Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pomchi On Board

Beginning today, I’ll be on the road with my little furkid Sophie for two weeks.  My plans include visiting my best friend at the beach and then heading to Hotlanta to catch the home stand of the Braves against the Washington Nationals.

So far the Nats are 7-7 and my Bravos are 8-5.  Atlanta is on the road battling their division rivals the Mets who lead the NL East 11-3.  Next week the Nats come to Hotlanta and I will be there rooting for my boys.  My seat is behind the Bravos’ dugout.  I’ll be wearing my home jersey, a Braves ball cap and holding a cool, refreshing brewski so you should be able to pick me out of the crowd pretty easily if you catch the games on TV. *snicker*

I’ll get to the Ted (Turner Field) a few hours early to watch batting practice and get some autographs to add to my awesome collection of Braves memorabilia.  I hope my boys are able to beat the Nats.  If they do, I’ll being tweeting their No. 1 fan, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, to give him some guff.  If my Braves lose, of course, I’ll keep my big mouth shut.

While I’m away, co-blogger Proof will keep the place going with content.  This time however, I’ve queued up “Flowing Curves of Beauty” so there won’t be any Star Trek hotties unless, of course, Proof decides to throw some in the mix.

I am always grateful to Proof for taking the reins here when I’m on my “Obama-esque” vacations.  Meanwhile, thanks to all of you for your loyal readership.  Take care out there.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Field Of Empty Chairs

A day can turn in an instant.  At 9:02 AM twenty years ago today, two men along with John Doe No.2 conspired to terrorize a nation.  It was the deadliest attack on U.S. soil until the horror of the 9/11 attacks.

Where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood in Oklahoma City there is a reflection pond, a museum and an expansive lawn with 168 sculpted bronze chairs commemorating each of the victims of the bombing.  As you look out over the field there are two sizes of chairs:  the larger chairs are dedicated to the adults who perished that day and the smaller ones for the nineteen children.

In 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed in a federal penitentiary for setting off the bomb. McVeigh's co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, was also convicted and is serving a life sentence.

The picture above is but one of the iconic images from that day.  The Pulitzer Prize winning photo taken by AP photographer Charles H. Porter shows Oklahoma City Fire Captain Chris Fields carrying the lifeless body of one-year-old Baylee Almon.  Baylee celebrated her first birthday the day before the bombing.  She would have been 21 yesterday.

There was another photographer, Lester LaRue, standing just three feet away from Porter who snapped yet another photograph that centered on innocence lost that day.  The now famous photo shows Sgt. John Avera carrying little Baylee out of the rubble and into the arms of Captain Fields.
All memorials face the impermanence of original memories. From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, a day will come when no one alive will have known first-hand any of the people whose engraved names they read.
How can one look upon such photographs and not be somehow changed.  They evoke such emotion that I cannot find the words to express my sorrow.  When will man’s inhumanity to man end?
Twenty years after the Oklahoma City bombing, words overlooking the memorial plaza speak of reverence for the past, but also of a mission that reaches beyond memory:
We come here to remember those who were killed,
those who survived and those changed forever. 
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.  
May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.”

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Plant Whisperer

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Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

When I was a young girl and television was broadcast in black and white, I remember joining my dad in the living room to watch the New York Yankees play. I became enamored with the game and players like Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Roger Maris, Tony Kubek, Mel Stottlemeyer and Mickey Mantle.  The games were called by LA Dodgers HOFer Pee Wee Reese and St. Louis Browns’ HOFer Dizzy Dean on NBC and by Pee Wee and Curt Gowdy on CBS.  My dad would always laugh when ‘ol Dizzy would say, “He slud into third.”

According to club chronology, the Boston Beaneaters changed their name to the Braves in 1907.  The Braves played their first game in Milwaukee in 1953.  Their first season in Atlanta was 1966.  They played in what was arguably the worst-kept field in baseball—Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium—where, in 1971, “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron hit his 600th homerun.  Just three years later, he broke the Babe’s homerun record by smashing No. 715 off Dodgers’ lefty Al Downing.

Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s the Braves were pretty much the worst team in baseball, but when Ted Turner decided to buy the team in 1976 he began broadcasting the Braves’ game on TBS and after a while the Braves became known as America’s Team garnering fans everywhere as Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, and Joe Simpson called the games. 

