Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Dec. 27th through Jan. 2nd

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. it is really weird watching this fire in Dubai, hearing them talk about how luxurious, etc

    when we lived there in 1973-5, the thought of a 5 star (much less 7!) was just…. and I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize anything about the city, not that my 10 year old eyes would have looked at things the same way I do as an adult. We were thrilled when a British hamburger chain came in, and a pizza place (till we ate there & realized they used ketchup for the sauce). But I can’t stop watching the fire coverage. And remembering our house across the street from the beach, the beautiful Arabian Gulf — with water that looked like a blue color chart & was so clean you could see the bottom even when you were above your head. I think that’s where they built one of the fancy hotels.

  2. Good morning and Happy New Year, meeses! Friday, January 1, 2016 …

    It is 17 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 25. Mostly cloudy skies in the forecast.

    Leap year, Olympics, presidential election … lots going on in 2016. In 302 days, we will know who the next president will be. I hope that Americans choose wisely … for the sake of our country and her people … and, really, all of mankind.

    The difference between Republican brains and human brains is never more stark than when Republicans are asked to respond to horrible events: Jeb Bush responding to the Tamir Rice murder and subsequent whitewash believes that “the system worked”. Yes, it works quite well for white males born into wealth. It does not work for the majority of Americans and it is completely broken for people of color.

    In Arkansas, a federal judge blocked an anti-abortion law related to medical abortions. The law intervened by not only statutorily defining the dosage of the pill but demanding that the prescribing doctor have hospital admitting privileges. The federal judge believes that Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail in their suit overturning the new law. SCOTUS will decide an abortion case this year that includes the TRAP law du jour of admitting privileges so fingers are crossed that Anthony Kennedy will finally find a line he is willing to draw in preserving Roe v Wade. Big doings at the court this year!

    President Obama will very likely issue an executive order amending the definition of “gun seller” in order to expand background checks.

    State of the Union – January 12th. Expect boos.

    See all y’all later!

  3. Happy New Year! and ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! to all the Meese.

    I fell asleep (as I predicted) and missed the fireworks – will look at them on youtube.

    It’s 35 here going up to a hot 40!

    Found this Reuters article interesting

    Republicans come up short in search for diverse voters in 2016 election

    Ten months before the United States elects a new president, the Republican Party has yet to resolve a problem that its leaders said contributed to Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss to Barack Obama: a lack of support among Hispanic and younger voters.

    The percentage of Republicans among those likely to vote in the Nov. 8, 2016, election lags Democrats by 9 percentage points, compared with a 6-point deficit in the year leading up to Obama’s 2012 victory, according to an analysis of Reuters/Ipsos polling data from 2012 and 2015.

    While the American electorate has become more diverse the last three years, the party’s support among Hispanic likely voters and younger likely voters has shrunk significantly.

    heh – here’s hoping the R candidates will continue to alienate Latinos.

    OTH – I’m not comfortable with this

    Bernie Sanders: Why Trump voters should back me

    In a taped interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the Vermont senator — a self-proclaimed democratic-socialist — made an overture to “angry” Americans frustrated by financial woes and concerned by foreign terrorism.

    “What I’m suggesting is that what Trump has done with some success has taken that anger, taken those fears — which are legitimate — and converted them into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims,” Sanders said.

    What makes him think that they will miraculously shed themselves of hate?
    (this subject is under discussion at orange- where few Bernie supporters see the danger, and think it is just a-okay)

    Do we really want people like John Pisone (the 23 year old dude from PA in the video below) in our party? Tom Jefferson’s video illustrates my point.

    (warning – very racist language)

    Published on Dec 27, 2015

    I was photographing a peaceful protest aimed at Rex Energy in Mars, Pa, At one point during the day a worker showed up. He started by insulting the protesters. Then he turned his attention to me. I just let him talk and kept the camera rolling.

    To be perfectly honest – I don’t want us to court anyone who is part of the bigot exodus from the Democrats to the Republicans – they can stay R’s for life. Recruitment and GOTV focus should be on Latinos (imho) for example.

    So I start the New Year – dealing with the same crap from the old year. Racism. sexism….inequalities which don’t dissolve simply because of income.

    My New Year’s resolution is to fight harder.

