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Archive for July, 2011

Daddy Dearest

July 29th, 2011 2 comments

Just got finished reading “Shit My Father Says,” by Justin Halpern.  Very funny.

Here’s a query:  Do you remember your father ever saying to you, “I love you.”?

Categories: Personal History, Uncategorized Tags:

Harshing

July 25th, 2011 1 comment

Just heard a commentator on a Slate podcast use the term “harshing” — “…the critic was harshing on the film…”  Harsh is now a verb?

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House to Hide In

July 23rd, 2011 Comments off

A wise man once said to me, Never get a home that doesn’t have any places you can hide; that was very wise advice.

What it means is, Be sure there are private places.  Places you can get away from whatever else is going on in your home.

I love the house we have now.  It is not huge, about 1300 square feet.  But it has separate areas.  The dining room and living room are “open plan”, but separated by an entry way.  The kitchen is its own wing.  Two ‘bedrooms’–one is a guest bedroom, the other our den (or ‘viewing room’ as our grandson called it–it’s where we have our TV)  are seaparted by a hallway from the rest of tehe house.  The master bedroom is in a separate wing.  The toilet is separated from the rest of the bathroom.

Wha I like best is that, if I’ve been watching the TV — the news, usually — I can walk out into the livingroom, and be in a completely differnt space.  We like to leave some classical music playing there, something soft and quiet, and to leave the cacaphony of the TV for this place of simpleness is a joy beyond measure; I am refreshed.

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SC Republicans’ New Poll Tax

July 17th, 2011 Comments off

South Carolina’s voting law requires a photo ID, typically a valid driver’s license.  Getting a driver’s license requires showing a birth certificate.  And:

No one knows how many South Carolinians don’t have a birth certificate. One indicator may be a tally by the S.C. Election Commission, which shows 178,175 voters do not own a photo ID, according to the latest available figures.

Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2011/07/17/1900835/many-face-fight-to-prove-id.html#ixzz1SnEylyqf

Categories: politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

International Taxes

July 15th, 2011 Comments off

 

Categories: Charts, Economics, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

Il Cane

July 12th, 2011 Comments off
English version

Era il mio compleanno settimana. Avevo dieci anni. Papà e mamma mi ha comprato una bella torta. Volevo una bicicletta, ma papà ha detto che è troppo caro, tutti i nostri soldi dovevano andare alle medicine di mamma. Stavo d’accordo.

Il giorno dopo il mio compleanno, ero in giro per le strade. Tutti gli altri bambini erano a scuola. Vorrei poter andare a scuola, ma papà dice che non me lo permette, perché non sono nato qui.

Un vecchio cane peloso mi stava seguendo. Non importa dovunque sono andato, quanti giri ho fatto, il cane era a pochi passi dietro di me. Ho tornato a casa, e il cane mi ha seguito lì.

“Mamma,” ho detto, “guarda chi ha appena entrato in famiglia”.

Mamma era reposata sul lettino. “Jupe”, ha detto Mamma, “prendere che al di fuori del cane, è tutto sporco.”

“Ma può stare con noi?”

“Staremo a vedere. Chiederemo tuo padre “.

Papà era fuori, in cerca di lavoro. Così ho preso il cane fuori. Ho chiamato il Bianco cane, perché i suoi capelli bianchi lunghi e arruffati e sporchi.

Bianco mi ha seguito fino al fiume, dove le donne andavano a lavare le lenzuola. Ho blandito Bianco in acqua saponata, e lo lavò tutto il corpo. Abbiamo ottenuto dal fiume, e Bianco si scosse di me.

Ho pettinato il pelame Bianco con le mie dita, e ben presto era asciutto e liscio, e setosa. Bianco aveva luminoso, occhi marroni, quasi dorato. Pensavo che mi sorrideva.

Siamo andati al mercato, e ho pregato per alcuni avanzi di carne. Ho detto che era per me, ma siamo andati dietro l’angolo, e l’ho dato a Bianco. Bianco ha mangiato fino, a presto.

Siamo tornati a casa nostra. Papà era lì. “Taci”, ha detto, “tua mamma sta riposando. Si può tenere il cane,” ha detto, “ma devi dargli da mangiare e prendersi cura di lui”. Gli ho raccontato del avanzi di carne, e lui ha detto che sia bene.

Da allora in poi ho preso cura di Bianco, e dormiva accanto a me, sul mio tappetino per terra in un angolo. Ogni giorno andavamo al mercato, e mi piacerebbe chiedere del cibo. Bianco avrebbe mangiato nulla, quasi! Anche le patate!

Un giorno, Bianco ed io sono andati a fare una passeggiata fuori città, verso le colline. Abbiamo camminato e abbiamo camminato. Improvvisamente non sapevo dove eravamo. Mi ero perso.

“Bianco, ci siamo persi,” dissi. Lui mi guardò con gli occhi luminosi, e piegò la testa come per dire: “Tu pensi davvero?”

