Thursday, March 31, 2016
So we zoomed through all the formalities of reading and accepting last year's minutes, a status report, and opening the floor for questions. There was much good humor, even though there were no free donuts this time. Even the election of three new Board members was done to general good cheer and no contention, with just one candidate for each of the three districts. By the time we got around to the last one, we were all tired of the process and we just re-elected the existing Board member by acclamation – didn't even bother with the nomination :)
The most interesting bit to me was the review of the financial statement. The small scale of this water company amazes me. Their total expenses for the year (which includes assessments for their share of the Porcupine Reservoir itself and the High Line water delivery canal) are well under $100,000 – and they've got over 6 months of expenses in the bank. Things like the accountant's fee ($400) are significant enough, proportionally, to be on their own line on the annual P&L. Such a tiny little enterprise ... and yet there are hundreds of people whose livelihoods are utterly dependent on it. Of course the biggest reason why it's so inexpensive to run this little water company is that it's not a government enterprise – it's basically a formalized cooperative, a non-profit mutual benefit society. As such it has huge incentives for reducing costs, and every shareholder is cognizant of that.
One can only imagine what would happen if the government were to take over. Here in Utah, my guess would be a trebling of expenses. In California, it would easily be much more than that. They spent $3.5 million building a bridge over a creek on a two lane road – some California bureaucrat would look at this water company as an opportunity to build an empire, and soon we'd have office buildings, platoons of administrators, unions everywhere, etc., etc. My guess would be something like 100x the current expenses of Paradise Irrigation.
I love living here!
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
On my way down the stairs, Debbie hollered down to ask if perchance the water was running in the cattery sink. Why, yes it was. It then turned out that Konani (our newest addition) had previously been suspected of turning on the faucets so he could play in the water. Apparently he turned on the hot water this time – and drained the entire tank of hot water!
I thought of a way to kitten-proof the faucets, by strapping a bungee cord around the handles (first photo below). I pulled out our container of bungees and went to work. Meanwhile, Devil-spawn (aka Konani, second photo below) decided to spill the bungees onto the floor, and as fast as he could distribute them to the far corners of his universe. This caused me to remember all sorts of words and terms that I have exercised only infrequently since leaving the U.S. Navy, lo these many moons ago. I spent 10 seconds kitten-proofing the faucet, and 10 minutes gathering bungees, some of which were in the next zip code. The whole time I was doing this, Devil-spawn was riding on my slipper, chewing and clawing as fast as he could. I think he was trying to fell me. My words, which would have scorched any mortal being, had no discernible effect on him.
Oh, and the hot water heater works just fine.
I took those just before I went into the barn to start painting the trailer sides. Here's what it looked like before and after I got the first coat of primer on:
That's 90 minutes worth of painting there, because I used a brush. It's going to take a total of 6 steps to paint these, because I have to paint each side with one coat of primer and two top coats. It works best, I've learned, if I flip the pieces in between each coat – but that means I have to wait longer between coats, so that the coat I just did is hard enough to stand up to resting on the rails. I'm going to try priming the second side later this afternoon; we'll see if that was a bright move a bit later :)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
NPR: I'm here to see what people on the street think of Bernie Sanders.The. Doom. Approaches.
NPR: What do you think is the first, most important issue that Bernie should tackle?
YW: Auto-correct. He should fix auto-correct on smart phones.
NPR: (giggling) Yeah, I'd like that fixed, too. But seriously, what would you want Bernie to do?
YW: I was serious. I can't think of anything more important than that!
NPR: (still giggling) Well, what about, say, terrorism?
YW: (peeved) What, don't you think terrorists have problems with auto-correct?
NPR: (speechless for a moment, then walking away) I'm so ashamed right now.
Monday, March 28, 2016
The first task came before I mounted the wooden platform (the orange thing) onto the steel frame (the part with the wheels). I'd already assembled and aligned the frame, but I never had aired up the tires or greased all the (numerous) points that need it. There are 8 zerc fittings plus a couple dozen exposed metal points where good old-fashioned grease was needed.
