Is Winter Back Already?

First, I’d like to wish Happy Passover/Chag Sameach for those who observe that holiday, inasmuch as it begins tonight:

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I would also like to remind readers that the first of the four so-called “blood moons” in 2014-2015 will begin a few hours from now (see my message from last January 6).  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to watch it from this part of Kentucky.  The sky is covered with clouds right now, from the cold front passing through.

Speaking of cold fronts, the strange weather we’ve been having this year isn’t over yet.  During the past week it warmed up nicely, reaching a high of 79 degrees on Saturday and 83 on Sunday.  It’s definitely more like what Leive and I are used to, after all the years we spent in Florida.  Indoors, the warming trend was felt the most upstairs and the least downstairs, causing a remarkable split in temperatures:  in the 80s on the top floor, 70s on the main floor, and 60s in the basement.  If it had gotten just one degree warmer yesterday, the air conditioning would have come on upstairs.

Today, however, I began to see a change.  While the high temperature of 73 meant I still didn’t need a jacket when I went outside, it was overcast instead of sunny, and we got a bit of rain.  Now the cold front is threatening to bring it down to 35 tonight, and maybe below freezing tomorrow night!  With the neighborhood in full bloom, that could cause a flower massacre.

The most impressive participants in the flower show right now are the ornamental pear trees.  I think Saturday was the peak day for them, because on Sunday I started seeing a few of their blossoms on the ground, and because the flower buds open before the leaf buds, on Sunday I also started seeing green leaves with the white blossoms.  On Sunday I took a few pictures of the pear trees on my street, just in case the flowers don’t survive this week’s freeze.  I will finish by sharing them:

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Enjoy spring while it lasts!

Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Full-Blooming Transition

Yes, I’ve been too busy in the real world to write anything here since Monday.  And the city I’m in hasn’t been too happy since the UConn Huskies beat our UK Wildcats in the NCAA championship game.  While there’s still a chance UK will win a 9th championship someday, it won’t be this year.  And then the ladies’ basketball team for UConn won their championship, so this week Connecticut has two things to crow about.

I did see one funny bit about this today.  A FOX News anchor (I don’t know what city she was in), mistakenly called UConn “the NAACP champions.”  Please go easy on the comments about her, though.  I think I was thirty years old before I knew what NCAA stood for, and I didn’t know how the college basketball playoffs worked until five years ago, after I had moved to Kentucky.  College basketball isn’t a big deal in Florida, where it has to compete with professional sports leagues and college football for fans.

The “full-blooming” part of the title refers to the flowering trees in the neighborhood, especially the ornamental pears.  Because it was so cold last winter, the trees are finally getting their act together, two weeks later than they normally do.  If you come down my street this week, the trees will be white all over, and this time it’s not because of snow.

Of course with April 15 just around the corner, one of my activities is getting my taxes done.  My goal is to put it all in the mail tomorrow, since I won’t be getting refund this year.  Besides that and my history projects (I started composing Chapter 6 of my Latin American history last week), I am also getting ready for my new job.  The background check is apparently done, but there’s additional paperwork that needs to be filled out before my first day.  Yesterday I got the e-mail with my official start date:  I start on Monday, April 21.  That marks two years and one day since my last job ended, so the whole family is definitely seeing this month as a new beginning.

Even the Sun is a Basketball Fan In Kentucky

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The NCAA championship game is less than an hour away as I write this, and however it works out between the UK Wildcats and the Uconn Huskies, this will be a big day for Kentucky.  You could call this the biggest cat-dog fight of all.

If you have been following the tournament, you know what happened with Saturday’s game.  Just a few seconds before time ran out, Aaron Harrison scored the shot that put UK over the top, defeating Wisconsin by 74-73.  Harrison also made the last shot to win the previous game against Michigan, so this was a bit of a re-run for us.  When all is said and done, he’d better be named Most Valuable Player, at least.  And I bet two, maybe even three Uconn players, will be guarding him closely tonight.

This time around, all four of the Final Four teams represented states my family has an interest in.  My sister lives in Wisconsin, my brother lives in Florida, I live in Kentucky, and we all used to live in Connecticut!  While there were several things I enjoyed during my 2011-2012 job assignment in Connecticut, and I found out over there that I still talk with a Connecticut accent, 45 years after my first sojourn in the state, there are four reasons why I’m glad I don’t live there now:

1.  Connecticut winters are notoriously cold.  My wife will tell you that Kentucky is cold enough!

2.  Prices and taxes are much higher in New England.

3.  Most of the people over there are political liberals.

4.  Kentuckians are friendlier and politer.

Therefore I will be rooting for the home team, of course.  But enough with the rambling.  GO CATS!!!

