I Found Some More Stupid…

Yeah…a little more Reality Based Blogging…RBB©…today.

Turns out that the interwebs were right about ol’ Jussie Smollet…he of the racist, homophobic, bleach and noose attack by two guys wearing MAGA hats in downtown Chicago at 2AM when it was about 7 degrees…he’s been arrested for filing a false report. It turns out that he paid the two men of Nigerian ancestry to “attack” him. The reason was…he had earlier written a racist and homophobic letter to himself…he cut letters out of magazines and pasted them to a sheet of paper…who does that in 2019…and complained about it on the media. However…he wasn’t happy with the limited amount of exposure and outrage he generated with that letter…so he dipped into his Trump Derangement Syndrome toolbox and decided to up the ante by orchestrating an attack by Trump supporters.

Never mind that there was no video evidence and the likelihood that Trump supporters would just happen to be wandering around downtown Chicago at 2AM in their MAGA hats with bleach and a noose…or that the likelihood of a Trump supporter watching a TV show about a gay black music producer is pretty darned low.

This jack nozzle…with his hoax hate crime narrative…has made it harder for real victims to be believed. Lock him up I say. And it’s not even his first time lying to the police…back in 2007 he was pulled over for DUI and he gave a false name (his brother’s) and signed a false signature (his brother’s) to the summons.

On another note…the EU released the final draft of their new copyright rules today. I’m not sure exactly when they take effect as the EU Parliament still needs to vote on them but I think they were smoking crack when they wrote them…and if they’re approved the EU Parliament is nuts. These rules…which according to the EU are effective worldwide and not just within the EU…like the rest of us will pay much attention to them. Anyway…they state “any online community, platform or service that has existed for three or more years, or is making €10,000,001/year or more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily.” In the first place…this is impossible as a web site…say Facebook or Twitter for instance…has zero effect on what a user might post. Sure…if the user posts something that violates the terms of service or is copyrighted and the owner notifies the company they’ll take the material down…but under the rules they’re still responsible.

While the intent of the rules is to provide a legal remedy if a pirate site posts…for example…a full HD copy of a blockbuster movie that’s still playing in the theater…it also makes any commentary or review on that movie illegal if a short clip of the movie or some of the actual dialog is included in the commentary or review illegal and subject to sanction. There has been a fair use clause in copyright law for many decades allowing just this sort of commentary or review…and that’s still effective across the world…except for the EU of course and their statement that these rules apply worldwide. No wonder the UK wants to leave.

Speaking of the UK leaving…I’m still voting on them coming to Mar 29 and having what’s been called a hard Brexit…or no agreement. From the UK’s standpoint…this will save them billions of pounds in alimony. While both sides say they’re still willing to talk…they each have a non-negotiable demand that they won’t negotiate away…and those two demands are completely opposed to each other. That means that nothing will likely happen negotiation wise…and with the UK already legally set to leave the EU on Mar 29 it would require the UK to request a postponement. That’s unlikely to happen with the current government over there…and even if they did request it the request requires unanimous approval of the other 28 EU member states…unlikely to happen. The Prime Minister…who actually wasn’t in favor of leaving the EU as I recall…but she’s determined to carry out the wishes of the people who voted to leave in the referendum a couple years back. However…the folks that lost are now demanding another referendum…sort of like our politicians who want to overturn the results of elections.

One good bit common sense today in the news though…the Supreme Court acted to restrict the ability of states or cities to use a legal tactic called civil forfeiture. Under this tactic…say you’re a suspected…or even convicted and now released drug dealer and they stop your Landrover or BMW for say speeding. Since you’re a convicted but served time felon…or because the officer says he “smells marijuana” they search your car and find nothing except the $10,000 cash you have in you wallet. Under civil forfeiture…they seize your car and cash despite no crime being committed and then they hold a hearing at which you have no right to have an attorney present where the city or state decides whether the seizure by their officers was legal or not. Amazingly enough…the city/state almost always upholds the seizure…which means that they get the cash and auction off your car…the money typically goes into the budget of the law enforcement agency that seized it in the first place. This has always made zero sense to me…sure if you’ve got marijuana and a scale and cash in your car then it’s reasonable to assume that the cash came from selling dope…but with no dope or criminal charges from the stop they’ve basically made it legal under this tactic to seize cash and/or assets from whoever they feel like. I realize why the tactic was invented in the first place…but it’s been mightily abused and needed to be limited.

We’re getting ready for a little trip up to VA in a coupla weeks…got to go visit grand baby Alex before we head off on our summer travel season. Normally we would visit there right after we left Fort Myers…but since we’re going to Texas for the NHOG rally in early May we’ll head north and take a left turn at I-10…which doesn’t put us anywhere near VA. So we’re heading up early…besides, Neil needs to borrow his circular saw back from Bryan for a trailer upgrade project while we’re at the rally. We’ll have to stay at a hotel this time as the human kids have reorganized their house and don’t have a spare bedroom for us to sleep in anymore. We’ll be gone six nights but will have 3 full days to visit…we’ve found that to be a good visit length as by that time both we and the kids are about ready for the visit to be over and go back to our normal lives.

Big day today too…Connie’s off at the SW Florida District Meeting of the Ladies of Elks…basically an excuse to get together and have lunch. She went up to Deep Creek Lodge 30 minutes or so north of here. She’ll eat too much lunch…which means she won’t want much dinner. Fortunately…Neil has some leftover White Bolognese pasta from last night that he’ll have for lunch…then it’s taco night at the Elks where you can order by the each which means she can eat however much she needs. After that…it’s the meeting to elect the leadership for the lodge for the next year. There are actually contested elections for a change…for the first time in 7 years that we’ve been members each of the officers has two nominees and the competing slates have different ideas on what needs doing and how to do it.

On to interesting stuff found on the net.

WorldDidntSuck

LaughsLast

Ya know what this is…right…

WinterBareTrees

Nope?

Sure ya don’t have an idea?

It’s a Winter Bear Tree of course.

Wrong franchise young lady.

WrongFranchise

SameLanguage

PerfectSign

Cyas.

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Is It Just Me…

…or are people just stupid. To wit…and all these were news just from the past couple of days. Before I start though…let me tell ya about the new category of post I’m starting…it’s called RBB for Reality Based Blogging. I’ll use it when necessary and include a note at the beginning of the post so if’n ya don’ wanna read about obliviots ya don’ have to.

Anyways…back in December Amazon announced that they would build a second HQ in New York City…specifically in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. This would have employed 25,000…yes, 25,000…folks in NYC…and while some of them would have been transferred from other areas most of them would be new jobs for New Yorkers. Amazon was going to build a campus there…which would have generated construction jobs on top of the 25,000 permanent staff once it was built.

To get Amazon to make this commitment…the city and state offered Amazon tax subsidies…just like every other city and state does to get large corporate campuses built.

However…those construction and permanent jobs are now gone. Activists in NYC…there’s another word for them that starts with the same letter…and for which buttheads is a decent synonym…complained about the tax subsidies. Not satisfied with that…said activists complained that it would increase congestion and lead to gentrification. Now I dunno know ‘bout you…but I been to NYC and it’s already pretty darned congested…but with a population of 8 million people already it’s hard to believe that 25,000 well paying jobs that would pay the outrageous NY state and NYC income taxes would really increase congestion. Gentrification…I guess that the folks living there now would rather have their ghetto and a high tech corporate campus and all the benefits that go along with that.

