Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Night of the World

Well, no.But on the last night of 2010, can I pause for a moment, a caesura of thought as the busy world spins onward towards that arbitrary dawn we have chosen to mark the passage of another turn around the sun, and just sit with you here alongside the river of electrons that connect and divide us?

I hope that you and yours are safe from harm.

I hope that you are well, and that you are strong, and hale, and that those you love are sound enough to take you up in sturdy arms and lave you with love and laughter.I hope that you have a life that is full of challenge, and joy, and the prospects of a bright tomorrow.

I hope that you will lay down tonight in the fullness of happiness and warmth, and wake tomorrow in the peace of contentment and the anticipation of the day before you.

If you are far from home, I hope you will come safe back home.If you are grieving, I hope you will find nepenthe.

If you are troubled, or seeking, or lost, I hope that the coming year will provide a path for your feet, and the prospect of a better day.I hope you fare well into the coming year, my friends.

Year's End

"Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow."

(Richard Wilbur)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

FREE New Year's Banner

Happy 2011! Please use this free PIF banner for your New Year's celebration. It comes Etsy Shop size. Just right click/save as, voila!


Happy 2011!
T♥

New Year's Weekend Blog Hop

Welcome to my Weekend Blog Hop! The countdown to 2011 has started and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year☺

I would love if you could drop by and add yourself to all of my blogs this weekend (optional:).



In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺


It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Weekend Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated.





Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!

Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Army I Knew: PEBD

Thirty years ago today the cover of "People" magazine featured Ronnie and Nancy, Rob Redford, Goldie Hawn, Brooke Shields, Larry Hagman (as "JR" from the TV show "Dallas") and the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard as the most "intriguing people" of the year.

That day Mary Tyler Moore turned 44. An episode called "A War for All Seasons" aired on the TV sitcom M*A*S*H. The country was getting ready for Ronnie Reagan's first inaugural parade, and the U.S. hostages in Tehran were preparing for the new year in Iranian captivity.

In China the post-Mao deconstruction of the Great Helmsman's rule continued with the trial of the Gang of Four. War continued in Chad, in Angola, across much of southern Africa, in fact, as the apartheid state there entered its final years, while in the Persian Gulf Iran and Iraq began their Pyrrhic eight-year war.The President of the U.S. was James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. and 227,224,680 people lived there with me. The GDP was $2,784.20 billion that year, the median Household Income was $17,710, a first class stamp cost 15 cents.

Unemployment was 7.1 percent, but, remember, we were in the tail-end of the "oil crisis". In a couple of years the economy would start recovering and Reagan would get the credit although his policies actually had little or nothing to do with it beyond increasing the federal deficit.

Alfred Hitchcock, Marshal Tito, Jean Piaget, and Mae West had died. John Lennon had been murdered by a nutbag.

Voyager I had reached Saturn back in November, returning data on its 14 moons as well as its more than 1,000 rings.

That year the USSR announced it planned to end its occupation of Afghanistan but didn't for another eight years. Andrei Sakhorov was exiled to Gorky, while here Operation "Abscam" indicted 30 government officials. In Poland workers seized the shipyards in Gdansk and a Polish court recognized Solidarity as umbrella union. 400 cases of "Toxic Shock Syndrome" were caused by certain kinds of tampons. Elvis' personal doc went on trial and revealed that the dead King took something like 10,000 pills in the 20 months prior his death. The big fads in the U.S. were Rubik's Cube, the new Sony Walkman, and Yoda toys and dolls; Garfield dolls and "Baby on Board" signs remained unseen in the future. Tom Selleck debuted in
"Magnum P.I."And I joined the U.S. Army, on this day, thirty years ago.

29 DEC 1980 is my Pay Entry Basic Date; the first day of the rest of my Army life.Over the next several weeks I wanted to talk about the Army I joined. The Army of the Eighties is little more than a memory now; thirty years and a hell of a lot of war has changed that Army all out of recognition. The Army of One bears little resemblance to the Army of 1980, the Army of "Be All That You Can Be".

I loved it then and I love it now; the Army has been part of me most of my adult life. But I have a special fondness for the Army of my youth, and so I wanted to put down on paper, so to speak, what it looked like, who we were and what we did, before those memories fade any further.Next: Beginnings - Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop 12/28-12/29

Welcome to my Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop!

