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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: US
Current location: retired to MidWest
Member since: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:15 PM
Number of posts: 6,151

About Me

Still an ardent Irish-American Catholic damnYankee Yellow Dog Democrat socialist after all these years. (cue Simon music) Army brat and wife for many years, now have been on the loose far longer than I was married. After my two red chows died, I took in a mini-beagle cross that I named Molly Maguire, thinking she might need a good Irish name like my original real one. Later she got a baby sister, a smooth-coat JRT I named Brigid after the greatest of the ancient Celtic goddesses. My great-grandfather and his son fought for Michael Collins and barely made it out of Ireland one step ahead of John Bull. They slipped over to Wales for new identities and then forward to the States for a fresh start. That makes me second generation of illegal but certainly justified immigrants. There are precious few people to whose defense I fly immediately, but the list includes Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama even when I disagree with him - it happens! - and living Irish patriots Gerry Adams and Martin \\\'Mind Your Kneecaps\\\' McGuiness. I pray earnestly for a united and free Ireland rescued from all official British occupation, with every square inch of alleged \\\'ancestral lands\\\' now held immorally and illegally by the invaders returned to the rightful owners. Irish-only rule for Ireland. No foreign masters anymore! I find it passing strange when Brits chide ME about \'interfering\' in Irish politics!

Journal Archives

Looking for McGyver

No, really.... I have a pressing personal problem for which there might or might not be a viable solution. Since I'm only 5' tall, my bike's wheels are 24" - otherwise I can't touch the ground with my feet on both sides at once. You don't want to know how many times I wrecked a 26" bike. Well, if you do want to know, I'm not telling. Can't count that high. And I don't trust cable brakes so mine are coaster.

Also with the passage of time, I'm less able to deal with the hills around here, I need some kind of AFFORDABLE pedal assist. I've spent hours hunting a suitable rig online and have finally decided to admit defeat.

So any bike enthusiasts and/or engineer types out there who can help me solve this, I'd appreciate the help.

Just wanted to say hi to everybody for a moment.

The increasing carpal tunnel symptoms will force surgery someday; meanwhile I try to get by with much more reading and far less writing. So I don't post anywhere very much.

A gratifying thing happened on my FB page, however. I use it mostly as a political news feed from the usual suspects but of course I do interact now and then with people. One of the most interesting I've met is a young man studying for the Catholic priesthood at a diocesan university in a third world country. He loves Pope Francis very much and may eventually become a Jesuit although he's torn between them and the Franciscans because he has such a heart for nature and the poor. Meanwhile he studies philosophy and psychology as well - so he has some interesting points to make. Good grounding in history too, even though he's still an undergraduate. Liberal for his time and location, so we get along fine.

Point being, he's smart and wise beyond his years. Very dedicated. I hope he sticks with his current goals because Mother Church needs all the help we can offer. I'm someone outside his regular circle of acquaintances and so can offer new avenues for him to explore, such as American authors he might not yet be familiar with. Since their country's really poor and books are expensive and hard to come by, I've offered to refer him to my favorite free e-book websites. He would never ask and doesn't know this yet, but I'm thinking of sending him my older android e-reader for everyone there to share.

He's an orphan taken in by the church; since in his culture older women are more respected than some places I could name, he just calls me 'Ma'. It seems likely that someday there will be a racial minority pontiff; and although I'd never tell him this, I rather enjoy imagining what if I'm offering some encouragement at least to a future pope? It could happen! Since it's also likely that he'll be alive and probably ordained when I die, he's promised to say Mass for me and even bless my grave if he's assigned anywhere near it, and if that proves impossible by that time he should be able to send a friend from closer by to do the job.

And the few but rotten nasty people at our local mission who make it completely impossible for me to attend Mass there will just have to live with the fact that I can lead as Catholic a life as possible despite their interference. Well, actually they won't ever know in this life because I won't tell them, and when I'm gone it will be too late. Just between this DU group and me, I like to wonder if by the time this young man earns his spurs so to speak, the church might even allow confession by Skype under extraordinary conditions. What do you think?

Who Says Small Town Life Has to Be Dull?

Slightly interesting (?) matter here.

