Lots of information to share. A veritable boatload of unrelated things.
Autobiography of Malcolm X Discussion vs. the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl won. Medium Cool about Malcolm X that was scheduled for tonight will be next week instead because Steeplejack told me there’s this thing called the Super Bowl. Who knew? We’ll have a wide-open anything goes culture thread for Medium Cool tonight instead.
Balloon Juice Pet Calendar
Still waiting on the stock they use for printing calendars. Don’t get me started.
Balloon Juice Pet Postcards
While we endlessly wait for Cafe Press to get their calendar stock in, we have been working on postcards from the Favorite Dogs & Cats series we had around the holidays. We got a lot more high resolution images for that series than we did for the calendar, which is why we chose these photos. Though I did sneak in my favorite photo of the Bohdi.
They come in a pack of
10 8, all of the same image, for $8. No variety packs, unfortunately. More information soon on ordering!
In the meantime, here are 4 of the many photos we are planning to put on the postcards. If any of these are your guys, I guess you could tell us ‘no’?
Once beth gets them all done, we’ll share them all!
Let us know if you generally might be interested in postcards?
Postcards, No, the Other Kind
Speaking of postcards, Voces gave us some great language to use in our postcards for that race in the general election:
I’m writing to you with a reminder about the upcoming election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Court decides cases that can change your life, but in this election, you get to decide who sits on the Court. Justice matters for everyone, and [name whichever liberal judge (hopefully) makes it to the general election ballot] has demonstrated that [he|she] will stand for justice for people like us. Please remember to vote on April 4, or vote early beginning on March 21.
We’ll shorten that a bit to better fit on postcards, keeping the same key phrases, just a bit more succinct.
Even if you’ve never written postcards, this is a key election and we could really use your help in the general election.
Upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court Election
This Tuesday is the last day to mail postcards for the Wisconsin Supreme Court primary on 2/21. (Next Tuesday)
If you know anyone in Wisconsin, please share this graphic with them. If you are on social media, please share this far and wide.
Balloon Juice peeps have written about 900 postcards for this primary, and the Indivisible group that one of our BJ peeps connected us to has written 400. If you have a postcard group or an Indivisible group that might want to participate in this effort for the general election, please let us know!
Speaking of Social Media – Spoutible
Spoutible is up and running, not at 100% yet, but I am impressed by what they have been able to pull off in just a couple of months, and they are fixing things and adding improvements every day.
I know a few people from BJ are already on Spoutible. If you want an easy way for other BJ peeps to find you, and for you to find others, you can follow @BalloonJuice or @WaterGirl – and then look to see who else is following them, and who they are following.
Balloon Juice (@BalloonJuice)
Make the Crazies Defend their Actions with Their Constituents
In the comments about a month ago, rikyrah had a suggestion for the Democratic Party:
Set up PR camps in each of those “Biden” districts. Amplify every crazy vote those representatives take for Squeaker. Make them defend their votes to their constituents; make them defend their lunacy. Pound away for the next two years, and don’t let our foot off their necks.
Several people volunteered to get involved in that effort. The post is linked below if you want more information or if you want to see what you committed to last time. :-) If you are interested in participating, please send me an email so we can start to get organized.
Better Know a District, BJ Style! aka Holy Shit, We Have a lot of Great Dems!
Taking our inspiration from Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District...
We had a few volunteers to kick start our series, and I would like to get started on publishing these soon. I’m thinking one a week. So many great Dems in the House, the Senate, the Cabinet.
Kathleen volunteered to put together info on Emelia Sykes and Greg Landsman.
West of the Cascades volunteered for Gabe Vasquez. (updated to include the nym)
SusieC volunteered for Mary Kaptur.
I think we had more volunteers. Apologies for my less-than-stellar record-keeping on this!
If you volunteered, can you please send me the latest version of what you put together, and let me know if I don’t have your name listed? Also please let me know if you would be up for writing something up about your awesome Dem. Or someone you wish was yours!
Will the person who just sent me 10+ butterfly photos using SMS please let me know who you are? The messages don’t identify the sender, and the initial note by SMS did not include a name or a nym. :-)
That’s it for now, but I bet I end up adding at least one more as I think of it.
I get no kick from cocaine…
Aw the Bohdi, I wondered why you wanted it! A dear friend is 50 today and I spent a good bit of time scouring my thousands of pictures for shots if him. Unavoidably I looked and hundreds of pictures and vids of the pup and his cocker running mates.
Dropping more postcards off at the post office today (*vs needing to wait for our late mail pickup tomorrow).
I’ve been mentally debating if we should start mailing postcards for the April 4 election right away (eg February 22nd), or if we should wait until at least March.
Early reminders can get people to sign up for a mail ballot if needed… But the postcard may also be lost or forgotten by the time the mail ballot arrives.
Any thoughts or experience with this conundrum?
Thanks, as always, for coordinating, WaterGirl!
@Mousebumples: Voces thought the postcards for the general should start going out the week before early voting starts.
So we could start writing on 2/22, as soon as we know which liberal judge (hopefully) makes it on the ballot for the general.
But cards wouldn’t be mailed until mid-March.
Good Morning, Everyone😊😊😊
@rikyrah: Good morning!
@WaterGirl: Works for me! And I know #PostcardsToVoters has historically done postcards for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court races, so I can keep an eye on their social media, too.
And people can start writing for the State Senate race (*again, waiting until March to mail) after the primary mailing deadline is Tuesday. (eg Tuesday night?)
Why is it that Democrats don’t seem to have wide range of candidates for different offices in Florida? The state is majority Republican but not as heavily as some of the Rocky Mountain/northern states. Seems as if there is no pipeline for higher office. Which leads me to wonder if anyone runs for the small stuff.
@Mousebumples: If someone wants to put the postcards in their mailbox on Tuesday, it should be in time for the mail to be picked up on Tuesday.
Or they can take the postcards to the post office while it’s still open on Tuesday.
@WaterGirl: I am hoping you can find someone to do a profile on first-year Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski.
Maybe someone who lives in the Illinois 13th CD.
@Geminid: Ha! Maybe you would like to do it?
I coordinate enough stuff that I don’t have time to do the research.
Does anyone like the BJ Pet Postcards idea?
@WaterGirl: what if we combined the two postcard ideas? Pets telling people to vote?
My wife always says “modge-podge” and I teased her until I found out it’s a real thing!
Thank you for the lovely pups ‘n cats photos, and most importantly, thanks for the updated BJ folks on Spoutible. I’m going to stick with Chris Bouzy (@cbouzy) and let the injured and dying bird go since there is an aberrant, narcissist, scattered billionaire who has lost so much money on being a foolish conservative/libertarian loser dysfunctioning in real time. @Aurona47
@SuzieC: Some of our postcard writers have expressed interest in the past in using the BJ pet postcards to write for the political races.
Is that what you mean?
Or do you mean “My dog, Bob, wants you to vote in the election!”
@WaterGirl: Can we have bunny-under-the-tree postcards? Those would make great Christmas cards!
I love the pet postcards, and I particularly LOVE the idea of using them for the voting postcards, even though that would mean having to write out the message on the front of the card, where the address goes. It’d have to be real succinct.
And I did post the chart on mastodon, complete with alt text.
@eclare: We actually have 2 christmas postcards in the works already.
OT: I’m at the ER vet waiting to say goodbye to Pearl, a 20 yr old floofy kitty who’s been with me since kittenhood. Given her condition, I would have brought her earlier in the week but we just buried my oldest sister on Friday and held a celebration of life yesterday. At least weather has been sunny.
I’m exhausted and a little numb, having been my sister caregiver frim December until her passing. And I’m the sole accounting/payroll person at work and we had to got our year-end tax info to the CPA by last Thursday, which meant a lot of reconciliation & prep work I do Dec-Jan was compressed into a few weeks, while also organizing events for my sister.
Sorry to be Debbie Downer this morning but I needed to share with folks who understand.
@CaseyL: Hmm, I wonder if we could have 2 versions of each each? One where the photo takes up the whole thing, and another where the photo takes half and we have space for an address?
It would only work for the portrait images, but it could work for them for sure!
@CaseyL: Thanks for sharing the WI chart!
@WaterGirl: the former. Cute furry pets telling people to vote would be effective!
The half-the-space idea would be great!
@BeautifulPlumage: I am so, so sorry. Too much loss in too short a time. I’m very glad you popped in to let us know what’s going on.
@BeautifulPlumage: Oh, I’m so sorry. To lose your sister or your kitty is heartbreaking, to lose both is beyond overwhelming, especially with things so busy at work.
When my mom died, I could keep it together at work, doing my job, but literally the minute I walked out the door and got into my car, it would all come rushing back and I would sit there, sobbing.
So very sorry. Hugs.
@WaterGirl: Great minds and all that!
@CaseyL: Pretty sure we can do that. I’ll check with beth, but I can’t think of a reason why that wouldn’t work. More work for beth, of course. :-(
But hopefully worth it!
@BeautifulPlumage: Deepest sympathies.
A few more irresistible pics. Of course that’s Tucker in the middle, so I might be biased.
Sorry to hear about your tough times. Peace to your sister 🙏 and to Pearl 🌈🐾.
@SuzieC: Way cuter than Uncle Sam wants you to…
@WaterGirl: Sure. It will have to be a later one though.
Nikki Budzinski intrigues me. Her run for Congress last year was her first try for public office, but before that she spent her professional life in politics. And while she was a student at the University of Illinois, Budzinski interned for Representatives Richard Gephardt and Dick Durbin, and for Planned Parenthood.
@BeautifulPlumage: Oh I’m so sorry, for your sister and kitty. I hope you can take some time to grieve, that is so much to deal with.
I work in a deadline oriented field, that must have been so tough.
@BeautifulPlumage: I’m so sorry–that is SO much. Sending you hugs if you want ’em.
“Hodgepodge, Mishmash or Smorgasbord?”
The Olio or Salmagundi Party would like a word.
YES TO PET POSTCARDS!!! I am looking forward to ordering a whole bunch so I have no excuse not to participate in Postcards to Voters. WG, I trust you to design them so that they can be used for PtV.
“Game over, man, game over!”
Joy in FL
@WaterGirl: That third photo (the pale orange cat) is my sweet Arthur <3
What a happy surprise for my eyes to see him.
@Geminid: That works out great, because our first ones will likely be candidates we supported in the Purple House Races thermometer.
Well, that sucks. In order to spout off I have to verify my cell phone number. I have a cell phone, but I never use it in my house because our end of the island is a dead zone. Nothing goes out, nothing comes in. I only have a phone in case of emergency while driving (off the island.) I hate any business that requires communication by cell phone. If my land line isn’t good enough, then fuck it.
You have my deepest condolences on these two huge losses. May your sister rest in peace, and may your floofkitty lap up all the cream in the Milky Way.
That flew right over my head. Can you enlighten me?
Thank you all. I appreciate it, it does help.
And it is done, Miss Pearl is over the bridge and in a big field of catnip.
@narya: I have no idea what their restrictions are for postcards. What are they?
No love for Slumgullion?
@Joy in FL: Such a sweet photo. Totally relaxed. nap time!
@wonkie: They are going to have another option in the future for folks who don’t want to share their cell phone. They just want to verify REAL people one time, I think, so they can send you a code you need to type in.
I bet you could change to a different phone once that step is done. Maybe try that?
@WaterGirl: Yup. But if we do a Tuesday night postcard/music post, I figure most post offices would be closed by then? Though i suppose 8pm eastern is 5pm pacific, and maybe post offices would be open until 6pm? 🤷♀️
@SiubhanDuinne: No need to bring my extended family into it. 😁
@WaterGirl: I think the rule is nothing controversial (eg religion). They often use animal sketches, I think, so I’d figure animal photos would probably be fine?
Olio and salmagundi are also words for a miscellaneous collection of stuff.
James E Powell
Most of the lower, entry level jobs in politics really suck.
@WaterGirl: Two more words meaning a mixture of varied stuff, the first only known to me through the FTFNYT crossword.
Well, if that’s the case, we gotta include “junk drawer” because everyone’s is a miscellaneous collection of stuff.
@WaterGirl: I just meant room for message and for address; nothing more. Maybe one of the PtV mavens can weigh in?
I tried at the post office to get pre-paid postcards but the clerk didn’t know what I was talking about and had no time for it. So I purchased a bunch of postcard stamps instead. I’d like to be part of the BJ effort either in Wisconsin or elsewhere. I am looking for a place for both postcards AND addresses. I assessed my postcards collection and assessed that none of them are appropriate for political postcarding (I found a lot of anarchists, revolutionaries, and 1950s pinup girls, for some reason). It strikes me that the graphic above (listing each candidates qualities) would be ideal for a postcard, but probably not the right dimensions.
Anyway, I thank you all in advance for any advice.
I’m drinking in allllllll the pet pics today. Great post, and Tucker!
Aw, I bet your fluffy kitty is having a ball up there.
@WaterGirl: Sweet Tucker in his lovely yard.
There is actually a meaningful sporting event today: the last two undefeated teams in women’s college basketball, South Carolina and LSU, go head to head. Dawn Staley offends me less than Kim Mulkey, so I’m rooting for the game hens.
Fly away, Superb Owl. You’re not welcome in this house.
Finally was able to complete the Spoutible sign-up @alisonrose
Joy in FL
I’m not sorry about the extra week to read/watch Malcolm X. I had good intentions but poor follow-through. I hope to get more read/watched/listened in this coming week.
@Layer8Problem: And potpourri says, “What about us?”
@raven: Mod Podge was (and probably still is) a brand name of a crafting product, a thin white liquid used for decoupage. I went through a lot of Mod Podge back during my decoupage craze.
I can only interpret this as a resounding “Go Chiefs!”
@WaterGirl: Yes! I was headed here to day that I would be generally interested in postcards.
Thank you very much.
@BeautifulPlumage: Sending big virtual hugs your way. I enjoyed the evening of the Balloon-Juice meet-up in Seattle in the before times. Perhaps we can do it again.
Take care of yourself.
@C Stars: The graphic won’t be as relevant for the April election as only 2 of the the 4 will be on the April ballot.
However, I’ve got a few suggestions for getting postcards to use –
Lots of choices! Thanks for writing with us. 😊
@BeautifulPlumage: So sorry to hear it. My condolences.
Hey, that’s RC Gizmo sitting on motorcycle seat! He’s a bigger star that he knew!
Any south Florida jackals? I’m going to be down your way in March. Maybe we could do a meet up.
OH NO!! That’s too much. Sending you big hugs.
Hey that’s RC Gizmo on my motorcycle. He’s a bigger star than he knew he was!
Thanks, Water Girl! I will get on this! I’ve saved the articles with the info I want to provide.
@BeautifulPlumage: I’m so sorry. Sending you light.
@Steeplejack: Huh, I had never heard those before. Obviously!
@C Stars: We would love for you to write postcards for the general election: both the SD-8 race and the Supreme Court race.
Send me an email?
Sorry for the dup, there was some delay between posting and the first one showing and I figured I’d missed pushing the Post Comment button.
@eclare: My sweet boy, surveying his domain. :-)
@Joy in FL:
So say we all! (or at least me!)
@wmd: Quite the art shot, we think!
@WaterGirl: will do. Thanks!
@Mousebumples: Thank you!
A sort of olla podrida, really.
Can you please make this “Show full post on front page”? TIA.
West of the Cascades
DB (don’t know the nym and don’t want to give away a real name) volunteered for Gabe Vasquez
I’m the IRL DB who volunteered to do a write-up about Gabe Vasquez – January and early February have been busier than anticipated, but hoping to get this write-up to you before George Santos is ejected from the House (i.e. by early March).
I sent out 50 postcards on Friday with names from Postcard Patriots, all in Milwaukee, so you can add mine to the total. Fingers crossed.
@West of the Cascades: Thank you! The post up top has been updated. March would be great
@Anyway: So sorry! I do try to remember that, but I am not always successful. :-)
Thanks for the nice reminder!
edit: maybe if there was a little buzzer with a mild shock, I would be better at remembering.
@Barbara: Wow, that’s great! Thank you.
@WaterGirl: The problem is reception. We live in a dead spot. The nearest reliable reception is off the island. So they can send me the code, but I won’t get it for a week when I go grocery shopping off the island. Cell phones are a monster pain in the ass, and I resent being obliged to use mine for any purpose other than why I bought it (for dialing 911 if I am miles from home. And how much to you want to bet that, if I ever need the damn thing, either the battery will be dead or there won’t be any reception?) I know I am a grumpy Neanderthal on this topic. Thanks for trying to help. I’ll probably fight my way onto the site eventually.
@wonkie: Do you have a friend whose number you could use? That could give you the code to type in, and then hopefully you could change the number back to your land line?
@Mousebumples: I bought mine at Zazzle. They are not the cheapest source, but I bought hundreds in a design that will work for nearly any election, so I have them on hand as needed.
I laughed out loud at this:
DW.com has a good summary of the current status in Turkey and Syria:
It’s a huge, continuing disaster.
Turkey’s general election is scheduled for June 18. Or potentially May 14, depending on what Erdogan decides. Here’s hoping that people there have a decent non-Erdogan choice… :-(
And this one. In particular, I liked the line I bolded below.
I love that that chart employs a time-tested politicial advertising trope. There should be another column heading: “Photo is in color”.
@Gary K: Ha!
I thought that was kind of subtle. It would have been more obvious if the photos had been next to the names. In this case, you have to know who’s who in order to know who is in color and who is not.
But the photos are in the order the names are listed in.
@WaterGirl: The bolding in the tweet didn’t take, but I love this line.
@WaterGirl: Bless his heart…
Another balloon? This is crazy.
ETA flight restrictions over Lake Michigan have been lifted
My guess is there have been many balloons in the past, but now we feel compelled to shoot them down. The AF guys are probably happy because more of them get to paint a balloon silhouette on their planes. Happy zoomies.
@Omnes Omnibus: That makes sense. I don’t worry about it.
I’m going with smörgåsbord. I found a video of Afghanistan in the 50s through the 70s. It really does make me wonder how things could have been without the Saudi foreign Islam madrassas and the Soviet invasion after the Communist regime collapsed. They really have fallen so far backwards and it’s a terrible thing to know.
@Yutsano: I couldn’t get the video to load, but I’ve seen photos of Kabul in the 70’s, women wearing miniskirts, going to college. It’s so sad.
Just joined Spoutable, how long does it take them to verify a phone number and let you do whatever it is that anyone does there?
Osama at 14 in Sweden in 1971.
@WaterGirl: I have a lovely seasonal image of Asimov that I can send for people who may not want Christmas.
@BeautifulPlumage: so sorry. Hugs.
@Manyakitty: You are welcome to send it to me.
@raven: Hodge-Podge is a real thing, is Modge-Podge a real thing? I have never heard it, before.
@Ruckus: I signed up on day one before they had the phone number thing in place, so I can’t answer that. But surely others can.
@Yutsano: Have you read James Michener’s Caravans (1963)? It’s set in the late 1950s and is the story of junior diplomat posted at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, who is tasked with tracking down a young American woman who’s gone missing. He searches over much of Afghanistan before finding her hiking along with a tribe of nomads. I could not say how accurate a picture of Afghan society Michener gave, but I think he tried.
Afghanistan seldom makes the news lately, and never in a good way it seems. There was a story a month or so ago about a deal the Taliban wants to make with Russia, basically to hand over stocks of U.S.-supplied military equipment and munitions for the war on Ukraine in exchange for cash and diplomatic recognition.
@BeautifulPlumage: Jeez, that sucks. Hogs and quiches.
@WaterGirl: sent. You rock.
Life often seems like it comes at us all at once.
And sometimes it actually does.
Take care of yourself too – and sorry for all the loss.
I was trying to load it in the pop up, it seems like it took it but that isn’t how it works.
You have to put your phone number in your profile and then all is fine and works great.
They are still working out some of the kinks of going live. They seem to understand what the issues are as they come up and so things seem to be improving. A message I got is that they going to log us out or each commenter has to log out tonight and then log back in I think tomorrow and they expect that to fix a lot.
I’d bet, having done a bit of programing myownself, that a program such as twitter or spoutible is somewhat involved and somewhat complicated. You know just a tad bit. IOW there will be hiccups and issues and yes on occasion actual fuck ups. Oh well we get to be part of a new bit of internet history. Yeah.
Can you just sell me the download of a pdf of the calendar? I can print my own. I usually drop $100+ for the charity, and hand em out to friends and family. Goes much past this month and it’s why bother? At least this way the charity still gets some love.
Another UFO shot down today by the US Military. This time over Lake Huron.
@Ruckus: I am impressed by the functionality of Spoutible this early in the game. It was a clusterfuck on day 1, I walked away for a few days, and they had it together. Not with all the bells and whistles, of course, but those are coming as the days roll by.
@BruceFromOhio: Yes, we can do that. We can’t do it through Cafe Press, but you can donate to directly to the thermometer and I can send you a .pdf version.
They are separate .pdf files right now, but I’m sure they can be combined.
Why not wait until you have a reason to travel to where you can get reception, sign up at that time, and verify your phone there? It can be done in a matter of minutes while you are shopping or whatever.
After I joined and tried to do a spout (tweet), I got the message that I needed to verify my phone. I was asked for the number, submitted it, and received the code in a text within minutes. I put in the code and it was accepted.
@Josie: That’s a good idea!
@WaterGirl: YES, YES! Pet postcards great idea. I want at least one set of the first one, the adorable dog with its orange cat. maybe others too.
@Hilfy: We will have lots to choose from!
And for folks who want to support postcard writing campaigns without actually having to write the postcards… they could always help support someone else’s writing habit by purchasing the BJ postcards and sending them to a writer.