Monday, April 30, 2012

Stephen King's Juvenile, Profanity Laced Op Ed Misses the Point

Stephen King has stepped off the rails and is now an economist.  In a juvenile, profanity laden, editorial for The Daily Beast, King demands that the rich, himself included, be compelled to pay more taxes.  Mr. King spends as much time insulting Chris Christie in the piece (fat jokes are pretty juvenile if you ask me) as he does advocating higher taxes for the rich.

Blasting Mitt Romney for refusing to apologize for being rich, King writes:

 I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.


King, and other liberals like him, fail to ever recognize or acknowledge that what we have is a spending problem.  Let's address that little problem before we start hammering the top ten percent for more dough.  


Revisit this article from the Wall Street Journal a year ago which points out that the top one percent pay 38% of the taxes in this country.  Nearly half of the American population pay no income taxes whatsoever.  You want to talk about paying your "fair share"?  What's "fair" about that?


King points out that the uber-wealthy voluntarily donate millions each year (himself included) but fails to address the issue of Apple shaving billions off their tax bill by taking advantage of legal loopholes and funneling their dough overseas.  Their tax bill is about 9.8%.  Not bad.  Paying their "fair share," are they, Mr. King?  


In truth, if the rich were taxed at 100% they wouldn't be able to cover the grand entitlements expansion that Obama has saddled us and the next generation with, and that is, as the Wall Street Journal points out, BEFORE Obamacare kicks. in. 


It seems to me that King's (and others like him) criticism is misguided. Instead of taxing the rich even more we should expand the tax base - create more tax payers. Get more people paying into the system. Creating jobs would create more tax payers. 


 One of the biggest problems with the Obama administration is that it kills jobs. Do we need a list? Start with the Keystone pipeline. Energy crushing EPA regulations have shut down coal fired power plants and cost jobs. The Gulf moratorium cost countless jobs and not just in the drilling sector but on land too in all those businesses that cater to and support the drilling industry. Need I go on? 


 It doesn't take a rocket scientist (oh and we killed those jobs too at NASA) to figure out that businesses aren't hiring because of the crushing Obamacare mandates coming down the pike. If you keep an employee at part-time you won't have to pay for his hip replacement later. 


 When did it become a crime to be rich in America, anyway? Instead of falling into Obama's class warfare rhetoric,  Mr. King should stick to his writing career. Then he can make more money and pay more taxes. 


 (Graphic from Heritage


 (H/T: Memeorandum)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grab a Beer and Muse With Me A Minute on the State of Blogging

Don Surber quit his blog this week.  After seven years of blogging, he's done.  "Exhausted."  Oh, he's still writing at the Charleston Daily Mail and he's posting on Facebook but he's done with the blog.

Andy quit his blog, too.  (Again).   He's still around, commenting and posting on Facebook, but blogging?  Done.

I've only been blogging since August 2008.  When I began this blog it was not political.  I started it because it looked like fun.  When I first started posting (dumb) stuff about iced tea and my dog's aversion to rain I was thrilled if I got 30 hits a day.  Most of those were probably accidental finds via Google.  My expectations were low.

I was drawn into political blogging because of the election.  "Somehow," I thought, "I have to be able to make a difference!"  I could not believe that so many people were bedazzled by Barack Obama's "hip" and "cool" campaign.  I was terrified he might really get elected.  So I started political blogging to try to make a difference.

He won anyway.

I'm doing all this "navel gazing" because another election is upon us.  While trying not to obsess too much about stats and blog hits, if you're writing to educate and inform (no matter the subject) then ideally you want someone to read your work.

A few years ago, in an attempt to get my audience up I tried Stacy McCain's legendary "How to Get a Million Hits...".  I even tried Rule 5 (something akin to putting sexy pictures of celebrities on the blog) but I abandoned that technique.  I got tired of going to other blogs and finding near naked pictures of anorexic swimsuit models or porn actresses sprawled across the page.

