Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30 Link Log

Well, I'm drenched. I do not enjoy being wet. Rain, rain, move on down to Gatlinburg and Cherokee Town! Categories: Animals, Books, Christian, Disasters, Education, Green, Health, Ohio, Politics, Zazzle.


The first animal-related thing I read was a Tortie Tuesday post:

On Tuesday my "tortie" cat, Heather, the Seventh Queen of the Cat Sanctuary, did something adorable all right...she spent about four hours telling me that the place is lonesome enough without Irene, and I spend far too much time in town, and in between layers of blankets on my bed in the unheated bedroom was the right place for a lonely social cat to sleep, all winter long. Since it was a warm evening and the heat is always set low, she was surprised and disappointed when the heat came on. She'll want to share the electric heater when it gets really cold, but like most active outdoor cats once their "winter coats" of extra fur grow in, she thinks forty degrees Fahrenheit is a nice comfortable temperature.

Anyway, because other cat colors aren't being celebrated on specific days of the week, this web site detects a potential problem. If we post Petfinder images of tortie cats when they come in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and border collies, hounds, or retrievers when those come in first, what about all the other cats out there? So today this web site deliberately switches from tortie cats to calico cats...this time, the "diluted" kind rather than classic calicos.

Stefi from Alpharetta, Georgia:

Rebecca from Herndon, Virginia:

Tia from Montclair, New Jersey:
Mudpie's Human also shared this blatantly fundraising video. I didn't even test the video on this computer (it probably wouldn't have played) but it does illustrate something about cat communication. Touching or almost touching noses seems to be a greeting ritual for cats, and the position of the noses says a lot. The cat in the still photo at the opening of this video is telling the woman that this cat thinks it's the total boss around wherever they are! If your cat really sees you as a parent-surrogate, it's likely to sniff your breath with its nose a bit lower than yours. If it sees you as a slave, it's likely to tilt its nose higher than the tip of your nose. If you have a complex working partnership, it may do a complete "Eskimo kiss" routine, actually touching nose-tips as it sniffs the tip of your nose from above, below, left, right...For the record, my cat Magic only ever kissed me in the subordinate position and, when I tested my guess by deliberately placing my nose slightly below hers, squeaked in protest and repeated the kiss twice with her nose below mine. Some other cats, like Minnie and Iris, insisted on kissing me in the dominant position...and Heather has been known to touch nose-tips with me from ten or more different angles during one greeting.

Now, about some wild animals--turtles: I personally am going to pass this petition by. Turtles are cute, lovable creatures who deserve safe places to live. Not being in this part of New York State, I don't know the full story, how badly the (already past) events cited endangered the turtles or whether they offered any compensating benefit to any other species, or what (if anything) can be done now. But I will share the petition in case youall want to sign it:


The pace of publishing these days is insane. +LB Johnson 's latest book only just got printed and already, based on slow Kindle sales, it's been declared a least of marketing...after, what, a month? By way of encouragement to writers (and discouragement to hypertensive publishers), let me share a little about the process by which I acquire books. Suppose I want to read a book, as it might be because I like a writer's memoir and want to sample the writer's fiction. I make this decision with some trepidation, because so far it's true for every writer on Earth, living or dead, with the sole exception of Margaret Atwood, that I've preferred the writer's nonfiction...but I've made it. So, I'm an Amazon Affiliate. That's what I do all day. I go to Amazon and add the book to my Wish List. Now, unless somebody else buys it first and hands it down to me, I have to wait to earn the cost of it in Amazon giftcards. I frequent two sites that pay in Amazon giftcards. It's going to take me two or three months to earn the cost of a new book. Assuming that I heard about the book online the minute the writer signed the publishing contract, that's a minimum of eight weeks after printing. You can use Kindle sales as a basis for saying that the book is not an overnight bestseller, but you can not use slow sales during at least the six months after printing as a basis for saying the book is a failure. That's like saying a two-year-old child is short--relative to adults the child undoubtedly is short, but there's no reliable way to guess how much taller s/he will grow in the next eighteen years!

Anyway, this one is "Christian fiction" with a tough, independent heroine. We know LBJ knows about being a tough, independent woman. I don't know what kind of adventures her fictional heroine is going through, as I type this. I'd like to know. And I know some of you readers are women, Christians, fiction readers, and conservatives. That means you're probably neck-deep in "Christmas" busywork at the moment, but it also means you're going to enjoy this book, whenever you get a break. So, if you have $15, please give this novel its chance to get off the ground:

Buy Small Town Roads directly from LB Johnson

And here's my own obligatory Amazon book link:


When salt is preferable to honey and oil:


When I went home yesterday afternoon, the message on the chalkboard at the Southern-cooking restaurant was not a sale or menu, but "Pray for Gatlinburg." Here are official reports...hundreds of buildings down, thousands of people evacuated...Pray for Cherokee Town, Gentle Readers. As I type, Gate City is finally getting serious rain, and people in the cafe are actively "willing" it to move south! Fast! Faster!


Here's an awesome writing contest for high school students. Nephews, if any of you win this contest, it will be absolutely without my help...but with my blessing!


"Food Not Lawns" is a name I don't particularly like. Why? Because "lawns" suggests front lawns that face paved roads, and you don't want to eat food that's grown within ten yards (or meters) from a paved road. Then again, when I look at the images on the actual web site, I see the food plants being put in the back yards where they belong. (Front yards are good for flowers, trees, hedges, and sculptures.)


Laura McKowen has some encouraging words for those struggling to believe that they can become sober, healthy, able to walk, etc., ever again:

Is running really what's helping these homeless young men sober up and find jobs? Possibly. Y'see, depression is usually a physical disease. It can be caused by decreased thyroid function, which can be caused by genetic factors, a sedentary lifestyle, a junk food diet, and/or drug all of which things many (not all) homeless young people can relate all too well. The cure for dramatic cases of total thyroid failure is medication. The cure for more commonplace cases of decreased thyroid function is exercise!

Ohio Update

I'm not sure I completely agree with Ben Shapiro's (and also Jim Geraghty's) take on this report. The NR writers seem to be crediting the homicidal maniac Artan with the same type of logical thought processes they expects the rest of us to have. They fail to consider how much the Ohio State University outburst resembles a classic case of Prozac Dementia, in which people like Artan are reacting to pseudomemories that may or may not have some connection to the things they feared (but had not actually experienced) before using serotonin-boosting drugs. For some people these drugs damage nerves, produce pain, and generate pseudomemories of painful experiences that seem to correlate with the pain the patients feel. We need to know what drugs Artan had consumed before he tried to ram that crowd of people with that car.


Singer Lloyd Marcus and his wife rally around the Republican campaign...when someone who chills easily, as LM says Mrs. Marcus does, goes on the road from Florida to Pennsylvania at the end of November, that's dedication even Democrats ought to salute.

Frankly, I've not been keeping up with the 21st Century Cures Act, although Congressman Griffith has been posting and e-mailing about some of these issues. I'm not sure...lot of new experimental cures for conditions I only hope nobody in my family ever has...I'm not sure I'd trust my U.S. Representative to recommend courses of treatment to me and any doctor I might consult, but I'm going to have to trust his judgment on this bill. You readers may, however, want to read more about it. Here's Popvox's link-loaded brief:

...and here's the 44-page summary. I see some "pork" and reauthorization of some programs that I wonder whether we'd do better to revise or cut. I don't see--in the summary--anything that leaps out as being absolutely evil; I see a political compromise that may be the best Congress can do, but isn't going to balance the federal budget. But until we get a limit on the amount of weird stuff that can be sneaked into a bill that's not published, I don't even know whether the full text of the 21st Century Cures Act includes something like "...and $1 million in federal funding shall be directed to Senator John Doe's brother-in-law who has been ordered to pay that amount of compensation for criminal negligence." That's the kind of thing we're paying our Members of Congress to watch out for.

Fwiw, Elizabeth Warren is against it. From an e-mail circulated under her name:

"21st Century Cures doesn't reduce crushing drug prices. It doesn't really expand the invention of new cures. And it doesn't increase access to lifesaving therapies...For two years, Republicans have paid lip service to our nation's opioid crisis while refusing to spend money on it...not even a 1% increase in funding for NIH."

Funnily enough, I'd say these are good things. We don't solve problems by throwing money at them.


Today's Zazzle sale is on cards, not necessarily limited to Christmas cards...I like Christmas images. Of course Zazzle is all about custom-printing; if you browse their cards you'll see lots of designs into which you can plug family photos, if you want to transmit family photos online. I'd stick to pet or plant photos if I were going for that kind of card...

Heaven and Nature Sing Christmas Card 2

Heaven and Nature Sing Christmas Card 2

by pj_design