Round Two

The commentators called the second presidential debate “pugilistic”.  I was waiting for the bell between rounds.  I guess Obama did pay attention to the advice of President Jed Bartlet (see my West Wing blog1).  Our President has been described as competitive (as has been noted regarding his basketball games) and Romney as a bully (as noted in his high school escapade of holding down and cutting off a boy’s long hair).

A high school classmate of presidential candidate Mitt Romney told ABC News that he considers a particular prank the two pulled at Michigan’s Cranbrook School to be “assault and battery” and that he witnessed Romney hold the scissors to cut the hair of a student who was being physically pinned to the ground by several others.

“It’s a haunting memory.  I think it was for everybody that spoke up about it… because when you see somebody who is simply different taken down that way and is terrified and you see that look in their eye you never forget it.  And that was what we all walked away with,” said Phillip Maxwell. 2

Who won?  It is generally acknowledged that Obama did, but maybe because he won over himself in Debate One.  I personally thought that Candy Crowley, the referee, won (over Jim Lehrer, moderator for Debate One).  She didn’t get a black eye during the boxing match, but the Republicans are trying to give her now, since their guy lost.  We’ll see how Bob Schieffer does on Monday for Debate Three.

(Almost forgot to mention Mitt’s binders full of women.  Tumblr went crazy.Here’s my favorite.  Click to see the overflowing binders.)


Romney went to Cranbrook, a private college prep boarding school located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, near Detroit. (That’s where the hair-cutting incident took place.)  As of 2006, Cranbrook Schools had an endowment of $191 million.  Romney was there with a bunch of rich kids.

I grew up in Detroit at the same time, but went to an inner city high school, Cass Technical, eight stories high, with not even a football field.  (Our losing team practiced in the center of the track, and the four tennis courts doubled as a basketball court.)  Full disclosure: it did have a program comparable to that of Tucson’s University High (the public prep school), and I chose it for that and its incredible Commercial Art curriculum.  I looked it up on Wikipedia and discovered that the original building burned down!

The school was founded in 1907. Its historic landmark building on Second Avenue in downtown Detroit was built in 1919.  In 2007 there was a big fire on the old structure. Complete demolition left no traces by 2011. 4

Diana Ross graduated two years ahead of me.  Her major had been Home Economics!  In the yearbook she was recognized as Best Dressed!  (Cass Tech was one-third black – bet Cranbrook had no black students.)  Huh – John De Lorean (who invented the DeLorean automobile) and Jack White (of the White Stripes5) also went to Cass.  And a whole bunch of movers-and-shakers4, even some NFL stars!

But I also attended Cranbrook, if just the Saturday morning classes for kids at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  (Dad had been a commercial artist, and my brother and I took a lot of weekend art classes, there and at the Detroit Museum of Art.)  The original Cranbrook School for Boys was designed by Eliel Saarinen (Eero’s brother) in 1928.  Dad loved taking photos there, especially of this pool.  This photo is from the internet, but Dad liked photos of its reflections.   My one claim to fame, but I have no idea where Dad’s photo of the event is: the Cranbrook Art Museum had a show on Animals, and my junk sculpture of a fawn was next to a Picasso drawing of an animal.


The young ’uns have grown up.  They were eating mesquite seeds under my tree this evening.  Not enough rabbits around.  This is the only rabbit I’ve seen lately.  He spends quite a bit of time relaxing in my yard (but I’ve exiled him from my vegetable garden).

Too bad the coyotes are now too large to get through the fence now and eat all of my mice.  Got these photos from the deck, trying to focus between the leaves.  (You can only see the leg of the second one, on the right.)  With the click of the camera, the first one looked up.

Green Honey

Since August, beekeepers near the town of Ribeauville, in the northeastern region of Alsace, have been reporting their bees are producing blue and green honey, according to Reuters. And they’ve traced the cause back to a biogas plant that processes waste from an M&Ms factory.

Bees are apparently picking up vibrantly colored, sugary waste from the plant, operated by the company Agrivalor some 2.5 miles away from their apiaries. A statement from Agrivalor that appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde said the company would clean its containers and store waste in airtight containers to prevent bees from reaching it. 6


But the honey info is not from my What’s Bugging You class7.  I just saw the article.  Last week the professor told us to “pity the poor ticks”.  After their blood meal, they fall off their prey and they wait around on a blade of grass or some such, waiting for a deer or a dog or one of us to wander by (rather like a needle in a haystack) so they can jump on.  They don’t fly, jump or blow around with the wind.    No wonder they have to lay up to 3000 eggs, just to keep their population intact.

Ticks specialize.  No ticks specialize in humans (that I know of), but many ticks, such as deer ticks and dog ticks, will use us in a pinch.  Every class of terrestrial vertebrate animal, including amphibians can get a tick parasite.  Even birds and frogs!

There are 889 recorded types of ticks. The types of tick which are more familiar are the Deer (blacklegged), American dog, Brown dog, Lone star, Rocky Mountain Wood, Paralysis, Hedgehog and Cattle ticks, as these are associated with the more common tick-borne diseases in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia (such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Tick borne relapsing fever and Tick Paralysis) 8.

My brother’s last house, in Orinda, outside of San Francisco, had an acre of grass and fruit trees, and deer.  The deer, of course, dropped deer ticks, which spread Lyme Disease (which may affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and heart within weeks to months) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which may cause fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle pain, and possible death).  He wrapped up his legs very well before picking the fruit!









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