From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

Light Bloggery, Snow Day 0

It’s snowing as I write this and I plan to enjoy the snow tomorrow, when this will post, as I am writing it last night so I don’t have to worry about it today. (Let’s Do the Time Warp Again and all that.)

We are supposed to be hit hard, at least as folks in these parts measure it. They don’t know from two-foot snows . . . .

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Political Fallout 0

I have a brown leather vest that I truly like to wear in lieu of a jacket on mild days.

Now, thanks to “Judge” Roy Moore, I am ashamed to be seen in it.

I’ve Been Polled 0

I received a call on my cellphone the other day.

Thankfully, it was not from the Health Care Enrollment Center, the phishing scam that calls me pretending that they have “received my inquiry” when I have made no inquiry. (I keep blocking their numbers and they keep calling with new, likely spoofed numbers.)

It was from a legit polling outfit calling about Tuesday’s election. I answered frankly about my political predilections.

One of the questions was, “What made you choose between Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie.”

I said, “One is a good and decent human being; the other is not.”

At which point the pollster lost it.

Many Happy Returns 0

As I have mentioned here from time to time, I do not follow incoming returns the night of the election. Why, I ask myself, should I waste hours looking at the television when I can read the results in 15 minutes tomorrow morning?

Tonight, though, my friend dropped in on the returns and shared some happy news.

I must confess, I am looking forward to tomorrow morning. But, for now, it’s time for another session with Nero Wolfe.

Shamed by the Bell 0

In the silence between the third and fourth movements of the first piece, as the conductor raised his baton, the cell phone rang from somewhere in the back of the concert hall. The conductor stood, motionless, as he and the musicians waited in silence for quiet to return.

Fortunately, I had remembered to mute my phone, so it wasn’t me.


Later, as I returned from intermission, I remarked to the usher, who was quietly ushering in the hallway, “I’m glad I muted my cell phone.”

He was still laughing as I reentered the auditorium.

Stray Thought 0

Rex Stout was a damned fine writer.

I have enjoyed his Nero Wolfe mysteries from the first time that I read Some Buried Casar in the back seat of my parents’ car on the way to visit my grandmother.

Now that I am rereading them from the perspective of having made my living with my pen for a lifetime, I realize that the man was not “just a mystery writer” (Mickey Spillane was “just a mystery writer”), he was a wordsmith. Like Kerry Greenwood, he made words dance.

Fancy Words Don’t Make Stupid Smart 0

Goa6:  What do you have there, Rat?  Rat:  New app I developed.  If you use stupid busines meeting jargon, the Earth opens up and swallows you whole.  Goat:  What jargon?  Rat:  Well, I have

Click for the original image.

When I was a corporate trainer, we fought gobbledygook all the time. It was quite a challenge to get trainees to internalize a growing awareness of this verity.

What Happened to the “Information Superhighway”? 0

It has become a back alley from a Law and Order episode, filled with with debris, overflowing dumpsters, lurking muggers and con artists, and the occasional dead body.

Empty Space 0


JoCat passed away today. She had been fighting irritable bowel disease and it appeared to be under control with proper diet, but, this morning, she started to cough and wheeze (beyond that, I will spare you the details). Before we could get her to a vet emergency room, she passed.

We took her to our regular vet, and the best guess of the vet tech was that she threw a blood clot unrelated to the irritable bowel syndrome. Apparently, cats may do that.

She was a good cat, affectionate as long as she got her way (after all, she was a cat), and she had a life full of love.

She had been a member of the family for 13 years, since my father passed away and she became an inheritance (my brother cares for her sister).

She was a good, if demanding and persnickety, friend, and she is missed.

Stray Question 0

Who is Google anyway to presume to tell me what items in my Gmail inbox are “important” and which are not?

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“Normalization” Nonsense 0

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

I recently subscribed to the Sunday New York Times. It’s a week’s worth of good and challenging reading.

But, as Farron points out, its writer got this one wrong (and journalists sometimes get stuff wrong–it happens, live with it).

No amount of face paint can turn Donald Trump into anything other than a racist poseur.

Happy Birthday to Me 0

From Pine View Farm is 12 years old today.

Who woulda thunk?

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about web hosting, HTML, CSS, Linux, SQL, and computers. I’ve also learned a lot, mostly from Republicans, about hypocrisy, venality, and scurrilousness.

