Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Is it 2010 Yet?

I'll let Krugman handle the variation on the

Happy New Year

theme.

Or maybe not.

Cheers!  Better days are coming.

We just don't know when.
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Sky Shot Thursday - End of the Year



Taken from the street in front of my house on Nov 8.

Note the odd formation to the top right.  Two more views follow.



 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

R.I.P. Dan Naddor

Dan Naddor, one of the finest crossword puzzle constructors in America, passed away yesterday at the age of 52. His puzzles appeared exclusively in the L.A.Times, about once a week lately, and I have been struggling with them since April - most recently, just today.

Dan loved language and a playful twist of words.  His puzzle themes were always creative and  often brilliant, his clues were clever, his answers full of puns, some wonderful, some awful - just the sort of thing that would appeal to me.

I was pretty critical of some of his puzzle making on the L.A. Times Cross Word Corner blog, because - let's be real - neither of us is perfect.  He would often visit the blog on days when his puzzles ran, and became part of the Corner family.  I came to respect and admire him for his wit, his strength of character, and his great courage through a long and brutal final illness.  He was a friend to all of us at the Corner.

RIP Dan. You will be sorely missed.

Update: This testimonial by Rich Norris, crossword editor of the L.A. Times was posted at Cruciverb.com.

I'm sorry to report that one of the LA Times's most prolific constructors, Dan Naddor, passed away Tuesday night as the result of an extended illness. Dan was one of my favorites, a fun and imaginative guy to work with. I will miss him. His unique style, creativity, energy and willingness to learn were assets that catapulted him to the top echelon of puzzle constructors since his October 2006 debut. In the three-plus years that followed, the LA Times published more than 100 of his puzzles. His legacy will live on through much of 2010: there are quite a few more of his puzzles to be edited and published over the coming months. 

Dan's wife Tracie writes: "I can honestly say that this beloved pastime prolonged his life and gave him something to strive for, enjoy, frustrate over, became a "blogger" and somewhat of a celebrity. He loved constructing these puzzles and reading how you all enjoyed them. 

"We have started a face book page under Dan Naddor and "the Crossword People" (which is how I fondly refer to your community) are welcome to visit & post. He passed away from complications of the cancer treatment (radiation to head & neck), but was considered "cancer-free". Cancer Donation information and services will be provided on his facebook site." 

Sincerely,
Rich Norris

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

WRITING LIFE

Truth lies at the heart of words you write.
Fragments of your life reborn as fiction --
Memories recast in a new light.


The boy who everybody said was bright
But prone to argument and contradiction --
Truth lies at the heart of words you write.


Cruel names called out in a school yard fight
The loneliness of classmates' interdiction --
Memories recast in a new light.


The lure of love, its power to excite,
First taste becoming your life-long addiction --
Truth lies at the heart of words you write.


Harsh voices on a never-gentle night
Delivered with such careful, studied diction --
Memories recast in a new light.


Love that lingers, dread and loss and fright,
The force of life with grinding heat and friction --
Truth lies at the heart of words you write.
Memories recast in a new light.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Red Pandas



Two red pandas rest,
Hard to find amidst green leaves
On a stout tree branch

Taken at the Virginia Zoological Park, Nov. 16, 2009
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday - 12/28









This is the King 2B Silversonic my father bought for me in 1963.  The bell section is Sterling Silver, with a 24 karat gold wash inside - the mellow yellow, both for the horn and these pictures.

I posted a couple pictures a few days ago, but they were on the dark side.  These were taken on a day when sunlight was streaming through my living room windows.

For more mellow yellowness, click the badge below.


MellowYellowMondayBadge

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Sunday Music Blogging - Post-Christmas Edition




Despite the relentless positivism and terminal perkiness, I rather like this song.  And with Brenda Lee it's actually perfect.  If you don't believe me, go to YouTube and catch Dean Martin singing it.

And for the jazz lovers among you, a great Thad Jones tune:


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In Which I Berate an Editor

Nolan Finley is the editorial page editor of the Detroit News.  His column in today's combined News - Free Press, titled Democrats Gorge on Absolute Power is the sort of idiocy one would expect from a right-wing ideologue.   Have a look at the link above.

