Not so Nasty News April 10

Item #1: Crowding

Part of the region around the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay; the official name until 1995) is a densely populated 50 acres called Dharavi. Population is estimated at 650,000.That is 13,000 per acre.

There are 43,560 sq. ft. per acre.
Not taking 2 and 3 story buildings into account, each person can have 3.35 square feet of space.
We claim 20 acres here on the Naneum Fan.
260,000 people. We are 2. Above: Me and a few of my new friends.

Regarding the current panic (with photos): Bad news from Dharavi

Item #2: Gasoline

There is good news and bad news.
I bought gasoline on Thursday at an I-90 exit 9 miles west of Ellensburg. I paid $1.50 per gallon. At the nearer Ellensburg exit, my usual fill-up place, they wanted $2.00. I drove the 1980 Chevy pickup that has multiple problems, and 2 twenty gallon tanks. I added 31 gallons for a savings of $15.50 for the extra (2×9) 18 miles. The old truck was thrilled to be out on the road – first time in about a year, and first time both tanks have been full in several years.
The bad news: all the reasons the price of gasoline has dropped far and fast. And again on Friday.

Item #3: Oops!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times.

Don’t let your dog drive.

Item #4: And the correct answer is:

Each person is 4.24 feet from two others, and 6 feet from a third person.
And what’s with the ‘u’ ?

It is still a good catch, even if I did over analyze.

Item #5: Got SPAM?

Hormel Foods made their first batch of Spam in 1937. With folks clearing grocery shelves and hoarding, the Company announced it will be making a 2nd batch later this week.

Item #6: Lt Rain CLR

The local weather station at the EBRG airport is 5 miles southwest of us. At about 3 o’clock this morning (Friday) the report was of light rain and clear sky. This has continued all day into the evening as I type. At any single hour and for the 6-hour summary the record shows only a “T”, for trace. During this time sustained winds have been 21 to 29 mph, and gusts up to 39.
During all this time we have had no mist or trace of whatever the automatic sensor at the airport is recording.

Our first flowers bloomed this week – Daffodils. One place claims these flowers symbolize friendship. So be it.

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

Not so Nasty News April 3rd

Item #1: Are you baking bread?

The Wall Street Journal had an article about folks, being closed in, making bread. The subtitle include the word “failing.”
The photo here involved a bread making machine and flour 3 years past it best by date.
I had not looked for flour or yeast, nor have I made any bread, nor have I been locked down. See item #2.
The interesting quote in the WSJ article is: “It’s a weird phenomenon,” he said. “I thought, ‘why is everyone making bread? I don’t know, but I’m going to do it too.’
Thus, along with toilet paper, store shelves have been freed of their load of flour and yeast.
I assume people have had less trouble with their toilet paper use than their flour and yeast skills.
Learned the phrase “peak provisioning madness” (PPM) from this article.

Item #2: The good & the bad

The good news is that our vine pruning ended on Thursday. The bad news is that our vine pruning ended on Thursday.
The weather has been weird – and that is the only thing normal about it. Cold temperature and lack of sun kept the vines from starting to leaf-out. That’s good because the new growth is quite delicate and will break at the slightest touch. I worked while wearing several layers and a wool cap. We finished in a section underlain with basalt rock. Post holes there are not, and thus no posts, and no wires. The vines are “head pruned.” White Heron’s vines are much younger than those in the photo. Those are at least 35 years old, in South Africa.

I’ve mention last week that pruning vines is considered an “essential” occupation. Thus, with the finish on Thursday, I am no longer essential. Maybe I’ll bake bread.

Item #3: Items from lock-down
It has been noted that liquor stores are open because booze is “essential”. Schools are closed because they are not essential. I think I’ve gotten that right!
Home schooling results seem to vary considerably. That’s not surprising.
There is this interesting question though. If your kids are mixing cocktails for you – does that count as chemistry class?

Item #4: Two of my favorites.

Item #5: Mathematical modeling

Various groups and individuals have been using “models” to predict the peak of the virus panic. Numbers have been all over, up, down, and sideways. It is hard to keep track. I don’t think they know what they are doing. And the data is, to this point, useless.
I have used a very complicated model to predict when we will run out of toilet paper. With exact starting data, meticulous record keeping, and a simple 2 parameter model, I predict the date will be May 2nd at Noon plus or minus 3 hours.

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

Not so Nasty News March 27

With a clear sky tonight we are seeing (to the west) a waxing crescent moon and a bright Venus. In the same direction there is the star cluster known as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters.

Item #1: What next?
Caption: People have been turned into pigeons. !!

It is good to know that most folks have not lost a sense of humor.

