Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE IN OUTER SPACE, Tom Lehrer guest stars as Henry the Eighth. As the new girl in town, Captain Laura is targeted to be his seventh wife, the first six having mysteriously perished. Tom reprises the "Silent E" song that he wrote for the Electric Company.

what can turn a nil into a nile
and turn mil into a mile
and do it all with style
and never appear vile
the grandiosity of silent e

tie-dye with rit
wear it to a rite
do zazen sit
post it on your site (that's right!)
all cybernetically with silent e

it's not that far
so compare your fare
go by car
or maybe by air (if you dare)

if you care how
you travel to there
there's informa
tion that you can share
take my dare and do your hair with silent e

some guys are fat
it may be their fate
try lifting weights, work out your lats -and don't be late
could a guy like dat (Henry VIII)
ever get a date?
sometimes even a mat, can have a mate!

they met at a bar
and soon they were bare
by a a horse-shaped crater
called the mar of mare
and then she escaped
to her prairie lair
more adventures were awaiting way out there

i kitty kat, plz to call me "kate"
hijacked this song, you'll just have to wait.
i'm in your parody
explorin' don't ya see
seekret felinity of silent e

lets have a spat, or maybe a spate
of cheeze burgers
and go roller skate
so many choices what goes on your plate
the cat in the hat's hat, like it or hate? (take my survey!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Every Planet Comes to Prissville

9.6199,316.490 3.2534,317.311 -3.6065,318.184 -10.7994,319.114 -18.1079,320.107 -25.2924,321.168 -32.1356,322.304 -38.3821,323.503 10.0488,309.990 3.4111,310.633 -3.7935,311.321 -11.3859,312.059 -19.1152,312.852 -26.7020,313.707 -33.8954,314.631 -40.4175,315.616 10.3688,302.971 3.5299,303.383 -3.9356,303.826 -11.8345,304.304 -19.8885,304.822 -27.7850,305.383 -35.2455,305.993 -41.9755,306.650 10.5408,295.599 3.5942,295.741 -4.0129,295.895 -12.0797,296.061 -20.3121,296.241 -28.3786,296.437 -35.9851,296.651 -42.8279,296.883 10.5408,288.101 3.5942,287.959 -4.0129,287.805 -12.0797,287.639 -20.3121,287.459 -28.3786,287.263 -35.9851,287.049 -42.8279,286.817 10.3688,280.729 3.5299,280.317 -3.9356,279.874 -11.8345,279.396 -19.8885,278.878 -27.7850,278.317 -35.2455,277.707 -41.9755,277.050 10.0488,273.710 3.4111,273.067 -3.7935,272.379 -11.3859,271.641 -19.1152,270.848 -26.7020,269.993 -33.8954,269.069 -40.4175,268.084 9.6272,267.307 3.2561,266.489 -3.6097,265.618 -10.8093,264.690 -18.1248,263.700 -25.3161,262.641 -32.1652,261.508 -38.4163,260.311

Aim point RA: 19h 27m 24s Dec: −16°14'21"
Wed 2008 Dec 17 2:43 UTC

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View of RA: 19h 27m 24s Dec: -16°14'21" at Wed 2008 Dec 17 2:43 UTC
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Sun17h 40m 29s−23° 21.8'0.984
Mercury18h 32m 29s−25° 25.1'1.340
Venus20h 54m 29s−19° 41.0'0.896
Moon9h 53m 12s+11° 16.7'58.4 ER
Mars17h 26m 45s−23° 47.3'2.458
Jupiter19h 50m 29s−21° 24.8'5.947
Saturn11h 32m 9s+5° 9.8'9.243
Uranus23h 20m 23s−5° 5.6'20.189
Neptune21h 38m 2s−14° 30.1'30.566
Pluto18h 2m 27s−17° 43.4'32.544

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Donny Joel Prissment

Choose a letter "A" through "D"
If you like, choose two, or three
Comment back so all can see
Your choice of etymology

The word "Don" or "don"

A. Should be used only as a proper name, or as a nickname for "Donald".

B. Works well as a latinate title for the godfather, and for that Don Quixote guy who tilts at windmills, and doubles gracefully as part of the name of Mr Rogers' donkey puppet who was named after the windmill aficionado..

C. Is a grudgingly tolerated archaism in a song about "gay apparel" but should never see the night of day, nor the candlelight of night otherwise.

D. Is your favorite word and you screech it repeatedly every morning as you costume yourself for public appearances:

I'm donning my socks!
I'm donning my shoes!
I'm donning my false eyelashes!
And so on, until your desired raiment has been fully applied.

And you also helpfully remind your family and friends:
Honey, don your jacket. It's cold out there!

