Monday, May 22, 2017

Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus at Davis Pride

Kay Hight on piano:

Curtis Park Wall

Highly-annoyed with feel-goodism Sunday morning. Creating this auto-free stretch, in conjunction with closed freeway ramps, created a series of impenetrable barriers around Curtis Park that made for massive traffic jams. Delays ruined my morning plans. I hope someone at least enjoyed it:
For four hours Sunday, May 21, a 2-mile commercial stretch of Broadway promises to be a car-free paradise, thanks to Sacramento’s inaugural Sunday Street.

The city expects 5,000 to 10,000 people to participate in Sunday Street on Broadway its first Open Streets Project, inspired by the public-space movement around the globe that encourages residents and governments to think of streets as destinations in themselves and more than merely corridors for travel. According to the Open Streets Project advocacy effort, the event will be the 19th initiative launched in California.


Literacy Test From 1960's Louisiana

Our Slow-Mo Coup D'Etat Continues

I wish they'd hurry the damn thing along:
I’ve been writing about this slow-moving coup in various ways for months now because its not well understood and it’s the most consequential thing going on in this country and the world right now. Nixon won a landslide reelection in 1972 even after many details of the Watergate burglary were reported, yet his efforts to obstruct justice were thwarted by leaks from the intelligence community.

...In Trump’s case, though, his operation has been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation for almost a year now. He appointed a man on the Kremlin’s payroll to be our national security advisor. He’s giving out information to the Russians that could get Israeli intelligence assets killed, or prevent us from stopping a mass casualty terrorist attack on civil aviation.

Nixon was abusing his power but we wasn’t endangering the country.

So, the proverbial shoes will keep dropping. The grand juries will start producing indictments. The pace will continue to make White House staffers feel helpless and under siege. It will get ratcheted up, step by step, until the GOP resistance in Congress breaks.

Instant Responses for Top Nixonites

The Endless Gift of Trump

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm Bad at Predicting the Future

After Trump was elected, I forecast a stock market drop by the end of April. So, it looks like May 17th is the start. Who knows when the turbulence will end?

No Way To Know In Advance

Lana Del Rey - Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind

I like the self-conscious way she says "hella". Northern California slang there!

I Am a Bunny

Theater loot is the best loot. But like the dog who caught the car, I need to figure out what to do next.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect, and Why People Believe Donald Trump's Lies

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad:
It’s all to do with the Dunning-Kruger effect, the tendency for the least mentally proficient people to often overestimate their own abilities.

Research into this area was inspired by a story so incredibly ridiculous it’s hard to believe that it’s true.

In 1995 a man by the name of McArthur Wheeler learnt that lemon juice can be used as an invisible ink.

He took his new-found knowledge one (rather large) step further and robbed two Pittsburgh banks, his face covered in lemon juice, convinced it would render his features invisible to CCTV.

When police later showed him video tapes of himself robbing the banks, he muttered: “But I wore the juice.”

Non-Compete Agreements

A form of modern slavery (an apparently unenforceable in California):
Keith Bollinger’s paycheck as a factory manager had shriveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but then he got a chance to pull himself out of recession’s hole. A rival textile company offered him a better job – and a big raise.

When he said yes, it set off a three-year legal battle that concluded last week but wiped out his savings along the way.

“I tried to get a better life for my wife and my son, and it backfired,” said Bollinger, 53, of Conover, 45 miles northwest of Charlotte, N.C. “Now I’m in my mid-50s, and I’m ruined.”

Today's Big Meeting

"Now here is a sales chart of the past fiscal year, which reflects the disastrous effect of our former advertising policy in terms of per capita consumption of wickets. Note the sharp decline from normal regularity. Down, down, down. And here's what's going to happen to our sales when we finally get going, as we will. Up, up, up! And there you are!"

"Convoy" Crash Scene

I never saw "Convoy" (1978), but this crash scene was right where Hwys. 550 & 85 meet in Bernalillo. Home turf!

Somebody put together this nice locations video. Much of the movie was filmed in New Mexico.

