Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from October 2007

Build your wild self–what would you look like?

October 31st, 2007 · 7 Comments

Fun and funny web toy

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Go on, you know you want to.

Besides, I don’t want to be the only one on the web goofing off when I ought to be working.

In my own defense, I can’t really touch-type when I’m wearing these big tiger paws.

Tags: funny · Wide wonderful world

We won we won we won we won..again!

October 30th, 2007 · Comments Off on We won we won we won we won..again!

Red Sox parade on Tremont Street

Originally uploaded by sooz

Un-be-darn-lievable, isn’t it?

We won we won we won we won we won…again!!!! (Says Betsy, born in Boston, grew up in NH, lives in Cambridge, now on sabbatical in Sweden….and not in fact an actual player on any field when Red Sox play.)

Yaaaayyyyy anyway!

But, in totally unrelated news from Sweden, I was introduced today to the most delicious (and most Swedish) sandwich! Take a bunch of Swedish meatballs, cold. Mix them up with some red beet salad (a little mayonnaise, a lot of chopped-itty-bitty Harvard beets.)

Now stuff all this stuff into what we New Englanders call a torpedo roll, to make what Long Islanders call a submarine sandwich. But you’re not done yet.

Decorate the edge of the sandwich filling with tiny, flavorful, sour, gherkin pickles.

If anything could console me for missing the Red Sox parade, this sandwich would. And thank you, Sooz, for Flickring your awesome view!

Tags: Boston · Sweden · Wide wonderful world

Cybernauts, come to the end of the classical earth…

October 29th, 2007 · Comments Off on Cybernauts, come to the end of the classical earth…

1029GalicianClip509 The newspaper “Voice of Galicia” sounds sweet this morning, with a story by Kiko Novoa. Novoa enjoyed my account of “The end of the classical earth” and calls me “la conocida periodista estadounidense Betsy Devine.”

The deservedly well-known Galician journalist Kiko Novoa adds a quick, charming, colorful explanation of blogging:

Betsy dispone de un blog ( en el que comparte sus experiencias con los cibernautas.

Roughly: “Betsy has a blog, in which she shares experiences with the cybernauts.”

Welcome, cybernauts! And thanks to Jorge Mira Pérez for calling my attention to Kiko Novoa.

Tags: Metablogging · Travel · Wide wonderful world

Kitchen-sink politics: “You have to have a grown-up”

October 28th, 2007 · Comments Off on Kitchen-sink politics: “You have to have a grown-up”

Old Sink

Originally uploaded by artsyevie

Amazingly, the guy who said this asked the New York Times to keep his name a secret.

”He brings you the entire kitchen sink, and says, ‘Look what I brought you, a kitchen sink. Let’s throw it at the guy.’ You have to have a grown-up around who says, ‘Well, I’m not sure we should throw the entire kitchen sink at the guy, but what an interesting brass spigot you found.’ ”

The “he” in question is Christopher Lyon, an opposition researcher perhaps most noted for claiming a NH politician’s wife was part of an “orgasm cult.” But our need for grown-ups has much wider relevance.

Any campaign can attract somebody who sees nothing wrong with tearing up opponents’ signs, disrupting their events, or even jamming their phones on Election Day.

So campaigns need experienced “grown-ups” to slow down such hotheads. The tragedy of Republicans under Karl Rove is that experienced politicians were afraid they would be fired if they stood in the way of dirty tricks, which had been admiringly re-christened “pushing the envelope.”

What the world needs now is fewer pushed envelopes and a lot more grown-ups.

Tags: Editorial · New Hampshire!

Overdue bestseller: Moneyovary?

October 27th, 2007 · Comments Off on Overdue bestseller: Moneyovary?

“The central premise of Moneyball,” (says Wikipedia) “is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed.”

Moneyball charts the rise of Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s by looking beyond “instinctive wisdom” about who does or does not “look like a ballplayer.”

Which brings me to a small blip from the Mercury News, on the conference She’s Geeky:

A venture capitalist who rejected Mary Hodder’s start-up for funding later told her he did so in part because Hodder had no male co-founder, and he thought she would quit because she’s a woman. Hodder didn’t quit. Her video search and social networking Web site,, is doubling its registered users every 2 1/2 months.

Mary herself says the VC was not “a bad guy,” adding that “we all have our stereotypes, our biases, our prejudices.”

But how much more money, it seems to me, a VC will make who can Billy-Beane his (or her) bias. I’m sure Harvard drop-out Bill Gates didn’t “look like” success. To quote some statistics from Score:

  • Women represent more than 1/3 of all people involved in entrepreneurial activity. (Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2005 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship)
  • Between 1997 and 2002, women-owned firms grew by 19.8 percent while all U.S. firms grew by seven percent (Source: SBA, Office of Advocacy)
  • The number of women-owned firms continues to grow at twice the rate of all U.S. firms (23 percent vs. 9 percent). (Source: SBA, Office of Advocacy and Business Times, April 2005)

Score adds that “The greatest challenge for women-owned firms is access to capital, credit and equity.” I’m sure the big-money players who did bet on Mary will do very well.

