Happy Mother’s Day!


*** Update ***

From left to right, it is me, Annie, Seth, and Devon. That’s right, I was the oldest and the role model. After I broke my parents in, though, the others had it soooo damned easy.

My mother swears to this day that everything about me was the worst- most difficult pregnancy, delivery (and Annie was Caesarian), youth. She claims even my bowel movements were the smelliest and nastiest. Everything about me was rotten.

I also was apparently able to swing myself out of the crib at 9 months old. The doctor didn’t believe them, so they showed him. They put me in the crib, I stood up with my back to the crib, reach up, and flipped myself out. He was speechless.

I just had to be free.

Late Night Open Thread

Can’t sleep and you all seem bored with the last thread.

Open Thread: Out Among the Pig People

I understand there are good people in Iowa, but none of them seem to be caucusing with the GOP. Jim Newell, at Salon, made me happy by reporting that Jeb (or his handlers) decided to snoot Iowa’s much-ballyhooed August straw poll. Since Michele Bachmann’s 2011 win, after all, the straw poll had pretty much been exposed as just a big fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party:

… We’re guessing that the Iowa Republican Party wasn’t receiving a lot of commitments from candidates about participating in the scam this year, because its chairman, Jeff Kaufmann, is announcing some changes. In a Politico op-ed today, Kaufmann announces that “it is time to relegate the pay-to-play nature of the Iowa Straw Poll to the dustbin of history. (We’ll leave the ‘pay to play’ politics to the Clintons.)” Heh, those Clintons are sump’m else, alright. It’s amusing to see him spin the changes as much-needed ethical reform rather than the sort of desperate move an entity makes when it has no leverage.

As to the changes: the land auction will be nixed, and candidates will receive space on the grounds free of charge, the specific sites determined by a random lottery. Candidates also won’t have to prepare their own foodstuffs anymore, and every lot will be “already fully electrified.”… And then comes the most desperate moment in this already hilariously desperate column: “Finally, for journalists worried about internet and a suitable place to file your stories: We have you covered. The site has fantastic internet, sweeping vistas of Iowa farmland and a climate-controlled area for you to file as deadlines loom.”…

“Here in Iowa,” Kaufmann pleads, “so long as a Republican candidate can afford the plane ticket to Iowa, they are welcome in Boone on August 8.” These changes will definitely cut some of the costs — indeed, it’s amazing to think that the Iowa Republican Party ever did auction off lots and require candidates to pay for their own electricity.

It’s not going to defray all the costs, though. The biggest of those would be media buys in television and radio markets surrounding the event. And candidates also have to be worried about managing expectations: while a win in the straw poll doesn’t mean anything, a loss could still be quite embarrassing. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race after making a full push for the 2011 straw poll and finishing third. Is this something that, say, Scott Walker or any of the other top-tier Iowa candidates want to make a big show of?…

But not to worry, GOP politicos desperate to flush some money into the manure lagoons! The newly-minted Queen of the Pig Castrators has an offer for you, per the Des Moines Register:

Joni Ernst’s design for her first big summer fundraiser almost begs for friendly competition and swagger.

Which presidential contenders will climb astride a Harley-Davidson, a hallmark of raw power and toughness, for a 39-mile ride? Who will erect the biggest tent on the Roast & Ride grounds? Will anyone demonstrate prowess at cornhole?

Ernst, the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, has sent White House hopefuls a memo that spells out the logistics for her first Roast & Ride political fundraiser, an event that’s scheduled to take place in Iowa farm country on June 6 and will likely attract a large national press corps…

And in move that echoes a GOP tradition at the Iowa Straw Poll, there will be campaign tents.

“Each campaign team will be given (1) 10’x10′ tent for use at the event,” the memo says. “Upgrades to the standard 10’x10′ tent are available upon request, such as a larger tent, power, A/C, catering, etc.”

On Thursday, Roast & Ride organizers will begin announcing the names of presidential hopefuls who have RSVP’ed, the memo says. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the first to sign on

I don’t even wanna know how they’re gonna “demonstrate prowess at cornhole”

Apart from praying for a meteor — or at least some amusing cycle-related injuries among the candidates — what’s on the agenda for the evening?

OK Weather

It’s been a hard week in Oklahoma for the weather.  We’ve had 15 inches of rain in two days, with more on the way.  It’s nice break from the drought that much of the state has been in, but obviously not enough to change things in that respect long term.

Supposed to have very severe weather this afternoon and tonight.  Wife and daughter are in Tulsa with daughter’s friend at a concert by somebody or other and will stay the night and drive back tomorrow afternoon.  Son is hanging with friends, seeing Avengers 2 today.  I’ll catch that later at some point.  The movie theater is a storm shelter–took a near miss from the May 20, 2013 F-5 and was back in operation 3 days later.  His friend’s house has a shelter, so he’s good there.

I’m in the house, and getting some things done and taking a break from everybody and everything.  The shelter is cleaned and restocked, the batteries are charged, the beer is cold,  and the dog and I are curled up on the couch.  My weight is down to 261.  I had one cigarette yesterday.

Open thread.


EDIT–first weather radio alert of the day just issued at 12:00PM–Major Thunderstorm Watch until 9:00 PM

Tornado Watch until 9:00PM.  Cancelled for OKC area.  Also Flash Flood Warning till 12:00AM.

Saturday Morning Open Thread

Here’s a photo of the Disneyland employee cafeteria circa 1961:


I’m going to go get some exercise outdoors before that unimaginably huge mass of hot plasma in the sky renders non-air-conditioned activities uncomfortable. Y’all play nice now, hear?