Thursday, August 31, 2023

This Plant Must Go

We're tired!  Tuesday we took out a giant Barberry that was intent on world domination.  I do not, and will not ever understand the thinking of the previous owners when it came to planting giant bushes and trees close to the house or to each other.  Our most excellent neighbor was out Tuesday morning pulling a tree out of his front yard with a webbing strap and his pick up truck.  I asked him if maybe he would like to pull out the Barberry, and he said sure.  It's pretty cool, put strap around base of trunk, let truck pull it out.  

It's been cut back twice this year, but it keeps on growing.  The wood is bright yellow, which is weird.  Neighbor came back with his chain saw and cut off the root ball, and then chunked up the top section of the bush.

There was a lot of vegetation to deal with.  We borrowed a neighbor's yard waste container and filled it and ours on Tuesday.

The two cans took care of about 2/3 of the bush, this morning yard waste was collected, and then we went out and cleaned up the rest of the corpse.  It is so nice to have this done and have that wretched bush removed.  Timing was good, it started raining Tuesday afternoon, all night, and all day yesterday.

So much better now that it's gone.

Last night was the first night we turned on the furnace.  It was really damp and cold.  Yes, I know cold is relative, but I was cold. 

I read an alarming article by Thom Hartmann this morning.  It's a really long read, but worth it.  He describes in detail what the orange ectoplasm has in mind to do if he's re-elected.  It is absolutely necessary that this does not happen.  A short form was on twitter today.

I'm not sure how they get around the fact that most of those federal workers are unionized, but I guess they believe they'll think of something.

Well, there is dinner to be made, so I think I will not talk about the trials and the fact that Mark Meadows perjured himself when he said he was not involved in the fake electors scandal and I really hope he gets charged with perjury on top of everything else.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Alleged Felons and Riding

Well, it's been a productive week.  The 19 people named by DA Willis in Fulton County have all had their mug shots taken, as well as their finger prints.  The truly sad part of the process is that they weren't weighed and measured.  Unsurprisingly, the orange ectoplasm claims to be 6 foot 3 and 215 pounds.  Right, then.  So far, Chesebro and Syndey Powell (she who released the Kraken) have requested speedy trials.  Orange ectoplasm will want to drag it out as long as possible, so they're effectively severing their cases from his.  Three of the fake electors in Georgia are now claiming they signed the paper work on direct orders from the president, so they were acting as federal agents, or something.  As was demonstrated in the D.C. case, he who flips first gets the best deal.  They're all a bunch of rats on a sinking ship.

Wednesday we got a ride in.  It was a chilly little ride, we were wearing vests and fuzzy arm warmers.  Out at the lake we saw this group of kids.  They're all been in the water, and now they're standing around wet.  Eventually, they would all be herded on to kayaks for more fun.

After riding, we drove up to Costco for TDaP boosters.  Our former PCP encouraged all of her patients to get boosted every 10 years.  This was relatively painless.  What with all of the anti-vax stuff going on, I do not ever want to get Pertussis from an unvaccinated kid that walks by me coughing.  If you're around children, it's a useful vaccination.  The pharmacist at Costco said he got RSV from another adult last Thanksgiving, and that it was pretty terrible.  I had been thinking that since we are not around kids we didn't have to do that one, but his experience suggests that maybe we should.  So, we've got three more needle sticks in the future, RSV, flu and Covid.  I'm starting to feel like a child getting back to school shots.

Today we rode back out to the lake.  It was warmer, but cloudy.  The ducks were out, begging.  People feed them.  Bad people.

MSNBC put up a schedule for upcoming orange ectoplasm events.  He's going to be busy.

So that's it!  That's all I have.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Rain and a Flipping Witness

We had another day of not riding.  This morning, it was raining.  After awhile it rained really hard.  Hopefully it rained on the local fires.  Apparently the fixed wing aircraft have not been able to get out and dump retardant and water, because the smoke is too bad.  It's the kind that stays lower to the ground and obscures visibility.  After the hard rain the new Red Twig Dogwoods looked like this.  They're never happy.

Today a key witness in the documents case, Yuscil Taveras, has recanted his previous testimony that there had been no tampering with evidence, and has now detailed what he saw happen at Mar A Lardo.

From the Daily Beast we learn the following: 

... after dumping his lawyer, Stanley Woodward, for another attorney offered up by the federal defender’s office in Washington, Taveras quickly reversed course.

“Immediately after receiving new counsel,” Smith’s office said in the filing, Taveras retracted his prior testimony and “provided information that implicated” Trump and his two alleged co-conspirators “in efforts to delete security camera footage.”

