Not so Nasty News Sept 18

Item #1: He apologized

The red marker is on a driveway that leads between apartment buildings to parking areas for residents. New cables had to go under the driveways along the street. Prince Edward Island – Oops!

The plan was to do horizontal drilling under the driveways, but the machine broke. The crew chief called in a backhoe. No time to warn people. Sorry folks. Walk!

Item #2: Changes
While I wasn’t paying attention, Smokey has been changing.

Fires need Oxygen, an ignition, and fuel. Smokey grew out of the War effort of WWII. The War Advertising Council dreamed up the bear, the hat, and the dungarees. In August of 1944 (I’m 7 months older) the first “cartoon” of Smokey pouring water on a fire appeared. See the left image, above. The Council did not want fires distracting from the war.
The link is to a Smithsonian Magazine article on the campaign and how it changed. The problem is that Smokey dealt with the “ignition” part of fire. An unintended consequence of the campaign is that the natural process of growth of trees, woody plants, and grasses was interrupted. Fire no longer episodically burned some of the fuel and made space for meadows and other clearings, a patchwork of natural communities.
The fuel is overly abundant, Oxygen is there, and there will be ignitions. 84% or more fires have started because humans were involved, either accidentally, being stupid, or deliberately. Likely, for the next 30 years there will be uncontrollable Megafires.

Item #3: What’s the message?

A slow moving storm, Hurricane Sally, came ashore this week along the Gulf Coast. This one moved slowly over the warm water of the Gulf and picked up plenty of moisture. The wind at the Mobile Downtown Airport gusted to 67 mph, while the claim is that Sally had 105 mph wind.
In any case, the image above shows a church steeple that did not handle the wind, whatever it was. On the right side is the Flora-Bama restaurant and bar. No problem here.
There has to be a message, and as soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Item #4: Speaking of bears

For at least the second time this summer bears have contacted humans. Not long ago a woman was hiking and a large bear approached her. In the accompanying photo a bear visits a man taking a nap by his pool.
Years ago we were at a camp site in Jasper National Park in Canada. One morning I was splitting wood and a girl, about 6, was running water into a pot at the center of the camp. Her folks and many others were in a covered cooking area not far away. A large bear wandered into the clearing, walked to the girl and sniffed her arm. A dozen people watched, the girl stood very still, water ran into the pot, and the bear ambled away.

Item #5: Funny stuff; unrelated

In 30 years when your grand kids ask about the 2020 toilet paper shortage, tell them of the hardship. Say you had to drag your butt across the lawn.
In the snow.
Up hill. Both ways.

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

Not so Nasty News September 11th

Item #1: An odd thing

Monday about Noon our Valley had a massive infusion of smoke brought from the north by wind gusting to near 50 mph. The Cold Springs/ Pearl Hill Fire started 100 miles to the NNE of us, on the Colville Reservation. Photos and maps are now posted on the web.
The thick smoke is allowing orange light to pass so everything outside has had a strange glow, now more dull as the session continues into late afternoon. How can I make fun of the LA smog when our air is so nasty?
An historical perspective: A fire in 1950, in northern Alberta and British Columbia, called The Chinchaga fire, or Wisp fire , produced a dark atmosphere over the land to the eastern USA and to Europe. I was six and remember coming out onto the front steps of our church (1st communion or something, Sunday Sept. 24th ??) where we first noticed the dark sky and a feeble red sun. The smoke was high in the atmosphere so there was no smell, and we had no prior notion of the fire. Read about the “Great Smoke Pall” at the above link.
Cousin Ethel kept a clipping from a Pittsburgh newspaper in her daughter’s (Pat) baby book, so she told me some years ago.

Item #2: Mostly gone, and lucky

From our driveway on Friday afternoon, the ridge top (~5,000 feet elevation) is a little hazy at 8 miles away. Other parts of Washington have more smoke. California and Oregon have multiple fires.
The reason for massive fires is partly attributable to Smokey Bear. Smokey and the slogan “Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires”- – began in 1944.
Studies now suggest that 84% of wild fires are ignited by something that humans are involved in. The Western States now have massive amounts of grass, brush, and trees.
There is no good way of getting rid of most of it.

