MEAGER OR LESS BE THE GIVINGS OF OUR PATHETIC GOVERNMENT

THE MEAGER MEANNESS OF THE REPUBLICANS IN POWER


With the pointless removal of Net Neutrality — a proposition against which 22 million American objected this time around — they did it anyway. As if letting us have anything going for us offended our lords and masters.

We used to have an elected government. Now, we have vicious little kings in their nasty little domains, set up to take it all and give it to those who need it least from those who needed it most. From healthcare — at which they have not yet succeeded in depriving us, but wait for it — to the loss of net neutrality, the goal of this government is to collect taxes from the poor and shovel the money to the already-too-rich-for-their-own-good.

Our government at work

Meager? Our “working” government are a bunch of Scrooges who never saw a ghost. They will not rest until they have wrested everything they can from us and left us poorer by far than when they arrived.

I have long ceased to ask why. These are men who have no conscience, no vision of the future, no love, no compassion. They are cold, hard, mean-spirited men and I hope with all my heart that we toss them out on their asses as soon as legally possible. Sooner if Mueller gets his act together. Who knows how much damage they can do in the meantime?

CANDLELIGHT AT HANUKKAH PLUS CHRISTMAS TREE

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: TRADITION — OR HAVE A MULTI-CULTURAL HOLIDAY SEASON


It’s Hanukkah. Finding the right candles for my Menorah has proved nearly impossible, so I simply light candles, murmur the prayer and that’s fine. There’s actually no law that says you have to use a specific type of candle holder. Any candles can do the job, celebrating brightness against the darkness.

jupiter najnajnoviji

LEGEND OF A BLOGGER

Legendarily speaking, I’m a nonstop blogger who always has something to say. This is a great idea and flattering, too … but this is one of those days when it isn’t working out. And this is going to be just one of a whole bunch of such days coming right up to a theater near you.

Today we are taking Gibbs for a full winter cleanup. We also need to hit CVS for prescriptions and I need wrapping paper. And then, there are a few groceries. Owen is bringing over the new replacement vacuum cleaner because the lightweight one seems to have bitten the big one. Yes, I know, cheap is cheap and when you spend a little, you don’t get much, but the lightweight machines tend to be inexpensive and they don’t last a really long time. Like a year or two and then they pack it in. This one bit it.

Our bigger machine is too heavy for me, but I need something light that will move dirt. It’s a hard combo to get. We used to have an expensive machine to do that, but it was forever breaking down and mostly, it was more broken than not. Now, it is now abandoned, somewhere in the basement. Bye bye Oreck.

This January, it’s (again) my time to be a judge for the Audie awards. I do this every year. I no longer do the first round where I have hundreds of hours of reading. I do only the finals where I have a manageable number of books. But it is coming beginning of January and it will eat the month. This is not something I can dodge and to be honest, I don’t want to dodge it. I enjoy it. It’s fun. Reading a lot of new books is nothing to scoff at.

It does mean I won’t be doing a lot of writing. I won’t do nothing, but daily? Probably not.

In other news, many people I have enjoyed and with whom I’ve become friends are sliding out of blogging. Some are just tired. Others are angry and frustrated with the political mess and can’t find the energy keep going. I understand, but it hurts. People I lose from blogging aren’t just virtual contacts.

They are friends and I care. I hope they feel the same way. All I ask is if you are leaving, please don’t go without at least a good-bye — and maybe your email address?Also, I think this is exactly when our voices are most important.

I’m not dropping out, but I have stuff to do. Right now, with the awfulness of our political system in a tailspin, this is when those of us who have a voice and a platform — and have something worth saying — should be saying it. We need to speak up and keep speaking up. Maybe we aren’t going to change a lot of minds, but who knows? The internet is a funny place. You never know how much of an impact you are having on your world. Every once in a while I discover I’ve made someone think about something differently, see an old concept in a new light and I feel proud. Maybe it’s a small thing, but it feels good.

Meanwhile, for at least the next month, until I’m done reading for the Audies, I’m a bit busy. In case you don’t know what the Audies are, they’re the awards for Audiobooks. This means that unlike words-on-pages books, you can’t “read faster.” Audio unfolds at its own speed, so if a book is 32 hours long, that’s it. In theory, you can speed it up, but listening to an audiobook at 1.5 times normal speaking rate is downright weird. Makes your brain do flip-flops.

I really love blogging but this legend has be less legendary because I can’t fit 34 hours of work into a 24 hour day and it isn’t because I have not tried. It simply doesn’t work.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

UP, UP AND AWAY AT THE TUSKEGEE AIR HANGAR

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: ASCEND


Up and away, the little two-person antique flying machine went. From the leafy green lawn in front of the hangar, into the skies and then it was gone into the clouds.

TOY PICTURES OF CHRISTMAS

I wanted the toys to look like toys. Then I decided I wanted everything to look like toys. I’m not sure it was my best artistic idea, but I tried it anyway. I sort of like it. And sort of don’t. But you gotta admit … it’s interesting.

