Wednesday, August 30, 2023

No you are not crazy

 




We have these now


 These are street corner composters. We have a special Bluetooth connection to open them, once you get the app.

I like it. Don't know where it is going, but I like it.

It probably helps that ours is on our block.

Is there anything Blue and Red America Agree on?


We have all gotten so stuck in our own mindsets, that we ascribe bad intentions onto almost everything and every decision that the "other" side makes. It is short-sighted of us all - red and blue - because if we cannot agree on anything, we can't attack problems that all Americans suffer from.

Think of these things that are real problems we can no longer discuss rationally.

  • Who the ACTUAL President is
  • Climate Change
  • Voting Restrictions
  • Law breaking by Donald Trump
  • The Jan 6th insurrection
  • Law breaking by Hunter Biden
  • Inflation rate
  • "Woke" policies
  • Censorship of Libraries
  • Parental choice in all school subjects
  • Slavery (really)
  • College Education
  • "Elites"
  • Car rules (MPG requirements, Pollution requirements)
  • Coal and Oil
  • Coal and Oil subsidies
  • Electric cars
  • Should Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion be illegal
  • Should we pull out from investing in any fund that allows DEI companies in its portfolio
  • The Oxford Comma
  • Ukraine
  • Alliances
  • Russia
  • X / Twitter
  • Elon Musk

What can we actually discuss:

  • China

This is not a recipe for national success.

And off we go...


One of Donald Trump's biggest complaints about the US government was that he couldn't control it. Bureaucrats did not follow his orders blindly and it annoyed the hell out of him, and some conservative backers. And so the conservative think tanks have worked on the problem and come up with a solution.

They have planned to change that going forward. Now, I am not concerned about Trump - what difference would agitation make? But if this is available to other Republican Presidential winners, we are in trouble. Just saying.

As for these "conservative think tanks", laugh if you want, but they got the last 3 Supreme Court Justices on the court. And, via that, have ruled back women's body autonomy and gay rights.



Canada warns it's Gay Travelers - Be Careful Going to the USA

 NAACP tells black Americans to worry about Flordia.

Canada tells all Canadian gays to watch out for some states that have passed pretty anti-gay laws.


PS The "2S" at the beginning of their LGBT listing stands for "Two Spirit" the term used by Native Americans to describe Trans and Intersex peoples.

It is not a new LBGT acronym in the US.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Overload

 I am just in overload nowadays. So much is happening and we are constantly bombarded with bad news. It is designed to be frightening and it is.

I need a break.

You can tell everyone tried to squeeze onto this court.

Yesterday, part of my break was at the tennis, US Open. It was fun, but I watched my little Holger lose very early. Now he was pissed he was on a shitty court - as was the overflow crowd that tried to watch him - but he had other problems. He withdrew from the last big tournament with an injury - and seemed pretty much out of it in this one.

Which was sad, and made me a little sad too.


Clearly, he could not find his lucky shirt.


Monday, August 28, 2023

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Read it or don't. It is important to me

 The Guardian (the British website that also publishes a lot of American news) has an article. I guess you only have to see the banner to know what it is about. And while may be an esoteric topic to you, it is super ass real to me. I want to be an entire person in the eyes of the courts.


The extreme religious right’s mission to roll back civil rights from abortion to public accommodations is being fueled by false facts and false history. Recent articles in the New Republic have documented the shaky factual foundation behind 303 Creative LLC v Elenis, the case in which the supreme court held that a website design business owned by an evangelical Christian, Lorie Smith, could refuse service to same-sex couples. Even more troubling, the history undergirding the majority’s reasoning is misleading and dangerous to the separation of church and state.

Tragically, the religious right knows it has a friendly audience in the six conservative Catholic justices on the supreme court, who have been partners in shaking the foundations of fundamental rights. The justices’ new standard is whether a constitutional right is grounded in “history and tradition”, the latest byword for the bogus doctrine of “originalism”. So they need some history, and apparently any history will do.

The legal end to reach a thunderous ruling justifies their debatable means. So the concept of “religious autonomy”, built on a foundation of misleading scholarship, “impact” litigation and, above all, false history, has become the method for restricting rights. Its logic of power rests on its illogic; its warping of the constitution depends on the distortion of history.

(the rest after the jump)

Let's say you want to work and exercise

 We've all been to the gym and seen those very cool exercise machines. You know, the ones we avoid and laugh at people who don't sweat on them. You know, in fact they look so silly you must go home without exercising at all!

Well, what if you don't want to do them at homer and avoid the expense of not doing them at the gym.

Ta Da.

