Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bumped: Question du jour... (Updated for Neid's Dead Horse!) Updated for Reality Cheque

Update three: The WaPo has this article about Hamtramck.  Go, RTWT

Update two: Well, it's starting to happen. Hamtramck, Mi. (home of the Painless Pole dentist, played by John Shuck) now has a Muslim majority on their city council.  So far, it doesn't look good:
The nation’s first, but certainly not last, majority-Muslim city council has just been elected in Hamtramck, Michigan, a historically Polish city. But before anyone could break out the sparkling grape juice and toast our new diversity, Ibrahim Algahim — a Muslim activist in Hamtramck – crowed at a victory party:
Today we show the Polish, and everybody else.
Multicultural euphoria, meet Islamic supremacist reality. Algahim, at least, was not ready to link arms and sing “Kumbaya,” as the diverse peoples of Hamtramck marched towards multicultural harmony. Randy Wimbley of Fox 2 Detroit reported:
[H]istory [was made] in Hamtramck as voters elected the first majority Muslim city council in the country.
But rather than ease racial tensions, the comments from a Muslim organizer threaten to divide. [Algahim’s comment] may create or widen the rift between the growing Muslim and shrinking Polish community in Hamtramck.
RTWT at PJ Media.

Original post:

Serious question - under the Constitution, why should it be OK for Catholics to forbid birth control and abortion, OK to allow Jews to practice Kosher, but forbid Muslims from following Sharia?

This is a law question, not a "Muslims are evil question". (They may well be, but that is another discussion...)

Update - As always, ask a question, get an answer, of sorts:  Nied's Dead Horse(@mflynny)  seems to think I'm advocating for Sharia.  I'm not  At.  All.

But, as I proposed to her... Dearborn Mi votes in Sharia as the law of the town.  Chaos ensues.  (You know it will.)  Suits are brought against it by the few sane people left there.

What are the legal grounds for overturning the Will of the People?

Or, to put it another way, what keeps them from turning our laws against us?

It's starting already - "If you put up a Nativity scene, you have to let us put up an anti-nativity scene!!!"

I think it's an important question, and I haven't seen much about it.

Oh. And I guess I should always expand some on why I'm asking a question.

My apologies to @mflynny.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Two Favorite Veterans

Dad and Uncle Jordan:

Capt. Jordan Webber, USAAF, and SSgt. George Webber.

Thank you veterans, everywhere.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Fount this at Popehat:
If you know what you're doing, you bring in the litigators before you start running your mouth. The litigator is there to tell you, in the most supportive and affirming way possible, to shut the fuck up.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I posted a response to this article at the Daily Caller a while ago, and got a response back.  My response to the response started turning into a blog post, et voila'.
My personal experience leads me to the conclusion that the whole for-profit education industry is one giant Chas. Foxtrot. I was working at an F.P. in the Baltimore MD. area when the Senate report came out. We were told that because of it, there would be no more performance evaluations, therefore no more performance based raises, just COLAS.
Our numbers had dropped due to the economy, and they were cutting corners madly. Changed all the degree programs so they only needed people with Bachelors degrees to teach, not Masters. They also found ways to let the (expensive) full time faculty go, and replace them with much cheaper adjuncts.

Good times...
This was the response, from
Was it your intention to sing the praises of for-profit school?
You did. Quite nicely.
Abolish all not-for-profit schools. Let the free market work it out.
To which I replied:
Don't see how you got that I was "singing the praises of for-profit school".  I wasn't, in this case.  None the less, I agree with you about letting the market sort it out. That would start with getting Fed and state gov't out of the student loan and "standards" biz.
And let NFPs compete. In the same market. My education was "private" (Catholic), and a good one, worth the money. Of course, that was pre-gender/enviro/deconstruction nonsense.
The other problem I saw reminded me of the question of the 80s, when Japan was eating our economic lunch:
What do Japanese companies have that American companies don't?
Japanese workers.
The FPs here in Pa don't seem to have a great pool of candidates from which to draw. And that's the problem.

