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Insidious

The New York Times makes you subscribe to their website. Ok!? I can get the news in alternate ways… but it is convenient and I trust the source. To ramp up revenue they have three alternatives: wirecutter; athletic; cooking. All charge a surcharge on the basic subscription. Call it separate magazine subscriptions? For a while cooking surcharged and then the charge went away. The charge has returned again. I am a prisoner of my wifi carrier – no names please! But the information on recipes is funny. What you shield is freely available, just not your secret sauce. Do I care or need it?

About 182,000,000 results (0.51 seconds) 

Google tells you how long the search took. I got the recipe you (NYT) hid from me in 1/2 second.


SS

NYT 8/10/22

I think I shall call them SS. The secret service is permanently assigned to ex-presidents. It makes them look so important. Invincible?! So far this one has not been indicted or convicted of the myriad of crimes he committed from paying off a porn star to blackmailing Ukraine to a failed coup and insurrection. What more can one ask in this visual? Fist high? Nazi salute. Storm troopers! Star wars or more Nazis? It’s a striking visual of the times we are in. Millions adore the man. Some millions more detest him. His legacy endures. Hero or traitor? I wonder how history will finally turn out. No one is named Hitler around here in these times.


In counter

Encounter? New counter? Ah!! How exciting!! Kitchen renovation is so much fun! And so many $$$$. Um? Five $ signs? Prep? Preparation? You clear the counters. Oh boy! Remove the drawers. Ha ha. My cats! I got curious cats! Yup, each had a go inside the cabinets. There is always a surprise. In this case the plumber told us the new sink was too deep to be able to install a garbage disposal. Ah!! Refund!

Backsplash is up next, it’s another home project for me. I will learn to cut tile. My son in law does tile work and floors for a living. He’s too far away to be of any help. And besides, I like making new mistakes every day.

Ha ha! A new counter? Already you cannot see the new surface to admire it. Really?!! And the cooktop does not fit in the hole. The new counter sits down lower; the gas feed hits the back of the drawer. So!!??#@$ more carpentry was needed to make it fit. This one cost blood as I cut myself on my brand new “sharp” chisel. Kitchen renovation – a game the whole family (cats) can play.


H.B.

Time is slipping by too fast. The decades go and I don’t have many to go. Maybe, none? No complaint. I’ve had a good ride, a charmed life. There were tragedies. Many. There has been great joy. Sometimes, the fries are great, others, not so much. Overall, I can only add, a happy ending is the preferred ending. Yes, it’s my post and today is my day. Happy. Happy? Happy! Yup, yep, yes!


Back in the saddle

Returning home from Christmas in the Midwest, we received an urgent call (in the car) for medical advice. A distant cousin had had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. First the local ER and then a transfer to the University for tertiary care followed. No names please. I got a disjointed story. It was a stroke, then a bleed, then…. I was able to figure out it was probably an aneurysm. Stroke: sudden catastrophic event in the brain – yes, technically so. But, this was treatable. Angiogram – ultimately, three lesions – two aneurysms, one AVM (arterio-venous malformation). The same conundrum – which one bled? Ultimately, all three were treated, although it took three sittings – two operations within a week. Cured! A happy ending. We like that. And a very happy new year was had by all. Me? I helped interpret the medical terminology along the way. Solving the case with limited information was as good as a Sherlock Holmes mystery. For a while it was like playing “telephone” in elementary school once again. Miss it? Nah! I been there. The fascination was in solving the decision making tree to the benefit of the patient. Flowers? A sign of “get well, soon!” And, I especially like happy endings.


Eh?

If you don’t get it? You must be dumb, or, a Republican. ‘Nuff said. Someone is finally speaking up for the “rest” of us.


Mirror mirror

We were out perusing the goods. A floor length mirror was too good to pass by. I just wanted the photo-op. We did not need the mirror. We looked about; no one was near; click!


10%er

Patch loved to sit on the table and mooch. He wouldn’t eat. He loved to lick potato chips, for the salt? And, he liked smoked turkey. He had been taught not to eat table food. So, it was with a mixture of rebellion and obedience that he – ha! – mooched. He did not bother me, just Colleen. This was just before he became mortally ill. I smile because I just downloaded a happy memory of Patch in better times. 10%? It refers to the fact that all my pets going back to Nellie, my dog, all had a right to a 10% share of anything I ate. They held me to it. I was/am helpless to deny them their right. Yeah, yeah, Patch liked to lick bread too.


