December 2018 Archives

Some great news - new oil

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A new oil find - from National Review:

Feds Discover Largest Oil, Natural-Gas Reserve in History
The federal government has discovered a massive new reserve of oil and natural gas in Texas and New Mexico that it says has the “largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed.”

“Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said of the new reserve, which is believed to have enough energy to fuel the U.S. for nearly seven years.

The report can be found here (four page PDF document): Assessment of Undiscovered Continuous Oil and Gas Resources in the Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation of the Delaware Basin, Permian Basin Province, New Mexico and Texas, 2018

I am still waiting for new nuclear power plants - specifically LFTRs but this will tide us over.

Heh - same as it ever was

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Fun mashup from swedemason:

Quite the collection - Dimensions.Guide

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From their website:

Dimensions.Guide is a comprehensive reference database of dimensioned drawings documenting the standard measurements and sizes of the everyday objects and spaces that make up our built environment. Created as a universal resource to better communicate the basic properties, systems, and logics of our world, Dimensions.Guide is a free platform for increasing public and professional knowledge of life and design. Updated daily.

Give it a spin - they have a lot of data in there. Dimensions.Guide  The Browse button opens up a catagory menu bar.

From Elizabeth Vaughn writing at RedState:

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures: Bill And Hill Resort To Groupon To Sell Tickets
Following the humiliatingly low opening night attendance of “An Evening With The Clintons,” the ever-resourceful Bill and Hillary Clinton have turned to Groupon to sell tickets. One can purchase a $120.35 ticket for the bargain price of $50 for their May 4, 2019 show.

Of course $50 will only buy you a mid-to-rear section seat, but given the low turnout for their Toronto event where fans filled only 3,300 seats of an arena which can accommodate up to 19,800 (17%), event handlers moved the audience closer to the stage to improve the optics.

Heh. Schadenfreude - great word; so useful these days.

Finally, at the farm

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Uneventful drive up - quick surf, clean up the house a bit, fix dinner and then out for a couple pints of cider. Lots of packing in store for the next couple of days.

Raining softly - got about 0.15" of precip at the house with more forecast for the next ten days or more and we have a Winter Weather advisory for above 2,500 feet. Looks like Mt. Baker may be opening a little bit this coming week - Snow Report:

Update: December 8 - LOTS OF SNOW IN THE FORECAST!
We had a few inches of new snow Saturday morning but forecasts are calling for the weather to really get rolling early next week with several days of heavy snowfall expected at Baker . . . and several feet of new snow forecasted! If the weather comes in as expected we may be looking at a possible limited opening on Thursday. BUT, that is entirely dependent on how things unfold early this coming week. Stay tuned here as we continue to get updated forecasts and a better idea of a potential opening day.

This is always great for business - three years ago we had a very dry winter and the store did very poorly.

Wonderful - from Andy Serkis:

Nothing on the internet

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Not seeing anything of interest on the internet. Slow news day.

Van warmed up so time to lock up the house and head out.

Heading out soon

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Rained pretty heavily this morning - got about two tenths of an inch.

Up to the farm after coffee and breakfast.

And that is it for the night

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Nothing happening out there that catches my eye. YouTube and then to bed.

Very productive couple of days down here but it is time to address the mountain of work at the farm.

Stuffed - in a good sense

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The dinner was really good. A large cut of prime rib for $18 - about a pound. Small baked potato (they were 80s or 90s) and your basic institutional steam table veggies - green beans with bacon and corn niblets but everything was very flavorful and the beef was a lot better than you get at places like Outback. Tender, nice and rare. They had real horseradish as well as the creamy. Scraps were saved for the pups.

Being the Legionaire's Hall, the draft beer was $2.50 per pint so I will be taking note and coming back on a regular basis. Good crowd - lots of ex military, families, old farts, young farts - all people out looking for a good meal.

Went out to the place I was at the night before for two pints of cider and finished a book I have been reading - got the rest of the series on order at the library.

Overcast skies but still no rain - temps are a lot higher though. It was down to 21.4°F two nights ago and is now 37.2°F, big difference when trying to camp in a place without an installed HVAC system.

Farm tomorrow for sure...

One more day on the island

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Got the last of the laundry done and folded. Heading out for dinner now - the American Legion does a roast beef dinner on the second Saturday of the month. Thought I would check that out.


Michael Avenatti and his estranged wife have an agreement in place for him to pay her child and spousal support, and it requires him to fork over a ton of his assets ... TMZ has learned.

According to docs filed in Orange County, a judge ordered Avenatti to pay Lisa Storie-Avenatti $37,897 per month in child support, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. We'll do the math for ya ... it's $454,764. The order also requires Avenatti to pay her spousal support of $124,398 per month, retroactive to Jan. 2018. That's roughly $1.5 million.

Now, cut to Dec. 4, when both parties filed docs stipulating Avenatti write child support checks for $40k now, and another in January.

As for the balance ... according to the docs, Avenatti agrees to hand over a bunch of his assets for Lisa to liquidate. The loot includes 5 luxury wristwatches -- some worth more than $50k -- a Frank Gehry sculpture, and several other expensive works of art.

Additionally, he has to hand over the keys to a 2017 Ferarri 488 GT Spider he was leasing. By the way, those go for about $300k.

And, there's this -- Michael's law firm ... Avenatti & Associates, is required to transfer, to Lisa, its interest in a 2016 Honda private jet.

Talk about being taken to the cleaners. This on top of his law firm being evicted, him being busted on charges of domestic violence and him owing a huge amount of money.

Like I said, I almost feel sorry for the guy. ALMOST

A tale of two cities

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Interesting to compare and contrast:

From Reuters:

Surging in the polls, Italy's Salvini stages mass Rome rally
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini filled one of Rome’s main squares with tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters on Saturday in a rally that underscored the growing predominance of his rightist League party.

Locked in battle with Brussels over the government’s budget plans, Salvini told the cheering crowds he would honor promises to boost state spending, warning that austerity would only fuel the sort of violence that has rocked neighboring France.

“Those who sow poverty reap protests,” he said.

“If you call into question our right and duty to restore dignity, pride, security, pensions and work to millions of Italians, then I tell you we will not be turning back.”

From The Express:

Paris protests SPREAD to Brussels as demonstrators CLASH with police - 400 arrests
Around 1,000 police were deployed onto the streets, where they used tear gas and fired water cannons at protestors in a desperate attempt to keep the situation spiralling out of control.

Areas housing the buildings of the European Commission and European Parliament were sealed off, but video footage has emerged on social media of protesters seemingly squaring off with police outside the latter.

Police have put up barricades around both major European institutions, while both pedestrians and vehicles were denied access as a security precaution.

Italy is listening to the voice of its citizens and rejecting the globalist elite rule. France embraced the globalist elites and is paying the price as their citizens refuse to fund their caviar and champagne. This is the rise of the Normals. Great time to be alive.

Out the door in a little while

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Took care of some things here this morning - heading out for coffee, post office and then the farm. Surf a little bit first.

And that is it for the night

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YouTube for a little bit and then up and at 'em tomorrow. Couple of things to do and then head up to the farm for a couple of days.

Doing another emergency communications drill in January. The people down here are just as good as the people in Whatcom County so the drills are a lot of fun and a very good training excercise for when the poop really hits the air moving device. Not if. When.

Well crap - missed a tour

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One of my favorite blues musicians is Joe Bonamassa. I have been listening to his music for the last week or so and tonight wondered if he was touring. Checked his website and yes, he is and crap. I missed it.


Not familiar with his music? Here is a taste:

Quite the lineup on this show too:

Joe Bonamassa – guitar, vocals, liner notes
Carmine Rojas – bass
Anton Fig – drums
Bogie Bowles – drums
Rick Melick – keyboards, tambourine, backing vocals

Oh well. Next year.

77 years ago today

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A day which shall live in infamy - or, as the Japanese ruling class found out:


Out for a bite

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Time for dinner - heading out to a local place for a burger. Good food and just three miles away.

Great news - good police work

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Drug pipeline ‘has been shut down.’ Statewide bust nets 29 arrests, guns, drugs
Nearly 30 people were arrested during a two-day drug bust across five Washington counties targeting a Mexican drug cartel.

Federal officials said the cartel was bringing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine into the state using a California business to launder the money and send it to Mexico.

“The dangerous pills containing fentanyl flowing through this pipeline operated by this Western Washington distribution network has been shut down,” Keith Weis, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, said in a statement.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 400 law enforcement officers served 51 warrants on more than 50 buildings and 35 vehicles.

Twenty-nine people were arrested, as well as the owner of the California business allegedly laundering money.

The group was allegedly selling the drugs, including fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills, in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

Good riddance - get these goblins off the streets.

No wild goose chase today

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The sunlight was just too cold for filming today. Looking at about ten days of overcast and off-and-on rain so maybe look for Bald Eagles but no Snow Geese.

Turned around and went back to the island house for one more night - got a couple of things I want to knock out and do a load of laundry (running out of socks).

Making it the art world

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Was just turned on to an excellent article on becoming an artist in New York Magazine:

How to Be an Artist 33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively)
Art is for anyone. It’s just not for everyone. I know this viscerally, as a would-be artist who burned out. I wrote about that last year, and ever since, I’ve been beset — every lecture I give, every gallery I pop my head into, somebody is asking me for advice. What they’re really asking is “How can I be an artist?”

When, last month, Banksy jerry-rigged a frame to shred a painting just when it was auctioned, I could almost hear the whispers: “Is that art?” This fall, the biggest museum event in New York is the Whitney’s retrospective of Andy Warhol — the paradigmatic self-made, make-anything-art-and-yourself-famous artist. Today, we are all Andy’s children, especially in the age of Instagram, which has trained everyone to think visually and to look at our regular lives as fodder for aesthetic output.

How do you get from there to making real art, great art? There’s no special way; everyone has their own path. Yet, over the years, I’ve found myself giving the same bits of advice. Most of them were simply gleaned from looking at art, then looking some more. Others from listening to artists talk about their work and their struggles. (Everyone’s a narcissist.) I’ve even stolen a couple from my wife.

There are 33 rules — and they really are all you need to know to make a life for yourself in art. Or 34, if you count “Always be nice, generous, and open with others and take good care of your teeth.” And No. 35: “Fake it till you make it.”

Covers a lot of other fields too. Creativity can be grown.

Out for a little while

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The usual morning routine - coffee, post office, etc...

Heading up to the farm this afternoon. Rain in the forecast.

Fake News

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From The Hill:

Feds received whistleblower evidence in 2017 alleging Clinton Foundation wrongdoing
When a House subcommittee chairman bangs his gavel next week to convene an unprecedented investigative hearing into the Clinton Foundation, two questions will linger as preeminent: Is the Clinton family charity really the international do-gooder that earned a perfect four-star rating from Charity Navigator, or does it suffer from corruption and illegalities as conservatives allege? And if it is the latter, how much evidence of wrongdoing does the government possess?

The answer to the first question is that the foundation and its projects reported collecting about $2.5 billion to help global crises, from AIDS to earthquakes, even as its own auditors, lawyers and employees privately warned of problems over the years.

The answer to the second question may reside in 6,000 pages of evidence attached to a whistleblower submission filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI.

The Chief Financial Officer is Andrew Kessel:

The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”

“There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” MDA Analytics alleged in its submission. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case.”

Hope that Mr. Kessel does not become another name on this list: Arkancide

The Clinton Foundation needs to be shut down - they are a slush fund for all that is evil in this world.

Got nothing

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Nothing catches my eye - off to some videos.

Putter around here tomorrow and head up to the farm around 2PM or so - catch the light to video the wild Snow Geese on my way up - taking some back roads for a while. Got some clouds and precip in the offing for Friday evening through all of next week.

I love this place

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They are farming out bids for a new high school - this great story from the Stanwood Camano News:

Bids come in under budget for the new Stanwood High School
Stanwood-Camano School District officials unsealed three bids for the new Stanwood High School — and all were under budget.

Bothell-based Cornerstone General Contractors Inc. offered the lowest bid at $89 million, about $4 million less than Redmond-based Edifice Construction and Edmonds-based Spee West Construction.

The Stanwood-Camano School Board will meet at 7:45 a.m. Monday to consider officially awarding the project, presumably to the lowest bidder. Once the board approves a pact, the long-planned project will begin in earnest.

Love it - not just Cornerstone but all three bids were under budget. Helps to have a strong economy. If this were Seattle (shudder). The money will be used wisely:

With bids under the district’s budget, there should be enough money to pay for a list of extra projects school officials wanted, Platt said. That includes new lighting at all the athletic fields, new greenhouses, softball batting cages, additional theater equipment and more.

Back from errands and dinner

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Surf for a bit and then YouTube

Heading out

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Sunset is at 4:16 today. I am so ready for the Solstice on the 21st - about two weeks away. 08:21 hours of daylight is just not enough...

Say it ain't so - Campbells Soup

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I grew up on the stuff and have a can of their Chicken Noodle soup when I am feeling nostalgic or do not feel like cooking. From the New York Times:

Campbell Soup’s Fate Hangs on Duel Between Company Heirs and ‘Interloper’
Daniel Loeb is happy to play the barbarian at the gate. He’s got the money, about $3.1 billion. He’s got the office, a sleek white space that is a quintessential hedge fund aerie, with art by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. And in taking on the old-money family that owns more than 40 percent of Campbell Soup Company, he’s found the perfect foil for his new-money ambitions.

Third Point, Mr. Loeb’s hedge fund in Manhattan, is pushing for the sale or restructuring of Campbell, a slumping food giant that has called Camden, N.J., home for nearly 150 years.

He’s up against the descendants of John T. Dorrance, a chemist who devised the formula for condensed soup at the turn of the last century. Dozens of family members depend on the dividends they receive from the company to underwrite their comfortable lives. And for the most part they find Mr. Loeb’s proposals anathema.

“We’re interlopers who’ve come in, and they’ve decided to stick with the status quo,” Mr. Loeb said in an interview.

His hedge fund and the company have spent months exchanging barbed letters. Their battle will culminate on Nov. 29, when Campbell shareholders vote on a proposal by Third Point to take five seats on the company’s board. Mr. Loeb has even persuaded one dissident Dorrance heir and a former Campbell board member, George Strawbridge Jr., to join his campaign.

Sounds like corporate raiding to me soon to be followed by a bout of asset stripping. Not illegal but really really sucks.

Global warming in England

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Don Surber notes an article in The Telegraph:

Britain discovers coal
Coal is old plants and trees that over time became peat, then lignite, then coal. Scientists say the process takes millions of years. But it is natural. About 1,000 years ago, the Chinese began burning it to smelt copper. Marco Polo carried the idea to the West. Instead of burning wood, people burned coal and forests grew. The Dark Ages ended.

But governments know best. On March 14, 2016, Britain shut down its last coal mine. Canada shut down its last coal mine on November 22, 2001, six months before most workers qualified for a pension.

Learn computer coding, right?

Coal got the last laugh.

The Telegraph reported, "Britain's oldest coal-fired power plants prepared to fire up their hoppers for a price of almost £1,000 per megawatt-hour on Tuesday to avert a power shortfall as temperatures across the country plunge and wind power wanes.

"The cold snap ignited the winter’s first warning that Britain would run out of electricity unless idling coal plants ramp up to help meet demand for power.

"National Grid said on Monday evening that there was a 100pc probability that the lights would go out within 24 hours unless an extra 2GW of power capacity agreed to help meet demand."

I thought global warming took care of this.

More people die from cold than from heat. Time to re-evaluate your position and get your head out of the sand... It would be an interesting study to see just how much taxpayer money was wasted on this fight against plant food and the concept that we are powerful enough to fundamentally alter the climate of our home planet. Talk about hubris.

Just spotted this - news a bit closer to home - headline clicks through to article. Vallee is very good at what he does:

"Historic Storm" To Bury Southern Appalachians In Snow; Expect Massive Travel Disruptions

And it's Camano for tonight

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Done with the stuff I wanted to do but it is too late for the drive back to the farm. Heading up tomorrow afternoon.

Too late for a wild goose chase too - by the time I get there with my video camera, the sun will have set too much. Got to catch the magic light when it's shining. I'll keep the camera in the van and drive by there on my way up tomorrow.

