I Am Alive

Hi guys, I am alive, but I haven’t even had time to put up a guest post, much less the promo.

Be patient with me!

Have a picture to amuse you and keep us in mind tomorrow for the funeral and Tuesday and Wednesday PARTICULARLY when we’ll be driving down and across most of the US on the way home.

Driving yesterday was…. Odd.  Every time I got behind the wheel it turned into a kind of “crazy driving training video.”  If Dan took the wheel it was fine and boring.

In no particular order I got “car next to me letting its towing rig drop so that it was getting flames from friction on the ground” (Everybody move to the left!), HUGE German Shepherd loose on the highway.  (I would have stopped and rendered aid if I were confident I could get across five lanes of traffic to the berm, AND then run back and forth on the highway, to capture the creature without being hit.)  As it was I avoided hitting him (twice) and prayed really loud he’d stay on the grassy berm toward the exit.  No idea where he came from, but I hope he survived. Looked like a nice pup, though probably part great Dane. I mean, a kid could have ridden him.  Even though he looked EXACTLY German Shepherd), “tiny red dumptruck merging at 40 into stream of traffic at 70 trying to merge six feet in front of me, while I have an eighteen wheeler on my left.  Followed by, crazy traffic, construction, deluge, direction dyslexics marking construction (left, right left, no, we meant right) in the two miles leading up to it, while playing leapfrog with eighteen wheelers.)

Dan would take over, and it was a beautiful, calm drive.  we finally gave up, so I drove maybe 4 hours to his 6 or 6 and a half.

So, whoever was pulling that off, stop it, just stop it.  I CAN drive, but I don’t enjoy it, and in the middle there I almost had a heart attack.

Dan SWEARS there was no rain of frogs, no plague of blood.  Bah. I know what I remember.

Anyway. Be patient if I don’t post much till Tuesday or Wednesday.


422 thoughts on “I Am Alive

    1. That’s probably being held in reserve for Tuesday or Wednesday….
      I would say more but Dan says these things materialize on command.
      Also, I hope Kate writes more con books, as my purse seems to have become a portal. I’m pulling the most improbable things from it, including things I never put in. It’s weird. And they’re always what we need right then.
      Yes, I’ve tried the “We need a billion dollars” but it doesn’t believe me. Got a packet of salt instead.

      1. I’ve tried the ‘We need a billion dollars’ but it doesn’t believe me. Got a packet of salt instead.

        So your purse is saying it’s time to stock up on salt before the price goes through the roof?

        ProTip: unless your purse is extraordinarily large, asking for a billion dollars seems a bit much and woefully unspecific. Try and more precise smaller increments, e.g., “I need $10,000 in $100 bills.” That would still be a bit bulky, requiring a stack of one hundred bills, but should still be compact enough to pass through the mouth of the ordinary purse. You might want to study up on small items, such as stamps, which can be both highly valuable and compact. Certain baseball cards could also prove useful although turning them into cash can be a slow process. If your purse is of sufficient capacity you might call for Amazing Spider-man #1, Avengers #4 or even Action Comics #1 (bagged & boarded, of course, grade 9.8 or better.) First edition books, particularly by Jane Austen, might be of interest although I suspect selling them would be painful.

        1. 10K in $100s isn’t really very big. I worked in the cage at the local casino for a few months. I’d start the shift with $75K in cash in my drawer, (65K in 100s) and I know some shifts I probably had well over a quarter-million pass through my hands. Especially if the bills are new, straps of 50 aren’t big at all.

          It felt odd looking at that drawer of cash and realizing that it was over 3 times what I was making in a year because it just looked so small.

          Or I’ve just developed a very weird attitude towards paper money. 🙂

          Sort of like being a medical librarian. “That’s a cheap subscription; it’s only $600 per year!”

          1. That WAS a relatively cheap prescription when i was having to buy $1300 per MONTH prescriptions for my wife, before we met the deductible and insurance kicked in. Let’s see – she had a $1300 one, a $500 one, a $300 one, and younger son had a couple that were triple digits per month. Hit the $3k deductible early in February until the company insurance changed and we went back to copays. Then I nearly soiled my pants in relief when the $1300 one came in at a $10 copay.

            1. Not prescription, subscription for the library. At one point we had about 60 journal subs and four of them were over $1000, one of them over $3000.

              My journal and book budget for 2003 was greater than the entire budget for the local public library my mother ran, including the staff salaries. I don’t think they had a magazine sub over $20.

              But that was the time in which I was so thankful for Tricare because they would cover my Lovenox, and the hospital’s insurance wouldn’t; they would only cover warfarin, and you don’t take warfarin if you are pregnant. If we hadn’t had the Tricare, it would have set me back well over $1000 a month back in 2003.

          2. Exactly my point: four bundles of twenty-five $100 bills does not require an unreasonably large purse yet is a handy amount of money. Nor are you likely to have undue trouble passing C-notes; there’s a reason that is the one the Norks like to make.

            A billion dollars, OTOH, would take Four Hundred Thousand of those bundles, which is likely to strain even the largest purse. And any bill larger than those hundreds will raise questions when you try using it.

                1. I don’t recall my father having to pay, unless he did it out of the grant money funding the research to begin with. I do remember him bitching because he had to pay through the nose for reprints.

                  But probably a different field, so maybe different common practices?

        1. Look WAY up there – a billion dollars is hardly even a down payment on taking over the world. (If I had it, I would happily contribute. I’m too lazy to even do the upfront work for being able to leave it alone.)

          1. I want $30 billion dollars. A third for myself, a third to fund SpaceX and a third to buy Disney and fire everyone responsible for all of their latest stupid decisions out of a cannon. Into a shark tank.

      2. :heh:
        “Salty” is game slang, currently, for “whining.”

        IE, “we tried to beat the boss, didn’t work, group is pretty salty.”

        1. What. I thought that if I described someone as salty …I meant their command of how to peel paint off a destroyers via the English Language is excellent. Somehow that became …. whinging…?

            1. Mildly depressing thought– “cursing like a sailor” is not abnormal, now.

              I find my language has deteriorated in the last dozen years or so, and I’m still so notably not-a-curser that a friend was startled when I said “damn” in a non-clinical meaning.

              1. I save the cussing mostly for special occasions. Many years ago friends lost their youngest child to SIDS. The cops were called in, because the cops always come in when a child is found dead (by his 5-year-old brother in this case).
                One of the family guests, they being the kind of people who open their home to anyone, started cussing the police, with liberal use of “the F word.” At which point I looked her in the eye and said, “You shut your F-**** mouth.” The silence was astonishing. I call it, “rabid Lassie mode.”
                If you rarely swear, it has more impact when you do. (I find it easier to cuss lately, too).

              2. I’ve said for a lot of years that the freedom to cuss is an enemy of wit. In high school, we out on PIPPIN, and because there would be grandmothers in the Audience, some changes were made. The Broadway version has the King say (of his poisonous wife, as she sashays offstage) “Sometimes I wonder if the fucking I’m getting is worth the fucking I’m getting.”. We changed that to Sometimes I wonder if the fornicating I’m getting is worth the fornicating I’m getting.“

                It’s funnier. It’s borderline witty. The original line is vulgar.

          1. Different evolution; salty for cursing is cursing like a sailor.

            Salty for whining is tears=> jokes about making jewelry from the tears of your enemies=> salt.

              1. *blink*

                Alligators or crocodiles are the go-to mascot for LHD and LHA ships in the Navy, because they are “gator freighters.”

                That takes a play on words to a whole new level.

                1. Of course tradition has it that Crocodiles don’t cry real tears, so is their salt not salty?

                  1. I don’t think tradition has any requirement for tears to be true to hold salt– and childhood knowledge of why sea creatures “cry” kinda messes it up, too.

                2. Gator Navy!

                  Of course, the new big deck amphib ships are getting STOVL F-35Bs, so they are getting some major modern airpower, but on the other hand that may now make them too valuable to run in close enough for the LCACs to put troops ashore, to say nothing about close enough to launch whatever they are calling the new slightly less slow swimmer LVTP-7 replacement thingee (I know that’s not the latest designation, the name for the old one is [searches] AAV-7 (Amphibious Assault Vehicle – 7) these days, but LVTP-7 (Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel – 7) is what they were called back in distant past when I had to memorize it or do pushups, so…).

  1. Well, that is good news. What did you do to annoy the driving gods? You need to sacrifice a raccoon or armadillo to them, STAT.

      1. I’ve had to remove small birds from grills a few times now. I didn’t notice the last one until it was time to put the Subie in the garage after the Westside road trip, at which time the remains were rather ripe.

        Elder brother drove out here a few years ago, managing to avoid the local fauna successfully. A few months later, he had a close encounter of the deer kind–10 miles from his house. We probably have 5 times the deer density than where he lives. Go figure.

        1. I dodge deer here in town. At the house they are heading to the river, and there are a lot out by work, last one crossed from behind Menards while I was on the bike.

          1. During the last few years we lived in the DC area the Media were calling the city the Murder Capitol. Some grouchy contrarian pointed out that in the metro area, more people had been killed by deer.

              1. There was a big debate, running through both the Post and the Times and intermittently in the City Paper. Claims that under-reporting was artificially reducing the death counts of various cities (Chicago, Detroit, New York were mentioned) were bandied about.

                1. Per Capita Murder Capital was often handed back and forth between NOLA, Detroit and D.C.
                  NOLA dropped off for a while after Katrina as the shooters and victims were tranfered to other cities for a time, some permanently. Houston’s rate shot up then (sorry for yon pun)

        2. A friend nailed a bat pretty much dead center with the grille of his old Chevy truck. Winds spread and everything. After that he named the truck “The Batmobile.”

        3. Trip in the ’82 P/U in ’84. P/U was new to us. We’d spent Christmas with in-laws in LaPine, OR. Left there to go east & down Utah I-80 to start a national park loop, starting with Arches NP. Just north of Salt Lake, we pulled into a freeway rest stop to take a break & switch drivers. Pulled in. Put into park. Shut off P/U. BANG! Okay. It back fired. Got back in. Turned key. Put in reverse gear. KERKLUNK THUMP! Wait. What? Put back in park. Swap drivers again (like I’d know anything … I write software. Vehicle mechanics? Nada. Best for me “it’s broke”.) Hubby can tell something is wrong but driving okay. (Wait it gets better.) Reswap drivers. Head on south. An hour or so later, 3 or 4 lanes (late & dark, more than two, okay), driving in middle lane (or one of them anyway), hubby asleep/dosing, go under an underpass with big long rig on my right. Something comes at the rig from the left. A big bird (probably a pheasant, but heck it could have been an eagle for all I knew). Hits the left grill & head light, swings up and hits the windshield, and disappears. “What’d you hit?” from hubby. “Heck if I know, it hit me!”. Pull over. Hubby realigns ajar headlight, zip ties on grill. We drive into Salt Lake. By then it is 11 PM at night. Hubby tries to call his brother (the mechanic, no answer. Decide to head on down into Arches and call him in the AM. Take the exit. Stop at an all night AM/PM gas station. Start on down the two lane road. There is what I would call “high level fog”. Not all over, not on the road, not at headlight level, but at windshield level. On both sides of the road, because of the headlights, all I can see is reflecting eyes … Things come in 3’s. I turned around & told hubby we were going back to the AM/PM and seeing if we couldn’t bunk down (back of pickup camping); or he could drive (he was smart about it, we stopped for the night). I was not hitting a stupid deer!!!!

