Tuesday, March 28, 2017

No More Link Logs

Yes, the computer reports, a lot of people "liked" the free blog posts last week. Lovely. So, where are the payments? No, the computer reports, nobody's made any payments.

So...the Internet Portal opened its real-world door, as an actual bookshelf inside a doorway, yesterday. I took in $3, which paid for a cheap gluten-free meal, which probably wasn't glyphosate-free and feels now as if it's doing more harm than good, in the way cheap meals usually do these days. Then today I spent four hours peddling things on the street in the hope of being able to pay for coffee and go online today, and...I found one penny. (Not even a very shiny one.) So I barged into the cafe and went online without buying coffee, which feels tacky and disgusting to me, and found all of you people whose work I've been dutifully reading and promoting...eating your junkfood, driving your cars, watching your pay-per-view shows...and not supporting this web site.

Right. This is the time of year when I most enjoy being at home. (I actually wanted to post a pretty phenology story about all the spring flowers. Not for free, I don't.) This is a time in American history when most of the time it seems that, without paying two or three times as much and travelling five or ten times as far to get everything certified organic, I'm going to starve to death in any case, whether I quietly stop eating or continue letting contaminated food shred my digestive system. Clearly, this is the time to do the Ultimate Hunger Strike.

Here's the full-length post:


You need to know that, if the other people on whom you're depending to sponsor this site do sponsor it, such that there are any more posts here, there will be NO MORE FREE LINKS. 

You want me to read or recommend anything that's neither my own writing nor a book I have for sale, you PAY. Continuing to gobble junkfood and drive cars while friends starve is not something friends do; therefore you readers aren't my friends and don't deserve any more free publicity. I don't see anyone else doing Link Logs. I see an Internet full of people screeching "ME first, read ME first," and very few people actually reading the ones who've not published Real, Commercially Successful Books in the Real World. I've been doing that...and let my sad story be a lesson to anyone else who bothers to read any of the "ME first" bloggers who've not even bothered to thank me, much less pay me, to compile all those Link Logs that promoted their stuff.

Say Niume or other sites that pay you for page views are real, and are working for you? Lovely. You can afford to pay me to visit those sites.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24 Links

This is the third and last sponsored post you can read for free. To keep this web site showing full-length posts, use these two links...today. If payment doesn't arrive by Tuesday morning, Tuesday's post (if there even is one!) will revert to keywords-only form here.

First Things First 

No excuses. You can afford to pay a dollar a month, or even five dollars, so go here and do the right thing first. This week's new sponsor-only post is a good-news story and explains what happened with "Priscilla King's new cat Suzie."


As a subscriber, you can even specify the kind of post you want to pay for, and at this site you can even buy it to post on your site:



Barkley's Heir Abby's ( +LB Johnson 's ) memorial post for a friend...


...makes this a Dog Day at Petfinder.

Hubble from Atlanta is described as medium-sized, but he's young, and as a Lab and Dane mix he may grow bigger when he starts eating regularly: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37664196
Coal from Alexandria...just might be looking for a home with a Republican "Friend of Coal." Meh. Retrievers are usually sweethearts. He'd probably consider Democrats too: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37483029
Maximillian (MD)
Maximillian from New York had a loving home once, and wants another one. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37443186

In Utah, a shelter that's serious about "no-kill" is holding the grandmother of all pet adoption "specials. For the rest of March, any serious adopter in North America (you will need to prove that you're serious, so beware!) can have any senior dog or cat, or dog or cat with special needs, from the Best Friends animal rescue--not only for free, but with free air fare. Some of these animals are known not to fit in with other pets or children; some are already over age ten and/or have chronic health problems. All are certified lovable, adoptable pets, after their fashion. Click here to see photos of adoptable senior cats...


Click here to "meet" adoptable senior dogs. (Does "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine" automatically play in your mind when you look at this page?)


I seriously considered adopting a senior cat from these people, since it's "free," but...no. Sure as I did that, some local cat rescuer would die and create an urgent need for new homes for another dozen local cats.

And, of course...

Barkley himself is never to be forgotten.


I opened +Martin Kloess 's Google+ page today so I saw several crocheted things to choose from, and I can sincerely recommend +Beth Ann Chiles 's niece's chair-leg cozies as being the coolest crochet pieces I've seen today.



