Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Nov. 29th through Dec. 5th

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. Morning all – finally a cool morning and day predicted here today – but it won’t last, will get warmer again this weekend. Thanks climate change!

    Another day, another mass shooting in this country, averaging MORE than one per day this year (if mass shooting is defined as at least 4 victims in one incident, as one web site defines it). The shooters were a young couple with a 6 month old baby, who they left with his mother yesterday morning apparently, saying they had a doctor’s appointment. There are lots of ways someone could work up the rage to do something like this, I guess – mental illness, perceived insults, influence of radical ideology – but in OUR country, such a person has multiple ways of making a violent fantasy come true, with such easy access to guns. The fact that they stayed in the area, didn’t flee when they could easily have gotten on I-10 and been halfway to Florida by now, says to me this was a pretty confused young couple, not organized terrorists.

    I’m just sick of all the excuses against gun control – that tweet above says it all, the moment we accepted the murder of kindergartners, we were lost. And I can just hear the response of the right wing now – Trump is probably preparing a “round up the Muslims” speech right now.

    I’m listening to the Mozart Requiem right now – I felt like listening to something in memoriam for all those people murdered yesterday. I wish it were the last time this year I expected to have that impulse, but given the track record, it seems likely there will be more before New Years. Ugh.

    Have a good day everyone despite the news.

    • This is important:

      There are lots of ways someone could work up the rage to do something like this, I guess – mental illness, perceived insults, influence of radical ideology – but in OUR country, such a person has multiple ways of making a violent fantasy come true, with such easy access to guns.

      My daughter and I were talking about this yesterday when I told her that there was another mass shooting. I asked her what would happen if the angry person(s) had a knife or a baseball bat instead of a gun and, of course, it changes things considerably. If someone is attacking with a knife, you can hide in a closet, for example. If someone is attacking with a baseball bat, you can probably get enough people to rush him and subdue him without too much damage to yourselves (and no, arming the people in that facility would have simply added to the carnage).

      There is no solution. “Our” politicians have decided that thoughts and prayers lets them off the hook for policy changes. We used to have an assault weapon ban (part of Bill Clinton’s War On Crime), that essentially said that there is no valid reason for an individual to own a weapon used primarily for wars. The 2nd Amendment survived and so did a heck of a lot of people. The ban expired in 2004 and there was no political will to renew it (and a Republican Congress).

      The bill that was filibustered in 2013 in the Senate by now-private-citizen Mark Pryor (how did that work for you, doofus?) would have expanded background checks but even that cowardly Senate, looking at the photos of dead 6 year olds, could not muster more than 40 votes for a new assault weapon ban, offered by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

  2. Grabbed this out of this morning’s C & J:

    There is more hooey spread about the Second Amendment. It says quite clearly that guns are for those who form part of a well-regulated militia, i.e., the armed forces including the National Guard. The reasons for keeping them away from everyone else get clearer by the day.

    Mass shooting safety sign
    The comparison most often used is that of the automobile, another lethal object that is regularly used to wreak great carnage. Obviously, this society is full of people who haven’t got enough common sense to use an automobile properly. But we haven’t outlawed cars yet.

    We do, however, license them and their owners, restrict their use to presumably sane and sober adults and keep track of who sells them to whom. At a minimum, we should do the same with guns.

    In truth, there is no rational argument for guns in this society. This is no longer a frontier nation in which people hunt their own food. It is a crowded, overwhelmingly urban country in which letting people have access to guns is a continuing disaster. Those who want guns—whether for target shooting, hunting or potting rattlesnakes (get a hoe)—should be subject to the same restrictions placed on gun owners in England—a nation in which liberty has survived nicely without an armed populace.

    The argument that “guns don’t kill people” is patent nonsense. Anyone who has ever worked in a cop shop knows how many family arguments end in murder because there was a gun in the house. Did the gun kill someone? No. But if there had been no gun, no one would have died. At least not without a good footrace first. Guns do kill. Unlike cars, that is all they do. […]

    For years, I used to enjoy taunting my gun-nut friends about their psycho-sexual hang-ups—always in a spirit of good cheer, you understand. But letting the noisy minority in the National Rifle Association force us to allow this carnage to continue is just plain insane.
    —Molly Ivins. 1993.

