On Losing Three Trees in a Blizzard

(Sung to the tune of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now”)

I can see clearly now the trees are gone
I can see all the snow still on my roadway
Gone are the gorgeous pines that blocked my view
Gonna be a bright, bright front lawn someday

Rob wanted all those trees down years ago
I told him, “Oh no, honey, it’s privacy!”
Gone are those gorgeous pines that blocked our view
Gonna be a bright, bright front lawn I see

Look straight ahead, I can now see 590
Look all around, I can see blue skies!
My lawn will be dry…dry…

I can see clearly now the trees are gone
Thanks to my neighbor they have all disappeared
Got lots of pine if someone wants it now
Gonna have a bright, bright front lawn this year!

Dear US Government

If I could tell our federal government what to do, and what not to do, here would be my list:

Don’t allow US companies to offshore anything just because it’s cheaper.

Do make them hire American workers.  Period.

Don’t allow corporations and super-rich people the ability to send their money to the Cayman Islands, et. al., for investment purposes and to avoid taxes.

Do make them save and spend here, just like the rest of us.

Don’t control schools anymore.  You’ve all done a terrible job of it.

Do allow school choice.  It won’t kill teachers, and it will definitely help students.

Don’t let identity politics and all this crazy gender crap rule the day anymore.

Do allow Johnny to be Jane so long as zhe pays for the sex change operation and doesn’t make us create any stupid laws protecting zim/zer (zhir?  zher?  Oh, fuck, never mind.  Oy.).

Don’t mess with anyone’s religion.  Just don’t.

Don’t allow lobbyists.

Don’t give so-called “think tanks” the time of day.

Just let us be who we are, as we struggle to survive (and hopefully get enough income to pay our bills and taxes and take a vacation now and then without losing our homes).

Just let us be US, without all the crap and costs and stupid stuff that you all keep doing to us, and allowing us to do to you.




Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.

I know a few people here likes Dorothy Parker and would enjoy something like this. Just imagine a bottle of Dorothy Parker Gin. Enjoy.

Annjrippin's Blog


Knowing that I am a big fan of the writer, a very dear friend of mine gave me a bottle of Dorothy Parker gin.  The gin is the sort of alcohol-rich distillation that would make the average sailor wince, but the bottle was wonderful with a picture of Mrs Parker printed on the inside and a little biography on the back:


It was too good to throw away, and so I decided to make it into a lamp.  I bought the stick-in bulb fitting and more or less forgot about it, as it took us so long to get through the ‘navy strength’ gin.  When the bottle was finally empty, I started to think about a shade.  For some reason I decided that a lampshade with some of Mrs Parker’s quotes would be just the thing, so I bought a kit which promised to be very easy to make up…

View original post 232 more words

Not Suitable For Balloon Lovers

Both my DSLR and my little digital portable camera are currently out of commission. The reasons are various and inconvenient and not worth mentioning here.

The reason that I am so bummed that both my DSLR and my little digital portable camera are currently out of commission is what drives me to write this post.

The reason being twofold. The reason being this:

There is a balloon bouncing in the breeze, nearby.

This balloon is silver, white and blue foil, partially deflated, and tied to a short but sturdy bit of ribbon which is, apparently, tethered to something on the ground. A dead branch, a rock, who knows what it is, but something is keeping the twelve inches or so of ribbon tied to the ground near a nearby neighbor’s tree and the balloon is bobbing up and down about a foot above the ground in the woods near my nearby neighbor’s property.

And the sight is arresting me, for two reasons.

One, it makes me immediately recall a scene from one of my favorite films, “American Beauty”, the plastic bag scene.

Two, it makes me want to film a short clip of the balloon and then make a mock ad that would go something like:

WARNING! This film is not suitable for Balloon Lovers. This film contains footage of an actual Balloon struggling to free itself from a trap. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR BALLOON. Balloon Lovers everywhere are encouraged to follow safe Balloon Loving practices and keep their Balloons indoors, loved and inflated and…free.

The Earth vs The American Dream. At least one of them must go.

