Not Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Snow is Very Dirty”

helluva thing to be afraid of
helluva thing to be afraid of

This is the warning they have in Beijing,  don’t touch the snow, it’s polluted. ““We suggest everybody stays indoors,” Beijing’s Meteorological Bureau said in an announcement obtained by TIME. “The snow is very dirty! The snow is very dirty! The snow is very dirty!”   This was what the US was like pre Clean Air Act.  I remember going to Pittsburgh PA when the sky was brown.  I was being taken to an allergy doctor, which you can see as a bit ironic considering the air.  I also remember being stuck in one of the tunnels for hours (Pittsburgh is ringed by hills and the tunnels were outdated even back in the 70s.  And this is 30 years later).

Care for a glass of flaming water?  Or a cup of tasty toxins?  I grew up within about 30 miles of one of the worst Superfund sites, the “Bruin Lagoon” (now cleaned up. If I recall correctly, it was number 2, and only Hanford in Washington state, a nuke site, was worse)and we can’t forget Love Canal.  I used to work in the hazardous waste clean up industry and did a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) for a list of Superfund sites back in the 90s.  The computer print out I got (in the classic greenline track fed paper) was about 6 inches thick.  It’s likely thinner now since things are being cleaned up, and there are laws against allowing such horrible destruction to happen.


now we have the arrogant and the ignorant insisting that we don’t need the EPA any more. The deplorables deserve Trump and his coterie of idiots.  Unfortunately, the rest of us will suffer too.


What the Boss Likes – so, do you know anyone who knows medieval German or Austrian?

I have a mystery and I’m asking your help. I have an image, and some calligraphy that may be either German or Austrian, of what looks to be either late Middle Ages or Renaissance. A cousin got this partial copy but he is, alas, not a researcher and didn’t get the goodies I need.

I can’t read it and would very much like to find someone who can translate and, if possible, tell me the source of this page. I’d be more than happy to work out some method of payment for someone who can get me the information. I once found someone who was able to translate a wedding document for my Hungarian/Transylvanian/whatever side of the family and we worked out a great way for me to buy him a book as payment.

My family name is a variant of Schwerdtfeger.