Friday, August 31, 2018

The need for affordable housing in Columbus, Ohio

I just read yet another article in Columbus Business First “Stop being scared of people who need affordable housing”  on the need for low income housing in Columbus—this time to satisfy the need for workers by Columbus businesses and those businesses which might relocate here if there was a solid pool of workers. AFFORDABLE in government housing speak means money has been transferred from tax-payer abc to entitlement receiver xyz, but many in that chain are not poor--they are staffers in government backed programs and agencies (like HUD, USDA, HDAP, OHFA COHHIO) earning good salaries, with excellent benefits and job security, which is why the programs must be continuously expanded.  I looked through the list of agencies, non-profits and city employees who attended the meeting.  Then I looked back through my blog to 2008, when I’d written on this topic. Ten years ago the plea was that good housing transforms lives. And I said:

“Housing doesn’t change lives. Marriage does. Parenthood does. Faith in God does. Employment does. Education can. Art and music can. Pets might. Leisure activities don't. Substance abuse will definitely change your life downward. But not housing. Ask any landlord who turned the keys over to a careless, slovenly tenant. Housing doesn’t create safe neighborhoods; it doesn’t get transportation issues funded; it doesn’t improve health; it doesn’t pass bond issues. In partnership with the private sector, this kind of housing for low income people creates jobs and profits for the construction companies.”

Our first home was a duplex, purchased for $14,000 in 1962.  Our renters paid the mortgage, we borrowed from my father the down payment.  Then in 1964 we bought a second house in a better neighborhood and rented both units.  That paid for both houses and a car payment. If we hadn’t bought that first run-down, sweat equity duplex in a neighborhood on the way down, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  But being a landlord was the pits.  I wouldn’t wish it on any couple in their early 20s.  

My parents’ first home was a small, two bedroom with a down payment from my father’s grandmother.  My parents and the babies slept in one bedroom and 2 men rented the other bedroom, and also boarded there. I think one of my aunts slept on the living room couch.   But with 4 children, they sold it and bought a larger 2 bedroom one street over (3 girls in one bedroom and my baby brother in my parents’ room) and didn’t need boarders to pay the mortgage.  No grants, subsidies, tax credits, just a loan from a family member and a mortgage based only the husband’s income (even in the early 60s, a wife’s income wasn’t taken into consideration on what a mortgage applicant could afford).

According to my 2008 blog entry, The Columbus Housing Partnership (dba Homeport) was 20 years old then and had  developed over 4,000 affordable homes which had served over 23,000 people.  So CHP is now 30 years old—should there be any lack of affordable housing in Columbus?  When the original owners 30 years ago, moved out and up, shouldn’t new home owners have taken their place? The original owners would now be grandparents able to help out family members, right?  Other agencies mentioned in the Business First article were Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (which was founded in 1974),  Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, and Columbus Department of Development.

I’ve seen real estate ads for Columbus that are definitely affordable, and closer to public transportation than planting a development in the suburbs, but they are all in neighborhoods that need good city support—police, fire, schools, small shopping areas, decent utilities, etc. and none will qualify for various fancy loan vehicles.  I think they are looking in all the wrong places for affordable housing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A friend accused Trump of showing tendencies to be a dictator. My response

Can you be specific?

He doesn’t even have control of the Executive Branch, over which he’s supposed to reign!

  • Supreme Court appointees who will follow the constitution and not their feelings about social justice? 
  • Cutting the red tape of long standing regulations that frees companies from the oversight and boot of Big Gov?
  • Attempting to undo Obama’s Executive Orders, which is his legal right, and to have a low court stop him?
  • Commending the ICE employees, and all law enforcement?
  • Attempts to stop voter fraud (again, he’s been stopped by the courts)? 
  • Proposing defunding sanctuary cities who won’t follow federal law?
  • Taking away security clearances of employees who’ve gone to work for the media?
  • Urging the building the wall that was voted on a decade before he became president? 
  • Pulling out of a climate change agreement that was never a treaty and never approved by Congress? 
  • Calling out the negative stories about him that appear daily/hourly at WaPo, NYT, LAT, VOX, HuffPo, Politico, Daily Beast, etc.?
  • Eliminating the mandate to purchase an insurance product that destroyed the coverage for millions and lined the pockets of insurance companies? 
  • Criticizing the millionaire NFL players for their phony protest against the police after sore loser Kaeppernick was radicalized by his girlfriend? 
  • Being unfaithful to 3 wives? (which would point to many presidents, CEOs, faculty and administrators of universities, muffler repairmen and mountain climbers).
  • Saying mean, uncouth things about McCain, Megan Kelly and Rosy O’Donnell?
  • Resetting the clock for NAFTA, treaties or tariffs?
  • Expecting loyalty from his friends and people who worked for him? 
  • Bringing North and South Korea together for the first time since the end of hostilities in the 50s?
  • Bringing home misbehaving basketball players, jailed pastors, and Korean American tourists? 
  • For criticizing DACA, an illegal executive order by Obama after he assured the nation immigration was the responsibility of Congress?
  • For complaining on Twitter that Obama had spied on him, and being right, and Clintons’ lawyer and Weinstein’s lawyer (now Cohen’s lawyer) Lanny Davis was the source of the leaks to CNN which Davis now had to walk back as inaccurate, aka lies?
  • For supporting the military?
  • For suggesting a space branch?
  • For becoming excited about a military parade?
  • For the GDP increase to 4.1% second quarter of 2018?
  • Working to bring companies back to the USA after the last president assured us those days were gone?
  • Criticizing chain migration?
  • Moving the embassy in Israel as all other presidents promised but didn’t do?
  • Getting a black woman pardoned from an unfair sentence?
  • Medical choices for veterans?

This is just off the top of my head, but nothing sounds like a dictator (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Chavez, Castro, Maduro, or even powerful crony capitalists like Zuckerberg and Bezos who control their people with threats of firing if they aren’t politically correct). If anything, the media, the courts, the entertainment industry, academe, lifetime employees of the federal government, departments within the Executive branch like CIA, FBI, DoJ, and the Trump haters in both parties have worked overtime to undo the election of 2016.

On the other hand, I’ve seen a published book listing his faults day by day as reported in the media every day since he took office.  I don’t know how many copies have been sold, but I saw it in a book store that did not have a single pro-Trump, pro-conservative, or even middle of the road title on the shelves.

How to read the new nutrition label

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This is the final week of programming at Lakeside, and the director of education uses our own Lakeside "experts" who present fine programming. Yesterday was Wendy Stuhldreher a retired professor of nutrition and public health explaining the new labeling for food (she used a one page FDA graphic issued Jan. 2018 which I've been unable to find). My take away was, "just eat your vegetables." She said it many times, especially at Q & A. Her point was that although vegetables may not be high in protein or calcium, they perform with other nutrients as an orchestra, and all play their part.

She also stressed that vegetarians must find compensatory nutrition because they don't eat red meat. The audience was definitely in the osteoporosis/bone loss age group, so she also stressed calcium, but added that it was an investment we needed to make when we were young because the body starts making withdrawals from the bank of our bones by middle age. For a cheese good for protein and calcium, she recommended cottage cheese.

My mother's generation started that 2% and 1% milk trend (she was 5'1" and always watched her weight), and now my generation is probably low on the calcium reserves that needed the fat content for our bones. I think I continued with the 1% and skim until a few years ago.  Don't give young children skim milk as a replacement for whole.

When I first decided to attend Wendy’s lecture, I thought I knew how to read a label, but there have been significant changes, and we found out why, like Vit. D is now listed, but Vit. A & C have been removed because deficiencies in those are rare. Sugar is sugar on the new label. Fat is fat, and "calories from fat" has been removed. Potassium need has been added. (You can't get enough by eating a banana, which most of the audience believed).

