Are you sick of the boring: “Happy Birthday” or “Today is your birthday” well if you are you can sing this birthday song that I made up yesterday and sang to my wife this morning.

Hooray You’re not Dead the DaTechGuy Birthday Song!
(Sung to the tune of three blind mice)

Hooray you’re not Dead!
Hooray you’re not dead!
You haven’t died yet!
You haven’t died yet!♫

You’re birthday’s come and you’re still here
But the future isn’t exactly clear
So let’s raise a glass and give a cheer
Hooray your not dead!

By:  Pat Austin

Shadows on the Teche plantation, New Iberia

SHREVEPORT —   As Zilla noted, the Boss is at CPAC and is covering all things politics, so I’m going to veer away from politics today. Living in Louisiana with a special legislative session underway, there is no shortage of political topics here, but while our legislators wreck our budget and cut funding to higher education and the other likely targets, I’m going to digress and talk about one of the positive reasons to live in Louisiana.

We have a lot of festivals!  We love to eat and to have fun!  Louisiana is absolutely beautiful in the spring!  Put all that together and we have the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival in April!  Books and literary festivals are right up my alley: I love them!  I love book bazaars, book festivals, book fairs, the whole thing.

How perfect is this event?!  It will be in New Iberia in the spring which is in south Louisiana, below Lafayette. The festival is named for local son James Lee Burke who set his Dave Robicheaux series in New Iberia.  I’ve been a fan of his Dave Robicheaux character for years.  In fact, that’s one of the things that drew me to Michael Henry’s books; his Willie Mitchell character reminded me a lot of Dave Robicheaux.

Nearly every event at Books Along the Teche looks enticing.  On Friday, April 6, the festival starts at 9 a.m. with a food tasting and everyone knows Louisiana food is fantastic and Louisiana cooks reign.  In the afternoon there is lunch at Dave Robicheaux’s favorite cafeteria and then a tour of Iberia parish featuring Dave’s “haunts and jaunts.”

Louisiana author Ernest Gaines will be the featured guest this year and on Saturday afternoon he will lead a reading and then host a question and answer session.  Gaines is the author of A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, among many other works.  The film adaptation of Miss Jane Pittman will be featured in a free screening Friday afternoon.  Now, how cool would it be to meet Ernest Gaines!

What is also at the top of my list is the Jazz it Up opening reception Friday night featuring a Cochon de Lait and a jazz band but best of all it will be held at Shadows on the Teche, the plantation home of Weeks Hall who was a friend of Lyle Saxon and a fascinating character!  A visit to this plantation is on my bucket list.

Shadows-on-the-Teche was the home of the Weeks family. Construction began in 1831 and was completed 1834 for David Weeks and his wife, Mary Clara Conrad Weeks.  According to Richard Lewis, curator of visual arts at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans, the land was granted to Weeks’s father, William,  in 1792 through a Spanish land grant.  William continued to purchase property throughout the area and eventually accumulated over 2,000 acres.

David Weeks and his father grew some cotton but focused primarily on sugar cane in the early 1820s. William retained carpenter James Bedell and mason Jeremiah Clark to build the Shadows but he died before the house was completed. When his widow remarried, she kept her property separate from that of her second husband. When she died the plantation passed to her son, William F. Weeks who died in 1895; then it passed to his daughters, one of whom was Lily Weeks Hall.  She died in 1918 and her son, William Weeks Hall returned to the plantation from Paris.  He acquired all family shares and at the age of 25 became the sole owner of the plantation.

Weeks Hall spent the rest of his life restoring the plantation to its original grandeur.  He used family papers and a complete set of construction records to achieve this, according to Richard Lewis in his book, Robert W. Tebbs: Photographer to Architects.  Architects Richard Koch (1889-1971) and Charles R. Armstrong (d. 1947) were retained to restore the home “to its 1830s appearance.”  When Weeks Hall died in 1959 he bequeathed the home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Koch and Samuel Wilson, Jr. did restoration work for the National Trust in 1961 and since then the gardens have also been restored.

