August 14, 2014

Poetry Corner

  This evening, my friend BOB! and I were discussing...current events ...when suddenly he broke into verse (as he is occasionally wont to do). He thus summed up the situation perfectly.




"Please don't let this be about politics...or Kipling." 
 

Fear not gentle readers....We'll put it below the fold. 
more...

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Gallows Moe

I really should not have been surprised that this exists. And yet....




 Kowaii > Kawaii

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August 12, 2014

A Bit of Good News

Brett Kimberlin, a cyberbully and convicted terrorist has lost his defamation suit against several bloggers who pointed out that he is a genuinely nasty piece of work. This was an important case as it threatened to set a troubling precedent with regard to the ability of individuals to shut down online free speech via lawfare and intimidate those with different political views . Additionally, some of the defendants in the case had endured death threats and SWATTings


Popehat has a roundup. It is particularly pleasing to me that this was not just a legal victory for the defendants. It was also a thorough, total and ignominious defeat for Kimberlin. Sometimes the good do win.   


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August 11, 2014

A Slight Detour

Yesterday, I got up and zipped off towards the west with the intention of going to the mountains. However, there was a monstrous traffic jam in Newport News and I decided it was prudent to exit the interstate, make my way to Yorktown, drive up the Colonial Parkway and  get on the interstate up near Williamsburg, some thirty miles on. When I noted that the on ramp was backed up because I-64 was STILL a parking lot that far west I decided to take drastic measures and headed all the way to Jamestown, where I took the CF Pocahontas across the James River to Scotland. 




I keep hearing about how Scotland is trying to break away and form their own country, but I don't think they're going to be able to make a go of it. Built on a steep embankment they only have a dozen or so houses, a ferry pier , some fishing boats and no place at all to pull over and take pictures. But hey, if Sealand can make a go of it, who am I to judge?

I continued down State Route 31 with the intention of taking it to Route 460 and via that highway, heading west.  Where routes 31 and 10 meet there is a stoplight. This is the center of Surry, the capital of Surry county.



I stopped at a small grocery and  purchased an iced coffee from a pleasant south asian gentleman and zipped off down the road. 



After some time I encountered a small cluster of churches around a large Fire station and out the corner of my eye spied the word MUSEUM. 



The word museum was attached to the word Dendron which is usually attached to a neuron, so I determined that it was advisable to examine the place more closely and do some disambiguation. 

It turns out that the town of Dendron, is, like the postsynaptic branch of a neuron, named after the Greek word for tree. Also, the aforementioned nerve thingy is actually called a dendrite so my confusion was quite inexcusable and no disambiguation was, in fact, needed. 

The little museum contained an eclectic collection of artifacts including a list of the 12 men from this tiny town that died in the war that began 100 years ago this month.



The museum also solved a mystery of my youth. In my childhood days I lived in a little town called Zuni, some 40 or 50 miles to the southeast of this place. Wandering through the swamps there I had encountered a set of odd very narrow gauge railroad tracks that disappeared into the Blackwater river. It turns out that there had once been a lumber mill in Dendron that had micro gauge rail lines for hauling trees from tree farms as far as 100miles away.  The Lumber mIll had closed up shop in 1929 and taken with it the fire station they had provided, to the town. In 1931 the town burned down, leaving the churches the post office and one small grocery. Now there is also a hardware store and a few other buildings including a very large 4 bay corrugated steel fire house. 

Among the churches was this one, the oldest in the town having been built before 1890. 



Now a Methodist church, it was originally non-denominational and was unusual for many years in that it was a nonsegregated church. The other churches were all built much later. 

Thus edified I proceeded on my way finally reaching a town called Wakefield. Wakefield located on RT 460 (between Disputanta and Ivor if you were wondering)describes itself as "The Peanut Capital of the World" this may or may not be true, but the town is home to the Virginia Diner, which has the best peanut soup and ham biscuits in the entire solar system. 



They had just run out of peanut soup but I got a plate of their exquisite, heavenly, ham biscuits  and partook of the buffet where, it seems,  the beets and the meatballs, both being red spheres, somehow got confused. For a brief moment EVERYONE in the restaurant was made very aware of this most vexatious calamity at the moment it befell a hapless but quite vocal young diner. One horrified shriek notwithstanding, the dining experience was superb. As I left, I observed this theological conundrum across the street. 


