Not so Nasty News Feb 21

Item #1: Smallest in the world

The title is:
“Little penguins get nesting boxes made by Albany Men’s Shed . . .”The scientific name is Eudyptula minor so I went to Wikipedia: “The genus Eudyptula (“good little diver”) contains two species of penguin, found in southern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand (including the Chatham Islands). They are commonly known as the little penguin, little blue penguin, or, in Australia, fairy penguin. In the language of the Māori people of New Zealand, little penguins are known as kororā..”

Story is here: Men’s Shed builds boxes
The boxes will help researchers more easily tag and track the penguins, . . .
Fine, but about that “Men’s Shed” thing – I looked it up. There is an organization that provides services to promote independence among frail, aged, and disabled people – and their carers.
Men’s sheds or community sheds are non-profit local organizations that provide a space for craft work and social interaction. The movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and well being of older men.
I’m getting a bit aged, but the existence of these is new. However, we have recently learned that some folks gather at a shed at the Ellensburg International Organization of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery on Saturday mornings – to fix things. We don’t know much more, but soon will. We have some older bicycles that will soon emerge from our own shed. As far as we know they are in good shape, except maybe the tires. If the folks at the shed want them, we’ll donate them and, when cleaned up, they can be sold or donated to support the work.
So, more of this in a couple of weeks.

Item #2: Good week for words

#1 Sumptuary
A fellow named John Tierney published an opinion in something called “City Journal” and reprinted by the Wall Street Journal.
The title and subtitle are:
Plastic Bags Help the Environment
Banning them provides no benefit other than to let activists lord their preferences over others.

Down on the page there is this statement: (my bold)
Plastic bans are a modern version of medieval sumptuary laws, which forbade merchants and other commoners to wear clothes or use products that offended the sensibilities of aristocrats and clergymen.

We have long used cardboard boxes to carry goods from stores – each of our cars have two such, with reinforced handles fashioned for easy carrying. Thus, when Ellensburg “aristocrats” instituted a 5¢ charge for single-use carry-out bags we hardly noticed. And because plastic is used throughout – produce, meats, cheese – we often leave the grocery store with much plastic in our cardboard box.

In any case, I had to look up Sumptuary laws
Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures for apparel, food, furniture, etc. Historically, they were intended to regulate and reinforce social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures, often depending on a person’s social rank.

#2 Episodic
I’ve always like this word (also compensatory) and think it should be used more often in place of cycle. My current rant is about the rise and fall of water levels of the Great Lakes. Folks are losing land, and a few homes (or moving them), to rising water.
An earlier report – 2014 – was about the declining lake levels and all the problems that caused.
Earlier research uncovered a 12-year cycle of rising and falling lake levels in the Michigan-Huron lakes, as well as a shorter 8-year cycle. “. When I think of the word “cycle” I think of a regularly repeated event – pedal a bicycle –; or a pendulum –
“swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, . . .”.
a left swing and a right swing, is called the period.

I’ve lived long enough to know of several of these rises and falls of the Great Lakes, and Great Salt Lake also, and know they are not regularly timed as is a pendulum.
The better descriptor is “episodic” – and that’s the rant, and the 2nd word of the week.

Item #3: Is this wise?
A 77-year-old man was lauded by the South Wales Police for defending himself against a man who attempted to rob him while he used an ATM outside a Sainsbury’s grocery store in Cardiff, Wales, on February 5.
Put ’em up

Item #4: Dog versus Cat I was reading comments on a blog about dog domestication – when/how/why – and a person named Nicholas McGinley posted the following. If he wrote it, good for him. I haven’t tried to find another source.

Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary:
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary:
Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.
In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow –but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now . . .

Item #5: Scientific fun
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News February 14th

From Georgia Dunn’s Breaking Cat News and her crack team of feline reporters.
Lupin
Lupin is always ready to give you the scoop!

Item #1: “.. what is a McGuffin”

On Monday this week, I learned of this:

‘. . an object, device, or event that is used in a story, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself . .’

A fellow wrote about our President and used the name “Donald J. MacGuffin.” The author, Andy Kessler, then [for us less educated sorts] explained what he meant by MacGuffin.