And you are writing a screenplay called "The Donners of Donlington" which is about customers of the haute couture fashion industry as they stand in line for for fashion shows, and go back to the studio for second and third fittings, and most of all, scramble to rake in the dinero, (or in this case the "donero") to afford such cheddar-slicing-edge attire. There's a climax as various characters get dressed for the ball. (What am I saying? I mean: as they DON their new DUDS.) And an epilogue over the credits as they sally forth in cars and carriages, then alight upon red carpets and dance the night away. If it sells, you are hoping to have Robin Leach, or Ross the Intern as narrator.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Robert A. Heinlein, Choreographer

--Today Robert A. Heinlein guest stars on Little House On the Prairie In Outer Space as the imperious commandant of a military dance academy. He also sings. --
Like to sing along? Youtube can be of assistance.


If you want to be
An author just like me
Nod to science, cater to the
Lust for freedom, to do the hula

I can keep my writing up
I just might never stop
A Universe of Real Estate
Of mineral rights and boilerplate

Remember my name

I'm gonna be here awhile
I will continue to rule

Hefner bathrobe is my style
Students will read me in school

I have a high-tech jaccuzi
There's never a bathtub ring

Bisexual women excite me
But other guys aren't my thing


Sometimes in life we triumph
And play a good chess game
Just remember you could do worse
Like in that parallel Universe

I'll meet you in timeline three
Baby save a seat for me
I'll bring a laser, we'll shoot quail
And talk to Doolittle's cyrstal snail

Remember my name

Time travel will force a plot forward
When you're fresh out of ideas

All of my cream comes from Sequim
I never eat quesadias

Gold is the way of the future

Although you can't eat it, you know

Nor is it easy to carry

When disguised as a hobo

Remember, Remember, Remember, Remember

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little House on the Prairie IN OUTER SPACE

The series continues. (Sing this to the tune of the Little House on the Prairie TV Show.)

When the great plains aren't vast enough
And Walnut Grove town is stifling
It's time for a change
So lets re-arrange our molecules
And teach galactic school

"The Prairie" 's the name of our rocket ship
Left western horizons for beyond
If energy ports
Should morph out of sorts there's hydrogen
In Plum Creek and Blackberry Pond

Laura's a whiz at the tiller
Mary's clairvoyant carefree
Our computer "Pip"
Is Paw (in a chip) and Jack-kuri
Is our Robo-puppy

Off to new worlds and more planets
Big, small and some frothy foam
Why we pioneer?
The answer clear that soon we'll find
A place for our new home

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Veterans and PTSD

Private health insurance companies try to exclude the more expensive patients. This Orange County Weekly article explains that a significant number of war veterans are losing their publicly funded medical benefits as well. Since lifelong psychiatric care weighs heavily on the Veterans Administration budget, eligibility has been taken away from those who received dishonorable discharges. It seems obvious that people in that situation, mostly men, are seriously in need of care. It could be argued that disciplinary problems made them less deserving than others, but that conclusion will not make their health problems go away. As some of them have a history of violence, providing this care, even simply monitoring their condition, is more than a gesture of compassion, it is in the interest of everyone, a matter of selfish public safety.

I don't want to discount compassion. Access to medical care is essential for non-veterans too. If we need a public interest reason to justify it, I think that some of the people who receive good care, will go on to pass on care and support to the rest of society.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lightning Illuminates

I attempted live-blogging from the election night Illuminati gala, but while the wifi gave four bars, the internets were denied to me. The computers projecting news feeds on wall screens were wired in.

I got there earlier than planned, and the dining event was still in full swing. Madame ChairLady added me to the list, and I pinned on a name tag. A non-sucky band played, and among the animal and pasta and cake and cookie dishes was a salad bar with raw cauliflower.

Seeing the faces of people in the crowds broadcast from around the country moved me. So much worry that skullduggery would steal this, or that a close count would drag things out. So much joy that Obama has been declared the winner. News bureaus say so, concession speech, VICTORY speech. A done deal.

My companions needed to stay late to finish their hosting duties. So I was still there when our Governor, Christine Gregoire went over the top and made a victory speech on television. I got a bumper sticker and two bilingual campaign buttons. I had my picture taken with Barrack. Now to read the speeches that I half heard above the roar of the crowd.
Posted by Prisstopolis at 12:39 AM 0 heard from
Labels: election night, pictures, politics, presidential campaign, raw food

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fu Yu

The voting has been done. Straight Democratic ticket, and if one of the non partisan judicial candidates enjoys the similarly gendered, so much the the fairer meting of justice there shall be. I picked up a free coffee with brown sugar at Starbucks. It was made from burnt beans that were over-boiled, truly an incentive to stick to carrot juice or green tea! I voted against all of the initiatives except for one increasing public transportation. It is expensive and will probably fail.

Here in Washington State we considered something billed as the "death with dignity" initiative if you were in favor, or as "medically assisted suicide" if you were against it. I'm in the against camp, even though it is likely to pass. I've looked at the argument in favor. The prescription would be available only to those expected to expire naturally within six months, and they would have to submit to a psychological interview and be determined to be mentally competent.

