Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

August 22, 2017
by funny

Trumperies in progress

So this evening our illustrious president (as it were) is slated to make trouble in downtown Phoenix. With his link-bait “will he/won’t he” pitch about pardoning the sleazy ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he’s attracting lots of attention…and lots of very, very angry demonstrators.

Arpaio was one of the worst demagogues ever to hit this state. He pandered to the meanest emotions of people who feel fear of the Other, who resent having lost decently paying work, and who are convinced there’s an “illegal” on every corner watching to see when the locals leave their houses so as to break and enter.

Thousands of people are pouring into the downtown area — some are already starting to line up at 8 this morning. Businesses, law firms, government offices, and the courts are closing, and — get this! — the Post Office is removing the blue postal boxes between Jefferson and McDowell, 7th Avenue to 8th Street. That means they expect the unrest to spread up into the historic district north of the freeway!

Thank God I don’t live there anymore…

A bunch of geriatric Hell’s Angels is motoring into the downtown, too, proposing to help “keep the peace.” That oughta be good.

We have a shindig at the church this evening. It’s something I would like to go to, so had to make a decision:

church party?
rioting in the streets?

Actually, I did think the patriotic thing to do would be to show up downtown and express outrage at the Orange Buffoon’s behavior and his henchmen’s sabotage of the American way. But the logistics escape me.

There will be zero parking down there, plus one wouldn’t want to take a car into a war zone, anyway. If you did, the city is gouging people well over $2.00 an hour to park on the street. So really, the only way to get down to the Convention Center would be on the train or, if you could find one, a bus. The potential for unrest is very high. If violence breaks out, the train service would be stopped…and then how the hell are you going to get out of there? In hundred-degree heat…

I could easily walk from the Convention Center to McDowell if the weather were a little more moderate. But today is hot and humid, and I’m quite sure I’m not going to be up for hiking several miles north, then having to fight my way onto a bus, ride all the way up to Sunnyslope, and hike another three miles back to the house.

Plus of course…why even acknowledge the schlep with one’s presence?

And why play into his strategy? Transparently, his whole purpose in making this little junket, whose clearest purpose is to foment civil unrest to distract attention from his Russian troubles and the investigation into his and his pals’ money-laundering activities. Keep the proles amused with riots, Nazi salutes, and flag-waving and they’ll never even notice the criminal proceedings against him.

Images: By Evan Nesterak – White supremacists clash with police, CC BY 2.0,
By Anthony Crider – Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally, CC BY 2.0,

August 21, 2017
by funny

Eclipse: Low-Impact Version

Mercifully, Arizona was not in the path of the total eclipse. (It’s not like we don’t have enough tourists.) (And besides, what would the poor critters do with 100-degree-plus heat?) But we did get a nice partial eclipse.

A partial eclipse has its own Kewl. Why?

Well…y’know those DIY cereal-box projectors you see plugged on the Internet? Trees with lots of leaves will do something very similar. So, for that matter, will a swimming pool. So that means that during a partial eclipse, the shadows cast by a tree graced by a halo of small leaves, such as an olive tree, will display 87 gerjillion iterations of the crescent sun evinced during said eclipse.

The effect is weirdly wonderful:

Strange, strange… Does a dog notice, even?


Be thou our vision
O Lord that thou art…

Banner Image of the Day: DepositPhotos

Solar eclipse

August 18, 2017
by funny

Sumer is y-goin’ out…

Lhudly sing cuckoo!

It’s only the middle of August, and mornings are beautiful again. At eight in the morning, one can sit outside with one’s pet dogs and pet mosquitoes, enjoy a second cup of coffee, and write a blog post.

It’s pretty early for the weather to cool, so I’m sure it’s a trick. The Goddess, renowned for Her twisted sense of humor, is trying to lull us into a false sense of confidence.

Speaking of Her sense of humor, have you ever noticed that every time you awaken with a splitting headache, one of the neighbors decides to practice his technique with a chain saw?

Last night the third of three finalists for the position of our new choir director auditioned for the part…this peculiar species of torture involves trying to elicit recognizable music from as many choir members as will volunteer to show up. Since this is Arizona and most sane people with any money leave town for the summer, that’s not very many. {chortle!} Those poor guys must have been ready to expire, to a man, after they’d jumped through that hoop.

Personally, I liked them all and surely will not despair no matter which is hired. One of them, who will remain unnamed lest some member of the hiring committee read this, I truly fell in love with. Another is an extremely close second —  neck-and-neck, really. It’s too bad we can’t hire every one of them!

But I felt encouraged, because…frankly I’ve felt unsure whether I would be able to continue in the choir, since I have no formal training (none, zero, zipola!) in music and know only what our long-suffering and venerable director has managed to convey over the past few years. I suspected that without him around, I would be doomed in a choir whose members all have plenty of music training. Some have advanced degrees in music, and about a third are professional or semi-professional vocalists.

To my surprise, though, I was able to follow what each man was saying and to yodel along with the group. And that, my friends, speaks volumes for our outgoing director’s teaching talent…

Meanwhile, back in the trenches…

Tony Schwartz, the hack Trump hired to write his book The Art of the Deal, speculates that our illustrious leader will resign before the end of the year. {snort!} That’ll be the day!

Trump repeats an error (dare we say alt-fact; i.e., “lie”?) that he’s already been called on, evidently figuring his admirers are so stupid they didn’t notice he was wrong about this before and he’s wrong about it now.

Erstwhile Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (who now looks surprisingly good!) slams the orange buffoon for, among other things, lending comfort and aid to the racist fruitcake fringe, holding a political event after a national tragedy, alienating the US from its allies, and scaring the bejayzus out of our military leaders.

