Saturday, October 31, 2020

More Tortoise, Desert and Sage

Greetings People of Earth!  How are you holding up?  I'm perpetually irritable due to uncertainty and fear of what will happen.  The wombat has already told us he intends to steal the election.  If that man gets four more years, he's going to spend them putting methane into the air and cutting down the Tongass National Forest.  It's a huge carbon sink, if it goes away, things will be bad.

Wednesday we were coming back from somewhere about 2:00 in the afternoon.  What do you think we saw?  Apparently the tortoise did not like his new environment and decided to move on.  He was in the middle of the road, right in front of the mail boxes - an excellent place to be run over.  We stopped, picked him up and took him to the other side of the road in his direction of travel.

He sat there for awhile, looking around, and then walked on down into the wash. We went back to the house and then came back, expecting to see him on his way to somewhere, but he was nowhere to be found.  We noticed a hole in the side of the wash, below the road, and wonder if perhaps it's a burrow.  Maybe it's his burrow.  I like to think that it is, and that he's home for the holidays.

Here are some gratuitous desert pictures.  Since it has cooled off it's been so much more enjoyable.  This week it goes back up into the low 90's which I am not excited about.

The Texas sage is blooming again.  That was unexpected.

Politics rolls on.  In North Carolina, local police pepper sprayed a peaceful march to a voting location, including little kids.  They were unable to access the polling place because the police kept spraying them.  What's next?  Dogs and water cannons?  It appears that wombat supporters surrounded a Biden bus on a Texas freeway attempting to stop it in the traffic lane.  One campaign aide's car was hit by one of their trucks.  Traffic was hosed for quite some time.  These people are just despicable, all of them.  Even if Biden wins, these people will still be among us.  There is not enough money on the planet to deprogram them.

Despite the orange wombat's daily mantra that we're rounding the corner and the virus will disappear, it does not seem to be the case.  The governor of South Dakota is currently at Mar-a-Lago doing some sort of campaign events.  She professes to be quite happy with her state's response to the virus and has no plans to encourage the wearing of masks or social distancing.  It's hard not to wish that she would get a bad case of it.

Other than this, I have zippity-doo-dah to report.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Sunday we hiked - and were sprinkled upon.  It was really hard to tell what the weather was going to do so we cut it short.  It was not a great hiking weather day.  Later the skies cleared out some due to the winds that were blowing.  I got this picture of the moon.

There were atmospheric looking clouds.

It's always nice when the bottoms of the clouds light up.

Tuesday the winds were up all day as the ridge of high pressure collapsed.  We rode anyway, it was good that the hills were all with a tail wind and the downhills were into the wind. 

Last night it dropped to 38 degrees.  We have a completely new air mass that is cold.  We talked about hiking today, but it was windy with a high of 59.  After suffering through the hottest August and September on record, 59 feels cold.  This is supposed to be a La Nina winter so we're hoping it will be better than the last two.  2018-2019 was the worst winter ever, and 2019-2020 was a very close second worst winter ever.  We're due for a good one.

So, at present I am wearing long pants in the house and my nose is cold.  This is just sad.  OK!  That's the end of the weather whining.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Weather and the Tortoise

The cold front appears to be on its way.  It's been dark and cloudy most of the day, with high winds.  Just now the clouds have moved out and the skies are blue. The wind is now just howling.  There is actually a freeze warning for tomorrow night, I don't think I believe it.  However, we'll put a styrofoam cup over the top of the young cactus we have to protect the growth areas from the cold.

There was a sunset last night, the first half decent one in quite some time.

The tortoise has been returned to the desert.  Our neighbor is friends with a guy who is associated with Fish and Game.  They took him out to a part of Tucson Mountain Park where he can dig.  They need a sandy wash so they can shovel dirt.  Why did we pick him up in the first place?  He was heading for the wall in the front yard, there was no way out in that direction.  If he followed the wall around to its end, there were four foot drop offs on two sides of the yard, which could have been fatal.  Assuming he made it out the way he came in, he still had to cross the road without being run over by a car or speeding Amazon vehicle to get to the desert.  We decided it would be better to hand him off to someone who knows tortoises who could safely relocate him.

He has about two or three weeks to make a burrow and settle in for the winter.

