A counter to the toxic Gillette video

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Spot on:

More at The Western Journal:

Exclusive: Meet the CEO Who Put His Company on the Line To Stand Up to Gillette’s ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Ad
Editor’s note: The following was written by Ilan Srulovicz, the CEO and founder of Egard Watch Company, explaining why his company produced an ad to counter Gillette’s recent commercial on masculinity.
The story behind making the video is interesting. I made the ad completely alone. The voice in the video is mine and the editing is my own.

I was told by most people around me and in my company that making this video was a terrible idea and could not only hurt my brand but me personally as the CEO.

I used my personal funds on the video because I was worried about the backlash.

The main feedback was, “This will draw attention away from women’s issues,” “The political climate right now won’t support a film like this,” “Ask yourself why no other company is doing it,” etc.

He concludes with this:

The Gillette ad rubbed me the wrong way. I, like the overwhelming majority of men, am absolutely disgusted by sexual assault, rape, bullying, so why throw it in my face as if my “gender” as a whole is toxic? Using terms like “toxic masculinity” is using too broad a stroke to address specific issues — issues which I agree very much need to be addressed, especially after all the crazy stuff we’ve seen in Hollywood.

I am not against Gillette trying to start a conversation about assault, but I do have an issue with how they went about it.

Great call - pity I do not wear a watch. They make some nice ones. The overall response to the video has been impressively favorable too - they are back-ordered on many of their watches.

And, of course, the YouTube Thumb-O-Meter:


I love it - 161K to 2.1K - 76 times greater.

Fun afternoon

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Went to the YMCA for 90 minutes- used some of the machines and got good and tired. Definitely feel it tomorrow. When I signed up, they gave me a $50 gift certificate (as well as waiving the initial fee) so I will hire a personal trainer to get me started on weight lifting. That and cardio are the two areas I need the most work on.

Had a vegetarian burrito for a light dinner (already kinda full from breakfast) and then went over to my other local for two pints of beer. Ran out to the food coop too.

Early morning tomorrow - doing another ham radio emergency drill. I am on my own for this drill in three weeks so want to get another practice session in under my belt.

Surf for a bit...

Clueless - The New York Times

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But they get the narrative correct anyway. From The New York Times:

Brace for the Polar Vortex; It May Be Visiting More Often
Find your long johns, break out the thick socks and raid the supermarket. After a month of relatively mild winter weather, the Midwest and the East Coast are bracing for what is becoming a seasonal rite of passage: the polar vortex.

The phrase has become synonymous with frigid temperatures that make snowstorms more likely. A blast of arctic air heralded the vortex’s arrival on Monday.

If it seems as if these polar freezes are happening more often, you’re right. “They are definitely becoming more common,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. “There have been a couple of studies that have documented that.”

The Polar Vortex is a purely natural phenomenon - it has happened before, it will happen again.

It is funny too as when you go to the link that Dr. Francisposted, it goes to a single paper that talks about the Polar Vortex but connects it to the variability of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. No mention of global warming. The ENSO is also a natural phenomenon - it has happened before, it will happen again.

Just wonderful - measles outbreak

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From The Bellingham Herald:

22 confirmed cases of measles in Clark County
VANCOUVER, WASH. -- Health officials now say they have 22 confirmed measles cases in Clark County since the start of the year.

And of course:

Clark County Public Health said Monday is also investigating three suspected cases of the infection. Officials say 19 of those infected were not immunized, while the three others are not verified to have had the vaccine.

The anti-vax movement is one of the most horrible things ever perpetrated. The poor children. The guy who started it all - Andrew Wakefield - had his license to practice medicine revoked over this.

DaVinci Resolve - control surfaces

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Been having a lot of fun with the DaVinci Resolve video editing software. Totally free for individual use and very feature packed. Stiff learning curve but well worth it.

