January 2020 Archives

Do not underestimate Mitch McConnell

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His resolution for the impeachment trial in the Senate is perfect - from Legal Insurrection:

McConnell Resolution: Closing Arguments on Monday, Impeachment Vote on Wednesday
The Senate voted not to call additional witnesses and bring forth new evidence 51-49, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) voting yay with the Democrats.

The Senate then took a recess before voting on a motion from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to have closing arguments on Monday and vote on the articles on Wednesday.

And the upshot:

Then the Senate voted 53-47 to pass McConnell’s resolution.

So here is how it will go next week:

Monday: Closing arguments for four hours starting at 11 a.m. ET. Afterward, each senator will have 10 minutes.

This will lead into Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Senate will vote on the articles of impeachment on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

What makes this so delicious is that President Trump's State of the Union speech is Tuesday evening. All the House Representatives and Senators have to be there and act nice to each other and to our President. Also, the first major Primary election is Wednesday in Iowa. Biden, Warren, Sanders, etc. are going to have to stay in D.C. - they will not be able to travel to Iowa to campaign and rally their base. Perfect timing. The SOTU will certainly be a speech to watch - lots of red meat between the lines...

And we have power

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Kudos to the linemen who are working some serious overtime today and tomorrow.

Got power back a few moments ago - making a pot of tea to celebrate.

Wind is a sustained 25MPH with gusts to 32. Up for an hour or so and back to bed. Got the heaters cranked up high so the room will be warm if the power goes out again.

Want to save some if power is not on tomorrow morning. Fire up the generator as last resourt - very loud.

See what happens tomorrow...

File under not probable but still plausible - from Zero Hedge:

Coronavirus Contains "HIV Insertions", Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon
Over the past few days, the mainstream press has vigorously pushed back against a theory about the origins of the coronavirus that has now infected as many as 70,000+ people in Wuhan alone (depending on whom you believe). The theory is that China obtained the coronavirus via a Canadian research program, and started molding it into a bioweapon at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan. Politifact pointed the finger at Zero Hedge, in particular, though the story was widely shared across independent-leaning media.

The theory is that the virus, which was developed by infectious disease experts to function as a bio-weapon, originated in the Wuhan-based lab of Dr. Peng Zhou, China's preeminent researcher of bat immune systems, specifically in how their immune systems adapt to the presence of viruses like coronavirus and other destructive viruses. Somehow, the virus escaped from the lab, and the Hunan fish market where the virus supposedly originated is merely a ruse.

The virus is spread around enough and enough labs are working on it that the truth will come out. The post links to a preprint of a scientific paper  (and Cold Spring Harbor Labs are no slouches when it comes to solid science) that seems to be pretty solid. Lots of links and information.

The shit will hit the fan if this is true.

Called due to wind

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The event that we were planning to attend was called on account of the windstorm.  It has been doing 15 average with gusts to 37MPH. Due to my location, this is pretty intense as the wind comes from the South and my house is shielded by a large hill. I would hate to live on the top - talk about exposed.

We saw some lightening on our way back to the island. Either that or a substation blew up.

L's power is out at her place and I just went out a few minutes ago - got candles lit. Get the generator going if it is not back on tomorrow morning - keep the freezer frozen.

Was looking for some Gregorian Chant last night and found a good three hour YouTube. It is not for critical listening as it has been edited, background music has been added and sections of the chant repeat every five to seven minutes. That being said, it was very well done and absolutely perfect as a background to reading or meditation.

The video was published by the Meditative Mind and they have a bunch of them (stopped counting at 100). Well worth checking out if you are looking for a soundtrack to a quiet and purposeful life. They have some videos that are as long as nine to eleven hours - to be played as you sleep.

Go and read: Michael Thompson

It starts off with this:

Something to potentially watch: Cosmos 2542, a Russian inspection satellite, has recently synchronized its orbit with USA 245, an NRO KH11.

NRO is the National Reconnaissance Office and the KH-11 satellites are for high-resolution imaging (Key Hole).

And off for the day

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Coffee &c. Working here this morning and then we are heading up to an event in Mt. Vernon - Illuminight and a Gallery Walk.

Junk Science - Rolling Stone

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Fracking oil releases huge amounts of radioactivity. Oh noooooooessssssss. A two-fer

First, from the Rolling Stone:

America’s Radioactive Secret

Excerpted from the article:

One day in 2017, Peter pulled up to an injection well in Cambridge, Ohio. A worker walked around his truck with a hand-held radiation detector, he says, and told him he was carrying one of the “hottest loads” he’d ever seen. It was the first time Peter had heard any mention of the brine being radioactive.

The Earth’s crust is in fact peppered with radioactive elements that concentrate deep underground in oil-and-gas-bearing layers. This radioactivity is often pulled to the surface when oil and gas is extracted — carried largely in the brine.

Second, from David Middleton writing at Watts Up With That:

“On the Cover of the Rolling Stone” #ExxonKnew: Earth Is Radioactive
This Rolling Stone article reads like the Josh “Gasland” Fox version of the #ExxonKnew fraud with funding from the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s very long, long-winded, loaded with anecdotal information and lots of teeth gnashing & wailing from environmentalists.

    1. The fact that Earth is radioactive has never been a secret.
    2. The radioactivity wasn’t discovered in crude oil. Rocks are radioactive. Shale is more radioactive than sandstone. The gamma ray log was developed to detect the difference between sandstone and shale.
    3. The safe disposals of wastewater, drilling mud, drill cuttings and other waste products are regulated by state and/or federal regulatory agencies. This is not something new, secret or mysterious.
    4. Operators who flout the regulations are punished.

The take-aways are that:
#1) - they have known about this radioactivity since at least 1927 when a sensor was invented which uses the shale's natural radioactivity to locate oil.
#2) - there is radioactivity but the quantities are vanishingly small. If you eat a banana, you are eating radioactivity - bananas are rich in Potassium - a vital mineral. Potassium contains a radioactive isotope (K-40) which is present in a 0.01% concentration and
#3) - radioactivity is normal. Too much of anything can be toxic - even drinking too much water can be fatal.

Another political hit-piece disguised as science reporting. Funded by the SPLC of all places - not good people.

Let Freedom Ring

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Will January 31st for England be like July 4th is for us in a few years? Do not doubt it. From Breitbart:

Farage to Breitbart: Brexit a Historic Day for United Kingdom, Europe, and the Western World
Brexit leader Nigel Farage has hailed Brexit Day as a time to celebrate, but noted much work remains to be done and vowed he would be sticking around to hold the Prime Minister to his word.

Speaking to Breitbart News Network Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on the Breitbart News Daily show on Sirius XM on Brexit Eve, Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage reflected on the truly historic events of Friday 31st 2020, as after almost 50 years the United Kingdom breaks free from “Project Europe”.

While this was a major moment for the United Kingdom itself, it would have reverberations around the Western world, where an ongoing struggle between populism — the will of ordinary people — and globalism is picking up pace.

Mr Farage, who has been campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union for 27 years, said today was the”beginning of the end” for the European Union, and predicted something much better would follow.

“It will take time, but I’m confident we will head towards a Europe of sovereign nations working and trading together, operating under fee markets and democratic principles,” he said.

“Brexit is not just historic for the United Kingdom, it is historic for the whole of Europe, and indeed politics across the whole West.”

Globalism is a big fat mistake - an idea that never would have seen the light of day except for the machinations of those people who stood to gain power and who wanted that power over their fellow citizens. To them? Door. Ass. Bang.

This is the beginning of freedom for the world. Let us celebrate.

Coffee, dump run, Costco for dog food and to return a cook set and then home and take photos for tonight's class.

Brexit - midnight, Friday the 31st

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Great speech by Nigel Farage:

We don't need all these institutions. Classic EU meddling at four minutes in.

An interesting transition - Rolls Royce

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They are deeply involved in maritime power. Now this from New Atlas:

Rolls-Royce plans to build up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain
Rolls-Royce has announced that it plans to build, install, and operate up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain, with the first set to go online in nine years. In a BBC Radio 4 interview with business journalist Katie Prescott on January 24, 2020's Today program, Paul Stein, chief technology officer for Rolls-Royce, said that the company is leading a consortium to produce factory-built modular nuclear reactors that can be delivered for assembly by ordinary lorries.

Currently, the world is undergoing a boom in nuclear power. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are 448 operating civilian reactors and another 53 under construction. However, almost all of these are being built in Eastern Europe and Asia, with China alone building more reactors than the entire Western world combined.

Part of the reason for this is political with every reactor program in Europe or North America facing implacable environmentalist opposition and part of it is the expense of building and operating large reactors in an energy economy now dominated by cheap natural gas. However, one technology trend that could reverse this stagnation is the development of small, modular nuclear reactors that could be mass-produced in factories, carted to the site by ordinary lorries, and then assembled to generate cheap carbon-free electricity.

This approach, too, has its drawbacks, but Rolls-Royce believes that its consortium has got its sums right and can restart Britain's nuclear industry by building up to 15 Small Modular Reactors (SMR) with an expected value to the UK economy of £52 billion (US$68 billion), another £250 billion (US$327 billion) in exports, and 40,000 new jobs by 2050.

Wonderful news - the article quotes the cost to generate at around 0.07 per kWh which is cheaper than electricity for this area. Pressurized water reactors require a huge pressure vessel to run and the attendant plumbing and safety equipment so they are much more costly to build and operate. The new reactor designs are a lot more efficient and operate at normal air pressure. They are walk-away safe too.

Brexit - two days from now

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Most definitely Not Safe For Work - from England's Comedy Unleashed - tip of the hat to Musings from the Chiefio:

Glad to see our beloved brethren from across the pond come to their senses and finally get what they voted for three years ago.

Turnabout is fair play - impeachment

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This would be fun to see - from American Thinker:

Impeach Pelosi/Schiff/Nadler for Abuse of Power
For three years, Democrats accused the president of having stolen the 2016 election. Now, they maintain, he is trying to steal the 2020 election. In reality, it was Hillary and members of the Obama administration (and probably Obama himself) who tried to steal the 2016 election and it is Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler who are trying to steal 2020.

Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler are using the power of their offices to erase the 2016 election, steal the 2020 Presidential Election, and damage Republican senators in purple states enough to flip the upper chamber to Democratic Party control.

Running on the issues against the successful Trump administration does not appeal to them. Instead, they are using impeachment as the means to rig the election to get control of the presidency and the Senate.

Should Republicans win a majority in the House this November -- not an entirely unlikely prospect with polls showing the public turning against the amorphous impeachment effort -- one of the first orders of business for the new majority leader should be to initiate Articles of Impeachment against Adam Schiff. The charge should be “Abuse of Power.”

After that, Republicans can do the same to Pelosi and Nadler.

Pure schedenfreude - give them a dose of their own medicine. Only this time, we will actually have wrongdoing.

Prove them wrong in November

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Great advertisement - time for these people to come out of their comfy bubble:

We all know that it is going to be a landslide. The question is, how much of a landslide is it going to be...

Plan B

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Contractor emailed in sick. I am still working on the music room today but also doing some other things.

L and I are headed out later this afternoon for some retail therapy - groceries, some tires, etc...

Back to work

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Had a nice hot shower, sat outside for a bit, some breakfast and now, to work.

Getting together with L this afternoon. Teaching a class tomorrow evening so finalizing materials for that.

It will be nice to have the house back to normal again - the two rooms will be wonderful. The upstairs loft is wonderful too (L and I put in a new floor up there).

Pineapple Express

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Looks like rain for the foreseeable future - got another large system moving in. From Cliff Mass:

The Western Washington Swamp
If it were only a bit warmer, we might gators around here. After incessant rain, grass is like mush, water is ponding and accumulating everywhere, landslides have started, the rivers are flooding, and the aroma of wetness is everywhere.

Western Washington is more like a swamp than a high-tech center, and much, more precipitation is coming. A little over a month ago, some folks were talking about a progressive drought for our region. The drought talk has ended.

Some amazing statistics were noted by my colleagues at the National Weather Service this morning (see below)---nearly every day this month has rained and a number of observing sites will break their all-time record for number of days with rain in January. Quillayute, Hoquiam, and Olympia will all beat the record, Seattle may tie it.

And say hello to our little friend:


Wind is gusting to 21MPH - electrical power is fine here, 600+ out in British Columbia. Time to batten down the hatches...

The shit-hole city of San Francisco

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And the guy who was supposed to be cleaning it up? From FOX News:

San Francisco official in charge of cleaning up city's filthy streets arrested
The head of San Francisco Public Works, which is in charge of cleaning up the city’s feces-filled streets, has been arrested by the FBI on suspicion of public corruption.

San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru was arrested Monday alongside Nick Bovis, the owner of a popular sports bar in Fisherman’s Wharf, Lefty O-Doul’s. Sources told NBC Bay Area that Nuru was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes for airport concession contracts.

Both Nuru and Bovis were released on bond following their arrest.

As the top official in charge of the $312 million city public works budget since 2012, Nuru was tasked with cleaning up San Francisco streets, which critics note remain cluttered with feces, trash and used needles amid a homelessness crisis.

Another typical Democrat. Pushing ideas that sound good instead of ideas that actually do good. Bet that if they made public defecation a crime and put offenders in jail for 10 days, this would rapidly become a non-problem. Bring New York City's stop and frisk policies (Terry Stops) here and watch crime drop.

Nice to see the FBI doing its job - lots of great people there, just a few very bad apples at the top.

And that is it for the night

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Early morning again.

Looks like the WOW! factor is fading and sales are slumping. From the Los Angeles Times:

Car buyers shun electric vehicles not named Tesla. Are carmakers driving off a cliff?
Regulators are demanding zero-emission vehicles. And manufacturers are scrambling to provide them, spending billions on electric-car development.

Ford says a third of its vehicles will be electric by 2030. Volkswagen plans to sell a million EVs annually just two years from now. At Volvo, half its offerings will be electric by 2025. By the end of this year, most major automakers will be offering at least one EV.

And buyers? So far, they’re not on board — especially those in the United States.

Despite the debut of 45 pure electric and plug-in hybrids in the United States last year, only 325,000 plug-in passenger vehicles were sold, down 6.8% from 349,000 in 2018, according to Edmunds. That is just 2% of the 17 million vehicles of all types sold in the United States in 2019. Numbers for California aren’t available yet, but 112,961 EVs were sold in the first three quarters of 2019, up only 5.6% from the year-earlier period.

Yeah - it is a big fat gimmick. I would love to own one, most of my driving is within a 20 mile range. I did buy an eBike last summer and love it. That being said, if I owned a full-size EV, I would still keep my gasoline vehicles as they simply cost less to run and when (not if - when), the battery pack needs to be replaced, that is an easy $10-$15K out of pocket. Simply does not pencil out.

alt.energy in the news

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Looks like another taxpayer-subsidized solar business has hit the ropes in a spectacular fashion.
From the United States Department of Justice - Eastern District of California:

Top Executives Plead Guilty to Participating in a Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme—the Biggest Criminal Fraud Scheme in the History of the Eastern District of California
The owners of DC Solar, a Benicia-based company, pleaded guilty today to charges related to a billion dollar Ponzi scheme— the biggest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the Eastern District of California. The government’s investigation has resulted in the largest criminal forfeiture in the history of the District with over $120 million in assets forfeited that will go to victims, and has returned $500 million to the United States Treasury, with more to come, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Jeff Carpoff, 49, of Martinez, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. His wife, Paulette Carpoff, 46, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and money laundering. According to court documents, between 2011 and 2018, DC Solar manufactured mobile solar generator units (MSG), solar generators that were mounted on trailers that were promoted as able to provide emergency power to cellphone towers and lighting at sporting events. A significant incentive for investors were generous federal tax credits due to the solar nature of the MSGs.

The conspirators pulled off their scheme by selling solar generators that did not exist to investors, making it appear that solar generators existed in locations that they did not, creating false financial statements, and obtaining false lease contracts, among other efforts to conceal the fraud. In reality, at least half of the approximately 17,000 solar generators claimed to have been manufactured by DC Solar did not exist.

U.S. Attorney Scott stated: “This billion dollar Ponzi scheme hurt investors and took money from the United States Treasury. This case represents not only the largest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the District, it also represents the largest criminal forfeiture in the history of the District with over $120 million in assets forfeited. All of this money will be returned to the victims. This scheme also targeted the United States Treasury, and we have returned $500 million to the Treasury to date. Agents, investigators and attorneys from various federal agencies are still working to continue to return money to victims and the United States Treasury. Today’s guilty pleas sends a strong message that fraudsters will get caught and will pay for their crimes. You can run, but you cannot hide.”

The stupidity of these people is amazing. There is absolutely no way to "wind down" a Ponzi Scheme once it has started. It will always fail and the failure will always happen when you least expect it. You will get caught. It will never work. Full stop. End of story.

They were living high from 2011 to 2018 but will now spend a lot of time in prison and are essentially broke. Here is how they were carefully "investing" their shareholder's money:

The forfeiture included seizing and auctioning 148 of the Carpoffs’ luxury and collector vehicles, including the 1978 Firebird previously owned by actor Burt Reynolds. This historical auction resulted in recouping approximately $8.233 million for victims. In addition to their collection of luxury and collector vehicles, Jeff and Paulette Carpoff used money from the scheme to pay for a minor-league professional baseball team and a NASCAR racecar sponsorship; to purchase luxury real estate in California, Nevada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and elsewhere; a subscription private jet service; a suite at a professional football stadium; and jewelry.

Seven years of the good life followed by 15-30 years in the slammer and poverty after that. Was it worth it?

Quite the rainbow

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First time I had ever seen one of these - a twinned rainbow:


Notice the ghost of a double rainbow to the left of the left bow. L took this around 3:45 at Barnum Point (one of our favorite places to walk). The raindrops have to be of two distinct sizes. The smaller drops fall as usual (bow on the left) and the larger ones are flattened as they fall by the air resistance and it changes the angle of refraction.

