Monday, March 01, 2021

Covid Status

New Covid cases appear to be nearing a bottom in the U.S. (but still at a pretty-high level - we need more vaccinations). Over the last two months, the UK and Spain seem to be the most-improved; Italy and Sweden are having worrisome upticks.

 

Saharan Spring

The 2020/21 rainy season fiasco continues, portending real troubles in the hot, hot summer to come, given that reservoirs are at about two-thirds capacity right now. 

Currently, rainfall at Sacramento Executive Airport's weather station is about 41% of average, making it even worse than for the 2013/14 rainy-season disaster, and the third-worst on record (since 1947). 

Interestingly, the current season not among the worst for the older Downtown Sacramento site. We had worse rainy seasons a hundred years ago. Today's closest parallel is to the 1927/28 rainy season.

Startled by the New Mexico State Flag Showing up in Lady Gaga's Video

Russian symbolism, and other cool stuff:

 

Telenovela Concept for Havana

I had heard the song before, but hadn't seen the video. Like it!

 

CPAC = Nazis

They know exactly what they are doing, and I wish the worst for them:
What makes the CPAC stage worse? Well, look at the two bottom legs.
Unlike the original Odal rune, those legs are not just straight lines. They have ‘branches’ extending from the base of the rune.
...The Germanic tribes and their Viking ancestors NEVER* carved those extra ‘branches’. I have seen images of EVERY PUBLISHED Elder Futhark carving/engraving known to archeology. NONE of them have those extra branches. That symbol on the CPAC stage originated with the Nazi Schutzstaffel — the criminal mass murderers of the Nazi SS. Probably started as a logo for the SS-Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt (the SS Race and Settlement Office) which policed the racial purity of the SS itself.

What's an Arsenal in a Quiet Residential Neighborhood?

A Surprise in Carmichael:
Video from LiveCopter 3 on Thursday showed deputies seizing a sizable amount of firearms from the Carmichael home. The sheriff's office in its latest release said it had seized about 30,000 AK-47 rounds; 5,000 AR-15 rounds; and tens of thousands of semiautomatic handgun rounds.
On top of the ammunition, the sheriff's office said 21 semiautomatic handguns, four revolvers, 18 rifles, three shotguns, three Polish-made grenade launchers, many armor-piercing rounds, silencers, equipment to make silencers and an array of ballistic safety equipment were also recovered from the home.
The sheriff's office said some of the weapons found in the home were modified to be considered assault rifles under California's penal code. The weaponry has since been moved as evidence into the sheriff's property warehouse.
Deputies first responded to Bodai's home in the 1400 block of Mission Avenue around 1:50 a.m. Thursday after he called dispatchers, himself, the sheriff's office said. Bodai had called saying that there were people in his house who were there to repair a gas leak but were instead eating his food and that he had them at gunpoint.
Dispatchers later in that call heard a gunshot fire off, and Bodai said he shot someone, the sheriff's office said. Deputies who arrived at the home -- with help from dispatch -- calmed Bodai and convinced him to walk outside. He was arrested without the situation escalating
...Bodai showed signs of a mental health crisis, and a gun violence restraining order was issued around 6 a.m., the sheriff's office said.
As the weapons were being seized, three sticks of dynamite with a charge timer were found, prompting a half-mile radius evacuation affecting 1,800 residences, the sheriff's office said. 
...The sheriff’s office first tweeted after 11:35 a.m. for people to avoid the area near Mission Avenue between Fair Oaks Boulevard and Arden Way over a suspicious device. Authorities later said that what they first described as a bomb turned out to be fake dynamite that looked realistic.

Australia Really is a Magical Place

Australia really is quite a magical place.

Posted by Marc Valdez on Friday, February 26, 2021

Watching RTAA's "The Properly-Masked Singer" Season 2

Having fun!

Amazing Photo From Martian Orbit!

Jezero Crater is an amazing place to be right now.  Boyd Waters writes:
This image blows my mind: Perseverance Lander descent, hanging from the parachute, captured by the HIRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
This phase of the decent lasted only a matter of seconds, at supersonic velocity, falling through the extremely thin Martian atmosphere.
Meanwhile the MRO is moving at orbital velocity. Just incredible work. The planning and execution that culminated in this photograph are profoundly humbling to me






















And the code in the parachute!:
He thought about encoding words using binary code. But what would the message be?
While he has never been one to look at a motivational poster and derive much meaning from it, three words stood out to Clark:
"Dare mighty things." The motto, taken from a Theodore Roosevelt speech, is in buildings all across the JPL campus. "Week after week, I definitely never got tired of reading 'Dare Mighty Things,'" Clark said. "And it's not just the phrase, but it's even the broader context of the speech. This great inspirational message really represented the culture of JPL and NASA as a whole." 
He also included the GPS coordinates for JPL on the outer ring of the parachute.

