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Наверняка фейк... [Apr. 15th, 2014|06:27 pm]


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immigration, reality, and "act of love" [Apr. 15th, 2014|06:14 pm]

Rand Paul: 'We Can't Invite The Whole World' To Immigrate To U.S.
"Speaking on ABC's 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos,' Paul said that when lawmakers focus only on the reasons immigrants enter the U.S. illegally, it makes "people think, 'Well, because they're doing this for kind reasons,' that the whole world can come to our country.'
Paul's comment was in response to a question about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) recent statement that undocumented immigration was 'an act of love,'"

"When you say they're doing an act of love, and you don't follow it up with 'but we have to control the border,' people think, 'Well, because they're doing this for kind reasons,' that the whole world can come to our country,' he said."

Op-ed: It's time to cut the 'love thy ILLEGAL neighbor' nonsense
"The bottom line is simply coming here ILLEGALLY...and rest assured these people knew damn well they were breaking our laws by coming here as they did...they became criminals and America was NOT intended or designed to be a country of criminals. [...] 'Acts of love' do NOT include breaking our laws nor do they include raping our health care system, our welfare system, or stealing jobs away from LEGAL Americans in the process of their ILLEGALLY being here. And this is what those so-called 'acts of love' do...they steal from rightful Americans...period. "

[Note: I have not yet verified these numbers, but even if close, they are not acceptable]
"And finally, here are some NOT so happy statistics concerning crimes committed by ILLEGALS...for every 100 ILLEGALS who find jobs in the U.S., 65 American workers are displaced...six out of every 10 ILLEGALS deported are deported because they've committed a criminal act...every year more than 72,000 ILLEGALS are arrested for drug offenses in the U.S...ILLEGALS comprise over 25% of the federal prison population which means that a group that comprises less than 5% of the population is committing 25% percent of the crime and in some part of the country ILLEGALS are committing 12% of all felonies, 25% of all burglaries, and 34% of all thefts.
And as the Democrats continue to claim it's all about race with the Republicans, the truth is that it's about our rules of law and the documented facts and statistics and NOTHING more for America is and always has been a nation that welcomes LEGAL immigrants, and has NEVER been a nation comprised of racists. The only racists are those within the Democratic party itself."

This. "And so the immigration debate will continue on both before and after the mid-term elections, but let's remember that the best way to solve the immigration problem is for Congress to first seal the borders and then enforce the laws currently on the books...and there is NO racism involved in closed."
Anyone who argues against enforcing the laws already in place before moving forward on "reform" is likely for amnesty. It really isn't complicated.
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More thoughts on the Gaystapo - the intolerant, angry, evil Left [Apr. 15th, 2014|01:48 pm]

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Purge The 7 Million "William Saletan has a compelling piece in Slate today: 'More than 35,000 people gave money to the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that declared, 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'"
"But why stop there? According to Wikipedia, 7,001,084 people voted for Prop 8. Why do any of those people still have jobs? Shouldn’t they all be forced to resign?"
Nothing about the Eich targeting makes sense... unless you consider Alinsky and the real goals of the Left. None of the "gay marriage" (later, in an obviously Orwellian move, rebranded to "marriage equality") movement was ever about helping gays. Gays are just another tool. This is what it was about:

(LJ seems to be giving me issues on the code below, or I'm making a mistake I can't spot. So here is the link for the following: )

The Left Isn’t Pro-Gay — It’s Pro-Power "Those on the right who insist that conservatism should be reduced to fiscal issues imagine that the culture war is a fight that the right picked with the left. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The left does not care about gay marriage. In most left-wing regimes, homosexuality was persecuted."

"The left’s shift on this issue, as on many issues, was purely tactical. The left’s leading lights were racists who jumped into civil rights. They were sexists who became feminists. They were advocates for the working class who despised the idea of working for a living.
The culture war does not emerge from the left’s deeply held beliefs. Its leaders could care less about the things that they pretend to care about. It emerges instead from the need to maintain a constant state of domestic conflict
You can’t have a truce when the other side wants a war."

"Every gang needs to hurt and terrorize people in order to feel its power. [...]
The purpose of these purges is not to make the country more tolerant, but to make it more afraid. The message of the Eich purge is not, 'accept gay marriage,' it’s 'don’t question us.' As many have pointed out, Eich had the same view of gay marriage at the time he made that donation as Obama and Hillary."

"You can call the club, liberalism, progressivism or simply 'the left.' You can call its members Marxists, Socialists or anything else you like. They go by many names, some real and some fake, but they are the 'club'; a totalitarian organization dedicated to absolute power in the name of any available lie."

"The left doesn’t do truces. If the right cedes gay marriage, all it will have won is the right to be called homophobes for the next hundred years. And the culture war will move on to the next issue and the one after that. The purges will continue and more criminals guilty of thought crimes will be paraded for the virtual cameras. Yesterday’s commonplace idea will be tomorrow’s act of unspeakable bigotry that prevents you from being employed, opening a business or even staying out of prison."

"The left does not hate the right because of gay marriage. It does not hate the right because it thinks that the right is racist, sexist, transphobic, semaphoric or plasmatic. It hates the right because it is not of the left. The right stands in the way of its absolute power. These two things are enough to be hated."
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The Obama deportation numbers LIE [Apr. 15th, 2014|01:15 pm]

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From the LA Times, far from a right wing site.

High deportation figures are misleading
'Immigration activists have sharply criticized President Obama for a rising volume of deportations, labeling him the "deporter in chief" and staging large protests that have harmed his standing with some Latinos, a key group of voters for Democrats.
But the portrait of a steadily increasing number of deportations rests on statistics that conceal almost as much as they disclose. A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data."

It's ALWAYS been a lie. The head of the ICE union outed this lie years ago. But you can't find a Democrat who cares about the truth. Claiming Obama was tough on immigration was good for the regime at the time. That's all that mattered.

"Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.
On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's deportation statistics.
The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now."

"The administration's move to step up deportations at the border coincided with increased hiring of agents and spending on border security. In 2010, Congress approved a $600-million infusion to add border agents and new surveillance technology. There are now more than 21,000 Border Patrol agents on the border, twice the number of a decade ago.
During the first two years after coming to office, Obama administration officials touted the record-setting deportation figures, hoping that strict enforcement at the border would convince Republicans to come to the negotiating table on immigration reform."

It was all a scam. Throw more money at it. Fake the numbers. Then demand the next step in their agenda.
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The Gender Wage Gap Lie [Apr. 15th, 2014|01:04 pm]

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This is Slate, far from a right wing site. Democrats know this is a lie. They don't care. The whole point is to distract or enrage the low information voter. When you encounter this lie you can try to tell them the truth, but recognize you're likely dealing with an ignorant sheep or a liar (in other words, the Democrat voter).

The Gender Wage Gap Lie
"The latter gives the impression that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. That’s not at all the case."

Bottom line:
"And in that more complicated discussion, you have to leave room at least for the option of choice — that women just don’t want to work the same way men do."

That's right. When it really comes down to honest measures, any differences are due to the choices we make - you know, choice, that thing Democrats supposedly hold above all things?

Previous links on this lie
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Installation of Adobe Flash Player 13 fails... [Apr. 14th, 2014|09:00 pm]



There was a new release of Flash the other day.  It goes through the Initializing and the download.  Then it asks for my update option (I select "Notify me to install updates").  Then it says creating download, downloading, installing and then asks me to exit Firefox.  Then it says installing.  The bar moves about half way across the screen and says “Error: Unable to proceed with the installation”.  There’s a “Finish” box.  When I click on it, a copy of Firefox opens pointing to “” which says “Adobe Flash Player could not be installed.”

I’ve gone through Adobe’s suggestions on how to “fix” this nightmare, including the worst move of all, uninstalling the working copy of Flash that was on my machine.  Now I have no Flash Player at all.

Any knowledge, suggestions or offerings would be tremendously appreciated.

Kind regards,
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Rice Box [3/5] [Apr. 15th, 2014|04:54 am]

Rice Box

Rice Box (located off University) recently opened to much excitement among those who had attended school near Florence. Apparently, the first location is much beloved. Naturally, the hubby and I were curious about the hoopla, so we popped in for dinner on a Friday night.

We were seated promptly, and took in the decor as we studied the menu. Dark wood tables contrasted with orangey walls, and the artwork ran to a geisha theme, including the curtain which separated off the bathrooms. The entry area we had walked through featured (fake) leafy stalks of bamboo in lieu of window coverings and a couple of large vases.

