Saturday, January 30, 2016

Christmas Beer!

The man in brown got through yesterday and delivered the first installment of my Christmas present from my nephew.

Which happens to be the same thing I got him.  There was much laughter Christmas morning.  We know each other so well.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty We Are Free At Last

Well, OK, maybe it's not THAT monumental...

This little guy finally opened my street yesterday.  My neighbor had worked mightily with his blower to clear his own driveway, get down a little piece of our street to a connecting street, and then get that connector open to the plowed street below.  Once the worst of the snow was shifted off the road between his driveway and my front yard yesterday he quickly used his blower to whack a path to my porch.  So even with my driveway still blocked I was connected in case I needed something.  Neighbors have been checking with me when they go to town but I'm so well stocked I could hang on for a month.  I might be sick of canned soups and dried beans, but I'd eat.  I'd also have enough toilet paper - that's something I always stock.

And I did a recount of the wine, including the bottles of white I forgot I had in the downstairs fridge - five reds and two whites.  I'm good for a while yet.

This evening my driveway was liberated.  The fellow who did it had to go back to his regular day job today in order to get some rest - he worked 59 hours in 3 days this week clearing snow. 

Not that I can drive anywhere.  'Cause I did a dumb on Sunday afternoon.

You know how you get so focused on something that other concerns get pushed out of your mind until the moment when things go wrong and you realize you've just done a "Here, hold ma beer" level of dumb?  Well, I got real focused on the snow on the roof.  Codes call for a roof to be able to support x amount of snow, and we were right at that x with a forecast that called for possible rain.  I got real worried about the weight when they started talking about rain.  So I cleared some of the snow off the back deck and went up a ladder to try to shift some of the snow off the roof.  The ramifications of being home alone in an area that had been completely cut off by 40 inches of snow did not break my focus until the ladder was on its way down.  And rolling off into the snow does not save you completely if you don't have time to get completely free and your legs snap down across the ladder, which is what happened.  The knot in the picture isn't actually the problem, although it's good and tender - the hard smack my right knee took is what has laid me up.  It's getting better, but it's weak, cranky, doesn't want to take my full weight, and has a disconcerting tendency to try to snap backward.  And somewhat swollen with deep bruising all around the knee.  I whacked it good.  But at least I didn't break anything.  I'd have been just SOL for a while if I'd broken anything.

My shoveling ended right there; cycles of ibuprofen, icing, and elevating took over.  I've decided that everything I need is sentient and has moved downstairs just to torment me.  I'm gimping around, but I don't feel like I can drive right now because I'm afraid the knee wouldn't be able to take the stress of braking in an emergency.

And you know how when you limp it throws everything off kilter and other muscles object?  My bum muscles are sore.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


You know the back and forth that's been going on between The Donald and Fox News.    And the furor that has been created by The Donald's refusal to participate in the final debate that Fox is hosting.  I'm not convinced it's the best thing he could have done tactically but he has proved that he will do whatever he bloody well pleases and it will be interesting to see what happens.

But one thing I've noticed is it's not often being reported what Fox did that provided Trump with his final excuse to get out and I think it's worth noting.  I tossed Fox into the same box as the ABC channels a long time ago - it's not nearly as fair and balanced as it proclaims.   That feeling was confirmed by this Fox News press release:

 “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

 Various words such as "unprofessional", "childish", and "puerile" come to mind. 

Could someone please stand up and be an adult?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hand Them a Shovel

I'm currently buried under 40 inches of global warming.  OK, yes, I know that it's just weather, not a rebuttal, but it's doggone convenient to hold a "position" that allows you to blame every bit of weather on "climate change."

I don't know why I bothered.  I'm never getting out again.

Because this is my driveway and the street looks just like it.

I'm sure you've been hit with the "97% of scientists agree" thing from people who wouldn't know a drumlin from nunatak.  And those with no scientific background at all are quite happy to call someone like me a "climate denier" and compare us to flat earthers.

They never think to ask where that 97 % number came from.

It came from 79 scientists who listed "climate science" as a field of expertise out of 3,146 scientists who responded to a two question survey.  None of the respondents were solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers.  So, rounding up, 77 makes the 97 % who say that that man-made activities are causing catastrophic global climate change.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there were nearly 6 MILLION researchers and engineers in the world as of 2006, the last year I can find a given number for.  

Seventy-seven (77) out of 6 million (6,000,000).  That's all it has taken for people to feel snide and superior, to denigrate, to be nasty towards those who do not share their belief that man is causing the sky to fall.  That's all it's taken to turn a self-promoting engineer, Bill Nye, into a celebrity who bashes those who disagree with him and is exulted as a climate expert.  That's all it's taken for politicians to force life-changing laws on us, to seek to degrade our standard of living, to steadily intrude into our lives.  Seventy-seven (77) out of 6 million (6,000,000).

So next time someone gets snotty or hysterical about man-made climate change, hand them a shovel. Because what they are basing their beliefs on, that 97 %, definitely needs to be shoveled out with the rest of the crap.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Found It!

The deck furniture, that is.

Keeps on going and I'm going to have to shovel my dogwood out.

And this would be my yard stick in the front yard:

Yeah. 3 feet.  What concerns me is that the same 3 feet is up on my roof.

Might As Well Go Back To Bed

Friday, January 22, 2016

It's Heeeeeere

Wine - check
Cheese - check
Crackers - check
Oreos - check

Other stuff - check

Thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a spare wick for the kerosene heater, just in case, so I made a run to Home Depot.  Fail.  Fah.  Not particularly worried - the ridge is protecting us from the winds that are turning this into a blizzard to the east.  I don't expect the power to go out, and the current wick has had very little use, anyway.  But the storm arrived while I was out, and it has been pounding down.  It only took about a half hour to turn pretreated roads to ick in a demonstration of why people need to stay home.  Can't even imagine what the roads are like now even though the plows were already working.  And the windshield wipers kept freezing.

