June Rambling: an atheist’s prayers, and stillness of the soul

Useful phrases for the surveillance state.

Long-lost diary of Nazi racial theorist and Hitler confidant recovered.

George Takei remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, which included himself.

Why three states dumped major private prison company in one month. I’ve long been suspicious private prisons with them “extracting guarantees of 100 percent occupancy.”

Cereal bigotry Continue reading

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The Dream: The Compliant, Yet Angry Consumer

Here is a dream so vivid that I had to get out of bed at 4:10 a.m. to write it down:

I’m at an outdoor market with my sister Leslie. Some saleswoman is trying to sell me eyeglasses. I wasn’t really in the market, but I reluctantly try on a pair. It was quite different from what I usually wear, as they were a bit heavier, but they looked nice, and I decide to buy them. As I’m about to have the sale rung up, I see the computer tablet she’s working on. Somehow she has gotten into the editing section of my blog, and has written, “Hey guys, these are my current glasses” with a picture of that. “And these are the glasses I’m thinking about wearing. They are a little bit heavier, but I like them. What do you think?” And there’s a picture of THAT. I say, in a very even tone, “I’m not very happy about that,” pointing to her tablet. Then I make the purchase with some guy as she goes away, but she leaves her tablet on the counter.
Continue reading

ARA: Getting serious about blogging

I get this IM after I went to bed a few nights ago from a friend of mine: As I’m thinking of it… at some time I would like to get your thoughts about becoming serious with my blogging. I haven’t put much out there in terms of attracting a following and now it’s something I want to consider at the very least.

My stock answer is, “How the heck do *I* know?”

That said, the way to become serious about blogging is to actually do it. I don’t mean you have to write something every day – only a crazy person, or someone with far more time on his hands than you do, would consider THAT Continue reading

Bloggers: please consider joining ABC Wednesday

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that, for the past four years or so, I’ve participating in something called ABC Wednesday, in which people, literally from around the world, post an item – pictures, poems, essays that in someway describe each letter of the alphabet, in turn.

It was started about six years ago by one Denise Nesbitt from England. Initially, she was doing it all Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 111: the agony and the ecstasy

The weather on the Saturday before Memorial Day was cold and wet; it rained virtually all day, and the high for the day was only 47F (8C). It was just as well that we (mostly my father-in-law, wife and daughter) were painting the living room. I was primarily moving furniture, and taking things out of the cabinets, etc.

Sunday was a bit better, in terms of the weather, but there was church and more painting to do.

So Monday, Memorial Day was a nice respite from the storm. Continue reading

X is for eXit

When my daughter was three and four, she used to watch this video called – well, actually I don’t remember. What I do recall is there was this cartoon dog character giving suggestions on how to get out of the house in case of fire. It had some good advice on knowing where all the available eXits are, making sure there is no clutter on the stairs that could hinder escape, checking to see if the door is warm to find out whether an eXit might be blocked, staying low when there is smoke because the air’s better closer to the ground, and identifying a meeting place to gather when everyone has gotten out.

Recently, she was required at school to go through this drill put on by the local fire department, which involved climbing out a window. She NOW wants us to practice the drill I had been showing her on TV five or six years earlier.

I’m supposed to be in charge of our department’s eXit strategy at work in case of fire or other emergency. The current building owners are not very helpful with feedback, but I do know: the nearest eXit may not be the most obvious, and to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

One of the most distracting part of flying is that pitch about the best way to get OUT of the plane, should one need to do so. Certainly, it is not what I most like to think about, but when the flight attendant says, “Know where your nearest exit is, making note that it may be behind you,” I ALWAYS look for it, whereas, it appears, most people keep reading their magazines.
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Gary David Goldberg, ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Spin City’ creator, dies at 68, My favorite of his credits was the short-lived TV series Brooklyn Bridge.

ABC Wednesday – Round 12

Colonoscopy preparation day!

Preparing for my second colonoscopy

I’m having a colonoscopy tomorrow. Oh boy! The preparation starts today. Actually, it started a week ago, when I purchased the laxatives and the clear liquids to take today. Then a couple days ago, start a low-fiber diet, avoiding nuts, seeds, popcorn and corn. Yesterday, drink at least 8 glasses of water or other clear liquid while maintaining a low-fiber diet.

Today, low residue breakfast: eggs (not fried), bananas, apple sauce, juice without pulp. Clear liquids the remainder of the day. At 3 pm Continue reading

Television as a cultural anthropological prism

Ike and Mamie watching TV

I think I keep reading about, and therefore writing about television, despite the fact that I watch it in decreasing amounts, because I find it a fascinating cultural phenomenon. I was at our choir party this month, and we were talking about how networks, particularly ABC, will start broadcasting a serialized show and either never show the ending (The Nine, which I watched) or truncate it badly (this season’s Last Resort, which I wouldn’t watch for that reason) Continue reading

The Scotland story

After the anniversary post, I noted that there was a sidebar story involving Scotland. Well, it’s mostly not. Shooting Parrots asked for it, as did Island Rambles, and so you all get it.

I need to explain that Carol and I went out from the fall of 1994 to the spring of 1996 then broke up, for good and reasonable reasons, it seemed at the time. She then went out with other people – her boyfriend Continue reading

That purported gay/black antipathy thing

Arthur at AmeriNZ asked a question earlier in the month:

Here’s something that worries me…: Racism. The spokesperson for the leading radical rightwing religious-political anti-gay hate group seemed to go WAY out of his way to praise black Democratic legislators in Illinois for not supporting the freedom to marry. That same hate group, of course, famously said that one way to defeat marriage equality was to deliberately create divisions between the LGBT and Black communities. All too often, LGBT people buy the racist propaganda hook, line and sinker. And, it seems to me, some Blacks are too willing to buy the propaganda of mainly (or exclusively) white anti-gay groups.

So, I’m wondering two things. Continue reading