28 October 2009


for those who value their freedom of expression as much as health, wealth, and prosperity, then finland is the place to be, with an index ranking the nordic nation the best in the world.
and the u.s.a. is #9 in that study, another example of what thirty years of voodoo economics, privatization, and fearmongering has done to this country --- or maybe it's just all the brisk weather they have over there

25 October 2009

fall sunset

colonists and native american relations

i came across this account of an attack on one of my ancestors, john marriot, that occurred about ten miles northwest of annapolis, maryland, on 1 september 1681 --- among the children was my 7th-great-grandmother, who was six years old at the time --- i thought it was interesting that the indians didn't just kill them all --- king philip's war was only ended in 1678, and it had resulted in attacks on half the towns in new england and the deaths of over 800 english settlers and 3000 indians, making it the bloodiest of the many encounters between english colonists and the indians after 1607 ---there was a massacre at deerfield, mass., as late as 1704, and of course the indians' fight for their homeland would continue until the late 19th century:

the occasion of my present presumption is to inform your lordship of a robbery committed by the sinnequain—seneca—indians (as is supposed), on the first day of this instant, at the house of john marriott at the head of anne arundel [severn] river, upon the ridge formerly peter porter’s. The enclosed was sent to me and the same day being our election day, I had an opportunity to speak with the said john marriot, which for substance gave me the following narrative, viz.: That nine Indians came to his house, September 1st, inst. in the morning and pressed hard for entrance to his house, which he resisted, taking his gun in hand and standing upon his guard, willing his wife to take the children and make escape to the nearest plantation, which was hindered by more Indians, till then indescerned [sic], but still appearing more and more, to the quantity of one hundred or thereabouts. They then pressed so sore upon him that into the house they would go; no threat or sign of anger would deter them. Out of which they have carried all that he hath in this world, and killed his hogs, which he says he had thirty in his pen, which troubled his cornfield, some of which they have taken away, others they have killed for pastime and let lye, that of numbers he finds only three or four alive. His cattle he knows not what they have killed for they have all forsaken the plantation. His tobacco, which was hanging in the houses, they have thrown down and spoiled. All of which tendeth to his great loss, and putting the neighboring plantations in great feare, so that there are many of them gathered together for their future safety.

24 October 2009

fixing the mess

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

not all rich people are pigs --- we've had people in this country like warren buffet say the same kind of thing --- but can you imagine the squealing from the right?

fayette county fall

21 October 2009

a testimonial

too bad more of his generation didn't get it like he got it ----

20 October 2009

fine engineering

they call it the last of the incan suspension bridges and say it's 500 years old --- actually, like the japanese reconstruction of a shrine in exactly the same way every twenty years for centuries, this one is rebuilt every year --- but still . . . .

"on friday noon, july the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below

gentrification watch

why is that some people seem to think a city ought to look like a suburban shopping mall, but open-air with bigger buildings? this time it's these stupid kiosks going up all over downtown --- twenty of them when they're done --- now you might think they were installing a real convenience like a restroom maybe, but, no, it's part of an ongoing effort to corral the street vendors --- i'm sure with the rents for these things, they'll kill two birds with one stone, and upscale the real street vendors down around five points right out of business --- and all because, "many downtown residents and business leaders have complained some vendors are pushy and sell counterfeit goods and their stands are eyesores" --- just like the tactics in midtown to get rid of unwanted this, that, and the other: "many" complaining about "some" gets results

18 October 2009

old stuff

Norwegian scientists have found “mummified” pine trees, dead for nearly 500 years yet without decomposition.
this tree lived from 1334-1513

living under adverse conditions

i've always felt a little sorry for the camellia sasanqua that have to try to make a living under our porte cochere where they never get sun or rain --- but they make do and every year give a few really nice blossoms

17 October 2009

cool weather

i semi-devegetated the balcony today so it'll be easy to drag the last few things inside when it gets cold

the loews

all that's left to do is furniture and shrubberies and polishing the floors

16 October 2009

last crane in midtown

one of the cranes at 12th st. development came down yesterday --- only one left

nice sunrise

15 October 2009

dumb idea

City councilman Kwanza Hall has sponsored an ordinance that would close a portion of Auburn Avenue to create a pedestrian plaza.

they want to close the block between jackson and boulevard---what a horrible idea! in addition to ruining connectivity in the neighborhood, it destroys the historic character of the place (even more than it has already been destroyed), which is why it’s a national historic landmark and national park to begin with —- bad, bad, bad idea

