Apparently they transcribe captions.

Of the phrase: salad days: “Whether the point is that youth, like salad, is raw, or that salad is highly flavoured and youth loves high flavours, or that innocent herbs are youth's food as milk is babes' and meat is men's, few of those who use the phrase could perhaps tell us; if so, it is fitter for parrots' than for human speech.” Comes from:
[4] Fowler, H. W. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Oxford University Press, 1926.

I’ll “swing by” and check it out. Ape reference?

I've decided to believe that I live in a spaceship. What I see outside my windows is merely a hologram, meant to reassure me. It's lovely up here. Mmmmmm.

Some day, Americans will vote with emoticons —a whole range of them, hundreds if not thousands. And then an AI will figure out what it all means and tell us who the new president is. Hail Leader!

Why is there no coffee air freshener? A house never smells more pleasant than when coffee is brewing.

Crime show on TV: 
Detective: “ When you were on the phone with him that night, how did he sound?"
Woman: "Disheveled."

Baseball talk. A “fieldmouse trade”- i.e., nobody special was included in the trade. 

A southerner was asked "When was your appointment?" The woman replied, "It was of the morning." I've never heard that usage before.

Why is there no gay version of Mystery Science Theater 3000? All you'd need is a threesome of sharp, funny gay people watching a movie and saying catty things about absolutely everyone on screen. I'd love it.

I now return control of your computer to your able hands. Go on with your gardening, your cruise, or whatever the hell else you were doing with your day. I'm done with you. Begone!

August 22, 2016

The damn hawks are cramping my style

Let us begin with a picture of loveliness. How can you not love this crow? And yet, something lurks above, threatening this bird's freedom to roam.

Earlier this summer, I heard shrieks coming from an overgrown area of the farm. It was a hawk hatchling, crying for its mother to bring it food. This went on for a couple of weeks. And then one day there were two hawks in the sky, one smaller than the other. That's when the problem started. They want to eat my crows. How dare they?!

In case you're just tuning in, I feed crows. They're so smart, I can't help myself. They're almost like people. Anyway, I didn't realize how bad the situation had gotten until one day I did what I always do: headed out with a bag of seeds and peanuts and called "Crow!" As always, the crows headed for my voice. They'll do anything for peanuts, the food of the gods.

I looked up and saw a few crows in the sky, heading toward me -- and right above them were two hawks. It was almost a crowtastrophe! The crows realized they were threatened, freaked and flew away. No one was hurt. The sad part is that for days afterward, they thought I was in cahoots with the hawks. I was like, "Me?! Me?! The guy who feeds you daily?!" But crows are suspicious. They can't help it, it's their nature.

So I had to rework my whole routine. The hawks had learned that me screaming "Crow!" meant delicious crows were on the way.

Shortly afterward, one of the crows -- the one in the photo, I think -- talked to me from the tree in front of my house. He spoke to me in the soft voice, the one crows reserve for friends. It's not the ugly cawing sound; it's very pretty. He was trying to tell me something. Meanwhile, construction workers saw me seemingly talking to the air and asked who I was talking to. I said, "a crow". They just shook their heads in pity and looked away. But I thought I understood the crow's message.  I knew what he wanted me to do.

He wanted me to be silent. So now I feed the crows without calling them. I just head out, they see me, and they come. No hawks at all. Mind you, they're still there. But they've discovered another food source: wild turkeys. I saw them swooping down on a group of 10 or so unfortunate hens. Jeepers. But at least it wasn't my crows.

This has been your slice of crow/farm life. I hope you enjoyed it. As for me, I gotta go feed the crows. And you can bet I'll be silent as I do it.

One more view of Crow. Ain't he fine?

August 21, 2016

I broke up with baseball tonight

It's true. The relationship is over. I was watching my team as they opened the ninth inning in a tied game, and instead of worrying and hoping and rooting ... I realized that I don't care anymore.

I deleted the game without seeing the final inning and canceled my upcoming recordings of Nationals games (and Mets games, for that matter). I threw my Nationals keychain and my Bryce Harper T-shirt in the garbage. I'm not going to record baseball or check scores or glance at the standings ever again. I'm not going to talk about baseball or think about it.

It was a great relationship for a while. Don't get me wrong. In my heart, I wish nothing but the best for baseball. I hope it finds another fan to replace me.

But I've moved on.

August 13, 2016

Rabbi writes about transgender god

Interesting op-ed today in the NYT. Rabbi Mark Sameth asks Is God Transgender? Much of what he said was new to me. Thought you guys might like it.

August 11, 2016

The Trump game

We don't need to recount Trump's insane behavior here. I'm sure you're familiar with his lunacy by now. But here's the thing: if Trump bows out just before the election, whoever the GOP puts in his place will beat Hilary easily.

