Wotta Speech. Wotta Country.

Just a few very short observations on DT-rump’s SOTU speech 4 Feb 2020

  • For the most part I watched SG-1 on another channel.
  • When I did pass by the “speech” in the other room I wanted to throw up
  1. I’m just so elevated and honored that the great patriot Rushing Loo got the award with the (now) lowest, slimiest honor the USA can bestow
  2. I’m so glad the little girl gets her choice of schools now instead of those horrible government schools – wait – isn’t OrangeBoy in charge of government (i.e. he’s talking about “his” schools) and why hasn’t he made those terrible gov-mint schools better? Ah, charters are just another way to steal from the public purse and leave us peasants in the lurch.
  3. I’m so glad he got such a great fiction writer to fabulate a fantasy world to report on. Great book report Mango!
  4. Nice to see the cult members have their cheering cues down pat. They are learning almost as fast as Hitler’s cult members learned back in “the day.” Yeeeeeee- HAW!
  • I kept visualizing Nancy Pelosi pulling out a giant dagger and jumping forward with it to savagely stick King Con in the back, then driving in a wooden stake, then … (fill in your own exuberant, excited, spit-dribbling details here).
  • No matter how hard I visualized, even squinting and holding my breath until I was blue, Nancy Never, never did. Dang.
    Would have been great (reality) television!

The Budd Boetticher Frame

Budd Boetticher was a film maker. In the 1950’s he made a series of westerns, starring Randolph Scott. Boetticher had a signature framing device introducing his main character.

Boetticher would start out with a huge, wide-screen shot of the massive western landscape, hills, mountains, canyons, ridges, anything rugged. As you looked at the screen you would begin to see, in the tiny lower corner a moving near-dot, a figure on a horse, so small you almost didn’t see it in the context of the powerful landscape.

Yet as powerful as the land which filled the frame, that tiny speck of movement in the lower corner would begin to dominate your attention. Until that was all you watched, no matter how tiny.

The frame would eventually get closer and closer to the tiny speck until the horse and rider filled the frame and you would see our film’s hero up close. But until you got there, right at the start, as small as it was, all you would be actively aware of in that great large landscape was the dot, the tiny dot in the corner, barely moving from that distant view.

That tiny dot dominated your attention.

Sometimes it is the tiny thing that stays with you, that you never stop thinking about, regardless of how small.

I have four of them:
1) a little bit of information that my grandfather said about his father in the late 1890’s,
2) a catechism class at age eight in the fall on 1956 which derailed my life and
3) sins of the parents teaching in catechism
4) a farm dinner around age eight or more likely age nine, probably 1957, where I met the relatives of my mom’s new husband.

At this writing, January 2019 and I am 71 years old. There is not a day that goes by that those three memories have not crossed my mind. This is also the first time I’ve told this. This isn’t something I ever talk about. Except, this time.

Note: I am posting this in January 2020. The only thing I might change would be to place more weight on understanding that our ability to control the self-damage is a process rooted in core beliefs about how much that injury affects and controls you. Once the “primary injury” is done, and depending on how severe the primary injury is, neutralizing the after effects of that injury is not merely a matter of will power or a decision made after weighing any “factors.” I’m not sure what makes the change, though I think that change relies on the so-called subconscious.  You can’t impose recovery on another any more than you can impose recovery on yourself.

Part 1 – Framing and Primary Injury Phase

1 – My Great Grandfather – Turn of the century around 1900

My grandfather, Dr. John Cartmell Devine, DDS, who was born in 1893 told me that, as a child, he remembered his father, Francis Devine, tobacco plantation owner and 1st generation Irish immigrant (1848 as an infant), fiesty man, wearing a gun as protection because of death threats for having started a school for blacks in Maysville, Kentucky.

That’s all I ever knew or remembered. By the time I should have been asking more about it, details, dates, etcetera, I was already so removed from my family I never asked for more information. Nor have I found a way to verify what may have occured.
Even so, that little bit stuck with me. My grandfather, who I revered, was proud of that and made a point to me. It was the start of the modern civil rights era. The only black person I had ever seen in person was the black (“Negro,” the respectful term at the time) junk man my grandfather pointed out in Norfolk, Nebraska, where he lived. This was one of the people my grandfather talked with from time to time along with others such as porters on the trains.

My grandmother, always concious of her status as a doctor’s wife was irritated and would give a disapproving, demanding loud stage-whispered “CART!” (from his middle name, Cartmell) when he would stop to talk with all those lower lever employees.

What I was told of what my grandfather did was a small item. Yet it would factor into the third event. It was tiny yet remained in the back of my mind, even now.

2 – I get religious school and find out I am condemned

In August 1956 my mother, Mary Eileen Devine Strong, married my step father, Don Dahlkoetter. Until then I had been educated in kindergarten through third grade in the public schools where my mother had found employment as a grade school teacher.

She was a divorced, single mother, who took correspondence courses from Wayne State Teacher’s College in Wayne, Nebraska. We lived in a tiny house in Norfolk, Nebraska, where my grandfather had a dental practice and my grandmother was his receptionist and assisstant. My grandmother was a next generation German, born in the USA as Ruth Sherbahn who had also been a one-room school house teacher in North Central Nebraska which is where my grandfather met and courted her, when he was just starting out.

It was a natural thought, I suppose, that to support herself after the divorce, my mother would go into teacher training. Her mother had taught and could help. I remember the books she got in the mail from the school. And I remember the times I would stay at my grandparents when she would travel to Wayne, Nebraska to take exams. Some courses came from Creighton University in Omaha. She also traveled to Omaha from time to time to take exams.

She must have been under a lot of strain. She was only 19 when she had me. Her husband, my father, Howard (the source of my middle name) Strong was considerably older, at least mid 20’s and had served in the Merchant Marine in WWII. She was pretty and young and Catholic. He was Lutheran, Missouri Synod and on his way to becoming an architect. My grandmother, Ruth Esperance Sherbahn Devine, had been Lutheran before converting to marry my Irish-Catholic grandfather. This was a built-in religious war and converts can be especially zealous.

I was born the 21st of November 1947 and they were divorced within a year of my birth. The divorce papers accused my father of “cruelty.” I read the divorce papers at age 14 when I took a bus trip from Columbus to Madson, the county seat and the county courthouse, on my own to find out from the records. I never told anyone of that trip, until now.

What I didn’t know was that in those days, before no-fault divorce laws, was that divorce papers commonly lied in order to claim adequate grounds for divorce. And that was a civil divorce, the churches were even more forbidding. So of course, people lied. Everyone knew and everyone was complicit. But I didn’t know. I thought cruelty meant cruelty, though I had no idea what vague claim constituted.

When I returned from the Air Force and took a creative writing class in the community college near town I wrote a piece on about being yelled at and disciplined for having cried as a toddler. I wrote that as a young child I was given a set of the 1927 edition of the Book of Knowledge (The US license of the British “The Children’s Encyclopædia”).

I still remember a picture from one of the books in the set of an open motor car crossing a train track and being run down by a huge locomotive, the occupants of the car looking up in horror. In my toddler’s mind I was the car and my mother was the locomotive. I no longer remember what my mother did that I made that association. I do remember that in frustration I would angrily throw my teddy bear to the ground and yell at it, when my mother wasn’t home.

I can guess now that she was simply a young, single mother pressed hard to keep herself together and her child. It could not have been easy, even with her parents helping. Remember she was Roman Catholic and divorced. In those days divorce was a scarlett-letter scandal-worthy offence, both civilly and to “The Church” (as the Catholic church still refers to itself). She kept a vegetable garden at the back of the lot for that tiny house to provide us with food to eat in addition to what she purchased.

It was a small one bedroom house (it is still there, I did a Google view and spotted it immediately from its appearance on the map view, a small looped cul-de-sac at South 13th Place right at the junction with the loop called South 13th Place Circle, labeled, when I click the map location as “202 S 13th Pl”) and when there she pretty much hid. Looking at street view it now has a walled-off front patio area. I remember just a simple step to the sidewalk.

To the northwest on the circle was the Bullis house. They owned Bullis Drug Store at 409 West Norfolk Avenue, no longer there. There are two houses in the aerial view and I no longer remember which one was the Bullis place for sure, it seems to me, looking at Google street view, it is the farthest and smaller of the two. The front windows and door to the left of the windows, when facing the house, seems familiar. Then again, from another angle, so does the entrance to the brick house. Who knows?

Across the street, and one house to the north, on the circle at 105 (from Google street view) S 13th Place Circle was the place where I saw the owner cutting grass with one of those new-fangled gas lawnmowers as it cut into his toes. I don’t remember what happened, just that I saw a lot of red at the front of his shoes.

Also at that house was a tiny black puppy, probably a Lab, as I remember the face. I started talking to it and it barked at me, loudly. It scared me so I ran all the way back home. Now that we have dogs I am sure that puppy was just enthused. They get like that, like little kids, happy and loud, sometimes very loud, but happy. The loudness scared me.

Just to the south was the Meisinger house. 204 S 13th Place, the best that I can read the house number using Google street view. That is were I could sometimes watch television. It was were I first saw Superman, The Cisco Kid and The Lone Ranger. We had a radio, only. They had a television. Jerry (Jerold) Meisinger was older than me by one year (looked it up). He would be killed in Vietnam on the 18th of July, 1968, US Army, Spec-4 in the provice of Thua Thien (Panel 51W, Line 6 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial). He was 21. After we left Norfolk for Schuyler in my second grade I didn’t remember much of him until my mother told me he had been killed. Just shy of four months later, on November 7th of that year I went in to the induction center in Omaha and was in San Antonio for basic that evening. It was my first time on a jet airliner.

I probably went out more than she did, socially. In those days I remember playing with the other kids. All around that neighborhood. When in the house I made toy models and learned to read before I was in kindergarten. My mother taught me back then, first reading to me. It was the reason for that set of The Book of Knowledge. I perused every volume of the encylopedia set, over and over. Books were my baby sitters while she went out to make Avon sales calls.

I remember the Avon sample case my single mother had as a sales representative. That was the first time I saw briefcase type business luggage. I don’t know what all she tried to work at as a single mom. I do remember that her first teaching job was as a 3rd grade teacher in the North Platte, Nebraska public school, far western Nebraska. Counting backward I figure that would have been the 1953-1955 school year. She took me with her and put me in kindergarten there.

She was already being courted by a young Korean war vet, Donald Dahlkoetter (pronounced: DAHL kay ter) who would be my step father in a couple of years. He visited her in North Platte, all across the state. They met at the Phillips 66 gas station where he was working for his cousin Gene a few blocks away from the house in Norfolk and later he worked in Abe Skoloski’s Glass Company as a glazier. It was here he learned the skills to open his own Midwest Glass Co in Columbus a few years later with window glass for home, commercial and autos as well as storefronts.

I don’t know what she did the year after North Platte when we returned to the little house in Norfolk,maybe more study, maybe finishing her studies. Maybe that was Creighton. There is no one to ask now so I am guessing about that. In any case, the next year, we were back in Norfolk where I attended first grade (Norfolk, NE is pronounced Nor-Fork because it was supposed to have been named North Fork back in 1857 when they got their charter. Between somebody who apparently couldn’t read from the town on the North Fork of the Elkhorn River and somebody in the state capitol who didn’t hear quite right, the charter was for Norfolk, which I guess is what that bureacrat thought he heard. The residents, to this day, pronounce Norfolk as Norfork. Obstinately determined to hold on to the original intent.

Then mom got a job teaching in Schuyler, Nebraska where I attended second grade. I remember the Charlie McCarthy puppet in the front of the room. If you read well you got to read a story through the Charlie puppet, just like a real ventriloquist. It is where I learned my vowels and that the “R” was an “rrrr” sound because the tiger went “Grrrr.”

I also remember that I had friends of the type I would visit and they would visit me. It would be the last year with friends. The playground at the school was welcoming then. The next year I would find only potential enemies in every corner.

Don, my new stepfather and Dean Ott, his partner, were in the glass business in Columbus, Nebraska, 16 miles west of Schuyler. We moved to Columbus, into a small house on the west side, between city blocks and country fields.

3 – Daily Catechism and Sins of the Parents

My second-grade year was also the year I took first Communion at the Catholic Church in Schuyler after catechism lessons in the Catholic Church there on Saturdays, or was it Sundays, I really don’t remember, only that it was once a week.

That would change in third grade, the fall of 1956. That fall the world fell in on me, because of the now daily catechism class in the Catholic school (St. Bonaventure) they had enrolled me in. It was there I learned I did not belong.

With a divorced mother and a non-Catholic stepfather and with a second marriage not in The Church we were at threat of being excommunicated on discovery and going to hell.

Sister Justiana told me that in class (not directly) and the eight-year-old me took it in. She also told us that the children, meaning me, suffered from the sins of the parents. That, to me, meant my mother had done this to me.

Then she instructed us to “counsel the sinners.” At home, after school, when my mother returned from teaching in Schuyler I tried to counsel her. I don’t remember any details, only that it didn’t go well.

After that I began pulling myself away from any social connections, afraid that any slip of the tongue or visit from another kid to my house would expose us to the wrath of The Church, excommunication and hell.

4 – Instant Freeze – Cold Shoulders

Sometime that first year, 1956-1957 at age 8 or more probably age 9 we traveled to my step-uncle’s farm south of Stanton, Nebraska (north of Columbus). It was a family gathering and the Dahlkoetters and relations were numerous. I don’t remember much about that dinner, really nothing but how everyone reacted to me when I commented on news reports about civil rights demonstrators.

Remember, at this point I had never met a black person. But my grandfather’s pride in his father’s actions were a constant background presence in my mind. In response to criticism of blacks and being “disruptive” or maybe “unruly” I proudly spoke up that “they” were people and deserved respect, or something of that sort.

The room instantly froze with all eyes on me. Anything after that I don’t remember. I simply remember that instant every day since. More than six decades now.

Why that incident was so burned in my mind, I don’t know. It clearly cut deep.

In a Budd Boetticher landscape way it was a tiny moving dot way down in the corner of a massive civil rights and social landscape of people and events I was only vaguely aware of and not really connected to. I was not personally involved then, nor have I been, any great activist or demonstrator or protestor or speaker. I’ve been pretty low key. Other people are really on the front lines. Not me. I am just a tiny speck in the corner. That incident was a speck within my speck.

Yet after six decades that memory still recurs nearly every day. No longer as a trauma, just a note I never forget.

Part 2 – Secondary Phase, Self Injury as Attempted Repair

I really regard the 3rd-grade catechism class as the real push downhill. Once I learned that my mother’s divorce was a sin and that her re-marriage was also a sin, compounded by the fact it was a civil ceremony, because The Church would not sanction it, I was now headed over the cliff.

To protect myself and my family from discovery by the church I now began to separate myself from friendships. I imagined any number of ways the church might find out about our “sinful” status. Suddenly, every conversation was fraught with peril lest I accidently reveal that great sin.

A few years later (1963 when I was 16) “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold” by John le Carré was published and I, an avid book reader, library patron and young librarian, devoured it. The paranoid, double-cross and multiple-cross world of the spy fit my universe. I identified with the protagonist, Alec Leamas.

Part 3 – Tertiary Phase, Recovery

Somewhere in the late Winter or early Spring of 1980 I was in a reading with a Kansas City psychic, Leah Ashley. I had previously had reading with her and had attended various meditation sessions at her apartment. This time she said something puzzling to me, that I had lost a great deal of fear. It made no sense to me as I had no one threatening me or otherwise endangering me.

It took weeks and then a few months (I think) before it began to dawn on me that I had an emptiness where before I had anxiety, always wondering when the sword of Damacles would fall. Suddenly, there was an absense. Suddenly, if I spoke at all about my pain growing up it was almost as if I were speaking about another person. I did not choke up or tear up or generate resentment at my fate.

And I had what I called a “visual.” A clear “vision” if you will. Directly connected to that reading, a short time later, I had a wide awake dream in which I was in a high mountain valley and had just broken through a stone wall that for years and years I had busted my head against trying to get through without success. I remember turning to see behind me to view the hole I made busting through. I wanted to see. There was no hole. No busted stone wall. It was if there had never been a wall. There never was, but I believed in it, totally. A very telling “visual.”

I was 32. It had been nearly 24 years since that day in 3rd grade when I was 8, going on 9. For the first time in 24 years I no longer felt a daily oppressive fear. I no longer recreated pain in the moment when remembering or recounting. I had little or no “affect” as psychology terms emotional response that others can see.

It took me longer to realize that I was left blank in numerous areas of social understanding. Areas I should have been learning as a normal part of associations, talking and play in those early years. That counted both for personal relationships and for business or job opportunities. I am better now but still miss opportunities because I just don’t see them in time, or at all.

Dogs Too

We have a dog right now who reminds me of me. We got her from wayside waifs and she has problems. She is also very gentle, even docile. Yet she doesn’t understand doggie play with our other dog. We think she may have been kenneled (caged) and used to produce litters for a puppy mill. When we get her to participate in play action, such as a tug toy or running back and forth, at some point, she just seems to go blank. The very idea of play lost on her. She was going through some actions, seeming to start to connect, but they suddenly have no meaning for her. I feel as though I understand her blanks. I do something like that as well. Even now.

Westbound Blades on I-70

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS taken from my driver’s side window while heading east toward KCMO. The 16-wheel semis parked behind the two blades are pulling trailers about 55-60 feet long. At this angle you can compare their lengths against the blades without much correction for perspective. You can put four of the 16-wheeler lengths in the blades so they are probably around 200 feet long. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Don’t look now, climate- change deniers, but a Green New Deal is happening regardless, even in the face of opposition and continued subsidies for fossil fuels. Some day we will wake up and it will be here.

I know because I do a lot of travel between Hay, KS and Kansas City (KS and MO). It is a 265 mile trip for me from our house in Hays (North, just south of I-70) to our house in Kansas City, MO (Brookside area). With stops it takes about 5 hours each way.

