And So Long 2019

You know…sometimes these blog posts almost write themselves…as you’ll see in a few. Other times…not so much and one is forced to go search for something to write about…although soon we’ll be in the house and you might get to read some thrilling epics about the installation of a new waterbed or the repair of a rain gutter…ya never know.

Anyway…this is the last post for 2019 since we’re just ‘bout out of 2019…so I thought I would pass along a few statistics along with well wishes for the new year, some stories about idiots, and even the one animal you should never, never, never piss off.

As you know from previous posts…2019 was our last year of full time RV life so here are a few statistics for ya.

  • RV miles: 9,587 (73,447 total)
  • Campgrounds: 46 (309 total)

That’s about it for statistics…I don’t really need to put all that other jazz in that I used to do. Our travels included over the years 49 states and 10 Canuckistan provinces…never saw everything in any location of course but we saw and did what we wanted to.

Down at the local eagle nest…apparently the adults have given up on the second egg hatching…the first eaglet E14 is almost 12 days old and the second egg was laid either 2 days after it was…so at 9 days overdue for hatching it’s not going to happen. It’s not clear whether the eagles have given up and kicked it out of the nest or just the experts that run the web page…but it’s not visible in the nest. Here’s a shot of the nest at 1120 EST today.k You can see E14 sitting kinda under dad (M15) and wiggling around…it isn’t clear whether the second egg is still underneath being incubated. There is a rabbit for food in the lower right hand corner…although I should caution eco-freaks, liberals, and possibly millenials to RETREAT TO YOUR SAFE PLACE…THERE IS DEATH IN THIS IMAGE…before allowing you to view it. Shortly after I got this screen grab E14 temporarily emerged from underneath…it is at least 2 to 3 times its size at hatching so the little fella (or lass, who knows) is growing quickly.

Screen Shot 2019 12 31 at 11 19 35 AM

But wait…we have late breaking news that after video review…also known as looking back at the live cam again we have a shift change between M15 and Harriet.

In the first shot you can see Harriet who landed on the right side of the nest an over the top of her just a smidge of M15 as he departed. The second shot has just Harriet and E14 and the third a clear photo of both E14 and the second egg…so they are actually still incubating it at this point and the third shot illustrates how much E14 has grown since hatching in comparison to the remaining egg. After these screen grabs Harriet did a bit of nest reorganization and cleanup then sat herself down to keep E14 warm.

Screen Shot 2019 12 31 at 11 26 31 AM

Screen Shot 2019 12 31 at 11 26 37 AM

Screen Shot 2019 12 31 at 11 29 59 AM

On Dec 28…we attended the Gatsby Ball at our Elks Lodge 1288…the theme was based on The Great Gatsby novel which was set in the 1920s. Connie got herself the whole outfit…fringed flapper dress, gloves, long pearl necklace…the whole shebang. She wasn’t the only woman at the party in a flapper dress…but I’ll wager that as you can see in the photo Neil took other that she was the only one in authentic period lingerie. Dinner was chicken picatta…not nearly as good as the version he makes but not bad for catered party food. A good time was had by all.

IMG 5742

Connie and I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year…since that’s happening tomorrow…but without further ado let’s see what happened in the news lately.

I been reading on the internet the last couple of days about how we’re “starting a new decade” tonight…even though it’s a year early. Now stay with me here…it’s gonna be 1/1/2020 tomorrow but let’s think about what that really means. Time is measured from the birth of Christ…and is divided into BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini or After Christ) although these are sometimes referred to in non Christian terms as BCE (Before Current Era) and CE (Current Era)…but that is just non religious claptrap as they refer to the same thing. The important thing to remember is…and I’ll say this slowly so even millennials and liberals can understand it…THERE…WAS…NO…YEAR…ZERO. Nope…time as we measure it went from 1BC to 1AD at 12:59:59 PM on 12/31/1BC. Now actually Christ was actually probably born in the year 4BC or something like that…but that is irrelevant to the story. So…the first decade…and first century and first millennia as well…started with the year 1AD. A standard decade is 10 years…which means 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10…yup…year 10AD is the 10th and last year of the first decade…but the year 10AD doesn’t end until midnight on 12/31/10AD which means the new decade doesn’t start until 1/1/11AD…and similarly the 2nd century didn’t start until 1/1/101 and the 2nd millennia until 1/1/1001. It’s simple really…if you understand and pay attention to simple things like how many years are in a decade and when did the first one start. So the new decade doesn’t actually start until a year from now…unless you want to be wrong…and no matter how many stupid talking heads talk about the new decade on the Casey Kasem New Years Extravaganza For The New Decade or whatever else they call it…it just ain’t so. ‘Nuff said.

First up…Bangladesh…now I know you’re thinking just what the heck does a bear know about that country over on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Now I’ll admit it ain’t much I know about it…but according to
this article
…there used to be…before it was closed…a breast milk bank. Now I never heard of one of these before…but apparently there is a whole lotta infant malnutrition over there and some of it is made worse by new mothers who are so malnourished themselves that they can’t produce milk to feed their infants. That being the case…a local hospital created a breast milk bank where mothers who had an excess supply could donate it and it would be frozen then provided to mothers who had a need. Seems like a nice idea to me…charitable works and all that…but the bank has now been closed because “several” Muslim clerics claimed that having a breast milk was a violation of Sharia law. Now again…Sharia law isn’t something that I’m fully familiar with but according to the article…Bangladesh’s “top Islamic leadership” has not made a ruling one way or the other but is investigating how other majority Muslim countries have established similar banks. Nonetheless…some of the more strident lower level clerics have declared that “if two babies drank milk from the same mother and later married” it would “Their entire marriage and lineage would become illegal”. Funny how doing something good almost always certainly pisses somebody off.

