Department Of Let’s Get This Out Of The Way
Even leaning-toward-cynical moiself got caught up in thinking, if just for a moment, that the person with the really good experience and résumé and ideas…
I have the Post-Super Tuesday Blues, as was somewhat adequately delineated in this NY Times opinion piece:
“This is one of the vexing realities that plague highly accomplished female candidates… women whose résumés outstrip those of many of their male rivals. They have been told their whole lives that they have to outwork and outperform the men in order to be taken seriously — only to discover that it’s not enough….
….consider Amy Klobuchar’s conspicuous irritation with Pete Buttigieg’s precocity. On multiple occasions she noted that a woman with his résumé — a 38-year-old former mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana — would never be taken seriously. ‘Women are held to a higher standard,” she said at the November debate. ‘Otherwise we could play a game called ‘Name Your Favorite Woman President,’ which we can’t do because it has all been men, including all vice presidents being men.’ “
Whatever your feelings about Mayor Pete, Ms. Klobuchar was not wrong.”
( 3-5-20: Elizabeth Warren Had a Good Run. Maybe Next Time, Ladies.
By Michelle Cottle, NY Times Editorial Board )
This picture of Senator Klobuchar, taken during just one of the shouting fests from the South Carolina debate, made me wonder what she was thinking about. Klobuchar later described her thoughts in the moment ( to CNN):
“…Steyer moved over closer and closer…to the point I thought I could actually get hit on the debate stage.
I was literally sandwiched between the two of them yelling at each other….”
At the time it happened, the look on Klobuchar’s face and her hands reaching out in humorous supplication – I read into that as her acknowledging the frustrating double/triple/quadruple standards faced by female politicians. As if she wanted to say, “Can you believe this #$@!??! If Elizabeth Warren and I were going at each other like that, can you imagine what they’d say about women in politics?”
“As for complaints that (Warren) was too strident or shrill or hectoring or inflexible, have any of these critics seen Bernie Sanders? Come on.”
(Michelle Cottle, same article)
Maybe next time. Some day. In the future….
Guess now I have to channel my hope for a vice presidential bid for Warren, so she can take over when one of the Two Old White Guys dies while in office.
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Department Of Favorite Poop Stories
If there can be a Board of Tea Appeals (USA), an Office of the Swan Marker (England) and a Minister of Toilets (Japan), moiself can have a Department Of Favorite Poop Stories.
Dateline: a weekend, at a Southern California campground, on a family camping trip however many years ago it would have been when my brother was three years old. At that age my brother was housebroken, but still needed supervision in toileting matters since, like most toddlers, puppies, and the Current Occupant of the White House, he was not in complete control of his excretory system.
Early one morning my two sisters and I were out exploring various spots around the campground. My brother (RSP) stuck close to our family’s trailer, playing with some wooden blocks under a tree at our campsite, under our mother’s supervision (our father was in the campsite bathroom, shaving). RSP suddenly pushed himself up to standing, announced that he had to go potty “RIGHT NOW,” and dashed toward the camp restroom. Mom ran after her son, but nature could not be delayed. RSP, realizing he could not make it to the restroom, stopped right where he was and pulled down his pants.
Right Where He Was was in a neighboring campsite, under that campsite’s tree, six feet from a chaise lounge occupied by a man who was reading a newspaper.
My mother shrieked for RSP to wait for her, but it was too late. “Oh, no!” Stricken with mortification, Mom wailed as her son began pooping beside Newspaper Reading Man’s campsite tree. “I am so sorry….”
Newspaper Reading Man sat upright in his lounge chair, looked at my brother, then up at my mother. With unflappable tranquility he uttered these now classic words before he just as unflappably reclined in his chair and went back to reading his newspaper:
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Department Of What Are Your Favorite Words
Which Can Be Difficult To Pronounce?
“Rural” can be challenging, even for people with no speech impediments. Even better is “wasp”, and even better-est is the plural: wasps. If you want to torture someone who has ever had a lisp problem in the present or past, maneuver the conversation so that they have to say, “wasp’s nests.” 