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And for this week, the nearest major league baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, is wearing blue just for us.  How about that!

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Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Goodbye Mozilla

Well, the queer mafia, the Gaystapo, have struck again.  This time they went after Brandon Eich, the inventor of Javascript.  What was his crime?  Six years ago, he gave $1,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative supporting traditional marriage.  Just a few days after Eich became CEO of the Mozilla corporation, word of this got out, and he was forced to resign.  Click on the link below if you’re not familiar with the story.

http://erlc.com/article/why-can-mozilla-have-corporate-convictions-but-not-hobby-lobby

Gosh, before this controversy came up, I never paid attention to the sexual preference of the inventor of a software package.  Or that of the CEO of a high-tech company.

Judging by how many cities and states have legalized gay marriage recently, a lot of people must have changed their minds on the issue since 2008.  Have the Gaystapo considered that Eich might have changed his views in the past six years?  One politician who did was a certain Illinois senator who now happens to be president of the United States.  Another is Hillary Clinton; she said this in 2000:

“Marriage has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman.”

Source:  http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/127143-strange-bedfellows-hillary-clinton-ousted-mozilla-ceo/

If today’s Democrats are reminded of the above quote, how long will it take for them to expel her from the Democratic Party?

If you don’t think it is possible in a democracy for the majority of the population to be terrorized by a minority, look how arrogant the homosexual community has become.  Forty years ago, homosexuals were a bullied group, but now they’re the bullies to the rest of us.  Don’t believe the ten percent figure given by the Kinsey Report; judging by how often we meet homosexuals in real life, they’re probably just two percent of the population, three percent at the most.  And yet they insist on forcing their lifestyle into parts of the culture that have nothing to do with sex, like St. Patrick’s Day parades.  Moreover, the mainstream media seems to have a need to publish a “gay interest” story every week, like we’d forget this group existed if they didn’t.  Well, how about some stories about even less visible groups?  I haven’t read an interesting story about the Eskimos lately, nor one about the Amish.

I will quote from another blog I recently read to show how twisted the other side’s behavior has become.  Quote:

Don’t you people read? Haven’t you learned anything from history? ‘Advancements’ earned through tyranny never endure. You can only win a debate by suffocating your opposition for so long. Your strategy is doomed for failure, because it has always failed.

In the name of ‘fighting for the freedom to love,’ you’ve utilized hate. For the sake of ‘tolerance,’ you’ve wielded bigotry. In order to push ‘diversity,’ you’ve been dogmatic.

You are everything you accuse your opponents of being, and you stand for all the evil things that you claim they champion.

http://theaquilareport.com/hey-gay-rights-fascists-in-spite-of-your-mozilla-victory-you-will-still-lose/

Unquote:  To that I would add that they call themselves “gay,” which used to mean happy, when we see them acting like soreheads far more often.

Because there are a lot more of us than there are of them, it’s time we show the corporations that pander to the gay crowd that they can’t have their business and ours, too, if they’re going to engage in witch hunts.  An easy way to start is to boycott Mozilla.  Sure, Mozilla had something great going with Netscape in the 1990s, and with Firefox when they launched it ten years ago, but the Internet now has so many alternatives that we don’t need them anymore.  I removed Mozilla Firefox from my computer on Friday. Didn’t need it anyway, when any webpage I want to view is accessible through Chrome or Opera. Then on Saturday I uninstalled Mozilla Sunbird and Thunderbird.  My computer is now Mozilla-free.

Have you ever noticed that the big social issues we talked about used to be civil rights, but nowadays (e.g., gay rights, abortion, forcing others to pay for birth control), the issues seem to be more about civil wrongs?

Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy First Contact Day, and the Final Four Games

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Yes, it’s time for another nerd holiday, to go with Pi Day (3/14) and Mole Day (10/22).  Forty-nine years left to go, before we find out if there is anybody like the Vulcans in space.

Back in December 2012, people were going to Berea, KY, to escape whatever happened when the Mayan calendar ended (all that happened was that it stopped snowing on that exact minute). Perhaps we should make plans to camp out in Bozeman, MT, if we expect to be around in 2063?

