Monday, June 19, 2017

Woodland turkey, With Four Chicks

George Zoritch: So Grateful For Him!

This is delightful! Someone posted a YouTube video of some of my first ballet instructor's Hollywood performances!

George Zoritch danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for many years, and appeared in several motion picture musicals in the Forties (the closing credits of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" feature a duet with him), before running his own ballet studio in Los Angeles, and moving to Tucson to teach at the University of Arizona. He was interviewed in the 2005 documentary "Ballets Russes", where the great ballerina Maria Tallchief described him as, by far, the "most-handsome man I had ever seen!"

Since many Ballet Russe dancers were physically gifted and lived disciplined lives, they lived a long time, and had a vast influence. I was surprised, and vastly-pleased, to learn one of Jessica Arena's instructors in Marin County was the phenomenal Ballet Russe dancer, Marc Platt. Indeed, Jessica herself appears for a few seconds with Platt in the film "Ballets Russes".


Grumpy on a hot evening.

I'm unhappy, mostly because the Police Department has a portable Diesel Generator running in front of my house, in order to power camera equipment watching the speed humps there. I don't know why they are watching the speed humps. The speed humps seem to work fine and they don't move around much, but the police need to watch them anyway. As an air quality modeler, I'm aware of just how high concentrations of air toxics can be around portable Diesel Generators. My house reeks of exhaust. I posted a complaint just below the police decal asking where their permit is. It makes me grumpy.

I went out front to water plants at 1:45 a.m. A raccoon with a sleek furry look approached me from behind some shrubbery. I spun around and aimed the hose at the raccoon. The raccoon flinched and retreated. The raccoon stared at me from a distance, looking grumpy, before ambling sullenly away.

Grumpy is contagious on a hot evening.

If a Tree Falls On Fair Oaks Blvd., Everyone Can Hear It

On hot days like these have been, there are weird infrastructure fails, like power outages. Sometimes people fail. Early Saturday evening, a tree blocked Fair Oaks Blvd. Somebody lost their bearings in the heat and drove into it?

Spare the Rod?

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call abut 9 a.m. reporting a mother attacking her child at Centerville beach near Ferndale. The caller said the mother was attempting to perform an exorcism. She had stripped the child naked and was shoving handfuls of sand in the youngster’s eyes and mouth, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. The woman reportedly stated that she was trying to remove demons from the child.

...The alleged assault was witnessed by a crowd of 10 to 12 people, the news release said. A local resident, John Marciel, stepped in and tried to restrain Felder. He struggled with her on the ground as Felder continued to attack the child, hitting the youngster in the head with a piece of driftwood, according to the news release.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived a short time later, pulled Felder away from the child and placed her in handcuffs.

...Felder was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse and aggravated mayhem.

The Sheriff’s Office commended Marciel for intervening, saying he likely prevented the youngster from being killed. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting that Marciel be recognized with the Red Cross Life Saving Award for his actions, the news release said.

"All Eyez On Me"

Movie selection has been wretched for months. The Tupac biopic, "All Eyez on Me," premiering tonight, is the first glimmer of light for a while. I'm not even a Tupac fan. I just want to see a non-stupid movie.

I'm cooling my heels for the moment. I got the last ticket, but not for the 9:00 show, but the 10:40 show. This film is shaping up to be POPULAR!

This renovated theater is something else!

Curious movie. Curious redone theater. Tall seats made it seem empty even though it was full. Sacramento County Sheriffs in the lobby. A little overacted for my taste. Tupac was a mass of contradictions. My understanding of rap history is pretty sketchy, so like Adam foretold, I was befuddled at times. Glad they delved into the Black Panther mind set - people forget those days too easily. Smiled when the audience laughed at the appearance of Snoop Dogg. Smiled more at Digital Underground: I had no idea Tupac was with them. The Humpty Dance reminds of a street corner in Salt Lake City - Mormonland, 1990! Like it was yesterday! Thought I recognized one of the extras, but there's no trace of credits for extras I can find on the Internet. I hope it was her. Love Vegas, even under dark circumstances. In any event, the movie is kind of a first - a major-release historical rap biopic, and for that reason alone will be a big hit.