This hop is featured on all 3 of my blogs so now you can meet even more friends!

In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺

It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name/image to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated☺





Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!
Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Give it to me Monday! Blog Hop and Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Give It To Me Monday! A Blog Hop & Giveaway Link Up! Linky will open on Sunday nights! Make sure to post our button and get the word out, the more the better! Add your giveaways and enter some too!
Lets kick the Monday funk and have some FUN!


Make sure to follow your two co-hosts and we will follow you back:

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Just Married with Coupons



Enter Your BLOG Links Here:


Enter Your GIVEAWAY Links Here:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Photobucket

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness this holiday season and all year long!
T♥

The Feast of Stephen

I returned from a jolly week of drilling on a barge up the Columbia Gorge to note that it is Christmas Eve. And one of the things that has always been especially poignant for soldiers is holidays far from home. And that, in turn, made me think about my bride and our little Peeper and Missy warm and snuggly in their beds, inside our little house strung with lights and full of presents and cards and the other impedimentia of the Season, and contrast that with the last time I was far away from home on a Christmas Eve.

Ft. Kobbe, Panama, December 24, 1986

It was a practice in Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne) (Light) 187th Infantry Regiment for the unmarried sergeants to volunteer to take holiday duty for the wedded guys. So that's why I found myself standing on the landing outside the dayroom of the HHC barracks Christmas Eve day dressed tastefully in holiday-green tropical fatigues and a santa-red beret being violently abused by a Panamanian taxi driver.

It seems that one of our American heroes had, in an excess of Christmas cheer, commandeered the driver's services to motor all around Panama Viejo attempting to find a shapely little elf who would supply a Christmas stocking that he could fill.

Not surprisingly, given his slobberingly drunk condition, the only attentions he could find came from ladies who expected to receive green, folding presents in return, which struck our young hero as more than a little Grinchy.

This seeker of the true Spirit of Christmas imbibed some Chistmas spirits and then resolved to return to his only REAL family, his buddies at HHC 2/187, only to find on arrival that one of Santa's little ho-ho-hoes had lifted his wallet during his importunations. Or he had left it on the bar. Or whatever.

The upshot was, anyway, that he now had nothing to give the infuriated driver whose worn taxi now reeked of cheap perfume and drunken G.I. Worse yet, he turned out to be nimble as a monkey - even drunk - and had shinnied up the mango tree in front of the barracks and was hiding in the branches lobbing the occasional overripe fruit at both the driver and the taxi windshield.

The street in front of the barrack reeked of mango juice and the combined noise of a furious taxi driver and an intoxicated arboreal G.I. This, in turn, drew a small crowd of pre-Christmas revelers, who took turns abusing both parties and shying additional fruit at the taxi when the driver wasn't watching.

I managed to pay off the driver, scatter the crowd and talk the monkey-boy out of the tree just as one of my other single friends came sauntering down from his post as battalion staff duty NCO.

"I see life in the slums is still exotic and vigorous, even on Christmas Eve" he sneered.

SGT Chief: "Little you know about it, lolling about up there at Battalion as you do. It's like a freakin' Jerry Springer show down here, you know. Oh, and a Merry Christmas to you, too, jackass."

BN SDNCO: "Yeah, well, lucky for us that the first Christmas happened in Bethehem, not Fort Kobbe, eh?"

SGT Chief: "Why's that?"

BN SDNCO: "'Cause where the hell'd you find three wise men and a virgin around here..?"

It was an old joke but I was still chuckling as I ran back up the stairs to the dayroom to share warm Coke with the three guys watching football.

This year, as they have for the past nine years now, American soldiers are preparing for a holiday in faraway places much less entertaining and far more hazardous than my Panamanian Christmas Eve two and a half decades ago. I'm sure that they share many of the same feelings I did then: loneliness, regret, some pride in a hard job well done in demanding circumstances, but mixed with others I didn't; fear of death or wounding, anger and grief at lost friends, hope that their own homecoming will be soon and safe.

As do I.

So Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah...however you say it, however you celebrate it, all you young - and not so young - men and women in the hard places far from home; I hope you will all be home soon to enjoy this time with your families.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Extra Long Holiday Weekend Blog Hop

***Don't forget to add your own Hop and/or Giveaway linky to my list at the bottom of this blog.***

Welcome to my Weekend Blog Hop! 

