1 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Happy New Year

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Started the new year off with a bang last night. I broke what I hope is the upper right last molar. I say I hope because that is the tooth that has been living on borrowed time and perhaps its time has come.

I got the new bathroom faucet installed yesterday and got the sink drain unplugged. It took longer than I had hoped and cost more but you do what you have to do. I also got the propane tank filled since I'm using a lot more than I usually do trying to stay warm.

I woke up sometime during the night and heard rain. When we got up to do our walk I did not hear any rain but by the time we had gone a half mile Patches was shaking and I was getting wet. I also did not feel good, perhaps the broken tooth is causing more problems than I know. It certainly is causing problems with my eating.

The temperature was right at freezing when we went out and has become colder. There is snow in the forecast with a high temperature of 42 today and 37 tomorrow. The weather is going to make going to the dentist that much more difficult if they will see me.

2 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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I got the Will Rogers weekly articles copied and formatted for another month yesterday. That is about all I did other than spend time on the couch with Patches and my Paperwhite. Every once in a while I would check to see how much snow there was on the ground. Then check the weather reports to see if it was going to quit or snow more.

It did stop snowing yesterday but was back with a vengeance this morning. We did a very short potty walk in falling snow that would have worse if the wind had been stronger. This is the biggest snowfall of all the storms so far with a total accumulation of almost 2" at 8:00 am and still snowing. There is hope that this too will pass. The forecast starting Saturday is for sunny to partly cloudy with highs in the 50s and lows above freezing.

There seems to be fight within the Republican Party to see who will wear the John McCain mantel. He has not been sworn in yet as a senator but Romney has made his bid. Romney acknowledged that Trump had enacted “policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years.” Then went on to attack President Trump's character. What Mr. Romney and The Establishment do not understand is Trump was not elected based on his character. Mitt Romney Slams Trump’s ‘Character’ in Washington Post Op-Ed, Michelle Moons

3 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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This certainly did not garner widespread media reporting but Arizona now has two female Senators. This is not the first time that a state has had two female senators but it may be the first time that the winner and the looser in a Senate race both became Senators. Yet, the media has virtually ignored the story. I would be willing to bet that if the election results, and appointment, had been reversed it would have been a big story.

There is a long blog posting that I have not quoted on this same Romney subject, Strap In – Romney Didn’t Wake Up This Morning and Haphazardly Write an Op-Ed to Attack The President of His Own Political Party… by Sundance.

I received a reply from my dentist office which offered my an appointment yesterday with alternatives. All my hookups were under snow, the roads were all slush and it was cold. It was still cold at 3:00 in the afternoon but the sun had come out and melted off most of the snow. I have an appointment today at noon.

leftpic Lock and Key Library Classic Mystery and Detective is a collection of short-stories by Kipling, Doyle, Castle, Weyman, Collins, Stevenson and Anonymous authors, brimming with suspense and intrigue. With minor supernatural elements and mind-boggling situations, the work monopolizes the readers' attention from the outset. Complex plots and intricate characters of these thrillers are exhilarating and riveting. - Edited book promo

All the stories were entertaining but Doyle's were the best of the lot. I had read them all before but did not recognise that until I was into the story, well worth the second time read.

4 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: January 4, 1931

The last day of 2018 and the first three days of 2019 have not been an auspicious start for a New Year. Serious budget impact and multiple medical impacts. The broken tooth was not just a simple break off one corner but one of the roots was also broken from the tooth. To pull it the dentist just broke the tooth off from the other 3 roots and then fished the roots out. Easy and I feel no pain this morning.

The dental appointment went very well. They took me in right on time and I was out there, one tooth lighter, in and hour. They gave me a prescription for antibiotics that I hoped would reduce the fever and chills. Getting that prescription filled at Fry's was not such a good experience. I have very few filled and the next one will not be at Fry's.

The antibiotic has knocked down the moderate fever and the severe chills but not done much for the overall languor that I have been feeling. Languor and flu like symptoms are part of a psoriatic flare. I think that is what is going on with a psoriasis flare that I have all over my butt. I look like red butted baboon.