When our server asked for drink orders, I inquired about the "Japanese sodas" listed under beverages and selected a strawberry one. I had no idea what I had just ordered, but I figured it was an opportunity not to be missed. A few minutes later she returned to take our dinner orders, drinks in hand. I selected the coconut chicken with fried rice and while the hubby ordered a spicy tuna roll and chicken lo mein, I turned my attention to reading the operating instructions for the bottle.

Rice Box Rice Box

Instead of a familiar screw or pop top, the bottle was stopped with a glass marble. To dislodge the marble, you first had to remove a plastic overcap and pop out the center to use as a tool. This center piece was placed over the marble and pushed in toward the beverage. The design of the bottle was such that it caught the marble in the upper half. The images above show the bottle as delivered and after opening and pouring, with all the bits of the lid. The smaller piece up front is the "tool". Be forewarned, it takes a fair bit of strength to break the vacuum holding the marble in place. (I enlisted the hubby.)

As for the soda itself? It was lovely. Much lighter than American sodas, deliciously fizzy with a flavor like that of hard strawberry candies.

I was still figuring out how to work my soda when my husband's sushi appeared.

Rice Box

It was a simple presentation, the spicy sauce was mixed into the interior of the rolls instead of being used as a garnish. The hubby declared it "slightly better than average" and "pretty good".

As he finished off his sushi, my coconut chicken arrived (shown at the top of this post), almost immediately followed by my husband's chicken lo mein. The gap was just enough that I was wondering where the lo mein was when it showed up.

The coconut chicken was carefully plated with 4 pieces of steamed broccoli arranged at the corners of the plate for garnish. Each piece of chicken was fried, the coating softened by the brownish sauce which seemed, by both texture and flavor, to be mainly honey. Tasted on the chicken there was a subtle coconut flavor. Sampled by itself, the flavor was strongly honey, which made me wonder if the chicken had been fried in coconut oil. Small pieces of coconut lent a bit of festivity to the dish.

Rice Box

My meal included a pork egg roll and my selected rice (in this case, fried). The egg roll had a thick enough wrapper that the outside was crinkly while the interior was still chewy. The filling was comprised of cabbage, carrots and pork. The rice featured small grains, some snapped to still smaller pieces, which were a bit firm, giving an overall crumbly texture. There were bits of eggs mixed in with the rice but no vegetables.

Rice Box

The hubby reported that his lo mein was "very cleanly done" and not overly salty.

As we were finishing our meal our server stopped by to ask if I would like more water. My confused look must have betrayed the fact that I hadn't been drinking water because despite my response of "Water would be great, thanks!", when she next returned it was to bring the check and a single fortune cookie, no water in sight. I was further confused as to why a single fortune cookie was brought for two people--should we break it wishbone style to determine who the fortune belongs to?

Rice Box absolutely nails the ambiance. With no distracting tvs and a polished appearance, it's a nice medium between the swanky (and expensive) sushi bars and the quick grab and go take out Chinese places. Their menu, covering Chinese, Hibachi, and sushi will have something that appeals to most everyone. The food however, is...fine. I wouldn't object to returning (and the Japanese sodas are a pretty big draw for me) but it won't be my first choice when I'm craving Chinese food.

Total for the meal: $25.52 (Included one dinner, one entree, one sushi roll, one regular soda, and one Japanese soda)

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Rice Box on Urbanspoon
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SGI to SUSE [Apr. 15th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

Back in the day of pouring through individual HP/UX packages (which for some unfathomable reason is still as archaically individual and manual-intensive as it was in 1996) and Solaris packages (prior to the god-sent auto-dependency download/installer BLASTWAVE), SGI had a web-based package installer. While it still required manual dependency resolution, it was light-years ahead of anything else I'd seen - packages, on the web, interacting with the unix installer. Brilliant!

These days of course we have apt-get and yum and zypper which are of course effortless and expected in this day in age - but I just ran across something which reminded me of my days on Irix; openSUSE's "1-Click" links.

There I was researching exFAT for linux, when I run across embedded links on the page I'm on offering "1-Click" installation to my operating system. No drilling down to processor architecture, o/s version, compression delivery method, and no alt-tabbing to my console window to search then install the syntactically correct package name. Just, "1-Click." How cool is that?
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Weatherly [Apr. 14th, 2014|01:17 pm]

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Saturday: I went for a 20-mile bike ride. I waited too late in the day to start, and it was 80 degrees out. A nice ride anyway, but definitely warmer than optimal.
Sunday: Lut complained, "I'm sick of the heat and humidity already. I want winter back." Me: "Nooooo I like the heat! Maybe not the humidity so much."
Monday morning: It was snowing as I walked to work.

At least one of us got what they wanted. c.c
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Bountiful Food [Apr. 14th, 2014|04:34 pm]

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A brief follow-up on that lead image from the Washingtonian Mom section on Jay Carney and Claire Shipman I wrote about this morning. It is somewhat ironic that Shipman’s new book stresses the importance of confidence over competence. The resulting article seems to be a result of lack of competence, boldly proclaimed.

Claire Shipman probably still misses the Soviet Union, where she was married the first time: “”When we left, Gorbachev called us in to say goodbye and gave us each a bear hug. It’s that kind of place.” Shipman picked journalism as a way to get herself to the Communist country, according to this article about her from 19 years ago. Of course, it is legal to be a Communist, or Communist sympathizer, in the United States. But I am intrigued at how many such people Obama has surrounded himself with, and how clueless they seem about the public image of such sympathy, as evidenced by the posters in the kitchen and the Gorbachev statue.

But another minor aspect of the kitchen image, all that food, intrigued me. I won’t count the bountiful array of unsliced fruits that will likely keep at room temperature for a bit. They would still be good the next day. But look what’s on the counter for immediate consumption, working foreground to background:

Food Counter

  • Bacon, pancakes, and butter (margarine?).

  • Only four eggs on the counter, plus one in the air — they’re missing a bet here, I think.

  • A half-dozen or more sugared pastry rolls.

  • Ten slices of bread, apparently politically correct whole-grain at least.

  • At least a pound of butter or margarine.

  • Perhaps two pounds of already-cooked sausages. Cold, no doubt.

  • More pancakes in the background, what seems to be fifteen to twenty more.

  • And another stack of glazed pastries, more than a dozen large rolls.

This is the food set out for two skinny adults and two skinny kids, the family of the man who is the public face of the Obama administration. The “Let’s Move” anti-obesity, get rid of unhealthy lunches through regulation administration.

I don’t think four times as many people could eat that many pastries and pancakes in a day, with all the bread and sticks of butter. Where would they have room for all the fruit scattered about?

Of course, they had an army of design people working on putting these shots together. Literally:

Creative By Design Army. Photography By Cade Martin. Styling By Pascale Lemaire, T.h.e. Artist Agency. Hair & Makeup By Ismail Tekin & Carl Ray, George Salon At Four Seasons

The disconnect between this elite couple and their fawning followers, versus the public image you’d think they’d try to maintain, is interesting. It is of little consequence, and is hardly a “scandal” — though it’s the sort of thing that would be big in the media if it were Republicans involved. This selectivity operates the same way as with the IRS criminal prosecution referral that didn’t get a mention in the leftist press last week at all.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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Coming and going. Life from Osaka to Tokyo. [Apr. 14th, 2014|08:00 am]

I've been talking to my brother from another mother, and we've decided to try and get a place together. I could easily afford a nicer place if I had a roommate, and he's looking to move out of his parent's house so that he and his girlfriend could have a little more privacy.We're both looking at places here and there and I've begun updating my resume. On my next day off I'll start looking up jobs. If any of my folks living in Tokyo have any suggestions or recommendations, feel free to offer! Up until now all my jobs have been found because of who I know. This is the first time I hunt "from scratch!"

We went to different shops to look at some suits and get me fitted. It's about time I invest in suits that suit me as opposed to things off the rack. I have a few picked out and will purchase them after another couple of paychecks.

Anyway, we went out to celebrate the new plans we're getting ready to set in to motion!


And then after that, we went out to look at some dresses. A good friend of mine is getting married in June and he's asked me to attend his wedding. I'm honored that he asked me to go, but at the same time, I feel a little weird about it. This guy was like a brother to me but there was always a suspicion that he had "a thing" for me and everyone would always say I was so blind for not being able to see it in his eyes.  The fact that everyone knows this, that I'm one of his only female friends and that I'm his only foreign friend makes me feel really nervous about going.
I've never met the girl, but I know she's heard of me,as I might have asked him to cancel plans with her once or twice or thrice, so that he could hang with me. This was before they were dating, but the fact still stands. Would she feel awkward having me there?

Ohhhhh dear, should I stay or should I go?

