December 2018 Archives

Counting down the hours - New Years

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Just had a big firework go off fairly close to the house.

Looks like some of the neighbors might be up to some shenanigans - might have to stay up and watch...

Turns out that the shenanigan is also a little-known medieval instrument which requires considerable skill to master.

From the curious mind of Greig Johnson(his YouTube channel)

Great news from Korea

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From ABC News:

Koreas hold symbolic groundbreaking ceremony to link railroads across border
The two Koreas held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony in Kaesong, North Korea, on Wednesday to link the coutries' railroads across the border and modernize North Korea’s decades-old railway system.

A delegation of 100 South Korean government officials, lawmakers and senior citizens separated from their families during the Korean War traveled across the border by train.

North Korea’s head of the Committee for Unification, Ri Son Gwon, was joined by officials from China and Russia to witness the event, which included signing a wooden railroad tie and unveiling a new signboard that read “Seoul-Pyongyang.”

I love that they have a "Committee for Unification" - a few years ago, this would have been an impossibility.

Thanks President Trump...

Back on the island

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Was planning to continue up to Maple Falls but it is dark out and I got a couple things to do. Head up there after coffee tomorrow morning.

Out for a couple of pre-madhouse pints and then home for the evening.

Heading out for the day

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Out for coffee and then down to Seattle to meet up with T and then up to Maple Falls.

Zero plans for New Years Eve - I may go out to the North Fork for a pint (or two) of cider but not planning on being there at midnight. Just another calendar day.

RIP Nancy Roman

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From National Public Radio:

Nancy Grace Roman, 'Mother Of Hubble' Space Telescope, Has Died, At Age 93
When Nancy Grace Roman was a child, her favorite object to draw was the moon.

Her mother used to take her on walks under the nighttime sky and show her constellations, or point out the colorful swirls of the aurora. Roman loved to look up at the stars and imagine.

Eventually, her passion for stargazing blossomed into a career as a renowned astronomer. Roman was one of the first female executives at NASA, where she served as the agency's first chief of astronomy.

Known as the "Mother of Hubble," for her role in making the Hubble Space Telescope a reality, Roman worked at NASA for nearly two decades. She died on Dec. 25 at the age of 93.

Roman fought to earn her place in a field dominated by men, paving the path for future female scientists. She was born in Nashville, Tenn. in 1925 and organized an astronomy club in fifth grade. She attended high school in Baltimore, where she requested to take a second year of algebra instead of a fifth year of Latin.

A wonderful life.

Yesterday's accident

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Sad story from The Bellingham Herald:

Man fatally hit by 3 vehicles as he ran across Interstate 5
STANWOOD, WASH. A 35-year-old Snohomish County man was struck by three different vehicles as he ran across the southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

The Washington State Patrol said in a press release that Brian Cooper of Stanwood was struck by several vehicles when he ran across I-5 at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

It was not immediately know why he was in the road or if alcohol and/or drugs were involved.

What a horrible thing for the three drivers - this is something that will be in the forefront of their minds for the rest of their life.

And that is it for the night

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A few YouTubes and then to bed - long day tomorrow. Driving to Seattle to meet with T and then up to Maple Falls to begin another round of packing. Up there for a few days - check on the critters and Koshka the cat is going to give me a real talking to...

Only in California

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From NBC News:

Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II
California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown warned that America and the rest of the world are falling behind in the fight against climate change and likened the challenge to fighting the Nazis in World War II.

In an interview for Sunday's "Meet the Press," the outgoing governor called on President Donald Trump to take the lead in addressing the issue. "Instead of worrying about tariffs, I'd like to see the president and the Congress invest tens of billions in renewable energy, in more-efficient batteries, to get us off fossil fuel as quickly as we can," Brown said.

"I would point to the fact that it took Roosevelt many, many years to get America willing to go into World War II and fight the Nazis. Well, we have an enemy, though different, but perhaps, very much devastating in a similar way. And we've got to fight climate change. And the president's got to lead on that."

The joke is that Brown was born in 1938 and is old enough to have remembered the real horror of this war. He is using the sacrifice of our brave soldiers for a narrative about something that does not exist.

Back home again - long long day

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Whew. Took some time for a nice drive in the country. Went to Fir Island that had been suggested to me for videoing the Snow Geese. The angle is all wrong for the light that I want - Fir faces to the West and I want the setting sun at my back so I have to be looking East. Still, it is a gorgeous spot on a huge marine estuary with lots of other birds in abundance - raptors, ducks, etc... It was raining pretty hard when I was there so no photos.

Ran a couple of totes of stuff up to Bellingham for the tool sale next month. Decided to get a bite to eat on the road and was driving home when I ran into a bad traffic accident a couple miles before my exit. Took about 45 minutes to get through. Looks like there might have been a fatality as there was a form under a white blanket lying on the roadway. Nothing on the news services but they are probably waiting to notify next of kin.

Went out and had a couple pints at my local to decompress.  Back for a quick surf and then may be heading to Seattle tomorrow - or Maple Falls.

Out for coffee and stuff

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Heading out for coffee - probably spend tonight on the island but up to the farm tomorrow morning. Took a couple trips to the condo during the power outage but now it is time to pack more totes. Light at the end of the tunnel.

High tide in an hour - want to see what the wind does.

I know that sunset is only eight minutes later than on the Solstice but I was driving home last night around 5:30 and saw that we still had a bit of nautical twilight in the sky. Nice to see that the days are getting longer. There is hope.

Climate change - denying reality

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Way to go Chuck Todd - from Newsbusters:

Chuck Todd Bans 'Climate Deniers' from Climate Change Special
The Closing of the American Mind (Amazon / PDF file) was Allan Bloom's groundbreaking critique of "absolute understanding" in academia and the way that it undermines critical thinking. If Bloom were with us today, we could imagine him writing a sequel devoted to the way the climate change industry has sought to silence dissent.

Chuck Todd gave a stunning example of the phenomenon this morning in his introduction of a Meet the Press special edition on climate change. Todd quite literally announced that dissent would not be tolerated. Here was Todd:

"Just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do. We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause. Period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not."

Quick: someone check—are we still in the USA? Or did "democracy die in darkness" and certain positions are verboten from public speech?

And now that Todd has a taste for banning dissent from liberal orthodoxy, the possibilities are endless! Will next week bring us: "Welcome to a Meet the Press special edition on immigration. The matter is settled: open borders are good. Period. We're not giving time to wall advocates."

Note: Todd also managed to slip in a gratuitous shot at President Trump, declaring that it's "extraordinarily difficult" to focus on one topic "in this era of Trump." Sounds like an admission of Trump Derangement Syndrome to us.

Again - Anthropogenic Global Warming is a political scam and not a scientific "crisis". All of the numbers they quote come from computer models. All of the physical sensors, sattelites and actual measurements tell a completely different story. The original hockey stick graph was busted as being bad science ten years after it was publlished. The reason it was not busted sooner is that Dr. Mann refused to release his data and his computer model (illegal as his work was funded from our tax dollars).

All indications point to an extended cooling period of several hundred years - we need to be preparing for this, not blowing money on something that is not happening.

Yikes - Ebola in the US?

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From FOX News:

Nebraska medical facility says it's monitoring American possibly exposed to Ebola
An American who may have been exposed to the lethal disease Ebola while in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Nebraska to be monitored, the medical facility revealed Saturday.

The unidentified individual had been in the country offering medical assistance at the time exposure may have occurred, according to a news release from Nebraska Medicine.

At this point, the person has not demonstrated any symptoms of the virus, but he or she "will be monitored closely,” the facility said.

Ebola is incredibly contagious and people do not show symptoms for a while (average 8-10 days). All the other airplane passengers on the flight this person took. All the people going through the airport terminal. So many other people exposed. Ebola is the stuff of nightmares.

Waiting for the wind

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Got another wind storm due today - from

Small Craft Advisory for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

Now this will be interesting - my house faces due North so this will drive the water towards my bulkhead. High tide is in two hours - going to have the camera ready for sure.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Malware attack disrupts delivery of L.A. Times and Tribune papers across the U.S.
What first arose as a server outage was identified Saturday as a malware attack, which appears to have originated from outside the United States and hobbled computer systems and delayed weekend deliveries of the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers across the country.

Technology teams worked feverishly to quarantine the computer virus, but it spread through Tribune Publishing’s network and reinfected systems crucial to the news production and printing process. Multiple newspapers around the country were affected because they share a production platform.

Sharing a production platform - no firewall? Bad IT team. No Biscuit. A bit more:

By Saturday afternoon, the company suspected the cyberattack originated from outside the United States, but officials said it was too soon to say whether it was carried out by a foreign state or some other entity, said a source with knowledge of the situation.

“We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. The source would not detail what evidence led the company to believe the breach came from overseas.

Just a hacker living in Mom's basement I bet. Nothing targeted, just destruction. Fake News anyway, not like there is anything of import to read there.

Trump derangement syndrome - video

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Pure comedy gold:

And the next business related words out of that NPC's mouth will be: "Would you like fries with that" or at least until the burger place's boss runs into this video. Poor widdle snowflake.

And of course, from corporate (this is a screenshot as the Xhale Twitter account is not online):


This is just pure gold - James Mattis

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Excellent autopsy of General Mattis' tenure as Secretary of Defense from James Durso writing at The Hill:

The education of James Mattis
Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned after President Donald Trump told him he would keep his promise to remove all U.S. troops from Syria. Mattis shouldn’t have been surprised, as Trump campaigned on that promise, and in March said "We're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now." He then put a hold on $200 million of Syria recovery funds. In April, Trump gave the Pentagon another six months, and on Thursday, eight months later, he pulled the plug.


Trump was never comfortable with America’s too-little, too-late intervention in Syria, a place Washington is not convinced is very important; we are really just there out of habit. The desultory commitment of 2,000 troops is just big enough to get in trouble, and too small to make a strategic difference. If the Pentagon thinks the “light footprint” model that worked in Afghanistan will work in Syria, a crowded battlespace hosting epic ruined cities, displaced persons, regime fighters, resistance fighters, troops from America, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah, and a few other outfits on the DL, it is malpractice of the most serious sort.

Russia, Iran, and Turkey, on the other hand, are convinced Syria is vital so they are ready to do whatever it takes. Trump saw a third costly, endless entanglement staring us in the face and opted out. Like he said, “Let the other people take care of it now.”


It’s not clear why Mattis volunteered to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense — we’ll have to wait for the book deal and speaking tour to learn that — but he was ill-equipped to serve a President who arrived at the White House uninterested in being beholden to the ways of the national security bureaucracy, "…the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

Also brilliant:

Mattis spent much of his time telling whoever would listen that he was at the Pentagon to protect it from the Commander-in-Chief, which is pedestrian Washington, D.C. image management, at odds with the selfless, soldier-scholar image he cultivated. Mattis the man is not the Mattis of myth.

Slow-rolling the President’s desires — such as creating the Space Force or banning transgender troops from the military — forced Trump to do what Obama did: make the critical national defense decisions in the West Wing. Not to worry, though: if the Pentagon follows @realDonaldTrump they’ll learn about them soon enough.

Much more at the site - I am going to see if Mr. Durso writes anywhere else and follow him. Good intelligent analysis.
President Trump is different than the Washington elites - he does not think like them and this is a major advantage. He is also a lot smarter then them - something that they will not admit to. Classical Dunning–Kruger effect on their part.

Back home for the night

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Had a lot of errands to run so spent the day doing them - points North and points South.

Got a nice score at WinCo today - I have always really liked the 15 bean mix from Hurst's HamBeens but it is pretty pricey for a small bag 'o beans. A bit north of $3 for a 20Oz bag of dried beans and a packet of flavoring that I never use. Found that WinCo carries a 25 pound bag of 15 bean soup mix for about $30 - well under half price and now I can make as much or as little as I want.

Food coop, Harbor Freight, Home Depot, WalMart but I am now ready to roll out a couple of projects and have food for the week.

Nice burrito for dinner and then two pints at my local. Surf's up.

Punch back twice as hard - Egypt

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Great news of a police action in Egypt - from the Beeb:

Egypt police 'kill 40 militants' in raids after tourist bus blast
Police in Egypt have killed dozens of militants during security raids on their hideouts, the interior ministry has said.

The raids killed "40 terrorists" in Giza and North Sinai on Saturday morning, according to a statement from the ministry.

It said the militants were planning a series of attacks on tourist sites, churches and military personnel.

The raids followed Friday's roadside bomb attack on a tour bus in Giza.

No group has yet said it was behind the blast, which killed three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide, but Islamist militants have targeted tourists in Egypt in the past.

Good - make it painful for them to try any of this shit.

More guns, less crime - Brazil

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They are finally turning themselves around - from Reuters:

Brazil's president-elect plans decree allowing wider gun ownership
Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he plans to issue a decree allowing all Brazilians without criminal records to own firearms, welcome news to many core supporters who want him to loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws.

Throughout his campaign, Bolsonaro had pledged to dismantle Brazil’s current gun legislation, which presents various bureaucratic and legal obstacles for people seeking to purchase firearms. That message appealed to many Brazilians who want to use guns for self-defense amid sky-high levels of violent crime.

“By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records,” Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan. 1, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Wonderful news. The title of this post is taken from a book by John Lott (a PDF of the text can be found here: More Guns, Less Crime). Dr. Lott is an economist and does a very good survey of the actual numbers, not the media narrative. A very interesting read.

Local news

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Now this is interesting - from the local newspaper. They run articles about the history of the area:

10 YEARS AGO (2008)
More than 30 inches of snow had a near-crippling effect on Stanwood and Camano Island; the temperature dipped to 7 degrees. Businesses and schools closed.

Glad that I have a couple weeks of food and firewood laid in. This has happened before and it will happen again.

I love this woman - Sarah Sanders

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Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is amazing. Not afraid to speak her mind. I love this.

Spot on - Pelosi is only interested in Pelosi and power. Not the wishes of We The People.

The falling stock market - not ours

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The DOW has been tanking recently - this is a bear market and we need to suck it up and ride it out. These happen. Turns out that this is not just us - from the South China Morning Post:

Shanghai’s stock index ends 2018 as the world’s biggest loser as trade war, slowing Chinese economy weigh on confidence
Shanghai’s stock benchmark ended 2018 as the world’s worst market performer for a second year, falling 24.6 per cent over 12 months as an unprecedented trade war between China and the United States weighed on the Chinese economy and crimped corporate earnings.

The city’s key stock index closed the year at 2,493.90, while the benchmark on the smaller Shenzhen bourse fell 33.2 per cent during the period to 1,267.87. The combined capitalisation of the two exchanges fell by US$2.4 trillion to 43.3 trillion yuan (US$6.3 trillion) during the year, overtaken by Tokyo as Asia’s largest equity market.