The festival will also feature an Academic Symposium in which Professor of English at University of Lafayette, Dr. Mary Ann Wilson will present Ode to a Lost World: James Lee Burke’s Tin Roof Blowdown. She says “the title works on many levels as will my presentation pointing out the deeply moral vision of Burke as he confronts the trauma and tragedy of environmental and human disasters like Katrina all the while telling a crackerjack detective story.”

If I’m feeling brave I might even join in on the Bouree lessons, but I know from experience that playing Bouree with a bunch of Cajuns can be a risky proposition!

But seriously, If I were dreaming up the perfect festival, this would be it.

New Iberia is beautiful all of the time but especially so in the spring.  This could not be a more perfect trip and a perfect escape from winter.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport. Follow on Instagram @patbecker25.

As you should know by now every year, even back when we were at the Windam (other than when they were stolen at the airport) I bring Cannoli from Massachusetts to give out at CPAC. It’s become a tradition as attested by this video from CPAC 2012 when we were in DC proper.

A few years ago Scottie Neil Hughes shot a video concerning said cannoli extolling their virtue, but last year she didn’t get one and ended up shooting a video calling out both me and Kellyanne Conway of the Whitehouse for getting a Cannoli when she didn’t. Even an offer of a loan of a DaTechGuy fedora was not a substitute so we were determined to make sure Scottie got her cannoli and made it a point to bring an extra full sized cannoli in addition to the 40 mini cannoli (yes we bring the small ones) and left it in the fridge in the room until we spotted Scottie.

Meanwhile the cannoli were, as always well received as per this video from the producer at Chosen Generation

By Friday the last cannoli was gone and all that was left was to wait for Scottie to present her with the last one. Unfortunately Saturday afternoon Scottie informed us that other commitments prevented her from coming this year which meant we had an extra cannoli, who to give it to?

Well the solution was right before me in the form of Vito from the Vito and Vito show (interview to be uploaded) who has appearing as a guest on the inaugural broadcast of “The Other Podcast” hosted by Stacy McCain and William Hoge of Hogewash which was being done in my room. Who better to taste test a cannoli than a Sicilian from Brooklyn?

I’ll admit that Vito doesn’t have the same video effect as Scottie but if a cannoli meets the standard of a Sicilian from Brooklyn you know it’s worthwhile.

So the next time you see DaTechGuy offering Cannoli at an event be aware that the Cannoli offered by DaTechGuyblog are Sicilian from Brooklyn approved.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far:

Sunday Feb 25th

CPAC 2018 Dutch Kitchen Cannoli Sicilian from Brooklyn Approved

Saturday Feb 24th

CPAC 2018 / Don’t give a VUK Meet the Voter the Media Narrative says Does Exist

Friday Feb 23rd

Voices at CPAC 2018 Senator Ted Cruz Answers Two Question for DaTechGuy

Thurs Feb 22nd

We Interrupt CPAC 2018 for CNN and their Gun Control Galaxy Quest Moment
Voices of CPAC 2018: Ron from PA

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon

If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.

Consider subscribing. 7 more subscribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/server.

Choose a Subscription level

Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Yesterday I highlighted my short walking interview with Senator Ted Cruz before his speech, today as I wake up just before 9 AM after a very good 1:30 AM breakfast at Bob and Edith’s Diner in Arlington VA I want to tell you a story about what, in my opinion is the most telling and important interview I have done so far in the 60 videos I’ve shot since hitting CPAC.

This CPAC my sons are here as assistants and have, unlike me, taken advantage of the time to explore DC.  Wednesday the younger suggested a meal at a local place called VUK a combination pizza place and pinball arcade in Bethesda.

Machines at VUK

I’ve covered Pinball events and will be doing a big one in MA in about 4 months so it was a good fit but I filed it in the back of my mind too busy doing what I do here to consider it.  Thursday I was with Deb Heine (PJ Media, more from here later)  when John Hawkins and Sierra Marly swung by mentioning a road trip to a Brazilian
restaurant with a group.  The boys were still on the road and I gave them a call when they reminded me of our planned dinner at VUK which I had completely forgotten.

So, with some regret I declined and when my young men pulled up I joined them in the car and as my oldest had been driving a bit, took the wheel to head for Bethesda.  After about an hour in traffic we arrived.

