This week’s not so nasty news

Item #1: Fun in snow

There seem to be dozens of Corgi-in-snow videos on the web.
Snow – one Corgi deep
This appears to be the most recent, as the mountainous west has been getting lots of snow.

Item #2: Ghosts are fun too
Windsor, Canada had a courthouse and jail, built in the mid-1800s and named after Alexander Mackenzie, the second Prime Minister of Canada. It is now called the Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre and used for many different social functions.
Prior to an event a local group thought to search it to see if there where ghosts or spirits about.
One of their EMF detectors, short for electromagnetic field sensor — was missing after the society completed a sweep for spirits.
The police were not amused.
the little blue light will flicker

The spokesperson said there were “strong signs of paranormal activity — especially in the old jail, dressing room and basement.
Okay, then! I’m thinking the person either needs a glass of wine or psychoanalysis.

Item #3: Win big or not

My father attended the University of Maryland for a short time. I seem to recall he was a “sprinter” and got some financial aid. For no other reason, I report the score of a basketball March Madness game:
U of M versus Virginia, 74 to 54. Not even close.
This is considered an historic upset.
Bracket Buster

Two of the blokes I prune vines with are interested in March Madness and fill out brackets (See image here ).

There are lots of bets on these games and then there is Warren Buffett’s NCAA tournament bracket challenge: Perfection earns $1 million a year for life for a Berkshire Hathaway employee. [ LINK ]

I wonder how many people picked Maryland over Virginia?

Item #4: A little win for the good guys
A part of Seattle is called SoDo. SoDo was originally named for being located south of the (King)dome, but since the stadium’s demolition in 2000, the name has been taken to mean south of downtown. This is an old industrial district, but now there are artists’ lofts, art galleries, and an assortment of other businesses, one being a large Costco warehouse store.
Three people decided that 5:30 Wednesday afternoon would be a good time to do some shoplifting. This did not work out well.
What were they thinking?

Item #5: A strawberry story
Japan, curling, snacks

Japan and South Korea are in a tiff over strawberries. This became international news when the ladies of Japan were seen eating large strawberries as snacks during and after curling matches. A South Korean newspaper claimed $200 Million in losses because Japan “Plagiarized” Korean Strawberries. It didn’t help matters when the South Korean women’s curling team bested Japan, taking the silver medal.
Fun story from my point of view. I have 75 plants due to arrive at the end of March. They are the variety called Cabot, and produce the largest berries we’ve ever seen. The best berries in Japan sell for $6.75 – – per berry.
Say we get 4 from each of 75 plants. That works out to be over $2,000 worth. All I need is to invite those ladies to the Naneum Fan.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Is less bad news good news? Maybe there is less bad news this week than there has been, but it was hard to find the good news stories.

Item #1: Snowpack Pale Ale
Proceeds from Snowpack Pale Ale will support avalanche education classes

Not sold in EBRG, but otherwise I can see buying a couple of 6-packs.
Fremont Brewing

Local TV story

Note the colors on the can. Seems these are a match for the next photo from across the country. Coincidence?”

Item #2: Wash. D. C. Cherry Update
The so-called indicator tree is consistently a week to ten days ahead of the others. As of Thursday morning, it had some puffy white blossoms ready to pop.
Where is the Indicator Tree?

Expecting cool nighttime temperature through Friday of next week. Nothing that will kill unopened buds.
Main link to page: Cherry blossom update

Item #3: Road Trip
Mzungu and Shaba daughter, Kebibi, just 20 months old is off on a 750 mile trip.
Many years ago we gave a horse to a friend, then living in Eastern Idaho. The trip is about 700 miles. Although most of the distance is Interstate Highways, some isn’t and there is a lot of up and down. For 2 weeks before the trip, I took Teak on road trips around our County. At the end of 2 weeks our route took about one hour.
This is a similar story.

About Kebibi

Item #4: Wildlife
I’ve read of folks in large cities thinking something special is happening when they see a hawk or deer, or some wild animal in their neighborhood.
Today I saw several Bald Eagles, a dozen deer and a flock of quail. Then, late in the afternoon a couple of Canada Geese flew over, and back in the house and looking out the window – – 17 (?) Turkeys came past the front door. Nancy got photos of those, I think.
What’s not to like?