The Braves made history in 1991 after going from worst to first to reach the World Series.  I never forgave the Twins’ Kent Hrbek for his thug play at first base in game two.  It was a highly controversial play in which Hrbek grabbed Ron Gant’s leg and pulled him off the base.  The call by umpire Drew Coble was ranked as one of the Top Ten Worst baseball calls by both ESPN and Sports Illustrated.  I know what you’re thinkin’.  You’re thinkin’ I’m biased in favor of my boys, but I challenge you to watch the video.  Even announcers Tim McCarver and Jack Buck knew it was a bad call and said so on air.

The Braves went on to play in the 1992 World Series losing to the Toronto Blue Jays, but, but there was yet another chance for glory in 1995 as World Series Champions against the Cleveland Indians.

I had me some kind of a serious crush on Steve Avery, Atlanta’s young pitching phenom.  There was also Smoltzie and Maddux and Glavine whom I adored.  Hell, I loved all those guys.

And so it was for 30 years until the advent of ESPN when ratings began to plummet and Turner ended the affiliation between TBS and the Braves.

I had been on the road with my employer from 2002 until 2007 and it was a joy to be able to tune into a game and wash away the dreck of the day.  When I came off the road, I was working the night shift, usually 1 to 9:30 PM or 2 to 10:30 PM and wasn’t able to follow the boys from Atlanta.

Now that I am retired, I can sit back with my furkid Sophie and enjoy Braves baseball once again, not on TBS but on Fox Sports South and Sports South.  Old friend Joe Simpson is still calling the games.  Though Skip Caray has joined dad Harry Caray in the broadcast booth in Heaven, son Chip Caray is in the booth with Joe and occasionally former pitcher Tom Glavine will join them.

Things change over the years as they always do.  The Braves in conjunction with Sun Trust Bank are building a new stadium in Cobb County, Georgia.  It will be incredibly easier to get to the park there than in downtown Hotlanta.  I’m looking forward to that.

I’m planning on visiting my friend again next week and the following week I will be at the Ted (Turner Field) to watch my boys beat Charles Krauthammer’s beloved Washington Nationals.  If you watch the games, look for me behind the Braves dugout, chanting the war chant and tomahawk choppin’ with the best of ‘em and during the 7th-inning stretch when it’s time to sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” I’ll be the one singing the loudest.  I should be easy to pick out from the crowd.  I’ll be wearing a home jersey, Braves ball cap and I’ll have a beer in my hand.

I’ll get to the stadium a couple of hours early to watch batting practice and get some autographs to add to my other Braves memorabilia  Look out Dr. Krauthammer, your Nats are going to lose.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bugs Ruin Everything

You may have noticed that my blogging has been scant recently.  I have what I think is a good reason.  Regular readers are aware that I am now among the most blessed of Americans—I am retired.  Retirement for me is akin to kids being out of school for the summer.  Only for me it’s an endless summer.

While I was in the workforce, I kept my property up with low maintenance shrubbery and very few flowers except for those I had on the deck.  I have a guy named Ben who comes to cut the grass every week in the spring and summer and scoops up the leaves every week in the fall until the leaves stop falling.

Now that I’m retired, I have the time to beautify my little corner of the world.  I got Ben to go to Lowe’s and purchase 12”X4” retainer wall blocks that mimic the color of the brick on my house to build a circular flower bed for some beautiful Autumn Lilac Encore® Azaleas and Emerald Blue and Purple Beauty Creeping Phlox.

I also had him replace the dozen Emerald Gaiety Euonymous shrubs that lined the front of my house with two Emerald Green Arborvatae (one at either end of the house) and dwarf Gold Mop False Cypress and frost-proof gardenias.  The euonymous were beginning to succumb to mildew and scale.

I put down pre-emergent fertilizer on my lawn and have sown grass seed in the spots where the damn squirrels have dug holes in search of the acorns they hid last fall.  Through all this, I have been afflicted with a major case of “involuntary horror reaction.”

While feeding my Knock Out® roses, I felt something crawling on me.  I looked at my arm and saw a neon-green worm traveling up to the sleeve of my T-shirt.  EWWW.  I flicked it off and continued undeterred from the task at hand.  A week later, I was feeding my roses again.  I noticed dozens of the green worms all over my pants.  EWWW.  Trying not to scream and alarm the neighbors, I rushed into the house, shed my pants and threw them outside.  I put on another pair of pants, fetched the pants I’d tossed outside the door and tried to shake the little monsters off.  When I felt I had been successful, I came inside and immediately threw them in the washer.

Things got worse from there.  For the last two weeks, every time I’ve gone to the mailbox, I’ve walked through silky threads that resemble spider webs.  They are invisible.  Nothing is creepier than silky, webby stuff clinging to your face.