Southern Baptists Do The Right Thing, But In a Really Strange Way

I was pleased with the Southern Baptist resolution at their convention against the Alt-Right. The resolution caused confusion, however, because a majority of the delegates had never heard of the Alt-Right (!!!). They had to learn about the Alt-Right on the fly from repugnant Alt-Right attacks on the Southern Baptist Twitter feed (!!!!!!):
Trying to reorient America’s largest Protestant denomination has not been an easy matter for anti-racist advocates. They have been helped along by necessity: There has been a major decline in religiosity among white Americans (who remain by far the largest demographic among Southern Baptists) and also an influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries where Evangelical Christianity has flourished in recent years.

Faced with a very real struggle to maintain the Southern Baptists’ membership and ministerial mission in a country that is extremely different from the segregationist South once defended by the likes of Jerry Falwell Sr., internal crusaders like Russell Moore, president of the denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Center, have sought to remake the church into a place for people of all races.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lawyerly Advice

A Facebook friend who is a lawyer writes (lightly-edited):
Trump is so screwed if he keeps tweeting about the Russia investigation. I have hundreds of stories where "innocent" remarks, or even denials, got people convicted. I once represented a client who burglarized a residence and a road house with a juvenile accomplice. The kid confessed and ratted. But we had a complete defense: you may not convict based on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice alone. Unfortunately, when they were releasing my client, the releasing officer said "You really did the road house burglary, didn't you?" to which my smart-ass little client replied, sarcastically, "Yeah, sure!" At trial, I objected to introduction of this statement on the grounds that it was not an admission, but functionally a denial. The judge, with a slight smile, said, "Unfortunately, it's up to the jury to decide how he meant it."

The jury convicted, of course. We appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the residential burglary - no corroboration. They upheld the conviction for the road house burglary - the jury could have taken his statement as an admission thus sufficient corroboration. Justice was done.

If you are being investigated for a crime, shut up. Don't say you did it. Don't say you didn't do it. Don't say you were in Poughkeepsie. Just shut up.

Reaping the Whirlwind

I am remarkably pleased with recent events. The proper response delivered to the proper people, for once.

Do these guys think they can keep gun laws loose and strip health insurance from more than 20 million people, causing the early death of tens of thousands, just to provide tax cuts to their rich campaign contributors, and not be held accountable? Apparently so.

These days, with the red-blue divide, vote-suppression, and gerrymandering, Republican politicians are insulated to a remarkable extent from political challenge. No group of politicians has been as insulated from challenge in American history, ever. They can "fire a gun down 5th Avenue," and no one cares. They are Supermen. So, Rand can blubber about slavery in his narcissistic Libertarian way, just like all Libertarians do, as if that's even relevant to anything in the real world. But there are still ways to break through that bubble, as Rand himself experienced. The only question is whether he's learned anything.

I doubt it. We are at the beginning of a long educational process.

Classic Cars of Hollywood

Don't Let Them Out of the House

CORE- Lost Angles

The folks at CORE are the very best!

Plus, this work is very congenial to the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul aesthetic, with which I'm currently deeply preoccupied as I prepare my revised "Guidebook to Breaking Bad Filming Locations."
You could be a wolf one day
Just howling away
Don’t you look at me though
‘Cause I'm fine
I would never hurt you
You're how I get through
There's a reason
That people move
Or people don't
People change or people
Stay the same completely
When it's such a
It's such a shortened life
So why accumulate it
Only then to leave it
Is it better

Plus, it's nice to see Taylor Payne dancing. I've seen her dancing since she was a tween.

Choreography by Jared Baker
Videography by Andrea Cavaliere
Music by James Vincent McMorrow

Facebook is Coming For You

Mystified by Facebook. Nine months ago, I reported someone. Just now, they were chastised: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have warned the reported account against this type of behavior, and we kept your report anonymous. If they continue this behavior, their account may be blocked."