Holy crap, do I know this guy? He sure looks familiar. The Convoy in the Park is coming up, too.


Love this!
About 200 people grouped to form the word “RESIST!” on the grounds of Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes on Saturday.

Reprising This Post

Happy Mother's Day! Marjorie Louise Buzzell, 1941 graduate of Hirschfield High School in Chicago, IL.

Dog Mom Anthem


Put my knowledge of neighborhood homeless camps to use from Bella-walking days, and delivered leftovers to 2 guys at X St. & Hwy. 99.

Crow Chases Panicked Dove

I was startled by a thuggish crow. At the stop light on 2nd St. near Target and TJ Maxx in Davis, while heading over to Wok of Flame after Peter Pan strike, I watched a crow chase an evasive dove. I thought I saw something fall out of a tree when the dove raced through a tree canopy seeking escape. What was that? Was the crow going after nestlings? What the hell was going on? I've never seen a crow do this before.

The dove escaped, so the crow joined its posse of crows circling near Mace Ranch Rd. & I-80. Those crows were also behaving in weird, uncharacteristic ways, hovering and diving as if on a hunt.

After dinner, I returned to the mugging site and in the fading light walked the ground looking for nestlings in the landscaping, but found nothing.

Damned crows! Leave the doves alone!

Bring Me a Shrubbery

The Bait-and-Switch Pro

Fortunately, Comey took notes:
“I don’t think it’s inappropriate,” Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, responding to a report by the New York Times that he asked former FBI Director James Comey in January to pledge loyalty to him.

This Is A Start

As J. says, "There is no try. Next time, get it done!":
Wright reportedly started screaming, and hit the windows of Kustoff's vehicle, even reaching inside at one point. She briefly blocked the car from leaving until she got out of there once cops were called. Authorities arrested her later when she wrote about the incident on Facebook. At first authorities tried to get her side of the story but she refused to cooperate. "That left us with no other choice but to issue an arrest warrant for her and take her into custody," a sheriff's department official said.

Calamitous Confederate Camel Craves Caffeine

Mississippi story, but features Florida woman:
Abbott’s attorney, Charles M. Thomas of New Orleans, said Abbott visited Beauvoir with her husband. They were strolling to the cemetery behind the Davis home when Sir Camelot appeared.

“June was basically just walking across the grounds and this camel charged at her, stampeded her, and ended up biting her,” Thomas said.

As a result of the attack, he said, Abbott suffered a fractured wrist and vertebrae.

...By December 2015, the Beauvoir board had decided the camel and other animals needed to go. A motion the board passed 6-2 cited waste issues and aggressive behavior from the camel, plus goats that were butting car doors. After visitor numbers dropped, Sir Camelot and other animals returned to Beauvoir in June 2016.

Melania's Great Escape

BBC's Why Factor Considers Goths

I always like to learn what the first readily-identifiable song of a genre happens to be. According to this fascinating BBC Why Factor podcast, the first clearly-identifiable Goth song is 1979's "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus.

Goths amaze me. I remember once being on the floor of a casino in Las Vegas. The atmosphere was unimaginably-crass: noisy crowds laughing and farting to the clanging sounds of slot machines. Suddenly, like a ghost, a Goth appeared - an 18-year-old woman with only traces of red around the eyes to break the grim darkness of sorrowful mourning dress. She glided across the casino floor, eyes darting neither left or right but focused straight ahead, perhaps contemplating a funeral.

I should hire Goth pallbearers for my funeral.

Inappropriate Technology

Technology needs to fit the problem:
How did technology that has increased efficiency in every other industry become such a drag on health care? For starters, people who take care of patients did not design or choose these systems. They were foisted upon us.

Doctors and nurses know that good diagnosis and treatment requires listening attentively to their patients. They spend years learning to parse the clues that patients offer, both the physiological and personal, in order to provide the right care.

To do this well takes time and undivided attention.

The Accidental Hero

Making the effort:
“I was out having lunch with a friend and got back about 3pm and saw an influx of news articles about the NHS and various UK organisations being hit,” he told the Guardian. “I had a bit of a look into that and then I found a sample of the malware behind it, and saw that it was connecting out to a specific domain, which was not registered. So I picked it up not knowing what it did at the time.”

The Hobbit, Explained

Friday, May 12, 2017

Try It

Nothing To See Here


The Ghost Is Back

You Fools! It's Getting Away!

Ms. Defiant Trespass

I'm surprised Ms. Defiant Trespass isn't from Florida, or even New Mexico:
To the woman in western Pennsylvania arrested for allegedly throwing bricks at a man's car, it was a "prophecy from God" commanding her to "throw bricks at white men."


I'll Run Across Water Yet

Going through old Scientific Americans. I like how they did brain scans of tango dancers trapped in positions of limited mobility to see how they respond to music. Claustrophobia makes tango dancers unhappy. But also, an answer to how fast people would have to be in order to run across water. Turns out, it's 30 m/s (65 mph). Expend 15 times as much muscular power than people can do. Time to improve aerobic conditioning!

There's No One to Hold Donald Trump Accountable

No one:
Are you feeling the creeping terror? Me too. I've been trying to avoid joining the more conspiracy-minded brethren of the anti-Trump brigade for the last 110 days of his presidency, but this move makes it increasingly difficult not to suspect the worst.

There is no one, absolutely no one, in the federal government to hold the president of the United States accountable for anything he does.

As Long As It Isn't Götterdämmerung, No Worries

Blithe Republicans:
Enter Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia ... Compared to Hitler, life’s pretty good.

“America has overcome amazing challenges that Donald Trump, as frightening as he is to some people, small potatoes compared to Nazi Germany,” Garrett told an incredulous town hall meeting at a church in his congressional district on Tuesday — hours after Trump fired the head of the agency looking into any possible ties between him and Russia.

When the crowd began jeering Garrett’s tasteless analogy, the congressman simply replied, “So he’s worse?”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

But Her E-Mails

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Meets with Trump at the White House

American press is banned, but Russian press is present.

Annual Finnish Hobby Horse Championship

Successor to the Space Shuttle

The civilian space program was hardly much more than a cover for the military space program, and now that cover has eroded away. Welcome to the X-37B, the successor to the Space Shuttle.

The US Air Force’s X-37B space plane returned to Earth on Sunday after completing a secret space mission that lasted nearly two years. The reusable, unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an airport used by the US space agency’s Space Shuttle for landing until the programme’s end in 2011.

The just-ended mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 (OTV-4), was launched in May 2015 and conducted secret experiments for a total of 718 days while in orbit, Xinhua news agency reported. It’s the fourth and longest-running mission for the X-37B programme, run by the US Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. The programme began as a Nasa project in 1999 but was later transferred to the Pentagon.

Sunday Dodgeball

Today's moment of excitement was playing dodgeball with a giant spare tire that suddenly dropped out of the bottom of a pickup truck rolling towards a red light in front of me. I momentarily parked on a freeway on-ramp beside the truck, and tried to convey to the puzzled driver my emotional state with hand-waving semaphore - something like "the rubber bomb you dropped nearly killed me" - but I don't speak American Sign Language, or even rudimentary gestures, so the moment was lost. I'm just glad it didn't all happen at freeway speeds.

Joined the Flashmob at the Multiple Sclerosis Walk in Folsom

That was fun! Did some yoga too.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

Trouble in Tapeats

Whoa! I remember Tapeats Creek! When I was 18, I spent nearly a week in the area. Thunder River is the bigger danger, but things are so steep, you can get into trouble anywhere:
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - A body found last week has been identified as that of a 14-year-old hiker who went missing nearly two weeks ago while hiking a remote part of the Grand Canyon during a family trip, authorities said Monday.

Jackson Standefer, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was crossing a creek on April 15 when he and his stepgrandmother, LouAnn Merrell, lost their footing and were swept away.

Easter's Over. What Gives?

Penitente hobbyists?:
Police in Albuquerque say a man has been found alive with his hands nailed to a tree in a forest.

