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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

tomatoes!

We already have three tomatoes on our Patio tomato plant! And the others have flowers all over them! I think they like this climate.


Monday, February 27, 2017

styrofoam

While getting situated in this new house on South Padre Island, we have been inundated with styrofoam, e.g. Expanded PolyStyrene or EPS. The TV's use it; the new appliances; the tiniest little box is full of it!

And no one recycles it! Well, practically no one. I ran across an Earth911 website that claimed they could tell me where the closest facility to recycle EPS was located and I got 13 hits. The closest is ... Denver, Colorado or Gainesville, Georgia!

I'll ship it right over!!

Geez!  We're drowning in this stuff!




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pat Condell

Pat Condell is an Irish-by-birth ex-comic turned writer and social critic. He's also an atheist, which I like. This video might make you a little uneasy, as Pat lays into Muslims who are bringing their "rape culture" with them from the third world and are terrorizing (and raping) western women. 

I mean, Islam itself is a sad and horrible joke in my book, just on freethought grounds. While I agree that the vast majority of Muslims are most likely peace loving people, their track record regarding women's rights is truly pathetic. Girls can marry at age 9 in many Muslim countries. A women not clothed in the proper dress can enrage many Muslim men into violence and rape. 

I'm not saying this from a place of hatred of religion. I'm expressing my revulsion at how Islam mistreats half of its population - women. Normally, we in the western world would be repulsed by this, but for some reason, in the name of multi-culturalism, we choose to not believe it.

This talk by Pat is only 6:47. He backs up his claims in the video here. There are many more short vids at his website.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

first garden

This "retirement" is been very busy. Busier than I ever was while I was "working." Only now I am working longer hours for NO pay! The work is different of course. Totally different. Better, I think!

We finally got around to coordinating herbs with pots and soil, and et voila! We have the beginnings of a garden. I figured that an herb garden might serve best if it is closest to the kitchen, so we put several herbs in pots up on the 3rd floor balcony, where they get lots of afternoon sun.

 

Lavender, sweet basil, cinnamon basil, thyme, oregano, spearmint, and finally cilantro. Others will follow.


And we went ahead and put three tomato seedlings into pots and stuck them in the backyard where they will get beaucoup sun. 


Before we can plant anything in our lot next door, we have to get it cleared a bit. To come.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

better to be an atheist

...than a hypocritical Catholic. Hey, that isn't me saying that; it's the Pope himself. I don't agree with much about the Catholic Church, but Pope Frankie is at least making some noises in the right direction. It's still a bunch of hogwash, playing on people's fears, and the priesthood is still full of pedophiles, but still...

Pope Francis: better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic

from the Guardian
Pope Francis has delivered another criticism of some members of his own church, suggesting it was better to be an atheist than one of many Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.
Kiss it, Pope!
In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning mass in his residence, he said: “It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.
“There are those who say, ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to mass, I belong to this and that association’,” the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.
He said some of these people should also say “‘my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life’.”
“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal,” he said. “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’.”
Since his election in 2013, Francis has often told Catholics, both priests and lay people, to practise what their religion preaches.
In his often impromptu sermons, he has condemned sexual abuse of children by priests as being tantamount to a “satanic mass”, said Catholics in the mafia excommunicate themselves, and told his own cardinals to not act “as if they were princes”.
Less than two months after his election, he said Christians should see atheists as good people if they do good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Russian connection

Rachel Maddow has been exploring the connection between #45 and the Russians, and it's getting a little ugly. It appears to be a very, very tangled web. If #45 were a Democrat, the GOP would be screaming to the treetops about investigations, but since their guy is in the White House, they don't want to touch it. This kind of hypocrisy is in large part why our politics is so toxic right now. Is it really all about party over country?

The veterans are getting in the mix.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pad 39A


Few things stir the imagination like space exploration. That, and a really beautiful woman.

