Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Marvelous Doings' Awards (Nov. 2008)

"This is Marvelous in Our Eyes"

1. To the Russian Navy, which managed to get a squadron of their fleet all the way over into the Caribbean Ocean to rendezvous with whatever it is the Venezuelans have for a navy. None of the Russian boats sank on the way over, none of them blew up or leaked radioactivity. So far, none of them has run into anything! Congratulations!

2. To the unidentified 4 year-old boy in Detroit who pulled out his daddy's gun and shot him in the stomach with it while pops snoozed on the couch. The little boy's sister said she'd warned daddy of how dangerous it was to leave his gun loose like that. This is a man who has learned a lesson, and he's home-schooled. Congratulations!

3. To Plaxico Burress who successfully shot himself in the leg with an apparently illegal concealed firearm he was carrying. The man is worth millions in his uninjured physical condition, but nothing at all when crippled. He's never been known for his mental profundity, but he was careful to miss his gonads, thus insuring that his talented DNA will remain in the gene pool. Congratulations!

4. To Wal-Mart a cheap-shit company which promotes rampant consumerism and a hogwash patriotism, for losing only one employee during their post-Thanksgiving stampede, an unfortunate fellow who was trampled to death in their Long Island store on Friday morning. This is a very good crowd management record for this year. Congratulations!

Sunday Silly Sites

Here's something you never heard of before! CLICK

What time is it? Everything you could possibly want to know. CLICK

A little quiz. You have to do better than I did. CLICK

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wacko-of-the-Week, November 29, 2008

of Minnesota
Police Chief
Greg Hestness

He arrested, cited, and ejected from a football game, two celebratory Iowans who had come in peace to join in the festivities at Minnesota's Metrodome. Many people had gathered to cheer on and encourage the couple who were fornicating in the restroom. It was the best show in town, and the cops cut it short!

This brutal act of coitus interuptus was justified on the grounds that what they were doing was "indecent."

The real indecency was happening on the football field where Minnesota was screwing up even worse than the lovers on the toilet. The team lost 55-0 to the Iowans, but no one bothered to arrest any of them.

Where's the justice?

Friday, November 28, 2008

after the collapse

Thanks to Jim, for contributing these predictions for how our society will have changed in the wake of the financial and economic crisis we're now in. Jim has long had a much more interesting prescription for how ordinary people might live their lives better in a world of declining resources.

Some of these are themes BIRCHES has promoted as well. I agree with Jim that much of the means of production are likely to go much more local, and we're going to see more consumption of locally and family produced foods. Beyond that comment, I'll resist stepping on this contribution, and just set down his list to let people react to. (Please do)

In ten years ---
* common, non-rich people will not drive cars, at least not very often.

* more of us will be growing more of our own food. This will be a necessity, not a hobby.

* air-travel will be, for most of us, a thing of the past. When we take long trips, which will be rare, it will be on a train or a boat.

* In ten years, if not sooner, the idea of the stock market as a reliable source of wealth will be thoroughly debunked. The 25 years of hyper-growth we've recently witnessed will come to be seen as an anomaly rather than business-as-usual.

* barter will be a popular way to transact business. Cash, checks, and credit cards will not be as universally honored as they are now.

* with our manufacturing base all but dead and our ability to import hampered, we will enjoy a reuse/repair/recycle economy rather than a consumer economy.

* we will have to come to terms with mortality in the medical system. We won't be able to allocate limited resources to the prolonging of the lives of really sick people.

* the world will be a smaller place, and many of us will come to identify ourselves with our family, local community, or city more than we identify with a broader region or nationality. Sort of a post-modern tribalism.

* small, rural towns located along railroads or rivers will be re-populated. The family farm will experience a rebirth.

* the federal government will have lost control over parts of the country. State governments will be much smaller than they are now. Local governance will become the way we keep order and provide basic services.
- Jim Thill

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

one vision of tomorrow

I followed a link from Jim in Minneapolis (CLICK) to check out a writer whom I know Jim likes to read. I found this, although probably it should be added to the "contribute" article I posted yesterday. 

