Category Archives: blog housekeeping

My 3rd Lincolndemocrat Post from March 8, 2006

I probably haven’t reread this old post … http://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=8 … for twelve years but its offers a fascinating window on my schizophrenic politics. I wrote it not long after claiming the lincolnDEMOCRAT domain name. I was through with the Republicans. Like a woman scorned I would hurl invective at them for turning my family’s long time party into a cult financed by the Kochs.

This post describes my first precinct caucus as a democrat. Its rather funny. I’d forgotten how keen Democrat true believers were. I was the lone voice of reason on a resolution to impeach……not a Donald Trump…….but George W. Bush. When the Fox talking heads describe Dems as being hell-bent on impeaching Trump it is a charge that has precedent.

I’ve once again stuck my toe into the GOP but only to wage a civilian equivalent of the battle that earned my Grandfather a Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty. I may not deserve it. I have little appetite for returning to a Republican precinct caucus that will be even more inhospitable than the ones I departed from in 2006. Trump and the NRA have replaced the Koch’s as cult leader.

search/paranoia/transparancy

I’ll be deleting the most interesting link in this post in a couple days but for my eight loyal readers I will share this deep dive into what I look for online. I found my search history when Google sent me some info to reassure their hundreds of Google dependents that their search history function is not intended to make them vulnerable to predatory businesses and the forces of darkness. I wasn’t particularly concerned about that. I spend very little time going places that embarrass me and I’m pretty resistant to commerce and paranoia online.

This nonchalance was not always the case. Ten to fifteen years ago I did visit a sampling of porno sites partly for natural curiosity and partly for prurient interest. I was mostly repelled and incredulous by what I found in them. I learned a lot about how much personal indelicacy some people were willing to share online either voluntarily or through trickery. There is a reason that Hollywood spends millions of dollars to shoot sex scenes with hundreds of techies at hand to make it look appetizing. I doubt if any of the people sharing their home sex movies understood the potential future reach of the Internet’s technology and anticipated that it could one day identify them based on a massive database of faces. “Jimmy, I just did a data base search on Mommy’s face and OMG look at this!!!!”

Back in the day I typically erased my search history after skulking through porno sites. I haven’t bothered to erase this history for better than a decade.

The last search of mine that sounds anything like porno was a quest for people doing “naked cartwheels.” I wanted to draw a humorous graphic for my last column in the Reader before hanging up my pulpit to run for the School Board.

As I said I’ll erase my search history in a couple of days. I have no idea if it opens up more ways for meanies to mess with me. But I’m just a small fly in the ointment now, not a President with a leaky ****hole above his chin. Take a brief look at the stuff I’ve looked up on Google.

Sorry. I deleted this. All heck broke loose on my computer after I published this. It may be coincidence But I am not inclined to take chances.

No, it wasn’t the Russians

After fussing around with old posts behind the scenes of my blog I discovered some text that mysteriously got stuck where I didn’t want it. I could see it on the blog but not in the actual post it was in as I uploaded it. I removed it from behind the scenes and VOILA! the missing posts miraculously reappeared. Hallelejah!

Fake Crises! Unlike the current Presidency.

Are Russians messing with my blog?

I don’t know but my blog gets more hits from Russia than any other nation besides the United States. At least six different posts have dissapeared from the blog today. I see them all on my internal data. I can even link to them. So, here they are. These links will work but I have no idea why they aren’t showing up in the order I uploaded them to the blog. Darned Ruskies. They must think I’m a Hillary Clinton fan. I did vote for her. The other guy was nuts.