I figured I'd do the easy part first: the zerc fittings. Little did I know how much work that was going to be! I used up all my grease (about a half tube) on the first zerc fitting. I have a pneumatic grease gun, so that took about 15 seconds. Off to Tractor Supply I went to pick up a couple tubes of grease. When I got there, I found them on sale for half price, so I bought eight of them. Good thing I did – I went through four entire tubes before I filled those fittings. There must be huge grease reservoirs inside the wheels. That's a good thing, I guess, but I was sure surprised!
Then came the time to mount the wooden platform onto the frame. That platform weighs around 160 lbs., more than I can maneuver by myself. It started out up on sawhorses, as you've seen on previous posts. I roped it to my hoist and lifted it up, then positioned the frame under it and lowered it back down. The job of getting it exactly in the right place while lowering it the last little bit was made especially challenging by the fact that the control for the hoist was 15 feet over my head, in the loft. I ran up and down the stairs about 20 times before I finally had the thing in position, about 1/2" above the mounting holes. Then all I had to do was lift the frame slightly and slip the bolts into place. That sounds easy when I write it like that, but it was actually quite a challenge: heavy parts that needed to be held to within 1/16" or so of the right place while inserting the bolt with my “free” hand. That part would have been a lot easier with a couple of helpers :)
But I got it done. Yay!
The cart rolls around very nicely. All the sides are built (I forgot to take photos of that event), and tomorrow they're going up on sawhorses to be painted. Then I'm done!
So what's unexpected about that? Here's what: her report was cogent, accurate, and very much on point. One example of the unexpected excellence: she spent a bit of time discussing some of the speculation on the nature of the outside (i.e., non-Apple) help that the FBI is getting to unlock that phone. She listed several methods, some of which required physical access to the particular phone (hardware-based methods) and some of which did not (exploits of software vulnerabilities). Alina then talked about how the methods requiring physical access really don't impact our personal security (for our own iPhones) nearly as much as the software vulnerabilities do. That's a distinction that's obvious to a technologist, but not to many people, and Alina did a great job navigating that with easy to understand language. Her whole discussion, in fact, was completely jargon-free.
Kudos, Alina! That was a very nice job. And you've just enticed me to follow you on Twitter – and I have to tell you that's the very first time I've even been tempted to follow someone on NPR.
I've worked with (young) people who didn't believe me (until I showed them via Google) when I told them that computer screens used to work by shooting electrons through a vacuum to strike phosphorescent material that glowed. These were cathode-ray tubes (CRTs), familiar to anyone over about 30 years old – but literally museum pieces today. Those CRTs seemed magical to us in the '70s, when they started to replace teletypes as the human interface to computers. At first CRTs were only monochrome (e.g., black & white), then in the '80s full color CRTs started to become common.
Those CRTs were far from perfect. The displays were a little fuzzy, the devices were large, heavy, and power-hungry, and the fidelity near the edges was notably worse than in the center. Still, they let us put text and pictures on a screen, and they were way better than those damned teletypes.
Then the flat liquid crystal displays came along in the '90s. They got better and cheaper very quickly, and in the blink of an eye they totally replaced CRTs. They're smaller, lighter, sip electricity, and (best of all) their fidelity is darned near perfect. The fuzziness is gone ... text is crisp and clear from edge-to-edge. Lines are straight. The screen is flat, not curved. They are so much better than CRTs that nobody cried when CRTs went the way of the dodo.
And then ... these nuts go to a whole bunch of trouble to make a video game played on a modern flat screen look like the very imperfect CRTs. Because nostalgia, or something less charitable.
And here I am remembering how magical it seemed the first time I saw a teletype printing computer output.
I feel old.
The engineer in me wants to know how they print these things. From the speed and the fact that they're doing it on rare earth magnets, I'm thinking that they somehow reorient the fields inside an existing conventional magnet. The vague descriptions on the Correlated Magnetics site seem to support that notion. But I have no clue how they can do that on the scale they're working with...
The weather forecast calls for a high of 45°F today, and rain through this evening. You'd think that would take care of most of this white stuff, but it's not quite so easy. The snow has been sliding off the roof of our house all night, and now we've got piles all around the house about 18" high. That will take another week or so to go away, especially on the north side of the house.