    • President Obama spoke on March 7th about the vote (it is one of his best speeches). We are handing our power over to those who hate us when we don’t vote.

      I saw that Reuters report and it is encouraging … but. Polls don’t vote and surveys don’t vote: people vote. And if those demographic groups stay home, we lose no matter how big our numbers are.

      p.s. I am with you here:

      To be perfectly honest – I don’t want us to court anyone who is part of the bigot exodus from the Democrats to the Republicans – they can stay R’s for life.

      Jim Webb Democrats aren’t Democrats and people who are buying into the butthurt of white people feeling “left behind” are often buying into the dog whistle of “the blacks and browns have taken our jobs!!”. If you win with them, you have lost.

      • I agree – we lose if we stay home. Which is why time should be spent getting our people out to vote instead of chasing after bigots.

        • Reading your piece, I had not realized that Bernie Sanders actually said this referring to Trump: “… what he wants to do is divide our country between Latinos and Americans and Muslims and everybody else. ”

          Good lord! “Latinos and Americans and Muslims”!!!??!!

          I hope he does not really see those as three distinct things and simply mispoke. Just add a “real” in front of “Americans” and that could have been lifted from a Sarah Palin speech from 2008.

          Is he tone deaf or tired or simply blinded by his ideology … that everything that is wrong with America can be fixed by higher wages and jailing billionaires?

    • OMG! That video … the only thing missing was an AK-47 slung over his shoulder to show how manly he was. He is proud of his racism, proud of his ignorance!

      • I think he is a perfect example of the young Trump supporter — this guy is 23 (according to online data).

    • Agree – DO NOT WANT!!! – those guys. I’ve been praying “render them harmless” for many a long year. Hasn’t worked yet. More facetiously I frequently say I wish we could beam them all to the Enterprise holodeck so they can play out their fantasies without hurting anyone. It’s only facetious because the Enterprise holodeck doesn’t exist. sigh. And yeah, the only thing we can do is work/fight/try harder to so change society that they are rendered harmless.

  4. Eating breakfast, watching the news. I really will get that walk in today. No, seriously. We have damp, chilly weather but it’ll be damper & chillier in the morning so…..

    Got my kale/black eyed pea soup ready to eat for lunch. Happy New Year, everyone!

  5. Good morning, Moosekind! It’s 39 F. on yet another grey morning here in NoVa, going up to 47 F. today, no rain. It’s already 9 a.m. so our day is getting off to a very slow start.

    For the first time in years we managed to see the new year in: that is, we ignored the blaring TV while stuck into Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male (hubby) and Rogue Justice (me). We continued to read until 12:30 a.m. Now I feel washed out.

    Still having trouble with my Bastet image for Facebook. At least it worked for the Moose! I suppose this means another morning of pixel-wrestling.

    Wishing a good day and happy 2016 to all!

    • Enjoyed your Bastet story – omen of sorts as Charlie (my tuxedo kitty) had jumped the fence about half an hour before I read it and wasn’t home yet. After going out in the damp, chilly, getting dark every few minutes to check/holler for him, I read the story, walked around the house looking out windows, and said, “Bastet, I need your help here.” Not even a minute later I saw him out the window. Went outside and called him and he came running up to me (not his normal behavior) with his tail all bottle-brushed and let me carry him into the house. Cats. Gotta love ’em, right?

      • bfitz, how interesting! Glad your Charlie returned safely. Who knows, perhaps Bastet was watching out for him?

        Haven’t had a cat staying here for many years, but I’m one of those who likes both dogs and cats. To compare them is like comparing apples and oranges. Both have special attributes that I appreciate.

        • Of course Bastet was watching out for him – but if you want help, you have to ask for it :)

          Not sure I’d compare cats and dogs to apples and oranges but definitely they have their own special attributes to be appreciated.

  6. a nice New Year’s wish from Neil Gaiman (an oldie but a goodie)

    May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. – See more at: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html#sthash.YQDrnGyO.dpuf

  7. Good morning, 27 and sunny in Bellingham, but the frost ring on my window is framing a winter sky. We had a fun evening with our friends last night and were home and in bed before 11:00. I’m going to ease into this year, just making the most of each day.

    Paul Krugman, at the NYT, writes about Privilege, Pathology and Power. He asks a key question, “So what happens to a nation that gives ever-growing political power to the superrich?”