The mayor blasted Amazon for not “working with the community to solve the problems”…which I assume means turn down the tax incentives involved.

Never mind that citizens of NYC support this deal 56% to 36%…the activists have torpedoed the deal for them.

To top it off…their newly elected congresswoman…she of the degree in economics…she thinks that “it shows that everyday Americans have have the power to fight for their communities and have more power than the richest man in the world.” She says that the $3 billion in tax breaks that Amazon would have gotten can now be used to hire more teachers and fix the subway. Never mind that NYC didn’t write Amazon a check…and doesn’t have that $3 billion…the city and state just agreed to discount the taxes that Amazon would have paid. Never mind that Amazon said the 25,000 jobs would average over $115,000 a year in salary…and pay some $20 billion of taxes in NY over the years that the tax breaks covered. Never mind that NYC has lost 25,000 tax paying jobs at Amazon plus who knows how many others at businesses that moved into or expanded in the area to provide services to those 25,000 workers.

Then there’s this whole Green New Deal thing…championed by that same newly elected to Congress 29 year bartender from NYC…ya know, the one named Ocrazyio…who wants to “eliminate climate change in the next 10 years. To do this she’s built a plan…well she calls it a plan but it’s actually just a progressive wish list with no thought given to technical feasibility of accomplishing any of it’s goals and no plan at all to pay for it except for the government to ‘just print more money’. To achieve this goal…she wants to convert the entire electric grid to renewable energy sources, outlaw coal and gas, eliminate all fossil fueled vehicles including planes, eliminate emissions from livestock (presumably by banning cows and pigs and making us all vegetarians by fiat), and institute high speed transportation country wide. But she goes further than that…in addition to some goals that arguable would affect the US carbon emissions…she then piles on every progressive wish list item she can think of…Medicare for all…a guaranteed job for “every person that wants one”…a guaranteed income for those persons that don’t want a job…free college tuition, and upgrade every building in the US to maximum energy efficiency.

She’s going to accomplish all of this in 10 years…and do it all on the government’s dime. A lot of this is technically unachievable at any cost…but quickly reviewing a few cost estimates for some of the ideas from other folks (not her though…her plan is to just print money remember)…reveal that Medicare for All would cost on the order of $300 billion a year and completely replacing every power plant in the US would be something over $2 trillion over 10 years or $200 billion a year, and upgrading all the buildings in the US would be another $300 billion a year. That’s $800 billion a year…and the current US budget is only about $4000 billion a year now. Add in the other ideas…and she’s going to increase the total budget by a minimum of 30%…without paying for any of it.

To be fair…she’s said that she wants to increase the tax rate on incomes more than 10 million to 70%…without any of the tax deductions that currently exist. To be fair also…her wacko buddy Elizabeth Warren wants to institute a wealth tax…not an income tax mind you but an annual wealth tax of 2% or 3% a year on NET WORTH…in other words she’s not going to tax their income (that’s handled by Ocrazyio’s idea) but she’s just going to confiscate the wealth that has already been earned and taxed.

To be completely fair though…both of the above plans put together would bring in about $300 billion a year…or just a third of the costs identified above. I saw one estimate that the total cost of the whole Green New Deal would be on the order of $20 trillion over 10 years or a mere $2 trillion a year…or about 50% of the current federal budget. And they’re going to do all of this on the backs of the American taxpayer. Now they call it “having the rich pay their fair share”…but seeing that the to 5% of income earners pay something like 60% of the total income tax paid by the entire country…well it’s hard to see how they’re not already paying their share as well as the share for the downtrodden. No mistake about it…enactment of this idea would…besides being technically impossible to achieve at all, much less in 10 years…would result in massive tax increases on people in the $50,000 a year income and up brackets…there’s just no other way to make the math work.

So…the Senate Majority Leader says that he’ll call a vote on the Green New Deal…and now the progressives are all up in arms saying he’s trying to torpedo the idea “before we flesh it out via a national debate”. Seems to me he’s just giving them a chance to go on record as tax and spend liberals or betray the…media’s words not mine…commitment of the new star of the left…said 29 year old freshman congresswoman with previous job experience as a bartender. Now how this woman who graduated with an finance degree from Boston University fails to understand that governments cannot just print money is beyond me…the last two countries that tried that were Zimbabwe and Venezuela…and they have massive inflation rates and economies that are in the toilet…so just printing money obviously isn’t the answer.

Then there’s another admitted socialist…again a newly elected congressman named Ilhan Omar from Minnesota…who wants to defund the Homeland Security Department. This is on top of her earlier on-video declaration that the President is a mother-f*** (I’l leave it to you to figure out the rest of that) and then last week she accused congressman and senators of supporting Israel solely because of “Jewish money”. Even her own party condemned her ant-semitic remarks and she subsequently apologized. No apology so far for the President though.

California announced today that they’re abandoning their high speed rail project between LA and San Francisco…yes, the same high rail that the aforementioned Green New Deal wants to expand nationwide. California started this project in 2013 and it was supposed to cost $6 billion and be paid for “completely by private investors”. Unfortunately…private investors have declined to take part…and they’ve spent well into double digits of billions in state money with a before it was cancelled estimated price tag of $77 billion…and so far with exactly zero miles of track being laid the cost would only go up from there.

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren…while we’re no fans of her ‘round these parts…she recently had some DNA research done and according to it she has a Native American ancestor somewhere between 6 and 10 generations back. While this Native American gene is not solely found in that population and is also found in other populations around the world but it’s more common in Native Americans. She did this DNA test to counteract the President’s description of her as “Pocahontas” because she’s said in the past that she has some Native American ancestry based on “tales from her grandmother”. Based on the DNA analysis…she likely has some Native American genes in her ancestry…but then probably 50% of the US population has some of those genes.

That’s not the stupid thing though…what’s stupid is the reaction from various Native American tribes around the country. They say that bloodlines, genes, and who you ancestors were has nothing to do with Native American ancestry…that only tribal allegiance and customs provide Native American ancestry. Unfortunately for them…that’s wrong. While “tribal membership” can be and is regulated by the tribe and restricted to those with significant ancestry…growing up as an Indian isn’t generally required for tribal membership as I understand it, merely a greater percentage of Indian ancestry in your genealogical tree. She…however…doesn’t claim tribal membership but Native American ancestry. In this case…even though we think her politics are cuckoo…she’s more likely right than wrong. Nonetheless…she’s apologized and now says that she misspoke when claiming to be descended from Native Americans.

Then there’s the guy in Arizona that raped the disabled comatose nurse in a nursing facility. Nobody knew she was pregnant until she went into labor and out popped the infant. DNA testing has confirmed the paternity of the child…and he was arrested…and obviously a comatose woman can’t consent…but this moron…well, he pleaded innocent and his lawyer says he “deserves the constitutional protections he’s guaranteed”. True…but DNA is DNA so there’s really no question as to guilt I’m guessing. However…instead of copping a plea for a reduced sentence…maybe this moron thinks he’ll get off.

