Thursday, December 29, 2016

Gratitude: Hanukkah, Trevor Noah

RantWoman's peculiar gratitude of the moment is to wish there were not nearly so much astounding raw material for the world's humor machines. This video is from before the election. The language is considerably less than churchly well depending on whereyou go to church. RantWoman is more than bad friend enough to laugh very hard anyway. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gratitude from Junior High long ago

This moment summoned from RantWoman's past, the hoary mists of Last centruy by meandering thourgh a social media moment involving the brave modern--or not so modern--world of middle school:

One of RantWoman's odd memories from seventh grade was a girl who must have been in one of RantWoman's classes but who did not sit near enough to RantWoman to know each other well.

RantWoman has a vague memory of this girl being a bit of a stoner. RantWoman does not remember why she has this impression except for one funny momeny in a stairwell between classes or after school.

Other girl: "Wanna fight?"

RantWoman "No. (huh? we barely know each other certainly not well enough even to know whether we have anything to fight over.) "

Other girl: "Wanna smoke weed?"

RantWoman: "NO. (Don't smoke weed with strangers--probably NOT a message RantMom would have thought to offer, but nothing about the conversation made RantWoman remotely interested anyway.)

Upon sober reflection, probably just as well RantWoman did not say something like "Wanna go to the library and read Flatland?"

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hanukkah Overabundance: Poopy Diaper Problems

Peculiar Gratitude of the Day: "Poopy diaper problems!"

A long deceased member of RantWoman's Meeting, Rock-Climbing Octogenarian was very fond of babies. However when the babies started to cry or developed baby realities like poopy diapers, they got summarily handed back to their parents with a cheery "She's Yours!"  RantWoman has been told that her maternal grandmother had a similar policy about behavior issues. Heck even RantWoman has been known to quip that one thing about being Auntie is that one gets to Give the Kid Back sometimes.

RantWoman has been staring into the coming Trumpling whirlwind and lo, similar Light has flashed in the middle of the vortex. There are just some problems where as long as a certain party is in charge, "She's YOURS" is the perfect place to start policy conversations:

--The Flint MI lead poisoning water crisis caused by republican emergency managers trying to save money: She's YOURS. Now YOU fix it. RantWoman actually finds herself dizzy with the thought that this point did not come up in a certain campaign...

--The education system and a certain billionaires cabinet nominee who has no previous connection to public schools: just imagine if the public schools had as many resources as all your team's private schools have per student. Imagine the results....Now, it's Yours to FIX... (RantWoman means to keep this idea on a very short leash, but...)

And Hanukkah worthy Fare:
Fish soft Taco and Sweet Potato Mexi Fries (tm)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Matters Electronic and otherwise

For orientation, a Friend's meditations about another Meeting's Meeting for Business jogged RantWoman's memory and tempt her to post more than necessarily should be posted unseasoned. This post is basically meditations on matters of electronic communications, with a digression not ripe for further detail about being faithful to various Quaker testimonies. Toward the end buried for now in a blizzard of esoteric techie minutia is a REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request which hopefully RantWoman will summon presence to make more concisely and to be patient about. Hopefully.

For those who like to nerd out about matters of electronic communications, there is a link to further meanderings at the bottom of thist post. Basically the path to unity is long and tangled and RantWoman keeps taking vigorous exception to other people's pronouncements. Aren't we all glad for continuing revelation and shared discernment no matter how disconnected the shared discernment is!

The part of meditations about RantWoman's most recent Meeting for Business that should not be posted unseasoned has to do with lawyers and wordsmithing of a minute and leadings and shared discernment about a Meeting position. Hold said discernment in the Light. Hold in the Light RantWoman's ability to broaden a discussion to more general themes and then to admit to LOTS of experience talking with different lawyers about said generalized topic.

Then hold in the Light either getting to clarity about wording or getting to clarity that needing to nail down clarity of wording is not the direction the discussion is headed.

While we are at it, hold in the Light RantWoman's utter inability to stay completely in scope at least as defined by others even if what needs to  be seasoned for this moment really IS only one sentence in a minute. God is telling RantWoman pretty firmly that there is more to be said....

