Sunday, May 31, 2009

Right-Wing Murder Again

AP via JSOnline: Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.

No doubt at all in my mind that this was done by a right-wing so-called “Christian”. Probably an NRA member or supporter, too. You know, those who think it funny to threaten to meet peaceful Obama workers at the door packing heat, or those who advertise open carry get-togethers even after its discovered white supremacists are making noises about attending, too. By their actions or inactions, these people enable and encourage the nut-right into committing murder.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts on Yard, Part Two

Spring has sprung and our gardens are bursting forth in color and life. Previously, I wrote of the tasks before us at the beginning of spring. The pictures below will demonstrate how far we've come with the limited resources at our disposal this year.

The fifty or so tulip bulbs that Kelly planted late last fall are reaching the end of their blooming cycle. They kept the yard colorful as we waited for the perennials to start arriving. As you can see the hostas are coming into their own. They'll get much larger.

Kelly spliced a number of the hostas and replanted them in the new garden in the front of the house where the ugly bushes once resided. Additionally, she added ground cover, day lilies and a couple others whose names I've forgotten. We did purchase a bird bath, a bird feeder (the finches love this one) and a hummingbird feeder. No tiny hoverers yet.

We haven't done much to the patio garden in the back other than weed and fertilize. Most of the work was done last year with the laying of the brick boundaries.

We were finally able to get the big garden plot moving after too many weeks of frustrating rain. The ground finally dried enough for me to take the tiller and enlarge the plot by two feet all around. We then took out two of the raised beds and added two larger ones.

We have planted two cherry tomato plants and two husky tomato plants; two jalapena plants; two strawberry plants; half a bed of potatoes and half a bed of onions; beans; zuchini; peas;and an entire 8 x 12 foot bed of flowers that Kelly and the girls picked out.

We're looking forwrd to the next nice weekend. We are adding a stand to the middle of the garden for hanging upside down tomato plants and I want to finish moving the stones from the other garden on the side of the house to this one for covering the paths between the beds.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Neumann Guilty

Likely conservative, Leilani Neumann, was found guilty of killing her 11-year old daughter today. The saddest part of this is the daughter died knowing her mother did nothing to save her.

Pro-life indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Dissembling Fool

Patrick McIlheran resorts to lying to make a point about the marriage amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution.

" ... the amendment wasn’t about gay people but about forestalling any project to redefine marriage."
Sure. If you believe after 150+ years the citizens of Wisconsin, just for the heck of it, decided to upgrade the definition of marriage. Really?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weak Defense

From today's article in the JS Online on Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland:

"We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature."
This is a fairly amazing statement. How can a person not believe there might be legal sanctions against something morally evil?

I've been willing to give Weakland the benefit of the doubt because I have always thought of him as a thoughtful and compassionate man. But then he writes this explanation for wanting a private funeral for Father Lawrence Murphy, who is thought to have abused up to 200 deaf children.

"So far, we have succeeded in preserving his reputation, and I hope we are able to do so in the future."
So, most important was this priest's reputation! How about the children molested by this priest?

It is not for me to condemn Weakland.

I'll let others make crude jokes at his expense, they have no decency anyway -- plus they have a political agenda since Weakland was a liberal voice in a conservative church. But Weakland's writings seem very self-serving to me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peaches and Cream

Eat your hearts out, everyone -- my daughters Quin (2-years old) and Abby (8-years old).

Doyle Signs Smoking Ban


Dharma Baseball Bums

Fun piece in the NY Times today. Apparently Jack Kerouac was a big fantasy baseball fan. So big and so mysterious about it that even his closest friends like Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs had no clue.

Kerouac created his own game with imaginary teams and players, collected their stats, analyzed their performance and even had contract disputes.

... Kerouac played an early version of the baseball game in his backyard in Lowell, Mass., hitting a marble with a nail, or possibly a toothpick, and noting where it landed. By 1946, when Kerouac was 24, he had devised a set of cards with precise verbal descriptions of various outcomes (“slow roller to ss,” for example), depending on the skill levels of the pitcher and batter. The game could be played using cards alone, but Mr. Gewirtz thinks that more often Kerouac determined the result of a pitch by tossing some sort of projectile at a diagramed chart on the wall. In 1956 he switched to a new set of cards, which used hieroglyphic symbols instead of descriptions. Carefully preserved inside plastic folders at the library, they now look as mysterious as runes.
Very cool. I made up my own game when I was a kid using simple die throws, too. For example, two 3s thrown in succession would result in a home run. I don't remember many of the other combos, but I do recall keeping copious stats. Interestingly enough, home run hitters like Hank Aaron tended to hit more in my game. Other player performances would be similar to real life.