The weather guessers thought it would be just below freezing this morning and it was 24.4 only slightly warmer that yesterday which at 20 was the coldest so far. We did manage to do our usual morning distance for the first time this year. It was a bit of a struggle and I collapsed on the couch for a few minutes upon its completion.

I think the psoriatic flare was cold induced so I'm in need of some warmer mornings. I could wait for it to warm up but Patches is not going for that. The 10 day forecast show low in the mid to upper 30s with a couple low 40. I hope they get close on their guesses.

I have selectively quoted from a posting, When Guns Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Guns, by Paul Craig Roberts. The answer to his questions is a desire to disarm the citizens in the United States. If that were not true there would be a hue and cry to ban Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) that were used to murder 467 people.
Assailants using rifles killed 403 people, and 1,591 were killed by people using knives. Handguns were used in 7,032 killings, many of which resulted from criminals killing one another over, for example, drug distribution...What then explains the fixation and constant propaganda about banning “assault rifles” when the total annual murders by assailants using all kinds of rifles is 403?...Those who advocate banning gun ownership demur, claiming guns are used defensively 100,000 times a year. Why then do gun controllers want to take away guns that prevent crimes six times the number of homicides?

5 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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The last day of 2018 and the first three days of 2019 have not been an auspicious start for a New Year. That is as true for Patches as it has been for me. I noticed that during the first days in January when we were doing shortened walks because of rain and snow that she was getting up the steps slower and she would climb onto the couch rather than jump. Last night she squealed with pain when I patted her on the right hip.

Gave her an extra Glucosamine chew tablet and a baby aspirin. I'll continue the aspirin for another couple of days and with it warming up I hope she can recover. I think that this cold has been the catalyst for her hip dysplasia pains as well as my psoriasis flare.

Starting December 9 though this morning the highest low temperature we have had was 30°. There is no heat in Desperado during the night so she has been sleeping in her nest (refuses to stay under covers) during that time.

I am feeling better. Finished the walk this morning with a more lively step and didn't have to lay down for a rest. The fever and chills I think are gone with the side effects of the psoriasis flare slowing going away.

I have quoted from And the Circus Came to Town by James Howard Kunstler. He certainly did not write this blog posting as you would expect a lifelong Democrat to have. I wonder how many more there are like him out there.
The new Democratic majority congress has convened in the spirit of a religious movement devoted to a single apocalyptic objective: toppling the Golden Golem of Greatness who rules in the House of White Privilege. They’re all revved up for inquisition, looking to apply as many thumbscrews, cattle prods, electrodes, waterboards, and bamboo splinters as necessary in pursuit of rectifying the heresy of the 2016 election...
So, let the circus begin on Capitol Hill. Let them kick out the jams, as we used to say back in Woodstock era. Let Nancy Pelosi finish the work that the Democratic Party started with the election of 2016 — its own destruction as a viable political force. Let all the darkness and malice be wrung out of it so the country can return to its senses and start paying attention to things that really matter, backed by institutions that people of good faith can believe in.

I am almost ashamed to say that my 'domicile' is in Arizona. The people of the state got rid of a Flake and McCain and voted in Kyrsten. How could they do it? Note: I added the underline in the quote.
Newly elected Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema refused to be sworn in on a Bible, opting, instead, to place her right hand on a book of laws, including the U.S Constitution and the Arizona Constitution.
There is at least one other reason Sinema refused to place her hand on the Bible. According to the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life, the Arizonan is the only member of the Senate who does not identify as a member of a religion.

Trump Is A Pied Piper For The New World Order Agenda by Brandon Smith is a posting that will make neither the Trump supporter nor the anti-Trump crowd happy. Which ever side of the fence you may be on it is well worth a read. I quote his closing.
While Trump throws a bone to conservatives at times, including promises of a border wall, or a pull-out in Syria, there is no evidence to support the fantasy that Trump is some kind of ingenious tactician battling the the forces of evil using his wits while inside the system. But, there is considerable evidence as I have linked above supporting my position that Trump is controlled opposition working with the globalists to initiate a collapse that will be blamed on conservative ideals and limited government liberty activists. We shall see in due course. It is unfortunate though how many otherwise very intelligent people within the liberty movement have bought into Trump as a hero on a white horse.

6 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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We did another potty walk in the rain this morning. I can not think of another 10 day period in any of the other 9 years that I have been living fulltime that we have had as many delayed, abbreviated or forced potty walks. Wintering in sunny southeastern Arizona we are not.

The only positive spin I can put on the day is that was not freezing. In fact the low was 45.2°, which is the HIGHEST Low temperature that we have had since arriving. If it had not been raining it would have been a morning to celebrate the break in freezing mornings that started on 28 December.

We drove into town in the rain, I then walked in the rain to the Landmark for breakfast. At Fry's it was walking in the rain and through flowing water in the parking lot both getting in and out to do my grocery gathering. Then drive back to the Park in the rain and get electric connected in the rain. Fortunately is does not look like I will need the basement heater connected for the next 10 days if the forecast proves to be correct and remains unchanged.

leftpic Doyle is known for his mystery writing and Well for sci-fi. However this novel by Doyle is ever bit as much sci-fi as anything Wells wrote just a different area of science.

The Lost World was published in 1912 concerning an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals (dinosaurs and other extinct creatures) still survive. It was originally published serially in the popular Strand Magazine and illustrated by New-Zealand-born artist Harry Rountree during the months of April–November 1912. The character of Professor Challenger was introduced in this book. The novel also describes a war between indigenous people and a vicious tribe of ape-like creatures. - Wikipedia

There was a mass shooting (3 dead and 4 wounded) ar Gable House Bowl in Torrance , CA late Friday night. I read stories by CNN, LA Times, USA Today, CBS News & The New York Times; not one of them identified the race of the victims or the race of the shooter(s). How can you explain this reporting lacunae when that is usually a very significant part of the story, that and the motive?

Where is David 'Camera Hogg', don't bowler lives matter? You would expect this in Alaska where 61.7% of the people own guns but not California (with some of the toughest gun laws in the United States). Why is this being reported like any other common everyday Chicago or Baltimore killing rather than the usual three day News Cycle after other mass shootings? Does it now require more than 3 killed or might race play a part?

Please read A Metaphor For America: 700 Pound Man Plans To Eat And Play Video Games While Naked Until He Dies, by Michael Snyder. If you don't understand what is happening to the United States perhaps his metaphor will help.

7 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Old Man Winter reached into his Whitman's Sampler box and pulled out something new for us this morning. Dense fog with visibility of .38 miles per the National Weather Service. The low was 35.5° with a dew point of 34. While we were doing our walk that dew condensed on Patches and she was shaking like being rained on. When I got back to Desperado my wool capote was covered with water as was my beard.

The National Weather Service claimed that the low was 32 which is freezing but that was not at this location. As I was doing our walk in the fog I was thinking of pogonip - freezing fog. It is rare and so very beautiful. I have only seen it twice and both times were in the Reno area.

Just before reading The Lost World I read The Love of Ulrich Nebendahl by Jerome K Jerome. This is a very short short story that Amazon offers free on their Kindle app that I downloaded as a book from Gutenberg. It is worth reading but I don't feel like going to the trouble of getting a book cover image.

Much the same thing with The Master of Mrs. Chilvers a women's suffrage play by Jerome K. Jerome that read after The Lost World. It is also available at Amazon but I got it at Gutenberg. I do not enjoy reading plays that much and this play did not change my opinion.

China Overrated by Right-Wing Kooks: These Crazies Are Just Like Hitler, by Fred Reed is classical ironic. I have not quoted from it; any quote taken out of context would be misunderstood. A must read, Reed at his best!

A Farewell to “Bargain Shopping” by James Howard Kunstler my not be one of his very best but is a good posting. The quoted passage is classic Kunstler.
The K-Mart occupied the better part of a small strip mall at the edge of town, which also boasts a Dollar Store, which appears to sell stuff that fell off a truck. There’s another, newer strip mall beyond it with a supermarket, a drug store, and a Tractor Supply outlet that probably stole a lot of K-Mart’s business after opening a few years ago. There’s much speculation about what’ll go into Kmart’s soon-to-be vacant space, about 80,000 square feet of crappy tilt-up construction not far from the end of its design life, with a flat roof that has groaned under heavy snow loads for four decades. Nobody I talked to has a clue.