HARRY’S DIARY 7-25-19

The Foreword to Harry’s proposed book on his experiences with Education

Sad Sack with a beard and a bit about the Superintendent Search

Blood letting, bug eating and bludgeoning in general

Stuff Harry’s been reading lately

8 Reasons you want to buy Harry’s book

Two steps back

Darn it. Last night I picked up my cell phone and punched in the beginings of a new post to finish this morning. When I closed my cell phone in the dark I noticed that a lot of the most recent posts had been checked. I acted too quickly to make sense of what the checks meant but it turns out I marked every post back to July 2nd as trash. They have now disappeared. I can’t recall what they were all about. The last one I recall putting up yesterday included links to four stories I had recently read. Oops.

Since I count on this as a record of my daily activities its like tearing out five days of my diary. Most annoying.

On my mark, Get set…….

I have a week to organize myself for my school board campaign. I’ll have two shots at a Reader column before its publisher cuts me off as a candidate. I sent one in today. It contains a cartoon I drew borrowing heavily from a children’s illustration. I figure that I’ve had a year to undo the damage Donald Trump inflicted on my school board campaign in 2017 by leaving Duluth’s outraged voters under the mistaken impression that by voting against me they were voting against Trump. Actually, I have enjoyed my vacation from the School Board and the Superintendent. Thank you Donald.

Here’s the cartoon. You will have to wait until the Reader comes out to see how its used.

Since the blog will be my daily contact with voters I’ve gotten interested in seeing how much attention it attracts by analyzing this year’s blog stats. Although less than half complete June is by far the most visited month for a long time, maybe ever. I’ve averaged 4,674 page views a day. And each “pageview” includes twenty posts.

In looking at my blog I checked out the very first post from March of 2006 where I declared my separation from the Republican Party. I also just discovered a post meant to be a quick reference to finding stuff on my first website: www.snowbizz.com.

Most visited posts of June

My most visited posts of June, 2019, so far:

June 4, 7,732 pageviews Hot Air (a SKY TV ad)

June 4, 6,657 pageviews IF I HAVE TO LIE TO GET ELECTED I DON’T WANT TO BE ELECTED

June 6, 10,538 pageviews MOST VISITED POSTS OF 2019

June 10, 10,548 pageviews five posts. No idea if the most popular was an obit about a good Republican, Disappointing Street Maintenance or our local opera company. Try the Obit.

June 16, 5,302 pageviews five or sis posts. Again I’m not sure if any one of them was the chief draw. Trump took a couple of hits. The last one of the day was AN EXAMPLE OF MY CELL PHONE MEMO PAD. Its a random collection of notes I’ve written to myself that might be worthwhile prompts for blog posts a book or a Not Eudora Column. I’d be very surprised if that was much of a draw.

June 27, 4,692 pageviews WHEN LOSING IS HEALTHY AND DEMOCRATIC

June 28, 5,302 pageviews ARNE CARLSON – A DECENT REPUBLICAN Gov. Carlson reacts to our cruelty at the border with a personal tale of just the opposite. When he was little and found himself alone in a foreign country where he could not speak the language.

June 29, 5,510 pageviews There are three posts in succession that combined to draw this attention. The last was: WHY I WILL VOTE FOR ANY DEMOCRAT, FLAWED OR OTHERWISE,…

June 30, 11,474 pageviews I can only assume that the three previous posts alluded to for June 29th drew double the pageviews from the previous day.

To qualify (for now) as a “Most visited post” 4,000 pageviews a day are required.

Most visited posts of 2019 by month

Most visited Posts of May

Much of what I post is preliminary, scanty, and off the top of my head. But sometimes I post things that are worthy of more consideration. I’m going to start highlighting not so much what I value but posts which seem to have generated more interest based on increased visits or “page views.”

So here are what I believe to be my most visited posts of May 2019

May 3 – page 6,409 pageviews JESUS AND WASHINGTON, LONE WOLVES VS HERDS

May 14 – 9,794 pageviews I Double Dog Dare You to Call Me a Baby Killer

May 23 – 6,966 pageviews A FAILED TEACHER MAY TAKE ON A TEACHER OF PRINCIPALS

May 27 – 17,874 pageviews A MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE

NOTE ALSO: That visitors may be more interested in preceding posts. I don’t know what they are looking at for sure and because I sometimes upload entries late at night their visitor numbers are reflected in the next day’s numbers which I may use in lieu of that actual days numbers.