In the meantime, speaking of lawyers RantWoman's other thematic experience with lawyers is the moments when RantWoman has needed legal advice and first had to seek legal help about applicability of the magical phrase "reasonable accommodation" before anything can happen about the topic RantWoman has sought advice about.

In this case, RantWoman's main REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request is just for people to LISTEN to her perspective, not to talk over her without attention to RantWoman specifics, not to whine because RantWoman is not automatically "nice" when being silenced, and not to take it personally when RantWoman is called AGAIN to say "just because it works for you does not mean it works for me."

RantWoman's other specific REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request (yep, a vocabulary check on top of everything else, and topical because of the matter being seasoned) is to consider RantWoman's points specifically about list archives and the matter of Reply/all.

Welcome to life around RantWoman's inner blowtorch and no, sorry, readers do not get away just with putting up with lumps of coal in a Christmas stocking.

Who knew deciding on an email distribution list platform could be so COMPLICATED?


RantWoman's Meeting has begun a mailing list experiment, a list for ANNOUNCEMENTS, a list people are requested not to do Reply/All to. Back to this point when RantWoman decides to compare notes with another mailing list practices.

The platform chosen in Google Groups. RantWoman is familiar with this platform, familiar as in email is one thing, but when RantWoman interacts through the Google Groups portal, the keyboard tricks RantWoman relies on with her screen reader do not work. RantWoman can get away with screen enlargement but this is slow, aggravating, and not RantWoman's first choice. When the selection of Google groups was announced, RantWoman finally took some time to read help files and to learn that n the accessibility picture has improved over time. There is reference to this point in RantWoman's comments below.

RantWoman was informed that the guidelines, not reported here, came from some article in Friends' Journal. RantWoman has asked for help pointing her to the exact article. Silly RantWoman: RantWoman figures someone who has a link to the article could easily email to RantWoman. This would save RantWoman a whole lot of extraneous screen reader chatter and allow her to focus more of her energy on the article content. Sigh RantWoman possibly overestimates others' fluency with electronic media.

   RantWoman can probably bloody well go find the article herself, except RantWoman does not have a paid subscription to FJ. RantWoman went to the FJ site and put in a term RantWoman guessed MIGHT take her to the article. RantWoman got invited to have a paid subscription.

    RantWoman would love to have conversations with QuIP about Quaker publications and library practices. RantWoman's Meeting has a wonderful libbray. If RantWoman could still read print, RantWoman would save paper and read the article at the library. Enough said for now.

Back to the mailing list guidelines found at Our Mailing List guidelines PDF: RantWoman has two beefs with the guidelines.

Who is going to Moderate, a single person or a team / committee? RantWoman strongly recommends a committee. So far that recommendation has not been heard. RantWoman does not apologize for being fairly insistent about the value of checking out different features and thinking things through but hey, RantWoman is versatile and can let things unfold...

Has the intended tool been checked for accessibility by the people who are going to use it? The guidelines make NO mention of this, so welcome to another unplanned trip to exotic Planet RantWoman.

RantWoman here is just going to excerpt some emails. RantWoman KNOWS that many readers really do not want more detail than "RantWoman had to go to a lot of extra trouble to figure out the interface for Google Groups," but Merry Christmas and here is the detail anyway!

Begin First Email Excerpt:
Honestly, I wish the question "does it work with a screen reader?" were
part of the decision process about whether to use a given tool BEFORE the
tool is selected.  In the case of Google Groups, the answer is yes for some
screen readers and no (or unknown) for others. Luckily I have access to the
Windows screen readers it works for. Unluckily I have an android phone so
it amuses me that the help mentions Voiceover for Mac /iPhone but even
though Android is a google product the help does not mention So no Google
groups on my phone with Talkback. And accessibility is always  a moving target
as different parts of the software chain needed get updated in different
cycles. But I get ahead of myself.

Tonight I used the search string

JAWS google groups

to see about accessibility issues.

The good news: The interface is similar to blogger so MAYBE somethings from
Google groups will also be useful in Blogger. There is stuff in Google
groups help that should be useful but here are the comments I wrote when Google  asked whether the results are useful.

