Print That Out And I’ll Chop It

IN A DISCUSSION AMONG WRITERS and fans on another blog, the notion of a chop — a stamp or seal used to sign and sanctify a document — for authors, the idea being to allow said author to sign more autographs and/or books in a shorter period of time.

Reading the various comments, it came to mind that I have used the concept in the past myself — signing work with a winged capital “A”, as can be seen in this frame from my orphaned comic strip, Jazzcat.

And that I might want to play with the notion of trying it again — to update the idea from forty years ago to the 21st Century. An image I had seen recently — an illustration by an asian woman, the provenance of which I can’t recall any more — put me in mind of a certain style of sig or logo that is, indeed, derivative of Chinese chop seals. examples of which can be seen on this Pinterest board (which I am now following). Designs like those seen can be rendered onto a custom made rubber stamp or, at greater expense, a formal chop-type seal. I do not have the facility with either the Chinese language or the system of writing to design my own of either, though, sometime in the future, given an improved pecuniary circumstance, if I can form a favorite aphorism to thus encode, I might have one made for myself. Meantimes, I tried my hand at a sort of a roundeyes version of the idea.

chop_malger_base_160628If you google “artists’ signatures”, you’ll find page after page of images of things like the Chinese chops and seals. And, in a lot of cases, the designs take advantage of the resemblance of geometric primitives — circles, squares, triangles, etc — to some arcane alphabet. I decided to take that as a jumping off point, using my initials — MPA — as the input filter. The result, as you can see, looks like the back of an envelope — which is kind of meta, if you think about it.

The image I’ve been carrying in my mind is, as best I can remember it, in two colors — black and red, with the design and characters reversed out to the (white) paper color. So I played with the basic logo to make several variations, but not wanting to get too far from something that, in the absence of a stamp or seal, could be drawn with a few quick strokes of a pen. The results below. (Click to embiggen.)

chop_malger_1_variations_160628.

Of course, given a Photoshop install (which I don’t have at the moment — the subscription for PSCC being beyond my reach*), one could readily spin off a wide variation with textures, embossing, shadows, glows, and lens flare, though you’d want to keep it simple. Either you can use a rubber stamp — which you can get custom-made for a reasonable fee — or you want to draw the chop by hand. If you get to the point where you have to use a 4-color, die-cut sticker, the idea of simplifying the autograph process has just jumped the shark.

*Though, it could be made possible were person or persons among the readership here moved to make contributions to the as-yet-ongoing GoFundMe campaign (button at right). Such would also serve the purpose of kick-starting my freelance art business, which is, at this moment (see posts below), stillborn.

For a Little Political Moment

IN THE MORNING… I heard someone yesterday objecting to Ted Cruz (at least I think the intent was objection) on the basis that “he thinks everybody in America should start their day on their knees in prayer.” My response: “Not a bad idea.” The conversation turned there to matters not germane to this post, so we will leave it.

I can hear a lot of my atheist friends objecting on a First Amendment basis, which I, frankly, consider balderdash. The Amendment commands, first: “Congress shall make no law.” Which places no limit on anyone else, anywhere else in this great and vast nation, and is utterly silent on the matter of mere suggestions from public officials or private citizens. (It should be pointed out that, constitutionally, Congress is the sole legislative authority at the Federal level (and ONLY the Federal level — setting aside the so-called supremacy principle for the nonce), a principle which, these days, is honored more in the breach with every Thomas E., Tricky Dick, and Harry S. issuing orders, regulations, and ukases right, left, center, fore, and aft.) and no other pronouncement may have the force of law, so … what’s the bother?

The First Amendment (and requirements within the Articles) are said to demand a wall of separation between Church and State. Which is a silly notion, since we have no Church for there to be a wall between it and the State (which has gotten entirely too big for its britches anyway) — big-“C” as in The Church — in America, (that pesky no-establishment thing), only a bunch of little-“c” churches. Yet, by demanding said wall, the anti-theists, in effect, establish their own church.

For it seems that the semi-(NGO-style)-official High Church of America has, by default become the New and Reform Church of Christ Anti-theist, or so the anti-theists would have us believe, claiming the Founders were “deists” who, having worshiped in Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and even Catholic churches for nigh on two hundred years, didn’t ascribe to Christianity. Such is the anti-theist Big Lie, which, having been repeated often and loudly for decades, now, is close to becoming Received Truth, though We the (little) People seem to be resisting the notion somewhat of late.

Lest my atheist friends be offended (such offense not being my purpose here), I should state my opinion, which it seems is close to observable fact, that while atheism is simply another strain of religious belief, which is to be greeted with a shrug and a “suit yourself” by Americans everywhere, ANTI-theism, the toxic strain which seeks to breach the OTHER part of the First Amendment — the part which demands Congress make no law respecting the free exercise of religion — is, in effect, an offense against individual rights: simple bigotry, not to be tolerated.

So, when a man of faith is open about it, rather than concealing his intent by obfuscation, persiflage, and outright lies, and makes a suggestion which is, on the face of it, utterly harmless, and may even redound in a net good to the country as a whole, one has to ask those objectors (in tones Christians must get tired of hearing in response to objections to moral decay in the country), “What are you so upset about?”

Artsy Fartsy Living

SO I’M SITTING HERE THINKING Photography’s an art, innit? Right?

There was a big controversy about that back when I was a boy photographer back in the ’60s. They said, “Anybody can TAKE a picture.” (Implying, of course, that there’s not much art in that.)

Of course, as the true photographers knew all along, you don’t so much TAKE a picture, as you MAKE a picture. Even were it possible to capture a scene exactly as it is in a given instant, the next instant, it will change — subtly or in gross. And, in photographing the scene, you influence its appearance, as well as the quantum existence of its constituents.

Plus, a photograph prevents you from actually knowing a given scene. There’s the NCIS example, when di Nozzo explained to Kate why they still sketch crime scenes. Others, I’m certain, abound. Even I knew all that back then. It concludeth to say that there is more artifice in a photograph than not.

In my HS days, though, my specialty was candid portraits. Even on the yearbook staff, it was an acknowledged specialty. And I took my text from Henri Cartier-Bresson**, who was famous for his fly-on-the-wall mode of getting images. I even carried a black camera, as inspired by HC-B.

(And, funnily enough, I look up at the camera hanging by its strap off the baker’s rack I use for a desk and — sure enough — I’m still carrying a black Nikon.)

And the shots of mine that made it into the book(s) the years I was on the staff were candid. Though I suspect I wasn’t all that unobtrusive. Sitting in a high school classroom, ignoring the teacher, snapping away, shooting endless rolls of Tri-X, candid shots of self-conscious teenagers: hard to avoid being noticed. And being a 6-foot-plus hulk, (albeit pretty skinny back then), dressed in dark colors, with that big old camera stuck up to my eye all the time.

malger selfie 160422earnie_in_window_lightBut that’s still my style, making candid portraits of the world around me. Nowadays with digital cameras — in the phone, yet (What’ll they think of next!?), it’s easier to capture what you see, though sometimes, it’s still a tough job to get what you see in the frame. Even in a mirror. Not gonna state it as a rule, but it does seem to me as though you can’t get a camera in a position to where you can photograph yourself as you see you in a mirror. The perspective is always wrong — the shapes of objects are distorted subtly. Here, I was looking at the image in the mirror, but the image is looking at the screen on the phone, thus lidding the eyes, it being impossible to look two directions at once.

