Tommy’s Thanksgiving

Tommy, our local turkey, enjoyed his usual meal of mixed grains and sunflower seeds this Thanksgiving. I think he’s grateful that the locals didn’t put him on their Thanksgiving tables. He’s a pretty smart turkey having now figured out how to get into the hanging basket feeder. Occasionally he cleans up some of his mess under the two feeders. What a guy!

I hope all of you had at least as nice of a Thanksgiving as Tommy. :-)


Tommy has figured out how to eat from the basket feeder.



Tommy’s also pretty comfortable picking seed out of the little cup on this small birdhouse.

This is gonna hurt!

After a beautiful November bitter cold and the first snowfall of the season is heading our way. By Saturday morning they say Ladybird Lane could have five inches of that ugly, cold white stuff on the ground, and on the sidewalk, and on the driveway. :-( 11 degrees, coming at us. Brrrrrr! This is gonna hurt!

I went to the garden and dug up the remaining goodies, a big bag full of carrots and another big bag full of parsnips. They are sweet! And, there was some broccoli, kohlrabi, Swiss chard and kale hanging on. It was a very good year for gardening. I’m already looking forward to next Spring.


Remembering Paris

Paris is often on my mind. The Lady of Ladybird Lane and I spent a wonderful Christmas and New Years there … 12 years ago, already. It seems like yesterday. I’ll always remember the evening we walked under the Eiffel Tower just after sunset, the sky clear, an iridescent blue, and The Tower glowing and flickering with this golden light. It was amazing.


one state is the solution


Well put by Nadia Harhash.

Originally posted on nadiaharhash:

One State is the Solution

For two decades, we have been filled with notion of a two state solution that was idealistically based on the least of expectations of any Palestinian. And yet, we thought, at the end, the power rules, and let’s start building are land with the minimal of the agreed upon land.

As much as I realized that by the time israle came to being in 1948, the Palestinian leadership then was as guilty as the British who facilities the making of the Zionist state, and the so called Arab revolution deal that included the creation of a state, the new born Israel was not an innocent outbreed of coexistence.

The ideology of the creation never seized to stop from using the term coexistence on the basic of selected people, the chosen ones opposite the others who will be there to serve them or else continue to…

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A Palestinian tries to hammer a hole through the Israeli barrier


Yet, they claim it isn’t apartheid. What the heck is the wall for if it isn’t to keep people apart, if it isn’t to keep people unequal?

Originally posted on Gaza : The Bleeding Heart of Humanity:

A Palestinian protester tries to hammer a hole through the Israeli barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem, as others wave Palestinian flags during clashes with Israeli troops.

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It’s the adults we have to worry about.

This is great! Click on the image and watch the video on the page that pops up. Honestly, it’s the greedy, self-center, thoughtless, inconsiderate adults we should worry about. They, after all, are teaching kids how to behave


Foreign aid largely helps the wealthy, not the poor

There’s a terrific article at Chris Blattman’s blog laying bare the facts of Uncle Sam’s foreign aid program. Most of us probably thought that foreign aid goes to help the poor. But, it does not. It’s mostly given to violent, thuggish regimes that work as surrogates for Uncle Sam’s interest. These regimes have little or no regard to what is good for the poor in these places or what is good for the American people from whom these resources are taken. This should stop!



A golden glow at Vilas Park

Sunday just before sunset we decided to head out for a walk and some picture taking if anything happened to look interesting. After stopping by Wingra Park in Madison and finding no ducks to feed we decided to head to Vilas Park where one can almost always find a few near the lake shore. Walking south toward Lake Wingra the path has a small bridge over some water and if you look to the left as you’re crossing you can see the the west side of Vilas Zoo. Just before 6:00 p.m. the scene was just as pretty as a picture.


Candid Street Photography


Great tips!

Originally posted on Mimo Khair Photography:

Candid street photography is perhaps my very favorite style when I am out in the streets. Anywhere I travel, I find myself drawn to the human element in the streets and I search for a human connection to create my photograph and my story.

I am often asked about the process of candid portraits and if I were to offer 7 tips it would be these:

  1. Take your time. Often and if the time allows, I try not to do any photography on my first day in a new place. Instead I try to feel the place, walk around, look, listen, observe, admire and investigate.
  2. Slow down. When I walk, I try not to feel any anxiety about having to capture anything. I wait for the inspiration to come to me because I have discovered that it cannot be forced, like all good things in life.
  3. Be polite. I always…

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This child doesn’t need a solar panel!

poorkidinmozambiqueA good op-ed from Bjorn Lomborg entitled “This child doesn’t need a solar panel.” And, I’d add, this child doesn’t want a solar panel. This should be obvious, one would think, but to the world’s elite, those pushing the “fashionable” and the “stylish” agenda, it isn’t. Believe it or not, folks, not a single kid is saved from starvation, dysentery  or malaria, or gets an education from a solar panel. Solar panels are not these children’s first priority. They are not the parents’ first priority. They in fact keep poor kids and poor families poor. Why? We live in a world of limited resources. Resources expended a low value solar panel project cannot be spent on a high value malaria project. Opportunity cost, that’s in the first lecture of Econ 101. Lomborg paid attention in class. I wish those promoting fashionable, stylish development had done the same. The world would be a lot healthier and happier.

In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of “climate aid” donors. This effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel. It is terrible news.

On Oct. 9, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim pledged a one-third increase in the bank’s direct climate-related financing, bringing the bank’s annual total to an estimated $29 billion by 2020. In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to match President Obama’s promised $3 billion in aid to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, the U.K is diverting $8.9 billion from its overseas aid budget to climate-related aid over the next five years, and France is promising $5.6 billion annually by 2020, up from $3.4 billion today. The African Development Bank is planning to triple its climate-related investments to more than $5 billion a year by 2020, representing 40% of its total portfolio.

This is deeply troubling because aid is being diverted to climate-related matters at the expense of improved public health, education and economic development. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has analyzed about 70% of total global development aid and found that about one in four of those dollars goes to climate-related aid.

In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.

Addressing global warming effectively will require long-term innovation that will make green energy affordable for everyone. Rich countries are in a rush to appear green and generous, and recipient countries are jostling to make sure they receive the funds. But the truth is that climate aid isn’t where rich countries can help the most, and it isn’t what the world’s poorest want or need.

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