Couple of things that are very cool - they offer some dedicated control surfaces that give you a lot more tweaking ability than can be done with a keyboard and mouse. The downside is that the absolute cheapest of these - the Resolve Micro is $987 at Amazon:


Fortunately, since I have been doing electronic music for a long long time, I have an older version of this dedicated controller surface for my music software (was Sonar, now Cubase and Ableton):


This was made by Mackie and can be used to stop and start the recording process. There are knobs for setting parameters and sliders for adjusting the volume.

Turns out that it is possible to use the internal scripting language of Resolve to run this surface. The scripting language in question? My favorite: Lua  I consider Python to be overrated.

Very nice software!

Adapt or die - J. C. Penny

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Another business dinosaur is thrashing its last - from The Wall Street Journal:

J.C. Penney Struggles to Avoid Same Fate as Sears
J.C. Penney Co.’s sales are falling, its stores are stuck in malls and the turnaround strategy keeps changing. Now, three months after the embattled retailer hired a new chief executive, a handful of senior positions remain vacant.

The series of events is prompting analysts and other industry experts to question whether Penney can avoid the fate of fellow department-store operator Sears Holdings Corp., which filed for bankruptcy and barely staved off liquidation.

“Penney is a broken business,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. “They are looking at a very problematic 2019. It’s the mistakes of the past coming home to roost.”

Many factors - Walmart drank some of their milkshake. Online shopping did not help. They could have compensated but did not. Their management was out of touch. Same thing with Sears.

The article goes on to say that problems are also brewing for Macy’s and Kohl’s.

Staying another day

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Got some stuff to work on here plus a large radio network tomorrow morning. Spending tonight down here and head up to the farm tomorrow.

Another company is leaving CA for Texas - from Space.com:

SpaceX to Shift Starship Work From California to Texas
Less than a week after laying off 10 percent of its employees, SpaceX said Jan. 16 that it plans to shift work on at least prototypes of its next-generation launch system from Los Angeles to Texas.

In a statement, SpaceX said it was now planning to build prototypes of its Starship vehicle, the upper stage of its next-generation reusable launch system, at its site in South Texas originally designed to serve as a launch site. An initial prototype version of that vehicle has been taking shape in recent weeks at the site in advance of "hopper" tests that could begin in the next one to two months.

"To streamline operations, SpaceX is developing and will test the Starship test vehicle at our site in South Texas," company spokesperson Eva Behrend said in an emailed statement. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times after a pair of tweets early Jan. 16 from Joe Buscaino, a member of the Los Angeles City Council whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles. 

High cost of doing business, poor infrastructure, impermeable bureaucracy, liberal politics making it hard to run a business. The laundry list goes on and on and on...

Advertising placement

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I had been using Gillette razors but I am switching over to old-school safety razor. Because of their disgusting video, I am switching to a different brand (dropping Crest toothpaste too - same owners). These are what I first shaved with so should not be much of a re-learning curve.

Saw several sites recomending Feather Razor Blades as being very good (and only 20¢ each). Went on to Amazon and did a search. Here is what I saw in the top row of advertising:


Looks like Gillette is feeling some pain and spending some bucks on advertising. That placement has to be expensive. By the way, the video is now at 669K Thumbs Up and 1.1M Thumbs Down - more than 1.5 times difference.

The world economy - China

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A very thoughtful observation from al fin next level:

China’s Decline Hits Positive Feedback Territory
Chinese economic growth continues to decline and it is feared China might even suffer a major recession because of the continued economic problems.
__ Source

Positive Feedback Decline in China?
Slower growth in China means slower growth for the rest of the world…. with the headwinds from cooling global growth China’s economy is likely to weaken further before growth stabilizes in the second half of the year.”
__ https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46941932

You see the cyclic nature of China’s predicament: A slowing economy in China causes a slowing of economies in the rest of the worldAt the same timea cooling of the global economy is likely to further weaken China’s economy. A simple, straightforward positive feedback cycle of decline.

