Monday, August 31, 2020

Pictures and More Evil

Well dang-it.  The trouble with not posting regularly is that the evil piles up.  But first, here are pretty pictures.  It did rain Saturday night.  It wasn't a lot of rain, but better than nothing.  Last night we got a little.  Other areas are just getting dumped upon.  Ah well.  December is a rainy month, so maybe then.

We rode yesterday morning.  It was slightly less hot than it has been.  The light was good, not as harsh as it has been due to the slightly shorter days.  Saturday's rain firmed up some of the lose parts of the dirt trails, so that was good.

This is the recent flower spike growing on the bank.  Things are not looking good for it.  Each wind storm causes it to lean more than before.  We were looking today and the agave appears to be lifting out of the dirt a little.  If it goes over, it will need to be disposed of, dirt back filled and more rocks put in place.  This is work we'll probably have to do since the HOA is generally MIA on wash maintenance.

The bougainvillea seems to be at the end of its current bloom cycle.  It's also losing a bunch of leaves.  I wonder what it wants.  Does it want to be cut back?  Does it want to be fed?  Information on the internet is really sparse and one article contradicts the next.

 OK, on to the evil.

I'm linking to this article because the NYT article is behind a paywall.  There are two sources of evil here.  First is Rosenstein.  Like many people, I thought he was a good guy since he named a special prosecutor.  I always wondered why the orange wombat did not fire him.  Apparently Rosenstein was a bad guy.  From the article we learn: "... according to the new report, despite the intelligence community’s concerns about Trump’s foreign ties, Rosenstein personally concluded prior to Mueller’s launch in earnest of his own investigation that there was not sufficient cause to investigate those links and decided that former acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had conflicts of interest.Unfortunately, Rosenstein never informed McCabe or the FBI that he was effectively closing that line of inquiry, which left them with the impression that a look into Trump’s Russian links would be included in the purview of Mueller’s investigation.
It was not."
No one looked at the orange wombat's links to Russia.  Think about that.  Rosenstein is now in the private sector representing an Israeli company that congress considers to be a major security threat to the US.  Good guy indeed.
Evil part two.  Michael Schmidt of the NYT wrote a book in which the above information was provided.  He sat on crucial knowledge so he could write his damn book, he's no better than Bolton.

Also in Schmidt's book is the tidbit that when the wombat took his unscheduled trip to Walter Reed, he had Pence on stand by in case he had to undergo anesthesia while he was there.  Who among us has had anesthesia while having a partial physical?  Again, Schmidt knew this, didn't share.  Bad reporter, bad.

It's being reported that the wombat is leaning in to his new medical advisor's belief that the country should just go for herd immunity.  Everybody gets Covid; Covid for you, Covid for me... yay!  That's why they forced CDC to recommend not testing asymptomatic cases, they don't want the scope known.  He's back to talking about Sweden's approach which was not to shut down or to socially isolate.  Sweden had huge case counts, deaths and economic damage.  Not sure they had a winning strategy with that.  Scott Atlas, the radiologist, has been telling the wombat that letting Covid run rampant through the country would not be such a bad thing.  Pretty much everything he says on the subject is wrong.  I'm linking to the WAPO article that talks about this. 

So far this week Representative Scalise released an altered video of Ady Barkan talking to Biden.  Ady has ALS and now speaks with an electronic device.  Scalise took his words and digitally altered them.  Great!  Today, the wombat's campaign took some of Biden's speech and cut words out of sentences to change their meaning.  All these people have is lying and cheating.  Twitter flagged them as altered media, but I think deleting them might have been better.

Remember I mentioned Robert Duncan, who is the chair of the USPS board of directors, has a long history of voter suppression efforts?  Today this was made public.

He's running McConnell's super PAC!  The same McConnell who is systematically refusing to fund the USPS.  Can we talk about perfidy and malfeasance now? Update to post:  HuffPost wrote an article on this very subject 9/1/2020.

So, that's my evil hit parade for today.  Don't worry, there will be more.

Saturday, August 29, 2020


It's a dark and stormy night in Ye Olde Pueblo.  Oh wait, it's raining everywhere but here.  It's like the gods sprayed this area with Rain-X.  Among so many other things, it's just depressing.

I do not have the will to write a coherent post.  The orange wombat, the continuing murders of Black people, and the death of Chadwick Boseman have all conspired to drain the life force from me. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Critters, Home Building and Evil

Greeting Earthlings?  How go your days consumed by avoiding other people?  We're crabby.  It's 105 degrees and the sky is pretty much obscured by smoke from California.  I feel so bad for those people, it's a mystery to me how they keep getting back up again from fires followed by mud slides.  Fire season used to start in October, but here we are in August with the state burning.

I took this yesterday, notice how the prickly pear is still happy from the recent rains.  There may not be anymore.  It keeps going into New Mexico.

