We’re Still Here

…we just ain’t doin’ much at all.

Headed out to the Elks a couple of times, had Date Night, cooked a bunch of good dinners…and hunkered down with the A/C on ‘cuz it’s Florida in the summer ya know. We had to reschedule a trip earlier this month down to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for the dawn opening…our house A/C quit working and that became more vital to get fixed. Luckily…it wasn’t the A/C itself but the drain line from the cooling cool to the outside was clogged. With all the heat down here and just a 1 inch PVC pipe to carry off the condensed water from the coil…it ends up with goo in the pipe, then the pipe fills up and picks up the float switch that says “I’m full” and the unit turns itself off and says “System Wait” on the thermostat. Solution is to pour some half and half water/bleach into the pipe after pulling the float switch out of position and then suck the water out with a ShopVac from the outside. It’s been about 8 or 9 months since he did it so he’s added an every 4 month maintenance item to our shared Note named Periodic Stuff where we keep track of everything from hearing aid batteries to HoA payments to contact lens replacement to house stuff and car stuff. All that goes on our calendar as a scheduled event as well so we get reminded when things are due but the Note is the combined log of when stuff got done…after all we got CRS ‘round here (Can’t Remember S***) as well as CDO (which is pretty much the same as OCD ‘cept it’s in the right darned order)…and the only way we can ‘member stuff is to write it down in a standard place.

Speaking of contacts…Neil got his annual…well actually it was about 19 months…eye exam and they changed his contact lens prescription. He’s got astigmatism in the right (dominant) eye which wasn’t corrected before and despite being told that his multi focal contacts were biased so the left favored close and the right favored distance that wasn’t actually true. He’s been using the same eye practice down here but switched offices (and hence optometrists) this year and the new lady one is far more competent than the guy he’s seen the 2 times he’s used this practice before. She shifted him to mono vision contacts with the left set for distance and the right for distance plus fixing the astigmatism…the net result is that both near and far are better overall…but the drawback is that the left one isn’t as clear at distance as the right. His brain is slowly getting retrained to use the left one for depth perception only and the right for detail…and the noticeability of the left one is going down as time passes.

We continue to see idiots in the news…both saying stupid things as well as the comments on the articles which are usually the best part to read. It’s starting to look like our former President is losing favor with his party as he was booed just this week when he claimed to be persecuted. 

For the record…the man is an idiot and while he won election in 2016 fair and square…he also lost in 2020 fair and square and we’re really getting tired of the same old ‘the election was stolen’ BS he and his sycophants keep blathering. On the other hand…we’re also pretty amazed that Justice Kagan this week said that the SCOTUS should pay attention to the public perception of the way things should be rather than the constitution or else they would lose legitimacy in the public eye…which seems like a pretty peculiar idea for a SCOTUS justice who is supposed to…ya know…interpret the law and constitution…to say.

And for those complaining that the right leaning justices always vote in a bloc…well, that ain’t actually true. One of the liberals voting with the conservatives almost never happens and there’s been at least a half dozen decisions this past month or two where one or more of the conservatives crossed over and voted with the liberals…and the 3 liberals almost always vote together.. So…the bloc seems to be the opposite way from what they claim in the media…but then the conservatives tend to vote on the law rather than on what the public thinks.

I keep waiting for our congress idiots to pass some common sense gun laws, abortion laws, and voting laws…and I agree that while we do have the right to have firearms as clearly defined in the Constitution…I also agree that the ‘well regulated militia’ wording is frequently ignored by the far right gun rights people and that common sense regulations on guns are a good thing and allowed by the Constitution…but then I think we need common sense voting, abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, and interracial marriage laws. It’s just that my version of common sense on each of those is different from the version of ‘common sense’ that the far left and far right demand. However…I don’t think it will ever happen for a couple of reasons. First and foremost…any of them that vote for more middle of the road positions will get primary challenges from the idiots in their party and since the fringe idiots on both sides essentially are the ones that mostly vote in the primary we end up with extremist nominees and the reasonable ones tend to lose their job. Second…since both parties are mostly controlled by the fringe idiots…those people are only interested in my way or the highway and refusing to compromise and demonization of the other side is a good way to fund raise. Too bad our legislators are more interested in reelection, demonization of the other side, and making ridiculous demands that have exactly zero chance of becoming law instead of compromise so that everybody gets a little. Everything from filibuster to voting on judges to voting on spending or taxation or anything else has become far too much of a pissing contest where the goal is to be against whatever the other side wants no matter whether it’s a good idea or not.

I been thinking about whether the DoJ is going to charge the former President with something and frankly I’ll be surprised if they do. As I said before…the man is an idiot but being an idiot isn’t illegal. He’s also not guilty of dereliction of duty because there is no such law in the federal books according to what I read this week. Insurrection is really hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and whatever he did or didn’t do it doesn’t fall under the definition of treason. Charging him would just give the man more opportunities to get on TV and complain about being persecuted…but I think there are two even better reasons that they won’t. First…although we keep reading about the ‘startling new evidence’ in the hearings and the ‘proof’ that they’ve provided…there’s a clear difference between what could potentially be legally just hearsay and therefore not admissible and actual legally usable evidence. Second…and more important…is that the DoJ doesn’t want to charge him and potentially risk him getting acquitted for whatever reason…that wold be a PR disaster for the Democrat party, DoJ, and the administration…so my personal guess is that they’re going to find a reason to defer charging him and let the financial crimes folk in NY take that potential heat and publicity.

No photos this week still…the pond out back is pretty empty of wildlife in the summer although with all the rain we had in June and July it’s pretty full again…hopefully later on in the month we’ll see something down at Corkscrew.

Interesting things found on the net.

There’s this quasar named TON 618 located out in the constellation Canes Vinatici…there are 88 named constellations including the 12 Zodiac ones (I had no idea there were that many named ones). I didn’t bother googling precisely what makes a quasar a quasar…but one of the things it contains is a black hole…and we all know probably recognize what a black hole is. TON 619’s black hole however…is an anomaly in that it is one of the most massive black holes ever discovered…it has a mass of 66 billion solar masses (sizes of black holes are based on the mass or our sun)…turns out that this single black hole has more mass than the entire Milky Way galaxy since the latter only has 64 billion solar masses.  What’s even more amazing is the diameter of said black hole despite the fact that most people think that black holes are relatively small since the immense gravity due to the mass they contain makes them really dense and thus small (well, small in universe related dimension anyway). 

This image illustrates the relative size of our solar system (which is about 60 AU in diameter…1 AU or astronomical unit is approximately the distance from the earth to the sun or about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers) to a quasar known as S5 014+81 (this is one of the most luminous quasars known) which is 1,582 AU in diameter and the aforementioned TON 618 which is 2606 AU in diameter. Our entire solar system is just the little dot in the center of this image.

Actually…I did google what a quasar is…and it’s essentially a large (or super massive) black hole that is bright and a large radio frequency emitter. Once a black hole gets big enough…it has a disc of matter orbiting it which will eventually get sucked into the black hole. The hole itself isn’t visible but as the gas in the disk accelerates towards the hole it heats up due to friction and both glows and emits RF energy. TON 618…which is actually an abbreviation for Tonantzintla 618…and as best as I can figure out Tonantzintla is an observatory in Spain and 618 is the sequence number for the thing they were the first observers of…is about 18.2 billion light years away.

By comparison…Sagittarius A* which is the supermassive black hole at the center or our own Milky Way…is only 4.1 million AU so it’s about 1,000 times smaller than TON 618. You probably have seen the donut looking image of Sagittarius A* which NASA published earlier this year. Sagittarius A* is a mere 26,000 light years away and is only about 32 million miles or 0.34 AU in diameter…puny best describes it I guess.

Ton 618 Quasar

Somebody (looks like his name is Felix Descheines in the lower right so credit to him) put together this illustration of how much air and water we have compared to the size of the earth if you gathered the air and water into a ball at atmospheric pressure. All that air actually forms a pretty thin ball skin around the earth…the atmosphere is about 60 or so kilometers thick and the earth is about 12,000 kilometers in diameter so the atmospheric ‘skin’ is about half a percent as thick as the earth is across…the atmosphere would be less than a millimeter wide in the image below.


These need no explanation.







Well…this one might need some explanation…but if you need it ask in the comments and I’ll add it…as they used to say in school this is left as an exercise for the student.



And finally…this actually happened…twice…at the same office of the Illinois DMV as reported in the thread on the Ugly Hedgehog photography forum where I found it.



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.
This entry was posted in Homebody, Reality Based Blogging. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We’re Still Here

  1. Grandma Ruthie says:

    Enjoy your take on gov’t. I like other people’s
    take on different topics.

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Glad you like ‘em. I just wish our congress idiots would relearn the art of compromise and the roles of the various branches of the government.


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