Saturday, October 22, 2016
Gonna throw out a link with some important content:
Here's a link to Old NFO's Wordless Wednesday post. 

If a high ranking pol from any political party but the DNC were videotaped laughing about the prevalence of their election fraud, do you think it would be all over the mainstream media?  It would be, but this story is not.  Further, the running-scared media are lying to their audience, saying things like it's "illegal to read wikileaks" that prove how they(major "news" companies) have acted to affect outcomes in politics, business, and and international relations.  CNN wants you to feel guilty about looking at information their anointed politicians casually tossed off from unsecure servers with no concern for security, national- or otherwise.

How is the average American to feel, other than betrayed by these news organizations who do not report without bias, just the facts.  They tap dance double-time to shield the facts in some cases, and to mis-frame issues, altogether.

No linkey love for Michael Moore, but various outlets are reporting that in his new film, he states that he hopes that Hillary Clinton DID have Vince Foster killed.  "That's bad ass," he is reported to have said. 

Think of how horrible a person it takes to kill another person who knows too much about their shady business dealings.  Think of the scale of vileness their dealings have to have reached to necessitate the murder of people who know what they are all about: how can anyone want a person of that character for the leader of our nation?  Even joking about that telegraphs a dark cynicism about values and ideals on which our nation was founded.    Not funny.  I'm not laughing.

Written by phlegmfatale
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Sunday, October 09, 2016
Holding our noses as we go.
2016 has been rough in many ways, and the current presidential election rotation is prime among the unpleasantries this year has afforded.  Trying to decide which reprobate to reward with the U.S. Executive Branch is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end. 

If I were a campaign strategist for a presidential candidate, I'd select the four or five worst bits of little-known dirt I could find on the opponent.  I would study the first debate meticulously, analyzing the opponent's performance from every angle.  Then, about a month before election and a couple of days prior to the second debate, I'd release one of the bits of dirt, preferably salacious detail that did not include real data related to policy-- one wouldn't want to bog down on details related to actual job performance.  This bit of dirt would need to push the buttons I've already had in overdrive for the entire campaign.  A well-primed public then would erupt with rancor over sexism or racism or whatever detail on which the dirt centered.  

Thus unbalanced by the undeniable embarrassment of the situation, the opposing candidate would face my candidate in the debate at a distinct disadvantage.  My candidate would enter the second debate well-poised to deliver a death of a thousand cuts with verbal barbs engineered to prod at tender fresh wounds.  The opponent may recover, but the seed of doubt has been planted in many of his supporters.  I would then use the coming weeks to deploy the remaining bits of dirt, releasing them to throw the opponent off-balance every time they seem to be regaining their equilibrium.  I would time the most devastating bit of dirt to release the Friday before the election, when it would be hardest to recover, and when the voting public will have the entire weekend to seethe and marinate over the new outrage.

I would rely on the short memory of the voting public.  I would bank on the fact that most of the voting public is not politically astute, doesn't pay attention, and has a short memory, anyway.  I would rely on the fact that the voting public has no recollection of my candidate's spouse doing the very thing for which the opponent is being vilified.  I would rely on the public not remembering that my candidate's husband grabbed women by the pudenda in the Oval Office, and that this predator will be the first Mr. First Lady.  I would also rely on the pat option of claiming gender- or race- biases against my candidate.  Use all the tools in the shed, yes?

If you are a Trump supporter, you really should brace yourself for much worse to come in the next month.  This is not over by a long shot, but I also think the release of the secret taping of Donald Trump may have been a strategic mis-fire on the part of the Clinton campaign:  they have unleashed a can of worms wherein secret recordings will be taken as gospel, and what do you think are the odds of either Clinton having been secretly recorded saying outrageous things?  (Funny note: I just typed in "bill clinton" on Google, and the first search term auto-filled "bill clinton cigar."  I wonder what that's about???)  Particularly  given Bill's friendship with the problematic Jeffrey Epstein. *shudder*

More to come, folks.  It's all ugly, all the time, in this campaign.  I expect both sides to play dirty, and to come out swinging.  And the sad thing is the net effect is that we will have difficulty respecting whoever wins the contest, because the whole problem was that we were already sick of politics as usual, and the policies they beget. 

