Return With Us Now To Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Those of you who are of a vintage similar to Neil and Connie will recognize those famous words…spoken by the less than famous Fred Roy to open a popular television show back in the day.

Quick…what show was it and who were the characters? Answers below for those off you who need to think on it…but no googling…ya either know the right answer or ya don’t.

Anyways…let’s go back and see what our intrepid heroes Neil and Connie…along with myself and Kara o’course…were doing half a decade back…yeah, time flies when you’re having fun.

So…five years ago this week we were in Palmer, Glenallen, and Valdez AK on our caravan up to the northland…so I broke out a couple of images for ya from back then instead of just randomly selecting a variety of images.

At that point…we were about halfway through our trip…we had finished the trek up the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks through AB, BC, and YK in Canuckistan and were back in Alaska. We were meandering southward toward Valdez and had a couple of short stops that week between Seward and Valdez.

Palmer turned out to be pretty nice…but Glenallen was just an overnight stop and it was just about the worst campground we were in during our entire 8 years on the road. Granted…there were only two campgrounds available in Glenallen…but the one we were in musta been cheap…or else the owner had a picture of our caravan owner with a goat or some other blackmail material…because Tolsona Wilderness Park was…to put it mildly…well, dump is the word that comes to mind. It was terrible even by Alaska standards. There was this narrow wooden bridge you had to make a turn onto to get from the campground entrance to the sites an it might have been 2 feet wider than our 8.5 foot wide RV. Then you got in and discovered that your pull through was actually a pull in and back out the next morning sort of site since pulling through with anything longer than a 15 foot trailer would have been impossible. Then…when trying to leave the next morning…one discovered that the right turn back onto the aforementioned narrow bridge was an even sharper turn and you had to back and jack the rig around to get it lined up with the bridge so’s ya didn’t end up in the creek. Terrible I tell ya.

The show I referred to above…why The Lone Ranger of course with the Lone Ranger himself, his loyal friend Tonto and their mounts Silver and Scout. Ya know…”who was that masked man? I dunno but he give me this while holding up a silver bullet”.

After our overnight in Glenallen we continued on to Valdez, here are a few images from around Palmer and the 2 day transit down to Valdez.

In Palmer…we had a visit to the Musk Ox farm…they cut their horns off so as to prevent damage when they tussle with each other over da ladies.

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Scenes along the Matanuska River which runs through Palmer…from the first one ya probably think the color of the water is from the backlit reflection on the surface…but as you can see in the second one behind the ubiquitous fireweed that is everywhere in AK…the color is really gray from all the glacial silt running down the river.

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This is 12,010 foot Mount Drum in the Saint Elias/Wrangell range…about 45 miles away as we departed Glenallen and headed south down the Valdez-Tok highway.

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Nothing new going on ‘round Long Pond Road…we’re jus’ quarantining away. We did get a couple photos of this woodpecker we keep seeing out by the lanai…Connie thinks it is a juvenile Red Cockaded and Neil thinks it’s a juvenile Red Bellied. Both have the ladder back pattern feather but Neil thinks his evaluation is better because it doesn’t have the white cheek that a Red Cockaded has, the Red Bellied is a bit longer and skinnier in body shape, and because we’re really south of the range that the Red Cockaded is in…although only 30 miles or so, so it could be one of those. In either event…it appears to be a juvenile in the middle of getting adult plumage. Actually…the one that Neil thinks it most resembles looking at Petersons is the Gila but those definitely aren’t here as it is a western species. Neither of the photos below is as clear as we would like…but he had to take them through the screen on the lanai to prevent scaring it off and was backlit in the tree so getting a really great shot wasn’t in the cards.

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We also spotted Lagatha the gator out back in the pond the other day for the first time in a month or so…she was up on the bank across the other side for a few…but it’s been so hot that mostly I think they’re hanging out in the water to keep cool or down at the south end of the pond where there is some shade.

Let’s see what’s in the news today.

I talked a couple posts back about the pro-police group that wants to put up a Blue Lives Matter mural on the street in NYC and wrote a letter to the city asking for permission…it’s been almost 3 weeks with no response from him so far. In a similar case…out in Tulsa OK located in the part of the state that a recent SCOTUS decision decreed was legally Indian territory…anyway they decided to remove their BLM mural on the street rather than allow a Blue Lives Matter one as well…although they justified it by claiming that only safety markings should be painted on the street and not political statements…but then they didn’t ‘splain why the original one was approved in the first place…but hey…hypocrites I guess.

Apparently out in Louisville KY the BLM movement has taken up some of the tactics previously used by the Mafia…er, organized crime I mean…to influence businesses to pay them protection money. Apparently they are demanding a whole bunch of things in order to ensure that your business doesn’t receive a failing grade of F and suffer the consequences.

Among the demands…23% of all staff must be BIPOC (black and indigenous persons of color) so I guess you have to either fire your current workers or hire more that you don’t really need…23% of your supplies must come from BIPOC vendors so again you have to change to another vendor not of your choice for your supplies…you must donate 1.5% of your total revenue (not profit, revenue) to an approved list of BIPOC charities…and you must institute a dress code that doesn’t discriminate against BIPOC (I guess that means you can’ require them to pull their pants up any more).

Failure to adhere to these demands…well there’s a list there as well…you will get reported to the BBB for being biased…cancelled via social media…boycotted…protested in front of your business…and something called Invasive Reclamation which means they will setup booths and tables outside your establishment where BLM approved BIPOC people will offer for sale the same items you offer. 

Several businesses report having been vandalized because they declined to meet these demand and were forced to close because their employees were afraid to come to work. Now frankly it probably isn’t quite as bad as I made it sound above since…like all media these days…it offers only a single take on selected facts rather than being unbiased reporting…but I did find several similar stories on the web.

So now…I see that the postal unions and Ms. Pelosi are all upset over the lack of overtime at the USPS due to…not having enough money because of not being allowed to set the postal rates so as to cover their costs for workers and being forced to pre-fund 75 years worth of their pension obligations by Congress. Anyway…the new Postmaster General has eliminated overtime…which might mean that some of your mail won’t be delivered until tomorrow instead of today and…at least according to the postal union head and Ms. Pelosi…is an unconscionable effort by Republicans to suppress voting during the pandemic. Seeing as how each state has their own requirement for when a mail in ballot must be postmarked in order to be valid…I really don’t see how a day delay is surpassing the vote. In addition…I think it is very likely the they will allow sufficient overtime on Election Day to ensure that all received ballots are picked up and taken to the post office so that they can be postmarked on Election Day and thus meet the requirements of the law. My guess is that with the demands that “every vote count” some governors will take it upon themselves to eliminate the legal postmarking requirement…there is already a lawsuit going on in NY over that very thing…the governor had each mail in primary ballot that went out include a postage paid return envelope…which then according to longstanding USPS policy does not get postmarked…which then invalidated under the law a great number of said mail in ballots…which then turned into a lawsuit because the election board…ummm…followed the law.

I’m not sure what I think about this whole mail in ballot thing…it isn’t the same as absentee voting since those must be applied for…in mail in balloting the state mails out a ballot to every person on the voting rolls…and I suppose they have some mechanism in place to prevent both mail in and voting in person. However…even with the more stringent requirement for absentee balloting…back in the day when we lived in VA Neil and Connie got absentee ballots from FL because FL didn’t know we had registered to vote in VA by then…so they could have easily voted in both states if they wanted to. I understand the issue with distancing and standing in line during epidemics…but if crowding into the church with no regard for separation for John Lewis recent funeral is just fine…I’m not sure how that’s any different than standing in line at the polling place. Connie and Neil will go vote in person…it’s just in the Heron’s Glen subdivision immediately north of Magnolia Landing and was not a problem the last time we voted…we just masked and distanced as required.

I see where the #3 Democrat in Congress…Representative Clyburn…says that the President will not leave the White House willingly if he loses the election and will have to be escorted out by law enforcement. Now the President has already said he will leave on schedule…and there’s no evidence that he won’t…but Mr. Clyburn and the rest of the WAMM aren’t letting the facts get in their way. They’re also claiming that he is trying to postpone the election…which he can’t do and everybody knows that…and that if there is no winner in the election by Jan 3 (which is quite possible due to the vast confusion the aforementioned mail in ballots will cause) that Ms. Pelosi will become President on Jan 20.

There’s also going to be a court case next year over the apportionment of congressional seats among the states…the President issued an order last week that basically said that while all people are to be counted in the census currently underway…that only citizens are to be considered in the apportionment of congressional states and not illegal immigrants.

I know the left is all up in arms about both of these…and having reviewed several different viewpoints and read what the words in the Constitution say…I think that overall the preponderance of the evidence is in favor of the President being able to make that determination and that Ms. Pelosi won’t be the President on Jan 20. It all comes down…again…to strict vs loose interpretation of the Constitution along with the writings of the time by the guys that actually wrote the Constitution and the generally accepted meaning at the time of the words they wrote. Time will tell I guess…my personal opinion is that the President will leave the White House as scheduled if he doesn’t win the election and that the courts will eventually come down on the side of representatives are apportioned according to the number of citizens in a state and not the number of people living in the state…but since I’m not a constitutional scholar that’s jus’ my opinion.

Interesting things found on the net.

Justin Stuller…well he’s
quite an unlucky guy
. He is an experienced scuba diver…according to the article…who back in the past was once bitten on the leg by an alligator…then last week he was down in the Keys fishing for spiny lobster when he was bitten by…you guessed it…an 8 foot lemon shark.

Meanwhile…up in Maine…a local resident was in the ocean 30 feet from the beach when she was attacked and killed by a Great White Shark…da dum…da dum…ya know. Actually attacked is…like it almost always is…a misnomer. What sharks are really doing is checking to see if you’re good for lunch and typically they test with their teeth and then almost always let the human go as…you’re really not their preferred lunch. That doesn’t sound like an attack…it sounds like a shark doing what sharks do. Witnesses reported it was about 12 feet long and it was identified by a tooth that was left behind in her body. I guess they “need a bigger boat”.

Over in Australia…a woman is in the hospital after being injured by a humpback whale. She was on one of those whale watching diving trips and got herself in between two of the beasties and sort of got smushed in between them. She is in the hospital in serious but stable condition with some broken ribs and internal bleeding.

DwarfPrisonEscape

MyTempleBody

IDoubtIt

AngerManagement

FuneralPlan

This is my fave of the bunch…so very true.

TheUniverse

Cyas.

Posted in Blast From The Past, Homebody, Nature, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

Can Anybody ‘Splain This To Me?……or Quarantine Day 137

As we sit here on quarantine day 137…well we didn’t sit here the whole time as yesterday when Connie had an appointment down at Radiology Regional for an ultrasound and we stopped by Walmart on the way home. We needed some produce and letting the folks at the store pick it out for you doesn’t work really well…and we had run by the Winn Dixie on Sunday morning and it was pretty well picked over so we stopped at Walmart. We also got some food stuffs for our Elks lodge veterans donations group…so this morning we ran down to drop it off as well as pick us up a sandwich from Subway for lunch.

That’s about it though…we’re tired of quarantine and corona.

Anyways…mebbe perhaps one of ya’s an ‘splain if there’s a good reason for the following stories.

First up…you may have read about
this story
on whatever news you read…it details…at least according to the headline…an egregious “snatching women into unmarked vans” in NYC.

Now…ya know…I can understand that the person who took the original video might not have been easily able to determine any actual facts…but if they were part of the lefty anti police and pro peaceful protesting crowd then I can see how they would immediately put their video of the “kidnapping” out on the web so that it could go viral. (Side note on viral…you always see how whatever the outrage of the day is has ‘gone viral’ with no real explanation about what that means…it used to mean that something was actually interesting  and worth sharing but these days it seems like if it is anti-police then by definition it will go viral no matter what.)

Anyway…immediately the WAMM jumped all over this “snatching”. According to AOC…”This is not a drill…our civil liberties are on the brink” and Congressman Nadler demanded an “immediate explanation for this anonymous use of force.” and “This video — of a protester in New York City being thrown in an unmarked van — is terrifying and should be unacceptable to everyone who respects the constitutional rights this country was founded on,”

Unfortunately…neither of the congresspeople bothered to even give the pretense of obtaining any actual facts before they went off on their twitter tantrums…but hey, whatever it takes to incite their supporters I guess.

What actually happened was that the woman in question had been previously observed and identifying as damaging 5 city owned security cameras in/around City Hall Park. With evidence that crimes had been committed and identification of the perp…the judge signed off on and issued a warrant for her arrest. Now in NYC…warrants aren’t generally acted on by uniformed officers…warrants get passed along to the warrant squad who…routinely for years…has been a plain clothes unit with unmarked vehicles for a simple reason…that reason being that folks with a warrant will generally try to flee and avoid arrest so warrant arrests are conducted in a manner to prevent foot chases and possible gunfights from fleeing criminals who don’t want to be arrested. In addition…especially in recent times when police are likely to be attacked for doing their jobs…uniformed officers show up as well to provide security.

So the normally plain clothes warrant squad using their normal unmarked vehicles located a criminal for whom they had a warrant…so golly gee…being the warrant squad they proceeded to arrest her…not kidnapping, not snatching…but arresting. I’m sure she was read her Miranda rights as soon as they had her restrained and in custody…and police are not required to provide WAMM members with justification for doing their jobs.

The article goes on to state that the officers were attacked with rocks and bottles…so I guess it was a good thing they had some extra security to prevent another riot.

So…nothing to see here…just the police doing their jobs and arresting wanted criminals.

As I said…I can see why a card carrying WAMM member with his iPhone might immediately put his “snatching” video on the Internet so as to (a) get their 15 seconds of fame and (b) show the world how the jack booted thugs are snatching innocent protesters off of the street..

What I don’t get is that the morons we’ve elected to Congress don’t bother getting any facts before whipping up more outrage…but wait…I do get it because whipping up outrage is their number one purpose in life.

OK…second story…and if you thought the one above was bad…as Darth Vader would say…”The Stupid is strong in this one Luke”.

As you can read
here
and
here
…the august medical publication “Journal of Vascular Surgery” published in late 2019 the results of a study conducted by eight or so researchers including one woman that was conducted from 2015-2018. The study title…”Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons”.

In this study…the authors deplore the fact that *female*…yes, only females are guilty of this egregious faux pas…fellows and residents have demonstrated a lack of respect for professional reputations of vascular surgeons by the publication of “unprofessional social media content”.

Now I realize that stuff you put on social media might live on the interwebs for a long time…and you might regret it (but then you might not)…but in the current environment of mandated PC behavior by the WAMM…it has been determined that these female doctors have posted unprofessional social content…specifically they appeared in images of themselves at the beach dressed in…and you might want to make sure you’re sitting down for this…bikinis.

Yep…women who in their off duty time go to the beach and wear your standard 2 piece bathing suit like 90% of all the women at the beach…and who put pictures of themselves so scantily dressed on their social media…they’re unprofessional. Funny how men who might do the same and have pictures of themselves in Speedo suits or board shorts with bare chests aren’t presenting unprofessional social media content.

So yes…shocking news here. Almost half of young vascular surgeons have social media accounts…and 61% of those (but only females) have unprofessional content by posting images of themselves in a bathing suit.

Now me…I’m quite happy for my female doctor…assuming I had any female doctors…wearing a swimming suit…frankly I’m much more concerned with their actual professional qualifications and ability to…ya know…doctor me…rather than what they wear at the beach.

Where the Stupid really gets going though is twofold. First up…that a group of men with a token woman would think in the years 2015-2018 that conducting a study to determine if women in their profession wore bathing suits to the beach would be acceptable in these sexually enlightened times…I don’t know who figured this was a good idea but it clearly isn’t…especially when you specifically point out women but not men in your study. Second…that any medical journal in 2019 would even consider actually publishing this drivel makes no sense at all…what were they thinking?

The best response to the article was a tweet from a female Emergency Medicine Physician who posted an image of herself standing there in a bikini (and not even a very revealing one at that) as well as another one of her doing her emergency medicine thing on a beach along with the following text…”Dr Bikini 👙will save your life in the middle of the Ocean when you get hit by a boat. I will take you out of the ocean on a surfboard turned into a backboard, tie off your exsanguinating wound with my rash guard, take you to my under equipped urgent care, stabilize you in 1 hour with an IV, oxygen, morphine, fluids, and put your open femur fracture in Bucks traction, fly you by helicopter to a local hospital, order and interpret all the labs, X-rays, CT scans, suture/staple all your wounds, splint your clavicle/ humerus and scapula fractures, sedate you, put a chest tube in your 5 rib fractured pneumothorax and fly you by jet to a specialty hospital in another country….all in my you guessed it 👙”.

I keep asking myself “what were they thinking”…and the answer comes to me…they weren’t.

Both Connie and Neil keep getting political spam from both sides of the aisle…despite the fact that we have never donated money to any political candidate. Connie did make the mistake of getting herself on one of the national party mailing lists years and years ago…but Neil always just trashes those emails unread. Unfortunately…he’s yet to figure out how to Junk filter some of them…they come from the same domain which he’s blocked but apparently they use a mailing service to send them out…he tried blocking the mailing service domain as well to no avail. He’s got a mail rule that gets rid of some of them…but it only works on his laptop as the mail clients on most mobile devices don’t do mail rules. Our mail provider has pretty decent blocking but these keep getting through despite our best efforts. So…if anybody knows how to actually efficiently block this crap let m know so he can institute it on our accounts.

It looks like the Potential Tropical Storm Nine…yep, that’s what they’re currently calling it…will pass on up the east coast of Florida on Sunday and we’ll only get a bit of rain and wind here on the Gulf Coast. However…it will likely prevent the scheduled Sunday return of the SpaceX Dragon manned capsule from the ISS as all 7 of their ocean landing sites are either in the Atlantic Ocean off of Florida or in the Gulf of Mexico off the panhandle. No worries though…although they’ve been aloft for 60something days…they are good for up to 120 so a delay of a day or three won’t really make any difference.

Also in the space news today…the last of 3 missions to Mars launched successfully this morning before the least time to Mars launch window closes next month. Missions were launched by China, Japan for the UAE, and the US one launched and executed the Mars transition engine burns today so all 3 are on the way. All 3 are scheduled for landers…but only 50% of all the landing attempts have succeeded so it will be pretty amazing if all 3 actually get there and land in one piece.

The US mission includes some capsules that will be filled with Mars dirt samples for…supposedly…pickup by an as yet unplanned, unfunded, and unknown technical capability mission to retrieve them in the late 2020s. Yeah…right.

Ms. Pelosi has issued new rules…masks are required in Congress or else you’ll get booted out of the chamber. She didn’t specify whether that was permanently or just until you put on your mask.

Speaking of masks…I’m really getting tired of hearing about them. I’ll agree that they provide some protection against transmission of the virus from you to other people and a lesser amount of protection protecting you from other infected people…but Ima getting tired of hearing about it, reading about it, and seeing the same debates over it. At this point…everybody has their mind made up about masks, whether they work or not, and whether they will wear them or not…and every business has either established or not established a requirement for them…and those that have a requirement are either enforcing it or not. The important thing though…is that everybody has their minds made up and no minds will be changed by the endless arguments…so why can’t either extreme just leave it alone and argue about something else.

Remember back when Justice Kavanaugh was having his confirmation hearings…and one of the many things the WAMM had their panties in a twist over was the fact that he would “overturn Roe v. Wade” and would “always support the President”? Yeah…I remember those too. So in the past couple of weeks he tried to get his fellow justices to take the middle ground on the LA abortion law that said doctors performing abortions had to have admitting privileges at a local hospital for any complications requiring a hospital. He wanted to send it back to the trial court for further determinations on how much the requirement would actually affect things…you know, sort of let’s figure out if this is really a problem? He was also in the majority that held that the state court in NY could have access to the President’s tax returns. So…so much for the claim that he would vote as a lockstep conservative I guess.

Speaking of SCOTUS…I really hope that Justice Ginsberg with her most recent cancer bout lasts at least until next year…I can only imagine the outrage if she were to die and the President and Senate voted in another justice in her place either before the election or before Inauguration Day.

OK…interesting things found on the net.

ChefComplaints

WhyRetiredMenDieEarly

FourForFour

SchubertsUnfinished

SinatraPuppy

WhiteSmokeBlackSmoke

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

Quarantine Day 133

Yup…another day quarantined by the Corona so let’s see what might be going on.

Really not much at all…since my last post we went to Mass today and Connie was the cantor again…the folks getting fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church at St. Therese today included one young lady who was baptized and then along with another 3 received Confirmation and their first Communion. That means she had to do the Litany of the Saints as part of her cantoring duties…but she was as Neil puts it typically outstanding.

There was one minor bauble in her performance…caused mostly by (a) the lack of any ability to actually practice before hand since there is not choir practice right now, (b) the we aren’t really sure which version is going to be in the ceremony since the bulletin, her notes, and what she’s familiar with for the Litany from before were all different, and exacerbated by (c) the pretty free form ceremonies that Father Jan does as opposed to his predecessor. But in any event…unless she had broken out into a cover of Ina Gadda Da Vida any faux pas on her part would have paled in comparison to the mistakes of the altar server (he’s an old guy who also happens to be the sacristan which is the person that is in charge of decorating the sacristy around the altar and sundry other important Mass related duties) and the head Eucharistic Minister…she would actually have been appointed as a Deacon (probably) if she was the correct gender for that…but that’s another discussion for another day…anyways she wears the robes of a deacon and marches in and out with the priest and altar server at the beginning and end of Mass…but there’s that whole patriarchy thing where she can’t actually become a deacon…but I digress. What I was getting to was that the altar server and the other member (besides the priest) of the Mass celebration triumvirate were both pretty high in the hierarchy of lay people within the parish management. So…after the readings, sermon, baptism and confirmation we got into the Eucharist portion of Mass…that’s where they bring the bread and wine to the altar so the priest can consecrate it…and…you guessed it…there was no wine. Father Jan did not look amused…but the lady ran back to the back and got the wine so we could go on. As I said…any and all errors that the cantor, reader, master of ceremonies for the initiation, or organist might have made simply disappeared into minutia after that. Neil’s been going to Mass for 66 years now…and has served as an altar server…and he’s never, ever seen them forget the wine.

After Mass we headed down to the Winn Dixie to pick up a few groceries…the Publix is closer but their produce section sucks and we needed a bit of that…as well as more wine which we got.

And that’s about it for exciting stuff on our end…so let’s see if there is a anything interesting in the news.

Out in Portland…there were naturally more protests…all non violent of course…well, except for the explosives, rocks, and other objects being thrown at the police and the attempts to read down the fence around the federal courthouse. At that point…the federal law enforcement folks went inside until the Portland Police…who have been essentially ordered to stand down by the mayor…declared the demonstration to be a riot and ordered the rioters to disperse. At that point the federal cops assisted the Portland cops in clearing the rioters and arresting a bunch of them.

Naturally…the protest leaders have declared…once again…that they were entirely peaceful and that the violence was instigated by the police. Bzzzzzzzzt…wrong answer.

It seems that the Postmaster General has been summoned to testify before some House oversight committee over his plans to “delay mail” which is obviously an attempt to undermine the mail in balloting for the election…at least that’s what you might think if you just read the headlines. If you get into the article…you’ll find out that since the USPS is essentially going broke…and it is really the fault of Congress since the USPS has to fully fund their pension obligations each year which is different from every other company or corporation…he has essentially mandated that there is no more overtime authorized. Before this statement…when a mail carrier left to go on his route if there was more mail that had not been fully sorted yet…the carrier went out and delivered, then on overtime came back to the distribution center, picked up the additional and now sorted mail, and made another run to deliver that mail. Under the no overtime policy…that not yet fully sorted mail that gets sorted after the carrier leaves on his route…well it will just be delivered the next mail delivery day but it will be fully sorted, postmarked if applicable, and sorted into the carrier’s deliveries for tomorrow. Sounds like a great cost saving idea to me…and yes it means that some mail might not get to the destination until a day later but that doesn’t seem like a huge hardship. 

So…how is this policy going to “undermine” the election when states “are relying heavily on absentee mail in ballots to be received and counted in a timely manner”? Simple…it isn’t. Ballots in most states have to be postmarked by Election Day…which will happen as I’m sure the Postmaster General will authorize overtime on Election Day if necessary to ensure that all mail is properly postmarked…and there is at least a 7 day grace period for delivery (more in some states). So this summoning…yeah, it’s just political crap.

I read this week that AOC is “the most effective and hardest working politician of her generation”…so far she’s managed to kill 25,000 jobs that Amazon was going to put into NYC and managed to get herself on the news more than most far more senior congress critters…but hey, her supporters in the WAMM say she is so what do I know. Bzzzzzzzzzzzt…wrong answer again.

You probably read in the news about the young black female teenager in Michigan that was “sent to prison because she didn’t do her homework”…at least again if you only read the headlines or believe the WAMM. What actually happened was she was arrested for assault on her mother and at her juvenile court trial she was sentenced to probation including a requirement that she attend school. Much like the fines and restitution in FL for felons…attending school was part of her sentence and was…ummm…required is the word I’m looking for here.

So…she didn’t do her schoolwork…which was online and at home…so the judge revoked her probation and sent her to Juvie…exactly where she needs to be. She is in a program designed to help with her psychological issues (she has ADHD and something else as I recall) and is making great progress in Juvie according to her counselors and evaluators…so the judge declined to let her out since it is not yet clear that she won’t assault her mother again. No matter though…according to the WAMM she’s been “sent to prison for not doing her homework”.

I keep reading on the news what a great job that CA and NY are doing with their approaches to the Corona…and that FL and TX are doing wretchedly…only it turns out that if you rank the states by deaths per 100,000 population FL and TX are nowhere in the top 15 while NY and CA are (statistics from statista.com). It is true that if you rank by cases per 100,000 population FL is in the top 5 but NY is still above FL in the rankings. So…what’s the difference? It couldn’t be that NY has a Democratic and FL has a Republican governor…could it?

Speaking of Corona…I saw an interesting perspective on the whole quarantine thing this week…it comes from Mike Rowe who was the host of Dirty Jobs for many years, currently narrates Deadliest Catch and several other Discovery Network TV shows, and runs a foundation dedicated to the idea that a college education for everybody is not necessarily the best thing for everybody. His thought is that blue color jobs…plumber, carpenter, welder, and many others can provide a nice income for a lot of people and we need those jobs to be done. He isn’t against college education at all…just of the mind that for a good many people a cheaper education that provides them with a great job and doesn’t saddle them with $100,000 or more of college debt might be a better solution.

Anyway…he posts on Facebook…and is one of the few FB pages I read. He was taken to task recently because he headed out with his Dirty Jobs crew on a reunion tour of sorts. Now mind you…they took appropriate precautions, were all tested for corona with negative results, and are doing most of their reuniting with old Dirty Jobs people via video calls…but he was taken to task by a reader for his “unconcern with the corona”.

It’s a really great post…you can read it
here
. In it…he says that he’s not ignoring the virus at all. He goes on to talk about a PhD epidemiologist named Michael Osterholm…who 10 years ago published a book predicting a corona virus (not THE corona virus but some virus in the corona family which includes the virus causing our current problems as well as flu viruses) that would turn the country upside down. In his book “Deadliest Enemies”…he described the “utterly irresponsible way in which the media would report on the situation, the completely opportunistic and shamelessly political way our leaders would likely react, and the unprecedented chaos and confusion that would arise from all the mixed messages from the medical community. “. He predicted that there could be as many as 100 million cases in this country and up to 480,000 deaths. He seems pretty prescient to me for a book written ten years ago.

Mike goes on to say that reading the book and talking to Dr. Osterholm enabled him to get past the first 4 stages of grief quickly and get into acceptance. He’s accepted that the virus will be with us a long time…that he might get it…and that somewhere between 0.6% and 1% of those infected might die. His point is that we accept 40,000 deaths a year from car accidents along with many other large scale causes of death…and is choosing not to ignore the corona but to take reasonable precautions. Just like one wears a seat belt with driving or riding in a car and avoids driving after consuming alcoholic beverages…one can respect corona, take reasonable precautions like masking up in public, washing your hands a lot, minimizing the number of trips outside of home, and practicing social distancing…and continue to live your lives.

That’s pretty much what we’re doing…masks aren’t the panacea that one side says they are or the complete waste of time that the other side says…they do provide some protection as does social distancing and avoiding crowded bars.

I do find it odd that with all the governor requirements to wear masks and the…let’s call it over enthusiastic…lecturing by some to wear them…that if you actually read the box that the common ear loop masks come in…it says “this mask will not prevent CoViD-19. Yeah…I know it’s just legalese BEP that the corporation counsel forced them to put on there…but if it were settled science that they are a surefire a way to prevent infection…would that legal disclaimer really be necessary? Dunno…but we wear ours whenever we’re out because as I said they do help.

Speaking of Mike Rowe…if you are a podcast listener you ought to give his a try…it is named “That’s the way I heard it” and is…according to Mike…the only podcast for the curious mind with a short attention span. Most of the episodes are 15 minutes or less in length and almost all of them tell you something interesting about a famous person that you probably didn’t know ahead of time. He spins the tale of the person…telling a story about their life…and at the very end identifies the individual and while Connie and Neil figure it out about half the time…there are still episodes where the person is a surprise. He sprinkles a lot of words that serve as teasers into the audio…although you don’t really realize they are teasers until you know who the person is…for example a recent one on Mick Jagger was entitled “Looking for Satisfaction” or something like that. Anyway…they are a great listen and if you’re into the whole podcast thing give them a try at
http://mikerowe.com
 or iTunes or however you get your podcasts…they’re even available in your browser.

Ok…on to some images…another in a series of blasts from the past…in this case from the summer of 2013…our second year on the road in the RV.

That year we went to the northwest US and up into Canuckistan to Jasper and Banff National Parks. This series of images…well they’re all Connie’s fault as she sent Neil the first one a week or so back and said “been there”. Take a gander and. See if it reminds you of anything…this isn’t one of our images.

IMG 0431a

No? Ok…keep that photo in mind while I tellsya the story.

The general location is Lake Louise AB which is located within Banff National Park. I’m sure you’ve all seen the famous photos of the Fairmont Hotel located at the NE end of the long narrow Lake Louise and the glacier at the far end roughly a mile away. If you’re standing in front of the Fairmont…looking off to the right is another smaller and higher lake named Lake Agnes…and on the shores of Lake Agnes is the Lake Agnes teahouse. It is about a 6 mile round trip hike up to the teahouse with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain on the way up. Connie had heard about it and wanted to hike up, have lunch, and come back down…so we did just that. An interesting side digression…back then she was still working…even though we had retired…for Northern Virginia Community College doing the scheduling for the internships for their medical laboratory students. She did all of this on the road up to about 20 hours per week and the agreement with the college was that if she read and answered an email then she got 15 minutes worth of pay. Her work was mostly done sitting in the rig on days when we weren’t doing anything else but she was always pretty anal about answering mails right away. So…by the time we hiked up, had lunch, and hiked back down…she had made enough to more than pay for our lunch…and it was an expensive lunch as there are no roads to the teahouse. Everything they cook and serve has to be brought up on horse or mule back so…just like on Mount Fuji in Japan…the higher you go the more things cost. Lunch…which was a pot of tea, a couple cups of soup, and a sandwich that we split was something like $40 with the tip but the walk and views were worth it.

Lake Agnes also runs long and skinny from NE to SW and the teahouse is located at the NE end right where the lake outlet spills over the waterfall and starts it’s trip down the mountainside to Lake Louise.

Looking almost due north from across the waterfall next to the teahouse.

Eagle1 5700

This bird was on the rail near our table and was highly interested in our lunch.

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Looking to the almost due east down towards Lake Louise…you can see the Fairmont through the trees at image center.

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A zoomed in shot from a bit farther to the right…just about where the first shot above was taken from to better show the hotel and Lake Louise.

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Looking NW from across Lake Agnes…the teahouse is just out of frame to the right.

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And looking SW from the teahouse you can see another glacier that dumps into Lake Agnes and Devil’s Thumb behind it.

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Now…looking back at the first image that isn’t ours…and was obviously taken much later in the summer than ours was since there is no ice on the lake.

You can see the teahouse at the far end of the left hand lake on the left side…it is the white building you see. The rounded mountain in between the lakes is the Beehive and you can see Lake Louise and the Fairmont to the right.

Yeah…I know…long story but the image Connie found brought back some memories and I figured they were worth sharing.

A few more photos from the same trip.

Ram Bighorn Sheep…these are actually different individuals as I recall…at least the photos were an hour or so apart and typically there’s only one fully mature ram with his harem in each group.

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Moose in velvet…this is actually about the best photo of a moose we’ve even gotten…they’re almost mythical creatures and while we’ve seen a lot of moose butts as they disappear into the woods this one was laying down in the weeds literally about 15 yards from the main highway leading east out of Jasper AB.

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Don’t let the color fool you…this is actually a black bear and not a grizzly…at least we don’t think so. It is too small, doesn’t have the hump, and doesn’t have the right facial structure for a grizzly.

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Another bull moose we ran across on a hike in Jasper.

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This is a Bufo Toad which is common down here in Florida. They secrete a ‘toxin’ onto their skin to repel predators but it is only mildly toxic to humans and if you wasn’t your hands afterwards then it causes no issues at all. You can see the size of it as compared to the toe of Neil’s bike shoe also included…this guy was dead on the side of the road and Neil didn’t touch it…but it had to be six or seen inches long in the body. It had not been run over…and he saw it as he left Magnolia Landing on his bike ride yesterday…it was almost right across from the entrance as he crossed US-41 and turned south…so I think it just hopped out onto hot pavement and expired the day before.

Speaking of bike riding…Neil (after yesterday) is up to 151 miles for the month at an average speed of 15.17 mph and an average distance of 12.64 miles…for the year it’s 771 miles, 15.07 mph, and 12.44 miles. He’s trying to do at least 150 miles a month with a stretch goal of 175…mad the stretch goal for June and it looks pretty good for July as well. He tries to get out every other day and mostly goes early in the AM before it gets too hot…once it gets to fall and winter he will be able to go later in the day if he feels like it.

IMG 3659

Oh yeah…we did go out to Smoke’n Pit BBQ down on Tamiami Trail but north of the river a few days ago…pretty decent pulled pork so we’ll have to try their ribs and brisket next time. Not as good as Dreamland in Tuscaloosa AL or Oklahoma City Joes (now Kansas City Joes) out in KC…but definitely better than average. Neil ran into a Crimson Tide fan when he was picking up takeout…we had a nice conversation after he noticed Neil’s Alabama ball cap, asked if we had ever been to Tuscaloosa, and when he said yes he asked if we had been to Dreamland. Those are the two best BBQ joints we been to…and it’s really not close…every other place we been has been competing for 3rd place.

Saw this sign at the cash register…thought it was pretty apropos for the current corona thing.

IMG 3657

OK…on to interesting things found the net…although actually she of them were found in our email instead. We have people ya know…our people are in charge of sending us neat things…and if you ever come down this way let us know and we’ll have our people get in touch with your people and mayhaps we’ll quaff an adult beverage or three or four. Jus’ lemme know when you’re in this area…and we can find some drinkin’ establishment to meet at…our available selections range from dive bars with great food to 4 star linen napkin sorts of places…although we’re partial to the former more than the latter but we are certainly comfortable with either.

ToothpastePreparationH

The photographer had to wait for months to get his desired image of a jaguar and the shadow it casts.

JaguarShadowPhoto

SaladForDinner

AlreadyBeenPeeled

I gotta admit…millennials and such fall right into this one.

SmartWater

Neil needs one of these for Connie…he’s threatened to push her off the side of the waterbed if she snores…but his bark is worse than his bite as he would never actually push her out of bed, he would just go to the recliner himself instead.

SnoreBeGone

This seems apropos for the quarantine.

BibleWaterIntoWine

Anesthesiologist

HomeSchoolScienceLesson

And finally…if the WAMM gets their way and we get rid of the police…

Panic

Cyas.

Posted in Blast From The Past, Homebody, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

We Been Thinking ‘Bout Stuff Lately…

…and after considerable thought we’ve decided that our leaders, government, and the media are either completely ignorant of civics and how our system of government works…or that they’re just a bunch of liars who want to score political points (and that goes for both parties). After careful consideration…and as somebody famous once said since I didn’t make this quote up…”How can you tell if a politician is lying? Easy…his lips are moving.”

Anyways we figgger it is most likely Door #2 above.

But before we get to ‘dat…we dindunuffin this week. Went for Connie’s blood samples at the lab but the PA didn’t put the right ICD codes on the request and it was gonna cost us $500…so she’s emailed to the doc to see if they really need those (she thinks some are unneeded based on her laboratory career and diagnostic knowledge) and if they are to give her an ICD code that will get insurance to pay for ‘em. Picked up some gravel at the Home Depot to put around the exits from our lanai where the water puddles, got some take out pulled pork from the BBQ place that was pretty good and that was about it.

A couple of examples just from this week in the news.

You probably read about how John Lewis…the “Civil Rights Icon” who later represented Atlanta in the House of Representatives for 30something years passed away recently. Immediately Mayor Bottoms of Atlanta…yes, that’s really her name…ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half staff until his funeral. The governor of Georgia also ordered this statewide. Meanwhile…the President ordered the flag at the White House to be half staffed for the Saturday after his death late Friday evening. Naturally…Ms. Bottoms and Governor Kemp are being hailed as heroes while the President is being decried as a callous racist. The next day…the head of the Congressional Black Caucus demanded that the President lower the flag to half staff nationwide until Congressman Lewis was interred.

Now I don’t really know all that many details about the late Congressman…but it is fair to say he was around all through the Civil Rights movement and has continued to represent his district for a long time in Congress. If you put all the political bias and BS aside…he certainly had his flaws…I don’t know what they are specifically but humans all have good and bad qualities (bears don’t because…well…we’re bears)…so unless we had he Second Coming when nobody was looking the Congressman had flaws. I’m sure that the actual fact is that he was neither the “let’s declare a national holiday for him” hero that one side claims…nor was he the race baiting corrupt politician the other side claims…but he was somewhere in the middle. That’s not really relevant though.

So…who’s right? Well…if you actually go and read the flag code about who can order flags to be half staffed…and the flag code and rules are enshrined in the U.S. Code so it is federal law…only the President or governors can so order. So…Ms. Bottoms clearly broke federal law by ordering them to be lowered. However…long standing tradition is that mayors routinely order this for local long time former leaders or for slain law enforcement officers…so mebbe her transgression is not so bad. The flag code also specifies how long flags are to be half staffed…and for ordinary members of congress it is the date of their death and the following day.

Technically…the President acted in accordance with the law and the governor and mayor did not…so why the hue and cry over it? I have to admit…I almost didn’t include this example because of the traditional declarations of half staff by mayors but thought that actually knowing what the law of the land says should also be considered before the media condemns either side.

The second example of the week…Ms. Pelosi is the guilty party here. You might recall…if you’re old enough…that back in the 1960s the Voting Rights Act was passed and has been reauthorized periodically since then. What the VRA says is that 12 states…mostly southern…must have Justice Department approval before making any changes to voting rules, locations and such…essentially the rights of those states to conduct their elections had to be approved by the federal government. Now there were a lot of irregularities in voting in these states back previous to the VRA being enacted…but then there were also irregularities in Detroit, Chicago, the state if Illinois, NYC, and just about other state and jurisdiction. Be that as it may…the VRA was enacted and reauthorized for many years…typically for 5 years at a time but for 25 years in 2006 so it will expire in 2021 unless reauthorized.

Back in 19870…the SCOTUS upheld the constitutionality of the pre-clearance requirement in the law…but some 40 years later Shelby County in Alabama filed suit and eventually the case made it’s way to the SCOTUS again…essentially saying that the criteria for which states required clearance were outdated. In Shelby County vs Holder…the SCOTUS held in 2013 that the county was correct and that the criteria were in fact outdated and that therefore they were an unnecessary burden on the equal sovereignty of the states. According to Wikipedia…Congress could authorize new criteria and the pre-clearance requirement would be re-instituted but the actual decision said nothing about whether new clearance criteria would reenable the provisions of section 5 of the VRA which is where the pre-clearance restrictions are listed.

Ms. Pelosi had her House pass a bill reauthorizing the act for (I believe) another 25 years and sent it over to the Senate…which so far has taken no action as their position is that SCOTUS has ruled the criteria unconstitutional based on age AND equal sovereignty of the various states…that means that each state should have equal sovereignty and if NY can change their election laws then AL or SC or GA is also allowed to change them. Her position…like all other loose constructionists…is to read additional meaning into the words the SCOTUS or Constitution actually say in order to get whatever they want this week. Nothing wrong with that idea in general…there have been loose and strict constructionists (generally this corresponds to liberal and conservative points of view) ever since the Constitution was founded.

What Ms. Pelosi said after Congressman Lewis passing…was that the Senate should “immediately rename the VRA Reauthorization Act to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act” and pass it since it would overturn the misguided SCOTUS decision by reinstating the same 12 states for pre-clearance and because they were wrong in stating that all states should be treated equally”. Essentially…she stated that Congress can override the decision of SCOTUS by passing legislation.

Now either Ms. Pelosi is completely clueless about the relationship between the SCOTUS and the legislature…which I highly doubt as she is of an age so that she went to high school when Civics and American Government were still a required subject…or else she is just lying for political points because she knows that most people these days either never took or have forgotten their civics lessons. The truth is that if SCOTUS declares something to be unconstitutional…then it is just that…unconstitutional. Since we have three distinct branches of government…there is a way for the legislature to solve that problem…but again the Constitution provides a solution…it is known as a constitutional amendment. That’s too hard for the Democratic Party though…so it’s easier to just lie to the public and convince them that is only those “blatantly partisan Republicans” preventing progress.

Speaking of blatantly partisan…I’ve noticed over the past few years that…at least as far as SCOTUS goes…the liberals on the court are far more likely to vote as a block on any issue than the conservative justices are…there were several decisions both this session and in previous ones where the decision came down in favor of the liberal side because different conservative justices actually read and applied the words in the Constitution when voting as opposed to the liberal justices who think the Constitution means what we want it to mean. If anything…the liberals are far more partisan in their voting…only rarely agreeing with the conservatives on anything.

Another one…up in NYC…as you know there is a BLM mural painted on the street outside one of the hotels owned by the President’s business…a week or so back a pro police group applied to the mayor for permission to paint a Blue Lives Matter mural on the street outside 1 Police Plaza where the department is headquartered. So far…this is “still under review” by the mayor…I guess he’s hoping the issue will go away if he ignores it. Seems to me that if he allows the painting of a BLM mural on the street he also has to allow a Blue Lives Matter mural.

Similar situation…in Redwood City CA which also has a BLM mural painted on the street…a supporter of the President applied for permission to put up a MAGA 2020 mural since both are primarily political statements. Rather than approve this…the city removed the BLM mural in the middle of the night and claimed that it was always intended to be temporary.

Another one…I couldn’t decide whether this one was politicians lying for political gain or whether it falls under Stupid Finds A Way…it is really both I think. Up in NY…the governor ordered that every voter be mailed a mail in ballot for the primary a few weeks back regardless of whether they asked for it or not…the current state law saw that they are only provided on request by the voter but apparently the governor thinks that he can issue an executive order to over ride the law…but then he complains when the President does essentially the same thing. Anyways…as part of his executive order…he required that each ballot also be sent out with a postage paid envelope for it’s return…so that no voter would not be able to vote because they lacked money for a stamp. 

So…the ballots went out and a whole bunch of them got returned…about 65,000 of them as opposed 40,000 people who voted in person. State law in NY says that mail in ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by a later date. The problem arises because the governor ignored the law, US Post Office procedures, and common sense…of these 65,000 mailed in ballots about 1/3 of them were rejected by elections officials because…and I’m not making this up…the Post Office does not postmark prepaid postage envelopes by rule, they just deliver them. Since they were not postmarked at all…they could not be verified to have been postmarked by Election Day…and hence were declared invalid.

Sounds pretty open and shut to me…the governor should have not sent out prepaid postage envelopes…which would have required a stamp…which would have then been postmarked…which would have then been able to be verified and hence counted. His mistake…because he was not smart enough to do it either the legal way or the right way.

Naturally…voters rights groups have filed a lawsuit to have all of the received absentee ballots counted…essentially their lawsuit demands that state law be ignored because it suits the demands of the lawsuit filers.

There’s a very similar situation down in FL as I discussed in my post about whether the “sentence” of a felon includes paying fines and restitution as specified by the sentencing judge…and I think that eventually the courts will agree with the governor that the law says what it says…and that the problem of the felons who won’t be able to vote because they didn’t pay yet are not the victims of an illegal poll tax but rather the victims of their own non-payment and the failure of the idiots that wrote Amendment 4 to properly research the meaning of the word “sentence” and write their amendment appropriately…my personal guess is that if they had specified only the confinement and probation portions of the sentence they thought that the anti-felon voting folks would have made political points out of the non payment issue so they were trying to sneak one past the voting public and thus Stupid Finds A Way.

Liberals…activists…and the WAMM…are all up in arms over the “federal jack booted thugs” who are “driving around in unmarked vans and grabbing peaceful protesters off the street in Portland”. I’ve got 2 thoughts on this. First…I’ve not seen any non-biased journalism reporting that this kidnapping is actually happening as opposed to arresting violent protesters…everything reported that I’ve seen has been from progressive media outlets who get their panties in a wad over just about everything…I can’t say it isn’t happening but that the jury is still out. Second…I fail to see how using federal law enforcement to protect federal property when the local mayor and governor refuse to do so is a problem. Portland is having a serious violent protester problem…and while I have zero issue with actual peaceful protesters…their right to protest unmolested stops as soon as the first rock or Molotov cocktail is thrown and the right of the government to stop riots starts at the same point. Back in the day when we lived in Fairfax…Chief Ramsey of the Washington DC met with protester leaders when a peaceful protest was scheduled…he did this routinely and said that his officers would exercise restraint as long as the protest remained peaceful. However he also made it clear that the onus was on the leaders of the protest to ensure that it remained peaceful…and that a soon as the first rock was thrown, fire set, or window smashed that his officers would take action. As it turned out…this approach was quite successful…folks could protest the G8 Meeting, have the Million Man March, or whatever then calmly go home when it was over and the city didn’t have riots like Portland is currently undergoing. His “you play nice and we’ll play nice” approach worked.

In the Stupid Finds A Way department.

Now the WAMM is demanding that the Texas Rangers baseball team name is also racist and hence needs to be changed. So with the Redskins gone and perhaps the Rangers following…I took a quick look at the team names for the NFL, NBA, NHL, and major league baseball to see how many others need to go based on political correctness…NFL 9 of 32 teams, NBA 1 of 30, NHL 8 of 31, and baseball 8 of 30.

Really…the WAMM needs to get a grip.

I ran across an Op-Ed by a novelist and journalist from Nigeria…who naturally enough is a black woman. She says that her great grandfather sold slaves…and that the rest of the world needs to get over it. His actions…while against current social/political/legal/whatever norms…were perfectly acceptable under the norms of his time period…and the norms of today will be different 200 years from now and people today should not be judged by those different norms 200 years from now.

I ran across another one as well…this probably falls under the “those in glass houses” category. The family that owns The NY Times…yeah, that famous bastion of liberal propaganda…well back in the day numerous members of the family…well…actually owned slaves and did not set them free immediately. I don’t hear any condemnation of the NYT though…no sirree Bob, only those who are not card carrying WAMM members get blamed for their ancestor’s misdeeds.

I saw this week that another key pillar of the systemic racism we have is…and I’m not making this up…a bias against something called African American English. Now I’ve never heard that particular term until this week…but apparently AAE consists of the refusal to speak in grammatically correct sentences, spell words correctly (at least correctly as the Oxford Dictionary would indicate), and maximization of the usage of the N word and the F word. As I’ve said in previous posts…accents are just fine but expecting the usage of proper grammar really isn’t asking too much. 

Speaking of accents…our new pastor at Saint Therese…well, he’s not actually the pastor yet just the administrator but that is how Bishops do things…they make the new pastor the administrator and after a year or two he becomes the pastor although I’m not sure what the difference is in their ability to run the parish as opposed to being overseen by the bishop for the first year or two I guess…anyway Father Jan Antonik. He’s a pretty nice guy. He is of Polish descent…his parents came here when he was an infant and he is in his mid 40s or so…and I could understand a bit of an accent just like southerners have one or New Yorkers have one or whatever. What I really didn’t expect was that after 40 years living here in the US, attending school, college, seminary, and serving as a priest for 15 years or so that he would still sound like he just got here yesterday. I suppose we’ll get used to him…and I’m not demeaning his accent at all…just surprised that he hasn’t lost a lot of his accent over the years. I know that your accent is pretty well established by the time you’re 5 or so…but since he came as an infant and learned English here I would have expected him to have less of an accent. Maybe he’s just one of those that doesn’t lose it…could be similar to Connie who despite being born and raised in NJ…back when we visited Neil’s parents in AL or his sister who moved to TN…after about 2 days any of his family you would swear she had never left the antebellum south and would be asking her where her hoop skirt was. I dunno.

I saw another post this week that demands that Apple needs to change their mask emoji…you know the little cartoon figure that is used for texting…the claim was that their emoji with the surgical mask on…which predates the CoViD by a couple of years…it is your typical round yellow circle face with eyes and a mask. Anyway…according to the post…the eyes look too similar to the crying emoji with the tear and this clearly means that the mask emoji is sad…and that clearly this is because it has been forced to wear a mask which is making it sad…and so it must be cancelled.

In San Francisco…the former Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art…he’s been forced to resign based on a petition from change.org…because of his toxic white supremacist beliefs. I looked into this…and despite his supposed white supremacist beliefs the petition doesn’t include any examples. His crime…as stated on “more than one occasion” according to the petition…is that he said that he believed that in the selection of art it was important not to exclude the consideration of art created by white men. In other words…he said that art selection should be color blind…but nope, not good enough for the WAMM and he was forced to resign by the museum.

And this in…from the “Love Columnist” (whatever that is) of the LA Times. If any person declines to date from outside their own race…why then they are…you guessed it…racist. The column was clearly referring to the whites who choose for whatever reason not to date blacks, latinos, indigenous people, or asians…but really? Does everything have to be declared racist and cancelled?

Then there was the guy…in Yorktown NY…anyway he was, according to his statement to police shooting target practice in the hallway of his home with his .22 rifle when one of the bullets went through his wall, across to his neighbor’s house, through her wall, and injured her in her shower. Yeah…Stupid Finds A Way.

And finally…it looks like Mr. Biden has completely gone over to the far progressive stand for the upcoming election. First it was his agreement on a many page manifesto with Mr .Sanders on things that need to be in the platform for the fall. Then it was the trillion dollars he wants to spend in the next 10 years on child care. Now he’s saying he will spend 1.5 trillion in the next 15 years to eliminate all fossil fuel electrical power generation by 2035. Yup…every coal, gas, oil, and nuclear power plant will be shut down…all offshore drilling or extraction from already drilled wells will be stopped…and only carbon free power will be allowed.

There are several major…problems with this idea which comes straight from AOC’s Green New Deal but says we’ll go even faster than she demands.

  • It can’t be done without major tax increases and no increase in income tax rates on individuals or corporations will provide enough funds. So they’re going to go with the wealth tax I guess which is (a) patently unconstitutional and (b) would require a massive new government bureaucracy to figure out each year how much your paintings and art were worth so you can have an appropriate amount of your wealth confiscated…again plainly unconstitutional even assuming a government bureaucracy could figure it out.
  • There is simply no means of carbon free electricity generation available in the current or near term that can provide the amount of power needed. There are few remaining places where hydroelectric can be built and while wind and solar can provide some power they can only really be located in adequate numbers in central and south central states…but there is no distribution system currently built that can get that much power from where it is generated to where it is needed. Yes…additional transmission systems can be built but it is just not technically feasible to completely rebuild the US electrical grid in 15 years…not to mention build all new power generation facilities.

So…either the plan is complete bovine end product (or BEP which is a more polite way to say BS and if you don’t know what BS means go google it) or our friends in the Democrat party are lying to us. Me…I’m going with both answers.

Interesting things found on the net.

This guy won 95 million dollars in the Jamaican lottery…and by law down there you have to show up and collect your winnings in person. However…numerous jackpot winners have been robbed over the years so while he had to give his name W. Brown seems pretty innocuous so he decided to make sure nobody knew what he actually looked like.

JamaicanLottoWinner

Socialism

CoyoteWarning

DarthVaderWife

This isn’t really a comment for or against masks…they provide some protection against an infected-but-asymptomatic you from infecting other people and a lesser amount of protection against another infected person giving it to you…but if they’re such a great idea…then why does the box of ear loop masks specifically say that they won’t protect against CoViD?

DoMasksWork

Yeah…I know it’s just legalese BEP…but if masks were such a panacea and always worked as the WAMM says…why the warning?

And finally…there’s a lot to be said for this idea.

CopsNeedMoreTraining

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Reality Based Blogging, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

Life Finds A Way

Quick…where does that quote come from? 

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For those of you that didn’t figger it out…it’s a line spoken by Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcolm in the 1993 film Jurassic Park based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crighton…and yes, according to the interwebs the line is in the novel as well.

Umm…where was I going with this line of thought?

Oh yeah…I remember.

There’s this Italian on twitter with a handle of Massimo who posts as. Rainmaker1973 and. He claims to be an engineer…he posts interesting stuff in the astronomy, astronautics, meteorology, and physics disciplines…and usually they’re pretty interesting. There have been several occasions when he was talking out of his rear end in our opinion from Neil or Connie’s knowledge about submarines, medical technology (oops, clinical laboratory science…she likes that term better than medical technology) or other subjects they’re relatively conversant in…but most of the time he seems pretty much on the money and usually links to original sources.

Anyway…Life Finds A Way…

One of his posts today linked to some research done by Stephen Rossiter who is an evolutionary biologist (whatever that is) at Queen Mary, University of London back in 2010 on bats and dolphins and some additional research finished this year on the genomes of those two animals.

So…what do bats and dolphins have in common.

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. Anybody?

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. Ah…you there in the back.

Yes, you’re absolutely right…they both use sound based echo ranging to navigate, avoid obstacles, and most importantly…find lunch.

Echo Ranging

It turns out that in both of these mammals there are about 200 genes that changed over the evolutionary cycle to produce the ability to create the sound pulses, transmit and receive the echo, and triangulate the location of lunch…and that they turn out to be the same 200 genes in both species. In other words…an airborne mammal and a seaborne one independently evolved the same capability in the same way.

Like Ian said…life finds a way.

Another example…again coming on a post by Massimo.

All mathematicians, practically all scientists/engineers/technical people, and some portion of everybody that doesn’t fall into one of those categories know of the existence of something called a Fibonacci Curve…which is based on the Fibonacci sequence which was discovered/invented/whatever by several folks independently. Indian research has shown that it was known as early as circa 450BC-200BC as the ancient Indian mathematician Pingala wrote about it…but that is relatively obscure and was only figured out in 1985…which is why it is The Fibonacci sequence and not the Pingala sequence. It was made more famous by…and named after…Fibonacci who was an Italian mathematician in the mid 1200s. His actual name was Leonardo Bonacci but he was also known as Leonardo of Pisa, or Leonardo Bigollo Pisano (‘Leonardo the Traveller from Pisa’ in Italian). Fibonacci was coined in 1838 by Italian-Franco historian Guillaume Libri and is a shortened version of filius Bonacci…or son of Bonacci in Italian…and his coinage was based on a 1506 Roman Empire notarized document that mentions Lionardo Fibonacci. Anyways…that’s where the name comes from…and I had no idea that the Roman Empire had notary publics available.

The Fibonacci sequence is a sequence of numbers such that each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers…starting with 0 and 1 as the first two numbers in the sequence. The first few numbers in the sequence are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…and well you get the idea.

The sequence appears widely in nature, music and many other scientific disciplines…for example the shells of the nautilus are based on the sequence…the most well known example is The Fibonacci Spiral  which looks like this.

UntitledImage

And as it turns out…this is closely related to gravity, centripetal, and centrifugal force somehow as you can see in the following image.

UntitledImage

Anyway…that’s enough science for today…lemme see what else I can free associate about.

Ah…well, just like Life Finds A Way…it is also true that Stupid Finds A Way. And by stupid here I’m really talking only somewhat about stupid and also about misleading “journalism” articles.

Vogue magazine…as you can see
here
…has a profile of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles in their August issue…and a photo (well, actually two different photos depending on which version gets delivered to your door if you’re a subscriber or to your newsstand if you get it that way) of Ms. Biles. Immediately after the issue was released…you guessed it…the WAMM was out in force decrying the image on the cover. Criticism from this “broad spectrum of voices” which includes one the NYT National Picture Editor and the founder of Black Women Photographers…doesn’t seem like a very broad spectrum to me but that’s not really germane to the stupid here…anyway the photographer supposedly did Ms. Biles a disservice by the photographer who “washed out her skin tone and made the images look muted”…and this same broad spectrum says that Vogue should have hired a black photographer as it would be better from both an ethical standpoint as well as because only black photographers know how to properly light black skin.

Now I’ve looked at the images on the cover in the linked article above…and I also googled for images of Ms. Biles and to me it pretty much looks like her skin color is about the same in both…albeit the cover images have a few more spectral highlights in them…which is…ummm…what pretty much all Vogue and other magazine cover photos have in them so as to provide some visual pop sitting on the newsstand.

No…what this is really about is the supposed “better from an ethical standpoint” of hiring a black photographer…and here is where the stupid goes off the rails.

This supposedly incompetent photographer…who doesn’t know how to light black skin despite having photographed many black folks including President Obama and his family, Whoopi Goldberg, LeBron James, Rihanna, Joan Armitrading, and Serena Williams among others. This supposedly incompetent photographer has a string of awards as long as your arm and literally dozens of photos you would immediately recognize if I posted them all here (but I can’t because of copyright of course)

The name of this incompetent boob…who clearly has no idea how to light black skin for a photograph…and clearly has no idea of how to produce final images that I’m quite sure were approved first by the photographer, then by numerous folks on the Vogue staff up to and including the publisher and Ms. Biles herself…

Annie Leibovitz…yeah, she’s incompetent all right. I can’t say that I think much of her politics but to infer that she’s incompetent and Vogue should have hired a black photographer who would know better is…well…stupid finds a way.

And yes…the twitter rabble is right…in some of the photos in the profile Ms. Biles skin does appear darker…but perhaps that is because of the mood that Ms. Biles, the photographer, the editor, and the picture editor wanted for those particular images.

Nah…it is incompetence…the WAMM has spoken.

You probably saw on the news this week how Florida has 15,000 new cases of the CoViD on Sunday and how this is clearly proof that the state opened back up too soon. However…lost in the agenda were several facts which would have enabled one to actually make a determination of whether this 15,000 number was significant or not. First…the more tests you do…the more positive results you will get and since testing is increasing then QED the number of cases will be increasing. Second…and more important really…is that the 15,000 new cases number gives no indication as to what testing method or methods were used. There are several of these and basically cases are broken down into people that have active infections and people that used to have an active infection which may or may not have been symptomatic but now those recovered people have antibodies against the virus. Now those antibodies may or may not be long lasting…that isn’t fully known yet by medical researchers…but positive antibody tests are classified as “new cases” according to guidelines…and unless you know how many of those new cases were “recovered but have antibodies” cases it is impossible to know the significance of “15,000 new cases”. I think it’s fairly safe that active infections (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) are increasing in the state…but incomplete data provided by the state is just allowing the WAMM to go on and on about “skyrocketing cases” and “the state needs to shut down again”.

Looking at the data…the spike on Sunday was on July 12…which just happens to be the weekend after the Independence Day weekend. Yes…the governor allowed the beaches to reopen as well as bars for the holiday…but he did order masks in the bars and proper social distancing. Unfortunately…too many idiots went out en masse to drink themselves into a stupor while either in a crowded bar or crowded beach and paid no attention to social distancing. So…infected on Saturday, 4 days or so to start feeling bad and go get a test, another 3 days or so for the test results to come back and get reported to the state…and magically 8 days later the number of cases goes up.

Should the beaches and bars have remained closed? Well…as I’ve said before national, state, and local leaders have to weigh both the public health issues, economic issues, and the solvency of businesses that rely on summer tourism when making these decisions…and then they make the best decision they can. That’s what the governor here did…and he allowed limiting with restrictions…which if you saw the news reports were clearly ignored by the vast majority of the folks on the beach…which were primarily fairly young adults from what I saw but then they are always a majority of the people on the beach or getting hammered at the trendy drinking establishments. Like I said…stupid finds a way.

Then there are the out and out lies in support of an agenda…like whether or not voting by mail is a good thing or a bad thing. Like most other debates…there are pros and cons on both sides and each side has some valid points while ignoring the valid points that the other side has. Connie and Neil voted absentee many times through his Naval career…but I have to agree with the side that says that there is a potential for fraudulent balloting if the state mails every voter an absentee ballot. Not necessarily a fact that it will happen…but there is a higher possibility. There are ways around this…and most states and localities have rules on requesting, submitting, and validation of absentee ballots to try and eliminate these as much as possible…but the other side is vehemently against these rules in general as well as being vehemently against voter ID laws.

Now me…I have no problem with voter ID laws…after all you need an ID to buy booze, cigarettes, lottery tickets, drive a car, cash a check, and many other things in modern life…and voting is (a) the right and responsibility of all citizens as well as (b) one of the most important things we do in life…so I have no issue at all with requiring a voter to prove who he/she is before voting so as to verify that they are citizens of the US and thereby eligible to vote as well as to ensure that he/she votes once and only once. 

However…the other side has at least a semblance of a valid point that getting an ID is costly…so it is my opinion that the state issued ID for voting purposes as well as booze purchases and all the other things requiring an ID listed above should be relatively inexpensive and available at any DMV office or county courthouse. The only thing that needs to be paid for is the relatively inexpensive birth certificate to prove citizenship…not necessary if you’re a naturalized citizen but then you were provided proof of that when it happened and the relatively low cost of the ID itself. Yes…it might require the voter to take time off from work…and it might require transportation to the ID issuing place…but let’s be real. None of that is very expensive…and the same costs are applicable to everybody that needs the ID…black/white/brown/yellow, man/woman, rich/poor, whatever. For the other side to claim that voter ID laws are “systemic voter suppression” is just disingenuous as they’re ignoring the fact that voting is one of the most important rights we have. Speaking of ID though…since multiple forms of “they probably already have one of these” ID are accepted…if the poor suppressed voters in the inner cities have no ID…I wonder how they buy their Colt Malt Liquor or lottery tickets…or drive their car?

Where was I going with this…oh yeah, absentee ballots. There is an article
here
…the headline says “100,000 mail-in votes went uncounted in California’s primary”…and the first couple of paragraphs…which is all most people read if they get past the headlines before going straight to the comments section to voice their outrage…kind of imply that these ballots were rejected by state officials and that “highlights a glaring gap in the state’s effort to ensure every vote is counted”.

It then goes on to talk a bit about how this is a debate between making sure that every vote is counted and the efforts of Republican lawmakers to suppress the vote…and how absentee voting rules need to be relaxed to ensure that every voter gets a mail in ballot in the mail and has a chance to have “every vote counted”.

Now I’m all for having all the votes counted…but first one has to make sure that they’re valid ballots. At the polls this is generally done by crossing the voter’s name off of the list for the precinct…but in today’s “let’s allow them to vote anyplace” environment I guess they make a pencil and paper list for folks not registered for that precinct…and I’m not sure how a voter is prevented from going to every precinct and voting more than once as given the efficiency of most government bureaucracies I’m not convinced they would get found out if they did but whatever.

Finally…the article gets down to the reason the ballots weren’t counted…and amazingly enough, assuming you managed to read that far…it wasn’t due to voter suppression…it was due to voter stupidity.

Of the 100,000 ballots that were rejected…it was actually a total of 102,428 which was about 1.7% of the 7 million ballots returned…70,330 of them failed to be returned within the specified time limit which was on or before Election Day or within three days after Election Day. Another 27,525 either did not have the voter signature on the clearly indicated line on the envelope or else the signature on the envelope did not match the signature on file for the voter…which means that someone else signed it for them which is against the law. There were more than 800 ballots received that did not actually have the ballot inside the envelope. For those of you who’ve never voted absentee…you fill out your ballot which is then placed in a sleeve to hide it from view and the sleeve is placed in the envelope. The outside of the envelope is filled out with your name, address, and signature across the flap where it is sealed and then it goes into the mail. On receipt of the ballot…it is first examined to see if the outside of the envelope is correctly filled out with the matching signature and that the voter is a properly registered voter…if not it goes in the rejected pile and most states re-review those to have a second review on signature match criteria. If it matches…the envelope is opened and the sleeve is removed and typically the sleeve goes into a sealed box that is locked up when not actually being filled with sleeves. The envelopes go into another sealed box for later review if necessary…but there is no correlation between a sleeve in the one box and the envelope in the other box to ensure the voter for an individual ballot remains anonymous but verified registered.

So…those 100,000 ballots that weren’t counted…stupid finds a way.

I can only imagine the problems the PRC will have in the fall since Governor Newsom signed a law requiring a ballot be mailed to every one of the 21 million registered voters in the state…and I can pretty much guarantee you based on governmental bureaucracy morons that if a person voted both in person and via the mail in ballot they would have a very good chance of being undetected.

Back in the day when Neil and Connie were first married and through most of his Navy career they were registered voters in Florida. When he retired in the early 90s they re-registered in Virginia…but we received absentee ballots for just about every election held from then up until we sold the house in VA and because SD registered voters. So…they could have voted twice and gotten away with it. Never did…but it is illustrative of the problems that one side says could happen and we need to make provisions to eliminate them…while the other side says we need to make every vote count without making sure they are valid votes or even allowed to vote.

There’s a controversy in Florida over whether or not convicted felons in the state can vote in November…the court case is currently pending. Back in 2018 the states voters passed Amendment 4 which restored the voting rights of most convicted felons. The amendment states that “any disqualification from voting arising from a felony conviction shall terminate and voting rights shall be restored upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation.” Notice that the amendment says nothing about fines and restitution being paid. Subsequent to this…the legislature passed and the governor signed a law that required fines and restitution to be paid as well…since when sentence is imposed it includes some combination of prison, probation, fines, and restitution…the important thing is that the financial penalties are part of the sentence. That makes perfect sense to me…after all the judge says “I hereby sentence you to and puts in the things in the sentence including fines and restitution”…so to me it is perfectly clear that the financial penalties are part of the sentence.

Naturally…the WAMM and Democratic Party sees it the other way…which is what their lawsuit is about. Me…I think that legally the state is right and the courts will rule that “I hereby sentence you” includes all of the following restrictions regardless of whether all of the restrictions are listed in the amendment text. Stupid finds a way…here illustrated by the poorly written amendment…but then this is the same party that had their leadership say about the Obamacare Act…”we have to pass it so we can see what is in it”. 

On the RV sales front…we’ve had our rig listed for sale on rvtrader.com but so far have only had a half dozen inquiries. All but one of them we responded to the initial inquiry and never heard back from them…but then we had the last one which actually turned out to to be at least a semblance of a real offer…at least until we started talking about it with…well let’s just call him E.

When we priced the rig we went through the NADA pricing guide and got the average retail price for a rig our age, make and model, and equipment and then compared that to several known sales of similar age and configuration of New Horizons rigs…and then priced ours a bit under the average retail price hoping to encourage buyers.

So E comes in and asks a few questions which Neil answers and then decides to put in an offer. He says that he “ran the numbers”…and never revealed how he got those numbers…and proceeds to declare that the actual worth is about 12K less than our asking price…so he offers to put that much in escrow plus another 5K to cover our paying for the transport of the rig to Idaho for his approval using escrow.com…they also offer a title/payment transfer service to protect both sides.

E’s idea is that he puts the offer plus 5K in escrow, we send in the signed title to escrow.com, and then we arrange for transport to Idaho for his approval of the rig as specified in the inspection report. He sends us this email at ab out 1800 Idaho time and the next morning at about 0600 Idaho time we get another email specifying that he has 3 quotes for the transport from 2800 to 5,250 and has a quote for inspection of 500. At this point we start to get funny thoughts as getting those 4 quotes overnight…for a person who said on the phone that he just sold his house and needs the RV asap to live in…well getting quotes that quickly overnight and offering more like wholesale price rather than retail price starts to smell like a guy looking to flip the rig and make some profit. Nothing wrong with that…but be honest about it.

We have another several emails back and forth talking about the escrow and Neil explains to him that we want to protect both sides and that if we have signed over the title and sent it in to escrow.com, don’t have the money, and give physical custody of the rig to the transport service for him to approve in Idaho before the funds get released provides no protection to us at all. We told him that one of two methods would work. He could fly down and close the same here and then transport was on his dime…or we could use the escrow service to swap the signed title and the funds and he would then have title to and ownership of the rig here in Florida and he could arrange transport. He claimed that “if he has the title then we could give the transport company some old piece of junk rather than what was on the title”…Neil explained to him that would mean we could go to jail for auto theft or fraud or whatever and we had no interest in that. Neil reiterated the two sales closing options that were acceptable to us…and further stated that he would be happy to serve as his agent to give the keys and rig to the transport service or that E could pay the campground manager a couple hundred bucks to take possession for him and give it to the transport service.

That’s the last we heard from E.

So…still for sale at this point.

A couple more images from the past since I got no new ones.

Snow Egret with his golden slippers…I think this one was from up in SC someplace as it doesn’t look like the right vegetation that we would see here in southern FL.

D71 1162

D71 1121

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Connie on a hike…this one is definitely from SC so the others probably are as well.

D71 1116

Interesting things found on the net

Everybody has heard of fire breathing dragons…but I betcha never seen a fire breathing polar bear before. And didja know that a polar bear is actually not white at all…it’s jus’ a trick? Yep…the fur is translucent and the coat is about 5 or 6 inches thick…and the skin underneath is black because in the cold climate the black skin absorbs more heat from sunlight than white would…this is also why the fur is translucent so the sunlight will penetrate through to the skin. Ima tryin to lern y’all sum stuf every day ya know.

Those readers who are familiar with the 23 novel science-fantasy series “The Dragonriders of Pern” written originally by Anne McCaffery starting in 1967, jointly with her middle son from 2003 until Anne’s death in 2012 and by the son thereafter will…as do I…(a) wonder just where the heck in the arctic they found firestone, (b) will recognize this as a male since chewing firestone makes females sterile and hence they use nitric acid sprayers to eliminate thread instead, and (c) will recognize that the cold adaptations of a polar bear make him most excellently suited for the cold of between. (Editor note: green dragons are female but they chew firestone and are sterile since their smaller size means they are unable to keep up with golden dragons on mating flights…bronzes, browns and the smallest blues are male…there’s also a single white named Jason which is either male or neuter as gender isn’t specified…but I digress.)

FireBreathingPolarBear

You’ve seen some talk on the news about defunding the police since a lot of their missions are better handled by crisis counselors, meter maids, or social workers. We think this is probably a good idea as police aren’t trained for some of the situations they’re placed in…but in order to do it you’ll need a whole system setup so that social workers are on shift and available 24×7. And they’ll need to proceed to the call either with or along with the police response because you never really know from the 911 call exactly what services are required…and since the social workers will be unarmed and are female more likely than not they really need officers along in case a situation turns violent…I would not want to be the chief of police in a city where the police did not respond, the social worker did, and the social worker got raped and murdered by the psycho. Anyway…

DefundingPolice

I need me sum of dees back to school supplies.

BackToSchoolSupplies

Jus’ wunderin here…

TrumpMasks

NoMilkCow

In other news tangentially related to this one…apparently another cause of the rampant systemic racism in the justice system is because cops, prosecutors, juries, and judges have an implicit bias against AAE…that’s African American English…or what a progressive would call the inability due to lack of education or refusal to speak in complete sentences that make sense. Case in point…Neil grew up in the south and we lived in Charleston SC for awhile so he is quite familiar with southern, black southern, and normal patois and he also has a passing familiarity with Gullah which is a pigeon English spoken on some small islands off the coast of GA or SC…can’t remember which. Anyway…back when he was a contractor working at Suitland Federal Center in MD which is over in a prosperous but majority black part of town south and east of Washington DC…he and a USMC buddy of his frequently went running at noontime off of the base. Down near the river right across from the old RFK Stadium where the Redskins used to play there was this little store with a sign out front that advertised “B and S…Market, Deli, Liquor Store, and VD Clinic”. Normally he and Rick would be shirtless and in shorts and running shoes only…and there were these two…well ancient is the best description of their age that comes to mind…anyway there were these two elderly black gentlemen that sat outside the store on the veranda most days in rocking chairs. Every time Neil and Rich went past these two gentlemen waved and called to them…they were obviously being friendly so Neil and Rich waved back and answered them. 

And to this day…despite being from the South where these two gentlemen were obviously from and thus he should have known…he has no idea what those two gentlemen were actually saying…maybe they wuz speaking AAE I guess.

TylenolBan

And finally…this one which Connie’s choir director posted and I thought it was appropriate to pass along as I know that several of our regular readers are choir singers at their church of choice.

ChoirPracticeCommandments

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…

Yeah…corona, protests, racism, political hatred…or you fill-in-the-blank-here.

For example…my two web friends…well I will just call them N and G and I won’t give you their web sites to protect the. Guilty and since this is just my observation based on reading their pages since the corona started…although I’ve been following both of their pages since before we hit the road in 2012.

Now N and G…well they used to be best friends for 20 years at least based on what they used to say in their blogs. Both were full time RVers for a long time although one of them has hung up the keys as they say in the biz. One of them is the computer guy and the other is not the computer guy…so the former ran for many years the web site and domain for the latter. They both frequently talked about the other in their posts…but suddenly back in April or so they quit doing that and one of them has mentioned several times that the corona has cost him his best friend.

So…I asked myself…how did this happen. After about 10 microseconds of thought…it is completely due to the corona.

Now this isn’t a commentary either way on masks, various corona medical treatments, the pro/cons of social distancing or anything that far out…it is a commentary on the absolute refusal of people on different sides of an issue to admit that the other side has some valid points or to allow the other side to have an opinion that differs from theirs.

One of these two gents…well he’s right up front that masks and social distancing are the only thing saving lives. He says that after losing 3 (or maybe 4 or 5) close friends and/or relatives to the virus that his mind is made up and if you don’t like you can go to H E double toothpicks. He continually rants about the lack of either masks or social distancing on the few times when he and his bride go out…but they rarely go out. I didn’t count them up but you could probably count the number of times since February that they’ve been out on one hand.

The other one…well, he’s the other side. He’s the only one that gives any indication of his politics on the blog…and it is pretty clear that he is conservative. However…his arguments on a variety of topics…social distancing, the HCL drug combination, and the severity of the virus mostly these days…are supported by references to other web sites…some of which are what I would deem reliable but some of them are conservative sites and they…just like the progressive ones…slant their coverage, selectively use facts, and phrase their coverage to suit their agenda.

The real drawback is that these two former friends have fallen out…just because neither will accept any validity in the other one’s positions…although from recent posts both pretty much blame the ruckus on da udder guy.

I’ve thought several times about whether I should comment and tell them both to grow up…but decided it just wasn’t worth it. Nope…not atall.

It is a pity though.

Let’s see what else is is in the news.

In Copenhagen Denmark there is a statue of a mermaid named “The Little Mermaid” which is 107 years old and gets a million visitors a year. It celebrates the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Anderson. It has been vandalized before and beheaded twice by anti-whaling demonstrators and pro democracy activists…although to be honest I’m not sure how it either promotes or denigrates either whaling or democracy but whatever. Apparently it is now also
racist
. Some idiots…er, peaceful protesters…defaced it as a “racist fish” this past week. Now I’m not sure that a mermaid qualifies as a fish…but then again I’m not sure it doesn’t either…and again…whatever. Apparently from a bit of research on the interwebs…the reason it is racist according to unnamed activists is that when Disney did a live action remake (whatever that is) of the 1989 animated film of the same name they cast Halle Bailey, a young black girl. Now mebbe it’s jus’ me…but how is casting a black girl in the titular role racist?

In Baltimore…a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down and tossed into the harbor…while the police just stood around and watched. When the chief of police was discussing this at a post riot press conference…he stated that the police were there to protect lives and not to protect statues…but when asked who made the decision not to protect the statue he refused to answer. So…either he made it and is too gutless to admit it…or the mayor made it and he decided not to toss the mayor under the bus. Supposedly…Columbus statues need to be torn down because he oppressed Native Americans even though he never set foot in North America. However…if he is racist and Robert E. Lee is racist…then we need to get rid of a whole bunch of statues and memorials…Washington, Jefferson, Martin Luther King although he was probably more accurately described as a serial adulterer than a racist…but if we can only have statues or memorials for perfect people…then we’re going to have to tear down a whole passle of them and rename a whole lotta streets. A nice article on whether only perfect people can be  honored is
here
.

According to this article…using the word sequence “white attack on black” is enough to get your video podcast removed from YouTube due to their algorithm. Croatian chess player Antonio Radic has posted over 1,800 videos over the past three years…and his video analysis of a match with Japanese born American player Hikaru Nakamura was banned for that. He thinks that his entire catalog of videos with over 275 million views will be taken down because in his words “every one of them is a black versus white to the death match”

In another SCOTUS decision…they voted 9-0…how often do the liberals and conservatives agree…that a state may at it’s sole discretion require their presidential electors to vote for the popular vote winner in their state and that rogue or faithless electors cannot just vote for whoever they please. This ruling came down in a suit by 2016 electors from Colorado and Washington who cast their votes for somebody other than the state winner and were then punished by the state for that. Naturally…according to Time Magazine this decision completely invalidates the Electoral College and conclusively proves that the 270 coalition that is attempting to end run around the constitution by telling those electors to vote for the national popular vote winner instead of their state winner is absolutely constitutional. The trouble is…as we’ve discussed herein before…the EC prevents the large coastal states and cities from choosing the President with little say from the flyover states. As of this writing…15 states and Washington DC (although Colorado has withdrawn from the pact) totaling 196 EC votes…have approved the pact but it is unlikely they will get the remaining EC votes they need as it is almost all large coastal states…which were the very reason the EC was put into constitution in the first place. Now whether the whole idea of the 270 coalition is actually constitutional in the first place is questionable…as well as whether it requires congressional consent in addition to the various states consent. However…since the SCOTUS won’t take up the case until the inevitable suit if it ever comes to pass how they would rule is unknown…not to mention the contention of the various states who have not withdrawn from the agreement that Colorado’s initial joining was inviolable and cannot be withdrawn. What it really comes down to is that one political party decided it was too hard to amend the constitution and is trying to do an end run around it…very similar to the debates over guns, abortion, school choice, and pretty much every other issue our political parties disagree on.

Down in Mississippi…the peaceful demonstrators are now demonstrating because…they got their way. About
15 months ago
…the student body at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) voted to remove a statue of a confederate soldier that black people didn’t like. That’s perfectly fine…and the university decided to adopt the recommendation and move the statue. However, rather than destroy it the university is…using private funds…moving it to a nearby cemetery for Confederate soldiers and is also paying…again with private funds…to provide headstones for currently unmarked graves, installation of lighting, and installation of a security system at the cemetery. Naturally…the protesters are now out demanding that this plan be dismissed and the statue destroyed…no word on whether they think the graves should be disinterred and the coffins tossed into the Gulf. They’re also unhappy that the statue on campus of James Meredith…the first black enrollee at the campus in 1962…doesn’t include wording on the associated plaque that slavery was the sole and central issue in the Civil War but just honors him as the first black student at the university. And oh yeah…Mississippi state law prohibits the destruction or removal of war memorials. And another oh yeah…the plan to move it to and renovate the cemetery was agreed to by both faculty, administration, and student leadership.

But wait…it isn’t just peaceful demonstrators that make the news…it’s stupid people too.

At
Mather Point near the Grand Canyon South Rim
…Maria A. Salgado Lopez, 59, of Scottsdale, AZ…well she was hiking…off trail and outside the railings this past week…here’s what it looks like.

Screen Shot 2020 07 09 at 11 58 21 AM

And…she fell off and killed herself. We’re still under last year’s total though…which was 2 people falling off the rim of the canyon to their death.

In
Yellowstone National Park
last week…a 72 year old woman was gored by a bison in their campground. There’s video in the article taken by the folks in the neighboring campsite which clearly shows that the woman approached the bison almost close enough to pet it so her husband could take a photo. She ignored the huffing and foot stamping that a bison does as a warning and approached the animal multiple times. Eventually the bison lost patience and charged her, tossing her 10 or 15 feet and goring her. She was airlifted to a hospital and subsequently treated and released. I get she learned her lesson…and won’t do that again.

This
woman
…well, she decided that she needed to have her photo taken with a grizzly bear…so she just walked on up. Take a look at the video…luckily for her it was just a mock charge to get her to move away since the bear can clearly run faster than she can.

And the final bit o’ news for the day…and I’m sure that you’ll be heartbroken over this announcement…the NYC Staten Island Deer Vasectomy Project has been placed on hold until at least June 2021 due to budget cuts and the fact that they found more deer to perform surgery on than they planned on. Yes…you heard that right. NYC…despite their budget deficits…has spent $6.6 million over the past 5 years to sterilize white tailed deer. However “During these unprecedented times, we have been tasked with making difficult decisions especially as it pertains to our budget” according to Parks Department spokeswoman Charisse Hill. Apparently a lot of buck deer get killed on the roads during the mating season…so snipping the family jewels takes care of this. Ima not sure quite how that works…after all Neil had the same surgery years ago and he still participates in the mating season. They do specify vasectomy and not castration…the latter would clearly reduce the mating urge…but just because you are shooting blanks doesn’t mean you don’t want to fire off a few rounds…KnowhutImean Vern.

OK…let’s have a few photos. We have a new sighting in the pond out back of our lanai…a Green Heron. Haven’t been able to get a photo of it yet…but here are a couple of older photos of Green Herons (well, actually the same individual) so this is what it would have looked like if I had a photo of this one. Greens are about 17 inches tall…or about 1/2-2/3 the size of the Snowy Egret and about 40% of the size of a Great Egret…and they’re relatively short necked like Night Herons and Bitterns rather than long necked like Snowy, Great, and Great Blue Herons.

DSC 3339

DSC 3333

They’re relatively uncommon compared to Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons and probably even uncommon compared to Night Herons…at least in our experience. They tend to hide in brush a lot more rather than stand out in the open water.

No other new shots…Connie’s in the midst of a bout of diverticulitis which she gets occasionally and is on some heavy duty antibiotics. Unfortunately…this means that she needs to stay no more than 5 seconds away from a bathroom and even this ain’t enough…we been doing a lot of laundry these past 10 days. She’s only got another day on the meds and then probably 2 or 3 days for her GI system to get back to normal…and she’s got a follow up appointment on Monday to review the results from this week’s CT scan and lab work.

So…here’s a few blasts from the past.

The Wailua River in Kauai in Hawaii…from our first trip there I believe which was in 2002…taken…I think but it was from before my time on the road with them and I’m relying on Neil and Connie’s memory…but they’ve both got CRS (can’t remember s***) so who knows for sure if it was the first time or the second time…from near the Opaeka’a Falls overlook. We later kayaked up this river to the spot where Indiana Jones swung on the rope swing out over the river before getting into his seaplane and escaping from the hostile natives…Neil swung out on that same swing and we were amazed how much narrower the river was than it appeared in the movie.

20020212 Kauai 005 2 Luminar4 edit

Another from our first trip…the Nepali Coast up on the north side of the island. As you proceed counterclockwise from the main city of Lihue on the southeast corner of the island, you pass the Hanalei Valley and NWR before you get to the rugged, mostly unoccupied Nepali Coast. The Hanalei Valley is the name sake and basis for the Land of Honalee in the famous song ‘bout the dragon.

20020214 Kauai 122 Luminar4 edit

The main hall in the Trinity College Library in Dublin Ireland from our trip in 2014…pretty darned neat place if you ask us. It was one of the things on Connie’s bucket list for that trip.

DSC 5047 Luminar4 edit

These are actually 3 different Ospreys from 3 different locations…

D71 1867 Luminar4 edit

D71 1886

D71 1907 Luminar4 edit 2

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Have you ever seen a silencer for an artillery cannon? Figured you had not so here’s what they look like.

ArtillerySilencer

Takeout lunch for sharks.

TakeOutLunch

In Wales in the UK…there is a village in the Isle of Anglesey. They decided they wanted the longest place name in the UK so they came up with a 58 character village name which translated into English means “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the fierce whirlpool of St Tysilio of the red cave”. Unfortunately…their chosen name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is far from being the longest place name in the world…that honor…if you can give it that word…falls to the 163 character long town of Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayamahadilokphopnopparatrajathaniburiromudomrajaniwesmahasatharnamornphimarnavatarnsathitsakkattiyavisanukamprasit located in Thailand. Here’s the sign at their railroad station.

WelshTownName

There is a chemical known as sodium citrate…which is used to make cheese sauce creamy and velvety…you know, kinda like the cheese you get on your chips and under the jalapeños and cheese in Mexican eateries and most bars. What you might not know is the chemical formula for sodium citrate…it is clearly destined for this usage.

SodiumCItrateFormula

And finally…American comedian and country musician Gary Mule Deer and frequent Late Show with David Letterman guest was giving an after dinner talk at the Myrtle Beach SC Golf Club back in 2012. The link to the full video is
here
…but if you just want the transcript here it is.

Imagine this…you’re playing for the club championship and it’s all square after the 17th hole but you have the honors on the 18th tee. You tee it up on the par 4 hole and hit a magnificent drive 320 yards dead center down the fairway. Your opponent hits his tee shot and it’s a horrible slice going about 200 yards down and way off in the woods to the right.

Being a fair sort of guy you help him hunt for his ball in the woods for about 10 minutes before suggesting that perhaps the ball should be declared lost…which means he would go back and hit another tee shot but with the penalty stroke would be laying 3 after the 2nd tee shot and thus very likely to lose the hold, the match, and the championship.

He says he’ll look a couple more minutes and then head back but you should go ahead and play your next shot. So…you go out into the fairway and hit a nice wedge to about 10 feet from the pin. Just as you pick up your bag…you hear the cry “Found it” from the woods and a ball comes flying out rolling to a stop about 6 inches from the hole.

So now you have the Golfer’s Dilemma…do you let him tap in for birdie and likely lose the hole, match, and championship unless you can make your 10 footer for birdie. Or…do you take the cheating bastard’s ball out of your pocket and show it to him.

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Reality Based Blogging, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

Like Sands Through The Hourglass…

Or…mebbe just SSDD if you’re familiar with that particular military acronym…or mebbe Groundhog Day…or maybe just Quarantine Day…lemme see…109, that’s it…I had to go and look at the calendar and do the math.

What’s going on ‘round these parts.

Nuttin…bupkus…nada…squat…any of those pretty adequately describes it.

The Elks is shut down again…the governor down here in FL authorized bars to reopen as long as social distancing was followed. Naturally…some morons, mostly the young…packed the bars and the virus cases “spiked”. More on that later, but they did go up. So now they’re closed again. We did get out one night to the lodge in between the opening and closing but that was it.

We saw a pretty neat thing this week on the interwebs…Neil’s Internet acquaintance Gary from Everything Everywhere was where he saw it first but on doing a bit of research it seems Gary is right.

When you talk about Presidents…the 10th who was John Tyler…the one that begat the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler Too…is not one of the most revered one although he gets a worse rap from the progressives these days than is deserved…but this really has nothing to do with his policies but rather his family. He was born in 1790, died in 1862, and was the 10th President from 1841-1845. It turns out that his grandchildren are still alive today in 2020…158 years after his death. There is a tradition in the men of the Taylor family that they mostly have had 2nd wives much younger than themselves after becoming widowers. So John’s 2nd wife Julia gave birth to a son named Lyon Gardiner Tyler in 1853 when he was 63. Lyon grew up, married, she died, and his second wife gave birth to Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924 and Harrison Ruffing Tyler in 1928.

As well as we can figure out…both Lyon Jr. and Harrison are still alive in 2020. Neil and Gary independently did some research after seeing the various web articles  and both of them found articles interviewing Harrison in 2018 with reference to his living brother Lyon Jr. Nothing newer than that turned up…but given the previous press coverage and the singular nature of them still being alive it seems like there would have been some coverage of their deaths…and Gary searched for but did not find an obituary for either of them…so it appears they’re still alive.

Think about that…a single family where the grandfather and his grandson have encompassed just about the entire history if the United States…pretty darned cool I think.

Anyway…let’s see what else is in the news starting with the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Fauci…as you’ve probably seen he’s reversed course several times since January on masks and various other virus related things…as well he should because your best professional opinion based on science should change as you find new information. Anyway…he was testifying before a House panel this week while wearing a mask…and based on the spike in cases in some states…he stated that masks should be worn at all times outside or inside unless you are at home with known non carriers. After his testimony was over he stood up behind the witness table …and clearly thought that he was no longer visible on camera but it turned out that was inaccurate as you can see from this captured still from the video.

FauciMask

So…is that “do as I do” or “do as I say”…sure seems like he’s violating his own recommendation to me.

Remember a while back there was the whole brouhaha over the anti malarial drug HCL or hydroxychloroquine…you know, the one the President recommended and then was belittled by the press and left because “it doesn’t work”…and then a bunch of studies came out that supposedly proved it did not work despite some colloquial evidence that it did have some effect…and even Dr. Fauci stated that it had no effect on the virus? Yeah…I remember too.

So imagine my shock when I saw reference to two studies released this week…one from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit published in the peer reviewed journal International Journal of Infectious Diseases and the second one from the John Hopkins Medical System published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, another peer reviewed journal. Both of these studies showed that HCL cut the death rate by half and the first one found no serious heart abnormalities…you know, those deadly effects that the WAMM and Dr. Fauci said were the reason it should not be used.

Now I’m not saying that HCL is the panacea that the President said it was…but then based on the anecdotal evidence since March it really isn’t the completely ineffective snake oil that the WAMM has said it is either. Used appropriately…and apparently in combination with zinc and another antibiotic it appears to help in some cases. And since it has been around for 100ish years and is a widely used antimalarial drug…it clearly has been deemed safe by the FDC for usage and is not the killer drug the WAMM claims…could it be that the primary reason for it being “bad” is TDS? Who knows? 

It also turns out that the CDC numbers for cases are based on two different kinds of data…one for actual virus tests that show actual ongoing infections and the second based on tests for antibodies that one has after you recover from the disease.

Various states have been combining these two types of data in various ways to get their numbers for “cases” and “deaths”…and while actual cases are still going up based on hospitalizations and ICU occupancy rates…some of the “spike” is certainly attributable to people that had the disease, recovered with no or mild symptoms, and how show antibodies when tested. Further…the CDC also announced this week that “A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.” In other words…there is some instance of false positive cases since apparently colds are a member of the family of viruses known as corona viruses…they’re so named because microscopically they appear to be roundish shaped with spikes coming-out resembling the spikes on a crown. This means that some of the “spike” is likely attributable to these false positives…but how much (as well as how much is due to the post infection antibody testing) is unknown.

If you read in the news…you’ll probably see that Texas, Florida, Arizona, and the Peoples Republic of California are the current hot spots where these spikes are happening…and you’ll also read how the governors of Texas Florida, and Arizona are completely responsible for the “spike” because they reopened or partially reopened their state…but you’ll also read how the governor of the PRC is showing tremendous courage in battling the spike. What I want to know is…why is it that states with Republican governors are doing so poorly according to the WAMM while states with Democratic governors are showing tremendous courage according to the WAMM? Could it be that they have an agenda?

As I’ve said before…governors and Presidents have to weigh a variety of factors in making decisions. In a perfect world…we would all wear masks and stay home hoping that eventually there is a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine against the virus. In an imperfect world…they have to deal with a bunch of other pesky problems besides public health…the economy, unemployment, not bankrupting the state or federal government, dealing with protests, dealing with people who want to abolish the police. As a result…sometimes they have to take into account “the needs of the many over the needs of the few” and make decisions that can best approach the entirety of a situation.

Masks…you should wear them even though they’re mostly effective in preventing you from infecting other people if you are infected and non symptomatic rather than protecting you from other people although they do provide some protection against the latter. They’re all well and good…but then they’re well and good for everybody. Why is it that Presidential rallies in a sparsely and partially filled auditorium are “hotbeds of infection” while mass protests while unmasked outdoors and mass parties in occupied portions of Seattle have been conclusively shown to not result in infections…at least according to The NY Times and other WAMM articles.

You might have also seen on the news a report from Michigan that has a headline like “White Couple Pulls Guns and Threatens Black Woman and her Daughter in Chipotle Parking Lot”…along with selectively edited portions of the video. And if you just look at the video in the article…you might conclude that the couple went out of their way to threaten this woman and her daughter. However…before coming that conclusion…google a bit and find the entire video and you might come to a different conclusion. I did…and it appears that the woman’s daughter and the wife in the couple bumped into each other sometime before the video starts…and the mother is screaming and demanding an apology and calling the woman a racist. The woman calmly tells her that nobody is racist but clearly neither woman is listening to the other. The woman’s husband comes around the car and gets her inside so they can leave…then starts to back out of the parking space. At this point…the offended black mother goes and stands directly behind the car to prevent them from leaving and bangs on the rear windshield of the car. Following that…the white woman who appears terrified in the video gets out of the car and pulls her weapon…for which she has a concealed carry permit and broke no law by being armed…and tells the black woman to back off while simultaneously backing away fro the confrontation and telling her husband to call the police.

The police show up…nobody gets arrested…and everybody leaves. But then the black woman puts the video up on the internet and now the couple has been charged with assault and the man fired from his job…even though his college employer requires showing just cause before terminating someone. 

I can’t figure it out…unless there’s a whole lot more than is visible in the video I don’t see them getting convicted of assault…my personal opinion is that the DA is just kowtowing to the WAMM and filing charges hoping that (a) the riot won’t start and (b) that they can scare the perps into pleading guilty to some lesser charge so the DA can claim to be tough on racists.

I’ve been keeping a running list of the monuments, statues, and whatnot that the WAMM is demanding to be destroyed, names changed or whatever.

Stone Mountain…well, that’s gotta come down since it glorifies slavery.

Mount Rushmore…it’s bad too because in addition to slavery it glorifies the repression of Native Americans by white people.

The Emancipation Memorial in Washington DC…this is a statue that was paid for by freed slaves and depicts a standing Abraham Lincoln with a hand out to help a slave with broken chains rise from his knees. While I’ve never seen this in person…from photos it looks to me like a celebration of Lincoln helping them raise from slavery…but apparently I’m wrong. According to the WAMM…it’s racist because it neglects the contributions that blacks made to eliminating slavery. While it is true that some freed/escaped slaves fought on the union side as well as free black men from the North…and they fought extremely bravely as has been well documented…the majority of the Northern armies were not black and I just don’t see how a statue of Abraham Lincoln can possibly be considered racist.

Splash Mountain in Disneyland and World is being “re-themed” because it’s racist as well. As best as I can figure out…the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah which was composed for the 1946 Disney Movie Song of the South was based on a minstrel song from the late 1800s/early 1900s and therefore it is both racist and glorifies the Southern cause.

Gone With The Wind is back though…albeit with an anti racist screed attached to the front end of the movie…and at least according to some is still “an enjoyable movie” despite it’s depiction of the antebellum south.

A statue of George Washington in Baltimore was defaced with red paint and the mob wants it removed because he owned slaves and kept them until his wife Martha died. Another statue of him in Portland was burned and toppled by the peaceful protesters.

Teddy Roosevelt, Columbus, and Ulysses S. Grant…yeah, they’re all being demanded for demolition as well.

Jefferson Memorial, two parks in Chicago named after Washington and Jackson, John Wayne Airport in LA…again…all being demanded for removal.

Yale University…the local rag up there is demanding it be renamed because it’s namesake both owned slaves and was a shipping magnate who imported them.

I have to ask myself…WTF are these people thinking? And I’m still waiting on them to demand that the capital be renamed and that Harvard be renamed as well.

Speaking of Harvard…one of the ringleaders demanding the removal of some of these statues is a Harvard alumni who has a photo on his twitter/Facebook/instagram/whatever stream of himself standing in front of the founder of Harvard…who was…you guessed it…a slave owner.

Just in case you thought that getting rid of statues of Lincoln, Washington and Ulysses Grant was the dumbest idea ever…there’s one statue that has been damaged in the Floyd protests that makes those ideas pale in comparison.

In Portland…why is it that Portland keeps coming up in these crazy ideas…anyway there’s a statue that was set on fire and the base damaged during overnight riots which were deemed as peaceful protests so that the statue is being removed.  This statue is 120 years old and has been standing there since it was donated by a former mayor of Portland in 1900. 

The statue was previously damaged during the Occupy protests several years ago…again by some of those peaceful protesters…but had been repaired but now the base is fire damaged so the statue has been removed for safety reasons…with a decision on it’s final resting place to be announced later.

So what is this racist monument that must be destroyed? Oh yeah…I forgot to tell you…it is a statue of a mature bull elk that commemorates the elk that used to roam through the Williamette Valley which is where Portland is located.

Yeah…that makes sense. Complete sense.

There’s this private Baptist university in Abilene Texas named Hardin-Simmons University…and I’m pretty sure that they just cost themselves a whole passle of cash.

There is a now former student enrolled there who posted on her Tik-Tok account a series of pictures denoting the reactions of people to black on white, white on white, black on black, and white on black killings. Essentially she posted that in the first three cases people are calm and in the last case they riot and set things on fire.

Now whether this former student is right or not is not relevant to the issue…although to be fair there is a lot of validity to their point, which is that people only riot when white people kill black people and not in any of the other scenarios. However…it is. her opinion, she was off school grounds, and in no way suggested that her opinion was shared by her university. She was wearing a university t-shirt…but that hardly suggests the university endorsed her opinion as t-shirts are available through Abilene.

No matter…the university responded by…apparently since it was not specified exactly what happened…by kicking her out of school. It might be that she withdrew on threat of expulsion but according to the school she “is no longer enrolled”.

I fully support her idea to post her opinion. I also fully support her university’s right to have a different opinion. However…I think that they don’t have the right to discipline her for out of school social media posts…and a recent federal court decision would also tend to support that they don’t have that right (the court decision overturned a school district’s claim that “any student behavior can result in discipline despite being off campus and not school related”).

Now it is a private and religious university…and I have no idea for sure…but given the widespread availability of student loans then I would guess that the likelihood of the university having zero students who have a federally guaranteed student loan is pretty much nothing. And ya know…if they have accepted federally guaranteed student loans…then they’re subject to Title 9 restrictions which forbid discrimination based on a whole bunch of things…and I bet that her lawyers are already working on the lawsuit and Hardin-Simmons will be writing her a big check.

Several of our Democratic Senators have announced that if the win the Presidency and take over the Senate in the November elections that they abolish the filibuster in the Senate because they “will not allow their progressive agenda and the Biden administration to be stymied by the racist filibuster”. 

The reason that the filibuster exists is to get the Senate to act like a more reasoned body than the House and have legislation that has bi-partisan support. For decades it required a 2/3 majority but it was reduced to the current 60 votes. The last time the Democrats had a majority in the Senate…they eliminated the filibuster for federal judge appointments so that President Obama’s judges could be approved and be seated…and the Democrats were perfectly fine with that. Then Minority Leader McConnell told them that they would be sorry they did that because they would not always be in the majority and what goes around comes around. Time passed…and the Republicans were now in the majority…and they started approving federal judges based on the no filibuster rule. Then along comes a Supreme Court vacancy…and the Republicans invoked the rule to approve Republican nominees to SCOTUS. This was deemed the “nuclear option” by the Democrats who claimed that they only invoked it for non SCOTUS nominees…and that they would never have done it for SCOTUS nominees, no sir, never. Truth is…they didn’t have a SCOTUS nomination or else they would have obviously done it for SCOTUS as well. Don’t believe me? OK…how about Harry Reid? Former Senate Majority Leader Reid is on record that he would have done it for SCOTUS as well but they didn’t have a SCOTUS nominee that they needed to invoke it for.

Me…I think the filibuster is a good idea…especially in these times where making the other side lose is almost more important than having your side win in politics…it keeps Senate deliberations and passage of laws more to the center as compared to the much more political House side. 

Mr. McConnell has again warned the Democrats against abolishing it…with the same warning that they won’t always be in charge he used last time…we’ll see what happens. The Democrats will have to control the Senate to change the rules but once gone they won’t be coming back…and despite the left’s insistence that the country is going blue they won’t always be in charge.

Those same Senators also think we should increase the number of seats on SCOTUS…so that a Biden administration can pack the court with progressives…or as they refer to it “a correctly ruling court”. Another bad idea…what this all comes down to is strict vs loose construction of the Constitution…whether it says what it says or whether it says what you want it to say this week.

A couple of images for ya…no new wildlife ones although we did spot a Little Green Heron in the pond yesterday while Neil was roasting garlic out on the lanai but it flew off before he could get the camera out.

Alex graduated from pre-school this week and things are a lot different than back in the day. We didn’t have pre-school back then and in kindergarten you learned to recognize a few colors and shapes but that was about it. Today…after pre-school he can read, count, do multiplication and other complicated math and he’s pretty good at chess too.

IMG 2520

IMG 2523

He’s getting all grown up…quite a difference from this one which when he was less than a week old.

IMG 1282 2

Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.

Anagrams…you know what those are, right? They are when you take a word and see what other words you can make if you rearrange the letters…similar to but not really the same thing as an acronym. Anyway; Neil found these on his Ugly Hedgehog photography forum.

Anagrams

Man first

Neil’s friend Bill sent him this one showing you how to extend the range of your electric vehicle if you are on a road trip and can’t find a charging station. A Honda 2000 portable gasoline powered generator…identical to the one we have in our garage to keep the freezer frozen, the beer cold, and the internet running in the event of a weather related power outage here in Florida…it will do the trick for ya. Sorta blows that that whole electric vehicle green emission free carbon free thing out the window though.

 

EVRangeExtender

DontMessWithOldPeople

GrammaUnfriending

BearskinRug

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Reality Based Blogging, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

And The Hits Jus’ Keep On Coming

Yup…the WAMM (woke and media mob) is just keeping on with their demands, misleading headlines, tear it down mentality and such. But before we get to that…

Not much new going on around here. We got some groceries from Walmart…had a Sunday morning pickup and it was pretty easy. We got most of what we ordered with only about 3 out of stock things and a couple of substitutions…although why they thought that oranges would be a good substitute for grapefruit I dunno…but I guess they’re both citrus so mebbe that was it. Neil went on a couple bike rides, we grilled a lamb roast, did some laundry…and that’s pretty much about it. 

Oh yeah…Neil finished the garage and we can park the car in it but I think I mentioned that last time.

So last week we lost Aunt Jemima, the Cream of Wheat Chef and Uncle Ben’s…and Snap, Crackle, and Pop are on the chopping block…so let’s see what else is going on in the erase history movement.

Hmmm…the great grandson of Nancy Green says that erasing Aunt Jemima is erasing his family history and is wrong.

Eskimo Pies…yep, they’re gone too…I don’t think Inuit Pies has quite the same ring to it.

The University of Florida…ya know that team know as the Gators…they have…or at least they used to have…a cheer called the Gator Chomp where they put their arms out and moved them up and down in a parody of an alligator opening and closing his jaws while chanting “Gator Bait”. This has been deemed racist because according to those doing the deeming it recalls a time when black children were skinned alive and used for bait to catch alligators. A NY Times article from 2014 found that there was “evidence” that this happened but did not provide any in their article. Snopes.com which is a pretty reliable truth or lie research site on the internet…they concluded that despite widespread dissemination of representations of this from the 19th and 20th centuries that this does not mean that it actually happened and that no evidence of it was found in press reports of the time…and that while might have occasionally happened there is no evidence that it was widespread…but that it was both plausible and possible. So…maybe it happened and maybe it didn’t. Despite this lack of evidence…the Gator Chomp has been ruled and deemed as racist…despite the fact that it was invented by one of their football players during their first National Championship season in the mid 1990s…the player…who just happens to be black…said after an unexpected victory “If ya ain’t a Gator…you’re Gator Bait”.

Doesn’t seem all that racist to me.

Both of Mohammed Ali’s adult children say that he would not b a supporter of the current BLM…because he (a) thought that all lives mattered and (b) never met a person he didn’t want to be friends with. Sounds to me like he was a frustrated RVer…who as we all know don’t believe anybody is a stranger, they’re just friends he hasn’t met yet.

Morgan Freeman…yeah, I don’t think he’s a big fan of BLM either although I haven’t seen a quote from him on it. However…he is on record as being against Black History Month because he believes it is just part of American history.

I saw the following statistics on a page about the Civil Rights Act of 1964…and although we can read in the news how all Republicans are racists…ya wanna know how the vote on that bill went in Congress? In the House…final vote was 69% of Democrats in favor and 82% of Republicans…and in the Senate it was 61% Democrats and 80% Republicans…so just who’s the racist? You did know that it was the Democrats in the South after the war that invented the KKK…and that the Reconstruction efforts were led by Republicans…right? Go ahead and look those little tidbits up.

So in addition to the Confederate statues being destroyed…and Confederate Speakers of the House having their portraits removed from the Capitol…they’re also going after Teddy Roosevelt and Father Junípero Serra who founded the missions in CA back during the Spanish colonial days. They’re too racist apparently…along with Christopher Columbus, Andrew Jackson, and countless others who the WAMM has decided are evil. Me…I’m still wondering when they’re going to rename that tall statue on the Mall in our nation’s capital to the Obelisk of Wokeness…as well as rename the District itself…since both of the people who contributed to the name are racists as well if you want to get right down to facts…and Washington was even an actual traitor as opposed to the not actually traitors that the Confederates who seceded from the union can be argued to be.

You probably read on the news about the book that John Bolton wants to publish…and how the administration took him to court to prevent publication since he had not completed his required review by the Intelligence community and received written approval to publish his book.

See…it is supposed to work like this. If you have a clearance when you get debriefed you sign a statement agreeing not to divulge classified information to anybody else…and it notes the felony nature of this act and specifies the penalty. What the rules say is that if a person from the Intelligence community wants to write a book…he has to submit it *before anybody else sees it* to an office in the Intelligence community and receive written approval to publish…this usually entails several back and forth negotiations on the contents to verify that no classified info is in the document…but it is supposed to happen entirely between the author and the reviewer. Mr. Bolton…well he gave his book to both his publisher and his lawyer before doing any of this…and that is 100% illegal as (a) they don’t have a clearance, (b) they don’t have need to know even if they did have a clearance, (c) they don’t have proper classified material storage facilities, and (d) just because Mr. Bolton says there is no classified material in the document doesn’t make it true…he is not the person in which that determination resides. Now Mr. Bolton claims that he received oral approval…but the rules say it must be in writing and he’s not been able to produce either the letter or a reviewer who will admit he told Mr. Bolton it was OK orally.

So…Mr. Bolton is legally liable for a felony and in my opinion should not have been allowed to publish…but the judge decided that the cat was out of the bag as 10s of thousands of copies had already been distributed to booksellers that he the judge would just ignore the law and allow him to publish the book. He will still be liable to prosecution for violation of his agreement, providing classified material to unauthorized people, and for civil forfeiture of the entire proceeds from the book. 

But hey…he’s got an ax to grind against the President so his friends in the WAMM are perfectly ok with that.

Hmmm…oh yeah, SCOTUS. Chief Justice Roberts has set himself up for a no win situation later on. As you probably know…SCOTUS this week sent the whole DACA process back to the administration to try again because their changing of the rules was “arbitrary and capricious” since the administration tried to end DACA via regulation instead of Executive Order…which would have been upheld. One of the reasons that it was arbitrary was that the admin didn’t follow the requirement to have draft rules and get public comment before imposing them…but then again the Obama admin didn’t bother with those niceties when they set up the rules to allow DACA…but since he issued an Executive Order to do it it was perfectly legal.

Now I feel for the DACA folks…that’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals…and it essentially prevents deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents when they were toddlers. These folks don’t know any life outside of the USA…and have little attachment to Mexico or Guatemala or wherever they came from south of the border…but the fact remains that  they are still illegal immigrants. Congress had refused for years to do anything about their not-of-their-making situation…so President Obama did what he thought was right.  Now President Trump wants to do what he thinks is right…and is being pilloried by the WAMM for it. Me…I don’t think kicking them out is the right answer…but then just giving them a free pass to citizenship isn’t the right answer…our Congress critters need to solve this problem but they’re too busy blaming the other side for everything to actually do their job.

It is the other SCOTUS decision that will put Justice Roberts in a bind in a couple of years. The case was about whether LBGTQ people could be discriminated against on the basis of their LBGTQness or whether that would be sex discrimination which is already illegal. The majority opinion said that it did and essentially equated LBGTQness with gender and hence discrimination was illegal.