          By the way. The noise? It was the gears in the automatic transmission cracked. We were incredibly lucky, per BIL, when hubby finally got a hold of him. Transmission gears could have dissolved at anytime. It would have been bad, if we’d been moving at any speed. Told us to take it immediately to a mechanic first thing Monday morning. Good news was Moab is the biggest 4×4 area in the US (Canyonlands NP). They got us a hotel room (can’t camp in P/U if it is in the shop). Gave us a loaner P/U. Three days later we are on the road with a (new to us 🙂 ) rebuilt transmission, & $1200 poorer. Only one day off schedule for the trip. Then it turns out the transmission leaked … But under warranty. Got that fixed (& upgraded, heavy duty kit, paid the extra cost) when we got home.

          1. We were driving down the I-5 at a tidy clip and my husband swore. And, “Didn’t you see that? ” I admitted that all I saw was a whole lot of empty road and scenery.

            “There was a mouse!”
            “What, in the road!”
            “No, on the windshield!”

            Not really having attention to spare, I never did get to see it. But apparently the.little guy would pop up out of the engine, get splayed against the windshield, and pop down again.

            Though I did get to see a bald eagle land in the road in front of me. That was cool.

            1. Was talking my youngest son back to Keene State after Thanksgiving one year, driving west on Route 9 heading up into Hillsborough county. Saw a young red tailed hawk drop down and nail something off the shoulder of the road about a quarter of a mile ahead of us. I’m watching and the damn bird decided to take off, across the road, right in front of me. Bumper height and under the truck and nothing but feathers in the rear view mirror.

              Son two goes, “You killed it!”

              I replied, “Yeah. Unfortunately he was too stupid to be allowed to live.”

        4. Between Tucson and Globe (up in the mountains) I came around a curve at night – and a HUGE owl flew up in front of me. ($SPOUSE$ was with me, too. Ever after that, I had to go the long way around when she was with me.)

        5. I once saw a bird strike the front of a fast-moving semi-truck.

          It made a cloud of feathers, exactly like in the cartoons.

                  1. I saw that yesterday. Proof that I focus on weird things: What blew my mind the most was that the ball, when it hit the steel barrier, acted like it was not at all compressible, and began to shatter the moment it struck the barrier, rather than deforming first. I believe that in video of slower-moving baseball collisions, they deform rather significantly before splitting open.

                    Nothing like the golf ball that he did before, and showed the result at the beginning of this video, but quite a bit more than the baseball did when moving at or near Mach 1.

    1. When I was about to make a several-states-away move by car, a friend gave me a small figurine of Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles. I recognized but immediately mispronounced him, to my lingering embarrassment.

      Although I do not participate in the associated religion, that role seemed really appropriate to the occasion.

      Sarah, I will pray for you, your family, and the misplaced Danish Shepherd.

    2. armadillo


      You mean “tactical possum”.

      If we are to resist the corruption of language, we must ourselves use the correct names for things.

          1. And they only come out at night.

            Which is why I did not suggest them as a target of opportunity potential sacrifice.

            1. I didn’t know about the ticks. We don’t have ticks in the suburbs where we are. I’m not real fond of possums because they hurt a cat of ours in ’83. One we’d hand raised. She’d have died if I hadn’t noticed she seemed off & I rushed her to the veterinarian without even calling first. One grabbed her by the haunches & bit. Extreme infection. She survived. It was the bite profile that gave away that the possum was the guilty culprit. I won’t leave food outside for our animals for anything because of the incident with her.

        1. When I was around 14, I went out to the garage one morning in November and found one of my model airplanes chewed on, and a dead possum under a 10′ ladder rung. After that, I called it the Possum Trot Garage. Lo, these many, many, many years.

          1. About ten years ago, I found our Beagle Lilly sniffing a dead possum in our back yard.

            I picked it up with a snow shovel but on the way to the trash barrel (in our garage) I’d swear that the possum turned its head toward me. IE It was “playing possum”.

            I threw it over the fence into the neighbor’s yard as I didn’t want a live possum trapped in our trash barrel or trapped in our garage.

            Oh, the next morning I Did Not See It in the neighbor’s yard. 😈

          2. One of the reasons for my son’s opinion was he and his buddy encountered the Possum That Would Not Die.
            There was also the possum he found in his friends’ chicken house, pulling a chicken apart. He blew the possum apart.

            1. Oddly enough. North American Opossums are the only animal known to be immune to rattlesnake venom.

    3. I was riding through either Texas or Oklahoma and saw two crows up ahead, pecking at some VERY flat roadkill. They saw my motorcycle and took off, but they’d left it too late. Maybe it being so much smaller than a car fooled them. One went left, but the other one flew right into my lane and made a large THUMP hitting the windshield. When last I saw that crow he was still in the air, and still flapping, but not looking in good shape at all.

      On another trip, I encountered a kamikaze pigeon in Ohio.

      Thankfully, no kamikaze deer have found me so far.

      1. A few years back, I was driving across Wyoming to a Thanksgiving get together near Salt Lake City.
        I’m a very safe driver; excellent record with only a couple of fender benders early on in my driving career. A kamikaze deer leapt from the right directly in front of my van. It smashed in the plastic grill, before being sucked under the tires.
        I was fortunate to be driving my 1990 Chevy G20; my passengers didn’t even notice.
        It felt like just another bump in the road.
        The irony is I live in a town infested with deer. They invade and eat gardens, attack local dogs and are now considered vermin as far as many of the residents are concerned.

        1. Had a roommate in college who had a deer leap from the upper bank directly on to the hood of her (older) VW Bug. She drove around with a dented hood for months. Just looked weird. This was 1976. Her Bug was old enough to have the engine in the back. Deer survived too. (Near Glide Oregon. Up the N. Umpqua hwy.)

          1. all actual bugs have the engine in the back. the only ones that don’t are the VW Fox(es) with the vaguely bug-shaped body on them (aka the new Beetle)

        2. I managed to get two pheasant (one of each male and female) on one pass. Alas, a 150 lb doe did $4000+ damage to my car. Worst part was it was so hot that night (95 F at 2300 local time) that I wasn’t able to salvage anything from the deer (hour to house to change and get kit, hour back to remains of deer, assuming nothing went wrong.) I should have at least skinned her and gotten a pair of gloves out of the deal.

          1. I was on my motorcycle, riding to Llano and between Glen Rose and Hico, had a finch fly into me.
            At 75mph a finch hitting you in the shoulder HURTS.
            Those really long tailed swallows? Riding to work one day, I made one a short tailed swallow, but it lived.
            Many years back I had a deer throw a shoulder block into my ’73 Colt. Luckily it was a Louisiana deer so maybe 90lb critter. I got a squirrel riding into work once too. If he/she had just kept trying to cross it would have been missed, but it ran out in front of a car, got spooked as the car just missed it and squirrel tried to reverse and did the running in place scrabble until I ran it over.
            But the worse was the Armadillo I got riding home from work. Over a blind corner and rise it was in my line . . . luckily nothing headed toward me in the other lane so I straightened up and headed for the oncoming lane. I just missed hitting it dead on with the front tire while still sorta cornering. Unfortunately it did the standard “Surprised Armadillo Jump” and got me on the foot.
            Felt like kicking a bowling ball at 60mph.
            I cursed the rest of the way home.
            I’ve had near misses on the bike with deer, turkeys, a roadrunner, a pheasant, and vultures.

        3. Deer have some of the stupidest encounters with vehicles. My dad used to tell of seeing one running in front of a slow-moving dump truck (maybe 30mph, tops) and the horrible aftermath. I watched one run across two lanes of traffic AND the median to be hit by the van that was ahead of me, but in the lane to my left, but the dumbest was watching another deer (within two weeks of the previous one, same road, about 1/4 mile away) run across two lanes of traffic and the median, then try to jump over a semi trailer as it went by.

        1. I got in my car one time when there was a pigeon standing on the roof. I thought it would fly away when I got in and drove off. Two blocks away, when I got up to about 30 mph, I heard a scratching, and in my rearview mirror saw a bundle of feathers fall off onto the road behind me. Passenger pigeon?

      2. Had a turkey kill a motorcyclist on highway 101 several years ago. Hitting 15 to 20 lb bird at 70 to 80 mph is deadly.

    4. I had to sacrifice a squirrel the other day. He ran right under the tires of the car in front of me and I finished the job rather than just leave him there to suffer.

  2. BTW – please, please take the next few days off from blog posting. You need to be present for Dan and for the highway home. Beyond that, you want a day of decompression after all that roadwork.

    We’ll be fine, the Union will persist, the culture will not deteriorate precipitously if you don’t post until Thursday.

    Taking Friday off might be pushing things, though.

      1. The aardvark is NOT cleaning up if all the plastic flamingos that came to life and flew off to the lake turn back into plastic flamingos.

        1. Hey, the Bandersnatch is an intelligent, literate (in Tnuctip science language) and highly civilized creature which will only ruin your day if you have done something to deserve it! Such as violating the treaty of #(P@Y#

          1. Well, the Treaty does allow humans to hunt them but of course plenty of humans don’t survive the hunt. 😈

            Still, they don’t leave their areas of Jinx to bother human settlements. 😉

          2. True as RES noted Bandersnatches leave you alone if you leave them alone. Hunting Bandersnatches is rather unacceptable as Imaginos1892 has pointed out they are intelligent/sapient. I’m not sure that the Bandersnatches win on a common basis makes it any better :-).

            1. I do not recall previous opining on Bandersnatches (Bandersnatchi?) but will not dispute the validity of the advice.

              I will amend it to note that it primarily references the ordinary, placid Bandersnatch. When a Bandersnatch is feeling frumious, however, it is best to avoid it at all costs, even pushing good friends into its path if necessary.

              1. My Apologies. For some reason I mistook Drak for you. Given I have just mistaken a dragon for a wallaby I think my sense of perception deeply needs to be checked.

                1. Oh – you were employing your sense of perception! A quite understandable mistake, then, as that sense is not fooled by surface appearances.

                  I will take this opportunity to revise and extend prior comment about avoiding the frumious Bandersnatch, lest folk think other Bandersnatchi are safe to approach. For example, even more than the frumious ones you would want to avoid the giddy Bandersnatch, as they are prone to bouncing about heedlessly and are known, in their manic joy, to play low practical jokes. The reasonable Bandersnatch may seem safe but is often inclined to entrap the unwary i webs of flawed logic. The doleful Bandersnatch is generally safe so long as it is not in contagious stage — Bandersnatch Blues is a condition nobody wishes.

  3. Bless you for wanting to rescue the daylight werewolf, but trust me, he could take care of himself, and no doubt was on a very sensitive mission. Just saying.

    1. Dull is fine. We like dull. We could use more dull in our lives.

      (I have a button that says that from decades ago. . . )

      1. Amen to that sister especially this year. Here’s to the hobbit point of view that adventures are nasty things that make you miss meals unnecessarily.

      1. I distinctly remember the customer saying “Thursday?! I can’t ‘ave ‘im stinkin’ up the house till THURSDAY!”

        1. So does that mean we’re Sarah’s test subjects?

          “The According To Hoyt Enrichment Center would like to remind you that it is not responsible for any injury or death resulting from the actions of mythical creatures such as dragons, minotaurs and wallabies.”

