December 27, 2017

At the Christmas Flower Café...

P1150818

... you can talk about whatever you like.

And please consider doing some Amazon shopping through the Althouse Portal.

45 comments:

Michael K said...

We gave our daughters Christmas cactuses.

rehajm said...

Talk about your two movies on one screen:

Rex Reed is out with his list of 2017’s best and worst movies. His best movie of the year is The Post : At a critical time for the future of journalistic integrity, Steven Spielberg’s polished plea for the vital importance and protection of freedom of the press as guaranteed by the United States Constitution in a Democratic process couldn’t be more relevant. First, how Freudian is Democratic process and second: isn’t the crisis in the media their abandonment of journalistic principles in order to subvert an election and remove a fairly elected President from office?

rehajm said...

We gave our daughters Christmas cactuses.

We have one that blooms every Easter like clockwork.

madAsHell said...

The concrete blocks used to defeat Islamic truck bombers are called Merkel Legos.

Jimmy said...

I lost a trivia quiz because I said the plural of 'octopus' is 'octopi'.

Quizmaster said 'Just think about the Beatles' song - Octopuses Garden'.

But wait, the song is "Octopus's Garden", possessive, not plural form!

Later the people running the contest apologized to everyone who had chosen 'octopi' over 'octopuses'.

Per Webster's, both are plural forms. Webster's does list 'octopuses' first.

For cactus, Webster's lists both, but 'cacti' is first.

tcrosse said...

Our son gave us one of those fancy Keurig machines, our passport to the world of coffee snobbery. It's a typically complex German engineering solution to a simple technical problem, in the way that the espresso machine is typically Italian engineering.

Michael K said...

I got a trail camera from my son to get photos of the javelinas that destroy my wife's succulents every night.

I'm going get a wrought iron guy to build a small fence.

They can't get in the back yard as that has a 6 foot brick wall but the bobcat jumped it with the greatest of ease.

Ellen Corcoran said...

What kind of flower is that?

Big Mike said...

Did Meade grow those?

Freeman Hunt said...

Beautiful and beautiful picture.

Michael K said...

"What kind of flower is that?"

Christmas Cactus they are all over in Tucson but mostly indoors. If they are budding, putting in the light will speed the buds opening.

Tim at large said...

Nothing gets a person more steamed than having a correct answer rejected in a trivia contest that they could have won by a larger margin.

Bob said...

My grandmother has a Christmas cactus that everyone said was a hundred years old. Don't know about that, but it had a substantial trunk for an indoor potted plant.

Clark said...

@jimmy: octopus is not second declension (Latin) which would give the plural octopi; it is third declension. Dictionaries that recognize your plural are just caving in and accepting a mistake that has crept into the language.

Which begs the question: is your plural right or wrong?

Unknown said...

There was a network show last week that gave a completely bogus explantion of the name "Poinsettia", which is actually named for Joel Roberts Poinsett. You can still visit Poinsett State Park today.

Quayle said...

Its pretty cold here in Michigan. But not as cold as Madison, WI right now.

William said...

A martinus is made with a single shot of gun and no vermouth or olives.

rhhardin said...

I talk to a guy in Madison WI every Wednesday, when there's a work everybody contest.

Each contact is ten seconds roughly. It's always the same people.

It recognizes that hams have nothing to say but it's interesting where you can reach to.

ColoComment said...

Christmas cactus are so easy to propagate: just break off a segment or two and stick the broken end in a small cup of water. Presto: roots. Transfer to dirt in a nice small pot & gift to someone you like.
I have one that's well over a decade old. It blooms with hot pink flowers, year after year, and I've given away more "offspring" to friends and neighbors than I can count on both hands.

rhhardin said...

That link seems to have a spurious quote mark

work everybody

Quayle said...

rhhardin, my father-in-law was a ham. I miss hearing his radio in the background, when we used to be there for holidays. WB6IKI. He spent a lot of time in the south pacific, so he had a lot of contacts in NZ and Australia.

rehajm said...

My grandmother has a Christmas cactus that everyone said was a hundred years old

I have an old photograph of my grandfather as a young man with my Christmas cactus in the background, still in the same pot it is in today. It sat in the foyer of my grandparents house the whole time I was growing up.

It seems less happy today but still puts on a show...

rhhardin said...

Ham organizations have a Silent Keys section for members who have died.

It's wordplay in addition to being poetic, in that the advertised morse sign for end of contact is SK (sent as a single character without an intra-letter space).

tcrosse said...

@rhardin: I was trained as a high-speed code operator in the US Navy. The shipboard keys were designed to be survivable, but were difficult to operate with any artistry.
There was a prototype machine which was supposed to copy code and print it out on a TTY (this was the 1960s) but it never worked as well as an RM3 with a manual typewriter.

rhhardin said...

I used to go to sleep listening to NSS in the early 50s as a kid, as a way to raise my code speed.

I've always been curious what speed they sent, looking back.

rhhardin said...

Today for this contest I have the iambic keyer set at 31wpm.

narciso said...

Max boot, this is perhaps the last time I'll refer positively to him, in his upcoming bio of landsdale points out ellsberg high strung and irresponsible nature, perhaps that's why they cast one of the two Russian spies from the americans in the post. He cites that conversation he has with Lou conein the fellow who organized the diem coup.
Re the mistress of a Corsican caid he was seeing.

tcrosse said...

I've always been curious what speed they sent, looking back.

As I recall, we used to copy the VLF broadcasts from Cutler, Maine. These were 5-letter groups which were then to be decrypted by a mechanical device. This was the most primitive, and therefore most survivable means of communication we had. Speed was nominally 15-20 wpm. I remember letting my mind wander while the code went into my ears and out through my finges. The Royal Navy guys prided themselves on copying code with a pencil, while we Yanks used typewriters, but they were Professionals and we were citizen-sailors.

320Busdriver said...

I used to listen to Dr Demento on my transistor going to sleep on Sunday nights.

I think the worst part of this new tax law is that it left the carried interest loophole untouched, despite Trumps apparent effort to repeal it. G Cohn says they tried 25 times to get it done, but Mnuchin was standing in his way.

Again, a pretty good indication of the extent to which our permanent ruling class is bought off by those on K street.

320Busdriver said...

Rhhardin...any chance you've been talking with Nelly Ohr on your set? I think she only talks with British spies though.

gpm said...

>>We have one that blooms every Easter like clockwork

Hmm, Latin/western Easter or Greek/eastern Easter? This may be God's answer to who was right at the Synod of Whitby!

>>@jimmy: octopus is not second declension (Latin) which would give the plural octopi; it is third declension

Agree re the second declension, but it's a loan word in Latin. From the Greek. And, if you're going that way, the correct plural would be "octopodes" (which autocorrect just tried to change to "octopuses") in the Latin alphabet. "Octo" pretty much the same either way, but "pous, podes" (the Greek) not "pes, pedes" (the Latin).

--gpm

gpm said...

Just got back from tonight's trivia, where we flamed out royally on the second bonus round (can't believe we did so bad on this year's winners in the NBA, NHL, some of the Oscar stuff, etc., though we did get the Patriots and the Cardinals), ending up close to the bottom (sixth of only eight teams, about half as many as usual), after winning bigly last week, when I was almost the only one who knew that Fort McHenry is in Maryland! The kids didn't even get it when I hinted about the Star-Spangled Banner. If it wasn't for the sports and pop culture questions, I could smoke most of the kids on my own most of the time.

--gpm

gpm said...

>>I think the worst part of this new tax law is that it left the carried interest loophole untouched

Not quite "untouched," but probably not a big impact. The "carried interest loophole" is getting long-term capital gains treatment for what is (arguably?) services income. The bill did make a change in treating the income as short-term capital gain (pretty much the same as ordinary income) rather than long-term unless the underlying assets have a three-year holding period (rather than the one-year normally required for long-term capital gains).

--gpm

eddie willers said...

Nothing gets a person more steamed than having a correct answer rejected in a trivia contest that they could have won by a larger margin.

I "lost" once when answering the question: "Into what body of water does the Colorado River empty?"

Having recently moved back from Austin, Texas I answered "The Gulf of Mexico".

I was right, ya know.

Clark said...

@gpm: I agree. Latin third declension: Octopodes. I would say Octopuses. Unless I was being covertly jocose.

Yancey Ward said...

"Nothing gets a person more steamed than having a correct answer rejected in a trivia contest that they could have won by a larger margin."

I am sorry, it was the Moops.

Yancey Ward said...

Looks like someone took Donna Brazile at her word about how the Clinton Campaign controlled the donations to the DNC, looked at the FEC reports, and filed a complaint. If accurate, these are felonies. Someone needs to call Strzok back from HR.

Yancey Ward said...

Lets try that again with the line.

John Pride said...

OK, we definitely shop some gifts and other accessories through amazon by using your portal.

Tim at large said...

It seems like spies might be the only people doing HAM radio these days who have anything to say to each other.

rhhardin said...

Ham radio isn't secret enough to be useful to spies. Many listeners compared to senders.

I'm listening to w4mqc in FL right now, calling cq. 7032kHz. Apparently unconsumated.

I've heard him 42 times before, a record kept in a computer log when I look anybody up.

rhhardin said...

There's spy morse code in the occasional movie, say The Exception (2016).

In that case it's real code but always the same and saying something general about a plot point that I don't recall, like operation whatever has begun.

Except when there's a shot of a character sending it and then it's garbage, not morse.

Get Smart had an episode where morse was sent, in real morse, obviously tapping a crew member who happened to be a ham, though saying nothing relevant to the situation.

Walter Winchell was completely garbage code.

Tim at large said...

The nice thing about ham is that it's not computer addressed so nobody can do a query on a user. Encoding it would be child's play, and potentially unbreakable. Doesn't matter who is listening, and nobody has a fleet of direction finding trucks anymore. Which is probably why the FBI was using it to communicate with Steele.

hawkeyedjb said...

"The concrete blocks used to defeat Islamic truck bombers are called Merkel Legos."

They are also described as Diversity Bollards and Muslim Barriers. Rather than deal with the real problem, Frau Merkel applies German engineering to try to deal with the after-effects.

320Busdriver said...

@gpm...
I see the 3 year holding period means ~ 25% of PE deals would lose the preference. The cost to the treasury over 10 years is still 180-200 billion.

These guys getting the break are using OPM to invest and little of their own, but pay a lower rate than the city cop, you, or I.

The difference is they can afford to pay millions to the guys making the rules so the ruling class can win their elections and around and around we go.

Trump said he wanted to close it and failed. Hopefully he works harder pushing term limits.


Anyone making 400 million a year should be paying the same or higher rate than a couple earning say 400K..