Friday, July 29, 2011

Buy a painting, dammit!

Go to my painting website and look around, and select one!

Best offer wins!

Hot news

The heat is back. My lawn has committed suicide. Trees are shriveling up and dying. My rose bushes, which bloomed beautifully in May and obstinately declined to flower in June, have a few tentative blooms. I guess they never got the memo that June is the month of roses.

All I want to do for the rest of my life is find a swimming pool somewhere and stand in it up to my neck, or maybe over my head from time to time.

Meanwhile, there are people in the nursing home wearing sweaters, jackets and, in one case, a wool hat, covered in blankets and sitting outdoors.

My house is beautifully air-conditioned and is going to stay that way. I plan, for the remaining years of my life, to be an energy hog and consume as much electricity, gas, coal, and bandwidth as possible. I will be enabled to do this by the sacrifice of all you good citizens who are installing solar panels and ceiling insulation, leaving more for me to squander. Thank you, good citizens!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Re-evaluating Caligula's horse

The crazy Roman emperor Caligula famously nominated his horse to the Senate. This puts him one up on the American people, who elected only the back half of a horse to the presidency.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bloggers in trouble

Things are rough for a lot of conservative bloggers.

I've been in tough spots myself, trying to live with a graduate student, a baby, and a toddler, but the difference was that Mr Charm was always able to get some kind of poorly paying job doing something--working as a dispatcher at night in a blood bank, for instance. He also had a fallback--a brother who could get him work as a longshoreman. This was hard, dirty work, but he did it at night and attended classes and did his research during the day.

These jobs are not available to young and not-so-young people nowadays. People are living on the edge of a cliff and hanging by their thumbs.

Now that I've got your attention: Da tech guy, and the other McCain and others mentioned by instapundit could use a little something.

These links are not easy in blogger!

And if anyone wants to buy one of my paintings cheap...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Al Anatsui exhibit at the Clark Institute

 

 

 

 

 
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Made from found materials--they are really quite lovely.

Hay figures, Pissaro's people, Clark Museum, Williamstown MA

 

 

 

 
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Wells Fargo alert

Wells Fargo continues to take their newest acquisition, Wachovia, to the bottom.

Starting August 8, 2011, you can access your converted Wachovia accounts and Wachovia Online BillPay through online and mobile banking at Wells Fargo. You’ll also be able to view your Wells Fargo Advisors brokerage account balances, portfolio, activity, and more.

Please note: At Wells Fargo, your bill pay payments will be processed differently from Wachovia Online BillPay.

At Wells Fargo, funds to pay your bills will be withdrawn from your account up to 5 business days earlier than they were at Wachovia.
Please verify you will have sufficient funds in your funding account to ensure your converting bill pay payments are processed successfully.
To learn about important differences in the way Wells Fargo Bill Pay works, visit wellsfargo.com/welcomebillpay.

Wachovia sinks lower every day it is owned by Wells Fargo.

The teller informed me the last time I visited the bank that I needed to make an appointment with them to discuss my account. I told them I was fine with my account and didn't have time to listen to a sales pitch.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An epidemic of As

Have American college students gotten smarter?

Forty per cent of college grades are A.

I've noticed the same phenomenon concerning elementary and high school students. How many drivers had bumper stickers saying "My son/daughter is an honor student as (your school's name here) school" back in the day?

None. It was hard to get an A, which incidentally stood for excellent.

Are our children getting smarter? Has our educational system improved to the point where everyone is fulfilling his or her potential to the max? Can we rest confident that America's future is in the hands of these budding geniuses?

Or is there a new definition of honor student--someone who attends school most of the time, gives the teachers no lip and doesn't burn the building down?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Family obligations

Mother was totally devoted to her family of origin. It was one for all and all for one, though this was never expressed in so many words. Words were for fighting with each other; you could never guess how close they were if you listened to them argue.

My father experienced this solidarity up close and personal. He would get ready to go to work in his car only to discover that mother had loaned the car--at that time their only vehicle--to one of her brothers, whose car was in the shop. Mother decided not to inform him of this before the fact, reasoning--correctly, as it turned out--that he would strenuously object.

Mother could not understand the fuss. After all, Moe was a doctor, and obviously needed the car more than he did.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Small gardens at small houses

 


My drive to the rehab where Mr Charm is immured leads me past many modest houses, older houses on small plots, usually including a porch where residents would sit on a warm evening before everyone had air conditioning.