1.  Group the results by most recent first. I really do not mind skipping all the results about things that do not work in 2013 when it is now 2016.

2. It is okay I guess to have the info about tabbing around when I want to know about navigating by headings or links on a page. Okay but not terrific.

3. The keyboard shortcuts page is fairly useful. I am not sure how iintuitive I will find the individual letters, but I will try. Also I find it sort of vexing to have to read all the way to the bottom to get the part about "TO make the keyboard shortcuts work turn off the JAWS virtual cursor.

End First Email Excerpt and detail overload.

Second Email excerpt from item seasoning in Drafts folder
3. I am going to continue to attach accessibility related comments to announcements until I hear back that at least a FEW people GET MY SPECIFIC POINTS. The specific nugget I promised: why it is really helpful to have discussion go to the archives and why I put others through my previous comments about screen readers and all the things I had to go through to use what other people just take for granted:

--I actually get (and send--urk) a lot of email. When I want to look up old email, I do not search visually. I use the search bar. (Y'all can probably save time doing that too and I would be happy to say more if you are interested.). Even though I think I am pretty smart about searching I still wind up with more emails than I am looking for.  If material from the announcements list goes to the google groups archive AND I have taken time to figure out the  particular keyboard shortcuts for Google groups then I can search only in the group archives and cut down on having to weed through extraneous materials with my screen reader. If anyone would like some blindness tourism about the screen reader experience, feel free to request...
End of Second Email excerpt

RantWoman is perfectly well aware that she is talking about email list platform functionality that she as a certified geek cares about and that others less encumbered by techie fascinations might not even care about.


RantWoman at this point is kind of hard-wired with some tolerance for answering basically tech support questions from other people newer to technology. However RantWoman can only answer the questions if she herself either knows what is going on or can guess where to point people. So RantWoman being able to navigate ... is a GOOD thing for many....

And furthermore, yes, a few people are specifically being eldered. RantWoman encourages readers to hold them all in the Light and RantWoman is happy to entertain complaints and comments from people who recognize themselves or someone they know.

"it works for me and I don't see why it doesn't work for your..."
Friend, you are a very weighty Friend. RantWoman has been TRYING to have this conversation with you for ...  You are still a weighty friend and you are STILLL MISSING THE POINT.

"...but I'm a lawyer and ..."
Friend, RantWoman likes you fine. Soooo, for now RantWoman is not going to regale you with every single complicated leglal matter where RantWoman has had to cold-call lawyers and then also get advice from an ADA lawyer.

"...I am (former supposedly topical role...and I am going to tell you how it might be without asking you what issues you are most concerned about."
Bless your heart Friend. You get multiple opportunities to read about RantWoman's perspective whether you asked for them or not.

A further link, posted here for ease of locating when rantWoman is clear about trying to have more discussion in person. Translation: this blogger is at least as wordy and abstruse as RantWoman. Sigh.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hallelujah, it's a Christmas melange, with SILENT Monks

RantWoman is falling behind and variously out of sequence about Hanukkah and peculiar gratitudes.

First Day Worship: almost entirely silent with one lovely message about a family name that means frankincense in German and connections to new beginnings.

RantWoman spent a bit of worship seasoning one of her standard Russian novel messages. A theme of RantFamily Christmas celebrations has been God being present for everyone, from performance of a piece called Misa Criolla and discussion of the vernacular mass (the Rant Family is protestants but still) to the different walks of life represented by the traditional nativity story and manger scene.

This time, RantWoman was seasoning a message about Fidel Castro's passing, about someone RantWoman knows who talked both about how some of his family suffered during and after the revolution and about the role Cuban education and medical support and leadership of the non-aligned movement gave voice to many strivings for the Other Than Superpower segments of the developing world. RantWoman also finds reason to hope in the sequence of countries lining up in the UN Security Council sending a message to Israel that no matter what the #PEOTUS is crashing about trying to promise, Israel will NOT have carte blanche...

