Sarah Palin is the only woman who can make Tony Romo WIN a playoff.

calendar   Monday - March 01, 2021

Once Again, The One And Only Post

March 03, 2021

Biden Blogging!!

By which I mean, I plagiarized it from elsewhere but won’t provide the links so you think I came up with them. Hey, you know, it’s a thing, man.

Racists here and racists there!
They see the racists everywhere!
Some in syrup, some in rice;
Racists, racists aren’t nice.
Sometimes they feel it in their bones--
This book has racist undertones!
Do not object! Do not say no!
It’s time for Dr. Seuss to go!
And Shakespeare next and Homer, too
Of course you know, they’re far from through!
They start with just some dirty looks;
But soon they’re out there burning books.
They’ll come for you; they’ll come for me.
You’re racist if you don’t agree!
It would be better-- and this I know
If the books would stay and the leftists go!


March 02, 2021

Damn. It’s Winter again today. Cold system moved in last night with the winds howling for hours. No snow, none even predicted. But it’s 21° with the wind blowing, giving us a face numbing wind chill of 8°. To heck with that. Forecast says it will be in the 50s and 60s in a couple of days. Hurry up already!!


Life After The Nuclear Winter?

VDH writes a medium length essay on looking forward, weighing in the economy, politics, people’s pent up emotions against the current decline and hopefully end of the ‘rona as vaccinations increase and herd immunity peeks over the horizon. A good 10 minute read, wondering if the pandemic was akin to a neutron bomb.

Yet natural processes are underway that Joe Biden likely will be unable to thwart immediately by his redistributionist policies. So we should imagine that the now labeled “Trump virus” will at some point sooner than later grow dormant. The “Trump quarantine” will then lift, and with it the “Trump recession.” The “Biden vaccination” will help to end the pandemic, along with the number of those previously infected with “Trump antibodies,” as the “Biden recovery” will take off, at least for a few months.

All sorts of known unknowns follow. When will Biden’s tax hikes, new regulations, subsidized green add-ons, gas and oil curtailment, and massive accumulating debt begin to slow things down?

Will a near $30 trillion debt growing at $2 trillion a year, with a progressive laundry list of ever more “essential” entitlements, finally lead to inflation, or stagflation, or permanent zero interest rates—or an abrupt recession, or worse?

No one knows.


Similar, yet entirely different. The NY Times pens a huge essay on the pandemic situation, what it might mean, where things could go, hope, fear, all the rest. Informative but at least 2 cups of coffee long.

random quotation, not on cases, deaths, schools, politics, or the economy, but on the new J&J vaccine -

The way it works

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different method to prime the body to fight off Covid-19: a viral vector called Ad26. Viral vectors are common viruses that have been genetically altered so that they do not cause illness but can still cause the immune system to build up its defenses. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA to do that.
How well it works

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is rated as highly effective at preventing serious illness and death, as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are. It is also very effective at preventing milder illness, though a bit less so than those two. It appears to do well against the highly contagious B.1.351 variant, first identified in South Africa, that has given at least one other vaccine candidate trouble.

If I had to choose one of these vaccines right now, in a get-the-shot-or-go-to-the-gulag situation, I’d take the Janssen-19. I want to keep a sharp eye on upcoming side effect stats, if they’re released.


Meanwhile, Big Tech, um, I mean Social Media, um, I mean The Ministry of Today’s Approved Truth, continues it’s war against HCQ and IVM, effective treatments being used all around the world, that you aren’t supposed to know about or talk about. Better you should die. Seriously. Budenoside? Never heard of it, no such thing exists.


March 01, 2021

Signs and Portents

I went to my dentist today. Hadn’t been there since November 2019. The “pandemic experience” there was kind of startling. I know, we all see this every day. And I’m working in a doctor’s office every week, and was just there as a patient the other day. Don’t know why this one just hit me, how weird life has become.

I got there a touch early, and phoned in from the parking lot as instructed. Come on up. They are the only tenant in the two story building, so the elevator goes to their reception area. I press the button with my knuckle. Nobody else is around, so I’ve got the elevator to myself. Inside the door is this sign:


Sweet. A happy golden retriever reminds us how to properly wear a face diaper.

So I go in, and this once swank office is now a plexiglass fortress like everywhere else. I’m immediately instructed to use hand sanitizer. Then I’m given a pen and a form to fill out. I do, and hand it back. The pen goes in the Dirty Pen cup. There are two other people in the waiting room. We sit far apart in the low leather chairs. I’m over on the far side by the calming falling water rock sculpture wall hanging thing. My hygienist calls me in a minute later and it’s down the hall to my exam room. They’re now got an air filter/purifier thing going, and I notice that the HVAC vents are now red lettered with “return air is UV sterilized”. Big time HVAC upgrade. She’s got her mask on behind a face shield, latex gloves, the cap thing doctors wear, a paper gown over her clothes. Wow. Must be a deadly plague going around. Pretty sure I didn’t see any piles of bodies in the parking lot, and not even one carrion vulture anywhere ... and the turkey buzzard ought to be NJ’s official bird. We’ve got billions of them, kept busy eating up all the roadkill deer.

So I suppose it was just another day at any medical office anywhere. But this time it just struck me how warped out the world we live in has become. And I really doubt that any of it is necessary or does the slightest bit of good. But it must meet “the rules”, and makes the sheep more relaxed as they line up in front of the abattoir.


February 28, 2021

link to a totally squee baby aminal vid.


February 27, 2021

The Covid Crap. Good news and bad news

•  J&J Vaccine “Janssen COVID-19” to get EUA this weekend. 70K doses to be delivered to NJ by next week.

Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine trial results have shown:

The vaccine provided complete protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, as compared to those study participants who received a placebo.
The vaccine demonstrated 85 percent effectiveness overall in preventing severe disease, including across countries with newly emerging variants.
The vaccine demonstrated 72 percent effectiveness in the United States (and 66 percent effectiveness overall) at preventing moderate to severe disease.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine functions more like a traditional vaccine in that it puts a strain of the adenovirus into the body, according to the CDC. Adenovirus is the virus that causes a common cold.

This is a single dosage vaccine that only needs regular refrigeration, not the dry-ice super cold storage that the two mRNA vaccines have. And it’s pretty much a regular vaccine, not something more akin to gene therapy. So less scary perhaps.

The Company’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine leverages the AdVac® vaccine platform, a unique and proprietary technology that was also used to develop and manufacture Janssen’s European Commission-approved Ebola vaccine regimen and construct its investigational Zika, RSV, and HIV vaccines.

Standing on the shoulders of giants. They took a successful method they already had and modified it. Cool.

•  Latest study from Boston: only 1 in 10 chance of catching the ‘rona in your home, lower if you have bigger family.

US researchers analysed data from more than 7,000 homes in Boston and found more than 25,000 people lived there between March 4 and May 17, 2020. In this time frame 7,262 people caught Covid but they only passed it on to a further 1,809 people they lived with, a transmission rate of 10.1 per cent. The paper also found the likelihood of passing the virus on to someone you live with was lower for bigger hosueholds. For example, someone in a home with three to five people — one of whom was infected — was 20 per cent less at risk than a two-person house.

On the other hand, if you have co-moribidities, especially liver disease, your risk increases. This latest study lines up with earlier studies from around the world that showed the same results, a risk factor between 16.6% and 19.5%, although those number may not have been adjusted for pre-existing conditions.

•  Jamaica: with Covid cases on the rise, lackadaisical citizens, no vaccine until nearly next year, top national health folks tell Ministry of Health: get on Ivermectin.

A local politician has come out and declared that the spike of cases is the result of “rampant indiscipline” on display by individuals exhibiting “scant regard for the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.” Dr David Stair was on record recently at a ceremony: “This crisis we face, ladies and gentlemen, is real, it is not only a health issue but it also affects the economy even more significantly, and also it has exposed the glaring indiscipline that exists in our society.” The local authority was critical of a certain “looseness” of Jamaican society and “refuses to conform to rules and regulations.”

Until now there hasn’t been much of the ‘rona down Jamaica way. So they haven’t lost all the tourism money like some places have. An outbreak there could cost them that, and of course all the illness and suffering of their population.

Tomorrow is the end of February. It’s warm enough to rain today, lightly so far. At least it isn’t more snow. Or snow yet. We’ve had 7 snow events this month, adding up to 3 feet of the white stuff hitting the ground. Enough already.


Bowling Blogging !!