Once upon a time

You can find all sorts of shit in antique stores. I came across mags of unknown age from an age before this. They were every bit as heinous as today. Playboy had nothing on them. They were misogynous, sexist, and demeaning to women. And, they sold! I wouldn’t know. I never saw them till now. But it would appear that white supremacy and male dominance is not nothing new. It’s pretty shameful to find it among us now and back then. It seems we doomed ourselves to repeat history. Just when you think we are enlightened you find out we are/were not. I’m sad. People actually bought and read this shit.


I love my wife

One month later – anniversary (second was) 2/28 – “I love my wife”, was sung by Frank Sinatra. I love my present wife…. to pieces. I think I must have been a frog…. Yes, I’ve been transformed. Content, for sure. I came across the art sculpture in an antique store for $$$$. I only needed a picture. Keepsake? I’ll keep my wife for as long as she will keep me. I’m a handful! Ask her? So far so good…

I have to say it’s pretty neat to spin the photo catalog and find lots to illustrate the story of the day.


Hug your wife

It’s figurative. Not applicable to everyone. Not everyone has a cat either. And. Don’t we all complain how we look in pictures? That said, it’s nice to hug your wife. it’s nice to love her as much as I do mine. It’s nice to be truthful and honest about it all. I’m writing this post on a bright sunny day. When you read this I hope your day is as sunny as the smile in mine.


Laying pipe

We went down to the beach to find the federal replenishment program in full swing. How to they do this? They pump sand onto the shore, pristine sand, from about a mile offshore using pipe to carry the sand to the beach. They lay all this enormous length of pipe. Bulldozers spread the sand pile, and, instant beach! I have mixed feelings about the process of messing with Mother Nature. But without the Feds, I would otherwise be on beachfront property about a mile from the current beach.  Erosion can be impressive. The last replenishment saw the beach raised about ten feet higher. Shhh… this enormous project is akin to shoveling … against the tide. I’m still a mile from the ocean front. Does iPhone face recognition work with masks? …’cause we’re headed to the bank next.


Hanging out

Why? The red bellied woodpecker hangs from the feeder. To have a faster getaway? ??? Dunno. He’s a rare sight worth a photo. And the cardinal and blue jay are not common either. They are skittish. We only seem them infrequently and for a few seconds. It’s their version of bird fast food. Eat and go. Another conundrum: the red bellied woodpecker has a grey belly and a red head. There is a red headed woodpecker that is different from this one.


Happiness

Happiness is a warm spot. Elle loves to be by the portable radiator, and, in front of the window is a plus. Nutley does guard duty warding off the squirrel. He is always on alert and at the ready. Right?! Willow has found a soft warm spot in our comforter. Our cats are “indoor” cats. It means no outdoor excursions without supervision. I have escape artists. Ray’s winter outdoor privileges are rescinded.


Paper or box?

Story or illustration? The bottom two pics are to melt your heart – if you are a cat lover (or not). The rest illustrate the story. One good image would do. But I’m lazy and didn’t try to narrow it down. A new box is always certain “cat” entertainment. Everyone (cat) has a go. Climb in and claim your spot. There is no pecking order. First in…. Ok there is an occasional territorial dispute. In a pinch, a bag will do as a cat container. And the wrapping tissue, this was a whole new experience. The paper was a hit. They tossed it around all day … till it was shredded. Yes, a box, send more boxes!


Was it the pavement or the push?

This image is well known. It depicts two Buffalo police officers shoving a protester to the ground. It was taken from video of the incident in question.

When I was called to the Grand Jury on a case my older partner laughed. It was a case of a club bouncer hitting a man knocking him to the ground. The man sustained a subdural hematoma on the brain and subsequently died. My partner said, “They will ask you if it was the push or the pavement curb that caused the subdural?” Huh?! Of course, the brain hemorrhage was the result of the shove! The bouncer was not indicted. The jury took the side that the pavement was the cause.

And so, too, is justice served once again. president trump did not incite a violent mob to invade the Capitol on January 6. He merely spoke at a rally. The crowd then freely stormed the building without any orders. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t agree in either case. Let’s see to the video. Do you believe these excuses and explanations?


Family grouping

We didn’t change much. Colleen and I are identical triplets and everyone came in for dinner at the holidays. We were a family gathering of less than 10. You know how it goes, triplets tend to dress alike. We couldn’t resist. All safety measures were taken and testing was all negative. Christmas lacked the big roast – the Beef Wellington was in the oven. And, oops, there were four of me at Thanksgiving.


