Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Aug. 23rd through Aug. 29th

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?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.



  1. Good morning, Motley Meese! The week begins …

    It is 67 degrees in Madison WI, on its way up to 70. Morning showers are in the forecast.

    Have a great day, all y’alls!!

  2. Panda-monium!!!

    Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Washington National Zoo, gave birth to two live cubs on Saturday.

    The first cub was born in the afternoon, and the second cub emerged 4 1/2 hours later.


    National Zoo @NationalZoo
    We can confirm a second cub was born at 10:07. It appears healthy. #PandaStory

    • Just incredible!!!! What wonderful news to start the week!

      Best to all creatures, great and small and GIANT!!

        • Ha! Jan, when the news people reported that she was sleeping all the time, I knew she was preggers. That’s also how I knew my daughter-in-law, who was staying with us, was preggers. Sleep, sleep, sleep. It must be because of hormonal changes.

          • Apparently there was some chatter that she was “faking” pregnancy to get more food. You know how those wimmins are, always trying to game the system! :::eyeroll:::

  3. Good morning Meese

    Nice to wake up to Pandamom-ium!

    62 here in the Catskills, headed into the high 80’s.

    Having my coffee, scanning the news and getting ready for a discussion on the history of “birthright citizenship,” “jus soli” and the 14th Amendment at orange.

    Seeya latah

        • That diary was a gateway to a diary by Hunter (one of my favorite authors) about the “New Southern Strategy”. This description of Scott Walker, and his position, was spot on:

          Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was quickest to embrace Trump’s far-far-right policy document as a whole. This is unusual; if you’ve been following Scott Walker for any length of time you know that prying actual policy positions out of Scott Walker is like pulling hippo teeth, so for the candidate to wholeheartedly embrace the radical anti-immigration proposals of a man who famously entered the race on a longwinded racist tirade describing undocumented immigrants to be predominantly “drug dealers” and “rapists” we can gather that Walker must think this was an easy call.

          In other words, he presumes that there will be no Republican blowback from adopting the position that every last undocumented immigrant should be deported, the DREAMers should be deported, a massive continent-spanning wall should be built, and militarized, and that we ought to change the Constitution so that from now on we can deport even children who were born here and therefore have no other country to be deported to.

          Of course we know now that Walker was not “all in” on this and later claimed that he was “tired” because people ask him questions!! Or to put it another way, David and Charles called him up and said “that is NOT your policy, Scottie!!” and he walked it back.

    • That sounds like a fascinating topic! I may put on my hazmat suit and wander over there.

      Isn’t it incredible that we are having this discussion in 2015, a century and a half after the gawdawful Dred Scott Supreme Court decision and 70 years after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act? People who say it is not about race are just plain liars.

      • yup – I talk about that history – so this is certainly not new – it’s just terribly sad we are dealing with this nativist stuff – again!

        • NPR pulled together some information about how the terms used for those who are undocumented have changed over the years as they fell in and out of favor:

          “illegal alien”
          “illegal immigrant”
          “undocumented immigrant”

          One could make a case that “undesirables” never really disappeared, it was just not said out loud … until now.

        • I read your diary and this frightening bit from a linked in article:

          But recent history shows that the easiest way to change the Constitution is not to amend it, but rather, to change the composition of the Court that interprets it. With three justices of the current Court turning 80 years old before the 2016 election, the next president might be able to do just that.

          Your reminder about 2016 is important:

          We have an obligation to ensure that we not only hold the White House in 2016, but that we wrest control of the Senate from Republican hands. We cannot allow a court like the one led by led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney—the court that ruled on Dred Scott in the past—to be reconstituted in the present, handing down more decisions like Citizen’s United.

          You could easily have added another Chief Justice, John Roberts, whose view from his ivory tower suggesting to him that we have a post-racial America, led him to gut the Voting Rights Act. There is a lot of trouble that a far-right court, infused with Republican nativist leanings, can cause.

  4. Good morning, Sister Meese! Partly cloudy here in NoVa, 56 F. now, going up to 85 F. today. I’ve begged Dearly Beloved to turn on the a.c. again as I got so overheated yesterday.

    Have begun the difficult task of culling my books. Giving away a book always feels like amputating my arm or something—they’re not just books, they’re friends. Still, I’ve freecycled two armloads of Rattling Good Reads that will keep the happy recipients off the streets and out of the pool halls for an unspecified period.

