Saturday: Hili dialogue

May 28, 2022 • 6:30 am

Shouldn’t you be out having fun on the Memorial Day weekend instead of reading this? Well, if you are reading, it’s Cat Sabbath: May 28, 2022: National Brisket Day. And of course the only way to cook brisket is Texas BBQ style: smoked with minimal trimmings. Here’s a brisket lunch (with sausage) from Louis Mueller’s BBQ in Taylor, Texas: the best brisket I had during my BBQ tour last year. Want some?

A good brisket has some fat on it. as well as the diagnostic “red ring” around the edge from the smoking:

It’s also Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Stuff that happened on May 28 includes:

  • 585 BC – A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
  • 1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel. (It will take until May 30 for all ships to leave port.)
  • 1892 – In San FranciscoJohn M**r organizes the Sierra Club.

John M**r, 1875:

The beginning of the famous paper:

  • 1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer, is founded.

The car was indeed built on Hitler’s orders, as Wikipedia notes:

In April 1934, Hitler gave the order to Porsche to develop a Volkswagen.[note 1] The epithet Volks-, literally “people’s-“, had been applied to other Nazi-sponsored consumer goods as well, such as the Volksempfänger (“people’s radio”).

In May 1934, at a meeting at Berlin’s Kaiserhof Hotel, Hitler insisted on a basic vehicle that could transport two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph) while not using more than 7 litres of fuel per 100 km (32 mpg US/39 mpg UK).[16] The engine had to be powerful enough for sustained cruising on Germany’s Autobahnen. Everything had to be designed to ensure parts could be quickly and inexpensively exchanged. The engine had to be air-cooled because, as Hitler explained, not every country doctor had his own garage. (Ethylene glycol antifreeze was only just beginning to be used in high-performance liquid-cooled aircraft engines. In general, water in radiators would freeze unless the vehicle was kept in a heated building overnight or drained and refilled each morning.)

Here’s one of the prewar Porsche prototypes: Model of the 1932 Porsche Type 12 (Nuremberg Museum of Industrial Culture)

The “People’s Car” would be available to citizens of Germany through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet),[30] at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle. (The average weekly income was then around 32RM.)[31]

  • 1999 – In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper is put back on display.
  • 2016 – Harambe, a gorilla, is shot to death after grabbing a three-year-old boy in his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, resulting in widespread criticism and sparking various internet memes.

This caused enormous controversy (Jane Goodall defended the shooting, Ricky Gervais opposed it), and I’m in no position to judge this one. I just wonder if they could have used a tranquilizer dart, but that could have caused the gorilla to become agitated or would have taken too long to take effect. Here’s a news report:

Da Nooz:

*The cops in Texas ‘fessed up that they moved too slowly when the school shooting began in Uvalde, Texas. Apparently, despite kids inside the classes calling 911, the cops didn’t think that any kids were at risk. How can that be?

In an emotional and at times tense news conference, Steven C. McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, gave the most detailed accounting of the shooting yet, diverging in substantial points from the original timeline given by officials.

Most of the time the gunman was at the school, Mr. McCraw explained, he was inside the classrooms where nearly all of the killing took place, while as many as 19 police officers waited outside in the school hallway. Multiple people in the classrooms, including at least two students, called 911 over that horrifying stretch, begging for police. But apparently believing that the suspect had barricaded himself in the classroom and that “there were no kids at risk,” the police did not enter the classroom until 12:50 p.m., 78 minutes after the shooter walked inside.

“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,” Mr. McCraw said. “It was the wrong decision. Period.”

An admission of “wrong decision” like this spells b-i-g  t-i-m-e  l-a-w-s-u-i-t in the U.S. But no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a person’s life.

*John McWhorter is both a linguist and a parent outraged by the uncontrollable gun violence in the U.S. His latest column, one of his best, is both an attack on those who interpret the Second Amendment as free license for anyone to carry a gun, and to the inaction of politicians, especially Republicans, who seemingly don’t give a rat’s patootie about slaughtered schoolchildren. He compares the Dixiecrats of yore with opponents of gun control. His column is called “Gun violence is what segregation was. An unaddressed moral stain.” Excerpts:

Part of what turned the tide in the fight for civil rights was a combination of technology and shame. Television offered visual evidence of the barbarity of segregationist racism with a vividness hitherto unknown to many Americans.

