30 June 2008

obama, the patriot

obama in independence, missouri, today:

Finally, it is worth considering the meaning of patriotism because the question of who is – or is not – a patriot all too often poisons our political debates, in ways that divide us rather than bringing us together. I have come to know this from my own experience on the campaign trail. Throughout my life, I have always taken my deep and abiding love for this country as a given. It was how I was raised; it is what propelled me into public service; it is why I am running for President. And yet, at certain times over the last sixteen months, I have found, for the first time, my patriotism challenged – at times as a result of my own carelessness, more often as a result of the desire by some to score political points and raise fears about who I am and what I stand for.

So let me say at this at outset of my remarks. I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine......

Given the enormous challenges that lie before us, we can no longer afford these sorts of divisions. None of us expect that arguments about patriotism will, or should, vanish entirely; after all, when we argue about patriotism, we are arguing about who we are as a country, and more importantly, who we should be. But surely we can agree that no party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism. And surely we can arrive at a definition of patriotism that, however rough and imperfect, captures the best of America’s common spirit.
and then he quotes mark twain:
As Mark Twain, that greatest of American satirists and proud son of Missouri, once wrote, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."
he even pays tribute to mccain

you really need to read the whole thing---or wait for the movie

29 June 2008

doofus eating gravel

the view

the sky was spectacular this evening----the color of the light changing moment by moment, clouds in a variety you rarely see in one sky---it's dark now and lightning off and on to the southwest----

the downtown connector

look at all of our lovely new pavement---southbound side is practically done---all of it done by the end of the summer----a whole lotta money to make a mostly sound smooth surface, smoother---meanwhile, back on the martha train, which can't get a dime from the state because it will be "mismanaged" or whatever . . . .

28 June 2008


good storm here late this afternoon and a rainbow afterward---before that the young people had gotten a little rowdy---they brought their own table down to the pool and were having some sort of drinking game or something----lotta yelling and cheering

what the world eats

In Hungry Planet, Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio present a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week. Each family's profile includes a detailed description of their weekly food purchases; photographs of the family at home, at market, and in their community; and a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries.

fifteen images from the book are here---


i tell the black girls at work that i ain't voting for obama cause i don't wanna pay no reparations to all of them----actually i think everybody that voted for this administration twice (once was bad enough) ought to be paying reparations to the rest of us, regardless of color----that, or at least an admission that they totally screwed up and, in penance for their voting stupidity, they will not cast another ballot again for the rest of their natural lives---how does that sound?

27 June 2008

republicans and the gays again

so, once again, they will try to make the gays an issue: they've reintroduced the so-called federal marraige amendment again, which reads:

Section 1. This article may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment’.

Section 2. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

and among the ten republican sponsors?
Two of the principal sponsors of a constitutional amendment to “protect” marriage include one far-right Republican who hired prostitutes [that would be david vitter (r-la), who also wore diapers in the process of doing whatever it is they did] and another far-right Republican [larry "wide stance" craig, (r-id)] who was arrested for soliciting gay sex in an airport men’s room.
all so very special---

i just killed the cat

not really, but i wanted to----he finally figured out how to get to what i thought was an inaccessible place and knocked great-aunt ruby lee's vase, c. 1910, off, breaking it to smithereens----

the arctic

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.

The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

we should stake all the retarded global-warming deniers (redundant description, i know) out up there so the polar bears will have something to eat in the meantime----

life on mars

An experiment on the Phoenix Mars lander showed the dirt on the planet’s northern arctic plains to be alkaline, though not strongly alkaline, and full of the mineral nutrients that a plant would need.

“We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past, present or future,” said Samuel P. Kounaves of Tufts University, who is leading the chemical analysis, during a telephone news conference on Thursday. “The sort of soil you have there is the type of soil you’d probably have in your backyard.”

