November 10, 2012

At the Cirrocumulus Café...


... you can talk about anything you like.

(This photo makes today look bleak, but it was midday, sunny, and warm out on the bike trail south of Madison.)


Patrick said...

Leafless trees have a way of making things appear bleak, even when it's sunny.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

This election taught me I was a naive jerkoff who thought I was better (i.e. had more class) than libs.

I don't, never did as a matter of fact.

I am appreciative for this enlightened state of cogitation as possibilities for my future have expanded greatly without my outdated notions of honor and decency impeding my progress.

Now, they wanna talk about a War on Women?

Let's give em something to talk about, besides the boring aborted neverbabies.

Ron said...

one of those special Wisconsin 2-ply clouds....ahhhh....

edutcher said...

Actually, you can see a fair amount of blue sky.

Glad you got out today.

And send some more of that nice weather our way, silver plate.

slumber_j said...


rhhardin said...

Tennis ball keepaway (video)

caplight45 said...

Well, remember, in Meade world bike riding=cuddles.

Chip Ahoy said...

I just recently caught onto Gordon Ramsey on BBCam and find him mazing. I was impressed with Robert Irvine on Food Network who does a similar thing. The difference is, Irvine show devotes a lot of time to remodeling the physical site and Ramsey show doesn't. Apparently the BBC crew goes in and transforms the whole restaurant and treat it as a BBC set. Five seconds of flash zippy zap and everything's changed like magical television.

In both shows the real makeover is in the psychology of the family owners and their staff and every case is different. This is where both Irvine and Ramsey are brilliant.

If it were me, in each case, I'd throw my hands up and declare it hopeless, I'd tell them. Fire everybody, close shop immediately, file for bankruptcy and divorce each other and go on the dole. Your family is destroyed. Your obstinance has made you too stupid to repair.

But somehow Ramsey and Irvine have the patience to stick with it through all the tantrums and bull headedness and resistance to knowledge and straightforward accounting and shows these people they have dead mice in their grease drains and bacteria growing in ice makers. That their stored chicken dripping into their stored spaghetti sauce dripping into their stored scallops is a potential health violation besides a plain bad idea. They have patience somehow to talk to these people.

Hang on. Someone's playing Neil Young too loud.

I just now yelled at someone in public. The new me snaps impatiently at serfs.

And the two actually do straighten out the distorted psychologies, and man, are they ever twisted. Families get so cranked out of shape they can't even speak to each other and both Irvine and Ramsey apply their clumsy and rude direct-speaking harsh language slap in the face facts and they all come out sparkling and sorted and eager and with fresh owner mentalities. They're brilliant at doing this. They tear down the families, splay them out graphically in open vivid vivisection, everybody cries, they all do see the problem, see the solutions, see a way forward, align themselves and carry on. I'm impressed how people shape up. Sadly some slip back to their sloven serfly ways.

Ramsey especially. Their magic works. Except in France.

The situation Ramsey encountered there was odd. It was like pushing a worm back in a hole. The French who Ramsey encountered were serfs with ownership mentality all around haughty vacant ownership mentalities, where nobody really did any actual work seriously. The whole thing was aimless puff, hardly a restaurant at all, just a vanity project it seemed. And it wasn't really actually fooooood that the strange obstreperous cook was preparing, and the owner didn't actually have to show up now that Ramsey was there to fix things, why, I thought you were going to do that I have to look good you know, and the waitress would appear when she got to it, and you know, she does not have a reason to be spoken to like that so goodbye then I've been not at all charmed. There's Ramsey in France all by himself in somebody's restaurant. Thud.

Nichevo said...

Which episode was that, Chip? I don't remember a Gordon Ramsay in France although I remember French chefs in California and England, and a restaurant in Spain.

pm317 said...

Absolutely gorgeous.

It does not look bleak at all but

it does look fractured.

sydney said...

Can anyone recommend a good book to read? One that takes you away to a different world. One that makes you forget where you are. One that you look forward to reading at the end of the day. I need a respite from reality.

wyo sis said...

Chip Ahoy
I hope this means you're going the Ramsey route and applying tough love. America isn't France yet.

Anne B. said...

Sydney: do you like biographies? Claire Tomalin has written good ones of Jane Austen and Samuel Pepys. And Mary Lovell's "The Churchills in Love and War" is wild, fascinating and full of must-read-aloud bits. Don't miss the episode where Lord Randolph (Winston's father) tries to BLACKMAIL the then-Prince of Wales.

wyo sis said...

