September 2017 Archives

Bill Nye: Science Guy - a movie review

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By James Delingpole writing at Breitbart:

Delingpole: Bill Nye’s New ‘Science Guy’ Movie is More Climate Change Propaganda
Bill Nye — the man who has built an entire media career on the somewhat flimsy basis that his surname rhymes with “Guy” and if you put “Science” in front of it then it makes “Science Guy” — has made a movie, for which a trailer was released Thursday.

The new PBS film is called Bill Nye: Science Guy, and chronicles the success of his 90s PBS kids show and his current campaign to promote climate science to adults.

If that doesn’t put you off, you should see the trailer. It’s Ghostbusters remake awful. You’ll cry, you’ll writhe, you’ll scream. It will put you off science forever.

Part of the problem is, of course, Bill Nye himself. He can’t help the way he looks, but he really can help the way he dresses and acts. Everything about him from that fruity bow tie to the creepy uncle twinkle in his eye says: “The only time a guy like this should be allowed anywhere near children is in a Stephen King movie, wearing a clown suit.”

Heh - this came in so far under my RADAR that I was totally unaware that it was being filmed. For the record, Nye was a mechanical engineer who joined a Seattle comedy troupe. Bill Nye = Big Lie

The 540+ comments are fun to read.

Colin Kaepernick - a two-fer

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First a bit of history from 'Puter writing at The Gormogons:

Shut Up and Play
Rule 1: Americans don’t like being lectured.

Rule 1 is the only hard and fast rule applicable to all Americans. Think about it. What other generalization can you make that covers the trailer park junkie in rural West Virginia, the inner city gang member dodging bullets in Chicago, smug, liberal, bubble-dwelling Ivy League professors, and richer-than-Croesus captains of industry?

‘Puter can almost hear his three loyal readers crying out, “So what, ‘Puter?”

Here’s what. Professional sports decided to violate Rule 1 and are paying the price.

It started innocently enough. Colin Kaepernick started dating a hard Left, socialist, “activist and radio DJ.” As one might imagine, her politics are a bit to the Left of America’s in general. Kaepernick fell under the seductive spell of politics and pussy (mostly the latter), grew out his hair, and decided to stick it to Whitey T. Mann at his place of employment by refusing to stand during our national anthem.

As with all things political now, a third of the country screamed “YEAH! STIK IT 2 DEM RAYCISS BASTIDS!!!,” a third of the country screamed “BUTT MUH FLAGS!!!,” and a third of the country screamed, “WOOD U ASSHATS LEEV UR POLITIX OUTTA MUH FUTBAL??!?”

More on Kaepernick's bae here and here - as they say, read the whole thing. 'Puter is a hoot.
Second, from The Washington Times:

Colin Kaepernick donated $25,000 to group honoring convicted cop-killer
Colin Kaepernick started out taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, but his activism has since expanded to encompass a wide range of leftist causes, including a group named after a convicted cop-killer.

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation donated in April $25,000 to Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago “direct action” resistance organization honoring Assata Shakur, who escaped prison and fled to Cuba after being found guilty in the 1973 murder of Officer Werner Foerster.

Taking bets on how fast Nessa dumps his sorry a** after #1) - his money runs out or #2) - he wises up and stops using athletics as a stage for someone else's political activism.

And the finger-pointing begins - Puerto Rico

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One of the reasons that Puerto Rico was so devastated by Hurricane Maria was that it had been poorly managed and the infrastructure was not well maintained. This has been noted before (here, here, here, here and here) but claims are now starting to come out.
From FOX News

Trump fires back at Puerto Rico mayor, accuses her of 'poor leadership'
President Trump on Saturday defended his administration’s hurricane recovery effort in Puerto Rico and cast blame on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz who is criticizing the president's effort to get supplies, electricity and other relief to the U.S. Island.

“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” Trump said in a series of tweets. "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

And it seems that the good Mayor's politics are to the left of progressive - from The Daily Caller:

San Juan Mayor Praised Convicted FALN Terrorist
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who attacked President Donald Trump for his response to last week’s hurricane in Puerto Rico, previously praised FALN terrorist leader Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Yulin Cruz is a member of Puerto Rico’s Popular Democratic Party that wants the island to remain a U.S. territory. But she sounded more like a member of the island’s Independence Party in a video that surfaced back in January when President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Rivera Lopez.

Why is it always the progressive liberal nations/states/cities that have such poor infrastructure, massive corruption and grinding poverty? Venezuela, Cuba, California, Chicago - the list goes on...

Quiet day today

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T is feeling ill today so we will be having a quiet day - hanging out. Last week was her first week of teaching for the Fall quarter so things were a bit stressful.

A fun ride

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While I was at the lumber yard, I spotted an old Ford Ranger EV - this was a small electric truck manufactured by Ford from 1997 through 2002. Very cool - talked to the owner for a while. Even at over fifteen years old, the original NiMH battery pack still works well and delivers a 45 mile range (original range was about 80 miles).

Not practical for my life in the country but perfect for potting around the city.

Fun times in Cuba

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What are they thinking? From the New York Times:

U.S. to Pull More Diplomats Out of Cuba After Attacks
The State Department announced on Friday that it is pulling more than half of its staff out of the American embassy in Havana in the wake of mysterious attacks that have injured 21 people associated with the embassy.

Some of those attacked have suffered significant injuries, with symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance and visual problems, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. But despite an intensive investigation by the F.B.I., the cause and perpetrators of the attacks remain a mystery, with some experts speculating that some kind of sonic weapon or faulty surveillance device may have been at fault.

The department will also issue an advisory warning to American citizens who travel to Cuba that they could face unusual risks. Some of the attacks occurred in hotels where State Department employees were temporarily staying, leading officials to worry that tourists and others could be affected. But there is no evidence so far that tourists or hotel employees have been affected, according to the State Department.

Guessing that this is some form of directed ultrasound - maybe two beams at slightly different frequencies. Odd in that a detecter would be very cheap and easy to make. Why would they be doing this?

Back home again

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Planning to not help this neighbor again. They insisted on looking over every piece of siding (40 pieces total) and rejecting anything that was blemished. I asked them what they were planning to do - paint? stain? etc... They are painting it the same dark color as the rest of the house so any blemishes would have been covered. What I thought was going to be a 45 minute errand turned out to be a three hour slog. Needless to say, I never made it to the Allegro

T is feeling a bit under the weather so laying low this afternoon.

Another day in Paradise Seattle

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This trip to Seattle is winding to a close - heading back Monday morning to a week of events, meetings, projects, etc... at home. Waiting for a neighbor to come by - they are retired and doing some work at their house. Their "guy with a truck" bailed on them so I am driving them over to the lumber yard to pick up some things.

T is taking Daughter and Heir to school and then has an event scheduled for this morning - heading out to the Allegro after the lumber yard. Rendevous back here around noon or so.

The forecast was spot on - it rained last night and is falling lightly as I type.

Losing a bit of history

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Tootsie has passed away - from The Seattle Times:

Tootsie Clark, known for handing out cinnamon rolls at reopening of North Cascades Highway, dies at 95
Ethel Madrene Clark, better known as “Tootsie” and famous for her cinnamon rolls and generosity, has died at age 95.

“She passed on Sunday at home, where she wanted to be,” her son, Donald Clark, said Tuesday.

With enthusiasm and a baking pan, Mrs. Clark made the annual reopening of North Cascades Highway each spring into a beloved and festive event.

Since the 1970s, she made it her mission to be first to cross the mountain pass on Highway 20, which closes each winter because of heavy snowfall and avalanche danger.

It became a tradition that she would carry out even in her last year of life.

Never participated in these festivities but I have eaten at the family restaurant many many times (and handed out breadcrumbs to the bunnies)

Back home again

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Been back home for two hours - lunch and then working around the house. Defrosting the freezer, picking up dog poop in the yard and spraying the weeds.

T got home an hour ago - we are sitting on the sofa with our respective laptops typing away - domestic bliss :)

And that is it for this morning

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Heading out to the Allegro and then working at home here today. This is the last good day in the weather forecast so doing yard-work and rehanging a sticky garden gate. Do a little bit of shopping too.


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The WA city of Tacoma just can't get no respect to quote a very funny man. This came in over the transom:


Words to remember

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Now that we are recovering from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the reports are coming in as to what people did right to prepare and what they did wrong. Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man has an excellent summary with links: 

Lessons learned from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, I wrote a series of "lessons learned" points, which I combined into an article on this blog some time later.  It's consistently among the most viewed articles here, so I hope it's done some good.

As the wider picture is emerging after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Hurricane Irma hit Florida, and Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico over the past couple of months, there have been more useful lessons coming out of the experiences of my correspondents (and from news media articles).  I'm going to summarize some of them here.  I'll add to this article in future (with a link to it at the time) as more information comes out.

Peter then closes with this video clip from FEMA administrator Brock Long:

Words to the wise. Be prepared.

Our National Disconnect

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Great point from Josh Kraushaar writing at National Journal:

Democrats Lose Touch With America
Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened doesn’t live up to its title’s expectations. In her campaign tell-all, Clinton sounds like a full-fledged member of the progressive #resistance, content to blame all of her campaign’s woes on sexism, media bias, James Comey, and Russian interference. But she never fully grapples with the biggest problem that crippled her campaign, and which continues to dog her party: the Democrats’ growing cultural disconnect from the rest of the country.

Clinton’s decision to call Trump backers deplorable was one of her campaign’s low points. But the problem runs much deeper within her party. Progressives now instinctively label pro-Trump conservatives as “white supremacists,” a slur that paints nearly half the country with a racist brush. Legitimate anxieties over the country’s national security are frequently dismissed as anti-Muslim xenophobia. Politicized sportswriters assumed that the American public supports players protesting the national anthem, even when a swell of football fans across the country—including those in the most liberal . media markets—booed their own team’s players for disrespecting the flag.

I was at Costco today and it was interesting to see the book display. In Bellingham last week, there were four stacks of Hillary's book. Down here in Seattle, at a smaller Costco, there were twelve stacks. A deep blue outpost in an otherwise conservative state. It would be interesting to see the display in Walla-Walla or Boise, Idaho...

What with the NFL getting all boring and politically correct, it might be time to switch to this league - from the Washington Free Beacon:

Lingerie Football League Responds to NFL: ‘We Stand!’
The all-woman league formerly known as the Lingerie Football League announced this week its belief that America's flag and national anthem are "far too sacred" to protest.

The league, recently rebranded as the Legends Football League, said in a Tuesday statement that its players would not be taking a knee during the national anthem as many of their male counterparts in the NFL have done.

