Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mr. Rogers

Speck was a little under the weather recently, and I took the opportunity to show her her first episodes of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. She was under the impression that she wouldn't like them (having seen some documentary footage about him, maybe?), but she was totally engrossed, from the first shoe-change to the bonus-materials tour of a construction paper factory, and eager to see them again.

photo of a smiling Mr. Rogers on setFor me, the experience was less of recall from my own childhood -- honestly, who remembers anything specific from age 4? -- than of an overwhelming wave of appreciation for this man and his approach to children, his understanding of their questions about the world, and his ability to talk to them right out of the television in a way that made them want to answer back and care about their friendship with him. It was all I could do to not openly weep right there on the couch, and this little exchange of letters allowed me to do it just now at the office instead. What a delicate appreciation he had of the people he was addressing, and a gentle way of giving them a gift from a distance.

Thanks, Mr. Rogers, for all the time you took making good things in this world, and for the rare devotion to focus on little kids as people for so many years. A higher being in a sense that many religious traditions would aspire to...

(via Medley on Twitter)

Edit: idiotic to write about Rogers without linking to this profile, about which I can only say, Holy crap!

(via kottke)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday giggle

Well, *I* just had a 2-hour staff meeting, so I could use one, anyway:


Great annotated photos expressing many goofy things; it's like a cross between Cute Overload and Demotivators, Inc. Righteous!

(via NowThis)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday baby-blogging

A few recent cute ones, taken upon the first testing of a new skateboard!

Speck on new skateboard, with helmet and elbow pads
This serious, helmeted look cracks me up a bit.
Maybe it just looks like a kid older than 3.5.

Speck giggling in front of her new skateboard/scooter
Skateboarding was a hit!!
(Not a surprise, since this was a direct request.)

Will be interested to see how/when the eventual transition to no-hands skating goes, and then to a proper higher deck placement as her confidence increases. But right now, this takes plenty of concentration, and apparently wore out her legs on the way to the playground. Still, seems fun to me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thought for the day

The only thing that is real is that we have six roots within us. Three roots of good and three roots of evil. The latter are greed, hate and delusion, but we also have their opposites: generosity, love and wisdom. Take an interest in this matter.striated pebble If one investigates this and doesn't get anxious about it, then one can easily accept these six roots in everybody. No difficulty at all, when one has seen them in oneself. They are the underlying roots of everyone's behavior. Then we can look at ourselves a little more realistically, namely not blaming ourselves for the unwholesome roots, not patting ourselves on the back for the wholesome ones, but rather accepting their existence within us. We can also accept others more clear-sightedly and have a much easier time relating to them. We will not suffer from disappointments and we won't blame, because we won't live in a world where only black or white exists. Such a world doesn't exist.
- Ayya Khema
(via whiskey river)

Friday, September 23, 2011

To hell in a handbasket

I apparently just read, seethe, and file the links away for some imaginary future date when I'll have lots of spare time to analyze, ponder, and blog. But that's not happenin'! So here's a record-breaking heap of links from the last three months, that pain me to varying degrees and/or foreshadow the end of the American experiment:

I. Politics

II. Economy

III. Health Care

IV. Other stuff

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Say it ain't so

Digby notes some disturbing parallels between our response to the current economic situation and steps taken during early stages of the Great Depression. Nontrivially alarming how little we've apparently learned...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maybe I'm just grumpy

...but I think this current headline could sort of summarize the GOP's problems/strategies on most fronts over recent years:

Super Committee Riven By Major Divide Over Basic Facts

If those tasked with preventing disaster are going to sit around yelling "Earth is flat!" "Earth is round!" then we're already lost.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote of the day

Apropos to my previous post, but from a different context:
I no longer fear bad men doing bad things. I now fear ignorant people doing ignorant things out of their own misguided fear that the world is a horrible place.
Ridiculous that we are afraid to exercise our own parental judgement, to live our lives as if those around us were doing the same...

Who we became over the last 10 years

I was discussing with Spouse the degree to which I was resistant to this weekend's memorialization of 9/11. A part of me is fine with our sharing as a nation the shock and sorrow of that day, finding some unity again, but that possibility has been obliterated by ten years of politicization of the event, of claiming it as justification for unwarranted actions overseas, civil rights intrusions at home, and a general willingness to make our decisions out of fear and defensiveness rather than rationality or our founding principles. It leaves me frustrated with our nation and our leaders, and unable to get back to the reality of the searing moment we're trying to commemorate.

sorrowHow have we changed in the last ten years? Only insofar as we've learned nothing, continue to give up our freedoms, get used to continuous intrusions on our rights and persons in the name of "security." Just ask this everyday Ohio mom who was detained and treated like dirt for having the nerve to, um, fly in a plane while brown? There appears to be no penalty for cruelty and injustice anymore, as long as somebody is sufficiently nervous along the way, and nobody has any concrete rights that they can rely on once DHS is involved. It's more than scary -- it's alienating, infuriating, heart-rending. This isn't who we wanted to be; why have we let bin Laden push us there?

Monday, September 12, 2011

About my feeling

I guess I'm with Krugman on this one. That, and Sunday's comics pages were really poisoned. Enough that my tennis and football frolics were all soberized -- the comics too? Have we lost all sense of humor in this country?

Friday, September 02, 2011


Am left speechless by this conservative columnist who admits that he's against registering the poor to vote. I guess I'm just amazed that there are really people who think that moving big blocks of money around is more "productive" than fixing your sink or assembling your gadgets. Or that the poor care about robbing the wealthy more than just being able to live their lives happily and safely. Loathesome.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Seems obvious but it's not

A very cogent and concise argument against the current Google+ "real-name" policy: Google+ Can Be A Social Network Or The Name Police – Not Both
The Google+ common name policy is insane. It creates an antisocial space in what is supposed to be a social network. It is at odds with basic human social behavior; its implementation is NECESSARILY arbitrary and infuriating, and it is actively damaging the Google+ brand and indeed the broader Google brand.
Indeed, people are fleeing the network, the Blogger host, and even finding alternative search engines. The wondrous allure of "starting over" with all the lessons of Facebook in hand has been wiped away by this demonstration of complete obliviousness to how people operate in the world (of which the Internet is just one slice)...

(More on the arguments against using/requiring real names, when pseudonyms do the job just fine, here.)

Thought of the day

A Modest Proposalmoney growing on a tree!

Since conservatives claim to believe that the stimulus destroyed the economy, how about we have Stimulus II which only goes to states with Democratic governors. Everybody's happy!
- Atrios
(directly from Eschaton)