If you are a pinball person let me highly recommend VUK as a place to go.  It is right across from a local multi story garage so parking isn’t an issue.  The Pizza is NY style, sold by the slice from 18-20″ pies that are available.  They are not only delicious but priced very reasonably,(particularly when compared to the restaurants at National Harbor).   The machine selection was excellent including classics like Creature From the Black Lagoon and two Jersey Jack machines, the Hobbit and Dialed IN and all the games are only 50 cents.

The Hobbit and Creature from the black Lagoon at VUK

The drink selection is limited to bottled beers, honest teas and some craft sodas, but again they are offered at reasonable prices and complement the experience.  There is seating for just under 30 but they also have a function room upstairs which I think might make an interesting CPAC event (Media vs the bloggers pinball next year?).  If you want to kick back with some Pizza, Pinball and beer, VUK (which stands for Vertical Up Kicker for those who are unfamiliar with pinball)  is the place to do it.

Within a few minutes of hitting the machines I realized what a good idea this had been.  All of the tension of being on the go and constant work disappeared after a just a few minutes of playing the silver ball, but the real game changer of the night came completely by accident.

Still got the touch

When my sons picked me up I was still in my suit, wearing my press credential with one camera around my neck and a second on my monopod.  It was that along with my grey beard,  rather than my fedora and scarf,  that made me stand out like a sore thumb and peaked the interest of a party of five sitting the window two tables away who asked who I was.  I explained I was down to cover CPAC, talked about my previous pinball coverage and struck up a conversation with these rather pleasant folks.

It stuck me at the time it would be a good story to contrast their answers to the questions I’ve been asking everyone at CPAC so I asked if any of them would consent to an interview.  Of the five one agreed.  Meet Lea

She is right about the quality of both the pizza and the pinball (and I played that total nuclear annihilation machine she talked about. I’d not seen it before, it’s a unique layout and a fun game) and if you do essential oils I’d give her online business a look but the real story of the night was her answers to my CPAC questions that I’ve been asking everyone here.

Now a person like my self who has covered angry mobs last year, and is constantly bathed in the political fight, not to mention the media narrative of absolute Trump / GOP hatred and constantly in the company of activists both at home and at CPAC,  might expect a Democrat woman of color living in a blue state to give answers fitting the us vs them narrative, particularly if filmed and in the presence of her friends.

She did not.

She gave the President mixed marks, complemented him on keeping campaign promises that he made to his people, noted that as a Democrat she’d like to see some more moderate moves. Her answers had none of the rancor or the division that the media has pushed on us for the year or that I’ve seen from angry activists. They were completely reasonable answers that would not have been out of place several decades ago in a saner time when I remembered people could disagree and get along. In other words they reflected who she is, a normal American trying to get by whose primary focus is real life instead of manufactured outrage.

This told me two things that are vital to understanding election 2018 and 2020.

Despite what our media friends are trying to sell us, Regular Democrats, even democrats in a blue place like Maryland are not wedded to the Peloxi/CNN/MSNBC line and are seeing this president for what he is rather than what they are being told he is.

People like Lea are winnable and the media narrative is all about convincing us she is not.

Now you might think I’m making too much of this one interview, but remember, she is a young person, with young friends (I would place the age range of the group from low to mid 20’s to one outlier in the mid 30’s) living in an Twitter/facebook , internet social media age. Furthermore the MSM has been telling me that a young woman of color like her has nothing but disdain for conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular.

If you believe them she shouldn’t exist but there she is and if there is one Lea in a county of 300+ million there are likely hundreds of thousands of others out there not wedded to the MSM narrative of doom and gloom.

It’s a story that isn’t being found, but it can be, all you have to do is go outside the media bubble and see what is there, if one is willing to look.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far:

Saturday Feb 24th

CPAC 2018 / Don’t give a VUK Meet the Voter the Media Narrative says Does Exist

Friday Feb 23rd

Voices at CPAC 2018 Senator Ted Cruz Answers Two Question for DaTechGuy

Thurs Feb 22nd

We Interrupt CPAC 2018 for CNN and their Gun Control Galaxy Quest Moment
Voices of CPAC 2018: Ron from PA

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon

If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.

Consider subscribing. 7 more subscribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/server.

