‘This is ridiculous’

March 23, 2017

The pear tree in the back yard has been enjoying regular medical care and looks great.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones is an actual wonk, unlike, say, Paul “Lyin'” Ryan, who only plays one on TV.

Kevin also suffers from multiple myeloma, and thus has made an extensive study of the U.S. health-care system, and the hard way, too. Happily, his employer provides excellent health care.

And so when Kevin writes about health care, I pay close attention. And here’s what he has to say about the House GOP’s latest scheme — surgically removing what the Affordable Care Act deemed “Essential Health Benefits” — to make its destruction of the ACA palatable to the Knuckledraggers Caucus.

This means that a health insurer could literally sell you a policy that didn’t cover doctor visits, hospital visits, ER visits, your children’s health care, or prescription drugs—and still be perfectly legal.

No. 1 on his top-three list of problems with Ryan’s little scheme: “Oh come on. This is ridiculous.” I might have used the word “psychotic,” but you know how I am.

Anyway, if you haven’t been in touch with your congresscritter on this issue, best get busy. This dog is likely to limp to the House floor sometime today.

Spring fever

March 20, 2017

The pear tree woke up over the weekend.

Hoo boy. Allergies. Good times. Maybe not.

But at least it’s spring, amirite? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachoo!

 

Rock ‘n’ rage

March 19, 2017

Jaysis. What a weekend. First we lose Chuck Berry and then Jimmy Breslin.

Berry remains on tour extraterrestrially — “Johnny B. Goode” is on golden records aboard the Voyager I and II spacecraft, launched in 1977.

One of my favorite Breslin books is “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”  What could I tell you? There are so many keepers in there, like this graf:

The Baccala Family runs all organized crime in Brooklyn. The gang has been in Brooklyn longer than the Ferris Wheel at Coney Island. It was formed in 1890 under the leadership of Raymond the Wolf. He ate babies. Raymond the Wolf passed away one night from natural causes: his heart stopped beating when three men who slipped into his bedroom stuck knives in it. Joe the Wop, who had sent the three men, took over the mob. Joe the Wop shot nuns. A year later he dropped dead while being strangled.

I didn’t know this quote until I read it in his obit, but it works for me, too:

“Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.”

I’ve never raged as well as Breslin or Berry, but I keep on trying. If only they hadn’t set the bar so damn’ high.

Reel scored for pennywhistle and putty knife

March 17, 2017

It’s not as boondocky as it looks: The Trek 520 shoot took place just west of Albuquerque.

There was a time when I might have begun St. Patrick’s Day with a dollop of Irish in the coffee and ended it with a few pints of the black, playing Clannad, The Chieftains and The Pogues in between.

Not this year.

We’d been contemplating the renovation of Herself’s office, and as it happens the dude who does that sort of thing for us was available this very week, the same week during which Herself was scheduled to take a business trip to Florida.

Bejaysis.

So instead of getting my Irish on I arose early to feed and water the menagerie, swallow a bit of (unenhanced) java, and record the voiceover on my Trek 520 video (see screenshot, above) before the hooley resumed. The cats took up their positions under the bed and Mister Boo — well, nothing fazes The Boo save a late meal, so he was fine.

And I broke out the old iPod Nano, the better to hear The Chieftains by. May yis all be in heaven a half hour before the divvil hears you’re dead.

 

The music a’Waits

March 14, 2017

OK, apropos of nothing in particular, check out this interview with Tom Waits at The New York Times Style Magazine.

Beck and Kendrick Lamar are in there, too, if that’s how you roll.

The money quote for me — from Waits, of course — is about inspiration and how it strikes:

If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one, and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects.

 

The cat’s meow

March 14, 2017

Flower child.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla reports from the field that spring has sprung, no matter what your calendar may say.

Also, she adds, you needn’t worry yourself sick about health care. Whenever Mia gets the vapors, a sick headache, or the jim-jams, some two-legged type takes her to the vet and picks up the tab.

Apparently this good Samaritan also provides nutrition and sanitation, likewise free of charge.

Mia recommends we all get ourselves one of them there.

 

Breaking news

March 12, 2017

It was an under-the-covers operation.

He is a Boo of action, to be sure.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — Hidden-camera footage released Sunday afternoon appears to show Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) meeting in secret with Mia, a known Russian Blue.

Asked whether he would sack his household-security adviser, President Boo replied, “Zzzzzzzzzzz … slurp, smack … Russian? As in Russian dressing? Yummmmmm. … zzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

Project Jagoff

March 12, 2017

And now, from our Just Fucking Shoot Me Department, comes the news that Levi’s and Google’s ATAP division have teamed up for a “smart” denim jacket, slated to be released this fall for $350.

“Project Jacquard,” they call the technology. For those of you who don’t parlez the français, that’s pronounced “jag-off.”

I’m thinking this garment will be smarter than many of the people who buy it. My best guess is that the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jag-et is an ruse to soften us up for the jeans (call ’em Levi’s 666). Look for Guccifer 3.0 to hack ’em and pants every hipster in America at once as they bend over to lock their bespoke fixies to the railings at java joint/artisanal alehouse/toast café patios nationwide.

That oughta uncurl their moustaches.

Jailhouse rocks with turkey

March 11, 2017

I’m goin’ down. I’m goin’ down, down, down, down, down.

I’m still not very interested in what I have to say about anything, possibly because I just wrapped one deadline and am wrangling another.

Plus the weather has been, in a word, top notch (OK, so that’s two words, but you get the idea). So I’ve been spending a whole lot of my free time outdoors. Yesterday I ran in the morning and rode in the afternoon. Fat city, is what.

So while I slack, feel free to kick back and sing along with some of today’s greatest hits, unearthed between bouts of work and play.

• If You Don’t Have a Dime, Don’t Do the Crime: Deep-pockets offenders can buff the rough edges off their jailhouse stays in Southern California. Says a guy paying $100 a night for a 90-day stretch for driving while smacked (it was his third DUI): “I’m really happy I was able to come here. But you need the money to do it.” Everybody sing!

• Make America Gravel Again! The cash-strapped folks in Omaha City Hall have been “reclaiming” some crumbling roads — if your idea of reclamation involves helping them crumble all the way down to gravel to cut upkeep costs. Kids quit riding their bikes on one street after the asphalt was torn out, said one retiree living next to what is now a dirt road a block from a busy Starbucks. “During the summer, it’s just a dust bowl,” she said. Everybody sing!

• It’s Nobody’s Business But the Turks’. Seems Mike Flynn was working for two turkeys at once during last year’s pestilential election. Which one came first? Sounds like a turkey-and-egg tale, or maybe a porno. Everybody sing!

iStone

March 7, 2017

A grave decision.