            1. “The According To Hoyt Enrichment Center reminds you that if you have been recently traumatized by the discovery that you are not real, cake and grief counseling are available.”

                  1. [raised eyebrow]

                    I loved the way GLADOS delivered her lines through most of the first game (up until her morality core was destroyed). You honestly couldn’t tell if she was just messing with you or if she really was THAT loopy.

                    I mention this because you’re starting to give me the same vibe. Though I suppose that’s fitting, given the topic. 😛

  4. you don’t need to be here Sarah. no, really. take your time. The free ice cream machine can be down another few days.

    fun driving this weekend included dodging a doe and then almost hitting her fawn 20 sec later….

  5. Prayers up. And may be drive back be safe and with *just enough * variety to keep the driver awake all the way. Whichever one of you it is.

    1. Or if not, you can always quote poetry.

      It was fettid and it stuck
      but I blessed him as I drunk for
      When it comes to blood and slaughter
      You’ll do your work on water
      And like the bloody boots of them’s that gots it.

      I still remember those long drives to and from the grandparents…

    1. And don’t mind the, erm, renovations down here ins the lair subbasements. We’re totally in compliance with all health and safet… No! The antimatter reactors go behind the bar here and here, so the antimatter feed conduits need to go through there, right next to the explosives delivery elevator and the beer fridge. Ahem. Where was I? Right…With all health and safety guidelines!

        1. That would be a challenge after we a) swapped regular ink for the disappearing variety for the dead tree version, and b) used “special procedures” to ensure that the eCode version said what we wanted.

        2. I suspect that there is actually something in the code about structures for the storage of HE. Probably not anything about antimatter though.

          1. And, I suppose they have nothing to say about storage of antimatter high explosives, either. Such lack of attention to detail!

          2. Yes, there are. The aardvark will show you. Kindly do not object that they are obviously from behind the purple door with green spots. We choose the most rational building codes from the various doors because we do not have time to make all the mistakes ourselves.

      1. Oh, fer cryin’ out loud! The antimatter delivery conduit goes on the OTHER SIDE of the beer fridge from the explosives delivery elevator! You want a crossover accident? You might wind up with a UNIVERSE crossover incident!


        1. Well, you know, I have the signoff from the engineer right here on the drawing, but you raise an interesting point: Is this signoff from the engineer from our universe or that other universe? I didn’t notice a goatee, but It was dim and a bit orangey due to the Blade Runner smoke…

        2. Worse, we might end up with green penguins.

          You remember the green penguins?

          Nope, neither do I. Let that be a warning to you that things that only the aardvark remembers should NOT be done again.

          1. There is definitely something odd about that aardvark. It seems to be independent of timelines and tends to cause Heisenberg states to collapse randomly at a distance. Please keep all cats in boxes well away from the aardvark.

  6. I, er, almost feel as though I need to apologize. The Evil Driving Entity was after me on Thursday when I’d had 3 hours sleep and was transporting the dog to and from vet for teeth stuff. Obviously it moved on after I hid out for the next day….

  7. I do paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatience.

      1. I haven’t gotten anything too odd, but that might be because my kids are always ready to assist with the lesson so nobody too weird needs to be recruited to ‘help’.

      2. Growing up, you got patience whether you prayed for it or not. Impatience was punished immediately. Patience got the punishment after a little while, when they got around to it. *grin*

      3. When you pray for patience, He gives you lots of people to be patient with. It is humility that is really dangerous to pray for. Do you want to be humbled? I have stories. He will give you what you need.

        1. Right, pray to the Author for patience and He seems to make sure you’ll need it and have a chance to increase your patience.

          1. Which is why I always think Him in my prayers for the abundance with which I have been blessed, and assure it needs no further testing.

  8. Sounds like coming across Idaho, Monday. Freeway was merge right, merge left, & we’d see nothing being done, in most sections. Not only playing tag with the big trucks truck towing a trailer, but the rig was fighting a head wind; everything was whipping back & forth. Luckily in construction zones the speed limit was such that the pickup could stay with traffic speeds. Otherwise it was 80 mph, which the truck can’t do, not towing the trailer. I don’t drive the pickup with trailer attached. But I do keep my eyes on the road. Been a few times that has paid off. Especially since the truck/trailer doesn’t exactly stop on a dime, nor is it particularly maneuverable.

    1. You were one day ahead of us. We did Washington and Oregon in smoke and dirt with high winds on Monday and Idaho in clear skies and moderate winds on Tuesday.

      Glad you had a safe trip!

      1. We did have a save trip. Yellowstone & Tetons would have been disappointing if it’d been our first trip. It wasn’t our first trip. Number of people was daunting. Normally it is only the big thermal features. The tour bus people stay away from the hikes. But no tour bus people this year because of Covid. Campgrounds are usually only half full. 100% occupancy (the lodges were closed). Not only was visitation up (verified for July, suspected for August, & early September), but the visitors were the type that actually day hike trails. Not streaming of people, but more than we normally see on trails. One trail head we couldn’t believe how many vehicles were parked there. Last time we were at that trail head to hike it, there was only 2 or 3 vehicles. I remember once when we were the only vehicle. There were a good 50 vehicles.

        Sounds like you had a safe trip too.

        We had no idea about the situation in Oregon & Washington until Tuesday morning. California was burning up before we left. That didn’t change any. But the Oregon/Washington situation was “what the heck happened?”

    2. I have to take the trailer to the RV shop to have them winterize it. (Not sure I want to do the water-heater crawl. It *might* be doable, or I might be a semi-permanent fixture in the cubby.) Red flag warning for winds, but at least time time the [redacted] holding tanks are really empty, unlike when they said they would, but didn’t. The Honda really doesn’t need 46 extra gallons of water.

      My enthusiasm for the 80 mile round trip holds no bounds. See?

      1. Idaho freeway reader boards “50 to 80 mph wind gusts.” Gust? Pretty much steady. You are old enough to remember the joke about the wind changing what lanes a VW Bug is in without the driver moving the wheel? It felt like that with the pickup & trailer. There were times it felt like the entire rig was floating. Towing is setup with heavy duty sway bars, leveler, and stabilizer. It should never feel like it is floating.

        Even driving across Oregon, Hwy 20 between Ontario & Bend, it was a lot more windy than normal Tuesday. Not bad between Bend & the 97 to 58 cutoff, or driving the cutoff to hwy 58. But you could really see the wind whipping the trees the entire way down hwy 58. Could see the debris from the wind when it was really bad memorial weekend.

        We don’t winterize the trailer. Just drain the tanks. Then we power the trailer & have gas heater & electric heaters set. Haven’t had a problem, yet. But trailer has the “winter” package, including tank heating mechanisms (but only if have plugged in power) & we’re in the Willamette Valley.

        We’re getting ready to sell it. We’ll see if it sells or not.

        1. When we ordered the trailer (16′ self-contained, not winter-set), the dealer said his sales were going nuts. What he could get sold right away. Said dealer is in both K-Falls and Medford, with both areas selling.

          I don’t think you would have much selling it. People want an escape pod, if nothing else.

        2. Heh. I remember back when I was stationed at McChord AFB in Washington state. I was driving around Seattle in my Ford Escort and turned to go down a street toward the bay on an exceptionally windy day. Wind actually picked up the car front end and moved it over. I decided I’d find a different street after I finished shaking.

          1. January of 1971, I had a new-to-me Bug. Driving it back to school after semester break, I had to deal with crosswinds and drifting snow. I was on a 2 lane highway, dead flat and straight. I was quite surprised when the first drift I encountered caused my rear tires to break loose. Recovered, and slowed way down.

            I figured out that if I let up on the gas pedal for each drift, the drag would keep me straight. Worked fairly well, mercifully. That Beetle replaced an incredibly clapped out MGB, and the two vehicles were worlds apart in how they handled.

    3. Nothing compares to the roads in the PSRNJ;(People’s Socialist Republic of New Jersey) I think even Dante’s version of the infernal regions would reject them as too cruel and evil.

      1. There’s a reason locals call the Garden State Parkway the “Garden State Parking Lot.”
        I learned to drive stick commuting in New Jersey. That was an…interesting week.

  9. “Dan SWEARS there was no rain of frogs, no plague of blood.”

    That would be California.

  10. Long boring drives mean you’re alone with your thoughts.
    Trips to and from funerals aren’t necessarily the best time for that.

    1. Alone with thoughts vs sheer terror. Is there another alternative?

      ‘Sides, Dan ain’t chopped liver.

      1. My preference is blasting music — well, not too loud — but I recognize that this is not optimal for everyone.

        1. I have my entire CD-dubbed-to-MP3 library on the road trip vehicles. Last trip it was Peter Townshend’s Psychoderelictt and then Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances.(Different tunes for different moods. Deal. Ottorino does some good road music.

        2. Audiobooks and podcasts are my go:to driving choice. Music is fin for a while but I find it doesn’t hold my attention all that long.

          1. Unfortunately, if I’m trying to do something else, my attention frequently drifts away from anything I process as “somebody talking on and on” — and then I’m left with a vague sense of irritation and an even vaguer idea what I missed. Which is really too bad — there are some audiobooks I’ve heard are really good performances, and it would be nice to be able to absorb some while on the road or otherwise with my eyes and hands occupied.

            Then again, maybe I should give it another shot with something I know I’m interested in. It is possible that some of the things I tried were actually just boring to me.

            1. I lean toward audio presentations of books I’ve already read — one advantage of having started my SF reading over fifty years ago is that there are a lot of really good books for me to revisit with a much more mature mind, with a certain residual familiarity, and with ability to pay greater attention to elements beyond the simple telling of the story.

              Start with some of your entry books to the genre — you’ll be surprised at how much you recall and how much you’ve either forgotten or simply didn’t notice the first time through.

              1. Seconded. I tend to hoard audiobooks in preparation for long drives. Picking something I’ve read a decade or so ago, and know is good, ain’t hard to do.

                There are good histories and biographies out there, too that are worth your time, if sci-fi tends to pull you too much.

              2. I noticed that with a couple of RAH novels. (Starship Troopers and TMiaHM). Found some details I had missed the last time I read them, a few decades ago.

                I have the dead-tree version of the original version of Stranger, but I think that will wait for a somewhat less frantic time. I’m trying to finish the garden shed, and it looks like I’ll have to play timing games; wind makes messing with 15 square-foot panels a distinctly unpleasant prospect. Have the first one up, only 9 to go. And rain is forecast for Friday. (Maybe, if the weather gods have been sufficiently appeased.)

                1. Forecasts have been teasing locally with some moisture yesterday, now changed to possibly Thursday or Friday with a most 50% possibility. Have come through with verifiable higher humidity (which helps, a bit), but no actual rain. Smoke still bad with some ash blowing. We need rain, as does the entire west coast. At this point, not only rain, but snow, would be appreciated. Won’t hold my breath for the latter, not at the edge of the Willamette Valley, or even areas of the western Cascades the fires are burning. Snow possible at higher elevations, yes, but not this early in the season. One can hope, but can’t expect it.

                  1. The forecast was for finally some wind from the direction of the open ocean, so after the near shore smoke got itself blown on through, possibly an improvement in air quality, and lo:

                    2020-09-15 22:08:53 UTC air quality:
                    PM1.0: 22 ug/m3, PM2.5: 35 ug/m3, PM10: 49 ug/m3,
                    raw PM2.5 AQI index 99 (moderate)
                    LRAPA adjusted PM2.5: 16 ug/m3, 
                    PM2.5 LRAPA adjusted AQI index 61 (moderate)

                    This is the first time it’s been below “unhealthy” in weeks.