Walmart recently announced that all employees would get 48 hours of sick pay per year…I don’t know if this is an increase from nothing or from smaller number…but good old Bernie Sanders…instead of congratulating Walmart on improving employee benefits…nope…he is condemning them because it’s “not nearly enough”. He and his fellow progressive Senator Schumer are introducing a bill to ban a company from buying back stock unless they increase minimum wages to $15 an hour and provide 60 hours of sick leave per year. Somehow…I don’t think making it illegal for a company to buy back stock is constitutional…but apparently…at least to progressives…the constitution means what they want it to mean instead of what it actually says.

Back in the 1500s…there was this period of cold climate called the Little Ice Age…according to the people that know these things the temperature of the earth cooled by an entire degree…this causing dramatic alterations in climate, widespread crop failure, famine…and probably the heartbreak of psoriasis for all we know. Now I’m not sure that just one degree of temperature change would cause the widespread famine an crop failure it’s alleged to…but then I’m not a climate change expert like progressives claim to be…and think that just maybe there were some other contributing factors.

However…I’m told according to Popular Mechanics…which quotes a study from University College in London…anyway they say that the Little Ice Age was caused by a decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 8 parts per million starting in 1492. Again…I’m not sure that we really know precisely what atmospheric carbon dioxide was in the 1400s…or how they calculated that this precipitous drop started in 1492…but again I’m not a climate change expert so work with me here. Anyways…the experts in London have concluded that it’s all Christopher Columbus’s fault. His discovery of North America…I guess the people already here don’t count…triggered a massive population decline (their words, not mine) because of the tens of millions of Native American deaths (supposedly 90% of the population) that were killed off by European white people who came to North America. This population crash in turn resulted in 200,000 acres (that’s about the size of Texas) of former crop land being taken over by forests…which then sucked the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere…which then caused one entire degree of cooling…which caused the dramatic alteration of climate in Europe and all the subsequent famine, death, and psoriasis.

Me…I think there’s probably a lot more to it than that. While it’s clear that over the past 50 or years or so temperature has risen…and it’s likely that cars, cows, power plants and the like have some contribution to it…it’s not entirely clear to me that there aren’t other factors that might be also contributing…ya know things like volcanic eruptions and variations in solar flux. I seem to remember seeing graphs of the actual solar flux over time that hit the planet…and amazingly enough the variations in it seem to pretty much parallel the graph that the climate change experts keep showing us showing the planet’s temperature over the past 50 million years. I’m still now sure what an “average planetary temperature” is…it seems like an oversimplification to me. I’m also not sure how we know what the temperature was 45 million years ago since thermometers were only invented 220 years ago. I know what the climate experts claim…they…well, the Soviet Union actually…dug up some ice samples in Antarctica back in the 1950s or so and these were analyzed for carbon dioxide content and dated in layers that supposedly conform to years and supposedly conform to average temperature. Again…that seems like an oversimplification to me…but as I said I’m not a climate change expert…just a simple minded bear.

There’s been this whole wall/shutdown/political brinksmanship thing going on over the past couple of months in particular…and today the President declared a National Emergency which will allow him to build the wall by reprogramming funds already appropriated. Naturally…progressives are all up in arms about this…threatening lawsuits and such…and I’m not really trying to argue for or against a wall or that Mexico should pay for it. There are places along the border where a wall is a good idea…and there are places along the border where it’s not really practical and more sophisticated technical measures might better be employed. However…I have noticed a few hypocritical statements…shocking news I know…from various politicians and pundits. 

Just a couple of examples. If walls are bad and do nothing to keep bad people out…why do wealthy progressives and wealthy conservatives both live in gated communities and put locks on their doors? If all immigrants are bad…how does one explain the huge majority of them that other than being illegally in the country are law abiding people…while I feel for their desire to better their families…there are legal ways to enter the country and calling them “undocumented” is just a progressive smokescreen…if you aren’t a legal immigrant or visa holding visitor and you’re in the US then you’re an illegal immigrant. If declaring a national emergency is bad…then why is the President being almost universally condemned by the media for declaring his first one while the past 3 administrations have had 13, 12, and 11 declared national emergencies respectively with most of those still in effect aren’t being condemned. If walls are by definition bad…then why have the past 3 administrations installed over 600 miles of border wall/fence/barrier between them. If walls are bad…why did the progressives support a bill last year that would have provided over $26 billion of wall/fence/barrier funding. If walls are bad…why were progressives for them before they were against them. I’ll tell you why…it’s because progressives must oppose anything the President does…we call it TDS for Trump Derangement Syndrome at my cave. And it’s not just progressives…the far right during the previous administration kept up all the crap about birth certificates and natural born citizenship of the previous President…and they were just as ignorant, wrong, and stupid as the current crop of presidential opponents.

Then there’s the whole Brexit thing…it’s not my country so I don’t really have much of an opinion either way…although I do think the EU is doomed to failure eventually as there’s no strong central government and no member gave up any of their sovereignty. However…the UK voted to leave…and their Prime Minister is trying to do what the people voted to…but it’s like the losing side over there keeps trying to change the outcome of the referendum because they don’t like the fact they lost. Parliament over in the UK voted down the divorce settlement that both sides agreed on…now the British want to renegotiate or else they will just leave as scheduled in late March. Both sides have what they describe as “non negotiable requirements”…unfortunately each side’s non negotiable requirements are 100% in conflict with the other side’s non negotiable requirements. I dunno what’s gonna happen…although I’m personally betting on the no deal exit option as that’s what’s currently in law…but it’s interesting to watch from afar.

OK…on to interesting things found on the net.

1998vs2019

Always read the small print.

AlwaysReadTheSmallPrint

BrrrrKillsHamilton

WhoLostTheKeys

WifeFellOff

ThanksgivingTurkey

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging, RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Ya Know…You Really Can’t Fix Stupid

Note…Connie…ya know, Neil’s sweetie and the center of his universe and happiness…disavows responsibility for this post and thinks it shouldn’t be on the blog at all…but like Randy Cassingham from thisistrue.com…stupidity and obliviots should be pointed out regardless of race, creed, political party, gender, or any of the other categorization words you feel like adding to this list. I thought about having a separate section of the blog called “Bad Neil” but then that would be stealing an idea from Nick Russell of gypsyjournal.com fame. That rat also has a section called Nick Happens…so I can’t use that one either…and I couldn’t think of a better one. If you’ve got one…please let me know in the comments and I’ll make up a new section for posts that well…ya know who I’m talkin’ about…thinks are off topic.

The original idea for this post was to offer a few samples of people…mostly politicians…being stupid as seen on recent news. I even was going to be non-partisan about it since both of our parties are worthy contributors. I was even going to include foreign politicians…and even for extra credit some foreign non-politicians. The reason for the post about other than Fun Stuff© is the same as last time…there ain’t been any Fun Stuff© to write about.

However…I ran into a problem in that there were sooooo many potential contributions in the past week or so that this post would have read like War and Peace…heck…the socialist Ocrazyio-Cortez from the Bronx had 3 potential entries just on her own. So I decided to just pick one…and since we used to be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia decided they would be the winners this week.

As you’re probably seen on the news…the Caucasian Governor and Caucasian Attorney General of VA are Democrats and both allegedly appeared in blackface back during their college days. The Lieutenant Governor is an African American Democrat…and he’s been accused by two separate women of either sexual abuse in one case or rape in the second case. As it happens…these are the first two in line for becoming the governor under the VA constitution succession rules…and the third guy in line is the Speaker of the House in VA. This guy happens to be a Caucasian Republican…and in a strange twist he’s only the Speaker  by virtue of a coin toss after the last election. Seems there was one house seat that was tied after all the mandatory recounts…and under VA law it’s decided by a coin toss. This duly occurred, the Republican for that seat was certified as the winner…and hence the VA House has a Republican majority and hence a Republican Speaker.

Before we get too far into the weeds though…I need to comment on the issue of blackface…which has been declared by the NAACP and numerous Democratic presidential candidates in the past week…to be universally and inherently racist. I think that there’s a problem with this though…while in the politically correctness times of 2019 it’s generally recognized as racist…was it really racist back then? Like a lot of things that aren’t acceptable now…there is plenty of historical precedent about things and situations that…back at the time when the precedent was “current events” were either legal, acceptable, risqué and frowned upon…or some combination of the above.

For example…slavery for instance…was legal up until the constitution was amended to make it illegal. Slavery…although primarily practiced in the “racist South” since cotton plantations needed cheap labor…was aided and abetted by primarily New England shipping companies and ship captains that journeyed…for profit mind you, nobody forced them to do so…to Africa to engage in the buying and selling of slaves. The KKK was invented by the Democratic Party…and it was the Republican Party (some President named Abe something-or-other) that was responsible for the abolition of slavery. Abroad…apartheid was the law of the land in the country of South Africa for generations before it became illegal. Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was a convicted, sentenced to hang by the neck until dead murderer before he because the champion of black majority rule in South Africa. Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin was…back before he was Prime Minister of Israel…an admitted terrorist who participated in the violent takeover of the land that became Israel after the British pulled out. Robert Byrd was an admitted member of the KKK. He also participated in a Democratic Party led filibuster in 1964 against the Civil Rights Act. Franklin Roosevelt ordered the mass and arbitrary incarceration of US citizens of Japanese ancestry during World World II. Women could not vote until the constitution was amended to make that legal.

I could go on and on with examples…and I’m not implying that the folks in the above paragraph were good or bad…just that as a matter of historical record things that are now unacceptable in 2019 were perfectly acceptable back then. And while I personally have never appeared in blackface…I’m a bear after all and we don’t wear makeup…back in the day there were situations where it wasn’t considered out of line…like say you were participating in a Michael Jackson lookalike contest. 

Just sayin’. So the whole notion of blackface…or anything else that is dug up about a politician of either party from 30 years ago…needs to be considered both in the prevailing morals of the time for lack of a better word as well as considering that maybe anything you said or did in college that wasn’t illegal you might deserve a pass for and let’s look at your adult behavior and your political life behavior instead.

So…back to the Commonwealth of VA and their current governing crisis where this all started.

The governor may…or may not depending on which press release you believe…have put a picture on his yearbook page of himself in blackface. I can’t believe that we haven’t seen a complete facial recognition analysis of the photo yet with definitive proof…or non proof and then all the subsequent arguments about the definition of proof…whether the picture in question is him. He now says it’s not…but that he did wear blackface for a Michael Jackson lookalike contest.

The lieutenant governor…well, he’s been accused of sexual assault and rape by two different women…and at least one of them told her friends at the time that it happened…and their friends say they were informed back then. However…there’s no video, there’s no police report, there’s no rape kit so at this point there’s relatively little actual evidence that he did or did not do this.

The attorney general has likewise appeared in blackface and admitted it publicly.

The speaker of the house is a Republican elected basically because of a coin toss and he’s next in line for the governor after the LG and AG.

The Democratic Party…well they’re in a pickle over this. Numerous presidential candidates demanded the governor resign as his “transgression” was the first of the three to be publicly known…however they quit talking about that when it turned out that the LG and AG might also have to resign and that would make the governor a Republican instead of a Democrat.

The LG is now being defended by various other Democrats…with words like “there’s no proof” and “it’s he said she said”. Ya know…the same stuff that back during the Kavanaugh hearings they were all about “you must always believe the woman” and now they’re saying the opposite.

So what should happen in VA? I suggest that they all take a deep breath…or maybe several of them…and demonstrate a little common sense.

The governor should not resign in my opinion…what he did was (a) somewhat acceptable back then and (b) he was a dumb college student anyway. If what you did as a college student…or even a young adult…counted against you then both Connie and Neil…as well as just about every other person over the age of 25…would be in trouble.

The LG should be investigated…but absent any actual evidence that he committed these crimes he should not resign either. I said this same thing back during the Kavanaugh hearings…although to be fair these two accusers have somewhat greater credibility since they (a) told people about it back then even though no police report was filed and (b) they’re not political activists from the other party who might be trying to derail a career.

The AG…same as the governor…who cares. Has he been racist as an adult or politician? If not then let’s forgive what may…or may not as I don’t know all the circumstances but none of the media pundits do either…have been a bad idea.

This whole controversy…just like the one over Kavanaugh and several other judicial appointees by the President…is just a bunch of sour grapes sour loser bovine end product. Like our previous President said…elections have consequences…the winner gets to do things like appoint judges and serve as governor (or lieutenant governor or attorney general) and demanding a do-over ain’t the way it works in a federated democratic republic like the US of A.

Enough of that nonsense…I might…or might not, who knows…illustrate the other stupidities I found later on…but I will tell ya about the two worst foreign examples I ran across this week.

Over in the UK as you know they’re in the midst of the Brexit brouhaha…and there’s this female economics fellow at Cambridge University who’s against Brexit. She’s certainly entitled to her opinion of course…and as a US citizen whether the UK achieves Brexit or not isn’t anything I have any say in (and relatively little interest in other than the fact that I have always thought that the EU was a doomed concept from the start as the member countries didn’t give up any sovereignty to the central government…therefore they effectively have no central government but just an economic union)…she’s going ‘round giving speeches and appearing on youtube videos railing on about how Brexit is the 2000s version of “the king has no clothes” and it will leave the UK economy naked. The stupid part comes in here though. She gives these speeches with no notes while walking around on the stage…and during the first third or so of the speech slowly takes off her blazer, blouse, skirt, bra, underwear and shoes until she’s naked and then wanders around the stage blathering on. At the end she picks up her clothes and walks off. The really stupid part comes in next though…this week she appeared on a radio show…yeah, I said radio…and that of course means no video…and she still stripped naked in the radio studio. Hello!! Lady…it’s radio, nobody can see your show of defiance or metaphor or whatever you’re trying to do by taking off your clothes.

Then there’s this guy in India…he’s suing his parents for not getting his permission before he was born and forced to exist in the cold cruel world of Indian caste society. At least he’s honest enough to admit that he’ll probably not get a judge to rule in his favor…but he’s still stupid.

OK…what other interesting things did we find on the net this week…

As ya know we had wintergeddon or snowpocalypse or whatever the idiots on the news called it this time last week. All I know about it is that we had no snow down here in SW FL…and that Fred Flintstone was driving down this street.

FredFlintstoneWasHere

There was this farmer in the midwest somewhere that applied to build himself a shelter out in the field for his horses to get out of the rain (or snow or whatever, I’m not sure) to whoever had to approve such things in his state or city or county or whatever. That august body saw fit to disapprove his request. Fortunately for him though…there is no such approval required to build himself a table and set of chairs.

FarmerDeniedHorseShelterPermit

PeachCobbler

BeVewyVewyQuiet

RedBullWoodpecker

This is how you say CVS…with a Bastanh accent.

CVSInBostonAccent

There’s this cloud on Jupiter that’s shaped like a dolphin…at least if the dolphin was about 10 times larger than the earth is.

DolphinCloudJupiter

PushingTheCarHome

And finally…a salute to those who’ve served in our military. Got this from my Ugly Hedgehog forum…which is actually a photographers hangout. They’re a compilation of bumper stickers that were seen on or around military bases.

MilitaryBumperStickers1

MilitaryBumperStickers2

Cyas.

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Assorted Ramblings of the Third Kind

Yeah…that’s what I said…the third kind. According to the Urban Dictionary…”third kind” means “an experience with a human that is so bizarre one might as well be dealing with an alien.” And that’s what we’re dealing with here.

Connie’s off to Bingo at the park tonight…and I’m bored…so on to the rambling.

First up…the cold weather up north. Yeah…I realize it’s cold up there…and it might even be colder than average…and the river in Chicago might have frozen over…but its winter in the North for goodness sake…you think it’s going to be tropical?

There’s a student in the upper Midwest somewhere’s…he froze to death in his dorm room apparently…and while that might be a tragedy for his family…and whoever was managing the heating in his dorm room might be…emphasis on might be…responsible…it’s winter…what did you expect?

If you don’t like cold weather…don’t live in the north. I’m getting sick and tired of the mainstream media naming winter storms and telling us how many millions of people…mostly those live in NY or other bastions of dense urbanism…are “under the gun of the polar vortex” and need to be protected.

Nanny state…get our of our lives…as I said before…look at the calendar. It’s January…which means its winter in the northern hemisphere…and…news flash…winter in the northern hemisphere means that there will be cold weather.

Even the US Postal Service has surrendered. Remember the old days…when the USPS creed…”Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” meant that…no matter what…the postman would deliver your mail to your mailbox. I remember back when I was just a cub…the postman came in AL even during a hurricane. Not so much now though…7 states had cancelled mail delivery today. Give me an elfin’ break I say.

Harden the f*** up and deal with it as the Australian bike racers say.

Moving on to Venezuela…we’ve been hearing for 2 years now how the Republicans aided the Russians with “hacking the election” in 2016 and participating in “collusion”…whatever that means. Now I understand that the Democrats didn’t like the outcome of the election…and frankly we’re not real fans of the President ‘round these parts either…but elections have consequences…and like former President Obama said…the losing side just needs to deal with it. Instead…we’ve seen 2 years of what Connie calls TDS for Trump Derangement syndrome…attempting to overcome the vote of the people. I don’t want to hear about how the Electoral College is bad…it’s the law of the land. I don’ want to hear about “collusion” or “hacking the election” unless you’ve got some actual evidence that either of those things happened. Just because Mr. Trump won the election…under the rules if I might add…doesn’t give the other side the right to claim it’s an illegitimate result.

I only got onto that tangent about the 2016 election in the US because of the current flap over the presidential election in Venezuela. While Mr. Maduro is s worthless scumbag communist in my opinion…the fact remains that…according to the courts in his country who have ruled on it…the official winner of the presidential election there. Despite this…the media in the US…aided and abetted any most of the foreign policy folks and various other talking heads on our media…insist on recognizing the opposition leader who has declared himself the actual president of Venezuela.

Now I don’t really give a damn about who the president of Venezuela is…no matter who it is the government there is corrupt and mostly interested in lining their own pockets…very similar to most of the politicians in the US. However…I do find it somewhat hypocritical that the same mainstream media that condemns our President for “hacking” and “collusion” doesn’t see any problem with advocating what is…essentially…the overthrow of an elected government in a foreign country. 

I agree that the election in Venezuela was probably rigged…and that Mr. Maduro is a scumbag dictator…but the fact remains that…according to the courts in his country…which may be rigged as well…he won. How is bitching about Mr. Trump’s alleged crimes while simultaneously trumpeting how Mr. Maduro is a bad guy anything but hypocritical?

Speaking of hypocritical…and dishonest…let’s move on to the curious case of Jussie Smollett.

Who you say?

I have to agree with you…I had no idea who he was either…so here’s the Cliff Notes version.

Mr. Smollett is a gay black actor…which we have nothing against. He’s the “star”…for lack of a better term…of a series on Fox named Empire…where naturally enough he plays the part of a gay black musician. ‘Round these parts…we don’t have anything against the man…or against black or gay or liberals…well, maybe liberals we do just a little…but that’s just who he is.

OK…last weekend…the aforementioned Jussie Smollett…who lives in downtown Chicago in the area known as the Loop…came home from wherever he was working that night…and then decided he was hungry. So…he headed out…at 0200…that’s 2AM for folks not familiar with military time…for breakfast…at of all places…a local Subway. Now remember that nothing good happens after midnight…but anyways…supposedly he was attacked on the way to the Subway.

According to Mr. Smollett…he was attacked by two white guys in MAGA hats…who said they recognized him as the N-word guy from Empire…and they beat him up, dragged him around by a rope around his neck and then ran off.

Mr. Smollett…well, he went home…with the rope supposedly still around his neck…and 40 minutes later his agent…who just happened to be at his home at the time…called the cops.

Immediately the media jumped on the “hate crime” bandwagon and further condemned anybody who has the unmitigated gall to wear a MAGA hat.

The police have been investigating ever since…and while if this story is true the low lifes who did it should be executed…it is starting to look more like a hoax than an actual fact. Here’s what has been in the news the past couple of days.

-Surveillance camera video in the area has been examined…with no evidence of any attack. They police did find a video of him walking down the street and out of sight…and a video of him walking…not running…in the next camera one minute later. So the assault must have taken less than a minute.

-In the second video…he’s seen wearing the rope “like a neck tie” according to the statement by the police…and he’s not in any manner appearing to be “fleeing” from his alleged attackers.

-He claims…backed up by his agent…who just happened to be at his house…that he was talking on the phone to his agent at the time of the attack. His agent claims that he heard the racial and homophobic remarks by the attackers…despite the fact the cell phones don’t pick up background noises that well. Both he and his agent…strangely enough…have refused to provide either their phones to the police for analysis or their phone records to document the existence of the conversation they were supposedly having.

While I have no evidence either way this claim is true or not…and if true it’s a crime and the perpetrators should be prosecuted…there’s a lot of things that just don’t add up here.

Despite all of that…the media is still talking about the “race and homophobic related” attack…the MAGA wearing white guys that allegedly attacked him…the the “hate crime” nature of it.

I wonder…if in days to come that it turns out this was some sort of PR hoax…if the media will be so quick to declare the white guys in MAGA hats innocent.

Given that he claimed that the white guys in MAGA hats recognized him as the guy from Empire…and given the most likely low number of conservatives that watch a black and gay oriented TV show on Fox…I’m still waiting on some actual evidence from either him, his agent, or the police. Call me crazy…but Ima not buying it yet.

Days later…still no evidence of anything happening.

Moving on to politically related things…the latest salvo from the liberal side is that from Senator Warren of MA…she’s proposed a 2% (or 3% depending on how wealthy your are) wealth tax on the net worth of “rich people”.

There are several problems with this…starting with its probably unconstitutional to tax net worth in the first place. After that…there’s the whole problem of determining…each and every year…what each “rich person” is worth…and that’s fraught with difficulty since things like privately held companies are inherently difficult to evaluate. But she’s not really interested in legality…or the amount of revenue that might be raised…she’s interested in scoring points with people who think that “rich people” need to pay their “fair share”.

Let’s ignore for the minute that “rich people” already pay far more of the overall federal income tax revenue than is their share…no matter how you cut the numbers when you’re talking about numbers like the US government’s annual revenue it’s not coming from poor people…it’s coming from people with higher salaries.

Connie saw an estimate today on the cost of “Medicare for all” that a lot of the liberal folks are touting as the solution to the health care issues in the US. This estimate…which was done by a business guy from George Washington University…and which used assumptions which he freely admitted underestimated the actual cost…came up with a cost of “Medicare for all” at about $6 Trillion dollars a year. Given that the current entire US budget is only about $4 Trillion per year…”Medicare for all” would raise the federal annual expenditure to about $10 Trillion a year…or an increase of 250%.

Folks…there’s just not enough money in either income or wealth owned by “rich people” to cover that.

OK…enough rambling…let’s see what interesting things we found the net this week.

Rules.

RulesOfCourse

Who’s the idiot here?

YourAnIdiot

You would think that a place named “Animal Planet’ would know the difference.

AnimalPlanetKnowDifference

And from over in the UK…after Price Phillip’s recent traffic accident…and yeah…I know the steering wheel is on the other side of the car in the UK.

OverInTheUK

Fire breathing polar bear…this photo was taken at either sunrise or sunset where the sun illuminated the water vapor the bear was breathing out.

FireBreathingPolarBear

This is how archeology in Canuckistan works.

ArcheologyInCanuckistan

And another example of how your brain can make sense out of mush…this one from famed physicist Stephen Hawkins.

StephenHawkingIntelligenceDefinition

The origin of evolution.

OriginOfEvolution

And finally…these worker guys wanted to get one final photo together before they get fired.

OneLastPhotoBeforeWeAreFired

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 1 Comment

And More Whole Lot of ‘Nuffin Goin’ On

Yup…the title really says it all.

I’ve been watching the news the past few weeks with all of the government shutdown stuff with red line demands from both sides and I gotta tell ya we really need to throw the bunch of the bums out…it seems the art of political compromise has died and been stuffed and put up on the mantle as neither side seems to understand that if you give a little and get a little then things can actually get accomplished. Ms. Pelosi and her crowd do have a point that a wall (or fence or whatever) is a 4th century bit of technology and we can do better with 21st century technology like drones, sensors, and more Border Patrol agents. There’s something to be said for that argument…but her side refuses to concede that in some places…like say downtown San Diego where there are literally feet between US and Mexican territory…a fence is a perfectly valid way to control the border. On the other side…although it appears that the President is compromising by offering to extend DACA for up to 3 years…that’s not really much of a concession at this point in time as the courts are still battling things out over the executive order eliminating DACA…but it does appear that he’s at least trying to compromise a little but the other side is just saying no. Now we’ve got a 3 week long continuing resolution so that the parties can negotiate…but if one side says we must have a physical barrier in some places and the other side says we’re not approving any physical barrier at all…then come Feb 15 we’ll just be right back where we are now.

There was another series of articles over gun control the past week…with again progressives insisting that despite numerous Supreme Court decisions saying that the right to keep and bear arms is a guaranteed individual constitutional right that we need to have more licensing, background checks, limitations on magazines and “scary looking” guns and associated restrictions. Yet the same people continue to insist that…despite you having to present identification to buy alcohol, drive a car, get onto an airplane and the dozens of other instances where ID is required…that having to present an ID to vote…which is the primary duty of citizenship and is restricted to only those who hold citizenship…is an onerous burden and that no restrictions on the right to vote are acceptable. Seems like that on the 2nd amendment side progressives have no problem with anything that limits a constitutional right while on the 15th amendment side of things they keep insisting that even simply presenting an ID is too onerous and unacceptably restricts a constitutional right. I really wish they could get their thoughts in line on whether a constitutional right can be restricted or not…seems like they’re being a might hypocritical to me. Of course…that would require that they recognize the ability to compromise and read what the constitution says…which is probably asking too much…

Frankly…we’ve got lots of friends in our age group that are both progressive and conservative…and we continue to feel that both political parties have catered way too much to the demands of either the far left or far right…leaving the majority of the folks who inhabit the political center-left or center-right agreeing that both sides have some valid arguments no party to really vote for. The trouble is that the far left and far right can’t win a national race…but those in the middle have nobody to vote for.

This bears out what Neil has been saying ever since the first election he voted in back when he was 18…in addition to the candidates on the ballot there should be a choice for “None of the above”…and if None wins then you have to have a new election and none of the previous candidates are eligible to run. Seems like that would pretty quickly convince the parties to nominate candidates that are actually electable instead of just pleasing to their extreme wings.

I realize it’s probably heresy to say this…but progressive folks do have some ideas that center-right folks can support…DACA for instance. Those kids were brought here as infants…granted their parents did so illegally but the kids grew up in America and don’t know anything but America…deporting them just isn’t fair. However…in a compromise maybe we could actually enforce our existing immigration laws and prosecute employers who hire illegals…heck, maybe we could even give them work permits so they would be able to work legally. I’m even willing to entertain discussions about a path to citizenship for them…but remember the illegals are here illegally and why should they get a head of the line pass to citizenship over those who waited their turn for a legal immigration into the country. It’s a hard problem…and as long as both sides think that winning, demonizing the other side, and making sure the other side “loses” is more important than silly little issues like say…doing their job…and compromising…I can’t see much changing.

Ok…what else is going on…lessee…

We’re actually going to replace our awning canopy fabric along with the slide toppers we did a few weeks back…Neil noticed more seams starting to come apart and after 7 summers on the road the fabric has just been sun weakened to the point that it needs replacing…Neil let Gordon the repair guy talk him out of it before but it’s so much easier to do here rather than on the road and we don’t want to be awning-less in the travel season.

Bill and Linda were here for a week…we had some good times with them although we only cooked once each, the rest of the time we frequented assorted eateries ‘round the area instead. Bill and Neil did a few trailer projects but mostly it was just visiting with friends. They headed off after their week here to visit some more friends on the way back to NC.

Things are a-stirring down at the Elks Lodge…don’t want to say too much here but suffice it to say that we’re starting to check out the other lodges in the area to potentially visit instead of our local one. I can say that it doesn’t look like the upcoming election will be a “one slate of candidates” thing, there’s actually going to be a choice it looks like.

