Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Was The Deal With All That Sniffling The Donald Was Doing In The Debate?

This coud have been the scene at last night's
debate between Trump and Clinton, what with
The Donald sniffling all the time.  
While everyone talks about the policy issues, the temperament and the performance of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in last night's debate, can we talk about The Sniffles?

All through the evening, between his bluster and his interruptions, The Donald was sniffling. A lot.

Could just be allergies. But the speculation went rampant.  

Former Vermont Governor and former DNC Chair Howard Dean tweeted, "Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?

Now that was probably inappropriate and unfair. Then again, Dean IS a doctor, and maybe he can diagnose these kinds of thing? I don't know.

My theory is that Trump is the petulant man child, who, as we all know, does not do well when criticized, especially when said criticism comes from a woman.

And it's especially frustrating for Trump when he tried to bluster back to put the supposedly fragile woman in her place, but instead, we got someone like a smiling Hillary Clinton standing there, serenely letting Trump dig his own hole.

Anyway, other people had their own take on the Trump Sniffles.

"Is the Trump sniffle the new Hillary cough?," political consultant Jessica Tarlov tweeted, referring to Trump jumping all over Hillary for her recent bout of pneumonia.

"Trump is sniffling because he's allergic to the Constitution," Colin Jost plausibly theorized on Twitter.

The Trump Sniffles are now a big thing. There's already a comedy Twitter account called @TrumpSniff that already had more than 3,000 followers as of 8 a.m Monday.

In any event, if Trump is coming down with a cold or, ahem, pneumonia, I hope Hillary doesn't catch it from being in such close proximity to The Donald last night.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Big Debate Is Tonight. I Need A Drink

Donald Vs. Hillary tonight. Are you gonna watch? 
Tonight's the big night! Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off on the debate stage, and it's going to be one of the most watched television events in years.'

I know, I know, it's being treated like a reality television show. And Trump would win big time over Clinton in one of those tacky TV reality shows.    

Of course, the problem is reality shows aren't reality, but a presidential debate IS reality. I just hope who watch and judge the candidates tonight understand the difference between reality and reality shows.

Some people turn these kinds of debates into drinking games, and I'm tempted. But the only game I could think of is dangerous.

Take a swig every time Trump tells a lie. If I did that, I'd be rushed to the the emergency room with acute alcohol poisoning, so I don't want to go there.

Clinton and Trump have already been playing sort of pre-debate games. Clinton invited Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a successful businessman who is NOT a Trump fan, let me tell ya.

Maybe Clinton figures that'll rattle Trump. And it already did. As always, Trump took the bait, tweeting, "If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers along side him."

Gennifer Flowers, of course, was said to have an affair with Bill Clinton years ago. Trump thinks women are fragile things, and figured maybe if Hillary saw Gennifer, Hillary would storm off the debate stage in tears upon seeing the woman who tried to steal her man.

Or something like that.

In any event, latest reports are that Gennifer won't be there after all, so we'll miss that spectacle.

As we all know, Trump isn't exactly good at taking criticism. Especially from a woman. Tonight, he will have to share a stage with a woman for 90 minutes, and much of that time will be spent listening to that women criticize him.

No doubt it will take supreme effort to control himself, but I think Trump will. The most interesting part of the debate will come a couple hours after the actual event, when Trump has had a couple drinks and goes on one of his Twitter Storm rants against the people who crossed him at the debate.

I can't wait to read his Tweets tomorrow morning! Well, actually, I can, but....

What bothers me is I get the impression we're grading Trump on a curve. Both Donald and Hillary are applying for the same job, so shouldn't we apply the same standards? Sure, definitely hold HIllary's feet to the fire.

Just as long as we hold Trump's feet to that exact same fire, please.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Weird But Satisfying Video Of Things Melting

A melting keyboard becomes something that
looks like a zinnia  
I guess some people had some time on their hands and decided to melt everyday objects like computer key boards and cell phones, then film it.
The resulting video is actually quite cool, in a weird way.  

Here it is:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Vermont Veterans Group Gets Big Help Because Trump Lied Again

Donald Trump said his foundation gave $1,000 to a Vermont
veterans organization. He didn't, but GoFundMe
donors came to the rescue
There's a nice little group who helps veterans here in Vermont which actually got a big boost because of Donald Trump.

Of course, the catch is, the big boost is because it appears Donald Trump did something rotten.

IRS tax forms from 2013 indicate the Donald J. Trump foundation gave Friends of Veterans in White River Junction, Vermont $1,000.  

The veterans group said they never got the Trump donation.

According to the Concord Monitor, a GoFundMe page was set up to help Friends of Veterans, to "Help the Vets That Trump Forgot." The goal for the fundraiser was $2,000. At last check, Friends of Veterans was set to get $21,400 from at least 480 contributors, says the Concord Monitor.

Says the Monitor:

"'It kind of knocked me for a loop,' said Larry Daigle, the organization's president and a Vietnam War veteran who has volunteered with the nonprofit for 15 years. 'We're still kind of analyzing things ourselves.'"

Trump might have confused Friends of Veterans in White River Junction with Friends of Veterans in Palm Beach, Florida.

However, that donation to Florida helped pay for a parade, which is nice, but not as nice as actually helping veterans cover security deposits for housing and head off eviction notices, as the Vermont organization does for veterans in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Friends of Veterans in Vermont has a $150,000 annual budget, so this latest GoFundMe windfall will surely help.

Good work, donors!

Dumb Homeowners Wanted View; Now Face $1.6 Million Fine and Their Houses Might Slide Down A Hill

Homeowners face huge fines for cutting down trees
on city owned land to improve the views. Plus, cutting the trees
has increased the risk of landslides that could wreck these homes.   
Everybody wants a million dollar view.

Especially if its from their million dollar house.  

Some people in a West Seattle, Washington neighborhood cut down about 150 big leaf maple trees and Scouler willows because the vegetation was blocking their spectacular views.

Here's the problem: The trees were not on their property. It was on city land. And nobody got permission to cut down the trees, says The Stranger,  a Seattle area alternative paper. (and a very good one!)

Now the city has filed two lawsuits in King County, Washington Superior Court, seeking $1.6 million in damages.


A bigger ouch, according to The Stranger, is why the city planted the trees in the first place. The steep hill on which the trees were growing is prone to landslides. The city figured, correctly, that the trees' roots would help hold the hillside in place.

Now that the trees are gone, there's an increased danger that the hillside, and the houses owned by the people who wanted the views, will slide down the hill during any of Seattle's notoriously rainy winters.

At least before the houses slide down the hill and/or the homeowners are bankrupted by the lawsuits against them, they can at least enjoy their spectacular views of Puget Sound and downtown Seattle.

Still don't think it was worth it, though.

The Stranger also reports that lots of people are doing incredibly stupid things with trees to get better views from the hilly Seattle area.    
Ugly, dangerous regrowth on a
tree that had been "topped" to improve views

One thing their doing is topping trees, which means lopping off the branches of a tree to make it much shorter than it was.

This idea of topping a tree always backfires spectacularly. You could kill the tree, or if not, cause all kinds of other problems.

In part because the trees still have a great big root system, new branches come right back and grow back more quickly and much thicker, meaning the view would soon be even more blocked than before the tree topping.

Trees that has been topped are also less stable. The new branches are weaker, the extra foliage is heavier, so the formerly topped trees are more likely to topple over onto nearby houses during storms.

Well, that's one way to improve your view. If a tree falls through your roof, you'll have a nice view of the sky from your living room, right?

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Wish Mr. Reed Was My Fourth Grade Teacher

Teacher Dwayne Reed welcomes his fourth grade
students with his awesome viral video.
The kids will be alright in Reed's hands. 
There's a guy named Dwayne Reed in Chicago who is a first year teacher, presiding over a fourth grade class.

To break the ice with his students,  he came up with a song and a music video to greet his students and happily establish the ground rules.

The whole thing makes me happy that there are teachers like Reed out there.

As Slate notes:

"His enthusiasm is a good reminder of how important good teachers are to our kids, and how important it is that we support them. 'Have respect for each other and don't forget me,' he raps, also putting in a good word for the staff and the school. Reed packs in all the usual warnings and rules, but so sweetly you barely notice."

Below is the awesome viral video for his students. I think Reed's fourth graders will do just fine:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Diggy The Dog Gets To Stay At His New Home Despite A Stupid Town

This viral goofy selfie of Dan Tillery
and his new companion Diggy almost
got Diggy banned from the town
where they live.  
Diggy The Dog made waves in June when he was adopted by a gentleman named Dan Tillery of Waterford Township, Michigan.

Right after Tillery adopted Diggy from a Detroit animal shelter, the two posed together in a selfie, with big goofy grins on their faces.

The photo, which you can see in this post, understandably made everybody smile.

Well almost everyone. The people that run Waterford Township were not smiling. They were convinced Diggy is a pit bull, and that breed of dog is specifically banned from Waterford Township, says the New York Times. 

Never mind that Diggy isn't even a pit bull. He's an American Bulldog.

However, that wasn't good enough for the people who run Waterford Township. Diggy resembled a pit bull, so therefore he was a pitiful, they decided. He had to go.

That move set off another Internet storm and got locals around Waterford Township riled up. Crowds demanded justice for Diggy at Township council meetings, the Michigan legislature considered outlawing municipal ordinances that banned specific breeds, and 10,000 people signed a petition to let Diggy stay put.

Tillery submitted affidavits from two veterinarians, each of whom determined that Diggy was indeed not a pit bull.

Recently Tillery and Diggy got great news: Waterford Township decided Diggy could remain a resident of that community.

It's a relief to Tillery, and presumably Diggy, who formed an immediate bond when they met. The pair are now besties.

"People had really invested their emotions in this story, and it's beautiful to see so amy people care about rescue dogs," said Kristina Rinaldi, the director of the Detroit Dog Rescue, a no-kill shelter where Tillery found Diggy, according to the New York Times.

Rinaldi says far from being dangerous, Diggy is a big goofball who loves people.

It certainly seems like he loves his new friend Tillery. We wish them a long and happy partnership.

And while we're at it, let's get rid of those stupid breed specific ordinances. It's the training of the dog, not the dog itself that determines whether they're dangerous.