Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What our environment might be like in a couple years...

Scott Pruitt is said to be Trumps's nominee for the head of the EPA. Environmental Protection Agency.

Here is Trump's earlier this year quote on the EPA:

"DETROIT — Republican front-runner Donald Trump would eliminate the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency as part of his plan to balance the budget, despite Fox News moderators pointing out to him it won't be enough.
During Thursday's debate, Trump reiterated his claim that he would eliminate the Education Department and "the Department of Environment Protection," his term for the EPA.
"We're going to have little tidbits left but we're going to get most of it out," Trump said."

(My type reverts to whatever quote I've done, this is me again)
On Monday, according to the Montana Standard, the local rag, "...thousands of snow geese landed on the Berkeley Pit." 

The pit, at an elevation of around 5400 ft, goes down another near 2,000 feet. Fairly deep. 

It's contaminated with the byproduct and waste from a hundred years of mining, the first decades were open pit, open smelter refining. The waste, the heavy metals and poisons going into the water that filled the pit. The water the geese landed upon.

Oh, what geese you ask? 

Floating on the Berkeley Pit’s dangerous water for days, hundreds of snow geese are still alive.
Environmental Protection Agency project manager for the Berkeley Pit Nikia Greene said Wednesday that, so far, he has seen no bird mortalities. 
Over a thousand of the migratory birds landed on the pit’s water Monday night, said Montana Resources manager of environmental affairs Mark Thompson.
But no one knows how long the birds can stay out there before they start to die off.
Contaminated with heavy metals and high in sulfuric acid, the pit’s water proved lethal to 342 snow geese 21 years ago – almost to the day.
Thompson said it’s been 30 plus hours, and birds are still able to fly off. A “pile of birds” took flight at first light Wednesday, Thompson said. Greene confirmed that.
More birds left the pit later Wednesday morning in response to MR shooting rifles from both the north and southern sides of the pit. MR has been working since Monday night using various noise tactics to try to get the birds to leave.
But in the 21 years since MR and ARCO implemented a bird program to keep flocks off the pit’s water – in response to the 342 deaths in 1995 - no one has seen birds stay on the water this long, Thompson said.
Usually birds that land are gone within 12 hours, said Thompson.
Greene said he believes that about half of the birds have left since they first landed sometime Monday night. Thompson believes there are currently, “about 10 percent of what we first had.”
Noted Deer Lodge ornithologist Gary Swant said heavy metals accumulate in animal tissue. That means drinking metal-contaminated water is not likely to kill the birds right away.
“It would be a chemical that would affect them immediately,” Swant said.
The high acidity of the Berkeley Pit’s water is likely the cause of the 342 dead birds found in the pit in 1995. Necropsies of those birds revealed acid had burned their throats.
Helena-based Audubon Society executive director Steve Hoffman said the birds likely landed on the Berkeley Pit for a rest. A major migration of snow geese were seen as far north as Helena and as far south as Dillon Monday night, according to a number of agency officials and bird experts. If the snow geese floating on the Berkeley Pit are thirsty, they will drink the water, Hoffman said.
(Me again)
So the new head of the EPA would essentially eliminate it.  Therefore, the company responsible for the clean up of the pit, would bear no further fines if it stopped it's clean up, part of it's contract. No agency to enforce it, no reason to continue. 
The several hundred geese are just the very start.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Since we're all doomed...

Like Grgory Peck's character, the Naval Captain in command of the last US vessel in existence after WW3, facing the end of the world, I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. The movie, I recommend highly, is the adaptation of Nevil Shute's "On the Beach". Even has the great dancer, Fred Astaire, in a fairly major role.

So here I am, looking out at what should have started over two months ago:

Having a glass of this:

Watching this:

The BBC series, the best of the lot.  BTW, the most recent "Tinker, Tailor..." was a good movie, but nobody is George Smiley except Alex Guiness. 

