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Member since: 2001
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Will answer to "Leonardo," per favore: My engineering of a cane-seat

Remember Election 2020, the fervor to vote and expectations of hours in line. Well, I was possessed to find a "cane seat" since I'm a portly (then age 73, now 74). First, the odyssey of googling, shopping by internet or finding a local outlet, extensive comparison of seat sizes and sturdiness (230 lbs). It turned out that two big box sporting good stores had them, apparently used by golfers. Happily, Dick's, the one on the correct side of non-guns, had the better one. Then my big day of early voting came, and the thing stayed in the trunk because there was no line at all. Fine.

Then the covid vaccine lines came along, and too late, already in a 3 hours' line, I remembered the cane seat for the second jab, but it turned out that the 2nd jab was a faster thing, so it stayed in the trunk.

But a further use turned out, since I'm a wimp about trimming my dog's nails, or rather both he and I are about my doing it, and after a couple of years of bouncing around for small business groomers to do it, we ended up at a chain place that - get this - had no seating. So the first time the cane seat hit the spot!1 But then the next time, the three legged thing would *not* stay standing, would sway over to one or another side with me scarcely escaping being splattered on the deck.

The problem was obvious: That the spread of the three legs was too narrow, or close together. My pondering (mental work) went on for weeks, with my first thought being to BEND the aluminum legs apart, perhaps a double bend with outward slantings near the joint and downward slantings to the ground. My mental wheels kept turning, settling on replacing the screw with a longer one, perhaps also including some bending.

More weeks passed before getting around to gathering the bolt and nut, finding only the eye-bolt, 1/4 inch thick and 4 inches long. Thinking some more about the steps, having to hack saw tightly the light weight bolt, then probably having to drill the holes wider for the eye bolt, both tasks likely to be troublesome.

So today, all other tasks abating for the moment, took it up. I decided to experiment first with just the bolt length without any bending of the legs. And the two steps were unexpectedly easier and the eye bolt and nut worked as projected. But then, surprise surprise, the legs were just as unstable as before, swaying over to one or the other side. After a couple of attempted seatings and adjusting the spacing of the legs, the problem became clear: The eye bolt had *BENT* from my weight?!1 ------I was astounded, since I assumed a 1/4 inch thick bolt could take me like a feather!1

So instead of the big box place that was limited in its bolts, went to a specialized local bolts-and-steel place. Nope, the humorless dude said his bolts were all bendable, not iron. There were other places, and found one. This dude had the right stuff and it was the strongest composition, and 54 cents. I had the bent eye bolt with me and left him laughing about what bent it.

Back at the engineering studio, the iron or steel bolt introduced into the aluminum holes well, with only a few turns of a vice plier. And apparently the spread was fine with the length of the bolt. The seating feels sturdy and stable. First serious use will be at the next appointment for dog nails clipping.

Separating a Party personality from our Party agenda (B.Clinton, Cuomo). Date of post March 6.

Many/most of us Dems here went to the mat defending Bill against the (what I called *FAKE* ) impeachment. Even back then I blamed both him and her for their selfishness but knew that my defense was grounded on Party loyalty, seeing the attack as purely partisan.

When the dust settled much reflection and digestion ensured, and I reached the clarification that my Democratic allegiance is based on the Party’s *AGENDA* (civil rights, civil liberties, social justice, stewardship of the planet). *NOT* on any single leader/personality.

I realized for myself that, its being *SO* difficult and precious to win our time in power, it is a WASTE of our precious time in Power to spend all of our energy defending one person ------ instead of being able to use it on working on our agenda. A waste and a distraction.

If it were happening today I would not defend Bill. I would want him to resign and let Al take over. Never again any one personality.

I love it when we find a leader with charisma who WINS and therefore will be more effective in moving our agenda forward even if in the tiniest steps. But being a Dem is not a Gold Card for anything goes. If a Dem has bundles of illicit cash in the freezer or whatever the flaw, the Dem label is forfeited.