In Judaism, doing away with yourself is a strict no-no. It can be looked at as self-murder. The way that we rationalize it and forgive those who are assumed to have done this, is to believe that they must have been depressed, they must not have been in their right minds. So I'm in favor of thorough pain relief, I'm in favor of treatment for depression, and I'm definitely in favor of not unnaturally prolonging lives of comatose people dependent on respirators. Hospitals and hospice care have come a long way in establishing guidelines to prevent that from happening. A lot of people that I know who have religious faith and practice seem to able to support this initiative and not find a conflict. Our State voted on a similar initiative 16 years ago and it failed at that time. This one is considered to be drafted more carefully.

The fuyu? More Japanese persimmons. Marked down because they were getting soft. Perfectly sweet and ready to dig into.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What a Vice President Does (The less, the better.)

The Vice President is just there to serve as a backup in case the presidential disk crashes. There is also the rarely required tie-breaking vote in the Senate. NOTHING ELSE.

Voters hope that if a VP assumes the presidency, ongoing administration policies will be continued, but the new guy has no obligation to do so. Ideally, a running mate is chosen based on sharing the philosophies of the main candidate.

All of this adviser, lobbyist, little helper, ghetto enforcer, brains behind the machine, surrey-with-the-fringe-on-top window-dressing is not why we have one. Although a VP can come in handy to represent the U.S. at foreign funerals, or to toss out the first baseball of the season.

A conscientious VP would spend time every day reading the congressional record, the newspapers, twitter, and anything the president sends over.

The idea is to stay informed, to be ready if called upon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vote Like a Pirate

Aye, the tide is turning me fine lasses and laddies. Election day draws nigh and soon we'll be having a hack and slash sword fight with the scurvy varlets of that bilious Brigantine known as the S.S. Diebold as they divide up the resultin' booty. A call rings out across deck-plank and dock, 'All ashore that's goin' ashore!" Unabashed Republicans the likes o' Colin Powell and Representative Jim Leach have let it be known to one and all that a McCain presidency is a calamity up with which they will not be puttin'. Television talking heads such as Katie Couric and David Letterman find it impossible to interview an R candidate without lapsin' into eyerollin' and into lip curlin' sneers. Chris Matthews expressed his disgust that McPain has no idea what the constitution is tellin' us about what a vice president does, and R speechwriter David Frum says that while he may still vote for his lily-livered passel of lamers, he washes his hands of the ham-handed hodgepodge they've been after foistin' upon the American people.

These hard-core henchmen of the establishment are like rats leavin' a sinkin' ship. Conversly, they are like new-signed landlubbers anxious to get their sea-legs under 'em as the ship of State casts off for new waters. Middle of the roaders hate to be left stradling a gangplank as it folds up for four years of hold storage.

So pack yer hardtack and put on yer Sou'Wester. It's time to fish or cut bait.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Andbing Owashisnamo

I posted a Twitter about making beet juice. Beets can stain your skin or your clothes resulting in a MARK OF THE BEETS. This sounds like a name. It follows the same form as Robin of Locksley, Will O'theWisp, and Bugs Bunny's friend: Cirrhosis of the Liver. let us look into into the Prisstopolis phone book to see what similar names lie on the "O" page:

First, there are names employing an apostrophe

Tortoise O'Hare
Cree O'LadyMarmelade
Port O'potty
Jell O'Puddingpop
Son O'Vagunwe'llbehavin'somefunonthebayou (A fine film. It was a sequel to the documentary treatment of his father.)

Then, some names that do indeed start with "O"

Ro-de O
Desert Oasis
Atlantic Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Cinccinatti Ohio
Holly Oleeoxenfree
Aut Omation
Jackie Onassis
Show Opening
RedroverredroversendPrisstopolisright Over
Fatal Overdose

And finally, some people are listed who have first names that begin with "O" and really belong on other pages.
E., O'Mall
Swamp, Okefenokee
Isme, Ohwoe
Dale, Over
Hill, Over

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plumber Joe, Surfer Joe, Peggy Sue

I haven't seen Mark Russell on a television set near me lately, but he used to show up several times a year on public channels with his red, white, and blue draped piano and political satire set to Broadway tunes. The last time that the stock market suffered a "correction," he explained that two days earlier had been "Black Monday, followed by Gray Tuesday, and today is Beige Wednesday."

Wikipedia informs me that Marky-baby is still above the sod. I never saw him use any rock and roll songs, but he's my inspiration for this little ditty.

Do you know plumber Joe
Keeps your float valve on the go
That plumber, plumber Joe-ho ho
Oh when you gotta go you you need a plumber in the know

Kitchen sink, to pour a drink
Like to hear those glasses clink
I neeed a workin' kitchen sin-hi-hink
Can't pour a drink without a workin' kitchen sink

Water flow, money dough
Cheddar to top your nacho
He's keepin' your taxes lo-ho-ho
Because a liquid lucre has got to have that flow!