President MacGuffin’s “… wild persona is a device that baits enemies and clears space for his agenda.” {Think of an outlandish ‘tweet’ that folks focus on for 24 hours, until the next one.}

Director and producer Alfred Hitchcock popularized the term MacGuffin and the technique with his 1935 film The 39 Steps, an early example of the concept Hitchcock explained the term MacGuffin in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University in New York City:
It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh, that’s a MacGuffin’. The first one asks, ‘What’s a MacGuffin?’ ‘Well,’ the other man says, ‘it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers, ‘Well then, that’s no MacGuffin!’ So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.
In the film, the MacGuffin is a plan for a silent plane engine.I wonder what I will learn during the rest of the week!

Item #2: Fly-tipping

Also, fly-tipping crime; fly tips; and clearing fly tips

This is a slang term, also from the UK, that is only incidentally connected to flies. In the parts of the USA where we have lived dumping of garbage and household waste, where one should not, was usually referred to as illegal dumping, or some such.
The concept has been raised to a higher level in the UK, as suggested by the photo.
The short story is that someone will claim to be a waste-disposal company and briefly rent land (or not) or a large warehouse.
Waste is picked up for a fee, then taken and deposited
illegally {Link: on the fly }. The ‘tipping’ part is alternative usage for “dumping”.
Here’s my question: Why didn’t I think of this. I’d be rich.

Item #3: Find No. 1

Clean up involves glancing at boxes of things and deciding to paw through or toss the whole thing. Today I found a 1967 half-dollar with JFK’s head; … and the photo belowMy sister will correct me if what I write is not true. My mother had a small collection of cream pitchers. I bought her a yellow one at the local 5 & 10 cent store. I seem to recall my brother Kenny coming up with the frames shown here. Dad cleaned them up and built the interior shelves. The wood and “gilt” frames made nice shadow-boxes on the paneled wall. A web search shows many but none quite like these fancy frames with simple interior.
I remember the walls of the house having wall paper with large flowers (?). I do not remember installation of the panels, and that may have happened after I went to Cincinnati in 1965. Mom died in 1980 and Dad moved to Florida in ’81.

Item #4: Find No. 2

I started at Clarion State College in 1961. Many of the universities of Pennsylvania started as teacher training places, known as “Normal” schools from the ancient Greeks – I think. We were required to take a lot of different classes, such as “audio-visual” – so we would know how to string 8mm film into a projector, and many other things no longer done.
I took an Art class, and the photo below shows the two sides of one of my projects. We learned to mix Plaster of Paris (a source of gypsum is near Paris FR) and then carve a figure, of sorts, from the hardened material. Both sides of my “sculpture” are shown below; 7 inches tall. The Pietà it is not.
If I was trying for something, I have forgotten.


Item #5: Which do you prefer?

Nancy uses these “rear defrosters” while I prefer to start my car 5 minutes ahead, and have the whole insides warm when I’m ready to go.
My choice is not the most efficient, I guess, but I’m okay with the guilt.
On the rare occasion when Nancy drives the Crosstrek, I have to then reset the mirrors and turn off the seat heater. Bummer!

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

Not so Nasty News February 7th

Item #1: Got snow? There are odd conventions in newsrooms. “Hed” stands for “headline,” “dek” stands for “deck,” “lede” stands for “lead,” and “graf” stands for “graph” (as in paragraph). The Wall Street Journal has a “headline story” at the bottom of the front page with lines separating it from the rest – those lines sometimes look like a blockey “A”. There is always a money angle about it.
This from the local-color article (the A-hed) in today’s Wall Street Journal:
FARGO, N.D.—The tallest hill in this flat town is a mountain of snow.
Mount Fargo, as locals call it, covers 10 acres and rises to more than 80 feet. So far, it holds around 40,000 dump-truck loads of snow.
It is still growing, even though Fargo hasn’t had a snowfall for nearly three weeks. City crews have been working nearly round the clock to clear 5-foot-high piles of plowed snow that clog the streets and make it hard for drivers to see around corners. They add hundreds of truckloads a day to the pile.
Fargo gets only about half as much snow as some places known for their snowfall, like Buffalo, N.Y., at the edge of Lake Erie. The real problem in Fargo isn’t the snow that falls here but the snow that blows in off the prairie.

From the Dickinson Press – – – There’s a video.

We’ve had rain. Western Washington has flooding of low areas next to the many streams. Modern building codes would not allow people to build where they did 100 years, or even 50, years ago.