 "The current occupant of the White House, however, has sedulously prepared for his successor the biggest shit sandwich the world has ever seen, and there is naturally some concern that Mr. Obama might choke on it. The dilemma is essentially this: the consumer economy we all knew and loved has died. There will be pressure from nearly every quarter to keep it hooked up to the costly life support machines even though it is dead. A different economy is waiting to be born, but it is nothing like the one that has died."
Jim Kunstler


"I nominate him for worst hairpiece in the new administration !!!" (Dashmann) 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


You have considered this carefully, haven't you?

The largest banking institutions in the United States are going under, and most of the industry has already left here. What remains, like a few raggedy car companies, are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Do you think that life in the United States as we have loved it, will recover and go on like it was 20 years ago? Or even 5 years ago? Do you think we will all still be well off?

Then you're seriously deluded. When this economic crisis is over, the country will be very, very different.

Help me count the ways. Send an email or make a comment.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Friends Report, Part I, November 24, 2008

It is snowing enthusiastically in mid Michigan today and roads are slippery from Jackson to the Thumb. In winter, weather is always a topic around here, and some people think this looks lovely. They are the 'glass-half-full' people.

The other big topic of conversation, bigger even than Thanksgiving, maybe, is the economy and the prospect of saving ourselves from a GREAT DEPRESSION. Everyone is waiting for Obama and finding the long transition period to be horribly painful.

Because this is car country, the fate of the Big-3 is a topic of hearty conversation. Should companies as irresponsible as these have been, as treacherous to American society as these have been, be rescued by the same people they have been vigorously screwing all these years? The current answer around here is, "Yes. For now. But they should be on a very short leash." Truth is, we need what's left in this country of the car industry to support lots of families. It's the sort of self-centered attitude that G.M. would understand.

Known Thanksgiving Plans

GIGI and SPARTY - will have a large family gathering in Saginaw, requiring two turkeys and maybe a ton of spuds.

SKUZZA - reports that for the first time in 40 years, she doesn't have to cook the turkey. The kids are going to do it.

DASHMANN- doesn't care where he eats as long as no one makes him anything strange like cranberries, yams, or fruit salad.

AMY and IRISH MIKE - will be hosting family from Colorado and the kids will be home.

BUD and PAT - will be going to Grass Lake for a gathering of one half of the clan.

LINDA - is going to Port Austin for the feast.

BRENDA - is going to be with family in the Grand Rapids area.

Other things on people's minds

THE TRIVIA TEAM - was known last spring as "Seven Teachers and a Creature" --- and it placed second in the competition. This year, we came in first, scoring a 93! But we were renamed -- in honor of some recently discovered bones. We were the Copernicus's Stars. Our most valuable player was Sharleen! When she was sure, we didn't go against her.

SPARTY - had some exciting stories to tell about his journey to Washington with a pack of eighth graders. He took pictures of protesters hanging banners, and tried to forward them for printing here, but they're lost in the mists out there somewhere. He says that they kept counting the kids, afraid they'd lose some, but it always came out at 43.

ALICE - wants to know if you can guess how to keep lions out of your yard? Put up goal posts!

STEVE - has disappeared into the Montana wilderness with an elk hunting party and not been heard of since. No one is worried yet, and he's expected home on the weekend. These guys are talented wilderness wanderers.

MARSHA - the inveterate game player has moved on to the very hard Sudokus that require specialized knowledge and strategies to solve. She's out there in the ether somewhere, drifting around by herself, muttering numbers.

SCOT - recommends: " of the more devastating critiques you'll read of a music star. It's most effective because it's not immediately obvious that he loathes the star he has to review. He destroys with his stiletto, not a sledge hammer. Marvelous." We, also, thought it was very good writing. Give it a look: CLICK

PAM - forwards this site giving Garrison Keillor's reaction to the election of Obama (of which he approved): CLICK

GIGI - recommends this from Andy Borowitz. One funny slap at Bush and one approval of Obama who can speak in whole sentences. Is this a threat? :) CLICK

BILL from WNNCO - refers you to this very funny Scandinavian humor. Safe for everyone, by the way, nothing nasty. This might be akin to calling for help and reaching someone in India.

JERRY submits this question and answer, which is not based on personal experience, but he seems to have it nailed:
Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?

A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you are done you will have a place to live.

Monday Friends Report, Part II - Some pictures

FELIX - a picture sent by a hiking friend of the Appalachian Trail marker on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire last week. Felix has hiked it all, Maine to Georgia, but not in this weather. See more here: CLICK

Monday Friends Report, Part III - more pictures

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Loyal Opposition (#5) The Obama Anthem

When I find examples of the looney right depictions of Obama in the election's aftermath, I'll post them for you to make your own judgments.

If you're a conservative you'll applaud.
If you're a liberal, you'll either laugh hysterically, or shake your head in utter disbelief.


Sunday silly Sites

Here you see some interesting, strange, weird, unusual things discovered by serendipity, just wandering around the internet. If you have some to share, send them along.

See the biggest tree in all the Carolinas CLICK

Watch a green monster swallow most of America. CLICK

Go here to play with a spider. Fascinating. CLICK

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye Abraham Biggs


the Wolverines

How honored are we Michigan football fans!

This is one of the oldest and most storied football programs in all the world. Our very proud university has been playing the game continuously for longer than anyone: 130 years. For those who have followed it in recent generations, there have been so many successes that we can scarce remember them, and we choose to forget the bitter disappointments.

Our stadium is legendary, our helmets are unequalled, our band is famous, and our fight song is recognized in all the world. Our brave sons have gone on to fame and fortune. There have been so many famous highlights, so many tremendous victories, so many happy Saturdays. And, now we, the Wolverines, have lived to see another such historic moment.

This has been the worst season in Michigan football history, a season of superlative failures; probably it will never be equalled. This has been a year to tell the kids about. And, WE WERE THERE!

The Loyal Opposition (#4)

As I come across examples of anti-Obama or anti-Democrat or "far-out there" displays, I will bring them to you. You can be the judge of their credibility. Feel free to send in comments.

The President-elect as a Communist

Wacko-of-the-Week, November 22, 2008


The father, Richard Peters, shot his daughter Stormy, aged 6, to death with one of his handguns. There is nothing unusual in this. There is nothing unusual at all in any of the behavior of the man who (by his own account) blew away his kid. Like any good father, Richard was simply drinking in the presence of his children, "multiple double shots of vodka." There was nothing unusual about a gun owner, inebriated or not, 'cleaning' a loaded gun. They seem to do that regularly. There was nothing unusual about a gun owner having the gun around incompetent children. There was nothing unusual about letting kids handle guns.

These are things that the home-grown bang-bangers so often seem to claim rights to.

Peters reportedly told police all of his children handle guns, including his 3-year-old. He said the handgun that fired Sunday has a "hair trigger," and he thought his daughter could have been able to pull back the slide, loading a bullet into the chamber.

There isn't anything, so far as we know, that's unusual about a father suggesting that his child may have been the cause of her own death.

So, daddy behaved the way you'd expect a moron to behave.

But what about Mama? Where was she?

She was there in the home, living with a drinking man who owns multiple guns. Living with a man who leaves his guns around small children.

AND SO: Congratulations to you mom, whatever your name is: You have won this week's very competitive WACKO AWARD! If you decide to chuck out Richard when he gets out of prison, or if you decide to get rid of those guns while daddy is away, we would understand. But, don't do anything rash. Think it over for awhile.


Adam Ballingall, arrested in the parking lot of the Big Head Bar in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, for possession of illegal substances. This is how he came dressed. Convenient.

Friday, November 21, 2008

add to your day -- soothe the soul


Cheer up!
I hope you have read Letter from Felix below and will make a comment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

(more) Moving Pictures

Letter from Felix

Excerpt from an e-mail from FELIX, our friend in Indiana.  Note: Felix has never been, in my experience,  very "political."  But I always appreciate his observations on the world and the people he meets in it. (Bud)

"One thing that I do want to comment on is the night of the election. I've never seen/felt such an overwhelming 'sigh of relief' combined with a feeling of hope as was felt that night. Before Obama ever said a word, the country was in better 'shape' if based on nothing more than the feeling of hope. Then, he delivered an incredible speech that was easy to understand, said exactly what it needed to say and little more. And, he left the stage with the country, excepting a few of the staunchest Republicans and some gun-toting Redneck racists, with the first feeling of 'light at the end of the tunnel' that it's had in a long, long time. 

