Monday, April 30, 2018

Mysterious Beauty

Bad day at the office

11 foot long reptile/dinosaur blocks highway in Texas (everything is big there, remember)

It was an alligator, and a massive one at that. According to the Houston Chronicle, the gator measured 11 and a half feet long. 
Authorities learned of the reptilian risk when the animal was clipped by an 18-wheeler just after midnight near Cleveland. They put out a call for wildlife wranglers, and a local cowboy answered the call. 
When Chance Ward of Tarkington arrived, the gator was clearly unhappy. 
"He would rise up and hiss at them anytime someone would get close," Ward told the Chronicle
Ward lassoed the reptile, and it took six men to load the beast into the bed of his truck. According to Ward's Facebook page, the gator — dubbed George — was released into an area lake about noon.
There is a geopolitical strategy happening this week that is essentially under the radar.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, USTR Robert Lighthizer, Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow, and the U.S. trade team are heading to China.
The outcome of their discussions connects the initiatives behind North Korea, China and NAFTA.  The steel and aluminum tariffs are part of the toolbox.  Only one media personality, our favorite suspicious cat, appears to understand the larger economic play and how it is being deployed.
From the U.S. perspective, NAFTA has a fatal flaw. Mexico and Canada admitted the flawfor the first time a few weeks ago. The flaw is Mexico and Canada’s exploitation of NAFTA as a backdoor into the U.S. market for Asian, mostly Chinese, manufactured products. Multinational corporations who have invested Canada and Mexico are determined to retain the flaw.
President Trump understands that as long as Canada and Mexico can unilaterally make trade agreements with the EU and ASEAN nations, any NAFTA agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico is moot. The NAFTA talks are paused.
If Trump pulls off this trade deal, it'll be the second giant win after the Nork capitulation.  Pass the popcorn.

Al Gore despondent - his snake oil sales certain to collapse.

The greatest two-year global cooling event just took place, which may not really be surprising given the basically totally inactive sun spot cycle.

 From February 2016 to February 2018 (the latest month available) global average temperatures dropped 0.56°C. You have to go back to 1982-84 for the next biggest two-year drop, 0.47°C—also during the global warming era. All the data in this essay come from GISTEMP Team, 2018: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP). NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (dataset accessed 2018-04-11 at This is the standard source used in most journalistic reporting of global average temperatures.

Short term variations do not disprove the theory of Global Warming, but neither are they predicted by the all important climate models.

Temperatures may climb from here, so these unusual cooling events need not make mainstream news. But unless that happens soon—and remember that would be bad news—climate reporters will have to discuss cooling, which will mean presenting a more complex story than has been typical in the past.

Be Happy

Going straight up

Mondays, they're like that

Great for hanging in the backyard for those summer evenings

Sunday, April 29, 2018

“A 13th Century Roman Catholic bishop’s helmet.”

Bishops had helmets?  This is cool , but I'm not sure I believe it.

Brigitte Macron so jelly

Melania is looking good, and the Silver Fox has his Sunday best on as well.

That's the look of a Gallic gal that is used to being the best dressed, but not this time.

She so old, she remembers when the Dead Sea was still sick.

Anyone like sailing?

Andromeda Galaxy approaches

The Art of Speed

China Clipper

A UGM-133 Trident II ICBM spins out of control after a failed test launch.

Jordan Peterson debunks the idea of White Privilege.

Pulling no punches. Wow.

Gotta have one.

Bob Ross Heat Changing Mug - Add Coffee or Tea and a Happy Little Scene Appears - Comes in a Fun Gift Box

Cheaper than Arkansas stones, if not quite as traditional.


It was noted earlier by Rich that the F105 Thunderchief was famous for how much damage it could absorb

I managed to find this picture.  I'm sure there's better out there.

Bonus shots of the Thud.

Shave of the Day

Soap Commander Wisdom (peppermint) for the lather, Moon and Stars two band badger brush, Filarmonica Doble Temple straight, and the classic Proraso eucalyptus and menthol aftershave.  Minimal bleeding, dolphin smooth most places.  I ended up basically soaking my goatee in that lather and that required a full on face wash to get it out.  