Some of Stacy's techniques worked, sort of.  I got linked by Michelle Malkin a couple of times because of Rule 2 though I am uncomfortable "pimping" my blog and blast mailing posts out to people.  I was Instalanched a couple of times though.  Ann Coulter linked me once.  Sometimes the comments were rolling in as fast as I could push them through.  Now I'm doing good to get six or eight on a post.  I like the feedback and the discussion.

Oddly, the posts I've worked the hardest on, did the most research for, and am most proud of, got the fewest hits or comments.  I've never understood those blogs that just post snips from news stories or other blogs and just write a snarky word or two as commentary survive, but they do.  In fact, they get a lot more hits than I ever did.   You've read them: there's often a picture and a big block quote from some other source.  Little to no analysis.  I guess that's a different niche.

Even still, though, after almost four years of blogging, I still haven't hit 300,000 hits.  So much for "a million hits in less than a year."

Through the years I've come across some really great bloggers.  Stacy McCain is one of those, but he's also a professional writer.  (He's not so great at thank you notes though: the last two times I've hit his tip jar I never got a thank you in return and you know how those of us in the South feel about thank you notes. )

I've come across some really nice people and some really wise people in the blogosphere.  I've made some real blog-friends who link diligently in return.  There are lots of good people doing this.

But some of the great bloggers I've "met" have quit.  Like Don Surber.  And while Andy didn't do much political blogging, he was still a great blogger because he was fun to read.  He brought a smile to my day.  I'd read one of Andy's posts or watch one of his infamous v-logs and laugh out loud.  "He's just not right; he's not all there!" I'd say with great fondness.  I miss his voice in the blogosphere.

Some have quit and come back.  No Sheeples Here was one of my favorite blogs.  For various reasons, she quit the blog; not quit quit but took the whole damn thing down.  Gone.  Like it never existed.  (There's another blog called No Sheeples Here now, but it's not the same one.)  All those great PhotoShop pieces and content just gone.

But she came back.  Under a new name:  Political Clown Parade.  Fortunately we can still hear the Curmudgeon's voice and see her great PhotoShop work.  I'm glad she came back.

Jules Crittenden didn't come back - as far as I know.  Lucky for us he left his content in place though.  He has some great reading lists and did some beautiful military themed posts.  But still, it's another voice quieted.

Another favorite blog, Caught Him With a Corndog, has been sporadic.  Red has been a faithful reader and commenter on conservative blogs and generous in her tip jar giving. (I hope I always wrote you a thank you note, Red).  But she got busy with real life, a move, school, and blogging got difficult.

Critical Narrative, Yukio Ngaby's blog, has more or less gone dark.  Yukio was a diligent commenter here and I could always count on him to beat back the trolls with wise and informed comments.  But, as is prone to happen, real life took precedence over the blog and Yukio is silent.

Don't misunderstand - there are lots of great blogs out there and new ones pop up all the time (or if not new, then new to me).

I've given lots of thought lately to this blog.  I noticed that when I quit blogging mostly about politics then the hits got low.  That makes sense: the bulk of my regular readers came for political commentary, not for pictures of depression glass.  But I like writing about a variety of things so that's what I'll continue to do.  I get down in the dumps about my lack of traffic sometimes and think about quitting the thing.  Surber is right:  blogging is hard work if you do it right.  It's exhausting to keep it going and discouraging when you think nobody is listening.

Summer is three weeks away for me.  I blog a lot more during the summer and with the campaign season intensifying I expect my political posting will increase too.  And probably my stats.  At any rate, the adage is that you're supposed to blog because you love it, not for the money or the hits.  As far as money goes, I've never cashed one Amazon Associates check or Google AdSense check in four years so this will never replace my day job.

I'm really sorry to see Don Surber go.  And while I'll probably still flirt with the idea of pulling the plug here one day I don't really think I can do it.  At least, not yet.  As long as there are such serious issues confronting this country and as long as the mainstream media continues to report from a bias, I don't think I can be quiet.  I may only reach thirty people a day, but that's thirty people.  Don Surber had a much bigger audience and his voice will be missed.