The End of The American Dream

My current vehicle has hit the end of the line. The clutch and throw out bearing expired in a puff of foul smoke. This is the 5th time I have had this happen. It’s a 1998 Subaru and needs other work as well. It served me will taking me up and down I95 and around central Fl. but it’s time to let it go. The replacement will be of a similar sort. Newer but not new. I do not require a brand new car as I do not drive that much, but do need to on occasion.

As the saying goes we are living in interesting times. What Morris Berman calls the Waning of the Modern Ages. Like The Waning of the Middle Ages described by Dutch historian Johan Huizinga and the collapse of the Roman Empire as explained by Joseph Tainter in his “The Collapse of Complex Societies” our modern capitalistic society is coming apart. And as Morris Berman says

….like our own age, not much fun to live through. One reason for this is that the world is literally perched over an abyss. What lies ahead is largely unknown, and to have to hover over an abyss for a long time is, to put it colloquially, a bit of a drag. The same thing was true at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire as well, on the ruins of which the feudal system slowly arose.

The right knows this. The right knows that by admitting that our current free market capitalistic system is the direct cause of climate change and global warming is the death kneel of this system.

But the Right is not fooled: it sees Green as a Trojan horse for Red, the attempt “to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of eco-socialism.” It believes—correctly—that the politics of global warming is inevitably an attack on the American Dream, on the whole capitalist structure. Thus Larry Bell, in Climate of Corruption, argues that environmental politics is essentially about “transforming the American way of life in the interests of global wealth distribution”; and British writer James Delinpole notes that “Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, [and] regulation.” Continue reading “The Earth vs The American Dream. At least one of them must go.”


One day late last September, my classroom began being dismantled. There was nothing I could do about it. It was completely out of my hands.

The logging trucks came and began removing the trees from the 720 acres of woodland where I had learned and where I had taught. I did not own this privately held land. I was a constant trespasser upon this ground, a violator, and had been one since childhood, instructed by my grandmother to always carry a jacket when exploring a piece of private property. The jacket was not to fend off a chill, but to hang over any ‘No Trespassing’ sign so you could honestly say you couldn’t see any sign in case you were caught violating.
no trespassing
Using this method, Grandma and I gathered apples, pears and blackberries from abandoned farmsteads and with my Aunties, I gathered up bushels of black walnuts, hazelnuts and an assortment of botanicals used medicinally and for Native American ceremonies. Continue reading “Violators”


Elmer Gantry

I have never seen a more disingenuous personage on the American Stage than Joel Osteen.

Melodrama was an art a hundred years ago; hell a thousand years ago.

We are confronted in literature and on the screen with charlatans forever.

That is a reality of life.

But this guy bugs me.

I mean, Osteen bugs me beyond redemption!

My detestation knows no bounds.

And this emotional reaction embarrasses me!

Here take a quick look at what I am talking about.


Well, for heaven’s sake do not watch an hour of fascist bullshite!

I am more interested in his rhetorical devices.

The way he moves his hands.

The way he moves his head.

The way he moves his body.

The way he dances to some music he would advance as truth.

The guy is the single phoniest bastard I have ever witnessed on the tv. And that conclusion is reached a=following at least 55 years of watching the tellie.

And yet, as I demonstrate with this video link, thousands upon thousands follow this prick.

I grew up with Bishop Sheen.

Watch a minute or two of Sheen, a guy with an Irish accent who was born in Ohio and  grew up in Ohio?


Now, as far as rhetorical foments go, this guy was pretty good! Sheen was attacking the commies of course and their antithetical embrace.

I grew up with this.

The Commies would take my god and my good and my freedom away from me!

Do you see in the short Sheen link that he stops to get a laugh?

But do you also see the fire in his belly, the total belief this bishop had in what he was saying.

And I look at this vacuous, gay poster boy named Osteen and I wonder…

How long does his hair dresser have to work in order to present this beefcake to an audience of idiots who will pay a c-note or more just to see him celebrate himself.

Osteen has no soul!

Bishop Sheen had a soul.

Reverend Wright has a soul.

