Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Architecture Wednesday: The Pump House

I'm a big fan of recycling. We separate paper from plastic, bottle from can, and I love to scour antique stores and consignment shops looking for cool things to have around the house. So, why not recycle a municipal building into a private home, rather than tear it down?
This home, in England, is perched on the edge of Ilkley Moor--and that sounds just loverly, eh?--was built in 1848 as a water pumping station. The Pump House has been exquisitely remodelled to create an über contemporary dwelling.
The solid oak staircase leads you up to the top deck offering the ultimate in open plan living along with the parapet balcony, a great place to unwind with a specially made Bobarita® perhaps! 
Now, it isn't exactly huge, just three bedrooms and three bathrooms, but it is a piece of history remodeled and updated with all the create comforts and luxuries.
The property is bursting with state-of-the art technology including overhead speakers to all rooms with LAN points, a dual hydraulic German engineered garage lift system, infrared high security cameras and intercom system with electric gates. 
This is a property James Bond would be proud of and it could be....For your eyes...
Daniel Craig not included.


via HomeDSGN

Just For Giggles: From Disney/Pixar®

Funny Link

An Asshat Tries....And Fails....To Apologize

It was just week that Indiana state Representative Bob Morris was awarded the ISBL Asshat of the Week cap for his refusal to sign a legislative resolution honoring the Girl Scouts on their 100th anniversary. You can read about it HERE, but suffice to say he was against the resolution because he felt that the Girls Scouts are a "radicalized organization" that support abortion and promote the "homosexual lifestyle."
And because now his words have come back to haunt him, Morris is issuing an apology. Let's dissect it, shall we?
"After reflecting on the letter I wrote on February 18, 2012 to my fellow Indiana Republican Representatives, I realize now that my words were emotional, reactionary, and inflammatory. For that I sincerely apologize. I apologize to the Girl Scouts of Indiana and all of the girls and parents of Indiana who are participating in and running their Girl Scout organizations in a way that promotes leadership, community involvement and family values. I certainly should not have painted the entire Girl Scouts organization with such a wide brush."
He would just paint some of "those" Girl Scouts that way. Notice, also that he doesn't really apologize for what he said, just the "emotional" way he said it.
Non.Apology.
"As I have mentioned, the letter was intended for only my colleagues in the Statehouse. That is not an excuse for the breadth of my letter – rather, it is the reason for the lack of research and evidence it contained. I was merely attempting to express my reasons for not signing the House Resolution honoring the Girl Scouts and challenging my colleagues to think about the issue. I assure you that on matters of state policy and law making my research is extensive. Too, had I known this letter would have gone to a wider audience, I would have cited further evidence for my position."
He only wanted certain people to get his letter, you know, the "right" kind of people, and is sorry that the letter actually was seen by everyday folk, who find Bob Morris and ilk a bit disgusting. And, you know, if he had known that you and I would have seen his letter he would have researched it more, instead of just relying on one or two biased web pages for his rant.
"In hindsight, I never should have written the letter. However, I still would not sign the Resolution honoring the Girl Scouts – not because of any local troops or even the Girl Scouts of Indiana, but because of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (Girl Scouts USA) and its policies. My conscience would not allow me to publicly endorse an organization that partners with Planned Parenthood – our State’s leading abortion provider. My family and I view abortion as the biggest evil of our time. And as Blessed Pope John Paul II said in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, “every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree.” I hope that my stance will help to spread the Gospel of life. Perhaps it will cause the Girl Scouts USA to reconsider its policies."
Oh, so because the Girl Scouts partner with Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions, as well as all sorts of medical tests and treatments, from breast exams to cancer treatments, he won't sign it. Then, of course, he brings in religion, because, as a typical Republican he cannot separate his personal religious beliefs from any aspect of his life, your life, or my life.
"On March 5, 2004, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America’s CEO, Kathy Cloninger, stated in an interview on the NBC Today Show that the Girl Scouts USA partners with Planned Parenthood with regard to sex education for Girl Scouts. To my knowledge, the Girl Scouts USA have not rescinded, corrected or denied that statement." 
You know, because sex education is wrong. Education on any topic that does not jibe with Bob Morris' Bible-thumping is wrong.
"If the Girl Scouts USA now denies the statement of its CEO, I challenge the organization to do so publicly so that individuals are not confused as to the organization’s ties to Planned Parenthood."
It's the new GOP Culture War, folks, and Planned Parenthood is the enemy.
"Girl Scouts USA is also the founding and largest member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (“WAGGGS”). Money raised by Girl Scouts USA is used to support WAGGS. As you can see from the link on its own website, http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/CSW54/Day6, WAGGS openly promotes sex education and access to contraception and other “sexual and reproductive health services” for young people." 
So, because the Girl Scouts are trying to help young girls through sex education--so they don't become pregnant or become infected with an STD or HIV--they must not be honored? Seriously, Bobby? What are you doing to help young girls, other than keeping them in the dark about the dangers of unprotected sex? Keeping them in the dark about the choices they can make for their own bodies by themselves?
"I cannot, in good conscience, honor an organization that supports such policies.It is my sincere hope that this statement will end the publicity with regard to my letter. I look forward to moving on to more important issues of state policy.Thank you."
No, Bobby, it won't end. It won't end because you're a bigot who hides behind the Pope's sequined gowns. It won 't end because you want to control women, and young girls, by denying them access to education, by denying them access to choice, by denying them access to medical treatment, options and education.
You, Bob Morris, are still an Asshat.
Put the cap back on.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alaska Is Crazy...Or, At Least, Gordon Warren Epperly Is Crazy

I've always thought Alaskans were crazy because it's too cold to live up there, and because it's dark, sometimes, all day long, and because they elected the Mama Grizzly Bore® to office.
And now they've given me a whole new reason to find them utterly wack-nutty. See, I always thought the birthers, who tried to keep Obama out of office, or remove him from office, because they believed he was born here, were crazy, but now one Gordon Warren Epperly filed a lawsuit in Alaska challenging President Obama's inclusion on the 2012 presidential ballot. 
Birther? No, something much more ignorant than that. See, Gordon Warren Epperly--he of the half brain and too much free time--believes Negroes and mulattoes can't be president because they aren't really citizens.
Oh, but he does.
His lawsuit states:
Barack Hussein Obama II, a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama, aka. Barack H. Obama has the race status of being a "mulatto." Barack Obama's father (Barack Hussein Obama I) was a full blood Negro being born Nyang'oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya and raised in the Colony of Kenya. Barack Obama's mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) was a white Caucasian woman being born in Wichita, Kansas on November 29, 1942 and raised in the state of Washington and in the state of Hawaii.
And it concludes with:
As stated above, for an Individual to be a candidate for the office of president of the United States, the candidate must meet the qualifications set forth in the United States Constitution and one of those qualifications is that the Candidate shall be a "natural born citizen" of the United States. As Barack Hussein Obama II is of the "mulatto" race, his status of citizenship is founded upon the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Before the [purported] ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the race of "Negro" or "mulatto" had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.
Apparently Gordon Warren Epperly--he of the limited brain activity and access to too much FauxNews--didn't realize that the Fourteenth Amendment defined citizenship and granted both civil and political rights to those born in the United States; it also made it illegal for any state to deny those rights. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision which found that slaves and their descendants could never be U.S. citizens.
Seriously, Alaska, first Palin and now Gordon Warren Epperly? Now, before you get your snowshoes all twisted, I completely understand that Gordon Warren Epperly does not represent the feelings of the entire state. But I just want you to know that maybe those long, dark  days and all that snow, make wingnuts feel comfortable up there.


source

Just For Giggles: This One's For Mistress Maddie

Funny Link

Abstinence Only, Utah?!? Really!!?!

Every so often it seems like Utah has booked a ride on the progressive train, but then you realize they bought a round-trip ticket. Case in point:
A bill to require sex education classes teach an abstinence-only curriculum inched closer to becoming a law in Utah last week. The bill--now headed to the Senate--would lift the current requirement that all public schools teach sex ed in grades 8 through 12, but if this bill passes, districts would have to choose between offering abstinence-only sex-ed classes, or no sex-ed classes at all.
Republican state wingnut, and Republican, of course, Bill Wright sponsored the proposal: "We've been culturally watered down to think we have to teach about sex, about having sex and how to get away with it, which is intellectually dishonest. Why don't we just be honest with them upfront that sex outside marriage is devastating?"
Well, Billy, teach your abstinence-only classes, and find out how many kids will then be having unprotected sex. or, teach no sex-ed at all, and discover how many pregnant teens you have in the state and how many teens have an STD or HIV.
Abstinence-only does not work. It needs to be coupled with education on protection from unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. 
The version of the bill that passed last Wednesday would also prohibit any instruction in contraception, though teachers would be allowed to answer student questions about safe sex. In addition, the bill would require that sex-ed courses emphasize abstinence before marriage and fidelity after.
You know, 'cuz no one has ever had sex before marriage and no was has ever cheated after; not in the entire history of the world.
But Wright doesn't stop there; his sex-ed classes, while teaching abstinence only, would also talk about friendship, dating and love, kittens and bunnies. And, he says he wants this bill to pass because he believes that abstinence would lead to lower poverty rates. You know, it's only the poor folk having babies outside of marriage.
Damn them po' people.
Cooler heads, and smarter folks, like Democratic state Representative Carol Spackman say abstinence can't be taught without discussions of contraceptive failures and protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. And even one Republican, Representaive Francis Gibson says that in the school district he represents, the abstinence-only curriculum is not proving effective, as more teens are becoming parents of unplanned children.
Here's the deal: in a perfect world abstinence is the only 100% effective protection from unwanted pregnancy, or sexually transmitted diseases. But, news flash, we do not live in a perfect world. Education, and all manner of choices are needed for teens, and adults, to make responsible sexual choices for themselves.
Utah really needs to get off the train and stay in Progressive Town.


via The HuffPo

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Hits and Misses and Misters

Best in Show
Jessica Chastain.
Hands down my favorite.
Michelle Williams.
So cute.
Emma Stone.
Loving.Her.
Viola Davis.
Such a gorgeous woman.
Octavia Spencer.
Stunning.
Meryl Streep.
Looked like Oscar®.
Glenn Close.
Still got it.
Penelope Cruz.
Elegant.
Cameron Diaz.
Looks like she took a pre-show bath this year.
Missed It By That Much
Sandra Bullock.
Loved the backless-ness,
but the top didn't seem to fit.
Rose Byrne.
Severe hair and too skinny.
Worst in Show
Nancy O'Dell.
U-G-L-Y.
You ain't got no alibi, you ugly.
Angelina Jolie.
The dress isn't bad, but that pose....?
Berenice Bejo.
Without the granny sleeves,
it might have worked.
Gwynethh Paltrow.
Someone thinks she Oscar® royalty.
She ain't.
Kate Mara.
Why so sad?
Kristen Wiig.
It was a case of
The Dress Wore Her.
Melissa MacCarthy.
Look at Octavia Spencer to see how
a big girl should look.
This has too much going on
and she received the Carlos Piñata Award.
Bangs
Ellie Kemper.
They don't work.
Where are your eyes.
Rooney Mara.
This is how bangs are done.
Why Are They Here?
Diddy.
Jane Seymour.
Why Aren't They Everywhere?
And Why Can't I Go With Them?
Zachary Quinto.
Super-man-hot.
Brad Pitt.
Even with the scruff,
he's aging handsomely.

An Oscar Stream Of Consciousness

Loyal ISBL readers know that I am a proud Awards Show Whore®. I watch them all, from the Emmys and Tony's to the Oscars and the Grammys; hell, I even watch the Daytime Emmys. If the television industry wants me to watch, put the word "awards" the title and I'll be glued to it. The Revenge Awards. Modern Family Awards. Project Runway: Awards. The FoxNews Awards....okay, so it doesn't work all the time. Still, I'll be there.
But this is about the granddaddy of awards shows, Oscar, and since it came in at just a hair over three days, er, hours, I have time for some Oscar thoughts. Let's rip.....
  • What was the deal with having Morgan Freeman open the show? Let's just get right to Billy and start this thing. Time that could have been saved: Two minutes.
  • Billy Crystal. He's been my favorite Oscar host ever and he never fails to disappoint. He's a showman, and just gets it that he's supposed to tell a quick joke and keep things moving. Still, his Opening Movie Montage and his Best Picture Song and Dance were, as always, a hit with me.
  • Just Bieber? Really? Time that could have been saved: Two minutes.
  • "In this economy where else can you watch millionaires give each other gold statues."
  • Brad Pitt. I'm sorry, he used to be so pretty and so hot, and now he's just so craggy and handsome and still so hot. Seriously, the hair and the scruff. Hot. Hot.
  • That montage of past films? Why do that? I mean it served no purpose. Time that could have been saved: Three minutes.
  • Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. It's like Skank Squared. At least Diaz looked elegant for a change; JLo looked so squeezed into that dress I could tell how many empanadas she had for lunch. And that whole thing where they showed their "ass"ets? What are they? Hooters waitresses? Note to Academy: No more Diaz and Lopez. Time that could have been saved: Four minutes.
  • Sandra Bullock is delightful and funny, but there was some mighty Botox goin' on in that forehead. I've seen more movement on the brows of the Presidents on Rushmore.
  • Christian Bale is still so hot. I does love a man with an accent.
  • Best Supporting Actress. Loved Octavia Spencers' win for The Help. Loved the standing ovation,. Loved her real tears and her real face.
  • That, sorta, kinda funny, video about Test Audiences and The Wizard of Oz was cute--one good line, 'Lose Dorothy.'--but: Time that could have been saved: Four minutes.
  • Bradley Cooper's porn 'stache was oddly Jack Wrangler to me. Google it, if you will.
  • Now, that whole Cirque du Soleil number was very cool. That could stay in every year.
  • The best part of Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth "I'm the greatest star" Paltrow's bit was when RDJr told her to be quiet and then called her boring. I know it was supposed to be a joke but part of me hoped he meant it.
  • Chris Rock rocked. He's so much more at ease and funny as a presenter than a host.
  • Billy Crystal and Melissa McCarthy's bit. Too funny. So, um, limber.
  • Ben Stiller is short. And not really funny.
  • Emma Stone, however, was high-larious. if the Academy is looking for a younger host to lure in that younger demographic, they should have thought Emma Stone and not James Stoned and Anne Hathaway. She, for me, was one of the funniest things on the show. All day long today, I will be saying, "Jonah? Get up here. Let's dance!"
  • Best Supporting Actor. I loved Christopher Plummer's speech. Long overdue win.
  • Shot of Diaz in the audience. Looked like she got high after presenting.
  • Penelope Cruz. ¿Como se dice 'Botox' en español? Y, ¿Como se dice 'eyebrow waxing' en español?
  • Will Ferrell and Zagh Gafilankiasbork were funny, and then took it too far. As usual.
  • Angelina Jolie. What was up with that pose? I love her, but man she seemed to be trying too hard. And when one of the winners, Jim Rash, mocked her by mimicking the pose, i wanted her to acknowlege it. Sidenote: Alexander Payne is adorable.
  • Best Directer. Michel Hazanavicius for B&W silent film, The Artist. Which.I.Loved.
  • Meryl Streep glittered in gold talking about the Governor's Awards. James Earl Jones is a brilliant actor. Dick Smith is a brilliant make-up artist. Oprah Winfrey is brilliant at doing that Bite-My-Lip-To-Force-Myself-To-Cry-So-People-Will-Think-I'm-Humble-Even-Though-I-Should-Win-Every-Award-EVER thing.
  • Best Actor. Jean Dujardin. Ooh.La.La.
  • Best Actress. Meryl Streep. I was shocked. i thought for sure Viola Davis would get it. I was shocked. But I am so Team Streep that I was happy. And I loved her speech. But I was shocked.
  • Tom Cruise. Now, let's talk about Cruise and Pitt. Both, as younger actors were very, very pretty boys. But, while Brad Pitt has gotten older and more handsome, and craggy and sexy, Tom Cruise last night looked like he'd just come from a Chemical Peel Party, with a stop at the Plastic Surgeon. Someone is afraid of looking old. Methinks she needs to stop.
  • Best picture. The Artist. Again, I loved it. A movie with no sound, other than music, and in B&W, was just a joy to watch.

So, there's my stream of consciousness for this year. I can rest now. 


What did you think?

Top Ten Outstanding Guest Comments Of The Week

Another week down, another ten comments that made my day, made me think, made me laugh, or made me say, 'WETF??!?'At any rate, in no particular order, here are the winners of the cov eted...coveted?...ISBL Top Ten Outstanding Guest Comments of the Week, or ISBLTTOGCOTW, or the Isblitogcot, as we in the biz like to call it so.....
Let's rip........
#10 Y'all know that I Ain't One To Gossip, But....sometimes people--and by people, I mean celecrities--say and do things that need to be addressed; so I do:
Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...
Poor Adam, I have not believed in pull-out since I got out of my pull-ups... 
#9 So, he's a sheriff in consevrative Arizona, and he's strong on illegal immigration. He's alos a closetetd gay man having a reltionship with an Is-he-or-isn't-he illegal; that's what happenes when you're Deeply Closeted, In More Ways Than One:
Stan in NH said...
Well, I am shocked to find another closeted Conservative Republican caught in the act. If they aren't hanging out in bathrooms, or flying off to wherever with their rent boys, them they are playing Sheriff of Pinal County by day Sheriff of Penis County by night! Hard core hater, Bullyboi1, turns into mild mannered Studboi1, at the first sight of dick! How quaint!
#8 All the ills of this country and Tennessee wants to tell teachers what they can and accnot say; Tennessee Tuesday: Don't Say Gay Bill Advances:
www.DiatribesAndOvations.com said...
Tennessee makes me sick, too. 
And I live here. 
For now.
#7 And then they want to tell you what to watch on TV: Tennessee Tuesday: Don't Watch "Modern Family"....It's Gay:
Will J said...
Proposed state motto for Tennessee: The world is scary - let's go hide under a rock.
It is a shame because it is a beautiful part of this country. However, I do not feel welcome there.
#6 And so we learned that Tennessee is so backwoods and backwards, that they even pissed off a cat in Smallville: Tennessee Tuesday: Tuxedo Is Not At All Pleased With You:
twunty mcslore said...
I'm in love with your cat. If you hear scratching and creaking, pay no attention. It's just me spiriting him off in the middle of the night. I'm going to put him on the Kitty Pageant Circuit.
Those exist, right?
#5 Uh oh, GOP...the economy is recovering....like Obama promised; jobs are being created....like Obama promised. Andf the GOP will not win the White House....like Obama promised: Hey Mitch McConnell? Why So Spooked?:
Ron said...
Old Lady Mitch is beside Herself.
#4 Poor Newt. His flash in the poan political attemtpt at becoming President is cooling off faster than his Tiffany's credit line. He was just onme of those talking, in I Didn't Say It.....:
Ask the Cool Cookie said...
There is an old Yiddish saying that applies to Newt Gingrich: Nisht geshtoygen und nisht gefloygn. The meaning is that something is an unbelieveable tale; the literal meaning is that it didn't hop up and it didn't fly; as in "Christ didn't hop up on the cross, and he didn't fly to heaven."
This is my feeling towards Gingrich. He isn't winning primaries or converts and he isn't going to the White House. 

#3 And speaking of Newt and The Crazies, I heard a little from Victoira Jackson, and she found a spot in Random Musings:
tamayn said...
We all know that Victoria Jackson was a great political philosopher during her entire career on Saturday Night Live. I mean, after all the times she played a dumb blonde, that was totally ironic.Also, it doesn't matter what Adele does; I will always love her!
#2 Also in Random Musings:
froggy said...
Team Paul all the way!
Newt Gingrich was here today! Paper says 500 people showed up. We were not one of them...
If Santorum shows up here I may not be able to keep Abby away from him. Nobody disses the master! 

#1, or #1's Now, although these are three comments, I will count them as one. The one from S'A is based on personal experience so it bears mentioning, and the second is a comment combo from Cubby and Sam, regarding Good News Friday: A Young Man Comes Out To His Mom....on YouTube:
S'A said...
I got caught by surprise- when his mother talks about other peoples' bigotry I started crying. Her feelings are so close to my own. When my daughter told me, I also said "I thought so, but thank you for telling me". My daughter's relationship makes her happy. Her partner is such a positive part of her life--how could I not be happy for them both?! But it's a part of her life that she chooses to keep private from all but our closest friends. Because of the bigotry. It's hard. 
Cubby said...
Wow, this whole thing made me feel super creeped out.
I felt terrible for the mother, having to be filmed like that for one of the most significant moments of her and son's relationship, and the whole time the kid is busy fingering his phone. I would have taken his damn phone and threw it out the window if I was his mother.
If he was my son and that's how he chose to come out to me, I'd be very disappointed in him, and also be very disappointed in myself because obviously as a parent I did something wrong in raising him for him to be more concerned about his damn phone and YouTube video than communicating with me. How disrespectful!
The mother was an unwitting participant in the son's selfish quest to use a deeply personal moment to get a bunch of hits on YouTube. It is shameful and I'm disgusted by it. This should be an example of how NOT to come out to a parent.
Attention gay kids: put down the phone and turn off the video and look your parents in the eye when you come out to them. I got news for you, they already know. You won't be shocking them. But this is an important step you must take in your life and in theirs. Show them, and yourself, some respect by unplugging for the few minutes it takes to say "Mom I'm queer". 

To which Sam replied...
Well well well. My comment is not so much about the video but more about Cubby's comment. 
I loved the video. I loved his Mom's response. 
I completely get it. 
I get why he had the phone. I get why he Hee hawed around and I understand why he Recorded it. 
Everyone has there own way of coping. 
That is a huge first step (coming out to a parent) and it changes everything in a young persons life. I don't think I have to give examples either. Not every parent already knows either. 
And who gives a shit if they ( a parent) knows. It doesn't mean a fucking thing until you can gather up the courage to say it.
I wouldn't give a flying fuck if my child was fingering fucking the radio in the kitchen while trying to talk to me, as long as he's not hanging from a god damn rope in the closet. 
Enough with the labels. Why in the fuck are we even having to say we are queer??? Or a fag???
Anyho. I loved this. Maybe in my lifetime we won't be having to make a god damn announcement, maybe we will just be.
Did I say I loved this video??

Thanks all for your delicious comments, but, you tell me, which is your favorite of the week?