Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday Rally #DefundPlannedParenthood

Twitter followers- you can see some of  the pics I took at the #DefundPlannedParenthood rally in St Paul yesterday.  Right outside the brand spankin' new and absolutely enormous PP facility in St Paul.  About 4,500 people showed up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Real Estate Thoughts

My house has been on the market for a couple of months now.  We've all been there, right?  And we all love it, right?

 So let's start a conversation:  What is your favorite part of this experience?

Is it the constant inconvenience of people saying they have to see the house "right now" and then don't show up for days?

Is it the "Customer comments?"  Fave so far:  how dare you people have the nerve to (fill in the blank).

Or is it when the realtor text you about some dire situation that needs your immediate attention, and the "situation" turns out to be a dandelion on the front lawn?

One thing the experience has taught me is no one should ever own furniture.  Over the years I've collected some really cool antique pieces-- a 19th-century Chinese opium bed, an 18th century American tavern table.  Did I go to some fancy antiques dealer and pay top price?  Please.  I got them at estate sales.  You know, you get up at 5 am on Saturday and drive to some unknown address and hope for the best when you get there.  Usually a vast waste of time, but once in a blue moon, you get lucky, and come home lugging something nifty.

Then the day comes when you have to sell your house.  And the realtor takes a look at your living room and announces your furniture is cr*p.  Then he calls in a "stager" who ditches all your hard-won things and fills the house with mass-produced stuff from HomeGoods with the tags still on.

Lesson learned:  do not buy furniture.  You're only going to have to store it anyway.

I'm sure I'll have more advice for you home sellers as time goes by.  Watch this space. You might learn something valuable!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tee Shirt Thoughts

The tee shirt is much on my mind these days.

I have a pretty nifty tee shirt I ordered on the internet.  It's a navy blue v-neck that reads, in the classic "Keep Calm" typeface, "KEEP CALM AND SAY A HAIL MARY."  Which is excellent advice in any situation.

Last week I wore my shirt while strolling along the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore.  I must have gotten a dozen comments- all positive.  They ranged from "Love your shirt!'  to "Where can I get one??"

Yeah.  I'm all about the New Evangelization.

After the first few comments even the spouse wanted a KCASAHM shirt.  So yeasterday i went online and shopped for one.

Now for the stunning coincidence:  This morning my sidebar ads are for tee shirts.  All, of course, obscene.  Complete with pictures.

I don't know who's playing games over at Amazon but I'm pretty sure they can't be of legal age to have a job.  To say nothing of the IQ it takes to fill out an application.

But now I have a new tee shirt idea. 

Here it is:  Print up shirts that read "MARGARET SANGER WAS RIGHT."  See who buys them.  See who wears them.

Then send them to Baltimore, and see how long they last.

Hm.  Probably a little rough.  Okay, sell them on college campuses.  I'd be sure to make a fortune.  Then watch  parents storm the bursars' offices and demand their tuition money back, on the grounds that even after shelling out 65K a year their kid is clearly an ignoramus.

This could be fun.  Any investors out there?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Now I Know How Lady Macbeth Felt

Advice to the home chef:

When working with jalapeno peppers, wear latex gloves. 

Alternatively, be prepared not to touch you hands to any part of your body for the next six weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Terrorist Attack in France During Ramadan

The problem: (from today's WSJ)
PARIS—A U.S.-owned industrial gas factory in southeastern France was targeted in a suspected terror attack on Friday morning, French authorities said, noting the decapitated remains of one victim were found at the site of the assault.
Authorities found a decapitated body along with an inscription, French President Fran├žois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels. Two police officers said a severed head was also found at the site. The officers said the inscription was in Arabic.
The Interior Ministry said Yassine Salhi, 35, who had previously been under surveillance by French intelligence services and is believed to have links to an ultrafundamentalist strain of Islam, had been detained in connection with the attack.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion around 10 a.m. on Friday. Mr. Hollande said a vehicle drove into the plant with an intent to “provoke an explosion.” The president said the driver of the car might have been accompanied by someone else.
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. ENLARGE
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
“The attack is terrorist in nature,” Mr. Hollande said, adding that two people were injured. “We must carry our values and never give in to fear.”

The solution:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Country Life

I suppose I should call it "Life in what is still now technically 'country' as it has farms but is probably going to be a suburb in five years' time, what with all the new developments going up."

I live in one of those new developments, but once I leave the development it's just me and the cornfields.  When I walk the dog in the mornings it's mostly farms we pass.

Farms and greenhouses.  This morning a dog from the greenhouse followed us a ways- bored, I suppose, with greenhouse life.  We walked her back to her owner.  The greenhouse lady told me not to touch her dog-- "I prefer that pedestrians don't interact with her"-- and lectured the dog on "not being a good listener."  I guess that's what constitutes country talk in these parts.

I am a suburbanite, born and bred.  The worst kind of suburbanite, in fact: I grew up on Long Island.  To me "wildlife" is cats and squirrels.  The only birds I can reliably recognize are robins and pigeons.

Now, though, I'm seeing some amazing birds.  The other day I saw two bluebirds.  Not bluejays--  real bluebirds.  I'd never seen one in my life, and there they were, two of them right in front of me.  I have to tell you it was kind of a thrill.

I'm also encountering quite a few wild turkeys.  They are very loud.  Does anyone know if they're edible?  Just a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Feast Day, St Thomas More

 This clip from "A Man For All Seasons."

Stormy Weather

I have the best intentions, I really do.  I wake up early enough and I have my running shoes all ready.  The dog's leash is hanging on its hook, just waiting for me and the dog. 

But I don't fight with the weather.  When the sky is that weird color and the "severe thunderstorm warning" thing flashes on my computer screen, I believe lazy self-indulgence is my best option.  So I'm sitting in my living room, warm and dry (as is the dog), happily sipping tea and watching the storm through the window.

I've always loved thunderstorms.  They're exciting, dramatic, freaky.  Even after experiencing some serious storm damage, I still enjoy them, provided I'm inside and the roof isn't leaking.  And the power stays on.

So despite my good intentions I will probably not do a long walk today.  That's too bad;  I'm always inordinately proud of myself whenever I get a little exercise in.  I'll have to find some other way of inflating my self-esteem today.

The floor is open to suggestions.