                    1. Klamath Falls has been bouncing from Moderate to Unhealthy lately (we had a few days at Hazardous and Very Unhealthy last week), and is currently at the top end of Moderate (AQI 95). The fire upwind of us is getting contained, and the smoke from the Westside fires isn’t coming here. Yet.

                      OTOH, we had a suspicious fire along the rail-to-trail park near $TINY_TOWN yesterday. It could have been a major problem but it was spotted soon enough to get it out. Next door neighbor was thinking it could have been carelessness or a random bottle forming a mirror, but that’s not the way I’d bet. Curious how it happened where routes off-trail exist, rather than in the National Forest where it would be really hard to get to the nearest road.

                    2. Mom talked to gossip-nexus aunt in Lake county, got the impression that a lot of the small town types had started to notice, and comment, on how many of the fires had happened not in places that made sense…but in places where AntiFa and BLM showed up to loot, and folks didn’t roll over.

                    3. Especially in Oregon. In places where fires all but bisected the state. It is suspicious fires managed to close multiple E/W highway routes, not that far out of I-5 towns. It’s not like natural fire won’t close a pass (B&B Complex in 2003, Fire off 242 in 2017-ish). Wild fires don’t break out at nearly the same time along multiple major paved highway routes; & it is not like one fire sparked another one, not where they are located. They just don’t. Even when fires break out on forest service roads the first reaction is “ummmm, not natural”; not even in the drier years.

                    4. Funny thing happened on the way to the bonfire …

                      Oregon woman holds suspected arsonist at gunpoint as wildfires rage
                      An Oregon woman forced a suspected arsonist to the ground at gunpoint after she found him on her property with matches, dramatic video footage shows.

                      “What are you doing on my property? Did you light anything on fire?” Kat Cast shouts as she clutches a firearm, according to footage she posted on Facebook.

                      When the unidentified man responds that he was “just passing through,” she demands to know why he’s holding matches.

                      “I smoke,” he replies — to which Cast asks to see his cigarettes. The man then admits that he has none, and she holds him there until police arrive and haul him away in handcuffs.

                      [END EXCERPT]

                    5. One of our friends in Oregon showed an image from some weather site on their air quality index a few days ago.

                      It was an image of a round meter face, with numbers going from 0 to 350. The “needle” was “pinned” on the end of the scale. But below it was the actual AQI: 483

                    6. Oregon. Depending on where you are at, meters are still pinned or close to it. I think Eugene is down to 378. “Hazardous”, way beyond “Unhealthy”.

                    7. Now that’s just bad planning. Representing a variable that can exceed 500 with a dial that ends at 350 would be like making a high-performance muscle car with a speedometer that ends at 55. Who could be that stupid?

                    8. $SPOUSE watches local news so I don’t have to. Today’s news included a couple of new suspicious fire starts in the vicinity of the Two Four Two fire. Case in point: https://nitter.net/HYVEE7/status/1306273521044201474?s=20 The Portland FBI office will say that “Letter before P” drops 4715 through 4719 for more on this particular dude don’t point to extremism…

                      The fire along the rail-to-trail near town certainly fit the “I’m not saying it’s Antifa, but it’s Antifa” mold.

                      FWIW, the AQI reporting in Oregon tops at 501. Several sites pegged that with the wildfires, though the worst right now is Cave Junction with 430ish.

                    9. And due to that breeze plus the tail end of a trough pushing through and just barely dropping a trace of moisture from the sky, my air quality sensor was reading zero this morning, causing me to go out and make sure it was still working; right now it’s back up to just slightly into ‘moderate’.

                    10. Urp, make that “Letter between P and R”. It’s been a long week today. Feels like a week, anyway…

          2. Hmm, our roadtrips generally involve interesting terrain. I would not want something that consumed my attention, especially when a turn 20+ mph slower than my current speed shows up.

            I’ve done the cross-Cascade route more times than I’d care to count, but it’s not a good road to divert attention. Hell, the trip to town for shopping has a couple of really tight turns around a steep part of the mountain. Not gonna mess with it.

            1. Hmm, our roadtrips generally involve interesting terrain. I would not want something that consumed my attention, especially when a turn 20+ mph slower than my current speed shows up.

              In spades. I’ve/We’ve driven most of the Cascade E/W highway options. Your options into Medford/Ashland, are absolutely not the best. I think the worst we’ve seen was hwy 12 east from Rainer. Then we ended up driving that in the fog. Almost as bad as 242, but 242 is a seasonal scenic route, doesn’t allow anything over 30′, discourages big rigs (moving trucks & RV’s that technically under 30′). When we came home a week ago and were told that Hwy 126 & 22 were closed, Hwy 20 (126 pass to Sweet Home section) was still open. Nope. It isn’t bad to drive. Can be driven towing a trailer, just don’t recommend it. So can the N. Umpqua & Rogue River options, but they are not highways you don’t pay attention on.

              Note, eventually last week not only were hwy 126 & 22 closed, eventually hwy 20, 26 (Portland), & 248 (N. Umpqua) closed. The ONLY routes west from Bend was 58 (Oakridge), or 84 (Col. River). Further south routes were blocked because N/S Hwy 97 was blocked by fire south of 58.

              1. We missed the I-82 closure by minutes. Couldn’t see more than one yellow line ahead on parts of 22, slowed down to a crawl and hoped the semi ahead and the pick-up behind had slowed no more and no less respectively. (You know the broken yellow lines in the middle of a two-way where you can pass? One of those was the visibility distance. The air was red-brown.)

                Chevy Express. Not the best choice for strong crosswinds. But we got through.

                1. We didn’t hit heavy ground smoke until we got to the valley. Smoke with ash falling. As reminded me of the few times we got nailed by St Helen’s ash in ’80 (we were south west of the main blow up, barely, but out of it), but not as gritty.

              2. In my experience, the absolute worst EW route is OR 66. We did it once, and the motorcyclist we followed didn’t seem happy with the hairpin turns, either. I haven’t done Dead Indian Memorial Road (not a joke name, though the “Memorial” was added some years ago to appease the PC police), but OR 140 is notorious for catching the unwary.

                I did US12 west to Rainier back in ’74, but I was still dealing with learning mountain driving after a lifetime spent in the flat country. The route around the southern end of Glacier NP was pretty, when I could spare attention span away from white-knuckling the steering wheel.

                1. the absolute worst EW route is OR 66. We did it once, and the motorcyclist we followed didn’t seem happy with the hairpin turns, either. I haven’t done Dead Indian Memorial Road

                  Those are the ones I was thinking of. Been on them, once or twice, as a child, well before I drove.

                  Haven’t been on southern route of Glacier NP, because we’ve tended to take Highway to the Sun. It was no big deal in the ’78 Celica, interesting in the newer Santa Fe, & terrifying in the P/U Camper combo the folks had when I was about 8 (driving E to W, so the P/U was on the inside of the cliffs).

                  There is a road to some nice touristy falls, east of Fields, just east of the lower Spiral RR tunnel overlook (couldn’t find it on google maps). Road up was, um, interesting. Barely mad the hairpin turns with the pickup (reg cab) with 9′ Alpine camper on it. Hubby had to double maneuver the turns (turn as far as possible, backup, and make the rest of the turn). First couple he had me out & making sure the corner “pull off” was as deep as it appeared (it was, more to come). We get to the top and lo & behold, there are Motorhomes, long ones, AND tourist type buses up there. How in the Heck did they get up here? There was no way in HECK anyone of those rigs made those turns. For the record, they didn’t. That is why the hair pin turns had the wide “pull off”. They weren’t for pulling off. These rigs would take the first stretch, pull fully into the corner, then back up the next section, back into the next corner, and go forward the next stretch, switching all the way up. This was 1994, before backup cameras. We never saw the process in action, but in-laws did (they’d parked their Motorhome in Fields & taken their towed car up).

                  Forget the road number/name into out of Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP. But no matter how slow hubby drives that road, I get motion sickness. Not a road anyone takes at any speed.

                  1. I had to take the southern route around Glacier. Memorial day, and the high route was closed a mile or two from the campground. The 2′ of snow was a pretty solid hint as to why. 🙂

                    Never visited the tourist part of Sequoia/Kings, but we hiked from Mineral King over Franklin and Sawtooth passes. Glad we did the latter at the end; that broken granite “sand” was a puppy mother going downhill, and would have been worse going up.

                    (The guidebooks all said that that backpack was A Bad Idea for solo packers. Quite a few people never got that memo, including the guy taking a smoke break at Franklin. (IIRC, 11,760 feet.))

                    1. backpack was A Bad Idea for solo packers

                      I know the PCT goes through Yosemite Valley & Tuolumne, probably goes through Kings Canyon & Sequoia, given they are south of Yosemite. There a lot of single hikers on the PCT. Won’t comment on the stupidity of smoking on the trail, let alone at 11k+ feet.

            2. … it’s not a good road to divert attention.

              Hence an audio version of a book with which I am already basically familiar. I find it easy to shift to full attention for those brief intervals requiring it (and backing up the book if necessary) than maintaining full attention at all times. I find driving, even in heavy traffic on “challenging” roads rarely demands enough attention to maintain alertness; being able to relax and kick it up a gear on demand produces better results for me.

              Each must accommodate that which works best for their brain, eh?

              One cautionary word: if you are a laugher (I’m a mild chuckler, myself) certain books and authors (e.g., Terry Pratchett) are NOT advised for driving.

              1. I went four-wheels-off on Interstate 40 one night, at almost 80mph, when a Terry Pratchett audiobook tweaked my sense of humor.

                “Moist looked at the rising ladle, and in the flood of relief various awkward observations scrambled to be heard.

                I’ve been in this job less than a week. The man I really depend on has run away screaming. I’m going to be exposed as a criminal. That’s a sheep’s head…

                And–thank you for the thought, Aimsbury–it’s wearing sunglasses.”

            1. I read this thing that says “if your wife/girlfriend says she loves Kansas, she’s humoring you.”
              And I went “Uh?” Kansas is the sound track to a couple of books I’ve been meaning to write for 30 years….

              1. Some people are very perplexing.

                I admit that I pretty much just know the two songs about everybody knows, but (1) they’re good and (2) my husband and I would make a point of playing Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” every time we had to get on the New Jersey Turnpike just for the line about counting the cars so…

                1. Some people like to sing show tunes, songs essentially crafted to be singable.

                  My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
                  My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
                  And may horses turn to glue if I can’t deliver
                  Unto you a resolution on independency!

                    1. I recently learned, via the “Broadway to Mainstreet” podcast, that Ron Holgate, who played Lee in both the original stage production and the film of 1776, won the “Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical” Tony Award for the role — only after William Daniels removed his name from nomination. According to the Tony Award rules of that era, Daniels was not eligible for a leading actor nomination because (possibly among other reasons) his name was not above the title of the show. Presumably Daniels decided that calling John Adams mad, or even obnoxious & disliked was acceptable, but calling him a supporting role was intolerable.

                      For theatre fans, Holgate had previously originated the role of Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

          1. Ditto. It’s long enough for just about any road trip, and I already know it well enough that if I have to pay attention to the road instead of the audiobook for a few minutes, I can jump right back into the flow of the book without feeling like I missed something, because I know what was in the part I didn’t hear.

