Not so nasty news April 19

Item #1: ImagesI took the top 2 photos today. The bottom 3 are from the web.
People have too much time to squander.
A friend was visiting Banyan Bay in Belize and sent a photo of a “weather station” similar to the middle one, with the Coconut. I found this one where the Coconut is much more visible. Regarding the one proclaiming to be mine, I’ve no idea where it is from.
The can of Dehydrated Water is an old novelty item by a real company of Evanston, ILL.
If you want to waste more time you can read about the
Dihydrogen Monoxide parody.

Item #2: Got eggs?

The “in thing” appears to be adult Easter Egg Hunts. The picture here shows some of the 4,000 plastic things being stuffed with a small prize or a gift ticket. This hunt has 300-plus tickets at $25 per entrant. No children.
Some of the “eggs” have cash ($20) in them, others have raffle tickets, and the top prize is a 50-inch smart television set.
The evening event includes a visit by the Easter Bunny and a lineup of games and challenges such as sack and spoon races.
Can you believe sometimes the attendees elbow and knock each other out of the way?
I’m shocked; shocked – I tell you.
Casablanca gambling?

Item #3: Take me to Portland
This is a bit odd. Not a good photo because it is from a WA DOT traffic camera.
With only the driver there, a man stepped into a bus and told the driver he had a gun and he wanted to go to Portland, OR (from Vancouver, WA), about 9 miles. The report does not say how authorities learned of this (on bus microphone and camera ?), but they did.
A few hundred yards before crossing the Columbia River, police laid a spike strip, took the man off, and that’s the end.
Because the destination is only 9 miles away, the person could have walked, and saved himself and others all the hassle.
And the final point is, why does anyone want to go to Portland?

Item #4: “Run Freddy Run.”

A brief escape of a Bison from a Winnipeg interpretive centre pointed me to the Freddy story. This is a bison that makes a habit of escaping its pen on a farm off Highway 405 between Lorette and Ile des Chênes, Manitoba. Also near Winnipeg. This is a year old story.

The community’s custom apparel company has made a dark blue shirt.
Of course, locals are also making sure everyone knows not to approach Freddy for a “selfie.”

Freddy is not a pet

Item #5: You might like
. . . . . . the dumb crooks site.

Here’s a story with a Washington State connection.
There aren’t many Honda Accords with Washington State plates reported stolen in Hillsborough County, Florida. Nevertheless, a Tampa man, already on probation for auto theft, reported to his probation officer driving the Honda. The ignition column had been punched out and a screwdriver was needed to start the car.

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

Not so nasty news April 12

Item #1: Images

Item #2: Need a computer coder . . .

Call Katie.

Many will have seen the orange and black photo of the Black Hole. The linked-to ‘call Katie’ story is one of the best explanations of how this came about. The orange color has been chosen for humans to see, but the actual data is at a wave length we do not see. And it was a lot of data. Look at #3 in the article.
Many people worked to produce this photo. The key person, the one with the new bright idea, is pictured above, Katie Bouman of West Lafayette, Indiana. She developed an algorithm known as Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors {CHIRP}.Got that? Me neither.
Seems now that she was of less importance than first given credit for, although still part of the team. I’ll leave it at that, and let her and others decide.

So I think it is sort of like making a common pencil. A single person is not able to do that, but with the “bright idea” a thousand people can get it done.
Like the image of the Lemon (above) for which I take credit, others had the ideas that (now) allow me to do this. In the Black Hole story, it is just a photo. The real story is her training, skill, and imagination.

About how to make a pencil

Item #3: A stamp to be liked
If you are a stamp collector you will want to get a whole plate of these. They do not need to be licked, and they are a little less expensive (10 for $9) than the real thing.
Named after the city on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Other places claim a similar concoction with different names.
This one appears in a 1953 cook book.

Item #4: Need a new front door?
In fact, we do. I wonder if these folks could come to the west coast and help out. Old doors on a church had begun to fall apart.
Our first house, in North Liberty IA, had a front door with a leak (somehow) into the wood panel. Relatively new, too. I had to replace a section.

Doors on the church were past the “best by” date.

Where and what: St. Dunstan’s Basilica in Charlottetown

First part of story

Second part of story

Item #5: Weather

Snow is so pretty – At Christmas time.

Summary of the April 10-12, 2019 Blizzard and Heavy Snow
Aberdeen, SD, Nat. Weather Service

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

Not so nasty news April 5

Item #1: Images

Item #2: Onions
Weather and opportunity came together this week and I got most (nearly all) of my onions planted. We only pruned vines on Monday & Tuesday, and W/Th/F there was enough time between rain and other activities to get them in the ground.
Wednesday and Thursday’s sets got rained on last evening, and I finished today with the last bundle, “Ringmaster” {photo}.
Nancy had been down-slope and came in the drive just as sprinkles started. I ran and helped her, then ran back and pushed soil and tamped the last 40 plants into the bed. I ran for the house as a real rain started. Whew!
Pictured is a white Spanish style that keeps a long time, has a mild flavor, and is great for onion rings.

Item #3: Innovation disrupts
I pass orchards on the way to where I prune. There are many folks working.
Some are leveling fields and installing irrigation lines, posts, and trees. Others are pruning trees and vines.
Blackberries and Blue Berries are harvested with machines. That is going to come, also, to hanging tree fruit, such as apples.
The photo is from the following link. It shows a tube extending out toward a “sighted” apple. The tube has a strong vacuum, enough to break the tissue between the stem and the spur.
Future harvest

Tree shape, size, training, and other issues are being tuned via the research. In the not too distant future much fruit will be picked this way. Lower paying jobs will be replaced with higher paying jobs because someone has to build, maintain, and repair these technical things.
If you think the demise of pickers is bad news, try picking for a day or two in September sun.

Item #4: The business of bees

Another thing I learned (but not why) this week is that apple blossoms produce little a bee can use to make honey.

More than you need to know about the economics if bees.
It does get interesting. “The numbers are astonishing: 85% of the two million commercial hives in the US are moved, containing tens of billions of bees.”

I also learned about skeps, the old type of classic woven bee hives that look like a tapering stack of straw.

Modern bee keeping is better for the bees

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

Not so nasty news March 29/30

Item #1: Images

Liberty is a fine thing.

Who is Jeff and why does he have nukes?
Jeff stands for ‘Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion File’ (JEFF).
A part of the Nuclear Energy Agency

Item #2: A first world problem

Celery prices soar

Health food celebrities started a demand for celery juice. In Vancouver B.C., the price of a box has risen from$20 to $100 or more. A new crop isn’t expected to easy this burden until August.
Maybe they could use Cauliflower (there is green Broccoflower) and Fast Green FCF (aka Green Dye #3).
Or drink beer.

Item #3: A Tree Story
Not the tree ==>
of this story

Photo shows what trail crews often have to deal with.

Tipped over tree, stands back up

In our WTA trail-crew safety talks, we mention problem trees. It seems odd, but a fallen tree can stand back up. This is an issue if we have to cut and move one from a trail. The story here is of one that came back up without being disturbed.
In this story, a boy is in the hole where the roots came from.
He lived.

Item #4:

Good or bad (?), more electric autos are in our future. Current chemistry for EVs involves Lithium.
Li found in Western Australia
From Economics 101, we learn that demand influences price, and price influences supply. Or substitution: See Celery story! Not yet for Lithium, as far as I know.
Friday morning, an all-electric Chevy Bolt went by me on I-90. It was a nice blue color, but not as nice a blue as my Crosstrek. I had a good look, because she was going only a little faster than I was. Also, the smaller gas autos, as is mine, will go about 500 miles on a full tank. On and off the street for a fill-up takes 7 minutes. For us this may be the future. For some the future is now.
Better concept for a warmer place than we now live.

Item #5: Brineura
This is a new drug, the only medicine to treat Batten disease. News to you, too?


The nasty news: Brineura costs $850,000 per person for one year’s supply.
Tom Strahan, 6, was the first Australian to receive the drug called Brineura, when his family moved to Italy so he could be part of a clinical trial. That can’t be an easy thing to do.
Isn’t science and modern medicine astounding?

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

Friday March 29

John here: I had intended to do a Nasty News tonight.
However, I was informed that we were going to CWU to hear a Musica Antiqua concert.

The good news is that the hard rain of late afternoon is over.
The sun is shining, clouds and blue sky are nice.

I’ll get up Saturday morning and see if I can find good news.


