From Elsewhere . . .
We've never been able to find a modern toaster that would last a year. But find a toaster with a braided cord, and it will last forever.
We've never been able to find a modern toaster that would last a year. But find a toaster with a braided cord, and it will last forever.
A wonderful pic from the Huffington Post.
Take out from local hamburger place. Schleps it back to the White House. Love it.
I guess there's tremendous demand for lousy beer. So, trend maven that I am, I bought a six-pack.
Gerty had a swig and jubilantly announced, "It tastes just like it! Just like when my dad and I would watch the Yankees!"
"Honey. You were about 5 in 1960."
The existence of "Ricky Receptacle" says a lot about Nebraska.
Police believe Jordan Valdez's Nissan struck and killed Melissa Sjostrom, inset, on Feb. 8. The car was photographed on video exiting the Crosstown Expressway, left, and in front of Valdez's Davis Islands home.
The title would sum up the case, were it not for reporters at the St. Petersburg Times.
How the police handled this homicide case initially was stunningly bad.
Here is a short summary from the Times articles: Driver kills pedestrian. Cursory, lackadaisical police work. Police themselves undermine even the minor sanction they impose. Driver goes absolutely free without even a mark on driving record. (A longer version, from the articles, is below.)
Without the Times, that's where police would have left the matter and only the dead woman's relatives would have been the wiser.
But the Times did get involved, publishing two articles questioning whether police did all they could to investigate and noting that the police did not even show up at the ticket hearing:
May 19 - Report on ticket being dropped
May 21 - Article about police not doing everything they could to investigate
After the articles, the police changed their policy about car killings:
Under the agency's new policy, detectives must have prosecutors and the captain of criminal investigations review any traffic case involving a death before closing it.
AND the police re-opened the investigation, executing a search warrant.
Sort of. Almost.
Yehuda (and Rick) honored the Ride of Silence on May 20. Thank you Rick!
When Yehuda returns to a daily strip on June 17, Joe King (known to Yehuda Moon fans as the jerky, practical joking roadie) will get a (carbon fiber, 16-spoked) strip of his own on Sundays. Rick Smith has a preview.
This practical/utility/carfree biking movement has lots of voices (and there's nothing wrong with a choir.) Yet, we've missed the strong, pitch-perfect soloists that grab one's heart and make the message clear, compelling, and irresistible and insidious as new love. Rick is one of those extraordinary voices.
Can't wait until June 17 (and then every morning thereafter!)
When Gerty read this, she gave me a hug and murmured low and affectionately, "Dork!"
Tim Dowling in the The Guardian:
[M]y wife is . . . watching The Dog Whisperer. It's her favourite show. She doesn't care that every episode is exactly the same: the Dog Whisperer teaches owners to control their unruly pets using calming energy, an authoritative posture and a choke chain. He also has a unique disciplinary move: a quick, two-fingered jab, combined with a sharply punctuated hiss - tssst! - that is meant to recreate the nip an alpha dog might give to a disorderly member of the pack.
The episode concerns a couple who some years ago bought two boxers, Daisy and Duke.
"Sadly, Duke was run over," I say.
"How do you know?" my wife says.
"Because this show is so mind-numbingly predictable," I say. Actually, it's because I've seen it before.
"Sadly, Daisy was run over," says the voiceover. The background music switches to a minor key.
"Wrong," says my wife.
From the Guardian International:
Almost 200 prisoners will cycle around France next month, watched by scores of guards on bicycles, in the first penal version of the Tour de France.
The 196 prisoners will cycle in a pack and breakaway sprints will not be allowed. They will be accompanied by 124 guards and prison sports instructors. . . .
The prisoners' Tour de France will take them 2,300km (1,400 miles) around the country, starting in the northern city of Lille on 4 June and stopping in 17 towns . . . .
The finish line will be in Paris, following Tour de France tradition.
Maybe it's not as wacky as it seemed at first glance:
"This project aims to help these men reintegrate into society by fostering values like effort, teamwork and self-esteem," said a prison authorities spokeswoman, Sylvie Marion. "We want to show them that with some training, you can achieve your goals and start a new life."
So, how is the Bennet/Udall Spineless and Dopey strategy working? I haven't been following the numbers, but if this data from Public Policy Polling is an improvement, I'd be shocked:
Mark Udall (D-CO) - Approve 41, Disapprove 46
Michael Bennet (D-CO) - Approve 34, Disapprove 41
I thought Colorado Senate delegation had finally left the rubber nose and greasepaint era behind. Wrong again. Bennet and Udall are asking Obama to appoint Ken Salazar to the Supreme Court.
My Memorial Day "celebration" is to force myself to face my complicity in murdering innocents, torture, glorifying power, and honoring killers. I have utterly failed to do anything constructive to stop the crimes because I felt weak and was afraid.
One place to start.
Stephen Eddins at allmusic.com compares album cover art on pop and classical albums and finds the moment classical art dumped its dull, formal look and the guys who transformed classical covers.
For many years, it was easy to distinguish between classical and pop LPs with a quick glance at the cover -- the style of the cover design was a clear symbolic indicator of the genre of the music. In the early 1970s, though, an innovative artist at a minor record label started to undermine the distinction between classical and popular cover art, . . .
