Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, January 14, 2018

God of the Gaps

Bill Moyers was a great interviewer. I somehow missed this appearance by Neil deGrasse Tyson.




And an interesting text on the topic here.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Poor California

Oh, California! With extreme beauty comes extreme danger, apparently. Well, weed is still legal!

Mudslides, Wildfires, Earthquakes, and Flu. 2018's off to a rough start in California.
(CNN) California evokes images of sunny beaches, majestic mountains, Hollywood celebs, coastal highways and all variations of good times.
But lately, the Golden State has elicited visions of a different kind -- houses buried in mud, scorched hillsides and flu-stricken hospital patients.
The rainy season had a horrendous start in Southern California, where heavy rains last week triggered deadly mudslides that killed at least 20 people. Raging rivers of mud and debris rushed down hillsides in Santa Barbara County, wiping out or burying homes down below. Rescuers are digging through mud, downed trees and power lines, wrecked cars and even boulders searching for survivors. Some were plucked off their rooftop by helicopters while mud surged through their home. At least eight people remain missing.
The affluent coastal town of Montecito was hit especially hard. A "deep rumbling" sound followed by massive mountains of mud awakened residents last week when the slides hit. Residents had little or no time to flee. Rescuers pulled children and babies from the muck, including a 14-year-old girl -- coated in mud from head to foot -- after she was trapped for hours.
The mudslide was so massive that it temporarily shut down US 101, a major West Coast highway, from Montecito to Santa Barbara. Oprah Winfrey, who lives in the area, wasn't spared. She shared photos of the damage on social media, including a video of her walking through knee-deep mud in her backyard.
Mudslides aren't anything new in California, but they were made much worse when the rains that spawned them dislodged vegetation in areas charred by wildfires. Protective brush on hillsides, which would usually be able to soak up floodwater, was consumed by fire, leaving little to no vegetation to prevent mudslides and debris flow.
Wildfires were an absolute menace in California last year. Blazes took 39 lives and torched 199,000 acres in the wine country fires in Northern California in October. One firefighter was killed in the Southern California fires in December. And the largest of those fires smoldered on into 2018. The Thomas Fire -- the 282,000-acre monster blaze that burned an area the size of Dallas and Miami combined -- wasn't 100% contained until late last week, according to theCalifornia Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It's the largest fire in state history.

The flu season has slammed California so far. There have been 27 flu-related deaths of patients younger than 65, more than normally seen during this point of the season.
"Usually, at this time of year, we have reported in the neighborhood of three or four deaths in people under age 65," said Dr. James Watt, chief of the Division of Communicable Disease Control at the state Department of Public Health.
California is one of 26 states that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified as having "high" flu activity.
More people in the state are in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, and there's been some shortages of medications, such as Tamiflu, in pharmacies.
There is some good news though. There is no widespread shortage of the influenza vaccine in California, so if you haven't had that flu shot yet, go ahead and roll up those sleeves.
Quakes and California go hand in hand, and the state's first big temblor came four days into the new year.
A magnitude 4.4 quake jolted the Bay Area in the early morning hours a week ago near Berkeley. It woke people up from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz. It didn't seem to do much damage beyond some broken dishes and windows, but it forced delays on area commuter trains so that inspectors could check the tracks.
Thankfully there weren't any deaths or major damage, but it drove home another fact of life for Californians: The threat of the "next big one" may be right around the corner.
Original at CNN


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fire and Fury

Oy, this book.

The wife recently purchased the digital version of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. What it kind of reminds me of so far is the feeling that I would get when I would read a Stephen King horror book. King could really instill fear and dread in his words, and I get that feeling reading Wolff about Trump.

I don't know if I will be able to finish the book. I'm on page 25 of 321 and I am nauseous. I had to put it down for a while. This guy is so disgusting and abhorrent, it seems like one of the crimes of the century that he was elected. Maybe there was no actual crime committed, but it feels criminal. He is debasing everything he touches. He spreads filth and hate whenever he opens his mouth. A more-distasteful character I do not believe the White House has ever seen.

A snapshot: Prior to election day, no one in Trump world thought that Trump was going to beat Clinton, including Trump himself. They were all certain he would lose. But when he actually won, what was his response? Not humility. No, it was to rub everyones face in it, as if Trump truly deserved to win. I guess seeing him for months prior, that response should not be surprising, but it's really fucking sad.


And the rubes out there will just love this kind of stuff: "Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends' wives into bed." Then Wolff goes into detail about the kinds of things Trump would do to accomplish just that. I'm sure all the yahoos out there will just salivate over this. Getting your friends' wives into bed? Well, who hasn't fantasized about that?! 

After reading only 25 pages out of 321, I am so nauseated, I don't know if I will be able to finish it.

Gag. This piece of shit is the president.



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Year in Review

This is a look back at the 2017 year through the eyes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). This group, of which I am a member, is fighting hard to maintain the separation of state and church. (State really should get top billing). Join us! The next annual convention will be in San Francisco in early November 2018. You can get a good look at the previous convention in Madison, Wisconsin by clicking here.





Tuesday, January 9, 2018

no-dig gardening

I am collecting materials for our garden(s) in our lot next door. While I have ideas for the first couple of raised beds, we have a huge canvas next door. Hopefully by this time next year, it will be lush and full of life. But I may need some professional help!