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News about light beer! [Aug. 16th, 2018|10:45 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |West Trumpistan]
[mood |amusedamused]

Now, more than ever, it sucks to be from Cleveland.  Browns fans get free beer if their team wins a game this year..  The catch?  It's Bud Light.  One way or the other, they lose.

Certain wags are already pointing out that beer has a shelf life.

*****

 Beer deliverymen save guy's life.  They're more daring than I.  I'd be afraid I'd be blamed for making him jump if I offered him a Coors, much less a Coors Light.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/53967.html
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Baby Birds! [Aug. 14th, 2018|02:18 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |Cab Calloway: Minnie the Moocher]

So, just a little bit ago, I climbed into one of my mom's trees (not an everyday event at my age) to examine a nest of baby robins. There were three of them, perhaps eight days old or so, alert, eyes open, feathers still partly in quills. I even touched them. :)

I'd waited until the parents were away, and when I first started up the tree, two of the babies were watching me, interested, not trying to hide. Mom came back about then, and started giving the alarm call, so that they all huddled down in the nest, and didn't move any more.

I took my time, with mombird, and soon dadbird, three feet over my head having a freakout. After a bit, I think it dawned on both of them that I wasn't eating their children, and they quieted down, still fussing a bit, but now more WTF? than anything.

So, I learned that I can still climb when motivated, and got to visit some cool baby birds. An interesting day.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/53578.html
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Ye Olde "Special Election" [Aug. 8th, 2018|12:39 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |OH-3]
[mood |cynicalcynical]
[music |Sousa: The Liberty Bell]

If you're at all interested in politics, you'll have seen the OH-12 special election that's taking place. That used to be my district. I got moved to OH-3 in the 2k redistricting in an effort to pack all of the democrats into OH-3, so that the surrounding districts could be safely Republican. I was one of the sacrificial voters, more or less. I was okay with that. I'm willing to take one for the team, plus it saved me the emotional pain of having to vote for Patrick Tiberi, who, despite always being preferable to his opponent, nonetheless represented the very worst of the Republican Party - fanatically opposed to letting gay people marry, or women have abortions, and backing free trade to the hilt, regardless of its effect on the American worker. It wasn't that great of a surprise when he rage-quit back in January, unwilling to work with a POTUS who puts ordinary Americans, as opposed to billionaires, foetuses, and televangelists, first.

Anyway, his quitting when he did required a special election for the vacant seat. This, as per the usual practice, will be a "referendum on Trump", unless the Republican candidate wins, in which case it will have been a mere local election. There are a few things that the news media are studiously avoiding mentioning about it, though. First, due to peculiarities of Ohio law, there won't be an official (as opposed to announced) winner for another ten days at least, to allow all absentee ballots to arrive. At best, a winner can be sworn no earlier than Aug 19th. If there's a recount or provisional challenges (both are almost certain), then it may be closer to mid-Sept. Currently, the House is in recess, and won't resume until Sept 4th. Once they do resume, you have Rosh Hoshannah and Yom Kippur, so that the 2nd and 3rd weeks of September are toast. House takes its final recess on Oct 4th,and is out until January. So, all this foofaraw for a two-week term of office.

Now, the Donkey team outspent the Elephant team about 15 to 1 on this. If their guy wins, it's going to be by a razor-thin margin, and only because a lot of people are rolling their eyes and not bothering to vote this time. Regardless of who wins this one, come the real election in November, the Democrat will get crushed in this district, 100% guaranteed.

So, while the entire exercise is pointless and wasteful, I'm still pleased to have it unfolding right on my doorstep. A lot of this is holdover from my childhod, when I was fascinated by the news and politics, but everything was always happening far away. For the last 12 years or so, the whole show has been taking place just outside my door, in all its sound and fury. I'm pleased.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/53457.html
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In the News! [Aug. 5th, 2018|11:28 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , , , ]
[Current Location |West Trumpistan]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Me: The Yak Song]

"Stuck in the mud" is rather an inadequate description of the poor mare's plight.

*****

So, what remarkable thing happened today in back in 1600, you may ask yourself...