Even if you don't feel like reading the text, check out the pictures.
From Science Daily:
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles -- the popular, hard-plastic drinking bottles and baby bottles -- showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). . . .
The study . . . suggests that drinking containers made with BPA release the chemical into the liquid that people drink in sufficient amounts to increase the level of BPA excreted in human urine.
In addition to polycarbonate bottles, which are refillable and a popular container among students, campers and others and are also used as baby bottles, BPA is also found in dentistry composites and sealants and in the lining of aluminum food and beverage cans. (In bottles, polycarbonate can be identified by the recycling number 7.)
Why oh why oh why oh why oh why.
Witnesses said Trenton [Booker] and at least one other boy were riding their bikes in the left southbound lane of Ashland Avenue near 81st Street when a black Dodge Charger approached from behind, swerving and speeding.
Though . . . the light at the intersection had turned red, the car did not slow as it approached the boys, striking Booker's bike and flipping him in the air . . . .
The car continued southbound . . . and later was found by police . . . .
Chicago police acknowledged that an off-duty officer had struck Trenton . . . and then drove off.
Will there be a penalty?
Update from the Tribune (May 24, 2009):
The cop was drinking before he killed the Trenton Booker. The cop has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence.
Malls, those ubiquitous shopping meccas that sprang up in the 1950s, are dwindling in number, with many struggling properties reduced to largely vacant shells.
Malls are more interesting, accessible, and benign when dead.
Alive they are manmade deserts destroying human landscapes - nearly impassable barriers to those not encased in climate-controlled, four-wheeled, steel. They are neutron bombs dropped on local businesses and downtowns. They ban public speech and homogenize culture, and bully and con local governments to enrich their developers. Materialist zombies, they transform human beings into brain-dead consumers.
But a dead mall is like the corpse of a dangerous snake found on the trail. Something you might prod with a boot, gingerly touch, and then carefully explore. Eventually, after malls (and snakes) rot a bit, they return to places where life may again spring up.
Checking in on David Byrne at reCycling the World, I am ready to hop on my bike and pedal south as fast as I can:
I’m the only tourist in Mexico, staying at the best hotel in the town of Gutierrez Zamora in the state of Veracruz. My room on the third floor with a view of the waterfront cost $18.
A leading Democrat prefers global warming to the possibility that the environmental harm caused by ethanol might be regulated. From Feedstuffs - The Weekly Newspaper For Agribusiness:
House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) sent a message to the Obama Administration today not to count on his support for climate change legislation.
"I'm off the train," Peterson said May 6 during a strongly worded statement at a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposal for assessing indirect effects of ethanol production on greenhouse gas emissions. Peterson predicted that the EPA proposal, combined with the climate change legislation under consideration, could "kill off corn ethanol."
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer is recovering after he was hit while riding a police bicycle and responding to a call. Police say officer M.J. Lewis was struck by an SUV. . . . [The driver] was arrested for DWI.
Lewis suffered a broken leg.
Let's see. Only one bike rider. Only a broken leg - not a death. Throw in a DWI instead of regular old reckless driving. If this were Santa Clara County, CA, an appropriate penalty would be 15 days house arrest and giving the driver a job that pays $82,000 a year for a year or so at least.
When I asked Steve about the safety of cycling on [Bulgaria's] roads, he answered my question with another question: "Do you know what the Bulgarian for cyclist is? It's donor. As in organ donor."
Campari, white wine, and soda on ice - the recipe.
The Bicicletta is a global cocktail that has made its way around the world in a languorous sort of way, befitting its role as a casual aperitif. . . .The Bicicletta is said to get its name from the old Italian men who favor it, and who, after indulging in a few, wobble home on their bikes. A bad idea. A good story. And an even better cocktail.
From a Denver Post editorial:
Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall voted against the spending authorization. . . . Bennet and Udall also stress that they think federal prisons like Supermax should not be considered. The senators prefer military facilities.
I was hoping for intelligent leaders. Instead I get some combination of Ken Salazar, Wayne Allard, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell with an Outward Bound logo.
We don't have any more secure prison (or military facility) than Supermax. We already keep a bunch of 100%, actually-convicted-in-court-not-just-accused-by-god-knows-whom terrorists there quite safely. As Obama said yesterday, "Nobody has ever escaped from one of our federal, supermax prisons, which hold hundreds of convicted terrorists."
Udall and Bennet are smart guys. They know this. This is just destructive pandering that encourages the ignorant.
(Yes, Udall and Bennet are both supposedly Democrats.)
The Daily Mail headline cheered me. Then I realized, first, that it happened in England and, second, the "act of great stupidity" was actually committed by the cyclist. From the Daily Mail:
Father-of-two Mark Hollister died after 'hitching a lift' on the back of Jonathan Atkinson's Ford Fiesta.The 37-year-old, who had been drinking, grabbed hold of the boot and Atkinson sped along a dark country lane.
. . .
Gerty just returned from a weekend bike ride with women she has known since before they all had kids:
Me: So what did you guys talk about?
Gerty: The usual stuff.
Me: The usual what?