Item #3: Baby Oaks Last fall I noticed the Oak trees near the hospital not only had amazing red/orange colors, but they were also “masting.” ( the production of many seeds by a plant every two or more years in regional synchrony with other plants of the same species)
I gathered a dozen acorns. Six have grown; two of the largest are on the left in the photo.
Will they continue to grow here? Likely not. I need to find out what sort they are, and then maybe I can provide something they need.

Item #4: Electricity

On the last day of each month an airplane flies over our area and our electric meter says hello. A gadget on the plane records the numbers, and we soon get a bill.
Our house is all-electric so the seasonal change in use is interesting. The bar chart on the bill starts and ends with August. We manage to keep the summer use down by opening the house at night. The elevation of 2,240 feet (much higher to the north and west) with clear sky can produce quick and significant cooling.
We pay a facility charge of $22.50. The electrons cost at a rate of $0.0950/kWh. On the bill: 628 X .0950 =$59.66
December is often cold for the entire month. Late January tends to warm some.

Item #5: The new carport

We have had construction things and “curing onions” in the carport. This week I finished cutting the roots and tops from all the onions and consolidated into half the number of boxes.
This was incentive to move other stuff out or to the side. Note the 60 pound bags of concrete mix on the lower left. I’ve not gotten the gravel in yet, and I’m still landscaping nearby.
Still, Jessica fits comfortably there; and is no longer spending her nights under the stars.

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

Not so Nasty News September 4th

I enjoy science related puns. Like this:
Dear Gaia: Thank you for your rotation. It makes my day.
Item #1: Bad & Good Above: Looking NW over Wenas Lake late Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.
The bad news is that 20 miles south of the Naneum Fan there has been a fire burning through grass, brush, and some trees. Monday afternoon start time. They haven’t given a cause yet, but likely a person or group did something that should not have been done. As of Friday afternoon the area involved is 70,000 acres, about 110 sq. miles. That is about 3.3 times the size of Manhattan island. When the smoke clears it will be apparent that much of the land was not burned. Five homes have burned, but most of the area is structure free, except along the road that runs along the right side of the Lake.
The good news is that by Friday afternoon the increase has been nearly stopped. Lots of crews and airplanes have had time to move to the region and wind has slowed.
Left of the smoke is a long sloping surface to a sharp ridge, called Cleman Mountain. We have ridden horses there to an elevation of 5,000 feet. To the right is a less high area called Umtanum Ridge, that is visible from here. We’ve been there too. We have riding acquaintances in the area where the fire started.
Nancy will have more on Sunday.

Item #2: Scarcity of color

This week there are two plants blooming; both (as far as I can determine) are a form of Rabbitbrush. The larger is called Rubber Rabbitbrush (also Gray RB) apparently because of the gum-like sap of the roots. The leaves are thin, like a pine tree needle. The smaller plant is called Green Rabbitbrush, with blade-like leaves that curl. Upper right insert. Why?Summer has been dry and hot, and still they bloom.

Item #3: Remember polio?

In the photo, the nurse is at a smaller tank respirator (“iron lung”) while the closer one is adult size. The tank had portal windows so attendants could reach in and adjust limbs, sheets, or hot packs.

This Panic2020, in the early part of the year, included a frantic search for “ventilators.” Now the big story is a search for a vaccine. A search for common sense is in order.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about the Polio scare when I was about 10 years old. I do not recall our school, or anything else, being closed, but I have found newspapers, like this 1946 one, that report school closures. I don’t remember 1946.
We lived about 70 miles from Pittsburgh where the Jonas Salk team at the University there developed a Polio vaccine. That became available in 1955 and we youngins got our doses in school. I’ll have to ask some elders about what they remember.
Iron Lung

Item #4: Ice

Ice is scheduled to retire at the end of September.
This Belgian Malinois U.S. Forest Service police dog, 11 years old, has been stabbed on two occasions. The events happened as officers were making raids of marijuana growing in the Klamath National Forest in northern California.
Did we really need more reasons to dislike Californians? Story link

Item #5: News you can use

Do not let anyone take your temperature on your forehead, it scrambles your brain cells. At the grocery store I went in for lettuce, tomatoes, and Blue Cheese dressing. At home, I realized I had purchased a pizza and 6-pack of beer.