    About to cook Sunday breakfast for Dearly and me, then to watch the Belgian Formula I Grand Prix on TV. Wishing a good day to all at the Pond and in the Bamboo patch! Now the fun begins: after 100 days, according to Chinese tradition, the baby pandas will acquire names.

    • A lot of people swear by the new e-books so that they don’t have to ever give away or throw away any of their favorite books (and they can packrat to their hearts content). Me, I need the feel of the pages and the words in black and white … seeing it electronically seems too much like being on a computer which is not very soothing. I have boxes of books that keep moving from house to house but which have no specific place to be except in a box. Some day I will have to reckon with them.

      • I’m accumulating both e-books and real books. The Malazan series I’m reading are long books and they are heavy so reading on the kindle is easier on my eyes and for my hands. But I want the actual book too as it’s easier to refer to the maps and lists of characters. Oh well, walls lined with bookcases add character to the rooms and are good insulation!

  5. Good morning, 53 and a smoky hazy sky in Bellingham today. Last evening was erie……the sun was a bright orange/red due to the smoke in the air. It looked like a science fiction landscape. I hope the calmer cooler weather will help the firefighters make good progress today.

    We’re celebrating Ava’s 8th birthday today so I have a bouquet and cupcakes to make, presents to wrap, and a family dinner at our son’s house later this afternoon. I’ll use hydrangeas, pink roses and dahlias, variegated hosta leaves, hypericum berries and lavender stems for her flowers. She’s excited about being in 3rd grade this year, but I’m feeling nostalgic thinking of her baby years. Time seems to be speeding by!

    • That bouquet sounds extraordinary! On a more sober note, hoping for better weather for those brave firefighters and all in the path of the fires.

  6. Hi All – 69 in Fay., AR and very overcast. Rain moved in at 0530, which is nice because we really needed it, but my laundry is now all over the house since I can’t hang it outside. Once the rain stops (projected for an hour or so from now) it will hopefully clear off so I can generate some electricity but unfortunately it will a) be too late to hang out the laundry and b) raise the humidity along with the temperatures. Lovely about the baby giant pandas – doesn’t that sound strange :) – am online early because I’m trying to reach the person who sometimes cleans for me. I twisted my back Friday and while I managed the cooking and the laundry today, it was mostly because I like eating and otherwise would have no clean underwear – the floors are totally beyond me right now. I’ll probably head over to GOS in a bit. And pretty much stay out of the Bernie diaries – and the comment sections of anything except pootie and fund-raiser diaries! Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday by the pond. {{{HUGS}}}

  7. Here you go, Portlaw … Harry Reid is #27:

    “Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid gave a forceful endorsement Sunday to the nuclear deal with Iran, a key boost that provides continued momentum for preventing Congress from blocking President Obama’s pact.

    The Nevada Democrat said the deal, which lifts economic sanctions against the rogue nation for pledges to limit its nuclear program, is the “best way” to curtail Iran’s military ambitions, and he pledged to round up more support to thwart its opponents”


  8. Good morning, Meese! Monday …

    It is 55 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 65. Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast.

    Two Tweets:

    TheObamaDiary.com ‏@TheObamaDiary

    If Chuck Todd wrote captions:

    “Gloomy Obama greeted by angry mob at Cape Cod on way back to DC:

    TheObamaDiary.com ‏@TheObamaDiary
    Welcome Home, First Family!
    by @NerdyWonka http://t.co/l9q383fPf2

    I am going to miss this First Family; they bring such class to our White House.

    See all y’all later!

    • Ha ha, Jan, I like your Toddish caption! That’s just what he would write, too. Nowadays I only get second-hand reports from talk shows and so forth. Can’t bear to watch the real ones, they’re so deeply biased against Democrats.

      • That Tweet made me laugh out loud when I saw it!!

        Those shows are not just biased against Democrats but heavy with male points of view and especially those who want to bomb stuff. I am not sure I ever watched the Sunday morning talk shows. I actually don’t like to watch news on TV because I don’t like the feeling of having it fed to me as a captive audience. I like to read it or view it on YouTube or CSPAN where I can skip past the stoopid. For the Sunday talk shows, I usually just wait for Charlie Pierce to tell me what was said (he has a regular feature on Mondays called “What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days?”). If there is real news made on Sunday shows, I usually find it in my feeds. I noticed that Scott Walker twisted himself into a pretzel on birthright citizenship with yet another position on it. What an idiot!