There are two problems with this decision. First…it seems awfully close to the court performing a legislative function in making that determination and that really isn’t their job…interpreting the law is their job. Second…and this is what will cause the problem later…they’ve set themselves up for a case where they will have to determine whether Freedom of Religion or Right to Privacy takes precedence. I’m quite sure that there are only two genders…science tells us so and that there is no such thing as being able to change your gender. I don’t care a whit who you want to have sex with…if you like men that’s fine and if you like women that’s fine too no matter what your gender is. I also don’t care a whit if you want to dress up as a man in women’s clothes or vice versa…that just makes you a transvestite…or if you want to get your willy chopped off, get breast implants, grow your hear long and wear heels and makeup…just don’t tell me that doing all that makes you a woman or makes you a man if you go the other way. Frankly what clothes you wear and who you boink should remain in your personal purview.

However…religious organizations will still fire individuals who don’t meet the strictures of their faith…and inevitably that means that some LBGTQ person will get fired because LBGTQness is against the tenets of their faith. This means that the fired person will sue and eventually the case will get back to SCOTUS to decide which of those constitutionally guaranteed rights is paramount.

I can kinda see why Justice Roberts really wanted it to come out this way…after all his primary consideration after the law is the legacy of his Court…and if they had ruled for the right to discriminate against those people…or for the right of the administration to end DACA (which they actually said was absolutely within their rights but that they just didn’t do it the right way)…either of those outcomes would have been pounced on by the WAMM as proof that the court was just a bunch of Republican stooges…heck, they’ve already said that before but in an election year Justice Roberts just didn’t want that. But I can’t help but wonder if he really thought through the entire sequence of ‘what will happen now’ in his zeal not to make a politically unpopular decision in an election year.

You probably won’t see this on the evening news…in
Uniontown PA
…a black guy by the name of Daylan McLee rescued a cop from a burning patrol car after an accident in front of the apartment. He’s a guy with dreads and visible tattoos on his body and has had some run ins with the cops in the past…some of them his fault and some maybe not so much…but he said that he won’t let the actions of a few allow him to blame all police…so he did the right thing and saved the cop’s life as the cruiser burned. He has several ongoing lawsuits against those who he says have wronged him in the past…and his lawyer naturally claims it is all based on racism…but here’s a guy who did the right thing anyway.

Good on’ya Daylan…

One final example of race baiting clickbait headlines before we move on for today.

This
article
…would take you to an article with the headline “Video shows Florida officer immediately draw gun on woman, aim at her for over 4 minutes” and if you read it a bit you’ll see that the woman in the article…they make sure to specify that she’s a black woman and a white cop…well she says “I feel like something needs to happen to the Tampa PD officer who held that gun on me for four minutes. The Tampa PD, they are bullies, and the way they treat people is bad.”. 

But read a little further and you’ll see that she ‘borrowed’ the car from a friend…and that it was a rental car…and that it had been reported stolen by Hertz so the officer performed a felony stop of the vehicle. Noting that there were 2 people in the vehicle and that he was a single cop…he stood behind his car door and 100% in accordance with policy drew his weapon to cover the occupants, directed them to make their hands visible and to remain in the car, and called for backup. Some 4 minutes later, backup arrived, he put his weapon away and the women occupants were taken into custody. After investigation…it was determined that the occupants did not steal the car and they were released and the car impounded…when they could have been booked and taken to jail on auto theft charges…but the cops did the right thing, exonerated the women, and released them.

Me…I think they need better friends…what did they expect when they were driving a stolen car? The Tampa police chief has reviewed both the body cam video and the women’s dash cam video and determined that nothing improper was done…and according to the police the women were happy with the explanation they were given for both the stop and the detaining when they were released.

But now…she wants to have some butthurt and blame the police for doing their job…and “something needs to happen to him”. I agree…he should be given a commendation for following procedure, doing his job, protecting himself and the citizens, and doing things the right way.

And finally…you’ve probably seen the case of the guy in Atlanta who was passed out drunk in the Wendy’s drive in and was eventually…after a fight with the police during which he took one of their tasers and fled…and while fleeing turned around and fired the taser at the cops before he was “murdered by being shot in the back by the police” according to the WAMM. So this fellow had several strikes against him…DUI, resisting arrest, fleeing, stealing a law enforcement weapon, and firing that weapon at the pursuing police.

Now I’m not saying the cops should or should not have shot the man…but I think that getting a conviction on the 11 counts including felony murder is going to be a long shot…in fact I think the DA deliberately overcharged him trying to scare him and his lawyer into pleading guilty to a lesser charge but that’s just me. However…remember what I told you a few posts back about the #1 goal a cop has when he goes to work today.

That goal is to be alive at the end of his tour to go home to his family.

Now consider the photo below…you’re the cop chasing this guy in the dark, you know he’s in possession of one of your weapons, and he is a fleeing felon.

FleeingSuspect

Now if you’re that cop…your adrenaline is pumping, you know this fellow has a weapon…and he’s pointing/firing it at you…are you justified in fearing for your life of the life of others in which case shooting him is justified…or are you not justified? Remember…you’ve got a split second to make a decision.

Me…you can’t tell what that weapon is…and while he told you he had no weapon and you patted him down you weren’t arresting him at the time of the pat down so maybe you missed the gun in his pocket.

It’s a lot grayer of a situation than the WAMM would have you believe.

One image this time…a nice reflection shot of our pond on a calm day. I need to nag Neil…nag, nag, nag…to take Connie out early some morning and see if we can get some socially distant photos for here…there’s a little hiking nature area just a mile or so south.

D75 5993

Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.

Looks like the tiger printer is getting low on ink…or maybe it’s just a normal tiger, golden tiger, white tiger, and albino tiger in the same portrait.

TigerPrinterLowOnInk

Retirement unemployment.

LostRetirementJob

This seems appropriate given the current wokeness outbreak.

TheMagicWord

Truth hurts sometimes.

TheTruthHurts

SocialDistanceSupportAnimal

And finally…this pretty much describes the weather this month so far in Fort Myers…and it will be like this through September or early October at least.

HeatIndex

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | Leave a comment

They’re Running Out Of Things To Be Offended Over

Not much going on…we got our UPS for the TV and internet stuff in and installed and the second one for the file server is on the way…and we also got our grill cover. Neil finished the garage cleanup…got everything sorted and stored and we can now keep Li’l Red inside instead of outside.

Now this week…we’ve gotta get rid of Aunt Jemima syrup and pancakes, Uncle Ben’s Rice, the chef on the Cream of Wheat box and even Snap, Crackle and Pop.

Where will it end.

Now I know that Aunt Jemima has used a black woman in their marketing for over a century…but now it’s bad. Only…maybe let’s consider a couple of facts about that.

Did you know that Aunt Jemima was a real person? Yup…a former slave named Nancy Green moved to Chicago after the war and started a food company making…you guessed it…pancakes. She became pretty successful at her company…in fact she was so successful that the General Mills company bought her out and used her image in their marketing…she went on to become in addition to the company spokesperson a storyteller, cook, and activist as well as the first of numerous black women who headed the marketing. She died in 1923 as one of America’s first black millionaires…and remember in 1923 a million bucks was a whole lot more than it is now. 

Her likeness was found in pretty much every household in the south and I assume up in Yankee land as well…because we all used her syrup even if we made our own pancake batter from scratch with Bisquick since it was (a) cheaper than her pancakes and (b) we had it anyway for making biscuits…although to be honest we made them from flour, Crisco, baking powder, baking soda, and milk as often as we made them from Bisquick and milk. Back in the day…actual maple syrup was pretty rare and pretty expensive outside of the arctic Nawth where it was produced so hers was what we used down in the no longer PC term Dixie.

And ya know…if the brand started today and General Mills used her likeness to honor a black woman who achieved quite a lot…it might even be considered a good thing.

But nope…she’s gotta go…along with pretty much every other black person used in any marketing campaign? I guess having a self made black female millionaire spoil the narrative.

When do we get rid of the Nike Air Jordan logo? Do bald white men feel slighted because of Mr. Clean? Do gas station attendants quake in their safe places because of “the man who wears the big, bright Texaco star?” Or how about white women…do they tremble in their aprons over Betty Crocker?

There was this long discussion over the matter on Neil’s photography forum in the non photographic section…the thread is entitled “Cat True Facts” but other than a link in the first post it’s all about the left running out of things to be offended over…and how if marketing folks refused to use blacks in their marketing campaigns that would be bad…and how that would be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Heck…even the. Land O’ Lakes logo is apparently being changed…they’ve ditched the Native American portion on their logo.

What’s next…Black Label whiskey? Dark rum? Red and white wine? Brown mustard? Egg whites?

Anyways enough on that.

I see in the news that the University of VA…known as UVA in the state…is changing the logo for their athletic department for the second time in 2 or 3 months. The university teams are known as the Cavaliers and the logo consists of a large upper case orange V with blue outline and two crossed cutlasses in blue below it. This has been their logo since at least when Neil was in high school. However…they changed the logo back in April or so so that there were sinuous edges on the handle portion of the cutlasses to honor the sinuous walls that are on the campus. These walls were designed by that well known slave owner Thomas Jefferson who just happened to be a big wig in VA politics…and they were designed in the sinuous manner for the simple reason that you need a lot fewer bricks that way. The wall is actually longer than a straight one would be but you can build thinner…and hence less costly…brick walls if they’re not straight. Now…where did Cavaliers come from? Good question…and the answer is that back in the 1600s there was a revolution in England over whether the king had sole and ultimate power or whether they would have the parliamentary form of government that they have now…and naturally there were two sides in this revolution. The Virginia Cavaliers was a pro royalist organization in the Virginia colony and most of the upper crust of the colony’s society was part of it…so when the university was founded later it seemed naturally to use Cavaliers for the mascot. Nothing in any of that seems racist to me…but apparently the WAMM has decided that the honoring the sinuous walls is racist because “the walls were only built to keep the hide the noise and view of the slaves outside the walls from folk inside the walls”. Seems pretty flimsy to me…but the university caved to the WAMM and has redone the logon…again…keeping straight lines on the edges of the cutlass handles. Whatever.

I see that Mr. Putin says that not only does Russia have “hypersonic” missiles that are “completely un-interceptible” but they also have hypersonic defense weapons.

Now I gotta tellya…”hypersonic missiles” is just a bunch of marketing BS. According to the definition…hypersonic means they go more than 5 times the speed of sound…and according to the hypersonic missile hysteria they are glide based vehicles that maneuver during flight to keep from being intercepted as well as flying at a “much lower altitude” . That sounds pretty good…until you realize that it’s all a bunch of hooey. The fact is that every ballistic missile is hypersonic…they travel at about 15 times the speed of sound pretty much from about 30 seconds after launch until they go boom at the target…so so much for hypersonic indicating a new capability. Moving on to flying at a much lower altitude…they’re still above about 98% of the atmosphere…up until the past year or so this was known as a depressed ballistic trajectory…and pretty much any ICBM or SLBM these days is capable of doing so albeit at a reduced range compared to a purely ballistic flight…but in either case they’re still essentially out in space…so so much for gliding. Finally…that new maneuverability…well warheads have been capable of maneuvering since about 1970…you might have heard that ballistic missiles since about that time have what is known as MIRVs or multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles…which means that a single missile can make multiple targets go boom. Now there are some limitations for MIRVs…you can scatter the warheads over a much further distance parallel to the missile flight path than across the flight path…but since they were all dumped off of a ballistic missile they’ll all hit the same place…that’s just physics for ya…unless you maneuver the various warheads to the right/left/short/long of the ballistic point to hit various targets.

Now it is certainly possible that gone could make faster missiles that remain in the atmosphere…and they would provide shorter reaction times than slower missiles would…duh…but in order to really maneuver much they need to be in the atmosphere so as to give the control surfaces something to act against to do this maneuvering. Remaining in the atmosphere means more air friction…which means more heat…and there’s a reason that a ballistic missile gains most of it’s speed after it leaves the atmosphere behind…that reason is to protect it from the heat…just like the heat shield on a space capsule does or the tiles on the space shuttle did. The fastest aircraft known is the SR-71 blackbird…holding the speed record of 2,193 mph…and the limit on the speed is both power and heat load. As you go faster…the amount of power needed and hence fuel needed increases geometrically…every mile per hour increase gets harder as you go faster…and the drag against the air generates more heat. Materials science just hasn’t caught up and trying to achieve any airframe that will go faster than about 5 or 6 times the speed of sound while remaining in the atmosphere and not melting simply becomes a heat/fuel/power problem.

The military has been working on making both aircraft and weapons go faster ever since the Wright brothers…but physics and engineering is the same for everybody. The likelihood of either side getting a lasting advantage through this hypersonic weapon crap is pretty small…but it is used as the bugaboo to get more defense dollars on both sides.

Interesting things found on the net.

If you go to Vienna Austria…be careful not to fart in front of the police. Apparently a fella there was fined 500 Euros because he farted inside the paddy wagon after he was arrested at the riot and drove the cops out of the vehicle due to the aroma…so if you get arrested in there make sure ya don’t lift yer butt cheek and let ‘er rip but go the silent but deadly route.

Apparently…the International Space Station is getting a new Universal Waste Management System later this year…that’s NASA-speak for toilet…I have no idea how the gentler gender will use this thing as it looks pretty painful…maybe it works like that You Go Girl funnel thingy that is marketed for female hikers. 

ISSToilet

I found this picture which compares the size of the tallest mountain on earth…well, it’s not actually not the tallest mountain as the volcano in Hawaii is taller from the ocean floor than it is, but I digress…anyway Mount Everest compared to the Olympus Mons which is a shield volcano on Mars and is actually both the widest and tallest mountain in then solar system. Because of the diameter, height, and diameter of the planet…if you could stand at the base you would not be able to see the summit of the volcano…and if you could stand at the summit you would not be able to see any of Mars except Olympus Mons. Mars is also home to the deepest canyon in the solar system…the Valles Marineris…it is over 2,500 miles long, 120 miles wide, and 23,000 feet deep so it pretty much dwarfs the Grand Canyon which actually only comes in 4th place for canyon size on the earth…there are canyons in Nepal, Australia, and Tibet that are larger than it is. 

EverestVsOlympusMons

This one is self explanatory.

Ruin the photo

As is this one.

AtheistQuandry

Although I have to admit…I wonder how many of today’s so called atheists actually know that the word means…I’m guessing not many. Most of them have just rejected religion and hence the concept of a god with either an upper or lower case and I’m convinced that most “atheists” are just rebelling against what their parents are or believe in…but that is not what the word actually means.

What it actually has to do with is…just why do we exist and how did we get here.

Ranging back to Neil’s Religion class in the parochial McGill Institute in high school…his teacher was a catholic priest named Father Hay who he was somehow tangentially related to but can’t remember the details…anyway the first day in class the good Father asked us if we existed.

We all agreed that we did exist and after a bunch of logic trees led by Father it becomes pretty obvious that if we exist today…well actually it was that day back in the early ‘70s…then something must have always existed. Logic tells us that if there was ever a time when nothing at all existed…then nothing could exist now since there would have been nothing make existence come into being…in short you can’t get something from nothing. So…if something exists now then something had to always exist. After another series of logic trees one comes to the conclusion that whatever existed back into the infinite before has to be either material or not material…or saying it another way either material or spiritual.

Those that come down on the spiritual as the thing that always existed are known as theists since they believe in theism…which is the belief that a God or gods exist outside of the material realm. This being has been called many, many names over the years and while we are Roman Catholic I’m not going to force the belief in a single God on anybody since there’s no actual proof…that’s why it is called faith.

On the other side of the equation…the folks that believe the universe has always existed are a-theists meaning not theists which got shortened to atheist…and I’m willing to bet that few if any of today’s self professed atheists have actually thought this through.

On the other hand…there’s pretty reliable evidence that the universe is 13 billion or whatever years old and is still expanding. At some point in the indeterminate future…all the energy in the universe will have been expended, all stars will have died and gravity which is an immutable constant will start to slow the expansion of the universe…eventually causing it to stop and start to contract…and after an amount of time approximately equal to the time from the Big Bang until expansion stops the universe will collapse into itself in one giant ball…and at least according to the theory there might be another Big Bang starting the process of the universe all over again…in fact according to the theory there have been an unknown number of Big Bang/expansion/end of the universe cycles going backwards in time.

Anyway…just a thought brought on by that last image.

This one brings to mind the logic jar we used to have when Neil worked for ISD in the SecDef’s bureaucracy…if you tried to inject logic into any discussion or decision you got fined and the money went into the jar…about once a quarter we took the proceeds down to the pub on the first floor and drank them.

 

OldPeopleJars

Even better than “You want me to stop this car?”

MomBeatYourAss

WalkingToSchool

And here for ya…a bit of humour…note the British spelling…from our friends across the pond.

All of these were gleaned from actual advertisements in UK newspapers.

FREE YORKSHIRE TERRIER.
8 years old,
Hateful little bastard.
Bites!

FREE PUPPIES
1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbor’s dog.

FREE PUPPIES.
Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

COWS, CALVES: NEVER BRED.
Also 1 gay bull for sale….

JOINING NUDIST COLONY!
Must sell washer and dryer $100…

WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE .
Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

**** And the WINNER is…. ****

FOR SALE BY OWNER.
Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition, #200 or best offer. No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.

And finally…from the Greatest Living Scottish Thinker Billy Connolly…he is actually a comedian comes this.

“If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, How come they can’t have a headache and sex at the same time?”

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, Ya Can't Fix Stupid | 2 Comments

Hypocrites, Misleading Headlines…And What the Heck Were They Thinking

Of all the things in the world that really get on my nerves…hypocrisy and hypocrites are right at the top of the list. Well…actually that’s not completely true as warm beer, weak cocktails, and ruint, err well done, steak are at the top but hypocrisy is right up there…along with stupidity..

To wit…a few examples gleaned from the news…along with an uplifting item I saw on FB.

However…before I get to that part lemme catch ya up on doin’s ‘round these parts. When last we left our heroes…the pond out back had risen considerably in level due to the ongoing rain and the Elks Lodge was about to open back up. We had a bit more rain but the past couple days have been mostly sunny…but the level in the pond has continued to rise a little…looks like most of the pond water is actually run off from the land and not storm sewer drains.

