April 22, 2012

At the Lilac Café...


... you can write purple — or any color — prose.


Joseph Schmoe said...

You know, the only thing I miss printed newspapers for is starting a fire. It's harder to do with color-printed, post-consumer-content-recycled food boxes. Give me good old virgin forest newsprint anyday.

ricpic said...

Otherwise known as the Welch's grape juice plant.

edutcher said...

Schmoe, for about 40 years, that's all they've been good for.

Unless, of course, you wanted to go to the movies.

PS A Spanish WV? Well, after Greek and Arabic, I suppose I should be happy...

David said...

Hydrangia? Isn't it early?

David said...

Read the title, David. Nice lilac.

mesquito said...

Digging holes, mixing concrete, setting posts.

My day off.

mesquito said...

During the Mexican war in the 1840s, the Army of Mexico had a unit, the San Patricios, composed of expat Irishmen. In the evenings they'd sit about their campfires and sing songs about the Old Country. Among the favorites was "Green Grow The Lilacs."

The Mexicans started to refer to them as "Gringos."

That's one theory, anyway.

mesquito said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

The Americans in the Mexican War were known from the song as "Green Grows", which got shortened to gringo.

Wiki says it's wrong, but their explanation sounds more than a little funky.

"Green Grow The Lilacs" had been a popular ballad for some time. During the Texas War of Independence, there was an alternative version, "Come to The Bower", with somewhat more pornographic lyrics, played at the battle of San Jacinto.

pm317 said...

I am a bit tired of the purple (in my garden). And two purple flower plants (don't know the names but they are those tube like clusters of small flowers) didn't show up this season. Good riddance (I say it very gently like a whisper). I have planted orange mini roses with spicy sweet fragrance in their place.

EDH said...

Q: Are there lilacs in Washington DC?

A: No, there's no lack of lies in Washington.

Joan said...

I miss lilacs. Here in the Phoenix metro area, everything is gorgeous and blooming. We have all sorts of flowering plants, but nothing as showy and wonderfully scented as lilacs. Texas mountain laurel is gorgeous and smells faintly like grapes. Sweet acacia smells like a candy factory (I know, having gone to school right across the street from the NECCO factory in Cambridge), and has puffy little yellow flowers, but there's nothing here like lilacs.

Temps have been over 100 the past few days, already. It's going to be a very long summer.

fleetusa said...

Lilacs are wonderful flowers and bushes. We have 6. And the deer don't eat them.

Saint Croix said...

I don't know if that counts as nudity. I think it's kind of cute.

Milk's Favorite Cookie.

And it cracks me up.

Lem said...

You can write purple until you are blue in the face and your hands start turning black and blue.. not from climbing the Himalayas, but from putting the hands upon your hips, you dip, I dip, we dip..

Its raining here but in my mind I'm plumping down.

PETER V. BELLA said...

It's been a while since I visited. Just stopped by to say hello.

Chip Ahoy said...

I learned a technique for selecting in Photoshop that is quite useful if you care to know it.

The technique uses the pen tool to create a path then converts the path to a selection. This is a very useful tool that does other things too, splendid things more important than this like draw mad vector curves, but it is useful for this also. It is different from the pen/pencil tool.

There are a couple of things about this tool that make it perfect for isolating and lifting out a thing like this flower. You use the tool to go around the edges placing little points. Boink boink boink boink boink all around the subject. It can be a trail of thousands of dots. Go all around the subject in and out of all the crevices. Take your good old time. Be as detailed about it as you like. Then when you get back to the starting dot Photoshop shows a tiny circle indicating 'this is the end, and next is your path.' When you touch the circle, the first dot you made, then your trail of dots turns into a continuous line and that is your path around the subject.

It's a path and not a selection.

You can open your path window and give this path a name.

You can go over and make another path around a different subject.

You can have multiple paths working simultaneously whereas you can have only one selection.

You can save paths.

You can convert paths to selections. Use the selection and still have the path.

All of this means you can mess up all over the place and still have a quality selection.

Then, to refine the selection, the selection menu at top allows you to adjust the selection you have. You can try something, restore, and try something else until you get the exact selection you want. You can feather the selection to the degree of your choice, and you can bring the entire selection closer in or farther out all at once.

Fen said...

Les: Being placed in a permanent vegetative state is not "grievous bodily harm"


Geez. Google "tramautic brain injury (TBI) head slammed concrete"


Jose_K said...

While feminist are at battle with Lego:

Jose_K said...

An about the oreo ad. Since everyone eat the cream and leave the cookie ...

Jose_K said...

Among the favorites was "Green Grow The Lilacs."
or Green grow the grass?