What’s going on you may ask.  The little green worms are known as cankerworms.  Some call them inchworms.  During late November, the cankerworm moth travels up the trunk of trees and lays up to 300 eggs. In March and early April, the eggs hatch as cankerworms.  They munch and munch and munch on the tree canopy.  When they get their fill, they parachute down on silken threads and get in your hair, in your nose and in your mouth if you’re not careful.

Last Saturday, I was planting impatiens, snapdragons and alyssum in 22-inch bulb pans and saw literally dozens crawling around on them.  I smashed ‘em with murderous glee.  When I went to water my roses after feeding them an organic fertilizer, I noticed they had starting dining on the leaves.  I went to my storage shed and pulled out the Sevin™ dust and began annihilating them.

Needless to say, I am at war with cankerworms.  I have spoken with a local arborist and plan to band my trees next fall.  Ben has agreed to help me with that project.  In the meantime, until the cankerworms finally descend to the ground and disappear, I will be tormented by “involuntary horror reaction.”  I haven’t stopped itching since I started typing this story.

Oh, and one more thing about how bugs ruin everything, if you listen carefully, you can hear what sounds like rain.  It ain’t rain.  That’s the sound of the little nightmares pooping.  Their poop looks like poppy seeds and literally covers everything.  EWWW.

If bugs just followed the rules like everyone else, they really wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s their egregious disregard for boundaries that makes them so despicable.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary's Announcement Video Hacked

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Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Check Out The New Hillary T-Shirts

There’s a big flap on the Intertoobs about Cankles’ new campaign logo.  Lefties are up in arms over the big red arrow pointing to the right.  Others think it’s amateurish.

ABC News contacted a visual communications scholar at the University of South Carolina who said he’d redesign it from scratch. 

"Red is a symbol for danger, and the campaign has a big and bold red arrow pointing right to the right that's dominating the whole logo.  I don’t know if the public wants that. The logo also looks industrial with all the hard edges of the rectangles and arrow. It just doesn't have a warm, fuzzy, welcoming feel."
Clinton's campaign team did not immediately respond to ABC News' calls and email requesting comment.
I wouldn’t change a thing.  She deserves to be mocked often and by those who know how.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

“The human body is the best work of art.” 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Prepare For War

Corruptocrat, former First Lady, New York senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will officially announce, via video and social media, her intention to seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for president today.

The Hag is renowned for being a sham, aggravating and programmed in each and every response.  She’s absurdly inauthentic, as evidenced by her 2007 campaign bullshit speech about being “no ways tired.”  She is eternally conspiracy-minded and a brazen fabulist
She will attempt to divide the nation on cultural issues because she cannot formulate a cogent economic or foreign policy.  She will enter the election believing the “culture wars” to be the best and safest political ground for her. She will portray Republicans as engaged in a “war on women” in such a way that past efforts will look like a walk in the park.

The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin opines, “So far, something about Hillary does not seem right for the present, let alone the future. Aides have been discounting the early going as a false measure, and assuring backers that she’ll right the ship once she launches.”

“Perhaps, but she is taking on much more water than they had expected, and her margin for error is shrinking fast. The polls suggest there is a tipping point with voters and inevitable stumbles and scandals could make 2016 look like 2008.”

If you doubt there is a disturbance in the force, consider Saturday Night Live’s Cold Open last night:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Appalling Rag Silent On Guilty Verdict Of Their “Dreamy Jihad Cover Boy”

Checking the Rolling Stone website you won’t find a peep.  Same for their Twitter feed.
While there are those who oppose the death penalty, those same people should refrain from taking that stance in the case of Dzokhar Tsarnaev.  The same sense of resolve and justice the jury employed when they found him guilty on all 30 charges should be the benchmark as they deliberate the death penalty phase of his trial.
Tsarnaev is a baby killer.
Bill Richard sat on the witness stand 10 feet away from the man who murdered his 8-year-old son Martin.  According to a published report, Richard spoke with remarkable composure testifying, "I saw my son alive, barely, for the last time.  I saw a little boy who had been severely damaged by an explosion. I just knew, from what I saw, that there was no chance." 
He made a choice to leave his dying son’s side to help his daughter who still had a chance of survival.  He picked her up noticing her leg.  “She didn’t have it.  It was blown off.”
Mr. Richard shielded his son Henry’s eyes from the gore and boarded the ambulance with his injured daughter and traumatized son.  Moments later, his wife called to tell him his son Martin was dead.  “I know,” he said.