But that won’t work this time. The instantly accessible moving image long ago lost its novelty, and most Republicans in Congress give no indication so far of being moved by the images from Uvalde or by the facts. As long as they maintain this posture, they have no more shame than the Dixiecrats of yore — and our system has come to a point where those of us who do have shame, and want to vote for people who will do something about it, are thwarted.

. . .We are facing the reign of a pitiless, self-centered cynicism thriving in the face of innocents being mowed down with regularity. In a sense, the Dixiecrats weren’t much different: Then and now, in the cases of segregation and out-of-control gun violence, the clear moral path is being blocked by a phalanx of elected leaders for small-minded and chillingly unfeeling aims. The circumstances of the mid-20th century made it so that morality could finally work its way around people like this. I’m less optimistic that anything of the sort will happen now.

The closest to optimism I can muster is that a robust Democratic majority in the House and Senate could get that needle at least moving. But given the prospects of that happening any time soon, I’m inclined to suppose that the mass shootings we now must accept as regular American life are a demonstration that we have failed. Nothing like this was meant to happen under the construct the founders created. If a critical mass of elected officials are, in effect, OK with mass shooting deaths being a new normal in our country, then any reckoning would have to address the sad fact that after close to 250 years, America is simply broken.

For an old but still relevant argument about what the Founders meant by the Second Amendment, do read Garry Wills’s  1995 article in the New York Review of Books, “To Keep and Bear Arms.” Of course, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of the new Supreme Court construing the Second Amendment as being relevant to what it says: the creation of a militia. 

*You want a good example of chutzpah?  Here’s one:

Asra Jabas suffered significant injuries to her face when she launched a terror attack on Israelis in 2015, blowing up a gas balloon in her car as she approached officers near the Israeli town of Maale Adumim.

The then 31-year-old terrorist yelled “Allahu Akbar” toward the officers before causing the explosion. At the time of the attack, Jabas was carrying handwritten notes in support of so-called Palestinian “martyrs.” A police officer named Moshe Hen suffered burns during the attack.

Jabas was indicted on attempted murder charges, leading to an 11-year sentence.

Seven years later, it appears that Jabas believes Israel should pay for cosmetic surgery she says she needs due to injuries sustained in the attack she launched. While two similar requests have been rejected, Israel Prison Services has made sure she received multiple essential medical treatments at the state’s expense.

That reminds me of the old joke about how a guy killed his parents and then pleaded for mercy because he was an orphan.

*I’m sorry: I’ve tried, but I just can’t find Amanda Gorman (the “Inaugural Poet” for Biden) a good poet, much less a decent one. Yes, I know she’s young, but Eliot was two years younger when he wrote Prufrock. Her latest poem , published as a NYT op-ed, is predictably trite, full of off-the-shelf reactions, but I see she’s also discovered, to my chagrin, alliteration.

*The Republicans are adamantly refusing to even consider mild restrictions on guns. At the NRA meeting going on in Houston, the GOP evinces their usual response:

The Republican lawmakers who elected to keep their speaking plans at the annual gathering sounded a different note: Defiance.

Former president Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), among other speakers, broadly rejected proposals for new restrictions and called instead for more school security or mental health screenings, while issuing dark warnings of alleged Democratic plots to take weapons.

“We all know they want total gun confiscation, know that this would be a first step,” Trump told the crowd in an auditorium about 300 miles from the site of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Tex. “Once they get the first step, they’ll take the second step, the third, the fourth, and then you’ll have a whole different look at the Second Amendment.”

In fact, we need a whole different look at the Second Amendment! It was put in place to facilitate the formation of militias, not to give every American the right to pack heat. What happened to the “originalists”?

*And on the light side, Jez calls our attention to this BBC article:

A woman wearing nothing but a coat was stopped by police as she travelled to give her boyfriend a “special surprise”.

North Wales Police officers admitted it was one of their “more bizarre jobs” after stopping the driver on the A55.

Things got worse for the driver, who was arrested when she failed a roadside test for cannabis.

Checks then revealed the motorist was disqualified and uninsured, and the car did not have an MOT. [JAC: What’s an MOT?]

In a post on Facebook, North Wales Police said: “We provided her with our very own lovely grey-coloured custody tracksuit so that she could stay warm.

“Not exactly the outfit she had planned.

. . . .”Moral of the story – only drive if you have a valid licence, are insured and make sure that your car has an MOT.

“And make sure you’re dressed appropriately.”

But she was completely covered in a coat. Why is that not appropriate driving attire?