Amish fiction as genre...I have mixed feelings, suspecting that the Amish (religious, not evangelical) might find it exploitative, but they are undeniably a fascinating denomination. (Foreign readers: "Amish" are one of the more culturally conservative "Peace Church" Protestant groups. Some churches' rules still include dressing, working, and even speaking a German dialect at home and learning English as a second language, just the way their German working-class ancestors did in the eighteenth century--driving horses not tractors if they're farmers, making things by hand in non-electric-powered shops if they're artisans. Non-German-Americans have been admitted to Amish communities as visitors but I've never heard of an Amish church accepting an adult convert.) Real Amish churches are mostly a Pennsylvania and Ohio thing; what we have in Virginia are Mennonites, a relatively liberal "Peace Church" who speak English (and Spanish) and are much more open to different lifestyle choices, although some of them do still choose to dress distinctively. I suspect a large part of the appeal of "Amish fiction" is that you know the characters are radical Christians so, even if the story is an adventure and/or a romance, it will probably be wholesome and include some spiritual reflections...Amish young people are traditionally allowed a short period of Rumspringe or "running around" in the non-Amish world to see how they like it, before they vow to obey the rules and become full members of the church. It has always astonished non-Amish people that, because the communities and families are apparently very solid and sincere in their faith, most Amish young people do return to their communities and join their parents' churches. +Ruth O'Neil introduces Laura Hilton's Amish Wanderer:



"Did you learn anything on the Internet today?" local lurkers often ask. Here's the first thing I learned today: there's a "Blue Lives Matter" flag. I saw one for sale in the Friday market before retrieving the computer from its storage space. Then I saw a news story about someone being harassed for actually flying one (moral: avoid all "community association"-plagued neighborhoods). Duh..."Blue Lives Matter" does not, in fact, imply in any way that anyone else's life does not matter. Fly this flag if you want to yank the chains of idjits:

The position of this web site is that all lives matter. Note, however, that names like "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu" are seldom if ever found on the membership lists of White Supremacist groups.
Flint Update 

Y'know what's wrong with these United States these days? One thing: it's taken more than a year for the city of Flint to fix its municipal water system. Another thing: for a big, rich state like Michigan (twice the square miles of Virginia, numerous millionnaire residents), it's not been a point of pride that Michigan can jollywell take care of its own and clean up its own mess. They'll take federal money! Well, better water is a good thing and all that, but...this web site cries shame.


Food (Yum) 

For me, personally, the only acceptable way to eat cabbage is raw. However, some people believe the fermentation process actually improves cabbage, and some people like the taste of sauerkraut. So, here's +Andria Perry 's recipe for sauerkraut:



The McDougalls are hosting another vegan weekend in May.



Derek Walcott, age 87. Is the best obituary for a poet one of his/her poems?


Here's an official newspaper obituary with book links:



After a cool but not cold night, today's turned out sunny and warm--a busy day for the Friday Market, if I'd only had a display to set up there, which I didn't. Alana Mautone's cirrus clouds in New York are a little sparser and crisper than the ones here in Virginia:


But, in New York, that Big Snow hung on the ground up into the official first day of spring!


+Rachel Lovejoy reports that, despite creaking in the March winds, her trees were none the worse for the weather. The private road that runs past the Cat Sanctuary has been blocked by fallen trees, or parts of trees, more than once this winter, because it's that time in the life cycle of the tulip poplars that are the first big trees to mature after a woodlot has been clear-cut...the logging era was just about a hundred years ago, so now a lot of tulip poplars are going down.


Politics (U.S.) 

Jonah Goldberg's e-mail, "Close Encounters with a Living Constitution," says it in a memorable, hilarious way (with gross-outs). It's not available as a web page. If you Tweet to @JonahNRO and ask nicely, perhaps he'll re-send it to you. It's worth asking.

Politics (Virginia) 

We badly need a new U.S. Senator for Virginia. We have a moderate Democrat who's a nice guy but considerably to the left of most of his actual constituents, and then we have another Democrat who's a, well, to put it tactfully, a consummate politician, an expert campaigner...y'know, the older guy who reminds you of the Joker on "Batman," who once campaigned against one of the better preserved of my fine-looking relatives, who managed to turn health, energy, thick dark hair and classic cheekbones against the said relative. So we are having some difficulty finding a Republican senatorial candidate. This web site is receiving e-mail about drafting Laura Ingraham...I'm curious. This isn't even a link yet. U.S. readers, inside and outside Virginia, what do youall think about the radio personality and humor writer as U.S. Senator?

I like Laura Ingraham. I'm aware that although she keeps her presentations admirably light and funny, she can be serious; she's fluent in both legalese and Russian. I'm also aware that she's a mother and a cancer survivor. Do we really need to throw her into the shark tank to see whether she can outswim a well-known shark? She's likable and cute and witty and charming and apparently a decent human being...and so, Gentle Readers, was Jerry Kilgore. Is a superb radio voice that much of an advantage, relative to successful experience as an elected official? I'm asking.

