Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Cactus, LIzards and Bad Faith Politicians

Ho hum.  The corruption of the republican party continues, growing by leaps and bounds.  Ted Cruz, in particular, continues to roll down the evolutionary path and is becoming a slime mold.

This is our neighbor's hedge hog cactus next door, blooming up a storm.   I'm not sure why the growth tips are that yellow, but I don't think it's good.

This is a short arm on the saguaro on the side of our wash.  He's blooming.  If you look behind the blossoms at that white area, that's the growth plate for the arm. 

The lizard has been to see us.  He's a pretty lizard.

This bird has the most amazing song.  It goes on forever with a lot of variation.  When we first heard it we thought it was a Hooded Oriole, who also have long complicated songs.  However, it was this bird, which I can't identify.

The perfidy and malfeasance of the republicans in Arizona continues.  The "audit" has to be winding down because they must be out of the coliseum on May 14.  At present, they don't know where they will be taking the ballots.  They also have no plan for tamper evident tape for the boxes of ballots, security, or anything else that is required by law.  Until recently they had been demanding that Maricopa turn over the county routers.  This would have taken down ALL of the systems in Maricopa county, including the police, and compromised security of everything.  (Today it was revealed that in their custody, the voting machines have been hooked to the internet.)  DOJ checked in with them and pointed out that their plan to go out and interview a selection of voters, who had been statistically selected by a method they couldn't articulate, could only be construed as voter intimidation.  They've backed down on that plan.  I still do not understand why they were able to get the ballots since federal election laws stipulate that the ballots remain with state election officials for 22 months.

Yesterday, our idiot governor signed a law changing the PEVL (permanent early voting list) to the AVEL (active early voting list).  They want to purge voters who have not voted in four years.  Seventy five percent of all AZ voters are on PEVL.  The state automatically sends PEVL people a ballot for each and every election, some of which might be missed if one wasn't paying attention in the off years.  The other law that's being passed is decreasing the number of days for curing mail in ballots on the Navajo nation.  This doesn't affect white people in the rest of the state, just the Navajo nation.  Sound discrimanatory  much to anyone?  This will end up in court asap. Consider the wrongness of this thinking.  Their problem is that the Navajos vote primarily democratic.

Jim just told me that Republicans in the AZ senate and house only have a one vote majority each.  Perhaps the Democrats could rise up and vote these suckers out.

So today the slime molds voted Liz Cheney out of her leadership position, because she will not sit still for the lie that the election was stolen.  After a meeting of republicans with President Biden, Kevin was heard to say, “I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. I think that is all over with. We’re sitting here with the president today.”  If that's the case, why did they just toss Cheney?

So that is what is happening in the land of the wingnuts.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Hooray, Hooray, It's the Eighth of May

 In the PNW, the second line is "it's outdoor intercourse day".  However, here in our neck of the woods, we're saying "it's trichocereus blooming day."  They're mostly all out today.  They bloom for one day, and then they're done.  I have been told it's because they have to cross pollinate so everybody blooms at once, but I can neither confirm or deny this.  

Here are some we've seen today.  These are our neighbors', two doors down.

Rick, who lives on our riding route, called us over as we were on the way back to the house.  That man has a lot of cactus.  These are his trichocereus.

This is called a flying saucer.  The blossom is just huge.

A closer look at said blossom.

Aren't they the most beautiful things you've seen in awhile?  The sun was pretty harsh, so pictures are not that good.  However, they'll be gone tomorrow, so there is no going back for a better shot.

This is a blossom on a really short saquaro.  I think he's only four feet tall, but he's blooming.

This afternoon we went to Home Depot for LED bulbs for the yard lights.  I don't think we're getting the advertised life span on these bulbs.  Anyway, two of the four died this week.  I spent some time in the garden department.  These are aloe plants.  They look like agaves.  They are very pretty.  However, that would involve digging if I got one.

These cactus that shoot flowers out of their sides always amuse me.

This is a mandevilla.  I read about how to care for them in Arizona, which says they need shade.  Home Depot has them sitting out in full sun.  We've given up on plants with leaves, so we admire them and leave them at the store.