Serendipity plays a pivotal role in instantaneous art — that is art over which the artist has only when-to-push-the-button control over when to freeze the motion that is an inevitable component of any scene — even the stillest of still lives. In the fast-moving art of candid photography, even the most carefully-framed shot will reveal the unexpected — which can often be seen as a bonus.

serendipity_illustration_btb_160424jane looks upFor example: in the images to the right, the top shot is the intended frame. I was trying to get a picture of Loki. Jane just photobombed me. But Loki moved too fast for the shutter to “freeze” him in action, thus making him too blurry for a normally acceptable shot. (I say normally, because I’ve had blurry shots turn out cool enough to use for some purpose, but it’s not common.) But The image of Jane, when framed and cropped correctly, is of interest. So it is treated so and saved as one of “my” pictures.

**The link goes to a Wikipedia article about Henri Cartier-Bresson. For the love of God, if you have the slightest interest in art or fine-art photography, go and read the article. Follow the links. Buy the books — especially Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment.

Yet Another Art-a-Day Post

TWO WEEKS LATER. In fact, it’s been so long, with the interim so eventful, I barely recall the subject matter alluded to in the March 29 post. However, today, I have a different subject to relate to you.

Part of my take — right or wrong — on this exercise is that we participants ought to present current works IN PROGRESS. A sort of a semi-formalized What I Did Today. Being a procrastinator, I’m going to lag that a bit. But I think I have an excuse. I was up until 3AM fighting with the machinery and software to transfer photos from my phone to my computer. (If anybody knows a transfer utility superior to Air Droid, please enlighten me. For me, it keeps losing the WiFi connection and failing of transfer. The photo set for today’s post totals out at 43MB. I’ve no idea why, even at WiFi speeds, that should take long enough to time out.) So my post TODAY is about what I did YESTERDAY. For what I did TODAY, tune in TOMORROW. (Or maybe later, depending on how well I can keep to this schedule. Past performance being a reliable indicator of future results. (Or however that goes.))

20160412_171354Swennyway. What I did yesterday was build a shelf. For my wife Toni (whose birthday was Monday, BTW) to go on the exposed brick chimney above her desk in the Study at Casa d’Alger. So, as a spoiler, here’s what it looks like, now finished. Process shots next. (Click to embiggen. Click all the little pictures if you want to see them bigger.)

The whole thing stems from when Toni started collecting things VW. Well, no, I suspect it goes back to the eighties when we collected Lladro porcelain figurines. We have a large stock of cats, flappers … I think there’s a ship under sail in there. Birds, bunnies, rocks, ashtrays (not so many of those since both of us quit smoking). Tux, the Linux penguin. A rubber duckie. Mugs and mugs full of pencils and markers. And, here lately, Toni’s been developing quite the garageful of bugs and buses. And neat, framed art — photos and prints.

It’s started to get a bit crowded over there. So Toni started looking for corbels. I was picturing a pair of nice acanthus leaves, or an owl or a gargoyle. But she ended up with some nice, Shaker-esque brackets. Seven inches tall by five deep. With dadoes cut top and back and screw eyes mounted in the dadoes.

Left Corbel20160412_174719Meantime, let us consider the field. As you can see in the pic above (and the left and right ends, herewith), there is casing molding either side of the brick, covering the seam between the brick and the drywall. Og and I selected this and the dentil molding that runs around the ceiling line of the whole room (or will once it’s done). It’s triple-fluted, so the placement of the corbels is critical. It would have been nicer if they had been the same width as the molding, but you do with what you have. The downside of this is that it becomes obvious that the two pieces — the molding board and the corbel — were not made to go together. If they had, either there would be a table cut into the molding to bed the corbel or the flutes would have been stopped short of the corbel’s position. However, simply mounting the corbel on the molding, with the flutes continuing under it doesn’t look THAT bad. And the upside is that there is a well-centered trough in which to position the mounting screw, which makes the mounting easier.

Before mounting the corbels, I set a six-foot level across the space and drew a line on the moldings to serve as a guide to everything. Then I measured the corbels to make sure I was setting the screws in the right place to position the tops level to each other and the base line. Good thing I did that. On one, the keyhole for the mounting screw was centered 1316” down on the other, the drop was 1¾”. I also noticed to my chagrin that the manufacturer had neglected to include a bracket for the shelf in the top dado. Seemed a rather dumb design decision to me, but, hey — they’re selling, so it must work for them. I’ll never buy another anything from that manufacturer and I doubt they’ll miss me.

Having marked the drops, I set the screws and drove them in with the drill, leaving the heads proud (and testing with the brackets periodically, adjusting with a hand screwdriver). I take a moment to note here that the idiot teenager who designed these things specified flat head screws, rather than the application appropriate round or pan head (with or without washer).

20160412_165438Then the action moved outside with a collection of tools and a six-foot number one grade white pine one by six bought previously. I cut it to length. (Love my Diablo blade — a quick spritz of WD40 on the running blade helps fora cleaner cut and helps keep the blade clean.) 57 inches was our rough measurement to determine needed stock, but the actual length turned out to be 56¾”

20160412_165555Once cut to length, I wanted to chamfer the top edges on three sides (not the side against the wall. My router is a Bosch 2¼ HP beast that weighs a ton but is suprisingly easy to handle and quite nimble on the wood. It handles like a dream when its running. The spinning motor has enough mass to have a gyroscope effect, making the thing tend to want to stay steady. I pulled it out of storage for this project and was surprised when I opened the case to find that I’d put it away with the chamfer bit already locked up and height adjusted to a cut depth appropriate for a ¾” board. It was the work of a couple of minutes to finish the edges.

We’d agreed not to put any kind of sealant or finish on the shelf because of Ditto. Birds don’t take well to the volatile organic compounds that are outgassed from paints and varnishes, not to mention solvents, so you don’t use them in areas where birds are — or even nearby. (And that includes deodorizers.) So the final step in building this shelf was to sand it smooth and clean — free of blemishes and splinters. Not too hard, since I’d started out with white wood to begin with. I put a quarter-sheet of 320 grit sandpaper in my Bosch orbital pad sander — another power tool that’s a dream to use — and smoothed the face and edges, softening the corners as I went. I spotted and smoothed one place where the router had chattered a bit and missed another one. I bet nobody else will ever see it.

Next time, a pretty jewel of a piece.

The Artfully Living Post: 3/29/16

THE EAGLE SHITS TODAY by which I mean, Amazon royalty payments to authors who have elected to receive via direct deposit will drop today — according to what Amazon has sent out. My take: big whoop. If only my books were selling better, I might muster more enthusiasm. Still and all, I must be grateful for every fan. To do otherwise is declasse.

