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We Are Not Amused

Queens
White House tells British government it won’t repeat ‘ridiculous’ wiretapping claims:

On Thursday, the White House stood by Trump’s unproven accusations that his predecessor wiretapped his New York skyscraper, despite growing bipartisan agreement that there’s no evidence to back up the claim and mounting pressure to retract the statement.

Angrily defending the president’s statement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Trump “stands by” the four tweets that sparked a firestorm that has threatened Trump’s credibility with lawmakers. Spicer denounced reporters for taking the president’s words too literally and suggested lawmakers were basing their assessments on incomplete information. He also cited an unsubstantiated report that Britain’s spy agency, GCHQ, helped then President Barack Obama eavesdrop on Trump during the election campaign.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the UK has a rather full plate at the moment – dealing with BREXIT, the demand of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for an independence referendum for Scotland, soaring energy prices, etc. What she didn’t need was someone accusing the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) of ‘spying’ on a candidate in the US election. The boffins (specialists) over at the ‘doughnut’ (GCHQ building, think circular Pentagon) took great umbrage at the accusation and strongly worded notes were dispatched.

If you are worried about leaks it doesn’t do to annoy an organization that is quite capable of putting your life on the Internet. I would suggest that the antique Android phone he uses should be accidentally placed in a microwave under the popcorn. If there’s a battery in it, he is tapping himself.

March 17, 2017   19 Comments

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Éireann go Brách!

Irish Flag

 Shamrock

Well everyone agrees that he died on March 17th, but the year is subject to debate. This is his feast day on the Catholic calendar. Enjoy as you are wont.

Wikipedia has more on Saint Patrick’s Day, if you need more.

March 17, 2017   4 Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 12

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogZoya DeNure and her crew of rescues, rejects, and runts is resting in White Mountain and the Red Lantern is at Elim with Paul Hansen.

Standings at 10:10PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
21 Jason Mackey (64)
22 Robert Redington (70)R
23 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
24 Richie Diehl (21)
25 Mats Pettersson (33)
26 Lars Monsen (45)
27 Hugh Neff (50)
28 Rick Casillo (27)
29 Noah Burmeister (63)
30 Cody Strathe (5)
31 Ketil Reitan (11)
32 Martin Buser (15)
33 Melissa Stewart (56)
34 Scott Smith (69)
35 Nathan Schroeder (62)
36 Nicolas Vanier (26)R
37 Seth Barnes (51)
38 Karin Hendrickson (20)
39 Allen Moore (36)
40 Kristy Berington (73)
41 Anna Berington (66)
42 Laura Neese (7)Q
43 Jodi Bailey (28)
44 Larry Daugherty (71)
45 Geir Idar Hjelvik (54)
46 Charley Bejna (46)
47 DeeDee Jonrowe (22)
48 Gunnar Johnson (19)
49 Justin High (48)R
50 Dave Delcourt (72)R
51 Justin Stielstra (49)R
52 Trent Herbst (67)
53 Kristin Bacon (17)
Beyond Safety
54 Misha Wiljes (4)R
Beyond White Mountain
55 Zoya DeNure (42)
56 Joe Carson (12)R
57 Thomas Rosenbloom (40)R
[Read more →]

March 17, 2017   No Comments

Detritus

More border weirdness: “Advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists told they no longer qualify for professional visas”. Apparently regular nurses from Canada can work in the US with NAFTA TN visas, but it has now been decided that nurses with advanced training and skills need to get H1B visas which take months and cost $4000 or more.

This action is not going to reduce the cost of health care in the US.

The White House is trying to soften Trump’s claim on wiretapping, while Trump stands by his unverified wiretap claim. Meanwhile Congress tells Trump: Let’s see some proof regarding wiretapping.

March 16, 2017   2 Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 11

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogNearly half of the teams have reached Nome by this morning and the temperatures are good for the puppies, if not so great for the mushers.

Robert Redington slipped by Sebastien Vergnaud to take Rookie honors and Roger Lee is holding the Red Lantern.

Monica Zappa scratched at Shaktoolik when her team didn’t like moving on the sea ice.

In addition to the two dogs I have already mentioned, Katherine Keith lost Flash, a 4-year-old, as she approached Koyuk, and Roger Lee lost 3-year-old Shilling just outside of Unalakleet. Not a good year for the puppies.

