Saturday, September 5, 2015

Just got back home...

Just got back home ... from our outing to Maddox Drive-In.  That was quite an experience, and I mean that entirely in a good way.  It's very reminiscent of the way drive-ins used to be, about 50 years ago.  You drive into a parking space that's under an awning, to protect you from sun and rain.  A few seconds after we parked, a young lady came out to see what we wanted.  I ordered a cheeseburger with (homemade!) root beer, and Debbie ordered a “half basket” of chicken (three pieces of fried chicken, with fries, gravy, and a roll) and some iced tea.  We paid with a credit card – a modern enhancement :)  A few minutes later our meal arrived (on a window-mounted tray), and every last bit of it was delicious.  My cheeseburger was a thick patty of excellent beef, a molten slice of cheddar on top, a perfectly grilled bun, and all the right trimmings.  The fries were outstanding.  Debbie's chicken, she reports, was delicious, and she ate all of it.

After we finished, Debbie spotted one of the servers walking by with a gigantic chocolate ice cream cone.  Neither of us had much room left, so Debbie ordered some chocolate ice cream in a dish, and we figured we'd split it.  Well, our server came back with close to a quart of ice cream.  We decided we'd eat it on the way home, with Debbie feeding me spoonfuls at a time.  I thought we'd be throwing away most of it.  Oh, no, we weren't – because after we tasted the first spoonful we both decided that this ambrosia wasn't going to go to waste.  As I write this my belly is distended from eating large quantities of chocolate ice cream on top of a big meal.  I still can't believe just how good that stuff was!  Right to the last bite we were both eagerly slurping it down.  They make the ice cream at Maddox, and it tastes like it.

The bill for that entire meal, including the ice cream and a generous tip for our server, was less than $22.  By today's standards, that's one heck of a deal.  We'll be back to Maddox Drive-In, for sure!

In just the nick of time, I tell ya!

In just the nick of time, I tell ya!  I would have thought that California politicians would find it challenging to top the level of lunacy they've displayed in the past few years.  Looks like I was wrong: they've done it.

If the Democrats actually do this, do you suppose that would get a majority of Californians to vote otherwise?

Oh, of course not.  Instead, probably they'd elect even more of these wackos!

We escaped that bastion of bonkerosity in just the nick of time!

Steve McIntyre is back at it...

Steve McIntyre is back at it ... shredding bad climatology and exposing truth wherever he can.  I'm not sure why there was a hiatus of a few months, but I'm glad to see him back on it...

“Why A Woman Can’t Be More Like A Man.”

“Why A Woman Can’t Be More Like A Man.”  That's the headline on Megan McArdle's piece about recent research that adds to the body of scientific evidence showing structural and functional differences between the brains of men and women.  It's an entirely typical McArdle piece: insightful, illuminating, and funny.  Her conclusion:
So if we find out that women's brains really are different from men's, in ways that are driven not by the environment in which they are raised but the hormones suffusing their brain, we're going to need to start by rethinking the ways that we identify sexism in the first place -- and then start thinking about what sort of remedies might be appropriate. This is going to be an even longer, messier negotiation than the one we're having now.

Especially if science tells us that women are just better at understanding complicated stuff like science. Men, the benighted darlings, will just have to trust us.
Megan McArdle is a national treasure. Her existence gives me hope for the future of this country...

Morning in Paradise...

Morning in Paradise ... usually means a morning walkie with Race and Miki, and it did this morning, too.  Lots and lots of hawks about, all still hunting the voles exposed a few weeks ago when the barley was cut.  I think the vole population is now down to about 10% of its peak level, and now there are ever more predators focused on ever fewer prey.  Things are not looking good for the voles, much to the delight of all the farmers around.

A couple photos from our walk (sunflower and alfalfa in bloom, respectively):

After we got back home, I placed my tripod sprinklers in a new location for the day.  Since I've equipped all my hoses with quick-connect fasteners, this job has gotten much less tedious – no unscrewing and screwing of hose connectors required!  Also, the new tripods I bought a few weeks ago are working just great – they're sturdy, stable, and put the sprinkler up high where it can cover more ground. 

I made myself a nice light breakfast with a variant of my garbanzo bean salad.  This time I used a can of garbanzos, a tomato, about half a bottled roasted red pepper, two dill pickles, and a couple teaspoons of Duke's mayonnaise.  Yum!

Debbie and I are going to try a new place to eat for lunch: Maddox Drive-In, in Perry (just south of Brigham City).  This is run by the same people who run Maddox Ranch House, where we've had a couple of fine beef meals.  Today I'm going to have me a cheeseburger and some homemade root beer!

The roundabout way to Mantua...

The roundabout way to Mantua...  We had a little four-wheeling adventure late yesterday afternoon, and it led to the best viewing of peregrine falcons we've ever had.

We started out heading south from home, through Paradise and Avon and on to the (dirt) road leading over the mountains to Liberty.  We didn't go more than two or three miles on that road, though, as we turned right (west) on a intersection that our map said leads all the way to Mantua.  After passing through a gate we climbed for several miles, finally reaching a pass that gave us the view above.  The lake is the Mantua Reservoir, and through the gap to its left you can make out (in the glare) the northern reaches of Brigham City.

There were several routes available to take at that pass, and none of them are marked.  The majority of the traffic takes a branch that goes to a private home and is gated off.  The road that continues through bears to the right of that branch, and is apparently little traveled – it was kind of rough :)  For the next couple of miles or so, it headed steeply down through a series of rocky switchbacks.  If it's wet or muddy, that section could be challenging.  Yesterday was neither, and we had no trouble.  Once down on the bottom, we crossed a wide and fairly flat valley, quite pretty, and chock full of peregrine falcons.  They were by far the most common bird there.  At some points we had 10 or so of them doing their tricky acrobatic flying all around us.  We saw lots of them perched on fence posts, including one with a half-eaten mouse that gripped the fence post with its knees while hanging onto the mouse with its claws.  That was exciting for us, to see all those beautiful falcons!

After we crossed that “Falcon Valley”, we headed down a draw an into Mantua's valley.  The photo above left shows some pretty lighting we saw on the way down.  Mantua has an unlikely pronunciation: MAN-uh-way.  How they get that pronunciation from that spelling is beyond my ken, but the locals all insist that's correct.

It was a very pleasant evening drive for us: some real four-wheeling, a bazillion falcons, and even a few deer thrown in for good measure.  We'll be doing that drive again, for sure!