Thursday, February 29, 2024

A Small Rant

Greetings Earthlings.  It's been awhile since I've posted.  Part of it is ennui, and part is, once again, I am so dang angry.  May I vent?  I will now vent.

We've had a run of not great weather, until Tuesday.  It was a good day.  How did we spend that day, you wonder.  We spent it waiting for Century Link.  Internet has been going down frequently, speeds are as low as 7 Mbps.  So, I called, got a tech out yesterday.  Unlike the last two techs that have been out, he said the wire from the pole to the house was faulty.  Because it touched the house, I would have to pay $100 for fixing.  Never mind that it's not my wire, I did not install it; because it goes to the phone outlet, I must pay.  So, fine, we can't live like this.  He did the work and left and not FIVE MINUTES LATER the internet dropped.  I got on the phone to complain to Century Link and Jim went and tracked the guy down because he was still in the park.  After significant whining, Century Link agreed to knock the $100 off my next bill.  The tech went and got a new modem, and things were good for awhile.  Last night it went down again, twice!  I have no idea if it was the new wire, or the new modem.  Nonetheless, it's their stupid equipment, and they should fix it, and I should not have to pay for them to do that.  The tech said he's in the park every day, which gives you some idea of reliability of the product.

Look at those skies, we totally missed out on that day.

We're trying to get the front door on the park model replaced.  Whoever installed it must have been drunk at the time.  Getting a contractor to give us a bid, and do the work is proving to be nigh on impossible.  They're all booked, they don't return phone calls, and they are wearing on my very last nerve.

The post office has not been forwarding the mail.  Jim's RMD check was returned to sender, that's a required minimum distribution from your 401K.  IRS punishes you severely if the correct amount of money is not withdrawn every year.  So, having that check sent back was bad.  We called the pension people, they told us not to worry, that even though we don't have the money, it's technically withheld.  Here's the thing, primaries in Washington state are coming up.  We vote by mail, everyone does.  They mail out information, then they mail the ballots.  The PO is disenfranchising us.  So I filed a form that complains to the USPS.  They actually called me yesterday, and they are looking in to it.  I have not gotten a New Yorker in months, I do wonder where they are, and where are my voting materials?

Yesterday SCOTUS said they would consider Dump's claim of presidential immunity - in April.  This slides all the cases to the right.  They are complicit in trying to get him elected.  The entire republican party is giving me a giant headache.  Today in Phoenix, the republicans voted for a bill that would allow homeowners to shoot and kill migrants, or anyone else, crossing their property.  Let's think about this.  Governor Hobbs will veto it, but what kind of people are these?

The Heritage Foundation, the group of reactionary old white men who miss the 1950's, is trying to deport Prince Harry.  Do they not have anything better to do with their time?  Dump wants him out of the country, as well.  These people are just detestable. There is an article in the Daily Beast.

When President Biden was elected, I thought we were in for four rational, peaceful years.  Boy howdy was I wrong.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Unlimited Hydros, Scraping and Shoes

This will probably be short because the wretched internet has gone done about every five minutes since we got home.  Monday I am calling Century Link and asking for a supervisor, and asking that person if they could pretty please possibly send someone out who could fix this.  The last guy said it was slow because of a short at the power pedestal, and we did get 40 Mbps for about 5 minutes.  Something is wrong somewhere and I'd like it fixed, immediately.  Well, good luck with that.  

Anyway, we rode from the house up to Christopher Columbus.  We were greeted with the sounds of radio controlled boat racing.  We haven't seen the boats for a few years, and technology has marched on in our absence.  They're bigger, louder and faster.

This is how they're launched.  Start engine, throw in the water.

Here we have team Whataburger.  These are miniature unlimited hydros.  Hydroplane racing used to be very popular, but as of late has fallen out of favor. 

Where the pit crews work.

Yesterday was the first calm day in a long time.  Instead of riding,  we elected to scrape and wire brush oxidized and cracking paint off the shed.  Because we are idiots, we didn't put on sun screen.  At least we got the bandanas out to protect our necks.