Maybe if RantWoman were a trained sermon writer... words would have lined up and made it out of RantWoman's mouth, but not so much this time.

and we will not even try to go near the question "What is the problem billionaires have thinking about everyone having health care?" also tied up with Castro and Christmas and ...

In other news, RantWoman managed not to bring a brass ensemble to Meeting for Worship on First Day and will hold off on convening the God Talks to RantWOman Through Pipe Organs So We Must Buy One Committee at her Meeting as long as the rant Family can make it to the holiday spectacle ( pun / false Russian cognate intended) at Little Sister's Presbyterian church.


RantWoman and RantMom discovered burgers and chocolate milk and a shared order of French fries at a newly remodeled neighborhood fast food outlet make fine Christmas Eve fare. Look there is something fried here. Happy Hanukkah with candlelight at church to boot.

Little Sister has a New Wheelchair which she claims is very uncomfortable despite some other awesome features. Everyone RantWoman knows on planet Obamacare who has needed wheelchair repairs or new wheelchairs has had to endure repeated cycles of worse service and worse paperwork screwup and delay than ever.  Little Sister was already 2 years overdue and her chair was literally falling apart when the new one got ordered. It has tons of spiffy features. The one that MOST THRILLS RantWoman is LIGHTS, front and back, white yellow in front and red in back with a flashing hazard option.RantWoman THINKS she will be able to resist both lecturing Little Sister about driving around the mean STREETS with NO VISIBILITY FEATURES WHATSOEVER and plastering the new chair with reflectivity features.

Irrepressible Nephew no longer needs Auntie's shoulders to help him reach the ceiling. This year he just reached up and flattened his hands back against the ceiling at RantMom's house.

The RantFamily has medical vulnerabilities and difficulties around the edges but it's REALLY nice when things are managed well enough that no one goes to the ER.

We even had a holiday phone call from RantBrother piquantly appreciated the results of the November vote at least as far as access to good weed. Okay, so NOT RantMOm's favorite topic, but how about we dedicate the following silliness to RantBrother just on principle:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thank you note to The Orange One

Dear Mr. President-Elect, Oh, Great Orange One, #PEOTUS

RantMom taught RantWoman always to write thank you letters  even if one is not entirely charmed by whatever one is expected to express gratitude for.

In that spirit, RantWoman humbly wishes to thank you for all your recent comments about military buildup, modernizing nuclear arsenals, and nuclear proliferation but only to the good guys. RantWoman sincerely thanks you for an occasion to post this item served up while RantWoman was exploring other frontiers of extremely bad taste.



Hanukkah 2016 theme and

RantWoman hereby proclaims this year's Hanukkah celebration theme to be Peculiar Gratitudes." something in the spirit of "Thank you so much for smashing our oil supply so we had to scrounge and what we scrounged lasted 8 days."

RantWoman also promises at least a few references to something or other just plain nutritionally appalling.

NO, RantWoman does not promise theological nuance. If by the grace of God and NPR RantWoman accidentally gets near grounded theology, please do not feel obliged to tell RantWoman lest she get inappropriately diverted from the path to such insights.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Love and Light to a happy couple

RantWoman wants heartily to congratulate two weighty Friends who have long been married under care of our Meeting but are getting legally married today.

RantWoman wishes them as much joy and community connection going forward as they have now. RantWoman is also peculiarly grateful they are having a family celebration and RantWoman does not have to add another party to her calendar.

Humbly, this is not only because family seems like plenty. It is also because RantWoman is feeling sort of sour and cranky and should not necessarily overdo presence in public.

Love and Light to the Happy Couple though!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Week 4: Villa-Lobos Fantasia; Katherine Weintraub, Soprano Saxophone

With the days FLYING by faster than RantWoman ever hopes to catch up with, RantWoman is still all theologically muddled. RantWoman began today's quest for musical enhancement far differently from where she has wound up, for which we are all to be grateful.

Merry Christmas with prayers and warm other seasonal greetings to all!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Not Chirstmas exactly neither

And lo, the Lord spake unto RantWoman and did not succeed in soothing her INSISTENCE that Tom Lehrer is somewhere between entirely too apt and FAR Too tasteless even for RantWoman.

