Sun. Oct. 28, 2018 – hell in a handbasket, I tells ya…

66F and 99%RH at 9am. Cool but damp. Fingers are so stiff my hands are like paddles.

Quick scan of the headlines has more of the same, doom, war, death, war, and continued assault on freedom and people who look and think like me.

Anyone at all find it strange that a major push on a very public topic that is at the heart of the prog/liberal agenda is taking place 2 weeks before an important election? And when it starts to go bad, a “pro-Trump” crazy commits an atrocity. THEN an ANTI-Trump crazy commits an atrocity…

It is getting serious out there folks, whether by design or because the universe likes balance. When elephants dance the mice get flattened. Eyes open and preps stacked!

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

25 thoughts on “Sun. Oct. 28, 2018 – hell in a handbasket, I tells ya…”

  1. Dogs are amazing.

    My wife teaches mantrailing, if that’s the term you use in English: This is where the dogs follow a missing person’s scent trail. This weekend, she organized a weekend in the Black Forest for her students, and did all sorts of special exercises. The most difficult of these was a trail – laid on Friday evening – that the dogs had to follow today, Sunday morning.

    Ok, fine, dogs can clearly do that. But… Our glorious fall weather collapsed this weekend. It drizzled rain all day yesterday, and this morning we woke up to 8 inches of fresh snow. So I carefully ask my wife: um…isn’t this going to be a problem? She basically said: “wait and see”.

    The most advanced dog went first, so there was no chance that she was following another dog from the group, instead of the trail. The trail was just under a mile long. In addition to the rain, and the snow, this is a very busy tourist region, so zillions of people had been walking all over the trails.

    Problem? What problem? With one minor bit of uncertainty at one of the intersections, the dog followed the trail perfectly. I didn’t get to see the process, but apparently the dog would occasionally bury her nose in the snow, presumably to be sure she was still on-target. Otherwise, you would have though she was following a fresh trail, not an old one, rained on and then buried under a pile of new snow.

    Oh, and for anyone who thinks the dogs pick up subliminal cues from the trainer, who knows where the trail goes: One of the exercises on Saturday, for the more advanced teams, was an “unaccompanied” trail. Each team hunted a different person, who laid a different trail. I laid a shorter, but difficult trail: lots of intersections, and at the end, with me way the heck off in the forest. From the speed at which the dog found me, she must’ve made her person jog the whole way! At least I didn’t get cold 🙂

    Crazy. Amazing. It’s a whole world of scent, completely beyond our perception.

  2. Magic dirt fails again. A young woman in Freiburg, Germany (just across the border from us) was raped by 15 men, over the course of four hours. She’s lucky to be alive. Most or all of the men are Syrian refugees. So far, the police have caught 8 of the creeps. Apparently all of them already had police records.

    The mainstream press is dutifully…ignoring the situation. Very little in the newspapers, basically only findable through the search function, not on the front page. The event has really only made headlines in the second-string press.

    Facebook, of course, is deleting posts criticizing the immigrants. For example, one that said “people like this cannot be accepted into civilized countries, else those countries will no longer be civilized” (my quick translation). I’m sure Twitter is doing likewise. We can’t have hate-speech, after all, even if it’s true.

    The local politicians are saying things like “oh, dear, maybe violent immigrants should be locked up while we consider their asylum requests”. Um…what? How about deporting the bastards, the instant they commit their first crime? If they can’t obey our laws, even genuine asylum seekers (which, being from Syria, they might be) deserve no further consideration.

    The thing is: the Internet has opened may alternate communications channels, and people are finally, slowly becoming aware of the continual left-wing censorship. The politicians don’t understand why the alt-right (parties like AfD in Germany) keep gaining ground. This is why.

  3. @brad
    I’ve worked with one of my Cardigan Welsh Corgis on what we call tracking under the American Kennel Club rules. I do it for fun, not serious work, yet my dog amazes me.

    I have a friend who did serious Search and Rescue work with her German Shepherd Dog. Her boy successfully located several dementia patients who wandered away from their homes, a few children, and I’m not sure who else.

    She used to teach tracking classes for people who wanted to see what their companion dogs could do. She would often do a demo with her boy on a track several days old that had been contaminated by people, weather, etc. Wow. Just wow. I think scent must look like a glowing neon path to his nose. He usually took his tracks at a fast ranging trot, periodically burying his nose as you described then taking off again. A remarkable beast.