We need better students.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Buy A Nun A Book Day... Bumped as a Reminder! approaching.  I'm consulting my nunnish sources, but all the evidence points to Real Soon - September 17.  Once again, I will be sending books to the good sisters who taught me in my callow youth.

I won't have time to consult this year (my bad), but I'm sure I can find a few books that might interest them!

It's a nice way to say "Thanks"!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Doonebury pretty much nails it:

deVry in Long Beach was actually civilized.  But I discovered that, here in Eastern Pa, we seem to be considered as interchangeable parts. Plus, the students are more 'problematic'.

I don't really miss it. Which I find sad, because it used to be the most fun I could have with my clothes on.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


So, the appliance dealer seemingly couldn't get a replacement door for my fridge, so he offered me $100.00 to close the 'ticket'. I accepted, and with that money, ordered a new motherboard, CPU and memory for the 'media' computer.  Amazon did their usualy spiffy job of getting it to me, it was here when I got home from work last night.  Just for fun, I thought I'd install the memory, CPU and heat sink last night. I didn't feel up to the challenge of doing the whole job, so I thought I'd gut the case and install the new guts today.

Or, not.

The heat sink attachment set up is a new one to me. Instead of the old spring loaded clamp mchanism, this one has two spring loaded hollow pins that fit through two attach points on the heat sink, then snap into the motherboard. They're held in place by a second pin that gets pushed through the first pin to anchor it.

So, no new media computer today. I pinged AMD (the CPU manufacturer), to get a kit sent out, and let Amazon know that the order was missing a part. I received a reply from AMD saying they had opened a trouble ticket.
 This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply.
Dear Customer,
Thank you for contacting AMD Global Customer Care.
We have created a Customer Care Support account based on the details you submitted with your service request.
A separate email containing your service request reference number will follow.
Thank you for choosing AMD!
Best regards,
AMD Global Customer Care

This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply.
Dear Customer,
Your Service Request has been received and will be processed shortly.  Depending on the nature of your inquiry, further automated messages with additional instructions might follow.
Service Request: {ticketno:[xxxx4114]}
We thank you for your patience.
Best regards,
AMD Global Customer Care
 We shall see...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hometown Movies

Stumbled across this list in Timeout: Los Angeles called "Los Angeles movies: 50 films that best capture the essence of LA". While it didn't cause me to be homesick, it did renew my interest in having my own "L.A. Movie Marathon".

The list covers films from the 1940's up through2011, covering a broad range of directors, actors, and topics, from "The Big Sleep" to "L.A. Story", "Chinatown" to "Them!". If you are film junkie, it's a good quick read. Where ever possible, it has links stream and/or purchase the film.

My daughter and I bounced some emails back and forth about the list, and the aforementioned marathon. I told her I would put together a list of films that I have that would be covered under the umbrella of an L.A. Movie Marathon.  I just now finished the list, and voila':
2 Days in the Valley
Be Cool
The Big Sleep
Blade Runner
Buckaroo Banzai
Get Shorty
The Holiday
into the night (Yes, the title *is* lower case )
Disney's The Kid
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
L.A. Confidential
L.A. Story
The Player
Real Genius
Salton Sea
Tequila Sunrise
(Italics == listed in the article)
Need to add Chinatown, The Big Lebowski, The Long Goodbye, To Live and Die in L.A., and maybe Repo Man, The Limey, L.A. Plays Itself, and Less Than Zero

Sunday, August 16, 2015

DVD Archiving

If you are like me, and want to make back-up copies of your DVDs, but find that they are stubbornly encrypted, here is a free (for the rest of the month) tool to help you:

Passkey can run in the background, so when you insert a DVD into your computer, it will make it ready to be backed up. Once it's ready, you can use something like ImageBurn to either burn a new DVD, or write a DVD (.iso) image to your hard drive.

From the folks at DVDFab.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Welcome (Back) to the 1950s

After reading this,

I had to:

Good advice in the Instapundit article, and great nostalgia for us boomers in the latter.

Remember the 10 AM last Friday of the month drills? The air raid sirens would wail, and we would duck and cover under our desks.

Daily fallout levels as part of the weather forecast.