            1. As an added benefit, I find the LOTR poems performed much better by the reader than my own reading of them.

            2. I picked up the Steven Fry audio book of the complete Sherlock Holmes for a similar reason. 1 Credit at Audible.

              My LotR audio books are still on cassette tape, probably end up getting a digital version at some point since finding a car with a Cassette Player is hard these days 🙂

      1. A Cautionary Word: Relationship Experts have determined that talking with your spouse can have serious long term effects.

  11. Safe travels! Spouse who loves to drive works from home, while I, who loathe it, get the 35 mile one way commute. Ah well, such is the sense of humor of the universe.

  12. Possibly the Celica/lorica was a little too much praying; possibly just enough. The line between danger magnet and weirdness magnet seems to be pretty thin, this trip.

    In any event, I did not say anything about your purse, and can only conclude that St. Anthony of Padua/Lisbon has decided that he is asserting his primary claim vs. St. Patrick. To the point that he’s providing stuff that wasn’t even lost.

    1. The other possibilities are Mother Cabrini as a prominent USAian saint in Colorado (although she finds parking spaces, or that was my understanding), or Dan’s mom herself (maybe she’s letting her freak flag fly, in the hereafter).

      If you see any little red wagons or one-eyed women in floppy black hats, it’s Denver’s own Servant of God Julia Greeley.

      And if there’s an ice cream cone in the purse, it’s Blessed Solanus Casey.

      1. One can implore the intercession of any saint on any subject. And receive it, too.

        Which is why the correct answer to whether St. Corona is a patron saint against epidemics is “She is now.”

        1. I have been thinking about this. Of course saints have no power themselves; they are part of Christ’s Body and they are just interceding, so it’s like any prayer from anybody – God has all the power and He can do anything (just and loving) for anybody at any time. And if you see accounts of miracles at a saint’s home place, or things that people ask for a popular saint to pray for, or things that people ask a living saint and known miracleworker to pray for, you do see people praying for a drowned fisherman one moment and for a child with a bean in her ear the next. (As in the records of miracle reports for the canonization of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. People went to her as their local pious princess when alive, and they went to her dead, too.)

          OTOH, theoretically the Holy Spirit could give every person all the charismatic gifts, but that is seldom how it works. The usual is that people get a little helping of all the most important gifts (the classical seven gifts of the Holy Spirit from Isaiah, and the three most important virtues of faith, hope, and love, and some of the other virtues), but that mostly we have to look to each other for charismatic gifts and special roles in the Church and in life. And that there are different gifts so that we know we need each other, so that we know we need the eye as well as the hand. (And so on.)

          So it’s also normal to go to a saint for some go-to issue that they are known to be associated with, to be “good at”, to have a special interest in.

          I think there’s love and care in both approaches. “I know you had this problem and will sympathize” is just as valid as “Oh, crud, I need help right now for this emergency, so please pray for me!”

          The other thing is that most people are well aware that they might not “get” anything from a saint’s intercession, or that they are more likely to get a sympathetic ear and a precarious peace than a solution to all their problems, just as with direct prayer to God. But getting other people to listen, be they family members or neighbors or saints, is something that helps. It’s an acknowledgement that we need each other, that nobody can do it all for himself. It pleases God because God made us as His Church to have friends and family, to be a Body with parts, to be a Vine with branches and leaves.

          When people are desperate, sometimes they lose their dignity, and sometimes they grab onto rules and guidance. There’s no set rule to how people react psychologically.

          I like the saints as specialist approach because I’m a system-y thinker. But in practice, I consult any saint friend who comes to mind (which logically would be the influence of the Holy Spirit, Who gives us the impulse to pray at all). I’ve talked over issues with some pretty obscure Fathers of the Church that they probably hadn’t heard about since they were bishops alive on Earth, just like I might if I knew a bishop friend on Earth, or if I had a friend hanging out at my house. But it was natural, because I’d just been reading them, and hence was already “talking” to them. There’s no one way to do things.

          And saints are fun and break things up a bit, which is an important part of religion as with other parts of life. We aren’t purified immortal blissful humans with glorified bodies yet.

          1. theoretically the Holy Spirit could give every person all the charismatic gifts, but that is seldom how it works.

            Because there’s NO WAY that could turn out badly.

  13. On a different note, the names for 2019 are finally up on the Social Security Administration website.

    And one of the boys’ names gaining popularity last year was Atreus.

    Please tell me this is a character from Game of Thrones, and not Atreus of the House of Atreus.

    Also, why would people be naming their boys “Azrael”?

    1. Probably because of the much loved God of War 4 coming out, with the protagonist’s son being named Atreus.

      So it is the greek one, but indirectly twice removed.

    2. You mean Atreides? I just saw the new trailer for Dune.

      Yep, they’re re-making Dune.


      Does this make 3, or 4 times? I can’t keep track.

      There are so many, many other books that would make great movies, if done right. ‘Ringworld’ comes to mind. ‘The Apocalypse Troll’ or ‘March Upcountry’. ‘Tinker’ could be fantastic, so could ‘Shards Of Honor’ and ‘Barrayar’.
      George Carlin: “Why does Hollywood keep re-making the good movies? It’s the BAD ones that need it!”

    3. Also, why would people be naming their boys “Azrael”?

      Good Omens, I hope. (how’s that for depressing?)

      Crypto-Islamic to the tune of creepy, if not. (Angel of Death.)

        1. Yes– especially if the kid Has A Purpose or Makes A Statement, rather than is a kid.

          I’m really hoping it’s more “that sounds cool.”

          1. …I always thought name meanings were neat so I’m dithering about whether the one we’re currently leaning toward is okay as a meaning and/or too full of both good and bad literary references….

          2. There can be numerous factors involved. For example, had the Daughtorial Unit been male we had selected “James Gideon” for him. James because all males of one family line had borne the first name of James for several generations. Gideon after a favorite Old Testament character.

            The fact that he would have been S[redacted], J.G. was merely a plus.

            1. Goodness, yes, my husband has a theme name that adds to his dignity, all the kids’ names were checked for sound, nicknames, meanings and a family connection that can be offered, however tenuous it may be.

              It’s one of those things where only the very furthest edge cases are identifiable as “Wow, that kid isn’t allowed to be a kid at all, he’s supposed to just be an extension of (parent).”

            1. I know a family where the first born daughter when my mom was a kid was Tuesday; her mother was Monday.
              They are now down to Friday.

              Just because there are worse options is not a great reason to do it!

              There was also the Green family, who were all colors of green– including the mother, which may have been the trigger– I remember there was a Heather and that there explicitly was not a Kelly or any permutation.

              1. If they’re readers, give them (especially the one named Thursday) a copy of the Jasper Fforde series.

              2. Well, there’s ‘May’ (Aunt May of Spiderman, eg), ‘June’ (J. Carter Cash, eg), and I know a few Aprils; but days of the week, not so much.

                1. We’ve also got Dawns and Eves but nary a Midnight nor Noon. There are Springs (Spring Byington), Summers (Summer Glau) and Autumns (Autumn Chiklis) but no Winter except as last name.

                2. Wednesday Addams! And, don’t forget June Lockhart.

                  Christmas Jones, in ‘The World Is Not Enough’

                  How about letters? Bea, Dee, Jay, Kay, Emma, Vee.

                  ‘There are worse names’ is neither an excuse, nor a challenge. 😛

                    1. “Where’s your costume, dear?”

                      “I’m a homicidal maniac. We look just like everybody else.”

                    2. I can’t remember exactly who it was – I think it was Lindsay Ellis – but someone once said that Christina Ricci must have been genetically engineered and grown in a lab for the sole purpose of playing Wednesday Addams. And I can’t swear that she’s wrong.

                3. And then you can have Julia and Augusta, but then you start stretching — Septimia — all right Octavia is reasonable — but then Novena and Decima before you have to throw your hands in the air.

        2. Yes. Or at least pay attention to the meanings as the names are picked over. I know there’s a bit of a difference there. Personally, I wouldn’t want to stick a kid with a name that means stranger, or bitter, etc. I try too to see if there’s any weird initials or nicknames that would come from the name.

          1. Well, Mary/Miriam means bitter (albeit in a good way), so there are extenuating reasons for some choices that might seem strange. And I like to know the logic, myself. But yeah, some names I just don’t get.

            1. Yes, on the Mary/Miriam/Mara and bitter. I’m torn, on the one hand the namesake is amazing, on the other the name is bitter. Still haven’t used it, but it is a good name.

            2. Of the various spices the only one I can think of used as a name would be Cinnamon. For whatever reason hardly anybody seems to name their kid Cumin, Cardamon, Turmeric or even Clove.

              While some men get named herb, the only specific herb that seem to be used as a name is Basil. No Oregano, Parsley, Chervil or even Cilantro is to be found.

              In the plant-named category, I have been told of a man nick-named “Tater” but do not consider Ron White a reliable source.

              1. I’ve seen the name Sage, and I THINK I remember seeing Dill. Although Dill may be a nickname. But don’t forget Rosemary. And of course, “I’m just wild about Saffron”…

                1. Dil or Dilly is Delilah, maybe Dilbert?


                  “Goober” or “Peanut” are common child nicknames.

                  One of our Navy buddies would have named their son Curry, but his wife vetoed it. (Japanese curry. Yum!)

                  I’m suddenly sure that some poor schmuck has been tagged with variations on “Shichimi Togarashi.” (Japanese seven spice mix.)


                  Juniper. (Yes, technically a spice….)


                  Basil, Bay, Marjoram…..

                  Sassafras, I can see someone using but haven’t seen.

                  Pepper. (Only via Ironman, though.)

                  I am totally collecting these names for next time my husband’s D&D campaign needs fairies.

                  1. Sweet Pea, for another leguminous nickname. (Hmm, maybe I like that for my daughter’s pseudonym here.)

                  2. Poppy is a name in it’s own right and a nickname for Penelope. I have a cousin Penelope we’ve always called Poppy. Family calls her Poppy, strangers call her Penny, and she always calls herself Penelope.

                2. A friend of ours named their daughter Chelsea, this is before Clinton, we asked if the next one would be named TriBeCa, Soho, or West Village. They named the poor girl Madison. Madison Square is just North of Chelsea in NYC. I don’t think anyone ever told her why her father’s friends call her Madison Square.

                  Could be worse, they could have called her Hell’s Kitchen.

        1. You know that, I know that, but going off of the fan pages that came up when I was trying to see if he showed up in the book (I vaguely remembered he was Death in the book, still not sure) a lot of people latched on to a simi-familiar name.

          Or, more likely, tried to look for it in a baby book and got Azrael.

          They’d know it from pretty much everything that’s included angels in the last decade, after all, so the auto-corrupt at least makes sense.

      1. likely. Scary but likely.

        For… reasons…. if I had one (by adoption. Only possible way) he’d be Raphael.
        We’re going to need Raphael. There’s a lot of cleaning up to do. And a lot of madness.
        Btw anyone finding themselves in possession of an inconvenient infant…. (I know, the odds are NOT high, but heck, you never know.) we’re old but not dead. Probably enough time to raise one more.
        Race and sex immaterial.

          1. s’ok. Person is good enough for most here. 🙂 Heck, from what some of y’all say, you are willing to bestow personness on the multitude of strays that accompany you through life.

    4. Maybe blackpill are going Neo-Puritan, and doing it wrong.

      Perhaps it doesn’t matter if man is a falling angel or rising ape, so long as man is an angel of death or a killer ape.

