Sunday, July 31, 2005

1312 Leahy is so entertaining

Last night, Lakesiders were entertained by a musical family from Lakefield, Ontario, Leahy. The audience whistled, cheered, clapped and gave them two standing ovations, plus stood in line to get their CDs or programs autographed. Eight of the eleven siblings perform and dance Irish, Scottish and traditional tunes together (although one was out on maternity leave last night). The couple sitting in front of us were so enthusiastic I wondered if they might be the parents of the group!

Our guests, Duke and Kinga, went home this morning after worship on the lakefront pavilion and breakfast at Abigail's. Kinga is recovering from neck surgery and she said this was just the respite she needed. Last night at dinner we were talking about the possibility of them returning next year, when we suggested Duke offer a class on poetry (he writes it). The instructors in the arts program get their gate pass and a room at the artist's house, so they got quite excited about that. After dinner my husband took Duke to meet the manager of the Rhein Center, so he's going to put together an outline for a class and she'll work out the scheduling.

We went to the lighthouse at Marblehead, and the weather was so perfect and the water so delightful, we almost couldn't believe it--there was even a sailboat regatta out there for us to watch and the guys to photograph.

After the lighthouse, we drove to Johnson's Island, the site of a Civil War prison camp for Confederate officers, and a small graveyard. The enlisted men were imprisoned in Columbus at Chase. Officers were treated better than the enlisted men, and the death rate was much smaller.

1311 The Wedding Dress Obit

This morning there was a large article/commemorative in the Plain Dealer that included several photographs of the deceased, including a candid wedding photo of him and his bride running through a throng of well-wishers after the ceremony in 1955. As I looked at that beautiful white satin and net and tulle cloud that surrounded the bride, I thought it could be an obituary for the wedding dress.

Have you noticed what brides wear today? Their slips. Their nighties. Yes, that's what these strapless or spaghetti strapped flimsy whimsies look like to me. No style or elegance. What I wore my wedding night was blue, sexy and body clinging, but I think it had more fabric than some of the wedding gowns I see for 2005. You should be turning on the groom, not the groomsmen.

I think I remember reading somewhere that it was John Kennedy Jr's bride that changed the style to the barely there look in 1996. This wasnt the article, but google will find the same opinion:

"Carolyn's wedding dress was made from pure white silk. This simple dress was combined dress elegance, classiness, and sexiness into one knockout package. Woman began to realize a wedding dress could in fact look sexy. This was a whole new concept, never heard of before. For years most women had landed up looking like an overstuffed pilsbury dough boy on their wedding day. Narciso had accomplished in Carolyn's wedding gown what women thought to be impossible. She had been transformed into this bewitching sexy princess."

Glad I was MOB in 1993 and my daughter (a gorgeous woman, btw) had the good sense to cover up.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

1310 Ottawa Indians in Ohio

When we were in Oklahoma last week, we met a young couple at breakfast who were actually from Bartlesville and enjoying a week-end at Price Tower which they'd won in a drawing at the Cultural Center. "Do you know how many Indian tribes are native to Oklahoma?" the man asked. We didn't, although we'd seen many Indian names on streets and towns and schools. He made a zero sign with his thumb and index finger.

The Plain Dealer (July 29) reported that Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma leaders were touring western Lake Erie and visiting North Bass Island to file a law suit for hunting and fishing rights. There are almost no pure blood Ottawa Indians--they've assimilated into the larger culture. But I doubt this is about wanting to experience old tribal traditions of hunting and fishing. I'm guessing they want the right to make everyone else around here using the water and land to pay for the privilege. If the leaders are 1/32 Ottawa, they probably want a bit more than that as a percentage of the take.

Yes, what happened to their ancestors was terrible and sad. What happened to my foremothers and fathers who had to flee Europe because the Catholics and Lutherans didn't like the religion of the Anabaptists was sad too. I wonder if there is a pasture in Switzerland or Germany I can claim.

Friday, July 29, 2005

1309 Friday's Feast #57

Over at the Buffet for your Brain, aka Friday's Feast, we're asked:

Name 3 people whom you admire for their intelligence.
Our president, George W. Bush, is apparently a whole lot smarter than people give him credit for. The way he does what he says is certainly disarming. I really like the way the writer of Belmont Club puts his research together. I'm reading Alexander Hamilton right now, and think he was amazing.

What's the last food you tried that you really didn't care for.
It was probably hot and spicy.

If you could rename the street that you live on, what would you want it to be called?
All the streets in our area were named for the original farm homestead which was subdivided. It is very confusing and I frequently redirect service trucks. But, it is an historical connection, so I suppose I'd keep it as is.

Main Course
When was the last time you were genuinely surprised?
I'd have to say our recent (last week) trip to Arkansas and Oklahoma. The economic boom in Arkansas and the interesting cultural sites in Oklahoma caught me by surprise. I'd never been to either state.

Share a household tip.
Spray every pan and skillet with a vegetable oil-type product before cooking. Really saves time on clean up.

1308 First Time Visitors

My husband loves to show off Lakeside, especially to first time visitors. You'd think this place was his idea, instead of an old Methodist camp ground founded in 1873. Duke and Kinga are visiting us this week-end. The guys went to high school together at Arsenal Technical High School (Indianapolis) and were members of the SLOBS, about whom I've written here. We'll rent a golf cart today and drive around and look at some of my husband's projects, and "do" the sights. There is also a Crafts show down on the lawn of the Hotel Lakeside.

Last night's entertainment was a bit different. The Sauce Boss performed sort of bluesy, blue grass, good old rock 'n roll while preparing a big pot of gumbo which was later distributed to the audience. He was also selling his secret sauce.

Here's one of my Lakeside paintings I call "Invite three friends." This isn't our porch, but is a favorite of photographers and painters. It also has a bright orange porch swing.

1307 Just another day at the office

My best stories about work were usually about body parts--but those of animals. Sweeter than Ever works with the police (not sure of her job title): "Last night after 11pm we had a stabbing, a person who was hit in the head by a baseball bat during a fight, an injured person who claimed he had broken both arms, legs, his fingers and then advised his neck also popped, but the truth of the matter was he was intoxicated, a suicidal person who had a .45 to his head and a bottle of booze in the other hand, a runaway from another town who arrived at a party and was sexually assaulted, a vehicle containing drugs and guns outside of a motel and the usual traffic stops, reckless drivers, intoxicated persons, and domestics."

Although, we also did detective work in my library. For instance. It is 20 degrees outside with a windchill of minus 15. Library patron comes up to the desk with overdue notice in hand. "I returned this journal last week--your staff missed it and probably reshelved it." So I go to the stacks. The library's temperature is about 89 degrees because our HVAC system cooked us in the winter and froze us in the summer. I find the exact volume of JAVMA that matches the overdue notice. Yes, it is on the shelf. I reach for it to take it back with me so the computer can clear the records. It is icy cold. I hold it to my hot cheeks and return to the desk and waiting patron.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

1306 Chincoteague ponies

Today is the auction of the ponies that swim from Assateague to Chincoteague, Virginia. Marguerite Henry's books illustrated by Wesley Dennis were my favorite stories when I was a child--I think I read most of them, King of the Wind being my favorite. But Misty is probably her best known. I've written about my fascination with horses earlier.

When I wasn't reading about horses, I was hanging out at the local livestock dealer's barn in Forreston which was within walking distance of my home. Charlie was probably about 57 and Raymond was the same age as my dad, maybe 37 or 38. They gave me free rein of the barn. I'd go there after school or on week-ends, let myself in, climb over the stall and sit on the horses. Sometimes I'd just go in the stall and curry the horse. I was always there to see the new animals brought in--but they weren't pets or for leisure--buying and selling was their business. This part I didn't really understand as a kid. Oh sure, sell a steer or bull, but a horse? Sometimes Ray would like a particular horse and keep it for awhile, but my equine friends would be on their way when a profit was to be made.

It didn't seem to worry me that I was playing in stalls with huge animals (I was about 10 years old). Little girls who are crazy about horses must have guardian angels.

