Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Tornadoes

 Don't know if anyone will be looking to these accounts for news of me, but since the tornadoes in Sioux Falls made the national news, thought I should reach out and say that I'm fine, and my property seems to be fine. 

I was really lucky, though, not to have sustained more damage. The house behind and kitty-corner from me had a tree in its backyard that was so damaged it had to be dismembered, piece by piece. Not only that, but a light pole came down on my street less than a block from my house. 

I have two trees on my property, one in the front and one in the back, and the wind shook some small branches out of it, nothing more. I also have some milkweed in my backyard that was uprooted by the wind, but that seems to be the extent of the damage. 

I had occasion this evening to venture into the area where the storm hit hardest and saw mature trees torn up by the roots. Never seen anything like it in all my born days, at least not up close and in person. 

But other than being angry about the siren malfunction, I'm fine. 

Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

A "Mash" Made in Heaven

I was doing some YouTube research today and made the fascinating discovery that it is apparently en vogue to for fans to edit Disney animation to match up with Hamilton songs (I suppose it wouldn't HAVE to be Disney animation, but so far all the examples I've seen are). And even though I'm kind of down on Disney at the moment (understatement), I find this to be irresistibly brilliant.

Here's one that I found particularly effective, with Mulan as Alexander Hamilton and Shang as George Washington:

(I particularly like the part about stealing the British cannons.)
Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Reddit "Ask Me Anything" with Frank Oz on January 4th at 6 p.m. Eastern Time

(Handy time zone converter)

If you've ever wanted to ask Yoda a question, here's your chance.

(DISCLAIMER: I don't know if Frank Oz will be willing to answer questions as his characters. I know he doesn't like to do his characters' voices on demand, but as I understand it, this is text-based, so that might not be an issue for him, but I don't know.)
Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

'Hamilton' on the West End



I'm kind of surprised that Hamilton has been so warmly embraced on the other side of the Atlantic, but I'm nevertheless delighted to see it. I don't remember who said it, but I seem to remember hearing or reading once that the more particular a story is, the more universal it is, and that is certainly true of Hamilton.

We're all in the same boat now, fighting back against tyranny and demagoguery, and so Hamilton's words and the example of his life are equally applicable (and useful!) to all of us now.

However, I was surprised and embarrassed recently to find out that Hamilton's popularity has unfortunately not spread throughout the entire commonwealth. I kept making enormously clever references to it directed at an Australian friend of mine, who finally just said, "I really need to find out what Hamilton is...." Turns out all my enormously clever references had been wasted on her the whole time. Alas!
Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Donald Trump On A Collision Course With Robert Mueller | All In | MSNBC



According to this video that went unavailable literally the same minute that I tried to post it on my blog--which would trouble me if I were the kind of person who was inclined to paranoia--the Mueller investigation could go on for another year, and as much as I admire their diligence, I must admit that, on hearing the news, I was filled with dismay.

A year? A whole other YEAR?!? I'm not sure we HAVE another year!

(Of course, I said the same thing last year, but still...)

"Come on, Bob!" I said in response, "Pick up the pace! Let's snap it up!"

So then I started channeling Hamilton, as I often do during these difficult times, and came up with some alternate lyrics to "Yorktown":

"We gotta go! Gotta get the job done!
Must redeem our nation! Gotta thwart Jong-Un!
"

I know what you're thinking, and yes: "Gotta thwart Vladimir (Putin)" would probably be more apt, but that doesn't rhyme.
Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Lawrence: President Donald Trump Gives Republicans Presidential Dreams |...



First of all, I guess we got our answer on Marco Rubio; as of this morning, he was still a "no," but sometime between then and newstime, he flip-flopped like a soggy pancake.

Second of all, I think Paul Ryan is being penny-wise and pound-foolish here. If, as is my dearest hope, we can impeach and convict both Trump and Pence and get rid of them at the same time, Ryan's next in line for the presidency. So if he was smart, he would (a) stay the course, and (b) file the goddamned articles of impeachment already.

For crying out loud, Ryan, what the hell are you waiting for? If you want the presidency so badly, go get it!

Not that I want Ryan to be president, but anyone would be better than the jokers we have in there now.
Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Look around...

So today I turned over the last page of my Hamilton wall calendar. Each month has a picture of a cast member (in character) and a quote from one of their songs. The page for December has a picture of Phillipa Soo as Alexander Hamilton's wife, Eliza, and her quote is "Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now."

Eliza (and calendar-makers who were probably putting the finishing touches on the calendar in summer of 2016)...you have NO idea.

There was at least a part of me that sincerely believed that if Donald Trump took office in January, we would all be dead by March. And yet, here we are. Almost a year later, and we're still alive. We live to fight another day.

It makes me want to sing the fourth verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner":

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
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Mt. Rushmore, Washington crying

Matthew 25:44-45 is applicable here, as is John 15:13

https://www.yahoo.com/news/people-fed-thoughts-prayers-demand-052644272.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=2_14

I don't think that prayers are worthless. But it would be nice to see those prayers married to an action, for once.

It's not fair for those in government--or anyone else, for that matter--to try to slough off their responsibilities onto God. God is not a magical wish-granting creature to cater to your commands, nor a hypercompetent personal assistant to whom you can assign the tasks with which you don't want to be bothered.

Donald Trump, God is not a scapegoat onto which you can project your own inadequacies.

Paul Ryan, God isn't Speaker of the House, you are. Therefore, this is YOUR problem. Deal with it.