A rambling blog post

Our constant hysterical political climate disgusts me.  Trump’s constant braggadocio, petty attacks and rambling , fact-free word salads disgust me.  The Democrats and media hysterical spin about Trump disgusts me.  As far as political commentary or analysis goes, the various smart takes in 2016 remain the same in 2019, as our American political hamster wheel spins round and round.

For the most part lately, I’ve gotten off the daily habit of tracking the partisan spin throughout the day.  Perhaps if something interesting or new happens, I’ll write about it, but fair warning, the rest of this post will be another detour about my efforts to make peace between our consumerist culture and the myriad counter-cultural efforts to combat our wasteful American lifestyle.

Last night I watched a short CNN video on Twitter about a fashion designer, zero waste daniel, who started a clothing design business using only scrap fabric waste.  His approach of sewing together small scraps of fabric to create larger pieces of fabric, from which to construct his clothing designs, while being a trendy environmental-mindful concept, does highlight our society’s love affair with consumer goods, where most of us acquire way more than we consume and live totally unconcerned about our wastefulness.

There’s a common mindset among more conservative Americans and the political right to dismiss everything coming from the liberal environmentalist echo chamber, but perhaps we should all try to be a little more open to listening and considering the merits of ideas, before making snap partisan political judgments.

Many aspects of our environmentally conscious activism do stem from the political left, then take hold in American businesses, who react to the political activism.  Many businesses respond to and embrace the latest politicized framing of appropriate environmentally conscious policies.  This type of political pressure infuriates many on the right.

On the merits, though, pushing all of the politics aside, being less wasteful, using less disposable packaging and taking a more mindful approach to our consumer habits seem like very traditional, conservative American thrifty values, that would even have appealed to Benjamin Franklin and most of our American founders.  The less wasteful approaches definitely were ingrained habits to my parents and grandparents.

Moving to a crafting/needlework blog post, explains why I haven’t been blogging much lately…  I have been stitching away… using all stuff that’s been sitting here for many years.

I struggle with my consumerist mindset and am working to rethink my relationship with purchasing many items, that clutter up my home,  and often have never been used.  However, moving to a zero waste lifestyle takes way more commitment and effort than I will expend, so it’s small steps in my life.

For decades, I purchased loads of craft and needlework supplies, without much concern or thought about the possibility of having too much stuff.  Yet, the thought of parting with my craft and needlework stuff just isn’t happening yet, but I now strive not to buy more, unless it’s some basic supply that I really need.

A few years ago, I began an effort to make projects using only stuff I already have and that’s what that hummingbird cross-stitch picture above is.  I bought a bunch of small Spring-themed counted cross-stitch kits  (and some not so small ones too) on clearance at Walmart, over the many years that I worked there.  I stitched a couple of these a few years ago and posted a photo, but never fear, I have more to go:

I have a hard time seeing to stitch on 18-count, so I used 14 Aida cloth from my supplies for the  hummingbird and a bunny kit last weekend.  I bought two of the bunny kits, for no logical reason…:

I did finish that Diane Graebner Amish design (out of the hoop and needs pressing):

Learning more about finishing my needlework into some useful or decorative item leads me to read a lot of cross-stitch blogs and browse Pinterest frequently.  That habit leads me to want… more new cross stitch stuff, especially the nicer linens and evenweave fabrics and threads.  It takes a constant effort to remind myself that, while stitching on plain old Aida cloth isn’t as nice as stitching on expensive fabrics, these kits and Aida projects still look nice, I think.

Yesterday afternoon, I was torturing myself looking at the blog of a very talented cross stitch designer, Brenda Gervais.  All of her patterns scream, “I want to stitch that!”.  Gervais wrote a short background story to her 2017 series, Summer Schoolhouse ~ Lessons in Abecedarian.  She relates how she found a small children’s book while hunting for antiques, but it wasn’t just any old book.  It was a copy of the oldest children’s book in the Library of Congress and it’s considered to be the oldest children’s book in print.   This book contains the first documented use of the word, baseball.  In the process of browsing cross stitch blogs, I learned a new word: abecedarian and a bit of historical trivia too.

To fill my fix for something new, there are lots of free patterns online.  I stitched this free St.Patrick’s Day cats piece, by Lynn B., twice.  I am going to make them into little decorative pillows or perhaps frame them, but one is for a family member and then I liked these black cats so much, I stitched one for me too:

Yesterday, was another free pattern start, Russian Dolls, this one from DMC:

Plus, I have a bigger cross stitch project of a Liberty Bell, that’s in progress, but that one deserves a fancier Belfast white linen, not plain old Aida cloth.  Just started this, so it’s only the top of Independence Hall and some of the lettering:

Of course, still working on plastic canvas too:

Not sure what I’ll do with this house picture, but it’s a design that I like, so I stitched it…

It’s very hard for me to concentrate on writing lately, but I’ll try to get back to politics soon.


Filed under General Interest

1,421 responses to “A rambling blog post

  1. JK

    Just curious LB.

    You mention, paraphrasing, “The grow bags [require] much more watering.”

    Now I realize using the word “assume” is fraught but, just from the rare pics you’ve posted I assume you’re likely in a “city/town supplied water source” – correct me if you’re actually on a well.