The public health concern about sun damage and advertising about sunscreen has been so successful, we now don't get enough Vit. D and today's children don't play outside as much as the boomers and Gen-Xers. She gave the new thinking on sodium/salt--because more of us are eating out, we're not eating as many vegetables--and it's not the sodium, it's the lack of vegetables.  One woman (very thin) in the audience commented about addiction to sugar, and Wendy said that has not been proven and commented on the difficulty of using control groups for nutrition studies.  But one she did recall concluded sugar was less harmful than other sweeteners.

I know how we all love to read those organic and health food websites, but when doing an initial search, I add USDA or FDA to check the research, aka bibliography/footnotes.

Why would we change the Ohio Constitution to improve drug sentencing and treatment?

The 2018 Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment is a ballot initiative aiming to change Ohio’s constitution to achieve four goals:

(1) change drug possession felonies to misdemeanors,

(2) prohibit prison sentences for technical probation violations,

(3) expand the ability to earn up to 25% off a prison sentence through rehabilitative programming, and

(4) redirect funds saved from reduced incarceration to drug treatment and victims’ services.

Although it is easier to amend a state constitution than the federal, this definitely sounds like something that should be done by legislation and the court system, not by changing the constitution, especially the part that goes around prison sentencing, and part 3 about reducing the sentence with rehab programing. What an invitation for a cottage industry of poorly thought out programs, millions in grant money to be frittered away.

I attended the programming this summer at Lakeside (and read Quinones’ book, Dreamland: True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic) on the drug problems in Ohio. In the 70s and 80s we were active in a prison reform group and a teen rehabilitation program. I can see nothing in this proposed amendment that actually speaks to the problem of improper sentencing, nor which will reduce or redirect funding or reduce deaths.

Monday, August 27, 2018

I stepped on the scale today

It's adding up. Patio donuts—cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla are my favs; peanut butter on toast; cheese on crackers; honey on biscuits; fried potatoes, eggs and sausage for the breakfast special after Sunday services; the pie lady at the Farmer's Market; bowls of ice cream on the porch with friends; hosting a block party; going to the CIC club for brunch with John and Katie; invites to Arlene and Roger’s peach cobbler. Over my adult life I've lost about 130 pounds beginning in college, but usually 20 pounds here and there (1960, 1983, 1986, 1993, 2006, 2015). And the last time, 2015, it was 30 lbs.! and it's time to suck it up, pull it in, and stop having so much fun.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

President Drake of OSU needs to step up

“According to the 23-page report, (see page 17, Section IV, B4, B5) Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith were not negligent in the overriding element of the origin of the investigation. The report also included Meyer telling Smith in October, 2015: “If you hit her, you are gone.” Gene Smith also told the assistant coach he would be fired if charges were fired.

Subsequently, Meyer and Gene Smith were suspended for reasons pertaining to their monitoring and discipline related to Zach Smith and for relying solely on the Powell Police department’s conclusions that domestic violence could not be proven in the first place. As Gene Smith’s lawyer, Rex Elliott, stated Thursday night, Gene Smith constantly communicated with the school’s Title IX compliance officer about the alleged 2015 incident and ordered the OSU police to monitor the Powell police investigation. He concluded that his client and Meyer were suspended solely “to appease the lynch mob.”

To cut to the chase, the six-panel report concluded, Zach Smith either never should have been hired in the first place or fired much earlier than his July 23 termination.

But it had nothing to do with covering up alleged domestic violence (there were no charges).

It’s time for Drake to act and stop the bleeding.”

Jeff Snook, from his Facebook page

Looking for jewelry at sales

For years I've been looking for a black and white or just black necklace. I rarely wear jewelry. I discovered that coral, teal and off white are popular, but black went out a few years ago. So yesterday at the antique sale at Lakeside I browsed all the costume jewelry booths. I found one for $8.50 and one for $20, but didn't buy them. I went back in the afternoon after the rain thinking I'd buy the cheaper one, but of course it was gone. $20 was still available. So I moved on to the soggy (we'd had a real downpour) $1.00 box out on the lawn and found 2 for $1.00 each.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Porch stories at Lakeside 2018

There’s a 20 year old movement of communities and neighbors getting together to tell stories.  The book, The Moth, has become very popular and many communities are forming around the concept of the old time story telling as a social event.

“The storytelling phenomenon the Moth — with a Peabody Award-winning radio show on more than 450 stations around the world and a hugely popular podcast — is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The Moth was founded in 1997 by the writer George Dawes Green — its name comes from his memories of growing up in St. Simons Island, Ga., where neighbors would gather late at night on a friend’s porch to tell stories and drink bourbon as moths flew in through the broken screens and circled the porch light. It has since grown into what its artistic director, Catherine Burns, calls “a modern storytelling movement” that has inspired “tens of thousands of shows worldwide in places as diverse as Tajikistan, Antarctica, and Birmingham, Ala.” “

Last summer, a Lakesider, M.A., decided Lakeside needed a way to capture some of the flavor of this national movement.  The first meeting of Porch Stories which was planned for one of the large gracious porches of our little community was rained out, so we met at the Lakeside Women’s Club—and had practically standing room only! I believe there were three last summer and four this summer. M.A. has her rules—pithy, no more than 15 minutes, created a significant change in your life or beliefs and no questions from the audience to interrupt the flow.

On Monday, August 20, my husband was one of the story tellers, speaking to 115 friends and neighbors at the Lakeside Women’s Club.  Several days later I’m still being stopped on the street with comments and questions. He told about his first year of going to Haiti on a short term mission trip and how that changed his life. The next night, all the story tellers from 2017 and 2018 met for a reception so all could get to know each other.  It was an amazing gathering, and we caught up on three stories we’d missed while we were in Columbus one week this summer and had an opportunity to discuss the “rest of the story.”

Aug 20 Porch Stories

Michael Smith, guest blogger, on truth, facts, conspiracy theories and bias in politics

Interesting isn't it? How many people:

- Who can't stand the conspiracy theories of Alex Jones but believe the Steele dossier is real.

- Refuse to believe that the Hillary Clinton campaign was not connected to Russian "interference" when there is clear evidence they paid the law firm Perkins Coie to pay Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele.

- Believe Donald Trump committed campaign finance crimes, yet Hillary Clinton did not.

- Continue to insist that illegal aliens commit less crime than legal immigrants and citizens:

1) when every single illegal immigrant has already committed one misdemeanor if they have crossed the border once and a felony if they are repeat offenders, and

2) when illegal immigrants make up approximately 9% of the total population but 27% of the prison population.

- Believe if the Second Amendment was ignored and all guns were banned, there would be no more gun crime but don't accept that enforcing current immigration law to completely ban illegal immigration would end crime by illegal immigrants.

- Believe that one non-NRA member committing a gun crime means all NRA members are responsible, but one Islamist committing a terrorist act does not mean all Muslims are responsible.

- Don't believe a border wall will be effective, but build fences around their property and lock their doors.

- Believe "toxic masculinity," misogyny, sexism and sexual violence against women are problems, but importing people from cultures where these aspects are common is not.

- Believe the real issue in the Mollie Tibbetts murder is not that the murderer was here illegally, it was that he was a male.

- Claim to oppose fascism and racism while engaging in fascist and racist acts.

- Believe for speech to be free, it must be restricted or banned (for certain people).

- Believe it is totally intellectually consistent to say private social media companies can choose their customers, but a private cake bakery cannot.

- Believe that a scandal is only a scandal if the New York Times, the Washington Post, or CNN says it is.

- Believe sexual harassment is always real and the accuser should always be believed without question as long as the accusations aren't against #metoo members - then it was consensual and the accuser is a liar.

Of course, these are prominent features of our hypocritical progressive friends. For them, cognitive dissonance is a feature, not a bug.