Item #2: Clean-up update

Many of the boxes in our garage came from two moves at CWU of Nancy’s office. The 3rd event was when Nancy went to the ICU and then retired. Items from my packing and moving her office stuff is in a big shed. Over several years, things accumulate. There are newspaper articles, memos with only a short term usefulness (or none at all), class related papers, books, conference reports, and on and on.
Mostly, we did not throw things out, we packed and brought it all home. I’ve found boxes dated 1979 and labeled “sort soon” or some such directive. Further, Nancy and her Aunt Mary packed Nancy’s mother’s Atlanta belongs years ago. That material (clothes, photos, kitchen things, and furniture) is with us – in the boxes shipped from Atlanta. I found a dog food company’s “puppy packets”, each with 2 cups of puppy food we were to give to buyers of our little Brittanys. Dated 1992. It smelled a bit rancid.
Just for effect: this is not ours:
Item #3: Addendum

I’m finding things I did not know we had, for example multiple boxes of canning jars. We did can a few things years ago, but switched to freezing. I’m guessing many of these came from garage/farm sales back in Iowa. We left Iowa in 1974 for Idaho.

Item #4: Where’s Iowa?

Iowa has been in the news this week. We know where it is located but not everyone seems to, as shown here from German television:

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

Not so Nasty News 31 January

Folks we see only a couple times a year are in town, so we are going to dinner at a place that gives a $10 off card for birthdays. It has to be used in the month of – so we weren’t going to use it, now we are.

Thus, just one item it this week’s post.

Item #1: Why not Big Ben?

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. One might expect the Brits to set Big Ben to bonging at the official moment of leaving the European Union (Brexit). One would be wrong.
Here’s why: £500,000
[about $650,000; or $59,000 per bong]
The official time is Midnight in Brussels, and thus 11:00 PM in London.

Below are the first few lines of a British patriotic song:

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,


In many pubs in England the “Land of Hope and Glory” will be sung at 11 PM, likely to involve – before and after – a pint of ale.

Here’s yours.

And, as I finish this, England has exited the EU over an hour ago.

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

Not so Nasty News January 24th

Item #1: What’s your temperature?
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” ― Mark Twain
A new normal?

Back in the 1860s folks tended to get various infections, many chronic, and died at an average age of about 38. Measurements of temperature by Carl Wunderlich appear to have a bias toward the high side. About 30 years ago it was estimated to be 98.2 °F. The new study claims 97.5°F.
Ask your medical practice what they think? Most folks still reference 98.6. Do you?

Item #2: Be glad you are not there Last Friday there was a developing blizzard of heavy snow and strong winds in Newfoundland. Photos and related links are now available. Note that the snow has mostly blown off roofs and such and piled against buildings, and closing off some doors.
photos from the Newfoundland snow

Hope they have equipment to load and remove much of this.
Maybe they will revert to historical ways – a snow roller:
Item #3: Related headline?
A guy in Florida put cold “frozen’ Iguanas in his car. Apparently he heard they were good grilled, so he planned to have them for dinner.
I’ve never seen a “frozen” Iguana, but in this photo it looks more like a nap. Those in the car warmed up and one report said they attacked the driver.
If you were resting in a tree and woke up in a moving car with a stranger, would you just think everything was normal?
Maybe you would get a bit excited and/or agitated and cause a car accident. That’s the story.

Item #4: Some things can’t be found Left is for physics nerds. Right is for those lost in “the south.”
Overyonder Lane is between Clemson and Seneca, South Carolina.
Whether or not you want to head down that road is another question.

Item #5: Waze what?

In the area where this story unfolds, New Jersey is only 40 miles across (east to west). Drivers from northern NJ and NY were headed south. Came up short.
Lost!

We don’t use a mapping – car thing. Nancy’s Forester has one pre-installed. When we used it in Yakima years ago we set the destination and started off. Then we decided to make a short side trip and the “voice” came on and started with ‘error, go back’, or ‘turn around’, or ‘take the next left’.
We did not know how to re-set it on the fly, so we shut it off.
The link above goes to a story about folks heading to a New Jersey casino. They ended on a dirt road in a wildlife reserve 45 miles away.
I wonder if alcohol was involved?
If, when headed to Atlantic City, you turn onto an unpaved road consider that a clue that you are lost.
Found a review of Waze versus Google Maps, if you care: Link

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

Not so Nasty News January 17th

Item #1: Got snow?