    Here, and I’m on city water, the town has ‘water-usage levels’ (small town too so the meter readers can easily tell if there’s a garden – in ground or container) and so will apply ‘a standard’ on me whether I’m actually actively growing or not.

    So. Put simply, Mom for instance hasn’t any gardening stuff whereas I do – and my monthly water bill is *generally quadruple hers. (Even though my actual gallons/period – according to the meter – is generally in the neighborhood of half her usage. [I collect rainwater).

    Now I don’t really have any good idea how Georgia’s water is mostly sourced – here the town has four wells. Some other nearby towns enjoy some really big springs and/or rivers and in those cases there’s no ‘usage levels’ in place.

    So. And I’m just generally curious – Since you’ve started “big-time gardening” [halfway joking – I know the difference between our type “farming” and real farmers!] Anyway, is your watering more or less “challenging”?

    I would guess that, so far as ‘access’ is concerned Georgia and Arkansas gardeners, small and large, are far far more fortunate than say, California gardeners.

    • I am in a residential neighborhood within the “city” limits and on city water and my water bill went up a bit with the outside watering. There have been years where they put every other day lawn-watering restrictions, but they never seemed real strict about that. A lot of people water their lawns daily here, so I think my small container garden won’t be a problem.

  2. JK


    You likely already know all this stuff LB but … very enlightening to me …

  3. I’ve been dehydrating vegetables a few years, JK. The handiest tip I learned was to buy large bags of frozen vegetables, which you can still find fairly cheap and I dehydrate them – especially frozen mixed vegetables, which I toss in casseroles, soups and stews often. You don’t have to blanch them in boiling water, like fresh vegetables, so you just spread them out on the dehydrator trays and that’s it. Dehydrating them frees up freezer space and dehydrated vegetables last longer than frozen. The rehydrating is easy too. I’ve dehydrated some fresh veggies and herbs I grew too and I’ve done apple slices, oranges and lemons too. The orange slices will likely end up being used in some craft project and I even dehydrated the peels, to toss in with some potpourri.

  4. JK

    Indulge me just this once LB? (Well actually, correctly and more accurately speaking – and heck this thread is perfectly illustrative of it … what is it now … near four years long? So what the heck am I on about anyway.

    Okay. I know this Russel Brand fellow is not your cup of tea LB. However, in his odd way, he “seems to be seeing” Elizabeth – or perhaps better said, the symbol Elizabeth was – much like I find us.

    Key observation right round the 14 minute mark roundabouts he notes, paraphrasing ‘It’s something, people watching all this through devices (capable of manipulation by those very device’s design). And it’s only three or so minutes further.

    But do please listen to this guy for these few minutes please LB?

    There’s Much Truth it seems to me that this Mr. Brand fellow is on to.

  5. Funny thing, JK, I actually watched this video already and was thinking the same thing about his seeing the passing of Queen Elizabeth II as the end of an era. Her dedication to duty as she saw it, of preserving the monarchy as sort of a steady lodestar for the British people, no matter the cultural political, or even family storms raging, will be missed. She had a sense of public decorum and restraint that people could count on. Already with King Charles, his uppity ways with two peevish displays about the pens, when signing documents, hinted at a totally different attitude and a sense of disdain for his underlings. Plus, Charles’ public passion is environmental causes, so I suspect he’s going to use the monarchy as much as he can to advance those causes rather than follow in his mother’s footsteps of putting what best serves the constitutional monarchy ahead of his activism.

  6. JK

    Well. I’ll be doggoned LB! You surprised me. Again. Never never would’ve figured you’d be landing on a Russel Brand video without somebody’s prompting. (Well you did, I think, start to find Bret and Heather’s stuff yourself now that I think about it – I do seem to remember your asking me some question about something she said that at the time, I had not watched yet.)

    Oh well. Maybe I can surprise you with this one:

    I think that 1958 interview aged well. Of course at the time (if I recall my timelines correctly – which I well may not) that was before the invention of the transistor – making smaller and smaller devices possible?

    But where propaganda was concerned, the guy nailed it to a T.

  7. JK

    Oh well. I’m gonna call my remembering this time “largely correct” (you know what they say, ‘Close enough in a game of horseshoes or hand grenades’?)

    “The MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor), also known as the MOS transistor, was invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959. MOSFETs use even less power, which led to the mass-production of MOS transistors for a wide range of uses. The MOSFET has since become the most widely manufactured device in history.”

    – That 1959 invention being actually – circuit boards – which is actually what made small handheld devices possible. BUT – so far as the transistor itself, the late 1940s. Oh well. –


  8. JK

    Excellent post LB. Somewhere else (if I could remember where I saw it … think it was some living Historian type but) Anyway the guy [gal?] wrote up a superb critique on how “certain types” were making the huge mistake by using a fall-back the author called presentism. Basically repeating Mr. McCullough’s observation/critique.

    Thanks much for linking to that – I was unaware he’d said that in that way.

    Also appreciate the refresher on how people in the various states/regions “did economics” reminded me that I “learned” that in high school but had largely forgotten it.