Probably not Neiman Marcus, for starters. I’m thinking: maybe an evangelical roller rink. It’s too big for a wig shop, or a motorcycle thug-wear boutique, the usual bottom-feeders in the declension of commercial collapse. More likely, nothing will replace it. The national chain retail model has fallen apart, along with new car sales. Something is up in this foundering land, despite all the heraldic trumpet blasts on cable news about the “booming economy.”

8 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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There is no reason that the psoriasis flash would be beneficial but it has been to some extent. It seems that the onset of the flash partially cleared up much of the scaling that I have had for years. The other benefit was a suppression in appetite. I was not hungry, especially not hungry for the same 'linners' that I have been eating for about a year.

No New Year resolution but that reduced appetite offered a good time to change my eating habits again. This past year I have been eating lots of fish. The change will be to add more chicken and small amounts of other meat. The key word is 'small'. I'm going to focus more on portion size and not so much on what I eat. The big salad will be replaced with the small salad, two corn tortillas by one, lots of vegetables by some vegetables.

I got back to drawing the Japanese theme pixel art piece again yesterday. Had not drawn anything in a week or more due to other stuff taking up my time and just feeling bad. I'm going to try and finish the pattern section that I'm working on then take a break and draw more on the third in the series of four. That piece I have not touched in more than a couple of weeks.

Patches is still not 100% but she is better. This morning she jumped up onto the couch and was also doing her 'happy dance'. Both of those activities have been missing since I discovered that she was in pain. I gave her a baby aspirin for three days and then stopped. I know that I need to talk to her vet when she goes in for her annual checkup, maybe get a dog pain prescription to be used when needed.

9 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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I was a Good Samaritan yesterday afternoon. There was a quad ATV sitting in the middle of my walking route. Just as I was going past a guy in a truck pulled off AZ90 and said that he was going to pick it up. I walked to my turnaround and when I got back to him he was still trying to get a 'come along' anchored inside the bed of the pickup. He got that done and I then guided the ATV up the ramps as he pulled it up with the come along. Something different in our walking routine. HA

"A man reaches a certain age where he doesn't want any drama. He doesn't want to fight anyone - and if forced to, he will not fight fair. He will not quit and there are no weapons he will not use.

It's best to leave him alone with his coffee, bourbon and cigars. Don't poke the old men. They will hurt you." - Unattributed meme

The Age Of Trump Clearly Shows That Narrative Is Everything by Caitlin Johnstone is a recommended read. Mrs Johnstone and Ms Coulter are now a couple of very critical 'supporters' of the President. He should take note that words alone are not going to get him re-elected in 2020.
This has consistently been the story throughout Trump’s presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored. Trump continues to more or less advance the same warmongering Orwellian globalist policies and agendas as his predecessors along more or less the same trajectory, but frantic mass media narratives are churned out every day painting him as some unprecedented deviation from the norm. Trump himself, seemingly aware that he’s interacting entirely with perceptions and narratives instead of facts and reality, routinely makes things up whole cloth and often claims he’s “never said” things he most certainly has said. And why not? Facts don’t matter in this media environment, only narrative does.

10 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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I think all this hand wringing about the government 'shutdown' is misplaced. This is a perfect opportunity to make some changes in federal government budgeting and its fiscal policies. The 'shutdown' is all about funding governmental activities where the funds are extracted from the taxpayer or are borrowed from suckers - the debt will never be paid.

The Democrat Party solution is a 70% tax rate. Such added funds would not be used for current expenditures to reduce borrowing but would be used to fund even more income redistribution projects. What is going to happen when that 70% tax bonus dries up and the suckers will no longer buy federal debt? Shutdown!

Straho is a member of The Race, the reptilian alien invaders of the world, in Harry Turtledove's 1963 alternative history, Colonization: Second Contact. A rather smart Lizard in this world peopled with Big Uglyies.

“Governments do not do what males and females want them to do.” Straha spoke as if quoting a law of nature. As far as he was concerned, he was quoting a law of nature. “Governments do what governments want to do. How could it be otherwise, when they hold the power?"

“You count snouts,” Straha said. “Whichever side can persuade the most snouts to join it prevails. It does not have to be clever. It does not have to be wise. It only has to be popular.”

Ann Coulter has a posting, Media Throw Everything at the Wall to See What Sticks that does not direcrly support President Trump's immigration speach but she has moved back to supporting him again - provisionaly. I have quoted her closing.
The current DNC talking point against a wall is that it is a “medieval solution to a 21st-century problem!”
Turn on MSNBC or CNN right now, and you’ll hear someone saying it.
So are wheels. Are Democrats taking tires off their cars?
A roof is a medieval solution. How about Nancy Pelosi replace the one over her house with “new technology” — like a drone! Drones won’t keep anything out, but at least she can see what’s coming in seconds before it drops on her head.

11 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: January 11, 1931

A gloomy gray day all day yesterday. We got a few sprinkles in the morning but the Park streets were only damp. Then had short showers throughout the day that never amounted to much but were enough to get us wet. We went out for our afternoon walk and because our usual routes were probably muddy stayed in the Park with the threat of more rain at any time. Stayed dry but it was a damp, cold (50°) miserable day in sunny southeastern Arizona.

We have a repeat of that weather this morning; a low of 35° with gray cloud cover. There is no rain in the forecast but is sure looks like it could. The expected high is 59 which might happen if the sun ever breaks through the clouds.

NBC News breathlessly declared that the U.S. "could face an economic hellscape" if this shutdown stretches on for an extended period of time. One of the 'hellscape' things is already happening; TSA employees are quitting. I consider that a huge positive versus any part of a 'hellscape'. NBC's basic premise is the United States can not have a vibrant economy unless all the parasites in Washington, DC are being fed.
Another aspect of the shutdown that is horrifying NBC News is the fact that no new beers are being approved right now.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is out during the shutdown. That means the federal government will not approve beer labels or process permits, which translates into no new beers.
At this moment there are literally millions of people around the world that actually have nothing to eat and no clean water to drink, and this is what we are whining about?
I have an idea. Why don"t we shut down the "Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau" permanently and let people make beer without having to get permission from the federal government first? - The Mainstream Media Warns America Will Be Facing An "Economic Hellscape" If The Government Shutdown Continues, Michael Snyder

12 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Shopping day with a stop at Sunny D's for breakfast. I got their Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs and sourdough toast which is my go to item on their menu. The grocery gathering went well although I have changed the items that I now buy somewhat I know the store layout fairly well.

What did not go so well was the stop at my UPS Store where I had two packages waiting for me. I thought they opened at 8:30 am but not on Saturday. I arrived at 8:45 and then sat in the parking lot until 9:30 waiting for them to open. No big deal, I typed up this posting. Got a cheap saddle blanket to use as a bathroom rug and a couple month supply of GoPo®.

Harry Turtledove has a reputation for writing alternative history. The book that I am reading now is a combination of alternative history, sci-fi and cultural satire; I'm enjoying it even more than his prior books.

"He did not hold to the doctrine of equality. What was civilization itself, if not a graduated structure of inequalities?" - Straho, character in Colonization: Second Contact

"Anna Suslova tossed her head again. "In an emergency, superior sir, one does what is immediately necessary and worries about its consequences later." Anna is a Big Ugly, superior sir is her Lizard professor in Colonization: Second Contact

O No! The Russians are now meddling with the Magnetic North Pole. This will be a huge problem for the spymasters in the United States that rely on GPS to keep advised of everyone's location.