Watch out! Facebook will block you! Sometime after the next Olympics, maybe.

Complicit Productions Presents!

Excellent Time at Margaret's Crowdfunding Dance Day Special

New Ways to Look at the Old Problem Measuring Snowpacks

This is a superb article about new methods to measure the water content of snowpacks. There are lots of variables and current snowpack surveys don't always capture them:
The sampler is marked like a ruler on the outside to measure snow depth, while its hollow center digs out a “core” of snow. That snow is then weighed to determine how much water it contains.

“Manual measurements are still the backbone of the program and will be for the foreseeable future,” Gehrke said.

The technique has worked for more than a century, state water managers say, but it’s not 100% accurate. Since the surveyor must force the tube into the powder, the snow is compressed and over-sampled by about 10%, said Ned Bair, a UC Santa Barbara hydrologist.

The sampler is used on some 250 “snow courses,” or areas where folks like Gehrke and Armstrong will dip it into the snow 10 to 15 times along a 300-meter path.

The snow courses sometimes overlap with decades-old snow telemetry, or SNOTEL, stations. These sites use ultrasonic sensors to measure snow depth and large, antifreeze-filled bladders, or “snow pillows,” to measure the weight of snow gathered on top of them.

SNOTEL stations aren’t foolproof though. They can be smashed by falling trees or avalanches, or damaged by curious bears. The stations also generate inaccurate data when ice forms over a pillow and causes inaccurate weight readings, Armstrong said.

Estimation errors have also become more frequent in recent years, because none of California’s snow courses or SNOTEL sites are located above 12,000 feet altitude — a zone that is increasingly experiencing late-season snowmelt because of climate change.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"The Man With Icy Eyes"

Here is an unusual piece of Italian film noir, "The Man With Icy Eyes," filmed in Albuquerque in 1971, and starring Victor Buono and the beautiful Barbara Bouchet. The film shows many BrBa and BCS filming sites back in the days when neon signs still dominated Central Ave. For example, at the start of the film, the first victim dies at the house directly behind Jesse's (and briefly seen in BrBa). The framed shooter flees in a panic, and tries to run behind Chuck's House. Then there is the Courthouse too.

It's amusing how the needs of Hollywood don't change. They all look for a settled, wealthy, professional or upper-class neighborhood. In Albuquerque, that means they gravitate to the same suite of 20 or 30 homes, decade in and decade out.

I'm amused by the Italian-accented Spanish accents. I was intrigued when a witness suddenly gets a stroke and sits mute in a wheelchair (1:03:30). I wonder if this film influenced the development of Hector Salamanca's character?

There are many personal touchstones: sitting in a sidewalk cafe on a frigid day (a stone's throw from where my mom started working in 1972), a glimpse of Lerners Shops (where I worked in 1974), and a wrestling poster featuring my childhood idol, Ricky Romero. Plus, the bad guys share my name.

The offices of a long-defunct newspaper, the Albuquerque News, were used for the Albuquerque Sentinel. When I was in high school, the father of a friend was a reporter there. We sometimes got advance info about the movements of politicians from him. No one seems to remember that newspaper anymore, even though it wasn't that long ago. Google was useless. The building is now gone. I had to query a website of Albuquerque antiquarians ("Albuquerque Memories") to find even one soul who remembered where that place formerly was.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

From the Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox

Republicans Turning the Senate Into a Joke

That's a Mama Dove!

Continuing to paint out front. Finishing the job might be problematic, though. It slowly dawned on me that the dove in the nest is not a baby. That's a mama dove, which means that baby won't be out of the nest for quite a while yet.

Happy Hummingbirds

Raccoon on the Roof

Raccoon on the roof; raccoon on the roof,
Ninja fur ball sneaking fast like a goof,
Your mask does not fit,
Breath like demon's pit,
Soon every dog will resound with a woof.

