Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More Orchids

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The Creature On The Kitchen Floor

This thing was on the floor and couldn’t go forward because its feet couldn’t seem to get traction on the tile floor.

So I set the camera to burst mode and made an animated GIF.  Here are two speeds.  The actual creature was moving more like the second one.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Thing About Facebook And Amazon And …

I worked for IBM for almost 30 years.

There was a long period of time when we had to deposit all material we – the employees of IBM – produced  in our daily business lives into company provided bins.

The bins, when full, were disgorged into trucks that took the disgorged contents to Government Way Stations.

That was so the Government could have all the information it needed to fend off the imminent takeover of society by IBM.

I have no idea how that all ultimately worked out, but IBM didn’t takeover society.

Trust me on this.

When I tell people younger than me that I worked for IBM they say “What’s IBM?”

Walmart was going to take over the world not too long ago.

I remember when they reached a quarter trillion in sales.

That was a long time ago.

They have finally passed the half trillion mark.

That’s pretty impressive.

But it took them way longer than anybody, Walmart included (I suspect) expected it to take.

That probably had to do with a bookseller become a monster (some might say) – Amazon.

But every dog has its day (some might say).

As an IBM retiree I would say that.

America keeps producing disruptive stuff.

The danger is that Americans at some point will become so scared that they will want to freeze progress in time and say that “this is so disruptive that no one will ever be able to replace it or be able to compete with it”.

They will become  politically, electorally, socially and, at the gut level, afraid.

They will want to turn the clock back.

They will want to go back to the good old days when coal was king and Walmart was unstoppable.

(After all most of them shop at Walmart; they abandoned their local Piggly Wiggly long ago.)

“God damn them Chinks and their unfair trade practices” I have heard a surprisingly articulate Walmart shopper and proponent of making America great again say.

I briefly thought about mentioning that almost everything in the hulking warehouse he was about to enter – except food – (and it would include food if America didn’t have an overwhelming advantage in that segment) had come from China, but I decided that I didn’t want to have a cross burned on my lawn.

Sam Walton, I am pretty sure is laughing his ass off.

“Jeff, my boy, you trumped me, but the battle still goes on.

“And we may not win the next round, but I’m damn sure that you won’t either; America is too great to be frozen in time.”

On the Tombolo Again

The seagull is dropping a clam so that it will hit the road and break. 

Don’t ever say animals don’t know about tools.

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And if you ever read Watership Down:

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

I Love The Waffle House - Again

This is an excerpt from an email that I sent to my Tennessee family.

It is in relation to the Waffle House Massacre that occurred earlier today.

I have written more than once about this amazing restaurant chain of wonderful people, and really good – if one is willing to just enjoy food – food.

And The Waffle House has people that make enjoying their food more easy than one might expect.

My wife and I will be in the Nashville area before long and one of the first things we have been planning to do is go to a Waffle House.

Somewhere in the Nashville area.

Here is the excerpt fro my email.

“I was going to ask you to make sure we stopped at a Waffle House on the 5th as we wended our way back to Manchester from Nashville.


Do you suppose I need to wear clothes?

I ask you to be aware that no nude, gun totin’, asshole is going to deny my wife her pecan waffle.

waffle house waffle

All of this is another way of saying I’m tired to death – actually – of being “safe”.

Pork chops and eggs for me.

See y’all on the 5th.”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Jim Crow

This is intended as a coda to my most recent post:

A long time ago, when I was in high school or college – I can’t remember – I found an old Folkways disk at the Multnomah County Library.

The disk was by a guy who I found to have a magical voice, who played a magical guitar and who was, therefore magical.

His name was Josh White.

Here are a few words from the best song on that disk.

“Lincoln set the Negro free

Why is he still in slavery?

Jim Crow.

Freedom for all is what he said

Free to suffer till he’s dead

Jim Crow.”

It goes on.

But I think that is enough.

Jim Crow:




St. Louis.


Jefferson City.




New York.

New Haven.


And we have donnie for president.

So we all know things are going to be good.

All Is Wells That Ends Wells????

Two young black men go to a Starbucks to meet an associate for a meeting.

(That sounds harmless to the point of being antiseptic.)

Within minutes the two young men are taken into police custody in handcuffs and kept in custody for the next numerous hours.

(That sounds like the setup for some important movie trailer.)

The young men DID get released (since they had only been guilty of going into Starbucks while being black).

They, of course, had not been aware of that heinous crime.


Today Wells Fargo was allowed to pay a fine rather than going to jail.

Unlike the young Philadelphia Starbucks Blacks, Wells is guilty of numerous crimes.

Rather than going to jail Wells got to pay a fine which they are able to cover out of 25% of this quarter’s profits.


I’m reading Ron Chernow’s new biography of Grant.

I am at the part of the book, after the Civil War had been terminated, when the vanquished South had begun to create the system we still have today that deals with our formerly enslaved Black Fellow Citizens.

Those unreconstructed Confederates would understand the Philadelphia/Wells Connection.

And applaud.


I think I hear them.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Orchids On Watmough

Every year about now the native orchids appear in the carpet of moss and detritus of the forest floor.

They are little sparks of purple leaping out of the otherwise green of the floor.

They are so small that if they weren’t so brilliantly colored it is doubtful that anyone would see them.

Every year about now I go and see how many new portraits of orchids I can add to my collection from previous years.

This year was pretty good.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Today’s Walk On The Tombolo

I haven’t done this for awhile.

Post pictures from the Tombolo.