Since 1900, the north magnetic pole has moved directly north into the Arctic Ocean just northwest of Greenland. Through the 1900s, the pole moved at about 15 kilometers per year. In the mid-1990s, it picked up speed to around 55 kilometers per year, pushing it into the Arctic Ocean by 2001. In 2018, it crossed the International Date Line into the Eastern Hemisphere, where it is currently making a beeline for Siberia. This increase in speed has been baffling scientists for the last 18 years, but the pulse that drastically altered the pole's location in 2016 has provided a theory. These quick pole movements may be linked to a high-speed jet of liquid iron located beneath Canada. This jet may be smearing out and weakening the magnetic field beneath Canada, which is allowing for that field to lose the magnetic tug-of-war with the magnetic patch below Siberia. - Earth's Magnetic North Pole Moving at an Alarming Rate, Matt Callihan

13 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
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Damn, more rain. These winter rains will make for some great spring desert flowers but I'm tired of them. Woke up in the early morning hours and heard it, no hearing aids so it was coming down hard. When we stepped out to do our walk it took almost no time before Patches was shaking it off. Not raining hard but enough that we were getting wet. Declared a potty walk and we went back to Desperado.

The local Weather Underground station was reporting only 0.01" that fell around 6:00 am. There was nothing reported earlier when I heard the hard rain. The forecast is for it to quit by early morning with radar showing a huge patch of green moving from the WSW right over the top of Huachuca City. A cooler high temperature expected for today but this morning the low was above 40 with a couple more in the 10 day forecast.

China Releases New Panoramic Footage of the Moon’s far Side, by Meghan Bartels is News that the United States media has ignored for the most part. Since it does not support their narrative that the Chinese just copy Western technology and do not innovate they simple ignore a historic accomplishment.

China made history earlier this month with the first successful soft landing on the far side of the moon — and now, the mission has sent back an incredible panorama view of its work site.
The mission consists of two robots: the Chang'e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 rover. Since their arrival on Jan. 2, both have been exploring the lunar surface inside Von Kármán Crater, a 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) feature.

If America Stopped Destroying The World, The Bad Guys Might Win by Caitlin Johnstone is a good article. She devotes a lot of her writing time to attacking the media but does not spare the United States foreign policy its well deserved criticism.
The US is different because the US has moral authority. It’s okay for the US to continue to interfere in the political affairs of foreign nations while it would be an unforgivable and outrageous “act of war” for a nation like Russia to do the exact same thing, because the US is countering the interests of the Bad Guys while Russia is countering the interests of the Good Guys. Who decided who the Good Guys and Bad Guys are in this argument? The US...

It is entirely possible that the US is capable of functioning like a normal nation and simply defending its own shores and sustaining itself without interfering in world affairs. It is entirely possible that the threat everyone imagines of some foreign power stepping in as the unipolar dominator should America vacate that role is the product of fearful imaginings with no bearing on reality and a fundamental misunderstanding of humanity. It is entirely possible that we are capable of creating a world where nobody dominates anybody, and no iron-fisted world leader of any kind is needed. Either way, the train we’re on is headed for a brick wall, so we’ve now got nothing to lose by stepping off.

14 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
The sky was mostly cloudy this morning so I thought there would be a great sunrise. It was disappointing. The 10 day forecast has a lot more mostly cloudy days to come with more opportunities for some great sunrises. Low temperature this morning was 35 with the expected high to be in the low 60s. That is the forecast for the next 10 days as well. Still winter but no rain expected.

Turtledove published Second Contact in 1999 but he makes a very good case (using characters in the book) for the Russians NOT being responsible for the 'attempted' 2018 Skripal poison assassinations.
Her daughter considered that with her usual seriousness. "If the NKVD had sent assassins after us, they would not have made such a poor attack." "Exactly so," Liu Han answered, pleased. "The Russians do not attempt assassinations. They assassinate."- Her daughter is Liu Mei in Colonization: Second Contact

This is one of Dr. Hurd's better blog postings - recommended.
When two or more parties disagree on matters of principle, you’re at a point of civil breakdown. The First and Second Amendments are at the top of our Bill of Rights for a reason. When the two major political parties disagree on these two most precious components of individual liberty — the right to defend your body and to speak your mind — then civility is over. What a literal civil war would look like, in the twenty-first century in the USA, I frankly have no idea. Maybe we’re already in it. The government shutdown is a metaphor for the impossible, irreconcilable differences between two schools of thought. I keep thinking: This is what civil war looks like. Each side wants the other to humble him- or herself. But it’s not going to happen. Never, ever with the Democrats, who have never once caved on anything, ever. And no longer with the dissenters or so-called "deplorables", at least if President Trump is any indication. - This is What Civil War Looks Like, Michael J. Hurd

15 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
Today is eye appointment day at the VA in Tucson. My appointment is not until after noon but I wanted to get there early because I have never been there before and wanted to get a parking space. Stopped in Benson along the way and got a Baja Omelet at The Horseshoe Café. It was good, very big and served with some great home fries.