I sent the following to him in a e-mail, just moments ago.

Dear Mr. Finley -

Evidently you have spent the first decade of this century living on some other planet.  It looks like you don't remember the not-so-distant past when Democrats were excluded from policy discussions, unable to obtain a room to hold a meeting, and literally had the lights turned out on them when they did find an abandoned room in a basement somewhere.  Until you see the Democrats wielding their power along those lines, you owe your readers a retraction and an apology for spewing your misleading dreck onto their Sunday paper.

What those of us who reside on this planet saw was President Obama's futile efforts to bring nay-saying Republicans into the health-care process.  Alas, they were too caught up in lies about death panels and a forged Kenyan birth certificate to participate.  And if you'd stop to think for a minute you'd realize that if there even were a Left in this country, single-payer health care would have been central to the discussion, not something thrown to the curb before the discussion even got going.

Since your mind-set is Democrat = Left, you are blind to the reality that Obama, and most Democrats are Center-Right conservatives.  Similarly, you must believe that Republican = Right, when, in reality, the Republicans have sailed off the rational political map into a territory where they only know hatred and negativity.  And don't give me any hog-wash about fiscal responsibility, either.  I'll let Bruce Bartlett disabuse you of that mistaken notion.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/19/republican-budget-hypocrisy-health-care-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Your last paragraph implies that the Democrats are able to act with single-minded unity.  The reality is that only Republicans are sufficiently anti-democratic to place party above principle and country, while the Democrats scatter like dust in the wind.

Your article has some basis in fact, but you twist those facts into something horribly misleading.  What ideology do you adhere to, that contorts truths into falsehood in service of a pre-conceived notion?  Alas, Mr. Finley, you have forced me to conclude that you are either a scoundrel or a fool.  What a pity that you have column space in the Free Press, if only once a week.

Very truly yours,

JazzBumpa


Update:  In a one line response sent at 2:35 P.M., Mr. Finley reminds me that every bill passed during the Bush administration had some democratic support.  Though his point is spectacularly irrelevant, I sent him this reply:

Thank you for an interesting fact that supports my case, not yours.

As I said, dust in the wind.

And, by way of contrast, you will see this Democratic administration come and go with the vast majority of bills passing over unified opposition from the totally unprincipled party of "No!"   Content doesn't matter - only being opposed.

Cheers!

 JzB
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Dec 27



Santa, his chores done,
Trades his bag for a bell to
 Ring in the New Year.


On a sunny day a week or so ago, I captured a few shadow shots with sunlight streaming through the living room windows.  For more shadow shots, click the badge below.


Six Word Saturday - 12/26

Surprise!  Wife's brother in from California.



Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Music Blogging

Some Classics, and one not so much.



Glenn Miller - Classic!




Chrismas Time is Here - Classic



The Christmas Waltz - Classic



Make what you want of former hockey great Igor Larianov's semi-lovely daughters lip-synching and pseudo-strumming gesticulations.  It's for a good cause, so deal with it.



And finally, by way of compensation, here is the Velvet Fog himself, singing his own composition: the best Christmas Song, EVAH!  Classic.

What the Hell?!? Friday

Yes, it is Christmas.  But, it is also Friday.

So - what the hell - it might also be  C’thrishm’sh!
 
Which could mean a visit from  Sog-Nug-hotep 
 
It's possible, isn't it?  Just, maybe, with enough love and craft, that, "On this odd day squid may abide with you?"

May you be blessed with a ten-tentacular day of cheer, love, joy and mollusks.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sky Shot Thursday - 12/24/09



I hoped to get an interesting cloud shot this morning, but the sky is a uniform steel gray overcast today.  Took this one, catching the last few stragling leaves of autumn, in my back yard on 11/26/09.

