Weekend Edition: 11-15

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes

  • Winter Is a Black Hole: How I Deal With Seasonal Depression (“The challenge to me each winter is in finding ways to work with feeling low like depression is some stupid, inconvenient friend who needs a place to crash for a few months and who also wants to shit all over my floor.”)
  • What Washington Refuses To Admit (“…the leadership in both parties cannot help themselves when they have a big shiny military and see something they don’t like happening in the world.”)

(Rear) Blog Headlines of the Week

Bookish Linkage

Nonbookish Linkage


Depression is melancholy minus its charms.

Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare

The annual question

Some things have never changed in my nearly 60 years in South Dakota. One is the question that pops up When winter’s cold arrives each year. “Why in the hell do I live here?” In fact, when I think about it, it comes to mind any number of times between November and April.

Don’t get me wrong. I love it here for at least half of the year. But I still wonder why I haven’t rebelled against the cold and snow at some point over the last several decades. And another question inevitably comes to mind. Why in the world did settlers in this area stay in the first place?

Yes, I intellectually grasp the impact of the Homestead Act and the railroads’ push to link the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest. My wonder is more practical. Today, central heat and air conditioning are staples of life. Regardless of the insulation it provided, I can’t see making it through a winter in a sod house on a treeless prairie. Then consider the fact people were creating lives here before the creation of what is today’s National Weather Service. Even today, we’re surprised how quickly beautiful weather can turn into a blizzard. Imagine being on a long trek by horse or wagon to the nearest “town” or otherwise being a good way from home when the beautiful sunny morning becomes a whiteout by afternoon.

There’s no doubt I wouldn’t have survived as a settler on the plains. But still, why in the hell do I live here in the winter?


Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”

Robert Bryne

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare

Weekend Edition: 11-8

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes

  • The War of the Words (“… in the end it is a dispute that comes down to different visions of the future of the written word.”)
  • Why conservative Christians would have hated Jesus (“In ‘God-fearing America’ the poor are now the ‘takers,’ no longer the ‘least of these,’ and many conservative evangelicals side with today’s Pharisees, attacking the poor in the name of following the Bible.”)

Website of the Week

  • The Internet Arcade provides nearly 1,000 classic coin-op arcade games you can play in your browser

Bookish Linkage

NonBookish Linkage


Books! Best weapons in the world.

The Doctor, Dr. Who, “Tooth and Claw

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare

Things I should blog about

There’s plenty of stuff crossing my radar that I really should write something about. But for what is probably the sixth time or more, I’m again pulling out Hugh Prather’s observation, “If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing then the desire is not to write.” So, what the hell, here’s some of the stuff I been thinking about blogging about — and still might.

  • When I had my blood tests for and my annual physical last week, I was asked screening questions for Ebola. This included not only if I’d traveled to one of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa within the last 21 days but whether I’ve had close contact with a person or a dead body of someone known or suspected to have Ebola.
  • I don’t think the mayor and others would be quite so eager to save the snowplow art if one of the plows had “Allahu Akbar” painted on it.
  • Somewhat related is why atheists seem to be the most hated group in the U.S.
  • The tax protester movement of the ’70s and ’80s becoming the “sovereign citizen” movement and the craziness displayed in the frivolous litigation it generates.
  • Bookishly: books I don’t know if I want to read; books I hated that everyone else loved; great books I know I’ll never read; what books I consider to have influenced me most (there’s a similar music one floating out there, too)

Someday you might see one or more of these topics on the blog — or not.


The trouble with procrastination is that people give up on it too soon.

Robert Brault

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare

Weekend Edition: 11-1

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes

  • My Grandma The Poisoner (“Of course, the longer you stayed with Grandma, the more likely something bad would happen to you.”)

Website of the Week

  • You can now read original records from the Salem Witch Trials as well as modern transcripts

Bookish Linkage

Nonbookish Linkage


Sometimes I wish I wasn’t me
But I guess it’s better than being you

The Uninvited, “Better Than You,” Artificial Hip

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare

Praying for strippers is better if you have their picture

A Washington state man filed a public records request to obtain the personal information of strippers at a Tacoma strip club, information that includes not only their name and address but their stage names, pictures and physical description. But he says he has good reason to get the information — it will let him “pray for those dancers by name.”

Last month, David Allen Van Vleet requested copies of the licenses a county law requires “erotic dance studio” managers and dancers to obtain annually. Van Vleet didn’t give a reason on his request but a manager and dancer at the club filed a federal court action to block disclosure of the licenses of about 70 current dancers and managers, as well as former employees whose licenses are still on file. They said they feared stalking, harassment, and acts of violence if copies of the licenses are publicly disclosed. They also alleged that Van Vleet had a history of engaging in harassment and had been convicted of violating protection orders.

At a hearing last week on a temporary injunction, Van Vleet told the judge he requested the licenses because he was curious and wanted to pray for the strippers. Van Vleet, who represented himself, said after the hearing that praying for the strippers was “one of many protected reasons” for getting the information.

The judge expressed concern about saying the licenses couldn’t be released to anyone. But he ruled the licenses shouldn’t be disclosed until the legal issues are resolved at a trial on the merits. He said he was concerned that disclosure of the private information could lead to the strippers being harassed or threatened.


Did you know two out of six dollar bills have been shoved down a stripper’s G-string at one point in time?

Jen McLaughlin, Out Of Line

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Google GmailDiggRedditStumbleUponBookmark/FavoritesFarkShare