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

Not so Nasty News August 28th

Item #1: No got dirt?
This is odd. Way over in merry Ol’Otley, West Yorkshire, a young lad saw an imperiled hedgehog. A rather rare creature, this one was white with a pink nose.
Jack Frost

Wildlife biologist Dr Toni Bunnell, who has treated albino hedgehogs in the past, said they survive well in the wild.
She said: “Although it might be thought that the light colouration would make them more visible to predators, this is not in fact the case.
“After only a few days in the wild, the coat of the albino becomes dirty and serves as camouflage.”

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but do they not have plain ol’dirt in West Yorkshire? I could get Jack Frost to turn into Jack Dirt with no trouble at all.

Item #2: rather clever folks
Note the Roadrunner painted beside the painted tunnel. This prank worked too well: Crash!

The folks that repair hiking trails claim camp gear ought to include 3-in-1 oil for things that should move – but don’t, and duct tape for things that do move – but shouldn’t. Utility poles ought not to move, so duct tape to the rescue.

Item #3: More than clever
Just one image here, but go to Nikolaj
Read about the chalk artist and then go to “gallery.” And then 3-D.
There will be scroll tabs.

Item #4: A Unicorn story

A young girl (age 3 ?) had to be rescued by ferry workers after she was swept out to sea on a small** inflatable unicorn.

White with pink wings

**Folks have claimed it is a “giant” inflatable. Not exactly. Search up “inflatable unicorns” on the web.

Scroll down until the video with dark sides and ship scene in the middle. This is in the Gulf of Patras, a branch of the Ionian Sea, with the “toe” of Italy to the west.

Item #5: wrong attitude

I couldn’t decide which of these to use, so both.

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

Not so Nasty News August 21st

Item #1: in the driveway

Monday morning there was a feather in the driveway. I always wonder why an intact feather separates from the bird. In this case it appears to be from the outer part of a wing, a primary flight feather. The pennies help with scale, but end-to-end it is 5 5/8ths inches. In the smaller image, note the series of whitish/rosy humps on the lower edge. This one is more like the 5 or so on the upper right, no humps.
I did some search up on the web. The source of this pink-rosy shaft apparently was a Western Flicker (Colaptes auratus). Eastern cousins have a yellow shaft.

Item #2: Color this week

Just off the driveway about 50 feet is a small bunch of Choke Cherry trees. This week the small trees (about 10 feet high) provide new color on the Naneum Fan.
Based on their location in dry rocky soil, I’ll call them Prunus virginiana, known across much of the USA.
Washington State has a similar tree called Bitter Cherry, Prunus emarginata. Our native plants site claims they may be found in moist, second growth forests, often along streams. There is more I could investigate, but haven’t. Unlike our domestic cherry trees, plums, and walnuts, these plants were not harmed by our spring frost. I need to compare the bloom times next spring. There has been no rain for many weeks and the leaves are showing browning, but the berries look fine, but will now darken as the summer continues.
A neighbor sometimes makes jelly with these. My take is that they provide color and a bit of flavor in a sugar that has been boiled.
See invert sugar basics. Note the part about light passing through regular sugar and its direction, but goes the opposite direction when the sugar has been “inverted.”

Item #3: Almost

Years ago we set up a horse “round pen” and wanted the surface covered with a coarse sand. The truck almost got stuck. There was one spot of very fine sediment with some water beneath. The concept is termed “thixotropy” and you can search it up. Start here: Link

After the sand dump, the driver got his big truck moving as fast as the distance allowed and rolled over the danger spot. Later, a backhoe removed all the fine material and left me a big hole.I was slowly throwing rocks in the hole to not much effect. Then a 13 year-old neighbor showed up. She explained she wanted to earn money to go to our County Fair. So for a time she and I collected rocks from the property, threw them in the pickup, and then sat on the tailgate, and while visiting, threw them into the hole. Any time she could come (she had younger brothers and sisters to help with) we did that from 9 to Noon. The hole wasn’t quite full when Fair and School rolled around, the family moved, and that episode ended. I went back to the occasional rocks in the hole routine.
By this year the hole was mostly filled. The photo shows basalt rocks, now with two small piles of gravel. That’s about half a truck load of nearly 16 tons. The other half is nearer the house where it will be used in the new landscape.
Now I have to spread it out. Thus the title above: Almost.

Item #4: What’s up?

Here is a USA Total Stock Market chart for 1 year. Note this market is up 0.24% from the same date a year ago.
The blue line shows the Panic2020 action and the rebound.
While many companies’ stock price dropped and many are bankrupt, several are doing very well. Those big companies that were involved with e-commerce and related providers, and major components of stock indexes are leading the rebound.
It is somewhat amazing, but that’s what is up.

Item #5: Good news is hard to find

Each week I look for funny, odd, or otherwise interesting good news.
Such has been scarce this week.

This photo sums up the feeling. It has been a tough couple of months. California is the poster image for many things. Weather this week was not kind to the State.
The hot and dry period was punctuated by a massive display of lighting strikes over most of the Western U.S.
The Corn Belt was host to a serious wind storm, and now the south has tropical storms (hurricanes ?) approaching.

Looking forward to September.

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

Not so Nasty News August 14th

Item #1: Seen this week

Links: Chicory – – – Mule deer – – – Mantis
This Chicory flower is missing a petal, but the color is right. Another had white on the inner half of the petals but I think this one is a better indicator of what we see here.
The Mantis {~3.5 inches} is on a vertical piece of corner trim [SmartSide by Louisiana Pacific], not good hunting grounds for this predator. I coaxed her onto my hand and carried her to a nearby fir tree.
The color is pale and after viewing the photo I think there are parts of a recently shed skin. I’ve read that a new skin will darken as it hardens. Anyway, she won’t be green so she needs to find a tree to suit her camouflage.
I see the small buck deer about three times a week. Here he is laying in the shade of the Carpathian Walnut trees.

Item #2: Time?

Having had Brittanys with great sniffing abilities, I always follow headlines about such things. This interesting story left me with a question.
Dog sniffs cash – in what amount of time?
About the dog Aki
This has me baffled:
The German shepherd, named Aki, found 12 people’s secret stashes between the end of June and start of July.”
June’s end is the 30th that is followed by July’s beginning, the 1st. Answer me this: What is “between”?
_ _ _ _
While pondering that, I also wondered about the word on the dog’s vest. Zoll comes from an ancient Proto-Germanic word [tullō] meaning what is counted or told. The vest on the dog indicates she/he is employed by the German agency collecting the duty or customs on goods. See: ZUZ
€247,280 {~$292,000}

In other animal news there was this headline: “Bald eagle shows air superiority, sends $950 drone into lake
Two birdwatchers saw the Bald Eagle attack something but told officials they didn’t realize it was a drone. Assumption was that it looked like a sea gull.
A search of the shoreline failed to find the drone. Data later revealed that it landed in 4 feet of water about 150 feet offshore.

Item #3: Tracking the spot

In the room where Nancy sits with her laptop, the sky-lights now allow sunlight to enter and make a trek across the carpet. The sun has to be high in the sky for this to happen, so that means mid-day during the summer season. Roughly, the past couple of months. The bright space on the carpet starts on her left as a rectangle, moves to the right, and gets elongated with a point. It is sufficiently bright we have needed to shield it for her to see her screen well.
The vertical rays of the sun are now hitting Earth at about 14° North Latitude, near the central border of Honduras with Nicaragua, or 963 miles north of the Equator. It will reach the Equator in 38 days, so that point where the sun is directly overhead is moving south at 25 miles per day. {The speed changes, but close enough.}

As the Sun moves south the area of brightness has gotten smaller and lasts a shorter time. Soon it will disappear, to reappear next spring. Dates unknown.
Here is a plan. Document the day when if first and last appears. Also set a time lapse camera to film its traverse across the carpet and watch its shape change during the day of highest sun. Next year that will be during the weeks before and after Monday, June 21. The Sun’s height won’t change much during that 2 week period, but just in case you care the Solstice will be Monday, June 21, 2021 at 03:32 UTC, or 8:32 PM Sunday, the 20th, here on the Naneum Fan.