Merry Chistmas - All Lit Up



This Month in Photo of the Day: Animals
This is a Cuban tree frog on a tree in my backyard in southern Florida. How and why he ate this light is a mystery. It should be noted that at the time I was taking this photo, I thought this frog was dead, having cooked himself from the inside. I'm happy to say I was wrong. After a few shots he adjusted his position. So after I was finished shooting him, I pulled the light out of his mouth and he was fine. Actually, I might be crazy but I don't think he was very happy when I took his light away.

This photo and caption were submitted to Your Shot. Have a great shot? Send it to us for possible publication in National Geographic magazine.

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From Nat Geo, obviously. Hat Tip to Yves at Naked Capitalism
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The Stockings Were Hung . . .



. . . by the chimney with care . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thinking worse of Bernanke

Krugman (with some help) points out a huge mistake by Bernake, who absolutely should have known better.

So - Bernanke has fallen from MEH! to some even lower status.

He is still above the level of idiot at this point.  Further revelations are far more likely to lower then elevate, don't cha think?  How far off is is a DEEP STUPID post with Bernanke as the victim?

I don't have quite the right word for this new position.  Can someone help this poor man?

Still  - I guess this is no more no less than what you might expect from a Bush appointee.

From the WaPo article at the root of this revelation:

The central bank's performance has sparked a great debate about its future as a regulator, pitting those who want to expand its role against those who want to strip its powers. It also has come under pressure from politicians seeking greater oversight of its primary job, adjusting interest rates to moderate economic growth. The battles have complicated Bernanke's bid for a second term as chairman. The Senate Banking Committee voted to approve Bernanke 16 to 7 on Thursday, setting the stage for a January battle on the Senate floor.

The Fed's failure to foresee the crisis or to require adequate safeguards happened in part because it did not understand the risks that banks were taking, according to documents and interviews with more than three dozen current and former government officials, bank executives and regulatory experts.

The Fed's failure is in not doing what it is supposed to be doing.  Stripping its powers would be enormously counter-productive: the sort of solution only a Republican, Libertarian, or some other variety of IDIOT would think of.

MEH minus!
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Grounded Eagle



Great eagle, with an
Injured wing can't fly away,
But has a good home.


At the Virginia Zoological Park, 11/16/09
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Monday, December 21, 2009

GIANT FLYING SQUID!




 I really had no idea that squid*  ( check out the pic at this link) were the antitheses of lemmings

Thousands of jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas) or Humboldt squid, were found stranded on southern California beaches over the summer of 2002. The normal range of these squid, also known as Humboldt squid, is from Peru north to Baja California. However, warm water events such as El Niño can extend the range of these squid to Oregon.

But wait - - there's more!  This gonzo squidity didn't end after the Yr 2002 El Niño.  As ABC News reported, just this past summer there were close encounters of the tentacular kind in the normally placid waters off the coast of San Diego. (Be sure to watch the video at the ABC News link.)

Diver Shanda Magill became all too acquainted with the squid's powerful pull, she told the AP.

During a recent night dive, Magill had no warning when a large squid hit her from behind, grabbed her and dragged her sideways through the water. Both her light and her buoyancy hose were ripped away in the scuffle, but then the squid departed suddenly, leaving Magill disoriented and panicking in the water.


"I just kicked like crazy. The first thing you think of is 'Oh my gosh. I don't know if I'm going to survive this,'" she told the AP. But Magill doesn't seem to hold much animosity toward the creature that attacked her.

"If that squid wanted to hurt me, it would have," she said.

Also, in 2005, there was squiggly squid excitement!

Scientists aren't sure why the squid, which generally live in deep, tropical waters off Mexico and Central America, are swarming off the Southern California coast — but they are concerned.

In recent years, small numbers have been spotted from California to Sitka, Alaska — an alarming trend that scientists believe could be caused by anything from global warming to a shortage of food or a decline in the squid's natural predators.

In 2005, a similar invasion off San Diego delighted fisherman and, in 2002, thousands of jumbo flying squid washed up on the beaches here. That year, workers removed 12 tons of dead and dying squid.

The mystery of the squid encounters is unexplained.  Indeed - Who knows what motivates a ten tentacled mollusk?  Are they just lovable, playful creatures who want to be our friends?  Do they think we'd make nice pets?  Evidently they are not interested in having us for lunch.