Another fun but not spectacular night at Cheap League. We had a good time socializing, yapping it up so much that we were the last teams to finish. Our side didn’t do so good last night. We managed to lose the first two games, one by a hair and one by a little. And while half my team threw nearly as awful in the third game as they did in the first game, I managed to pull out a 208 as the other team was just in play mode, shaving points off their average. So my game gave us the win, and it was enough win to give us the wood. So we went 3-4 for the night. Actually I was above average on all my games. I just missed a 600 series, running up a 595 for the night. That’s a 198 average, 36 over. Good for me.


I’m considering having a new blog column called Oh Shut Up. It’s pretty easy finding stories to fit that category:

•  Pop singer Demi Lovato: Gender Reveal parties are transphobic.  Oh shut up.

•  Black woman on CA school board: Having kids back in classrooms is white supremacy, slavery. Better check dat pribelige, yo.

Parents in the La Mesa-Spring Valley, California, school district are calling for the resignation of a school board trustee who referred to plans to return to in-person learning as “white supremacist ideology.”

Reopen California Schools tweeted about trustee and board Vice President Chardá Bell-Fontenot (pictured), who said during Tuesday’s virtual board meeting that plans on how and when to bring children back into the classroom for in-person learning “seems like a very white supremacist ideology.”

Oh shut up.

•  DC needs even more troops, more AA hire guards, more fences, more barbed wire. Forever!!

A series of substantial changes will be recommended to bolster security at the U.S. Capitol following a review, including adding additional fencing, according to a report.

In addition to the recommendation of “rapidly deployable and removable” walls and fencing around the complex, the draft proposal will advise hiring more than 1,000 additional Capitol Police officers to staff the building and regional offices in members’ districts, CNN reported, citing two sources.

The price tag for the additional officers would be close to $100 million, the network reported. The fencing could be in the tens of millions.

Long-term, the review may suggest building a wall around the Capitol – although one of the sources cautioned it would likely not be permanent.

A government that cowers in fear behind walls and guns is not a legitimate government. So not only Oh Shut Up, but Just Go Away.

Maybe this isn’t the greatest blog idea. Or maybe it’s such an easy, obvious idea that I could just rename BMEWS as Oh Shut Up.


February 26, 2021

Unmasking A Problem

A year into the pandemic, the disposable, virus-filtering N95 mask remains a coveted piece of protective gear. Continuing shortages have forced doctors and nurses to reuse their N95s, and ordinary Americans have scoured the internet — mostly in vain — to get them.

But Luis Arguello Jr. has plenty of N95s for sale — 30 million of them, in fact, which his family-run business, DemeTech, manufactured in its factories in Miami. He simply can’t find buyers.

After the pandemic exposed a huge need for protective equipment, and China closed its inventory to the world, DemeTech, a medical suture maker, dived into the mask business. The company invested tens of millions of dollars in new machinery and then navigated a nine-month federal approval process that allows the masks to be marketed.

But demand is so slack that Mr. Arguello is preparing to lay off some of the 1,300 workers he had hired to ramp up production.

“It’s insane that we can’t get these masks to the people who desperately need them,” he said.

In one of the more confounding disconnects between the laws of supply and demand, many of the nearly two dozen small American companies that recently jumped into the business of making N95s are facing the abyss — unable to crack the market, despite vows from both former President Donald Trump and President Biden to “Buy American” and buoy domestic production of essential medical gear.

This kind of story is pretty widespread. You can search up plenty more stories if you want:

I owe 3M an apology. It turns out that they’ve made more than 2 billion N95 masks this past year. But the demand is for at least 3.5 billion, so they’re still in short supply. And even though more than 30 small businesses have stepped up to the plate, government certification takes ages. So much for “war time footing”. And the hospital bean counters get in the way, unwilling to go with new vendors and always looking to save a penny if they can. So they buy from China, where the CDC says at least 70% of the masks made don’t meet spec, and many are fraudulent knock-offs. Plus “re-training” for a slightly different mask would be sooo expensive. Seriously? “Put mask on face, make sure it’s sealed around the edges.” There you go, trained. If you’re smart enough to be a doctor, surely you can figure out how to wear a damn mask.

I’m all for freedom and an open market, but maybe just maybe the government should run distribution. Of course, they’ve made a total mess out of the vaccine channels, so maybe not. But a letter, a web page, a push, a reminder, to hospitals et al to buy local first, even if it costs a tiny bit more, and here’s a list of approved companies? Could it hurt?

30 million masks going unsold? Golly, remember when Cuomo sent in his goons to raid the supplies of small businesses who had stockpiled these things? Because of suspected price gouging? Hey Amazon, how much did they sell for in bulk in 2018? Add 10%. That’s a fair price. So maybe price controls on this one specific item?


February 25, 2021



OK, the chicken parms came out just fine. I used an unusual kind of Italian shredded cheese, type unknown, as they’ve moved everything around again in the cheese arena in the grocery store. And the deli next to it is still only doing phone in orders, because the ‘rona. So with a lot of effort I was able to find some sliced provolone and some sliced mozzarella, and this shredded cheese stuff. Could not find the good, freshly grated parmigiana or romano. I could find the cheap Kraft stuff over in the spaghetti aisle, so I got “Italy’s #1 cheese” mystery shred instead. And it tastes pretty good.

Ok, so I’ve got 6 of them left over, so we’re set for a few more meals.


Late Night Plumbing

Some folks get to relax after dinner and watch TV. Not me. The kitchen sink has been draining slowly the past week or so, and this afternoon it clogged solid. I did the usual plumber’s helper plunging thing, but that might have made things even worse. So do I call the drain guys now, or wait until morning, to see if they can come Friday or on the weekend, when I’m sure I’ll pay double?

First, I have to at least try. So I got out my big plastic bucket, got everything out from under the sink ... and everything lives under the sink, OMG, including a big bottle of rum I haven’t seen in months .. .tried to find my giant jaw ViseGrip pliers, which are the greatest thing ever for unscrewing pipe couplers. Naturally I couldn’t find it. It’s out in the black hole known as The Garage (cue Twilight Zone music). But I could find a medium pair of crappy ChiCom slip joint pliers, and I made that do. Got everything apart, gallons of water pouring into the bucket. Pour that down the toilet. Ok, the down pipe and the P-trap weren’t so bad, so the clog has to be down the line somewhere. Back to the garage to find my medium big electric drill (I’ve got a 3/4” hammer drill in there somewhere, used it once to drive screws into concrete), and what’s left of my homeowner grade power auger. That’s a plumbing snake with a rotating handle. It’s supposed to be 25’ long, but it took a serious kink ages ago and is now only good for about 9 or 10 feet. So I found them, brought them in, and assumed the position. Because working under a sink is the worst, most uncomfortable body position imaginable. Now do it so you can use this auger thing attached to a drill, which requires two hands to hold it and another hand or two to feed the wire. Yeah, comfort. No.

I found about 6 hard spots and carefully worked the wire spring whip back and forth across them, clearing them half an inch at a time. Finally I’d cleared the full usable length of the spring wire, and given the pipes a good internal thrashing to scrape off all the yurk. Put everything back together, ran the water enough to wash my hands 3 times ... plumbing is disgusting, what lives inside your pipes ... and it seems to be cleared. Woo Effing Hoo!! And as I’m drying myself off ... any pipe job will eat half a roll of paper towels, always ... there’s G Cat outside the kitchen slider, patiently waiting by his empty food dish. Seems the hawk ate his food, or perhaps one of those skunks came by earlier to finish off what the big bad bird left behind. So G got a whole can of fishy pate, and he chowed most of it down. Then I had to feed our indoor girls again, who come running to eat because they can tell their brother/cousin is on the other side of the glass. But they ignore him. Typical females. And have their own eats. When he was done, they were done. Cats have ESP or something.

So I didn’t put everything back under the sink. I’ll let it sit for a bit, run the dishwasher tomorrow. No leaks so far that I can find, but let’s see how it holds up. No point putting all that stuff back under only to have to pull it all out again.

So I’m giving myself a pat on the back. Good Dad Task, done. And if it works, I saved a couple hundred bucks for the weekend service call. Because pipes never clog on Monday mornings.

And now that I’ve found the rum ...


Wish me luck, I’m making chicken parms tonight.

Actually, I’ve done it many times before, but not in a long time. And I have my new iron skillet to try out. I got one of those with the polished interior. Came pre-seasoned with flax oil, but I’ve given it 4 treatments with grapeseed oil this past week, so it should be good. And I’ve got lots of high temperature grapeseed oil to use.

