We had plenty of advance notice (February) so there was no trouble about getting the time off. These people are black, so (to my surprise, though I'm not sure why that's so) the wedding ceremony included the bride and groom jumping over a broom.
Big parties always stress me right the hell out. This has always been so--since I was a teenager at least--and when I go to one it's with the expectation that I'm going to be exhausted by the time I leave, and not a pleasantly "oh-I-had-such-a-good-time!" type of exhaustion, either. For me a big occasion like that is an ordeal to be gotten through.
Saturday's experience was better than normal. When I saw that our table at the reception was 'way over in the corner, I was relieved; since neither of us really knew anyone there we didn't have to socialize a lot. The fact that I had no relatives there was a huge plus: no back-handed comments about my appearance or my weight or my job or my living situation or-or-or, which has come to be a major feature of any family gathering I attend. (My aunt's funeral, at least, had no such discussion, probably because it was a somber occasion.) Because of that, I actually enjoyed myself for once.
Mrs. Fungus and I agreed that while the pomp and circumstance of a traditional wedding is nice, we still like our wedding best (though it would have been nice if we'd thought to hire a photographer). We did what was right for us, and that's what counts.
* * *
Bonus stress: the wedding itself was held in a church on the south side, in a section Dad commonly referred to as "shit city". It wasn't actually in the worst part of town; one time I had to drive through a really bad neighborhood, near Cook County Hospital, and this neighborhood was Beverly Hills by comparison. But Dad drummed it into our heads: avoid that area at all costs. The church parking lot had a fence around it and had cameras, the traditional reflexive "look for another white person" game was yielding no fruit, and I had to remind myself that we were leaving long before it got dark--and in fact it was a middle-class neighborhood with well-kept houses and the security measures were to guard against visitors from the really bad parts of town, which were a bus ride away. And of course I had to drive on the Damn Ryan to get there.
I was at "condition orange" the entire time, except when we were in the church.
The reception was held out in Burbank, on Cicero, a few miles north of 294, so that's how we got home.
But nothing untoward happened and everything is fine.
* * *
I was going to cut grass today, but I think the weather has other ideas. There's a little bitty thunderstorm brewing up right to the southwest of here, what some weathermen call "popcorn showers", and it'll probably get the grass just wet enough that the extra-long grass will clog the mower and not cut nicely. *sigh*
* * *
Got a note saying my payment was past due, and I was all, "WTF? It should either be less or more than this, depending on what they're billing me for"--so I knew that I had to call them, and when I did the explanation would result in me saying "Ohhhh, yeah, that makes sense." I just didn't know what information would leave me in that state.
Exactly as predicted, it makes perfect sense: my homeowner's and my motorcycle insurance are both billed monthly, so they combined them into one bill...and the total is exactly what I'd expect it to be. It's just that the note they sent me didn't explain any of that (it's essentially a printout of a computer screen) and so I didn't have all the information to figure out WTF was going on by myself.
* * *
Mrs. Fungus watches The Soup every week, and she's dragged me into it as well. This past week's episode featured a woman trying to pull a prank on her husband. She has a video camera all set and when he comes in the front door she starts hosing him down with Silly String. The idea is to capture a funny reaction of some kind and get a laugh out of his shock and surprise.
Instead, he just stands there.
His only reaction is just to stand there, looking at her with disgust--he video was kind of grainy so it was hard to tell, but I believe his expression approximated, "After the kind of day I've had, I come home to this? WTF."
--and I thought that was just about the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. After a few moments he drops his helmet and walks out again, perhaps to go find a divorce lawyer or a shotgun.
* * *
Okay, on to the big stuff.
Looks like we've been cooling since the 1930s. We would already have known this if the climate record hadn't been adjustered and fiddleated by people whose bread and butter relies on impending eco-doom. So they take actual real data (thermometer records) and replace it with simulated data that came from a computer program written by someone who wants man-made global warming to be real. (GIGO.)
But watch what they do, rather than what they say: Greenpeace exec who works to curb air travel flies to and from home about twice a month. Does this look like someone who's worried about the planet? "My work is so important of course I need air travel, but the little people can get by with taking the train or walking." Yeah.
* * *
I honestly wish I were as poor as Hillary Clinton is. I know it's almost impossible to make ends meet in today's world when you only have $50,000,000 to your name, but I'd gladly trade places with her and suffer her life of grinding poverty. I'd do this because I am a noble altruist, and not because HILLARY CLINTON IS FULL OF SHIT AND HAS MORE FUCKING MONEY THAN CROESUS--
* * *
Filed under "decline of Western civilization":
This tale is not atypical, unfortunately. The habitual drunk driver--someone who has multiple DUI arrests--is a very dangerous individual, because he doesn't care about breaking the law and will drive without license, registration, or insurance, and further will do it when he's so impaired that walking is a challenge for him.
The woman mentioned in this article should have been in jail and detox a long time ago. Like the writer I am mystified that the cops simply let her go after she was stopped for going 120 MPH while obviously drunk. Then when she finally kills someone--an event as predictable as the tides, considering the trajectory she was obviously on--we're supposed to feel sorry for her because she's an alcoholic and was abused by her stepfather and-and-and?
If you are capable of bearing children, you are a woman, regardless of how you self-identify. One of the most risible concepts from the left is that sex is a social construct. That's why they say "gender" instead; gender is a grammatical concept that is dependent on the structure of language, but sex is a biological fact and there is no getting around that.
The "trans-agenda" means to redefine "traditional gender roles" such that people get to decide whether they are male or female--hence you have a surgical oddity proclaiming to be "male" even as SHE is bearing children. Yeah.