Writer’s Shock

The only writer’s block I ever suffered from was when I was afraid to write. My guide for this was the old maxim: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” In checking for the source of this quote google attributed it to my hero Abraham Lincoln although I also saw that Mark Twain might be a possibility for another attribution. So before I launch into the meat of this post a couple stray thoughts.

1st. In my case I had lousy handwriting which I used to disguise my poor spelling. When I was young I felt that spelling must be the proof of intelligence and as a poor speller I didn’t want to show my shortcomings by writing. What I had yet to learn was that the key, at least for me, to confident writing would be editing, editing, editing. Ironically, I was the “pronouncer” at our regional spelling bees for about fifteen years running.

2nd. Abe Lincoln, now famous for his literary skills, gave the public plenty of literary ammunition to confirm his foolishness. Perhaps, like in my case, this was a result of his extreme self consciousness about what he felt to be his impoverished education.

If anything when I stop writing here in the blog it leads to a build up and bloat of ideas. Its more of a shock than a block. To remove some of the Lincoln-like clutter, (He kept notes in his hat) of paper scraps, I now dash off ideas in my cell phone’s messaging ap. I lost hundreds of these notes when I replaced my phone nine months ago but in my new phone I’ve got several hundred new ones. Some of them may find their way into my future writing.

Over the past two weeks I’ve had about seven ideas for a new Not Eudora column that have made it to my messaging ap. I’ve chosen to write about space today for this week’s Reader. At the end of this post I’ll share the notes I may use in cobbling together today’s column. The deadline was moved up a day for the beginning of the summer run.

If I get it written I still hope to write something about my empty “baby killing” post from a couple days ago. Its no longer just me. Dim but self righteous Republicans are rousing a great sleeping beast with all their recent posturing about saving rape fetuses. Heaven forbid that future Supreme Court justices lose the children that they tried to impregnate their victims with.

Nuff of that:

Here’s the raw ore for today’s column. I hope I can refine it into something thought provoking: NOTE: I’ve made no changes. This is what my hastily written notes look like at 3 in the morning when I roll off my pillow to tap them into my cellphone

Continue reading

My aplogies to the WLSSD

The Western Lake Superior District is not the garbage and recycling company Waste Management that so disapointed me from January to April. Not surprisingly WLSSD was taken aback when they read an April 12 post complaining about their lousy service.

I got a very concerned email from the water treatment folks today seeking clarification and if possible a correction.

This is the email I just sent them:

WLSSD,

I am very sorry. I will make the change to Waste Management. WLSSD is next to it in my cell phone’s directory and I suspect that is why the acronym stuck in my head when I wrote that post.

I hope most of my readers saw my mistake but I will also post a correction for regular readers tonight in today’s posts.

My apologies
Harry

I am making the correction NOW. Tomorrow I am hauling last fall’s leaves to their compost site tomorrow! I don’t want to have to go wearing a disguise.

Civil Discourse

My chat with “Juan Percent” reminds me that I view all debate as an opportunity to share points of view to blow off the cloud of confusion. Here are some of my thoughts on this and some evidence:

All of us have a pretty wide latitude to say what we think. Even the Prince of Peace, in an era long before the First Amendment, could say alarming things like this: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26 But that does not prevent me from biting my tongue when I find someone else’s ideas infuriating, stupid, or worse.

My preferred reply to such a statement would be something to make them reconsider their statement. There are at least three overlapping reasons why I would want to reply thoughtfully.

1st. A smartass reply by me would only close their mind to any counterarguments of mine and thus confirm their opinions.
2nd. I suspect most people who offer a smart ass comment know full well its not a satisfactory argument.
3rd. I always liked Will Roger’s maxim “I never me a man I didn’t like.” Just because someone says something I object to doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be prepared to like him despite it.