What about people with more experience in doing law and politics, rather than, shall we say, popularization of the same? Fellow Virginians, do we have any State Senators who can be spared?


Barkley's Humans go to Zazzle:


If I link to the card LBJ posted, I'm in direct competition, so here's a notecard that turned up in the same Zazzle category and should appeal to women who like computers:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23 Links with Cat Sanctuary Update, Phenology, and Free Money

I typed something about posting "tomorrow"--on Friday. Well, duh, Priscilla King's "tomorrow" is the next day the person who writes under that name goes online, but I was interested enough in some things I was doing to consider going online on Saturday, as of last Friday. However...on Thursday I talked to a sponsor who'd pleaded illness, and then a family Continuing Crisis (the thirty-something forever-adolescent daughter drama, youall know how that goes I'm sure), as excuses for not using that Patreon page I set up just for her family business. I actually like their business and have snapped photos of their merchandise all ready to embed in blog posts! Just add money! But, anyway, on Saturday I found out about her illness. Repeated tests suggest that the latest batch of Planters peanuts is, once again, contaminated with glyphosate residues, so I had icky nasty celiac sprue reactions all last week, and lowered immunity...so after talking to this person in real life, sure enough, within 48 hours I was feeling the symptoms of which she'd been complaining. I wasn't "down" in bed between Saturday and yesterday, but I did take record numbers of naps, and when I lay down (especially on Monday) I did feel as if the bed were on a boat rather than in a house; sort of a pleasant nostalgic feeling for napping purposes, but I didn't want to risk a long walk, or getting chilled, or drinking coffee before eating solid food in a place where about the only formerly-safe food available would be Planters peanuts.

Anyway, this is Priscilla King's "tomorrow," as of Friday, and yes, full-length posts go live today too...and do I ever have a ton of e-mail to catch up with...after sorting out the spam, bacon, and "urgent" things that have already passed their "urgent" read-by dates, four pages of e-mail  (I recommend that everybody whose e-mail is expanding to fill their available time create a Bacon Folder for storing all the e-mails for which the headlines are probably all you want to read, like all those e-mails that came in on Sunday with headlines like "Chuck Berry died." I wanted that information; I probably don't need to read all the obituaries everyone Out There has sold to one or more'zines. So that's the sort of thing those of us who receive a lot of e-mail call bacon, as in the pet treat that smells so good you don't even need to eat it.)


If you like these full-length posts, fund them.


You can commission the topic of a full-length post at your web site or mine:


Those sites take a bite out of the money they process online. If you'd rather not pay for the "convenience" of online payment, you can mail U.S. postal money orders to: Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.

Animals (Cat Sanctuary Update)

Polydactylism is a genetic mutation that occurs in several species, including cats and humans, causing individuals to be born with extra toes (or fingers). Sometimes the extra digits are incomplete or grow together, often they don't move independently, and usually, like the toe in the "thumb position" on a normal cat's forepaws, they don't work in full opposition to other toes and allow a cat to grip things in the way a human or raccoon does...


My polydactyl cat Heather, however, is not an ordinary cat...not even an ordinary polydactyl calico cat. She's another one of those cats whose intelligence sometimes seems alarming.

Most cats don't "make hands" to grip things. Why should they? They have claws. If an especially intelligent cat really likes you, however, it may practice and develop the ability to hold your fingertip between the soft pads of its paw and toes. This won't be like, or feel like, having a raccoon or baby human grip your finger in its tiny hand; but it is a special kind of caress. Cats and sometimes kittens don't use this move when grooming themselves or one another. Insulated by their fur, they like being scratched in the standard claws-out kneading move. So if they extend the kneading move to hold your sensitive human skin between their sensitive hairless pads, they care about you and are paying attention to your reactions. This is the point at which most women can identify a cat as being smarter, in crucial ways, than a few guys we kissed when we were young and ignorant.

My cat Mogwai, who was not an ordinary cat either, seriously attempted to give me trigger-point massage with her toe and paw pads only when she was just four or five months old, an age when a normal kitten is barely figuring out how to retract its claws. Mogwai must have got the idea from seeing me pause what I was doing and give myself trigger-point massage, and stretching exercises, to relieve peripheral pain from the leg injury I had that year. Most cats never see that. However, none of Mogwai's immediate family made the effort to try to copy my massage moves. Obviously there's no way a kitten can apply enough weight to a human leg to do a successful trigger-point massage, and no use trying to do it anyway--but Mogwai's trying it was what convinced me that she was going to become a once-in-a-lifetime pet. (Even if she did eventually misuse her intelligence and have to become an indoor once-in-a-lifetime pet.)