Not so nasty news March 22

Item #1: ImagesMarch 21, 2019 looking at West Bar from the Mariposa Vineyard.
Two green dots, right at bottom, are near posts for wires; no vines shown. Orange dot on left is where the BNSF Railroad crosses over the highway between Quincy and Wenatchee. Red dots = road in cut. Beneath the string of yellow dots is the Columbia River, almost a mile away and 500 feet below the camera. The basalt cliffs are 1,000 feet high. The snow between the River and the cliff may be 20 or 30 feet deep, in (link) Giant Ripples

Item #2:Birds

While pruning vines, we see several types of things flying in or near our airspace. One of the pruners has an obsession with airplanes, so every aircraft low enough to be identified is explained to the others of us that don’t know.
Meanwhile, we see many birds, some welcome – some not – in the vineyard. We are on a south facing hillside, now sunny and warm. We have seen Harriers and Hawks, and the owner saw an Owl yesterday. Others did identify a large bird cruising (with set wings) over the edge of the planted rows.
Northern Harrier

This next link is a story of how such birds of prey are used to keep an upscale resort free of pigeons and their droppings.
Terranea Resort and a falconer’s playground

Item #3: Where’s Freddy

Lost, call 911

Police come to the rescue when Ryan calls 911 to report a lost teddy bear.
Officer Khari was trained to deal with a young boy with autism so all ended well.

But where had the teddy bear, Freddy, gone? They don’t say. Mystery.

Item #4: How very strange
Irony of Fate – The concept that the Gods are toying with humans for amusement by using irony.

Got chickenpox?

So I am not sure ‘irony’ is the correct word for a person advocating freedom of choice regarding vaccinations.
Massimiliano Fedriga, a leading anti-vaccination legislation figure and member of Italy’s far-right Northern League party has been admitted to hospital to be treated for chickenpox.
It is known this disease is often more severe in adults than in children, but having searched, I cannot find out why.

Item #5: Hey, my car is going the wrong way

This is a story of a missing auto, just east of Vancouver, B.C.
Wrong Way Bentley

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

Not so nasty news March 8

Item #1: Images

Item #2: Yes, there is a free meal
Cape Hatteras National Seashore is that part of North Carolina that hangs out into the Atlantic Ocean, a much visited narrow strip of sand. A famous place there is Kitty Hawk. West of Kitty Hawk is Albemarie Sound, extending inland toward Interstate 95, 115 miles west. A lot of folks use that too, but they don’t see very much.
The Highway is built on fill, and there is a 5 foot drop on either side, overgrown with trees. You see trees.
The water of Albemarie Sound ends at some point, meeting the eastward flowing Roanoke River, filled in by sediment, and interlaced with streams, swamps, ponds, and wildlife. Here is Bertie County.

Bertie County Sheriff’s Office was called to check out the interaction between a bear and other of the County’s business.
Bear finds breakfast on a garbage truck

The picture at the link has the bear under a net in such a way it is hard to tell whether it is a bear or a pig. That’s why I used a baby bear on a tree.

Item #3: Sounds above, bays below
This is a story about Theo, a black and white cat. But first:
I saw this story and looked at a map. That caused me to look up the difference between a ‘bay’ and a ‘sound’. In Item #2, Albermarie Sound is fronted by barrier islands that lie between the Atlantic Ocean and the water of the Sound. Such strings of islands make passage by large ships impossible, so towns along sounds are frequently small, and very locally oriented.
Bays have free flowing water out to the ocean, letting ships enter and leave. Often several towns will develop on a bay. They can have industry and port facilities. They become a transshipment point (entrepôt) between a hinterland and the world.
So we have Ipswich, perhaps England’s oldest town. Orwell Estuary is a bay, as is its connecting southern part – Holbrook Bay. The Ipswich dock has operated since the 7th century and the water flows into the North Sea after joining with the River Stour at Shotley. Also there is Harwich harbour at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port.
{ It is a good day when I learn something – instead of moving snow around.}
Now knowing of Ipswich, there is the story of – –

The Ipswich cat burglar Theo

. . . who steals the milkman’s money.

Now, answer this: Do you now, or have you ever had milk delivered to your house? As a kid, we did, and the mail was delivered to the front porch.

Item #4: On the Road
Today was a decent day for vine pruning, with sunshine. We worked in about 8″ of snow, but I have great boots for that. I wore them here for a couple of hours over 2 days, so all was good.