None of this means that I will curb a sharp tongue when I think something needs to be addressed plainly. Jesus didn’t hesitate to use the cult-like ridicule of family loyalty to make his point either. Continue reading

Deferring to print

Yesterday I seem to have decided to put more emphasis on print over pixels. I took the “Glaciers?” post and turned it into a Not Eudora column for Duluth’s local tabloid The Reader. I told the Reader I would be trying to write weekly columns for them instead of every other week. I added that if that was too much they could publish the column I sent them the following week when they expected my contribution. I don’t know what they will decide to do with it but my head is full of ideas I’d like to see in print.

I work much harder to tighten up printed materials than most of my blog posts which are frequently short and therefor easier to edit. I haven’t attempted to average them but, other some long reveries of several thousand words, most of my posts are probably closer to letter-to-the-editor length 250 to 400 words. In Reader columns I strive for 800 words although my Sympathy for Ilhan column with its prologue was probably closer to 1,300 words. You could tell from the full version they crammed on a single page the week before last. They had failed to include seven paragraphs in their initial publication. You almost needed a magnifying glass to read it in the full version.

Anyway, the column I’ve just written is titled “Glaciers and Galaxies.” I took it from the local to the cosmic.

I may attempt to write a short blog post daily in the future with a similar intent to expanded for Reader columns or other print projects. I can’t predict if my blog output will stutter. Stay tuned.

One more reason why my loyal readers will remain reduced to 7

Yes, I lost a reader due to too much emphasis on the state of black America. My departed reader assured me that I had obviously been subjected to too much propaganda. Well, true to form the first of the New York Times pieces I will link to is about America’s new holocaust museum in Alabama. Duluth will be sending a delegation to this memorial as our infamous lynching is part of its story. If its mention of the treatment of an angry young wife who railed at her husband’s murderers is propaganda……well, I will continue to subject my readers to it.

The other article was a review of the book written by a reporter who covered Hillary Clinton for ten years right up to her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.

And this same author separately explains the advice she was given before writing a book. It was: read lots of books. Since I keep putting off authoring my own book/books I found the advice sensible.

And last night I sent in my next column to the Duluth Reader’s Submissions email. The column will be titled: Swallowing Ham’s Sandwich. I can’t link to it yet but it begins:

The story of Noah’s Ark begins in chapter six of Genesis. My grandsons would tell me that Chapter six was afraid of Chapter 7 for good reason. Why? Because 7-8-9.

It was the best of Times

The beginning of one of the few dozen novels I’ve read begins:

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” That’s how I feel now. My blog’s recent quiescence reflects my intense involvement with, reading the news, studying history, learning French, thinking about it all, all the while making sure not to neglect my family. If I was less preoccupied I’d be blogging like mad. I don’t even feel sorry for depriving my eight loyal readers. I’m sure they have enjoyed the vacation. Even when I lie in bed knitting together the many strands of my thinking I don’t feel too badly about my zipped fingers.

The past couple of days I’ve I’ve progressed in my French studies teasing out the elusive eliasons of the spoken language and developing enough vocabulary and grammar to imagine myself muddling along splendidly when I get to France five months from now. I better start making reservations.

Just now I was thinking of Dicken’s first words in A Tale of Two Cities and I came up with a useful corollary.

It was the best of times but don’t forget about the distressed and it was the worst of times but don’t be jealous of those who are doing better.

Putting aside Trump’s empty blue collar rhetoric I loath him because he only cares about himself. Despite his riches he can’t hide his envy of even richer plutocrats. Running for President was just another scheme to get richer which was spoiled by actually getting elected and facing the legal roadblocks to his corruptly getting richer in the swamp he poured more alligators into. Poor baby. He may even end up losing his billionaire status.

