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It's your ol' fuzzy-headed pal Marko with another open thread diary for any and all to romp in.

I'm calling this one "Miscellaneous" because it's going to be just a collection of random glerpf from my week. Mostly just fluff, but there might be a thing or two worth your consideration-- might, doubtfully, perhaps not.

The weather has been so dry around here that the rain we had last night still didn't manage to brighten up the grass. I did see four slugs all crossing the same section of sidewalk, all going in the same direction. Enough rain to wake up the slugs. The grass still sleeps.

We bought a little, portable electric cooler for the car. Sort of an ice chest without the ice. This time next week I'll be in Poland for my brother-in-law's wedding. We're going to be taking some Czech Koláčky, little mini ones which are a traditional treat at Czech weddings. We'll be adding a lovely bit of Poland to the family. My family is becoming more and more international. I love that. We represent the USA, Japan, Algeria, France, the Czech Republic... and in a few days, Poland. And if we delve into ancestry it gets really complicated...

I've applied for a full time illustration / animation position. It has been a few years since I had a regular job with a proper employer and all. It was interesting to try to scrape together and update my curriculum vitae after so many years. I hadn't needed a CV since I graduated from college oh, so many years ago. Even if I don't get the job at least I've got my CV up to date and ready to send out.

It grates on my nerves to have to write stuff like that and accompanying letters that supposedly explain why I would be the perfect person for the job. And if I'm lucky I'll get to go in for a personal interview and pretend to have some idea how much money I think I should be earning. Ugh, it all seems so unnecessary-- like some bizarre mating ritual.    

I had the last of the follow up visits to my dentist for a popcorn hull induced hole in my mouth. And before I saw the dentist I had my first professional cleaning from a dental hygienist in over 25 years. It took about 45 minutes and it was the first time I'd ever had my teeth cleaned with the help of ultrasonics. The dental hygienist had me demonstrate my brushing technique. A bit of praise and a pointer on how I could improve my method of reaching the inner surfaces of my front teeth. She gave me a very soft and very simple toothbrush with a compact head of rounded bristles; nothing fancy, no oddly colored sets of bristles going off at odd angles. But then the fancy products came out-- I took home a set of three different sized-- um, probes? picks? tiny wire brushes that I'm to poke between my teeth. So all's well again in Marko's mouth, but there are going to be some new toys to play with.

In other news, #1 Son and #2 Son had their last day of school today. Each brought flowers for their teachers and brought home their report cards. #1 Son says he's recovered from the shock of his rather intensive new school. We don't make a big deal about grades around here, but we're pretty proud of the way our lads handle themselves in general.

Finally got out for a beer or two (okay, two, just two-- honest!) with an old friend this week. We went out to see a beautiful exhibit of the drawings and paintings of Miroslav Šašek. His style seemed so familiar, although I know my family in the US never owned any of his books. Style of an era I suppose. Lovely anyway.

The beer was lovely too. And the cabbage soup was tasty. The goulash could have been better, but then, I'm spoiled for great goulashes in this family.

I spent some time last weekend making a new door for my kiln. I kept the old iron door and I'm adding a steel box on the inside of it that I've packed with 2" of ceramic fiber insulation. Sometime next week, before we head off to Poland I should be bolting it all together and lining the inside of the kiln with an inch of the same insulation. I'm hoping on using any leftovers to make a little raku kiln and fire a couple of bowls for extra wedding gifts.

I wonder what I'll manage to put together for a Friday diary next week...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Lemon wafer cookies tonight, folks. I think the lads have eaten all the rest.

    Not easy to keep teenagers sated. Occasionally one must resort to the cheap calories.

    This is an open thread.

  •  Recently found Polish ancestry in my (6+ / 0-)

    late great-uncle's line, but he was childless so it began and ended with him. He was the illegitimate son of a young Polish nobleman and his housemaid, my great-grandmother.
    That was on my father's side. On my mother's side, we recently found documentation that my great-grandparents had emigrated to Germany from Jordan. Now, my grandmother's maiden name was definitely Germanic, so it stands to reason my great-gramps wasn't Jordanian and was probably born in Germany. My great-grandma, however, could very well have been Jordanian, which could explain some rather Arabic facial features on some of my family members. We are waiting for further information.