Here's a gratuitous photo of the backyard palm trees.

I know you all wonder about construction techniques in Arizona.  It's a little weird.  First the house is framed, then oriented strand board is nailed to the outside.  It's not particularly precise work, sunlight can be seen between the boards.  Then the entire structure is covered in styrofoam.  I know!  From wikipedia we learn: "Styrofoam is a trademarked brand of closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), commonly called "Blue Board", manufactured as foam continuous building insulation board used in walls, roofs, and foundations as thermal insulation and water barrier." Once that is up, the structure is encased in chicken wire.

 Here is a larger picture of the chicken wire.  Once that is done the structure will be sprayed with stucco.  I'm not sure if it's actually stucco or gunnite.  Whatever it is, the entire house is coated with it.  Eventually it will develop cracks, providing the home owner with hours of entertainment, caulking and painting them.  Houses built in the 1960s have brick exteriors, and many have brick interior (a different layer of brick) walls as well.  I guess brick got too expensive.

We had two road runners in the yard this morning.  It's the first time I've seen two traveling together.
He's hot, you can't tell but he's panting a little.

Look at the base of the Buddha.  That's one of the squirrels that visits us.

Who watched the RNC last night?  I made it through 3 minutes and 2 lies told by Nikki Haley and switched over to Food Network.  Below is Kimberly Guilfoyle, Don Junior's new squeeze.  She used to be married to California Governor Newsom.  Anyway, she had a pre-recorded speech during which she was yelling.  I really was waiting for her to shout "Let's Get Ready to Rumble."  A short clip of her interminable six minute speech can be found here.  The question that has been repeatedly asked is why didn't the people running the convention ask her to do it again and tone it down a little?

Does she look possessed or what?

HuffPost had a good article up about Robert Duncan, the Republican operative who brought us Louis DeJoy, the spawn of Satan.  Duncan has been involved in Republican efforts to suppress the vote since 2002.  He's evil.  Biden's problem will be that the Board of Directors can only be fired for cause.  I wonder if destruction of government property will be enough cause to get rid of the lot of them.

The head of the FDA has backtracked on the remarks he made at the orange wombat's presser on the game changer that is convalescent plasma.  According to Dr. Hahn:
“What that means is -- and if the data continue to pan out -- 100 people who are sick with Covid-19, 35 would have been saved because of the administration of plasma,” Hahn said. Hahn’s remarks followed similar comments by Trump, who said that the therapy is “proven to reduce mortality by 35%,” and by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The data showed a difference in mortality between 11% and 8% (I'm rounding because I don't remember the exact numbers) without and with the plasma.  That is the 35% improvement.  It's not a 35% reduction in mortality.  Dr. Hahn showed his complete and total lack of understanding statistics among other things.  Bloomberg did a good article on it.

Yet another young Black man has been shot in the back by the police.  Jacob Blake was shot point blank seven times in the back as he was getting into his car.  He survived, but is paralyzed below the waist.  How many more must there be?

There is so much more evil to report on but I think I'll give it a rest.

Friday, August 21, 2020

It Rained!

It seems that I was mistaken.  We got about three hours of thunder and cloud to cloud lightning.  There was much rain.  The power went out for an hour and a half.  We relearned that you can light a gas burner with a lighter when the igniters are without electricity.  As soon as the internet returned, we ordered two head lamps, and two emergency lanterns so that next time, there will be more light available  I do miss the 8,000 watt generator we had on the RV, we never lost power.

Before the storms got started, we had this.

That's it!  A big puffy cloud.

Oh, and there was this message from the emergency people.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Politics and Fire

Well!  Today's headline was shocking.  The criminal investigation unit of the USPS arrested Steve Bannon for taking money that was donated to build that stupid wall on the border.  Three other people were arrested, as well.  I don't know if the USPS rounded them up or if SDNY went and got them.  Bannon is out on $5M bail.  Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.  The orange wombat is already distancing himself, by next week he'll be saying he never met him.

The wombat gave a speech in Pennsylvania today, hoping to steal the thunder from Biden's nomination tonight.  Pictures of the audience did not reveal all that many people in attendance.  The wombat went on and on about how if Biden wins, he's going to "cancel" America, children will be raised to turn on their parents, cities will go up in flames, there will be no water coming out of the shower heads,  light bulbs will make people look orange and etc.  But this - this takes the cake for a weird statement.

I found this on twitter today,  this accurately sums up the year thus far.  The wombat has already been heard to say he's not going to give California any relief money because they don't like him, and also because they "have not been raking their forests."

This photo of a fire tornado has been around for a couple of days.  It's an amazing and terrifying image.

There was an interview with a postal worker who explained why drugs are running so late.  The current priority is Amazon packages, then priority mail, and then everything else.  Drugs don't use expensive postage, so they get left on the floor.  Apparently, so do the baby chicks and Omaha steaks.  It was reported that a post office in California is full of dead animals and rotting food.  Maine has also reported that their chicks are arriving dead, which is causing them heart break and economic hardship.

Meanwhile, that rat bastard DeJoy has ordered all post offices not to plug in or reassemble any of the sorting machines that are still on site.  He has no plans to approve overtime or add back sorting capacity.  Vice has an article on the subject here.   People are still reporting the removal of blue mail boxes, this guy hasn't stopped doing anything, even though he said he would.

Remember the no-bid contract that was given to a HHS contractor to develop a database that would do what the CDC database had been doing for years?  The one that tracked how many hospital beds were full/available?  That would be the contract that the developers would not discuss because they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with HHS. They're not going to complete the task.   At least it was only $10M that was flushed down the toilet.  What is not clear is what happens next.  Daily Kos has an interesting take on the subject which I have excerpted below. (Highlighting is mine.)
... quoting the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Deborah Birx is now saying the “CDC is working with us right now to build a revolutionary new data system so it can be moved back to the CDC, and they can have that regular accountability with hospitals relevant to treatment and PPE.” She is further quoted as saying that the move to send all collected Covid data to the private firm TeleTracking was meant to be solely an interim system.
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. This announcement by Birx attempts to do several things, none of them good.
--It raises expectations that CDC will be getting the data again, but does not really commit to setting a timeline for that to happen. “Working with us right now to build a revolutionary system” is so vague as to be meaningless. And why couldn’t CDC have continued receiving Covid data while continuing to work on this spanking shiny new pie-in-the-sky system?
--Why would Teletracking receive a $10million+ contract for being solely an interim system? Especially since Teletracking would have to exponentially grow their own systems to handle all the Covid data?
--Why was no one told that Teletracking was an interim solution to a non-existent problem? The move to TeleTracking was announced 48 hours in advance, forcing hospitals to scramble. This supposed move back to CDC is catching everyone off guard.
So, this will be interesting.  The other thing that is not currently being well tracked is case loads in schools.  How are people supposed to know how bad things are in the schools if no one is writing it down?

We rode this morning, it was really hot because it was really humid.  It's not Texas caliber humid, but it's enough.  Currently we're under a blowing dust warning due to out flow of air from the thunderstorms that are not going to give us any rain.  It's all south of us.  Anyway, the days are shorter and the light stays nice just a little bit longer than in late June.

So that's it.  Malfeasance and perfidy on the part of the Republicans and the wombat runs rampant.  Covid is still with us and the grocery store remains our main source of entertainment and a change of scenery.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wind - Miscellaneous Stuff

Sunday we got the big wind.  It was strong enough to push the covered patio furniture over.  It also stripped leaves off my bougainvillea.  This is rain out to the west.  We, of course got nothing.  I'm not sure what it is with the area, but we get nothing.

Look at the palm trees in the background.  They got bashed around pretty good.  The yard is full of palm tree debris, leaves and pink petals.  It's too steenking hot go go out and clean it up.

Last night we had javelinas on parade.  They were in the yard a week ago and took a paddle off one of my cactus.  It takes forever for a cactus to grow.  So they took two bites of it, and left it on the ground.  This irritates me.  There is an entire desert full of cactus, and they have to eat mine.

They're bad animals.  The woman in question was out walking her dog at midnight.  Javelinas don't see well, but they have an excellent sense of smell.  They smell dogs and think they're coyotes, which are an enemy.  The woman was bitten, and had a six inch gash in her leg.  Look at the tusks.

This is from a cool video - it's about 13 seconds and shows a 747-400 Freighter dropping fire suppressant.  It's the only one of its kind.  Go here and play it, it's pretty cool.

There's a new unproven drug for Covid-19, oleandrin.  It's made from extracts of oleander bushes.  If I'm lying, I'm dying.  Ben Carson (HUD) and My Pillow Guy are actively promoting this in the White House.  There's no testing, there's no data, and they want the FDA to move out smartly approving it.  The company producing it says it will cure Covid in two days.  The article is here if you want to read it, it's just so aggravating.

There is just so much that is aggravating.  The orange wombat held an indoor rally in an airplane hangar today with no masks and no social distancing.  One thousand people were in the hangar, so much for numbers in AZ continuing on a downward trend.  This will never be over.

Still Hot - Send Louis a Letter

Today was hot, really hot.  Astonishingly hot.  The north end got 60 mph winds and nickel size hail with their rain.  Right now we're getting massive wind, but no precip.  The rain hates us.

Last night looked really promising - many dark clouds, wind and we could smell rain.  There was quite a display of cloud to cloud lightning and some thunder after dark, but ultimately no joy.

At 11:45 pm the power went out.  I hate when the power goes out, especially since I have a pandemic sized hoard of food in the freezer.  We got up, reported the outage and went back to bed.  It came back about three hours later.  This afternoon we saw this down the street. 