They say officers received a call around 8:30 a.m. Monday about an injured man on the east bank of the Rio Grande.
Looks like the Campbell Rd. access. They're just superstitious peasants over there on the east bank of the Rio Grande. Not like the scholastics on the west side:
“Officers found a man who seemed confused, standing in front of a tree with his hands next to his shoulders,” Espinoza said. “Each hand had one nail through it.”

...“He was initially not cooperative or compliant with officers,” Espinoza said. “They are continuing to try to interview him and determine exactly what happened and how he ended up in the bosque.”

The 2016-2017 Sacramento Rainy Season (October-April) is Over

At Sacramento Executive Airport, it was the second-wettest rainy season (190% of normal, in contrast to 2015-16's 91% of normal) since measurements started in 1941.

Inches End Year
30.43 1982-83
28.21 2016-17
27.41 1981-82
27.34 1997-98
25.71 1957-58

For Sacramento in general (whose station has moved around several times over the years), it was the fifth-wettest rainy season since measurements started in 1877.

Inches End Year
32.75 1981-83
32.10 1885-86
29.78 1994-95
29.57 1981-82
29.25 2016-17

So, the 2016-17 rainy season wasn't an all-time record, but very strong, and I probably won't live long enough to see a rival.

Escaped Pet Birds are Teaching Wild Birds to Speak English

Smart birds!:
Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops -- mysterious, nonsensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn't paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity....

Long-Time Iowa Farm Cartoonist Fired After Creating This Cartoon

Our overlords at work:

"Again, I fall hard in the best interest of large corporations. I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.
"I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.
"That's okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the county."

Fyre Fest is the Best New Idea in Years!

I would have loved to have been there! Stories for a lifetime!
7. Do whatever you need to do to survive.
According to what one attendee told Fader, “we found out there was apparently not enough water there for everyone. You’d see people walking around with full cases of water that they stole from the dining area.”

Trump is Scum

Fuckers, all of them:
Argentine President Mauricio Macri planned to award President Jimmy Carter the Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest distinction Argentina awards a foreign person, during his visit to Washington this week. However, the award ceremony was cancelled after an explicit request by the Trump administration, according to several reports.

A Half-Meter Long Dragonfly

Would have loved to see that thing!:
From these two finds, and calculations of other griffinflies, it was estimated that Meganeuropsis had a body roughly 47 centimeters long, with a wingspan of 75 centimeters across. This is much wider than the South American damselfly Megaloprepus, the largest odonatan living today. Meganeuropsis was able to get this large possibly due to a far higher oxygen content in the atmosphere. During the Carboniferous, there was a massive influx in global oxygen levels and this allowed many land-living invertebrates to get to huge sizes.

My Ceiling's Sending Messages

Another Night at the Club

Avoiding male attention:
Female dragonflies use an extreme tactic to get rid of unwanted suitors: they drop out the sky and then pretend to be dead.

Rassim Khelifa from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, witnessed the behaviour for the first time in the moorland hawker dragonfly (Aeshna juncea). While collecting their larvae in the Swiss Alps, he watched a female crash-dive to the ground while being pursued by a male.

The female then lay motionless on her back. Her suitor soon flew away, and the female took off once the coast was clear.

“I was surprised,” says Khelifa, who had never previously seen this in 10 years of studying dragonflies.

The Democrats Kicked Ass with the Budget Negotiations!

The Democrats kicked ass with the budget negotiations with the Trump Administration! So much winning! I presume it went down like this:

Pinball Prison Blues

The best video of the week! This guy needs to be on "Better Call Saul" ASAP! (From "Buckshot: The Movie").

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's Breakfast, Bitches!

Billboard's Britney Spears Evolution

Hugo liked this, and so I just do whatever he does.

Big on Reddit Today!

I'm excited. My presentation at SWPACA in Albuquerque in February, "Streamline Moderne and Jimmy McGill," is suddenly beginning to blow up on reddit. You're nowhere if you don't have at least crank status on reddit. Other people have noticed glass blocks in Vince Gilligan's work too, and are searching for answers.

