Yep…some days these posts just write them selves.
‘Afore I get into that…lessee what’s been goin’ on.
We haven’t really done much…Neil took both cars (one at a time obviously) down to the Mazda place for oil/brakes for Li’l Red and oil only for Sporty Red…it was time. Once they were done he had to reset the time and mileage counters in both cars for the next maintenance to what Mazda says is the correct interval…the dealer always sets it for less time and far less mileage than the maintenance specs call for…that way they make more money I guess.
Connie had lunch with the outgoing choir director and most of the choir one day last week…the director was unceremoniously fired right after New Years…apparently the pastor wants to “take the music in another direction…and stay tuned” were his words at Mass. The new director is from NY and they’re having the first meeting between him and the choir members next week…we’re staying tuned but since the meeting is on Tuesday and it’s Date Nite…Neil is going to go with her and sit in the back to watch the fireworks and also because doing that will get Date Nite underway about at least a half hour faster since she won’t have to change clothes for Date Nite after getting home from practice…she’ll be ready already (except for the perfume, she doesn’t wear any to practice, choir, or her chorale things since some people are sensitive to the smell) and they’ll just head out from the church…that saves 10 minutes getting home and however long changing outfits takes.
A lot of their typical Date Nite haunts are still not open after hurricane Ina…so they tried this place north of us towards Punta Gorda again…it’s called the Tamiami Tavern and is about 10 miles north straight up US-41 with only 2 lights in between here and there and the speed limit is 65 most of the way so it’s a really easy spot to get to. Owned by a British fellow who also has a place in Fisherman’s Village in downtown Punta Gorda…it has a lot of the vibe that an English pub does. One thing they discovered…it opens at 1600 and ya better be there before 1600 or you won’t get a spot at the bar. The first time they went it was after choir practice and Connie changing for Date Nite so it was a bit after 1700 when they got there…with exactly one seat at the bar. Connie sat in it and Neil loitered near her…luckily there was a group of 5 or 6 that were just paying their tab before heading to a table for dinner and they were able to get a seat. Tuesday they got there about 1606 and the bar was already 3/4 full but they snagged seats and will be there even earlier for future visits. The food is really excellent…they’ve had Tuna Nachos which were the best nachos they have had in a long time…this time they both had Beef on Weck which is thinly sliced beef with horseradish and au jus for dipping along with sweet potato waffle fries with maple syrup…Weck is short for kummelweck roll which is kinda like a bagel except it’s not boiled before baking…relatively soft and has salt on the top. The sandwich is a western NY state thing. Connie originally ordered Tuna Tacos which are much like the nachos they had the first time…seared Ahi tuna with what one would call a tropical sauce I guess…but they had no tuna tacos that night…apparently there was a kitchen injury, one of the cooks got burned by a pot of potatoes and headed to the urgent care clinic but with short staff they limited the menu. The bartender that was there is there on Tuesdays and at the owner’s other place the rest of the week…best bartender we’ve had in many a drinking establishment. Working hard and quickly but all you had to tell him when you needed another drink or to order was “put us in the queue for when you get to us” and when he got to you in the queue you quickly got an order in and drink served. Food is a little slow arriving but not really unexpected as busy as they were…and you just take that into account when ordering.
OK…back to the stupidity…
We heard today that Alec Baldwin and the armorer on the film Rust will be charged with involuntary manslaughter out in New Mexico…him because he pulled the trigger and her because she failed to ensure the weapon wasn’t loaded on the set. Funny thing though…they’re each charged with 2 counts of the crime…that seems kinda strange to me since there is only one dead person as a result of the shooting. The stupid part is Baldwin’s lawyer issuing a statement saying
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Nope…the gun was in his hands, has been verified to not have a malfunction by the crime lab (and presumably the FBI as well), so the only logical conclusion is that he pulled the trigger. Any idiot knows that one should assume…well, any idiot that understands firearms anyway…that every firearm is loaded unless you’ve have personally verified that it is not loaded…and that even if you know it is unloaded it should never, ever be pointed at anything you don’t intend to shoot. In this case…a movie set…realism probably demands that the second rule be disregarded but only after verifying, double verifying, and probably triple verifying that there’s no ammo in the weapon. That’s just plain common sense but obviously Mr. Baldwin doesn’t have much of that.
The problem is that he’s a pretty progressive Democrat…and thus hates weapons…and thus probably never bothered to learn about or execute any safety precautions…he decided to duck responsibility for that and blame it on everybody and anybody else. (Editor’s note…I see later in the article why there are two counts. The first is involuntary manslaughter which requires proving “underlying negligence” under New Mexico law, the second is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, and requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death. I’m more likely to think that the armorer will be acquitted than Baldwin since she was not in the area at the time of the shooting and thus other than being “in charge” as the armorer on the film she has less responsibility…but it could be that standard film industry safety precautions/policy/guidelines or governmental regulations required her presence anytime firearms were being utilized in which case she was negligent legally (probably…Ima a bear, not a lawyer).
