I am shocked that gambling goes on here

Whose heart is having palpitations?

Open thread








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Oh Joy, It’s Pollen Season Already

Betcha you don’t even have to ask how I can tell! But if I’m unusually disorganized or cryptic in the near future… well, blame it on the juniper / poplar / maple. Especially the Norway maples which are prominent among the local trash trees.

Meanwhile, random (mostly) happy, uplifting news tidbits…








President Obama: On Helping the Midwest, and Mozambique








Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Welcome the Worm Super Moon

Seriously. According to lore, it’s when the frozen ground softens enough for earthworms to emerge, thereby encouraging the return of the robins. Perhaps more importantly, the Spring Equinox arrives just before 6pm EDT… and I, for one, am ready for this winter to be over.

And speaking of spring, with the impulse for housecleaning it inspires, this is very sweet and also embarrassingly reminiscent of our whole house…

When I was a child, the grownup books in my house were arranged according to two principles. One of these, which governed the downstairs books, was instituted by my mother, and involved achieving a remarkable harmony—one that anyone who has ever tried to organize a home library would envy—among thematic, alphabetic, and aesthetic demands. The other, which governed the upstairs books, was instituted by my father, and was based on the conviction that it is very nice to have everything you’ve recently read near at hand, in case you get the urge to consult any of it again; and also that it is a pain in the neck to put those books away, especially when the shelves on which they belong are so exquisitely organized that returning one to its appropriate slot requires not only a card catalogue but a crowbar.

It was this pair of convictions that led to the development of the Stack. I can’t remember it in its early days, because in its early days it wasn’t memorable. I suppose back then it was just a modest little pile of stray books, the kind that many readers have lying around in the living room or next to the bed. But by the time I was in my early teens it was the case—and seemed by then to have always been the case—that my parents’ bedroom was home to the Mt. Kilimanjaro of books. Or perhaps more aptly the Mt. St. Helens of books, since it seemed possible that at any moment some subterranean shift in it might cause a cataclysm.

The Stack had started in a recessed space near my father’s half of the bed, bounded on one side by a wall and on the other by my parents’ dresser, a vertical behemoth taller than I would ever be. At some point in the Stack’s development, it had overtopped that piece of furniture, whereupon it met a second tower of books, which, at some slightly later point, had begun growing up along the dresser’s other side. For some reason, though, the Stack always looked to me as if it had defied gravity (or perhaps obeyed some other, more mysterious force) and grown down the far side of the dresser instead. At all events, the result was a kind of homemade Arc de Triomphe, extremely haphazard-looking but basically stable, made of some three or four hundred books…








Open Thread: Pray for Nebraska

And if anyone has more concrete suggestions about helping, please leave a comment!

Commentor Jay Noble, last night:

Haven’t seen it mentioned here but Nebraska took a beating from Mother Nature this week. From Central NE to the Missouri river has become an archipelago due to failed dams, levees and washed out bridges and roads. Over 60,000 people evacuated, 53 of 93 counties declared disaster areas, 2 fatalities so far. Right now, many are venting that MSM is ignoring them because “fly over country” and “Trump deplorables”.

This does need a some more coverage because it’s all headed down stream both literally and figuratively. Literally all that stuff – inculding at least one fair-sized sewage treatment plant – will go into the Missouri River and thus into the Mississippi. If the Keystone Pipeline had been built . . . Figuratively, it will be hitting pocket books at the supermarket. Most of that area is corn and soybeans. While planting season is still a little ways off, whole farms worth of tractors and trucks and tools got swept away. And this is calving season with calves at theirs most vunerable…


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