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, HIli is bothered by a buzz:

Hili: Could you do a good deed?
A: What deed?
Hili: Catch this bumblebee and let it fly free, it’s irritating me.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy możesz zrobić dobry uczynek?
Ja: Jaki?
Hili: Złap tego trzmiela i wypuść go na wolność, bo mnie denerwuje.
And a photo of cute little Kulka:

From Jesus of the Day:

From The Language Nerds:


From Bruce:

From the creator of Titania:

See above. . . .

“Paws where I can see ’em!”

From Barry. Is this interspecific love or parasitism?

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Professor Cobb.  America’s twisted version of St. Ignatius Loyola’s aprocryphal remark:

Sick but true, though she’s talking only about the state of Texas. Read the thread, too. . .

There’s a longer version (audio only) of this conversation, and I’m trying to see if I can work up any interest in hearing it!

Close but no cigar. . . .

51 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. MOT = a roadworthiness certificate required annually for any vehicle 3 years old or older; standing for Ministry of Transport.

    1. Well, no memorial day here in Sunny 15C Norwich!

      I will go for a walk in due course… last week there were mayflies thickening the air by the river Wensum.

  2. I’m with you on Amanda Gorman. I can’t pick out a single line from a single poem that I think justifies the amount of praise she gets. There are poems better than that (and much worse too) in every writing class in high school. I’ve also noticed that people really don’t like it when I say I don’t like her.

    1. Let’s face it, it’s taboo to criticize her because she’s black–and a young black woman. I hate it when you have to withhold criticism of art on the basis of the artist’s race, gender, etc. It took me a long time to just get my opinion out! Such criticism is seen as “punching down.”

  3. What has been largely not mentioned in the discussion of guns in America, probably because it is very controversial, is the connection between certain members of the gun owning population (undoubtedly a minority) and their sense of manhood. These are the men that have a passionate need for open carry of guns, particularly assault style rifles. When I see pictures of men attending gun rallies with their rifles strapped to their backs, I think that these are people that need to prove to themselves and others that they are REAL men. I would bet that most of the mass shooters have manhood issues. The gun lobby preys on these men with the subtle message that owning guns, particularly assault rifles, compensates for other inadequacies.

    To be clear: I am not saying that the vast majority of gun owners possess them as compensation for sexual or other inadequacies. What I am saying is that for a small subset of gun owners, possession of guns does serve that purpose. And these people, particularly the youngest ones, are the most likely to cause mayhem.

    Psychiatrist Lawrence Blum discusses this issue in a Psychology Today posting:

    1. My impression is that those people did not grow up with guns. Very few of them have been in the military. They are not acting like adults.
      And emphatically yes, there is a huge gulf between people like that and the vast majority of gun owners, even passionate gun collectors. Lots of people open carry around here, but that is almost always a pistol in a holster. Also, it is mostly old guys, whose dad did the same thing. In old photos on the ranch, my Grandfather almost always wears an ivory-handled revolver in a western holster.
      If I knew any of the people who go around open carrying a rifle with a helmet and a plate carrier, I would definitely ask them some questions, to learn a bit more what makes them tick.
      But you don’t really see people like that here. Up in Idaho, I know there are communities that are magnets for nationalists and militia types. I suspect the members are mostly people from far away. In Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, we have few such freak shows. Instead, we have hippie communes, which are mostly harmless. In Texas, we sometimes run into SASS types, who often dress like old time cowboys, but you don’t get the scary vibe from them. They are mostly old-timey, and very competent and safe with guns.

      But the main point is that I agree with your impression. The open carry activist/militia types are a tiny subset of gun owners. They seem to enjoy making people uncomfortable, which is the opposite of the way my neighbors behave. From the perspective of someone who actually served in the military and engaged in combat, they seem absurd.

        1. It has long been my personal view that many of the extreme types on all sides of the political spectrum are needy, broken people who might have latched onto any side, but chanced upon an opportunity to join one of them more or less randomly. Whatever cause or organization it is is only important to them because it gives them an excuse to act out their existing impulses. They would like to be out confronting people and making them uncomfortable anyway, but the cause cloaks their behavior with an appearance of legitimacy.
          My personal view anyway, as someone who is not in any way a mental health expert.

  4. Was it a wicked sense of humour or just happenstance that resulted in the photo of smoked brisket being next to ‘menstrual hygiene day’? Or am I a poor excuse for a human being that I ask the question? (Forty years of doing Pap smears has undoubtedly warped my sensibilities.)