1305 Why your boss should monitor your computer use

Because I'm paying for it. Whether you work for the government, a plumber, retailer, wholesaler, big pharm, automotive, divorce lawyers or in academe, somewhere down the line I, the taxpayer and consumer and stock owner, pay. If you are surfing the internet or playing games or posting to a chat room, you're costing me money. I'll excuse you if you are self-employed or home schooling. You I won't scold if you want to read your e-mail at 10:45 a.m. or blog when the kids nap. But the rest of you, North Baltimore, South Toledo, Juneau or over the Rhine , get back to work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1304 Intellectual freedom for thee but not me?

IFFORUM [Intellectual Freedom Forum] is an unmoderated forum for the discussion of intellectual freedom issues among librarians. Apparently some people (probably fearing for their professional future) choose to write with pseudonyms, so a Mr. Berry [the site has no description] has come up with a new proposal:

"Since propagandists from the right wing, most of them anonymous, or pseudonymous are most of what is posted on IFForum, and are driving library intellectual freedom fighters elsewhere, it is time to change to rules for IFForum.; There is no reason for ALA to continue to support the broadcasting of propaganda by unnamed sources. When these sources engage in ad hominem attacks it may even put ALA in danger of litigation for libel. To solve the problem, why not make it a rule that all posters must identify themselves, by name, address, phone number, true e-mail address, and indicate whether or not they are members of ALA. They need not be denied the right to post on IFFORUM, but there is no reason ALA should bear the cost of their anonymous and pseudonymous ravings. Thus this would place no restraint on their freedom of expression on lIFFORUM, but it would make them accountable for their posting, and tell us who they are, and which of them has an ALA membership or doesn't. Please post what is wrong with this proposal."

I don’t read this forum, and have no idea what this flap is about. But "no restraint on freedom of expression?" I am a bit surprised that there are enough “right wing” librarians to even fill a closet. I read about this at Tomeboy.

If the comment is from the left (i.e., most librarians) it is apparently reasoned and fair, being written by a “freedom fighter“; if it is from the right it is a threat, an attack and placing ALA in danger of litigation for libel. The problem is, acknowledging who you are is no problem in ALA land--as long as you aren’t conservative. This is the group that had Michael Moore’s film at their 2004 meeting, becomes apoplectic at the mention of George W. Bush and fight filters on library computers because someone might miss an item on breast cancer while discouraging the child molesters and porn lurkers.

I’m thinking along these lines--and I haven’t a clue who she is. When kooks dominate a listserv or Usenet board, you delete them or block them. There’s an anarchist who posts at and I just choose not to read her/him. The ones who post as "anonymous" should choose a pseudonym so we can tell their posts apart. I also don't respond to them if they are too lazy to make up a name.

1303 You have what?

Seen at Paula's site, and Doyle's.

1302 Girl in love, fishing

My neighbor mentioned that she hadn't seen my daughter last week. My son-in-law she saw on his way down to the dock to fish. "Oh, she was in the house reading," I told her. I think she mentioned she had finished 3 books and they hadn't gone to any of the programs. Before they were married, she fished too. Here's proof. I painted this from a photo of her taken the summer before they married. I doubt if she's picked up a pole since.

Basics of Blogging

This morning I'll be teaching a Basics of Blogging class at the local coffee shop, Coffee 'n Cream, which is the only place around here with a free wi-fi connection. I learned this morning that the laptop hoards blew the power last week, so it looks like we'll need to all be battery powered. I'd intended to do that for myself anyway, because it is also storming, and last fall I wiped out everything on this computer somehow. However, because of the stormy weather, I don't want to leave it plugged in to build up the battery.

I'll use a little advice passed along by Anvilcloud about saving my template revisions in txt file rather than wp file; I'm checking out some possible URLs that haven't been used so we can move quickly from setting up the account to actually creating a post. A few I selected were already used, but I also found abandoned ones that have never been pulled. If you haven't blogged since 2001, it's time to delete the blog. Yesterday I googled "blogspot template" and found quite a few. I'm a bit bored with the 20 or so offerings at, but to get them started they'll be OK.

The Rhein Center assistant told me 3 people had signed up, but that means nothing here. I selected 9 a.m. because the regular arts and crafts and morning lectures all start at 10 a.m. We'll see if anyone shows up.

Update:Four brave Lakesiders showed up, three men and one woman, but we only had two computers. So John has set up his blog called Soar Ahead and if Bill comes back we'll work on his. He wasn't really sure he had anything to post, but I saw some great photos of grandchildren, and has now really simplified uploading photographs. Carol has the house tour tomorrow, but may come back on Friday. My neighbor's brother popped up to say he'd stop by tomorrow, and there is a guy from Dublin, OH who wants to set up a business blog.

"Older learners" get discouraged easily. We all miss the quick and easy way we learned as kids, so suck it up folks and plod on. Hear it, see it, say it, do it. That's how we learn--if we are over 25.

1300 Lakeside Week 5

It stormed last night, so perhaps things will cool off. I feel sorry for all those families with small children who tried to enjoy their vacation last week in cottages with no AC. I see the house across the street is for rent--can't remember seeing that in the last 3 years. However, a large crowd braved the heat last night to hear Dave Bennett's Tribute to Benny Goodman. This guy is 20 years old and is incredible. Hoover seats about 3,000 and I think it was half full, unusual for a Tuesday, and incredible considering the heat. When he started Poor Butterfly, I thought I'd cry, and he got a standing ovation for Sing, Sing, Sing. He doesn't seem to have a web site, but I see he is on the list of many concert series, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Several times during the hot evening someone would hollar, "Take off your coat," but that would have taken him out of character, so he braved the heat in a double breasted dark suit, as did the fabulous band.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

1299 On to Tulsa [Sunday]

On our way to Tulsa where we would catch our flight home, we stopped for 90 minutes at a jewel of an art museum, The Gilcrease. I would say it is a secret, but obviously since there was a crowd on Sunday morning, it isn't. It is famous for its collection of western art, including a fascinating collection of Indian artifacts. There wasn't enough time to see everything, so I stuck with the western art. I stopped at the room devoted to Thomas Gilcrease, and learned his mother was a Creek Indian so he was entitled to some acreage of the tribal land. He was a good business man and got into oil. While touring Europe he visited museums and got the idea to collect American western art, which not many were doing at that time. When his personal fortunes plunged with an oil bust, his collection was quite large and valuable. Rather than lose it to other collectors, the city bought his personal museum and collection. The museum also has unusual and themed gardens, but the heat prevented my taking advantage of that. I stood next to a large rock for a photo and could've fried and egg on it.

Our tour plan included a drive by photo op of the Richard Lloyd Jones Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Tulsa, OK. Jones was his cousin and a newspaper editor, and he lived in the house (built in 1929) until his death at 90. The house is huge--10,000 sq. ft. on 4 acres. Privately owned, it is NOT open for tours.

We also drove through the Oral Roberts University which may win a prize for the ugliest, most ostentatious architecture in the USA (just my opinion). We said good-bye to our capable, knowledgeable driver at the airport and while checking in discovered our plane would be about an hour and 15 minutes late making it virtually impossible to catch our flight out of Detroit to Columbus. But they held the plane for us while we galloped through that massive airport in Detroit, and we settled in for a quick hop home.

It was a fabulous trip, and now we're back at Lakeside.

Monday, July 25, 2005

1298 Other Bartlesville sites [Saturday]

As I mentioned before, in the morning we met in the lobby and walked to the Bartlesville Community Center designed by William Wesley Peters (1912-1991), a sharp (or round) contrast of curves, circles, and ovals. For a small town of 35,000 Bartlesville has a wonderful musical and artistic life. It is the home of OK Mozart established in 1985, and many home-grown and out-of-town shows. The 1800 seat theater is marvelous.

