Friday, July 29, 2011
Lost Cat / Gato Perdido
Reward / Recompensa
7 year old female Savannah cat named Jua Ini. Light yellowish tan with deep orange spots.
Missing since 7/1/11, but she has been reported seen very recently in the area of Castle Peak Lane and Beaver Hollow Rd.
If you see or hear of her, please let us know right away!
Please call us at 619-291-1225 or 858-354-1886!
Or email us at
We love and miss her! We can't sleep from worrying about her.
Jua Ini is very wary, and runs and hides from strangers. Please do not chase or grab her.
You can gently and slowly offer her food and water, to encourage her to stick around. If you call us to get her, we'll be there in a flash.
If you help us locate her and we get her back safe, you get the reward (money or a Savannah kitten, or excellent live music).
They live on Lawson Valley Road, north of Skyline Truck Trail, a half mile or so from the stop sign. Please keep an eye out for their beautiful cat, and contact them if you see it!
The basic notion is a simple one: scientists have known for a long, long time that the heat energy striking the Earth from the Sun is eventually re-radiated back out into space. This much is obvious from the fact that the Earth hasn't been heated to the point of incandescence (which it certainly would be if the Sun's energy wasn't re-radiated).
The question has always been, basically, how long is that energy “stored” on Earth before being re-radiated? That time then determines how hot the Earth gets.
The computer models used by the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents makes a lot of assumptions about this critical factor. The research at the link shows that one of the key assumptions – and one used by every AGW model – is dead wrong. This means that the model's results are dead wrong. And it also means that the model's projections of the impact of manmade carbon dioxide are dead wrong.
I want to see this research verified before I'll feel any sense of vindication. But I am feeling some anticipation...
I thought “spending cuts” means that we'd spend less money in the future than we do today. Oh, silly me. It turns out that Washington uses a different definition. To them, “spending cuts” means a smaller increase than would otherwise be planned. Even with the “spending cuts”, the Boehner plan would spend more each year than in the year before. Some “cut”!
Can you imagine anywhere other than the loony bin that is Washington where one could get away with this sort of blatant misuse of common English? In any business environment, you'd be out on your butt before you could blink.
Some assembly required...
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Mexico’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, suffered over 3,100 murders last year. That's 238 per 100,000 population. That's far higher than Baghdad during the height of the terrorism violence a few years ago. In New York City, the rate is 6.5. The most violent American city, Camden, New Jersey, has a rate of 40. Meanwhile, Ciudad Juarez has a new police chief, who cleaned up the violence in Tijuana, a city with the same population (1.3 million), and the same problem (out-of-control drug gang violence.)Ciudad Juarez' new mayor is famous for “cleaning up” Tijuana. But that is a very, er, flexible term: last year Tijuana had almost 1,000 murders (including dozens of Americans). More Americans were murdered last year in Tijuana than in all of San Diego County, by a large margin.
And yet very few people seem to even know about this, much less be concerned about it. Partly this must be the relative inattention paid by the lamestream media. Thousands of news clips play every year about American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan; very few on American casualties in Mexico. But the lamestream media is driven by what they believe people are interested in. Are they correct on this one? Are Americans completely disinterested in the chaos and lawlessness just south of the border? Sadly, my own experience supports that notion...
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
As we get older, we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world. It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.
Harold Schlumberg is such a person:
"I've often been asked, 'What do you do now that you're retired?' Well, I'm fortunate to have a chemical engineering background, and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine and vodka into urine. Then I piss on photos of The Senate and The House. I do it every day and I really enjoy it."
Harold is an inspiration to us all...
When I heard that the president was making a speech this evening, naturally I made plans to watch it. After all, our nation is at a crossroads--either we will figure out a way to work together and pass a debt ceiling increase, or we'll be forced into default or government shutdown. I wanted to know what the president had to say at this critical juncture. Now, having listened to his speech, and John Boehner's response, I am left with the same question that is on the lips of every American: why on earth did I bother?Then there's her conclusion:
That was what I kept thinking about as I watched tonight's speeches. These guys are out of ammunition. They don't even have any good arguments left to fire at each other. Which I think means we're hosed.That's pretty close to my own take, which really boils down to this: not one of these bozos in a position to actually do something is sincerely looking out for the country; instead, it's all about the political positioning. Washington is broken, and broken bad. Incremental fixes aren't likely to work. What we need is a revolution.
Read the whole thing.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2011 EUROPE : BY JOHN CLEESE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.
There's another slightly subtle benefit of a wide angle lens. It's very obvious if you have two photos of the same subject side-by-side, one taken with a wide angle lens and the other with a telephoto lens. The wide angle photo looks more “natural”, more “three dimensional”, while the telephoto picture looks “flat”. The photo above was taken at a distance of 6 inches, with a wide angle lens. It's a good approximation of what you'd see if you were out there eyeball-to-eyeball with our little hummer lady.
Now if the orioles would only let me get this close!
Monday, July 25, 2011
A large jet plane crashed on a farm in the middle of rural Kentucky. Panic stricken, the local sheriff mobilized and descended on the farm in force. By the time they got there, the aircraft was totally destroyed with only a burned hull left smoldering in a tree line that bordered the farm. The sheriff and his men entered the smoking mess but could find no remains of anyone.
They spotted the farmer plowing a field not too far away as if nothing had happened. They hurried over to the man's tractor.
"Hank," the sheriff yelled, panting and out of breath. "Did you see this terrible accident happen?"
"Yep. Sure did," the farmer mumbled unconcerned, cutting off the tractor's engine.
"Do you realize that is Air Force One the airplane of the President of the United States ?"
"Were there any survivors?"
"Nope. They's all kilt straight out," the farmer answered. "I done buried them all myself. Took me most of the morning."
"President Obama is dead?" the sheriff asked.
"Well," the farmer grumbled, restarting his tractor. "He kept a-saying he wasn't. But you know how bad that sumbitch lies..."
** It's fireproof.
** He's probably just hibernating.
** What does this button do?
** It's probably just a rash.
** Are you sure the power is off?
** The odds of that happening have to be a million to one!
** Pull the pin and count to what?
** Which wire was I supposed to cut?
** I wonder where the mother bear is.
** I've seen this done on TV.
** These are the good kind of mushrooms.
** I'll hold it and you light the fuse.
** Let it down slowly.
** It's strong enough for both of us.
** This doesn't taste right.
** I can make this light before it changes.
** Nice doggie.
** I can do that with my eyes closed.
** I've done this before.
** What duck?
** Well, we've made it this far.
** That's odd.
** Don't be so superstitious.
** Now watch this.
If you have any news of Mongol activity in Jamul, please drop me a line...
The directions for Macs are ridiculously simple: basicly (a) turn on your computer, and (b) pick the McDonald's WiFi network. For Windows, on the other hand...
Four years ago, at the end of the day I started working for ServiceNow, I brought home the shiny new Mac PowerBook that they issued me. I hadn't used a Mac before, so I was anticipating a complicated effort to get the Mac connected to my WiFi at home. I even had a plan: I'd get on the Internet with my Windows desktop first, then start Googling when I ran into issues. Note the assumption: based on all my experience with Windows, I expected to run into issues.
Instead, here's what happened: I opened and powered up my PowerBook. After logging into it, I got a polite message saying that it had detected my network at home, and would I like to connect? I say “yes”, of course. Then it came up with another message saying that it had detected that my network was secured, and would I please tell it the key? I entered the key, and then I was connected. Just like that! Even better: now when I come home at night, I just turn on my PowerBook and I'm connected, no muss, no fuss. Furthermore, this nifty little feature remembers every WiFi network I've ever been connected to, automagically reconnects all by it's lonesome. It's so freakin' easy compared with Windows!