I am scraping, Jim is caulking the gaps.

Yesterday, staff of the orange ectoplasm decided that in order to connect with the youth, he should go to Sneaker Con.  Sneakers are a very large deal.  If you go out to you'll get the idea.  Kids actually buy, hold and collect sneakers.  I have lost touch with that part of my culture.  He was scheduled to speak for an hour.  An HOUR!

You can get same shoe on QVC for $18.  It won't have the T on it, but there you go.  Anyway, he came out, the audience started booing, and chanting "let's go Biden."  Less than a minute later, ectoplasm oozed off the stage.  Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Saves are taking longer, I think the force of the internet is weak, so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Justice, Justice Denied, and a Tree

Well, it has been a day for the Orange ectoplasm.  He immediately said he would appeal the decision, but he'll have to post a bond equal to 120% of the fine.  Good luck finding a bail bondsman that will take on that risk. 

From the WAPO we learn that, "Engoron also said Trump could not serve as an officer or a director for any New York company for three years. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and assailed the case.  Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who were also defendants in the case — were fined $4 million each. Both men were also blocked from serving as an officer or director for any New York corporation for two years."  He's also banned from borrowing money from any bank licensed in NY for three years, most large banks need a NY license to have access to capital.  Eric and Jr. are banned for two years.

I love this.

In news of the sad, Navalny has died in prison.  No doubt he was murdered at the behest of the republican party's new hero, Putin. 

Have you followed the "trial' in Georgia to determine if Fani Willis should recuse herself from the RICO trial she has brought against the people trying to steal the election.  Apparently ectoplasm's lawyers have spent a lot of time questioning Ms Willis about her habit of keeping cash in the house.  Who doesn't have cash in the house?  I have cash in the house.  Senator Bob Menendez has hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash as well as gold bars in his house.  This entire trial has been about good old white boys trying to take down a successful Black woman. They're just disgusting people.  I don't know why the judge has allowed these intrusive and offensive lines of inquiry to proceed.  There is more here.

We have been doing the rounds of doctors.  Monday I saw my PCP, and Jim saw his dermatologist.  The dermo dude did not spare the liquid nitrogen.  When Jim was a kid he spent a lot of time on the water.  That was before sunscreen.  The damage was done then, and it continues to percolate up to the top of his head.  These days, that head is never in the sun uncovered.  This Monday there are two more appointments, and then we should be done for awhile.  When we moved to Spokane I firmly expected to find a better level of health care available, and I was totally and completely wrong.  Doctors are better, and more plentiful here.  It makes a case for not staying in Spokane after we are well and truly decrepit.  I guess doctors like the desert more than they like eastern Washington.

There has been bicycling, since it warmed up.  The wind is still howling, but it's warmer.  Today we went to see if the sewer pipe project is nearing completion.  That would be a big negatory.  The small green and white machine is joining two sections of sewer pipe.  This will eventually be buried.

This is outfall from the sewage treatment plant.  The trees love the water.

This is a big tree at Christopher Columbus park.  Google lens does not know what it is, other than a tree.  It has a white trunk at the base.  Look at that sky.  Winter sky is the best.  Update to post:  It's a Eucalyptus.

Other than this, I have not a lot to say, other than I hope the ex-president loses everything he owns.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Friday, February 9, 2024

Wind and Walking With Sticks

Yesterday was cold, and windy.  Riding was not part of the church of what's happening now.  By the afternoon it was gusting to 24 mph.  So, we hiked.  We did not wear sufficient clothing.  But we were there, so we went.  It was not a typical beautiful day, but the skies were impressive.

On the way out we saw this.  I'm reasonably certain that this is part of the Tohono O'odham nation.  We saw State Police cars, but no reservation police cars.  We also observed that two of the officers were carrying long guns of some sort, probably shot guns.  They all headed out to the desert on foot, and we did not see them anymore.