I bumped up contrast and saturation a bit but there has been zero picture editing. We saw it form and we watched until it disappeared about 15 minutes later. A wonderful gift from the heavens.

Already emailed this to Cliff Mass...

A change in plans

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The comedy was going to be louder than either of us really wanted. Tonight is more of an evening for quiet contemplation and work than raucus humor.

L is back at her place and I am cleaning up after my work here. Contractor starts hanging rock tomorrow morning.

Peace in the Middle East?

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Looks like there is a good chance of it - a good analysis from Don Surber:

Trump makes Palestine an offer too good to refuse
The experts in Washington told you killing General قاسم سلیمانی ignited World War 3. I told you it would bring peace. I trusted President Donald John Trump. They hate him. I got it right. They didn't.

Hate makes you stupid.

Killing قاسم سلیمانی jeopardized Iran's terrorism program which he headed. Today, President Trump followed through with a Middle East proposal that creates a Palestinian state, opens Temple Mount to all three Abrahamic religions, and invests $50 billion to create a million jobs for Palestinians.

A bit more and of course, the palestinian "leadership" do not want their sweet sweet money machine to be interrupted:

The Washington Examiner, "The plan was three years in the making and spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"Palestinians have presumptively rejected the proposal, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling Trump a dog.

The plan is supported by both the majority and minority leaders (Netanyahu and Gantz) of Israel. Looks good. Now that Iran is no longer interested in sponsering terrorism, maybe the palestinians will wake up to reality. This is a sweeheart deal and if they do not go for it, it will be a cold day in hell before they are offered another deal like this.

Things should get really interesting around July or August. From Legal Insurrection:

Report: FBI Reviewing Claims Ilhan Omar Married Her Brother
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is a member of the AOC plus three “Squad” and has  been embroiled in numerous . controversies regarding her anti-Semitism and staunch support for the BDS movement.  Additionally, there have been questions about whether or not she has committed tax and/or immigration fraud.

The New York Post reported Sunday that the FBI is now investigating whether or not reports that she married her own brother are founded.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reviewing claims Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother, The Post has learned.

Two FBI agents held an hours-long meeting in Minnesota in mid-October with a concerned party who handed over a trove of documents regarding Omar’s 2009 marriage to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a source with knowledge of the event said.

At the meeting, first reported by website The Blaze, the agents discussed concerns the Somali-born Democrat married Elmi, a British citizen rumored to be her brother, so he could obtain a green card and study in America, the source said.

The two agents said they would share the information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Department of Education, but did not commit to opening an investigation into the firebrand lawmaker, the source said.

And this is just one of many on-going investigations. The Democrat party will implode when it all hits the fan. Making another bowl of popcorn...

Crap - sizable earthquake near Cuba

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No details as yet but a Mag 7.7 quake hit the ocean floor halfway between Cuba and Jamaica - 10km depth which is shallow enough to cause some real damage.

There was an earlier 4.6 quake for which no tsunami warning was issued but no word yet on this one. 7.7 is getting up there - do not forget that magnitude is on a logrithmic scale. Mag 4 is 1/10th of Mag 5, etc...

And back to work

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One of the locals has comedy every tuesday night so we are heading out for that.

Busy here - took a break and now it is back to work...

Fun times at Chipotle Restaurant

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Come for the health issues: here, here, here, here, here and here...

Stay for the Child Labor Violations - Time Magazine:

Chipotle Fined $1.3 Million for More Than 13,000 Child Labor Violations
Chipotle was hit with a $1.3 million fine over more than 13,000 child labor violations at its Massachusetts restaurants, the state’s attorney general announced Monday.

Attorney General Maura Healey ordered the largest child labor penalty ever issued by the state against the Mexican restaurant chain after finding an estimated 13,253 child labor violations in its more than 50 locations.

Not a well-run business. I cannot find a stock symbol so it looks like a privately-held company. Wonder if this is just a large money-laundering operation. North Korea? Russia? M.E. opium money?

Everyone knows this...

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...pot makes you stupid. From Nashville, TN NewsChannel 5:

Sheriff says '[it was] one of the craziest things I’ve seen' after watching inmate light joint in court
Wilson County Sheriff Robert Ryan talked to NewsChannel 5 about the moment an inmate lit a marijuana joint while in court.

The inmate, Spencer Alan Boston, appeared in court on a marijuana possession charge. He appeared in court Monday, and the sheriff says the Boston approached the bench to discuss his sentence and that's when Boston pulled the marijuana from his pocket in front of the general sessions judge.

And the result of his actions:

He was booked on a second charge of simple possession and received ten days for contempt of court.

Only ten? I would have done 30. That was a teachable moment.

Done with breakfast - to work

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The contractor is giving me one more day to get everything finished off to my spec. Looking really good and it will be easy to switch over from the old wiring to the new once all the rock is up and painted. Looking forward to getting the rest of the house finished.

Teaching a 2 hour class this Thursday - got most of the materials and the syllabus all ready. Need to take a few photos and develop the handouts.

Wonderful news - ditching Common Core

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Common Core was an abject failure from the very beginning. It made Pearson Publishing very rich and was the latest educational fad but it is now very much on the way out and not a moment too soon.
From the office of Ron DeSantis, Florida's Governor:

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Florida’s New B.E.S.T. K-12 Standards
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that the Florida Department of Education has completed the review of Florida’s K-12 academic standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and made recommendations for revisions. The proposed Florida Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards will provide the foundation for teaching and learning and will be unveiled before February.

“When I took office, I made a pledge to the citizens of Florida to overhaul our educational standards to remove all vestiges of Common Core and return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am pleased that this historic task has been completed and we are well on our way to making Florida the best state in the nation for education. My deepest thanks to Commissioner Corcoran and Department of Education staff, Florida teachers, parents, subject matter experts and stakeholders for their participation in this transparent, in-depth and comprehensive process.”

Wonderful news - more (including a timeline) at Breitbart

Free and Open Markets

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This is a big thing. Excellent analysis at the Foundation for Economic Education:

Why First World Countries Have Third World Cities
As I avoided the potholes, ignored the sounds of guns, and walked past beggars throughout the streets of New Orleans, I could not help but be reminded of my travels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With their mass poverty and crumbling infrastructure, the two cities differ in one key area: Phnom Penh is in a developing country and New Orleans is in a developed country.

Throughout the United States, I frequently come across what I call "third world cities in first world countries" - whether it is Detroit, Baltimore, or even my beloved New Orleans. These third world cities all have one thing in common: an absence of free and open markets.

The unifying traits to those cities? Burdensome tax rates, they are unfriendly to business and are Democrat ruled.

Stupid human - gun hoax

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Some anti-gun moke decided to forge a death threat and release it on the internet. The stupid fool failed to realize that the photo showed the inside of his garage in the reflection on the windshield of his car. Three links - brief excerpts. Much more at the actual posts:

From gun-free zone:

Anti-gun activist Surgeon goes full Smollette/Hogg for victim credit
I have never heard of Joseph Sakran before. Apparently he’s a Trauma Surgeon at Johns Hopkins and an anti-gun activist.

From Bayou Renaissance Man:

Exposing an anti-gun hoax?
Last week Dr. Joseph Sakran alleged, in an article in the Baltimore Sun, that an implied death threat had been placed on his car. On Twitter he provided a picture of the printed threat, and another of it placed beneath a windshield wiper on his car. (He's since deleted the Twitter images.)

And finally, a wonderful bit of snark from author Larry Correia:

I love it. Anti-gun doctor/activist goes Full Smollett with a fake death threat where he went out to his car and found this gun pointing at him pic with a threatening message under his windshield wiper. He posts about it all over twitter in a series of tweets, so all the progressives can tell him how stunning and brave he is.

Except then somebody noticed from the reflection the picture was taken inside a residential garage.

So then his story started to "evolve".  And the piece of paper was left under his windshield at his parent's house days before (but didn't get wet, or wind/sun damaged). Oh, but that was because he saw it, but didn't notice it was a threatening message, and he threw it away, but then thought about the giant gun picture mysteriously left on his car, and got it out of the garbage and realized what it was... (yes, because trauma surgeons at Johns Hopkins are known for their lack of attention to detail)

So THEN he put the death threat back under his wiper to take the picture. Like a reenactment I guess, as one tends to do when receiving death threats.

And now he's taken all the tweets down, claiming that he did so because the local police advised him to do so. Only I just saw where somebody says they contacted the local cops, who said there is no report filed, and they don't advise people to do stuff like that.

Police are probably on the look out for two buffed Nigerian dudes in Maga hats, while I'm assuming the doctor is tossing his ink jet printer into the Baltimore harbor.

Kind of hard to advance a narrative when you do it with outright lies (and are shown to be just not that bright in the process). I would love to hear some of the comments around the operating table.

Very ingenious hack - from Smithsonian Magazine:

Albatrosses Outfitted With GPS Trackers Detect Illegal Fishing Vessels

No creature knows the sea quite like the albatross
Boasting wingspans of up to 11 feet—the largest of any bird alive today—these feathered goliaths, native to the Southern Ocean and North Pacific, are built to soar. Gliding at speeds that often exceed 50 miles per hour, they can cover vast swaths of the sea in minutes, all the while scouring the water for bright flickers of fish. Some species are known to spend years at sea without touching down on land, and a few have even been documented circumnavigating the globe.

With their keen eyes and wandering ways, albatrosses are, in a way, the de facto “sentinels of the sea,” says Henri Weimerskirch, a marine ornithologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research.

Weimerskirch is working to make that title a little more official—by recruiting the seabirds to patrol the ocean for illegal fishing vessels. He and his colleagues have outfitted nearly 200 albatrosses with tiny GPS trackers that detect radar emissions from suspicious ships, allowing the birds to transmit the locations of fishers in the midst of illicit acts. The results of the tracking method were published today in a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The idea:

The team’s winged recruits may be poised to fill this monitoring gap. On top of their stamina and moxie, albatrosses also have a certain fondness for fish-toting vessels, says study author Samantha Patrick, a marine biologist at the University of Liverpool. To the birds, the fishing gear attached to these boats is basically a smorgasbord of snacks—and albatrosses can spot the ships from almost 20 miles away.

And the results? Surprisingly good:

Over the course of six months, the team’s army of albatrosses surveyed over 20 million square miles of sea. Whenever the birds came within three or so miles of a boat, their trackers logged its coordinates, then beamed them via satellite to an online database that officials could access and cross-check with AIS data. Of the 353 fishing vessels detected, a whopping 28 percent had their AIS switched off—a finding that caught Weimerskirch totally off guard. “No one thought it would be so high,” he says.

AIS is an Automatic Identification System - a beacon that larger boats are supposed to have which continually broadcasts the boats ID and it's position. Very handy for safety.

Very clever hack to use the birds to track the fishing vessels.

Almost done with one room

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Time to start on the next. Emailed the contractor asking to push it back one more day.

Enjoying some sun

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Someone went to the beach while I was hard at work:


Heh - classic President Trump

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All the liberals are running around with their hair on fire. National Public Radio is the house organ of the Democratic Party. I must issue a disclaimer: they do some great work - I listen to them all the time. Don't agree with everything but I do listen.

Anyway, NPR interviewer Mary Louise Kelly asked to interview Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and brought with her a major agenda. Her goal in the interview was to cast Mr. Pompeo and our President in a bad light. Our Sec. State was having nothing of this and ushered her out of his office - apparently with quite a bit of salty language. Punch back twice as hard.

Ms. Kelly reported this and got the usual warm tongue-bath from her fellow travelers. President Trump decided to have a bit of fun with the whole story - from Mother Jones (almost as liberal as NPR):

Trump Threatens to Cut NPR’s Funding After Pompeo Meltdown
Two days ago, NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly revealed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had berated her with expletives after she asked him about the Ukraine scandal. Today, President Donald Trump chimed in—by appearing to threaten to cut off NPR’s federal funding.

Trump retweeted a comment from right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who had highlighted a Fox News story about the Pompeo controversy and asked: “Why does NPR still exist? We have thousands of radio stations in the U.S. Plus Satellite radio. Podcasts. Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.” Trump added that Levin’s tweet raised a “very good question!”

Very good question indeed - even England is looking at privatizing the Beeb. I remember the scandal when NPR started accepting advertising - got to pay for those nice cushy offices somehow. Would not be prudent to operate out of Detroit or Dallas.

And they have some numbers:

It’s also important to note that only a small portion of NPR’s funding actually comes from tax dollars. According to its latest financial report, just 1 percent of its annual operating budget consists of “grants from Corporation for Public Broadcasting and federal agencies and departments.”

If it is only one percent, cut the ties and be done with it. If their numbers are correct, 1% is a rounding error. It is pocket change. They do not need to be at the Government Teat. Why are they complaining so loudly if it is only one percent.

Done with lunch - back to work

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Like it says on the box.

So many people think the finer grind the better for extracting a good crema. Not so. From interesting engineering:

Fewer Coffee Beans Ground Coarsely Brews the Best Espresso, New Research Shows
Forget coffee sommeliers, scientists think they found the answer to brewing the best shot of espresso.

A team of mathematicians, physicists and materials experts at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, found the secret to the best cup of espresso lies in the number of coffee beans and how they are ground.

According to the researchers which included Dr. Jamie Foster, a mathematician at the University of Portsmouth, fewer coffee beans and grinding them more coarsely is the secret.

The researchers started with the question many espresso drinkers have: why do two shots of espresso made the same way taste very different. They applied mathematical theory to the question and when they began to look at a single grain, many of which create the coffee bed found in the basket of an espresso machine, they found the answer. It's more reliable from one cup to the next if fewer beans ground coarsely.

"When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing," Dr. Foster said in a press release announcing the research.

Brews faster, easier to clean the portafilter, uses less coffee and tastes really good. What's not to love. When I managed the bakery, I had everyone standardize on this - a lot of surprised people but we served a lot of really good coffee.

Faster please - from McGill University:

Can lithium halt progression of Alzheimer’s disease?
There remains a controversy in scientific circles today regarding the value of lithium therapy in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Much of this stems from the fact that because the information gathered to date has been obtained using a multitude of differential approaches, conditions, formulations, timing and dosages of treatment, results are difficult to compare. In addition, continued treatments with high dosage of lithium render a number of serious adverse effects making this approach impracticable for long term treatments especially in the elderly.

In a new study, however, a team of researchers at McGill University led by Dr. Claudio Cuello of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, has shown that, when given in a formulation that facilitates passage to the brain, lithium in doses up to 400 times lower than what is currently being prescribed for mood disorders is capable of both halting signs of advanced Alzheimer’s pathology such as amyloid plaques and of recovering lost cognitive abilities. The findings are published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

There is so much that we simply do not know - this is interesting.

Follow the money - transgender

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The transgender movement is not a grassroots movement. It is 100% pure astroturf. A great piece of investigative reporting from Jennifer Bilek writing at First Things:

Not long ago, the gay rights movement was a small group of people struggling to follow their dispositions within a larger heterosexual culture. Gays and lesbians were underdogs, vastly outnumbered and loosely organized, sometimes subject to discrimination and abuse. Their story was tragic, their suffering dramatized by AIDS and Rock Hudson, Brokeback Mountain and Matthew Shepard. 

Today’s movement, however, looks nothing like that band of persecuted outcasts. The LGBT rights agenda—note the addition of “T”—has become a powerful, aggressive force in American society. Its advocates stand at the top of media, academia, the professions, and, most important, Big Business and Big Philanthropy. Consider the following case.

Jon Stryker is the grandson of Homer Stryker, an orthopedic surgeon who founded the Stryker Corporation. Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Stryker Corporation sold $13.6 billion in surgical supplies and software in 2018. Jon, heir to the fortune, is gay. In 2000 he created the Arcus Foundation, a nonprofit serving the LGBT community, because of his own experience coming out as homosexual. Arcus has given more than $58.4 million to programs and organizations doing LGBT-related work between 2007 and 2010 alone, making it one of the largest LGBT funders in the world. Stryker gave more than $30 million to Arcus himself in that three-year period, through his stock in Stryker Medical Corporation.  

And of course, that raddled old anti-semite is neck deep in the midst:

In 2013 Adrian Coman, a veteran of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (a driver of transgender ideology that has begun initiatives to normalize transgender children), was named director of the international human rights program at the Arcus Foundation, to drive gender identity ideology globally. Previously, Coman served as program director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. And in 2015, Arcus worked closely with and funded NoVo Foundation programs for transgenderism. NoVo was founded by Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett.  

Soros may not have his name on the masthead but he is behind any attempt to tear down our nation.

This is an amazing (and sobering) piece of research. This is not a grassroots movement. This is statist socialism digging its nose under our tent in a different guise. Destroy western civilization and implement the one world government with them at the top. All about power, not about us.

Pushing back a day

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The contractor agreed to start work tomorrow instead of today - I was almost there but still needed to do a couple of hours work. No upcharges on my bill. A really nice gesture on his part.

Back from getting coffee - time to get back to work...

Dinner and a movie at L's house later today.


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Fun site - a list of words that do not translate into other languages.

Check out Eunoia

And of course, the memes start - Kobe

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No surprise there - CNN

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From America's newspaper of record, The Babylon Bee:

In Major Deal, The Babylon Bee Purchases Competing Satire Site CNN
The Babylon Bee has been the world's best satire site for thousands of years, spawning dozens of secular knock-offs that just aren't quite as good.

The site announced a new acquisition this week, one that immediately made the site the largest satirical site on the planet: a purchase of competing satire site CNN for $12 billion. The move more than quadrupled the site's catalog of hilarious, satirical articles.

