Saturday, March 30, 2019

Yes, he is. Tall, lean, powerful. Wonderful...

Me: ... and that is probably the weirdest thing I ever did with food.
Friend: Well, I shoved a popsicle up a guy's ass. I fucked him with it, and then it broke off. I ate the flavor out of his crack.
Me: You got me beat by a long shot.

I forgot to ask if it was a double-stick popsicle. If it was, what did he do with the other half?

God, he is handsome. Just ... handsome.

Friday, March 29, 2019

I once had a Latino friend come to D.C. for a visit. We took a shuttle bus back to the city, and were the only ones on it. We were talking, and suddenly he just got his powerful erection. I didn't realize he had such a huge cock, but I fished it could of his pants and sucked him off until he came in my mouth. It was one of the most daring things I ever did.

What a smile!

Meanwhile, on last night's Star Trek: Discovery... second-best quote of the season.
I guess I was too old for He-Man. It was such camp!!! I couldn't stand the hackneyed writing, awful stories, and really terrible comic antics of Orco.

Dump the name He-Man, dump the camp, and make it really dark... I'd pay to see that.

I don't normally like these posed "I'm an athlete" photos. The guys usually look gym-built, not athletic. Moreover, they look like they wouldn't know the difference between a jock-strap and a soccer ball. But this guy? Well, now...............

Wow, that's one pretty guy. I love his open face, and enormous bulge. Too bad he's not naked.

A new survey (conducted March 1 to 15, 2019) by Baldwin Wallace University shows that Ohioans prefer a generic Democratic candidate over Donald Trump by 43.2 to 30.5 percent. Men preferred a generic Democrat over Trump 42.2 to 37.6, while women did so 44.0 to 24.9. 90.4 percent of Democrats would automatically vote for a generic Democratic candidate, while just 76.8 percent of Republicans would vote automatically for Trump.

Ohioans disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job as president: 40.8 percent "very strongly" or "strongly" disapprove, while just 17.4 percent "very strongly" or "strongly" approve. Among men, the numbers are 38.0 versus 22.0, and among women 43.1 versus 13.8. 76 percent of Democrats "very strongly" or "strongly" disapprove, while just 42.5 of Republicans percent "very strongly" or "strongly" approve.

Survey respondents were drawn from online panels organized and curated by Dynata. Since Dynata does not disclose how it recruits members to web panels, we cannot assess whether the poll is random or not.

BWU's Community Research Institute, which created the poll and analyzed the results, adjusted the responses for gender, age, and region. Unfortunately, the BEST polls also adjust polls based on race, Hispanic background, ethnicity, region, sex, education, income, and internet access.

On the positive side, the BWU poll covered 14 days (e.g., as "in the field longer"), which helps to create a more robust poll.
Goddamnit he's amazing! What a handsome guy! What a BODY!!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

That is so goddamned funny!!!!!!!! I'm crying, I'm laughing so hard!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

That's it... open up and find the surprise!

Gosh, he's good looking.

Ellie has been in my home for just under four months. It's the second-longest period of time she has been out of a shelter.

My house faces southeast, and large trees screen the living room. The dining room gets sun, primarily in spring, fall, and winter.

Ellie is feeling comfortable enough in my house now to not need to sleep by me. Mid-mornings, she sneaks (yes, sneaks) downstairs to sleep in the sun in the dining room, behind the dining room table.
Climate change is already causing bigger, more frequent storms; more floods; and millions in financial losses in the Great Lakes region.

It's expected to get worse. A new report by 18 climate change experts says that in the future the Greater Cleveland area can expect:
  • A significant increase in extremely warm days (greater than 90 or 100 degrees), causing huge cooling costs for offices and factors, significant problems with the power grid, strain on emergency rooms, and hundreds of deaths related to heat.
  • Precipitation will increase by another 10 percent, creating flooding like that which the country saw in the Midwest last week.
  • Lake Erie ice cover will be much thinner and melt earlier, causing much more lake-effect snow and harming fisheries (which rely on extreme cold to kill parasites and harmful bacteria).
  • Crop yields for corn and soybeans will decrease by 10 to 30 percent by 2050 due to increased spring flooding and much worse summer heat.
  • Increased algae blooms will close more beaches and threaten drinking-water supplies.
  • Cities and counties will need to upgrade sewer systems to prevent storm overflows that release pathogens into the environment.
  • The cost of commerce and shipping will rise sharply due to weather-related problems.
  • Near-shore infrastructure like highways, freshwater supply systems, sewage treatment, railroads, and energy generation will need protective upgrades in the tens of billions of dollars to protect them from much more severe storm flooding and long summer droughts.
  • Public health spending will rise by tens of millions of dollars as the area tries to handle the disease, environmental pollution (like smog), and other problems created by climate change.
The A-Number One-Biggest thing that could help rein in the worst aspects of climate change? Farmers cutting the amount of fertilizer in runoff. In Ohio, that's not going to happen. Farmers treat fertilizer run-off as their god-given right.
Normally, I'm not one of those people who'll set up an extension ladder and climb 30 feet into the air to replace two lightbulbs. But I did that today.

