FAINTLY PRAISED – THE SAD HUMOR OF 2016

In 2016, during the final few moments of the final debate — and I use all these words very loosely — the “contestants,” excuse me, I meant “candidates” were asked if there was anything at all that they liked or admired about their opponents.

Rusted trucks, faintly praised

Clinton said, “Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.” She was lying. I knew it, and you knew it. I suppose it was the best she could do. She still thought, as a politician, she had to be polite.

I believe we have all learned otherwise in the year since.

Trump accepted Clinton’s words as “a nice compliment,” and added, “I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter.” Really? Wow. Praise indeed.

It was the “high point” of the event. The high ground of a depressing hour of television but ironically, not nearly as depressing as reality was going to become a mere one month later. It probably was funny … and maybe, if I live long enough, I’ll laugh. Not yet. I think my sense of humor is just not up to par.

FAINT PRAISE – THE DAILY POST

TRUMP SMELLS LIKE A WHITE SUPREMACIST, PERIOD. — REBLOG by “A LOT FROM LYDIA”

Trump Smells Like a White Supremacist, Period. 


As the Bard once said:

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The same could be said of fecal matter.


Nevertheless, it’s time to call things by their proper name. A rose is a rose, what happened in Charlottesville was terrorism, and Donald Trump is a white supremacist…among other things.

Donald Trump knows which side his bread is buttered on. KKK leader David Duke knows which side Donald Trump’s bread is buttered on. Vladimir Putin knows which side Trump’s bread is buttered on. Trump has a lot of people buttering one side of his bread, and they’re all despicable.


Merck CEO Kenneth Frazer has taken a stand against Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists by resigning from Trump’s Jobs Advisory Council, saying:

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”

Trump’s response was not to make himself clear in opposition to white supremacist hate groups, instead he attacked the black man who took a stand against them in a tweet.

The bottom line here is that Trump will not speak out against hate groups, like he will not speak out against Putin. They own him.

If there is any question left in anyone’s mind about Trump’s Nazi tendencies consider this often used gesture of Trump’s. Coincidence?

Point made?

There is a big push today to get Steve Bannon out of the White House. Yes, he should be removed, but, the man who put Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Stephan Miller, and Gorka there, did not do so by accident. You don’t surround yourself with racist hate groups if you are opposed to their thinking.


Trump will be gone soon enough. His financial crimes will be his undoing. What is happening to America in the meantime has to stop. The only way for this to stop is to make clear to hate groups that this behavior is not going to be tolerated. How?

  • In Germany and in several other countries it is a criminal offense to make the Nazi salute. They have good reason. That should be considered here.
  • Neo-Nazi white supremacist organizations, are terrorist organizations, and should be registered as such.
  • Twitter has been outing those at the rally, that is another way to combat this.


Can we stop pretending Donald Trump is less of a racist than Steve Bannon? Trump was raised in this.

It’s time for the KKK to put their white hats and robes back on and crawl back into the hole Trump let them out of.

Source: Trump Smells Like a White Supremacist, Period. 

WHEN I THINK ABOUT FRYING

When I think about frying, absolutely nothing comes to mind. I mean, really zero. Eventually, I thought of a poem and found it.

It’s from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” It’s got a hefty dose of boiling and roasting, too. If you are sensitive to little birds, this is probably not the poem for you.

Fifteen birds in five fir trees is a poem found within the chapter:

Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire” from The Hobbit.


Fifteen birds in five fir trees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
what funny little birds, they had no wings!
Oh what shall we do with the funny little things?
Roast ’em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them and eat them hot?
Burn, burn tree and fern!
Shrivel and scorch! A fizzling torch
To light the night for our delight,
Ya hey!
Bake and toast ’em, fry and roast ’em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black
in cinders lie
beneath the sky!
So dwarves shall die,
and light the night for our delight,
Ya hey!
Ya-harri-hey!
Ya hoy!