I find modern weather forecasting incredible.  The mere fact we can watch a storm unfold on doppler is amazing.  We piss and moan when a forecast is off, but, really, not all that long ago storms could come out of the blue without anyone having a hint of what was going to happen - the Children's Blizzard of 1888 erupted on an unsuspecting Midwest on a warm January day and left hundreds dead.

It still ain't perfect - a model only has so many data points to work with - but people want exactness and get fussy if nobody can tell them if a storm is going to arrive at 2:15 or 2:30.  So "weatherdude" Dennis Mersereau has posted his own "FAQ" page for the Blizzard of 2016 in an effort to head off the stupid:

Q: How much snow am I going to get?

A: Here's a snowfall forecast issued on Thursday morning and valid through Sunday morning.

Q: Where do I live on that map?


Q: Yeah but how much snow am I going to get?

A: Your town could get 8-12" of snow from this storm, less if ice mixes in.

Q: Yeah but how much snow will we get exactly???

A: Did I stutter?

Q: lol okay really though what's really going to happen are they hyping this?

A: No, this isn't hype, and what you see in the forecast is what they really think is going to happen. Weather forecasting isn't a grocery store—we don't keep the good forecasts in the back, and we don't benefit from hype since our reputations are on the line. Hype is driven by the management side of news operations that care more about ratings/revenues than the true newsworthiness of an event.

Q: When will the worst happen?

A: Friday through Saturday

Q: Is this really the worst storm that's ever happened?

A: This storm has a chance to break snowfall records in several places. It could be one of the top two or three storms ever recorded in Washington D.C., for example, and if it stays all snow, cities in southern Virginia and North Carolina could come close to breaking all-time records.

Q: When was the last time we had a storm like this?

A: The last time you had a storm this bad in the Mid-Atlantic was during the blockbuster blizzard fest during the winter of 2009-2010, when you had something like three major snowstorms in a one- or two-month window. Farther south, with an exception here or there, this is probably going to be the biggest storm since the Blizzard of 1996, if not earlier than that.

Q: I have a flight out of Dulles at 8:30 PM on Friday.

A: Not anymore.

Q: Will the next flight be cancelled?

A: Yes.

Q: What about Saturday?

A: Yes.

Q: When will the airports reopen?

A: It's not so much an issue of the airport being closed as it is the airlines cancelling all of their flights. Airplanes and frozen precipitation don't play well together, and airlines aren't thrilled with the sight of planes full of people falling out of the sky.

Q: will skol b closd 2mrw?????

A: For your sake, I hope not.

Q: I wish I had a job where you could be wrong all the time and still get paid!

A: I hope your pants rip when you're far away from home.

Q: If the high is going to be 27°F, why are we expecting freezing rain instead of snow?

A: There's a shallow layer of warm air a few thousand feet above the ground, completely melting the snowflake before it reaches the ground. The melted snowflake—a raindrop!—re-enters the subfreezing air at the surface and freezes on contact with anything exposed to the elements.

Q: Why is it hailing?

A: It's sleet. Sleet forms through the same process as freezing rain, but the snowflake doesn't completely melt. The remaining ice crystals in the raindrop give the water a nucleus around which to freeze, solidifying the droplet into a tiny ice pellet, or sleet.

Q: My friend's cousin on Facebook said that we're gonna get a—

A: Ignore him.

Q: But my friend says that he's never wr—

A: Ignore. Him.

Q: The Virginia Snowstorm Action Authority 3000 Facebook page said that we're gonna get—

A: That page is also run by your friend's 12-year-old cousin. Ignore it.

Q: Is this El NiƱo making landfall?

A: That question makes me want to take up drinking.

They're Doomed

A clipper passed through the other night.  It had been predicted for a couple days and it left maybe an inch of snow.  But the DC metro area did no road treatment, and the government released employees right when the trucks went out to try to deal with it.   End result - iced over roads and people stuck for hours during the evening commute.

Here's a snapshot of the accidents that occured:

That's left some folks more than a little nervous about how the blizzard winding up to paste us a good one will be handled despite red faces and reassurances that it's under control.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Informal Poll - Update

1/18/2016 - I finally got around to doing a count.  Compared to the Chief Narcissist's past efforts, this year was surprisingly short and relatively lacking in self-references.  Although if you looked at it proportionally, self-reference per word count it might come out the same.  Don't know, not interested in finding out.  Anyway, only 58 occurrences of "I", "me", "my", or "mine."  Not even up to his "I'm stupid about guns and I demonstrate that you are too" speech a couple weeks ago.

So, because I'm lazy and because my "how to" search turned up "the Blogger poll widget is broken", I'm doing this the old fashioned way.  To whit:

Tonight is Obama's last State of the Union Speech.  I don't watch speeches - people can say anything they want in one and have no connection to reality.   But we have a sociopathic narcissist as president, so people have been counting things for grins and giggles.  Like how many times he references himself in each speech.  I think it was 76 times in the anti-gun, Vicks-under-the-fingernail-for-faux-tears speech last week. (Side comment - I stopped by a local gun shop while out yesterday and their cases looked like locusts had descended.  The nice lady on the counter said they were swamped on Saturday and won't get restocked until the end of the month.)

So, my question is "How many times do you think Obama will refer to himself in tonight's speech?"  I'm starting the bidding at 150.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


But, you know, makes 'em feel all warm and fuzzy to believe different.  And this doesn't take into account how other weapons simply took the place of guns in disarmed countries.

h/t Weasel Zippers

Sunday, January 3, 2016


And the fuzz butts pronounced the return to our evening routine purrrrrr-fect.