Along the way east I always see these awe-inspiring turbine blades being hauled west (so far without exception and I do a lot of trips).

I pass the wind farms about 50-60 miles east of Hays which seem to keep growing a little each time and keep on going. They were awsome the first time I saw them and they stay awsome. But they are a little hard to take truly awesome photos of them.  Their East-West depth seems to increase a few miles over time and I their distance north and south of I-70 also seems to increase.

This time I got off at exit 219 to shoot pictures of a Conoco truckstop with wind turbines all around.

Wind and Oil – the Irony – Wind turbines stretching across the horizon and crossing behind a Conoco station on I-70 at exit 219 (looking north toward the interstate).

I took a couple of series of 10 shots from west to east looking north from maybe 1/2-mile south of I-70. The panorama above was stitched from several overlapping shots. I intended to stitch the shots into a wider panorama. But the most shots my software would stitch at any time (before dying) was six, because each shot was almost 50 megs. If you right-click on the image and open in another tab you can get some idea of the depth north of here that the turbines extend to. Actually, they go on beyond the horizon.

Then there are the turbine blades heading to new locations.

Every last time I take I-70 east to Kansas City I see convoys of wind turbine blades and towers heading west, past Hays to destinations I don’t know.

Windmill tower transporter parked up the on ramp westbound from Vine in Hays, KS. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

How far west I don’t know but this rig was parked here for a day or so for some reason, on the west-bound ramp to I-70 out of Hays, KS. Then it was gone.

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Last Wednesday (Mar 27), heading for KC for a gig the next morning (Mar 28, 2019 shooting a show for Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and still here for more work until I deliver the files and head back in a couple days) I finally had a chance to spot a pair of the blade transports stopped at a rest stop. So I hit the next turn-around and got back to the west-bound rest stop in time to take some pictures. (photo above)

These blades are made by Siemens, a German firm, probably (I am guessing) from the Siemens turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa (far east edge of Iowa). Google view it for the satellite view to see the large number of blades just sitting outside the plant waiting for transport.

The blades I saw up close looked to be at least 100-150-feet long and probably a good deal longer (looking at the trailers behind the blades in the top picture they could be all of 200 feet). All the blades on the Google satellite view seemed to fit that length to 150 feet or more.

Anyway, as I said, they are impressive and I always love to see the blade transporters heading west bound as I head east. Here are some more shots of the blades at the west bound rest stop.

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Above is a stitch of three shots put together.

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Here is a shot from the from my ultra-wide angle lens (16 mm). The driver was relaxing in the cab watching television (I think).

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

A much closer shot and as awesome as all the other views of these blades. They are really beautiful. Those ends coming out are steel bolts to attach this blade to the hub. Here they are used to bolt the blade to the transporter (the curved yoke at the bottom of the circle of bolts above the wheels – note yoke is only my guess at the name for the part).

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Above is a transporter body. Take a close look and you will see that the chassis telescopes in several sections to fit a variety of sizes. That is a regular 16-wheeler with a 55-60-foot (or so) trailer sitting behind the end of this blade.

Wind turbine blades on transporters parked in a westbound rest area on I-70, six miles east of Fort Riley, KS. The blades are roughly 50 meters in length. Photo, copyright 2019 Mike Strong

Here are two transporters (left, in front and right, just behind the pilot vehicle in front on the right). My shadow in front is as close as I get to a “selfie” here.

And here are a small number of wind turbines. This is portion of the view below and was taken after the picture below.

Look north from exit 219 on I-70 you can see the turbines extending north beyond the horizon line. They also extend south from here (behind the camera position) at least as far.

Cleary this is paying off for someone or they wouldn’t be doing this. And, so far at least, the subsidies are still going to fossil fuels. So, these are competitive even against that opposition.

The coal and oil companies are only fossil fuel companies. They are not truly energy companies or they would not be fighting wind and solar and hydro, they would be joining in with all the money at their disposal.

The only reason they are fighting “green” energy is because they are now staffed by executives who haven’t a creative or truly entrepreneurial brain among them. Unlike the original founders of those companies who were on to something new and powerful in their day.

What I see on each trip eastward to Kansas City is the future. Go west, young energy, go west. (with apologies to Horace Greeley)

An Artist’s Statement – Hays Arts Council

I wrote this to go with a display of dance photos at the Hays Arts Council starting Friday, February 8th 2019.
Note that the photos here may (a couple) or may not be part of the display. I added a couple as I posted it to this blog just because I saw them in the thumbnails.

Wylliams Henry dance company performing “Hands on the Plow” choreography by Telly Fowler (3rd from left) for a special edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Mike Strong – Artists Statement, dance pictures

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in “Memoria” at Kauffman Center performance. Photo, Copyright by Mike Strong

The dance pictures you see on display are not posed. They are not counted off, as in 1, 2, 3 (jump) and (click). They are the result of my knowledge, experience, eye, muscle memory and a lot of work going to rehearsals until I learn the pieces and the dancers and the choreographers. By the time I do all this I am seeing what I am looking at and what I see I can capture on camera.

There are no shots using what years ago we called “motor drive.” In the digital world we call that “continuous drive.” I can’t think of a worse way to shoot dance, or anything for that matter. If you don’t know what to shoot all continuous drive will do is to increase the number of wrong-moment frames while you still won’t know the best frame to pick. The camera’s clocked frames do not hear music and they do not observe the dancers’ moments, technique or position let alone focus and framing.

Julia Walewicz as grown Clara (2 pm) – Dress rehearsal #2 Friday December 14, 2018 for American Youth Ballet’s (AYB) Nutcracker at JCCC Yardley Hall. Photo, Copyright 2018 Mike Strong with full usage permissions to AYB, ADC (American Dance Center), performers and parents.

I’m not shooting in a photo studio so I am not in control of lighting. I usually have low to very low light levels, constantly changing light levels, changing light direction, light color, quality and intensity while capturing a lot of movement, maintaining focus and only selecting shots showing right technique, position, placing and juxtaposition in the space. All of those conflict with each other and they come at you very fast. There is no time to consult notes or work through menus and usually no light in the house so all camera adjustments are by feel and memory. Then I can get to what I am after.

What I shoot:

“Josephine Baker” by Ronn Tice, Gary Abbott and DeeAnna Hiett – Dress #2 rehearsal Friday 3 Nov 2017. Photo by Mike Strong, kcdance.com – full permissions to UMKC dance division, dancers and choreographers.

1 – Choreography – the shape of the dance and the construct of the choreographer / director. Shooting choreography allows me to tap into the enormous versatility and depth of any number of designers of dance. You can run out of static poses and spot jumps very quickly. But stories in motion are ever expanding and provide a narrative which keeps you engaged.

“Josephine Baker” by Ronn Tice, Gary Abbott and DeeAnna Hiett – Dress #1 rehearsal Thursday 2 Nov 2017. Photo by Mike Strong, kcdance.com – full permissions to UMKC dance division, dancers and choreographers.

2 – What I call the Transitive Picture, similar to a transitive verb which requires a direct object. Like all analogies it is not perfect but when you see my pictures you can sense that the dancer is in the middle of something, that she has come from somewhere, that she is where you see her and that she is headed for somewhere.

She is ever moving, ever shifting, ever thinking, ever confident and joyous. I shoot in the middle of live dance, not staged actions, which I find too static, too flat. A “transitive” picture is filled out and has enough room in the frame for the viewer to let the dancer breath and move in your own mind.

After rehearsal and after talking to choreographer Mariana Oliveira via Skype – “Fearing the Unknown” – Choreography by Mariana Oliveira – tech rehearsal on stage at the Lied Center Tuesday Nov 13, 2018. Choreographer, dance professor Jerel Hilding is standing at the right. He was directing the piece in Mariana’s absence. Photo, Copyright 2018 Mike Strong with full usage permissions for KU Lawrence and UDC (University Dance Company), choreographers and performers.

3 – Journalism – these are not merely a single acrobatic moment, an approach I usually think of as flat. My frame often or usually includes the full social scene with fellow performers and crew members so that you see tableaus of varying sizes and complexities. When tightly cropped I love to see expressions on faces and looks which show relations between the performers in their roles. And I like people to just see the dancers and say “Hello.”

Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Company in rehearsal (at Dance, Fit, Flow, 17th and Locust, KCMO) July 18th, 2018, the day before leaving to perform at Jacob’s Pillow. Photo, copyright 2018 Mike Strong, full usage permissions for Wylliams Henry and dancers.

Left to right: Shacura Wade, William Roberson, Caroline Dahm, Kyle Mullin, Christina Mowrey, Christopher Page, Kelsey Crawford, Trey Johnson, Hannah Wagner, Alessandra Perdichizzi, Sarah Frangenberg – A group picture before studio rehearsal in PAC 128 Wednesday the 21st of September 2016 before the weekend’s Wylliam-Henry concert on the 23rd and 24th. Photo by Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com

“Esperando nin Silencio” by Mary Pat Henry about the dirty wars and the disappeared in Argentina – UMKC Conservatory Spring Dance Concert dress rehearsal #1 at The Folly Theater Thursday 21 April 2016. Photo, Copyright 2016 Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com – usage permissions for UMKC Dance Division, Mary Pat Henry and dancers – Left-To-Right: John Swapshire, Sarah Frangenberg, Ricky Davis.

In a way I see this as a visual griot, a keeper of the story, the history, the remembrances and interconnections. I normally take the effort to add caption information in the EXIF data for each picture. This comes from my fascination with the wonderful pencil and pen notes on old family photos identifying people and places. Without those notes those old pictures would have little to no relevance outside the printed frame. Most of the real value of the picture is in that information and the sense that you are reaching back into those lives.

Morgan Faw (jazz musician, saxophone) and Leah Wilczeswki (actress) are the young couple (who slipped away from their prom) dancing to Rich Hill and Latin Jazz group at the Blue Room on 18th and Vine 14 April 2017. Photo, Copyright 2017 Mike Strong with full usage permission to Rich Hill and musicians.

4 – My Home – in the studio and on stage and the dance floor I am most at home. This is where I live and this is where the people who comprise my world commonly gather. I love this place, this ever-changing home. Late last year, yet again, after years of shooting The Nutcracker for AYB, I walked into their studio for the first studio run, in November, a month before the performances.

I almost expected to sigh a bit, as in, “AGAIN?” It is not uncommon for dancers, producers, directors, cast to feel a bit weary of the show. They mean it and they don’t mean it at the same time because The Nutcracker is really just a way of gathering the clan. As I sat down on the floor to start shooting all I could do was drink in the studio activity and the expectation in the air. I realized how deeply this has become my home. In a way we are all urban itinerants coming together as a family. All members of a clan.

Patrick Suzeau demonstrating what he is looking for. He said to the dancers, “If grandpa can do this you can too.” This is his variation on “The Dying Swan” – Choreography by Patrick Suzeau – rehearsal in studio Friday Nov 9, 2018. Photo, Copyright 2018 Mike Strong with full usage permissions for KU Lawrence and UDC (University Dance Company), choreographers and performers.

“The Dying Swan” – Choreography by Patrick Suzeau – dress #2 rehearsal on stage at the Lied Center Wednesday Nov 14, 2018. This is Patrick’s wonderfully subversive version of this piece. Here the solo is a corps of 6 dancers who bourree onto the stage facing the back. They are in white leotards, as far as we can see, until they turn around, revealing that the white leos are splattered with pollution and they are wearing respirators. At the end, they all die in a snowfall of pollution and waste paper. Photo, Copyright 2018 Mike Strong with full usage permissions for KU Lawrence and UDC (University Dance Company), choreographers and performers.

Muriel Cohen, choreographer and dance professor emeritus in rehearsal with “The Dying Swan” Choreography by Patrick Suzeau, her husband – rehearsal in studio Friday Nov 9, 2018. Photo, Copyright 2018 Mike Strong with full usage permissions for KU Lawrence and UDC (University Dance Company), choreographers and performers.

Getting to The Dance

I didn’t start out shooting dance. I also didn’t dance, though I wanted to.

I usually date my shooting from the summer of 1967 when I was working my way back into the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I changed majors to broadcast journalism and in addition to a broadcast writing course I took a non-majors course in photography.

It was like water to a fish. I got a job as lab assistant there for the 1967-1968 academic year. After that I was on radio, then the Air Force for four years, then radio then a newspaper. Always looking for a photo job and always just missing out. The Air Force put me into a surveying job (color blind, photo was out for me). Radio wanted a news reporter/writer but I took my cameras anyway. The newspaper had just hired a photographer but they needed an area reporter to cover the south half of Seneca County so I was the only reporter who developed his own film and sent it in each morning.

That was the first time I shot any dance. It was Indian Classical dance (Bharatanatyam style) and I did not have a clue what to shoot. A few years later in Kansas City, 1979, I was taking ballroom lessons and brought my camera. The lessons and ballroom pictures died out with my money.

Then in 1994, working as a graphics programmer on a file convertor to create PostScript files for rendered illustrations from AutoCAD files I finally had enough money to take up ballroom again. And again I came with my cameras. This time the connection lasted. Soon I combined my programming skills with my camera skills to create a web page showing places we dancers could go out to dance.

It took a few more years before I started with concert dance (performance). I thought it was a bit high class for me. I was used to shooting dance in bars, ballrooms and dance studios. But once I got there I was hooked. By this time I was beginning to specialize in dance. Other photography remained but faded a bit.

In my early performance-dance pictures I stayed away from the stock easy shots, as I thought of them, such as lacing up toe shoes. I needed to make sure I worked on capturing technique and position and learning what constituted the best shots as judged by dancers.

Tap dancing is what changed my dance photography in a quantum-jump. From one level to another. While I did learn to step a bit (any decent 3-year old could wipe the floor with me, really!) what I got from tap lessons was more profound than my very limited stumble-level steps. At the end of the first set of lessons I found that my sensory apparatus had shifted hugely.

Suddenly I heard the taps, their tones, delicacy and rhythm in ways I had never noticed. I sensed where the dancers were in ways I had not previously. Importantly – as an educator – I realized that I could have studied video and books on tap for years and not gotten the sense, the feel of dance in the way I got it by physically dancing, no matter that I was hardly going to tap my way to fame. It was my photography which changed. My photography became both more analytical from knowledge and more visceral from body experience in ways that were new to me.

If my tapping was (and is) at the lowest level, the level of my photography was raised profoundly. Suddenly my minimal tap experience could leverage decades of photographic experience. After that revelation I took beginning adult courses in other dance forms. Again, I was no dance threat. Again, it was my photography which was deeply affected.

My rule is:
You shoot what you see. (Looking is not seeing.)
You see what you know.
You know what you do.

Were I to teach dance photography I would teach little if anything about equipment and would teach minimal technique. Photography knowledge should be assumed as a foundation. I would teach dance, starting with tap (for timing and listening), ballet (for movement and position), and flamenco to refine timing in “palmas” (clapping) where you need to not only listen but also create your own counter rhythm by clapping it out. As much as photography is a visual medium, dance photography depends on listening.

(Note: for dancers I would start by reminding them that they have all the knowledge they need to see. They already do. They are the only people I would go over use of equipment, and tell them not to listen to photography instructors about Close Ups or Medium shots. You can’t really stick dance into those formats.)

“What the Eye Hears” by Brian Siebert is the title of a history of tap dancing, one of the best I’ve seen. I know Brian. He is a New York Times dance writer and a tapper himself. I told him the title perfectly expresses how I shoot.

All dancers are listening to the music and matching their movements to the music. If you are only looking at the dancers and trying to figure out which moves will get a picture, you are already behind. In dance there is no such thing as catching up. Think of it like jumping onto a moving carousel. Listening to the music and shooting within the music will get you into the same timing space as the dancers.

You still need to be aware of how the dancer moves into and out of beats and off beats but even just pressing the shutter button on the beat will get you better results than using continuous drive or frantically pressing the shutter.

For more information you can also see:
www.MikeStrongPhoto.com  or  www.kcdance.com

Me (photo by Kevin McKinney, documentary videographer) in Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri, packing out after covering Dance/USA in June 2017. Tripods over my left shoulder, video cameras in the large bag (on my right), still camera in front and lenses in the small bag on my left. A typical look for me. Only the tie is extra. I charge 25-cents more for that.

Color Blind Color Corrections

An article by former Air Force Colonel William J. Astore titled “The Races of Man” inspired this piece.
He used a picture from the 1890’s of a picture depicting human “races” in various colors which showed the racial attitudes of the time, with white “races” as the most advanced.

Astore was showing both how far we’ve come since then in knowledge and how little we’ve advanced in attitudes. As color seemed to be a major delimiter, separating people from each other, I wrote a comment (mostly what I have below) about my experiences in learning to adjust color balances in pictures by understanding flesh color as the same pattern in red, Green, Blue color sliders, regardless of how light or dark the skin tones.

I added that if I could find example pictures from my work which would illustrate this, I would add the link back from their comment section. So here is my reply.

Colors Don’t Work Right for Me

I’ve been shooting since the summer of 1967 when I took a photo course, the only one I’ve had. The next year when I enlisted in the Air Force I hoped for a photographer position. Turns out I am color blind (red/green partial deficiency, as it is termed). So I couldn’t take a photo job.

Nonetheless, I shot picture, both color and B&W developing and printing my own B&W.  I was never able to get a good color pack for color prints just by looking. When I did work in commercial photo labs, I was the B&W section. But I did do a lot of color-to-B&W conversions, usually from transparencies for a color catalog shoot.

For that I had managed, using densitomer readings, to calibrate a set of color packs for various transparency emulsions, Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Fujichrome, AgfaChrome and so forth, so that they would look right on panchromatic B&W film. Otherwise the colors produce odd looking densities.

In 1992, when Photoshop was available on Windows machines I realized that I could do my own color corrections on photos using the RGB numbers. I figured I would also calibrate the RGB settings I needed for skin tones, just as I had previously calibrated color packs for different transparency films.