This man is ready for spring!
One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license.“Individual responsibility.” Sounds almost anachronistic, doesn't it?
Tom's corollary: “I hate it when I’m an idiot!”
Sunday, March 27, 2016
ITHACA, NY—In an ambitious attempt to revive a population long considered to be on the brink of extinction, scientists announced Friday they have slowly begun to reintroduce normal, well-adjusted human beings back into society.Read the whole thing!
According to officials at Cornell University, where for the past 18 years conservation researchers have operated an enclosed sanctuary for humans who are levelheaded and make it a habit to think before they speak, the endangered group is being cautiously reintegrated into select locations nationwide in hopes that they can reestablish permanent communities and one day thrive again.
I expect this attempt to fail :)
I am so glad to be living in fly-over country!
The rest of my day yesterday somehow got consumed by some shopping and other running around. I didn't do a darned thing on the trailer – and I thought I would finish the construction yesterday! The weather turned out to be very nice – blue sky, sunshine, and mild temperatures. That is, until Debbie and I decided to take a drive out to Porcupine Reservoir. There we ran into snow flurries – while still under that nice blue sky and in sunshine! The nearest clouds large enough to produce that snow were miles away, so what must have happened is that winds were blowing that snow a long way from the source cloud. It was weird!
We chose Porcupine Reservoir because we hoped there would be fewer weekend visitors there, and that worked out just fine. On the other hand, there wasn't very much wildlife to see. The most interesting thing we (Debbie, actually) spotted was a group of four Sandhill Cranes foraging in a field about a quarter mile off the road. We had a great view of those strange birds. We also got to see some baby goats and lambs in a couple of farmyards. There were a few deer, too, but that was it for wildlife. The reservoir itself was looking very spring-like: all the ice is gone, and the level is up to within about 15' of the top. I don't think we're going to have any water issues this year! I walked across the entire earthen dam and took the photos below on that walk:
Both were taken near the south end of the dam, the first looking west across the drainage and the second looking east across the reservoir. It's a pretty spot...
Friday, March 25, 2016
Our oldest cat is a fellow we call Koa. We're not sure exactly how hold he is, but it's somewhere around 16 or 17. We noticed a hard lump on his right hip a few weeks ago, and we've been visiting the vet with him to try and figure out what the heck it was. Yesterday on one of those followup visits, she (Dr. Russell) advised us that it was getting larger, faster, and had started to invade some bone in his pelvis. That didn't sound good, and the behavior was tumor-like, though she saw no other indications of cancer. She advised surgery to remove it.
So today we took him up there to get that surgery. He came through it just fine, and he's home now trying to recovery his dignity (and get some sleep). The bad news is that the mass she removed was like nothing she's ever seen before – it looks like neither a typical infection nor a tumor. We always get the weird things, it seems. So she's going to simultaneously send samples off for biopsy (mainly to see if its a tumor), and culture it (just in case it's an infection of some weird kind). We're putting the poor lad on Clavamox (antibiotic) preemptively, just in case it turns out to be an infection. Early next week we should have a bit more information, and can make a decision about what to do. We hope...
Thursday, March 24, 2016
The rest of the photos show various steps and progress with my fabrication of the stakes. There are 18 stakes, each of them 2'6" long. These were cut out of 8' 2x4s, and then one end of each had to be sawn down to match the pocket size. That involved sawing about 1/4" from the bottom 5" of each of the narrow sides of each stake, and about 1/8" from the wide side. In the first photo below, you can see just how thin a slice that made on the wide side! I did this with my band saw, which made short work of something that would have been quite tedious without it. Then I drilled three carefully placed holes in each of the stakes (for 54 holes in all); these are where the bolts that hold the slats on will go. I finished all of that fabrication today – so now I have all 18 stakes sitting nicely in their steel pockets, and holes in the right place for each one. Tomorrow I'll start putting on the slats!
- It really is completely free. They never even asked for a credit card.
- It's a blacklist-based system - it looks up the number calling you, and if it's in their (apparently huge) database, it gets blocked. If the caller is not on the blacklist (and presumably your friends, family, and local people are not), they get through without any trouble.
- You don't have to do anything to maintain it. With the Sentry 2, I spent some time every week adding numbers to block and numbers to allow. With Nomorobo, I do nothing. I like nothing :)
We've had just one robocall slip through since starting our use of Nomorobo. That was a political call for Bernie Sanders (boy did they pick the wrong household for that!). Our neighbors reported getting dozens of robocalls in the days leading up to our primaries this Tuesday. Nomorobo blocked all but one of them.
At the same time, now we have zero problems with people getting through that we want to get through. The Sentry 2 greets callers it doesn't know with a deliberately intimidating message, so if a store calls us and we don't have their number programmed in, they get that message. Now they just hear the phone ring, as though we had no call blocking at all.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
At first, the course purpose statement presents a view of knowledge as constructed by suggesting that there is a possibility that different conclusions can be drawn from the evidence by the choice to use “a” instead of “the” conclusion. However, the second sentence indicates that the techniques to analyze the evidence, once learned, are to be used instead of applied. This indicates that the knowledge of the tools, as well as the tools themselves, are facts, and students will learn how to use the tools to find correct answers instead of becoming independent constructors of knowledge. This represents a conflict between active learning techniques and a view of knowledge as a static concept. While there is a recognition that students learn better through active learning techniques, the knowledge being learned is still viewed as factual and unchanging, further reinforcing the masculine nature of STEM education.So, according to her, saying:
The answer to two plus two is four.Is masculine, wrong-headed, and off-putting to women. Instead we should say:
An answer to two plus two is four.Because that's so much more sensitive, the answer might change over time, and it would make STEM more approachable for women.
There's much more babble of just this sort if you read the entire paper (it's not long, nor is it technical).
Somebody take this planet, please!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
But it's done now :)
Tomorrow I shall start on the stake sides. Woo hoo!
I am not appalled by the idea of normalizing relations with Cuba, dropping the embargo (which Obama can't do on his own; he needs the Congress for that) , and encouraging business to invest there (assuming the Cuban government changes their policies to allow it). In fact I support these ideas, as it's been clear for 30 years or so that the 50+ years of Cuban embargo and isolation have been a complete failure in terms of their original goals (bringing the Cuban government to its knees). It seems at least worth trying a different approach, especially when that different approach will bring at least a little more prosperity to the Cuban people. It's also possible that it will bring changes in the authoritarian government.
I am appalled by the way that Obama has gone about it. The optics of that portrait of him saluting in front of the Che Guevara mural are just horrible. He's apparently obtained very little in the way of concessions or commitments from the Cubans. He's allowed himself to be used by Raul Castro in a way that makes the U.S. seem like the supplicant. He's managed to take an opportunity for America to shine and turn it into a moment of American shame.
But nevertheless I'm glad to see some movement on this front.
Now if we could just get the U.N. out of the refugee business, we'd really be making some progress!
Aside from some tricksy measuring (involving division of fractions!), there's nothing particularly challenging about installing these pocket brackets. I'd cleaned and painted them last fall. All I had to do yesterday was mark the holes, drill them, and then fasten them with bolts. The nuts I used have nylon elements built in to hold them in place (the same thing that lock washers do, but neater). These take quite a bit of torque to screw on – more than the square end of a carriage bolt can resist, in most cases. So there was a bit of tricky use of pliers to keep the ends of the carriage bolts from twisting.
One nice little touch was enabled by the oscillating saw that I bought last year (in the second photo), after watching some of our remodeling craftsmen using one. I was able to cut the bolts off to the exact correct length. It took six seconds for each bolt with that saw. Lovely thing, it is!
For instance, here in Utah casting a vote for a Democratic candidate for president is just such a meaningless act. The state is completely in the tank for Republicans, and there is precisely zero chance that a Democratic candidate could prevail. So what would be the point of forcing someone to cast that vote? It will have no effect on the outcome at all.
Utter uselessness aside, I also object on a different basis. Refusing to vote is just as much an electoral choice as casting a vote is. The absence of my vote for, say, Trump is contributing to the outcome exactly as much as a vote for Clinton – but without endorsing Clinton.
Then there's this. Consider that the likelihood (at the moment, anyway) is that the November election will be a choice between Trump and Clinton. The idea of forcing someone to choose between those two is morally repugnant. It would be like forcing someone about to be executed to push the button that injected them with fatal drugs...
“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”This is an admission by an insider to the initiation of the so-called war on drugs that the motivation was political, not out of any concern for the people using drugs or the rest of the population. It was all about winning elections.
I found it in an article that I almost didn't read, because I know I have major disagreements with the author, Dan Baum. He's an advocate for legalizing drugs (and ending the war on drugs), as am I. However, he strongly advocates for making drug production and distribution a state monopoly, a notion I find abhorrent. We have a state monopoly on alcohol distribution where we live in Utah, and the only things that accomplishes here are increased prices and inconvenience. But the rest of the article is a good backgrounder for anyone who isn't already aware of the scam that's been pulled on them concerning drugs...
“Those who think the past predicts the future are condemned to pick the wrong stocks.”...and here's the (interesting!) post it comes from.
If Scott Adams is right about how the (human) world works, then we're all a bunch of damn fools. And there are bits and pieces that feel very right to me...
What little snow remained on the ground last night should be melted by the time this is over :)
Monday, March 21, 2016
But then wait, there's more! We stopped to pick up sandwiches at Logan's Heroes, and they were terrific as always. Fresh torpedo rolls, top-notch meats, friendly service, and all the right condiments and veggies. Dang those sandwiches are good! And of course I washed it down with a big glass of Rosehill Dairy milk.
Now I'm practically comatose, but I'm going to go back out to my shed to do some more work. I'm trying to finish up the four-wheeled trailer project I started last fall...
My reason for disagreeing is quite straightforward: agreeing to work for free in exchange for future paid work was the key to my entrance into the technology workforce. Back in the early '80s, on the tail end of a couple of less-than-successful businesses, I needed a job. I very badly wanted to work with microprocessors (whether that meant hardware or software I didn't much care). I knew that I could do the work, as I had been doing it for six or seven years at that point – as a hobby, as a consultant (where credentials matter less), and in my own businesses.
The biggest challenge for me at that time was that I completely lacked the credentials to be employed as an engineer. I had no college degree. There was no open source movement back then, and no Internet, so there was no obvious way to use the peer recognition I had to help get a job. For instance, most potential employers had never heard of Gary Kildall or MP/M, and the code with my name on it was proprietary.
I needed a way to prove myself to a potential employer. I decided to offer my free services to such a company (Xscribe) for a limited time, with the understanding that after 90 days they'd either boot me out or hire me. I also made it clear that I'd be looking elsewhere while I worked there for free. I figured that if they weren't convinced of my skills after 90 days, they never would be. As things turned out, they made me a (great!) offer less than a month after I started. I never had trouble getting a job after that, as I then possessed a credential of sorts: a referenceable, verifiable track record.
So I'll disagree with Jacques on that point: sometimes working for free is a good idea...
We're planning to make a few modifications to our house this year. Those include a “mud room” outside the current front door, and a rear patio that opens onto the enclosed yard our dogs normally play in. We're planning a dog washing station on that patio: a place with a hose and a sprayer, where we can easily wash the dirt and mud off their feet in mud season. The gluey substance known as “Paradise mud” is almost impossible to remove without the assistance of high-pressure water. The dogs won't appreciate this, but we will!
I'm not so sure, whether we're discussing critters, plants, or languages. I'd have no problem with the extinction of mosquitoes (and my wife would be ecstatic!). Similarly, if burdock were to disappear forever, I'd shed no tears. Should I be anxious about the impending extinction of Naukan Yupik?