A great way to start a Sunday.

The Wing Commander ordered me to send him a picture of the brush collection, so I lined them up on the deck rail.   Man, I gotta stay off the internet and cancel my Paypal account.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Full screen this


Apr 20 1918 “Two Handley Page O/400 bombers on the aerodrome near Dunkirk”

F-22 Raptor and KC-10 boom operator talk while fueling

The tanker's boom and the receiving aircraft's receptacle have intercom connections that activate once the aircraft are in contact. This way the boom operator and the pilot can converse clearly and securely without using the radios which can be negatively impacted by environmental and operational factors, and just poor operational security. The repartee between 'boom' and pilot makes the whole aerial dance look incredibly easy, which it absolutely is not.

Bet the pioneers would have liked to have one of these

A road trip over the Carson Pass and into Nevada

Mrs. CW needed to go to Minden over in Nevada, and since there was nothing particular that needed doing today, we loaded ourselves into the big Dodge and headed east on Highway 88.

Gaining elevation, there was this view of the Chrystal Range just north by Tahoe.   That's Pyramid Peak, and it appears that there's still a nice snow pack to melt away.

Below is a stretch of Highway 88 in Nevada, traversing the Carson Valley.  Wide open spaces make happy faces!

A mountain store near Hope Valley, where we stopped for a bit.

They were baking pies, and heck, why not get one?

Down and around a nearby dirt road, that in fact used to be the pioneer trail over the Sierras, and you can still see in certain places the marks left by the pioneers.

This one is about gone, but you can still read the name "Emma."  This country was a howling wilderness in every way when these folk passed by.


Mr. S. Jackson painted this, probably with wagon axle grease, in September, which would have been about the right time to make it over the mountains before the snow hits.  It appears he was from Illinois.

The Carson River was flowing vigorously. There was a couple of optimistic anglers we saw getting their gear ready, but I don't know if the fishing would be very good with the water this high and cold. Maybe with worms.

Going back over the summit, you can see the Elephant's Back, with an oddly matching cloud.  In years gone past, two of the kids and I hiked up to the top of that far mountain, and you can bet that the view was outstanding.  Way too cold and snowy today.

Caples Lake is still frozen, but a little lower down Silver Lake is ice free.  The coldest we saw was 38F in the middle of the afternoon.  I'll bet it's way colder than that at 4am.

Back at the ranch now, and that pie is looking pretty good.  A great day on the road.

Mysterious Beauty

Next, the entire crater fills up, spilling out into the wild and heading to the sea.

In the early morning of April 26th, a large overflow from the lava lake in the Halem'aumu'a crater began to cover the crater floor. The lava lake overflow continued until about 10:30 a.m. and covered about 90 acres of the crater floor with lava (approximately 2/3 covered). This is the largest overflow since the summit eruption began in 2008. This photo is looking south, and the gas plume is being produced by the lava lake in the southeast crater floor (upper left).

The Art of Speed

Polar Bear paw compared to human hands

Somewhere in Yosemite

1930 De Havilland DH.60 operating out of Santa Paula Airport (KSZP), CA.

Just two dudes enjoying the shade under a burst 300-pounder Parrot gun. Morris Island, SC, summer 1863

It's Inspirational!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Summer's Coming

Yer gonna need more guys...

Mysterious Beauty

Shave of the Day

Two band Honey Farm Design badger brush, Soap Commander Wisdom (peppermint) shave soap, C.V. Heljestrand Le Duc Razor,  Pitralon Polar aftershave.

This Swedish razor never fails to give an excellent and nearly effortless shave.  Worth every krona I paid for it.

Just after successfully balancing all that gear on the edge of the deck for the picture, the cat decided to make herself a nuisance by leaping up into the middle of it all, and nearly sending everything plummeting off the edge into the abyss below.  Somehow that didn't happen, although it's a miracle the fuzzy and curious cat didn't knock it all down.  There's certainly no room for her.  Arrrggghh!