Thursday, March 30, 2023

Indictments and Disney

Today was a gorgeous day, despite being cold (yes, cold) and really windy.  It was almost 80 yesterday, I think we're being brushed by the storm that hit California.  Anyway, the sun was out, the sky was blue.

There was also this.  This is from the front page of the Washington Post.  The indictment is still sealed, he's not being fingerprinted yet.  Maybe, just maybe, they'll get him on something.

Have you been following the DeathSantis vs. Disney skirmish in Florida?  Disney has a special taxing district called Reedy Creek; they pay for all of their roads, utilities, all the infrastructure.  They also pay a lot in taxes.  DeSantis got mad at them for their disapproval of his "don't say gay" bill.  So, he appointed a new board to take over Reedy Creek.  It was suggested that the new board might also take an interest in the content of Disney movies, since they are so woke.  Anyway, the outgoing board has essentially made rules that emasculate the new board's power to do anything.  The new rules are in effect for awhile.

 This obeys the Rule Against Perpetuities, which Cornell Law school has defined thusly, "A common law property rule that states that no interest in land is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the creation of the interest.  Because the meaning of this rule is virtually impossible to decipher, many states have modified it, and some have abolished it altogether."

The twitter lawyers  have said few people understand the clause, but Disney has chosen to include it in the covenants.  It'll be in court, but for now Disney 1, DeSantis 0.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Q-Anon and More

Hola people! How are you?  We've started the incredibly tedious job of packing.  When we left Spokane, we had extra clothes, so we could pack in advance.  Here we have no excess clothing, so packing is more of a pain.  It's certainly a first world problem, I'm trying to leave myself a clue that in December when packing, to bring more clothes.  

Sunday we went to Target.  As is our habit, we were both masked.  While we were looking for stuff, we heard the dulcet tones of the orange dumpster fire.  Someone was walking up and down the aisles playing the previous rally held by the orange one.  What the heck?  Why would you do that?  After finding what we needed, we headed off to self check, and there she was.  She had her cell phone sitting in the kid's seat part of the shopping cart, playing back the rally at full blast.  She looked at us (masked, obviously libtards) and started nodding, saying "it's all true."  As one, Jim and I said "no it's not."  After a couple of rounds of that, she then started in on how the adrenochrome story was going to come out.  She talked about how democrats are killing children to take their blood and press the adrenochrome out of them.  Adrenochrome is a real thing, it's oxidized adrenaline, but no one is pulping kids to obtain it.  You can order it online.  The Q-Anon people actually believe that Democrats and the "coastal elites" are involved in this.  Then she started in on how President Biden is a fake.  Apparently they are convinced that what we're seeing is Jim Carrey wearing a Biden mask.  So, the crazies really do walk among us.  Her parting shot was that we're watching the wrong news channels.  If you're interested in the adrenochrome conspiracy, Men's Health did a good article on it, which you can find here.

Yesterday was warmer, we rode north from the ball fields.  Apartments are being built in very close proximity to the new Amazon distribution center.  They look really weird.  We're wondering what the function of the inverted triangle things on the tops of the buildings are.

There's been yet another school shooting in Nashville, TN.  Three kids, three adults are dead.  It just never ends here.  A Tennessee legislator is all over twitter talking about keep his kids safe by home schooling, and how they weren't going to attempt fixing the situations.  Apparently it's fine with him.  He's also the guy that said that solar and windmills are not worth doing, and we should just burn more fossil fuels.  It's amazing how full of idiots the red state houses are.

I got this off twitter.

So, there you go.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Hike, Rich People and New to Us Real Estate

Well, I think we're officially not answering Jim's phone anymore.  We used to be warned with the screen that says "Potential Spam", but now we're getting calls that start with a +1.  They're all spam, mainly Indian boiler rooms claiming to be affiliated with Medicare.  The worst part is some of them have Jim's date of birth and then want me to verify his Medicare account number.  I don't know it off the top of my head, but I do know Medicare and IRS don't call, so they're lying.  It's just aggravating.  We'll never have another land line, too much spam.

After it rained all day Wednesday, Thursday was better.  We went up to Dove Mountain and did the right side of the Lower Javelina trail.  It was a lovely, albeit windy, day.  Here are photos.

I took this outside the front gate at the condo.

The spring flowers are out.

The trail.

Lichen on the rocks.

Penstemon growing in the wild. 

I think the is the lilac version of the other Globe Mallow I had a photo of the other day.

On the way home, we detoured to go look at a neighborhood.  There's a sign up that exhorts one to "drive through the tunnel."  So we did.  This is crazy.