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: How’s your weather?

Much of the USA and Europe have been dealing with nasty weather.
We seem to be in a pocket of tranquility.
It is March, and March’s weather is said to arrive like a Lion with a thorn in its paw.
We have had a bit of snow that quickly melted. By mid-morning Friday the sky was mostly clear with a few clouds. Temperature at the EBRG airport hit 46°F this afternoon.
What’s not to like?
Sorry for the rest of you. Ya. Right.

Item #2: Until I got to ‘rats’, I thought this was a good story

From Eugene, OR came this story about a female turkey and her brood taking up residence in the City. The term “gangster” turkeys was used. That’s a play on the collective noun for a group of turkeys. In flight, birds are usually called a flock, but on the ground three terms are used for turkeys: rafter, gang, posse.
So. I was following this story thinking it might be interesting. Then there was this line: “The wild turkeys, along with a burgeoning population of rats . . .
So never mind. Links here:
Youtube video

A more interesting collective noun is ‘parliament’, as in – – –A parliament of Burrowing Owls – Florida.
(Photo: Tania Thomson)
More names here

Item #3: Why is Heather smiling?
By using high-resolution satellite imagery, Stony Brook University ecologist Heather Lynch and others discovered the population of
Adélie penguins to be 53% larger than had been estimated 20 years ago. They now think there are 4.5 million breeding pairs.
A few years ago a number of places where penguins had been in large numbers had none. There have been some ice flow movements in those areas and the animals either left or died. Researchers don’t know. The current story involves penguins inhabiting newly discovered breeding sites in the Danger Islands of Antarctica. There sea ice typically isolates the nesting area from fishing fleets intent on harvesting the krill on which the well dressed birds depend.
“When they examined old aerial photographs of the region taken in 1957, they found evidence that the penguins were already in residence on the islands.

Perhaps a “waddle” of penguins?
“All the evidence suggests that population there has been stable since the late 1950s,” Dr. Lynch said.”

Heather Lynch has been the lead researcher for this project. The photo was taken on a nice day in Antarctica, with numerous penguins behind her. Worth a smile.

Item #4: About Jim Palmer
If you are/were a baseball fan you likely know of the Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher Jim Palmer.
Maybe you knew he as adopted. Nah, me either.
At age 7 he learned he was, and at age 72 he learned more.
Here’s the story: It’s complicated

Item #5: Cherry blossoms

Not the ones in our yard, but part ours nonetheless.
If our trees produce cherries it is not until the first week of July. Also, that week, our Mariposa lilies bloom. I wrote “if” because many years we do not get cherries. At our elevation, clear sky at night can let the temperature drop below freezing. Or wind and rain can destroy the flowers and chase the bees away.
Such problems exist in Washington, D. C., but the National Park Service still tries to predict when you should visit to see the cherry blossoms there.
This year the “best” time is expected to be March 17-20. Others say the 23rd to the 27th. Either will be a bit earlier than average, as was last year. Last year during bloom, many froze. Again?
Here is a site that keeps track of such things, and has nice photos. Click link: Call your travel agent.
Photo from wiseGEEK

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.


This Week’s Not So Nasty News
. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Olympics One – Ester Ledecká
I frequently read posts and comments on a blog hosted by a very smart physics & math fellow named Luboš Motl, nickname Lumo. When he writes about the physics stuff, I often only understand a little of it.
Of interest this week is that he is from Czechia – for you old farts, that was once part of Czechoslovakia – now officially known as the Czech Republic.
Being from Czechia, Lumo has been keeping his readers informed of the Country’s now famous daughter, namely Ester Ledecká.
Here are 2 links to the posts. Maybe these provide some information that you haven’t seen if you have been watching or reading about the Olympics on American TV or other news reports.

Link 1 FEB 17 after Gold for skiing

Link 2 FEB 24 after Gold for snowboarding

His perspective comes from this: “There’s a catch, however. For years, Ms Ester Ledecká has been winning medals in snowboarding. This is a gold medal from skiing! She borrowed the skis from Mikaela Shiffrin (the American …
. . . “there are good reasons to think that a top athlete in one sport may be very good in another especially if the two are similar enough.