  5. I think its obvious that, by “mental health”, they (politicians, etc.) mean the solution is to get the a posteriori identified killers into their Christian church and have the priest fix their heads. Before they kill. And so on.

  6. I’ve read that the 2nd Amendment was provided for the Southern States who wanted to arm “militias” for pursuing and subduing escaped slaves. This is disputed by defenders of the 2nd Amendment, but it is hard otherwise to understand why militias were needed.

    1. There was a lot of discussion that went into the final form of the Bill of Rights. Discussion that was transcribed. the 2nd Amendment was not about slavery. The same people also claim that police departments were conceived to catch slaves.

  7. The quote on DanielDefense’s twitter post, the one with an 8 year old playing with an AR-15, is not original with Ignatius. It is a verse from the Bible – Proverbs 22:6.

      1. Agree. But in the evangelical mindset if you can link a concept to a Bible verse then all is well.

  8. Looking at gun violence as just violence with guns is convenient, but insufficient. There is are differences of circumstances between domestic violence, gang activity, and mass shootings, and each would require different solutions, but the Democrats, who are really very simplistic and look for the solution that can most easily admit of the exercise of the government’s power of violence, wants to restrict a civil liberty. Just like they want to restrict free speech. The vast (VAST) majority of people who have guns own them legally and use them safely and legally. The Supreme Court has held in Heller, on sound historical grounds, that the Second Amendment does, in fact, secure an individual’s right to own guns. It’s not for nothing that dictatorial regimes’ first acts involve taking the guns from citizens. What people should be objecting to about Uvalde is how shamelessly the Establishment and Media is using it to engender an emotional response for its own ends. Some people hate guns tout court. Any excuse is a good one. But where was the outrage about Waukesha? Where are the stories about the woman who stopped a mass shooting this week in West Virginia? All they do it take the news and try to fit it to one of the standard explanations, guns, white supremacy, income inequality, If only we didn’t have that pesky Constitution that prevent use from doing the right things, like makes guns illegal, taking people’s property and redistributing it to our pet interest groups, stopping people from publishing inconvenient facts, asking awkward questions, creating memes. There are reasons the Founders decided that even in a democracy, we still needed to limit the power of government.

    1. Not so fast about those supposed “sound historical grounds” in light of what the four dissenters said about Heller. Also, three years ago I wrote an essay on this subject (you can find “The Second Amendment — and a Copy Editor’s Suggestions for Improvement” on Medium) in which I argued that the Second Amendment is NOT about protecting an individual’s right to own a gun. A few months after I wrote the piece, I discovered that Justice John Paul Stevens had made the same point in his book “Six Amendments.” If you don’t want to read his chapter on the Second Amendment, this essay will suffice as a substitute:

      1. The “sound historical grounds” relied upon by the majority in District of Columbia v. Heller are what’s known in the trade as “law office history” — which is to say history done by advocates who flyspeck the historical record for material to support an interpretation of the constitution they’ve a priori decided to advance.

        In Heller this analysis was done not by honest-to-Thucydides historians, but, by and large, by law professors in amicus briefs. It has been roundly rejected by actual historians, such as Garry Wills (in the NYRB article linked to by our host in the post above). See also here.

    2. The story about the woman who shot a potential mass shooter in Charleston is on-line, just where you found it to link to.
      But the point is surely not that a woman in Charleston was able to stop a potential mass shooting by having a gun, it’s that the shooter had a gun: if he wasn’t armed, there would be no need for an armed woman to shoot him. No guns pretty much equals no mass shootings, whether or not passers-by jump in to help.
      As for the Second Amendment, until comparatively recently (relative to the 200+ years of this country), courts had not held that people had an unlimited right to own firearms.

      1. Isn’t it true that the shooter was carrying illegally? As a convicted felon he was not allowed to own a gun.

        Why would any other restrictions have prevented him from carrying a gun?

        From my perspective (Brit, living in Australia) America’s gun laws seem insane, but this case does seem to weigh heavily on the side on the NRA’s argument.

  9. I agree with our host that McWhorter is at his best in this article. I share his pessimism and go beyond it. We’ve been doomscrolling, shaking our heads, facepalming, and wringing our hands long enough. It’s now time to develop and implement plans to effect as amicable and peaceable a divorce as possible, separating the authoritarians from those of us who value liberal democracy in the broadest sense of that term. The liberals and the authoritarians cannot share the same house. Indeed, such a divided house cannot stand. (If anyone agrees with me and wants to discuss this idea further with me, let’s take it off WEIT. You can reach me at

  10. The dildo limit is probably due to the fact that there are so many in the state’s legislature and there is a limit on how many Texas politicians you can own

    1. When it comes to the Texas Lege, lobbyists are allowed to open carry those they own.

      Hell, the section of the Texas legislature gallery where the lobbyists sit to watch their minions at work is known as “the owners’ box.”

