Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food for thought...

One of my students from last semester posted something interesting on Facebook:

"If a jet is shot down, then how can they consider it a plane crash?"

Good question.  The answer is both simple, and complex.

The simple answer: language shapes perception.  If they keep calling it a crash on the news channels and evening news, then people will eventually forget that a jet carrying passengers--including American civilians--on the way to an AIDS conference was purposely shot down by a ground-to-air missile.

The complex answer is to the unstated, but assumed, question of why are they doing this?

Why, indeed. 

Language does control perception.  "Plane crash" is much less threatening than "jet shot down."  Plane crashes happen all the time: it's an accident.  A tragedy.  Pilot error, or mechanical stress.  A missile hitting a passenger jet, on the other hand, is a deliberate act of war. 

And it's a war we're not capable of starting, much less fighting and winning. 

Part of that is because of the way spending has tipped.  Since Vietnam and Johnson's tenure as POTUS, national spending has gone from being majority what was listed in the U.S. Constitution as federal responsibilities (infrastructure and defense) to more than half being spent on welfare programs, both corporate and individual.  Without a major shift in mentality from "gimme, gimme, gimme" to "Oh shit, we all gonna die," we will not be able to free up the funding to pay for what's needed to stomp those fuckers flat. 

So, our illustrious leaders tell the media to shift perceptions.  "Plane crash," indeed.

The other issue is with the "stomp the fuckers flat." 

We haven't done that since August of 1945.  There has not been a single use of overwhelming force going in and making the other side concede that they have been decisively defeated since we fucked Japan with a sandpaper condom without lube.  There is no political will to win, and honestly hasn't been since then.

Not even after 9/11/01.  Otherwise, we would have gone in with overwhelming force and destroyed any semblance of culture and/or government everywhere in every Islamofascist-controlled country, and taken over for the next ten generations.  Since we didn't do that, we have lost.  And they're forcing us to bleed ourselves to death.

We are overextended.  Thanks to the policies put in place by Truman (full credit, here: I understand why he didn't want to push too hard, and have to use nukes again) that prevented full victory in Korea.  That set the precedent for the flat-out loss in Vietnam.  And for what's going on in the Middle East, now that the POTUS has decided that the job there is done (it isn't, and won't be, until every Muslim over the age of two is dead). 

With the lack of funding for the military (which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution) because of the welfare funding for everything else (which is forbidden by the U.S. Constitution), we cannot simply field more units.  Without the political will to win, we can't stomp the old fuckers flat before we move on to stomp these new fuckers flat. 

And so...we have the media working their asses off to slant our perceptions, and cover the asses of their political masters. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Random Ramblings

Ever get (and stay) so sick that it starts making you feel stupid because you can't even focus on what you're trying to read or write?  Yeah...that sucks. 

Especially when the kids are, for the most part, already over what made everybody sick, and are, once again, lively enough to be difficult to keep track of when I'm healthy.

Odysseus has a doc's appt. on Monday.  I've been putting off scheduling one for myself because one day, I'll feel terrible; the next, I'll be feeling better enough to be trying to do the things that NEED to be done in a household (i.e., dishes, feeding all of us, etc.); and the day after that, I'll be feeling terrible again.  And on, and on.  And on. 

But yeah, the kids are still hacking and coughing somewhat, but they're feeling a whole lot better, and aren't really congested much anymore. 

Cats have been clingy has been the happiest dog in the world, since we had that cool snap last week.  She's been outside ALL day, rather than getting dragged in over the hottest part of mid-day (at which point she's ready to come in...but forgets why within an hour, and wants back OUT).

I'm...stalled...on writing.  I know where I want the next chapter to go, but I look at the screen, and can't squeeze any words out.  And writing it long-hand, which usually helps, isn't too much better. 

That's pretty much it.  We've all been in various stages of sick since Tuesday.

Friday, July 18, 2014


This bloody chest cold can fuck the fucking fuck off.  My ribs and abs are killing me from the constant hacking and coughing. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


In the middle of July, the weather is downright cool.  How cool?  In SW MO, the most recent official reading has us at 74 degrees as of 1:53 p.m. today. 

Between that, and Odysseus and I both feeling like crap with whatever crud we have, I'm making chili for supper.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


My head cold is moving into my chest.  So are the kids' colds.  I'm gonna have to keep a very close eye on the pixie, since she had pneumonia earlier this summer.

And Odysseus has caught it, too.

Edited for clarification: Odysseus has caught the head cold that turned into a chest cold, the same as the rest of us.