Stationary bike

Treadmill

Elliptical

Sex Toy

Posted without comment - but much mirth

 


Climate Change Birds in NYC

 Climate Change is almost impossible for some animals to navigate. Polar Bears have nowhere to go. Pikas, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep and Sierra Red Foxes are being pushed to higher elevations due to climate change, but the plants they eat haven't advanced upward yet.

However, even among all these changes, some unexpected things happen that can make you smile temporarily. Some birds are moving northwards from Florida and the Caribbean. Here three:

Brown Pelicans

Ibis

Something I never heard of: The Brown Footed Booby


Oh My! You mean it wasn't a principled stance?

Far be it for me to question the motivations of the Florida Fire Departments, but...

Reedy Creek used to be the special tax district (think county for US, council for UK) for DisneyWorld in Florida. Basically, it was a district that Disney ran directing and paying the Fire Department, Sanitation, Police, roads, etc. for the Disney Property Area. It is 36 sq. miles (about half the size of the District of Columbia - so yeah, big!)

Now when Disney Copr actually came out against DeSantis' "Don't say gay bill" - after a lot of shareholder pushback! -, then, Ron DeSantis took over the Disney Reedy Creek Board. Saying the the special district gave Disney too much power and too many tax breaks.


Most of the operating groups inside Reedy Creek as well as the counties next to Reedy Creak, now on the hook of about $1 Billion dollars in debt, nearly all of these groups were united against this Republican vindictive move by DeSantis. 

Almost all, except the Fire Department - which was one of the unions on the DeSanctemonious side statewide.

Well, last week the new Ron DeSantis governing board  in charge of Reedy Creek took away the perk Disney had given all these employees who worked for Reedy Creek and not Disney proper. 

DeSantis' Board took away the free Disney Entrance Passes Reedy Creek used to give the employees. They said it was an illegal perk and bribe to Reedy Creek employees.

Firefighters, and others, whose children suddenly don't get into Disney free anymore - well now they are upset. They don't want "woke" Disney, but they are freaking out they are losing "woke" Disney's perks.

The firefighters have, surprisingly*, changed their minds. LOUDLY.

*sarcastic voice

Look Ya'll

 I do enjoy a TikTok comedian named Trea Cowder. He either started or started his current gig as a good ole Southern boy who is kind of the intelligent answer to the Trump party.


I won't quote all his shit, because he is too funny, and you have to see it in context. But he did have one take on the recent election, which I do have to share. If you don't watch the entire thing, I just love this quote. He is discussing watching the Republican Debate. After trashing Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy - he does say they make Nikki Haley and Chris Christie sound reasonable.

But then he says: "Don't take that as an endorsement. It's a bit like rooting for the litterbug over the rapist."

Friday, August 25, 2023

Octopuses where we don't expect them

 Octopi are cold-blooded creatures, that usually lay eggs under rocky outcroppings in the ocean. After they are laid, the mother will usually clutch and protect them, dying as their eggs are hatched. 

However, scientists have just found that Octopus will also lay eggs much deeper in the ocean, around heat vents. They explored one off the Coast of Central California and found an entire clutch of these nests. Normally, they cannot be seen easily, they will blend into the color of the ledge. But down here, where there do not appear to be many predators, they are abundant.

The story is very cool.

PS - I like this post because it uses all three versions of the plural for Octopus: Octopi, Octopuses and Octopus

Are there silly things that make me laugh? No.

 


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Let me just say this about Bears and Wolves

 I've watched Yellowstone, but more importantly, I have heard my mom and Nick talk about wolves. We generally agree, so a small disagreement about whether to protect or kill wolves that attack domestic animals or not kill them is a blip in our discussions.

BUT

The article below is the kind of hypocritical talk that makes people living with wolves just annoyed at us. Why, even I ask, are bears on the shit list to be culled. But wolves attacking cattle or sheep are worth saving. It is hard to think of a reason besides we don't live where wolves are.

It is hard to think about this trade-off and not acknowledge that these bears annoy rich people right now and that wolves don't affect those rich people - except in the abstract.

Now, to be honest, I don't have a dog in this hunt. I lived where predators were less freaky. Coyotes are not a threat to people and really only kill small pets left outside. Mountain Lions are too rare and too cute right now to be a threat. Hell, a mountain lion was living on someone's porch in the Hollywood Hills at night, and the owner sent pictures out to the internet. The odd pussy cat or Yorkie lost to the very rare Mountain Lion doesn't register the same as a bear or wolf.

Also if Long Island Lucy had her precious chihuahua attacked by a wolf, there would be a massive outcry to kill it.

Things my mother was right about # 4

 (No there was no 1 - 3, but there should have been).


Avocados

She used to eat them and I was very turned off. They were the same name as the ugly green-ish used in kitchen appliances.

She was right. I LOVE avocados now and put them in almost everything.

I am trying to admit when I am wrong. 

FYI - It is a philosophy that is much easier when you start with something you were wrong about 50+ years ago.

OMG | This would be Ed's advice too...

 


The Explorers Club Posters

The Explorers Club in New York City was generally the precursor to National Geographic. And they have supported many of the explorations that happened and are still happening (really). I was a member for a while - but there wasn't a lot around membership - so I left.

However, I do love their new posters:





Looking at the Republican Debate from the view of not hating them

 So, the majority of the Republicans presented a world view that I disagree with. But there was one person I admired, Nikki Haley.

Now the general consensus is that Nikki is making a general election pitch, not a primary pitch. That may not help to get nominated, but going forward if she gets out of the primary it will help. What did I like from Nikki:

  1. She torn down the arguments against helping Ukraine
  2. She said "we" cannot pass a national abortion ban. BUT there may be a consensus to agree to some laws around it, if Congress can get there. But the Republicans alone can't force one. 
  3. When asked about "Biden-nomics" and how it is ruining the country, she was the only person up there that said it wasn't just Biden or the Democrats, and proceeded to blame Trump (pre-Covid) and the Republicans that voted for the increases under him.
  4. She torn Vivek a new one. That was good to see.


As for the others that one might care about:

  • Ron DeSantis: The emotionless, plastic smiled man that would not give a direct answer to any question. He did not look good. Most reviews say he faded like Homer Simpson into the hedge.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy: Well he was a smart-ass. He parroted every Trump talking point - including Climate Change is a hoax and Jan 6th was not an insurrection. He was a good debater, but a good debater doesn't mean he had any answers (at least none that I thought was more than a snappy comeback). But his parroting of every Trump talking point - and a big voal supporter of Trump, got him a lot of applause.
  • Chris Christie: He seemed confused to see Vivek was a better debater than him. The crowd kind of hated him for being anti-Trump.
  • Mike Pence: He actually had a good debate and (other) people seemed to like him. He was a little out there when he said Jesus wanted him to be President - that nutty evangelical vote is already sworn to Trump.
It doesn't really matter because I think the orange one cannot be beat by these people. But if Trump falls, I really hope Nikki can beat out Vivek.

Ron DeSantis at the debate:

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Eddie Taunts Me

 My next ex-husband, Holger Nodskov Rune, it practicing at the Tennis Stadium where Eddie is already working. He forwards pics of Holger to me to taunt me.

But I still love him (Ed, not Holger ... although....). And yes, I know I am a decade older than his father.





Republican judges appointed by Donald Trump ignore Supreme Court rulings to screw the gays

 Look, I get no pleasure in being right. Well, I get a lot of pleasure being right, but none with this.

When the Supreme Court let stand an obvious unconstitutional law in Texas - allowing the 6 week abortion ban to stay in effect over 6 months BEFORE the court decision - I said this would bit us all in the ass. The Supreme Court is, quite literally, the highest court in our country, and all other courts are supposed to follow their decisions.

You know, unless they are about fags or other people Republicans hate.


So the circuit court upheld Alabama's anti-trans child law, but claiming the precedent in a decision that was overturned when a law was passed to stop gays from adoption. That law is no longer in force as it was overruled when gays got the right to be married. It was cited to support this law by the Judge. It was cited repeatedly (4 times) and the laws overruling it were ignored.

The Judge also used the Dobbs decision on gun rights to say that since there were no trans-inclusive rights in 1868, none are Constitutional now. 

In Florida, the court ruled to let stand a law that outlaws Chinese "parties" to buy land or homes in Florida. It also charges sellers with a 1 year prison sentence for doing so. They relied on a law from 1913 in Washington and California that barred non-citizens from buying, leasing or using land in the United States. A law that has since been overruled.

They can bet on anything in the UK...

 .. and this is a fun one (hat tip to Lynn and Ed)

Anyone remember going to our Desert Hot Springs House?

 Our first desert house was down this road:


This was the road out. Also used to Joshua Tree


Maybe it's me, but this is a warning I don't need.

 


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

For those of you that stayed with or lived with us in Cathedral City...

 or were at Honey's 90th ... this is for you.


Corn Sweats! What the hell?

 So I will explain this graphic AFTER it. (PS - For my British friends 150 F = 65 C !!!!!)

Yeah, those are deadly numbers because the body outside in the hot ass shit humid air means we cannot cool our bodies. So staying out too long will kill you.

The problem with driverless cars is the problem with our vehicle laws

 I was listening to the NYTimes podcast today, and the host was speaking with the writer about driverless taxis. They discussed trying and using one in San Francisco, where two companies have licenses.

Personally, I think if they can drive in San Francisco, they could probably driver in almost an city - bar New York city.