"We've long admired CNN's ability to parody leftist media organizations so effortlessly, and we're thrilled to have them under The Babylon Bee's umbrella," said site CEO Seth Dillon. "When you can't compete with hilarious satire like CNN, you obviously look for ways to get them on your team, and an acquisition seemed to make the most sense."

The new conglomerate organization will be called BNN. CNN writers and hosts will be instructed to simply keep doing what they're doing.

"We don't want them to change anything since you don't try to fix satirical content that's already incredible," Dillon said. "They'll just keep churning out incredibly skewed content in order to satirize the leftist media's inability to report anything without bias or prejudice."

These stories just write themselves...

Up and at 'em - remodeling

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Up bright and early - got the contractor coming in to hang the drywall and still need to do a few things.

Quick surf, light breakfast and then to work.

RIP - Kobe Bryant

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He died in a helicopter crash today. Juan Browne has the details:

Sad - his daughter as well as a bunch of other people were killed as well.

I never fly helicopters if I do not have to. Much more dangerous than fixed wing.

And that is it for the day

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Forgot to get some stuff from Home Depot yesterday so did a quick run up there this morning. Delayed the start of my work (also did coffee, post office and a large dump run) but I worked through and finished a while ago.

The house is utter chaos but it is the chaos of several major remodeling projects and not just the chaos of clutter.

L came by this afternoon and we hung out together for a while - she loaned me a book that is out of print and brought me a pastry for a mid-afternoon treat. She is a keeper... Hard to believe that we have only known each other for less than two months - feels like years (in a very good sense).

The contractor is coming bright and early tomorrow to hang the drywall. I will be priming with one of the new PVA Primers (vapor tight) and using an ultra-low VOC paint. Getting the house buttoned up.

Surf for a bit. Hot shower first (was doing fiberglass insulation) and brew a pot of tea.

I use plastic racks with drawers and small zip-lock bags to store my electronic components but which drawer out of 100+ is often a challenge. This is an ideal solution:

More here - actually a very simple project and easy to maintain once it is in place.

News you can use - Cytokine Storm

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A good list from Natural Immune System Boosters. The Wuhan coronavirus (now known as 2019-nCoV) causes elevated Cytokine levels - this is the root cause of the illness and fatalities. Here is a list of what suplements to take and what to avoid when dealing with a Cytokine Storm:

What Is A Cytokine Storm?
Cytokines are compounds produced by the body’s immune system that attack and remove foreign bodies. Cytokines, produced by a number of different types of cells in response to infection that act as signals to other cells in the body, telling them to divide, or to produce certain proteins, or to cease their production. They assist, basically, in orchestrating portions of the immune response.

Simply put, a "cytokine storm" occurs when this regulation goes on overdrive and the molecules which are supposed to be protecting the body end up causing it harm by responding too strongly to the infection.

When our body detects foreign microorganisms indicating an infection, it can sometimes respond by over-protecting the site of infection. The body may race so many antibodies to the infection site that they collect in a cytokine storm. When the infection is in the lungs, for example, a cytokine storm can potentially block airways and result in suffocation.

The good list: Garlic, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Green Tea - got explanations with links for these as well as a bunch more good things to take.

The bad list: Elderberry, Chlorella and Spirulina, Honey, Chocolate - again, explanations and links as well as a bunch more to avoid.

Was very surprised at Elderberry - that is usually my go-to anti-viral and has proven effective time and again. Will keep an eye out for specific symptoms when dosing...

President Trump's reelection in 2020

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A slam dunk - here is why:


Vox Day said it best:

In academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world there is.

Talk about pandering - Joe Biden

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This is unreal - he has nothing substantive to offer so he is just pandering to the "woke" - from his twitter account:

Let's see - the 2010 US Census put the percentage of ALL gays at over 3% and under 4% of the total US population. Obviously, people can move so the percentage in New York City and in San Francisco and other Democrat hell-holes will be significantly higher but overall? Looking at the entire US population? A bit under 4%. This bears out with my observations - given a group of 100 people, there will be 3-4 of them who are gay. This has never been an issue with me - some really awesome people who happen to like a different partner for sex.

Now, out of that number, how many people think that they were born with the wrong gender. I would guess that this is less than 10%, maybe even less than 1% of the entire gay population. Homosexuality is a spectrum and there are lots of different desires and practices.

How is it now, that out of a crowd of 1,000 people, those three to ten people who think their gender is different get to set the narrative. There are plenty of places for them to go and celebrate their diversity - why do they have to drag their lifestyle into the public forum for all the other 99.9% of us to deal with. Whatever happened to a quiet and well-lived life.

This is not a civil right's issue - they already have their civil rights. To compare their tantrums with the incredible work done by Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X and all the brave souls who came before and after is pure fscking hubris. The trannies simply do not measure up  - not by their numbers and not by content of their character.

Up and at 'em

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Doing wiring and insulation today but first, coffee and dump run.

A fun evening

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The performance was quite good - they did Lucille Fletcher's classic Sorry, Wrong Number as well as an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly (unfortunately without a closet scene)

The Foley guy was using some interesting software for the sound effects - Show Cue - about $100 for the basic version and it will manage up to 80 effects per show - really feature packed.

Long day tomorrow so early bedtime.

Three photos from today - insulation

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Insulation is supposed to be nice and fluffy for it to work - it should not be compressed when installed.

Here is what I found in my walls:




Major props to the unknown "handyman" who stapled straight through the batts fastening them to the house's sheathing. Compressed 3" of fluffy fiberglass right down to an inch or so.

As for the last pic? You do not need to trim the batts to size when installing them, just double them over and staple the whole mess to the sheathing - that is twice the insulation isn't it?

Wuhan Coronavirus

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Yikes - when El Presidente admits that something is not right with their workers paradise, something is really not right.
From Reuters:

Xi says China faces 'grave situation' as virus death toll hits 42
President Xi Jinping said China was facing a “grave situation” as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 42, overshadowing Lunar New Year celebrations that began on Saturday.

China also announced further transport restrictions.

With more than 1,400 people infected worldwide, most of them in China, Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China.

Australia confirmed its first four cases and Canada its first on Saturday, after Malaysia confirmed four and France reported Europe’s first cases on Friday, as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

The United States is arranging a charter flight on Sunday to bring its citizens and diplomats back from Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.

And the usual cautions apply - avoid large cities and crowds. Cancel any travel plans that involves publilc transportation (including daily commuting via bus or light rail), wash your hands frequently and do not touch your nose, mouth or eyes.

For President Xi to own up to a problem means that there really is a problem and what news we are hearing out of China is just the tip of the iceberg.

And done for the day

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There is nothing quite so wonderful as a nice hot shower. Feeling positively radiant - a productive day and a fun evening ahead.  Heating up some left-overs for dinner

Tee shirt

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Fun idea - I have too many already and cutting back on my collection but this is cute:


The Impeachment proceedings

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Very popular. From the London Daily Mail:

Senators are baffled by half-empty spectator gallery at impeachment trial - with Democrats saying people don't know how ‘easy’ getting tickets are and Republicans blaming dull opening remarks

    • US Senators are surprised that the Senate spectator gallery was a half-empty as the impeachment trial is underway
    • Republican Sen. Rand Paul blame Democrats' tedious opening remarks
    • Democrat Sen. Chris Coons points out that the public may not understanding how 'easy' it is to watch in person
    • Tickets to the gallery are usually distributed through local Senate offices, with between three and five tickets available
    • Senate's impeachment trial will determine if Trump will be removed from office, but it's thought he will be acquitted

The Senate spectator gallery was unexpectedly half-empty throughout the first week of President Donald Trump's historic impeachment trial.

The Senate trial began on January 16 after Trump was impeached in the House on two articles stemming from accusations that he withheld military aid money from US ally Ukraine until they conducted an investigation into presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma told New York Post: 'I’m really surprised at that because this is kind of historic and I would think this would be an opportunity for people to get in there regardless of whose side you are on.'

The Senators think that this is sooo historic. They are living in cloud cuckoo land. The rest of us? Us normals?
Zzzzzzzzzz... Meanwhile, President Trump is ignoring these fools and is proceeding to demonstrate what real leadership is all about. Make America Great Again.

Break time

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The IKEA furniture delivery people came and left - really nice and very professional. Great company.

L came by unexpectedly a bit later with a cookie and to say hi. We are going to a fun event later tonight - a reenactment of two old radio shows at one of the local state parks. I got to model my bunny suit in all of it's sartorial splendor.

Back to work - about an hour more for today.

Time to get off my a@@

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and get to work. Done with coffee and lunch. Putting on bunny suit and going in.

Wonderful news - public-sector unions

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No need for these. Labor unions definitely had their place in the early 1900's but they failed to evolve and now do not really serve their workers, only their leadership. Private sector unions are still viable - electricians, automotive and aerospace workers, etc. but public sector unions should never have been implemented - teachers, government workers, etc...

From City Journal:

Labor’s Love Lost
Government-union membership fell again in 2019, continuing a decade-long decline. Workers in public-sector unions now number 7.066 million, representing a drop of nearly 100,000 in one year and the smallest government-organized labor membership in 20 years. Since 2009, when the ranks of government-union members peaked at 7.896 million, public-labor groups have lost more than 10 percent of their membership. The percentage of government workers belonging to unions has dropped to 33.6, the smallest proportion of the government workforce since 1978. The most recent numbers illustrate how government unions continue to suffer from the hangover of the recession of 2008-2009, in part because of a slow rebound in government employment during the economic expansion that began in 2010. The numbers may also reflect some losses that unions have suffered in the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court Janus decision, which gave public-sector workers the right to opt out of joining a union or paying fees.

The trends are particularly ominous for public unions because 2019 should have been the year that they started bouncing back. In the tenth year of an economic expansion, state tax and local collections grew robustly, increasing by 9 percent in the second quarter and 5.6 percent in the third quarter, according to government surveys. States and municipalities subsequently hired more workers. The number of local government employees, for instance, jumped by nearly 100,000 in 2019, to 14.573 million. But these gains haven’t translated into increases in union membership, particularly in municipal government, the largest segment of public-sector employment. The total government workforce in America has returned to its pre-financial crash levels, but union headcount has failed to follow suit.

Let's see now - public sector union membership peaked in 2009. What happened on January 20th of 2009
Stands to reason - the Democrats rallied behind him, put him behind the Resolute Desk with his pen and his phone and he proceeded to pay his people back. Belly up to the trough. Here is a sterling example of what happens when the teachers union gets free money to play with - from CATO Institute:


It comes from page two of this PDF report: State Education Trends - Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years by the CATO Institute.

The teachers unions are not there for the teachers. They are not there for the kids. They are there for themselves - they have political power and they do not want to lose it.

99 years ago today - robot

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From the Infogalactic entry for R.U.R.

R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, the English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots had been used as the subtitle in the Czech original. It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.

R.U.R. quickly became famous and was influential early in the history of its publication. By 1923, it had been translated into thirty languages.

The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), out of synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term; these creatures are closer to the modern idea of cyborgs, androids or even clones, as they may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but that changes, and a hostile robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race. Čapek later took a different approach to the same theme in War with the Newts, in which non-humans become a servant class in human society.

R.U.R. is dark but not without hope, and was successful in its day in both Europe and the United States.

Emphasis mine - 99 years ago today, the word robot entered the language. The Infogalactic page has a story-line of the play - looks interesting. Have to look for a current english-language version of it. YouTube?

The Wuhan coronavirus - not good

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Two articles - first, from journalist Ezra Cheung's twitter:

And second, from the London Daily Mail:

Chinese 'nurse' claims corpses of coronavirus victims are left lying in a Wuhan hospital crammed with patients as she warns 'everyone will end up being infected' in desperate plea for help

      • Self-proclaimed medic filmed three corpses unattended in a hospital corridor
      • In a post, she accused authorities of covering up the truth of the epidemic
      • She claimed doctors refused to issue diagnoses to control the official figures
      • She begged the public 'to save the people of Wuhan' in a heart-rending thread
      • Outbreak of a new deadly virus has killed 26 people and infected 830 in China

Corpses of coronavirus victims are being left unattended in a corridor of a hospital flooded with patients in Wuhan as the Chinese city is ravaged by the deadly infection, it has been revealed.

The chilling scene, captured by a woman who claims to be a nurse, was posted on the country's social media network today but quickly censored.

Dozens of videos posted online appear show people lying in the street after collapsing where they stood as they walked through the streets of Wuhan.

Given the tight censorship in China (isn't socialized central government just peachy), I am guessing that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I was worried about Ebola. I am even more worried about this new coronavirus. It is not as lethal as Ebola but it is carried on the air and apparently does not require physical contact to infect.

You can not have it both ways

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Two headlines - click on them to go to the article:

I will give you a hint. The first link is from CBS News. They are not quite CNN when it comes to pushing the progressive narrative but they are pretty close. Fake News indeed.

The second link is a paper published in the Journal of Polar Biology 

I think the actual reality should be pretty clear.

Heh - great meme

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Found at Powerline:


So true - Schiff et. al. are being taken apart and called on their lies in the Senate. All of the House's efforts were built on lies and wishful thinking and their own narrative. Living in a bubble is not the way to go through life.

And the day begins

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Slept in a bit - some "interesting" dreams - hope that I am not becoming a precog. Everyone survived but these were two dreams, one with fire and one with torrential rain and flooding (specifically a downdraft).

Out to get coffee and then time for the bunny suit - working on the music room (AKA the mouse mausoleum). Got a lot of extra bags for my shop vac and will put it outside as I vacuum so as to not blow the fines all around the house - I already have 24 feet of hose for it.

Room is going to be really nice when done - house is turning into a home.

We are heading out to an event this evening - looking forward to it.

Quid Pro Joe simply does not get it

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Out of the loop - from The Daily Wire:

Joe Biden: ‘We Don’t Need Standing Armies’; ‘We Should Be Helping’ Communist China
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden made a series of troubling remarks this week about U.S. national security matters, stating that the U.S. does not need a standing military and that the U.S. should be focusing on helping communist China.

“We talk about China as our competitor? We should be helping, and benefiting ourselves by doing that,” Biden said during a campaign event in Iowa. “But the idea that China is going to eat our lunch, it was like I remembered debates in the late 90s, remember Japan was going to own us? Give me a break.”

The fact that he is the serious cantidate for the Democrat nomination give me a case of the blue-blind paralytic willies. Biden is just pandering to the millenials - he does not understand realpolitik. President Trump does which is why we are signing treaties right and left. Treaties that are benficial to the wishes and policies of these United States.

Long day today and same for the next few. The contractor is working out really well. Was out after getting supplies for my work this weekend - trying to find some simple tools that neither Lowe's (getting more and more dissapointed with them) and Home Depot (liking them more and more) carried. This one in particular: Trim Puller

We are heading out tomorrow evening to a live reenactment of two old radio shows. Looking forward to that.

Anyway, like it says on the label - tea and bed.

Or make that re-muddle... Got the bedroom walls down to bare studs and ready to tear out the old insulation and install better stuff. The old stuff was from the 1960's - the new stuff has much better properties.

Lunch first, shopping and then bunny suit time.

Spending money at IKEA

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Bought some furniture for the living room and then found out about this upcoming opportunity - there has been a very interesting renaissance in analog synthesizers. All of the old patents have expired and the circuits can be made with modern components. You get the same sonorities with a lot less noise, better stability, smaller size and cheaper cost.

teenage engineering is one company in Sweden making these new devices and they paired up with IKEA for a limited run of devices. From this IKEA document (PDF):

A limited collection in collaboration with teenage engineering

No music, no party, right? Music is one of the most powerful and uniting cultural forces in society. It is something that unites people and amplifies emotions. Social life in homes are often centered around music, so having good sound in every room of the home has become a dream for many. This inspired a limited collection called FREKVENS.

Sales starting February 2020, FREKVENS limited collection consists of products that allow you to start a party easily in your home, or somewhere else. Wherever the music takes you.

The core of the collection, a portable music system was created with the creative collective teenage engineering. Inspired by the movement and ambience of a party, the solitaire speakers have modular possibilities allowing you to turn them into a sound system. Then just attach some LEDs, spotlights and choose your spotlight accessories for a totally unique party.

There are a lot more than just speakers and lighting at the document - some great mugs (tiki and totem) as well as furniture and wear. 

Peace in the Middle East - baby steps

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Amazing bit of news from The Algemeiner:

Muslim World League Chief al-Issa Joins Holocaust Survivors in Historic Tribute at Auschwitz
The head of the one of the world’s largest Muslim organizations paid an unprecedented visit to the site of the Auschwitz extermination camp on Thursday, where he participated in remembrance prayers for the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Dr. Muhammad al-Issa — the secretary-general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL) — joined with survivors of the Holocaust in paying his respects at the camp as the world prepares for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27.

20200124-alissaauschwitz.jpgMohammad al-Issa (center, with black robe), secretary-general
of the Muslim World League, visits Auschwitz, Jan. 23, 2020.
Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel.

“To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” al-Issa said. “The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes against humanity. That is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God’s children.”

Al-Issa has established the MWL as a leading Muslim partner for dialogue with Judaism and other faiths since he was appointed to take over the Saudi-backed organization in 2016.

In May 2018, al -Issa paid a public visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, where he strongly condemned Holocaust denial.

And in an extensive interview with The Algemeiner earlier that same year, he firmly rejected those who present the Islamic faith as a license to engage in sectarian persecution.

Doing so “negates the tradition of the Creator Almighty, who created His universe in such a way that it contains diversity and variety,” al-Issa said.

Dr. al-Issa is most definitley one of the good guys. Nice to see the pendulum swinging back to normalcy again.

The Algemeiner is based out of New York City and is one of the largest English language Jewish newspapers in the world.

