Sunday, 16 March 2014

12:08 – We’re under yet another winter-weather advisory, with sleet and freezing drizzle to start this afternoon or evening and persist into Tuesday. If the roads aren’t too bad, I’m sure Barbara will drive the Trooper to work tomorrow.


28 thoughts on “Sunday, 16 March 2014”

  1. 16 here today but sunny with blue skies and no wind; tee-shirt weather. 13 below tonight, same deal tomorrow and tomorrow night. Mrs. OFD is flying through Mordor, which is expected to get hit with some messy stuff overnight and tomorrow morning but she’ll miss all that on her way to Houston for the week. Then, home for another week, and after that a week in Richmond, VA, and then three weeks off, during which we hope to get lots more stuff done around here and also that I’ll be back working full-time again at whatever IT drone job will have me.

    Temps allegedly soaring into the 30s starting Tuesday, by which time locals will be mostly nekkid and surf’s up on the Bay.

  2. Was 70 F this morning. Now 55 F and dropping quick with a 20 mph wind out of the north. Suppose to be 42 F tonight and back to 64 F tomorrow. The dog door is swinging in the breeze.

    My FIL does not have pneumonia. He has some sort of inner infection that they cannot find yet. Maybe gall bladder. They are pouring the IV antibiotics in him. I’m sure the surgeons and anesthesiologists are going to line up to operate on a 81 year old 350 lb guy with one lung. This does not bode well.

  3. A book that the regulars here might like: Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster by Bill Quick. A sneak attack on the US brings down the electric grid in the West, causes problems everywhere, and opens the door for power grabs by enemies foreign and domestic.

    The only downside that I can think of is that this book is the first half of the full story. I don’t know when the second half will be published, but I’d guess a year from now.

    Disclaimer: Bill is a friend of mine and I proofread the draft for him, but the conflict of interest is negligible because mentioning his book doesn’t profit me in any way. Plus, I’m like all integral n stuff (Integrous? Integrated? I have integrity.) and wouldn’t recommend a book that I didn’t think was good and would be of interest.

  4. Hmm. Interesting plot. And I know people in both the electric grid industry and the telecom industry: both of them say the backbones and grids are in very bad shape compared to a couple decades ago, and it would not take much to bring them down. Backup systems were long ago abandoned and no longer exist. Since returning to the US, I have twice had cell phone outages lasting several days each time. No phone at all — period, full-stop.

  5. Next door neighbor, who is of that generation that refuses to go voluntarily to the hospital, is now there with pneumonia. His live-in companion (formerly his second wife) got dementia a couple years ago, moved in with her daughter, and died just months after that. He is at least 85.

    Neighbor’s oldest daughter along with her mother — his first wife, — moved in with him a couple months after that, but oddly, after a year or more, they moved out recently, so he has been living on his own. Apparently, he fell a couple weeks ago, and nobody knew. He couldn’t get up for more than a day, and now is in hospital with pneumonia. His daughter (who is older than me) was going around the neighborhood trying to enlist people to check up on him daily, when he gets home. I told her that if he is prone to falling (which she admitted he is), he needs to be in assisted living somewhere — not living alone. One thing there is no shortage of, here in the increasingly deserted Tiny Town, is elderly care places. I am out-of-town from before sun-up until well past dark more weekdays than not, so I am not anybody that can be relied upon. Hopefully, the hospital can encourage some sanity. Baffling that the daughter moved out just as he seems to be declining significantly (he quit driving 3 months ago), but still thinks he should/can be living on his own.

    Meanwhile, the guy who owns the house kitty-corner to Tiny House, who had renters move out, leaving almost everything, is still pulling stuff out of that house. Every week, he leaves a big load of trash out. I notice that he has hauled more stuff out onto the porrch over the weekend. He is trying to rent it, but no one in this neighborhood has much luck at that. Two houses near me (including that one) have sat empty since late summer with ‘for rent’ signs, and all other houses on my block are owner-occupied.

    Lynn, I sure hope things work out favorably for your family, but I agree that it is not rational for his daughters to abandon their lives and work to come and rescue him. I can tell you from personal experience of caring for my dying wife, who also did not want to be institutionalized, that he needs professional care, and should not lean on someone whom he is only going to drive crazy. One MUST first take care of themselves, and daughters taking on his care is a recipe for disaster and a threat to their own health and their immediate family’s well-being.

    My best to you for a reasonable outcome.

  6. Indianapolis is now a more populous city than Detroit. Detroit was once close to 2 million, but is now only around 750k. Indianapolis is approaching 900k and the media market is considered by Nielsen to be over 1 million.

    What is really scary is how many people left Detroit between 2009 and 2011.

    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=kf7tgg1uo9ude_&met_y=population&hl=en&dl=en&idim=place:2622000:2507000#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=population&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=place:2622000:2507000:1836000&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

    A good quarter of a million pulled up stakes and left. No wonder Detroit is suffering.

  7. Heute Crimea, morgen die welt!

    Oh wait, wrong ethnicity. Why does the song remain the same?

  8. Nobama, Kerry, and the US are not going to win this one. Just keep threatening the bulldog and see what happens.

  9. Well, I guess that bit about human nature is not totally true. Some cultures historically were not acquisitive and aggressive. Of course, historically these cultures typically were destroyed by their acquisitive and aggressive neighbors.