To me, one of the highlights, if not THE highlight of the entire thing, was seeing Jesse Jackson cry. For the first time I was able to look at him for what he should be. To me, he was closer to what he wants to be and what he wants people to think he is. "

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker (70)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mug Shot

Dalcapone Alpaccino Morris 

Indicted in Ohio for possession of crack cocaine. 
Sometimes the universe is just too symmetrical. 

Advice column

Dear Ann:
We saw an extremely rare, white deer in the woods behind our house. We've never known anyone who has seen such a thing before. It was like a magical occurrence, as if a supernatural force had sent it to us as an omen of something wonderful to come. All my family gathered on the back deck to watch it move so slowly and majestically through the trees in the woodlot.

"It's like a religious experience," my wife said, as she quivered in excitement. "As if God is saying things will be all right, after all."

So, Ann I wonder what is your best advice on how to keep this transcendental creature near to us, to inspire us?

Mike and Joe

Dear Fellas:
Shoot the sucker!

from the Loyal Opposition (#3)

A continuing presentation of the graphic thoughts of the Obama opposition.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Friends Report, November 17, 2008

Today, for the first time in ten days, sunshine has broken through to mid Michigan. The last sun we had seen was on Friday, Nov. 7. This is one of the great drawbacks of winter in this area. North and South of this middle swath, the sun shines more often, even on the town of Hell. PAT W and I went out for a walk yesterday and by about two blocks, we had become plastered with the heavy snow which was so wet it stuck to our coats and made a frozen mat. She said, "Isn't it beautiful?" and I reluctantly agreed, although none of this will look so beautiful in about 6 weeks or so. There never was a winter in this county that didn't rapidly wear out its welcome.

What some friends are up to

DASHMANN and SKUZZA - went with BUD and PAT - to see a play, To Kill a Mockingbird . Some liked it better than others, but everyone agreed it was well worth the going.

SPARTY - Did God's work by escorting/chaperoning a whole lot of eighth graders on a class trip to Washington D.C. He has returned alive and unharmed.

The GENDERS - her mother has died. The condolences of all of us under BIrches, is extended.

PAM - had a recent birthday. It was kept secret from us. But we take belated joy for her.

GIGI - reports that Ramseys -- whom many of you know -- have sold their home, finally, and can now move westward.

MARI - collected together her birthday money and went off to the casino with her best friend to see if she can multiply it. No word, yet.

I was listening to the only thing 'NPR'-like I could pick up on my iRiver while mowing. It was
something I believe is called either Democracy Now or Democracy Radio. The woman told a story of voting in '06. She says 'as I'm rushing into the office after voting I meet some man, I'll call him Mike, leaving the building. I say "Did you vote, yet?" Mike says that he can't vote because he has a record. I said that I thought he could vote even if he had a record. So, in order to find out, I wrote a column about the voting rights of convicted felons. Come to find out, Mike could, in fact vote." ... So, the woman introduces us to an exuberant Mike who had just voted.

They talked about how he'd always been told by family and friends that he couldn't vote because of his record. He said that he knew lots of others in his situation who also believed they couldn't vote. (Mike was an African-American man who sounded like a very nice guy. Not overly-smart. But, a guy you are pulling for. ) So, the woman was feeling all proud of herself. "Look at this great thing I've helped to do" sort of pride busting through the airwaves. So, she wanted to milk this
feel-good-story-of-the-year just a little more. "How did you feel after you voted?" she asked. Mike says "I just think that anyone who votes for John McCain is mentally retarded."

DEB VAN - will be off to the National Athletic Director's Conference in sunny San Diego. "Not a bad place for a December conference," she says. Happy traveling.

