Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Well, if you happen to be in Reykjavik Tonight....

If you're in Reykjavik tonight between 10PM and 11PM, the street lights, businesses lights and many homes will be dark.

The city is turning off the street lights to better view the Northern Lights, which are supposed to be fantastic tonight.

Just saying.

(Icelandic Northern Lights)
more

This is right downtown on the waterfront - a Viking Ship Sculpture

From a Hill above town at the Perlen
Someday I'll go to see them.  But I hate the cold and I tend to like long ass Icelandic days to hike during.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thought I Couldn't Do It, Didn't You?

The first Presidential Debate was last night, and I know what you are thinking. You're not going to be able to hold back, are you Scott?

You are incorrect, I will let shit like this pass right by - like water off a duck's ass.


One Thing that Reminds Me of Home Everytime

If you have ever worked in Los Angeles (or much of California), there are those days in summer when someone brings in baskets of fruit for everyone to take home.

The home tree has made too many Oranges, or Apricots, or Grapes, or Grapefruit, or lemons, or - the best of all worlds - too many purple plums.

I love purple plums. I love them right off the tree with the juice dripping down your face while you eat them.

They are hard to get in New York. Not plums - they are available, but the big juicy purple plums that make you feel like a kid.  The kind you have to eat over the sink.

I had one today and ti put a huge ass smile on my face.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wow - this is me....

I am having such anxiety I can hardly think about it.



story link

And though I didn't want them to win, I never felt the way I do now when it was Bush The Younger of McCain or Mittens.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Falling Water in Pennsylvania

So now we get to why we went to Pennsylvania in the first place. A tour of Falling Water.

If you don't know, Falling Water is a super famous Frank Lloyd Wright house. I've seen pictures and read about it. Ed and I both love architecture tours, so we went last week after Ed's marathon work at the US Open.

It is spectacular. I'll describe as you see it. PS - You are only allowed outside pictures, but the insdie was great.

This is the view as you walk up to the tour. It is a series of levels, many cantilevered over the stream and waterfall that the family loved. They came to camp here in the 1910s-30s before commissioning the home. It is designed to blend into nature. (see the bridge to the lower right)

Oddly, Wright was not doing well (as an architect) before this house. It was the depression and hard to make a name for yourself. He was in his 60s when this was built, and the commissions poured in. He worked until he was 93.


This is the view from the bridge of the house floating above the water. There was a deck for indoor / outdoor space off the front room and private decks off all 4 bedrooms.

Note the steps to the water. They enter in the glass enclosed front room (where you see flowers in the center of the picture). There is a glass greenhouse enclosure inside there that can be fully opened to let a cool breeze travel up from the stream.

it was built in 1937 before air-conditioning was a thing.


This is the famous view. The rock and red windows form a trunk for the house and offset the cantilever. You can hear the waterfall even with low water (like it is in the picture).  It was great.


This is the view with the world's best husband in the shot. No further explanation needed.

Nero Fiddles

I thought "Nero Fiddles" was better than "Jesus Wept".

Our congress does nothing and it is infuriating. This pubic whining passes for "action".

 Above we have the story of Congress and the EpiPen. The Epi-Pen is a lifesaving device for people with deadly allergies.

Now the CEO is the daughter of a US Senator. In the five years she has taken over, she raised the price of the life -saving device from $100 to $600. It's out of patent, but Congress (where her father sits) and the FDA will not approve any generics.

Her mother used her position at the National Associate of State Boards of Education to require schools across America to purchase and stock EpiPens - where her daughter was the CEO of the only company that makes the EpiPens AND that raised their prices 6 fold (USA Today LINK).

The company is doing fine, by the by. Five executives have made over $300 Million dollars EACH during this.

During the Congressional "grilling" CEO Heather Bresch didn't even have the good grace to appear contrite.

The company said they only made $50 per per. But then, after pressure, they released a second "generic" for only $300.

So, there isn't even a hand-slap for this outrage. She has to sit and be yelled at for 1 afternoon. For that she makes $5,769.23 an hour (not including her multimillion dollar bonus). Or $96 a minute for smirking at us.

Congress yelled at the CEO of Wells Fargo this week too.  The company signed up consumers for extra products and charged them. Now they were fined (not by Congress but by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Comptroller of the US and the City of Los Angeles) $185 Million for this (link). There profits rose $20,000 Million (or $20 billion).

Congress brought them in and yelled at him. The CEO took "full responsibility" but isn't quitting, reducing his pay nor firing any senior managers.

The Republicans in Congress are taking action here. They have introduced legislation to disband the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. really.