    Regarding your section on The Great Reset – Bret and Heather (beginning at about the 50 to 55 minute mark and going to about the 120 mark – and tho’ Bret touches a few other subjects …) Anyway their discussion got my attention last night.


    One last thing – I am REALLY looking forward to your “sewing tips and suggested supplies” upcoming post. (Maybe split it into two parts? One for your “knowledgeable” readers and one for your “totally ignorant” readers?)

    • Thanks JK, While the 1619 Project is epic presentism, with me it’s bothered me the most in reading historical romance novels for decades, where the author throws in modern values, slang and even items that weren’t even invented at the time period they’ve set their story in. Adding in all the diversity politics and modern feminist dogma started a long time ago too. Many historical romance writers have jumped into all the gender politics too, so once gay rights became a big political issue, all of a sudden it became the thing to add in gay/lesbian characters into the plots and that irked me.

      I try to avoid romance novels who do that, but I especially avoid historians who do that.

      Thanks for the Bret and Heather link. I will listen to that.

  9. JK

    Oh and, for your ignorant readers, in which group is me, maybe a basic set-up and where to resource the stuff? And maybe “a explainer” laying out (simple) which/what one needs to know about how sewing needles, for instance, are gauged?

    (Like, I know when it comes to say, screwdrivers electricians routinely carry in their toolbags, are gauged – and non-electrical people were [amazed] always asking me “why so many tools?” How’s come your toolbag is equipped with suspenders when the other trades can get by nicely with just a nailbag and a hammer loop on their pants”?

    My toolbag incidentally – depending on job of course: sometimes could go up to 40+ pounds – most times less though thank the Lord!

    But when you’re up a 60 foot extension ladder that you’ve just spent ten minutes struggling up – sometimes in hurricane force winds – you don’t want to find yourself at the top needing exactly that one #2 Phillips you left in the truck [on the ground] because you thought ‘oh these seven screwdrivers I already got should be fine’)

  10. JK

    LB, You got your weather eye out?


    I’m really not too familiar with how hurricanes behave on land much – guess I mean to say ‘how the topography influences ’em’

    For instance where I live tornadic systems – the ‘whirlies’ I am familiar with – usually begin about 200 miles SSW of me but the Ozarks usually prevents ’em from staying on the ground very long (but when “they” do go long the topography tends to lead them toward the Delta region which is about 80 miles east of me)

    But then there’s the RAIN we DO have to contend with (as rain is higher up in the atmosphere whereas the whirly is way down low) But just where me ‘n mine are concerned our immediate elevation protects us from any of the ‘long-lasting effects’

    I was just mainly curious if your local meteorological people are giving you any reason for concern?

  11. I’m just watching the weather reports, JK, and have a few things outside in my garden (some clean-up stuff) I want to do to with preparing for heavy rain. So far the predictions show a lot of rain for my area.

    I came across this Breaking Points video that I thought you might find interesting: https://youtu.be/VlY-MJVotVo

    • JK

      Thanks for the BP video LB, I’ve already put it to the test (but where I placed it is in a comment that’s currently in moderation) on ths post:


      I’ve missed Krystal’s & Saagar’s observations ever since they took to a paid platform (subscription). Theirs’ were among the very few I, personally, regard as ‘non-partisan’ equal opportunity critics of “The Narrative of the Day.”

      (You may recall my telling you that I regarded yourself as one of the “equal opportunity critics”?

      That’s, by the way the standard by which I judge any source of news/opinions I read. “HP” is my usual abbreviation whenever I send in email to, for instance Malcolm, whenever I’m referring some take. [HP = High Praise)

      • Well, JK, I’ve been a staunch conservative my whole adult life (had some flighty liberal notions in my teens), so it’s taken me a long time to try to be even-handed in my criticisms and apply the same standard to both sides. It’s still a struggle sometimes, because I find the Democrat level of corruption as a party so much more organized, deliberate and ruthless, but at this point all those Trumpers, insisting they’re going to wield power and exact revenge just like the Dems do, makes me wonder if there are calmer heads in Washington.

        The hardest thing for me was to call out top echelon US military officials, intel agencies, and top FBI officials for their corruption and overt politicization. It pains me to say I’ve lost so much respect for these institutions, because of their morally-bankrupt leaders.

  12. JK

    I’d intended to also, LB, thank you for your current sewing post. But I’ll have to attend to it as able – meaning, as my back allows.

    The back issue stems from my 2002 injury. And my most recent stupidity. About 15 days ago “I contracted” some fellows to do some carpentry, painting, stuff around the house where I live – but where the “laborer” was concerned – that was gonna be me.

    The stuff I had to accomplish required moving a bunch of stuff – furniture &c. To get the stuff out of the way so the carpenter and painter could proceed room to room. What I had not counted on was, how fast they could go. I mean, the carpenter is older than me by at least a couple years – the painter in his 40s – I figured [before] “Heck, surely I can keep ahead of this guy!”