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The Social Media Break I’m Not Taking
Moiself’s niece recently made a Facebook announcement about how she won’t be posting on FB for a while. In the past year I’ve seen similar announcements from people …not often, but not rarely, either. Sometimes it is due to the poster’s stated wish to bow out from all social media due to time and/or interest constraints; sometimes it’s attributed to personal or even political concerns (e.g., antipathy toward FB’s privacy and willingness to bend over and accomodate Russian election interference political advertising policies). As for my niece’s case, she gave more than one reason, and alluded to (although not by name) a phenomenon social psychologists have been studying: social media envy.
You might recognize the feeling if not the label: we can’t help but compare ourselves – our personal lives, professional accomplishments, travel destinations, even what we had for dinner – to those of our friends and family as presented online.
Human beings have always felt what Aristotle defined in the fourth century BC as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have”….
But with the advent of social media, says Ethan Kross, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who studies the impact of Facebook on our wellbeing, “envy is being taken to an extreme”. We are constantly bombarded by “Photoshopped lives.”….
Clinical psychologist Rachel Andrew says she is seeing more and more envy in her consulting room, from people who “can’t achieve the lifestyle they want but which they see others have.” Our use of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, she says, amplifies this deeply disturbing psychological discord. “I think what social media has done is make everyone accessible for comparison…. In the past, people might have just envied their neighbours, but now we can compare ourselves with everyone across the world.”
(“The age of envy: how to be happy when everyone else’s life looks perfect,”
The Guardian, Health & Well-being column, 10-9-18 )
MH asked me if I had seen my niece’s announcement; we briefly discussed social media envy, and he said he sometimes felt the same way. I admitted that moiself did, too. Here’s a lovely post and pictures from friends vacationing in Bali, and here we are, pulling the massively overgrown weeds in the front lawn, scooping the litter box, trying to untangle the serpentine jumble of laptop, monitor and keyboard cords underneath my desk…
And yes, I can feel this envy despite knowing/assuming that people (including us, of course) are only posting “the good stuff” – a picture of their daughter hanging the framed First Place High School Regional Essay Competition certificate on her bedroom wall, and not one of that same daughter pouting in her room because she’s grounded for trying to vape her grandma’s NyQuil Nighttime Relief Liquid ® .
Perhaps, moiself suggested to MH, we could take it upon ourselves, as a kind a kind of a charity cause, to improve the world with these tiny steps: for every Smiley Happy People ® post we make, such as a picture of an interesting driftwood formation we encountered at the beach, we also post a picture illustrating the mundane tasks that fill up most of our lives. We could post pictures of us moving furniture from the attic back to the bedrooms after the new carpeting was installed. (But then, MH countered, we’re effectively announcing that we’ve gotten new carpeting, and some might be jealous of that. True, I said, but we could also mention how long it took us to do that and what horrible shape the old carpeting was, and they might think, “Well, at least *we* never let our carpet get that pathetic….”).
For every picture of a gourmet meal I prepare, maybe I’ll post one of the breakfast MH has almost every morning: Cheerios and soymilk and raisins.
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Department Of The Last Cow-Related Post…For Now
OK, I promise, this is the last cow-related blog in a while almost. Last week, after my blog post about the mini-cow pet thing, a friend commented on it, which led me to his FB page, which led me to another friend’s FB page where I saw a link to an article about why docking the tails and ears…
Ahem. …which led me to another friend’s FB page where he’d posted a link to an article about why docking the tails and ears of certain dog breeds – of any dog – is a bad idea:
“Dogs are born with ears and tails. They should get to keep them.”
Dobermans, Boston Terriers, Great Danes, et al, with their ears clipped…Cocker Spaniels, Rottweilers, and Yorkshire Terriers etc., with their tails bobbed – even as a child I wondered about such dogs when I saw them. Certainly, those traits couldn’t have been “natural,” and I groused (until told by adults to keep my opinions to myself when it comes to other people’s ”property”) about the hubris of humans who thought they could improve on nature – or, worse yet – that they had the right to do anything to an animal for their own aesthetic considerations.
