Saturday, August 31, 2013

UPDATED (I'm not the only one): Prep Like Your Life Depends On It

because it may.

I have fallen asleep while some academics were talking, and I felt bad about falling asleep. But there wasn't anything at stake. Linguistics. Whatever.

Look at these people's postures. These are not folks who are engaged. Look at Susan Rice. She's bored to f&*^&ng tears. Who is that guy next to her in the red shirt?

Joe and John seem the most engaged. 

Oh. Look. There's Eric.

Prep like your life depends on it. Because it may.

UPDATE. This has all the makings of a nightmare in the making.

And now, back to the weekend! Enjoy! 

Big Food

Recipes to follow.

Happy Birthday!

Today is Missy's 2nd birthday.
That's Missy on her first birthday. We have no special plans for today. :-(

Friday, August 30, 2013


Beautiful clothes!
Girlhood's fresh beauty knows no glory like a a dashing dress that heightens the bloom on glowing cheeks and sets new stars in sparkling eyes. Nothing stirs a lover's heart like the one woman gowned with that artistry wherein every line and every tone bespeaks her own intimate and individual charm. And wise wives and mothers know the happy secret that fresh and pretty clothes hold back the years and inspire anew admiring, warm affections.
See? This is how a young woman should dress.
That is all I have to say about the vulgar young woman whose picture has been splashed all over the World Wide Web this week.

From Woman's Institute Library of Dressmaking: Harmony in Dress, Mary Brooks Picken, The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, Scranton, Pa., 1928.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

At This Point, What Do A Hundred Or More Years Matter?

Continuing the conversation about King's speech and Civil Rights, Mr Big Food Senior. says,
My favorite analysis of the American civil rights movement says it started in 1783 when Massachusetts passed a law that banned slavery between its borders...I can’t find anything earlier than that...but...that wouldn’t be news, would it?...Love from Texas,
Well, that would be earlier than both 1963* and 1857 (Dred Scott-- this is what happens when you "compromise").

And I beg to differ, but for most of the populous, hearing that there was Life on Earth in before Facebook would be news.

Anyway-- I came across something interesting from 1883. Five cases that went before SCOTUS regarding the 14th. According to my crappy old book [1], the rulings "ended Federal attempts to protect the Negro against discrimination by private individuals." I want to read more. 

I want to understand how this relates to the Second Amendment. 

Here's what I mean. If it is now no longer permissible for private individuals to discriminate based on the 14th, why is it permissible for them to discriminate based on the 2nd?

How does "No Blacks" differ from "No Armed?"

See. This is what happens when you allow commoners-- and women at that!-- to learn to read. 

* In an email to MBF Sr., I'd mocked a Fox News Reporter who said the Civil Rights Movement began in 1963.

[1] Encyclopedia of American History Updated and Revised. Richard B. Morris, ed. Harper & Row, Publishers, New York. 1965.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

George Raveling

Mr Big Food's Dad emailed me this afternoon. He'd read the previous post on the Smithsonian's re-write of King's Dream speech. Mr. Big Food's Dad says,
You can see the original speech by googling George Raveling...He has the original document MLK gave him at the conclusion of the speech 50 years ago...He was one of MLK’s security guards on the podium that day...He later became a major college basketball coach...Spent quite a few years at USC...
What I found by doing as Mr. Big Food's Dad suggested.
Read what Raveling says. What I surmise is this. Every good speaker has something more than notes-- he has an outline, some words, some turns of phrase he writes to help commit to memory. Remember, King was a Preacher. He begins with his prepared remarks and then as Raveling says, goes with the flow. 
“And as he began delivering the prepared text he saw that he was really capturing the crowd. That’s when Mahalia Jackson began egging him on. If you listen carefully to the speech you can her a woman’s voice in the back saying, ‘Please Martin tell them about the Dream.’ She was saying it constantly. It was like going to church on Sunday at a black church and people are making little remarks. From that point on he didn’t read the speech, he only used it as a guidepost.”
The document at the Archives is the speech that King copyrighted in 1963. (It says so at the top.) It's King's own cleaned up version of what he said. That's how people who give speeches do things. They have an outline. They talk. And then they go fill in the blanks so if you weren't actually there, you'll get the message.

The SI version of King's speech is a complete aberration.

Mr. Big Food's Dad says, "Too bad so many things get changed by revisionist historians."


Re-writing History.

This, Dear Friends, is why one does not rely solely on the World Wide Web for factual information. This is why one has books. 

I thought today would be a fine day to do a little reading at lunchtime and as I take some breaks from the ever-so-satisfying task of cleaning the workshop. And so I searched for "MLK I have a Dream." One of the top hits was from I didn't stop to ask what university "SI" is, but I did give some credence to the .edu extension. Here's the content of King's speech at SI.

I had seen reference to and read portions of King's speech earlier this week. I did not read those portions at I checked another site-- and downloaded the pdf. Sure enough, those missing portions were there. But just to be on the safe side, I checked a crappy old book, too. (A Documentary History of the United States, Seventh Edition. Richard D. Herrner. 2002.) And what do you know? Those portions were there, too.

SI has done some re-writing.

"It would be fatal for the nation ... ."
 The version on the right is the typewritten version held by the US Archieves which is word-for-word the text of the speech in the book. Comparing the two versions side by side we do not see word-for-word agreement. First, the word "Negro" appears nowhere in the SI version. Next, read the sentences beginning, "It wold be fatal" (the two are approximately across from one another). There are words added in the SI transcript. 

"... bright days of Justice emerge."

It's bright days-- plural on the right, and singluar on the left.

But that's not the worst of it. 

Re-writing history, three paragraphs at a time.
This isn't tinkering with style-- singular for plural. This isn't color-washed editing-- omitting "Negro." This is re-writing history.

And there's more!

"... unearned suffering is redemptive."
That sentence has been edited out in the SI version. 

Look also at the editing and re-phrasing leading up to "... I still have a dream."

Most interestingly, though, is the substitution of modern for Northern. 
Go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern modern cities,
I must say, all of this really bothered me. Read the whole, real, speech. It's good. Who the hell at what .edu university thinks he/she can take the liberty to re-write King's speech? is the Smithonian Institute:
Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution's HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things. This experimental site introduces visitors to some of the three million objects held by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. 

With less than five percent of our vast and diverse collection on public display in our exhibit halls, we hope that Web sites like this will bring many more of our treasures into public view. The initial 450 objects, selected by curators from across the Museum, include famous, unusual, and everyday items with interesting stories to tell. They are not intended to be representative of the Museum's entire collection.

Design and navigation for HistoryWired were generously provided by using its Map of the Market technology.


HistoryWired can be likened to a private tour through the Museum storage areas. Visitors select the objects that interest them; curators explain the items' significance. Like an actual tour at the Museum, information is presented conversationally and is backed by the impeccable scholarship of Smithsonian curators. And, like a real museum experience, visitors can share with others their enthusiasm (or lack thereof) about what they see and learn.
And there you have it. The impeccable scholars work hard to re-write history so you don't have to.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This Week 8/25-31: Philosophers Rule!

Philosopher Confucius born 552 B.C. 

Saint Saint Augustine born A.D. 354; "Christian thinker"

Philosopher and inspiration to America's Founding Fathers John Locke born 1632

Chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier born 1743; father of "modern" chemistry

Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe born 1749; "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hagel born 1770; Continental philosopher.

American writer and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes born 1809; a "Fireside Poet"

Physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz born 1821; a very busy German

Author Count Lyof Nikolaievitch Tolstoi (Tolstoy) born 1828; "All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

And in other news of this week from bygone years, in 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment was proclaimed in effect.
Article XIX

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Here a couple of tidbits regarding suffrage. 

Women in Wyoming were enfranchised in 1869. Also before the amendment, in Colorado (1893), Utah and Idaho (1896), and Washington (1910).  

The first women to serve in Congress was Miss Jeannette Rankin  from Montana. She was elected to the House in 1916. 

It took nearly forty years to pass this amendment. It was first proposed by a Senator from California, at Susan B. Anthony's request, in 1878.


Robert I. Fitzhenry, ed. The Harper Book of Quotations 3rd Edition. Harper Perennial. 1993. 

Mary Emogene Hazeltine. Anniversaries and Holidays: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe Them. American Library Association, Chicago. 1928.

Mary E. Hazeltine. Judith K. Sollenberger, ed. Anniversaries and Holidays: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe Them Second Edition, Completely Revised. American Library Association, Chicago. 1965.

Thomas James Norton. The Constitution of the United States: Its Sources and Its Application. The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York. 1943.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

"War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again."

