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Friday Cat Blogging

Is This Florida?

Friday Cat Blogging

Turn up the thermostat!

[Editor: Tadpole is atop the grill next to my Mother's house to avoid the wind.]

Friday Ark

November 14, 2014   7 Comments

Thoughts While Shivering

It was 55° at midnight and that was the high for today with the low somewhere in the 30s forecast. It drizzled all day so the sun didn’t warm anything, and cleared out tonight to radiate away all of the stored heat. We have freeze warnings and watches on tap for the next two days, so cat blogging will definitely be delayed.

This BBC article about the Scottish National Party activated by inner 8-year-old. I snicker over the first sentence: “Nicola Sturgeon is to formally take over the leadership of the SNP from Alex Salmond.” I hope no one else understands why.

So Zero announces his support for ‘Net Neutrality and heads explode.

AT&T announced that it was going to stop installing fiber to about 100 cities because the rules are ‘uncertain’. They are ignoring the fact that the rules are uncertain because they and the other media moguls sued to overturn the old rules. They also fail to explain how the rules affect a decision to make their network faster and cheaper to operate with much greater capacity which would give them a competitive advantage … oh, wait, they don’t compete so they don’t need any advantage.

Ted Cruz has announced that ‘Net Neutrality was “Obamacare” for the Internet. Sorry, but Obamacare for the Internet would require everyone to pay a private corporation and be connected to the ‘Net, and hit them with a tax penalty if they didn’t comply. It would probably also block any public options, and provide for religious exemptions for those who believe it is a tool for Satan.

November 13, 2014   13 Comments

Darmstadt, Philae Has Landed

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta project to land on a comet is at a minimum a partial success. The BBC reports – Rosetta: Waiting game after comet lander glitch.

The planning for the mission started a quarter century ago, and was launched a decade ago. It managed to rendezvous with the comet after traveling about 60 billion miles, and then released the Philae landing module.

The rockets that would have help hold the lander to comet didn’t work, and. apparently the ‘harpoons’ that were supposed to anchor the lander to the comet didn’t fire. The speculation is that the lander bounced at least once before settling on the comet.

Some data has been received, but there is a half-hour delay caused by the distance between the vehicles and earth. Now there is a waiting game to get the data to find out more about the condition of the lander and its functions.

Update: The lander apparently bounced several times and is in an area with shade on some of its solar panels which will limit its available power. Other than that, and the fact that it isn’t firmly rooted to the comet, it seems to be OK.

November 12, 2014   No Comments

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.

Because this is the centennial of the start of World War I, there is as special display in London, The poppies at the Tower of London, that was created from over 800,000 individual handmade ceramic poppies representing the British dead from the war. They were placed in the ground by thousands of volunteers.

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, 2014   No Comments

In Tech News

I got an e-mail supposedly from ‘Google+ All Domain Mail Team’ at postmaster @ googleplus.com.us telling me to sign in to my e-mail account using the link they provide. The thing is, their link goes to www.lllearners.com; I have no connection to Google+; and I don’t do webmail.

One of the lamest phishing expeditions ever.

The BBC reports that the US Postal Service employee information was hacked. The only non-employees who might affected are those who use the USPS call center, rather than the ‘Net site or local post offices.

Finally they provide some coverage of Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma with Alan Turing. She was one of several women who worked on the project that are almost unknown to the world. Some of her story is told in a new film that was just released.

November 10, 2014   6 Comments

News Drought Continues

The BBC had a short video, Royals commemorate Remembrance Sunday, that was of interest to me basically because Queen Elizabeth seems to have much better balance than either her husband or eldest son. If you watch the three mount the steps, and back off, the Queen is confident in backing, but both Phillip and Charles are unsure of where they are when moving backwards.

That was for me the most interesting thing on the news sites.

November 9, 2014   2 Comments

Again With No News

There really isn’t much going on that is new. It is possible that the media is still burned out by their irrelevant election coverage. Well, we held an election and almost no one came. In a lot of places the choice was between a Democrat running like s/he was a Republican and a Republican. Since Democrats didn’t really have a candidate in the race, they didn’t bother to vote.

No one really cares about the political ads for candidates, so the money would be better spent getting people to the polls.

We are waiting for the next cold front to move through. It has been generating very windy conditions in Alaska and about to bury Alberta in winter momentarily, so it is coming. My weather is due to begin warming some Monday, but it will only last two or three days before the temperature drops again.

November 8, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Moms Are Moms

Friday Cat Blogging

Mom, please stop!