    My back is now shouting “You knew at least 20 years ago what you could do and what you must not do” (which is basically overdoing stuff, (and ignoring the signals – ex. when that ol’ “electricity-like feeling’ starts down from my right left hip to foot “Get off your feet! Get into and stay in a horizontal position until the spasms END! Because, IF YOU DO NOT, you are definitely gonna be seeing some phisical therapists!” (My – civilian – doctor’s appt for a referral to pt is at 0930 tomorrow. Quickest I could get into my C-BOC was the 18th [and then ‘who knows?’ how long the approval would take] even tho’ the condition is well documented.)

    Why pt over meds you ask?

    Simple. Lord blest us humans with a pain signal because (in my thinking) He knew we would invent stoves/fire-in-general and, knowing we were also subject to curiosity He wanted us to be able to figure out quickly if it hurts don’t do it (especially twice!). Meds interfere with His telling us to pay attention.

    Now where was I?

    Oh yeah. Because my back “is out” … limiting me to how long I can be in a sitting position in front of a computer [heck! any position except for flat] I can’t pay the due attention to the subject matter.

    Okay. Now a certain muscle down just left of my neck but above my shoulder blades is telling me I must stop typing and move around “some” and then decide whether I really should be in bed I’ll have to get back to you.

    Dumbass me – last time this happened was about 2012.

  13. JK

    LB, I’m gonna simply drop on a – somewhat – older post simply because Divemedic is saying, pretty much “Media coverage goes for ratings.” But then to get to his earlier and his latest, just click your mouse on the Area Ocho title – top-left – And there’s a bunch of his related hurricane posts.


    So far as your area is concerned, this Ian storm looks to be a pretty slow mover – not the wind bits where it is rather how long it’s staying over a given area. Thus I would expect where you are there’s gonna be some extensive period of rain.

    Still though, keep your weather eye on it.

    And now that I think about it (and it’s possible I’ve previously guided you to this site.




    Anyway on the uppermost page you can click on either of the “Since 6AM/7AM” or the “Reports over the last three hours” on the topmost map – That way you can keep on top of ‘wind, hail, tornado’ reports. (I’m not seeing any tornadoes currently which is what I’d be concerned this Ian might spin off when it gets nearer your location.)

    • Thanks JK. I am concerned about two trees I planted too close to my house – they were bare root sticks when I planted them and now they’re taller than my house. I was planning to have a tree service come cut them back or cut them down this winter, after the leaves drop. And that willow tree I planted in my backyard probably needs to go at some point too. During a previous storm, luckily the big part that broke off missed my house and fence. I love that tree, but it should probably be removed.

      The local news says to prepare for heavy rain and high winds. And any storms here can spawn tornadoes.

  14. JK

    Okay. Here’s yesterdays report. There is a history of storm spun off tornado [red] threat. Wind is blue, hail green. And just below the map are the given locations of the individual reports:


  15. JK

    Heck! That link to personal weather stations DM provided on that post is pretty neat:


    Haven’t played around on it any, just the winds as he’d set it at on his link but I doubt temp readings (or such) would be “the thing” of the moment anyway.

  16. JK

    Thanks for the little update you included in your latest LB. News reports I’m seeing now seem to be saying the remnants are mostly nearer SC so I’m taking it GA is mostly cleared from whatever the severest is left.

    Reading your “prep part” I see your full up on the flashlights stuff which then prompted me to remember I’d bought a couple of lights, battery powered w/ a motion detecting capability and so I went on ‘the big A’ looking for what I’d got. Apparently discontinued. So I looked for something similar. Back’s not giving me much computer time (I did see a nurse practioner yesterday who gave me a referral for some pt which has always ‘done the trick’ for me in the past – so that box is checked) Anyway I didn’t spend enough time to find you more like what I would feel comfortble giving you a ‘I recommend this’ but these maybe would work for you

    Thing about having the motion-detecting bit is that when one is not in the room the lights will go off saving battery-life and as you can stage ’em room-to-room you caan be hands-free which is doggone handy.

    The two I bought are more lantern-like (4 D cells – service of oh, about 35 hours on motion-only and the other one which I’ve kept in my immediate vicinity … well the only times I’ve been out of power were Springtime tornado/thunderstorm events where “generally” the outage was no more than maybe an hour or so, so I don’t know exactly how long they “actually” last. Probably about 8 or so.

  17. Thanks so much for this idea, JK. I never even thought about motion-detecting lights, but those would be perfect for her.

    • JK

      One, er [lol] “prepper to another” LB, Welcome.

      (And doggone if I maybe/hopefully didn’t accidentally stumble across something [for my back] that “seems” [cross my fingers!] given my back some relief.

      You notice I’m not mis-spelling and repeating keys and leaving out letters now?

      Anyway I’m at Mom’s and a couple years ago I installed for her, on the carport [to kitchen] wall what’s called a “grab bar” – fixed in place directly to the brick using permanent drilled-in anchors. There’s only three steps up from the carport level into the kitchen so it’s possible to grab hold and then, stepping up into the kitchen one is fine.

      – Just went outside & did a repeat –

      So. ‘Little over an hour ago’ I’m standing out on the carport [checked Mom’s oil] when Mom exits to go to her regularly scheduled appointment at “the beautiful shop” – she’s getting into her car meanwhile I’ve got hold of the grab bar preparing to step up when she says “Wait I forgot to tell you … ” and so I, not having let go of the grab bar, drop back to the lowest level to hear her out – but when I do that Pop! goes my back! And whaddaya know – RELIEF!