On the way home, I entered the Kittitas Valley and to the northwest about 40 miles from home there was a massive cloud. This was about 5:15 pm and a temperature of 20°F. I wonder what the temp was at the top of that cloud, with the wind shearing the top like an anvil?
Our place is just to the right of center, near the first set of hills. It is just a guess, but the cloud is in the direction of 9,400 ft. Mt. Stuart. [Taken with a phone, so not the best of photos.]

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

Not so nasty news March 1

Item #1: Images

Item #2: News you can use

I don’t know how you can use this. Maybe a game of trivia.
a bunch of little hills

The page has related stories, below and to the right. One was about 500 million year old tunnels left by worms in the Burgess Shale – a place 350 miles northeast of us. I have a book someplace.

Another with video

Item #3: On the road
The road is called the Eyre Highway (National Highways 1 & A1) and goes across a part of Australia, west to east. It crosses the Nullarbor Plain, an almost treeless {no + arbor} part of southern Australia. Frequently The Nullarbor is expanded in tourist literature and web-based material to refer to all the land between Adelaide and Perth, but it is only about half of that distance. East and west of the Nullarbor, there are other biogeographic regions.
From looking up stuff for our “geography of wine” class, we learned that grapes are harvested in Western Australia and carried in refrigerated trucks across most of OZ – to make sparkling wine near Melbourne, by a French company.
So, now a man and wife, with a truck, and a drone have produced a photographic introduction to this remote highway.

Unique views of the Nullarbor

Item #4: A Learn-from Event

Wind hits tree / tree hits house
This photo is from Meadowbrook Blvd., in Cleveland Heights, OH – about 14 miles from where sister Peggy lives.
The small orange arrow (center, left) points toward 2 utility lines. The dark area outlined in orange shows decay thoughout much of the tree. Some of it seems hollowed out.
Unlike Angels, trees don’t live eternally. Trees grow old and get ailments, as this photo shows. Big trees are expensive to remove, especially near structures and power lines. It is still cheaper to have them taken down by a licensed service than it is to have one come down across your BMW or new kitchen, while you are in it.
See: How much does it cost?

This link starts with a scary scene:

Item #5: Tired of this
The month of February has been cold in Washington State. March is starting the same way. Last night and into this morning there has been a fog and the temperature is about 17°F. There is a white icy crust on everything. It is very pretty.
We are ready for it to be gone.

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

Not so nasty news February 22

Item #1: ImagesIt is a stretch to relate the above images to the phrase “penny dreadfuls” {cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom}, but I can imagine a dreadful story about either image. However, Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal used the term to describe the silly, petty, far-fetched, and often nasty claims that dominate the current sounds coming from the ‘swamp’ known as Washington D. C.
I did not know of penny dreadfuls, but found them here: [LINK] .

Item #2: Don’t trust Phil

It has been chilly here, 13°F Friday morning.
Expecting slow warming, meaning still cold, until March 4th or 5th. We will have snow on the ground for quite awhile.

Item #3: ‘Missing Pilot’ flyover

Each weekend, the Wall Street Journal’s James R. Hagerty writes obituaries for a few prominent individuals. This past weekend he wrote of a Navy aviator, Captain Rosemary Mariner. So I searched for a photo of her.

Here she is in front of a A-7 Corsair II, a carrier-capable jet.We need a word change here, but the US has a ritual called the “missing man formation” – in this case a missing pilot – (sometimes termed flyby or flypast). This is an aerial salute performed as part of a funeral or memorial event. Here is a YouTube video of the flyby over her burial, near Norris, TN. This included 4 planes and 8 female naval aviators.
You might need a tissue.

Item #4: What to call a Crinkly Leaf Cabbage.

Wallaby food!

Rosemary, from Jackeys Marsh, a remote hamlet in Tasmania, grew a cabbage large enough for her to hide behind. She helps with running the Forest Walks Lodge. Search on the web if you would like to go and stay there. Search Google Earth with that name and discover why it is claimed to be in “Meander Valley.” The term ‘meandering river’ gets the name from the Büyük Menderes River of southwestern Turkey.
This is an historically ancient region, with it being mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, written about 2,700 years before my birth certificate.

Since the early Greek period (the Late Bronze Age collapse, in the early 12th century BC), about the lower 25 miles of this valley has been filled in with sediments, now covered with fields and irrigation canals. Food!
Dozens of photos here, including travertine pools.

Oh, being a bit of a geographer, I digressed there. The subject is cabbage of the crinkly type.
Actually, these things have the name “Savoy”, for the region where it is believed to have originated – straddles the Alpine regions of Italy and France.
If you wish to know more: Harvest to Table

Item #5: Ice is in the news

When Nancy began at CWU she taught a class wherein students would write short papers and give a slide-show regarding an aspect of economic geography. One such story was of a Washington company that took barges to Alaska with various things in them. Not wanting to return empty, the company sought out something to bring back. Glacial ice was available – floating in the bay.
At that time the Japanese economy was doing great and the business folks there had lots of cash. They were willing to spend some on booze, with hard, clear, clean, and old glacial ice. So barges came back from Alaska to Puget Sound, ice was cleaned and packed into place-of-origin plastic bags and shipped to Japan.
Now comes this story from the other side of North America. Ice bergs are fetched from the cold water off the coast of Newfoundland, and brought to Port Union.

There, the Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corporation Link creates several styles of vodka.
The water from the melted-bergs is stored until needed. The current action is that of a thief. Someone stole enough of this fine old water to make 150,000 bottles of vodka.
Holy hooch!
Article here: brazen water heist

Ice story downunder

Also in the news is the story of a very large slab of ice about to break off (calving) from the Brunt Ice Shelf; location is the red dot on the right side of the map:The red dot is larger than the chunk about to detach, but it is claimed to be twice the size of New York City. I’ve no idea how large that is. However, someone thinks it would be great if NYC could break away and float into the Atlantic Ocean.
At this LINK there is information and a dual-photo set with a slider. There is a large white dot in the center and a vertical line. Use your pointer — on the dot — to slide the line left and right, from 1986 to 2019, and notice the crack in the ice. It has been lengthening for many years.
Awhile ago, a British research station was moved off this chunk to a safer location. Google Earth will bring up a map of Halley Research Station, Antarctica.

Item #6: Odd

Thursday afternoon
Our local (airport) weather station just reported the temperature as – well look at the Image. At home, just 5 miles from the airport our reading is 35°F. Their forecast high for today was 33°.
I need to shovel some snow. It is not melting.

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

Not so nasty news Jan 25th

Item #1: A place to call home

Miramichi is a place of about 17,000 hardy folks on the east coast of New Brunswick, Canada. That’s big enough to have a few police. It is also the same distance from the Equator, as we are here on the Naneum Fan (47° N.). In the N-S direction that is 320 miles north of New York City. Both places, it is cold and there is a bit of snow.
There is also this pretty pink donation bin for the Children’s Wish Foundation, for clothing.
I titled this item “A place to call home”, but it remains unclear exactly why people climb into these things. In Canada this seems to happening enough that it has become a national issue. A few people die; about two each year. Not this time, thanks to an observant police officer.
3:30 a.m. during a snow storm

Item #2: Lost & found


Some boso took 2 Humbolt Penquins from a zoo. That was in November. Apparently they were cared for by the 23 year old, so found in good health.
The writer and the police try to get cute: they were able to “find them after “putting our beaks in”, and it did not turn into a “cold case.”
In fact, the police got a tip.
The “cold case” bit appears to be a reference to the icy Antarctic home of many penguins. This type is from the west coast of South America, Peru & Chile.
It is nice that they have been found.

Item #3: another bird

At the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, a pigeon sat on the edge of a water fountain. The rest is history.

Need a drink

I never liked drinking out of the fountains in school hallways.
Years ago our school had terrible tasting water, and likely it had lead and other great things in it. Maybe Radon. Would explain a lot.
Plastic bottled water seems to be the in thing, anyway.

Item #4: cat & baby

The short note to this photo says: “ Baby was crying while I was in the bathroom but suddenly stopped. I came out to find this.

Comments are interesting

We’ve a lack of experience – no babies.

Item #5: A pizza story

I did work making and selling pizza (1961- 1965).
We made it in large rectangular pans, cut 7 X 4, so 28 pieces.
If asked, we put pepperoni on after it came from the oven.
It sold for 15 cents a square.

Still like pizza, and pizza stories.

A man of religion came upon a group of boys
and asked what they were up to.
They were having a contest, one said. The teller
of the biggest lie would win the last slice of pizza.
The preacher commented
“At your age I would never have thought of telling a lie.”
And one of the boys said “I guess he wins the pizza.”

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