I would love if you could drop by and add yourself to all of my blogs this weekend (optional:).



In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺


It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Weekend Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated.





Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!

Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just sold...


I redid a cover today too...


That's all for today, I have the stomach flu and it truly sucks:(

Thanks for reading,
T♥

Bento Crazy!

Please stop me before I Bento!!!

http://www.allthingsforsale.com/

I just found the above site and I'm already planning to buy everything! Kawaii cuteness and itty bitty kitty toothpicks! I am going to force my kids to eat out of pink Hello Kitty Bento Boxes if it's the last thing I do...


Almost 12 and 15 yr. old boys are not big fans, but I figure I will eventually have some grandchildren to spoil! Off to purchase...

Thanks for reading,
T♥

P.S.. This is not a review, I'm just soooo excited to have found this site! If you want to read my reviews and/or participate in my giveaways, please visit my other blog.

Give it to me Tara!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feliz Navidad

Quick collection of a couple more of my favorite Wenceslaus songs.
Here's a new one, Robert Earl Keene's "Merry Christmas from the family":(h/t to slacktivist)

And a traditional (can two years be called a tradition?) favorite: Sarah Silverman's "Give the Jew Girl Toys"Tim Allen played you!

And - this is really special - here's a Christmas ditty straight from Hell's jukebox: I mean, yeah, I know it was the Sixties, but...WTF?

I gotta get back to my barge. But you have a safe week, paisan, OK?

Jingety-jing!

Solstice

It seemed appropriate, on the longest night of the year, to ruminate a little on something that has been troubling me about my country.

First, let me start by saying that I have no silly illusions about what a certain strain of Americans like to refer to as our "exceptionalism". We're often a nice big ol' country. We have our moments of greatness, but we have our moments of great shame, as well. And I can't imagine where anyone gets the ridiculous notion that the United States has EVER been about "liberty and justice for all".

Something like a fraction of one percent of the residents of the U.S. in 1790 could vote at all. And throughout our history our politics has been influenced, and occasionally overwhelmed, by the wealthy and powerful. That's not a bug; that's a feature. The Founders distrusted the rabble, and intended that men (and they WERE men; they'd sooner have given the franchise to an anthropoid ape as a woman) of stability and property were the best choice to guide the nation, and so it has been.

So most Americans were left to shift as best they could. And, for the most part, that best wasn't all that bad, provided you were white, and lacked some disabling handicap like Irishness (for much of the early 19th Century) or Catholicism (until the latter part of the 20th) or too much zeal for the "rights" of people like blacks or women or gays or workers or...

But the U.S. didn't suck compared to, say, the Belgian Congo. You were free to say what you liked (provided you didn't care whether you had a job) and free to go where you wished and do what you wanted. This also meant you were free to starve: the law, as Victor Hugo said, in its impartial majesty forbid rich and poor alike to steal bread and sleep under bridges. You had a certain limited social mobility, which was more than you had as a serf in Russia or a peasant in Japan, say.

But you were still pretty much at the mercy of the Great and the Powerful. If the banksters fucked up and crashed the economy - which they did with great regularity in the 19th Century, only they were called "panics" then, and nobody but the little people who lost their farms or shops thought they were anything but business as usual - well, that was too bad for you if you got hosed. It was a red-meat society, and the bloody end of the bone usually got shoved in your face if you were a farmer, or a laborer. Get old? No kids to take you in? Well, gee, there's always poverty and death. Get sick? No money for medicine? Well, gee, there's always the neighbors' soup. Oh, and death. Get broke? Well, gee...

That was life and that was all there was to it.

For a brief time in the late 19th and early 20th Century a group of people tried to do something about this. These "Progressives" and "Good Government" types were an oddly disparate bunch, ranging from social reformers like Jane Addams and Upton Sinclair, radical Reds, muckraking journalists, and some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the U.S., people like Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Carmody. It looked like the strange concatenation of "reformers" might push the U.S. into some sort of less-oligarchic society - not some sort of communal kumbaya-singing egalitarian utopia, but at least a little less brutally devil-take-the-hindmost.

