From The Pirate’s Mother

Many thanks indeed for the congratulations and well-wishes of all, The Equuschick apologizes for her absence of late but she does hope you will all understand as her excuse is just so very, very cute.

The Pirate continues to do remarkably well and The Equuschick continues to recover, they continue to work on breast-feeding (and here The Equuschick always thought the “blood, sweat, and tears” aspect of mothering applied primarily to childbirth), but things are well. And in spite of her various complaints and hollers and temper tantrums in the heat of the moment she is quite happy with her home birth experience. She was very blessed in her midwife, her mother, and her amazing husband.

Today The Pirate took a walk with The Equuschick out to the pasture to be introduced to Sky the first time. (The Pipsqueak has been on Sky and Zeus duty for almost two weeks. Has The Equuschick mentioned how blessed she is in her family?)

Both were suitably impressed and equally curious. The Pirate, in fact, was so impressed by the majesty of the equine species that once inside he remained wide-eyed with his hand propped contemplatively below his chin for quite some time, no doubt dwelling still on the majesty and sheer bulk of The Horse.

He is now comfortably ensconced on the couch next to The Equuschick listening to Pandora and admiring all the colours of the world.

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Double Standards, Much?

The Case for Government-Run Ketchup [Mark Hemingway]

From the Senate Republican Policy Committee:

Senator Kerry just went on about the outrageous profits of health insurers who dominate the market and offer little choice to consumers. That’s an interesting point considering that according to the website of Heinz ketchup, the company holds a 60 percent retail market share. Heinz products enjoy #1 or #2 market share in more than 50 countries. And according to Yahoo Finance, Heinz profits (8.6 percent) are more than double the health insurance industry (3.3 percent). Government run Ketchup, anyone?

Via the Corner

Will Ferrell, who makes 20 million dollars a picture, and other similarly well paid actors, think insurance company moguls make too much money. He and his pals

could literally buy health insurance for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans. And they don’t even have to wait for the government to take their money at gunpoint. They can just do it. And they should. It’s clearly being positioned as a moral issue, so is it immoral for these folks to hoard money while children are suffering?

Well, not by my standards, but it would seem to be immoral by theirs.

Michael Wilson explains:

I have debated health care with every one of my liberal friends who is willing to engage. And I always ask them the same question when they support the government-run plan. It goes like this: “I don’t have health insurance. Will you buy it for me for just one year?” I ask the question seriously. I mean it. I’d happily accept the gift from someone who wants to help. But they always backpedal. They always refuse.

Why? Because they have mistaken compassion for force. They believe that government will force someone else to pay, that they will not be affected, and that it’s okay because “they” or “the rich” have more than “they” need. But “they” have earned what “they” have, and so have Ferrell and his FOD pals.

The question is whether the folks who preach the message of forcing you to “give” to others are actually willing to do it on their own. Do they really care about those with less or only about appearing to care?

Charles Rangel remains the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in what was allegedly going to be the most ethical Congress ever, and is only true in the sense that ‘ethical’ means sleazy, underhanded, grafters and thieves.

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Not a Line In His Own Hand

We have not a ‘line written by his own hand,’ and few contemporary ‘documents mention him, even ambiguously.’

Interesting, eh? Care to guess the name behind the pronouns ‘his’ and ‘him’?

Those are lines I read about Dante in the book The Life and Times of Dante, published in 1967 by Curtis books.

In an article about the murderous terrorist attack in Mumbai I found this:

Kept in the basement of the Asiatic Society library, a colonnaded marble building in Mumbai’s colonial heart, is perhaps the Indian financial capital’s least heralded relic: one of the two oldest surviving manuscripts of Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Its some 450 richly illustrated pages, dating from the 1350s, are bound and wrapped in red silk. Though the book rarely goes on display, Society staff insist the medieval text is in excellent condition. It came to Mumbai in the possession of a 19th century British antiquarian grandee, the imperially named Mountstuart Elphinstone, and has stayed in the city ever since despite numerous attempts by the Italian government to repatriate it. In the 1930s, rumor has it, dictator Benito Mussolini was keen to buff his fascist pedigree by retrieving the epic and offered the Society one million pounds for it, a staggering sum at the time. But the Society politely refused.

The Divine Comedy was probably completed by 1321, according to this website, and:

According to the Società Dantesca Italiana, no original manuscript written by Dante has survived, though there are many manuscript copies from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The oldest belongs to the 1330s, almost a decade after Dante’s death. The most precious ones are the three full copies made by Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375, Italian author and poet), in the 1360s, who himself did not have the original manuscript as a source.

And yet nobody I know of seriously suggests we do not have an accurate copy of Dante’s Inferno.

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Planter by my front door

This was my front door back in June. Pretty skimpy, eh? The pot to the left is sitting atop a piece of an old pillar from the old porch at the little house where Shasta and the EC (and our little Pirate) live. In the fifties they took out the porch and made it into a front room. We wondered what happened to the pillars, and then while putting in fencing for the cows that are coming, we dug up pieces of old columns, and I guess that’s what they did with them.
Look carefully at the planter to the right- I’ve got a ‘now’ picture down below that’s pretty cool.

Here’s the planter on the left, plus some additional planters. This picture was taken in September. The planter on the left of the door contains hostas, a vine I cannot remember (bought it at the end of the season, dollar a sixpack sale), and some impatiens. The skimpier planter to the left just has some stuff I dug up from the rattery and not enough dirt. I think I’ll be dumping that out around a tree in the yard to see what comes up next year.
The tall terra cotta looking things are clay pipes- around here, in the 1900s, they ‘reclaimed’ farmland by laying down tiles beneath the soil to drain the land into creeks. These are some of the tiles- giant clay pipes. Granny Tea has some u-joint pieces, too. Pretty cool looking, but we don’t quite know what to do with them.

The one with the old watering can on top of it is holding begonias. And here’s the planter to the right of the door:

Isn’t that incredible? YOu can’t even see the planter anymore. I didn’t add anything, either- these are the same plants as appear in the June photograph at the top of the page.


Hosta- dug up from The Rattery yard. They’re blooming now, but weren’t yet when this picture was taken. The blooms are purple blossoms on tall stems in the back of the planter.

Impatiens- 2, picked up for a dollar a six pack at the end of the season (the others are in a different planter, and doing quite well. That’s the spot of pink you see. Next year I think I’ll do six impatiens in this planter, maybe more.

Ground Ivy- unless it’s gill-over-the-ground, unless they are the same thing. I have never been able to tell. It’s taken over the planter, and is the stuff you see draped over the sides and spilling out across the sidewalk. I picked this up from my backyard- just pulled up a handful and stuck it in the planter to see what it would do. As you can see in that first picture there were hardly any vines hanging over the side, and that was only sometime mid-summer.

The planter itself- also from The Rattery. It’s a shabby stone urn, covered with green paint, though you cannot tell. I am very pleased with it.

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Judy Collins Sings the Gaelic Lullabye

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