I have been accumulating blog material that I may never get around to pontificating about. I’ll just paste in a dozen stories from the New York Times, Guardian and Washington Post from the past few days that beg for our attention:

In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America

Sworn to secrecy, Trump’s history of using nondisclosure agreements

How the Party of Lincoln Became the Party of Racial Backlash

Why I left Fox News

A Riposte to European Superiority

And finally a story about the death of Linda Brown, nine years older than me, whose father helped integrate the Topeka Schools I would soon begin attending a short time later.

Today or tomorrow I mean to write my next “Not Eudora” column. So much to choose from but I’m leaning on talking about the old Western “Magnificent Seven” which I saw with my Grandsons……… It reminded me of this Statler Brother’s Song, lyrics below:

Lyrics here”

Everybody knows when you go to the show
You can’t take the kids along
You’ve gotta read the paper and know the code
Of G, PG and are and X
You gotta know what the movie’s about
Before you even go
Tex Ritter’s gone and Disney’s dead
The screen is filled with sex.

Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Ridin’ the range alone
Whatever happened to Gene and Tex
And Roy and Rex, the Durango Kid
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
His horse, plain as can be
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Has happened to the best of me.

Everbody’s tryin’ to make a comment
About our doubts and fears
True Grit’s the only movie
I’ve really understood in years
You gotta take your analyst along
To see if it’s fit to see
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Has happened to the best of me. Continue reading

Homophones

Damn again.

Thinking back on the last correction the word homophone popped into my head. It turns out that when I said homonym I probably meant homophone.

From some Internet Dictionary I found these two definitions:

Homophonesnoun: Each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling, e.g., new and knew. (or in my case breaks and brakes)

Homonyms; plural noun: Each of two or more words having the same spelling but different meanings and origins, e.g. pole and pole.

Where did my Sunday post go?

Ah poop! Or should I say “Professor Poopypants?”

I cranked out a quick post to address a complaint that I was giving short shrift to some school board candidates who had attended some portion of recent school board meetings even if they didn’t stick them out for the full, four “butt wearying” hours the meetings took to conclude.

But evidently as I rushed to wrap it up with a final note to the effect that I was in a hurry to see the movie “Captain Underpants” with my grandsons I must have deleted the post instead. In searching for it on my blog’s “dashboard” just now I discovered 165 previous posts in the “draft” stage that I never returned to finish. They are in effect wadded up pieces of paper that never made it to the wastebasket.

As to the stamina deficient candidates I may return to their Trump-like penchant for golf over policy and polity later but they can consider this fair warning that I will note their lethargy at some point in the future should they not manage to overcome it.

Oh, and as for Underpants? It was pretty good (Rotten Tomato’s audience score 65% – critics 85%) although I’ve must confess to having been a David Pilkey aficionado for a long time. Evidently he has abandoned his old website because its up for the highest bidder. As to his fetish for tighty-whiteys – I’ve been there too.

And don’t forget. Republicans have long considered me a RINO! Little did they know how appropriate that title was:

I never did manage to figure out a good riposte acronym to the Koch Brother propagandists who so savaged moderate republicans.

A month’s worth of blog material in a week…

…and I’m using my free time to garden?

This has happened a number of times since I got reelected to the School Board. Sometimes I drown my readers in verbiage. Sometimes I do a lot of cogitating and only half-heartedly attempt to keep up. I figure I have a whole summer before me that no one in their right mind will want to read about the Duluth Schools. (Then again I’m probably not in my right mind!) I will find time to do some catching up between picnics and barbecues. And then, Whoo-boy! Wait till school starts again after Labor Day. That’ll keep my fingers busy.

2,590 May readers to disappoint

As of ten seconds ago 2,590 people have visited my blog so far in May. Its not as impressive a number as it my seem.

I check my blog’s stats daily and they have changed glacially over the last ten years since Lincolndemocrat’s birth. But they have changed. In all of my first full year of blogging (2007) I had 9,937 “unique visitors.” So far in the first half of 2017 I’ve had 19,794 such visitors. At year’s end I should have a four fold increase in unique visitors over my first year.