(Kaz and I some months back)
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this is an update [Apr. 15th, 2014|12:57 am]

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I’ve been trying to take comfort in the idea that by having had back to back sickness for the last couple of weeks I have already used up my full illness quota for the year. But, to be honest, the actual comfort I’ve been taking from this has been pretty fucking thin on the ground. And of course it just makes it worse that I brought it on myself by writing in an entry before I got sick that I wasn’t sick – I mean what the hell was that about?! Was I daring the universe to smite me with snot, asthma and give me a cough reminiscent of a sea lion?! Anyway, I’m slowly on the mend and it looks like I might be fully well by the time my vacation days are over next Tuesday. Oh no, I’m not bitter, nu-uh!

In non-sarcastic news, my housemate and I are thinking of going into business making little mariachi hats for pets. Who wouldn’t want an adorable pet mariachi hat, I ask you? Okay, I haven’t been sleeping much lately so I’m willing to concede that I may be a little cognizantly punch-drunk, but it really does feel like a solid gold nugget of an idea just waiting to be smelted.
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Захватом милиции в Горловке коммандовал подполковник российской армии [Apr. 14th, 2014|10:45 am]

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"There is no liberal media" my ass [Apr. 14th, 2014|10:08 am]

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It doesn't get much more blatant.

Just a reminder, Elijah Cummings has been obstructing justice with the IRS investigation because he's in on it...

CBS’s Bob Schieffer Interviews Dem. Elijah Cummings, Ignores His Relationship With Lois Lerner

"Instead of asking Congressman Cummings about this damaging new report surrounding the IRS scandal, Schieffer ignored the entire issue, and focused on ObamaCare and equal pay for women for the entirety of the interview.
The CBS host even falsely claimed that the GOP did not support equal pay for women:"

That's not just ignoring the obstruction of justice, ignoring that a sitting congressman is in on a scandal and working to cover it up; it isn't just a party using race as a means to allow the obstruction and coverup regarding the targeting of Americans for political purposes; it's the dead on exact talking points the White House wants right now.

This would be embarrassing for Pravda. Pravda at least had the excuse of not having a choice. These vermin do it willingly.

If any Democrat you know says there is no liberal media, why would you ever take them seriously again? They are ignorant beyond useless, enabling evil, or they know full well they are lying to you. Those are the only two options.
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You missed making a dress and getting stabbed in it [Apr. 14th, 2014|05:18 am]

[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

So, you know trillian_stars stars in Sense & Sensibility which opens Friday April 25th at Hedgerow Theatre and to celebrate we've been having all sorts of Jane Austen themed thingies. Yesterday we had a day of regency dress making and dueling.

We hired dressmaker Tina Giovannone to teach everyone how to make a Regency era dress. If you didn't feel like making a dress, Sir John's hunting party ate cucumber sandwiches and went out hunting craft beers and the local ritzy bar.

Making the dresses!
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

Dress making and cucumber sandwich eating went on for some time and then it was time to start killing one another.

An hour into the dress making the fencing lessons began.
Fight instructor Jacqueline Holloway taught everyone where the
vitalist organs were and how to skewer them for maximum
satisfaction in the duel.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

Some of our dress makers were very speedy and others had started the night before, so there were a good number of people who actually dueled in their regency dresses. There were four judges and a scorekeeper for each duel. It was interesting that most people chose lines from Laertes or Mercutio as they bled out. "No, ’tis not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church-door, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve," and "Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat to scratch a man to death!" were both unusually popular as people toppled into the dust gripping their sides.

Mary watches in the dress she made while old scores are settled on the field of honor.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

Once half of us were dead, it was back to the dress making with great gusto.

Trillian makes a dress, Trillian fights a duel!
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

Some of us retired to the photo studio and set up some lights. Everybody got a portrait in their dress, I'd post one, but Bernard Jones and Kevin Wheeler took over the photo duties along with Amy Blackthorn so I'll have to wait for them to post things.

As dresses got finished and people got their portraits taken we played Jane Austen board games in the back yard and a splendid time was had by all.

Regency dress, sword or not, we certainly hope to see you at Sense & Sensibility opening Friday April 25th at Hedgerow Theatre.

After the dresses were all made and the cads all dispatched we retired to the
back yard to play the Pride and Prejudice board game. I was Wickham.
I didn't win.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

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Carney Show [Apr. 14th, 2014|01:01 pm]

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There’s a bit of tittering, and Twittering, on the Internet about a Washington “power couple” and the photographs of their home in a piece in the Washington puff-magazine called the Washingtonian. Most are treating the pictures as unintentionally hilarious, and I can see that — the Photoshop work is crude indeed.

Up against the wall

But another aspect struck me, one that Vladimir Putin would instantly spot but that Americans would generally be slow to pick up on. I see, now, that others have seen this as well: Former reporter Jay Carney, now propaganda minister/spokesman for President Obama, and his wife Clair Shipman, long time propaganda writer for ABC News, have Soviet propaganda posters decorating their home. Three are visible in this image:

Propaganda in the Carney/Shipman Home

The most obvious (over Claire Shipman’s shoulder) featuring the red-coated man and “Tbl,” is a call to join the Red Army to fight Americans. Here are close ups of two of the three posters.

Staged, and yet…

The pictures in the article are carefully staged. Each of the subjects is given specific clothes to wear, and the photo captions feature the price of the clothing and accessories and where they can be purchased.

But think about this: No one, not Carney or Shipman, nor any of the reporters, camera crew, editors (or Photoshop crew!) thought twice about the idea of anti-American Soviet propaganda posters being prominently visible in the home where this “power couple of the Beltway elite” raise their children. None of them batted an eye at this person, one of the most reported on in the free world, and whose job is to cover for the president, featuring posters that covered for the failing Soviet Union. Carney, before becoming the highly-newsworthy political figure, reported on such figures himself for decades. And none of this fazed him, or them, at all.

Other famous Obama posters

I am reminded of Obama when he was first running for President. His Houston campaign headquarters prominently featured posters and flags of Communist mass-murderer and terrorist Che Guevara behind the receptionist’s desk. There was another elsewhere in the same Houston office. They were only removed when some outsider finally complained about the “optics” and a flap arose in the blogosphere over them.

‘Intimidating and intriguing’

Both Carney and Shipman have an affinity for the old Soviet regime. They met, in fact, while both were stationed in Moscow as reporters covering (for) the Soviets’ doings. He became fluent in Russian (earning a B.A. in Russian Studies at Yale) back when communism was trendy, but sadly (for him), by the time he was actually posted to Moscow, it was covering the collapse of the Soviet Union. Shipman’s history is similar:

Shipman’s passion for the Soviet Union was sparked in 1985 when, as a Columbia University senior, she spent a summer studying Russian in St. Petersburg. … ‘Gorbachev had just come to power, and it was still the Soviet Union—intimidating and intriguing,’ she says.”

Laughs and questions

But neither thought it might look odd to their American audience to have the Soviet Union-flogging posters on their wall. And, of course, there are other aspects. The picture that gets the most laughs is this one, showing the absolutely amateurish Photoshop work (including replicating one of their children’s disembodied fingers):

Carney Library

Many are joking about the badly Photoshopped books on the left and right. There are dozens, with the ones on the right often being mirror-images of the ones on the left:

Carney Library — partially hidden by badly replicated books

As the UK’s Daily Mail put it:

Twitchy, a popular best-of-Twitter feed, collected the snark.

The mocking grew loudest when young Hugo’s duplicate pinky was discovered.

‘OMG. They even forgot to erase the kid’s finger in the fake book Photoshop,’ read one tweet.

‘Pfft! Like YOU don’t use kids’ fingers for bookends,’ came a reply.

Books on their shelves, and minds

It is interesting to me that Claire Shipman brags about her reading, but her reading list consists of multiple children’s books and a biography of Russian (she wasn’t, quite) Catherine the Great. And yet … there were books on the Carney/Shipman shelves that someone at the Washingtonian decided had to be covered up. I wonder what those might have been?

The Photoshop folks were working from a high-resolution image, so that they could read the original book titles — but by the time the story was published, those titles are essentially unreadable anyway. But none of them spotted, or thought about, the Mikhail Gorbachev statuette on Carney’s shelf in the same picture, still recognizable on the lower right.

So what DID they decide to hide? What books were considered worse to show than Soviet propaganda posters?

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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Жидобандеровцы! [Apr. 14th, 2014|07:26 am]

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Jenny McCarthy: Critical Thinker [Apr. 14th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

I don't mean to be hatin' on Jenny McCarthy, I really don't - but she is so rich with content its difficult to not exploit her in the name of positive life lessons. In a recent press release, she reminds us that critical thinking means asking the hard questions:

"What happened to critical thinking? What happened to asking questions because every child is different? I am not 'anti-vaccine'...I have been wrongly branded as 'anti-vaccine.'"