According to The Boston Globe, Tsarnaev looked away from the witness stand. He watched the images of the carnage on video monitors and saw the photo of Richard struggling to lift a barricade off his wife and children.

Richard still suffers hearing loss, but he showed a steely resolve on the witness stand. "I can still hear you," he told the prosecutor. "And I can still hear the beautiful voices of my family."

As I See It

On Tuesday morning following the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game, the front page of The Wisconsin State Journal carried the headline:  Out-DukedThe Herald Sun in Durham boasted:  Devils Take 5.

The Badgers were thought to be the team with more momentum going into the game having defeated the perfect 38-0 star-laden Kentucky Wildcats.  I listened to countless sports analysts like Jim Nantz, Greg Gumbel, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Clark Kellogg and Ernie Johnson, Jr. prattle on and on about their “predictions” for a Wisconsin win over Duke.

I understand, believe me I do, that there is widespread dislike for Duke.  There will always be haters. In an open thread at Ace of Spades, Y-Not wrote before the semifinal games last Saturday night, “True Americans will be rooting for the Spartans and the Badgers.  Just sayin’.” 

Die-hard Badger fan and blogger friend Steve, proprietor of Grandpa John blog, was nothing but a class act before and after the big game between the two schools.  He offered a correction to my brackets saying, “Sorry in advance for my Wisconsin drubbing North Carolina.”  Of course, he was right.  I had picked the Tarheels of North Carolina to advance to the Final Four against the Badgers.  When they lost I began rooting for Wisconsin because I, like so many others, dislike Kentucky (the second-most hated basketball team in America).

Monday afternoon, well before tipoff, Steve posted a comment asking, “Whatcha doin’ this evening?  It oughta be good, both teams are HOT!”  On Tuesday after Duke’s spectacular victory Steve wrote, “Congratulations! Duke did a great job. (Whimper, whimper.)”

This year’s tournament was filled with upsets and heroes and some of the most unforgettable moments I’ve ever witnessed.  It was heartbreaking to watch the hurt the Badgers felt when they lost.  One photograph told the story most poignantly.  It depicted all five Wisconsin players leaving the court with their hands on their heads in disbelief, confetti falling all around them, realizing their historic run in the tourney was over.
At the same time, Duke fans were euphoric.  I was among them.  I wanted to post an article here right after the game, but decided against it.  It would have sounded like bragging.  I didn’t want to do that.  Instead, I’ve waited a few days so that I might congratulate Wisconsin on a courageous game—a game that was hard-fought, physical, emotional and charged with electricity.  The basketball world may have wanted a Duke-Kentucky championship game, but what they got was a magnificent game played with tremendous heart.
Who knew the headband message “De5tiny” (the piece of tape the Blue Devil mascot wears across its forehead) would come true?
Nike Basketball tweeted this inspiring message:
By now the tears have dried for Kaminsky, Dekker, Koenig, Hayes, Gasser, Showalter, Jackson and Dukan.  It’ll be hard to put aside the disappointment, but years from now they will have a story to tell of how they won more games than any other in their program history.  It was a remarkable journey that was 74 years in the making.  They should be proud.  They were a formidable opponent.  It was “One Shining Moment.” 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

Farsi Farce-y

John Podhoretz’s piece at Commentary Magazine entitled “The Tricks Obama Is Trying To Play With The Iran Announcement” maintains that Obama’s tone of triumph in his Rose Garden statement Thursday afternoon “was mixed with sharp reminders that the deal is actually not yet done—and that is entirely the point of this exercise from a domestic standpoint.  The triumph signals his troops and apologists that the time has come for them to stand with him, praise the deal sheet and pretend it’s a deal, declare it historic and generally act as though the world has been delivered from a dreadful confrontation by Obama and Kerry.”
While Javad Zarif, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs was speaking from the dais in Lausanne, Switzerland the State Department issued a “fact sheet”.  Afterwards he tweeted this:
There is no evidence of a meeting of the minds on the fundamental elements of a deal the “fact sheet” purported to describe. Two days before, Zarif rejected the White House version of the deal alleging it misleads the American public.  According to the Washington Free Beacon, “Just hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of a tentative framework.
Iran would be allowed to continue operating 6,100 uranium-enriching centrifuges for ten years. Experts agree that’s enough to fuel one nuclear bomb per year. Before the Obama administration began talks with Iran, United Nations resolutions had prohibited Iran from enriching uranium, period.
Iran is permitted to keep its underground enrichment facility at Fordow. The administration claims it will be transformed into a “nuclear, physics, technology, research center” that won’t enrich uranium for 15 years. But as Barack Obama has previously said, “We know they [Iran] don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful program.” 
Any nuclear deal would not be indefinite, but time-limited. John Kerry assured the American people that a deal would not include “sunsets,” but that’s precisely what these 10-year and 15-year limits are. Extending a deal would require that the Iranians choose to extend it. 
All American and European nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will terminate at the start of a deal, not in response to Iranian compliance. If this is true, it is a dangerous American capitulation: What incentive would Iran have for keeping up its side of the bargain? If Zarif is lying, it goes to show just how far from a good-faith deal we are.The framework includes only the vaguest of language about Iran’s responsibility to detail the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program to date. This is important because without a baseline understanding of Iran’s nuclear weaponization efforts, the United States cannot accurately confirm any progress on this front.
The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer continues to demonstrate his naïveté and blindness to Tehran’s basic nature.  So desperate is he for a deal that he believes Supreme Leader Khamenei will amend his cry of “Death to America” to “Death to America for research purposes only.”
He reminds me of the model on The Price Is Right who accidentally gave away a car just hours before the Farsi Farce-y in the Rose Garden. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"How I Met Your Mullah" More Popular Than MSNBC

