Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Read The News Again…

The media and liberals have doubled down on stupid. I should really quit pointing out their stupidity I reckon…but with no actual Fun Stuff© to report on…well, ya gotta blog ‘bout sumetin’ know what I mean Vern as Jim Varney used to say.

A bit of news on the house front…we got the receipts for the roof and window repairs on the new house yesterday…and their agent claims that “the fans didn’t work because you couldn’t find the controllers”…that last isn’t actually true as we found all the controllers, several had no batteries in them…but we tried all the unknown controllers on all the fans that didn’t work with a known good battery and neither Neil or the two inspectors could make them work…but it is most likely just bad batteries, we’ll check them on our walkthrough before closing, and if that’s what they want to claim more power to ‘em. Flood and homeowner insurance is in place, survey and elevation certificate have been ordered, appraisal has been ordered and might be done, and we are proceeding along on that front.

On the eagle front…the first egg for Harriet and M15 hatched yesterday and the second should hatch tomorrow or the next day. E14 (first hatched) appears to be doing well so far. I tried to get a screenshot of it…but it’s pretty windy and cold today and M15 is keeping it pretty well covered by his body.

Andrew Yang…ya know the Asian billionaire on the debate stage last night…(a) claimed he was a “person of color” and while if by that definition you mean not white he qualifies…the generally accepted street definition of the term means brown people and excludes white people always, Asians usually, and Native People some of the time…then he claimed that if his “freedom dividend”…a tax free government distribution he has proposed of $1,000 per month to every American over the age of 18…at least he limited it to citizens although in the Peoples Republic of Californiastan they give drivers licenses to anybody with a pulse and call them Americans…anyway…if his freedom dividend had already been in place he claimed that he would not be the only “person of color” on the debate stage because…giving people of color more disposable income will increase their contributions to the political campaigns of people of color…talk about buying votes with public money.

So let’s investigate the economics of the freedom dividend and see how much it costs…and where the money will come from. The US population is 308 million as of the 2010 census with an estimated 330 million as of December 2019…and the percentage of the population under 18 is 25% as of the 2010 census. So…and I realize that liberals have a problem with math so I’ll spell it out for ya…$1,000 per month times 12 months times 330 million times 75% over the age of 18 is 2.97 times 10 to the 12th power dollars…that’s 2.9 million million dollars or $2.9 trillion dollars…per year. Now let’s take a look at the US budget…the 2019 federal revenue will be $3.44 trillion…the government operates at a deficit…known as spending more money than you have…that will be $1 trillion for 2019 making the federal outlet $4.44 trillions this plan alone will increase the federal outlay by about 60%…and unless it’s paid for it will quadruple the current deficit. Further…he supports Ms. Warren’s Medicare for All Plan which will cost at least $20 trillion over 10 years by her estimate but $32 trillion by most estimates done by people not named Warren, Sanders, or Yang…so that’s another $3.2 trillion per year added to federal outlays…so essentially these two programs alone will over double the federal outlay and bankrupt the country…and that’s before we add in cancelling student debt, free college, free daycare, rebuilding every building in the country to meet the Green New Deal standards, replacing all of the coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants that we also need to do, replacing the entire freeway system throughout the country, and all the other grandiose spending plans Mr. Yang and his fellow spenders have in mind.

So where’s the money going to come from? Ms. Warren says it will come from her wealth tax…which in the first place is unconstitutional according to most scholars who aren’t liberals and would clearly be considered so by our strict constructionist Supreme Court…but even she admits that it will only take in $2.75 trillion over 10 years and that’s an overestimate compared the estimates of anybody not named Warren. She also claims that Medicare for All will be financed by “savings” in the medical field…as if one can magically legislate that drug testing and development be cost free, doctors accept a massive pay cut, hospitals don’t need to make a profit to stay in business, and the scientific breakthroughs can be mandated. And that doesn’t even take into account that administering this wealth tax is (a) impossible and (b) the government couldn’t possibly do it anyway. At this point they can’t even efficiently collect all the income tax that is owed…can you imagine the bureaucracy needed to figure out how much every billionaire was worth…every year. Let’s take your typical billionaire…say Bill Gates for instance. He’s got some Microsoft stock that you can figure out the value of…but how about his private partnership venture capital companies, his yachts, planes, and homes…how much are all they worth? Can’t know unless you sold all of that stuff. Same with art, jewelry, antiques, and anything else of intrinsic value…it’s only worth what you can sell it for and you only know that if you sell it? Is  that 1926 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow worth more today than it was last year because it’s more rare or less because it’s older by a year? It is simply not possible to actually figure out what a “billionaire” is worth.

On the impeachment front…after the rush to judgement in the House to get a vote on record before Christmas…Democrats are now saying they are’t going to forward the article to the Senate until the Senate agrees to their demands on how the trial will be conducted…this idiotic idea was originated by a Harvard law professor and he thinks…as well as Ms. Pelosi it appears…that this gives Democrats “leverage” over Senator McConnell on setting the rules for the Senate trial. Mr. McConnell has already said that the job of the House is to investigate and the job of the Senate is not to investigate but to evaluate the investigation produced by the House. Thus…he plans to call no witnesses but allow the House Impeachment Managers (essentially the prosecutors) to present their evidence, followed by the defense presenting their case, followed by a vote on acquittal/conviction. Democrats in both the House and Senate are demanding additional witnesses beyond those called by the House…which likely ain’t happening.

So…after the House conducted investigation…during which they clearly displayed partisan behavior through ignoring Republican requests for witnesses…came up with their 2 articles…neither of which alleges an actual crime…but now they don’t think they have a strong enough case to convict…so they’re demanding that the Senate…who has the “sole power to try impeachments” do things the way the House wants them to do it. Seems to me that separation of powers means that will never happen. Sure…the President used Executive Privilege to prevent aides from testifying to Congress…but Executive Privilege is well established in the Constitution and both Presidents Obama and Clinton used it to prevent aides from testifying. Heck…Mr. Mueller’s investigation…no matter whether you think it was fair, biased, a hoax, orchestrated by Never Trump-ers in the FBI or not…at least Mr. Mueller alleged in his report that there were 10 instances where he could have charged the President with Obstruction of Justice…which is an actual crime…but for long standing Justice Department rules that prevented charging a sitting President…and he actually invited Congress to further investigate. Whether Mr. Mueller had sufficient evidence to prove guilt in court beyond a reasonable doubt is unknown…but he could have gotten an indictment but for that sitting President rule…but then any good District Attorney can get an indictment on a ham sandwich as lawyers say.

Unfortunately…charging the President with an actual crime would have required an actual investigation to determine facts and not one that brought in witnesses to repeat talking points and sound bites about vague “abuse of office” and the like. But again…impeachment is never a legal thing…it is purely a political thing. Mr. McConnell and the President are correct in saying that if this impeachment stands then every future President will be subject to being impeached if the House is of the opposite party…because “abuse of office” is a nebulous thing.

