Friday, August 05, 2016

Southside Park Neighborhood

People sometimes say things to Bella and myself on our long walks around Sacramento. A high-speed bicyclist passed by, and apropos of nothing, said "Have a nice evening." A man on a door stoop asked "Do you want to buy a bag of limes? Large breed!" Women, in particular, will call out to Bella, "Come here, baby!"

Two nights ago, Bella got bored of the 17th Street corridor - seriously deficient in cats as of late - and struck out west along X Street. Soon, we were following a limping man who kept looking back over his shoulder. I worried about approaching too closely - paranoid people can be unpredictable in the night. He was slow; Bella was fast. Soon we caught up.

"Where is the church?" the gaunt man with a tiny mustache and a Southern accent asked. It was an awkward question. We were standing next to the largest Buddhist Church in Sacramento. Bella dragged me through the freeway underpass as the man kept looking back over his shoulder, hooting and shouting for a follower (who wasn't there) to come join him.

We were now in the Southside Park neighborhood, brand-new for us. We skirted William Land Elementary School (where they have free lunches!) and the Lam Kwong Deli before returning.

Last night, Bella went back up the 17th Street corridor, and repeatedly barked at a tree. I didn't see anything, but two weeks ago there had been three raccoons nearby, so that's probably what it was.

Bella once again branded the Safeway Supermarket parking lot, that cornucopia of spoiled and discarded food she's become so fond of. I notice another user branded the parking lot with chalk - the Instagram user @orphansofmidtown. This person posts pictures of random items of clothing and personalizes them with stories.

Overnight on August 2nd or 3rd, someone died under one of the Highway 99 underpasses. The Sacramento Police report was clinical:
16-223079 (Casualty ): Broadway / Alhambra Blvd at 0752 hours.

Officers responded to the call of a deceased subject in the area. Homicide detectives responded to the scene and based on the preliminary findings, no foul play appears to be a factor in this incident. The Sacramento Coroner’s office responded and a report was generated.

Always worry when one of these incidents happen. Part of the community, after all. Condolences to the person's family.

A Whinier, More-Entitled Group Than The Tea Partiers Never Strode The Earth

Nursery school on Capitol Hill:
Tea Party mainstay and Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp lost his primary to a more moderate Republican candidate, an obstetrician named Roger Marshall who earned $3 million in backing from outside groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is now the presumptive favorite to win the seat in the fall. House conservatives are viewing the loss as a betrayal of their movement, and they are placing the blame squarely in one place: on House leadership, including Ryan.

"Clearly the war continues," Huelskamp told CNN. "The establishment never sleeps. They spend more time going after conservatives than going after Hillary Clinton. It was about sending a message, and the message is this: 'They came after me to get a scalp.' "

The Impossible Dream

Mormon's May Be Inclined To See Themselves As The "White Horse"

Trump hits all the wrong notes:
The Mormon distaste for Trump also goes beyond establishment Republicans like Romney and Flake. In late June, Tea Party–backed Sen. Mike Lee of Utah responded angrily to a conservative radio host who chastised him for failing to toe the party line and endorse Trump. To explain his refusal to back the nominee, Lee pointed to Trump’s “religiously intolerant” statements, which have made him “widely unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church.” Citing one of the darkest days of the Mormons’ long history of enduring state-sponsored religious persecution, Lee continued, the Mormons are “a people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And statements like … [banning Muslims from the U.S.] make them nervous.”


Location, Location, Location!

If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium:
Loudoun is the richest county in America. That’s due in part to the enormous amount of money the federal government spent on the War on Terror in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The place is replete with defense contractors, engineers, and rocket scientists. And it’s recession-proof; while the rest of the country struggled through the Great Recession, Loudoun kept sprouting up neighborhoods of McMansions, seemingly with a swimming pool in every backyard.

But Trump seems to think it’s part of the Rust Belt. Toward the end of his speech—to an atypically preppy, professional, clean-cut audience—the candidate bashed the county economy.

“You’re doing lousy over here, by the way, I hate to tell you,” he said.

That is empirically false.

He then listed a number of factory closures, including Ball Corp., which was five hours away in Bristol, as far from Loudoun as you can get without leaving the state. And he mentioned the closure of a Smithfield Foods Inc.

“Anybody used to work for Smithfield?” he asked the crowd.

It’s almost certain none of them did. The Smithfield plant that closed was in Hampton Roads, Virginia—three hours from Ashburn, in the southeast corner of the state.

Plastic Cups

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Lower Courts Now Have Their Opening To Trash Voting Rights Restrictions

Taking the option:
They are fed up with being treated like dolts by Republican legislators who lie through their teeth about the intent of draconian voting restrictions. They are fed up with brazen efforts to diminish minorities’ voting power by targeting and eliminating their preferred voting methods. And most of all, they are fed up with the pretext: The shameless insistence by GOP legislators that these explicitly partisan, outwardly race-based voting laws serve any purpose other than helping Republican legislators entrench their own political power.

Jiggling Wind Turbines

The wave of the future:
The company says
that its design is 40% cheaper than traditional turbines because the huge blades those require are expensive. Plus, they expect upkeep to be cheaper since the bladeless turbines have fewer moving parts. Bladeless turbines will also be quieter and create less wind disturbance, which are both popular arguments against bladed turbines.

