Open Thread

“A terrifying look at America’s sick, glistening future…”—American Conservative

Click on the pic for more (obviously NSFW).

Sunday Morning Open Thread: xkcd

No garden pics this week — I guess everybody else is out frantically transplanting / watering / mowing, too. So you get a TED talk, via Phil Plait, instead.

You are, of course, free to post your own gardening updates here. I need to get to the garden center again, pick up more potting mix (another dozen mail order tomatoes, several mail order rose bushes, two flats of lobelia and allysum), and hopefully a couple more sixpaks of annuals to fill in the remaining corners…

Apart from that, what’s on the agenda?

Coming To a Grocery Near You

Got done shopping today, went out to load the groceries into the family truckster, and found this:



It was just so bad I couldn’t even get mad, so I took some shots. When I saw it was a Buick Century, I knew immediately it was a medicare sled, so I just loaded my groceries and sat on the back of the car on the trunk/bumper and waited (my car is not in the shots, but I could not get out until the car was moved), and after about ten minutes some 85-90 year old guy with a WWII veterans cap came out with his cart and looked at me sheepishly and grinned and said “How’d that happen” and I thought to myself “Old age, bro, but you keep on keeping on” but smiled back and took his grocery cart after he was done unloading his stuff and moved it to the place where they are supposed to go.

Funny stuff.

Saturday Night Open Thread

Just a glorious day here- a touch of humidity for a spell but other than that 70-80 degrees, clear blue skies and pillowy clouds. Just perfect, and Shawn and I got a lot of yard stuff done and I got half the garden in. As always, I underestimated the amount of mulch and plants I needed, so we are headed out to the greenery tomorrow to get some more supplies.

A bunch of the fraternity boys are living here over the summer doing internships and working for Building and Grounds, so I have a couple of them down tonight and we are watching some hockey, then maybe a movie, and cooking fajitas. Quick Sidebar- five of the seven guys staying here are black, and all of them are working for B&G. I don’t know if this is just my delicate liberal sensitivity at work, but a number of times during the day all of them will be piled into the back of a pickup truck driving through town to go somewhere else on campus to weed-eat or mow or mulch, etc., but for some reason the sight of six black men (five of whom are my brothers) being driven around in a pick-up truck in my lily white town by their white boss just makes me stop and pause every time it happens. I was talking to Christion and asked him about the whole plantation vibe it gives me, and just told me “I feel you. We’ve talked about it.”

I know I showed you the picture of Christion getting loved on by Rosie, but he is one of my favorite kids and he spends a lot of time here because he is a lot like me. He can’t handle a lot of people talking all the time and sometimes just needs to be left the hell alone, so he comes down a lot and hangs out in the living room while I am working or out doing things. At any rate, whenever the fraternity boys are coming down for dinner for the last year or so, he comes down early and helps me with prep work and I have been teaching him how to cook. He’s a frighteningly quick study- I show him something once, and he can do it the very next time we cook it again -“I got this.

He still doesn’t have a command of flavors and really doesn’t know how to handle vegetables and season them, but he is fine with most everything else. The one thing that is killing me is his knife skills. It’s just painful to watch. I have really heavy Viking knives and I have showed him how to just use his shoulder with them and use a rocking motion, and I have some Santoku knives and demonstrated how to use them and how you want more of a sawing motion, but every time he grabs any knife and starts to use it it’s like watching a Republican try to be funny or culturally hip. The only way I can accurately describe it is that every time he holds a knife, he holds it in contempt and fear, like the biggest homophobe on the planet being forced at gunpoint to grab another man’s erect penis. It’s just painful to watch.

I ask him why he is like that, and he tells me it is because the knives are so sharp, so they scare him, and I try to point out that dull knives are the dangerous ones, but it falls on deaf ears. Do any of you have any idea how I can teach him how to be comfortable with a knife in the kitchen?

At any rate, just a great day, plus when I went to the Post Office this morning, one of you generous souls had sent me a hand-crafted throw pillow- and that just made the day even though it was only 11:30. It’s beautiful, and thank you!

Hope you all have a good one. Off to watch the final period of the Kings and Blackhawks.

Open Thread: Well, They Never!!!

As someone who grew up in NYC in the 1960s, here’s a phrase I never expected to say: Way to go, Senator Rockefeller!

Politico video via Dave Weigel:

People sometimes wonder if there’s a word as offensive to white people as the n-word is to black people. Easy answer: “Racist.” Republicans shared Rockefeller’s comments and assumed he was talking about them, all of them. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson blew up at Rockefeller during a thinly-attended hearing, decrying for calling him racist. And Rockefeller, who’s aging and gazing hopefully at the exits, has not rushed to expand on his comments.

But come on. The guy’s a senator from West Virginia. West Virginia, where the 2008 primary voters who called race the “most important” factor in their vote gave Clinton a 76-point landslide over Obama. West Virginia, where any reporter could air drop in that year and find white voters openly admitting they could never vote for a black Muslim like Barack Hussein Obama…

West Virginia, where in 2012 Obama won only 59 percent of the primary vote as a convicted felon who never campaigned—as he was, you know, in jail—won the rest. Anyone who’s been on an Internet comment thread since 2008 has seen racist comments about Barack Obama. Do we want to bet that the senator from West Virginia, who voted for Obamacare, hasn’t gotten some of that?…

Paul Waldman, at Greg Sargent’s WaPo blog, has the sercon (serious sensible, constructive) unpacking:

Is opposition to Obamacare really about race? That’s the highly charged question that has bubbled up in the last day or so, starting with a Senate hearing and then bursting into the news media. I won’t keep you in suspense: The answer is, “Yes, but . . . .” Not all opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and not from all people, and not at all times. But two things are clearly true. First, some conservatives with large megaphones have worked hard to use the ACA as a tool of race-baiting, encouraging their white audiences to see the law through a racial lens. And second, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that race plays a role in many people’s opposition to the law…

No doubt Ron Johnson’s gonna go back home to what I’m guessing are his lily-white supporters in Wisconsin and clutch his pearls for the cameras, but that won’t make his hissy-fit any less risible.