Hey, a New Thread

A new baby in the family – especially in our family – deserves a brand new thread.  Our niece Emily (daughter of my brother Bobby and Wayne’s sister Judy) and her husband Michael brought Arlo James Johnson into the world shortly after midnight on August 13th.

Like all babies, Arlo James looks just like Winston Churchill, especially in this photo:

arlo james

But like all babies, he’s adorable when he’s asleep:

arlo james sleeping

Sadly, this world into which little Arlo was born is a crazy and dangerous place, but knowing Emily and Michael, they’ll be wonderful parents with the intelligence, humor and moral convictions to prepare Arlo to take on the world.

Moving along…I know it’s a little late for International Cat Day, but here’s some cuteness to make up for it:

kitten and toy waving

synchronized yawning

cheetah kitten bottle-feeding

Unfortunately, we now turn to politics.  Our old friend from ThinkProgress, Judd Legum, now runs a site called Popular Information.  He delves into the latest U.S. Postal Service sabotage here, but here’s an excerpt from his newsletter:

 On Wednesday, facing an avalanche of criticism, DeJoy announced that he was suspending his most controversial initiatives, including limiting overtime, decommissioning mail sorting machines, and removing mailboxes. 

Whether DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser and political operative, can be trusted is an open question. The conduct of the USPS warrants further scrutiny.

If you don’t want to take a chance, nearly every state has ways to return your mail-in ballot without using the USPS. Popular Information has compiled all the details for each state HERE.

Speaking of the USPS, here’s Paul Jamoil’s most recent ‘toon:

paul jamoil 08132020 usps

That’s enough of politics.  While I’m heartened now that the Biden/Harris ticket is ready to begin our fight to unseat trump, it’s going to take a lot of good news to dispel my depression and fear over everything else that trump is doing to undermine the upcoming election (along with every other institution he’s destroying.)

Until the election, I’ll continue to distract myself by watching the birds and critters outside my window during the day, and watching my Mets play baseball at night.  It’s as close to ‘normalcy’ that I can get.

Open Thread, talk about whatever you’d like.

 

Distractions for Election Day, November 6th, 2018

Georgia voter suppression hasn’t changed much since the last midterm election.  At least this piece from an older Daily Show has humor mixed in with the overt racism.

Republican Activist Resigns After Racially-Charged ‘Daily Show’ Comments

Some satire from The PEN, a progressive activist group:

“Despite the fact that the Statue of Liberty was extensively restored
and rebuilt from 1984 to 1986, today Trump ordered the National Park
Service to further modify it to be in sync with the political climate
he wants to create.

Said Trump, “Unarmed asylum seekers are such a national threat we are
no longer interested in a torch lighting the golden door of the
application office.” Instead, Trump has invited the NRA to submit
models of a new statue in a flak jacket, toting various models of
military assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, fire
throwers, etc.

Though critics, a lot of people actually, are calling this proposal a
“Statue of Bigotry,” Trump is also directing that the statue to be
moved to our southern border. “That ought to scare these people off,”
added Trump, as if the military deploying 15,000 heavily armed troops
was not enough. Though the problem remains of whose property to seize
by eminent domain for the purpose of a new statue site.

And given the increasingly short attention span of our current
culture, the statue’s famous inscription is to be replaced by a more
blunt and direct, “Get Off My Lawn.””

And here’s some cats, kittens, etc. to help counteract the tension.

UPDATED 1:30pm – now with MORE photos!

“Blaze”

Luna

Squiggy

squiggy2

“Squiggy”

Belz and Lissa play while Splatter watches.

Nog (N.O.G. = Not Orange Guy)

Becca prepares to leap.

Mouse and Butterball (“Balls”)

Amelia

“Face” with spotted belly

“Splatter” and “Preston”

“Pip” and “Valerie”, “Fitzgerald” and “Cecilia”

Wayne holding “Tippy”

Dulcinea and Tippy napping

 

Tippy with Velveteen Rabbit

“Tippy” and “Dulcie”

Stubby in a Planter

“Troi”, aka “Little One”

“Troi” cuddles with “Jack”

“Troi” with “Dulcie”, “Tippy” and “Face”

Sophie’s litter, “The Sophists”

“Missy”

“Valerie” and “Cecilia”

“Gregg”

“Gregg” relaxing

“Missy” and “Gregg”

Eight is enough

How about some nature photos, too?

GLORY10

2221717180

SUNSETVERTICAL

Skyfire Sunset

SKYFIRE4V

Fading Sunset Reflection

GLAD7

 

31370006-1

Honeybee

BFLYCROPZOOM

BIGRHODO

great egret visiting pond

Great Egret Visiting Pond

Before

Before First Winter Storm

After

~ After first winter storm

31370009

Lone Pine Reflected

SUNSHOWER1crop

Fall Season Tree

Jane’s Maples

GardenGateWithMaple

Garden Gate

I hope that this might help us get through Election Day.  Enjoy!

~ and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

The Watering Hole, Tuesday, August 30th, 2016: “Invest in Beauty”

I was going to tell a dreary tale – about a disturbing conversation I had with a customer who, somewhere in the discussion of her foot problems, managed to bring up Trump and her buzzword-laden approval of him – for today’s post. Instead, thanks to two Zoosters’ comments from yesterday’s thread, here’s some cat stuff.

In yesterday’s comments, pete contributed the following:

“I have often thought that the world would be a better place if evolution had just stopped after cats; large and small. Sure. They are vicious predators with a complete absence of mercy but they are also graceful, intelligent, and have a fantastic sense of humor.”