Liftoff! Watching SpaceX Make History at Pad 39A

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A storied NASA launchpad hosted a dazzling pyrotechnic display as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roared to life on Sunday morning (Feb. 19), sending nearly 5,500 lbs. (2,500 kilograms) of cargo on a journey to the International Space Station. 
The cargo, which included crew supplies, tools and science experiments, was packed inside a Dragon cargo spacecraft attached to the top of the 210-foot rocket. Falcon breathed fire and roared loudly as it quickly disappeared into low-hanging clouds after an on-time liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST (1439 GMT) from NASA's historic gateway to space: Launch Pad 39A. 
While the flight was one for the history books for many reasons, the primary reason had to do with the launch itself: This was the first time that the Kennedy Space Center (and Pad 39A) had hosted a launch since the final space shuttle flight in 2011. It also signaled the first time a private company had lifted off from this hallowed ground. [In Photos: ;SpaceX's 1st Launch from NASA's Historic Pad 39A]
The historic site saw the launch of most of the Apollo moon missions as well as many space shuttle flights, including missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Sunday's launch marked a new era for Pad 39A, which SpaceX hopes will one day ferry astronauts to Mars and beyond. 
The road to Mars began nearly five decades ago as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins strapped into their seats aboard the Apollo capsule, which sat atop the world's most powerful rocket at the time — the Saturn V. That vehicle, as well as many others that followed, was assembled in NASA's iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) before it was rolled out to the launchpad atop a massive crawler transporter. From my spot on the roof of that same building, I prepared to watch SpaceX make history by launching the first commercial rocket from a once-government-only facility. 
Rain drizzled and gray clouds hung overhead as journalists, bystanders, NASA employees and researchers whose payloads were nestled in Dragon's trunk gathered to watch the launch. Members of the media were present in three different viewing locations: the press site, which is home to the iconic countdown clock and was the premier viewing location during the shuttle era; the NASA causeway; and the VAB roof — and each location offered a unique vantage point. 
More here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

boo hoo

Changing economy? Tough times for Jesus? Both, most likely. I am not sad about this story at all. It makes me hopeful, actually. Now, if we could just stop that silly practice of not taxing churches and church property, we might be closer to putting all this silly religion behind us.




Family Christian Stores To Shut Down All 240 Outlets
from The Christian Post
After 85 years of operation, Family Christian has announced it will close all its stores, which will impact more than 3,000 employees. The chain of more than 240 Christian-themed merchandise stores operating in 36 states bills itself as the world's largest retailer of Bible-related books and music.
The company was founded in 1931 as Zondervan Corp. in West Michigan and grew to become the nation's largest Christian publishing house. Harper Collins acquired the company and renamed Zondervan's bookstores to Family Christian stores in 1997.
FCS' financial woes began when sales steadily shrunk from $305 million in 2008 to only $216 million in 2015. In the same year, the company filed for bankruptcy, which required the publishers to restructure its $127-million debt. The store tried to improve its product variety but ultimately, it seems, it couldn't compete with online retailers.
In a press release, Family Christian cited "changing consumer behavior and declining sales" for its insolvency.
"Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, sales continued to decline. In addition, we were not able to get the pricing and terms we needed from our vendors to successfully compete in the market," Family Christian President and CEO, Chuck Bengochea has explained.
He also added: "We have had two very difficult years, and after prayerfully looking at all possible options, and trusting God's plan for our organization, we have made the difficult decision to close our stores. Family Christian will begin the closing process soon."
Glenn Bailey, president of Send the Light Distribution, which closed down a year ago, echoed the difficulty in competing with online stores. He lamented that his company used to ship more than 25,000 Bibles a day until online retailers such as Amazon significantly impacted the traditional sales model.
"When companies get creative and find new and better ways to do things like Amazon Prime, at the end of the day, that kind of thing also destroys the current or past way that business had been done," he told Christianity Today.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Yikes! I'm starting to hear horror stories about Spring Break on South Padre Island (SPI). About 10-15 years ago, SPI reached its peak. Nowadays, SPI is not the "go-to" place, but the crowds will still be big.

Should we vacate the island or hang tough? If we stay, everyone says to "stock up" so you don't have to go to the store during the onslaught. Stay or go, the week of March 11, centered on March 15, looks to be the epicenter for Texas schools.

Here's a guide to Spring Break 2017.

When is your Spring Break?


UME 2017

Disco Donnie Presents and Global Groove Events

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM - Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 2:00 AM (CDT)




Our world welcomes you from March 15-18th for a larger than life Spring Break celebration at Clayton’s Outdoors. For the 2017 edition we’re expanding to a larger location to make room for our massive seaside festival.

Join thousands of fellow Spring Breakers on the shores of South Padre Island to party ’til your heart’s content over four nights of unforgettable dance music. Buckle up for a wild ride soundtracked by top-tier headliners from every corner of the globe. This past UME featured DJ Snake closing out the official pre-party, a lucky Kaskade show on St. Patty’s Day, and a double-dose of Marshmello among so much more

FESTIVAL INFORMATION

  • Event: Ultimate Music Experience 2017
  • Date: March 15-18, 2017
  • Venue: Clayton's Outdoors
  • Age Policy: 16+ (Proper ID Required. See below for acceptable forms.)
  • Weather: Rain or Shine (Excluding Life Threatening Weather)
  • Lineup: Artists and music performances are subject to change

ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION

    • United States Passport.
    • DHS "Trusted Traveler" Card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST).
    • United States Military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DOD civilians).
    • Permanent Resident Card Border Crossing Card.
    • DHS-Designated Enhanced Driver's License.
    • Driver's Licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent (Paper ID's are not permitted).
    • Native American Tribal Photo ID.
    • A foreign government-issued passport.
    • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card.
    • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
    • Mexican Consulate ID (Only Permitted with a secondary form of ID - EX: School ID).\

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Moby?!