    My son took me Wednesday night to see a Doobie Bros and Peter Frampton concert. Both bands were terrific. I've seen the Doobies headline a half dozen times. This time they opened for Frampton, who looks to be in excellent health and plays as good or even better than he did in the 70s. I'd forgotten how great his skills are.
    I'm not a huge Frampton fan, but I would see him live again. He's very impressive.

    Later this year, I'll be attending, with same son and a friend, Rattdog, Steely Dan and the Steve Winwood/Tom Petty tour. Great season for music!

    Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:52:32 PM PDT

    •  I was once contacted by a man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, carolanne

      with the same last name as mine who told me that his ancestors, with our slightly odd Germanic name, came from Hungary. From what I've gathered, they'd have been a branch of the clan that fled east in the mid 1800's while my branch fled west. Those Germans really got around. Although if I was nitpicking I'd say that those were all folks that were originally kicked out of Switzerland. Seems nobody was particularly tolerant of Mennonites back then... or so the rumor goes.

      Jordanian you say? That's pretty cool! My Algerian-Czech cousins-in-law are handsome devils.

      Sounds like some good concerts. I don't remember hearing the name "Rattdog" before. My ignorance is showing. May have to wander off tomorrow through the interwebs and investigate. I haven't had the funds lately for much entertainment that required buying a ticket. The gallery entrance fee was about 50 cents. Perfect. I'm trying to think what the last rock concert I attended was... I've seen a few good bands here. Hmmm, maybe David Bowie?

  •  Fuzzy Day (6+ / 0-)

    After a fairly sleepless night my brain felt like it was in the clouds all day. At least I got the next section of the cookbook up on line. I finished the Meats: Beef section and I do have a Goulash recipe there. Working on lamb now.

    I have a new Crafts section where I'll be selling the sock monkeys and scarves and any other crafty type things.

    My head feels like this today.

    Hidden Clouds photo HiddenClouds_zps6486fbdf.jpg

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:28:22 PM PDT

    •  There must be as many variations of goulash (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mopshell, The Marti, carolanne, michelewln

      as there are cooks who make it. Your recipe reminded me of my mother's old beef stew recipe although it has some very fundamental differences. I think your goulash is probably a lot more authentically Hungarian than the beef, celery, mushrooms, sour cream and noodles dish that my mother served under the same name.

      I'm heading off to bed myself in a bit. Been a pretty long day and I'm feeling my own fog rolling in, like a pressure between my eyes.

      •  Mom's Goulash (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        My Mom's idea of goulash was ground beef, red kidney beans, and tomato soup. There is a reason I am a self taught cook.

        When developing my Goulash recipe I did research into authentic Hungarian Goulash. I wanted to have a version that we could find the ingredients for here and still stay as true as possible to the real thing.

        "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

        by michelewln on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 06:34:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Car coolers (6+ / 0-)

    I doubt that you car is as cool as some of these, but I'll bet your cooler is.

  •  Best of luck on the job! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ooooh, Marko the Werelynx

    And thanks for the link to Miroslav Šašek's work. It looks familiar to me, too, but I'm sure I've never seen it. I like it very much. I especially like the This is London cover.

    I enjoy your glerpf :)

    •  Supposedly M. Sasek (0+ / 0-)

      was almost unknown here in his native country. Much of his work was published in other countries like the US around the time my parents were buying books for kids. We had Dr. Seuss, Tomi Ungerer, Leo Politi, and Ezra Jack Keats to name a few,  but we surprisingly missed out on names like Maurice Sendak and Miroslav Šašek.  

      My friend and I were amazed at the amount of meticulous detail in his paintings. The colors, reproduced and on the original works, are deep and gorgeous.

      Thanks for the good wishes, I'm hoping next week will bring some good news. It's an awkward time to be applying for jobs-- what with the kids now on their summer holidays and our family travel plans already set.