There was heavy traffic almost all the way from Benson to Tucson on I-10 with it getting worse the closer to Tucson I got. I found my way into the VA Hospital Complex without much difficulty but then my problems began. I had read that Lot 'H' was where I could park my RV but it was chock full when I arrived at 10:00 am. I asked a fellow that looked liked he worked at the VA where I could park and he called Security for me and said that Lot 'A' was my best bet.

Finally found Lot 'A' which was not any better but adjacent to, maybe part of, Lot 'A' was a small lot that was signed RV Parking. There was a pickup with a slide in there so I pulled in and parked. Soon thereafter a bumper pull trailer squeezed in next to me although there were other spaces that would have been easier to park in the guy did a great job slipping it into the space.

I was parked about 4 blocks from the building where I had my appointment but there is a shuttle that makes a circuit around the complex. I will probably take Patches for a walk around noon and see if I can find the building where my appointment is scheduled. If it is a straightforward walk I'll do that come appointment time otherwise I'll catch a shuttle.

I have now completed 2/3rds of the third pixel art drawing in the series of four. The next few days I'll be working on the one with a Japanese theme which is much more difficult and very slow gto draw. Almost finished with Colonization: Second Contact and since I have a lot of time before my appointment I should read a lot of it today. With no power my laptop battery will only last so long today so I won't be doing as much web surfing.

16 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
I checked into the VA Eye Clinic about 30 minutes early and had settled in to read more of my book on Paperwhite when called 20 minutes before my scheduled appointment time. How many times have you been seen before the scheduled time? I think I was examined by an optometrist at the Sierra Vista VA Clinic, yesterday I was seen by an ophthalmologists that would do the surgery if needed.

She did another exam and said that my vision was testing better than it had in December in Sierra Vista. She also said that from everything that was reported about my cataracts she would say they are 'moderate'. What put paid to doing any surgery to my way of thinking was when she said that the risk of surgery was greater than any expected benefit.

She said that they could never give me 20/20 vision again with prescription glasses but that my vision was very good for an old fart. Didn't say it in exactly those terms but that was her meaning. Got a prescription from her that I will take to the VA Clinic in Sierra Vista my next trip to town. Will also try to get an appointment for another eye exam at the Clinic a year from now to keep monitoring the cataract progress. Then have the surgery when the benefits will outway the risk.

Patches and I did most of the designated walking route around the Tucson VA medical Complex at noon yesterday. That was about half our usual afternoon distance. We got back to the Park and had Desperado hooked up by the time we do our afternoon walk so we went out and did the other half distance. I probably added another mile walking back and forth from the RV Parking lot to the Eye Clinic building.

Gold hits an all time high in 72 currencies by Ross Norman @ Sharps Pixley, London
Popular belief has it that gold prices have not performed especially well despite some egregious geopolitical and economic factors. Well measured in 72 currencies, gold is at ... or within a few percentage points ... of being at an all time high for people in those countries. Not on the list are the British Pound, the Swiss Franc, the Euro and Chinese Yuan - but we are not far off in all of those currencies too. Only in USD does gold lag - and not all of us live in the US.

Using the dollar gold price, as most of us do, has disguised what is actually quite a powerful bull market. If my memory serves me right, we saw the same phenomenon - a stealth rally in minor currencies - ahead of the last major gold bull run (in dollars) in the late 1990’s. Arguably this may be a very good leading indicator.