Assembly required

Food photography is not my forte. Far from it, I have read about food stylists who add shine and steam. Often lard will stand in for… not all is real in food imaging. Alas – it’s my new favorite word – some things need help… Leftover turkey makes great pot pie. Where’s the pot? Ha ha? I have to admit we adpated our own container. Pot pie for two, it’s not an easy to task to find the right vessel. We tried to be simple, not overboard, This is comfort food. I browned the mushrooms. Yeah, yeah, it’s not a component. Well, it is, in mine. Sauce – cheating? – yes we used – cream of chicken, no, cream of mushroom. In the end it’s about what you like; there’s nothing set. And the grocery store frozen brand stuff has nothing on us. This was piping hot and as good to eat as it looked. Sorry, no steam effect.


It ain’t easy

Ho hum. We see a photo and it’s just commonplace. We hardly pause to consider the technical skill needed to get the shot. Sometimes it’s just luck and happy circumstance. Trust me. It ain’t easy to photograph a spider web. Sure, you’ve seen a million of ‘em. I will readily tell you that the web is so fine, your spiffy camera does not want to focus. It will focus anywhere but upon that fine thread. We had a couple of big ugly spiders slumming on our deck this past summer. I don’t like bugs to begin with. But I got shots. Fighting backlighting is another challenge in getting the “shot.” Spiders eat bugs too. Ain’t that grand? My point? Getting an image of a web is hard to do!

Apropos to the day: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)

And in case you don’t get it: “Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive’ means that when you lie or act dishonestly you are initiating problems and a domino structure of complications which eventually run out of control.”


Bugs

I have two spiders who made webs and a home outside my windows. You would almost miss them. How? They are large! And, I was able to photograph their webs. The webs are nearly invisible. And they are large (too)! There’s not much cute about them. Somehow predators are not very warm and fuzzy. The details are what I could get. Not too good, not too bad. I was pleased to get as much detail in the web as I did. And, if you look closely you can see the thread of web spinning from the spider’s rear.


Bewildered

“Denmark’s mink industry is gone, a victim of the coronavirus. The nation killed all its 17 million mink because of fears of a mutation in the virus that had spread from mink to people.”

2020 will be remember for trump and Covid 19. Herd immunity? In the animal world, mink got it and we slaughtered 17 million. We would have killed them for their pelts without much fanfare or notice for the rich and wealthy to wear. How nuts is all of that? The number is stunning (to me). Danish farmers protested in a tractor demonstration in Copenhagen. Not many protests occur when the fur industry puts 17 million to death for coats. Was this article about money or animal life?

Mink farmers drove their tractors into Copenhagen to demonstrate against the Danish government as coronavirus infections raged through mink herds.  

Could we get rid of Covid by killing off millions of the world citizens? Did it work for mink? Imagine if trump were king instead of a deposed wannabe. Herd immunity was a good idea no worse than killing 17 million mink out of hand? It’s an amazing world out there. Sometimes you gotta wonder if Mother Earth would be better off without a few billion humans. Reset. Climate change….. Herd immunity has its supporters among whom are white supremacists, Fox news, Newsmax…. Hey! It’s a viewpoint. 17 million minks for coats is ok?! They pay for a lot of tractors, which…..


Monarch butterfly… & bee

A monarch landed on the deck among the mint blossoms. It stayed for 780 images. Yup!! Most times they have defects in their wings – damage from flying about. So? Which images were worthy? To be sure I have monarch butterfly pictures. (And, I have a whole lot more now.) These two made the cut. One – I never get a curled proboscis. Two – my goal has been to get a bee in flight – one next to a monarch butterfly – priceless!! To be honest, the bee simply flew into my picture. It was the one and only image.


Point that finger

By the time this post is published it will be nearly four months gone by. Darn! They just get cuter. We live so far apart I will hardly get to see Noa. Someone (Colleen)  was right – she’s always right. And, ever dutiful, I acknowledge that she is (definitely) the better half.

“She will get cuter. And, you will miss her more!”


A little bit different

We were having a solitary Thanksgiving. No travel, no family, no friends. I broke the rule and invited my brother. Then, with the dismal news, and the heightened risks, we felt compelled to follow good practice and refrain. So, no one will join our dinner but our seven cats. I wish a peaceful healthy Thanksgiving to all. On a lighter note, it appears that Jules once weighed less than our celebration turkey. Go figure! That is at least worth a smile.