Item#4 is also about snow.
This from Monday evening.

“Bellingham Troopers handled 40 collisions between 5pm and 8pm. Helped remove 5 trees,” Tweeted Trooper Anthony Reese. “Helped multiple stranded motorists and even drove a young lady’s car 4 miles to the next exit because she was scared to drive in the snow.”
What is not said is how many times this young lady has driven in snow. Very likely this is a single digit number. Also, an inch of snow there is more likely than 5 inches.
Actually, not a lot of snow fell in Bellingham, maybe 5 inches.
Elsewhere, wet – heavy snow fell along Hwy #2 – toward Stevens Pass. There is a report here: Trees, power lines down, travelers in a world of hurt

This is from the Wash DOT, with 4 photos.
“… with no ability to go east or west …”

There is a popular ski area at Stevens Pass, thus travelers need to be on the road when it snows. So it is not unexpected for occasional issues. This one has been serious because many were stranded as trees (and power lines) came down in multiple places. This is in an area without much development, and thus support.

And on Thursday evening:
117 inches since Jan. 1

Item #2: Who knew?
Chicken in a liner in a crockpot.
Oven roasted short ribs are tasty, but there is a lot of waste for which you pay $3/pound or so. I looked for a recipe that promised the bar-b-que outcome when starting with boneless center-cut loin.
One recipe ended with “cook until tender” – not a clue there.
Others claim they get good results with a slow-cooker or crockpot. Okay, we’re dealing with 7 or 8 hours. Not a problem.

In reading a few of these, one person said “use a liner; you will thank me later.”
And my reaction was “What?”
But the internet is my friend, so I searched.
Here is the Amazon link: Slow Cooker Liners

I ordered a small box of 6 for 43¢ per liner. Arrived Thursday.
We’ll give this a try next week.


Item #3: Rain in Australia

Not a lot in most places, but still helpful.
Drought to rain. We’ve heard this story.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

From “My Country” [1908], written at age 19 while homesick in England.

Item #4: not so nice

storm emergency

The Avalon Peninsula and nearby region is having a winter storm. Plows, fire trucks, ambulances, and all first responders are off the roads.

This is a storm in progress.

Item #5: web images this week
Someone sits around and thinks of these things. Right-brain folks?

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

Not so Nasty News January 10th

Item #1: Who’s got hay?

The last 2 tons of 14 were put in our shed this week. Like Nancy, our hay guy got a bug. He actually has a truck.

Item #2: Who’s got snow?

Newfoundland, buried

We didn’t have snow but eastern Canada did. Some claim to be “buried alive”, but the photos show they seem to be having a good time. 40 inches of snow in 2 weeks is enough to make one tired. We were in Cincinnati when 10 inches fell – in daylight, I think. That was the first large city I lived in, and I wasn’t used to a place not having snow removal equipment. Cincy often didn’t get more than a flurry.

We didn’t have snow at the beginning of the week. Now we do, but not much here. Accumulation in the higher elevations has started and closer to them is Washington’s favorite tourist town, Leavenworth – our own Bavarian village.
Check this site (scroll down) and have look. It is well lit until midnight, so have a look when it is dark; after 6 PM Pacific Time.
WebCams near Leavenworth

There are weather related traffic alerts on the WA-DOT web site.
We are staying home.

Item #3: Grass trees

Because of the fires in Australia I learned of a new plant.
Xanthorrhoea

This first link is to Bush Heritage Australia and in addition to text and photos, they solicit funds. Not a surprise, that.Lorikeets enjoying flower spikes at Carnarvon Reserve (Qld). Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix

Wikipedia claims there are 30 species. Photo above left is of one that has been cut so the inside of the trunk can be seen.
Photos

Photo below is of Grass Trees after a fire. Note the charred cans on the lower left – and the new green “grass” on the burned trees.The picture featured above is by David Ward, of grass trees at Scott River, Western Australia, taken in January 2007, following a “mild, patchy burn”. If you care for the context this is from: jennifermarohasy dot com/ 2020/01/it-has-been-hotter-fires-have-burnt-larger-areas/ – – – fix the dot thing

Item #4: A European vacation

Not. Save money. Gasoline is cheap in Texas.