Read the whole thing - China needs us more than we need China. The trade war is working.

Driving Californians crazy

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Peter Grant found this on the web - thought I would share:


Brazil at Davos

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I would love to visit that nation - they finally have someone really good as a leader and they are going to show up all the corrupt socialist South American states by example. From France24 / Agence France-Presse:

Bolsonaro to present 'new Brazil' in Davos
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday he will present to the world leaders gathering in Davos the "new Brazil" he and his new government are working on, one that will be friendlier to investors and agribusiness.

"We want to show... that Brazil is taking measures so that the world re-establishes confidence in us," Bolsonaro told reporters as he arrived in the Swiss ski resort hosting the World Economic Forum meeting.

The new far-right leader of Latin America's biggest economy is the star attraction of Davos in the absence of US President Donald Trump and several other prominent heads of state.

On Tuesday, he said that he will present a "very short" speech setting out the pro-market direction Brazil will take with him at the helm -- a path "without being guided by ideology," he promised.

Emphasis mine - yes!!! Faster please!!!

Dietary Fiber - more good news

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Dietary Fiber is very good for you. I have been really watching my carbohydrate intake - keeping it to a minimum with the exception of the occasional past binge. Dietary Fiber counterbalances carbs so it is a good thing to have in your diet.

This from British medical journal The Lancet by way of Eureka Alert:

The Lancet: High intake of dietary fiber and whole grains associated with reduced risk of non-communicable diseases
People who eat higher levels of dietary fibre and whole grains have lower rates of non-communicable diseases compared with people who eat lesser amounts, while links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear. Observational studies and clinical trials conducted over nearly 40 years reveal the health benefits of eating at least 25g to 29g or more of dietary fibre a day, according to a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in The Lancet.

The results suggest a 15-30% decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality when comparing people who eat the highest amount of fibre to those who eat the least. Eating fibre-rich foods also reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-24%. Per 1,000 participants, the impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease.

In addition, a meta-analysis of clinical trials suggested that increasing fibre intakes was associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intakes.

I currrently eat about 10 grams/day - have to figure out a way to increase that. I do eat a lot of whole grains and beans so coming from a good start.

Slow news day

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Nothing much happening - out for coffee and breakfast.

No eclipse photos this time

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Got a nice view of the eclipse starting but then, the clouds moved in. Bummer...

Out for coffee in a few, breakfast and then up to the farm for a few days.

And that is it for me

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I'll be working with DaVinci Resolve learning it - wonderful application for editing videos. Also watching some YouTube videos. Planning to head up to the farm tomorrow for a couple days of packing.

Spring is coming and I want to get the properties listed for sale.

Back home again

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Had two pints at a local and watched a bit of the football game. Talked with a couple people - nice to socialize for a bit after working at home all day.

Patchy clouds so will be shooting the moon tonight. Surf for a bit first.

Time for dinner

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Kicking back for dinner - heading out for a pint or two to relax after.

FAKE NEWS again - from Reason:

The Media Wildly Mischaracterized That Video of Covington Catholic Students Confronting a Native American Veteran
Partial video footage of students from a Catholic high school allegedly harassing a Native American veteran after the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday quickly went viral, provoking . widespread . condemnation of the kids on social media. Various media figures and Twitter users called for them to be doxed, shamed, or otherwise punished, and school administrators said they would consider expulsion.

But the rest of the video—nearly two hours of additional footage showing what happened before and after the encounter—adds important context that strongly contradicts the media's narrative.

Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late 19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of white people, Christians, and gays. DC-area Black Hebrews are known to spout particularly vile bigotry.

But the real story did not fit the media narrative. Nothing to see here folks - just keep moving.

These outbreaks keep gettting bigger and bigger - from Vox:

The Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo is moving toward a major city. That’s not good.
At least 680 people have been infected with the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history, with 414 deaths so far, and the first Ebola outbreak in an active war zone, DRC’s eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

But it could get worse: Health officials this week are concerned that Ebola appears to be spreading in the direction of Goma, a major population center in DRC.