Object of desire

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Such fun - M134 Minigun:


Up and at 'em

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Another day of demolition and rebuilding. Got my Tyvek bunny suit and my PPE and ready to go to work.

From the London Daily Mail:

Beijing CANCELS major Chinese New Year celebrations in desperate attempt to control the spread of the killer Coronavirus
Beijing has today announced major Chinese New Year events will be cancelled to control the spread of the killer coronavirus.

Officials in the Chinese capital have scrapped events including temple fairs – which can attract thousands of tourists.

Residents have been urged to 'strengthen prevention' against the virus, which has killed 25 and potentially infected thousands.

More than 800 people have been confirmed to have the virus, with cases recorded in the US, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau - as well as China.

Wonder how bad it really is for them to do this measure. New Year is a big thing there.

Quite the blow

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It is coming out of the South and my home is shielded by a large bluff so I do not get the full effect but I am seeing 15MPG gusting to 23.

Some numbers: Snohomish PUD (mine) has 508 customers without electricity. Puget Sound Energy (to the south and the north) has about 100. Pacific Power has four customers in Oregon reading by candlelight. BC Hydro (coal actually) has about 150.

Loud gusting wind but no real significant damage - great news. I know around here, the crews have been doing a wonderful job trimming the trees near the power lines. A little infrastructure maintenance goes a long way. Talkin' to you California.

If one forecast doesn't get you, the other one will - from the National Weather Service:

Rock, meet hard place. I was driving North to Home Depot for supplies for this weekend and saw that the water in the irrigation ditches was the highest that I had ever seen. Sample size of two years for what that is worth but still...

Long day today - up at 5AM

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Been getting to sleep earlier and have given up my usual several glasses of red wine when watching YouTube. Sleeping a lot better for some strange reason and also needing less of it.  Getting a lot more done for some strange reason.

We finished the flooring in the loft - looks gorgeous. The contractor demolished the music room and will do the bedroom tomorrow. I have the weekend to make any changes (upgrading the insulation and adding some wiring stubs so rewiring the house will be a lot easier). He found this little tableau in one corner of the room:



About 40 mouse skeletons - not quite a Rat King but quite the ugghhh factor. Finding lots of mouse poop in the same room. The saving grace is that it shares a wall with the garage and the access panel to the crawl-space under the house is in the garage so these wee beasties probably came in one winter to escape the cold.

UPDATE - Wuhan coronavirus

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From the english language Channel News Asia:

Singapore confirms first case of Wuhan virus
Singapore on Thursday (Jan 23) announced a confirmed case of the Wuhan virus, a new coronavirus that has sickened hundreds of people and killed at least 17.

In a media briefing on Thursday evening, the Ministry of Health said the patient is a 66-year-old Chinese man. The Wuhan resident, who arrived in Singapore with his family on Jan 20, flew from Guangzhou via China Southern flight CZ351.

The genie is out of the bottle...

Just wonderful - from the scientific journal Nature - 2017/02/23:

Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world's most dangerous pathogens
A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats.

And, of course, it was an international body of scientists that certified the lab for occupancy:

The lab was certified as meeting the standards and criteria of BSL-4 by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January. The CNAS examined the lab’s infrastructure, equipment and management, says a CNAS representative, paving the way for the Ministry of Health to give its approval. A representative from the ministry says it will move slowly and cautiously; if the assessment goes smoothly, it could approve the laboratory by the end of June.

Just wonderful - a virus that would be ideal as a bioweapon shows up in a city that has the first BSL-4 lab in all of China. A lab that was OK'd by Chinese bureaucrats and not a team of independent scientists. When I say bioweapon, I am talking about how it has an asymptomatic incubation time - the guy who flew to the US did not realize that he was ill until some days after he arrived. He was contagious and spreading this around to all the other people on the long flight.

It is not lethal, it just incapacitates the victim. You want to invade but you do not want to kill your future serfs.
Just perfect

Seriously YouTube - WTF???

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Judicial Watch is an organization that exposes corruption in the government. They are conservative but they are specifically non-partisan. They go after Republicans just as much as Democrats. They have been doing excellent work for 25 years. From their President's Twitter Feed:

This is not good. This is trying to promote the narrative and is downright evil.

I like her - Tulsi Gabbard

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She is a classical Democrat in the mold of J.F. Kennedy - if she were running for President, I would have a hard decision between her and Trump. She is not afraid of the outgoing (thankfully) Clinton cartel. From the New York Post:

Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for defamation
Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard has filed a defamation suit against Hillary Clinton for calling her a “Russian asset,” according to newly filed court papers.

“Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain,” Wednesday’s Manhattan federal lawsuit reads. “In October 2019 — whether out of personal animus, political enmity, or fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated — Clinton lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard. She did so publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent.”

The former secretary of state has refused to walk back comments she made during an Oct. 17 appearance on a podcast, in which she referred to the Hawaii congresswoman as a “favorite of the Russians.”

I am saddened by the news of her upcoming suicide. She will be shooting herself in the back of the head three times.

L & I got 2/3rds of the upstairs flooring done today - knocking out the rest of it tomorrow. Also tomorrow I have a contractor coming in to do drywall in two rooms. They came highly recomended and their bid was right in the ballpark so try them out on a small job to see how they do. Do they show up on time. Do they clean up after themselves. That kind of thing.

Was up pretty early today so just a quick trot around the internet and then some YouTube videos. Pot of tea and bed.

Heh - Benny Hill and the impeachment

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The video is the House members walking the impeachment to the Senate:
Tip of the hat to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple for the link.

The Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak

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Tyler has some updates at Zero Hedge:

Coronavirus Deaths Double Overnight To 17, Suspected Case Identified In St. Petersburg
Update 2: Just as we suspected, Chinese authorities have revised the death toll for the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak to 17 on Wednesday, meaning that in under 24 hours, the death toll has practically doubled.

Meanwhile, Russia media reports claim that a passenger from Shanghai has been hospitalized, a sign that the virus may now have spread to Russia.


- - - - - - - - -

Update: So much for being 'contained'.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador - better known as AMLO - said Wednesday morning that two cases of coronavirus are suspected in Mexico, and that health officials are scrambling to confirm. He added that one of the patients is under observation in Tamaulipas.

- - - - - - - - -

China's National Health Commission has revised the total of coronavirus cases higher for at least the second time on Wednesday: there are now 473 confirmed patients infected in China alone, though the death toll remained at 9, Reuters reports.

Internationally, the total number of cases has climbed to 481, according to a running count by the SCMP

The clock is ticking - somewhere out there is something that will rival the 1918 influenza pandemic (worldwide with 500 million infections and 50-100 million deaths) and we are woefully underprepared.

Fake News - an insight from an insider

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From Bill O'Reilly writing at Real Clear Politics:

Should You Hate the Media?
1975 was an exciting time to be at Boston University’s School of Public Communication. There we were, about 30 students seeking a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. All of us thought our quest was noble, that we would become purveyors of truth, skilled fact-finders and truth-tellers in the Watergate tradition. The lessons presented were well worth the tens of thousands of dollars I had to pay for them.

Forty-five years later, having reached the top of my profession, I generally despise my own industry, something I never could have predicted. Here’s why.

The good news is that the pendulum is swinging back towards conservatism and fact-based reality. Was getting worried for a while...

Only in California

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The place was paradise until the Democrats took over - from ABC News:

California considers declaring common pain killer carcinogen
A fight is coming to California over whether to list one of the world's most common over-the-counter drugs as a carcinogen, echoing recent high-profile battles over things like alcohol and coffee.

The drug is acetaminophen, known outside the U.S. as paracetamol and used to treat pain and fevers. It is the basis for more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications for adults and children, found in well-known brands like Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, Robitussin and Theraflu.

Acetaminophen has been available in the U.S. without a prescription since 1955. Concerns about its potential link to cancer come from its relationship to another drug: phenacetin. That drug, once a common treatment for headaches and other ailments, was banned by the FDA in 1983 because it caused cancer.

Sometimes you just have to say enough. Whatever agency is promoting this needs to have their budget cut by 90%

Look, I get it - tracking potential carcinogens is a good thing but once you have all the big ones, you need to dial back and not start labeling everything. 90% of everything can cause cancer if you consume enough of it - Paracelcus knew this back in the 1500's when he wrote that The dose makes the poison.

This is good - Flint, Michigan water

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The US Supreme Court is allowing the citizens of Flint, Michigan to sue their city and government officials for not maintaining the infrastructure and knowingly allow high levels of lead to contaminate the water supply. Let's hear it for accountability of public "servants". From Reuters:

U.S. Supreme Court lets Flint, Michigan residents sue over water contamination
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let residents of Flint, Michigan pursue a civil rights lawsuit against the city and government officials that accused them of knowingly allowing the city’s water supply to become contaminated with lead.

The justices turned away two appeals by the city and the state and local officials of a lower court ruling that allowed the lawsuit to move forward. The lower court rejected a demand for immunity by the officials, finding that they violated the residents’ right to “bodily integrity” under the U.S. Constitution by providing the tainted water after switching water sources in a cost-cutting move in 2014.

What happened?

Flint switched its public water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to reduce costs during a financial crisis. The corrosive river water caused lead to leach from pipes.

Lead poisoning can stunt children’s cognitive development. No level of exposure is considered safe.

The city switched back to Lake Huron water the next year. The contaminated river water also triggered an outbreak of bacteria-caused Legionnaires’ disease, which killed 12 people and sickened dozens of others.

Bone-headed move that was swept under the rug when the consequences were discovered. They were going to sit back and impare a generation of kids until this was discovered by an outside agency.
Rope. Tree. Some assembly required...

Oh joy - Wuhan coronavirus in the USA

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Just South of here to be exact. From the Seattle Times:

Case of Wuhan coronavirus detected in Everett, first in United States
A Snohomish County resident is infected with the Wuhan coronavirus, the first confirmed case in the United States of a mysterious respiratory infection that has killed at least six people and sickened hundreds more in Asia.

The patient is a man in his 30s who recently had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak appears to have originated, federal officials have found. He had no symptoms when he arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma airport last Wednesday, but he contacted doctors on Sunday when he started feeling ill, and he was hospitalized with pneumonia, officials said.

Investigators tested samples from the man for the presence of the coronavirus and received positive results. The patient is said to be at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett in good condition and isn’t considered a threat to medical staff or the public.

The newly discovered virus has infected about 300 people, all of whom had been in China, and killed six people in Wuhan. Most of the dead were age 60 or older, and at least some had a previous medical condition.

This is what freaks me out about the highly contageous virusses like Ebola. You can be asymptomatic for a week or more while still being contageous. Wonder how many people on that long flight were exposed. Have they been checked?

Off for the day

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Just got back from the storage unit and library and other places. L is fixing some lunch and we are doing flooring today.

Minimal posting if any...

A really nice touch and a tweet

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From The Last Refuge:

President Trump and Vice-President Pence Make Unscheduled Visit to MLK Memorial…
Moments ago President Trump and Vice President Pence made an unscheduled stop to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC to pay their holiday respects.

From President Trump:

Alexandria Occasional-Cortex slipped up on the microphone and actually said what she meant. From NOQ Report:

AOC to billionaires: The people ‘don’t want your money, we want your power’
The radical progressive wing of the New Democratic Party truly fails to understand why their ideas are so horrible. People like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have this notion that if they could only reach enough people with their extreme message against the rich, they can achieve their goal of complete government control over our lives. You see, to the far-left, authoritarianism is considered a positive so they can protect us from each other… and ourselves.

It’s unfortunate that so many people really are starting to listen to her, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other Marxists who envision a utopia dominated by the upper political classes (not to be confused with the upper economic classes) who will make sure we’re all comfortable in our morphine-drip existence under Gargantuan Government. This is why the push so hard for the Green New Deal, known in conservative economic circles as the pathway to Modern Monetary Theory.

But here’s the problem. Okay, so there are a ton of problems with their socialistic agenda, but here’s the problem as it pertains to the messaging depicted in the video below. Their authoritarianism can only be achieved by utilizing “the people” within a power structure that only benefits the elite. You’ll notice in her little slip that when she discusses wanting the people to take the power from billionaires like Jeff Bezos, she’s framing it within the concept of a “worker cooperative.”

Much more at the site - a good and accurate analysis. People like AOC are not about us, they are about securing power and privilege for themselves.

The Richmond Rally

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Looks like it turned out really well - self policing. A headline:

Only Person Arrested at Virginia Gun Rights Rally Was a Mask-Wearing LGBT Activist

From The Daily Wire:

VA Sheriff: We Will NOT Enforce ‘Unconstitutional’ Gun Control Laws
Attending a pro-Second Amendment rally outside Virginia’s state capitol on Monday, Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan said he will not be enforcing unconstitutional gun control laws.

“Grayson County Virginia Sheriff Richard Vaughan is here with his deputies. He said he won’t enforce stricter gun laws,” The Virginian-Pilot’s Alissa Skelton reported. “We are here to stand up for the Second Amendment, he said.”

The Democrat Governor is not without sin - from Townhall:

Second Amendment Rally Renews Governor Northam's Blackface, KKK Scandal
One year ago, photos from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's medical school year book surfaced. The photos showed Northam in either black face or full KKK garb. It was also revealed his nickname was "Coonman."

Not good optics in these "woke" times.

I am sure that there will be some good stories coming out in the next day or three - looks like they had a big turnout.

Deception Pass a no-go

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L's gig lasted until well after 1PM and I have a meeting tonight so we went up to the communities of Edison and Bow - gorgeous little places turning into quite the food and arts communities.

Time to wolf down a bowl of lentil soup and head out to the meeting - 6:30 but want to get there a bit early to help set up.

Good words for today

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"Let no man pull you so low as to hate him."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Richmond, VA

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Lots of reports coming in but holding off for 48 hours. Looks to be very very well attended and peaceful but there will probably be some false-flag attempts at disruption by the hard left. Need to get all the facts straight first before posting.

Happy days in China - from the South China Morning Post:

China coronavirus: Beijing breaks its silence, but only to ‘deny rumours’
China’s central government has broken its silence on the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak with an online post aimed at “defying the rumours” surrounding the spread of the new coronavirus but without providing any new facts or figures.

In an information poster reproduced on social media and its own website on Saturday night, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the new virus was not Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which killed more than 700 people around the world in 2003.

The centre also dismissed suggestions that hospitals outside Wuhan had been secretly treating people infected with the virus, saying that all known cases were being dealt with in the central China city.

Something out there is waiting to break out. The Ebola epidemic is far from over. What and when will it happen.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King

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Mark Alexander has a great essay at Patriot Post:

Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. … And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Despite the fact that the Democratic Party claims King’s legacy, and Democrats argue they are the sole protectors of his “dream,” they have turned this iconic sovereign’s message upside down, as if King had said, “I have a dream that my children will one day be judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.” They’ve converted it from a dream into a nightmare, and their failed statist “Great Society” programs have enslaved generations of poor, mostly black Americans on urban poverty plantations.

But poor blacks have been a staple constituency, having been inculcated with the belief that they are perpetual “victims of injustice” who must depend on their Democrat masters to take care of them.

King’s 1963 address from the Lincoln Memorial was his most famous, but you have likely never read King’s 1966 assessment of racial violence in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago: “This is the most tragic picture of man’s inhumanity to man. I’ve been to Mississippi and Alabama and I can tell you that the hatred and hostility in Chicago are really deeper than in Alabama and Mississippi.” King added, “Those who are associated with ‘Black Power’ and black supremacy are wrong.”

Lots more at the site - talking about race hustlers and poverty pimps (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, etc...)

There is nothing new about race-hustlers. In his 1911 work, “My Larger Education,” Booker T. Washington wrote: “There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

More at the site and Mark concludes with this:

Despite questions about King’s personal character and his proper place in history, I encourage you to read his letter from a Birmingham jail, which provides a window into the soul of King’s vision for all Americans.

Powerful words in that letter. People like Sharpton, Jackson, Obama need to be truely ashamed of themselves for perpetuating the cruel divide. I am reminded of these inconvenient truths:


Truth hurts the narrative so must preserve the narrative at all costs.

From Peter Schweizer writing at the New York Post:

How five members of Joe Biden’s family got rich through his connections
Political figures have long used their families to route power and benefits for their own self-enrichment. In my new book, “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite,” one particular politician — Joe Biden — emerges as the king of the sweetheart deal, with no less than five family members benefiting from his largesse, favorable access and powerful position for commercial gain. In Biden’s case, these deals include foreign partners and, in some cases, even US taxpayer dollars.

The Biden family’s apparent self-enrichment involves five family members: Joe’s son Hunter, son-in-law Howard, brothers James and Frank, and sister Valerie.

When this subject came up in 2019, Biden declared, “I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else — even distant family — about their business interests. Period.”

No wonder Obama chose him as Veep - two birds of a feather. Tell me again just how the Obama family was able to afford a $14 million beach-front house?

Busy but productive day

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Stuff to do this morning. L has a class in 30 minutes and we are meeting up to head to Deception Pass around noon. It is gorgeous and she has never been there (new to the area). I have a board meeting later tonight.

The fun never ends 🙂

Fun with lasers

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Cheap chineseium for sure - zero guarantees of long life or true rated output power but this caught my eye.
From BangGood (one of the more reputable of the Chinese dealers out there)

Ortur Laser Master 15W Desktop Laser Engraver Cutter Laser Engraving Machine 32-bit Motherboard LaserGRBL Control Software Easy to Install
32-bit Motherboard with STM32 chip for Faster Speed and Higher Precision. Multiple Safety Protection Making You Safe to Operate

Fast and Precise Engraving
Ortur Laser Master is a portable laser engraving machine, which is easy to install and safe to operate. It has a built-in G-sensor. When the machine tilts, it will automatically stop laser work and protect against laser damage. Support for GRBL open source software for operating fun. It supports dynamic control laser module, and PWM power regulation, low brightness regulation. It also supports lasers of different powers, so that this is a great device for DIY project.