I got out daylight slides of all my friends from whiter than me and super pale to honey brown, medium brown, charcoal brown and near black, blue black. I just assumed I would need a separate calibration for each, just the way I needed a separate calibration for the various transparency films.

It turned out to be much easier (a relief for me) and also a moment of “Well, du-uh.”

Everyone, no matter how pale or how dark corrected to the same pattern: more red, less blue and the green slider on a straight line between the red and blue.

The slider values need to line up in a straight line
like this fictitious example below.
…………………….RED  90
.………..GREEN  80
….BLUE   70
NOTE: These are only example values. They vary greatly, but as long as you work to line them up, you will get the right skin color.

Although I am color blind and can’t determine the right color change just by looking, it turns out I am very sensitive to the aliveness of the color and the deadness of the color. So I could work the color sliders to the overall generic pattern so that the picture popped up as alive as possible (without letting the shadows go blue).

In other words, a matter of the concentration of colorant, not which colorant. (A colorant is a color used as an ingredient creating another color. i.e. red and blue, colors in themselves, are colorants when combined to make the color purple.)

I use Lightroom now more than Photoshop and Lightroom has a different color correction mechanism. They don’t have convenient RGB sliders for me to use. Instead, I have to put the cursor over an area of skin and use the numerical readings, imagining how they would line up (as in the example above). But the method still works, with a little more effort.

I’ve used that over the years to darken or lighten colors when sometimes correcting a picture when I’ve cut off a limb and need to borrow a limb from another picture.

UMKC Fall 2007 early Dress 31 Oct 2007 - Photo, Copyright 2007 Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com

UMKC Fall 2007 early Dress 31 Oct 2007 – Photo, Copyright 2007 Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com

Some years ago I did an example (above) photo showing the blending of two dancers (white/black) into one image corrected where I had cut off the forearm of one dancer and borrowed a forearm from the other. Below is the result shown larger.

Skylar Taylor and Miyesha McGriff - "Dance Symphony No 7" by Paula Weber - UMKC Fall 2007 early Dress 31 Oct 2007 - Photo, Copyright 2007 Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com - umkcF07b_045xac

Skylar Taylor and Miyesha McGriff – “Dance Symphony No 7” by Paula Weber – UMKC Fall 2007 early Dress 31 Oct 2007 – Photo, Copyright 2007 Mike Strong, www.kcdance.com – umkcF07b_045xac

That is Skylar’s forearm extended out from Miyesha. You can’t tell the difference. We humans are just us. All of us. And we are so much closer to each other than we realize.

“Mango Mussolini” and Other Names for Trump

Current Count: 1,604 – 11:53 AM 3/25/2020
See the full alphabetical list below:

For the most part I’m not updating the list on a regular basis. When I started this list it seemed it might total a couple dozen names and descriptors at most. That gradually went to one hundred, then more then still more. Each time I was certain the limit was reached, along came more.

“Mango Mussolini” was the name that first got me going on the list. When I saw that name I went back to old movies of Mussolini and sure enough Trump’s mannerisms and face looked a lot like Benito Mussolini’s. So that is the name of the text file that I keep these in.

The items on the list range from absolutely gross and offensive to clever and funny and everywhere in between and to the side. At first I cringed at the worst ones (and often still do) but it seemed less than honest or accurate to keep those off the list.

I started with the idea of using name substitutes. It wasn’t long before I realized that was too limited for the phrases and descriptors I ran into, and once in a while, combinations which were sentence length.

Almost every last one of them are names and descriptors copied from the internet, from articles and comments (most). A few are my own and from a couple of friends who contributed but those are a few dozen at most, which, as I wrote,  was about as far as I expected this list to total.

Often I will find a name will inspire variations in the same comment thread. Some variations look like typos but I can’t tell for sure from the context, so they get added.

Sometimes the number of new names will jump a bit, such as the first time DJT went to the UK officially. Ah, Brit humor at its best. Very biting satire and at the same time light and even cheery.

At this point my only surprise is that there remain a supply of names not yet on the list, some of them unrelated to any previous names.

1,000 – was reached Thursday, 27 September 2018
1,400 – was reached Friday, 22 February 2019
1,492 – was reached Saturday 25 January 2020
1,500 – Wednesday 29 January 2020

Here we go with the updated list copied from my “MangoMussolini.txt” file.