Multiple-Car Accident

Feeling down because of a cold, so thought to take a walk, and saw others feeling down because of a multiple-car accident.

And it turned out, Morgan coincidentally knows one of the people involved in the accident.

Bev Liked "Peter Pan"

Great review for Peter Pan!!!
New to this production are body mics, which worked flawlessly and unobtrusively. They gave just that extra oomph to young voices that sometimes can’t fill an entire theater, yet without any reverb or unnatural sound to them.

I suspect, however, that Tyler Traum (Peter Pan) didn’t really need a body mic. What a find she is. A product of Sacramento Theatre Company’s Young Professionals program, she definitely gives a professional performance as the young boy who doesn’t want to grow up.

She can convincingly be an obstreperous boy, a wistful orphan, a loving father to a group of lost boys and savior of Wendy (Claire Quillen) and Tiger Lily (McKinley Carlisle). And she flies, too.

The flying crew of Alex Hom, Mike Traum, Matthew Evans and Chris Colbourn do an excellent job of keeping their young charges in the air, using rigging designed by Isaacson.

Another outstanding job is done by Brian McCann, surely the perfect Captain Hook. From the scary pirate who is set on destroying Peter Pan to the terrified man stalked by a crocodile (Tomas Eredia in a marvelous new crocodile costume), McCann excels. He also plays the blustery Mr. Darling in the opening scenes, before his children fly off to Neverland.

Missing Miss Fatty

Dog Whisperer Mode

This week, I'm trying to use my Dog Whisperer skills on the new dog in the yard next door. The dog doesn't know who the eff I am, and is frightened.

So Much Winning!

So Trump is folding on his wall. So much winning!

Until next week, when he'll bring it back as a zombie wall. But by then it won't matter.

Consistency isn't Trump's strength. But I do like the winning:
According to The Washington Post and NBC news, late this afternoon Trump signaled that he is giving in and will either accept non-wall money and pretend it’s like a wall or just give the whole thing up entirely and try again in the fall, which likely means never.

Wavenumber 5

I like Wavenumber 5 as a better explanation of the the California drought-rain sequence than the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO has been all over the place the last few years, and just seems too inconsistent. Distinguishing causes from effects with Wavenumber 5 is hard, and that's where the erudition starts:
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found in a recent study that the persistent high-pressure ridge off the west coast of North America that blocked storms from coming onshore during the winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 was associated with the wave pattern, which they call wavenumber-5. Follow-up work showed that wavenumber-5 emerged again this winter but with its high- and low-pressure features in a different position, allowing drenching storms from the Pacific to make landfall.

"This wave pattern is a global dynamic system that sometimes makes droughts or floods in California more likely to occur," said NCAR scientist Haiyan Teng, lead author of the California paper. "As we learn more, this may eventually open a new window to long-term predictability."

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Peter Pan" Opening This Weekend Was Fun!

Let's visit Neverland again next weekend!

The Security Conundrum

Gotta Get Outta Here...

And go far, far away:
A 12-year-old boy who was apparently trying to drive across Australia has been stopped by police 1,300km (800 miles) into his journey.

The boy was pulled over in Broken Hill in the New South Wales outback on Saturday after a patrol noticed the car's bumper dragging on the ground.

Police said the boy had been attempting to drive 4,000km from Kendall in NSW to Perth, Western Australia.

The Protest That Never Works

Sacramento MS Zumba Team Group Photo

Some Excellent Science-March Photos From Around the Country

(h/t John)

My Brain on Facebook

Just woke from a dream about a film regarding the limits of economic development in the Depression-era American Southwest, starring Don Knotts. My brain cobbled the dream together from diverse Facebook posts about sin, Stuckeys, trains, radio, the nouveau riche, and the Donner Party. I think my brain needs more sleep.

A Night After Drinking

Keep Mexicans - Deport Republicans

Living in the Future

Signs at the Sacramento Earth Day Science Walk - Part 5 - The Rally