I had planned to do a scathing review of the dimwits in the Arizona legislature and their most recent stupidity with their stupid audit, but I wanted to post this while it was the eighth of May.  Ok, here's one of their dimwit things; they're checking the ballots for bamboo fiber content since they think that ballots were smuggled in from China.  Bamboo?  Really?  Maybe they need a bamboo sniffing panda on site.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Ramble on!

How are you all?  We're having trouble believing that people in Arizona really believe the election was stolen, and that their stupid "audit" will uncover the malfeasance. Q-Anon has put forth the theory that the orange ectoplasm marked the ballots with watermarks to expose Democratic fraud. They've been exposing the ballots to UV light to make the watermarks and finger prints visible.  I think they've been watching too many police procedurals.  Rep. Anthony Kern, whose name is on the ballots being audited, is auditing the ballots.  This seems like a conflict of interest. Kern has also been seen giving Rep. Andy Biggs a tour of the coliseum.

April 27 we had this down the street. There were two marked sheriff's vehicles, the pickup truck was driven by a detective.  A sheriff's car came back four days running.  Jim finally walked down and asked the cop what they were doing.  They were doing surveillance on a house.  The only place they can see it is from up a wash.  We don't know whose house or why.  The last time a sheriff was there, he was out in the desert after dark.  That's when the rattlesnakes are active. 

Remember the wall that was knocked down due to a boundary issue?  Then a spite wall went up in its place.  Well, they've built up a little higher recently.

I'm really not clear on the purpose of the iron work.  I don't think it adds anything to the appearance of the wall.  Linda (Lady Margaret's Curlers) left a comment on a previous post that the wall looked republican.  It is, they're supporters of the orange ectoplasm.

Today I was blocked on twitter by the former French ambassador to the US.  Apparently he has a habit of blocking women who take umbrage at something he has said.  Here is what he tweeted yesterday.  He has since deleted the tweet, and blocked many women including me.  This hoary anecdote has been around forever, it's not original to M. Araud.

It pissed me off a lot.  So I said this.

He responded with a request for "a little humor."  Right, just joking little lady.  Anyway, I got a lot of positive feedback, and he got dragged pretty good.  The screen shot of his tweet is out there and still circulating.  I don't generally post anything on twitter, due to the high crazy count, but that one just set me off.

There are more cactus blooming.  This is a teddy bear cholla.

A prickly pear down the street.

A prickly pear on the other side of our wall.  It's always cool when they bloom different colors.

I think this is a staghorn cholla.

I've been calling these fat cholla because they're thicker than the staghorns.

Today is day two of being really windy.  We got up to ride, but the wind was just too strong.  We put watering buckets on a palm and the  bottle brush plant.  We buy the five gallon buckets from Home Depot, drill tiny holes close to the bottom and fill them with water.  It trickles in slowly and doesn't run off.  Zone two of the irrigation is turned off due to a leak in a valve.  Fortunately everything else is on zone one.  The irrigation people can't get out here until May 11.  Anyway, after bucket filling we went to HomeGoods up north, where we obtained an inexpensive three quart non-stick pot which I was not willing to spend $115 on at Williams Sonoma.  

Jim has been spraying the orange trees with this.  It smells unbelievably bad when it's wet, sort of like fermented hot dogs.  After it dries, it's not bad.  The deer have been in the yard since the spraying, but we don't think they're eating.  It would be good if it did work, putting up fencing is not something I want to do.

I've mentioned that there are very few rental cars available.  Something like 750,000 cars were dumped into the used car market by the rental agencies at the start of the pandemic.  As part of the perfect storm of shortages, people did not want to ride public transit at that time.  They wanted their own, hermetically sealed car.  So, all the cars were sold in short order.  It's estimated that this situation will continue well in to nest year.

There was a sunset last night.  It was pretty good.

That's it - that's all of the rambling I can muster.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Rain, Rudy and Shortages

 It rained!  It's not enough, but we did get precipitation yesterday.  The desert is so dry, the deer are back in droves eating the leaves off the orange trees.  This is the worst eating they have ever done.  Fortunately, they do not like the lemon trees, probably due to the thorns, and those are the only fruit I'm concerned about.  

Look at this poor tree, all the leaves on the bottom are eaten by the evil deer.