Surf for a few minutes and then out to the post office, storage unit and recycling.

She is clueless about the basic functioning of the world. From Grabien:

New York City’s incoming socialist congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says there will only be benefits, and no costs, to passing a raft of new climate change laws. In particular, she said, a new system of global warming governance will usher in “economic, social, and racial justice.” suggesting the federal government should nationalize technology the automaker Tesla developed following its receipt of tax subsidies.

“As a matter of fact, it's not just possible that we will create jobs and economic activity by transitioning to renewable energy, but it's inevitable that we are going to create jobs,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It's inevitable that we're going to create industry, and it's inevitable that we can use the transition to a hundred percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.”

The comments came during a recent Bernie Sanders-hosted symposium on global warming.

So much wrong in just a few sentences.

"only be benefits, and no costs" - who pays for this? We The People through our tax dollars. The government does not make that much money on its own - the money it has comes from the taxes that we pay.

If the Federal Government nationalized Tesla's technology, Tesla and any other manufacturer would have zero impetus to develop new technology that could be stolen. Why would they spend money on engineering and development when they know it is going to be userped by the commies in power.

And don't get me started on the whole Social Justice Warrior crap.

Another day, another dollar

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More like 2¢ with the inflation going on. Coffee, post office, recycling and back home to bust out a few projects. Up to the farm if I am productive, farm tomorrow if not.

Amateur Radio

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Great ten minute documentary on what Ham Radio does and what we as operators do:

And that is it for the night

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Nothing much on the internet - YouTube and an early bedtime. Already late and want to get a full day in tomorrow.

Save the date - January 25, 2019

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From the fine freedom loving folks at Creative Commons:

Join us for A Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain
Save the date! Please join us on January 25, 2019 for a grand day of celebrating the public domain.

Co-hosted by Creative Commons and the Internet Archive, this celebration will feature a keynote address by Lawrence Lessig, lightning talks, demos, multimedia displays and more to mark the “re-opening” of the public domain in the United States. The event will take place at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, and is free and open to the public.

The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity  that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. But U.S. copyright law has greatly expanded over time, so that now many works don’t enter the public domain for a hundred years or more. Ever since the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, no new works have entered the public domain (well, none due to copyright expiration). But for the first time this January, hundreds of books, films, visual art, sheet music, and plays published in 1923 will be free of intellectual property restrictions, and anyone can use them for any purpose at all.

Join creative, legal, library, advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain growing again for the first time in decades, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome this new class of public domain works.  Presenters include Larry Lessig, academic, political activist, and founder of Creative Commons, Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and co-editor of Boing Boing, Pam Samuelson, copyright scholar, Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons, Jamie Boyle, the man who literally wrote the book on the public domain, and many others.

In the evening, the celebration continues as we transition to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the World Premiere of Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky’s Quantopia: The Evolution of the Internet,

a live concert synthesizing data and art, both original and public domain materials, in tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media. Attendees of our Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain event can get discounted tickets here. If you can’t make the daytime event, separate tickets for Quantopia are available here.

Looks like quite an event! Don't feel like travelling but I am sure that it will be available online. This is momentous.

Great party

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About 80 people, lots of wonderful food. I did five pounds of pulled smoked pork and have maybe a few ounces left. Treats for the dogs tomorrow.

I have a Trager smoker and from time to time, I will get a pork shoulder and a beef brisket from the Costco business center (they do restaurant supply - really high quality) in Lynwood, brine it, smoke it and then portion it out and cryovac it. A couple days ago, I pulled about five pounds out of the freezer and slow cooked it today for eight hours in some good apple cider.

Came out nice and tasty - no additional seasonings needed. When I have more time, I will make four BBQ sauces - Earth, Fire, Air and Water - regular tomato molasses, regular with a lot of hot peppers, a Carolina vinegar sauce and a Pennsylvania Dutch mustard sauce. I also do a big batch of coleslaw but that takes three days to prep and I had other things to take care of. Next time.

Surf for a bit and see if I can get enough things done tomorrow to make it up to the farm - may stay here tomorrow evening too. Definitely Friday for a couple of days.

Packing up and heading out

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Loading up the car in a little bit - getting to the Christmas party a bit early so I can help setting up the room.

More later this evening. Fun group.

Our quiet sun

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Got a sunspot today but the sun has been spot-free for a record 203 days in 2018. From NASA's Spaceweather site:

Breaking a string of 9 spotless days, a new sunspot group is emerging near the sun's equator. Only 24 hours ago it was invisible. Now the sunspot contains almost a dozen dark cores and sprawls across more than 75,000 km of the solar surface. Click here to watch a movie of sunspot genesis. 

And here is the updated list of spotless days:

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2018 total: 203 days (60%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)

Quite the change - sunspot activity is a proxy for solar output. The sun drives our climate - not carbon dioxide. CO2 is plant food - without it, we would have no plants as it is a required component for photosynthesys.

Fun project - industrial music

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No synthesizers - all sampled from real sources seen on the screen. From their website:

Against our fast-moving world, in which media content is often reduced, Jonas and I let inspiration guide us to create a seven and a half minutes long sample project in a docks setting surrounded by abandoned industry. We’re glad about each viewer who appreciates our creation!

● Everything you're about to hear is visualized in this video.
● No additional sounds were used to produce this track.
● Best experienced with stereo headphones or hifi speakers.
● This project was made for the purpose of making art.
● No objects were damaged while recording.

