Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now, I'm going swimming!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Change I could believe in

President Obama has refused to endorse for election, a Democratic candidate for Rhode Island governor who is much more conservative than the Independent candidate.

Well, bully for him! The only problem is, he refuses to endorse the independent, as well. This is spineless.

The Democrat, Frank Caprio has told Obama to "take his endorsement and shove it."

If the liberals in this country, Democrat or otherwise, had any leadership as bold and certain as Caprio, we wouldn't be in the mess we are, I think. Millions of people out there want the country to solve the problems of the nation in a less belligerent, plutocratic, and self-centered manner than Republicans offer, but not in the helter-skelter, aimless, pettifogging way that the Democratic Party has offered recently.

We need leadership on the left! Haven't had any effective leadership in years. Where's our hero riding to the rescue?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Good Bye Polly

We note the passing of Polly, the cat that ruled the home of the Dashmanns. She died yesterday, still a sweet and lovely young lady who managed to survive 17 years on only one kidney.

It's Caturday

This cat owns
And offers herself
as a towel

Thursday, October 21, 2010


IRISH MIKE, shown here, was talking this morning about the "greening" of the country in recent years. He is, himself, very much of a conservationist and advocate of advancing green technology.

He was saying that countless businesses and whole industries (even including the military industry stationed abroad) is making more-and-more use of new green technologies, completely free from government control or coercion. This is because so many are finding it saves money, or makes money.

He can tell you specific examples. Anyone else see this happening? Seems as if, maybe, the whole movement is taking off on its own steam.


See here: CLICK

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The DSCC - Democratic Senate Campaign Committee - wants me to send them $212,000 before midnight. Should I do it?

money grubbers

The Democratic Party, and a full stable of their bright stars, keep asking me for money. The reason? If I don't, the Republicans will take over Congress. Well, I admit that's not a good idea, but I can't throw too many laurels at the gang of Dems who're running it now. So, not a dollar will I send. Is that evil?

Friends Report - Oct. 20.

A few snaps from a gathering:

Monday, October 18, 2010

extension of a conversation with a friend.

Among all those wandering around in a daze, we must include all those Republicans who somehow think they are the ones entitled to be angry, or "mad as hell" as they often say (unable to stretch themselves to something more original), or "pissed off" as they often say, trying to sound hip in a world they don't understand.

You couldn't be farther from the truth.

No one is more pissed off than the liberals of this country who have watched their former political party roll over and spread its legs for interests that are completely inimical to the programs and reforms that they supposedly stand for. This is the party of Wall Street bailouts without a jobs program, of human equality platforms without gay marriage laws, of "the party of the common man" without a law to deal one way or another with the illegal immigrants. This is the former "democratic" Democratic Party that couldn't pass a health care reform act that didn't provide fabulously for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. This is the Democratic Party that complains about Republican campaign finance shenanigans, but which wouldn't dream of using its congressional majorities to correct these clear abuses.

The generation now entrenched in power is not able to correct these problems, because they are too rich. Like the Congress they tolerate, they have sold out their politics to their pocketbooks. Unlike the protesters and anti-war placard wavers they once were, they are now complacent in the repose of their TV rooms, enjoying the benefits of a comfortable lifestyle that unions and the Democratic Party gave them.

So it will be up to the next generation to give this country it's figurative (or maybe even literal) Reichstag fire house cleaning. Where we might go from there, I cannot imagine.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lately I have been intrigued by a notion I picked up from an article I read.

The theme was that the age of great discoveries is over. The reason being given is, that humankind has now solved the great mysteries which it is capable of imagining. Beyond what we have answered there is a universe of questions which the brain of this species is not capable of reaching.

strangely encouraging

Honestly, I am absolutely opposed to murder, but there is something strangely satisfying in seeing the thugs go back to sticks and stones. No Uzis.

Baltimore cop killed in parking spat

Published: Oct. 17, 2010 at 7:21 AM

BALTIMORE, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A man killed an off-duty detective in Baltimore with a blow to the head in a parking dispute, police said Sunday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Baltimore Sun Detective Brian Stevenson, 38, was struck on the head with a brick or piece of concrete Saturday night.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Kiss up to them, and then ...
Remind them who's boss.
Scratch their noses.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Lots of friends have October birthdays, including FELIX, SPARTY, MARSHA, and BILL. They are all the same age, too, at least to the best of my memory. I believe they are all 17.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So far, no Democrat has appeared at my door to ask for my vote, nor sent me a flyer explaining their position on issues, nor bothered to explain to me how their political party should have failed so badly to live up to the trust the voters gave them last time around.

But, they keep sending me solicitations for money. Every day on my email. Every day! Send us some money! And these solicitations are not from the candidates themselves, but from their supporters and front groups. They can get to me without any problem at all. But not with the right message.

I believe that many Democrats are trading on "past glory." This is the glory that former generations of public servants earned and which they now wish to inherit. Medicare, Social Security, the EPA, etc. -- these are the accomplishments of your fathers and grandfathers. What do you have to offer? A messed up health care reform, a Republican-like plan to bail out the bad folks "on Wall Street" and the auto industry which has so badly treated our country.

What a miserable bunch you are. What a sad and colorless pack of pure "politicians" led by nobody.

Monday, October 11, 2010


We attended a funeral this morning for our friend, Vince DeAgostino, and I thought how very appropriate the ceremony was. Although we have not been friends for a great length of time, I think I knew him and Olympia well enough to make an evaluation of the funeral. The Mass was beautiful, and it was ornamented with all the traditions and rituals of a perfect Catholic observance. These are the protocols with which he would be comfortable, that he has known and appreciated all his life. He has been sent on his way ("here he comes," said the priest, notifying Heaven and God of his transit) sent by those who deeply respected and who loved him, and there is no doubt in anyone's mind that he has arrived at precisely the destination he hoped to reach.