Is it global warming causing a disturbance in or expanding their normal habitat?  Could overfishing of sharks, their natural predators have anything to do with it?

Whatever the answer, I'm deeply envious of Shanda Magill, who has actually been hugged by a squid!  Remember - they do not want to hurt you.

Hat tip to Space Squid.
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* Photo source.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday



Every snowflake 
Different - Variations
On the theme of six.

 View of the Christmas tree and hanging decorations in the atrium lobby of the Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, VA.

Taken from the 3rd floor balcony on 12/01/09.


MellowYellowMondayBadge

Sunday Music Blogging - More Christmas Spirit

 Here is a triple play of unusual Christmas treats.

First, the Wexford Carol, a beautiful traditional Irish Christmas song from the 12th century.  You might have heard it before, but it get far  less play than other less-deserving songs.  For a melody of that era, it has some surprising chromatic turns.  This plain, honest treatment adheres to modal simplicity.



The next two are more common songs, and if you think you've heard them too many times already -- you're wrong.  Second is a very fresh treatment of O Tannenbaum, arranged by Gordon Goodwin as Yo! Tannenbaum.  Goodwin is a brilliant and brutal arranger.  I've played this thing, and it takes no prisoners.  See Yo! at the end.



And, last, just for fun, The 12 Days, as you've never heard them.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fairy In A Cage



Fairy in a cage
Not maimed by clipped wings, but
She can't fly away

Picture taken on the third floor balcony of the Great Wolf Lodge at Williamsburg, VA.

My Most Prized Possession



I thought that the silver and gold of my King 2B Silversonic* would stand out against the deep burgundy of this upholstery.  Alas, it's all too dark. 
___________________________________
* aka The Holy Grail

Shadow Shot Sunday - Dec 20



Josh, Lauren, Abbie
Having fun in Grandmom's* room
At the Great Wolf Lodge





______________________________________
*Well - Bumpa's too, but there's this syllable constraint . . .

Six Word Saturday - 12/19

Count Basie Christmas music: very cool!



I'm performing this music - LOVE it!



Friday, December 18, 2009

Ben Bernanke - MEH! of the Year





Time Magazine has proclaimed Ben Bernanke to be PERSON OF THE YEAR!

Unlike some of my friends, I am underwhelmed.  Bernanke got this award for being well known, extremely powerful, and merely competent; not for doing anything extraordinary, or even particularly insightful.  C'mon - he's supposed to be an expert on the Great Depression.

Bernanke was either at the helm, or at least a hand on deck, during the biggest financial meltdown since the BIGGEST financial meltdown.  Besides being complicit in the various miscues late in Alan Greenspan's term as Fed Chairman, Bernanke has had an impressive streak of his own major screw-ups.  In an article praising Benanke, Nouriel Roubini  says:

Mr. Bernanke, a Fed governor in the early part of this decade, supported flawed policies when Alan Greenspan pushed the federal funds rate (the policy rate set by the Fed as its main tool of monetary policy) too low for too long and failed to monitor mortgage lending properly, thus creating the housing and credit and mortgage bubbles. 

He and the Fed made three major mistakes when the subprime mortgage crisis began. First, he kept arguing that the housing recession would bottom out soon (it has not bottomed out even three years later). Second, he argued that the subprime problem was a contained problem when in reality it was a symptom of the biggest leverage and credit bubble in American history. Third, he argued that the collapse in the housing market would not lead to a recession, even though about one-third of jobs created in the latest economic recovery were directly or indirectly related to housing. Mr. Bernanke’s analysis was mistaken in several other important ways. He argued that monetary policy should not be used to control asset bubbles. He attributed the large United States current account deficits to a savings glut in China and emerging markets, understating the role that excessive fiscal deficits and debt accumulation by American households and the financial system played.

And we're not out of the woods, yet, either.  Meanwhile, there are clear courses of action, that Bernanke is studiously avoiding:

While real interest rates are too high, however, the short-term nominal rate is as low as it can go. So there are only two ways real rates can be reduced. Either the Fed has to buy long-term assets, driving down the wedge between short and long rates — the Gagnon proposal, which comes out of Ben Bernanke’s own work — or it needs to raise expected inflation. Or it could and probably should do both.

