Thursday, February 26, 2015

Link Log for February 26

Categories: Excuses, Animals, Business, Food, Good News, Philosophy, Weather, Weird News, Women's Issues, Writing.


On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I really was snowed in, and I must admit I enjoyed it. On Wednesday I came out to dog-sit and post book reviews...and was struck by guilt. I hadn't spared a thought, much less a prayer and much less a fundraising effort, for the place from which I've been maintaining this web site. Last night I was snowed in at the Dog Sanctuary--spent the night in the armchair with the dog Sydney at my feet--and today I've been following Wise County's snow disaster news and posting on Twitter. Can't do much more than that but I can do that. Anyway, here's the Link Log for the day. After the dogs have their dinner and after-dinner walk on schedule, I'll go home to the cats.


This web site supports bans on individual dogs, but not on breeds...a dog that's big enough to hurt people is also big enough to help people, and, if people are kind to it, helping is what it will naturally want to do.

Dog discovers a molehill:

Dog food warning:

Bad news for cats in Greene County, Tennessee...sucked into the Humane Society vortex...


We won't be doing this every day, but, for those who've missed e-friend Paul Rance at other sites, here's the link to his e-store:


Styrofoam is so twentieth-century. What about the oldfashioned paper cup, flimsy and uninsulated but oh so Green, insulated with edible cups? Like ice cream cones, only for coffee, tea, or cocoa? If I could eat wheat I'd love this idea. There could be a choice between cookie, bread, or even saltine-flavored cups, and some people would pay extra for chocolate ones...

Do you buy what you had decided to buy before you went to the supermarket, allowing for last-minute decisions like "corn or peas, whichever is on sale" and "Junior can pick any one of these six treat items if he's quiet in the store," but basically sticking to a plan? Or does clever marketing compel you to buy things you don't want? If those candy bars were at the back of the store you'd never buy them, right...the way you never remember to buy ice cream. Right?

Good News 

We all know this weather's going to cost us, but overall Appalachian Power is promising a small temporary rate reduction in southwestern Virginia's electric bills:

Abingdon, Virginia, promises a library book sale run along the lines of Arlington's famous biannual book sales. Oh, nostalgia!


Which songs make you happy? Depends on your emotional past I suppose...John Denver's "Sunshine On My Shoulders" came to my mind first, and I don't even like JD's voice. Twitterers, if like me you're following the bad news from Wise County, this discussion may relieve the anguish...


Are some workers energized by pessimism?

Personally, when I'm alone, I don't use an emotional filter. Most things have nice aspects and nasty aspects. Adults can deal with both...and also with a lot of things that are just plain boring. But when I'm around other people, I distrust the ones who smile (except when jokes are being told). A forced, unnatural facial expression tells me they're lying, so from them I expect the worst.

More political: @KatMurti Twitters, "Most people who have risen out of poverty have done so in spite of--not because of--government."


Are you a libertarian? (Capital-L Libertarian is a political party organization. Small-l libertarian is the outlook of quite a few people in any organized party, or in none.) Here's a quick quiz:

Markeece Young, @YoungBLKRepub, Twittered, "If you're not voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton, retweet. Let's get to 1,000 retweets." When his Tweet crawled across my screen, it was showing 4,000 retweets.

Today is U.S. Senator Tim Kaine's birthday. Twitterers, please wish @TimKaine a happy birthday and many more. (And a wonderful retirement...)


Ionized flying cars...or flying backpacks...or personal rockets? Extremely cool. Not necessarily cost-effective, which could explain why that New Zealand hobbyist gets the opportunity to gloat over having beaten the U.S. Army with his working model. (I get these things in Spanish, with a button at the top right of the page to click for the English translation.)


Twitter seems to consist mostly of snow pictures; I retweeted several that will show up if you open @5PriscillaKing. It looks as if eastern Virginia got more actual snow last night than the point of the state did.

The Kingsport Times-News is collecting photos for an online scrapbook page. This will go into the Sunday Scrapbook in the printed paper. (My mother sends Times-News Sunday Scrapbook pictures to relatives to encourage them to visit; they're always postcard-pretty.)

It took me a while to start a Link Log post because this one feels like a rerun. I went to the Dog Sanctuary, polished up some book reviews, let the dogs out into the snow, and...more snow was falling. A fourth layer of snow. Virginia does not usually get layers of snow, the way the Northern States do. Once again, my choices are spending the night here, or walking home in thick wet the cozy house I left, or to a dark, cold house? Against all odds my electricity didn't even blink during Saturday's snow. Can that happen twice? Can this weird, un-Virginian weather happen twice?