Item #4: Wind

High winds and torrential rain on the New South Wales south coast in Australia have resulted in waterfalls in the Royal National Park being blown in reverse.

Watch here

Item #5: The color green

Image is of a dark green, chosen because it is a Pennsylvania reference.

Nancy sent one of the animated cards to a young friend on his “Golden Birthday.” What? So we learned from his mother that it is the day when you turn the same age as the day-of-month number. Miles had his 9th birthday last Sunday, the 9th of August. The history of this is opaque, but seems to have been popularized as a marketing concept.
The card was of an old style English train with a dog chasing a cat as the engine was being fired-up and pulling away. At the bottom right of the card is a link with the letters GWR – for Great Western Railway.
I searched that up and found the locomotives (but not the other cars) were painted Brunswick green. There is a link to the color green in the description, so I went there. (Wow! There are lots of named greens.)
I learned Brunswick green is a common name for green pigments made from copper compounds**, and is historically linked to Braunschweig, Germany (famous for smoked pork sausage), but called Brunswick by the English.
This site has a large color block, photos of trains and other train things, and some interesting history: Link

**One of my interests is the history of science, including discovery of the elements, by who, where, and when.

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

Not so Nasty News August 7th

Item #1: Harvest continues Copra and Redwing. An onion is fully mature when the top falls over. All but a few of the bronze-colored Copra are now drying under shade. Just a few of the Redwings are ready. I’ve another red one called Red Zeppelin. Except for 2 or 3, they are still standing proudly under our intense sun.

Item #2: More things growing

Wikipedia claims: “In 399 BC, Socrates went on trial and was subsequently found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety {not believing in the gods of the state}, and as a punishment sentenced to death, caused by the drinking of a mixture containing poison hemlock.

The photo on the left (below) is a plant called Water Hemlock. It is close to the one mentioned in the quote above and considered the most poisonous plant in North America. Lucky us, we have some, now in bloom.I find this plant along the sides of the irrigation ditch. The term “hemlock” is also applied to a tree, and apparently the commonality is the smell of the leaves, something I do not intend to confirm. Ours is called Cicuta douglasii, the western water hemlock. One of its distinctive characteristics is shown in the photo below. Follow the red pointer into the leaf notch. The leaf veins go to the notch, not to the point or tip. This is unique to this member of the family (Apiaceae), and apparently many other plants. See the maple leaf here: to the tips
The chemical glyphosate (sold as Roundup herbicide) will kill the plant. I sprayed one about 2 weeks ago, but found this one a few days later. I’ve let it bloom – now I need to send it back to Mother Earth.
The top image, right side, shows little tomatoes behind a fence. Some folks have claimed toxicity of tomatoes, but for humans the danger is slight – even the green parts or green fruit.
So, work to do: kill the hemlock and harvest the red tomatoes.

Item #3: OHIO

My sister lives close to a wooded area that drains into the Cuyahoga River, about 7 miles east. Cuyahoga Valley National park is there.
Between 18,000 and 14,000 years ago the Wisconsinan Glacier entered and then melted from the region, draining into Lake Erie, and leaving deposits of various sorts, and disrupted drainage.
If it were not for all the people this would be a great place for wildlife. Still there are many things that visit her street, such as deer and rabbits.
She sent this photo of an unidentified being, while hoping it soon returned to the swamp. Noisy critter.
Being crazy Ohio, we think it is a politician escaped from jail.

Item #4: Pineapples to Celery

As a kid, I was surprised when first seeing the spelling of celery.
I’m still a bad speller, or my preference – good at spelling badly.

The rise, fall, and rise of the status pineapple The last line of this is simply the word Celery.
I found this pineapple story interesting and completely unknown to me. It is quite long with many photos.