Mark Meadows, the wombat's chief of staff, said out loud this morning that the fight against the pandemic would not be won.  The White House has capitulated. He's looking towards therapeutics and vaccines (none of which exist) to save the day.  In the mean time, five of Pence's aids have tested positive, much of the staff is isolating, and Pence continues to tour the US without wearing a mask.  El Paso is opening field hospitals with the help of the military because their hospitals are over run.  North Dakota is up to 109 cases per 100,000.  Utah is preparing to ration care, people who don't make progress in ICU will be moved to non-ICU beds, the young will take priority over the old.  But hey!  It will be like a miracle and it'll be gone soon.  I can't wait for two weeks after Thanksgiving to see what the numbers look like.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cooler Weather, Voting, Idiocy and a Tortoise

Greetings Earthlings.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  We see that Montana has received a lot of snow.  This amuses me because I recently read an article about how people in California are flocking in droves to Montana.  They're driving up real estate prices and forcing the locals out.  Many rentals are no longer available for service workers because the owners are converting them to AirBnBs.  It's happening all over the state.  One wonders how many of those people from California, where the weather is generally good, have any conception of what winter in Montana will be like.  

Anyway, life during the pandemic continues.  I've been seeing articles on my Google news feed about what shortages will be manifesting as the virus worsens.  There will be a shortage of patio heaters, so if you want one of those, go buy it now.  There will be food shortages as well.  We did a little hoarding shopping yesterday at Costco; canned chicken, Aidelles smoked chicken sausage, pasta, canned corn.  Canned corn (which we never eat) is vanishing.  It's a particular strain of corn, grown specifically for canning.  It's grown, harvested, and canned.  That's it for the year.  So when it's gone, it's gone.  Costco is completely out of Kirkland canned green beans and corn.  We bought a case of Del Monte corn, I'm really hoping we don't have to eat it.  Maybe we'll hoard some more rice.  It's a weird mindset, never in my life have I been concerned about the availability of food.

It would appear that the stubborn ridge of high pressure that has made it so hot is breaking down.  The weather heads have not said if it will stay down. Look at Monday and Tuesday.  Looks like it will be time to break out a blanket.

We voted.  Monday we drove the ballots downtown and dropped them off at the county Registrar's office.  It was a drive through event with no waiting.  That was good.

Tucson has construction cranes everywhere.  The thought had been to drive around a little and take some blog-worthy photos.  However, given the number of closed streets, we bailed and went home.

This is our filing cabinet.  See how the top drawer is open?  It has refused to close for months.  Then the bottom drawer started doing the same thing.  Replacing the cabinet would be difficult because it holds up the end of the corner unit.  After unloading the bottom drawer and learning how it can be removed, we discovered that the screws holding the runners on to the drawer and the cabinet sides were backing out and preventing the drawer from closing.  So after months of leaving the drawer open, it was an easy fix and life is better.  The ironing board in the background is for making masks which I started and have not finished. 

Yesterday was good.  The morning was cool enough that we didn't have to get up at oh:dark:thirty to ride.  A slight cloud cover further improved conditions.

 A hawk visited the agave for awhile.  I wish he/she would eat all of the Gila woodpeckers. 

One has to wonder what the hell happened to the education system in this country that has removed critical thinking skills from a large section of the population.  QAnon is gaining ground within the Republican party.  They actually believe in lizard people running the government and that Hillary Clinton, TV actors and Democrats are running child trafficing rings.  This was on twitter today.

In other news, Jim was out blowing bougainvillea petals out of the back yard and discovered a desert tortoise peering into the sliding glass doors on the patio.  We made a box and put him in it along with a plate of lettuce and watermelon.  He/she is hungry.  Right now we're waiting for AZ Fish and Game to call us back, tortoises must be surrendered to them for proper care.  Mid November they dig a burrow and spend the winter in it, waiting out the cold.

So that's what's happening in Ye Olde Pueblo.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Birds, Negative Covid Tests and Yellow Journalism

Greetings Mellow Citizens - how are things in your neck of the woods?  Things are somewhat strange here.  We used to have many birds in the side yard.  Doves, quail, little birds, and birds with raucous voices were here looking for things to eat.  They're gone.  If we go outside, we don't even hear birds, except for the always annoying Gila Woodpecker.  I'm pretty sure doves and quail don't migrate, so we wonder where the birds have gone.

Here is yet another picture of one of my favorite churches.  We move about so little, it's difficult to find things to photograph.

Last Monday Jim started feeling bad.  Headache, body aches, temperature and some other Covid markers.  I personally did not think he was sick enough to have Covid, but it was concerning for him.  Wednesday, we made an appointment with the county for a test, only to discover that you have to park your car, and walk into a building with other people who think they might be sick.  No drive through is available, you must go share air with possibly sick people.  We cancelled and called our family physician.  They do covid testing!  They also check oxygen saturation, listen to your lungs and in Jim's case check out ears and nose.  The PA saw that the nares are slightly swollen and suspects allergies.  Anyway, she did not use the swab that goes up into your brain, they have shorter swabs that collect from the nasal passages.  Totally painless.  Jim got his negative result Thursday, and I got mine Friday.  So, as of that point in time, no Covid for us.  So, that was a good thing to have behind us.  She also said that if you're in a grocery store or Costco, where everyone is masked, odds are good that you won't get it.  That's pretty much our universe these days, along with Trader Joe's.