Pursuant to State Senator Carrico's remarks on the disaster, Allie Gibson and Robert Allen of the Bristol Herald-Courier offer some quantification...looks like Coeburn's lost their cute little computer center, which is a pity, new as that building was. Homeless people? Given any choice in the matter, Wise County people generally prefer to stay in Wise County, but I had to re-tweet this with a link to this blog. I have the three dreary rooms. I know people who even have rooms with heat and light. Sometimes I need transportation to Big Stone Gap during the day. Sometimes some other people...have not authorized me to say anything here about what they might need. But a barter deal might be possible. If it's meant to work, it will work.

The Wise County sheriff Twittered (without a link) that county police and Guardsmen are delivering food and water to icebound people. This kind of efforts draw on county food banks. Readers who can afford extra canned food, dry food, and bottled water might want to make a note to send some to Wise County. (Apparently the building that's been housing their main food bank was one of the casualties of the Big Snow:

Those whose water is running, in Wise County, have been advised to boil it before drinking.

Governor McAuliffe went to Wise County:

Hard to believe, but, according to Twitter, the big game between Gate City and (Wise County's) Union High School is still on for tonight. Definitely time for sympathy, and prayers, for our young "Blue Devils." And the Union Bears, too. The boys' game at Virginia High, in Bristol, seems to involve fewer travel hazards, but when temperatures drop back below freezing...

"It's game day for GC! Girls will travel to Wise to play Union. Boys will travel to VA High to play Lebanon. Both will play at 6."

+Sandy Segur 's post is not weather-specific, but...when people have water-flush toilets and don't have running water, this product can make it much easier to be around them. The people, anyway. Not much can be done to ameliorate the toilets. (You'd think dry toilets would have the same problem when the power goes off, but dry toilets tend to be better vented to keep the odor out of the house.)

Northern Virginia, being lower, closer to the ocean, and more prone to local warming, is usually warmer than Southwestern Virginia...but we don't get ice solid enough for skating, either. Thanks to Delegate Ramadan for sharing this warning (before the Legislature opened for business as usual--they're already in Richmond, so what difference does six inches of snow make).

A little California dreaming for those who still have Internet access. There are places on Earth where the weather is nice, and people are hiking.

Weird News 

For those who don't know, Rain Smith is the Kingsport Times-News's answer to "News of the Weird," with a weekly column focussing exclusively on weird 911 calls. This week: sneak snowball attacks!

Women Still Face Hate... 

If Senator McConnell wants evidence, he can look at the hatespew that's suppressed from public view, but not deleted, on my Google + page. (Yes, a lot of homosexual men are woman-haters. Yes, the entire homosexual lobby should be called to account for this, just as they've been called to account for N.A.M.B.L.A.)


"We need diverse dooks"?! I'm surprised that in this day and age anybody was able to put together a collection of children's books that were all written by, for, and about White males. That was possible in 1970 but publishers have been fighting it ever since.

Sometimes I get contrarian about this. One of those invitations I can't afford to accept has been sticking in my mind for months now. A legally White friend wanted to get out of our little town. "There will be Black people at this convention! And lesbians!" I was like, "That's an attraction?" Well, yes, the idea of a broader perspective, voices from beyond the grandmotherly mountains, I think was the attraction the person meant. (There are Black people in our town; none of the exoticism this person craved about them, some of them are schoolteachers.) Even so, I've wondered: Which Black people? Which lesbians? What would we be doing? Why would they want to meet me, or I them? It sank into me at a formative age that my first close Black friend said she didn't enjoy the chance to meet President Carter, on a job, because he said "Can we get a little color in the picture?" and ordered her to pose with a group in which she didn't belong--how icky! I hate the idea of trying to drag people into things just for the sake of "diversity." Diversity does of course make things more interesting, but it needs to happen naturally.

And it will. Look at what happened at Bubblews...once the word got out that the site was global and was paying, they had more "diversity" than they could legally handle. (Look at this belongs to a legally White family, but if you do a demographic inventory of those correspondents who've shared their demographic information, you'll see frantic diversity. I never sat down and said "Now we should recommend a book by an atheist or post a link to a wheelchair user's site, to show we're not prejudiced." It just happens.)

Thanks to Jonah Goldberg for retweeting Katha Pollitt's admission: "I deleted my Scott Walker "love child" tweet. Did not realize it was a 2012 story that has been debunked. Should have been more careful." It's so tempting to use "dirt" on a political opponent without verifying it...and it does take courage to admit we've done this when we have. ("We"? Yes, "we." Who's not done this?)

For better or worse, here's the report on Internet writing: