Ok…before I get into that title I need to tellya one thing we’ve noticed during the corona…and we’re now up to day 149…while we’re suffering from a lot of things like no Elks Lodge, no bars, no eating out, and being pretty much stuck at home…one area we aren’t suffering in is eating. Between the two of the adults…they’re making some really outstanding meals pretty much every day…and they’re spending a lot less in the bargain.
This week we’ve been eating on a smoked whole chicken Neil did on the pellet grill on Friday. After taking it out to thaw on Wednesday…he put it in his large pasta pot with some brine Thursday morning…brined in salt, sugar, water, and spices…and after about 24 hours in there Friday morning he took it out, dried it off and put it on the grill set on low smoke which has a temperature of 165F about 0830. It smoked until about 1700 with the last 45 minutes or so on high smoke at 225F…on further review he thinks it needed about 2 hours instead of 45 minutes as it was just slightly underdone in the deep joint areas. It wasn’t raw…and smoked chicken tends to remain a little pink no matter how well done it is…but in his view it was a little too pinkish in some areas so he just nuked what we ate the first couple of days. We had chicken and some corn casserole both Friday and Saturday evenings…then sandwiches a couple of days. Last night he made a smoked chicken shepherd’s pie…cooked up some chopped onion and poblano pepper then added a bit of Better than Bullion chicken flavor, some roasted garlic, a bit o’ wine and then some stock and cream…then had Connie thicken it a little. Meanwhile…some cubed and boiled red taters became mashed with more roasted garlic, bacon, cooked shallots, and cheese and then the meat mixture went into oven proof bowls, topped with the taters, and then covered with a mix of cheddar and Parmesana Regiana cheese…we found an Italian market down near the Cape Coral Elks Lodge that has imported Italian foods and their cheese is so much better tasting than the US produced brands. Tossed the bowls into the oven for a few on broil to melt/burn the cheese and they were mighty tasty.
Connie’s got another medical appointment with her GI lady on Thursday…it’s the followup from a couple of scans she had done the last few weeks along with some more blood work.
Back in the day…there was this TV show that ran from ’83 to ’90 named Not Necessarily The News…it was a satirical sketch comedy series that was similar to Saturday Night Live that came on earlier in the evening and was primarily based on current news topics. One of the stars was this guy named Rich Hall…and he usually had a sketch where he introduced the world to sniglets…which is a word that should be in the dictionary but isn’t. A couple of sniglets examples…squimmetz, they’re the stringy stuff on a banana…root-tooter which is the empty toilet paper roll once it is all used up…and aquadextrous or the ability to control the bathtub faucet with your toes.
So yesterday…Neil was reading for the umpteenth time some diatribe for or against the wearing of masks during the corona and it came to him…maskholes. A maskhole is a person who continuously and obnoxiously forces his/her opinion concerning masks…and to a more general sense social distancing, opening of bars, opening of schools, antibody testing, vaccines, the president and his brilliant/failure response (depending on your political persuasion) or various medical treatments for the corona…to the extent that you just get sick and tired of it.
I gotta be up front here…this isn’t a plea for or against masks or any of those other things…just a plea that enough is enough already.
Masks help…not nearly as much as some claim and not nearly as little as others claim. As I’ve noted before…reopening is a sensitive topic and we can’t only take into account infection rates, death rates, unemployment, evictions, or the economy…all of those things have to be considered by leaders before making any decisions one way or the other.
Us…we wear our masks when going out and they provide some protection against an infected but you don’t know it you giving it to other people…and perhaps a lesser amount of protection for the other way…it all depends on exactly which study you choose to believe or disbelieve. So…I’m not judging anybody for their opinion…I’m glad you have one.
What I am judging you for…is being a maskhole…here’s a couple of perfect examples of what I mean.
There’s this woman in LA…the one out on the left coast, not the real LA as in Lower Alabama…who’s going around with a badge on her chest that says “RTBA”. She goes into business establishments without a mask and her smartphone video camera rolling and waits until an employee tells her that she must wear one or leave. At that point…she tells them that she is from the Right To Breathe Agency of the government and that the employee can be sentenced to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for telling her to wear a mask…and that she can be personally sued for damages in addition to this. She then demands that the store employee go and get a manager so that she can threaten them too. The trouble is…this agency does not exist, is based solely on a private Facebook group that this woman is the founder of, and they have already been told by the DoJ to cease and desist claiming to be a government agency.
Yep…she’s a maskhole.
Then there is this school district in Paulding County in northwest GA which went ahead and opened their high schools this week and did not enforce a mask or social distancing requirement because it was “too cumbersome to enforce” although they did have suggested guidelines on the doors. I’m not. Sure how this is too cumbersome to enforce when students have been sent home because their short were around their thighs or because their skirts were a half inch too short…apparently those requirements weren’t too cumbersome. Anyway…naturally the brain dead teenagers which inhabit our high schools failed to respond to the suggestions for masks and distancing and crowded the halls. The crowding is to be expected I guess as they move between class periods but masks seem pretty easy to me. Anyway…a couple of students took photos and posted them on TwitterFaceTikGram or someplace to complain about the lack of masks and distancing. The school’s response…now rescinded…was to suspend the students for “violating phone and social media policies”.
Yep…maskholes…the school for not having requirements and enforcing them as well as the idiotic suspension…the students who refused to wear masks…and the student who posted the picture to expound on her views.
Then there’s our buddy Randy who runs a newsletter and website…I’ve mentioned him several times in the blog. He’s clearly pretty far left in his political views…and thinks that every body should wear a mask…and it appears that he thinks schools should mandate and enforce a mask policy as well. Now that’s all well and good…he has the right to his opinion as do all of the above folk…and I’m fully supportive of all of them expressing their opinion.
But yep…continually jamming it down your reader’s throats…maskhole.
However…for the love of sanity…just state your opinion…and even repeat it if you feel the need…and then JUST MOVE ON.
At this point…every person in America…yes, every last one I believe…has already made up their mind about masks, reopening schools, reopening bars, mail in voting, and every other damn opinion we keep seeing over and over and over again all stemming from the corona. None of these minds are going to be changed…not gonna happen…no matter how many times you scream in their face that you’re from the Freedom To Breathe Agency or how many times you post insults about the intelligence of those who for whatever reason choose to wear/not wear a mask, play/opt out of your professional sport, go vote/mail your ballot in, go/not go to the bar.
I highly recommend that all of you simply take a deep breath, realize the other side is not going to do it your way just because you think they should…AND STOP BEING MASKHOLES.
Let’s see what else interesting came across the transom from the internet this week.
As I’ve discussed before…polar bears…you know, those white bears that roam around the Arctic eating seals even though they are actually black skinned with translucent fir…well, they’re pretty big animals. Just how big you say? How about 1,002 kilograms or 2,209 pounds big. This is the taxidermied trophy of the largest polar bear ever taken…it was shot in 1960 in Kotzebue Sound in Alaska…when mounted in this standing position it stands 3.9 meters or 12 feet 9.5 inches tall. I believe this is the same polar bear that Neil saw in the Anchorage AK airport on his trip up to the ice camp back in the early ‘90s…it is no longer on display but it looks about the right size and pose as he remembers it.
And just in case you thought that only polar bears get big…grizzly bears get pretty large as well…albeit somewhat smaller than their faux white cousins.
Here…you can read about and see photos of the 1,600 pound grizzly that was shot by a US Forest Service employee while deer hunting in Alaska…it charged him from 50 yards away and he emptied the magazine of his 7mm magnum rifle…that’s a serious big gun with about a 3.25 inch long cartridge that fires a 7mm diameter bullet (about 0.3 inches). The bear collapsed at his feet but wasn’t dead until he reloaded and shot it a bunch more in the head. Upon analyzing it’s stomach contents…it had killed at least 2 humans in the last 72 hours. Backtracking from the location of the kill…the Fish and Wildlife Commission folk found half the remains of a hiker that had disappeared along with his empty 38 caliber revolver (that’s what police used to carry before they shifted the the higher capacity semiautomatic pistols they use today). The hiker had managed to hit the bear with 4 of his shots and an additional 12 7mm slugs were recovered from the bear’s body. When walking on all four legs…this bear’s eyes would have been the same height as a human’s eyes…and he could look into the second story windows in a house.
Look at the size of that paw.
Them be serious carnivores. Granted…most grizzly and polar bears aren’t that large…but they’re still pretty good and the one Neil was close to up in Katmai National Park in AK was still about 600 pounds they thought. We saw plenty of grizzlies and brown bears…which are actually genetically identical and not individual species as was thought for many decades…another example of settled science that turned out to be not so settled. However none of them were even close to the size of the ones above.
Sow grizzly…because she had a cub with her.
Brown…gender unknown…about 10 feet away. There’s a rule in Katmai NP that you cannot approach a bear closer than 50 yards. Unfortunately nobody told the bears about that rule so tourists who fly down on small planes and land on the beach get around the rule by getting ahead of the bear, standing still, and letting the bear come to them. That’s what he did…along with the pilot and other 4 passengers on our plane we were standing on a little tuft of grass about 2 feet high and 12 feet (as measured later) from the bank of the river and the bear walked between the water and the grass. He just glanced at them on the way by…although they’re wild the bears in Katmai are somewhat habituated to human tourists, we’re not really on the menu for them unless they’re starving, and it was fishing for salmon anyway.
Here’s a reflection shot to help settle ya down after all that huge bear section…it was taken in 2018 in Franconia Notch NH after we returned from the Canuckistan Maritimes. One of the best reflection shots he’s ever gotten…truly amazing how still that water was as can be seen by the perfect reflections.
Franconia Notch is where the Old Man Of The Mountain rock formation used to be before it fell off the size of the mountain…that formation was about a mile south of where he was standing and looking south for this shot…essentially around the other side of the ridge on the right.
OK…lessee what else I gots for ya.
This might only interest Neil…and DIL Jen the math teacher.
Everybody knows that the sun is larger than earth…but it would actually take about 1,000,000 earths to fill the sun as you can see here.
Another size comparison
can be found here. Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy took images of the sun and every planet in the solar system, adjusted their size so the relative sizes were right, and composited them into a single photograph. The link shows the full resolution composite image. So yeah…the sun is a whole lot bigger than all of the planets in the solar system…but then as stars go the sun is actually pretty puny.
Using the radius of the sun as 1 how big do stars get? For comparison…a star the size of the orbit of Saturn would be about 2,000 times larger than the sun and the largest star observed is named Stephenson 2-18 and is 2,150…it is located in the open cluster Stephenson 2 which has an additional 25 red supergiant stars.There are a couple of hundred listed on the page at wikipedia that are larger than the sun.
Turning to black holes…the largest one on record is named TON 618 and has a mass of about 6.6 times 10 to the tenth or about 66 billion suns and it’s size is around 1,300 on the same scale as the stars above or about 40 times the size of Neptune’s orbit…the luminosity is about 140 trillion suns.
I’m glad it’s far away since we would get sucked in by it otherwise. The closest large black hole to the earth is Sagitarius A which is the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy…it’s only equivalent to 4.3 million suns so as black holes go it’s again pretty puny…it is about 26,000 light years away and only about 20% bigger than the orbit of Mercury.
In other astrophysical news…NASA has decided to rename a bunch of long named that way nicknames…things that were named that because of what they looked like or who discovered them. Anyway…in the current days of PC as dictated by the WAMM…NASA says “community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive, but can be actively harmful” and that it is “examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion”. So…the Eskimo nebula…it’s gone because the term Eskimo is. widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history”…never mind that it looks like an Eskimo (or first people or whatever they want to be called) with his fur hood over his head. Likewise…the Siamese twin galaxies which orbit each other “may have historical or culture connotations that are objectionable or unwelcoming, and Nasa is strongly committed to addressing them”.
People need to get a grip…and stop judging past people, events, and norms by today’s standards since it is very likely that many of today’s people, events, and norms could get cancelled by our progeny 200 or so years down the road. Football might be considered a barbaric sport right up there with feeding Christians to the lions by then for all we know…and eating a juicy medium rare steak might be considered poison for all we know.