July In Sacramento Was Unusually Hot

Hot, hot, hot!:

There were 11 days of 100-degree weather, instead of the average of seven for the month. And toward the end of July, Sacramento endured eight consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures. The month’s hottest day, July 26, topped out at 108 degrees.

The record for the most days of triple-digit temperatures from June through August in downtown Sacramento is 36 days, according to the National Weather Service. Downtown Sacramento is up to 21 days so far this summer.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Uh, Oh. A Friend's Aunt

The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that it was still searching for a 71-year-old woman who was last seen walking away from her campsite near Lake Alpine about 2 p.m. Thursday.

A media release described Rosalyn Saxenmeier as 5 feet 1 inches tall, 130 pounds., with short red hair and glasses. She has no known medical issues but may suffer some memory impairment, according to the statement. Her campsite was at the east end of Lake Alpine.

Agencies assisting Alpine County with the search include search and rescue teams from Calaveras, Tuolumne, El Dorado, Marin, Contra Costa and Placer counties, the California Office of Emergency Services and the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit.

Deputy Rob Lyons from Tuolumne County says that anywhere from 30 to 60 personnel are searching, as well as about five marine enforcement personnel searching the lake.

Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener

Doing my slacker best to paint the walls of my basement, which is huge - about the size of a tennis court - with all kinds of dirty surfaces to paint, with a few black widows secreted away in the intricate folds of the surfaces.

I got my mask on, but the air isn't so good. Reminded of Courtney Barnett's song about an asthma attack:

When The Moon Is In The Seventh House

The Dog Days of August Commence

I opened the back yard gate and Bella charged into the driveway. Suddenly, she became transfixed by the sight of an airliner's moving bright light in the distance. I wondered what she was thinking....

Bella's walks have been challenging of late. Sometimes they are more like sprints, as she tries to hit all her favorite spots all at once. Or she wanders very far afield, like her stroll up to Fremont Park and along Q Street. Or her puzzling zig-zag path back and forth across the railroad. The plan isn't always clear.

We have seen many dogs as the dog days of August commence. Bella chose to visit San Fernando Way for the first time in six months. I knew why - there is a large Huskie who lives over there. Bella just wanted to make the Huskie jealous of her freedom, and she did. We saw some homeless guys on Broadway last night. One was changing clothes and another was doing a kind of lilting dance. But in their midst were one, possibly two, large dogs, and I had to pull Bella away fast. Another time, next to the AM/PM at 16th & W Streets, we started probing around a mysterious baggage-laden children's red wagon when I noticed we were being silently watched from the shadows by a large, apprehensive Boxer, and I quickly pulled Bella away. We saw a large poodle wearing a handsome flashing-blue diode around its neck. Despite the colorful hi-tech amulet, even from the distance, Bella could still tell it was a dog.

On S Street at the railroad, we heard a roar, then saw a car take off down the street with a police car in hot pursuit. I expected flashing red and blue lights any second, but instead, the police car abruptly dropped the chase, did a U-turn, and came roaring back at high speed, forcing Bella and I to scramble out of the street. Some puzzling police cat-and-mouse game at work.

Last night, Bella started bucking on her leash in excitement, but there was no raccoon or cat. Instead, Bella had been fooled by my spectral shadow cast by street lights.

Bella and I were across the street when all the teenage employees of Gunther's Ice Cream Parlour on Franklin Blvd. came bursting out of the front door at closing time. They were all dressed in uniform black, and now that their many, many chores were finally done, they scattered to the winds like high-spirited ravens.

Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator

Next Step of the Political Revolution

Would Trump Go There? Do You Need To Ask?

I'm disturbed by the chaos that Trump might unleash in November, when he gets beat by Hillary, yet refuses to concede, and tries to whip up a coup d'etat. Since 2011, Trump has worked hard to deny the legitimacy of Obama; he'll do the same with Hillary, except worse:
It was a line of attack that longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone pushed on a podcast with Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos that was posted online Friday. Stone suggested voter fraud is "widespread" and said if Hillary Clinton wins a state like Florida after polls show Trump in the lead, the election would be "illegitimate."

"If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government," Stone said. He also promised a "bloodbath" if the Democrats attempt to "steal" the election.

Obsessing About Medical Intervention Scenarios

There it is! My dental nightguard! I thought I swallowed it in my sleep. Now I can stop obsessing about medical intervention scenarios.

As Leighton says: "Ask your doctor if obsessing about medical intervention scenarios is right for you."

Such A Large Black Widow Spider!

Knocking down dust for painting in the basement (first time since 1998). Encountered the largest black widow I've ever seen in California. (Southern Arizona, particularly Phoenix, is black widow central. I remember once finding one at home behind my bed's pillow.) Sprayed feeble insecticide at her. I dub this Cali spider "Shelob".

I need a flamethrower....

Sunday, July 31, 2016

That's OK, We Don't Need No Stinkin' Presidential Debates

This just confuses me:
Donald Trump gave his first hint last night that he might try to get out of the Fall presidential debates. I have thought for months that he'd likely try to get out of them.
Regarding debates, there is an established kabuki whereby the stronger party tries to evade or limit debates and the weaker party tried to get more. Since Trump's polling numbers are down, he's the weaker party. I guess he wants to be seen as the stronger party no matter how weak he is. That's OK. Hillary can shrug her shoulders and watch football instead.