Item #5: best photo seen this week

There are several sites I check on a regular basis. Photos, headlines, and odd stories can offset the sad news that seems to be about everywhere.
This one came from “odd stuff magazine” but there are never credits given.
So to the rose, the dog, and the photographer – Thanks!

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

Not so Nasty News July 31st

Item #1: Contrasts
Our Raspberries came to us from a previous valley resident. We have had them for 30 years and he had them for many years, also. We have rocky, well drained soil, that they like. They do need water here, but other than that can be pretty much ignored. We tried a yellow variety years ago but they seemed bland and more of a temperamental grower. Now gone.
Two issues: Nancy doesn’t grove on raspberries because of the seeds – larger and harder than those of strawberries. Second, wasps like them when they are very ripe. The solution is to pick early in the morning while shady and cool, and pick and toss any old or damaged ones.
Store price this week was $3.99 per 10 ounces (organic; ours are too). This week I’ve eaten about $6 worth.
Our five types of plums were blossoming in May when we had two mornings of very clear sky and very cold. The yellow Shiro has just 7 or so fruits. The Methley (small purple; best for brandy) has a couple.
Commercially, fruit trees are grown at lower elevations and the Washington industry should have a good year.

Item #2: Your tax dollars at work

A Panic2020 story.
Our taxes were used for the Paycheck Protection Program –“intended to provide loans to businesses to guarantee eight weeks of payroll and other costs to help those businesses remain viable and allow their workers to pay their bills.”
David T. Hines, 29, of Miami FL, applied for millions of dollars of loans by writing fraudulent applications under the guise of several companies. Authorities said he dropped $318,000 on a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan, and had $3.4 million in bank accounts.

Link to story

Item #3: Onions

I planted 4 varieties if onions this spring. Thursday I harvested the Sterling type.
They are supposed to have tall, vigorous tops, grow to 5″ across, be mildly pungent, and have a storage potential of 6 months. I planted this one on new “soil” – dirt, sand, horse manure, and vegetative debris mixed and tilled. Of my 4 types, this performed the poorest.
I think an extra dose of fertilizer, early in the season, might have helped. My other white, Copra (a bit smaller but longer keeper) looks healthy and will stay in the ground for another week or two.
The baby plants (from far south Texas) cost $6.70. Until they dry and cure with the roots and tops trimmed, I can’t report a weight of harvest. I do know I can make some great onion rings with these.

Item #4: a not so shaggy dog story

About 60 years ago I had a Brittany that chased a rabbit toward the “high-wall” of a coal cut. A few feet from the cliff the rabbit made a right angle turn. Dusty weighed about 35 pounds and was not quite so nimble. He sailed past the edge and into space with a “yelp.” The old cuts had extensive talus along the edges. His had 30 feet of air and another 30 feet of small rock debris. He hit the talus and just kept on going. No harm, and no rabbit.
I was reminded of this when a lady and dog had a cliff-experience in Devon. A deer is the claimed instigator. In the photo above the dog is shown wedged between a tree and rock. Finding and rescuing dog Freya took 3 days.
No harm. No deer.

Item #5: Jeff Bezos

About Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

From The Wall Street Journal, by James Freeman:

Mr. Bezos was appearing along with other tech CEOs before Judiciary‘s Antitrust Subcommittee to discuss competition in digital markets. But he decided to set the table by pointing out that while he may be the richest man on the planet, he didn’t exactly start out that way. Here’s an excerpt from his opening statement to the subcommittee:

