Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Beauty of Stanford White - Architect

 Many moons ago - at the turn of the 20th century circa 1902 - Stanford White was the Star Architect of the Day. He made so many buildings that are either still standing or lost and mourned. The old IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit co) station next door to us is still generating steam. But the city cannot tear it down. It is historically saved. 

ConEd has now decided to change it to a green energy site, which will preserve it. There are a few fantastic pictures of his buildings. Below

The IRT Building. Our Condo is on the right.

Come on, you have to admit the building is impressive. It is the only landmark power plant in the country. I was thrilled to move here next to this. - Even though our view is of the new roof and steam stack.

Clockwise from top left: An old men's club, now the French Embassy
The original Penn Station - the one Jackie O tried to save but could not
 Interior of the Park Ave Armory
The original Madison Square Garden
A Men's Club still in use on 56th
The Lott Luxury Hotel

The exterior and Interior of an old "Hall of Fame" - now part of Brooklyn Community College

On June 25, 1906, millionaire Harry Thaw murdered famed architect Stanford White in a jealous rage over Thaw's actress wife, Evelyn Nesbit. The story of the murder was told in the movie "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing" - starring a very young Joan Collins.

The story was also a centerpiece in the book, movie, and play "Ragtime."

Friday, September 29, 2023

Mmm. what?


I won't make you link.  Here's the best:

Don't run. Travel in groups. Carry an umbrella and wear sunglasses on the back of your head.

These are some of the ominous warnings issued in Australia each spring, as magpies and humans begin their annual turf war.

Streets and parks become a battleground, as the birds - descending from above and attacking from behind - swoop down on anything they fear poses a threat to their offspring.

High up in their nests, they rule over their kingdom with an iron claw, while on the ground, humans dust off their protective hats - traditionally a plastic ice-cream container - and duck for cover.

Explaining why our government will shut down - using Monopoly

 Let us for a moment, understand the looming government shutdown via a simple example.

1. This started when the debt limit was about to be breached. The compromise to raise the debt limit occurred on June 1, 2023. The legislation includes new spending limits in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling for two years.

2. Then the House moved on to other business. It was like if you played Monopoly and took a break for lunch.

3. After lunch, you all went back to the monopoly board, but the pain in the ass kid now wanted to change the rules. Like, if you want to keep playing, he wanted Michigan Ave. and Park Place. This is essentially what the crazy caucus in the House has done.

They agreed to one set of rules, then decided to change the rules if people wanted to play. Otherwise, they will (as a young Ed did) flip the board and refuse to clean up.

"Mosquitos are carrying vaccines"?

 And we just keep getting more and more crazy.  LINK (from the Guardian - so not some "news of the week" type site.

Ever since the far-right movement in California’s Shasta county gained control of local government, they have sought to throw out voting machines in favor of hand counting and pledged to defend the second amendment using all “lawful means”.

This week they focused their efforts on a new target: mosquitoes.

The Shasta county board of supervisors appointed Jon Knight, a hydroponics store owner and prominent figure in the local far-right movement, to serve on the board of the public health agency responsible for managing the insects, instead of the county’s former public health director, an epidemiologist.

The move showcased the ultra-conservative movement’s growing foothold in local government. An appointment to a local government board typically attracts little attention, but in Shasta county, which became a hotbed for far-right politics and fringe-thinking in the pandemic years, it was the subject of extensive discussion at a recent meeting of the county’s governing board.

Some supporters of Knight’s shared mosquito conspiracy theories at the meeting, implying US officials planned to forcibly vaccinate people with the insects. “I don’t trust our government,” one woman said. “Bill Gates is a part of this … These mosquitoes are going to be flying syringes.”

This is why we can't have nice things!

 I dispair of people sometimes.

In La Jolla, where I went to grad school at UCSD, there was a cove. A quiet place where sea lions hung out and had pups. The locals would occasionally drive or bike by and swing out to watch the sea lions. It was calming to see them lined up, relaxing. 

Local didn't bug them, and if someone started to, the local person watching or walking by would yell at them to knock it off.

And then, the internet. 

It became cool to take pictures of them. Later, it was cool to go to the beach with the sea lions in the background. Since then, it has been crawling with people who have no sense. (I was going to say no sense of propriety, but I realized it was no sense at all.)

I read they go to take selfies with them. Some even climbed on their backs. A bunch of sea pups waiting for food, ran away into the water before they were old enough and starved or drowned. People taunted the bull seals.

And now, La Jolla has had to put up a big fence and keep people to keep the idiots away from these wild creatures. 


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

I WANT to like Tim Scott

 Tim Scott is the black, gay*, Republican candidate running for President in the primaries. And, compared to most Republicans, he has been reasonable in the past.

But in commenting on the Auto Workers strike, he said Ronald Reagan had the right idea when he fired thousands of striking Air Traffic Controllers. And said we should do the same with the autoworkers on strike.

Is he stupid or lying?

So to be clear. 

1) The Labor Relations Act of 1935 grants private company workers the right to strike without being fired.

2) The Air Traffic Controllers were not private company employees; they were Federal Employees who agreed to NOT strike as part of their employment. The idea here is that Air Traffic Controllers all on strike would be a disaster for flying. FYI - the strike was always limited and partial to keep air traffic functional.

3) Even if they were to be fired from their auto jobs, it would not be the President of the country who fired workers from Ford, Chevrolet, and Stellantis**. The idea of the Federal Government reaching into the private sector to fire workers is illegal, dumb, and a bit terrifying.

Even if a Senator had no idea of the country's laws - a situation that Tommy Tuberville has already proven totally possible - you should brush up on the laws you are commenting on if you are running for President.


* Tim Scott claims to be as straight as any other 58-year-old, wealthy, eligible bachelor who has never dated. Who wouldn't want to date that hunk in a Cosmo pose above? To prove this claim, he has now stated he has been dating a "nice Christian girl" for a long time, and she just doesn't want anyone to know her. Totally makes sense for a man running for President.

** Stallantis is the new name for Jeep - Chrysler - Fiat - Citroen - Vauxhall - more. It is not a new competitor of Mylanta.

The tale of Chiselborough

 Our second dog sit in England this past month was in Chiselborough. Which is a village of about 100 - 125. It was in the middle of nowhere....