Heather is Mogwai's great-niece in the direct maternal line, with a big tough feral polydactyl tomcat in her paternal line. Only a rat could possibly agree with the claim that calico cats, especially the ones with mostly black and orange fur that forms more mottled "tortoiseshell" than solid spots, are "mean" after knowing Heather. She's a great hunter who brings home full-grown squirrels and rabbits to share, but even in defense of her family she's never shown any direct aggression toward other cats. Her six-toed forepaws turn out when she walks and look like fully opposable hands, and she started gripping my fingertips with the pads as a kitten, but her paws never seemed fully opposable.

Until this winter. After five years of practice, Heather has built up the ability...they're still opposing toes, not fingers, and she'll never get as much use out of them as a human or raccoon does, but lately when she's stood on her hind legs and grabbed my fingers Heather has been opposing her toes to grip like a baby human. Her thumbs really are working like thumbs.

Animals (Generally) 

Mudpie's Human reports on unsuspected hazards to cats. The good news is that, although cats often make themselves sick by sampling human food or eating things they catch outdoors, the damage is usually limited to short-term indigestion and they usually learn not to eat the indigestible things again...except with poisons and "medications" and, if it tastes more buttery than sugary so that they eat a lot of it, chocolate. (Some vets think a majority of cats actually have lactose intolerance, although most cats like milk; some lactose-intolerant cats will persist in lapping up milk or cream even though it upsets their digestion.)


Wendy Welch tackles LOLcat dialect...I'm not keen on dialect writing generally, but I'll put up with it because the true kitten story is so cute. If you're in Big Stone Gap, drop in and say hello to the kittens. If not, it's worth going there to visit the Little Bookstore...take a couple hundred dollars and a backpack, if not a rolling suitcase.


So, adorable cat day?

Turtle from Atlanta...they listed her as black and white but she's actually a dark calico, and actually that's not uncommon: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35139165

Kahn from Arlington: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35770538
Oreo from New York: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/18594390

Bad News That's No News 

Not a link because you've already heard/read about it, but this web site officially observes a moment of silence and extends condolences to survivors of the attack on London. Youall already did that.

But I will comment on this tidbit: "Atheist prayers"? Awww. Be gentle with the poor Twit. Grief can trigger episodes of foot-and-mouth disease. Once upon hearing that a good friend had died (after having missed the funeral) what I immediately blurted out to her grieving father was "What are you going to do with her house?" And that's not nearly as bad as it gets; "civilized" people often verbally attack a family member or health care provider, claiming or implying that the loss was the other person's fault; there are countries where, within living memories, the norm used to be for bereaved families to scatter because one family member was likely not only to blame but to kill others. So help me...and may God help poor Laurie Penny. People who are normally articulate and not feeble-minded don't do things like this in order to aggravate other people's emotional pain. They do them because, due to their own emotional pain, they're not thinking.



+Ruth O'Neil (I hope that's the right Google + link) reports on Melanie Snitker's Christian romance novels, with an excerpt from Finding Peace:



+Mona Andrei defines "trashy" manners and gives an example...if I ever hear of any of The Nephews doing this, so help me, I will go to your school, sing out loud, and breakdance. And the words of the song will include "I am going out of my mind because [name] is embarrassing me to death." Yes.


Free Money 

The computer shows renewed interest in this old post, and yes, it's relevant again; on the way into town this morning I saw lots of aluminum cans.



Here goes another blogger in a blaze of good resolutions. Cheers to the Barefoot. Exercise will kick diabetes' you-know-what if you work with the diet and meds as needed! I'd rather see and share posts about people hanging in there with walking or bicycling resolutions, but starting is good.


Phenology Links 

The March re-freeze has come and gone. It wasn't even redbud winter because, although ornamental Prunus had bloomed and was frostbitten, most of the dogwoods and redbuds (which usually bloom first) haven't bloomed yet. Warm weather returned on Monday night. On Tuesday, the daffodils, dandelions, crocus, and vincas that hadn't already been frostbitten started blooming, and a really weird sight popped up in the not-a-lawn under the privet hedge...my cell phone wouldn't even do a picture that focussed enough to show how weird it was. What it was was a morel--but a frostbitten morel. The slightly grainy but basically smooth stem was distinct from the wrinkled cap, but the cap hadn't developed fully enough to form the deep wrinkles that form the cap of a normal healthy morel. It looked like Morchella diminutiva (as shown at the link below), only even smaller. The whole thing, stem, cap, and all, was about two-thirds the size of the end of my little finger. (Actually, the morels that grow on the decomposing hardwood around the shed are normally the larger and darker of our two common types.)