Hagge is a pig, but damn he believes in what he believes; whether or not he wishes the Pope to be fireballed into hell by Jesus or whether or not he believes the Jews are responsible for every single economic downturn in the history or man or whether, like Sheen, Hagge is sure that the Commies are responsible for everything! Ha

There is this red-haired robot on MSNBC that just disturbs me!

I mean I cannot even watch Mika; Joe Scarborough is a prick, is a fascist, is a prevaricator, but I get a kick out of him. (What happened exactly to that clerk Joe?)

But Mika is vacuous and without substance and without knowledge and without history and without a soul for sure. (Goddamn I love her daddy though!)

But the red-haired robot bothers me even more.

Kelly O’Donnell just makes me wish to puke.


Watch how she holds her head and in other links she holds her arms, hands and body in such a manner that she must have had some coach; some idiot who used twistems and she never forgot.

Kelly O’Donnell, I suggest, has similar genes to this Osteen.


I know.

I know.

We look for what we wish to see, we listen to what we wish to hear, we smell what we wish to smell—except for Parmasan of course! (I mean it smells like ass to me! And you are supposed to put it on food?)Adam Sandler talks like a baby in every goddamn film he ever starred in! It is so phony as to make me vomit. I cannot stand to even watch the mother for more than six minutes when he appears on cable.


Because he comes across as un-empathetic, unfeeling, unreal, and unbelievable.

Osteen scares the hell out of me! His purpose, you might remark!

But my God, this guy is making more money than some of Mitt’s trusts and he is without form! He has no soul, he has no heart, he has no beliefs, he has no knowledge, he has no vision, he has no….

He cannot be human.

Yet he plays before thousands upon thousands of filled stadiums.

He plays with these ancient forms of physical movements that are meaningless.

Just watch as he bats his eyes.

He could not possibly believe in anything! Ever!

So why does he scare the hell out of me?

He scares the hell out of me because millions (or at least thousands upon thousands) eat this shite up.

And what bothers me most is that it bothers me most.

I have an id that would love to pummel the bastard with a Louisville slugger that would bash in his skull just because of his performance.

I am disturbed by my reaction.

He recently appeared on Piers Morgan (which I originally thought was a food show for gourmets)


Watch Osteen.

Forget the fact that osteen hates homos.

Forget the fact that he claims to love everyone who is not hated by his version of the scriptures.

Just look at him whilst he responds to questions.

He moves his eyes, shutting and opening those pretty eyelids.

He moves his head, like he was tutored by O’Donnell’s coaches.

He moves his hands, like he was tutored by Hitler’s minions.

This is terrible, but I hate Osteen.

I hate Osteen with my whole brain, my whole heart and my whole mind.

Just a confession here.

It is soooooo very difficult to hit upon truth as ‘presented’ but the closest I think I have come to it?:



Sir Paulinore paced back and forth as he prepared his speech for the King.

King Arthur, times have changed and something must be done.

Your primary advisers including Sir Cheney of the Monts and Sir Chinchrich of St.George and Sir Parry of the Lowlands and Sir Sanitorum of the Wood and last of all but not least, Dame Brachus of the London Bracchi are all seeking Your Sacred Ear.

Well I plead to have you lend me an ear and hear my plea in favor of our people and against the call for constant war.

These turncoats would have you attack and attack and attack in order to lead our tribes into further war.

War with whom?

Wars with the Angles, wars with the Saxons, wars with the Painted Picts; in short it matters not what tribe is blathered; they wish to war with all and any tribes. It is as if these followers of Mars would take us into eternal warfare without regard to the needs of us Celts and without regard to the needs of us Britons!

Why should we spend our blood; why should we spend our youths; why should we spend our great wealth attacking animals who know not what they do?

When shall we have enough of this combat?

Thou art known far and wide as the Dux Bellorum and thou has vanquished thine enemies in 12 magnificent battles and yet in this time that should be a time of peace thou have been forced—and I know that divine rulers are not forced to do anything—to squander our nation’s resources in an effort to clash with savages and barbarians who paint their faces and spindle their hairs and saunter with pride whenst they are nothing but stinking animals with no right to any pride at all.