"I am dumbfounded that these conversations are discounted and negated because the answers are not black or white, God help us all if gray is no longer an option."

Being ignorant myself when all this initially came about, I had do my own research. No, not the kind where I'm was drawing amniotic fluid from the swollen bellies of pregnant women, but the kind where I read the results from those who do - amidst the droves of stay-at-home activist moms decrying science. I saw innocent people being burned at the stake because they recognized what was occurring and tried to temper the hysteria. It was a modern day witch-hunt, science versus those who are enlightened. While its baffling that something like that could that could have happened in the 1600s, experiencing it firsthand was both fascinating and horrifying.

As an aside, I really do credit these enlightened types where credit is due, as they do manage to break many of the traditional paradigms. Despite what the bible *actually* says about witchcraft for example, I know a handful of witchcraft practicing Christians. It amazing what you can justify when you set your mind to it, and the anti-vacc hysteria amongst witchcraft-practicing Christians was a chapter in own personal history which will forever rival that of Salem.

I appreciate those willing to consider other points of view yes, but claiming a middle-ground argument against proven-science is a logical fallacy - the truth of the Earth's curvature doesn't lie somewhere in between spherical believers and flat-earthers. It just doesn't. Charles K. Johnson, former leader of The Flat Earth Society disagreed, "Science is a false religion, the opium of the masses." Thomas Dolby himself was blinded by science, as he is a card carrying member - and his credentials are far more noteworthy than those of Ms. McCarthy (though I'll admit now to any physiological pressure were I to have to empirically choose between Musical Director for TED Conference and Ms. McCarthy's own impressive resume).

Political Scientist Michael Barkun states the appeal of believing something dumb is popular because it appears to make sense out of a world that is otherwise confusing, does so by oversimplifying things in an easily-digestible dichotomous way, and presents it as special, secret knowledge unknown or unappreciated by others. Who wouldn't fall for that?

Critical thinkers.

Real ones.
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Ловкость рук и никакого обмана 2 [Apr. 13th, 2014|10:56 pm]

Верхнее фото сделано в Крыму. Нижнее - сегодняшнее из Славянска.

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Ловкость рук и никакого обмана [Apr. 13th, 2014|10:22 pm]

Originally posted by cheralpa at Две страны - а физиономия одна и та же
15 марта в Питере был антивоенный митинг, на котором паслись провокаторы.

И вот сегодня вижу физиономию одного из них во френдленте из Донбасса. В Питере он истерично кричал, что завтра нас приедут резать живьем бандеровцы, а теперь уже сам  красуется в Донбассе.

Вот его фото в Питере на фоне Казанского собора:


А вот он уже в Донбассе среди "самооборонцев" (крайний справа):


Источник 2-й фотографии:
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НОВЫЙ Политический гангста-рэп [Apr. 13th, 2014|09:58 pm]

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"Three full mags, and my swinging cod." [Apr. 13th, 2014|12:00 am]

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[Current Location |67114]

From XKCD LJ thread's Heartbleed Explanation.
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Bing Bar [Apr. 12th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

It used to amuse me to no end imagining Microsoft collecting metrics on Internet Explorer only to discover it was only ever used once, to install Firefox (and later, Chrome). Window's "Hide Update" function was a godsend when first introduced, allowing those of us in the Western Hemisphere to mask the fact that the Uzbekistani language (among others) wasn't installed on our systems - and it seems to work really, really well.

Excepting the Bing Bar, which, despite my best efforts, will regularly "unhide" itself as an annoying reminder I'm not using it. At this point I can only assume, given what are probably terrible use statistics, rather than stop promoting the Bing Bar, they'll simply force it upon us through integration in a future release of IE. But by all means, if you're a fan of resource-sapping software bloat, circa 1996-style toolbars, bing, or targeted consumer marketing, install away!

In a related incident of cult-like propaganda, Windows 8.1 update KB2919355 (threat assessment self-identified as, "Important") moved the Windows App Store icon from its obscurity on the spammy apps page taskbar. Yep. Pretty fucking important.

I promptly deleted it.
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(no subject) [Apr. 12th, 2014|12:56 am]


Фотожоп конечно а вот настоящая:
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Comrade Jay Carney [Apr. 12th, 2014|12:08 am]

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This is in the kitchen of the journalist and United States Press Secretary Carney and his famous journalist wife.

Comrade Jay Carney photo Bk-7DNXCYAAxywd_zps93234782.jpg

If this is somehow not disturbing to you, try to imagine if they were Nazi posters. No, there really is no excuse. The evils of the Soviets are too long to list. These people have those posters in their kitchen, in the house where they raise children.

Sixty years ago this would have ruined them both. And it should. Known communist sympathizers are in the White House. This is the Democrat Party.
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IRS links [Apr. 11th, 2014|05:55 pm]


New Oversight Report Debunks Myth that Liberal Groups were Targeted by IRS
IT WAS A LIE. It always has been. The targeting was partisan. Any claim otherwise is deceit or the ignorant repeating the deceit.

Displays of Obama, Democratic support common at some IRS offices

Trey Gowdy opens up a can on Lois Lerner
“'Can you imagine, Mr. Chairman? Can you imagine a fact pattern where somebody takes the stand and says, ‘I didn’t rob the bank. But I’m not gonna answer why my fingerprints are on the demand note. And I’m not gonna tell you why I’m on the surveillance footage with a gun in my hand. And I’m not gonna tell you why the dye pack blew up in my car. I’m just gonna tell you I didn’t rob the bank!’ That’s not the way our system works.'”
Very, very little of what we’ve seen over the past five years is how our system works. These guys only care about how the system works when they can use it to hamper the people who still believe in it. Rules and laws are for the other guy."

Darrell Issa wants Elijah Cummings to disclose talks with Lois Lerner's attorney

BREAKING: Emails Show Lois Lerner Fed True the Vote Tax Information to Democrat Elijah Cummings
"New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago."

Democrat Elijah Cummings Faces Up to Five Years in Federal Prison
They didn't put Cummings in that position just to be a giant black shield the cowards can hide behind. They also did it because he's probably one of the most corrupt. It's a damn shame he won't see jail because Democrats are thoroughly corrupt, and Republicans will fear the racist backlash. He was once a civil rights leader. Now he uses the federal government to hurt political opposition. This is what the Democrat Party does to people.
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"War on" what "I don't watch" [Apr. 11th, 2014|11:26 am]

If you haven't yet caught on to the fact we're in a civil cold war, maybe it will help to watch this rare honest Democrat who declared war but can't honestly explain why. He's not saying anything not ubiquitous among the left. He just admits he doesn't know or care about the truth, and the rules for his team don't apply to opposition.

MUST WATCH: Greta Confounds Dem Candidate Promising “War” on FOX News, Tea Party: “I Don’t Watch [FNC] Much”
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(no subject) [Apr. 11th, 2014|09:40 am]


Как б это на анлийский правильно перевести?
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S.S. Clinton [Apr. 11th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

Remember when the lead singer of Oingo Boingo started composing film score and it turned out to be actually really good? No one ever expects that. That's why I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome when George Clinton started composing film score - because, you know, funk.

michelle1963 had just finished The 4400 on Netflix and recommended it to me as something to consider in the evenings as I am very occasionally wont to do; I fell in love right away with the score, but couldn't find proof anywhere it had ever been recorded (nor covered by my favorite Sci-Fi re-recorder, Joohyun Park).

I was also shocked to discover George S. Clinton was white...followed immediately with the dawning comprehension that composer George S. Clinton wasn't funk musician George Clinton.

All these years.
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Twilight (Zone) of the Republic [Apr. 10th, 2014|07:44 am]

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So ... does anyone else feel that they are living a dystopian near-future novel?  Perhaps one of the mildly-absurdist ones popular in the science fiction of the late 1950's through 1970's?

See, the President of the United States has -- over the last couple of years -- essentially been legislating by Executive Order.  Meaning, ruling by decree.

An Executive Order is meant to apply in two general fields:  matters wholly affecting the Executive Branch, and emergency decisions.  Which is to say, redeployment of Executive Branch resources, and situations where decisions must be taken fast.  This makes sense -- the Congress can't be bothered to pass laws about every major shift in agency functions, nor would we want to depend on Congress if, say, there were a threat of imminent attack which could not be met given existing laws.