Looking at the actual facts…at least as well as they are publicly known…about the Ukraine case…the President asked for an investigation, not an outcome…into potential corruption by American citizens. That is well within his power as the head of the Executive Department and the person who controls US foreign policy. He did not…so far as we know…threaten to withhold military aid, ask for a particular outcome, or deny a meeting with the Ukranian president until the investigation was complete. He did not withhold the military aid beyond the statutory time limit in the congressional appropriation law that provided the aid. However…as President’s have been doing ever since we sent Marines to the Shores of Tripoli…he was using the world position of the US as the biggest guy on the block to achieve foreign policy as he saw fit…in my opinion he should have asked for an investigation into Burisma (the oil company there) and not mentioned either Biden…but then he’s a businessman and not really a politician so doesn’t understand how to use all the diplomatic niceties to get his way. While I have no complete facts about either this incident or the one involving Vice President Biden…my understanding of the facts is that Mr. Biden asked the former Ukranian President to fire the prosecutor who was previously investigating Burisma…who paid a completely unqualified Hunter Biden $50K a a month to serve on its board despite no experience in the oil industry…and that military aid to Ukraine didn’t get released by President Obama until after that prosecutor was dismissed. If…and it’s a big if…President Trump is guilty of using his office for personal gain…then by that measure so was Vice President Biden…and by extension his President.

Again though…this is all political and an attempt to redo the 2016 election…and to hopefully on Democrats part to convince voters to come over to their side next year. Unfortunately…all of the candidates that are running are so far to the left and are spouting so many socialist policies and confiscatory financial policies that it’s unlikely any of them can win a national election. They’ll carry California and New York…but most states are primarily filled with middle of the road voters who will see through their impossible promises.

I really fail to see how Ms. Pelosi’s sitting on the articles puts any pressure at all on the Senate…in fact one of her leadership folks…Representative Clyburn of South Carolina…admitted today that they might never forward the articles to the Senate. So much for incontrovertible proof of malfeasance.

The President…well, he wants his day in court…and he also wants lots of witnesses called so his defense team can summon both Bidens, Mr. Schiff and Nadler from the House, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Comey, and who knows who else to create another public spectacle…but I don’t think that Mr. McConnell will allow that. He doesn’t particularly want to have a trial at all…and if he does he wants it low key…hence his insistence on no witnesses and allowing the House managers to present the results of their “investigation”…which the President’s team will then get to counter albeit with less of a spectacle. It would not surprise me if most of the trial sessions were closed to the public and press…which is well within the Senate rules…but if invoked the Democrats will scream bloody murder since they won’t get their sound bite for the 6 o’clock news.

I saw the other day a claim from Rashida Talib…ya know, the “we’ll impeach the m*****f***er; such a well spoken, civil, and courteous freshman Congresswoman”…anyway it turns out that the shooting in the Jersey City NJ Jewish deli a week or so back was conducted by a pair of “black nationalists” who were members of the Black Hebrew Israelites…a generally accepted black power group like BLM and the Louis Farrakhan’s group. Anyway…despite a couple of black nationalists shooting up a Jewish deli which makes little to no sense to me…Ms. Talib claims that the attack was the result of “white supremacists”. Joy Behar on “The View”…that bastion of amicable political debate…echoed the same bias when she said that “white nationalists have been let out of their holes”. Black Hebrew Israelites by the way…well, they believe that all black people are direct descendants of the original Israelites. Seems that they’re of the wrong racial makeup as those Israelites were mostly Arab or similar coloring…but what do I know…that’s what they claim. I’m not sure how it can be white people’s fault when it was black people…er, excuse me people of color…that engaged in the shootout…but mebbe that’s just me.

Interesting things found on the net.

TrashNite

Some examples of Canadian Vandalism.

CanadianVandalism00001

CanadianVandalism00004

CanadianVandalism00011

CanadianVandalism00012

KeyedCar

EvolutionStart

BowHeadsToPray

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging | Leave a comment

And Even More Stupidity Gathered From The News

Yup…mucho stupidity today…and it’s not all even impeachment related…although it is at the top of the list.

No new news to report on the house front…although we did pick out and buy our new waterbed…we’re getting a soft sided one with a pillow top…the industry has seen significant technical progress since our last purchase of one in 1977. Beyond that…we’re just doing the paperwork shuffle and waiting on the lender, title company, and insurance company do their thing.

Holiday wise…we’re ready for Christmas…we will again attend Midnight Mass at 1600 in the afternoon Christmas Eve…hey, that’s the way they do it down here in old folk land…then Connie will go back on Christmas morning for that Mass. Then Neil will cook some lamb chops we got from Yoder’s Meats in Shipshewana Indiana while we were getting our bearing maintenance on the rig. Got a nice bottle of Pinot Noir to go along with it and we’ll have some caramelized sweet potatoes on the side.

As I said before…impeachment is a political and not a legal or judicial process. This was made abundantly clear by the process by which the investigation was managed by the Democratic led House, the refusal to call witnesses as requested by the minority party, and the strict party line vote by which the two articles…neither of which alleges a “high crime or misdemeanor”…were approved. Nonetheless…the process moves on.

Now things move over to the Senate…where unfortunately for the Democrats the Republicans are in the majority and will get to set the rules. Nonetheless…a couple of stupidities from the Democratic side this morning.

Representative Jackie Speier has demanded that Senator McConnell recuse himself because the Senator has stated that this is a political, not a judicial process; and that he is not an impartial juror but rather a partisan member. He has also stated that there won’t be any witnesses called because it’s the House’s job to investigate and the Senate’s job to hold the trial to determine if the House’s investigation supports conviction and/or removal from office. Mr. Speier…well, he’s also threatened a mistrial if the Senator doesn’t do what he wants. Obviously Mr. Speier thinks he has more power than he actually does…which is zero in this circumstance as the Senate gets to now set the rules. It is true that with only a slim majority some Republicans could vote with the Democrats and change the rules…it is hard to determine how likely that is…but members of the House have bupkus to say about it.

Senator Schumer is also demanding that his list of witnesses be called to testify before the Senate…despite the refusal of members of his party ignoring the demands of the minority in the House…sucks to be you Mr. Schumer…but the shoe is on the other proverbial foot now.

In addition…Ms. Pelosi is now saying that she won’t refer the impeachment charges to the Senate for trial until the Senate assures her that it will be fair…or at least fair according to the Democrats demands…good luck with that.

And even more in addition…Democratic leadership are demanding that Chief Justice Roberts…who will oversee  the trial…have a heavy hand and accede to the Democratic demand for witnesses and rules of trial that they want…despite the Chief Justice saying that he will be there to call balls and strikes and will take the same low visibility approach that his predecessor did during the trial of President Clinton. The Chief Justice doesn’t want the Court to be dragged into the political arena…he has stated often that there is separation of powers, that no branch can overrule another branch, and that the duty of the Court is to enforce the Constitution.