  9. Good morning, Meese.

    A quick check of the news is depressing…..the stock market, the crisis in the two Koreas, terrorism. I want more news about Giant Pandas.

    And, yes, Jan, the Obamas do bring class to the White House. But then they also bring intelligence!!!

    Hope it’s a good day in and out of the Pond.

  10. Good morning Meese

    Headed off to first day of school – to meet the new crop of smiling young faces. 66 here – going up to 86 and no rain today – yay -I don’t like driving in it.

    Still smiling about the three friends who stopped the train attack. Given the rising tide of hate in Europe – coming from both Islamic extremists and fascist anti-immigrant groups – it was good to see the three friends are a mixed racial group.

    Have a very good day folks!

    • Good luck on first day of school … may your classes be filled with thoughtful, enthusiastic students, eager to learn!

  11. Good morning, Meese! It’s 67 F. here in NoVa on a fair morning, going up to 93 F. today with a very slight chance of thunderstorms.

    Not many thoughts in my head—still battling an incipient cold. Dearly has gone back to sleep after getting up too early. Feeling pleased about the three American heroes in Europe and devastated about the deaths caused by the air show in England.

    Will be looking after Miss Pink Cheeks today. It’s to be hoped I can some writing done and make some more progress on cleaning up my office. Hope it’s a good day for all at the Pond and Beyond!

  12. Skipped walking this morning. Gym bag is packed to go to tomorrow evening’s workout, so I may skip tomorrow morning as well.

    Eating beans with spinach & rotel tomatoes, avocado on top. Drinking tea – trying very hard not to fall asleep. The fact that my earworm is Song For Someone is not helping. Gorgeous, sweet, romantic song – but not the thing to keep me awake.

  13. Good morning, 62 and still smoky and hazy in Bellingham. Our nephew is doing mop up duty at the Okanagan Fire so he’s thankfully not on the front line. And surprise, surprise……the R’s in the state legislature refused to cooperate re the fire management budget. And unfortuately the same short sighted policies are happening at the federal level as well.

    Worries about budget constraints on wildfire response and prevention are not unique to Washington state. As the American West endures increasingly harsh summer fire seasons, a growing share of the U.S. Forest Service budget has been swallowed by firefighting expenses.

    In 2015, for the first time in the Forest Service’s 110-year history, those costs will consume more than half the agency’s budget, according to a report released this month. If the trend continues, two-thirds of the Forest Service budget will be spent on fires by 2025.

    But in what critics say is a self-defeating cycle, the increase in the firefighting budget has come at the expense of watershed and vegetation-management programs that could help prevent or lessen the impact of big fires. Such programs have been cut by 24 percent since 2001, the agency’s report said.


    • I will never in a million years understand why Republicans insist on defunding these sorts of things, common sense maintenance intended to avoid catastrophe.

      Here is a scary one: Aging Tunnels Under Hudson River Threaten To Disrupt Transport, Commerce

      The rail tunnels connecting New York City to New Jersey are more than 100 years old, and they’re starting to fall apart. In July, power cable failures in the Hudson River tunnels caused massive delays for days in a row. Commutes that normally take an hour grew to two, even three hours, and high-speed train service between Washington, D.C., and New England slowed to a crawl.[…]

      When the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy filled these tunnels with saltwater in 2012, they reopened just days later. But ever since, they’ve been plagued with maintenance problems. This week, Mew says, Amtrak engineers are replacing one 400-foot stretch of an electrical cable that’s 15,000 feet long.

      But this is just a short-term fix. Rail advocates say what’s really needed is a second set of tunnels under the Hudson River. Many New Jersey commuters agree.

      “I don’t really know what’s it going to take,” says Susanna Einstein, of South Orange, N.J. “I feel like, is it going to be like a tunnel collapse, or something? What’s going to happen to make people actually … speed up the process?”

      “It’s especially frustrating knowing that we’ve had a solution for years and years,” says Philip Schweiger, of West Orange. “Be nice not to have to wait for everything to fall apart before we fix it.”