Meanwhile, at SIGIS, I'll keep plugging away.  I'm rested and ready for the presidential campaign ahead.  As far as the Sunday quiz earlier, I appreciate the feedback and the input.  It lets me know what you want to see.

As Andy would say, "I love y'all.  I mean it."

Update:
Thanks Stacy, for the link.
Thank you, Professor Jacobson, for the link; you're steady as a rock.  That "quick, newsy" thing?  So sorry.
Fishersville Mike is hanging on, too.  Thanks for your comments!

Assignment Sunday: Blog Quiz

An unscientific poll for you this afternoon:

Why do you read blogs?

No, I really want to know.  What are you looking for when you read a blog?  News?  Analysis?  Enjoyment?  Information?  Research?

Think about the blogs you read.  Do you read political blogs and special interest blogs?  Do you expect your political blogs to cover only politics (or whatever the special interest is)?  If a blog is primarily a "mommy blog" for example, do you skip the articles that cover the latest local election?

Do you comment when you read blogs?

Do you avoid really long posts or do you skim them?  Do you click on the links?

Or do you prefer quick, headline type links without analysis?

Speaking of analysis...are many blogs just echo chambers of each other?

How do you find the blogs you read?  How often do you check them?

Do you prefer pictures or not?  Does it depend on the post?

Do you use a reader, like Google reader?

Go with me on this.  I have a point.

Discuss.  All thirty of you that are still here, that is.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Spring Crud Can't Keep Me From a Good Estate Sale!

I've spent the week fighting off the spring crud and am just beginning to emerge out from under wads of Kleenix, aspirin bottles and nose drops.  I got up off the couch this weekend and hit two nearby estate sales.  My biggest prize turns out to be this 8-3/8" berry bowl in my favorite depression glass pattern:  No. 610 Pyramid by Indiana Glass.  This pattern was made from 1926-1932 and came in green, pink, yellow and crystal originally.   I love the art deco lines of the pattern; when Steve and I were in Jefferson, TX last October I found this 9-1/2" oval bowl that I had to have.  The green is my favorite though I like the pink, too.

Anyway, I was walking through a crowded estate sale and the house was filled with stuff.  It was a lot to take in.  I picked up a couple of little things and as I walked through the kitchen I saw the green bowl jammed in the back of a pantry with a $9.00 sticker on it.  It's in beautiful shape and I was thrilled.  I clutched it close to me as I made a beeline to the table to pay up and leave.  I just never see this pattern anywhere except on eBay or in an occasional antique mall.  To find one at an estate sale at such a great price was fun.  A real treasure!

At another sale I picked up this Fostoria American pitcher.  It's squat and stocky (and heavy!) and I like it.  I like this pattern, too; my grandmother left me some pieces which is how I got into semi-collecting this pattern.  There are lots and lots of pieces to this pattern and you'd have to live in a warehouse to collect it all.  I pick up the odd piece here and there.  I got this pitcher today and the salt and pepper shakers.  I gave long thought to a relish dish that was there and to a oil and vinegar cruet set on a tray but left them behind.

At that same sale I also picked up two books - one is an 1895 edition of the complete works of John Keats; I, of course, have several old volumes of Keats and some modern printings, but I liked this old one.  It's got a plate with his portrait in front.

I also picked up a 1958 edition (hardback) of Gilbert Highet's The Art of Teaching which is apparently considered a classic.  It's filled with such gems as "The teacher's chief difficulty is poverty."  And on the subject of "tough schools" and the challenges of the unmotivated, he writes:

"A woman teacher in such a situation has a far harder time than a man...it is worse than useless to post a woman to such tough schools.  One of the essential reforms which should be made is to staff them all with men.  Girls will respect a man, and the boys will at any rate not despise him."

I can't wait to read this book and see what other bits of advice I've missed out on all these years.  I'm not being wholly sarcastic: the book is reputed to be filled with good common sense.  I'll add it to my summer reading.