But first WW1 came along, and then the "return to normalcy" of the Twenties helped sort of push things sideways a bit.

Until in 1929 the wealthy and the banksters shit the bed.

A worldwide Depression, like love and a cough, can't be hid. Even the dimmest American prole pretty much knew they were hosed, and who hosed them. And worse, for the oligarchs, now there was the horrible example of Soviet Russia, where the rope and the lamppost loomed for those white-spatted gentlemen and their delicately scented ladies. FDR, that cunning aristocratic hegemon, rammed through enough reforms to make the country a little less harshly Darwinian, convinced that the elites had to give up a soup├žon of their power in order to keep the rabble happily at work.

And y'know what?

It worked.

For twenty years the Republicans, the bought-and-paid-for party of the wealthy and the financiers, was driven into the hustings. For the first time there was a sort of national pension in the form of Social Security; getting old and sick didn't have to mean getting poor, too. And, mind you, in the Thirties and Forties, and even into the Fifties and Sixties, American poor really meant poor; Third World poor, hookworm-and-pellagra poor, living in a tarpaper shack poor. Don;t let the GOP tell you that the "antipoverty" programs failed. Until the Sixties about a quarter of Americans lived in this real shithole poverty. Since then the number has been about 12-13 percent. Food stamps, AFDC - that stuff worked.

Mid you, it ain't life at the country club. But it beats starving.

For forty-some years, from the late Forties into the late Eighties we managed to get as close to a real robust middle class as we've ever had. And a hell of a lot of that was done by raising working people, people who had been paid jack shit by the people who made millions from them, into that middle class. This was done through a whole combination of industrial and tax policy, by technical, commercial, and educational advances, by the realization on the part of smart companies that better-paid workers bought more stuff...

Of course, it didn't hurt that after WW2 we were the last man standing. And that we had a hell of a lot of spare cash and a hell of a lot of Third World places right in our own country that we could pave, electrify, Green-Revolution, and industrialize.

But you have to think that it couldn't last, and it didn't.

First the country split over whether black people should be people first or black first. A lot of the old racist genes burst out, North and South, and drove people who should have been thinking of their own well-being into the arms of people who had no interest in that well-being but were perfectly willing to use the hatred to shove the dumbass crackers back into the poverty hole - where they would be happy to go provided the nigras went there first.

Then we were told that Greed was Good, that we needed to let the people who could do card tricks with money, who could spin tales into gold, do that tricking and spinning and make piles of cash. Because a stray dollar or two would blow off those piles and hoo-baby, might land in your lap.

So for the past thirty years we've been walking back the Great Change. Back to where we started, the Gilded Age, where the Rich were Different than You and I. Back to a time when the big decisions were made for you by the people who Knew Better because their daddy had made pots of money. Back to a time when the Golden Rule was Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules.

Again; our country has always been that way. But for a bunch of decades we managed to paper it over, a little. We padded the sharp corners of the coffee tables and baby-gated the economy so the little people didn't tumble down the stairs and break their brains.

Well, that's done and dusted.

I've been watching my country change over that time. And it seems to me that we haven't gotten any smarter, or stupider. Any kinder or meaner. Any better, or worse. We're just people, same as we always were.

But for a moment, a couple of decades, it seemed like we had a chance to move ourselves to a place where wealth and power meant a little less than they had, where more people got to have a piece of the nation than before, where the oligarchy was a very small bit less...oligarchical. Not much, not a lot, but a little.

And that moment seems to me to have passed.

Just two years ago the same malefactors, the same spinners and tricksters, managed to do as much damage to our national welfare as anyone had since that day in 1929. But this time...where was the outcry? Where was the change? Where were the consequences. We thought we'd rearranged the "system" to prevent another President from fighting secret wars. We were wrong. We thought that we would never see Americans torturing helpless captives. We were wrong. We thought that you couldn't play lotto with bank's money and skate away from the wreckage when your little scheme crashed.

Boy howdy, were we fucking wrong.

So on this, the darkest day of the year, it seems to me that our country seems a little darker as well.

What do you think?

Ker-flip.

Well, the barge thing seems to be working out. Here it is, parked next to the SR-35 bridge in Hood River.And I just liked the two images that follow because it gives you a good feeling for the cold and snowy Monday that greeted us.I'm home for a night and then back again for two more days of work.Hope you are all enjoying a cozy closeness with your beloveds.

Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop 12/21-12/22

Welcome to my Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop!

This hop is featured on all 3 of my blogs so now you can meet even more friends!

In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺

It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name/image to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated☺





Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!
Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just sold... Weekend Wrap Up Short of it!


I so wish I had the strength right now to do the Long Weekend Wrap up, but I have to say I am completely beat down. To summarize...

Shopped til I dropped,
I have an extra chihuahua I'm sitting for (now 5 barking freaks!)
My kids spilled gingerbread icing aka glue all over the kitchen.
Date w/hubby to see Black Swan w/Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis was cancelled twice:( Really want to see this movie...

On the upside, I did get to eat some yummy sushi and have peppermint coffee. I am also sitting here eating Harry Potter rock cakes my son made.

Watched an amazing movie "Europa Europa", highly recommended.

Got a lot of free products for reviewing including; skin care and retro toys.

Life is good!

Thanks for reading,
T♥

Barge

Well, the barge is in place, the driller ready to go, now all that remains is to foregather in Hood River tomorrow for four days of drilling in the middle of the Columbia River in the middle of winter."Growltiger was a Bravo Cat, who lived upon a barge;
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of "The Terror of the Thames."

"Then Gilbert gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde;
With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, and their pullaways and junks,
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks."
"The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop,
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop."

"Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the strand.
Rats were roasted whole at Brentford, and at Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok."


(T.S. Eliot "Growltiger's Last Stand")

We'll have to see how this whole thing goes.

A Xmas Tale


When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, 
Heaven knows where.
Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. 
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. 
When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.. 
In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. 
He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

 Not a lot of people know this.  

Give it to me Monday! Blog Hop and Giveaway Linky 12/19-12/20

Welcome to Give It To Me Monday! A Blog Hop & Giveaway Link Up! Linky will open on Sunday nights! Make sure to post our button and get the word out, the more the better! Add your giveaways and enter some too!
Lets kick the Monday funk and have some FUN!


Make sure to follow your two co-hosts and we will follow you back:

Photobucket

Just Married with Coupons



Enter your BLOG links here:


Enter your GIVEAWAY links here:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Jukebox: Marching Snipers Edition

Because I think that college football would be improved if the marching bands wore ghillie suits.

(Huge h/t to Jason at Armchair Generalist)

Why I Love Geology 3: Dry Falls

Intriguing bit of history courtesy of the UK Daily Mail.Seems that in the late 1960's the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with investigating cliff retreat along the smaller, American-side fall at Niagara. This is reported to have come about because of one journalist, a Mr. Cliff Spieler of the Niagara Falls Gazette.

Mister Spieler wrote about the large rock falls in 1931 and 1954 that had created a large talus pile at the bast of the American falls, and that a combination of continued rockfall and headward erosion could "kill" the falls. This caught on with the American public, and in late 1965, the U.S. and Canada set up an International Joint Commission. Two years later, the American Falls International Board recommended damming the Niagara River above the falls in order to conduct geotechnical analysis of the falls.The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – Buffalo District was assigned the project, and from June 9, to November 25, 1969 no water flowed over the American falls for the first time in nearly 12,000 years.

The USACE drill crews cored the sedimentary rock that formed the falls, scaled loose materials off the rock face, and installed several instruments, including extensometers, in suspected areas of weak rock. After a long period of preparation people were allowed into the dry riverbed, where they gathered coins tossed into the immense wishing well over the decades and just gawked at the scenery.Geologists scampered all over, measuring, sampling, performing dye tests and mapping joint and fracture patterns.Among the huge rock debris at the base of the falls were man-made debris and the bodies of a man, a deer, and
"the badly decomposed body of a woman jammed head first amongst the rocks about half way up talus bank. The woman was clad in a red and white horizontally striped jersey or dress and a narrow gold wedding band with the inscription “forget me not” on the inside."
No record of what the deer was wearing.

After Thanksgiving, 1969, the water was set free and has flowed over the falls ever since.

After five months of work including 46 core borings totaling 4,882 feet, mapping, probing, installing piezometers to measure water pressure on rock joints, extensometers to measure rock movements, and a further six years of study and opinion polling the IJC concluded that:

It was technically feasible to remove the talus but was not considered desirable.