Have you been following the NY Post "article" about Hunter Biden?  As it turns out, the story is such garbage that no one in the ranks of the writers would allow their names to be attached as a by-line.  They finally used the name of a new employee who has never published anything.  There are more words at the NYT.  Rudy Giuliani should just be ashamed of himself.  He said, in public, that he had taken the story to the Post because any other paper would want to vet the facts.  Rupert Murdoch owns the paper, he doesn't fact check anything.  Hopefully this will not affect Joe's chances of winning, we just can't stand it if he doesn't.

Other than this, I have nothing intelligent to say.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Coyotes, Fruit, Voting and a Bug

I took this the other morning when we were out on the bikes.  Coyotes are not that spooked by people.

The people who live there had been leaning over their wall watching him.  He knew they were there, but he was not concerned.

We have lemons!  I was not expecting them this early, but we've gotten about six so far.  This year will not be a good as last, one wonders what we did wrong.  I'm hoping the next door neighbors have a good crop, last year we got all of them because they don't like them.  I juiced many and froze them in ice cube trays and grated zest and froze that.  They're not sprayed with anything so they're safe to use.  Our lemons are the size of limes, so no joy there.

Do you not love the cover of the voter guide.  Lucha is Spanish for fight.  The mask in the word vote is worn by the Luchadores, which are Mexico's answer to WWE.  They fight wearing masks that cover their heads.

This is Jim, searching for information on the Tucson School District candidates and the judges.  Given the amount of paper we got in the mail, there was not a ton of useful information.  Jim is the voter in chief for the house.

Here we have a dead bug in the hall bathroom.  Look at the antennae, they're so delicately curled at the ends.  Google image was not able to find a match, so who knows what it is.

Look at these charts.  It's staggering how much case loads have increased.  The Dakotas are particularly impressive.

That's it, that is all I have to say on this Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Recommended Viewing

Who watched the Amy Barrett hearings today?  No?  Me neither, she sounds like a chipmunk on helium and she refuses to commit to anything.  RBG voiced her support for reproductive rights clearly during her hearing, but Barrett just weasel words out of everything.  The brief clips on twitter were about all I could stand. 

However, something wonderful was said today by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  "When you find hypocrisy in the daylight, look for power in the shadows.”  He gave a 30 minute master class on dark money and its effects on the Supreme Court.  

Here is a short version of the talk which you can find here

If you find that sufficiently interesting, you can listen to the seven-ish minute version here.

Here is a picture of him. The arrow button keeps ending up on his face, so it's difficult to get a good image.

If you are sufficiently interested, Senator Whitehouse's full remarks are on youtube, and you can find them here.  

He's really impressive, given the spawns of Satan that currently masquerade as statesmen.

During the primaries, we were introduced to Mayor Pete, of South Bend, Indiana;  a really smart guy who someday will make a great president.  The Guardian, a paper in the UK, has renamed him Slayer Pete due to his interviews with Fox talking heads and his ability to talk circles around them.  Below are his extemporaneous remarks on why originalism is an unreasonable position to take, including a quote from Thomas Jefferson.  These remarks were part of an interview with Jonathon Capehart.  The video is here

Barrett's defense of originalism is just contorted logic.  The slaveholders who wrote the constitution also did not allow women to vote.  Changing those things required amendments to the original document.

Here is one of the Fox interviews.  Apparently the orange wombat heard them, he was making fun of the Slayer at tonight's Covid super spreader event. This is short and is just hysterical.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Political Humor

Ho hum.  Quarantine continues, it's the weekend so we don't leave the house for any of the stores due to excessive numbers of people on the move.  I read somewhere that 1 out of 40 people is currently infected in Arizona. We're not even a hot spot.  This morning, WAPO had North Dakota as the worst state for case counts.  Of course, Florida wouldn't report yesterday, so who knows how bad they really are.

A couple of days ago, Jamie Harrison was slated to debate Lindsey Graham.  Graham refused to get tested for Covid which Harrison wanted since Graham was at the Rose Garden Massacre.  So, Harrison wouldn't be on stage with him.  The local news gave Harrison 30 minutes, and then Graham.  It was unfortunate that they didn't live debate, since Harrison gave Graham a whoopin during the first debate.  Anyway, during the forum, the topic was how to address civil unrest in South Carolina.  And this was Graham's response.

