DIY Blogging

I’m busy busy busy right now, but do comment on whatever is going on.

40 thoughts on “DIY Blogging

  1. I heard a news article on radio (I know, I’m terrible old-fashioned.) that Mittens was following the President’s campaign again today. I guess he’ll save tons and enjoy firing the people who provide services for him in cammpaign planning, just like he’ll save time and thoubht by doing the same things economically and diplomatically that got us a financial crash and useless wars and torture. Gosh, what a fresh approach to doing things that work!

    Sorry, but I just had to get that off my chest. I’m going to go clean out my garden shed.

  2. The saddest news possible.
    My Pop passed away at around 9:15 this morning.
    At home.
    As pain-free as possible.
    And, most importantly, with dignity.

    He, and we, accomplished what we set out to do.
    I love him.
    I’ll miss him terribly. He was the smartest man I ever met. Funny, kind, wise, and strict. A class act all the way!
    And I don’t know what we’ll do without him. But my Mom, Sister, and I, will manage somehow.

    I’ll pop by once in awhile when/if time permits, over the next few day. I’ll need to get my mind off our personal problems, and read about the nation’s – and read all of the terrific comments here, by my maha friends.

    I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts in these tough times. My Pop will be buried on Monday.

  3. Gulag, my best wishes to you and your family. Your father sounds as if he were a wonderful person.

  4. C U N D,

    Mrs. Chief and I offer our condolences to you and your family at this time of loss.

    May the memories of all the good times you shared with your Dad be a bulwark, now and in the future.

  5. So sorry to hear that, gulag. I’m sure he was very proud of you.

    We can all see that you inherited his good and noble heart.

  6. Gulag, so sorry for your loss. He does sound like a great dad, and clearly was an excellent influence on you.

  7. Gulag.. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow and uncertainty. You are a living testament to the qualities you honor in your father. We’ll be looking for your return…I enjoy your commentary and humor….disemvowelled?

  8. Gulag — my condolences and all my wishes for you and your mother and sister to find comfort and peace in good memories of him.

  9. Oh, ‘gulag, I’m so sorry to hear that. Hugs/comfort offered, and healing thoughts sent – he sounds like a wonderful man, and I wish I’d had a chance to know him.

  10. Gulag – I can only echo the sentiments expressed so well by the others. We know you to be a fine person, and from what you said about your father, his influence was a part of what you are. That part continues in you. It’s a comfort and source of private amusement to me when I say or do something that I know is exactly how my dad would have. I think you will find that, too.

  11. I am sorry to hear about your father CUND. I think what Doug said just above is pretty close to what I would tell you. When my father died a friend of mine said, “I know you’re not going to believe this, but soon you’ll find that your father is closer than ever.” She was right. Similar to what Doug said about “saying or doing something exactly as” you dad would have. You will just find yourself looking through his eyes, as you have always done, but now you will feel it even more, it will be clearer.

    My mother died in ’08. She lived with us and I got to hold her hand. I know you appreciate how fortunate it is to die at home with family. That also becomes more clear as you revisit it. As painful as it may be, it is a blessing to have been there. It’s “taking part in the sorrows of mankind.”

    Oh, hell, there’s nothing that can be said, and if there were, I wouldn’t be able to say it. If you want a light moment, I’ll tell you about the “mystic ukuleles” that I encountered after my father died. — I’ll sip some potato vodka and wish you the best.

  12. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, Gulag. Your father sounds like he was a great man, one of humanity’s stars.

    Peace to you and your family.


  13. A million hugs to you, Gulag. I am so sorry for your loss.Peace to you and your family..

  14. Thanks everyone!
    Yeah, he was a wonderful, wonderful man. And I’ll miss him more than mere words can express.
    Your kind words give me hope – I love my Pop, and to be closer to him now, is a wonderful, wonderful, thought.

    “mystic ukuleles?
    Ok, like a trout lookin’ at a lure – I gotta bite.
    You now simply HAVE to tell everyone that story!

  15. Gulag: my thoughts are with you. I lost my father about a year ago, and they sounded fairly similar. Best to you as you make arrangements.

  16. Gulag, my sympathies for your loss. He sounds like a great guy. It’s so hard to lose one of your parents. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that he died with dignity at home, in peace.