STEVE - has gone on an elk hunting expedition to Montana with good friends. It is hosted by one of his friends who is a hunting guide there.

SPARTY - forwards an article that suggests that the Regan Democrats who have handed the White House to several Republican presidents, are now a thing of the past. CLICK

He also recommends an article by Nobel Prize winning econommist Paul Krugman that Barack Obama may prove to be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Franklin Delano Obama?) if he is bold enough in pushing short range plans for reforming the economy. CLICK

What some friends are smiling at:

A retirees Report, according to JERRY:

My wife said, "Whatcha doin today?"
I said, "Nothing."
She said, "You did that yesterday."
I said, "I wasn't finished."

From GIGI:

from the Loyal Opposition (#2)

As I learn of particularly graphic examples of anti-Obama or anti-Democrat or "far-out there" displays, I will bring them to you. You can judge their credibility. Feel free to send in comments.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a further comment on recycling ....

Concerning Margaret's contribution about recycling and whose responsibility it ought to be: (printed below for last Friday)

A couple of people have written comments, which I appreciate. I don't mind constructive anonymous comments. They're more than welcome. But when you have something to contribute and I know you, it's always nice if you're not anonymous.

As I see it, there is need to expand the recycling effort by our communities even though I sympathize with what Margaret is getting at. Even in Michigan, where we have a good bottle/can recycling program (not great, though) and the beverage companies are required to take back their containers, the burden for recycling belongs to the consumer, as well as some of the cost. And, there is still lots of stuff consumers use which can't realistically be recovered by the manufacturer unless the consumer delivers it back to them in some way.

And there's the question of who should pay. Who should bear the cost of recycling? If it were the manufacturers paying the costs, presumably, they would find ways to reduce the amount and type of junk they're heaving (especially through packaging) into the chain of commerce.

Further comments welcome.

Sunday silly Sites

Seven foods that can make you high. CLICK

U.S. Gift Shop items. Really funky! CLICK

Watch a robot play a flute. (You don't have anything better to do, do you?) YouTube CLICK

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wacko-of-the-Week, November 15, 2008

America's Heavily Armed Subculture

In the past week, a lot has been made in the press, especially on FOX, that gun sales have suddenly climbed since Obama was elected. We are urged to assume that the man's election has stimulated a fear that: (a) He will become a dictator, (b) or he will somehow end gun sales, (c) or he is so scary folks need more security.

But, note this:
"This year's uptick in buyers must reflect some new gun owners, but if past surveys are a good guide, surely most of these buyers are repeat buyers. This means that the well-armed are probably getting better-armed—a point none of the recent news stories makes."

Yes, "my friends" (as McCain was fond of saying to his gun-inspired priapists, those many wacky bulletheads who feel ever more comfortable the more they surround themselves with killing devices) you may be fewer, but you are certainly better armed; God bless you all.

This is not for all of us firearm owners, of course, but for those who ran out and spent the kids' college funds for more "protection": hearty Congratulations on this high award!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Environment - Recycling. Margaret recommends

"In honor of 'America Recycles Day'-- [November 15]-- this article talks about the origins of the recycling movement and it's accompanying propaganda, as well as the limits of recycling as a waste disposal solution. Lots of cool graphs and charts. For example, did you know that just across the lake in Ontario, 88% of beer is sold in refillable bottles? Compared to 3% here in the States. Shocked and amazed? Me too. The author suggests replacing reduce, reuse, recycle with reduce, reuse, repair. Although once you've crushed that beer can against your forehead, it's not good for much."- Margaret

Lets call recycling what it is- a fraud, a sham, a scam perpetrated by big business on the citizens and municipalities of America. Look who sponsors the National Recycling Coalition: behind America Recycles Day: Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Anheuser-Busch, Coors, Owens-Illinois, International Bottled Water Association, the same people who brought you that other fraud, Keep America Beautiful.

Recycling is simply the transfer of producer responsibility for what they produce to the taxpayer who has to pick it up and take it away.

YOUR REACTIONS are welcome.

"hang him by the ..."

