Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday, Icy Sunday...


Actually, the ice was deposited about 24 hours ago, but it was still hanging around this morning. Luckily I did not have to scrape any windshields or do any driving so it was a minor inconvenience for me. Though the weekend guests (wife's sister and family) did stay an extra day.

No major power outages that I am aware of, perhaps typical Iowa winter weather, looking at the big picture.

This was the view looking out the north-facing window of our living room. Shadow of the house, animated Christmas deer, crabapple tree, driveway, street, yellow house opposite ours ...all combine to make a very abstract image. Looks very cool (if only to me) at the larger image, just click on it.

Our picnic table also has some nice seasonal decoration hanging on it...

Finally, a view up between the main branches of the silver maple in our backyard. It is terribly out of focus, but that seems to emphasize the ice on the high branches. The overall effect reminds me of a particular artist; I will let you make your own connection.

It also looks, if only to me, like some weird astronomy image...

Hey, ya never know what you are gonna get when you live in the Midwest, in Iowa. Tomorrow it could be in the 50s again (as it was the day before this ice-storm) and the plants might wanna start pushing up out of the ground.

Thank god for the variety of life wherever it is found.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saying goodbye always feels so wrong...


In my first month of blogging I posted about a website, Mixwit dot com, that allowed users to create their own 'mixtapes' of songs. Songs that when all perfectly selected, matched, and sequenced by a listener meant something special to them, something the creator would want to share with others.

They even went so far as to use images of the old cassette tape to visualize the mixtape format.

Recently they announced in emails to users and on their website:
We regret to announce that Mixwit is shutting down before the end of the year. Our thanks go out to everyone for your participation and amazing creativity.

We’ve put a year of work into Mixwit so this choice wasn’t taken lightly. I won’t go into the details of our situation but state simply that we boldly marched into in a position best described as "between rock and a hard place." We’re very grateful to be have been part of the mixtape revival of ‘08 and are satisfied to be able to to bow out while things are still good.

As expressed elsewhere, it seems to be yet another instance of the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA, acting to hinder innovation in the delivery of online music. Damn them to hell.

It is sad to lose an 'always there for ya' and talented friend. That is how I will feel when Mixwit finally say goodbye.


Friday, December 19, 2008

I hope the Iraqis realize... Part 2


It is always nice to see ones thoughts confirmed by another. Especially one whose work is found worthy of national distribution.

Mark Hemingway, a staff writer for National Review, seconded my thoughts on the progress of true freedom in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein so long ago:
With the hurling of shoes at Bush, the relationship between the people and their government has moved in the span of five years from a murderous tyranny, through armed resistance to a temporary occupation, to symbolic acts not any more threatening than you’d find in an unhappy marriage.

It ain’t pretty, but it’s progress.


Link: Free Two Shoes


Monday, December 15, 2008

I hope the Iraqis realize...


RE: the shoe-throwing incident involving President Bush and an Iraqi journalist:

I read now the 'shoe thrower' is being celebrated as a 'folk-hero'.


Ya know, I wonder how Saddam Hussein would have dealt with someone who threw a shoe at him..?? Or one of his guests..??

I hope to hell the Iraqi people realize just how free they are now.

Unfortunately, I am afraid the irony will be lost on them. Such is the thanks we get for our years of work and our blood shed on their soil.

Thank you very much.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

A beautiful life too short...


She was a bright star a bit before my time. But from my first viewing of Some Like It Hot I was hooked.

image circa 1953

Sure some of it was the hormones of a teenage male. But I also like to think my addiction was due to the sheer innocence and vulnerability of both the film character and of the beautiful Marilyn.

No one did comedy and 'sexy' on the silver screen any better. Not a dirty, wink-wink, nudge-nudge 'sexy'. But 'sexy' that was pure and feminine and wholesome and devastating.

These pictures are from 1947, near the beginning of her career. She had a bit (and uncredited) part in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim and did nothing of consequence for several more years.

These pictures are a stunning 'time-capsule' look at a young lady yet untouched by the expectations of others and the many troubles of her later years.

We can only imagine what might have been had her personal devils and the expectations and demands of other not consumed her spirit and body.

All the photos featured here are found at shorpy dot com. They define their site as:

... a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

It truly is an amazing site that will bring something new to you every day. You can not expect more from any website.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

A lazy Sunday morning . . ..oh so long ago...


No, not today.

But a warm, lazy tropical day two generations, if not more, ago.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address to joint session of the U.S. Congress, December 8th, 1941

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.


As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.


With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our People - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

It seems so ...strange to remember a day when the people of the United States were united in a common cause. When 'the enemy' was so clearly defined, and clearly identifiable. When the national will was so clearly and resolutely fixed on achieving a common goal.

Hopefully it will not require a similar act or a similar conflict to once again draw the many together to meet a common challenge.

God watch over us and guide us into the future . . .and remember the few remaining soldiers and sailors still among us from World War II.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I am here for the party..!!


OK, it is a cheap post . . .but I got this one stuck on my player and stuck in my mind right now:

Gretchen Wilson LIVE!!! someone titled it at youtube...

Edited Feb 19, 2010:
As is often the case at youtube . . .the original video was pulled. Here is a different live performance. Still a great song and singer.