Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: May 17th through May 23rd

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?


  160 comments for “Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: May 17th through May 23rd

  1. anotherdemocrat
    May 21, 2015 at 8:27 am

    So my brother is in town. He texted me late yesterday afternoon about having dinner, but I had my meeting — I’m the secretary & we had an election, I had to be there. I’m going to leave work early to do some panic-cleaning of my house. Have I ever mentioned that I am seriously un-neat? Like, if I leave at 3 & work hard for 2 hours, I may get my place up to merely “raised eyebrow” level.

    Earworm is Better Man because the video of Vedder’s appearance on Letterman is all over the place.

    • May 21, 2015 at 10:28 am

      another–if you’re “seriously un-neat,” you have a twin sister–me! My house is such a wreck that I’m going to spend the long weekend putting it back to rights. It’s so untidy I can’t even write because the awfulness of the house impinges on my creative consciousness. :)

      Good luck cleaning up! Peg Bracken said to first clean out the fireplace and lay a new fire (you most likely will not need to do this, living where you do); throw out all the dead flowers; open the windows to air the place while you put the newspapers in the recycle bin, hide the magazines in your bedroom, and beat the cushions; then vacuum and dust. I always liked her advice, because for a good bit of my life I didn’t own a house with a fireplace and I couldn’t afford flowers. It seemed like something to aspire to! :)

      • anotherdemocrat
        May 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

        Yeah, I’m going to have to stack a bunch of stuff in my closet, til the weekend is over. And I’ll make a couple of trips to the recycling. I use the fireplace to store stuff that needs to be shredded (I figure using it for kindling is the same thing, then the 2 weeks we have of cold, I never remember to light a fire). And I should bring old magazines in here to the break rooms – we have 4 floors, so I won’t overwhelm any 1 break room.

  2. JanF
    May 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Smartypants has a post on the Acting Director of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ: Vanita Gupta along with links to a speech she gave. She is the acting director, by the way, because, if you recall, the Republicans in the Senate rejected the nomination of Debo Adegbile, the highly qualified former ACLU lawyer. Ms. Gupta is also from the ACLU. From Smartypants:

    … this week Gupta gave a powerful speech on police and justice reform to the Colorado Lawyers Committee Annual Lunch. First of all, here’s how she defines the problem.

    In the seven months I have been at the Civil Rights Division, I have spent a lot of time with local leaders and community members in cities all across America, including with numerous mothers who have lost their children in officer-involved shootings. The pain, anger, frustration—the lack of trust in the police—is real, and it is profound.

    Again and again, people have told me that young people are losing faith in our justice system and view law enforcement as preying on them rather than protecting their loved ones. They talk about how the police don’t value their rights, or indeed, their lives. They talk about being tired of being viewed as criminals first, human beings second.

    Please check out the post and the speech. As Nancy (Smartypants) points out, the best way to promote a liberal agenda is to show that government works and Ms. Gupta demonstrates that.

  3. bfitzinAR
    May 21, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Mid 50s heading for mid 60s in Fay., AR this Thor’s day – but at least sunny. Last night I hauled some firewood back in and lit the wood stove! My fingers and toes were very happy with me. So were the cats. :)

    Got a meeting at 10 and a bunch of stuff to get done first but I’ll try to get back later – nice thing about teh Moose – it doesn’t matter if I’m a day or two late getting to a story. It’ll still be where I can find it. {{{HUGS}}}

    • JanF
      May 21, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Exactly! Our front page is very post friendly and it does not take much to find the latest stories.

      Have a great day, bfitz! I have to wander away to get some pressing things done.

    • May 21, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Cold again–bfitz, I sympathize! I’m wearing jeans, socks, and a sweater on top of my jersey. It’s cold, gray, and 53F. right now, and raining steadily.

      • bfitzinAR
        May 21, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        Sounds like you’ve got what we had yesterday. At least the sun is shining at the moment here. Still chilly, but chilly with sunshine is always bearable.

  4. Denise Velez
    May 21, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Good morning Meese. A little late checking in – but had a deadline to meet.

    Just finished – and am now scanning the news and blogs.

    Saw a link to this great speech given by Ken Burns

    • Denise Velez
      May 21, 2015 at 10:11 am

      sorry – don’t know how to make this video embed smaller in comments

      • JanF
        May 22, 2015 at 5:43 am

        I am trying to resize it.