We actually had a weather alert yesterday.  It wasn't all that bad here, there was no hail and we're happy about that.

So all of that was exciting, and then we had a decent sunset, which was unexpected.

This morning dawned dark and stormy, the weather system was not quite gone.  About 11:30 the sun came out and we decided not to be such loser slugs, and so got dressed and out on the bikes.  It was a good ride.  By the time we got back the wind was up pretty good.  Then it rained some.  The hummingbirds are not liking this, they all look like tiny drowned rats.  But now the sun is out here, and we are much happier.

That's a mourning dove on the flower spike.  He's a little puffed up due to the chill.

So, they served search warrants on Rudy Giuliani this morning.  They were at his house at 6 am.  This just tickles the living snot out of me.  They also went to his law office.  Apparently, people from Ukraine have been in New York spilling everything they know about Rudy.  One person gave the investigators his email and phone passwords and spent about 10 hours going through each and every text and mail, explaining their significance.  I really hope they nail his worthless hide to the wall.

Moving on to first world problems. 

 Last summer here was pretty hot.  We literally had weeks of 110 degrees.  So, we've been thinking about a summer house since all the RVs have been sold, and all of the slots in the RV parks have been booked until the end of time.  So, we thought how about the PNW?  They have good summers generally, unless there are fires in British Columbia.  We've all heard about how nuts the real estate market is at the moment, but we did not fully appreciate just how nuts.  Tiny, old, dumpy houses are going for 20 to 25% over asking on Whidbey Island and everywhere else in the area.  Brokers put the houses on the market Friday.  Everybody spends the weekend touring these dumpy little houses, some of them are actual old fishing shacks that have been remodeled.  The following Friday, the owners review all of the multiple offers they have received for these tiny dumpy houses, and choose the one they like best.  We were interested in one house, but the agent told us it was going to need a lot of work, and it was going to go for way more than we wanted to pay.  So, we're done with that thought.  

In Hawaii, tourists are renting U-Haul pickup trucks for transportation because the cheapest car rental if $773 a day for a Toyota Camry.  Yes, that's a day.  Rental cars are in short supply because the car rental places dumped their inventory because no one was traveling in 2020.  New cars are in short supply because of the global chip shortage.  Prices of used pickup trucks are sky rocketing.  Additionally, gas shortages are predicted for the coming summer travel season.  It's the perfect storm of lack of demand for gas in 2020, which lead to layoffs of the people who drive tanker trucks and deliver gas.  Many of those people were approaching retirement and decided to pack it in.  The schools that train those drivers closed during the pandemic, so there are not any new drivers in the pipeline.  So, there's gas, but no one to bring it to the pump.  Finally, chlorine shortages are predicted for the summer.  One of the plants that makes chlorine burned down.  Apparently, there aren't many of the plants, so there's now a huge hole in that supply chain.  Pool maintenance will be difficult.  It's more of no matter what you want, you can't have it at the moment.

So, things are not dire for us, but it does look like another summer in the Hot Pueblo. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Weather and the Fraud

 How, you must wonder, has the weather been lately?  Other than hot, it's been like this.  March was like this, as well.  We seem to have a new normal here.

I scraped this off a newspaper site.  They did not identify the road, but I'm pretty sure it's north of here where the ever industrious farmers have scraped the desert and unleashed the dust into the air. 

Back at the end of February, I posted a picture of a lot that had been cleared for building a new house.   Later I mentioned the massive rant one of the builders had launched about shortages and prices.  Now we are in the end of April and two guys have managed to erect all of this.  I'm impressed at how much two middle aged men have been able to accomplish in this time frame.

The peach version of prickly pears.  This is one of my favorite colors.

This color is also nice.  I'm not sure what color that is.

This is a ferocactus, another impulse buy at a nursery.  We have got to stop doing this, there's just not that much room in the side yard.  The sign at the nursery said it was cold tolerant to 10F.  A couple of articles I have read say it's 10C, which is 50F.  He may become a house plant.  We're contemplating having the front yard landscaped, but can not decide what to put out there, so we're in nurseries too much.  Since it requires a jack hammer (literally) to dig out there, help will be required.  So far we've cycled through do nothing, put in a tree, put in an agave, do all of the above.  Our ability to make a decision seems to have suffered in the past year.