I hear, via the World Wide Web, that there's a #waronboys out there in parts of the "civilized" world. Seems boys who will be boys are no longer welcome in the "civilized" world.

That's too bad.

To love hikes and camps and horses and dogs... .

Here's the real #waronboys:

Recipe: Oniony Steak and Potatoes

Sunday Supper
This was a perfect dish for supper after a productive weekend. 


1 lb round steak
1 Tbsp oil
2 ½ C water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
4 medium potatoes, sliced
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
14 ½ oz whole green beans (drained if canned, thawed if frozen)
2 Tbsp flour combined with ½ C water

In a large deep skillet, brown steak in hot oil. Stir in water, soup mix, salt, pepper, and potatoes, heat to boiling, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green beans, cover, and cook 10 minutes longer. Remove meat and vegetables to a platter, and keep warm. Stir water-flour mixture into hot liquid in skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables, and serve.

Recipe: Okra Coo-Coo

I know what you're thinking.
I admit, it doesn't look like much. But in fact, it was really quite good-- and very different for an okra dish! So if you don't like okra, give this a try.

“An unusual cooked okra side dish that comes from Barbados. It is served mainly with fried or steamed flying fish for which the island is noted. The Bajans use a coo-coo stick to remove the lumps from the cornmeal, but my wooden kitchen spoon proved very satisfactory. Coo-coo can be made with breadfruit or with canned tomatoes.”—Winifred Green Cheney, The Southern Hospitality Cookbook (1976)


Makes 4 servings

6 tender okra pods, washed and sliced
1 ½ C water
1 tsp salt
½ C dry white cornmeal
2 Tbsp butter
½ tsp Tabasco

Bring water to a boil, add salt and okra, and cook about 15 minutes or until tender. “A fork should go in easily.” Drain okra in colander and reserve cooking liquid. Return okra to saucepan with 4 Tbsp cooking liquid, stir in cornmeal with coo-coo stick or wooden kitchen spoon, pressing against sides of saucepan to remove any lumps, gradually remaining reserved cooking liquid, butter, and Tabasco, and cook until mixture is thick and smooth.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Farm Came with a Two Car Garage

I have been looking forward to this day for almost four years.

Two cars in the two car garage!
There's still work to be done, as you can see. But Today is a Mile-Marker. There are two cars in the two-car garage!

You should see the trash pile!

I still have to sort through Daughter C's third grade writings in one box, ask her if she cares to preserve her undergrad writing in another, and burn some bank statements from 1987. And I have to clean up Meredith-- a 50 year old crappy doll that deserves a better place.

Still. I'm feeling right proud of myself. There are two cars in the two car garage.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Readers, Read This.

Alt. Title: Idiots, Imbeciles, and Morons.

I must say, other than a brief review of the facts, and stumbling across some common business procedures, I've been doing a spectacular job of not paying attention to "Common Core"-- the system by which Federal Government Initiatives guarantee future generations will star in Idiocracry.
During the prologue, a narrator explains the story's premise: while science fiction often imagines future civilizations being peaceful, prosperous and technologically advanced, in actuality, the 21st Century seemed to be tacking [sic] directly opposite. Natural selection is indifferent toward intelligence when there are no threats such as wars or predators that put the stupid at a disadvantage. As a result, stupid people, who have sex whenever they want, will outbreed the intelligent, who limit their sex due to foresight of having to take responsibility for the forthcoming babies.
Fun movie.

I'm stupidly working to get things in order for forthcoming changes here at the Farm. This involved moving some crappy old books, and rearranging some crappy old Readers. Readers, as you may recall, are books kids read in school in the crappy olden days. Those Readers sure did sidetrack me.

For example,

here is Johnson's 4th Reader. 1897.

Click to enlarge & read.

Oh my goodness! Did you read that? Fourth graders who are "deeply interested" in Greek mythology? Kids who never go beyond fifth grade are exposed to the classics? 

Statue of Diana. No. Not that Diana.
 And get this:
... the chief ends of a reading lesson-- the development of a taste for good literature, and the enlargement of the vocabulary...
Mind you, this is just the Preface. Wait until you see some of the crappy old stuff the poor little 4th graders had to read in this Reader.

A poem about Maidenhood
Maidenhood!? What does that word even mean?
Maiden, with the meek brown eyes,
In whose orbs a shadow lies
Like the dusk in evening skies.