Monday, July 14, 2014


First, the imp gets sick (summer cold, seems like).  Then me (how I knew it was a cold).  Now the pixie is sick, too, but she's running a low-grade fever. 

I haven't checked, but I feel like I am: hot and cold in turns, and my skin hurts. 

Can I go to bed now, and just wake up when we're all feeling better?  Please?

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I just have to say, I love my new fountain pen.  This pen.

My red and gold Jinhao fountain pen that Odysseus got me for our anniversary completely rocks.  Their medium nib seems to be more of a fine nib (which gets me curious about what their "diamond fine" nib is like).  The entire pen, except for the refillable cartridge and the back part of the nib where the ink channels down the the point, is metal.  The pen is startlingly weighty.  Not flimsy at all.

I've also discovered that I like the refillable cartridge quite a lot.  I got some green ink for this particular pen--just because.  I inspected the nib (no detritus left from manufacture or from shipping), and immediately filled the cartridge...and it was actually a little easier than puncturing a disposable cartridge with the back end of the nib, and not much messier.   Along with that, a package of cartridges for the Parker pens I have (Parker Vector, which is okay, but not spectacular, despite the one I bought in grad school in '03 still working like a champ) costs around $5, and I can't find them locally.  They hold maybe a mL of ink, and last about a week of heavy use (and yes, they do get heavy use--I hate ball-points and roller ball pens).  They come in blue or black, so not a lot of choice.  A 50 mL bottle of ink also costs around $5...and come in about thirty different colors of India ink at Hobby Lobby.  Yes, I'll have to refill the cartridge a bit more often, but...I think it's well worth the trouble, and easily worth it financially. 

I have learned something interesting, using this pen: heavier pens make for less pain in the bad joint at the base of my index finger.  Yes, it makes the rest of my hand more tired and faster, but something about the balance and weight makes it easier to control, and I end up not using that specific joint as much as I do when I'm using my plastic fountain pen.

I really, really love this pen.  I don't think I will ever buy a plastic pen again.  Especially not since the Jinhao pens are so relatively inexpensive. 

random ramblings

It's Saturday, again.  I am listening intently to music over my headphones plugged into my computer to keep from howling with laughter.  The kids are watching Sesame Street Classic, once again, and the Count was singing his song.  And all I could think of was this:

The kids didn't do well spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's together.  The pixie doesn't go to sleep until very late, and the imp is up at the ass-crack of dawn.  One kept the other up two hours later than he usually goes to sleep, and the other got the first one up two hours before she usually gets up.

This bodes...ill...for school for the pixie.  Her half-day preschool is the first half of the day.

But...despite that, Thursday night/Friday morning was awesome for us.  I actually slept until 9:30 Friday morning.  I very rarely sleep that long--I'm lucky if the kids are quiet until 8:30.

I'm going to be working with the imp, starting Monday, to start the Hooked on Phonics program, since he seems to have a firm grasp on letter sounds (which he refused to work on with me).  Hopefully, he'll be reading a little bit by the time school starts.

The pixie may be wearing size 5 by the time school starts.  Her size 5 dress fits perfectly, and her size 4 dresses...are about a half an inch to an inch and a half above her knees, depending on the dress. 

The cats decided they were going to sleep in the cat tree on Thursday.  When we left, Shadow, the black cat, was sleeping in the top shelf, stretched out on her back, dangling from both ends of the curved shelf.  When we got back...Shadow was sleeping in the top shelf, stretched out on her back, dangling from both ends of the curved shelf.  We went back to pet her to make sure she hadn't croaked during the course of the day.  Woke her up, and she griped at us until we started petting her belly, at which point she started purring.

Cricket just spent the entire evening trying to get on my chest to sleep on me.  I say trying, but she succeeded twice, and got pitched onto the couch (about two feet from me) twice for excessive drool, which she has a nasty habit of slinging all over everything, because being on my chest means I'm breathing on her ears...which tickles.

The dog came in the house around three, yesterday, got a big long drink of fresh, cool water, and then went to sleep until around 10:00 or so, at which point I fed her.  She's outside right now, since it's supposed to be very hot, her pen has no shade from about noon to about seven, and she's a black dog.  I'll probably bring her in around 12-1:00, and put her back out at 7:00.   She'll probably be quite happy, later this week, when the projected polar vortex hits and takes the temps back down into the low 80's.

I'm still working on Fire and Forge.  I'm having to do a lot of it long-hand, because every time I sit down to the laptop to work in Word, I pull a blank.  I don't know if it's stress, or what, but that's what's going on.  That, and I tend to get distracted quite badly.

I think that's all for the week, for the most part.