Trump will get what he wants: continuing attention and quite probably a flagship show on Fox (plus the ability to sell useless items to stupid Fox viewers and other imbeciles on his mailing list), and the GOP will score a most unlikely win.

People just don't like Hillary. Given any seemingly sensible alternative, they will vote against her and thereby elect the GOP apparatchik.

The second amendment threat that Trump issued yesterday may provide the perfect means to drive him off the ticket. And he won't care at all.

This is frightening. But our country has been terrifying for many years now. Remember, one of the major parties had no problem putting Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. In a country this ignorant, anything can happen. That is the ultimate scary fact of our times.

August 7, 2016

That Marco Rubio sure is kind

The latest from Republican goon, Marco Rubio:
Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday that he doesn’t believe a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus should have the right to an abortion — even if she had reason to believe the child would be born with severe microcephaly.

“I understand a lot of people disagree with my view – but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws -- and therefore I pledge that I, and my fellow Republican nitwits, will take in all the unwanted Zika babies and care for them in perpetuity."
Watta guy! At least we won't have to worry about the poor, microcephalic children. And if you think about it, it's a win-win for them. The GOP could raise them up to become the next group of super-Republicans. After all, they have to find a new pool of voters somewhere. It's either this or the snowflake babies. Because people who are fully conscious will never vote for them again.

They sure have a keen moral sense, these Republicans. I mean, you never see them falter when faced with a tough choice. I guess their gods tell them which choice is the correct one. Let's hear if for their gods: (Insert rude noise).

August 2, 2016

Francis gets it backwards

Pope Francis is totally confused about sex, which is no wonder considering the strange sexual rules of his faith. He can't get a handle on what's occurring in modern times so, like Fox News, he jumps in and spews nonsense.

Today's AP stream:
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has lamented that children, as he puts it, are being taught at school that gender can be a choice. Francis said: "Today, in schools they are teaching this to children -- to children! -- that everyone can choose their gender."
Of course, what's being "taught" -- largely through experience and media coverage in the US -- is that there is no choice regarding gender. You are what you are. And sometimes what you are is a person trapped in a body of the wrong sex. It's not surprising that this happens. Some people are physically intersex. They are born with both female and male sexual organs. It's not much of a stretch to think that sometimes the whole body is the wrong sex. The transgender person feels that he or she is in the wrong body. What a horrible fate that must be. But today they can have that little problem fixed.

Is this process about choosing whatever gender you want? In fact, the pope got it ass-backwards. It's about not being able to choose what gender you are. These people, young and old, don't choose a gender. They claim their appropriate gender, even at a young age. And if that doesn't align with the physical gender of their body, they tell us: I'm not a man, I'm a woman. There is no choice, no mystery. It's simply something they know as surely as they know their own names.

Sexual orientation and gender dysphoria aren't about choosing. They're about who you are. Choice plays no role. This is simply the reality of their bodies and minds. They are who god made them, including gay or transgender (if'n you want to think of it that way; there is no god, of course). 

The pope understands nothing about this. For this reason, he should stick to non-sexual topics when he speaks. Why share his ignorance?

July 22, 2016

Scrivener for IOS

I know, I know. I've been ignoring the blog. Let's see if one post can nudge me into blogging again. It's worth a shot, right?

I use Scrivener to write fiction. It's the best writing software out there and was available only to Mac users for quite a while. I hear there's a Windows version now, so anyone can use it. (Mind you, no one should be on Windows anymore. No one.)

But the thing that was always missing was an IOS version of Scrivener. It took years to develop and folks were beginning to doubt that it would ever be released. But it's done! I was so excited to download it when it came out on Wednesday, and I've been playing with it ever since.

First off, it's fabulous that my work is now mobile. I can carry all my intellectual property with me wherever I go. That's so reassuring. No more worries about my house burning down while I'm out for a walk and taking my work with it. The books (there are several) are now safe. That is so important.

Plus, the IOS version works well. One of the things about Scrivener on the desktop is how zippy it is. Nothing is slow, everything is instantaneous. I'm happy to report that the IOS version is just as zippy.

The true joy of this is that wherever I am, if I think of something that needs to be changed in a manuscript -- or if I think of a great new story idea -- I can pick up my iPad and input the changes or idea. It automatically synchs with the desktop version of Scrivener. No more lost thoughts! This is so nice.

Anyway, I'm a very happy guy. Now let's see if I can get back to blogging in the next few days and weeks.

April 8, 2016

Incredible aurora lights

This is an image of the northern lights over Lapland. It doesn't get much better than this. As always, these shots are taken from NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day site. (Link)

Click the photo to see a larger version.

March 22, 2016

Who knew there was such a thing as airglow?

This photo is from NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day site. The headline says "Rainbow airglow over the Azores". Cool, isn't it?

You can see a huge version of the image by clicking on it.