None of this - not a single damn instance - is about the referenced situation - it is all about the political position of the person and how best to protect that political position. It's making up rules and crap "facts" as they go along just to keep their agenda alive and moving.

Guest blogger David on the Urban Meyer/Zack Smith domestic violence case

For non-Columbus, non-OSU Buckeyes catch up—the well-loved football coach Urban Meyer was suspended for not stepping into the marital mess of one of his coaches, who also happened to be the grandson of Earle Bruce, another football icon in our community. Gene Smith is the athletic director.


The last thing I’m going to say. . .

1) If you haven't ever dealt with a sexual harassment/abuse case, don't be tempted to repeat the opinions of others who haven't, either. Unfortunately, I have had to deal with several over the years.

2) If you did have to deal with one, did you investigate it yourself? If you did, you're an idiot--that is unless you were trained and designated by the organization you worked for to do so. It is highly unlikely that conducting such investigations falls within the scope of either Urban Meyer or Gene Smith's job duties. They are required to report such incidents and then let the designated investigators handle it (I am assuming, If not, Ohio State is even more mismanaged than I thought).

3) If you are an investigator, were you able to question the victim if he/she wasn't an employee or, in the case of schools, a student of your organization? Unless you are in law enforcement, the answer is probably no. In my situation, having worked in a state agency, I had no authority to question an employee's spouse, significant other, or whatever unless that person also worked for my agency. Now, the Highway Patrol, which was our investigating body, could do so. And I could use whatever information the Patrol obtained.

4) When there is a criminal investigation, many organizations also conduct their own parallel administrative investigations because an organization rule might have been violated. Sometimes you wait for the outcome of the criminal investigation, but you don't have to because the standard is lower. I don't know if Ohio State did that in the Courtney Smith case or not. From what I have read, she did not allow the police to move forward on her complaints. I hope they at least referred her to a local battered women's shelter.

5) As far as Zack Smith's conduct is concerned, there are suggestions that Urban should have known about his visit to a strip club, his sending a lewd photo on his cellphone, etc. It would be interesting to know what kind of procedures the athletic department has in place for reviewing expenditures (it seems to me they should have caught that and dealt with it right away). However, I don't know of any organizations which routinely review what an employee is using his/her cellphone for, even when the organization has issued it.

6) The very fact that most of the witnesses questioned believed that any action taken against Zack Smith was dependent upon the outcome of any criminal charges--and there weren't any criminal charges--tells me that Ohio State hasn't done a very good job of communicating its expectations in such matters. Whoever is responsible for disseminating such policies needs to go back to the drawing board.


Since there are media sources and sports figures who hate the Buckeyes almost as much as they hate President Trump, finding credible sources to link to is difficult.  Since Mrs. Smith didn’t bring charges, and it is rumored she often called the police, I’d say Meyer was not responsible to babysit his coach.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

How to trace an e-mail address

“The first thing you do when you hear that email notification is check the sender, right? It is the quickest way to figure out who the email is from, as well as the likely content.

But did you know each email comes with a lot more information than what appears in most email clients? There’s a host of information about the sender included in the email header—information you can use to trace the email back to the source.

Here’s how to trace . . .” And some very detailed instructions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The NFL protests—a big yawn

The original NFL  protest by trouble maker Colin Kaeppernick (who has 3 white parents and a white Muslim girlfriend) was about police violence against blacks which is a myth perpetuated by liberals, media and those who don't read Bureau of Justice reports. And of course, he needed media attention because he's a sore loser with a bad record and had been cut. How it became a flag and patriotism issue, I think was simply a slap in the face to the fans who pay those ridiculous salaries to watch grown men be violent and run around.

Using rates instead of numbers, a white man committing a crime is much more likely to be stopped/shot by police than a black man. Why is homicide for blacks at arrest out of proportion to their population? The offending rate for blacks is 34.4 per 100,000 compared to 4.5 per 100,000 for whites, yet 42% killed by police are white. Based on that figure, it looks like whites are more likely to be killed by police while committing a crime than blacks. (Bureau of Justice. Arrest related deaths, 2003-2009. NCJ 235385) But when a white man is shot breaking into Jim Little's Cleveland home, no one cares except Jim. If a black man committed the same crime, all Cleveland and Ohio and the east coast and west cost media would be talking about it, ramping up the racism to get more votes for Democrats.


Monday, August 20, 2018

“We are still here” The French culture in Illinois and Missouri—Sunday’s program

Instead of meeting in Hoover Auditorium at 8:15, the Sunday evening program is at 6 p.m. in the Steele Memorial in Central Park along the lakefront.  This week the performer was Dennis Stroughmatt of Albion, Illinois et L’Esprit Creole with music and stories from an Illinois culture I’d never heard of—the French Midwest Creoles who lived in southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana, and southeastern Missouri.  Stroughmatt  has been researching and preserving the language and culture of these descendants of French speaking Canadians who emigrated to work in the mines for about 20 years.

“Illinois French stands halfway between Canadian French and Cajun French. You can hear influences from all the settlers who passed through the area — French from Brittany and Normandy, Irish, Germans, and Native Americans. “

The language is called Paw Paw, but today only 30-50 people speak the 300 years old language. Even 60+ years ago when I took Illinois history in school, I’d never heard of it. Similar dialects are spoken in northern Maine and in Louisiana.

Daddies and babies

I love seeing the daddies and grandpas pushing the baby strollers in the dawn's early light at Lakeside. Someone drew the short straw when the little one woke up. But yesterday about 7 a.m. as I nodded and spoke to the 30-something dad, I could smell the cigarette smoke on his clothing (he wasn't smoking--we're a smoke free community, even on the streets). I could still smell it a block away as I walked where they had just been. Think about the house and car! And the baby's lungs! And think about how that sweet baby learns to associate the smell of cigarettes with hugs, cuddles and daddy.

Joan and her sister Carol, blogging and Facebook friends,  were both school teachers before retirement, and have said, “When I taught school, I could tell which children had parents who smoke because the smell of smoke permeated the children’s clothes.”

So I decided to look it up—if I were concerned, surely someone has researched it.   And yes.  “ Children’s Hedonic Judgments of Cigarette Smoke Odor: Effects of Parental Smoking and Maternal Mood”

“We hypothesized that children of smokers would like the cigarette odor and prefer it relative to a neutral odor more than children of nonsmokers. Moreover, we hypothesized that children’s preference for cigarette odor would be attenuated if their mothers experienced cigarettes in a negative emotional context. . . . The current findings suggest that early learning about the sensory aspects of smoking is anchored to children’s experiences at home and the emotional context in which their mothers smoke. However, it is not clear how variation in the timing and amount of exposure to cigarette smoke during childhood affects the formation and persistence of such olfactory associations. If these odor associations persist throughout childhood into adolescence, our data may suggest that children who experience cigarette smoke in the context of a relaxed mother may have more positive associations with smoking, whereas those who experience the odor with a mother who smokes to reduce tension may have more negative associations. Whether such associations (either positive or negative) affect children’s risk for smoking initiation is not known. The long-term effects of early hedonic judgments about cigarette odor are important areas for future research.”

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Meeting friends at our age

I don’t know about you, but finding new friendships at our age is difficult. Everyone is set in their social groups or busy with grandchildren.   Except at Lakeside.  Tonight we enjoyed for dinner the peach cobbler Arlene sent back with Bob when he went over to chat with Roger, who’s been on the mend from various ailments.  We met them about 3 years ago when they bought their cottage after being long time Lakeside renters.  Ironically, we discovered that in the summer of 1967 we lived on the same block in Upper Arlington. 