INHERITANCE WITHOUT MUCH VALUE

It was my anniversary present — from me to we. I am not searching for my ancestors  because I more or less know who they were. Interesting, not fascinating. Not the kind of things you write very long saga tales about. More, I was curious about the very ancient ancestors — the Neanderthals and other early humans and what, if anything, do they have to do with me and mine?

Turns out, I still don’t know. Because MyHeritage DNA doesn’t tell you any of that. Nothing. If you want that information, you have to go somewhere else and search, or pay a lot of money to MyHeritage for the opportunity to connect with people who are at most, very mildly interested in your existence. To be fair, I didn’t feel all that excited about it either. But I was curious, so I paid the money and got nothing much.

We sent them our DNA and discovered what we already knew. Garry is widely mixed with European and African ancestors and I am Jewish. Very Jewish. As far as MyHeritage is concerned, back to the dawn of time which is illogical because no one was anything to the dawn of time. Otherwise, there wasn’t a surprise in the package.

I am almost entirely Ashkenazi with a wee bit of Sephardi and a hint of Baltic — probably the guy no one talks about. I had been hoping for something more entertaining and certainly more information. Some minimal analysis would have been a nice touch. What we got were numbers and a map. No analysis. Not even a summary paragraph. Nor reference material or links or anything to work with.

Garry was more entertaining than me, but not exactly shocking. We knew about his Irish grandparents. We expected — and found — lots more Europeans and many more Africans, almost equally mixed. And we expected that. Garry’s DNA is a broad brush across Europe and Africa.

Garry even has a 1.7% Ashkenazi Jewish in there (maybe we’re related?) … and a 2.1% Middle Eastern component. I, on the other hand, am Jewish. Except for that tiny bit of Baltic. So where does my weird B+ blood type come from?

I was disappointed. The results are skimpy. Within the limits of what they did, I suppose they are accurate — but it doesn’t feel like they did anything much. No depth to this material and the lack of any kind of analysis? Really? If you want real information, they want a lot more money. But if this is all the information they can retrieve from the DNA, more money isn’t going to get us deeper analysis. To get deeper analysis, you’d need deeper information gathering and that’s missing. What they really want to do is run your family tree information against other family trees to look for matches. If that’s what you want, join Ancestry.com. You’ll get more information there.

They offer links to “relatives” here, but if you want to get in touch with them, that costs more. Of course.  There were more links for me than for Garry, but that’s because Ashkenazi Jews are closely related and have been studied more than most groups. Otherwise, the information MyHeritageDNA gets seems more dependent on how much data you give them than anything they retrieve from your DNA.

MyHeritageDNA doesn’t dig for information. If what you are looking for is something that will agree with what you know, this might be just what you need. If you are looking for a deeper or broader understanding of your ancestral history … well … this ain’t it. 23andMe gets better reviews for about the same price. Ancestry.com gets reviews just like this one, but provides nominally more analysis of results — but at a price.

Of course, any analysis would be more than I got. Also, there a very new one called Insitome DNA Test Kit: Neanderthal Genetic Traits Profile (Ancestry) powered by Helix which sounds potentially interesting. But I’m not paying up front again. Once was enough.

Inheritance. Now I know that I already knew it. Whoo hoo!

OTHER PEOPLE’S DOGS

Other people’s dogs love their people more than anything else in the world. They will do anything for a hug, a pat, or a cuddle.

Other people’s dogs come when called. Sit when told. Some of them do other things … like walk at heel. Even do tricks.

Our dogs are without a shred of respect for us. Before they do something nice for us, they want to know what’s in it for them. Are they going to get one of the “good” treats? Or better yet, a piece of chicken? Or maybe a fried shrimp? Any human food, in a pinch.

We do not have obedient dogs. I mentioned this to Ellin. She looked at me and said: “We are not the kind of people who have obedient dogs.” I’m pretty sure that’s because we find their disobedience so damned funny, they know they can get away with murder — as long as they make us laugh. Meanwhile, we tell them what to do and they ignore us.

So, what about being willing to do anything for to make us happy? Surely you are kidding? They won’t get off the sofa unless someone is heading for the kitchen … or Duke thinks there’s chance someone will throw the ball for him … or there’s a funny noise out there that requires immediate barking.

Love us no matter what? I’m pretty sure if we run out of biscuits, the dogs will go looking for a better home.

And yet, we continue to bribe them anyway. We let them disrespect us daily. We give them their medication. We buy the best food we can find. We worry about them. If they don’t seem quite up to par, I wonder if I should rush my little furry one to the vet. They can fake me out by simply refusing to eat a meal.

Bonnie didn’t eat dinner? She must be dying. Well, maybe not Bonnie. She has been known to not eat on the theory that something better will show up in the dish if she turns her nose up at dinner numero uno. The other two though? Gibbs is the most serious eater I’ve ever seen. Nothing can dislodge him from dinner. Duke is distractable, but he doesn’t leave much. Even when distracted.  As I write this, I can see them sitting on the sofa, laughing at me.

What’s wrong with them?

More to the point, what’s wrong with us?