NAMES LIST in alphabetical order here

Related associate names, descriptions and phrases below the names list

*resident Rump
10th Generation Orangutang (response to Warren’s DNA test result)
A very minor form of president (after calling it “a very minor form of teargas” used at border)
Ab Comedian
Abuser in Chief
Adolf Trump
Adolph Von Trumpenstein
Agent Orange
Agolf Shitler
Agolf Twittler
Al Capone Clone
Al Crumpone and His 40 Thieves
Alberto Fujimoron (I think the commenter mis-applied this one)
Alfa Ponce of the Alt-Right
Almighty Tweetmeister
alt+president* Dunning-Kruger Judas Fartwhistle
Alternative CIC
Alternative Fact
Alternative President
Alternative Trump (newspaper mistake using picture of Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump, instead of showing Trump)
American Unhung Hero
America’s First Retarded President
Amoral Wart
An Asshole’s Asshole
Anarchist 101
Angry Creamsicle
Anti-American fat-sack-of-pus Donald J. Chump
Anti-Claus (opposed to Santa Claus)
Arrogant Old Il Douche 2
Arse of the Deal
Art of the Trumpaclysm
Assaulter in Chief
Assaulter N Thief
AssPestos (comment from story of Trump’s image on pallets of asbestos from Russian mining company)
Atilla the Trump
Authoritarian Dictator Pig
Authoritarian in Chief
Awful One
Ayn Rump
Baby Blimp
Baby Bone Spur
Baby Boy Coward Dotard
Baby Don in Chief
Baby Dumpster
baby in Chief
Baby Manh
Baby Snookums
Baby Trump
Bad Boy Donny
Bad Grandpa
Bag of Pus
Banana King Donnie
Baron of Bankruptcies
Baron von Bonespur
Benedict Donald
Benito the Cheeto
Big Bratty Baby
Big Dump
Big Orange Baby
Big Orange Daddy
Big Orange Fat Man
Big Orange Head
Big Orange Jobby
Big Orange Monster
Big Orange Stooge
Big Orange Twat
Big Orange Twatwaddle
Big Yellow Kidney Stone
Bigly Dear Leader
Bigot Boy
Bigot in Chief
Bitter Old Twat
Blabbering Puppet
Blabbermouth Blowhard
Blight House Incumbent
Blithering Idiot
Blond Bomber
Blonde Don
Blondie the Pig
Bloviating Flesh Bag
Bloviating Horse’s Pituti
Blubbering Trump
Bone Spur Baby
Bone Spur Boomer
Bone Spur Coward
Bone Spur in the Craw
Bone Spur Kid
Bone Spur-in-Chief
Bone Spurs-N-Chief
Booty Bandit
Boss Tweet
Brazen Pukey Brat
Brer Trumpo
Buffoon Extraordinaire!
Buffoonish Balloon
Bull Sheiser in Chief
Bully Puppet
Bumble Pee
Bumbler in Chief
Bumbling Don (in contrast to Stuttering John in prank call-back phone call to Trump on Air Force One)
Bumbling Doofus
Bummer Don
Buttplug Face
Cadet Bad Spur
Cadet Bone Spurs
Cadet Bullspurs
Cadet Heel Spurs
Cadet Lardass Bonespurs
Cadet Spanky
Cadet ‘Spanky’ Bone Spurs
Caesar Trumpestuous
Caesar Trumpous
Candy Corn Skidmark
Captain Bonespurs
Captain Combover
Captain Piss-gums and his flying monkeys
Captain Underpants
Carny Barfer
Casino Mussolini
Chaos Producer in Chief
Cheater in Chief
Cheeto Benito
Cheeto Fuhrer
Cheeto in Chief
Cheeto King
Cheeto Mussolini
Cheeto Vienna Sausage
Chief Creep
Chief Fascist Pig
Chief Gaslighter
Chief Graben Haunt Us – comment in resonse to Pocahontas dig at Senator Warren
Chief Shitting Bull
Chooch (East Coast term, from the Italian ciuccio – means dummy, idiot, or moron)
Chosen One
Chuck NorPrez
Chump Dumps
Chump Trump
Clockwork Orange
Clockwork Orangutan
Clown King
Clown President
Clown Prince
Clownface von Fuckstick
Commander Bonespurs
Commander Brainspur
Commander Chaos
Commander in Briefs
Commander in Cheat
Commander in Cheese (spoken in interview by KellyAnne Conway, Counselor to the President [Trump])
Commander in Cheeto
Commander in Peach
Commander in Straitjacket
Commander in Thief
Comrade Bonespurski
Comrade Cheetolino
Comrade Don
Comrade Orange Clown BABY IQ-4.5
Comrade Spanky
Comrade Trump
Comrade Trumpski
Con Man Don
Conald Chump
Con-man in chief
Con-old Trump
Cootie in Charge
Corporal Spanky Bonespurs
Coward In Chief == CIC
Craven Little Git
Crime Boss
Criminal money grubbing narcissist
Crispy Orange Dildo
Crook in Chief
Crooked Donald
Cruella de Trompon
Crybaby Trump
Current Occupant
Current Resident
Czar Donaldovich
Daddy Dump
Daddy Whorefucks
Daft Twerp
Dancing Donnie
Dandy Don
Darth Cheeto
Darth Deportem
Darth Dumsterfire
Darth Evader
Darth Trump
Dastardly Donnie
David Dennison III – (his own alias in NDA with Stormy Daniels that he didn’t sign)
Day Glo Dingus
Deadbeat Don
Dear Leader
Dear Leader Kim Jong-Drumpf
Dearest DonDon
Debaucher-In -Chief
Decadent Donald
Defucktive Fiction
Degenerate Donald
Delirium Thrumper
Deluded, Dishonest, Xenophobic, Narcissistic
Demagogue Demigorgon
Demented Donny
Dementia Don
Demon Donnie
Demon Dump
Denier In Chief
Deplorable Donnie
Der BadlyAppliedMakeupFuhrer
Der Gropinfuhror
Der Marmalade
Der Rumpenfuhrer
Deranged Donnie
Devil Trump
Diaper Don (play on Dapper Dan)
Diaper Donny
Diarrhea of a Madman
Diarrhea Thumbs
DIC == Dictator In Chief
Dick Tater
Dickus Minimus
Dictator Trump
Dildo Brains
Dim Don
Dim Leader
Dimwit Donnie
Dirty Donald
Dirty Donnie
Disease Vector
Disgraced President
Disgraceful Donald
Dishonest Don
Dishonest Donald
Dishonorable Donald
Dithering Don
Doetard in Chief
Dog-Whistle Don
Dolt 45
Don “Vito” Trump
Don Don
Don Don the Moron
Don Donald
Don Fabulist
Don J Dimwit
Don SemiCorleone
Don the Baby Blimp
Don The Con
Don the Dope
Don the Dork
Don the Oink
Don Trump
Don Trumpoté de la Torre
Don Veto Trumpleone
Donald Chump
Donald Corleone Trump
Donald Do-Little
Donald Dotard Dump (was duped)
Donald Duck Out
Donald Duct Taper
Donald Dump
Donald First
Donald Gotti by Crotch
Donald Jesus Trump
Donald Jong Un
Donald of Trumptania
Donald Punk
Donald Putin
Donald Ragin’
Donald the Demon (DTD)
Donald the Menace
Donald the Ranter
Donald the Savior (ref: “And then, playing John the Baptist to Jesus, (Stephen) Miller says … fabulous news”)
Donald the Unready
Donald Trash Trump
Donald Tumor
Donel Bobble Head
Donito Assolini
Donnie “Doll Hands” Trump
Donnie “The Chimp” Chumps
Donnie 2 Chainz
Donnie Ali Bawaaw Waaaaw
Donnie Barker
Donnie Blurto
Donnie Bone Spurs
Donnie Boy
Donnie Chumps
Donnie Confabulous
Donnie Darko
Donnie Dastard
Donnie Dearest
Donnie Deplorable
Donnie Dimwit
Donnie Dipshit
Donnie Dotard
Donnie Douchebags
Donnie Golem
Donnie Gotti
Donnie Humper
Donnie John
Donnie Little Fingers
Donnie Little Hand
Donnie Pox
Donnie Q. Dump
Donnie Quixote Trump
Donnie Rotten
Donnie Rotten Trump
Donnie Tangents
Donnie the Dick
Donnie the Dude
Donnie the Goombah
Donnie the Mouth
Donnie the Scum Bag
Donnie the Stiff
Donnie There’s a Hard Rain Comin’ (after Paris, not going out in the rain to visit WWI memorial)
Donnie Toxic Dump
Donnie Two Bits
Donny Bloat
Donny Disser
Donny Doofus
Donny Dummy
Donny Grump
Donny Tosser (tosser is a Brit expression == jerk off == masturbator)
Donny Tweetenstein
Donnytinyhands schadenfreude
Doofus Donald Trump
Dope on a Rope
Dorito Hitler
Dotard 45
Dotard Bone Spurs
Dotard Donald
Dotard von GolfTwit
Doughy Don
Dr. Evil
Dr. Orange Dent
Dr. Orange Merde
Dr. Orangeman
Draft Dodger Don
Draft Dodgin’ Donnie Trump
Draft Dodging Don
Draft-Dodging Donald
Drumpfie Coward
DuckinDonald (Tweet, tweet)
Dumald Trump
Dumb and Dangerouser
Dumb Donny
Dumbfuck Donnie
Dumbnold Rump
Dumbo the Elephant
Dumbster Donnie
Dumbster Fire
Dummy McDumbface
Dump Truck
Dumpkin Head
Dumps the Merciful
Dumpster Donnie
Dumpster Fire
Dumpty Humpty
Dumpy Dipschitte
Dumpy Doofus
Dumpy Doofus White Supremacist
Dunnald and his 5″ stiletto concubine
Dystopian Don
Egregious fuck-ton of dyspeptic-raccoon shit
Ein Hair Furor
El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago
El Commandante
El Donito
El Douche
El Duce
El Ole Orange Piggo
El Presidenti Paper Tiger
El Supreme POS45
El Trumpo
El Twittler
Embarrassing Orange Stain
Empathy Amputee
Emperor Donald
Emperor Trump
Emperor Trumpapotomus
Endless Insane Trump Clown Show
Enemy of the People
Evil Orange Idiot
Extra Large Orange Blob
Fake Fat Dictator
Fake President
Fake Prez Whack a Doodle
Fanny Baws
Fare Prince (refering to tarifs)
Fart of the Deal
Fascist Dickhead
Fascist Tangerine
Fat A s s
Fat Boy
Fat Donnie
Fat Fascist Pig
Fat Festering Orange Boil
Fat Mobster
Fat Orange Clown
Fat Orange Moron
Fat Orange Tub of Putrid Goo
Fat wuss!
Fatazzed Orange Dictator-want-to-be Drumpf
Ferret Top
Ferret-Headed Orange Sh!+gibbon
Field Marshal Bone Spurs
Filthy Loser Don the Con
First Lord of Drumpfenstan
Fisher Price Hitler!
Fish-Lipped Fraud
Five-Deferment Draft Dodger
Flagellum Dei
Flaming Orange Satan
Flaming Shitmobile
Flash Don (from medieval English where Flash [town name] means Swamp)
FLOATUS (as Trump Baby Blimp floats over London)
Forever 10-Year-Old President
Forrest (evil) Dump
Forrest Jessica Trump
Forrest Trump
Fossil Fool
Fox News Grandpa
Fresh Prince of Bad Hair
Frosty the Slowman
Fucking Moron
Fucktarded Dingleberry
Fuhrer Bump
Fuhrer Drumpf
Fuhrer Dumpler
Fuhrer Gump
Fungus Don
Fussy Wussy ImPOTUS
Fuzznut Dotard
Gaslighter in Chief
Gelatinous Orange Pustule
General Bone Spurs
General Bonespur
General Trump
Generalissmo Trump
Giant Orange Anus
Giant Orange Grifter
Giant Puckering Butthole
Giggles sNot
Ginger Mussolini
GNP (gross narcissist producer)
God Emperor Trump
Godfather Orange
Godzilla Trump
Golden Dump
Golden Golem of Greatness
Golden-Throned Shit-Hole Grabber
Golem the Trump
Golf Boy
Gotti Donnie
Grandpa Ranty
Great Disrupter
Great Liar
Great Orange Booby
Great Orange Dictator
Great Orange Leader
Great Orange Space Commander
Great Orange Twatler
Grifter in Charge
Grinning Orange Beast
Groper In Chief
Grump Trump
Grumpy Trumpy
Gutter Prez
Hair Flap
Hair Furher
Hair Furor
Hair Hitler
Hair Twittler
Hair-Weather Pwesident
Hamster Heedit Bampot
Handy Don
Hatriot in Chief
He Who Should Not Be President
Head Cheese
Head Cockroach
Head Dotard in Charge of Dumbassery, Whataboutery, Mendacity and Cupidity
Herr Donald
Herr Fucktard
Herr Gropenfuhrer
Herr Shitler
Hideaway Don
His Majesty
His Majesty King Trumpturd
His Majesty, Orange Julius
His Orangeness
His Rotundity
His Supreme Execrableness Trump
His Weirdness
Homo WreckedUS
Horseface Dumpy
House Boy-in-Chief
Huckleberry Spinmeister
Huge blubbering pile of excrement
Human Ipecac
Human Skid Mark
Humpty Trumpty
Humpty Trumpy
Hunker Down Don
Hurricane Trump
I Alone
Idiot Clown
Idiot In Chief – IIC
Idiot King
Idiot of Orange
Ignorant Buffoon
Ignorant Orange Savage
Il Dookie
Il Douche
Il Douché
Il Duce No2 (II)
Il Dunce
Immoral and Amoral Orange Cockroach
Impeached Moron
Impeached Trump The RepubliCON
Imperial Wizard
Imposter In Chief
Incoherent in Chief
Income Bent
Incompetent Jizztrumpet
Incompetent Orange Disaster
Incompetent President
Incompetent Usurper Donald J. Drumpf
Incomprehensible Jizztrumpet
Inflamed Gland – IG
IQ 0.45
IQ 4.5
IQ 45
Iron Man Leader
Irregular Donnybrook
It Don Fit
Jabba the Frown
Jabba the Trump
Jack O’Lantern
Jethro P. Trumpkin
Jobbie Jabber
John Barron Denison
John Pisani Donny Two Scoops (mafia style name from comment)
Julius Cheeser
Jumbo Dumbo
Kaiser Drumpf
Kaiser Schitza
Kentucky Fried Nero
Killer Clown
Kim Jong-Drumpf
Kim Jumbo Rump
King Bigly Ruler
King Birther
King Con
King Don
King Donald
King Donald I (ref: “fundamentalist Christian Dominionist theocratic dictatorship”)
King Jobby (Brit expr)
King Marmalade
King Midas in Reverse
King of Chaos
King of Distraction
King of the Swamp
King PeePee
King Salmon Head
King Shytes
King Toot
King Toot-Toot Tootsie
King Trump
Klepto Don
Klown in Chief
Klown King
L’il Donnie
Lamentable Purported President
Large BM
Le Tromper
leghumping dullard
L’Enfant Terrible
Lickspittle LollyDump
Lil’ Donnie John
Limp Duck President
LINCOTUS (Liar in chief of the US)
Little Dickie Don
Little Donnie
Little Donnie Boo-Hoo
Little Donnie Dumba$$
Little Donnie Johnnie PutinFluffer
Little Donnie Johnnie T?ump
Little Donny Wetpants
Little Lord Tauntleroy
Little Lord Trumperoy
Little Lord Trumpleroy
Little Orange Fuhrer
Little Orange Man
Little Orphan Donnie
Little Petulant Cheeto Colored, Comb-Over Child
Little Putin
Little Small Man
Little Spanky
Little Whiney Donnie
Little, Little Pseudo-Man
Loathsome Donnie
Loon of the Day/Hour
Lord Commander Marmilade
Lord Farquaad
Lord Littlefingers
Lord Moldyshorts
Lord Of The Tweets
Loser President
Ludicrous Tangerine Ballbag
Ly’in Don and His Deplorables
Lyin’ King
Lying Donald
Lying Troglodyte
Lying Trump
Mad King
Mad King Don
Mad King Donald
Madman in Chief
Mafia Don
Mafia Donnie
Magic Don
Malignant Cancer
Malignant Idiot
Malignant Narcissist
Malignant Orange Hate Machine (MOHM)
Man Baby
Manchurian Idiot
Manchurian President
Mandarin Candidate
Mangled Apricot Hellbeast
Mangled Mussolini
Mango Menace
Mango Moron
Mango Mussolini
Mar a Cupcake
Marmalade Mephistopheles
Marmalade Mussolini
Marmalade Shitgibbon
Master Distractor
Masterbuting Orange Cheese Puff
Masturbating Bar Stool
Mayhem President
Me the People!
Mein Golpf
Mensa Moron
Mental Defucktive
Merciful Dumps
Messiah Trump
MIC – Mocker in Chief
MIC – Moron in Chief
Micro Mitts
Midtown Mussolini
Mini-Me Boo-Hoo-Baby Trump
Mini-Me Putin
Minority President Trump
Mister I Alone
Mob Boss Trump
Mobster in Chief
Mogron in Chief (Dr. Who ref)
Monday Morning Quarter Pounder!
Monster Donnie
Monumental Blockhead
morally bankrupt fascist with a bad spray tan
Morbidly Orange Putter
Moron in Chief
Moscow Don
Moscow Donnie
Moscow Mueller Bait
Mr. Big Deal Maker
Mr. Bone Spurs
Mr. Cheese
Mr. Crankypants
Mr. Fart 45
Mr. Hubris
Mr. Marie Antoinette
Mr. Pigface Lord of the Flies
Mr. President Perjury Trap
Mr. Pussypants
Mr. Smoldering National Tragedy
Mr. StableGenius
mr. t
Mr. Top Creep in Charge
Mr. Trash
Mr. Treason
Mr. Tweeterpeter
Munster Dump
Mushroom Cap
Mushroom Crotch
Mushroom Dick
Mysoginist In Chief
Naked Emperor
Nancy’s Bitch
Napoleon Bonaspurs
Nickelback President
Non-Organic Git
Noxious Excrescence
Numpty Bawbag
Nut in Chief
Nuthouse Napoleon
O.J. Treason
Oaf in Office
Oaf of Office
OBESE Forever Impeached Liar-in-Chief
Obese Offensive Obstructionist Puppet
Obese Orange Fuhrer
Obese Orangutan
Obscene Bilious Inheritor Billionaire
Odious Troll (as a Star Wars character name)
OIC – Outrager-in-Chief
Old Orange Head
Old Scratch
Old Yellowstain
Ole Orange Butt
ONIT — for: Our National Ingrown Toenail
OOO [Oval Office Obscenity]
Orange @$$h*!e
Orange Addolph
ORANGE AGENT MA-AN, ORANGE A-AGENT MA-AN! (sung in Johnny Rivers’ voice to theme of “Secret Agent Man” – 1960’s TV drama with Patrick McGoohan)
Orange Angus Beef-on-the-Hoof
Orange Anus
Orange Ape
Orange Apparition
Orange Assclown
Orange Baby
Orange Bag of Bile
Orange Bag of Putrid Gas
Orange Banana
Orange Beast
Orange Blob
Orange Blobbo
Orange Bloviated Gasbag
Orange Blowfish
Orange Bobblehead
Orange Boil
Orange Bone Spur
Orange Booty Bandit (OBB)
Orange Boy
Orange Buffoon
Orange Butt
Orange Butt Buddy
Orange Butthead
Orange Caligula
Orange Cardio Event
Orange Charlatan
Orange Cheato
Orange Clown
Orange Clown Fish
Orange Clown Mobster
Orange Clown President
Orange Clown Virus-45
Orange Cockroach
Orange Colostomy Bag
Orange Cracker
Orange Creepoid
Orange Cretin
Orange Cretin Nutter
Orange Cry Baby
Orange Dawn (ironic reference to “Red Dawn” movie)
Orange Despot
Orange Devil
Orange Diarrhea
Orange Dicktater
Orange Dictator
Orange Dildo
Orange doG
Orange Don
Orange Donnie
Orange Donny
Orange Dope
Orange Droolius
Orange Drumpfman
Orange Dude
Orange Dufus
Orange Dump
Orange Elephant (in the room)
Orange Emperor
Orange Failure in Chief
Orange Ferret Comb Over
Orange Finger
Orange Flap
Orange Fool
Orange Foolius
Orange Fraud
Orange Front Man
Orange Fucknut
Orange Fucktard
Orange Fungus
Orange Fuzz Man
Orange Gawd
Orange Genius
Orange Gloaming
Orange Grifter
Orange Hair Helmet
Orange Hair Monster
Orange Haired Shit gibbon
Orange Head
Orange Hemorrhoid
Orange Hero
Orange Hog
Orange Hole
Orange Hulk
Orange Hulk Child
Orange Idiot
Orange Ignoramus
Orange Imbecile
Orange Imposter
Orange Jackass
Orange Julius Caesar
Orange Jumpsuit Filler
Orange Keeper
Orange King
Orange KKKracker
Orange Knuckle Dragger
Orange Koolade
Orange Lardass
Orange Loon
Orange Lufa Face
Orange lunatic
Orange Lying Oaf
Orange Maggot
Orange Malignancy
Orange Man
Orange Man Baby
Orange Mangy Mutt MAGAt
Orange Maniac
Orange Marionette
Orange Marmalade Head
Orange Menace
Orange Messiah
Orange Minion
Orange Monstrosity
Orange Moron
Orange Mother of All Assholes
Orange Muskrat Top
Orange Mussolini
Orange Mutt
Orange Narcissist
Orange Nazi
Orange Oaf
Orange Ogre
Orange Oligarch
Orange Oppressor
Orange Pansy
Orange Peckerless President
Orange Petulant Child
Orange Pig
Orange Pillock
Orange Plague
Orange Porky
Orange POTUS
Orange Pretender
Orange Pumpkin
Orange Pustule
Orange Puteh
Orange Rabbit
Orange Satan
Orange Savage
Orange Savior
Orange Schnitt
Orange Scrooge
Orange Sex Pest
Orange Sh!tstain
Orange Shitgibbon
Orange Shitler
Orange Slimeball
Orange Slimer
Orange Snowflake
Orange Sphincter
Orange Stain
Orange Step-n-Fetch-It
Orange Taint
Orange Tard
Orange Toddler
Orange Too Sad
Orange Top
Orange Trashcan Man
Orange Treason Clown
Orange Truth Crush
Orange Tumor
Orange Turd
Orange Twitter
Orange Voldemort
Orange Wasteman
Orange Weasel
Orange Yam
Orange Zit
Orange, Lufa-Faced, Shit Gibbon
Orange-19 Virus
Orangeade Hobgoblin-in-Chief
Orange-Coated Imbecile
Orange-Tinted Beast
Orange-Tinted Insult to Common Human Decency
Orange-Topped White Supremacist
Orangeutan in Chief
Orangina Clown Crook
Our Caligula
Our Dear Friend (/s)
Outrager in Chief (OIC)
P?esiDunce Donnie Diaper Dump
P?esidunce Putinfluffer
Painted Orange Fool
Parasite in Chief
Parasitent Dummp
Paris Raindrop
Pathetic Coward
Pathetic Schmuck
Peaches Trump
Pecker Fungus
Pee Brain (New York Daily News headline)
Perdition Prez
Petty Boy
Petty Cockroach
Petulant Petunia
Phewtin’s Agent Orange
Philandering Felon
Pig in the Wig
Pillsbury Doughboy Trump
PINO 45 (president in name only)
PINO the Donald
Pissy Galore
Pitiful Orange Dufus
Political Alzheimer’s Patient Zero
PoopFace Trump
Porrous Dump
POSident Trump
POTUS = Piece Of Totally Useless Shit
POTUS = Piece of Totally Useless Slime
POTUS = POke-and-Taunt-US (after Pocahantas crack in front of Andrew Jackson portrait while honoring code talkers)
POTUS Patheticus
PPOF President Pants On Fire
Precedent of Uhmerica
Predator President
Present Dent
President “Snowflake”
President (LITERAL) Clown(face)
President Alternate Reality
President Asshole
President B.S. (see above)
President Blunder and Bluff
President Bone Spur in the Craw
President Bone Spurs
President Bonespur J. Snatchgrabber
President Caligula
President Chaos
President Chia Pet Head
President Chunk
President Clown Car
President Clown Face
President Dennison (named used for him on non-disclosure he didn’t sign with Stormy Daniels)
President Deplorable
President Diarrhea Thumbs
President Dumpferments
President Dumpster
President Dunce
President Dunce Cap
President Extra cheese and Mayo
President Fatface
President FATulence
President Frosty the Slowman
President Garbage Fire
President Gravity Well
President Grump
President Hair Flap
President Heel Spurs
President Jackel and Hide Away
President Kingy Jesus
President Knuckle Dragger
President LARDASS
President Laughing Stock
President Little Fingers
President Lurch and Leap
President Marmalade
President Mayhem
President McGuffin
President Mitty
President Motherf**ker
President Of The Deplorables
President Orange Fucktard
President Pee-pee
President Perdition
President Petty
President Pig Face
President Pinocchio
President Predator
President Pucherbutt
President Pumpkinhead
President Putrid
President Putz
President Queeg (And who stole my strawberries? )
President Rapey
President Shithole
President Shutdown
President Simpleton
President Single-Cell Organism
President Skidmark
President Snowflake
President Spanky
President Swampmouth
President Teenage Girl (“I don’t wanna go! Your gonna make me? Well i’ll just show up late and make a big stink while I pout in my corner. I’m gonna leave early and show them.”)
President Trash
President Trumphole
President TweeterPeter
President Wide Load
Presidunce Crooked Trump
Presidunce Odious
Pretence-ident Dumper
Prez Wackjob
Prictator Drumpf
Prima Donnie
Prince of Fraud
Private BoanSpurts
Private Bone Spurs
Producer in Chief
Projection President
Provider in Chief (of names)
Prump Tutin
Pseudo-Presidential P#ssy-Grabber
PT Barnum of the White House
Puffy Orange Head
Pukified Moron
Pumpkin Fuhrer
Pussy Boss
Pussy Grabber
Pussy Grabbing Guy
Pussy Grabbing Nerfed
Putin’s Caddy
Putin’s Celebrity Apprentice
Putin’s Orange Agent
Putin’s Patsy
Putin’s Poodle
Putin’s Punk
Putrescent Piped Piper
Putrid Orange Ball
Pwesident Alzheimer’s I-don’t-know-Prince-Andrew Trump
Pwesident Twump
Pxxxy Grabber
Pyschoperv Prez
Racketeer in Chief
Ragtop 45
Ram Don
Reakin’ Jobby
Reality Show Buffoon
Refugee From the Planet Orange
Resident Dump
Resident Orange Oaf
Resident Trump
Right Wing Bass Turd
Rotting-Fish-Head Leader
Rubber Yam Man
Ruffle Trump
Rump and Co.
Rump Goy
Rump Rash
Rump Roast
Rumple Trumple
Russian Agent Orange
Russian Bot
Russian Bought
Russian Bought Bot
S.S. Trump Dump
Sad Little Dipshit
Saddumb Hussein
Satan, the Great Deceiver
Scam Man Donnie
Schroedinger’s Douchebag
SCROTUS == So-Called Ruler of the United States
Sh*t 4 Brains
Sh*thole Prez*dent
Shallow Jerk
Sham Prezzident
shambly mambly Russian doll Do-nal’id Trump (writing in a Scottish accent)
Sideshow Don
Sir Brilliance of the Incoherent
Sir Donald
Six-time-bankrupt draft-dodging tax-dodging fake-tanned liar narcissist
Slimy Orange Hero
Slouching Tiger, Tweeting Dragon
Slum Lord Million Error
Snow Ball Wizard
Social Twit Path
Son of Scam
Spank Me
Spanky and His Gang
Spanky D
Spanky McBonespurs
Spanky Tee
Spanky the Dumpster
Spelunker-in -Chief
Spill of Human Mayonnaise
Spur of the Moment
Squirrel-Haired Furor (sic)
Stable Genius (self reference)
Stompy Foot
Stormy Donald
Stumbling Don
Stupid in Chief
Super Chief Liar
Super Dump! (as in: Look up in the sky! It’s a cheeseburger, no it’s a drumstick, no it’s a Golden tumbleweed. No it’s Super Dump!)
Super Trump!
Supremely Dangerous Asshole (SDA)
Swamp Don
Swampy Don
Swillo Largo
Swine-in-Chief (from “Pearls before Swine-in-Chief.”)
Swollen Orange Carbuncle
T?aitor T?ump
Tactless Jackhole
Talking Yam
Tangerine Caligula
Tangerine Freak Show
Tangerine Nightmare
Tangerine Puppy
Tangerine Tantrum
Tangerine Terror
Tangerine Traitor
Tangerine Troglodyte
Tangerine Turd
Tangerine Twatwaffle
Tangerine Twit
Tangerine Tyrant
Tariff Man (from Trump “I am a Tariff Man”)
Tawdry Tweeter
Teflon Don
Teflon Don Trump
Temper Tantrum Trump
Temper Tantrump
Tent Pole Grifter
The Orange Crush Overseer
The American Gobshite
The Apprentisident
The Big Dump
The Big O.D. (TB Orange Donald)
The Blonde Don
The Boy Who Cried Caravan
The Case of The Barking Barstool
The Chaos President
The Cheeto Prophet
The Chosen One
The Dalek Trump
The Dastard
The Definitive Slime Ball
The Donald
The Duck
The Flatulent One
The GOPfather
The Great Collaborator
The Great Dislusionist
The Great Disrupter
The Great Donald Debacle
The Great Narcissist
The Great Orange Grifter
The Great Orange One
The Great Orange Pumpkin
The Great Polluter
The Great Traitor
The Great White Dope
The Impeached One
The Invincible Mr. Trump
The Invisible Individual #1
The ManGo
The Moron
The Muscovian Candidate
The National Embarrassment
The National TROLL
The old man ranting and speaking alone in the food court of an old shopping mall at 10am
The Orange Dead Beat
The Orange Finger
The Orange Genius
The Orange Glow
The Orange King
The Orange Man
The Orange Mushroom
The Orange One
The Orange PimpleNel
The Orange Spew
The Orange Stain
The Orange Tramp
The Orange Weirdo Called POTUS
The Orangutan
The Prima Wanker
The Prime Wanker
The Puke of Orange
The Putin Apprentice
The Resident
The Siberian Candidate
The So-Called President
The Spy Who Loved Pee
The Stain
The T Robot/Hologram
The Tangerian Candidate
The Tangerine Hate “Genius”
The Tangerine Hellbeast
The Trump Creature
The Walking Nose (Pinocchio)
The Welchman (as in to welch on an agreement)
The YUUUge Orange One
Third-Rate Racist Carnival Barker
Thumper Trumper Wumper
Tinkles Trump
Tinpot Tyrant
Tiny Hands
Toddler Trump
Top Grifter
Top Jobby
Total Tantrum Trumpy
Toupe’d Fucktrumpet
Toupéed Fucktrumpet
Toxic Trump
Traitor 45
Traitor Don
Traitor in Chief
Traitor Trump
Treasonous Dotard
Treasonous Monster
Tronald Dump
Trooper Trump
Trump = Treason
tRUMP and his littlings!
Trump Baby
Trump Chump
Trump Roast
Trump Stump
Trump the Chump
Trump the Egotistical
Trump the Fantisizer
Trump the Lump
Trump the Stump
Trump the Traitor
Trump the Unfit
Trump Thumper
Trump Trash
Trump VonClown
Trumpa The Hutt
Trumpasseroid (as in asteroid)
Trumper Tantrum
Trumpestuous President
Trumpet Mouth
Trumpie Bear
Trumply Whiplash
Trumpo the Klown
Trumpo the Malignant Narcissist
Trump-Owned Bruisenesses
Trumpty Dumpty
TrumPuerRico Island Resorts
Trumpus Dickus Minimus
Trumpus Oranginus – ancient Roman Trump ancestor (sarcasm))=
Trumpy Bear
Trumpy Trash
Tsar Thrump
Tsarina Donalda
Tweedle Dumb
Tweet Sturm Fuhrer
Tweeter in Chief – TIC
Tweetle Dumb
Tweety Turd
Twitter Addict-in-Chief
Twitter Baby
Twitter Fingers
Twitter Tantrump
Twitterer in Chief
Twitty Bird
Twitty Fingers
Two Scoops
U Bum (tweet from LeBron James)
Ugly Orange Front Man
Unfit Orange Menace
Unquenchable Fount of Untruth
Unsinkable Trumptanic
Urine Top McBonespurs
US President Putin
USS Me Me Me
USS Trump
Vain-ee Veedee Tweetee
Vandal in the White House
Vindictive Little Mushroom
Vladie’s Baby Mahn
Vladie’s Middle Finger
Vladimir_Bone Spur_tRump (an anti-Trump commenter handle)
Vlad’s Fat Puppet
Von Trump Mafia
Vulgar Talking Yam
Wailing Anal Aneurysm (the) Or Waa
Waistman Trump
Wanker One
Wankmaggot T??mp
Wasteman Trump
Weapons-Grade Plum
Weaselheaded Fucknugget
Wee Donny
Whiney Little Byatch
White House Fool
Whittle Donnie
Whopper Don
Widdle Donnie
Widdle Trumpy
Wiggy Slice
Wilted Caesar (regarding a wilted Caesar Salad on China trip which Dumps ordered Rex Tillerson to eat)
Witless Fucking Cocksplat
Wonsit W*nker
Wrecking Ball Donnie
Wrong Don Jung
Yellow-Possum Top
Your savior, the lifelong grifter, adulterer, bankruptcy king, launderer of Russian mob money, pathological liar, and best friend of bin Salman, Duterte, Putin, Kim Jong Un and other miscreants
Zippo The Trump

