My brother and I were discussing politics, and catastrophizing, and speculating on how long it takes to pass an amendment to the constitution, say an amendment to make Presidential terms be eight years instead of four, or one to abolish the electoral college.
A question came up — how long does it take to amend the Constitution.
Per Wikipedia, the shortest and longest spans from proposal to ratification are the last two amendments, in the 70s and the 90s.
Amendment 26 sets the voting age at 18. (If I recall, the argument was that if you are old enough to enlist in the army and die for your country you are old enough to vote.) From proposal to ratification? 100 days. The Supreme Court ruled on what the Constitution said about voting age, Congress said, “Well, change the Constitution then,” they proposed the amendment, and the states voted on it in 100 days. Can you imagine?
Amendment 27 ensures that no bounder can 1) be elected to Congress, 2) enact a law to give himself a million dollar salary, 3) rake in millions before possibly being voted out. It was initially to have been part of the Bill of Rights. I suppose the idea was laughable in 1789 when it was proposed, but quite reasonable in 1992 when it passed, 202 years later. (The story of how it was revived and passed should be a movie starring Timothee Chalamet as the student, Daniel Radcliffe as the TA, and Swoosie Kurtz as the Professor.)
Quite a range -100 days or 200 years. And don’t forget, some people argue the Equal Rights Amendment is still in play.
It is my Birthday Month. During my Birthday Month I supposedly win all arguments. So far I have not won any of the arguments we have had.
Our current argument stems, again, from Gary’s determination that he alone can work on the house. He is the Noble Repairman; outside repairman are not to be trusted. His biology degree authorizes him to install toilets or fix patios as well as anyone with experience.
For example, the threshold to the back door is rotting, and I now longer think it is an exaggeration to say that we will soon have a threshold made of duct tape.
And now, one of the two toilets is leaking. I am feeling quite dismayed because he feels that if there’s a leak, you patch it. I feel that if there’s a leak, you find out why there’s a leak and stop it.
Right now he is patching a leak in the plumbing, and soon he will come to me looking for praise. Praise for patching after I had to beg him like a housewife to get the problem fixed.
The stacked container herb garden has become very lush, though it is a challenge fighting through the growth to find the tags that show what I’ve actually planted. I’ve had some caprese salads that were partially made with mint in addition to basil.
The three tiers of plants at bunny-level have all been nibbled away. The spinach next to the rabbit hole remains untouched, of course, bastards. I added some of “their” spinach to a salad I made yesterday.
I intended to plant some bare-root strawberries in the tower as well, and foolishly ordered strawberries without researching them first. I was mislead by the wild strawberries that infested Mom’s shady backyard. It’s a weed, I thought. All I grow are weeds. Bugleweed, Creeping Jenny, Trumpet vine. I can grow strawberries.
Yeah, no. Even plant experts have trouble growing strawberries. First, you plant them in the spring or fall, you plant them in special soil with a special Ph, you mulch them with pine needles, you amend the soil with sand, oh my god.
But, I can try. So I planted the bare root plants into the special strawberry bags and planters, sans pine needle and sand and nitrogen. The next steps are sun and water, and if everything goes miraculously there may be strawberry flowers next month that I shall pinch off if I dream of getting strawberries next year. Which, frankly, I don’t.
Seriously. This is strawberry hospice. Lots of tending with no hope.
Last week we learned the US Gross Domestic Product declined dramatically.
Do not blame me. I spent five hundred dollars on groceries last week. I am stimulating the economy as much as I can.
There were some purchases that would be alarming in any circumstance, like when you have to replace the bottle of olive oil. I think the small bottle of olive oil is usually $12 a bottle, which is why I use the corn oil to clean the paintbrushes, but this time it was $15. Has to be done, I thought, and that bottle will last a long time.
I ordered cherry tomatoes and they substituted a fancy medley of orange, yellow, and dusky red cherry tomatoes, which were delicious, but a dollar more. Screw it, I thought, there’s a pandemic. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
The weekly eight ounce strip steak cost 16 dollars, though I believe it is usually under ten. But why not get it anyway? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we could quite literally die.
I have never paid six dollars for a box of butter before, but these are strange times.
Ten dollars for a package of bacon comes out to 84 cents per slice of bacon, which is not bad at all, right?
Besides, Gary’s potato chips were more than than half off, and we stocked up. Four dollars of savings right there.