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

Not so Nasty News Jan 3rd

Item #1: Tumbling Tumbleweed

Link to Trapped


Drivers along a highway near Richland, WA were trapped by… tumbleweed.
This location is about 100 miles south of us.
This happened Tues. evening 12/31.
The story seems to have made it around the world and back by Wednesday.
We haven’t been down that way in several years but did see masses of tumbleweed in a few places where fences managed to snag it. Often it is in a road cut that redirects wind over the place. Otherwise, I think it makes it to the Columbia River and heads to the Pacific Ocean.

Item #2: Lucked out

Nancy headed downslope today and called to say she was seeing fog in the Kittitas Valley. I checked the WA-DOT cameras and snagged views from the top (2,600 feet) of the ridge to the south and another from the interchange (1,600 feet) near the small town of Kittitas.The right side photo is about 6 miles north of the left side location; although the view on Manastash Ridge is more to the west.
Upon arriving in WA we made an offer on a house that gets that fog frequently; 2 miles south of the camera at I-90. Other folks made an offer a few hours before ours, so they are down in the fog. We lucked out.
Last night we had an inch of snow – now it is sunny with some thin high clouds.
Snow is coming starting tonight and lasting for several days. We won’t get a lot but the mountains 50-70 miles west will get up to 2 feet.

Item #3: Tiny tiny

Adults spend hundreds of hours making minutely detailed replicas; and I guess you can buy them just like other art pieces. The Wall Street Journal did an article from which I copied this image of the trailer-house. There is nothing to provide a sense of scale. It does say there is a rabbit pen (not seen here) with poppy seeds as droppings.The following 3 minute video does show him at work.
Ken Hamilton: Miniature Artist – Charleston, S.C.,

This one has a person’s hand for scale, scroll down:
Link
It has still photos of a piece called “Charleston Facade” with dimensions 11 inches wide, 18 high, and 5 thick.

Item #4: 18 & world class Christopher Lake, near the center of Saskatchewan, is about as flat as a place can be. This young woman, Maia Schwinghammer, is one of the world’s best downhill moguls skiers.
How did that happen?
She began at age 4 skiing with a tow rope behind her uncle’s snowmobile. As young teens, a neighbor pulled his son and me on a toboggan behind a jeep. We had fun but it didn’t lead to a career.

Item #5: Lizard crossing

This kid, seven-year-old Jake Croker saw signs for kangaroo and emu. He wanted to save lizards, specifically one called “sleepy.” The name shingleback is also used, especially for T. rugosa asper, the only subspecies native to eastern Australia. This area is west of Adelaide, on the Yorke Peninsula.
These are slow moving blue-tongued skinks. Do an image search using those 3 words. Some skinks have green blood.
Maybe the name “sleepy” is because of them being slow moving.
I haven’t found an answer.
Anyway, here is the Link.

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

Not so Nasty News December 27

Item #1: A look at the dropped ceiling

We mentioned my project for the holidays. The garage ceiling was calling: “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Below is how it looked.The piece is 5 ft. wide and 11 ft long. It mostly stayed intact except for the right side – note blue oval. The metal rail (only one shown ) for the overhead-door, and the old box, prevented a farther drop and a more serious breaking apart of the plaster-board (aka drywall).
The current recommendation is to use (ceiling) drywall screws at the rate of one every 6 inches. Photo two, below, shows a problem.
Nails were used, with an okay length {1.5 in. through ½ inch material}. However, they are not screws and they are not 6 in. or less apart.Because thin nails tend not to hold well as the wood ages, and drywall is heavy, about 64 pounds for 10x4x half-inch piece, these can sag or fall under various circumstances.
A complicating issue is that here-&-there a nail will stay in the wood and pull through the sheet. One such is on the left side of the blue oval in the top photo. There is some plaster on it, so it looks like a white dot. All nails have to be removed before the sheet can be shoved back into its place.

Did I mention I am not fond of standing on things and reaching over my head to do stretching exercises as required here?

