30 January 2014

snow jam 14, day three

most government offices, schools, and a whole lot of restaurants and other businesses remain closed today, but a few things are back up and running this morning --- weirdly starbucks remains closed --- the main streets are basically ice-free, but the side streets and sidewalks remain a mess --- and the squawking continues about the epic traffic jams all around the city ---
i still think the forecasting was for shit, but the real problem is transportation, as rebecca burns does a great job explaining:
What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country. As with famines in foreign lands, it’s important to understand: It’s not an act of nature or God—this fiasco is man-made from start to finish.. . . . 
As a Walking Dead fan, I appreciate all those jokes on social media, but as an Atlantan, I’m concerned that this storm revealed just how unprepared we are in case of real disaster. If Atlanta, the region, wants to get serious about public safety, its mayors, county officials, and state officials will need to start practicing regionalism instead of paying lip service to it. And whether threatened by a dangerous pandemic, a major catastrophe, or just two inches of snow, we need to have ways to get around—and out of—the city other than by car.
read the whole thing ---

cnn's zombie atlanta shot:

29 January 2014

snow jam 14, day 2

nearly everything in atlanner has been closed today --- publix was only open for a few hours --- nearly all of the restaurants closed, but blake's was packed and rocking --- everybody is bitching at the mayor and the governor rather than just admit that this is just the latest in a long line of winter storms that caught us by surprise --- we shouldn't fergit snow jam 82 --- i think everybody is purty much over winter weather

28 January 2014

snow jam 14

continuing a long tradition, atlanner was brought to its knees by an inch and a half of snow --- which it deserves for having sent everybody home at the exact same time, instead of spread out over three or four hours --- as a result, thirty-minute commutes are taking two or three hours and more ---

update: a friend who works here in midtown and lives in alpharetta has spent nearly six hours on the road and is still not home --- gah

update #2: it's now 8:30 am the day after, and another poor soul just got home after spending 19 hours driving from dunwoody to smyrna!!!! laragod!

snow freak

 started snowing around 11:30 this morning and didn't take long for tenth street, the peachtrees, the downtown connector, etc., to turn into parking lots --- people cursing the traffic everywhere --- cousin paul just left his car on the side of the road out in carrollton and is walking home ---

27 January 2014

x-ray past

long ago, when i was a mere infant, it was discovered that my thymus gland was enlarged, which was perceived as a significant problem for a variety of reasons --- it being the early 1950s, radiation was used, and it was only years later that they realized that irradiating the thymus wasn't a good idea --- several years ago, my doctor found a "mass" somewhere all down in there and i had mri scans over the course of a couple of years to determine that said "mass" was quite small and was not growing ---

new doctor thought it would be a good idea to look again, and if the mass looked the same, we would fuggitaboutit --- mri scan occurred last tuesday --- part of the results you see here --- doctor calls me yesterday talking not about a mass but about a fukn tumor and wanting to schedule a visit with a thoracic surgeon --- well that certainly harshed my sunday-morning buzz --- he went on to say, however, that he was a little confused about what the radiologist was reporting, and i suggested he might make sure that he and the radiologist were saying the same thing --- which of course he was going to do anyway --- today, the diagnosis is "transcription error" and we're back to a stable "mass" --- buzz unharshed

we should be reminded that, by and large, it is better to save disturbing news for monday morning anyway

25 January 2014

still cold in atlanner

might get to low 50s tomorrow, which will feel like spring
cold or not, the early jonquils are showing

24 January 2014

winter garden

11 degrees this morning! average low is 34, but we've been beating that by wide margins on a regular basis ---
but the orchidicaea keep the cold at bay! this is the zygopetalum now in full flower, with another stem budding up
and this, a stalwart in the oncidium alliance, is the result of division of a plant, in bloom for the first time

21 January 2014

snow in the mountains

it felt like winter this afternoon at sautee-nacoochee --- it's a nice part of the world --- my meeting today went well (i think) and if subsequent communications go well, i'll get to know the valleys a lot better

19 January 2014

winter color

a few hours reading and watching the light play across the orchids today has felt luxurious
dog and i did a long loop (4+ miles) along the belt line and back through the streets of the old fourth ward and midtown --- the cold has slowed down the camellias, but the winter jasmine is blooming away and i've see a few brave sprouts of jonquil foliage here and there

book it!