Alan said...

It's lilac time.


James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Hi Peter.. Welcome back.. stick around.

James said...

There are tons of Path techniques Chip. Once you master the basic technique, you're really only limited by your imagination. And you have even more options when using a Wacom tablet or Cintiq (my favorite). For example you can modify a closed path by pressing the CTRL key and dragging the control point handles.

I use paths, channels, alpha channels, and masks extensively in creating composite images. But for this photo its probably easiest to select the purple flowers by using the Color Range command and saving to an alpha channel.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I've been reading James Lilacs for years. But I didn't know there was a season for him.

Lem said...

La Bella Señora with the American Secret Service.

Lovely night so bright
If you move safely
And you look to fill the air with energy
If between soft and hard
Tell me about yourself beautiful lady
Tell me about yourself and what you feel
Tell me about yourself of your silence
Tell me about yourself and your lovers
And your lovers

And do not you look in the mirror in the morning no.
Because you're afraid
Because your skin with the sun
Is not as porcelain no as in the past
You live minute by minute
a fit
I slowly approached
And I broke the body
Tell me about yourself beautiful lady
In your most secret of your dark night
I find you beautiful as a sculpture
Lady Lady lonely lonely
Tell me about yourself beautiful lady
Tell me about yourself honestly
Take me to your mystery
Take me to your apartment
In your apartment

My paradise lost
I can see it in you now
You have no name or surname
If you let slip your dress
You live minute by minute
a fit
I slowly approached
And I broke the body
Tell me about yourself beautiful lady
In your most secret of your dark night
I find you beautiful as a sculpture
Lady Lady lonely lonely

deborah said...

Hey, Peter.

sydney said...

You have lilacs blooming already? They've not yet shown themselves here in NE Ohio.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse, I'm not sure that anyone has brought this to your attention yet, but your site isn't loading right on my iPad. Maybe it's just mine; I have the first generation iPad.

I think it has something to do with the "google plus one" button. Large blank areas appear in your text, with that google plus one thing down toward the bottom of the box. Sometimes refreshing fixes it, but it freezes up a little bit and doesn't want to refresh.

mariner said...

That's a GREAT photo.

Carnifex said...

It's the weekend, it's an Althouse Cafe. It must be story time!

I've told you all (yes I do use that expression) about my dad, and how he would take me hunting before I could walk (not literally, but close). But I haven't talked much about my mom.

My mom didn't grow up in the south. She moved down here from Scranton Pa. (Ain't no party like a Scranton Party. shout out to "the Office"). So she suffered from considerable culture shock. How my parents got together I ain't got a clue, but they did never the less, and here I am.

Anyway, I wasn't the only one to be blessed by being forced into hunting, my mom got shanghaied into hunting too. Unfortunately, she grew up in a northeastern city, and not in the backwoods with hound dogs and hillbillies like moi. So Natty Bumpo she ain't.

One year dad dragged her deer hunting. Because she doesn't like heights, all moms deer stands were no more than 6 feet off the ground. If you know anything about deer hunting you know that this is very low. Almost unheard of low. But give her credit, she would sit there, not moving a muscle, and kill deer. Something I was almost always too fidgety to do.(don't tell dad, I don't really care for deer hunting)

One evening, after the hunt, and while everyone was sitting around the campfire just finishing supper my mom says "Jerry, there was someone in my deer stand." "What?" dad says. "There was someone in my deer stand." she insisted. "Did you see them?" my dad asks. "No" came the reply,"but they were eating watermelon." "What?!" comes from my surprised dad. "They were eating watermelon" my mom insists. "How do you know they were eating watermelon?" my dad asks. "Well" she says "they left the seeds". ""WHAT?" comes from my dad.

My mom explains "I knew you wouldn't believe me, so I brought the seeds as evidence. I filled my pockets with them, there were so many". She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a handful of what looks like, to the entire non-hunting world, watermelon seeds. But they weren't watermelon seeds.

Dad makes a snorting, choking sound, I've never heard from a human ever before. The hillbillies around us start laughing...hard. As in, we are falling off our seats, onto the ground, and the dogs are jumping on us to get in on the fun, laughing hard.

My mom is the dearest sweetest woman on the face of the earth. I wouldn't trade her for another. But she ain't woods wise.

"What?" she starts, and builds in volume "What? What is it?" Her face is red. None of us can even talk yet so it falls on my dad to inform her. "Sweetheart" he says, and by now he's laughing too, "Those aren't watermelon seeds". "What are they?" she asks in a quiet, fatal tone.

"Racoon turds"

My mom got the last laugh though. She made my dad clean out her pockets. She doesn't lie, she had filled 2 pockets full of racoon scat. So we got the pleasure of not only laughing at my mom, but also my dad as he begrudgingly cleaned out her pockets.

So let this be a lesson to you... If you take your wife hunting, teach her what scat looks like. (and don't do the old "throw a chocolate covered raisin on the ground and then eat it in front of them" trick. Save that for someone you don't like, a know-it-all in-law, for instance.)

Ann Althouse said...

Pastafarian, I see what you're talking about. It's a new gadget and I can't get rid of it for a reason not worth explaining. I'm hoping Google will work out the bug. If anyone has any advice about what to do, let me know.

Carnifex said...

A bonus story...

The property we were hunting on had an old abandoned farm house on it. One summer day while we were four wheeling around we stopped at the house. One of the guys (who I didn't like) went into the house, just because. He came out nearly at a dead run, white as a ghost.

"Don't go in there! There's a rattlesnake in there!" he reported.

"Did you see it?"

"Naw, I heard it rattle".

I couldn't leave a rattlesnake loose on the property, so I pulled my 1911 and entered to calls of "Be careful", and "Don't go in there!". I keep my .45 loaded with snake shot just for this reason though. Rattlers can get big here, the Eastern Diamondback. Biggest one I've seen live (and dead), was 6 foot long, and big around as a roll of toilet paper.

So I careful enter the house, .45 in hand. I'm looking at the floors which were falling through, and counter tops. Behind doors, and in cabinets. And I hear it. " "

I stop, I listen..." ". It's coming from down the hall, I slow walk further in, still watching, there might be more..." " This room...." "" ". From that pipe..." "

I peer slowly into the pipe. There with a nest full of babies is a mother...wren.

She's fanning the nest to cool the babies off, and her wings against the cheap aluminum pipe is making the rattle sound.

Time for some fun. I let out a bellow in shock, surprise, and hurt. I shoot my .45. "BOOM"..."BOOM BOOM"..."BOOM". And run out of the house.

"Goddamn it Darryl! He bit me!" I tell the guy I didn't like. "What do we do?" he asks in a panicked voice. "You're gonna' have ta' cut the bite and suck the poison out" I tell him with a grim voice.

"Where'd he get ya?" Darryl says. "Right here!" I say, turning around, and dropping trou.(I know it's an oldie, but a goodie none the less)

Ps. Do not suck the poison out of a rattlesnake bite unless in dire emergency. The proper technique is to apply a light tourniquet just above the bitten area, remain calm, and still, and get the victim to a hospital. You usually have plenty of time, unless the person is a small child, or an older person. Or you are unlucky enough to have a more than normal reaction to the poison.

Ralph L said...

My grandmother sat down for a nap while on a hunt in eastern NC in the 30's. My grandfather pointed out the bear tracks around her when he came back for her--but I think he may have made them himself.

They hunted deer, squirrel and birds regularly and kept hunting dogs in the smallest former chickenhouse until his first heart attack. You weren't supposed to exercise after an attack back then.

I've never heard that my father, who was in the Navy from 18 to 53, ever hunted with them or anyone, and he took my brother and I into the woods to learn to shoot a .22 rifle all of once, but he insisted on getting his father-in-law's shotgun after he died. I'm all but certain he's never fired it.

pm317 said...

Carnifex said...

That was good! as was the bonus.

MadisonMan said...

I drove past Ft. Meade today.

Ralph L said...

I hope you were careful what you said, MM, you know the NSA listens to everyone. My dad's last Navy tour was a few miles north in Skagsville (what a name, they used Laurel, MD, instead) at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

MadisonMan said...

I did like that there's an exit to NSA right off 290, and all sorts of warning not to get off if you don't work there (and the exit was even blocked today).

All they would have heard if they were listening to me was me singing along to the radio. I get knocked down, but I get up again, there ain't nothin' gonna keep me down....

wyo sis said...

We'll have lilacs in June. We don't even have daffodils yet. It's still a brown world greening up in Wyoming this April, but we're just happy there's no snow.

Ralph L said...

all sorts of warning not to get off if you don't work there
There's the same thing at the GW Parkway exit to CIA HQ.
Since they smoothed out the cement joints, we've taken to using the Baltimore-Washington Expressway (a continuation of I-295) instead of I-95 when going to Connecticut. Two lanes is easier on the nerves than three when everyone is jockeying for position at 70+ mph. I'm so thankful I no longer have to deal with DC area traffic but a few times a year.

Almost Ali said...

You're going to love this kid, so come to Caine’s Arcade!

MadisonMan said...

This is the best time of year to go to the Arboretum, and your picture shows why.