Here's what M. diminutiva are supposed to look like:


Mycologists have changed the species names for North American morels since the last time this web site considered them. There was a straightforward system based on identification with similar-looking European species, but in the last couple years DNA tests have suggested a completely different taxonomy for North American morels, with what may be genetically distinct species that look identical as well as genetically identical species that can look different. Here's the kind I usually find near home, in years when I find any, which depends on the weather and the tastes of the current possum in residence. (Possums are night feeders; morels pop up through the ground at night; some possums like morels, some don't.) I grew up thinking of them as the big dark-colored later-season kind.


Here's a kind I have found, but not on my own property...I think of these as the-late-season-kind-I've-found-even-in-Maryland.


Here's a kind that's actually more common in my corner of Virginia, not (so far) found in the not-a-lawn at the Cat Sanctuary, but common in the woods above them. I think of these as the normal kind. I've not harvested them since a relative's headaches were diagnosed as multiple sclerosis, in time for the disease to be brought under control while he still has some ability to walk and work. Morel picking is his favorite thing and I've taken the emergence of morels on my property, which my father wanted to see but never saw, as an indication that I should leave the woods between our grandparents' homes to him.


Numbers of the common, early-in-the-season species may turn out to be overestimated if more extensive DNA studies provide a clear distinction between esculentoides and cryptica, described as looking identical, growing identically, but genetically disparate. This is the kind of thing that makes us wonder whether field biologists are having fun at our expense...


+Beth Ann Chiles has an Easter lily in bloom...but it's indoors! Do indoor plants, or plants moved in and out depending on the weather, count for phenological purposes?


+Martha DeMeo shares a virtual walk on a South Carolina beach, noting an unusual find:


Political Correctness 

Today's e-mail included, from a "conservative" contact, the headline "The Business Case for LGBT[ETC.] Inclusiveness." This web site isn't going to link to that, but it is going to respond, thusly: This web site is inclusive of people who are, among other things, members of "sexual minorities." This web site prefers, and is arguably obligated by its contract, to stay away from discussions of what constitutes a "sexual minority," how intense your preference has to be, how much it has to complicate your life, etc., for reasons of taste and family-friendliness. This web site does not generally endorse anybody whose public discourse focusses on their sexuality or anyone else's. (Parenting, yes; the act by which young Christian couples become parents, no.) The only "sexual minority" that interests this web site as exemplary for my teenaged Nephews are the asexuals. However, this web site does, not infrequently, endorse people who've actually accomplished something that is sex-free and interesting, who also belong to "sexual minorities." We actively promote, e.g., books like this one, which contains not one word about sex, but nobody ever got any points for guessing what "The Master" later admitted in a book this web site is not promoting:

 "Glorious Color"
Glorious Color

Apart from a few nods to Black History Month and Women's History Month, the links and endorsements at this web site are generally organized by topic, not by demographics. I don't always know what authors and other creative types look like, much less what they get up to in their own homes. Nor do I care.

This web site does, however, support religious freedom for those who believe either (a) that anyone whose lifestyle noticeably displays any sexual choices other than monogamous marriage or celibacy is disqualified from representing a religious group, or (b) that God wants them to withhold their social support from other people's sexual choices. (Fwiw, I agree with (a) although not (b).) I think it's inappropriate to apply any kind of pressure to religious people to do anything that offers "business advantages." Tim Keller, also, has this web site's support.



+Alana Mautone reports on a splendid old lady:



I've mentioned knitting orange things for Tennessee fans. What about burgundy for Virginia Tech or blue and white for Kentucky sports fans? (Gate City is the home of several of each.) Well, duh...burgundy is also for the Washington football team, and blue and white is for, er um, Gate City, not even to mention Duke. Anyway, for blue-and-white college basketball fans, Bing predicts the U. of K. will beat U.C.L.A. tomorrow night, but it should be a close match. Statistics:



This poor stupid "Sheila" doesn't have grief for an excuse. She's just lashing out at the women who disagree with her, rather than trying to use the power of sisterhood. She also doesn't seem to have noticed that in most of the technologically "advanced" countries there aren't enough jobs for all the women and men who want and need them, while in the poorer countries there may be plenty of unskilled labor jobs for people to do but they don't pay enough to send the children to school. How weird is it that it's possible for an article as stupid as hers to get published?



Before spending the first half of this week in flu-fighting mode, I'd hoped I might be able to use it to generate two distinct conceptual fiction stories for two distinct contests. I wrote one story last week but haven't thought of any more stories this week...I don't usually think in science fiction. Elizabeth Barrette does. Here's a selection of short-stories-or-free-verse-poems, from existing series, you can sponsor...the way these story/poems work is that she's already written them ahead of posting time, and she posts them as sponsors pay to see them.