"The LFL recognizes everyone's First Amendment right to protest, but our nation's flag and anthem are far too sacred," the league said. "Too many fellow Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that our flag and anthem continue in all its majesty."

Don't watch football but I might check out a game or two...

Doing business - an unfair advantage

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Seems like Burger King is feeling some hurt in Russia and wants to have things redressed - from Newsweek:

Pennywise the Clown from It isn’t just terrorizing the kids of Derry; he’s also struck fear in the heart of Burger King Russia.

The burger chain’s Russian operation has filed a complaint with the country’s anti-monopoly business board to ban the hit Warner Bros. movie because they think it constitutes free marketing for rival McDonald’s, which is also represented by a clown—the less murderous Ronald McDonald. No, seriously.

In the complaint, filed last week and obtained by Russian financial publication Vedomosti, Burger King bemoaned unfair competition, claiming the “protagonist of the movie,” Pennywise, “is an exact copy” of Ronald McDonald, "including the color range and the [balloons] with which the clown lures children.” The company believes that this violates Russia’s advertising laws.

I find it funny that Burger King is calling the McDonald's clown creepy:


Back home again - successful day

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Ran into someone I had been hoping to meet at the Allegro. This is someone I had known for the last 15 years I lived in Seattle. Joe and I still kept in touch but it was an email every few years and he visited the farm a number of years back. The four of us will be having dinner on my next trip down.

Also went to the Seattle City Light surplus yard and picked up a bunch of glass telephone insulators for $1 each - you see these in "antique" stores for $10 - I like to make lamps out of them. Also got some very heavy gauge copper wire for art projects and a bunch of copper braid (1" and 0.75" wide) for ham radio grounding. $30 so I was very happy with the deal.

Pulled pork tacos for dinner tonight. Surf for a bit first - T is home from work too and writing emails.

Say hello to our new little friends

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When you discover a new species, you get to name it. A politically correct professor and his grad students did just this - from EurekAlert:

Discovery: Bernie Sanders spider
A scientist at the University of Vermont and four of his undergraduate students have discovered 15 new species of "smiley-faced" spiders--and named them after, among others, David Attenborough, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

You won't find them in Washington, DC, Hollywood, or Vermont--but on Caribbean islands and other southern spots you might now get a glimpse of Spintharus davidattenboroughi, S. barackobamai, S. michelleobamaae, and S. berniesandersi as well as S. davidbowiei and S. leonardodicaprioi.

"This was an undergraduate research project," says Ingi Agnarsson, a spider expert and professor of biology at UVM who led the new study. "In naming these spiders, the students and I wanted to honor people who stood up for both human rights and warned about climate change--leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world."

Their research took them to the Caribbean Islands - talk about roughing it. Wonder if it was publicly funded?

Another Seattle morning

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T just left with her daughter - first day at University. Excited as there are so many options - a fun time to be alive!

Heading out for coffee at Allegro and then downtown to the Seattle City Light surplus yard. Most of what they have is of no use to me - scrap metal, office equipment, etc... but they have the occasional gem so it is worth it to check there every month or two. Stop off at Costco too - out of dog food.

Back home for the evening

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T and I ran a bunch of errands and then had dinner out at the Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club - first time there but not my last by a long shot. Authentic Mexican food - not bland stewed meats over rice and beans. There is a huge difference between what passes for Mexican up here and what the real cuisine is like. Like I said, we will be back. Ran something over to T's son at his lab and then home for the night.

Neither of us have been getting enough sleep so making a point to get an early bedtime. T is dealing with work emails, I am surfing a bit and we will watch some TV and share a bottle of wine. Domestic bliss...

Back home from the day

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Took the pups out for a walk and then went out for coffee - recognised three other peole who I knew (this is after being away for 15 years); one of whom used to work there. Went out for a plate of hummus (been having hummus on the brain for the last few days) and stopped at a place in the same building where I used to have my first computer store (this was back in the late 1980's selling IBM clones).

There used to be a Middle Eastern restaurant in the same location but this place was completely different so I didn't think about it. There is a line so a young guy asks if I want here or to-go. I tell him for here and point to an outside table and he brings me my food. I finish and go to pay and hear: "Hello my old friend!" and it was Samir. His place was one of six that I rotated through for lunch back then if I didn't bring anything with me for the day.

Stopped into the UW Public Surplus store - the place had been pretty well picked over but I will return from time to time. They did have a gorgeous digital pipe organ - an Ahlborn-Galenti three manual - but at $5,999 they were asking way too much money for it. Here is a photo of a similar modern unit - three manual, tumbler stop tabs and full pedalboard:


The problem is that many of these units use proprietary circuit boards and if something fails (the unit was well over ten years old), you are out of luck getting repair parts. If it had been listed for $300 or so, I would have scarfed it up and used the case as a platform for a Hauptwerk machine but no such luck. Like I really need another project anyway.

Heading out with T for a few errands. Having a wonderful time!

Amateur Radio in the news

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From the Amateur Radio Relay League - our craft guild (in operation for more than 100 years):

American Red Cross Asks ARRL’s Assistance with Puerto Rico Relief Effort
The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked the ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time such a request for assistance on this scale has been made. ARRL now is looking for radio amateurs who can step up and volunteer to help our friends in Puerto Rico.

Hell - if I was 20 years younger and not involved with so many things I would be there in a heartbeat.

News you can use - doomsday postponed

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Of course it would fail - what did you expect? From Newsweek:

The conspiracy theorist who supposedly predicted the world would end on September 23 has clarified his doomsday prophecy, saying the rapture is, in fact, coming in October.

David Meade, a self-proclaimed "researcher" and Catholic who hit global headlines last week, believes the end of the world as we know it, as foretold in the biblical Book of Revelation, will take place next month and the 23rd was simply a sign of the oncoming of the oncoming disaster.

Writing on his website, Meade clarified his belief that the 23rd is the date of a “historical event” in the skies that would signal the oncoming rapture. Doomsday itself, he says, will begin on October 15.

Sigh - amazed that people still fall for this hooey. Wake me when it is over...

Back home again

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Did everything I wanted to do today - came back home around 3:00PM - T was back from work so we (and her daughter) took the dogs out to a local park and ran them for a little bit. Doing some stuff at home and then will have a Costco rotisserie chicken for dinner.

Surf for a bit first - T has to grade papers and do some emails. Spending tomorrow closer to home - Allegro coffeehouse and then the UW Surplus store.

The wheels of justice - Anthony Weiner

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Good riddance - from the New York Post:

Anthony Weiner gets hard time
It’s hard time for Anthony Weiner.

The disgraced ex-congressman broke down crying as he was sentenced to 21 months in prison Monday for convincing a high school student to undress and touch herself via Skype in 2016.

“This was a serious crime. It’s a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Manhattan federal Judge Denise Cote said as the convicted sext fiend dropped his head into his hand and wept.

And Hillary's confidant?

His father and brother also joined him in the courtroom — but the serial sexter’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Huma Abedin, was nowhere to be seen.

I hope that this is the first in a long series of trials - the whole Clinton machine needs to spend some quality time behind bars for their activities.

Goings on in the Vatican

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Yesterday, it was Pope Francis getting the Correctio filialis (something that had not been delivered to a Pope for over 680 years)
Now it is this article at Yahoo/Reuters:

Auditor says he was forced to quit Vatican after finding irregularities
The Vatican's first auditor-general, who resigned without explanation in June, has broken his silence, saying he was forced to step down with trumped-up accusations after discovering evidence of possible illegal activity.

Speaking to reporters from four media organizations including Reuters in the office of his lawyers in Rome, Libero Milone also said he believed that some in the Vatican wanted to slow down Pope Francis's efforts at financial reform.

He said he could not give details of the irregularities he had found because of non-disclosure agreements. Reuters was unable to independently verify his assertions, which the Vatican strongly contested.

Curious... Smoke = fire?

Usually, I am a day or two late on these but this time I am early.
National Situational Awareness Day is tomorrow, September 26th. From Pretty Loaded:

The First Ever National Situational Awareness Day!
We are excited to announce the first ever National Situational Awareness Day will be September 26th! This day was approved by the registrar of the National Day Calendar and was submitted for acceptance by Pretty Loaded. Situational Awareness is a skill that everyone can use immediately to improve their personal safety.

And a bit more:

What is Situational Awareness?
Situational awareness is really just another way of being mindful of your surroundings. Developing this skill will make you more present in daily activities, which in turn helps you make better decisions in all aspects of life.

The concept of situational awareness was identified during World War I by Oswald Boelke who realized ‘the importance of gaining an awareness of the enemy before the enemy gained a similar awareness, and devised methods for accomplishing this.’

In a dangerous situation, being aware of a threat even a few seconds early may keep someone safe by giving them time to act instead of react. The lack of or inadequate situational awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.

Although situational awareness skills seem to be lacking in modern society, our ancestors used these skills to survive. It has been extensively taught for decades to law enforcement and the military, but it is not exclusive to them.

Most safety experts agree that situational awareness is the number one skill to learn for the safety of everyone.

Situational Awareness Day highlights the importance of using situational awareness skills in every day life to stay out of harm’s way. Harm may come in the form of walking in front of a moving car or that of an assailant, both of which can happen from any myriad of distractions which cause one to not be aware of the surroundings and situation.

Good stuff to practice - saves lives and you can use these skills to help others. Is that guy sitting down because they are tired or are they having a medical incident? When turning into a lane of traffic, do you look both ways - what if a bicycle rider was heading in the wrong way down the street? The need for situational awareness is - literally - all around you.

Another day in Paradise Seattle

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T is off to work - I am out for coffee and a bit of exploration. Quick surf first.

Say hello to our little friend - Mt. Agung. From the New Zealand website Stuff:

240,000 flee 'imminent' Bali volcano eruption
About 240,000 people are fleeing Bali's Mount Agung precinct in eastern Indonesia, with the volcano threatening to erupt at any moment.

The warning was raised to the maximum level four on Friday night, which means a hazardous eruption is imminent for the first time in 54 years. This could happen within 24 hours.

Locals reported monkeys and snakes fleeing the mountain. 

It last erupted in 1963 killing over 1,100 people - prediction has gotten a lot better since then. The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program has up-to-date warnings.

Heh - Pennywise meets his end

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The end of it:


This cute little blooper slipped by the editors - from the New York Times:

Saudi Textbook Withdrawn Over Image of Yoda With King
High school students in Saudi Arabia opened their social studies textbooks this week to find that the Force was with them.