Sources familiar with the matter told ABC News that Taveras’ decision to switch lawyers and cooperate with Smith’s office came after he received a target letter from Smith in June, indicating he knew Taveras had perjured himself during his grand jury testimony, and warning of possible criminal charges.

So, did Woodward suborn perjury?  Was this obstruction of justice?  Inquiring minds want to know, and want the orange ectoplasm to go to jail for something - anything.  You can read more about this here.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The Day in Twitter

This is day two of being in the house.  Fortunately it's not so hot as it was since we don't want to run the air conditioning and bring in outside air.  So, here is the day as seen on twitter.

Interstate 90 between Sprague and Tyler continues to be closed.  Washington DOT has put up an informative map of the alternative routes.

They've also included information on the backups on US2.

ABC recapped the day's events.

But then this happened.

And in news of political theater, we have this.

Other than this, I have nothing interesting what so ever to say.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Fire and Water

Today has just been creepy.  Never in my life have I lived somewhere that I had to be afraid of wild land fires.  Tucson would have fires, but up in the mountains.  Seattle would get smoke from China or BC, but no fire.  Yesterday was very windy, gusting to 37 out in the hinterlands.  A fire got started south and west of us in the afternoon.  We saw the smoke plume on the way to Safeway.

This morning we were covered in smoke.

We live up where it says Town and Country.  The Gray fire is the one that's feeding us smoke, it's in a place called Medical Lake.  Last time I checked it was 9,500 acres, and 0% contained.  At least 185 homes burned to the ground last night.  Currently I90 is closed between Tyler and Sprague because the fire has moved south and is on both sides of the freeway.

It was a fast moving fire.  People got the Level 3 alert (get out now) and had to go.  Honestly, I don't know how people recover from that.

So, we spent the day taking pictures of our furniture, annotating where it came from, what it cost when we could remember, and emailing photos and words to a new folder in yahoo mail.  We've signed up for text messaging emergency alerts and talked about our evacuation plan.  It's a depressing subject.  So much of what we have is irreplaceable.  That's true for most people.  I have 15 years of photo albums, real photos on paper in spiral bound books with many words.  Irreplaceable.  Due to their large size, I can't scan them.

So, that's my tiny local fire and whining about it.  Meanwhile, this is Kelowna, B.C.

Yellowknife in the Northern Territories of Canada has had to evacuate due to fire.  It seems like much of the planet is burning.  In California, they're expecting Hurricane Hilary and 2 to 3 year's worth of rain in short order.  There will be flooding.

However, the oil companies have said they have to put the brakes on de-carbonizing because it will hurt share holder value. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023


It's really hot.  Today should have been a ride day, but it's just too hot.  We went Tuesday, having arisen at the unholy hour of 7:30, and were on the bikes at 8:30.  It was good to be up and out.  It's kind of nice, there aren't that many people on the trail, hardly anyone was at the lake.  Best of all, there were herons out looking for fish.  That almost made it worth getting up an hour early.

Tomorrow it will cool off and we are happy about that.

I do not have much to say.  The orange ectoplasm continues to spew bullshit.  Today he seemed unable to finish a sentence.  He talked about rain falling from heaven, and then meandered back onto dishwashers and faucets that don't have enough water flow.  He sounds demented. 

This is interesting.  Currently waste water sampling is about the only metric available for measuring the prevalence of Covid.  This recent finding does not seem particularly good.  For those of you not familiar with Dr. Hotez, he's dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.  He has also developed patent free vaccines for distribution to the bulk of the planet that can't afford Moderna or Pfizer.

It's not just Houston where numbers are climbing.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Watching History in the Making.

Late Monday afternoon, I was checking twitter to see if anything was moving with the Georgia grand jury.  This tweet popped up.  The grand jury was on the move.

Then Jim and I watched history being made.  The clerk of the court handed a stack of papers to Judge McBurney, who returned them to her, and she took them down the hall for processing.  The 45th president was being charged  under Georgia's RICO laws.  The fact that it's in Georgia means that the governor of the state can not pardon the orange ectoplasm.  Only the  board of Pardons in GA can give a pardon.  Since they're state charges, a sitting republican president can not pardon him either.  RICO charges carry a minimum sentence of five years in jail. 

This was great.  Hillary Clinton was on MSNBC with Rachael Maddow when the news came in that there were 10 indictments and 0 no-true bills, meaning DA Willis had votes from the grand jury on all counts.  There are other co-conspirators, but this is the one we want in jail.  It really struck us how much better off the entire planet would be if Ms Clinton had won the electoral college, not just the popular vote, and the orange one had never been in office.