    BiPM commented after the Molly Ivins’ quote: “Twenty-two years later, the insanity continues.” Not much you can add to that except “Amen.”

  3. Good morning, 55 cloudy and windy in Bellingham. I was offline most of yesterday, thinking of my family and the start of the Christmas season, so I was shocked when I turned on the news. My little part of the world was (is?) oblivious to the carnage happening all around us.

    My successful effort to find pine cone lights for the patio seem trivial now, but shinning a light in the darkness around me is good for my soul and brings cheer to our neighborhood. Sometimes that’s all I can do.

    • You’re right. Sometimes the only thing you can do and stay sane is narrow your focus. Pine cone lights for the patio are still a good thing because, yes, they will shine light in the darkness which is good for the soul.

  4. Good morning, meese! Friday …

    It is 33 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 44. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast.

    The Republicans are crowing over their passing the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act … they see it as a campaign ad “here’s the good stuff we can do when we win the presidency!!”. I am laughing because they just handed President Obama a perfect opportunity to remind people of what the ACA has done to help people’s lives and have gifted our nominee with a great campaign issue. I am looking forward to the veto ceremony … I hope it is big and splashy and includes stadiums full of people helped by the health care law.

    Speaking of elections, here is a fun tool that Nate Silver’s blog posted. It is an interactive map that shows the 2012 election and how turnout and percentages among various voting blocs would change the electoral map.

    With just 8% more from Hispanic and Asian voters, no change among black voters (please, don’t stay home!), a modest increase in college-educated whites, and a split on non-college educated whites, we win all the states except Utah and Wyoming.

    If we increase our percentage of college-educated whites to 68% (will they REALLY vote for Trump?), LANDSLIDE!!! 538 to 0!!!

    (p.s. Do not depress yourself by seeing what happens if the Democratic base stays home)

    See all y’all later!!

    • On your p.s. All the more reason to get our Democrats out to the polls.

      I am disgusted by folks I hear saying there is no difference between D’s and R’s.

      • More than disgusted. You have to wonder what they think with. “The Rs didn’t give me unicorns, the Dems didn’t give me unicorns. See. They’re the same.” Sheesh.

        • The only thing that keeps me upbeat is that the majority of people of color I know – who vote – are not part of the self-appointed “progressive whiners” club.

          • They’re too close to reality to be progressive whiners. When you’ve missed meals, or even seriously seen the possibility of missing meals, then good food on the table is your measuring stick. Saying that it has to be chateaubriand or else it’s the same as no food on the table only comes from those who’ve never had to worry about it.

  5. Actually cold here – 38. I need to buy TSA-approved sizes of contact stuff & face wash &…. And water my plants super well, and do all the dishes, wow there’s a lot to do when you travel. Must write out a budget so I don’t lose my mind & overspend.

    I had to switch off the news last night, when they started talking about the victims. Just breaks my heart too much. I’m glad they talk about them, I am — it is far more important to talk about them than the murderers. But I still can’t take it.

    There was music playing when I woke up, but I don’t remember it. It’s a shame I don’t play any instruments, this must be what musicians describe as “the song was just there”. Listened to Disappear and U2’s cover of Everlasting Love on the way in, because I need happy, positive stuff.

  6. Good morning, Moosylvania! Cold but sunny and NOT windy here in NoVa this morning. It’s currently 34 F., heading for 50 F.

    Today I’ll go to the Indian store to buy whole cinnamon sticks and nutmegs, and to the Christmas tree lot to wheedle yet more discarded branches from the purveyors of conifers. Nephew, niece, and great-nephew are coming for the potpourri-making party tomorrow, as is Miss Pink Cheeks.

    Yesterday the nine-year-old next-door neighbor and six-year-old Pink Cheeks were talking about whether they were really sisters. Both are Girl Scouts, so they’re “sisters” in that sense. Each is delighted at having a younger or older sister—they play together three afternoons a week at our house. I told them they were definitely part of the great sisterhood of women.

    Just watched the Morning Blather on TV, which showed photos of the virtual arsenal in the young Murder Duo’s garage. It was incredible. They must have been planning this for some time. What kind of ideology embraces mass murder? Some travesty of Islam? The word “Islam” means “surrender,” as in, “surrender your soul to Allah.” Millions of Muslims live in this world and want exactly what we all want—to live in peace with our neighbors and bring up our children in our own way, in our own religion. Yet those millions are going to be blamed for the actions of a few.