Ok, time to go and beat my meat. Then season it, bread it, dip it in egg, crust it with breadcrumbs and let it chill for a while before going in the frying pan. Brown it, put it in a greased glass baking dish, parm and prov, then some sauce, then mozz on top, bake it. Who needs a recipe for that?


I need to be faster with my phone camera.

Life In The Friggin’ Jungle, Part Eleventy Seven of The Kibble Khronicles


So I’m sitting here typing away at the PC. CLONK! What was that? CLONK!! Oh God, the lady upstairs is moving stuff around again? But it sounds like something hit the window. CLONK!! Ok, WTF is going on?

I get up to go see, and head to the kitchen to look out the slider. There’s a big red shouldered hawk eating the chunky meaty cat food she put out this morning for Ginger cat. And he sees his reflection in the window and thinks it’s a threat. So he’s grabbing a bite, then slam-pecking at the window in defense. He sees me and flies off. This bird lives in the area; I’ve seen him around for years. It’s pretty cool how such a large winged bird can fly through the tree branches so easily.

Everything that lives outside eats cat food. Except squirrels. And now I can add great big hawks to that list.


Happy MoneyDay!
It’s not Monday, it’s Thursday. No, not Monday. Money Day. Oh.


Some might see this as a dark anniversary.

On February 25, 1862, the U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government’s bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted.

Soon after the war began, the federal government began to run low on specie. Several proposals involving the use of bonds were suggested. Finally, Congress began printing money, which the Confederate government had been doing since the beginning of the war. The Legal Tender Act allowed the government to print $150 million in paper money that was not backed by a similar amount of gold and silver. Many bankers and financial experts predicted doom for the economy, as they believed there would be little confidence in the scheme. There were also misgivings in Congress, as many legislators worried about a complete collapse of the nation’s financial infrastructure.

The paper notes, called greenbacks, worked much better than expected. The government was able to pay its bills and, by increasing the money in circulation, the wheels of Northern commerce were greased. The greenbacks were legal tender, which meant that creditors had to accept them at face value. In 1862, Congress also passed an income tax and steep excise taxes, both of which cooled the inflationary pressures created by the greenbacks.

Another legal tender act passed in 1863, and by war’s end nearly a half-billion dollars in greenbacks had been issued. The Legal Tender Act laid the foundation for the creation of a permanent currency in the decades after the Civil War.

mo money, mo money!!


Bowling Blogging !!!

We did OK last night at Old Guys League, winning 5-2. Took the first game and the last game and total wood. Nothing special from me, but I ran a few points over average for the night.  I made a couple of impressive spares, but no miracle one. I did get a reverse domino strike, very rare, which is always fun. You make a lousy shot, but the pins topple slowly, one hitting another hitting another across the deck. My last two pins, the pocket of course, fell forward just as the bar came down, thus the “reverse” part. I had a good time, busting chops and mouthing off with the guys on the other team. My team still sits mostly in silence.

Of course, our wins last night may not be permanent. We bowled the team that was out last week due to the Covid, and only two of them were back last night. It’s the other two who are actually sick, and we hear that one of them is already well and itchy to be done with his quarantine period. Didn’t hear anything about the other guy other than that he’d been in contact last week, was getting treatment, and wasn’t doing so bad. Right, great. But these guys are being allowed to post-bowl indefinitely, an act of compassion because of the pandemic. I guess I’m OK with that, at least a little. But if they’re out for another week and get the same exception, it’s going to start screwing up the standings for everyone. Usually, if you make arrangements, you can post-bowl, but you have to do it before the next week’s regular bowling, or else. And nobody gets an exception for any regular kind of illness. Our guy Val was out for 3 or 4 weeks with a leg injury. We had a sub a few times, but the last time he went down as an absentee score. So let’s bend the rules too far, m’kay? [ “Smokey, this is not ‘Nam, this is bowling. There are rules.” ]

I encouraged Val to keep his hand at the 5 o’clock position instead of his usual 3 o’clock position. He’s a slow roller, more of a hip tosser with a finger jerk, and the full side hand means his ball hooks extremely in the last few feet before the pins. This makes him miss the 10 pin leave very often, and to cross over on his strike ball. I think it helped, as he was throwing in the 150s last night, instead of his usual 130s. He still needs to play a bit more angle across the lanes on his corner spares, and visualize that line, so that he doesn’t plant the ball in the gutter 20 feet before the pins.  I made all my 10 pin leaves last night, and most of my 6-10s as well. So at least on spares I can throw an accurate ball.


February 24, 2021

Yay, routine eye exam this morning. Nothing wrong with my vision, but my glasses lenses are worn out. The coatings last about 2 years, and then it’s like looking through a dirty window screen.


February 23, 2021

Upon Reflection, It Was All Projection

Every MSM criticism of FL Governor DeSantis was untrue, and actually applied to NY Governor Cuomo. Did you expect anything different?

After it has become clear that Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic was not just criminal in the metaphorical sense, but perhaps in the literal sense, the press has begun, only reluctantly and belatedly, to abandon its long-running Cuomo hagiography.

It never made any sense to lionize Cuomo at the expense of DeSantis, except that one had a “D” after his name, and the other didn’t, and one hated President Donald Trump, and the other didn’t. The national media also labor under the assumption that New York must be competent, while the Sunshine State is the preserve of the embarrassingly boorish “Florida Man.”

Finally, the media loved the way Cuomo talked about the pandemic at his take-charge news conferences. This was taken as the opposite of Trump’s approach, which it was — Cuomo talked a good game, while utterly botching the substance of the response, while Trump talked irresponsibly about the pandemic, while handling the substance pretty well (or, certainly, not as badly as advertised).

All this meant that the press made both Cuomo and DeSantis into something they weren’t — a hero and a villain, respectively — when it should have been obvious all along that this wasn’t remotely justified.

Anyone who hasn’t drunk the blue kool-aide knew 11 months ago that Killer Cuomo was a loudmouth sleazebag thug. And since then we’ve learned that DeSantis has been doing a pretty good job. But the MSM is inside out. If they say the sky is blue, you’d better go outside and check.


Perhaps the last Melania Trump magazine piece done, 2 weeks before the 2016 inauguration. And I have no idea if she got the cover. Harper’s ran a short piece on the soon-to-be First Lady, focusing on how she disagreed with her husband a lot of the time. Gee, a proto-trope in the making?

Still, it was a great picture, and Melania looked fabulous as always. After the Trumps moved in to the White House, she was swept under the rug. I’d be amazed if she got 1 or 2 covers in the whole time. Whereas Big Mike was on everything, every week.


The full interview is here.


Space News!!


The view from Mars. Panoramic shot of Jezero Crater, taken by the Perseverance rover. For an animated pic, plus more info, click here.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on the surface of Mars last Thursday (Feb. 18), just beamed down its first panoramic image of the Martian surface, the agency reported today (Feb. 22).

The car-sized rover snapped the panorama on Feb. 20, 2021, just two days after landing in Jezero Crater, an ancient lake on the Red Planet’s surface, using its onboard Navigation Cameras (or Navcams). The panorama was created here on Earth with six individual images taken by the interplanetary robot’s cameras.


Perseverance will continue to take photos and videos on Mars, and the rover will also record, for the first time ever, audio using a microphone on the surface of Mars. The rover, which is slated to last at least two years on the Red Planet (though previous rovers have far outlived their expected end dates), is taking detailed and plentiful images for a number of reasons.

With detailed images of the Martian surface, scientists back on Earth can explore what types of rocks and material are actually in Jezero Crater. They can also use these images to support one of the mission’s primary science objectives: to find evidence of ancient life on Mars.

Scientists think Jezero Crater was once a massive lake and delta system, roughly 3.5 billion years ago. Because of this, and because life as we know it on Earth depends on the presence of things like water, they estimate that if life did exist on Mars at that time it likely lived in this ancient crater. This means that, in the panorama image taken by Perseverance, you are looking at an ancient lake bed where Martian life could once have thrived.

Pretty cool. OTOH, this looks like the worst dried up fill dirt I’ve ever seen. Yeah, 3 billion years without rain or an atmosphere will do that, I’m sure.


Meanwhile, the space programs back here on our blue marble go woke. Woker? Inclusionist? Whatevs.