(Chuck Berry style guitar solo)

Quarter mill, such a thrill
Or just a think tank well-paid shill
This message is getting shri-hill-hill
We can fix this mess if you just let me DRILL BABY DRILL

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Adequately Insulating

Just for Moderatly Entertaining, Today I had occasion to ask a shopkeeper if there were a hat department.

There was!

I did not take the game to the next level of asking for the back-up hat department. And I left without any new millinerial acquisitions. Their selection was simply not up to muster.

In another venue, I was able to procure a CTJ.* It has a hood, which somewhat obviates any hatational requirements.

*CTJ is the Prisstonian word for winter outerwear. It is an acronym for Coat 'til June.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Brand New Dance Now

The governor of California is asking Congress for an estimated seven billion dollars because in his lean, mean, low-taxing machine, there is suddenly not enough money to run the State.

According to the Treasurer of California:

"California may be forced to halt or significantly delay payments for teachers' salaries, nursing homes, law enforcement and 'every other state-funded service. . .'"

I can imagine all of those public servants, including the groundskeepers and cafeteria workers, missing a paycheck and filing for unemployment benefits. --Of course there would be no one on hand to process the paperwork.

Just like the private bailout, this is being framed as a loan, in this case a short term one. So if we "print money" to give to California, and then they pay it back, it could be removed from circulation with no harm done right? Except I don't think it works that way, I think that the money supply will just expand that much faster.

And California can't be the only place with liquidity issues. Get ready for the rest of the States with skinflint "small government" legislatures to hold out their hands on the Beltway breadline.

The bailout boogie is just beginning.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

May you have sweetness in the New Year


"midriff-bearing" in avoidance of bearing down

I posted a response to a Slate column purely to question their word choice. The article discussed and linked to an advertising campaign for hormonal contraception. It compared birth-control pills (so five-minutes-ago,) with a silicon pessary (up-to-the minute, plus it may even tone your abs.)
This consummate acquiescence to a manufacturer in the form of product placement was disappointing to me, because it advances the pharmaceutical industry message that choosy (non)mothers choose pregnant mare urine. There are methods that don't involve hormones at all, and I would like to see those promoted and made easier to use.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Maverick Scale

Supreme Maverick of the Universe (One can only dream)
Maverick of Pennsylvania Avenue (Maybe later)
Maverick of the Senate (McCain now)
A Good Maverick with me (Applies to Palin)
Fair to middlin' Maverick (Repub Senate candidates)
Simple Ordinary Maverick (Repub House candidates)
Hardly a Maverick at all (other party candidates)
Non Maverick (people not running for office)
Chipped beef on toast (chipped beef on toast)

Umm, McCain had numerous pronunciations for "nuclear"

noo koo LEER, noo koo LER, noo KOO ler, and the normal NOO klee er. Talk about appealing to a diverse electorate!

And thank you to my local maverick Seattle area stores and utilities for accepting my WaMu money and not refusing it as worthless Quatloos. They are TRUE mavericks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I just saw a recast of the September 24th CBS Katie Couric interview

Dear Senator Obama,

Do not suspend your presidential campaign, Do not suspend it for one minute. Go to the Senate floor for negotiations and votes, and maintain contact with your constituency by electronic means. Have your family and campaign staff, and those of Senator Biden, continue to appear at rallies. Your opponent's slimy request that you abandon your quest for a Democratic Administration is motivated by his desires to increase his own pocketbook and those of his fellow super-rich. Another Republican Administration would accelerate America's divide into a country of haves and have-nots, where the have-nots are increasingly denied the right to vote. Work for change. Stay on the campaign trail.

Democratically yours,

Priss Prisstofferson

Dear Senator McCain,

Why what a clever idea. If the campaign is suspended, the other candidate will never get to meet the public and never get to answer their questions. Your greater name recognition might just edge you over the top. And clever too, to represent your call for him to pick up his marbles and go home as taking the high road. No, conceding to you would not be best for the public, it would be best for the arms dealers and insurance companies, and best for your retirement income someday when they would reward you for your role as a loyal vassal. Today we have telephones and video cameras. These can be combined into a powerful communication instrument that would allow you to stay in touch with the public and with the Press. You also have a running mate. You could request that the Vice-Presidential debate be held first, while you seclude yourself in a Senate committee room. It seems likely to me that Senator Biden would be willing to pop out of chambers, whip out a debate, and then dash back to the Capitol if there were really some effective stopgap plan to be hammered out. The Press has made much of your campaign's reluctance to take Sarah Palin out of the Saran Wrap, but debates are a traditional part of American Presidential races. If you back away from personally participating, you appear to have something to hide. So get out there and debate, or send your running mate in your stead. Wassamatter, are you yeller?

Republicanly yours,

Priss Prisstofferson

Monday, August 25, 2008

Accidental Cat Chaperone

I heard a plaintive sound. Something outside, or was it in the lobby? It was intermittent, so I didn't investigate right away. The sound began again with more constancy, so I peeked out to take a look. An orange tabby had been wandering the halls, it was cozying up to one of my neighbors. It wasn't her cat. She pointed out an address tag on its collar, and said that she had to leave for work now.