From the RealThelmaJohnson,  (@TheRealThelmaJ1), we read her tweet on the subject.

You know you all these indictments in Georgia have gotten me thinking about the scale of the criminality involved in trying to steal the election for Donald Trump.

We had lawyers writing papers on how to keep Trump in office, slates of fake electors in several states, people breaking into voting machines, congressman refusing to certify, thousands of phone calls, emails, texts and DMs pressuring officials to declare Trump the winner. Audits, investigations, fake lawsuits. Election officials threatened, voting machine companies vilified. Lies on the news every day and criminal actions at every level of government. It was a tidal wave of dishonesty and law breaking, a criminal enterprise with Donald Trump at the head.

Then there was January 6th. People crawling up the walls, smashing windows, bashing in doors and beating policeman. Five deaths. All in the people's house. We're left picking up the pieces surrounded by politicians still pounding the drum of a stolen election.

 It's just staggering to me the scale of what happened, and it's amazing a system designed hundreds of years ago held. Now there is accountability. There should be many more states pursuing indictments including my own, Arizona. No matter how long it takes. We need to hold everyone who played a part accountable.

Who knows if DA Willis will be able to make her ambitious case.  I certainly hope she does, and puts all of them in jail.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Hot Riding

Howdy Humans.  How are things where you are?  At present, things are unpleasant here, and getting worse.  There may be limited riding until it cools down a little bit.

Today we parked on the Aubrey White road and rode out to the waste water treatment plant and then to the end of the parkway.  Then we rode to the start of the parkway, turned around and came back to the car.  It was toasty.  One needs to make a note of the fact that there is shade on the ride to the lake, and perhaps one should go that way when it's really hot.  Here is a marker for the parkway.  It sort of looks like WPA work, I could be wrong, though.

There have been rides to the lake as well.  Note the vicious geese congregating by the dock.  I think they're hoping for snacks.

We've had a sunset and a pretty cloud.

In things to be outraged about, there is Israel.  In the NYT we read:  Ultra-Orthodox members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition want to expand the powers of all-male rabbinical courts, and to bar women and men from mixing in many public arenas.  To placate the Ultra-Orthodox, there appears to be a move to segregate men from women in public spaces and make women sit in the back.  If this goes forward, the US should cut off foreign aid.  This is unacceptable.  In his continuing quest to hold on to power, Netanyahu is perfectly content to throw half the population under the bus. If you're pay walled from the NYT, there is an article here from Haaretz. 

Lawfare did an interesting piece on how Judge Chutkan is running her court room.  She's not tolerating any crap from the orange ectolasm's lawyers.  They keep arguing that he needs to be able to speak freely while campaigning, and she's telling them there are limits.  Lock him up.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be arrested for tax evasion, if nothing else.  This Propublica article brings the receipts on his malfeasance. 

The fire in Maui continues to be heart breaking.  One wonders how they recover from this.

Other than this, I have nothing to say.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Water Reclamation

Hoo Boy, it's been sultry today.  Not North Carolina quality, but sultry enough.  It rained about 1:40 am briefly, and today has been cloudy and damp.  Prior to today there was a ride to the lake, which was very pleasant.  The mille foil is developing its end of season very yellow shade.

Today we rode the Aubrey L. White parkway.  One starts out riding over the Spokane River, which is very attractive. The head waters of the Spokane River are in Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.  The water comes to Spokane, and then joins up with the Columbia River and heads out to sea. 

Today was interesting.  Instead of riding in to the Bowl and Pitcher area of the park, we went left and kept riding.  There is an amazing water reclamation plant out there.  Who knew?  It's just enormous.  This is a screen scrape from Google Earth.  Look bottom right on the facility grounds, those are giant digesters. 

From the Spokesman Review we learn the following. 

The steel-walled digesters use bacteria to process sludge into fertilizer.  The gray-green structures are 89 feet in diameter and hold 2.8 million gallons each.  In concrete galleries below ground hang a maze of pipes hooked to 75-horsepower pumps that can circulate sludge at 8,000 gallons a minute.  The new tanks were created with sections of fabricated steel shipped from Iowa and pieced together. Foam insulation covers the steel, and an aluminum shell surrounds the insulation.  Pumps are underground to reduce noise. The egg-shape design is safer, officials said, and allows for better mixing, less maintenance and lower energy use.  The tanks include “robust foam control” to minimize accumulation of foam on top the sludge, a problem that contributed to the failure of the pancake-shaped tank in 2004. An earthen containment dike surrounds the tanks to prevent sewage spills in case of another accident. 