A very graphic article in the L.A. Times Sunday edition about what would happen if a 10 or 20 kiloton A-bomb were detonated in the L. A. Coliseum. (My house was almost, but not quite on the edge of not being FUBAR'd.)

The Home section at the L. A. County Fair featuring fallout and bomb shelter displays.

Good times.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Flag is, After All, Just A Bit Of Cloth...,

...and a word is just a sound.

Most of us really don't understand that it is what we tell ourselves about our perceptions that is our reality, not the perception.  For example, back in the last century (1973), my first job after college was working as a part-time pool teller for a state-wide bank. The "Central Division" primarily served the black community in the area bounded by Adams to Slauson on the north and south, and  Sepulveda to Vermont on the east and west.

I spent probably more than a month at the Santa Barbara and Vermont branch, which was located just a couple of blocks from the L. A. Coliseum in Exposition Park. This is the picture you see in the encyclopedia for the entry "Predominantly Black Community".   As usual, I showed up in suit and tie, carrying my briefcase.  I parked my car, walked to the door, and knocked. I was admitted, and taken to meet the startling Charles, the Operation s Officer. He was a black man, about my size.

"Startling", because he sported a well-kept and moderately large Afro. He was also wearing a bright orange Dashiki, and had very well-done gold star implants on his two front teeth. Being the young, white-bread guy that I was, I wondered if I was going to get out of the neighborhood alive.That was start of what I told myself (the "conversation") when I walked in the door. The conversation continued with, "Well, I call in and leave, so I guess I'll just hang in. go to work, and see what happens.

What happened was, over the month or so I was there, I developed  good working relationships with Charles, June, the assistant  manager, and the other employees..  (I also met Mo, whom I worked with at the Culver City branch.) I even learned what I will call the then current "Black Bro Greeting (BBG)." My wife told me later that many of the white guests at the division Christmas party seemed shocked when I went over to Charles and Jue, and greeted them with the BBG. Bottom line, I had more fun in that branch than in any other, and made temporary friends there that I find myself missing as I write this.

The take-away... have that first conversation, whatever it may be, don't fight it, but don't hold on to it. Let it pass. That clears your brain so you can have the rest of the conversation, which in my case, now sounded like, "Well, that *may* be so, but lets step back and see who this person really is." I said on Twitter that getting over racism is easy. "All" you have to do is continue with the conversation that starts "Omygod, I'm gonna die!", and let yourself be open to what might actually be in front of you.

The greatest benefit of have that complete conversation with yourself is that you are more relaxed, and more apt to treat the person in front of you with respect and courtesy. I find this approach works for me with anyone, regardless of the appearance of the person in front of me, be they black, white, hispanic, gay. straight, other LGBPBJ or any other subset of the human race you care to define.  I strongly suggest you try it sometime, and see what happens. Back in the day, we called it "Tricking your brain". It works. Or, what you feel depends on what you think.

That said, I present a flag, and a word, below the fold. (One guess each which flag and what word.) Have the complete conversation with yourself. Give it a try, and enjoy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day, Guys...

For Father's Day, Grif and I are going to the Petco/Vetco clinic to finish up his shots and get his heartworm test (4DX).

Found this, thought I'd share:

Keep loving those kids, and keep giving them all the advice they can ignore. (I have *yet* to pick out any clothes that my daughter would wear. "Oh, Dad..." was the usual.)

Love you, kiddo!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Money Can't Buy Happiness,

...but it can be used to tickle your brain!

Randall Munroe, the genius who runs XKCD is putting out a book, in the style of Up Goer Five:

It's in pre-order now, due to ship in November.  Click the ad on the left for more info!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Noise Abatement Take-off

I sat thru quite a number of take-offs not quite like this out of John Wayne (KSNA) over the years:

Not so vertical, tho. (Thanks THS!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

L.A., Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties...

...from space.

If you know where to look, you can see some evidence of man - the scratches in the sand that are some of the freeways, for example.

But, wow. Never seen it this brown!


Found this at Sondrak's just now:

Looks like I need to spin up the smoker!

The original article mentions that the pineapple can make the meat "too tender".  I'm not sure that is possible. Both pineapple and papaya contain enzymes that break down collagens in meat. (Which is why raw pineapple keeps Jell-o from gelling.)

So, the meat is wrapped in a sweetening tenderizer.  Yow!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Between Muir and Drudge, I Want To Go Back To Bed... (Updated w/ Hillary video!)

...and pull the covers over my head.

Update: Mind. Boggled.

First, Drudge:

Then, Mr. Muir:

(Click on image for link, as Muir intended...)

Whom do we have to shoot? And when, as a country, are we going to get off our collective asses and do it.

No, not "civil" unrest shoot - that would be wrong and illegal, and I'm not advocating that. At. All.  Just giving voice to my fears and frustrations. T need the morning meds to kick in. Real. Soon!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I've written here about Martha, the woman I think of as "Mom".  That is not to diminish in any way Gladys, the woman who is/was my biological mother, the one who helped bring me on to this interesting place we call United States, planet Earth.
Gladys with her first snowball?
Gladys was born in 1911, to her family who lived in Mazon, Illinois.  She had a brother, Everett,  and a sister, Dorothy. At some point in her life, she decided to pick up and move to Los Angeles, California. She worked as a secretary, and wound up working for Louis B. Mayer (the "Mayer" in Metro-Goldwin-Mayer, a.k.a "MGM"). I understand that she was responsible for taking deposits to the bank. (That bank was at the other end of the block from the one I worked at.) She also helped run his stables.  I'm pretty sure that was Mayer's horse stables, and not his stable of ladies who entertained visiting firemen (IYKWIMAIKYD).  On the other hand, it's an interesting speculation.

Somewhere in Los Angeles
I remember being told that she and Dad were introduced at a U.S.O. club, so I imagine Dad was on one of his postings in California. I also have in mind that she picked him up. Again, an interesting speculation. (By today's standards, both Gladys and Martha might be considered "cougars", Dad being seven years younger than Gladys, and six younger than Martha. Or maybe he just liked older women.)

They were married at Cathedral Chapel, a block north of Olympic on La Brea in L.A., in 1948.  I've always assumed that she moved in with him, at his place on Crenshaw Bl. Gladys became pregnant in '49, and Martha introduced them to the OB/GYN who delivered Lane and me.  Gladys fell prey to the perfect storm for pre-eclampsia: it was her first pregnancy, she was near 40, and it was a multiple birth. She could no longer clot blood, and so bled to death despite all efforts to save her.  Neither Lane nor I could clot, and I believe that was a major cause of his death.

George and Gladys
The wedding party. L to R, Jack Travers (Best Man), George, Gladys, unknown gentleman, Bessie Tidey (Maid/Matron of Honor), and two more unknown gentlemen.

I don't know at all if Bessie was married at the time or not. If she were, I have a hunch that the gentleman standing between her and Gladys is her husband, Cliff.  But I don't remember him as well as I do her.  Dad asked Jack and Bessie to be my Godparents when I was baptized.

The traditional cake smushing.
Post-nuptial beverage.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the neighborhood...
The lovely young woman on the right, Betty, would soon become Jack's wife. One of the reasons was that she loved Cathedral Chapel, and the priest who given Gladys her pre-nuptual "Catholic lessons" was a nice guy, so she took her's there, and that's where they we married.

When I was about 40, Gladys' sister Dorothy passed away.  After she did, her daughter sent me a package of documents she found in Dorothy's desk that was addressed to me. In it was a hand-written account of what had happened. I may post that another time, as the spirit moves. (A little about that here.)

She and Lane are buried in Inglewood, at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, across the street from the old Inglewood Forum.

And, with all of that, I do have a connection to her.  She made sure that both Lane's and my first initials were "L. A.", because she loved Los Angeles. So that is my link to both her, and the city of my birth.

Thank you, Gladys.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


If you look at the location bar across the top of the blog, you might notice that I've added a 2016 Politics page.  For now, it is a simple collection of  links belonging to the announced candidates.  I'll update it as candidates announce and drop out.  I'll make sure to keep a list of the ones that bail, just for completeness.

There are way more candidates who have announced or who are "exploring" as you might know from the news.  I'm just keeping tract of ones I have heard about during the perusals of the sites I have listed in the right-hand column.

On the bottom of the new page are two links I found useful in this task.  They are sites that seem to do a reasonably sane job of listing the candidates and giving a description of each. The two sites list all declared and exploring candidates, plus a list of other parties running candidates:

They seem to be a one-stop shop for your basic candidate info.

I'll update this as events unfold, and as I feel moved to do so.  If this gets like 2012, this, along with Twitter, may absorb me into the collective.

Oh boy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pop Quiz

Ellison has a friend who's son is teaching a class on Introduction to Comparative Politics.  He was asked to add a bonus question to his final, which he did.  Here is the question:
Bonus Essay

Part I: Take one item from Column A and one item from Column B and do a comparative political analysis of the two, using an argument/theory/set of arguments that we have touched on this semester (midterm material is fair game here).

Part II: Choose one item from Column C and add it to your analysis from Part I. Would the argument change at all? How would item A and B deal with item C?

Be creative. If you can source from memory, do, but it will not hurt you not to source. Feel free to bring in culture, religion, economy, violence—anything; the world is your oyster on this one.

I'm, not going to spoil the surprise for you by listing columns A, B and C.

Click over to Lost In The Cheese Aisle and see for yourself!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Which Witch?

I'll go with the witch on the right.

Mother, Boston Bomber
Your Average Witch
Am I the only one who sees a striking resemblance between these two women?

Thanks to Weasel Zippers

Thursday, April 9, 2015

No Cake For Hitler!

(And remember, Nazis aren't Right Wingers.  They're frikkin' Socialists!!)

And if he does get his way:

Me, I'd just find another bakery.

(Both from the ever-vigilant Gerard!)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Re-Arranging the Furniture

Upon further reflection, I decided to re-group the right sidebar Reading List.  I've moved links into three sections: Daily News, Editorials and Essays and Favorite Columnists.  What does that mean?

Daily News comprises the sites that I judge to present news with a minimum of editorializing.  As Det. Friday used to say, "Just the facts... ."  I realize that is pretty much an impossibly high bar to reach, but the sites listed do a credible job IMHO.  It's the old front page section.

Editorials and Essays is what I remember as the old "Metro" section of the L.A. Times.  Here, there's no 'local news, just the editorials and some columnists.
  • Gerard's American Digest tops the list, not just because it's in alphabetical order, but because he's one of my most favorite writes in this category.  
  • Steven Green at Vodkapundit is another.  On any given day, I would be hard-pressed to say who is better.  
  • In a three-way tie is W. Lewis Amselem's The DiploMad 2.0.  (He took a break from blogging, but felt he had to return for obvious reasons - the Charlie Foxtrot in D.C.) 
  • Finally, I put Breitbart in this list, because just about all the stories there have an infusion of 'point of view'.  Which is OK, but I don't feel it qualifies as "news".

Favorite Columns is a mixed bag of writers. 
  • NASA's  Astronomy Picture of the Day (Han-Tzong Su's mirror site.) Full of beautiful images on the infinite variety of astronomical topics, from galaxies to eclipses, to Mars and Earth. NASA pissed me off when they took it off-line during the last government "shutdown".  Die-hard followers were directed to this mirror, and I have been it using ever since.  I've removed the original NASA link.  Let 'em drink Drano if they can't take a joke.  
  • Rodgers Boned Jello is a collection of political rants, entertainment reviews, cooking tips and other life hacks.  He also runs the "Barn Army", which claims its very own B-52.  He has taken many requests for specific bombing runs, D.C. and the big cities on the Left Coast topping the list. The language is sometimes a bit funky.
  • Who could not love Greg's Sippican Cottage? Flash fiction, tales of Unorganized Hancock, and and slightly "kinked" (not "kinky") observations on life, the universe, and everything.  He still owes us the "how-to" of jacking a house using a teen age boy.(Ahem.)
 Comics and the Sunday Paper haven't changed.  All of the links are there because I enjoy the writing, the message (for the most part), and the humor and insights.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Thought Occurs...

