Friday, November 17, 2017

'Tis the season to be busy

First, the obligatory family photos of the Alabama branch of the rhymeswithplague clan, the mama in that branch being our daughter. Here she is with her older son (center) and his father, her husband of nearly 25 years:


The occasion was the Chamber Winds concert at the university our grandson attends, in which he is co-principal French Horn player at the ripe old age of 17.

Next, here is our daughter with her younger son one day later. This time the occasion was the annual winter concert in Birmingham of the All-County Bands and Choirs from Elementary, Middle, and High Schools in Jefferson County, Alabama. Our grandson was one of the trumpet players in the High School band. Our daughter, an assistant principal in a middle school, helped accompany the Elementary Choir on her flute.


The preliminary obligatories having been completed, let us now move on to other subjects.

1. Today we received our first Christmas card of the season. It came all the way from the home of Michelle, Ken, and Rosie-Roo (their dog) in merrie olde England, where Michele (also known as our blogging friend All Consuming) created it herself. In other words, it is a treasure. Here's the outside:


...and here's the inside:


Michelle created lots of other Christmas cards too, and you can see them by clicking right here. While you're doing that, I shall be trying to figure out (a) why Michelle would send me a Rorschach test for Christmas and (b) why it contains not only some very cute birds but also some bird droppings, Santa Claus sticking his tongue out, Jeff Goldblum in his signature role as The Fly, Chucky the Clown, and possibly a panoramic view of the Battle of Balaclava from the Crimean War in 1854.

2. We are taking care of our older son's dog, Chester, until Sunday evening. Chester arrived last night from his home an hour away so that the humans in his family could get an early start today on a quick trip to North Carolina to see this weekend's football game at Duke University and bring their son back home with them for the Thanksgiving holiday. Chester is a mix of Labrador and Dachshund and is a rich chocolate brown color. Here he is resting on our leather couch because he is plumb tuckered out from all the excitement.


That's enough for now. I'm plumb tuckered out too even though I haven't done very much at all when compared to this lady.

Chester sends doggy regards to Rosie-Roo.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Boo-boos in media, example #17,643

Somebody went to a lot of trouble creating this poster and putting it up on Facebook on the anniversary of last year's presidential election, but the numbers are just plain wrong:


Actually, the 2016 electoral college vote in the U.S. presidential election was:

Donald Trump 304
Hillary Clinton 227 (not 277)
Others 4

Others? You betcha. Keep reading.

As we all should know by now, the U.S. does not elect a president by popular vote. If it did, Hillary Clinton would be president. Instead, each state chooses a slate of electors who meet later in the 50 state capitals as an Electoral College that actually selects a president and vice-president.

In the Electoral College vote last December 19, for the first time since 1808, multiple faithless electors voted against their pledged qualified presidential candidate. Five Democrats rebelled in Washington and Hawaii, while two Republicans rebelled in Texas. Two Democratic electors, one in Minnesota and one in Colorado, were replaced after voting for Bernie Sanders and John Kasich, respectively. Electors in Maine conducted a second vote after one of its members voted for Sanders; the elector then voted for Clinton. Likewise, for the first time since 1896, multiple faithless electors voted against the pledged qualified vice presidential candidate.

One Clinton elector in Colorado attempted to vote for John Kasich. The single vote was ruled invalid by Colorado state law, the elector was dismissed, and an alternative elector was sworn in who voted for Clinton.

One Clinton elector in Minnesota voted for Bernie Sanders as President and Tulsi Gabbard as vice president; his votes were discarded and he was replaced by an alternate who voted for Clinton.

One Clinton elector in Maine voted for Bernie Sanders; this vote was invalidated as "improper" and the elector subsequently voted for Clinton.

Four Clinton electors in Washington did not vote for Clinton (three votes went to Colin Powell, and one to Faith Spotted Eagle).

One Trump elector in Georgia resigned before the vote rather than vote for Trump and was replaced by an alternate.

Two Trump electors in Texas did not vote for Trump (one vote went to John Kasich, one to Ron Paul); one elector did not vote for Pence and instead voted for Carly Fiorina for Vice-President; a third resigned before the vote rather than vote for Trump and was replaced by an alternate.

One Clinton elector in Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders.

Of the faithless votes, Colin Powell and Elizabeth Warren were the only two to receive more than one; Powell received three electoral votes for President and Warren received two for Vice President. Receiving one valid electoral vote each were Sanders, John Kasich, Ron Paul and Faith Spotted Eagle for President, and Carly Fiorina, Susan Collins, Winona LaDuke and Maria Cantwell for Vice President. Sanders is the first Jewish American to receive an electoral vote for President. LaDuke is the first Green Party member to receive an electoral vote, and Paul is the third member of the Libertarian Party to do so, following the party's presidential and vice-presidential nominees each getting one vote in 1972. It is the first election with faithless electors from more than one political party. The seven people to receive electoral votes for president were the most in a single election since 1796, and more than any other election since the enactment of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.

And now, as radio newscaster Paul Harvey used to say, you know the rest of the story.

Yours for accuracy in media,
rhymeswithplague


Thursday, November 9, 2017

I spent Saturday afternoon with a few thousand of my closest friends

...at a college football game over in Alabama. Here are some of the highlights:










For those who were wondering, our team soundly defeated the other team. The final score was 59 to 23.