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Monday, September 1, 2014

Also, Happy 75th Anniversary of Germany Invading Poland to Start World War II Day

Not sure if anybody calls it that. I didn't call it "Krauts Invading Poland" out of deference to Germany being the third-most-frequent visitor to this blog, although I think it's just spambots seeking porn and so no one would be offended. But I digress.

Seventyfive years ago today, on September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland and started World War II with Operation Fall Weiss. The last Polish forces, overwhelmed by a German invasion from the west followed shortly by a Soviet invasion from the east, surrendered on October 6, 1939. It was the beginning of a long, shitty period in Polish history, with the Nazi occupation followed by the Soviet occupation from 1945 through 1989 or so.

Today, Polish and German leaders gathered to mark the 75th anniversary:
German President Joachim Gauck is to join his Polish counterpart, Bronislaw Komorowski , on the Westerplatte peninsula in Gdansk on Monday, for the main ceremony to mark the beginning of World War II.
The two heads of state are to place candles at the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the battle that marked the outbreak of the war, before laying a wreath at the memorial to the defenders of the Polish coast at Westerplatte.
. . .
The fighting began in the early hours of September 1, 1939, when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein fired on the Polish fort of Westerplatte. The first battle of the Second World War quickly ensued.
The attack on Poland by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime led Britain and France to declare war on Germany two days later.
Get ready for a lot of these anniversaries. Just because the U.S. didn't enter the war for more than two years doesn't mean it wasn't going on. It was. And with what Vladimir Putin is doing in Ukraine, anybody who thinks it could never happen again is whistling in the wind.


The prosperous side of Hispaniola drops by

We just got our first visit from the Dominican Republic, home to countless Major League Baseball players and destination for even more weddings and honeymoons, not to mention regular old Caribbean vacations. Of course, as anyone can tell you,
[t]he Dominican Republic . . . is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (afterCuba), with 48,445 square kilometres (18,705 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people, one million of which live in the capital city, Santo Domingo.
I once had a job offer in the Dominican Republic. Maybe should have taken it, as it likely would have kept me from going to law school, plus I've never been. But I hear it's great.

Chris Columbus was the first known European to find the island, on December 5, 1492, and his brother, Bart, built the capital city, Santo Domingo, in 1496, establishing "Western Europe's first permanent settlement in the "New World". The Spaniards created a plantation economy on the island.[28] The colony was the springboard for the further Spanish conquest of America and for decades the headquarters of Spanish power in the hemisphere."

The country is a multi-party representative republic, much like the U.S., with three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial). The economy is pretty good for the region. The country has
the second largest economy[13] (the largest, according to the U.S. State Department)[18] in Central America and the Caribbean. It is an upper middle-income developing country,[81] with a 2007 GDP per capita of $9,208, in PPP terms, which is relatively high in Latin America. In the trimester of January–March 2007 it experienced an exceptional growth of 9.1% in its GDP, which was actually below the previous year's 10.9% in the same period. Growth was led by imports, followed by exports, with finance and foreign investment the next largest factors.[82]The Naco sector, in Santo Domingo, with a view of Tiradentes Avenue
The Dominican Republic is primarily dependent on natural resources and government services. Although the service sector has recently overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans (due principally to growth in tourism and Free Trade Zones), agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and is in second place, behind mining, in terms of export earnings. The service sector in general has experienced growth in recent years, as has construction. Free Trade Zone earnings and tourism are the fastest-growing export sectors. Real estate tourism alone accounted for $1.5 billion in earnings for 2007.[83] Remittances from Dominicans living abroad amounted to nearly $3.2 billion in 2007.
The Dominican Republic is primarily dependent on natural resources and government services. Although the service sector has recently overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans (due principally to growth in tourism and Free Trade Zones), agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and is in second place, behind mining, in terms of export earnings. The service sector in general has experienced growth in recent years, as has construction. Free Trade Zone earnings and tourism are the fastest-growing export sectors. Real estate tourism alone accounted for $1.5 billion in earnings for 2007.[83] Remittances from Dominicans living abroad amounted to nearly $3.2 billion in 2007.
Plus, it's purdy:


So let's give a big Eff You welcome to The Dominican Republic. Come again soon, and bring your friends.

Happy Labor Day!

Yeah, I'm grilling. Ribs on the grill right now, smoking. Got King's Barbecue sauce for those bad boys. Gonna be good. Cheesecake made last night, chocolate pie in progress. Stuffed potato skins and a vegetable tray when folks start arriving in a couple hours, then corn on the cob, baked beans, burgers and dogs to go with the ribs. Might drink some beer.

So enjoy your day off. I could be working at holiday rates right now, but I prefer to kick back with a a burger, a cold one and some family and friends today. So I am. Go throw something on the grill. You'll feel better.


Might post a little food porn later. We'll see.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bulgaria, come on down!

Eastern Europe continues to check in, and now we have a first-time visitor from Bulgaria:
officially the Republic of Bulgaria . . . is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe's 14th-largest country.
Bulgaria used to be a part of the Warsaw Pact as a client state of the Soviet Union. I can't find a link for this -- I am too lazy to look very hard -- but my understanding is that the Bulgarian versian of the Soviet KGB was more than happy to do the really nasty stuff for them, keeping the KGB's hands sort of clean.

The capital is Sofia, and most of the population of 7.4 million is urban. But Bulgaria has a nice Black Sea coast, though, and you should go:


 See? Purdy. So let's give Bulgaria a big Eff You welcome.


And I sigh

It is interesting to me that today, the most popular blog post is this one, which directs readers to this site, which is one of my favorites and no longer is active. I love this guy, and I actually am still in contact with him. We kind of struck up an I-don't-know-you-but-I-like-you friendship after I stumbled upon his blog. He quit doing it because he felt he no longer had anything to say. As all of you know, that has not stopped me, and I think he was wrong, but that is his decision. As it is, I miss the photos and commentary he used to post. I have high hopes that he might someday contribute to Eff You in some way, but that remains to be seen. He is busy living his life. Makes me wonder what the hell I am doing, other than using the word "fuck" more than any non-porn site on the internet. At least I hope I am.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day food porn?

Trying to decide whether I should make something food-porn-worthy for Labor Day. Usually just go with dogs, burgers, brats, that kind of thing. Doing ribs this year, as well, but that's been covered. I'll have to give it some thought. Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bad sign for the swordfish

Lots of new bodies were added today. We were told yesterday, in response to questions about when we could expect to be fired, that the original timeline was late fall (December? late November? who knows?), but that the people were being added because the timeline was now much shorter. The law firm is still keeping the agency in the dark, so it could be a week, two weeks or sometime in October. Someone knows, but they aren't telling us. Obviously, this is not good news for the swordfish.

On a related note, a bunch of people got added to the project today and promptly tried to fuck things up. Some of the new folks were seated in our room, and some were seated elsewhere. Two guys came in with one of the agency's project managers to scout out seats, looked around and asked if there was another room they could look at.

Sorry, couldn't help myself. As they were walking out, I said, "They won't have mints on the pillow, either."

And I'm pretty sure they could still hear me when I said, "We're not auditioning. Don't come back."

They didn't come back, and some folks in the room who knew them thanked me. Being anti-social, at least among temps, can have its advantages.