  8. Happy New Year/1st Friday in January 2016 – The sun is shining here and does that ever make a difference! Even though it’s still only 39 the living room is tolerable and the porch is downright warm. (The kitties approve. heh) Which is just as well since Natalia is going to need her splitter back soon so I need to split as much wood as possible/I have (whichever comes first) before she does. I’m taking a break for lunch right now so I thought I’d check in. I’ll have to be in and out as my fingers don’t care whether the sun is shining – 39 is too effen cold for them to be out in for very long and since they are attached to the rest of my body… :)

    I haven’t looked at anything yet – even the Meese posts for the day which I will read and fierce in a minute – so don’t know what to comment on, good or bad, except to say that a new day, new month, new year always gives us a chance to “monitor and adjust” as we used to say when I was teaching. (It went without saying that there’d be something to adjust. We just hoped for something minor. I already know “minor” isn’t appropriate for what we need to adjust in this country.) Holding the good thoughts for everyone’s health and well-being. {{{HUGS}}}

  9. Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    It is 19 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 30. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    The president released his Weekly Address yesterday instead of today so I need to get to it. The address concerns the executive orders on gun control he intends to issue. I wonder if he released it yesterday to coincide with the new Texas Open Carry provision or just a “let’s start the new year right” sort of thing. We probably won’t see any fallout from the new law until today when 2nd Amendment fetishers harangue businesses, closed on the holiday, who dare to post signs restricting their right to terrify people.

    See all y’alls later!

  10. Good morning, Moosekind! It’s a clear but frosty morning here in NoVa for a change, 27 F. now, going up to 46 F.

    Bfitz, hope you get your firewood split in sufficient quantity! Anotherdemocrat, thanks for the very nice wish for the new year. Princesspat, hope you’re easing into the new year as gently as you wish. Jan, will read your new post on the POTUS as soon as it’s up. Denise, read your post with interest this morning but there were so many comments the iPad wouldn’t load them all. Did manage to Rec it although the iPad wouldn’t let me tip.

    My own wish for the new year is to cure or at least radically control my sugar addiction. Have already put on 5 pounds since the Awful Procedure in November just because of no exercise and lots of compensatory eating. Still struggling with the illustration for Facebook but hope to have something usable today.

    Onward and upward to the gym, to the gym! Wishing a good day to all!

    • I have been trying to cut back on sugars as well. The problem is that it is in everything including bread and bagels!! I am going to try to increase my activity level and see if that helps.

      What is the issue with the Facebook illustration? Maybe I can help. The nice thing about WordPress is that photos are resized automatically depending on the user’s device so we don’t have to do much here to make a post look nice. I remember in the olden days having to resize the photos on the page or in my Photobucket.

      • Jan, that’s an idea! Well, you see the illo on the Bastet story and how it looks vertical. The problem is, the Facebook ad wants the photo to be 1200 x 628 pixels and my Apple software just won’t make it fit. We even downloaded Snapseed to our iPhones, hoping to be able to edit the photo on mobile. I haven’t tried it yet.

        I do like the idea of Photobucket, so I’ll try uploading and editing it there. Thanks for the tip!

        • The cover photo of a Facebook page has to be wide like that also. Is that the same issue you are dealing with? When I have a photo that is clearly portrait that I need to landscape, I will often “decorate” the illustration with color. I go into MSPaint (yes, I am old-fashioned) and create a box that is the size I need, like 1200 x 768. Then I resize the portrait image into the center of the box and then add a contrast or blending color to the sides (usually eye-dropped out of the photo). Or I add other related illustrations and push the image to the side.

          Here is a crude example:
           photo BiggerBastet.png

  11. Skipped ungodly hour workout. I just couldn’t deal with getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday again. I’ll walk this afternoon. Eating breakfast & watching Up.

  12. I could swear I posted yesterday, but I must have just previewed it and forgotten to press post before I left the page. So, anyhoo, Happy New Year to all of Meesedom! It’s finally chilly here, only going to be in the 50’s today and grey outside, so it at least feels like New Year’s weekend.