If you are not interested in sports stories, move along.

Item #2: Olympics Two – a five-ender

. . . a five-ender, is so rare it has only been topped once before in the history of the men’s or women’s Olympic final. And it effectively clinched gold for . . .” the USA curling team. US wins historic Olympic gold

I’ve seen only one article about curling that mentions the mystery of the sport.
As the curler lets go, she or he gives the stone a little twist – this causes the 42 pound polished granite stone to “curl” at the end of its path, thus the name of the game.
If you have ever put spin (English) on a cue ball, you understand the concept.
The curling stone doesn’t do what you expect it to do.
The story I read is in the Wall Street Journal (with diagram shown here).
The WSJ is a subscription service. I haven’t found any other.

Link to WSJ

The activity requires concentration.
Nina Roth is pictured to the right.

Item #3: Snow
We received about 2 inches of snow Friday evening. This morning the sky is blue with fluffy clouds. Very nice day with the temperature approaching 40+°F. The ski areas at the mountain passes are thrilled. They got more snow than we did, but not enough to close the roads.

Item #4: The skunk won

Detroit man uses smoke bomb

. . . The crawl-space became a home for skunks. The man had a few smoke bombs. What could go wrong?

Item #5: Do you have an old bicycle that needs a home?

On a Bison enclosure in Saskachewan.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.


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This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: A neighborhood invasion
I wouldn’t normally use this item, except it is from a place very near (3.7 miles) where Nancy and her mom lived north-east of Atlanta. From Valley Brook Estates we have a porker of a story.

A feral sow emigrated from the Georgia country and moved into the neighborhood. She had piglets. With lots of yards, planted with things hogs like to eat, the babies have grown. What once was a cute family scene has become dangerous, creating a nuisance for homeowners. So they say.
The whole hog – story
DeKalb County Animal Control officers told them to hire a professional trapper service, or put up fences.
I’m thinking it must be a vegan community.

Item #2: 18 mph

From Wikipedia: Esky is an Australian brand of portable coolers. The term “esky” is also commonly used in Australia to generically refer to portable coolers or ice boxes and is part of the Australian vernacular, in place of words like “cooler” or “cooler box” and the New Zealand “chilly bin”.
We haven’t seen a motorized esky in our part of the world but it is common in Australia and New Zealand.
While it is a convenient way to haul drinks (or whatever) around, one is not supposed to be driving while drinking. Being intoxicated can lighten you wallet. U.S. $370

Item #3: They keep coming back

A Corella (Cocky) is a type of white cockatoo, common to Australia.
Horsham is a town in western Victoria, about 100 miles north of the Great Australian Bight (or the southern Ocean).
They are quite pretty, and apparently as welcome in Horsham as the sow and her piglets are in Georgia’s Valley Brook Estates.
Get them out of here

There is an Australia grown fruit called the Corella Pear. Also, there is a web page titled Corella and Cheese Make the Perfect “Pearing” [cute ! ] that could have been about these birds, but wasn’t. Oh well.

Item #4: Rum always tastes better after an ocean voyage
LINK: Voyage of the Picton Castle
When sailing ships were the means of ocean transport, rum was a major commodity. Sugar, molasses, and rum are high in calories and much appreciated in northern climates. Sailors that sampled the rum at the beginning of a voyage would claim that it tasted better after a long time at sea.
How would I know? Anyway, that’s what the Picton Castle is setting out to do.
“Rum History” involves the slave-trade and is written up here: Triangular trade

Item #5; The Eaton family cattle drive

Once each month Nancy gathers at CWU for lunch with a dozen folks who swap stories and provide a few $$ to a scholarship fund. One of the women is Peggy Eaton. The Eaton family runs a cattle ranch a few miles south of EBRG. Each year they move about 200 pregnant cows from down-river to up-river via State Highway #821 that runs through the canyon. Friends bring horses and help. They have a lot of fun.Because it is a State highway, the WA Dept. of Transportation and the Highway Patrol have to provide assistance, of a sort. Signage is one such thing.
I superimposed 2 of the road signs (orange lights on a dark background) on a photo of the cattle drive.
Nancy thinks the one at right-center ought to have been created by someone with spelling skills as refined as her own.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Give live plants
There is an estimate that in the United States, 100 million roses are grown, shipped and purchased for Valentine’s Day. I suggest giving a potted bush that might give joy for weeks or even years.
Here’s yours.

