Jun 21 2011


Category: humorharmonicminer @ 11:27 pm

At the end of the day, it’s all about humility.  Or maybe just humiliation.

I was asked to write a post for another website, one with much larger circulation than humble harmonicminer usually gets. The proprietors of that site asked me for a headshot photo.

Well… I didn’t really have one. I mean, I did, a couple of them, actually, but they are both from 30 lbs ago (thanks, weightwatchers), and I look fairly different now.

Not to put too fine a point on it, my face is now noticably less…. porcine.

On the other hand, what formerly looked like a pelican’s pouch now looks a bit more like a turkey wattle.  You can take away some fat, but the skin is still there. Sigh.

Still, it’s an improvement, and my wife thought I should really take a new photo instead of using one of the old ones.   That doesn’t sound so hard, does it?

So off we went with my Blackberry cell-phone camera to take a headshot.

First we tried the living room. I stood up against a white wall in a black sport coat and smiled.  It would seem that the white wall confused the white balance of the rest of the picture, and so I kept coming out looking just slightly ghastly…. I’m sure it couldn’t have been the actual smile that created the, uh, vampiric effect.  When I wasn’t looking ghastly, it looked like I had a slightly crazed look in my eyes… due only to some unfortunate flash reflections in my glasses, of course.  Maybe it’s the trifocal in the lense for the eye that works (I’m almost totally blind in one eye).

We had to go to Target anyway, so after about 10 failed photos at home, we took ourselves off to the concentric circles in hopes of finding a usable background in the store.  As it happened, there was a nice beige wall nestled charmingly between the non-wrinkle-free sheets and the trashcans (where we later discovered the sheets really belonged).  But the fluorescent lights all over the ceiling kept glinting off the top of my head, in a way that didn’t look like mystical enlightenment spontaneously breaking out due to the renewing of my mind.  Once, we thought we’d found a spot to shoot in that would work, with less ceiling light reflection… but the tile background, upon review at home, made it look like we’d shot it in a shower stall.   Really not the thing.

I think it was in Target, after 10 more attempted photos or so, that my wife (Mrs. Miner of these premises) began laughing.  Rudely.  Disrespectfully.  Sure, she was laughing with me.   Ri-i-ight.   And this after I rescued her from a life of penury and whisked her off to the lifestyle of the …well…  moderately middle class.

But I digress.

We came back home and tried to shoot photos in front of the kitchen cabinets, which are stained fairly dark.  Still getting reflections off my head.  Mrs. Miner, never one to shy away from her duty, disappeared momentarily, and returned with her makeup kit.  She began putting powder everywhere the light was glinting off me….  which, apparently, was essentially all of my face and the the top of my head.  I consoled myself with the thought that Ronald Reagan had worn makeup for speeches from the Oval Office.

Someplace in this photo series, it was decided that I should button the top button of my shirt.  I had been going for the casual look, but that also highlighted the, uh, extra flesh below my chin, which there is less of these days (did I mention that?), but still more than one might wish.  So after a couple of shots this way, Mrs. Miner began trying to tuck the extra flesh under my collar.  She tried the one finger tuck.  The two finger tuck.  The three finger tuck with simultaneous collar tug.

Then she began laughing again.  Do you think Nancy made fun of the Gipper?  Did Bacall break-up at Bogart?  (Bogart wore a toupee, didn’t he?)

In any case, after she calmed down from her convulsive cackling (ran out of extra oxygen, that is), we picked one of the photos.  Well, she picked it.  She said that in the photo I looked… subtly sardonic.  Hmmm.

So I emailed it to my daughter for her opinion.  My son-in-law emailed back and said it looked like a mug shot.  Apparently my daughter was too craven to deliver their considered judgment herself.

And this on Father’s Day.

So I sent the pic.  If it doesn’t result in the web master rejecting the entire article I submitted, I’ll link to the post here when it comes up in the rotation.

I wonder how much a facelift costs?

Or maybe next time I’ll just use one of those wee people avatars.

Jun 20 2011

US Dept of Justice in arms smuggling business? De facto, anyway…

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 7:25 pm

Powerline explains how the US Department of Justice and the ATF deliberately allowed 2000 AK-47 style (semi-auto) rifles to be bought in the US illegally and then smuggled into Mexico, ostensibly to create a connection with drug gangs, but instead possibly for other, far more political motives.


Can you imagine the outcry from the Left and the media if the Bush administration did this?


Read it all.

Jun 17 2011

“modernizing liberalism”?

Category: societyharmonicminer @ 1:06 pm

They’re going to have a Breakthrough Dialogue

Breakthrough Institute is hosting its Breakthrough Dialogue to discuss the challenge of modernizing liberalism in the wider context of human development and new risks. Breakthrough is hosting this small, private gathering of intellectuals with the purpose of gaining clarity and building community among important thought leaders.


The Dialogue will take place at the spectacular Cavallo Point resort near Sausalito, California. Our dining and meeting rooms overlook the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. The resort consists of a horseshoe of former Army officer houses, the insides of which were recently remodeled. There is a spa and massage center on-site, and the resort’s restaurant, Murray Circle, won a Michelin star last year. We are encouraging participants and speakers to bring their families to enjoy this special place.

I suggest that if the conference planners really want participants to see the fruit of liberalism, they should hold it in a public school auditorium in East Los Angeles, or Oakland, or maybe South Los Angeles, with lodging at nearby motels. That would be an object lesson in the results of the domination of public policy by liberals in California, and in California cities.

Bring your spouse for a romantic evening walk in the neighborhood.

Liberalism needs a breakthrough alright.   But it needs to be the sort of breakthrough experienced by drug addicts who finally hit bottom and renounce everything that got them there.

Jun 15 2011

Watch this man. He’s going places.

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:17 am