These are strange times.

Electronic musician Moby says he has inside information on Trump


from Business Insider
Electronic musician and DJ Moby claims to have discovered "accurate" inside information about President Donald Trump after "spending the weekend talking to friends who work in dc [sic]."
Moby claims in a Facebook post written on Monday night that the Russian dossier published by BuzzFeed on Trump shortly after the inauguration is "100% real" and alleges Trump is "being blackmailed by the russian government... for much more nefarious things."
BuzzFeed published an unverified 35-page dossier by a former British intelligence agent alleging ties to Russia and a concerted Russian campaign to blackmail and control Trump. The Trump administration denied its entire contents. CNN recently reported that investigators had verified some of the communications in the document.
Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn resigned late on Monday, amid an uproar over conversations with a Russian ambassador to the US and his broader dealings with Russia. Moby appeared to take this as support for his claims, tweeting:
The DJ and animal rights activist also claims in his Facebook post that Trump is preparing for war with Iran and "at present, they are putting u.s warships off the coast."
Moby, who found global fame with his 1999 album Play, goes on to allege that there are "right wing plans to get rid of trump [sic]" and says: "intelligence agencies around the world, and here in the u.s [sic], are horrified by the incompetence of the trump administration, and are working to present information that will lead to high level firings and, ultimately, impeachment."
Here's the full post, which was posted with a picture of President Trump and his chief advisor Steve Bannon below it:
after spending the weekend talking to friends who work in dc i can safely(well, 'accurately'...) post the following things:
1-the russian dossier on trump is real. 100% real. he's being blackmailed by the russian government, not just for being peed
on by russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things.
2-the trump administration is in collusion with the russian government, and has been since day one.
3-the trump administration needs a war, most likely with iran. at present they are putting u.s warships off the coast
of iran in the hope that iran will attack one of the ships and give the u.s a pretense for invasion.
4-there are right wing plans to get rid of trump. he's a drain on their fundraising and their approval ratings, and the gop and koch
brothers and other u.s right wing groups are planning to get rid of trump.
5-intelligence agencies around the world, and here in the u.s, are horrified by the incompetence of the trump administration, and are
working to present information that will lead to high level firings and, ultimately, impeachment.
i'm writing these things so that when/if these things happen there will be a public record beforehand.
these are truly baffling and horrifying times, as we have an incompetent president who is essentially owned by a foreign power.
-moby
Moby was mocked on Twitter by some people for his post and the DJ also took to the microblogging platform and Instagram to defend himself.

most of the info i referenced is of public record, or will be relatively soon. also hoping   iran war plans are thwarted.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bayview Farm Crawl

In the big city, we had Pub Crawls and Art Crawls. Down here in South Texas we have a Farm Crawl!  I love it!

Bayview is a community on the mainland, about 12 miles northwest of our house.

Bayview Farm Crawl invites public every Friday


from the Brownsville Herald
The Moffitts stand at their farm in Bayview with a basket of freshly grown okra during the Bayview Farm Crawl that happens from noon to 6 p.m. every Friday. Bayview Veggies is one of five farms taking part in the Bayview Farm Crawl. 
If you need an excuse to explore the countryside on a Friday afternoon, look at a chicken, pet a goat, or buy a melon or a hunk of cheese, you’re in luck.
The Bayview Farm Crawl kicked off May 13 and will go year round each Friday from noon to 6 p.m. For now, five farms near each other in the Bayview area are taking part in the weekly event: Acacia Farms, Bayview Veggies, Franny’s Garden, River’s End Nursery and Thompson Farms — names that should be familiar to patrons of area farmers markets.

basil as far as the eye can see
Besides affording the public a chance for a rustic adventure, the Farm Crawl benefits the farmers as well. Jack Moffitt of Bayview Veggies, on North San Roman Road just south of Perez Road, said he’s seen a roughly 20-percent bump in weekly sales.
“It used to be zero sales on Friday,” he said. “We kept the gates locked and we harvested. “We could have been selling the veggies the whole time. It’s found money, basically.”
Moffitt said he now gets about 20 visitors on Fridays. Thompson Dairy Farms, at 38141 F.M. 510, gets even more, he said.
“He pulls them in over there probably double that,” Moffitt said. “He’s a little more centrally located, and he’s got cheese and baby goats that have to be fed.”
River’s End at 27510 Ted Hunt Rd., known for its annual summer “Mango Fiestival,” and Acacia Farms at 39629 Palm Dr. have reported bumps in their Friday sales, he said.
sclark@brownsvilleherald.com
Baby chicks scatter around in their brooder box at the Moffitt family’s farm in Bayview. The brooder box mimics the mother hen by keeping the chicks warm and secure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Gene Huber

The problem with being so dumb is that you don't know you're so dumb.

Donald Trump fan Gene Huber, dumbest man in America

by Rackjite

That's Gene, with a cardboard cutout of #45.
Gene Huber, suspected of being the dumbest man in America, has his 15 minutes with The Donald. Seems that The Donald saw the earlier interview in which Gene Huber who was found to have been first in line at 4am for Trump’s 8pm self adoration rally. From that earlier interview The Donald also learned that it was not just the 16 hour wait in line to see him, but that Gene Huber salutes a cardboard cutout of Trump every morning. What more would The Donald need to know to upset the Secret Service to bring a fan up for hugs?

Gene Huber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


What caught my attention about Mr Huber was his Facebook presence with what I so often hear as the central reason for not only the Trump adulation but the central Republican meme of the last few hundred years or so.

I DON'T WANT MY TAX MONEY GOING TO LAZY PEOPLE WHO WON’T WORK.

In fact that is the accepted lie that keeps Republicans on the board. But no matter how you look at it, from the data, the facts or the real news, that is just a bunch of crap. 80% of welfare goes to people under 18, over 65, the disabled and their care givers. Also for the able bodied to collect direct WELFARE recipients have to work 30 hours a week. America spends the least on social programs than any other industrialized nation and has the highest crime rate and murder rate, which of course has NO CONNECTION.

Alternate facts and fake news is where these KIND OF PEOPLE have been all their lives, not just since Kellyanne Conway. But that is not the real story of this ubiquitous claim of lazy people living off the hard work of Gene Huber and friends.

Are Mexicans here lazy? Anyone say that? No, anything but.
Are Asians here Lazy? Anyone say that? No, anything but.
Pakistanis?  Indians? Jews? Iraqis? No. No. No. And No.
Rural white people on the farm lazy?  No.

So who are the lazy people of America?

RACISM IS WHAT DRIVES AMERICAN POLITICS. Since day one.

Visit Rackjite

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

San Roman Wind Farm

On the Texas mainland, on the way to the upper Rio Grande Valley from the island, you see quite a few of those huge windmills used to harness the power of the wind. They are run by Acciona, a Spanish conglomerate. One thing we have in abundance down here is WIND.

Renewable energy for more than 30,000 homes in Texas

ACCIONA has grid-connected the San Roman Wind Farm, a 93-MW project located in Cameron County, Texas. The wind farm will supply enough renewable energy to power over 30,000 homes. It features thirty-one 3MW wind turbines by Nordex-ACCIONA Windpower technology. The project represents the renewal of ACCIONA Energy’s investment activity in the United States and raises the company’s wind energy capacity in the US to 721MW, with eight wind farms in six different states.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Location
Cameron County, Texas.
Capacity
93 MW.
Wind turbine
ACCIONA Windpower AW 125/3000.
Tower
Steel, 87.5-meter hub height.
Start-up
December 2016.
Owners
ACCIONA Energy


Sunday, February 12, 2017

catapult!

Another medieval solution to a modern problem!  Just legalize it!


Drug catapult, 47 pounds of marijuana found at US-Mexico border

from the Statesman (Austin, TX)

Authorities dismantled a catapult used to launch drugs from Mexico to the United States last week after they found the contraption and marijuana during a patrol in Arizona.

The homemade catapult was mounted on the border fence
Border Patrol agents found the catapult on Feb. 10, east of the Douglas Port of Entry, authorities said. Agents were drawn to the area when they noticed several people retreat from the south side of the fence as they approached.
They found a catapult attached to the south side of the border fence and two bundles of marijuana with a combined weight above 47 pounds, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said in a news release.
Mexican authorities were called to investigate and seized the catapult. Border Patrol agents dismantled the catapult system.
Federal authorities have seen multiple drug operations including catapult systems to throw illicit substances over the border in recent years. Agents found 45 pounds of marijuana in 2011 after a remote video surveillance system caught smugglers preparing a catapult to launch the drugs into Arizona.
The catapult appeared to have been welded to the fence
Officials have also seen drugs shot over the border with "devices such as air-powered cannons," or dropped into the desert with "ultralight aircraft," according to The Associated Press.
Original, and here.