The city of Cleveland Heights chose a new branding slogan for itself -- "We Choose This" -- last week. Less than three days later, the city announced it was scrapping the slogan after almost universal backlash from residents.

* * * * * * * * * *

My home town of Great Falls, Montana, had a population of about 60,000 until 1985 or so. In the 1970s, it lost its largest employer (the smelter) and the second largest (the air force base) began major downsizing.

The city reacted not by boosting education (to create a highly educated local workforce), not by improving infrastructure (its main thorough fare is a clogged nightmare), not by improving transportion (it still runs just three bus lines, once an hour).

It branded itself. "It's a Great Day in Great Falls!" They even had a jingle.

The city lost 10,000 people over the next decade. Although it's recovered, some, other cities have exploded in size: Billings added 48,000 to reach 109,000; Missoula more than doubled in size to 73,000; Bozeman more than doubled in size to 47,000; Helena grew by 50 percent to 31,500; and Kalispell more than doubled to 23,000. Median income in Great Falls in 2000 was $47,190 (in 2018 dollars). In 2017, it had fallen to $45,715 (in 2018 dollars). Child poverty is up a full percentage point, to 19.9 percent.

Was the branding successful?

♫ It's a great day...
♪ In Great Falls!
♪ It's a great daaaayyyy!
♪ ♫ In Great Falls!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Poor guy, caught out in the rain like that...

Anyone else concerned by this scene?

Trek has a very poor record regarding LGBTQ people and issues over the years. Even when it did include explicitly non-straight characters, such as the bisexual Intendant Kira on Deep Space nine, these characters were portrayed as stereotypically evil. Trek never seemed to let go of Golden Age Hollywood's homophobia, where LGBTQ individuals were seen as sick and evil and killed off as "punishment" for their sexuality.

More discussion and major spoilers behind the break
I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... architect William Howe's nephew, Elias Howe, patented the first viable sewing machine and his older brother, Tyler Howe, invented the box spring bed -- while he himself invented a truss design for bridges?
I wish there were more of him. This is the only image I could find, and it's clearly cropped.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Holy shit.

The Odyssey of Writing...... Or, My excuse for not posting all week.

In October 2018, it was the anniversary of actor Leo G. Carroll's death. Someone mentioned that his ashes had sat in a storeroom at Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, Calif., for four decades. That sounded like apocrypha, and it kind of was: Carroll's family were told he'd been interred in a niche, but the cemetery lied about that. They kept some 4,000 cremains unburied in order to keep space open so they could sell more niches (and store more cremains).

Wikipedia's article on Grand View Memorial Park was a piece of shit, so I completely rewrote it (and cited it, and drew a map).

Now it's early March 2019. I went back to the article, having found a couple sources and some info that seemed neat. I realized the list of notable burials was uncited, and I'd meant to fix that and forgot. So I started adding citations.

I stumbled across the name of a costume designer buried at Grand View: Robert Kalloch. I'd never heard of him, and there was no Wikipedia article. I figured a stubby little article would...

No, it wouldn't. Kalloch, it turns out, was one of THE top motion picture fashion designers of the 1930s. He ranked right up there with Adrian, Irene, and Edith Head. Moreover, Kalloch was almost openly gay. Kalloch worked for Columbia Pictures, where his output was limited by studio head Harry Cohn's refusal to do period pictures and by the much smaller Columbia release schedule. Yet, his films are some of the most famous of the 1930s and early 1940s: It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, The Awful Truth, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest. His career was cut short because his alcoholic lover was drinking heavily, and Kalloch quit Hollywood to care for him.