Next we toured the art museum which is in the Price Tower. In addition to many Wrightean displays of furniture, there was a visiting photographic exhibit of architectural photography. Then it was back on the bus. We had lunch at a locally renowned restaurant, Dink's Pit Bar-B-Que(really yummy), that our driver Bob knew about (local boy from Fort Smith). Then we set out to see if we could spot another home designed by Wright for Price's son, but the current owners don't allow visitors.

More welcoming was the the director of operations at Oklahoma Weslyan College where we toured La Quinta Mansion, a home built in the 1930s for another oilman, H.V. Foster. He made his money in oil leases with the Osage Indians. However, it was only used briefly as a home, and since 1939 has been the main building of several different schools, OWC being the most recent (a holiness denominational college). I was particularly interested in this tour because it housed the library collection (really poor and dated in my opinion) and they were shifting it to allow the mansion to be restored in certain areas. Having shifted probably over 100,000 volumes in my library career for either dumping, wall painting or title changes, I could empathize.
Next we toured the Frank Phillips Home. It was modest as mansions go (26 rooms), but the Phillips (as in Phillips 66) had two other homes. The grounds, which included a four car garage with a museum and servant quarters and a greenhouse, were lovely. It had remained in the Phillips family a long time, but is now maintained by the historical society.

I don't know what you would have done after a day of touring in 100+ degree heat, but I went back to our fabulous FLW room and took a nap to prepare for our lovely night out (actually up, to the 15th floor) at the Copper Restaurant + Bar. Our three tables of congenial tour friends enjoyed a dinner of salmon and chicken on rice and a chocolate dessert that was to die for. If you are ever in Bartlesville, this is the place to eat, trust me.

1297 Our Tour Group

Our tour group at the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, Bella Vista, Arkansas

1296 Bartlesville and Frank Lloyd Wright [Friday]

As we drove into Missouri to get a better road, the "boomtown" atmosphere of NW Arkansas disappeared as did the ubiquitous Wal-Mart Superstores (I did not see any other place to buy groceries). Oklahoma flattened out and we tried to remember the words of the song when we started seeing cornfields. At 6 p.m. we rolled through Vinita, and the temperature sign said 106--and that was not the heat index, but the temp. Because my family drove to California on Rt. 66 in the 1940s, it's possible this was my second visit to Vinita.

The hot, tired Ohio travelers became quite energized as we saw the Price Tower over the trees of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, home and headquarters of Phillips 66. With its green copper louvers and peculiar triangular shape, it is every bit as impressive as the magazines have reported. If you've got the time here is a really brief video clip--and our hotel room looked exactly like that as did our dinner at the Copper Restaurant. Wright actually envisioned this building for Manhattan in 1925 as a multi-use site--shops, housing and work, but it was not realized. At the end of his career, he had the opportunity to have his dream built--like a tall tree in the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma. (For some great photos see the June 2003 Architectural Digest.) The building was completed in 1956 for client H.C. Price. The building was purchased by the Phillips Petroleum Company in the 80s, and recently restored as an inn, restaurant and art museum.

And we crazies who fly and drive around in 100 degree+ heat looking at buildings had the thrill to actually spend two nights in a Wright building. There are 21 high-design guest rooms and suites, with all the interiors done by Wendy Evans Joseph. If they find someone with deep pockets, maybe we'll go back someday to see the expanded art museum by Zaha Hadid. After unpacking and settling in our rooms, we went to Patsy's "hospitality suite" for snacks, wine and cheese, and lots of laughs. She plans these trips and always does a wonderful job.

In the morning we met in the lobby and walked to the Bartlesville Community Center designed by William Wesley Peters (1912-1991), a sharp (or round) contrast of curves, circles, and ovals.

1295 North West Arkansas [Thursday-Friday]

Nothing prepared me for the vitality, beauty and economic boom of northwest Arkansas. What a lovely place! If I were 20 years younger, or if I were looking for a wonderful retirement area, that part of the country would be worth consideration. I'd say the building boom matches the Bradenton/Sarasota area and so do the trees. I haven't checked the stats, but the architects we visited said that unemployment is about 1.5% and has been for over a decade. Remember the disparaging terms, "Arkies and Okies," the folks who fled to California during the dust bowl? Well, now it is obvious there are outsiders flocking to that area, or maybe some are just returning home. Here's a realtor's site I just picked out of the blue with some basic statistics about the metropolitan area.

We arrived at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport at 10:45 Thursday morning, loaded our luggage on our chartered tour bus and stopped for a delightful lunch at Hog Haus, a restored brewery in downtown Fayetteville. From there we went down the street to Maurice Jennings + David McKee Architects. Both had worked for E. Fay Jones (1921-2004), an architect who used Wrightean elements in his designs. The two chapels we would visit the next day, Thorncrown and Cooper are his. The architects' offices were in the Underwood Building, and the first floor is a jewelry store designed by Jones, including all the wonderful fixtures. We had a great time looking through all the lovely items, and there is obviously enough wealth in that area to support that kind of a store.

We then visited the campus of the University of Arkansas, certainly much prettier than most, and the Fulbright Peace Memorial, also designed by Jones. From there we stopped at the DePalma Clinic, a medical building designed by Jones which had fallen into disrepair and was restored by a CPA.

From there we drove to Eureka Springs, stopping in Bentonville, the home of Wal-Mart, to pick up another tour member who had arrived a few days earlier. Of course, we needed to visit the newest superstore--for ice, snacks, and a skirt for Norma. Eureka Springs is apparently a wedding mecca for the midwest, second only to Las Vegas according to a couple we met in Oklahoma who had married there. Every cute little Victorian, flower draped cottage we saw on the winding, hilly streets seemed to offer either weddings or jacuzzis--or both. The 1886 Crescent Hotel is old, creaky, and supposedly visited by ghosts, but we had a beautifully restored room, and the group enjoyed a fabulous morning brunch in the delightful dining room. The gardens host many weddings--one the night we arrived.

A group of us walked the "short cut" through a wooded area down to Spring Street, the business district, but they really do roll up the sidewalks about 5 p.m. so there were no stores open. We did find a nice Italian restaurant, but took the hotel shuttle back up the hill. The guy posing for the picture here was our waiter, I think.

In the morning we visited Fay Jones' Thorncrown Chapel in a wooded area close by, and then drove to Bella Vista to visit his Cooper Memorial Chapel. Both are indescribable and even the photos don't do them justice. You really need to sit inside and soak up the peace and beauty. Thorncrown (from the words crown of thorns) opened in 1980, and over 5 million people have visited. Our volunteer guide provided a wonderful presentation on the Reed family who purchased the land and had the vision, and their relationship with Jones.

"This exquisite chapel in the Ozark woods is small (24 feet by 60 feet by 48 feet high) and walled with glass. It rises from fieldstone floors and two low fieldstone walls; otherwise it is built almost entirely of standard-size lumber worked with the attention to detail of a master cabinetmaker. Repeating diamond shapes loft upward to its overhanging peaked roof. It has been compared to Lloyd Wright's Wayfarers Chapel...." from Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. p 63.

The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista is different but just as lovely, and I'd have a tough time if I had to choose. John Cooper had purchased Bella Vista, a resort community begun in 1915 and reestablished it in the 1960s as a retirement community.

According to the history of the community, "Everyone was a member who bought property, a homesite or home, and was entitled to use the amenities-- golf courses, clubhouses etc. He then turned these facilities over to a Property Owners Association to own and manage. Between 1965 and 1989 the Cooper Company, known after 1971 as Cooper Communities, Inc., built five golf courses (the POA built two), seven lakes, four major club houses and other amenities. The Property Owners Association, a private corporation governed by a board of directors, owned and managed the facilities for the members. From May 21, 1965, when the first lots were sold, until 1995, CCI sold 37,060 lots or homesites, and built hundreds of homes."

The parents of one of the members of our tour group had lived there for 28 years, so we had a lot of inside information, and her aunt who also lived there invited the entire busload over for dessert after we finished our afternoon tour. Her husband who is 89 had already played 18 holes of golf that day--and the temperature was near 100 degrees. It is really one of the loveliest retirement communities I've ever seen. Of course, all the services needed to support such a large community has brought in trades and professions of all types--education, medical, social services, government services. Everywhere we looked there was a new library, or a new shopping center, or a new church. (I seem to be overusing lovely, delightful and beautiful in this entry, but I can't help it.)