  5. princesspat
    May 21, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Good morning, 54 and sunny in Bellingham today. It’s a quiet morning here, but hot bagels and fresh fruit are ready for breakfast as soon as everyone finds their way to the kitchen. We enjoyed dinner on the patio last night, and today RonK will take them to Mt Baker. Thanks to the low snow pack the road to Artist Point has opened early this year so the view and the photo opps should be spectacular. I’ll rest this morning so i can be part of the evening fun.

  6. JanF
    May 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    This, from Ed Kilgore, is really important:

    “… it should be possible for people who belong to the same basic political coalition to make it through the day without attributing preening imbecility or brazen soul-peddling to each other.”

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 6:22 am

      And for people who tell you that EVERYONE in the Democratic Party is angry at Obama, I suspect that it is really just the same tiny group that has never liked anything this president has done. They are simply louder than those who approve of his job performance.

      From the latest Gallup poll:

      I don’t see any drop off in support by Democrats.

      • Denise Velez
        May 22, 2015 at 7:48 am

        heh – a comment based in reality! Amazing :)

        • JanF
          May 22, 2015 at 7:57 am

          A lot of those people who call President Obama a corporate shill and “just like George W. Bush” are not really Democrats. They only pretend to be because it make their points seem stronger (“I am a Democrat and I hate Barack Obama!!1!!”) and because on certain blogging sites, you are not allowed to promote third-party candidates … or Rand Paul.

  7. Happy inVT
    May 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I am watching Inspector Lewis on Amazon and learned a new phrase I think I’m going to incorporate into my every day conversations: beavering away. It means to work hard for a long time, I suppose like slaving away. But I like it better.

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Well, certainly “slaving away” assumes coercion (like what your boss makes you do!). But beavers building dams generally do it for their own benefit and are not under any duress except perhaps their families insisting that the dam dam be built quickly!

  8. JanF
    May 22, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Good morning, meeses! Finally Friday …

    It is 45 degrees in Madison on its way up to 71. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    I was following Twitter last night and am completely sickened by news of the holier-than-thou Duggar family harboring a child molester. I had never even heard of these people but apparently they are very popular with the bible and bigotry crowd. I hope their show is cancelled. I just have one question: how come their god forgives them but the people they rail against must be cast into hell?

    The other Twitter outrage was that a 37 year old actress named Maggie Gyllenhaal was considered too old to play the love interest of a 55 year old in a movie. Sheesh, Hollywood! Who are you making these movies for, Josh Duggar?

    In Actually Important News, Arizona smites the poors and tells them to get off welfare after a year. It does not matter if your life is in ruins after escaping a abusive relationship and you are desperately trying to find a way for you and your family to survive: one and done, no exceptions. This, by the way, is what happens when you block grant federal assistance to the states. They are going to use that money to plug a $1 billion starve-the-beast budget hole and will spend the federal money on other programs rather than fund TANF.

    See all y’alls later.

    Programming note: The new web site theme has been purchased and installed. When it is activated, the web site look and feel will be nuked back to the stone age. Our posts and comments will be intact but the layout will be reverted to a default. It will take about an hour to get things more or less rebuilt. I think I will be doing this around 11am Eastern so if you refresh the screen at that time you might see some of the rebuilding. The new theme gives us colors and fonts and a more organized front page that will make it easier to promote posts that deserve to be featured instead of just “last post on top”. PLUS we get a footer and a better place to scroll the news feeds. This will be the last major revision and I think it will be worth the pain. I will probably put up a post asking for advice on fonts and colors but rest assured, we will not use Comic Sans. ;)

    • bfitzinAR
      May 22, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Not surprised about the Duggars – they are the poster children for the “Quiver full” movement which you really don’t want to know about. Also not surprised about Hollywood – they haven’t changed in over 100 years and doubt they’re going to any time soon. As to the programming – have fun. Will I need to shut down and come back in after you do this or will just a refresh do? I usually leave the window up on the off chance I can swing by during the day but I mostly don’t get one until after lunch time. Thanks for all the work you’re doing on this!

      • JanF
        May 22, 2015 at 11:05 am

        You should not have to shut down but it will look odd while I am deconstructing and reconstructing the site. If things look malformed, just refresh.

        There is something called Maintenance Mode that locks people out and puts up a screen that tells you when you can get back in but that is reserved for when we are doing database maintenance. I would not want you to try to save a comment or post when the database is offline. This will just be a change in the “look”.

        And it will begin as soon as I get my coffee cup refilled …

  9. Portlaw
    May 22, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Good morning to all. I overslept so this is a fast greeting. Will return later to see how everyone is doing and to see how our new Pond looks! Thanks for all this, Jan! You say you bought something for the site so am wondering if we might kick in and help.

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 7:52 am

      We have Moose Moolah left over from our fund raising drive in early 2013. I don’t think we are in danger of running out! But we will put the Moose PayPal link up once things settle down. Because everything has to be specially backed up and set over to the side whenever we make big changes, I don’t want to install anything we don’t really need until we are closer to being done.

  10. May 22, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Good Freya’s Day, everyone! It’s 51 F. here on a fair morning in NoVa, going up to 76 F. We certainly deserve a nice day after yesterday’s cold, rain, and gloom. A day like this makes me feel like cleaning up the screened porch and patio. ;)

    Crummy news as usual–see Jan’s post. One thing that strikes me about the awful “Mansion Murders” is this: didn’t the person who delivered $40,000 cash in an envelope suspect anything? Didn’t he think there was something weird about the request? Why didn’t he call the police? Four lives might have been saved.

    As for the Duggar “family”–there are no words to describe them. “The rules apply to everyone but us.” Yeah, yeah. Reminds me of Phyllis Schlafly, who thought all women ought to stay home and mind the children. Of course it was all right for her to rocket all over the country, making thousands of dollars for giving speeches, because she was so special, but the rest of us moronic females were supposed to stay home and do housework. Faugh.

    More horrible flooding in Texas. I expect it never occurs to them that it’s the result of climate change.

    Jan, thanks again for the massive amount of work you’ve been doing on the site! Shall we be able to go site-seeing later today–say 5 p.m.? Or is that too early? We’re grateful there won’t be a font-a-mental disagreement over the use of Comic Sans! (The horror, the horror.)

    The holiday weekend is coming up. I plan to tend to house and garden. What is everyone else going to do? Wishing all denizens of the Pond a good Friday!

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Today’s site work will be the last big chunk of time I need to spend on technical things and then I can sit back and post snippets of news like I used to. My main goal is to get the front page sorted out so that my little rant-o-the-day posts don’t end up being featured. Right now that takes fooling with the dates and times which probably irritates the puristas who track posting history. To them I say “meh”.

      Ha! I love “font-a-mental” and shall steal it and reuse it without attribution. :) I never really thought much about Comic Sans until someone pointed out the ill-advised use of it on a t-shirt supporting the protesters in Ferguson last fall. It is not a serious font.

      I suspect we will end up with a font that is thicker and PURPLE for the headlines. The old site used Times New Roman which is a sturdy font and offends no one except maybe those who think it is old fashioned.

      It should be a lovely day here! Tomorrow I will be stuck inside all day at a client’s site so I will probably try to get outside today to enjoy it.

      • anotherdemocrat
        May 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

        I don’t understand hating on fonts – I see people arguing about it in Twitter. I’m happy with whatever. I will like the “more purple” though.

        And this is weird – this comment loaded right up, but my check-in is “awaiting moderation”? Odd.

        • JanF
          May 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

          Not odd! Did it include 3 or more links? The site moderation algorithm requires that we look at all comments with 3 or more links to make sure that they are not spam.

          Let me go take a look …

          • anotherdemocrat
            May 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

            yes – 3 links, that’s why

      • May 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Jan, I’ve read rants about using TImes New Roman for resumes. As you say, it’s a perfectly inoffensive font, and it’s a serif typeface, which research has shown to be easier to read than a sans serif typeface like Arial. I do use Arial for category headings on resumes, just for contrast.

        I cannot imagine the kind of mind that is offended by such things as the following: (1) whether the toilet paper–oh, excuse me, the bathroom tissue–hangs over or under the roll; (2) people backing into parking spaces rather than driving into them; and (3) people taking showers in the evening after work rather than in the morning before work. Number (2) is supposed to make those who do it look like criminals preparing for a fast getaway. (!!!) Number (3) is supposed to make a person look “lower class.” Well, I’ve always backed into my driveway and have never robbed a bank in my life, and I bathe in the evening because I like to be clean when I go to bed. Wish these critics would criticize aspects of life that really need it–no jobs, murdering cops, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

        • JanF
          May 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

          Well, bathroom tissue does have to hang over the roll.

