Quaker Ranter (Martin Kelly)

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A Blog by Martin Kelley
Updated: 2 weeks 3 days ago

The inside story of The Jersey Shutdown, 2017

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 7:23am

The Chris Christie beach memes are funny of course but I talked to more than a few local residents who wondered what the state shutdown was about. The Star Ledger has gone deep and interviewed the players to find out just what happened earlier this week:

When it ended early on the fourth day, New Jersey had been treated to a remarkable political spectacle, even by Trenton standards, complete with dueling press conferences, nasty backroom shouting matches, and even propaganda posters.  Some of it played out publicly — very publicly. What didn’t is told here, the inside story of what caused — and what finally settled — the New Jersey government shutdown of 2017.

It’s especially depressing to read the kind of horse trading that was going on behind the scenes: other measures floated to end the standoff. It was a game to see which constituency the politicians might all be able to agree to screw over. I presume this is normal Trenton politics but it’s not good governing and the ramifications are felt throughout the state.

Read: The inside story of The Jersey Shutdown, 2017
Categories: Blogs

Early “photo of summer” candidate

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 4:06pm

I written many times before that I like to find family photos that encapsulate a feeling—a time and place, a moment in our collective lives. A few weeks ago I caught this shot, which I think will be one of my favorite photos of this summer.

Technical note: this was only possible with a water resistant phone, as I would not have dared wade out into a pool with previous phones. The 3D bokeh effect is courtesy of the iPhone 7 Plus “Portrait” mode. It’s not perfect: zoom in and there’s some distortion around his left arm, both at the top where it fuzzes around the mid background of the slide and on bottom where there are artifacts in the contrast with the far background of the fence line. But I’m still pleased and amazed at how well the 3D imaging works.

Categories: Blogs

Chris Christie, meme muse

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 6:11pm

Chris Christie is always good for inspiring memes but he outdid himself this week when NJ Advanced Media staked him out and found him enjoying a empty beach on a closed state park with his family. The story behind the get is wonderful and all kudos to Andrew Mills and the team.

Here in no order and with no attribution (sorry future meme researchers) are some of my favorite re-workings. The Birdcage version made us laugh out loud so much that we knew we had to rewatch it that night.

And finally, a sand sculpture made on Island Beach State Park after the budget standoff ended and the beach reopened: 

Categories: Blogs

Hammonton 2017 Fourth of July

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 5:57pm

We didn’t see much of the Hammonton Fourth of July parade this year because once again the kids were in the bike parade portion (all except Francis, who had a bad meltdown in the morning and stayed home with mom).

The bike parade was again sponsored by Toy Market, the independent toy store in town (supplier of much of our household’s Santa delivery). They had a table full of red, white, and blue bunting that we could apply to the bikes. We all had a lot of fun.

Notes for next year: a tandem extension on a adult bike looked like fun and then 7-yo Gregory will be a good age for this (we should dig ours out from the back of the garage). Also: the parade has a dog contingent so maybe a much-calmer Francis will be able to be part of that next year (we’re due to pick up the service dog in 12 days!, eeek!!!)

Categories: Blogs