We said good-bye to Arkansas and drove north briefly into Missouri to pick up a better road to take us into Bartlesville, Oklahoma and the Price Tower designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We did make a brief stop at the original Sam Walton 5 and 10 store just to pay homage to the family that has brought so much wealth and growth to this area.

1294 Spider update

A few days ago I wrote about Elmo's Cousin living in our cottage basement at Lake Erie. When our daughter and son-in-law picked us up at the Columbus airport last night, Mark reported that he bravely stood at the top of the basement stairs and dropped the Scattergories game on "Cuz." Says he had teeth. My daughter describes him as "furry." Mark's brother said, "I can't believe you slept in the same house with him."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

1293 See you Monday

We're off to Arkansas. See you Monday.

1292 Bat Girl

R Cubed gives us a wonderful natural history lesson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

1291 Beauty and Grace

Gary Irving finds beauty and grace close to home--mine.

1290 The Right attacking Roberts

The Democrats just kill their young; the Republicans eat theirs. The hardest thing for me to get used to these last four years as a Republican is how they just can't stick together. Our weepy Senator Voinovich (R-Ohio) being a recent example. Here's Ann Coulter's take on the John Roberts appointment:

"It means absolutely nothing that NARAL and Planned Parenthood attack [Roberts] him: They also attacked Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter.

The only way a supreme court nominee could win the approval of NARAL and Planned Parenthood would be to actually perform an abortion during his confirmation hearing, live, on camera, and preferably a partial birth one."

She makes a living being outrageous, but does she think she'll get a bigger audience by handing the left the appointment by default? Are there no issues of importance in this country other than abortion?

1289 So why are you fans?

OK, all you Firefox fans. Tell me what's so great. I'm now viewing my pages in IE and everything looks fine. Switch to FF and I can hardly read the archive dates they're so tiny. Also, blogger's "Compose" doesn't work in FF (retaining all the hyperlinks I painstakingly worked on in text)--at least not for me. At one of my other blogs a reader using a MAC said that Compose was the big advantage. I periodically check my site meter for browser stats, and see that FF is creeping up in percentages, but so far it's just not turning me on. I see a divorce in our future.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

1288 Elmo's Cousin

Right before we left Lakeside, my husband came up from the basement and said, "I think Elmo's got a cousin." Elmo was the name we gave an extremely large spider about 10 years ago. I'd been doing laundry in the basement for the last 3 weeks and the only spiders I'd seen were dead ones--big, but dead. "Oh, leave him alone. He'll eat the bugs," I said. "What about Mark?" he said. "We just won't tell him," I said, knowing our son-in-law's fear of spiders, "No sense spoiling his vacation."

Last night our daughter called about 9 p.m. Apparently Mark had gone to the basement to throw in a load of laundry and saw Elmo's cousin. Our daughter heard him holler, as he ran up the steps. She had to finish the laundry because he won't go in the basement. "This one's different, Mom, he just stands in the middle of the floor and watches you. I can see his eyes move."

She called again this evening to tell us they'd been seated at the sushi bar in the Japanese Restaurant (you have to leave the grounds for this) with our neighbors John and Katie and she thought that was quite amazing. We talked a bit, and asked her what they planned to do this evening.

"We're going to the laundro-mat," she said firmly.

1287 Our trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas

We’re going on an architectural tour to Arkansas and Oklahoma on Thursday. Wondering if we might be wandering into the after effects of Hurricane Emily, I looked at some weather reports for that area. Friday 97 and Saturday 98. But the humidity is low, compared to Ohio. The heat index seems to be about 110. Is that like the reverse of the chill factor?

I know we’ll see Fayetteville, Arkansas and Eureka Springs and the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. We’ll stop at the Thorncrown Chapel and the Cooper Memorial Chapel for tours before arriving at the Inn at Price Tower, design by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bartlesville, OK. From there we go to Tulsa where we’ll see “noteworthy architecture.” If I sound a little vague it’s because I can’t seem to find my file about this trip.

1286 What's on the nightstand?

Tagged by Ayekah of the Deep South. . . .

What's On My Nightstand. . .Our “night stands” are actually two smallish, cream colored marble top end tables we purchased in 1963, which were moved from the living room to the bedroom about 15 years ago. The lamps are on the wall and came with the house. My side has a phone, a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, a copy of Wired, a pencil and a small pink spiral bound notebook. And dust. None of these items except the phone are ever used. I fall asleep about 30 seconds after retiring or I watch TV, so it’s useless to have a book on the end table. I can't sleep with a clock.

I'll tag Rebecca, Badaunt, Doyle, and Sal.

1285 Firefox problems

Problems with the layout.

Update: As of 3:10 it looks OK on my screen. However, it did that yesterday too. I tried to delete some of the buttons I didn't need and must have elminated something important, so reloaded the template code (22 pages) I'd saved in wp before I started all this.

"Switching is easy." Yeah, tell me about it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

1284 Do as I say, not as I do: librarian's motto?

The editor of C&RL News sadly writes here:

“My children have a genetic disease. It is rare, not well understood, and there is no treatment or cure. However, the most disturbing obstacle we face is the wall around published scientific research. Information critical to health and biomedical research is held hostage by questionable and arcane publishing practices. It is time for publishers, both private and academic, to redesign their business models in response to a new age of information sharing and a stronger sense of the scientific commons.”

What puzzles me is that her journal, and most library journals, do NOT have open access (except for editorial remarks like hers) even though librarians beat the drum for everyone else to provide free information.

Yes, NIH is tax supported, but so are libraries and librarians salaries.

1283 Thirty years ago at Lakeside

We're actually not at the Lake, but I was poking around in my photo file and found this family photo of our week at the Lake in 1975. That year was one of the few where we had a cottage that overlooked Lake Erie. It was sort of a dump, but the view was fabulous, especially during storms.

That series of windows right above my head was our apartment. The huge rocks that lead to the water are about 2 or 3 feet in front of us. I think that apartment was the one where our son left the stopper in the sink and the faucet was left slightly on, filling up the sink. The overflow was clogged, so after we'd gone to the program at the auditorium, the water spilled over to the floor, which had a low spot. The water build up then soaked through the floor to the ceiling below, into the lamp fixture, filling it up, and finally dripping onto the dining room table. There it ruined the first floor tenants dog's medicine.

I'm sure our little guy got blamed--although none of it was his fault. He was such an active, into everything, kind of kid, the blame always seem to fall on him. How many 7 year olds would know not to leave a stopper in the sink? How many tenants there for a week would know that the overflow in a 75 year old house sink didn't work? Who knew Fido was a diabetic?

This photo is so 1970s--my husband's long hair and mutton chops; his fancy screened print polyester shirt and bell bottoms; my granny skirt and helmet hair cut; my son's plaid slacks; the cute dress I made for our daughter. Now they are both way bigger than we are, and our roles are reversing, with us depending on them more and more as we age. And they still enjoy being Lakesiders for a week or so.

1282 Immigration and Security

Is there some reason we can't figure out how to have legal, controlled immigration AND secure borders?

Wall Street Journal article here fails to point out how employing illegals is also bad for our security. I've met many second and third generation Hispanics (who do not speak Spanish, btw) who are educated, middle class U.S. citizens, including a few relatives in Indiana. I've never seen such hard workers as the young immigrant Hispanic men I see around here riding in the back of landscape or construction trucks and sweating in the kitchens of our better restaurants. The Census Bureau reports are positive.

"Even more encouraging news comes from recent Census Bureau data on the economic advancement of immigrants themselves. The longer that immigrants are here, the better they do financially. For example, immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than three years have a 7.4% unemployment rate. That rate of joblessness falls to 6.7% after 10 years here, then below 6% after 20 years. The income numbers show the same picture of immigrants climbing the ladder of economic success. New arrivals have a median family income of $31,930. For those who came in the 1990s there incomes average $38,395. And for those who have been here 20 years or more, family income approaches $50,000. Immigrants are economic investments with increasing rates of return over time."

But, if we need workers for jobs that Americans won't or can't do, let's set up a system, and close the borders. Mexico obviously isn't going to do anything, and why should it? These dollars flow into their economy. Sooo. . .follow the money. Illegals will work for less, and even low pay here is better than back home. In this case, American business is the bad guy.

1281 Is there really an autism epidemic?

Robert Kennedy thinks so. Good politics but bad science? His latest salvo (government plot) is in Rolling Stone and more interviews on MSM. He doesn't have an autistic child, but he does need something to keep his name out front. Medical researchers aren't finding it.

"Despite heightened media attention on the autism "epidemic," a report published in the July issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science offers three arguments against a true increase in autism prevalence. These include changes in diagnostic criteria for autism, with current criteria being more inclusive than when the diagnosis was first defined in the 1940s; methodological flaws in an unpublished California study widely cited as showing dramatically increased prevalence; and problems in using the U.S. Department of Education's annual "child count" data."

Continue at

And if you have a lot of time and a curious mind, take a read through just how we got the Bible of all disorders, DSM-III. Essentially, it's the work of one man.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

1280 They miss a lot

Tony Gonzaga sang Psalm 27 at the traditional service this morning. Sometimes I think those folks who attend the "informal" (called "celebration" at our church) miss a lot. Anyway, it was like an early preview of heaven.

1279 Friday Feast (on Sunday)

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
For security, I won't post it, but no, I like it and wouldn't change it.

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
Natural fabrics like cotton and wool and silk. Warm colors--cream, taupe, coral, aqua.

What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Automobile maintenance.

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
Our safe, secure life as we once knew it is over; and that is scary. Worry about Clinton's misadventures now seems like child's play, even though we know all the planning of islamofacism was in place then with terrorist acts being planned.

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
My desk in my office. Family photographs. Books. TV.

1278 Just a brief review

Senator John Edwards said on September 19, 2002, "The only chance for Iraq to become a democratic, tolerant state -- and a model for the Arab world -- will be through sustained American involvement. We will need to help provide security inside Iraq after Hussein is gone, work with the various Iraqi opposition groups, reassure Iraq's neighbors about its future stability and support the Iraqi people as they rebuild their lives."

We're working on it, Mr. Edwards. Sustain and support for a secure and stable state.

1277 Week-end warriors

After church this morning we drove to our son's home in Canal Winchester to check out his yard improvements and garden. We were driving the speed limit on 70East when zoom, zoom, zoom, about 7 boomer cyclists went around us, weaving in and out around the cars, gray hair blowing in the wind, except one guy was wearing a helmet. He had some brains and was planning to protect them.

Update: I read in this morning's paper that there was a gathering of Christian Bikers (in a hurry to meet their maker, apparently) at Grove City Church of the Nazarene. That was probably what we saw considering the time and location.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

1276 Heading home

We'll be heading back to Columbus after lunch. It's been a great 3 weeks. You sort of ease into a different mode of thinking and moving that a one week stay doesn't do. Although I've heard first timers say they notice the change of pace right away. I'm always amazed when people drive through the gates on a first visit and decide to buy a cottage. It defies everything you know about finances.

Somehow, the cat knows she isn't going with us, because she didn't try to hide when we got out the suitcases. Our daughter and son-in-law will be here (and possibly his brother), so they'll look after her.

Last night's program was a jazz singer Laurel Masse--a founding member of Manhattan Transfer. At first I didn't think I'd stay, but she got better as the evening moved along. Her encore was spectacular. Tonight is Mike Albert, an Elvis imitator. He's good and puts on a wonderful show, but I think he's getting a little chubby for the young Elvis songs. Albert has a huge fan club, and Hoover fills up with all the extra bus loads.

All around us towns are getting a much needed rain. We're dry. Maumee got 5 inches yesterday and Findlay got 2.5 inches in an hour. It's starting to sprinkle now, but we've had several teasers like that.

1275 A few tips for travel to Germany

Blonde librarian and her readers have some tips for you if you plan to relocate or travel in Germany.

Friday, July 15, 2005

1274 You used to be a liberal. What happened?

Galley Girl asks, and Bernard Goldberg answers for many of us:

GG: You used to be a liberal. What happened?

"What happened? Liberals happened. I want to make a distinction between your run-of-the-mill liberals and the cultural elite liberals, who really speak for liberalism in America today. Most liberals obviously are decent people. They go to work every day, they care about their families, maybe they give money to charity. Fine. I have no problem whatsoever with anybody in that group. But the people who are speaking for liberals in the world of politics, the chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean; or the cultural liberals, like Michael Moore; the Hollywood elites who confuse intelligence with celebrity—they think because they’re famous, they’re also smart. I listen to them and I say, I don’t want to be part of that group anymore. Even when I agree with them, which is more often than you would think, I no longer want to be seen as being part of that group. It isn’t because of their politics, which I think are misguided; it’s because they come off as snobby and elitest. I think they look down their nose at ordinary Americans."

1273 Kerfuffle: Taranto's Favorite Word

Taranto's reasoning on the Rove kerfuffle (used 3 times in this article alone) is a bit obtuse, I think, because the Bush White House rarely does things the way you would expect, and the Dems get hysterical and unglued about everything these days, especially facts:

"Let's conduct a little thought experiment, shall we? Suppose that people in Washington generally had the sense that Karl Rove was soon to be indicted in the Valerie Plame kerfuffle. How would they react?

It seems to us the White House would be working to distance itself from Rove, possibly planning for him to make a quiet exit, much as John Kerry's campaign "disappeared" Joe Wilson last summer when Wilson's credibility fell apart. The Democrats, on the other hand, would act high-minded and talk of "letting the process work," at least as long as Rove remained on the job. An actual indictment, after all, would do maximal political damage to the Bush administration.

Instead, the White House (which knows a lot more about the investigation than any of us) is confidently standing behind Rove, while the Democrats are waging a hysterical attack that would be premature if it were based on anything real. Partisan Democrats don't want to talk about the facts of the case (facts are irrelevant, as a former Enron adviser insists) or about the law. They just want to pound the table and insist that Rove is metaphysically guilty." James Taranto, July 15

One thing that has bothered me all along. Didn't Bob Novak tell the whole world about Valerie Plame? What's his responsibility in blowing her cover? Also, do Democrats assume that anyone who "works at the CIA" is an undercover agent? Don't they have secretaries, gofers and librarians?

Update--so much for secrecy--today's AP report: "Chief presidential adviser Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he talked with two journalists before they divulged the identity of an undercover CIA officer but that he originally learned about the operative from the news media and not government sources, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

Rove testified that Novak originally called him the Tuesday before Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 to discuss another story.

The conversation eventually turned to Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who was strongly criticizing the Bush administration's use of faulty intelligence to justify the war in Iraq, the person said.

Rove testified that Novak told him he planned to report in a weekend column that Plame had worked for the CIA, and the circumstances on how her husband traveled to Africa to check bogus claims that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials in Niger, according to the source."

1272 Doesn't look good for this Lutheran

You scored as John Calvin. Much of what is now called Calvinism had more to do with his followers than Calvin himself, and so you may or may not be committed to TULIP, though God's sovereignty is all important.

John Calvin


Karl Barth




Martin Luther


Jonathan Edwards


Jürgen Moltmann


Friedrich Schleiermacher




Paul Tillich


Charles Finney


Which theologian are you?
created with

As Karl Barth said when asked to summarize his theology: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

I always have to change the width of these quizes. Do you? Otherwise they post below all my links.