I saw this story on "Alternate Brain" and decided to follow it to see how lergitimate it is. Well, it is from a very reputable source: TimesOnline[London].

Take delight, children, it's wonderful:
Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged “by the balls” — a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Élysée Palace.

The Russian Prime Minister had revealed his plans for disposing of Mr Saakashvili when Mr Sarkozy was in Moscow in August to broker a ceasefire in Georgia.

Jean-David Levitte, Mr Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, reported the exchange in a news magazine before an EU-Russia summit today. The meeting will be chaired by the French leader and President Medvedev.

With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu,{French for "you"} tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”


P.S.- Saakashvili, president of Georgia, is still alive.

"Center-Right" -- the new lipstick.

Center-right is the new lipstick on the same pig. What we need is to put it on something new.
Essay by Bud

For years, we've heard the term "compassionate conservative" to describe what the Republican Party wanted to pretend it was doing.  

If the Party were really compassionate and conservative, it would not have run up the debt it has. It would not have favored those who are already favored.  It would not have followed policies which would crash the economy. 

Now, the Party which claimed to be "compassionate conservative" is saying it is "center-right." The term is on every Republican lip now, right next to the lipstick.  This is an attempt to associate all the miserable results it presided over as being the fault of someone else -- George Bush -- you know, someone who strayed, someone who goofed, someone who is not really a Republican after all. 

So, they are going to stop using the pitch of "conservative," and try "center right."

I could preach for hours about the terms "left," "right,"  and "center." I have put many students to sleep doing it. So I'll just assume the typical reader understands what the terms are supposed to mean. 

"Center-right" is the lipstick on the pig. It is a cosmetic term that will mean nothing unless the Republicans become more patriotic instead war-mongering, unless they include more people instead of trying to change everybody to suit themselves, unless they promote more sensible domestic ideas than Guns, (some-kind-a) God, and greed.

You can change the language all you like, but when you stand for what the Republicans have been standing for, and when you put forth candidates such as the Republican Party has been putting forth, and when you produce results as disastrous as the Republican Party has been producing lately, then you are not "center-right."  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Early Voters line up at polls in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Here's a picture I borrow from the Associated Press.  It just seemed to me destined to become a classic. 

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker (69)

"... with a ticket to my destination ... "

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recommended: Armistice picture gallery

ARMISTICE DAY was what they called
November 11
after the end of World War I. Now, in America, it's called Veteran's Day.

For a brief and fascinating experience, a slideshow, go here to see what brought this holiday into being in Britain. CLICK

HEROES: Sam Juniper and Mark Underwood

After 5 years, W.Va. man wins court fight with health insurer over $40 medical bill
By Associated Press
November 12, 2008

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (AP) _ A $40 medical bill might seem small but a West Virginia man says his five-year battle over paying it was a matter of principle.

Sam Juniper says his health benefits weren't supposed to change after he retired in 2000 from M&G Polymers. But he received a $40 bill in 2002 after the company's new provider, Aetna Insurance, refused to cover the cost of some blood work.

He challenged that in Mason County court in 2003 and won every decision all the way to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. The appeals court ruled in his favor on Oct. 10.

Lawyer Mark Underwood handled Juniper's case for free and says small bills like this add up over time. Juniper says he is still waiting for his $40 refund check, which he plans to frame and hang on his wall.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday Friends Report, November 10, 2008

To say that most readers of BIRCHES were happy about Obama's election, is probably a gross understatement. For one thing, most of us live in Michigan where the Palin-McCain campaign chose to not come. And, we're in the worst economic crisis of any state in the country.

The COFFEE CLUB met at Red Eye in an emergency meeting to gloat about the election results and discuss it in the ground.

Winter has arrived here in mid-Michigan.

BRENDA and STEVE - have moved into their house in the woods. Waking up to hear the birds and the breeze instead of the sounds of the city -traffic and commotion - is a welcome change, we've been told. They got lots of help in their move from family and from SUE, who came and worked hard all day.

Some moving pictures will be posted here on BIRCHES, soon.

FELIX - sent mail discussing vandalism in a local cemetery:
There's a little graveyard less than a mile from here. There are about a hundred bodies buried there. Some were buried in the early 1800's. Some, three, were close relatives of mine. I'll be buried with them some day. You can imagine the sadness, disappointment, can pick the emotion...I experienced the other day when my uncle and I discovered that somebody found it would be fun to knock over about 50 of the tombstones, including that of my grandfather. The salt in the wound was applied when I went back a few days later only to find another 10 or 12 knocked down. The one that really hurt me, deep inside, though, was the beautiful, little, marble marker, about 18" tall, that was pulled from the ground and smashed over another stone. The name can't be made out. But, the year of death was 1829. And, nearly 200 years later, somebody felt the need to spend one second and smash it all away.

PAM - hostessed an election watching party at her house last Tuesday, and it was an enormous success. After the results were known, guests formed a circle and prayed for Obama. She notes that the celebration in Kenya of this election result is like that held in Ireland when Kennedy was elected.

MARI - from RED EYE, one of the wonderful smiley people of the world, is turning 22 on Wednesday.

IRISH MIKE and SPARTY - and others- this is for you!

BILL from WNNCO - says he giving up watching MSNBC - too radical - and maybe less of Fox News as well. He wants less "out there" talk and more news you can use,as on CNBC.

DASHMANN - forwarded a note he got from a friend who was in Florida at election time. This is pretty shocking in theis day and age, but here is the excerpt:

We are in Cocoa Beach this week staying at one of the timeshares that we were unable to rent. One of the things that Margaret and I like to do is walk through neighborhoods where are close to.

We were walking through a middle class neighborhood when we heard a woman yelling at her 30 year old white son/husband about something while he was in the driveway. As we walked by him he looked at us and did not say anything. We were about two houses past him when he yelled, "A nigger for president?" We kept walking as we were not sure he was talking to us, then he went inside and the woman came out and yelled, "no nigger for president". Being a 58 and 56 year old white man and woman, we were confused. But then Margaret figured it out. The dimwit thought my Cleveland Indian hat was an Obama hat. I guess the red and blue hat with a circular Indian image must have confused him. Yikes!

Please pray that no matter what happens tomorrow, we can get over the type of racial hatred that we experienced today and that obviously still exists in our country.

SKUZZA and DASHMANN - are home from a trip to Indiana.

GIGI - sends a warning about the UPS delivery virus (also, sometimes FedEx) that tries to get you to respond to an e-mail claiming they were unable to deliver to your house. These companies do not send emails like this! You should never respond, and if you have any questions about any delivery, call the company!

MARSHA - is reveling in the success of South Carolina's football team which is definitely headed for a bowl this year. She also brags about celebrities who have shown up at the stadium -- like Michael Phelps, who is, ahem, more noted for his affiliation with Michigan. :) Marsha says she found the Obama speech on election night very moving, and that she had tears.

SCOT and TRASE - and others - this is for you!

PAT W - is working on a tile project for the new kitchen. Got watery-eyed about the Obama win. She never thought an election would mean this much to her.

STEVE - the great hunter has bow-and-arrowed a deer again this year. Why, the head is still lying in the back yard looking really spooky.

Other things:


"Sarah Palin's oratory has gifted the English language with a new
word: Palindrone. It is a noun defined as a seemingly interminable,
practically insufferable, desultory,ideological philippic laboriously
memorized and regurgitated with revolting perkiness that haphazardly
strings together a mixed-up, grammatically confusing jumble of words,
near-words, thoughts, near-thoughts, and incomplete thoughts that when
recited backward vainly spouts the same tried and tired platitudes as
when read forward: nothing."

BILL from WNNCO - sent this parody of the Wizard of Id:


JERRY = if you grew up in the 50's or 60's or even later, you should go look at this. Really, it's wonderful:

The Loyal Opposition (#1)

In the future, as I run across particularly graphic examples of anti-Obama or anti-Democrat displays, I will bring them to you. You can judge their credibility. Feel free to send in comments. 

Clicking on pictures usually enlarges them.

NOTE: The term "Moonbat" is a common term being used by conservatives against liberals, and since the election, especially, Obama.