Friday, June 17, 2016

Donald Trump Asks Judge Curiel For A Favor

Pretty please? With sugar on top?:
In a court filing late Wednesday night, Trump's attorneys argued explicitly for the first time that the deposition videos should be kept under wraps because they would become weapons in the ongoing presidential contest.

Tonight Is Opening Night of DMTC's "The Music Man"

I'm Stage Manager. Tend to my dance....

This Is EXACTLY Like Bella!

Thanks John B.! This is EXACTLY like Bella!

I Saw Cheeto Jesus On A Tortilla

This weekend, people were lined up hundreds deep to give blood to the victims of Orlando. Your Cheeto Jesus was praising himself.

Update 1 On Doghead Fire Perimeter Map

Doghead Fire perimeter map on 6/17/16.

Here is the update for 06/18/16:

Here is the update for 06/19/16:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gentle Snoring

I was in the bathroom, sitting and dreaming as usual, when I heard a gentle rhythmic noise. Someone was snoring, but who? I started searching and eventually traced the snoring to the back porch, to Bella, who I guess has that Sleep Apnea thing going.

Five seconds later, Bella was barking. That horrible mailman was trying to attack the house again. Somebody should do something about that.

Last night, Bella startled a raccoon hiding behind a tree. The raccoon rapidly scrambled up the trunk. Ten years ago, possums were all the rage. These days, where can't you find raccoons?

We went slightly out of our way last night and ended up at 15th and S Streets. I was surprised how run down that corner is. Closed and battered buildings, a demolished house, and an unexpected empty lot. Bella dragged me to a tall gate with a sign that read : "This Property Guarded by Smith & Wesson". I gently persuaded Bella to disregard her nose. No cats there, no sir.

Bella sure gets willful towards the end of her walks, tugging on the leash to the point of violence. Scent Is Strong! The Nose Is All!

We saw a nondescript man near the DMV where someone leaves food for the feral cats. Indeed, the food was fresh. Is this man the neighborhood's Cat Lady? Inquiring minds want to know!

"Breaking Bad" Filming Location Sites Vulnerable To Fire

(Image by Sam Moha)

"Breaking Bad" filming location sites seem unusually vulnerable to fire. Today, it's the Dog Head Fire. This photo was taken around 4 p.m., 06/16/16, in the immediate vicinity of the Ponderosa Bar and Grill, the setting of the New Hampshire bar in "Breaking Bad".

Current Doghead Fire Perimeter Map

Doghead Fire perimeter map on 6/16/16. See update for more recent maps.

Japanese Donald Trump Commercial

Japanese ad for Donald Trump (marred only by recalling that, along with Muslims, Mexicans, and Chinese, Trump hates the Japs too).

¡Ask a Mexican! Hearts Albuquerque

How ¡Ask a Mexican! Fell In Love With Albuquerque—And Why You Should, Too:
The city immediately electrified me. There were a lot of great touristy things to do—museums, concert venues, shopping, hikes—yet it was the gente that charmed me the most. The old-timers were rightfully proud of Albuquerque's history and hosting prowess, but the young folks knew they were on the cusp of something great and ready to let America know about it.

I've been back every year since, and ABQ gets even better all the time.

Get That Slug

America Is A Gun

Theory About My Driveway Light

The light above my driveway has been failing to trigger until 1 a.m. The light may be working just fine, but since we're near Summer Solstice, the urban sky might not be getting dark enough until very, very late.

"My Thoughts and Prayers Are With You"

©2016 Patt Kelley

Queen’s ‘Green Screen’ Dress

This story is awesome:
Queen’s ‘Green Screen’ Dress Starts A Hilarious Photoshop Battle

Behind "Sandcastles"

Interesting story:
"Berry was homeless when the song made its way to Beyonce last year, and uncertain how, or if, “Sandcastles” would be ever be used.

"When someone sings your song, it’s incredible," said Berry. "But when the biggest artist in the world sings your song, it’s really a defining moment for yourself that you know you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing.”

Hillary Clinton's Election To Lose

Presidential election looks like Hillary Clinton's to lose. The battleground will be the southern Atlantic seaboard, Midwest, and southwestern mountain states. The fact that Utah is a battleground state says a lot.

Not Ready For Primetime

It's still too early to give polls much weight, but Trump's mishandled reaction to the Orlando shooting appears to be costing him.