But Obama isn't limiting his use of Executive Orders to such fields.  He is issuing Executive Orders regarding situations which are not even governmental (most recently, the one requiring equal pay for men and women, as to be decided by the agencies) and ones which involve the long-term applications of laws (most notably, Obamacare, which has been repeatedly revised by Executive Order).

Why is this bad?  Because there is literally no limit to what Executive Orders the President -- whether this President, or any other President -- might choose to issue.  There are, of course, Constitutional limits, but then the President is already using such Orders unconstiutionally and is not being effectively challenged on this.

What, for instance, would prevent him from issuing a "Congressional Co-operation Monitoring and Compliance Executive Order," declaring that security personnel be stationed in the Congress and that any Congresspersons voting in a manner that he deems "non-cooperative" be immediately taken into custody and his vote ignored?  Or an "Undesirable Persons Termination Order," granting himself the power to kill anyone he deemed, for whatever reason he deemed, provided only that he deems them "undesirable"?

The Constitution provides for only two remedies for a President behaving as unconstitutionally as is Obama.  The first, appeal to the Supreme Court, is too slow -- Obama can issue Executive Orders faster than any challenges could make their way through the Federal Appeals process; what's more, since he is breaking the Constitution anyway, there is nothing stopping him from simply reissuing the struck-down order with slightly-different wording (yes, that's unconstitutional, but "sue me."  Literally).

The other is impeachment.  This is also fairly slow (though a really-frightened Congress could go through the process rapidly if they wanted to do so) but has the signal advantage that -- if successful -- the President is no longer a threat, because he is then no longer the President.  Unfortunately, the Congressional Democrats are so happy to have not only a Democratic President, but America's first "black" President (in quotes because he's actually only about a quarter black) that they are apparently willing to let the Republic fall rather than impeach Obama.

The final sanction, of course, is extra-Constitutional, but might have the color of Constitutionality if the other two branches of government agreed upon it -- military countercoup-from-below to oppose the coup-from-above that Obama seems to be launching.  This was actually contemplated in 1974 against Richard M. Nixon when the military feared that he might refuse to step down if impeached and convicted.

This has never happened in the history of the Republic -- if it did happen, it would be a terribly-dangerous precedent, as it would prove that Presidents could be unmade without reference to actual impeachment and conviction.  But it would be the only alternative to submission, if Obama for instance chose to respond to the initiation of an impeachment process by the unlawful detention or murder of the Congress, or the credible threat of such action.

Now here is where the weirdness comes in.  I had always imagined, before around 2013, that if a President overstepped his Constitutional authority this far, the other branches of government -- and the media -- would be frantic to stop him.  I had imagined that there might even be widespread resistance to him in the Executive Branch itself, as honorable officials leaped to try to save the Republic they had sworn to protect.

What do we see right now?  Silence.  Or worse:  the media is congratulating Obama on his "bold" new Executive Orders:

"Mr. Stalin took a bold new move today with the liquidation of the kulaks, which should totally reform our agricultural system!"

"Mr. Hitler's order to eliminate the Jews from public life will greatly improve our culture!"

and so on.

Some people may argue that Obama's executive orders are a good thing because they are aimed at good ends.  The problem is that even if they are (and I would dispute that contention), if he is able to do this and get away with it without consequence, the next set of Executive Orders may be aimed at bad ends.  The goodness or badness of the ends involved does not matter from the point of view of their Constitutionality, what is relevant is that Obama is issuing Executive Orders to permanently substitute for legislation, which is flat-out forbidden by the US Constitution.  He's carrying out a Legislative Branch function.

"Well, he's just doing the job that Congress won't."

Indeed, which is the problem -- if Congress chooses not to act on a legislative issue, that is the choice of Congress, and it is part of what we elected them to do.  Inaction is also a choice.

"Who will liquidate the kulaks if Stalin doesn't?  Who will get the Jews out of the universities if Hitler doesn't?"

Simply letting the kulaks or Jews alone would have been better choices here, and Stalin and Hitler were not doing their countries any favor by acting "boldly" to solve these "problems."

And if you trust Barack Hussein Obama with absolute power then you may be happy about this, but consider:  he will not be President forever.  Even if he issues an Executive Order declaring himself God-King for Life, abolishing the next Presidential election; or (more likely) simply enforces the Federal Election laws in 2014 and 2016 in such a way as to ensure the installation of a Democratic President and Congress in 2017, he is still not an immortal, nor can he ensure that the next President will please you quite so well.

So we are in the Twilight Zone of the Republic, in which we still have an ostensibly democratic electoral process, an ostensibly republican constitution, but the process is increasingly being subverted by direct administrative interference, the Constitution increasingly ignored by the President -- and no one in any position of authority seems to give a damn.

A thousand or more years later, when some human polity rediscovers the constitutional, democratic, republican form of government, they will not judge us highly now for the way in which we sit supinely watching our Republic slip away from us.

We are in the 1st century BC right now, and our Caesar is coming.  He may have already been born.  And, presently, our Augustus.

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Speeding in Reverse, Pt. IV [Apr. 10th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

Crazy dreams continue to plague me to the point I'm getting confused as to whether they are rooted in reality when I awake. For example, I dreamed I was listening to one of michelle1963's podcasts where she had a conversation with herself using a stereoscopic microphone to discern the disparate imaginary entities. When I awoke I was amazed I'd dreamed something she'd told me she did, yet had never before experienced when it dawned on me it wasn't real. She doesn't record podcasts. Yet I couldn't remember having previously dreamed that conversation. It was simply a trick of the subconscious mind.

Then I got behind the wheel of the Hippo, turned around to look out the back glass, and began driving backward through a very full hotel parking lot, at one point plowing through four parked cars. But I kept going, and going, and going because the brakes didn't work. Not my finest moment. My wife and kids were there later, in the hotel, of which we seemed to own the penthouse, which was a mix of very quaint, narrow hallways and very large, opulent rooms. We were establishing territory in a 3D game of Risk.

Speeding in Reverse, Part I
Speeding in Reverse, Part II
Speeding in Reverse, Part III

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Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine (21 & 22) [Apr. 9th, 2014|08:05 pm]


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The Vice-Admirals [Apr. 9th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

Faithful Faith, Swashbuckler; Skinny Rebecca Quinn, Privateer;
Zoe Morgan, Musketeer; Zenobia, Witchdoctor; Scarlet Windlass, Buccaneer.

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The Promo Guy [Apr. 8th, 2014|10:36 pm]

I just told my mother about the love of my life and how I want to tell him that he's my 'candy crush'.  It would be incredibly witty as our first and only conversation was about the game.  Very romantic.

She said, "Don't you dare. Knowing you, you'll end up telling him that you're going to crush him."

Mood: Crushed.
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potpourri [Apr. 8th, 2014|05:18 pm]

* Divergent The Movie is fun, if you go in agreeing with me that the whole saga is a big fat melodrama. It had a lot of Californians pretending to be Chicagoans. And one loud Canadian "soh-ry!" in the background during one of the sparring scenes. I laughed out loud inappropriately.

* My only problem with the movie (besides the lack of Chicagoans) was the makeup, believe it or not. Especially ALL of Abnegation. For never looking in a mirror, Ashley Judd's eyeliner is impressively straight. Tris looked more like I imagined her looking as Abnegation only once she got into the harsh lighting of the Pit and her face was washed out more, which is the opposite of how I thought it would be. I also had some real issues with the bruise makeup but what do I know, I've never been in a real life fight club. For all I know she really could be bruised on the part of her face that has nothing really to bruise! :p

* Okay, and Will and Al looked too much alike. And Peter was being played by Budget John Cusack. ...I think I'm done now. Dystopian Chicago was coooool though.

* The TFIOS trailer wrecked me. First time seeing it since reading the book. I was just wrecked and Jason tried hard not to tease me. :p

* Dealing with Heartbleed was "fun" this morning.

* cause nothing's going right, and everything's a mess, and no-one likes to be alone / isn't anyone trying to find me? won't somebody come take me home?

* She sings that like 2 steps down when she does it live (really pretty, and that guitar is really pretty looking, too). Makes the high notes a lot easier for me over here. (Yes. I'm aware of my age and what year it is and that I'm really posting that to my LJ.)

* I still haven't beaten 2048 and I refuse to be ashamed of that. :/

* I would like some comfort this evening, which will likely come in the form of kitty snuggles.
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Elder Scrolls Induced Selfies [Apr. 8th, 2014|12:56 pm]

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Woke up in yesterday's make-up and with hair that looked like it belonged in a Tim Burton movie.  Decided to take a picture to show you all what playing Elder Scrolls Online will do to you.  You will end up playing it until three o'clock in the morning and then walk around as a haggard zombie.

Unfortunately.. when I went to take the picture,

This is what happened.Collapse )
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LJ Idol Week 4 Recommendations. [Apr. 8th, 2014|12:11 am]


Well, it's Week Four eliminations in LJ Idol & I've been having such a blast with the prompts. Having a community of other writers to read work from and brainstorm with has been so awesome.  I haven't done so much creative writing in a while.. the contest has been a great inspiration.

I'm a bit apprehensive about this week considering that I took a bit of a risk and decided to write a poem.  Not everybody likes poems.  I know this.  But there I went.  Posting away.  A poem.

In case you missed it, you can read it here.

If you liked what I wrote, you can vote for me in the LJ Idol poll here: Click to vote!

Some other recommendations in my group are:

buddyhollylover - Wrote a hilarious account of a three humped camel disgruntled with life and contemplating a hump reduction.  Completely ridiculous and light-hearted.  Read his entry here.

kandigurl - Her entry about white people and black Barbie dolls ('Addy dolls') was heart-stricken, horrifyingly empathetic and .. relate-able. Read the entry here.

kickthehobbit - One of my favourite LJ Idol authors - has been consistently brilliant. This week she wrote about the trials of a queer still-in-the-closet relationship in a really unique 'half narrative/half journal' style.  I wish I had a better way to phrase that. Best to just check it out for yourself.

Also - hey Friends List.  Thanks for being cool and not getting too annoyed with all this LJ Idol business.  (I'm picturing you reading that line while rolling your eyes.  Don't lie.  I felt you do it all the way from the other end of my computer screen.) Love you guys with all my heart.  Or at least with all the pixels it took to write that.
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Truth be Damned: How Becoming Offended Validates Our Belief System [Apr. 8th, 2014|12:00 am]

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[Current Location |67114]

Originally posted by pro_ts_tumblr at the-barricades-shall-rise:


Playing that race...



Playing that race card…

It is perplexing to me, how liberals can be so blind to hypocrisies such as this.

ehowton says:

While it would be hypocritical to state hypocrisy "such as this" outweighs the hypocrisy of this very image, which as far as I can tell from a little "elementary-level fact-checking" the difference was the Obama-clown's inappropriate comments rather than the inclusion of the mask - something presumably missing from the Bush-clown (as it appears to have been only an effigy) and Black-clown-wears-Hilary-Clinton-mask...clown - I wouldn't know as I wasn't at any of the depicted events. But if factual, might suggest two camps of hypocrites philosophically debating which of them was more hypocritical than the other - as if it were actually significant (its not).

But I don't care about the obvious. This rubber President mask thing reminded me of the recent outcry over ET's Julianne Hough dressing as her favorite Orange is the new Black character for Halloween (which some found offensive) or the promo shots for Nick Cannon's new release, "White People Party Music" (which others found offensive). Reading through the droves of comments on the respective stories were eye-opening; patterns emerged. What I found particularly interesting (not perplexing) was the diversity in the offense taken:

Some were offended by one and not the other, others were offended by both, and some were offended by neither - and everyone was offended (or not offended) for different reasons to the degree that people who were offended were making some of the same arguments as those who were not, and those who weren't offended were not offended for some of the reasons those who were, were. Others on both sides cited completely independent reasons from others who were also either, or not, offended.

Schism began breaking out in the camps of those who were offended if they were perceived as being offended for the wrong reason - because being offended wasn't universal enough - and those who were grouped together as having not been offended were also called out for not being offended for the right reasons. Toward the end, those who were offended for the same reasons as those who weren't were trying to convince them they ought to be while simultaneously shunning those who were likewise offended but for the wrong reason, while those who were not offended were cajoling those who were but for reasons they shouldn't to their side all the while suggesting some of those who also were not offended probably should be.

(Don't think that wasn't tricky to write.)

Just because someone has a different opinion doesn't necessarily make them wrong, but opinions based upon ignorance denotes the very word. Regardless, almost everyone who gets offended has an opinion as to why their offense is justified - wrong or not. But why tell people you're offended?

"That offends me."

Stephen Fry is credited with the best response to date, "So fucking what?" which is admittedly always hysterical - until it happens to us - then its Issac Hayes v. Southpark all over again - suddenly and inexplicably not funny! So why tell anyone? Why admit to it?

More pointedly, what would I gain by admitting to someone I was offended? Good question, really - and I would love to dig into that question with someone who isn't me someday. My point was going to be something along the lines of never giving anyone else power over my emotions in such a way I could be manipulated - any argument to the contrary would still end with handing my emotional control over to someone else (fantastic in loving, secure relationships; not so healthy anytime else). So that's something I wouldn't do, right? Admit offense?

The question was meant to be rhetorical, but as soon as I penned it, I wondered if anyone would try to answer it - to justify themselves. I began formulating answers in a myriad of different perspectives; with most of you I've had these life-altering conversations with and we're all very different people and its all so fascinating - then suddenly, it popped out at me - the different answers I had written throughout synthesized into a single underlying reason - while each answer was seemingly diverse and varied from the next, they all contained a single motivating factor driving them: Purpose.

Since we define ourselves by what we believe (and existential questions are scary), suppressing offense calls into question our commitment to those immutable, ironclad beliefs - and we are therefore compelled to validate them to those who have trod upon them, else our very purpose in life becomes suspect.

Truth be damned.

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Brickhouse Sports Cafe [4/5] [Apr. 8th, 2014|03:54 am]

Brickhouse Sports Cafe

One of my great joys as a food blogger is talking food with my friends. So when Lady P emailed me to rave about Brickhouse Sports Cafe, the only natural thing to do was to set up a lunch date. I arrived on the appointed Thursday with visions of burgers dancing in my head. Given the timing, I wasn't surprised to find the restaurant quiet. Older pop music played overhead, loud enough to discern the lyrics, but soft enough to easily speak over.

As a "sports cafe", the TVs were numerous, but much to my delight they were mounted high on the walls and mixed with paintings, making them surprisingly unobtrusive. Their loftiness meant I could look across the table without being distracted by the flickering frames. The bar was in a back room, separated from the front by a brick wall with semi-circular cut outs. The front room, where we were seated, had combination of booths and tables.

Lady P and I spent some time poring over the menu...there were enough enticing options (hullo fish and chips....) that I almost overcame the siren song of a hamburger. Almost.

We had a small snafu with ordering. We had asked our server for more time with the menu and then he seemed to have wandered off. When Lady P spotted him again, it took some waving (in a mostly empty restaurant) to convey the message "we are ready to order now". Turns out he was waiting for us to close our menus (the universal sign for "I have decided") and we were so busy chatting we hadn't.

Once we had cleared up our communication mishap, I placed my order for a Brickhouse burger, with extra brickhouse sauce. I was almost certain this would be a bar-b-que sauce and I wanted to be able to sample it on the fries as well. Lady P ordered the Providence Chicken and we returned to catching up.

Our food came up quickly.

Brickhouse Sports Cafe

My fries were solid, piping hot with a crisp exterior and light seasoning. But it was the pale beige color of the Brickhouse sauce which grabbed my immediate attention. This was most definitely not a bar-b-que sauce. Instead it was creamy and tangy with small lumps left from the fresh preparation. Ginger gave the sauce a sharp bite and an acidic after burn. Pepper added to the peppiness. It went beautifully with the fries and was a nice change of pace from the standard sweet bbq sauces.

My burger sported a loose patty and classy romaine lettuce. The Brickhouse sauce, with it's sharp profile overwhelmed even the blue cheese. The tomato disappeared totally. Yet the onion ring shone. As a rule, I like onion rings. So I am quite amenable to having them placed on burgers. But generally? That is a terrible place for them. You can't taste them, especially on burgers dressed with sauce. It's more of the heartwarming thought of knowing they are in there, than the actual flavor. Which is why this one had my full attention. From the first bite, I knew it was there. Crispy. Sweet. Crunchy. Unquestionably onion ring-y. It was fantastic.

Lady P described her dish (seen at the top of the post) as "a simple concept, extremely well executed" and exclaimed over it. I was impressed with the gorgeous plating. I begin to understand why they bill themselves as a "sports cafe" instead of a "sports bar".

Brickhouse exceeded my expectations--I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and appreciated the attention to plating. The attention to detail was clear throughout, from the brickhouse sauce to the paintings mixed in with the TVs. And while not everything can be a star (my french fries were fine but not show stoppers) the overall result was well above average. I'll absolutely be back.