Bidding Farewell to TWA Flight 800

Didn’t realize they had kept the reconstruction as a training tool. This remains one of the strangest and saddest of air accidents.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it will destroy the remaining wreckage of TWA Flight 800 after nearly 20 years as a training tool.
TWA Flight 800 grabbed the world’s attention when shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport in July 1996, the Paris-bound Boeing 747 exploded, killing all 230 onboard. The NTSB investigation became the longest, most complicated and expensive investigation in aviation history, lasting more than four years and costing $40 million.
For weeks, pieces of the wreckage were pulled from the water off the coast of Long Island and meticulously pieced back together.
Housed for nearly two decades in a warehouse at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., the wreckage has been used to teach thousands of air crash investigators and transportation specialists from around the world. 
On Monday, the NTSB said in a news release it will decommission and destroy the wreckage as the lease on the 30,000-square foot warehouse is set to expire.

Friday, February 26, 2021

DMTC Featured on FOX40 News

Trying to weather the pandemic:
With the pandemic taking away live audiences, the theater went virtual.
Live shows are performed by actors at home with musical numbers performed on stage, one actor at a time, then spliced together through the magic of editing.
“(Steve) didn’t feel comfortable charging because he was new with the editing,” Jan Isaacson explained.
But the Isaacsons said their small-business loan of $100,000 is running out, meaning the fate of the Davis Musical Theater Company is uncertain. “Rent is $11,000 a month,” Steve Isaacson explained. 
Unlike movie theaters, indoor live-action theater is not coming back to Yolo County Wednesday under the state’s coronavirus red tier.

Middle Of The Road - Sacramento (A Wonderful Town) (1972)

Apparently 'Middle of the Road' was a Danish band. I have no idea how they ended up with this tune:

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Can't Get Enough of This Blog

If only I was this good:
Poor Tedward forgot he doesn’t have a certain Velveeta Vulgarian’s scandal-cannon Twitter feed to change the subject and bail him out anymore. Far from it, Thursday was one of the slowest news days in a good long while, and there was little else to do but watch him step, with miraculous precision, on every single rake in the known universe, one after the other.

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Influence of Salvador Dalí in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”

Here is my presentation today to the 42nd Annual Southwest Popular/American Cultural Association regarding "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul." Comments are welcome. Enjoy! I started this project because I noticed Dalinian influence with an image of Jimmy's Nail Salon Office, and also because Joseph Michael Oland posted last spring in the BCS 3 Strikes Facebook Group about Season 5 Dalinian ants. Turns out there's lots of Dali in both TV series!:

 

This Martian Landing Video is the Best Thing Ever!

Unbelievable! Such engineering!:

If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be True

Conspiracy nuts think Bill Gates helped Biden generate 'synthetic snow' to make Texas look bad:
As The Independent reports, several viral videos on social media sites including TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook have been claiming that the storm that hit Texas was a hoax concocted by the federal government to undermine Texas's state sovereignty.
The conspiracy theorists have seized on the fact that snowballs they make do not instantly melt when they hold them up to cigarette lighters. 
"This goes out to our government and Bill Gates," said one woman who filmed herself using a lighter to try and melt a snowball. "Thank you Bill Gates for trying to f*cking trick us that this is real snow!"

Suspended Animation

Suspended animation:

Posted by Marc Valdez on Saturday, February 20, 2021

Turning Texans into a Rampaging Mob of Socialists

Jackpot! Time for Texans to pay, and pay some more:
"Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot." That's what Roland Burns, president and chief financial officer of Comstock Resources, Inc., a shale drilling company, told investors on an earnings call earlier this week, according to NPR. 
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Burns' comments are a reminder of why the fossil fuel industry and aligned politicians are opposed to the Green New Deal even as its necessity becomes clearer.
The (severe) downside of having your electric bill automatically deducted from your bank account. Praying that a similar situation never evolves here. SMUD held it together in Sacramento through the 2000/1 electricity crisis, but there’s always tomorrow. And there’s always PG&E to worry about, should they ever get tired of burning down entire counties. The system is working exactly as designed. At this rate, Texas will be an enraged mob of rampaging socialists by May. Make Antifa look like amateurs:
Dallas resident DeAndre Upshaw said it was "very shocking" when he opened his latest electricity bill.
"While I'm trying to get gas and groceries and make sure that my pipes don't explode, the last thing I'm thinking about is a $7,000 bill from my utility company," Upshaw told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield via Skype Saturday.