      – Still gonna do the pt tho –

      Now what I was thinking might be something to search out (you know how it is to experience a sudden brainstorm?) Anyway LB, you’re aware there’s solar recharging sidewalk lights? Preppers sometimes mention ’em being handy in the event of a blackout?

      I wonder if – and I as of just now haven’t a clue – but anyway I wonder if any of those solar recharging stake-in-yardlights are also backed up by batteries?

      (The prepper tip is, the cheap staked in the ground yardlights you just leave ’em outside while the sun is shining and then bring ’em inside for the night hours – you’ve almost certainly heard that? … Anyway I’m thinking – if there’s any of those that’re motion sensing and backed up by batteries? [Of course I suppose a switch for turning ’em on or off might be a necessary function too.]

      I hope LB I’m clear on what I’m meaning to say?)

      – Now I gotta do another repeat –

      • I already ordered those motion-sensor lights to try, JK. My friend is 85 and when I told her about them, she asked me to order them. She worked in fabrics and crafts at Walmart with me for many years.. She’s on home hospice, has no family nearby, but she’s adamant about staying in her house. At some point it may come to assisted living or a nursing home for her own safety, but she’s still trying to manage in her home.

  18. JK

    Good for her.

    But/And as I already know the motion detector light kits work I agree with your doing that for her.

    The sorta/kinda thing I was trying to describe absolutely requires some research so, best to go by what you can depend on.

    Sort of related – I think/guess – I do already have a crank-type weather/AM/FM bands radio that’s got a built-in battery, a 9V back up battery (I had to buy) and it’s got a small solar panel on top so – my guess is *somebody has already had the same idea that only now occurred to me. But like I said (as I’ve never seen/heard of any such ‘from the horse’s mouth’) it absolutely requires – especially for in a case as you describe – research.

    You’re a good person my Friend.

  19. JK

    Oh. When the lights arrive, set ’em up and do some “real world testing” with ’em before you permanently install in her house. (In other words – play around with the settings and placement.)

    The lantern I use solely in motion detector mode I have set on the kitchen table which is immediately accessible from either an “to outdoors” door with the motion sensing face also exposed to either/both a hallway from the opposite direction and the front door – the one a say, delivery person would come knock on.

    Entering from the south and west facing door upon entering turning left is the kitchen with a wall on the east face where the sink is. The kitchen and living room is separated by a wall which ends 6′ from the hallway leading to bath/bedrooms/office : the hallway extends north/south. On the west part of that facing wall is cabinets, range, cabinets, lastly refrigerator – Past the fridge is the described 6′ – standing w/one’s back to the fridge (and in the 6′) looking left is living room and delivery entry [front] door. Dining table [where the lantern is placed] is right. Just beyond that table is a sliding glass door to a back porch (I’ve never tested whether the motion detector will “detect” thru the slider.) On the reverse of that wall is the living room [west] hallway to north.

    In simplest terms the motion detector sits at the intersection of three points – south, north, and west facing (four if it detects through glass).

    But if LB you got a “multi-unit package” (which I expect you did) I doubt you’ll have to be so strategic about placement. But I might suggest some carefulness in places where stepping around corners/into an adjacent room, is required.

    As I say, just play with your plan.

  20. JK

    Heh heh heh. LB?

    You remember last year that shooting [killing] on the New Mexico movie site?

    Well. In the last week or so I saw this:


    And after reading that I found myself wondering “Now why in the heck would a big-city prosecutor’s office need funds approved rather than just using whatever the county [jurisdiction] would have already had budgeted as is *normal in every other prosecutor’s jurisdiction I ever heard of?”

    And then – Never having been able to come up with a reasonable explanation I pretty much stopped thinking about it.

    Then, today I find myself doing my regular Sunday rounds which, among other things includes dropping by some sites that sometimes has longish discussions on topics I may have some interest in. One of which is this:

    Now then – I’ve only got to the 11 minute mark so far myself when I says to myself “Self, I bet LB might likely find this ‘Velly Interesting’ [you do remember the show Laugh In don’t you]?”

    Got to tell you LB, it’s an eye-opener to me.

    (You mentioned just above recently something about how ‘the Democrats/Left are far more organized/play the long game that the Republicans/Right are ever prepared to be’ Something like that anyway.

    And you know what? You are correct on that point.

  21. JK

    #7,432,675, 196 in the Brainstorms of Great Ideas from Washington DC Department LB.


    PROOF that “they” think we are absolute idiots.

    I mean, wasn’t that the Brainstorm “they” gave us for establishing the Strategic Oil Reserve way back when?

    I’ll take ‘And they think they’re geniuses for $1000’ Alex.

  22. JK

    I can’t remember LB whether you and I have ever argued over what my thinking on ‘who actually controls Nork foreign policy (such as it is – “bluster” mainly).

    I do remember Malcolm and I over the early years (a friend from here in the Ozarks – since college [PhD] the fellow has been teaching in South Korea – introduced Malcolm to me “about” 2009) Anyway Malcolm and I have argued over the proposition that “China pulls North Korea’s strings.” I argue ‘yes’ Malcolm for some considerable time argued ‘no’ – Malcolm has come around to my way of thinking.