    Hope we can all find solace in our own private spheres today, as it’s no use emailing our Congress critters to ban guns.

    • Sadly, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and policy proposals, are considered “okay” now and the GOP candidates and Republican Congress are embracing that. Religious bigotry is an American tradition. :(

      It is unfortunate that people will win elections on jail/shoot/deport/toss-into-camps all Muslims because we Democrats need to stand firm that it is not acceptable. There is no equivocation, no weasel words that will allow a Democratic candidate to say “we should not discriminate BUT …”.

      Did you see that The Donald spoke to a Republican Jewish group and managed to use every single insult possible to their religion and ethnicity? Sheesh. I remember our former governor Tommy Thompson, when he was running for president in 2007, speaking at a Jewish gathering and saying “I’m in the private sector and for the first time in my life I’m earning money. You know that’s sort of part of the Jewish tradition.” Back in those days, that was enough to crash his candidacy as he never recovered from that gaffe. Nowadays, there are no gaffes that could crash a candidacy, not even Jeb! Bush saying he would “whup” Secretary Clinton. Yikes, man, get an optics filter for yourself!!

    • The insane Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Clarke, has been telling people in Milwaukee to do that for a number of years. He told them “don’t call 911 … we can’t help you! … protect yourselves!!”.

  7. 25 at sunrise, 35 now, and heading for 55 this sunny day in Fay., AR. I pretty much have to narrow my focus down to stay sane right now. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s I can’t handle it. The best I can do is an image a now-deceased Unity Minister once gave us – that old Sherwin-Williams image of their paint being poured over the entire globe (“Cover the World with…”) except pouring White Light/healing energy over the World instead of paint.

    So. Think I can clear my desk today (for a change) which would be nice. My younger son’s family is coming from Austin, should be here by later afternoon tomorrow. We’ll be doing the “Decorate the Tree at Grandma’s” Sunday with all my grandsons for the first time (well, first time since Drew’s boys were born – before that all my grandsons were here anyway). This year the oldest boys, who have been going with me to choose the tree every year since I started this tradition, have been graduated into the grownup stay at the house and prepare stuff category and the younger boys will go with me to choose the tree. Time flies. Hope everybody has a lovely 1st Friday in December, 1st Saturday in December, 1st Sunday in December/St. Nicholas/Sinterklaas/2nd Sunday in Advent/Decorate the Tree at Grandma’s at bfitz’ house. {{{HUGS}}}

  8. Morning Meese! Kind of a special day for me – I’m 65 years old today! It’s hard for me to believe – I don’t FEEL old, but I guess I’m getting there anyway! I was a little creeped out when I fired up Google and was greeted with a birthday themed squiggle – I have a gmail account, I guess I told them my birth date for that. Oh well, I’ll take birthday wishes from wherever!

    My birthday celebration today will include NOT looking at the news or GOS – I just need a break from it. I was thinking of going to see the last Hunger Games movie today, but it’s chilly, and my yard guy is supposed to come and put up my new mailbox (the old wooden post one is literally falling over, some critter has gnawed at the base and the box itself is horrible looking, so I bought a new metal box and pole) so I’ll wait for him. I hope he can do it today – my neighbors are less than enthralled with the look of my old paint spattered wooden stepladder propping up the mailbox lol.

    I hope everyone has a great day today – I know I plan to!

    • Happy Birthday!! Yay, “free” government health care!!! ;)

      You make me laugh … you are forgoing the news to see the latest Hunger Games? Isn’t that a pretty horrific movie? Or does the fact that it is a movie rather than real live make it bearable?

      I am trying to figure out how to manage the news myself. I am not willing (yet) to turn off the spigot but I am going to be selective about which stories get more than just a shake of the head at the headline and which stories I read to keep up with Things I Think I Should Know. The old daily blogger in me (I used to write 3 or 4 pieces a day for a different blog) has a difficult time letting go. But there is too much click bait and much of it does not add anything to my understanding of the news.

      • Thanks for re-sizing the exuberant video Jan. I was surprised when the actual video posted as I was expecting just a link. Next time I’ll make a size choice first.

        I’m screening the news these days too. With so much internet access it’s all to easy to feel overwhelmed with the worlds troubles. I did find a good link to Ed Kilgore though, so now it’s easier to find his writing without scrolling through a lot of stuff I don’t want to read.


        • That is part of your new Moose powers … your photos post AND your video links turn into embedded videos, sadly with the default WordPress size which is “TOO BIG!!”. From YouTube, just click Share, choose Embed and copy and paste the embed code with a width of 420 or so.

          I have that Ed Kilgore link, also. I am not that in love with the rest of NYMag and wanted to just get to his pieces. I miss him at WaMo but the only constant on the Internet is change, isn’t it? I follow a lot of people on Twitter who have moved multiple times. Lots of people leave TPM (Josh must either pay poorly or be difficult to work with … I suspect, based on his writings, a lot of the latter), when TNR blew up, there was a scattering. Ed is easy to read and has some insights into a particular interest of mine: red states and purple states and the South.

      • Thanks! The Hunger Games movies and the books are more about manipulation via media – lots of parallels with our current media manipulation of popular opinion. I mean, there’s cruelty and violence, but it’s ultimately about people fighting back against a type of fascism, I guess. And I’m a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan, and she carries the movies. I didn’t much enjoy the 3rd one – the books are a trilogy, but the studio decided to cut the third book into 2 movies, pretty much solely for financial reasons, and as a result the most uninteresting groundwork laying stuff was in the 3rd movie. But I want to see how they end it in this final movie – the book was thoughtful and melancholy, I’ll be interested to see what they did with it.

    • Happy Birthday! Treat yourself to whatever makes you feel good. You’re only 6 weeks and 2 days ahead of me so I don’t call you old :)

      If you decide to go to GOS after all, the HVN diary is up and nice – no trolls so far today – and don’t forget the pootie diary in the afternoon. However you can see the HVN diary without the comments at http://www.hillaryhq.com/

      • My brain just went backwards – your birthdate is 6 weeks and 2 days after mine, I won’t be 65 until next October. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m getting closer to retirement. heh.

        • Thanks! I have nothing but good things to say about retirement, so far, 7 months into it. I am teaching one course in the spring, so I’m not completely done with work, but I love not having a schedule almost all the time.

  9. Good morning, 46 and cloudy in Bellingham. After the pool this morning I hope to bring Christmas to the porches. I love the cheer of wreaths on the door and winter branches and berries in the pots. We have a large artificial wreath for the trellis behind the garden and colored lights for the tree on the patio…..makes the twilight afternoons feel cozy.

    I wish the Christmas Spode would magically appear on the sideboard but apparently I have to put away the Thanksgiving dishes before that can happen.

  10. Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    It is 33 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 45. Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast.

    Quiet day planned here; we will decorate the tree this morning after I finish up a few odds and ends of work left over from a particularly busy work week (not enough nap time!).

    I am often struck by the stark differences between the two political parties. One of them lives in a world constructed by corporate press releases … a world that bears no relation to the reality of actual human beings living in the United States. Case in point, Marco Rubio thinks that there are not enough for-profit schools in higher education while, in Realworldia, the Obama Administration is poised to cancel $27.8 million in debt accrued by students defrauded by for-profit “colleges”. It is like the Republicans find every bad idea and want to turn it into policy, completely ignoring the impact on real people’s real lives.

    See all y’all later!

  11. Up for ungodly hour workout. It’s 38, so longjohns & tights & gloves. I can’t wait till February (when this is over). Someone remind me next August NOT to sign back up for this. Back later.

  12. Good morning, Meese! It’s a beautiful, although frosty morning here—reminds me of my favorite Christmas carol, “The Holly and the Ivy.” I love listening to it sung by men and boys, especially the background descant of “O, the rising of the sun and the running of the deer” by the men. To me the song is very Pagan in feeling, thinking of a red winter sun rising on frosty hills and deer running through the crown of trees on the hilltops.

    The cider with its orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and whole nutmegs, is simmering in the crockpot, heating up for the potpourri party. My egg timer just went off, so back later!

    • It is a beautiful song! I have learned to overlook the christianist bent to many of the songs celebrating the yule and allowing myself to simply enjoy them. :)

      • OMG, Jan, you have found my favorite version! This is the one I was looking for and failed to find yesterday. Somehow, when we packed up all the CDs, thinking we were moving, the King’s College CD has become lost or misplaced or something.