There's a man in town who for at least the last couple years has been writing hateful letters to the editor of the local weekly about one person and another by name. A lot of people in town are starting to consider him downright unbalanced, as do I. He responded to one of my political letters that had nothing to do with him by a jolly little piece he titled "SCREAMING HYENAS OF SOCIALISM!" Plus a lot of other incredibly ugly things, down to and including describing me as "little". Well, I am but not the way he meant it.
He hurt so many people's feelings that I finally sent a letter advising others to follow my example of checking signatures before reading letters in order to know which ones to avoid - the ones from the (unnamed) 'town bully' who falsely imagines himself a satirist. After all, I said, there's no sharper stick you can poke in his eye.

Well, it's a miracle nobody's sued him or the paper or come to blows, it's been that bad. I don't get my feelings hurt as they do because I don't give a tinker's damn what he says about me. One guy, however, wrote in complaining that his wife had dissolved in tears. So it's not a question of if but when the lid blows somewhere.

Today I accidentally broke my promise, though, by not checking before I read what looked like an ad framed as a Western Union telegram. By the time I guessed who must've written it, I'd already gone too far to stop. Not that I'll let anyone here know I read it, especially not him.

So here for your amusement is the short text involved. No, he doesn't dare use my name anymore but he saves his special 'socialist hyena' tag just for me so everyone knows who he means. I guess after years of vomiting bile he didn't appreciate being referred to sideways as a town bully who should be ignored!

The text of his faux-telegram:


So I guess the editor/publisher of the paper finally refused to print a letter, and he's infamous for printing ANYTHING. Not that he should've taken the ad either, but that's beside the point. Nothing good will ever come of letting that nut run roughshod over half the town. If I had Irish relatives anywhere around, Mr. Bully Nut would've been taken behind the woodshed long ago. The editor/publisher has already said he's been threatened with arson.

I think I'll resist writing any more letters for a few weeks to let this play itself out absent my participation. At worst in a month or so I might write a little piece about teabagger mentality, backing it up with quotes from scientific journals, and noting that one of their most notable characteristics is poor spelling, such as using 'sited' (a non-word btw) instead of 'sighted'. If I ended with the expression "Morans!" they wouldn't catch the full meaning. But they would know to whom I referred, and so would he.

When you have a slow leak under the sink

And there's no plumber in sight and you're out of plumbers putty, AND even worse you have to keep a heater going so a frozen pipe won't burst:

Slide a metal pie pan filled with kitty litter under the drip. This will buy you extra time. If you're using heat you can't line the pan with newspapers - and I don't think they're as absorbent anyway.

While I doubt the idea's unique, it only occurred to me just this evening. Old and slow, y'know.

Saw a beautiful magnetic-cover scene of Refrigerator Art for only $110 recently.

Since my kitchen is rustic themed, I thought maybe a bucolic scene of cattle grazing in meadows might be nice. But not at that price!

Looks like I'll have to go with my previous DIY choice: tape an old piece of lace fabric, taking care to overlap the edges onto the appliance's sides - you're only going to decorate the front - and then spray paint quickly and lightly over the lace on the front and then remove it immediately. And carefully. The lace won't have time to stick but you'll be left with a lovely pattern on the door.

Or you could even use butcher paper or some alternative to cut out your own design, specific or free form. It's certainly cheap and easy, and could be lovely.

Design ?

In this 100-yr-old Queen Anne I'm (slowwwwwly restoring) what used to be the large entry has one 15' high long section of honey oak paneling too pretty to replace or paint. I don't want to drywall and paint the other 2 main walls and ceiling.

I'd like to use beadboard on the ceiling - how would it look to use the same white beadboard on those 2 other walls? Too much? Should they be drywalled and painted even though that would make the area have 3 distinct different styles? If so, what alternatives can you suggest that wouldn't clash with the honey oak paneling and beadboard ceiling I want to install?

Normally I don't hesitate about design decisions. But even though I know what I lean toward in this situation, I don't want to pass up any better suggestions either.

Pulling the Princes From Their Throne

Here's my latest offering to the letters column of our local regional weekly:


Well, folks, I missed the actual Christmas deadline for this contribution, but I still want to share something found on one of my favorite websites, crooksandliars.com. As you might imagine, they go hard after the underbelly of public life. The first four paragraphs are copied verbatim as allowed, and in italics; the following paragraphs represent my own condensation of what else the writer Mike Lux had to say on the matter.