    Dee really stirred things up over at GOS with her diary yesterday critizing the whole idea of Sanders recruiting Trump supporters – I chimed in once, I hesitate to see what my comment provoked, haven’t been back. As I said, it seems pretty obvious to me – no matter how disaffected and unhappy you are with the terrible income inequality in this country and the way business interests run everything to suit them selves, if you support Trump you are, explicitly or tacitly, supporting his racism/sexism/xenophobia as well as his blather about economic populism (which if you had an iota of critical analytical thinking, you would know is a cynical ploy anyway). And I don’t want you in my Democratic Party if you think the racist/sexist/xenophobic crap is nothing you need worry about.

    Glad to see the President is making a stand to do what he can on gun control – countdown to more impeachment talk starts now!

    Have a good day everyone – hope I manage to post this correctly this time! BTW, a movie recommendation – just watched The Martian and thoroughly enjoyed it. Matt Damon is wonderful, and the whole movie is extremely good, I thought.

    • THIS!

      I don’t want you in my Democratic Party if you think the racist/sexist/xenophobic crap is nothing you need worry about.

      Yes, we want people to do well financially and achieve the American dream for themselves and their children. But if you can’t be bothered to step back from “It’s the Economy, Stupid” and recognize that it is access to the economy that is being blocked by racist/sexist/xenophobic crap then you are missing a very large part of what the Democratic Party stands for.

      We can win without them … they did not vote for President Obama in 2012 and we won just fine. But we do need to make sure all of our voters have the required IDs and rides to the polls and babysitters for their kids so they can go to the polls.

      Have a good day, Geordie!

  13. Good morning, 21 and clear in Bellingham today. It was just becoming light when I went downstairs for coffee and the moon shinning on the frosty trees was lovely. However it’s nice to be in a warm house enjoying the wintry view.

    I read the day away yesterday, finishing Midnight Tides, book #5 of the Malazan series. I’m reading a discussion of the books on the Tor.com website as I go and at the end of the book the author answers questions about the books and his writing process. I like this summation…….

    17. Mythical. It almost seems counter intuitive to ask any detail or plot orientated question about specifics within just this book. Part of the strength and depth of the series is that sense of mystery regarding certain plot points and devices. We quickly realised, even halfway into GotM, that we would not be “spoon-fed” and that some work and even trust, on our part as readers, would be needed to enjoy this world. You, yourself have always seemed patently against any sort of “meta” type question. Whenever I read a question in this vein (“Was that acorn not supposed to be brown instead of green?!”, “How many ghosts actually trail Karsa Orlong and would I be able to tell this by reading through HoC very carefully?”), I cringe.

    It seems that you have attempted to impart feeling and emotion, telling a story rooted in a surprisingly realistic portrayal of relationships, dialogue, actions and reactions. The specific details of the story are intended to be less important, particularly when weighed against this as well as the overarching themes and narrative. Do you think this is a fair assessment?

    : A most fair assessment, thank you.


    So today I’d best leave the fantasy world and deal with some real life cleanup. My cozy Christmas house is looking messy and cluttered!

    • This series sounds really interesting, thanks for writing about it! I need to get to the library next week to set up a new library card and connection to borrow e-books for my Kindle, and I’ll see if they have the Malazan series available.

  14. Good Afternoon Meeses – almost 50 and sunny for the 2nd day in a row. Finished off December with 202KWHs, got just over 8 yesterday and am at just under 4 right now. A good ending and a good beginning. I can tell I need to go read Denise diary at GOS – was over there yesterday but just did the pootie diary and a couple of Hillary news things. I can also tell I need to stay out of the comments. At this point I’m beginning to think of Bernie as the perfect example of the good-hearted white man who is totally clueless about his white privilege/male privilege racism and sexism. And totally, almost violently, rejects the idea that he could be racist and sexist because he’s a good-hearted man. But if he’s pandering to Trump voters, he deserves to go down in flames. Sigh.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got more firewood to split – didn’t finish yesterday because I have to keep taking breaks to warm my hands between each load split. I thought I was fixed up for the winter as far as firewood is concerned, but I’m not sure now. Close to a cord of wild cherry (had to prune a large limb that was threatening my roof last Spring) that I planned on burning – well, the guy who cut it did cut it in 12″ chunks but most of those chunks are not only too big for this electric torque splitter to split, they’re too heavy for me to pick up. So. We shall see what we shall see on this as many other things. Have a good rest of Saturday and {{{HUGS}}}

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