Here is the tunnel.  Originally there was a restaurant, McClintocks, on the other side of the tunnel.  I can only guess at how much it cost to build the tunnel, and how long the restaurant owners thought it would take to recoup their costs.

Inside the tunnel.  Note the lights on the sides in the walls.

This is what you see on the other side of the tunnel.  It's the Saguaro Ranch in Moonlight Canyon.  It really is beautiful out there.  Building of a neighborhood has started.  Fifty lots are available, each starting at $1M.  The restaurant has been closed and repurposed as a hang out for the gazillionairs who are building out there.  There are not that many houses built yet.  I urge you to click on this link and wonder to yourself, how much will it cost each homeowner to staff and maintain this exclusive building, with its spas, yoga stuff and etc.  Don't forget the attendants who will help with snack selection!  Their HOA dues must be astronomical.  There's also a staffed guard gate at the entrance.

Here is a photo lifted from the internet.

So, it's nice to be rich.  You, too, can have a house nestled in the Tortolitas, untroubled by the great unwashed masses, with your own personal restaurant.  There is more on the subject, which you can read here and here.

I scraped this off twitter, it's from last night, I think.  The photographer captured the crescent moon behind the Space Needle in Seattle.  It's an attractive shot.

The orange ectoplasm is holding a rally in Waco, Tx.  He's more batshit crazy than usual.  His "truths" on Truth Social are more unhinged than usual, as are his nightly videos that look like he filmed them in the dark.  He posted a picture of him with a bat, and Alvin Bragg, the New York County D.A. on twitter.  There has been speculation that one of the lawyers told him to delete it, but it was kind of late.  The internet is eternal.

Yesterday we closed on a park model.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it's a teeny tiny manufactured home, located in a park that also has RVs.  Most people are seasonal, for the winter.  Even though I think this is the worst winter ever, it was nice getting out and riding and hiking, and not looking at snow all winter in Spokane.  They're small (11 by 35 feet), and very close to your neighbors.  Any arguements we have will be conducted using flash cards.  It's interesting, it started out as a single wide, and then a full length addition was added to it, so that when you're in the addition you're looking at the original siding on the interior wall.  It has massive amounts of storage for a park model, which was very attractive to us.  Plus there is a huge shed which can be locked which is where the bikes will live, and there is a washer/dryer in the addition (which is called an Arizona room).  We had gone to the office to get a list of units for sale, and Kris was standing there waiting to make copies of her for sale flyer, heard us talking, showed us her flyer, we walked over to her house, and bought it.  So there you go.  They left everything, furniture, dishes, all of it.  It's good to done with AirBnB.

We stayed in this RV park for eleven consecutive years when we had RVs, and now we're back.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Rain and Hikes

 Hey Ho.  It rained today, it's been gruesome pretty much all day.  The Catalinas looked like this.

Sunday we did the hike up the Iris Dewhirst trail.  The Brittlebush is blooming.  There is yellow everywhere.  We did not go to Dove Mountain because the LIV golf tournament was still going on up there.  Apparently the crowds have been bad, the music has been too loud, and the residents are not happy about it.  Not to mention, they cut down two giant Saguaros so they could put up a viewing stand.  Murdering Saguaros is against the law here.

Water is still flowing in the stream.  It's drying up, but there is still flow. 

Yesterday we had really thick clouds and high winds.  It wasn't cold, but it was gusting to 35 mph so we decided on another hike.  We drove down to where we used to live.  I guess their property crime rates have gone up because they've installed a gate that closes automatically at 8 pm.  They've also put No Trespassing signs on every step through gate to tell people not to come into the neighborhood from the park.  We drove in, parked off the street across from our old house and walked in to Tucson Mountain Park.  All of the "no trespassing" signs are making me feel very un-welcome.  For awhile I was fairly unhappy about this, but we can also park at the Sarasota trail head and do much of Tucson Mountain Park from there.  So, we'll get by. 

There were interesting looking clouds.

More sky. 

We walked up a valley between two ridges.  This is Saguaro heaven.  I have never seen such a concentration of them anywhere in Tucson.  If you turn around and look behind you, the other hill side does not have nearly this many.  They really like that exposure.

Down the hill away, there is Cholla heaven.  See the light colored things?  Cholla, they want to stab you.  If you look at the side of the hill behind them, you can see the slide that happened in 2021.  My post on the subject can be found here.

It was good to be back in Tucson Mountain Park.  I think it's one of the best areas in the Sonoran Desert. 