Then there’s Representative Santos who…supposedly, according to an affidavit from a drag queen down in South America…participated in a drag queen cross dressing pageant down there she 15 years ago…and this is supposedly a good reason that he should not be in Congress. Now there are probably a bunch of actually good reasons that he should not be in Congress…like lying on your resume and all the other falsehoods he’s pronounced…but much like the former President, the current President, the current Vice President, and Representatives Schiff and Swalwell…all politicians lie and while I could quote the instances of each of the above with their lies (along with many others)…so obviously lying is not disqualifying from being in Congress. Pretty obvious it isn’t since the Constitution specifies the requirements for being in Congress and several SCOTUS decisions over the decades have concluded that states may not institute any other requirements. Now Congress can kick out members once they’re seated…but that become political and if they start with kicking Representative Santos out then there’s a whole bunch of them guilty of the exact same t things.
But really…the man claims to be gay…although we have no actual proof of that so perhaps not…but whether he’s gay or straight…being in a drag queen cross dressing pageant isn’t against the law…and it was 15 YEARS AGO…so who cares.
Out in NM…seems like a popular spot for stupidity today…there is a state representative candidate that’s been arrested. He…Solomon Pena…is a far right Republican who ran for the NM legislature in…you guessed it…a heavily Democratic district. Not surprisingly, he lost by 50ish points last November but afterwards he visited three county commissioners and one state legislator (all Democrats) to complain about the “massive voter fraud” that caused him not to be elected. As in most of the other voter fraud claim cases…he presented no evidence other than “I say so” for his claims…so those 4 people essentially ignored him. His response was to hire four people to go shoot up their houses. Well…he’s been arrested and can sit in jail with Mr. Baldwin I guess.
Meanwhile…back east in Atlanta…funny story about Georgians…apparently there are only two places in Georgia…because if you ask one of them where they’re from the only answers you will get are…Atlanta…and…right outside Atlanta. But I digress…apparently the Atlanta Police are working on building a new Public Safety Training Center on 80 acres of currently wooded land and there’s a group called Defend the Forest Atlanta that is…naturally…against building this compound because it is…according to them anyway…going to be built in “one of the few remaining forests in the city”. Now having been to Atlanta numerous times…I don’t recall seeing any forests there…there are some wooded areas and green space and such but forests…I don’t think so. Anyway…the activists are entitled to their opinion…but so are the police, city council, and zoning/building permit people…and apparently all of those regulatory bodies have given approval.
Unfortunately…the woods were occupied by a bunch of homeless people who camp out there…and they were given numerous warnings to move out and go elsewhere so the clearing and construction could start. Naturally…some of the homeless folk and their political supporters ignored these warnings so the police sent in some officers to evict both groups. Protestors were arrested…a clear violation of their civil rights according to the protestors but not to the city government and courts…and one male in a tent started shooting at the officers, wounding a state trooper. Naturally…opening fire on the police resulted…as any idiot should understand…in the police shooting back and the armed gunman was killed. Whether the armed gunman was an actual homeless person or one of the activists depends on which article you read…I wasn’t able to find any definitive answer on that one.
Nonetheless…an Antifa related group named Scenes from the Atlanta Forest…who claim to be a subsidiary of the Defend the Forest Atlanta…a claim denied by the parent group who say that they’re a loosely organized group and disavow the Scenes from the Forest group…has issued a tweet calling for a “call for reciprocal violence against the police and their allies this Friday to honor the memory of our fallen comrade”. Given the term comrade in their statement, that lends credence to a protestor being shot and not a homeless person…and evokes memories of communism to me…but what do I know I guess. The Scenes group claims that the police are lying and preemptively opened fire on an unarmed peaceful protestor…and that they refuse to release any body cam footage. Don’t know about that…but Ima guessing that the wounded state trooper kinda disproves the unarmed peaceful part of their description. They also claim that the wounded trooper was hit by friendly fire during the unprovoked attack.
Now I understand that the group might not like the police building more facilities, and that they want trees to remain trees…but shooting at the police or threatening them with violence seems to be…choosing poorly as the aged knight said in the Indiana Jones movie. For an illustration of how not to get shot…I refer you to this Chris Rock YouTube video from 2007…but be warned, before you click the play button on that link remember that (a) this is Chris Rock and (b) he’s pretty free with the F-bomb and other indelicate language…but it is a funny piece and his point is correct despite the profanity.
Our local congressman down here in Lee County…Representative Steube…well, he’s in the hospital as well…he fell off of his roof while home doing some maintenance. Apparently…he’s not very smart either as falling off your roof ought to be your number one priority while you’re up there doing whatever you climbed up there to do.