I value the former. I deplore the latter.

Every time I consider retiring this blog, something comes along, usually from the right side, to reset my outrage meter.

Stray Thought 0

We went out for breakfast Sunday morning. At an adjacent table, a lady was playing with a fidget spinner. I learned one thing.

Fidget spinners and fidget spinnerers (?) give me the willies.

Push Comes to Shove 0

Here is the slightly edited text of an email I sent to my brother tonight. The subject line was “Trump” and it referred to his press conference and the coverage thereof today.

Jesus Christ. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

He’s even lost that [less than desirable person} Krauthammer. Either he’s going down in flames or we are, but there is no pretense left.

It will be amusing in a depressing way watching all the [south end of a northbound horse] pundits who’ve supported him run for cover, because their cover is blown and they know it.

Nixon’s Southern Strategy has come home to roost, and the roostees don’t like it. Their camouflage is gone.

At this point, news junkie that I am (I think I got that from Daddy), I can’t even deal. I’m going to read a Nero Wolfe mystery and pretend that America is sane.

Words fail me.

Unhappy Cat (Updated) 0

The cat is on a liquid diet until a vet’s appointment tomorrow morning. She is not happy, so she is trying to affection me into giving her some food. Heaven forbid she lose an ounce, but, really, now, cats aren’t supposed to have what she has–cleavage.

I just hope she doesn’t resort to violence before we get her into her carrier. After all, she’s packing knives.

orange tabby

(Yeah, I know. Just what the internet needs. Another cat picture.)


Diagnosis: Inflammatory bowel syndrome. because the size of the bowel walls are in excess of three cm.

Rx: Change of diet to prescription diet.

Comment: Trust me, you do not want a cat, or anything or anyone else, with inflammatory bowel syndrome. It is not pretty.

Civic Duty 0

I might have jury duty tomorrow. The way it works here is that, if you receive a summons for jury duty, you call or check the city website the evening before to see whether you must actually report.

I’m not looking forward to it, primarily because I will have to up and at ’em before I’m usually up, as the Court House is way on the other side of town. On the other hand, if I’m called, I’ll take along that book I’ve been meaning to read.

You can, nevertheless, be assured that, whatever else happens, I won’t do this.

Speechless 0

The voice of Jay Ward Cartoons has passed away.

Cast of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon characters in tears as empty speech bubbles float over their heads.

Click for the original image.

I would argue that Rocky and Bullwinkle, in their continual struggle against Boris, Natasha, and FL, offered, beneath masterful puns, silliness, and absurdity, some of the most perceptive commentary on the political theatre of their time, much of it still valid today.

Not half an hour ago I was quoting my favorite line, one that still rings true:

In the Pentagon, there was General Consternation . . . and his entire staff.

Disney’s Pablumfication Factory 0

The Local notes how Disney alters German folk tales they “adapt” from those collected and codified by the Brothers Grimm. Here’s one example:

In Disney’s “Tangled” (2010), Rapunzel is kept in a tower by her controlling mother, Gothel, until one day a young man helps her escape and they live happily ever after.

In the Grimm version though, the road to young romance is a lot more rocky.

The story goes that Rapunzel lets down her hair so that a prince can climb it up to her window, but when the evil sorceress that guards her gets wind of what’s happening, she cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and keeps it for herself.

One day upon climbing up the rope of hair dangled by the sorceress, the prince finds the witch instead of his beloved girlfriend and throws himself from the tower in desperation, landing face-first in a bed of thorns and thus blinding himself.

The prince then wanders blindly for years until he finally stumbles into Rapunzel, who apparently had been living “miserably” in the forest as a single mother of twins all this time. Her tears heal his eyes, and then they live happily ever after.

My grandmother had a two volume collection of Grimm’s tales in translation dating likely from the 1930s. I remember reading “The Snow Queen” when I was (probably) about 12.

The un-Disney-fied tale is one of the darkest and scariest stories I have ever read.

Stray Thought 0

Creeping up towards that red light does not motivate it to change more quickly.

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Who Woulda Thunk? 0

Some automated lady has been kind enough to leave a message on my machine–several messages, in fact–informing me that my 14-year-old pick-up with 135 thousand miles on it (and still running just fine thank you) is out of warranty.

Whatever shall I do?