•  Cargo rocket named after “Hidden Woman”, Katherine Johnson, who did some calculations for Apollo 11. Remember the movie? Unmanned rocket is a food delivery truck, to be sent back filled with poop and garbage. Um, maybe that’s not quite as much progress as we were looking for??

•  Handi-nauts wanted!! European Space Agency announces call for ‘parastronauts’ with disabilities. I suppose this is a good thing, equal access and all that. Pity that they can’t select astronauts based on their abilities, and instead have to choose them based on their disabilities. Oh, sorry, reading the article it seems that candidates will already have all the Right Stuff, and some other significant usually-disqualifying physical attribute.

The European Space Agency is diversifying its astronaut pool with its first call for astronauts that is open to candidates with physical disabilities.

In this call for new astronauts, the agency’s first recruitment drive in over a decade, ESA announced that it plans to accept four to six career astronauts (who will be permanent ESA staff) and about 20 “reserve astronauts,” who could fly for shorter missions to destinations like the International Space Station.

As part of this call for astronaut applicants, ESA Director General Jan Wörner revealed during a recent news briefing that the agency is aiming to bring its first “parastronaut,” or astronaut with physical disabilities, on board, according to SpaceNews.

As part of what it calls the “Parastronaut feasibility project,” “ESA is ready to invest in defining the necessary adaptations of space hardware in an effort to enable these otherwise excellently qualified professionals to serve as crew members on a safe and useful space mission,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it will open up this opportunity for one or more applicants.

I’m thinking ADA-compliant zero gravity bathrooms. Yeah, that’ll work. Hey, no wheelchair ramps needed in zero G. No wheelchairs needed either!! This could be a cool thing maybe.


February 22, 2021

A Truly Texas Solution: Pickup Trucks Save Lives

Texan uses his new Ford F-150’s built in generator to power his home. Worked so well every dealer in Texas with F-150s with generators rented them out to help.

Randy Jones of Katy, Texas has lost track of how many reporters have called to hear his personal story about powering his home with his pickup truck during the Texas blackout; It has run in English, Spanish and Chinese.

“I saw myself on Fox News this morning,” he said Friday. “It has created a lot of interest. Amazing. All I wanted was a little comfort.”

As Texans finish up a week of struggling with undependable power supplies, frigid temperatures and uncertainty about clean water as frozen pipes burst, Jones isn’t the only one who sees truck ownership as essential during uncertain times.

“You always have to be prepared,” said the 66-year-old retired refinery worker.

He and others endured a blackout from Sunday to Wednesday with the help of his 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid truck with Pro Power Onboard. Even later in the week, electricity was still sketchy, residents said.
Ford confirmed it had seen an 18% spike in online searches for the F-150 by late Thursday. The F-Series has been America’s bestselling franchise for ages, so seeing a traffic spike from consumers is notable.
Ford sent letters to its Texas dealers on Thursday encouraging them to use the hybrid trucks as needed for emergency purposes.

“Due to the urgent and unprecedented weather situation in Texas, a number of our local dealers are using all-new Ford 150s equipped with Pro Power Onboard to help in their communities. Approximately 415 trucks fall within this effort. We’re proud to pitch in to help Texas in this time of need,” Levine said.

So dealers may sell the vehicles as needed or they can qualify for $600 in financial compensation from Ford corporate if the trucks with Pro Power Onboard are used in the community for an extended period of time. It allows dealers to discount the vehicle if slightly used. How the trucks might be used locally is left up to dealers, Ford said.

Ryan Laskowski, 38, general manager of AutoNation Ford Katy in Texas said he has 17 hybrid F-150s in stock and the dealership is ready to support customers with loaner vehicles as needed.

Granted, this is a $70,000 hybrid pickup truck. But everything is bigger and better in Texas, right?



One Spritz, no needles, no refrigeration

U Alabama Covid vaccine goes to Phase 1 Trial

known as AdCOVID, ... the novel, single-dose intranasal vaccine candidate was actually tested during preclinical studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Contributing to the ultimate FDA greenlight of the IND, the UAB research team discovered potent serum neutralizing antibody responses, T cell responses, and robust induction in mucosal immunity in mice after a single intranasal dose of the novel candidate.

A nasal spray vaccine that needs no dry ice levels of freezing cold would certainly be easier to distribute. That it works directly and firstly on the mucus membranes of your nose, throat, and lungs means it would get to work right away directly at the illness sites.

The power to elicit mucosal immunity at the linings of the nose and lungs would protect not only against infection but also against transmission. Existing intramuscular COVID-19 vaccines are not known to elicit this kind of immunity.

Altimmune says it expects that these simple and convenient handling requirements, together with the potential ability to block SARS-CoV-2 transmission, could position AdCOVID as a leading intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.

“We believe deployment of intranasal vaccines like AdCOVID will be essential to a successful global response to the pandemic,” said Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Altimmune. “Developing vaccines that can effectively prevent transmission is a growing imperative to block the spread of disease and combat the emergence of new variants.”

FranLund JoomlaFran Lund, Ph.D.Altimmune’s Phase 1 clinical trial will evaluate safety and immunogenicity of AdCOVID in up to 180 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. AdCOVID will be administered as a nasal spray at one of three dose levels.

Now let’s see how it works on people. These things take time. And I’ll see if I can find out how the vaccine works, whether it’s one of these mRNA ones or not.

AdCOVID’s point of differentiation compared to OWS vaccines: [ OWS: Operation Warp Speed. The first Trump vaccines use this mRNA thing, which frightens the daylights out of people. The next vaccine coming along uses it too, but does the mRNA thing in moth cells, not your body ]

1. Only the intranasal route of administration can prevent both infection and transmission. This is because intranasal vaccines can induce mucosal immunity ((IgA)), which is imperative for reducing transmission.

2. Convenience: AdCOVID is a single dose vaccine that may be self-administrable. Patients may not need to visit a clinic, and the vaccine could be mailed to the patient’s residence. This characteristic is well suited for children and senior patients.

3. AdCOVID is stable at room temperature for 3 months to 1 year and does not need a negative 30-70 degree cold chain like other OWS vaccines. This is well suited for developing countries and hot-climates.

4. Strong safety with mild side effects: AdCOVID and T-COVID haven’t published results from the human studies yet, and the safety data is not available. However, we can use Altimmune’s NasoVax as a benchmark; NasoVAX’s Phase IIa trial data released in March 2018 showed that it was well-tolerated at all doses tested. Because AdCOVID shares the same platform, I believe it will likely show a similar level of safety profile to NasoVax. Also, another study showed that intranasal rAd vectored vaccines have no systemic adverse events in humans.

AdCOVID stimulates a type of localized immunity called mucosal immunity, which can act to prevent both SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and transmission. In preclinical studies, AdCOVID produced a 29-fold increase in mucosal IgA [ antibody ], well above the level associated with protection observed in several clinical studies from influenza, another respiratory virus.

Based on clinical experience with Altimmune’s vaccine platform technology, AdCOVID is expected to provide durable immunity of up to a year or more following a single dose and to have an excellent tolerability and stability profile.

That’s about all I could quickly come up with, although I did see a chart of a bunch of vaccines (link 2 above) and this one was not listed. So it isn’t a mRNA vax as far as I can tell, although that hard to read chart reinforces my support for the NovaVax product, a recombinant protein vaccine that shows a higher level of antibody response than either of the two mRNA vaxes currently available, but the NovaVax PREVENT-19 vaccine is just entering Phase 3 trials, as of today, with 30,000 volunteers in the US and Mexico.

About PREVENT-19, aka NVX-CoV2373

NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.  NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is adjuvanted with Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ [ a plant based foaming agent ] to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. 
NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19.


Off Again, On Again, Here Again, SNOW

Last week weather report was for a big but short snowstorm today. Over the weekend they changed it, not predicting snow at all. Early early this morning the forecast was for maybe a dusting. Snowflakes lightly fell from the sky beginning around 10am, but by 11 it started to really come down. It’s 1:50 in the afternoon. We’ve had 5 inches so far. And it’s still snowing, hard. I think this is snow event #7 for us this month. And there’s still a whole week of February left.


5pm: Is it over? Seems to have stopped, at least for now. Looks like we had 4.5”, but it’s suddenly warmer, so the snow is compacting rapidly.


February 20, 2021

Time To Cancel Killer Cuomo

AOC Calls For Investigation

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Friday threw her support behind an investigation into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the coronavirus in New York state’s nursing residences.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement:

I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19. Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation.