I haven't written much about politics in years, here, because what is the point?  I may not write any more about politics, particularly this election cycle, because what's the point?  At least it will be over, soon, except that this election has actually made time seem to slow down.  Heaven help us.
Written by phlegmfatale
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Saturday, October 08, 2016
Rodent tartare
The morning ritual is the first thing out of bed, the pups go to the backyard for the necessaries, and then back into the house for Kibble Timeā„¢.  This is the time of year when pecans are falling en masse in the back yard, and Mochi loves to supplement her diet with pecans.  The usual routine is the pups run out, do their business, Mochi has a quick pre-breakfast nut snack, and then back in for the morning meal.  Mochi often enters the house carrying a pecan she hopes she'll be able to secret in the house somewhere with Mommy unawares, but when the Sacred Kibble is in the offing, she's pretty good about giving up the pecan in her mouth to me, which I quickly dispose of properly.  I let the pups out back this morning, and at most, they were in the yard for two minutes.  When they came in, I saw Mochi throw back her head to get a better purchase on the nut she was carrying.  ONce in the house, I told her to spit it out, and I was surprised when she did so quite easily.  Without focusing on the nut,  I reached down to pick it up, surprised to find it quite warm.  Um.  And moist.  And furry. 

In my hand I was holding most of the head and neck area of a small rodent.  The eyes looked peacefully closed, as if in sleep.  There was red meat aplenty, and I could see the heart and other viscera, but most of him was gone.  The black whiskers were so short and tidy.  He was a lovely little marvel of a creature.  Poor little devil. 

Somewhere, little rats sit at the kid's table at clan gatherings, and they whisper tales of the three giant, slavering beasts who come out randomly to strike terror and fear in the hearts of hapless rodents, killing all they see and eating their corpses as they scan the horizon for movement.  Woe betide the little rat who strays too close to the nomnivorous fanged beasts who rove my yard. 

The morning is bright, and full of terrors.

This has me re-thinking puppy kisses.  Yuck.
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Sunday, October 02, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: it's laundry, and I helped!

Mochi is a good and supportive helper around the house.  Whatever is going on, she wants to get her paws into it!
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Fall in full swing.
My penultimate (hopefully) undergrad semester started at the end of August, and I'm now about a third of the way through.  I managed to swing a class schedule of MWF this semester, so I have two full days for study and other things.  It's a relief to not have to be on campus at 8:00 AM every day.  Thursdays I still spend most of the day on campus, but Tuesday is free for working at home and studying there, plus the prospect of sleeping in a wee bit.  Unfortunately, I tend to wake up pretty early on the days I don't have to, it seems. 

I participated in a large short fiction writing competition this summer, and two weeks ago I found I'd placed well in my group.  The second heat has happened, and I should get feedback on my second story in about a month. I hope to place again, and to advance to the third heat.  It's good to get feedback that helps tighten up my writing. 

I've been tutoring students with their writing, and I've been pleasantly surprised how that process has helped me to view my own writing critically and objectively.  I also enjoy that process, although thus far it has been a single-serving interaction: students make their corrections and submit their paper, and they don't often come back to share the outcomes for their work.  I find myself wondering at knowing only half of a story.  I felt that way about the patients in nursing school clinicals, too: you do your shift, and do all you can for a patient in a 13 hour period, and you will most likely never see them again.  It's an odd interaction that is intensely personal and then is suddenly no more.

The puppies are well and in fine fettle.  They seem happier with my new and improved schedule, as I am home with them more often.  They are convinced a demon is living under the lawn mower, and they circle and menace it tirelessly.  I tip the mower so they can look and sniff under it. "See? No demon.  No varmint.  Just grass whiskers."  They are not buying it.  They are a perpetual delight.

I am considering my next step after I graduate in May.  I am stepping up the writing, and am currently researching information on East Texas for a work of fiction I began last year.  I wrote a few short stories with a character I placed there, but now I want to do a full-length fiction for her, and I am reading as much as possible on the area.  I've picked up "Tales from the Big Thicket" and a few other books.  I appreciate any books or websites you folks might recommend on East Texas history and lore.  My character lives near a made-up town, but it's in the region south of Tyler. 

I'll try not to let so many weeks elapse between posts, next time, but life continues apace.  I confess that this election year has been vexing, and I will not be sorry to see the back of it.  We've got -- what? -- five weeks to go until election?   Someone accurately said that trying to decide for whom to vote this time is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.  Quite.

I'll try to get a Puppy Sunday post up.  Y'all is owed one.  I hope you all are well and thriving and happy.
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Friday, August 12, 2016
Ray of light.
This summer has been a bit rodeo.  I posted here that in late May, the gunblogger community lost a stalwart member, and I lost a personal friend.   Although Ray battled some health challenges, our tribe hoped and prayed he would come through them.   Alas, it was not to be. 

I launched into summer, ready to get much accomplished and to get some rest from school, as well.  I was tired, and the gut-punch of losing Ray sent me into a bit of a tailspin.  I came down with a flu that lasted two full weeks, topped off with a cough that lingered.  The cough hung on until my second annual 50th birthday float on the Guadalupe in late July, but the active time outdoors seemed to clear that up, finally.  Floating on weekdays combined with broody, rainy weather to yield an almost deserted river.  I felt my feathers smoothing out as I glided down a quiet river under ancient cypress trees swagged with long streamers of Spanish moss.  The sun stayed away, mostly, and the temperature remained warm but not hot.  Unmolested by shrieking rednecks, myriad turtles sunned themselves on rocks and driftwood, and all manner of birds were to be seen on the river.  In one golden moment, we floated past a pair of fawns getting their lunch from their mothers on the bank.  It was a moment of pure beauty and happiness.  I thought about things, and I felt myself healing.