After all my rationalizations, the total with tax came to $440, and delivery was free, as one would think. When my heart resumed beating came the decision to tip the shopper the recommended amount, which was $63. Small price to pay, I thought, what else am I just going to spend my money on? Gas money? Vacation?
Well, if it means that I can contain the Covid and stimulate the economy, I don’t mind being gouged. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
Oh, Lord, that was fast. When 18 of the Florida Marlins were found to have the Covid, I think we all said, “Florida. Of course.” Because we expect a little extra excitement from Florida. If there is drama to be had, that’s where it will be. Then the Phillies Coach and a staffer got it, but no players.
Sadly, the next team infected were the Saint Louis Baseball Cardinals. Now this is personal.
They haven’t said which two tested positive. I can say if it is Yadi or Waino (or horrors, Yadi AND Waino) there will be rioting in the streets. There will be flowers piled outside Busch Stadium and black versions of the Cardinals logo and the Weatherbird will send get well wishes.
Supposedly they are only postponing one game and moving it to Sunday. It will be part of a doubleheader in which each game is only seven innings long. Another weird part of a weird season. I’m ready to cancel already.
Less than one hundred days until we vote. Here are my voting options in the state of Missouri:
Hold my breath and stand in a big cloud of Covid. People in my area don’t mask up. I am certain if a mask was required in order to enter the polling place it would be stripped off once inside, and if required inside, our residents would complain that masking was a new Jim Crow law designed to stigmatize loyal supporters of the President. Masks or not, they could argue that social distancing will create lines long enough to discourage in-person voting, where most of the covid-denying president’s supporters will be. It’s the reasoning I would use if our loyalties were reversed.
Vote with an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots require a reason. I was surprised to see that Vulnerability to Covid (over 65, immunocompromised) is a valid excuse this year. But of course, how do I prove I’m immunocompromised? If they just take it on faith, it could later be called into question. And of course, it doesn’t feel good that absentee ballots will probably be counted only after the race is called. It would be as if I lived in California or Hawaii - sure, my vote counts, but not for the purposes of the media and the “calling” of the election.
Vote by mail. This intrigues me. The governor signed a law for this year that if you order a ballot and get it notarized, you can mail it in. I’m pretty certain that will be contested too. And - doesn’t that negate the whole idea of a secret ballot? If it’s like other things I’ve had notarized, they have to witness you filling it in. I have no voting secrets, but it’s another irregularity that could end up putting the result in the courts.
I’m worried that if the vote is contested, that will delay the results, perhaps past the day they certify the electors, thus keeping Trump in office. So it’s possible that the Safe Harbor rule they argued in Bush v Gore 2000 would keep him in office if he tries to drag it out, right? And he loves dragging things through the courts.
I just heard former Republican chair Michael Steele say that absentee voting and voting by mail are the same thing. The difference is that in my state (one of 16), you can vote absentee in person early, and absentee requires an excuse and generally mail-in requires a notary, though for the August 4th election I read that if you have an excuse you don’t need a notary. I think we’re just going to bundle up and vote in person. God, this is going to be awful.
I decided I wanted to crack the code on the Key Signature With All the Sharps, so I searched the internet for the different fingering recommendations for all the key signatures. Couldn’t find it. Looked on the shelves and found a book I bought 13 years ago that contains nothing but that information.
So I spent two hours of practicing scales last night, and boy is my pinkie tired. Worse, I have do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do-ti-la-sol-fa-mi-re-do stuck in my head.
Usually the way I get rid of an earworm is to look up the words. Not an option. It’s still in my head, and I’m practicing more scales tonight.
While I might someday be the old lady who cannot use the remote, I do like new technology. I think that must be because I remember old technology. Gather round, young’ns, and let me tell you about ye olde television color settings.
When I first married Gary, he had a black and white television. My family had purchased a color television ten years earlier, so this was an adjustment. My Mom made a few remarks, and may have fronted some cash, and the soon we had a color television.
One day Gary said, “I think these colors could be brighter. You had a color TV. How do you make it brighter?”
”There’s a color dial Dad said we were not allowed to touch.” That would be the same Dad who fixed the TV after Gary adjusted the image to colors accurate only on Mars.
I don’t blame Gary. I screw up and adjust colors every time I paint. There are infinite ways to screw up color.
I thought of this last night when Gary was watching TV and said, “I think these colors could be brighter.”
Then he got the remote, navigated to the menu, and picked one of five color settings off the menu. Definitely better.
I am almost done with season one of Upstairs Downstairs, and I was disappointed enough to Google “Worst season of Upstairs Downstairs.” Happily, it seems if a viewer makes it past season one, she won’t be disappointed again until season three.
I give the show credit for discussing topics taboo in the early seventies, but it hasn’t aged well at all.
Sexual Harassment - I hope that in future seasons the footman Edward is gelded in some regrettable cutlery incident and stops sexually harassing the parlor maids.
Sexuality - Ironically, gay footman Albert is discovered to be “a pervert” while Edward is grabbing and pawing at every bottom that walks by.
Mental Health - Cook has a nervous breakdown, steals a baby, and is cured by the butler’s romantic interest in her.
I’m holding out hope that season two is better.
The circled red condominium is where I lived from 6-12 years old.
The blue line is the radioactive creek a few blocks away.
The green line is Pershall Road, currently closed, because they are digging up all the still-radioactive soil, contaminated by the radioactive creek, itself contaminated by radioactive Manhattan Project byproduct that washed into the creek.
Usually I can ignore this. My brother can’t ignore this. He is very resentful.
Happily, last week a surgeon sliced him open for a non-cancer reason and - hurrah - saw no visible cancer in his abdomen. So, Mallinckrodt Chemical, he escaped. Right now I think he’s skeptical. I am sure when he recovers from the surgery he will be pleased.
Things I like about Cardinals Opening Day:
I actually liked the fake crowd noise. I noticed one long fly ball that almost made it into the seats, and the “crowd” made the appropriate ascending and descending “AhhhAHHHHHHHROOOAAARRRawwwwwwww...sigh” sound. I pictured some sound guy twisting a dial as the ball almost made a home run and then didn’t.
I expected to hate the designated hitter, but I did not, because instead of assigning one batter to sell his soul (as is required of the designated hitter, see the Rules) the Cards are going to pick random batters to be the designated hitter. They’ll keep swapping out the batters, which is reminiscent of Whiteyball and Barenaked Ladies concert set lists.
What I didn’t like was the absence of the Clydesdales. Though it seems there is just the one team, there are many many Clydesdales, even alternate Clydesdale when an original Clydesdale is unable to perform his duties. So I know there are at least ten bored Clydesdales tapping their giant hooves and wondering why they aren’t being photographed. I would accept a socially distant Clydesdale, or a Clydesdale masked with a feedbag.
I also felt it was nice that they kept Fredbird on the payroll, but couldn’t they have had him kick back instead, hang out in the dugout, put his feet up? They had him retrieving foul balls. He looked sad.
One final suggestion: the red face coverings were fine. The white face coverings were creepy.
I have a neck gaiter with a raccoon printed on it. How did no one think to print some of these up with a Cardinal beak?
From Arkansas TV - https://www.nwahomepage.com/around-arkansas/bruno-the-bear-spotted-in-northeast-arkansas/
IMBODEN, Ark. (KARK) – A strange visitor was caught passing through Arkansas.
It was no ordinary black bear.
It was the famous Bruno the Bear.
This is the fourth state Bruno has been spotted in after starting his journey in Wisconsin.
Even though Bruno is popular, Arkansas Game and Fish says to remember he’s still a wild animal that weighs hundreds of pounds.
“But if it’s just out in the wild, then let it be a wild animal, and it’s certainly great to watch him and admire him,” says Keith Stephens, Chief of Communications with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “But just don’t get to close and for goodness sakes, don’t feed them.”
The purpose of Bruno’s trip is to find a mate and his own territory ahead of hibernation season.
Bruno must have done his research.
According to Game and Fish, Arkansas has around 5,000 to 6,000 black bears.
Hmph. Bruno didn’t like the female bears in Mark Twain National Forest. Perhaps the other Forest bears were mean to him for being the outsider, it IS Southern Missouri, who knows. (I apologize, that was an unnecessary city girl slam on Southern Missouri.) At any rate, he is now a three hour drive away and still moving South.
This weeks the crypts went from this ...
... to this:
I know it looks like nothing happened. That’s because I tweaked and repainted all the vertical lines. I also did a lot on of Un-doing on the 3rd crypt from the right. Every time I looked at it another proportion was wrong. And about every value is wrong, that’s the next pass.
My floral project is going to look like this:
... but right now it just looks like this: