Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not Normal #1

This administration is Not Normal and deserves all the respect it gave to the previous President.

Plutocracy
    Government by the wealthy
    A state or society governed by the wealthy
   An elite or ruling class whose power derives from their wealth

While Putin's Puppet claims his cabinet picks have the highest IQ ever (an unsubstantiated claim, but aren't they all), it is easy to see that his picks are very rich.

The picks include Betsy DeVos, education secretary ($5.1 billion), Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary ($2.5 billion), Steve Mnuchin, treasury secretary ($40 million), Ben Carson, housing secretary ($26 million) and Andy Puzder, labor secretary ($25 million). [MarketWatch]

His cabinet's wealth exceeds Obama's cabinet by 60%.[Forbes]

The amount of wealth possessed by the 17 picks, at least $9.5 billion, is greater than the 43 million least wealthy households in America. [The Hill]
There are about 117 million households in the US [us census]

Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th US President (1877 - 1881) had concerns about excessive wealth and governance over 100 years ago.
Some interesting and timely quotes;

"Abolish plutocracy if you would abolish poverty. As millionaires increase, pauperism grows. The more millionaires, the more paupers."

" Free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands, and large masses of people are unable to earn homes, education, and a support in old age."

" No person connected with me by blood or marriage will be appointed to office." 
This one was not really about wealth, well maybe a wealth of character, something quite lacking in the Orange Oompa Loompa.

The three quotes above found here [azquotes]

And a long one
“In church it occurred to me that it is time for the public to hear that the giant evil and danger in this country, the danger which transcends all others, is the vast wealth owned or controlled by a few persons. Money is power. In Congress, in state legislatures, in city councils, in the courts, in the political conventions, in the press, in the pulpit, in the circles of the educated and the talented, its influence is growing greater and greater. Excessive wealth in the hands of the few means extreme poverty, ignorance, vice, and wretchedness as the lot of the many. It is not yet time to debate about the remedy. The previous question is as to the danger—the evil. Let the people be fully informed and convinced as to the evil. Let them earnestly seek the remedy and it will be found. Fully to know the evil is the first step towards reaching its eradication. Henry George is strong when he portrays the rottenness of the present system. We are, to say the least, not yet ready for his remedy. We may reach and remove the difficulty by changes in the laws regulating corporations, descents of property, wills, trusts, taxation, and a host of other important interests, not omitting lands and other property.”
[Good Reads]


Will this rich cabinet do anything other than what is in their best interest or the best interest of the shareholders to whom they are beholden?

Not to be all piss and gloom, I wrote this for your enjoyment.

Quite Short Story: #273
Randy backed out of the driveway while texting he would be late, yet again.
The cement mixer couldn't stop in time and the collision burst Randy's undiagnosed aneurysm.
He was dead, unlike his cell phone which just received its last text from his girlfriend "sick of ur excuses, drop dead".


Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Garden Possibilities

Plans for the garden this year.

Move/Remove:
  • Remove Hydrangea if it fails to bloom again this year.
  • Remove Red Twig Dogwood from rear of Heather Garden.
  • Move Phlox to between the Herb and the Heather Garden.
  • Move Iris from Heather Garden.
  • Re-position/rebuild the compost containment system.
  • Re-position and level the raised beds.
  • Move Sweet Woodruff to an area with less competition. The Perivinkle is taking over.
Possible Additions:
  • Feather Rocks as a boundary at the back of the Heather Garden.
  • A few more Heaths and Heather plants. From Heath and Heather Nursery.
  • An Azaleas, ever-blooming variety, blooms spring, summer and fall at the base of the front step wall.
  • A Hops plant trailing along horizontal supports.
  • Another Witch Hazel, Hamamelis vernalis Amethyst, between the existing espaliered Witch Hazel and the Lilac.
  •  One or more Phlox, we had white and a variegated, but lost them at some point.
  • Another Coral Bell, either with real red flowers or stunning foliage for the front garden.
  • Some taller late summer blooming plants for the front garden.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas to all.
Praying hard that a miracle occurs in 2017.

My Smokey Manhattan
1:1 ratio and multiple dashes Orange Bitters
Still working on my Smoggy Beijing.