First in honor of the latest intelligence / stupidity about who meddles in whose elections,  who hacked whom and who ignored which warnings and what is or is not rigged, satire with playlist for even more stark sarcasm.

And lo, the interwebs served up the above item when RantWoman, overcome by urges to deliver lumps of coal many directions, asked her search engines for videos of Poisoning Pigeons in the Park in order better to preach the sermons on her mind:

--NO! DO NOT feed the pigeons.

--Nor the waterfowl neither

--Cats? Songbirds? Ecosystem!

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park 1953

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, Decades later No, NEVER MIND. RantWoman does not get to deliver any lumps of coal until she washes the Poisoning Pigeons in the Park meme out of her brain. Hold RantWoman and the blessed pigeons and the nation and the holiday frenzy and the electoral college and... in the Light.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent Week 3: Jacqueline du Pré - Kol nidrei Op. 47 - Max Bruch ..Y Sevilla

RantWoman continues this year's Advent observance by posting things that have nothing to do with Christmas.

RantWoman read up enough about the Kol Nidre to realize it is a prayer customarily done on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. RantWoman may or may not be led to expand on matters of atonement just now. In the meantime, two notes:

1. This setting of the prayer for 'cello is VERY difficult. Very difficult as in for instance a good bit up high on the fingerboard in the tonal range usually reserved for the violin. Very difficult as in, rather than needing to atone for .. some people should leave the performance to much better cello players.

2. RantWoman recommends savoring the music and not worrying too much about theology or timing. Just let the music work at least for now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quaker Speak: How Do Quaker Meetings Do Outreach and Welcome Newcomers?

RantWoman's brain is scurrying around crazily like a puppy on new linoleum meditating about many threads of storing and organizing information but RantWoman is glad to collect both the this QuakerSpeak video and the link to the equivalent in Russian. RantWoman will now return to the rest of her frenzy.

Quakers.Ru Introduction to the video and trasncript translated into Russian

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In Bed, Shot by a jealous lover

Off -Color Jokes Friend said a number of times that she hoped to die in bed shot by a jealous lover. Her husband passed away several years ago, and RantWoman has little info about any possible Jealous Lover candidates.

Off-Color Jokes Friend has been slowly fading away for a number of years, shrinking in height, seeing and hearing less and less, till the best way of greeting her was just to reach and hold her hand for a few minutes. Even then her eyes still sparkled as this sweet little old lady presence came up with some or another joke.

If you want to remember Off-Color Jokes Friend, ask RantWoman for instance in person whether she can reconstruct the joke whose punch line is "...but I had to mow the lawn."  NO PROMISES, which is one reason there is no spoiler alert.

Off-Color Jokes Friend's passing was announced during Joys and Sorrows last First Day. There is a memorial pending. RantWoman does not imagine her passing was as dramatic as Off-Color Jokes Friend hoped.

Off-Color Jokes Friend was one of two committee members twice RantWoman's age when RantWoman was clerk of Peace and Social Concerns committee during a certain 1999 Trade Ministerial. She also was one of several elderly women with macular degeneration who have all passed away since RantWoman compiled her list of 13 names in her Meeting suffering some kind of severe vision deterioration.

RantWoman will miss Off-Color Jokes Friend.

RantWoman is also deeply grateful for all the Friends who helped bring Off-Color Jokes Friend to Meeting so that RantWoman did not have to brave long bus rides to see Off-Color Jokes Friend in person.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent Week 2: Frosty the Snow Man Meow

And for our Second Sunday in Advent, another amazing round of Honest Jewish Guy trying to make a living composing holiday music, with certain thematic flourishes which also evoke remembrances of RantDad's numerous efforts, some more on target than others, to match music with the requirements of the season and the available musicians, as well occasionally as theology.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Trumpland in Wallingford and wandering in Social Media thickets

No RantWoman, you do NOT need to wade into this Twitter spat.

Iljeoma Oluo on Incident in Wallingoford and police response

No, you do not. The last time you waded into a Twitter storm involving ... you got harassed for days by a parade of (pathetic guys who might have a better chance of getting laid if they would dial back...). No You do NOT need to wade in, and furthermore you just being another mouthy white person might or might not help..