Also today, Bob decided he’d just grab a few leaves out of the gutters (while I was napping and couldn’t stop him) so he asked Tom to help him drag the ladder out from under the house, so Tom did, and just ran up the ladder and cleaned the leaves out himself!  Last Sunday our neighbors John and Katy Martin invited us for brunch at the CIC club with other neighbors Richard and Rosemary who are here for 6 weeks as renters across the street. 

Then this morning as we sat down at a table for 4 at the Patio restaurant we invited Jim and Margie Norris of Olmsted Falls (or New Olmstead) who were waiting in line to share out table.  Normally, we would have never met them because they have 6 children and 12 grandchildren, but had come for the week-end to see Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits.  We had the best time, then ran into them again in the afternoon outside the coffee shop and down on the lakefront where they went to watch Bob helping with Kids’ Sail, a free program to help young children learn about sailing. It turned out they’d also stayed in the past at the Idlewyld B & B with our friends Dan and Joan Barris whom we’d met about 8 years ago.

Friday night we invited neighbors Ron and Mary Ann Janke over for ice cream and then went to the evening program, Mike Albert and the big E Band, an Elvis tribute program that’s been to Lakeside to perform over 12 times.  We’d met them about 3 years ago, and the guys are in the Guys’ Club, but Mary Ann and I sat together at a volunteer luncheon recently and got acquainted. Friday there was an open house for the cottage across the street which is for sale.  We ran into more neighbors and chatted for awhile (from NC).  Our neighbor Dorothy Crutchfield was widowed last year, so we had her over for dinner last night.  Although she and Cleo had purchased their cottage in 1974, she’d never been inside ours, although we’d often been at neighborhood events together and they were at out 50th 8 years ago.

Yes, it only lasts 10-11 weeks, but it’s casual and easy to sit on a porch or fall in step on the way to a program. In 2 weeks we’ll all say good-bye until the next summer.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What’s bad is good, and good is bad

Do you ever have the feeling that "science" isn't very scientific? Wine. Chocolate. Coffee. Butter. Fat. All the things we were taught were bad, and now they are good. And now variety which we were all taught was good, might not be?

The blog about a miracle baby

Nick wrote this in July 2016, and I just took a look at this adorable baby’s photo at his FB page.

“Here's the real story, in case you've heard. For the last nine months, my wife, Brooklyn has been pregnant with a very sick baby boy. Three or four months ago, we learned that the baby had severe hydrocephalus. Back in the old days, hydrocephalus was called, "water on the brain"....too much brain fluid. Ultimately, we were referred to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where we were told, by several of the most highly regarded fetal specialists in the country, that his condition was dire. The baby's condition was "off the charts bad". It was so extreme, that the specialists stopped measuring and monitoring his brain's fluid level because, at that point, it didn't really matter. The MRI's were sickening to look at. We were told, pointblank, that there was over a 90% chance that the baby would either die shortly after birth or have such severe cognitive impairments that any quality of life would be hard to imagine. We had a meeting with palliative care regarding the use of life sustaining measures, and had detailed, awful, and emotional discussions about the ethics of when we might need to remove or cease such measures - which would result in the baby "passing away peacefully".

Brooklyn relocated to Cincinnati and lived in a hotel close to the hospital - in case she went into labor. I commuted back and forth, while trying to work and take care of Sophie and Lily at home. On July 8th Brooklyn did, indeed, go into labor. Literally, 15 minutes before they wheeled her back to start the C-section, we had another meeting with doctors regarding the use of a breathing tube and at what point we might need to remove that tube and let the baby go to heaven. Guess what?. .the baby came out crying - which was the sweetest sound I have ever heard.

In a nutshell, Charlie Edward Schnarr, stayed in infant intensive care until yesterday - when we all came home. He's seems to be a normal, beautiful baby doing all the things that babies do. He has mild ventricular enlargement, but we can deal with that with checkups. How did this happen??... The doctors said, "we do not have and cannot come up with a medical explanation for what we've witnessed here". Some how, his brain found a way to naturally "clear" the blockage or re-route the fluid that was causing the oppressive "back-up" of brain fluid. During the last week, I heard the word "divine intervention" and "miracle" more times than I could count. Nurses with decades of experience, and esteemed, nationally admired doctors were flabbergasted but jubilant. Because of the "domino effect" of friends, family, clients, colleagues and even strangers praying and asking others to pray for us, I do not doubt that there were thousands of people praying for us.

I'm a practical person that certainly believes in science and medical technology, but I absolutely know, from the bottom of my heart, that God was involved in this. I give ALL of the credit and glory to him. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, notes of encouragement, cards, texts, emails, and outpouring of love. Prayer is positively powerful. God is real, and he still performs miracles.

God bless,
-Nick Schnarr (from Facebook post)”

Today’s smoothie

A few days ago I wondered if one could make a smoothie with a giant cucumber—regifted. Well, no one said yuk, so today I made one and it was delicious. I used carrot juice, a huge chunk of cucumber with seeds and skin removed, and a very large, over ripe garden tomato. Rather than push my luck and my digestive system, I didn't add onion, but did use some onion salt. It's fabulous. Probably more a cold soup than a smoothie, but it sure tastes good with the corn chips.

John Brennan and the resistance

Brennan has accused President Trump of treason for meeting with a world leader, Vladimir Putin, he doesn’t like and with whom the past 3 presidents have met. He is attempting to undo the 2016 election and destabilize the nation. He is definitely the “leader of the resistance” of the swamp. Why should he be allowed the privilege of a security clearance? It isn’t a right. I had to turn in my keys when I retired from OSU; I did not lose my right to talk about the veterinary library or to talk to the interim librarian or to discuss various things happening on the campus. I have used great discretion in not telling tales out of school—which the Trump haters are not doing. And neither has Brennan lost any rights. He lies. He misused his office and his privileges. Trump did the right thing.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Today's smoothie and yesterday's outing

Carrot juice
organic spinach
frozen bananas
frozen pineapple
fresh strawberries

Yesterday we went out for lunch at Bistro 163 which is a very nice "pay it forward" restaurant in Port Clinton, with Dan and Joan Barris who own the Idlewyld Bed and Breadfast in Lakeside.  Then we went to the adorable artistic/resale/ shop called Lilly and Gerts.  Joan and I had heard her give a talk at the Lakeside Women's Club recently. It's a terrific store, and we all bought something, even the guys.

How a myth is hurting women--transgenderism

There is no such person as a transgender. Just stop pretending. One can take hormones, remove or transplant a penis or breasts, take voice lessons, put on the most expensive pancake makeup and buy a wig, but that doesn't change anything basic. Why should the baker, candlestick maker, and kindergarten teacher be required to bow to a religion they don't believe in? But that's the Left for you. If they don't have it, steal it. I think women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, have the most to lose in this cultural battle of the sexes, all 30 of them. It's taken millennia for women to achieve voting rights, athletic competitions, government positions, proper medical testing techniques and drugs, marriage equality, rights to their children, and even their own all female clubs and schools if so desired, and along comes some twit of a man who can't compete on the lower rungs of manhood, so poof, he hops on the lady train and rides it all the way into a political office or the runway or even the red light district stepping on us all the way.

"The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop filed a federal lawsuit against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Gov. John Hickenlooper claiming he has been bullied and targeted for his religious beliefs.

In June the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop who had declined to create a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A business lesson for socialists

A good business lesson for socialists and for those who work as teachers or in government or in academe or for "non-profits" and have never examined who or what is a business or a capitalist.

“The article is constructed on one flawed assumption after another.