In a lesson about the United Nations was a historic photograph of King Faisal. To his right stood Yoda, the Jedi master from the “Star Wars” films.

One ruled Saudi Arabia for 11 years, outlawed slavery, spread public education and introduced television to his country.

The other was adept with a light saber, trained Luke Skywalker and lived for more than 800 years.

How they had ended up together in a textbook in a country with no public movie theaters was anyone’s guess. Even the Saudi artist who created the image had no idea.

"I am the one who designed it, but I am not the one who put it in the book,” said the artist, Abdullah Al Shehri, by phone from Riyadh.

The image was part of a series in which Mr. Shehri, who is 26 and goes by the nickname Shaweesh, mixes pop culture icons into historic photographs. He said he got the idea while looking through photo archives from the Middle East.

Here is Shaweesh's image:


The actual scene is from the signing the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945. Quite the moment in history.

Now this is an interesting push-back

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The pendulum is swinging back towards their roots - from the National Catholic Register:

Clergy and Lay Scholars Issue Filial Correction of Pope Francis
A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.

Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.

The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).

The letter begins by saying that with “profound grief but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself” the signatories feel “compelled” to take this action “on account of the propagation of heresies.”

They cite in particular Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, and “other words, deeds and omissions.”

They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”

What makes this especially interesting is that the last time this was done was to Pope John XXII...
When? 1333 - over 680 years ago.

Staying classy - the Pittsburgh Steelers

The entire team ignored the National Anthem as it was played before a game - stayed in the locker room.

I grew up in Pittsburgh - this is childish behavior and hope that the audience votes with their wallets.

Hurricane Maria - Puerto Rico Dam burst

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This is bad - from the London Daily Mail:

Terrifying torrent of water in Puerto Rico after dam fails, forcing 70,000 to evacuate as Hurricane Maria continues to ravage the island
A terrifying torrent of water swept through Puerto Rico after a dam failed at Lake Guajataca in the northwest region.

Water was seen sweeping through the municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas after the dam sustained structural damage from Hurricane Maria.

Nearly 16 inches of rain fell in the area, significantly raising water levels on the 90-year-old dam.

Earlier, Puerto Rican authorities had scrambled to evacuate as many as 70,000 people after the National Weather Service warned that failure of the dam was 'imminent' and could lead to 'life-threatening' flash flooding.

Video at the link - 90 years old. Wonder how well it was maintained. At least Miami takes care of its infrastructure pretty well. Places like P.R. will build and then any monies set aside for maintenance are absorbed into the general budget and nothing is done until something hits crisis mode. Not a good way to run things. We have seen this in Bellingham with the catastrophic failure of its wastewater treatment plant in last May, the near miss at the Oroville Dam spillway and the general deterioration of our bridges and highways.

Sleepless Saturday in Seattle

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Heading out for lunch at the Portage Bay Cafe and driving to points unknown. No plans for the day.

The Allegro was a lot of fun yesterday - ran into three peole I had known from 15 years ago. Two normal people and one person whose mania and self-identification has been progressing along a very colorful path over the years. There was a guy who used to be a fixture there but he has set up his own coffee business less than a block away and he and I had a fun talk. I'll visit him again the next time I am in the U-District.

It is interesting driving my truck around town - Seattle has bought into the whole modern urbanization plan that is so trendy these days and is now a warren of picycle paths, traffic "calming" diversions and narrow streets. A lot of time I have to retract my side mirrors so as not to hit parked vehicles.

And I am out for the day

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A change from my usual routine but I am still starting it off with coffee - this time at The Allegro Coffeehouse which was my daily haunt for many many years.

T has a couple of things to do today and then we are meeting up at a large waterfront off-leash dog park. Time to give the critters a good run for their money.

News you can use

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From the UK Telegraph:

Forget getting rich - sex and sleep are the real keys to happiness

Very true - at least from our sample of two...

I have visited there several times and always really liked it. The Old Town of San Juan is gorgeous and out in the countryside, the people are areally open and friendly. I have thought from time to time that it might be a nice place to retire to - much cheaper to live and the majority of people speak English.

And then there is this - from Dr. Jeff Masters writing at the Weather Undergound:

Maria Back Over Water After Devastating Hit to Puerto Rico
After making landfall in southeast Puerto Rico near 6:15 am Wednesday as a top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, Hurricane Maria finished a devastating pummeling of the island near 1:30 pm, when its eye emerged over the ocean off the northwest coast. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found that Maria’s 70-mile traverse of Puerto Rico had knocked the top winds of the storm down to 110 mph by 5 pm Wednesday, making it a high-end Category 2 hurricane.

The entire island is without electrical power (3.4 million people) - they had one hurricane (San Felipe Segundo in 1928) that exceeded Maria's strength and violence but the island had not been built up as much back then.

Space has an article on the Arecibo Observatory - it has been sheltered from much of the wind and it is far enough above sea level that the storm surges have no effect but there is still the matter of the 25+ inches of rainfall. The crew was planning to return to the site today to begin evaluations. No news as yet.

Time to put that crack pipe down Howard

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Just no - from The Washington Post

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate
Since announcing in December that he would step down as Starbucks chief executive, there has been speculation that Howard Schultz is eyeing a run for president in 2020. A couple weeks back, I pegged him as the businessperson most likely to win the Democratic nomination.

Well, Howard Schultz sure sounds like a candidate.

And not to forget that The Washington Post is Amazon owner Jeff Bezos' latest playtoy having purchased it in late 2013. Very much birds of a feather although Bezos has evolved a very complex business model whereas Schultz is a glorified barista.

Seattle blogging - later in the day

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Had fun driving around the East Side this afternoon. The place I was looking for - Vetco - pulled a dissapearing act. I must have driven right past it but did not see it. WIll try again on this trip - they were always the go-to place for odd bits of electronic unobtanium. Nice to be able to actually kick the tires before purchase instead of handing over a credit card number and hopeing for the best.

Drove past Dixie's BBQ and saw that it was still there but sad to hear that Gene passed away in 2010 - had lunch there a lot when I worked at MSFT and afterwards, I would always find an excuse to swing by there if I was in the East side. Damn good brisket and The Man was legendary - not a big fan of excessive heat so only tried it a few times.

Stopped at Costco and picked up a few staples for the house - fixing dinner later. T is napping.

And I am off

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Finished breakfast (bacon, eggs and a pancake - sometimes I fail in my low-carb aspirations) and heading out for a day of discovery.

Nothing much in the news - Rocket Boy is still being an out of touch a**hole ( as well as starving his people) and the usual media are misreporting what actually happened in the world. Sigh...

Seattle blogging

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T is off to work and I have Seattle to myself for the next bunch of hours. Lived here for a long time moving to the country about fifteen years ago. Having breakfast at a place I used to eat on a fairly regular basis - the Ravenna Varsity Restaurant - in business for more than 50 years so they must be doing something right.

Planning to check out some of the electronics surplus stores I remember on the East Side - Bellevue area.

Off for the day

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Coffee, post office, store and doctor's office - nothing bad and planning to keep it that way (getting the results from a blood checkup)

And that is it for the night

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Early morning = early night.

Heading over to YouTube for an hour or so - driving down to see T for a few days tomorrow. Bringing a laptop with so posting be sporadic but it will happen.

Our prayers go out to Mexico

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7.1 Magnitude earthquake close to Mexico City. The quake was deep so some of its strength is mitigated but still, first reports have about 200 dead and about 50 buildings collapsed.

A crack in the facade - Global Warming

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It is not happening fast enough to match the computer models. From the UK Independent:

Global warming may be occurring more slowly than previously thought, study suggests
Computer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found.

The Earth warmed more slowly than the models forecast, meaning the planet has a slightly better chance of meeting the goals set out in the Paris climate agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Scientists said previous models may have been “on the hot side”.

The study, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, does not play down the threat which climate change has to the environment, and maintains that major reductions in emissions must be attained.

But the findings indicate the danger may not be as acute as was previously thought.

All of the global warming "research" has been based on the outcomes of various computer models. None of these are checked with archived data. They cannot hindcast - if you take historical data and feed it into these models, they will not output anything that matches reality. The output of these models do not agree with the measured data so it is the data that is continually being "adjusted"

Time to pull the plug on this scam before any more people get hurt with high fuel costs and stupid political decisions.

The whole thing is worth watching - this is what leadership looks like:

At 4:00:

It was in the same period, exactly 70 years ago, that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those three beautiful pillars -- they’re pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity.

The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As President Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, “Our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations. The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members.”

At 30:15: he starts talking about Cuba and Venezuela as a poster-boys for socialism:

That is why in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has stood against the corrupt and destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom. My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms.

We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse.

The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule.

The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch.

And at 33:22 he drops the bomb:

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.  (Applause.)  From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.  Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. 

Excellent speech - The White House has the full transcript here: Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Like I said, this is what leadership looks like. We could use a lot more of it in Washington.

Another great speech at the United Nations

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No transcript or video as yet but Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has the jist:

BOOM! Trump Slams Socialism At UN General Assembly — Faces Awkward Silence

President Donald Trump: The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. (long pause) From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venuzela, wherever socialism or communism has been adopted it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.

You could have heard a pin drop!

Delivering that kind of speech right in the heart of the most wretched hive of scum and villainy. Yesterday's speech was about reform and how the USA was contributing a disproportional amount of the UN's support. Maybe President Trump is eyeing the prime real estate that the United Nations building is currently occupying. After all, it would take eight years to pry them out of that location and to prepare a new site - in Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

Another day another dollar

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Woke up early as I have a meeting and needed to get a couple of things done first. Meeting is only five miles away so not a bad commute.

Surf for a bit, partake of some nutritional supplements and check email until I am ready to roll.

Overcast and sprinkling lightly but no appreciable accumulation through the night.

Time for YouTube

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Early day tomorrow so watching an hour of video and then upstairs to bed.

What happened in two words

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Michael Ramirez tells the whole story in two words:


Back home again

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Decided to run in to town today - got the paint for the coffee service counter. Had to go through a backup from an accident and the lines at Costco were unusually long so was about an hour late getting home again. Picked up some Chinese food so had that for dinner and will have it for leftovers tomorrow.

Early meeting tomorrow and I will want to have my serum caffeine levels appropriately elevated so planning to get up early - set the alarm.

Surf for a bit and then to bed...

Great speech at the United Nations

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President Trump addressed the UN Security Council and had this to say - from The White House:

Remarks by President Trump at the Reforming the United Nations: Management, Security, and Development Meeting
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.

I actually saw great potential right across the street, to be honest with you, and it was only for the reason that the United Nations was here that that turned out to be such a successful project.