    I do know we, LB don’t always “agree” where, especially, the details are concerned – though ‘in general’ thank G-d we somehow manage to have common ground.

    So. With that outta the way (as you know I don’t watch tv so whether *they are paying attention?). And I’ve yet to see notice on the Net yet:


    More ominous signs seems to me.

  23. JK

    My policy on blogs (as I’m pretty sure you already know) is for the bloghost to have the last word.

    So with that in mind yes, it definitely is a contradiction.

    Take ‘rare earths minerals’ for instance (one doesn’t need to know what rare earths constitute) rare earths aren’t particularly abundant in the US – one exception : Arkansas! (but the mining and refining is one of the reasons EPA Superfund sites exist)

    But. To ‘Make America Great Again!’ one of the biggies on the list to do that is the rare earths it takes to make the electronics – computers, chips, cellphones, missiles, ‘smartweapons’, weather/hurricane detecting satellites, and on and on –

    Not to mention, world wars have fired up over access to oil, see Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor when they did? but one example.

    Now why the Maga-Crowd seems incapable of understanding isolationism is a self-defeating proposition I have never been able to understand myself. Because if, as a nation, we were to keep totally to ourselves we’d go quite rapidly down the toilet and into living in the Stone Age.

  24. I’m okay being put in my place sometimes, JK, because my kids always tell me I need to have the last word in debates or arguments and I’m trying to work on learning some humility, lol.

  25. JK

    Getting this first bit outta the way LB, I wasn’t meaning in any way to imply You were “wayward” in anything you had on that post. And where China/Norks are concerned specifically, I simply can not recall whether you and I ever had any meaningful disagreement on the fundamentals that I recall. I certainly was not as you’ve put it “put[ting] anybody in [their] place.”

    Sure we’ve had some slight disagreements on the Ukraine Russia mess – But what’s done is done and I frankly cannot see any way *we can disengage … what was it Nixon and Kissinger were always on about “Peace With Honor” as I recall? … Anyway however *our meddling influenced/incited Russia to do what she did, that’s all academic at this point – So whatever disagreements we had in the lead up are moot now.

    I did hit your more current posts just now – been busy, explained below – Admittedly I really only was able to ‘skim read’ the post immediately before the one that you put up “aplogize for my rant” but candidly LB nothing you included on that post needed any apology. All the fundamentals you mention and made were, in my opinion, sound, reasoned analysis.

    I been “busier ‘n a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” (as my dear Mamaw used to put it LB). VA – at the point I became single officially “suggested” I really ought to have some “improvements” done on the house I’m hoping to be moved into permanently by next week. Railings where there are steps, handicap *stuff in the bathroom (shower especially), alarms, … Oh I expect LB you of all people understand how those government bureaucracies “work”.

    Anyway that’s to explain why the delay in me getting back to you sooner to explain my above comment.

    (And I think I mentioned my back “is out” and I’m doing pt?) Anyway I’ve been having to deal with contractors *they “had to go thru the approval process and yada yada yada” And more just piddling BS than I desire to type out.

    “Inspection” is 1300 this Thursday – wish me luck. (I am not installing internet until sometime after inspection because as I perused all the *rules/*requirements I just decided that, if I really have a need to get on the Net, I can just come visit Mom.

    • Hope things go smoothly with the home improvements, JK. I’ve got to get a few projects with my home done too.

      I am going to take a break from writing about foreign policy stuff so much and I definitely don’t want to write about domestic politics in October,, before a major election. So sick of all the Warnock and Walker ads here in GA.

      • JK

        “So sick of all the Warnock and Walker ads here in GA.”

        Heh, I bet you are LB. Heck even up here those two are ‘the subject’ (sometimes – not that much on some of the morning radio newscasts [the ones “provided” to the local stuff at the top of the hour -being the networks we as kids … well you know. Not the cable biggies rather the … well you know-

        Anyway even up here my local radio stuff gets *hard news” [yeah right as if anybody within the state cares] featuring what I am ab.so.lute.ly. certain is bugging your neck of the woods.

        Lemme see – I heard it just this morning …


        In other words “we” care more about the price of gas, eggs, whatever and couldn’t care less about GA politics but the “big city” *media … … Well I guess it’s just as you’ve been observing for so long … “Everybody understands Tweeter is where the action is!”

        As if.

        Mom (and Dad of course) once we kids began arriving lived in base housing until I was around 10 and then at my first duty station – not boot – my then wife [Mom to my two eldest] also lived in base housing aaaand none other than Mom showed up to “smooth things” for us even back then.

        [Hell my Mom has forgotten more “base/mil housing” regulations than the current crop of “woke admin” will even ever have the least tenuous grip on, she’s forgotten long ago!]

        [Me either I have to admit – lol – I had absolutely no clue that “best practice” is to remove the covers of switch/receptacle (where one plugs stuff in) and vacuum stuff like spiderwebs out. Good Lord the Pentagon itself has not one clue as to the resource Mom is. Ssssh – keep it off your front pages LB – Please?!!)