Then it was off to Tucson Mountain Park.  We went up the Krein trail, to Sarasota, and then back down the curvy trail to Krein.  It's not a long walk, which was fine, because we kept wondering if we were going to be rained on.  The dark area between Golden Gate and Bren kept getting darker and more ominous, but it didn't rain on us.  That came later, and it was quite the storm.

Last summer's monsoon was not great.  It wasn't all that wet.  It did have a lot of hail, wind and micro bursts.  The saguaros really took it in the head.  There are many down, and many with their tops blown out.  I hate to see that, the ones with arms are generally 70 to 100 years old.

The AZ legislature, in its infinite wisdom, wants to pass a bill banning Satanic images from public buildings.  Right, because there's nothing else in the world that needs to be addressed.  What they have apparently forgotten is that ASU sports teams are the Sun Devils.  Their mascot is Old Sparky, who is a devil with a pitch fork.  One wonders if the alumni are aware of this threat to school spirit.

As we all know, sea levels are rising, and salt water is making incursions into fresh ground water.  It's even worse than that.  The sea water is corrosive and is eating the underground infrastructure.  Honolulu has been studying this for quite some time.  There's an article here.

So, that's it, that's all I've got.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Republicans in Disarray

Yesterday was a bad day for everybody.  After the republicans held a gun to the heads of the Democrats, tying border reform to funds for Ukraine, the Senate wrote a bipartisan bill that gave the republicans everything they wanted.  Everything.  Then the orange ectoplasm started making phone calls, telling the republicans not to support the bill.  Apparently there really isn't a a crisis at the border, it's all talking points for the orange guy.  Even Minority Leader Mitch the spineless reptile McConnell withdrew support three hours after a closed door meeting telling his people to support it.  Spokesman-Review has a good article on it.

So, the border deal is dead, as is aid to Ukraine.  

In news of the positive, the vote to impeach the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas failed.  In a stunning failure to accurately whip the number of votes available for impeachment, Speaker Mike brought it to the floor and lost.  Lost!  Apparently they will bring it to a vote again once Rep. Scalise returns from life saving stem cell treatment (funding for which he voted against).  Reptiles!  We're surrounded by reptiles.  WAPO has a fascinating blow by blow of how things went south for Speaker Mike.

So, that was yesterday.  Today it's windy, and it's cold, and it's supposed to rain.  While this winter hasn't been as steenking cold as last winter in the AirBnBs, it has certainly been wetter.  December is supposed to be the wet month, but I suppose what with climate change and all, and California being hit with rains and flooding of biblical proportions, Tucson weather will change, as well.

This was taken Monday, the last good weather day.  It was windy, but the skies looked good.

This is today.  Dark, gloomy.

I feel bad for the propane guys.  It's doing to be wet and miserable for them today.

My six bags of coffee just arrived from Amazon.  Yay!  Behold my giant bags of Cheerios, with two more in the bedroom closet.  We have achieved peak breakfast cereal.

So, that's what's shaking in Ye Olde Pueblo.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Lost Jacket, No Immunity and the Grammys

The weather has just been dismal today.  Thick clouds, dark clouds, a brief wind event and a little rain was our lot.  We set out to go to the grocery store; before leaving I reached in the closet for my light weight fleece jacket that I have had since the mid-2000s, and it was not there.  It was not in the car.  It is nowhere to be found.  I am bereft, it was the perfect weight for Safeway air conditioning which is very cold.  It really is going to be a tough act to follow.  It's difficult to find practical clothing for women these days, no pockets, shirts are too short, the list goes on.  I ordered a men's microfleece jacket from Amazon, hopefully it will be adequate. However, I really miss my jacket.

The DC Circuit has ruled that the former terrible president does not have immunity.  It was unanimous on the part of the three judge panel.  It was a long decision, and hopefully written so well that the Supreme Court will look at the appeal and just say Nah.   The lawyers have until Monday the 12th of February to file.  Monday!

Laurence Tribe put up these and several other tweets today.  I like the fact that precedent goes back to 1882.  