“Sai la strada, Bianco?” dissi. “Bianco, andare a casa! Vai a casa, Bianco! “

Poi si voltò e trottted giù per la collina. Ho seguito Bianco, e mi ha portato a destra di nuovo alla città e alla nostra casa. Bianco ha gli occhi brillanti e il suo pelame è bianco, come le luci.

Un giorno, Bianco e sono tornato a casa, e papà era lì, con alcuni vicini di casa, e papà disse: “Jupe, mi dispiace. La tua mamma è morta “.

Bianco ed io abbiamo pianto per molto tempo.

Poco dopo la mamma morì, papà ha detto: “Dobbiamo andare ora, Jupe. Non ci lasciano stare qui “.

“Ma perché?” ho chiesto.

“Non siamo da questa terra. Qui non vogliono gli stranieri a vivere. Dobbiamo andare via, prima di trovarci e ci ha messo in prigione. “

Non volevo andare. Ma papà ha detto che dobbiamo. Quella sera, ha imballato quello che avevamo in una grossa valigia. “E ‘tempo di andare,” ha detto.

“Va bene” dissi, “andiamo, Bianco.”

“No, Jupe”, ha detto Papa, “Bianco non può venire con noi. Dobbiamo lasciarlo qui “.

“Ma chi si prenderà cura di Bianco?” ho gridato.

“Io so che cosa fare,” disse Papà.

Così siamo andati fuori di casa nel bel mezzo della notte in modo che non ci avrebbe trovato, e si diresse verso il lato opposto della città, sul grande ponte sul fiume. A metà del ponte, papà ha detto: “Prendete questo cordone, Jupe, e lo mise al collo Bianco. Noi lo legano alla ringhiera. Qui nel centro del ponte, sicuramente qualche  persona gentile vedrà Bianco, e adottare lo proprio come hai fatto. “

Così ho legato Bianco alla ringhiera del ponte. Ho abbracciato Bianco. Bianco mi guardò con i suoi occhi d’oro brillante. Ho pianto.

Era quasi l’alba. Abbiamo dovuto lasciare. Ho detto addio a Bianco, e papà e mi allontanavo. “Non guardare indietro, Jupe”, ha detto Papa, “dobbiamo andare avanti.”

Spero Bianco è felice con la sua famiglia nuova gentile.

Clicca qui per la Conclusione

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The Dog

July 12th, 2011 Comments off
Versione Italiano

It was  my birthday week.  I was ten years old.  Papa and Mama bought me a nice cake.  I wanted a bicycle, but Papa said it was too dear, all our money had to go to Mama’s medicines.  That’s okay.

The day after my birthday,  I was walking around in the streets.  All the other kids were in school.  I wish I could go to school, but Papa says they won’t let me, because I wasn’t born here.

An old shaggy dog was following me.  No matter where I went, how many turns I made, the dog was a few steps behind me.  I walked home, and the dog followed me there.

“Mama,” I said, “Look who just joined our family.”

Mama was lying on the cot. “Jupe,” said Mama, “take that dog outside, it’s all dirty.”

“But can he stay with us?”

“We’ll see.  We’ll ask your father.”

Papa was out,  looking for work.  So I took the dog outside.  I called the dog  Bianco, because his hair was long and shaggy and dirty white.

Bianco followed me down to the river, where the women went to wash their bed linens.  I coaxed Bianco into the soapy water, and washed him all over. We got out of the river, and Bianco shook himself all over me.

I combed Bianco’s coat with my fingers, and pretty soon it was dry, and smooth, and silky.  Bianco had bright, brown eyes, almost golden.  I thought he was smiling at me.

We went to the market, and I begged for some meat scraps. I said it was for me, but we went around the corner, and I gave it to Bianco. Bianco ate it right up.

We went back to our home.  Papa was there.  Be quiet, he said, your mama is resting.  You can keep the dog, he said, but you have to feed him and take care of him.  I told him about the meat scraps, and he said okay.

From then on I took care of Bianco, and he slept next to me, on my pad on the floor in the corner. Every day we would go to the market, and I’d beg some food.  Bianco would eat anything, almost!  Even potatoes!

One day Bianco and I went for a walk outside the city, up into the hills.  We walked and we walked.  Suddently I didn’t know where we were.  I was lost.

“Bianco, we’re lost,” I said.  He looked up at me with his bright eyes, and cocked his head as if to say, “You really think so?”

“Do you know the way, Bianco?” I said.  “Bianco, go home!  Go home, Bianco!”

Then he turned and trottted down the hill.  I followed Bianco, and he led me right back to the city and to our house.  Bianco’s eyes are bright and his coat is white, like lights.

One day Bianco and I came home, and Papa was there, with some neighbors, and Papa said, “Jupe, I’m sorry.  Your mama has died.”

Bianco and I cried for a long time.

Soon after Mama died, Papa said, “We have to go now, Jupe.  They won’t let us stay here.”

“But why?” I asked.

“We are not from this land.  Here they do not want strangers to live. We must go away, before they find us and put us in jail.”

I did not want to go.  But Papa said we must. That evening, he packed what we had into a big suitcase. “It’s time to go,” he said.

“Okay,” I said, “come on, Bianco.”

“No, Jupe,” said Papa, “Bianco can’t come with us.  We have to leave him here.”

“But who will take care of Bianco?” I cried.

“I know what to do,” said Papa.

So we went out of the house in the middle of the night so they wouldn’t find us, and walked  to the far side of the city, onto the great bridge across the river. In the middle of the bridge, Papa said, “Take this cord, Jupe,  and put it around Bianco’s neck.  We’ll tie it to the railing.  Here in the center of the bridge, surely some nice person will see Bianco, and adopt him just as you did.”

So I tied Bianco to the railing of the bridge.  I hugged Bianco.  Bianco looked up at me with his golden bright eyes.  I cried.

It was almost dawn.  We had to leave.  I said goodbye to Bianco, and Papa and I walked away.  “Don’t look back, Jupe,”  said Papa, “we must keep going.

I hope Bianco is happy with his nice new family.

 

Click here for the Conclusion

 

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Pets

July 9th, 2011 Comments off

Let us now speak of pets.

Proposition #1: pets are furry.  Sure, someone will speak of his ‘pet snake’ or ‘pet tarantula spider, but who ever wants to ‘pet’ a snake, or a tarantula (hairy though it may be: we said furry, not hairy).  Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, monkeys, somet8imes girbles…these things are pettable.  by which we mean, mostly, cuddly, cuddleable.  something you can allow onto the couch while wataching TV, or at least scratch behind the ear while seated at the table of the lord of the manor  (tossit a boane).   You could not bring your Jila monster to the lord of the manor’s table; just not allowed.

Back to pets: most are dogs or (sniff) cats.  I like cats; it’s just that though they may like me, I don’t necessarily want them to exhibit their affection: like, kneading my chest when I’m trying to sleep, or plopping themselves on top of my head while I’m in bed.  Also, people think that cats are less trouble than a dog: not true.  Unless you let the cat roam around the neighborhood (unlawful where I live) where it will kill innumerable birs (fledglings, mostly) [a study in Wisconsin found that the average house cat, left to roam ouside during the day (and they always want to come inside where it’s cozy at night) kills some ninety birds per summer.]  You have to empty the cat’s litter box–and who has the time or stomach to that as often as is needed?

It could be said that dogs tie you down, you can’t go wandering if you’ve got a dog (unless you’ve got a wandering-type dog, and you’ve got a camper or similar trailer). Well yeah, that’s true.  Our little shiTsu’s needed constant attention.  That’s what kennels are for.  Also, relatives.

So all things considered, that leads us to

Proposition #2: They musn’t get out of line.

 

More on this later.

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Warning Labels be Damned

July 8th, 2011 2 comments

For two days I went looking for some five-gallon pails, with covers, to use on my lanai  (okay, my patio).  I wanted some plain, white ones.  Such as drywall mud would come in, but without the left-over drywall mud.

Lowes carries some of the right size, but they are of an ugly silver-gray, with a huge Lowes logo on two sides.  Home Depot carries some, but they are a bright-red color, and also logoed. Same thing with Ace hardware–lotsa advertising.

Finallhy foiund Wal-Mart carries plain, white ones.  Store #1 has the buckets, but no tops.  Same story with store #2, just the buckets, no tops.  Both stores have slots on the slelves for the tops, but no stock.  Store number 3 has–Three tops!  (but no buckets).  So I buy the three tops from store #3, and then zip over to Store #2 and buy three buckets.

I get them home, am ready to put them on my lanai…and see tthe huge stuck-on label: Warning! Children may fall into bucket.  Do not leave open bucket around small children!  this in three languages, Spanich French and Hebrew.

I try to peel the labels from the pails, but what’s this?  The ahesive is super-strong, the label tears, and I’m left with a bunch of torn label on my beautiful bucket.  And, when I finally do get the paper label removed, what’s left is a slurge of sticky-stuff on the side of the pail, certain to pick up any flying smut…dust, dirt, bugs…that chances nearby.

I’m 70 years old, have never had children, and don’t allow children near my house.  Gimme a break!

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The Trip to the Stockyard Inn

July 8th, 2011 1 comment

The trip by auto from Des Plaines, Ill., to the Chicago stockyards on the South Side of Chicago involved crossing the Proviso railroad yards, an enormous complex about halfway along the trip.

The Proviso Yards were maintained by the Chicago and Northwestern, and the Union Pacific lines.   To cross, you had to drive over a barely 2-lane, wooden-trestle cantilever bridge; you could reach out and touch the oncoming cars.  The bridge, which creaked and groaned, swayed from side to side, especially in a heavy breeze.

That bridge scared me to death.  I have always been afraid of heights, and that bridge just reinforced my fears.  It was very tall and very long, about a mile long, and scary its whole length.  “Deep hole!” I would cry, cringing and finally crawling down from the carseat to the floor, so that I didn’t have to look.

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