And a few names and concepts for associates and actions

“Trump has the attention span of a squirrel on meth”
“Here, hold my Corona.”
mar a plague-o
mar a large plagueo

Order of the Orange Booty Bandit (OOBB)
Sean Insanity! (Sean Hannity)
Lord Haw Haw Hammity Schammity
Ohhhhhhhhhhh THAT Prince Andrew…
political Alzheimer’s Patient Zero
Veni, Vidi, Tweeti
Nueterin’ Nancy
Ann Coltergist
Q-Tip (Pence)

“Government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function. I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.” : Donald Trump
“You can’t con people, at least not for long. If you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” : Donald Trump

She kicked him in that most sensitive area of masculinity – the ego. (“She” is Nancy Pelosi)
This is something new for Trump.. Mommy said no and she means NO. (Pelosi cuts off Trump on SOTU speech)
If the cameras are off you know Trump won’t waste the breathe to sound stupid.
shooting from the lip (what Trump does)

Presidents Coulter, Limbaugh and Hannity (named because of their role in the gov shutdown)

Yup, Giuliani is ” … not good at his job.” – as in :: the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree (the Trump Stump)

Four comments in comment thread

  • Trump. Now we have a five letter swear word.
    • Kind of like, ‘I need to go take a trump.
      • Or, I got trumped over because I’m a Fed worker.
        • Mine is worse, I have had Trumparrhea for the past two years! Explains why I am dehydrated and dizzy! And I just thought it was a reaction to hearing his voice!

25 45
The one thing that did not shut down is Trumps big mouth. (comment on government shutdown)
dead raccoon on his head
Uday and Qusay Trump

Traitor Tot == Don Jr.
GOP = Greedy Old Pigs
GOP = Gang Of Pricks

Trump Crime Family

BeelzeBarbie (Laura Ingraham)

The KKKracker Lagoon

From Semper Fi to Simper Trump….he traded-in the red, white, and blue for the Kremlin’s stage. – about John Kelley after his remarks about Liz Warren came out
Two malignant narcissists walk into an oval office . . . (comment on Kanye West visit to Trump in oval office)


PTSD = post tweet spin disorder
Lindsay Graham Cracker

Even Donald Trump knows that only idiots would vote for Donald Trump

Kellyanne Conjob
He never met a lie he could not embrace.

orange koolaid for brains
The Orangubrat Enclosure
The Blight House
“Yeah, Trump is a problem solver the same way Godzilla is a city planner,” Trevor Noah snarked. “The only way Donald Trump can consider himself a problem solver is if he stops creating problems.”
Linda Shill: Trump, you are the ENEMY!
Christal Keel: LOL… I love the smell of desperation in the morning!
Jim McBride: He forgot one of his enemies, the majority of the people!

Fux News
Pox News
TRUMP == Truly Russian Made Product
Twilight Zone intro to “He’s Alive” with Dennis Hopper as a US Nazi working for Hitler (dead but present) – is very current
“Portrait of a bush-league Führer named Peter Vollmer, a sparse little man who feeds off his self-delusions and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And like some goose-stepping predecessors he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize why a world passes him by without saluting. That something he looks for and finds is in a sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon he calls it faith, strength, truth. But in just a moment Peter Vollmer will ply his trade on another kind of corner, a strange intersection in a shadowland called the Twilight Zone.”
And the end comment:
“Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare – Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there’s hate, where there’s prejudice, where there’s bigotry. He’s alive. He’s alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He’s alive because through these things we keep him alive.”

Trump’s already energized his “sturmtruppen” for armed violence against the state should he be removed from power.
Randyrocker :: Trump’s dumber than his own brain.
“Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.” Joseph Goebbels
LeBron puts children through school. – Trump puts children in cages.
Rudy Drooliani
Colludy Giuliani
Based on looks “Nosferatu” fits him (Giuliani)
“Weekend at Trump’s” ala shades of “Weekend at Bernie’s”
Just another “Dump Dynasty” episode
She is a pothole (said of daughter, Ivanka Trump)
Fux Noise
GOPR = Grand old Party of Russia
GOPussies in Congress
Seventeen Angry Democrats = SAD, as in this president
“Collude? I thought you said Quaalude.”
Mister Vee Pee-Pee (vice pres Pence)
GOP = Gutless Oppressive Person
GOP = Groveling Over Putin
Tick Tock, Motherfucker
The “Kremlin Annex” formerly known as the White House
Trump is full bore incompetent.
Trump’s new book “The Art of the Deflection”
the Kingdom of Trump


From CounterPunch on visit to UK – describing numerous signs held up:

“Bastard has ruined orange forever”,
“Piss off you orange bastard”,
“I could shit a better president”,
“Free Melania”,
“Even Melania thinks you’re a dick”,
“Too many tweets make a twat”,
“Big orange twat”,
“Trump as welcome as a World Cup 3rd place playoff”,
“Tyrant racist umpa-lumpa misogynist psychopath”,
“You’re even worse than Morrissey”,
“In England Trump means fart”,
“All in all you’re just another prick with no wall”,
“Sorry but you’re just not our cup of tea”,
“Take Boris with you”, (Boris Johnson, brexit guy who can’t keep an elected/appointed job)
“Don’t let Trump grab us by the country” (sign held by a woman),
“Go home Trump we have enough racists as it is”,
“If the US government was an orchestra Trump would be its air guitarist”,
“Fake-off Donald!”,
“Can’t comb over sexism”,
“We shall overcomb”,
“No to torture no to Trump”,
“Keep your tiny hands off our queen”,
“Feed him to the corgis”,
“Golden towers & golden showers”,
“This crowd is bigger than your inauguration crowd”
“Yer Maw Was an Immigrant, Ye Nugget.”

He’s a Russian-backed NY mobster posing as Potus!

… there are 2 things that have always disappeared quickly around Donald Trump. Reputations and Cash.
… … (reply) and humanity.

MAGA – Make Adipose Go Away
MAGA – Make America Grate Again
MAGA – Make America Gullible Again!
MAGA – Make America Gutted Again
MAGA – Make Asbestos Great Again
MAGA – Making America Gag Again
MAGA – Many Are Getting Attorneys!
MAGA – Mexicans always get across
MAGA – Moore’s America Grates Again
MAGA – Morons Are Governing America
MAGA – Mueller Ain’t Going Away
MAGBA – Make America Great Britain Again
MARA – Make America Racist Again
MASA – Make America Shamed Again. And again…and again…
MAWA: make America white again
MMRA – Make Myself Rich Again
MRGA – Make Russia Great Again
MTGAAA – (Make Trump Great Again and Again and Again)

Huckelberry Spin – for press secretary Sarah Sanders

Trump, the ultimate defucktive
Defucktive Fiction
Mental defucktive

Help us Obi Wan KeMeuller, you’re our only hope!

The head rats, our “leaders” (if it is even possible to lead anybody anywhere inside a cage), have proven to be as mediocre and clueless as anyone else. Which is sort of proof we are a democracy, if we want to look at it that way. While it is a myth that virtually anybody can grow up to be president, we have demonstrated that nitwits have more than a fighting chance. During my 40 years writing media ass-wipe for the public, I have interviewed many of “the best of my generation,” and, believe me, most of them were not much.

Naturally, they believe they are far superior by virtue of having made it to an elevated point in the gilded cage, closer to the feed, water and sex. Because they believe it, and the media–sycophants waiting for quotes–echoes their belief, discussing their every brain fart, we tend to believe it, too. Nothing shakes our belief, not even staring directly into the face of a congenital liar and nitwit like Sarah Palin, or a careening set of brainless balls like Donald Trump or a retarded jackal like George W. Bush.

Trumpers have gone from “drain the swamp” to “the swamp is good, get over it ”

It’s not “felony leaks” that are the problem..it’s the felons in the White House!

Kelly is now encrusted with thick layers of toxic Trump cooties

Trump tweet: We’ve got a great deal for our supporters this Black Friday! Use the code GIVING for 30% off OFFICIAL Trump Merchandise -> http://bit.ly/2i2Xxro
The @GOP has turned into the Trump Home Shopping Network. SAD!
I’m getting facepalm acne.
Kristine Parkhill Lovell: A trump dog collar and leash? Seriously? He doesn’t even like dogs. He doesn’t like anyone that’s smarter than he is.
Bryan Moe: Who said the collar was for a dog? This is a Trump product after all.
Andrew Carlson: It’s one of his props from his business trip to Russia…

Could be a halfwit if he applied himself

Veto The Cheetoh!

Comments about the 18-karat gold toilet at the Guggenheim.
Alison Zapata · The University of the Arts
We’re number two! We’re number two! Hahaha
Sharyn Brown
Well, so much for the donation he was just about to send you!
Douglas Housel Sr. · Works at Retired Postal Workers
future home of many cheeseburgers
Motheba Alina Nthabiseng Rakuoane · Senior Crown Counsel at Turks & Caicos Islands Government Press Office
To complement his golden showers I guess??
Emma Noonan · Works at Bum Rogers Crabhouse & Tavern
He just told him where he “Can Gogh”
Jay Scott · Malibu, California
1st Amendment toilet paper in the white house?
Chris Comacho · Stockton, California
More like a Van “Go”. Do the “showers” match the seat? ????
Hilary Marion · New York, New York
Finally! “the king” gets a suitable throne ????????
Evelyn Roberts ·Owner/ President at Yummy Fat
They should have also offered a Golden Shower. He’d totally accept that.
Faye Grubb · University of Evansville
They probably thought he had to Gogh!
Julie B. Trivedi · Medical Director of Infection Prevention for University Hospitals at UT Southwestern Medical Center
A Sh..hole for him to use.

On the military parade he wants
It’s actually really funny that top pentagon officials are being ordered to throw a parade for a reality tv dipshit.

(me) If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, paddles like a duck, flies like a duck it should be obvious, it’s an elephant.

Trump: “We’re gonna’ build a wall.”
China: “That won’t work, trust us.”

Phil Newton · Wordsmith at Self-Employed :: Good God. Still waiting for the South to writhe again.

“Ben Carson … tossed out the Hippocratic Oath and replaced it with the Hippocritic Oath …” (HUD secretary)

From comment on Rudy Giuliani exposing payoffs to Cohen to cover payoffs to Stormy Daniels::
old Giulie is like a puppy carpet bombing the WH, they need to follow him around with newspapers

Carl Echevarria · Works at Retired::
Did Trump actually hire Giulliani or is he, R.G., doing it for sport, a la pro bono?
They do make a nice looking couple!
Rudy looks like he swallowed the White House.

And the fact it was bad for women was just a bonus for them.

TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome)

Trump lives in a land of make believe ME.

Dumps wanted to own his own football team, the Brooklyn (Bone) Spurs.

Wanda Watts-Williams
“2 reality stars walk into the oval(bar) office …” On Kim Kardshian meet with Trump on prison reform


After the successes of the left in the 60’s and 70’s, the state turned to counter-insurgency lawfare.

Miracle E Brown: Trump? Think? Quit with the comedy.
Richard Roeder to Miracle E Brown: Sorry, what was I thinking?

Bob Jase: You can summon the devil and sell him your soul or work for Trump – either has the same effect.

Who knew rock bottom had a basement?

On asbestos story with Trump’s face on Russian pallets of the stuff:::
* Given how toxic Tr*mp is, putting his face on asbestos makes perfect sense.
* Asbestos and trump are bad for your health. Truth in advertising!
* more proof that anything attached to tRump is dangerous to humankind….
* It fits. His image should also be on cans of rat poison etc.

Scott :: Trump is our Nero.
ErnestineBass to Scott :: Having never mastered the fiddle, Drumpf plays a dog whistle instead.

on the golf course Dump pees off

on the Trump Baby Blimp over London:::
Wayne George : The resemblance is remarkable. Thin skin and gas.

Was it Adolf Giulliani or Sara Sucker-be Sanders or maybe that Compulsive lying lapdog Wannabe a SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh that declared that the President should not have to be bothered by the Russian Probe or any indictments against him , he has lots of more difficult things to worry about, like : Playing other 18 holes of golf , crashing weddings with the hope of grabbing some pussy , Or maybe laying around the swimming pool working on his Orange tan and scarfing down a couple of buckets of KFC while he uses those greasy fingers to tweet insults at everyone in the world .

New bumper sticker for trumpers. PUTIN / TRUMP 2020 When you just cannot admit you were WRONG.

Jared owns a building in NYC with address of 666. It is a sign! LOL

“You’ve got to treat the White House and the office of the presidency with respect.”
However, the president himself gets only the respect he deserves and has earned.
There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. – Lord Acton

T-Rump has turned the presidency into the new version of “The Price is Right”.

Trump: “I hire the best unqualified people for the job. Just like me”.

MBS – Mohammed Bone Saw (Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia)

A new ship is being constructed and will bear the name USS Bone Spurs. It is not expected to ever float or serve in a fleet.

A few Video Sarcasm links – Broadway style

I still think the “Cell Block Tango” is my favorite

Randy Rainbow Channel = https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC07F26kHKkpW_qqvXzEGALA
The Cell Block Tango – Jan 28, 2019 = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihvgfU_g7LI
Desperate Cheeto – Oct 11, 2017 = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTosB6V_V24
One on one with the president – Aug 27, 2018 = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWTiFcl9OhU
Covfefe – June 2, 2017 =

Clarity vs Lisinopril

I’m clear again after two weeks on two sets of blood pressure pills. From August 11 through August 24, 2016 I ran a little test using my Lisinopril prescription.

I’ve had the Lisinopril-only prescription since April from the VA but only took a few of the pills. I’ve been reluctant to take the blood pressure medicine because with the earlier Lisinopril/HCTV pills I was prescribed the blood pressure went too low and I came close to passing out. Instead, I embarked on my own experiment to change lifestyle by walking as an alternative to the pills.

I want my data, being an old database programmer. But I also wanted to do an experiment to see whether the new prescription worked for me and in any case to see what the effect was on me.

The short, short story is that 48 hours after dropping the pills this time I felt clear and energized for the first time since starting them again. But I also found an effect (symptom, if you want) that I had not previously noticed. My predictive perception of the world around me was reduced and felt like a thin, almost gauzy film in front of me. Normally we go around in an auto-complete mode. The pills seem to reduce that capability. More on that later.

Here is the narrative.

The pills only come in 20 mg size, at least at the VA pharmacy where I get my pills. The prescription specified 10 mg per day so they also gave me a pill cutter to split the pill in two. It is a little blue plastic doohickey with a V-chute to shove the round pill into and then a razor-blade type of guillotine lid which I press down sharply to divide the pill. It does a pretty clean job.

I decided I would start with 5 mg a day. So I figured out how to cut a pill once (put it in the V-shaped jig and bring down the blade, as I said above). Then turn the half pill just so in the same V and bring the blade down again. One pill gives me four days at 5 mg a day.

I kept this dosage going through the 19th and changed it to 10 mg on the 20th. When I switched I put in my regular annotation in the comment field of my database.

4.2 miles (post office on Gregory east of Wornall), feeling very woozy, I figure because of the increase in dosage from 5 to the prescribed 10 mg of Lisinopril. However, this was also too much as I felt somewhat woozy, increasingly after a week on 5 mg.
10 mg Lisinopril, feeling woozy

The wooziness wasn’t a lot, but it was noticeable. What I didn’t write in the comment and I will now is that I also felt less energy, slightly winded and seemed have legs which were not heavy exactly but seemed to be limbs that I had to pull along, rather than getting pulled along by them.