Tags: Editorial · geeky

And then a big voice thundered, “Let there be Red Sox”…

October 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

We walked home yesterday…

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Go Red Sox tonight, because (according to the Boston Globe, a totally non-partisan source of news) the Heavens have SPOKEN:

“Comet Holmes, which has been orbiting quietly since its discovery in 1892, has undergone a million-fold brightness increase on October 24 — and is now visible to the naked eye (though difficult from under the lights of Fenway),” [MIT Professor of Planetary Science Richard P.] Binzel said…

Can the Red Sox’ fortunes be predicted by celestial events? Some fans may recall the lunar eclipse of Oct. 27, 2004 — the night Boston won its first World Series in 86 years. For Game 2 tonight, there may be another sign in the sky.

“There will be a full moon (but no lunar eclipse as in 2004) for tonight’s World Series game,” Binzel said.

Go, Red Sox!!! Let me add to Professor Binzel’s suggestions, and just as scientifically, that the pictured red sky in Sweden just a few days ago probably also should serve to predict your next victory!

Tags: Boston · Cambridge · Science · Wide wonderful world

California fires now under control?

October 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Mt. San Miguel continues to burn. San Diego wildfires.

Originally uploaded by slworking2

Good news for exhausted firefighters and refugee California residents–a change in the weather has now slowed the spread of the flames.

The LA Times says that back in 2004, a “Blue Ribbon Panel” said California firefighters needed some 150 new firetrucks, but as of 2007 only 19 new trucks had ever been ordered…and zero delivered. Risking their lives in Vietnam-era helicopters, because recommended replacements for those had also never been purchased, California firefighters deserve enormous gratitude…

…which should be expressed by giving them tools that they need to do the hard dangerous job that they are doing on our behalf. Are you listening, all you tax-cutting Republicans whose SUVs are spackled with bumper stickers saying how much you respect soldiers, firemen, and policemen?

In funnier news, there’s a spoof piece at Daily Kos with photos of FEMA marshmallow distribution and a Bush “fireside” photo-op.

Tags: Editorial · politics · Wide wonderful world


October 23rd, 2007 · Comments Off on October…word!

Landscape in October

Originally uploaded by Giorgos ~

And the always-amazing Montauk Rider says…

… here are the dusky smells of the past saying goodbye–the future saying hello.

Enjoy the days of nature’s last hurrah.

Stockholm is grayer and cloudier than the landscapes of Montauk Rider’s autumn, the autumn that I grew up in. Even so, I’m glad to be “home” from my latest journey.

There is something inspiring in the sight of Nature preparing for long winter sleep–I was wishing that I could express the thought somehow, I’m grateful Montauk Rider did so.

Tags: Learn to write good · Wide wonderful world · writing

Think of this from the poor dog’s point of view!

October 22nd, 2007 · 3 Comments

Hetz, the theatrical dog, has just been fired from a Stockholm production of The Sound of Music.”

On Friday, during the play’s climactic scene, actor Felix Engström was giving his all to the evil-Nazi role of Herr Zeller. From a dog’s point of the view, Zeller’s aggressive threats have been going on since rehearsals, night after night after night after night…

Finally, Hetz the theatrical dog was moved to a heroic (dog) act, to save the Van Trapp family!

Poor Hetz was (of course) fired, and the actor Felix Engström now has an unusual trophy for convincing acting. Sadly that trophy arrived in the form of a dog bite.

Tags: funny · Sweden · Wide wonderful world

The end of the classical earth

October 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Fisterra coast emerges from fog
Today we travelled to the end of the earth and had an amazing seafood lunch with the mayor.

Heh. I’ve traveled a lot, but never expected to get to write that particular sentence.

On the westernmost point of Spain, there is (Wikipedia says) “a notable lighthouse” whose Galician and Spanish names (“Fisterra” and “Finisterra”) derive from Latin words for “end of the world.”

I’m sure the pre-Christian pilgrims, who came there for sunsets, were struck by the symbolism of its shifting fog, which motivated (much later) that notable lighthouse. One minute you can’t see halfway down the hill–clouds shift and you see rocky scenery across the bay–before fog returns and the view shivers back into mystery.

If you come to Galicia, which I recommend, don’t miss Fisterra, the lighthouse, the fog, the view, the fog again, and the delicious food at the Semaforo Hotel. You can find the hotel, no matter how foggy it is, because it is next to the lighthouse.

Tags: Travel