So, Andrew is just too much déjà vu. Even without the investigation so far, it’s just too much ugly distraction and parsing and weeping. My little, one-person support or lack thereof is negligible, but for the record it’s bye time.

A break for the Group from true art, just for a (smile?)

You've heard of "Shrub" and "Goodhair" (thx Molly IVINS). Now meet "Drug Store Cowboy"

Drug Store Cowboy, a.k.a. “Gregg ABBOTT” or “Governor”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Texas_gubernatorial_election 1994 Texas gubernatorial election - …. Before the election, Richards had a high approval rating due to the strength of the state economy. However, Bush's campaigning on cultural and religious issues resonated with many Texan voters, and the race was considered a tossup on election day.”

And then, as The University of YouTube might call it, came the Bronze Age Collapse for the decades of Democratic rule in Texas. This collapse happened from a combination of things – the “Weak Governor” system, wherein the Governorship is a figurehead with the Lieutenant Governor being dominant in running the Legislature and being the attack dog; the collapse and defection to the Fatcats of the last young generation of Democratic leaders (think, Ben BARNES) ; the soft underbelly of Hispanic non-voters or voters-against-their-own-interests; the active but can’t-do-it-by-themselves Black voters; the myth of Tough Talk Texas “rugged individualism” and the Easy Pickings of Repukes who discovered The Secret to power in Texas; and an ever smaller but engrained apartheid ruling structure. In Texas even a civic minded project like anti-littering is masked threateningly as “Don’t mess with Texas.”

The secret for Repukes in Texas started with Poppy BUSH, the managerial secret of keeping a low profile (see, “Dark Legacy I & II” ), claiming to stay out of the loop, and creating an image of being inoffensive and replacing outer substance with smiling – lots of smiling. Why would the heir of Eastern Power set up in backward Texas?! Poppy of the hidden hand discovered the easy pickings that is Texas, the hot knife in butter.

But Poppy used the Texas low profile as a cover. George W. used the low profile as a claim to higher power and set the template for Repuke governors in Texas – big talk, “tough” talk, suck off of the Fatcats and screw the most vulnerable – swagger but with a cute, fratboy air of playfulness and humility and above all SMILE. Photo ops with mariachis after refusing Medicaid dollars.

So there were Shub (George W., thanks to Molly IVINS) and Goodhair (Rick PERRY) – two of the luckiest little a-holes ever. And now one Greg ABBOTT, who has been difficult to nickname. Until now. How do you make fun of somebody in a wheelchair with a half-Hispanic wife – a Gold Card of insulation, firewall.

Well, Repukes are always hoping for a Great White Hope, and currently in Texas in the aftermath of a humongous disaster, they think they found the Hope in ABBOTT, who is at the epicenter of all the characteristics – tough talk against the electric grid villains but who will not endanger the inherent structure of the Texas-only grid. Yes, after his first five years of weak governorship – nondescript, no distinguishing characteristics, tough talk but smilingly inoffensive on the outside – he “addressed the people of the State” firing up his wingnuts with brimstone on the grid villains – “ https://www.kxxv.com/hometown/texas/many-of-you-are-angry-im-angry-too-abbott-addresses-power-outages-states-winter-storm-response 'Many of you are angry... I'm angry too': Abbott addresses power outages, state's winter storm response”.

So there you have him, “tough” but safely so on a safe issue, and promising Judgment Day but not in a meaningful way (e.g., ditching the lone Texas grid).

So what do you call Greg ABBOTT – that mixture of bluster and namby-pambyism? I humbly offer:

Drug Store Cowboy

Don Quixote was not meant to dress sensibly. Before and After.

O.K., this is the last of my craft therapy. Previously were the Roman "bocca", seahorses, soccer Cup. These little paint jobs were for a change in the near year of quarantine, when cooking was probably the first choice as an escape and now past its appeal. So this craft thing has reached its two weeks' shelf life, and the objects can go back to gathering dust and spider webs.