    My thoughts will be with you and your family in the coming days.

  17. Here’s the obituary I wrote for my Pop this morning – it’ll be in the local paper on Sunday:

    “Walter XXXXX (born Vladimir Fyodorovich Shmailo) passed away peacefully on the morning of Friday, April 20th. He was 86 years old.
    Mr. XXXXX was born in Poltava, Ukraine on December 21st, 1925. He came to America in 1950, and served in the US Army from 1951-1953.
    Mr. XXXXX married Lydia YYYYYYYY in February of 1956, and they had two children. After living in Queens, NYC, he and his family moved to (name of my home town) in 1969. He was a retired Machinist’s Foreman, and an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction.
    Walter XXXXX is survived by his wife Lydia, his son Victor, his daughter Valentina, his grandchildren Alexandra and Andrei, and his sister Elena.
    He was the best of husband’s and father’s, is beloved by all, and will be heartily, heartily missed.”

    I left out the real last names and the town, because I don’t need any of Michelle Malkin’s local freaks, or zombie followers of another idjit rightie blogger, who may scan the Liberal sites on the internet, coming to my house and checking to see all of the marble and gold we have in the house (not that I’m important enough to warrant it, and not that we have any, anyway…).
    And besides, if they decide to get abusive, I don’t have a gun, and even if I did, NY doesn’t have any “Stand Your (Whatever) Ground (You’re Standing On)” law.*

    *Which I think needs to be called, “Open Season on Liberals and Minorities. No Bag Limit.”

  18. My condolences on the loss of your father, gulag. On another note, Chuck Colson died today, one of the Watergate architects. Here is a quote I just read in one of the writeups about him:

    Few played political hardball more fiercely than Mr. Colson. When a deluded janitor from Milwaukee shot Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama on the presidential campaign trial in Maryland in May 1972, Nixon asked about the suspect’s politics. Mr. Colson replied, “Well, he’s going to be a left-winger by the time we get through.”

  19. Gulag thanks for sharing the obit with us., and nice to see you still got your eye on the ball(politics)!

    I am not sure what state you reside in , but if your state has a lowered standard for passing out a gun permit to whomever asks for one like mine(Iowa) the gun toters already believe they have the stand your ground right whereever they happen to be.And boy howdy, you don’t know how terrifying that is until you sit down and talk with them. Mercy! They are fearless. They have the “kill em all and let God sort em out ” approach and they feel the right to carry concealed is their license to kill and that a court/jury(THE LAW) would back them. They even feel if someone innocent is killed by being in the cross fire that all that matters is they are safe and the end justifies the means and again they think the law and community is “on their side”. It makes you think before you go across town.

    On this topic there is a great piece(not great news but real informative) at Think Progress “Half the law makers on Fla”stand your ground ” task force are ALEC members , all supported stand your ground”..I dont know how to link but it is worth a look….off this topic but also at Think Progress there is a interesting piece about what karl rove is up to these seems he has a super pac called American crossroads that raked in 123 million-62% from SECRET donors..yeah nothing shady to see there…

    Back on topic, I saw a legal correspondent who was from CNN or someplace as I passed the TV today and commented on the new photo of a wound on zimmermans head and he asked the question, basically, can you get your ass kicked in a fight , then kill someone after it is over and still have the nerve to claim “stand your ground” defense?(my words , not his, but that was the jest of it)

    I agree with you “Open season on liberal and minorities”- but it wont stop there.

    Also did you see where ted nugent got busted(and convicted finally) of killing a bear illegally in Alaska? They just gotta be killing something dont they? Cant wait for teds court ordered PSA’s about illegal hunting after he has been busted for it at least twice now. It seems on his first hunt he attempted to kill a bear but just wounded it. They couldnt find it(real nice guy) and that was his limit, but that was not enough for ted .He went out and killed another the next day.Talk about blood lust geez! Yeah HE is the one to get hunting advice from! But then after hearing him tell how he avoided the draft, what did I expect.Wow.He is a real piece of work.

    Also if you need some therapy after all that nonsense..You gotta see the peace via 24 /7 web cam of the bald eagle family from Decorah Iowa. It is free. The Mom or dad are so beautiful and majestic – spend a little time 80 feet up in a cottonwood tree and see something rare people dont normally get the chance to observe.It is the perfect escape to complete peace!

  20. My father never met Chuck Colson.
    And now, I suspect, he never will – since, if there’s an afterlife, they’ll be vastly different neighborhoods.

    Here’s a man who went to prison, and, after promising never to forget his fellow inmates as he left, instead of fighting for prisoner’s rights, found a great new grift: Bring Jesus to the prisoners.
    And so a new racket was born. He formed a Christian outreach program for prisoners, and became the middleman who fleeced both the the family members of prisoners, and other Jesus-freaks, of their spare change.
    In the next few days, we’ll watch as the MSM canonizes this amoral, grifting sociopath.
    Some people will say that he saved a lot of souls. I say he saved a lot of money for himself, in banks, or under his mattress.

  21. I’m so sorry for you loss, gulag. It’s been 20 years since my father died and there are still days when I see something and say “I gotta tell Dad about that”. Some dads are just the best inspiration any kid could have and it sounds to me as though your dad and mine are definitely two of those. Bless them both.

  22. justme277,
    Ted’s brave with bears because, unlike the Viet Cong, bears don’t have guns which can shoot back.

    To call him a piece of sh*t is an insult to real pieces of sh*t, because at least real pieces of sh*t have some use as fertilizer.
    Maybe Ted will earn the right to have the same respect as fecal matter, because hopefully, sometime soon, he’ll be feeding the soil and helping to push-up some f*cking daisies.

  23. Nah, never mind – he’ll just poison everything around the ground he’ll be buried in.

  24. Thanks, IllanoyGal.
    I’m sorry that your father’s not here either. I was “blessed,” for lack of a better word, in that mine lived 86 years, and I got to know him for 54 of them.
    Yes, my Pap was an inspiration.
    And now, I’m inspired to be an even better man, to be as good as he was. I’ve got a ways to go…

  25. Mystic Ukuleles

    This is just an event that happened about a month after my father died. It’s not much, but it gave me the feeling that part of him was still with us. I hope it won’t be too self indulgent or disappointing. I hope that CUNDgulag might get comforting smile out of it.

    My father played in a jazz band back in the twenties. They were just a bunch of kids playing local gigs, but one of the group was offered a contract with Rudy Vallee, which was a pretty big deal back in the day. My father’s main instrument was violin. He had some classical training but loved the popular music of the time. He was a heck of a chromatic harmonica player and in those days everybody played uke. He later gave away his string instruments when he was in Alaska in the thirties, but the uke was easy to carry, even on a dogsled, so it was a little longer before it disappeared in the wilderness.

    I have been an avid fleamarketeer for nearly all of my adult life and my dad played great songs from the twenties whenever I brought a guitar around. So, it was a natural thing for me to look for a Martin uke for him. I went to three or four different markets every weekend for over six years looking an affordable Martin uke . I found only one at $300, that would be a bargain today, but, not so much back then and money was scarce.

    As I wrote, a friend had told me that I would find my father “closer than ever I thought it was a nice thing to say, but I was skeptical. But, the following week I was at a flea market shortly after five in the morning. It was still dark and cataract surgery had made seeing details up close difficult even with glasses. I saw a ukulele in a pile of stuff. It was entirely covered in gold paint, conceivably to enhance its impact a a “wallhanger”. I picked it up and could sense that it was a pretty nice instrument, but, I doubted it would be the Martin I was looking for. Who would paint a Martin gold?

    When light got better and I could see it was a Martin O-style from the mid thirties. It was a stroke of extraordinary luck, since I got it for $20, but unfortunately it was a month too late for my father.

    On the way home I stopped at another market. It was very late in the day so everything would be picked clean and everyone was packing up. I soon decided that I had my fill of bargain hunting, and headed out aimlessly. I saw a guy ready to toss an old uke into a box, so I checked it out, he wanted $45 for it. It was a Martin K-2 from the twenties, playable, with some cosmetic damage. That’s a seriously nice ukulele.

    I suppose I would chalk it up to a chance or something like pareidolia, where I was sensing my father’s presence in events that were mere happenstance in the way people see Elvis in a patch of dandelions. I still have the ukes and will pass them along to my uku-phile nephew. Family histories can be made of unlikely coincidences. In this case you have to admit, the odds are pretty steep. I looked every weekend for six years and came up with bupkes and then two in a single day. And the gold paint was a cinch to chip off.

    The lyrics to one of the old songs:

    “Collegiate Love”

    Get yourself a hunk of tin.
    to take the ladies drivin’ in.
    That’s collegiate love.

    Buy yourself a Ford for four,
    and pack in twenty five or more,.
    That’s collegiate love.

    Paint some crazy pictures on your slickers.
    Get a can of sterno boys, cause that’s collegiate liquor

    Buy your socks to hang on the ground,
    and the girls will follow you all around.
    That’s collegiate love.

  26. goatherd,
    That’s a really nice story.
    My father never played an instrument.
    My Mom sang, and performed two classical programs, solo, at Carnegie Hall, in the mid-70’s.
    I studied piano for 12 years, and at 13, got the highest grades you can get in NY for my age group, in what essentially are like the NY State SAT’s for young musicians.
    My sister has a Master’s Degree in Piano, from New Paltz, where she studied with Vladimir Feltsman – one of the premier Bach pianist’s.
    My niece is working on her Doctorate in Oboe, at the Eastman Conservatory in Rochester, NY.
    And my nephew, who’s still in HS, is a well regarded French Horn players, and could, if he wanted to, have gone on to study that instrument, instead of Engineering.

    I wish I had thought of giving my Pop a ukelele.
    That way, if he studied, he could have become the worlds best Ukrainian Ukelele player. Ok, I know there aren’t many of them – but then it’s easier to be the best! 🙂

  27. Zandar VTS has a great article on Tom “The Moustache of Understanding” Friedman’s latest puddle of false equivalency.

  28. Thanks, I should have edited it a bit more and mentioned that finding the ukes gave me the feeling that my father was saying, “I am looking out for you.” I don’t know where that comes from, since i don’t believe in an afterlife.

    Wow, your family has a lot of musical talent!!

    My Ukrainian grandfather played button accordion. My father said he would play Russian folk songs with tears streaming down his face. They spoke Russian in the household, and as a child, I thought he had a speech impediment because I couldn’t understand him

    I played classical guitar for many years, I was passable, nothing to write home about. I played some Villa-Lobos and Sor, but I really loved Tarrega the best. I had to give it up a few years back due to repetitive stress injury. But, I just started playing “Gypsy Jazz” which is a lot of fun. I don’t want to perform, just have some fun, keep my brain alive and search for my inner “Django”. It’s also fun to have a guitar that looks like and “Edsel”.

  29. goatherd,
    I sure wish I’d taken up a musical instrument, and I really enjoyed your comments!

  30. Oh, goatherd!

    You like Django, too? Fantastic. I love all things jazz, and just recently got into Gypsy jazz myself.

    Check out Stephane Grappelli if you ever get the chance.

  31. Thanks guys, I was worried that I was boring everyone to death.

    I just play for fun, but as for gypsy Jazz– I was playing with a band to pay my way through college. I went into one of my favorite music stores and a very nice older man came up to me and said, “I can tell by the way you play that you like Merl Travis, but you should never copy anyone who is still alive.” Violin was his main instrument, but he played guitar better than anyone I had ever know. It turned out he had played with Bob Wills and “The Texas Playboys”. He told me to look into a guy named Django Reinhardt. Funds were low and his records were scarce so it was several years before I ran into anyone who had his records. I went the classical route instead. I don’t regret that. But, I just needed a change.

    BlueMoon did you go with the grande bouche or the bouche ovale? I got a long scale grande bouche, because I do lutherie and the thought of repairing a loose brace on a bouche ovale gives me the willies.

    I like Stephane Grappelli too of course. I have post Django CD called “Improvisations” it’s really nice stuff.

    There a so many outstanding Gypsy Jazz artists. I actually like some of the less virtuosic ones better, and who has a cooler name than Fapy Lafertin? But, I am just at the very beginning. It’s a lot of fun to (try to) play.

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