It is not the Senate’s job to investigate the President. Their job is to evaluate the investigation produced by the House and vote to acquit or convict based on the evidence and testimony provided by the House. The President wants a long trial with the ability to call witnesses and my guess is he wants to turn the whole thing into an even bigger circus than it already is…but Senator McConnell…correctly in my view…wants to get this completely political process completed as rapidly as possible…and since it is a political process the majority in the Senate has no interest in undermining a President of their own party on what any reasonable person should think of as pretty flimsy evidence and innuendo. When you read the transcripts and think about the whole Ukraine thing in an unbiased manner…what he did was probably in bad taste but is the same thing US Presidents have been doing for decades ever since we became a world power. Governing and foreign policy are a lot like making sausage…it’s ugly but you normally get something good in the end…nobody over said that politics was a pretty game.

Moving on…it’s not just here. Over in the UK there are a couple of things going on.

First…a UK judge ha s ruled that it is legal to fire a worker for saying that transgender women aren’t women. Turns out that there is a woman tax expert over there who was sacked because of her social media posts that stated that gender is biologically determined at conception…that you are either male or female…and that cutting off your willy and taking hormones doesn’t make you a woman. She’s right…men are men and women are women…and you can’t make yourself the other just by saying so any more than you can say you’re a cephalopod and you become a squid. It just don’t work that way. Now I have nothing against men who want to play dress up and pretend they’re women…or vice versa…but please people…putting on panty hose, makeup, and high heals along with a bra full of falsies doesn’t make you a woman…biology makes you a man or woman…period.

However…at least until some common sense judge over in the UK over rules this liberal idiot…who stated in his opinion that the fired woman’s view are “not worth of respect in a democratic society”…and that “she is absolutist in her view of sex”…but then…at least ‘round these parts…that is an absolute of biology.

Then there’s Brexit…two examples of lunacy there today. As you might have heard…the Conservative majority won the recent election over there…by a landslide was how the BBC reported it…and Mr. Johnson has the votes to execute Brexit now so he’s going ahead with it. The losing side…well, they claim that they will “force Brexit to not happen” by voting against it when it comes up for a vote this week…despite the fact that their side has an 80 seat gap in votes in Parliament…don’t they teach basic math over there?

Second example is that the government up in Scotland…which voted against Brexit in the previous referendum and which gave a majority to the Scottish Nationalist Party in the recent election…now their leader is demanding that another referendum be held in Scotland over whether the country should exit the UK, become and independent country, and join the EU. The trouble with that demand is that she has no power…unless the government in London approves another referendum it just can’t legally happen. I guess they don’t teach civics and how the government work over there either.

Back on our side of the pond…in election 2020 news….Senator Warren has now recalibrated her “Medicare for All” plan…ya know, that one that will cost $30+ trillion over 10 years or $3 trillion a year when the current US budget is only $4 trillion…but she will pay for it out of savings and her unconstitutional wealth confiscation…yeah, that Medicare for All Plan. Anyway…now she says that it will be optional for the first 3 years of her first term…and only then become binding…and the this change now constitutes a “choice” for your health plan. Yeah…sort of like Senator Obama during his presidential campaign…”if you like your health care plan you can keep it”.

Saw a headline this morning that says “A US Navy Attack Submarine Mysteriously Exploded in 1968”…it details the loss of the USS Scorpion off of the Azores Islands in the Atlantic. Now despite the headline…if you actually read the article…and I’m not saying anything here that has not already been in the news repeatedly over the decades since…nobody knows why the submarine sank and it certainly did not explode. What happened is that…and the photos of the wreckage are available on the internet…for some unknown reason the submarine descended past its design crush depth and the engineering spaces in the aft end crushed…from the looks of the images on the internet it appears that the failure was on the top of the hull in the vicinity of the rear escape hatch in the engine room and that it sort of crushed forward from there to the reactor compartment. The incident resulted in the detachment of the sail from the rest of the wreck and the detachment of the forward end of the ship from the crushed into pieces engineering spaces. The forward end is relatively intact which means that it did not crush…which most likely means that it was full of water before the ship sank below crush depth…thus preventing it from collapsing. The article speculates…again with zero actual evidence or facts…that it could have suffered a torpedo hot run and explosion inside the ship…or the the battery exploded…or that it was attacked by the Russians…all theories which have been around in the internet since forever and again there’s no real evidence as far as I know. There could be some highly classified report that comes to some conclusions base on some actual evidence…but people, it’s in pieces and I think that only photographs were taken with no recovery of any wreckage…so speculating on what might have happened is just making stuff up. Nonetheless…I guess the headline was designed to get clicks…why can’t people ever write headlines that actually have some semblance to reality…and I really can’t see the point in actually putting this story up there…it was 50 years ago and the SUBSAFE program that was put into place after this and the USS Thresher sinking a few years before resulted in the deployment of much safer submarines in their aftermath. As to the reactor and any spread of radioactivity…it is unlikely as the pressure in the reactor vessel itself is far higher than the pressure it takes to collapse the hull so it would tend to still have all of the fuel inside the reactor vessel. The fuel is formed into plates so it would not be spread out even if the vessel was compromised and even if that happened the dilution factor of a few billion gallons of sea water would render it undetectable…a 100 yard on a side cube contains about 175 million gallons and the wreckage is spread out over a half mile or so. Same with any nuclear weapons that might have been on board…assuming there were they would have survived the implosion intact and they have sufficient safeguards to prevent any accidental activation…and an unexploded nuclear warhead is barely radioactive at all compared to the reactor core after it has been operated anyway…all of the fallout doesn’t happen until after it goes bang.

Next…out in LA back in August…you might recall that an off-duty police officer was attacked in Costco by a man who turned out to be mentally ill. The officer was standing in line to checkout holding his 1-1/2 year old son when he was attacked…he believed his life and his son’s were in danger so he shot the assailant dead. The entire incident took 8 seconds when the video was reviewed…and no charges were filed in the shooting. His parents are now suing the officer and the city for wrongful death and punitive damages…in their lawsuit they claim that they pleaded with the officer that heir son had mental illness before he was shot. Kinda hard to believe they could tell the officer he was nuts and plead not to shoot him…then have the officer shoot him…all in the space of 8 seconds of which at least 2 were used up by the time he was knocked to the floor…but hey, the parents see a payday so I guess they figure that makes this BS lawsuit ok.

Over in the UK…apparently employees spending too much time in the loo as they call it texting or posting to social media. Anyways…a toilet company over there has introduced a new toilet design with a 13 degree slope down from the back of the seat to the front…this supposedly makes it painful to sit on for more than 5 minutes and will reduce the tendency to waste working time texting and influencing…and apparently the internet is all up in arms about this. Seems to me that if companies think this is a problem they can buy the toilets…and a whole bunch of faux outrage over it is just more stupidity.