Moving on…presidential hopeful Andrew Yang…who made the debate stage this month but has not amassed sufficient poll support to be on stage for the January debate…anyway he was advertised as “the only person of color” on the stage among the white billionaires…despite the fact that Mayor Pete is not a billionaire, nor are several of the others although they are millionaires…and it’s debatable whether an American born citizen of Taiwanese parents is a “person of color” or not…anyway in
this article
he tells about how he wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee deploring the lack of diversity on the debate stage and suggested a simple idea on how they can increase diversity…essentially he wants them to basically allow each candidate to pick whatever polls they desire to meet the required support levels to be on the debate stage. Since he will probably not make the stage otherwise…this seems a little self serving to me. Not surprisingly…the DNC said thanks but no thanks…we’ve already specified a number of national polls that will allow candidates to meet the support goals…and the whole idea is to gradually winnow down the field anyway.

Then there is
…with the headline “Rather Than Retiring, The Air Force’s B-2 Bomber Is Being Upgraded (For Nuclear War)”…which talks about how the Air Force is upgrading the B2…ya know that bat shaped stealth strategic bomber they have…to carry those dreaded nuclear weapons. Left out of the discussion is how the aircraft was designed primarily as a stealth, low altitude penetrating bomber to deliver…nuclear weapons I think it was…with a secondary mission of dropping conventional bombs. The rest of the article is basically about testing of a new combined purpose nuclear weapon…it is in the same family as older bombs but whereas they existed in several physical variations depending on whether you wanted an air burst or bunker buster, or silo killer sort of attack profile…the modified ones have all those capabilities in a single package which makes the logistics of storing and maintaining them easy as well as providing more robust attack options. Nothing really new here…I guess it is supposed to be shocking that a nuclear bomber might actually be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Continuing on the nuclear weapon topic…and both of these are obviously “nuclear weapons are bad and we shouldn’t have them” propaganda…
this article
says…”Make No Mistake: China Would Destroy U.S. Cities In A Nuclear War” and goes on to talk about how…assuming that China and the US ever got into a strategic exchange…the biggest cities on both coasts would be targeted and destroyed by ICBM attack…and then goes on to say that this is with their antiquated DF-5 ICBM missiles…and that they’re building “scary new missiles” that will be even worse. Now I’m not sure how it can get worse than New York being nuked into the Stone Age…but apparently it can. What the article doesn’t mention is that Chinese cities would also be vaporized if this happened…and that…assuming we ever got into the aforementioned strategic exchange…the vast majority of ICBMs on both sides would get through. Sure…we each have some anti-ICBM capability…but the numbers are very limited and the likelihood of a hit with an anti missile missile is pretty low so the systems are really designed to counter what the Defense department calls a rogue single strike…an attack with 1 or 2 missiles so that with a half dozen or so launches against each there’s a reasonable probability of knocking it down. In a full scale Chinese (or Russian) vs US exchange…the number of missiles launched by each side would be in the hundreds and there is simply no defense against that sort of attack…hence the old Mutually Assured Destruction standoff theory from the Cold War.

Really…one would think that the various news media could (a) get somebody with more than a 5th grade education to write their articles so they would be grammatically correct, (b) do a little internet research to get at least some of their facts straight, and (c) write a headline that actually had something to do with the article. Not gonna happen though…every click means ad revenue to somebody so I guess that is just the way it is as Walter Cronkite used to say.

Finally…before getting into interesting things found on the net…there is
this article
about what happens if you piss off an Amur Tiger. The article itself is actually not stupid…it’s from NPR and talks in some detail about a documentary about the Amur Tiger…commonly but erroneously called a Siberian Tiger…and it is the largest cat on earth. They are capable of leaping over a basketball goal which is 10 feet off the floor and covering 25 feet horizontally in a single bound…weight is up to 500 pounds and length up to 10 feet nose to tip of tail…so not your average pussy cat.

At the center of the story in the documentary “The Tiger”…is Vladimir Markov…a Russian poacher who in the winter of 1997 shot and wounded one of these animals and then stole part of its kill to eat. The injured tiger stalked Vladimir back to his cabin, systematically destroyed everything outside the cabin the smelled of him, then laid in wait for him to return, killed him, and ate him. Clearly the tiger had a bone to pick with this guy and hence the one animal you never want to piss off is an Amur Tiger…’cuz he will hunt you down and kill you…and he can run faster than you and jump higher than you so you’re  not gonna escape once he gets close. I guess if you’re going to shoot one…ya bedda make sure it is dead.

Interesting things found on the net.

In the RV vein…there is this.


Yes…it’s an RV made by mounting an aircraft fuselage on a truck bed…seen out in the west someplace.


Thanks Captain Obvious.







And finally…Christmas Redneck Style.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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