25 June 2008

west peachtree street

the street's completion north of third street in 1881 was followed by improvements to peachtree street and completion of most of the grid of streets that exists today west of piedmont avenue in 1887----a great vista, too, since it runs straight along land lot lines south of eighth street all the way downtown to peachtree and baker---


on top of being a muslim, we now discover that he is an idol worshiper as well----from the times of india:

NEW DELHI: With Democrat senator Barack Obama busy in the run-up to the US presidential polls, a group of well-wishers in the capital have decided to send him a symbol of his lucky charm, Lord Hanuman, to help him emerge victorious.

Obama's representative Carolyn Sauvage-Mar on Tuesday received a gold-plated two-feet-high idol which she will pass it on to the Obama after it is sanctified.

The idol is being presented to Obama as he is reported to be a Lord Hanuman devotee and carries with him a locket of the monkey god along with other good luck charms.

24 June 2008

big brother

wierd architects

"I did not design skyscrapers, but I feel ready to do so," fisher said----"dynamic towers" are planned for dubai, moscow, and nyc---
god help us

Italian architect Dr. David Fisher announced on Tuesday the launch of a revolutionary skyscraper in Dubai dubbed as the "world's first building in motion," an 80-story tower with revolving floors that give it an ever-shifting shape.
The spinning floors, hung like rings around an immobile cement core, would offer residents a constantly changing view of the Persian Gulf and the Dubai's futuristic skyline.

restoring the everglades

woo-woo---florida's gov. charlie crist (who might be mccain's v.p. nominee if he didn't have to keep assuring the republicans that he's not gay) announced a deal to buy 187,000 acres or 300 square miles of land south of lake okeechobee from u.s. sugar corp., the nation's largest sugar producer, for $1.75 billion---u.s. sugar will farm the land for another six years then go out of business and semi-restoration of the river of grass can maybe proceed---it's a lotta money, the exact amount of which is still being appraised and yet to be appropriated by congress--- if you need a book to read, pick up The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by michael grunwald

23 June 2008

fourteenth street

part of a bradford pear fell over on fourteenth street a while ago---scraped one car a little and blocked three lanes of traffic---everybody waiting on the po-lice

i hope they cut down all of those there in front of the playhouse----they are sorry trees, as this one has demonstrated: no wind or anything and it just fell over----

peachtree circle

one of this city's truly great buildings is first church of christ, scientist, on peachtree at fifteenth street/ peachtree circle----built in 1914 and angled to the wonderful curvilinear intersection on the east side of peachtree---that angle set the precedent for much later development, including colony square and campanile---- in the island at the center of what was a broad Y intersection, the daughters of the american revolution installed a memorial fountain in 1916---in the 1960s, an excellent abstract sculpture was added to the fountain---the idiot transportation planners could not be satisfied until they remodeled it to a standard T intersection----the fountain remains in place and the added trees will be ok but its a dumb move in terms of keeping traffic flowing---but then ansley park has the goal of turning their neighborhood into a gated community, so maybe this will help----

1010 peachtree & environs


the rude one on george carlin (1937 - 2008):

You can't imagine how ballsy it was when George Carlin, as a semi-regular guest on the Ed Sullivan Show, decided to go from observational humor guy joking about the coming attractions at movies in 1967 to making genocide jokes in 1968. All the time surrounded by Peggy Lee or Helen Hayes or . . . Topo Gigio. By the time we get to 1971 and the dying days of Sullivan's variety show, Carlin was singing to the CBS audience, to the tune of "America the Beautiful":

"O beautiful for smoggy skies
Insecticided grain
For strip-mined mountains majesty
Above the asphalt plain
America! America!
Men sheds his waste on thee
And hides the pines with billboard signs
From sea to oily sea."

(Let us also praise Ed Sullivan, who routinely went to bat against the censors to bring edgier material to America.)

quiet day on the sun

sunspot 999 shouldn't cause any problems today----also nasa confirms that they have found frozen water on mars----the little green people can't be far behind----

21 June 2008

too cute

yeah, yeah, i know, enough with the animals---

20 June 2008


decatur's annual beach party was tonight----60 tons of sand dumped on ponce east of clairmont----lot of music and other stuff besides all the little urchins rooting around in the sand---wish i had brought the kitten

tornadoed landmarks

went out to decatur this evening and got a glimpse of oakland cemetery and the fulton bag mill, neither one of which is completely cleaned up and repaired---there are still a lot of trees laying around the cemetery, apparently because fema has yet to come through with cleanup money

barack and roll

Barack finally has his bounce. For weeks many political experts and pollsters have been wondering why the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had stayed so tight, even after the Illinois senator wrested the nomination from Hillary Clinton. With numbers consistently showing rock-bottom approval ratings for President Bush and a large majority of Americans unhappy with the country's direction, the opposing-party candidate should, in the normal course, have attracted more disaffected voters. Now it looks as if Obama is doing just that. A new NEWSWEEK Poll shows that he has a substantial double-digit lead, 51 percent to 36 percent, over McCain among registered voters nationwide.

secret kitty

another of the cat and dog's crazy games----dexter has liked to play secret kitty up under the little stool, although very little of the cat gets hidden now----it drives guinness nuts

the botanical garden

Sculpture in Motion: Art Choreographed by Nature
May 3 - Oct 31
they're open until 10 on thursday nights, with drinks, should you so desire---the bullfrogs are out and, in the conservatory, which is semi-dark, the birds and other critters that they have in there are making all sorts of weird noises

water, water, everywhere

Bright Chunks at Phoenix Lander's Mars Site Must Have Been Ice

06.19.08 -- Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it.

how long till there is proof of extra-terrestrial life? that will be the day that everything really changes----

19 June 2008


holy moly

GA-Pres: can it be?

Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:05:17 PM PDT

Insider Advantage. 6/19. Likely voters. MoE 5% (5/20 results)

McCain (R) 44 (45)
Obama (D) 43 (35)
Barr (L) 6 (8)

Looking at the internals (PDF), 10 percent of Dems and 19 percent of Independents are still undecided, so Obama still has room to grow.

There's apparently a reason that the Obama campaign is flooding the state with organizers and television ads.

of course the state will remain dominated by retarded republicans since the democrats couldn't get it together to even challenge them in too many cases


A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed.

The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure.

After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

the downtown connector

every day, i say, thank you jesus that i'm up on the sidewalk and not driving on the freeway---- or sleeping under a bridge, for that matter

17 June 2008

the changing skyline

won't be long before kennesaw mountain disappears behind the new construction at atlantic station---- waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!


check out this panorama of obama's rally last night in detroit----you can pan up and down and in and out and side to side and all around----pretty great

neither rain, nor snow . . . .

even the post office wants us to go all digital, i guess----in their wisdom, they have removed all stamp-dispensing machines so that you now have to wait in line to buy stamps----i asked the clerk about it, and she said that the vendor had gone out of business and they couldn't get parts so they decided to just chuck the whole system----and if you want to buy stamps on line, you pay a dollar s & h no matter the size of your order-----very smart business decisions all the way round, as it provides one, no, two more reasons not to use the u.s. postal service-----


One week into the general election, the polls show a dead heat. But many presidential scholars doubt that John McCain stands much of a chance, if any.

Historians belonging to both parties offered a litany of historical comparisons that give little hope to the Republican. Several saw Barack Obama’s prospects as the most promising for a Democrat since Roosevelt trounced Hoover in 1932.


just gotta love those texas republicans----this was on sale at their state convention, according to the dallas morning news----

suburban hell

While the foreclosure epidemic has left communities across the United States overrun with unoccupied houses and overgrown grass, underneath the chaos another trend is quietly emerging that, over the next several decades, could change the face of suburban American life as we know it.

This trend, according to Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, stems not only from changing demographics but also from a major shift in the way an increasing number of Americans -- especially younger generations -- want to live and work.

. . .

Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters.

16 June 2008

o - ba - ma

piedmont avenue

the george hinman house, on the east side of piedmont just north of eighth, is one of the oldest houses on the street---it was built in the 1890s on a double lot on a part of piedmont that didn't exist until 1889----he had a furniture mfg. company on marietta street----i first saw the house in the 1970s when his spinster daughter cara was still alive---now whoever owns it has dug out the northern half of the lot to building something----gone is that great grassy hillside that always seemed to form the foreground for really appreciating the house----it was one of those rare survivors, not quite on the scale of the peters house, but nice in its own right----the new construction ruins the view of the house----i just hope it doesn't kill the poplar there in the front yard, which is at least as old as the house itself----

15 June 2008


i always wondered what made people buy tchotchkes:

So the researchers went back to Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term conspicuous consumption. Writing in the much poorer world of 1899, Veblen argued that people spent lavishly on visible goods to prove that they were prosperous. “The motive is emulation—the stimulus of an invidious comparison which prompts us to outdo those with whom we are in the habit of classing ourselves,” he wrote. Along these lines, the economists hypothesized that visible consumption lets individuals show strangers they aren’t poor. Since strangers tend to lump people together by race, the lower your racial group’s income, the more valuable it is to demonstrate your personal buying power.

To test this idea, the economists compared the spending patterns of people of the same race in different states—say, blacks in Alabama versus blacks in Massachusetts, or whites in South Carolina versus whites in California. Sure enough, all else being equal (including one’s own income), an individual spent more of his income on visible goods as his racial group’s income went down. African Americans don’t necessarily have different tastes from whites. They’re just poorer, on average. In places where blacks in general have more money, individual black people feel less pressure to prove their wealth.

The same is true for whites. Controlling for differences in housing costs, an increase of $10,000 in the mean income for white households—about like going from South Carolina to California—leads to a 13 percent decrease in spending on visible goods. “Take a $100,000-a-year person in Alabama and a $100,000 person in Boston,” says Hurst. “The $100,000 person in Alabama does more visible consumption than the $100,000 person in Massachusetts.” That’s why a diamond-crusted Rolex screams “nouveau riche.” It signals that the owner came from a poor group and has something to prove.

the parents


the first hibiscus blossom opened today

sunday at the park

today's weather is just about as beautiful as it ever gets around these parts----if the stills are not enough, watch the panorama---

what not

14 June 2008

poolside at metropolis

we have some straight people here, not that there's anything wrong with that, but they just can't seem to control themselves sometimes, even out in public with everybody watching----have they no decency? no morals? are they just wicked fornicators?

13 June 2008

frieda: pleasingly plump

a lizard on peachtree

broad street

five points martha station and chicken-bone plaza, as brian dubbed the space--- quite the active public space with lots of people sitting around chatting---several vendors, too, selling sun glasses, t-shirts, and soft drinks---unfortunately virtually all of the people involved are black--- therefore, after much complaint from "the public," the "authorities" are all intent on "cleaning it up" by removing the seating----granted, the panhandlers and what some have characterized as the dregs of society can be a little tough to deal with first thing monday morning or on your way to lunch or whatever---but the police cruiser parked in the middle of the plaza sometimes is a little much----most of the people are doing what normal people do in a real city, unlike the faux city we have here---and i'm real tired of jim wooten (his remarks today were especially retarded vis a vis martha) and guest editorials, like we had today, from some suburbanite complaining about how bad and dangerous and nasty and inconvenient marta is and how they'll never ride it again, and blah, blah, blah, blah----"atlanta: the city too stupid to be ashamed"

old growth

A 2,000-year-old seed recovered from the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea has become the oldest seed in the world to have germinated successfully, scientists said yesterday.

12 June 2008

more sky

counterclockwise: view from plane over northeast georgia, view from marta of downtown, view east from my place

now it's norway

Same sex partners will now be able marry as the Norwegian parliament passed a new marriage law on Wednesday. Adoption will be easier and lesbian couples will qualify for state funded fertility treatment.

passed by a two-thirds majority no less---they probably don't have very many southern baptists over there----

burning up

the biggest fire in the country is a 40,000-acre burn near the pocosin lake national wildlife refuge in eastern north carolina, which i didn't know until after i had driven through the smoke for about 50 miles on the way to manteo tuesday----it was a clear day in manteo this morning, but, crossing the alligator river, i could see the smoke plume 45 or 50 miles away----the radio said visibility was down to a quarter mile in rocky mount, with the fire nearly 100 miles away----raleigh reminded me of all of the smoke in atlanta last year when the okefenokee swamp was burning up----the fire is slow-moving over deep layers of peat and is only 40% contained----they said it might burn for a year----

07 June 2008

fighting like cats and dogs redux



the squirrels just mock him----

a day at the park

so today was the hare krishna's rathayatra festival parade through piedmont park --- as she has for many years, angela keeps in repair the chariot in which is carried अभयचरणारविन्द भक्तिवेदान्त स्वामीप्रभुपाद or, as they might put it in alabama, a. c. bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada, the founder of the international society of krishna consciousness --- i kept thinking that he didn't look very happy about the proceedings and wondered how he could stay so perfectly still, and then i discover that it's a wax copy or something---he's been dead for thirty years --- he and the dieties (baptists would call them idols) arrived in the back seat of seperate limosines---as cousin carol pointed out, one doesn't haul the lord of the universe around in the back of a pickup truck --- while the krishnas were getting the deities prepared, the verizon nerd with his army of help marched up tenth street and into the park, skirting the chariots, then came back around a second time ---

06 June 2008

nice evening after a hot day

sunset on mars


forty years ago today, bobby kennedy dead, gunned down just after celebrating his win in the california primary----gary dead barely four months, mlk barely two, it really did seem like the whole world was coming apart---- what if . . . ?


trying to get a shot of the mammillaria blooming, which of course attracted the animal's attention--- guinness had to take a break from chowing down on the zinnias to check out what i was doing

the stones

saw scorcese's "shine a light" at the fox last night---he filmed a concert they did at manhattan's beacon theater in 2006, interspersed with short clips from 30 and 40 years ago, including one where dick cavett asked jagger if he could imagine himself doing his rock and roll when he was 60 and jagger, without hesitation, said "yes"--- even if they are all way older (he's 64!!!!) and uglier, they can still outperform just about anybody----

the fox itself, unfortunately, was a little less fabulous---their restoration of the ceiling and its lighting has left some wierd shadows that destroy the outdoor illusion---the image here is lousy but you can see the shadows behind the towers and a shadow that runs across the ceiling above the proscenium arch----there are also several small black holes that we guessed were for some sort of added stage lighting----and they now project sponsors names onto the proscenium arch before the show which is just completely obnoxious---as if we don't see "coca-cola" enough as it is---

04 June 2008

equality watch

The California Supreme Court today rejected a bid to freeze last month's ruling legalizing gay marriage, paving the way for same-sex couples to begin walking down the aisle as soon as June 17.

Moving swiftly to remove legal uncertainty, the court turned away a request from gay marriage foes to stay the ruling until after the November election, when voters will consider a ballot measure that would change the state Constitution to again outlaw same-sex weddings. The secretary of state earlier this week qualified the initiative for the November ballot.

even if their retarded initiative passes, which i don't think it will, how many thousands will have married by then---

and the game is on . . . .

mccain was absolutely pathetic last night----so pathetic that even fox "news" couldn't contain itself----and they thought they were gonna get him out there on the night obama declared victory and he was gonna give a speech that would "frame the election"----well, it sure did---just not the way they intended

03 June 2008

feeling like summer

on peachtree and on clara meer, where the water is a very weird color, and on myrtle street, where the new cement sidewalks kinda neatened things up too much-----i liked the old hexagonal concrete pavers