Total for the meal: $12.34 (Includes 1 brickhouse burger and 1 soft drink)

View Larger Map

Brickhouse on Urbanspoon

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Long weekend [Apr. 7th, 2014|05:58 pm]


It has been a long, dark weekend, punctuated by visits from family and friends, and generously sprinkled with your comments and condolences here. Thank you, friends. It helped.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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Squalid Hovel [Apr. 7th, 2014|12:00 am]

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[Current Location |67114]

There are certain activities which absolutely must take place in order to not live in squalor, all of which I was planning on tackling this weekend. Instead, I spent two days and two nights either shivering in my bed, or burning up. Decidedly NOT fun. I can't remember the last time I was racked with fever, but damn. I started re-integrating solid food sometime late Sunday.

Outside of cleaning, the only other thing I was looking forward to was biking - the entire weekend was sunny and gorgeous - well, at least the few times I stumbled out of my sick-cave to turn the furnace on full blast or stumbled back to turn it off and lay under the ceiling fan.

Thankfully, 72-hours seemed to be the runtime of this particular bout - I should know for sure Monday morning - surprise relapses are a surprise! I always appreciate not being sick on work days, but now it feels like I didn't get a day off :(

And the substitute bus driver failed to pick up my daughter and the school's transportation coordinator couldn't raise her on the radio.

I'm going in, Chief.

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Sabaton and the Future of Europe [Apr. 6th, 2014|01:25 am]

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Listening to one of my favorite Euro metal groups, Sabaton.  They like to do heroic songs about World War II.  Their style of singing is a bit overblown, but it makes me happy that someone in Europe remembers World War II, and -- more to the point -- remembers that there was a time when Evil menaced the world, and Good stood up to it unflinchingly and fought until the Evil was defeated.

Most of Europe's forgotten this, because entirely too much of Europe was on the wrong side, and because the war itself was a culmination of bad decisions that began before even the summer days of 1914, when the greatest civilization the world had yet produced essentially tore itself to pieces for no very good reason, and then made mistake after mistake after mistake, throwing away all the chances they had in the 1920's and the 1930's to repair the damage and reverse the decline of the West.  Mistakes that culimnated in the dark times of 1940-41, where for a while Britain stood Alone against the darkest and most hellish ideology that a race with a long history of producing dark and hellish ideologies had ever produced had yet conceived, taking fearful and crippling blows without complaint to buy the rest of the world the time it needed to arm against its mortal peril.

Those were heroic times, but they were also times in which the last bright flowers of the European West sacrificed themselves to ensure that the world would have any good future.  When peace dawned in 1945, Old Europe was dead beyond all resurrection, its cities gutted, its populations decimated and raped, its noble traditions trampled into the dust by its own leaders, its independent future gone for ever.  Europe paid for her mistakes from 1914-45 with the loss of world mastery, and in the end with the lost of her independence.  Half of Europe was dominated by an ideology almost as dark as that of the Nazis, and the other half was utterly dependent for its continued liberty on the good will and charity of the United States of America.

It must have been terribly humiliating.  I wonder what it would have been like to have been born in 1890, spent my young manhood in London or Paris or Berlin, confident that I was part of something great that dominated the world, and then at age 24 seen everything fall to pieces in the Great War, followed by that brief decade of hope from 1920 through 1929, and then watch everything spiral down again into an even worse hell than I'd experienced before, to end with my family and friends humiliated -- many dead or forced to do horrible and degrading things to survive -- all honor lost forever.  I'd be 55 years old -- just embarking on what would normally be a distinguished old age, but knowing that everything had been ruined forever.

The best place to be would have been London, and even then I would have had to endure two periods of bombardment and slow reduction to poverty by blockade.  In Paris, two episodes of horrid bleeding and four years of humiliating servitude to inferiors, followed by the rise of some of the worst in my society (the Communists) to a political influence they could have only dreamed about before the war.  In Berlin, actual starvation under blockade, a decade of uneasy freedom, followed by terror under the Nazis, with another starvation-by-blockade, followed by the Russians coming through in the terrible year of 1945, inflicting horrid suffering on the civilan population.

And that of course leaves out one crucial capital -- Warsaw.  Oppression by the Tsarists, the hell of the Eastern Front of the Great War, a decade of freedom, a local tyranny, occupation by the Nazis, the chaotic hell of the Rising, followed by occupation by the Soviets.  If I was lucky (unlucky?) enough to be born in 1890 and survive 1945, I might die around 1955, a prematurely-ancient man of 65, despairing in the knowledge that my homeland was doomed to be enslaved forever.

Is it any wonder that Europe has become so pessimistic?  That it has retreated from reality, convincing itself that extending bank loans is somehow a substitute for actual military power, so that they may tot up imaginary assets in the form of loans unlikely to ever be repaid or even maintained, and prattle to themselves that they still rule the world?  That it is being flooded by smirking, malign foreign hordes who openly speak of the joys of beating and raping the natives, while the native expend all their organized efforts in suppressing -- not the invaders, but any natives who are mean-spirited enough to complain about being beaten and raped?

And yet ...

... in so much of the European music coming out now, I sense a spirit of resistance rising, an awareness of a great past, a great culture and heroic struggles, an unwillingness to go down without a fight.  A spirit similar in some ways to that of Charles Martel in the 8th century, at the dawn of Europe's civilization, that now -- even in its twilight -- may make Europe a tougher nut to crack than Vladimir Putin or the near-mindless leaders of the Muslim mobs imagine.

Hitler thought he was the wave of the future, of a post-Enlightenment Europe which would sweep over the world and convert it all into his dark dream, and his dream was broken against an England that was too stubborn to admit that it had been defeated, that fought and fought and fought until the tyrant's horrified generals realized that they were burning up the margin of military superiority they needed to defeat the Soviets, until help could come from abroad and Mordor fell beneath the hammerblows of the RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF, the slow strangulation of the blockade, and the treads and wheels and boots of the avenging armies which closed on it from all sides.  So did Lenin and Stalin, and their dream is now dust, living only in the mind of a capering fool temporarily occupying the White House.  Even Putin has abandoned it and returned to an older Russian Imperial model.

So too the modern dreams of the tyrants may face stiffer resistance at the last than they expected, and one day the bombs will fall on Tehran and Mecca and Medina, and the screaming mindless multitude be sent back to dust before the cool technical men manning the consoles of the drones, the expert drivers and gunners in the tanks, and the modern mechanical chatter of the machine-guns.

But, first, the West will have to remember that resistance is possible.

And that's where music comes in.  For our dreams are expressed in music.  And the music of today is far from nihilistic.

There is still hope.  Even in Europe.

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Before [Apr. 6th, 2014|12:00 am]

[Current Location |67114]

Eric Howton and Bike March 2014
After 10-miles in 32-degree weather.
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Loss [Apr. 6th, 2014|01:50 am]


I have friends, some very close and some distant, who have been part of my blogging experience for twelve-plus years I’ve been doing it. Some of them, I see, are talking about what happened yesterday, and others are wondering.

The love of my life, my lifemate for decades the Lady Anne, passed away yesterday of a massive heart attack. We had enjoyed a very nice dinner at a local restaurant Wednesday evening, but later that night she seemed clobbered by food poisoning. Even 36 hours later, she was still struggling with it, and by this time massively dehydrated and weakened by not have eaten in that time. She was in her sitting room upstairs, and called down asking for her iPad to be brought up. I did, and sat with her a little while worried at her continued struggle with something that is usually over in a day or less.

And then the attack came — the only warning was her saying that she felt suddenly dizzy. I called 9-1-1 (why is this the only number that Siri refuses to dial?) and got things rolling. Her breaths were more than a minute apart. I began CPR while the ambulance was on the way, and they took over, working on her for more than half an hour. Nine people arrived, between ambulance crews, fire crew, and two squad cars of police. As shaken as I was, I appreciated how hard they were working — four people were directly administering aid, with another coordinating on the radio and law enforcement downstairs.

It was not enough. They got enough of a pulse to transport her, but could not keep it going. It took an hour for me to learn this, as they continued to work on her en route and in the hospital.

And now she’s gone. I am at a loss. Three days ago, we were laughing with friends over an excellent dinner. We looked forward to the future, to new projects, to new beginnings, and even to growing old together. We’d been fortunate; we had very few medical difficulties and were still tremendously enjoying life. And now she’s gone.

I don’t generally talk about our personal lives here. But there is no “our personal lives” … not anymore. She was everything to me. She was the foundation of my enjoyment of life, the stimulant for clearer thought, the encourager of better performance, and the motivation to enjoy all things as they came. But I am struggling with this.

Many of you knew her. You knew what a treasure she was, charming and witty and insightful and pragmatic all at once. And full of love, which washed over me every day. I returned it as well as I could. I know she’d want better from me than I am able to do now. I need a little time, and know that she was always so very patient with me.