..
So I get hatred at Congress and the way things are. If Trump promised to waterboard the Wells Fargo CEO, the Mylan CEO and that shit Martin Shkreli - I'd vote for him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pittsburgh

Ed and I were in Pittsburgh and this set of pictures is of the city.

First is "The Strip" - part of town where the old train yards were and the wholesale district was.  It is slowly changing to more hipster part of town with bars and lofts.


This is the Phoneix Brewery that was expanded and made into a set of lofts - very cool.



This is the old wholesale Fruit Mart. Check out the front and then see how long the building is.

This is ed's cousin Martha and her husband. We all had a great dinner and a lot of fun.

Finally, we went up an old funicular. There are a couple that go to the tops of hills and you get an amazing view of Pittsburgh.

The fountain is where the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River combine to make the Ohio River. The view was stupendous.

I'm Checking Out of The Election Discussion

So, it's time for me to check out of the election discussion. I do not understand how people can vote for Trump. I understand the desire for change. I understand the need to protest. I understand they might hate Hillary.

However I cannot understand how the vote to put Donald Trump (no name calling or anything) in charge of our country, economy and military.

And I have two ways of expressing it.  The good way....

And the way I really feel....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Harrisburg PA

In our trip back from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we stopped in Harrisburg for a wander about and to stretch our legs.

Harrisburg is the PA State Capital and has an interesting Capital area.
The State Capital with a bright green cupola - designed in Beaux Arts style with lots of art.
We could not go in, because there was a wedding planed - but we peaked in and the interior is beautiful

The statue to the right of the main entrance.

The back of the Capital looking down State Street.  Cool.

These are winged griffons stop the pillars.  Very deco.
The back end - where the long street bridge flanked by Assyrian / Deco Griffons looks like it belongs in a European Capital for a Victory parade, not a 1906 designed capital of the Keystone state, but whatever. It was nifty to look at.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Our Visit to the National Aviary (and Happy)

Happy is a penguin.  We got tickets to the "penguin encounter" at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.  It was totally cool.
Happy gives me a groom, Happy walking around, Ed "petting" /feeling Happy's wings.
Now you know I love penguins - so this was fun. Our guide told us all about the penguin. Happy is a young adult - just past his juvenile molt. He has the braying sound that gives them their name in Africa - the Jackass Penguin, while we call them the African Penguin or the Black Footed Penguin.

Anyway, the are at risk in the wild, so the Aviary is part of the network of zoos that breeds for diversity and Happy is one of the six breed to a pair in Pittsburgh.

We also walked through multiple Aviaries, which is not Ed's thing, but we still have a wonderful time.  It is a quick and fun trip.
The 4 bottom birds were int he tropical Aviary. The bottom left was kind of pushy huge and a little off-putting. Up top,  some great views of an Andean Condor.

Trump and the Ten Commandments and Southern Pennslyvania

So driving through Southern Pennsylvania this week-end, I was astounded by the number of houses wherein the Ten Commandments are displayed.  They mainly have the same look, as though provided by the local church, or an excellent door-to-door 10 Commandment salesmen.

All are self explanatory except the middle rightmost. It seems that Jesus' team was playing against Calvary and he scored a touchdown against them, which might have resulted in a Calvary loss.

Along this same root, often at the same houses, are signs for Trump near and far.

I do not understand.

Here are the 10 Commandments and let's look at the one Trump is ignoring over and over.

Specifically he has broken (and bosted of breaking):

#7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.  He is married three times, which is adultery in and of itself for many. And he had an affair with wife #2 (Marla Maples) while married to wife #1 (Ivana).

#8. Thou shalt not steal. He has stolen people's work via the judicious use of bankruptcy and bragged about it. He also steals partial work by use of the courts to renounce and not pay his bills.

#9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. He has lied about Obama's Birthplace. Now he lies about lying about Obama's birthplace. He has lied about his stance on various issues - including the Iraq War, the Libyan War, minimum wage, tax breaks, and Clinton's policies. He lies about Clinton's stance on the 2nd amendment.

I could make a stretch argument for more, but let's stick with the easy ones.

So, it doesn't make sense to me that these people who claim to hold God's Commandments in such high regard are publicly advocating for a person who ignores them for the highest office. Particularly when facing someone who is, by all accounts, more supportive of these commandments (although she also has trouble with #9: Thou shalt not bear false witness).

Ed and I Are Fine

Nincompoopery has been silent because Ed and I were in Pittsburgh this week-end.  If you heard about the New York blast - we are fine.

We live far from where it happened (although it happened on the block where I teach semi-regularly).

More posting later.  But a picture first.