And finally there is this.  Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, of the current Supreme Court, have already said no one is above the law.  


Cross your fingers.  He could be indicted for something, anything, before the elections.

Who watched the Grammys?  I did not, but after the internet was flooded with Tracy Chapman, I paid attention.  She released "Fast Car" in 1987.  Given the state of popular music at the time, her music was brave.  She had lyrics that meant something.  Luke Combs, a country singer, recently covered the song, won a country music award, and the two of them played the Grammys.  It was a magical performance.  Rolling Stone has a brief article here.  There is a Wiki page hereInc magazine has an article with the video.  The thing that was so cool was the audience's reaction to her, they were happy to see her.  She looks like she was happy to be there. 

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

Oh wait - here is some weird science here about how if you microwave halved grapes they release plasma.  It's very interesting.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

It's Feburary

It's February already.  Jim has already started working on the departure checklist.  At present the great unknown is should we turn the air conditioning off, or leave it set on 90 degrees.  The previous owners turned it off.  I am of two minds, one being that leaving things turned off in 110F is not good for the seals and what not.  We continue to vacillate on the subject.

Yes, it is February, which is the big tourist month of the year.  First there is the gem show.  There is an amazing construction effort of huge tents and many small tents of people selling stuff.  The infrastructure involved is just amazing.  It's hard to see, but that building stretches almost the entire width of the frame.

The same building closer.  Look at the traffic.  22nd is off the navigational table for the duration.

We've been in the past, but it's always the same and it's not that interesting.  People that are in the jewelry trade come to buy raw materials.  You can see previous posts here and here.

There will be a rodeo parade.  It's non-mechanized.  There is also a rodeo, which is a fairly big deal.  It goes for several days, as people are eliminated from their specialty.  We went once, and did enjoy the little kids riding sheep and the teenage girls doing barrel racing.  This is a past post of the parade and the rodeo.  

All of these events bring in many people, and their money, and they gum up the traffic.  I felt really badly for the gem show, the rain the day before yesterday was horrendous, as was the wind.  The people in the little open tents probably did not get that much foot traffic.

Yesterday we went to the restaurant supply store for a melamine bowl and a pair of tongs.  We drove by my favorite church, which you all have seen many times.

This is the melamine department.  There is much to choose from.

Today it warmed up and we decided to hike.  We probably could have ridden the bikes, but tomorrow is supposed to be better, so we hiked.  Today's route was a clockwise circumnavigation of Little Cat.  The mountain bikers were out in droves.  It never ceases to amaze me what terrain these people can ride and live.  There was a really strong young woman out on a gravel bike with dropped handle bars who was impressively strong.  We're seeing more young women out riding alone.  It pleases me greatly that they're out there.

Teddy Bear Cholla - bringer of mass pain if you touch it.

The nights are still chilly, and since park models have an R value of about 1, it's cool in the morning inside.  Here is Jim, wearing his Mandalorian pants, which are very warm.

Other than this, I have nothing much to say.

Friday, February 2, 2024

The Weather!

Yesterday the wind was howling.  All day - howling!  Last night it rained like heck.  We're getting the first storm that hit California.  Today it has rained like heck off and on with wind.  Then there was hail.  I was outside caramelizing onions when the hail came - it made pretty impressive noise on the carport roof. 

We went to Costco yesterday and bought five pounds of cheese ($13).  The shredded cheese we've been buying (8 oz, $5) has taken to going off very quickly, and it doesn't taste as good anymore.  We also bought a new laptop for me.  I think the hinge on my current on is broken.  When I carry it open, the screen jiggles a lot.  We're going to have to work up the courage to do a shut down and close it and see what happens.  The new lap top is Windows 11.  I was really hoping to die of old age before upgrading. Laptops don't seem to be as robust as they once were.  Our work PCs ran forever.

I think the link I have for Picasa is still viable, so I'm happy about that. 

By this point, it should be obvious that I have zippity doo-dah all to talk about, so I guess I'll call it quits on this post.