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Veterans Day

PoppyAt the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns fell silent. The Great War, The War to End All Wars, was over…for a couple of decades.

The red poppies of Flanders fields became a symbol of that war and the veterans that returned from it. Known as Remembrance Day in much of the world, the poppies will be in evidence. Remembrance Day observances have more in common with the American Memorial Day as a day to honor those who have died in war.

First called Armistice Day in the United States, the name was changed to Veterans Day, and its purpose changed to honoring those who are serving, or have served in the military. The change was made to avoid a conflict with the existing Memorial Day observance that goes back to the Civil War era.

A heart felt salute to everyone who managed to survive basic training. We can hope that sooner, rather than later, there will be no need for another generation to put on uniforms.

November 11, 2015   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Kate – Day 2

Tropical Storm KatePosition: 33.9N 69.5W [ 9PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [055°] near 35 mph [56 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [110 kph].
Wind Gusts: 90 mph [145 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 80 miles [130 km].
Minimum central pressure: 998 mb ↓.

Currently about 355 miles [ 570 km] East-Southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 10, 2015   No Comments

Tropical Storm Kate

Tropical Storm KatePosition: 27.2N 76.0W [ 9PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [360°] near 15 mph [24 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 80 miles [130 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1005 mb ↓.

Currently about 175 miles [ 280 km] North-Northeast of the Northeastern Bahamas.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 9, 2015   2 Comments

If It Quacks Like A Duck …

If you use deadly physical force that results in the actual death of someone who did not pose a deadly threat to you or another, you are a murderer. It is irrelevant whether or not you are wearing a uniform.

Badtux notes that the head of the Fraternal Order of Police is making threats against Quentin Tarantino for acknowledging that some police officers have murdered unarmed civilians.

The BBC reports on a recent case: Louisiana marshals face murder charge over boy’s gun death. The officers were charged with murder based on the video from their body cameras.

Law enforcement officers would be better served by getting rid of the ‘bad apples’, not attacking the people who notice they exist.

November 8, 2015   2 Comments

The Media Has A Lot Of Nerve

Verifying claims made in Ben Carson’s biography 😈

Apparently in Ben’s world employers should never check the resumes of job applicants. If you run for office, especially an office that requires access to classified material, your life is going to be examined under a microscope.

Just as a point of clarity for people: there is no such thing as a scholarship to a US military academy. The majority students accepted apply to their Congresscritter for an appointment. If appointed, you agree to a period of military service in exchange for the education. You are in the military and receive pay while at the academy.

November 7, 2015   2 Comments

We Don’t Need Enemies

With ‘friends’ like this…

Ran Baratz: Israel ‘to review’ appointment over Facebook row

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will “review” the appointment of his new communications director over comments he made criticising US President Barack Obama and others, the US says.

On Facebook, Ran Baratz accused Mr Obama of anti-Semitism and described US Secretary of State John Kerry as having a “mental age” of no more than 12.

Mr Netanyahu has described the comments as totally unacceptable.

He is due to visit the White House next week for a US-Israeli summit.

I’m still waiting for someone to explain why the US puts up with this. The Likudniks keep insulting the government of the United States and still expect to receive US aid.

November 6, 2015   5 Comments

Pining For The Fjords

The BBC said US rejects Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, although it was technically Obama doing the rejecting.

The CBC reports on reaction in stories like: (Alberta Premier Rachel) Notley disappointed Obama called Alberta oil ‘dirty’ while rejecting Keystone pipeline.

The CBC’s senior correspondent, Neil Macdonald, is a bit more realistic: The dead parrot that was the Keystone XL pipeline and why Obama killed it.

From the beginning this was about making money for a Canadian company by selling the refined products from Alberta tar sands to Asia. The US would be taking the risks by transporting this toxic sludge through pipes across major water sheds and refining it to load on to ships for the trip to Asia. There would be a minimal increase in permanent jobs and no affect on US oil prices. The US takes the risks and Canada takes the money?

November 6, 2015   No Comments

In Entertainment News

Oh, I’m sorry, these are Republican political stories.