Almost-Classic French "75", named after the French Artillery Field Gun.
Gin, lemon juice, powdered sugar and champagne.
Still had some Freixenet left over so, I don't know what the hell to call this.



Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Recap

The Good
The Bad
The loss of some very special people;
  • David Bowie
  • Prince 
  • Beets the Legend
  • Jeff "Man of Action" Parker
  • Gene Wilder
  • Ronnie Corbett of the 2 Ronnies
  • Frank Kelly best known as Father Jack
The Ugly
  • People willing to destroy because they're too stupid to change.
  • People using religious freedom as an excuse to ostracize and discriminate.
  • People who would probably have voted for Hitler if he was on the Republican ticket.
  • That guy, "Putin's Puppet" who will probably be the next President of the UnUnited States of America.
  • Undercover bigots, racists and misogynists who voted for that guy.
  • The Electoral College. You can thank Slave Owning Southern States for that.
FU2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Books

This year's book list. The (r) denotes a repeat read and suffice to say, it was a good read. A * means it was more than noteworthy and more *s mean it was much more betterer, DNF = Bad or a better book turned up that I couldn't wait to read and I didn't get back to it yet.

No doubt you'll notice the lack of Travels with my Aunt on the list this year, I broke with an 8 year tradition and did not read it. It was a difficult decision.
I am also binging on the Georges Simenon Inspector Maigret books, only up to book 26 of 75. They are all very good, not too long mostly less than 200 pages, a few I didn't enjoy and I am surprised at the number of cases in which he doesn't arrest the perpetrator.
  1. Dr. Fischer of Geneva aka The Bomb Party(r),  Graham Greene
  2. Monsieur Pamplemousse takes the Train(r), Michael Bond
  3. Monsieur Pamplemousse on Location(r), Michael Bond
  4. The Shadow Puppet, Georges Simenon (GS)
  5. The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin, GS
  6. The Naming of the Dead (A Rebus Novel), Ian Rankin; read half and then left on the plane to Ushuaia, Argentina.
  7. The Saint-Fiacre Affair, GS
  8. The Madman of Bergerac, GS
  9. So anyway ..., John Cleese; for something completely different I read a biography, a Christmas present from the Eldest.
  10. Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks; oh look I'm on a roll. Very interesting, his life during wartime in London, but when he talks of chemistry, I am way less interested in reading about it that he is in writing about it.
  11. The Carter of La Providence, GS
  12. The 2 Penny Bar, GS
  13. The Smartest Book in the World, Greg Proops
  14. The Late Monsieur Gallet, GS
  15. The Flemish House, GS
  16. Penguin, Steve Martin (no not that one)
  17. The Misty Harbor, GS
  18. Murder in Thrall, Anne Cleeland; Written in an interesting manner. The next one is on my nightstand.
  19. Lock #1, GS
  20. The Maltese Falcon*, Dashiell Hammet; I'm sure I'll be rereading this one. The movie followed the book quite closely mostly.
  21. 1222*, Anne Holt; Paralyzed Retired Lesbian Oslo Detective Hanne Wilhelmsen's train gets stuck in the snow and people start to die. Number 8 in the series. The author is up to #10, I might try #1, but really need to focus on Inspector Maigret first.
  22. Shut Up Legs, Jens Voigt; A good read, very funny guy.
  23. This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton Applewhite; Sometimes depressing, but always something I hadn't though about is pointed out. Didn't realize all the things I did to marginalize the elderly, oops there I go again. Heard the author speak on Doug Henwood's radio show.
  24. The Golden Egg*, Donna Leon; Takes place in Venice, started slow but the location kept me reading, we visited in 2005.
  25. Mrs Jeffries, Emily Brightwell; DNF
  26. Cockpit Confidential*, Patrick Smith; Lots of useful information, if your friend is afraid to fly, let them read this.
  27. Cecile is Dead, GS
  28. The Cellars of the Majestic, GS
  29. The Judges House, GS
  30. Signed Picpus, GS
  31. Inspector Cadaver, GS
  32. Dishing the Dirt, M.C. Beaton; Agatha Raisin series
  33. Death of a Nurse, M.C. Beaton; Hamish Macbeth series
  34. Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart, Christopher Fowler
  35. Murder in Retribution, Anne Cleeland, DNF
  36. FĂ©lice, GS; The Inspector Maigret TV series starring Michael Gambon based the Maigret and the Maid episode on this book.
  37. The Invisible Code, Christopher Fowler; Such wacky characters and it takes place in London. It could only be better if there were trains.
  38. Silent Voices, Anne Cleeves; Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope series. I hear the actress saying some of the lines. You'll like this one, Pet.
  39. A Dedicated Man, Peter Robinson; Saw the TV show first and Inspector Banks is described quite differently in the book.
  40. Maigret in New York, GS; Either this one was just plain confusing or I was real tired the nights I read it. I usually really enjoy the books in this series.
  41. The Apprentice, Jacques Pepin; Very good read, his TV cookery shows are enjoyable to watch.