Bear markets are just an adjustment and the only thing you can do is to ride it out.
Software developer John McAffee said it best a month ago:

YouTube here I come!!!

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That is all I found on the internet tonight. 

Peasant food - England

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In line with this, some of my favorite foods are what used to be slave food. Wholesome, cheap and flavorful.

Slaves were a valuable resource and they burned through a lot of calories doing their masters work every day. They needed to be fed cheaply and well.

Great news - USA and Brazil

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Brazil is looking at seriously getting tough on crime - including a license to kill criminals caught in the act.
Now this from Associated Press:

US seeks close ties with Brazil’s new leader
The Trump administration is seeking to cement close ties with Brazil’s incoming far-right leader with a visit to the country next week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo will lead the U.S. delegation to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration on New Year’s Day.

The State Department said Friday that Pompeo would discuss increasing U.S.-Brazil trade and investment, particularly in the technology, defense and agriculture sectors. It said Pompeo would also raise democracy concerns about Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as well as potential threats from China’s growing presence in Latin America.

Very cool - we do not have a really strong ally in South America - a couple "friends" but we give them huge amounts of foreign aid which just goes into the Swiss bank accounts of their elites. Brazil will set an example of what civilization can be like. Prosperity for all instead of cheap bread and circuses for the masses and palaces for the elites.

Would not mind visiting there in a couple of years.

Of course - our elites v/s our President

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From The Washington Free Beacon:

Nancy Pelosi Is Spending Shutdown at Hawaii Resort
Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi is spending the government shutdown at a luxury resort in Hawaii, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Pelosi, who has put blame squarely on President Donald Trump for the current government shutdown, was spotted Thursday vacationing in Hawaii at the Fairmont Orchid resort, where room accommodations range from $899-a-night for a standard room to $4,899-a-night for the presidential suite.


Trump canceled his Christmas trip to Florida and remained in the White House, saying on Christmas Eve that he was "waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal." The president left the White House on Christmas to travel to Iraq and meet with American troops stationed overseas.

Trump has been holding work meetings since Congress went into recess, including one with Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on how to fund the administration's border security plan.

President Trump is actually doing his job and putting in overtime.

And Maxine Waters? From The American Mirror:

Maxine Waters unamused as Trump float passes in Bahamas parade
Donald Trump is living rent-free in Maxine Waters head.

The California congresswoman took a break from demanding the President’s impeachment to sun herself in the Bahamas.

She took in the Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade, according to Twitter user Thomas Wayne, and she looked thoroughly unamused as a float featuring the likeness of Trump passed by.

Another slacker.

Our quiet sun - the BBC

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Just ran into this broadcast from January 17th, 2014 - the numbers are even worse today:

We have recently had a modern warm period starting from about 1970 to 2016 or so but the Sun is rapidly cooling and it is the Sun that drives our climate - not burning fossil fuels. From NASA's Space Weather website:


Oh. But wait. I forgot. The science is settled.

Oh Crap - from Island County Public Works:

Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM
Southerly winds of 20 - 35 mph
Gusts up to 45 - 55 mph

    • Winds may be strong enough to cause minor tree damage and produce local power outages.
    • Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

Again, really happy that I am on the North end of the island. When I was living in Seattle, I had two sailboats and got to know the weather patterns very well. A North wind is very much a rarity.

Back to the island

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A lot of driving. Met with T for lunch. Also stopped in at Seattle City Light to see if they had anything interesting in their salvage yard (they had a bunch of awesome Steelcase brand under counter computer keyboard trays (love these things - so ergonomic) but already have enough for my next couple of builds) and Woodcraft Supply where I picked up three pounds of nice hardwood for knife scales (handles).

Ran a couple of errands on the way back up and stopped for some spaghetti for dinner. Sleep in tomorrow. Up to MF later this weekend (Sunday?) for a few days.

Surf time...

And I am out the door

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Coffee, post office, breakfast and then down to Seattle for the day. Back to the island tonight and then to the farm for a couple of days. See how my freezer is doing after the five day power outage.

I have a mason jar with some frozen water and a quarter resting on the top of the ice. If the quarter is still on top of the ice, everything is good. If it is at the bottom of the jar, I lost temp and will need to go through everything. Hope it is OK - got some nice cuts of meat in there...

Chancellor Angela Merkel - communist

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She needs to just go away - from a speech she gave at the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Berlin (Google translate):

The heart of democracy
At the event "Parliamentarism in the Tension of Globalization and National Sovereignty", international parliamentarians discussed ways of resolving populism and the 2019 European elections.

Merkel explained that Germany had given up part of its sovereign rights to the European Union. "But the states are the masters of the treaties". This requires always the backing and the decision of the national parliament. The heart of democracy is parliament, Merkel said, referring to an earlier quotation from Prof. Dr. med. Norbert Lammert.

Trust and the willingness to compromise are important keys in this national and international tense relationship. Especially in the discussions about the United Nations Migration Pact, it became clear that fundamental issues would be called into question. It questioned the democratic legitimacy of the institution and its conventions, even if they were decided a long time ago by the national parliaments. She criticized that "there are people who believed that they could determine when these agreements would become invalid because they represent the people". She denied this nationalism. "The people are the people who live permanently in one country and not a group that defines them as a people," emphasized the Chancellor.

In other words, we Elites do not want you Normals to have a representative form of government. These "parliaments" such as the EU in Brussels are filled with un-elected goobers who are completely out of touch with reality. A government Of the People, By the People and For the People is too messy and doesn't represent what we think is best for you Normals.

A bit more:

In all national states as well as at European level, populism was identified by the participants as one of the key challenges.

Of course it is a challange - if the people got what they wanted, the elites would be out of power and living on the streets if not worse - hanging from a lamp post. They have their power and they want to keep it.

Now if you will excuse me for a little bit, I need to wipe a small amount of vomit off my keyboard...

Yikes - national 911 outage

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From the Seattle FOX News affiliate Q13:

CenturyLink outage impacting western Washington 911 services
A nationwide CenturyLink outage is affecting emergency call services for some people in western Washington. The outage began Thursday and continued into Friday.

CenturyLink's network was "still experiencing a disruption," but the telecommunications company was working to restore services, Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink said in a statement.

The company said Thursday night the problem involved a "network element" that was affecting services but didn't provide further details.

The outages reported Thursday afternoon stretched from New York to California and even temporarily shut down phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and knocked out 911 emergency call services in parts of western Washington state.

Yikes - that network is supposed to be bulletproof. There are phone numbers for the local 911 centers - the emergency responders have these - but most people do not have the local police or fire phone numbers so it will be a scramble if they suffer an emergency need.

Here are the dispatch numbers for WA State - you might want to jot down the one relevant to you and post it on your fridge for future problems:

    • Chelan/Douglas Dispatch: 509-663-9911
    • Clallam County Dispatch: 360-417-2259
    • Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound: 206-217-6001
    • Enumclaw Police Dispatch: 360-825-3505
    • Island County Dispatch: 360-678-6116
    • Jefferson County Dispatch: 360-385-3831
    • King County Sheriff Dispatch: 206-296-3311
    • Kitsap County Dispatch: 360-308-5400
    • Kittitas County Dispatch: 509-925-8534
    • Lewis County Dispatch: 360-740-1105
    • Mason County Dispatch: 360-426-4441
    • Norcom (Eastside): 425-452-2054
    • Pierce County 911: 253-798-4721
    • Fire and EMS: 253-588-5217
    • Puyallup Police: 253-798-4722
    • Redmond Police Dispatch: 425-556-7500
    • Seattle Fire Dispatch: 206-386-1495
    • Seattle Police Dispatch: 206-684-8640
    • SnoCom (Snohomish): 425-407-3911
    • Tacoma Police Dispatch: 253-591-5953
    • Thurston County Dispatch: 360-704-2749
    • Whatcom County Sheriff Dispatch: 360-676-6911
    • Whatcom/Bellingham Fire Dispatch: 360-676-6814
    • Yakima County Fire Dispatch: 509-248-2103
    • Yakima County Sheriff Dispatch: 509-574-2500

And nothing

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Surfed for a bit, printed out some stuff for tomorrow and heading over to YouTube for an hour before bedtime. Glass or two of red wine (of course).

And I am back

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Driving down to Seattle tomorrow for a meeting with T so getting an early start.

Surf for a bit, some YouTube and that will be it for my evening.

I will have to make that bacon/bean soup again soon - it was really delicious.

Back home - major recycling dump.

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A lot of old paperwork destined to be chopped up and made into cardboard.

Heat up some of the bacon/bean soup. Make a salad and nuke a frozen dinner roll and that will be my meal.

Head out after for a couple of pints so more in a few hours.

Doing business in California

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Doesn't matter what you are trying to sell. From the Los Angeles Times:

One year of legal pot sales and California doesn’t have the bustling industry it expected. Here’s why
When Californians voted in 2016 to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, advocates of the move envisioned thousands of pot shops and cannabis farms obtaining state licenses, making the drug easily available to all adults within a short drive.

But as the first year of licensed sales comes to a close, California’s legal market hasn’t performed as state officials and the cannabis industry had hoped. Retailers and growers say they’ve been stunted by complex regulations, high taxes and decisions by most cities to ban cannabis shops. At the same time, many residents are going to city halls and courts to fight pot businesses they see as nuisances, and police chiefs are raising concerns about crime triggered by the marijuana trade.

Emphasis mine. Complex regulations? High taxes? California? What did you expect.

From the conservative newspaper The Washington Free Beacon:

2018 Man of the Year: Michael Avenatti
Getting former fraternity wunderkind Brett "Keg Stand" Kavanaugh confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court was one of President Donald Trump's most laudable achievements in 2018. It might not have happened if not for the tireless renegade lawyering of Michael Avenatti.

The hair-challenged racing enthusiast burst onto the political scene as the "creepy porn lawyer" representing adult film star and former Trump mistress Stormy Daniels, and quickly earned a reputation as a street fighter who never backed down from a challenge, or an invitation to appear on television.

Avenatti's pugnacious Tweets, peppered with spurious allegations and his signature #Basta hashtag, convinced many that he was ideally suited to challenge Trump in 2020, because in Avenatti's own words: "Only a street fighter has a chance at displacing the ‘King.'"

His chiseled facade and bad-boy persona earned him the nickname "Hottie Avenatti," and moistened the undergarments of Democratic voters pining for a presidential candidate who makes them "horny." He was instantly considered a frontrunner to win the nomination. "I wouldn't not f*** him," one Democratic activist told VICE News.

Avenatti's political prospects have diminished significantly of late, most recently due to a domestic violence arrest and an ill-advised defamation case against the president that may end up forcing Stormy Daniels to pay Trump's $300,000 legal bill. (The porn star says she never even asked Avenatti to file the suit.)

The lawyer's conduct during the Kavanaugh confirmation process certainly didn't help his cause. When the judge's confirmation appeared in peril due to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the litigious hunk could not contain his lust for attention, and brought forth a series of outlandish, unsubstantiated sexual allegations from dubious accusers, eventually getting himself and his "clients" referred to the Justice Department for making false claims in sworn statements. With the waters sufficiently muddied by Avenatti's hysterical drivel, "Keg Stand" stood tall, and claimed his seat on the high court. Trump's stellar judicial legacy remained intact.

Avenatti's shenanigans drew condemnation from Democrats, including potential 2020 candidates such as Bob O'Rourke and Eric Holder. But a grateful nation thanks you, Mr. Avenatti, for your selfless contributions to the cause of right-wing jurisprudence, and offers its best wishes as you navigate the many legal challenges ahead. For helping ensure Brett Kavanaugh's ascension to the Supreme Court, Michael Avenatti is hereby named a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year!

Avenatti is the gift that keeps on giving...

Any childs death is tragic but it is even worse when the father refuses medical treatment - from The Daily Calller:

The father of the Guatemalan child who died Christmas Eve denied further medical treatment from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents after the child vomited following an initial examination from doctors, a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on a call to reporters Wednesday.

Government officials provided further details, including the startling disclosure of the father’s behavior, regarding the timeline of the child’s deteriorating condition.

What kind of monster brings an 8-year-old child on a greuling 1,000+ mile hike.

Seattle's homeless problem - some numbers

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From the always excellent City Journal:

Seattle Under Siege
Seattle is under siege. Over the past five years, the Emerald City has seen an explosion of homelessness, crime, and addiction. In its 2017 point-in-time count of the homeless, King County social-services agency All Home found 11,643 people sleeping in tents, cars, and emergency shelters. Property crime has risen to a rate two and a half times higher than Los Angeles’s and four times higher than New York City’s. Cleanup crews pick up tens of thousands of dirty needles from city streets and parks every year.

At the same time, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle metro area spends more than $1 billion fighting homelessness every year. That’s nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County, yet the crisis seems only to have deepened, with more addiction, more crime, and more tent encampments in residential neighborhoods. By any measure, the city’s efforts are not working.

Over the past year, I’ve spent time at city council meetings, political rallies, homeless encampments, and rehabilitation facilities, trying to understand how the government can spend so much money with so little effect. While most of the debate has focused on tactical policy questions (Build more shelters? Open supervised injection sites?), the real battle isn’t being waged in the tents, under the bridges, or in the corridors of City Hall but in the realm of ideas, where, for now, four ideological power centers frame Seattle’s homelessness debate. I’ll identify them as the socialists, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists. Together, they have dominated the local policy discussion, diverted hundreds of millions of dollars toward favored projects, and converted many well-intentioned voters to the politics of unlimited compassion. If we want to break through the failed status quo on homelessness in places like Seattle—and in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, too—we must first map the ideological battlefield, identify the flaws in our current policies, and rethink our assumptions.

A long read but an excellent one. He cites the homeless-industrial complex - that is where most of your taxpayer money is going:

With more than $1 billion spent on homelessness in Seattle every year, one should keep in mind Vladimir Lenin’s famous question: Who stands to gain? In the world of Seattle homelessness, the big “winners” are social-services providers like the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE), the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which constitute what I call the city’s homeless-industrial complex. For the executive leadership of these organizations, homelessness is a lucrative business. In the most recent federal filings, the executive director of LIHI, Sharon Lee, earned $187,209 in annual compensation, putting her in the top 3 percent of income earners nationwide. In my estimation, the executive director of DESC, Daniel Malone, has received at least $2 million in total compensation during his extended career in the misery business.

Like I said, an excellent read.

Well that was easy - permitting

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Looks like no problem for the permit for the work on the house. The Island county guy was a lot easier to deal with than the Whatcom or King county permitting offices. None of the obstructionism and shake-down that I found with the other two counties (King is by far the worst - even for very simple stuff).

Puttering in the garage for a while - stopping at the mailbox and doing a dump/recycling run sometime after 3:00PM - that is when the mailboxes are guaranteed to be serviced.

Last of the bean/bacon soup for dinner tonight - that stuff came out well.

And I am out for coffee

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Car is warmed up, dogs ready to roll. Back here to meet with someone regarding leveling the foundation of the house.

Starting to do the paperwork for my General Contractors license. Fun stuff and will make things a lot easier for the permitting and bidding process.

Cloward-Piven at work

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In 1966, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven came up with this strategy to take over a section of the government without due process. The progressives are trying this now with immigration. From Breitbart:

‘Open Borders’ Advocates Are Pushing Immigration System to ‘Breaking Point,’ Says DHS
Following the death of a second migrant child in federal immigration custody in the past month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says systems for dealing with border security and migrants are being pushed to the “breaking point.”

“Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a written statement. “Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north. This crisis is exacerbated by the increase in persons who are entering our custody suffering from severe respiratory illnesses or exhibit some other illness upon apprehension.”

From InfoGalactic:

Cloward–Piven strategy
The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty".

Cloward and Piven were both professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The strategy was formulated in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine The Nation titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty".

The two stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party. There would also be side consequences of this strategy, according to Cloward and Piven. These would include: easing the plight of the poor in the short-term (through their participation in the welfare system); shoring up support for the national Democratic Party-then splintered by pluralistic interests (through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national "solution" to poverty); and relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national "solution" to poverty).

Much more at the InfoGalactic website - this is pure evil. Cultural Marxism at its most essential form.

Shows you how relevant they are

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And I am off

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Time for YouTube. Meeting with some people tomorrow at 12:30 so up early to get coffee and check the mail.

Spending tomorrow doing paperwork and then Friday down to Seattle for a meet with T

First they gripe that Trump didn't spend time with the troops. Oops - he and FLOTUS flew to Iraq.

Now they are griping about Melania's footware - from Yahoo News:

Melania Trump gets mocked for wearing Timberland boots while visiting the troops
Melania Trump made a surprise trip to Iraq on Wednesday with her husband President Donald Trump to meet with American troops stationed at Al Asad Air Base.

For the visit, which was unscheduled, Melania broke first lady precedent by traveling to an active combat zone. To take selfies with soldiers and speak military members, FLOTUS wore a suede mustard belted blouse with dark green pants.

It’s Melania’s shoe choice that really stood out though. The Timberland boots are being called an “out of touch” style selection by some on Twitter.

Theater of the absurd.

From the Chicago ABC affiliate:

Alcohol, coffee could be key to living longer, study finds
People who drink moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee and are overweight in their 70s live longer lives, according to researchers at UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders.

The researchers started a study in 2003 to look at what makes people live past 90.

They say participants in their study who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained from either drink.

In addition, people who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than people who were normal or underweight in their 70s.

The study group's website is here: The 90+ Study

I knew it was bad - did not realize just how bad, how much of our money is being spent. From 100%FedUp:


Much more at the site - they break the numbers down very well. This is unreal. This is what happens when low-information voters get their way. All about the narrative...

That is $355 per U.S. Citizen being spent on people who are here illegally with no language, no skills and no desire to acquire either.


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Got an email from the library that my copy of the new Clive Cussler book is finally in (there were something like 50 people ahead of me). Heading out to pick it up and get a bite to eat. More in a couple of hours.

Great news - nuclear energy

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When they say fleet, they are talking about the installed base of commercial power plants, not ships.
From The Daily Caller:

Congress passed bipartisan legislation that aims to streamline the regulatory process for commercial nuclear plants, bringing relief to an industry that has witnessed decline and uncertainty.

The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act was approved in the House of Representatives by wide margins Friday, clearing the chamber by 361 to 10. The Senate had already approved the bill on Thursday by a voice vote.

Introduced by Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso and co-sponsored by a number of Republicans and Democrats alike, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act calls for a number of reforms that would unburden the industry. The legislation streamlines how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates facilities by improving licensing procedures and giving licensees more transparency on how the agency spends its money. Additionally, it encourages investment in nuclear research and supports the development new technology in labs around the country.

The end goal of the bill is to make the development and commercialization of nuclear technology more affordable.

Hopefully, there are provisions for modernizing the design and exploring liquid salt reactors - specifically Thorium. Thorium is about as common as Lead in our earth - very common. Uranium is about as common as Platinum - very rare and expensive. These reactors are walk-away safe - they can not melt down.

FAKE NEWS - Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner

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Ms. Perlmutter-Gumbiner needs to check her facts more carefully - from her article at NBC News:

Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmastime
On Christmas Day, President Donald Trump took part in a long-running practice of presidents who called troops stationed around the country and the world.

But he broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors. He did so in 2017, when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 21 (and invited Coast Guard service members to play golf at his course in West Palm Beach, Florida).

By staying home on Tuesday, Trump became the first president since 2002 who didn't visit military personnel around Christmastime.

From President Trump's twitter account:

That is about as much FAKE NEWS as you can get.

Santa's Elves - Costco

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Santa's elves must have been busy. I was at Costco on the 24th to get the apple pie for that night's dinner. They were closed Christmas day and I went there today to get dog food and gasoline. All of the Christmas decorations were gone, lights, presents, decorations, etc... Vanished into thin air. This was a major reset - they were very busy yesterday.

I did another trip to Maple Falls to check the power (still out) and get the last of the totes to the condo. Planning to head up this weekend (Sunday?) for a couple of days of more packing.

Don - Day Five

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Go and read - he is hitting his stride. Don Surber:

On the fifth day of Shutdown true love sent to me:
Five Gloating Libs!

Much more at the site...

Chuck "the schmuck" Schumer - a two-fer

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The guy went into politics straight out of law school. He has never worked a real job in his entire life.

First, from The Washington Times:

Push to rename Senate office building for McCain fizzles: 'We are left with a monument to bigotry'
Richard Russell survived another scare.

The segregationist Democrat’s name continues to adorn the Senate’s oldest office building, despite promises by top senators that this would be the year they finally erased it and replaced it with the name of their newly departed colleague Sen. John McCain.

“Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on Twitter just after McCain’s office announced his death.

Four months later, the resolution was never introduced.

Mr. Schumer’s spokesman clammed up when asked what happened.

And this from American Thinker:

Cash-rich Schumer gets caught exploiting the interns
Has anyone been louder in advocating for a higher minimum wage than New York's Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer?

He's bellowed that minimum wages should be raised to at least $12 an hour, attempting to shame Republicans for opposing him, by calling it, (kid you not), "a moral issue," as he put it. He's pretty much defined the Democratic Party in the minds of voters by his hammerings on the minimum wage. Then he went and put out an ad calling for unpaid interns. According to the New York Post:

WASHINGTON – Sen. Schumer listed job openings for unpaid interns — but said the posting was “made in error” after Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized members of Congress for seeking free labor.

Talk about exploitation.

It is exploitation, as it deprives anyone who's not independently wealthy of the opportunity to serve in the Senate. For free unpaid interns under Schumer, they labor, and he gets the end product of it for nothing, presumably in exchange for a good job recommendation to work for money from someone else. Such a guy.

Of course, the minimum wage does not affect the employers, they will pass this new cost on to us the consumers in the form of higher prices. Comes out of our pockets. What an odious little man.

From Agence France Presse:

Frenchman sets sail across Atlantic - in a barrel
A 71-year-old Frenchman set sail across the Atlantic on Wednesday in a barrel-shaped orange capsule, hoping to reach the Caribbean within three months thanks to ocean currents alone.

"The weather is great -- I've got a swell of one metre and I'm moving at two or three kilometres an hour," Jean-Jacques Savin told AFP by telephone after setting off from El Hierro in Spain's Canary Islands.

"For the time being my capsule is behaving very, very well and I've got favourable winds forecast until Sunday."

Savin had worked on his vessel for months in the small shipyard of Ares on France's southwest coast.

Measuring three metres (10 feet) long and 2.10 metres across, it is made from resin-coated plywood, heavily reinforced to resist waves and potential attacks by orca whales.

Inside the capsule, which weighs 450 kilograms (990 pounds) when empty, is a six-square-metre living space which includes a kitchen, sleeping bunk and storage.

A porthole in the floor allows Savin to look at passing fish.

A former military parachutist who served in Africa, Savin has also worked as a pilot and a national park ranger.

He has stowed away a block of foie gras and a bottle of Sauternes white wine for New Year's Eve, along with a bottle of red Saint-Emilion for his 72nd birthday on January 14.

Savin hopes currents will carry him naturally to the Caribbean without the need for a sail or oars -- "maybe Barbados, although I'd really like it to be a French island like Martinique or Guadaloupe," he quipped.

"That would be easier for the paperwork and for bringing the barrel back."

Cannot find a website for Mr. Savin's trip - the photo in the AFP article looks like a really solid if tippy craft so he should be just fine. Nice to take a couple of months off from the day to day humdrum...

The place was crowded

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Only decent bar open tonight so it was packed. Ran into two people I knew - one of whom used to live near Maple Falls about six years ago so it was quite the surprise.

Nothing on the internet so heading off to YouTube and then bed. Dump and recycling run tomorrow. Still have a bunch of paperwork to deal with. Forecast for rain so a good day to hunker down at home.

And I am off

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Soup came out wonderful - comfortably stuffed and ready for a pint or two.

Back in a few hours.

Great election bumper sticker

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Saw in the store parking lot today:

Our Only Hope


Done by Remy at ReasonTV - more at the YouTube site (be sure to click the SHOW MORE link)

Well that was a bust - light

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Perfect time of day to go film some snow geese and the light is not cooperating. Very diffuse and cold.

I want a very direct, low angle, buttery-warm sunset light. It was very promising this morning - perfect conditions but the clouds moved in. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow - Oh well...

Fixing Ham and Bean soup for tonight but using bacon (from Del Fox meats) instead. Love my Instant Pot - I use saute mode to cook the bacon and then soften the onions in the rendered bacon fat (wonderful flavor). Add the dry beans and stock and hit the pressure cook button for 30 minutes. From dry bean to perfectly cooked in the blink of an eye.

One of my favorite locals is open tonight so swing by there for a couple pints after dinner.

And that is it for now

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Out for coffee, back home and sort paperwork. Do some laundry and then check the light around 2:30 or so. Wild Goose Chase and then some dinner at home.

Meeting with someone on Thursday the 27th and then Seattle for a day on Friday the 28th so will not get to the farm this week. Heading up there over the weekend for a couple of days - need to get moving on the packing.

For those into H. P. Lovecraft

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A Christmas song:

More at the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society

Wonderful night

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Had a great time and stayed up way too late.

Was talking to some people about my wild goose chases and was told that I was about 15 miles too far inland. The sky looks good this morning and if I get decent lighting, I will head over to Fir Island

Don is hitting his stride

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From Don Surber:

Day 4 of no government
The effects of the government shutdown have gone from bad to worse. Last night was eerily silent. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Just go and read the whole thing - Don is having way too much fun with this.

And one more before I go - Don Surber

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Don is a retired journalist living in West Virginia. He has been chronicling the recent government shutdown.
Here is today's post in full:

Day 3 of no government
The anarchy continues on the third day of no government. The stores were crowded today with panicked shoppers desperately buying anything they can like southerners buying milk, bread and eggs ahead of a blizzard. They fight snow with French toast in Dixie.

Alas, the government shutdown has emptied the shelves of dolls, video games, and ornaments.

It's like Venezuela without the people resorting to selling their hair, their blood, and sex in order to survive.

But that is the next step, isn't it? Just think of all those obese children starving without food stamps.

The shutdown is turning men gay, just like climate change is doing to frogs in Minnesota. I cannot tell you how many fine, upstanding married men -- pillars of Poca, West Virginia, society -- I saw buying women's lingerie at Wal Mart today.

They even have a song encouraging this behavior. It said a something about "don we now our gay apparel."

Curse you, Donald Trump.

Fortunately, some rogue government workers are defying the shutdown and are obviously not being paid. My hat is off to the Putnam County sheriff's department and the State Police. They are keeping us from falling into the abyss of anarchy.

Elsewhere, things are not so nice.

In Chicago, people are so frustrated by the government shutdown that they have resorted to violence with two people killed and 23 wounded so far.

The shutdown is forcing us to flee Syria and Afghanistan, leaving it to the Gulf States to fight terrorism in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Finally, the government shutdown is killing people. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remains in the hospital.

When will this horror end?

Heh. Don is a good writer - his blog is a daily read for me.

Out to the potluck

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It is towards the southern part of the island - about ten miles away.

Back in a couple hours. Good people, should be fun.

Justice Ginsburg - two stories

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Mainstream media and a Doctor - first, Associated Press:

Court says Justice Ginsburg up and working after surgery
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up and working as she recuperates from cancer surgery.

A spokeswoman for the court, Kathy Arberg, also says that Ginsburg remained in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Sunday. No information has been released on when Ginsburg might return home.

And a date to watch:

The court next meets on Jan. 7. Despite her health problems, Ginsburg has never missed arguments.

And now this from Brian C Joondeph, MD who practices in Denver, CO. He is writing at American Thinker:

Justice Ginsburg’s Failing Health
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues to be in the news as questions mount over her health and ability to serve on the US Supreme Court. Most recently, she underwent, “Surgery to remove two malignant nodules from her left lung, the Supreme Court says.”

Yet a week ago, she was the picture of health and vigor, announcing, “My health is fine, ribs are almost repaired.” These two announcements, a week apart, don’t pass the smell test. Much like Hillary Clinton’s excellent health and fitness to serve as president despite her falls, double vision, and coughing spells

As a physician, allow me to play doctor here, with the required caveat that I am not Justice Ginsburg’s physician, have not met or diagnosed her, and am only relying on reports from our scrupulously honest and accurate American journalists.

A bit more:

This means her recent lung surgery was scheduled in advance. So much for her assertion that, “My health is fine.” I suppose it’s a Clintonesque parsing of what the meaning of “fine” or “health” is.

As both nodules, “were found to be malignant during an initial evaluation,” she, “underwent a pulmonary lobectomy.” This means removing one of her five lung lobes via thoracic surgery, certainly not a small undertaking, especially in a frail 85-year-old.

Looking at the various kinds of cancer:

There are two types of malignancy – primary and metastatic. Primary means that the cancer originated in the lung, or typical lung cancer. Metastatic means they traveled from some other primary cancer elsewhere in the body.