Remember when Merlin announced at that last battle that made you King?



Once we stop this incessant aim for conquest; once we cease from making our ultimate purpose that of conquest; once we stop relying on chits for trade and stick with the tried and true metals that have sustained our race for millenia; thence we shall be great once again!


As Paulinore ranted and raved in the throne room, King Arthur and his entourage were out on the hunt in order to celebrate the coming Feast of the Iowan Celts.

The King had been called out on a quest by a strange green visitor to the Round Table whilst he and his knights were dining and drinking in preparation on this Eve of this great Feast.

The Great Knights of the Table Round always celebrated Feasts on the Eves of those feasts so that they could become, become….greatly oiled in preparation for the Feasts which actually occurred on every single Sunday with the exception of those four strange Sundays in Lent when most knights had to settle for local inns and nunneries and such for their pleasures!

The Green Knight rode directly into the great arena where the Great Table of the Round was located even though the ceilings were rather low in that area of Camelot. He seemed to have come out of nowhere like some pollster requesting signatures on documents that the proposed signatories could not even read!

The Green Knight actually alighted onto the Round Table itself. Even his steed was surprised at this prompt and managed to empty his urinal sac and his bowels at the same time whilst the two foreigners had landed upon the disc.


Gwaine was much discombobulated as almost half of the piss landed upon his shining armor!

Oh get on with it, skip the harks and get right to the point the Knights exclaimed in unison.

Ye have not earned thy feast and thy drink upon the Eve of the Great Feast thou barbarians.

I demand a quest for all those seated at this counter of welfare.


There is a great wild boar in the nearby wood defaming the Spouse of you my King! He is known as Boar Limbaugh and is exclaiming constantly of the girth of her waist…er…really just under the waste…that curvy part known as the hips and the behind.

I challenge thee all to form a hunting party and seek out this Wild Boar of the Limbaugh Forest and render the ugly creature dead to the world!


The knights began to giggle.

WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! Exclaimed the Noble Dux Bellorum.

The assembly became silent at once. In the locker-room much gaity was made of the Queen’s Sacred Behind but it was mostly in good fun and with no malice whatsoever!

As a matter of fact, in those days of yore and days of gore a good woman with a healthy behind was a matter of awe—in the awesome sense not the awful sense for heavens sake!

Knights in those days really appreciated something to hang onto as they say….

All the knights, seeing that their laughter might be seen as treachery ceased their gaity and raised their arms in unison:



The King wore a scornful countenance thense, much to the surprise of his trusty leaders of men broke out in applause.

I love this group!

The King and his cadre immediately sent out the word to prepare the steeds for a hunt whilst a serf was sent to Sir Paulimore to clean up the recent mess created by the Green Knight upon the Table Round!


Nobody ever listens to me, Sir Paulimore lamented as he scrubbed the great banquet with a toilet brush and some suet!


The hunting party crossed the moat from the draw bridge and headed for the wood.

It was a starry starry night for the Knights of Camelot but an eerie sound could be heard.

I mean there were always eerie sounds once the sun set from yonder wood but this was really really an eerie sound to behold. (Does one really behold a sound? I dunno, I have to look that up. But of course Wiki has not been invented yet and….)

This is what the knights heard or beheld or experienced or whatever at that time and place:


The rage upon the King’s face had not been witnessed since his victory at the Calidorian Forest

whence he met with and vanquished the hairy King of a Hundred Knights!

This countenance drove Arthur’s troops to the wood with a vengeance.

Riding, riding and riding on they reached the inner woods seeking the place whence the sound ensued. (So sounds really ensue? How do people write this stuff without Wiki?)

All of a sudden the sound stopped as the enterauge reached a still stream; a stream so beautiful that Sir Matthews dismounted and cried:


Those are fireants you idiot, get back upon thy horse, screamed Sir Bors!

Sir Matthews remounted immediately slapping his girths. (What?)