We’re well into our planning for the upcoming travel season. We’ll be leaving here in late April so as to arrive at our first real destination in Kerrville TX for the New Horizons rally a few days early…that will allow Bill, our friend Jim, and Neil to install hardwood flooring in our LR slide to replace the worn out carpet. New Horizons didn’t start doing hardwood there until 2 years after we bought the rig so we’ll just buy the materials ourselves and the three of them will do the install before the rally starts.

Once the rally is over we’ll head north to Kansas City and do the western half of US-50 out to the Sacramento area, head north to OR and then head eastward on US-20 until we’re in IA. At that point we’ll cut south to Jefferson City MO and then do the remaining eastern half of US-50 back to the east coast…although we will skip a short portion through the Appalachian Mountains that’s just not rig worthy…even though it’s a 2 digit numbered US highway it’s just too curvy and hilly in that portion of the country to safely get down it with a 62 foot long Big Red with the rig in tow. We’ll stop with the rig in the DC area and do the last couple hundred miles out to Ocean City MD with just Li’l Red on an overnight trip. After that we’ll stop by and see Alex, Bryan, and Jen…then probably visit Knoxville TN for the weekend to see Neil’s Baby Sis…then stop at Cedar Key at the Low Key Hideaway for the last 10 days in October before arriving back in Fort Myers Nov 1. Connie’s got most of the campgrounds figured out and he’s about 1/3 or so through making reservations…all the really hard ones like holiday weekends are finished. One thing we’re doing different this season is taking a vacation halfway through the travel season. Around Aug 1 we’ll be stopping for 11 days in Douglas WY…although we do have a few Fun Stuff© things to do there it would have been a 4 or 5 day stop for that…but we’re usually getting tired out by the end of travel season so we’re going to try just chillin’ out for an extra week there and see if that improves the fatigue factor.

It’s a rainy day here in SW FL today…highs about 60 and intermittent showers. It’s a bit unseasonal…but still way, way better than snow and 20s would be.

Oh yeah…we’re gonna be famous…er, maybe…sort of, I guess…or maybe infamous…who knows? Neil and Connie got interviewed for an upcoming article in Money Magazine about full time RVing. We chatted with the person writing it, sent in some photos of us and the rig, and signed a model release. The article is currently undergoing editing and will be published sometime…maybe…and our contribution may…or may not…make it to print. I’l letya know if anything comes of it…no money is involved for us of course. The author of the article is a freelancer and despite being hired to write an article on living in an RV…he knew amazingly little about actual RVs. He thought that only a class A (the bus type) was an RV and had no idea that class B, C, or fifth wheels existed until they edumacated him a bit. Hopefully they helped him to write a more useful and meaningful article.

Our eaglets E12 and E13 continue to grow…they’re 32 and 34 days old now and are starting to get normal feathers coming out instead of the down that they’re born with. Still another 40 days or so to fledging (first flight) though…but both appear to be growing normally. Here’s a shot of Harriet and one of the eaglets…the other must sheltering be under her left wing which is pooched out a bit.

Screen Shot 2019 01 26 at 2 20 23 PM

Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.

Did you know that “Yuor biran has teh alibtiy to mkae oderr out of caohs”? Even though the words are garbled your brain easily read that…right?

I’m not sure how this sign will help any illiterate drivers who see it.

Huhh

It’s on the Internet…it has to be correct.

LincolnAndHisPhone

I can get behind this sentiment.

FundingTheLazy

Debate settled…this is the illustration from the original patent application for toilet paper…we now know how conclusively which way it’s supposed to be rolled.

DebateSettled

Apparently there’s this bikini hiker chick in Taiwan…her name was Gigi Wu and she used to hike up the mountains in Taiwan in her bikini to the…apparently…immense delight of her Twitter and Facebook followers. Here she is on a previous summit visit.

BikiniHikerYushwanNPTaiwan

Now Taiwan runs from latitude North 21 to North 25…this is the same latitude range as central TX…and the mountains on the island range up to about 13,000 feet…and having been in the vicinity of 13,000 feet myself…I can tell ya it’s cold even in the middle of summer. So last week…well actually almost 3 weeks back, but I digress…she goes hiking…solo…in Taiwan’s Yushan National Park…in the middle of winter, falls into a ravine and freezes to death. Now it’s not clear whether she actually hiked in her bikini…or whether the hiked in normal clothes and just changed into her skimpy suit once she was at the summit…because one article I read said that she was found fully clothed. However…hiking solo…in winter…on mountain peaks…is just asking for trouble.

There’s a community center in Indian Hills CO…and apparently they keep putting puns up on their sign out front…here are a few samples.

ThatsAMoray

MRICatscan

Hillarious

ChangeMyName

WorldPeaceTurnSignal

MAGA

Ok…enough of those.

SmokinHotBody

Be careful what you ask retired people.

SeniorCostcoTrip

I found this one that perfectly encapsulates Neil’s outlook on life.

TheOlderIGet

And finally…

How much wood could a wood truck truck if a wood truck could truck wood.

Why this much of course.

HowMuchWoodWould

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

On the Reporting of Actual News

Yes my friends…there’s actual news to report from the Home Office this week.

Last Monday…Alabama and Clemson played in the National Championship Game…and as you saw Clemson won the game pretty convincingly. I’m not convinced that overall the Tigers are a that much better team…but they were definitely the better team that night so congrats to them. On the other hand…not to take anything away from their performance…Alabama just didn’t play like Alabama that day. They were outplayed most of the game and a lot of that goes back to Clemson just having a better game plan but a lot of it goes back to just not “following the process” as Nick Saban says. After the first two early touchdowns…one by each team…we figured it would be a back and forth game with somebody making a play at the end to win. Alabama decided to run the ball a lot to shorten the game as Clemson’s offense is pretty good…they put up 300 yards passing and almost 200 rushing…but were terrible on third down and just didn’t finish drives they way they normally do. Given the offense on the other side…going 1 for 5 in the red zone just ain’t gonna cut it. Saban’s press conference after the game said it all…couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down on defense, mistakes in the red zone, and didn’t capitalize on opportunities. A lot of credit goes to Clemson’s game plan for that though…changing pass coverage looks after the snap to confuse the quarterback and they made the key stops they needed to to end scoring opportunities. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them back in the playoffs next year…both return a lot of talent and both demonstrated this year that they’re the two best teams in the country.

Our friends Bill and Linda got here the day after the game for a week’s visit from NC…they’re glad to be here instead of up there in the snow and ice. We’ve been doing trailer projects all week and eating good food. They’ll head out Tuesday morning for visits to some other places.

We discovered a brake failure on Little Red this week…rear brake pads are shot and one of the rear rotors is toast as well…strange that after only 25K miles that pads are worn out and even stranger that it’s rear pads as usually they last much longer than front pads which do most of the braking. We have an appointment Tuesday morning and Neil will head down to get them fixed as well as an oil change.

The weather down here continues to be nice…mostly highs in the 70s to 80s and lows in 50s to 60s with occasional high 40s but it warms up pretty quickly in the morning.

Our mobile RV tech Gordon was by a week or so ago to replace the fabric for our slide toppers…the seams had failed due to sun and wind the past two summers. It’s a 2 person job to replace them…Gordon will provide a helper for a higher labor rate but Neil did it instead and they got them replaced in about 3 hours.