  •  Such a lot of news this week! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ooooh, Marko the Werelynx

    I wrote about Boehner's threat/promise (depending on who he's talking to) to sue the President

    John Boehner's Plan to Sue The President

    and have just received an email from the DCCC saying that Boehner may be moving it up a notch to impeachment - there's a story in the Washington Post about it apparently but I haven't read it yet.... oh just a min, I'll go find it so I can at least post a link.... just natter among yourselves, I won't be long....

    pant!! pant!! cough!! Okay, back again. Let's see now...

    It could be this one, it's the only one I can find that mentions impeachment.

    Then murphthesurf3 gave us this diary on polling results that say only 40% of Americans know which is the majority party in which chamber with 28% having no earthly idea! We could tell them the tea party is a breakaway group of English tea ladies and they'd be none the wiser. (◕‿◕)

    Rep Alan Grayson came by to drop off this gem and a bloody good read it is too.

    Then I saw the extraordinary news of Mark Mayfield's death - he was Vice Chair of the Mississippi Central tea party, the lawyer who was arrested in the Rose Cochran affair. it's being reported as suicide, poor man.

    Meanwhile, the tea party are going nuts. They're blaming the Madison police, the district attorney, Cochran's campaign and every establishment Republican in the state! More crucially, they're saying that the Republican party has split in Mississippi - so will we see a branch of the tea party finally going it alone? McDaniel is saying that he won't vote for Cochran which pundits say makes him ineligible now even if he could prove voter fraud (and he's trying hard) to such an extent that he could overturn the run-off result. it won't happen of course but he's still dreamin'.

    The next installment of Australiana 101 is due to be posted at 10am EDT tomorrow. There are two videos this week to amaze and delight you. I think we'll all be needing a bit of a chuckle by then. (◕‿◕)

    Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:41:04 PM PDT

    •  Sigh, Boehner... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Well, I guess I'm not worried about his threats. If there's one thing he has proved it's that he can't get anything done.

      One of these days I'll remind an old friend of mine about the prediction he made a couple of years ago that the Tea Party was a thing of the past. They just seem to be gaining momentum these days. Remember back when they were first making the news? How they'd scoff at claims that they were just a bunch of angry, old, white racists and drag their tokens out in front of the cameras...

      With the Republicans already off floundering in the deep end, with the Tea Party strapping on their ankle weights, I wonder if the Democrats aren't overdue to have a virulent, anti-oligarchy party of it's own kick everybody out of the pool. It may be time for a parliamentary style democracy in the US.

      •  "The guy is a walking own-goal." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        From a recent Salon article re Boehner:

        That’s been the story of the Boehner speakership. The failure of his “Plan B” tax bill on the eve of the fiscal cliff? An embarrassment for Boehner. The collapse of his debt proposal during last autumn’s budget crisis? An embarrassment for Boehner. The defeat of the farm bill last summer? An embarrassment for Boehner. Even his reelection as speaker was a humiliating affair, marked by rebellions and protest votes. House Republicans shut down the government on his watch. The guy is a walking own-goal.
        I love that last sentence by Simon Malloy - sums up Boehner nicely. (◕‿◕)

        I'm not sure about "a virulent, anti-oligarchy party"... at the moment I'd be happy with a couple of hundred Elizabeth Warrens, a few dozen Alan Graysons and a few more like Bernie Sanders.

        As for parliaments, they have their problems too. It isn't the system of government as much as it is the people in it - introduce a bunch of crazies, add an overdose of racism and a scarcity of IQ and they'd be sure to run amok in any democratic system.

        Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

        by Mopshell on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 06:46:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To quote Douglas Adams: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "People are a problem."

          The nice thing about parliamentary democracy is the elimination of the two party system that the US is busy proving doesn't work very well when one party digs in its heels. A parliament gives the smaller parties at least a realistic chance at a voice in government and thus helps to give us common folk some hope for actual change. Sure the racist twits get their voices heard too, but that's a good thing. In the last Czech parliamentary election our bumbling neo-nazis failed to gain enough votes for any seats-- so, in a reasonable society despite the current economic hardship that breeds extremism, things sometimes work out for the best. In the US system you still can't segregate the fringe elements. You can't just give them a seat in the corner and go on with getting the work done. The two parties, in their drive for every vote have to pander to those fringe elements and you get deformed monstrosities like today's Republican Party that can't seem to pander fast enough to their tea addled compatriots. Even today's Democrats are a few tints too purple for my tastes, but they've had to shift to the middle in an attempt to gather those elusive independent voters. In the parliamentary system you get less of the bizarre shifts in policy, parties come into being on a platform, and in a relatively young democracy like my adopted homeland you get parties being formed and parties being disbanded with every new election.