Roger Lee has scratched at Shaktoolik which hands the Red Lantern back to Cindy Abbott.

Standings at 9:40PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
11 Jeff King (34)
12 Ramey Smyth (44)
13 Michelle Phillips (9)
14 Ryan Redington (2)
15 Hans Gatt (32)
16 Ralph Johannessen (39)
17 Ken Anderson (59)
18 John Baker (65)
19 Katherine Keith (52)
20 Linwood Fiedler (6)
21 Jason Mackey (64)
22 Robert Redington (70)R
23 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
24 Richie Diehl (21)
25 Mats Pettersson (33)
26 Lars Monsen (45)
27 Hugh Neff (50)
28 Rick Casillo (27)
29 Noah Burmeister (63)
30 Cody Strathe (5)
31 Ketil Reitan (11)
32 Martin Buser (15)
33 Melissa Stewart (56)
34 Scott Smith (69)
35 Nathan Schroeder (62)
36 Nicolas Vanier (26)R
37 Seth Barnes (51)
38 Karin Hendrickson (20)
39 Allen Moore (36)
40 Kristy Berington (73)
41 Anna Berington (66)
42 Laura Neese (7)Q
[Read more →]

March 16, 2017   No Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 10

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogJessie Royer came in 5th with her entire 16 dog team. Those puppies just finished 8th in their first Quest and now a 5th.

Everyone is at the coast with the end in sight – maybe tomorrow.

Standings at 9:30PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
2 Dallas Seavey (18)
3 Nicolas Petit (24)
4 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
5 Jessie Royer (37)
6 Wade Marrs (29)
7 Ray Redington Jr (14)
8 Aliy Zirkle (41)
9 Peter Kaiser (25)
10 Paul Gebhardt (57)
11 Jeff King (34)
12 Ramey Smyth (44)
13 Michelle Phillips (9)
14 Ryan Redington (2)
15 Hans Gatt (32)
16 Ralph Johannessen (39)
17 Ken Anderson (59)
18 John Baker (65)
19 Katherine Keith (52)
20 Linwood Fiedler (6)
Beyond Safety
21 Jason Mackey (64)
22 Robert Redington (70)R
23 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
24 Richie Diehl (21)
Beyond White Mountain
25 Mats Pettersson (33)
26 Hugh Neff (50)
27 Lars Monsen (45)
28 Rick Casillo (27)
29 Scott Smith (69)
30 Noah Burmeister (63)
31 Martin Buser (15)
32 Cody Strathe (5)
33 Ketil Reitan (11)
[Read more →]

March 15, 2017   2 Comments

International Pi Day

Albert Einstein

3/14 is Albert’s birthday and

Π Day.

PiI assume you have all shopped for the perfect gift.

To start: Π ≅ 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399
3751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679….

March 14, 2017   2 Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 9

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogMitch Seavey is on track to be the oldest and fastest musher to win the Iditarod. There are only the 77 miles to Nome left and he has a two hour lead. He starts for the finish line at 10:36AM CDT.

Ellen Halverson (30) scratched at Koyukuk.

Mitch Seavey won his third Iditarod at 3:40PM AKDT [6:40PM CDT] in 8days, 3 hours, 40 minutes, & 13 seconds. At 57 he is the oldest winner and the fastest with that time.

Standings at 9:30PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
2 Dallas Seavey (18)
3 Nicolas Petit (24)
Beyond White Mountain
4 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
5 Jessie Royer (37)
At White Mountain
6 Wade Marrs (29)
7 Ray Redington Jr (14)
8 Peter Kaiser (25)
9 Aliy Zirkle (41)
10 Paul Gebhardt (57)
Beyond Elim
11 Michelle Phillips (9)
12 Richie Diehl (21)
13 Jeff King (34)
14 Ramey Smyth (44)
15 Jason Mackey (64)
16 Ralph Johannessen (39)
17 Ryan Redington (2)
18 Katherine Keith (52)
19 John Baker (65)
20 Mats Pettersson (33)
21 Hans Gatt (32)
22 Lars Monsen (45)
23 Ken Anderson (59)
24 Linwood Fiedler (6)
At Elim
25 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
26 Hugh Neff (50)
27 Robert Redington (70)R
Beyond Koyuk
28 Noah Burmeister (63)
29 Scott Smith (69)
30 Rick Casillo (27)
31 Martin Buser (15)
32 Cody Strathe (5)
33 Ketil Reitan (11)
[Read more →]

March 14, 2017   No Comments

Way To Go … Not!

In the CBC: Hamilton church volunteers denied entry to U.S. so they wouldn’t ‘steal American jobs’. That’s right, officers of the US Custom & Border Patrol turned back a group of volunteers from Hamilton, Ontario because their volunteer labor might be used instead of hiring US workers. The church group was heading to New Jersey to help a local church clean up the mess left by Hurricane Sandy. The CBP felt that after 5 years there would be no mess to clean up and the letter from the US church didn’t meet the required criteria.

Then you have this: Girl Guides of Canada cancelling trips to the U.S., citing travel concerns. Thats right, the Canadian version of the Girl Scouts won’t attend events or go to camps in the US, because they can’t be sure that all of the people in the group will be allowed in.

When shoppers, church groups and the Girl Guides don’t have any confidence as to what will happen if they attempt to visit the US, they won’t come. When international groups can’t be sure of who will be allowed in, they won’t hold meetings or conferences in the US. The Trump Slump in tourism is only going to grow when even Canadians stop coming.

March 13, 2017   No Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 8

Iditarod 2017 MapSled Dog Dallas and Mitch are leading, but they are doing it on rest. When Wade is on the trail he has the fastest team. It is going to be interesting as they head around the Norton Sound.

In the awards department Mitch Seavey scored $2000 and 25 pounds of salmon for being first into Kaltag, while Wade Marrs made $3500 in gold for being first to the ‘Gold Coast’ at Unalakleet.

Dave Branholm (60) has scratched at Kaltag.

Standings at 9:30PM CDT:

Beyond Elim
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
At Elim
2 Nicolas Petit (24)
Beyond Koyuk
3 Dallas Seavey (18)
4 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
5 Wade Marrs (29)
6 Jessie Royer (37)
Beyond Shaktoolik
7 Ray Redington Jr (14)
8 Aliy Zirkle (41)
9 Peter Kaiser (25)
10 Ralph Johannessen (39)
11 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
12 John Baker (65)
13 Michelle Phillips (9)
14 Jason Mackey (64)
15 Richie Diehl (21)
16 Katherine Keith (52)
At Shaktoolik
17 Ryan Redington (2)
18 Mats Pettersson (33)
19 Paul Gebhardt (57)
20 Robert Redington (70)R
Beyond Unalakleet
21 Hugh Neff (50)
22 Lars Monsen (45)
23 Hans Gatt (32)
24 Rick Casillo (27)
25 Ramey Smyth (44)
26 Scott Smith (69)
27 Noah Burmeister (63)
28 Linwood Fiedler (6)
29 Ken Anderson (59)
30 Cody Strathe (5)
31 Jeff King (34)
[Read more →]

March 13, 2017   5 Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 7

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogRyan Anderson (8) scratched at Galena with 10 puppies in harness. This is bad news for Ellen Halverson as she gets back the Red Lantern and she has no need for a third one as she is already in the record book as the only person to receive two.

The preliminary report on the death of the dog Smoke during transport indicates that overheating is the probable cause of death.

Standings at 9:00PM CDT:

Beyond Unalakleet
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
At Unalakleet
2 Wade Marrs (29)
3 Nicolas Petit (24)
4 Dallas Seavey (18)
Beyond Kaltag
5 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
6 Aliy Zirkle (41)
7 Jessie Royer (37)
8 Ray Redington Jr (14)
9 Jason Mackey (64)
10 Mats Pettersson (33)
11 Richie Diehl (21)
12 Peter Kaiser (25)
13 Michelle Phillips (9)
14 John Baker (65)
15 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
16 Ralph Johannessen (39)
At Kaltag
17 Paul Gebhardt (57)
18 Katherine Keith (52)
19 Ryan Redington (2)
20 Noah Burmeister (63)
21 Ken Anderson (59)
22 Robert Redington (70)R
23 Scott Smith (69)
24 Hugh Neff (50)
25 Lars Monsen (45)
26 Ramey Smyth (44)
27 Rick Casillo (27)
Beyond Nulato
28 Jeff King (34)
29 Ketil Reitan (11)
30 Hans Gatt (32)
31 Cody Strathe (5)
32 Linwood Fiedler (6)
[Read more →]

March 12, 2017   2 Comments

Daylight Savings Time

Just to screw up your life, don’t forget that Congress has stolen 2:00 to 2:59AM Sunday from you. They should at least have the decency to wait until the equinoxes to do this sort of thing. There’s barely enough daylight to do what needs to be done, much less save.

