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Two Flycatchers September 11, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Willow Flycatcher:

Vermilion Flycatcher:

The Apocalypse Continues… September 11, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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2020 is still not done with us. Now it’s killer clouds of mosquitoes:

Clouds of mosquitoes have been so thick in southwest Louisiana since Hurricane Laura that they’re killing cattle and horses.

Farmers in a five-parish area east and northeast of the parishes where the storm made its landfall Aug. 27 have probably lost 300 to 400 cattle, said Dr. Craig Fontenot, a large-animal veterinarian based in Ville Platte.

He said the swarms are so thick that the vast number of bites leave horses and cattle anemic and bleeding under their skins. The animals also become exhausted from constantly moving in an attempt to avoid the biting insects, he said in a phone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.

It’s time to deep freeze ourselves and wake up 10 years from now.

The Tanking of Scouting September 10, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Was looking at the sidebar when Michael’s 2007 post on the wimpification of the Boy Scouts caught my eye (Boy Scouts Celebrate PC 100th World Jamboree). It made me wonder how the Boy Scouts are doing these day, after allowing the participation of:

  • Gay scouts (2013),
  • Gay leaders (2015),
  • Trans scouts (2017), and
  • Girls (2019).

(The last change having been accompanied by a name update to Scouting BSA.)

So I figured I should see check on membership trends, given my fond memories of the traditional (i.e., 70’s) scouting program. Which meant, of course, that some graph plotting was inevitable:

The membership has been divided by the population of the US, so what you see is the percentage of US citizens participating in the scouting programs.

And, as you can see despite the annoying gaps in the data, the scouting program is cratering. The demise has only accelerated since 2012, meaning that all of the changes listed above did not save the organization.

Rather, they appear to have sealed its doom.

What I’m Breathing Today September 7, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
6 comments

Y’all have heard the incessant whines of the CA wimps, who apparently are “suffering” from wildfires. Well, we got ’em in Colorado too, and I’ll put our fires up against anybody’s.

This is a view of the sky from my front yard at 12:30 pm (pics taken by my daughter):

…and here is what passes for a sun in these Lovecraftian times:

We had a high of 91°F today, but tomorrow it’ll snow and the high will be 35°F.

End times indeed.

American Goldfinch September 5, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
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How Are Things in Your Town? September 5, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
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…in terms of political signs?

Last weekend I drove all over my huge, very purple state of Montana.  But actually it’s a sea of red with little blue island in it, showing cities like Missoula or Bozeman, or the Indian Reservations.

montana

I didn’t spend any time in those city limits, and only barely cut the corner of one of the reservations, so this is not remotely close to scientific, but I saw not a single yard sign or bumper sticker for Biden, or for the Steve Bullock for Senate campaign. Not one, in over twenty hours of driving.

I wouldn’t say I saw saturation levels of Trump signs, flags or bumper stickers, but there were a lot of them.

My town, which is split down the middle on party registration, normally gets totally blanketed with yard signs everywhere. This time I’m just not seeing anything. Yesterday I saw two Bullock signs, and they really stuck out because it was the first time I had seen any.  As I said above, this is a purple state. Bullock is a popular but term-limited governor who won his elections comfortably.

Not that I don’t hear about the Senate race.  The Democrats see the seat held by Republican Steve Daines as flippable, and Bullock is possibly the best candidate they could have picked to try, so I am constantly hit with ads on the internet and the radio for or against one of the two, telling me how evil they are for supporting whatever.  But if elections are about enthusiasm rather than ad buys, I have to wonder if Bullock isn’t about to be crushed.

Neenah Menasha September 4, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
8 comments

Sponge was a band from Detroit that hit big in the 90s when MTV put their song Molly (16 Candles) on heavy rotation. I never got into that song, so I never listened to the debut album, Rotting Piñata. Their subsequent albums didn’t really go anywhere, so although I heard Wax Ecstatic a few times on there radio, I forgot about them completely for a long time.

Then one day I heard Plowed, also from Rotting Piñata, and realized I had heard it before, but without noticing it. Plowed is a really, really cool song. My brother-in-law has the album, so I borrowed it to see what else I was missing.

Mostly the answer was, not much. The album feels really uneven to me. But I did find Neenah Menasha, hands down my favorite Sponge song and one of my favorite 90s songs. Have a listen:

I love when a song has a certain intensity. It’s not something I can really define. It’s not as simple as saying “loud” or “fast.” Intensity is almost always about the vocals. They really hit a high point after the second and third choruses, when Vinnie repeats “Neenah Menasha will wait!”

For me, the great mystery is why the song (and others) works so well when the lyrics make no sense at all. Neenah and Menasha are cities in Wisonsin. What they have to do with the song is completely beyond me. What anything in the song is supposed to mean is beyond me. There’s just the building menace in the guitars, the driving drum beats, and Vinnie Dombrowski singing “death to clowns and all their crowns/a smile on their face,” with no explanation of why he’s upset with crowns or clowns.

How important to you are lyrics in a song? Do any of you know what I mean about intensity?

A Mostly Peaceful Style Guide for the Media September 1, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Seems like the media don’t understand what constitutes violent protest vs. peaceful protest.

Worry not; I’ve prepared a guide here:

Violent ProtestPeaceful Protest
Shouting in diners’ faces
Blocking traffic
Protesting outside people’s homes
Setting things on fire
Breaking windows
Shining lasers in people’s eyes
Failing to obey lawful authority
Trespassing
Invading neighborhoods, especially at night
Standing on cars
Pulling people from cars
Beating people
Shooting people
Throwing urine and feces
Throwing Molotov cocktails
Marching/Gathering with permit
Chanting/Singing
Rallying (i.e., crowd around some speakers)
Waving signs

The difference in the press’s treatment of the completely innocuous Tea Party vs. the Antifa arsonists is jaw-dropping.

And I know I’m preaching to the choir, but I can’t believe the press doesn’t bat an eye at the idiots who say, “Property damage isn’t violence, because it’s insured!” You’d think somebody in the press could understand a tiny bit of how insurance works, and how property rights work, and yea verily, how the economy works.