Friday, August 16, 2013

Congressman Tom McClintock Has Become A Gibbering Idiot

Whatever you thought of Tom McClintock's politics, there was no question that he used to be respected on both sides of the aisle, and in the news media, for his superior command of budgetary arcana.

Wha-a-a-a happened?

This response is a disgrace. There are plenty of crimes that don't require guns. If guns are the only criteria, maybe we can get rid of all crime by outlawing guns.

There also needs to be barriers to keep financial institutions from becoming mired in corruption, which they are bound to do otherwise, and the Glass-Steagall Act was a shining example of a simple law that worked perfectly fine, saving banks from running amok, and preserving people's savings, until Republicans and Democrats united under Clinton to shred it in the 90's. We have been in dire straits since then.

Sorry, McClintock used to be respectable. No longer. He's just another idiot.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Do You Wanna Touch Me

Is The Arctic Recovering a Bit?

Walt in Aiken, SC poses a question:
Hey Marc: Why is it so cool here in SC this summer?!?!? Yesterday it was 63 at noon! In august! And, we haven't hit 95 yet all summer!
I had woken up from a fitful sleep, so I answered:
Usually it is because the position of the long wave trough shifted westward, directly over SC, compared to usual of the coast. Will check later. Strange things have been afoot all summer. Started with the unusual breakdown of the polar vortex into 2 vortices, and has continued with slow tropical storm season. And no matter what else happens, drought in NM.
Still the question gnawed at me. What was up?

Weather Channel blames air flow around high pressure system to the north.

I started playing with the animated GIFs here for the first half of August:

Offhand, it looks like pattern of Rossby waves is more vigorous this summer than in summers recently passed. Are temperature gradients increasing? The usual protection South Carolina enjoys from cold weather in the summer has broken down.

Interestingly, despite previous ice melt, the summer appears to have been unusually short this year in the Arctic.

So, those two observations would be consistent. But why the recovery in the Arctic? Climate feedbacks should operate in the other direction, and there was the bizarre vortex splitting earlier this summer that occurs only every 20 years, or so.

Ain’t weather grand? Whatever it is, I’m sure the cosmic reason for all the changes is to screw New Mexico out of rain. That’s the ultimate reason for everything. Nature decided to go all medieval and will do whatever is necessary to break the place.

August 15, 2013, 12Z (7 am EST). High over Ohio is about 1023 mb. Vigorous flow from the NE. Cold air funneling from New England.

August 12, 2011, 12Z (7 am EST): High over Ohio is about 1017 mb. Similar to 2013 situation, but weaker.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Madness Of Squirrels

I decided to water the embankment in front of my house at 1:10 a.m. (The sprinklers don't reach there and it's so nice and peaceful out.)

A fluttering caught the corner of my eye. It was a squirrel on the sidewalk. It was carefully, methodically, and relentlessly chasing its tail. Sometimes it would stop, wave its head side to side like it was disoriented, and then continue chasing its tail.

I was seriously-spooked by the possibility of illness or injury.

Last I saw the squirrel, it had tumbled down the embankment and was chasing its tail in the gutter. In the morning, I went out to find the squirrel - I figured it would be easy since it wasn't going anywhere - but it had vanished.

Gabe says it's a metaphor for my life: going around in circles. He also suggested: "It's like that marvelous Boris Karloff film, 'The Juggler of Our Lady' (1958). Remember that?:
Medieval times. A juggler has little success making a living; he puts on a hair shirt and becomes an ascetic, but attracts only other ascetics. Finally, in desperation, he becomes a monk. He visits the other monks, who all glorify the Lady with their skills: cooking, painting, sculpture, etc. He tries helping them, but botches it. A festival is held for the Lady, and each of the monks offers his gift, but the juggler has nothing. Frustrated, he juggles for her, all night, alone.
So, this is the gift of the squirrel?

I like the idea of a metaphor from the heavens the best:  going around in circles.

More, More More - Andrea True Connection

Last night, they featured this song by former porn star Andrea True on a documentary called "Inside Deep Throat". The refrain was surprisingly effective at establishing the entire atmosphere of the mid-1970's. The zeitgeist of 1976 hinged on this song. And they interviewed Andrea True too, the particular angel who controlled the entire zeitgeist of that entire wonderful decade, and she shrugged her shoulders and said something like:
"More. More. More. How do you like it? How do you like your love?" That's all there was.
Sometimes I wish I was back in the mid-1970's. Best. Era. Ever.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time For The Semi-Annual Clogged Sewer Line

I knew things were working too well this summer.

Fighting Toolbars And Extensions And Malware

Oh my!

Unusual Leaf Fall

A new golden patch on the back lawn.  It's from a small cotton wood tree in my back yard.  Suddenly it's dropping most of its leaves. 

I wonder if it's related to the small shock of losing water last week.  What happened is that the transformer for the sprinkler system burned out last week, and before I realized there was a problem, the sprinklers failed to function for several days, causing a shock to the landscaping.  Then, I over-compensated, accidentally double-watering every day for the next four days.  I wouldn't think an established tree would even notice the perturbations, but whatever the cause, the leaves are falling fast.

The eucalyptus tree next door decided to offload a bunch of leaves too. That tree has grown so tall in just a few years. It worries me for the future. What goes up must come down - but where? On my bedroom?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Delbert McClinton - Shaky Ground

Says what Hank can't!

Vote For Corina!

Vote for Corina Bianca for Sacramento Kings Dancer, because she's a great dancer, and because she's Corina, and because she's nice. (Voting at the link.)

Corina is part of the Hip-Hop/Fierce Funk/Fitness crowd at Pepper Von's.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The "Breaking Bad" Beggar Rides Again

Happy for the return of "Breaking Bad"! On behalf of the BrBa fan community I'll continue with the effort to identify and catalog filming locations, together with "OldeSaultie" (Sven Joli) on maps, and the able assistance of Marq-Ed Smith-Candelaria and Miguel S. Jaramillo, and their respective fan communities. (This year's filming was great, because there were finally enough fans on the ground to crowd-swarm locations, so we know far more than usual at this point in the season.) I'll also tell meandering old-man stories about these locations, whether I remember them, or not (or, better yet, forget and tell the same stories twice).

Yes, I am the original Breaking Bad Beggar:

Imagine Dragons - Radioactive

This is one of those songs I don't like much, but which has a fantastic video - specifically a kind of puppet cock-fight.

The Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be

I didn't realize Black-Eyed Peas had a video to this song. I just like the junkyard, and Fergie's walk.