Once again: legitimate survey site will slowly but surely reward you with giftcards to use with major chain stores (or even tax-deductible charities, if you prefer). You can join Yougov all by yourself, but if you use this link both you and I will get a few extra points toward our next shopping spree, and I want to play with that "Scarfie" novelty yarn I saw at Michaels while it's still on the shelf.


Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17 Links

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Gentle Readers...I had a pretty, summery green dress hanging in the closet this morning, but when I saw the thermometer resting right on the 20-degree mark (20 degrees F approximately equals = -7 degrees C), I decided the green yarn in my blanket-weight shawl would have to do. And today, thanks to a sponsor, you get complete posts...actually, because I also had a poem and the Patreon post of the week to do, you get complete posts tomorrow too. Categories: Read This First, Animals, The Economy, History, Yougov.

Read This First 

Here's where you click to get more complete Link Logs and articles:


Here's where you click to buy a guest post to put on your site:



Despite the shock of seeing the prettiest cat in Atlanta still up for adoption when I clicked onto Petfinder...

Somebody ought to have adopted this cat-who-resembles-my-Heather-and-poses-even-better by now. I'm tempted to post that Heather "said" to our Atlanta readers, "You can always send her to us if she doesn't work out with you," but that's inaccurate. Heather has nonverbally told me that she thinks the Cat Sanctuary could use a few more cats but she's never expressed any interest in specific cat pictures on a computer screen....cats go by scent and body language, not "looks." Anyway, somebody should give this little Southern Belle the adoration and lap of her own she deserves: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35193756

...it's time this web site Went to the Dogs. In the dog world, at least one three-colored coat pattern is a recognized breed. Non-pedigreed Black & Tan hounds are actually one of the hardiest, healthiest, friendliest, generally nicest types of dogs on Earth...and are highly likely to be euthanized at shelters for that reason: they're not a fancy breed that keeps puppy mills and veterinarians rich, they're a natural breed that thrive on their own and can even go feral and successfully degenerate back into coyotes. Hmm. Let's see how many Black & Tan hounds are up for adoption...

Ricco from Atlanta: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37550943

Clyde, like most Washingtonians, is "originally from" some other place, in his case North Carolina: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37132011

Sandy Lee
Sandy Lee from New Jersey is just a cute little puppy, but she won't stay little for long. Lab + Black & Tan + who knows what else...she ought to grow into those paws and then some. She's guaranteed friendly with most other dogs, cats, and humans including children. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37510914

Economy, The 

Dan Lewis makes it sound as if young men aren't bothering to find jobs because they can stay home and play video games. I suspect the reality is somewhat different: They're applying for jobs online, not getting jobs, and spending the rest of the day playing video games. Well, if Mother and Daddy have unlimited Internet access at home, at least the young men aren't doing their parents any more economic damage; wearing out an existing game box, which if they're lucky will last until they finally find a job, costs less than wearing out Mother's and Daddy's car, or wearing out expensive name-brand-to-impress-friends shoes...as long as the young men are maintaining enough balance of activities to stay fit and healthy, this might be good news.



The poem I polished up and sent off this morning was about my favorite Confederate relative, Colonel William Peters. In the quickie overview of history most kids get at school, they're taught that General Lee was too nice to kill noncombatants. He was, but not before Colonel Peters had set him straight about this. Lee had ordered Peters to loot and burn the town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Peters refused. In the poem I consider some probable reasons. Here's an official historical document that's made it into cyberspace...in view of the longer post that went live earlier today, yes, note the Colonel's impressive beard. (He was a relative of mine, but a distant one, as that beard proves.)



A lot of sites promise to pay you for taking surveys, but either (a) they generate an intolerable burden of spam and nuisance sales calls and possibly even worse (never never never but never give out your real name, home address, home phone number, etc., online), or (b) they don't actually pay, or (c) they don't actually send you surveys. Yougov is the real deal. They pay in giftcards you can use at many popular chain stores, including Wal-Mart and Amazon; I've consistently chosen Michaels giftcards, since I knit, and that's where all my recent yarn purchases have come from. Payment is as reliable as your mail drop is and, since my e-mail spam filters are already on the highest setting, I've never actually seen a single piece of spam related to Yougov activity. You can join Yougov all by yourself, but if you are referred by an existing member of Yougov, such as me, the sponsors will give both you and me some bonus points toward our next shopping spree. 