The Cuomo administration is under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn following reports the governor’s top aide privately apologized to Democrat lawmakers for withholding the nursing home data, admitting that officials “froze” over concerns that the figures could “be used against us” in a federal investigation. The bombshell admission was first reported by the New York Post.

In the wake of the scandal, New York state lawmakers have called for Cuomo’s emergency powers, granted to him amid the coronavirus pandemic, to be stripped from him.

Autophagy, the act of the body eating itself, is so much fun to watch in politics.

Cuomo ordered the sick people back into nursing homes on March 25. IIRC, this was after he had granted the nursing home bosses immunity, which was after they had donated heavily to his campaign. Two months later the facts were buried, when this order was mysteriously removed from the NY Health web site.

Not to mention that he blamed Trump the whole time, while his pal DeBlasio ignored the hospital ship President Trump sent to NYC and ignored the emergency field hospitals that Trump also built, like the one in the Javits Center.

Lost in this ugly shuffle is the awareness that Cuomo also banned the use of HCQ and chloroquine for public treatment of Covid-19 on the very same day.

It’s like he was purposely trying to kill people. Well, duh. Anybody with a brain figured that one out immediately back then. It just took the Democrats ELEVEN MONTHS to catch up.


Bulgaria joins the Ivermectin team. This makes them the third Balkan nation to get aboard in as many weeks. Slovakia and Macedonia already using in. But in Bulgaria it’s free.

Queues Form In Bulgaria To Get Free Covid Treatment

Health authorities there have accepted the position that this drug has an exceptional effect when used in the early stages of treatment after infection with coronavirus infection. It is no accident that luminaries under the direction of Assoc. Prof. Georgi Popov and Professor Ivo Petrov “Huvemek” gave a positive rating.
There is strong evidence that ivermectin blocks the virus’ transport protein from entering the nucleus and makes it difficult to multiply. The drug has helped tens of thousands of men and women recover from COVID.

Ivermectin is currently approved for human use in the United States, France, Austria, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and other countries.

Bulgaria did their own small trail, just to make sure. When that worked, they went for it.

Let’s see how the numbers run in the Balkans over the next month. I’m also curious about their treatment protocol, as the dosage they used in their trial seemed a good bit heavier than usual. OTOH they reported viral clearance in 4 days.


Another reason why we like living here in the rural red corner of NJ. We have so little crime that we’ve consolidated jails with our northern neighbor Warren County, which is even more rural and red than we are. This has saved our county more than 3/4 of a million, compared to the previous jail consolidation we had with our more suburban, more blue, neighbor to the east, Somerset County. 125,000 people live in our county; county lockup usually has 30-45 inmates. That’s around a 0.03% incarceration rate. And more than half of those criminals came from somewhere else.

Hunterdon Sheriff: Jail Consolidation With Warren County Saving Costs

Hunterdon County Sheriff Fred W. Brown reported, at the February 16thBoard of County Commissioners meeting, that the shared services contract with Warren County to house county inmates approved one year ago has been successful and has resulted in significant cost savings for the County.Sheriff Brown reported, “The first year of the change over from Somerset to Warren County for housing inmates has achieved over $765,000 in savings for the County of Hunterdon. While some of the savings was due to the pandemic with fewer number of inmates on average, the cost reductions were realized in every budget category from monthly inmate charges to inmate medical expenses and medical security costs.”Hunterdon County’s expenditure for jail consolidation”
The Sheriff also reported, “There have been no complaints from anyone regarding the handling of inmates. There have also been no COVID-19 positive tests for any inmates.”


February 19, 2021

Even more bowling blogging!!

We won all 7 tonight in Cheap League. Our team did pretty well, most of us rolling a bit over average most of the time. Out opponents weren’t having that kind of luck; one was absent, two were on average or a bit below, and one was rolling poorly, blaming everything but himself.

I did fairly well. No super high game like in my other league, but fairly consistent in an above average way. So maybe that means I’m actually improving? Time will tell. I threw two 190 games and a 159, giving me a series average a hair under 180. I carry a 162 average in this league. So, happy me.

And the snow stopped around the time we left here to drive up to the alley tonight. And all these hours later, and it’s not snowing. Sweet.


Various links:

Cuomo is a bully with everyone. Gosh, really??

Gen Z needs to kick start their brains and start thinking for themselves. Gosh, really?

In a tiny Red corner of Connecticut, the First Amendment lives. Anti-Biden flags accepted as free speech. Nice.

In the past two presidential elections, while Connecticut as a whole was mostly blue and Democratic, Plymouth voters chose Trump by wide margins over Biden (60.4%) and Hillary Clinton in 2016 (64.8%).

Local police, Benecchi said, will protect the flag flyers’ rights as they would the rights of any citizen.

Love those Red pocket zones. We live in one 5 counties wide, and it’s ... normal. Like regular America. Outstanding!


Ok, today’s snow seems to be over. Ok, not over over, but reduced to light and steady, hardly dusting the sidewalks after hours of it.

And according to this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, it might be time for the pandemic panic to be over too. It ain’t over over either, but it’s lots better. This is called “herd immunity” and it’s happening.

Oh Oh The Herd Immunity Wagon Is A Coming!

op ed at the WSJ

Dr. Makary is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, chief medical adviser to Sesame Care, and author of “The Price We Pay.”

Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.

Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March.
Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. would also suggest much broader immunity than recognized. About 1 in 600 Americans has died of Covid-19, which translates to a population fatality rate of about 0.15%. The Covid-19 infection fatality rate is about 0.23%. These numbers indicate that roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population has had the infection.

In my own conversations with medical experts, I have noticed that they too often dismiss natural immunity, arguing that we don’t have data. The data certainly doesn’t fit the classic randomized-controlled-trial model of the old-guard medical establishment. There’s no control group. But the observational data is compelling.
I have argued for months that we could save more American lives if those with prior Covid-19 infection forgo vaccines until all vulnerable seniors get their first dose. Several studies demonstrate that natural immunity should protect those who had Covid-19 until more vaccines are available. Half my friends in the medical community told me: Good idea. The other half said there isn’t enough data on natural immunity, despite the fact that reinfections have occurred in less than 1% of people—and when they do occur, the cases are mild.
Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine. But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth.

Funny how just a few months ago you could get banned from social media by even trying to discuss herd immunity.

Also funny how within a day or three of creepy sleepy call a lid Biden* occupying the Oval Office, the FDA came out with new guidelines about reducing the number of cycles on the PCR test, which were known to be way too high, resulting in such a huge number of false postives that the media had to invent the term “pre-symptomatic” to keep the fear rolling, as people realized that “asymptomatic” really meant “not sick at all, false positive on the test”. Not that those falsies had any impact on the Official Scary Daily Case Counts.

So to an extent I agree with this doc. Give the vaccine to those who want it who have not had the virus. Encourage widespread usage of prohylactic treatments.

And yes, we have peaked again. Here in NJ cases have been falling since around the start of the year. And we’re STILL one of the hottest spots in the nation. And while the number of cases in our dreaded “second wave” were several times more than the ones in early 2020, the number of fatalities was hardly a fourth as large.


Surprise! It’s snowing again. ;-(

After 4” yesterday, then a slight bit of misty rain, just enough to make a crust, we got about 15 hours off. And now it’s snowing again, with a couple more inches forecast, followed by a bit more ice. That will last into Saturday, but they’re saying we’ll get Sunday off and it will warm up. Not to worry, more snow is forecast for Monday. Today’s snow is the 6th time this month enough white stuff has fallen from the sky to accumulate.

Global warming my frozen mittens. At least we’re not in Texas. Those poor folks. But I read that Gov Abbot is saying the power is coming back at a really good rate.



[ old posts are now in the MORE area, “below the fold”:

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/01/2021 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Monday - August 10, 2020

Still Here

No, nothing to blog about today, sorry.

But I’ve been to everybody else’s blog, leaving comments here and there.

Also, I’ve been looking, once again, at soundproofing materials. I don’t think I have a project here, and it would be very small one if I did. I just find the field interesting, how you can make a room or a machine much quieter through acoustic treatments. Sometimes it’s absorptive materials, sometimes it’s mass loading, plus all the research into shaped surfaces that break up reflections, and the multi-density viso-elastic materials. You can even get sound mitigating PAINT. Plus the usual quiet curtains, acoustic carpet pads, and stuffing the walls with fireproof rockwool insulation, and using thicker or decoupled wallboard. You can even get special wallboard with acoustic decoupling built right in. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/10/2020 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - August 07, 2020

Ospreys are up, is Trump in town?