1271 Creationists in the Closet

Although his core beliefs probably don't surface in his job as a school administrator, he whispered to me that he too was a creationist when it came up during our conversation. The evol-bio-fundies would just go bonkers if they knew how many well educated, urban, deep thinkers don't buy into their religion. He's got 30 years in the teachers' retirement system, is part of a main-line denomination, is highly respected in his community and has at least an MS and maybe a PHD (I didn't ask). And like me, he thinks it just doesn't matter on the job except to pass sophomore biology. We confessed to each other that even as young children being taught this in school (and he is a good 15 years younger), we didn't buy it. All we had to do was look around and see the evidence. But even in our childhoods, one wasn't allowed to think outside the evolution box.

Evolutionists are safe from us, however. Creationists can't even agree with each other (as coherent groups) and waste a lot of energy squabbling. I personally believe biology instruction belongs in the church--evolution/creation, sex/abortion, contraception/abstinence, gender and marriage, stem cell research, and end of life issues. We can't entrust these important issues to the education system which seems to have its plate full with reading, writing and arithmetic and bringing poor and disadvantaged children up to the standards all middle-class children are expected to know.

1270 Thursday wrap

Last night we rushed home from art classes, changed clothes and went to the opening of the art show at Hoover Auditorium. One of my husband's paintings was sold within the first 30 minutes, which was nice. We often buy a painting there, but this time there were none we particularly cared to purchase.

We decided to skip last night's program Tom Chapin, whom we've seen many times and instead went to see the movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants which was really quite charming.

Later at home we were trying to recall the details of the only other movie we've seen here this year. We finally tracked it (in our memories) to Memorial Day week-end, but neither of us could remember what it was. We only remembered the rude talkers behind us. So, fortunately because I keep a diary on the internet, I looked it up. Fever Pitch.

1269 Does blogging hurt or help your political party?

The Daily Kos is the most popular left wing blog out there, creating a family feel among its regular readers (I've looked at it a few times, but don't read it.) Numbers of visits for political blogs slid after the election in 2004, but the Kos followers are on the increase. Left wing blogging is much more popular than left wing talk radio, which can't seem to find its voice.

"Indeed, there is little doubt that the habitués of the Daily Kos, like their hated cousins who read popular conservative blogs such as Power Line and Little Green Footballs, live in very different worlds than their friends and neighbors. Blog readers are typically voracious gatherers of news. They not only simply know who people such as Ann Coulter are, they usually have strong opinions about these minor public figures, too. This is an unusual trait. After all, while Ann Coulter may be a polarizing firebrand beloved by her supporters and loathed by her detractors, when it comes to fame she's hardly Madonna." Dean Barnett on the rise of the left wing blogger

The problem as Barnett sees it is that party bigwigs are kowtowing to The Kos and trying to get on his front page. Even though most Americans still don't know what a blog is and don't read them, Democrats are adopting (according to Barnett) the shrill, hyper-reporting of the key blogs. Dick Durbin looked like a complete idiot with his comments about Gitmo being a Gulag, and the US being as bad as the Nazis, Soviets and PolPot, but the left wing bloggers embraced him. Barnett sees the party's affinity with these left wing screamers and screeders as bad for Democrats.

Well, maybe it is sour grapes. I've never heard of Barnett's blog until his article appeared in Weekly Standard. His site meter isn't public and his comments aren't enabled. Who knows if people who hunch over keyboards several hours a day sending memos to complete strangers will get out and ring door bells or work the phone banks or even run for office. Hugh Hewitt seems to think the blog is the next BIG thing in communication and has written a whole book on its growing influence.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

1268 Overheard at the Lake

My husband was out for a bike ride. A mother and her two children went by on their bicycles. He overheard her say to them, "Do you think we need to worry that your Father keeps getting lost?" (This town is about 10 streets wide and 8 Avenues deep.)

1267 Reader of poetry

I've written about Ted Kooser before. Take a look at this. I love it. Reminds me of certain readers of this blog--quirky, checking out the bargains, and then moving on for more free lunch.

1266 Wednesday at the Lake

We were both pretty tired after our art classes at the Rhein Center yesterday--I really struggled to keep Mr. Cloud from morphing into Mr. Chertoff in portrait class. I biked home at 5:30, threw together a fabulous dinner of leftovers (meatballs, potato salad, carrots, strawberries and blueberries with vanilla pudding), took a short nap, and then we headed to Hoover. I often leave at intermission, but Robin and Linda Williams didn't have one, nor would I have left early. They are personable, funny and talented, performing a mix of bluegrass, folk, old country, and their own material. They will be appearing in a movie with Garrison Keillor and their final piece is what they perform in the movie. If you are in the Virginia area, you probably have a good chance of seeing them perform, but they also tour. Don't miss this outstanding example of "American music."

1265 If we lose the war

A number of web sites are circulating the warning by Ret. Major General Vernon Chong titled, "This War is for Real," and I saw it at American Daughter.

Even with a link to his AF bio, there is no positive way to identify anyone on the Internet, however, if you read through it, you'll find little that hasn't been reported elsewhere, like the list of the pre-9/11 attacks, the percentage of the world's population that is Muslim, and the number of Muslim countries that are democracies, or our Transportation Director's refusal to allow profiling even though 100% of current terrorist attacts are committed by a specific age/religion group.

"Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece.

And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide, that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power."

So take a look and judge for yourself. We know Spain is a goner, and that France will probably be next, so that part of the Chong letter will probably ring true. What else?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

1264 Or they could start a blog

Some kids are going to essay camps to learn to write. The topics sound just like what I read on teen-age blogs.

1263 The morphing of Mr. Cloud

Anvilcloud has some great photographs on his blog, so I thought I'd just borrow one for portrait class. It was this adorable photo of Mr. Cloud with a chickadee (or something) sitting on his head nibbling on a piece of bread crust. I'm taking a portrait class this week, and I tried several photos--one of me, one of my sister, one of Condi Rice, and the bird on a cloud. Mr. Cloud turned out best, so it got transferred to the gesso'd masonite board. Then yesterday we were to paint in the shadows. Up until that point, it was a fairly recognizable Mr. Cloud. He was taped to a pillar and lots of people stopped by to admire. But, I didn't quite get the hang of putting in shadows around the eyes (this is my first try at portraits), and the longer I looked at the drying paint the more he began to morph into this guy

Yup. Put a bird on his head, and I've painted Michael Chertoff, Head of Homeland Security.

1262 Need proof reader

The system is really neat. The new photo uploading works great--much easier than Picasa which I had been using. I've never had a spam problem with comments. Tech help usually responds quickly. I'm going to teach beginning blogging here in a few weeks, and I'll start them with (can't beat the price). The spell check is awful, however. It doesn't even recognize the word "blog."

But sometimes you just need a proof reader because no spell check is going to clean up proper names. Today I was checking through articles about over-weight military, and how obesity could be hurting recruiting. Everything seemed to be based on the same AP story, so I was browsing through a search and came across a TRICARE article on fitness and the military. As near as I can tell, Tricare is an insurance program for the military. However, at this site, they've misspelled their own name. Now, if you go there and find it is spelled correctly, I've done my good deed for the day.

1261 Canadian-American Governor goes off the deep end

The Governor of Michigan (born in Canada) was interviewed the other morning on 760 am (Detroit). She was absolutely unglued about an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal by a Michigan State Representative Rich Baxter. I don't know her party affiliation, but I know the definition of treason, and reporting that your state's tax system is unfriendly to business and holding back recovery, isn't treason--it isn't even reason on the Guv's part. She gives women in high places a bad name.

1260 Economists advise against Aid for Africa

Aid doesn't solve corruption, or help trade or even reverse disease outbreaks. African James Shikwati say western industrial nations "have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor." [HT Florida Cracker]

Richard Posner seems to say it's not the African's responsibility to make you feel good and generous . . . "Foreign aid makes people in wealthy countries feel generous, but retards reform in those countries as well as in the donee countries. Obviously from a world welfare as well as African welfare standpoint Europe and the United States should not impose tariffs on agricultural imports in order to protect their rich farmers. Eliminating tariffs would do more for Africa than giving them an extra $25 billion a year to squander. (It would also increase the wealth of the countries that eliminated their tariffs.)