And, one should also keep in mind that the reason we are here on this mission is with the hope that, by enhancing my illustrating skills, I might improve the interesting-ness (is so a word) of my covers and improve my sales. So. To our muttons. (Add media.)

20160328_181957 As the school-days poem goes, I meant to do my work today. I spent a good deal of time gathering links to matter relevant and illustrations of principles great and small, but ran out of time (and energy) before I got to actually putting pencil to paper to draw the intended art for today. (Remember? We’re posting a work a day? That one.)

But… When I pulled out my pad of drawing bristol, I found the bit of visual doggerel at right tucked in behind the cover. It is a beginning exercise from a drawing lesson I never completed. For my usual reason — impatience. And therein lieth a lesson. I have little patience to wait (or work) for results. I want to achieve what I see in my mind’s eye right away. So, because so much comes so easily to me that I’ve come to expect it, it is harder for me than it ought to be to learn some subjects that require that I apply myself diligently. The exercise at hand is one that requires long practice and rigid control. Because the artist needs to lay down line after line after line of graphite so closely and evenly spaced that the resulting field appears to be a continuous swatch of a single color — or shade of gray. And, I think you can tell from the drawing of Ms. Easton in yesterday’s post I have little patience for finicky details. And when you say it like that, I think to myself that I really ought to grow up and buckle down to work instead of wanting it all RIGHT NOW. I do that a lot — have to remind myself to adult. Adultin’s hard doncha know. The technique is called the 5 Pencil Method and is espoused by Darrel Tank. You could do worse. If your results are a tenth of what Tank achieves, you’ll do well.

Tomorrow — I won’t promised, because I’ve learned better than to make promises I may not keep — or the next post, anyway, I do promise to get onto the choice of a face shape for a character under design. See you then.

Arting Livefully

MY YOUNGER FRIEND, CEDAR is undertaking to post a piece of art — no matter how trivial-seeming — every day for a year. I have seized on this notion as being a way to boot myself in the butt and get some serious time in on the drawing board.

I have just recently set up a work space in a corner of the office at Casa d’Alger — catty-corner from the bird’s cage, though not out of earshot of him when he gets all wound up (he’s self-winding) and starts in on the ear-splitting shrieks. The intent is that, now having a place to work, I will take advantage of any opportunity. But, I have found over my career in the field that opportunity never fails to take advantage of the opportunity to slip away, so that opportunity must be paired with a requirement for work to be done in order to permit progress. So the formula for self-employement needs to look something like this: opportunity to work plus work to be done over a deadline equals project. Having a project implies explicitly (or, as Dolly would put it: explies) the will to work or the desire.

The situation is far from ideal, so my perfectionism (the cynical or snarktastic individual will call it OCD) will niggle at me until I get the object of my desire

…A five-foot drawing table from Ikea on a tilt-and-height-adjustable trestle base. It’s not expensive for what it is, but I have no money right now and no income (but I do have a method for accepting donations — click the Go Fund Me link at right — hint-hint), so even the $150 for that table (most pro-level drawing tables run in the $500 range) is out of reach.

My present table is a piece of 1/2″ cheap-assed Chinese “hardwood” ply with a 1×2 stretcher glued to the bottom and clamped into the jaws of a Black&Decker Workmate. If you’re not used to working on a drawing table, this may not hit you right off, but those who have will get it immediately: the biggest drawback to this arrangement is that the work surface is flat. Level. Like a table.

And, that it’s not dedicated solely to arting means that I’ll have to take it down when I want to use the Workmate for something else — like building a shelf for SWMBO, which is coming up this week.

Which brings us back to the topic at hand — making excuses. (Sorry if your head got whipped around by that sudden change in direction, but there have been hints.)

I’m going to try the same thing: post a piece of art every day. I hope not to be so long-winded every time as I have been here. As my goal — the project, which is necessary to the demand for work-to-be-done, is to improve the covers of the Dolly stories (again, sorry for the sudden tangent) — my first task, or sub-project, is to devise a character design of Dolly. Which means drawing — first with pencil, then in pen and ink, with color following on — of a human face and figure, from the skin out. I will be following self-assigned lessons.

My preferred text, Giovanni Civardi’s Complete Guide to Drawing has a whole section on drawing the human figure, heads and faces, hands, and so-forth, but is primarily aimed at classical fine art technique, and what I’m after is a more modern, comic style (comic book, manga, anime), so I will be drawing (pun intended) lessons from elsewhere. For the last year or so, I have been gathering images and articles from around the Web to a Pinterest Board, called Art Lessons There are around 700 pins on the board right now, and I am constantly adding more on an ongoing basis, so you may imagine that most of them are not relevant to the topic at hand. Nor are the lessons on “how to draw” (although Civardi’s does touch on technique), as it’s assumed that the student will already have a modicum of eye-hand coordination to make him able to draw what he sees. (There, though, the main trick is in the seeing — I know you’re tired of hearing that, but until you “get” it, it’s going to keep being repeated. And then you’ll get it and start preaching it yourself.)

And, now, to the nut of things. I can imaging that those of you who have been following along at home are scratching your little wooden heads and asking: “This guy claims to have been a professional for an entire career; why is he starting with the basics?” Good question. Here’s a dirty little secret: commercial artists don’t do much art. That is, to say, that what an artist does is art by definition, and therefor, what commercial artists do is to be considered art, but what we-they-I do/did wasn’t what a lot of people consider art. That is, to say, I didn’t really draw or paint on a daily basis and have never made any sculpture. And, truth be told, very few of the images I used in my designs were of my own original creation. And, I suspect, that, up to a certain level, this is universally true of all production commercial designers. We manipulate images and do so according to accepted design standards, and to technical specifications, but there’s only so much “art” (pron: “aht”) in it.

sheena_easton_drawingWhat art there is is more like this: a picture of the Scottish singer, Sheena Easton. It is essentially a tracing (it could be a copy, I don’t really remember) from a photograph. In processing terms, it would have been a CMYK separation from a printed piece (a CD longbox), which would have to be scanned in what was then known as a “copydot and rescreen” process in order to be actually used, but which would have potentially added several thousand dollars to the product cost. So, if memory serves, we never used the photograph, but only logos and type to produce the work for the tour. So the image is “orphaned.” It is work product and the image it references was never used by us.

And, as the drawing — not the scan, which is fresh today — is from sometime around 1990 (Wikipedia says the album — What Comes Naturally — was released in 1991, which sounds about right.) Which makes it a quarter-century old, and could be the last time I drew an image with my own hand, as Otto was in the process of going digital for art and prepress even then, so the rest of my output from then to last December was done on a computer. Which means that I haven’t drawn in twenty-five or so years. And, like any motor skill, drawing ability can deteriorate over time if not used. So, if I want to make the illustrations for my own covers, and not be held captive by the availability and price of others, and be permitted the liberty of making any image I can imagine and execute, and not having to rely on modifying stock photos, I need to be able to draw the human figure.

That’s why.