Item #2: Lake Erie

Lake Erie is nearly covered in ice. That is good news because open water on the lake can lead to much snow. Wind direction has been just right this season to send snow, measure in feet, to the town of Erie, PA. They might get more snow, but the snow job they have been getting – now over 12 feet – is over.
Even the very cold temperatures are relenting. By Valentine’s Day the region might be a balmy 45°F.

Item #3: The game is off

An Orcas Island WA basketball team forfeited a game and ended their season just as they were headed for the playoffs. This sounds like bad news, but read the rest of the story.

Item #4: Career ends

Another sounds bad story from football. This regards long-snapper Jon Dorenbos, who played for the Eagles for 11 seasons, was traded to the New Orleans Saints in August. The physical required for the trade revealed an aortic aneurysm that required immediate surgery and ended Dorenbos’ football career at age 37.
Eagles owner called John and asked that he come to the Super Bowl.
The rest is here:

Item #5: In the vinesCentral Washington’s February weather began with a relatively warm and dry period. The mid-day temperatures have been near 50. Next week’s weather looks to be the same sort.
Over at White Heron the grape vines need pruned.
Last year we started on the 16th – with snow on the ground.
This year we started on Tuesday, the 6th. No snow. One pruner has the flu, another is dog sitting. Thus we’ve only had 3 of us to start.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.


This Week’s Not So Nasty News
. . . . from John.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Item #1: Thrilled
Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and Baby (shown at right)
are/were The Spice Girls.
Apparently, 20 years on, they intend to get back together.

Must be running out of money.

If you must:
Wannabe, 1996

Item #2: Why is this man smiling?
Central Canada experienced flooding in 1997 – The flood of the century. This brought high water and nutrients to Lake Winnipeg, already a big lake. This was followed by a massive spawn of Walleye.
These fish are now maturing and have gotten quite large. A 4 pound fish has been considered a nice catch. This year 15 pounders are being caught, reaching (so far) just under 3 feet.
Story here: Link

Item #3: Harri takes a cruise
A Brisbane, Australia parrot named Harri went missing. Gone for 2 weeks, he was. Then, 4 days into a 2 week cruise from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the staff of The Sea Princess found the Rose-breasted cockatoo.
The ship was on its way to New Zealand. But guess what? “New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the only way for the cruise ship to enter the country was for Harri to either be euthanased, or secured and bonded to the vessel.
Communications back to Brisbane informed all that Harri was a pet with a microchip and quite healthy. He got his own room. The turn-around in New Zealand went ahead, and the return trip is underway.
Now the question is “What did Harri know?
Seems his folks had book a cruise on another of the Company’s ships called the Pacific Aria. Coincidence? I don’t think so. From their home to portside would be a 5 minute flight for this intelligent creature.
Did Harri plan to go along, and got the wrong ship?
Harri’s story

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Further, I wrote last week that my brother had died. Here is a link to his story in the San Jose Mercury News: My brother Dick


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This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.
Item #1: Take the next Exit… News from Canada

On the north edge of the Bay of Fundy, known for the large tidal range, is Saint John, New Brunswick. From the north comes the Saint John River and 40 miles up, the River is crossed by the Vanier Highway.
West is to the left, and 25 miles that-a-way, you will see the sign above.
Take the Wilsey Road ramp and follow for about a mile.
The good folks of Maybee Brewery will be happy to see you.

Item #2: Looks like fun …

Speaking of rivers, there is the great Mississippi that carries much bulk cargo, relatively low valued, toward the Gulf ports. Higher valued, and rare, things sometimes take the river route, also.