Since there are 650 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, the extra $25 billion will increase per capita annual income (assuming it isn't squirreled away by corrupt elites) by only $40. Not that such an increase is wholly trivial in relative terms: Nigeria, for example, has an annual per capita income of only about $300, and it is not the poorest country in Africa. But it is unlikely that the poorest people in these countries will benefit from the extra money; even if most of it isn't skimmed off by corrupt officials or squandered on dumb projects, it is likely to stave off fundamental political and economic reforms. (The G8 nations at Gleneagles also agreed to forgive some $50 in African debts to them, but that is a one-time event and its annualized value is therefore much less than $25 billion a year.)" Becker-Posner Blog

International Monetary Fund disconnects of the concert: "Two International Monetary Fund researchers have turned intellectual firehoses on crowds at the Live 8 concerts, publishing research concluding that, in most cases, aid does nothing to boost economic growth.

In two research papers the fund's research director, Raghuram Rajan, and research economist Arvin Subramanian say comparisons of growth rates throughout the developing world show no solid evidence that aid flows lift growth."

1259 Let's see the job finished

"Before parting company with CSM Mellinger, we attended a memorial on LSA Anaconda for Specialist Ryan Montgomery from Kentucky. Ryan and his twin brother Bryan had both joined the Kentucky National Guard and were twenty-two years old. They were serving in Iraq when Ryan was killed by a bomb. During the ceremony, soldiers referenced the attacks in London as an important reason to stay here in Iraq, and to see the job finished. I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears when soldiers from Kentucky said they needed to be here to prevent attacks in places such as London, or at the Kentucky Derby, or in Germany." Michael Yon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

1258 Frances Langford dies at 92

This morning's paper reported the death of Frances Langford on July 11, 2005 in Jensen Beach, FL. She appeared in 30 movies, few of which I've seen, but I remember seeing her in old footage of entertaining the troops during WWII. "I'm in the mood for love" was never sweeter or more poignant.

1257 The cruise on Lake Erie

Last night's cruise was lovely. I think I saw the most fabulous sunset ever. My husband, who frequently paints watercolor skies using pinks and ultamarine blues, put his arm around me and whispered, "If I painted that, no one would believe it." At 10:10 p.m. we could still see its remnants. The route was around Put-in-Bay and we came very close to Perry's Monument.

The water was a bit choppy and watching people balance their food on plates and knees was heart stopping. I met and chatted with Mary, 90 years old, and still playing golf. She reminds me a lot of my dad's friend Ruth, "the energizer bunny." I'd like to say these people have a magic formula for long life and good looks, but I know Mary's mother lived to 102 and her sister to 105. And I believe Ruth's parents lived into their late 90s. You just can't beat choosing the right parents.

As we walked toward the dock at 7 p.m. we reminisced about the summer of 1988, our first year on one of these cruises. The midwest was locked into a horrible heatwave and drought. We had rented a tiny cottage on Walnut that blessedly had ceiling fans (we didn't even have AC in our home in Columbus). Out on Lake Erie the moist, moving air engulfed us, but it felt cooler. The minute we walked down the gangplank onto the dock at 10 p.m., it was like being hit with a 2 x 4. Later that week we walked around and passed a small house for sale. We peeked in the back window. "It has a real kitchen and a basement," I squealed. We moved to the front porch, which was unfinished and unlocked and I pressed my nose against the pane. "Oh, it has a fire place!" That afternoon we contacted a realtor, who wisely showed us 4 dogs before he showed us the one we asked about. Soon we were locked into a 10.5% mortgage, just about the lowest available at that time. Because our home mortgage in 1968 had been for 20 years, we were debt free and could handle it.

We took possession the week-end after Labor Day. It was a life saver for me, being in deep, intractable grief over my children's decisions not to go to college (relax--it's not the end of the world as I believed then). The cottage was like a new baby, one we needed to visit every week-end and work on from morning 'til night. We'd sit under the fading lilac bush and eat breakfast and say, "It doesn't get any better than this." This summer is our 17th, and the cruises are still fun.


This song of mine
Is a song of the vine,
To be sung by the glowing embers
Of way-side inns
When the rain begins
To darken the drear Novembers.

It is not a song
Of the Suppernong
From warm Carolinian valleys,
Nor the Isabel,
And the Muscadel,
That bask in our garden alleys.

Richest and best
Is the wine of the West
That grows by the beautiful river
Whose sweet perfume
Fills all the room
With a benison on the giver.

Very good in its way
Is the Verzenay,
Or the Sillery soft and creamy,
But Catawba wine
Has a taste more divine,
More dulcet, delicious, and dreamy.

Pure as a spring
Is the wine I sing,
And to praise it one needs but name it,
For Catawba wine
Has need of no sign,
No tavern-bush to proclaim it.


1256 The sad truth about the U.N.

Even the Toledo Blade had a photo of a Muslim woman weeping at the graves. Yesterday's Wall Street had harsh words for those of weep "never again" and then demand immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

"But Mr. Clinton allowed the Balkans to bleed for three years before he "did something." He let the U.N. and Europe take the lead and was frequently heard musing about the ancient roots of the Balkans conflict, which supposedly made it intractable and beyond the reach of the United States to repair. What's remarkable is that, when the U.S. did intervene--for example, with a limited bombing campaign in 1995--it achieved fast and decisive results. Had Mr. Clinton honored his campaign pledges, he could have saved thousands of Bosnian lives and almost certainly averted the massacre at Srebrenica.

If American policy makers want to avoid facing another Srebrenica on their watch, they must never let the U.N. determine the mission. Allowing the Europeans to "take the lead" is also a bad idea. Above all, Srebrenica is what happens when Western policy makers reject taking pre-emptive measures against gathering dangers, so that by the time the dangers are obvious it is too late to do something.

It has become trendy in certain circles to speak of "No More Srebrenicas," as well as "No More Rwandas" and "No More Darfurs." If these people really believe the slogan, then the policy to make it work already has a name. It's called the Bush Doctrine."

1255 God must have plans for this little one

This morning I watched Katie Couric's interview with the parents of this baby.

Not sure what I think about little Laina Beasley.

1254 Should politics interfer with a relationship?

She writes: "We've gotten into shouting matches about Supreme Court decisions, gun control, abortion, etc. He's also hyper-rational, and I am more emotional."

I can tell by her description--playing up his "flaw" of knowing what and why he believes, and downplaying her loosely formed passionate attachment to her own beliefs--that he is a Republican and she is a Democrat. She never reveals this in her question, "can this relationship survive our politics."

Annie, the columnist, misses the boat on this one. She counsels: "Politics should never be more important than your relationship." Annie ignores that their differences are also embedded in their personalities. Notice how the writer describes playfully her own weakness ("more emotional"), but stresses his ("hyper rational"). Call me over analytical, but the word "more" is not as loaded as "hyper."

The writer describes her lover as smart, funny and easy going, which means if they marry she can probably look forward to a dogged, nit-picker who wants her to meet his standards in everything from housework to automobile-buying and a nasty wit that will turn on her in front of his friends for her less-than-perfect analysis of today's news. And instead of finding her sweet, adorable and simple in her whimsical thoughts, he'll discover that she lacks the ability to think through the erratic way she disciplines the children or to arrive anywhere on time. All the things that attract you to the "opposite" are the qualities that drive you crazy 10 years down the road when her waist has expanded and his hair has thinned.

Also, the writer wonders if counseling would help--she doesn't say they have an intellectual divide, just an emotional one. See? She doesn't get it! He says he respects her intellect, but not ALL her opinions. Maybe she should try respecting his intellect, and SOME of his opinions.

That'll be $200 please. Now go home and give him a big, emotional smooch.