To this day, since I was absent a calculator, I can add and subtract numbers in my head rapidly -- all because of the dice game.

I'll bet Kerouac would have been a hell of a Strat-o-Matic player.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good, Clean, White Fun

That influential blog, Badger Blogger, and Mythy, would like to alert us all to an open carry picnic that will be held May 17 at the Marvin Gardens Park, Town of Onanlaska, La Crosse County (you might have to pass Go to get there). Below is the header from the pdf announcing the get together.

Did I mention that Mythy is a friend of Stormfront. Stormfront is the premier White Nationalist Community Internet forum. Its mission is described as providing a discussion board for pro-White activists and anyone else interested in White survival.

So all you Badger Blogger readers (does that include Mythy?), get on your horses, holster those sidearms and head out to Onlaska on Sunday.

Do you think the African-American family above will be welcomed with open arms, so to speak?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sample Not of Local Blogger

Saw this title to an artcle in JS Online this morning: "Rare Sample from Dinosaur Age Found in Wisconsin". Alas, my first instincts were wrong and it was not a story about Dad29, our local blogger fossil. Coulda sworn though.

Waterboarding New Olympic Sport

As always, thanks to the talents of Tom Tommorow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

From the Influential Blog

This is what passes as commentary at Badger Blogger, supposedly an influential blog.

I hope Wanda Sykes gets gangraped and murdered.
Other conservative blogs aren't much better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Can't Touch This

My children are well-versed on what websites are age appropriate for them. However, one never knows where the accidental keystroke might lead so we installed Net Nanny a few years ago and have found it a very efficient program for blocking the viewing of sexually explicit and pornographic websites.

For a few months, a group in West Bend has been yammering for censorship in West Bend. Mark Peterson at the Motley Cow has been doing a yeoman's job following the faux controversy. The group is led by a local woman, Ginny Maziarka, who in an effort to excise her prurient desires has insisted on the removal of certain books because their contents offend her religious sensibilities.

I'm sorry that's not right anymore. She's upset because the books are pornographic in nature.

That's changed, too? I see, now her mission is to keep libraries safe.

Well, regardless of the continually changing mission of the confused petitioners, I tried to surf to the WISSUP site that Maziarka runs and was amused to discover I was being blocked by Net Nanny because of pornographic content.

This reminded me of something I read many years ago in one of my philosophy courses with Professor Dan Putnam. It seems apropos considering the twisted motives and ever-changing rationale of the censorship group in West Bend.

When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence. (Plato, Republic)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Robert Freeman

I was checking one of my fantasy baseball league boards this morning and saw a message from Craig Freeman, a friend of mine for over 40 years. Craig noted with sadness that his father, Robert Freeman, passed away Sunday morning, May 3rd.

I remember meeting Craig the summer of 1968. His family had just returned to Wisconsin from a year in England. We were both 12-years old and our birthdays were 12 days apart. We became instant friends. When not involved in adolescent highjinks, listening to music or playing baseball and football, we spent many evenings at each others homes. At the Freeman home our antics were warmly tolerated by Craig's mother, Ethel, and with bemusement by his father.

Craig's mother has always seemed to me a proper English woman. In fact for years I believed she was from England. She has always inquired how I was and listened with genuine interest. My impression of Craig's father was similar; but he was more continental than Ethel I thought. I guess it was appropriate since Robert taught French in the West Bend high schools.

Robert was also, to this adolescent, slightly odd. There were many ways that he appeared so, but most famous was his love for gardening. How many fathers garden? But Robert not only loved it he was very good at it and the Freeman yard was always in full bloom, regardless of the season. He also liked to cook. From childhood on whenever I stayed at the Freeman home a tasty breakfast was invariably waiting in the morning with fun conversation and inquiries about the family and life in general. I always felt like family.

It's been quite a while and I've lost count of how many years, but Robert had been long afflicted by that most terrible of diseases, Alzheimers. I have seen firsthand how hard for Craig it's been not to have more than a one-way conversation with his father. I can only imagine the pain Craig must have felt to not even be recognized by his father.

The last time I saw Robert was at the funeral of his oldest son, Scott (another painful story). That was five years ago. Though he turned to me when I said his name, his gaze was fastened somewhere else. Still, the smile was the same.

To Ethel, Craig and Julie (and all other family members) my condolences.

Oh, one of the loves of my life is my yard and its gardens. I learned from Robert it was alright to depart from the stereotypical. Thank you, Robert, for that gift.