Gerty: Kids. We haven't started talking about our own bowel movements yet
Yehuda Moon will return on June 17! From Rick:
Yehuda Moon returns June 17, 2009. Details to follow - watch the banner on the top of the page.
. . .
And Joe King will appear on Sundays. So Yehuda Moon, Monday through Saturday, and Joe King on Sundays. Starting June 17th.
The best bike strip ever. Can't wait!
"What Does Poetry Save You From?"
From the pale silence
of morning and the din
From the flight into darkness
of those I continue
From my inarticulate body
and the syllables
that clog my mouth.
From having to say
“nothing,” when a stranger
asks me what I do.
From my worst sins.
From the failure
of any other absolution.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike when you were a kid? Think about doing it when you are feeling old and fragile. I love these guys. Sometimes every cyclist seems to be an expert and often a snob. Craig and Vicky are don't claim to be either. They are just having fun together:
Unable to wait any longer for a ride on our tandem, we stopped at this park on our way home [. . . .] Vicky was much more confident in my ability than I was, and fearlessly (and with more trust than I felt I deserved) got on the tandem behind me [. . . .]
Okay, I was a bit wobbly on this long bike, but just for about 10-15 feet, then I realized that we were not tipping over, and the bike was going where I wanted it to!
Vicky normally rides a trike on our rides, and, though she has tried many times, just can’t manage to balance well enough to ride a two wheeled bike [. . . .
You know what? Vicky seemed to have no problems at all balancing as a stoker. ]
[P]olice claim the bike parade was 'counter intuitive' because (get this) "He's inviting families to come out, with their kids, to ride in the street." The horror! We can't have families riding their bikes in the street in Santa Cruz!
[T]he huge parade of cars every summer weekend into Santa Cruz or the daily parade to 9-to-5 work sites, remain unpermitted, with police refusing to cite the organizers of these parades.
You have got to be kidding me. Here's a question I actually have an answer to: Why are prosecuters such morons? (They are either new lawyers or they can't get another job despite having courtroom experience.)
Art Radar Asia - Sothebys charges for coffee - impact of recession on auction houses -- Read it. It's fun and disconcerting.
[I]t is not the right time to be buying art. Sotheby’s has convinced us.
The Rev. Gary Brower, DU's University Chaplain, will be in front of the DU Law School on Saturday, May 9th at 9:30 am for a memorial bike ride to honor Professor Erik Bluemel.
This is one of many ways to honor Prof. Bluemel -- to be with other folks engaging in one of Erik's passions: cycling.
The length of ride and route will depend on who arrives to ride. Please bring water and wear your helmet! If you have any questions, please contact Gary at: email@example.com or (303) 501-6659.
The First Annual Winston's Tweed Ride took place this past weekend in Chicago. According to the (erudite and) tweedy gentleman at Bicycle Diaries, the ride deserved a Shakespearean tribute. So, he composed one:
And gentlefolk in Chitown now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they rode not here,
And hold their bike frames cheap whiles any speaks
That rode with us upon Winston’s Tweed Ride.
I feel, if not quite accurs'd, at least a bit bummed, that I wasn't there.
Check out the tweedy pictures! Looks as if there were more than a happy "few."
From today's NYTimes:
Penalty for approving crimes against humanity: suggest an investigation by state bar associations?
Avoid deaths of U.S. soldiers: kill innocent Afghan civilians instead?
Years ago, I passed through Texas with RAAM. That was enough. I swore I would never return.
Most of Texas is a car-addled eyesore inhabited by folks who are famous for being cocky jerks. (Fittingly, Dallas calls itself the "Big D.") And the brainiacs "governing" the place consistently demonstrate that evolution is a fallacy by behaving like lobotomized chimps.
What's this have to do with anything? Well, David Byrne, of reCycling the World, has spent the last few days getting his own dose of Texas culture. . . .
Image from John Michell RIP at Further: Strange Attractor & beyond
"My pursuits are a joke in that the universe is a joke. One has to reflect the universe faithfully."
From the WSJ:
Chrysler's Conner Ave. assembly plant, which builds the Dodge Viper, has been stopped by interruptions in its parts supply for the last three weeks, said Chris Vitale, a worker at the plant.
The Dodge Viper, a wholly wasteful stupid car. RIP. Good Riddance. Don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. Good-bye.
And COME ON - a car named after a deadly snake? Who buys these things?
Do they also also shell out cash on shiny dishwashers named Super Cobra? Let's face it, only a highly suggestible moron would buy one of these.
As far as getting from here to there, it's tough to find a more idiotic way to do it. I NEED to go 195 mph to pick up groceries and make it Hardee's in time for my shift?
I don't like to see anyone out of work. And, seeing unfairly vilified workers (whose only crime seems to be getting a decent wage and medical benefits and not being able to recognize that the world has changed) get screwed doesn't make me happy. Still, like the loggers in the Northwest, when your job is tied to a rotten, poorly managed, destructive, unsustainable product, the end is eventually going to come.
Sympathy is appropriate but so is cheering.
In the dark of the moon, in the flying snow, in the dead of winter,
war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.
-- Wendell Berry
Edging away from the edge of American space