Julia has a follow-up:

Racoon on the roof, a sad refrain,
His nightly sojourns make me insane,
Across the shingles He patters,
But what really matters,
At least it's not snakes on a plane!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Kansas - Complete Repudiation of Republican Tax Policy

At the hands of desperate Republicans:
The legislation ends the “march to zero” income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor…

...The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto…

...The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.
...This isn’t just a humiliation for Sam Brownback, it’s a complete repudiation of his two terms as governor delivered by members of his own party who resent him for making the whole state “a laughing stock.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Patriotic Hero

Reality Leigh Winner is a patriotic hero in the war against Russian control of the U.S., and for that reason, the U.S. Government will do everything in its power to bury her in prison forever:
Reports quickly emerged following the Justice Department’s issuance of a press release in the case that Winner is allegedly the source of a leaked NSA report published Monday afternoon by The Intercept documenting Russian military intelligence attempts to hack a U.S. voter registration software company and more than 100 local election officials. The NSA document is dated May 5, 2017, and the affidavit for Winner’s arrest alleges she “printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information and was dated on or about May 5, 2017.”

Draw Your Own Conclusions

So, Russian Hackers Went After Voting Machines After All!

Can one say illegitimate election?:
Though the report does not draw any conclusions on whether the cyberattack influenced the outcome of the election, it is the first piece of evidence that has come to light that not only did Russian hackers meddle in the 2016 election by stealing and distribute damaging campaign communications, but also went after America’s election infrastructure itself.

What's Up With This Insistent Dove Trying To Fly Up Under The Eaves?

Oh! Mama and baby! (Or mama and daddy.) I'll have to delay painting up there until baby is fledged!

I See Your Problem

It's Fun Seeing California Birds This Spring

Puzzled by the behavior of a pair of doves (here's one). They seemed to be house-hunting in an ivy-covered tree killed by the drought. They are usually shy, but the tree they're looking at is so close to people!

No One Wants To Be Trump's Lawyer

Better Call Saul:
Under ordinary circumstances, I can’t think of anything more prestigious for a law firm than to be able to say that when the shit hits the fan, they’re the ones who take the call from the president. But, with this president, they’re not even confident that the client won’t stiff them on their bill. They’re also savvy enough to realize that the Trump Organization is up to its ears in money laundering and that this will create a conflict with the large banking institutions they represent. And Trump is so toxic, guilty, and unsympathetic that simply advocating on his behalf would cause people to shun and disdain their whole organization. Plus, they’d lose the case anyway in part because their advice wouldn’t be followed. The result is that Trump is trying to use his divorce attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him in a counterintelligence investigation that has the highest political stakes.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Miranda Lambert - Mama's Broken Heart

Clever song:

Covfefe - The Broadway Medley

The Bird Family Says "Get Lost"

Some kind of a Flycatcher has been dogging me, with similar birds - its babies - in the distance. Am I in their personal space? I guess so.

I've never noticed these birds before. Clearly, dominance is a zero-sum game for the mama bird. But what kind of bird is it? A Black Phoebe, maybe?

Continuing to Paint

And paint. Small brush; large house. Working on front porch intricacies. Addison, the dog next door came over to help.

Ron in Reno offered his paint sprayer. Brush is OK for the south side, but tempted about the east and west sides.

Surreptitious Acts and Baffled Crabs

Too weird?:
A leading marine biologist interviewed about the case pointed out that the most likely cause for the crab biting the woman's vagina was that it may have mistaken it for an oyster. "In many ways, both in visual appearance and smell, the female genitals are very similar to oysters and other molluscs. Horn-eyed ghost crabs are usually very shy and don't approach humans unless threatened, so the obvious conclusion is a case of mistaken identity."

Aftermath Services

Friday was a hard day across the street. The Cleaners were hard at work.

The company is called Aftermath Services.

Recent Theater and Movie Notes

I saw a several local theater shows, and a movie, in recent weeks, but I didn't mention them at all in the blog. They deserve a mention.

I saw "James and the Giant Peach" at DMTC (05/20/17). Well done. Jack Driggers, Jack Jessen, and Amaralyn Ewey do so well.

I saw "Guys and Dolls" at the Woodland Opera House (05/20/17). Wonderful show! In particular, I liked Eimi Taormina's timing as she sang 'Adelaide's Lament.' Just exquisite! There were a few pacing difficulties at times. A little slow and ponderous. I was puzzled by the decision to put ladies in the sewer scene. I've always liked the idea of having a Lady Luck: Kris Farhood did well.

Saw "Grand Hotel" at Green Valley Theater Company (05/26/17). My initial impression was this was a Titanic that refused to sink. I found the situations absurd. Most absurd of all was Kevin Caravalho as the terminal tubercular Jewish man who chooses one last go-around at life by staying at the hotel. Absurd! Yet, there was Kevin, looking like the healthiest terminal man in the world, and clearly enjoying himself. Kevin's smiling; why aren't you? So, I relaxed and stopped worrying about it. After that, I enjoyed myself much more. Mark Ettensohn and Melody Payne were quite good.

There has been a dreadful dearth of good movies lately. Everyone wanted to see "Guardians of the Galaxy 2." I thought, "no, no, this will be dreadful." But I went anyway (06/03/17). It was pretty bad, but I enjoyed it anyway. Puzzled by the mid-1970's soundtrack. Drax had the best lines.

Friday, June 02, 2017

If We Focus, We Can Do Better Than the Paris Accords

An important thing to remember is international accords are meaningless unless people watch their own energy use. Climate change is a problem of CO2 accumulation, and accumulating CO2 slowly is almost as bad as accumulating it quickly. Despite Trump's short-sightedness, if we transition away from fossil fuels, we can do better than the Paris accords, and defy Trump too.

Trump finally signs his Energy Independence Executive Order

Take a Look at the List of Words She Had to Get Right to Win

Wow! “Gargouillade,” “cuivre,” “dasein,” “nuraghe,” “shyana,” “arribada,” etc., etc.
Ananya, a three-time California State Elementary Spelling Bee champion, was among an elite group of 15 spellers competing Thursday in the nail-biting finalist rounds – three from Texas, two from California and one each from North Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Jersey.

The 12-year-old Fresno, California, girl, who attends Fugman Elementary School in Clovis Unified School District, first competed in the National Spelling Bee in 2016, qualifying out of the Fresno County Spell-Off that’s sponsored by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools office in partnership with The Fresno Bee.

Neighborhood Disaster

At first, I didn't pay much attention. At midnight, I noticed there were two cop cars across the street. I hadn't met the new neighbors across the street. Maybe another time.

By 2 a.m., however, there were other vehicles there too. In particular, a large, black van.

They wheeled a stretcher into the house. They wheeled out the stretcher with a body, and put it into the van. The van did not look like a private funeral-home vehicle. It had an official, police look. So maybe not an expected death.

My mind was spinning. There was an unexplained event Wednesday afternoon. Two men I didn't recognize passed nearby and vanished into my immediate neighbor's yard. Nevertheless, I had no idea if the events were related. Maybe nothing.

The following morning, I did have a chance to speak to the two mysterious men. They were fine - there's an Air BNB rental next door, and they were guests. There was lots of auto traffic across the street. People coming and going.

And here it is:
South Command

17-153551 (Casualty Report): 2700 block of Florence Pl at 0020 hours.

Officers responded for a medical aid call. Officers arrived and contacted the caller who stated she found her adult son on his bedroom floor. Officers located the victim and determined he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was deceased. The coroner responded and took over the investigation as there were no signs of foul play.

A silent plague. So sad....

As Long As The Republican Fuckers Don't Apologize For Ted Nugent, I Want A Whole Collection of Bloody Heads

Mein Covfefe


When I'm late feeding the pigeons, the pigeons come looking for me. They gather where they can see my back door, and look for signs.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Flying Over the Martian Landscape

John sends this!:

A FICTIVE FLIGHT ABOVE REAL MARS from Jan Fröjdman on Vimeo.

The Words People Have the Most Trouble Spelling, by State

People in New Mexico have trouble with "banana"; people in Nevada, "available." People in Rhode Island have trouble with "liar"; people in Wisconsin, "Wisconsin."