Justice Ginsburg has a history of other cancers, “The justice had colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009.” Odds favor that her lung nodules represent metastases from her other cancers rather than a third new cancer originating in her lungs.

It’s not impossible for her to have primary lung cancer on top of her other two cancers, but unlikely, as she does not have a history of smoking. As these removed nodules were examined histologically, I’m certain her doctors know the answer. At some point we will too.

More at the site - Dr. Joondeph concludes with this paragraph:

Based on her medical problems, as best as we can determine from news reports, her retirement may be sooner rather than later. That 53-47 Senate may be as important as ever for President Trump, reinforcing that in the 2018 midterms, the Senate was the primary target. Trump’s replacement nominee may need every vote. Fasten your seat belts for the upcoming fireworks.


Nice drive and gorgeous countryside but no snow geese.

Here is a brief vignette of what I am trying to capture (from the Skagit Valley website):

Forecast looks for more of the same weather tomorrow so try again then.

Nice light - wild goose chase

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Spent today running a few errands and puttering around the house. Tonight's Christmas is a small potluck with some people in one of the groups I am involved on the island. Bringing a Costco apple pie with some whipped cream. Simple but their pies are amazing.

Getting some really nice light so taking the video camera and heading up to Conway where the Snow Geese bed down for the night. See if I can get some footage of them in flight.

Still working on the footage I took after the heavy winds - should be up in another two days or so. Got some good stuff and learning the editing software while I am going along. Trying to kick it up a notch.

Feeling better

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Still have a bit of a fever and some body ache. Go into the clinic if this persists for more than a day or so.

Out for coffee and some breakfast.

Meanwhile, at the White House

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A lot goes on that does not get media coverage because, well, it doesn't fit the narrative.
Consider this Executive Order signed by President Trump last Friday:

EO on Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect people, communities, and watersheds, and to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.

Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements. In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire-resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.

BAM - problem identified and fixed. More at the site including dealing with invasive species and selling 600 million board feet of timber from DOI-administered lands to help pay for this. It also deals with salvaging remaining timber from fire ravaged land.

Christmas Eve. Roswell, New Mexico. 1949

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Finally, the story comes out:


Shamelessly stolen from The Silicon Graybeard

Holiday news - Santa

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A two-fer. First, from Canada's CTV News:

Santa Claus lives and pays taxes in Canada, government affirms
He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. No, it's not the head of the country’s spy agency, but another all-knowing Canadian: Santa Claus.

That’s right, according to various government departments and agencies, Good Ol' Saint Nicholas is a Canadian citizen who lives, and pays taxes here.

"As is the longstanding view of the Canadian government and Canadians from coast to coast to coast, Santa and Mrs. Claus are Canadian citizens and reside in the North Pole," a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen said in an email to

Second, from the our North American Aerospace Defense Command - they are tracking Santa on his way
Congratulations on your 60th Anniversary.

And it is YouTube

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Didn't feel like moping around the house so headed out to get gasoline for the Highlander and some errands. The stores were surprisingly quiet - I was expecting a madhouse but Costco, WalMart and the others were at mid-week afternoon levels of people.

Had dinner at the Mt. Vernon Coop restaurant - had their mediterranean appetizer plate and it filled me up. Hummus, tapenade, pita bread, some in-house pickled vegetables and raw carrot pieces.

Still running a temperature - see how I feel tomorrow. Scheduled to have dinner with some people I know down here but may cancel if I am not feeling better.

From Legal Insurrection:

Hamas tunnel engineer “working on a tunnel underneath his home when it collapsed and killed him”
A “work accident” is a commonly used term to refer to Palestinian terrorists who die by their own hand when explosives or explosive devices they are handling detonate prematurely, or when a tunnel they are constructing collapses.

We have covered many such incidents:

Joe Truzman at his valuable weekly Ground Brief newsletter (to which you should subscribe) reports on the latest Hamas work accident:

The military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, acknowledged Friday [note – link goes to Hamas website] that one of their tunnel engineers, Ayman Zidan, had died. They were not specific about the cause of his death, only stating it was an “accident.” However, Qassam activists claimed Zidan was working on a tunnel underneath his home when it collapsed and killed him.

Good riddance - these tunnels are used to smuggle ordnance and people into Israel. It is hard to think of a more despicable culture - nothing but hate and fear. They have been given every opportunity to rise up and make a nation of themselves but they are still locked in 9th century tribalism. They refuse to grow and their leaders keep them right there. It helps the leading elite to maintain their own power.

Heading out for the day

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Taking a nice long hot shower in a few minutes and see how I feel this afternoon. Probably just going to stay down here. Good chance that the power is still out up there and I have a bunch of paperwork and filing here that I have been avoiding. Build a fire in the fireplace, head out for coffee and post office and then back here to work.

Year end lists - FAKE NEWS

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From The Daily Caller:

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the year’s worst cases of media misquotes, misleading narratives, major corrections and straight-up fake news.

While last year’s fake reporting largely occurred during the media’s relentless pursuit to prove Russian collusion, this year’s list is much more varied. However, some themes emerged: stories about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the U.S. border were routinely flagged for misinformation.

Without further ado, here is the list of 2018’s worst examples of fake news:

The Washington Post published a story in December focusing on a 7-year-old migrant child from Guatemala who died in border patrol custody.

Despite WaPo’s misleading headline suggesting border patrol was to blame for the girl’s death, the full timeline of events and statements from the girl’s father praising border agents revealed a different story.

CNN and The Hill both reported on a sexual assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in late September without ever mentioning that the claim had been quickly retracted.

Jeffrey Catalan apologized for making a “mistake” in leveling the false claim against Kavanaugh, but CNN and The Hill’s initial reports on the claim failed to note the retraction. The Hill later retracted a tweet bolstering the claim and CNN updated its misleading report.

Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a DNA test in October seeking to prove her repeated claims that she has Native American ancestry.

The Boston Globe initially reported on the DNA test by explaining that Warren was somewhere between 1/32 and 1/512 Native American. However, the paper eventually issued two corrections that damaged Warren’s ancestral claims even further.

“The generational range based on the ancestor that the report identified suggests she’s between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American,” The Globe admitted.

29 more at the site - these are major stories in which we were lied to. FAKE NEWS indeed.

Great news from Brazil

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We already know that their new President is much like President Trump - dig out the rot in the deep state and restore law and order. He was elected by a landslide as the Brazilian citizens were tired of their nation turning into a third-world shit-hole. Brazil used to be a major economy and a gorgeous place until socialism reared its ugly head. Now, the nation is on the mend.

Great news from Bloomberg:

License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro
Teams of marksmen next year will patrol swaths of Rio de Janeiro with high-powered weapons and a license to kill, said a security adviser to Governor-elect Wilson Witzel.

As many as 120 sharpshooters will accompany police incursions into the slums of Brazil’s postcard city to exterminate gun-toting criminals, according to Flavio Pacca, a longtime associate of Witzel who the governor-elect’s press office said will join the administration. The shooters will work in pairs -- one to pull the trigger, one to monitor conditions and videotape deaths.

“The protocol will be to immediately neutralize, slaughter anyone who has a rifle,” Witzel, a federal judge and former Brazilian marine, told reporters in Brasilia on Dec. 12. “Whoever has a rifle isn’t worried about other people’s lives, they’re ready to eliminate anyone who crosses their path. This is a grave problem, not just in Rio de Janeiro, but also in other states.”

Rio has long exemplified Brazil’s charm and its chaos, and what happens there echoes at home and abroad. Like President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Witzel cruised to victory in October promising a brutal crackdown on criminals who make daily life a harrowing ordeal. Rio will be a proving ground for Bolsonaro’s philosophy of maximum force -- and whether law enforcement devolves into a storm of extrajudicial killings.

And they certainly need to do something:

Rio’s homicides last year surged to an eight-year high of 5,346 and robberies and muggings have more than doubled since 2011.

Some numbers. Rio has a population of 6.32 Million, Chicago, Illinois has a population of 2.7 Million. Chicago (year to date) has had 578 homicides

Rio: 1 homicide per 1,182 citizens. Chicago: 1 homicide per 4,671 citizens so Rio is just under four times (3.95) more dangerous and Chicago.

Chicago is not the murder capital of the US - St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans edge out Chicago for that title but there is not much difference in the stats.

Just a little bit more - I love the quote in the last paragraph:

Bolsonaro has said cops who kill should be given medals and has promised they will be legally protected. Days after the election, video showed Rio police loading the limp, bleeding bodies of two young men accused of drug trafficking into the bed of a pick-up. Bystanders cheered, with one yelling Bolsonaro’s name.

The NGOs, human rights activists and United Nations will have a fit,” Alexandre Frota, a congressman-elect, said on Twitter while sharing the video. “But the cleansing must be done.’’

Emphasis mine - indeed and it will be fun to see them squirm in their seats. I bet that crime goes waaay down after a few of these goblins are taken out. Waaaaaaaay down.

Well crap - return of the crud

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Temp of 99.5°F and had very strange dreams last night. See how I feel today and tomorrow.

Yesterday's wind went up North. SnoPUD shows 92 Camano Island residents without power now. PSE is still showing 114 Maple Falls customers without power.

BC Hydro has this to say:

Lower Mainland, North VI and South VI
Thursday's windstorm was one of the most severe storms BC Hydro has experienced in years. All available crews continue to work until the remaining customers are restored. Due to the extent of the damage in the hardest hit areas, it will take several more days to restore power. These areas include Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the Gulf Islands. We appreciate your patience and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

And their website shows more than 48,000 customers affected. Yikes!

And you guessed it - YouTube

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Want to get an early start tomorrow - having a Christmas eve dinner with some new friends on Monday so want to be back on the island but want to do a load to the condo as well. Heading up to the farm tomorrow morning.

Back from dinner and two pints

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The tacos were great - hit the spot and $20 cheaper than the casino buffet. Drove back to my local and the cider they had on tap was some pina colada flavored alco-pop so I went with two pints of Coors Light.

There are some things that you simply do not fuck with. A dry martini. A shrimp cocktail. Caesar salad. Ribeye steak grilled over a high charcoal heat. Hot toddy. These are culinary experiences that have been refined to their simplest and most divine expressions. DO NOT TOUCH. A nice dry cider is in this list too. It is a classic taste. Adding berries is OK - long history there but coconut syrup? GMAFB

There was a guy playing a nice guitar with some looping pedals so really nice music.

With the full moon and winter solstice, we are getting King Tides - a foot or two higher and lower than normal. Add the wind and we get this from Island County:

A Coastal Flood Advisory means that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore.

Minor tidal overflow will produce some minor flooding of low-lying areas along the shoreline for a couple of hours near high tide.

    • Water levels will rise up to a foot above what starts producing flooding along shorelines.
    • Parks and roadways along the shoreline are most likely to be affected.
    • The threat of beach erosion will be increased.

TIMING...High tide will generally occur during the early hours of 5 AM - 7 AM Sunday morning. These conditions may reoccur on Monday morning.

Fortunately, this will be confined to the South of the island. Planning a quick trip to MF tomorrow to move the totes that I had already packed. A quick up, over (condo) and down.

They were not kidding about high wind warnings. Cliff Mass has an excellent writeup on this latest storm and he opens with this photo from  3PM:


Channeling my inner Bert the Turtle:

Heading out for some dinner

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Checked the casino website and their buffet for Friday through Sunday sounds amazing but is very pricey. Going to my favorite Mexican cocina for some tacos. Get a couple pints of cider at my local after.

Back in a couple of hours...

Earthrise - 50 years ago

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On Christmas Eve, 1968 astronaut Bill Anders took this photograph. Changed our perspective forever:


We have come a long way since then. Mostly good. Some really bad.
This is where we live and we need to take better care of it.

So true - dog inbreeding

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Terrierman is firmly in the anti-Trump camp so we do not see eye to eye politically. He is however a great friend of dogs and as such, a daily read for me. This was posted today:


So true - some of today's breed standards are horribly degenerate to where their lifespan is measured in years, they cannot mate without external help, their puppies have to be delivered by caesarean section, they suffer chronic cancer, illnesses, breathing problems. Downright horrible.

Here is just one example of my favorite breed - the German Shepherd Dog at the 2016 Crufts Dog Show - the poor girl can hardly walk. In constant pain. She is only three years old.

Here is a link to one article about the outrage at letting this poor dog into the ring - from the New Zealand site: Stuff

Crufts ends in uproar at condition of german shepherd that won best of breed
Dog lovers have been outraged by the condition of a german shepherd that won its best in breed award at the Crufts dog show in the UK on the weekend.

Class winner Cruaghaire Catoria, aged 3, appeared to have a disfigured back, which impeded her rear legs, The Telegraph reported.

The RSPCA in the UK said it was "shocked and appalled" by the condition of the dog, and the UK Kennel Club said it would be reviewing judges who appeared to disregard instructions about the health of dogs they were judging.

I had blogged about it when it initially happened: A great article about breeding dogs

Back on the island

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Spent today shuttling totes from MF to the Condo. No power up there but I had already packed them so just a matter of loading up the van and bringing them in to Bellingham. Beats sitting here on my hands. Heading out to the local casino for a bite to eat in an hour or so. Got a load of laundry running.

And then, there is this little bundle of joy from the Island County Administration:

Winds of 25 - 35 mph
Gusts up to 45 mph
A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected.

TIMING...Winds will increase increase this afternoon, peak this evening and overnight and decrease Sunday morning.

    • Winds may be strong enough to cause minor tree damage and produce local power outages.
    • This could impact recovery and power restoration efforts from Thursday's wind storm.
    • Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

And we have not recovered from the last blast yet - SnoPUD still shows 336 customers without electric power.

More packing and taking things to the condo. It is great to get rid of all the surplus crap I had accumulated.

Coffee and post office first - trip to the dump too. Check the power status before I make the drive up.

Government shutdown

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Says it all:



Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

This is getting tedious...

And that is it for the night

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Going to push for the farm tomorrow. YouTube is calling my name.

No shit Sherlock - ethics

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To accompany yesterday's Gallup Poll, here is another from them:

Nurses Again Outpace Other Professions for Honesty, Ethics
More than four in five Americans (84%) again rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as "very high" or "high," earning them the top spot among a diverse list of professions for the 17th consecutive year. At the same time, members of Congress are again held in the lowest esteem, as nearly 58% of Americans say they have "low" or "very low" ethical standards. Telemarketers join members of Congress as having a majority of low/very low ratings.

And the numbers - full size infographic at the Gallup website:


And the elites in D.C. just sail along without realizing just how much in a bubble they really are. Clueless...