“If you’re a young African American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal,” Graham said.

That is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard from a politician.

Here is political humor from twitter.  I've put a still photo below, and you can click on the video here.  It's funny, only takes about 15 seconds. 

There is also this.

And this.

It's a slow day, this is all I have to offer.

Friday, October 9, 2020

A New Appliance

Well crap, in addition to all of the other things that are making me crazy, my new blogger work around just stopped working.  The url that was directing me to the old blogger is being redirected to the new blogger.  It's like having my bright shiny toy taken away by the mean bully.  I see they still have not restored the ability to jump through old posts 100 at a time the way it used to be.  If you want to go fix a broken link in a post from five years ago, you'll probably die of old age before you get to it.  It's just stupid.  You must scroll and wait for more to be loaded, it's a laborious and slow process.

Also on my list of things to hate is the orange wombat's refusal to say if he's testing negative before hosting more super spreader events.  I noticed Dr. Fauci was on television today referring to the Rose Garden Massacre as a super spreader event.  Apparently he's stopped asking for permission and is going on national television to speak the truth.  Meanwhile, the Fox doctors are still saying it's no worse than the flu, don't worry be happy, and there will be monoclonal antibody cocktails for all.  Lies, and damn lies.

I have noticed that if you do not want all of your html in one continuous line, you must go to the html view and hit the enter key to cause a break in the html itself.  There will be a new line number, and an increased ability to figure out what html goes with what text.  I guess it goes without saying that the old way was better.

The only item of any significance to have happened in the house is the new refrigerator.  We bought this one two or so years ago, and the water dispenser dripped the entire time.  Repeated attempt to stop it were fruitless.  It dripped when we were gone for the summer, depositing a lot of calcium on the lever and the tray.  It was just annoying given how expensive it was.

This is the new one, it's a side by side.  It does not drip.  It's also not a counter depth unit and has more capacity. 

We were fairly apprehensive about how far out from the counter it would be, and while it is farther than the old one, I can live with it for the extra internal volume.

Mornings are cooler than they have been, resulting in 15 to 20 extra minutes of sleep on ride days.  It's amazing how much earlier it gets dark at night.  Given where the sun is setting at the moment, there have been zero good sunsets.  This is from the top of one of the dirt trails.

The always popular side yard in the morning.  See all of the black dots on the flagstones?  They're from the tall palm tree.  Apparently the birds do not eat them which is unfortunate.

So that's it from the house of general grumpiness.

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Wombat has Returned to the House

The wombat has been released back to the White House.  He walked up the stairs and removed his mask, standing at the top, visibly short of breath. After photographs he walked in to the White House to greet the people who awaited him, not wearing a mask.  Jeez Louise.  He's going to kill everybody he encounters.

I can't believe he said this, "don't be afraid of Covid."  He keeps talking about the amazing drugs developed on his watch that fixed him right up.  No one can have the monoclonal antibody cocktails  except him and clinical trials.  He's lying again. This pandemic is never ever ever going to be over because he keeps encouraging stupid behavior.   The thought of Joe Biden being in the same room with him for the next debate just chills my soul.

Watch this clip taken from a different angle, the link to the video is HERE    A still image is below.  I know that look, I used to have it when I had pneumonia.

So, it's going from bad to worse.  He's left a negative pressure room, is back in the White House touching things with his tiny Covid covered hands and he's not wearing a mask.  One wonders how many people he will kill.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Tales from the Hospital

Well, for a sick guy, the orange wombat has been busy.  Yesterday he sat for two staged photographs.

Look at the line labelled Date.  There's a time stamp there.

Again, look at the line labelled Date.

These were taken ten minutes apart.  I guess they were trying to make it look like he'd been working all day.  There is some speculation that the second photo is actually him photo shopped into a White House conference room.   We do know that in the first photo he's writing his name on a blank piece of paper. He has Covid, he's super contagious, but he was perfectly happy to put a photographer in proximity to him and his disease that has no cure.

Today he did yet another video saying that he's fine, all is well.  Then he got in his armored, hermetically sealed car that can withstand a chemical attack and had Secret Service drive him around the block so he could wave at the Proud Boys who are standing vigil outside of Walter Reed.  Think about it, the agents in the car will now have to quarantine for 14 days because the wombat needed to show people how well he is doing.  The following is a screen shot of a text sent to a reporter by a former Secret Service agent.  They did not like him before, now I guess they hate him.

 This is just sad.  Why this lunatic polls over 5% is still a complete and total mystery to me.

He also said in today's video that he's been visiting wounded veterans at Walter Reed.  Let us consider that.   It's just an unmitigated lie, like everything else he says.  The election can not come soon enough.