Adorable Wise County kittens in search of a loving home:
Update from +Ruth Cox and Valentino:
Special cat comb, not to be confused with any human's comb...
From The Book of Barkley (which I just ordered from Amazon last week, using a giftcard I got from another web site):
Barkley lent a paw to this one, too...a collection of preposterous pet prezzies Dave Barry would love. Warning: you will laugh, and some of what you'll laugh at is sort of gross.
Wendy Welch reviews a classic favorite of mine, possibly yours, but if it's not yet one of yours you might want to order it from her here:
There's still an Aynrand.org; they still award prizes for student essays that show a sympathetic understanding of Objectivist thought. This essay was a big winner, deservingly so, because Samir Patel broke through the typical emotional reaction to some of the Objectivist speechifying in Atlas Shrugged to highlight Ayn Rand's concept of honorable business practices, which are laid out in all that adult society business at the beginning of the novel (where I kept falling asleep--I knew Rand's philosophy is embodied in this section of the book, but if I hadn't learned that from Rand's nonfiction and The Ayn Rand Reader, it would have taken me a long time to absorb it from the first third of Atlas Shrugged. Three cheers for adolescent energy!) Dagny Taggart is "a heroine" in Objectivist morality, despite the repulsiveness of her sexual habits, because she makes sure her business not only makes her rich but also delivers real value for money received.
Those who know or e-know Becky Kiser will want to join in prayer:
Food (Your Call)
It's never been any secret that the original Ben and Jerry were left-wingers. They've always used trendy left-wing causes as names for ice cream flavors. Sometimes they've even dedicated some tiny fraction of the profits from sales of those flavors to organizations that claim to be working for the causes suggested. They don't claim to have learned from the mistakes of their youth and the successes of their young-manhood, either, which is unfortunate. Here's a short list of the company's latest dubious political endorsements:
To find out just how confused Ben & Jerry can be, click the link below. How far out of touch with your high school memories is their quiz?
For those who like chicken...there'll always be a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. The healthiest chickens you could eat are the ones that run around the back yard, living happy natural lives in healthy, uncrowded conditions...but they become family pets, likely to answer to names and snuggle consolingly against the child whose best friend just left town. The chickens who will never be missed, even by their own relatives, are the dumb clucks reared in large farms for the food industry. Here's how Perdue tries to keep these birds healthy without dumping antibiotics into their feed.
"Donald Trump can't read this but he is afraid of it." Hoot! Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing and commenting (below)...it looks too elaborate to chart and knit, but maybe a simpler version exists somewhere?
Fun facts about really old books:
Fungus infections of the feet and toenails are very common in the United States...about as common as scalp fungus infections (and parasite infections) were, a hundred years ago, when our culture used to require everyone to wear a hat all the time. Many people in the U.S. wear the same shoes and socks all day long, often choosing sturdy, closed-toe shoes that they can't slip off easily...and those are the people who get the fungus infections. I don't; I've lived and worked with those people (most geriatric diabetic patients have or have had a fungus infection), so I've heard a lot of "Don't your feet get cold? Don't you worry about picking up a fungus infection from some of the places where you work? Don't you mind the way feet smell when people take off their shoes?" The answer is no; I save shoes for outdoor and heavy-labor use only. (With exceptions, of course, for fuzzy bunny slippers and sex-toy shoes that are worn only in the owner's home.) So I don't like slideshows, but this is a good, accurate slideshow, as they go, about why wearing the same shoes or socks all day is an unhealthy habit.
The odor that arises when people take off their shoes is not foot odor. Feet have no more odor of their own than hands do. If you walk around wearing rubber gloves, your hands will smell like rubber. If you walk around wearing dirty street shoes, your feet will smell like a street gutter. There's a simple solution: wash your feet. It can also be helpful to wash the shoes.
Personally, I'd feel more comfortable walking down the street in a swimsuit than I would in what I learned to call "hooker heels" during my years in Washington, D.C. (The law banned "soliciting" rather than prostitution per se, so high-heeled shoes and short skirts were the traditional uniform for women like Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman.) It's annoying if a co-worker clip-clops around the office like a horse in stiff shoes; I'd find it hard to trust or respect a co-worker who clatters around in hooker heels. Women seem more trustworthy when we wear sensible shoes--probably because that's always been the choice trustworthy women have tended to make.