I can do this

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Shutdowns are not a new thing - we have had them all through history. The government does a partial shutdown every weekend. From Associated Press:

Shutdown due at midnight after lawmakers fail to reach deal
White House negotiators left the Capitol late Friday, and the House and Senate adjourned without a spending deal, all but ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight with President Donald Trump demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

Trump’s top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party’s lawmakers. But Vice President Mike Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner departed after hours spent dashing back and forth, with no outward signs of an agreement.

Hey - Associated Press. Your bias is showing. President Trump campaigned on draining the swamp and building a border wall. He was swept into office by the majority of We The People. It is not Trump's long-promised Mexican border wall, it is the border wall that we want. Us. The Normals.

I hope that Schumer et. al. blink first. Trump needs to stand strong on this.

Great news - let them rot

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From London's The Sun:

GATWICK GRINCH BUSTS Gatwick live updates – Two arrested for ‘criminal use of drones’ after airport chaos saw hundreds of flights grounded
POLICE have arrested two people for criminal use of drones after the chaos at Gatwick airport.

It comes a day after drone attacks by suspected eco-warriors caused holiday carnage with a raft of cancellations.

Sussex police took two suspects into custody after raids at 10pm last night.

Police Superintendent James Collis said: “Our investigations are still on-going, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones, by deploying a range of tactics.

33 hours and 760 cancelled flights - a lot of very pissed off people. No word on who the drone operators were or if these were the actual perps. Jail time is too good for them. Rope. Tree.

Back on the island

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Spent a couple of hours in Bellingham staging the tool sale and then tried calling the farm - answering machine did not pick up so I am assuming still no power. Puget Sound Energy is still showing Maple Falls as having 346 customers without power as of a few minutes ago. Try again tomorrow.

Lost power here today - had to reset the Heat Pump and the clock on the microwave is blinking.

The days start to get longer. This is joyous news to me. We still have the cold of winter to deal with but spring and summer are on the horizion.

Full moon tonight. Not always the case.

Planning to head to the farm today but...

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PSE is still showing massive power outages. Plan B is to head to Bellingham, do some work, check from there and maybe spend another night on the island if there is no power.

Still showing several thousand customers on Camano without power - glad I have a generator. Will bring it down from MF my next trip down.


Aaaaand it's off to YouTube

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Up to the farm tomorrow. Got about ten days of rain in the forecast.

Those pesky numbers again - Gallup Poll

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Says it all - from Gallup:

Healthcare, Immigration Down as Most Important Problem
In the first survey after the midterm Congressional election, mentions of immigration and healthcare as the top problems facing the country are down. Sixteen percent of Americans cite immigration as the top problem, down from 21% last month, while those noting healthcare dropped to 5% from 11%. One in five Americans, 19%, now say some aspect of the federal government is the top problem facing the U.S., little changed from the 18% who said the same last month. Americans were more likely to cite the government as the most important problem facing the U.S. than any other issue.

They have an infographic that shows it clearly:


In other words, about 3% of the US population think that gun control is the major problem while 39% to 35% of the US population think that either government or immigration is the major problem with healthcare running a close third.

Do the clowns in D.C. ever listen to us?

Back home again

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The place was packed with people whose houses were without power. Everyone was sharing tables. Shows that this is a nice community. Had two people come sit at my 4-top, a retired Chemical engineer and a teacher (not a couple - they sat individually).

SnoPUD is still showing 3,818 accounts without power centered on the South and West sides of the island. So glad I am on the far North. Prevailing winds in storms like these are from the South.

I'll be processing the video I shot today as well as surfing a bit. Probably not getting anything uploaded tonight - more likely this weekend.

Out for dinner

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Heading out for a bite - back in an hour or two.

Puget Sound Electric's map - online now

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PSE's outage map is back online now and it is a doozy. The numbers represent areas of known multiple outages and not individual outages in a given area as with Snohomish PUD:


Now this looks like fun - MIB

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Loved the first two:

A problem with numbers - STEM

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Carly Cassella writing at Science Alert has a problem with numbers. No problem with narrative - she gets that just fine. Just numbers. Her article:

Turns Out We Still Have a Huge TV Scientist Stereotype Problem
Black PantherGravity. Annihilation. Hidden Figures. In the past few years, the big screen has been graced by some truly awe-inspiring female scientists and engineers.

But even though we now have Shuri to outsmart Bruce Banner and all seven of his PhD's, data shows that media portrayals of scientists are still reinforcing an outdated early 20th century stereotype of what a scientist is.

A new analysis from the Lyda Hill Foundation and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media reveals just how little diversity there truly is on screen.

The study examined over 1,000 leading or major characters taken from the most popular movies and TV shows between 2007 and 2017.

No matter how much progress we think we have made, it appears that the media's narrow portrayal of scientists continues to reinforce the same classic stereotypes about them being brainy white men.

OK - I get your drift. Carly's Thesis (paragraph seven):

Of all the STEM professionals portrayed in film and television, male scientists once again outnumbered female scientists by nearly two-to-one.

Emphasis mine. Now, from paragraph twelve:

Women are noticeably missing in the scientific arena, holding less than a quarter of all STEM jobs in the US, according to a 2015 study. But will more role models actually fix this discrepancy?

OK so Carly is right in one aspect of her article, there is a disproportionate representation of Women Scientists as portrayed on Television and Movies. In reality, they are four to one. In the media, they are two to one. In the media, they are over-represented by a factor of 200%, not the other way around.

But that would not fit the narrative now, would it.

A fungus among us

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I knew about this puppy for a long time but they did some more research and have a much clearer idea about what it really is. From LiveScience:

This Humongous Fungus Has Been Around Since the Birth of Socrates
A humongous fungus lurking underground in Michigan is exceptionally old, tremendously heavy and has a curiously low mutation rate, a new study finds.

Here are the fungus' impressive stats: It's at least 2,500 years old (although it's likely much older), weighs nearly 882,000 lbs. (400,000 kilograms) and spans about 75 hectares (0.75 square kilometers, or 140 American football fields). As for its mutation rate, or the rate at which random genetic tweaks occur, it's fleetingly low, said study co-principal investigator Johann Bruhn, a professor emeritus of plant sciences at the University of Missouri.

A bit more:

Bruhn first came across the absolute unit (Armillaria gallica) in the late 1980s, when he was doing an unrelated experiment in the forest of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He roped in two more fungal experts, James Anderson, now at the University of Toronto, and Myron Smith, now at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, who are also co-principal investigators on the new study. The giant fungus stunned the researchers, who initially vastly underestimated its age and size. (Back then, they thought the fungus was about 1,500 years old, 220,000 lbs. (100,000 kg) and about 37 hectares (0.3 square km), according to their 1992 study published in the journal Nature.)

At the time, the public went bonkers over the giant fungus, which is also known as the honey mushroom, Bruhn recalled. Late night comedian David Letterman made a "Top 10" list about it; Johnny Carson cracked jokes; and a New York City restaurant even called to see if it could purchase the fungus to serve on its dinner menu.

The more we look around us, the more amazing this planet becomes.

Two very happy dogs

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On the way home, I stopped at Del-Fox Meats (a local treasure - I knew about them when I was living in Seattle over 20 years ago) and got a bag of dog bones for them. Sounds of contented gnawing rising up from downstairs. Will have to watch my footing at night when I use the bathroom - the equivalent of finding a LEGO with your bare feet.

Well crap - Jim Mattis

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From the Beeb:

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigns
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will be retiring "with distinction" at the end of February, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday.

Mr Trump tweeted that General Mattis "was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations".

It comes a day after the president's controversial announcement that all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.

Trump's move on Syria is going to set us up for problems down the road with Iran and Israel. Giving Iran a staging ground from which to Kill the Jews.

Well that was a bust - trip to Bellingham

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I tried to drive around the south end of Camano Island but there were trees blocking the main roads. The two state parks where I wanted to film were both closed but I got some interesting footage anyway. I'll have them up tonight if the power doesn't go out again. It went out briefly here while I was out and about - came back with a surge. Had to reset my surge protectors. Good that I have them - need them at the farm too.

Anyway, was heading north and decided to stop at the Burlington Costco for gasoline - all the traffic lights were out. Same for Mt. Vernon. No business were open. Got back on to I-5 and it was closed in both directions due to trees and power lines across the roadway. This is from WA State Department of Transportation:


I turned around and noticed that I was starting to get some very nice light. I got off at Mt. Vernon (still no power) and proceeded to head out to some of the farm fields to see if I could get any Snow Geese coming in to roost. Get the right light and angle and it is a spectacular sight. I got to the fields and had really nice light but no geese. One place I stopped reliably has hundreds of geese but there was nary a one. Talk about wild goose chase.

Snohomish County Public Utility District is showing about 23K people without power at this time:


And Puget Sound Electricity's outage map has simply crashed - the map comes up but without any data. Ditto for their list view:


As I said, I shot a bunch of video and if I do not lose power tonight, I should get it online either tonight or tomorrow.
Hmmmmm - editing video by candlelight.

Out for the day

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Nothing on the internet - heading up to Bellingham to work at the condo for a bit. Meeting down here later tonight. Farm tomorrow.

Got a big windstorm this afternoon - might head down to the south end of the island and shoot some video. Already have lots of areas without power.

Time for YouTube

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And that is it for me for today

Now this looks like fun - Hellboy reboot

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Always liked the Hellboy character - he is back this spring!

Fake news in the news again - CNN

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Heh - a two-fer. First, from The Wrap:

Winner of CNN’s ‘Journalist of the Year’ Award Admits He Fabricated Stories
A Der Spiegel journalist who was CNN’s “Journalist of the Year” in 2014 resigned from his job after admitting that he fabricated stories “on a grand scale,” the German publication said.

In a lengthy report on its website, Der Spiegel said that Claas Relotius, a 33-year-old investigative reporter, acknowledged he had made up material.

And from Yahoo/Associated Press:

Germany: Der Spiegel says star reporter made up material
An award-winning journalist who worked for Der Spiegel, one of Germany's leading news outlets, has left the weekly magazine after evidence emerged that he committed journalistic fraud "on a grand scale" over a number of years, the publication said Wednesday.

A bit more:

It said concerns about Relotius' work first were raised in November by a fellow reporter who worked with him on a story about a border militia in Arizona and discovered that supposed interviews had never taken place.

Further fabrications by Relotius included a phone interview with the parents of American football player Colin Kaepernick, who protested police brutality by kneeling during the pre-game singing of the national anthem, Spiegel said. Another was reporting that a sign on the edge of a Minnesota town read "Mexicans Keep Out," Spiegel said.

All progressive talking points. Fake but they fit the narrative so the stupid elites believed them. The corruption runs deep.

Back from dinner

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Fish and chips were good as always - dive bar but great food. Ran into someone I knew from one of the groups I am involved with on the island. He was out with two of his coworkers (Medevac helicopter pilots) so we had a fun conversation.

Back home for the evening. Surf for a bit and then video and bed. Got another day of nuffin planned tomorrow - meeting in the evening and then to the farm on Friday for a couple of days.

Heh - a Christmas Meme

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From the web:


Poor widdle snowflake - from FOX News:

Ocasio-Cortez takes time off for 'self-care,' laments loss of yoga sessions due to politics
Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t yet started her new job, but she’s already taking a break.

The Democratic Socialist said Monday that she’s taking time a week off for “self-care” after feeling burned out and lamented that her political activity changed her lifestyle.

“I am starting a week of self-care where I am taking the week off and taking care of me. I don't know how to do that though, so I would appreciate any and all self-care tips,” she said in an Instagram video.

Can't give up those yoga sessions.

Wonderful news - Deadwood

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From Entertainment Week:

Deadwood movie exclusive first photos revealed
Rise and shine hoopleheads! EW has the first photos from HBO’s long, long, long-awaited Deadwood movie. Below are shots of Ian McShane reprising his role as Al Swearengen and Timothy Olyphant back as Seth Bullock.

It’s a revelation 12 years in the making, as that’s how long Deadwood fans have waited for something new from the acclaimed Emmy-winning Western drama that was axed after three seasons in 2006 and now, against all odds, is being revived for a feature-length movie with the original cast.

First, here is Swearengen, back at his Gem Theater bar, looking no worse for the ages, giving his deadly dark-eyed stare:


Looking forward to this - really liked the show.

Back home for the day

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Ran a couple errands and took the rest of the day off and went exploring. Stopped in at the Skagit Valley Food Coop in Mt. Vernon, WA and was very pleasently surprised. I had been there a couple of times in years past and it was nice but nothing to write home about. What a difference!

They have opened up their own sit-down restaurant (Third Street Cafe) which looks pretty delicious and they also started a holding company C-Square which operates the CRUST & CRUMBS bakery, their CONES ice creamery, CUPPA coffee and teas and finally CURED - a charcuterie.

I headed South after this and went down to Marysville - had always driven past but never explored that area. Since it is very close to the Boeing plant, there are some major welding supply places as well as hardware - something to keep in mind.

Stopped in at WinCo store in Marysville - a bigger store than the Bellingham WinCo. They are an employee owned discount grocery store. I was perusing their selection (huge meat and seafood department) and noticed that they had fresh Ahi Poke and bought a half pound of it. Eating it now and it is a really good grade of Ahi (not sashimi but not all connective tissue either). Very tasty.

Anyway, surf for a little bit and then out for dinner - thinking to continue the seafood theme and have fish and chips.

Stormy weather

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Looks like it is not over for this area. From Cliff Mass:

Another windstorm will hit the Northwest on Thursday
Mother nature is throwing everything in her cupboard against us this week. We had the first major Pacific cyclone/windstorm, lots of snow in the mountains, heavy mountain rains, a downslope windstorm event on the Olympics, and an EF1-2 tornado. Meteorological heaven for those who like a good storm.

But the strong storms are not over yet, and Thursday will bring another strong Pacific cyclone to our coast, with strong winds and power outages for many.

I will be on island - got a meeting that night. So far, no power outages and no damage at the house. One tree and a couple of limbs down at the farm.

Back home again - the evening routine

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UPDATE: Nothing out there - time for some videos.

Surf for a bit and then YouTube.

Early morning so early bedtime.

And I am done for the day

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Heading out for a bite to eat. Got laundry to fold when I get back. Place is a bit less cluttered and I have a good load for the dump/recycling. Been sorting through a lot of my Mom's bills and paperwork. The problem is that there is a lot of absolute junk (the envelopes and blow-in advertising from phone and electric bills) and interleaved in those is the occasional $100 bill or some stock certificates.

Just this afternoon, I found my Dad's Phi Beta Kappa key - website here

Got a big bowl of pasta with my name on it at a local restaurant...