An Exceedingly-Rare Mole Was Spotted in Australia

Anyway, back to the karrkaratul. We were driving along a bush track on our way home when this little golden creature ran across the road in front of us. Yalti yelled out "karrkaratul" and jumped out as I stopped the car. We all crowded round as Yalti held this beautiful creature carefully in her hands, its powerful front feet trying to dig to safety. Walimpirri told us how he'd last seen one many years ago near Kiwirrkurra, and some of the Rangers said they'd never seen one. The ladies pointed out that the blind face, and told us they eat scorpions and centipedes amongst other things. After a few minutes of wonder we gently put it down away from the road and watched in awe as it dug straight down and disappeared.

Neocon Checklist Update

Endorsed Clinton: Max Boot, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, George Shultz, James Kirchick, Richard Armitage

Leaning Clinton: Charles Koch, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Condoleezza Rice, Noemie Emery, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Robert Gates, Rupert Murdoch

Just Miserable: William Kristol

Lindsey Graham's Response

I liked Lindsey Graham's smiling response to learning the Russians hacked all the DNC's opposition research on Donald Trump:
"Are you making that shit up?" Graham asked the reporter.

The reporter reassured him it was true.

"Really? " Graham asked again.

"Let me absorb that one and I'll get back to you."

The Logical Endpoint

The discussions regarding AR-15's & Orlando jogged a memory of reading Frank Herbert's Sci-Fi novel "Dune Messiah" many years ago, and of a specific passage about warrior technology and what a single armed warrior can do.

The Messiah, Paul Muad'Dib, urges his lieutenant Stilgar to read history:
"Stilgar," Paul said, "you urgently need a sense of balance which can come only from an understanding of long-term effects. What little information we have about the old times, the pittance of data which the Butlerians left us, Korba has brought it for you. Start with the Genghis Khan."

Ghengis... Khan? Was he of the Sardaukar, m'Lord?"

"Oh, long before that. He killed... perhaps four million."

He must've had formidable weaponry to kill that many, Sire. Lasbeams, perhaps, or..."

"He didn't kill them himself, Stil. He killed the way I kill, by sending out his legions. There's another emperor I want you to note in passing - a Hitler. He killed more than six million. Pretty good for those days.'

"Killed... by his legions?" Stilgar asked.


"Not very impressive statistics, m'Lord."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vaccination Time

It's June, which means it's Bella's birthday this month. She's nine years old, according to Joe the Plumber.

I figured it was time to take Bella for vaccinations. I knew Bella's records were with Dr. Ibrahim, the humble elderly vet of Egyptian birth who maintains a practice at Broadway Vet aimed at the low-income and destitute pet owners of Sacramento. So, off we went.

Dr. Ibrahim seemed slightly irritable when we arrived. He took a phone call, and muttered "That woman's vet wants $450 just for an office visit." He shrugged his shoulders in irritation and said "What is that, anyway?"

He checked my records and said, "Oh, you haven't been here in years. How is Cinnamon?" Cinnamon was a Chihuahua that Joe the Plumber found and gave to me, but she already had distemper and died a horrible death five years ago. Continuing on, Dr. Ibrahim looked at Joe the Plumber's records and said "Oh, I haven't seen - Bella? - in years. She needs vaccinations."

Dr. Ibrahim administered the shot. I thought Bella might have issues with her right ear. Dr, Ibrahim thought it looked OK to him. "Knock on wood, Bella looks very healthy, but according to my records she's ten years old." Since we both rely on the very fallible memory of Joe the Plumber, we'll probably never know for sure.

Bitch-Slapping The Washington Post

So Trump is bitch-slapping the Washington Post for the headline of this news story, and taking away their campaign press credentials. This temper tantrum will last about a day:
"Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting"

Pitching To Trump Donors

The most amusing Trump pitch yet to reluctant donors:
“Let me ask you one other question,” he said. “What if he wins?”

“Do you want Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs to be the secretary of state and Gary Busey to be on the Supreme Court?”

This, Scaramucci suggested, is what Republicans can expect if they don’t get on the Trump Train now.

But It's a Dry Heat

Turn the oven on high:
Summer in the Valley of the Sun: "If the temperature reaches 120 degrees in Phoenix on Sunday, it would be the tied with the third hottest day ever recorded in Phoenix and be the warmest temperature since July 28, 1995."

Can't Be Too Prepared

Never leave home without one:
WASHINGTON—Admitting he felt “scared and nervous” after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at an Orlando, FL nightclub, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre reportedly rushed out of his home early Monday to buy a congressman. “When I saw what happened in Orlando, I wanted to make sure that I was able to properly defend myself,” LaPierre told reporters after driving to the nearest congressional office to buy the most reliable and powerful legislator he could find.