Painted the Back Porch

The Moon Rock glows even in the event of a power failure. I'll have to replace some rotten wood on a support, but for today, just paint it.

Curiosity Captures Florida Man

A man accused of stealing a smartphone made a mistake when he answered a FaceTime call on the phone, Florida authorities say.

The call came from an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who snapped a photo of Chandler Ridge Carlyle, 18, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., when he answered, reports the sheriff’s office on Facebook. The deputy showed the photo the phone’s owner, who identified Carlyle as the person who took his phone.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

People in New Mexico Are Prone to This Brain Illness

A new study suggests that a type of bacteria that lives in the gut may trigger disease among people with the mutation, which is more common in New Mexico than anywhere else in the world.

The mutation, brought to New Mexico centuries ago by an early Hispanic settler, can lead to an illness called cavernous cranial malformation, or CCM. It can cause bleeding in the brain and lead to strokes and seizures.

Don't Stick Your Head in a Particle Accelerator

This is what happened to the scientist who stuck his head inside a particle accelerator:
And on July 13, 1978, a Soviet scientist named Anatoli Bugorski stuck his head in a particle accelerator. On that fateful day, Bugorski was checking malfunctioning equipment on the U-70 synchrotron—the largest particle accelerator in the Soviet Union—when a safety mechanism failed and a beam of protons traveling at nearly the speed of light passed straight through his head, Phineas Gage-style. ... Although proton therapy—a cancer treatment that uses proton beams to destroy tumors—was pioneered before Bugorski’s accident, the energy of these beams is generally not above 250 million electron volts (a unit of energy used for small particles). Bugorski might have experienced the full wrath of a beam with more than 300 times this much energy, 76 billion electron volts.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Great Article on "Breaking Bad"

Best show ever!:
“Breaking Bad” is not just the chronicle of an individual’s breakdown, but a global map of modern Western civilization: from its roots in a Lockean/Newtonian liberalism founded in empiricism and hands-on innovation all the way to its contemporary denouement in an abstract capitalism of runaway corporations unresponsive to human ideals. The series unflaggingly maintains the highest cinematographic standards — at the level of a Buñuel, Godard or Antonioni — for not just a couple of hours but for more than 60 hours. In doing so, it translates the abstract chronicle of the rise and fall of empire, and of the various classes of people who are part of it, into visual material that will outlast its moment.

My Thinking Exactly


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Meth House

Roll of the Dice

White Sands Dust Storm

Pretty awesome! (unless you are in the plume, of course.):
The dust plumes in this astronaut photograph stretch more than 120 kilometers (74 miles). The vigor of the winds also can be judged from the fact that they are lifting dust particles from the valley floor to more than 1200 meters over the mountains. The winds channel the dust through a low point in the mountains, about 800 meters lower than the ridge crests to north and south (image right).

Married a Train Station

California woman finds happiness. "I can never leave San Diego, because my lover is here."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jupiter Surprises

Many scientists had also supposed that Jupiter’s beautiful bands were really only skin-deep, and that there was little structure deeper within the planet. That turned out to be off, too.

The Juno Microwave Radiometer, which probed hundreds of kilometers beneath the surface, found a remarkable level of organization — including a strange band of ammonia sitting right above the equator that extends deep into the planet. Just how deep remains unclear.

“What’s always been assumed is that as soon as we drop below the cloud tops where the sunlight can’t get to, that Jupiter inside would be kind of boring and all uniform and everything would be mixed together and it wouldn’t matter where you looked, it would all look the same,” Bolton said. “It turns out it’s exactly the opposite.”

In fact, this band of ammonia seems to have dynamics somewhat reminiscent of an atmospheric circulation pattern on Earth known as a Hadley Cell — even though that pattern requires a surface like Earth’s land or oceans to work. Jupiter has no such known surfaces, as far as researchers know.

“You have to question now whether what we’re seeing now is a general feature of all planetary atmospheres, or is it just a coincidence?” Bolton said. “Or does this equatorial band go so deep that it gets to some kind of transition region really far down in Jupiter?”