The doves were courting on the plant spike, I was hoping to get that picture, but instead captured them flying away.  Wretched doves, they're dropping sticks all over the patio, they're in the process of making one of their miserable nests.  Really, they make the worst nests in the world.  It's a good thing for them that they breed year round.

Today the lunatic fringe republicans have a court date to reveal their processes and procedures for an accurate recount of the votes for the orange ectoplasm and Mark Kelly (democratic senator).  They're only counting the votes they didn't like.  Thus far, the doors to the coliseum where the ballots currently reside have been left unlocked, people have wandered in.  The press is not allowed in at all unless they agree to work a six hour counting shift.  One of the most egregious things is the fact that the man running the effort was unaware of the importance of the ink color in pens being used . Official poll workers are not allowed to even possess a black or blue pen in the counting areas because that is what the election equipment reads.  Only red pens are allowed.  The first day an Arizona Republic (newspaper) reporter had a six hour shift.  She saw the black pens and told the Cyber Ninja guy that this was not allowed.  He thought it would be ok.  Later he banished the pens, but it took awhile.  The AZ Republic reporter has been banned from the coliseum after talking to Rachel Maddow about it.  These people have already lost chain of custody, but it won't stop them from manufacturing lies about election fraud.  There was an article on Yahoo via NYT about the death threats that the board of supervisors are receiving.  Death threats, and this is an open carry state.  

Other than this, there is not much shaking in Ye Olde Pueblo.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day 2021

 Greetings Fellow Inhabitants of Biosphere One.  Happy Earth Day to you all.  Things are looking a little dire these days.  I guess some good news is that Bolsonaro said he would put a stop to burning and cutting down the Amazon if the US gave him a billion dollars.  No word on President Biden's response to this most gracious offer.  

NYT did an article about how people are being affected by climate change.  The primary thread among the accounts was rising water, weird storms, fire, and terrible air quality caused by fire.  It's a long read, but very revelatory.  This one really hit home with me, having just left the full time RV life style and moved to a locale that's running out of water.

Five years ago my husband and I divested our real estate holdings for a life on the road. We tow an Airstream with a clean-diesel Ram truck. We meet people who live on the fringe of society, some who are running from disasters like fires, earthquakes, storm surges and hurricanes. An older couple we met lost their first house in the Northridge earthquake, and their second in the Santa Rosa wildfire. They wander from state to state in their truck and trailer with no plans to settle down permanently. A professor at U.C. Santa Barbara tells me his house will soon be off the grid because of rising tides. He and his wife are practicing living in a trailer. At a glance, they appear to be older retired people out having a good time, but they are already on the run.— Carmen Beaubeaux, On the road

The bloom this year has been paltry.  There are not a lot of blossoms, and they're short lived.  Even the steenking Palo Verdes seem to be cutting back on flowering.  If we don't get monsoon this year, we're going to be in a heap of trouble.

The hedge hog next door.

These are the flowers of a Blue Palo Verde.  They have the good blossoms.

I used to know the name of this, but I've forgotten.  I think it was something's ear.  Lamb, maybe?

A fat cholla.

Vaccine rates were down 11% last week.  It wasn't due to a lack of vaccines.  It was the vaccine hesitant and the Covid deniers.  I just saw the following on twitter.  How do you reason with people who think this?

I will close with a picture of the pretty bantam cockerel who lives in Wales.  There used to be two of them, but a fox got one.  He's a feral bird, but he knows where the treats come from.  The photo was screen scraped from Going Gently.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


 The jury voted to convict former police officer Chauvin after eleven hours of deliberation; guilty on all three charges in the killing of George Floyd.  I never thought this would happen.

I really hope it's a significant sentence, he earned it. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Bees in the Pollen

A bee butt in a prickly pear blossom.

A pollen coated bee looking up at me from the blossom.

It was cloudy yesterday, the colors were not very bright.

If you run "boost" up to high in picasa, it makes a nice image.

I was going to write a screed about why do cops have to keep killing Black and Brown people, or why do we have so many mass shootings and stuff like that.  But I think I won't.  This country is just sick in the head, and talking about it does nothing.