But it is, in fact, doing neither. Why? Because of fear that the Fed would lose credibility as a staunch inflation-fighter.

Update: Bernanke continues to fight the battle that Paul Volker won decades ago.

The Bottom line:  Benanke does either too little, too late, or not at all.  That's why he is the JazzBumpa MEH! of the year.  YMMV.
___________________________________________________
Image from  http://top-people.starmedia.com/business/ben-bernanke_17257.html

What the Hell? Friday

Today's entries 

Part 1, a comment lifted from Berube's blog. (No 19, at the link.)

For me, in so many ways, my unhinged far-left views can be summarized by the mottoes from posters i have hanging on the wall next to my desk:

EarthFirst! Obey Little, Resist Much
John Trudell: don’t trust anyone who isn’t angry!
Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists
Tom Morello: Arm The Homeless!!

And for the not so unhinged, perhaps a question: Why does the left have to be held to standards of hermeneutical* integrity, while the right can be all over the mind map of lies and hypocrisy?                                                


                                   --- Spyder

Berube went on vacation earlier this year, and when he came back, I forgot to start reading him again -- until this week.   My bad!

Part 2 Jean Sebelius Invents Jazz
The Time: 1900
The place: Rapallo, Italy

Jean Sibelius writes the first walking bass line that I know of.  Sadly, almost inaudible in this clip. So listen carefully  (Other recordings on YouTube, alas, are even more inaudible.)  Then the bassoons take over, with a strange, not quite the blues melody.




OK.  It's not really jazz.  But it is a very cool symphony - and I get to play it tonight!
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* Which I also refuse to look up.  (And as the follow up comments at Berube's illustrate, the exact meaning (evidently: “across-the-board-ism”) was not clear in context.  Hope that helps.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sky Shot Thursday - 12/17



Streaky-looking clouds. Taken 10-ish this morning in my front yard, looking approximately West.  Became progressively more overcast afterwords.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

Obama has proven himself to be more or less what I expected: centrist conservative, pro-business, and pro-war.

No more or less than what he campaigned on.  I'll give him that.

Hence his approach to health care - not timidity, but a lack of genuine liberalism.  And Afghanistan - not caving to the right, but following his ambitions to fight a just war.*

I wrote the following on the day of his inauguration.  I hoped for better, alas, and am disappointed.

12/17 Update:   Here is Ed's take.


On the Inauguration

A Villanelle

It started with a call of “Yes, we can!”
While focusing on all we have to gain.
Now we await unfolding of the Plan.

Hope began to flourish as he ran,
Thinking of the things we could attain.
It started with a call of “Yes, we can!”

Throughout this land we hold and all we scan
From mountain, on to ocean, over plain,
Now we await unfolding of the Plan.

Encountering the words as partisan,
Overcoming hatred, lies and pain,
It started with a call of “Yes, we can!”

All in common, all within the span
Of America, and what we can obtain:
Now we await unfolding of the Plan

Now, with hope, we stand behind the man
We’ve chosen for his spirit and his brain.
It started with a call of “Yes, we can!”
Now we await unfolding of the Plan.


Now - you go write a better villanelle than I can.
_______________________________________
* In his mind.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Cuz Sometimes You Just Have To Hug A Squid



AKA, Best Snorg Tee Shirt, Evah!

(Don't count the arms.)
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LIONS!



Mother lion and two of her three cubs.

The other is off to the right, climbing on the rocks.

Dad is farther off to the right, sleeping.

Taken at the Virginia Zoological Park, 11/16/09

In Which I Berate a Cornell University Law Professor

Specifically, William A. Jacobson, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY.

Here is his astounding assessment.

Instapundit takes credit for predicting this rejection of democratic (small "d") minority rights once Democrats (large "D") learned that the Constitution and Senate rules and traditions incorporate protections for political minorities.
.     .      .
What it all comes down to is a fundamental misunderstanding that the nation did not elect Democrats to pursue a liberal agenda. Democrats in Congress and Obama himself have fundamentally misread the mandate.