Connie’s getting closer to being done picking out campgrounds for the upcoming travel season…Neil will get to making reservations this week and also still has a few projects he needs to finish up…once Bill and Linda head out he’ll start knocking things out.

The eaglets are thriving…they’re growing rapidly although still don’t have anything but their downy feathers.

20190113 eaglets

Interesting things found on the net this week.

Remember the old grammar school pneumonic “I before e except after c.”…well, maybe not so much.

IBeforeEExceptAfterC

Not today they don’t.

NotTodayItAint

The rest of the story…as Paul Harvey used to say.

WhyChickenCrossedTheRoad

Food for thought.

GoodQuestion

Plants are amazing.

PlantsAreAmazing

Everybody thinks that Mount Everest is tall…and while it is the tallest mountain on earth located completely on land the volcano Mauna Kea in HI is actually taller…it’s total height above the sea floor is about 33,500 feet or nearly a mile taller. However…neither of those holds a candle to Olympus Mons which is located on Mars. The graphic below illustrates the relative height and size of Everest and Olympus Mons…it’s a pretty big hill I reckon. Everest is the foreground one…Olympus in the back and the scale is the same. Wow. Since Mars is actually smaller than the earth is…and since Olympus is over 60 miles wide…if you’re standing at the base you can’t see the top as it’s over the horizon.

MtEverestAndOlympusMons

And finally…you know what this is…right?

TheOldLangSign

No?

You sure?

..

..

..

..

Why it’s the Old Lang Sign of course…

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Happy New Year Everybody

Well…I guess in retrospect we coulda just cancelled the whole college football season and proceeded directly to the Championship game…as the two teams that everybody said back in August…Clemson and Alabama…were head and shoulders above the rest of them…anyways they proved everybody correct last Saturday by beating their semi-final playoff opponents. Clemson won 30-3 gradually pulling away from an overmatched Notre Dame squad. Alabama was up 28-0 with 2 minutes gone in the second quarter…as predicted Oklahoma had no defense and at least for the first 17 minutes of game time no offense either…before winning 45-34. Neil was kinda surprised that they jumped on the Sooners that much that early…and also surprise that given the ability of the Sooner offense to score bunches of points that Coach Saban took his foot off the gas as early as he did. Oklahoma scored 10 in the first half of the second quarter then the Tide used up the second half of the quarter on a long field gold drive to lead 31-10 at the half. In the second half…the Sooners did manage to find some offense scoring another 24 while our side mostly ran the ball and used clock to score twice and were on the verge of a third score after a 7 or 8 minute drive when time expired.

Clemson and Alabama will meet next week for the championship…they’ve met each of the past 4 years in the playoffs and they’re clearly the best two teams. The talking heads…one would call them headlets I guess…keep talking about Alabama and Clemson fatigue and want somebody else to win…but at least to this point over the past few years no other team has stepped up and shown they are in the same league.

We had a nice Christmas…then this past week got back to work. Gordon came in and he and Neil replaced the slide topper fabric on the rig…they were falling apart after 3 years in the winter sun down here in FL and summers spent in hot and windy places. They also worked on planning for next summer’s travels…as of today we have our route and stopping places all figured out and Connie will start picking out campgrounds next week sometime I guess.

The other big news…well at least it’s big in the space business…is that NASA’s probe New Horizons…and no, it wasn’t built at Camp Horizons in Kansas…anyway the probe passed an object known as Ultima Thule or 2014 MU69 as it’s astronomical designation today. Thule is a 20 mile long oblong object/planetoid Kuiper belt object about 4 billion miles from the sun or about 300 million miles past the minor space system formerly known as the planet Pluto. From there…because the probe had some fuel left after passing Pluto…it was given an extended mission to pass through the Kuiper belt to investigate whatever might be there.

Nothing much else going on down here though…

We did see the hatching of the second egg down at the nest of Harriet and M15…it hatched on Christmas Eve and both eaglets are alive and kicking as they say…here’s a shot of mom feeding the two of them a fish the was delivered a few minutes ago by M15.

Screen Shot 2019 01 01 at 2 17 38 PM

They’re still little bundles of gray feathers at this point…all they do is eat and poop.

Not much else to report…so let’s see what interesting things were found on the net this week.

As you can see from this graphic…the cost of getting things into space is coming down…but it’s still not low enough to make exploration of planets outside the earth any cheaper or more likely…Musk and his ilk keep talking about a mission to Mars…but the real problem is that it would take most of an entire year’s worth of all global launch missions just to get the vehicle, food, oxygen, water, and spare parts needed into orbit. At minimum a mission to Mars would take 200-250 days each way plus however long the crew stayed there for exploration. With zero possibility of external support…they would need going on two years of food, fuel, water, oxygen, and parts…and even the ISS only has 6 months or so of food, fuel, and oxygen onboard…and it took something like 70 space shuttle missions to put it together. 

SpaceLaunchCost

Another space related graphic…the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy at about 2.5 million light years away. It’s not visible to the naked eye…and I always thought that you needed a telescope to see it. Turns out that actually what you need is more sensitive eyes…here’s a graphic showing what Andromeda would look like to the naked eye if you could see it.

AndromedaGalaxy6xMoonSize

It’s over 6 times the angular width of the full moon…I never realized that.

Now we all know that the earth’s surface is about 80% covered by water right? So how much water is that exactly. Well…according to scientists…the earth has 330 million cubic miles of water on it…but that doesn’t really mean anything to most people. I found this graphic and it turns out that if you do the math 330 million cubic miles would be a ball of water about 800 miles in diameter. Again…that doesn’t mean much to most people but maybe this graphic will help. The earth is obviously on the right and the blue marble next to it is a sphere 800 miles in diameter…the other planet looking thing is the moon Europa which orbits Jupiter. Me…I would have thought the ball of water would be much larger compared to the earth than it actually is.

HowMuchWaterEarthAndEuropa

Borrowed from Real People of Walmart which is a series of photos by Greg White of http://www.ourrvadventures.com. Jammies…really?

RealPeopleOfWalmartGregWhite

From randysrandom.com.

DarkMatterDuh

Fixer upper snowman for sale.

FixerUpperSnowman4Sale

Heroes…like the t-shirts on this organ donor and recipient.

Heroes

That’s Christmas dinner sorted out.

ChristmasDinnerSortedOut

What’s the worst that could happen?

WorstThatCouldHappen

Mexican fire opal…when illuminated it looks like clouds with a sunset behind them.

MexicanFireOpal

This is a hybrid corn variety named Glass Gem Corn…pretty neat.

GlassGemCorn

Another size representation graphic…we all know that there are about 7.3 billion humans on the planet…if you put them all in one place how much space would they take up? Superimposed on the island of Manhattan below…turns out that a cubic building of 1.07 km on a size could hold all of them. The Empire State Building and the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) are on the side of the cube for reference. 1.07 km is 3,510 feet so that’s how large this cube would need to be.

WorldPopulationDensity

Is this the best color name they could come up with?

BestTheyCouldComeUpWith

Lenticular clouds over Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

LenticularCloudsCapetownSA

And finally…not what you want to see at the airport.

NotWhatYouWantToSee

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