Just this week, DRC’s health ministry confirmed four cases of the deadly virus in Kayina, a town in North Kivu, where fighting among rebel and militia groups has repeatedly interrupted the painstaking work of health workers who are responding to the outbreak.

Kayina happens to be halfway between Butembo, currently one of the outbreak’s most worrisome hotspots, and Goma, where a million people live.

Victims are contagious for about two days before the symptoms manifest. All it takes is for one victim to fly to the USA on a large airplane and all hell will break loose. We do not have the ability to deal with an outbreak of this scale.

Very scary.

Done for the day - very productive

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Paid bills and got a bunch of filing done - seperated my 2018 stuff out so can start 2019 afresh and start with my taxes.

One aspect of tonight's Super Blood Wolf Total Lunar Eclipse is that the tides are much higher than usual. About 10" higher than I have ever seen it here. The sky is pretty cloudy but I am putting a camera with telephoto lens and tripod in the living room in case there is an opening.

Fixing a salad and heating up some of the soup for dinner tonight.

Out the door

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Headiung out for coffee and post office. Probably get some breakfast too.

Working at home today - paperwork and more puttering in the garage. Farm tomorrow for a couple of days.

A good speech - President Trump

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He hit my talking points:

Quite the new law - Canada

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Not well thought out at all - from Foundation for Economic Education:

Canada’s New Drunk Driving Law Will Make You Thankful for the 4th Amendment
Imagine going out to dinner with your wife on a Saturday night. She orders a nice bottle of pinot noir. You pour yourself a splash, but just half a glass since you’re driving. Your wife, who had a long day, drinks the rest.

After dinner, you drive home, park the car, and go inside. While watching Bird Box, you knock back a couple Scotches to catch up. The movie done, the two of you begin to retire upstairs when there’s a knock at the door. It’s the police. Someone reported seeing you driving erratically, they say, and they want you to take a breathalyzer. You decline to blow, but relent when officers threaten to arrest you. The machine says your blood alcohol concentration is 85 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, .085 percent. The night ends with you in handcuffs, arrested for drunk driving.

This scenario sounds far-fetched, but it would be perfectly legal under Canada’s new drunk driving laws, which the federal government recently revised to reduce traffic fatalities.

Not a good law at all - classic case of something that Sounds good as opposed to something that Does good. Silly liberal...

Tomorrow's eclipse of the Moon

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Nice post from Cliff Mass about tomorrow's total eclipse:

Will you be able to see the Super Blood Wolf Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday Evening?
There will be a total lunar eclipse on Sunday night that potentially could be quite a sight.

The shadow of the earth will start covering the full moon around 6:36 PM (actually the penumbra, where the light from the sun begins to be reduced). The total lunar eclipse will begin at 8:41 PM and end at 9:43 PM. The eclipse will be over at 11:48 PM.

Much more at the site - timings and weather forecast for the Pacific Northwest. Going to keep a camera handy.

A long day

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The auction was a lot of fun. Maybe 100 people there and several hundred lots to bid on. The one item I wanted (badly) was also wanted (badly) by someone else. We were the only two people bidding on it and I ran the bids up over $150 and dropped out. He shot me dagger-eyes as I think he was hoping to pick it up for $10 or so. Still, this is an auction and I bid as high as I could afford.

The unit in question was a fairly large krytron switch (here and here) complete with packaging and labels from the Atomic Energy Commission. Krytrons were used a lot in nuclear weapons development. The same table (same vendor) also had a nice directional coupler for antenna tuning ($6) which I will use for my ham radio. I also got a box of really nice leather straps - perfect for knife sheaths ($27).

Planning to be there next Saturday as there is some possible wrought iron for sale - need to bring some acid and a magnifying glass to make sure. The auctioneer was a good one - he and his wife were from a Pennsylvania small town about 50 miles from where I grew up. Fun stuff.