      There was a plan to add new rail lines under the Hudson River known as the ARC Tunnel. But that project was cancelled in 2010 by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said his state was picking up too much of the bill.

  14. 70 heading for 80 they say and clear in Fay., AR – next few mornings are supposed to be in the 50s. I’m starting to research boots for winter although I won’t be able to buy them for a couple of weeks. Back in worse shape because I spent most of the night trying to sleep sitting up – sinusitis episode – which of course exacerbated the back problem. I’m holding out for another day to see if it eases up on its own – otherwise heading back to the chiropractor. I’ve needed more chiro treatments this year than I have in the last 3 combined, darn it.

    Good news about Harry Reid and the America kids who thwarted the terrorist attack on the train. Not so good news otherwise. sigh. Really busy today – like Denise I’m dealing with 1st day of school plus dealing with travel claims for the folks who went to ASA and cost center balances since the Dean’s office finally gave us our money back. Hope the Moose pond is calm. {{{HUGS}}}

  15. Ava’s birthday bouquet……

    We had a moment of drama when I accidentally broke the vase while removing it from the transport box. Fortunately our DIL had another vase handy, and our son lifted the arrangement relatively intact from the broken glass and plunked it into the new vase. Ava was both relieved and pleased and so was I!

    • hmmmm…….still no photo. I used the html embed info from Flickr. My other choices are the BBCode, which just shows as code with no photo, or the link to my Flickr page. Jan, I’ll email you my Flickr info and maybe you can help me solve this dilemma.

      • The link you posted is a link to your public Flickr folder, not the photo itself. It always has to end in a .jpg or .png in order to work.

        I scraped it off the page (in my geekly way) and fixed the link.

      • Thanks Portlaw……it’s fun to treat the kids to birthday flowers. But not so fun when I make a big mess!

  16. Good morning, Meese! Tuesday …

    It is 57 degrees in Madison, on its way up to a perfect daytime high of 72. Mostly cloudy skies in the forecast. Fall is in the air!!

    I looked at my newsfeeds this morning, hoping for something positive and there is very little there. Bored political writers now writing fiction, market meltdowns, human suffering, the Republican Party’s endless war-mongering.

    A few quick things:
    – The judge put in charge of Ferguson MO’s municipal court is putting in place some new procedures which include cancelling all outstanding arrest warrants issued prior to December 31, 2014.
    – I am really really glad that Democrats took over Congress in 2006 to stop Bush from privatizing Social Security and putting our retirement money into the stock market. Maybe the plan was to give old people heart attacks when the market did what it did yesterday … thus reducing the retirement age population.
    – Jeb! didn’t meant Hispanic anchor babies, he was talking about Asian anchor babies! Or maybe Bobby Jindal?
    – When your food server makes $2.50 an hour because the wage laws are so screwed up in our country that “tipped employees” are assumed to get enough in tips to make up for the difference between that and the non-tipped minimum wage, it is NOT FUNNY to leave an “LOL” as a tip. I wish she had returned the favor and outed them as the despicable privileged pigs that they were.
    – #LaughingWhileBlack has gone viral. I had seen the story Sunday night of the black women’s book club group booted off the train because their laughter irritated the white folks and shook my head in disgust. Glad to see it mocked in social media.

    The president gave a speech on solar power in Las Vegas last night and I am going to go look for it as a palate cleanser.

    See all y’all later!!

    • the laughing while black story really ticked me off.


      Just proves racism is not about income inequality.

      • The Whine Train folks hired a crisis PR consultant to try to bandage over their gaping self-inflicted wound.

        No, the socio-economic status of the women booted off the train did not seem to be part of the “problem”. Just black and, having a good time:

        “We didn’t do anything wrong,” said Johnson, who chronicled the episode via cellphone videos.

        “We sipped wine, enjoyed each other’s company but our trip is being cut short,” Johnson wrote on her Facebook page according to The Los Angeles Times. “If we all laugh at the same time it’s loud!””

        Here is the clincher:

        On average, individuals or groups are asked to get off the wine train once a month for one reason or the other, [Whine Train spokeliar] Singer said, adding, “It’s not a question of bias.”

        However, a police spokeswoman in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena, said it was the first time she recalled the Wine Train seeking police help removing a large group.The women, one of whom is 83 years old, had disembarked from the train by the time St. Helena police officers arrived, said police spokeswoman Maria Gonzalez.