Under $200 for the next 12 days. To be sure, that is 15 watts input power with probably about 2-3 watts delivered at the lens but still...

It runs LaserGRBL which runs just fine on an Arduino board. GRBL? From GitHub

An open source, embedded, high performance g-code-parser and CNC milling controller written in optimized C that will run on a straight Arduino

g-code is the command set that makes CNC machines work their magic.

Someone received a lesson

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This is from a private email list so I do not want to give out much - public release in a day or so. A local kid (under 18 years old) posted a threat on social media. The TLA determined the house from where the message was sent and some local federales showed up and took the boy into custody. It was a "joke" a "prank" he said.

Some notes:

TLA = Three Letter Agency (ie: NSA (also known as no such agency), TSA, FBI, CIA, ABC, DEF, etc...

Every item connected to a network has a unique MAC address - this is set in hardware and cannot be changed. It can be spoofed but this is something beyond the scope of a kid living in his mama's basement (for specific reasons). Know the MAC address, you know the computer. Know the computer, it is a simple matter to find the computer on the network. Find the computer on the network, you know the physical location down to the network tap.

Monday's rally in Virginia

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This is going to be interesting - the eyes of the Nation will be watching. From The Western Journal:

VA State Senator Goes Public 72 Hours Before Rally: 'We Are Being Set Up'
A Virginia state senator has sounded a warning bell three days before a massive rally is set to coalesce in the commonwealth’s capital.

Conservative Sen. Amanda Chase of District 11 took to Facebook on Friday with a warning for every patriot who plans to attend the pro-Second Amendment rally Monday in Richmond.

Her warning came the same week that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order temporarily banning firearms in the Capitol Square.

Much much more at the site. This fits in with yesterday's report that Antifa members are being bused in to the event wearing far-right logos and insignia with the intent of perpetrating a false-flag incident.

What Governor Northam is not realizing is that the eyes of the Nation are upon him and what he does is going to be subject to very intense scrutiny both by the media and by We The People. This is serious.

Lovely place and great people. Passed through there several times on my way to adventures and would not mind spending a month or two visiting. Unfortunately, this is not a well-run Nation. This latest example from the Washington Examiner:

Puerto Rico fires emergency director after finding warehouse full of wasted Hurricane Maria aid
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez has fired the island’s director of emergency management after officials found a warehouse full of emergency supplies dating back to 2017's Hurricane Maria.

Vasquez dismissed Carlos Acevedo on Saturday and gave officials two days to investigate why the wasted supplies were forgotten. The warehouse was initially investigated for damage following recent earthquakes in the area, and investigators found thousands of items of supplies, including food, water, diapers, and medicine that were intended to help those affected by Hurricane Maria years ago.

I love that she gave them two days to respond. No chance for them to kick the can down the road and gracefully retire on full pension six months later. And this is just the latest:

Nearly 3,000 people reportedly died because of the hurricane and its lasting effects on the island. Mass protests in Puerto Rico in the hurricane’s aftermath led to the resignation of former Gov. Ricardo Rossello in July 2019.

In September 2018, hundreds of pallets of water were found abandoned on an airstrip. The water had gone bad sitting in the sun for months, while many in Puerto Rico lacked access to clean water. A month prior, a local radio station found crates of food, water, medicine, and other supplies left to rot in a state elections office. By the time the discovery was made, rats and other animals had already broken into the supplies and torn through trailers full of aid.

I get it. It is easy to get overwhelmed and lose traction. At that point, you need to recognize your problem and call for outside help. There is no shame in that. Some of the CERT and FEMA drills cover just those situations. I am saddened to realize that this could have been prevented had #1) - these people taken their responsibilities more seriously and #2) - they had spent 20-50 hours in a classroom covering some of the basic FEMA course materials. Available for free online. Great stuff. Start here: Emergency Management Institute. This series is incredible if you are working with CERT or Amateur Radio groups: ICS Resource Center This group too: National Incident Management System (NIMS)

These are all free, self-paced study and invaluable in a crisis. The best definition for "Emergency" that I have heard is that it is "an incident that outstrips your ability to cope". A couple of tens of hours spent getting CERT training or with these online classes would make your average emergency a lot less of a crisis.

Nothing much happening today

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Slow news day so nothing on the internet.

I am working on the garage and the laundry room today. L is off doing some stuff - meeting for a walk later.

Time for some coffee.

No comments - just watch:

One does not mess with Betty Windsor

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The word seismic is an understatement - from The Daily Wire:

‘Seismic’: Queen Financially Cuts Off Harry And Meghan, Strips Titles. Here’s Her Statement
Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shocked the world last week when they announced their plan to step away from royal duties and work to become financially independent.

On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II pulled the trigger on the exiting royals, announcing that the couple will have their “His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness” titles stripped, as well as be financially cut off from royal funds, effective this spring.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” the Queen said in a statement, adding that she “support[s] their wish for a more independent life.”

Harry is hardest hit (and yes, it is Harry now - not Prince Harry). From Associated Press:

Prince Harry is losing his military titles and patronages including Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant Royal Air Force Honington and Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command: Commodore in Chief

I am reminded of this meme I posted five days ago:


Again, you do not mess with The Queen.

They are now tasty again. From the London Daily Mail:

Happy birthday Michelle Obama, I've canceled your school lunches! Donald Trump's administration lets schools cut back on fruit and veg and sell MORE pizza and burgers - and serve fries every day
Donald Trump's administration proposed new school lunch guidelines Friday that would undo several changes made by Michelle Obama to get more fruit and veggies on the menu: a move that comes on the former first lady's birthday.

The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Food and Nutrition Service, said it is proposing new rules 'to simplify meal service and reduce food waste.' That would include 'increasing flexibility in the “vegetable subgroups” requirements for school lunches.'

But the changes would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them the ability to offer more pizza, burgers and fries instead.

It would also undo rules championed by Michelle Obama as part of her Let's Move initiative and The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.

Yeah - I get it. It sounded like a good idea. Problem is that the kids who had the poorest nutrition at home were not eating these lunches because the food was not what they were used to. Their overall nutrition went from poor to worse.

Another great example of unintended consequences. Something that liberals do not seem to take into account when they come up with their grand ideas.

Interesting times - Richmond, Virginia

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The rally scheduled for Monday - from The Other McCain:

Governor Northam Couldn’t Be Setting Up A “Reichstag Fire” Event, Could He?
Via @deplorable_s on Twitter and Tom DeWeese on FaceBook we have this tidbit:


The whole Charlottesville disaster was bad enough, and Stacy covered it here and here. Given the Left’s need to control the conversation coupled with the pending implosion of the impeachment disaster, makes the Democrats more of a rabid, injured, cornered animal than usual. 

This will be interesting to follow from 2,300 miles away. Sometimes the people get what they voted for - good and hard and without so much as dinner or flowers first or a thank you after.

More at the site - lots of links in the comments section too.

And top of the morning

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Up and at 'em for another day of work on the house. Bear is a bit slow this morning but seems to be fine from his surgery yesterday. Soliciting bids from some drywall people.

That's it - busy day and tired.

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More posting tomorrow.

It has to happen sometime - a new fresh face to be the advancing figure of the globalist state masquerading as climate change. Thunberg will be dropped like a stone in to a well. Spash. Gone. From Reuters:

'You have not seen anything yet,' climate activist Greta says ahead of Davos
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said “you have not seen anything yet” before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change.

The 17-year-old, who launched the #FridaysforFuture movement that has sparked worldwide protests, denounced a lack of government action to cut heat-trapping emissions before it is too late.

“So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne.

“To the world leaders and those in power, I would like to say that you have not seen anything yet. You have not seen the last of us, we can assure you that. And that is the message that we will bring to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.”

Brushfires? The Australian brushfires were caused by the environmentalists preventing people from doing an annual brush burn to keep the fire load down. (fire load is the availability of combustible materials - you want to maintain a low fire load). These burns were done yearly by the Aboriginal people well before the whites came. The colonists saw the logic of this and kept burning. The environmentalists stopped the burning, the fire load increased every year until they had an unseasonably hot year and then Ka-Boom.

We have a precident with the Great Yellowstone fires of 1988 - earlier, small fires were allowed to burn unimpeded but this policy was changed in 1960's and the fire load built.

The US has changed its policy although some states refuse to see the wisdom (cough California cough). The world needs to be able to cherry pick ideas that have proven themselves to be science based and useful. Not subscribe to some random rhetoric.

Thunberg's fifteen are well over - she needs to go back to her special-ed classes and leave the world stage.

The Planet is doing just fine. The people are fscked but the Planet is fine.

The Chicago Way - terrorism

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Make it pay - from The Epoch Times (which is turning into a really nice balanced news reporting agency)

US Airstrike Kills 2 Terrorists After Attack on Military Base in Kenya
More than a week after an attack by al-Shabaab that killed three Americans, including a soldier, the Pentagon announced a deadly airstrike was carried out in Somalia on the designated terrorist group.

U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, said the strikes were conducted in the area of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Thursday, killing two members of the group. The State Department has designated al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization affiliated with al-Qaeda.

“Al-Shabaab presents a threat to America, the African people, and our international partners,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler of AFRICOM. No civilians were killed or injured in the airstrikes.

Chicago Way? The Untouchables

This great meme has been floating around the internet for the last couple of days:


Heh - better living through chemistry (and electronics and rocketry).

Done for the day

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L's client had another medical issue so went into the hospital this morning. She headed over there and came back around noon. Picked up some chain link fencing I had ordered and did yet another dump and recycling run.

Bear is now officially a soprano - had him de-nutted this morning. A number of people had expressed interest in having his pups but nobody stepped up and actually made an appointment so I went ahead. He was starting to mark his territory around the house as well as the yard. Do not need that kind of odor. He went in at 8:30 so feeling tired. We took a nice nap earlier but still looking at an early bedtime.


Here he is about two years ago - such a cutie.

Looks like a good idea - they only have a few projects out there but it is a promissing start. From their home page:

Developing low-cost, open-source oceanographic hardware for researchers, educators, and citizen scientists
The tools necessary to study, explore, and understand the ocean are often inaccessible to the vast majority of ocean users. By nurturing a community of open-source hardware developers, scientists, and ocean stakeholders, we want to change that.

Whether you’re a researcher looking for alternatives to expensive scientific equipment, a citizen scientist interested in building a marine monitoring program, a fisherman exploring new tools to understand their catch, or an ocean enthusiast seeking new ways to interact with the sea, this community is for you.

Under each project, you will find links to resources, build guides, 3D-printer files, code repositories, and, eventually, databases. Each project section will also point you towards ways that you can help contribute to the project. This website serves as the community portal, but the action really happens in the Oceanography for Everyone GitHub repositories.

The ocean belongs to all of us. Let’s ensure that everyone has access to the tools needed to understand it.

Check back from time to time and see what they are developing. Looks interesting so far.

Light posting today

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L's birthday was yesterday - 54 orbits around the sun. Went out for Thai food and then an evening of Hawaiian Slack-key guitar music with Keola Beamer & Jeff Peterson. Wonderful stuff.

She is out for a walk now and we will be working on the house some more today.

Got to take care of some emails and fix breakfast.

Offline today

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Celebrating a birthday

President Trump's rallies

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He has always drawn capacity crowds with people lining up hours before the start to get in to the stadium. What is interesting is that they are not always right-wing republicans. From NOQ Report:

Shocking 57.9% of attendees at President’s rally in Milwaukee were NOT Republicans
The worst case scenario for Democrats’ hopes in the presidential election seems to have already manifested. For them to have a chance, they’ll need to hold fellow Democrats in line with their nominee and pull in as many Independents as possible, especially in swing states like Wisconsin. If the numbers posted by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale are any indicator, Democrats have a tremendous hill to climb.

According to Parscale, last night’s rally, which ran concurrently with the Democratic debate, had a whopping 20,395 voters in attendance. But the President is used to enjoying huge crowds of supporters, so that alone isn’t a huge deal. What’s most surprising, or as Parscale calls it, “Yuge,” if that 57.9% of voters in attendance were NOT Republicans.

It’s one of those statistics that would be hard to believe if it weren’t so overwhelming. Even if there are inaccuracies in the high-5% range, it still means over half of those coming out to support the President were people who do not identify with his political party.

Polls generally run around 5-10% margin of error so this is a landslide in the making. The people are tired of being lied to and of seeing their cities deteriorating while the cultural elites live in gated communities and living in a bubble. We The People are speaking.

Unreal - the Bloomberg campaign

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Some strange tweets out there - they are probably going to go down the memory hole so here is a screen-cap:








There is nothing quite so pitiful as a 77 year old plutocrat trying to sound hip and relevant.

A day of rest

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I needed this - took the whole day off. Slept in, ran some errands and basically did nothing.

Met up with L for drinks (coffee-me and tea-her) and some pasteries at the place where we first met.

Back home for now - unloading the van and calling it an early bedtime. L is celebrating her b-day tomorrow so dinner and catching some live music.

Interesting times ahead - Jussie Smollett

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Looks like the fun is about to begin - from the New York Post:

Why things are about to get a lot worse for Jussie Smollett
If Jussie Smollett had last year pleaded guilty to some minor charge, done 90 days of community service and paid a substantial fine to reimburse the $130,000 worth of overtime costs rolled up by Chicago police detectives investigating his ludicrous assault claims, he might today be in full rebound mode. Picture it: The tearful, dramatic mea culpa with Robin Roberts. A bold admission — “This is on me” — followed by a deflection of blame to drugs or alcohol or the dark demons of hate we all know are lurking out there, waiting for third-tier television stars to emerge from sandwich shops. A charity concert. A blessing from Al Sharpton. Some lighthearted banter with Stephen Colbert. Then, gradual forgiveness and maybe another TV deal.

What Smollett did instead looks increasingly stupid. He admitted nothing and even doubled down on his fantasy tale of a late-night attack by men supposedly roaming the streets with a noose and a bottle of bleach. He was handed the opportunity by the office of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, which dropped charges without demanding a guilty plea because he had supposedly already been punished enough, by secretly serving a few hours’ community service and forfeiting a bond of which he paid a mere $10,000. But if he was the victim of a crime, why should he forfeit one dollar or agree to one hour of community service? Worse: The real criminals are still out there!

Led by the then-mayor and the then-CPD superintendent, outrage about Smollett’s lies caused the appointment of a special prosecutor, Dan Webb. So the story lives on. Smollett has not been nailed, and Chicago wants him nailed. He will get nailed. The postman always rings twice.

Webb has won the right to comb through Smollett’s e-mails, the Chicago Tribune reported last week. Smollett is not exactly a meticulous master criminal. The day the story broke, Jan. 29, he was already telling different versions of his tall tale to the press and the police (who, if I know anything about police, therefore grokked that he was lying on the very first day).

More at the site - fun to see progressive narratives implode. Time to make another bowl of popcorn.

Great news from Taiwan

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They re-elected a conservative President - from Roger Simon:

Taiwan Landslide Signals Bull Market for Democracy
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen may not owe her entire record-breaking landslide reelection victory to Hong Kong’s democracy demonstrators, but she owes a good part of it to those courageous young people.

They made her reelection a referendum on China’s leader Xi Jinping’s harsh reaction toward protest in that famed city only 450 miles west of Taiwan.

The Taiwanese had already taken notice of the sudden decline in tourism to their island from the mainland. Last summer, the People’s Republic of China restricted individuals from traveling to Taiwan lest they learn too much about what was happening in Hong Kong. Only groups that could be more closely watched were allowed to go.

Democracy can be catching. (As I type this, it seems to be spreading all the way from Taipei to Tehran.)

Roger is in Taiwan visiting - one of his observations:

Lurking behind all this is ye olde Two China question. In order to appease Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai and open the door to China, Nixon and Kissinger decreed U.S. policy to be one China only—the People’s Republic. Taiwan was left to twist in the wind, figuratively and literally, with but minor exceptions, for decades.

Then Trump broke the code, as he has done with so many things, and called Tsai to congratulate her when she won her first presidential election in 2016, an act of de facto recognition.

The Taiwanese rejoiced and still do. I saw it with my own eyes in the “rock star” status given our delegation leader Steve Yates, who is associated here with Trump’s decision.

I love Taiwan - visited there only once but have some fond memories. I own a number of machine tools and prefer the Taiwanese tools to the Chinese - much better manufacturing tolerances and higher quality. I buy a lot from Grizzly tools and their Taiwanese factories are much better than the average Chinese facility.

Yikes - car prowl

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Had a county sherriff show up at my door. Some goblin went through one of my cars the other night. Took a ham radio and generally made a mess of the vehicle - stuff scattered everywhere.

Radio was programmed with my call sign so it will be interesting if the a--hole actually tries to use it.

Back to bed

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Taking a day of rest - woke up at 6AM, rolled over and napped for a while. Still feeling very sleepy so emailed L and taking a day off. We will get together for a walk later this afternoon.

YouTube and Bed

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What it says on the box. Snow is coming down. A bit tired from working on the house. L has been an amazing help.

Long day tomorrow - our meeting (and presentation) has been canceled due to the snow but there is a lot here that needs my attention. Redoing the flooring in the laundry/pantry room and getting some bids for the drywall.

The canonical list of authors by rank

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From Larry Correia (an oldie but a goodie):

I’ve often been derisively referred to as a “D List Author” by my critics. Curious, I had to look up where that list came from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-list

Sadly, as usual my critics suck at everything. This scale is based on how recognizable movie stars are, and since most regular people wouldn’t recognize any but the most famous (or funny looking) authors, it doesn’t really work for us at all. So I have created this super helpful guide so critics know what bucket to arbitrarily stick writers in.