Today is also the day of the Final Four basketball games.  The University of Kentucky plays the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Florida plays the University of Connecticut.  All four teams come from states my family has ties to:  I live in Kentucky, my sister lives in Wisconsin, my brother lives in Florida, and we used to live in Connecticut!  I guess all I can say is, may the best team win!

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Awesome Rat Tricks

My family, especially my father, has been fond of rats for as long as I can remember.  Not your typical sewer rats, but lab rats; they make better pets than most people would expect.  Therefore it’s always fun to see them do tricks like these.

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  

The Holy Grail Has Been Found . . . Again

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Back in the 1970s, before he became an archaeologist, my favorite author, David Rohl, had a progressive rock band with his college buddies. Called Mandalaband, they stayed together long enough to produce two albums. Then after publishing his fourth book, "The Lords of Avaris," David revived the band, and they have made two more albums since then. The most recent album, "A.D.: Sangreal," came out in 2011, and has 15 songs about how the Holy Grail got to Spain. Is this the same grail? If so, this is not really news.  After all, long-time readers will remember the time some two and a half years ago, when I bought and reviewed the album.  I guess this is a filler story, now that interest over the missing Malaysian airliner is now fading.

Holy Grail Allegedly Found in Northern Spain

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 6:54 am  Leave a Comment  

What Can You do With Coca-Cola, Mentos, Nutella and a Condom?

About a decade ago, I saw a video show the explosive effect generated when you combine Diet Coke with Mentos.  Now this Italian guy has added Nutella and put it all in a condom.  You don’t have to understand Italian to enjoy this, or to know that he is really excited at the end.  Well, at least one of the ingredients is made in his country (the Nutella).

Published in: on March 31, 2014 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

We Did It Again . . . and Again

Like I said before, how about them ‘Cats!  This has got to be the most exciting time of the year for Lexington.  Last Friday in the NCAA tournament the University of Kentucky beat their arch-rivals, the University of Louisville, 74-69.  Thus, there was celebrating all weekend on the streets around UK.  I understand a few couches were set on fire outside, but overall things didn’t get out of hand, the way they did when UK won the championship two years ago.

Then a few hours ago UK beat the University of Michigan in the Elite Eight matchup, 75-72.  We’re in the Final Four!

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Meanwhile at noon today, my brother Chris dropped into town.  He is just here for a couple of days, to do my father’s taxes.  Most of the work will get done tomorrow, but we had all the paperwork he needs; so far so good.  Too bad the cold weather of this March is delaying the opening of the spring flowers; he’ll probably miss how pretty the neighborhood can get in early April.

Published in: on March 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Fourth Edition of My Indian History

Since December I have been updating my papers on Indian history. These cover the seven countries I consider to be “South Asia”: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They were badly in need of an update; I first wrote about Indian history in 1988, rewrote the papers in 1991 and 1998, and only gave them minor, cosmetic changes for the next fifteen years.

All four chapters saw new stuff. For Chapters 2 and 3 I mainly added new pictures, while Chapters 1 and 4 were completely rewritten. For Chapter 1 that meant adding new material to cover archaeological discoveries since the 1970s. With Chapter 4 there are five new sections. India and Pakistan got new sections for events in recent history, and Bangladesh got its own section; previously I simply lumped Bangladesh with Pakistan, which made sense when most people were old enough to remember when Bangladesh was called East Pakistan. Finally, new sections were created for Bhutan and the Maldives, two countries I barely mentioned previously, because it was hard to remember anything that had happened there.

Chapter 4: Recent South Asian History

  • The Road to Independence
  • India Under the Nehru Dynasty
  • Is This the Indian Century?
  • Pakistan: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • Pakistan in the War on Terror
  • Bangladesh: The Difficult Years Since Independence
  • Nepal: An Ex-Kingdom In the Clouds
  • Bhutan: A Real-Life Shangri-La?
  • Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost–and Regained?
  • Maldives: The Sunny Islands

And if you want to take another look at Chapters 1-3, go to http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/india/index.html . I hope you like the updates!

Now I should get back to the project I have been working on for most of the past three and a half years, a complete history of Latin America. So far I have written five chapters for the lands “South of the Border,” covering events up to 1959. One more chapter will probably complete the project. I put off working on it for the last four months because I couldn’t think of a good title to cover the years from 1959 to the present; if you can think of one, suggestions are welcome.

Published in: on March 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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