Yglesias and Pearlstein have cause and effect reversed. Democrats should be cooperating more with Republicans, not the other way around, because Republicans still incorporate the center-right national agenda. Democrats need to move to the center, Republicans do not need to move to the left.

Here is my response, in comments at his post.

Wow. I haven't seen anything that rich since Kirk wrote that Burke was conservative because he was liberal.


Don't you think that if the voters wanted the Republican agenda, they could have just done something different last November - like actually vote for Republicans?


Oh - and where were you on minority party rights during the previous regime? Just wondering . . .


Cheers!
JzB

______________________________________________
Hat Tip to Scott at LGM, who considers the argument "transparently unserious."  So I probably wasted my time.  Felt good, though.
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday - 12/14



Back in the Summer*
Splashing through the lake water,
A train of cousins

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* Of 2007

Sunday Music Blogging - Ringing in Christmas Spirit






Saturday, December 12, 2009

Global Warming Hoax Continues - Pt 2*





If I had stuck with it a few days longer, back in the Spring, when I wrote this, I would have found that fool and scoundrel George Will's idiocy was debunked, right on the pages of WaPo.

More recently, it gets better:

If anyone tries to tell you that uncertainty about climate change is a reason for inaction, he’s either a fool or a scoundrel. Probably a bit of both.
           -- Mark Kleiman, with a H/T to Delong**

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Photo from: 
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/223478/____________________________________________
* Part 1.
** Who I should treat to a drink, should we ever happen to meet.
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Shadow Shot Sunday - Dec 13



Orange and Yellow:
Autumn soccer, kids playing
In Autumn colors.




Update: Last week's entry made it into the collage.  Second group, upper right corner.

The Proper Perspective

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh JazzBumpa R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

There.  That makes more sense.







OK.  Not really a squid.  So sue me.

Image sourcehttp://members.shaw.ca/csstrowbridge/Tulzscha/Cthulhu.jpg

Six Word Saturday - 12/12



Nutcracker tonight - with three granddaughters dancing.



____________________________________________
Photo from:
http://missyaculpepper.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/im-in-the-mood/nutcracker-ballet-balletbc/

Quote out of context.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Kwak R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!

Sounds shrill, I'd say. 

Though I love the craft


Update:  Context!


Update 2: More Context!
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Hope Blogging

OK.  On a lot of fronts, things look pretty grim.

But, there is hope.

And as a follow-up to that link, I'll add this vignette.

Recently the lovely wife and I were traveling north on I-95 in VA.  We stopped at Exit 118 to get a coffee at the McDonalds there.  At that same moment, it was engulfed by a group of 5th graders from North Carolina, on a field trip to Washington D.C. - 200 kids, and a bunch of parents.

As we got in line, about a half dozen of them - all girls, as it turns out, and one dad were in line ahead of us.  In this group of kids were one of Asian extraction, at least one Latina, an African-American, and the very white-bead looking girl with her dad.

They were traveling together, eating together, and treating each other like human beings.  Remember, they were from NORTH CAROLINA.

When I was a kid, this wouldn't have happened in the mid-west.  Recognizing the fundamental human dignity of someone who does not look like you is the first step towards peaceful coexistence.  This gives me hope.
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What the Hell? Friday

Words whose definitions I can never remember, no matter how many times I look them up:



Amanuensis
Defalcation
Epistimological
Hagiography
Heuristic
Quotidian

And, no, I am not looking them up again.  At least not now.

Sports thoughts

Officiation in all sports, at all levels is abyssmal.  Has the quality of officiating deteriorated in recent years?  If so, why?  Does intense sports coverage simply make it easier to observe?  Is the pervasive incompetence of sports officials simply a reflection of the inability of the human race to consistently perform a difficult job well?

Does every team in major league baseball have a Cabrera on the roster?

Detroit Sports Thoughts

Seeing the Tigers deal off Curtis Granderson is horribly painful.  Seeing him go to the Yankees is simply unbearable.