Gwaine suddenly caught a glimpse of one of the most horrendous visions he had ever thereunto envisioned. It was the vision of a huge sloppy ugly obese odoriferous feral creature that was six feet high and seven foot in width. An ugly fog like stream of muck was emanating from its mouth and rear end at the same time.

The King, ready on steed, went forth with Excalibur in his right hand of justice and beheaded the monster without further ado.

Gwaine immediately dismounted and drawing his sword gutted and beheaded the creature with great glee.

Now the troop had a true pig to roast at the great feast of the Iowan Celts!

And the Green Knight proceeded to win all of the ratings wars for the rest of the week!


Bernie Sanders

I wish to stay in the Christmas spirit.

I want to look for happy news, hopeful news, hip news that does not bring one bemoaning his alcoholic hangover arising from too much jolly.

I mean we have 8 days until cable pundits will have something to talk about that is real.

It is clear that there will be no news news on cable for a week or so.

Right now they are broadcasting more prison reality shows on MSNBC and CNN hosts their B team most of the time.

The Iowa Caucuses will meet and choose a proposed repub dictator.

The result of those votes will most probably mean nothing!

So let us move onto real news about things that involve real people in real environments.


Vermont, hosting one of my favorite United States Senators of all time, is bucking the trend of some of those repub states created in the 2010 elections.

Well Vermont has a hell of an energy problem. And whilst its neighbor, the repub ridden NH is focused upon works of art that might be commie in nature as well as focusing upon other irrelevant issues, Vermont decided to look ahead in May of this year:

Vermont’s energy reality is bleak: We Vermonters are dependent on fossil fuels to meet 99 percent of our transportation needs and well over 80 percent to meet our space heating needs, and these energy sources are becoming increasingly costly.

That means we face some very difficult energy choices. Fortunately, people have been getting active. Over 100 community energy committees, for example, are leading Vermont’s transition to a new kind of energy future. They are undertaking initiatives to reduce energy consumption, save money and develop renewables by weatherizing municipal buildings, tightening up neighbors’ homes, installing solar panels on community schools and much more.


So in May, the Governor of Vermont actually signed a real energy bill. I mean the Vermonters decided they would band together and take a look at how they could change the determined future:

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants the state to satisfy 90 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, largely eliminating its reliance on fossil fuels.

Shumlin joined Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller and other officials on Thursday to unveil a comprehensive energy plan that lifts what had been a moratorium on construction of renewable energy projects on state land; calls for more use of electric vehicles coupled with energy efficiency in the electric sector; says large-scale hydroelectric power like that imported from Canada should be considered renewable; and calls for expansion of piped natural gas in the state…

We made the Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont to show how renewable energy flows through Vermont. We think the Atlas is a cool, new way of depicting a ton of information- and we’ve received inquiries from across the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Australia from organizations that want to duplicate our effort.  We worked with the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and Fountains Spatial, Inc. to make the Atlas, and drew on the expertise of several REV members during our development process.

Wiki tells me that there are only 2/3 of a million folks reside in the entire state.

I sympathize with all of those residents because they face the same winters I do. Ha

But I really sympathize with a community that wishes to face the future and see what they might do about a serious problem that faces our entire country.

Global warming is a serious issue, but what Vermont has done is faced this issue by dealing with problems that face the ordinary citizen. Wind power and solar power represent clean CO2 emissions. And so several real problems facing Vermont and this country will be ameliorated and Vermont might be an experiment that other states might wish to emulate over the coming decades depending upon the results—of course.


The infamous MIT brings us happy news.

While students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pay thousands of dollars for courses, the university will announce a new program on Monday allowing anyone anywhere to take M.I.T. courses online free of charge — and for the first time earn official certificates for demonstrating mastery of the subjects taught.

This is a big big deal to me!

I have written often about how there is all this information on the internet free to members of the public who are curious enough to look for it.

But there is so much more information out there, duly organized and ready to be consumed by members of the public who wish to learn.

Lately there have been more and more barriers to this free flow of information. Even Salon wants my money; to say nothing of NYT which received $30.00 a month I could no longer afford.