    I will point out, however, that the pocket kingdoms of Germany were (mostly forcibly) united and then began expanding. I’ll also point out that Russia did not grow to become the largest nation on Earth by not expanding at every opportunity. There’s some cultural similarity there.

    (You want to know how to piss off a Russian man? Tell him Russia is always attacking its neighbors and stealing their land because they’re overcompensating because Russian men all have tiny little Mongol dicks. No, I would never say anything like that myself. I’m all non-confrontational n shit, even when some tiny-dicked Russian imbecile is puffing himself up big by saying that the US is a garbage country and everybody hates it.)

    (You know another way to piss off a Russian? Observe that even though Russia is so wonderful and the US is such garbage and everyone hates us, Russians move to the US at about 10000X the rate that Americans move to Russia. In fact, people the world all over want to come here.)

  10. Well, the free ride given to immigrants IS irresistible. 🙂

    I’ve always measured countries by three criteria:

    1) How many statues of their living leader(s) are there.
    2) How many people are lined up to get out.
    3) How many people are lined up to get in.

    Seems to me that even though I think I truly live in the better country, that the US of A wins all three, and by a clear margin. If I added a fourth criterion, it would be 4) How many assholes already live there, in which case Canada would pull ahead slightly.

  11. Crimea used to belong to Russia, ’till it was given to Ukraine in the Fifties. Just let them sort it out, there’s nothing in it for us.

  12. One of Fred’s sons is estranged and an atheist. Normally being an atheist doesn’t endear a person to me, but any enemy of Fred is a friend of mine.

  13. One could argue that Russia should belong to the Ukraine, what with Kievan Rus and all.

  14. When Mr. Phelps shuffles off this mortal coil, I hope there are some protesters at his funeral. And I hope they espouse an idea that he wanted nothing to do with, like “Love One Another”.

  15. A good quarter of a million pulled up stakes and left. No wonder Detroit is suffering.

    What makes Detroit have a real problem is the quarter of a million people who left were the people with a future. When they left, they took the hope of turning around Detroit with them.

  16. Odd, thought I posted earlier, but it’s not here. Just quickly: Crimea is yet another case where an internationally recognized procedure for secession would be a huge help. As it is, everytime something like this comes up, people have to invent a way to make it happen – often resulting in lots of unfortunately consequences.

    In the case of Crimea, at least it looks like the death toll will remain low. However, Putin feels obligated to ignore the American and European opinions (and who can blame him) while the US and Europe feel obligated to protest. Raising tensions all around for no good reason.

  17. Why does the secession have to be internationally approved? Why does the US even have an opinion on this subject? How about if the people of a region want to vote themselves part of another country, and that country is willing to accept them, shouldn’t democracy prevail?

  18. I don’t understand why the US should have even made a statement about this, let alone get involved in sanctions and so on. The US can no more do anything militarily to stop Russia from annexing the Crimea than Russia could do anything militarily to stop the US from annexing Saskatchewan. Bluffing and threatening sanctions just makes the US government look foolish. Well, even more foolish than usual.

  19. Nothing would make the US look more foolish than annexing Saskatchewan! 🙂

    Up in Canada the Quebecois are making more squawking noises about seceding from Canada. The only thing I dislike about such talk is that the rest of Canada doesn’t get to vote on whether or not we want Quebec to stay.

  20. Secession is in the wind in the northern hemisphere now; Venice, too, and some cities in Germany, apparently. Likewise Quebec again, and several U.S. states.

    As for Ukraine, I wonder, with Bob, why the hell the U.S. has any interest in, or stakes in, the game there, other than possible fossil fuel pipelines or something. We keep poking the Russian bear in the eyes with our sharpened stick for no apparent strategic or tactical advantage that I can see; likewise the Persians. WTF? Both those countries would make much better friends than enemies. And Putin daily pulls Obummer’s pants down and makes him the laughingstock of the world. To the extent we have morons here who wish Putin was our Dear Leader; they are patently clueless as to how that would work out in real life.

  21. To the extent we have morons here who wish Putin was our Dear Leader; they are patently clueless as to how that would work out in real life.

    They would be on the first cattle car to the Alaskan gulag.

  22. Just as, ironically, Obummer’s most fervent supporters would be if he had the power to do everything he wanted. And they still don’t get it.

  23. Amazing how, even in democracies, politicians do not do the will of the people. What baffles me is how Nobama thinks taking such a position on Crimea will make him look good in the history books. He is headed to be next to Jimmy Carter in terms of effective foreign policy.

    Boy, the site is super-duper slow, tonight. Three minutes to post the above paragraph after hitting send.

  24. I noticed the slowness earlier when I posted.

    I don’t pay much attention anymore to whatever our Dear Leaders and the creatures who run our gummint say or do; it’s all patently bullshit. Lies, deceit, piracy, thievery, rape, pillage and murder. At least the Vikings did it straight up and in your face.

    Our “foreign policy” has been a complete joke since our War of Independence, which could have been avoided had anyone on our side had any goddamned sense. I’m wracking my brain now trying to think of a foreign policy success….and coming up short. It’s late.

  25. Bill wrote:

    “The only thing I dislike about such talk is that the rest of Canada doesn’t get to vote on whether or not we want Quebec to stay.”

    Does the rest of Canuckistan have the right to kick Quebec out, regardless of what the Quebecois think? They should have and I’d vote to boot Quebec in an instant if I was a Canuck.

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