Word Press is reporting over 1200 words so far, so I’m going to cut this short and continue tomorrow. I intend my first efforts to be the exploration of the shapes of female faces. There are a whole bunch of charts of heads of manga/anime/comic characters in the Art Lessons boards. If you want to read ahead (that’s how you spot the ambitious ones), feel free. Until then, then.

The Cloud Observatory: Observation 004/0316

Playing with a processing module of Google’s Nik Collection.

CloudObs_afxp2_160326

My take on this after one session is that the user would be better served were it unified with an over-arching interface. (In fairness, it’s intended to be used with a parent application, such as Photoshop.)

These Guys Were Not Clients

WHEN I WAS STILL at Otto, but I wish they had been.

Pix: 2016_02_16

zentangle_1

Rattling the Tin Cup

THE GO FUND ME campaign is still on all donations eagerly solicited and gratefully accepted.

You can get to where you can donate (by PayPal, if that’s how you roll) by clicking the button at right.

Or, you can buy one of my books (at Amazon, of course), and get something tangible for your money. Trust me, you’ll enjoy them.

And I should say some good words about the kind and generous people who have gotten us this far. Thank you SO MUCH.

The Cloud Observatory: Observation 003

obs_003_160215

Ellipses for Monday, February 15, 2016

SORRY TO BE SO late posting today. I bet there is SOMEbody who’s been waiting on eleventerhooks for me, muttering in their beer that I’m behind schedule. I usually set the posts to appear around a quarter to seven. This morning, I had to shovel the walk. We had about six inches of global warming overnight.* I was up at that ungodly hour, but my attention was elsewhere.

YOU JUST CAN’T WIN DEPARTMENT

OBAMA DOES SOMETHING DECENT for a change and gets undercut by his fellow Democrats.

YOU CAN’T BREAK EVEN

YOU CAN’T EVEN GET OUT OF THE GAME

Nino Scalia managed to though. You’ve seen the stories. And the conspiracy theories abound. Obama had him assassinated a la Pelican Brief. (The author in me is pissed that people refer to the movie starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts and not the most excellent novel by John Grisham on which the movie is based. I recall that even the Reader’s Digest version was a tense, thrilling page-turner.) (And, no I’m not retailing the rumor, only reporting its pathetic existence.)

Are we, just as men like to imagine we’re hard wired to stare at women’s boobs…

Yay! Boobs!

Yes, Dolly we like to stare at YOUR boobs especially, but I was going somewhere: Are we hard-wired to fill in the empty frames of reality with our own, fevered imaginings? And are we hard-wired to go straight to the conspiracy thing? Occam’s Razor says we must be, and it also says we’re almost always wrong.

*That joke is so old that, before the global warming craze started up, it was “six inches of partly cloudy.” Referring, of course, to the inability of weatherfolk to predict even something so relatively simple as the amount of precipitation from a storm. And, of course, the dirty little secret is that the warmistas’ computer models don’t take into account the water vapor in the atmosphere — which has a whole order of magnitude greater effect on the heat content of the whole lashup than CO2 or even methane. The dirty little secret is that water vapor — clouds, humidity — is the biggest greenhouse gas and the warmists don’t even take it into account.

Pix_16_02_15

zentangle_2

My first attempt at pro-level doodling. I see all those photos of Moleskine pages on Pinterest with their beautifully-composed, and oh-so-clever doodles and I wonder at my temerity to even try.

A Sunday Funny

Follow Mark Philip Alger’s board Jazzcat on Pinterest.

Back in my 20s — in the late’70s — I did a fair stick of line drawing with a pencil, and inking with felt-tipped pens. This was before I was making a living at commercial art and had my own set of rapidographs, which I do, now — ultrasonic cleaner and ever’thinn.

Above is a Pinterest board carrying the individual panels of a strip I did. The title of the strip is Jazzcat. It’s about — surprisingly — a cat who loves jazz. She has (from her perspective) the misfortune of belonging to a heavy metal rock guitarist, whom she calls Axe Murderer.

I lost interest in the project because I realized (then) that I didn’t have a notion of how to continue to develop scripts. How do I follow this template and make regular period witticisms on the themes stated in these three strips? Now, I think I could plot it, if I could draw it. And there’s the rub — drawing the thing. Even here, between panels 1 and 2 of Strip2, you can see the inconsistency in Jazz’s face. Readers might not be bothered by it, but it would bug the fuck out of me.

And that’s why I need to work on my drawing chops.

Ellipses for Saturday, February 13, 2016

MISSED FRIDAY THE 13th by one.

::CRUDE, BUT EFFECTIVE …

WP_20160212_17_20_02_ProPART OF THE ACTIVITY ongoing currently in The Study at Casa d’Alger is cleaning and re-arranging work areas. Toni has on her plate at the moment the decoration and framing of prints to be auctioned off to benefit Dick Wagner’s Remember the Child benefit in aid of (If I have this right) St. Jude hospitals for children. I could be wrong about that. In order to clear space on her desk for that — and to make room for the birdcage — she’s been beavering away at shredding outdated records, clearing out junk, taking donables to Goodwill, sellables to Half Price Books, and so-forth.

WP_20160212_17_20_15_ProI, on the other hand, am maneuvering to get rid of the jury-rigged desk (a sheet of MDF lain across plastic milk crate file thingies on 4-wheel furniture dollies) which I have been using for … I guess four years, now. I will be returning to status quo ante-ante-ante and using the powder-coated-wire baker’s rack I was using in the late ’90s and around the turn of the century. (That makes it sound so long ago.)

Friday, I cleaned out some junk lumber (crap — scorn quotes — “hardwood” ply imported from China and sold five-to-seven years ago by both Home Despot and the Lowes Matrix … but no more, thank the Gods of the Copybook Headings) from the corner under the printer, (where, eventually, some bookshelves will be set on file cabinets, drawer units, and glass-doored bookshelves), and set up a Workmate with a piece of 1/2″ ply (that Chinese crap) on top for a drawing surface.

And that’s the (buried) lede. I now have a drawing table. A place to work on my chops. Coupled with my scanner, I should be able to move toward making better covers for my books, which is what all this is in aid of.

::NOT EVEN SURE WHY …

THIS IS controversial.

PINTEREST NOW ACTIVATED …

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED that, when you hover your mouse cursor over an image on BTB, a small, 3D button with the label Pin It appears in the upper left corner. This is a Pinterest button. If you have a Pinterest account, clicking on that button will pop up a window offering you the option to pin that image to a board in your profile. If you don’t, I don’t know about you. You really should. Pinterest is a most excellent time sink, and a subject of much fascination at this desk.

If you just want to visit our profile — and who wouldn’t — the objects of our fascination can be seen at https://www.pinterest.com/markphilipalger/ pinterest dot com slash mark philip alger (All one word — one “l” in philip.). Lots of neat and fascinating stuff on 69 subjects.

:: ICYMI (Which is, in case you missed it, is …

INTERNET-SPEAK FOR In Case You Missed It): Law Dog is back, and in true form.

Coffee spew alert.