Did the Second Covid Shot Doom Rudy?

I did not know Rudy personally, but knew of him. His friends and family will greatly miss him. My understanding is this accident happened immediately after he got his second Covid shot. I'm wondering whether or not his reaction to the shot contributed to the accident in some way? How quickly do reactions set in after that second shot? Are they strong enough to impair a driver?
An 82-year-old Sacramento County man died Thursday morning after the pickup he was driving struck a guardrail and a sign pole along Interstate 80 in the North Highlands area, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Ellsworth Rudy, of Rio Linda, died in the crash along I-80 near Longview Drive, the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office reported Friday. 
Rudy was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP North Sacramento Area Office announced in a news release. The crash was reported about 8:40 a.m. Thursday on the Longview exit ramp.

Mike Zolensky is Featured in an Article in The Atlantic!

So cool!:
When Mike Zolensky saw the night sky over the Australian desert glow red in June of 2010, he knew: The long-awaited object had plunged through the atmosphere and fallen to Earth.
Zolensky, a curator of astromaterials, and dozens of others leapt into action. The team dispatched a helicopter to find the fallen object in the darkness. At daybreak, elders from the local indigenous population arrived to check whether it had landed on any sacred sites. The next visitors wore helmets and protective gear, should the object explode, and carried spermicidal spray, in case it had cracked, releasing something alive. On top of everything else, they all had to watch out for kangaroos. “They’re all over the place,” Zolensky told me.
Later that day, the crew retrieved what had tumbled from the sky: tiny dust grains from a rocky asteroid tucked inside a little spaceship built by humans specifically to protect them. 
These are the lengths that researchers have gone to in order to obtain a piece of the wonders beyond Earth, even microscopic particles about as small as a single human blood cell. And though these so-called sample-return missions are risky, with no guarantee of success, they’re booming. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, which retrieved those asteroid grains in 2010, made a second catch in Australia in 2018, from a different asteroid. China brought home moon samples last year. A NASA spacecraft will deliver more asteroid pieces in 2023, and a JAXA mission to Phobos, Mars’s largest moon, is already in development.

Turkey!

I was musing just last night that, even though I put out food for the birds, and we have a turkey overpopulation problem in California, I’ve never seen a turkey in this neighborhood. Lo and behold, this morning at the end of the driveway, a turkey! Jasper has never seen a turkey in his vast 3-year experience of the world, so he’s going ape. Here, Jasper’s standing on his hind legs and warning everyone in the neighborhood about the extreme danger presented by this feathered velociraptor wannabe. I’m worried I don’t have near enough bird food for it and the pigeons too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Captain Van Carbuncle is Dead

Rush Limbaugh shuffles off the mortal coil.

 

If You're Feeling Down, Just Look at Texas, and You'll Feel Better

FOX News is banging the drum against wind power in Texas, blaming it for all their power woes, but wind power is coming in like a champ. It’s natural gas and coal that are failing:
The reason people in Texas are currently experiencing the collapse of a badly overloaded system, leading to extended outages lasting for hours, is simply because that’s the way the system is designed to work. The incentive in Texas is to provide for exactly as much power as is needed, and not one hamster-wheel-driven watt more. Because in a system that never reached 100% of capacity, power would always be cheap. It’s fighting over the difference between 99.9% demand and 100.1% demand that drives the system and generates profits.
So how did wind come into it? That’s also because of profits. Texas doesn’t have over 10,700 wind turbines generating power for its grid because rural Texans decided they liked the look, or because there was a sudden inspiration to “go green.” Texas has wind power because wind power is so insanely cheap. It’s so cheap that producing power from wind turbines is less than the cost of operating a coal-fired power plant. That’s not the cost of building the plant. Someone could build coal plants for free, hand them over to the utilities, and just running them would still cost more than going out and buying the wind turbines to replace them.
Texas has wind power, because in a market highly incentivized to find the cheapest solution, wind power came out on top. With the rapidly falling prices, solar is also starting to form a bigger part of the picture in Texas, but for the moment the other big player in that state is the same as it is in most states—natural gas.
The introduction of fracking led to a burst (pun intended) of gas on the market. Previously, more limited supplies of natural gas, and the speed with which producing fields played out, created a price for gas that swing through long oscillations, falling far below, then rising above, the price of its main competitor at the time, coal. But with fracking, gas was suddenly abundant and cheap. Building natural gas power plants is also relatively cheap. Unlike coal plants, which for a number of reasons work best when absolutely enormous (and carrying a price tag that’s, at least, several hundred million), natural gas power can start small and grow. The incremental nature of gas power, and the high efficiency of combined cycle production, saw gas displace coal across the nation with a rapidity that shocked most energy experts—and bankrupted coal producers.
What Texas has now is a system that’s composed of gas, wind, a lingering set of older coal plants, and a modest amount of nuclear. All of it just enough to provide power when Texas hits those hot summer days when every AC in Dallas goes to “high cool.”
So, what went wrong on Monday? It wasn’t “frozen turbines,” no matter what Fox News says. Again, wind is more than keeping up with its share of the projected load. Yes, there are certainly some turbines out—but with over 10,000 of the things, there are always some out. This also doesn’t seem like a great day to climb a 300’ tower to work on something in a high wind because … brrrr. But that’s not the issue.
Part of the issue comes down to that other item at the top of Texas’ power mix—natural gas. In cold weather, natural gas is in demand because it can be used directly for home heating. That’s driving up not just the price of gas, but also limiting its availability. That’s because the system of pipelines that carry the gas around is also built to match a certain level of demand. Pipelines are expensive. Companies don’t build them “just in case.” High prices and limited availability mean that Texas gas plants are underperforming.
It appears that coal plants are doing the same. It’s not clear exactly why that would be. (Though, as someone who spent 30+ years in the industry, I have some suspicions, starting with this: Did Texas utilities pay the extra fee that coal companies want to treat the coal with antifreeze so that it comes out of train cars more readily in extreme weather? I think not.)
Fossil fuels and nuclear!:
“The performance of wind and solar is way down the list among the smaller factors in the disaster that we’re facing,” Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, said in an interview. Blaming renewables for the blackouts “is really a red herring.”
Karma is a bitch:
But it's this tweet from Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, still under fire for his role in the January 6 insurrection, that has many mocking him. Last summer, California suffered from rolling blackouts that were the result of "an extreme heat wave caused by climate change. 
Rather than express sympathy, or say nothing at all, Cruz served up a mean-spirited attack on California for being "unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity."
ERCOT appears to be a comfy place. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss (in Toronto):
On Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that one-third of the leaders of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the governing body that oversees Texas' independent power grid, do not actually live in Texas — including the chair and vice chair.
"Sally Talberg, chairwoman of ERCOT's board of directors, is a former state utility regulator who lives in Michigan, according to her biography on ERCOT's website," reported Madlin Mekelburg. "Vice Chairman Peter Cramton is a professor of economics at the University of Cologne in Germany and at the University of Maryland. His Linkedin profile lists his location as Del Mar, Calif." 
Three other members of the 15-seat board also live out of state and off the grid they are operating: "Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, a board member, serves as vice president of regulatory and compliance at Just Energy and lists her location on Linkedin as Toronto. Board member Terry Bulger spent his career as a banking professional in the United States, Canada and in Europe. His biography on the ERCOT website states that he is a resident of Wheaton, IL, a Chicago suburb. Raymond Hepper, another board member, retired in 2018 from ISO New England, which operates the electric system and wholesale markets for the six states that make up the area. His Linkedin profile lists his residency as Auburn, Maine."

Lifestyle Choices

Just love this scene from that excellent 70's movie, "Dog Day Afternoon."

 

Cancel Culture

I Am Not a Cat

 


Late-Bloomer

Every year, there seems to be a warm up at the beginning of February. Usually, the Japanese Plum Tree in the back yard starts blossoming on Feb. 5th. This year, for whatever reason, the tree delayed blossoming until Feb. 11th.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Schrödinger's Cat Sends a Message From Its Box

It's alive!:
Faced with hearing legal debate from a kitten, Judge Roy Ferguson of Texas’s 394th judicial district told Ponton: “I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings. You might want to …”
The Ponton/kitten entity then interrupts Ferguson in a panicked drawl: “Can you hear me, judge?”
Ferguson responds: “I can hear you. I think it’s a filter …”
“It is,” the cat-faced Ponton responds. “And I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here, she’s trying to, but I’m prepared to go forward with it … I’m here live. I’m not a cat.” 
Ferguson deadpans: “I can see that.”

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Probably State Workers - Deep State Workers

Jewish Space Lasers

Wascally Wadicals

Lack of constancy!:
WASHINGTON—Pointing out the inconsistency in her personal account of the Jan. 6 insurrection, republicans accused New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Thursday of not being anywhere near the place they told the Capitol mob she would be. “She was supposed to be in a room just off the Capitol rotunda, which is where we told the angry white nationalists she’d be hiding, but she wasn’t even there,” said South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace....

Bolshevik Republicans

Others have noted that the Republicans are acting a lot like Leninists these days. Former House Speaker Denny Hastert, who created the 'Hastert Rule,' which stopped legislation if it didn't have a Republican majority already behind it, had a lot to do with exacerbating the extremist trend in the party:
Still, the political dynamics of the two situations, a world and a century apart, have striking similarities. Kerensky refused to criticize Lenin and the Bolsheviks because he regarded them as potent allies against a revival of monarchism, which he (mistakenly) saw as the real enemy. Similarly, Republican leaders—including many who knew better—embraced Trump and now refuse to dissociate themselves from his most fanatical followers because they were, and are, seen as potent bulwarks against the Democrats’ liberal programs, which they see as the real enemy.  
A few Republicans are beginning to grasp the depths of their miscalculation. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the party’s most cynically opportunistic (and, for that reason, often the most effective) strategist of the past decade, condemned “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” adding, “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

Escaping QAnon

So many just like her:
After November's election she spent days on TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube becoming indoctrinated into the world of QAnon. By inauguration day, she was convinced that if then President-elect Joe Biden took office the United States would literally turn into a communist country. She was terrified that she would have to go into hiding with her daughter.
...She believed that even though Biden was declared the winner of the election, his inauguration would be thwarted. First, Trump would declare martial law, then the Democrats (and some Republicans) and the Hollywood celebrities in Washington, DC for the inauguration would be rounded up and arrested. Trump had "opened back up Guantanamo Bay" (it never closed) and "increased the capacity to 200,000."
...But on the morning of January 20th, 2021, Trump flew out of Washington to his new home in Florida and Biden became the 46th President of the United States.
"I was devastated," Vanderbilt recalls. "Instantly, I went into panic mode." She called her mom who was at work. "I just told her it's like we're all going to die. We're going to be owned by China. And I was like, I might have to pull my daughter out of school because they're going to take her."
Her mom tried to calm her down. "Obviously God's will was to have President Biden come in for this country, so it's going to be fine," Vanderbilt says her mom told her. "This happens all the time. It's an election. Parties switch, no big deal."
...And so some QAnon adherents concocted a new conspiracy theory in the hours after inauguration. President Joe Biden's inauguration itself was a key part of the plan, the new theory held, and Trump would return as President in the coming few weeks. Then, certainly, all the deep-state arrests would happen.
That was a step too far for Vanderbilt. She began to realize that she had bought into a lie with an almost religious fervor.
Over the past two weeks she has been posting on TikTok, the platform that dragged her into the conspiracy theory, sharing her story in the hope that it might help or inspire others to see the light.
Some followers of QAnon cite specific posts from the anonymous person or people behind the conspiracy theory as if they were scripture. 
...Vanderbilt credits her faith in God for helping her out of QAnon. While she was deep in the conspiracy theory, she said that Trump was becoming an almost messianic figure for her who could do no wrong. She recalls once asking herself, "Am I putting even Trump above God?"

Oh, Those Turks!

A message from the government:
A metal monolith that mysteriously appeared and disappeared on a field in southeast Turkey turned out to be a publicity gimmick before a government event Tuesday during which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a space program for the country.
The about 10-foot-high metal slab bearing an ancient Turkic script, was found Friday by a farmer in Sanliurfa province.
It was discovered near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Gobekli Tepe, which is home to megalithic structures dating to the 10th millennium B.C., thousands of years before Stonehenge.
However, the shiny structure that bore the inscription "Look at the sky, you will see the moon" in the ancient Turkic Gokturk alphabet, was reported gone Tuesday morning, adding to the mystery.
An image of the monolith was later projected on a screen as Erdogan presented Turkey's space program during a televised event. 
"I now present to you Turkey's 10-year vision, strategy and aims and I say: 'look at the sky, you will see the moon,'" Erdogan said.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Sucks To Be You

Still, there's always COBRA and Obamacare:
After four years in the Trump administration, Vanessa Ambrosini was looking forward to three months of parental leave when she and her husband welcomed a baby a week before Christmas. The Commerce Department’s human resources office had given her approval for it. But then she was surprised to find out the benefit was no longer available because of the change in administration.
“I got completely screwed,” she said in an interview. “There were no caveats in that language saying anything about if the administration turns, you get nothing and of course, that happened and so I got nothing.”

PG&E Needs Better Modeling!

The exact topography of the Sierra Nevada foothills matters when making these life-and-death decisions. PG&E has recently upgraded its meteorological capabilities, but given its desire to also target political donations, it may be a matter of too little, too late:
In each of these 1.24-mile squares drawn on PG&E’s map, the company runs hourly calculations to estimate the risk of a large fire being sparked by its power lines.
To do that, PG&E relied on a complicated algorithm of its own making, which blends data that includes its history of power outages, past wildfires, and fuel moisture.
The major shortcoming of the plan is that the wind speed, which is only one of the many data points used, is not actually measured in each of the squares.
In the case of the Zogg Fire, the nearest wind measurements to the place where the fire sparked came from grid cell 135-377. That grid square lies on flat terrain on the opposite side of the community of Igo from the hills where the fire started. 
The nearest PG&E weather station was located 3.5 miles away from the origin point of the fire, about 600 feet lower in elevation.

Not Outraged

I am not outraged by the Sacramento warming-center controversy. There are just too many homeless people out there for warming centers to make much of a difference. Breton also notes that Sacramento just voted against Measure A. I did too. Sacramento would prefer to keep neighborhoods powerful than have a powerful mayor address homeless needs:
In one breath, some are calling for City Manager Howard Chan to be fired for not opening a city warming center at the downtown library that might have spared homeless people from the wicked weather. But retroactive outrage directed at Chan conveniently overlooks how the will of Sacramento residents played a role in the decisions that led to that horrible night of shame. 
Twelve weeks before what was described by some as a “night of terror” for the homeless, Sacramento residents rejected Measure A – a ballot initiative which would have transferred many administrative powers in the city from Chan to Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

The Lea County Blues

Uh, oh, out in southeast NM, someone's fee-fees are hurt....:
But a proposal filed Monday by a Roswell Republican would take those divisions a step further by allowing counties to petition the Legislature to actually secede from the state – either to join a neighboring state or create a new state.
...“It’s just a response to the lack of respect toward southeast New Mexico,” Pirtle said in a Monday interview. “It seems like more and more it’s the ideals of Albuquerque that become law.”
...If approved by the Legislature and statewide voters, the proposed constitutional amendment would allow counties to launch an effort to formally disengage from New Mexico through a unanimous vote of county commissioners – or a voter petition drive.
...The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has deepened the divide between southeastern New Mexico and the rest of the state, as some law enforcement and local government officials have flouted business restrictions imposed by Lujan Grisham’s administration.
Specifically, one Roswell city councilor came under scrutiny last year for removing a temporary fence around a local basketball court. And New Mexico’s top health official warned the Lea County county manager in May about possible legal action for suggesting businesses could reopen in violation of state orders.
But the divide isn’t due solely to disagreements over COVID-19 response efforts. Pirtle, a dairy farmer who was first elected to the Senate in 2012, said bills filed at the Roundhouse this year to ban animal trapping on public lands and restrict pesticide use represent a “direct attack” on many rural New Mexicans’ way of life. 
...Stewart, for her part, also said there’s a ready alternative for residents of southeastern New Mexico who no longer want to be part of the state. “If you like Texas better, just pack up your bags and move – it’s not that far,” Stewart said.

Various Recent Pix

Dreams

January 27-28, 2021 Wind Storm Calamity

Some of my neighbors have problems.




















Tree fell, brought down huge utility pole, and this vehicle was in the wrong place.





















Didn't even rain that much either! 

 Initial damage assessment at my house : could have been worse! The dysfunctional gutter (not enough slope) has become a hyperfunctional gutter. Eucalyptus everywhere. At least everything else seems more or less OK.




















Here is my Facebook post from the night of February 27-28:
This storm roaring in from the Pacific seems to be even windier than the big storm of January ‘08. Not much rain yet, but sure feisty!
The power went out, so dog-walk time came early - before midnight!
The eucalyptus tree next door has grown like a weed this last decade. Five years ago, during a storm, a big branch shredded off it and would have smashed my car had it been parked in the driveway (but it was away at the time).
Tonight, I put on my bike helmet and rain coat and headed out into the storm with Jasper. I immediately noticed that the eucalyptus tree is shredding some really big branches, some of which are in my yard, some in my driveway, and some in the alley. Surprisingly, even though a big branch is wedged in my hedge, and was suspended just above my truck’s windshield, there was no broken glass and everything seemed to be intact. I reparked the truck in the DMV parking lot. I dragged some of the tree branches into a pile so the garbage truck can get to the bins in the morning.
I saw a SMUD electric utility truck in the alley. We approached. The driver said, “Wait, wait, don’t tell me, your power is out! Love the bike helmet! Sure need it on a night like this. Ha, ha, ha!” I told him about the shredding eucalyptus. He said he’d look into it, but I don’t think he did.
Jasper and I walked around the block in the gale. We didn’t go further. I noticed a downed utility line. Probably not electrical, but better not to probe too closely. 
I’m worried the eucalyptus tree might collapse tonight onto my bedroom. It’s kind of leaning that way. In order to avoid the not insignificant risk of great inconvenience or possibly instantaneous death, I will sleep on the couch in the living room instead.

Safe - For Now....

RIP, SOPHIE

Charm Offensive

Charming!:
According to CNBC's Eamon Javers, many hedge funds are not only surprised by the ferocity of the Reddit rebellion, but also by the low esteem in which the average American holds their industry. 
"I'm told the hedge fund industry feels it needs to push back on the massive criticism it's gotten in the wake of GameStop," Javers writes on Twitter. "Says one source familiar: 'A significant amount of time and attention will be spent working to explain the industry's story a little more cogently.'" 
As for what this public relations charm offensive might look like, Javers's sources say they expect the industry to offer "examples of ways hedge funds have benefited communities and emphasis on vast array of hedge fund investment strategies -- if there's one you don't like, there's probably another you do."

The Hall of Mediocrities

After Sacramento rainy season rainfall cratered to 28% of normal last month, the recent storms have brought rainfall up to 48% of normal. So, the 2020/21 rainy season has recovered enough to enter the hall of mediocrities rather than the hall of disasters. The closest comparison is to the 1897/98 rainy season, which is remembered by meteorologists for - not a damned thing! 

When this storm passes, we'll have a warm-up. We always seem to have a warm-up on February 5th. The Japanese Plum tree in the back yard starts to flower - a harbinger of spring - and maybe a harbinger of a decline in Covid-19 numbers as people start spending more time outside. 

We have to do better on the rain, though....
 

Monday, January 25, 2021

The PBS News Hour Recognized James Chavez Glica Hernandez!

Judy Woodruff narrates.  (At the link) It's quite striking!:
As we passed the grim milestone this week of more than 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, we take this moment to remember another five of the extraordinary lives lost.
James Glica-Hernandez was drawn to the stage and became a fixture on the regional theater scene in California's Central Valley. As musical director of the Woodland Opera House for over two decades, he mentored generations of young performers. 
Friends described him as bold and unapologetic and someone who inspired people to live authentically. A self-described family man, James was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was 61.

Peaked On January 11th

Looks like the post-holiday wave of the pandemic peaked about two weeks ago in the U.K., U.S., and Sweden alike - January 11th in the U.S. We're now about where we were just before Thanksgiving (not counting all the people we lost in the meantime).

Undercounting Covid Deaths

This is just sad, but that's how we roll in America these days:
Tens of thousands of Covid-19 deaths are going unreported in the U.S., with far more missed in counties that strongly supported former President Trump, according to new research.
The figures suggest that political leanings have helped suppress the true scale of deaths. In cases where the deceased didn’t have a Covid-19 test, a coroner or medical examiner has the freedom to interpret symptoms.
“There’s potentially latitude to make a judgement call conditional on a set of beliefs about Covid and whether it represents a serious problem or a hoax,” said Andrew Stokes, a professor of global health at Boston University School of Public Health who performed the analysis for STAT.
More than 413,000 people have died in the U.S. with Covid-19 attributed somewhere on their death certificate. The real death toll, as reflected in the number of excess deaths in 2020 compared with annual deaths from 2013 to 2018, is even higher. A separate study, led by Stokes, of 787 counties with more than 20 Covid-19 deaths from Feb. 1 to Oct. 17, 2020, found that while there were 199,124 official Covid-19 deaths in that time period, an additional excess 88,142 deaths weren’t attributed to the virus. 
Some of these excess deaths are likely due to factors that were exacerbated by the pandemic, such as overdoses and suicide in response to isolation and economic hardship, or subpar health care in an overrun system. But researchers believe many are Covid-19 deaths that go uncounted. Overall, the true Covid-19 death toll is 31% higher than official figures, according to the study, which has been submitted to PLOS Medicine.

There Are NOT Two Sides To Every Story!

Facts overrule everything, and oftentimes there is just one side to the story, like this business of alleged election fraud. It's taken decades to drag the media to the light, and this understanding must be reinforced. So much has happened in the interim; so much blood spilled - you name it, the Iraq War, Trump fascistic presidency, etc. The only way to stop more blood from spilling and to finally break free from our American Groundhog Day is to hold true to facts.