The Falls could but should not be stabilized by artificial means

And that while the two flanks of the American Falls and the Goat Island flank of the Horseshoe Falls were sufficiently unstable to warrant remedial action a statistically minor element of risk from unpredictable rock movement would remain and must be accepted by the viewing public.So nothing more was ever done.

And the American falls still flow.

Greetings, Programs

The past and the present collide in peculiar ways.

For example, a friend of mine posted to Facebook that she is planning a "Tron party" to celebrate the release of the new installment, "Tron: Legacy"(I'm unsure - IS it a new installment? The trailers I've seen have been bafflingly incoherent. I'm honestly not sure whether this ia a remake of the 1982 original or a "sequel" or what. Whatever, it apparently sucks pipe, at least according to the critics collected over at "Rotten Tomatoes".) Meghan, creative lady that she is, is sure to have some cool blacklight/glow stick gimmicks and cool pop-culture riffs on the original flick.

Which brings me back to the past; specifically, to 1982, when my buddies Alfie and Woodus and I had a Friday evening without dates, or plans, other than to get ripshit and go watch the original Tron down at the Alvin C. York Theater on post.

Now let me begin by saying that drunken GIs were probably not the target audience for Disney's product. But even drunken and in rude company, I'm typically pretty capturable. Twenty-eight years later I was as delighted by "Tangled" as my four-and-a-half-year-old; I tend to suspend disbelief fairly willingly when the house lights go down. So it was probably not a good sign for Disney that twenty minutes into the old Tron I was looking for distraction because the film, well, "sucked" would be the concise way of putting it.

Distraction came in the form of actress Cindy Morganin a light-up spandex leotard. I'm sorry to say that the three of us spent most of the rest of the film shouting lurid and suggestive computer-related abuse at the screen. We were mightily impressed with our hilarity - the mere mention of the term "floppy disk" nearly sent us into convulsions. We were also fortunate that we were perhaps half of the entire audience that Friday, and that none of the other viewers (perhaps as bored by the non-tale being not-told on the screen as we were) objected to our humor. Or perhaps they were even entertained; the spectacle of a high-school-drunk medic shouting "I love you, sweetheart! Let me put my hard disk in your floppy drive!" was probably about as diverting as the flick, from what I recall of it...So a raucous evening was enjoyed by our three heroes mocking the pioneer computer-graphic-image film, and it was only in researching the long-forgotten name of the actress who was the recipient of our rude behavior that I discovered that Ms. Morgan
"whose father fought in World War II, is passionate about supporting the US military and helping to alleviate the financial hardship felt by those who have been called upon to serve in the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. She was director of the Caddyshack Reunion Golf Tournament in 2006, which reunited some of the cast of Caddyshack (Morgan included), along with other celebrities. Subtitled "Playing For The Home Team" and hosted at Willow Crest Golf Club in Oak Brook, Illinois, the tournament raised funds (and awareness) to benefit the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, an organization that helps the families of National Guard members and reservists on active duty."
Oh. Oops.

Well, now I feel kinda small. Nothing like abusing someone who has done nothing but help you and others like you. GIs, I swear - we shouldn't be allowed out in public without a keeper.

So Cindy Morgan is helping GIs, and Meghan is having fun kidding on Tron, and I'm still a the sort of dope who gets pie-eyed and shouts at films, except now I have little kiddos to make me more responsible; thus does the present repair the failings of the past.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekend Blog Hop 12/16-12/19

***Don't forget to add your own Hop and/or Giveaway linky to my list at the bottom of this blog.***

Welcome to my Weekend Blog Hop! 

I would love if you could drop by and add yourself to all of my blogs this weekend (optional:).



In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺


It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Weekend Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated.







Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!

Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just finished this..

and I love it! Take a look at my latest design and let me know what you think.

I so enjoyed working with this client!

Thanks for reading, more graphics in the works...
T♥

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To a Louse, after Three Weeks With No Relief in Sight

Wee obligate para’sitical beastie,
O, what a party’s on her heidie!
Thou’s gae’n about being nasty
Above her chin!
I’m nae laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering PermetherinTM.

I'm nae sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
Long syne thy hematophagic lugger.
Which sets me child tae scratchin’
At you, my oviparous bugger
Up there a hatchin’!