:: IN AN ASIDE, THE DUTCHMAN …

MUTTERS So useful to the enemy that if he did not exist, they’d want to invent him. (And links to this article.)

Well, Mike…

statism ideas so goodI’d have to say… Recalling back from the ’60s, when it was asserted that, in any revolutionary cell of four, three were FBI agents, that agents provocateur, being tools of statism (ideas so great they have to be mandatory), are inevitable. So inevitable, I say, that any fool so foolish as to appear to be too bad to be true ought to be considered to be one (agent provocateur, I mean).

:: KEVIN ASKS

“WTF?!? WHEN DID that get regulated? (The amount of ammunition an American may possess.)

Oh, c’mon, Kev! You know that. It’s part of the rich legacy of British common law we inherited back when we were just 13 poor little colonies, shivering on the East Coast of this vast land (Where nobody ever owned firearms, because — after all — who needed them? The redcoats were around to protect us. (And after all, they were the greatest army in the world in their day.))

You remember: Paul Revere’s ride, when the redcoats marched out of Boston to Lexington and Concord, and seized all that ammunition and powder (they didn’t have manufactured cartridge ammunition back then, only ball and powder) on behalf of the Crown. (You know — King George III.)

The Caturday Post, February 13

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Loki — Because (I assume) he is a light-eyed cat, he hates the flash more than ordinarily. And he seems to be able to tell when a camera is set to use one, whether by seeing the autofocus laser or by hearing the flash’s capacitor charging. When he does, he closes his eyes. Which solves the redeye problem. It took me about a year using the Coolpix to learn to shoot him in good light so the flash was not necessary. This situation is improved even more since I started using the Lumia for more-to-most of my cat shots, because of its brilliant use of existing light.

(Marginally related anecdote: my teacher at the Nikon School used to say that “available light” is a nonsense term. As he put it, if you have a flash in your pocket, that’s available. And “natural” light forecloses situations indoors when there is only artificial light. He preferred (and passed that preference to me) to say, “Existing light.” Meaning that the photographer is not intending to change the light, no matter its source, or how it falls, taking it as he finds it and making the best image possible given that.)

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The Cloud Observatory: Observation 002

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Ellipses for Friday, February 12, 2016

OF NECESSITY, I HAVE been lately investigating money-making (earning) opportunities.

Although I am not looking for a “get rich quick” scheme, I do not believe that there is any future in what used to be called “gainful” employement — i.e. jobs — at least not for people as close to retirement age as I am. Instead, I am convinced that, closer to the truth, in the future, we will all be — to one degree or another — cottage industrialists. That an ever-growing portion of the labor force will find their employment in hustling small-bore enterprise. Singular avocational specialization will no longer be possible, as personal support will not admit of being realized in one sole occupation.

I have, therefor, been exploring such atomized pursuits as may match up with my particular skills set. One such has been iWriter. And here is my recommendation on that particular one.

They are at some pains to set themselves up so as to not be an employer — paying wages and benefits and having to pay the higher rate of taxes and unemployment insurance, and cover withholding of income taxes. Instead, they have attempted to set themselves up as a broker — pairing writers and consumers of text for a fee, but not exactly employing or being employed. At the same time, they seek to play the employer by demanding that all work they broker be “work for hire,” which means THEY own the copyrights.

Oh, HELLS to the no. Not taking that one up the old wazoo. Nor would I recommend any other writer do so.

ON A SIMILAR, if opposite score, I can cheerfully recommend one source of information, an online publication titled The Penny Hoarder. The blogger here not only finds and directs the reader to potential sources of income, but does the same for money SAVING offers. Worth your while.

DSCN8394OLD FRIEND RAGIN’ DAVE points out that it’s cold outside. (With help from some singers.) We here at Casa d’Alger have made the same observation. The Gales of November may have sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald, but February is always the bitch of winter around here. I’ve also noticed that, nearly any time we have an ice storm in February here in the Oh-hee-ho Valley, one looks back and wonders, “Gee. And it was 60 just last week, too!”

Shot at right is from Bellevue, Kentucky, on the south shore of the Ohio, back in 2007. (Click to embiggen.)

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An assertion of Chaotica.

Ellipses for Thursday, February 11, 2016

SOME YEARS AGO, I MADE IT a regular practice to run a single column of short notes, delimited by ellipses (…) for my daily blog substance. For the nonce, as I attempt to re-instantiate BTB —

— Whatchoo mean “I”, paleface?

Your pardon, Dolly. …as WE attempt to re-instantiate BTB, Da Doll and I together, WE shall continue to do so.

Democrats rigging elections? Who’d ha’ thunk it?

Ace posts the fable of the boy and the nuts:

A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn’t do so, for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the passage of so large a handful. Unwilling to lose his nuts but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears.

A bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him,

“Come, my boy, don’t be so greedy. Be content with half the amount, and you’ll be able to get your hand out without difficulty.”

Alternative solutions (as opposed to being satisfied with half (so to speak) a loaf: 1) pick up the jar and pour the contents out — getting as much as (or more than) one’s hand can hold; 2) break the jar, thus getting the entire contents of it.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The Leftists’ Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses.– Sultan Knish

(Hat tip: American Digest.)

More tomorrow…

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Playing with Apophysis.

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Cloud Observatory: Observation 001

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It. Is. Up!

cvr genesis 0116DID IT! The Genesis Undertaking is uploaded to Amazon, enrolled in KDP Select and (I presume) KOLL. Registered copyright at US Copyright office. watch this space for the announcement that the eBook is live at Amazon. I encourage Dolly fans to post reviews at Amazon or GoodReads.

Kevin Brings Home a Short One

BACK IN THE GOODOLE DAYS — the golden age of blogging, I used to tease Kevin Baker of The Smallest Minority for his runon posts. Lawd, the boy could write one! They were long! But when he wrote it, there wasn’t any more to be writ about it.

Me, I’m kindof a short-and-sweet guy. I’m always looking for the succinct bon mot, le mot juste — just the word that perfectly describes a situation or sums up a concept. But only one and one only.

So, along with my gratitude for his kindness, imagine my pleasure at reading this post at TSM.

Short. And. Suh-weet!

In a New Line of Business

SO OF COURSE being made redundant at the old gig is saddening and all that, but still and all, it frees up time and energy for creative pursuits not chasing somebody else’s dime. And having 35 years of experience at something, even if it’s not what they wanted you to have experience at does tend to indicate that you might be good — or even passable — at it… maybe even good enough to get paid to do it.

The bottom line is, once we get all sorted out, we’re going to be hanging out a shingle with “Will Desine fer Food” on it. So, as you go through life, when you encounter design work that may be done by a freelancer, do be so good as to keep us in mind. I can assure prospective customers of this: given clear parameters, I will quote a price up front, I will honor that price so long as the job remains unchanged, and my rates will start out cheap — by comparison with the market.

If you anticipate a need, bookmark this link: Dreamflower Works, which is my company name (dba only, not yet incorporated or LLC’d). As time allows, there will be a portfolio of sorts up there. For now, you can see my work in the gallery pages on Otto’s site. For as long as they allow that.

Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?

IN A PRETTY TYPICAL link-to-it-and-drop-an-Oscar-Wilde-bon-mot post on Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds refers to the condition detailed in the article here as “the sad economics of Internet fame.” Apparently, accepting and adapting to reality is now sad when whiney social justice types find the real condition to be — (whine) unfair.

Poor is the new rich, as Sarah Hoyt sagaciously notices.

I have said many times, many ways, in many venues over the years, in the future, we will all be cottage industrialists. People with facile-but-limited understanding of reality may call it the post-scarcity economy, but I prefer to think of it as the post-jobs economy. That is, to say not that we will no longer have to work for a living, but that we will no longer work for a single employer for an entire career, deriving our entire incomes at a single job at any given time. Rather, everyone who is prudent (or, maybe, the prudent and imprudent alike) will maintain several opportunistic income streams supported by a skill set generally more-varied than (I suspect) a lot of people these days are accustomed to thinking of as the norm.

You may find that sad; I don’t. Though it’s hard to persuade anyone of it, I see it as hopeful, and reflective of a greater level of opportunity available to those willing to work diligently at earning a living doing many things they enjoy — albeit none of which may be the sole support of an individual or a family.

Christmas Indie Book Sale

I know I promised myself I would spend the bulk of the year-end break working my fingers to the bone at the keyboard. But reading the listings below of tasty tales by independently published authors at reduced prices, I am sorely tempted to play hooky at least part of the time.



1. Dragon Noir

By Cedar Sanderson

Click the book cover.

On sale for the first time from Dec 17-23rd

The pixie with the gun has come home to see his princess crowned a queen and live in peace. But nothing is ever easy for Lom. A gruesome discovery on his doorstep interrupts their plans and sends Lom off on a mission to save not one, but two worlds. It’s personal this time and the stakes are higher than ever before. With friends falling and the enemy gathering, Bella and Lom must conquer the worst fears and monsters Underhill can conjure. Failure is not on the agenda.



2. Young Warriors

by Pam Uphoff

Click the book cover.

Free for five days!

It’s traditional for young lords in the Kingdom of Ash to spend two years in the army. Xen Wolfson is a young wizard, and Garit Negue a young prince. And the world is filled with adventures and danger … and learning experiences.

Their world has been in sporadic contact with two different cross-dimensional worlds–generally as a target for conquest. When the Empire of the One returns, the young warriors are standing foursquare in their path.


Brand New Release!


3. Nocturnal Challege

By Amanda Green

Click the book cover.

The one thing Lt. Mackenzie Santos had always been able to count on was the law. But that was before she started turning furry. Now she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to keep the truth from the public-at-large. She knows they aren’t ready to learn that monsters are real and they might be living next door.

If that isn’t enough, trouble is brewing among the shapeshifters. The power struggle has already resulted in the kidnapping and near fatal injury of several of Mac’s closest friends. She is now in the middle of what could quickly turn into a civil war, one that would be disastrous for all of them.

What she wouldn’t give to have a simple murder case to investigate and a life that didn’t include people who wanted nothing more than to add her death to the many they were already responsible for.



4. Hilda’s Inn for Retired Mercenaries

By Cyn Bagley

Click on the book cover.

In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.

Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.

Amazon Kindle author page

Facebook author page.



5. The High T Shebang

By Mark Alger

Click on the book cover.

Marked down to $2.99 (save $3.00) through Christmas

Sometimes you just have to go to war in the underwear you have on.

Dolly was reborn into a new body just last week. Right out of the birthing chamber, she was tumbled into a conflict that goes back to the stone age. Her creator, the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite, has disappeared, and the God in charge of her institution — the Babylonian Marduk — has called for her death. Her lover and Geppetto, Mitchell Drummond, is threading his way through political minefields to keep her as safe as her profession allows. 

New in love, they soon find they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their sexual fever comes to worry them. They suspect there’s more to the situation than mere new love. Meanwhile, they have a job to do. Keeping up the pretense that all’s well and nothing’s going on is wearing thin. But in Upothesa, you’re not allowed to talk about secrets. Dolly is a secret. Trying to keep it together, Dolly and Drummond go on a mission to New Zealand to protect the Dolly’s secret and the life of a major TV drama star.

 



6. Collisions of the Damned

By James Young

Click on the book cover.

My God, we are losing this war. — Lt. Nicholas Cobb, USN

March 1943. The Usurper’s War has resumed, with disastrous results for the Allies. In Hawaii, the U.S. Pacific Fleet lies shattered after the Battle of Hawaii. Across the Pacific the Imperial Japanese Navy, flush with their recent victory, turns its gimlet eye towards the south and the ultimate prize for their Emperor: The Dutch East Indies.

For Commander Jacob Morton and the other members of the Asiatic Fleet, the oncoming Japanese storm means that the U.S.S. Houston and her Allied companions must learn to fight against overwhelming odds against an enemy who claims the night as their own. In the skies above Houston and the other old, tired vessels of the ACDA Fleet , Flight Lieutenant Russell Wolford and his men attempt to employ the Allies’ newest technology to even the odds. With full might of the Japanese Empire falling on them, the ACDA’s soldiers, sailors, and marines must fight to hold the line long enough for reinforcements to come.



7. Blackbird

By Alma Boykin

Click on the book cover.

$.99 Dec 21-24, 1.99 Dec 25-28

One man becomes all that the Turkowi fear — and respect. Matthew Charles Malatesta, second son and rumored bastard of a mercenary, grandson of Duke Edmund “Ironhand” von Sarmas. One man, who will fight to the last breath to carve a place for himself, who will create a court of learning and civilization, who stands alone between the might of the Turkowi Empire and all of Godown’s people.



8. One in Infinity

By Amie Gibbons

Click on the cover image. (Note: This title is a novelette.)

On sale for $0.99 from 12/19 to Christmas

Turns out coincidences do happen, and it sucks when it leads killers from an alternate reality to your door… 

Rose plans on partying her last weekend of freedom before her residency starts, but fate has different plans. When men straight out of a fantasy novel attack, she gets pulled into a blood feud between magical beings thanks to a random stroke of luck. Now she has to adjust to her new world view and help one of the men to save herself from a fate worse than death.



9. Tick of the Clock

By Travis Clemons and Michael Z Williamson

Click on the book cover.

A man awakens in a 21st century Illinois hospital, holding very distinct memories of being shot in Switzerland decades earlier. The nurse calls him Detective Crabtree and says the DuPage County Sheriff will be by to check on him shortly. Yet he remembers his name being Sherlock Holmes.

When Sabrina Worthington is killed during a home invasion, her billionaire husband has an ironclad alibi. But Adam Worthington does not appear to be the grieving widower people would expect to see. Meanwhile, their former girlfriend keeps tugging on every possible string to convince the authorities to indict the man for murder. 

By the tick of the clock, it would seem impossible for a man to be shot in the 19th century and wake up more than one hundred years later. It would also seem impossible for a man to shoot his wife while she’s at home and he’s at a theater thirty miles away. But when the seemingly impossible is properly analyzed, will Holmes determine the improbable truth behind her death and his life?