[Editor: Tadpole isn't thrilled that Ms Underhouse decided to groom him. This is the cat version of the handkerchief/spit procedure.

Friday Ark

November 7, 2014   No Comments

How Bad Was It

I was so bummed out about the election that I forgot about Bonfire Night, the commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot. I now understand why Anonymous wears Guy Fawkes masks.

Of course, in the US only Republicans think that blowing things up will solve anything, but they are consistent in advocating the use of force for everything that happens. That’s why they get along with the Likud Party of Israel so well.

Another reason it slipped my mind was that I was reading a book suggested by Steve Bates: Three Bags Full. It is the story of an investigation of the death of a shepherd in Ireland by his sheep written by a German. I liked it and it occupied me most of the day.

Anything was better than contemplating four more years of the Fraudster-in-chief. At least he won’t get to appoint three Florida Supreme Court Justices, thanks to the failure of Amendment 3.

November 6, 2014   20 Comments

Election Results

Well, at least Amendment 1 passed and Amendment 3 failed. Those were my ‘wins’ this time.

Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative got 57% of the vote, but you have to get 60% to pass an amendment.

After all of the noise about anger with incumbents, that’s how people voted in Florida in the final analysis, for incumbents. Sad really.

November 5, 2014   3 Comments

They Have Lost Their Minds

Echidne posted that a teacher resigned when her school wanted her to take a 21-day leave and produce a note from her doctor because she had been on a medical mission trip to Kenya. The distance from where the Ebola outbreak is and Kenya is about the same as LA to NYC, or Dublin to Moscow.

Connecticut is the current leading contender for “Dumbest Reaction by State Officials to Ebola” as they quarantine people for just about any connection to East Africa or an Ebola patient.

While looking at stories about Connecticut I ran into a lot of negative comments about Kaci Hickox from people upset that she actively opposed being quarantined. The general reasons for these people being upset seemed to be: she’s female; she’s educated; and she’s ‘uppity’. These people felt she should have just done what the males wanted her to do and ignored her direct knowledge of dealing with Ebola because ‘Father knows best’ and imply she was a direct threat to their personal health. The anti-intellectual misogyny was something to behold.

November 4, 2014   No Comments

I Voted

Voting Sticker

It took me less than 5 minutes at a little after 2PM CST as I was the only one in the place.

From the signs just outside the exclusion zone I see that Amendment 1 is supposed to be ‘a land grab’. I’m not sure how dedicated funding to a trust to buy land translates into a ‘land grab’, but some people seem to believe it.

Amendment 2 is supposed to support drug abuse. How replacing Oxycotin and other addictive narcotic pain killers with marijuana supports drug abuse is beyond me, but some people believe it enough to have signs printed.

So far my vote has counted, as I can see them in the counts in Okaloosa County.

November 4, 2014   6 Comments

Just Vote

The polls are open in West Florida from 7AM to 7PM CST, so if you haven’t already voted by absentee ballot or during early voting, make the effort to get to polls tomorrow.

Let’s see if we can have an election that actually reflects ‘the will of the people’ rather than the will of those people who bother to vote.

I’m voting NO on Amendment 3, because it is another political power grab to give power to lame duck governors.

I’m voting YES on Amendment 1 to help preserve some of what people love about Florida before it is all paved over or covered with over-priced McMansions on small lots.

I’m voting YES on Amendment 2 because it doesn’t legalize marijuana, it makes it a prescription drug which has fewer side effects than the drugs now prescribed to treat specific symptoms of a limited range of medical conditions. Medical research says it works, so it should be available.

I’m voting against the retention of any of the current judges on the First Circuit Court of Appeals because of the outrageously expensive palace they had built for their new offices and court house. That was not ‘judicial’ use of public money.

November 3, 2014   No Comments

Just Warming Up

Interstate 10 was the dividing line between above and below freezing this morning. In a week we have gone from watching the heat index to the wind chill. I’m wearing wool socks and long johns rather than no socks and briefs after spending time locating winter clothes.

The temperature is going back up for the rest of the week which makes this time of year a real pain. You don’t know which pile to dress from until you look at the late night weather report.

Still, it is better than being in Cabo San Lucas on Baja Sur and watching Hurricane Vance out in the Pacific. Cabo already got nailed by Odile in mid-September and many of the structures were severely weakened. If the storm doesn’t take the forecast turn to the West midweek, Cabo may take another hit.

November 2, 2014   12 Comments