Choose a Subscription level

Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Life is better with dogs. I should know, since I have a whole family of six of them living with me and my husband, kids, and cats! Here are a few tales of heroic dogs to brighten your weekend…

It was 4:30 am when a sleeping couple was awakened by their two dogs recently. The dogs were tugging on them and nudging them and insisting on being taken out, which was not something these dogs typically did in the wee hours. These dogs had something important to show their humans, and thank God that their humans eventually complied! Via SunnySkyz:

Meet Adam and Eva, two labradoodles who are being credited with saving the life of a lost elderly woman.

dogs save woman from freezing to death
Credit: J. Scott Park

The dogs woke their owners up at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday. They continuously tugged on their owner’s sleeve, insisting to be let outside.

“(Adam) never tugged on my clothes before, so I was a cautious about letting them out because I didn’t know if there was anything out there,” Lonnie Chester said.

Before Lonnie could open the door all the way, Adam and Eva squeezed past and bolted to his truck outside. Next to it was an elderly woman in her late 80s on the ground, freezing with nothing on but a night gown.

dogs save woman from freezing to death
Credit: J. Scott Park

“She looked up at me and said, ‘I’m so cold,'” Lonnie said. “I have no idea how long she had been out there. She must have been terrified.”

The temperature around the time was about 9 degrees in Norvell Township, Michigan.

Shortly after rescue crews arrived, the woman’s family came to the house and asked if they had found their lost loved one. The family was looking for her but did not see her as she was lying in the snow in the near total darkness.

The rest of the story and see related video HERE

Talk about courage under fire! Meet Chips the Husky/Shepard Mix who has been posthumously awarded for his extraordinary bravery in World War II:

NY Post

He was a very good boy.

A hero US Army dog who ran nose-first into a machine gun fire in World War II and took out a shooter by the throat was recognized with Britain’s highest honor for animal bravery Monday.

Westchester County pooch Chips, a German shepherd-husky cross, was awarded the Dickin Medal for his courageous actions during the appropriately titled Operation Husky.

“It has taken over seven decades, but Chips can now finally take his place in the history books as one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the US Army,” said Jan McLoughlin, director general of the the UK’s People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, which created the award in 1943.

Chips was just a regular family pet living with the Wren family in Pleasantville when the Army asked civilians to donate their dogs to the war effort. Some 40,000 patriotic pooches were signed up, but only 10,000 made the cut — including Chips.

Upon landing at the beach in Sicily in 1943, Chips’ platoon immediately came under fire — and the courageous canine broke free of his leash and ran into an enemy machine-gun nest.

“There was an awful lot of noise and the firing stopped. Then I saw one soldier come out of the door with Chips at his throat. I called him off before he could kill the man,” his handler, Pvt. John Rowell, later recalled — adding that three other Italian soldiers then emerged with their hands over their heads.

He suffered some injuries in the melee, but sniffed out another 10 enemy combatants later that day — leading to their surrender, according to the Washington Post.

Chips survived his three and a half years in the war, and was able to return home to Pleasantville to live out his days as a war hero.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart for his efforts, but they were later rescinded because they’re not actually meant for dogs. MORE HERE

I had a hero dog, her name was Maggie and she was a Golden Retriever who had been abused before animal rescuers saved her and put her up for adoption and she was brought home by my dad. Maggie was here with me seventeen years ago today when my father died. They are both on my mind today. Maggie always had a sadness about her after we lost my dad, but she was the sweetest friend you could ever hope for. A few years after my dad died, while I was very pregnant with my first child, I had somehow ended up asleep on my back and I developed a bad nosebleed (I had a lot of nosebleeds during that pregnancy, but if I was awake it wasn’t a big deal). I only became aware of it because Maggie kept nudging me and licking me until I woke up, choking on blood. I believe Maggie knew something was wrong and I think she spared my baby and I from what could have become a dangerous situation! After my daughter was born, Maggie always stood guard over her bassinet in my room, and did the same when my son was born a few years later. She was a gentle companion for my young children and one of the best friends I ever had. She died some years ago of old age, but she lives forever in the hearts of everyone who knew her.