Nothing much happening here

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Got a fire going - meeting went well. Christmas party tonight - one of the island groups I have joined. It is a potluck so doing pulled pork sliders. House smells wonderful.

Nothing much happening out there - do a bit of house cleaning and paper sorting.

Workplace hazard - bear spray

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Much stronger than standard tear gas - didn't know that Amazon sold it. From CNN:

Amazon workers taken to hospitals after canister of bear repellent discharges fumes
Two dozen workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in New Jersey were taken to hospitals Wednesday after a machine punctured an aerosol canister of bear repellent, causing it to discharge toxic fumes inside the building, a spokesperson for Robbinsville Township told CNN.

Employees reported experiencing difficulty breathing and burning sensations in their eyes and throat, said John Nalbone, spokesperson for Robbinsville Township, where the fulfillment center is located.

Emergency personnel responded to a morning 911 call that 54 workers at the fulfillment center were experiencing symptoms, Nalbone said. Twenty-four workers were taken to local hospitals, including one in critical condition, he said.

Amazon actually carries a number of brands of Bear Spray - here is a link to a good one.

Heh - Camille Paglia

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I do not always agree with her but she is whip smart and not afraid to speak her mind.
Case in point - from the Spectator:

‘Hillary wants Trump to win again’
Camille Paglia is one of the most interesting and explosive thinkers of our time. She transgresses academic boundaries and blows up media forms. She’s brilliant on politics, art, literature, philosophy, and the culture wars. She’s also very keen on the email Q and A format for interviews. So, after reading her new collection of essays, Provocations, Spectator USA sent her some questions.

You’ve been a sharp political prognosticator over the years. So can I start by asking for a prediction. What will happen in 2020 in America? Will Hillary Clinton run again?

If the economy continues strong, Trump will be reelected. The Democrats (my party) have been in chaos since the 2016 election and have no coherent message except Trump hatred. Despite the vast pack of potential candidates, no one yet seems to have the edge. I had high hopes for Kamala Harris, but she missed a huge opportunity to play a moderating, statesmanlike role and has already imprinted an image of herself as a ruthless inquisitor that will make it hard for her to pull voters across party lines.

Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky.

To win in the nation’s broad midsection, the Democratic nominee will need to project steadiness, substance, and warmth. I’ve been looking at Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Governor Steve Bullock of Montana. As for Hillary, she’s pretty much damaged goods, but her perpetual, sniping, pity-me tour shows no signs of abating. She still has a rabidly loyal following, but it’s hard to imagine her winning the nomination again, with her iron grip on the Democratic National Committee now gone. Still, it’s in her best interest to keep the speculation fires burning. Given how thoroughly she has already sabotaged the rising candidates by hogging the media spotlight, I suspect she wants Trump to win again. I don’t see our stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita yielding the spotlight willingly to any younger gal.

"stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita" - nails it! Again, the Democrats have nothing to run on so they have to steal the elections. There is no leadership there. As I have said before, if John Fitzgerald Kennedy were running today, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the Overton Window has shifted too far.

Heh - the gift that keeps on giving

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What a maroon...
(Classical reference)

Rioting in France

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Macron's capitulation and President Trump's response - summed up in a tweet:

Another day in paradise

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Clear skies, very cold (23.1°F) and starting my day. Coffee, post office, dump and then meeting.

Probably up to the farm tomorrow - couple of days work up there.

And it is off to YouTube

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Long day tomorrow, farm on Thursday (possibly)

Another big surprise:

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From the Washington Examiner:

Census confirms: 63 percent of ‘non-citizens’ on welfare, 4.6 million households
A majority of “non-citizens,” including those with legal green card rights, are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, a Census Bureau finding that bolsters President Trump’s concern about immigrants costing the nation.

In a new analysis of the latest numbers, from 2014, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program, and it grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more, confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don’t get off it.

Well knock me over with a feather. Our tax dollars at work. I especially love the part: "confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don’t get off it."

Thanks Barry!

Conditions in France

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Some headlines with links to original articles:

The yellow vests are a thing because France requires motorists to carry a high-viz vest for every driver and passenger in their vehicles (great idea actually - adding some to my vehicles' emergency kits) in case they break down or run out of fuel. The citizens are showing that they are drivers protesting the high fuel tax.

And of course, the United Nations steps in it:

Typical Marxist claptrap. They do not care about the climate - the latest report is built on computer models, not measured data. They just want their hands on the levers of power and will say anything and do anything to achieve this.

Digital media services are way overpopulated. So things adjust.
From My San Antonio:

Digital-media bubble is bursting. That's hurting generation of promising young journalists.
About five years ago, I was asked to visit the newsroom at Mic, a digital-media start-up backed by venture capital and focused on news for the millennial audience.

As the public editor of The New York Times, I suppose I was seen as an expert in traditional journalism ethics - especially through the eyes of Mic's reporters and editors, mostly in their 20s, and many in their first jobs out of school. And because I was active on Twitter and writing a frequent blog, perhaps I looked like I knew how to build a bridge from old-school newspapering to the digital-first present.

I remember how smart, engaged and hopeful the Mic staffers were as we talked, in their Lower Manhattan newsroom, about topics such as conflict of interest, objectivity vs. fairness, and possible career paths.

Could this exciting venture - then only two or three years old - thrive long into the future? Could these young journalists build their lives and careers on it?

In 2013, that seemed possible, despite some flashing danger signs.

But last week, Mic was the latest of its ilk to crash and burn. More than 100 employees were fired, amid word that its staffless shell would be sold to another media company.