Not much later, fatherbob posted a link to an article about a lost cat being found next to its “missing cat” poster. The same site had another article about professional photographer Robert Sijka’s photos of “Bearded Cats”, aka Maine Coons; the article includes a brief gallery of glorious creatures, and a link to more. You HAVE to check them out.  As the author of the article says:

“Maine Coons are the largest domesticated felines in the world, able to grow up to four feet in length. The breed is characterised by their gentle nature and their fabulous fur, which can easily be mistaken for a scruffy beard.
Basically, they’re kinda like a lynx, except that they won’t try to kill you.”

Of course, Maine Coons start out all tiny and innocent-looking, like these:
MaineCoonsPictures-1024-768-Origami-MCO-f2203-photos-Ni794815Maine_Coon_cat_licking_its_paw_044972_But they eventually turn into the fiercely beautiful, majestic, dignified, imperial creatures that all cats innately are, regardless of size or fur length.
MaineCoonSilverTabbyMaine-Coon-Cat-6-1024x680There, that’s better than some scary Trump supporter, right?

Last week I ran across a quote on a greeting card that I’m compelled to share:

“If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~

This is our daily Open Thread. You know what to do.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 31st, 2015: Dogs and Cats

First, the dogs: From rantpets.com, “25 Uncommon Dog Breeds You Didn’t Know About” (I did know about some of them, as I’m sure many of you do.)

I love some of the (often minimal) breed descriptions:

Number 23, the Berger Picard: “French Shepherds, which date back to 800 AD, are a very rare breed.” [But their bloodline is continued into the 25th century, minus most of the hair, of course.]

Number 11, the Jade Terrier: “The Jade Terrier appeared between the two world wars.” [What, did it come through the Wardrobe from Narnia?]

Number 8, the Mudi: “About 100 years ago in Hungary, a spontaneous breed surfaced called the Mudi dog.” [A “spontaneous” breed? Another Narnian?]

Number 2, the Finnish Spitz: “This adorable breed was originally bred to hunt game like bears and squirrels.” [BEARS and squirrels? BEARS?!]

Number 1, the Otterhound: “These dogs are said to be [the] most intelligent carnivorous mammals in all of Europe.” [I’d have to agree that otterhounds are probably smarter than most human “carnivorous mammals.”]

Otterhounds (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Otterhounds (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Now, the cats: With tomorrow’s Super Bowl in mind, here’s “20 Things Your Cat is Thinking While You’re Watching the Super Bowl”, also from rantpets.com. Not as funny as I had hoped, but some cute cat photos make it worthwhile. And for those who won’t watch football, there’s always Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl for tomorrow’s entertainment.

This is our daily Open Thread, brought to you from the frozen tundra of New York. Brrrr!

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 25th, 2014: Introducing…

…well, he hasn’t got a name yet, but here’s our new little guy. Sorry, the pictures are a tad grainy/blurry because we used Wayne’s computer’s camera.

Our new little orange guy watches over Wayne's shoulder

Our new little orange guy watches over Wayne’s shoulder


The little guy falls asleep anywhere/anytime (like a minute after this shot was taken)

The little guy falls asleep anywhere/anytime (like a minute after this shot was taken)


Such a serious face for such a youngster.

Such a serious face for such a youngster.

Please help us come up with a name for this little guy. So far all I’ve come up with is “Joker”, because he pantsed Wayne the other night, pulling Wayne’s sweats down in his efforts to climb up Wayne’s leg. He’s amazingly self-possessed, and the rebuffs from the other cats don’t seem to faze him for more than a moment. For the most part, the others seem to be starting to accept his presence, if not his friendly/playful overtures. However, our two older boys are usually out most of the time during this nice weather, so their encounters are infrequent. Importantly, though, Troi has gone from hissing/growling anytime the kitten is near, to allowing him to sleep actually touching her on the couch, and to eat from the same plate. The other night he was sleeping with his nose up against one of Troi’s paws. Not bad progress for less than a week.

Name suggestions?

This is our daily open thread–please feel free to comment on cat names or whatever subject is on your mind today.

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 21st, 2014: Floriduh vs Kitties

I was going to write about yesterday’s ThinkProgress thread about a fundraiser for Florida Governor Rick Scott. The story combines just about everything we liberals abhor: wealthy private-prison CEO; $10,000/plate fundraiser; private-prison abuses and fraud; immigrant detention; privatization of prison system healthcare (under Rick Scott?!); and so on, with big money and greed being the leitmotif. But it just got me too angry, so here’s some photos of some of our past furry friends. If I’ve posted a lot of these before, please humor me.

Stubby Plant

Stubby Plant

Tippy with Velveteen Rabbit

Tippy with Velveteen Rabbit

Lissa Grooms Her Ears (Amelia in lower left, photo of 20-something Wayne in upper right)

Lissa Grooms Her Ears (Amelia in lower left, photo of 20-something Wayne in upper right)

Earnest squeezes behind Pip

Earnest squeezes behind Pip

Becca prepares to leap.

Becca prepares to leap.

Nog (N.O.G. = Not Orange Guy)

Nog (N.O.G. = Not Orange Guy)

Belz and Lissa play while Splatter watches.

Belz and Lissa play while Splatter watches.

Preston, Jack and Souphlee

Preston, Jack and Souphlee

There, at least I feel better…

This is our daily open thread–what’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 4th, 2013: Bellies Up!

After mulling over possible topics for today’s thread, I decided to dispense with the craziness out there (Rand Paul’s chickenshit non-challenge to a duel with Rachel Maddow was tempting, but…) and just start the week off with:

CUTENESS!

Baby Panda (not my photo)

Baby Panda (not my photo)

surrender to cuddles

Fluff's big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Fluff’s big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Spotted-bellied Fern (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly before...

Troi’s big belly before…(photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

…Troi’s big belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

This is our daily open thread — I hope that so much cuteness will help to start Monday off in a cheerful way.