Vaguebooking, For Now

The Family Slave

Slavery is one of the oldest of human institutions. It's still very much alive in America:
I let her words sink in. Then I came back at her, saying she would know all about being a phony, her whole life was a masquerade, and if she stopped feeling sorry for herself for one minute she’d see that Lola could barely eat because her goddamn teeth were rotting out of her goddamn head, and couldn’t she think of her just this once as a real person instead of a slave kept alive to serve her?

“A slave,” Mom said, weighing the word. “A slave?”

The night ended when she declared that I would never understand her relationship with Lola. Never. Her voice was so guttural and pained that thinking of it even now, so many years later, feels like a punch to the stomach. It’s a terrible thing to hate your own mother, and that night I did. The look in her eyes made clear that she felt the same way about me.

Jellybeans Have Sugar?

Who would have thought?:
Jessica Gomez filed a suit in a California court because these jelly beans, which are marketed toward helping athletic performance, are loaded with sugar – a fact she wasn’t aware of when purchasing the beans.

A Goofy Mother Road Kind of Song

"Bond - James Bond"

Cultural Appropriation

How do I feel about this? How do I feel? I don't know how I feel about this. We're squarely in the Iggy Azalea zone, where up is down, and left is right. I just wonder if its cutthroat Portland taco-truck competition kneecapping the competition?:
For the first few months, the weekend pop-up shop housed in an taco truck was a smash hit. It gained so much popularity, a local weekly newspaper decided to profile the entrepreneurial duo.

But that's when the trouble started for Wilgus and Connelly, after quotes they gave to the Williamette Week led to them being accused of stealing their success.

Explaining their trip, Connelly told the newspaper: 'I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did.

'In Puerto Nuevo, you can eat $5 lobster on the beach, which they give you with this bucket of tortillas. They are handmade flour tortillas that are stretchy and a little buttery, and best of all, unlimited.

'They wouldn't tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn't quite that easy.'

Those comments were latched onto by a food blog in the Portland Mercury, which accused Wilgus and Connelly of 'preying' on the women they met in Mexico.

Painting Projects Commence

After stalling for a month, I finally started this year's painting projects. Starting small, by first rejuvenating the 'Moonrock' tint on the back porch.

Welcome to Patribotics

Amused and alarmed by the arrival of this left-wing Breitbart wannabe. Mensch is an opportunistic libertarian British ex-pat, but these days, all the opportunities are on the Left. It figures an American liberal wouldn't know how to seize the opportunity:
That push-pull between belief and dismissiveness hints at a crossroads for liberals in the age of Trump. Unlike the fringy right, which has long relied on sites like Infowars and Breitbart to ratify its dreams and fears, the left lacks a well-developed infrastructure for spreading toxic and intoxicating innuendo. But progressives are angry and scared. They do seek out the pleasures of outrage and worldview confirmation. No political moment since at least the Nixon presidency has provided such fertile ground for conspiracy theories. ... Mensch’s scoops defy common sense and make a mockery of U.S. institutions. But so does Trump. Even her most tenuously sourced, outrageous tales feel like they’re on the cusp of tipping over into truth.

I'm Here For You

Equal-Opportunity Slayer

Wow, This Fire in Atwater was Quite the Hollywood Disaster!

Overturned gasoline tanker truck:
"I was running, I kind of stopped, I second guessed myself, because if I turned on the car, the fumes would have got in and I would have exploded."

CHP officers said the tanker was carrying 8,100 gallons of oil when it crashed-- the driver died on scene.

OK, GOP, Your Candidate on Today's Ballot is a Thug

How do you justify it?:
Gianforte violated that pledge when he attacked a reporter for doing his job Wednesday night. As readers of the Missoulian know, Gianforte had repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would support the House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act because he wanted to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to assess its impact.

Wednesday afternoon, the CBO issued its report, showing that millions of people across the United States — and thousands here in Montana — would lose health care coverage under the GOP plan.

A reporter for the Guardian newspaper, a respected British publication with a broad following in the United States, walked into a room in Bozeman where Fox News was setting up for an interview and asked the candidate what he thought of the budget office report, noting that Gianforte had said he was waiting for those numbers.

