Monday, November 07, 2016

Lingua French-a

You've finally arrived, you precocious little polyglot from middle America, you.  Armed with a suitcase you've packed, unpacked and repacked for the last 6 months, a brand spanking new passport (because our neighbors don't care), a Eurail Pass,  the required English/Your Second Language Here dictionary and/or app; and sporting a t-shirt with a maple leaf that screams "I'M AN AMERICAN TRYING TO NOT LOOK LIKE ONE", you have landed somewhere overseas (probably in Europe) where the primary language is not shared by Shakespeare and the commercial flight industry, ready to show off your 1-12 or so years of classroom grammar and of course study of relevant literature, encompassing fond memories of "Sur le pont d'Avignon", "Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?", "Cielito Lindo" or the "Gena Krokodil Song" (I think that about exhausts the foreign languages taught in American schools).


Saturday, August 06, 2016

An Open Letter to Those Who Refer to Me as Norman Kelly, Mr. Kelly ,Mr,Norman or Ms. Kelly:

Stop it, OK?

Generally when you show your inattentive selves it is when you're working through a list of people whose names are either written first-name first, or last-name first. There is really no reason for you to suspect that my name is different, particularly when there are other Kelly's on your list---always the case in each of my elementary and high school classes.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Eat Me: An Essay by David Gornoski about the State, Cannabilism...and Jesus

I have often wondered how I could write well enough to make people understand the connection I sense between my Christian faith and my anti-state leanings.  I am still wondering how I can do it, but David Gornoski does it here much better than I could (from Foundation for an Economic Education).


Saturday, July 16, 2016

List: People (and other things) I've wanted to marry

I've given up now.  Now, if someone proposed to me,  I'm convinced he'd be plotting to swindle me out of my retirement funds and then go back to his real wife and kids (okay, adult kids).

But it was fun while it lasted!

Here, in chronological order, are all the people, places and things I've had crushes on.


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Predictions for Season Five

Elizabeth and Phillip are going to have a baby.  Oops, they already did.

Paige is going to become an agent for the CIA....OR kill Pastor Tim.

There's going to be a huge nuclear accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine.  

Stan the Man proposes adopting Henry.  He then grooms him as an FBI agent.

Elizabeth and Phillip go home, but Paige stays and starts her own Benneton franchise.  Henry stays with Stan.  Neither Stan nor Henry ever figures out what Elizabeth and Phillip do.

Upon arriving in Moscow, they find Martha running the McDonald's store in Red Square.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The Americans Season 4 Episode 7: Есть EST?

This week's show seems to be a kind of housecleaning before the big blowup.  John Boy gets fired for a host of things that Stan the Man did;  Martha goes to Russia, Stan the Man is palling around with Phillip again, Elizabeth and Paige have a couple nasty spats about why it's Paige's responsibility to monitor Pastor Tim and his wife before they turn the whole Jennings family in, and Elizabeth goes to EST!

TheAmericans Season 4 #6: Martha Martha Martha!

So in this one, Martha is running for school president, and Elizabeth gets jealous when Phillip/Clark helps her with her campaign...oh, sorry, where were we?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

More German Lessons!!!!

From McSweeney's Internet Tendency:

Titles of Bach Chorales as Translated by the Author's Niece After One Semester of German

It's copywrought, of course, so I can't copy it here;  you may have to look at it in a new window  so you know what I'm talking about below.

In the meantime McSweeney's is pretty entertaining, if you avoid the "straw man" assumptions behind some of the more political pieces.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Americans #3 Season 4....the experimental prototype spy family of tomorrow.

OK, OK, I know Episode 4 has already aired, and I am way late in posting this, but hey, I have a day job OK?  Alright, well, in my case, a night job.  And I don't want to dash off a piece of dribble each week, I want to think about it a little bit.  Not that anyone's reading this anyway.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Americans: Run Away! Run Away!

This could apply to Pastor Tim, who gives this episode its name, who is now in Elizabeth's crosshairs; or to Phillip and Elizabeth themselves, because of the knowledge Tim now has about them and its threat to their cover.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Aaaaaand here we go again....


...with America's favorite KGB agents and their pals, that is. 


The Americans—Mission # 4, Episode 1
FX 22:00  3/16/2016






That includes ambivalent teen daughter Paige (or as her grandmother calls her, Pie-AGE) and oblivious tween son Henry (who names their kid Henry? That should have been a tip off to the FBI.) ( But then again, the FBI agent living closest to the Jennings' is Stan the Man, who is barely aware of anything besides his own navel.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Most Surprising, Stupid, Hilarious and/or Entertaining Things Said During the Presidential Campaign---Week of February 10-17, 2016

I can't look away.  It's like a train wreck.