        Wine train employees had called the police to deal with what they reported were “11 disruptive females,” said Gonzalez.

        Police arrived at the railway siding to find “there was no crime being committed … nobody was intoxicated, there were no issues” and left, Gonzalez said.

        In the past, she said, the town’s police had responded to Wine Train calls to offload passengers because of domestic incidents on board or for fighting.

  17. Good morning, Meese! It’s 65 F. on a beautiful clear morning here in NoVa, going up to 85 F. Yesterday afternoon the clouds boiled and boiled, yet we received only a teeny spitter-spatter of rain. I plucked another long skinny zucchini from the dying garden. Everything is so parched and brown you’d think Samhain was here already.

    Full day of baby care today. He was fussy after I picked him up from the Monday babysitter. Have only this week and half of next week, and then I have most of my days to myself again. I need them, too. My ambition is to clear the garage sufficiently to get a car in it before the next snow. :)

    The world is in its usual sad state. I’m so worried about the Hillary campaign, especially with Biden coming in, that I feel terrible when I pay attention to the news. Nothing but bad stuff is ever reported, anyway. The one bit of good news is that I found a Web site about sacred sex—becoming one with Goddess through the act of love. Interesting. Wishing a good day to all at the Pond and Beyond!

    • I am not sure what to make of the supposed Biden leap into the race. I hope they are not really floating the idea of a Biden/Warren ticket with Joe stepping down after a single term. What a ghastly idea, terrible for our party and the country. You do NOT want to start as a lame duck on day one of your presidency for one thing. And the suggestion that a woman VP would be a sop to those who want a woman president is insulting. PLUS why waste Elizabeth Warren, who now occupies the Kennedy seat in the Senate, on ceremonial funerals for 4 years.

      I am chalking it up to the lazy press, bored and looking for something to talk about other than Donald Trump, who is wearing a bit thin. For people who think that Joe Biden is some kind of party savior because he comes to the race baggage-free, they need a few reminders. I love Joe and he is a fun guy but you don’t have to go too far back in time to remember his role in the disgraceful treatment of Anita Hill’s accusation against Clarence Freaking Thomas. And his own role in the terrible crime bill of 1994 and votes on war authorizations. He would be wise to take a bow and retire with grace and dignity.

  18. Good morning, Meese. It will be in the 80s with some thunder to brighten the day.

    As for good news….well there is princesspat’s bouquet! Also things have quieted down between the two Koreas. A huge sigh of relief on that. And then there is the stock market…

    Hope it’s a great day for all creatures.

    • One more added to the pro-Iran deal, Portlaw – Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

      Also, Dick Cheney will have a major speech in early September to gin up enthusiasm for a new Mideast war (I am sure that “ovens” will be mentioned). This Steve Benen post includes a warning for Democrats who are still fence sitters:

      The White House hasn’t officially said anything in response [to Dick Cheney’s speech], but I have to assume officials in the West Wing are delighted to see the failed former V.P. take the lead in condemning the agreement. It makes it that much easier to deliver a simple message to congressional Democrats: when it comes to national security in the Middle East, and the prospect of yet another war, do you want to partner with Dick Cheney or with President Obama?

  19. We might get rain this afternoon/evening. Yeah. I’ll believe it when I feel it.

    Sleepy – woke up 3 or 4 times last night. Eating beans, drinking tea.

    This was cool – last night I participated in a fitness chat on Twitter. One of the questions was for a favorite fitness quote. I used one from Chrissie Wellington (former triathlon champ, just an incredible athlete): Your limits might not be where you think they are. I didn’t even @ her in the conversation — she’s a big deal in the tri world, probably gets drawn into all kinds of conversations. Anyway, she somehow noticed, and “favorited” my comment! So I’m having a fangirl moment.

  20. Good morning, 70 and partly sunny in Bellingham this morning. Thanks to a sea breeze the air is less smoky but the fires are still burning at a record setting pace. The Okanagan complex fire is at 256,567 acres….hard to comprehend.

    The grand girls will be here soon and it’s the last day of summer for them as school starts tomorrow. We’ll take Ava to her school today to meet her teacher and find her desk. She is starting 3rd grade, and Emma will be in 8th. That’s hard to comprehend as well!


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