14 October 2009

checking in on the american taliban

A Baptist Church near Asheville, N.C., is hosting a "Halloween book burning" to purge the area of "Satan's" works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music.
they like the king james version of the bible because they want to read it just the way jesus said it --- it's funny if it weren't so sad --- wonkette also wonders how they came to this point

baptists have not always been this retarded, believe it or not

13 October 2009

the lake

lake lanier is only a couple of inches below full pull for the first time since september 2005 and is expected to reach full pool tonight ---

more flooding rain on the way tomorrow


The Republican National Committee (RNC) proudly launched its new website at GOP.com today, saying that it “will promote increased grassroots participation and innovation, better communication, improved platform compatibility and smarter marketing and fundraising tools for the GOP.”
among other things, the web page for future republican "leaders" is empty, which maybe wasn't a mistake, come to think of it . . . .chairman steele claims it's "not really a web site" anyway ---

but it is kinda sad after one quits laughing

07 October 2009


the lighthouse was built as a sort of folly by the honeywells (of thermostat fame) in the late 1930s on a 5-acre island called boca chita key ---

the foundation is all that's left of the jones house (1912) on porgy key, an african american family who raised key limes, tomatoes, and other crops on the island beginning in the 1890s --- their willingness to sell for creation of the national park was a major turning point --- ken burns touched on it in one of his episodes


we got to homestead early so we drove out to flamingo on florida bay and then back to royal palm for sunset --- it's a fine place to be for a while

05 October 2009

serpentine dance

amazing film from 1899, each frame hand-colored

02 October 2009

disagreeable architecture

it may be the w and it may be all elegant on the inside, but i just don't understand why they would settle for such an awkward structure --- glad i don't have to look at it every day

but that's just me


chiggers are the worst

01 October 2009


this was our report today re. the tsunami in samoa ---- no nps employees killed but the hdqtrs., visitor center, and curatorial collection were all wiped out ----

Wanted to give a little more of an update on the situation at National Park
of American Samoa. As you know, yesterday an 8.0 earthquake was followed
by a significant tsunami event that destroyed the NPS visitor center and
offices at NPSA. Late yesterday, all park employees and volunteers were
accounted for and were safe and sound. At least one employee's house and
four employees' vehicles were destroyed by the tsunami. Fortunately, this
event happened early enough in the day that most employees were not yet at
work and were in areas of high ground that were unaffected by the wave
impacts. The few employees that were at the office were able to run out of
the office building to the safety of high ground, although most of them had
to run through water to get there.

The park visitor center and all contents, including the park's curatorial
collections, were destroyed. The entire park fleet of vehicles was
destroyed with the exception of two vehicles. The extent of damage to park
marine resources will not be known for some time. Undoubtedly there will
be some impacts to coral reefs and there will be significant amounts of
debris in the water and along beaches. Most of the park terrestrial
resources appear to be fine.

The park staff initially helped with rescue and recovery operations on site
and are engaged in assessing and providing for the well-being of NPS
employees and volunteers. Additionally, they have been assessing damage to
park facilities, salvaging equipment and cultural resources, and securing
NPS property from looters. The park staff will be available to continue to
assist with the broader community recovery operations in the coming days.
Park employees are doing a great job of keeping their spirits up and
helping each other and the rest of the community through this difficult

Special Agent Neal Akana from Hawaii Volcanos National Park flew to
American Samoa this morning and has been acting as the NPS representative
at the FEMA Unified Command meetings. He is working with NPSA
Superintendent Mike Reynolds to prepare for the arrival of the Western
Incident Management Team, Critical Incident Stress Management personnel,
and other support staff who will arrive tomorrow. A team of Cultural
Resource Specialists will be assisting with the assessment and recovery of
cultural resources in the park and will likely assist with the broader
recovery efforts on the islands.

The Hawaii Natural History Association is currently setting up a relief
fund for affected employees at NPSA. We will pass along additional
information as we obtain it. Thank you everyone in the parks and regional
offices for your assistance in providing personnel and support for this
incident. We will reach out as needed for additional assistance. At the
moment, we believe the park's initial needs are being met.

This event is a good reminder why we engage in emergency planning. While
this is fresh, take some time to review park emergency plans and update
emergency contact information for all employees. You might consider what
it would take, and whether you are equipped to rapidly account for and
provide emergency information to all of your employees during a large scale

Here are a couple of links to photos of the tsunami event: