32 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. according to wiki, “The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist or lutist, and a maker of lutes (or any similar string instrument, or violin family instruments) is referred to as a luthier.”

    query: why not a “laut-ist” since a flute player is called a  “flautist”?  English is such a puzzlement sometimes.

  2. something different for a change from

    NY Times:
    Kyrgyzstan Dispatch
    Horseback Wrestling. Bone Tossing. Dead Goat Polo. Let the Nomad Games Begin!

    CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan — The American team that played a brutal version of polo at the World Nomad Games does not expect the sport to get picked up by the Olympics any time soon.
    Why not?
    “We use a dead goat,” said Scott A. Zimmerman, a team co-captain.
    The game of kok-boru, with its headless goat carcass, was the main attraction at the weeklong international sports competition held this month in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.
    Other highlights included bone tossing, hunting with eagles and 17 types of wrestling, including bare-chested horseback wrestling, where the weaker competitor often clings desperately to the animal’s head as spectators roar in anticipation of him hitting the dirt.
    The organizers hope to resurrect nomadic traditions, especially those of Central Asia, whose cultures were pushed toward extinction by decades of Soviet collectivization and then globalization.
    While many top-flight athletes competed, qualifying for an event was easy: Basically anybody who signed up online could play. The bulk of the Czech Republic delegation, for example, was a group of male friends who fished around for an easy sport.
    They discovered ordo, or bone tossing, which involves eight players using a chunk of cow bone to dislodge two-inch pieces of sheep bone from a large dirt circle. (It’s a lot harder than it sounds.) They could not, however, find the right bone bits in the Czech Republic with which to practice.
    So how did they learn to play? They just thought about it, mostly, admitted the Czechs, who went home without any medals.
    The outdoor events took place in two stunning venues — a hippodrome built for the Games on a high-altitude saline lake surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Tian Shan mountain range, and the vast meadows of a sweeping mountain gorge, where some 1,000 yurts were erected.
    With archers clopping by on horses, and the smokey aroma of grilling meat, the meadow site evoked a nomadic encampment from a bygone era.
    After 72 years spent under Communist domination — and more than two decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union — Kyrgyzstan and its neighbors are still trying to define themselves.
    We want to revive our historical identity,” said Kanat Amankulov, Kyrgyzstan’s minister for youth and sports.
    The Games also seek to create a kind of Brand Kyrgyzstan, attracting tourists to an impoverished, landlocked, predominantly Muslim nation of about six million people.
    The emphasis on nomadic traditions casts Kyrgyzstan as part of a grander Turkic civilization, and perhaps equally important, helps counter the growing strength here of the intolerant Wahhabi strain of Islam imported by clerics educated in Saudi Arabia.
    The Games started on a modest scale in 2014 when about 600 athletes from 19 countries took part. The third edition of the biannual event attracted 1,976 competitors, representing 74 countries.
    The elaborate opening ceremony, with 1,500 dancers and other performers, retold the myth of creation from the nomad perspective. First came primordial earth, then man, horses, yurts and hence nomads — who gave rise to the rest of us. The performance rocked the sold-out 10,000-seat arena.

  3. Beautiful as always Jace.  Thank you for our lovely start to Sundays

    Now add in the flute and drum and let’s all go dancing

  4. nbc news:
    California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s decision to cut a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller serves as a stark warning to other potential targets of the investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
    “This sends a message to anyone who is in Bob Mueller’s crosshairs right now: You better get to the special counsel and make your deal now, because anyone that gets indicted by Bob Mueller goes down,” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “The longer you wait to come clean, the worse deal you are going to get.”
    Schiff called Manafort’s cooperation a pivotal development in Mueller’s investigation, one that could help investigators discover whether there’s evidence of collusion in President Donald Trump’s inner circle. He noted that Manafort is at the center of a handful of incidents relevant to Mueller’s investigation, including the 2016 meeting between Manafort and other top Trump campaign officials with a Russian-linked lawyer, as well as Manafort’s offer to privately brief a Russian billionaire on the election.
    “We want to know, what can Manafort tell us about whether any of that was consummated. He’s trying to get money, they’re trying to get dirt, the Russians are trying to help Trump. Was there a meeting of the minds?” Schiff asked.
    “Manafort is a key person to help us unwind whether this is the most improbable string of unlikely coincidences, or whether this was an act of conspiracy.”

  5. and on cbs news:
    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, says he’s intent on ensuring special counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election with political interference. Graham’s comments on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” come after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort reached a plea deal with Mueller’s team and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
    “Nothing’s going to happen to Mueller’s investigation politically. He’s going to be allowed to finish it,” Graham said.
    Graham said the Senate Judiciary Committee has found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia when asked what Manafort might reveal to Mueller’s team.

    Transcript: Sen. Lindsey Graham on “Face the Nation,” September 16, 2018

    “I know that from the Judiciary point of view, we found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. I think Richard Burr said from the Intel point of view that he’s seen no evidence of collusion, but we’re waiting on Mueller,” Graham said, referring to the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee. “Let’s let Mueller do his job. I don’t know what Manafort has to offer. I don’t know if it’s anything meaningful, but I’m intent on making sure that Mueller completes his investigation without political interference and I can answer questions about the report once it’s issued.”
    It is not yet clear whether Manafort’s cooperation is related to Mr. Trump or whether he would provide information on some other aspect of the investigation, but his agreement states that Manafort is required to “cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly” with the special counsel. He will also be called to testify as a witness before the grand jury and could testify in any other trials that may arise from the investigation.
    Graham, himself a former prosecutor, cautioned that observers need to look at the “substance” of what former Trump associates including Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn have admitted before making any assumptions about the case.
    “Some people [pleaded] to lying to the FBI, like Papadopoulos, and got two weeks in jail. So I don’t see this a big event. Manafort could have a lot of stuff or he could just have stuff around, you know, financial transactions. I don’t know yet. You don’t look at the numbers,” said Graham.
    He added, “[Michael] Flynn would know a lot. I don’t know what kind of deal Flynn’s gonna get. At the end of the day, I haven’t heard anything coming out of the Mueller world showing collusion between Trump and the Russians, but that’s why you let a guy like Mueller do his job. I trust him to be honest and fair, and time will tell.”

  6. the guardian:

    Six new books about Trump depict a president isolated by his bizarre antics and surrounded by staff trying to manage his ‘teenage logic’

    Who’s afraid of Donald Trump? All of us, according to the CBS News correspondent Major Garrett, who believes that we await his next tweeted rant with “frenzied dread”. The squalling baby with the nuclear toy box would be gratified by Garrett’s phrase, and indeed Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House (Simon and Schuster £20)takes its title from Trump’s claim in an interview that power depends on frightening people.
    Yet in Woodward’s meticulous account of office intrigues, the president’s men don’t seem to be trembling with fright. What they mostly feel is contempt for Trump or pity for his ignorance and the “teenage logic” of his obsessively vented grievances. Hence their deft “administrative coup d’état”: by purloining documents from Trump’s desk or slow-walking his intemperate orders, his aides have effectively benched him.
    That suits their indolent boss, who is free to watch television, eat hot dogs and swill down Diet Coke during what his diary-keepers euphemise as “executive time”. Periodically, he is wheeled out to sign bills he hasn’t read, with jagged penmanship that resembles an overexcited seismograph but “looks authoritative in black Magic Marker”. Told by his ideologues that he’s a populist, he mangles the word and says: “I love that. That’s what I am, a popularist.”
    Woodward’s book actually suggests that for Trump, power is not fear but obscenity. The discussions that Woodward’s sources have helped him to reconstruct are filthily cloacal or grossly sexual. Debates about policy are conducted in expletives. The nuclear deal with Iran, Trump declares, is “shitty”. Other problems are categorised as “bullshit” or “horseshit”, while arguments are “ripshit”.

    […quotes more twit obscenities…]

    The antidote to fear is loathing. The two were inextricably linked by the satirist Hunter S Thompson, whose spirit Ben Fountain invokes in his blazingly vituperative account of Trump’s rise, Beautiful Country Burn Again (Canongate £12.99). Whereas Woodward makes no attempt to characterise Trump, treating him as a shapeless chaos, always “moving in both directions”, Fountain skewers the man by fixing on his semi-human physical repulsiveness: he has a head like “a Terminator battering-ram”, the white-circled eyes of a skulking raccoon, and skin composed of “kiln colours – brick red, hot pink, burnt orange, a palette keyed to his flame-thrower lick of hair”. Trump is later defined as a “bog monster”, the product of America’s “masturbatory fantasies”, who has prevailed because “fear is the herpes of American politics”.
    By contrast with this eruption of poetic rage, Sean Spicer in The Briefing (Biteback £20) gives a masochistically feeble account of his few hapless months in the White House press office. He doesn’t even blame Trump for pettily excluding him from an audience at the Vatican, when the fervently Catholic Spicer hoped the pope would bless some olive-wood rosary beads for his poor widowed mum. He does embellish the orange ogre’s myth by likening him to a unicorn – a tribute to Trump’s fabulosity, or a way of hinting that he is indecently horny?
    Spicer, a Republican hack who has made a career out of being a spokesman for the unspeakable, says as little as possible about his erstwhile boss, and has little of interest to say about anything else….
    Spicer claims to suffer from “Catholic guilt”, so he must live in dread of the purgatorial flames after the months he spent lying for Trump. Perhaps his flushed face and flustered stuttering in the press room evinced spiritual anguish as well as embarrassment. Aware that his immortal soul was at risk, he read a daily extract from “the book Jesus Calling” before he faced the reporters; he also conscientiously chewed Orbit cinnamon gum throughout his briefings – a masticated Hail Mary to cleanse a mouth that was the channel for so many damnable untruths?
    More fearless than Spicer, Trump’s ejected aide Omarosa Manigault Newman sashays in for the kill in Unhinged (Simon & Schuster £20). Despite protestations of indignation about Trump’s racism, her quarrel with him is not ideological. Her book is an assassination, all the more deftly executed because Omarosa – whom Trump’s befuddled advocate Rudy Giuliani calls Amarosa, which is definitely a misnomer – learned about treachery by studying Trump. Cast as the villain on his reality show The Apprentice, she remodelled herself as “a female version of him”. In the view of this rampant alter ego, Trump is at once infantile and senescent, a pampered creature of uncensored id whose brain hardly developed before it was rotted by the 44,000 cans of Diet Coke he has so far swilled. “Mental decline”, as Omarosa judges, is accompanied by moral debility: she calls Trump “Twitter Fingers”, then watches his tiny hands unpaternally stray “low on Ivanka’s hips”. Having broken all the rules of governmental propriety, is he capable of outraging a primal taboo?
    Omarosa’s bad-mouthing has a righteous tinge: she recently got religion and is now an ordained Baptist minister. “To God be the glory!” is her book’s last line. I assume the glorification she refers to is the gloss and glitz of her celebrity status, with profits as proof of divine favour. When she deserts her flock for a “total Trump detox” on Celebrity Big Brother, she relishes “being sequestered away from the world”: ignoring the omnipresent cameras, she makes Big Bro’s panopticon sound like a nunnery.

    The deity is also stealthily at work in the machinations of pious Mike Pence, who as Michael d’Antonio and Peter Eisner argue in The Shadow President (St Martin’s Press £16.99) affects humility while he counts the days to Trump’s removal and his own accession. Pence’s religiosity, an old acquaintance comments, is an alibi for his fiendishly determined ambition. In Mr Trump’s Wild Ride (All Points Books £22.99) Major Garrett observes that Trump’s legal dangers and legislative impotence mean that his supporters are left with only his “mania – the last, inexhaustible commodity”. Trump is effectively a nihilist, who now rants about possible impeachment to ratchet up the drama of his downfall. By contrast, Pence is a cold-blooded man of principle, or of what d’Antonio and Eisner call “evil principles”, fixated on the transformation of licentious, liberty-loving America into a theocratic police state. “Be afraid, be very afraid,” Omarosa whispered to a Big Brother confidant, anticipating Woodward’s refrain as she reflected on the menace of the deputy she called “the Stepford Veep”.

    Garrett remembers Newt Gingrich, another sanctimonious political twister, quoting Rilke to justify Trump’s antics: “If you take away my demons, will the angels leave also?” The same supernatural forces are at play in Woodward’s book, where Bannon discerns “the hand of God” in Trump’s election while Priebus describes the solitary bedroom where he does his unsupervised tweeting as “the devil’s workshop”.

    Ben Fountain accuses America of schizophrenia, as red and blue states or white and black races tug the union apart; I’d say that the country is embroiled as usual in a Manichean battle between Eden and Armageddon, puritanism and decadence, with Pence and God on one side and the seven deadly but delicious capitalistic sins embodied by Trump on the other. Better the devil we know than the holy hypocrite who’s next in line?

  7. Sturg, the lute – harpsichord connection was evident to me. Back in the old days when I was still in graduate school, I had a friend who was a medieval music nut – played recorder in a lte medieval Music group and was harpsichord builder. At least he was a would-be harpsichord builder at the time & eventually became one with s few sales and some financial help from a historic Music foundation.  That was back in the days when the Clapton is God nonsense was around. He said if Clapton is so great Why doesn’t he hasn’t play the lute?  There were quite a few obvious answers- never saw pickups on a lute, hard to find lute strings, etc. My answer was I don’t know, probably the same reason Van Cliburn doesn’t play the harpsichord and Ian Anderson doesn’t play a recorder. He wasn’t amused.

  8. Sanity break with the NE Florida Eagles nest of Romeo and Juliet who have just returned and are in their courting phase and nestorations to get it ready for the products of all that courting.  Romeo and Juliet have been a mated pair.  There is a cam focused on the nest, so if you would like to keep up with them go here:



  9. Today is my Uncle Bill’s 102nd birthday. He’s mostly comatose, at home, under hospice care. His two daughters are with him. His body failed him–but, he was still driving his Alfa Romeo last month. He was my grandparent’s surprise child. He served in two wars and introduced modern technology to the family farm and business. He and I were close–I shall miss him.

  10. Beto has the momentum.

    Haven’t heard a peep about the yuuuuge rally Trumpsky was gonna hold for Tedious Cruz.

    Trump will lose more support each day but, man, the FEMA director is still up Trump’s butt.  What the heck?

  11. I see Congressman Eric Swalwell more and more as a potential JFK figure. Born in IA. Represents a CA district.

    37 years old. Well-spoken. Nice voice. Handsome. Brainy. A quick thinker. Forward – he’s not namby-pamby. Think about him.

  12. wapo:    California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault



    also in wapo:  GOP senator: Hold off on Kavanaugh vote until accuser is heard

  13. God,  I hope nobody ever holds me to account for crap I did in highschool, It is why we have different  laws for juveniles and adults.  If you can prove that  Cav.s adult behavior is connected to when he was a child then maybe the dems have a case  but to hold an adult responsible for behavior he committed as a child???

    sorry folks that is a losing fight


  14. Corey good to see your insight and humor on the trail last night. You don’t come around near enough and I’m rarely even lurking on facebook these days. Hope everything is going good for you.


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