Friday, November 25, 2016

Fraunk-en-steen

Thanksgiving went well, everything was quite tasty. Had 9 for dinner, but only 7 at the table. A 14 lb turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green beans with Asian dressing, cranberry sauce, stuffing and sweet potato rolls. There were a lot of deserts.
 The Traditional table cloths.
You can see the purple tone of the walls in this light. You can also see the new Dining room rug and the resting dog. I gave her an 8 out of 10 for behavior.

Short Term Slipper Salvage:
Wore a hole through the soles of my double soled slippers. I've started a KickStarter campaign to acquire a new pair, but for now I have solved the problem.
I used contact cement to adhere some pig leather(from an old backpack) to the slippers and to get a slight buzz.
Then used Freesole Shoe & Boot Repair to finish the edges.
I still have the pair that these replaced and I had always wanted to glue a pair of rubber soles to them and make them outdoorsish. We'll see how long these last before I embark on that quest.

Beers in the Fridge:
The Stella Cider got 2 thumbs up yesterday, it is none too sweet and very pleasant. Have always wanted to try it and it was the same price as the brand of cider I usually purchase, so I did.
Harpoon Winter Warmer 5.9% ABV 23 IBU. Not sure about this, too much going on? Not the right temperature? In a poor frame of mind? Maybe the second bottle will change my mind.

Harpoon Vanilla bean Porter 5% ABV 27 IBU. A hit, the vanilla is not too overpowering, not too bitter or sweet. It is a seasonal so I may never get it again.

Brooklyn  Brewery Insulated Dank Lager - 5.6% ABV. Initially felt it was just like a Guinness, but then its complexity became clear. Very good, but I probably won't get it again.

FU2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Leaves


First Leaf raking of the season netted 1.5 paper yard bags of shredded leaves.

I always take care of my property, I've got over a foot and a half on this side of the garage. I mow that strip too. The neighbor on more than one occasion has raked her leaves against the garage. Did I mention what a nice person she is?

Last weekend the hall got screened and re-coated.
 New border and old border strip. A 4 foot section was replaced. The original cross section of the border strip was rectangular with a concave bottom, but the damaged section was more of a right triangle. I ripped down a piece of oak to width and stained it with Old Masters Wiping Stain, Rich Mahogany #15404.
The adjacent parallel wood strip was also damaged in a similar way, but only for about 8 inches. I used slivers of wood to level out the strip and packed underneath it with dash patch. I then fitted an oak filler strip where there was too much damage.
 The filler strip should have been stained, but I was hoping the poly would take care of that. It really is not that noticeable in real life with the hall light off when you're in a rush for the turlit. Gunther would have done a better job.
I also finished under the marble saddle, I fitted a piece of oak, prior there was exposed mortar.
Overall, the hall came out fine, biggest problem was having to go out the front door to get to the kitchen while we waited for it to dry.

Current Blooms:
I haven't seen the Cyclamen this year (Estate Stock Photo below) yet, last year they popped up in October.
The Peonies seem to have grown bigger this year after removing all other plants from their patch of soil. The Cyclamen live in the same garden so I hope I didn't remove them by mistake.

Beers in the Fridge:
Brooklyn 1/2 Ale, Sixpoint Sweet Action and Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout.
All recurring favorites.
I gave 2 Sweet Actions to the co-worker who provided me with Oktoberfest beers.