Unlike Mark Twain, reports of the death of MSNBC have not been greatly exaggerated. Mediaite says so.  Politico says so.  Even Deadline Hollywood says so.

Nope, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.  More people are watching Al-Jazeera than the Many Stooges of the National Blowhard Channel.

Andrew Lack, the new NBC News Group chairman, hopes to create more news programming and less dour squawking and race-baiting.  So long as the network is closely tied to the administration of The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer it will continue its steep decline.  There’s a hole in the boat and the boat won’t float.

She Who Shall Not Be Named

On Monday, March 30, 2014 the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate was dedicated in Boston.  The $79 million institute was erected next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The Who’s Who of the Democrat Party were all in attendance.  There was soaring oratory from The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer asking, “What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy?”

Ponder that question for a moment.  For years ‘ol Teddy was photographed in the Kennedy family’s beloved Hyannis Port looking like a tub of shit.

Teddy was one of three debauched sons of privilege (four, if you count Joe who was killed during World War II).  It was that very privilege which saved his neck from being convicted of depraved indifference in the drowning death murder of Mary Jo Kopechne.  After pleading guilty to leaving the scene of the “accident” he received a two-month suspended sentence and his driver’s license was suspended for one year.

The parents of Mary Jo refused to have an autopsy performed on their daughter due to fears that it would reveal she was pregnant at the time of her death.  They received a settlement of $140,904 from Kennedy and his insurance company.

For 40 years, from 1969 until his death in 2003, Joseph A. Kopechne was haunted by the knowledge that his daughter did not drown in Kennedy’s Oldsmobile but asphyxiated gasping for air.  She could have been saved had Kennedy reported the incident right away rather than waiting 10 hours to do so.  Mary Jo’s mom passed away in 2007 and said that Kennedy never told her he was sorry.

There were a handful of websites that provided a link to a piece at Vanity Fair written by Henry Rollins following the death of Kennedy.  The link is dead in every instance that I have tried.  It is important to note that Rollins consistently lobbed harsh criticism at conservative politicians and pundits so it came as a bit of a shock when he penned the following in the online version of Vanity Fair:
“…I am very well known, a United States senator. My family is incredibly powerful. There are allegations that I had been drinking heavily hours up to the time I got into the vehicle with the passenger. I deny this for the rest of my life. That at no point did I make an attempt to call for rescue would probably be considered by many people to be outrageous and horrible, perhaps a crime that would carry a prison sentence. Can you imagine what the parents of the deceased would be going through when they found out that their 28-year-old daughter died alone in total darkness? I serve no time. Not inconvenienced by the burdensome obstacle of incarceration, I seek to maintain my elected position. I am successful and remain a senator for the next four decades. Would any deed I performed in that time, besides going to prison for the negligent homicide I committed all those years ago, be enough to wipe the slate clean? After my passing, would you fail to mention the incident and the death of this innocent person in reviewing the events of my long and lauded life? You wouldn’t forget about her, would you? That would be negligent.”
An article found in the Daily Mail describing the replica of his office included a photograph that rests on a desk that Kennedy once owned showing him with his grandchildren on a yacht.  I added a framed photograph of Mary Jo.
Liberals expect us to kneel in worshipful awe to their “Lion of the Senate”.  Kennedy was a drunken, lecherous aberration.  There was nothing heroic about the man. His grave should be pissed on and his “legacy” mocked often.