Escapism today, reality tomorrow. Or next week. I'll get back to you on that.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The New Reich, and a bit of a rant

Been three weeks, we've all had time to consider. 

Even to those of you that are Trump supporters, you have to have started just bit of queasiness, right? Ok, I'm not referring to the very few readers who do want all Muslims out of the country, the former slaves of a different color put back to the back of the bus. I'm talking to I guess first those who read this, and about 7% comment from the percentage that read, who voted for trump. You can comment anonymous, you should notice. The people who voted for trump going 'hell yes', let me say: fuck you. I've served this country, and paid more in taxes that your whole effing block, so get screwed. I'd like to talk to what I assume are the very few who might have voted otherwise. 

Here we have a president who, so far, refuses to answer questions. From the press, our only source of back and forth with elected officials. BTW, 'tweets', whatever the hell they  are, are not communication with your subjects. They are phlegm of misinformation, spat over the internet, to your followers. Which, you might notice mr trump, is around 2 million fewer than those that like you. You have no mandate, fool.

We have a new leader who may actually be a criminal, before attaining office. He may well be a rapist, a serial sexual assaulter, and......I was talking to someone who is knowledgeable about the pathology, and they said his wife and youngest daughter fit the behavior of abused people. So, maybe, our new president is guilty of some serious crimes. 

Thing is, even if any of this is true, the real true, true believers out there would say "I don't care." 

It's why the white supremacists are crawling out from under rocks now. Call themselves 'Alt Right'. Still means Nazi. 

It's why the KKK has reached unprecedented in 100 years, recruitment. 

His 'denounces' of these groups comes with a wink and a smirk. 

We got ourselves a whole new ball game, folks. 

And a whole bunch of assholes out there are all for it. 

Take five minutes and read this, please.

I don't often do links, something about it vaguely irritates me. But this one I'm making an exception for:

If I knew how to make that a single word link I would, but alas the internet world has largely passed me by.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Maybe skip this one, and no, it's not 'clickbait'

And I'm sincere about that. Depends on our impression of me. I'm a Liberal, capital 'L', as I've stated before.. All the usual stuff. Except....

I like to shoot guns, and I'm fairly decent at it. As is one of my daughters. I don't do it a lot anymore, my successor, Henry, my son, was a Army paratrooper, and used a long gun in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So there is this other side of me. I protest, yeah, and I'll be out with you there on the streets, with the signs, etc in the next few years. But I'm really not a non-violent guy, in terms that are classically used. A pacifist. Not that, not my nature. . I'm not violent, mind you. As my kids and friends can verify, if you're my friend or kin. Or a patient, got to put that one in. But turning the other cheek don't come naturally.

I spent two years, nearly, in a hot, humid, unfriendly land, SE Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and a venture into Burma the South Border of a country we won't mention now, but our new con man president has some ties to.

I was a medic, a corpsman. I got identified early, through circumstances not ones I want to relate, as someone who could fire a rifle. And pistol.

My kin were at fault, my dad, his brothers and cousins had me shooting before I was 5.

Geez, come to think of it, one of the girls can say she shot a rifle around that same age.

Anyway, I have this target .22, that's fun to take out and bang around with here. And by here, I mean I can go target practice less than 2 miles from my house, in the woods.

A Colt Woodsman

I don't expect many comments from this, just thought I'd tell you what I did on my  days 'off'.' I haven't trotted out this little gem in a couple years. It's old, but still seems to work. I took a magazine to shoot at various bottles and can, then set up three targets, 25 yards away. 'bout 75 feet. 

Here's my targets, around 25 yards, three in succession: 


Have to say, I'm not usually that good, referring to the last target. As the youngest will attest. That's more her average than mine. 

Anyway, I'm still the same guy who wrote the last post, a nice guy. Just don't do what someone who at the university in Seattle threatened, or demean my kid. Not much can piss off a boomer-age guy than some neo nazi harassing his daughter. Don't recommend, it, kid. 