    My boy and I got to where we could work a two hour track up to about 300 yards on grass or dirt with vegetation, or a snow field, with mild contamination. I learned that tracks under 30 minutes old were very difficult as the scent hasn’t settled to the ground. Tracks where the trackee stood for a period of time were difficult because a lot of scent is cast and pools making it hard to find the point where the trackee departed. Rain or moist conditions kept scent fresh and easier to track. Tracking on hot dry days was hard because the scent dissipated with the heat and a dry nose doesn’t smell as well. I also learned your dog knows more about tracking than we humans ever will and that “trust your dog” is a good lesson to learn.

    He liked the game. He aged out and his nose quit before we could do any competition and we were never good enough for Search and Rescue. I have a young Dog I think I should start, based on how inquisitive her nose is and how she trails mice and the random cat thru our yard, she has an interest and ability.

    I’d like to see blood trailing in the US. If I understand that tracking game correctly, a bit of bloody leg (from something hoofed not human) is drug through the woods, then the dog follows the track. A different forum I follow had a poster from Sweden (I think) that does this with her Cardigan Welsh Corgis and has been very successful. Great fun for the dogs.

  4. @SteveF
    Realized I hadn’t answered your query regarding your story and my daughters take on Bob. You nailed it. She was affronted at Bob’s teasing and never warmed up to him after. She is an unforgiving child. I think, as you supposed, if Bob has been introduced prior to the teasing she would have forgiven the teasing and understood it in that context. Her 6 year old world is black and white for first impressions.

  5. Blood trailing – that’s common here for hunters who shot a deer that ran off, injured, into the forest. For training, I think they generally use a bag of blood, dribbling it out more-or-less as might be expected from an injured animal. This doesn’t seem to have any application outside of hunting, so “hobbyists” mostly do one form or another of people-tracking.

    My wife works with both of our dogs, but they both started too late in life to ever be used for real tracking – it’s just for fun. Adult dogs apparently rarely become really reliable – other things happening in the world of scent can distract them. When she next gets a puppy, she plans to start very early, so she’ll hopefully have a dog she could (at least theoretically) use for S&R.

  6. I introduced myself to the police officer in our church lobby this morning. I thanked him for coming in and protecting us, and making himself a target for any crazy person. He smiled and agreed.

  7. Thanks, Jenny. I’ll keep that in mind in introducing characters in the future.

  8. I’ve worked with one of my Cardigan Welsh Corgis on what we call tracking under the American Kennel Club rules. I do it for fun, not serious work, yet my dog amazes me.

    Our cat disappeared shortly after we moved to Texas. A strong wind blew a poorly-closed door open one afternoon with no one home, and the animal took off to explore.

    When she didn’t come home the first night, we called the tracking tag people to report our new address, and the phone rep suggested putting the litter box outside the door to “guide” the cat home.

    I said, “How well does that work? She could be a mile away with the greenbelt running through the subdivision.”

    “We’ve found it works for several miles. Try it.”

    Sure enough, within a few hours of putting the box outside the back door, the cat appeared, sitting next to the litter, waiting to get back into the house. Scared, cold, but no worse for wear.

  9. I will remember that litter box trick. Makes sense, because cats supposedly have about one order of magnitude less scent capability of dogs, which in turn have several orders of magnitude more than people.

    I have heard dogs’ sense of smell described as similar to our sight. And, it is a myth that dogs have poor eyesight. I have proof of that.

    Oh, and I like cats and dogs about equally. Both are wondrous companions, but with different personalities and skills.

  10. IBM to buy Red Hat. Hmmm.

    That’s been brewing for a while, going back at least 10 years.

    I’ll bet my former management wishes they knew what the h*ll they did with my source code for the RHEL port of IBM’s VPN. Officially, the last time I saw it was eight years ago.

    Unofficially … well, I’m sure it will work out for them.

  11. On my current job, there are a lot of 2-day turnarounds. These are mostly for various reports on or analyses of the customer’s data and mostly they’re simple enough, but… But they’re usually drop-everything-do-this-now, sometimes including dropping the do-this-now that we were already working on. And they interrupt the longer-term, important but not urgent-this-moment work I’m nominally doing*. And we often don’t have access to the data and have to arrange to get it, which always takes longer than two days.

    The company’s CEO is a good part of the problem in regards to throwing do-this-now work at us, but he’s willing to discuss it when we tell him that all the constant scurrying is keeping us from getting our larger-scope work done. The problem is that we’re a startup with only one real customer at the moment and he doesn’t think we’re in a good position to tell the pushy managers on the customer side that they can have their report next week rather than tomorrow.

    * The main longer-term thing I’m working on is a self-service website for the clients to run a lot of their own reports. I have the proof of concept working and most of the “production level” pieces figured out, just need to put them all together and then smooth off the rough edges of the user interface. Going by current demand patterns, this will reduce our do-this-now work by at least half. Except that I can’t find any time to drain the swamp because I’m so busy fighting alligators.

  12. I’ve been out in the yard, doing Halloween setup and garden work. Sprayed the grapevines for the caterpillars. Freaking things about stripped the vines in one day of not rain. Treated for fireants where I found mounds.

    Talked to several people walking by. Met some ‘block away’ neighbors. Young ish couple, no kids. Conservative Democrats. Had a really nice hour long chat. They admitted that they mostly hang out with Democrats and they are mostly anti-immigration. That surprised me. Hope we can talk again. She mentioned that she seriously underestimated how much people hated Hillary… I pointed out her failure at healthcare for all under Bill, whitewater, Vince Foster, her bragging about attacking the rape victim while she was a working lawyer, her attacks on women in defense of Bill….none of which endeared her to anyone. People really do forget, but some people will remember.

    n

  13. She mentioned that she seriously underestimated how much people hated Hillary… I pointed out her failure at healthcare for all under Bill, whitewater, Vince Foster, her bragging about attacking the rape victim while she was a working lawyer, her attacks on women in defense of Bill….none of which endeared her to anyone. People really do forget, but some people will remember.

    You forgot the favorable positions in cattle futures trades and pollution of the rivers with chicken poop while Hillary sat on the board of Tyson Foods.

    As for Bill, Richard Nixon never lost his law license after Watergate, but the Arkansas Bar revoked Bubba’s for perjury.

    The list is endless. I think a lot of voters just want to believe.

  14. “You forgot the favorable positions in cattle futures trades…”

    Aw shucks, admit it, she was a commodities trading genius.
    /sarc

  15. “As for Bill, Richard Nixon never lost his law license after Watergate, but the Arkansas Bar revoked Bubba’s for perjury.”

    Yes, but he should have been charged with sexual harrassment, a charge that might have stuck. About that time, several high ranking corporate officials were convicted and served time. Some people are more equal under the law.

  16. Yes, but he should have been charged with sexual harrassment, a charge that might have stuck. About that time, several high ranking corporate officials were convicted and served time. Some people are more equal under the law.

    I assume that you are talking about Bubba being charged with sexual harassment ?

    I doubt it, Arkansas would have never charged him.

  17. I meant the US House should have included that charge. IANAL, but sexual harrassment and related acts comitted in government and private industry have been prosecuted as crimes, with prison sentences given in some cases.

    At the time, I suggested that we take down anti SH posters from our workplace, since we knew of at least one situation where such behavior went unchallenged: in the highest office of the land.


  18. House: 205 Dem, 29 tossup, 201 Rep

    Which probably means the Republicans will keep the House. Polls and models always overpredict Dem successes, or at least I don’t know of any counterexamples from the past decade or three.

  19. My biggest problem with polls: I hang up on them. How many folks like me hang up on them? Which way do hanger-uppers lean? HOW do they account for them?

    After 2016, any pollster not accounting for hang-ups is an idiot. I have yet to see any address that.

  20. What little I know about hang-ups, walk-aways, and similar refusals to respond: Thirty-ish years ago, when popular-circulation magazines were still big, a number of surveys were conducted via pull-out cards in the magazines. A response rate of IIRC 20% was required for the survey to be considered valid, and note that responding required someone to pull out and fill in the card and then mail it to the operator. Phone surveys required a much higher non-hang-up rate to be considered valid; the number 50% is in my mind but I have little confidence in it. Stop-and-ask polling companies in malls and such in theory required a very high response rate but in practice they didn’t track the number of people who refused to stop and talk to the pollsters. (As the price for my answering her questions, I demanded that one mall pollster answer some of mine about the polling biz.)

    These days, I strongly suspect the acceptable response rates have been greatly lowered, of necessity. Response rates are routinely so low that phone surveys never rise above the old minimum threshold. Online surveys are almost by definition worthless. I don’t know about door-to-door surveys, either past or present.

    And on top of low response rates and other disengagement, there’s the relatively recent muzzling of one side. When it’s not acceptable to voice an opinion in favor of the sitting President, let alone mainline conservative goals like a smaller government or border control, let alone radical notions like race segregation, your survey results are guaranteed to be garbage.

    The people running the polling companies know all this — or else they’re too stupid to spell their own names right on their business cards — but they want to keep getting paid so they dumb down their standards so that they can continue to report “meaningful” results. Plus, of course, the old problem of tuning the survey and the analysis to suit what their customers want. Plus, of course, the MSM-like change from reporting what’s happening to attempting to influence what’s happening.


  21. any pollster not accounting for hang-ups is an idiot

    And probably counts you as a democratic to boost the numbers.

Comments are closed.