Offline for a while

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Cleaning and doing laundry. Paperwork (still sorting through Mom and Dad's files from their Condo.)

Seriously WTF - Mexico

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Someone tell me this is not happening...

From CNBC:

White House suggests it could back down on $5 billion border wall demand
The White House suggested Tuesday that President Donald Trump could back down from his demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall in a year-end spending bill.

From Associated Press:

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico
The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

Please tell me this is fake news - that our President is not waffling. President Trump was swept into office on these two campaign promises:

  1. Build the Wall
  2. Drain the Swamp

Time for him to start delivering.

Now that was a lot of fun - radio nework

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It was a lot simpler than I was expecting. We didn't do any drills per se, just checking in with Net Control on six different frequencies and two operating modes (simplex and duplex). The first part was with the State's Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray south of Tacoma. Then, we checked in a bunch of other networks including the various Puget Sound EOCs as well as the Red Cross and several of the hospitals. Everyone was professional.

Glad that it is fairly easy to do as I will be running the show on February 5th and every 5-6 weeks after then.

A very good skill to have and will be in a position to help people when an emergency happens.

Up and at 'em

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Heading out for coffee and then to the Emergency Operations Center for today's radio net.

Appropriate technology

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Fun video:

Back to the island

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Down for a couple of days - ham radio event tomorrow morning and then a meeting Thursday evening. Got the cell phone charging and alarm set for 7:00AM. My favorite coffee place opens at 7:00AM so I will be sufficiently fortified for the event. It will take a couple hours depending on what exercises the Net Control (PDF document) operator has devised for us.

These are supposed to prepare us for any kind of emergency so sometimes they can get "interesting" The operations center that I will be using is only two miles from my house - much closer than any other ham radio operator on the island so I think I will be dragooned into this more frequently than not.

Had lunch in Bellingham and a quick burrito in Stanwood. Two pints of cider and back home. Got a sandwich and a couple diet cokes in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.

Quick look-see around the internet and then YouTube.

On the road again

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Heading out for coffee and then into Bellingham, back to MF and down to the island.

More later...

What a wonderful idea - Pi-Hole

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I use the wonderful MVP HOSTS file for blocking a lot of online advertising and popups. Works really well and very lightweight - does not take a lot of my computer's power to run.

This approach looks really good - it requires a stand-alone system based on the Raspberry Pi but would make an excellent portable unit and it covers a lot of what the HOSTS file cannot. Check out Pi-Hole. From their DOCUMENTS page:

Network-wide ad blocking via your own Linux hardware
The Pi-hole® is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software.

    • Easy-to-install: our versatile installer walks you through the process, and takes less than ten minutes
    • Resolute: content is blocked in non-browser locations, such as ad-laden mobile apps and smart TVs
    • Responsive: seamlessly speeds up the feel of everyday browsing by caching DNS queries
    • Lightweight: runs smoothly with minimal hardware and software requirements
    • Robust: a command line interface that is quality assured for interoperability
    • Insightful: a beautiful responsive Web Interface dashboard to view and control your Pi-hole
    • Versatile: can optionally function as a DHCP server, ensuring all your devices are protected automatically
    • Scalable: capable of handling hundreds of millions of queries when installed on server-grade hardware
    • Modern: blocks ads over both IPv4 and IPv6
    • Free: open source software which helps ensure you are the sole person in control of your privacy

What's not to love. Will be trying it out when I have some spare time. The beauty here is that it can also run as the primary internet access point so it will block ads and popups on my phone as well as my machines.
Stuff that in your Pi-Hole...

And I am back

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Chili was really good - looking forward to leftovers as the flavors merge. Ran into some people I know so stayed for a third pint of cider. Time for some YouTube and then bedtime. Feeling a lot better but want to get a good night's sleep. Got a lot on my plate next couple of days.

Heh - actions have consequences

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UPDATE: Link fixed

From Breitbart comes this toxic end to virtue signalling. The liberals really do eat their own - there is no end-game for identity politics:

Other Bands Refuse to Play with Maroon 5 at Super Bowl Due to Kaepernick Controversy
It appears that entertainers, singers, and other acts, are refusing to join rockers Maroon 5 to play for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Not because of anything the band has done, but instead, because national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed.

No act has a beef with the band or its frontman, Adam Levine, The Big Lead reported. Instead many are turning their backs on performing during the halftime show because of the National Football League’s reticence to put former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and anthem protester Colin Kaepernick, back in uniform.

“No one wants to associate themselves with the NFL” because of the NFL’s handling of the Colin Kaepernick’s situation, a source told Us magazine.

It would be odd if they did re-sign Kaepernick:

On the other hand, perhaps it is expecting a bit much for the league to re-sign Kaepernick since he is in the middle of suing the NFL for unfairly keeping him on the sidelines.

He was a mediocre player who used political pressure to become famous. He is a tool. He is having his fifteen minutes (as well as is the NFL) and soon, he will be: Who? to us normals. There are over 2,200 comments to this post - this one caught my eye:

Kaepernick is toxic. His claim to fame is going to be the guy that caused the NFL to fade into obscurity. Libtard entertainers are boycotting them, patriotic Americans are boycotting them and liberal snowflakes never watched anything but the Super Bowl anyway. (for the commercials - LOL)

So true on so many levels.

Great find for Greece

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From Reuters:

Greece seizes big drugs haul from Syrian freighter sailing for Libya
Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113 million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard said on Friday.

Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3 million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged “Noka”, it said in a statement.

The freighter, with a crew of 11, was en route from the Syrian port of Latakia to Benghazi when it was intercepted by Greek authorities off the southeastern coast of Crete on Dec. 5.

The Noka was escorted to Heraklion port on the Greek island on Dec. 8, where the authorities unloaded its entire cargo.

The drugs were found under false floors in eight containers, hidden between layers of coffee, spices and wood shavings.

Reading between the lines a little bit, it sounds like the drugs were going to be used by the terrorists themselves and not for sale to raise money. The "processed canabis" could well be hasish from which we get our word Assassin and the Reuters article has this to say about the Captagon:

Captagon was said to be a fund-raising tool and stimulant for militants.


Scientists say Captagon is a super-boosted amphetamine with unique chemical complexities allowing it to induce potent psychoactive effects far more rapidly than amphetamines alone.

More on Captagon - sounds like nasty stuff and very popular in the Middle East.

And that is it for the day

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Came to a nice place to break for the day.

Salad and a bowl of chili and then out for a couple pints of cider. Back in a couple of hours.

Tossed a lot of crap from the DaveCave(tm) - dumpster is full again. Have to be down on the island Monday afternoon (ham radio network at 9AM Tuesday) but heading back up Wednesday or so to go after it some more. Making real progress.

This is my surprised face - Gun Laws

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New Jersey passed a draconian gun law requiring gun owners to turn in any magazines that can hold more than ten rounds. The result is as expected - from Ammoland:

Million Plus NJ Gun Owners Defy State Law, Refuse to Turn Over Banned Gun Mags
New Jersey's standard capacity magazine ban is now in effect making New Jersey's one million gun owners criminals in the eyes of the state. But in an act of mass definace, New Jersey residents refuse to comply.

Any magazine holding more than ten rounds is now illegal in the Garden State. The standard magazine for an AR-15 holds 30 rounds. Glock 19s, which is the most popular pistol in the United States, holds 15 rounds. Anyone who is possession of larger magazine is committing a fourth-degree felony.

The bill was signed into law last June by Gov. Phil Murphy (D). Residents had until December 11th, 2018, to turn over magazines to police or sell or store them out of state.

Another example of doing something that sounds good as opposed to doing something that does good. Typical stupid liberal virtue signalling. They could have passed a law increasing support for the mentally ill - that is where the gun problem is. Your normal gun owner is not going to go out and shoot someone for no reason.

Heh - carrying coal

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Michael Ramirez at his best:


A reminder from two days ago - Al Gore

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Carnival barker and multi-millionaire Al Gore has done very well for himself with the climate change hustle. Anthony Watts remindeds us of an event that happened ten years ago on December 14th, 2008:

Ten years ago, @AlGore predicted the North polar ice cap would be gone. Inconveniently, it’s still there
On December 14, 2008, former presidential candidate Al Gore predicted the North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years. As reported on WUWT, Gore made the prediction to a German TV audience at the COP15 Climate Conference.

Al warned them that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years.”

Watch the video:

Here’s the polar ice cap extent today:


As you can see from the graph above, Arctic sea ice came nowhere close to disappearing during the summer minimum, and has rebounded to be within 2 standard deviations in the last few weeks.

Why does anyone still listen to him? Here is what our sun looks like today - the Planetary K-Index is a direct measure of solar output and it has been like this for the last two weeks:


The word that comes to my mind is flatlined

Back to work

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Keep going while I still have light. Nothing on the internet.

Still have a body ache and slight temperature but hopefully, I dodged the bullet. Taking a couple grams of Vitamin C throughout the day.


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Working out in the DaveCave(tm) - packing up electronics stuff for the second huge garage sale. They are going to be #1)-tools, #2)-technology and #3)-culinary.

Getting a sandwich, surf for a bit and mixing up some chili for dinner tonight. Using canned beans so just a matter of sauteeing up the bacon pieces, dumping in an onion for a while and then a can of Rotel 'maters and peppers and some rinsed canned beans. Using TVP instead of hamburger just because. Seasoning with some anchovy paste for an umami kick. Using one of those instant pots - love it!

Just the one tree down, bunch of branches though - it was really windy here. Wind picked up around 11AM today too but not as bad.

Feeling a bit better

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About two degrees over normal and my body aches but feeling a bit better. Out for coffee and the store and then back to the farm to clean up and pack.

And I am off to YouTube

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That's all folks!

From Legal Insurrection:

Elizabeth Warren finally admits she’s “not a person of color” (despite being touted as one for 25 yrs)
Mark Steyn was right: “She’s the whitest white since Frosty the Snowman fell in a vat of Wite-Out”

Is Elizabeth Warren a “person of color”?

She’s been touted as such for two decades, because of her claim to be Native American.

After the Boston Herald reported in late April 2012, that Warren had been touted by Harvard Law School as a minority law professor for diversity purposes, Warren played dumb:

"She has said she had no idea Harvard was billing her that way or how the school found out that her family claims Native American heritage.  She learned of it first from the Herald story, she said."

But as events unfolded in the days after the Herald story, it was revealed that starting in the mid-1980s Warren listed herself as Native American in a law professor directory used for hiring purposes.

Her campaign spokesman, who would never speak with me again, told me that Warren was the one to list herself that way, Confirmed – Elizabeth Warren knowingly self-identified as Native American on law association forms:

Much more at the site.

Another Democrat lying to the public... How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.

Now this looks good - Mortal Engines

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One to see on the big screen:

Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL) did the soundtrack - he is a composer whom I recently discovered through his YouTube channel and really really like.

Waiting until the cheers die down. From Bloomberg:

Democrats Vow Rapid Action After Obamacare Tossed by Judge
Obamacare was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of U.S. residents, drawing sharp condemnation from some medical professionals and a vow for action by top Democrats.

President Donald Trump termed the ruling “a big big victory by a highly respected judge” and an alternative path to the long-time Republican goal of repeal-and-replace.

“We’ll be able to get great health care,” Trump said Saturday during an unannounced visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where a “Wreaths Across America” holiday wreath-laying event was under way. “We’ll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I’m sure they want to do it also.”

We needed to do something but Obamacare was not the way to do it. Have to pass it before we can see what is in it? What was Nancy smoking so that I can avoid it. A bill that is 33,000 pages long is not an efficient way to go - for anything, let alone something as crucial as health care. All these laws do is just drive up the prices for everyone.

Back at the farm

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Minor hitch - there is a new Mountain Japanese restaurant that opened six months ago in Maple Falls. Very simple but really delicious food. All the way up, I was thinking about their chicken teryaki (not at all sweet) and washing it down with a nice pint or two of Sapporo. Got to M.F. and they were closed for the week. Went up to Glacier and had a hot roast beef sandwich - just not the same.

Surf for a bit and then the usual routine. Took the Highlander as she has been sitting in the driveway too much. Needed to stretch her legs a bit. I will not be able to haul any appreciable loads but will spend the time up here cleaning out the critter barn and getting the hay ready for winter. Also packing up totes for moving and for the sale. Productive couple of days even if nothing travels.

Did not have any power outages but i can see at least one tree down so will be cruising the property tomorrow - have quite the burn pile ready and it will be getting bigger.

Still under the weather

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Slept a lot better last night but running a low-grade fever and lots of body aches.

Heading up to the farm today for a few days - back down Tuesday for a ham radio excercise.

And there is nothing out there

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YouTube and bed.

And back again

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Got my sinuses cleared out - Hot and Sour soup with a side of chili paste. Added a nice level of 辣 to dinner.

Veggies were OK - would have liked more bok choy/cabbage and less IQF carrots/peas/corn/green beans mix but it was seasoned well and what I was craving.

Surf for a bit, a glass or two of red wine and early bedtime...

Cool video - Chemical Brothers

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Great animation. Be sure to stay though the credits - the final scene is cute:

Done for the day

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Got a bunch of stuff done - bills paid, garage cleaned and organised a bit. Heading out to an OK Chinese restaurant for a big bowl of hot and sour soup and a plate of stir-fried vegetables with rice. Sounds good to me. Two Chinese restaurants up here - nothing as good as Judy Fu's but they are not bad.

Been taking a metric butt-load (valid unit of measurement under the s.i.) of vitamin C - five grams.

See how I feel tomorrow morning - head up to the farm then maybe.

Off for a little bit

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Build a fire and then head out for coffee, etc...

From The Daily Caller:

Juanita Broaddrick turns 76 years old Thursday and she has a simple birthday wish.

Speaking with The Daily Caller, Broaddrick said that her birthday wish is “To see the Clintons behind bars.”

“It’s my 76th birthday wish,” she said.

Hopeing that she gets her wish. These people are corrupt as can be.

The downside to Organic Farming

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Actually, there are a lot of downsides to Organic Farming. Back 20 years ago when Jen and I were planning our apple cider business (long story), the organic certification allowed for the use of rotenone as an insecticide because it was plant based. Rotenone is a horribly toxic broad spectrum poison which will kill fish if allowed to run off into the streams.

To control coddling moth, the use of rotenone would have also killed off the polinator bees, beneficial orchard floor beetles and earthworms. A simple application of carbaryl or malathion would have targeted the moths and left everything else alone.

Anyway, set rant=off. Here is another inconvenient truth about organic farming from New Atlas:

The inconvenient truth about the environmental impact of organic farming
A new international study into the impact of agricultural land use on climate change has found organic food production is worse for the climate than conventional farming, due to the fact that it needs greater areas of land to grow produce.