Speaking of influencers…over in theUK there is apparently one whose name is Lauren Goodger…and no, I never heard of her either…but trust me she’s an influencer…I know because I read it on the internet. Anyway…there was a documentary on BBC Three recently by a comedian in which she was caught on camera agreeing to an endorsement deal (or would that be influencer deal)…anyway, the endorsement was for a weight loss drink from a company named Cyanora…which is a bad pun on Sayonara which is Japanese for goodbye…for a drink that they were told on camera contained hydrogen cyanide. Now I guess that most people with a pulse would know that hydrogen cyanide is the chemical they use in the gas chamber for executions…and even if you don’t know that I would think that most people have heard of and know that cyanide is deadly…it is a common ordinary English word ya know…she admitted that she had never tried it but readily agreed to promote it on her influencer channels anyway. Naturally…the internet exploded over this as well (at least over in the UK) and she says that “the backlash over this video is unfair”. Maybe she can retreat to her safe place and mommy will bring her a lollypop. She’s blaming it all on her agent…typical millennial…can’t possibly be her fault.

That’s about enough stupidity for today I guess…time for…

Interesting things found on the net.

This is a Japanese Long Tailed Chicken…I wonder how it walks around without getting snagged.

JapaneseLongTailedChicken

FamilyChristmasCard

Canneloni

WhoLostTheKeys

T1 274029 lifestyle coach

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging | Leave a comment

Random Impeachment Thoughts

Don’t take this as firm support for the President…’round these parts we are definitely not full fans of him. However, in the election in 2016 we had 2 bad choices and it was a matter of choosing the least bad. Neil says it’s another proof that his election idea from his late teens is the right answer…for any election “None of the Above” should be on the ballot and if None wins then you have to have a new election and none of those idiots can run in the second one. We also think…’round these parts…that the President and his rampant tweeting is (a) his own worst enemy, (b) taking away from doing his job…which from a right of center perspective his policies are actually doing pretty well what right of center thinks is the right thing to do, and (c) just giving the folks on the other side unnecessary ammo.

Anyway…

As you know…the House pretty much ignored the requests from the minority party in the House to call witnesses the minority wanted. Under the Hastert rule in the House…the committee heads were perfectly in line with House rules. However…Mr. Schumer is now demanding that the Senate call a series of witnesses the minority party in the Senate wants…and is outraged by the lack of cooperation from the Senate Majority Leader.

Let’s consider the two articles the committee voted on. First…abuse of power by attempting to bribe Ukraine and second obstruction of justice by not allowing aides to testify to congress when they were subpoenaed.

Now I’ve read the Constitution…and it clearly says that the President can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors”…the operative word in there is crime. While it is likely true that the President applied pressure on the Ukraine to get Hunter Biden investigated…he did not call for a result of the investigation. Since his oath says “uphold the laws of the United States”…one could argue that asking a foreign government to investigate possible crimes by an American citizen which violate US law is justified…regardless of whether or not it helps him politically. In addition…anybody that thinks the US pressuring foreign countries started with this President needs to get a clue…we have been twisting arms and applying economic, military, and political pressure to get our way for many decades. It’s not clear that “abuse of power” is a crime…while they had 3 “constitutional experts” testify that it was…they were likely handpicked by the committee to hear what they wanted to hear and I’m quite certain that constitutional experts of the opposite political persuasion might have a different idea. In any event…one possible tactic the President could use when the House impeaches him is to appeal to the Supreme Court that the impeachment is unconstitutional since it doesn’t charge “high crimes and misdemeanors”. There are 3 independent…and under the Constitution equally powerful…branches of government so I’m not sure that legally Congress has the power to determine that a non crime constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor. Looking on to the second article…yes, it is true that the Executive branch declared Executive Privilege in declining to let Executive department employees testify under a Congressional subpoena. In the first place…Executive Privilege has been cited by numerous administrations going back quite a ways…and I distinctly remember at least two occasions (Eric Holder and Lois Lerner come to mind) where the previous administration’s employees were subpoenaed by Congress, ignored by the administration…and everybody thought it was just fine.

Next…let’s dispel the claim that his is a hunt for justice…impeachment is inherently a political process…always has been and always be. Let’s quit pretending it’s about anything other than the Democrats trying to redo the election of 2016 that they lost. Calls for impeachment began the day after the election…remember “we’re going to impeach the mo*****f****er” from a freshman congresswoman? Now let’s consider the vote…in the committee it was a strictly party line vote and the full House vote will be pretty similar…if that doesn’t tell you it is just politics then you need to go and get a clue stick from somebody. Numerous House members announced way, way in advance of even the investigation…that they would vote to impeach regardless of the investigation…in other words, their minds were already made up. Looking at the Senators who will serve as the jury in a Senate trial…almost all of the Senators running for President on the Democratic side have already announced…ahead of any testimony or investigation…that they will vote too convict. If they were in a jury trial in court they would be dismissed for cause…but as I said this is a political issue, not a legal one.

Now the Democrat leadership is demanding that the Republicans “put country ahead of party” by voting to convict…and implying that they are traitors if they do not do so. Kinda hard to believe this is sincere since the House put party ahead of country in that chamber…note the continuing attempts to impeach ever since the election. Sure…I know that the previous Congress stonewalled a lot of President Obama’s initiatives…and that was politics too.

Finally…let’s wonder why our congress critters were elected in the first place. They were elected to do the country’s business…but what we have is one house controlled by each party. The House passes legislation that achieves the left’s goals knowing that none of them will be taken up by the Senate because the other party has different goals…but they get to claim that the Senate is a legislative graveyard. Maybe if they passed some bipartisan legislation that achieved some of each side’s goals it might get taken up by the Senate…and even signed by the President…what a concept. In addition…this whole impeachment was never going anywhere…it’s just political masturbation. It was a foregone conclusion after the 2018 mid terms that the House would vote to impeach no matter what…and that the Senate would not convict no matter what. Again…politics.

I really wish that both sides would just drop all this BS and get on to doing their actual job…running the country. Unfortunately…it’s more important on both sides to make your opponents look bad and obstruct whatever they want as opposed to actually trying to compromise and…well, actually govern. Back in the day…each side recognized that the other side had some valid points and legislation was hammered out that didn’t fully please either side but moved the chains to use a football analogy. No more though. Heck…you can even look at the Supreme Court for an example…Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsberg were about as far apart politically, legally, and philosophically as two people can get…but they were best friends outside the court and frequently vacationed together. Maybe our current leadership…on both sides…could follow their example.

Heck…maybe the President could stop tweeting stuff guaranteed to rile up his opponents and maybe he could quit saying stupid things in rallies and speeches…but that ain’t happening’ either.

So now the House will vote next week…and since the Democrats have a majority the impeachment will pass…Ms. Pelosi has said “we’re not going to whip this…each member should vote his/her conscience”. However…she’s a good enough politician…I hate her politics but she is a very smart lady…to have already counted votes and know that she can allow a certain number of vulnerable Democrats in the House vote against impeachment if they are in a red district…and she knows who will vote against it and knows that she has the votes to pass it…she would be incompetent if she brought it to a vote without knowing that…and she’s a lot of things but incompetent isn’t on the list.

