Wednesday, October 17, 2018

They did it, you idiot

This should be a rallying cry "Katherine, the Russians tried to elect Donald J. Trump president. It's been proven. You're missing the big picture." – attorney for the man who commissioned the Steele dossier in answer to Fox's lead reporter on the Russian interference investigation when she tried to to nit pick the dossier. Reported by Rachel Maddow with live video.
This was part of a report in which Twitter has finally admitted almost 4,000 Twitter accounts held by the Russians, posted almost 9 million tweets favoring Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Getting ready yet again

Snow level on Pioneer Peak 10/10/18
     Finally some termination dust showed up on the mountain, maybe a month to a month and a half
late. It isn't a lot and doesn't come down a thousand feet on the slope yet but at least it holds the promise of winter. And what does winter mean? Well, T.S, Elliot wrote in "The Wasteland:" "I read late into the night and go south for the winter." Only, I go north for the winter, just as soon as there's enough snow to make the trail passable with the snowmachine.
     That doesn't mean I haven't been absorbed by one of Alaskans' favorite passtimes — getting ready.
Ever since I left the East Pole last April I've been carrying around a shopping list, some big items and some little ones and this past week I took care of the last big one. Hauling the snowmachine over to the shop for its winter prep. I do my own layup in the spring when I put it away but I like to have a professional go through it before I take off for the winter. It's worth the money not to have to worry about some mechanical breakdown out where I could be stuck for a while.
    That was a big one. Another was runner material for my heavy duty sled so I can haul out a nice captain's bed for my grandson. Hope to get that done before Christmas. Also after 30 years my propane tanks have been beaten up enough that the dealers won't fill them any more. I bought one last spring and took it out. I brought the second one out when I left for good and traded it in on a brand new one, so when I get there this year I will have two brand new almost full tanks. I use propane for my kitchen stove and for lights around the cabin. With electricity now I won't use nearly as much as I used to. I usually have to haul gas but I have three full five-gallon cans out there already.
     I do have to haul my generator in this fall. I had to bring it out after the short trip this summer after it wouldn't start. I thought I might have to take it to a mechanic, but cleaning out the fuel system did the trick and I was able to start it here, so it is ready to go back.
     Other than that, it's just food and medicines and some standards I need every time. I have two standing lists, one for 30 days and one for 90 days, that hold the items and quantities that have to be bought every time. I also do an inventory when I leave so I can adjust the lists according to what I have left at the end last spring. I usually buy all that stuff a day or two before I head out for the new winter.
     Also have a few new books and DVDs ordered and delivered and ready to go.
    Still a little bit of this and that to pick up, but now comes the great fall waiting after the getting  ready has been accomplished mostly and the twiddling of thumbs begins.
     New snow on the mountain offers hope, but it may be late. Heat records were set around the state through September and Fairbanks has gone the deepest into fall ever without snow. It's a little like watching paint dry, watching the snow level progress down the mountain until there is some on the ground. More snow falls more often at the East Pole than here, and sooner I hope. Now entering the twilight zone between getting ready and getting going.
If your are curious at all, search the words "East Pole" on this blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Unintended growth in an untended garden

Ever wonder what lettuce looks like if you just let it grow?
In June I posted a short item about my accidental garden, the one that started growing with no influence from the gardener whatsoever. Well here are the results after letting it grow untended well into September. A few pygmy sunflowers, outrageous lettuce with flowers and a huge mushroom which I managed to destroy while I was moving a ladder around cleaning gutters.
Pygmy sunflower from seeds
the birds spilled last winter.
And a shroom.
The one planting I did, potatoes, never grew very much, at least above ground. The tallest one was less than a foot tall when they all kind of just stopped growing. In early August I pulled a test plant and it had produced only a tiny spud. I lost interest, the leaves turned yellowish long before the fall colors on the trees and I assumed it was a dismal failure. I have been wondering what the problem is the past couple of years and I think I figured it out. I have been here, gees, 13 years in this temporary lodging and in that time alders have grown huge, so large and spreading they allow very little sunlight  onto the raised gardens I built so lovingly. Even the one out by the road where the potatoes didn't grow only had about half a day of direct sunlight. There also might be a fertilizer problem. Before snowfall I am going to add fertilizer to the beds against next year in case I feel like trying again. There also are about half a dozen trees I could take down without hurting the aesthetics, which should allow more light onto the ground. We shall see about that. All that was to say I pulled 10 pounds of mostly very small potatoes out of that patch.