So I've NEVER been more sure that it is an exercise in futility and one that makes me a conspirator with the State in oppressing people to vote.  And I haven't actually WATCHED a debate yet.  But when I hear descriptions of them on the podcasts & talk shows I listen to, or see it on Twitter, I laugh.  I laugh harder than I ever did watching any Monty Python movie.  In fact, the presidential campaign...at least this one....has a lot of Monty Python flavor to it, although the end results will inevitably hurtle us closer to the edge of the totalitarian precipice.

I have two thoughts sifting through this stuff:

1) Are these people for real?

and

2) Ben Shapiro is right!  It's like professional wrestling!

A little game

Please match the following items (1 from column B and one from column A.)  The result will describe my day thus far.



ANSWER:  A-B; C-D.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Buh-bye Facebook

It's been six months since I parted with Facebook.  I still have a profile there, and I can still access messages through my Messenger app, but I don't read anything except messages, and I don't post anything.

  Except for when I'm thinking about the cute pictures of babies I'm missing and the invitation to someone's Turducken party I don't have yet, I don't miss it.

A forum poster from way back in the 80s, at graduate school (my school being on the Internet before most) , I still find it a little strange that I hate Facebook so much.  In graduate school, I met all my friends online through "forums", or what we called "conferences."  If you wanted to read what was new in the conference, you signed on and scrolled down a list of topics and there was some kind of symbol or alert that let you know which topics had been added to.  If you wanted to read that topic, you opened it and could read all the posts on that topic.  Then you had a choice with each post you read:  Answer (or something like that); Pass; and Forget.  I thought the Forget command was essential to the whole deal.  If you "Forgot" something you would never see it again unless you actively did something to "un" forget it.  (Kind of like the "hide" prompt oon Facebook).

Years later I began participating in the Amazon Reviewers forum and met some incredibly good friends there.

So why do I hate Facebook so much?  Let me count the ways.

Crazy Bernie!

Everytime I hear someone call Bernie Sanders "Crazy Bernie" I remember those '70s and '80s appliance commercials where the owner or local manager is admitting to being certifiable because of the sales he's offering.  "Everyone says to me 'That's CRAZY!'  But that's what I am, so that's what I'm doing!"

I guess it fits pretty well.  Picture a warehouse with boxes labelled, "Tuition", "Health Care", "Humongous unemployment benefits", "Vacations", "Big Paychecks for Inexperienced Workers", etc.  There's Bernie standing in front!  "They say I'm CRAZY to do this!  Well, I AM!  That's why I'm giving this all up for FREE!  Be sure to vote for Crazy Bernie to get free tuition!"

Of course, in the case of Crazy Joe's or Crazy George's appliances, the producers of the commercial (and most people who watched it) knew that nothing George or Joe was giving up was going to get into the hands of consumers free or even "at wholesale", or without someone either making a profit or eating the cost and passing on to consumers later.  Bernie's followers seem to really believe that their free stuff will really be free.  They won't see--at least until tax time; and maybe not even then if they're not paying attention, that somehow or another, they will pay.  If not with income taxes, with increased taxes elsewhere.  The idea that Bill Gates and Billary (who love to remind us that taxes should be for THEM, the ROYALTY, and not for the LITTLE PEOPLE) are going to pay for it all is nonsense.  (And why should they anyway?  And if they want to why don't they just send you a check for your tuition so they don't take my money?)

In Bernie's case the only promise he will be able to keep if he gets his way is illustrated in a popular twitter meme these days:  You'll get 52 weeks of free vacation, when your employer is bankrupted after paying for all your other "free stuff".



Monday, January 18, 2016

Capitalism

I'm not very good at explaining what capitalism is, much to my own chagrin.  I've learned about it by reading Bastiat and Smith and listening to podcasts by Tom Woods and the like, but I'm not a teacher by nature so aside from asking others to go to the same sources, all I can do is start a list of all the things that I thought were capitalism, that weren't.  So without further ado....

WHAT CAPITALISM IS NOT

Capitalism is not "Too big to fail."
Capitalism is NOT lobbyists, or politicians, for that matter.
Capitalism is not tarriffs (whether they're leveyed by Tokyo or Washington, Berlin or Beijing)
Capitalism does not take away from other people when a person benefits from it...


...in fact, if both traders do not believe they've benefited from a transaction, that transaction by definition is not a capitalist one.

Capitalism is not force.
Capitalism is not slavery.
Capitalism only works when each party participating is doing it of their own free will (which is why in most societies it's difficult to keep.  Human nature often leads us to forcing others to do what we want.  That's democracy, not capitalism.  You can have capitalism in a democracy; it's just hard.)