Hey - bubbles happen. As a "journalist" you are supposed to research your topic and study its history. If you had done your work, you would have known this. My only complaint is that the management kept the condition of the business from you until the absolute last moment. They should have seen the writing on the wall and given you folks a couple weeks heads up to find new employment (Would you like fries with that?).

We are just going through another contraction like what happened in 1997 through 2000

Back from dinner

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That place is good.

It is cold outside - high clouds so the seeing is not optimal at all but a lot of radiative cooling. 61°F inside the house and right at 32°F outside. The fire burned itself out while I was away - not going to bother with it as I am comfortable.and have both the heat pump and the resistance heater running in the loft.

Surf, YouTube and then sleep - meeting tomorrow.

Taco time

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Heading out for Mexican food for dinner. Another very cold night - down to 36°F already. High clouds but very clear so lots of radiative cooling. Throw a couple logs on the fire - nice and toasty here.

Bernie Sanders travels on private jets

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Not so surprising - these people are hypocrites. From Vermont Digger:

Sanders campaign drops $300k on private jet travel
Sen. Bernie Sanders 2018 re-election campaign spent almost $300,000 on private jet service for a recent cross country tour to stump for Democrats and test the presidential waters.

According to federal campaign finance reports, Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator’s official 2018 Senate campaign committee, spent $297,685.50 with Apollo Jets, a private charter jet service headquartered in New York. The report does not break down the number of trips or where they were taken. The check was issued on Oct. 10, according to the report.

This is my surprised face. Not.

Election fraud - Democrats

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Sad really. The democrats do not have anything to run on so they have to use voter fraud to get themselves elected.

Here are a couple of stories - first, The Gateway Pundit:

Orange County Releases Official Vote Count and the Numbers Don’t Add Up – One Precinct Has 120% Turnout
Orange County released its official vote count on Monday and the numbers don’t add up.

Orange County, a conservative area just south of Los Angeles, California turned all blue after Democrats produced hundreds of thousands of votes weeks after election day using a practice known as “ballot harvesting.”

The amount of mail-in ballots counted in Orange County were unprecedented – a whopping 250,000 ballots were produced in OC as a result of the new “ballot harvesting” law.

Republicans such as Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher and Young Kim were all ahead election night only to lose their races after late ballots were counted.

A bit more:

Precinct 38083 in Orange County, California had a 120% turnout – 465 registered voters and 561 ballots cast in this precinct. (screenshot below)

Fraud pure and simple. A definition from The Daily Caller:

As the polls closed on election day last month, six California Republican House candidates, including Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, and Mimi Walters, were ahead in their respective races. However, as the absentee and provisional ballots rolled in over the intervening weeks, all six lost to their Democratic opponents.

The case of Korean-American GOP candidate Young Kim was one of the most prominent examples. On election night, Kim held an 8,000 vote lead over her Democratic opponent Gil Cisneros, and even attended freshman orientation in Washington, D.C. before watching her lead, and her victory, slowly evaporate over the subsequent weeks.

And the ballot harvesting?

Passed as a barely noticed change in the state’s vote by mail procedures in 2016 and signed by then-Governor Jerry Brown, California’s AB 1921 allows voters to give any third party — not just a relative or someone living in the same household, as was previously the law — to collect and turn in anyone else’s completed ballot.

Called “ballot harvesting,” critics say the practice is ripe for fraud. Consider “Lulu,” who was recorded trying to “harvest” what she thought was a Democratic voter’s ballot in Rep. Knight’s district.

It’s a “new service,” said Lulu, for “like, people who are supporting the Democratic party.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 250,000 such ballots were used in Orange County alone, resulting in a Democratic sweep there.

Fraud - I hope that this gets stopped before the 2020 elections. Tip of the hat to Peter Grant for the links.

Done for the day (mostly)

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Got a good bit of stuff done - ran some errands and puttered in the garage for a couple of hours.

Built a fire so the house is nice and warm. Had some nice light and a great view of Mt. Baker so shot a short video - sorry for the lack ot stabilization. Was shooting hand-held. The dogs are Grace (white Shiloh Shepherd) and Bear (black and tan traditional GSD)

Surf for a bit and then head out for dinner - tacos tonight.

A busy day on the island

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Coffee, post office, breakfast and then home to work on some projects.

Hard frost this morning - got down to 21°F last night - electric blankets are a wonderful thing.

Off to YouTube

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Getting downright cold outside - the heat pump is working great but the room is down to 65 - got it set to 72. Got a suplemental resistance heater that I am thinking of digging out of the garage and bringing up to the room I am camping in (remodeling the house so only living in one room). Winter is here...

Got an electric blanket so I will be comfortable once I do go to bed.

Another great move by President Trump

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Not a peep in the mainstream media but this is great news - from The White House:

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the President’s Working Dinner with China
The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and President Xi Jinping of China, have just concluded what both have said was a “highly successful meeting” between themselves and their most senior representatives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.

Wonderful - here's why - from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Nearly half of opioid-related overdose deaths involve fentanyl
An analysis of opioid-related overdose deaths found that synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in the U.S. A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that nearly half of opioid-related deaths in 2016 involved fentanyl.

Good news - make the black marketers pay the price. The stuff is so toxic that overdoses are altogether too easy. Just ask Tom Petty and Prince.

Just Go Away... Please?

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The gift that keeps on giving - from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

Brenda Snipes says she'll fight suspension by Gov. Scott, and rescinds resignation
Broward Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes announced Saturday she will fight her suspension by the governor, and rescinded her letter of resignation that preceded it.