My mom, Jackie, had me when she was a 17-year-old high school student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Being pregnant in high school was not popular in Albuquerque in 1964. It was difficult for her. When they tried to kick her out of school, my grandfather went to bat for her. After some negotiation, the principal said, “OK, she can stay and finish high school, but she can’t do any extracurricular activities, and she can’t have a locker.” My grandfather took the deal, and my mother finished high school, though she wasn’t allowed to walk across the stage with her classmates to get her diploma. Determined to keep up with her education, she enrolled in night school, picking classes led by professors who would let her bring an infant to class. She would show up with two duffel bags—one full of textbooks, and one packed with diapers, bottles, and anything that would keep me interested and quiet for a few minutes.
My dad’s name is Miguel. He adopted me when I was four years old. He was 16 when he came to the United States from Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan, shortly after Castro took over. My dad arrived in America alone. His parents felt he’d be safer here. His mom imagined America would be cold, so she made him a jacket sewn entirely out of cleaning cloths, the only material they had on hand. We still have that jacket; it hangs in my parents’ dining room. My dad spent two weeks at Camp Matecumbe, a refugee center in Florida, before being moved to a Catholic mission in Wilmington, Delaware. He was lucky to get to the mission, but even so, he didn’t speak English and didn’t have an easy path. What he did have was a lot of grit and determination. He received a scholarship to college in Albuquerque, which is where he met my mom. You get different gifts in life, and one of my great gifts is my mom and dad. They have been incredible role models for me and my siblings our entire lives.

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

Not so Nasty News July 24th

Item #1: New this week

I bought a set of 5 Hollyhocks in spring 2019. They had a hard time with the cold and wind, and at the end of summer only two had life. They persevered, and with even worse weather for tall flowers, have developed buds and a colorful blossom. This one is fully reflecting and scattering all the visible wavelengths of light.

Hollyhocks are described as tall – 4 to 6 feet – and doing best in full sun. I planted mine in an area that I thought would get some protection from wind. Under a Ponderosa pine is not in full sun, but they are standing without being supported. As a consequence (?) they are only 2 feet tall.

Forecast for the coming week is for 90+ temperatures, and for the second plant to bloom and reveal its color.

Item #2: Dr. Fauci

Note the ball on the right.
Looks like the nation’s foremost infectious diseases expert missed the plate by about 20 feet. There have been throws worse than this:
poor ceremonial pitches

The phrase used above has a history and seems to be best known from the film “Major League” in which Bob Uecker portrays Harry Doyle. With a pitch thrown several feet off the plate, Doyal announces “Juuust a bit outside. He tried the corner and missed.
The movie has a series of one-liners that would make Rodney Dangerfield jealous. So I’ve read.

Item #3: Cèilidh

Our wind is gusting to 40 mph so I’m wasting time chasing the history of car radios. Here’s why I got to the subject.

The term Cèilidh indicates a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering. In its most basic form, it simply means a social visit. In contemporary usage, it usually involves dancing and playing Gaelic folk music.
So, while looking for a bit of interesting news, I learned of Cèilidhean [plural; or is it ceilidhs?] happenings on Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.).
6 fun things
See #5 of the 6 fun things to do on P.E.I. this last weekend of July.
At $15, I think I could go, but it will be over at about the time I post this.
#6 (Saturday) shows a picture of Kinley Dowling, singer and fiddle player. I think we would prefer her and friends, but note this: “guests will drive onto the concert grounds in Cavendish, following staff directions for physical distancing, and stay in their vehicles.” Tickets are $78 per vehicle, $47 for a motorcycle and about $23 for an individual.

Music in your car!
Car & Driver magazine reports this phenomenon first occurred in 1930.
The Galvin brothers, Paul and Joseph, and Motorola There are links, too many for even a very windy day.

Item #4: Get Kraken
I am underwhelmed. Apparently there is a National Hockey League team in Seattle. The team was awarded to Seattle in December of 2018. Since then fans have been helping with a name and logo.
From Wikipedia, I learned a Kraken is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of gigantic size in Scandinavian folklore. According to the Norse sagas, the kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes sailors.

Do I see a link to the Seattle area or the west coast of North America? No. Do I see a link to hockey? No. Do I care? No.
But you might, so here is a link to explain it all, including the logo
Colors and logo for Kraken

Item #5: Shut down
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight (March 15th) that further expands protections against COVID-19.
Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

For the record, I am way ahead of Inslee and other officials.
I am not now, nor ever was, a governor but I was shutting down bars long before Panic2020.