What’s way better than fame? All fame is good for in Hollywood is determining how much they have to pay actors. So screw recognition. Show me the MONEY!

And the list:

A List – High upon Mount Olympus They Gaze Down Upon the Pathetic Mortals = All the $

    • Authors who are worth more than the GDP of some countries.
    • Authors who build their houses out of gold bars.
    • Characters from their books get their own theme parks.
    • The lady who wrote Twilight.

B List – The King(s) =$$$$$$$$$$

    • Authors who have TV shows about their books starring Peter Dinklage.
    • Authors who sleep on large piles of money.
    • Politicians who get illegal campaign contributions masquerading as advances.
    • Oprah’s Book Club.

C List – The Perpetual Bestsellers =$$$$$$$$$

    • Authors who play poker with Castle.
    • Authors who have lesser TV shows not starring Peter Dinklage.
    • Authors who always get sold in airport bookstores.
    • Authors who are rich enough to have sex scandals and it actually makes the news.

And rounding out the list:

X List – The X

    • Writes violent pornographic bondage fan fiction involving My Little Ponies, Voltron, and Breaking Bad on the internet, while dressed in a stained bunny costume that looks like a strange gimp version of that thing from Donnie Darko.
    • Don’t make any sudden moves.
    • We’re just going to walk away real slow now.

Y List – The Yama

    • A primordial creature barely capable of vomiting words onto a page in a blasphemous impersonation of the act of writing, so mind shattering and terrible that a single story threatened to end language forever. He is The Thing That Should Not Be. To read his foul creations will summon the Black Goat of the Woods with its Thousand Young, and it will kill your muse and sodomize the corpse.
    • Is confident that he’d be a much more successful writer than A-X, if only he wasn’t too busy stalking Asian women on the internet to actually submit any of his crayon scribbles.
    • The reason sci-fi conventions have security.

Z List – The Guardian’s Village Idiot = ($)

    • A kind of Anti-Author.
    • Motivated by delusions of relevancy, crowd sources witch hunts against writers higher on the list.
    • Collects the opposite of royalties, and actually has to be paid a strange sort of “Book Welfare” to produce a book.

Heh - Larry is no slouch as an author - his writing is fun to read and he has a sick and twisted sense of humor. I love his work.

And we have snow

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Looking at 2-3 inches accumulation tonight - it let up for a while but it is starting to come down with a vengence.

Cliff Mass puts it at 2-3 inches for the area:

Serious Snow Threat Tonight for Puget Sound (and a lot more)
The latest model output supports the threat of serious snow tonight for our region.

The UW's highest resolution forecast model shows substantial regional variations, with the heaviest lowland snow from Seattle northward, with far less over Tacoma. But there is uncertainty on the exact location of the snow band...so keep that in mind. Seattle will face 2-5 inches if this forecast is correct. Road temperatures are now near freezing...so this is going to stick in places where SDOT and WSDOT have not pretreated or where plows are not active.

Hunker down for a day or so.

Working at home today

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L is here helping and hanging out. Going to be putting the finishing touches on tomorrow's presentation: "Photographing your artwork" for the monthly meeting of the local arts group. Shooting some example photos.

We are supposed to get dumped on - already have an inch of snow on the ground and more forecast for later so I do not know if we will even have the meeting. Getting snowbound with L would not be a bad thing...

Getting some quotes for drywall work on the house. Starting to come together.

Quote of the Month -

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"For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn't work. For academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn't exist."
--Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A corollary to what Vox Day said:

In academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world there is.

And a tip 'o the chapeau to Maggie's Farm for the first quote.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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The ex-royals - not a big surprise. From the New York Post's Page Six:

Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra providing luxe hideout for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been hiding out at the home of Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra, whose close ties to the Clintons have created international controversy, Page Six can exclusively reveal.

Harry and Meghan refused to reveal the owner of the multi-million dollar waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia — the place where they plotted their shock exit from the royal family.

But multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told Page Six that the owner is Giustra, 62, who made his fortune as a stockbroker, co-founded Hollywood studio Lionsgate — producing flicks including “American Psycho” and the Michael Moore documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” — and is best known in the US as one of the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Much more at the site - lots of links. Giustra is one of the key players in Hillary's selling 20% of American uranium assets to the Russians. Pay for play - Crooked Hillary. But, it is good to know that things are being taken care of:


One simply does not mess with Betty Windsor...

Up and at 'em

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Got a meeting this morning (local arts group budget planning for 2020) so heading out shortly. Bleagh... Hate meetings...

L is coming over later - we are working on the laundry/pantry room. Love L so this day will not be a total loss 🙂

Iran - three headlines

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Looks like things might be falling apart sooner rather than later. Three headlines:

First story is classic negotiating. Let your opponent understand that they have nothing that could bring you to the table. Puts them in a much weaker position when trying to get something out of you.

Second story is a reminder to the Iranian theocrats that we have more cruise missiles and we have very good intelligence. We knew where General Salami was and we got him.

Third story? The Iranian government just justified an operation by us to bring their government down. Firing on your own citizens is not cool.

My only question is how big of a landslide will President Trump's victory be this November.

Blow ye breezes

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22MPH with gusts to 34 - not exactly weather for kayaking but a good stiff breeze for sailing. Or hunkering down in some safe harbor with a mug of soup, a nice warm cabin and a book. Take your pick.

Back home for the night

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Ran up North for a few errands. Remodeling the laundry/pantry. The previous owners had installed indoor/outdoor carpet with a foam rubber pad. The foam subsequently rotted away to sticky powder. The rug probably felt really nice to walk on for the first year or so but these kinds of pads always rot soon after installation.

Getting it all taken up, sanitizing the floor (this was where my dogs ate and slept) sealing the floor and then laying down some really nice vinyl tile. There are some really good vinyl flooring products these days.  Building a kennel for them and until that is done, they are sleeping in the garage. Got all the stuff for that tonight.

Surf for a bit - meeting tomorrow at 10AM.

An abbreviated walk

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Got back a short while ago. We like to walk for about two hours. Get some sun, be in nature and get to know each other better.

Had some glorious sunshine for about 45 minute and then this dark cloud started moving in. We tried yelling and I threw a rock but to no avail. Started out along a different trail and the wind shifted and we bailed. It was starting to hail when we reached the parking lot. Great timing but we were only out for 80 minutes or so.

Have a meeting tomorrow morning and then she and I are back to working on the house.

Dodging a bullet - snow

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Looks like the snowpocalypse is just going to be a light dusting. Very glad. From Cliff Mass:

Snow is Coming Today to Western Washington, But Not Too Much for Most
I am going to go against one of the rules of the click-baiting online world. I am not going to even hint there is going to be a big snowstorm over Puget Sound land. Yes, most of you will see some flakes, but for most the ground will be barely whitened.

As we shall see, a highly transient Arctic Front/convergence zone will bring a few hours of snow showers, with totals ranging from a few tenths of an inch near the Sound to perhaps 1-2 inches in the far eastern suburbs.

I am going to show you some forecast snow totals....but keep in mind there is lot of uncertainty regarding the exact distribution of snowfall.

The latest super-high resolution (1.3 km grid spacing) UW WRF forecast (below) for 24-h snowfall (through 4 AM Monday), shows light snow (~1 inch( over NW Washington, with 2-4 inches over the northeast Olympic Peninsula. Most of Seattle is around 1 inch, with some heavier snow east of the city. LOTS of snow in the Cascades.

Going out for a walk at Barnum Point - an exposed area with high bluffs shortly. Might be interesting. We both have good senses of self-preservation. Very windy - gusts up to 22MPH.

About time - Saudi military

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From the Washington Examiner:

US to expel over a dozen Saudi trainees after review of Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting
The United States is poised to expel more than a dozen Saudi servicemen training at U.S. military installations following a review of last month's shooting at the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida.

According to CNN, the trainees are not accused of aiding the shooter, a 21-year-old Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors and wounded several others, but are said to have connections to extremist movements. Sources told the outlet that some are also accused of possessing child pornography.

Last month, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi flight student, opened fire at the naval air station before he was killed by responding law enforcement officers.

Since then, about a dozen Saudi trainees at the base have been confined to their quarters while the FBI investigated the shooting as a possible terror attack and the Pentagon reviewed all Saudi military trainees in the country. The Navy also grounded around 300 Saudi military aviation students at three different bases as part of a "safety stand-down."

The Department of Justice is expected to declare that the shooting was an act of terrorism, a U.S. official told CNN. No co-conspirators have been charged.

Door. Ass. Bang. They are here at our convenience and if there is any reason to suspect that they are not loyal, send them back home.

Two rallies

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Two rallies - a tweet and a reply:

Joe Biden and John Kerry and only eleven people show up. Compare with President Trump's last rally.

And back home again

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Heating up some leftover Indian food for lunch. Meeting up with L at 2PM for a walk. We both have a lot on our plates this week. Meetings, etc...

They are going to lose big in 2020 - sitting back and watching the freak-show evolve. A two-fer.

First - Breitbart:

Pelosi on New Impeachment Articles: ‘Let’s Just See What the Senate Does’
On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did not rule out the possibility of bringing new articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Host George Stephanopoulos asked, “You said he’s violating the Constitution again and again. Do you think it’s possible that the House might have to file new articles of impeachment?”

Pelosi said, “Well, let’s just see what the Senate does.”

And second - Breitbart as well:

Adam Schiff Backs Pelosi on Bolton Subpoena — ‘Something We Are Considering’
On Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) backed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying if the Senate does not subpoena former National Security Advisor John Bolton, the House will.

Host Margaret Brennan said, “The speaker was on another network today and seemed to leave open the idea of subpoenaing John Bolton, the former national security advisor to the president. Is that something you would be looking at? Are you looking at?”

Schiff said, “It is certainly something we are considering.”

They have nothing and yet they will not just sit down and STFU.


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Nice online database - you type in your ZIP code and what you want to recycle (second step is optional)

It will return a list of recyclers in your area. Well done.

Check out Earth911

Indian food

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We had dinner in Mt. Vernon yesterday and went to a new-to-us Indian restaurant: Taste of India Really good food. We both love Indian food so this was a real treat.

Furniture shopping did not turn out that well - the stuff was well made but not that comfortable and they used 100% polyester fabric. Fine for winter but when it is warmer out, cotton is much preferred. Heading down to IKEA in a week or two to check out their sofas - they use a cotton / linen blend. Yeah - not as stain resistant but a lot more comfortable.

Out for the day

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Meeting someone at 11AM to look at something. Coffee, post office and read for a bit after. Working on some paperwork now plus preparing for a presentation I am giving this Wednesday at a meeting.

L is also busy today but we are meeting up later this afternoon.

Weather forecast is for snow today but not seeing it yet - still in the 40's and dry. Famous last words...

Heh - Obama's Legacy

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John Kerry keeps trying to be in the news - from PJ Media:

John Kerry Claims Obama 'Never Had a Whiff of Scandal' So Let's Remind Him Of Some
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

I keep thinking about the above quote whenever anyone claims that the Obama administration was scandal-free. How many more times are we going to hear people make this claim and see it go unchallenged?

During an interview on CNN on Friday, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who's in Iowa campaigning with Joe Biden, echoed the oft-repeated claim that the Obama-Biden administration lacked scandals.

"I believe Joe Biden is the only person who has the set of relationships around the world, who has had this unbelievable breadth of experience as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and then as vice president for eight years — and in an administration, by the way, which never had a whiff of scandal," Kerry said.

The author continues with ten examples of Obama scandals complete with links and descriptions - here are five:

    1. The Iran Ransom scandal
    2. The IRS scandal
    3. The Benghazi attack cover-up
    4. The Fast & Furious cover-up scandal
    5. Obstructing Dozens of Inspectors General

And five more at the site. Those eight years were a failure and an example of why progressivism is not a good form of government.

Reported by writer and futurist Bruce Sterling writing at Wired:

Web Semantics: Chinese Futurist Military Jargon
Pretty standard futurist military stuff for 2020, just in ideograms. Also it’s probably meant for offshored unsinkable terraformed aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, which is something not everybody has or does.

“biological dominance” (制生权)
biological interdisciplinary (生物交叉)
brain control (脑控)
“brain-machine fusion” (脑机融合)
Cognitive Science Basic Research Team (认知科学基础研究团队)
“combat brain” (作战大脑)
domain of consciousness (意识域)
frontier/cutting-edge interdisciplinary (前沿交叉)
“hybrid intelligence” (混合智能)
human-machine coordination (人机协同)

Many more at the site - you can tell what direction the state is going by the jargon they start using. These terms do not guarantee their sucess (after all, we are dealing with a large, centralized socialist government regieme), but it shows what they are thinking.

The winter storm

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An update from Cliff Mass:

The Detailed Snow Forecast for Sunday and Monday
We are now close enough in time that we can apply some of our most powerful prediction tools to the snow forecast problem for Sunday/Monday. Plus, we are close enough so that uncertainties have lessened.

Before I talk about that, let me note that as expected the Cascades are being hit very hard with a large snowfall, with Snoqualmie Pass receiving about 2 feet of snowfall during the past day. Snoqualmie was closed for a while, and both Snoqualmie and Stevens require chains at this time.

And Mount Baker is having some great skiing conditions - from their snow report:

Well, this is starting to sound like a broken record, but we had an amazing powder day at Baker yesterday, and today looks to be another great day with more fresh snow! We've received over 100 inches of snowfall in the past 9 days! It should be another snowy and cold day today with fun conditions, so come enjoy a classic Baker pow day with the family! 

Sounds like fun - wish we could take off and do some cross country skiing but we both have a lot on our plates for the next week or two.

Two headlines - Michael Bloomberg

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Says it all - these people are just too blind to see that there is no support for their big-government statist ideas:

Spend away Michael - spend it all. You will not win. You will not even come close.
We The People are smarter than you are.

Heading over to YouTube for a bit.  L is coming over tomorrow morning to work on a couple of projects and then we are heading out for Thai at the new (to us) restaurant in Mt. Vernon. Heading out to look at some furniture later.

Heading out for a pint or two

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Been a while since I hung out at my local - think I will head out there for a couple hours to socialize.


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Got turned on to this software - very simple 2D CAD program designed with CNC in mind.

Completely free and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux - check it out.

Ho. Li. Crap. Cold weather

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Forecast analysis from Cliff Mass:

The Coldest Air in Years Will Hit Western Washington
This is a lot of discussion about snow, but there is something we should keep firmly in mind: the arctic air that is going to reach western Washington will be the coldest in years. Backed by strong winds in some areas, this cold will not only test our housing infrastructure (freezing pipes), but will be life threatening to those living outside or for the unprepared in higher terrain.

Highs on Tuesday will be in the 20's. And, it gets better:

And then there are the winds!  According to the high-resolution models, northeasterly winds, with gusts to 40-60 mph, will hit NW Washington, resulting in wind chills below zero.

Interesting times. I am not worried about the farm, I have not had running water there for months. Still need to get the well people out to fix it but I am only there for - at most - overnight so no water is not a hassle. Down here should be interesting. Plus, I am scheduled to give a presentation to our local arts group that next day on the 15th.


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Got some vegetables roasting in the oven - heading downstairs to fix some pasta with butter and fresh parsley. Doing a salad as well.

News from Florida

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These people are just not that smart. From the Palm Beach Daily News:

Palm Beach: Iranian national detained by police had knives, ax, machete, $22K
A man arrested by Palm Beach Police this morning had $22,000, a machete and a pick ax, in addition to knives in his possession, according to an officer with the department.

The man, identified by his passport as Masoud Yareioeill Zoleh, an Iranian national, also had a car parked at Palm Beach International Airport, Public Information Officer Michael Ogrodnick said.

The department is working with other federal partners in the investigation, Ogrodnick said.

Zoleh was arrested just over the Flagler Memorial Bridge at Bradley Park. Initial reports said he had several knives on him. Ogrodnick said the department received a call at about 9:30 a.m. regarding Zoleh. He would not give details on what the caller said.

Like he was going to get within a hundred yards of our President.

Nancy Pelosi:

And President Trump commenting on a tweet from Ambassador Bolton:

Got nothing this morning

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Quiet on the internet. L is working with her client. I am running some errands and cleaning the laundry room / pantry today.

More spew sometime later - maybe.

It for the night

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Long day - some YouTube before bed. L is working with her client tomorrow all day dammit.

Heh - love the expression and the paws

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Brilliant business idea

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From the: "Why didn't I think of that" department - from Boston, MA's station WHDH:

Airline opening restaurant that only serves plane food
Out of the many repulsive things about air travel, airline food probably ranks high. But not for AirAsia.

Asia’s largest low-cost carrier is betting people love its food so much that it opened its first restaurant on Monday, offering the same menu it sells on flights. It’s not a gimmick, either: AirAsia, based in Malaysia, said it plans to open more than 100 restaurants globally within the next five years.

The quick-service restaurant’s first location is in a mall in Kuala Lumpur. It’s called Santan, meaning coconut milk in Malay, which is the same branding AirAsia uses on its in-flight menus.

Entrees cost around $3 USD and include local delicacies such as chicken rice and the airline’s signature Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak dish, a rice dish with chilli sauce. Locally sourced coffee, teas and desserts are also on the menu.

Makes a lot of sense. They already have the delivery infrastructure, the commissaries and their menus have been tried and tested. Because it is fixed portion and a simple menu, they can keep the prices cheap.

An incredible rendition of one of my favorites:

More here: Puddles Pity Party

Busy day today

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Worked at the house and then broke early for a dump run, recycling and then up to Mt. Vernon to check out a Thai restaurant that came highly recomended. Really really good. Rachawadee Thai Cafe. They keep funny hours so check the website. We will be going back there. Hey honey - I have to run to Mt. Vernon for a widget? Wanna get some Thai food on the way back? No Brainer...

Fixed some Miso Soup for dinner - we ate lunch around 3PM so not super hungry.

Our climate - a bit of reality

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Zero hysteria and some actual numbers from Watts Up With That:

The Climate Decade that Was: Failed Predictions, Tour De Paris, and the Gretas
As we step into a new decade, here’s a look at the climate drama that just ended.

The 2010s were dominated by the failure of doomsday prophecies, the adoption of a fantasy climate agreement, unexpected weather trends, and the beginning of the climate emergency cult movement that reminded many of the overpopulation hype of the 1970s and 1980s.

Al Gore Prophecies
Al Gore’s legacy of lies continued to spill into the second decade of this century. Contrary to his predictions in the famous climate documentary An Inconvenient Truth, polar bear populations increased, the Arctic and Antarctic remained relatively unaffected, and no major coastal economy was threatened by rising sea levels.

Gore would have had nightmares when the Canadian authorities in 2019 pondered culling polar bears because of their excess numbers caused trouble for residents in Nunavut.

No Snow Australia
Australia may be embroiled in historic wildfires—mostly caused by arson—right now. But climate scientists were caught red handed when their predictions of a snow-free Australia failed by massive proportions in the past decade.

The reason was obvious. The warming was not as pronounced as it was forecast to be, and snowfall in Australia is controlled by regional weather patterns. Moreover, there has been no significant change in the number of very hot days since World War I.

More at the site. The author closes with this little bit of truth:

One could go on and on with more amusing and interesting drama that took place in the past decade, but let us end it here. Cheers to the next decade, a decade that may very well end with global cooling doomsayers dominating our news headlines.

Why? Look up into the sky. See that bright, fiery ball? It’s in a cooling cycle.

Plain facts - not computer models.

Gorgeous moon tonight

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Was letting the pups out for a bit of a run and noticed a silver incandescence from above. Full is on the 10th but still - the skies are nice and clear. Going to be cold - already down to 33°F. Looking at a hard frost tomorrow morning.

About that Ukrainian air crash in Iran

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Posted about it yesterday. Shit just got real interesting - from The Last Refuge:

Iran Refuses to Hand Over Black Box From Fatal Boeing Crash Near Tehran – Nose of SAM Missile Discovered Near Crash Site…
In the aftermath of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 exploding and crashing just north of Tehran airport, the Iranian government is refusing to turn-over the black box flight data recorders recovered from the crash site. Combined with the timing and location, their refusal is leading to increased speculation the flight may have accidentally been targeted by Iranian air-defense systems. The tragedy is being compounded by Iranian politics.

The Boeing 737-800 is a very dependable aircraft with three decades of service. This specific Ukraine aircraft was built in 2016 & just had a service inspection on January 6th. Immediately after the crash, Iranian officials stated the cause was “technical difficulties”, and after video surfaced showing the plane was on fire heading to the ground, Iran later stated the cause was one of the engines on fire. However, there was no distress call or report of issue, from very experienced Ukraine pilots to Tehran air-traffic control.

Lots of tweets and pictures of the found nose cone with photos of an un-deployed SAM.
Looks like the airplane was shot down.

No Port Townsend tomorrow

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Weather forecast is turning iffy - maybe go for a hike around Deception Pass or maybe just hit one of the island parks.

Made some vegetable barley soup for dinner tonight.

A very nice move - Spectrum Software

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They closed their doors after a forty-year run. They opened in 1980 providing software for the Apple ][ personal computers. Their latest product is an electronics simulation program which allows the user to draw the schematic of the circuit, import the various part specifications and then calculate the response of the circuit to various electrical parameters. This is very handy when the circuit is a complex one (audio / radio / laboratory equipment / etc...). Their flagship software was Micro-Cap. The full version retailed for around $4,800 and was worth every last dime. Golden stuff.

Like I said, they closed their doors but when they did, they released the full versions of Micro-Cap without any software locks or copy protection. It is now free to use. For anyone. For anything. Of course, there are no more updates and no maintenance but the software is already very mature and stable so no problems anticipated. They allow customers to build custom parts so if some new widget comes along, it will be possible to incorporate that into a Micro-Cap project. Very cool.

Micro-Cap User Downloads
Micro-Cap 10, 11, and 12 are now free and require no key. You can download the full CD or the executable only.

Download page here. Download the brochure.

The brush fires in Australia

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The blame? The environmentalists. From Christopher Monckton of Brenchley writing at Anthony's:

Bush bull
This will be a long posting, because it is necessary to nail the childish myth that global warming caused the bushfires in Australia. The long, severe drought in Australia, culminating in the most extensive bushfires in recent history, ought to have aroused sympathy for the cattle-ranchers who have lost their livestock and the citizens who have lost their homes. But no. Instead, those who profiteer by asserting that global warming is the cause of every extreme-weather event have rushed to state – falsely – that an “overwhelming scientific consensus” (to cite the Greens’ website) blames the incidence, extent, duration and severity of the drought and bushfires on the somewhat warmer weather caused by our having increased the atmospheric CO2 concentration by about 1 part in 10,000 from 0.03% to 0.04% by volume.

Nearly all of the news media have taken the line that capitalism in general and the non-socialist governing coalition in particular are to blame. Nearly all have failed to mention the true causes of the current firestorm.

Like Lord Monckton said when he opened, this is a very long post but he is an excellent writer and he lays out the real reasons for the fires with historical evidence that these fires are not a new thing. The aborigines used controlled burns to clear out the fire load years before any settlers moved there.

In 1642 Abel Tasman wrote of the smoke in the sky and the scorched trees wherever his expedition landed. Captain James Cook described the same conditions in 1770. This deliberate burning created the grassland landscapes that dominated pre-European Australia.

Just go and read the whole thing.

The pigeon problem - homeless in Ohio

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A town did something that sounded good but wound up with unintended consequences. From PJ Media:

Ohio Town Rolls Out Red Carpet for Homeless. Is Shocked When Stream of Homeless Show Up.
They just wanted to do the right thing. The small town of Middletown, Ohio, a town of 49,000 people, has opened all manner of homeless services. There is everything from soup kitchens and shelters that allow you to be high and drunk to rehab facilities to sober up.

And that's the problem. You can come to Middletown to stay drunk and high and get three hots and a cot without having to do much.

Now the homeless are swamping the town. Residents who call Middletown home are shocked that "about 75%" of the homeless are from someplace else, according to the former police chief.

Of course they are.

Pigeon problem - feed pigeons and you get more pigeons showing up. A lot more. Same thing with homeless.

This is the problem with progresssives and liberals in general. They are so wrapped up in the narrative that they refuse to see beyond it. They do something that SOUNDS good instead of doing something that DOES good. They do not take into account that something that sounds good might have unintended consequences that make things worse. Gun laws are a perfect example.

Off to work

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Working at home today - L is coming over shortly. Got a nice fire going - warm the place up. Looking at doing a day-trip to Port Townsend tomorrow - supposed to be some nice weather.

Fake News has its consequences

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And Nick Sandmann doesn't have to worry about money ever again. From FOX News:

CNN settles lawsuit with Nick Sandmann
CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal.

Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.

The Washington Post suit sought $250 million. A federal judge let a portion of the suit go forward after The Post filed a motion to dismiss it.

No word as to the settlement amount but betting that it is in the $10 million range. Good - make it hurt. Actions have consequences and if you publish a news story based on narrative instead of the facts, you should be ready to suffer the consequences.

And that is it for the evening

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Long day tomorrow so see what is on YouTube for a bit and then to bed.

Mary Oliver

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We were talking about poetry off and on over the last week. L turned me on to Mary Oliver - amazing work:

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Beautiful imagery.

Some of her work can be found here.

Interesting bedfellows

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Probably an interesting deep-state story there - two headlines. Click to go to source story:

Two nations I would not care to visit right now. The tendrils of the deep-state are too deep.

Mt. Baker snow

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From the Mt. Baker snow report:

What an incredible storm we are experiencing up here at Baker! We have received over 50 inches of snow since Friday night, but are in the midst of a temporary warm-up right now and it’s rained to mid mountain.

Snow levels are expected to drop to 3000’ tonight with continued snowfall and temperatures are forecasted to drop to 1000’ by Wednesday!! Given this scenario we are expecting to receive snow at cool temps Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday with significant snowfall measured in feet forecasted for Friday at low snow levels.

Very good news. Also, an update from Seattle meteorologist Cliff Mass

The Lowland Snow Threat
I would not run to the food store yet. But there is a significant chance for some light lowland snow over portions of western Washington during the week.

Uncertainty is still high, but sufficiently cold air will be in place to allow snow to reach sea level for substantial portions of time. The issue is getting precipitation during those cold periods.

Much more at the site. What global warming?

Absolutely brilliant - spot on:

Put in a solid day

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Did a bunch more work on the house today - lots of progress.

Heading out to library and post office and a bite to eat on the road.

To work

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Enough lollygagging - working on the house today. L is coming over to help.

Happy happy joy joy

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From local meteorologist Cliff Mass:

Massive Snowfall and Heavy Precipitation Will Pummel the Cascades This Week
This is going to be a week of superlatives over the region, as heavy precipitation will produce both river flooding and a huge snowfall over regional terrain. Enough snow so that skiers and ski areas will be jubilant, and enough water that fears of lack of drought this summer will be far less.

Much more at the site - making sure that my radio batteries are charged, take the generator out for a test run and thankful that I already have a month or two of food stockpiled.

Much more at the site - should be "interesting" to say the least...

Idiots - says it all. From Australia's New South Wales Police agency:

Police take legal action against more than 180 people so far during 2019/2020 bushfire season
The NSW Police Force has taken legal action against more than 180 people for bushfire-related offences since late last year.

Numerous bush and grass fires have impacted the state, claiming the lives of 18 people and destroying hundreds of millions of animals and livestock, thousands of homes, and more than 4.9 million hectares of land, so far this bushfire season.

Since Friday 8 November 2019, legal action – which ranges from cautions through to criminal charges – has been taken against 183 people – including 40 juveniles – for 205 bushfire-related offences.

And this is just NSW - do not know the numbers for the rest of Australia. Not climate change, the problem lies at the feet of the environmentalists and the wankers setting the fires.

The conditions there are the result of the environmentalists preventing the seasonal burn of brush. Increases the fire load for when conditions line up. From climate realist James Delingpole writing at Breitbart:

Environmentalists Made Australia’s Bush Fires Worse
Australia is on fire, at least 17 people have been killed, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and an estimated half-billion animals — both livestock and wildlife — have been burned alive. The area burned in the bush fires so far is considerably bigger than the area burned either in last year’s Amazon rainforest fires or the fires in California.

The stories and images that have emerged from Australia are vivid and dramatic.

But let us not allow the heartbreak and the emotion to distract us from the truth about this natural disaster: it has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘climate change’.

As Paul Homewood pointed out last month, there has been no significant long-term decrease in rainfall or increase in temperatures in the affected regions.

Yes, it has been dry in New South Wales (where most of the worst fires are), but there have been several years, especially pre-1960, when it was drier.

The same applies to temperature. Yes, this has been a hot spring in New South Wales. But there have been times when it has been much hotter — making a nonsense of all stories in the Australian media about temperatures being the hottest evah.

A problem with the environmentalists and bad forest management, not climate change. SImple really...

And that is it

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Tired - long day tomorrow as well. House is looking good in places - lots more work needed.

Can he get any lower - Hunter Biden

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The guy is pond scum and that is insulting to a lot of wonderful pond scum. From FOX News:

Hunter Biden linked to 2016 identity theft involving deceased brother
Newly submitted court documents link Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, to an identity theft case from 2016 when he was allegedly being checked into an unidentified Arizona facility.

The court papers were filed Monday in an Arkansas court as part of a paternity battle over a child the Hunter Biden shares with Lunden Roberts, who met the scandal-plagued businessman at a Washington, D.C., strip club where she worked. While the question of whether or not Biden is a father is no longer an issue — a DNA test confirmed he is the baby's father — the parents are at odds over issues such as child support.

They offer a link to the court papers but that link is broken. Still, an interesting and not unsurprising story. Bet that Papa Joe is feeling really proud right about now - so sad about that presidential bid... Wonder if Hunter is going to commit suicide like Epstein or any of the Clinton people.

From September 2019 - CNBC:

Russia conducts massive military drills with China, sending a message to the West
Russia is carrying out a series of large-scale military exercises with China, India and Pakistan in what experts believe is Moscow trying to send a powerful message to the West.

The military drills take place annually but Russia has upped the ante this year by inviting forces from China, India and Pakistan (as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) to take part in the drills.

The exercises will involve 128,000 military personnel, more than 20,000 weapons and military equipment, about 600 aircraft and up to 15 ships and support vessels, according to the Russian defense ministry. The drills are designed to test the combat-readiness of the military command and troops within the central military district in Russia (hence being called “Tsentr-2019”) and will also see the country test its military capabilities in the Arctic.

The season of Tsentr exercises actually started in June but this week is seen as the culmination of those in the most important “strategic command post exercise,” known as the “hot phase” by experts.

This drill is done every year but the one in 2019 was a lot larger and involved more nations than usual. Hmmmm???

A long but very productive day

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I had written about the Sound Water Stewards yesterday - L found a brochure for them and we were both interested (her "real career" was in public health). Reading the website, it turned out that their general meetings are on the first Monday of each month and were open to the general public so we went. Had about 30 people show up. A good mix. Some of the people giving the reports seemed to be members of On-Anon Anon Anon but the content was interesting. Signing up for their training, both a one-day "university" and their full 90 hour certification program.

Early day tomorrow so a quick surf and then to bed.

A comparison - two embassy attacks

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The difference summed up in an infographic:


Any questions? Thought not.

Time to get to work

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Done with breakfast - go out for coffee and post office and then back home to work on the garage. Got some good shelving so taking apart the crappy stuff I had been using then installing that. Clean it up a bit.

Wheels within wheels

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Two clickable headlines - we all know about the big Obama election scandal Crossfire Hurricane. Two of the key players seem to be a bit more involved in Iranian machinations than we first understood:

That is funny - I thought that people working at this level in the FBI were better vetted. Had better checks on their security clearence and their loyalties.

For more on Operation Crossfire Hurricane here and here for starters.

From FOX News:

Cruz pushes Senate resolution praising Soleimani mission, daring Dems to oppose
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a noted Iran hawk, is circulating a resolution in the Senate that would commend the Trump administration for killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, aides told Fox News on Friday.

And Senator Cruz is being very very clever here:

An aide said the resolution is “structured and worded the same way as a 2011 resolution that commended the Obama administration for killing Bin Laden, which received unanimous support in the Senate.” Cruz is trying to get Democrats on the record supporting the mission.

It’s an apparent effort by Republicans to try to dare Democrats to oppose virtually the same resolution the Senate adopted to applaud then President Barack Obama in 2011 after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

A simple up or down vote - yes or no. Get them on the record for either approving or disapproving this action.
Seems like Senator Cruz has been taking Saul Alinski's words to heart.

I think I found my tribe

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L turned me on to these people: Sound Water Stewards  From their About page:

What We Do
Sound Water Stewards supports highly trained volunteers to do education, outreach, citizen science and stewardship to sustain a healthy Puget Sound environment. We have partners in and around Island County with active chapters on both Whidbey and Camano Island. Our partnerships include researchers, governments, universities, state and local parks and other nonprofit organizations that focus on work in the Salish Sea.

You need to go through 90 hours of training (cost is $150 - this is not a rip-off) and they promote "citizen science".

Considering that my first love was Marine Biology and Physical Oceanography and was what I went to college for, this is right up my alley. I dropped out for several reasons and do not regret that decision but still keep current with the research and still have an abiding love for the ocean.

And that is it for the night

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Tired - worked hard today and tomorrow will be just the same. Got a lot done though.

A fun evening

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L and I went to a fundraising event at the historic Lincoln Theater in Mt. Vernon, WA - gorgeous old venue. Tonight's event was a fundraiser for a legal group and a housing group for actual refugees trying to immigrate legally. They had some kids doing traditional Mexican dances and a set by a favorite local guitarist Nick Vigarino. Unfortunately, the theater, which usually has great acoustics, was not behaving and the sound was really muddled and unintelligible. We bailed.

Spending tomorrow working on a couple projects and then L is coming over and we are going to a dance event - hopefully a lot better acoustics for this one...

She is delusional - they all are. Except maybe for Tulsi Gabbard. She is the one normal person in the asylum.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

Dem Rep: Trump Killed Soleimani to Distract From Impeachment
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) said President Donald Trump's decision to kill Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani was made because he wanted to distract the public from recent developments in the impeachment inquiry.

"What I think is going on here, frankly, is that this action was taken more in President Trump's self-interest rather than our national interests," Wasserman Schultz said during an appearance on CNN. "We had damning developments in just the last day where emails came out that made it very clear that they covered up the real reason behind the withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars to Ukraine."

Just plain crazy. No other explanation.

Meet Qassem Soleimani - from Legal Insurrection:

Liberal media finds its new Che Guevara in dead Iranian terror chief Qassem Soleimani
NY Times reporter posts video of Soleimani reciting poetry, while The New Yorker descibes him as “a flamboyant former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt-and-pepper eyebrows…”

Things required to be a liberal media revolutionary icon:

    1. Hate America.
    2. Be A Brutal Murderer and Terrorist
    3. Have a Beard and “Dreamy” Eyes
    4. Be Photogenic
    5. Be Killed by America or Its Allies

Che Guevara had it all. He was anything but liberal, but posters of that murderous, racist monster hang in dorm rooms and faculty offices throughout the country, and he is treated as a revolutionary hero in the media, because he checked all those boxes.

So too, apparently, does Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. Soleimani was the man responsible for sowing mayhem throughout the Middle East and beyond:

A 2013 New Yorker profile quoted John Maguire, a former CIA officer in Iraq, describing him as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today.” The piece said that since he took over the Quds Force, whose numbers it put at 10,000-20,000, Soleimani “has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq.”

Much more at the site - the guy was a major terrorist and responsible for the deaths of over 600 US soldiers in Iraq.

Good riddance. Next?

As the losers rattle their small sabers

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It is all over for them - the clean fresh wind of Liberty is in the air. The head of the dinosaur does not know that the rest of its body is dead quite yet. From Reuters:

Multiple rockets fall in Green Zone, Baghdad, air base: Iraqi military
Several rockets fell on Saturday inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, its Jadriya neighborhood, and the Balad air base housing U.S. troops, the Iraqi military said, adding that there were no deaths.

“Several rockets targeting Celebration Square and the Jadriya area in Baghdad, and the Balad air base in Salahuddin province, with no loss of life. Further details to come,” the military said in a statement.

Is that the best they can do now? Sounds pretty impotent to me. Looks like terrorism and the state sponsorship thereof is falling out of favor for a while. 2020 is turning out to be a very good year on a lot of fronts.

Did not know that Hell had internet

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A tweet from the dead:


Something to always keep in mind

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And a wonderful morning

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The windstorm has blown itself out and the morning is glorious.

BC still has about 14K people without power but everywhere else is doing fine - just some scattered outages.

Heading out for the usual coffee and post office and then the transfer station. Dropping some stuff at the thrift store and then starting in on cleaning out the garage. Fun day (actually).

A couple YouTubes and that will be it for me.

(cue Earth Shattering Ka-Boom) - from The Times of Israel:

Iran names Quds Force number 2, Esmail Ghaani, to replace slain Soleimani
Iran’s supreme leader named the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm Esmail Ghaani to replace its Quds force commander Friday after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad.

“Following the martyrdom of the glorious general haj Qassem Soleimani, I name Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani as the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement posted on his official website.

Ghaani was described by Khamenei as one of the “most decorated commanders” of the Guards during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. He has been deputy commander of the force for some two decades.

Recieving his 72 white grapes or raisins of exceptional purity in 3... 2... 1...

Didn't know about that translation error now did you guys?

Absolutely brilliant idea

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From Science:

Biocompatible near-infrared quantum dots delivered to the skin by microneedle patches record vaccination

The précis:

Vaccines prevent disease and save lives; however, lack of standardized immunization recordkeeping makes it challenging to track vaccine coverage across the world. McHugh et al. developed dissolvable microneedles that deliver patterns of near-infrared light-emitting microparticles to the skin. Particle patterns are invisible to the eye but can be imaged using modified smartphones. By codelivering a vaccine, the pattern of particles in the skin could serve as an on-person vaccination record. Patterns were detected 9 months after intradermal delivery of microparticles in rats, and codelivery of inactivated poliovirus led to protective antibody production. Discrete microneedle-delivered microparticle patterns in porcine and pigmented human skin were identifiable using semiautomated machine learning. These results demonstrate proof of concept for intradermal on-person vaccination recordkeeping.

That they made it work with a cell phone and an app is pure genius.

Excellent news from Zero Hedge:

Round Two: US Drone Airstrikes Kill Six Pro-Iran Militia Commanders
Whether he is eating ice cream or not, Trump appears to be on a rampage to recreate the end of The Godfather.

Less than 24 hours after a US drone shockingly killed the top Iranian military leader, Qasem Soleimani, resulting in equity markets groaning around the globe in fear over Iranian reprisals (and potentially, World War III), the US has gone for round two with Reuters and various other social media sources reporting that US air strikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad, have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday.

Something to keep in mind. He is not starting World War Three, he is ending it before it ever gets off the ground.

Back for the evening

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L and I met up at the place where we first met 31 days ago - took a nice walk, went to see Frozen 2 and had some Mexican food for dinner. Perfect date night. She is back with her client and we both have stuff to do tomorrow morning. Going to a concert tomorrow evening and a dance event Sunday. Getting to know each other has been a real joy.

Fairly windy with more in the forecast - should be interesting to see if the electricity holds. Our local utility has about 60 customers out, Puget Sound Energy has about 4K outages in the Everson and Bellingham areas, Oregon is not affected but Vancouver BC is taking the brunt with over 26,000 customers without power.

The gale warning is in effect through 10AM tomorrow morning.

Out for a few hours

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Running some errands. L is doing an intensive Yoga session this morning. Got a couple of fun things planned for this weekend. Back this afternoon.


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Waiting for the indictments - Burisma

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The net just keeps spreading and spreading. Just the headline - click for the whole sordid story:

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s Assistant Defense Secretary, Evelyn Farkas, Pictured in Ukraine in Burisma Outfit with Shady Atlantic Council

100% crooked - the whole lot of them

I am so glad that this moron did not get into the White House - would have been a disaster. From RealClear Politics:

Trump: John Kerry Is Sabotaging Talks With Iran, Should Be Prosecuted For Violating Logan Act
During an impromptu press conference Thursday afternoon, President Trump addressed negotiations with Iran, saying "I'd like to see them call me." Trump also accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of telling the Iranians not to negotiate. Kerry led negotiations with Iran during the Obama administration that culminated in the nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from.

"John Kerry tells them not to call," Trump said. "But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do."

And a bit more:

But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do. That is a total violation of the Logan Act, because what they should be doing is--their economy is a mess ever since I took away the Iran deal. They have inflation that's the highest number I've ever heard. They are having riots every weekend and during the week even.

And what they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, fair deal. We just don't want them to have nuclear weapons, not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They're in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy.

But they're listening to John Kerry, who violated a very important element of what he's supposed to be doing. He violated the Logan Act, plain and simple. He shouldn't be doing that. But they should call, and if they do, we're open to talking to them. We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong financially. They have great potential, very much like North Korea.

That is it in a nutshell - Iran could be an economic powerhouse if it got rid of its theocratic tyrants and installed a democratic republic that rewarded hard work and fiscal responsibility. The citizens of Iran want this - there are demonstrations going on all the time. The ruling elites do not want anyone taking away their rice bowls so they are resisting.

Now that President Trump has shown that he can "Reach out and touch someone", the Iranian regieme might be a little more open to negotiation. And yes, the Logan Act has been on the books since 1799 - it is very much "a thing".

The world's worst translator

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Fun little film - from Alternatino at Comedy Central:

And that is it for tonight

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Time to get some sleep. 30 minutes of YouTube first.

The people of Iran

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Sounds like they are sick and tired of living under theocratic tyrrany - from The Gateway Pundit:

Iranians Celebrate! Thank President Trump for Killing Soleimani Using Hashtag #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani
Iranians online are cheering the assassination of Iran Quds Force leader Major General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad early Friday local time, with many thanking President Trump with a hashtag that reads: #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani. Many observers regarded Soleimani as the second most powerful person in Iran behind the Supreme Leader.

Lots of tweets at the site - I guess that Mr. Soleimani was not well liked by the citizenry of Iran.

One of the 280+ comments:

Obama: "You better not cross my red line or else."
Trump: "Hold my Diet Coke and watch this."

Heh - spot on.

The USA's response to the raid on our Embassy was swift, pinpoint and decisive. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Trump Calls the Ayatollah’s Bluff
The successful operation against Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, is a stunning blow to international terrorism and a reassertion of American might. It will also test President Trump's Iran strategy. It is now Trump, not Ayatollah Khamenei, who has ascended a rung on the ladder of escalation by killing the military architect of Iran's Shiite empire. For years, Iran has set the rules. It was Iran that picked the time and place of confrontation. No more.

Reciprocity has been the key to understanding Donald Trump. Whether you are a media figure or a mullah, a prime minister or a pope, he will be good to you if you are good to him. Say something mean, though, or work against his interests, and he will respond in force. It won't be pretty. It won't be polite. There will be fallout. But you may think twice before crossing him again.

A good analysis - President Trump says what he means and he does what he says he will do. This is #1) - being an adult and #2) - showing leadership.

From Dosa Schweiz

Tip of the hat to Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

About that machete attack in New York

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You know - the one that the mainstream media have stopped reporting on? What machete attack. From The Heavy:

Grafton Thomas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Grafton Thomas, the suspect accused of stabbing multiple Jewish people with an 18-inch machete at a Monsey, New York rabbi’s home during Hanukkah celebrations, left behind journals containing anti-Semitic references, comments about Adolf Hitler and references to the Black Hebrew Israelite group, authorities say.

And this:

Thomas’s former stepfather, Joe Kennedy, told Heavy in an interview that, through the time he knew him, until 2014, Grafton had grown increasingly aggressive and unstable, even attacking him with a fire extinguisher. He believes Thomas is mentally ill and also provided some biographical details, saying that Thomas had previously served in the military, was born in America to a family with roots in Guyana, once worked on a chicken farm, and identified as Muslim.

Those last  four words: and identified as Muslim. That is why the media is in crickets mode. Not a peep.

He is mentally ill, a person of color and identifies as a Muslim. Guaranteed to not get any mention in the press.

1920 to 2020 - from Thought Catalog (love the name!)

59 Quick Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again
Get ready to “know your onions,” readers. If you’ve ever wanted to talk like characters from an old movie or the folks from The Great Gatsby, now’s your chance. For the twenties lovers among us, here are 59 of the era’s best slang phrases. Now you just have to practice talking really, really fast so you can say this old slang.

They are listed alphabetically but here are five that caught my eye:

  • Berries: like “bee’s knees,” denotes that something is good, desirable or pleasing. “That sounds like berries to me!”
  • Dewdropper: like lollygagger, a slacker who sits around all day and does nothing, often unemployed
  • Giggle water: liquor, alcoholic beverage
  • Handcuff: engagement ring
  • Iron one’s shoelaces: to excuse oneself for the restroom

Fun stuff.

A two-fer from Woodsterman

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Their site has a lot of fun memes - two from today:



Worth 2,000 words with these two...

Quite the list - President Trump

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From the Washington Examiner:

Exclusive: Trump list shows 319 'results' and promises kept in three years
One month shy of completing three years in office, President Trump has fulfilled or is making significant progress on most of his 2016 campaign promises, which aides said give him a strong reelection argument to counter his impeachment by a bitterly partisan House last week.

As the president and his team ready for the 2020 campaign at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, officials said it would be built on the administration's achievements list of 15 categories and 319 “results.”

Vice President Mike Pence told Secrets that the message is simple: “Promises made, promises kept.” Pence, who has already hit the campaign trail in a specially outfitted Trump-Pence bus, added, “Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, we are living in a stronger and more secure America with the best economy in the history of this country.”

Pence gets it - Promises made, promises kept. Simple as that. Leadership. 

The American Kennel Club

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Swirling around the drain - an observation from Terrierman's Daily Dose:

The AKC Continues to Swirl Down the Bowl
In their 2018 annual report (the latest) the AKC doesn’t mention total registrations AT ALL. That’s called whistling past the grave yard.

If you read the AKC balance sheet, you will see that their pension liabilities exceed their total assets. They’re broke, but staying afloat on the cash flow of investment income (which was declining in 2018).

Bottom line: Though Americans have more dogs than ever before, the AKC continues to swirl down the toilet bowl, never looking at its core business model.

Though there are fewer vegetarians in the US than there were 20 years ago, we are told the AKC’s failure is due to the mysterious “Animal Rights” movement.

Terrierman offers this:

Maybe that’s a thing if you are located in downtown Manhattan (101 Park Avenue) where folks don’t mow lawns, own cars, or hunt and fish.

Which raises a question: Why is an organization that is going broke located in downtown Manhattan? Why are the paying New York salaries and rents to ... check notes... run a canine registry that cold just as well be run from Minnesota, Mississippi, or North Carolina?

So true. I have had pure-bred dogs before and share my life with two German Shepherds right now. Did I seek out a good breeder - absolutely. Zero hip problems, no cardiac or temperament issues. Perfect pups. Were their parents AKC registered? Yes. Did I bother to pay the bucks to the AKC and register them? Nope. No reason to.

It is a simple matter to follow the paperwork and see that the sire and dam have had their OFA hip x-rays (or the PennHip - this looks better) and to look at their breeding records and spot check other pups in the lineage. A lot of this stuff is now online. The AKC does nothing for me.

A comparison - embassy attacks

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A good look at the Benghazi embassy attack versus the recent attack in Baghdad - from the Daily Sounder:

Obama Waited 13 Hours To Help In Benghazi, Trump Waited 13 Minutes To Help In Iraq
In 2012, it took 13 hours for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to send help to Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. By the time backup arrived, it was too late — four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

With President Donald Trump, the era of timidity and lenience is over — he sent help to the besieged U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in just minutes.

100 Marines arrived overnight. Two Apache gunships kept them safe as they were inbound. 750 paratroopers have been on “immediate standby.” Two dozen helicopters were ready to rock and roll.

Trump, unlike Obama, knows the drill — America is the first to the fight and the last to leave.

This mighty display is who America has always been, but has remained dormant under Obama as he attempted to negotiate with hostile Middle Eastern countries and implement progressive diplomatic relations.

It didn’t work.

In fact, not only did it not work, Obama and his top officials lied to the American people about what really happened in Benghazi, claiming that it was a spur-of-the-moment incident over a random Youtube video. It wasn’t until two weeks later that they admitted the incident was coordinated and a well-orchestrated attack.

There were no smoke and mirrors with Trump.

There was no deceptive, weeks-long campaign.

There was only swift action by the president to save Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

Pesident Trump is the adult in the room. This is true leadership. Obama was a big mistake.

What passes for fashion these days

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Says it all - from Dr. James Kent's twitter account:

Once seen, it can not be unseen. Ms. Yaeger graced this site August 2017 with this post:
Vogue on the outside, vague on the inside

She wore the same basic makeup and hairdo (or hairdon't in this case) over two years ago.
En Vogue? Sûrement pas.

157 years ago today

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Quite the anniversary - from The Gateway Pundit:

On this day in 1863 Republicans freed the slaves
Republicans rejoiced. Democrats cursed

Grand Old Partisan reported:

On New Year’s Day in 1863, the Republican Party’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. While Republicans rejoiced, Democrat politicians and newspapers denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves.

Demonstrating their depravity, New York’s Gov. Horatio Seymour, who would be the 1868 Democrat presidential nominee, denounced the Emancipation Proclamation as “a proposal for the butchery of women and children.”

The Louisville Daily Democrat called it “an outrage of all constitutional law, all human justice, all Christian feeling.”

Although this is often ignored by the revisionists in academia Republicans led the charge on civil rights and women’s rights.

157 years gives the Democrats plenty of time to spin their narrative. Who needs facts?

Not one I would like to undertake but for sheer balls, this is one for the record books. From Associated Press:

6 men become 1st to cross perilous Drake Passage unassisted
As freezing water thrashed their rowboat in some of the most treacherous waters in the world, six men fought for 13 days to make history, becoming the first people to traverse the infamous Drake Passage with nothing other than sheer manpower.

They dodged icebergs, held their breaths as giant whales breached near their small boat and rode building-sized waves while rowing 24 hours a day toward Antarctica.

The team of men from four countries finished crossing the Drake Passage on Wednesday in just under two weeks after pushing off from the southern tip of South America.

A bit more about the conditions on board:

Besides the threat to their lives, the men labored under grueling conditions. Their 29-foot (9-meter) rowboat, named the Ohana, had to be in constant motion to avoid capsizing. That meant three men would row for 90 minutes while the other three rested, still cold and wet.

“You’re rowing inside an open hold, 40-foot sea waves are splashing in your face, near-freezing water is splashing over the bow,” said 34-year-old Colin O’Brady of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of the six men on the boat.

“It was quite harrowing,” O’Brady told The Associated Press on Thursday in his first interview after the journey. “By the end, we all lost a good amount of weight and were delirious from the sleep deprivation.”

O'Brady has done some other truly epic adventures. The adventure was covered by the Discovery Channel

2019 = 281

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The final tally for sunspot-free days for 2019 is 281 days or 77% of the whole year.

The next most quiet year was 2008 with 268 days (73%). To top 2019, you have to go waaay back to 1913 with 331 sunspot-free days.

Interesting times - glad I got a bunch of firewood in last fall...

And I am out

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Nothing catches my eye on the web. Grocery store and check the mail.

Gorgeous day today

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Very springlike. L worked here for seven hours. Me in the garage and her outside in the yard and soon to be vegetable patch. She is off taking care of her client and I am still puttering in the garage. Head out for some groceries soon but back home to work. Hard to imagine that we first met less than 30 days ago.

Another example of Obama's "legacy" - from Breitbart:

Iranian Militia Leader Leading Iraq U.S. Embassy Raid Listed as Obama White House Guest
Iranian militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, one of several identified as leading an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, reportedly visited the White House in 2011 during the presidency of Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, a mob in Baghdad attacked the U.S. embassy in retaliation against last weekend’s U.S. airstrikes against the Iran-backed Shiite militia Kataib Hezbollah (KH), responsible for killing an American civilian contractor. KH is one of a number of pro-Iran militias that make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU), which legally became a wing of the Iraqi military after fighting the Sunni Islamic State terrorist group.

President Donald Trump has since accused Iran of having “orchestrated” the embassy attack and stated that the government would be “held fully responsible.”

Much more at the site - typical leftist tactic of using a mob of useful idiots to manufacture outrage and advance their narrative. Their problem is that President Trump and his advisers are on to these simple tricks. Like I said yesterday - I bet there is some fascinating munitions being readied right now. Ka Boom.

If the Iraqi government wants to be a player on the world stage, they need to learn how to sit at the adults table.

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