And of course, this one line (refering to his Trump Tower) is what all of the mainstream media are leading with. Perfect trolling on his part and they rose to the occasion. Here is the rest of the speech - it is a short one so I am including it all. Notice what he said that is not being covered by the mainstream media:

So I want to thank you, Ambassador Haley, for your introduction and for your steadfast advocacy for American interests on the world stage.

On behalf of the co-host countries, I would like to also thank Secretary General Guterres for -- and you have been fantastic -- for joining us, and we affirm our commitment to the United Nations reform. And reform is what we're talking about.

I applaud the Secretary General for laying out a vision to reform the United Nations so that it better serves the people we all represent. We support your efforts to look across the entire system and to find ways the United Nations can better, and be better at development, management, peace, and security.

The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals. These include affirming the dignity and worth of the human person and striving for international peace. The United Nations has helped advance toward these goals in so many ways: feeding the hungry, providing disaster relief, and empowering women and girls in many societies all across the world.

Yet in recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement. While the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent, and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with this investment. But I know that under the Secretary General, that's changing and it’s changing fast. And we've seen it.

That's why we commend the Secretary General and his call for the United Nations to focus more on people and less on bureaucracy. We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world. In order to achieve this, the United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process.

To honor the people of our nations, we must ensure that no one and no member state shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden, and that's militarily or financially. We also ask that every peacekeeping mission have clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating success. They deserve to see the value in the United Nations, and it is our job to show it to them.

We encourage the Secretary General to fully use his authority to cut through the bureaucracy, reform outdated systems, and make firm decisions to advance the U.N.’s core mission. Further, we encourage all member states to look at ways to take bold stands at the United Nations with an eye toward changing business as usual and not being beholden to ways of the past which were not working.

Mr. Secretary General, the United States and the member states present today support this great reform vision. We pledge to be partners in your work, and I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just, and greater force for peace and harmony in the world.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary General. And I look forward to advancing these shared goals in the years to come, and it is a great honor to be with you today.

Thank you. (Applause.)

Emphases mine - the first two highlighted paragraphs were about cutting the bureaucracy and red-tape. Holding people accountable and rooting out corruption. The third paragraph was about how the United States was shouldering a much larger percentage of UN operating costs than any of the other member nations. President Trump is putting them on notice that this will be looked at very closely and we will be seeing what bang we get for our buck.

If they do not like it, they can always move to Geneva or Brussels. Or Venezuela.

Just topped 0.5" of rainfall

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Wonderful to have the rains come - the ground is so dry. I can hear the plants grinning.

Follow the money - Climate Change

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Not surprised at all - corruption everywhere. Sweet deals for those who are connected to the deep state. From the Miami Herald:

Plan to spend $1.5B in climate money includes union boost
California lawmakers gave a boost to a union looking to organize Tesla workers Friday as they approved a plan to spend $1.5 billion on environmental initiatives using money from the state's recently renewed program that charges polluters to emit greenhouse gases.

The spending is outlined in two bills now heading to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after they were approved on the last day of the legislative year, which wrapped up about 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

Much of the environmental money will go toward pay for incentives and rebates to promote a cleaner vehicle fleet, including passenger cars, commercial trucks and port equipment.

Up to $140 million is earmarked for rebates for people who buy clean vehicles, but that money comes with a catch. Under a provision requested by a labor union, state officials will have to certify that participating automakers are "fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers."

And this is just business as usual - circumventing the established rules and laws by the unions for their own benefit. Not for the benefit of their workers. This is about political power and not about better working conditions or higher wages.

The provision comes as the United Auto Workers pursues an increasingly acrimonious drive to unionize thousands of workers who assemble high-end Tesla electric vehicles at a plant in Fremont. It directs the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency to come up with criteria for certifying that an automaker treats its employees fairly and responsibly.

The Legislature shouldn't insert in a labor dispute that should be handled by the National Labor Relations Board, said Carl Guardino at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a business group that includes Tesla.

A number of lawmakers, including Democrats, agreed, arguing the last-minute language shouldn't have been added to the bill. Still, both bills easily passed.

"We shouldn't be holding our environmental projects hostage," Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer said.

Unions very much had their place in history. Back when people did not move from one city to another, there was always a captive pool of workers and if someone objected to their salary or working conditions, there were always 50 people lined up to take over their jobs. Business owners knew and exploited this. Now, people can move to where the jobs are and labor unions (which represent about 5% of the working force so they are a very vocal minority) are falling victim to the late Dr. Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

So unfortunately true...

Break and then back to work

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Came home to pick up some tools and get a bite to eat. Surf for a few minutes and then back to work.

Back to normal - sleep schedule

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Woke up reasonably early this morning - did go back to sleep for another hour but still, getting back to a normal sleep schedule.

Out for coffee, post office and spending the day working at the store.

Light posting tonight

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Been emailing T and surfing the internet - switching over to YouTube for the rest of the night. Want to get back to a 'normal' sleep schedule so an early bedtime for me.

Seattle meteorologist Cliff Mass analyzes the report from the National Weather Service and comes up with some wonderful news:

La Nina and This Winter's Weather
I am always nervous about predicting the character of the upcoming winter's weather for a number of reasons. Seasonal forecasting skill is not good, with our long-range numerical models having very little skill past three weeks. Furthermore, our main seasonal forecasting tool with any skill, the relationship between El Nino/La Nina and local weather, only explains some of the interannual (between years) variation. In addition, the state of the tropical Pacific (which determines whether we are in El Nino, La Nina or La Nada) often changes during the spring/summer.

Earlier in the year it appeared that we would have a neutral (or La Nada) winter, but recently the waters of the tropical Pacific have cooled and the National Weather Service has released a La Nina Watch (see below).

And the upshot:

 OK, what does all this imply for the Northwest winter?  Generally cooler and wetter than normal.  More snow than average in the mountains.

Music to my ears - although summer is the biggest season for the store with all the campers and hikers staying in the area for days at a time, the winter ski season is not too shabby. A lot of people just head up the mountain, hit the slopes and then hi-tail it back home afterwards but a lot of them hang out for a day or two in the area and there is a large influx of people who move here for the entire winter - the skiing is that good. Nice to have a good snowfall for them to enjoy - last year was wonderful and we had record sales to show for it.

Very good decision for the EPA

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Nice to see this being decided once and for all - from the Washington Examiner:

EPA evaluating 'red teams' to challenge climate science despite hurricanes
The Trump administration is looking to create a "red team" to challenge the accepted science on climate change and the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the Earth's temperature, but there is no timeline on when that exercise will occur even though it is "very important," according to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt.

The EPA administrator sat down with the Washington Examiner for an interview that included discussion of the proposed red team-blue team process that he says will open up a dialogue over the science behind global warming to see what is true and what is not.

"The red team-blue team is still being evaluated," Pruitt said. "I think it's very, very important. I think the American people deserve an open, honest dialogue about what do we know, what don't we know with respect to CO2 and its impact."

The Trump administration has been criticized in recent weeks by environmentalists and others for ignoring the effects of manmade global warming in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Although climate scientists are careful not to equate weather with global warming, they do say that the increased intensity of the storms is a result of a warmer planet.

But the Trump administration feels a need to test that. The red team/blue team process Pruitt wants to set up has been widely used by the military to test assumptions when it comes to an enemy's wartime capability. A red team would challenge the assumptions of the blue team.

Good news indeed - the science is NOT settled - those who say it is are putting forth a political narrative and not actual science. The use of Red Teams has an historical precedent and has been shown to be very effective - this is a perfect venue for a red team.

Back home for the day

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Got the top cut to size and glued up - work on it tomorrow once the glue has set up.

Started raining this afternoon - a light shower but promising to progress to a heavier rainfall later tonight. The earth is parched - this is truly manna from heaven.

Surf for a bit and then working on some projects at home - music room. Radio net later this evening.


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Kind of hard to glue up a top when you leave the glue at home. Helps to have the cordless driver there too :)

Just finished lunch and back to work!

Heading out for the day

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Slept in again this morning but not the 12-hour marathon I did yesterday. Needed the sleep!

Heading out for coffee and working at the store for a couple of hours. More spew later.

More smoke moved in yesterday - forecast to rain most of next week so that should help a lot.

And that is it for the night

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Heading over to the land of YouTube - try to be more productive tomorrow...

Some fun music videos

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From New Zealand artist Nigel John Stanford (website) Nigel also did this one from 2014 - Cymatics

Sincerest form of flattery

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From the New York Post's Page Six - a New York City celebrity site:

New York women are dropping thousands to look like Ivanka Trump
A New York plastic surgeon says that since the 2016 Republican primaries, he has seen a deluge of patients who want to look like Ivanka Trump.

Dr. Norman Rowe says that since last summer, up to 50 clients have asked him to give them the Ivanka look — which he describes as widened cheekbones, a slender nose and large eyes.

Dr. Rowe says that patients can spend between $30-40,000 to achieve the look with temporary fillers and Botox, or $45-50,000 for what he calls the “Permanent Ivanka” — a version achieved with cheek implants and rhinoplasty. “I never saw [anyone drawing inspiration from Ivanka’s face] before the primary,” said Rowe, “since the summer of ’16 . . . [it’s been] maybe four a month; one a week.”

And the number of people requesting a Chelsea Clinton makeover?

Wasting away in Margaritaville Maple Falls

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Got about 10% accomplished of what I had planned for today. Oh well. Back home after a run into Bellingham and dinner at a new restaurant that opened here. Burger was overcooked and dry - I will have to ask if the cook was smashing it because that is what comes to mind.

Back home now - surf for a bit, watch some YouTube videos and then to bed. Need to accomplish more tomorrow to compensate for my excessive slackage today. Heading down to Seattle Wednesday and had three projects I wanted to bust out before then.

Late start to the day

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Woke up and rolled right over again and went back to sleep.

The usual coffee, post office and working at store. Back home to work on stuff here.

Heh - quote of the day

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There is an Icelandic advice columnist who writes at the Reykjavík Grapevine - tonight, this was one of her comments (the question was about dating and manners):

What Icelandic guy took you on a date? I didn’t even know that was a thing Icelandic people did? I thought we just stayed over at each other’s houses until someone got pregnant?

Time to switch to wine

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Getting downright cool outside - got the furnace ticking over keeping thing at 70. Been re-configuring my Roku box adding some new channels and getting ready for the long winter nights. Tacos came out very well - comfortably stuffed.

Time to switch to YouTube and open a bottle of wine - slept in this morning but still feeling a bit tired. Spent some time working in the sun today and it was wonderful.

Done for the day - tacos for dinner

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Finished what I wanted to today so time to call it quits. Going to get out the pressure cooker and do some flank steak - put it in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes with a splash of water, cup of salsa, some dried onions, garlic and salt and pepper and it makes great shredded beef. Flank steak is tough if you don't cook it right but it is very flavorful. Pressure cooker works great and is fast.

Litehouse sells a wonderful freeze-dried garlic and onion and some herbs that reconstitute well and taste fresh.

Kudos to our local Fire Department

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From Firehouse:

WA Firefighters Perform Difficult Rope Rescue at Remote Waterfall
An injured hiker was rescued late Wednesday in a difficult rope rescue operation on a cliff face at remote Racehorse Falls, fire officials said.

"This was straight down, vertical," about 40 to 50 feet, said Chief Jerry DeBruin of Whatcom County Fire District 14.

DeBruin said the man, who was 20 to 30 years old, fell about halfway down and landed on a ledge, injuring his shoulder and possibly his chest.

Details about the victim's injuries were withheld because of medical privacy laws, but DeBruin said the man wasn't critically hurt. He was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Racehorse Falls is a 139-foot fan-type waterfall in a steep, narrow gorge carved by Racehorse Creek, according to the website Aaron's Waterfall World. The falls plunge in a series of steps to a deep pool.

The call to 911 was placed at 9:30PM so it was pitch dark for the rescue. The people out here are professionals - very happy to know that they are here for us. T and I were at a meeting in the District 14 firehall a few days ago.

Chilling - from the Toronto Sun:

Canada now investigates 'climate denial'
It’s like something out of George Orwell’s 1984.

Canada’s Competition Bureau, an arm’s length agency funded by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to the tune of almost $50 million annually, investigated three organizations accused of denying mainstream climate science for over a year, following a complaint from an environmental group.

A bit more - the complaint:

The complaint was filed by Ecojustice on behalf of six “prominent” Canadians, including former Ontario NDP leader and UN ambassador Stephen Lewis.

It accused three groups, Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute of making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

Political groups and well connected politicians - not a scientist in the bunch. A perfect example of what happens when a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation (abbreviated as Quango) gains political power and is able to influence governmental operations. These mokes are not elected, have zero accountability for their actions and have no real scientific basis for fact.  Yet, they are able to block and persecute three organizations that operate on a science-based/data-based manner.

Want to know how to fix what is wrong with government? Getting rid of these groups would be an excellent start.

Back home again - meat loaf for lunch

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Costco has been selling prepared dinners and their meat loaf is really good - not greasy at all. Did that for dinner last Wednesday and reheating a slice for lunch.

Working on a couple of projects at home - music room and radio room electronics bench.

Glorious day today

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Temps in the mid 60's and clear skies. Got down to 33.6°F last night so the clear cold mornings are on their way - this place gets some amazing Indian Summers. Favorite time of the year.

Especially nice as the kids are back in school so we do not get as many tourists and the cold weather kills off most of the flying insects so hiking the trails is wonderful. Clear skies, no tourons and especially no skeeters and black flies.

Heading out for the usual - coffee, post office and the store. Unloading some MDO at the store for the coffee service I am building this weekend.

And off to YouTube

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Done surfing for the night - heading over to YouTube. Working on a couple of projects at the store over the next few days. Picked up some stuff for that in town today. Now that school is in session, we do not get the volume of vacationers cruising through and this remains our "slow" season until the ski area opens up. We know this and budget for it - this is the time to do remodeling and other projects.

Signs and portents

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An interesting theory and easily verified - from SHTF Plan:

Do 40,000 Lightning Strikes Over Southern Cali Point To A Mega Quake On The Horizon?
A volatile storm has ignited a slew of 40,000 lightning strike in southwestern California. The strikes have hit Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties – all between September 10-11.

The electric storm was most active on Sunday with an amazing 5,000 lightning bolts in the area over a three-hour period. NWS Los Angeles took to Twitter to report the tremendous display. The intense storm brought plenty of lightning to the Golden state’s southern region, but almost no rain.  The greatest rain total of .44 inches at Sudden Peak on Sunday. By Monday morning, heavy showers, thunderstorms, and 35-mph winds were reported in eastern Los Angeles County.

But now conspiracy is swirling around this fascinating and unique electric storm.  Strange lights and electrons acting oddly seem to have been appearing either before or during major earthquakes –  like the recent 8.2 magnitude quake in Mexico. Could these lightning strikes be a sign that  California’s mega quake is on the horizon?

That would have been fun to see - I love a good lightning storm. We will seee what happens in the next week or so. Like I said, easy to verify.

What an idiot

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Kim Jong-Un just fired another missle  - passing over Japan. Time for him to be taken out. From the London Daily Mail:

North Korea launches ANOTHER missile over Japan in the Pacific as regime taunts the world - and this time Seoul swiftly retaliates with its own test
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis branded North Korea 'reckless' after they launched a missile over the Japan and - sending millions of people into Japan into a panic on Friday morning.

From Yahoo News/Agence France Presse:

'Missile launch, take cover': Japan's terrifying wake-up call
"Missile launch! Missile launch! A missile appears to have been launched from North Korea. Take cover in a building or underground."

To the accompaniment of blaring sirens and emergency phone alerts, that was the terrifying loudspeaker message that jolted millions of Japanese awake in the early hours as North Korea blasted its second missile over the country in less than a month.

I am surprised that we do not have a submarine stationed offshore to take down each missile as they are fired. Blast them out of the sky - render them impotent as a power.

Long day - back home

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Had one of the ham radio meetings tonight. This one is for the Emergency Communications group and we always do training for each meeting - tonight was digital communications for Search and Rescue activities. A lot of fun and always something new to learn.

Time to change into my jammies and open a bottle of wine - long day today so a short surf.

Even more on those Pakistani IT guys

From The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: DWS IT Guy Was Banned From House After Trying To Hide Secret Server
A secret server is behind law enforcement’s decision to ban a former IT aide to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from the House network.

Now-indicted former congressional IT aide Imran Awan allegedly routed data from numerous House Democrats to a secret server. Police grew suspicious and requested a copy of the server early this year, but they were provided with an elaborate falsified image designed to hide the massive violations. The falsified image is what ultimately triggered their ban from the House network Feb. 2, according to a senior House official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

The secret server was connected to the House Democratic Caucus, an organization chaired by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra. Police informed Becerra that the server was the subject of an investigation and requested a copy of it. Authorities considered the false image they received to be interference in a criminal investigation, the senior official said.

Data was also backed up to Dropbox in huge quantities, the official said. Congressional offices are prohibited from using Dropbox, so an unofficial account was used, meaning Awan could have still had access to the data even though he was banned from the congressional network.

Awan had access to all emails and office computer files of 45 members of Congress who are listed below. Fear among members that Awan could release embarrassing information if they cooperated with prosecutors could explain why the Democrats have refused to acknowledge the cybersecurity breach publicly or criticize the suspects.

Emphasis mine - this is a huge potential for bribery and espionage. That the government of Pakistan (and by default, Iran, Syria, etc...) would know the private communications of our congressmen is unreal. There should have been checks and balances. They should have seen the traffic going to DropBox's IP space. The 45 members of Congress are all of the Democrat persuasion.

Not just Seattle - from The Daily Caller:

At Least 11 Mayors Accused Of Child Sex-Related Crimes Since 2016
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned on Wednesday after a fifth man publicly accused the Democrat of molesting him as a child.

But Murray isn’t alone. At least 11 then-current and former mayors have been accused of child sex abuse-related crimes since 2016. The allegations range from child porn to physical abuse. The alleged victims were as young as four years old.

Stillwater, New York Mayor Rick Nelson resigned earlier this month after being arrested on child porn charges. Nelson has a decades-long history of alleged sexual misconduct involving teenagers and children. The child porn charges marked the fifth such accusation against Nelson, the Times Union reported, including allegations of rape and sodomy.

Disgusting. When you run for office, you need to be held to higher standards than the average citizen. You are their representative and if you can't control your urges, you have no right to govern other people.

Another day in paradise - coffee &c

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T is up for a few days - we went out for coffee and brought her around the store to meet some more of my employees.

Drove around for a bit and now home - BERT meeting later tonight. Meatloaf for dinner - that and a salad. Heading in to town tomorrow.

The Pakistani IT brothers

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An interesting development to the ongoing scandal - from Zero Hedge:

Rep. Franks Predicts Awans Will Get Immunity For "Significant, Disturbing Story" About Wasserman Schultz
Last week the Washington Examiner reported that Hina Alvi, the wife of Debbie Wasserman Schultz's now-infamous former IT staffer Imran Awan, had struck a deal with federal prosecutors to return to the U.S. where she currently faces charges of conspiracy and bank fraud.  The deal with prosecutors mandates a return to the U.S. during the "last week of September 2017" and is structured so that she will not be arrested in front of her children. 

Now, if you're the cynical type, then it might have struck you as somewhat odd that Alvi would agree to return from Pakistan, the place to which she successfully fled specifically to avoid the charges she now seems to be embracing.

But, at least according to Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) who appeared on Fox News recently, there may be more to Alvi's return than meets the eye as he predicts that the Awans could be working on a broader immunity deal with prosecutors in return for a "significant" and "pretty disturbing" story about Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

 As things start to get really interesting really fast... For more on the story, click here.

Good riddance - Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

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From The Seattle Times:

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday, just hours after new allegations that he sexually abused a younger cousin decades ago in New York.

Murray, a former Democratic state legislator elected mayor in 2013, said in a statement he is resigning effective 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business,” Murray said in a statement.

City Councilmember Bruce Harrell will be become mayor, and decide within five days whether to fill out the remainder of the term, the statement says.

The Seattle Times reported Tuesday morning on the allegations by Murray’s cousin, Joseph Dyer, 54, who has become the fifth man to publicly accuse Murray of sexual abuse.

So I guess that Mr. Dyer either has some incriminating goods or refused to be bought off. Needless to say, there are a lot of comments to this article - these two caught my eye:

What a disgusting human being.  Liar, sex offender and politician.  Doesn't get much lower than that!


I feel a little bit sorry for the homosexual movement. They hitched their wagon to this guy, and got burned for it. Murray has only reinforced the worst perceptions people have of homosexuals.

True that - the 3.8% are having their noses rubbed in it now.

Back home again - working at home

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T is coming up for a few days. Working at home on a couple of projects today so posting will be minimal.

Another day in paradise

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Woke up a bit early, rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour.

Heading out for coffee, post office and store - see what T's schedule is. Working on a couple of projects at the store this week plus have the usual second-week meetings.