          I think it's a more vibrant system.

          It is however, quite heartening to see people like Warren making some noise and getting noticed.

          Maybe we should be looking into cloning...

          •  That's true - the parliamentary system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marko the Werelynx

            does encourage more diversity and makes room for the smaller parties and independents. But I'd recommend looking first at how their voting system works to make this happen. Perhaps fix this first then see how it effects the make-up of Congress before advocating a more sweeping change. I think think the changes might then come from within because of a more diverse Congressional Membership.

            Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

            by Mopshell on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 06:58:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Democracy, it always comes back to voting... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The smaller parties exist in the US. There's just a huge gap between whose voice is heard and the vast range of voices. In the "winner takes all" system you often end up with a majority of voters losing. I can see this as being a necessity in the Senate. There the idea is equal representation for each state. I don't particularly see the Senate itself as being necessary.

              But the House of Representatives might be much more representative if those elections were dragged out of those gerrymandered districts and based on the county lines or, perhaps even better, simply the whole state. Census says, Iowa has X population: X / Y = Z representatives. That wouldn't change in my quirky little fantasy. We'd just stop trying to carve those strange fractal art projects out of the landscape looking for Y voters with similar hairstyles.

              And then of course we'd have to allow for the votes to determine which parties will send which individuals to Washington DC to sit around and play Candy Crush.

              Say a state has a population that equals 10 seats in the House. A party getting 30% of the vote would get to send 3 of its members to represent their platform in Washington. It's simple and despite the removal of emphasis on districts people might realize that their ideas and values would have a greater chance of being heard. No more lost Green voices in Red neighborhoods. They're now part of a state wide Green voice. And if they reach that golden threshold percentage of votes their voice will be represented.

              I think it'd improve the general divisiveness in the US. How many people have made choices about where they live based on the political leanings of the location?

              It would require a fundamental change in the way elections are held in the US, but it is something that could begin at the state level.

              •  I think it's a very important comversation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Marko the Werelynx

                to have, particularly as so many voters are showing discontent with the present system.

                Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

                by Mopshell on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:33:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck on the job application, Marko. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marko the Werelynx

    It's been a weird week at Chez Ooooh, where it has been pretty quiet...except for the barking dog across the street.

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.--Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

    by Ooooh on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 06:04:34 PM PDT

    •  A quiet Saturday here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The loudest things are the clacking of these plastic keys and the rustle of Mrs. the Werelynx turning the pages in a P.D. James detective novel.

      You do seem to attract a fair amount of weirdness. How is the Chez? It's been awhile since I've heard an update on your home improvement schemes.

      We'll see how things go with the job application. Thanks for your kind wishes. I need something to change in my employment situation this year.

      •  The Chez is doing OK, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        The painting project is finished, the bushwhacking is not. There is still some finish work needed to cut the long arcing canes of forsythia on the two bushes I worked on so they don't reach the ground and take root again, that needs to be done sooner rather than later. A third Forsythia bush, which is not as bad as the other two were still needs to be thinned and cut back, but that will have to wait until fall. It is easier to see what needs to be done when there are no leaves on the bushes.

        And last week one of the huge lilac "trees" came down in a storm and is lying in my front yard. That was a sad day. It was a huge branch/trunk that ran almost laterally for about 15' with branches and blossoms at the end, very picturesque. But I suppose it just got too big on the end and the laws of physics were eventually bound to make it topple. :(

        Marko, I hope the perfect employment opportunity happens for you, whether it is the current one or something else. I hope you find something that is uniquely suited to your skill set, satisfies you and fills your wallet.

        There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.--Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

        by Ooooh on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 06:54:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  South GA. Still here. Bogged in heat, humidity. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marko the Werelynx, Ooooh

    Someone shot a hole in the water tower in our little water tower town. JB Weld would have fixed it.  But,  we need certified rod burners from Atlanta to repair the problem.
    Preasure was low but it wasn't Saturday night so there was no crises.