The accidental garden

Sunday, September 30, 2018

You go, Willie

A must-see,. Yesterday in Texas Beto O'Rourke who is running to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz had a rally in Austin. Crowd was estimated at more than 50,000, which would make it the largest candidate rally since Barack Obama's in Portland in 2008. Some people say it was because of a famous singer on the stage. Here is the song he introduced at the rally.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Some reflections on Kavanaugh

    During Dr.  Christine Blasey Ford's testimony:
Watching the hearing this morning a warning keeps flashing in my mind. (Incidentally it's something I recall from about 15 years before this assault took place.) As the news pundits analyze and propose logical commentary to the testimony, the warning is this. In a college political science class I wrote a paper analyzing a particular political campaign. I carefully constructed an analysis that came to a logical reasoning for the result. The teaching assistant (I assume) who graded my paper wrote: "There is no logic in politics C+" And to my mind, the illogical conclusion to what I am watching today is the fear that this sexual predator will end up on the Supreme Court despite what is said in this hearing.
This prosecutor, fronting for a bunch of chickenshit Republican senators, keeps probing for minute details as if she were preparing what would be called a" preponderance of evidence" that would lead to a final argument for a verdict based on "reasonable doubt" over a witness's testimony.
Best reason given for employing the woman prosecutor was the leadership did not want the American people watch 11 white men in their 80s questioning one credible woman.
Reasons I almost never watch Fox news: I just heard Chris Wallace, whose daughters recently told him about having experiences similar to Dr. Ford's, call Kavanaugh a man of towering intellect.

When Kavanaugh began testifying after about 15 minutes I had to turn it off. I couldn't stand his spittle-lipped anger or his quivering chin as he supposedly fought tears during the rant proclaiming his innocence. One thing he showed all too clearly is how vicious his anger can be and one can only imagine what it is like when fueled by alcohol. I finally turned it off long before he was done.

The more I read and saw from Brett Kavanaugh, the more it seemed he is a self-entitled, spoiled, privileged kid/adult who has never suffered a hardship or even been told "no" in his life. When finally faced with it, he threw a tantrum and complained his life is ruined. The father of a Parkland student who was killed in that attack sets him straight with this tweet. 

Jaime Guttenberg's obituary

Whether Kavenaugh sits on the Supreme Court or not his life will go on with privilege few of us have enjoyed.

In time I began to wonder if that sort of demeanor was acceptable for a Supreme Court justice. And that led to seeing a great failure of this particular hearing day. While the world focused on the sexual assault charge, left in the dust were all the other reasons why he is a bad choice for the court: including (as many as I can recall): his stated opposition to several women's health issues, not the least of which is Roe v. Wade; his standing that a president cannot be charged with a crime; the fact that he may sit in judgment of a president charged with a crime and who appointed him to the bench; all the background information and documentation that was never revealed; along with others. Any one of those should be enough to disqualify this guy, but they have disappeared in the dust of the assault charge.

Not that any of it matters. Republicans have said all along his confirmation is a foregone conclusion. I hope I'm wrong but at this point I think he will be confirmed, one more issue to be confronted if the Democrats can take over Congress in the upcoming election. He can be impeached.

Obviously: There is no logic in politics C+.

Interesting quotations

""My children will likely turn my picture to the wall but what the hell, you only get old once." — Joe May

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignorance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

"It was like the aftermath of an orgasm with the wrong partner." – David Lagercrants “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”

Why worry about dying, you aren't going to live to regret it.

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeare on Twitter

Normal is how somebody else thinks you should act.

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

I realized today how many of my stories start out "years ago." What's next? Once upon a time?"

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve