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Still Musing

German officials are reporting that the copilot was being treated for clinical depression and did not inform the airline. He was also having problems with a personal relationship.

I am experiencing the final cold spell of the year, just before Easter, as is the norm. The wind is forecast to shift on Sunday and we should be back in the 70s.

March 27, 2015   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

The Alpha Returns

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: Ms Underhouse stopped by for dinner looking a lot thinner than she has recently.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

March 27, 2015   No Comments

Random Musing

Airlines are changing procedures and requiring two pilots in the cockpit at all times. Welcome to the world of camping toilets on the flight deck.

In the midst of everything else, my main battery back-up unit failed. It probably needs a new battery. I have two others that I brought on-line, but they don’t have all of the features of the main unit, or the capacity unless they are both used. This required crawling under desks in my computer room with the assistance of two cats.

At the insistence of friends I got the DVD of an apparent TV show, “Game of Thrones”. It would appear to be something Home Box Office paid for. I know them only as an extra cost movie channel on cable, when I had cable back in the 1980s. I didn’t make it through two episodes before ejecting it. I had already seen how it was going to progress and didn’t like any of the main characters. A little girl and the young wolves were interesting, but they didn’t get serious screen time. I’m not surprised I didn’t like it. It is based on a series by George Martin (who added the second R for obvious reasons) and I don’t like his books.

Oh, we had thunderstorms most of today, so the cats had better sense than to be outside for pictures. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day, although somewhat cooler.

March 26, 2015   No Comments

That’s Odd

The BBC is reporting on the Germanwings Alps crash and some interesting information has been revealed today.

The voice recorder has been located. Although it is battered, the investigators say they can retrieve the data. An unidentified investigator said that it sounds like one of the two pilots was locked out of the cockpit and trying to get in.

The aircraft had climbed to its cruise altitude of 38,000 feet, but began descending rapidly without reporting anything to air traffic control. Radar lost the aircraft at 6,800 feet at about 10 minutes into the descent.

There is also a report that the aircraft flew into the mountain, rather than falling. If there had been an airborne explosion it would have fallen.

They haven’t located the second box, the flight data recorder.

Update: The BBC is reporting that the French prosecutor is now saying that the co-pilot ‘wanted to destroy plane’. This opinion is based on information from the voice recorder and the necessary control changes required to descend and fly into the ground.

March 25, 2015   2 Comments


I’m dealing with some real life stuff that is absorbing a lot of time because some people just won’t take a hint.

The news isn’t compelling and the race is over.

I will list the awards at some point, but will be tied up with government agencies in the foreseeable future. I don’t have the problem but I must provide information about someone else’s problem.

Managing apartments is not a fun part-time job.

March 24, 2015   7 Comments


Pink Azalea

What look like white azaleas in the picture below are actually pink, as this shows. I think it was the light conditions when I took the picture that faded the colors the camera captured.

March 23, 2015   No Comments

Mushers Are Tough

How tough? When is the last time you met anyone who broke their opponent’s humerus [upper arm bone] while arm wrestling.

It was a spiral break, which means the bone was twisted until it broke. Normally the elbow or shoulder would dislocate before that happened.

It helps to know that for a long time during the off season Aliy worked as a carpenter, swinging a hammer all day, and like she said, she keeps in shape.

As an aside, when someone asks “heads or tails” in an Alaskan bar, it isn’t about flipping a coin. They are betting on the way someone is going to fall when they pass out. They are a fun-loving people.

March 23, 2015   6 Comments

Iditarod 2015 – Day 14 & Final

Iditarod 2015 Map
Sled DogBen Harper’s time for the sprint was beaten, by the Mackey brothers, but Laura Allaway and her 14 puppies bested them by a minute at 2 hours 24 minutes.

Cindy Abbott and 13 puppies are out of Safety at 9:11PM CDT with the Red Lantern. GNU Terry Pratchett
The Iditarod Trail Committee shut everything down before Cindy made it in. They closed down at 9PM local and are flying people back to Anchorage.

Finished at Nome
51 Chuck Schaeffer (67)R 3/21 5:24PM CDT
52 Brian Wilmshurst (50)Q 3/21 6:18PM CDT
53 Yvonne Dabakk (33) 3/21 6:55PM CDT
54 Lev Shvarts (40)R 3/21 7:03PM CDT
55 Yuka Honda (60)Q 3/21 9:32PM CDT
56 Alan Stevens (77)R 3/21 9:43PM CDT
57 Becca Moore (47)R 3/21 11:56PM CDT
58 Steve Watkins (66)R 3/21 11:57PM CDT
59 Mark Selland (17)R 3/22 12:22AM CDT
60 Alan Eischens (7)R 3/22 12:56AM CDT
61 Isabelle Travadon (43)R 3/22 5:26AM CDT
62 Marcelle Fressineau (25) 3/22 7:31AM CDT
63 Lachlan Clarke (5) 3/22 12:16PM CDT
64 Cindy Gallea (64) 3/22 1:57PM CDT
65 Trent Herbst (75) 3/22 2:57PM CDT
66 Cindy Abbott (10)R 3/23 12:14AM CDT Φ
[

March 22, 2015   5 Comments

Iditarod 2015 – Day 13

Iditarod 2015 Map
Sled DogBen Harper saved something for the finish and came in 20 seconds before Linwood Fiedler. Ben also has the fastest time between Safety and Nome at 2 hours 27 seconds.