No snow here, day after Thanksgiving, warmer than I can remember. 

Cheers to you all.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving Message to my Girls

This is the first Thanksgiving we haven't been together in some years.  It's always been our favorite holiday; the sharing of food with friends, the time together in the same room, laughing, eating, watching the younger ones.

I want you  to know that my thought will be with you, as will my love, which will last as long as you live.  It isn't limited to my life,

And no, I'm not planning on kicking off anytime soon, Christmas is coming and the first tree in years will be in the front yard, thanks to the visit from our LA friend.

Tough times now, kids. In their misguided wisdom, the american people have elected a buffoon for President; a racist, woman-disrespecting, possibly rapist, con man for the highest office in the land.

You'll get through it, you'll prevail. You'll be vindicated, and I'm not talking in terms of decades later. It could be months, or a year or two.

How do I know? Because your mom and I went through it.  Tanks in the streets of our capitol, the assassination of leaders, an Attorney General who proclaimed that "we're going to take this country so far to the right you won't recognise it." John Mitchell's wife.

We went through Nixon, and a war that was some days costing us a thousand lives, and the country we were wrongly in many thousands more. Thanks to us, the war stopped.  We came out of it victorious, even if for only a decade or so.

Perhaps that's the way it is; a cycle, ups and downs.

I agree, this 'down' seems different, we have a demagogue for president, perhaps the most unqualified and unsuited for the office ever.  You have a big fight ahead of you. But you have no choice. You are up to the task.

It's thanksgiving though, and let's be happy for each other.

All my love

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

5 spice Chinese duck

A couple requests from last blog prompted this. I'm happy to do it, the original is not mine, I just do a couple extra things that I think add value.

I have to say, though, that it seems so trivial to be swapping fowl recipes when our country is about to be taken over by nazi's, and nearly 48 percent of the voting populace are willing accomplices.

My daughters have been affected by this, one is a TA at a university, and has been verbally assaulted by 'alt right' students, aka nazi's, for her liberal stances.

Anyway, on with the recipe.

I assume you can't get a freshly shot wild bird. So get a frozen one. Walmart has a good selection usually.

Thaw, then put in a brine, I use only salt, about one cup per 3 gallons. In the thawed bird one will usually find a orange sauce. Throw away.  Reserve neck and giblets and especially liver. Leave brining in fridge or outside if safe, overnight.

Dry thoroughly. Paper towels, over and over. Put uncovered in fridge for a few hours.

Soy sauce
5 spice chinese powder
sesame oil
bit of salt
Chile flakes, or chopped fresh, however you like.

you'll have to experiment with volumes. I usually start with a quarter cup soy, half that honey, couple teaspoons 5 spice, etc. you won't end up with a paste, just a thick liquid. Go easy on the salt, just a pinch, the soy adds a lot. I tend to use a teaspoon or more of the red chili flakes. I like a bit of heat.

Truss legs at the bottom. I use those plastic ties that let you form a loop and tighten.

Oven at 375

Brush breast side and inside thoroughly, put in baking pan on rack breast side down.

Brush top and back of bird thoroughly, pouring any excess over the bird.

Cook around 35 minutes, turn and cook the same again. Should be golden to dark brown.

Take out and let set for 10 minutes, carve, getting your fingers messy to get all the good stuff hidden near the bone.

Serve with wild rice, good crusty bread, whatever.

Oh, on the neck, liver and giblets. 

Neck and giblets, simmer in water and make a nice broth, great for cooking rice. The wild rice is especially good after soaked and simmered in this. 

The liver.....salt and pepper, coat well with flour, and saute on high heat for 30 seconds on each side, olive oil or butter, serve on toast points. Delicious. Tender, melts in your mouth. 

cheers, with less cheerful stuff later. 

I don't know exactly what to be thankful for in this season. My kids of course, the fact I'm still alive, etc. And that the brown shirts haven't started marching in the streets, rounding up first one group after another. 


