Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dr. Helen kicks off her new advice column at Pajamas Media

She discusses what things all adults should be able to do, starting with the famous list by Robert Heinlein, and continuing with additions of her own.

(from Heinlein) A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Dr. Helen's additions, drive a stick shift, be able to swim a reasonable distance, surf the web and answer an email, understand and be able to use a basic handgun, give a good backrub.

My abilities as compared to these lists are,

Change a diaper. With three biological children (and several infant foster children who have come through our home) this one is a natch! Ability includes changing both cloth and disposables.

Design a building. I've done stage design and do a lot of historical architectural research. I'd want someone to check me against the codes, but I could do a reasonable job for normal sized wood framed homes or farm buildings.

Build a wall. I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire. Fixing and building stone walls came with the territory.

Comfort the dying. Unfortunately, I have experience in this.

Take orders, give orders. Many years as a boyscout and a few in leadership positions. Believe it or not, but working on the tech side of theatre covers this as well. Check.

Cooperate, act alone. Trained in the theatre, including some acting training, so this one is both literally and figuratively true.

Pitch Manure. Again, farm country boyhood. It didn't happen often, but enough to know I didn't want it for a career.

Cook a tasty meal. The wife and kids think so, most of the time.

Drive a stickshift. Have, will, want to buy something with one (preferably large, overpowered, and from the 60s!)

Surf the web and answer email. Uh, Dr. Helen? You posted this on a new media site. The number of people who will read your column in Pajamas Media who can't do these two is a number aproaching zero.

Understand and be able to use a handgun. Haven't done it much, but yeh. Paraphrasing Tom Selleck's character from Quigly Down Under, "I said I didn't like pistols, not that I can't use them." I'd rather have one of these.

Give a good backrub. Hey, my wife didn't marry me for my looks (or money).

Of the rest, hmmm....

Fight efficiently. Not so much, unless we back up to be able to use a handgun.

Plan an invasion. No miltary training. I could take a stab at it, but this would probably best be left under be able to take orders. I'd rather follow somebody who knows what they're doing, and live, than think I'm capable by myself, and die.

Analyze a new problem. That essentially used to be my corporate job, doing stratigic sales research. Now I spend my time thinking up new paintings and new symbolism.

Balance accounts given a little more enthusiasm for bookkeeping... Nah, that's not gonna' happen.

Solve equations, write a sonnet, not since college....

Swim a reasonable distance, yeh, my doctor would like me to be able to do that as well.

Butcher a hog, conn a ship, program a computer, not yet - probably not likely.

Die gallantly, don't know yet.

If you have any additions for the list, drop a comment at Dr. Helen's column.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I rarely disagree with the Glenn

... at least not enough to post about, though we differ politically in many ways. However, in one of his posts today he says "Frankly, I think the best argument for electing a Democrat as President is that as long as a Republican is in office the media powers-that-be will refuse to condemn even the worst atrocities on the part of Islamists, for fear of helping the real enemy in the White House . . . .".

Personnally, I think that promoting that idea may be an unspoken strategy, if not of the Democrat Party, at least in the press.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Based on an image at the esteemed Charles Johnson's site, Little Green Footballs...

... a Fake But Accurate (TM) photo!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Draconian Immigration Measure I Fully Support

A few weeks ago, a comment was left that said if we cannot deport 12 million illegal aliens, why not deport the 535 voting members of Congress? Don Surber

Sounds good to me, lets start lining up the buses.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

You scored as Clint Eastwood,

Names aren't important as you dish out steaming bowls of piping hot brutality to your enemies. You also enjoy a good spaghetti dinner once in a while.

Clint Eastwood


John Wayne


Lee Van Cleef


Charles Bronson


Lee Marvin


What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with

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Apropos of Nothing...

My brain is weird. Strange memories and associations come, at times unbidden.

Last night, my wife started asking me about reading 19th Century literature (the oldest boy is getting to that level). With the exception of Verne and Twain, there's not much in the way of fiction from the 19th century that I remember from my youthful reading, but it got me to thinking about my high school English classes.…

...Which got me to thinking about a classmate who for a creative writing class wrote an essay, "How to Commit Suicide With Style." The essay ended with the would-be suicide retiring to Barbados with boatloads of fraudulently received insurance money.