I have had a lot of special dogs over the years, including my dog Oreo, who once got between me and a neighbor’s vicious dog who had gotten out and came after me. That other dog was twice Oreo’s size but my dog got all up in that other dog’s face barking his “big dog” bark until the other dog finally forgot about wanting to get me, backed off, and went back home. Oreo also once stared down a humongous coywolf who was in a neighbor’s yard while I was out walking him. Again, Oreo put himself in front of me and between myself and something that maybe could have hurt me. Oreo is not exactly a smart dog; he often gets into all kinds of ridiculous mischief, but my memories of his bravery will almost always get him out of trouble for whatever he has just chewed up or peed on.

Thank God for dogs! If you have a special dog story you want to share, I would love to read it below in the comments section!

Oreo, my brave dog


MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana is expecting snow this week.  Say what?

I know people in the north must laugh at us.  The inevitable “bread and milk” memes showing empty grocery store shelves come to mind.   I went to the grocery store yesterday out of necessity rather than any snow-minded panic, and the cashier lamented how busy they had been all day.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

“Snow in the forecast for Monday night,” I explained.

She had no idea. “That explains it,” she said.

All the jokes are true.  The meteorologists on the local stations broke the news Friday afternoon that models were setting up for a “wintry mix” which would “quickly turn over to snow” and that “accumulations of one to three inches are possible.”

Panic ensues.

My husband is from Iowa and he just laughs.  He is one of those who walked twenty miles up hill both ways in five feet of snow to get to school; he milked cows after walking through veritable blizzards to get to the barn and chipped ice out of frozen water troughs.  You know the type.

But around here if you say ice, we close the schools.  We can’t drive in that stuff.  The rural kids that ride school buses will freeze, not to mention that rural roads and bridges ice over.

This is a true story: one day about three years ago we were in school when it started to snow; it was about 10:30 in the morning, right before lunch.  Not big, heavy wet snowflakes but just flurries.  They closed the schools parish wide.  By the time I got to the interstate five minutes away it was all over.

Overabundance of precaution, they called it.

As soon as the local news said the “S” word Friday, everyone is on pins and needles checking Facebook and the news sites for notice of school closure.  Parents are stressing out about whether or not to find babysitters or take of work.  The school superintendent says he will make the call sometime Monday afternoon (Monday we are closed for MLK day).  This delay in making the call is angering parents as meteorologists speak with increasing confidence of “a winter event” and measurable precipitation.

Snow days are a rare treat for us down here.  While the Midwest and northern climes accept shoveling snow and not parking on the street because of snow plows as a part of winter life, we don’t have those issues down here.  So when we can get enough snow to scoop up in our hands, or look outside and see a blanket of wet, white snow on the lawn, it is in fact an event.  The high humidity here means we have heavy, wet snow, not powdery light stuff.

I can predict with near certainty that by Monday afternoon all of the news stations will have their intrepid reporters out standing by the perfectly dry interstate to report on road conditions.  Once the event occurs there will be tiny snowmen on the hoods of cars or the messy, muddy ones that required every bit of snow in the yard to create.

It could be a magical day.

Or it could just be rain.  Then we will feel robbed and cheated.

All of that bread and milk stowed away for nothing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

by baldilocks

Remember that old warning that came from your parents if you said a bad word?

“If you say that again, I’ll wash your mouth out with soap.” Of course, my various parental units never had occasion to give me that warning because I was Miss Goodie Two Shoes, baby. Now might be a different story.

Anyway, some kids are preemptively putting soap in their mouths and swallowing it; not because they feel guilty for using four-letter words; not because they feel dirty inside.

But, just because.

Spring cleaning may be several months away, but laundry detergent is making big headlines this week as a dangerous stunt called the “Tide Pod Challenge” is going viral on YouTube and other social media platforms.

The challenge is for participants –- primarily teens and young adults, in the videos making the rounds –- to put the pods into their mouths, sometimes even chew them, and then post videos of what happens. Some of these individuals experience foaming at the mouth and severe coughing spells after consuming a pod.

It’s more than just a strange behavior, it’s potentially deadly. Here are some facts about the craze to help

friends and family protect teens from the hazardous experiment.

What are Tide pods?

Tide pods, the brand’s version of the popular laundry detergent pods, are small packets of detergent designed to dissolve while washing clothes. Each pod contains pre-measured, concentrated detergent levels.