Now these MIT courses are not going to necessarily lead to a degree. But damn! I mean Gates and Jobs and a host of others never even bothered to get a damn degree. Hahahaha

I dunno. This little squib made me happy.

Gang Violence

Gang violence is no laughing matter.

I have not researched the number of deaths in this country from gang violence in any thorough manner but it appears that 10,000 to 15,000 people died last year alone from gang violence that I assume would include the innocent bistanders.


I can tell you that our government tells us that some 34,000 people in the US died from gun violence in 1996.


This is one year’s statistics in both instances.

Well this fellow by the name of David Kennedy (make sure when you google that you find the right David Kennedy) decided to look at the problem without regard to politics. Even though Mr. Kennedy’s proposed ‘cures’ include a lot of politics.

Finding a way to end gang violence is as easy as offering gang members a “way out.”

At least according to David Kennedy, author of “Don’t Shoot” and the man behind Operation Ceasefire, a long-running program intended to curb inner-city violence.

Kennedy says many gang members are “scared to death themselves, they just don’t know a way out.”

To reduce gang violence, cities need to give gang members an alternative, he claims. They can start by identifying the gangs and bringing together communities, social service groups and law enforcement organizations.

“You sit the gang members down you say, ‘Your community needs you to stop, we want to help you, and the next gang that kills somebody gets all of our attention,'” said Kennedy.

“It actually turns out to be not that hard to fix this stuff.”

So I found this rather long article focused upon the intersection of politics and gang violence.

Baskin—who was himself a candidate in the 16th Ward aldermanic race, which he would lose—was happy to oblige. In all, he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives. That claim is backed up by two other community activists, Harold Davis Jr. and Kublai K. M. Toure, who worked with Baskin to arrange the meetings, and a third participant, also a community activist, who requested anonymity. The gang representatives were former chiefs who had walked away from day-to-day thug life, but they were still respected on the streets and wielded enough influence to mobilize active gang members.

I am reminded of Boss Tweed and the Gangs_of_New_York; going back 150 years.

There is a reality. Deal with it!

Kennedy has a book out on this subject and he is actually doing something about issues he writes about.

I mean, I like this dude!


We are using a system that breaks time. The quality of time is continuity. This is why a majority in the international community want to change the definition of UTC and drop the leap second.

But not everyone is in favor of the change.
There is some passionate opposition, especially about the fact that the link between international time and astronomical time will be lost because, little by little, they will diverge. Yet even today we are not living exactly on astronomical time—where noon is when the sun is directly overhead.

If you take into account national time zones, people in the U.K. can be shifted up to 2½ hours from astronomical time. In France it’s 3 hours. The 1-minute difference we will see in about 100 years due to the dropping of the leap second is nothing in comparison.

In the future, when there is a big divergence between the astronomical time scale and the atomic one, won’t an adjustment be needed?
It was agreed some years ago that we should not think of any kind of adjustment in the near future, the next 100 or 200 years. In about the year 2600 we will have a half-hour divergence. However, we don’t know how time-keeping will be then, or how technology will be. So we cannot rule for the next six or seven generations.

Just to finish up.

We still, as a global tribe, are all synced into the issue concerning the all important question:



I just found it interesting.

So, during this Holiday Season, I have stayed away from obscenities and blasphemies and rage against the forces of evil.

Pretty good huh?



My New Favorite Comment

Slowly, but surely, the Affordable Care Act is having a positive impact on everyday life in the ole USA.

In the Washington Monthly, Steve Benen writes in the Political Animal blog how the ACA is working — actually working — right now. Not in 2014. Right now. It’s a short blog with links to stories (mostly written by him) that illustrate his points.

Now, after all the negative feedback about the ACA, all the bellyaching and boohooing about “Obamacare” and how it sucks, blows, ain’t enough, is way too much, repeal it and yadda-yadda, we are beginning to get reports that it’s working out better than what was wildly imagined.

Which brings me to my new favorite comment.

From commenter #3:

Hedda Peraz on December 19, 2011 1:21 PM:

This Affordable Care Act sounds like just the ticket to replace the failed ObamaCare!


Gotta love it!