Then there was the guazy feel, noticeable generally but in particular while driving. It was as if a light gauze was over my or in front of me but a gauze which is so light that I’m not sure it is even there, except that it was just noticeable.

I wanted to see the effect on me with the pills and then again without the pills. But I needed to remain on the pills long enough to experience the effect from the pills. Otherwise I would have nothing to compare.

As it happened the comparison was more marked and specific than I expected. I should first note that the  pills do indeed produce a lower set of readings regardless of exercise. But exercise gives me benefits I don’t get from the pills, such as conditioning, better breath control going up and down stairs and just fast walking as well as a good feeling from just being outside and moving on my own for an hour or so each (almost each) day.

What struck me on the second day after dropping the pill was my sense of clarity (mental and physical) and me sense of energy. My legs felt as if they were taking off on their own with the rest of me following along.

On the first day after stopping the pill (24th) I entered this in my comment field:

pre-walk – going off the BP pill as of this morning. Have been feeling woozy, slow, loss of energy, less stamina, breathy – not severely, indeed extended the pills a bit to feel sure.  Now will try without again to see the contrast.

On the second day (25th) I entered this before my walk:

pre-walk – day 2 after bp pill 10 mg Lisinopril, most syptoms cleared

and this after my walk

2.4 miles, chicken tender and iced tea – seem clear of the last previous bp pill from two days ago, no woozyness getting up, no slight, tiny layer of mental & visual “fog.” Seems like gauze only too little to ID as gauze. Clear conditioning and stamina.
I would say “better” but “clear” seems more descriptive

The fog interrupts the predictive auto-complete awareness which is part of normal operation. As such it feels disruptive or just “foggy” or slightly befuddled (but not confused), a slight tinge of “at a loss.”

Here are the average readings from before and after. As usual, the pre-walk readings are higher than the post-walk readings. I normally take three readings or more. If a reading seems to be an outlier from the other measurements I take another, or more, until I see a pattern of close readings. Then I average those readings minus the “outliers.” The “avgN” field gives the number of readings used.

Average BP readings from 8/11/2016 through 8/25/2016
DateTime Pre Post avgSys avgDia avgPulse avgN Comment Other BP_Pill
8/11/2016 10:38:37 AM Yes No 132 87 66 3 pre-walk   No
8/11/2016 1:36:54 PM No Yes 96 63 87 3 2.4 miles, one hour after 5 mg, day one Yes
8/13/2016 8:51:06 AM Yes No 136 82 55 3 pre-walk 5 mg – third day Yes
8/13/2016 3:42:45 PM No Yes 120 77 73 3 2.4 miles, nearly 7 hours later 5 mg Yes
8/14/2016 12:00:15 PM No No 124 76 64 3 measure 5 mg -day 4 Yes
8/15/2016 10:11:12 AM Yes No 141 90 57 2 pre-walk 5 mg – day 5 Yes
8/15/2016 11:19:41 AM No Yes 124 82 96 3 2.4 miles 5 mg, 7am Yes
8/15/2016 12:10:34 PM No Yes 118 81 88 3 2.4 miles at 1.3 hours later 5 mg Yes
8/16/2016 12:10:42 PM No No 115 80 71 3 measure 5 mg Yes
8/17/2016 6:52:28 AM Yes No 131 90 59 3 pre-walk 5 mg Yes
8/17/2016 8:48:53 AM No Yes 122 82 85 3 2.4 miles 5 mg Yes
8/18/2016 10:05:41 AM Yes No 128 89 75 3 pre-walk 5 mg at 6 am outlier (pulse) Yes
8/20/2016 7:20:17 AM No No 118 75 60 2 measure 5 mg (yesterday) Just took 10 mg Yes
8/20/2016 11:44:15 AM No Yes 94 59 89 4 4.2 miles (post office on Gregory east of Wornall), feeling very woozy, I figure because of the increase in dosage from 5 to the prescribed 10 mg of Lisinopril. However, this was also too much as I felt somewhat woozy, increasingly after a week on 5 mg. 10 mg Lisinopril, feeling woozy Yes
8/21/2016 5:45:33 PM No No 114 82 80 2 measure 10 mg, early morning Yes
8/22/2016 11:25:45 AM No No 112 74 71 2 measure, just took today’s bp pill 10 mg, outlier Yes
8/23/2016 10:26:49 AM Yes No 115 79 71 2 pre-walk 10 mg Yes
8/23/2016 1:25:33 PM Yes No 120 78 73 3 pre-walk 10 mg Yes
8/23/2016 3:26:42 PM No Yes 93 67 107 3 2.6 miles 10 mg outlier Yes
8/24/2016 9:49:04 AM Yes No 106 78 69 3 pre-walk – going off the BP pill as of this morning. Have been feeling woozy, slow, loss of energy, less stamina, breathy – not severely, indeed extended the pills a bit to feel sure. Now will try without again to see the contrast. outlier Yes
8/24/2016 11:21:13 AM No Yes 114 79 83 3 2.4 miles, large iced tea at Shell pill yesterday Yes
8/24/2016 11:57:17 AM No Yes 104 81 72 3 2.4 miles – one hour later – 127/78/70 – at start, after battery change bp residual from yesterday Yes
8/24/2016 5:05:47 PM Yes No 105 69 80 3 pre-walk (to orientation on campus) bp pill 1.5 days ago Yes
8/25/2016 9:25:36 AM Yes No 129 89 56 4 pre-walk – day 2 after bp pill 10 mg Lisinopril, most syptoms cleared BP pill symptoms seem mostly cleared No
8/25/2016 11:28:52 AM No Yes 108 72 103 3 2.4 miles, chicken tender and iced tea – seem clear of the last previous bp pill from two days ago, no woozyness getting up, no slight, tiny layer of mental & visual “fog.” Seems like gauze only too little to ID as gauze. Clear conditioning and stamina. I would say “better” but “clear” seems more descriptive No

Blood Pressure: Pills vs Walking

Blood Pressure And
An Unintentional Baseline Experiment

Note: I intend to break this into smaller chunks, later.

As well as Related Thoughts on Measuring and Evaluating

This is a longer piece than I originally intended. In the meantime I’ve had a couple of tries at an article, gotten a bit behind and then started again. I sometimes covered the same territory and sometimes other topics. What I will do here is to collect the bits and pieces and arrange them under various headings. So you may find some duplications of information. I would try to do a tighter edit but it is time to get this out. It has been nearly 12 months since I started.

The intent was (and is) to send this to my doctor with the database. Each time I think I am almost ready something else shows up which leads me to think that my data is not yet ready. Maybe it will never really get there but at some point there should be enough data to at least look at it overall. So, with apologies for incompleteness, here goes.

Headings Below

Before-Walking and After-Walking Baseline
Communicating Across Divides
Lessons From The First 7 Months
Conditioning, Walking and other Exercise
Lifestyle versus Pills
Database Creation and Modifications
Fixed-Interval Sampling:
Event-Load Sampling:
Design of Blood Pressure Monitors
The Readings Themselves
A Couple of Queries From the Database
Averages by Month
Along the way
Pain Meds
Other non-habits
On And Off the BP Pill
May 4th, 2015 – BP way too low
October 6th, 2015 – from just right to way too low
Back to the present
A Reflection
A few more dated entries in October 2015

Before-Walking and After-Walking Baseline

I will start with this chart prepared from a little more than 2,100 individual blood pressure readings, before and after walking and averaged for each month. This is a little less than 12 month’s worth of readings (not a full April and not a full March). This is the frame for most of the rest of the discussion. I’ll repeat this is better detail later in various ways.


If you are reading the clinical reports they will show higher blood pressure readings. I’m not entirely sure why this is. I have a number of possible factors but for the most part it just seems to be higher in the clinic (VA and dentist). There is the “White Coat” effect but I also run into this at times here, depending on how much time I give myself to relax into the “mood.” I’ve never quite pinned it down. That makes it a bit irritating because I want the clinic reading to reflect what I get at home. I go into that later under “Measuring.”

Communicating Across Divides

Software developers and their users share some similarities with doctors and their patients. Both sides of the conversation are often talking to each other with the same words but understanding different things. Both sides of the conversation are trying to make “it” work whether “it” is a human body or a software program. And both sides think they are having a conversation when there may not be as much meeting in the middle as hoped for by both sides.

As a decades-long software developer I am always aware that no matter how long I’ve been in the game I can never relax into thinking that I know how each user or machine operator will understand and use my programs. I still remember an early set of user interfaces I created for a mailing-list program in the early 1980’s.

The firm I was working for decided to try out their first computers and would use them for a 20-year anniversary for old and current clients. They needed to enter all their old clients as well as new prospects across the country. So I needed to construct an entry program usable by temps and an envelope and letter printing program also easily usable by temps. This is what I found:

⦁ The temps needed to understand what to type into the address fields (seems easy at first glance)
⦁ But the information in the cards and phone books and class listings didn’t conform exactly to the fields I had designed. There was always some other format for names, or added information or another category not originally planned for
⦁ So the temps found ways to shoe-horn information into the fields where it didn’t belong such as putting things in parentheses after a name in a field (last or first), or after a comma or vertical bar (|) and so forth. The equivalent of writing in the corners of a paper form.
⦁ Because the temps were trying to make the job work out and
⦁ Because the temps were not understanding (or even seeing) all the screen prompts and
⦁ Because the temps didn’t always know what to bring to my attention because they thought they understood or they didn’t recognize errant behavior on the part of software or a need to add a field type
⦁ And because the temps “made do” with something just to get on with the job and then forgot to get back to me or they assumed they had taken care of “it”
⦁ I quickly realized I needed to monitor the temps (over their shoulders) to catch mis-understandings and non-fitting data as well as to open up dialog so that they better understood what to bring to my attention
⦁ So that I could make changes at my end based on my observations of what worked and what went sideways, which as developer, was my responsibility (both the “worked” and the “sideways”)

Everyone was trying to make the “whole thing” work. There were no “slackers.” Everyone seemed eager. We just didn’t always meet in the same place in the same center. And we didn’t always realize it. I, as developer, would catch on to problems sooner only because I knew what I had in mind and I could more easily detect when things were going sideways. But I still managed at times to miss early signs that an operator might not quite understand some parts of the task.

I caught something similar in my conversations with the doctor. I don’t watch my health that closely and tend to let possible health needs slip at times. For example, I totally let my periodontal disease go for too long. I had to be convinced that what I thought was minor, because my mouth didn’t match my expectation for pain, might be major. It was.

I also tend to either push on through things like headaches or take as few pain relievers as I can. So I found myself in a similar position to those temps we once hired for data input. I thought I was doing “the job” but I wasn’t really hearing and comprehending everything I should have been watching for. Also I had somewhat different concerns. Money for example.

I think the doctor figured me for an anti-vaxxer because I hadn’t gotten any of the current shots recently. I am anything but. I was one of those kids back in the 1950’s who stood in lines for the first polio vaccines that you see in pictures. No pictures taken of me, just that I was in one of many such lines across the country. I remember the concerns. And I remember how many people I knew then and later who had been crippled by that disease.

I had some reluctance to take the vaccines right at the moment because I didn’t know how much it was going to cost me. I was still used to needing to have the money up front before I headed for the doctor’s office. Even though I was getting treatment at the student dental clinic it could sometimes be quite a hit on my income. But they would tell me ahead of time how much to expect to pay. I wasn’t unwilling, I just needed to plan.

As an adjunct my income has dropped below half what it was as a response from the UM system to cut hours to avoid benefits from the ACA. Pretty shitty of them. I’ve taught at UMKC, mostly online, in 1999-2000 (grant program) and then from 2003.

So I was worried about cost at the VA. I was new to the VA so I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t going to pay. I was (and am) pretty impressed.

I would recommend what the VA does for the rest of the country. I’m guessing the doctor didn’t give me a dollar figure because he doesn’t have to think about that for his patients. This is the way health care should work for everyone. I just wasn’t used to it.

I hope that I’ve learned enough from that to communicate a little better with the doctor.

Lessons From The First 7 Months

When I was first prescribed blood pressure pills at the VA I really meant to be a “good boy” and follow the instructions. But after three days I nearly collapsed with an 85/61 pressure. So I dropped the pills temporarily, intending to return to them after a few personal experiments.

I’ve never really gone back except for one occasion. I keep thinking I wasn’t ready with the information I need, that my measurements are not adequate enough (yet) to be either conclusive or at least useful.

Still, I did have some early observations which I figured I could probably support. Not being a doctor I decided that I needed to come in with data.

1 – Walking will lower blood pressure, dependably, (I have a data trail to show it)
2 – A lot of us with active schedules or work actually have sedentary work
3 – Sedentary is dangerous
4 – Blood pressure is both a “thing” (hydraulic pressure) and a symptom
5 – I’m want to fix what causes the “symptom” rather than “hiding” the problem with a pill which gets me the “right” numbers
6 – Walking also conditions the rest of me including breathing
7 – I prefer to change lifestyle rather than taking pills in place of life changes (though I am grateful for medications which do the job)
8 – the usual way blood pressure is measured and recorded gives inadequate data
9 – the BP monitors are all similar, and all need updated engineering

Conditioning, Walking and other Exercise

I learned three things when I started walking:

1. My blood pressure could be lowered just by walking (no running needed)
2. My overall conditioning got better (better breathing)
3. I had gotten sedentary despite an active, hard-working, long-hours schedule and had been so for a long, long time. Because it was such a full schedule I didn’t recognize that it was also sedentary. Working well into the wee hours of many mornings grading classes online or working on pictures and video on computer is busy and intense and also sedentary.

Walking (rapidly, as if I am late for something) gives me the pleasure of being outside, open air, sunshine (usually), under my own power, especially because I am buried so long inside, on the computer, toiling away. Sometimes I listen to the radio or to music from my “phone” or take a camera and shoot the “scenery” just to have something to do. I also usually head for the grocery store giving myself a small task to do, something to pickup, a chicken tender to eat, frozen orange juice to fix later, a few grocery items or other errands. I like to save small errands for my walks.

I worked out various distances from the house using Google maps. Heading north to work at PACE on the UMKC campus is 1 mile and to the performing arts center in the Dance Division another 0.3 miles. Heading west to The Market in Brookside is 1 mile, to Price Chopper is 1.2 miles. I prefer Price Chopper as it is more blue collar, also because the extra 2-tenths of a mile means that I have a 2.4-mile round trip instead of a 2-mile round trip. For a little more distance I may go to a shop on the far west end of Brookside for a 1.4 mile distance one way.

On the return I may stop at one of the Quick Trip type stores to get a large unsweetened iced tea to sip on on the way back and to finish later. It may not be gourmet tea but it is tea and I really don’t care for sweet drinks and very seldom for sodas.

When I first started it might take 10 minutes or so for my breathing to catch up. Within a few weeks that was down to no time at all, literally. Better still, I began to notice that going up a couple of flights of stairs on campus was now taken smoothly. It had not been labored or difficult previously but it was breathy for me. I had gotten used to this condition when I should have realize that it wasn’t right.

Changing a part of my lifestyle to “fix” a one problem turns out to have all around benefits and an overall better feeling for problems I hadn’t considered. I’m reasonably sure that the BP pills would have given me the right numbers but wouldn’t have produced these other benefits.

Lifestyle versus Pills

I am often enough tempted to take a pill without changing anything else. It does seem easier at times, especially when I seem to have higher blood pressure than whated I want to see.

For me, what I’ve found is that I not only feel better all around with lifestyle changes I also feel more in charge and I feel better physically in several ways. I’ve also found that looking at blood pressure not just as a condition but also as a symptom gives me a monitor, an instrument on my “dashboard” to tell when other things go wrong. If I am having other problems I want to know about them, not find that I’ve hidden the indicators.

I would rather change lifestyle than take pills. That is a bit glib and I don’t mean to just throw it around. I am fully ready to take meds as needed. Once in a while I really need to push myself out the door but once out there I am just fine.

Database Creation and Modifications

Whether shooting pictures, designing a survey, creating online learning software or setting up a database you need to determine what your data or record represents and what to sample.

I started with basics: Date/Time, Systolic, Diastolic and Pulse. For most purposes that is enough. As measured BP I found that I wanted to look at the data in different ways. That meant changes and additions to the database.

Events would occur, such as a headache, which would clearly seem to raise blood pressure readings. I wanted a way to correlate events or symptoms with the readings.

I wanted some way to define or certify that I had reached a baseline for my data before making a comparison with the pills. I still haven’t reached a good set of data to look for on a regular basis which might define the effects on me and how that is reflected in blood pressure.

For example I added a field to indicate when i took a blood pressure pill. I quickly added a comment field and then fields to indicate whether the reading was pre or post exercise. Then a second comment field. Next came fields to hold only averages of a set of readings, sys, dia, pulse. After a while I wanted some other types of queries which were hard to set up as designed so I added duplicate sys/dia/pulse fields for before and for after exercise.

Even a temperature field after I came up with a 102-degree temperature in late December. It doesn’t have anything to do, as far as I can tell, with BP. I just wanted to keep track of it and this was available so I tacked on the field. I’ve considered fields for diet as well and maybe sleep or lack of sleep. But so far I’ve resisted the “mission creep” of all kinds of fields. Partly because I am not that obsessed by keeping the database, though a nurse at the VA thought it was pretty unusual.

I also needed to create an entry form as well as numerous types of queries (stored/saved questions which can be repeated as wanted).

Mostly I dealt with a need for other data types by having two text fields, one of which is a memo type which is flexible in size. Of course that changes the way I would search for records in the database.

One major problem with any database is that it requires very consistent ways of referring to the data. That may mean having enough fields for types of data measured, enforcing consistent spelling (an old problem in database maintenance) or even just a usable entry form.

The one thing I am certain of after more than 3 1/2 decades of database programming and design is that no matter how much experience I have and no matter what I begin with some fields will be un-needed, some will need to be re-designed for either more flexible entry or more constrained entry and some will need to be added. Over time some entries will have to be standardized later with corrections to early entries so they all match and some will have to be teased out into other fields while I will also have to add implied fields within the context of larger text fields.