The Russian government today announced that victory for them in Ukraine was…inevitable was the word they used…because of their military and industrial might. Ima gonna take that one with a grain…well, many grains I guess…of salt as we’ve seen that their military might is…not so much is the word I would use and their industrial might isn’t much better. In fact…except for the fact that they have nuclear weapons Russia is right up there with Ethiopia or Singapore as far as waging war goes…their equipment is terrible, training almost non existent, and leadership either absent or clueless from what we see. The US and Russians provided security guarantees to Ukraine to persuade them to give up the nuclear weapons that Ukraine inherited with the Soviet Union collapsed…if Ukraine had properly told the US/Russia to get stuffed then it is unlikely that the current invasion would have happened, or the 2014 annexation of the Crimea.
Speaking of Representatives Schiff and Swalwell…both of them are on the record saying that their exclusion from their former committees is “political retribution”. Well…of course it is…while I don’t think much of Representative Taylor Green and the members that were nominated by the Republican minority in the last congress to the Jan 6 Committed are a little too much enamored with “stolen election” than actually having an unbiased investigation…their exclusion from committees and the appointment if virulently anti-Trump people to the Jan 6 committee was clearly political as well…and as Senator McConnell told Senator Reid when he abolished the 60 vote requirement for judges except for SCOTUS justices back in whatever it was…what goes around comes around, you won’t always be in the majority, and payback is a bitch. So…yes, of course it’s political retribution…and while I ain’t interested in debating whether it is or isn’t…if partisan political maneuvering by one party is just fine…then partisan political maneuvering by the other side is just as fine. Both sides seem to have the idea that whatever they want to do is just peachy keen…but if the other side does it back it represents an attack on democracy.
Last one…Jacquin Guzman…also known as El Chapo…he’s the Mexican drug cartel leader that broke out of jail twice and was extradited to the US afterwards, convicted, and given a life sentence at the SuperMax prison in Colorado. Anyways…at that prison you spend most of your time in isolation and get just an hour a day sorta outside…there’s a reason it’s called SuperMax ya know…and he’s apparently unhappy at his treatment there, and sent an email to the President of Mexico that he doesn’t ‘have adequate access to sunlight, visits, good food or medical care…although he’s got the same levels of those that every other criminal in the place has…and he wants the Mexican President to “bring him home to serve his sentence in Mexico”…the President says that he is “considering it”. The trouble is…the President of Mexico has zero ability to grant this wish…the US does have an agreement with Mexico that low level offenders can be repatriated both ways to serve their sentence in their home country…but the head of the cartel is probably not a low level offender…because he is in SuperMax. The agreement specifies what circumstances the repatriation can happen under…and his case does not fall into them…so the answer from our side is going to be…No. Just…No.
So…what is it with all this stupidity? I dunno, makes no sense to me.
Neil got a couple photos of a Snowy Egret with breeding plumage yesterday while he was grilling the chicken and onions/peppers for our taco dinner.
Ah…those golden slippers, one of Neil’s fave birds.
He/she was fishing across the other side of the pond but kept flying back and forth between this area and right behind our lanai…I think beau it was late in the afternoon it preferred outside since there were fewer reflections but every time Neil went in our out to cook it flew across then back to our side as soon as he came back inside. He saw at least a half dozen attempts at grabbing dinner over 20 minutes or so but it was never successful that he saw.
A swing and a miss…you can see the water droplets from this failed strike.
It then flew about a dozen feet ahead.
And almost immediately struck again behind where it landed.
Flying to another spot…he got distracted by cooking and didn’t see any fishing attempts after this and then brought dinner inside to eat as he was done cooking. The tacos were…excellent…and he had the leftovers for lunch today while she was at a Ladies of Elks thing.
Interesting things found on the net.
Speaking of situational awareness…they saw another good proof of that the other night on Life Below Zero which chronicles the lives of a bunch of different people in Alaska…our favorite is Sue who runs a hunting/plane refueling camp at Kavik about 50 miles south of the Arctic Ocean. She said a bunch of years ago that she always went armed outside because you never know when a grizzly with a Sue tag would happen by. Anyway…Andy and his lady friend Denise live in Eagle over near the Canadian border on the Yukon River and they were out hunting for Denise’s first bear kill…she’s a new lady friend in the past 3 seasons or so. Anyways…they were stalking the black bear for her to shoot it for meat supply for the winter and as they approached it disappeared into the forest. They looked around and there was a different black bear about 200 yards from them…coming up from behind…they weren’t being stalked by the bear it just happened to be passing by…so she shot it and it rolled all the way down the hill to where their boat was beached…that makes getting the meat back to home a lot easier. Connie and Neil talked about situational awareness that night.