"The Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague" Wait. WHAT!?

I then proceeded to my car and noted that my muffler had broken off and was hanging by a single clasp.

Thus ended my journey to the west. I turned east down 460 and headed back towards  home via Suffolk. Along the way I stopped in my old home town of Zuni and discovered that most of it had been washed away during Hurricane Floyd, but the grain elevator (the explosion of which had blown windows out 11 miles away in my youth) still had the lift machinery dangling precariously after 33 years. 



 
Shortly thereafter the passenger side of my car began filling up with water. I soon realized that the AC drain was somehow diverting water into the passenger compartment. I arrived home last night an\d have spent the day flitting between car repair shops. 

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Robin Williams 1951-2014

He was a great actor, a fantastic talent and one of relatively few thespians to be capable of such astounding range.  He had the ability to be moving and even inspirational in the most unlikely roles, one result being that very young man alive should watch Dead Poet's Society.  One thing not widely mentioned about him is that he was one of the few celebrities who went to the considerable trouble of participating in USO shows in Iraq and Afghanistan, something that in today's Hollywood, speaks to a certain moral courage in addition to his talent.

The world is a less happy place and we are certainly all diminished by his loss. 

I will note that it in no way detracts from or diminishes the immense contributions of this singularly talented entertainer to posit that perhaps, just perhaps, there are certain additional developments currently transpiring that might actually warrant at least some attention from our cable news anchors this evening.

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August 10, 2014

Bumbling Along

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August 08, 2014

Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy

A review...
I have nothing to ad, except this... Go see this film.




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August 07, 2014

I Find to my Astonishment That I Do Not Immediately Despise This Plan

The President just gave a speech.

It was rather more direct than usual. 

First some background. 

ISIS (or ISIL) has been slaughtering, crucifying and otherwise creatively exterminating Christians for some time now. However, they have taken as their latest project the complete extermination of the Yazidi, an ancient community in Ninevah whose faith is an offshoot of Zoroastrianism,. The Yadzidi survivors have fled  in an attempt to make for Baghdad but are now besieged and surrounded on a mountain in the desert where starvation and thirst are beginning to take their toll. Thus we are on the verge of a near total genocide. 

ISIL has also taken the dam overlooking Baghdad which means they control vast amounts of electrical power a good percentage of the capitals water and can, should they blow the dam, drown thousands of civilians.

Elsewhere, the Kurds are on the ropes and the whole region is becoming an abattoir. Finally, ISIL, has put their territorial gains and the months they have been largely unmolested to good use, having grown from around 10,000 troops to well over 50,000. 

The President is in a difficult position and none of the options before him are desirable. This evening he announced that US forces have begin air dropping aid  to the Yadzidi and he has authorized what he describes as "targeted strikes" to defend them and a US consulate being menaced by ISIL troops. 

As many of you know, I am not in agreement with our President on most maters, but tonight he is faced with a selection of wretched options and he chose what he believes is the least dreadful amongst them.  There will be a lot of second guessing on this and in the weeks and months to come erudite and voluminous critiques of the minutia of his decision will be made and judgements will be passed with the profound wisdom and knowledge that comes from hindsight. 


But for right now, Barak Obama, our president, has decided to attempt to stop a genocide.  There is much to warrant concern, but I for one do not immediately despise this plan. 


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Episode Title...Or Error Message? As of this Post, the Jury is Still Out.

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Well. This Looks Whacked


While I'm pleasantly impressed with the attention to detail that the pink shell splashes represent, you can color me skeptical on this one. 

And yet...it looks SO...gloriously...whacked....

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August 05, 2014

It's Finals Week, So In Lieu of Content, Here is a Helpful Demonstration of How Not to Handle 71 Different Types of Firearms.

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August 04, 2014

Sincerest Apologies

...to all my readers who are not members of the Mee.Nu blog hosting service.


I just deleted over 30 pages of spam comments that took the form of a cascading cornucopia of katakana. At least for the time being, I simply have to switch to allowing comments by registered users only. 

Note though, that it's real easy to become a registered user. Just click on this hyperlink and fill out the form.  After that, you can just log in and comment away!



I know it's scary, but it's perfectly safe!