*****

Interesting, that the Venezuelan army's reaction to the explosion during the parade seems to be distance themselves from the presidential reviewing stand with all possible speed. That didn't look like blind panic, per se, but rather sensibly not wanting to be close to the target. That can't be a reassuring reaction for Morales.

Edit: Maduro, not Morales. Soon, perhaps, he will be known as El Fragmente, the One who has been Blown to Fragments, and then it won't matter anyway.

*****

Science paves the way for four-lunged pigs! In all seriousness, though, humans and other mammals can eventually be retrofitted with bird-style lungs, which would be cool.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/52935.html
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There is a Thing which Speaks [Aug. 3rd, 2018|03:42 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , , , ]
[Current Location |West Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Peter Gabriel: Jeux sans Frontieres]

I had no idea that there existed man-made geysers. Quite attractive as well.

With all of the limestone that underlies West Trumpistan, we could probably sink a nuclear reactor for heat, and make geysers that form cool flowstone structures here too. Ours could even be radioactive!

*****

Lynchburg is being evacuated in anticipation of a potential dam failure. While that's distressing, I'm satisfied to note that pets are going to be provided for in the evacuation centres. That's been a longstanding issue here, is the expectation of the authorities that people will just leave their pets behind. In the old days, when they didn't expect people to evacuate unless their lives were in actual danger, that may have worked. The modern practice seems to be to take no chances of any sort whatsoever, so if we're to accept having our lives disrupted on the offchance that someone might possibly get hurt, it seems sensible to have higher expectations of what the authorities will provide.

*****

Dude with samurai sword attacks ice cream truck. Alcohol may have been involved. :)

*****

Sad that the guy got shot, but there's a certain irony in that he had come to see "cowboy culture". For whatever reason, many Germans seem fascinated by cowboys and indians.

*****

Oh yes! I need one of these!

*****

McDonald's are on my shitlist again. There's no excuse for that sort of behaviour.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/52727.html
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Back, Thou Foamy Brine! [Aug. 1st, 2018|07:41 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |West Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulpoliticky]
[music |Genesis: Can Utility and the Coastliners]

Okay, house just burned to the ground, but maybe putting new batteries in the smoke detector will restore the status quo ante. Way up there in King Heaven, Canute the Dane is sighing wearily. Extra irony points for the plaintiffs actually having the chutzpah to use the phrase "a bell that cannot be un-rung" in their complaint. If it is chutzpah. I keep thinking of what a friend opined years ago, regarding a somewhat similar situation: "Occam's Razor says they're dumbasses."

*****

American senators are elected for six year terms, and the members of the Senate are divided into three groups, so that a third are elected each two year cycle. Indiana has senators from groups one and three, and this year is a group one cycle, so arch-liberal Joe Donelly is up for election. His opponent is Mike Braun, an establishment Republican who managed to get nominated due to the fact that he had two fire-breathing populists opposing him, who split the vote. IMHO, any difference between him and Donelly is minor at best. So far they've engaged in a rather uninspired mud slinging campaign, of which Braun seems to have come off slightly better, managing to make the sobriquet "Mexico Joe" stick on Donelly.

Until yesterday, both sides were just basically obnoxious and annoying in very predictable ways. Then, Donelly rolled out his new commercial. It's all about how he worked hand in hand with President Trump to pass a law giving terminally ill people the right to try whatever drugs they want, instead of using only things that the FDA has approved. Donelly rather exaggerates his role in a "how I won the war" fashion, but one expects that in electioneering, and he's no worse than anyone else. What amazes me here is that he, a Democrat, is citing his positive relationship with Trump as a reason to re-elect him. The commercial is filled with shots of him with Trump, getting along. That's unexpected, to say the least, in the current political climate.

It will be interesting to see where, if anywhere, this goes.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/52326.html
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Trains! [Jul. 30th, 2018|01:39 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[mood |awakeawake]

I stumbled upon this more or less by accident: An archive of materials relating to 19th and early 20th century trains. I know a few people I think will enjoy this.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/52188.html
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Round on both ends, and high in the middle... [Jul. 29th, 2018|11:12 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |West Trumpistan]
[mood |amusedamused]


Once upon a time, in the Merry Land o' Cleve...

*****


At least the river didn't catch fire that day.

*****


Ah, Ohio...