Item #2: Back home

Sister-in-law, Kit, is back home after a month. Some of that time was on the Grand Princess cruise ship, and some on Travis Air Force Base – quarantined.
Family and friends have been in touch the entire time.
Still, she is very happy to be back to her own things.

We wonder if she left her home well stocked with toilet paper?

Item #3: WTA & trail work

Not that I was headed to a trail, but Washington Trails Association has not been doing trail work. All has been cancelled until May, and those might be culled too.
If they stick with that schedule, the first thing is local – across our Valley on Manastash Ridge.
Meanwhile . . .

Item #4: Grape vines

Washington State was the initial hot spot of the virus that has rattled the country. Thus, just about everything in the State has been closed or restricted. Signs on the Interstate Highway say “Stay home. Drive less. Save lives.”
I know this because this is grape vine pruning weather – cold before the plants start to show life. Agriculture and food production activities need to go on and the workers are classed as “essential.”
This is a new category for me, something like “I prune, therefore I am.”

Item #5: variations

We haven’t needed much of anything, but I have visited several retail outlets and the Post Office. The P. O. has plastic sheets hanging between clerks and clients. Still, the clerk took my package, weighed it, and took my envelope with stamps, and placed my stamps on the paper.
A grocery store in Quincy (town nearest the vineyard) has folks out front wiping carts, and there are lots of signs about social distancing. I was followed – at a discrete distance – to my car by a lady with a mask and the cart I used was immediately cleaned.
In Ellensburg during the past 10 days I’ve visited 4 grocery stores and 2 animal feed outlets. I think I noticed a slight increase in politeness, but nothing more. For example, when standing in front of an item – deciding on flavor – others wait for my exit, rather than reaching across or in. Going into the stores, you can wipe your cart, but that’s not new.

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

Not so Nasty News March 20th

St. Patrick’s Day was this week –>

Item #1: Essential

adj. Fundamentally important or necessary

So, we were pruning grape vines on the slope near the Columbia River. Cameron asked if I intended to come the next day.
I said sure, unless the Marines block the bridge and won’t let me cross the river.
He informed me that as “agricultural workers” we could claim essential status. Isn’t that interesting. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been considered essential.
My father was consider an important cog in the home front during WWII. He worked in a glass factory.

Item #2: Talk about essentials
The photo here (from the web) presents a decision I’m glad we did not have to make. We did not need toilet paper, paper towels, or beer.

However, I did visit Costco.

Item #3: Mice

The heater fan in the Crosstrek was being erratic. At one point, it would not turn on. Then it came on with the 2nd and 3rd speed settings, but not the first one. Then, only the very left outlet by the driver’s side window would work. So to Yakima and the dealer.
The technician found nothing wrong but did clean considerable mice detritus out of the system. Seems to have solved the problem. During discussion while pruning, it was suggested that before turning the car off one should switch to “internal circulation” so that mice cannot get in. I’ll do that while researching the issue.

The mileage is just over 55K but there is a major service necessary at 60,000 miles. The dealer currently has a 10% discount on work, so I opted for that, a 3 hour event. Thus I got a loaner and went to Costco.
The loaner was a tricked-out 2020 Forester Sport. The designers like orange.

There is no key, but there is a “key fob”, that seems to (now) be a senseless term:
The word fob is believed to have originated from watch fobs, which existed as early as 1888. The fob refers to an ornament attached to a pocket-watch chain. Key chains, remote car starters, garage door openers, and keyless entry devices on hotel room doors are also called fobs, or key fobs.
Going further: Fob once meant a small pocket at the front waistline of a pair of trousers or in the front of a vest, used especially to hold a watch. Here is an image of a Subaru “fob” that looks nothing like a pocket.

The car, when stopped say at a red light, shuts off. When the light changes and it is time to move, the engine comes back to life. This is a gasoline engine.
The “Sport” looks cool and has a lot of neat tricks. I felt lucky to get it back to the dealer without crashing it.

Item #4: Images for the times

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

Not so Nasty News Friday the 13th

Item #1: Snow
An interesting week: I think it was changing to Daylight Saving Time. Could have been the “Worm Moon” or maybe it is because of Friday the 13th. But also, Saturday is “pi”- day [3.14] and geeks the world over are excited. (We are having Pecan Pi to celebrate.)

Anyway, the world has now been cancelled, so I guess we can get off. We got 4 to 5 inches of snow on Friday. I broomed off the concrete pad and uncovered sunflower seeds. Juncos were waiting. I’ve moved the feeding station farther from the house and that area, too, was attracting many birds.
The cold air is to last until Monday.

Item #2: Car tags

I noticed the Crosstrek’s tag was in need of an update last week and we were a day late getting the new one. Take a look at this plate from Louisiana. September 1997!