Nothing much on the intarwebs

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Been surfing around the usual places but nothing catches my eye tonight except for this:


Yes, I realize that 20,000,000,000,000 is just another big scary number. I was just as worried when it was at 19 Trillion for so long.

To give you an indication of the size of this number. If you were given 20 Trillion dollars and you had to spend $10,000 every second of every day, it would take you 3,805 years to accomplish this. Government spending is out of control and this debt will simply be passed on to our children and grand children. They will be pissed at us and for every reason.

A curious development in the business world

If you hire someone to work for your business on a temporary basis, you give them an IRS Form 1099 at the end of their service with you. This is a record of how much they worked and what they were paid. It is then the responsibility of the temporary worker to pay their own withholding, L&I and taxes. This makes it very cheap for the employer as they do not have to deal with workers compensation, payroll taxes, FICA, FUTA, the whole alphabet salad but this is not intended for full-time workers - the rules are very explicit on this.

There is an interesting lawsuit going on now - a lot of the "gig" businesses like Uber and Lyft are treating all of their employees like independent contractors and giving them 1099's at the end of the year. From Yahoo:

What you missed at the GrubHub trial about 1099 independent contractors
In a windowless, 15th-floor courtroom in downtown San Francisco last week, GrubHub was defending its 1099 independent contractor employment model for its delivery drivers.

There's no verdict yet, and there probably won't be for at least another week. This trial, Lawson vs. GrubHub, is looking to determine whether or not plaintiff Raef Lawson, an ex-GrubHub driver, was misclassified as an independent contractor while delivering food for GrubHub.

Those who work as 1099 contractors can be their own bosses, meaning they can set their own schedules, and decide when, where and how much they want to work. Being a 1099 contractor can also be a solid, lucrative side-hustle because you could theoretically work for several companies at once. As noted in this trial, Lawson also delivered food for other gig economy startups, including Postmates. For employers, bringing on 1099 contractors means they can avoid paying taxes, overtime pay, benefits and workers' compensation.

Although Lawson only seeks a small, estimated sum of $586.56, the result of the trial could potentially affect the employment models of companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Caviar, DoorDash and many others. On day one, I noticed a member of Uber's employment counsel team watching closely, taking notes about the trial. That makes sense, given Uber has found itself as the defendant in similar lawsuits that have ultimately been settled before needing to go to trial.

Lawson's lawyer, Shannon Liss-Riordan, has spent a good chunk of time in this trial focusing on the amount of control she perceived GrubHub to have over Lawson during the time he delivered food for them. She's trying to prove that Lawson's employment met the conditions of the Borello test, which looks at circumstances like whether the work performed is part of the company’s regular business, the skill required, payment method and whether the work is done under supervision of a manager. The purpose of the test is to determine whether a worker is a 1099 contractor or a W-2 employee.

That is going to change a lot of these businesses - rides will not be as cheap as they are now. The Borello test is an interesting one - involved cucumber pickers but applicable to any business hiring temporary workers

Back home again - got stuff done!

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Spent a little bit more time in Bellingham than I wanted to but got everything done.

Unload the truck, fix dinner and surf for a bit...

Someone who used to be a long-time neighbor recently reconnnected with a past flame on Facebook and she moved to be with him in Florida a few weeks ago. Just got word that they are all safe and sound and only had one tree in their yard lose a limb. Power and Internet are back on again.

Off to Bellingham for the day

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Got the critters looked after; heading out for coffee, post office, store and then to town - back later this afternoon.

Sixteen years ago

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The muslim terrorists murdered a bunch of people and I had the shades pulled from my eyes - I started asking questions and found the truth. Progressivism is just another word for fascism or stateism. Top-down central control over what we do and think. Failed in Russia, failed in China, just look at Venezuela and it is failing here - when will people ever learn.

And that is it for me for tonight

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Had a nice dinner at Graham's and two pints of delicious cider.

Surf for a bit, send an email to T - she should be getting back to Seattle in the next few hours - and then head over to YouTube for an hour. Been taking care of her dog during this trip - really sweet little mix. Looks a lot like Grace from a distance but smaller. I told two people who asked that it was Grace and she had gotten outside in yesterday's rain and shrank before I could get her dried off.

Media bias - CBS and antifa

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The group promoting violence and calling themselves antifa (anti-fascist) are actually an outgrowth of the european pro-fascist groups of the 1920's which are still active today. In psychology, this is known as transferrence and is common. See also Big Lie.

CBS reported on a riot in Portland, Oregon but they were careful as to the identities of the rioters - these are screen-caps of twitters. Be sure to note the times. From CBS:

Violence erupts at anti-white nationalist rally in Portland
Violence broke out between opposing groups at an anti-white nationalist rally in Portland that left at least one police officer injured, CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reports.

Police made several arrests in the city's downtown area as two groups faced off over different views on white nationalism.

The Portland Police Department tweeted that marchers and residents should clear the area for their own safety, adding that officers reported protesters attacking photographers and that projectiles were thrown at officers. They said several arrests were made and at least one officer was injured.

And the tweets in question as reported by CBS:


And this earlier tweet from the Portland Police:


Note the time difference - this tweet is from 15 minutes earlier. Why didn't CBS use it and identify antifa as the originators of the violence?

Pure schadenfreude from The Washington Free Beacon:

Clinton Was So Confident of Victory She Bought Second Home in Chappaqua to Accommodate White House Staff

Portland - staying weird stupid

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Reading between the lines on this article from The Oregonian:

Portland police to halt, purge all gang designations
Portland police next month will end their more than 20-year-old practice of designating people as gang members or gang associates in response to strong community concerns about the labels that have disproportionately affected minorities.

So some activists in Portland are complaining that the majority of people involved in gang activities are people of color? They decry this so what does Portland do? Roll over, play the diversity card (All Hail Diversity!) and kill off one of the tools they have for policing illegal gang activity. The Oregonian also published the Police data:

People on gang list by race
Of the 359 people on the gang list, 18% are white, 81% are a racial or ethnic minority, and 64% are black. Unlike the U.S. Census, the list does not allow people to be multiple races, or to be both "white" and "Hispanic."

The police need to be able to do their jobs and protect the other 99% of Portland's citizens who want to live their lives in peace. The actions of a few a**holes are making it difficult for everyone.

From The Daily Caller:

Exclusive: Police Report Indicates Wasserman Schultz IT Aide Planted Computer For Investigators To Find
A laptop that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has frantically fought to keep prosecutors from examining may have been planted for police to find by her since-indicted staffer, Imran Awan, along with a letter to the U.S. Attorney.

U.S. Capitol Police found the laptop after midnight April 6, 2017, in a tiny room that formerly served as a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building, according to a Capitol Police report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. Alongside the laptop were a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. attorney. Police also found notes in a composition notebook marked “attorney-client privilege.”

The laptop had the username “RepDWS,” even though the Florida Democrat and former Democratic National Committee chairman previously said it was Awan’s computer and that she had never even seen it.

Much more at the site. Awan was arrested at the airport trying to leave the USA - he had $300K on his person. More here.

Dreamers - DACA and immigration - a quote

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Regarding DACA and the Dreamers - a notable person had this to say in 2014:

But we have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.

Any idea who? You can watch Ms. Clinton here at YouTube

Great short video - I love our language and find words and their origins to be fascinating:

Truck done - time to do the trailer

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Got the truck mucked out and all the hotel pans are either in the dishwasher or queued up and waiting. The trailer is just the equipment - PA speakers, generator, griddle, propane bottles and the two coolers. I donated the left-over hot dogs and hamburgers to the local food bank so there is no food to deal with, just a bunch of soft drinks which I will gradually consume.

Planning to head into Bellingham tomorrow for some hardware, banking, pharmacy and groceries. T is planning to come up Tuesday for a few days :)

Now this is interesting news

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From Israel National News:

Did a Saudi prince secretly visit Israel?
A member of the Saudi royal family visited Israel during a secret trip last week, despite his country’s refusal to recognize the Jewish state.

According to a report by the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, a senior member of the Saudi royal family held high-level talks with Israeli officials during a clandestine trip to the Jewish state.

“A prince from the Royal Court visited the country in secret over the past few days and discussed the idea of pushing regional peace forward with a number of senior Israeli officials,” the IBC reported, citing the Russian Sputnikmedia outlet.

Both Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries refused to comment on the report.

Stranger things have happened - encouraging news.

Tolerance - OK for me but not for thee

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Wonderful dystopian action by a farmer's market - from The Detroit News:

Jacques: Farmer gets boot for expressing his beliefs
When East Lansing officials told Steve Tennes he was no longer welcome to sell his apples and doughnuts at the city-run farmers market, he couldn’t believe it.

All it took to earn the government’s wrath was penning a social media post about his faith.

Last December, Tennes, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, wrote a Facebook post explaining his family’s Catholic views on marriage, and how their deeply held beliefs are why his farm won’t host same-sex weddings.

The city’s response — banning him from its farmers market — reminded the former Marine of the time he spent near the border of North Korea. Tennes could see into the country, and it impacted him how people there live their entire lives in fear of the government.

That’s how he felt when he got the letter from East Lansing.

“I felt it in my gut. This isn’t real,” Tennes recalls.“We have freedom of speech in this country.”

Tennes felt especially betrayed that he was being denied rights he fought to defend while serving his country. His wife Bridget is a former Army nurse.

This is a perfect example of how activism has skewed people's concept of reality. The 2010 Census long-form shows that a bit over 3% of the US population self-identifies as being gay or other (here and here). How do they get to dictate how the rest of us should act and run our businesses. We certainly need to show tolerance towards everyone regardless of their beliefs or practices but bending over backward to overcompensate for a population of less than 4% is just plain crazy. We need to start some activism campaigns for us normal people - we are certainly being discriminated against...

About those refugees - Syria

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One of my primary concerns is that nobody is vetting the people coming in. Also, if these are supposed to be families being displaced by strife, then why are 95% of these refugees males between 16 and 25 years old? From Russia Today:

11,000+ blank Syrian passports in the hands of ISIS – media citing secret docs
German authorities believe that Islamic State terrorists have stolen over 11,000 blank Syrian passports, confidential documents seen by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reportedly reveal.

German Investigators have made a list of the serial numbers of the blank passports, the newspaper reported, citing confidential documents of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the interior ministry and the country's federal police (BPOL).

Just wonderful - 11K+ terrorist sleepers coming into the USA and Europe - they come in, get on welfare and public housing and wait until they are activated to commit terrorist acts against their "oppressors" Someone needs to wake up and smell the cappuccino.