    2. 🙂 I was very amused by the dildo story, so I googled it. Maybe someone who is good at reading legal documents can figure it out, but it looks like it may have been a vital part of their penal code at one time. I don’t know if it still applies.

      The poor thing is classified as an ‘obscene device’, by which is meant a device that is ‘designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs’.

      I don’t know how they managed to figure that one out.

      Unfortunately, it is (or was) bad form to promote obscene devices, and a person having more than five is (or was) ‘presumed to possess them with intent to promote the same’.

      1. Maybe the good ol’ Texas Lege is unclear on the distinction between a penal code and a penile code. 🙂

  11. “Apparently, despite kids inside the classes calling 911, the cops didn’t think that any kids were at risk. How can that be?”

    It is impossible to understand that police decision. Even if the shooter had completely stopped shooting, there were children bleeding to death on the floor in that classroom. Faster medical attention might have saved them. Imagine bleeding out for an hour in that room. It should have been easy to note that there were children who had not been removed from the school. And how could the police have been unaware of the 911 calls?

    1. I understand that confronting a shooter is a risk/reward situation, and charging in on such a person is a big risk. But to me, the possibility of saving even one elementary school kid justifies the risk.
      The same sort of calculus happens regularly in combat. you might have a wounded man, and have to decide whether the increased risk to personnel of a medivac is justified by the likelihood of a better outcome for the wounded man. Even there, you tend to err on the side of helping the wounded.

      If kids are at risk, you just do what is required to save them.

      The border patrol guys who actually stormed the school and killed the shooter had been listening to the situation on their police radios. It is my understanding that they were not called to the scene, they came on their own, and did what needed to be done.

      1. It’s my understanding that the border patrol guys were initially prevented from going in by the local police!!! After half an hour or so of that, they decided to go in anyway against the wishes of the police.

  12. One aspect of the gun violence problem that I don’t think receives enough attention is the extent to which progressive attitudes and policies drive people to buy guns. Guns will disappear when there is a high level of social trust and people feel safe.

    Attitudes and policies that encourage gun ownership include:

    Blasts of hatred directed against U.S. history and the Constitution. Example:

    Talk about the U.S. heading for a civil war. Example:

    Orders for the police to stand down during a riot. Example:

    Blasts of hatred directed against the police and suggestions that police are irredeemably racist: Example:

    Refusal to prosecute lesser crimes like shoplifting: Example:

    All of these progressive attitudes and policies undermine social trust and cohesion and drive people to buy guns.

    Accordingly, levels of black gun ownership have surged:

    Gun sales to women have also surged:

    I bring this up because it is an aspect of the problem that rarely gets mentioned.

    1. I don’t think so. This argument is analogous to blaming the victim. Gun violence and the tension between gun advocates and those wanting more restrictions on private gun ownership has been a major problem in the US for much longer than the past 5 or so years that have seen the rise to prominence of the issues you list here.

      This is very much like the terrorist that says, “See what you made me do!” when they kill their hostages because they didn’t get what they wanted. If the poor little babies are so scared they need counseling, not guns.

      1. I think the argument there would be not that they do the right thing by reacting with arming themselves more. But nevertheless these things add to the fear of people and some react this way. So I am not sure what is that you “don’t think so”, as Lysander did not make an explicit claim that could be called victim blaming. (I might be generous with my interpretation, but I think what was explicitly written here was just a statement/description that such effect does exist.)

        BTW while non-prosecution of small crimes is a weird reason, but the stand-down order during a violent riot would possibly make me fear for my safety too. But I live in a country where gun ownership is restricted and dead by firearm is rare, and I definitely would not be happy if that changed.

        1. Yes, I think that any policy or attitude that causes people to buy more guns can fairly be said to be contributing to the problem. For example, media speculation about an impending civil war may well lead some people to buy a gun in order to prepare. That is the only point I was trying to make. I do believe that if we can get to a point where the vast majority of people feel safe without owning a gun then we can crystallize public support for legislation such as banning semiautomatic weapons.