Normally blood pressure is measured during a small interval of time within the day. That sample is limited to a tiny spot of time but is usually used to represent the full day or even a particular period in someone’s life.

The data is very limited in terms of representing the state of anyone’s blood pressure. The general and most common recommendation is a measurement once a day at the same time. It is a tiny part of time compared to a year.

One year is 365.25nn days (so an average month, for easier calculation, is 30.4375 days). If the measurement takes say 5 minutes it is 1/288th of a day, 1/8766th or an average month and or 1/26,298nd of a quarter year (depending on doctor visits.

Yet that single reading in the doctor’s office is assumed to represent the larger span of time across a variety of activities. Most people say, “My blood pressure is ….” What they should realize is that is just the blood pressure in one tiny slice of time between doctor visits and at the doctor’s office. A very paltry sampling.

This is the prime measurement used for almost everyone, as a matter of daily practice. As a data guy, it bothers me that there is not more data related to more life events.

My own experience indicates that each of us needs a great many more measurements than that, distributed across a range of time, across the day and comprising more than one set of measurements averaged. I should note that while I am certainly taking more measurements than my doctor (better) I still think of my own measurements as not giving me the best information, yet. I’m always my own worst critic.

I keep promising myself I will do a better series but I haven’t gotten there yet. Which is partially why I haven’t returned to my intended series taking the BP pills. Also, even though I take a lot of readings by comparison, I don’t feel confident trying to correlate other events (meals, tea, working a concert, etc) with blood pressure in any way which is consistent, other than exercise (walking, in this case).

I should note that there is a definite correlation around other sources of pain. After a particular tooth extraction more than 3 years ago my blood pressure dropped to normal. I also realized that I must have gotten used to a considerable level of pain because suddenly I was missing something, pain. It took me several days to realize that I had dropped a certain level of chronic pain. So now when I am aware of headache or other source of pain I look for a correlation with blood pressure. In general, that seems to correlate.

Sets of measurements can be grouped around events (such as exercise) or sampled at set times during the day. There are justifications for each. Certainly the ideal would be both but I confess I am just not that obsessive. What I believe is that the patient is the best person to monitor and record the data (assuming the patient will do this) and the doctor is the best person to interpret it – as long as the patient is a cooperating/observing partner.

In looking across the web I noted that there are monitors designed to be handed out to a patient for 24 hours or so and returned. During that time these monitors measure blood pressure at preset intervals. That is a recognition of a need for better data but it also has problems and doesn’t continue for weeks or months. To get those longer times really requires that the patient does their own measurements, during which the patient may make lifestyle changes, all recorded in a secondary record somewhere. It also measures only blood pressure so I am guessing some sort of record or diary would be extremely helpful to include.


The terms I use are my own inventions, “fixed interval” and “event load.”

Fixed-Interval Sampling:

In this method we determine what times during the day we would like to have data, then try to set up measurements at those times.

This provides a nicely time-organized data matrix for the convenience of calculations. Biggest advantage is that it looks nice and makes a nice report. It has the dis-advantage of missing events which provide any kind of load on the body.

That brings up another factor. When I am testing out a piece of software or a website I need to see what kind of load it can bear up under. Testing software functions or page delivery without putting a load on the server doesn’t tell me much. I already know whether some function works but I may not know how well it works under load.

The usual recommendation is to sit upright and calmly. This all standardizes the measuring system for the convenience of the measurement process but it means stopping whatever is being done in order to change to a “calmer” mode. That is pretty much needed because the instruments for measuring blood pressure don’t function well during physical activity. That leaves a range of data unmeasured and wanting.

Event-Load Sampling:

In this method we are measuring physical reactions before, during (as possible) and after physical events such as running or walking. I take a set of measures before walking and then after returning and sometimes during a pause part way through the activity. Each time I’ve found the after readings are in the standard BP range.


Then there is the way of measuring. I early decided that a single measurement would not suffice. There are simply too many changes or inconsistencies which crop up. Generally the first reading in a set is higher and the rest are lower overall. In particular, following exercise the range of readings depends on how soon after exercise you start reading. Immediately after, as you are cooling down, it is interesting to watch the readings steadily go downward until it starts to stabilize which usually takes about five minutes.

It is also interesting to note that systolic readings tend to vary the most and sometimes go either very high or very low compared to the other readings in the set with no apparent reason. My guess is that the monitor itself doesn’t always “listen” clearly enough for the first sound of a pulse as the pressure in the cuff is released.

There are no wires going along the air line to the cuff so that means any microphone or other pressure-sensitive diaphragm has to be in the machine with the pump, “listening” for the sounds of returning circulation transmitted through the air line and over the sounds in the monitor from the release valve and contending with room sounds or hits of the line against objects between the cuff and the monitor body. Then again maybe systolic really is that variable.

For the purpose of averaged readings I tend to throw out some measurements when they seem to be outliers. That may mean a full set of systolic/diastolic/pulse readings or just one of those readings. Although they are related they are measuring different things.

Diastolic and pulse readings are normally more consistent as are temperature readings (something I started adding in late December when I had a high fever for a few days). Though temperature readings don’t seem to have anything to do with BP I just wanted to add that data to the readings records.

While I usually try to do three readings and average them sometimes I take more readings depending on the presence of “odd” readings, some of which are clearly outliers. So the number of readings can vary. Basically if the readings across those first three are not fairly consistent I keep measuring, chasing down something which feels like a more consistent pattern.

In reading recommendations and getting suggestions from a range of people I got a variety of recommendations about how to take readings. I’m not sure they are all well thought out or tested. They vary from old tales to repeated “rules.” So basically I just kind of wing it. Sometimes I leave the cuff as is and sometimes I re-position the cuff.

Or I might measure all of them as close to each other as I can and other times I let an extra minute or so go by for each measure. I’ve had persons recommend waiting five minutes between but with that large an interval I lose a sense of a “pattern” from the measurements. Also, the way I take readings I might wind up with a long series anyway.

In a similar manner sampling blood pressure at specific set times is almost certain to miss the times when the body is under load. Something I kept finding myself wanting was information around “events” (the data content) rather than some measurement at set times which may or may not reflect the rest of the time.

Design of Blood Pressure Monitors

As a software engineer and as a tinkerer from way back I have a few suggestions for improved monitors. Apparently people have gotten used to these things as they are. There seems to be nowhere to really talk to. Right now they all copy each other’s operation pretty closely. If the original design was truly good this would be okay. For the most part the basic design is pretty handy though it does suffer from several problems. It is well past the time someone should have made a better one at the same price level.


Any good control design uses one control per function. Controls should never be cross connected or multi-modal. This is most evident in the “setup” for items such as date and time. Multi-modal controls offer too many opportunities for error and they are too difficult to “discover.” “Discovery” means that you should be able to determine function easily with little or no training or instructions. In any case the controls need to be more clearly labeled.


Monitors should have their own panel behind a protective covering. Simple things such as setting time by using a physical control for each part of the data and time. Operating controls should allow you to not only take a reading but to scroll back and forth among readings. On all the montors I’ve seen so far you get a reading, maybe a memory bank (user1, user2, etc) and you can only go backward through previous readings.


Some of the monitors take a series of readings and average them. Usually they are set to take three readings. That’s much better than one but it misses inconsistencies in readings which may require more than three readings to come up with a reasonable looking set of measurements.

Memory storage:

1 – Memory – should remain intact when batteries are jostled or changed. It should not disappear. So far they all lose memory when batteries are changed or if the gizmo is dropped or the batteries jostled.

2 – Data Export – In addition they should all offer a simple output via USB port or better, via either sdhc or micro sdhc card slot. I would prefer the larger of the two as it is easier to see and handle. This should include a simple tab-delimited export for databases or a spreadsheet format. Some monitors use wireless, such as Bluetooth, which is okay if you wish to keep and manipulate your data on a smartphone.


I would like to see it include portable software, usable by plugging the device into a USB port, which would massage the BP data stored and offer screen and printer output as well as data export to other databases. As with other portable (on USB stick) software it would not need to be installed on any particular machine but would work entirely from the USB drive.


All devices should have a holder for the instructions so you can’t lose them. And they should be printed in type large enough for any of us to see without magnifying glasses, preferably in clear language (not bad translations). It would be nice if the prompts printed on the controls and buttons on the machine were clear, in contrasting colors and fully spelled out. And as for those symbols, I really don’t read symbols. Just give me the text.

The Readings Themselves

Not every reading is all that clear. For example Jan 8th (2016) I started my pre-walk readings and they shifted from 145 systolic to 140 then 132. Usually I take about three readings and average them. When the readings change or something looks like an outlier to the other readings I take more than three. So, I took another reading and I got 120. That was low enough again so that I wanted another reading which was 118 and then a sixth reading for 117. In a good range without walking.

The last three are what I would have expected to get after my walk. Who knows why. Because of ice and other activities I wound up not walking on the 7th so I was puzzled not at the starting higher readings but at the lower readings which were all close to each other. Remember, still no BP pill in the mix. Also remember, I have no idea why the change in the readings, just that there seems always to be a certain amount of variability which I am seldom able to predict.
So here is a chart with my readings for the 8th of January 2016: The blue entries are the pre-walk readings and the red entries are the readings after returning from my walk of 2.4 miles. (the house to the Brookside Price Chopper [1.2 miles] and shopping, to Tuesday Morning [also shopping] and back to the house)

DateTime Pre
Sys Dia Pulse Post
1/8/2016 12:36:49 PM Yes 145 85 72
1/8/2016 12:38:23 PM Yes 140 81 63
1/8/2016 12:40:04 PM Yes 132 77 60
1/8/2016 12:41:52 PM Yes 120 74 59
1/8/2016 12:44:52 PM Yes 118 74 63
1/8/2016 12:46:47 PM Yes 117 74 62
1/8/2016 2:12:09 PM 114 70 106 Yes
1/8/2016 2:14:39 PM 106 73 107 Yes
1/8/2016 2:16:08 PM 116 70 100 Yes
1/8/2016 2:17:37 PM 108 66 93 Yes
1/8/2016 2:19:18 PM 119 78 100 Yes


As per usual my readings prior to my walk are higher than the readings after the walk. That has been the pattern from the start with only one or two exceptions.

The first three pre-walk readings January 8, 2016 were puzzling which is why I took another reading. That fourth reading was low enough, and lower than my expectations, so I took a fifth reading, which, because it was close to the fourth reading, I took still another to confirm. The last three of the six readings were very close to each other.

Statistically it is tempting to say that the sampling consistency of the last three readings is cause to throw out the first three when taking an average. Instead I decided to leave the third reading (132/77) and average the last four for my blood pressure pre-walk (132+120+118+117)/4=122 and (77+74+74+74)/4=75. It might have been just as valid to use only the last three because they are closer values (would have been 118/74) and might have indicated settling down for a reading.

The after-walk readings had enough variance in the first three that I wound up taking two more readings. Because they tended to measure in the same areas I kept all five measurements for the average.

So I used these averages:
Before walk: 122/75/61
NOTE: using only the last 3 gives 118/74/61 while
using only the 1st three gives 139/81/65
After walk: 113/72/101

Basically, what I mean to say is that even choosing which readings to use in the averages is a bit of art rather than mechanical data collection. It is not totally consistent.

A Couple of Queries From the Database

Anyway because I normally take, readings before and after exercise (usually walking) I made several sets of querys comparing readings before and after walking or other exercise. After a while they got a bit long so I made shortened versions which took just the previous six weeks of measurements. Here are two separate data sets showing averaged readings before and after (copied and pasted from MS Access database).
(“Number” is the number of readings taken for the average)

A Couple of Queries From the Database

Anyway because I normally take, readings before and after exercise (usually walking) I made several sets of querys comparing readings before and after walking or other exercise. After a while they got a bit long so I made shortened versions which took just the previous six weeks of measurements. Here are two separate data sets showing averaged readings before and after (copied and pasted from MS Access database).

(“Number” is the number of readings taken for the average)

Pre-Walk query for the most recent six weeks (as of Jan 9th, 2016):

DateTime avgSys avgDia avgPulse Number
12/2/2015 6:40:33 PM 127 86 77 6
12/5/2015 1:34:07 PM 116 80 71 4
12/6/2015 3:35:37 PM 116 75 80 4
12/9/2015 10:38:19 AM 141 83 76 3
12/11/2015 11:22:53 AM 126 84 70 4
12/12/2015 11:04:59 AM 136 87 60 2
12/14/2015 12:22:48 PM 138 89 70 2
12/24/2015 1:51:45 PM 124 82 85 4
12/26/2015 11:24:53 AM 137 87 65 2
12/26/2015 11:47:12 AM 131 83 71 3
12/31/2015 2:45:50 PM 147 84 69 3
1/2/2016 4:26:28 PM 131 85 82 3
1/3/2016 12:19:54 PM 146 89 56 3
1/5/2016 2:37:23 PM 130 82 76 3
1/8/2016 12:40:04 PM 122 75 61 4
1/9/2016 12:02:15 PM 133 75 60 3

After-Walk report for the most recent six weeks (as of Jan 9th, 2016):

DateTime avgSys avgDia avgPulse Number
12/2/2015 7:55:02 PM 123 88 100 3
12/5/2015 3:28:34 PM 95 68 104 4
12/6/2015 5:21:56 PM 124 87 98 5
12/9/2015 1:10:33 PM 119 81 76 4
12/11/2015 1:12:39 PM 116 70 88 3
12/24/2015 5:41:14 PM 123 77 108 4
12/25/2015 3:01:49 PM 124 79 81 3
12/26/2015 1:11:05 PM 114 72 112 4
12/31/2015 4:15:56 PM 118 83 92 4
1/2/2016 5:56:46 PM 112 79 104 3
1/3/2016 1:56:07 PM 109 73 104 4
1/5/2016 4:15:08 PM 112 79 106 4
1/5/2016 4:20:13 PM 99 73 105 4
1/8/2016 2:12:09 PM 113 72 101 5
1/9/2016 1:58:41 PM 117 74 84 5
1/9/2016 2:01:44 PM 113 70 83 3

It takes just a quick glance to realize that the pre-walk readings are normally higher than the post-walk readings. There is a lack of walks between the 12th and 23rd of December when I was too exhausted, too busy working and/or too sick (very unusual for me as it is) to take my regular walk.

Averages by Month
I finally decided to look at the averges across time, grouped by month. That meant another query.
So these are averages for each month.
A Table of Averaged readings, grouped by month visualized as a graph.


The systolic averages are the line pairs at the top and the diastolic are on the bottom. The topmost of each pair are the pre-walk readings and the lower line in each line-pair is the post-walk average of readings.

(Created in the Excel spreadsheet above and copied first to Photoshop, then to this page. Photoshop was used to remove the empty lower readings to save vertical space so that basically the chart’s Y axis starts a little below 80.)

(xr) xrSys and xrDia refer to readings after exercising. In this case it means walking.

Notice that the averages tend lower until October 2015 when they shift upward. This was the same time that my dental implant was put in. I went in in early October to get the implant fit determined. The titanium anchor shaft and cap were put in months before. Now the cap section was removed for fitting and then replaced. Two or three days later I had a severely stiff and painful neck (which has remained through March 2016) on both sides down the back, into the trapezius. Later in the month of October I went back to get the implant set into the anchor. The BP hasn’t been quite the same since.
If the implant were the only event occurring at that time I would have a pretty close correlation with the opening of the titanium screw in my jaw. However, at about the same time that I got my stiff neck, my partner, Nicole, also suddenly got a very stiff neck. We are still working on her neck as well although she has had other, severe health problems in the aftermath. It seems to do with exhaustion at the end of the year followed by intense work at the start of this year. She lost a lot of weight and strength. She is looking better now but her platelet count is very low.

Along the way

A couple of years ago the dental college needed to remove a couple of teeth but wouldn’t do so until I lowered my blood pressure. So I headed for a clinic where I got the same pills prescribed this year by the VA doctor and after that the dentist removed those teeth. You might stop there but some other things happened as a result of the dental work.

In lowering my blood pressure I killed all salt and a number of other items from my diet. Before long I began experiencing a much richer and more nuanced palate, realizing that salt, far from being a flavor enhancer tended to obliterate the rich tastes of the food, substituting its own taste. And I was into heavy salt. I do use salt today but very much reduced, just a touch, and spices. I get better flavor without overwhelming the food with salt. I also read labels like crazy and will not normally buy anything which claims more than 6-percent of daily salt dosage per “serving.”

More interesting, to me, after the tooth extractions was a sense of nothing or maybe I could describe it as a sort of blankness. It took me a while to realize that this was a lack of pain and that I must have acclimated myself to a level of pain in my head and possibly other symptoms such as neck and shoulder muscle tightening as a result of those teeth which were now extracted.

So far I can’t recall any similar muscle tightening, something which used to happen fairly regularly. At the time I just took the tightening to be posture or hunching over to shoot pictures. Not only did I have a lack of pain but that came with a lowering of blood pressure. So much so that I decided to drop the pills. Then I stopped thinking about it, until the VA.

It is the VA which got me started on this new track on my life.
1) the doctor looked at my blood pressure readings taken at the VA and prescribed pills
2) sent me a blood pressure monitor in the mail. Even though I already had three monitors I had not made a point of checking and working with my blood pressure. Almost all the BP readings in the database are taken with this monitor. I call it the VA monitor in the comments. It is actually a Life Source UA-767 Plus.

Pain Meds

For the most part I don’t use much in the way of pain killers. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen is about as strong as I go with. I was prescribed some industrial strength pills by the dentist (hydrocodon and acetaminephen) but stopped after taking two. I went back to the OTC pills. I don’t remember what the side-effects were now, just that they were unpleasant and as soon as I got away from the heavy-duty pain killers I felt better. The regular over-the-counter pills worked as well for me and usually I didn’t use those, except to counter inflamation (generally ibuprofen) following each dental operation.