You don't even have to use the free blog you'll receive, so it's just like registering for disqus or any chat forum,. 

It's not just the ease of registering though, because now, more than ever, there are good reasons to become a Mee.Nuvian. 

For instance, if you have a Facebook Page and find yourself asking the question "What can a Mee.Nu blog do for me that Facebook can't?" then I assure you, gentle reader, that you are asking the wrong question. 

The correct question is "What awful stuff is Facebook doing to me that a blog based in Naru and managed from Australia absolutely won't?".

The answers to that are numerous and edifying. 

Mee.nu won't do unethical and creepy mental experiments on you. 

Being a Mee.Nuvian does not carry any of sort of antisemitic implications



You will never get this message from Pixy...EVER. 



Mee.nu will not spy on your cell phone either.

Unless you get ALL you're news from a Facebook feed, you may have heard about some of this. However, if you did you were probably afraid to say anything because deep down inside, you know that Facebook is run by the sort of people who thought that Police song was charming and romantic. Well, fear not , because as a Mee.Nuvian, you would be able take off your mask....



... be yourself, and not worry about your every interest, donation and keystroke being recorded and sold to those who would spam you, scam you or struggle against you...at least  you wouldn't have to worry about it being done by Mee.Nu.


 You see, Mee.Nu is run by Pixy Misa, a champion of justice who fights evil from his secret bases in New South Wales and Niue. Facebook is run by Baron Von Zuckerberg... a super-villain who feeds on the souls and personal information of his customers. 

It should be noted  that in Australia such acts of villainy are actually frowned upon by the media, providing another layer of security for people who use an Australian affiliated service.

But wait. There's more!

Mee.nu has all manner of spiffy keen features that are exceedingly easy to use via the user friendly and intuitive dashboard widgets. 

For instance, YouTube video's embed just as easily as on Facebook...



....and don't require that you deal with Facebook just plain screwing with you or facilitating outright fraud

On top of all this, since Mee.nu is a Niuean domain managed from Australia, every time a Mee.Nuvian gets online they are visiting exotic locations on the far side of the world!


But without the scorpions!*

I'll try to get the matter resolved ASAP but signing up for Me N' You is pretty much a win/ win...



*Mee.Nu is absolutely guaranteed not to cause scorpions to menace those at or near one's computer work station, However, Mee.Nu cannot and does not claim to remove preexisting scorpions from ones domicile. If you currently have a scorpion infestation, please contact a licensed exterminator...immediately after signing up for Mee.Nu.

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August 03, 2014

August 3rd: An Ill-Starred Day

But perhaps not as Ill-starred as some seem to think. 
The US anime community was rocked earlier today by a press release from Studio Ghibli indicating that the beloved studio was closing up shop

However, those stories are apparently due to a mistranslation. The company is taking a pause and a shutdown is possible, but there are no reports yet of it's closing in the Japanese media. 




Thankfully I was doing homework when this wave crested otherwise, I'd be posting a retraction right now. 

Given that they are assessing the performance of their post Miyazaki films,  I'll try to see the next two Ghibli films multiple times.

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100 Years Ago Today

The whole situation in Europe had been deteriorating since the 28th, but there had been an ephemeral moment of hope on August first, whe King George V himself had intervened and was exchanging telegrams with his cousins the Kaiser and the Tsar. There appeared to be some conciliation possible but a report that Russian troops had crossed the Austrian frontier invoked a declaration of war by Germany, While all this was going on Belgium was being discretely asked if they would mind terribly if a million or so German troops were to just, kind of pass through their country...for some reason.


Over the next 24 hours, German troops entered Russia's Polish territory, a German cruiser squadron bombarded the baltic town of Libau and German troops just kind of showed up in Luxembourg Significantly, that night. there were reports of German troops as far as 10 miles inside France and French border guards being killed.

The next day, August 3rd, German aircraft bombed the French city of Lune'ville. Belgium responded to Germany's inquiries with an emphatic "NO!". They then invoked their treaty with the British Empire and requested that London help them preserve their sovereignty. The British responded with a n order for full mobilization.  

Then as German and Russian troops engaged each other on the Polish/Prussian frontier Germany declared war upon France. 

With that, Hell descended upon Europe, and a catastrophe that the world has never fully recovered from began in earnest, 100 years ago today. 










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