The outside wrapping of a tide pod is made of polyvinylalcohol (PVA), a water soluble plastic compound. For the same reason that this packet dissolves in the machine washing laundry [sic], it can also dissolve in a person’s mouth — leading to the immediate release and absorption of the contents.

Even if the stuff couldn’t kill you, who would want to put soap in their mouths? The whole reason that the old-school fake threat was so useful was that soap tastes horrible.

But, as a friend pointed out, we old people did crazy things when we were kids. My “crazy” usually involved biking/rolling skating down a steep incline. Helmets and knee-pads never crossed our minds or those of our parents.

In short, old-school crazy usually involved fun.

But I guess You Tube fame is the new fun.

May they all remove themselves from my lawn with prejudice. As a matter of fact, I don’t even want them on my street. That much stupidity is probably more contagious than this year’s flu.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

I’m old enough to remember when seeing a piece on Pink Pussy Hats being considered exclusionary and offensive to leftists like this was a sign that you were reading a parody or comedy site

Not anymore.  From  The Detroit Free Press

But this time when marchers take to the streets in cities from Lansing to Las Vegas, there could be fewer pink pussyhats in the crowds.  

The reason: The sentiment that the pink pussyhat excludes and is offensive to transgender women and gender nonbinary people who don’t have typical female genitalia and to women of color because their genitals are more likely to be brown than pink.

“I personally won’t wear one because if it hurts even a few people’s feelings, then I don’t feel like it’s unifying,” said Phoebe Hopps, founder and president of Women’s March Michigan and organizer of anniversary marches Jan. 21 in Lansing and Marquette.

Of course I’m also old enough to remember when a story about thousands marching in Washington hats resembling vaginas would have by definition been considered parody.

Via the Canada Free Press who comment:

The hat was so politically correct that it’s suddenly politically incorrect.  Congratulations progressives, you’ve outdone yourselves.

The world is out to prove my pined tweet correct

by baldilocks

Because thieves need to be soiling their underwear.

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

A man in Washington created a genius device to catch pesky thieves who steal packages from front porches.

Jaireme Barrow, from Tacoma, Washington, was tired of people stealing his expensive Jeep parts and decided he ‘wanted to even the playing field.’

He created one of the earliest models trap – using 12-gauge shotgun blanks, fishing line, bricks, a wooden box-like, a small box, aluminum carrying vessel for the blanks, a small plate, and a cardbox box – and has filmed numerous wannabe thieves.

But the original model was not fool proof, and Barrow had to make a sign that said ‘Package armed,’
Nevertheless, numerous thieves can be seen being caught in the action, with one unfortunate soul even stumbling over himself trying to escape the popping.

From that, Barrow decided to launch The Blank Box, revising his old box method for something much simpler and sell-able.

For roughly $50-$70, people can get their own safety boxes and replace with extra blanks for an additional $2.99.

Thieves thwarted and only feelings, along with dignity – such as it is – get hurt. And, it’s technically not a trap, but a noise maker.

The contrast between the attitudes of the thieves and their would-be victim isn’t lost: one group tries to take that which does not belong to them. One individual, in trying to find a way to protect his property, creates a way to generate wealth.

And there’s some extra entertainment in the piece: proof that, even with double entendres, Brits and Americans speak a different language.

He even sells t-shirts that say ‘don’t touch my box.’

Not quite.


However, with recent revelations about the high and mighty, either slogan on a t-shirt is useful.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Two weeks ago DaWife, DaYoungest and myself took a day away from political coverage for a day trip to Western Massachusetts. The Primary Stop, Yankee Candle.

There is the Museum

The Mancave

The Candy Store

The Bavarian Castle

The Chocolate:

There are trains and of course a large selection of candles

People come from all over to visit and see things like king candle


Our next stop was Mystic Pinball but before that we grabbed some very good pizza in Turner Falls

And then came the pinball

This was a great time at a good price (and a lot cheaper than Yankee Candle I can tell you) so if you are in western MA you’ll want to add it to your list of things to do.

You might ask, with so much news why am I posting on candles and pinball, my answer: Everyone talks about unity and coming together, the easiest way to do so is to share things we can enjoy together outside of the political world. Life is more than a political fight and the less you believe that the more you need a road trip like this to remember what real life actually is.