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Snipes late Friday afternoon, citing “widespread issues with voting” in Broward County.

Broward elections office attorney Burnadette Norris Weeks said the governor is holding Snipes to a different standard than other elections supervisors in Florida, “as if there can never be a mistake made.” She alleged the suspension was mean-spirited, an attempt to take Snipes’ pension, and based on false or unfair allegations. She also suggested the Republican governor was motivated by politics, removing the Democratic supervisor in a heavily Democratic county.

Broward is only a Democratic County because you put them there. Forged ballots, dead people voting, more votes tallied than Broward county residents. Snipes is as crooked as they come. The good Governor needs to clean house.

Plan C

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Had fish and chips at a local - they do a decent job and their tarter sauce and cocktail sauce are homemade and excellent. Good bit of horseradish in the cocktail sauce. My sinuses are clean.

Clear again tonight but not as good as last night. Thin high clouds. Still see the milky way but the distinction between Mizar and Alcor is just not there.

Surf for a bit and see what the internet fairies brought me.

And back on the island again

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Here through Thursday - got a couple of projects that need taking care of. Meeting Wednesday with some people.

Just pulled in - unpack and out to get a burger somewhere. Or Mexican but been eating a lot there (so good).

Cold and clear so should get a hard freeze tonight - got some water running at the farm to keep the pipes open.

Very clear yesterday - such that I could see the double stars Mizar and Alcor in the Big Dipper's handle with the naked eye. One of my big disappointments with the farm was that there was always a lot of particulate haze in the air (pollen, etc...) and with Abbotsford 20 miles to the North, the skyglow was always a limiting factor. Glad I did not sell my telescope though as the seeing here is pretty spectacular. I need to get it dialed in to the new Longitude but will do that some evening.

Dinner and then surf.

Interesting times in France

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Looks like the Normals have had enough of the Elite meddling - from French blogger No Pasarán:

The webmaster of No Pasarán almost felt he was being deliberately targeted as the tear gas canisters started raining down on the yellow vest protesters around him on the Avenue de Friedland, one of the roads leading up to the Place Charles de Gaulle l'Étoile, already covered not in fog but in tear gas.

Whether it was related or simply a coincidence, the crowds had started chanting "Macron ! Démission| (Macron resign!) when the bombardment started.

As I wrote last week, in How Fake News Has Misrepresented the Yellow Vest Revolt in France:

There is nary a single media report about the Yellow Vest demonstrations in Paris and France that I’ve read or watched that has not been slanted by Fake News.

It has (usually) not been deliberate, I gather, and nobody has said anything factually wrong; what is the problem is the fact that (very) important stuff has been omitted. (Update: merci au Professeur Glenn Reynolds.)

It is not wrong to say that the demonstrations were caused by the government's decision to raise gas prices. What is missing is that this is just one of several draconian measures dating back half a year, i.e., ‘tis the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

For the past four to five months, the French government has done nothing but double down on bringing more and more gratuitous oppression and more and more unwarranted persecution measures down on the necks the nation's drivers and motorcycle riders.

In fact, the imposition of ever harsher rules has been going on for the past decade and a half or so — whether the government was on the right or on the left …/…

 …/… What has been most irksome for les Français since the turn of the century has been the ubiquitous radars, which, like red-light cameras in the United States, are accused of having (far) more to do with bringing revenue to the state than with road safety.

And just like the arms industry in the Soviet Union, if there was one area of France where the technology was always moving forward, it was the radar business.

Over the years, the radars have become evermore stealthy and insidious. …/… What has happened since shows the Deep State at work in Europe just as much as, if not more than, in North America — and this leftist statism is the kind of news that has been ignored by the mainstream media, in France itself as much as abroad. …/…

Out of touch Elites meddling in the affairs of us Normals - we can only tolerate so much before things go Ka Boom.

Out for the day

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Heading out for coffee, post office, breakfast and then to the farm for another load.

Got a meeting Wednesday on island so planning to head down there for a day or two. Couple other projects need my attention.

And that is it

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Nothing catches my eye - over to YouTube for a while and then an early bedtime.

Got a lot to do tomorrow - back to the farm to pack.

News you can use

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Interesting - here is a link to a website:

The 27 Best Websites for Wasting Time on the Internet in 2018

Familiar with about half of them. Figures...

Back home again - island

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I had a whole bunch of my stuff stashed at the store - a 10+ year accumulation of things so it got loaded into the van today and was driven into Bellingham to the condo for the sale.

Got to be around 3:00PM so said screw-it and took I5 South to the island. Had dinner here and settling in for the night. Back to the farm tomorrow. Have a meeting on Camano on Wednesday so back down for a few days for that - couple projects here. Engineering on the foundation is starting.

Also, applying for my General Contractors licence with the state - turns out it is actually a pretty simple task and this will help me a lot when working with the various builders on the house as well as future blacksmithing jobs for clients. I need to earn some money so planning to start doing that full-time. Getting my WABO Certification sometime in 2019. There is a lot of new construction on the island and people need railings. With the WABO I will be able to do railings and gates and be covered by insurance in case something goes horribly wrong.

Surf for a bit and then the Tube of You...

Waking up to the reality

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Green energy is an abject lie - from Scotland's The Herald:

Blackouts, deaths and civil unrest: warning over Scotland's rush to go green
A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.

According the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IESIS), there is a rising threat of an unstable electricity supply which, left unaddressed, could result in “deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”.