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

Not so Nasty News July 17th

Item #1: Color on the Naneum Fan {taken Tuesday, July 14th}Top L to R: Pie cherries, Oregon Grape, Grass, Golden Currants
Bottom: Mariposa Lily in context; Bloom of the one upper right

I usually see the lilies blossom on July 4th. Might have been the 12th this year, but I did not see one until the 14th.
The Green-banded Mariposa Lily is a flower of arid western lands. The 2nd photo at this link ( Biology Department at Gresham High School ) shows the green bands on the outside that my photo does not show.

Cherries: on May 1st & 2nd we had frosts that destroyed the flowers of cherry and plum trees, and most of the newly leafed-out walnut trees. Only the sour cherry has fruit.

Item #2: Panic2020

Let me be sure: Is this it? You’re telling me that my chance of surviving all this virus thing is directly linked to the “Common Sense” of others?

While there are many stories on the web about the dumb things folks do, not all are true. However, don’t dismiss any of them just because they sound really really dumb.
For example, an article says: “People have been buying more canned tuna during the economic downturn, in part because it’s a cheap protein [WSJ July 15]. My thought is that it is easy to store, prepare, and eat – for people that do not have the habit (knowledge) of cooking. The article states: … costing as little as $1 for a 5-ounce can.” Seems high, but that calculates to $3.20 per pound. Chicken and pork are much cheaper, and ground beef is sometimes less. All such require intelligent actions by the purchaser. A good tuna-melt sandwich, recently shared at a friend’s place, does too.
Case closed.

Item #3: 2003

Cleaning up, I found a Washington Trails Association magazine from 2003. Why did I save it? Because of a Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 “vacation.”
Turns out my first activity with WTA was a week long work trip that I almost missed. As a horse rider, my notion of a trailhead included space for pickups pulling horse trailers, so I went to the wrong meeting place. Not so for those just carrying backpacks. Got it figured out, but about died carrying too much stuff up a tough mountain trail.
The activity involved replacing a wood walkway over a wet area; the structure is called a puncheon, based on the idea of splitting a short log to get a flat surface. Not much done that way in recent times. We used 2x4s on edge.
In the photo, I’m the left one of the two swinging sledge hammers.
We nailed 4 of the treated boards together
and then angled large nails through and into the logs, called stringers. The action is called toe-nailing or toeing. The stringers are held up, out of the wet, by resting them on sills buried across the trail.
Because the 2×4 decking is “on edge”, the puncheon is strong enough to support horses.
I quit doing week-long trips, and nothing for about 2 years, when Nancy was ill. With Panic2020 disrupting WTA’s doings, and our own remodeling – I’m the landscaper – I don’t expect to do any WTA trips this year.

Item #4: A fence seems advisable

I fail to fully understand this photo:
A driveway crew was pouring concrete at a new house next to a duck pond. They went to lunch. Ducks came and investigated. Sounds okay, but . . .
It isn’t customary to leave a concrete pour unfinished. It does not appear to have a grid of reinforcing steel (rebar). The missing material and taper seems odd. The leveling board (screed) appears abandoned on the new concrete. Other than that …!
My interest was drawn to this photo because we just poured a footer and support wall just out from my window seat at the computer. About 2 hours after everyone was gone, I heard a noise and looked out. One of our resident deer was under the alcove and leaning out inspecting the new concrete. The noise was her stepping on a temporary wood approach to our door.
My guess is that she smelled the Calcium Oxide, but maybe she sensed the heat coming from the curing concrete.
In a week or two we will have concrete poured for the covered walkway and on the alcove where the deer stood. The surface will be 4 feet wide and about 20 feet long, plus another 9 feet under the alcove.
I don’t want deer, duck, cat, dog, or any other tracks.
A fence seems advisable.

Item #5: Pity the chairs

This photo has appeared in numerous news outlets; credit to Nati Harnik and the Associated Press (AP). Do the chair legs need reinforcing rods?The headline for this story is:
Number of laid-off workers seeking jobless aid stuck at 1.3M

Related news (actually from 2017):
Number of deaths for leading causes of death
Heart disease: 647,457
Cancer: 599,108
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
Diabetes: 83,564
Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672

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