And it was a pretty sparse walk, picture wise; but here are four from today.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

The Vanna White Of Ambulance Chasing TV Ads

A couple of years ago my daughter in law bought me a flat screen TV.

It’s fairly big.

I have an over the air digital antenna that gets some stations some of the time.

On balance it’s so much better than Comcast that I liken it to the parallel fact that I don’t own a boat anymore.

The real thing of consequence, though, is that the stuff that comes in digitally over the air has a whole different viewer base.

I guess.

Because the commercials one sees are from a different world than I have ever inhabited.

That different world is weird, but substantially more interesting than the one that I perceive myself to normally inhabit.

When I first started plunging into this world, watching whatever the antenna could capture, as I prepared my dinner – a couple of years (or, perhaps more) ago - a dominant commercial type was the “call our law firm because we know how to get a lot of money from evil doers who are all out there to screw you” type.

The shill who drove those campaigns I almost immediately dubbed “The Fierce Woman”.

She was a slender, younger than, but, pretty much, looks like version of Kellyanne Conway.

And she was fierce.

If the law firm she was shilling was half as fierce in court as she was on TV I could not imagine a pharmacy company that could remain out of Chapter Eleven.

Years have passed and the same ads – generically – dominate my limited over the air digital TV nightscape.

And the Fierce Woman is still there.

But she has morphed.

She still appears at varying levels of fierceness – varying levels being a new thing – ranging from the old time fierce to sweet and loveable, almost, but still fierce.

But now she has had a some near clones added to the shtick.

They are also younger that Kellyanne, and younger even that the fierce one.

I think a new genre of TV personality has been born.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

As The World Teeters …

… we have donnie and Puty.

What a pair.

Puty believes – apparently – that his eastern Slavic  honor is affronted by NATO.

donnie – apparently – believes that if he can start World War Three he will take off the pressure exerted upon him by the legal system of the United States of America and his own erratic bullshit tweeting, he will win some sort of Gotterdammerung scenario.

I think my flaming cross image sums him up.

Grand Wizard donald trump

All hat and no cattle.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Donnie In Retreat

Now that his “personal attorney” has been sifted through Donnie, is getting REALLY NERVOUS AND JERKY.
I guess that means we can expect an un-Constitutional nuclear attack on – somebody.
That’s what donnie does.
Counter punch.
Might be nice if we had a president who was out in front of the issues.
So he wouldn’t always feel compelled to – counterpunch.
But we aren’t.
So the donnie doth bestride the world.
Or so he thinks.
But when you are The Donald (I just discovered that  a real asshole from the 1690s in England called himself “The McDonald”) you are able to make huge numbers of massively ridiculous decisions and look good to your base.
We used to call that base the groundlings.
In Shakespeare's time.
But now it is the base.
Of the electorate of the  most important country that has ever existed.
And it is bringing that country down.
What a joke.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The 2018 Teacher Rebellion

West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma are the states – so far – where the teachers are saying that they have had enough.

I can’t help but wonder how long it is going to take for the rest of us to pick up our muskets and go forth like the teachers.

I have a reason for posting this.

In 1941 Arthur Schlesinger Jr. predicted it.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Moron Strikes Again

In a time period that one would hope that donnie might be trying to learn something about the issues involved with North Korea’s view of “de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” (their view, by the way is that the US remove all its troops, disengage entirely from any military relationship with the South and sign an agreement guaranteeing to never attack the North – while the North keeps and augments it nuclear capability, just to be safe) he is instead manifesting his well known business acumen (“boy are we lucky to have donnie instead of one of them politicians – he’s a business man; he knows how to get things done”).

“Post Office Scam Must Stop” he thunders from his aerie in twitter land.

It’s comforting to know that we have such an astute business man with his priorities straight saving us from the onslaughts of unfettered greedy capitalism (wait; wait; I thought he was a capitalist; oh never mind).

And his grasp of the situation, its fine points and nuances shows him to be in league with his Olympian Predecessors – Washington and his grasp of a long term strategy to defeat an empire; Roosevelt and his multi front grasp of the means and methods and implements necessary to a new world order; Eisenhower and his grasp of a world wide supply chain feeding a world wide  military machine – a machine that ultimately grinds an opposing ideology into dust.

But donnie exceeds all of this.

donnie is a business man.

Jeff Bezos has invested huge amounts of money in regional warehouses, logistic electronics, material handling apparatus and supply chain sophistication.

He has done all of that so Amazon can go to America’s ubiquitous and dominant last mile deliver of “stuff’.

That would be USPS.

The favorable price he got from USPS for last mile delivery is based upon the fact that it is a good deal for USPS.

They get a huge increase in business to do what they do best: be in our neighborhoods delivering stuff to us.

The deal really leverages their existing fixed costs.

Those fixed costs have been an increasing threat to the continued existence of USPS: as first class mail disappears USPS still has the same investment in people, benefits and hardware; they have maximum cost and minimum business.

That’s a going out of business scenario.

Or so a business man might think.

So Jeff has just poured a huge stream of no cost or, at least, low cost (he has footed all the costs to get to USPS’ doorstep) stuff on USPS’ doorstep and said “how much to deliver these”?

Sounds like Jeff wins in the battle of the business men and donnie comes off as the charlatan that he is.

Sounds like USPS wins in the battle to stay alive – relevant, even.

If donnie had a clue about business he would be taking credit for cutting “the Amazon deal” even though he had nothing to do with it (once a charlatan always a charlatan).

But he is, to quote our recently de-frocked Secretary of State, a fucking moron.

A moronic charlatan.

What a concept.