Other than that, it's a lazy Saturday at chez SIGIS while I crawl back onto the couch to continue my recovery.  My neighbors are industriously working in their front flower beds and I feel like a sloth, but I've got to get this crud behind me.  Summer is coming!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Loose Thoughts and Roosters

I'm getting sick.  I'm so disappointed.  I wasn't going to mention it for fear of breaking the good luck string, but I missed out on getting the "fall crud" this past fall and up until now I thought I would skate on the "spring crud" too.  I was getting worried that my ENT guy might forget about me.  I guess I'll be visiting him soon.  Meh.

I've been in a funk this week after a local election this week for the schools.  For you non-locals, there were 3 issues on the ballot.  One of the three passed.  The one that passed is designated for building new schools and upgrading existing structures.  My school will benefit from this as every time someone on the first floor turns on their electric heater all the fuses blow and the custodian has to change it out and restore power.  We're long overdue for an electrical upgrade, especially to accommodate all the technology that  is now running through this very old building.  So that was good.

What didn't pass was the five percent teacher pay raise (we haven't had one in seven years; I'm bringing home less now than I did just three years ago) or the technology upgrade.

I'm not going to get into my emotions on all that right now; I'm toying with a post on it but I'm not ready to go there yet.  I'll just say that though there were a lot of people in support of the teachers, there were plenty of nasty comments made that really disheartened me.  One person left a comment on a local news article that suggested teachers should "just eat less and not drive such fancy cars."  He said every teacher he knows is driving a Lexus or some other expensive car.  I'm not even going to go there.  There's an idiot in every crowd.

But, I've been disheartened and discouraged.  Governor Jindal is coming after us with everything he's got and now the local voters have smacked us.  Teacher morale is low low low.  But,  HEY I'm about to get  THE WHOLE SUMMER OFF.  Not.  Anyone who believes that malarky is in need of counseling.

But, what has made me feel better this week is my kids.  I just love my students.  That's another post in itself, too.  But I've had great kids and that's what keeps me going to work every day.  One of my former students took the picture above today outside at lunch of me and her stuffed rooster (kidnapped from the art teacher) Pancho.  I'm not sure if his name is Pancho, but that's what I called him.  We have great kids at my school.  Love!

Elsewhere on the web:

Stacy McCain is following the trail of Trayvon Martin related attacks.  What the hell is wrong with people?  My god.

A Cop's Watch is also on the trail.

Ed Driscoll has an alarming wrap-up on the whole thing.

However, Adrienne has the most compelling story I've seen today in defense of the Second Amendment.

Is the secret to a great presidential legacy all in one's alcohol intake?  Pirate's Cove reports.

In the spirit of Holocaust Remembrance Day, let me again point you to my friend Nico Van Thyn's blog; he is the son of two Holocaust survivors and has been telling their story.  I had the privilege of meeting his parents several times and am glad Nico is recording their history.  Please read.

I'm off to take some cold meds, some allergy meds, and some more vitamins just to cover all my bases.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Like


Where's the "Like" button?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale Air Force Base

We have survived the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale Air Force Base.  

The day started out overcast and hung over from last night's soaking rain but by 11:30 this morning the skies were clear blue and we had a breezy, crisp day with temps that never broke 70 (I don't think).

Barksdale has been doing this air show thing for so long now they have got it down to a science.  They do a great job getting the masses of people on and off base and corralled into the areas where they ought to be - and NO WHERE ELSE.

We arrived around noon and it wasn't long before we met up with friends:


That's my buddy Rose in the driver's seat.  I taught one of her sons several years ago; she has two wonderful boys who are serving their country right now and she's very proud of them both.  Rightly so.

We also met up with our friend Joy (left) who is our regular "bar guard" and good friend who keeps everyone at Hangar 2 in line:


Joy has a heart of gold and I know that's a cliche, but she really does.  She takes care of her "GI"'s and would do anything in the world for you.

After we got our beer and hot dogs it was time to walk around and look at planes.  Well, not planes yet; we started with vintage Jeeps:



This is a far cry from my Jeep:


...but I'm rather partial to that machine gun.  Road rage would have no limits.