"He has pulled down the princes from from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away." Mary, quoted in Luke 1:52-53.

"The Washington, DC version of what's left, right, and centrist are very strange indeed. People who want to blow holes in the federal deficit by giving away promiscuous tax cuts, subsidies, and bailouts we can't afford to profitable industries are considered conservative. People who advocate policies opposed by 80% of Americans, such as cutting Social Security benefits, are considered centrists. And people who advocate common-sense policies supported by 70-80% in the polling are considered far to the left.

"And the people who would agree with the ideas of the people revered in the religion adhered to by a majority of Americans are so far to the left that their views are off the radar screen.

"I was thinking about this because it's Christmas time, and so I was thinking about what the mother of that radical preacher, that guy who said his job was to bring good news to the poor and proclaim liberty to the captives, had to say."

Now if you want to read the article in full on the web, here's the link where you can find it: http://crooksandliars.com/2014/12/pulling-princes-their-thrones For those who'd rather settle for my summarization, be aware that I've added just a few of my own opinions which don't always jibe exactly with those of Mr. Lux.

Keep in mind that in biblical days an inn didn't resemble even a Motel 6 of today. Private rooms? Forget it unless you had a lot of camels. Most people slept crowded together in a bunch on the ground with a crude roof if they were lucky. Although I understand why folks are so fond of that 'no room at the inn' story, and it does carry great symbolic meaning, I still maintain that the Holy Family were better off in the stable. At least they had some peace and quiet, a little privacy for the most important birth in history.

Lux points out that Mary, poor and persecuted, was quite the radical. She said the rich would be sent away with nothing, and she raised at least two sons who echoed their mother's radical teachings (from God Almighty), according to what we see written in the Holy Bible. Jesus and James both led major rebellions against the established powers of the day and were executed for their trouble.

In Luke 6 (I find Luke the most radical of the four gospels), Jesus is reported to have said that it is the poor - you know, the ones today's pharisees, the GOP, falsely condemn as lazy and greedy - who would inherit the kingdom of God and the rich who would go hungry. Woe to the nations and people who refused to feed the hungry and care for the sick. (BTW, don't think for a minute that's a job modern churches can or will cover completely; it's too huge and whether conservatives like it or not, it requires well coordinated big government. So sue me for using what many consider a swear word.) Jesus actually praised the virtues of the poor and his brother noted in James 2:6 that it was the rich who plotted against the poor and dragged them into court.

That's a pretty radical stance in any era. We know (as Jesus certainly did) that not all rich folks are bad. Some put their God-given wealth to excellent use for the public good. The problem lies with those who buy elections and corrupt our democracy, "... who slip riders designed to make them wealthier into must-pass legislation in the dead of night, who need to be pulled from their thrones," says Lux. (If anyone slept through the last few weeks, I'll refer them to that bastion of crooks, liars, and thieves, the GOP.) That isn't a far left position in reality; most voters know we're being robbed, they just don't realize it's the Koch-besotted corporate-welfare-loving GOP hand in the public's pocket. A lot more will wake up to that soon, though, when they see the juggernaut headed for the poor and the remants of the late great middle class.

Lux further notes that Elizabeth Warren, far from being the devil's handmaid portrayed on Fox Spews, promotes views that 70-80% of Americans agree with according to ethical and scientific pollsters. Most citizens want to prosecute those bankers who wrecked our economy with their reckless and illegal fraud, break up the biggest banks and strengthen oversight of the others, expand Social Security benefits, raise the minimum wage, reform the student loan system and lower that debt, and improve our infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) and education system. We could actually make a huge dent in those needs if we ever got serious about making giant corporations pay their fair share of the taxes by closing their loopholes. But Warren's a milquetoast moderate compared to Mary, Jesus, and James!

Warren's wide popularity stems from the fact that she promotes common sense solutions and speaks truth to power with an eloquence few possess. So as we reflect on the Christmas story, we should remember simple justice and common sense have usually sounded radical to those in power throughout history. And that they'll often stoop to criminal lows to maintain their power.