10. The Spaewife

by David L. Burkhead

Pricing will be $0.99 the 19th through the 26th.

Click on the book cover.

A young mother hears the Norns. They tell her of terrible things to come. When Ulfarr wants her gift of prophesy to serve him, he takes her, murders her husband, and steals away her children. Can the young mother escape from Ulfarr’s clutches and save her children from him? Only the Norns know.

Well, It Got Up Near 90

back yard shed 3-4 done 150606HERE YESTERDAY, SO of course, I was out in it, working. Got dehydrated, as you might expect, and got so tired that I had a minor meltdown as I was cleaning up at the end of the day. My legs and back ache this morning and, as you can tell from the picture, am nowhere near finished with the shed, am planning to continue on today — with similar weather in the offing. Have a glitch induced by my slap-dash construction technique, which, one hopes, will admit of simple — if tedious — solution. I will have help today, which I did not yesterday, so one has cause for hope. With luck, the thing will be finished by mid-afternoon.

Inshkashinti Inshkashinti

shedYOM KIPPUR GEFILTE FISH Oible gobble, oible-gobble, ve dun vell. This ve giff to you, a good substantial yell.

Ve vun! Ve vun! Ve vun! Vaht? Ve lost? Oi. Dey cheated.

That’s my claque, celebrating the (finally) completion of the deck to support our soon-to-be-new backyard shed.

Working in direct sunlight and high humidity this afternoon, I finished piecing in the last bit of the deck, drilling weeping holes across the plywood, and sweeping it down. This evening, I intend to pre-assemble some of the metal sub-assemblies. Tomorrow, Steve-R and I will put the thing together. Wish us well.

Started last August. Finally, the end is in sight.

Yay!

steps_final_20150503_17_24_46_JUST CALLED SWMBO AT her away gig to give her the gnus. We now have a fully functional set of outside steps here at Casa d’Alger. So we can carry construction materials from the study (upstairs) to the site (downstairs). Next weekend, the shed.

The Caturday Post: Time Change Edition

Note: This was begun back in March and never finished. It was apparently too ambitious an undertaking for the time I had available to write it. Needless to say, it says some things that might interest readers and can fans.

I’M WRITING THIS AT six ayem on time-change day, so it’s properly a Catsundtide post, not a Caturday post, but it’s the wrong time of day to be more clever than that. I’m up at this hour on a Sunday because I woke up feeling a little shakey from hypoglycemia and had to get up to deal with it.

…Which is an apposite lead-in to the subject on my mind. Loki, my ragdoll-ish little buddy. He gave us a scare today. Back up and lay down some background. It’s pay week. I get paid this week at my day job. Which leads to it’s grocery day. Friday after work, I run to Sam’s and Saturday, I do Kroger. Which means,from the cats’ perspective, the whole world is disrupted with loud noises and lots of comings and goings and other disturbances to routine — but also interesting smells, like bread, and sounds like rustling plastic bags, and interesting things to munch on, like plastic bags, and (not so interesting) unusual things to hork up on the floor in the study, like plastic bags.loki_with_dovetail_jig_080620

And, in the midst of all this furious activity, both Toni and I noticed that Loki was a little down on his chin — listless and lethargic, unresponsive to us and unwilling to move. It came to a head when I tried to clear the study of cats in preparation for bringing groceries in from the car. We leave the door open to make it easier to get into the house with hands full of groceries. And, with a household consist of ten indoor cats, providing such an opportunity for escape could be seen as imprudent — even an abdication of fiduciary duty. So we clear the study of cats and close the hall door. When I’m by myself, on entering after a grocery run, I thump my cane on the floor three times and shout, “Everybody out!” which has conditioned the cats (mostly — good luck with unanimity from such a collection of individualists, no matter how well-socialized) to abandon their perches on desk, cat tree, and windowsill and head for the door.

DSCN2263Today, Loki lay down in the passage between the desks, every bit as intransigent as a ’60s-era sit-in protester. I gave him a nudge with my toe and he — with palpable reluctance — got up and ran under Toni’s desk to hide on a pile of shoes. Feeling guilty about the perceived necessity, we dragged him out and unceremoniously dumped him in the hall. But both of us commented on how the behavior was MOST unusual for our little frost giant trickster.

That’s where it stopped. We had him checked out and he was OK. I do remember that. That’s how it always seems to happen. One day, though, that won’t be all there is to it and we’ll lose him for good or ill. Not looking forward to that.

He’s taken lately to stretching out next to me at bedtime and patting my face with a forepaw. I have no idea what that’s all about. I have some pictures of him doing that somewhere. Sometime when I’m not in a hurry from here to there, I’ll put them up. Meantime, here’s a pic of Earnie I was going to put up and was on my way to do it, when I discovered this unfinished post from two months ago.

Earnie through the screen. From April of ought-twelve.

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That Would Make Today — Again This Month…

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Catsuntide

TONI ASKS ME on occasion, “Why don’t you do Caturday posts any more?” That’s not so. I just haven’t done one in a long while. Doesn’t mean I’ve stopped. But I do feel guilty about the lapse. So, herewith, Earnie, from the other evening.

Earnie on my desk

11/11, 11:11

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Let’s Get This Straight

THE FIRST AMENDMENT is a limit on the power of Congress – and only Congress. That’s what the phrase, “Congress shall make no law…” Means. At the Federal level, sole legislative authority is given to Congress. And, under the doctrine of supremacy, (the Constitution says right on the box, Supreme Law of the Land, so that fits), on matters which the Constitution touches (and ONLY those matters), Congress is the supreme nation legislature. So what a state legislature legislates touching religion, assembly, association, the press and speech, and to petition the government is automatically null and void.

Now, it has not always been so. In fact some states early on had established religions, that being a right reserved to the states and the people, albeit forbidden the federal government.

The First Amendment forbids Congress (and thus any other legislature) to make any law respecting freedom of association. This means, directly, that the so-called “public accommodation” provisions of 1960s-vintage “civil rights” legislation, not having repealed those provisions of the Bill of Rights, are flatly unconstitutional. Any claims on the basis of public accommodation and the forbidding of discrimination in the provision of those goods and services on sundry bases are therefor — according to Supreme Court opinions and rulings — null and void.

Now, a lot of people are het up in a lot of who-struck-John on the subject of the shooting range owner who, exercising her First Amendment right of Free Association, (Not that the First Amendment grants the right — that’s an ontological impossibility — but that it recognizes and aims to secure the extant right as a proper function of government.), has chosen to refuse service to Moslems. Leaving aside the impossibility of enforcing such a rule, one cannot reasonably deny that she has that right. And, as legislating in the matter is forbidden to Congress, the matter is — by law — exclusively private.

Many of the more-reasoned arguments among the het up folk go like: “Be careful what powers you give the government; you may not like what use the government gets up to with its powers down the road.” And I do not argue the fundamental fact. It is true. Government should never be given power the people don’t desperately need it to have.

But.