This struck me as potentially troubling, in an ironic way, considering that the classmate who wrote the essay went on to become a CPA.

Things that make you, in hindsight, go "hmmmmmm...."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An excellent reply to the hand wringing healthscare socialists.

Filmmaker Stuart Brown provides real information behind the scare-statistics used in the healthcare debate. Clip here.

Via the ever popular Dr. Helen

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An excellent and moving story at Sippican Cottage

"I'm not alone..."

Monday, June 18, 2007

What Kind of Conservative Are You?
created with

You scored as Reagan Con

Reagan Con: You believe that America is the solution and not the problem, a strong defence, and the smiting of all those who stand against freedom. Your motto: "What would Reagan do?"

Now my question, why does the result "Reagan Con" get a shot of Charlton Heston from "The Omega Man?"

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Just watched the second episode of "Simon Shama's Power of Art" on PBS. This episode was about Picasso. In talking about the painting "Guernica", Mr. Shama couldn't resist sniping against the Iraq war.

He related how a copy of Guernica, arguably Picasso's greatest masterpiece, was covered up during the press conference after the US made its case before the UN that force should be used to overthrow Saddam. The reason being that the painting would have been "too disturbing." (It actually sounded to both my wife and I that Mr. Sharma blamed the press corps for this request.)
Mr. Sharma finished up with something to the tune of, you may be the greatest power in the world, capable of toppling dictators, but don't mess with great art. (paraphrased, ed.)

I don't know, but maybe somebody from the US delegation should have asked that it stay uncovered...

...I think the Kurds of Halabja would have thought it an entirely appropriate backdrop to an announcement of the plans to topple the fascist who had killed them.

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Idiot Science

Channel 4 in Boston just did a piece on how the government is talking about intervening to force gas stations to monitor the temperature of gasoline, because gasoline (like just about anything) expands when it gets warmer. So the government is worried that consumers are getting ripped off because hot, expanded gas contains less energy per gallon.

Somebody must do something to stop the madness!

Oh, wait...gas is stored underground in big tanks where the temperature is pretty much constant.

How do we get idiot bureaucrats to say, "Never mind!?”

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Strange things in jars

My brain is overloaded with the current painting project, (that, and my wife is away for the week with the baby, and I have the other kids) so no deep thought for now.

Instead, try visiting these wonderful aggregations of webby information...

Maggie's Farm Friday evening selections, or go to their homepage and scroll around.

Viking Pundit, interesting political tidbits gleaned from cyberspace, and dispensed in easily digestible portions.

the Carnival of Insanities, newly posted every Sunday by Dr. Sanity

Friday Ephemera from David Thompson. Always good for the light hearted and slightly bent.

And while you're at it, visit the MoxArgon Group, who may vaporize me at any moment for my last snarky comment there....

For the time being, here are pictures of strange things in jars, from the Harvard Museum of Natural History...with a couple of shots from the current painting at the end.

and detail shots of "Erat Iona In Ventre Piscis Tribus Diebus Et Tribus Noctibus"

Jonah (detail)

detail shot of unfinished stained glass

for more of my paintings, see Jerub-Baal Studio

all images copyright MJ Andrade, 2007

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Minerals from the Harvard Museum of Natural History


large crystal on matrix
Pasta Bueno, Ancash, Peru
Anonymous gift, 1998

catalogue no. 134613

Large plate of Amethyst crystals


pink crystals overgrown on etched cubes
near Rosiclare,
Hardin Co. IL
Acquired 1931

catalogue no. 91435

A beautiful and large green and blue mineral cluster

I missed getting a shot of the display card for this sample, it may be a form of Azurite

A very large group of sulfur crystals

large crystal group
Acquired 1931

catalogue no. 91373

As a change of pace, a group from our church went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and walked the galleries. Afterward we got together and discussed what we saw and what it meant to us.

A lot more humbling than looking at stained glass...

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