Since Wikipedia had no article on Kalloch, it is no small wonder that there were few mentions of him throughout the 5.8 million-article encyclopedia. I had to start adding them, where appropriate and notable. Using press mentions and costume design books, I started adding Kalloch's name and discussions of his work to films like "Sisters Under the Skin", "The Bitter Tea of General Yen", "It Happened One Night", "She Couldn't Take It", and "Let's Get Married".

Then I hit "The Awful Truth". Not only is this one of the most famous screwball comedies of all time, not only did it make Cary Grant a star, but Wikipedia's article was complete shit. There was just nothing to it. What claims were made were wild and completely unsupported.

This is an article which had been on the encyclopedia since July 11, 2002‎ -- practically the start of Wikipedia. By March 2007, it had been expanded with plot, cast list, some production information, and a bunch of uncited commentary.

And that's where the article stalled for 12 years. The next 210 or so revisions were mostly minor copyedits.

Fuck that shit. Between March 13 and 19, I researched an entire article online, wrote it, cited it, copyedited it, and got it online. I spent another two days filling in a few missing cites, fixing some links, copyediting, adding a little explanatory stuff, and so on.

Now it's a good fucking article, pardon my English.

And now, back to my article on Interlake Steamship Company.

"Well, Toho was clearing out their garage, and they put these old Godzilla masers up for sale. Real cheap, just $25 each. So we said, hey, why not...."
That nice Nick Robinson turns 24
(March 22, 1995)

He's the world's biggest mega-twink. Too bad he's straight.

Holy shit.

Cleveland is asking "socially responsible" partners to invest in Opportunity Zones.

These were enacted by Congress at Trump's urging in 2017. They give major federal capital gains tax breaks to companies investing in areas with at least 20-percent poverty levels.

Remember Richard Nixon's "Community Capitalism"? Remember Ronald Reagan's "Enterprise Zones"? Then George H.W. Bush's "Empowerment Zones"? Or Bill Clinton's "New Markets Tax Credits"? Then Barack Obama's "Promise Zones"?

It's all the same bullshit over and over: Basically eliminate most federal taxes on businesses if they invest in high-poverty areas.

They simply don't work.

Under Reagan, for example, businesses gamed the system and got the tax cuts without doing much of anything. Additionally, the "job creation" was merely the relocation of jobs from an area juuuust outside the "Enterprise Zone", which created no jobs at all. (It did piss off workers who loathed being in poverty-striken, higher-crime areas with fewer amenities.) Even when a new job was created, it came at very high cost -- an average of $53,162 in lost tax revenue.

THE PROBLEM is that high taxes are not why businesses don't invest in high-poverty areas. The real reasons are that these areas lack an educated labor force, the poor lack access to private transportation or mass transit to get to jobs, many poor areas have serious infrastructure problems, and many poor workers have behavioral, child-care, domestic, health, and other problems which make it not only difficult for them to get a job but to perform efficiently and to hold that job long-term.

Opportunity Zones do not address these issues.

But, you know, this is Cleveland. Beat that dead horse. Beat it again! We love to hit things!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

I melt.

Did the Browns just get a hell of a lot closer to the playoffs? You'd think they were in the Super Bowl already if you'd been reading the press reports about the Odell Beckham trade.

The Browns will get Odell Beckham (WR), Olivier Vernon (DL/OLB), and the number 132 pick (fourth round) from the Giants.

The Giants get Jabrill Peppers (S), Kevin Zeitler (RG), the number 17 pick (first round), and the number 95 pick (third round) from Cleveland.

The Browns pick up the last four years of Beckham's five-year contract, which averages out to about $15.4 million a year with $19.5 million guaranteed. All but $2.5 million of the guarantee is paid out this year. ($16 million won't apply to the Brown's salary cap.)

Vernon is in the last two years of a five-year million contract that averages out to $15.5 million a year. (All his guaranteed money has been paid out already.)

These trades leave the Browns with $69 million left to spend under the salary cap, even accounting for offers to Rashard Higgins, Trevon Coley and Jermaine Whitehead.

Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- thinks Beckham is at the top of his game, and one of the most stellar players in the NFL. I'm not so sure. Beckham has been sidelined two years in a row with season-ending injuries. His output in terms of receptions, total yards, average yards, yards gained, and touchdowns have dropped almost every single year he's been in the NFL. True, Beckham has had to contend with an aging aging aging Eli Manning, and last year saw the Giants coaching staff sideline him more often than not.