I’ve been busy

Item #3: Found this This is Nancy’s pillow from when she was in the hospital in Yakima. She stayed in the ICU into 2010. I had it under “stuff” in a bedroom closet and just uncovered it this week.
Interestingly, Nancy has lasted longer than the hospital.

In August 2017, a group called Astria Health (don’t know the history of this) bought the downtown Yakima Hospital. Five years later it is gone. Closed. Kaput!
The place had a long history. Members of the Sisters of Charity of Providence, a Catholic teaching and nursing order, opened St. Elizabeth Hospital, August 17, 1891. This was the first hospital facility in the Yakima area.

When Nancy was there, old photos and history-boards were on the walls of a ground floor corridor. There were still nuns associated with the place as chaplains, and one came and prayed with Nancy before her procedure began.

Nancy’s favorite story to tell is about that prayer. “The nun was late arriving, but asked the surgeon if she could say a prayer. They had not sedated me yet, and he said, go ahead. She had been visiting me in my room for weeks, and the prayer was personal at the start, and then went into the Lord’s Prayer. I prayed it along with her.”
After I left the ICU and came back to the hospital with John to bring gifts to my caregivers, I saw her in the parking lot on our way in. Gave her a box of candy in a red-heart shaped box, and thanked her. She said, “I will always remember you. I have prayed the Lord’s Prayer many times before operations, and you are the first person ever to pray with me.” (end of update on John’s Friday column — by Nancy)

Here is a history link with a few Sepia-tone photos. St. Elizabeth Hospital RIP.

Item #4: Found these, too When in Troy, ID we owned a small building – purchased with the idea of converting it into an apartment for Nancy’s Mother. Within a few hundred feet there was a bank, post office, and several stores.

The conversion didn’t get done and we had an empty building. For about 3 years we ran a video arcade with full sized standing units of games such as Donkey Kong. We also wanted to introduce computers but the kids were not interested.
But the name stayed: The Computer Junction.
Quarters were used to play, but brass tokens allowed us to have 5 for $1 and other promotions. The tokens were priced – to us – such that buying 1,000 was about the same as buying 100. So we had lots. And lots left when we closed the arcade. They got moved to here and placed on the shed floor – 2 boxes, quite heavy – and buried under a mountain of stuff. 31 years later they have been found. We now know of several people that want a few. Speak up. We only have about 900.

Item #5: On ice at minus 22°F

The USA Antarctic Program, McMurdo Station, on Friday asked for an “emergency medical evacuation” of a person but did not tell us why.
Oh well. Australia sent a plane with aeromedical and retrieval specialists from the Royal Hobart Hospital and Ambulance in Tasmania. Then they took the ill person to Christchurch in New Zealand.The plane in the photo is an Airbus A319. Link to story

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

Not so Nasty News Feb 29

Item #1: Happy birthday

. . . to those few of you born on 2/29/XX
Image is attributed to here: holidayscalendar . com/event/leap-day,
but does not seem to be on the page — just text about the day.
Along about Tuesday of this week, our Daffodils poked through the cold soil. Still cold at night and snow, low probability, is in the forecast.

Item #2: Industrial or artistic?
One aspect of rural living is that you have to have a means of heating your home and, maybe, using gas appliances. Our nearest neighbor has a tank that looks like the one in the photo, except hers is surrounded by shrubs and trees. Not so everyone.
I was reading an article about a house that used propane and the owners had painted their tank to look like a yellow submarine.
There are many dozens of photos on line. I searched with this string of words: colorful paintings propane tanks
Three are combined here:
Watermelon, mama raccoon {on top} & 3 inside, and a butterfly

If looking at “painted” tanks doesn’t waste enough time, search with this string: hiding propane tanks
Some repeats.

Item #3: ‘something else is at play’

Here is the full quote:
We don’t know why he started shooting at the trooper, we don’t know why he barricaded himself into a heavily wooded area, we don’t know why he fired as many shots as he fired,” Mead said. “To be willing to fire as many shots as he fired and go to the extent he went to escape apprehension
leads me to suspect something else is at play – what that is I have no idea.

wild hours-long chase

I hope Capt. Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol will let us know the rest of this story. Redmond is 10 miles northeast of Seattle.

Item #4: When pigs fly.

We do not watch MSNBC but a few people do. It was noted that with a story about a record high temperature on the Antarctic Peninsula that extends northward toward South America, the TV person interviewed someone named Kendra. When she stated this event was “not great for the animals that live in Antarctica”, MSNBC flashed a photo of Polar Bears.
Uh-oh! Pigs fly.
Polar Bears are great swimmers so just maybe that pair was on vacation.
{ A hat tip to Jim Steele, Director emeritus of San Francisco State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus.}
Jim writes that the temperature was the result of a down-slope wind (like a Chinook), and the temperature dropped again. Naming and explanation, also föhn

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

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