I had painted these things some 20 years back upon acquisition, and the taste was different at that stage of my life, more "tasteful" instead of garish. So Mr Quixote was done up in baby blue pantaloons to complement the gray armor. Now, the paint technology is metallic and glitter and black light, and it occurred to me that his very essence is batshit cray-cray, so now he is in RED metallic. Red and yellow are (now, not in the 16th Century?) the colors of Spain (are you listening, Hilaria BALDWIN?), so there's this little double meaning.

Not art, barely craft. Before and After.

Our friends, the Artists in their group, are amazingly gifted and accomplished. This ain't it. The seahorses in particular were a bummer just to stay inside the lines. These items have been around here for 15-20 years, faded, dusty, spider webby. Cooking by quarantine is getting old. Was just looking for some mind numbing activity to freshen up things. The Bocca della Verita original in Rome is thought to have been a sewer cover, is gigantic like 5? ft in diameter? And is plain off white marble. With its legend that anybody who puts the hand in the mouth and tells a lie will have it chomped off, as in the Audrey HEPBURN/Gregory PECK Rome movie. As for the Cup, yeah the original real green looks better, but I wanted Metallic paint and the avocado was what had it. As for the seahorse garish colors - the yellow/red/green are Vietnam, and seahorse might suggest Navy (when I say so). ON EDIT, P.S. The Before seahorses were also my paint job, bland colors to be "tasteful" in years past, now I'm old so torpedoes be garishly danged!1 ************ON 2ND EDIT: Corrected the "Cary GRANT" to great Democratic luminary "Gregory PECK" of "Roman Holiday" - surprised that a Lounge movie buff who might have strayed here didn't catch me out.

2fer: Proofing/impervious against Executive Orders. And wingnuts' concept of "unity"

President BIDEN has already fired a passel of the “Acting” goons that the Nameless One had plugged in there to cravenly do his bidding. And as for the SEVENTEEN Executive Orders he signed yesterday afternoon, he wiped out some of the worst that the Nameless One had inflicted – the climate, the environment, et al. Not that he or the Dems need my advice but why can’t these issues be legislated now that we have a chance into solid form so they can’t be easily trifled with by whatever whippoorwill flies down the chimney?

And here's an answer to the current passive aggressive whimpering of the Wingnuts, their claiming that no unity is possible because WE won’t give them what they want: Wingnuts are mentally Scorched Earth, their way or the highway, Fundamentalists, “originalists” (not really), and uncrackable NUTS – in addition to being insufferable, ignorant fools. Any discussion cannot happen when their one or two points (“abortion”, “Christianity"/not-really) are absolute matters of *BELIEF* (only, not of Reason) and anybody differing with their BELIEF is automatically the *ENEMY*, such that every sentence is a *DEAL BREAKER*. There is NO “come let us reason together”.

And my name-calling them here is descriptive, not my own subversion of "unity".

******ON EDIT: The only communication (information exchange) between them and us is: You can't convert me; I can't get past your wall.

Facing it: The wingnuts will *have* only a Balkanized, scorched earth country.

And I realize that my contentious terms ("wingnuts" ) seems like playing their game, but not really.

There is no reaching out, yielding to, or converting them. They won’t have it, period.

We must just put our heads down and focus on our Democratic agenda: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Social/Economic Justice, and Stewardship of the Planet. That is all.

When the opposition poses hostile stunts that can’t be ignored, fine, we must deal with those, expeditiously and forcefully and get back to our agenda. Otherwise, we can just be watchful of the rest of their noise that is not threatening and just keep plugging along with our agenda. Any of them who are willing to give and take, fine, we'll do that.

Our own pitfall to watch out for is falling under the spell of The Charismatic Leader with Baggage. We’ve been through that before, when we have to shunt our agenda work aside in order to devote all of our energy instead to defending a seriously flawed leader. When one of those charmers is a choice, we need to wipe away a tear and nominate a less charming but more steady character. It takes too long and too much work to finally win power just to squander it away to one person.

No one person is above our agenda. We honor but don't worship.

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