      If this is so, you would expect names like Azrael Grodd or Azrael Kong.

      Really, if I’m not just pulling crazy stuff out of thin air, Suffer Not A Communist To Live is totes a much better name.

      1. Note: I am a hobby mythologist and theologian, not paid for this.

        For Jewish mystic and their influenced members of Christian, Azrael isn’t fallen. Just has an unpleasant job– Grim Reaper’s name, means “God’s Help.” Not officially named by Catholics, that I know of.

        Don’t know the Islamic version, but given what their mythology did to Himself incarnate, I am not hopeful.

        There’s an Azazel in Enoch that’s a fallen angel, can’t find the formation there, associated with the scapegoat thing and I don’t know how wide spread that even is.

        Christian tradition has a lot of no-nos about naming angels. Usually can be summed up as it’s presumptuous, although some of the just plain old weird and of course the whole consideration of putting out a “hey, y’all, good eats here” call to a demographic that has a high number of gone-bads in it.

        1. Easier to worship what you have named and individuated.

          Even with the very few named angels, and unnamed ones hinted to be Christ, there is a constantly repeated demonstration of people trying to worship the angel that just appeared in front of them and being told to cut it out.

        2. My favorite mention of Azrael is in Kipling’s “On The Gate, A Tale Of ‘16”. It’s a walking conversation between Azrael and Saint Peter, discussing the stresses placed on their Departments by The War. I think, but do not know, that a lot of its terminology for Spirits of various sorts is based on Masonic traditions. It names Azrael as the only being in all Creation fated to die utterly. An all around excellent late Kipling story. It is collected in DEBITS AND CREDITS .

          1. I was pointed in the direction of that by Moe Lane.

            Who is a huge nerd, has his first novel out, a Catholic, an angelogy buff, and a fan writer for the In Nomine game.

            IIRC, that Kipling story mentions powers, dominions, etc, and whatever the source of that angel lore, In Nomine also used those terms.

        3. And one thing to note with biblical/hebrew names ending in el is that that stands in for elohim, one of the references to G*d that can be written in full. Amusingly the two gentlemen who wrote the Early Superman seemed to be playing off this with Jor-El and Kal-El.

      2. I knew a former Marine [same guy who told about the 36-star flag that wound up on the pole at his base in Germany] who swore he served with a pair of brothers named “State’s Rights Jones” and “White Supremacy Jones” in the 1960s.

        Not as bad as the teller at my bank, whose nameplate said her name was “Charmin.”

        Parents can be cruel.

        1. There should be a big sign in every maternity waiting room:


          1. My name was picked because there was no way to shorten it or make a nickname out of it.

            ‘course, ended up traveling a path where that could not possibly matter less.

          2. Oy. Very muchly this.

            At a particular pointe in tyme, it became popular amongst the masses (and being that it was a tyme, not a time, the masses weren’t very massy. Messy, not massy.) that the proper thing to name a cute little baby girl was after the Virtues.

            So, being that it was That Tyme, there were several of, say, Responsibles, and Charities, Patiences, and Graces, of which a very few went by such, and most did not. We found it most amusing that the men (given the biblicals, the James, Joshua, Matthew, Paul, and so on) tended to be all over, as men do, and the women chose to run as far from their namesakes as they could- or so it seemed to us young menfolk of the tyme.

            Our chief Responsible could not be trusted with checkbook or child. Our Charity could never find two pennies to scrape together. Our Patience and Grace quarreled unceasingly (they were twins). Much to their parents dispair, and the childish amusement of their fellows.


            All life is not highschool, assuming one survives it. Rather, looking at our current year of 2020, and the shenanigans currently happening, it shouldn’t be. All of us rapscallions, scapegrace, fools and foul-ups somehow managed to become the adults, with, some of us, little ‘uns of our own. Big shoes to fill and big responsibilities to bear, despite it all.

            I think we turned out alright, the most of us. Ain’t none of us were saints, no sir, no ma’am, and worse than that we was the cause of more gray hairs than you could shake a stick at. And the next generation of wee ones is about ready to take over the reins of adulting and work and suchlike. Mayhap it’ll all turn out alright.

            1. I’ve done my little rant about the gazillion ways of saying “John,” right?

              Well, I got a smile out of it, because John’s one big feature is… that Jesus loved him.

              Rather easier to embrace than, oh, literally being named Christ-like sacrifice. (Charity.)

              1. I don’t think I’ve seen it yet, and I’d be interested.

                Let’s see, there’s Sean, Ian, Owen, and we’re not even out of the British Isles yet. Cross the Channel and you have Jean, Juan, Johann, Giovanni… yeah, there’s lots more languages I haven’t even touched on yet (Ivan, anyone?) but I need to wrap up computer time and go do something else. Point is, although I know a lot of ’em I’d still like to hear your version.

                1. Try writing a fairy tale novel where you want to keep all the characters distinct.

                  I did end up with both an Ian and an Ivan. Hopefully far enough apart.

                2. Short version, there are almost as many relatives-named-variation-of-John in my family as there are relatives-named-variation-of-Mary.

                  Most of them are audibly different, rather than being Jean and John it’ll be John and Ivan, while Mary, Mari, Mairie, and Mari(on) are all the same sound.

                    1. As a kid, my family didn’t have a plethora of Johns but we would rent a row of port-a-potties for parties.

        2. I think, also, that parents having JUST gone through the stress of birth (ok, it IS mostly the mother, but if Dad isn’t seriously stressed too there’s something wrong) may pick names that they wouldn’t under normal conditions…and then are too embarrassed to say “Uh, can I have a do-over?”

          1. You mean there are people who don’t talk about names during the pregnancy and have a name (or two names, if they haven’t done an ultrasound to find out the baby’s sex beforehand) picked out before the birth?


            1. A lot of people are “still deciding” at that point– in old times, because of the counting your chickens before they hatch thing. (Same way my family doesn’t announce pregnancies in the first trimester)
              These days, because they DO know they’re having a girl, or a boy, so the only big surprise that is left is the name, and parents are not exactly perfectly sane….

            2. I also keep hearing about people who see the newborn baby and go, “Wait, the name we were going to use doesn’t work.”

              1. My uncle did that. Mark and Thomas weren’t even names under consideration. But he’s a strong personality, so it’s not surprising that he’d demand a name upon presenting himself.

            3. There are the occasional reports of people of wombitude who did not realize they were pregnant until arrival of the infant.

              1. Michael Flynn recounts how his mother told her mother that it was funny, she felt just like she did before Michael was born, her mother sent her off to the hospital. His father dropped her off, went to park, and walked in to hear, “Congratulations. It’s a boy.”

            4. We didn’t want to deal with the family stress about naming after x. We told both of our parents that it would be Horst Dieter if a boy and Cunnegunde Hannelore if a girl. We’re not German so neither of these names resonated. We knew all along of course, his name is James,

            5. We had a girls name picked out, but not a boys. We were going through a baby book on the way to the hospital. That was because hubby nixed the combination I came up with “William John”. William for his dad, plus my youngest uncle, John for my dad. Hubby did not want any close kin family names or names of friends. Name combination isn’t uncommon, we just didn’t know of anyone with that combination. FWIW, my mother-in-law was NOT happy we didn’t name the baby (born 6 weeks after grandfather’s death) for his grandfather; all my fault, naturally.

              1. Dad’s dad was all kinds of put out that I was not named Adrian after him. Or even Robert Adrian (Robert was Mom’s dad). I ended up Robert Jon (John was my dad, Jon (Jonas) a great granpa on mom’s side.

                All honor to my father (on the advent of his 85th birthday) for having the fortitude to put hs foot down.

      1. I do believe it was. I knew I recognized but could not place it.

        IMDb says it was Atreyu — lead kid’s name identified as Bastian.

        “People who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control, has the power!” ~Gmork

  14. I am a poor driver. Got started late, and don’t have the reflexes. Thing is, I KNOW I’m a poor driver, and try to consciously drive with that knowledge. I don’t tailgate. I brake when somebody is passing me. I don’t assume I see everything.

    It took me fifteen years to get my Lady to accept that my swearing at other drivers was a necessary outlet to keep me from DRIVING with my temper. She really, REALLY hates loud, angry voices, and I don’t blame her. But by fellow drivers just necessitate swearing.

    Or machine gun fire. One or the other.

    1. I used to be that way, but I eventually learned to treat traffic as moving road features, and I slide through traffic like water.

      Of course, it was a lot easier when I was on the bike. 175hp in the throttle hand made a lot of petty highway annoyances go away like magic…

    2. So…… get a machinegun. I fail to see the problem.

      An American-180 is on the cheap end for MGs (well, “cheap”), and uses .22lr so even in today’s market ammo costs aren’t too bad. Additionally the a-180 has one recorded official use: a police officer shooting at suspects during a car chase, which it stopped. So the gun is already tested under the prevailing conditions.

      1. For the dim bulbs I’m seeing, I want something with some AUTHORITY. Something that won’t leave large hunks of flaming trash in the road. After all, I’m supposed to be ABATING the nuisance.

        I’m thinking 20mm Gatling. Smart car to confetti in 3.2 seconds….

        1. Look up what the Black Rifle Coffee Company did with its advertising budget one year. They are in Seattle and I guarantee that the riots came nowhere near them dammit.

          1. Heck, best price I could find was $0.58 a round for .223, don’t want to think about round cost for that puppy these days, must make a fifty cal look like .22lr

            1. It occurred to me, if anyone else needs to upgrade their stash, it was at Midway, 400 rounds. Kinda embarrassed I ran low on that caliber. After the last few months though, I’m going to reevaluate what I though of as sufficient.

        2. This is what you want. Lifted from the pages of “The Discarded Shoe”, as yet unpublished:

          Brunhilde brightened. “You like it?”

          “Obviously,” said George, slapping the armor fondly. “It’s a tank! What’s not to like? Look at this thing.” It was jet black, with long-travel suspension and toothy knobbed tires concealed behind muscular armored skirts that bulged up over the hood. Parked, it was slung low to the ground with the six tall wheels tucked up inside the wheel wells. The body rose smoothly to form the passenger compartment and the turret, which was separated by only a tiny seam. The overall impression was of speed, power and menace, like a Lamborghini with a gun on top.

          “Quarter mile in nine seconds, top-end is over 200mph. Multi-megawatt fusion-electric power source, independent six-wheel suspension and steering, motor-on-wheel with active electromagnetic braking, 55mm railgun with coaxial ionization laser. Two full inches of carbon nanotube laminate armor, with layers of titanium metal foam. Triple armor on the vertical surfaces. And it only weighs four tons.” Brunhilde reeled off the statistics in proud anticipation.

          “Goddamn,” said George reverently, petting the vehicle’s armor as if it was a horse. “That’s a set of wheels, Brun.”

          “Cup holders?” asked Ginny mischievously. She loved to tweak George when he fell into car-worship. “That’s what’s most important, Brunhilde. Cup holders.”

          “I knew you would say that.” Brunhilde smiled smugly. “Two per seat. Wool carpet in the front, Charlotte. Stereo is 500 watts per side Nammu, you head banger.”

        1. …as Faith Smith found out when her pink M-1A tank spun out on zombie blood. And a lot of other gooey stuff from a horde of squished zombies.

          Which led her to propose, “Let’s not do that again.”