 

Be Antifa!

My father was Antifa in World War II, running and gunning across northern Germany with General Patton. Be Antifa!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Weather Change Coming

 Please make it rain:

Numerous Northern California cities crushed daily heat records in recent days. The weather service’s Sacramento office tweeted that Wednesday marked five consecutive days for Stockton breaking or tying a record-high temperature mark. The city peaked at an astonishing 78 degrees on Monday, breaking the previous high for that date by 9 degrees.

Downtown Sacramento set new records Jan. 13 (69 degrees, up from a record of 67), this past Sunday (72, up from 70) and Monday (74, up from 70). It also tied a record-high 71 degrees on Saturday.

Wind gusts were also extraordinarily strong, especially in the greater Bay Area. The NWS Bay Area office said it recorded peak winds of at least 54 mph in San Francisco, over 80 mph at Mount Diablo and over 90 mph in the Mayacamas Mountains in the North Bay early Tuesday morning.

It was so windy that it forced the closure of Yosemite National Park.

San Francisco also smashed a heat record Monday, reaching 76 degrees. The previous high for Jan. 18 was just 70 degrees, set 101 years earlier.

Been Writing a Breaking Bad Related Screenplay

 For fun.  Strange stuff.

Angus Young Interview

Interesting interview about playing in a rock-and roll band - namely, AC/DC.

 

And other musicians admire him.

 

Randy Rainbow - Seasons of Trump

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Rio Grande Difficulties - Las Cruces

Interesting article about drought in New Mexico, particularly about Las Cruces:
In the past, the Rio Grande would run through Las Cruces for the irrigation season from February to October. But last year, the river didn’t flow until March, and was dry by September. In 2021, the Elephant Butte Irrigation District (Ebid), in charge of measuring and releasing water to Las Cruces from upstream dams, estimated that water levels will be so low they won’t arrive until June and it will probably be gone again at the end of July. 
A finite amount of water flows through the Rio Grande every year, so when there are shortages, every city along the river is affected. Due to climate change, hotter and drier seasons are reducing the snowpack that melts to feed the Rio Grande, and rising temperatures are increasing evaporation from the reservoirs. Because of this, the river has had just seven years with a “full supply” of water in the past 20, and only two in the past decade.

Ballroom Dance Memories

When I was doing ballroom dancing in Arizona in 1982-83, there was a definite hierarchy of dancers. And they are all here! Ron Montez and Liz Curtis were on top, with the other dancers arrayed below. I can glimpse my dance teacher (now known as Margaret Mitchell) and her partner too.

   

 I haven't seen my dance teacher in 37 years. She is featured on page 60 here, and also here.

Bernie!














Albuquerque Angle

Run The Bastard Couy Griffin Out!

Link

Lady Gaga Sings The National Anthem So Well!

Calm Before The Storm

This is among the warmest Januarys in Sacramento history. And among the driest too. Changes are coming next week, thankfully. We haven't had a significant rain yet this rainy season, and the rainy season is half over. There are scattered fires present in California. In January. At the height of the rainy season. 

At Sacramento Executive Airport, yesterday's average temperature was 12 degrees F higher than average. Stockton's Airport had a high temperature of 72 degrees F: an all-time record for the date. 

Sacramento never had a January with an average temperature of 51 degrees Fahrenheit or more until 1970, but because of Global Warming, they are coming more and more frequently: 1970, 1976, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, and maybe 2021 when the dust settles. 

For January so far, at Sacramento Executive Airport, 0.27 inches have rain have fallen. Since October 1st, 2.35 inches of rain have fallen, about 28% of normal. 

If it rains like crazy next week, maybe can improve our statistics into the just mediocre range.

Been Watching Financial Crisis Videos

This one, from 2008, is interesting. Focusing on Hank Paulson makes for good TV. Things almost stopped working entirely. May we never get that close again. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Wow, James Was Featured On Wolf Blitzer Last Night

 James had a bigger reach than I realized.

And this local article too.

James Stanley Chávez Glica-Hernandez (birthname Teódolo Conrado Arroyo Herrera) born on July 17, 1959, died due to complications of COVID-19 on Jan. 10, 2021 in Woodland, where he resided since 2012.

Glica-Hernandez was the owner of Sacramento Vocal Music and the principal music director at the Woodland Opera House. He also was vocal director at Natomas Charter School’s Performing and Fine Arts Academy where his students meant so much to him.

Glica-Hernandez was a nine-time nominated, and four-time Elly Award winner for musical direction. He has also been nominated four times for a Chesley Award. Additionally, he was a composer, arranger and performer.