Being "a woman born in a man's body" used to be considered nothing other than mental illness and was treated appropriately. I'm at a loss to understand why we have abandoned that; it doesn't make any sense to dilute traditional gender roles unless you have a larger agenda aimed at fundamentally remaking society into something that can be more easily controlled by the state. The traditional "nuclear" family has always been a stumbling block to totalitarianism, because people generally have much more loyalty to their immediate family than to any other entity.
You can file this under "decline of Western civilization" because there are plenty of cultures in the world where a man claiming to be a woman, and dressing and acting like one, will be executed rather than coddled. (And don't even get me started on someone like "Thomas", who is biologically female and still capable of bearing children.) This mad desire that some have to tear down all the traditions and strictures of our culture is going to yield some awfully bitter fruit if we let them succeed.
" An Alliance With the United States 'Isn't Worth Anything'". I'll blockquote Ace's blockquote:
A Polish magazine said Sunday it has obtained recordings of a conversation in which Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski says the country's strong alliance with the U.S. "isn't worth anything" and is "even harmful because it creates a false sense of security."Ukraine thought they had an alliance with us, remember? Bill Clinton promised them we'd help them stave off invasion if only they'd get rid of their nasty nukes...only it turned out that the nasty nukes would have been a better choice.
I don't know how any country can look at the last fifty years and conclude that it's a good idea to expect the US to do anything for them, treaties and alliances notwithstanding. We've ignored or blown off a crapton of obligations, and each time they've come back to bite us on the ass--yet the next time we've done exactly the same damned thing, over and over and over again.
Vietnam--we stopped supporting the South Vietnamese; then we were surprised that we had to GTFO of Saigon, and were dismayed at Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and the killing fields of Cambodia and the boat people and-and-and.
Iran--we stopped supporting the Shah, who we'd installed and who was pro-US...then were surprised and dismayed that "students" seized our embassy and held our people hostage for more than a year while their country turned anti-US; and we were further dismayed to find that our non-response encouraged
Widespread islamic terrorism--it was widespread in the early 1980s and a lot of American and pro-US targets got hit before Ronald Reagan had the Air Force bomb Libya in 1986. (And the liberals were all screeching in fear that there'd be "retaliation", yet islamic terror attacks on US targets stopped for many years afterwards.)
Gulf War I--instead of prosecuting the war to its logical conclusion, we stopped at getting Iraq out of Kuwait. That just set the stage for
The Clinton Years--when numerous islamic terror attacks including a truck bomb in the World Trade Center only prompted a few random cruise missiles and blowing up an aspirin factory in Sudan, because foreign policy was a lot less interesting to Bill Clinton than diddling interns in the Oval Orofice and finding new and creative ways to use cigars. And Clinton's non-responses led us to
9/11 and Gulf War II--where we managed to keep islamic terror's attention focused on a place that was not America for quite a while, and we routed (however temporarily) the people responsible for 9/11. But that didn't last because
Obama--who campaigned on getting us out of Iraq, and who has not only abandoned Iraq to the wolves but also gave Russia a pass on invading Ukraine, tried to support a would-be dictator's (anti-US) coup in South America, supported the Iranian regime (anti-US) over the desires of its people for an honest election, abandoned US support for Mubarak (pro-US) in Egypt, and has consistently snubbed Israel (pro-US) in favor of Palestine (anti-US).
Is it any wonder, then, that Japan is working on revising its constitution so they can have a real military again? (Rather than a "Self-Defense force"?) The other nations of the world have to expect that when push comes to shove any agreements that the US formerly entered into is going to be ignored or forgotten. What I don't understand is how any of the NATO countries can think they're different? Poland's foreign minister certainly seems to understand what the situation is. I wonder how many others think the same thing, and simply weren't caught saying so near a recording device?
Can you blame them? I cannot.
* * *
The only reason I don't talk about Cuba? I don't know enough about it. I'd bet money that Castro's seizure of Cuba was something we could have prevented if we had simply taken an interest in it, but of course Batista Was A Very Bad Man And Had To Go, and if the country fell to communism That Was Just Too Bad Because The People Want It That Way. Except in communist revolutions the people almost never actually want communism; certainly they do not want the kind of government they end up getting, which is universally worse than what came before. Socialism is sold on its egalitarian and equalitarian principles, but socialism has never, never, ever lived up to those principles; it fails every time its tried because those principles are lies. The guiding purpose of communism is that a lucky few control everyone else. It's about power, not equality.
* * *
I take exception to one of his mitigating factors. The writer says that while 2014 looks a lot like 1914 we should be encouraged by some differences, one being:
Collective Memory: We know the graphic horrors of full-scale war better than our 1914 forebears did. Some of these leaders truly relished the idea of war, even imagining it romantically and entering it confidently, assuming it could only go on so long. History had taught them wrong.This itself is a romantic notion that "oh, we're so much more enlightened today than were those beknighted fools back then!" It's horseshit; we are just as stupid and headstrong as any humans in history, and any casual review of just the last fifty years (like I just did a couple vignettes ago) can demonstrate that.
The only real deterrent to full-scale war--among those that he lists--is the existence of nuclear weapons. And even that isn't as big a deterrent as he'd like to think; there are plenty of idiots around these days who'd welcome an atomic bomb in the face if it meant dealing a serious blow to America.
* * *
Yesterday, at work, I spent a little money on an impulse buy, and I'm glad I did.
I bought a USB cable for charging my cell phone--but this cable has LEDs in it and it lights up. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that when the phone is charging, or during data access, the LEDs "chase", which is really neat.
List price is $20 (which is more than I paid of course) and I'm not decided on whether or not this is $20 worth of "neat", but it's certainly worth what I paid for it.
If only they had regular USB cables like this....