Bill Bryson. The one about Australia is great, I can't remember the exact title. Also A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Anne B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

Clinton just gets to say, "thanks but no thanks*" to testifying about Benghazi?

*I'm sure that's not how she worded it. Probably more like "so long, suckers".

wyo sis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

When I read anything by Betty MacDonald I always come away happier. The Egg and I is great. Same with Jean Shepherd? Is it? who wrote The Christmas Story.

wyo sis said...

On the other hand,w since those are reality, maybe you won't like them so much, they are a different world though. The authors take you into their world and it's nice there.

sydney said...

Betty MacDonald, yes. Creator of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Ma and Pa Kettle. I haven't read the Egg and I but I read the Plague and I about her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium. I did see the Egg and I with Claudette Colbert and Fred McMurray. Very funny. Think I'll look up the book. Wonder if there's a Kindle version.

sydney said...

Biographies, written well, can be very good escapes. They take you to a different time and place, too. Thanks for the suggestions.

Erika said...

The Bill Bryson book is In A Sunburned Country and it is wildly entertaining!

Patrick said...

Can anyone recommend a good book to read?

The Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger. I cannot recommend this book enough. Maybe not great literature, but a wonderful story. Very easy, quick read. Definitely fits your criteria.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm reading "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" -- which is a travel memoir.

Ann Althouse said...

I love everything by Bill Bryson.

MadisonMan said...

I would have called those altocumulus.

I saw beautiful examples of Altocumulus Castellanus before sunset.

Chip Ahoy said...

Today I tried out intermingling knowing everybody are mental serfs. There weren't many, it's cold and wet and contrary to what you might hear about us studly western Colorado types most stay inside on days like this. The people I did encounter outside were all studly types of course and unusually happy. Outwardly. A Guy on a bike speeding in the opposite direction had enough time to say "hey."

In Doppler that turns out like this:


An old Asian man and a bouncing preteen approached and the old man said, "Hello. How are you doing?" Odd. 75% extra happiness. I usually have to pull greetings out of people. So I answered serf to serf for I am undercover, "I dressed improperly. I always manage to dress wrongly." and he stopped. Odd. And the boy bounced around and responded owner to serf and I felt glee inside at discovering a kindred spirit without revealing my true identity as owner minded, I imagined he was teaching the boy owner mentality. He saw I was cold and told me how to dress properly and how to make better guesses. I thanked him for his sage advice and we parted. Very happy friendly fellow. Cheerful. Outgoing. Helpful.

Then inside the clerk looked threatening. Like a sombrero would fit and a crossed bandoleers would be apt but when he spoke his voice was tender and I saw he is happy and pleasant. Our discussion involved describing a walkthrough closet with a bathroom on the other side, the door partially concealed back there by clothes on both sides. He said, "bat cave"

He said a boyish thing.

You have children? Yeah. Boy? Yeah. Batcave? Yes, but I have a girl ... who's into Darth Vader. Is she! Nods Black head mask. Nods. Does she put a pink tutu on it. I thought I out-imaginationed things there to crazy it up and be funny and he surprised me and said yes. She puts a pink tutu on with her Darth Vader mask and a tiara. He surprised me twice, Tiara! and his face glowed with love when he talked about them and the whole time I'm still in serf disguise trying to feel serfdom and I'm really feeling it, I'm thinking his two treasures need protection even if it meager and whatever everybody has to pay is fine and even if there are better choices somehow these kids need at least that meager thin promise and no I'm sorry no twenty trillion dollars debt and servitude doesn't even register, it's not thought of, it doesn't exist, in that tight serf vignette. It was warm and I got that, we concluded and I left.

Back out on the street two strangers separate incidences smiling. Happiness, calmness, satisfaction, and actual helpfulness all around and finally a person I know, handicapped fat ugly sprawling in an electric wheelchair and with a leg stump extended forward, the opposite of Colorado studly, smiling, happy, pleasant, engaging and helpful. All serfs out there and all exceedingly happy it is obvious to me.

I didn't trouble anybody with the service of debt.

A debt so great it can't even be thought, a servitude that's permanent.

I can see that would ruin their day. Walking home I was thinking I'll be gone when his kids are grown up. They'll be satisfied with their universal health care, think it's grand, not feel its burden, not think it such, serf life is good, but I crack a smile when I think there's hope for the girl even deadening socialism isn't entirely dead.