Another day in paradise

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Slept in late and worke up stiff as a board - moving all the cooking equipment yesterday.

Heading out for coffee and will spend the afternoon cleaning up the kitchen and emptying out the truck and trailer. Running loads of hotel pans and kitchenwares through the dishwasher. Fun day though!

Sweet little go-kit

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One of the things ham radio operators often do is to build a complete station into a portable box - this is called a go-kit and is essential in case of an emergency. I am building one of these but taking my time collecting ideas first - here is an excellent example:

Here is a nice presentation on emergency communications from the ARRL. Here is a much more complex example.

Well that was a bust

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No Prime Rib - it was the restaurant's first anniversary and they were "featuring" a very limited menu. Had a rib-eye steak that was not a rib-eye - excuse me but I do know my cuts of meat. I have some New York's here in the freezer - I think I will toss a couple into the sous vide cooker and have those. T is about half-way done with her trip and expected up here on Tuesday - I'll cook the steaks then as a celebration.

Tired so opening a bottle of wine and surfing some YouTube channels. Got pretty chilled today too so want to get a good night's sleep. Deal with the truck and trailer tomorrow.

Back home again - fed almost 100 meals

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About 60 burgers and 20+ hot dogs - I am tired and do not feel like cooking any more today. There is a local restaurant that does Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday so heading out for that in a few minutes.

More posting later tonight.

Cooking up a storm today - cooking up some dogs and burgers for the comunity in celebration of Crossroads Grocery's 10th anniversary. Should be a lot of fun!

T arrived in SF last night - meeting with her son and driving back home - looking forward to her being back here in a few days.

And that is it for the day

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Time to crack open a bottle of wine and head over to YouTube for an hour's entertainment. Made ten pounds of mac salad - I have been eating a reduced carbohydrate diet so this is the perfect thing for me to make. DOH! I'll slide a bit tomorrow and have a small portion. Came out really good - I make it Hawaiian style with some vinegar and add a little heat to it. The Cole Slaw is good too - I brine the cabbage for two days with salt, vinegar and water - this draws a lot of the moisture out of the cabbage so it is tender and soft but not mushy. I then use just mayonnaise and celery salt with a little rice-wine vinegar for the dressing. Comes out wonderful - the product of a year or two's evolution.

The forecast calls for showers after 11:00AM tomorrow so we will see what happens - bringing a couple pop-up tents and there is a small structure on the property already.

Interesting news from Breitbart:

Conservative Publisher Cuts Ties With New York Times, Claims Titles Pushed Down ‘Bestseller’ List
Regnery Publishing, the largest conservative publisher in the United States, has announced it will sever all ties with the New York Times, alleging the Left-wing paper biases its ‘bestseller’ list in favour of liberal titles.

The company — which published Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam’s recent Amazon bestseller No Go Zones‘ — has revealed how the Times‘s list, once believed to be the gold standard in publishing, is stacking the decks against conservative authors.

“As a conservative publisher, we believe that the Times’ list does not represent national sales of conservative books as accurately as other widely-published bestseller lists,” commented Marji Ross, President and Publisher of Regnery, in an official press release.

Regnery notes that No Go Zones, in which Raheem Kassam tours areas transformed out of all recognition by mass immigration and state-sponsored multiculturalism, should have had the 10th highest sales of the 15 books on the New York Times list for the week of September 3rd, 2017, according to Nielsen BookScan data — but does not feature at all.

They switched to Publisher's Weekly which uses actual sales numbers whereas the NYT uses "polls of selected booksellers"

How to win hearts and minds

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Great wakeup call from The Wall Street Journal:

Democrats Have the Green Party Blues
The political commentariat has unleashed a torrent of words since the 2016 election analyzing what befell the Democrats. Donald Trump won because of his TV fame; he tweeted his way into the White House; the Russians did it; etc.

Why not spend a few more words on the current demeanor of the Democratic Party? It was losing badly in elections at all levels as early as 2010, well before Mr. Trump came along. Despite its deeply flawed candidate, Hillary of the indiscreet emails, it won the popular vote for the presidency and therefore still has to be taken seriously.

Its members and backers, particularly at influential media organizations like the New York Times , the Washington Post and MSNBC, have been heaping abuse on the new president, suggesting Mr. Trump’s victory was illegitimate. When they hurl the words “fascist” and “plutocrat” wildly, their anger begins to sound pathological.

And they get to the point:

But recent history reveals something else that may help explain the Democratic Party’s problems. Whereas it became the party of labor in the late 1930s and then snatched the civil-rights banner out of Republican hands in the 1960s, of late it has veered in a direction that does not particularly suit the interests of either working people or people of color with ambitions to climb the economic ladder. It has become, in essence, America’s Green Party, eclipsing the tiny party that bears that name.

Underlying the Green philosophy is a distrust of economic growth. That’s what distinguishes Greens from garden-variety environmentalists who simply want a safe and clean environment, as everyone does. Although the Greens operate under the flag of environmentalism, they have greater ambitions. They are a modern manifestation of a back-to-nature movement, feeding on the guilt and anxiety that accompany scientific advance.

Greens adopted the Democratic Party precisely because it is the party of government. They see government power as the way to suppress the animal spirits of private enterprise that produce innovation and new wealth.

Under Green influence, Democratic lawmakers, when they controlled Congress, designated large tracts of the American West as new “wilderness areas.” They fostered the Endangered Species Act, which has been an effective barrier to industrial or agricultural development in more than a few states, often on specious claims of endangerment. They vastly expanded the amount of private property officially designated as “wetlands,” thus restricting its use. Other examples abound.

A lot more at the site - this commentary is very well written. The Democrats would do well to read this if they want to get their party back on track again. I do not hate them, I more pity them as they have been pushed around by every activist-driven minority interest group for the last 40 years. Their ideas are so good that they must be mandatory - NOT!

A shift in the market - beer

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Seems to be a bit of a shakeup in the beer market these days. My favorite Auction company is James G. Murphy and they have upcoming sales for one tavern and two breweries:


To top this off, our beer distributor says that lightly hopped beers are coming back into style - people are tired of the intense mega-hopping that some breweries try to compete on. I used to drink Arrogant Bastard but now prefer Coors.

Well crap - R.I.P. Dr. Jerry Pournelle

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From his son Alex posting on Jerry's website:

I’m afraid that Jerry passed away
We had a great time at DragonCon
He did not suffer.

Jerry was one of my favorite writers and he also originated The Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

So true.

Back home from town - busy two days

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Bought the food for tomorrows event. Now I have to finish making the cole slaw and make about ten pounds of Mac Salad - Hawaiian style

Unpack the truck and finish loading the trailer first.


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Was sitting here getting ready for the day when I started to hear rain falling. Wonderful! Hope that it will clear out the smoke from the wildfires.

Heading into Bellingham for a few hours - picking up stuff for tomorrow's 10th anniversary celebration.

Yet another big fat nothing-burger

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Trump Jr's meeting with the Russians before the election? Nothing. From Politico:

Notes from meeting with Russians said not to be damaging to Trump family
Notes from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on a meeting he attended last year with a Russian lobbyist and Donald Trump Jr. are not seen as damaging to the Trump family or campaign officials, according to government officials and others who have looked at the notes.

The Trump Tower meeting has come under scrutiny because Trump Jr. wrote in an email that he agreed to the encounter in order to find “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, and it has since become a focus for special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller has sought to interview White House officials about the fallout, and the Russian lobbyist has testified in front of a grand jury.

Mueller is looking more and more like the out-of-the-loop bozo that he is. He should just STFU and go home instead of burning through taxpayer dollars building this case against President Trump. What case? I don't know because everytime Mueller claims to have some "dirt", it turns out to be either a manufactured lie or a big fat nothing-burger like this revelation.

Fancy a game of Golf?

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The Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, WA just added a new hazard - wildfire. From their Facebook page:


From Rob Beschizza writing at BoingBoing:

I found the worst K-Cup coffee
After an exhaustive and uninterrupted search extending over many years, I have finally determined the worst K-Cup coffee. Target's Market Pantry Premium Roast ($15.98 for 48 pods) is about as cheap as Amazon's popular 30-cent K-Cup, but is far worse. It tastes nearly as good as own-brand instant coffee from British supermarkets. It's flavorless yet vile, catching in the throat like air from a house inhabited by forty cats.

Imagine, if you will, old espresso grounds resteeped in sweat and sweetened with flakes of seborrheic dermatitis. You have imagined something no less unpleasant than Market Pantry Premium Roast.

But no snarky turn of phrase or revolting comparison can do it justice. The more you know (or think you know) about coffee—and the more you despise the entire concept of these machines—you owe it to yourself to experience just how bad the K-Cup experience can get, a place whereof one cannot speak, an invitation to the true friend that will never betray, a silence steeped in medium-roast horror.

The mind reels at the thought. My taste-buds are jettisoning themselves off my tongue in sheer panic that I might actually buy one of these to try it out.

Ho. Li. Crap - look outside tonight

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Great chance of Aurora Borealis tonight - the Planetary K-index is 8. If it is six or over, we have a great chance of a display. Eight will guarantee it:


Of course, the skies are smoke-filled and salmon colored...

Back from town

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Had to run a couple of errands in town and also a Doctor's visit (nothing wrong and planning to keep it that way)

Picked up a Costco chicken for dinner. Picked up Grace today - she was with a friend for a few days. Introducing her to T's dog was a wee bit rocky initially but they have settled down a lot. Bear is now good friends with B.

Finish unpacking the truck and fixing dinner - will post in an hour or two...

And the day begins

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Heading out for coffee, post office and checking in at the store. Run in to town for a couple of errands and back later to start some cole-slaw for Saturday's pot-luck.

Taking care of T's dog while she is out of town - looking forward to introducing a city dog to horses and llamas and open spaces in which to run-run-run. Yes, I will be shooting some videos.

Another day in smoky paradise

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The sun is a salmon-colored patch of light in the sky. This is supposed to clear out shortly but it is not fun. I lay this at the feet of the environmentalists who demand that no trees be cut anywhere. Their stupid activism has caused a large build-up of fuel in the forests preventing what nature does naturally - an occasional fire sweeping through and burning all the weak and dead trees. The burned areas allow sunlight to come in and help the seedlings to grow. The ash is fertalizer and the heat makes trees release their seeds.

We could be doing much the same process with selective logging and reforesting but NOOOOOOOO!!! Here is a video of what we are talking about - brain-dead idiots. These people need to be mocked not revered. And the last science class that you passed was in what university high school grade school kindergarten:

And it is off to YouTube for the evening

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Surfed a bit but tired and heading in to town tomorrow.

Big event on Saturday - my store's 10th anniversary - so buying food for that. T is in California for a visit for a few days.

Sadly true - Hurricane Irma

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A little list - Logical Fallacies

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From Stephen Hicks - list compiled by Brian McGroarty:

McGroarty’s Logical Fallacies — fun list
Ad Hominem: This is the best logical fallacy, and if you disagree with me, well, you suck.

Appeal to False Authority: Your logical fallacies aren’t logical fallacies at all because Einstein said so. Einstein also said that this one is better.

Appeal to Emotion: See, my mom, she had to work three jobs on account of my dad leaving and refusing to support us, and me with my elephantitis and all, all our money went to doctor’s bills so I never was able to get proper schooling. So really, if you look deep down inside yourself, you’ll see that my fallacy here is the best.

Appeal to Fear: If you don’t accept Appeal to Fear as the greatest fallacy, then THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON. Do you want that on your conscience—that THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON because you were a pansy who didn’t really think that Appeal to Fear was worth voting for, and you wanted to vote for something else? Of course not, and neither would the people you let die because THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON.

Appeal to Force: If you don’t agree that Appeal to Force is the greatest logical fallacy, I will kick your ass.

And eighteen more at the site. More on actual logical fallacies at InfoGalactic - here and here

Hurricane Irma from the ISS

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Jaw-droppingly beautiful view of Hurricane Irma from the International Space Station. View in full screen. No audio.

I would not mind having that for my office window for a few months! Wonder if they have a geezers in space program?

Also, the founder of The Weather Channel is John Coleman - a professional meterologist and he is never one to mince words. He had this to say about Irma's projected path (from Watts Up With That):

Take a trip west and live. It you stay put your ssn on your arm with a sharpie.

Mic drop! It will be interesting to see how Sir Richard Branson fares - from CNN:

Richard Branson to ride out Hurricane Irma in wine cellar

Talk about a first-world problem...

Back home again

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Just got in from Seattle - very smokey weather. There was not as much smoke in Seattle but they had actual ash falling from the sky - looked like little snowflakes. Cars looked like they were sprinkled with tiny cornflakes.

Unpack the truck and will post later...

Follow the money - Al Gore

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A fascinating post by Leo Goldstein taking a look at Al Gore's influence in Silicon Valley and how SV has changed:

Has Al Gore Remade Silicon Valley in his Image?
The story of Silicon Valley’s embrace of climate alarmism and all things hard Left went from mystery to crime thriller.  In fact, Al Gore played an enormous role in Silicon Valley’s transformation from technological marvel into marketing/finance/software/censorship hub, animated by Leftist passion for destruction and deep-ecology anti-humanism, both amplified by artificial intelligence.

No, this is not because Al Gore invented the internet.  In fact, he has never said he did.  Al Gore made a much stronger statement: “I took the initiative in creating the Internet…” (1999 video). Inventing is only a small part in creating.  Thus, Al Gore pretended to be almost a Creator of the Internet.  Of course, it is not true.  But he has done a lot to remake the technological industries and the whole U.S. economy in his own image.

Al Gore has been involved in the tech since his vice presidency and after that. From Forbes, 2013:

“Along with cultivating Current [TV], Gore, 64, joined the board of Apple in 2003 and served as a senior adviser on green issues to Google beginning in 2001, three years before the company went public.   As of February, Gore, who is still an Apple director, held more than $35 million in stock and options in the Cupertino, Calif. technology firm.”

Al Gore made more than $30M on Apple options alone (1).  The eBay billionaire Jeffrey Skoll financed his 2006 movie The Inconvenient Truth.  But probably the most important among Al Gore’s connections to Silicon Valley was his role in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) venture capital firm, which he joined as a partner in 2007.  He probably is not active today, but his name still appears on KPCB website.  He probably retains interest in some of the KPCB investments, and is still liable to the investors as a general partner (VCs are not limited liability corporations).  Al Gore remained politically active after he lost 2000 elections.  He considered running for President in 2008 and participated in the launch of the notorious “Attorneys General for Clean Power” witch hunt in 2016.  His party comrades also remained in the federal and state governments, especially in California and Washington.  KPCB is a legendary venture capital firm.  Its investments include Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and countless other successful companies in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

I love that sentence in the first paragraph: 

In fact, Al Gore played an enormous role in Silicon Valley’s transformation from technological marvel into marketing/finance/software/censorship hub, animated by Leftist passion for destruction and deep-ecology anti-humanism, both amplified by artificial intelligence.

So true - it happened incrementally so most of us never noticed. The big breakthroughs are no longer happening, it is now patent trolling and crony capitalism - Silicon Valley has lost its mojo. It has become gentrified. The Overton Window at work.

I wonder where the next SV will spring up - Detroit or some place like it? Cheap real estate and a lot of intelligent people hanging around with nothing but ideas and a passion.

Heading out for coffee

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Coffee and then unload the truck while the morning is still relatively cool.

Taking care of a few things here and then heading down to Seattle to spend a few days with T. Bringing my laptop this time so posting will happen albeit sparse.

Finished dinner

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T and her daughter just left a few minutes ago heading down to Seattle. I will be following them tomorrow for a few days.

Fixed a tri-tip steak for dinner with some stir-fried veggies - broccoli, bok choy, bell pepper, green beans, some ginger and garlic with sesame oil. Came out really good.

Surf for a bit - had to wake up two hours earlier than I usually do so feeling a bit tired. Jar or two of wine and off to bed to sleep in tomorrow. Actually, heading right over to YouTube. Downright sleepy!

This is just wrong on so many levels - from the Washington Examiner:

John McCain slams Trump in Italy, recommits to America's role in world
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that America is still committed to traditional alliances and values, despite doubts that have emerged due to the "actions and statements of our president."

McCain said in remarks Saturday at the Ambrosetti Forum, a major economic and policy conference, that he realizes that he comes to Italy "at a time when many are questioning whether America is still committed to remaining engaged in the world, to upholding our traditional alliances and standing up for the values we share."

If the President wanted someone to opine on matters of State at a foreign conference like this, he would have sent someone from the State Department. This is what they do - not a Senator.

McCain is billed as a great hero because of his time as a prisoner of the Communist Vietnamese, little attention is paid to his role in the Forrestal disaster. He is not a great statesman, he is a petty vindictive little thug.

Yikes - wildfires to our South

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From Reuters:

Largest wildfire in Los Angeles history forces hundreds to evacuate
A wildfire on the northern edge of Los Angeles rapidly grew on Saturday into what the mayor called the largest blaze in the city’s history, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people and the closure of a major highway.

The 5,000-acre (2,023-hectare) La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.

Authorities warned of erratic winds that could force them to widen the evacuation zone, after the fire destroyed one house in Los Angeles on Saturday.

That close to houses - could be a real probelm if the wind shifts. Dry as a bone down there.

A good point

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From Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man:


Back home again

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Didn't start heating up until around 2:00PM or so so most of the day was very pleasent.

Show went well despite the guy who founded it not being there - his first year away from the event and the local Lions Club did a bang-up job organizing and running it. The scope of my work was much larger as I awarded the prizes as well as announcing the raffle. Kind of fun trying to read people's handwriting for names - botched a few but everyone was having a good time and we all laughed together.

T and her daughter were delayed in traffic but came in later in the afternoon - worked out well as they got a chance to see all the cars and watch me work. This is turning into a very wonderful relationship. We met in Seattle about 30 years ago, got to know each other pretty well and then lost touch when my ex and I moved up here. So glad that we reconnected at this stage in our lives.

More later tonight - they are coming over to the farm so I need to get rid of the most egregious clutter and prep for dinner - I am heading down to Seattle tomorrow afternoon for a few nights.

Heading out the door

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Car Show today. T is coming up with her daughter so it should be a fun day.

Forecast is for clear skies and hot temps so packing the cooler with lots of water. Back in ten hours or so.

The Moog Modular Synthesizer

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A great fifteen minute demonstration of Bob Moog's designs for a modular synthesizer. Video is from 2014 which was the 50th anniversary of his initial demonstration. A couple years ago, I picked up a unit from these people: The Moog patents have expired so these units are built using the same basic designs but with modern components so there is a lot less noise, a much larger dynamic range and zero tuning issues. You get the same incredible sonorities of the Moog design but with none of the drawbacks.

Packing the truck

I have done this event seven times before but still need to double-check that everything gets packed in. Chairs, cooler with lunch, table, microphone, console, etc...

Foreacast is for clear and hot weather. Bringing plenty of bottled water. Minimal surfing tonight.

Great news - from the Cleveland, Ohio FOX affiliate:

Cleveland police, EMS unions refuse to hold flag at game after Browns players kneel
There is new fallout from the fierce debate over Cleveland Browns players kneeling during the national anthem.

Cleveland safety forces have backed out of a plan to hold a large flag on the field for the opening game.

A dozen Browns players created a firestorm during a recent preseason game by not standing during the anthem. They created the largest demonstration in the NFL during the anthem since former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protest more than a year ago.

And two reactions to this little tantrum:

EMS union president Daniel Nemeth said it sounded great until a group of Browns players took a knee during the anthem.

"This hit home with me. I am a veteran, an 8-year veteran with the U.S. Marine Corp. So, to disrespect the flag by taking a knee is not something I was going to be a part of," Nemeth said.

We tracked down police union president Steve Loomis out of state at a police convention.

"I’m here at a national police convention, and soon as they hear that I'm from Cleveland, the first question is ‘What about those stinking Browns?'" Loomis said. "So if the ownership of the Browns and the league are going to allow that type of stuff to happen, and then come to us and say, ‘We want you to help us with the flag,’ that's hypocritical. We're not gonna participate.”

Good - let the adults act adult and the children demonstrate their childishness. It will be interesting to see the teams finances in six months - a lot of people are turned off by this kind of behavior. It is not edginess, it is just disrespectful.

Double standards - the US Government

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This is my surprised face again - from The Daily Caller:

Feds Quickly Release Trump Lawyer’s Emails To Liberal Group, Bury Dem Records For Years
A liberal news outlet waited just four months before a federal agency gave it more than 1,000 pages of a Republican’s emails, while conservative groups’ requests have been ignored for years, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

Much more at the site - sad to say that this is typical and not surprising.

Back home again

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Unpack the truck and drop some items off at the store. More in a bit...

Off for the day

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Quick run into Bellingham and then back home working on some projects.

Big car show tomorrow - should be fun. T is coming up for a visit.

January 2021

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