SIMPLE MURMURATION OF THE BELLS (BELLS BELLS BELLS BELLS)

Bells. Bells. Bells. Bells. Bells. Bells.

Dong. Ding. Dong. Tinkle. The simple murmuration of the bells. Bells. Bells. Bells. Bells.

Poe wrote this during one of those times when it was obvious he’d had one hit of opium over the line. I remember when I found it in a book of Parody. It was listed as “Unintentional Self-Parody,” and to me, it is. I was sure I’d find murmuration in it. It’s the kind of word you’d expect from Poe in one of his darker, more self-absorbed moments.

THE BELLS by Edgar Allan Poe

I.

HEAR the sledges with the bells —
Silver bells !
What a world of merriment their melody foretells !
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night !
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight ;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
(NOTE: You could as easily use murmuration here.
Although it’s a couple of beats short, you’d just need a simple
two syllable adjective to give it full weight.)
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II.

Hear the mellow wedding bells
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells !
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight !
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon !
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells !
How it swells !
How it dwells
On the Future ! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells !

III.

Hear the loud alarum bells —
Brazen bells !
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells !
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright !
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now — now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells !
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair !
How they clang, and clash, and roar !
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air !
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows ;
Yet, the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells —
Of the bells —
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
In the clamour and the clangour of the bells !

IV.

Hear the tolling of the bells —
Iron bells !
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels !
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy meaning of their tone !
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people — ah, the people —
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone —
They are neither man nor woman —
They are neither brute nor human —
They are Ghouls: —
And their king it is who tolls ;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A pæan from the bells !
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells !
And he dances, and he yells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells —
Of the bells :
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells —
Of the bells, bells, bells —
To the sobbing of the bells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells —
Of the bells, bells, bells —
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells —
Bells, bells, bells —
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

The Daily Press | MURMURATION

THE LUSH, THE PLUSH, AND THE FALLING DOWN DRUNK

We watch a lot of old movies. We also have been following a CBC series called “The Murdoch Mysteries” which is a co-production with the BBC. In it and in almost all those old movies we love, everyone has a drink in his or her hand all the time. No matter what happens, from murder to emotional crisis, to epic human tragedy, to it simply being noon on a Thursday, the fix is simple. Drink. Have one. Have two. Just drink up, ladies and gents.

Freshen your glass?

It’s a testament to the change in attitude to “social” drinking that at least on media outlets, being a lush is no longer considered hilarious. The glories of drunkenness are no longer celebrated with quite the enthusiasm as in days of yore.

drinks table dinner

I’m not convinced this means anyone anywhere drinks less than they always have. They just drink less on television — and maybe, in the movies. Out in that surreal “real” world, I’m pretty sure everyone is still knocking them back with the same enthusiasm alcohol has always engendered. Some people really can stop any time they want. Many can’t.

If “sober” is a dirty word in your life and nobody understands how badly you need another drink right now? Maybe your bar tab exceeds half a month’s pay and the only people you know have their own “designated” seats at the bar or pub? If the number of empty bottles in your trash is getting embarrassing? If the word “lush” feel uncomfortably personal, maybe you’d like to lower your expenses by reducing how much you drink?

Consider dropping by the Alcoholics Anonymous® website. It’s free. This is a quiet, worthwhile organization which can help you.

You don’t have to go it alone. 

LUSH | THE DAILY POST

AUTOMATICALLY

AUTOMATIC | THE DAILY POST


I lived my life on automatic for a long time. I got up, got dressed, scraped the ice off the car, went to work (stopping for coffee along the route) and proceeded through my day. Stopping to think only as required. Usually that was when someone asked me a questions, like “Hey, we’re sending out for pizza, you want in?” and that wasn’t a very big think.

72-Traffic-Towers-Road-071416_08

Between having done the same kind of work for a long time and perpetually racing against a deadline, thinking was a luxury. I wasn’t against it. I employed it when needed, but anything that I could do without engaging the frontal lobes made the day go more smoothly.

And then, everything changed.

An office

The industry decided that the work I did wasn’t necessary. Who needs a manual to tell them how to use equipment that costs a gazillion dollars and controls the operation of a steel mill? Or a missile tracking system? Or a space satellite grabber for use out in space? They can always call the help desk (especially in space where you can always find a good solid signal for your phone). Of course, those were the days when you actually could get help from people at the desk because everyone in the company was available to answer questions. From the CEO to the developers who designed each product module, we were all there to help. I was the one who organized all the chaotic information into a book with a table of contents, and index, chapters, and diagrams so you would not alway have to call someone.

empty equipment boxes

But the bottom line did me in. You can’t cut developers and you need a boss because someone has to say why you are all gathered here this morning. Also, the boss makes sure there’s coffee to fuel workers. That’s critical.

But a writer? They would only hire me when they were nearing the end of the cycle and realized the contract required they deliver documentation with the product. Sometimes, I got as little as three weeks to learn the product and produce a book that looked professional. At that point, no one much cared what was in the book or whether the information would be of any use to anyone. It just had to be big, thick, nicely designed, and weigh enough to use as a doorstop.

My days were numbered. Eventually, I was OUT.

They created “automatic documentation” generated by a program using “comments” left by developers. Many of whom speak English as a second or third language and in any case, do not understand how people work and what information they need to successfully navigate a complex product.

300-gibbs-sofa-dog-13122016_002It turns out, people were still willing to spend oodles of money and for an undocumented product. So I guess they were right.

Now, I live in the world of retirees where automatic is a word applied to machinery only. The boiler that heats the house. Electricity that powers everything. The pump which delivers water from the well. Supposedly the cable, telephone, and WiFi is also automatic, but not nearly as automatic as it should be.

72-kitchen-window-16112016_17

Nothing I personally do is automatic anymore. I walk purposefully because I prefer to not fall and break something. I think before I get out of the chair or bed, making sure my feet are solidly planted on the floor and I’ve found my balance. I navigate stairs slowly and rough ground even slower. From living in the fast lane, we have moved over to the far right and follow the slow traffic.

We go to bed when we want to and get up (only) when we must. We do what we should, but not everything we ought. Good-bye automation!

WORK. THE CURSE OF THE LEISURE CLASS.

OVERWORKED | THE DAILY POST


Once upon a time in a life long ago, I worked hard. I don’t know if you could call it overworked. I never felt I had more work than I could do — if only they would let me get to it instead of using half my day in useless meetings. I always did the best job I could and worked as many hours as I needed to meet my deadlines while maintaining quality.

Blogging is the closest thing I do to “real” work these days, but I don’t get paid and I don’t have a boss, unless you count me. I’m not such a bad boss, except I don’t believe in sick days. Even with a doctor’s note.

72-Road-Work-Autumn-Uxbridge_004

I think most of us who have worked in offices of one kind or another are mentally abused by micro-managing bosses who have never had to perform the work they are supervising.

I don’t know if that makes us overworked. I think it is closer to mistreated. The work is the easy part. Dealing with the unrealistic demands, bad manners, and a myriad absurd rules and regulations turns what ought to be a profession, into a nightmare.

72-Traffic-Road-071416_10

I’ve had a lot of bad bosses. Micro-managers and backstabbers. The plain cursedly mean ones whose main joy in life is making others miserable. The little emperors and empresses who think they have the right to rule your every breath.

I’ve had great bosses too. Managers who appreciated good work and believed it was their responsibility to help get the job done. To remove the obstacles and make work rewarding. When you’ve got a good boss, you can actually look forward to work. You don’t start dreading Monday morning on Friday evening. Thinking about work doesn’t give you a stomach ache and a migraine. It’s rare, but it can happen. Work doesn’t have to be a thankless grind. It just is and far too often.

To all the great bosses I’ve had, thank you.

To the rest? If there’s a Hell, I hope you have to work for yourself.