There was a fly-by demo with a bomb drop simulation.  I missed the great fire shot but I managed to get the smoke:


That one included lots of loud booming noises.

This is the B-25 "Mitchell" named "The Yellow Rose":


I'm developing an affinity for airplane nose art.  With all the vintage planes we've seen over the years, I'm developing quite a collection of nose art photos:


We got to look inside the belly of a B52 at the landing gear; I can't imagine how those guys keep all these wires and cables straight.  Amazing:


Meanwhile, the Black Diamond Jet Team was performing.  For better pictures of all that you have to go to the professionals.  The Shreveport Times has two great photo galleries here and here.



I love the B52.  You just can't get the scope of this plane in a photograph - it's just huge.  HUGE:



More Black Diamond:



Back to nose art, here's an AC47, "Spooky":



Here's the nose art:


And look what's waiting to take off:



Is that not beautiful?!  And look at this:


The B52s!  RAWR!  Lined up in a row.  Love it.

For a few dollars you could get your picture taken in (part) of an A7 Corsair II and guess who had a few dollars?


Boys will be boys.  The nose art was cool:



Here's a mean looking chopper:


Another of my favorite planes is the F4, mostly because it makes GREAT jet noise.  This is a lame clip but I just love jet noise:



I saw several signs like this...:


...but really, I love jet noise.  The louder the better.

One of the best parts of the day, to me, was the Heritage Flight.  The F4 and the P47 joined up and did a flyby together: the old and the new.  My dad flew P47s and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have real lump in my throat and a tear behind my sunglasses when those two planes came by.  I couldn't talk for a minute or two.  I totally felt my dad's presence there.  He would have loved it.



The P47:



Well, then The Thunderbirds were up and I quit taking pictures.  I got one, but then I just had my eyes in the sky.

It was a glorious day and a huge kudos to Barksdale AFB for the great job they do every year in putting this  together.  There was a huge crowd there today but everyone got in and out without any major problems.

One day I'm going to go out there and just do a post on Air Show Fashion.  I will never figure out why someone would wear spandex pants and spike heels to walk two miles down a flight line.  But I saw 'em.  I saw a girl in a short dress and 3" wedge heels, too.  Go figure.  Mummus, tank tops, blue jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and puffy jackets.  I saw it all today.

But, the highlight was the airplanes and if you missed the show today, they'll do it all over again tomorrow!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Dark

I'm going offline for the night; I'm just ... bleh.

Doldrums.

I'm burdened with family issues right now and feeling spread too thin.  It's the end of a long week at school, too.  I've been busy on a project with my kids this week that involved giving every single student individual personal and detailed feedback on EOC practice essays (the current standardized test mandated by the State). Now I'm doing the same thing in grading research papers.  My mind is blown.

We're starting Antigone next week and then Julius Caesar.

And yet my governor thinks I'm not doing enough.  Teacher morale is low, low, low right now in Louisiana.

This op-ed in the New York Times resonated with me:

Better yet, we should abandon altogether the multiple-choice tests, which are in vogue not because they are an effective tool for judging teachers or students but because they are an efficient means of producing data. Instead, we should move toward extensive written exams, in which students could grapple with literary passages and books they have read in class, along with assessments of students’ reports and projects from throughout the year. This kind of system would be less objective and probably more time-consuming for administrators, but it would also free teachers from endless test preparation and let students focus on real learning.

Amen, buddy.

But you see, here in Louisiana we now HAVE to teach the test because 50% of our annual evaluation depends on how these kids do on that test.  And if my evaluation isn't ship-shape then I'm in a whole new world of trouble.

I don't want to get on a Jindal-hates-teachers rant right now, but it's bubbling to the surface.  I'm angry.  See Elliott Stonecipher, until I can get my thoughts to gel on that into some coherent post that won't get me fired:

...what Gov. Jindal’s 23-day public education blitzkrieg has been done to so many, many lives is a wrong thing for which there could never be a right time. 

 Yes, and remember, while this "education blitzkrieg" gets underway, we're also moving to a new, untested curriculum standard.  Madeline Cole had a good op-ed in The Shreveport Times this week:

In addition to unfair evaluation standards, our new curriculum should be taken into consideration. Over the next several years, starting this year with pre-k, Louisiana is moving to the Common Core Curriculum. In non-teacher terms, everything your children will be taught is changing to a much more rigorous program that is meant to prepare children for the real world from the time they enter the classroom. I am excited to see this in place. My problem is this: This new curriculum is new to everyone involved. Children, teachers, administration, test makers, law makers. I think it is very unfair that in the same years we have to learn a new way to teach your children we also are getting heavily evaluated. I think there should be some "get to know the program" time.

Oh I know..."good teachers" don't have anything to worry about.  So say the lawmakers who have never been in a classroom.

See.  I'm in a funk tonight.  I'm going to read my new Rick Bragg book on my Android tablet and listen to the slow, soaking rain that is falling.  Tomorrow, the Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale.  Sunny skies are predicted.

And hey, if you haven't yet...go on over and chip in a few bucks to Joseph the dog.  That dog is a survivor and I'm really pulling for him.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Joseph the Dog

Via The Dead Pelican, this one touched my heart:

A dog's journey to recover from a terrible case of neglect has captured the hearts of people across Baton Rouge. 
Joseph, a mixed-breed dog, was found roaming the streets on Plank Road back at the beginning of MarchApril. His condition was beyond emaciated. To many, it was a wonder that he even survived. 
“We were shocked that he could even stand,” Jessica Card, Director for YELP, recalled. “He weighed in at 22 pounds when he was found. He should have weighed probably between 45-55 pounds.”
Read the whole thing.  There's video at the link, too.

When I got through crying, I went to the YELP site and made a donation for Joseph.  Then I signed up for a small monthly donation for YELP's other animal rescue efforts.

Please consider doing the same.

There's a Facebook page for Joseph here where you can follow his progress.  He already looks better than he did in this picture.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I've Capitulated

Don't tell Bride of Rove, but I've actually read two entire books on my eReader now.  (I use the Kindle app on my Android tablet).

BoR and I have been having this book debate for a couple of years now and I swore I'd never read electronic books.  I also swore (once upon a time) that I'd never have a cellphone, and well, that didn't last.

A while back I got this Android tablet and I use it to read some periodicals and surf websites and news through the Pulse reader.  But books?  Nah.

Until last week.  Micheal Henry contacted me about reading his latest manuscript Atmosphere of Violence; it's book number 5 for Michael and his son/co-writer William and they were looking for some feedback.  (You can order it now through Amazon; it's only $2.99!  You can't lose!)  The problem?  The book was still in manuscript form.  They sent the document through email and I downloaded it into the Kindle app.  

And I read it.

What really helped was the fact that the book is fabulous and I couldn't put it down.  

I read the whole book in about three or four days and even made the occasional note using the "note" function. Woah!  Progress!

I finished the book and I thought, "Well, now.  That was pretty cool.  And convenient."  Which is what BoR said to me all along.  So I was lounging around one day this week, went online, and downloaded Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews.  Light chick lit.  I hate chick lit, but I like her books (mostly because her first few books I read had a character that was an antique dealer).  

I downloaded Summer Rental...and read it.  

I'm on a roll now.  I'm already thinking, "What's next?!"

It'll never replace my dead-tree books; some I want to keep on the shelf, you know.  But I guess I'm now a Kindle reader.  Dammit.

Just don't tell BoR because she'll say "I  told you so."  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tornadoes Devastate the Midwest: April 2012

We've been watching the tornado coverage today: Mr. SIGIS is from Iowa and has lots of friends and family there.

An aggregation of coverage:

From the Des Moines Register, here's a photo gallery of damage and cleanup in Des Moines.

The damage in Creston, Iowa was pretty serious.  Here is the Des Moines Register gallery of Creston damage.

The Creston News Advertiser reports that the sirens never had a chance to go off:


The sirens never went off.
“We didn’t receive any warning,” said Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer. “The first call came in that the hospital’s been hit when the tornado was on the ground.”

Thankfully, no fatalities have been reported.

This photo is from a friend who works in the hospital in Creston:




It's a real mess in there:



Here's one more:


There's more on Creston and more photos here, at the Facebook page for Creston News.

It has been reported that 75% of Thurmon, Iowa was destroyed by the storms.

More on Thurmon here, and video.

Go HERE to see a huge aggregation of photos of damage in Wichita, Kansas and in Thurmon, Iowa.  Video also.

Oklahoma wasn't spared either; here's video of two tornadoes in northwestern Oklahoma yesterday:


Meteorologist Jim Cantore is tweeting from Thurmon, Iowa and shares this picture of a "storm weary beagle" resting in their satellite truck.



Here are some wicked AP photos of yesterday's storms.

This video was shot in south central Kansas by Greg Johnson at Torndao Hunter:


More as it develops.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Take A Springtime Trip To Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, La.

It's been a while since I've done a good thorough photo run through Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden so we decided to Jeep on over there today ("Jeep" is now a verb) and see what's new.  Milly Rose has been leaving tantalizing messages on my Facebook wall and the lure was just too hard to resist.

We were last over there about three weeks ago when we stopped by her shop after we picked up the new Jeep in Minden.  We didn't stay long to visit and I didn't have the memory card in my camera so that trip didn't result in many photos.  I more than made up for it today with nearly 100 pictures now downloaded.  Don't worry - I won't post them all here.

The weather was perfect for a windows-down drive today; we left the top up today because the clouds seemed to be building and we didn't want to have to stop and pull up the top in case of showers; as it turned out there were no worries.  We arrived safe and dry about 1:00.

I've never noticed this funky vintage end table before:



Need a brass eagle?


Up on the third floor there is a huge mish-mash of furniture, glassware, trunks, tools and books.  This chair looks like it needs to be on someone's porch:


Or this one with a high back:


I've posted a picture of this piece before but I just love it; wish I had a place for it:


There are multiple tables up there loaded with glassware:


Here's an odd assortment of pate knives:


And hors d'oeuvres forks:


Carnival glass:


I remember this reader from my elementary school days; brings back memories:


Razors:


In the basement I found this basket of ornaments made from giant chili peppers:


An old tool box:


A deep basket of buttons:


I love these old maps:


Vintage agricultural publications:


A collection of Zippo lighters:


Vintage railroad stuff:


Here's a shot down one of the aisles; Milly calls them "pig trails" because the shop is so crowded:


This old toy xylophone is cute:


Milly loves this Westmoreland piece; it's in great condition:


And here's a Titanic sign:


Milly has lots and lots of jewelry; here, a box of cameos:


There are four of these huge cases of jewelry:


Here's another one:


The Elvis case:


This old candlestick phone is cool:


These funky orange lamps are neat; there are two of them:


Of course Heidi and Rosie have to get in the act with this old Grapette case:


And here's an old Boston Celtics pennant that is pretty neat:


And look in this case:


Yep - I crawled right in there and got out this old, old mesh drawstring pouch to bring home with me:


I also scored this great silver candlestick.  Steve:  "Where's the other one?"  I don't care if there's only one - I think it's gorgeous!



When we left Milly's we went to Habacu's Mexican Restaurant right next door; the food is fabulous and really reasonably priced.  It's also one of the few places in Minden I know of where you can get beer or a drink with dinner:


It was getting late so we loaded into the Jeep and headed up highway 80 back to Shreveport:


All in all it was a grand day, we had a wonderful visit and a good time.  If you're in the area stop in and visit with Milly Rose.  I believe she truly has one of everything in the shop and if she doesn't have it she can probably find it.  Give her a call at 318.371.9830 if you see something you can't live without here.  She'll make you a deal and ship it right out to you.  Her Facebook page is here.