First, the authors seem to be equating business with huge multinational corporations. But most businesses in the U.S. are small. The U.S. has approximately 28 million firms. Of those, about 21 million -- nearly 80 percent -- employ no one but the owner(s). Of the remaining 7 million companies, the vast majority employs fewer than 20 people. Further, most businesses in the U.S. aren't incorporated, but of those that are, fully 80 percent are small, closely held corporations owned and operated by families.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

12 rules of life—bought it yesterday Jordan Peterson’s best seller
3:30 - Rule 1 "Stand up straight with your shoulders back"
 16:23 - Rule 2 "Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping"
22:53 - Rule 3 "Make friends with people who want the best for you" 25:44 - Rule 4 "Compare yourself with who you were yesterday" 37:20 - Rule 5 "Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them"
 48:52 - Rule 6 "Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world"
58:47 - Rule 7 "Pursue what is Meaningful" - - :- - Rule 8 "Tell the truth or at least don't lie" seems to be mixed in with Rule 7
 1:05:00 - Rule 9 "Assume the person you are listening to might know something you don't. - - : - - Rule 10 "Be precise in your speech" seems to be mixed in with Rule 9
 1:11:43 - Rule 11 "Do not bother children when they are skateboarding"
 1:17:06 - Rule 12 "Pet a cat when you encounter on on the street" 1:22:30 - Q&A
So if you need to borrow it, let me know.

A hierarchy for victims

Intersectionality is a hierarchy of victimhood, in which your "moral superiority is determined not by your actions or your character but by your race, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. So if you are a poor, black, transgender woman, then your moral superiority is unquestioned, whereas if you are a white, heterosexual, Christian male… well, your right to even exist is highly questionable." (Louis DeBroux)

So the white transgender woman running for governor in Vermont is superior to a biological white woman, but could be on a level playing field if the opponent is a black Lesbian, but would beat out an Asian disabled man.

Symphony season ends at Lakeside

It was the final performance of the symphony last night. Fabulous. It’s been so wonderful with all the guest conductors. But it made me think of Jordan Peterson's comments that the top 1% of the 1% doesn't just apply in the financial field (richest 85 people have as much as the bottom 3.5 billion). It's also at your work place, scientific papers,  it's in book publication, and popularity of composers. It's called Price's law, after Derek Price (sometimes known as the Matthew Principle, Matt 25:30) also called the Pareto principle.
"Just 4 classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky) wrote almost all the music played by modern orchestras. Bach, for his part, composed so prolifically that it would take decades of work merely to hand-copy his scores, yet only a small fraction of this prodigious output is commonly performed. The same thing applies to the output of the other 3 members of this group of hyper-dominant composers: only a small fraction of their work is still widely played. Thus, a small fraction of the music composed by a small fraction of all the classical composers who have ever composed makes up almost all the classical music that the world knows and loves." p. 8, 12 rules for life.  YouTube of Peterson explaining the Pareto Principle.

50 + Years of Upward Bound—Is it working?

Today I received an article about Upward Bound summer institute at Ohio State University, . Launched in 1965, Upward Bound (UB) is one of the flagship federal college access programs targeted to low-income or potential first-generation college students.  So it’s now 50+ years old. The article included several photographs, and I noticed there were no white students, even though whites outnumber blacks and Hispanics in the low-income and disadvantaged statistics, which the program is supposed to address.
Then I began the tedious search for outcomes—the program is part of the War On Poverty and is 50+ years old.  I found a lot of on-line help in applying for a grant if I were an educational institution (that’s where the money goes,over 4,450 per student).  I found an annual report for 2015-16 published in 2018, but that was all about the tutoring programs, counseling, help with applications—numbers of students—all looked like things I thought schools were already doing.
The FY 2017 budget from the federal government was $312,052,710, with 70,000 participants, at $4,458 per participant. 
Finally I found an assessment for the 2004-05 school year “POLICY AND PROGRAM STUDIES SERVICE, REPORT HIGHLIGHTS, The Impacts of Regular Upward Bound on Postsecondary Outcomes, 7-9 years after scheduled High School Graduation, final report. (2009)
Scanning that, I came to these depressing conclusions.
“For students offered the opportunity to participate in the Upward Bound program, the study found that:
  • Upward Bound had no detectable effect on the rate of overall postsecondary enrollment, or the type or selectivity of postsecondary institution attended. About four-fifths of both treatment and control group members attended some type of postsecondary institution.
  • Upward Bound had no detectable effect on the likelihood of apply for financial aid or receiving a Pell grant.
  • Upward Bound increased the likelihood of earning a postsecondary certificate or license from a vocational school but had no detectable effect on the likelihood of earning a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. Estimated impacts on receiving any postsecondary credential and receiving a bachelor’s degree are 2 and 0 percentage points, respectively, and are not statistically significant.
Upward Bound increased postsecondary enrollment or completion rates for some subgroups of students. For the subgroup of students with lower educational expectations at baseline—that is, the students who did not expect to complete a bachelor’s degree—Upward Bound increased the rate of postsecondary enrollment by 6 percentage points and postsecondary completion by 12 percentage points. Because targeting on the basis of lower educational expectations could create an incentive for applicants to understate their expectations, further analyses were conducted to examine the effects of Upward
  • Bound on subgroups that could be more readily targeted. These exploratory analyses suggest that UB increased enrollment for students who were in tenth grade or above at the time of application, students who took a mathematics course below algebra in ninth grade, and students with a ninth grade GPA above 2.5.
  • Longer participation in Upward Bound was associated with higher rates of postsecondary enrollment and completion.”
It would be political suicide to ever cut this program even though there is no detectable effect on the billions spent.

Keeping up with travel friends on Facebook

When we were in Scotland 14 months ago, we met two lovely couples from California, the Halls, Robin and Karen and the Mallettes, Eugene and Barbara, who had been in Ireland and were continuing on to England.  And in following them on Facebook, their travels continue—Hawaii, various California notable spots, Europe to see various heritage sites, the south, and most recently Canada. Alberta and British Colombia.  So I commented to Robin, that they certainly travel a lot.  He responded:

“Just accelerating the bucket list as my years advance quickly. As the saying goes “so many places, too little time”, or something like that. Actually Eugene, Barbara, Karen and I are planning a Midwest trip next spring or so to get in to Gerald Ford Museum, the the Football HOF in Canton and of course Cooperstown. We will be asking you if we can meet you and “Robert The Bruce” one evening and take you both to dinner in Columbus, if you are in town. Just thinkin’ It would be fun to renew acquaintances. Are you up for that?”

So I’m dropping that promise in my blog, just so I can find it next spring when they are in the midwest.

dinner in Edinburgh 2 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wee Wee Mannie and the big big coo

One of the favorites when Mom would read it to Stan and me, although I think she had a better accent than this lady.

Jordan Peterson’s best seller

I rarely buy a book. I either buy them used, or receive them as gifts, or borrow them from friends, or from the free box at church. I even use the public library. But today I shelled out $25 in cash for Jordan Peterson's "12 rules for life; an antidote to chaos." Shocking that it can become a #1 bestseller because the millennials didn't learn any of the rules my grandparents knew! Their grandparents were boomers. #1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back.  #8 Tell the truth.

Today’s smoothie is a beautiful color

Carrot juice

fresh beets from farmers’ market

strawberries (also farmers’ market, locally grown)


mango slices (frozen)

This is a very bright color since I didn’t add any greens, but probably not the powerhouse it would be with spinach or watercress.

When I went to the small, local grocery, Ray just gave me a bunch of brown bananas, so I cut them into slices and froze them for another day.  And he also had that home made carrot cake, delicious and moist, so that added another vegetable for dinner!

HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer
Last autumn and winter I took some Coursera free classes in the medical field.  One I finished—medical statistics, and one I didn’t—gut microbiome. It was just too gross.  So I continue to get announcements to entice me to try again, something in the medical field.  Today it was HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer.  I knew only a little about it—with the increased acceptance of oral sex, it has put many in danger of a disease they couldn’t have imagined in the pre-Monica days of “it’s not really sex.”
Here’s what CDC says it is, without ever suggesting that oral sex not be practiced:
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Of the more than 100 types of HPV, about 40 types can spread through direct sexual contact to genital areas, as well as the mouth and throat. Oral HPV is transmitted to the mouth by oral sex, or possibly in other ways. Many people are exposed to oral HPV in their life. About 10% of men and 3.6% of women have oral HPV, and oral HPV infection is more common with older age. Most people clear HPV within one to two years, but HPV infection persists in some people.”
Because it takes years for the problems to develop, CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls get two doses of HPV vaccine, although there are no studies to show it actually prevents these cancers
This fact sheet is a little more graphic and explicit.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Today’s lecture on C.S. Lewis

Dr. Jerry Root of Wheaton College is the main speaker and preacher of the week at Lakeside August 12-16. He’s been studying C.S. Lewis since 1970 and is a delightful speaker filled with humorous stories and erudition.  In fact.  I really couldn’t take notes, I was so deep in his sentences—up to my knees at least.  But I did note that he mentioned Lewis enjoyed Boethius, and that Root had never heard of him until studying Lewis.  Boethius, said Root, was also an influence in every field of endeavor in the western world, we almost can’t move ahead without examining him.  So when I went home for lunch, I looked him up to see why everyone from Chaucer to Tolkien,  Aquinas to Shakespeare to Lewis read him. Here’s what I found at Ligonier ministries site.
“One of the least known but most significant Christian thinkers of antiquity was a sixth-century layman called Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius, or simply Boethius for short. The son of an old senatorial family, he lived between 480 and 524, being consul (a largely ceremonial political position) in 510, and then Master of the Offices at the Ostrogothic court in Ravenna in 522. [He was tried and executed for treason.] He was later canonized by the Catholic Church as Saint Severinus.
Boethius’ contributions to Western civilization in general and theology in particular are wide-ranging and significant. Indeed, he adapted a number of Greek works into Latin, probably including Euclid’s Geometry; these works laid the ground work for the so-called quadrivium, or group of four academic disciplines (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy). The quadrivium combined with the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic), to form the seven liberal arts . . . , the seven liberal arts became the foundation of Western higher education; thus, the work of Boethius was, in the long run, instrumental in profoundly shaping the whole concept of university education.”
“. . . Theologically, Boethius’ great contributions lie in his five Opuscula Sacra (Little Sacred Works) and his magnum opus, The Consolation of Philosophy. The former group of five little tracts, the Opuscula Sacra, covers issues relating to the doctrines of the Trinity, the nature of the Catholic Faith, and the Incarnation. The most significant of these are undoubtedly nos. 1–3, which deal with the Trinity. Given the fact that Boethius’ work on the Trinity was to be a standard textbook in the Middle Ages, and that writing a commentary upon it was to be a basic part of theological education, the importance of his work in this area cannot be overestimated.”
Carl Olson at Catholic Answers on C.S. Lewis and Boethius.
The influence on music and art.
Much of this lecture I heard this morning.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Not today’s smoothie

Image may contain: food 

Can you make a smoothie with a giant cuke?

Today’s smoothie is carrot juice, watercress, banana, strawberries and peach slices.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dogs and babies at Lakeside

I usually stop to admire dogs and babies when I'm on my walks. Today a man about 18" taller than me was rocking a cranky baby in a buggy. I stopped to peek and admire a little one who'd about outgrown the space.
Me: How old is he?
He: 10 weeks.
Me: Wow. He's big.
He: Weighed 8.5 lbs. at birth. But I was 9.
Me: I was 9.5.
He: Yeah, but I was a twin.

Taking care of the children

The anti-Trump cult is obsessed with something that has been going on during the last 4 administrations--separating children from parents at the border to determine what is best for the children. Some are trafficked by non-relatives, some sponsors are ineligible, some parents have returned home without them (the goal was to get them over the border), some parents have been detained and can't take care of them. What is different is Trump is following the law, and that infuriates his enemies.

"More than 2,000 migrant children were detained separately from their parents during the 45 days between the announced launch of Trump's zero tolerance policy and Trump signing the executive order.

The administration missed a court-ordered deadline last month to reunite all detained migrant children under age 5 with their parents, although the administration said it reunited all ELIGIBLE families.

The government in total has reunited over 1,800 children ages 5 to 17 with their parents or sponsors, but numerous children were deemed ineligible to be reunited because of safety or legal concerns."

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Sultan and the Saint by PBS, Friday movie at Lakeside

Based on the book The Saint and the Sultan.

I left the movie after about 5 minutes.  First, I read all the opening credits—all but one were Muslim funding sources.  Now that is fine, but as the saying goes, “You dance with the One who brung you,”  and the production company is an Islamic non-profit. Second, I looked at the faces of the actors portraying the Christians in the opening scenes—they all appeared to be mentally challenged, or starving, or ugly.  Except the pope.  I think he was fat.  Not a good sign.  And the AC was blowing too hard, so I said to Joan (friend), See you later.  I found this review by someone who watched and took notes (which I’d intended to do). All I have is her pseudonym.


I watched it all last night and took notes, writes Erikaspirit16 at the Catholic Answers Forum.

“First, Alex Kronemer is the exec. producer. [This is his production company, Unity Productions Foundation.] He has produced 9 movies on Islam, most of which have been shown on PBS (Spain, Islamic art, Muhammad, etc.). I can’t find out much about him, other than he has an MA in comparative religion from Harvard and he did a lot of work for the federal gov. in various positions. His wife has a Muslim-sounding name. Is he a convert to Islam? I don’t know. In any case, his movies are always very sympathetic to Islam.

If you looked at the sponsors / supporters of the movie at the beginning, other than the Sisters of St. Francis in Iowa (!), they are all Muslims. PBS tacked on a note at the end of the list saying a complete list of sponsors was online at, but I couldn’t find it. But clearly this movie (and others by Kronemer) are very sympathetic to Islam, and show it in the best possible light. In other words, propaganda. There is no attempt to be even handed or objective. But of course that’s how it is presented: an accurate, objective presentation of the “facts.”

Is the movie “wrong”? Well, other than pretending a beach in Maryland is a beach in Egypt, no. But the sins of omission are many!

First, the title. They flipped it. The book by Paul Moses (who is one of the commentators) is “The Saint and the Sultan.” The movie is “The Sultan and the Saint.” Subtle, but it shows where it’s coming from.

We begin with Alexius, the Byzantine emperor, writing to the pope asking for mercenaries. No background is given at all. The impression is given that the Pope (who says “my armies” --hardly) began the Crusades as an imperialist venture. Nothing about the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1009 by Sultan al-Hakim of Egypt; nothing about the interruption of the pilgrim routes; nothing about the Battle of Mantzikert in 1071 where the Saljuq Turks defeated a Byzantine army. All that is omitted. And of course the Byzantines had Western mercenaries in their service for a long time–this was not an innovation.

Then we have the Crusaders vs. Muslims story line. But of course (!) it omitted the fact that the Crusaders in the 5th Crusade had made an alliance with the Turks to occupy al-Malik al-Kamil’s brother in N. Syria. So you have Muslim Turks allied with Christian Crusaders. The Christian / Muslim divide isn’t quite so clear now, is it?

Then the population of Egypt is completely ignored. Most scholars think that at the beginning of the Crusades, Egypt was still a Christian country. Muslims were a minority. It’s only during the Crusades (particularly after the Crusaders burned Old Cairo (Fustat) in 1171) that the Christians began to convert to Islam in great numbers, not for religious reasons, but because they were seen as fifth columnists who would support the Crusaders given the chance. By the 5th Crusade, a large number of Egyptians were still Christian. The business about al-Kamil ruling in favor of the Christians against Muslims who wanted to tear down a church needs to be seen in this light. And even in Egypt today, Christians need a gov. permit to even repair a church, let alone build a new one.

There is some nonsense scattered throughout about “conflict” and the brain, etc. which seems to be there simply to emphasize the violence of the Crusaders vs. the peace-loving Muslims.

al-Malik al-Kamil. Poor Jeremy Irons spent the entire movie pronouncing the name as “Camille.” Why didn’t someone help him out??? It’s pronounced with the stress on the 1st syllable and the final ‘L’ as a “light” l . And al-Kamil, contrary to the impression in the movie, wasn’t the sultan at the beginning of the 5th Crusade. His father was. Al-Kamil came to power in Egypt only. Another brother got Palestine and southern Syria. A 3rd brother got N. Syria and what are now parts of Turkey and Iraq. Al-Kamil didn’t come to power smoothly–there was an attempted coup by a Kurdish regiment. (Al-Kamil and his family were all Kurds.) After the Crusade was over, there was conflict among the brothers, and the Ayyubid dynasty basically dissolved into family quarrels.

Massacre of the Jews in the Rhineland during the 1st Crusade. Yes, it happened. But the movie neglected to say that the Papal representative and the Church generally tried to stop it. And needless to say, there was not a peep about the massacre of the Jews in Granada in 1066—a massacre by the Muslims that most scholars think killed more Jews than the Crusaders did. Note that it was only about 30 years earlier.

At one point the young al-Kamil is reciting the verse about “no compulsion in religion.” Very true. But an objective presentation would have mentioned the imposition of the jizya tax on non-Muslims and the “Pact of 'Umar,” a very discriminatory set of rules for non-Muslims (they couldn’t ride horses, had to dress a certain way, had to make way for Muslims in the street, etc. etc.). Contrast that with a comment later in the movie: “Muslims were considered beasts” by the Crusaders. Not sure where that comes from–I’ve never come across it! And the idea that if only the Crusaders met “real” Muslims all would be well is just silly; Crusaders had been in Palestine well over a century by the time of the 5th Crusade. They had adopted many ideas from the Arabs and had lived with the Arabs.

At one point the movie talks about the “vengeful God” of the Christians. No balance; no other point of view mentioned.

Michael Calabria is the featured commentator, although there are others. From what I can find, he is a Franciscan friar and professor at Bonaventure U. He studied Egyptology. After he became a friar, he seems to have switched fields and now writes about Islam and Christianity (thus his presence in this movie). However, as a long-time student of the Crusades, I have never run across him or any of his work.

The movie portrays Francis as visiting the sultan’s camp to convert the sultan and / or his army. In the 13th century, Christians had the notion that they could make headway by converting Muslims, esp. their rulers. One of the reasons Thomas Aquinas wrote his Summa was as a tool to convert Muslim rulers in N. Africa. So the notion is not new or unique to Francis–he was simply one of many with that notion.

And the sultan allowing Francis to address his court is a common theme among Muslim rulers. This was not unique, it is mentioned often. But of course the idea was that the Muslim rebuttal of the ignorant Christian would show how great Islam was; it wasn’t simply a gesture of ecumenicism or toleration.

The similarities of the Fatiha and the Our Father have been remarked on before. As have the similarities of the 99 names of God vs. a litany of the aspects of God in Christianity.

The movie ends with the idea that the Crusades ended because the idea of a “loving God” replaced the idea of a “vengeful God” in Christianity. Nonsense. The final wish that “the road to peace runs through humanity that we all share,” is a pious hope we can all agree on.

Today’s smoothie is really yummy

Eggnog made with honey

organic baby spinach



Exercising with asthma (while being old)

Nonpharmacologic Treatment Measures for Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Increase physical conditioning.

Warm up for at least 10 minutes before actual exercise begins.

Cover mouth and nose with scarf or mask during cold weather.

Exercise in warm, humidified environment, if possible.

Avoid aeroallergens and pollutants.

Cool down or gradually lower the intensity of the exercise before stopping.

Wait at least two hours after a meal before exercising.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Even science for middle schoolers has a bias

Today at WalMart I looked through "Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks)." I have one for Math that I've found very helpful, since even middle school math is a challenge for me. The series is colorful and has a nice format.  But I was shocked to read in one section about 4 factoids of misinformation on Galileo and the Catholic Church—it didn’t accurately present Galileo’s side or the church’s side.  Just the Protestant side.

I'm accustomed to being totally immersed in the Protestant viewpoint of religion, culture, and history, (I be one but our history is written like nothing happened before Luther), but in a review book for pre-teens? Let's look at this from a Catholic viewpoint--it's probably the first time you've ever seen it. It wasn't just the church of that time, it was the SCIENTISTS of that time (think-90% of scientists believe climate change science) .

At Galileo’s request, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit—one of the most important Catholic theologians of the day—issued a certificate that, although it forbade Galileo to hold or defend the heliocentric theory, did not prevent him from conjecturing it. When Galileo met with the new pope, Urban VIII, in 1623, he received permission from his longtime friend to write a work on heliocentrism, but the new pontiff cautioned him not to advocate the new position, only to present arguments for and against it. When Galileo wrote the Dialogue on the Two World Systems, he used an argument the pope had offered and placed it in the mouth of his character Simplicio. Galileo, perhaps inadvertently, made fun of the pope, a result that could only have disastrous consequences. Urban felt mocked and could not believe how his friend could disgrace him publicly. Galileo had mocked the very person he needed as a benefactor. He also alienated his long-time supporters, the Jesuits, with attacks on one of their astronomers. The result was the infamous trial, which is still heralded as the final separation of science and religion.

Gentleman in Moscow, September book club

I'm reading "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles for September book club. It's a great read, and I admit to being thrilled I recognize some of the names and events being a Russian major in college and taking all those history courses.  But I had to laugh at a perfect example for all the mush brained snowflakes and Bern babies who think socialism is so great. Count Rostov is indeed quite the gentleman, knows his wine, and which goes with what. One evening in the dining room of the hotel he can’t leave he orders a specific wine, a bottle of San Lorenzo Barolo, 1912, and was told he can order either red or white. He repeats his order, so the manager takes him to the wine cellar of the Boyarsky dining room of the Metropol Hotel where he discovers that 100,000 bottles of wine have had their labels removed. He inquires and is told:
"A complaint was filed with comrade Teodorov, the Commissar of Food, claiming that the existence of our wine list runs counter to the ideals of the Revolution. That it is a monument to the privilege of the nobility, the effeteness of the intelligentsia, and the predatory pricing of speculators."
"A meeting was held, a vote was taken, an order was handed down. . . Henceforth, the Boyarsky shall sell only red and white wine with every bottle at a single price."



Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The socialists are lying to you about the "shrinking middle class."

"The American middle class has been doing just fine. In 1967, 33.7 percent of all American households earned between $50,000 and $100,000; by 2014, that number (in constant 2014 dollars) had fallen to 28.5 percent of American households. That means the death of the middle class, right? Wrong. It turns out that everybody just got wealthier. In 1967, the households earning an annual income of $50,000 or less constituted 58.2 percent of all Americans; as of the end of 2014, just 46.8 percent fell into this group. And while only 8.1 percent of American households earned more than $100,000 a year in 1967, today, 24.7 percent do. That’s not a collapsing middle class. That’s a growing upper middle class."
Yes, the middle class is moving up, to upper middle class, and socialists hate that and lie to you, like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.
And let's not forget how many Americans are now retired--like the Bruces. Socialists want you to forget that figure. "If we compare full-time workers ages 25 to 64 in 1979 with that same subset of workers in 2013, income exceeded inflation and grew 33 percent total."
A lot of these figures are from the Obama era--they even lie to you about that!

The morning exercise routine

Until this summer, I usually walked about two miles in the morning, always choosing a flat street to accommodate my bursitis pain and getting at least a mile along Lake Erie.  Then the Wellness Center opened in 2018.  Now I walk there (about 1 mile to get there), exercise on a cycle and a treadmill (about 4 miles), then walk home, about 1 mile, and pick up 2 or 3 miles during the day walking to various programs and activities.  Returning home through the woods has been especially nice.

Wellness center 2

Wellness center 3 

wellness center 5

wellness center and pool 

From a drone photo

White privilege and Whoopi

Whoopi Goldberg is worth $45 million and goes on TV (ABC The View) spewing hate and bigotry and decrying various justice "gaps." She would never need to work again, but loves the platform. This morning on my walk I talked to a white woman, probably about Whoopi's age, who works 40 hours a week at near minimum, then goes across the street and works another 4 hours at a nursing home. I guess that's white privilege.

The Alex Jones fiasco on the left

There's a least one liberal who understands what's happening with Big Tech silencing Alex Jones, and he writes for CNN. Keep in mind how often Facebook Zuckerberg met with President Obama. That bromance is still strong.  Fascism thrives when big business cozies up to the government, and we still have a shadow, swampy government resisting the one we elected.
“Restricting offensive or harmful language for the greater good is all fine and dandy until you become beholden to a definition of ‘greater good’ you don't agree with,” Granderson writes at “Or when you oppose a politician’s view of ‘offensive.’”
Granderson is a black journalist who has come out as gay, formerly married to a woman so he has a son.  He can expect some of the Candace Owens blacklash. (Owens is the black conservative recently attacked by white radicals in Antifa for eating breakfast in a restaurant.  Shades of the 1950s lunch counters)
Big Tech has been restricting conservatives and libertarians like Dennis Prager or various bloggers while outlandish conspiracy buffs like Jones gets more attention while excusing and ignoring the hate speech and protests on the left. If they [Big Tech] were to release the HR searches they've done on their own employees, I think you'll find that they have no diversity of thought in hiring, promoting or development.
So why would incredibly successful capitalists (like Bezos who is the richest man in the world and Zuckerberg who owns your social life) side with oppressive, regulatory government administrations teetering on the cliff of fascism? To keep the start ups at the gate through increased taxes and regulatory power.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

What socialized medicine looks like

What you have to look forward to if the socialists like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders win in 2018: "Native Americans have received federally funded health care for decades. A series of treaties, court cases and acts passed by Congress requires that the government provide low-cost and, in many cases, free care to American Indians. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is charged with delivering that care." [IHS web site quote].

The per person cost is about 1/3 of what the other Americans spend, but is in line with Europe. Also, native Americans have a life expectancy 5.5 years less than all other Americans.

Francis Asbury, 1745-1816

On August 7, 1771, Francis Asbury answered John Wesley's call for Methodist preachers to go and evangelize the colonies. In 45 years he covered about 300,000 miles on horseback and crossed the Appalachian mountains more than 60 times; he ordained more than 4,000 Methodist ministers and preached more than 16,000 sermons.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Camp meetings, August 6

Today is the birthday/anniversary of the organized camp meetings and revivals that turned America back to Christianity, August 6, 1801, called the Cane Ridge Revival in Bourbon County, Kentucky, ca. 20 miles west of Lexington.
Lakeside Chautauqua began as a Methodist camp meeting in August, 1873. "On Aug. 27, 1873, Reverend Henry O. Sheldon, the first presiding elder of the East Toledo Methodist Episcopal district, preached the first sermon of the Lakeside camp meeting from a basic preacher stand surrounded by twenty canvas tents". There will be a marker placed on September 2.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

20 years a spy

"Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reportedly had a Chinese spy infiltrate her office for some 20 years. "According to reports from Politico and The San Francisco Chronicle, the mole from the communist government served as Feinstein’s driver, an office gofer, a liaison to the Asian-American community, and even attended Chinese consulate functions on behalf of the senator."
And when she was advised of this, she fired him. Good. Close the door after the horse has escaped. And that's usually enough on that team, but if it happens to a Republican, it is hell to pay. And God forbid someone who knew someone from the Trump team should have played golf with or attended an event where there was a Russian.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Out and about on the peninsula

Shopped at Walmart this morning. Noticed the hiring banner at the door. $11.50 starting wage. I've also noticed at various Walmarts that their employees resemble all God's people-- black, white, brown, tattoos, nose rings, obese, anorexic, burka, autistic, disabled, well spoken or not so much, and most are helpful and well informed in their department or will find help if they don't know. I’ve never understood why people want to ridicule.
I read at a trombone website that some people use WD40 for slide lubrication.  So I bought a small container.

Neighborhood block party, August 3

Aug 3 party 2
Aug. 3 party
Aug 3 party 3
Aug 3 party 5
Aug 3 party 6
In August the home owners on our Lakeside street will get together for a pitch in dinner and games, and this year it was our turn.  We had everything set up (top 2 photos), and then it started to rain about 4:30, so we moved a few things inside.  By 5 the rain had stopped, but it was pretty hot, and many chose to stay in the air conditioning.  We had 20 people in our little house/yard/deck counting us (one neighbor brought their friends from Indianapolis who were visiting), and I served sweet/sour (meatball recipe) sloppy joes on buns, and the guests brought fruit plate, vegetable plate, chips, cookies and brownies—all finger food so we’d have minimal clean up. We broke up about 7:15 so everyone had time to get to Hoover to see Point of Grace, a trio of Christian women who had replaced the original program, Sandi Patty.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Protected speech

Here’s what Todd Thorton who works for the airlines said about this:
“So I post [on Facebook] about flight attendants and get 281 reactions, 11 comments, and 182 shares among 1,100 friends. I post something about Trump and the same 25 or so friends see it. Tell me Zuckerberg and his thought police aren’t actively engaged in throttling back anything conservative. Apparently such views are against their community standards.”

The porch mysteries

Bob is starting his 9th mystery of porch reading of the summer. So when he announced at 8:30 a.m. that Andrea had been murdered (in chapter 1) I was a little startled. Although I was the librarian, I don't read mysteries or even much fiction. Our daughter supplies them by the sacksful. He's been through all the Maisie Dobbs, and Charles Todd, now roaring through Mary Higgins Clark, and has sampled a few Agatha Christie.
Titles by Higgins Clark read this summer:
No place like home
I’ll walk alone
The last years
Pretend you don’t see her
Daddy’s little girl
Before I say good-bye

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Today’s smoothie

Eggnog made with honey


one orange

one frozen banana

frozen peaches

Free college tools and courses 2018-2019

There are many free courses on the internet, and I’ve taken 2 from Coursera, one of which I completed (Medical Statistics) and one I didn’t (Gut microbiota).  Today I came across a listing of free courses at Ivy League colleges   at Awareness Watch and looked through the Harvard listing for the Book in medieval liturgies.

“When we think of liturgy today, we imagine short, formal, congregational events happening periodically within the confines of churches. Medieval liturgy, however, took up many hours of every day, filled the city's largest meeting halls, and even spilled onto the streets. At the center of the medieval liturgy were the books we will study in this course.

In this module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space, we’ll explore and explain the beautiful service books of the medieval church. No prior knowledge of liturgy or Latin is required, but there will be a lot of both, along with music.”

This course is part of a group of courses called The Book.

Sounds very interesting—the big question, do I want to work that hard.  You can go at your own pace in a free course, but when I enroll I want to do well.  Sometimes stretching the mind is painful!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Lakeside Symphony Orchestra 2018 season

The Lakeside Symphony orchestra was established in 1963 and after 40+ years the conductor has retired and they are featuring guest conductors, whom I assume are applying for the job. Tonight is Matthew Kraemer and the theme is musical postcards. Guest soloist is Jinjoo Cho on violin. She was here a few weeks ago with a group of very talented students from the Cleveland area.