It’s nice to see Yuka Honda at White Mountain. In her first attempt at the Yukon Quest she spent over a day getting over Eagle Summit. She and the puppies were so worn out that she had to scratch at Mile 101. Update: Yuka has finished at Nome!

Cindy Abbott is out of Elim with the Red Lantern. GNU Terry Pratchett

Finished at Nome
31 DeeDee Jonrowe (29) 3/20 8:10AM CDT
32 Curt Perano (21) 3/20 10:11AM CDT
33 Justin Savidis (19) 3/20 1:35PM CDT
34 Charley Bejna (38) 3/20 3:07PM CDT
35 Seth Barnes (23)R 3/20 7:05PM CDT
36 Benjamin Harper (37)R 3/21 5:28AM CDT
37 Linwood Fiedler (27) 3/21 5:28AM CDT
38 Allen Moore (57) 3/21 5:52AM CDT
39 Mike Santos (61) 3/21 8:07AM CDT
40 Rohn Buser (31) 3/21 8:21AM CDT
41 Matt Failor (15) 3/21 11:42AM CDT
42 Jason Mackey (72) 3/21 1:32PM CDT
43 Lance Mackey (30) 3/21 1:32PM CDT
44 Rick Casillo (52) 3/21 1:37PM CDT
45 Timothy Hunt (68) 3/21 1:45PM CDT
46 Laura Allaway (49)R 3/21 4:03PM CDT
47 Monica Zappa (53) 3/21 4:13PM CDT
48 Heidi Sutter (76)R 3/21 4:39PM CDT
49 Lisbet Norris (41) 3/21 4:41PM CDT
50 Rob Cooke (2)Q 3/21 5:23PM CDT
51 Chuck Schaeffer (67)R 3/21 5:24PM CDT
52 Brian Wilmshurst (50)Q 3/21 6:18PM CDT
53 Yvonne Dabakk (33) 3/21 6:55PM CDT
54 Lev Shvarts (40)R 3/21 7:03PM CDT
55 Yuka Honda (60)Q 3/21 9:32PM CDT
56 Alan Stevens (77)R 3/21 9:43PM CDT
[

March 21, 2015   No Comments

Spring Sprung

Pear tree blooming

Red azalea
Coral azalea


I wasn’t kidding, and I’m not doing this to annoy certain people in New York who are dealing with snow, yet again.

Those are the two pear trees across the street from me at the top.

In the middle are the two types of drawf double-bloom azaleas that are normally hidden by the much larger fuchsia and pink full-size bushes in the bottom picture.

Update: New York isn’t as bad off as Canada’s east coast.

March 20, 2015   2 Comments

Iditarod 2015 – Day 12

Iditarod 2015 Map
Sled DogDeeDee finally made it in this morning with 15 puppies and 6 frostbitten fingers. Anna also nipped Kristy at the end to beat her by 4 minutes.

Bryan Bearss scratched at Shaktoolik while Cindy Abbott is out of Shaktoolik with the Red Lantern. GNU Terry Pratchett

Finished at Nome
21 John Baker (78) 3/19 11:12AM CDT
22 Martin Buser (4) 3/19 11:36AM CDT
23 Richie Diehl (42) 3/19 12:26PM CDT
24 Nathan Schroeder (26) 3/19 12:44PM CDT
25 Mats Pettersson (55) 3/19 1:11PM CDT
26 Scott Smith (69) 3/19 7:12PM CDT
27 Paige Drobny (58) 3/19 7:15PM CDT
28 Anna Berington (39) 3/20 12:06AM CDT
29 Kristy Berington (11) 3/20 12:10AM CDT
30 Jodi Bailey (22) 3/20 5:07AM CDT
31 DeeDee Jonrowe (29) 3/20 8:10AM CDT
32 Curt Perano (21) 3/20 10:11AM CDT
33 Justin Savidis (19) 3/20 1:35PM CDT
34 Charley Bejna (38) 3/20 3:07PM CDT
35 Seth Barnes (23)R 3/20 7:05PM CDT
[

March 20, 2015   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

The Great Pumpkin

Friday Cat Blogging

It’s him!

[Editor: Hadley and Tadpole watch with concern as the trouble-making large orange tabby tom strolls through the yard. GP is not feral, not neutered, and not nice.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

March 20, 2015   6 Comments

Vernal Equinox

It’s that time of year. Spring arrives at 5:45PM CDT this afternood. You can watch it come at Archæoastronomy.

The air is already filled with pollen and the live oaks are dropping last year’s leaves. The azaleas are peaking and the pear trees are snowy with blooms.

I would note that locally we have had 12 hours or more of daylight since St. Patrick’s Day, and usually do.

March 20, 2015   No Comments

A “Victory”?

The BBC reports that Israel election: Netanyahu’s Likud storms to victory. The subhead continues: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party has won a surprise victory in Israel’s election.”

Reality: the Likud won 30 seats in the 120 seat parliament, the Knesset. Their ‘victory’ was that they won 25% of the vote, while the main opposition party only won 20% of the vote and 24 seats. To form a government, Netanyahu needs 61 seats. He now needs to make deals with all of the whacko right-wing parties and at least one of two centrist parties to be Prime Minister.

In reality, the centrist Kulanu party is the victor, as neither side can form a government without its 10 seats.

March 19, 2015   No Comments