It's a lot of infrastructure. 

Here is a picture of a digester from the article I linked to.

This is not a digester, it's some sort of storage container.

Easier to see, because it's next to the drive way.  They have an unearthly look about them.

Like the facilities in Tucson, this one does not smell unpleasant, it smells like hot soap.  After water reclamation is complete, it's discharged in to the Spokane River.  One wonders why the water is not used to recharge the local aquifers.

I'm not a fan of Ann Coulter, but this is funny.  It was on twitter for a couple of days, being re-tweeted.

From the "this is not food" department, we now have these.

That's it!  That's all I have to offer.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Bike Rack, Shoes, Bees and the Arraignment

We spent last Saturday and Sunday building a bike rack to put in the trailer that we will be towing to Tucson.  It does require than we take the front wheels off, but we're getting better with that, and with fixing the brake calipers which inexplicably tighten up the second the wheel is dropped.  It's so aggravating, I'm trying to get that moved into my "it is what it is" category so I quit being peeved about it.  This is rack number four; it's been 10 years since we built one so it did require careful and slow re-reading of the blog post that detailed what we did.  It's good to have a blog to write stuff down.

One thing we do is outline the pieces that are going on the plywood sheet, and drill holes from the top so we know where to insert the screws from the underside.  Then we glue the pieces to the top, and turn the whole thing over on its face.  Hot glue is excellent for this.  I used to have a giant glue gun that dispensed mass amounts of glue.  It, and my small glue gun, apparently went over the side when we emptied out the bus.  So I bought a new small glue gun. 

Does this look like a Barbie tool?  I mean really.  It was seduced by the carry case.  It is nice to have somewhere to keep it.

These are the bits we glued prior to screwing from the underside.

And..... this is the glue gun behaving badly on the last piece to go on.  Glue ceased going out the tip, backed up in the main part of it, and proceeded to come out the wrong end.  We eked out enough glue to get it done and tossed the wretched thing in the trash. 

So, now we have this.  It still needs handles and anchor points, but it's too hot to spend much time in the garage.  Maybe tomorrow.

This has been the summer of trying to buy shoes.  Given the state of my wretched feet, I generally plan to spend months on it.  As I previously mentioned, the Hoka Bondi 8 upgrade was a disaster for me. I'm pretty unhappy about this.  A google search on "shoes that are like Hokas" gave me a list, and I ordered one of everything.  All but one went back.  This is a Saucony Triumph 20, a brand I've never worn before.  Today they passed the vacuuming and cleaning the floor test.  I spent a couple of hours on my feet and there were no hot spots or major pain.  They are not as cushioned as a Hoka, but at present Hoka is dead to me.

The heel is pretty weird, sort of like a Hoka, but not.

So, maybe I have new shoes, maybe not.

In the Sonoran desert the bees are dying.  It's so hot, and so dry, that they can't maintain temperature in the hives.  Some of the hives are melting, it's just tragic.  If you're in the area, put out shallow pans of water for the bees.  More from CNN on this.

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, the orange ectoplasm was arraigned.  I am very disappointed that there were no mug shots, hand cuffs or a perp walk, but he was told by the magistrate that if he continued to try to interfere with witnesses or jurors he'd be put in jail.  Jail would be good.  The Wall Street Journal, a conservative outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch, who support the orange guy had this to say.

The World Wildlife Fund has a new ad.  It's pretty good.

That's it!  Bike rack and perhaps shoes.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A Very Good Day for the US

Today was a good day.  We had a lovely bike ride up the Aubrey L. White parkway, followed by a climb up the big hill to the paved parking lot.  We can make it up that hill, so we can go back to parking on asphalt.  Then there was a trip to Home Depot for the final bits for the bike rack we made, and a good sized shopping at WinCo.  Shopping there makes it abundantly clear just how badly Safeway is gouging on prices.  A 24 ounce box of corn flakes cost less than a 12 ounce box of the same product at Safeway.  So, we're back on the WinCo bus.  Oh yes, and there was a giant load of laundry done.

The best part of the day was the indictment on four counts of the orange ectoplasm.  He has to show up in federal court Thursday for arrest and arraignment.  So, yeah, oh happy day.

I'm seeing more reporting on the fact that the orange one is running out of money.  So is the GOP in several states, some are down to fumes, some are in the red.  What is it going to take for these people to leave the orange guy behind?

So, that was today.