I'm not ready to out-and-out endorse the notion of making English the universal language of mankind. I'm well aware that as a native English speaker, such an outcome would be oh-so-convenient for me. As a veteran world traveler, though, I'm also very well aware of just how much friction the absence of a universal language for mankind introduces into any interaction between people who don't share a common language. From locating a bathroom to ordering a meal to conducting some business, everything is harder if you and the person you're dealing with don't speak the same language. Fluently. Easily. Natively.
I should note that I have a family reason for opposing the obliteration of non-English languages. My sister has a business that's predicated on the idea of teaching English to people for whom it would be a second language. The universal adoption of English would obliterate her business. I've not talked with her about this, but somehow I doubt she'd be in favor of this outcome :)
I haven't made up my mind about this. It's certainly true that language differences are an important part of the cultural differences that add a lot of interest to our world. There are tradeoffs. Most people talking about this topic tend toward overblown rhetoric mourning the disappearance of languages. But is the disappearance of language X intrinsically “tragic”? That's where I depart from the conventional line of thought, because I don't think so. I'd like to hear what the adoption of English means for the welfare of the people in the affected population. For example, if a young woman growing up in (say) eastern Siberia spoke English (natively) instead of the traditional local language spoken by 200 people – how much easier will it be for her to become a doctor? A welder? A programmer? I know the answer – it will be enormously easier, for the simple reason that she can read and understand the texts that are widely available, not to mention what's on the Internet. That's the tradeoff I'm interested in exploring: if the price of losing a language forever is X, what's the benefit? And is it worth it? I'd like to see a more sober weighing of the costs and benefits. I'm no expert in this area, but in terms of what's visible to me, the benefits of a universal language outweigh the costs, and not by a small margin.
What do you think?
Sunday, March 20, 2016
We're leaving soon to go join my brother Scott for a Sunday “lupper” at Angie's. Today is chicken soup day, so we'll be having that for sure. I'm feeling like some fish and chips, unless their special is mighty appealing...
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Well, this afternoon I spread the kit, its manual, my 'scope, multimeter, and soldering iron out on the kitchen table and went to work. An hour later, I had it all working, after fixing two more issues. First issue was a broken circuit board trace (for a total of three in the kit). The second (and last!) issue was all my own fault: a cold solder joint. But now it's all running!
Next step on this project: a nice wooden case of some kind. I'll have to ponder exactly what I want that to look like...
The crew today used a large propane torch powered from a 250 propane tank trailer they hauled behind a pickup. Here's what it looked like while they were working:
Tundra Swans. We're just barely within their normal winter range, and the pond is exactly the sort of place they visit when migrating.
The photos here are not mine, but I hope to have some bird photos of my own here soon. I've ordered a telescope that can mount my iPhone 6 to. I've seen some photos taken through it with an iPhone, and they're quite good...
Friday, March 18, 2016
We sat next to a couple who was visiting from Las Vegas. We overheard them raving to the waitress about what an unexpected pleasure their meal was – better than anything they could get in Las Vegas. We concur, but we'll note that in our own experience, that's not a particularly high bar :)
Thursday, March 17, 2016
All that was surprising enough. What I find even more surprising is that I can't find this text online! It's not often I do a Google search and get zero results!
Anybody recognize this (click to embiggen), and can tell me who sent it and why?
If you've been following this series, then you already know about the map we've made that shows all the places we've been talking about. You might also notice that today's list of lunch places only has one new place on it – we've already talked a bit about all the rest!
Logan's Heroes is the place we haven't mentioned before. It's a local institution, one of those places every local knows, and it's an easy walk from the fairgrounds. At lunch time the small dining area is generally packed with locals – farmers, tradesmen, college students, and people who work nearby. The menu isn't all that large, but we've yet to try a sandwich that wasn't great. The bread is fresh and good, and the owner and his helpers are experts at making great sandwiches. They're happy to accommodate any special things you want (or don't want!). If you're allergic to waiting, it's better to go outside of the lunch rush – and even then you might want to do takeout, as there aren't many tables there. The owner is a funny and interesting fellow, an Iranian immigrant who came here for college and stayed. He has an amazing talent that we envy: he remembers people and their stories, even if it's been many months since he last saw you – greets you by name and picks up the conversation you were having last week or last year!