Laughing and smiling about Ray is feeling more natural now than despair, although my heart aches with his absence.  He would call at least once a week during his commute home through Seattle traffic, and we had big plans.  We hosted a gathering at the Gingerman in Houston during the NRA convention, and we were looking forward to throwing a soiree at the Dallas NRA in 2018.  I miss our talks, and sometimes the phone ringing during that time of day makes me think it's him, for an instant.  But it won't be.

Last night the Perseid meteor shower peaked, and I stood outside with friends for a bit, looking at the sky.  A bright orange streak burned southward, and thoughts of Ray came rushing to mind.  I saw a few more streaks of light before I went in for the evening.  I awoke this morning at 5:00, put on some shoes and let the pups out, and I went out, too.  I scanned the sky, expecting the meteors to appear at a different point in the sky, when I looked overhead in the same spot of that first orange streak, and there came another orange streak.  The fiery ray made its way with purpose and intensity, but unhurried to the southern horizon.  It felt like a "hello" from Ray.  I was comforted.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Happy birthday, Dad!
I've said it here before and in many ways. I'm humbled to have such a splendid father. I hope your birthday has been wonderful, Dad. I love you and I couldn't be more proud of you. 

Written by phlegmfatale
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Monday, July 18, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Monday: slow on the draw
Sorry for late and spotty puppy posting. This summer has been full rodeo since it started.   I think Chuy had only pulled a muscle, and he seems fully recovered. However, he quite liked being lifted onto and off of things like the bed or the sofa. Now that he's feeling better, I'll catch him jumping on and off things, but he still does a "Princess and the Pea" routine, waiting patiently for his curbside service at every turn. Ha!

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Sunday, July 17, 2016
First attempt cleaning old textile: Venice Tapestry
When I was about 20, I began collecting vintage images of Venice, particularly antique photos.  When I came across this badly damaged tapestry of Venice, $4 didn't seem much of a risk or gamble-- even in its world-weary state, I still love it. Plus it's a chance to try my hand at cleaning stains from an old textile.  

Based on the spill/fade/soil patterns, I think this cloth was on a buffet or some horizontal surface, maybe with small objects displayed atop it, as there are less-soiled squares that might have been the bases of vases or candelabra.  I did a bit of research, but most information was on cleaning, and not on removing extensive stains.  These may be mildew, but they don't smell bad, so I think it's more likely something was spilled on the piece. 

Sorry, but I should have taken a photo prior to spot cleaning.  We shall see how this goes.  The first real area of concentration was the dome area, (which I DID snap before cleaning) which was the worst staining on the piece.  I soaked the piece with glycerin, waiting 30 minutes, then blotted the glycerin through with a damp cloth, frequently changing the cloth underneath.  You can see on the under-cloth the progressive blottings.  This part is a test, and if all goes well, I'll do this method from one end of the piece to the other, probably in stages.  Hopefully this will yield brighter colors, as well. 

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Sunday, July 10, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chuy in crisis
Chuy had a health scare yesterday, and we had to go to the vet. Hopefully it's just a pulled muscle in his back, but there's also the danger of IVDD. He seems to get relief from the pain killer they gave me for him. Hoping for the best.
Update: Chuy has been on painkillers for a week, but gradually he showed improvement in mobility and comfort levels.  I think he must have pulled a muscle.  Now he's his usual spry, jaunty self, to my delight.  :)
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Sunday, June 19, 2016
Sweet thoughts of my Dad on Father's Day
     On this Father's Day, and every day, I'm so grateful for my excellent, wonderful Dad.   He is the personification of all the finest traits you could hope for in a man.  He is good-natured, always quick with a smile or a good word, and he is a great and present help to all around him who might need a hand.  He is industrious and energetically attacks any task that needs to be addressed.  He is unflinching in his morals and integrity, and stands for what is right.   I am truly blessed, and I love him so very dearly.  Happy Father's Day, Dad, and thank you for being so wonderful. 
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Monday, June 13, 2016
On the terrorist attack in Orlando:
Blaming the implements used in this attack is like blaming fertilizer and rental trucks for the OKC bombing. It's like blaming rooftops for the murder of all the gay men thrown from them. 
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Sunday, June 12, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: mini pup-tent on the recliner
Home from Dallas, relaxing with my furballs. :)

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Sunday, June 05, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: knackered puppies
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

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