Your friend on the Christian Left,


As usual it took me 4 tries to correct every mistake I made - needing new glassses again! - but I hope everyone in this forum enjoys it anyway. I really like crooks and liars dot com and Mike Lux.

Squatting Under the Flag of Liberty????

In another group I fell into dialog with someone who claimed 1/4 Irish ancestry and seemed at least partially in favor of what I was saying at the time. Since I didn't consider that group the proper outlet for further discussion of the matter, I posted that I'd rather continue our talk via PM, which we did a few times.

While I neither expected nor wanted an endless loop, I was ever-so-slightly bemused when things took a sudden turn south. The other person latched onto a comment I made about having an historical group photograph of Michael Collins' private squad on my office wall along with others from the early 1900's.

Suddenly I was accused of "squatting under the flag of liberty" after that person read my next reply to his questions. Here's the pertinent text of what I'd written before he stomped off in a self righteous huff:


"As for Sinn Fein, indeed it was unjustly put on a watch list in the past due to politics - they're for full Palestinian independence as well as their own, which places them in the cross hairs of certain American constituencies and allies. Since the recent Easter Agreement, they were properly removed from said list. I've always found it passing strange when a country such as ours had to fight for its own independence from an imperialist power but then turns around and wants to deny someone else the same right.

Thanks for your concern, but I'm not a member of Sinn Fein. I don't hold Irish citizenship, for one thing. I'm merely a member of Friends of Sinn Fein (American chapter), as a second-gen Irish American whose grandfather and gg stood with Collins - who, btw, advised strongly against the Easter Rising as premature and doomed to failure even though he participated in solidarity with his brothers. Dev sent him to England to negotiate the partition so he wouldn't have to take the heat himself, then turned around and had Collins assassinated because he posed a threat to Dev's own power. (also, Friends of Sinn Fein is not an hereditary group like DAR; anyone in sympathy with their goals for a just and free Ireland can join on FB.)

One thing amused me; I saw copies of that picture for sale on an Irish commercial website and just for fun, asked if they knew the men's names. They answered no, so I sent them a link to an MI site with the archived information. Of course the Brits had eventually learned everyone's identity at the time, but they just couldn't catch them and the names were added later. There's no harm in giving anyone that information because it's public record now. Everybody's dead and gone anyway. But I don't think they should be forgotten. It will be interesting to see if Sinn Fein ever addresses that in the current commemorations, which Fine Gael and Labour are trying so hard to muck up. Labour's really a Brit lapdog and Fine Gael's not much better. I know Gerry Adams likes to keep his finger poked in their eye, and rightfully so. I hope he'll be able to reach the goal of a completely free and unified island dwhich cost Collins his life."


Oh, I forgot to mention earlier: my erstwhile pen pal also assigned me traitor status because of foreign affections. Or maybe it was Benghazi cuz Murica, who knows. Nothing to lose any sleep over, is it?

Easter Rising Commemorations

If anyone wants to keep updated on plans, the Sinn Fein fb page or even Friends of Sinn Fein (US chapter) is a good source. They're mad and I don't blame them because Fine Gael and Labour are not planning to do the matter justice. You'll learn a lot of history along the way, or refresh what you might already know. Regardless, it's worthy of your time no matter which side your ancestors fought on.

Sinn Fein's poised to win a commanding majority in the next election, btw. They are the true populists we need more of over here.

Regarding ceiling fans

Has anyone else ever had the pull chain mechanism refuse to turn off the light?

Two years ago an Amish contractor, while here to do other things, offered to hang the ceiling fan for me. Well, it wouldn't work but I knew there were other possible causes for the problem so I let the matter drop. TWO YEARS LATER I finally got somebody to do electrical work and they found the other guy had just crossed the wires.

After a couple ecstatic weeks, all of a sudden the problem already described reared its ugly head. Took several minutes to get the danged thing turned off, which I can't do at the wall switch because that also controls the fan blades which are needed badly. Twice since, I've forgotten and turned it back on which seems to work easily enough; the blasted chain just doesn't seem to want to work in reverse.

Would a squirt of WD-40 in the chain cavity on the motor work and/or be safe to the electrical work?
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