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s ... A Frog? *


It’s kind of overcast today, low clouds. There still isn’t much air traffic around here, so when I heard the sound of something flying up there, I looked. It kind of sounded like a helicopter, and it kind of sounded like a jet. Except it wasn’t moving very fast.

And then I spotted a small dark spot moving through the clouds. It came out again, and yup, it was an Osprey, the unusual dual tailed tilt rotor boxy little aircraft that the Marines usually fly. Even far enough away so that it looked 1/4” long, I could still see the giant propellers spinning around. Pretty cool.

The only time I ever see or hear one of these things is when President Trump is visiting his place over in Bedminster, about 15 miles east of us.

Let’s check ...

BEDMINSTER, NJ — President Donald Trump is coming back to Bedminster for the second time in three weeks.

According to the President’s itinerary, he was set to arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport Thursday evening at around 9 p.m. after a day that was to include three separate stops in Ohio, including one at the Whirlpool Corp. manufacturing plant.

Trump was just in Bedminster the weekend of July 24-26. He was returning to Trump National Golf Club Thursday night, but it was not clear whether his stay would last the entire weekend, or whether it would include any tours of storm damage in the wake of the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Trump is expected in New Jersey this weekend. Temporary flight restrictions have been announced for Thursday through Sunday for Morristown, where Air Force One lands, and for Bedminster, which usually foreshadow a presidential visit.

Heh, this is more fun than bridge spotting. Easier too; all I have to do is listen.

 *   cultural reference if you’re too young to know this line. Scroll down a bit. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/07/2020 at 11:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 04, 2020

TNB At Mansion Parties Across America

This kind of crap is why our NJ governor King Murphy is stepping back on his re-opening plan. The ferals mess up everything for everyone every time.

[ woo hoo, Firefox saved me! The power went off for a while right in the middle of this. But the post was still there when power was restored, so happy me. Life during a hurricane, no? ]

Commercial Party Houses Out Of Control, Killings, Robberies, And Neighborhood Mayhem

Wild pool party shut down by police at New Jersey mansion

A massive rager at a mansion in New Jersey’s richest zip code was shut down by cops over the weekend — and neighbors say wild Vegas-like blowouts have been regularly held there despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of carefree revelers — most without masks — were spotted outside the home on Hemlock Drive in Alpine for what promoters called “The Lavish Experience Pool Party” Saturday night, NBC New York reported.

Cops eventually were called to break up the bash, which spilled out onto the street with zero regard for social distancing rules.

One person was seen taken away in an ambulance, while others were passed out drunk on the front lawn, the outlet reported.

A neighbor told The Post that the wild affairs have been a regular occurrence since May, at the height of the coronavirus crisis. She said she’s seen party buses dropping off people for the bashes — which are brazenly advertised on social media.

“A few months ago, new neighbors moved in, renters,” the neighbor said. “They started having parties one weekend after another. They were bringing in full party buses, at least 100 people or more.”

Another neighbor who didn’t want to be named told NBC New York the house is practically doubling as a “nightclub.”

Several lifetimes ago I worked in Closter NJ, the next town over. Plenty of money in Closter, but Alpine is the home of serious green. Quite a number of famous movie stars, sports figures, and music legends live there, along with the cream of the fiscal crop.

They must be beyond furious that this kind of thing is going on in their extremely exclusive area.

House parties have definitely been an issue in NJ lately, and have been used as a COVID excuse by the government more than once.

But it gets worse ... much worse ...

!!! ~~~~ !!! ~~~~ !!!

Gangsters storm NFL star’s house Beverly Hills party and start robbing everybody, 1 dead, 2 wounded

A SHOOTING at a flashy Los Angeles mansion party held for an NFL star has left one person dead and two fighting for their lives, reports say.

A terrified partygoer filming as multiple shots rang out at the plush Beverly Crest pad said “a bunch of gangsters came in and robbed everybody and started shooting”.

The shooting occurred hours after cops were called to a gated community in Mulholland Drive after complaints from neighbours.

Scores of people were attending the party - prompting the police callout at about 6.30pm because of the ban on large gatherings in Los Angeles County during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But officers attending did not have a warrant to enter the property so were unable to break it up. Hours later, gunshots rang out at around 12.47am, sparking panic as revellers ran for the exits.

Three people were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, according to CBS. One person died from their injuries and two others are said to be in acritical but stable condition.

A man in his 30s and a woman in her 40s were among the victims.A fourth person suffered a non-firearm-related injury while fleeing, it’s reported.

Yet again, as always, this was a short term rental property in a really high end area, and the attendees were ... 100% non diverse. And ignoring every kind of anti-COVID rule in existence. And in two weeks they’ll all be sick. I’m really tired of this BS.

Plenty of pictures and much more to the story at the link.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 10:37 AM   
Filed Under: • MiscellaneousRacism and race relations •  
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Just Mailing It In This Rainy Morning


I’m such a fan of the PO. Vilmar will understand.

Mail in ballots are flat out wrong, an opportunity rife for corruption. Ballot harvesting - an operative comes around your neighborhood to collect them all - is even worse. Guaranteed corruption.

Simple Solution?

Too afraid to vote in person? Hmmm ... I wonder if ... set up the polling place with one of those counters surrounded by plastic walls. Worker behind the desk all gowned gloved masked. Positive ventilation system blows air outwards. You walk in ... one at a time ... with your ballot envelope ... clerk checks the voter rolls, checks your ID / voter registration, you sign the digital screen with the just wiped wand/pen AFTER you’ve been verified and watched your ballot go into the locked and sealed collection bin. CCTV from 3 angles covers the entire event, cameras run all day, data saved to disk or chip.

Such an arrangement could be built in a couple hours for small expense. When the numbered collection box gets full, several people come in to seal up and evidence sign the old one, count the envelopes several times and sign to that, and put in a new box, identifying themselves on CCTV. GoPro vidcam wearing workers follow the box through the building to the evidence locker, past several locked doors and sign it in with a guard as witness.

The whole Deliver Your Vote process takes under a minute, and the collection box exchange and securing takes only a couple minutes.

No mailing, no lost envelopes, no boxes of votes that magically appear at the last second. This isn’t rocket science.

Of course this will be more difficult in the big cities. But any town or small city under ~~ 50K population should be able to do it. The whole idea is Chain of Evidence, just like the cops do. And CCTV and data chips are so cheap it’s just silly.

Yeah, some people really are not able to get out, and get over to the polling places. Prove it, and you can vote by mail. You “can’t” show up because it’s a minor inconvenience? TFB, then you’re not going to vote.

Naturally the voter rolls would be up to date, matched against the tax records, the credit card company and cell phone address lists, coroner data and the III criminal database etc. As I’ve said a hundred times before, registration closes at least 30 days prior, no exceptions.

!!! ~~~~ !!! ~~~~ !!!

Crivens, it is REALLY pouring out there today. Since long before dawn. Thankfully it’s cooler, and so far not a breath of wind.  But if the big wind shows up later, after 8 -10 hours of ground saturating rainfall, we’re going to lose a lot of trees. Not cool.

The tropical storm winds were reaching the state by 8 a.m. Tuesday and were expected to increase quickly as Isaias was moving through at 33 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Heavy rain and the potential for flash floods continues to be a significant threat, but that threat has shifted west as the aniticipated track of Isaias shifted west overnight.

The Jersey Shore is expected to be spared the heaviest rainfall though 1 to 2 inches are still possible. The north and western parts of the state, including Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties, are still forecast to receive more than 4 inches of rain.
The state got a taste of the storm Monday evening as a patch of thunderstorms moved through. A wind gust of 70 mph was recorded at the Robert J. Miller Airpark in Ocean County, and one of 59 mph was recorded at Neshanic Station, according to the weather service’s Mount Holly office.

Neshanic Station is just across the county line here in Somerset County. It’s a sleepy little crossroads semi-rural kind of place, off the beaten track but only a mile or so from a major highway. Situated on the banks of the South Branch of the Raritan River, just a mile or two of where both north and south branches join and flow down to Rutgers, it was a mill town and a produce shipping point back in the long ago day.

There is a rather rare double span lenticular bridge there in perfect condition, with a very old derelict 2 span Pratt through truss RR bridge on one side, and a high plate girder RR bridge, still used daily, a bit downstream on the other side.