The professional dog breeding and showing bureaucracies have – surprise! – been bought out on this issue. With a straight face and in Times Roman font they defend these barbaric (“breed standard”) practices, even today:
“Much of the opposition regarding these procedures comes from a misunderstanding of why and how they are performed. Many believe that these procedures are painful, performed purely for convenience or cosmetic reasons and have no value. This is completely false….Each of these procedures is a safe, humane standard practice that serves a practical purpose, and in the case of ear cropping and tail docking, preserves a dog’s ability to perform its historic function.”
(“Issue Analysis: Dispelling the Myths of Cropped Ears, Docked Tails, Dewclaws, and Debarking”, The American Kennel Club)
Yep, you read right: having ears and other body parts amputated is a pain-free procedure – the dogs told us so!
It gets better, with the AKC’s justification of a dog’s “historic function”:
The Boxer…has traditionally been used for a number of important tasks including… seeing-eye dogs for the blind. The cropped ears help enhance the Boxer’s hearing, thereby helping it perform its tasks to the best of its ability.
Other dogs…were historically kept in stables to catch vermin…. Cropping the ears protected them from damaging bites when cornering a rat ….
Hunting and sporting breeds…often go into thick brush to track game. While some of these breeds have thick, strong tails…other breeds that have weaker tails…prone to injury when they run through thick brush or brambles. 
In the same way, a docked tail on a terrier makes it stronger, which helps an owner more safely and easily pull these burrowing dogs out of holes….
Gee, the breeds most commonly used for guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Standard Poodles and Retriever/Labrador crosses, and they somehow manage to hear what they need to hear without having their big, floppy ears cropped.
The practices of ear and tail bobbing are cruel and anachronistic. Education about these procedures is one way to stop these procedures. Another way is to encourage people to exercise their right to choose when selecting a dog breed.
“Mutts are the Hondas of the dog world. They’re cheap, reliable and what nature intended in the first place.”
( Columnist Mike Capuzzo, quoted in a 1994 Time magazine article on the effects of over-breeding which reported that
as many as 25 percent of the 20 million purebred dogs in the US are afflicted with a serious genetic problem. )
We now pause for the well-known if oft-ignored plea for people to adopt mixed breeds. Others have made the argument more eloquently than I could, including here and here.
So, you think you really want a purebred Doberman, for breed personality or other qualities, not just “the look.” Tell all Doberman breeders you contact that since you’ve done your research and know that tail and ear docking are purely cosmetic procedures that serve no health or behavioral purpose for the dog, you want your Dobie “au natural.” Then, stick to your principles and refuse to buy one from a breeder who will not comply with your request.
If you cannot find breeders who will honor this request, boycott that breed. Really; just say no. These mutilating practices could be stopped in one generation, if people would simply acknowledge their own selfishness and brainwashing by breeders (“This is the classic Doberman look!”).
Or if you are, for whatever reasons, attracted to that ear-docked look, remind yourself where that “look” comes from. If, even after educating yourself as to the barbarity and total uncalled-for-ness of tail and ear bobbing, you still want to get a puppy from a breeder who insists upon confirming to the breed standard and performing those practices, then you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your values. And don’t “adopt” any pet more sentient than a dust bunny.
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Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
Vegans Go Nuts, by Celine Steel & Joni Marie Newman
Recipe: Pistachio Pesto Rice & Beans
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
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May you never think a dog would be improved by amputating parts of its tail and/or ears;
May you be the proud protagonist of a precocious poop story;
May we all stop having to hope and work for a “next time;”
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 Thanks to the podcast Curiosity Daily for the inspiration to remember a blast from my past. I had speech therapy in grade school for a mild lisp, and one day my fellow lispers and I tortured each other by challenging ourselves to pronounce certain words and phrases. “Antithesis” and “wasp’s nests” were the winners.
 Well then, those breeds shouldn’t be used for such “sporting,” should they?
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) one recipe from one book.
* Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin, a character from The Office who’d eat anything, would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up.
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.