But that statistic is very misleading. Most of my “visitors” just take a quick 30 second peek in to look before flitting off to more interesting websites. My hard core readers (all of them anonymous to me) are the ones who read for an hour-long stretch or more. For years those readers have numbered 100 each month. So far in May there have been 110 hour-plus readers. I call them my “eight loyal readers.”

100 hour-plus readers, multiplied by the last 48 months would represent 4,800 “unique visitors” over 4 years. But it stands to reason many of these folk only visited once and a smaller percentage, maybe 30%, come back semi-regularly. Still, that would be 1,600 return visitors.

The point I want to make is this: I have a lot of people looking over my shoulders. In ten years I’ve heard the occasional whisper that my blog is not fair but I’ve only had a very few public attacks on the contents of my blog. When I took the School District and the Goliath Johnson Controls to court the lawyers printed out a hundred pages of my blog to submit to the court to demonstrate my unworthiness. I presume the deep pocketed legal firms defending the half billion building plan set three or four newbie attorneys to pour through my commentary for anything that would discredit me. The court wasn’t impressed so Johnston Controls’ PR man handed the printouts to a local “liberal” Rush Limbaugh who took a couple passages out of hundreds to his readers that I once said I didn’t use the “B word” and that I had the audacity to mention that our judge was an elected official.

A more serious complaint was about an unnamed friend who told me that one Red Plan school board supporter said such foolish things that they ought to be “bricked” (have some sense knocked into their head). It was suggested that this was a threat. I think I heeded that criticism and withdrew the quote but I’ve been unable to locate the offending post. It’s one of the few instances in which I made a serious change to a post.

In the last year I can’t count the number of times someone has told me either, “that’s not bloggable,” or “Don’t blog that.” Every so often someone will request that I remove something that could be traced back to them or told me that they will simply have to stop being forthcoming with me. That includes Claudia Welty, my wife. She told me years ago that I was not to blog about her and as my “eight loyal readers” can attest -I keep mentioning her.

This is a long prologue for a tiny tidbit. Despite two warnings yesterday not to blog about the teachers negotiation I’m going to mention it here. After many old posts complaining about my ill treatment three years ago during contract negotiations I sat through the first meeting of this year’s negotiations. No blood was spilled.

I had informed the Board by email that I was inviting myself to attend. No objections were sent back to me. Once there an administrator told that if I said so much as a single word at the meeting the teachers would all walk out instantly. I considered this hyperbole to drive home home the sensitivity of the meeting. Nevertheless, I abided by the injunction and said nothing although I did take copious notes. (Not good notes, just copious notes) Six hours later one of our administrators told me that the teacher negotiators told him to pass on to me that they didn’t want to see any mention of the negotiations in my blog.

Well, I’ve just mentioned it. Big deal! It was a public meeting.

I’ll risk thinner ice. After watching our top three administrators negotiate, including the Superintendent, I told them I was very satisfied with the process I’d witnessed. (read into that what you’d like) I added that unlike my previous experience, of being frozen out, this experience had put to rest the paranoia which accompanies being denied access. Let me add that I was elected to be a part of this critical process and that I have no desire to betray any confidentiality while the talks continue. I’ll also add that it is critical that the school board be represented at the negotiations and that state statute makes the Board responsible for them.

This is all very shocking, I know.

Snowy friend

I’ve spent hours trying to take this photo from my Flickr and put it belatedly into my snowsculpting page where it should have been placed in March of 2015. This was the briefest of snow sculptures which I built for some Duluth spring enthusiasts after they agreed to pile the last and most recent snow on Canal Park into a pile for me to sculpt. They were going to have a bonfire and cook smores to welcome in Spring. This was an idea I found on the Internet of the March wind blowing in the new season.

Here’s the front view: