Category Archives: Politics


The storm is gone and our democracy is still here. -Ish, at least.

As with the election, so with the weather. It can always be so much worse – and it might be any time.

But for now, we’ll take it. “Perfect is the enemy of good,” as they say, and there’s a lot of truth to that.

Tomorrow’s another day.

We fight on.

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Filed under Photography, Politics, Sunsets, Weather


Early again today with a couple of quick notes and one critically important message for the day:

    1. Critically important message for the day – if you’re in the US and eligible,


    2. For last night’s total lunar eclipse, the last one until 2025, as expected, I saw exactly diddly squat.
    3. In case you haven’t heard, there’s an incredibly important election in the US today, so make sure you vote if you’re eligible!
    4. About an hour before last night’s total lunar eclipse started there were huge breaks in the clouds and the extremely bright full moon was lovely. You can see Jupiter just above the tree in the lower left.
    5. In many US states, California included, you can sign up and register to vote on the day of the election, so not being registered isn’t an excuse. If you’re in one of those states and you can do this, then vote!
    6. We didn’t win the $2.04B lottery last night, even though they’re reporting that the ticket was sold in LA County. There’s something like ten million plus folks in LA County and about 99% of them bought tickets. Someone’s a megabazillionaire today, but not on our block.
    7. In most states (I’m not an expert, but it’s what I keep seeing repeated) if you’re in line when the polls close, stay there and they have to keep the polls open until everyone votes. So get in line and stand your ground to vote!
    8. This morning, we’re getting some much needed rain. It’s only an inch or so, but given the multi-year drought we’re in, that’s a good thing.
    9. Finally, even if it’s raining or snowing where you are, even if the lines are long (which is actually a good thing!), even if it’s inconvenient, even if it means you’re going to miss some TV show or sportsball event, even if you’re really tired – none of those are legitimate excuses. For probably the most critical threat to our government since the Civil War over 160 years ago, we all need to go out and vote. Bury the fascists and their attempts to drag us back to the 1850’s with an overwhelming vote for democracy, personal rights, and human decency.
    10. With this list format, pictures, and video, the formatting on this is going to be bizarre – whatever. You know what’s important?

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Politics, Video, Weather

Ballot Deposited & Blood Donated

Getting things done, checking things off the list!

I know that there are vast stretches of this country where one of the two political parties has been working very hard for decades to make it extremely difficult for some people to vote. I understand why – it’s because they know that they can’t possibly win a free and fair election, they’re fascists who have to stay in power at all costs, and the ony way they can do that is by cheating or stacking the deck. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s documented fact. Just read the laws they’ve written and look at the gerrymandered maps that they’ve rigged up.

California’s the exact opposite of that and I sort of love it. When it’s time for voting, EVERY registered voter gets a ballot sent in the mail, and it’s easy to get registered. If you want to be kept in the loop on where your ballot is, sign up and they’re happy to overwhelm you with notifications. When they are going to mail out the ballots in a few days, I get a text, and email, and a phone call. Again when they actually do mail out the ballots. Again to remind me that the ballot should have arrived to remind me how many days there are to get it sent back.

Then when you put the ballot in a drop box (like I did tonight) you’ll get another round of texts, emails, and calls when they pick it up from the dropbox. And again when it’s scanned and counted.

Overkill, FTW!!

Every time I get even the tiniest little bit of annoyance or bother about it I think about Florida and Texas and Ohio and Mississippi and Georgia and I’m just fine with what California has going for it.

After dropping off my ballot, it was time to go donate a pint. I asked them to take only the blood that was saturated with those little hemoglobin H1C molecules and leave behind the ones that are still fresh and empty and happy. They smiled and nodded a lot, but I have suspicions about their sincerity.

The needle thing is fine, but I would really like to get back the arm hair on those patches where they yanked it all off  while removing the adhesives. Yanked it off gleefully, I might add.

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Filed under Health, Photography, Politics

A Lousy Day To Be An American

Yesterday I wrote about “Thriving Amid Adversity” and said

“Yet we do have the ability within us to be like this flower, finding a way to get up when the world knocks us down. We can bring the tiniest bit of beauty and joy to the world, even if it sucks. We can still make it better.”

It was easy to say then, harder to do today.

There’s a fair amount of rage to deal with today. I’m functional, deadlines to keep, places to go, people to piss off, but it’s more autopilot than innovation.

“Be the flower,” I said.

Yeah, right now I might be something with thorns, at best, and I don’t mean a rose, or even a cactus. More like one of those invasive species with the pollen that’s incredibly toxic and the sap that blisters, burns, and blinds.

Tomorrow I’ll see what I can do about channeling that into something productive.


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Filed under Paul, Politics

California Voting

Like many states, California has midterm primary elections coming up in a month or so. With that on the horizon, today I got, within the course of about three minutes:

  • A text message from the LA County Registrar of Voters, telling me that my mail-in ballot had been mailed today. I should get it within a week.
  • A voice mail message from the LA County Registrar of Voters, telling me that my mail-in ballot had been mailed today. I should get it within a week.
  • An email from the LA County Registrar of Voters, telling me that my mail-in ballot had been mailed today. I should get it within a week.

I spent about two seconds thinking about how this was overkill, but then reality set in and I remembered how many states (guess how many of them are controlled by an uber right-wing, conservative political party?) are banning mail in voting, early voting, drop boxes for voting, and doing everything they can, legal and otherwise, to prevent folks from voting. I’m a demographic (male, white, reasonably well off) that probably wouldn’t suffer much from those efforts, but I have no interest in living in one of those states where people like me are working so stinking hard to completely screw over people who are not like me.

So I’m going to be grateful to be in California in general and in Los Angeles County in particular where voting is encouraged, even for those who aren’t necessarily like me. They can bombard me with helpful, transparent information all they want.

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Filed under Paul, Politics

No Context For You – May 03rd

I have few coherent words at the moment given the news of the past 24 hours and the rage it has ignited in me. And that doesn’t even take into account the ongoing horrors in Ukraine.

So take an odd picture without any context, because there isn’t any there to be had.

Meanwhile, while thinking about the 19-year-old, Eisenhower Republican, Midwestern, raised strict Catholic Paul who would be totally gobsmacked to see mid-60’s Paul sharing this, have some interesting and possibly extremely useful information for the days ahead…

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage, Paul, Photography, Politics

Not Just Another Pretty Flower

I spent my grade school years in Kansas City, so sunflowers and I go way, way back.

It’s refreshing and heartwarming to see the new gig that they’ve gotten as a symbol of Ukraine.

It’s good to see them available in the stores to brighten up our kitchens and homes.

Not that it would be easy to forget about what’s going on in Ukraine right now, but having these around to make it even harder.

I think when this is over and the spectacular Ukranian people are rebuilding their cities and their lives and needing some cash to do it, perhaps an influx of American tourists would help.

I’ll buy into that when the time comes. I love visiting Europe. Brussels. London. Prague is one of my favorite places on the entire planet. Time to see Kyiv in person, see the museums in Lviv, see the architecture in Odessa.

And I’ll also have to make sure to find a huge field of sunflowers under a bright blue sky to just stand in and soak up the beauty. (And the pollen.)


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Filed under Flowers, Photography, Politics

My October 2021 Wish List

And so we’re officially 3/4 of the way through 2021. I will say that, at least for me, it’s better than 2020, but that’s relative, not absolute. It hasn’t been a great year so far, or even a good one. But it’s slightly less horrible than 2020, and the four years of horror that preceded.

Sure, The Former Guy is gone. At least, gone-ish. We still have to deal with all of the monsters, fascists, and subhuman slime that are today’s GOP in the Senate, House, Supreme Court, a thousand lower courts, and so on. And TFG is still spewing BS on a regular basis. But at least he doesn’t have his finger on the nuclear missile button.

And I do have a great job now with people I really like working with, which was not always the case four or five years ago. So I’ve got that.

And while we’re still eyeballs deep in COVID and the unspeakably insane, evil, and psychotic anti-vaxx crowd, so far all of us in the family are in good shape.

But again, that’s all a case of, “Cool! We personally have only a 72% suckage rating, while last year it was 82% and for many folks even now it’s in the 98%+ sucakage range!” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

So I have a wish list for October. I’m not going to wish for the statistically ludicrous (yes, winning the Lottery is always a given, I would love a nine-figure bank account, thanks!) or any fantasy-based  ridiculousness (i.e., having that whole GOP crowd vanishing off the face of the Earth and being transported physically to the deepest depths of Hell by an Act of God) but I do have a few changes, simple and not-so-simple, that I wouldn’t mind seeing.

In no particular order:

  1. Can the Chiefs pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and start playing like a team that’s been in the last two Super Bowls and would like to be there again this year?
  2. Along another sports line, while the Angels have again broken my heart by playing so below their expectations, can the Kings, just starting the 2021-22 NHL season, return to their Stanley Cup form and bring joy to my soul?
  3. Can I never again see one of these spam ads online? I’ve lost track of how many HUNDREDS of them I’ve seen (and deleted and blocked and muted and cursed to Hell) over the past two months or so. It’s always the exact same video and always the exact same text, even though the “sponsoring” account is always different. “blumbergfamilydentalcare” is selling these kinetic art pieces instead of, you know, doing family dental care? (Sorry, might be some funky HTML formatting there)
  4. Can we get a ton of “back burner” items taken care of at work (which got pushed there after two months of “OH GOD, we’re all gonna die!” priority items) and also not have any more of the latter pushing them back onto the back burner? I’ve got a feeling the year-end is going to get hairy, and it would be nice to have a basic level of accomplishment and a clean slate going into that.
  5. Ditto for the CAF hangar work
  6. Can I please get this string of minor, non life threatening, annoying as hell medical and dental things to just stop and leave me alone? This “growing old” thing sucks and I would like to talk to a manager.
  7. Can the juncos return soon? Instead of Solo Junco I’ve now seen two this week, but I miss having a couple dozen every day, fighting the finches over the bird seed.
  8. May I please get a little bit of time every now and then (maybe even every day?) to just sit and read a bit?

I’m thinking if the Universe is in a good mood, I might get at least bits and pieces of four of the eight wishes. We’ll see. (And I’ll take that Lottery thing as a bonus – I’ve earned it.)

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Filed under Health, KC Chiefs, LA Kings, Paul, Politics

They Found Out

When I went to check the mail this afternoon, I started to notice feathers on the lawn as I approached the mailbox. Lots of feathers.

Feathers on the sidewalk. In the flowers. In the dirt.

Feathers on the sidewalk. Feathers in the street for 50 feet or more downwind in the street.

Somewhere nearby, there was a hawk (or an owl) who was going to eat well tonight. And one less mourning dove. (They’re a long, long way from rare.)

WARNING: From here I start to spout off about California and US politics…

So, let’s think about today’s California gubernatorial recall election, where currently, just before 23:00 PDT, the New York Times page is showing the recall failing 66% to 34% with 64% of the votes counted…

Let’s say that the mourning dove was the GOP, sitting fat and sassy, oblivious to reality, believing themselves immune from consequences…

Let’s say that the hawk (or owl) was the people of California, completely fed up with this 100% high grade toxic bullshit that the GQP is pushing…

Like the mourning doves, there’s plenty more where that one came from.

This is where the analogy starts to break down, because the least of those mourning doves is a veritable Rhodes Scholar compared to the GQP’s finest. Comparing the IQ and common sense of a Republican to a mourning dove is an insult to the mourning dove. I had better not be parking my car under any of the wires they perch on.

Case in point, the GQP started releasing web sites yesterday alleged voter fraud that cost them the election. Yep, they were saying that over 24-hours before the actual election. So take their fraud allegation story with a large grain of salt and recognize it as the insane, fascist, undemocratic lie that it is.

The reality that they can’t accept is that there is no massive secret conspiracy to rig the election in favor of the Democrats. The simple fact is that the Republicans are lower than whale shit and folks are no longer believing their lies.

As I’ve noted, my pinned Tweet says:

No need to change that any time soon that I can see.

And finally, to paraphrase a popular joke about lawyers:

What do you call 1,000,000 Republicans buried up their chins in sand?

Not enough sand!

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Filed under Birds, Photography, Politics

Random Season Changes

It seems that with the pandemic and work-from-home thing for 18 months and feeling busier than God 24/7/365, the “seasons” have cut loose from their traditional moorings. As a result it’s feeling more and more like daily life in the Twilight Zone.

One thing here in California is that it seems to now be open season for the GOP television ads on the gubernatorial recall to be shown on every channel all day. (I’m assuming – there are a LOT of channels I don’t watch, and never will, but they seem to be on every channel I’m watching. I must be their target audience.) I’ve seen them for four different candidates already today. It invokes absolutely no surprise to see that each one is a bigger douche canoe than the previous one.

That’s going to get really annoying really fast. I might turn into a crotchety, cranky old man over this one. I might have to limit my television between now and September 14th to “Ted Lasso” next Friday and the Chiefs’ game on the 12th. However, given that the Chiefs’ game is right before the election, the ads might make it unwatchable. Perhaps I’ll listen to that one on the internet radio instead, even if it is on TV.

And Halloween candy went on sale at the grocery store three weeks ago. My first display sighting was on the weekly grocery run on the 8th. I know they get earlier and earlier, but really? A full month before Labor Day and we’re already getting Halloween candy?

Any bets on when the first Christmas stuff will hit the grocery stores? This week?

When my faith in the future of humanity is taking heavy fire from all quarters on a minute by minute basis, this isn’t helping. If you see something on the news about someone going berserk in a SoCal grocery store over Christmas candy in August…

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Paul, Politics