The new research developed a novel metric for calculating the carbon footprint of specific land use. Called a "carbon benefits index," this calculation measures the agricultural output of a given hectare of land in terms of volume of product and carbon dioxide emissions. Homing in on the differences between organic food production and conventional food production, the study concludes that due to organic farming's inefficient yields, it generally results in a greater environmental impact than conventional farming methods.

"The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation," explains Stefan Wirsenius, a Swedish researcher working on the study. "Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference – for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent," says Wirsenius.

And, lest you think that New Atlas is some fringe, hand-waving, conspiracy theory website, the base data was published in Nature: Assessing the efficiency of changes in land use for mitigating climate change

Land-use changes are critical for climate policy because native vegetation and soils store abundant carbon and their losses from agricultural expansion, together with emissions from agricultural production, contribute about 20 to 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Most climate strategies require maintaining or increasing land-based carbon while meeting food demands, which are expected to grow by more than 50 per cent by 2050. A finite global land area implies that fulfilling these strategies requires increasing global land-use efficiency of both storing carbon and producing food....

More at the site.

Free speech in California

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Looks like a bash California day - from The Washington Times:

Ted Lieu admits tyrannical desires: 'I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech'
Rep. Ted Lieu told CNN on Wednesday that his desire to regulate speech is only thwarted by the U.S. Constitution.

An interview on Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before lawmakers with House Judiciary Committee took a tyrannical turn when the California Democrat expressed his “love” for the idea of controlling free speech.

The moment happened after host Brianna Keilar asked if Mr. Lieu failed to “press” Google’s CEO on Tuesday regarding the company’s vulnerabilities to “outside interference.”

“It’s a very good point you make,” Mr. Lieu replied. “I would love if I could have more than five minutes to question witnesses. Unfortunately, I don’t get that opportunity. However, I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that’s simply a function of the First Amendment, but I think over the long run, it’s better the government does not regulate the content of speech.”

Viewers on The Washington Free Beacon’s YouTube channel were stunned at the lawmaker’s admission.

“Communists don’t even try to hide now. They have the youth fully indoctrinated,” said one viewer.

Words. Fail.

No wonder people are leaving - this time it's the electric rates. From The Sacramento Bee:

PG&E wants rate hike to fund wildfire safety
PG&E asked California regulators for a $1.1 billion rate hike Thursday, saying more than half the money would be spent on improving wildfire safety.

The embattled utility, under investigation for its possible role in the Camp Fire last month, told the Public Utilities Commission that the rate hike would increase household electric bills an average of $8.73 a month. Natural gas customers would pay an additional $1.84 a month if the PUC approves the increase.

PG&E has already been sued multiple times over the Camp Fire, and the company’s losses could be in the billions — adding to the potential liabilities the utility is facing from the October 2017 wine country fires.

They already have money budgeted for this, why do they need more and why does it have to come out of ratepayers pockets. I love the line about: "saying more than half the money" - where is the other "less than half" money going. What slush fund is it engorging.

The elites are not touched by this - they have enough money to ride above these petit problems. Unfortunately, they are also the ones who make and enforce the laws and set public policy. They are, by definition of their status, out of touch with the Normals. They are unaccountable to the Normals and although it is the Normals who vote them in to office, they do not seek input unless there is an overwhelming rising up. Witness President Trump's election in 2016.

Going to take it easy today and stay on the island. Got some bills to take care of and some filing to do plus clean up the place a bit.

Speaking of weather, one of the main reasons is that I want to be here for this - it has finally arrived in force. From The Weather Channel (I miss John - passed away last January):

High Wind Warning for Admiralty Inlet Area, Washington
From 1:00pm PST, Fri Dec 14 until 7:00pm PST, Fri Dec 14


And there is also this - from The Weather Channel:

Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands
Until 10:00pm PST, Fri Dec 14


Cliff Mass shows the underlying conditions that will cause this blow:

First Major Blow of the Winter
I have gotten a number of complaints from Seattle weather lovers, expressing their frustration at the lack of big winds this fall. What is a Seattle fall without a big windstorm and power outages? Well FINALLY, we are going to get some wind, although not the kind of tree feller that cripples the region.

The forecast sea level pressure map for 10 PM tonight shows a fairly strong low pressure system offshore, with a lot of pressure variation (pressure gradient) over the coastal waters--which means strong winds there.

Lots more at his post.

Building a fire in a short while - heading out for coffee and post office and storage locker. Time to hunker down for a day.

Well crap

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Coming down with something - was feeling "off" the last two days and had really strange dreams last night.

Going back to sleep for another couple of hours. See about going up to the farm later this afternoon.

Fun Christmas celebration

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The Camano Preparedness Group had their annual Christmas potluck tonight. The group brought smoked beef and chicken and the 40+ attendees brought sides. I brought a quinoa / brown rice salad (think Tabbouleh) as well as one of the gigantic Costco apple pies. Both were devoured.

By coincidence, two of the people sitting at my table were involved with their local water districts. I was president of the Maple Falls water district for six years so we had a fun conversation.

As this was the Preparedness Group, a bunch of people were also ham radio operators so I talked with them too. People are getting very interested in amateur radio - the exam is fairly simple and the cost to get started is minimal - well under $100.

Not seeing anything on the internet so it is off to YouTube. Paying bills and running a few errands tomorrow morning and then up to the farm for a couple days of packing and sorting.

From Sara Carter:

FBI Violated Policy in Flynn’s Case, Judge Demands All Exculpatory Evidence
A federal judge overseeing the case of Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is demanding to see the FBI’s first interviews with the retired three-star general after explosive information contained in a sentencing memo released Tuesday night revealed that senior FBI leadership suggested he not have a lawyer present, nor warn him that his interview was subject to penalties if he failed to provide all the answers, according to the 178 page Defendants memorandum submitted to the court.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office Wednesday night to turn over all the government’s documents by mid-day Friday. The exculpatory documents requested by Sullivan include any memorandums regarding Flynn’s case because of the extraordinary circumstances of the information, according to Sullivan’s request. Further, Sullivan is also requesting any documentation regarding the first interviews conducted by former anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka -known by the FBI as 302s- which were found to be dated more than seven months after the interviews were conducted on Jan. 24, 2017, a violation of FBI policy, say current and former FBI officials familiar with the process. According to information contained in Flynn’s memorandum, the interviews were dated Aug. 22, 2017.

A bit more about the time of filing:

“The bureau policy – the absolute FBI policy – is that the notes must be placed in the system in a 1-A file within five days of the interview,” said Danik, who added that handwritten notes get placed into the FBI Sentinel System, which is the FBI’s main record keeping system. “Anything beyond five business days is a problem, eight months is a disaster.”

And Judge Sullivan - from The Guardian of April 7th, 2009

US judge dismisses former Alaska senator's corruption conviction
A federal judge today exonerated former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, dismissing the corruption conviction that cost the veteran senator his seat and launching an investigation into prosecutorial missteps that plagued one of the most high-profile public corruption trial in recent history.

The ruling comes six days after the US justice department admitted its attorneys had withheld potentially exculpatory evidence from Stevens' attorneys and asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to throw out the conviction.

"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," Sullivan said.

A very similar case where the evidence was withheld. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

On the lengthy drive down to Auburn Tuesday, the van's odometer turned to a very familiar number:


Who doesn't like Pi. Not my first rodeo as I took the same photo with my previous truck here.

Only 282,743.3 miles until I hit it again with 314159.2

Unreal - California

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From San Jose, California's  The Mercury News:

OMG! Now California wants to tax text-messaging?
Texting your sweetheart that you’re on your way home? California may soon charge you for that.

This is no LOL matter, critics say.

State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business-sponsored advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”

No wonder people are leaving in droves. Let's check the U Haul index:



So many people are leaving San Francisco that there is a shortage of U Haul trucks. U Haul offers a cash incentive for driving from Dallas to San Francisco and they gouge on the price of SF to Dallas because they can. People are willing to pay the money.

This is sweet - Project Veritas

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James O'Keefe and Project Veritas have been going around with hidden video equipment recording people in power making fools of themselves and showing them to be acting with an agenda that does not coincide with the wishes of We The People and which violate the terms of our Constitution. He releases these tapes on a regular basis. His tapes were what brought down ACORN.

Some of the people have tried using legal means to stop him. He just won a major court case - from The Washington Times:

Judge rules Americans can secretly record public officials in victory for Project Veritas
A federal judge ruled Monday that Americans have a right to secretly record their public officials, including police, when they are engaged in their government duties.

U.S. District Chief Judge Patti B. Saris said a Massachusetts law banning secret recordings violates the First Amendment when it comes to government employees, rejecting the state’s claims that officials need some space to be able to operate without having to worry about being monitored.

“This is not to say that police and government officials have no privacy interests,” she wrote. “However, the diminished privacy interests of government officials performing their duties in public must be balanced by the First Amendment interest in newsgathering and information-dissemination.”

She ruled in favor of two sets of plaintiffs, one of which regularly livestreamed video of police officers performing their duties, and the other James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas specializes in catching public policy figures saying embarrassing things.

Mr. O’Keefe called the ruling groundbreaking.

Excellent. Personal rights and personal freedoms are alive and well.

Could have told you that - prejudice

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Goes against the common narrative but we all know about narrative v/s actual facts. From Intellectual Takeout:

Ivy League Study Finds Liberals ‘Patronize’ Minorities, Conservatives Don’t
A study by Princeton and Yale researchers turns a common political narrative on its head: White liberals actually are more likely to act in “patronizing” ways toward minorities than are white conservatives.

White Democratic presidential candidates and self-identified liberals are more likely to downplay their own competence when speaking to minorities, using fewer words that emphasize competence and more words that show warmth, according to the report entitled “Self-Presentation in Interracial Settings: The Competence Downshift by White Liberals.”

In contrast, the study found that white conservatives do not address white and minority audiences in a significantly different fashion.

Cydney Dupree, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management who worked on the study alongside Princeton co-author Susan Fiske, said she was surprised by the findings.

“It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect,” Dupree said in a press release. “Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.”

African-Americans typically are stereotyped in American society as less competent and white liberals’ behavior toward them might reflect this bias, Dupree said.

Researchers analyzed a total of 74 speeches given to both white and minority audiences by Democratic and Republican presidential candidates over a 25-year period, finding similar results.

“The team found that Democratic candidates used fewer competence-related words in speeches delivered to mostly minority audiences than they did in speeches delivered to mostly white audiences,” the press release said.

More at the site showing that this is corroborated in several other studies. Here are two perfect examples:

Hillary in Selma, Alabama:

Joe Biden: Put Y'all Back in Chains

The two FBI mandarins who are at the center of the whole Trump Russian collusion nothingburger. From Don Surber:

Feds find 19,000 missing Strzok-Page texts
I guess that means they are not missing any more, but 19,000 formerly missing texts was too long for the headline.

To put that in perspective, marketer Heidi Cohen wrote in 2015, "US teens send an average of 30 texts per day. Teen girls send an average of 40 texts per day and older teen girls send an average of 50 texts per day."

These federal agents were texting like two teenage girls, swapping 100 texts a day for six months straight.

And a bit more:

"The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General initiated this investigation upon being notified of a gap in text message data collection during the period December 15, 2016 through May 17, 2017, from Federal Bureau of Investigation mobile devices assigned to FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page relevant to a matter being investigated by the OIG’s Oversight and Review Division," the department said in a press release.

“The OIG forensically recovered thousands of text messages from FBI mobile devices issued to Strzok and Page through its multiple extraction efforts. Approximately 9,311 text messages were recovered from Strzok’s S5 [Samsung]. Approximately 10,760 text messages were recovered from Page’s S5."

Time to clean house...

General Motors decline - an analysis

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Interesting insight into GM's slide into oblivion from Investors Business Daily:

GM Layoffs: A Tragedy Caused By Embracing Government Subsidies, Not Markets
General Motors' decision to close four U.S. plants and lay off 14,700 workers, 15% of its domestic workforce, is an economic tragedy. And it might have been avoided if GM had listened to the market, rather than the Obama administration.

During and after the financial crisis, GM decided to do the government's bidding in exchange for billions in subsidies. At one point, the federal government owned more than 60% of its shares, costing it more than $50 billion. By the time it sold the shares in 2013, U.S. taxpayers had an $11.2 billion loss.

How's that working out for GM now? Not very well.

GM's CEO Mary Barra, who took over the company in early 2014, reshaped the company's offerings to please the Obama White House's leftist auto czars, as did her predecessor. Barra has bet the company's future on electric cars and other less-popular offerings, instead of what people want.

Much more at the site - the author takes an honest look at electric coal burning automobiles and why they simply are not selling except for those who want to virtue signal. The article also mentions this:

Gov't Failure
It never works as expected. It can't. The government, despite delusions to the contrary, can't possibly know what people want and need. Yet, a perpetual leftist dream remains an economy run and funded by government "experts."

We see that in the Obama administration's decision to subsidize GM during the financial crisis by investing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in its stock and propping up money-losing operations. By ignoring the supply-and-demand signals of the marketplace, it only made GM's problems worse.

More specifically, it led to GM committing itself to the unprofitable electric car market, one of President Obama's pet projects. At one point, Obama even vowed to buy a Chevy Volt when he left office. He didn't.

A good read and a cautionary tale for those who advocate big centralized government.

The first steps - Clinton Foundation

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Great news - from the House of Representatives: Subcommittee on Government Operations

To discuss the management of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and how the designation impacts the programs and activities a nonprofit is allowed to conduct.

501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to be organized or operated for the benefit of any private individual and are only permitted to engage in minimal political activity. When a nonprofit organization violates these terms, defrauds contributors, or engages in impermissible political activity, the IRS may revoke its tax exempt status.

Baby steps but the process has to start somewhere. The Clintons used funds from the foundation for personal use and engaged in major political activity. Time for this little rats nest to be shut down for good.

Productive meeting

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Met with the local amateur radio emergency coordinator and toured the facilities. There is a major emergency services radio network every Tuesday morning for all of Western Washington. I have listened in but I am now scheduled to participate.

Talk about sitting at the adults table for dinner.

That's it for the night

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Meeting tomorrow morning and then another Christmas party (the preparedness group) Back to the farm Friday for a whole lot of packing.

The server crashing took out three days of productivity. Hate it when that happens...

Same party

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Different plantation:


A bit of history that most liberals do not know because their elite minders find it inconvenient - the Ku Klux Klan was founded and run by Democrats. From the link:

In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party's infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.

To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks. The Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a "reign of terror against Republican leaders both black and white. Those political leaders assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who served in constitutional conventions."

Finally home for a while

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Got the server installed and running so the store POS is back on its two feet.

Drove down to the island and was having dinner when the lights went out for a few seconds. Turns out that the wind advisory is still very much in effect through noon tomorrow. I know that the electrical power is very tender here on Camano Island but it is also very tender in Maple Falls so very much used to it. Got some battery lanterns, candles, flashlights, a warm blanket and a couple of books to read (plus a bottle of some nice red wine). Fire in the fireplace if it lasts for more than the night.

Here is the wind advisory - from NOAA's National Weather Service:

San Juan County-Western Whatcom County-Western Skagit County-Admiralty Inlet Area-301 AM PST Wed Dec 12 2018


The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Wind Advisory, which is in effect from 6 PM this evening to noon PST Thursday.

* WIND...South wind 25 to 35 MPH with gusts to 50 MPH.

Should be fun - it is gusting pretty strong now but nothing much happening in the bay. My little stretch of coastline faces due North and the wind is coming from out of the South so it has to pass over the body of Camano Island first.

Also, got my personalized license plate for the work van today.
The Highlander has FORGED. The van is now sporting WELD IT - surprised that these were available.

Out the door

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Coffee and post office and then to Maple Falls to get the server back up and running.

Back down to the island later today - meeting tomorrow.

And that is it for the night

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A quck trot around the internet finds nothing. Time for a few videos and some sleep.

What do you know - tariffs actually work!

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This is my surprised face - from Market Watch:

China to slash tariffs on U.S. auto imports to 15%
China agreed to reduce tariffs on U.S. autos to 15%, down from 40% currently, during a phone call with U.S. officials that opened the latest round of trade talks aimed at settling a trade dispute festering between the world’s two largest economic powers.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He informed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer of the move in a phone call late Monday evening, Washington time, the person said, which restarted trade talks between the two nations. It wasn’t clear when the change would take effect, but Washington is pushing Beijing to make concessions as soon as possible.

They are not something to be used widely but when wielded with finesse, they can accomplish wonders.

Now that was a long day

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Back to the island home. Left the house at 10AM. Made four stops totaling about three hours (gas, picking up computer, 45 minutes at Fry's Electronics and Ham Radio Christmas Dinner) Total mileage was about 200 - Camano, Auburn, WA, Bellingham and Camano. Total time was nine hours. Six hours on the road so this averages out to about 33 miles/hour. Some of it was averaging 60 and 70 but a whole lot of it was being stuck in really bad traffic driving at a snails pace. I said fuckit and opted for the toll lane on I-405 North but even this was really bad.

Did not help that the rain was really pouring down.

The dinner was a lot of fun. Everyone just showed up at a local buffet restaurant and we chowed down. Chinese place - really good food with traditional American Buffet as well as Chinese.

Fry's was really sad - lots of empty shelving and a lot of product spread waaaay out to make it look like there was more of a selection than there really was. They are privately owned - hope they are doing OK. It was quite the place when I lived in Seattle - the concept of one-stop shopping for geeks was successful for a long long time.

Heading to Maple Falls to install the repaired server tomorrow.. Then, back to our usual schedule of Thursday meeting here and the rest of the weekend packing and moving.

From the White House:

Another day, another six hours in traffic

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Heading out for coffee, post office, bank and then down South of Seattle to pick up the store's server. Driving through stop and go traffic really reminds me why I hate large cities. I lived in them before I knew better but now do not like having to deal with the commotion.

No wonder large cities consistently vote Democrat. Living there makes you crazy (and not in a good sense).

The Mt. Baker ham radio club has their Christmas dinner tonight in Bellingham so heading to the store, getting the system installed and then to Bellingham and then down to the island - have a meeting down here Thursday.

Now this should be fun - the weather

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From the National Weather Service via

Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

Camano Island is one of the San Juan Islands. Should be interesting. Hope I wake up for this - heavy sleeper.

Plan B - today and tomorrow

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In my problems at the store post from this morning, I had mentioned that our POS program was having database "issues". Turns out to have been a hard disk crash. The two sale terminals  run the POS software but they also connect to a central server which stores all the transaction information, inventory, etc... The server or the network can go down and each lane can operate independently and they will all re-sync once connection is reestablished. Very nice and well thought out software.

The problem is that because this is not a commodity application like a spreadsheet or word processor, the cost to develop and maintain this software is high so they need to be careful that people do not pirate it. This is done through the use of an encrypted USB dongle. As long as that dongle is plugged in, everybody is happy. If the dongle is not visible to the system, each of the sales terminals will run for fifteen days and then cease to operate.

Since the software is proprietary, only the vendor can maintain it. Since we were running out of days of grace (and needing to access our inventory data), I spent six hours driving down from Maple Falls to Auburn (south of Seattle) through rush hour. The server should be ready sometime tomorrow so I get to drive down and back through the Seattle traffic again.

The software is really good but sheesh - I wish I could have simply swapped out the disk here. Since Camano is much closer, I am spending the night here and waiting for a phone call tomorrow.

At least, we will be fully online for Wednesday's opening at Mt. Baker

Surf for a bit, YouTube and then bedtime.

Snow prayers

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Great post from Seattle meteorologist Cliff Mass:

When Snow Prayers Work Too Well
The boundary between meteorology and religion has always been an amorphous one, with considerable overlap.

In ancient times, Gods were considered the prime movers of weather events, and societies were always looking for the proper supplication to the get rain, snow, or whatever else they hoped for.

But even today, with all our technology and science, folks desperately hoping for a specific weather outcome frequently turn to praying to the powers up high.

And so it was, last Friday, when a group of snow-hungry skiers, egged on by the management of Snoqualmie Summit ski area, held a prayer vigil in North Bend at Compass Sports. They prayed, drank libations to certain weather gods, and attempted well-rehearsed weather dances.

And it worked.  It appears that the gods heard the plaintive cries, and snow has begun to fall in the Cascades.  Before the week is up, there will be feet of white stuff in the mountains and most ski areas will be open for business.

Heh - more at the site. Looks good for the ski season.

Out for the day - problems at the store

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Our Point Of Sale program is having database problems. Happy happy joy joy - just in time for the ski season. Mt. Baker is planning to open in two days. From their Snow Report:

Quote of the day from the forecaster at the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center: “ It’s about to get real.”

The first in a series of significant storms has begun! Mountain forecasts are calling for a series of Baker style storms to roll through in the next 5 days starting with 10+ inches of snow through Monday morning with a bit of a break for Monday. Then it really moves in! We are looking at HEAVY SNOWFALL for Tuesday with up to 20 inches of new snow possible. A bit of a break is expected Wednesday then it cranks in again with low snow levels Wednesday night into Thursday morning with 13 inches of new snow expected Wednesday night, another 2 feet of new snow expected Thursday, and another 12 inches of new snow for Friday morning. Yes, you read that right:

10 inches - Sunday night
20 inches - Tuesday
13 inches - Wednesday night
24 inches - Thursday
12 inches - Friday

I have had a little over 0.4" of rain in the last 24 hours and I can see snow on Black Mountain at the 3,000 foot level. Temp is 39°F outside my house so no danger of snowfall as yet. A lot of rain in the forecast. When Mt. Baker opens, we get slammed. Our second busiest time of the year - first is summer when families go camping.

Heading out for coffee and then to the store to see what I can do. Might be driving the server down to Seattle to have them work on it.


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It's late and I am a bit sleepy (that third pint of hard cider). Watch some videos and then busy day tomorrow.

Pharmaceutical price fixing

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Interesting and not unexpected. I have bad skin and use a lot of products from Teva. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Probe of generic 'cartel' grows to 300 drugs
Executives at more than a dozen generic-drug companies had a form of shorthand to describe how they conducted business, insider lingo worked out over steak dinners, cocktail receptions and rounds of golf.

The "sandbox," according to investigators, was the market for generic prescription drugs, where everyone was expected to play nice.

"Fair share" described dividing up the sales pie to ensure that each company reaped continued profits. "Trashing the market" was used when a competitor ignored these unwritten rules and sold drugs for less than agreed-upon prices.

The terminology reflected more than just the clubbiness of a powerful industry, according to authorities and several lawsuits. Officials from multiple states say these practices were central to illegal price-fixing schemes of massive proportion.

The lawsuit and related cases picked up steam last month when a federal judge ruled that more than 1 million emails, cellphone texts and other documents cited as evidence could be shared among all plaintiffs.

What started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs, Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and antitrust investigator in Connecticut who has been a leading force in the probe, said in an interview. His comments in an interview with The Washington Post represent the first public disclosure of the dramatically expanded scale of the investigation.

The unfolding case is rattling an industry that is portrayed in Washington as the white knight of American health care.

"This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States," Nielsen said. He cited the volume of drugs in the schemes, that they took place on American soil and the "total number of companies involved, and individuals."

And a bit more:

Among the 16 companies accused are some of the biggest names in generic manufacturing: Mylan, Teva and Dr. Reddy's. Mylan denied wrongdoing in an emailed statement. Sun, Teva and Dr. Reddy's did not respond to requests for comment. In a court filing, Teva said allegations of a price-fixing conspiracy "are entirely conclusory and devoid of any facts."

Mylan does albuterol (asthma med) which has gone from 13¢ to $4.70 per pill. They also manufacture the EpiPen which has gone from $94 to over $700 for the kit of two pens.

I have zero problem with making money. Rigging the market to gouge the customer is another thing. What is especially heinous is that these are generic drugs. The cost of Research and Development has already been borne by the inventor and been recovered by their monopoly patent rights. This is just gouging plain and simple.

And Ed was right again

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Ed Vallee has a good string of predictions under his belt and he was right again. Prediction from 12/06/2018 (at the bottom of the post here). The headlines link to parent articles:

Falling Tree Kills One Person as Winter Storm Diego Leaves More than 385,000 Without Power

Snow totals: Raleigh-Durham area sees 'entire winter average in one day'

Global what?

And I am back

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Fun evening - ran into a couple people I have known for a long time - good evening and excellent cider.

Done with dinner, dishwasher loaded up and ready for a couple pints of cider at the North Fork

Fixing dinner

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Doing a tuna noodle dish I have evolved over the years.

Boil half a box of bow-tie pasta - half way through the cooking process (while it is still quite hard), toss in a bag of frozen peas and continue cooking.

In a large bowl, combine two cans of good tuna (Costco Albacore) and a lot of ground pepper and a lot of toasted sesame oil. Use more oil and more pepper - really lather it on.

Drain the noodles and peas and toss into the tuna mixture - stir and you are good to go.I find it tasty, lots of protein and quick to make.

You may want to scale back down and use one can and a quarter box and half the bag of peas. I usualy make a bunch so I have it for lunch tomorrow.

Some great news - new oil

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A new oil find - from National Review:

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

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

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

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

Heh - same as it ever was

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Fun mashup from swedemason:

Quite the collection - Dimensions.Guide

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From their website:

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

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

From Elizabeth Vaughn writing at RedState:

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

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

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

Finally, at the farm

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

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

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

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

Wonderful - from Andy Serkis:

Nothing on the internet

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

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

Heading out soon

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

Up to the farm after coffee and breakfast.

And that is it for the night

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

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

Stuffed - in a good sense

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

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

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

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

Farm tomorrow for sure...

One more day on the island

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A tale of two cities

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Interesting to compare and contrast:

From Reuters:

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

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

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

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

From The Express:

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

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

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

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

Out the door in a little while

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

And that is it for the night

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

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

Well crap - missed a tour

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


Not familiar with his music? Here is a taste:

Quite the lineup on this show too:

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

Oh well. Next year.

77 years ago today

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


Out for a bite

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

Great news - good police work

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From The Bellingham Herald:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good riddance - get these goblins off the streets.

No wild goose chase today

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

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

Making it the art world

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out for a little while

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

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

Fake News

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From The Hill:

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

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

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

The Chief Financial Officer is Andrew Kessel:

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

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

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

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

Got nothing

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Nothing catches my eye - off to some videos.

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

I love this place

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back from errands and dinner

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Surf for a bit and then YouTube

Heading out

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

Say it ain't so - Campbells Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global warming in England

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Don Surber notes an article in The Telegraph:

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

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

Learn computer coding, right?

Coal got the last laugh.

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

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

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

I thought global warming took care of this.

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

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

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

And it's Camano for tonight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much wrong in just a few sentences.

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

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

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

Another day, another dollar

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

Amateur Radio

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

And that is it for the night

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

Save the date - January 25, 2019

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From the fine freedom loving folks at Creative Commons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great party

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

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

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

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

Packing up and heading out

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

More later this evening. Fun group.

Our quiet sun

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

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

And here is the updated list of spotless days:

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

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

Fun project - industrial music

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

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

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

Nothing much happening here

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

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

Workplace hazard - bear spray

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

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

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

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

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

Heh - Camille Paglia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heh - the gift that keeps on giving

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What a maroon...
(Classical reference)

Rioting in France

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

Another day in paradise

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

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

And it is off to YouTube

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Long day tomorrow, farm on Thursday (possibly)

Another big surprise:

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From the Washington Examiner:

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

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

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

Thanks Barry!

Conditions in France

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Some headlines with links to original articles:

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

And of course, the United Nations steps in it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back from dinner

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That place is good.

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

Surf, YouTube and then sleep - meeting tomorrow.

Taco time

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

Bernie Sanders travels on private jets

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

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

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

This is my surprised face. Not.

Election fraud - Democrats

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bit more:

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

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

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

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

And the ballot harvesting?

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

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

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

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

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

Done for the day (mostly)

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

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

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

A busy day on the island

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

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

Off to YouTube

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

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

Another great move by President Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just Go Away... Please?

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

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

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

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

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

Plan C

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

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

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

And back on the island again

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

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

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

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

Dinner and then surf.

Interesting times in France

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out for the day

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

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

And that is it

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

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

News you can use

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Interesting - here is a link to a website:

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

Familiar with about half of them. Figures...

Back home again - island

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

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

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

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

Waking up to the reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heading out for the day

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Working at the store today moving some stuff.

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

Coffee first...

Looks like the Chinese tarrifs worked - from Bloomberg:

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

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

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

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

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

Back home from the local

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

Surf for a little bit and then to YouTube.

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

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

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

Heavy rains in California

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Orange County - the aftermath of the Hope Wildfire

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

Christmas decoration

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Very classy move by President Trump

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From the White House:

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

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

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

And this:

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

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

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

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

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

That is a very nice touch. Classy.

Getting tough in Tijuana - the caravan

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I like their mayor - from FOX News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And at the farm

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Got a couple days of serious packing to do.

Out the door

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

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