1253 McClay for ALA

If Greg McClay is elected to ALA, it will be like a breath of fresh air in the stacks. McClay is running for an office [Councilor at Large] in the American Library Association, aka ALA. Silly guy thinks the professional organization representing 60,000 should stick to its knitting and resolve issues important to librarians, like abysmal salaries, accreditation, education, technology, library funding and budgets, child safety and so on. Instead ALiAns sing on command like warbling canaries in a mine shaft about various socialist and anti-war issues. Recently he posted the resolution against the war in Iraq (like the President is going to be very afraid of all the power librarians hold), which concluded:

“[long list of resolves into which are thrown the words “libraries and archives“] Resolved that the American Library Association calls for the withdrawal from Iraq of all U.S. military forces, and the return of full sovereignty to the people of Iraq.”

Interestingly, this is the administration’s goal. Finally, ALA is in step. But I think even a non-expert on military affairs can go back and re-read the newspapers in the library from the mid-70s and see that our withdrawal from Vietnam killed thousands, some say millions, of our allies and condemned others to prison reeducation camps. Our hasty withdrawal after the Gulf War planted the seeds for this one.

And so Greg comments after the bombing last week:

“In light of the bombings in London today this is an absurdity. We're fighting a culture, a mindset, that despises the concept of libraries, of public information, of both a man and a woman's right to improve their own lives through self-education and the brain dead boobs of Council who voted for this are whining about the bill.”

Monday, July 11, 2005

1252 Playing tag again

Jordan at Contemplating the Laundry has tagged me for another “tell all” report. I was reading through her long and thoughtful answers thinking I was really glad I hadn’t been asked to do this one, then I saw my name.

What I was doing ten years ago:
July 1995--I think that was the summer I invited my sister to come to Lakeside to attend a summer conference for church musicians. We had a wonderful time--or I did. I attended a lot of her activities--but we were exhausted.

5 years ago:
July 2000--I was planning my retirement, to begin October 2000. I had written a plan, called Post Employment Plan which I posted on my website. I was concerned about use of time because I had no hobbies, and of course, had never heard of blogging. It hasn’t been a problem, but I developed a really workable plan.

1 year ago:
July 2004--we were planning a trip to Buffalo to visit Frank Lloyd Wright architectural sites. Most of July of last year I have here on my blog, collected at one link.

I’ve already blogged about the Perfect Day.

5 snacks I enjoy:
corn chips
potato chips
peanut butter

5 songs I know all the words to:
None--possibly a few first verses, but not entire songs, unless there is only one verse to "Happy Birthday."

5 Things I would do with $100 million:
Pay off my children’s mortgages.
Create a foundation which would provide small grants for women in business; fund no-kill centers for animals; scholarships for students at Christian colleges and seminaries.
Fund an art gallery for Lakeside.
Take my friends on fun trips as my guests.

5 locations I would like to run away to:
Tennessee to do genealogy.
Montana to enjoy the scenery.
South America.
British Isles
Hawaii, again.

5 bad habits I have:
Talking before I think it through.
Avoiding difficult tasks.
(need some more thinking to distinguish habits from personality)

5 things I like doing:
Watercolor painting
Blogging and reading blogs of total strangers like Jordan
Writing poetry and essays

5 things I would never wear:
short shorts
tight shirt that showed my mid-riff
platform shoes
(these were all Jordan’s, but they work for me too)

5 TV shows I like:
Cold Case
Dancing with the Stars
Anything on Book TV
Antique Road Show
Turner and AMC Movies, pre-1950

5 Biggest joys of the moment:
Retirement--doing all the things I planned
Watching sunsets and sunrises
Doing just about anything with my husband
Family get-togethers when they go smoothly
Good health

5 Favorite toys:
My computer
My digital camera
My bicycle
My cat
My journal (i.e., paper notebook just the right size)

I’m tagging
Mr. Cloud

1251 Women not in science and technology

Articles of angst, alarm and accusations continue to fill the news. Fewer women go into math and sciences than in 1984, according to this summary. Not enough role models and programs, they say. Hmmm. Maybe that's the key. There are all sorts of women in the "soft" roles--doing the recruiting, investigating, administering, and writing the reports. The article outlines all kinds of centers, committees, grants, and special programs, all probably run by women. Maybe they need to look at these front liners.

1250 A perfect summer day

We have a lot of those here in Lakeside, and I think I've used that title before. Yesterday afternoon I biked around, stopped at a friend's cottage for a glass of lemon-ade, and then biked to the Rhein Center to sign up for art classes this week. I'd originally planned to take perspective drawing, but instead chose "Portraits in Acrylics." We're supposed to bring a photo to the class today, and I think I'll bring along the one of Mr. Cloud with the bird on his head.

Then I biked to the park and settled on a park bench in the shade to listen to an hour of rag time by Sister Jean and her husband Laundry Fat. She does most of the heavy lifting on the piano, and he plays the wash board and kazoo and sings. The gazebo where they played is right on the lake so I was able to watch the sail boats go by and gaze into the leaves of the oak tree shading us.

In the evening we took a walk along the lakefront and there was a family picnic in the park with a man singing, doing a stunning imitation of Willy Nelson and Elvis Presley. Sometimes in the same song.

In the evening we walked two blocks to the auditorium to hear Phil Keaggy. Big crowd. And I also talked to my brother in Florida, but they'd only had a little rain.

1249 How do you clean a cell phone?

Interesting article about *nosocomial infection transmission and cell phones of medical staff in a hospital.

Cell Phones and Acinetobacter Transmission

*Term used to describe infections acquired in a hospital or medical setting. In other words the patient did not have this infection when admitted or was seen, but acquired it in the course of being treated.

Aren't you glad you visited this blog--just one more thing to worry about!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

1248 Eschatology quiz

You scored as Moltmannian Eschatology. Jürgen Moltmann is one of the key eschatological thinkers of the 20th Century. Eschatology is not only about heaven and hell, but God's plan to make all things new. This should spur us on to political and social action in the present.

Moltmannian Eschatology












Left Behind


What's your eschatology?
created with

Moltmann’s eschatology link for more information.

1247 Wretchard is outed!

Belmont Club written by Wretchard has long been one of my favorite blogs. Now he is no longer anonymous. But he outed himself. I think when you start getting quoted by the "real" press, the temptation is to come out from behind the curtain. He tells all. He's a Filipino Australian. I would have never imagined.

A typical, measured, pragmatic, smack-down post:

"The inevitable question then is 'why could Bin Laden not find the means to attack 30 trains?' The answer it seems to me, must be Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and hundred other places where he is engaged without quarter by US forces. Resources, whether Jihadi or no are not infinite. They do not have some magical machine that allows them to be everywhere at once, to sustain losses yet grow. There's no free lunch, not even, and especially not for Bin Laden. If it were true that Islamism would shrivel faster were it pursued more passively, then pre-911 policy should have finished it by now. But what we empirically observe is that ignoring them allowed them to mount 911-scale attack. Hit them continuously and in four years they could scrape together enough to blow up a London bus and some subway trains."

1246 Remembering Rushdie

It was probably only a few hours after the smoke cleared that the Left was blaming Bush and Blair for the bombings instead of the perps. And of course, their soft-on-misunderstood-terrorists and let's-get-out-now protests didn't have a single thing to do with all those deaths in London. The TV talk shows this morning are full of aghast MSM commentators rehashing all the mistakes Americans (i.e. Bush) has made. I just heard, "they can't tell us exactly when the Iraqi troops will be ready." Sigh.

At the sale yesterday run by Friends of Hotel Lakeside I browsed through the books and came across Salmon Rushdie. Remember him? Islamofascists threatened one of their own with death for words on paper.

Down memory lane: "The book that is worth killing people and burning flags for is not the book that I wrote," Salmon Rushdie, 41-year-old author of The Satanic Verses, told Time Magazine. shortly after its publication in 1988.

Rushdie's book caused deep rumblings among faithful Muslims offended by its content, prompting protests and book burnings and even riots in which several people were killed.

The furor reached new heights when Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini joined in, proclaiming the book a work of blasphemy and condemning Rushdie to death for "insulting Islam, the prophet Muhammed and the holy Koran."

Eager followers put a bounty on Rushdie's head, adding riches to what Khomeini had already guaranteed as a place in heaven for the successful assassin. Webcurrents