The furry beast is now ensconced on my deck. There are plants to investigate and a bowl of water. I placed a board at the base of the screen door in an attempt to to shield it from those fearsome claws. But the wily creature worried its body between the door and the board easily removing the barrier. Now it is sitting outside, a few feet from my computer table, making poor little me noises.

A pink post-it is in place on the door of the presumed owners alerting them to the cat's location should they ever return. This superintendence can not become permanent. I'm having slight allergic symptoms already.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Key per

McCain has a brother named McAbel

who hasn't been seen around lately.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bliss Stick

You can use it to point
To gesture emphatically
It is made out of wood
But didn't grow on a tree

4 out of 5 non-dentists
Would be forced to agree
That the bamboo back scratcher
Delivers ecstasy

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's Zbig's Birthday!

I'm now the parent of an 18 year old.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Floats and Diggers

Latest pool annoyance: A nylon rope with plastic floats now bisects the rectangle, not lengthwise creating a lane, but across the width. In pursuit of a segregated shallow area for non-swimmers, I am expected to turn my 30 mini laps into 60 DEMI-MINI laps. This is unacceptable.

My solution: Swim at an early dinner hour when the water is undiluted by juveniles. Untying the floating barrier was a snap. I then replaced it within half an hour. Yes, there were a few witnesses, but they will keep mum.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Water in, In Water

The homeowner association rules state that while in the pool area one must "bring a nonalcoholic drink in a plastic container." Now usually I flaunt this, preferring to wait until later in my own dining room to attend to re-hydration needs, But the weather was warm today, so I brought an 8 ounce container of eau municipale along with my Liz Claiborne hat, and my goggles. There were a handful of kids in the pool throwing around beach balls, and they politely moved over a bit to accommodate my mini lap swimming. On one corner of the deck some non-aquatic types blabbed away in deck chairs. One of them found the need to chain smoke.

I didn't stick around much after swimming. It wasn't only the smoke, there was this alarming brightness everywhere. My hat and the Aveeno non-oily sunblock on my nose were no match for the ionizing radiation. When I got back, I mentioned the smoker to the PrissKids.

Zbigniew said, "You should have whipped out a one hundred page book and pointed to the rule."

I responded with more theoretics, "Here is my non-alcoholic drink in a plastic container. Where's yours? And put out that cigarette!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rolled Oaths

A current Slate article discusses the practice of California State public colleges of requiring that new hires sign a loyalty oath as a condition of employment. Two teachers objected this requirement based on their religious beliefs. They are both Quaker, and the oath includes a provision that they will "defend" state and federal law against "enemies." To them, this terminology would commit them to engage in violence should the constitution of California or of the U.S. government ever come under attack. These two instructors have had some success after drawn out negotiations, in becoming eligible to work while objecting to that specific part of the oath.

This solution appalls me. Citizens and those with visas allowing them to work in this country are eligible to work in this country. Their employment should be based solely on ability and performance. While something like this may be appropriate for military and possibly for law enforcement, teachers should not be required to serve as a reserve militia. If their area of study extends to exploring possible constitutional changes, the product should be treated the same as any other researched opinion.

The problem is the loyalty oath, not one specific item within it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mark of the Beastie

Camera recognition of hand signals, or of other body movements, eventually including facial expressions is going to replace the touch pad inputs we have gotten used to. A small camera facing your hand could pick up signals for all text characters or menu/toggle choices.

In this video, the user outlines an object in their hand, or the hand itself for the camera. The program then recognizes it as a pointer for playing a game or using an interactive music application.

Video and article at Techcrunch

The only downside I see is that I may need to learn sign language.

This is going to be huge!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He did it!

A major milestone for my eldest tonight. Beautiful ceremony, and I only cried a little bit. My daughter was there too, to cheer him on. Now it is midnight. They are sleeping like the babies that they used to be.

Media Reality

Poignant article on the whole mother daughter dynamic. If any of you guys read it, comments here would be great. What it made me think about is that our lives aren't going to be idyllically perfect. Family life is stressful. That's why so many people who are financially able to live alone, end up doing so. (Then some of them bemoan their lack of a partner.)

The Zbigster is graduating from High School today, and Maddy is trying to get out of attending based on her homework and dance rehearsal obligations. Empty nesting is just around the corner here in Prisstopia.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tweets in the twee-twops

I just looked at http://tweetstats.com/ and generated cool graphs of my twitter activity and this "Tweetcloud" of my most-used words.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I went to see a modern dance performance today. All I knew beforehand, was that my daughter’s friend was in it. It was an end of the year recital by 7 to 15 year olds. They all participate in the choreography, and the work was quite advanced. I thought about how much communication there is in gesture as they were able to transmit mood. Some of the dance steps were straight out of yoga class, and they used muscle to lift each other. Facial expressions were a big part of the storytelling as well.

