Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Happy Christmas, Happy Hannukah! To all of you who’ve ever read DesignerBlog, who’ve left comments, who’ve become friends, who’ve gotten together with me for lunch or dinner, visited my home, shared something of your lives and inner selves with me—you have made blogging a fun, always surprising, rich and deeply rewarding experience. Thank you, and my best wishes for the holidays and the coming new year.


The house after the back-to-back storms of last weekend


Speaking of blogging surprises, I got an email last week from fellow blogger David Castle, an artist who works in the Denver area. He told me he’s been particularly interested in the development of the new house and asked if I’d accept one of his hand-made ornaments for Christmas, one of a series he’d made to thank people who’d inspired him in some way. I wrote back to thank him and accept with gratitude.

The ornament was waiting for me in the mailbox when Fritz and I got back from New Jersey on Tuesday. It’s now on our Christmas Tree. David’s work reflects textures of the land and water, including New England colors. The URL for his site is
and his own blog is at Thank you, David!


George Bush, as has been widely reported, is now deeply concerned about how his legacy will be perceived and is working hard to come up with something—anything—he might have done that could remotely be seen as positive for the country. Well, he’s done one thing, albeit inadvertently: in this time of economic crisis and massive unemployment, the good news is that Bush was involved in the creation of 100 new jobs--the bad news is that they’re all in Turkey. The story:

Stampede for 'Bush shoe' creates 100 new jobs

Robert Tait in Istanbul
The Guardian, Monday 22 December 2008

Their deployment as a makeshift missile robbed President George Bush of his dignity and landed their owner in jail. But the world's most notorious pair of shoes has yielded an unexpected bonanza for a Turkish shoemaker.

Ramazan Baydan, owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company [], has been swamped with orders from across the world, after insisting that his company produced the black leather shoes that the Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last Sunday.

Baydan has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271 - more than four times the shoe's normal annual sale - following an outpouring of support for Zaidi's act, which was intended as a protest, but led to his arrest by Iraqi security forces.

Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain, and from neighbouring Muslim countries, he said.

Around 120,000 pairs have been ordered from Iraq, while a US company has placed a request for 18,000. A British firm is understood to have offered to serve as European distributor for the shoes, which have been on the market since 1999 and sell at around £28 in Turkey. A sharp rise in orders has been recorded in Syria, Egypt and Iran, where the main shoemaker's federation has offered to provide Zaidi and his family with a lifetime's supply of shoes.

To meet the mood of the marketplace, Baydan is planning to rename the model "the Bush Shoe" or "Bye-Bye Bush". "We've been selling these shoes for years but, thanks to Bush, orders are flying in like crazy. I've even hired an agency to look at television advertising," he said.

But wait—there’s more. Americans have been taking old shoes, putting them in boxes and padded shipping envelopes addressed to George W. Bush, and flooding the White House mailroom with them. I wonder : does the mailroom staff take them up to the president’s West Wing office and throw them at him?


Some things never change; some people insist on remaining mired in ignorance and and stupidity. Excerpted from a BBC News item:

-In a speech Monday, Pope Benedict XVI asserted that saving mankind from gays and transgenderism was as important as saving the rainforest.

“We need something like human ecology, meant in the right way,” said the pontiff. “The Church speaks of human nature as ‘man’ or ‘woman’ and asks that this order is respected… The rain forests deserve our protection, but man as a creature indeed deserves no less.”

The Rev. Sharon Ferguson of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement took the Pope to task for his comments: “It is more the case that we need to be saved from his comments. It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools and it is comments like that that justify gay bashing.

“There are still so many instances of people being killed around the world, including in western society, purely and simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

“When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God’s work in ridding the world of these people.”

I love that picture with the hands...and I really like the picture of your house in the snow.....I wish you boys nothing but happiness and peace in your home and hearts.
Happy Holidays to you and all of yours...
May 2009 be good to you
I am glad to have you as a blogger buddy.
Happy holidays to you and Fritz. See you soon.
Will - So glad you liked the ornament! Happy New Year!

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