Other non-habits

No alcohol (I did have a dark beer last summer on one very hot day so I’m not a teetotaler, I just do a good imitation of teetotalling), no drugs, sometimes vitamins but never consistently, not vegan but light on meats, mostly some chicken and fish, often with brown rice, sweet potatoes and so forth. Little sugar. Maybe one soda a week or two but usually tea – sometimes hot tea (normally loose, seldom in bags) but mostly iced tea NO sugar (I would gag).

Coffee? Seldom, though I make it fresh from beans for Nicole. I won’t usually buy ground coffee, only the beans (so much fresher). Generally yogurt each day, often as part of a lassi (yogurt smoothie). And I don’t smoke, anything. I tried to get started a long,long time ago but I just didn’t like smoking, either type.

For that matter, the type of photography I do rests on a knife edge. I shoot performance dance, in production. I have to shoot at the exact moment of right elevation, position and technique. There are no do-overs, this isn’t a studio. I need knowledge, I need to listen closely to the music and I need reactions, but mostly I need knowledge, subject knowledge.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at Kaufmann in “Memoria” – Photo, Mike Strong – the optimum moment to get everyone in grande jeté

So, no alcohol (even a few sips of wine keeps me from reacting in time, missing what I can see go by me) and no heavy meals (which keeps me too sluggish to stay on top of the action). I took a few sips of wine before a performance once at the Folly during an early promotional reception some years ago. It took me a good half hour before I could feel that I was shooting at full function. Luckily I was mostly doing video at the time, only a few stills needed.

Below, a typical warm-up set for me, here shooting sequences of repetitive actions, in this case a whip turn (fouette) on stage. The successive frames are numbered below. Note, there are no deleted numbers and there were no missing frames (although you can’t tell that from the frame numbers alone). You can’t get a sequence like this by hitting continuous (motor) drive.


Mark Geiringer in a series of fouettes. One turn per (numbered) frame, no deletes, no waiting. Photos Mike Strong

On And Off the BP Pill

I should go over the reason I turned this prescription into an experiment.

May 4th, 2015 – BP way too low – the first time

I had just started taking a course of blood pressure pills from the VA. I was several days into this when I needed to take headshots for the Wylliams/Henry dancers. This was May 4th. I started okay, just a bit weak and light headed I thought. As I moved through the session I began really stuggling. Finally, all the dancers were done and I started to re-pack my equipment. That is when I had to sit quickly on the floor as soon as I began to sense it, sweaty and clammy). I thought I was going to collapse. After I felt stable again I finished packing my equipment on the cart, headed for my car, put the equipment in the car, rested a bit in the driver’s seat then drove home (a little more than a mile).

At home I left the stuff in the car. Inside I took my blood pressure. The average of three readings gave me 83/58. Important to note, because I have something similar going on now is that I was on a course of antibiotics as well.

I had just had a root canal (Dr. Kip Sterling in Endo at the dental school) and two days prior to that I had been to the VA about a high PSA level (12.5 which should have been less than 4.0). They prescribed a pretty powerful antibiotic, Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), guessing that I might have a prostate infection rather than possible cancer and as an alternate to doing a biopsy which could be done later if needed anyway.

The Cipro solved it by the way and my PSA returned to less than 4.0. In the language I returned to a “full stream” very quickly – though it had hardly been blocked before just a little less than what I now recognize as “full” – which is where it remains (something I didn’t pay attention to before).

In any case, the antibiotic from the VA overlapped the root canal operation. Dr. Sterling would have prescribed an antibiotic for the root canal but because I told him what I was already taking we left it as is. Usually I don’t take much of anything anyway after dental work, even operations, except for anti-inflammatories.

It was possible that the antibiotic was also working against something which contributed to blood pressure. That was a matter of concern for me over whether the antibiotic or the blood pressure medication led to the near collapse. I didn’t want to shorten the antibiotic dosage. I looked at the listed side-effects of each and figured I should drop the BP pill first, then see what happened. I figured I would drop the rest of the antibiotic only if this didn’t do the trick. It did.

Ciprofloxacin has some alarming warnings about physical exertion both while taking it and for months after but I would still try to take the full course of any antibiotic unless there were very strong indications otherwise. Interrupting such a course takes me back to square one. I haven’t had many antibiotics over the years but I’ve always taken the full course of pills.

October 6th, 2015 – Tuesday – from just right to way too low

I pulled a dumb thing in October. I took one of the blood pressure pills again, after months of not taking it. I had a dental appointment scheduled for 9 am in the morning Tuesday and was concerned that I might not have time for my walk in the morning and maybe I would get a much higher reading at the dentist than I normally do.
If so they might not go ahead with the operation (happened once). Why I worried this time, unlike so many other times, I don’t know. Silly. But I might also finally get started on the comparison baseline using the BP pill. So anyway, I took the pill late Monday night. A mistake, but a useful mistake which gave me some needed information (data).

Sure enough, Tuesday morning early, without doing anything else my blood pressure was 118/77 (average of three readings). The graft operation took connective tissue from the roof of my mouth to cover the gum line in front of three teeth on the right lower front area. This took about three hours. I left the clinic a tad past noon paying the money on the way out.

At home I measured my bp at 113/73 (average of 3 readings). Then I headed out for a walk to CVS and The Market. I had a prescription from Dr. Mike Fullem, my dentist, for the antibiotic, Amoxicillin. The Brookside CVS is about 1.1 miles or so and is a regular known distance for my daily walks.

So I dropped off my prescription, headed to The Market (about 0.1 miles from CVS) for smoothie makings, yogurt and other items then back to CVS, a little waiting and finally, getting the prescription. From there I headed back to the house completing about 2.4 miles, my usual amount for a round trip to the nearby Price Chopper.

During the walk I realized that I could avoid my walks and take the pill instead. I would get the same numbers. The idea of having a low-enough BP had made me briefly consider driving to CVS rather than walking the mile or so. After all I thought, I had taken the BP pill, I had the numbers, why bother walking? With the pill I could get a “good” reading (even if for the wrong reasons).

This was much more tempting at that moment than I like to admit, though the idea really felt as though I was cheating myself. Taking the pill to replace exercise would also lose for me the satisfaction I get just by being outside and walking around. There is always a bit of inertia which needs to be overcome but once overcome leads to a satisfying activity.

Back to the readings. When I returned from the 2.4 miles I did the blood pressure as usual after my walks. I was a bit alarmed. It was 80/61 (average of 4 measurements), way too low. Also, the monitor indicated irregular heartbeat on the last of the four measurements. (I had to look up the symbol, which to me, as a programmer, is a design error.)

I waited a little and made three more measurements. This time they averaged 88/61, marginally better but not what I wanted to see. No irregular heartbeat indicated but it gave me pause. This was almost the same as the May 4th reading (83/58 avg of 3 readings. This occured after taking a single pill. I decided to not take more pills without a substantial reason. I caught myself worrying about driving . What happened if I fainted at the wheel from low blood pressure?

Back to the present

When I dropped the BP pill in May I was determined to get a data set for how this affected me. Along the way I kept wondering when I should start retaking the pills to get a comparison data set. Each time I thought I had come to some conclusions about walking rather than “pilling” I decided I was uncertain about my data or reading methods or other concern and needed a longer data set.

In a very incomplete way, taking the single-pill in fall gave me a quick look at my suspicions about a pill-filled alternate data set. So, what would be the purpose of a pill? Especially when substituted for more rounded routines? (Not meaning to question the value of BP pills, I simply want to make sure I am clear on what is being accomplished and on the best method.)

A Reflection

If anything my dental “adventures” in periodontics taught me, it is that symptoms may not always be obvious and may disguise themselves. Before the last two extractions (for which I got an implant in October 2015) I had stiff neck pain and headaches but I didn’t think that much of them and either ignored the pain or simply took some Ibuprofen or Tylenol if a headache seemed to be coming on before a job. Because I wasn’t feeling any severe pain directly from my teeth I really didn’t relate those other pains to dental health. What I know now is how sneaky such an infection (perio/gum disease) can be. It didn’t feel as serious as it was.

What’s more I became acclimated to the level of discomfort and/or pain. Those last extractions eliminated those conditions and it took me a week or two to realize that I was missing something, then a bit longer to realize that I was missing pain. By the time I was first persuaded to head for perio (because of a couple of loose teeth, with no real pain) I needed a lot of work. So, I am always of two minds about medications, sometimes contradictory minds. I am thankful for the meds but I am also wary of disguising possible conditions.

If I’m taking a pill rather than working a full program of better care then a BP pill, or any other kind of pill such as a pain killer, then I am merely masking some underlying need, making me think I am healthier than I am, or at least helping me get away with the deception rather than encourage healthy habits and discourage my worst habits, such as sitting.

You may think I am kidding about the sitting. I didn’t think of myself as sedentary because I work long and hard but I also spend a lot of time sitting in front of computers, working. After I took up walking each day, moving for a good hour or so, I also found that my overall conditioning improved. Certain sets of stairs at UMKC on which I had been getting breathy were no longer breathy for me (in Royall Hall and in PAC heading to and from the dance division).

There are a couple of things I think I can state in general.

⦁ The first reading in a set (to be averaged) is usually the highest. I don’t really think anxiety is the reason, maybe more just taking time to settle down for the reading(s). This is also cited as “white coat syndrome” in doctor’s offices but after looking at a similar response when I do my own measurements I suspect this is probably normal in any situation. It may even have to do with the way I am sitting which tends to feel a bit apprehensive, certainly not relaxed an on a bit of an edge.
⦁ A mile or so of walking (roughly 45 minutes or so and with a shopping stop usually an hour) will reliably drop the reading from a pre-exercise reading which may be high to a bit high down to a post-exercise reading in the right range, nearly every time. This is very consistent. More importantly, this is repeatable, at will. My guess is that this is also duplicatable with others.
⦁ Single readings on single occasions do not provide a very good picture. They are much too limited to tell you much. I can’t imagine a doctor’s office or clinic which would normally keep detailed records, monitored over a period of time or blood pressure and other items in making a diagnoses of anything.
⦁ Being an old-time database guy I very much understand the great desire to find ways to normalize data and to standardize the collection of that data. I can’t tell you how many database problems I’ve cleaned up. It was part of the reason I wanted to find baselines for myself. But after months of measuring my own blood pressure at varying periods of time and in various sitting or other stances, and without throwing away standardized measurements, I have to wonder what exactly a standardized data-collection procedure really measures.

In particular how does a measurement sitting-still find usefulness evaluating an active working body. By changing my normal position to a sitting upright feet on the ground stance for a measurement means I’m not measuring blood pressure under my most normal sitting, standing, etcetera positions. Seems a bit of a data cheat.
⦁ When I am testing a website for load capability I want to see how it performs under a lot of loading, not a simple, in-the-office test of a page. One of my old bosses would check our programs by throwing anything un-anticipated at them. If our program could survive 5 minutes with Ken without crashing we figured it was pretty robust. So, are there simpler ways of measuring human bodies at varying levels of physical stress? And always, is it meaningful/useful?


Above is a chart prepared partially with Google’s “Datawrapper.”
These are all the averaged readings from May to October 2015 overlapping in bundles. So I drew a white line down the middle between nodes, added in the red dots and blue dimension lines with arrows. The Systolic and Diastolic are higher before exercise. The pulse is lower before exercise. I didn’t check the one red line going to the bottom. My guess is that I will find a pulse entered somewhere as zero, a clear error, unless of course we are shooting a zombie film.
Probably easier are the figures directly so I went back to the database and made a query to give me averages of all readings (leaving off decimals).

From the 275 averaged readings from May to October I got these averages of the averages
Measurement Sys Dia Pulse P.Pressure
Pre-Walk 132 85 63 47
Post-Walk 115 79 88 36


Boogie Ball


Here are a few pictures from Saturday Valentine’s Day Boogie Ball, a fundraiser at the TWA Airport Museum for the Culture in Ballroom Dance program run by Dr. Will Adams and Paula Marie.


The band for this hanger dance  was the Abel Ramirez Big Band. Light ranged from good for interludes and candle power only for the regular open dance. I used an ISO of 25,600.



Dance and Life Lessons

Nutcracker 2014 American Youth Ballet

Nutcracker 2014 American Youth Ballet – Molly Cook

“Annie, can you take responsibility for the costumes for …(I don’t remember which costumes) and tell Miss Jennifer.” I heard over my right shoulder. Kristopher Estes-Brown was addressing Annie Cook, a young dancer in the American Youth Ballet. I glanced up to my left and saw Annie put on her “business face.” She asserted she would and was clearly in task mode.

Miss Jennifer is Jennifer Tierney. Kristopher and Jennifer are husband and wife and are owners of American Dance Center, a studio teaching dance, ballet in particular in Overland Park, Kansas (11800 Quivira). American Youth Ballet (AYB) is the performance company for their older young students, ages 13 through 18. Each member of AYB must audition to get into the company and there are several levels from apprentice to junior to senior company.

Annie had not been asked to carry out an errand as such but to take on a job with responsibility. That is the way Kristopher and Jennifer treat their kids in the ballet. It is how they speak to them. Not orders and demands as such, but responsibilities. And as I looked around you could see the effect of that in all the activities as they prepared for their upcoming two performances with two slightly different casts of the Nutcracker.

As a photographer and videographer this was my fifth Nutcracker with them. My first was in 2010. It is my practice to shoot as much rehearsal as I can before I get to the dress rehearsals and the performance. I long ago learned that showing up with camera, pointing it at the activity and pressing the little button does not mean you’ve taken a picture of the activity. First you have to be aware enough to truly see the actual activity, not merely some vague motion.

Nutcracker 2014 American Youth Ballet

Nutcracker 2014 American Youth Ballet

Even knowing the general activity to photograph but not the specfics of the piece or the way the individual dancers move leaves you shooting only technique which can look good to an editor but is shallow otherwise. Better to see and shoot relationships and characters as you become aware of the actor/dancers both as colleagues working together and as characters in roles with each other, but more about that later, if it seems to fit and if I remember to get back to the subject.

I remember being impressed in 2010 at the way the children were handled and how they responded. Kris and Jen are managing a multilayered operation with each production from the people to the choreography, the performance space (JCCC’s Yardley Hall), the live musicians (Overland Park Orchestra), publicity, social media, props and the costumes with endless changes, repairs, modifications and new costumes.

There are basically three levels of performers, 1) adults who range from parents in service to professional dance veterans, 2) youth ballet members and 3) ADC (American Dance Center) students who will be included in small parts such a cherubs and mice, getting these children used to performance later by providing parts for them.

I remarked to Jennifer that ADC reminded me in many ways of a one room school house with the older children taking responsibility for the younger ones so that a family-like community of support developed across the learning levels. My own grandmother taught in one for years in the early 1900s and my father and uncle walked a couple miles each day in the 1930’s and 1940’s to a one-room school from their farm home near Stanton, Nebraska (north east Nebraska).

As a child I remember visiting the farm many times and going past that school on the way into Stanton to visit a cousin’s grocery store. As a young student in Columbus, Nebraska my school had more rooms but the walking (or biking) distance each day was about the same (which took me fully across town). With all of today’s door-to-door SUV commutes and rigid age/grade separations I think we’ve lost something of community. I like to think that the adults, older kids and younger kids in these productions, all working together, is a restorative for that loss.

The adult dancers bring many seasons of both professional and college dancing providing work-along examples of both work habits and technique to copy for the younger dancers. At the same time they are alert to make sure they set that good example. The youth of the company learn from the adult dancers next to them and from each other as they trade information about having played such and such part previously. As they do so the 13 to 18 year olds in the company take responsibility for helping the little ones in their roles and help the smallest children get on and off stage.

Spending time in rehearsals also shows the older company members being given the responsibility to help with the arrangements. It is common to watch them take on the role of repetiteur at times. You might mistake some of the arm movements for a set of engineers or surveyors on the site of a big construction project.


The adult dancers bring many seasons of both professional and college dancing providing work-along examples of both work habits and technique to copy for the younger dancers. At the same time they are alert to make sure they set that good example. The youth of the company learn from the adult dancers next to them and from each other as they trade information about having played such and such part previously. As they do so the 13 to 18 year olds in the company take responsibility for helping the little ones in their roles and help the smallest children get on and off stage.

Spending time in rehearsals also shows the older company members being given the responsibility to help with the arrangements. It is common to watch them take on the role of repetiteur at times, reconstructing the ballet based on their previous experience in prior years. You could mistake some of the arm movements for a set of engineers or surveyors on the site of a big construction project as they move and space dancers on stage.

I’ve said this to people before, for years, actually, that there is a difference between dancers and other students. Especially in the last 3-4 years both my partner, Nicole English, and I have noticed that our students at UMKC have been losing the ability to focus, to concentrate on tasks which they used to handle very well. Except for our students who are dancers, and a few others who have to do a lot of concentration to perform with accomplishment.

Recently there have been a number of news articles about learning and concentration. It isn’t really news among various teachers we talk to. The timing corresponds with the major invasion of smart phones and their distractions. We can tell the other (non-dancer) students are getting to the material but they seem to be skipping and skimming it instead of learning the material – which is the same material previous such students understood easily.

You could think of dance as two kinds of hard labor. (1) Physically dance requires intense training. Those svelt dancers may not always look like iron pumpers (though some are) but they are very tough in in terrific shape. (2) Mentally the kinds of memory, adjustment and modifications required to hold literally thousand of tiny details and sequences in choreography and to make it look as natural as free styling takes an ability to focus well past most of the rest of the population. And that physical activity in turn assures an oxygen flow to the brain which keeps those little grey cells ticking.

Our dance students are usually so busy in performances and rehearsals as well as intense training that when they get to our non-dance courses, they have little time to spare and they really dig in. It is their dance training, which requires intense mental concentration skills, which gives them the ability to zero in on these other subjects and to excel at them even in limited time frames. We noticed this in previous years but it has only become very obvious recently. So the next time you see a dance concert you might also keep in mind the mental work which makes it possible.