Gentle Readers, I've been bemused by a new online shopping site that's still in the works. (They plan to have guest blog posts; I've written a few for them.) What they're selling are a new footwear fashion from Japan called "interchangeable shoes." You may remember that the traditional cheap shoes for the Japanese working class were geta, flipflops with a peg between the first and second toes, worn with tabi, socks with a division between the first and second toes for holding on to the geta. Geta weren't the best shoes for foot health; the shoes we in the United States offered for Japanese shoe shoppers' consideration weren't always better, and in some cases were even worse. "Interchangeable shoes" are a hybrid between American slippers and Japanese geta. You buy one pair of soles, with a peg between the toes, and then shop for as many different styles of uppers to fasten onto the soles as you fancy (or can afford). If the soles fit, you can have a whole wardrobe with canvas and leather and satin and sequins and who knows what-all in all the fashion colors of the season, and they'll all fit--and since the shoes are designed to be taken apart for easy cleaning, they won't even build up shoe odor! Will they work for "Morton's Toe"? I don't know, but I'd like to find out. If adding uppers to geta makes a supportive, comfortable, fashionable shoe, this style could be revolutionary.
Meanwhile, for those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's an Amazon link for traditional geta.
Seriously disgusting squick here, just in case you ever wanted to know about "hidradenitis suppurativa":
David Solway discovers the social value of karaoke. (I don't like efforts to remake other people's songs using their background music, as is common with karaoke machines--though some people do it well. I love singing along with other people's recordings, harmonizing with their solos, experimenting with a high harmony formed by singing the bass line in the soprano range...)
Isn't this the cutest baby picture?...Yes, you can vote again today!
Politics (Election 2016)
Given an election in which we started out with too many good choices and now have none, +Beth Ann Chiles finds one ray of hope, and a cute winter outfit:
Vanessa Brown Calder makes some very good points about zoning, which I wish some Republican correspondents would read. I don't often attend county board meetings, but local lurkers probably remember the point I raised when the whole idea of zoning was shoved upon us. In a free country, neighbors deal with public nuisances when and as they do measurable harm to other people. That doesn't give anybody the right to foul the town's drinking water, or keep thirty dogs and no scooper in one suburban yard, or isolate radioactive chemicals in their basement, any of which would do measurable harm to other people. It does give people the right to work out their own ways to organize their personal business that don't create noise or traffic problems.
Thomas Sowell makes just one good point (to save your valuable time) about the Illiberal Left as Part of the Problem, in this case for job seekers who've been in prison:
This contest is open to students in the U.K. only, although contest restrictions have never kept the topic proposed from inspiring writers and bloggers everywhere. It's recommended because the web sites that host contests for writing on historic texts tend to feature excellent essays.
Thus...(Yes, they're all PDF. I apologize. I happen to be using a computer that handles PDFs relatively well; most of the computers I've used do not.)
If more students wrote this kind of thing, being an English teacher would be fun.
Wordpress has not worked well for me...that's why I'm here. Wordpress does work for some bloggers, and here's a blog about how to use it:
Someone walked up to me in the cafe, first thing this morning, and said she was going to try to write a novel during NaNoWriMo. I'm with Jerry Jenkins about this monthly observance. It's a discipline, but it does not make you a published or publishable writer; it's one of the exercises you do on the way to becoming one. (Btw, if anybody out there wants to self-identify as a previously uncounted part of that small core of pathologically devoted fans who might justify the time it would take me to add another novel to the world, you can use the comment section to do that. A hundred or so new fans might justify that investment of time.)
Meanwhile, here's Mozette's Part 2 of my Part 1 from the Terribleminds writing challenge:
And meanwhile, Scott Adams wants to know whether he's being "shadowbanned." Hmm. I've seen some of his Tweets. I've not spent as much time on Twitter as I've meant to, lately. He's right, though: any suspicion of shadowbanning legitimate content for political reasons--as I believe has happened to candidate Mike Pence--would be very very bad for Twitter as a web site and a business.