In this case, that boat sailed — about fifty years ago, when statists in power in Washington decided that the people would rather give up the freedom of association than face long, hot summers of violent protests and rioting on into the foreseeable future. And the statists in power knuckled under to extortionate thugs. Some of whom still ply their trade today — ::coughJesseJacksonAlSharptonLouisFarrakhan::cough::

[Insert Ben Franklin’s quote on the subject and conclude with the “And they shall have neither.”]

I won’t presume to speak for others and argue, “Nobody’s arguing for government action to deny freedom of religion to Moslems.” That’s pointless, and not credible. I haven’t seen any serious arguments to that effect, but neither can I guarantee nobody’s made them. What I AM saying is that — for myself — I am arguing that in broad general, Americans need to stop turning to Washington for the solution to every problem and work things out for ourselves. If Moslems present a clear and present danger to America and Americans, We the People need to recognize that fact and behave accordingly, whether or not our government acknowledges our wishes.

As I have said in response to news reports on the shooting range owner’s actions, I believe her actions should be universal. Not that our government — or any government — should restrict religious freedom, but that We the People should, in exercising our right to freely association with whom we see fit, should refuse to associate with Moslems.

I do not know how this will work. But my statement of principle goes thus; I recognize that you, as a Moslem, have found in Islam some semblance of inner peace and order, and have accepted the need for you to submit to God. However, I do not believe in the divine origin of the creed of Islam, and find its tenets abhorrent. The history of the faith tells me that it is not a religion as I see it (we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one), but a toxic political ideology which has, in the person of its strongest adherents, declared war on my nation, people, family, and self. This is an intolerable situation and I will not tolerate it. So long as you practice Islam, I shall not associated with you, in community, worship, or business. Should you wish my association, you must abjure Islam and all who practice it. You cannot gull me with protestations of moderation, there can be no such thing. By the tenets of your own faith, if you depart one iota from its tenets, you are apostate and marked for death. I can only trust you if you leave the faith. Granted that also marks you as apostate, so I cannot see a happy solution for you.

You can say, “Well, then, why should I wish to associate with you?” I do not have an answer. I only know I don’t wish to associate with YOU.

Oderint dum Metuant

ON THIS DAY OF MEMORIAL, when so many sentiments will be expressed, the only appropriate sentiment is:

Never Forgive
Never Forget.

Never Forget, Never Forgive

Oderint dum metuant.

Listen to the second Toby Keith song, “I’m an American Soldier,” too.

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Boobie Libre

national_go-topless_dayIT’S NATIONAL GO TOPLESS DAY (wish they’d announce these things in advance). Of course, da Doll is an ardent supporter, as much as I love to dress … as I say, at liberty. And, but of course, there is also the discussion of Minoan Tits between Drummond and Olivia Wilson in The High T Shebang. (Which can be bought by clicking the Amazon link at far right.) Meantime, a little demonstration.

As I Have Predicted

SNIPPETING OF work-in-progress, working title Discovery will commence tomorrow, (Saturday, June 7). It is also planned that said snippets will be promulgated at Good Reads and any other appropriate venues. Those additional site will be announced here, on Facebook, and at my author’s blog.

Planned Actions Being Taken

SOME TIME AGO I mentioned that I had plans for my Web presence — that I wanted to soft-pedal the politics to some extent, and to put up more about my art and writing on my author’s blog.

I’m getting started with a post this morning requesting some input from readers — if the blog has any. Please to go and participate if you’re of so a mind.

Quote of the Day

“It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.”

–Richard Fernandez

(H/T: Instapundit)

A Curiosity

FOR AFFICIANADOS of erotica.

Quote of the Day

In whose judgment is a free trade a failure?

Harry Binswanger

The notion of “market failure” is a contradiction in terms. The “market” is an abstraction. The concrete reality is individuals freely trading goods and services. What would it mean for such free trade to “fail”? By what standard? In whose judgment? “Failure”–for whom? These are the unasked questions. They can’t be asked, because the answers would be the refutation of the doctrine of “market failure.

Texas Rockabillies

Know how to put on a show.

Skinny little dude about 63 playing a crappy old guitar (might as well have been a Winston your grandpa bought at the five and dime for ten bucks.) With an 18 year-old kid playing standup bass, a black dude on drums, and some Australian guy playing Strat- and Telecasters through a Fender Twin amp and a couple of background singers ROCKED the house with tunes you know from Emylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, and Juice Newton (and more I probably never heard of — the guy is country royalty)

Highlight of the show, maybe was when the band persuaded the audience to sing along with Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Ya hadda been there. But how do you top that? Easy: blow the roof off with a loud, raucous rendition of “Whole Lotta Shakin’.”

500 Days

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER Laurent Fabius blathers that there are fewer than 500 days to “climate chaos.” French? Who cares?

If, come September 25, 2015, it doesn’t happen, will they…

GO THE FUCK AWAY?

Quote of the Day

THESE PEOPLE (THE RINO ESTABLISHMENT) never stand on principle, except during campaigns, when they don’t mean it. And when it comes time to govern, then they jettison it. — Mark Levin

As I’ve said many times before: principle is pragmatic.

And Still It’s Worth Noting

THAT AT LEAST some trace amount of the half-hearted defense of the Not-So-Sterling Donald was the fact that his accuser recorded his utterances without his permission. And it is a worthy defense, albeit misplaced. We have a presumption of privacy in our “houses, persons, papers, and effects” which, by the law shall remain uninfringed. But, also which by the law, not only the government may infringe. (That means everybody.)

And, one might be forgiven for assuming that those campaigning for public office should be held to a higher standard, nest paw?

But a recent round of advertisements “and I approve this message” from Mitch McConnell assert beginning, middle, and end that their contents were drawn from “undercover news report” and “hidden camera footage” …

I.E., without Matt Bevin’s knowledge or permission.

Hmmm.

It seems to me that such turpitude (Mitch, not Matt) ought to be immediately disqualifying. But there’s no truth in political advertising and, were Bevin to complain, it would be dismissed as whining by his opponents, but, still, has not McConnell broken the law? What penalty shall attend upon this breach?

Yet Another Outbreak of Lawlessness Within the Government

OPERATION CHOKE POINT a filthy, despicable initiative of the regime is stealing the bank accounts of employees in a legal industry which is also (by the way, did I also mention) A FIRST-AMENDMENT-PROTECTED ONE. No matter how you approach this, it should generate shoot-on-sight orders for Eric Holder, his deputies, and any agent attempting to enforce these orders.

Not Entirely Comfortable With

ALL THE VITUPERATION and denigration surrounding Sterling Donald. It seems untoward to hear a fellow citizen described as a mutant piece of shit. Or a despicable piece of human debris. I don’t like it.

Still and all, I can’t disagree with St. Ann’s take on the matter.

I had listened to roughly eight hours of commentary on Donald Sterling and the ugly remarks he made in conversations secretly tape-recorded by his girlfriend, before I heard anyone mention a wife.

HE HAS A WIFE?

Says more about the media than about Sterling that it took all day for the media to get around to MENTIONING that fact.