Monthly Archives: August 2014

But we’ve got windmills – we fart in your general direction!

Your mother was a hamster!

Your mother was a hamster!

Putin hints at gas shut-off for Europe this winter. At least he can’t threaten them with fracking, they’ve banned that.


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And while you were tanning on the beach…

We were up solving the world’s problems

David Yudain explains the solution for permanent peace in the Middle East

David Yudain explains his solution for permanent peace in the Middle East


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At sea in Vermont

Your blogger attempting to identify the mountains he’s observing (Mt. Mansfield’s one of ’em)

Photo, Lily Dowling

Photo, Lily Dowling

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Corporate greed? How about short-sighted government stupidity?

Heap trouble

Heap trouble

Third casino in Atlantic City closing this week.

“We’re all feeling a little betrayed,” Showboat cook Curtis Wade said. “We’re all walking around in a fog today. We worked really hard to try to keep it operating, and we’re still profitable. We still don’t understand why we were the one targeted to close, and nobody has given us an answer on that. There are too many jobs being pushed out of Atlantic City due to corporate greed.”

Wade will be among the thousands of workers showing up at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Wednesday for a mass unemployment filing.

The Showboat’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, closed the still-profitable casino to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition in the saturated northeastern U.S. casino market.

Connecticut’s been “balancing” its books for decades with accounting gimmicks and casino profits. Another year or so, and all we’ll have are the gimmicks.

Thank goodness we have resourceful government accounts here in the Nutmeg State.*


*The Nutmeg State is so named because Connecticut Yankee peddlers were known to work the frontier selling wooden “nutmegs”, and skipping town before angry housewives discovered they’d been had. We continue to earn that sobriquet.

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Well I certainly hope that there’s one casualty, and that it dies in Cos Cob



“Juice war” starting in Greenwich.

The town is becoming something of a mini mecca for juice bars that sell a variety of health-focused food and drink. There’s Elixir on East Putnam Avenue and two branches of Green & Tonic — one on Railroad Avenue and one in Cos Cob. Big-chain Robek’s is also a player in Cos Cob. The town is set to get even juicier in a few months, as New York-based Juice Press is slated to open on Greenwich Avenue in November.

Among the owners of these businesses, there’s some concern about competition, but not from everyone. Jeffrey and Cai Pandolfino, owners of Green and Tonic, said even with so many juice bars in relative proximity, they aren’t worried about getting squeezed out by the competition. “Greenwich is a big market,” Jeffrey Pandolfino said. “There’s room for everybody.”

[The] Pandolfinos remain hopefully that their core of customers will stick with them.

“I think this is a great opportunity for everybody,” Jeff Pandolfino said.

Screw ’em. A year or so ago, the Pandolfino’s were advertising for help, and my daughter Sarah stopped in to inquire. Assured by Mrs. Pandolfino that they were indeed still hiring, Sarah filled out an application on the spot, but when Pandolfino saw the name, she demanded, “are you related to that blogger?” “This usually goes one of two ways,” said Sarah, “but yeah, he’s my father.” Only the hydraulic hinge kept the door from hitting Sarah in the butt as Paldofino tossed her out of her store.

I’ll admit to having a little fun with Green & Tonic when I saw Mr. Pandolfino quoted as saying, “food should be like medicine” – that didn’t sound appealing to me, then or now, but visiting the sins of the father on the child is petty, mean and, in the great cosmic world of karma, unwise.



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Whatever did they do without global warming to blame it on?

Today in history, 1954: Carol, third hurricane of the season, hit the east – here’s an article and video from the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette.

(Speaking of which, turns out that the global ice cap, which Al Gore and other settled scientists said would be ice-free by this summer, has been growing thicker, and there’s now more ice than when he made his pronouncement, not less)

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Country fair dining at its apogee

Anyone want a carrot?

Doesn’t anyone want a carrot?

Twinkie wrapped in bacon with a Twix bar inside, battered, deep-fried and dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

“I can say with strong conviction that there aren’t any health benefits to eating a concoction like this,” said [nutritionist Vanessa] Stasio.

She may be right.


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Gobsmacked in Seattle

Who knew?

Who knew?

“Java Juggs” and other topless coffee shops were actually places of prostitution, prosecutors allege.

Snohomish County prosecutors charged Carmela Panico, a 52-year-old former nude dancer who owns several Java Juggs and Twin Peaks espresso stands, with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she operated drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle, The Everett Herald reported Thursday.