the book project is done! cataloged and organized ---

17 January 2014

106 night

a fine repaste with the susans and don at the red snapper  on cheshire bridge --- an evening with them is always fun
i can see light at the end of the tunnel in my book mess --- around 1150 books plus several dozen journals and pampletets in the catalog (i shed about that many when i moved eight years ago) --- 125 of those are kindle books, which has been the bulk of my reading since i got the kindle in august 2010 --- there are another 40 or so books in the discard pile --- the bookcases in the hall are full --- tomorrow i'll get the stacks in the other room folded into the shelves in my office --- 

nice piece here on why a lot of us read ---

16 January 2014

the liberry redux

finished cataloging and culling the books --- a nice stack of rejects, many of which will make somebody else happy --- something over 1,100 volumes of one sort and another survived ---

straight people

my nephew posted this an hour ago and i'm still laughing --- i don't know why


this miltonia has never bloomed for me --- yay, miltonia! i'll get a better pic when it's fully open ---

meanwhile the wonderful stench of orchids is wafting through my unit from the cattleya and oncidium in bloom in the other room

14 January 2014

the liberry

my attempt to merge my nps book collection with everything else, my ongoing difficulty in quickly locating a particular tome, and my perennial need for more shelf space has degenerated into a wholesale revamp of my book catalog (yes, i do  have one) and re-organization and culling of my collection --- i forget who destroyed all those spines

had a phone call as dog and i were leaving for the river that might lead to a nice little consulting gig --- he remembered me from fifteen years ago and found me through anywho (!) --- we will meet next week to discuss --- also a call regarding my leading 106 training, which was not quite so exciting

12 January 2014

winter garden

first time for this oncydium to rebloom

the crassula blossoms are not particularly showy, except they cover the plant

this little unit started opening the middle of december and was in full flower by the time i left for italy --- still going strong!
and of course the euphorbia milii just never, ever stop blooming

10 January 2014

book it!

i always like to look back at the last year's reading list --- the ones that are highlighted were the best --- child's house of rain, powell's the accidental city, and aslan's two books were the best of the best:

Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
Rob Pascale, The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before and After You Retire
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853
Amy Stewart, The Drunken Botanist
Robert Kahn, City Secrets Rome: The Essential Insider's Guide
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop          
George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America                 
John Bradshaw, Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet
John Bradshaw, Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet
Craig Childs, Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth
Reza Aslan, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam          
Keith Lowe, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II
Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth         
Geronimo, Geronimo: The True Story of America's Most Ferocious Warrior      
Craig Childs, House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces  
J. Frederick Fausz, Founding St. Louis: First City of the New West
Christopher S. Parker, Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America
Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin           
Jesse Norman, Edmund Burke: The First Conservative
Michael Pollan, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Nevada Barr, Ill Wind
William D. Phillips Jr, A Concise History of Spain
David Roberts, The Pueblo Revolt
Mary Platt Parmele A Short History of Spain
Nicco Mele, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath
Kenneth Henshall, A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower
Peter Ackroyd, Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors
Stephen Mansfield, Tokyo A Cultural History
Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
Colin Jones, Paris: The Biography of a City
Thomas F. Madden, Venice: A New History
Charles Freeman, Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe
Ross Burns, Damascus: A History
Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan
Lawrence N. Powell, The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans
Leonard E Boyle, A Short Guide to St. Clement's, Rome

08 January 2014


the flu hasn't killed me, although it felt like it was doing that sunday and monday, and the cold has abated: it got up to an almost balmy 45 this afternoon --- lotta busted water pipes and the toll on the plants is gonna be awful

rome, greenland, and home

 rome sunrise
the human responsible for catering to our every whim --- "champagne, orange juice, mimosa" at 8:30 am? sure, why not --- all whilst keeping the hoi-polloi beyond the curtains ---
a glimpse of the alps

somewhere over great britain --- i wasn't paying attention to the little real-time map

probably irritated some fellow passengers, nearly all of whom pulled down their window shade --- but they missed seeing greenland from 36,000 feet

and the great lakes

but a last round of food got everybody up for atlanner!!! mentally and physically i was slammed from a really great trip