But what really strikes me is that one of the main complaints of the users is that the Waymo is way too slow. Not so much because it can't see things, but because it actually follows the laws. And our car laws are often stupid and overly exhaustive. So stupid that they are regular broken and the police do nothing because the laws cannot all be followed or the city comes to a stop.

For example, I was listening to the rider talk as the taxi went along. Her first comment to the other passenger was "so.. no California Rolling Stops?" followed less than 1 minute later by, "wow.. lots of stop signs here, right?"  See there are so many stop signs - a 4 way stop at nearly every cross street, that it takes forever to get anywhere. Hence the California Rolling Stop, in which you slow down way and if you see nothing, you just keep going. Highly illegal and universally used.

Then there was the crash of the autotaxi and a Fire Truck. Because the taxi stopped. Because, that is the law. But people don't stop, they pull over and slow down. In New York, they don't even pull over.

Last and finally, the autotaxi followed the speed limit. No one follows the speed limit. To be honest, the parade of ignored laws is one of the reasons the police can pull over anyone if they want. The speed limit in San Francisco is 20 mph. So even short trips at 20mph, and stopped at every street that doesn't have a stop light, it would take all day to get anywhere.

Speaking of how the police always have a reason to justify a stop... There was recently a black man thrown out of his car and beaten by police because he had an air-freshener hanging from his mirror. 

He was pulled over, asked out if his car. He asked what he did wrong, because he kept asking - and the police were annoyed, they cuffed him. He freaked out, so they hit and knocked him down. He tried to cover his face and so they beat and kicked him on the ground and accused him of resisting arrest. Body cameras caught all of this. He died later at the hospital. The police had to spend a week suspended (with pay). What was the murdered black guy guilty of, they stopped him because they could see the air freshener dangling.

Wow, that went off the deep end quick. All I basically was going to say is that using driverless cars shows how much overkill we have in our vehicle laws. And overkill breeds ignoring some of them to get around.

I did say, there is some real nincompoopery out there....

 Okay then...

Although, to be honest, I cannot find any corroborating stories on this, so the Daily Beast could be full of shit, but it is funny. The Daily Beast links to a Russian news site, and I cannot read Russian.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Limits to Growth


If I had to point to a single source for my interest in mankind and the planet, it would have to go back to the very first book, Limits to growth". It was published in 1972, although I don't think I got a copy until about 1974.

It was available for free download as a pdf, long after I realized I could not buy the original. Ebay is full of later versions, but this one... This was the one that set me on my path foreward.

It took a look at the problems of the day sand offered some solutions or at least outlines of them about, pollution, population, peak oil, and carbon dioxide / global warming.  In fact, the image below is their worry / discussion about carbon growth in the atmosphere. 

The Club of Rome postulated that by the year 2000, the Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere would hit 380 ppm concentration. Instead it only hit 368, but that is damn close. We are now at 418 ppm. The warning bells were all set to 350 a couple of decades ago. So yeah, this has been a problem coming at us in slo-mo for a long time.

Pretty Spot On for 1972


Sure they made some mistakes about population growth - it slowed down, and food production increased. And they did not figure that new extraction models would make "peak oil" prediction wrong. But a few mistakes, many by only a little bit, should not let us ignore everything else. We did ignore it, but we shouldn't have.

Palm Springs is a mess with the tropical cyclone

 So this storm hit Palm Springs like a sledge hammer. There are very large washes that dip all around the city to channel water out. But Palm Springs was getting 2 or 3 inches of rain an hour  - yearly average is 4.31 inches. YEARLY

Yikes. Apparently there are no roads into or out of the Coachilla Valley (Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Indio at all). The 10 is closed!

Yikes indeed.


Maybe it is time to update this word

The word "homophobic" is used in both the murder stories in the previous post. I am not sure it is the right use of the word. Let's look at the definition.

But I don't think those attacks were homophobic. Being killed over a flag, or over having cigarettes outside, that isn't someone who is only "showing a dislike or prejudice against gay people."

Killing people is not homophobic. Killing people is fucking murder. Over the week-end in New York, someone drove through a crosswalk. He is called a murder, not walking-phobic.  A shark attacks people. The shark is not human-phobic, it is a killer.

Killing gays is a direct result of lies and fear mongering. Homophobia, like that crazy ass woman who refuses to even think about making a gay web site - and gets approval from the Supreme Court. THAT is homophobic. And see, no one dies.

I don't like people from USC, guess what? I have never killed one.

Gays can deal with homophobia. And with wit.




The tale of Chiselborough

 Our second dog sit in England this past month was in Chiselborough. Which is a village of about 100 - 125. It was in the middle of nowhere....