Instant gratification

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:27 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
The thing about having quick access to the internet and an out of town spouse is that when one wakes at 5 AM with a strong need to hear "Elsie Marley, " it's possible to do so without even getting out of bed. Being me, though, once I did that, the obvious next thing was to check email and then Dreamwidth, and now something that should have taken three minutes has been half an hour. Also, someone is wrong on the internet. Youtube has many fine renditions of EM, including one in a medley with Byker Hill (as it should be), but there is also a kid karaoke animated thing that pops up with lyrics set to the tune of "London Bridge is falling down." Is the idea that children can't deal with singing along to a jig?
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
I was struck by the image of five blocks of people in a bucket chain, passing along rubble from downed buildings in Mexico City. How long could I stand, moving heavy objects over and over? Credit cards are easy (for me). Could I do something hard?

what does respresenting mean?

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:41 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
In the 1970s, there was a NC state representative in a rural mountain area of the state who said that she counted the letters she got on any particular issue, and voted based on the total.
I think the point of representative democracy is that our elected surrogates are supposed to have the common good in mind, not necessarily going with the loudest voices. Says someone who has been encouraging people to call about Graham-Cassidy. There is a long history of pork barrel politics, but is that really what we want? And when it is money versus money, how to decide? Due to the heartlessness (or cluelessness?) of most GOP senators, as CNN says, it's all in some sense down to Murkowski (R) AK.
The cynical authors of the bill know that if Alaskan will be harmed by this bill, she'll vote against it. So there is a bribe included in the text of the bill - the grants for Alaska will be half again higher than for other states. If she counts the dollars (like counting the letters), I expect she'll go with the bad guys, despite the previous opinions of her constituents and the current remarks of the governor.

trivial clock update

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
In early August, I mentioned the clock we have that stops and then starts mysteriously. It started ticking again this morning (almost two months after it stopped).

A, C, D

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:28 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
It dawned on me the other day that the US issues that worry me most* can be summarized by the first few letters of the alphabet. There is so much going on that a frightening number of people are unaware that the ACA might really be destroyed in the next couple of weeks by the heartless GOP.
Short, terrifying summary (the vote is expected before a new CBO score could happen:
Clear, almost snide opinion piece

I called my parents' senators about C-G last week while I was in NC. I thought about going to DC today to participate in the rally outside the Capitol building (it's at 12:15, if you're around), but decided to send the money that would be spent on transportation by donating to organizations like Indivisible. Bernie's timing promoting single-payer, as is often the case, seems self-aggrandizing rather than useful. It's a good idea, but right now we need to save lives that depend on the current system.

Updated - saw on twitter that Senator Murkowski (R) AK is accepting out of state calls, so I'm on hold, listening to patriotic music played by a brass band, presumably one of the military bands. Hard to beat the Stars and Stripes Forever ( about the fifth song I heard. The phone answerer was surprised to hear that I was calling from MA, so maybe it was just a rumor, but I thanked her).

Or, alphabetically, (ADA), one could worry about the House instead, and oppose HR 620. That's a bad thing, but proportionally the effects won't be as (literally) deadly as Cassidy-Graham.

And of course, there is the whole DACA business.

*(other than individual things like three people dying in a bus crash in NYC yesterday)
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
I follow the Adverts 250 project on twitter, seeing every day ads about US enslaved people from 1767 (currently) in newspapers. There is a much more detailed web site, but the ads are the same in either format. A couple of days ago, I noticed the sixth one down on this page (I can't figure out how to isolate the image)
which says "To be sold for no fault, but want of Employ, a strong healthy Negro man, aged about 36 years, who understands the sawing business, and is very suitable for a master builder or cabinet maker. Inquire of Edes and Gill."
The ad was printed in the Boston-Gazette. The names tugged at me, and I realized that the re-enacted print shop near Old North was theirs. They currently mostly print a version of the Constitution, but they are clear about the link to the Gazette and the proprietors.
What the sites don't mention (among many other things, no doubt) was the slavery connection. Can I reasonably expect someone who was part of the "Sons of Liberty" (Edes) to have turned down paying customers who were happy depriving other people of their own liberty? I love that building, and like the press, and this is pissing me off. One of the historical advisors of the shop is J.L. Bell. I am coincidentally reading one of his books, "The Road to Concord," the thesis of which is that the whole Patriot's day ruckus was over some stolen cannon, not powder, so much. (I'm over-simplifying). Bell also follows the Adverts 250 project on twitter (along with hundreds of other people, several of whom I also follow). I am tempted to send JLB a personal message asking why the slavery issue is ignored by the shop, but I expect that would just get me blocked, and I haven't had the nerve to ask Gary the printer in person, either.
To be accurate, I think the original bunch of guys calling themselves Sons of Liberty were named after the Liberty Tree on the common, and they were formed to fight the Stamp Act of 1765, but still. Liberty is in the name.

(unrelated, I also have a question about a passing 1766 reference to the bells in "the Road to Concord" that has insufficient source citations).

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:28 pm
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[personal profile] 42itous
a butterfly seen head-on on a flower
"If I turn sideways, you can't see me."

Horror movies and me.

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:46 pm
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[personal profile] feoh
I have known for years that I really do not enjoy horror movies. Experiencing a scary experience on the big screen is one thing. I like war movies, natural disaster movies, and movies involving extreme sports where death is a silly millimeter away.

Horrior is something different. I'm not sure whether it's the whiff of the supernatural, or the particular psychological knobs this genre twiddles to thrill its fans, but I really, sincerely can't even handle it on a physiological level.

A friend good naturedly ribbed me into going to see Stephen King's _IT_ tonight.  I made it through the first maybe 15 minutes of the movie. By the time I walked out, my pulse was POUNDING and even the false scares so common in these films where it turns out to simply be the wind or the film's score or WHATEVER had me jumping so hard it was almost painful.

I'd thought that since I read the book as a young boy (junior high I think when it came out) that knowing the story would defang the visceral-ness of my reactions a bit. Not so much.

Never say never, but I do not envision exposing myself to that kind of stimulus again any time soon.

taken in by a gimmick

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:24 pm
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
In a good way. There is a documentary about the Avett Brothers called "May it Last" that I gather will eventually show on HBO, but it played in cinemas "One Night Only" nationwide yesterday (except for a few hurricane-hit places, which may show it later). We attended one of the shows at the Landmark Kendall. The other greater Boston locations (Liberty Tree mall in Danvers, Framingham) only had the one 7 PM show, but Kendall had several over the course of the evening. I suspect if it had a regular theatrical run we would have meant to see it, been too busy, and then missed it, but since it was our only chance (we don't have HBO), we made an effort to shift around our plans. Recommended, although I don't know if a recommendation is useful, since it's gone. We think that the teenage girls a couple of rows behind us must have caught sight of themselves during a concert audience shot near the end, because they erupted in shrieks of laughter.

tourism plus donations?

Sep. 12th, 2017 12:17 pm
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
After short visits (over decades) to Aruba, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, I felt that I had had enough Caribbean exposure to last - I live near a coast, why go so far for a beach? (in the case of PR, we went to Arecibo and the rain forest). Now I'm wondering whether it would be helpful in the next year or two to take my tourist dollars directly to some of the islands whomped by Irma. Antigua has taken in all of the residents of their fellow island Barbuda. They will need many kinds of support, including, as their ambassador told NPR this morning, a way to squeeze 500 kids into their schools immediately, since the school year has already begun. The One America Fund seems to be only supporting Texas and Florida, not the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico. I will send money in the short term, but after a while they might need business, not charity.
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