There are only about 100 lenticular bridges in the whole country, many are derelict now, and most of them are single span. Binghamton NY has a 3 span one, and Middlesex County CT has a 5 span one. All of these were built 135 years ago by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 08:56 AM   
Filed Under: • BridgesGovernmentMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Sunday - August 02, 2020

Nobody Says The “B” Word. Or The “J” Word.

AirBnB To Restrict Party House Rentals In NJ

Airbnb has cracked down on “party houses” throughout the state of New Jersey as the world continues to attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We stand with Governor (Phil) Murphy, and we support his call to action to stop parties and promote behavior that respects the public’s health,” said Chris Lehane, SVP of Global Policy & Communications for Airbnb. “We ban party houses and will not tolerate irresponsible behavior on our platform. We know that there is still more work to be done, we ask that neighbors contact us as soon as possible through our Neighborhood Support Hotline, to directly communicate any concerns, which will help us continue to effectively enforce our party house ban.”

As part of this, 35 listings across New Jersey that have received complaints or otherwise violated policies on parties and events have been either suspended or removed from the Airbnb platform, officials said.

Additionally, Airbnb recently shared out restrictions on some U.S. guests under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in their local area. As a practical example, if they identify a 20-year old guest who is located in Hoboken, the systems are set up to restrict that user from booking a house, apartment or other entire home listing in Hoboken for a 1-night reservation the following weekend unless they have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb.

However, if that same 20 year-old is booking a stay to visit family in Ocean City, the restriction would not apply.

This kind of thing has been in the news quite a bit lately. It seems some folks have figured out that they can rent a nice place in suburbia for a night, put out ads in da hood, charge people to attend, and make a pile of quick money.

The party animals descend, cause an all night ruckus, trash the house, mess up the whole neighborhood, and go away. Streets parked solid, cars up on folk’s lawns, all kinds of misbehavior, fireworks, and often as not “random” gunfire.

Far be it for me to mention how certain types were prominent at nearly all of these events. Although if you read the stories carefully and ignore the “representational” picture in the above story ...
“The party was reportedly held as a celebration of Liberian Independence Day and featured free food and alcohol and a twerking contest.”
“Darius Edwards, 24, of Brooklyn, has been charged with two counts of assault by auto, eluding, obstruction and possession of marijuana”
“Yaakov Weiss, 40, of Jackson, who owns the home, and Patience Guanue, 23, and Alicia Hinneh, 22, both of Newark, were issued summonses for violating the governor’s executive order limiting gatherings to 500 people or fewer “
“The party was advertised on Instagram as a “mansion party,” and included free food and alcohol”
“It took all of Jackson’s on-duty police officers, along with help from the Freehold, Howell and Lakewood police departments, New Jersey State Police, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, to clear the crowd”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/02/2020 at 07:53 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 01, 2020

NHL Stands Together

Nobody Kneels. Nobody.

Players from the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators all stood to honor the playing of the national anthem in recent games.

Not one single player kneeled.

On Tuesday, players for the Flyers and Penguins stood together in solidarity before their exhibition opener in Toronto.

The respective teams stood together on the blue lines to show solidarity — and the Penguins made sure the message was clear.

In a tweet, the beloved Pittsburgh team wrote, “The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate.”

On Tuesday, NBC Sports reported that the Boston Bruins and the Columbus Blue Jackets had the same plans for their game Thursday night. And the two teams did, indeed, gather — arms linked — in a circle.

“Over the past several months we have been trying to educate ourselves and learn more about racial injustice in our country and around the world. As a team we have decided to lock arms during the playing of the United States and Canadian Anthems as a sign of solidarity with the Black community,” a spokesperson for the Bruins told the outlet.

“This action is solely intended to be a positive sign of support for the Black community, and a way for us to use our platform to help end racism,” the statement concluded.

I think it’s very important to note that these men are standing up and speaking up, not being disrespectful. And they’re not saying they’re supporting BLM, they’re supporting eliminating racial injustice.

And I’m fine with that. Granted, it’s an empty gesture. Especially in empty stadiums. But it’s better than nothing. Let’s see if they actually do anything more than this.

As long as they don’t go all nutso Aunt Jemima Syrup and AOC on everything. And don’t forget that racism works both ways.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/01/2020 at 12:15 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - July 23, 2020

another downpour

It’s raining again, unbelievably hard. And it’s almost time to leave for bowling. Of course!

Honestly, it’s hard to believe it’s raining this hard. I can hardly see across the backyard. Total deluge. There will be flooding. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/23/2020 at 05:32 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 22, 2020

Birthday booze

So it’s Stephanie’s birthday today. Yay Steph. She’s 65. OMG. We’re going up there to visit and celebrate on Sunday, so I’ll do my weekend cleaning Saturday night. I’ve shifted my Thursday cleaning to Wednesday so I can do mini-summer bowling league. I think I like Wednesday better anyway.

It’s my brother’s birthday too, woo hoo. He’s younger than she is by a few. But we were up there this past weekend and did b-day then. Chocolate cake, ice cream, fresh sourdough bread.

I have no idea what to get her for a gift, but I think it’s high time her birthday got prominence. Everyone else’s does, except hers and mine. We always go over there to visit, and she cooks, serves, and cleans up. I know she likes to do that, and she’s a really good cook, but I’d like to give her a bit of celebratory respite, nome sane?

I suggested we get take out lobster, as you still can’t sit down to eat in a restaurant in their state or in mine. Such BS. And late July is THE time to get Maine lobsters. A nice 2 - 2 1/4 pounder would be perfect. With a few dozen steamers, some corn on the cob, blueberry pie and some blueberry muffins. Lots of melted butter. A real Maine clambake, hot coals and stones in a pit on the beach, layers of seaweed, and an old chunk of plywood over the hole. Rinse it down with Schlitz beer. Pure heaven. But no, he’s got gout these days, so no lobster for anyone. Crivens.

I remember that she used to like chocotinis. That was ages ago, easily 15 years. I know that booze is a bit impersonal, but other than new tennis or golf balls, what does she need? She gave up curling years ago, just after I found out where to get the big stone things they use. And I don’t think she does the off road bicycle thing anymore. I don’t think they go fly fishing anymore either. And Frank has a closet full of his fancy scotches, but what’s in there for her? So I’m thinking a broad spectrum chocotini kit just for her. Quality chocolate chips, a bar of high end dark chocolate, some Godiva liqueur, some Baily’s, a decent Triple Sec, a good vodka, Kahlua, white or dark creme de cacoa. Chocolate or vanilla vodka, or is that overkill? Because it turns out that there are as many recipes for chocotinis as there are for chicken. Infinite. So cover the bases? Who makes a chocolate shaver?

Guess I’ll have to find some beer and make pretzels. It’s expected that I show up with some kind of bread product. But I’m getting tired of making my 4 flour sourdough. And I’m not sure if an Entemann’s knock-off is the right thing. I haven’t made one yet, even though I have what looks to be a great recipe, and I don’t want to bring a first time bake anywhere, just in case. The pretzels I could make in my sleep, I’ve done them so many times. And they are world class good, but you have to eat them within a few hours of baking. Don’t know if the “newlyweds” are coming or not. They’re both retired now, so they can’t use the “we have to go down the shore every weekend to our beach shack” excuse anymore. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/22/2020 at 10:49 PM   
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calendar   Monday - July 20, 2020

sap be gone

sometimes the internet is right about things.  I had a bunch of sap drips on my car from parking under the pines. Rubbing alcohol took them off instantly. I used a clean microfiber towel, wet the end, and just rubbed them lightly. 99% gone. I’ve also read that a steam gun can do the job, but I haven’t tried that yet. And “claying” will get anything left. I don’t clay, so that’s out.

But the alcohol thing works pretty great, and it’s cheap. After I was done I went straight to the car wash around the corner, just in case alcohol wasn’t good to leave on the clearcoat for long.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/20/2020 at 10:49 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - July 18, 2020

still here, just busy

Not much to say, just got too many things to do. We started mini summer bowling league Thursday. It’s a no-tap league, which we weren’t aware of. Whatever, it’s still some practice time before winter league starts. It’s being done with social distancing, which makes things kind of strange. But we’ll manage, and as time goes by (fingers crossed) the restrictions will lessen. Yeah right.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/18/2020 at 09:16 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - July 16, 2020

Yesterday’s News Today!!

Been pretty busy around here lately, and I seem to get tired a lot faster than I used to, back in the day.