The houses are modest, but well kept, and many have small gardens which have lovingly been planted and tended. These are a balm to a troubled spirit; they make me feel a little better. Just a little, but that helps me get through the day.

Thank you, gardeners.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Goodbye, Longwood Gardens

Memo: To Longwood Gardens

From: Miriam Xxxxx

07/09/11

I got my renewal notice from Longwood Gardens today. Sorry, I am not going to renew.

I have the most expensive membership category there is. I forget what it was called, but I do know I was given passes for several friends, as well as free admission for me and my family any time. I don't lend other people my membership card and I only come on rare occasions when I have the time. I also generally eat lunch there and purchase items in the shop. I would call my membership a win-win, but you win more than I do. Unless the restaurants and the shop are money-losing enterprises.

However, the last time I visited the gardens, people were being asked to show photo ID upon admission. It was almost like flying abroad, without the full-body search. No doubt that will come in time.

There is something disturbing about a garden visit to a quiet, peaceful place combined with showing picture ID. It destroys the mood one hopes to enjoy among the flowers and trees.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A better way to spend the stimulus money

from the comments:

A couple earlier commenters have pointed out how the US dominated the world economy after WWII. Imagine if we had spent the recent stimulus on bombing German, Japanese and Chinese factories. It would done a lot more for our relative economic position than cash for clunkers. (Of course it would also have been morally reprehensible and provoked an international backlash.

But after the war we gave them money to rebuild their factories.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

An unpleasant surprise

my new car has XM Radio--but only for a limited time, I discovered in yesterday's mail. I get three months free, then it costs $12.95 a month.

How would I like to be billed--$45.00 for three months, or yadayada. This kind of math makes me nuts. Three times $12.95 is not $45.00! Trivial, I know, but how can you run a radio station and not be able to multiply 3x12.95? They should not have allowed XM and Sirius to merge.

It reminds me of my Verizon account--$99.00 a month, adding up to a total of $150; or ATT--$30.00 a month per line (I have 2), which adds up to $90 and change.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

About that French guy with the girl's name...

Dominique something?

I was trying to imagine the mechanical aspect of his interaction with the hotel maid. How do you, without a weapon, force someone to commit a Lewinsky? Didn't the woman, er, have teeth?

Just asking.

And the victim! A black, single mom, unlettered, a widowed undocumented immigrant, who undoubtedly attended morning mass every day. All she needed to make her the perfect victim was a wooden leg. Too good to be true. Sadly.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Another chance for untold wealth

If only I had $389,00 lying around...

Good day,

I have been trying to reach you for sometime now, so i just want to inform
you that I have deposited your ATM MASTER CARD of $800,000,00 USD United
state dollars to the FedEx Delivery services here in England, and i
packaged the ATM MASTER CARD inside a magazine where nobody will notice
the content. Insurance and delivery charges have been paid for, but the
only fee remaining is the security safe keeping fee of $398,00 US Dollars
only, which you will be required to pay before delivery.

However, this was not paid for because of demurrage. Well, I did forward
them your delivery address, but a re-confirmation is important when
contacting them if you want to change your address. I advice you quote the
parcel and shipment code to them for onward delivery to your re-confirmed
address. The Universal ATM MASTERCARD has pin number is 1407, and the
maximum withdrawal limit per day is USD$ 9,500 (Nine Thousand, Five Hundred
United States Dollar) Only.

Please make sure you contact the shipment officer through his correct email below.
Contact the shipment office with the below information and re-confirm your present
mailing address to them:

Attention: Mr. West Newton Shipment Officer Of FedEx delivery services
London, England.
E-mail: fexexpress@post.com
Tel: +44 740 519 1732

Full name......................
Present Home address............
Country....................
Telephone...............

Below is the Deposit details:
Deposit Number: PLCC-101-PL45
Sort/Clearance Code: PLC/101-45/P50
Deposit Certificate N0.: 405576
Shipment Code: CBEL/OWN/0087
Parcel Number: EG2272-UK
Consignment Description: British Magazine
Depositor: Barrister Greg Williams
I am travelling out of town and will be back in three months time.
Note that I packaged the ATM MASTER CARD inside a magazine where nobody
will notice the content, I also told the shipment officer Mr. West Newton, that it
is ordinary British magazine I want to deliver to my friend abroad to avoid
further delay unless you delay to send their security safe keeping fee. You have to
inform them on how you are to send the security fee to them, so they can instruct
you on how to send it to them to enable them dispatch your package immediately to you.

Remain blessed and enjoy your funds.
Barr. Greg Williams.

Friday, July 01, 2011