Then the Senate will have a trial after the new year…and again the outcome is pre-ordained…it takes 2/3 of the voting members or 67 votes to convict…and the likelihood of 20something Republicans voting to convict is non-existent…Mr. McConnell is just as smart of a politician as Ms. Pelosi is…and he knows how the votes will come out ahead of time.

So…since it’s not going anywhere…why didn’t the Democrats figure that out way, way back when and just settle for censuring the President…they could have done that easily but…that would not have overturned the 2016 election.

Just a little food for thought.

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging | Leave a comment

House Hunt Update II

Yeah…I know it’s not really an original post title…but it pretty much fits.

Between the house hunt…although at this stage it’s no longer a hunt but a ‘get the paperwork done’ drill…and our somewhat busy social and church calendar…since it is December…we been runnin’ ‘round like a one armed paper hanger as we usta say back in the deep south…

We had our house inspection…and after some discussion between Neil and Connie they called our agent and gave her a list of what we wanted them to fix…we skipped overall the cosmetic stuff but the 3 things that were actually broken/didn’t work we figgered they should fix. The agent wanted us to just accept the inspection results and pay to fix everything ourselves…’pparently that’s the way it’s done down here…but after 6 total home buying experiences (3 buyer, 3 seller) in 3 different states before we figured that the report was a negotiating point. One of the windows was broke in that the retaining spring that holds it up wasn’t attached so it won’t stay open, there is a roof tile broken, and 3 of the 7 ceiling fans didn’t work. The spring is the only hard one though…that requires a repairman. The tile…well, roof tiles are only decorative as the underlying seal is what actually keeps the water out…is relatively simple to slide in a new tile and seal around the edges. The fans…are most probably just dead batteries in the controllers as there are no normal switches on the fans…but again it could be the fans. We insisted on the addendum and after a day or two the seller agreed to fix those things so we’re waiting on them to finish.

Meanwhile…the mortgage process rolls on…we still need the survey and elevation certificate before we can start the insurance policy. Neil has found all the info for turning all the utility accounts on and talked to the financial folks so we have getting the down payment and closing costs out of investments all figured out. Closing is scheduled for 1/15 and then after that we’ll start moving in.

Connie is going to check with her friends who live down here and find out which is the best furniture to go see. They’re going up to Port Charlotte to see…Neil really likes this name…Waterbed Willie’s…they slept on a waterbed for their entire married life until 2012 when we hit the road and would prefer to have one of those again. Apparently the state of the art in waterbeds is much more sophisticated than the old bag-o-water in a frame from the olden days…but they need to go and see what exactly is the state of the art these days. If that doesn’t work out…they’ll probably just get another Sleep Number like they had in the rig…it’s right comfy to sleep on…but not up to the standard of the waterbed they were on for so many years.

We’ll also need a new TV…but luckily our friend Bill is (a) an ex TV guy so he knows both the broadcast and reception ends and (b) just bought a new set for Linda and himself a few months back and (c) he’s an engineer so like Neil he does copious research before buying anything more complicated than a Big Mac…so we got some recommendations from him. Basically…it boils down to “get the biggest one you can” and “get the high end model, you won’t regret”. He’s right about both of those of course and we can afford whatever we really want…but I think we’ll pass on the 105 inch model as just too darned big. We were thinking 65 but have seen his 77 inch model so we’ll have to see.

We also need some new IT toys of course…a router, desktop file server and associated network gear…Neil’s in charge of picking that out. There are some mesh wifi systems available these days but he thinks that before he goes that route he’ll try a high end standard router…he’s planning on running an ethernet cable back to the office for the server/desktop anyway and everything else that needs to connect will be in the main kitchen/great room area  anyway. He’ll probably also upgrade his laptop during the transition as well…with them planning on overseas travel he wants to have one with sufficient drive space for all the photos he’ll accumulate during a trip and that will be up to about a half a terabyte or so per trip depending . Maybe a Network Attached Storage (NAS) is in his tech future as well. Internet will likely be cable as will be TV…basic cable is included in the HoA fees and while DirecTV antennas are allowed it’s hard to justify 180 a month for that and another 75 or so for internet when the additional cable packages and internet will be less than 180 in total. Antennas are allowed though…and they’re still gathering info on TV options. There’s also an option to cut the cord and get all of the programming online…but there are issues with that as well and you usually end up with a bunch of 10 dollar a month subscriptions to get what you want and no single guide to search all of them simultaneously so we’re unlikely to go that route.

He’s also going to need another car once we sell Big Red and the rig…but he’s still thinking on what he wants. Probably not a pickup…and Connie can’t ride in a convertible…but maybe a coupe sports car or something slightly bigger and comfortable enough to take driving trips in though…he’s starting to research alternatives.

Let’s see…other news. Nah, really not much else going on…so let’s move on.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Just in case you’re wondering…a US submarine is pretty hard to sink as indicated by the photo below. This is of the USS San Francisco…a Los Angeles or 688 class attack submarine. Back in 2005 about 360 miles southeast of Guam on the way to a port call in Brisbane Australia…they finished operations and with the captain’s approval went down to 525 feet depth and all ahead flank (maximum speed)…this is generally available on the internet at 33 knots or about 37 miles an hour (a knot is 1 nautical mile per hour or 1.125 statute miles per hour). The chart they were operating on dated fro 1989 sounding survey data and showed a water depth of 6,500 feet and no navigational hazards. After the fact investigation showed that there was a peak coming up to within 100 feet of the surface…note that this is significantly shallower than 525 feet. Well…the ship ran smack into the side of the peak and essentially came to a complete stop with 98 of the 130 crew injured and one fatality who fell down a ladder he was climbing at the time. The ship emergency surfaced and limped back into Guam for repairs. While the outer hull, forward ballast tanks, and sonar dome were severely damaged…the pressure hull was intact and it limped back to Mare Island CA for repairs. The bow was replaced by the bow from another decommissioned 688 and the ship served another 7 years before retirement. The shot is of the ship in dry dock in Guam before it went back to the mainland…the green area is the forwarded of the pressure hull and the smashed area in between the blue tarp and the green area is the remains of the formerly 18 or so feet diameter 4 inch thick steel sonar dome. The very front under the blue tarp is the remains of the 3 inch thick fiberglass bow dome which is used on current ships as it provides better acoustic performance and is lighter than the former steel bow structure.These ships are built tough…here is a
link
if you want to read more about the grounding.

USSSanFranciscoCollision

AndSoItBegins

PushingTheCarHome

RainedEntireTrip

Can’t fault his logic.

LikeTheLogic

Number 2 is confused.

Number2IsConfused

How am I supposed to try the sample at Costco?

CostcoSamples

This is Bjarnarey Island…it’s part of the Vestmann Islands which are south of Iceland a bit. It is one of 18 islands that make up the town of Vestmannaeyjar…the population of the entire town/archipelago is 3. I’m not quite sure how you get onto and off of the island unless there’s a lower piece around the back side…don’t think so though…I googled and it appears there’s a trail down the side of the cliff with guide wires and you have to have a harness attached to them while you climb up the almost 400 foot tall cliff.