Angie's has an extensive traditional lunch menu, with all sorts of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and some fare like fried chicken and fish 'n chips. Lots of locals go there for lunch, some (literally!) every day. Nothing fancy, no high prices, but it's all good, solid food, and the people are friendly as can be.
Jack's Wood Fired Oven has great lunch specials, small pizzas with a bowl of soup. Both of them can't be beat anywhere in the area. Great desserts, too. If you'd like a classy lunch that's a little different, Jack's is a great choice.
Herm's Inn is a little further afield, but if you're looking for a hearty sandwich or burger lunch, it's hard to beat. You'll want to be really hungry before going there, though :)
Cafe Sabor has decent American-style Mexican food, with lots of choices for lunch. It's within easy walking distance of the fairgrounds, too. And yes, they have margaritas – though we're not sure it's a good idea to be drinking them at lunchtime if you have to show in the afternoon :)
Elements is the most upscale of the lunch eateries we're listing here, and it's in walking range of the fairgrounds for the swift of foot. They've got all sorts of yummy lunch fare, some of it alcoholic. They're a little pricier than the rest of the eateries here, so if you're watching your pennies you might want to look elsewhere.
The Crepery is within walking range of the fairgrounds, and has all sorts of interesting crepes for lunch. It's often crowded during lunch hour, as it's a favorite haunt of local workers and college students.
And last, but certainly not least, is the Crumb Brothers cafe. It's just a short walk from the fairgrounds, and has lots and lots of delicious pastries, breads, sandwiches, coffee (including espresso) and tea. This is the place to go for a delicious light lunch in a cafe atmosphere!
We had the road to ourselves for about 90 minutes, and we saw a lot of wildlife. The standout was several large groups of deer, numbering well over 100 in total (we really didn't even try to count them, there were so many). We saw one large group of elk, about a half mile south of Hardware Ranch. Best of all: we saw one bald eagle feeding on a ridge top, and a pair of bald eagles wheeling overhead.
The water in the stream (the headwaters for Blacksmith Fork) were fairly high, because of the runoff and melt. The Wasatch Mountain drainages are running well in general; the water forecasts for spring are all looking very good. We were at Porcupine Reservoir twice in the past 10 days, and it had risen at least 6 feet between our two visits. I don't think we're going to have water challenges this year...
I'm going to have to teach our breeder the proper way to hold her iPhone when she takes photos :)
Yes, they're all brown (“liver” is the official term). Some of them have white spots on their chests, like our Miki.
We still don't know whether we're getting one or two puppies from this litter. That depends on how many other people are interested...
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
It's still possible that we could have a contested Republican convention, and the Republican-powers-that-be will pull Jeb out of whatever hole he fell into, or draft Ryan or Romney, or nominate Bozo the Clown. I don't think that's very likely, though. On the conservative (well, non-progressive, sort of, anyway) side it looks most likely that The Donald will be our choice. Pardon me while I go vomit. I wish there was a way to invest in European comedians, though...
It's also possible that The Hillary will be indicted or even charged in the email scandal. I've no idea what would happen after that, though I suppose that depends largely on exactly when that happened. If it happened before the Democratic convention, they could cobble up some sort of procedure to get another nominee – in that case, it seems most likely it would be Bernie. If she was indicted sometime closer to the election, I'm not sure what the Democrats could do. Can they change their nominee after selecting one at their convention? I don't know what the rules are there. And I wouldn't put it past her to just keep right on running, unless they actually hauled her away. In any case, I think the most likely outcome here is that she is not indicted or charged, and she will be the Democratic nominee.
If it's The Donald vs. The Hillary, I won't be voting. No way either one of them is getting my vote...
I'd love to know why we're suddenly being targeted by so many companies. My suspicion is that some company has decided to sell our contact information to a popular marketing list...
Computer animation is getting to the point where it's actually challenging to detect that it's not real...
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Update: reader Richard Clark noted that ad blockers were (potentially) blocking the logo I'd put up earlier (thanks, Richard!). I've changed it now to a different technique that I hope avoids that issue...