        Anyway I[*?!!] passed the inspection first go round.

        (Friend of mine who has a son – O:5 now – Annapolis grad from someways back [not the friend, the friend’s son] told his Dad, my friend to advise “Don’t give up. He [me] will pass Inspection the third time through.”

        Heck. If my friend’s kid had an inkling about what all my Mom knows he’d be at least Rear Admiral by now. And maybe even, still in possession of his flight status.

        Well enough about that stuff. 30s in the forecast here probably about Monday LB – now that’s morning lows – Anyway you might want to prep your plants/beds sooner than you might otherwise planned on.

  26. JK

    Oops LB,

    Might wish to get your gardening chores in gear faster than what I’d just earlier mentioned – Here’s what I’ve got incoming:


    (Our average first frost is 17 OCT. I haven’t a clue what GA’s is but, it would appear we, at least are soon to be in a far more extended run of low temperatures – albeit unseasonably dry – than what we would normally expect to be.

    I’ve an ol’ Navy pal in Kennesaw who, in past years has reported to me that what we’re getting seems to affect – Kennesaw anyway – about three weeks later.)

    My last posting for a few days LB. Take care of yourself.

  27. JK

    Heh heh LB, guineas?!!!

    Oh dear Lord. I’ve got ten myself (and three geese – the “domestic” kind) … But since you have a neighbor who has guineas too I’m figuring you are ‘all set’ – but then again. Comma comma

    Mom – who else? – highly recommended me onto guineas. I already knew about the gooses [Dad] but my oh my LB, I simply can not imagine you dealing with that racket – hint: DO NOT add geese into your mix. (I’m fine ’cause there’s ten acres to my six forty to my twelve … Well except for my Sunday mornings when a “early” shows up – to the church yard – before I’ve gathered my geese. – The guineas aren’t that bad where people are concerned.)

    Now “little kittens”?

    You maybe want to be a little careful where those’re concerned. Or so Mom tells me.

    Pretty good here .. had a two day really cold snap; 24° in the morning day before yesterday but me and the birds survived AOK. Tomatoes I can’t say the same.

    Friend, take care of yourself.

    • Forsooth, JK, I am not getting any fowl (or livestock). I don’t use a lot of eggs and I certainly don’t want to be “processing” any fowl to eat. Ditto, that for rabbits or other animals.

      The kittens are full-grown cats now and they’re very friendly and affectionate. They don’t act like feral cats at all. Even the vet commented about how friendly they are. Roscoe is more outgoing than Percy, but they both like curling up on my lap.

      With the large bird thing, I know I wrote a blog post years ago about my run-in with the parrot, Gus, and how my granddaughter told me to go outside until she got him back into his cage. She told me she didn’t want to be mean, but that I’m not good in a crisis. She was wrong I am okay in most situations, but it’s safe to add when I’m being attacked by a deranged parrot to the list of crisis situations I didn’t handle well. I definitely don’t want geese around me, because they are notoriously “assertive,” like Gus, the demented parrot.

      Gus is still going strong and he’s probably close to 30 years old. My granddaughters great-grandparents had that parrot.

      • JK

        Got a “cancer check” LB nearabouts ten hours from now.

        I’d appreciate your putting a word in for me as you can, if you might. … I’m not particularly “scairt” if you know what I mean but my particular mission – self-assigned – is to survive Mom.

        You do know, I think, I’m the ‘sole-survivor’ and whether I’ve said it or not, to you, means something of a responsibility to me.

        Mom’ll be 86 come something less than 30 days from here (I’m taking her out to my eldest’s in Claremore – Will Rogers territory – planning a “shindig” of whatever sort of variety my eldest has dreamt up. I’m praying the best where Mom’s concerned – I haven’t yet decided whether to clue her in so far as I’m concerned.

        But yes my Friend, if that road comes before me … Well I’ll deal with it as I may.

        Take care of yourself LB

      • Hope all goes well with your screening, JK. Been down that road before and got lucky, because I’m still here. It’s probably best not to say anything to your Mom until you have more information. If you do get bad news, it’s normal to feel alarmed and powerless, but don’t give up hope. Asking a lot of questions and gathering more information helped me understand my options and regain a feeling of control.

        I had uterine cancer, but after surgery, my oncologist told me I also had a form of ovarian cancer, but it was a rare kind and a low-grade malignancy. You hear “rare” and automatically think, “OMG!” and it turned out that “rare” in my case turned out to be a good thing, because the survival rate for the more common type of ovarian cancer isn’t very good.

        I’ll keep you in my prayers, JK.

  28. JK

    Thanks for relating your experience LB. Helps.

    But omg I sure hope my next trip to “the big city” (the driving part actually!) where the cancer centers seem to want to cluster in, does not come again anytime soon.

    I though I had a workaround for what I knew would be an “anxiety inducing experience” – When I was younger driving on Arkansas’ equivalent of the Daytona 500 didn’t really faze me but, as at least my last eight or so years on the roads has been on the relatively sedate rural roads (and my reflexes I’ll admit ain’t what they used to be) …

    Anyway I figured as I have a nephew who lives 30 or so miles north of where “the racetrack” really begins I figured to stop and park at his house then have him drive me in. However.