BjarnareyIsland

Only readers of a certain vintage will appreciate this.

YMCAVillagePeople

Ya know how owls up in the far northland hunt pretty by flying over the snow and using their very sensitive hearing to detect and then locate dinner as it scurries along through tunnels underneath the snow…then it swoops in silently…that’s an owl thing…and momentarily touch the ground while plunging their talons through the snow to grab dinner? This is what one of those attacks looks like after the fact…pretty cool eh?

OwlHuntInSnow

And finally…

RedBullWoodpecker

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, RV, Travel | 2 Comments

House Hunt Update

We have continued to search for our new home…and this morning we have news on that front…we’ve submitted an offer and after negotiation have a signed contract. The search was not without some drama though.

We ended up with our second choice instead of our first one. The first choice was about 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with a nice spa on the lanai. It didn’t have the water view Connie wanted…it looked over the golf course instead…but she was sold on the spa so we put in an offer on that one. Some research with comps on our end and with the sales history of the home revealed that the current owners had paid about 25-30K more than it was worth at the time. Accordingly…they were determined not to lose any money on the deal. Add to that an unreasonable…in our opinion…real estate agent on their end who believes in listing houses above their value to (a) increase her paycheck and (b) increase the property values in the neighborhood (again good for her as she lives there as well). Their agent justified the list price using comps that were based on list prices instead of actual sold prices…which everybody knows isn’t the way that comps are supposed to work. However…in her world…that is the way they work hence they wanted about 20K above market value based on actual sold comps.

So…we offered less than actual market value and figured we would negotiate to the middle to match actual sold prices. They rejected our offer as insulting…but did lower their price by 10K while simultaneously deleting the furniture (it was listed as partially furnished) so deleting the furniture and lowering the price 10K really didn’t change the price. Further…they stated that their initial counter offer was their final counter offer and we could take it or leave it. Long story short…they and their agent are jerks…wanted to use another word here but this is a family blog ya know.

Based on their jerkiness and the fact that it would continue to be a battle with them arguing over everything through the inspection, appraisal, and closing…we moved on. Connie was disappointed but decided it was for the best, everything happens for a reason, and that if we were supposed to have that house it would have worked out…so she got over it and we moved on to our second choice. In reality…it was more house than we really needed but the spa was nice.

We moved to our second choice…a 3 BR 2 bath very similar floor plan to the first choice. No spa but plenty of flat yard to expand the lanai to add a screened patio and we could actually put in a spa without expanding if we wanted to. It also has a nice water view of a pond behind the house.From Neil’s standpoint…the kitchen and great room/living area is better anyway as it’s more connected into a single space…not to mention that at a bit under 2000 square feet it’s more in line with what we originally wanted…at the start we wanted 3BR/2 baths but the spa enticed Connie

Offer submitted, negotiations and accepted. Unfortunately the same agent listed it as listed the first choice…but the owner was more reasonable…and Connie is ready for the whole thing to be done so that’s what we did. She doesn’t feel like she settled for less than what she wants but wasn’t interested in over paying and dealing with jerks no matter how much she liked the first choice.

We had a nice dinner down at Marker 92 Restaurant last evening for her birthday…the food was pretty good but it was an hour drive each way so hopefully she will not pick it again for a couple of years…and even then we might go have lunch instead of dinner so we don’t have deal with the rush hour traffic to get down there…the food’s good but maybe not good enough for 2 hours of driving to get it. The Argentinian/Italian steak place has better steaks in our opinion. There’s no view but then if it’s after dark there’s no view of the marina at Marker 92 either. And most importantly…the glasses of wine at Che Tito’s are much, much bigger for the same price…and the wine is better. Nice imported Malbec from Argentina for the same price as a smaller glass of house wine at Marker 92. Traffic in North Fort Myers has picked up considerably in the 8 years we’ve been coming down here. The road out to Pine Island used to be pretty much empty but there are entire neighborhoods and large shopping centers almost all the way out there now with the attendant massive increases in traffic load. There are several spots now where it takes 3-5 cycles of the light to get past at rush hour. 

Hasn’t been much fun stuff…so here are a couple more from Neil’s trip down to the eagle nest from last time.

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You can’t really see it in these two shots…but it was struggling to get airborne with the dead bunny.

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Harriet just about to grab the 2 wire on landing.

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Interesting stuff found on the net.

It’s past Thanksgiving…but these are appropriate for that holiday.

WhereIsDonald

TurkeySurrounded

From the Unfortunate Paint Job Department

UnfortunatePaintJob1

UnfortunatePaintJob2

Nitpicking

LosingYourTeeth

CommonCoreMath

IkeaBook

OldFriendsNewFriends

And from the
Science Alert Center

Atoms…although you might not know it…are almost all empty space with the nucleus being much smaller…about 100,000 times smaller…than the total atom size which is represented by the orbits of all of it’s electrons…to put that into scale if the atom was the size of a baseball stadium the nucleus would be the size of a peanut…although whether that’s the whole unshelled peanut or just one of the nuts inside the shell is not specified in the article. So…if you could get rid of all of the empty space which is 99.9999999% of the space in each atom…how much space would you take up?

EmptySpace2

Kinda makes ya feel small…don’t it.

And finally…is there anything a pretty girl can’t do? Heck…it restored this blind guy’s sight.

ItIsAMiracle

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Movin’ Along

Things are progressing on the house hunting front…first off the adults have narrowed down their wants…they’ve eliminated the smallish 1,000 square feet range places as too cramped, well actually there’s plenty of living space but storage wise they’re too cramped and in addition they’re mostly duplexes or quads which they’re not interested in. So…they’re concentrating on houses in the 1,700-2,200 square foot range with 3 bedrooms, an open floor plan, a great kitchen that opens out into what they’ll call the ‘where we live’ area but what most would call the den/family room or something like that. In any event…he wants to be able to see the TV and participate in whatever conversations are happening with Connie or guests while he’s whipping up his culinary masterpieces. Almost all of the houses they’ve looked at so far have a kitchen/den combo like this with an eat-in bar separating the kitchen proper from the living spaces. Connie also has a requirement that the view has to be nice…in other words not the back of somebody else’s house…what she really wants is water…one of the places we rejected had canals on 2 sides of the yard but unfortunately the house was from the 80s and is pretty closed in…completely lacking the open plan that they want. Pretty much everything down here has HoA fees that cover lawn and landscaping maintenance so he’s on board with that…and most include basic cable and wifi throughout the neighborhood although whether that also includes high speed internet to the homes hasn’t been determined.

They visited 10 homes in 4 developments last week…and 3 are on the short list for the finalists so far…two of them are up in Magnolia Landing which has the advantage that it’s across the street from Saint Therese parish where we go but the disadvantage that it’s not down close to the Elks and other places we frequent…in fact there isn’t much entertainment wise up in that area but (a) it will eventually get built up, (b) it’s only 5 miles or so down to Pine Island Road where most of the stuff is and (c) we’ll just develop new favorite haunts like wing places, bars, Chinese takeout and the like.