Saint Croix said...

Rotweiller attacks baby! With kisses.

Patrick said...

I'm also reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton. Not at all light, (this book is so damn heavy, it will likely be what drives me to get a kindle), but very well researched and written.

Hamilton too, was nearly brought down by his indiscretions with a woman. But that man started as a bastard son of a poor woman in the West Indies, back when being a bastard carried a lot of baggage. With a great deal of intelligence, courage and most of all very hard work, he rose to become General Washington's top aide during the Revolution (as well as a distinguished battlefield commander). After the war, as Secretary of the Treasury, he pretty much defined what the Federal government would and could do (much to the great chagrin of Jefferson and Madison).

Strong recommendation, but not light reading in any sense of the word.

And sorry, Professor, I got this one from the library, not Amazon. I'll try to do better!

Patrick said...

"Sex Lives of Cannibals" sounds like a book I'd pick up just to see what it could possibly be about. I'd be "WTF?!"

john said...

I had to learn 29 types of clouds in the Army. Since that long ago time I think they reduced the number of actual cloud types. Regardless, I agree with Madisonman.

Simon said...

I have some thoughts on "what's next" after Tuesday here, for those who are interested. I've written a number of posts discussing what conservatism means, over the years, and this one is by far my most ambitious attempt, insofar as it attempts to comprehensively identify our "first principles."

Simon said...

Also, tomorrow we will again mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. We were in Sydney earlier this year, and I was struck by their war memorial; most commonwealth countries have something like the Cenotaph in London, bearing the legend "the glorious dead." The ANZAC memorial is quite different. Its heart is a statue titled "the sacrifice," and it was one of the most moving things I've ever seen. It depicts a young warrior, fallen in battle, being carried home dead on his sword and shield after the fashion of ancient greeks. And what makes it so moving, I think, is that it is so relentlessly and unsparingly focused on one thing: It says nothing about why the war was fought; what was accomplished and what was not. It is silent on whether it was worthwhile, and
it is majestically uninterested in whether it was glorious. "The sacrifice" is a war memorial that recounts one thing and one thing alone: What it cost.

Freeman Hunt said...

Did you know Kiwis are very anti-American? I did not know that.

Chip Ahoy said...

I guy I know was a salesman and was offered his business twice. The first time he was having too much fun as salesman and didn't care to have responsibilities of the business so he decided to keep his serf career, after all, he was good at it, and it was good to him. Then within a few years he got tired of that and when the offer was extended again he bought it. He has owner mentality but low owner skills.

The thing about this is our difference in ages.

Which I know by the oddest way.

I and a small group of deaf kids dropped in on another who worked at night. We all had a meal together at the night worker's regular time. It was strange to descend like that as a group and mix working and non working in the middle of the night like that.

Two deaf at the table were talking and they mentioned the salesman/business owner's age. He is older than us, I knew that, but I noticed they had it wrong by a decade at least and I laughed. One said, "oh no, once he left his wallet on the restaurant bench and I ran back in to fetch it. I looked inside at his id and he's 36 years old! That was a matter of tremendous excitement, to be that freaking old.

The business changed his personality. It was burdensome. A-type bossy, fussy, exacting, hard working, owner-mentality and such but not really cut out for it. He didn't have the stomach to fire an incompetent that kept receipts in a shoebox. He did finally fire him but psychic turmoil of that one single firing wrecked him. He retained a secretary who embezzled. They caught it, he counseled her, it was terrible, but he did not fire her.

Then one day I ran into him at happy hour he was unpleased with a salesman who was good but also sloppy and careless. Small things that just flat pissed him off because he wanted his company to project a particular professionalism, and the owner is basically a neurotic martinet about small things. He talked to the guy and got no results. Again and again. Then decided to make it real and have a serious discussion. He planned it all out.

over beers!

It's a pilot thing.

He told me how his meeting didn't go as planned. His salesman wasn't taking it. He still wasn't getting it, the owner is unhappy with the salesman's friendly but unkempt image. He got nowhere with driving his point.

The setting of two chums over casual beers should have been a setting of owner and serf.

Pardon me, worker, slave, wage earner, whatever you want to call the frame of mind that is that connotes subservience.

It would be odd, a youngster explaining to a business owner how to set and perform owner-staging. I told him, if he didn't mind hearing it, where I noticed he might have gone wrong. Proper serf management being the issue apparent to a 21 year old. You own the company. You own the office. You own your desk. You sit behind it in the attire he is to emulate. He sits in front, the subordinate position. You stage the meeting properly in the proper setting.

You tell your salesman you have something to discuss that os very important to his future with your company, that in this meeting you impart instructions and you are not open to suggestions or discussion. Make it clear his job is on the line. Tell him precisely what you want. Bullet points. Tell him how you intend to measure performance. Tell him the consequence of noncompliance. Conclude the meeting.

Basically scare your serf.

He took a sip and looked at me. Regarded me and said, "Shit. That was pretty good advice."

Up to then I had been rather silly.

I assumed all officer training would have covered things like that automatically but I guess pilots don't get that kind of stuff.

Simon said...

Freeman, I didn't. The Australians seemed friendly, though.

pm317 said...

Ann, I have been thinking about this.. you're an academic, (I was one for years until I left it for good -- I don't think I could stand to look at today's students). What do you think of all these students cheating to vote for Obama -- Pogo wrote in a comment how he saw a bunch of guys, out of state doing the same day registration and voting. I am sure there are others if we dug deep enough. We have heard/read all kinds of such eye witness account during Primary 2008 caucuses. If nothing else, the last two Obama elections have taught this younger generation of Americans that it is OK to cheat in elections. They seem to have wholly embraced the idea. What do you think of it? To me this is a troubling development. It is one thing to become loyal to a party and vote but another to lie and cheat to vote for one person. ACORN went away but got replaced with hordes of students.

Chip Ahoy said...

Recall Obama stated SS payments might not be met.

A patent lie.

But strong aggressive serf management.

The serfs will do the work of forcing Republicans to comply. By playing on serf-fear of losing serf-security they are very easily and willingly played. Very easily. He went to it immediately, instinctually.

I realized something that was shocking to me today while I was walking and serfing it up undercover. Get ready for this, it is shocking to me. I am a kindred spirit with Hillary Clinton. She found the words that describe my new feeling exactly. She's brilliant! They scratched my ears like sandpaper jabbed in with icepicks when she first spoke the phrase "misanthropic altruism" it sounded ludicrously oxymoronic at the time, but by God that's it. I feel the mixture overwhelming unbearable pity that is horrible and at the same time so very well pleased that that everybody seems so happy today. Really happy.

Anonymous said...

madisonMan and John are correct: altocumulus. John, I only remember being taught 27 types in the Air Force in 1970.

DADvocate said...

Went to Wise, Va today. In the Appalachians close to where VA, TN and KY meet. In the mid 60s and sunny. Still some snow on the ground in shady spots. They got a foot for snow from Sandy.

Dante said...

Can anyone recommend a good book to read? One that takes you away to a different world.

It depends on what kind of different world you want, and how long of a book you want.

Roger Zelazney has a great book in "The Lord of Light." It's science fiction, but interesting as it creates a futuristic society in which the Gods (who are actually mortals) use Hinduism to control the population. Finally, the good guy prevails, who wants to free the people from evil oppression.

If you like more fantasy kinds of absorbing books, I would recommend "Ubik," by Philip K. Dick. It's surreal, bizarre, and suspenseful.

If you want something slightly disturbing, but completely absorbing, you might consider "Lord of Darkness", by Robert Silverberg. It's not like his usual writings, and is an account probably around 1600s of an African explorer, lots of masculinity and femininity in it, as well as cannibalism.

Dune, by Frank Herbert, is interesting in that it gives the other side to Jihad, in a science fiction setting, and that predates the latest Muslim issues. It's also a science fiction kind of book.

The Thorn Birds is also pretty interesting, and gives a portrait of Australia, along with a love story, if you like that kind of thing. I enjoyed the book.

One thing I've become interested as I've become older, is in high level, easy to understand overviews of orientations I'm not familiar with. For instance, "The Story of Art" E.H. Gombrich, is a book where one of the masters has explored art throughout history, and helped to explain the fundamental aspects of it. It links cultural, and individual influences. I loved reading this book, because the person has an ability to help the neophyte to understand something about art.

Dante said...

I realized something that was shocking to me today while I was walking and serfing it up undercover.

When you say "Serfing," do you mean those who work for others, or do you mean as in the milch cow for the Obamao?

Alan said...

Got a question: The name "Nate Silver" is one I glossed over during the election. Had no interest in election astrologers. Recently I've noticed articles like this one, that imply that conservatives have dumped on Silver unfairly, they they should have known better than to question his stats well before the election.

Can someone fill me in on the dumping-on-Nate-Silver thing? Or explain how anyone could trust his accuracy BEFORE the election? Especially since he was out-predicted by Vodkapundit in 2010?

John Stodder said...

Excellent photo.

Clyde said...

6.8 magnitude earthquake today in Myanmar.

And Obama's coming to visit them next week.

Those poor bastards just can't catch a break...

Saint Croix said...

I got an idea. Congress should pass a new citizenship law, defining any partially-born American baby a citizen of the United States.

What this law would do, on its face, is define two of the worst abortion procedures, D&X and D&E, as murder. In both procedures the doctor pulls the baby outside the birth canal, killing her in the process.

Under this federal law, by pulling the baby outside the birth canal, the doctor has made her a citizen. Under this statute, he is killing a citizen of the United States. Thus any state D.A. can, and should, prosecute the doctor for murder.

The person paying the doctor for the abortion could also be charged as a co-conspirator, if the state can prove they had knowledge the doctor was planning to kill the baby outside the birth canal.

The doctor would also have a self-defense claim, if the mother's life was in danger. He would have a chance to prove that he killed the baby in defense of the mother's life.

The key legal question would be whether the abortion kills the baby inside the uterus or outside the birth canal. If the former, Roe would apply. If the latter, murder statutes would apply.

Two common first trimester abortion procedures, vacuum aspiration and RU-486, would still be protected under Roe v. Wade. 85-90% of abortions would not be implicated by this statute.

A rare first trimester abortion procedure, the D&C, which causes Asherman's syndrome, is also not implicated by this statute.

A rare second trimester abortion procedure, saline amniocentesis, would also not be implicated. Saline amniocentesis involves injecting high amounts of salt into the uterus. It is highly dangerous to women and is almost never used in the USA, after the Supreme Court allowed an abortion doctor to go to prison for doing one outside a hospital.

By defining a partially-born baby a citizen of the United States, Congress would be abolishing the notorious Carhart abortions.

Congress has an unquestioned authority to define citizenship.

kentuckyliz said...

"How to Cook a Tart" is a very funny book.

john said...

There are 9 cloud types each in 3 altitude groups, plus 2 noctilucent clouds.


rhhardin said...

Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
Ham. Or like a whale?
Pol. Very like a whale.

Rusty said...

Chip Ahoy said...
I just recently caught onto Gordon Ramsey on BBCam and find him mazing. I was impressed with Robert Irvine on Food Network who does a similar thing. The difference is, Irvine show devotes a lot of time to remodeling the physical site and Ramsey show doesn't. Apparently the BBC crew goes in and transforms the whole restaurant and treat it as a BBC set. Five seconds of flash zippy zap and everything's changed like magical television.

My oldest daughter met Gordon Ramsey. She was trying out for that cooking show where a bunch of chef wannabes compete with each other and their stuff is judged by famous chefs like Gordon Ramsey. She made it to the top 100 before she was eliminated. But she met him and said he was nice.
That's my Gordon Ramsey story. Thank you.

PS. She is a very good cook.

Sheridan said...

Forthenri and John - I was in Air Weather Service from 1972-76. Buck Sergeant. McConnell AFB, Det 23. Just joined AWA (Air Weather Association). Already found some old friends.

Happy Veterans Day!

mikee said...

W.E.B. Griffin, a writer of historical fiction, wrote a series of novels following several Army officers from their teens in WWII to Vietnam. At one point, a womanizing (but highly decorated officer) gets relieved from duty as a general's aide, for having a fling with a USO star in Korea. He is then called to testify on behalf of a fellow officer, a close friend, in a court martial.

The prosecutor tries to destroy the womanizer's credibility by asking why the general relieved him of command. Eventually the officer responds with something like, "My performance as the General's aide was not what the General found wanting in my time with him." And the court officers have a hard time not laughing out loud, because the guy who screwed the USO girl is the same guy who was awarded a DSC a few months before that.

Sherman is quoted as saying "A soldier who won't fuck, won't fight." About his enlisted and drafted troops, mostly, but also his officers.

Petrayeus must testify fully and truthfully and informatively about Benghazi this week.