I used 2x4s and 2x6s to get it up and hold it there. So, for now I have stopped the flow of heat from the garage where the water tank and softener are. The original ‘build’ did not include heat or insulation in this 2-car garage. We use small oil-filled radiant heaters to keep it above freezing. The other side came down just like this years ago, and a corner in another place. Twenty years has gone by, and now the third episode.
Time for a full-fix out there. Perhaps, in the spring we will have a contractor convert the car-space to living-space. The would be a major expense. A minimum will be to replace the ceiling, garage doors, insulate thoroughly.
Looking into it now. Happy New Year!

Item #2: The bottle opener

A fancy building, the Shanghai World Financial Center, has been called the “bottle opener.”Use your imagination.

Item #3: Word play

This photo of a dumpster was posted. Is the wording a comment on the “state of being” of the thing, or a directive. Either way, it is likely an unnecessary use of paint.
Item #4: Equally cute If you had a boat with batteries, you can float along side one of these things and plug in.

Item #5: Christmas time bloomer
My photo snap for this is an “in close” view but the amazing thing is that it is Christmas time and this thing is blooming.
The Nuytsia floribunda, or ‘Aussie Christmas tree’ as it is commonly known, bursts into bright orange life each December. Well, it is summer near Perth, so having things bloom is not out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, this is out of the ordinary.
This is a giant mistletoe only be found in the south-west corner of Western Australia and is the world’s tallest parasitic tree. Do have a look.
Aussie Christmas tree

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Name after himself !
Meaning of name: Nuytsia is named in honour of Pieter Nuyts, a member of the council of the Dutch East Indies who sailed along the south and west coasts of Australia in Gulde Zeepard in 1627 and named the land Pieter Nuyts Land. Floribunda is from the Latin words floris, meaning flower, and abundus, meaning abounding in.
Aboriginal name: Mooja

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

Not so Nasty News Dec 20th

Cousin Pat wrote from western Pennsylvania: “We had ice on trees and shrubs yesterday. Today snow squalls. Nice and sunny one minute then you can’t see across the road.”
And from the Naneum Fan – – ice on trees and shrubs.December 18th Photo by John
Ice crystals (hoar {gray-haired} frost, or sometimes silver frost) on Ponderosa Pines and (inset) a small Plumb branch).

Item #2: Brussels sprouts for dinner A 30 second video with short text;
Link

Part of the story: “a trailer full of the traditional Christmas dinner vegetable overturned in Queensferry Road in Rosyth, Fife”

“Hard as it may be to believe, the Brits eat four billion sprouts at Christmas. Supermarkets and greengrocers shelves groan under the weight of these delightful, nut-sized veggies.”

I did not know that these things were delightful nor that they were part of a traditional Christmas dinner. I don’t recall having them at Christmas, and not frequently anytime.
Perhaps you would like to try:
Traditional British Christmas Side Dishes; #2 is for sprouts

Item #3: Did you know?
the only area in NA

Item #4: Old is new, or something

The headline was from Newcastle, WA – – a place where I’ve been to work on trails. Newcastle was one of the region’s first coal mining areas and its railroad link to Seattle was the first in King County. Underground tunnels, air shafts, and other hazards made most of this hilly area southeast of Seattle an “off-limit” place for development, so it was converted to a natural area with a few trails.
Where is baby Jesus?

A worker for a landscape company, driving a company truck, took items from a nativity display. The town is small and the truck was recognized. The case was easily solved.

Here is the “old is new” part.
My folks got a television (1954, I think) when black & white was the thing. A TV program called Dragnet, starring Jack Webb, was one of the series. Prior to that – before my time – there was a radio show.
Years later some of the episodes were filmed in color.
Each of these had a story about “baby Jesus” disappearing from the manger in front of a church. Sargent Joe Friday investigated. The episode was repeated for many years, so I don’t know when I first saw it.
Radio version – – 1953
Black & White – – 1953; 2 nights after radio
Color TV – – 1967
notes about “The Big Little Jesus”

Item #5: A Pineapple Express Above is a visible image from a satellite showing clouds lined up over the eastern Pacific Ocean. A moist and warm river-of-air is aimed at our region. We have had cold temperature so this has begun as snow – 4 inches today, Thursday.
As this flow continues the lower elevations will switch to rain. The skiing folks hope the higher slopes continue with the snow.

Item #6: Daylight grows longer

December Solstice in Ellensburg, is on
Saturday, December 21, at 8:19 pm.
The perfect time to taste your Yule Log.

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