Neil’s rounding back into bike riding shape…60 miles this month so far with another week to go so he should be up around 80 on the way to his normal 100ish. 

Gordon (our local mobile RV tech) fixed the leaking seal on our toilet so that’s good to go…Neil could have done it himself…but it’s plumbing and he and plumbing generally don’t get along. He also replaced the burned out thermostat on the electric side of our hot water heater…the gas still worked but we generally use the electric when the weather is warmer as it’s more economical.

Big whoop-de-do down at the Elks with the Ladies of the Elks at our old lodge. Can’t provide a whole lot of detail…but it’s been causing stress in Connie’s life a bit…but it’s all working out for the best as things progress toward a resolution. We went over to the lodge for the Snowflake Ball…unfortunately she didn’t have a gown to wear but we’ll solve that problem once we get a little more closet space. There’s a Gatsby Ball the end of December and Neil already told her to buy herself a flapper dress for the occasion.

Saturday Neil headed off to the eagle’s nest down the road 4 miles for his first visit of the season. Harriet laid 2 eggs on November 12 and 16 so they should hatch right around Christmas again. This means that either she or her mate M15 is always on the nest incubating the eggs and protecting them from predation. He got there a few minutes after sunrise at 0656 and found that M15 was on the nest and Harriet had been gone for over an hour by that time…atypical for her as normally she’s not gone more than about an hour or so at a time during nesting season.

You can’ see it…but here’s the nest where M15 is dutifully incubating the eggs…yeah, I know it ain’t much to look at but trust me, he’s there. They just built the sides of the nest tall enough to keep the eaglets in which means there’s no visibility from the ground either. If you want to check the nest out…it’s
here
. The second image is M15 sitting on the nest…it’s a screenshot from this morning and not from during yesterday’s visit…but it pretty much looks like yesterday’s would have looked like.

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Screen Shot 2019 11 24 at 11 01 50 AM

With no eagles to be found…he and his assorted friends started looking around for something else to photograph until something better happened along to see. Over on the ‘snag’…that’s the local nomenclature for a dead tree that the eagles frequently perch in…they spotted this Red Shouldered Hawk. He/she looks pretty rough…like it is suffering from a hangover from a hard night of drinking or something…it apparently hangs around this area along with another Red Shouldered…after a few minutes it flew off and wasn’t seen again for the remainder of the time he was there.

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Here’s an extreme closeup so ya can see what Ima talking about it looking rough.

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A bit later…they spotted the other Red Shouldered sitting in the fallen over dead tree…it doesn’t have a specific name yet…from Hurricane Irma a couple years back…not a real great shot as it was in amongst the branches and shadows but at least it doesn’t look like it is having a bad feather morning.

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A bit later…this one hopped farther out to the left on the same branch and posed with its back towards him looking back over its shoulder…very nice indeed.

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The next find was this American Kestrel…not the world’s greatest shot of this really small member of the falcon family…its only about 10 inches long or the size of a Blue Jay…and it was about 75 yards or so out there so even with Neil’s bigger and better bird lens…a Tamron 200-600 G2…it’s a long reach out there for a photo.

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About that time…the 2nd Red Shouldered above hopped down into the grass below the branch, picked up a grasshopper for breakfast, and then hopped back up to a different branch that was in full light and posed perfectly for us…only about 20 yards away from the fence the photographers were standing behind.

Yummy.

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Showing its back as well.

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A little post snack preening.

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And it was off…

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Back to it’s original perch in the branches making it difficult to see

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At this point…the photographers figured the show was over and that…even if we remained eagle-less…it had been a very successful day. It’s not often that you can get a raptor to pose that close to you for 10 minutes in just about perfect lighting conditions. Wow!.

However…either the Red Shouldered wanted to really show us something…or else it was still hungry…I figure the latter as a single grasshopper ain’t much of a breakfast. It decided to do what raptors do…and went hunting.

We weren’t sure what it was on down here…but the prey was clearly struggling as the hawk kept obviously clamping down on its talons in an attempt to finish off the prey so it could eat. Normally raptors kill their prey in the initial strike typically by breaking its neck with their talons…but in this case the hawk just hopped down on top of it so that obviously would not work. I don’t k now if it they kills the prey by constricting the lungs with talons or by puncturing vital organs with the knives on the end of the talons…but the unknown prey was clearly struggling and took 4 or 5 minutes of trying to escape before it expired. 

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Ah…dead now so let’s see about properly positioning it and myself for takeoff.

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Well…let us try the other way.

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Having a rest.

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Yeah…it has to go this way so let us try once again.

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And we have liftoff…turns out the prey was a bunny that’s almost as large as and clearly heavier than the hawk is…so it was clearly struggling to achieve liftoff.

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And we’re airborne…

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For about 20 feet before landing in the grass.

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After a brief rest…let’s try this again.

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Liftoff.

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For about another 20 feet before settling into the grass again.

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Rinse and repeat several more times…the third time was clearly not the charm. This is about the 5th or 6th attempt at takeoff. I think the only reason it eventually succeeded was because it got to the edge of a depression and the ground fell away a few feet allowing more time to gain airspeed and lift.

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Almost touched down again but at the last minute managed to gain a little more height.

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Kicking in the afterburners and finally was able to get enough speed to climb into this tree across the way.

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The photographers all agreed that it had been an outstanding day…even without any eagle shots.

Here’s a screenshot from the camera overlooking the nest with M15 sitting on the eggs. For orientation…the road in the background runs pretty much east to west and this is looking southeast. On the far left you can see the cars and the photographers lined up outside the fence…Neil is the one farthest to the left just about out of the frame. There is another viewing spot out on the road about 2 o’clock from M15v in this shot…that will become important. The third primary viewing spot is behind the view you see here over on the road into the real estate company looking east toward the nest. That’s not a great location for the morning as everything is backlit…and in any event it’s farther from the nest and has less of a view into goings on…but it’s an OK place to go later in the day. The feature known as the ‘snag’ where the ratty hawk and Kestrel were perched is about even with the nesting tree but out of frame 100 or so yards to the left and beyond that is the pond where the adults drink and bathe…Neil’s gotten some pretty good shots there in the past. Neil texted Connie and had her grab a screenshot for him at about the time of the hawk/bunny shots above.

IMG 0381

At this point…something spooked the horses in the field below the nest and they came galloping over past us towards their paddock.

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Somebody yelled “Incoming!”…and we thought it was Harriet returning…but alas it was just a juvenile. The locals think that this is one of her previous eaglets that has come back for a visit. He landed very briefly in the tree 20 feet or so from the nest and M15 shrieked at him…followed by a rapid departure.

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There was another lull in the action…so Neil grabbed a couple of shots of one of the Cattle Egrets that live in the field.

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Finally…getting on to about 1000 and Neil was about to give up for the day…since it had already been labeled an outstanding photo day. Suddenly…lo and behold…somebody yelled “Incoming!” again and this time it was actually Harriet returning from the northwest after an absence of about 4.5 hours…far longer than she’s been gone in the past during nesting season with eggs or eaglets on the nest.

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Approaching the nest…airbrakes deployed.

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Flaps and landing gear.

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And a perfect landing.

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She perched here and screamed a bit…the nest is just below and to the left of this frame.

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M15 left the eggs…it was plenty warm enough to leave them for a bit…and first perched below and to her left.

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Then decided slightly to her right was a better location.

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Here…she’s on the left and they talked back and forth for a bit.

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Then he took her place and she hopped down onto the nest rim and shortly afterward disappeared into the nest to turn and incubate the eggs. He remained in that spot but it was kinda hidden behind the branch so Neil wandered around to the left from the primary viewing area to the one on the sidewalk by the road…at which point he was looking north toward the nest.

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Got a couple of really nice shots of M15 perched there.

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Before he gathered himself and launched off to find his breakfast…or more likely an early lunch after his turn on the nest.

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He flew almost directly overhead where Neil was standing and then disappeared off towards the southwest to hunt or more likely fish as that’s over towards the river.

With that…almost all of the photographers called it a day…and a really successful day at that.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

A new form recently introduced by the Army.

HurtFeelingsReport

ReindeerCanTrylyFly

UsedHeadstone

This is the reason that the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich is in short supply I guess.

WhereIsMySandwich

This one needs a little setup. All of you adults know what the term SOB means…at least metaphorically. Actually…the term refers to any male dog as a female dog is known as a bitch…but as we all know the term has other connotations. In the picture below…you’ll see an EOD…emergency ordnance disposal guy…he’s the one in the bomb suit. The guy behind him that’s about to smack the paper bag he blew up…well, he’s a sonofabitch…and now you know what the term really means.

SonOfABitch

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

House Hunt Saga Begins

Yup…the title pretty much says it all. We found a real estate agent…she and her husband are members of the parish up at St. Therese where Connie sings in the choir and we’re members there as well. I have to admit…she had a different way of figuring out which houses we wanted to see.

Usually…the agent asks you about bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, and other particulars you want and which are mandatory…along with some geographic data. Paula did that…except the first question was about where we wanted to be geographically. We told her that we wanted to be north of the river, east of Slater Road which is about 4 miles west of Seminole, and not in Cape Coral…that gave her about a 6 by 6 mile area to start looking in. Her next question was down a strange path though…she asked why we picked that location. We replied because that’s where our friends are and it’s close to the Elks Lodge, AmVets chapter,  and American Legion posts that we intend to frequent with our friends. The next question was “why do you want to be close to your friends”…and on down that rathole with “Why do you want to be near those places”…she said that our replies of “because they’re our friends” and “because they have inexpensive beer” were shallow and didn’t get to (her words)…the root of our desires. We assured her that they did and then she asked for the particulars we wanted…3 bedrooms, 2 baths, large lanai (what we used to call a veranda in the South but essentially a screened outdoor living area…lanai is actually a Hawaiian language, we have no idea how it came to be commonly used in Florida. Two car garage, den that’s visible from the kitchen as those are the two places we live our lives mostly. A few other less important wants…and off she went. Hawaiian by the way…is a Polynesian language with 5 vowels and 8 consonants…

We’ve got 8 or 9 viewings set up for today…then we’ll see if we need to expand either our budget or our geographic area…I don’t think either will be necessary though. I’ll update more later when we know something on that front.

In other news…I have to pass on some info about the obituary of
Captain Dick Stevenson of the Yukon
. He died in his home in Whitehorse, Yukon last week and his daughter has a rather bizarre detail to carry out as part of his last will and testament.

Whaddya mean you don’t know who Captain Dick Stevenson was…I thought everybody knew the legend he started. Apparently not…so let me clue ya in.

Nearly 50 years ago in the early 1970s…he bought a cabin outside of Dawson City and while cleaning it out he discovered a pickle jar with a dried up human toe inside…and some anecdotal information that it had been amputated from a prospector decades earlier due to frostbite and then left in the jar. Later that night he was out drinking with some reporters…you just knew that alcohol had to be involved…and they got to talking about the toe…and in their inebriated state invented the idea of a cocktail with toe in it. The next day…the reporters were gone but Captain Dick was still there and still had the toe. So he headed down to the local pub…the bar at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City…here’s a photo of that fine establishment which you might recall we visited back in the late summer of 2015 on our Alaska adventure.

DowntownHotelDawson

Anyways…old Captain Dick and his buddies decided as a lark to carry out the cocktail invention they had come up with the previous night…a beer glass filled with champagne and…of course…the toe…with the only requirement that the toe had to touch your lips. Captain Dick said in 2017 that he didn’t think more than 10 or 12 people would follow the tradition and drink what has become known as the “Sourtoe Cocktail”. This made the newspapers ‘round the world and put Dawson City on the map as a place to visit. To date…more than 90,000 people have had the cocktail…although there was a change made somewhere along the way. An 80 year old lady said “I don’t mind the toe, but I can’t drink a beer glass full of champagne.”…so the rules were changed slightly to include the drink of your choice with the toe in it.

The way it works is the ceremony is open every evening for 3 hours or so. You belly up to the bar and order your drink of choice…which has now traditionally become a shot of Yukon Jack which is Canadian whiskey flavored with honey…very similar to Southern Comfort down here in the US. Then you go over, pay your $5 entry fee, read the rules which specifically state that the toe must touch your lips and that if you swallow it there is a $2,500 fine to be paid.

So sure enough…back in 2015 Connie and Neil participated in the ceremony.

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Neil didn’t get an in-focus shot of her with the toe/lip requirement met but trust me, she met it.

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He paused while she got a good shot…needed more Yukon Jack if ya ask him.

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They even got certificates to prove it…62,189 and 62,190.

Sourtoe Cocktail Certificate 2015 815

Sourtoe Cocktail Certificate 2015 815  dragged

Sourtoe Cocktail Certificate 2015 815b

So it is with a great sense of loss that we honor the passing of Captain Dick…and acknowledge our membership in his club.

Oh yeah…that special requirement of his will. His toes are to be amputated, preserved in pickling salt, and donated to the Downtown Hotel as spares to continue the tradition…the original toe got lost somewhere along the line and although they did have a spare they were down to the last one as of 2015. So as a dutiful daughter…she had his big toes amputated and will be spending the next few weeks getting them properly dried in salt and preserved before passing them along to the Downtown Hotel.

Interesting things found on the net.

Didja ever wonder why people still go out and hunt deer…or doves or duck or rabbit or whatever?

WhyHunt

PoorLoser

FatGuysGrilling

Sad but true.

SadButTrue

HobbyLobbyHusbandWaiting

VictimizedByTequila

More signs that humanity is doomed.

ThanksCaptainObvious00006

ThanksCaptainObvious00008

ThanksCaptainObvious00010

ThanksCaptainObvious00012

ThanksCaptainObvious00016

Cyas.

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