If Walls Don’t Work, Why Did Castles Have Them? by Paul Craig Roberts is a blog posting that rambles over many issues. I have quoted only his closing sentence.
Vladimir Putin has made a good decision to sit patiently unresponsive to provocations while the United States destroys itself.
17 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
I wasted a huge amount of time and Verizon data these past couple of days. I first tried to use an app in Chrome that would let me use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to read DRM protected epub books. I failed 2-3 times. Then tried to install Wine on my Toshiba that is running Ubuntu. Failed repeatedly but think that I now have it successfully installed. It then took me another 2-3 tries to get an older release of ADE installed. Downloaded a book and can not get it to open in ADE, I think I'll give up for a day or two.

leftpic In the extraordinary World War tetralogy, set against the backdrop of the World War II, Harry Turtledove, the "Hugo-winning master of alternate SF" (Publishers Weekly), wove an explosive saga of world powers locked in conflict against an enemy from the stars. Now he expands his magnificent epic into the volatile 1960s, when the space race is in its infancy and humanity must face its greatest challenge: alien colonization of planet Earth.

Yet even in the shadow of this inexorable foe, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany are unable to relinquish their hostilities and unite against a massive new wave of extraterrestrials. For all the countries of the world, this is the greatest threat of all. This time, the terrible price of defeat will be the conquest of our world, and perhaps the extinction of the human race itself. - Book promo @
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors—between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.— Ayn Rand

To stop drunk drivers from killing sober drivers, just prevent sober drivers from driving. That is the same premise supported by the gun control advocates. But gun control is not about preventing deaths, it is about power and control.

18 January
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: January 18, 1931

I have no good explanation for why in worked but yesterday afternoon I tried to open the book in Adobe Digital Editions that I had downloaded and it opened. I now have a Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected epub book open in the ADE reader and can read it as I would any PDF document on my Toshiba laptop. I don't like to do that however.

So like a dog with a bone I was back trying to find a way to remove the DRM which would give me an epub file that can be converted to Mobi and read on my Paperwhite. The only software that I could find that I was sure would run on Ubuntu/Linux was Calibre which was a relatively painless install. But the DeDRM plugin for Calibre gave me a lot of trouble. I finally got it to install just before we did our afternoon walk.

After 'linner' I tried to remove the DRM and convert the epub file to Mobi and could not do it. It was ONLY when I read through Comments and Answers on the software's blog page that I found, "The tools are not designed to remove DRM from rented or library ebooks." The book that I downloaded was 'rented/borrowed' from so stymied again.

We went to town this morning with a stop at the Landmark restaurant where I got their Spinach Omelet. That is one of two omelets that they have on their menu that I like. Then a grocery stop at Fry's which went well.

The next stop was at VA to see about getting the eye glasses prescription that I received from Tucson filled. Alas, things didn't go well. I wanted the new prescription put in my current frames. Sierra Vista Clinic can not do that, I need to use a frame that they offer or go back to Tucson to the VA Optometry Shop.

My other alternative was take the prescription tgo Wal*Mart and have them put the new prescription in my current frames. That is what I did. Will have to wear glasses with a 5-6 year old prescription for the next couple of weeks. I can see but it makes me very aware that my current prescription was not as bad as I thought. HA

War Whores Scramble To Say Syria Attack Means Troops Must Remain by Caitlin Johnstone is a anti-war article that you will not be reading in Main Stream Media.
If ISIS is indeed responsible for the bombing, as war pundits are unquestioningly asserting is the case, then they’re either really, really stupid or they really want US troops to remain in Syria. Or perhaps the attack was engineered by someone else who has a vested interest in keeping a US military presence in Syria, either using ISIS as a patsy or completely separate from ISIS. Wouldn’t be the first time a suspicious attack took place in Syria while the Trump administration was working to withdraw troops.

Accountability — It’s a Beautiful Thing! by Michael J. Hurd is a good blog posting about President Trumps withdrawal of government transport during the 'shutdown' for Speaker Pelosi's junket. We have a president that fights back!
It’s refreshing in the extreme to finally have a President treat imperial politicians the way these imperial politicians regard the rest of us, and treat us. Voters are the means to the end of enhancing their power. They buy power through votes and money by appealing to the worst and weakest in human beings — envy, laziness, low self-respect, and neurotic fear. That’s what politicians do, and politicians like Nancy Pelosi have made it a life’s work.