Thursday afternoon…we headed out to the Elks for tacos. David…one of the big wigs there…makes the meat and he cooks a pretty mean taco meat. Toss it in some crispy tortilla shells, add on lettuce, cheese, jalapeño peppers, and some sour cream…and then sell the whole thing for a buck apiece and for a more $5 we had dinner…way better than that 5 Dollar Footlong from some other place. To go along with it…Neil had 3 almost alcohol free Ultra brews in the bottle and Connie had some Merlot…and just mebbe she had jus’ a smidgen more than she shoulda had; but she weren’t driving so no real harm done there.

We stayed for the first two rounds of Show Me The Money…that’s like bingo for dummies or mebbe bingo for people with a short attention span. Instead of numbers you get 3 cards stapled together and the dealer pulls cards from a deck and if you match the card you cover it with a penny or a can pop top…and when you cover all 3 you yell Show Me The Money and ya win the prize. There are 3 rounds with 3 games each…Connie won the first game of the first round in 3 cards…like that will ever happen again. She won $25 for her victory and since each round costs $5 she made a profit. Now if they would only start bingo back up she might be happy.

Our friend Gail gave us a housewarming present…after careful evaluation of it…Neil says we’re just gonna call it a thing as neither of us are really sure just exactly what it is.

IMG 3646 1

Yesterday we tried out our new pellet grill for the first time…we had a skinless boneless turkey breast half in the freezer and after brining it overnight we smoked it at 160F with heavy smoke set and then at 225F with heavy smoke for the last hour of our 4.5 hour smoking period (so it would get done in time for dinner). It turned out pretty good…but was a little light on the smoky taste and a little drier than smoked turkey’s we’ve had in the past…we think a bone in and skin on full breast would be a better choice for smoking turkey as it (a) would take longer and hence get more smokey taste and (b) the fat in the skin would slowly melt and baste the whole thing while it was cooking…leaving nice crispy smoky skin to nibble on. Since it took longer than expected…we had a snack of sliced Parmesana Regiano cheese with a drizzle of the good…meaning expensive because it’s aged a long time and gets thick like honey from evaporation…Balsamic Vinegar. To go with the turkey we had some leftover pasta, leftover winter squash, and leftover ciabatta bread that we toasted with some garlic and butter on it. All was quite yummy…the turkey had a text that was more like ham than poultry but we think that’s because it dried out a bit due to the lack of skin and bone to protect the meat. We do have some leftover turkey that Neil is going to make turkey gumbo out of this evening.

Neil also continued work on getting the garage square away…he put together his third set of shelves and thinks that either tomorrow morning or Wednesday morning he’ll have the garage done so we can pull the car inside…that will help keep it cool since it won’t be out in the summer sun.

We also briefly lost power yesterday afternoon…although lost power is really a misnomer in this case. We had a lightning strike nearby…we could see the flash from our living area…and maybe a 1 second power loss before the grid picked up the load from some other generation facility. Long story short…no real damage except it made our file server and internet stuff reboot on the power failure…which reminded Neil that he needs to order some uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for them…he’ll get to that today.

OK… moving along to the news. 

Do you remember how a whole bunch of folks got in trouble over the past few years for appearing in blackface…VA Governor Northam, VA AG Herring, Jimmy Fallon, Megan Kelly (although she wasn’t in blackface but merely had the audacity to suggest that a discussion of whether it was always or only sometimes racist was in order and whether when it happened made any difference), Prime Minister Trudeau of Canuckistan, Robert Downey Jr, Julianne Hough, Gucci, Drake, Katy Perry, and Sarah Silverman…just to name a few. Now it didn’t matter that most of their offenses were multiple decades in the past and at least some of them were either dressing for the theme of an event or in an acting/comedy role…for years now we’ve been told that blackface is always, forever more, 100% racist and never, ever acceptable.

Except this week we found out that…at least according to the Woke  and Media Mob (hereinafter referred to as WAMM) that it is perfectly acceptable if you’re an “influencer” and are doing it “in solidarity with BLM”. There’s even articles on the web explaining how to properly do your makeup to achieve the correct look…and one by that luminary white girl influencer Tania Saleh where she says “I wish I was black, today more than ever”.

So apparently…just like only some black lives matter…only some blackface matters.

Next up…remember when university professors were encouraged to allow controversial matters to be discussed in class to broaden the education of the students…although those of you who went to college from about 2000 on after safe spaces were mandated probably don’t remember this. A prof at UCLA…who has taught there for 39 years and at his previous job co-taught a black studies curriculum at a school in the Detroit area…we’ll he’s been suspended without pay and is under investigation for “potential violations of the school guidelines” although just what these potential violations are were.

His crime…well, due to the corona virus he is teaching an online only course where he posts videos, the students view them and then they have email discussions about the lectures…and it’s some sort of accounting course he’s teaching. From the beginning of the quarter…there was always only going to be a single final exam which would provide the totality of each student’s grade. The prof got an email a couple weeks back from a self identified white student who wanted to support his black classmates who were out protesting the death of Mr. Floyd and the student wanted the black students to either be exempted from the exam, given special grading criteria, or have a no-penalty exam where their grade could not go down because of the exam…in a course with a single exam providing the only grade. Now the prof’s boss had…before this email series started…sent out an email telling teachers not to change their grading criteria for either the Floyd protests or the corona lockdown…but to follow the university guidelines on what constituted a valid excuse.

The professor and the student had a back and forth email discussion in which the prof asked several questions…first, he had no idea of the race of students since it was an online only course; second, how about mixed race students and should they get a half pass on the grade; third, what about asian or white students who were in crisis because of the Floyd situation, should they not get a pass too; and finally the university had guidelines the prof was following. Apparently the original emailing student was happy with the responses…but somebody else started an anonymous petition to have the prof disciplined and fired because of his “extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist response to his students’ request for empathy and compassion during a time of civil unrest”. So UCLA…based on this anonymous petition…suspended and is investigating the prof.

Uncle Joe is currently choosing his VP running mate…and one of the potential choices is a lady named Val Deming…she’s a black congresswoman from FL who previously served as the chief of police in Orlando. She came out against the defunding or abolishment of police departments…and apparently this is enough for the WAMM to decide she needs to be eliminated from Uncle Joe’s short list…so the attack articles came out. An article in one of the FL east coast newspapers says she “supported police violence and excessive use of force” while serving as the Orlando chief…and cites a study that found 534 instances of police brutality/excessive use of force during her final year as chief…and this is 20% more than “the equivalent size and racial makeup city of Baton Rouge LA”. This didn’t pass the smell test…so Neil was able to figure out with 2 minutes of googling that Orlando has a population 20% greater than Baton Rouge does…and hence 20% more crime, 20% more arrests, 20% more resisting arrest incidents, and therefore 20% more of what the paper defines as brutality/excessive use of force. Seems to me that if the criminals weren’t resisting arrest and/or fleeing from the police…there would be less use of force. But no…Ms. Deming is pro-police brutality…except that maybe brutality/excessive use of force is in the eye of the newspaper doing the study…there was zero information about what the force was and who other than the journalist determined it was excessive.

You probably saw the headlines about the “senior Tulsa police department officer” who…according to the headlines…told a radio show that “the Tulsa PD should be shooting 20% more blacks than we actually shot”. Yeah…that’s a great headline for riling up the WAMM…but then if you read what he actually said you’ll see the headline is pure, unadulterated BS. What he actually said was that if you looked not at the 13% of blacks in the population but looked at the percentage of crimes that were committed by the various races and the amount of times each race was shot by police that blacks got shot 24% less than statistics would have led you to believe.

You might have seen the story this week about how HBO Max has pulled Gone With The Wind from distribution because of it’s racist depictions. Now first off…it’s a story about the pre Civil War antebellum south so naturally there are slaves and slavery depicted in the movie…and it could probably never be made today.  So this author on one of the tech sites Neil looks at decided to take on HBO Max over their statement…the site usually offers a click bait section from an article on some news site, references the original url to read the whole thing, and then does some ‘analysis’ AKA ranting on the other site’s article. In the analysis…the secondary site author says “If it was so racist, why did you ever have it available for streaming? Even Disney recognizes some of its racist past and has refused to ever make “Song of the South” available on any platform.” He then goes on to say  that it has always been a racist movie…and then in an incredible display of ultra woke-ness…he says that he and his wife saw the movie (10th time for him) over the past weekend and enjoyed it immensely despite of it’s racism…and that enjoying it is perfectly fine…as long as you embrace and acknowledge it’s racism.

So…if you’re a liberal and embrace it’s racism…it’s ok for you to watch. However…if you are a non card carrying member of the WAMM and enjoy the movie…you’re a racist. Me…I never thought it was a very good movie anyway.

Did you see on the news about the CHAZ or Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. Apparently…there has been a 6 square block area in the center of Seattle that has been occupied by Floyd protesters, Antifa, born again hippies, and who knows what other assorted other members of the WAMM. The police precinct in the center of the area has been evacuated and abandoned by police…and the chief of police said publicly “it was not my decision” and the are essentially given to the protesters. The mayor of Seattle says they are “performing an act of patriotism” and has stationed porta-potties and trash dumpsters at the borders for them. The entire area has been barricaded by the protesters with armed guards in military clothing and carrying “long guns” is the way the news describes them to protect the occupants of the CHAZ from police brutality. The chief of police has also publicly stated that “we have had rape and robbery 911 calls from inside the CHAZ that we have not been allowed to respond to”…and there is some evidence that the occupiers are demanding protection money from businesses inside the zone although are conflicting reports on this. The barriers around the CHAZ have signs that say “you are now leaving the USA” and “this is the property of the people of Seattle”.

Several things come to mind here.

I thought that secession was off the table after the Civil War…although it can be argued that the Constitution does not prohibit secession and the 10th amendment grants “all other rights to the states” which would presumably include secession…but I digress.

The “long guns” that the CHAZ security forces are using look suspiciously similar…in fact identical…to those “scary looking guns” that the WAMM usually identifies as assault weapons even though they are not. However…they’re called “long guns” by the WAMM and the WAMM emphasizes that they are breaking no laws as open carry is legal in the state of WA.

Can you imagine the outraged howling we would be hearing from the WAMM if a group of…say right wing nationalists or gun rights supporters…or god forbid President Trump supporters…were to take over 6 square blocks, declare themselves independent of the USA, and post armed guards with assault rifles at the border? Can you possibly imagine that the mayor of Seattle would not have called in the National Guard to evict those criminals? They’re taking over our city…and they have ‘assault weapons’.

Over in France…a nuclear powered attack submarine is undergoing overhaul to extend it’s life through 2030…it was launched in 1993. As part of the overhaul…duh…all weapons were naturally removed…and even the nuclear reactor has been de-fueled as getting a new reactor core is part of the overhaul…and new reactor cores are for all intents and purposes non radioactive, it is only after they are taken critical that some radioactive fission products exist inside the core. As happens frequently in overhauls…a fire broke out since a lot of welding is going on…but as does not generally happen frequently they apparently did not have adequate safety precautions in place fo a potential fire and a large portion of the submarine was damaged. The French are falling all over themselves saying there was no nuclear accident and no radiation was released…not surprising since there was no nuclear fuel on board…and that the smoke is not radioactive…again not surprising. It apparently took from mid morning to late afternoon to put the fire out…so based on Neil’s experience in submarines and overhaul the damage is probably considerable. His guess is that it will be cheaper to scrap the ship and build a new one than to fix the burned up one.

I’ve seen a lot of articles this week about defunding and/or abolishing the police and naturally the discussions around them…and also on the random topics area on Neil’s photography forum…are dealing with…well, debates is far too polite a word for what is going on…racism, slavery, the Civil War, police use of force and other things in the same vein.

Several thoughts here.

There is a lady running for County Commissioner over in Miami-Dade county on the east coast of FL (Miami, Hollywood, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale area)…she said this week that this whole defund the police and/or abolish the department is completely nuts. She agrees that we need police to serve and protect but should try to improve rather than abolish them. Sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Well, not according to the Minneapolis city council and various other state and local governments who are steaming ahead with this dumbest of ideas. Oh yeah…I forgot to tell you who the lady is…she’s a black woman named Sybrina Fulton…it might not surprise you that a black woman disagrees with the idea…but she is also the mother of Trayvon Martin who was killed while attacking neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. It seems to me that there are some black people…even those who have had family members killed by whites…who recognize the lunacy of abolishing the police. I have no idea what her other platform issues are…but at least she’s not gone completely off the reservation.

As part of the overall discussions about slavery…a common theme on both the articles, their comments, and the discussion board is that the Civil War was “solely” about eliminating slavery. While that is a nice easy to remember meme (did they have memes in the 1800s?)…the actual list of causes for the Civil War is a lot more nuanced than that as is easily determined by a little research as long as you don’t have a predetermined conclusion.

If the Civil War was solely about the elimination of slavery…then I wonder about the following facts.

Since somewhere between 75% and 94% of southerners did not own slaves depending on which statistic you choose to believe…but in any even a majority did not…just what were most of the southern troops fighting for? One could argue that preserving the free labor of slavery kept the poor white folks from getting the job to pick the cotton…so perhaps they were not fighting to preserve slavery…and if not then why did they fight?

Why did the 4 northern states that had slavery fight…surely not to eliminate slavery since it would eliminate the free labor they enjoyed as a result of slavery? I not to eliminate slavery…why did they fight?

Even that notorious southern sympathizer Abraham Lincoln said that the Civil War was not to either preserve or eliminate slavery…but to preserve the union. He wrote ‘I would save slavery if it would save the union, and I would eliminate slavery if it would save the union, and I would free some slaves but not all if it would preserve the union. My sole purpose in the war is to preserve the union. He even refused to meet and negotiate with a peace delegation sent by Jefferson Davis before the attack on Fort Sumter because making peace with the south would have not preserved the union.

Again…all of those facts are a bit more nuanced than I made them sound but it was done in the interest of brevity…but they do serve to illustrate that the Civil War was a lot more nuanced than you think. Sure…slavery played a part…and even a significant part…but it was not the only driving factor. The fact that the secession legislation by the various confederate states said it was to preserve slavery is another one of those memes that is used to fire up the populace…on both sides the relatively uneducated common folk really would not understand the tariff laws that were economically devastating to the south and played a role similar in amount to slavery itself.

Finally…there’s a lot of goings on about tearing down statues of Confederate soldiers and generals and renaming military bases that bear Confederate names…which is really dumb because those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it as a famous man once said…and like it or not the Confederacy and slavery are part of the history of the USA. The primary rallying cry of those that want to tear down the statues is “they were traitors and we should not honor traitors”…unfortunately there are a couple problems with this. First off…all Confederate soldiers were issued a federal pardon for any and all potential crimes they might have committed by that noted southern sympathizer Lincoln…and an act of Congress declared that Confederate veterans were US veterans and were entitled to and received military pensions from the US government. Second…as I said the actual legality of secession has never really been adequately legally settled (other than by the Union winning the war…which isn’t a legal settlement but a military one)…so if secession was legal then Confederate soldiers were certainly not traitors…go and google the definition of treason (which you have to commit to be a traitor) and you’ll agree. Third…and this is the one that really gets the WAMM crowd…let’s assume that the Confederate soldiers were actually traitors…and as such we should get rid of all statues of traitors, rename all streets and military bases that have traitor names, and generally expunge the traitors from existence. Yep…good idea…but wait, there’s one additional problem with that. If we’re going to get rid of memorials to traitors…then there is this monument in the nation’s capitol which we’ll have to rename as well…and in fact we’ll have to rename the nation’s capitol as well…because when you get right down to the actual facts…George Washington was a traitor. He was a British subject and citizen…and rebelled against his lawful king…and waged war against his country. That’s pretty much the definition of treason. 

The redeeming factor…George won the war. However, if he had lost…he woulda been hung by the neck until dead with the rest of his traitorous cabal…otherwise known as the founding fathers.

As I said…a lot of this is really pretty nuanced. Yes…there’s still racism in America…but there’s been racism in the world since God took the sun critical for the first time…and no race is innocent of racism. Yes…we had slavery in America for a centuries…and it was legal…and both north and south supported and profited from it. Most of the slave in the south that were not born there…well, they were captured in black on black warfare in Africa and transported to America by ships primarily owned by British or northern companies. Remember…it’s nuanced and hard to fix.

Me…I’m not convinced that racism will ever go away. I would like to see it happen…but I’m not holding my breath.

OK…on to some more interesting things.

Did you know that in Las Vegas the churches accept casino chips in their collection plates. The problem with this is that all the churches get chips from the dozens of casinos in town and don’t have the staff to sort them out and turn them in to the casinos for cash. The solution…an enterprising monastery in town who provides this as a service. The monastery collects the chips, sorts them out, cashes them all in, and then distributes the proceeds to the various churches based on how many chips from each casino a church submitted. 

The men that perform this task…are known as…the chip monks.

There were these three storks that met up in the sky one day on their rounds delivering babies and they got to talking…the first one said “I’m bringing a beautiful baby girl to that house over there”. The second one said “I’m bringing a healthy set of boy twins to that one over there”. The third one…older and wiser than the other two…said “I’m not delivering any babies…I am just going to go visit the convent to give them a scare.”

Interesting things found on the net.

This seemed appropriate as the bars reopen.

AnyLiquorInThisDrink

With the ongoing looting and violence…I can just imagine this from the late Billy Mays.

LooterBeGone

And if we abolish the police…this will happen when you dial 911. Remember…when seconds count…help is just minutes away.

ThoughtsAndPrayers

 

Since we live in Florida with lots of old people…and by the way old is a state of mind…it has nothing to do with mileage on the body.

TurnSignals

Of course it’s ours…why would you think it is not?

OfCourseItIsOurs

This was posted in a discussion on Neil’s Ugly Hedgehog photography forum on how close you get to the animals on safari in Africa. I guess this lady (a) had to go and (b) knows the answer to the question…or she will soon. Her husband probably took this photo…and said “Look honey, there’s a lion.”

Added later…already used this one…sorry ‘bout that but it is already posted so Ima leaving it in.

HowCloseDoYouGet

And finally…got this one from FB and while I usually don’t bother much with that platform…I have no idea whether Denzel Washington actually said this or not, I’m guessing no as the image appears to have been lifted from an interview on shortlist.com about his film The Equalizer with the text added later…but the sentiment is pretty much on the money. The world should be color blind…but it isn’t…and I don’t really believe it will ever be.

StopRacism

Cyas.

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