Tough. RantWoman is already there, in guise of generalized Sensible Auntie on behalf of many current and former teenagers. In a nutshell

--Youths of color walking from school to the Boys and Girls club in their neighborhood.

---sidewalk turf spat with one grumpy white guy who is suspicious of what is in backpacks and calls police about "8 black suspects"

--different white guy driving a work vehicle accused of assaulting on youth and hurling racial epithets

--police show up

--police at first claim youth just ran away and claim interviews with witnesses do not corroborate youth's story."

--one of youths is charged for damage to van driver's vehicle. Police also release other "known to police" commentary including multiple references to other events involving same youth in same neighborhood. (RantWoman points out that "known to police" could refer to a variety of circumstances)

--conversations erupt in social media. RantWoman's contributions:
    --LOTS of Trumpishness about in the city. By Trumpishness, RantWoman means:
         --more than one Muslim woman either being violently assaulted or threatened
         --a blind friend walking her dogs on a Saturday evening who encountered drunk guys yelling about "defectives like you"
         --a jump from every once in awhile to about every day or so hearing some kind of blatantly racist comment on the bus, way past the number easily handled just with RantWoman's well-honed just time to pray reflex.

    --Would be entirely appropriate for cops to interview the youths actually involved not just other witnesses who may or may not have been in a position to see or hear all that went on.

   --Youth who are willing to talk to police but cannot rely on parents migthwant to ask for help from another trusted adult, a theme that MIGHT have been topical around the RantFamily for sure

--cell phone video surfaces in social media. youths do cellphone video of police interviews;
Cellphone videos posted to Facebook

--police department tweets that further investigation is occurring and then...crickets...

--This evening RantWoman logs into facebook. The employee in the company van has been suspended pending investigation. Employee is a union member. RantWoman does not read all 113 comments but there is much frothing at the keyboard about how the guy should be summarily fired. Ummmm, folks, we WANT unions. We WANT process. RantWoman is glad the employer is engaged and RantWoman does NOT want to give the guy a pass. But RantWoman thinks lots of process needs to play out yet.

The longer version
After finally reading the latest of the Twitter thread and looking at cellphone video posted through Facebook mobile and therefore invisible until one is on a platform where one signs in to facebook, a few thoughts:

Grumpy white guy gets into sidewalk turf spat with group of African American youth headed from school to Boys and Girls club.

Grumpy White guy yells at youth to "Move!" Youth laugh.

Grumpy white guy probably feels severely dissed. He  calls cops and complains about 8 black youths ganging up on him.

(Editorial comment: this probably could have gone better from both sides. Maybe grumpy white guy is just being grumpy. Maybe grumpy white guy for instance sees badly and cannot see room. Maybe grumpy white guy feels entitled to his path just because, but...   Okay okay one OF COURSE could certainly scream #whitesupremacy but MAYBE it would be helpful to put combinations of people in rooms and see what could be talked through.)

Grumpy white guy worries about what is in backpacks. NEWS FLASH: they are coming from school. What do you THINK is likely and quite appropriately in their backpacks?

Artisan Electric van guy is driving by slowly because of school traffic. He thinks youths are ganging up on grumpy white guy so that is his point of engagement. In context I tend to believe the youth about language and attitude.

Police show up. There is cellphone video of interview BUT at first police say the youths ran away and "independent witnesses" do not corroborate story."

See above.... RantWoman is glad actually that employer and union are engaged and doesrecommend seeking Light and Lessons well seasoned.

Again! The Dakota Access Pipeline's Reservation Reroute

RantWoman is grateful there are other people in the world who also tell more of the Truth than the world necessarily wants to hear.

This video is anachronistic. RantWoman is not posting of snow and water cannons and people getting shot in the head with rubber bullets and emergency proclamations and various official edicts. Hold all such entanglements in the Light.

Pulitzer Prize for database of police shootings The Daily Show - Wesley Lowery Extended Interview

Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize for database of police shootings RantWoman in just collect the data and then see what light comesmode is very impressed.