Friday, January 20, 2017

The Days Leading to the Inauguration

Wednesday was the last good weather day.  We took advantage of it and did the 32 mile loop that goes through the University.  It was a cool,  but glorious day.  Jim and I both believe we're making progress on getting strength back in the legs.

Here are a few gratuitous pictures of humming birds to lighten the moods of those of us who are teetering on the edge of the slough of despond.

This is a female, who has been  successfully defending the feeder today.  Look closely at the end of her beak, her tongue is out just a bit.

Today we are under a winter storm warning.  So far the skies are just ominous with wind.  It's befitting the day.  
I am still upset about the complete and utter abdication by the Republicans of their responsibilities to vet the cabinet nominees.  Ethics breaches that are worse than those that tanked appointments in previous administrations are just glossed over. 
  • Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick to head the White House Office of Management and Budget, had failed to pay over $15,000 in taxes for a household employee. 
  • Wilbur Ross, the billionaire private equity investor who is Trump’s pick for secretary of commerce, opened his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee by admitting that, unbeknownst to him, one of his “dozen or so” household workers was an undocumented immigrant. Ross stated that he fired the employee of seven years after finding out their status in December.
  • Tom Price, Trump’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, owns stock in drug companies, medical device companies and biotech.  He has introduced legislation that has benefited these entities.  Somehow this is not a breach of ethics.
  • Steven T. Mnuchin, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.
The enabler in chief, by refusing to release tax returns or divest, has created an environment where rules no longer apply for the wealthy.  Republicans didn't need to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, they're just ignoring it as well as the Office of Government Ethics.  Nothing good will come of this.

I'm sure you've all read the text of the inaugural speech by now.  It was predictably awful.  We didn't watch it, a person can only tolerate so much.  Twitter reports that the White House pages regarding climate change, LGBT rights and civil rights have been taken down.  So, in my current state of depression, I leave you with this, which I think sums it up nicely.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Return to Lower Javelina Trail

It was cold again today.  We wimped on bicycling and went back out to the Tortolitas at Dove Mountain.  We hiked the Lower Javelina trail.  We saw three real live javelinas out for a stroll, as well as a covey of Gambel's quail.  They are so cute.  They make sort of a muttering sound as they move along the desert floor.   It was just a spectacular day.
Lower Javelina climbs up the side of the canyon and then back down into the wash.  On the other side of the wash, it once again climbs up the side of the canyon.  It's a pretty good workout with large rocks to step up and down, as well as elevation gain.  We're both a little whooped.

It was good to go and get outside.  Tropical storm Kori will be arriving Tuesday in the GPNW and will probably hit Tucson sometime Thursday.  Sigh....  Still waiting for that snowbird rebate.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The End of Rain - For Now

Our previous stretch of really good weather ended Saturday.  When we got up it was windy.  We set out on the bikes anyway.  After six miles I decided it was not fun with that much wind and went home.  Going back was just gruesome with the quartering head wind.  Jim continued on, and ended up getting rained on.  Rain here isn't the problem, it's all the crap on the trail that sticks to your bike after it's wet.  He was well and truly covered in goo once back at the ranch.  Saturday night and most of Sunday it rained.  A lot.
This is what yesterday looked like.  Dismal.

Today was cold, so there was hiking.  Plus, Jim's bike was still covered in sand and goo.  We had very pretty clouds and patterns of sun on the mountains.

Today was a really good day.  As you all remember, Jim ruptured his Achilles in November 2015.  It has been a long slog back.  After healing of the tendon, then there was rebuilding of the lost muscle, then there was getting one's head back on straight after such a traumatic thing.  The getting of the head back on straight takes time.  Anyway, today was a milestone for us - Jim hiked like the Jim of yore.  We equaled our time up to the overlook before the Achilles, and then equaled our previous descent times.  I mention this so that if you're ever hurt, you should remember it's going to take time, but just keep plugging at it.  So we were happy about today's hike.

I screen scraped this off Facebook.  It speaks to me - loudly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More of Same

It's been awhile since I've posted.  I'm struggling with blogging about daily minutia when things are going to hell in a hand basket.  I personally think we're seeing the beginning of the end for this country.  The president elect's constant distortion of the facts and dismissals of the media and intelligence agencies will not do the country any good.  Paul Ryan is changing the way Congress works while we're all distracted by Twitter.  Six days ago, the House of Representatives passed a bill to make it easier to give away public lands - including the national parks.  I could keep going, but I think I will stop - until it gets worse.

So, there has been the usual; bike hike. 

We did call the wild life center about the injured hawk.  They've received many calls about him, and have been out to effect a rescue, but since he's still mobile they've not been able to find him.  The last time we saw him he was standing on the ground and not the fence.  That's not good.