There are lots of complicated reasons why Macs are easier to use, and there are lots of things that Windows does better than a Mac.
First and foremost amongst what Macs do better: a controlled hardware platform. All Macs, because they're all made by Apple, have a known and controllable hardware kit. This makes it far easier for Apple to do things like the WiFi magic described above.
First and foremost amongst what Windows machines do better: competition. Windows laptops, perfectly good ones, can be had for about half the price of a Mac laptop – that's competition at work.
It used to be true that there was a far wider variety of software available for Windows computers. This gap has been narrowed considerably by the advent of free open source software, and eliminated completely by the fact that modern Mac machines can all run Windows software directly (on Windows itself in a virtual machine running on OS/X).
So it all boils down to a personal decision about what's important to you. My own decision: I'm never buying another Windows machine for my own personal use, period. I'll buy Macs, their competition if it ever comes out, and Linux machines. I've used Windows machines for over 20 years, and Macs for 4 years, and there's no doubt at all that I'm more productive, and happier, with a Mac. Enough so that I'll gladly pay the price premium...
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
The first one (above right) shows a dense patch of these plants in an area where I have not yet mowed. Those plants are about 30 inches tall. In this area there isn't a single weed of any kind. Before I encouraged this mystery plant, this area was a dense bed of mustard.
In most of my yard I've mowed these down to just an inch and a half high. So far, they appear to be enduring this abuse just fine. We'll see for sure in the next couple of months, as I know from past experience that these will continue to grow slowly in the summer months (though my past experience is with unmowed plants!).
Any help on identification would be greatly appreciated. If nothing else, I'll be able to put the correct name on the shrine I'm planning to erect to this weed-snuffer!!!
“Mongols” was the reply. The Mongols motorcycle gang is gathering in the Jamul area this weekend, and the law enforcement folks are here to make sure they don't get too rowdy. Oh, and to protect their civil right to assemble peacefully, too.
Debbie and I are torn between being comforted by the law enforcement blanket, or disturbed by the fact that law enforcement perceives the need for such a blanket.
We are unambiguously comforted by the presence of weapons and ammunition in our house, though...
The dogs were their usual selves. Race was all about the pine cones, and the three brown dogs were all about the smells. There was enough light for me to make out things moving all over the yard – rabbits, I'm pretty sure. The dogs never noticed them, though that may well be what the brown dogs were smelling...
Sure is nice to be home!
The Cincinnati area was incredibly hot, 116°F on the heat index and 103°F on the thermometer. The relative humidity was 100%, and felt like it – the air seemed to have substance, to require real work to push through. Every time I emerged into the outdoors from an air-conditioned space, I gasped with the shock of it.
When I got home, it was 54°F and 3% relative humidity. What a relief!
Monday, July 18, 2011
The place we're staying, by purest happenstance, is a mere 40 miles from my mother-in-law's (Kate's) home in Liberty, Indiana. On Tuesday night I'm going to go visit with her and my sister-in-law Judy (who lives nearby). Kate doesn't know I'm coming, but Judy does. Judy and Debbie seem to think it's a good idea to surprise Kate, but I'm not so sure...
Saturday, July 16, 2011
This year is different than previous years around our place, for several reasons. Firstly, I've had great success encouraging a native plant (that I've yet to identify!); it's now occupying about a third of our cleared yard area with some vigor and density. This is good for multiple reasons: it inhibits mustard and filaree (the two weeds we hate the most), it's easy to mow, it's a pleasant sage green even through the dry season, and it attracts birds. Win! Another difference this year is that we had a very wet winter, and consequently all our native plants had a growth spurt – including the danged weeds. Finally, I have a new mower this year and it is by far the best tool I've yet had for knocking the weeds down. This mower is unitimidated by even the toughest “tree mustard”, it's light and easy to maneuver, and it's powered drive works very well indeed on our yard's steep slopes. Win!
Today I managed to mow the entire front part of our yard, making two passes to get it all. My legs are tired.
Debbie and I went down the hill this afternoon to our favorite local sushi (Yuki Sushi in Rancho San Diego) and stuffed ourselves with great sushi. The salmon and the albacore nigiri sushi was particularly good today. Then I got a haircut while Debbie went grocery shopping. While I was getting my hair cut, a guy who looked to be about 50 years old walked in, a little hesitantly. One look at this guy and you knew he was military. Sam, the barbershop owner, is very soft-spoken. He went over to this guy, said hello, and asked him if he wanted a haircut. The guy (named Joe) nodded yes, and Sam told him there was a line about an hour long. But then Sam asked Joe if he was military, and Joe, a little puzzled, answered yes. Sam said “Then there is no wait for you, Joe – step over to my chair and I'll take care of you right now.” After Joe's haircut was done (before my barber finished with mine!), Joe tried to pay for it and Sam refused, saying that military never paid in his shop. Joe then tried to give Sam a tip, and Sam refused – and took $20 out of the register and told Joe to have a drink with his friends, on Sam. Joe was a little embarrassed by all this, but then he and Sam talked for a little while and it became obvious why Sam (an Iraqi Chaldean refugee) was so thankful of the U.S. military. We also discovered that Joe was a Master Sargeant in EOD (he disarms bombs), and had been on two tours in Iraq and was about to leave for his third in Afghanistan. Joe walked out with a spiffy new haircut, an extra $20 in his pocket, and a big smile on his face.
Incidents like this always make me happy, and at the same time bring back some damned unpleasant memories of my treatment as a U.S. sailor by civilians in the '70s. A free haircut? It was far more likely I'd have been refused service (and in fact, I used military barbers during that period). Several of us in the barbershop said something positive to Joe, thanking him for his service or some such thing. This never happened to me when I was in the military, not even once. The opposite sort of thing happened so often that I got good at avoiding situations were it might occur, and got quite hardened to it. Somehow that experience of mine makes it even more meaningful to see incidents like this at Sam's place today...
Thursday, July 14, 2011
On our morning walk, the four dogs were completely back to normal. Race has completely forgotten the joys of sniffing that he indulged in on our trip – now it's all about the pine cones. The three brown dogs (field spaniels) are a sniffing pack once again, smelling as fast as they can for the pure joy of it.
Here it is mid-July, and our temperatures are still spring-like cool. Yesterday's high was just 85°F, much cooler than the usual 95°F or so for this season. August and September are usually our hottest months; if this cool weather persists we're going to have a very pleasant summer here...
Friday, July 8, 2011
We only had the jeep for a half day today, as we had to bring it back and clean it before turning it back in. So for our last little trip, we went to Clear Lake – a nice, easy drive off State 550. The lake itself (at right) was half-frozen, and the lush pastures around it were too immature to sport the deer and elk we looked for. We were hoping to see some wildlife, and we did: some elk just north of the Red Mountain Pass (on State 550), and then two moose and a snowshoe hare right at the beginning of the Clear Lake road. All of these sightings were within the first 30 minutes of the drive; the rest of the time we saw only the most common things (chipmunks and marmots). We did have one other fun sighting: we stopped at a campsite to look at what we thought was an axe someone had left behind. As we walked around, a grey jay fluttered around us within arms reach, very curious. Also, Debbie walked up to within a foot or so of a small chipmunk, who seemed completely unperturbed...
We also took another fork in the road that leads out to some campgrounds. At the very end of the road, just east of a campground, is a series of beaver ponds (and the proud lodge). These were beautiful, mature ponds with lots of willow around the edges. The oldest dam has flowers growing on it. Here are a couple views of it:
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The trip started with a quick run up to Engineer Pass – we were up there by 8:30 am. The two panoramas below were taken from a small knoll just southwest of the pass. Taken together, they form a 360° panorama from that location. It sure feels like the top of the world!