The organisation is also warning that the loss of traditional power generating stations such as Longannet, which closed in 2016, means restoring electricity in a “black start” situation – following a complete loss of power – would take several days.

Its new report into the energy system points to serious power cuts in other countries, which have resulted in civil disturbance, and warns: “A lengthy delay would have severe negative consequences – the supply of food, water, heat, money, petrol would be compromised; there would be limited communications. The situation would be nightmarish.”

Especially now that everything is pointing to another Solar Minimum. Now is not the time to be putting all of our energy generation options into one unstable basket.

Heading out for the day

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Working at the store today moving some stuff.

Nice and sunny - clear skies. Got down to 21°F last night so hard frost. 18°F is my critical temp for pipes freezing so will have the water running tonight.

Coffee first...

Looks like the Chinese tarrifs worked - from Bloomberg:

Presidents Trump and Xi Agree Not to Impose Further Tariffs From January
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to keep their trade war from escalating with a promise to temporarily halt the imposition of new tariffs as the world’s two largest economies negotiate a lasting agreement.

The truce between the U.S. and China emerged after a highly anticipated dinner Saturday between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. The leaders agreed to stop the introduction of new tariffs and intensify their trade talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters hours later in Buenos Aires.

The White House called the meeting “highly successful,” saying the U.S. will leave existing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10 percent and refrain from raising that rate to 25 percent as planned on Jan. 1. In exchange, the U.S. wants an immediate start to talks on Trump’s biggest complaints about Chinese trade practices: intellectual property theft, non-tariff barriers and cyber theft.

After 90 days, if there’s no progress on structural reform, the U.S. will raise those tariffs to 25 percent, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. China also agreed to boost its purchases of agricultural and industrial goods to reduce its trade imbalance with the U.S., she said.

These are baby steps but no other President has gotten China to even consider this so we have a half-year of instability for a permanent solution to our trade imbalance. This coming on the heels of the re-visited NAFTA trade agreement shows what an effective leader President Trump is.

Back home from the local

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Had two pints of wonderful hard cider and talked to a couple friends.

Surf for a little bit and then to YouTube.

Cold outside - air temp is 33°F but it is clear so there is a lot of radiative cooling. Ice on the metal driveway gate and will be seeing a hard frost tomorrow morning.

Got a couple projects to knock out tomorrow - there are two apartments above the grocery store that have been converted to Air B&Bs and are booked solid. We are getting a washer and drier so we do not have to do the linens at the local gas station/laundromat (expensive). Got a bunch of building maintenance stuff where they are going to go (plumbing and power already there) so have to relocate this stuff. A lot of that stuff is just remnant crap from old projects so dumpster time!

A bite to eat and then out for a couple pints of cider.

Heavy rains in California

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Orange County - the aftermath of the Hope Wildfire

And the rain is supposed to start up again tonight. Cliff Mass has more. The good news is that the reservoirs are nicely topped off except for Oroville which is being held low until repairs are completed.

Christmas decoration

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Very classy move by President Trump

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From the White House:

Presidential Proclamation Announcing the Death of George H.W. Bush
It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, on November 30, 2018.

President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation’s greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example.

On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, “the big thing” he learned from this endeavor was “the satisfaction of creating jobs.”

And this:

I do further appoint December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

Nice words about a great man. Then we have this from The Hill:

Trump to send presidential aircraft to Houston to pick up George H.W. Bush's casket
President Trump said Saturday he will be sending the presidential aircraft to pick up George H.W. Bush’s casket from Texas and bring it to Washington, where the late president will lie in state in the Capitol starting Monday.

“Air Force One will be taking myself and a large group of our people back to Washington. It will then be reset and it will be sent to Houston to pick up the casket of President Bush and then be brought back to Washington,” Trump said at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“We’ll be sending Air Force One, which is a special tribute that he deserves very much and it’s my honor, and again, he’ll be greatly missed. Terrific person, terrific man,” Trump added.

That is a very nice touch. Classy.

Getting tough in Tijuana - the caravan

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I like their mayor - from FOX News:

Tijuana mayor says arrest caravan organizer, vows to stop funding migrants
After declaring the migrant caravan a “humanitarian crisis” this week, Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum told Fox News that he can no longer continue to fund the municipal effort to shelter them without federal assistance.

“I’m not going to break public services to solve this problem,” the Tijuana mayor said.

Even worse, he could be forced to raise taxes on Tijuana’s 1.7 million residents who have already suffered from Sunday’s clashes.

“In those six hours that the border was closed, we lost approximately 129 million pesos,” he said. “That's not fair. How do you think people from Tijuana feel towards those people who are making problems?”

A bit more - what I have been saying all along:

Mayor Gastélum blames the organizers for whom he cannot identify. He said they should be held accountable. He said the leaders of the caravan should face criminal charges.

“Those are the real criminals because they're dealing with the lives of people,” he says.

Hope now rests on a new Mexican administration when Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office as Mexico’s new president on Saturday.

Yeah - let the organizers rot in some Mexican jail for a couple of years. They did this to these people and they need to pay for their little bit of political grandstanding. Trying to pull a Cloward-Piven on our border. Scum.

And at the farm

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Got a couple days of serious packing to do.

Out the door

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Coffee, post office and then points North - farm and packing

December 2018

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Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
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Jennifer Marohasy
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the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
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Junk Science
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New Scientist
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Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
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Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
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Awkward Family Photos
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You Drive What?

Business and Economics
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Photography and Art
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James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
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A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
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Lowering the Bar
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Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
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democrats give conservatives indigestion
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shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2018 is the previous archive.

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