Years ago, I wrote this for her — she deserves celebration:

Some think marriage can make your life worse
Than a ride in the back of a hearse
I am happy to say
That it isn’t that way
While she brings the Anne, I’ll bring the verse:

For today we again celebrate
(Which we do rather often of late)
That our time as a pair
Makes for wonderful fare
And 11 July is the date

We’ve been married for twenty-one years
And each time the occasion appears
I’m delighted and proud
And will say it out loud
Lady_AnneLady_Anne is worth all of these cheers!

She is crafty, and clever, and wise
And has “expert debugger”-class eyes
And a heart full of love
(Which fits me like a glove)
And is ever a happy surprise.

She is generous, bold, and refined
And as life-mate and partner, I find
That I’ve been really blessed
And by luck, have the best
It’s a wonderment, still, to my mind.

We have traveled to countries afar
And gone all over this one by car
We see people, and sights
Brilliant days, mellow nights
And we’re still up to follow a star

Or to follow a storm or a thought
We’ll go chase it, though we’re sometimes caught
Lightning flashes arrive?
Then we’re up for a drive
Where she is — that’s the very best spot!

We’ve faced challenges, troubles, and strife
And survived them all, still loving life
As to how this is done,
There’s a secret — just one
I’ve got this wondrous gal for a wife!

So here’s to my fair wife Lady_AnneLady_Anne
From her loving and quite happy man
How ’bout 21 more?
That will even the score
And we’ll reach the next stage of our plan.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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    TurboTax Will be the Death of Me [Apr. 5th, 2014|12:00 am]

    [Current Location |67114]

    Finally found a willing CPA to consult and my tax bill went from 27.9% down to 10.8%. Sure it ended up costing me $300, but I saved nearly $10k.

    The CPA stated unequivocally that having used TurboTax herself, it can make many errors - she does not trust it. I don't know about you, but I don't dabble in tax law as a hobby, so all I knew was 27.9% was insane at the bracket I'd wrestled myself into. While she found the offending line item, I researched what had gone so horribly wrong:

    W2 Box 12(b) appears as line item 60(c) under Other Taxes, with the code "UT" which is Uncollected Social Security & Medicare Tax on Tips or Group Term Life Insurance. This TOTAL AMOUNT WAS ADDED to my tax bill. Not only was the amount supposed to only be 6.65% of the amount, it was only applicable if reported as codes "A-B,M-N." Mine was listed as code, "D" which is Elective deferrals to a section 401(k) cash or deferred arrangement, which isn't even applicable.

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    "Stinkburger" - Democrats are run by angry children [Apr. 4th, 2014|04:09 pm]

    Barack Obama on GOP health care and economic plans: ‘Stinkburger’ or ‘meanwich'
    How does anyone take an Obama voter seriously (as other than dangerous) at this point?
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    Hillary's State Department "Lost" 6 BILLION Dollars [Apr. 4th, 2014|04:05 pm]


    $6 Billion Goes Missing at State Department
    "The State Department has no idea what happened to $6 billion used to pay its contractors.
    In a special 'management alert' made public Thursday, the State Department’s Inspector General Steve Linick warned 'significant financial risk and a lack of internal control at the department has led to billions of unaccounted dollars over the last six years.
    The alert was just the latest example of the federal government’s continued struggle with oversight over its outside contractors."

    Even if funding were an excuse for the Benghazi security failures (it isn't) maybe they should have pulled the money from here.

    Remember, these are the people trying to take control of all health care.

    Hillary = Leadership! I know, Democrats, "What difference at this point does it make?"
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    The Broken Window Theory of Obamacare [Apr. 4th, 2014|03:21 pm]

    Obamacare Success photo BkZlNINCUAEG2lJ_zps9c6de706.png
    Note who posted this. Now, I ask you, "IS THAT SO HARD, GOPussies?" No. It isn't. And this is why they hate him.
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    Obamacare - Noonan: A Catastrophe Like No Other [Apr. 4th, 2014|11:40 am]


    Noonan: A Catastrophe Like No Other

    Tell me you haven't seen exactly this from the cutlists.

    "Put aside the numbers for a moment, and the daily argument.
    'Seven point one million people have signed up!'
    'But six million people lost their coverage and were forced onto the exchanges! That's no triumph, it's a manipulation. And how many of the 7.1 million have paid?'
    'We can't say, but 7.1 million is a big number and redeems the program.'
    'Is it a real number?'
    'Your lack of trust betrays a dark and conspiratorial right-wing mindset.'"

    Please share the link above. I don't every need a H/T, etc. Just spread her argument.

    Here's another highlight you can use on the off chance you can find a Democrat who can think and honestly evaluate:

    "'There's a brute test of a policy: If you knew then what you know now, would you do it? I will never forget a conversation in 2006 or thereabouts with a passionate and eloquent supporter of the decision to go into Iraq. We had been having this conversation for years, he a stalwart who would highlight every optimistic sign, every good glimmering. He argued always for the rightness of the administration's decision. I would share my disquiet, my doubts, finally my skepticism. One night over dinner I asked him, in passing, 'If we had it to do over again, should we have gone in? would you support it?'
    And he said, 'Of course not!'
    Which told me everything."

    If you find a leftist who can think maybe that approach will work. Most liberals you talk to will say they still would support Obamacare. Who suffers, what fraud was committed, the rule of law being shredded; none of it matters to them. Which should really tell you everything.
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    Mary Stuart [Apr. 4th, 2014|07:24 am]

    [mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
    [music |Holst: The Planets]

    I really like working with actors. They take direction well, they're collaborative, they want to help you make your thing work. That said, I'm not really interested in taking production photos, that's the bit where you come in on the last dress rehearsal and sit in the audience and click away. If people ask me to do production photos I usually watch the play and then re-enact key scenes later with the cast where I can get up on stage and start and stop and rewind the action, that's fun, but it's difficult to find theaters that will let me work that way. But what I really like doing are theatrical portraits. That's something that totally interests me.

    So this week I photographed Mary Stuart which opens this week from The Philadelphia Artists Collective. It was great. I had lots of fun and we did wonderful stuff.

    It's directed by Dan Hodge who directed trillian_stars in MacBeth and The Real Inspector Hound and we love him. He's a great director who always has a vision beyond what was written on the page. The Philadelphia Artists Collective is his baby, he's one of the founding members and this is what he calls home.

    The cast of the Philadelphia Artists' Collective Mary Stuart.
    You may Clickenzee to Embiggen!

    Four image panorama stitched together in Photoshop. I was using a wide angle lens and realized only when I was putting it together that I'd have been better off shuffling to the right rather than turning to the right so that everybody was head-on to the camera. I'll give that a try next time.

    Anyhoo, the really nifty thing about PAC is they do plays that you don't ever see otherwise.

    Imagine this: Shakespeare is the Beatles. We all know his plays, we see them all the time. But who are the Rolling Stones? Who are the U2? Who are the Clash? Who are all the other great playwrights working around the time of Shakespeare that we don't know about because someone's putting on Midsummer Night's Dream again?

    Nathan Foley as William Cecil, Lord Burleigh and Reuben Wade as Sir Andrew Melvil
    You may clickenzee to Embiggen!

    That's what these guys do. Mary Stuart tells the story of Queen Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary Queen of Scots. It's not a good relationship. There's intrigue, people are locked up in the Tower of London, people die, people betray people. It's action packed. It was written in German by Fredrich Schiller in 1800 (in this case a good deal after Shakespeare's time) -- it's a dense play, you might need to take notes in the program to keep track of who's on whose side because there's lots of switching around. It's got all the things that make Shakespeare wonderful and the cast of PAC is made up of some very, very heavy hitters.

    Kate McLenigan-Altman as Hannah and Brian McCann s the Earl of Shrewsbury
    You may clickenzee to Embiggen!

    One of the great things about working with Dan Hodge is that he's like "what do you need?" and then he just lets you go. He has a great talent for getting great people and just letting them do what they do and such lovely things come out of it.

    Everybody was super-nice and we cranked all of this out in 30 minutes. It was snappy, but we got it done fast & well. Tech info for the photogeeks: Photek Softlighter II (the big one) but more importantly taking a lot of notes during the play and scoping out places in the theater where things would work.

    Krista Apple-Hodge as Queen Elizabeth I and Adam Altman as Sir William Davison
    You may clickenzee to Embiggen!

    Mary Stuart runs April 2nd - April 19th at the Broad Street Ministries theater which is on 13th street in Philly.

    Add me: [LiveJournal] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Google+] [Tumblr]
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