Bits And Pieces

Here ya go: Tall buildings are sexist. This is what passes as a college professor these days. Ignore the high cost of urban real estate, ignore the efficiency of multistory buildings. Nope, these things are built to celebrate erections. Whacko!!

You should have followed the process. UK removes illegally placed BLM statue after just 1 day. It’s a pretty good statue, although I don’t know if celebrating radicalism is a good thing. Actually, it turns out that Ms. Reid is just a person, one of the thousands who protested. But after the old statue of Edward Colston was torn down and drowned on June 7, she climbed the plinth and stood there looking all Black Power and had her picture taken. So it’s very symbolic. And, of course, by erecting the statue illegally, and having it taken down, more publicity is achieved, and the mantra of oppression and victimhood is enhanced.

I’m interested in how such a detailed and very lifelike statue was made so quickly. It’s resin, so my guess is it was either cast or created with one of those 3D printers, with data points collected by one of those 3D laser scanners. Or perhaps created by laser ablation of a solid block of material . Impressive technology, all of it.


Another college professor spying for China, caught trying to run away with stolen data. China is asshoe. So is Song Guo Zheng.

Song Guo Zheng, 57, was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020 as he landed in Anchorage, Alaska. He was about to catch a flight to China when he was taken into custody.

According to the FBI, Zheng was involved in a scheme to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bolster China’s research in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. Zheng is also accused of making false statements to cover up his involvement with China while working at multiple universities, including Ohio State.

I didn’t know we had any flights going to China, not even from Alaska. I thought President Trump put a COVID stop to that a few months back.


900 days running with no mishaps and NO CARBON EMISSIONS AT ALL . The Candu [ love the name. Can Do!! ] nuclear reactor works just fine. Wind power, solar power, tidal power just don’t cut it, and our nations have become too built up for any more hydroelectic dam projects. Nuke is the only way forward. We’ll just bury the spent fuel rods somewhere deep and stable, and let the radiation bacteria eat it up.


George Floyd Officer’s Body Cam Footage Released (view by appointment only).. Transcripts of two of the involved officer’s cam footage were released the other day. Floyd was stoned out of his head, uncooperative, COVID positive, multiple co-morbidities, overdosing on fentanyl. Still, the cops should have found some better way to restrain him. Always consider the optics.


Something to read, an essay of the obvious at American Greatness.

In a way never seen before, America has gone mad.

The Democratic Party, having left the likes of Henry Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan far behind, is being steered by the ideology of Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It’s in thrall to a Maoist mob. It’s tacitly (and sometimes not so tacitly) accepting wholesale destructiveness. It’s in bed with the Black Lives Matter terrorist group, contributions to which end up in party coffers. While the party lets Bolshevik bullies get away with violence, it vilifies decent citizens who try to defend themselves and demonizes cops who simply want to do their job.
We can’t even be sure that the best president of modern times will win reelection over a doddering fool in thrall to our society’s most dangerous elements.


I smell a push for more gun control coming. NJ Governor Alarmed By Increase In Shootings

Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday he’s concerned about a sharp increase in fatal shootings amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Col. Patrick J. Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said the state’s fatal shootings have increased 19 percent over last year’s year-to-date number, rising from 84 to 100 victims.

He said there were 39 shooting victims within the past week, with 13 succumbing to their injuries.
Murphy said New Jersey is “not immune to what we’re seeing around the country in terms of this lethal cocktail of being pent up,” with people coming to grips with closures and unemployment amid the hot summer.

Murphy said New Jersey, like the rest of the nation, is dealing with the fallout over the death of George Floyd, and the country is showing anger and frustration over the lingering “stain of racism.”

“The cocktail could not be more challenging,” Murphy said. “You’ve got gobs of people out of work. You’ve got small businesses that have been crushed.”

Murphy said many people also face numerous mental and physical health challenges as they deal with the consequences of the pandemic.

“That’s almost an unprecedented combination of factors,” he said.

Meanwhile, movie theaters in the state lost their bid to reopen, while more states have been added to NJ’s quarantine list. Also meanwhile, the state is investigating a fatal police shooting. Suicide by cop, the Morristown police had to shoot a guy who had sliced himself and was threatening his mother with a gun. OK, it was an Airsoft gun, but those things look totally real. Especially if you paint over the orange band.

The man fatally shot by police on Tuesday in Morris Township was brandishing an “airsoft” pistol that resembled a Beretta firearm, the state Attorney General’s Office said on Wednesday.

Timothy O’Shea, 24, died at 5:41 pm at Morristown Medical Center, according to a statement from authorities.

Police from Morris Township, Morris Plains and Morristown had responded to a 911 call at 4:14 pm reporting a domestic disturbance on Fairchild Avenue. The caller said a person at the residence had cut himself and had a gun.

“Uniformed officers of the three police departments responded to the residence on Fairchild Avenue where Timothy O’Shea lived. Upon arrival, officers encountered the 911 caller and took that person into safety.

“Shortly after, at approximately 4:19 p.m., officers encountered Timothy O’Shea, who was holding a pistol and bleeding. During the encounter, one officer fired his weapon, striking Mr. O’Shea,” the statement said.

Police rendered medical aid until EMS personnel arrived to transport him to the hospital. The pistol that was in O’Shea’s hand was a replica Beretta 9mm airsoft pistol, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Replica airsoft pistols resemble the real thing, but they fire plastic projectiles. Airsoft weapons use a gas propellant and are similar to BB guns, but their less-harmful ammunition has made them popular for target practice, war games, and police- and military training.

By federal law, imitations of real guns are required to have orange-colored plugs on their barrels to set them apart. It was not immediately clear if this weapon had such a marking.

There was no riot, no protest, and the story hardly made even the local news, because O’Shea was white. Tru dat!


Meanwhile, way down the shore in Wildwood Nj, an obviously edited Rodney King style video is getting people upset. He dindu nuttin, as usual. But the end of the vid does look like police abuse.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/16/2020 at 09:19 AM   
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calendar   Monday - July 06, 2020

Fiat Lux

A Less Than Bright Idea?


I finally got around to changing the bulb in one of the recessed light fixtures in our bathroom. It’s been out for months. With all these 3rd generation LED bulbs, they last so long I don’t even remember where the spares are kept. So after looking through the closets and drawers, I remembered that I’d see a pack of them out in the gigantic mess we call our garage when I was looking for some tool or something last week. So I went out and got them. A little dusty, the generic package unlabeled and slightly water stained. Brought them in the house, took one out and screwed it in. And the instant I did that the lights went out.

Aw crooop, what have I done?

So I spent a few minutes using the flashlight from my cellphone to check all the breakers, and then realized that power was out to the whole place. Power was out to the whole condo park. It had happened at that exact instant.

We had a line squall moving in; the wind kicked up from nothing, clouds sprang up, the sky got dark, the temperature dropped 15° in a couple of minutes ... and then the downpour began. One of those short intense summer rains, it was over in a couple minutes. And then the power came back on. So I checked the bulb, and it was working just fine. Yay me.

But what is this, why is it so yellow? Reach up to check it, and the thing is hot! WTH? And then I figured it out: this was an actual lightbulb. Not an LED, not a CFL, not one of those halogens masquerading as a bulb, but an actual incandescent lightbulb. 60 watts, 770 lumens, Sylvania. How many years has that thing been around? They were dead and gone ages before we moved in here 8+ years ago the day before Hurricane Sandy. They went away under Bush 43, right? 2006 or before? Wow. It felt like a “hey let me take my other car” moment and finding an Egyptian chariot in the garage. Something from antiquity.

It’s a nice comforting light. Let’s see if it lasts. IIRC, those old bulbs had a life measured in hours, not in decades. And there’s only one left in the pack. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/06/2020 at 02:53 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 01, 2020

Speed Blogging

Sorry, no time for this today. Here’s a few links to news stories

•   Scientists cure lab mice with Parkinson’s by accident. This could be big, but it will take lots more R&D.

•   Summer snow dumps 6-8” in high rockies. Must be global warming again.

•   CHOP gets the chop in Seattle. Plenty arrests made. I’d treat them as invaders or traitors. Either way, here’s the gallows.

•   Harvey Weinstein buys his way out. $19 million, cases dropped. Did you every really believe #MeToo was about anything other than money??

•   China is asshoe. Hong Kong eaten up like Dim Sum. Life under communism: new “security” law is ex post facto. Bye bye freedom.

•   And the arrests in Hong Kong begin. China reneges on agreement made 20 years ago. And this is a surprise to whom??


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/01/2020 at 11:01 AM   
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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