Not all funerals, to my mind, are appropriate to the deceased, not because they have been evil or undeserving people, but because such funerals often represent an image of the cosmology definitely not attuned to the departed. So, funerals mostly represent an ethic particular to those who are left behind, and not those who are undertaking their last great adventure. I believe that this morning's ceremony was perfect. Arrivederci, to a very good man.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Contemplate this absurdity:

lakes of doom

I wonder how many lakes of putrid, poisonous, industrial crap of one type or another are lying behind inadequate "earthen embankments" just waiting to swamp homes and towns? And this threat is universal. Today it's central Europe, and that's just a start, because central Europe/western Russia is known as the most industrially polluted region in the world. (A dam broke in Hungary and its sequel is imminent there. Lives and property have been destroyed.) CLICK

In recent years, dams have broken in Kentucky and Tennessee and filled the landscape with filth.

I've had it to up to my ears with the "tree hugger" charge of people who think that's some sort of argument against environmentalist who try to call attention to this sort of looming disaster. Yes, I'm a tree hugger -- as are most of my friends -- and yes I believe that resources should be set aside to clean up these messes, if possible, before towns are submerged and more rivers are destroyed.

We are so good at reacting to disasters, why can't we get better at predicting them and averting them? More power to the environmentalists out there, including one of my sons, Steve, who are struggling to make a difference in this holy war.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Caturday

Spend lots of time every day
staring out the windows.
That's where the enemy lives.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Goodbye Vice DeAgostino

A friend in my life for a short time
And a friend of great cheer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Now I'm official

I am not a witch -
Not a warlock.
Not a shaman.
Nor anything interesting.
I am you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Some Pictures and notes. Pics can be enlarged by clicking on them.

LIAM: from the top.

Scene from the EDDY BAND concert in the park. A really good way to spend some time on a warm summer evening.


DASHMANN and his grandson BRENDEN at work. (Sort of).
Which one looks happier?


ALICE - caught the bus and went to Washington for the big "One Nation" march last weekend. She couldn't be more thrilled. She says, "Nothing meaningful will happen until people at the local level get off their asses and get inolved!"

WYATT and dragonfly.

DIGANTA - send an email recommending this: When you see Fox News on a television in a public place, ask to have the channel changed to something else. Almost always, it will be done.

The high winds downed a tall tree at the COOKE'S home.


SCOT and PAT hide behind the wine stash. Discovered anyway!


SPARTY recommends this short opinion article concerning reform of education in this country. CLICK
I echo his recommendation.



GIGI - sent me this ( CLICK ) clever commentary, which gave me a great chuckle and caused me to think who it might apply to. Glad it says "she":

I will stop complaining when I'm dead, she said, so I got out my day planner & told her I'd love to pencil that in.



DASHMANN - says this: "Karl Rove is kind of like the hockey player that you hate when he is playing for the other team, but you would love to have him on yours.Don’t you wish he could be bought and work for our side ????

Democrats are so spineless I can’t stand it sometimes ."


BILL - came back from the races with a serious limp his week.
Here's his picture on another racing occasion:

Keep on communicating, friends.

Monday, October 4, 2010

State Dept. warning

Sarcasm warning:

The US STATE DEPARTMENT warns you that you are not safe these day in Europe. You may be blown up or shot or kidnaped. So, you are warned to be very, very vigilant. Watch closely those around you - be suspicious - and do not use public transportation unless absolutely necessary. In Frankfort, Germany, be especially vigilant if you see an elderly person with a penchant for free speech, as they are known to be particularly dangerous.

However, if you see someone who is acting furtive and who looks like perhaps a person from the Middle East or South Asia you must disregard that person. If you see anyone wearing a headpiece usually associated with Afghanis or Pakistanis, they also may be ignored. The reasons are very complicated but our current thinking is that we don't want any Americans profiling their possible killers and then running away. That would be improper. The best advice is to just avoid everyone if you can, and if you can't, call the gendarmes or the bobbies, or the polizei on everyone who comes near.

Be safe out there, Americans!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Social Miscellany

1. Have you ever noticed that these flyers from J.C. Penney and other stores never show their clothes on old, fat models? How am I supposed to make a choice based on clothes on skinny kids?

2. We do not have bedbugs. Any of you who do, please don't come crawling into my bed.

3. Michigan's football team won again, but it won't be long before they run into a team with a good defense as well as a good offense. Then, they're going to lose. (Probably next Saturday. I just think State has a better team.)

4. In the Tri-Cities there are more plays, concerts, things-to-do (even sports, with the Spirit and Loons), than we have time or cash to attend. What a great thing to have so many good choices. And it's easy to go to Ann Arbor or E. Lansing for even more choices. Don't ever say there isn't anything to do.

5. If you haven't read Andrew Heller's essay on Page 2 of Saginaw News "Diversions" about fathering of 23 children, you really should.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's Caturday!

Instruction Booklet for Cats:

Establish your rights of ownership
to any spot in the house.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Home again

I've been away from the BIRCHES a lot this week, and I've been short on postings. Ah-h well. All is back in order. For now.

Add to your day -- American Gospel

Listen to some 'gospel' -- It's glorious.

1. We are climbing Jacob's Ladder. (x3)
Soldiers of the Cross.

2. Every rung goes higher and higher (x3)

3. Do you think I'd make a soldier (x3)

4. Rise, shine, give God the glory.

5. Keep on climbing, we will make it.

6. Do you, do you, want your freedom?