Ride the River
I wonder whether or not they fly back up and find another chunk of ice to ride?
News media never provides enough information. I’ll guess they are not there just to have fun. Perhaps to look for fish?
Where is the
Rest of the Story

Item #3: To the next level in style …

There is good news of the stock market rising in value. I watch this and contemplate what to do with all the money our retirement funds are producing? {Just kidding.}
However, an article about caskets was in the newspaper. It seems some folks just won’t let their loved ones go to the next life in a simple pine box or shiny metal one. They need to provide something special.
More fancy caskets
Getting something special takes awhile, so either the body has to be put on ice for a time, or, one has to plan ahead.
I’m planning ahead.
The photo here is a somewhat altered image of the casket R&B singer Percy sledge was in when delivered to the Lord. I’m thinking of having one made with a small fiddle placed where the microphone is on Persy’s. Instead of black, maybe a nice dark wood, like the wood of a magnificent violin.
Of course I do not play any musical instruments, so . . .

Item #4: Breaking bread…
White sulphur-crested cockatoos sharing a quick snack and each other’s company in Black Hill, NSW.
What’s not to like?

Item #5: Another ice story…

Fall through ice, get a ride in a van under a pretty blue blanket.
Firefighters do an ice rescue
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: No injuries reported …
About 1.5 miles north of Lake Erie’s north shore, or about 60 miles north of Cleveland, Ohio — no one was hurt. That’s the good news.

The other aspect is good or bad depending on your view of wind towers. I suspect this one will be available cheaply — if you want one.
Canadian authorities are investigating.

Item #2: It will stink no more …
One of the biggest rubbish dumps in South America has closed in Brazil after almost 60 years.
The Estructural dump, about 18 miles from the country’s capital, Brasilia, had processed more than 1,000 tonnes of rubbish every day.
Good news, then, that it has been closed. But maybe not in the short term for the people of the nearby favela, Portuguese for slum. Folks have made a living for 67 years by sorting through the garbage. They have been offered new employment in a cleaner environment, a recycling job.
Some are not happy with the change, but this seems like good news to me. Maybe in a year or so, they will think so too.

Item #3: Mother and daughter …
Rose, an ER nurse, and daughter Morgan, just a regular nurse were flying from Charlotte, NC to Utah. A man needed medical help so the airline provided the equipment and the mother-daughter team provided the know-how.
The man was unresponsive, had vomited, and had blood pressure of 56/30. That’s not good! Very dehydrated.
They got an IV going and hand squeezed 4 liters of fluid into him.
A Pittsburgh area physician was linked-in and offered advice, the plane stayed on its flight path at a pedal to the metal velocity.
And the interesting part: For the first time ever, Morgan forgot about her fear of flying.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Shallotte River Swamp Park

Recent cold was sufficient to freeze the surface of lakes as far south as Charlotte, NC. One of the peculiar characteristics of water is that as the declining temperature nears freezing, the density increases. Thus, ice floats, acts as insulation, and the underlying water does not freeze.
For an air breathing animal this presents a problem, even for one that can stay underwater for an hour.
The alligator’s solution to this issue is to stick its snout out of the water, let the ice accumulate, while almost all of its body is in the water below. If you ever wanted to Grab an alligator by the snout, an ice-over such as this was is the time to do so .

When warmth returns and the ice melts the alligators are back in businees. Let go of that snout.
No one mentions how long this ice thing can go on.

Item #2: Trickle-down economics
Some economists have argued that reducing taxes on businesses and the wealthy in society stimulates business investment in the short term and benefits society and the poor in the long term. Might work.
Here is an example, from the rich music aficionados of Australia. At the “Lost Paradise Festival” 30 miles north of the Sydney Opera House a multi-day event enticed many well-heeled folks to buy new camping gear — tents, coolers, chairs, sleeping bags — for the occasion. After the music was over the revellers left, and left the stuff.

Photo here is captured from the video linked to there. A strong wind was blowing the stuff around. Still, a positive ending, I think.
Item #3: Why does this woman smile?
Saudi Arabia has for the first time allowed women to go to a stadium and watch a football match.


Item #4: Just when you need it the most

The weekend brought 8 inches of snow to Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio.
My dearest sister lives there.
She has determined that her snow blower works.

Item #5: Hay truck too high

Sarah Hancock was covering the Santos Tour Down Under cycling race when a well stacked hay truck came through the finish line. Oops!
Other than that …
Riders, out in front, were not hurt.
Adelaide makes news

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.