Congressional Republicans fret and chew their nails, but seem to lack the equipment between their legs required to propel them off their butts and do something about the ongoing fiasco they’ve created.

In other news, an idiot state senator stoops to our President’s level by remarking in public that she hopes he’s assassinated.

And the real-life assassination victim’s mother, Susan Bro, displays enough dignity and common sense to say she will not debase herself to speak to our President.

Holy sh!t. Every day a new circus act in the news… Today, the three-ring circus is running full-tilt.

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu
Groweþ sed
and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu
Sing cuccu

Awe bleteþ after lomb
lhouþ after calue cu
Bulluc sterteþ
bucke uerteþ

murie sing cuccu
Cuccu cuccu
Wel singes þu cuccu
ne swik þu nauer nu

Sing cuccu nu • Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu • Sing cuccu nu

Image: British Library, Harley 978. “Sumer is icumen in”

Banner Image of the Day: Chestnut-breasted malkoha (a type of cuckoo), by Evan Parker – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Note the interesting resemblance to the Orange One.


August 16, 2017
by funny

Charley Update

So this morning my son reports that the hound appears to be “about 80% better; largely acting like his old dog self.” The hot spot has completely healed (reminder to dog owners: acquire hot spot spray from the vet…it works!), and though he still has a little difficulty getting up and down, mostly he’s walking normally and has returned to bossing the human around.

It’s amazingly good news. If you’d asked me ten days ago how long it would take the dog to recover — or if he’d recover at all — I’d have guessed it would take 6 to 8 weeks for him to arrive at the stage my son describes. And I’d have guessed he’d never get much more than 80% of his functionality back.

But if he’s that much better now, it looks like there’s at least a chance he’ll return to normal.

He must not have had a 107-degree core temp for very long. It’s a five-hour drive from Phoenix to Show Low, even if you fly low on the open road. But they didn’t do much aviation: the road was closed in the Salt River Canyon, and they were stopped dead for an hour. At 107.4 degrees, if he’d been in that state for even 45 minutes or an hour, he surely would have died.

Okay. So it’s good news and bad news. If my son is right that the dog worked himself into a state of hyperthermia because he’s that terrorized by a car’s interior, it presents a problem: you can’t even get that dog to a vet without taking him in a car. And when Charley is under the weather (he’s given to unexplained collywobbles), my son will usually bring him to my house on the way to work. Same if he’s going out of town or has some other reason to have the dog babysat. All of those escapades will now take two people — one to drive and one to sit with the dog and try to keep him calm. My son likes to go camping and fishing, and he’s always taken Charley with him — after this, the minivacations will have to be dog-free.

And why would a man go fishing without his dog, eh?

A Man, a Dog, and Its Neurosis:
The Malignant Hyperthermia Soap Opera

Day One
Homeward Bound
Back in Town
Home Again
Crisis, Continued
Hot Spot!?!

August 15, 2017
by funny

What’s the truth?

Banner image of the day:
A meeting of the four jurists who imposed Nazi ideology on the legal system of Germany.
Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J03166,_Berlin,_Amtsübernahme_Dr._Thierack.jpg ‎(800 × 586 pixels, file size: 46 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

August 14, 2017
by funny

Someone’s Baby Girl…

There’s a woman, young or old is hard to tell. She’s skinny, maybe even athletic-looking, neatly dressed in shorts and a nondescript top, her smooth ebony complexion ageless. She could be 25 and looks 40, or maybe 40 and looks 25.

At a glance, you sense she’s a panhandler. Yet maybe not. She doesn’t have that ragged look of people who sleep in the rough. She looks decently fed and healthy and clean. Middle-class, you’d think, if you met her at a bus stop and she said nothing to you.

But she is a panhandler. She works the Safeway shopping center in North Central Phoenix, at the intersection of Glendale and Seventh Street. They must have chased her way from the grocery store, because she haunts the little strip mall down by the restaurants and miscellaneous vendors. You’ll never see her in front of the Safeway, but you’ll often find her in front of the pizzeria or the deli or the Leslie’s Pool store. She walks around as though she were going somewhere, but it never takes long to see she isn’t going anywhere: just back and forth.

Today when I dropped by Leslie’s to pick up the newly repaired pool cleaner, she pounced as I came out of the store.

“Scuse me, ma’am, can I ask you…”

“I’m sorry, I don’t carry money with me.” (This happens to be true: I never carry cash, and of late I’ve stopped carrying a purse at all…for exactly this reason.)

“Oh, I don’t want any money, I just…”

Heard that line before. “No, I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”

She trails me across the parking lot.

“But please, I just want…”


By now I’m at the car and need to toss the gadget into it and get in myself. I’m a little concerned that she’ll accost me at that point or try to get into the car, but experience suggests the fastest way out is the best way out.

She subsides and wanders away before I shut the door on her pitch.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen her perform this maneuver. I don’t know what she’s hitting people up for, but whatever it is, the chase-and-beg strategy is a routine.

Still. It’s haunting. Poor little thing. She was somebody’s baby girl. What the hell happened to her that she’s hitting up strangers in a parking lot, day in and day out?

What can be done?

Why? Because endlessly annoying Facebook will not pick up the image you want to illustrate your post. It wants to pick up the banner image, which, if it’s generically the same day after day, quickly bores readers or makes them think today’s post is a repeat of yesterday’s. So the only way to force FB to use an image that has anything to do with your post is to change the banner image to fit the subject of the day. That means today’s banner image (a historic photo of four Nazis, for example) bears no relation whatsoever to the topic of yesterday’s post (ruminations on power outages, for example). So annoying.