This is worth a read, it's not long.  I read this blog often, and yesterday she did not disappoint.  It's about how history and fascism are once again repeating themselves in this country, and how the banning of teaching history is enabling the entire bloody process.

I took this in 2020 2019.  It's a blooming Agave plant spike, it was growing down the street from us.  Off to the left is a hummingbird.  The flowers make quite a buffet for them.  I ran across it somewhere, and decided to put it up again because it's so dang cheerful.

Welp, he's not indicted yet, but it's been ruled that attorney-client privilege no longer applies between the orange dumpster fire and some of his lawyers.  There was crime being done by the lawyers, so they can be compelled to testify and turn over notes, recordings and all other work product.  This is bad for the orange one.  I don't care what they convict on, I just want him in jail.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Rain, Ride, Articles to Read

Two days ago it rained here.  It was off and on all day.  Radar looked like this.  It's not usual for there to be rain in March.  However, Phoenix got hammered with much rain and many road closures.  Farther north there were road closures due to giant boulders in the middle of the road.  Sedona had mandatory evacuations is areas, due to flooding.  So, we dodged that bullet, and happy we are about that.

So, the 15th and 16th were largely spent waiting for the weather to improve.

Today was better.  We rode out from the ball fields to the north, since that's where the wind was coming from.  They were dumping treated water again.  Look for the black arrow just left of center.  It's pointing at a guy who is fishing.  He caught two fish while we were watching him.  Unfortunately, his shirt is the same color as the foliage, so you'll just have to trust me when I tell you he's in there.  Farther up the trail, we saw two guys heading to the little waterfall section with fishing equipment.  I guess it's a thing.  We wonder if they came from the treatment plant, or what.  They must, because if no treated water is being released, the river beds are dry. 

These are either Mexican or California poppies.  They're out and they're very cheerful.  They're growing by the trail with no irrigation.   Hardy little buggers.

We proceeded north, past the "trail closed sign" to find out why that sign is there.  This is why.  The city is putting in new 24 inch sewer lines.  So the trail is permanently closed for the rest of the year, or longer if they run over.  There is no detour, and they won't let you walk up to the road and run across, it's closed to all.

Allegedly they will repave the trail when they are done.  That would be good.

Dinner last night was an epic fail.  Before leaving Spokane, I bought an inexpensive light weight grill pan to use on the AirBnB grills.  My thought was that it would be a disposable item.  Last night we got it out to see what it would do, and to grill a bunch of squash.  Basically, it burns the "grill marks" onto the food, without cooking it all the way through.  We're abandoning it when we leave.  The good news is that the cast iron skillet we bought fits perfectly in the box the grill pan came in.

Here is a disturbing article  I read.  The original article was in Stat News, which is now pay walled for me.  The article I am linking to links to the Stat article.  Try the link, see if you can go to the source of the news.  In a nutshell, Medicare Advantage has started using AI algorithms instead of doctors' judgement to determine how long it should take for a senior to recover from cancer, or a broken bone or whatever.  When the predicted time is up, you're out.  Here is a quote from the Medicare Advocacy article.

Behind the scenes, insurers are using unregulated predictive algorithms, under the guise of scientific rigor, to pinpoint the precise moment when they can plausibly cut off payment for an older patient’s treatment. The denials that follow are setting off heated disputes between doctors and insurers, often delaying treatment of seriously ill patients who are neither aware of the algorithms, nor able to question their calculations.

Older people who spent their lives paying into Medicare, and are now facing amputation, fast-spreading cancers, and other devastating diagnoses, are left to either pay for their care themselves or get by without it. If they disagree, they can file an appeal, and spend months trying to recover their costs, even if they don’t recover from their illnesses.

Medicare Advantage is a for profit entity.  They make money by denying treatment. 

Here is an article that was infuriating.  It recounts the experiences of two eminent Black doctors at a medical conference.  One was mistaken for the car valet, the other for the AV guy.  In both cases, they were wearing lanyards with their conference credentials in plain view.  It's not a long read, and it shows how much implicit bias is still roaming around.

Finally there is this.  CLICK HERE to play the video.  There is much tweeting about the possibility of arrests next week.  I'll believe when I see it, but one can hope.

Maybe this will happen.  Stormy Daniels spent a fair amount of time with the Manhattan DA this week and pledged to make herself available to the grand jury.

That's all I have to say about these things.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

More Riding

Based on wind direction, we rode north yesterday.  The Sweet Water treatment plant was releasing water up north, near the Amazon distribution center.  It was really weird standing there taking the video, the water was hot.  It was steamy while we were standing there.  I'm at a loss as to why that is.

Going out, it was windy, the gusty kind of wind that pushes a person around some; unless you're riding really heavy wheels.  It was good, we made it up to Cortaro Farms and then turned around.  Going back was nice, it was a tail wind all the way back.  It's the first time we've gone past the distribution center, and it's a very pleasant ride.

The water is being released into the Santa Cruz River.  It's treated, fish can grow in it.  The trees along the river band enjoy the wet.  It smells like laundry, there's no foam, but you can smell it.  It's not an unpleasant smell.

Today we also rode out from the ball fields.  It puts us on the Santa Cruz trail.  It's a longer drive to get there, but we're tired of the Rillito and its bad surface.  We saw this driving out.  It's an Excalibur.   Initially they were built on a Studebaker chassis.  Phyllis Diller loved the cars and had four of them. 

This photo was liberated from the internet.

Blooming has started.  Part of the trail that is occupied by the steenking yellow bushes has over powering scent.  The ground is yellow from pollen and petals falling on the ground.  Also blooming are the Munro's Globemallow.  They're kind of a scabrous looking plant, but they bloom in profusion.

The New York Times and the twitterverse both are thinking that the orange ectoplasm is going to be indicted any day now.  Of course, this has been said for years now, so who knows.  I do not care what they get him for, I just want that man in jail.

That's it!  Riding and indictment possibilities.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Alamo Springs Trail

Yesterday we rode on the trail.  Today we were tired, and decided we'd do a hike out at Dove Mountain.  It would be an easy day.  Hah!  Double Hah Hah Hah!  To get back to the trail head (and the car) from the finish of the Lower Javelina trails, there is a lengthy slog up a wash unless one wishes to to the trail in reverse.  Today we decided to do part of the Alamo Springs trail because its start and finish is closer to the car because it's an out and back that does not traverse the hill side, it's straight up.  You can make it into a loop, but that's way more miles than I have left in my feet.  Anyway, it's a stair master trail going up, and it's hard coming down because there are many big rocks to descend.  It was a nice day, partly cloudy with enough breeze to keep the temperatures down.

See the yellow blobs?  Those are dead yuccas.  I think they all died from the cold.  They have that mushy look that frozen vegetation gets.  If they're not dead, they're seriously damaged.

Google lens thinks these are asters.  Who am I to question Google?  They're all over the place on the trails.

This pretty much defines perseverance.  Large chunks of this Saguaro are on the ground to the left of the cactus.  It's currently losing skin off of his lower arm.  At the top, there's part of an arm left, and he's growing two new ones.  He's bound and determined to continue.  That area is swaying in the breeze, so I'm not holding out much hope for him long term.

Cloudy skies on the way home.

Other than this paltry offering, I have not much to say.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Sunglasses and a Near Miss

 It was nice today, we drove down to the Rillito race track and parked there.  Then we rode up towards U of A where it is spring break.  It's wonderful, there are no people to avoid. This past weekend was the Tucson Festival of Books.  It was over Sunday, and they are still taking down the tents.

Those yellow things that connect to the straps on the tent are buckets of cement.  This is quite the event, it takes a lot of effort to put up the tents, get the authors in, staff the panels and all of that.

When we left the U I had a blinding headache.  It kept getting worse.  About half way back going to the car, I stopped and took off my sunglasses and discovered that the cushy, comfortable, wonderful nose piece had disintegrated.  I've been wearing those sunglasses since 2006.  I do have another pair, in Spokane, that I got at the same time from Ebay.  Needless to say, Oakley doesn't make this model anymore.  It's like losing a friend.  Once I got the glasses off, the headache went away.  So that was bad.

THEN, when we were in the car to go home, we got the left turn arrow and Jim started to move forward into the turn.  I started screaming stop, which understandably baffled Jim, since we had the arrow.  He slammed on the brakes and avoided hitting the cyclist just off the left front fender.  Given the angle, Jim could not see him through the windshield frame.  The guy had run a red light, on a bicycle, at what is an already dangerous intersection.  I can't believe he did that.  He had a red light, why would he go trucking out into the intersection?  Anyway, we did not hit him, nor did he apologize for almost putting us in the position of having hit him.  After making the turn, we had to pull over and take a minute.

So, all told, it was a suboptimal day.

Other than this, I have diddly to say.

Update to post 7/23/2023.

This is what happened to the nose piece. It split down the middle, the hard part that slid into the frame, separated from the soft piece that sits on your nose.  The soft part is at the top of the photo, the other piece is the one that held the frame.

It's weird how it just ripped up the middle.  Anyway, I have the other pair, and hopefully I'll get a few decades out of them.