    I failed to take into account the kid is in his early 30s plus I really had not taken into account the fact that there was probably a pretty good indicator available to me had I just thought to think of it – the type of car he owns! – First just getting my old bones into a position from which I could then … remember the old house-party game Twister? … First bad omen.

    Second bad omen? His sound system. Plus it was so loud that I had to lean over against him and shout “How are you gonna be able to hear cars coming up on our six just in case there’s an idiot back there?” Third bad omen, “Oh don’t worry about it Uncle, I never pay any attention to what’s behind me.” (And as well, I’m reasonably confident after the experience – neither does he pay much attention to what’s alongside or even much what’s in front of him either!)

    Immediately after the exam I instructed him that, before we set off to return to where my vehicle was parked, stop at the first bar – he has one of those “vape devices” and he’s got a certain type of medical card : a “calming agent” unavailable to me since at least the mid-80s – Anyway I felt the urgent need of some “fortification” before I could endure any more of the supersonics it was gonna take for him to deliver me back to my car. (Just too bad I had to limit myself because of the 120 miles trip I had to make to get back to my beloved boonies because my actual inclination was to, rather than just have the one shot I would’ve much preferred to buy a whole bottle.)

    But anyway LB. We made it “safely” back and so now I’m just waiting for word from my specialist as to what’s next.

    Incidentally – Did you get the motion detecting lights installed for your neighbor?

    • Glad to hear you got your tests done and made it home safely, JK. From things you’ve shared over the years about medical problems, I think you’ve already made it through some pretty harrowing injuries and problems, so hopefully whatever your specialist tells you is next isn’t too daunting. It’s normal to react to “cancer” with dread and fear and I think it’s because of all the horror stories of terrible treatment side effects we’ve all heard and/or know someone who died of some type of cancer. The fear factor about cancer can cause a lot of anxiety, which can make things harder to cope with, I think. Been there, that’s why I feel like I can say this. I’m very grateful my oncologist was straight-forward and answered my questions, plus other people involved in my treatment plan were supportive and encouraging. I went through cancer treatment in 2003-2004, but I remember the fear part of that experience. In retrospect, the fear didn’t help me or my family at all and I had to work hard on looking for some optimism.

  29. JK

    Pressed for time at the moment LB – don’t like to drive after dark – but as I’ve read your more recents and just happened on a post “that seems” (I’ve not read it sufficiently myself) maybe to some of your points I thought to bring it to your attention.

    Gonna try to get a few hours computer time tomorrow.


    • Thanks for this link, JK, That hyping right-wing extremism by partisan politicians is one thing, but even a few years ago, Wray testified in front of Congress about the dramatic rise in right-wing extremism, but made no mentions of left-wing extremism and under further questioning about Antifa, he fell back on that they aren’t an organization. He didn’t provide any detailed information to back that assertion about the rise of right-wing extremism. I might do some browsing on this topic later and perhaps a blog post.

      Almost every Dem, especially the ones who won elections, are repeating the talking point about how “extremism has no place in America,” so they’re going to run with this hard and I expect it will backfire.

  30. JK

    Just wanted to let you know all is well here (I decided a rather extended break from the internet along with the earlier decision to stay away from cable *news was “just what the doctor [me] recommended”).

    The 10/27 MRI down in Little Rock “apparently” showed my doc that the cancer could probably be handled okay in-office and other ‘more extensive stuff’ was unnecessary [chemo/radiation … which I’d already decided I wasn’t gonna bother with anyway]

    So I’m going in for what’s called “fusion biopsy” 27th of this month. I’m told what that procedure is, is a process combining MRI & ultrasound guidance [maybe robotic I’m not sure] to target and excise the rather small portion of that gland which is the issue. Pretty sure I told you that of the sixteen specimens he took back in May that only one showed cancerous? Anyway it’s only about the size of oh, maybe about half – or less? – than something like the diameter of a dime.

    It’ll be done out-patient – but as I am ordered that I need a driver to & from, Mom is going to do that duty. Really the only issue[s] I have with that is that I’m to stop taking my blood-thinners (which of the six drugs VA has me on, four are those) for the 7 days prior – and I suspect maybe a few days after. Not really so much of an issue I guess except (as I refuse to take stronger than OTC pain meds) I’m concerned my arthritis and lower back pain, legs of course, may come roaring back. But, as that’ll be timed to roughly the end of the holiday season and there’s no pressing gardening/”prepping” stuff I really need be concerned with I’m figuring I can handle that stuff.

    I pray you’re well LB but I just want to make sure I tell you that I ‘hope your Thanksgiving went well’ and that my hopes for you for a “Merry Christmas” gets said, I figured I’d best get that done before I let the timeliness of that get by me.

    I’m not in anyway regularly checking blogs but as I’m aware we’re “sending prayers” for the other – I am, incidentally, in receipt of yours – I thought leaving you a message was/is properly in order.

    Merry Christmas LB – to You & Yours

    Your Friend

  31. I’m glad to hear from you, JK and I will be praying that you get through this medical ordeal quickly.

    I’ve been trying to cut down on my news consumption and avoiding online drama too.

    I hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas, JK.

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