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We Went Through The Door

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone.
― Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories

Now we have to hope the parachute opens.

The word of the year for 2016 was Post-truth and the contender for 2017 is Kakistocracy, a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. [Via Shirt in Comments]

If you enjoy words you could read about Falconry terms like: Hoodwinked, Fed up, Under one’s thumb, Wrapped around one’s little finger.

You can cheer up with Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s version of Fanfare For The Common Man, and then bum yourself out with For What It’s Worth followed by Eve of Destruction.

It is definitely time to legalize cannabis.

Update: Consider – The Trump administration has not had a single appointment approved, but has asked all current appointees to resign at Noon today. There are no US ambassadors in any country and no heads of any Cabinet department.

January 20, 2017   5 Comments

The End Of Sanity

Tomorrow at Noon Eastern Standard Time the asylum that is Washington, DC will be handed over to the inmates. For as long as four years the country will be in the grubby little hands of an individual who thinks it is appropriate to express the will of the government of the United States of America in 140 characters.

This photo is just as valid as the ones Trump has been directing people to to prove that “Bikers for Trump” are coming en mass to his inauguration. With a probable 37% approval rating at the point in an administration when the approval rating is normally peaking, he needs thunderstorms and tornado warnings to excuse the turn out.

I have the thunderstorms tonight which are appropriate for this event.

January 19, 2017   8 Comments

RIP The Last Man On The Moon

Eugene Andrew Cernan, Captain, US Navy retired
(March 14, 1934 – January 16, 2017)

Astronaut, Naval Aviator, Electrical Engineer
Aeronautical Engineer, and Fighter Pilot

January 17, 2017   10 Comments

Scottish Humor

When critics attack:

A Scottish newspaper’s TV listing of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration has caught people’s attention both in the UK and the US.

The Sunday Herald TV critic Damien Love reimagined the ceremony as a return of the classic science fiction series The Twilight Zone.

January 16, 2017   6 Comments

I Have The Worst Luck

When it comes to Congresscritters I get represented by real ‘winners’. Joe Scarborough is one of my former ‘Critters, The most recent former ‘Critter was Jefferson Beauregard Miller who, as chair of the House veterans committee held no hearings on the VA until the media began to report on problems. Before him was Earl Hutto whose most remarkable accomplishment was starring in a locally produced children’s TV show. Now I have Matt Gaetz, who Charlie Pierce highlighted:

…Meanwhile, Matt Gaetz from Florida began his one-minute oration with a Shakespearean flourish, which brought to the proceedings all the gravitas of the average middle-school book report.

“Mr. Speaker, I come to bury Obamacare, not to praise it. The evil that men do lives on after them…”

Oh, just shut up, Fenwick. Honest to god.

I ragged on former Senator Arlen Specter for years about his use of a Shakespeare quote during the confirmation hearing for Clarence Thomas. Gaetz obviously is totally unaware that Mark Antony’s funeral speech is a great piece of sarcasm. I used it with the death of Fidel Castro, and I resort to its deepest sarcasm with references to ‘honorable men’, you know, like the Republican members of Congress or the Director of the FBI.

January 15, 2017   2 Comments

Time To Quit

Noting that it couldn’t possibly compete with the circus in Washington, after a run of nearly a century and a half Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tents. [Declining ticket sales is just cover to avoid trolls] /snark

January 15, 2017   No Comments

Seriously?

Both Tech Dirt and The Reg have a hard time figuring out what qualifies Rudy Giuliani to lead any kind or type of CyperSecurity operation. This is the guy who ignored the advice of his emergency management officials and moved New York City’s emergency operations center to 7 World Trade Center, which was demolished, in no small with the assistance of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel stored for the emergency generators when the Towers fell.

The web presence of Giuliani’s consulting business is about as unsecured as it can be, and will probably be hacked by script kiddies for giggles and grins. This is the guy who administration bought radios for first responders that didn’t work in high rise buildings, so I have to question the existence of any qualifications for the job.

January 14, 2017   3 Comments

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

Yes, it’s Friday the 13th again. The 13th falls on a Friday more than any other day of the week, so get over it. It’s only valid in in English and Portuguese speaking countries, so go visit a Spanish-speaking neighborhood for the day.

If you want to blame someone, it’s the calendar of Pope Gregory XIII that created this imbalance. [He obviously didn’t have a problem with the number on any day.]

January 13, 2017   2 Comments

This & That

Donald Trump blasts ‘fools’ who oppose good Russian ties, which is exactly the strange attitude on Trump’s part that caused people to look into his relationship with Russia. That research resulted in Trump ‘compromising’ claims: How and why did we get here?.

Now we have Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier, because Putin has few friends, but no enemies, for long.

The reality is that these revelations really reduce the effectiveness of any blackmail threats. By this time everyone should be aware he’s a sexual predator and pervert, you know – ‘a star’.

Then there is the announcement that the Inspector General of the Department of Justice is to probe FBI Clinton email actions.

Update: Trump reacted by repeating his tired cheer to his minions the ‘she is guilty as hell’, but no one is able to tell the sane people on the planet exactly what she is guilty of. Other than being named Clinton and being a Democrat, she used the same e-mail procedures as the previous two Republican Secretaries of State. [Thinking of Trump supporters as chubby little yellow creatures in coveralls speaking gibberish helps, trust me on this.]

Finally we have a welcome change: US visa-free residency for Cubans ends. Now Cubans are going to be forced to endure the same process as everyone else.

January 12, 2017   10 Comments

Cookies!!

It has been cold, so I thought I’d bake something. I didn’t want to order from the ‘Net and no one seems to carry sultanas locally, so I decided against oatmeal cookies. Most people don’t bother to soak their raisins or sultanas in wine for a few hours before using them, so they tend to be hard.

I went with my second choice – chocolate chip based on the original Toll House recipe.

The recipe gives a laughable timeline: 39 minutes to cookies,

Reality involved finding a really good flashlight to scan the cupboards for a 3 quart bowl & two 1 quart bowls, the electric mixer, the beaters for the electric mixer, the cookie sheets, the cooling racks, the parchment paper, the spatula, the scoop, and the measuring cups & spoons.

The timeline also neglected taking everything out of the oven and finding a place for it. Then there was the time spent locating the step stool to be used to remove the battery from the smoke detector in the living room about 5 minutes into cooking the first batch. The process starts hours earlier when you take the two sticks of butter out of fridge to soften so you can cream in the sugar and vanilla.

After all of this I looked at the cost and devised a new system – put out the cooling racks and go to the store to buy three bags of Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake cookies. Open the bags and put the cookies on the racks and dump the bags in someone else’s wheelie bin.

The cookies I made are thicker and softer than the Chesapeakes, but the cost are close to the same for the ingredients. The chocolate chips and pecans are almost $7!

Update: From 2008 Kryten’s Grandmother’s Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti recipe.

January 8, 2017   16 Comments

Orthodox Christmas

С Рождеством Христовым to my Orthodox friends who are still waiting to see how the calendar reform works out.

January 7, 2017   14 Comments

Feast of the Epiphany

Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany, end of the twelve days of Christmas, and Día de los Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries.

This is the customary day for gift exchanges in many Christian cultures because it is the day that the Magi finally arrived in Bethlehem with their totally inappropriate gifts after putzing around for a week and a half because they didn’t want to ask for directions.

[Give me a break! They bring soft metal, smelly tree sap, and bitter medicine associated with embalming to people who could use a hot meal, baby clothes, and diapers.]

January 6, 2017   8 Comments

Mr Delusional

Mexico will reimburse U.S. for border wall, Trump says.

Congress just needs to give Drumpf a blank check to build his wall and somehow he will extort enough money from Mexico to pay for it. People who front Trump money to build things often find themselves on the ‘creditors list’ in bankruptcy court.

January 6, 2017   No Comments

Ethics?

“We don’t need no stinking ethics!” – Republican Congressional caucus.

GOP wanted to change the Office of Congressional Ethics:

The OCE should no longer be independent. Instead, it will be under the House’s Committee on Ethics, which is run by members of Congress.

The office will no longer be able to accept anonymous tips from whistleblowers.

The ethics office must stop any investigation if the House ethics committee tells them to.

The ethics office cannot investigate any tips of misconduct that took place before Jan. 3, 2011

The office can no longer talk about its findings — even hire a spokesperson.

OCE cannot investigate any criminal cases or turn allegations of corruption over to law enforcement.

The Congresscritters felt they were being treated unfairly by the OCE, telling people what the ‘Critters were doing. Members were facing primary challenges and losing elections, even if they weren’t convicted of crimes.

When people found out what the GOP caucus was attempting, there was sufficient outrage from the public to convince ‘Critters that they didn’t want to vote for the changes.

As per his pattern, Trump the Twit tweeted. He felt Congresscritters should be enacting the changes he wants before dealing with anything they might personally want. Note, he didn’t say the changes were a bad idea, only that his agenda should be the first priority.

January 4, 2017   6 Comments