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/51937.html
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Dreary Domestic Drama [Jul. 24th, 2018|07:23 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |calmcalm]

One of the local favourites here is Cincinnatti chili. This is a type of ground beef chili spiced with unsweetened chocolate and cinnamon, served over spaghetti, and topped with chopped raw onions and shredded cheddar cheese. It tastes several orders of magnitude better than it sounds. The two main brands are Skyline and Gold Star, although lots of restaurants have their own implementation of it.

Anyway, you can buy the chili sauce in cans, at the grocery store, to prepare at home. I went to Kroger's the other night, meaning to get some, but found that they wanted $5.19 for a 15 ounce can of Skyline. They didn't even have Gold Star. This seemed ludicrous to me, and a quick check on the internet confirmed that. I ended up buying it at the nearby Wal-Mart for $3.49 a can.

Kroger's, at least the local one, have been failing in this fashion more and more often. They keep reducing the selection of products, offering for many items only one brand in addition to the house brand. They're especially bad about this for cheese. And, while their prices on most things are about the same as everyone else's, on certain items (Skyline chili, and Dinty Moore beef stew, I know for a fact) they're *way* above the competition.

I started using Kroger for my default grocery after the nearby Giant Eagle (which I loved) closed back in January of '17, some months after it had caught fire and never really recovered. Kroger, like every other company in America, were absolutely pee-in-their-pants desperate to have you install their app on your phone, it apparently being an unquestioned tenet of faith among marketing types that having an app labelled "My [company name]" causes you to feel a sense of proprietorship toward the brand, a "relationship", in branding parlance.

In Kroger's case, they were willing to give you something to make it worth your while. Not only did they have tons of coupons searchable by category that you could add to your account, but they also had "Free Friday", which was a grocery item you could get for free each Friday, provided that you downloaded the coupon to your account. And the Free Friday stuff, while never extravagent, was usually something welcome - a box of taco shells, for instance, or a jar of spaghetti sauce - something you'd eventually buy on your own, plainly intended to drive sales of related items, but a useful free item regardless.

So... over time, their Free Friday item turned into free candy. This seems maladaptive to me, as they lose their chance to get you to buy related items to go with their free product, but it apparently made sense to someone. I wasn't really playing close attention to prices at the time, but I think what they may have been doing was raising prices slightly on the related items to recoup the cost of the giveaway, but people weren't necessarily biting. I know in my own case, I glad to have the taco shells, but didn't use them for almost a month, and bought the accessories at that time, rather than buying them when I got the free shells.

About the time that the weekly freebie turned into cheap candy, I started to notice that their price on Dinty Moore beef stew (a great favourite of mine) was about a dollar more than anyone else's. I did the sensible thing, and started buying that elsewhere than Kroger. Right about that time, they introduced personalized coupons, based on your shopping history. I got one that offered a dollar off on Dinty Moore, *if* I bought two cans. By that time I was starting to pay close attention to their pricing, and seeing that on just a few things, presumably things that people don't buy every week and don't have an expectation for the price, they were sky-high.

Now I'm re-examining all of my shopping practices, which is probably a good thing to do from time to time.

*****

I somehow managed to injure my right thumb as I slept. It's sore, I can't apply any force with it, and the base of the thumb up into my forearm is warm and very slightly swollen. You don't really expect to hurt yourself in your sleep.

*****

Ohio State Fair opens tomorrow.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/51238.html
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Gorgeous as Geese [Jul. 24th, 2018|01:59 am]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

The modern practice of no longer using proper adjectives leads to interesting newsblurbs such as "Twenty reported dead in Greece fire", which can be an attention-getter when the guy is reading it on NPR.

*****

Fascinating that we and the Germans asked the Israelis to rescue the White Helmets. I have to suppose that they really are a western intelligence asset, then. I can't imagine we'd cooperate with the Germans on something like that otherwise.

I believe yet that at least one of the "chlorine attacks" in Aleppo was a false-flag operation by the White Helmets. That's a good deal easier to believe than the idea that the Syrians dropped standard laboratory/industrial chlorine cylinders from helicopters, and had them land undamaged, without the valves breaking off, or even any dents.

Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/50963.html
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