I don't buy that last explanation. Beckham's outpout in 2018 was about the same as in 2016, when the Giants treated him like a god.

Moreover, the Giants signed Beckham to a very, very rich deal on August 27, 2018, that included a huge $20 million signing bonus. They just ate those costs, just three months after declaring they were committed to Beckham long-term. So what changed? Did the Giants want the salary cap room? They didn't get it. Were Beckham's comments critical of the Giants last month too much for the coaching staff? Do the Giants consider him such a prima-donna that he simply won't be happy unless he's the lone star on the team? Maybe the Giants think he's too injury-prone.

I dunno. I do know the Browns now have a surfeit of wide receivers, very few of which are going to be getting catches from Baker Mayfield this year.

Having a dog has impacted my life in a lot of ways rather heavily. Ellie not only has trouble getting on and sticking to a poop and pee schedule (she spent most of her life in a shelter, where she could do it whenever she wanted), she is a coonhound-mix who has a lot of energy. This means she has to be taken out and allowed to run (yes, run!) for two hours a day.

For me, that means 45 minutes in the morning, two 20-minute breaks in the afternoon, and another 45 minutes in the evening. Every three days, one of those 45-minute runs turns into a 90-minute run, because she is young and has so much energy she can get destructive, neurotic, or bored if I don't.

We used to go to the dog park, but that was cutting into my day so heavily I couldn't function. With her remote-control collar, she's able to run around on the half-acre back yard I have. She used to leap the six-foot-high fence back there, but she's learned not to do that now. Nevertheless, I still have to stand out there and watch her while she's having her sniffs and runs and investigations of the Evil Alien Invading Squirrel Army that has sent its legions to conquer the Earth.

I'd get bored just standing there, watching her. When it's really nice, I can haul the deck chair out, and read a book.

Lately, it's been just cold enough that I can't do that. Instead, I'm doing yard work. I'm chopping wood, picking up sticks (endless, endless sticks!), and that sort of thing.

My property is literally on a ridge. There's this hard, thick shale that is maybe a foot or less below the surface. The bright red line on that map shows where the ridge is. Everything below that is God's Country(tm), a heavily wooded piece of land with a jumble of stones just below the grass and ivy. It's not really useable for anything, although I know what I'd do with it if I had $100,00 or so.

lower back yard - June 2015 - my house

Ellie loves God's Country(tm). There are tons of squirrels back there, the deer frequent it a lot at night, and there are a bazillion smells to smell.

There are also twelve trillon tons of leaves. A small portion of God's Country(tm) was cleared by the previous owners. It consists of some good soil they dumped back there, a stony path, and a patio. I've never used it. None of my friends want to join me outside in the spring, summer, or fall. "It's too muggy!" "I hate mosquitoes!" "Why do I have to go down those rickety stairs?"

I'm thinking, though, that I should use it.

So while Ellie runs about, I'm raking leaves, bagging them, pulling vines, picking up dead wood, breaking up sticks, resetting rock, and so on.

It's exhausting work. We both come inside pooped.

That's when Ellie takes her nap.

Me? That's when I start getting to work researching and writing.

It's a dog's life.

Ellie snoozes
God, he's handsome.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Look at how tall he is! Context and proportion give you the clue: Even slumped on the couch, his shoulders are above the back. That means he's easily six feet tall. Now drop your eyes to his crotch. Wow.

Oh yes, he is. Drinkable.

A 1934 newspaper ad from Detroit. Smack dab in the middle of the Hollywood gossip pages.

How... er, uh... progressive of them.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Set your clocks ahead and change the batteries in your smoke detectors! (whether they need it or not)

The dog likes to sleep partially upright. Okay... so I got her a bolster.

Now she's wearing it like a hat.

Ellie is bolstered

Great Lakes ranked by the average depth:

Superior: 483 ft (147 m) – Deepest Point is 1,333 ft (406 m)
Ontario: 283 ft (86 m) – Deepest Point: 804 ft (245 m)
Michigan: 279 ft (85 m) – Deepest Point: 925 ft (282 m)
Huron: 195 ft (59 m) – Deepest Point: 748 ft (228 m)
Erie: 62 ft (19 m) – Deepest Point: 210 ft (64 m)

Winter is here.

wood for winter

I've been chopping wood while the dog runs around in God's Country(tm).*

* - (that's my back yard below the ridge.)
A coyote crosses frozen Lake Erie last week.