Her baristas made money mostly on tips, saying they could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, authorities said. The women said they could make up to $14 for baring their breasts or genitals and charged more for sex acts, according to charging documents.


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Breaking news from Genesis 4:1-2

But it's broccoli ice cream, mommy!

Relax, Eve, little Cain’s enjoying broccoli ice cream!

Children won’t eat their vegetables

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows children are eating far more whole fruit than they used to and drinking less juice. But the amount of vegetables they eat hasn’t changed.

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On the other hand, maybe charred is more valuable than brown

Up in smoke

Up in smoke

404 Round Hill Road burned down yesterday. Nice old house on 6 acres, the owners before these tried to get $8.5 million for it in 2005 and finally sold it for $5 million in 2010. After some 2012 renovations, it was put back up for sale in 2013 for $5.750 million, and gradually fell to $4.695 before yesterday’s unfortunate incident.

$3 million mortgage, $361,399 lien.

UPDATE: Not for nutting’, but the GT article on this fire has been amended to note that the first firemen to respond to the scene were from the North Mianus  Street station and it took them ten minutes to arrive. The Round Hill crew, 300 yards away, took longer. Is Round Hill staffed solely by volunteers? That would explain the lag but otherwise, huh?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014



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Brown furniture’s demise

Old and in the way

Old and in the way

A friend of mine likes to refer to the old, 1900’s homes and their furnishings collectively as “brown furniture houses”, and points out, accurately, that the new generation of buyers doesn’t want them. As further evidence of that, he sends along this story of the permanent closing of New Canaan’s “Silk Purse”, a consignment  shop that succeeded for decades selling brown furniture to decorate brown houses.

Widmann, an 85-year-old Norwalk resident, said the store’s best years were between the 1980s and 2008. “Those were very good years,” she said.

The store’s most profitable section, according to Widmann, is the jewelry counter.

“Our jewelry department has held up,” she said. “We’re still having very good jewelry sales, and silver, and small things. But furniture is not (selling well).”

Widmann said the new generations generally are not looking for consignment services.

Tucker Murphy, the Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, agreed, saying the consignment business is no longer as popular as it used to be because people either buy and sell antiques on Craigslist or just are not as interested in antiques.


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So who would you believe?

Aug. 29, 2014: The president arrives in Warwick, RI, to discuss the world situation with his top Rhode Island advisors

Aug. 29, 2014: The president arrives in Warwick to discuss the world situation with his top Rhode Island advisors

Times of London reports that Obama dithered for a month before approving Foley rescue attempt, White House says t’aint true.

Pentagon sources said Foley and the others might well have been rescued but Obama, concerned about the ramifications of US troops being killed or captured in Syria, took too long to authorise the mission.

Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”

In a later tweet that was widely circulated, Harnden said a senior Pentagon official confirmed to him “that ‘hesitation’ by President Obama” delayed the mission.

The NSC tweeted that the attack was mounted “as soon as the President was confident of success”. That’s neither a denial nor a comfort. How long did it take the White House to gain that confidence – 30 days? No wonder the intelligence was stale, and Foley no longer there.

“It took a while for us to locate the President,” White House spokesman Sylvestro Stallone conceded to FWIW, “what with him all over the country at fundraisers and golf courses, but once we did, and he found the time to listen, it couldn’t have been more than 15 days – 20, tops.”

Weasel Words

Weasel Words



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And we’re back. Surprise! Nothing’s changed.

The spirit of Chicago, union head Karen Lewis inspires her Greenwich peers.

The spirit of Chicago, union head Karen Lewis inspires her Greenwich peers.

Town and Greenwich teachers union engaged in secret negotiations over next contract.

The GEA is looking for a three-year contract, which would run from 2015 to 2018. The union’s current three-year pact ends June 2015. It has approximately 900 members and represents almost all district teachers.

Neither side has disclosed what teachers are seeking, citing a need for confidentiality.

As always, the BOE will cut a deal and present it for rubber stamping by the RTM, claiming “it’s the best we could do.” Somehow I doubt that; refusing to disclose the union’s demands seems to me to be a deliberate policy to keep the taxpayers in the dark until the dirty work’s been done.


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Grey-haired illegal aliens enrolling in public schools, Feds forbid any attempt to verify their age

And last of all, I'd like to thank the taxpayers of Lynn for making this possible

And last of all, I’d like to thank the taxpayers of Lynn for making this possible

Taxpayer-subsized public education ends at 21, but to the federal government, you’re only as old as you feel – and say you are.

( – The mayor of Lynn, Mass. says that some of the illegal aliens from Guatemala who are enrolled in her city’s public schools are adults with graying hair and “more wrinkles than I have.”

“They are not all children,” Judith Flanagan Kennedy told reporters at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

“One of the things that we did notice when we were processing some of these students coming in was that they were adults,” she said.

She added that the federal government will not allow school officials to verify their ages, even though one of the students turned out to be 35 years old.

At the press conference, Kennedy said that the economic impact on American cities like Lynn, which is located about 10 miles north of Boston, includes an increase in cost to taxpayers for educating these overage students and for providing them with health services, including vaccinations that are required for all children attending U.S. public schools.


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“Experts” or professional politicians and victim profiteers?

What do all battered women have in common? THEY JUST WON'T LISTEN!

What do all battered women have in common? THEY JUST WON’T LISTEN!

“Experts” demand NFL increase penalties for domestic violence. I’ve never known Dick Blumenthal to be an expert on anything other than  collecting media coverage for himself, and the other bloviators quoted in this article are just as clueless. Why should the National Football League be charged with the task of “setting an example” for 370 million people? It’s a game, played for our entertainment by very large, often brutal men. Period.

If Blumenthal and his cronies want to lead by example in the “war on women”, they could start in their own Senate offices, where women are paid 70% of what their male counterparts earn.

Or even, as the NYT pointed out last April, the White House.


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Crime stoppers news from Britain

Man convicted of scaring visitors to cemetery by playing ghost.

A guy who’s on parole for harassment goes out drinking, then visits a cemetery with a buddy and a football—what could go wrong? The people of Portsmouth, England, found out when Anthony Stallard, 24, booted the football at gravestones and acted like a ghost for cemetery visitors, according to a court hearing. “He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms about and going ‘wooooooo,'” said a prosecuting attorney. “I’m assuming he was pretending to be a ghost.” Stallard pleaded guilty to “using threatening or abusive words or behavior likely to cause distress,” the Portsmouth News reports.

Stallard’s attorney said his client’s actions wouldn’t have been “inappropriate” outside of a cemetery, “but inside a cemetery while people are grieving for their loved ones it might be.”

Coud have been worse, as this video from the Caucasus shows


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News from the battle zone

Banned in Winooski

Banned in Winooski

VT: Diner takes down bacon advertisement after muslim complains.

The mayor of the town, Winooski, Vt., commended the diner for taking down the sign. “The cool part of living in a diverse community is that it’s not always comfortable,” Mayor Katherine “Deac” Decarreau told the television network.

What Mayor “Deac” means, apparently, is that anything that makes muslims and other politically favored minorities uncomfortable must be eliminated, and the resulting discomfort of male white Christians celebrated.

Winooski, a self-described “art-mecca” is a no-go zone for this blogger. Except, perhaps, to scatter bacon sandwiches on the streets during a midnight run.


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We do have internet!

Although it’s far too beautiful up here to spend much time indoors. I’ll be posting a picture later of the latest green folly, a row of 400-foot-tall windmills on the crest of the mountains, utterly transforming the view and, I’m told, producing a total kilowatt output sufficient to charge three Tesla’s and a Chevy Volt. Funny thing: although, as a general rule, greens hate “technology”, they’ll bow to its wrath if demanded by Earth Goddess Gaia. “But they’re windmills”, the head of the National Resource Defense Council told one resident, who sought his organization’s help blocking this project. Says it all.

Update from John:

Camp Cancer Report

“My friends! I have been adventuring.

I so wish that I could regale you all with photographic evidence of boats and airplanes and islands and sharks and Southern California beauties, but my phone/camera now runs with the hood rats of Costa Mesa, no doubt staying up well past its bedtime. And so I shall guide you through this recalling of days past using only the power of words! Prepare yourself.

Catalina was a hoot. And warm. And there were palm trees, guys, real ones. I spent four days on the island with a bunch of other cancerheads, swimming among stingrays and sharks, hiking among leftover buffalo, and talking survival tactics. I met some of the most fantastic folks this side of Stage IV. Friends for life. Why do so many awesome people get cancer? Is it healthier to be an asshole? Maybe assholes corner the market on heart disease. Who knows.

Turns out I was the only greenhorn at Cancer Camp. Everyone else was either in the midst of treatment or had already made it through. There were some serious survivors in the mix and it was inspiring. And I learned A LOT. Did you know “night sweats” are a thing? They are totally a thing.

My phone was cast to the tide with appropriate SoCal nonchalance. At first I was upset, but a) cancer!, and b) the phone’s absence eventually led to a spectacular two day extended stay in California. I ate delicious food, played spontaneous music, walked through Buddhist gardens and chased sleazy weasels through the seedier parts of town, all in the company of two of the world’s most gorgeous souls. Those extra days were worth a hundred damn iPhones.

Today was Day 1 of the Chemo. I went in this morning. They stabbed Frank (my chesticle) right in the face! Then Frank (I’ve got him under my skin) sipped on a lovely cocktail of chemicals for about three hours, after which they fashioned me with a fabulous mechanical fanny pack and sent me on my way. While I felt alright for the first few hours, I’ve since transmogrified into Barfatron 4000. It’s not the most fun I’ve ever had, but I’ve whined worse about less, so whatever. Years from now I’ll look back upon these moments with fondness. Remember that time I thought I had to sneeze, and instead blew chunks out both nostrils? Glad I was outside.

The mechanical fanny pack is actually a portable dispenser of liquid chemo justice. He’s part of the deal, 48 hours every two weeks. I’ve named him Tonto, which obviously makes me…wait for it…Chemosabe.

That’s about all I have to say about that.

I love you all. Thank you doesn’t say enough.


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Off to the Northeast Kingdom, VT

Due to global warming and the resultant "extreme weather", Vermont has cancelled summer this year.

Due to global warming and the resultant “extreme weather”, Vermont has cancelled summer this year.

Out of here for a few days snowshoeing in Vermont, where I’m promised no internet access.I  don’t believe that, personally, so check in from time to time to see if I haven’t been able to hang some string and a couple of tin cans from a tree. Otherwise, back by the weekend, I expect.

Behave yourselves.


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Crazed gun owners take to the streets of Dallas, media recoils. Or not.

A new citizens patrol group has formed in Texas and they’re openly parading with assault rifles and pistols.

[L] eader, Huby Freeman said the group wants to educate neighbors about the right to bear arms and the need for it.

“We believe we can police ourselves and bring security to our community, ridding our community of … crime, violence, terror, etc., etc.,” Freeman said.

Freeman and more than two dozen other people, many carrying rifles, marched Wednesday afternoon along Martin Luther King Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard, streets named for civil rights leaders.

At one point, the march went to Elaine’s Restaurant on Martin Luther King Boulevard, where demonstrators piled rifles on tables as they ordered cold drinks and food.

A Dallas police lieutenant and deputy chief were eating lunch in the restaurant at the time. They politely spoke to the demonstrators as they paid their bills.

Unsurprisingly, the liberal press has trotted out the usual condemnations, like this one in Daily Kos:

The question that I rarely see asked is: why are we so obsessed with guns?

As far as I can tell there is one key reason: a lack of self-esteem.

The self-defense that gun owners are talking about is usually about defending themselves from that evil godless government that is out to get them. And, possibly, from a Muslim invasion (I once heard that one). I have to say that I’m impressed by the level of stupidity it takes to think that owning a gun, even an assault weapon, would be enough to fend off the United States military. That is a level of delusional that even Star Trek fans who think they are actually Klingons don’t reach.

So where does the self-esteem issue come in? In order to think the government is after YOU, you have to think of yourself as pretty important. Newsflash: the government doesn’t really give a shit about you and probably never will.

[I]f you’re an unsatisfied American citizen, angry with the government, then I guess owning a gun and saying, “Let’s see anyone fuck with me now!” might feel pretty good. It’s a superficial level of good but I understand the feeling. And if the now proud gun owner musters up the belief that people are out to get him then he’s doubly proud of his brand new gun because he knows he’s a prime target and he’s ready to fight the good fight.

There’s also the fact that holding a gun gives you a sense of power. A gun is made to kill and having the power to kill makes a lot of people feel pretty damn important. Without the gun maybe they’re not much but with it? Oh, boy, now we’re talking. Now they’re a real tough guy because they can put a cap in someone’s ass.

People own guns because they desperately want to feel important and powerful. There’s always the joke that gun owners are compensating for a small penis and there’s a bit of truth to that. They are compensating for something; they’re compensating for a low self-esteem.

Micro-penised, lacking self-esteem, Huey P. Newton Gun Club members march in shame

Micro-penised, lacking self-esteem, Huey P. Newton Gun Club members march in shame

That’s telling ’em, although I somehow doubt that Mr. Kos would dare say any of this directly to this new group, The Huey P. Newton Gun Club, because there’s not a liberal on earth who’d tell a black male his penis is laughably small.



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