Playing Defense in Utah

It's early, and so polls don't mean much yet (they won't begin to matter until next month), but Utah may be a bellwether. If Republicans have to use resources to play defense in Utah, that says a lot:
The new Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah poll is just the latest piece of evidence that Donald Trump has a major problem with the Mormon community. The survey of Utahns shows both Clinton and Trump tied at 35% and Libertarian Gary Johnson getting 13%.

Neocon Checklist

One of the pleasures of Donald Trump's candidacy is that he is so stupid that neocon intellectual heavyweights are announcing support for Hillary Clinton instead. So far, the checklist looks like this:

Endorsed Clinton: Max Boot, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, George Shultz, James Kirchick

Leaning Clinton: Charles Koch, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Condoleezza Rice, Noemie Emery, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Robert Gates, Rupert Murdoch

Just Miserable: William Kristol

Black Man in a Black Hoodie Has Got to Wait Somewhere Else

Bella's weekend walks were enjoyable. On Saturday night, we were walking on 21st Street and started passing two women standing by a pickup truck loaded with furniture parked on the opposite side of the street - sort of a latter-day Okie look - when their large, growling dog abruptly broke free, crossed the street, and started menacing Bella. The women shouted at their dog to return, but the dog wouldn't obey. Ordinarily, 21st Street is busy, and having a dog running all over the street would have courted disaster, but not at this late hour. Everybody kept their cool, we passed by, and no harm resulted.

Tonight, about 1:35 a.m., we were walking towards the light rail station, when we spotted a vaguely-scary stocky man in a black hoodie lurking up ahead. Passing cops did too. They whirled around, parked with flashing lights, got out with flashlights, approached him and asked "Remove your hand from your pocket." I'm thinking, "Do the cops know this guy? Because if he has a pistol in his pocket, then Bella and I are so close that we'll end up wearing police bullets too." I didn't hear what the soft-spoken stocky black man in a black hoodie said, but as we passed by, the cops were explaining the light rail schedule to him, and that it would be hours before a train arrived.

There has been a lot of discussion in metropolitan circles lately that, especially with the opening of the new arena in October, the city has to get as many people taking light rail as possible, but ridership is going down lately, and that maybe they need to be more vigilant about security near light rail stops to encourage ridership. The upshot is, the soft-spoken stocky black man in a black hoodie has got to wait somewhere else.

Half a block away, EMTs were loading a haggard-looking bearded man in his 30's into an ambulance. Not the best evening for him either.

At 2 a.m., at the all-night Mexican food place, five lanky, raven-haired and platinum-blonde beauties with painted-on jeans were preparing to order food. Angels of the evening. Dios mio! I wanted to ask, "do you prefer red or green chile?", or "do you like flan?", or maybe buy everyone a burrito. But, alas, I never carry money on these walks.....

We've Tried No Gun Control. Let's Try Gun Control Instead

In 2013, I was invited to Easter dinner in the country. I was surprised immediately after dinner when all the menfolk went outside to target shoot. Not wanting to be a disagreeable guest, I fired two shots at the target (near bulls-eye shots) with a Canadian-made, Para-Ordnance 40 caliber pistol. (I stopped shooting because my aim could only deteriorate.) I was even more surprised when they brought out an AR-15 assault rifle (like the one used in Orlando, but with a smaller, California-legal magazine, rather than the behemoth magazine popular with Florida mass killers). We didn't fire it, because it started raining.

I submit there is something seriously F****d up about society when one's first reaction to an Easter dinner invitation is to say "Great! Let's bring an assault rifle!" Americans are way, way too comfortable with lethal firepower.

There will always be reasons for people to want to kill other people. That is a constant in history. The only thing we can do as a society is make sure these angry people don't have the firepower. Like civilized societies all over the world already do.

Outsource and Automate Wall Street

The capitalist whirlwind is heading towards Wall Street too. Give the bastards a taste of their own medicine:
Squeezed by low interest rates, shrinking trading revenue, and nimbler technology-based competitors, banks are racing to remake themselves as digital companies to cut costs and better serve clients. In other words, they’re preparing for the day that machines made by men and women take over more of what used to be the sole province of humans: knowledge work. Call it self-disruption.

Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra 'Raising a Voice for the Arts' Fundraiser

SCSO's 20th Season Year-End Gala at Sacramento Convention Center Complex, Saturday evening, June 11, 2016.

Spent $110 on a heron garden placard and an 8-CD set of Liszt.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Local Elected Officials Gather At Rally In Support of Orlando Victims

The streets were blocked at 22nd and K Streets in Midtown Sacramento, heart of the local LGBT community, for this rally:

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty.

The dais held a number of local officials, including Jim Cooper, Kevin McCarty, Richard Pan, Jimmie Yee, and Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg.

Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg, flanked by Jim Cooper and Richard Pan.