          I prefer to have my car aiming out from a parking space to make it easier to avoid running over pedestrians. 90% of my parking these days is at high school events and backing out is treacherous as kids that age do not really “see” cars near them. By driving forward (like the goddess intended us to drive) I can see who is in my path and avoid them. I rarely back in, though; instead I select spots that I can drive through to the other side.

          Fonts! Yes, the serif look old fashioned but they really are easier to read because the serifs remove the ambiguity. For example, with this font, this is an upper case i (I) and this is a lower case L (l). Same same.

      • bfitzinAR
        May 22, 2015 at 10:03 am

        I like Times New Roman! But then maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned myself :)

  11. Denise Velez
    May 22, 2015 at 7:53 am


    Lazing around today – I should be outside weeding but don’t feel like it.
    Sun is out – 54 going up to 71 – a luverly day.

  12. anotherdemocrat
    May 22, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Had a nice dinner & visit with brother yesterday. He’s not staying through the weekend – drove back to Dallas last night. So, panic-cleaned for nothing.

    My loves have put on their media sites “vote yes” messages: U2.com and this gorgeous image on their instagram. I love my boys. And — Irish polling places are open till 10pm! They don’t have voting by mail if you’re out of the country, but if you’re there, you can vote till 10pm. And yeah, still California playing in my head — that link is to them playing it the 2nd night of this tour.

  13. bfitzinAR
    May 22, 2015 at 9:49 am

    56 heading for 70 with sunshine at the moment in Fay., AR – although there’s a rain cell about 100 miles west of us. Could cause flooding depending on where it hits. It would be nice if it stayed right where it is and released its water to central OK and TX. I got a pound of cherries off my tree yesterday. IF the sun hangs around a bit so the rest don’t go fuzzy on me before they ripen AND the mulberries hold out so the birds leave my cherry tree alone THEN my friend Natalia would be delighted to make cherry jam (and maybe some cherry pie filling). She needs at least 4 lbs to make a batch of which she gets half for doing the work and I get half for providing the cherries :) So that may possibly be what happens on Monday when we aren’t at our paid employment usually referred to as “work”. Also did the 1st step towards possibly upgrading my job/position – which comes with a 10% increase in pay (essentially the only way in the University or other State office/system to get anything over a “sometimes/maybe” COLA or merit increase of 2% is to get a promotion). We shall see if it goes through. If it does I will use whatever influence I may possibly get in my new position (and with the new Chair) to try and get the AS II moved up to an AS III position.

    So. Personal news is good or at least promising. I haven’t looked at anything else. I know locally the person who is the reason I didn’t run for re-election is out to take down the County Judge (a woman who’s spent over half a century working for the people of Washington County in one position or another and is currently in her last term since she’d decided to retire – at 80 – even before all this crap came up). I don’t even want to know what’s going on at the state level considering who is Guv and who runs the Lege – any more than I really want to know what my congresscritters are doing. (Boozman, Cotton, and Womack – can you blame me?) So I will bid everyone a good day and weekend, hope for the be best on the Irish vote, and get back to trying to get all the summer payroll dealt with. {{{HUGS}}}

    • May 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Bfitz, what good news! Hope you get those cherries–how lovely to have a cherry tree–and hoping hard that you get that pay raise! Whoo-hoo! Have a great weekend!

    • Portlaw
      May 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Great news about a possible pay raise and job upgrade!! Hope it works out.

  14. Denise Velez
    May 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

    ACK! Hard frost tonight -soooooo glad I said I wasn’t planting anything till after Memorial Day

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

      It also allows us to procrastinate. ;)

  15. anotherdemocrat
    May 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    If you need something to make your heart swell to bursting


    I’m giggling & crying, such great pics & stories

    • Denise Velez
      May 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      that’s awesome!

    • Portlaw
      May 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm


  16. princesspat
    May 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    56 and raining in Bellingham today. Our friends and RonK are on their way to Portland for their graduate school reunion tomorrow so my house is very quiet now. It was a good visit but I’m ready for a few restful days. Ron will go on to stay with our daughter in Forest Grove, OR so he won’t be back until next week. It was fun to see him leave with a smile on his face and feeling anticipation for what’s to come!

    • JanF
      May 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      I hope you are able to enjoy the peace and quiet.

      I imagine a graduate school reunion is not as fraught with old pains as a high school reunion. I went to one and vowed never to go to another.

  17. JanF
    May 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Okay, I am done with the redesign. I am glad for the thicker font and the purple. There was no Time New Roman … what we have here is Droid Serif and Droid Sans for the some of the tags.

    The Front Page did not quite work like I expected it to but I think it is okay. The front page promoted posts will show in a single column to allow for maximum visibility for images and video. Following that will be all the posts in reverse date sequential order with an excerpt. I wanted to show the related images but I don’t think there is a way to do that in “excerpt mode” and showing all the content makes the screen choppy.

    The news feeds are at the bottom.

    That is all! I will be out of town tomorrow (Saturday) so I may not be able to check in until later. In the meantime, feel free to weigh in on the design with suggestions and criticisms. I have not even touched the surface of what we can do with this theme so don’t consider any request out of line.

    • princesspat
      May 22, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you Jan…..it looks great and is easy to navigate. The Moose is fortunate you have the skills create a new site and a redesign that feels fresh yet honors the old format.

      • JanF
        May 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

        I am glad to be able to help. Now after a rereading I have to resist fixing the typos and odd grammar in my comment.

  18. Louis Prandtl
    May 23, 2015 at 1:25 am

    ok, this is where everyone went. The website looks cool. It will take me awhile to check it out.

    • JanF
      May 23, 2015 at 4:22 am

      Glad you found us, Louis!

      We had to keep the old web site up so we could move some of the old diaries so we can’t reroute the .com to the .net yet. I was hoping we left enough of a trail of bread crumbs.

    • Denise Velez
      May 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Hiya Louis!

      Good to see you here

  19. JanF
    May 23, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    The first full Welcoming week in our new digs is completed … all the boxes are more or less unpacked and we can sit on the front porch and put our feet up while we sip coffee and read the news.

    I am having a difficult time feeling sorry for political reporters claiming that they are being bypassed by the candidates, who are using social media to connect to voters. When Hillary Clinton gave a press avail, they did not use it to learn more about her positions but to badger her about not speaking to them! And of course, EmailGate, what Charlie Pierce calls a “nothingburger”. The political press in our country gave up their right to complain when they traded journalism for access ala Tim Russert and let the Bush Administration lie the country into war. They now have a favorability rating lower than eczema. Meh.

    By the way, sexually abusing children is not a “sin”, it is a crime. And to treat it like missing church on Sunday or coveting your neighbor’s lawn furniture is disgusting.

    I will only be intermittently online today. PLEASE stay out of trouble!!

  20. Portlaw
    May 23, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Good morning, Meese. Happy Memorial Day weekend. When I was young, it was called Decoration Day and people would go to cemeteries and put flowers or plants on all the graves of relatives and friends. My mother made us get dressed up because she said we had to honor our dead. And so for me, it is a good time to think of all those who went before and thank them. I got flowers and put them here and there in my apartment.
    And, on another note, what about Ireland!!!! It looks as though they may have passed the gay marriage bill. They are so advanced and civilized!!! Good for them. I may wear green today to honor their humanity.
    Will be in and out to see how things are in the Pond. And, speaking of that, a big thank you to Jan for making this new Pond. I love your darker fonts and everything else.
    Hope it is a good day for all.

    • JanF
      May 23, 2015 at 8:15 am

      I hadn’t had time to read much news (as I was trying to get out the door), but this showed up in my Inbox about an hour ago:

      BREAKING NEWS Saturday, May 23, 2015 7:19 AM EDT

      In Early Vote Count, Ireland Appears Set to Legalize Gay Marriage

      Ireland appeared poised to become the world’s first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote on Saturday, with early vote counts showing strong and broad support for a measure that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in what had traditionally been a Roman Catholic stronghold.

      Not long after counting began at Dublin Castle, a government complex that was once the epicenter of British rule, the leader of the opposition, David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute, conceded the outcome in a tweet: “Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done.”

      Both proponents and opponents said the only remaining question was the size of the victory for approval. Ronan Mullen, an Irish senator and one of only a few politicians to oppose the measure, predicted the win would be “substantial.” The official results will be announced this afternoon.

      The referendum changes Ireland’s Constitution so that marriages between two people would be legal “without distinction as to their sex.”

      READ MORE http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/world/europe/in-early-vote-count-ireland-appears-headed-toward-legalizing-same-sex-marriage.html

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