          As to the non-prosecution of lesser crimes, I think this feeds an overall impression of lawlessness and contributes to a fear for one’s personal safety. In particular, I was thinking of some recent stories in Los Angeles regarding train looting. For example:

        2. Exactly. I thought “I don’t think so” was way too quick, what is sometimes called a knee-jerk response. It’s what people say who trade on the progressive attitudes and policies highlighted by Lysander. They regard them as social goods, not trade-offs, and seek to impose more of them. They are naturally affronted and offended that those attitudes could have as a consequence more gun purchases, if not gun shootings. Their response is to ban the gun purchases and go full speed ahead with blasts of hatred against American history, civil-war talk, police stand-down orders in riots, etc.

          Infantilizing dissenters, as Darrelle does, never ends well.

          1. Yes, by all means lets coddle the poor dears and blame the scary “liberals” that make them feel scared. I’ll tell you what, you’ve got that well in hand Leslie. Me? No thanks.

            No doubt you feel yours the ethically superior and obviously more effective view, but I’ve seen no evidence in my lifetime that accommodationism as you suggest gives any better results than ridicule. If you’ve got anything solid to show that it does I’ll be duly surprised. If such accommodationism were more effective then the Democratic Party in the US would have had clear majorities in both houses, and the Executive, for at least the past 30 years.

            By the way, your neat little profile of me isn’t really all that accurate. Typical of you from what I’ve seen of your comments here though, as if it’s a hobby or something. And here I thought you disapproved of infantilizing? I’ve been a registered Republican my entire life until Bush Jr inspired me to change my registration to Independent, though admittedly I can’t remember the last time I voted Republican. Can’t say I’ve ever been accused of being a progressive either, though I’ll take that all day long over being accused of being conservative or woke.

      2. Exactly. Gun violence was a problem before those pseudo-Progressive attitudes became popular. And people who decide to buy an AR-15 because someone dissed the Constitution are exactly the sort of people that gun control should be preventing from buying firearms. Ironically a Civil War is probably what it will take to make most Americans realize that a society with extremely widespread gun ownership isn’t a good idea.

  13. I am not sure why it is weird or meaningful that Italians have a completely different word for mosquito than the listed other languages. There are a lot of languages that have a completely different word for it. For example it is szunyog in Hungarian, komár in Slovakian, and ţânţar in Romanian. Language Nerds just created a list where Italian is the odd one.

    As a side effect of writing this I learned that google translate does not have an “it is just wrong, period” option when you report an incorrect translation. It translates the Hungarian word “muslica” (a type of small fly) to Italian as “musica” (music) and I can pick options like it is offensive, too formal, etc. I went with “other”.

  14. Cheeky raccoons! I’ve seen them do this sort of thing at our house when I rush out to get them away from the cat food at night. They dash out of sight and I wait silently on my back porch as they stealthily reapproach. When they catch a glimpse of me or detect my scent, they stand on hind legs like statues trying to get a better take on the situation.

    I can’t be too annoyed with them, though, at least in the winter when everything is frozen over. Raccoons have to eat, too. Let me tell you, though, they can really pack the crunchies away, if I don’t bring the cat food in at night. They stuff it into their mouths with both hands!! The fertility of the females who come to feed is probably boosted by the high nutrition which only adds to my visitor population. As long as they don’t break into my chicken pen and kill my chickens, I good-naturedly shoo them away and leave only a little bit of cat food out for them.

    1. Please don’t feed raccoons. They are prolific enough from just foraging in garbage and they spread rabies.

      1. Before we transitioned to an RV, we would stay in motels on our trips between ranches. One night, in Missouri (I think), I went out to empty the dog. There were dozens of raccoons, and the dog and I both sort of freaked out. I mean somewhere between 50 and 100 of them. I asked the maintenance guy, and he told me the owner loved the critters, and put bags of cat food out behind the motel every night. It was nightmarish.

        1. Max: That is a horrendous number of coons!! Oh, my! Kind of reminds me of that YouTube Raccoon Guy from Nova Scotia: James Blackwood.

      2. Leslie: I don’t intentionally feed the little masked bandits, except for leaving a little out in the dead of winter. Otherwise, they sneak up and eat the cat food before I get it in at night. I flatter myself if I think I am actually having an impact on the population! Our area is a wildlife haven.

        Incidentally, in Idaho, the only rabies virus strain present is the bat-associated strain. Of much more realistic concern is the spread of a nasty roundworm in their droppings.

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