An audiotape of the encounter shows the question was followed by a loud crash that a Fox News reporter who was in the room said was caused when Gianforte put both hands around the throat of the reporter, threw him to the ground and then began punching him.

Gianforte Attacks the Reporter ON PURPOSE!

Our democracy continues to go down in flames:
Gianforte himself can be dismissed as an outlier. Last month, he joked with a Christian group about attacking a reporter—and, in that instance, apologized. What’s more worrisome than Gianforte is that the Republican Party has created an entire partisan infrastructure that is so heavily indoctrinated, they will defend a candidate no matter what.

Facebook "Dark Posts"

I found this article particularly interesting, how the Trump campaign used Facebook "Dark Posts" to selectively turn off critical parts of the Democratic electorate. Dark posts, invisible to all but the recipient, were originally meant to allow advertisers to try out different creative variations on ad campaigns. They are perfect for political campaigns, where you can design a blizzard of micro ads for "whatever squirrel everyone chases."

Certain portions of the Democratic electorate were easy to target: 1.) Bernie supporters (DNC outrage), 2.) young women (easily-manipulated by ads targeting Bill Clinton), 3.) African-Americans (targeted with ads stressing Hillary's "super-predator" remarks from the 90's). And it worked like a charm!:
Parscale’s strategy of using Facebook’s “dark posts” also turned out to matter, enabling the Trump campaign to attack Clinton with targeted negative ads that flew below the public radar. Dark posts are not illegal. They are not necessarily “dark.” Unlike a regular Facebook advertisement, which appears on one’s timeline and can be seen by one’s friends, dark posts are invisible to everyone but the recipient. Facebook promotes them as “unpublished” posts that “allow you to test different creative variations with specific audiences without overloading people on your Page with non-relevant or repetitive messages.”

Phrased this way, dark posts sound benign, even benevolent. Parscale and his crew had other ideas. Facebook dark posts, used in tandem with more traditional attack ads, were part of the Trump team’s concerted effort to dissuade potential Clinton voters from showing up at the polls. (In March, Cambridge Analytica won an Advertising Research Foundation David Ogilvy Award for its “Can’t Run Her House” ad, which used a clip from the 2008 Democratic primary of Michelle Obama criticizing Clinton.)

“We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” a senior campaign official told Bloomberg’s Green and Issenberg. One targeted idealistic white liberals—primarily Bernie Sanders’s supporters; another was aimed at young women—hence the procession of women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed by the candidate herself; and a third went after African-Americans in urban centers where Democrats traditionally have had high voter turnout. One dark post featured a South Park–like animation narrated by Hillary Clinton, using her 1996 remarks about President Bill Clinton’s anti-crime initiative in which she called certain young black men “super predators” who had to be brought “to heel.”


This Is The Real Price of Fake News

Hard to believe that James Comey chose to believe this document of Russian origin. History changed because of it. What a chump he was! But it also means Russia basically runs the U.S. now. We do what they tell us and believe what they say:
The Russian document cited a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter. If true, the revelation of such an understanding would have undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation.

Current and former officials have said that Comey relied on the document in making his July decision to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.

But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau. The Americans mentioned in the Russian document insist they do not know each other, do not speak to each other and never had any conversations remotely like the ones described in the document.

No End of Crap from the FOX People

First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’

Arabs Pay Attention

Trump is learning his ABC's in the Middle East political bazaar. Now THOSE guys REALLY pay attention to the details! This is just sad:
A "peace process" will be set up, Jared Kushner will preside over a meeting or two, and Netanyahu will settle back and wait for some kind of bombing or other terror attack to declare that he tried but the Palestinians just can't be dealt with. Every neocon in America will immediately jump on the bandwagon and insist that this is the final straw. Things were so hopeful thanks to Trump's goodwill, but they bombed innocent women and children while Israel was earnestly trying to make peace! They're savages! Netanyahu will ask Trump for a statement of support, and of course Trump will provide it because terrorists are bad. And that will be that.

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.