        How can I capture this forever and ever? This is a very good quality version. The first one I saw in 2008 was a bit fuzzy but the sound was so good I listened to it again and again. I used the link in a short story in 2008 but when I went to click it the other day, it didn’t work.

        So thank you for making my morning!

        • I haz mad search skilz!! My first sigline at the GOS was “Much of life is knowing what to Google”.

          This was the exact rendition that I was looking for as well. There are others that are amateur or do not have the quality. I am glad it made your day. :)

          I am not sure how one saves a video. I am certain there is a way (it would be called “ripping”) but it would probably require geek tools and knowledge of the platform you are using (Apple OS, Windows, Android).

          I know what you mean about “losing” YouTubes. Sometimes when I go back to old posts, I notice that the video is no longer available. Sometimes that is because the YouTube account has closed down, sometimes it is because the YouTubist did not have permission to post and the owner asked for it to be removed.

          I hope you can find your CD … surely it would not have been tossed out.

      • This is my favorite too – and this is such a beautiful version of it. I have the “Holly and Ivy” holiday dishes from Portmeiron (sp?) which I start using at Thanksgiving and keep out until the end of January, precisely because they are festive without being religious. Thanks for the video!

  13. Good morning, 50 and cloudy in Bellingham. Listening to The Holly and The Ivy is a wonderful start to my day, thank you.

    I hope my creaky knees will cooperate better today so I can finish the porches and start with the tree. December days are busy so having the tree in place early gives us time to enjoy the festive clutter!

  14. Morning all – grey and cool here (I dare not call in the 60’s chilly around all you in more northern climes!) A lovely way to begin the day listening to the Ted talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on feminism, and then the beautiful rendition of “the Holly and the Ivy”. A nice antidote to all the horrors around us in the news.

    I had trouble sleeping last night, worrying about the backlash out there to the San Bernadino murders – it seems clear this young couple was radicalized in some way, but the most disturbing discovery about them to me was this arsenal they had accumulated. Again, radicalism in speech doesn’t hurt us – it’s the ability to get weapons to kill people to act out some fantasy, whether political or personal, that’s the problem, as far as I’m concerned.

    ugh. well, I will listen to some holiday music and try to focus on the good, as many of you have been doing here. I’m not a Christian or religious at all, but I used to sing in choirs in college and in DC, and I’m a sucker for good classical Christmas music. And Saturday afternoon is opera broadcast time, one of my favorite times of the week, especially today as it’s the opening of the new season of live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. Downside today is it’s La Boheme which is of course beautiful and I do love it – but it’s about the 5th time it’s been on the Saturday broadcasts this year, once live last spring from the Met, and 2 or 3 times over the summer and fall on the World of Opera. Sigh. Oh well, it’s live and it’s from the Met, so I shall listen nonetheless!

    Have a wonderful day everyone!

    • I read an article this morning about religious extremism – as you know, it is not a symptom of any specific religion. And we have a huge problem with our own religious extremists: “Time to Tell the Truth About Conservative Religious Extremism”

      To a dead woman at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, it matters little if the murderer acted to deny women their reproductive rights in the name of Jesus or Allah. To the dead in San Bernardino—of whom at least one of the victims was Muslim—it matters little in which God’s name the murderers acted in their apparent combination of workplace and religious outrage.

      What matters is that both despise modernity. And both had all-too-easy access of legally available weapons of mass death.

  15. 55 just before lunch time in sunny Fay., AR – online so I can keep an eye on email. My son usually emails me when he’s a couple of hours out and considering they planned to leave at 6 a.m. and how fast he drives that could be any minute. (Not really – not when he’s got the boys in the car anyway.) Haven’t looked at anything but email and the Moose and may not (might check in at GOS – some folks I’m worried about and try to catch their diaries to add an encouraging word and some HUGS if nothing else – otherwise nope.) Really appreciate The Holly and the Ivy – my CD player died a couple of months back and while I finally broke down and ordered one online, it’s on back order. So my music this year has to be played on my computer in the front room instead of in the den where I spend most of my waiting hours. Hold on to the good things, of which music is probably the most important. {{{HUGS}}}

  16. I only did 5.9 miles, had to stop & find a restroom. Had breakfast tacos with the group, then went to Target & bought travel size stuff. Watching Walking Dead & packing.

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