It was a mother-daughter day, my son having demurred at the balletic excursion, and we also went to a vegetarian restaurant to hang out with some raw fooders. I traded lists of smoothie ingredients with a few people. One guy said that he feels an energy rush every time he drinks coconut water. Sometimes pineapple does the same thing to me.

On the way home, we stopped for produce at the Jedi market. I bought a cactus leaf, which has now been shredded in the cuisinart, and mixed with cilantro, onion, lime juice, tomato, and mexican spices.

We did quite a bit of walking too. I feel tired, but also, really good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Raw-k Roll!

(Sing this to the tune of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley)

We're familiar with food that's cooked
You used to eat it and so did I
Just a taste is what I have in mind
You won't know if you like raw, until you try

Just a word about how great I've been feeling
Since I entered live foods land-

Never gonna steam it up
Never gonna boil it down
Never gonna roast a crown and skirt you
Never gonna gonna grill walleye
Never gonna braise Birds Eye
Never gonna toast on rye, and serve it to you

I've not been at this for very long
I know it all looks strange if you've not tried it
That's the message of this song
We could have pineapple, or raw banana split

And if you ask me why I do this
The results are easy to see-

Never gonna steam it up
Never gonna boil it down
Never gonna roast a crown and skirt you
Never gonna make you fry
Never gonna bake a pie
Never gonna carmine dye, and squirt you

Never gonna steam it up
Never gonna boil it down
Never gonna roast a crown and skirt you
Never gonna gonna grill walleye
Never gonna braise Birds Eye
Never gonna toast on rye, and serve it to you

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nightly Noobs

Stay tuned for the Nightly Noobs with your anchors: May Zhorboubs and Fabula Snockers

Our meteorologist Ray Kneeskiez has the weather forecast

Tay Thurble will fill you in on the sports scores

Health reporter Rick Olah with a word on Spring allergies
The farm report is by Till Theland
Restuarant trends from Sue Shi
Political reports from Cam Payntrail and Em Tipromise

Special reports tonight from:

Global warming alarmist Harry Binger
Economist Law Fercurf
And art critic Jess O.

As always

Movie reviews from Moe Shun and Music scene by Lei Dievfspaine

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

MinHaggadah - Passover Shopping

I told my daughter that I was going to buy some holiday groceries. She asked me what I was going to get. I already had apples, but we still needed the horseradish and more eggs. There was also the matter of the matzah.

"Don't we also need to get an orange?"

"If you say that we need an orange, then I will get an orange."

"But don't we NEED an orange."

"If an orange is part of your minhag, then we should have one."

She tried the phrase "supposed to" on me, but that didn't specifically apply either.

So, about the orange:

The seder plate includes five symbolic foods, although the seder is based around three symbolic foods including the unleavened bread which is not even one of the five on the plate. A Venn diagram might be useful here. Israeli seder plates include a space for a fresh green in addition to the mild parsley and the bitter horseradish. This is usually lettuce, and my haggadah does not mention any symbolism for it. An orange is not among the five.

There is a very modern story, probably originating in our lifetimes, and in my opinion, like an earlier one about George Washington and the cherry tree, quite likely after the fact, about the passover orange. Today there are many female rabbis, but this is a phenomenon of the last half century. Before that, rabbis were all male. Orthodox synagogues still do not have any women in rabbinical roles. Since those guys say that they are doing everything correctly, and all else is inauthentic imitation, adherents would be of the opinion that there STILL are no women rabbis.

We could get into many advantages and disadvantages of an all-male clergy. I like the idea that it gives men something to do. Hanging out with their rabbi and discussing a Jewish equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin provides camaraderie and defrays boredom. This can contribute to a congenial home life. When women are discouraged from this esoteric knowledge, some of them desire inclusion. For example, if I were more informed, I might understand the significance of the not-so-bitter Israeli lettuce. There is also an increasing trend of clerical authoritarianism, I see that as the real issue in this citrus conversation. When both sexes are involved in a process, that egalitarianism is transmitted to those they serve. That would be the congregations.

Returning to the orange:

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a young woman asked her rabbi if she could also become a rabbi when she grew up. He responded: "When women can be rabbis, there will be an orange on the seder plate." Since that time, oranges have shoe-horned their way onto crowded holiday tables.

The haggadah doesn't say anything directly about why an egg is included either, only that you need one. Tradition has always been an evolving fusion.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ode to a Haircut


(Sing this to the tune of "Somewhere Out There")
Somewhere nearby I hear the buzzing sound
A song of barbershop clippers hummed in four part round
Even closer my favorite seventeen-year old
Soon to undergo shortening of his glorious locks of gold

And though no razor`s touched his hair since last June or July
I`d like to think underneath that mane is still the same sweet guy

To the strip mall a mere mile away
First thing on the agenda of a balmy spring break day
As the strands fall it soon reveals a trace
Of what is becoming a grown-up chiseled face

Floor-length tresses no longer decorate my mature tyke
But by summer they may evolve into a surfer spike

This has been a successful haircut event
I for one am glad that both of us went
And the clippers continue buzzing along
Will your own teenager soon attend a concert of their song?