It’s a government conspiracy to make you late for church 😈

March 12, 2017   No Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 6

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogMark Selland (23) is the third team to scratch. He left Ruby and then returned to scratch. He was down to 13 puppies and saw something off so he scratched.

With temperatures going above zero, teams are adjusting schedules to rest during ‘the heat of the day’.

Alaska Dispatch notes the death of a second dog:

A 2-year-old dog from Iditarod veteran Scott Smith’s team died while in transit from the Galena checkpoint late Friday, after the musher dropped the dog earlier in the race, said a statement Saturday morning from Mark Nordman, race marshal.

Smith had dropped the male dog named Smoke on Tuesday at the Manley Hot Springs checkpoint, due to a wrist injury, according to the Iditarod Trail Committee. Smoke died while being transported by plane from Galena to Anchorage and was in a travel kennel onboard the flight.

Standings at 10:00PM CST:

Beyond Nulato
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
2 Wade Marrs (29)
3 Dallas Seavey (18)
At Koyukuk
4 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
5 Nicolas Petit (24)
6 Jessie Royer (37)
Beyond Huslia
7 Peter Kaiser (25)
8 Richie Diehl (21)
9 Ray Redington Jr (14)
10 Aliy Zirkle (41)
11 Paul Gebhardt (57)
12 Cody Strathe (5)
13 Ken Anderson (59)
14 Rick Casillo (27)
15 Robert Redington (70)R
16 Jason Mackey (64)
17 Michelle Phillips (9)
18 Martin Buser (15)
19 Ralph Johannessen (39)
20 John Baker (65)
21 Lars Monsen (45)
22 Scott Smith (69)
23 Mats Pettersson (33)
24 Ketil Reitan (11)
25 Jeff King (34)
26 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
27 Ryan Redington (2)
28 Noah Burmeister (63)
29 Katherine Keith (52)
30 Hugh Neff (50)
[Read more →]

March 11, 2017   No Comments

Iditarod 2017 – Day 5

Iditarod 2017 MapSled DogMitch got the halfway prize ($3000) but he hasn’t taken either the 8-hour or the 24-hour stops. Meanwhile Dallas has completed his 24-hour and is on the trail to Huslia.

From the Alaska Dispatch Iditarod live blog:

A 2-year-old male dog named Deacon, running on Sterling musher Seth Barnes’ team, died outside Galena late Thursday, Iditarod officials reported.

A report from the race said the dog died at about 11:40 p.m. “just prior to Barnes’ arrival at the Galena checkpoint.”

“A necropsy will be conducted by a board-certified pathologist to make every attempt to determine the cause of death,” the report said.

Standings at 10:00PM CST:

At Huslia
1 Mitch Seavey (16)
2 Nicolas Petit (24)
3 Jessie Royer (37)
4 Michelle Phillips (9)
5 Ralph Johannessen (39)
6 Jason Mackey (64)
7 John Baker (65)
8 Katherine Keith (52)
9 Hugh Neff (50)
10 Noah Burmeister (63)
11 Hans Gatt (32)
Beyond Galena
12 Dallas Seavey (18)
13 Nicolas Vanier (26)R
14 Wade Marrs (29)
15 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (38)
16 Martin Buser (15)
17 Peter Kaiser (25)
18 Richie Diehl (21)
19 Ken Anderson (59)
20 Ray Redington Jr (14)
21 Jeff King (34)
22 Zoya DeNure (42)
23 Ramey Smyth (44)
24 Robert Redington (70)R
25 Aliy Zirkle (41)
26 Scott Smith (69)
27 Paul Gebhardt (57)
28 Rick Casillo (27)
29 Ketil Reitan (11)
30 Mats Pettersson (33)
31 Cody Strathe (5)
32 Sebastien Vergnaud (13)R
33 Ryan Redington (2)
34 Lars Monsen (45)
[Read more →]

March 10, 2017   No Comments