Yeah…seemed like the right title to me.
Nothing much going on new here…’cept we do have some different wildlife for ya in a bit.
First though…a couple of items from the news.
this…seems that the mayor of San Francisco has ordered new crackdowns in his city due to the Covid spike…and the governor of the PRC has also ordered statewide crackdowns. Nothing wrong with that…but this is the same mayor and same governor that ignored their own rules to go and have dinner…with no mask and in a group…at the French Laundry high fallutin’ eatery up in Napa county. I’m just fine with masks and reasonable limitations…but this “do as I say, not as I do” attitude that they have is just a bunch of BEP.
another example of PRC justice…back in last December, police in SF were responding to reports of multiple break in attempts to both apartments and police cars…and they came across a fella named Hampton who…according to his lawyer now…was experiencing a “crisis state due to a pre-existing behavioral health condition”…whatever that means…who was identified as a potential suspect and ordered to get on the ground. Disregarding this…he first fled from officers…so yeah, he probably was the guy they were looking for since innocent people generally don’t run from the police…and he was then cornered and pepper sprayed to no effect. So Hampton attacks the officers with a vodka bottle, bashing one of them in the head repeatedly and fracturing his skull…and then he charged the officers again resulting in his getting shot. He fell to the ground and then got up to charge the officers again…at which point he was again shot and went down. The officer was hospitalized for his fractured skull and Hampton survived but his leg had to be amputated as a result of the shooting and Hampton also has “permanent nerve damage”…again according to his lawyer.
So…this guy runs from the cops…pepper spray has no effect…attacks and injures the cops…and gets shot…and the cop gets indicted? I guess in SF it’s now open season on cops.
Seems that the WAMM has a problem with free speech and the Wall Street Journal. Late last week on their…opinion page…which typically means that you can express your opinion…one of their long time contributors wrote and op-ed that basically said that Jill Biden…the President Elect’s wife…should drop the Dr. From in front of her name since…in the opinion of the writer…not to mention longstanding practice by the WSJ on the use of the term…only medical doctors should be referred to by the word “Doctor”. Naturally this was condemned by WAMM as being sexist and demeaning of both women and academia as well as insulting Mrs. Biden by calling her kiddo…today the WSJ op-ed page editor responded and basically told them to screw off. He included a bunch of facts in his rebuttal including the longstanding WSJ policy and that neither Henry Kissinger or other folks with Ph.Ds were referred to as “Doctor” and referenced both Mr. Biden using the term kiddo for his wife as well as having previously said that the only reason she got her Ph.D. was because she was tired of being second class in her mail…previously mail addressed to both of them came to “Senator and Mrs. Biden”…and she wanted it to say “Doctor and Senator Biden”. Anyway…much ado about nothing…but typical of the left with their “do what I say and not what I do” attitude and their belief that the only free speech that is allowed is speech they approve of. Anyway…good on ya to the WSJ op-ed editor who refuses to back down and not publish content that should be published. You don’t have to agree with the author of the op-ed piece or the editor of the page…but free speech means just that…and the WAMM doesn’t get to cancel you for exercising your rights.
Speaking of getting cancelled…Alton Brown has apparently cancelled himself. Connie follows him on the twitter and we were watching their YouTube livestream named Quarantine Kitchen where they drink…a lot…and cook something along with witty repartee between Alton and his wife Elizabeth. Apparently about a month ago…he tweeted something that was deemed anti semitic…although having seen the tweet is was just a barely funny line about uniforms at camps during the Holocaust and didn’t seem bad to me other than being a bad and not funny joke…but the WAMM got all over him about it and he’s essentially cancelled himself it seems. No tweets, no updates on his blog, and no more livestreams since then. Strange.
Remember the last couple posts with the thought that math geeks have way, way too much free time on their hands? Yeah…ya guessed it…they’re at it again. This time it’s a problem posed in 1911 by an Indian fella named Srinivasa Ramanujan…he posed a problem composed of a never ending square root radical…here it is. He didn’t…apparently…solve the problem himself, just posed the problem.
Turns out the answer is exactly three…you can see both text based and video based solutions
Again…a completely useless problem with no known applicability to…anything. What will those people think of next?
this…you’ve probably seen on the news about a couple of alligator attacks down here over the past few months on people or dogs and the incident a year or two back up at Disneyworld in Orlando where a child was killed by one. Well…turns out that gators aren’t the only predator down here in the Sunshine State.
Yep…we got vicious Great Blue Herons too…and they eat gators as you can see in the link above. It isn’t clear whether the gator was alive or dead when it was swallowed…but it’s small enough so that the heron could have killed it before the photo sequence started.
That’s the same bird that we see…well, the same species but not the same individual…all the time ‘round our pond out back…and of all the wildlife we see the Great Blue Heron is the largest bird we see regularly…in fact it’s one of the larger heron/wading birds period. The one we see is also the most skittish bird we see. All the others…tricolor, ibis, little blue, snowy, great egret, woodpecker…they all pretty much disregard people wandering around their yards…especially when the birds are on the other side of the pond from the people. Not this Great Blue though…as soon as Neil opens the door to sneak out and get a photo he almost invariably takes off pretty quickly. The other day Neil decided to be tricky and went out the front door, over next to the next house where he was in the shadow of the house as he walked back and as soon as his shadow emerged from the house shadow…even though he wasn’t far enough back to actually be seen by the bird yet…off it flew. He’s gotten a few images for ya as you’ll see later…but not that many.
So…word to the wise…don’t mess with the Great Blue Herons in FL…they mean business.
Over in France…they love their regulations, procedures, and paperwork…so much that even dead people need passports to enter the country. Back in 1974…the 3,000 year old mummy of the pharaoh Ramesses II needed to be shipped to Paris for repairs…although I’m not sure that repairs are the precisely accurate word. Anyways…Egypt issued him a passport for the trip.
Don’t know if I toldya before…but we got ourselves a nice fake tree in the house. Between that, the small tree we brought over from the rig, and some lights I put out front we’re about as Christmas-ey as we can get. Got all of our shopping done too…thank goodness for Amazon and other such places so we did it all from the comfort of our recliners. The only difficult part is that we have a shared Note in macOS, iPadOS, and iOS named Deliveries…usually it has all of our deliveries listed by who, date, and what so we can check things off. At this time of year we just put Neil Xmas or Connie Xmas for the what…and then the right person gets up to bring in the package. This works great for Amazon but not so great for companies that use boxes printed with the name of the company…that makes it kinda hard to successfully prevent the contents from getting divulged ahead of time…but we’re working through it.
Connie would not be happy if I didn’t put in some shots of our decorations so here they be…
A shot from across the street to get the whole thing in, the green dots on the garage door are from a laser light thing we bought but never used while we were in the rig and the blue on the far right is our glow in the dark penguin.
Here’s our Penguin…we used to have a Santa but his battery that the solar cell charged wimped out and it didn’t work any more.
The best part about this tree is that Neil’s role in decorating has always been to put it in the stand and hang the lights…but this one has permanently attached lights so that all he needs to do is put the 3 sections together on the stand…and then he has to install Grim…yeah, that’s her name…up on the top. Grim is supposed to be an angle and was made by Bryan back when he was in grammar school…she was immediately named the Grim Reaper by Neil which eventually got shortened to just Grim.The berries and pine cones are also permanently attached so this is like a 2 minute job for him to finish his role…then Connie takes over with the decorations.
Ok…let’s see what wildlife we have for ya…
Turtle…this is a Florida Soft-shell as you can tell from the pointy snout. We had one of these a few months back when she was headed up the far side of the pond to lay eggs…this one looks larger than the one before but it’s hard to tell for sure.
Our resident Tricolor or Louisiana Heron…you can easily see the red, white, and blue which results in the Tricolor name…the male has a gold tuft on his head during mating season but not this one.
And our resident Great Blue Heron or GBH as we call it…
This is usually the shot we get as it flies off.
Sometimes we get lucky and he stays around…or maybe this is a different individual…dunno.
And a new sighting for us here…a Green Iguana…this one is about 4 feet long or so. Connie spotted him out the window coming back from the bedroom…the bright green caught her eye…and Neil was able to get a couple of shots before it got into the tree line. Supposedly they are good eating…tastes like chicken I’m told…but we’ve never eaten one.
Interesting things found on the net.
Christmas tradition…as you know there is a long standing tradition that Christmas trees have an angel on top…but have you ever wondered just how that tradition got started. Settle down and you shall hear…how this all got started.
Back in the days of yesteryear…when four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.
Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.
In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor.
He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”
And thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
And now…ya know.
And did you know that all the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh are female…including Rudolph?
Yep…reindeer are genetically just caribou that are raised domestically. Both male and female caribou have antlers but the males lose theirs right after the mating season as they’re only necessary for fighting over the ladies if ya know what I mean. Females…well, they need to make sure that they have feeding areas through the winter until the calves are born in the spring…they scrape areas with grass or whatever they eat free of snow with their hooves and then…naturally…they have to defend those eating areas from other females who are not as industrious so they keep them until the snow melts.
Since the mating season is in the early fall…the males would have lost their antlers by December…hence…as can be seen by every painting you’ve ever seen of Santa and his sleigh…he only uses females.
Roly polies…ya know, those little black bugs sometimes known as pill bugs…that roll up into little balls when you touch ‘em. Well…they’re not actually bugs…they’re crustaceans and most closely related to shrimp.
How to trim your hedges.