The Red wings have got to stop hanging their goalies out to dry.

And they need to score the occasional goal.

The shoot-out is the most stupid, ghastly idea ever to disgrace a major sport.   Boo, Hiss!

Lions quarterbacks can't seem to perform very well when they have thier buttocks and shoulder blades firmly pressed against the arificial turf by several hundred pounds of defensive linemen.

Good luck Daunte.  You'll need it.

Also, they'll never be winners as long as they are dead last in muliple defensive categories.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sky Shot Thursday - 12/10

Two views of the early morning sky from a turnpike plaza in Ohio.



Looking East- Southeast into the post-sunrise sky on 11/30/09 at 8:49 a.m.



Then, looking Northwest, across the turnpike, at the same time.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Unemployment

I ran across this a couple of weeks ago, then lost the link, and it wasn't obvious to me how to embed it, at the time, anyway.

It is now on YouTube, which makes it easy.  Here is the YouTube link, and here is the original link, where you can see it full screen.  Highly recommended.





Here is a different, perhaps even more dramatic illustration.  Also highly recommended

Hat tips to Ari at Edge of the West, and Paul J in comments there.
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Global Warming Hoax Continues

Just when you thought it was safe to go back out onto the permafrost, Sarah Palin comes out with details of how global climate change has directly affected Alaska.

That's not to say I deny the reality of some changes in climate -- far from it. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. I was one of the first governors to create a subcabinet to deal specifically with the issue and to recommend common-sense policies to respond to the coastal erosion, thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice that affect Alaska's communities and infrastructure.

Wha-a-a-a . . . ?!?  Oh, but then she goes on:

But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes. We can say, however, that any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs. And those costs are real.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Double Dip Recession Possibiliy

There is some concern expressed in what I have been reading recently abut the possibility of a double dip recession

Conventional wisdom (left) is that stimulus spending is deeply inadequate, and (right) that any raising of taxes will put a sever damper on the economy.  In my view, the left has it right.  But what about taxes?  First off, States and municipalities are in trouble, some of it severe, and it's only going to get worse.  Job loses and depressed property values take a big bite out of governmental revenues.  My property taxes have gone down about 12 %, along with the assessed value of my home.  And, like many others, I accepted an incentive to retire a bit earlier than I had anticipated.  Since my home state does not tax either Social Security or pension income, they are losing quite a bit from me there, as well.  How these entities can recover without raising tax rates and cutting services is a mystery to me.

Meanwhile, the richest 1% in this country have been further enriched by $$$ many billions over the last decade, or so.  It is very hard for me to believe that taking taxes on the wealthy back to the levels current during the Clinton administration is going to do significant damage to the economy.  In fact, money redistributed into the hands of people in the lower economic strata will get spent on goods and services, to satisfy basic human needs.

DEEP STUPID # 13 - I am So Sick of the Right Wing



Charles Krauthamer is living proof that the nuts have become the psychiatrists.  I can't do a DEEP STUPID on this WaPo Op-Ed, because it doesn't quite meet the criteria.  (Upon further review - Yes, I can.)  Instead, it's just mean-spirited, wrong-headed, lame, and - you know: nuts.  Let's check it out.

Uncertain trumpet


Friday, December 4, 2009 



We shall fight in the air, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills -- for 18 months. Then we start packing for home.


We shall never surrender -- unless the war gets too expensive, in which case, we shall quote Eisenhower on "the need to maintain balance in and among national programs" and then insist that "we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars." 

We could pretty much just stop right here, having established that the right wing, after recieving at least 75% of everything they wanted from this outcome, and left with nothing of substance to whine about, have to resort to criticism based on style points.  But Chuckie goes on, at great, tedious length, and, alas, so must we.

More Heffalumps!





Great gray pachyderms
Old, wrinkled, weather-worn, wise.
Please share your wisdom.


But, maybe they are Mûmakil.
 
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Happy Birthday to Jean Sebelius

Who is 144 today.*

And, coincidentally, to me.  I'll be performing his 2nd Symphony in ten more days.

Meanwhile: Misusing Slang.**





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* That's gross.  Really.
** Randall Munroe of xkdc.com allows this stuff to be shared, without requiring permission.  Really.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Free Enterprise in Somalia

1)  You can invest in Somali pirate enterprises on the local stock market.

2)  You have no idea how much I wish I were making this up.

Aaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhh!

Pearl Harbor Remembrance

By George H. W. Bush
  • This is Pearl Harbor Day. Forty-seven years ago to this very day, we were hit and hit hard at Pearl Harbor.

    • Bush addressing the American Legion in Louisville, Kentucky (7 September 1988), three months prior to the actual anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941).



Not sure this contributes much to the whole nature - nurture question.

But a hat tip to Silbey either way

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday - 12/07

Buckroe Beach, February, 2006






February sun
Shines bright on the sands of a 

Beach in Virginia

MellowYellowMondayBadge

Extrapolation


Permanent link to this comic: http://xkcd.com/605/


My friend Jerry* actually used to do this kind of extrapolation.  In 2002, He extrapolated that by now I would have 57 grandchildren.

He only missed by 46.**
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* RIP, and sorely missed.  Damn, he could play some great jazz.  Now I'm sad.
** If you think I have 103 grandchildren you have had either too many or too few martinis. Drink up and recalculate.

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Sunday Music Blogging

Buying Knives!



What - no Golden Fleece?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Dec 6

(Some people celebrate the sabbath on Saturday.)

Another Heffalump



Living at Disney,
Here - so far from Africa.
Does it remember?

Six Word Saturday - 12/05

Four musical performances soon, starting Monday.

Jazz, jazz, classical, jazz -  great fun!

And three grandaughters dancing in Nutcracker.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Tariff Terror Redux

I love it when Krugman agrees with me.

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Health Care Update

Anyone who says we can't afford health care reform is a lying Republican.  (Forgive the redundancy, please.)

Here are the facts, from the CBO to you, via Krugman and Yglesias.



And here is Aetna forcing customers away to enhance the bottom line.

Do you see the fundamental and unavoidable conflict between patient service and the profit motive?  For-profit insurance companies bring nothing to the party, and skim away financial resources.

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Chart by Johnathon Gruber, as used by Yglesias and Krugman.


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Friday Doggerel* Blogging

                          TIGER!**


Tiger, Tiger burning bright
With endorsements left and right,
Inquiring minds now want to know
Everywhere you come and go.


In what distant bed or lair
Do you toss? Why do we care?
With each Hottie you aspire,
Our imaginations fire.


Now what inviting body part
Twists the sinews of thy heart?
When you twist with thy sinews
We see it on the evening news!


And when you seek to roam again
In what furnace is thy brain?
The dreaded iron in Elin's fist
Is treacherous. Good thing she missed!


When you stand upon a tee
Do you expect to hit a tree?
And when the last hole has been made
Do you plan to crash your Escalade?


Tiger, Tiger burning bright
With endorsements left and right
Inquiring minds now want to know
Everywhere you come and go.



Copyright JazzBumpa. All rights reserved. Yep - even for this.

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* Or, in this case, possibly catterel
** Counterpoint. Or, more bluntly stated.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sky Shot Thursday 12/03




Virginia Lighthouse
Stands stark against the deep blue
Of sky and ocean.


Photo and haiku copyright JazzBumpa.  All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

THE SUBSTITUTE

There are those whose lives are meant to be entwined,
Lovers thrust together by the force of destiny,
When choice and fate converge, that they may be
Connected at the soul, the heart, the mind.

Within their closed circumference one can find
Two curves in perfect fit -- his yang, her yin,
That in each cycle once again begin
To cluster into love's sweet spiral bind.

But consider -- if in the vast span of infinity
One of them becomes displaced in small degree;
Is born a decade late, perhaps is sent
To the farthest corner of the continent --
 

The distant echo of an unfelt touch, an unseen face.
Who will be the one who comes to take his place?



Copyright JazzBumpa. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heffalump




This nice fresh tree part,
A trunk full of green goodness
And a snack later.