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Egress Boogie

As to my Passover song of the previous post. http://pr1ss.blogspot.com/2008/03/not-too-early-to-start-preparing-for.html
I have a feeling that there will be more verses and some choruses, maybe many more.The bird watching reference has me particularly intrigued.

What if The Children of Jacob, and the Israelites, (whom I am not convinced were at that time precisely synonymous,) used the ploy of ornithological passion as a cover for their planned emigration? I can see them getting together ostensibly to discuss avian migration patterns and habitat, and to assemble gear for the upcoming observation expedition. Everyone, down to the the tiniest toddler, would be outfitted with hiking boots and canteens. They would monitor the phases of the moon and wait for weather conditions most conducive to egress activity.

On the street in passing, an Egress Society member would make a `quack-quack` gesture with one hand. Upon recognizing it, a fellow member would make the `quack` sign in return. In this way, Bird Watchers could safely become known to each other.

And now for a few more stanzas of the Egress Boogie

oh children of jacob,
we`re going to the dessert
soon the departure
the quest to be a nation
oh people of israel
we`re getting out of egypt
the prospect is daunting
but we`ll soon be on our way

now`s the time to go to the border
find a spring of mineral water
tell the story in the right order
it`s sahara time

passover, this is the time to remember
holiday, let`s have a good time
passover, this is the time to remember
holiday, let`s have a good time

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring in Prissville

A picture that I just took from my deck. Flowering cherry trees.

Not too Early to Start Preparing for Passover

(Sing this to the tune of "Safari Time")

we are going to the sahara
hike the desert in my jalaba
hope i do not fall in the water
it's hegira time

soon it will be time for departure
roast a lamb and serve in a saucer
pack some meal to bake into matzah
it's sahara time

come along if you're a bird watcher
show egress to your son and daughter
hope i don't forget my binoc'lar
it's sahara time

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My new glasses are here! Fun that they arrived on my Birthday. I'm very happy with the appearance and the fit. The directions for measuring made it easy. I'm reserving judgment on the prescription, it will take a few days to see if it needs tweaking.

My little brother Leo (aka the LBL) asked me in a phone call if I had cake. So I explained about the whole raw vegan thing. I did have some amazing longan berries berries today. They look like lychees, and my daughter said that they taste like wine. We put a few of the seeds into a flower pot to see if any of them sprout. The LBL said that limited diets always lead to binges on hamburgers for him, and that he expects the same for me. But I don't crave red meat at all. Chicken soup or sardines are another story. I can see wanting those occasionally. For now, I'm still charged up about how much better my joints feel, and my skin feels smoother too. Plus, unlike with a strictly reducing diet, I haven't felt hungry at all. If this keeps up, there is every indication of wearing very cute low-waisted jeans by summer.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Caucusoidal Maniacs

My State caucuses were today. The one I attended was close-packed with people, but not at all a madhouse. I got there early and helped to set up and sign people in. This was Zbig`s first caucus, he isn`t 18 yet, but will turn 18 before the general election. That made him eligible to participate.

Good weather helped with the turnout, as did the neck and neck race between Clinton and Obama, coming out of Super Tuesday. If my precinct is any indication of a trend, the northwest is going heavily toward Obama. I`m torn. I like Clinton too, maybe more. I signed in uncommitted, and advanced as a delegate to the next level. This is new for me, I`ve always decided early in previous years. Being uncommitted means becoming a hot property. Other factions will try to sweet talk me into joining them.

Right now emails from Obama supporters are dropping into my email box at a rate around once a minute. Ping, ping, ping. I admire their passion.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Accuity Resolution

I found myself in need of new eye wear  so that I can read books and newspapers. (Yes, something other than  your lovely journals.)

I have a history of walking out of LENSCRAFTERS with receipts for five hundred dollar bits of plastic and wire.

Spending less makes sense for me.

http://www.39dollarglasses.com/ and similar sites are just a click away.

Some of them have further discounts if you add a coupon code to your order.

That ordering new glasses on line is worth a try.

I will let you know if the resultant product at all allows me to see.
Can you tell that it's caucus season?


I suddenly have the ability to feel full feel full after meals. Not stuffed full, but not focusing on what else looks good. Last night I bought raw almond butter and unsweetened chocolate and a bag of 4 avocados. But when I got home, all I ate was two peaches, and a cut up yellow pepper. The vegan-ness is unsettling my daughter a little bit. But I had already made chicken-vegetable stew for her, because I`m not pushing this at all. As a still growing kid, being an omnivore can be a good thing.
There have been a few news stories lately about nutrition featuring the phrase "food deserts." This refers to urban areas without grocery chain stores or farmers markets. Residents have to rely entirely on convenience stores where most of the foods sold are pre-packaged items with long shelf lives. By contrast, I am able to choose between so many fresh things, even now in February with sleet falling, and another snow storm threatening. I feel so blessed.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

where my windshield wipers be at?