Thou, whose locks outshine the sun,
Golden tresses, wreathed in one,
As the braided streamlets run!
Good Lord! It just goes on and on. Who in the Modern World thinks a kid has any interest in reading this long-winded Longfellow fellow? To ask nothing of Bryon, Tennyson, and John Greenleaf Whittier?

And then there's the Pro-Country Pro-God Prose. Good Lord! I ask you, in this day & age, who cares about Washington's Rules of Conduct?
Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Undertake not what you cannot preform, but be careful to keep your promise.

Be not tedious in discourse.

Let your recreations be manful, not sinful.

Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation. 
When you speak of God or His attributes,  let it be seriously, in Reverence.
Seriously? A 4th grader is supposed to worry about his reputation? Discover he has a conscience? Learn to keep promises? Be succinct? Manful? And to learn to not say, "F*&^ing Jesus Christ" every time the lights go out?

Each evening, as I lay my little head down to sleep with a bag of peanuts at my feet I thank the Good Lord Almighty on High that this nonsense has been dispensed with. 

4th graders need to read:
a variety of genres including poetry and fantasy, first and third person narratives, and traditional stories from different cultures. .
Including (forgot the link when posting, sorry 'bout that)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Second Annual 'Feed the Starving Artists and Admire Their Work' Cookout

This year, as last, Daughter C invited Mr. Big Food to grill some dogs & burgers for the cookout following the Department of Art's Convocation. I hear tell Convocation-- the calling together-- went well. This year the TARDIS was featured on stage. (Photo of the TARDIS in the spotlight as soon as Daughter C forwards it to me.)

This was Miss M's first Starving Artist Cookout, and in fact, the first cookout in which she's ever been involved.*
Daughter C works the 'room' at work.
Thirty-six bratwurst, forty-eight hot dogs, and something like sixty hamburgers later, Daughter C gave Miss M and I a guided tour of the 3-D facilities.

I should note that the starving artists have cleaned up the joint-- much to my disappointment. I sort of liked the discarded art in the corners of the joint. But there was still a lot of cool artsy stuff to see.

I had stumbled upon this chair recently. It's designer is famous, don't you know? (He helped get the hot coals out of the grill so we could tote the grill back to the Farm.)
Original originals.
Also known as the Real Thing.
Cool office
Touring down the hallway...

Book Art: I have mixed feelings.
Students Showcased
And my favorites...

Students Shelved
They are as starving English Majors' essays read aloud to those who walk the hall.


What a lovely tour.

But the gig was up at the end. Clearly, just as all you need to be a writer is a typewriter and some words, all you need to be to be an artist is some stuff,

And a weigh (haha) to get the proportions right.
What a great tour.

Thank you, C!

Never a Dull Moment | UPDATE It's on the move

We are not going to name it.

We are not going to call the vet.

We are not going to bottle feed it.   

We are not going to keep it for a pet.


Taken through the bathroom window.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Here's a question for ya.

If the TARDIS is a time machine, why am I carting it around rural Mississippi?

"... common business procedures with which every one should be familiar... ."

From the Preface to Junior Business Training by Frederick G. Nichols (American Book Company, New York, 1923) a text book for "boys and girls in junior high schools." The book has two parts, the first aimed at every one, "regardless of his vocational aim."

Page 16: Cash Account.
The task, as illustrated above, was to keep a detailed record of your family's household spending for one month. [Chick to enlarge. $3.50 on the telephone bill!]

What a crappy old idea! Familiarizing kids-- in junior high, no less!-- with how to manage money! What good is that going to do them in the real world? Good grief. Fortunately we as a society are well over that  crappy old notion. We now know what kids in junior high really need to learn to become productive members of society.
In Grade 8, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
 I don't know about you, but I use bivariate linear equations every day. 

         ∑ xy
r =  ----------
               2     2
      √ ∑x   ∑y

See? I just used one! Pearson's correlation coefficient.

[Just to be clear, note that in the denominator, it's the square root of the sum of all x's squared times the sum of all y's squared. That was the best square root symbol I could find.]

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Overgrown Pasture Revisited

Same tree after a little bush hogging
Note the web

I feel sorry for City Mice Dogs. I know they have their Dog Parks and such, but it just doesn't seem to me that they have the opportunities to express themselves as Dogs-- and I'm here using the word "express" as in gene expression-- as do Country Dogs. (Except, of course, if they happen to live in Detroit, in which case they have plenty of opportunity to express themselves as dogs.)

Big Life!