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Mister, your cat is weird, II

Fitting folded sheets

I look at facebook about once a month. The trouble with facebook is that all my facebook friends spend a lot of time on facebook. Any particular time I look at it I get a snapshot of people going on at length about details of their personal lives, that and politics. It’s all a bit much. The life of each of us is important to ourselves and our intimates. Few of us are willing to recognize that our opinions on politics are worthless. So be it.

Still, there are moments that shine, little bits of beauty and useful information. Such a moment happened this time. Gary Farber posted a link to a video that showed how to fold fitted sheets.

How to fold fitted sheets

Fitted sheets are the bane of us who actually fold our sheets. Over the years I have worked a way to fold the damn things. It works. The sheet is folded, it lays more or less flat, but the result is scarcely pretty. I won’t tell you how I do it – as I say, it’s not pretty.

I watched the video. My reaction was, Oh my, I never thought of that. That’s slick. The narrator went zip, zip, zip, and there was a folded fitted sheet laying nice and flat with no corners sticking out.

Live and learn. Now I am going to have to wash some sheets to see if I can pull it off.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work all that well with fitted sheets with elastic along the edge of the sheet. In the video the sheets hang; in practice they bunch up. Deb and I struggled with it for a while and gave up. No doubt there is a trick, but we never solved it. I went back to the technique that I was using before.


Mister, your cat is weird, II

Recently I unloaded a whole bunch of pictures from the camera. I thought I would share some of them with my readers. Isn’t that nice of me. Enjoy.

Young Mr. Thomas Gray liked to snuggle up to me. As you can see, dignity was not required. He still likes to sleep in my lap, but not as much as before. This may have something to do with the fact that he weighed 6.2 pounds when he first came here and 12.4 pounds now. My lap hasn’t expanded but he has.

When thomas wants in he comes to an office window and meows. Thomas also likes to watch television; on the right he taking in a sitcom.

When we travel we leave Mr. Thomas Gray locked in the house. He thinks this is rather boring but he does find ways to amuse himself. The bathroom is one of his favorite playgrounds.

When Thomas first arrived he was very suspicious of Deborah. I was the one who had saved his life and the one who fed him; he wasn’t sure about her. In time, however, she became quite a favorite of his. In the left picture the animals are snoozing while she watches the NFR on the telly. In the right picture she is resting her foot after her ankle surgery. Thomas is doing his version of the laying on of hands.

Thomas and the Large Black Dog get along quite well except when Thomas is being an instigator. Here they are sharing sleeping spaces.

Like all cats, Thomas spends much of his time sleeping. He sometimes picks interesting places to sleep. On the left he is sleeping on a brief case, on the right an ottoman.

We haven’t had much luck convincing Thomas that he doesn’t belong in the kitchen. In the left he nibbling on tortilla chips in a chip bowl. It took him a while to finish them but he did. On the right he is supervising Deborah as she prepares supper. He doesn’t seem to be playing close attention.

Like many cats Thomas climbs up on things and then expects you to get him down. I don’t know what he was doing on the roof. I’m getting the evil eye because I’m not getting him down fast enough.

Wisconsin, oh Wisconsin

As of this writing they are having all sorts of fun in Wisconsin. The Democratic senators are performing their sworn duties by adjourning to another state. All of which gives new meaning to the old saying, “My way or the highway.” At the state house the multitudes are protesting an assault on the sacred right of collective bargaining. The Republican governor and the Republican legislators are turning a deaf ear to this charming display of democracy in action. They have the votes and they are certain they are in the right. Of course there is this little problem with getting a quorum …

Here is the problem; democracy is intrinsically corrupt. The underlying concept of democracy is simple enough. The populace is divided into constituencies. Each constituency chooses champions who vie with the champions of other constituencies for spoils, said spoils being the resource and power of the state. The process is papered over with rhetoric about the common good; however the different constituencies each define the common good in terms of their own advantage.

In practice it is not quite that simple. The champions, aka politicians, being part of a corrupt process, are themselves corrupt. Naturally they do not perceive themselves as being corrupt. That is the value of noble rhetoric; politicians can pat temselves on the back with their right hands while their left hands rummage about in the public pocket. The obvious way to line their pockets is to vote themselves salaries and benefits. Congress is quite good at this. However directly looting the public treasury has its limits. People notice.

Fortunately for the politicians there other constituencies than the populace, monied interests who are eager to exchange funds for a quid pro quo. Collecting direct payments, i.e., the envelope on the desk with cash in it, is considered venial. Becoming a well paid lobbyist is not. Accepting campaign contributions is not.

You might well wonder how such a corrupt system can possibly work, but it does work – most of the time. Granted, it doesn’t work very well, but as Churchill observed, it works better than the alternatives. It breaks down when real wisdom is required, but that is not the fault of democracy. After all, real wisdom is real scarce.

It also breaks down when a constituency gets a lock on the process, which brings us back to Wisconsin. The essence is that the public service unions supply bodies, and votes, and cash to their favored champions. There is nothing wrong with that in its own right – that’s how the system works. The catch is that they get to sit down with their champions and negotiate their salaries and benefits. More salaries, more benefits, more money to the politicians. It’s a closed cycle. It doesn’t last; in time reality catches up. The aroma of coffee wafts through the land and the rest of populace wakes up.

Meanwhile the monied interests are doing well, as always. Republicans, Democrats, they’re all to the same to the monied interests – they’re all for sale.

This page was last updated March 2, 2011.

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