Monday, November 21, 2016

Pre-Thanksgiving visit

My friend L. from LA was here for a short weekend visit. We had a pleasant time, one day taking a drive north of town towards Moulton Reservoir.

The view from the beginning of the dirt Moulton Rd, back over Butte.

The view North

What I had hope to show her, but we didn't see it. Picture from a previous year:

That evening I made a 5 spice Chinese style duck.  It was excellent with wild rice and salad.

I'm spending Thanksgiving here in Montana this year, instead of my traditional trip over to Seattle. Hope this finds all well and if not happy at least coming to terms with things. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Winter seems to be here

After a unseasonably warm late fall, winter is making it's debut, today the surrounding mountains, tomorrow we're due for 4".  Good, I'm tired of looking at the leaves I haven't raked in the yard. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

You've probably seen these, but....

My eldest sent these to me today, then I saw that some are in today's newspapers. I'll post them anyway, 'cause I think it's funny.  And I think President Obama is so much more of a intelligent human being than trump. And a better person by far.

Anyway, here's the Biden memes that are making the news:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Coincidence? I think not......

Headline from The Slate (and numerous other papers):

Trump Says He’ll Immediately Deport as Many as Three Million Peope

And from the SF Chronicle:

Hillary Clinton's lead in popular vote could grow to more than 2 million

Pack your bags, kids.....

I know, difficult to say when I'm serious or not. Well, with this bozo that some are calling the president, it's a toughie for me to decide too.
Actually, I read there are 4 million unread votes in CA alone, and I doubt most come from Drumph supporters. Imagine if Hillary  had a margin of 6 million votes ahead of the bozo. I bet he'll still try to claim a mandate of sorts. At least from the KKK. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

In the meantime, I've got a bridge they can buy.....

Stolen from The NYT:

Friday, November 11, 2016

A few editorial cartoons for your amusement

Several by Horsey, my favorite.

And the best for last:

H.L. had it nailed 100 years ago. 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Brave New World

Being a 4th gen Oregonion, I follow opinions and trends with my fellow natives. Here's the latest:

Oregon Secession Act
 Whereas the People of Oregon prize life, liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness as unalienable rights of a free people;
Whereas many other American States do not share those values as shown by their electoral outcomes, laws, and public policies; Whereas irreconcilable differences exist between Oregon and many other American States;
 Whereas the U.S. Congress no longer is capable of addressing issues important to Oregon and protecting the rights of free people;
Whereas the federal government has proved a poor steward and manager of public resources in Oregon;
Whereas governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; Whereas in the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with another; The People of Oregon therefore enact the following Oregon Secession Act:
 Section 1 The Governor and Legislature shall actively pursue Oregon’s peaceful secession from the United State of America. They shall seek secession alone or in conjunction with other states and Canadian provinces that seek to form a new nation, including but not limited to California, Washington, Hawaii, Nevada, Alaska and British Columbia.

it goes on at considerable length......

Etc, etc. The boundaries are not clear yet, but it might look like this:

Or this:

And maybe this'll be the flag:

It's all up in the air at the moment, but I'll have go back to see, as a 4th gen, that all is in order. 

I'll put in a good word for you, well most of you, when you apply for visas. 

Oh, and from my friend Bruce:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Perspective may not be helpful here.......

It helps a little bit being over 70 and having lived through Nixon, Reagan and Bush, though this asshole seems to be in a league of his own, as sociopaths often are. 59 Million voting Americans choose him on their ballot.  Probably most of those millions don't consider themselves racist, or xenophobic, or woman-haters. I'm sorry, but if you're voting for someone who is, yes, that makes you the same. 

It seems incredible, but north of 59 million people voted for someone who in the last year has said the things he's said, and told the lies he's told. 

Remember a month or so ago when Trump suggested that "one of the second amendment people might take care of the Hillary problem."?   Hmmmmmmmm.......

This morning in the SF Chronicle, Garrison Keillor wrote:

"Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones and they will not like what happens next.

Don't be cruel. Elvis said it and it's true. We all experienced cruelty back in our playground days, boys who beat up on the timid, girls who made fun of the homely and naive, and most of us, to our shame, went along with it, afraid to defend the victims lest we become one of them. But by your 20s, you should be done with cruelty. Mr. Trump was the cruelest candidate since George Wallace. How he won on fear and bile is for political pathologists to study. The country is already tired of his noise, even his own voters. He is likely to become the most intensely disliked president since Hoover. His children will carry the burden of his name. He will never be happy in his own skin. But the damage he will do to our country -- who knows? His supporters voted for change, and boy, are they going to get it."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How I'm Spending My Day

I know I said I'd not be posting till after the election, but I've decided on how I'm spending the day and evening. It won't be following election results, either. It'll involve:

I do plan on waiting until the sun is past the yardarm, just for decorum's sake. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Untracked ground

I woke around the usual 5am today, turned on MTPR, half-listened and slept, as usual, until almost 7.  At 8, I took this picture, looking south from the front porch.

It's just the usual, sunrise over the Rockies. With the end of DST this weekend, this will be earlier, it'll be dark by 4pm. 

What's going to happen in the week, weeks, months and beyond my friends?

We are divided in a way we don't have experience with. If we had accurate records and such back to the time we rebelled from the British, we might have a clue, perhaps not accurate. But there were almost the same number who wanted to stay a British colony than wanted independence. 

As a nation, we've seldom been as divided, politically and socially, as we are now. 

I'll do an assumption here: We are all 'good people'. We are reasonable, rational, and willing to adhere to the idea of 'live and let live'. It's what we've survived by, yes? No, I don't care for your taste in pets, spouses, Supreme Court judges, but we can still live in the same neighborhood, yes?

That idea seems gone. We now have people we, we've known for years, we cannot talk to  because of politics, because they support trump or hillary. It's not preference that we march to, it's hate. 

We have abandoned the idea of democracy. 

Look at the 'surrogates', the popular term, for people speaking for the two candidates. Do they ever, ever, suggest that they can compromise, maybe give a little, maybe come to terms? No. It's our way, or the highway.  Any notion that the other candidate may have some legitimacy, if for no other reason than seemingly millions agree, carries no weight.  

As most of you know, I'm a liberal, capital "L". But like all of you, we all are fucked, no matter who is elected. The other side will not flinch from saying it was a cheated election, and the new president is not legit. If Hillary, Donald, whomever it is, we're fucked. We dislike each other so, so very much. So much...... 

We won't come together. The times of compromise are passed. Nice knowin' ya'. You won't go along with every  bit of my proposal for last term abortion? Get off the bus. 

You won't go along with every bit of my bill that will let everyone in Amerika that want's a handgun to have on?, get off my bus.

Turns out it's a small bus, and has no room for any  conflicted people. 

So I'm gonna say vote. For the one I think can perhaps hold the country together, if not progress. Already have, in fact. 

I don't envy whoever wins. I think our belief that Obama could perhaps bring us together racially, across the divide, was misguided.  All it did is loosen the reins on the horses of those who who wanted to say that a nigger can't be president, it's impossible. And he was tolerant, even handed with those that held up the signs "Nigger!" outside his speeches, the other things no other president has had to endure. All that did was let the apparent millions of us that feel that way even freer to spout our venom. 

What Ms. Clinton will have to endure, should she win, boggles the mind. For a hint, look at the signs held up at Trump rallies.  The word 'bitch' his prominent. As is the one starting with 'c'. Why she would be willing to be the tip of the spear for women, I have no idea. 

Anyway, this'll be my last post until after the election.  Good luck.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Town, renamed

The new name is Utqiaġvik, first, pronounce it, then tell me what the previous name was.