Beards, Fashion, and Fiction

Today I spent some time...frankly, guy-watching, as these thoughts on beards, fashion, age, art, and literature outgrew the Link Log. I had thought about putting a brief comment on the beard fashion, and my Duck Dynasty-watching Nephews, and the fact that I've not yet read Si-Cology (although I've wanted to) and now there's even a sequel, Si-Renity, all under "Fashion." Or "Fashion & Fiction"? Or, as Ozarque's thoughts on beards, and the way they logically must have led to thoughts on lacy shawls for women but she must have been too modest to blog about those, leaped to mind..."Fashion, Fiction, and Age"? Oh, why not just make a separate post out of these thoughts? Right. Here's the post:

These days a beard is a major fashion statement for some men. A long, full beard is not absolute proof of Whiteness, since some non-White men can grow one, but the gene for luxuriant beard growth does tend to be correlated with genes for fair skin and body hair and so on. So, what do women think about men with beards? Sexy or scruffy? Survey says..."sexy," if the beards have a clean, well groomed look. Beards literally separate men from boys; a thick gray or white beard all but literally says "patriarch," which is why almost all Bible heroes (and, regrettably, God) are often drawn with luxuriant white beards.

Without the beard, how would you recognize Moses?

(Would Moses really have had a beard? Probably. Beards were an important fashion statement in the courts of the Pharaohs. While historians believe many Egyptians actually shaved their entire heads, for comfort and hygiene, and strapped on both beards and wigs, the idea of a beardless Pharaoh was so unthinkable that the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut is known to have strapped on a fake goatee.)

Photo of official sculpture of Hatshepsut: By Keith Schengili-Roberts - Own Work (photo), CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1635240

Beards can be very kind to aging faces. The writer known as Ozarque rather famously lamented that women couldn't cover up wrinkles with beards, too. (I was and remain sure that she was waiting for people to say, "But women can knit or crochet lovely white shawls"; she was a crocheter and, in the few photos she allowed publishers to add to her book covers, she wore lacy white crocheted shawls.) Here are her most memorable observations on this topic:

[On August 7, 2004, at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/4795.html :]

You have to wonder.... Suppose that Ursula K. Le Guin (or any other elderwoman of your choice) looked like Gandalf. The mane of glorious thick white hair. The superb white beard that covers the raddled neck and the jowls and the lines around the nose and mouth. The tall straight body in its beautiful robes. The strong white teeth and the wonderful hands. Even if you modernized the robes and eliminated the white horse, when she walked into a room she wouldn't be invisible. 

But she'd have to keep the beard, I'm afraid, or it wouldn't work. It is men's great good fortune, and a mark of unfair Divine Favoritism, that men are able to grow beards and moustaches that cover up almost all their lines and wrinkles -- leaving visible only the ones around the eyes that signal laughter, and wisdom, and hunting and fishing and sailing and warrioring.

[On September 11, 2006, at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/304689.html :]

It was very unfair of God to give only men the ability to grow beards. An old man can grow a magnificent full beard, so that all that's on public view is his twinkling eyes with their lovely crinkly lines at the outside corners, and everything else -- including his neck, be it ever so raddled -- is hidden away. Let his hair grow a bit long in the back, he's all set; no neck to be seen, and he's gorgeous. Not fair. You can tell that all the Psalms were written by men because there isn't a single one in which someone is railing and ranting at the Almighty about how unjust it is that only men can grow beards.

I object.

At Etsy most of the knitted and crocheted shawls shown on models, live or not, are draped to call attention to a young woman's sleek young neck...but the thing about these lacy shawls is that they give women a choice. They can be drawn up tight and cover as much as a beard; they can be draped around the shoulders to add a dramatic alternative neck line to whatever is worn under them; they can be tossed over one shoulder to wave in the wind like a flag. One thing that's hard to do with a hand-knitted or crocheted lace shawl, though, is ignore it. Lace shawls are prettier than the blanket-weight shawls I wear instead of overcoats in winter, girlier, but if anything more dramatic.

The back issue knitters fight over...

Good luck getting that pattern magazine at any price...the shawl shown isn't on the front cover, but the pattern is reprinted inside this book, along with about twenty more:

Instead of being reprinted, the much-coveted Knitter's Issue #9 was expanded into a book, with even more patterns for knitted shawls. The shawl shown on the front cover, for instance, was not in the magazine.

For the men...well, that's why neckties and collars were invented, but which way do you think President Lincoln looked his personal best? (He wasn't considered handsome either way, and being 6'4" was only part of his fashion problems in his contemporaries' opinions.)

Abraham Lincoln 1860 Photo U.S. Historical Posters Photos 11x14
A. Lincoln, 1860

New 11x14 Photo: Last Photo of President Abraham Lincoln
A. Lincoln, 1865

There's also much to be said for a Cherokee-type grandfather with just a sprinkling of random white hairs among the thick black hair on his head and a few stray hairs, white and black, on his smooth copper-toned face, but since even Cherokee men can't count on getting that gene...repeated surveys of women who can't have my Significant Other suggest that they like men with clean, well groomed, full beards. Here is a cool commercial-type web site for men with beards and women who like looking at them:


For men like most of my relatives, who could give up shaving for six months and at the end of that time have only the stubbly-looking "three-day beard" that seems to be typical of White/Red crossbreed types, I particularly recommend scrolling down to the "Dad Hats" link at the bottom of the page. Very cool hats to go with either bearded or beardless faces. Women can wear them too; readers in Kingsport may be surprised to find out what they can wear this particular style in aid of:

No, they're not just Grandma Bonnie Peters' trademark style! She looks good in hers, and I've been known to borrow one when walking with her, but...according to the link at https://beardgains.com/ , this is the official hat for ovarian cancer fundraisers. Buy yours in aid of the cause!

The Ozarque posts cited above, plus the appearance of a French edition, prompted me to reread Lord of the Rings as an adult. As a child I hadn't noticed, but...it's radically different from your standard fantasy story where restless young men are proving themselves worthy of pretty princesses, or vice versa. The difference? In Middle Earth, all the main characters are old. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are all would now be called middle-aged, though well enough preserved that letting them be played by dark-haired actors doesn't ruin the story. Aragorn is old enough to regret things that went wrong in the past. Gandalf "the Gray" is "aged, grey-haired and grey-clad." The evil characters are so old they can only be explained as undead. Bilbo, and of course Gollum, are so old that even people who know what's keeping them alive still find them uncanny. Tom Bombadil brags of being older than any human or hobbit can imagine. Glamorous, romantic Galadriel has beautiful long silver-white hair! Tolkien was middle-aged, and he was writing for middle-aged people.

Wikipedia and posthumous Tolkien collections offer tons of additional material about the Rings story...

For men of Tolkien's type, aging does have perils (consider the stuff that happens to Gandalf!) but loss of visual appeal is not among them. Men who look good with a full beard can keep that dramatic look going from age 20 to age 90...

Beards for all ages in real life...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15 Keywords

Yesterday's Link Log might have been a dry one for some e-friends. I owe them a juicy one. I'll try...let's start with some adorable fluffy animals, a long rant that The Nephews may read free of charge, lots of links to Google+ friends....and here's where you go in order to read my comments on your links:


If you prefer to pay specifically for something done just for you, and deal directly with me without receiving bids and pleas from a lot of other people, you can go here...


...or just e-mail salolianigodagewi, or send a real postcard (I like postcards, especially +Ruth Cox 's dog picture postcards) to the Boxholder at P.O. Box 322.

Here are the keywords to today's hidden post:

cute animal pictures
+Beth Ann Chiles 
Siberian cat breed
Siberian and Manx mixed breed
Siberian and Maine Coon Cat mixed breed 
Craig Shirley's biography of Ronald Reagan 
Jim Geraghty
air pollution 
radiation from nuclear plants 
epidemic of rare childhood cancer
Mark Zuckerberg
Cracked magazine
young and poor in the United States
Dan Lewis
refurbishing an old house
Steve Milloy 
flawed scientific research
McDougall Webinar
digestive health
people who are gluten-intolerant but continue to feel sick after going gluten-free
people who get some benefit from going gluten-free but are not actually gluten-intolerant
people who don't digest animal fats and proteins well
mental health
Snoop Dogg 
Queen Latifah 
Larry Elder's not a musician, he is in radio.
snow pictures
+Alana Mautone
Carol from Indiana
Washington Post
+Sandy KS from Ohio

snow survival tips
Democratic Party is the party of "the donor class"
Penny Nance
Judge Gorsuch
opening line from an excellent book

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14 Keywords

Although I'm feeling healthy and cheerful again, this has not exactly been my day. The cell phone's alarm function failed to wake me in time for the time change, both of the people to whom I talked this morning annoyed me intensely, then when I was taking the computer out of the storage building snow started to fall...Here are the links to use to see what I read today, and keep me posting for the rest of the week. Use them. I really did stretch $30 (from real-world sales of knitted hats) out to cover meals, including coffee and road food on the days when I was online, for eleven, count them, eleven days...but now I'm down to pocket change again. Unless I make a real-world sale on the way home, I won't be back.

To sponsor what you've already seen:


To order something different:



Two of a Kind by Celesta Thiessen
Dave Barry
Social Security
Mario Pei
English language
fun facts
daylight saving time
Mary and John McDougall
spa vacation
Jim Geraghty

film clip
Lloyd Marcus

U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith
U.S. Senator Rand Paul
Obamacare replacement
Popvox link
pretty purple flowers of spring
violet blossoms

Scott Adams
global warming theory
local warming facts
Nazanin Ratcliffe is still behind bars