Ben Carson believes that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain – stone silos. People are upset, but, come on, all Republicans make up their version of history.

George HW Bush slams Rumsfeld and Cheney in new biography. Well, it certainly took him long enough to figure that out.

In Louisiana politics: “On Thursday, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who was eliminated from the state’s gubernatorial race in the jungle primary last month, endorsed Democrat John Bel Edwards over [former Republican Senator David] Vitter for governor.”

The last time this happened the Republicans backed another Democrat named Edwards, Edwin Edwards. The Republican candidate was David Duke. The slogan was ‘The Lizard not the Wizard’. Vitter is just a pervert.

November 5, 2015   2 Comments

More Bad News

The BBC reports on a disturbing new study: Why is death rate rising for white, middle-aged Americans?

While non-whites, younger people and people in other countries are seeing falling death rates, a new study shows the reverse is happening for white men and women in the US aged 45-54.

Covering the period from 1999 to 2013, the study by Princeton University researchers says it is particularly acute for those without a college education.

The data shows that the rates are higher in the South and the West and given that the data set covers the period before and after the Great Recession, the trend doesn’t seem to be strongly influenced by the economy, unless the change occurred in the last century.

November 4, 2015   4 Comments

The Joy of Plumbing

Today was dedicated to replacing a shut-off valve to an apartment. The thrill is that the 60-year-old galvanized pipe and connections tend to be a bit fragile. Too much torque and pipes snap, usually in very inconvenient locations, like in a concrete slab.

I don’t deal with those operations any more as I tend to use too much force as I get older, i.e. I have over compensated by increasing the amount of leverage to excess. I let the professionals break the pipes – they have a truck full of them so it takes them less time.

November 3, 2015   13 Comments

Hail Mary?

The CBC thought that TransCanada’s Keystone XL delay plan was a good move, as Obama doesn’t seem to be enamored of the plan. Now the BBC reports that that Obama will decide on Keystone pipeline during his term.

Reality check – every Democratic candidate has said NO, and exactly who believes that anyone in the Klown Kar of Kaos can become President?

November 3, 2015   No Comments

In Other News

The CBC reports on holiday celebrations: Tin Man assaulted by Scarecrow on Halloween, police allege

On Halloween, South Simcoe police allege a man dressed as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz was assaulted by a suspect dressed as The Scarecrow, who fled the scene with the Cowardly Lion.

Three women dressed as, obviously, Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the East, told police that The Scarecrow had punched the Tin Man.

The Tin Man was treated for minor injuries — scratches or a dent, perhaps?

“Turns out the Tin Man didn’t have the heart to lay charges against his friend, and refused to tell the officers anything,” police said in a news release.

Police believe alcohol was involved.

Every so often you would get to write a crime report that would spread to all of the neighboring jurisdictions.

November 2, 2015   2 Comments


It was nice to see that the new prime minister of Canada appreciates Halloween traditions. OTOH there were no children willing to risk stoning by the Fundies to ‘trick or treat’ around here.

The average rainfall for November here is 3.46 inches. We already had 2.8 inches at 2PM [Central STANDARD Time] so I think we’ll make it this year, probably today. We are not experiencing the flooding problems that they have been having in Texas.

Update: Just over 3 inches Monday and 1.8+ today.

Even if it wasn’t raining, which scrubs the pollen, I wouldn’t be spending a lot of time outside because we are having a Red Tide bloom. It isn’t just the odor of dead fish, I’m sensitive to the airborne toxin of Karenia brevis, the specific type of Red Tide algae responsible for the local blooms.

I see that they are now admitting that there are Special Forces ‘advisors’ in Syria. This isn’t really like Vietnam – we didn’t help the Viet Cong in SEA. 👿

November 1, 2015   6 Comments

US Clock Change This Weekend

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time ends in the US Sunday morning, November 1st at 2AM. It becomes 1AM and you get an extra hour of sleep, unless you work the “graveyard shift”.

Most new devices make the change automatically, although many, like my clock radio, change under the old system and have to be ignored for a couple of weeks.

“Fall back – Spring ahead”

October 31, 2015   No Comments