      2. I *have* a machine gun. Carrying enough ammunition to deal with every idiot I would encounter, even on a short ride, would be a hassle.

      3. Problem with machine guns is you require a BATFE certificate for one; and that gives them carte blanc to come into your domicile at any time to make sure (1) it’s still there, and (2) it’s securely locked up. I prefer not to give tyrants the right to do no notice inspections at 2 AM. That’s as bad as no knock raids.

        1. Fudd Lore.

          Owning NFA items does *not* give them that right. That only applies to FFLs, and they have that problem regardless of whether NFA items are involved or not.

        2. Well, no, it’s not quite like that.

          And Mrs. TRX already had an NFA firearm when we got married, so it wouldn’t make any difference anyway…

    3. I am a poor driver. Got started late, and don’t have the reflexes. Thing is, I KNOW I’m a poor driver, and try to consciously drive with that knowledge.

      See this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are in fact a poor driver. You have failed to understand the very first principle of driving:

      That you are an above average driver. It’s all those other people on the road that are the idiots.

      1. I passed my drivers test the first time. All three times I’ve taken one. There are people on the road,,with legal licenses, who FAILED multiple times.

        That scares the piss out of me.

        I maintain that I am a poor driver. I didn’t say there weren’t an awful lot of Gawdawful drivers.

        1. I passed my drivers test the first time. All three times I’ve taken one. There are people on the road,,with legal licenses, who FAILED multiple times. That scares the piss out of me. I maintain that I am a poor driver. I didn’t say there weren’t an awful lot of Gawdawful drivers.

          Won’t disagree about the Gawdawful Drivers on the road. Doesn’t mean the didn’t pass their driver’s license the first time through too. It is one thing to know the laws of the road, be able to execute them properly and actually bother to do so on a regular basis.

          For example waiting for traffic to be clear enough in two lanes to allow a longer vehicle to swing into the outer lane, or alternatively clip the curb, when turning right from a parking lot. Either is an automatic fail.

          Even when I passed my driver’s tests, not once was I asked to drive any section of freeway or highway at speed. Just around a few blocks. I’ve had to earn my driver’s license 3 times, due to changing states. At 16, passed 3rd time (didn’t have to use the P/U the 3rd time). FWIW, the right hand turn maneuver is still a problem in an crew cab with long box 4×4, swing wide, or cut the curb. I’ve been driving for 48 years. The other two times, passed first time (even if I’d never paralleled parked, ever, required in WA, not in OR; I still haven’t except that test).

  15. Anyway, community activists in Compton have alleged that the police department there has an assassination unit, whose members get tattoos when they shoot people, regardless of if it was a good shoot or not. Now, normally, I would consider that a criminal justice reform type might, after all the talk of it being lawful to shoot blacks, be full of hot air. But that PD was shut down for problems, policing is now provided by the county, and apparently there are a lot of hispanics on the force.

    Community activists are obviously just systemically racist against persons of gang affiliation.

    1. The police in many places need serious reform. OTOH, scrutiny of the claims made by the Fascist Left has lead me to the conclusion that any accurate accusations made by Black Lives Matter and their allies are purely accidental.

      1. It is interesting that many of those places are under Democrat management, and have been for decades. You would imagine they would have long since established procedures, guidelines, training and protocols to prevent abuses of power. It can’t be due to the prevalence of police unions; in every other field where unions exist we are told they are guarantors of quality, professionalism and accountability.

      2. Remember . . . all these racist-no-good-horrible-bad Police Departments are in Democrat controlled cities and mostly in Democrat controlled states, but it is all yours, mine, and Republican’s fault that this pertains.

        1. That’s because Republicans are full of Bad Thoughts and thus poison the national Karma, preventing Liberals from having nice things.

          It ain’t just Momma Earth that’s being angered.

    2. There is no Compton PD and hasn’t been for 20 years. They contract with the LA Sheriff’s department, which is mostly Hispanic if the reports I’ve seen are correct.

      One of the great signs that all racism in America comes from the left is their inability to keep the different groups in the progressive stack in order and their lumping all the “LatinX” in one group. A friend of mine gets classed and her father is a duke, grandee of Spain. What I see is rich, angry, white children cosplaying at revolution at the top of the stack followed by black street gangs, assorted skells, and down from there.

    3. I have another comment at the end of ‘The Insanity Of History’ but nobody seems to have noticed, so I will try again here.

      It looks to me like the Compton shooter was 7 or 8 years old.

      The suspect is just about 4 feet tall — shorter than the police car, and had to raise the gun to head height to shoot through the window. I looked up a standard growth chart which puts the typical 7-year-old at 4 feet.

      Look at the video, watch him shoot, and run away, and tell me that’s not a child.

      So, somebody gave a gun to a 7-year-old kid and said, “Go shoot those two cops. It’ll be fun!” And then they stood around laughing about it.
      If you use violence and brutality to bring about social change, your cause will be taken over by violent brutes.

      1. Cartels started actively training assassins starting at about 7 years old when Mexico put in some cheap mercy laws that made it so child assassins would be returned faster than adult ones.

        (They use female hitmen for the same reasons, plus recruiting draws.)

        Our nine year old is close enough to that height you couldn’t tell the difference on a video, barring a height chart; I can’t watch the video so I can’t give direct declaration.

        Given that it’s LA, both cartels and their black counterparts are options; I can’t remember any of the various Asian gangs using those tactics lately and can’t remember any no-specific-racial-group gangs being active in that region*. I’d bug my husband about it, but he’s working. Will drop him a line anyways, probably get back a “yeah. Ugh. Don’t want to talk about it.” type comment.

        * look, criminals are really bleepin’ racist, on average.

        1. Yeah, I think I recall a Kratman column pointing out that the most vicious racists in America appeared to be associated with the prison gangs. In prison, you are around a bunch of really unpleasant people, and because your own racially aligned gangs are protecting you, you will make excuses for them. So, you aren’t making excuses for the not-your-own gangs, so you are remembering that they are bad people, and are associating other races with bad people as a result.

          The troll is ‘real anti-Racists support capital punishment’. However, the increasing numbers of racist nutjobs coming out of public schools and universities mean that mere use of execution to decrease the prison population is not a whole answer.

          The status quo is not holding, and I don’t need a theoretical description of a remedy before things change, for the result to be a fix. Fixes depend on many things outside of my control, or of my ability to predict from what I can really measure.

        2. Asian gangs tend not to mess with the police like that. Bad for business. NOLA PD had some issues with Asian (Vietnamese) gangs in New Orleans East but it was in policing the crimes and getting testimony out of the victims and witnesses, never warfare tactics by the gangs against Police. Though they did run heavy if doing an arrest. And the gangs were fine with police doing non-gang policing. A petty shoplifter was lucky if the Police got there instead of some of the gang members. They had a bit of an increased shootings/murder issue when a non-asian gang might have tried to move in, but it got snuffed fast, and some officers were like “Feh, they took out the trash for us” and didn’t work real hard finding the perps there.

          1. I double-checked with husband, he says the only notable street gangs in that area these days are black and Mexican with occasional other-south-american attempts. He actually gave the specific cartel, but I brain flushed it.


            Sounds like the Asian gangs are where the Italian ones use to be. Not nice, and of course not GOOD, but much less feral teen boy stupid.

          2. Reports last night said they had identified the shooter as a twenty-eight-year-old man — not sure I believe it but there we are.

            Gangs are known to exploit mentally-limited individuals.

            As for Asian gangs working with police … Back in the day, when some [idiot] in Philadelphia raped a nun the mob reportedly put out the word he’d be prudent to turn himself in to the police before they found him. Nurses & nuns were off-limits.

            1. Two stories:
              My aunt, just after my uncle came back from Vietnam and possibly while he was out there too, was a nursing student in a very bad area of SoCal.
              The Black Panthers had guards walk the ladies home every night, because they knew EXACTLY who would be patching them up when they did something violent.
              I actually hadn’t contrasted those Very Bad People who were still not stupid to the ones who just blockaded the hospital ER access when those cops were shot, until just now. Looks like evidence of Sarah’s point about generation rot.

              Second story:
              Mother Angelica, the lady who founded EWTN, had a vision when she was a newbie that she was supposed to make a shrine for Our Lady.
              The boss nun basically said “well, knock yourself out. We can spare you but all the labor and funding has to be raised by you.”
              This rather sickly little Italian gal pokes around for about a week, and goes back to the boss nun and says, rather delicately, that she’s got plenty of funding and people who will support it, but, um, there may be some, er, moral considerations.
              Long story short, the mother superior let a bunch of Mafia guys fund the purchase of space and materials for a shrine to Mary on the condition that they build it with their own hands, which they did, most of them showing up in suits and not taking the jacket off until it was time to work. I hope it helped them….

            2. one of the worst projects in NOLA had a fool toss a 2 year old off a balcony. Normally the cops were loath to go there, but they rush in this time so as to have someone to prosecute. He was in the hospital for a very long time . . . longer than the 2yr old . . . and only just avoided needing a coroner because the cops pulled up and a few with outstanding warrants walked away from their activities.

        3. > cartels

          My Dad ran into them in Vietnam. Lost some of his friends of a little girl carrying a bag. The survivors thought she might have been four to six; there weren’t enough pieces left to really tell.

          Happened half a dozen times to his knowledge. So, likely quite common, though not widely reported.

            1. From what my Dad said, cute little girls, all dressed up, running up as if to show them something. It got to the point where they were jittery around any kind of kids.

              I don’t know how the bombs were set off. The simplest method would be when they opened the bag.

              I suspect the children were either strays or hostages expended as examples to their families. Civil wars tend to be nastier than the conquest type.

      2. I, too, had noted the apparent diminutive size of the shooter. From the coverage I saw, the shooter was taken away by a waiting driver in a Mercedes.

        So there’s that. There’s also the fact that, shooting at point blank range, neither officer was killed. The fact that the male officer took a shot to the forehead that failed to breech his skull suggests a low-caliber bullet such as might be given a child who would not be expected t manage a heavy recoil.

        1. There’s .22LR, and the long jump to the .380s, which are mostly small and have more recoil than you’d expect, and 9mm Parabellum, which is more powerful than most people realize. (9mm NATO and Army-spec .45 ACP have the same muzzle energy, about 355 ft-lb.)

          There are various .32s and .38s, but those are mostly now so old they’ve moved from “Saturday Night Special” to “collectible.” (that cheesy old pot metal .32 revolver in the sock drawer, that you were hiding because your friends would laugh at you if they knew? Put it on Gunbroker!)

          It would be interesting to know what kind of bullets they recover, but the media will have forgotten the story before the information is released.

          Whatever the gun was, the shooter fired two shots and got two hits, one DRT. Sure, it was spitting range, but trained police officers who have passed their marksmanship training miss at that range with depressing regularity. Could have been luck, but who knows…

          1. There is also .25 ACP, and some very compact automatics to shoot it.

            Most .45 ACP ammo is loaded to 400-450 foot-pounds; 200-230 grain bullets at around 900 FPS. Which is why .45 ACP is considered ‘major caliber’ and 9mm is not.

      3. Asked husband, he said based on the specific car the shooter is short end of adult/upper teen spectrum, but between having his pants halfway to his knees, the cop car being taller than the usual for that make, and his posture, a LOT of people had been getting the pre-teen-sized assessment.

        Also said that most cartels have started training their child hitmen at 9 for use at 10, although there are always outliers, and that the issues in Mexico may be contributing to this junk. Basically, since their new wahtever they call their president has been SJWing all the cartels, crime went way up. Fuel theft– even basic supplies being stolen right from the production plant, which drives the price way up and availability down, then either resold (lots of profit when you never had to buy it) or used to curry favor with various areas. Diapers and formula are popular, of course– same as the usual trick with relief caravans in Africa.

  16. Ugh. I was in a hurry at the store and accidentally bought a bottle of cetirazine (generic Zyrtec) instead of loratadine (generic Claritin). And I was tired in the morning when I remembered to take some for my allergies, so it didn’t occur to me that I was getting unusually drowsy. I just kept drinking more caffeinated drinks all day at work.

    And then I went home and checked the bottle, and facepalmed a lot. Cetirazine is not a non-drowsy antihistamine for a lot of people, nope. And I am one of them.

    So yeah, I slept the rest of the day away after the earlier shift was done, and I still feel a little groggy. But no allergies! That part worked!

    1/10, will not use again.

    1. At least it worked. A family member has so far cycled through loratadine, cetirazine and diphenhydramine with no perceptible difference to either allergies or drowsiness.

        1. Beloved Spouse & I have been taking quercetin for years now and it seems to reduce sinus problems.

          For Beloved Spouse — were it not for my wearing glasses my noose would be purely decorative as invariably one nostril or the other (often both) will refuse to pass air without a compressor pushing. I am unalterably convinced Himself doesn’t want me to breathe so that I might learn appropriate humility.

    2. Zyrtec and its generics are the only allergy med I can take without becoming non-functional.
      It does make me a bit drowsy, but mildly so. I just found the last bottle I bought, from HEB well over 4 years ago.
      Don’t need it up here
      Claritin doesn’t make me sleepy, but makes me stupid slow thinking, and off feeling.

  17. Semi-random, tangentially related observation commenting on post in order to highlight seriously cool fact/web-site/historical trivia found somewhere obscure on Internet.

    [Because we have not had a meta-thread in sooooooo long!]

    1. The first recorded cross country Cannonball run took place in 1915 at an average speed of 50 MPH The record was set in 2020 at an average speed of 110 MPH. the Pre WuFlu lockdown record was an average of 108 MPH.

      How’s that for progress?

      1. I’ve been watching a guy by the handle of Viniitube on Youtube.

        Anyway, he reviewed a new anime about a trans-America race. Compared it to JoJo Steel Ball Run.

        I had learned about Cannonball runs after the last time I had looked at anything JoJo, so the obvious connection only then became obvious to me.

        1. Autoweek Magazine got people interested in it. Enough that there were two movies about the Run, “Cannonball” and “Cannonball Run.”

          It has gotten quite sophisticated nowadays, with some teams having extensive ground support from lead cars, police radio monitoring, etc.

          1. And at least one, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!”, that appears to be a comedy based on it.

    2. If you had to teach history based only on anime, what titles would you avoid most vehemently?


      1. Denial of thread drift. Follow-up tangential connection to official post theme, with translation into English.

        Complaint about WordPress eating previous reply to Wayne’s comment.

      1. Evidently not. The driver was one Erwin Baker driving a Stutz Bearcat. He had done a coast to coast run on a motorcycle the previous year and again in 1916 in a Cadillac 8 while accompanied by a reporter.

        I’d say it’s better attested than many events we take as facts. Baker was quite the character. There’s a place to him at the Indianapolis Speedway.

        In any case, it is a semi-random, tangentially related observation commenting on post in order to highlight seriously cool fact and so meets the criteria set forth.


        1. I was responding to TXRed’s call for a meta-thread, wherein you don’t make ACTUAL comments, but DESCRIPTIONS of comments. So, in the meta-thread, I claimed that her claim of an interesting factoid was not true, even though we haven’t made any reality-based statements.

      2. Four or five posts in a row with stories that are similar but different in one major detail in each one, but it’s a different detail, and a suggestion that it’s possible.

        At least one comment has obviously been edited/reformated/rephrased so that it is technically incoherent, but you can see both what they were originally going to say and what they were trying to rephrase it to.

      1. Recommendation to take off and carp the entire thread from orbit.

        Observation that it’s the only way to be sure.

      1. Recognition of a friend’s avatar and/or username, completely off-topic greeting to friend, and thanks for friend’s latest email of interesting video about wife’s subject of study.

        1. Greetings back to the friend and a complaint they never reply to emails. Threatens them with mythological creatures like ROUS’s

  18. I’m going to just quirtly lay this out here and assume all y’all have the mother wit to understand its implicatios:

    ACLU Turns Political, Backing Biden Campaign
    Direct mail gets less attention than television commercials or campaign events. Yet it is a battleground in the presidential race, as the campaigns and their proxies communicate privately with voters.

    Take a recent mailing from the American Civil Liberties Union. “I’m writing you today with an urgent plea for your participation,” says the letter, signed by the executive director of the ACLU, Anthony Romero. Then, in boldfaced type: “Fueled by racial animosity and political desperation, Trump won’t stop at anything to keep people from the polls this November.”

    Mailing letters to voters just weeks before early or mail-in voting starts, describing one of the two presidential candidates, by name, as motivated by “racial animosity” and as attempting to prevent in-person voting — when in fact President Trump has encouraged people to go to the polls — is the sort of thing you’d ordinarily see from a political party or an actual candidate’s campaign, not a nonprofit organization such as the ACLU. The tax return the ACLU filed in November 2019 cites the organization’s articles of incorporation in stating, “The ACLU’s objects should be sought wholly without political partisanship.”

    “Should,” yes. Whether they are is, nowadays, another matter entirely. The same tax return lists an ACLU staffer with the title “national political director,” with annual compensation of $346,012. That staffer, Faiz Shakir, left the ACLU to serve as campaign manager to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

    In June 2018, the New Yorker reported, “The A.C.L.U. Is Getting Involved in Elections — And Reinventing Itself for the Trump Era.” The group had previously been “fastidiously nonpartisan,” the New Yorker said, quoting the organization’s former executive director, Ira Glasser, describing the “transformative change” as “a departure which has the capacity to destroy the organization.”

    I asked the ACLU how the direct mail piece with the line about Mr. Trump is consistent with the “without political partisanship” claim in the tax return. I also asked whether it erodes the credibility of the ACLU on civil liberties issues to be seen as just another partisan political campaign organization. The ACLU did not respond to my inquiry.
    The writer and editor Bari Weiss recently tweeted, “If you are looking for an example of institutional capture — the abandonment of mission, the hollowing out of an essential American organization from within — I’m not sure you can do better than the ACLU.” Do not expect much curiosity about that public policy issue from a President Biden that the ACLU could claim credit for helping to elect.

    1. The ACLU was targeted by and fell to the proggies just after they defended the NAZI’s rights in 1977. This is just more and a bit more blatant of the same.

    2. ACLU needs to lose it’s tax exempt status. Or else peel off their political activities into a separate company like the NRA did with their ILA.

      1. Liberal squish.

        True Conservatives TM want to send death squads after the ACLU, the Gates organization, Google, and other such proxies for Chinese Communist tyranny.

        Clown nose off.

        (Yeah, I just heard about the pro censorship comments by Mrs. Gates.)

      2. Or tax exempt status needs to be extended to all political activist organizations, regardless of aims. That would be my choice, simply because I view taxes as feeding an already bloated beast.

        1. I am inclined to believe tics will feed regardless so the only debate is over how to best distribute the drainage. Tax exempt status simply empowers those more easily able to jump through the hoops and offers one-stop money-laundering for the Sons of Soros. Tax it all.

    3. ACLU’s specific statement about a specific candidate violates Federal law and likely NY State law (not that they will ever do anything about it) because as a non-profit, the ACLU is prohibited under Federal tax law from taking positions for or against particular candidates for office. Their mailer thus blatantly violates the law and could and should lead to revocation of their non-profit status.

  19. I just saw a news segment with a former Chinese virologist, Dr. Li-Meng Yan. She escaped from China before they could make her ‘disappear’ and says the virus was made by the Chinese military in the Wuhan bio-lab. They left indisputable traces of its artificial origin all over it. She wrote a paper detailing where and how the various pieces were spliced together.

    COVID19 is a crude bio-weapon. We will probably never find any proof that the initial release was intentional, but the months of cover-up, and the conspiracy to ship thousands of disease carriers all over the world, were definitely deliberate.

    It gets worse. Bill Gates and other rich US elitists, the NIH, and the 0bama/Biden administration contributed millions of dollars to the Wuhan bio-warfare lab, and provided dozens of trained scientists and lab workers.

    This really is the most outrageous act of biological warfare in the entire history of the world, and Biden is an accessory to war crimes and genocide. This story MUST be told.
    What I most want to see on November 4: MaligNancy Pelosi standing on the Capitol steps, holding a cardboard box.

    1. Long time back saw a virologist who said it had all the earmarks of a proof of concept crispr job, but was likely not intended as a final product because it is far too weak (even with the supposedly high death rates in Wuhan being used to stoke panic at the time) and more a “Well we got that to work, and it is still infectious. Let’s get to work on making something far more lethal and worth weaponizing” or even working on SARS and MERS for legit reasons.

        1. The lady is a new one who escaped the CCP (can’t have that!) and the one I read way back was a guy. Being as I can’t seem to find him, likely the same treatment

      1. Bingo. That last (working on SARS-related viruses) is my current operating theory, and has been for several months, ever since I first heard that the COVID-19 virus had evidence of being modified by gene editing techniques. Not that I think the CCP wouldn’t stoop to biowarfare if pressed, but I don’t think they’ve reached that point yet, whereas SARS started on Chinese soil so working on understanding it makes perfect sense, as it would prevent a massive loss of face if they could figure out how to stop the next such outbreak. (They failed, of course, but their subsequent actions in trying to cover up the Wuhan outbreak make perfect sense when you consider they were trying not to lose face).

        Oh, and either way, bioweapon or SARS variant intended for study, the release has to have been an accident. If intended as bioweapon, it makes no sense to release it on your own soil and cause more damage to your own country than to anyone else. If intended for study, it was never intended to be released.

      1. There is no virus. It is a Democrat hoax. China is also a Democrat hoax. Do you have any American source of information about either that do not have any ties to Democrats?

        *Draws world map with so called ‘foreign territories’ colored in, variously, Historic Greater Alaska, Historic Greater Hawaii, Historic Greater Texas, Historic Greater Louisiana, Historic Greater Florida, and Historic Greater Maine.*

        *Draws self portrait titled ‘Historic Greater Idiot’.*

    2. She has been banned by Twitter, presumably because her claims contradict the Democratic Party and CCP narratives. And here I thought Twitter supported whistleblowers; at least they claim to when they are supporting leftist causes.

  20. Gentlemen,

    The territory south of the Rio Grande shall henceforth be known as Occupied Kekistan.

    The previous terms and symbols are considered offensive, are as racist as any other words and symbols known to Americans, and are therefore canceled.

    The previous name referenced the ethnicity that ruled the Aztec Triple Alliance. The previous flag referenced an origin story of the Aztec Triple Alliance. The Aztec Triple Alliance was as evil as any regime known to history. The Aztec regime warred on their neighbors, took captives, and sacrificed them. This could be considered a racial program of extermination, hence prohibitively racist.

    This analysis is at least ten to a hundred times as sound as the magnitude of the legitimacy of the arguments of the 1619 project.

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