The gun show was a great mix of people and various ordnance. Lots of ammunition for sale and the prices were a lot higher than I would have thought. I was looking for a tactical communications vest but didn't see anything. I upgraded my hand-held radio a couple years ago and it does not fit in my old vest. I tried ordering one online but it doesn't fit well - the weight of the radio makes it hang lop-sided and the nylon strap rubs against my neck - wanted to try something on before I buy it.

Headed to Mt. Vernon to get some stuff at the coop and to the Burlington Costco (about three miles apart) for gas for the van and some other stuff. A burger on the way back down and home for the night.

Out the door - auction

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Bidding on one item, possibly a second. Coffee first.

Nothingburger - wind storm

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No power outages this morning. The maximum wind last night was a 35MPH gust.

Yes, there was the potential for a large blow but thankfully, it did not materialize.

And it's YouTube for 30 minutes or so.

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Early alarm tomorrow. Coffee, breakfast and then 10:00AM auction.

Interesting news - President Trump

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This should be good:

A long day

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Was puttering in the garage and storage locker and filled up another couple of totes for the garage sale. Sorting through the tools I brought down from the farm and realizing that I didn't need that, I didn't need this, etc... Spent a couple of hours staging the sale.

Picked up a couple of things from Hardware Sales (this place is epic!) while there, had dinner at the food coop in Mt. Vernon (great deli) and stopped for a couple of pints on the way home.

Early morning tomorrow - there is an auction starting at 10:00AM with some scientific instrumentation and then the gun show.

Also spent some time going around to the three fitness centers and taking tours. Signed up at the YMCA - a bit more expensive but a lot more facilities and training options. I am out of shape and need to reverse this trend...

Surf for a little bit.

Wind is unsettled and mostly coming out of the East - gusting to about 25. Light rain and 48F

Heading out for the day

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Usual routine - coffee and post office.

Working at home today - paying bills and general paperwork. There is a gun fun show this weekend. Not planning to buy anything but I enjoy the technology and it is always interesting to see what is out there.

Last night's meeting was interesting - good people.

More wind in the offing - Cliff Mass has the details:

Modest Winds Tonight, Stronger Winds Tomorrow Night
After a period of warm, benign weather, storms are now moving towards our region. Tonight a modest, elongated low center is moving northward up our coast, as illustrated by the sea level pressure map at 7 PM tonight

A very mild winter except for the winds.

Our cooling Earth

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Another major cold snap will hit the East Coast - from AccuWeather:

Snowstorms to be followed by Arctic outbreak in eastern half of nation
Following a pair of snowstorms into this weekend, the coldest air so far this winter season has its sights set on the eastern half of the nation.

The second in this pair of snowstorms will bring heavy snow and, in some cases, blizzard conditions, to the central Plains and Midwest from Friday into Saturday before impacting the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend.

“Temperatures from the central Plains to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will plummet from the 20s, 30s and 40s Fahrenheit during the storm to the single digits, teens and 20s immediately behind it,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Meanwhile, our sun is still very very quiet - NASA's Spaceweather website shows us as being 11 days without a sunspot. 61% of 2019. Sunspots are a proxy of solar activity - fewer sunspots, lower solar output. Lower solar output, cooler climate.

Silent Night - wind

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This morning, Puget Sound Energy has 1067 accounts without power, all in the South Sound area near Tacoma / Olympia and Snohomish PUD is five just North of Shoreline.

Gusts here got to 35-40 MPH - pretty mild. Still, we are not out of the woods yet - from weather.com

Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

Spending tonight down here and then up to the farm for a few days for more packing. Fun times...

Out the door in a few minutes

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Heading out for tonight's meeting.

Wind is picking up - variable direction with gusts to around 15MPH. I will probably head out for a pint or two after the meeting so this is my last post of the day.

From American Thinker:

California set to seize 1,100 miles of coastline
The California Coastal Commission is set to empower local government to take thousands of properties through eminent domain along 1,100 miles of coastline to prepare for sea level rise.

Despite California being battered by 4-8 inches of torrential rain and flooding from an El Niño weather cycle, E&E News reported that the State of California in late January will authorize eminent domain authority for local jurisdictions to implement a "managed retreat" policy that will allow taking and demolishing coastal homes and businesses.

The California Coastal Commission circulated an 87-page "Draft Residential Adaptation Guidance" in March regarding how communities could proactively address sea level rise impacts through Local Coastal Programs (LCPs). Although the CCC draft did not adopt specific retreat guidance, the California Special Districts magazine expects that the CCC will predict a sea level rise of 2.5-5.5 feet and the elimination of 31-67 percent of Southern California beaches by the year 2100.

CCC retreat guidance is expected to also entail dismantling and relocating of dozens of wastewater treatment and power plants; 250 miles of highway; 1,500 miles of roads; and 110 miles of railways, according to the latest California Special Districts magazine.

What is missing from this picture is some numbers. They have the narrative, they do not have the numbers.
NASA has the numbers here:


This is the sea level rise as measured from 1880 through 2013. Notice the huge acceleration starting around 1970 when the whole Global Warming thing started ramping up. Yeah - me neither.

Science requires numbers, not narrative, not computer models tweaked to yield the desired results.

Speaker Pelosi was all set to use military airplanes to fly to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. A nice political junket paid for by us taxpayers. President Trump sent her a letter - screen cap at Sarah Sanders' twitter account.

And, it gets better - from The Washington Free Beacon:

PICTURE: Trump Returns CODEL Luggage to Pelosi’s Office
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's luggage has been returned to the halls of congress by cart, according to a picture sent to the Washington Free Beacon by a snap-happy tipster.

The picture shows the luggage were returned to Pelosi on "military liaison" marked carts.

Pelosi's bags were packed for a congressional trip to Belgium and Afghanistan, but the trip was canceled just before the delegation was set to leave by President Donald Trump, who let her know in a letter that she would have to fly commercial if she still wanted to make the trip.


CODEL stands for Congressional Delegation - sweet!

Instant Karma - snowman

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Classic - from Petersburg, Kentucky station WLWT:

'Frosty had the last laugh': Vandal tries to run over giant snowman, hits tree stump instead


A would-be vandal was stumped after they tried to run over a 9-foot snowman in Kentucky, only to find it had been built over a large tree stump.

Cody Lutz told KCCI that he, his fiancee and his soon-to-be sister-in-law made the oversized snowman in Petersburg, Kentucky, while enjoying the winter weather this past weekend.

Lutz said his fiancee’s sister was “elated to experience the biggest snowfall she’s ever seen.”

Lutz said he decided to use a tree stump as the base for the snowman. After coming home from work, Lutz said he found tire tracks leading up to the snowman, leading him to believe that someone tried to run over the giant snowman, which they had named Frosty.

There’s now a massive stump now exposed, with a snowy imprint of a bumper stuck to it.

That dent in the bumper is going to be hard to explain...

Soup for dinner tonight

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Good stuff - even better tomorrow.

Ham radio club meets tonight at one of the local fire stations. These meetings are well run and a lot of fun - some great people live here.

Surf for a bit while eating - so far no real wind but the warning is for 12 hours.

Heading out for the day

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Got onto the island late yesterday - unpacked at the condo and got a bite to eat in Bellingham before driving down.

Nothing much planned for today - putter around in the garage, retrieve some camera stuff from the storage locker and of course, starting it off with the usual coffee and post office routine.

I'll be paying some bills later today and then a meeting of the amateur radio group this evening. Think I'll make some more of the bacon and bean soup for dinner. That stuff is delish...

Forecast calls for rain and we still have that gale warning for later this afternoon.

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