...that, at some point, Obama will declare himself the Grand Imam of the U.S. (or West, for that matter) Caliphate.  He'll be able to rule his people by decree, as he obviously loves to do.

Plus, no messy elections, and interfering congress or courts.

Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong.

(H/T Breitbart for the clip)

Friday, March 27, 2015

This Will Not End Well

It's the last paragraph in the clip that I find  disturbing.  The "...we can target our interventions..." part.  Will O care remove antibiotics from its formulary?

Here's the deal. Yes, they are over-prescribed.  I understand that doctors like to prescribe them even though the illness is viral - "just in case".  The biggest problem, as I understand it, is patients not completing the full course of medication.  This can leave some bacteria alive, which are more immune to the med. This is natural selection at work, selecting for the dreaded "super bugs".

We really don't need these government geniuses messing around any more with health care, do we??

Full article here:

Found at Drudge.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Reading List Addition

I usually add sites to my "Reading List" without a comment. Same with removing them. The list is fluid, changing with sites I find, and my outlook on the world.

However, I want point out my addition of One America New Network, a cable channel based in San Diego, California. It aims to be the "next Fox", in a complimentary way. They are striving to be a real news channel, claiming 21 out of 24 hours are devoted to news.  And the talk shows are supposed to be talk, not yelling, and have viewpoints from all over the political spectrum,  I'ce skimmed their website, and it looks pretty good.  The channel is available on ATT and Verizon fiber TV services.  I'm going to poke around a bit and see if they stream anywhere on line.

Go, check them out!

(h/t Weasel Zippers, also a good source for news)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Starbucks' Quiz

OK, this has been making the Twitterverse crazy today - the race questionnaire being handed out at Starbucks:

And here are my answers:

1. All her friends were human.  If by "race" you mean different cultures, Hispanic/Cuban, mostly.

2. Well, they're all human, so I guess "None".

3. I don't know. Why don't you ask her?

4. Zero. (All humans.)

5. Again, if you mean "skin color" or "culture", it was at work. I taught the cream of the Baltimore City School system (and the Maryland Penal System) when I worked in Maryland.  Connect your own dots.

6. I don't do Facebook.

7. I haven't been to anyone else's home in the past year.

8. All visitors have been humans, AFAIK.

9. See above.

10. I eat with humans, and the occasional dog or cat.

Q1 - Not far.  They taught me to be respectful of all people. Skin color never really entered into that perspective. My grandfather corrected me one day when I used the word "Jap", and at 10, I remember flinching when a relative referred to "Nigger town".

Q2 - No.  I've managed to lose contact with pretty much all of them, regardless of race, creed or color.

Q3 - Getting off this stupid fixation with skin color, and learning to judge each person on their individual character, strengths and weaknesses.  Learn to be respectful of others, but not at the expense of our own dignity and worth..

Hillary Fun Camp??

I doubt it. 

But this is a great idea:

I could certainly use it!!

(An old Wiley Nonsequitur)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Obama Fan

Los Feliz Day Care

A kind of local Los Angeles version of the Onion. 
I bet there are actually a few people like this.

Go.  Follow!!  @LosFelizDayCare

 (Via Kate!)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not "The Onion"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day By Day Redux

UPDATE: Mr. Muir is on a roll.

We are all gaijin.

That is all.

(Via Day By Day Cartoon)

I Am Now Officially Old!

As of about 4AM West Coast time today, I have been on planet for 65 orbits around the Sun.

Lt to Rt: me, Martha, Lane

Martha and me, on a social call

Out in the yard ca. 1954

Andi and me, junior prom, 1967

Sunset, San Simeon beach, 1970 (taken by Jen's mom, Carole)

Jen's Grad Nite, before us parents got locked out.

Luncheon, post Jen's swearing in to the California Bar

Koda and me, doing what we do best

Pacuare River, Costa Rica, 2003
My internet 'persona', 2004
So far, it's been a hoot!