These guys are my heroes, working in these unholy temperatures.  The outage was caused by two old cables giving up the ghost and taking the power down.  They were replacing the bad sections.

This is a very large hole in the ground.

So that has been our excitement this weekend.

Here are two addresses for our illustrious post master general.  I plan on writing him detailing the health issues he is visiting upon those who are waiting for insulin, cancer drugs, treatments for PTSD and all the other meds that people get by mail.  One guy on twitter has been waiting 12 days for $35,000 worth of cancer drugs.  You know who else is hurt?  Baby chickens.  Chicks are shipped via USPS, and if they don't arrive in a timely fashion, especially when it's hot, they die.  

Since I have no postcards, I shall be using old, unused Christmas cards.

They have quit removing mail boxes, now they're locking them closed in place.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Heavy Clouds and the End of USPS

Do you ever get songs stuck in your head?  I do, all the time.  The song for this week is "Heavy Clouds, but No Rain" by Sting.  He's one of my favorite artists, you can hear him play it here.  This week we've had significant build ups, dark skies and zero precipitation.  It's very frustrating.  We get some nice clouds, but that's it.

My bougainvillea is blooming.  It also wilts about once a week, so I put a five gallon bucket full of water on it.  

This was taken from the top of Sentinel Peak.  Doesn't this look like a rain maker?  But, no - no rain.

Last night was really pretty.  The setting sun was bright, lighting up the foliage like a spotlight against the dark sky.

This is the setting sun lighting up Little Cat Mountain.  People in Colorado laugh when we call these mountains, but it's what we've got.  Note the lightning that I accidentally photographed.

Finally, the obligatory sun set.

Do you know what the orange wombat's stooge, DeJoy, is doing?  He is PHYSICALLY dismantling the Post Office.  Sorting equipment is being removed from multiple post offices.  Shelves used as work surfaces are being removed.  Mail boxes, MAIL BOXES, are being removed from Democratic areas.  Bozeman and Missoula are two left leaning areas where mail boxes are being taken.  Montana has become a swing state.  USPS has told Washington and Pennsylvania that their deadlines for requesting and mailing ballots are unsupportable under the current conditions.  Washington is a mail only state, there is no backup. (Update to post:  Now USPS is saying it's 46 states and the District of Columbia).  They're removing mail boxes in Portland, another Democratic stronghold.  NYC is losing mail boxes.

This is a headline from the WAPO yesterday - the wombat is not even hiding what he's doing.  First he guts the post office, forcing people to vote in person.  He has already acquired a fleet of lawyers to challenge votes everywhere.  He really is stealing the election in plain sight.

And yet, he and Melania have sent away for their absentee ballots, using Mar-a-Lago, a business, as their home address.  I guess he's right, mail in ballots are ripe for corruption, his.

Gutting the USPS is also an issue for people who get drugs by mail.  People are being warned that the time for drugs to arrive may be two weeks.  Many drug plans only let people order a week in advance.  This is particularly bad for the elderly and vets as well as people in the rural areas.

I'm losing my will to live, I just can not believe the things that are happening in this country.  A judge has ruled that the top two people in DHS, Wolf and Cuccinelli, are occupying their offices illegally.  Every decision they've made about caging children or tear gassing protesters has been illegal because they should not be in those jobs. What do we hear from the DOJ? Crickets.  If that man is not voted out, this country is over. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Kamala for Veep

Joe picked Kamala!  It's interesting that no one calls the orange wombat by his first name, but we  feel like we can call former VP Biden by his first name, because we like him.  He's a real person.

The election is still in danger.  USPS is removing sorting equipment from some post offices.  Mail is piling up.  One poll suggests 75% of Democrats will vote by mail, compared to 12% of Republicans.  I have no way to gauge whether this is true, except to reflect on how many times the wombat has said vote by mail is corrupt, and how many times that lie has been echoed by Fox propaganda.  You know what to do.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Baby Bird

Up and out early - hotter than blazes.  I'll be glad when it's Halloween, which is when it will stop being this hot.  The virus will always be with us, but at least we'll be able to not get up at oh:dark:thirty and will be able to walk about mid-day.

So, while sitting at the table reading my daily dose of perfidy and malfeasance, I noticed a bird perched on the side of a palm tree.  He was vibrating his wings and complaining non-stop.  It's a baby Oriole.  All of these were taken through the sliding glass door because I did not want to scare him or the parent(s) who were bringing him food.  He looks kind of young to be out of the nest.

Shortly after I took these, he disappeared from the side of the tree.  I still hear him, but am afraid he's on the ground.  There are many other animals that will eat him.  Nature is so harsh.

If you have some free time, please call Representative Connolly and ask him what the hell congress is going to do about the Post Office.  

Last night we had a pink cloud.

That's it - that's all I've got.