    Last week a meth lab blew up a couple blocks from our house.  Kids really need to stay in school at least through Kitchen chemistry. Come on, Breaking Bad was a T.V. program.  Someone always has to try it at home.

    Our Cardinal Climbers are doing really good. So are the Sunflowers. One patch of sunflowers did fall prey to some locust. I guess the hero's journey applies even to the poster plant for the happy face. It happens. Never-the-less, I did retaliate.

    First round of bird nesting/fledging is complete. Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Bluebirds, Downys, Carolina Chickadees and the Tit Mouse each and everyone brought their younguns  to the feeders.

    We spotted a rare bird too. A Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Confirmed by Cornell University no less. My sweet bride in stealth mode snapped his picture.  

    Well, that's the news from life below the gnat line.  Where all the pit bulls run free and rust is the favorite color.  


    •  Dishin' up a heaping plate of southern. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dixie Dawg, Ooooh

      Hiya Dawg,

      I'd like to learn how to do some proper welding. I had a tiny taste of it in school. I suppose a gob of chewing gum and some duct tape would also have taken care of the hole in the water tower. You've made me think of life in rural Wisconsin where no road sign was safe. We kept an old camper in a small field on a beautifully wooded 70-ish acres out where the hicks and ticks run wild. We stopped staying in it after someone decided they needed something the size of a bull elephant to shoot at. Look, kids, another hole in the wall...

      It was an amazing neighborhood. Our two closest neighbors each had interesting methods of waste disposal: one would just drop his garbage out of the side door to his house where it crept like an glacier down a steep embankment toward the main road, the other just stepped over the barbed wire at the far end of our property and dumped his junk in the creek-- which then flowed under the fence onto his property and provided drinking water for his livestock. I don't think I could have come up with a waste disposal plan like that.

      Our lil' ol' Czech chalupa was owned by a family that even managed to pile their manure right outside the only door into the main building. Literally tons of manure on their own doorstep.


      Y'know-- meth labs were something that perhaps started up well after I'd left the jolly old USA. They don't seem to have really caught on over here. These towering, prefab concrete, communist era apartment blocks would be a prime location. I suppose the ecstasy is just too easy to make.  

      Thanks for the latest birding news. I'm beginning to regret not having started a life list of what I've seen over the years. I quite like the name of that rare duck. And how fantastic that your stealth bride managed to get a picture! I have trouble getting decent pictures of the birds living in the houses I built in our garden.

      •  I've got you a Bear Creek shot up sign. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ooooh, Marko the Werelynx

        Soon as I figure out again how to post pics. I'm sure you will love it. I've got it uploaded to my images. Stalled out there.

        The sound of "Proper employer" made me dispeptic.

      •  No road sign is safe. Like this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        Birding is not for the faint of heart on Bear Creek Rd. South, GA.  

        •  A thing of beauty... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dixie Dawg

          Yep. That's what the signs around Richland Center looked like. The deer crossing signs were sometimes no more than a mangled scrap of metal with a few flecks of yellow paint still visible.

          I'm trying to figure out what the traces of blue paint on that sign were spelling out. "FoR"?

          Sorry about "proper employer", but y'see, I haven't been employed by anyone full time for over a decade. Most of that time I've been self-employed. I am not a proper employer. Would it help if I mentioned that when I hear the word "proper" all that I can think of is this.

          •  Note the innys and outys. Shooters go at it both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marko the Werelynx


            Re: Blue Paint  We had a MS13 faker. That tag was used and a few others were invented. The blue is probably the remains of some lame tag invention.

            As it turns out it was a local who wanted to hang a bad rap on some hard working folks from Mexico who where here. All it took was a long night at the bar. To much beer. His loud mouth and a $500 reward.

            His bar buddies rolled over on him the day after the reward went up. The tagging stopped.

            Excellent description of "proper."  A*** retentive also comes to mind.

            Please keep us posted on this version of the dating game. I've been told we now have six seconds to impress the H.R. person with our poop sheet or our stuff goes in the can.Such an optimistic time  

            Well, that does it for now from below the gnat line. Where pit bulls run free and the favorite color is rust. South GA.

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