I`m at a table next to the book store. I just got my eyes checked, and I can`t drive yet because the atropine drops that the optometrist used haven`t worn off yet. Eljay looks blurry. I brought some strips of a yellow bell pepper spread with peanut butter. I am munching on those along with a diet pepsi. Friday I read a slew of blogs about raw food diets and I have been somewhat trying that for the past few days. Obviously the soft drink doesn`t fit the category. The peanut butter is vegan, but not raw. Most of the hard core raw people don`t seem to eat legumes of any kind. I don`t think I would want to go that far. I like fresh peas, I`ve blended frozen peas into a raw dip.

Could I do it? Go completely raw. Probably not entirely. I might still make chicken soup occasionally. And I`m not going to deprive the PrissKids of any categories of food. They don`t have any of the eating whackiness that I do, and they seem to understand moderation. They do seem unable to ever have leftover pizza, but that is a singular exception. After avoiding dairy and bread products for a few days, I feel kind of better all over. That`s amazing for me. I haven`t really written about my pain issues here, but I have some long-term problems. Sometimes they are compounded by a general achy all over feeling, so to have relief from that overlay makes a huge difference. Yesterday I made guacamole and ate it on thin slices of zucchini. It felt so free to be able to have as much as I wanted without worrying about the calories in crackers, or in some main dish.

Raw for the time being, or semi-raw. If you want to take me out for Maine lobster I may make an exception :)

PS -Things are still blurry.
PPS- Still blurry and it`s after 6PM They said it would be 2 hours!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tu BShevat and Sonnets

My daughter asked me if I knew any words that rhymed with "lost." Other than using a rhyming dictionary, the most obvious method is to go through the alphabet: bossed, cost, dossed. Is dossed a word? I think it is, and an online dictionary says that it means going to bed. Which is perfect for poetry where the subject might want to bunk down, perchance to dream. And what about "dost?" The Internet says it is an archaic form of "does," I do, he dost. OK, yes, that sounds familiar, very "Prince and the Pauper." It turns out that she was writing a sonnet.

The main thing that I remembered about sonnets was that Sylvia Plath had science class anxiety, and she got her counselor to excuse her from having to enroll. But she found the atmosphere in study hall to be something like Mark Twain`s description of a Lacrosse game: two armies beating each other with sticks, with a hard missile occasionally denting someone`s head. So she asked the chemistry teacher if she could audit his class, and spent the sessions looking up to smile sweetly at him while writing sonnets and villanelles.

There are roughly three styles of sonnet, with the Shakespearean form being the favorite of ninth-graders. Maddy showed me a few well-known examples, all of which I recognized. I tried reading one out loud, and she said that I was not following the soft/hard pattern of iambic pentameter. Her English teacher recommends "head banging" to get the rhythm right. This rhythm can also be achieved by channeling Bela Lugosi, or the Sesame Street Count, or any Italian speaker. Also, each line must have ten syllables.

Your teacher said that you should bang your head
But I prefer to wave my arm instead

Yes, incorporating movement really did allow me to get into the sonnet groove. And as I shall be going to a service tomorrow where everyone has been asked to bring a rock or a feather or a quotation
It seems only fitting to appear with my first ever Sonnetic effort.

today we mark the new year of the trees
wet sap awakens, hidden within bark
in two months the stubborn leaf buds it frees
shall burst knifelike and pallid in the park

soon greenish fronds seek sun to synthesize
added mass of stems, that bloom and set seed
winter shards cover up in springtime guise
avian creatures weave a house of reed

plantlike, sometimes emotion hibernates
when weather harsh restricts love`s easy flow
until hormonal heat initiates
capillary action`s flowery show

red rose hips in a scape barren of sprigs
a lone preserve: fall`s fruit upon stark twigs

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


(Sing this to the tune of Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams)

Why would I write a second
Song about LOLCATS
And places that they like to hide?
LOLCATS are characters
That live on the Internet
We try to take them in stride
Sneaky and saccharine
yet somehow alluring
With them we identify

Soon they will mass for
A LOLCAT convention
In a hotel of one mile high

LOLCATS are on your couch
Shedding on your cushions
They say it enhances decor
Now at your computer desk
One opens your browser
Soon they have altered your
Co-op shopping list
Pasting in cream over soy

LOLCATS just may achieve
Perhaps I should send an envoy

It`s easy to see that they
Are primal and clever
Feral, ferocious and sweet
LOLCATS are not afraid
To face adversaries
LOLCATS don`t shirk to compete
Daily I tune into news of disaster
Will major countries collide?

Somewhere the LOLCATs plot world domination
Let`s go along for the ride!