I doubt na, whyles, her blud may thieve;
What then? thou booger, thou maun live!
A drap or ickle o’ that serum
Is wha’ you’re suckin’;
I'll get a dose o’ interferon,
An' gie you a good...talkin’ to.

But Lousie, thou art such a pain,
And hard to pry from aft girlie's brain:
The best-laid schemes o' lice an' men
Gang aft agley,
At least thine will, if the louse-cream
Gives you your conge’!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
All you do is breed and flee:
But och! A fortnight or mair
She's still beloused!
And wi’ no daycare for me child,
I’m stuck i’ the house!

(Apologies to Robert Burns, and a hat tip to Lisa, who inspired this work)

OhmiGod! The kids are climbing the walls!

These are from the preceding weekend. Little Miss wanted to show what she had learned:Yeah, that'll get you a full ride at Stanford, sweetie.

But it did inspire the Boy to show us what HE could do. So here they are, climbing the walls:Sadly, the Great Louse Invasion still goes on - Mojo is home today steeping the Girl's head in some awful prescription PemetherinTM goop that's supposed to kill the little bastards. However, we've already tried the over-the-counter insecticide shampoos, which I read are already full of Pemetherin and have, apparently, facilitated the breeding of a race of super-lice immune to the toxin. Great.

I welcome our new ectoparasitic masters.

OMG, Glee "Don't Stop Believin' yes!

Mid Week Mingle

Welcome to my Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop!

This hop is featured on all 3 of my blogs so now you can meet even more friends!

In case I didn't say this before, if you don't have a blog you can link your site, Facebook, etc. Whatever you want, it's all in fun☺

It's simple to participate, here are the rules:
  1. Please place the "Mid Week Mingle Blog Hop" button in a blog post and/or on your blog somewhere. This lets us all know where to find each other!
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Visit at least 2 blogs on this list.
  4. Add your name/image to the linky list below so we can visit you back. I will be following everyone who posts.
  5. Comments are optional but always appreciated☺





Please support this blog hop by using your Facebook, Twitter, and forums to advertise. It's great for everyone to discover new friends, followers, and fantastic blogs!
Thanks so much for participating!
T♥

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fit for a Princess

Well, half a mission accomplished.

I haven't laid hands on the Peep's LEGO yet, but the Little Miss has her pink "princess" bicycle safely laid away in the basement waiting for Santa to assemble it on Christmas Eve.

What is it that makes little girls crave pink, fluffy things? I swear we have raised the girl on climbing and running; she told me just today that if some scary monster tried to frighten her that she would "kick him in the goolies and then throw him in the garbage." Tomorrow I will have to post the pictures of her - literally - climbing the walls. She's a tough girl I have no fears of growing up to become some frilly helpless little thing being walked on by her inamorata.

But from whence, then, this delight in all things pink and princessy?

There are more things in this world, Walt Disney, than are dreamed of in your philosophy. But you wouldn't know it from my daughter.

Weekend Wrap Up Baby!

Hey all!  Missed you on the blog this week but tried to keep on on Twitter;0

Nothing and the usual nothing has happened this weekend. Giveaways keep on going, working on several logos including my contest winner. Can't wait to show it to you guys, it's soooo cute! Kawaii♥

We are having some crazy weather here and it feels like a f'n stuffy dessert. Sometimes I don't know whether to heat or a/c? We go from freezing at night to yuck in the day:( Definitely not good Xmas weather.

In order to keep what little friends and supporters I have, I am offering a newsletter subscription for my Give it to me Tara! blog.


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Did you know that people hate SPAM?? lol

I'm really enjoying my return to Etsy and mostly leaving the corporate design world. Etsians are so much easier to deal with and generally have the same tastes/style I'm familiar with. So it's been a real pleasure working with some of you again!

Hoping this week to make it over to the Hotel Del to see their beautiful Xmas tree. It's a special place for me and my hubby. After we met he took me to Coronado and I finally had someone who appreciated the Victorian era to talk to! We went every time I was pregnant and now we take our kids yearly.

Etsy $20 Shop Package is ending on the 25th click below...


Have a fantastic week everybody and please join our Give it to me Monday! blog hop below.

Thanks for reading,
T♥