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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

Journal Archives

Carolyn Wonderland, Judgement Day Blues

Samantha Fish Band, I Put a Spell On You

Just got back from the SS office, I got a piece of mail from SS with someone else's SSN on it

It was one of the more bizarre mailings I have seen, mailed on Jan 7, got it the 13th and it told me I had to visit the SS office by Jan 18 (MLK day holiday) or risk losing some or all of my benefits and said I had to explain something that apparently had to do with undeclared income and then left the section where the "something" was supposed to be listed totally blank.

Anyhow, I wouldn't have bothered to post an OP about something like that but the letter had a handwritten listing of a SS employee I was supposed to contact at our local office and had their # and extension but also listed what looked like their SSN, it certainly wasn't mine. On the printed part of the letter my SSN was correct.

I took it to the SS office today and they were absolutely perplexed by the letter, both the fact I was supposed to explain something that wasn't even described and the other SSN on there had the woman I spoke with very puzzled. The person listed works at the office but wasn't there today, I'm supposed to get a phone call at some point when she returns to the office.

A black man told me today in all seriousness that God wants Donald Trump to be President

His name is Edmund, he's probably late fifty-ish, from Ghana complete with the mahvelous accent and manages a little religious charity thrift store I frequent every couple of weeks or so. I make it a point to become friendly with the management in these sorts of places, they will hold items for you they know you are looking for and maybe negotiate a bit more on the prices if they like you.

So today Edmund starts talking about politics and I stood there with my jaw hanging open as he told me how wonderful the Donald is and how he cannot be bought since is a self made man with his own money, furthermore it is God's plan that Trump be President and of course what God wants God gets. I managed to keep my tongue from causing me trouble since I like Edmund, he's a friendly guy and other than politics and perhaps religion he seems very sensible.

Just had to get that off my chest, my flabber is still somewhat gasted, I suspect il Douche may have a wider appeal than I had realized before.

A 21st Century Mother and Child


A mother cradling her infant child.

If the better angels of human nature were to prevail, this picture could become one of those pictures — a single frame that captures an essential piece of the 21st century.

Two human beings, stripped way past bare: two brains, connected in a universal human pose, a mother cradling her infant child.

Rebecca Saxe, a neuroscientist (and my colleague) at MIT, is a maestro of the camera that can make such images, the functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or fMRI. To create an fMRI portrait, a subject must lie still inside a narrow cylinder, the inside of a giant electromagnet. The artful manipulation of electromagnetic fields catches the brain in the act — not quite the act of thinking, but of working, nerve cells grabbing oxygen to power the action that ultimately adds up to an idea, a gesture, a feeling.

Brumotti, Road Bike Freestyle 2

Not your average roadie ride...

What's in a Watt?

In our modern world with powered devices at our fingertips it's very easy to lose track of just how much civilization depends on power other than and far in excess of human energy.

Smooth Criminal M Jackson

A lot of low information voters supported the Iraq War

It came to me recently that one of the attractions of Hillary Clinton with some voters is that she supported and voted for the same colossal screwup they were for, letting Dubya have his horrific way in Iraq. "Well, you see Hillary Clinton was fooled too and that excuses me being wrong because she is smart and knows foreign policy and she still got it wrong."

Those who were wrong about Iraq greatly resent those who correctly called it, the gloating over getting people to vote for someone who violates their sense of ethics has a lot to do with desire to humiliate anyone who makes the gloaters feel guilty/stupid/naive about Iraq.

"Well you voted for them and you knew they supported the Iraq War which makes you just as dirty/stupid/naive as them, you hypocrites." will be the next stage.

Human beings aren't rational animals, they are animals that rationalize.

Elizabeth Warren and the Flaming Marshmallows


Because sometimes all you can do is cope. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Got a nice Thanksgiving message (okay, a block email) from my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren…

I buy all sorts of things for Thanksgiving that no one in the family eats much during the rest of the year. Jell-O for Aunt Bee’s special dish (she’s gone, but the green Jell-O salad lives on). Canned onion rings. Marshmallows.

I’d stopped doing the sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows on top, only to get protests from the family. I said I wasn’t going to keep making it. “You don’t eat more than a few nibbles, and I end up throwing most of it out.”

My daughter Amelia and son Alex dissolved into gales of laughter. “No, no, you’ve got to keep making it.” Even Bruce was in on the joke.

Finally they confessed why they looked forward to the dish. The last thing I do, once all the dishes are laid out and the turkey is on the table, is put the sweet potato casserole topped with carefully arranged marshmallows under the broiler, while everyone heads to the table.

And about half the time, I get distracted and remember the sweet potatoes only after the marshmallows have caught fire.

Amelia and Alex claim that, while they were growing up, that was the highlight of Thanksgiving: Would mom set the marshmallows on fire again this year? And, if I did start a fire, how exciting would it be? Would I scream? Would I set the kitchen towels on fire again? Would I carry the flaming dish to the sink while everyone rushed into the kitchen and yelled advice? …

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. As I look around this morning at my own kids and grandkids, making new traditions and hopefully not setting the house on fire, I’m deeply thankful to have the opportunity to fight for families in Massachusetts and all across the country – and I’m thankful to have you with me for those fights.
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