Archive for December, 2010

Zero to Twenty

Wow, snow in the desert!  On the ground.  Not melting (at least right away).  That’s pretty cold.

Up here, the storm was notable mostly for windiness, though we received a respectable 17 inches of snow in town.  And the thermometer did say zero this morning.  We’re not forecast to break 20 for a few days.  Burr!  But great for snowshoeing.

And for skiing for those who are so inclined, as indicated by this pic from the front porch (enhanced by the zoom lens)…

the shaved pine on the left bordering the driveway is courtesy of APS, which, having become protective of its power lines after this summer’s fires had crews beaverishly attacking trees in their vicinity (I know…APS? lines? fires? crews?) for several days this fall, including those that I ‘zoomed’ out of the upper edge of this picture, they not being nearly as picturesque as such a salt of the earth sort of device as your clothes line, Doc.  (I seem to have used up all the ‘.’s, here; there may be more hunkering down in burrows under the snow until it warms up a little – fortunately the other punctuation seems to be a bit more cold-hardy!)


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It Snowed at My House!

I can’t believe it.  I’ve lived here in the desert for 12 years, and I’ve never seen snow.  Hail, yes, but not snow.   Proof:

This is the “accumulation” on the west side of the house, from whence the wind was blowing.  That’s a termite trap in the foreground.

Here’s the “accumulation” on the south side:

And here’s a picture with clothesline for an artsy touch:

This shot was taken right into the teeth of the storm.  I know the sky looks blue and all, but just to the right there were truly awesome dark clouds hanging over the Usurys.  The temp was in the mid-forties, but it must have been much colder up there.  No matter;  it sure felt like freezing, just like I remember from all those years in the Northland.   This must not look like much to you, Trep, but it was a real treat for us desert rats!

Happy New Year!

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The only bowl game I watched so far is Missouri vs. Iowa.  That game was lots of fun–the teams were pretty evenly matched, and both play well.  And Iowa won, so all is right with the world.

I have some bitterness about the bowl they played in–the Insight–because Nebraska should have been there instead of Mizzou.   The Shuckers beat Mizzou, after all.   Gossip on the Nebraska boards says that a Nebraska-Iowa matchup was scotched either by (a) the Big 10, which didn’t want two Big Ten teams playing each other or (b) the Big 12, which didn’t want Nebraska playing in a bowl it sponsors.  Explanation “A” makes no sense;   the Big 10 would have loved such a matchup as advertising for things to come next year.  The second is more possible, but you have to accept the entire “The Big 12 hates Nebraska” conspiracy in order to believe that the conference cares that much about Nebraska’s departure.   I don’t accept it, and I’m a conspiracy buff.

Plus, the Insight Bowl is played in Tempe.  I would have bought tickets to see that game, had Nebraska been in it.  Tempe knows how to put on a party.

Tonight it’s the Huskers’ turn.  They play Washington in the Holiday Bowl.   Yawn.  They already beat that team once by some forty points, and even though Jake Locker, UW’s quarterback, is probably NFL bound, he doesn’t have a very strong supporting cast.  The line is Nebraska by 14.  I don’t think Pelini will let the Huskers sleep through this one, though.  Last year Nebraska smoked Arizona in the Holiday, as though to prove to everyone that even though they lost the Big 12 Championship by one second, they were a great team.

Meantime, I’m enjoying my Christmas gift from Desert and Mr. Desert.  Thanks, guys!   Now I have something to wear to the sports bar on Sunday where the three Detroit fans (me and two guys from Michigan) watch from a dark corner in the very back of the teevee room, while masses of Chicago and Green Bay fans hoot up a storm.  Cardinals fans mostly drink.

Detroit wouldn’t be invited to a bowl, did those exist in the NFL, but they’ve won their last four games and things are looking up.   Suh will undoubtedly go to the Pro Bowl.   It’s too bad that another 2009 rookie, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, who now plays for the Rams, probably won’t be there.  Bradford has led the Rams to near-playoff contention, which is a miracle, given that they won zip games last year.

Between them, these two former Big 12 players have helped turn around the fortunes of the two worst teams in professional football.

Happy New Year!

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Yo Ho Ho!

(It’s ‘Swag Some Discount Booty at the After-Holiday Sales’ Day)

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Holiday Greetings


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Last night some rich white people in South Carolina who call themselves the Sons of Confederate Veterans celebrated that state’s secession from the union back in 1860.  Chris Matthews invited some southern dude on his show last night, along with Eugene Robinson, to lay to rest Chris’ fears that secession had been about slavery.   Robinson, himself a native of South Carolina, noted that his invitation to the ball must have been “lost in the mail.”

Now Eugene Robinson is a practiced teevee personality, but he could not keep the look of astonishment off his face while the Southern dude blamed secession on the election of Abraham Lincoln and the Union’s interference with states’ rights.   This is to ignore the Declaration of Secession itself, which says, in part:

“The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be ‘to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.’  These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.”

This is far from the only mention of slavery in the document.  (If you want to read the whole ugly thing, you can find it here:  http://avalon.law.yale.edu//19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp.)

The Declaration’s authors go on to whine that the North broke the union, because, lately, Northerners had been balking at that last bit about returning escaped slaves.  They also craftily ignored that bit about “twenty years,” which had long passed by 1860, and which had been put in the Constitution in the first place to get South Carolina and a couple of other slave-holding states to ratify the document.

Last night the southern dude kept calling Robinson “Mr. Robinson,”  even though the phrase sounded suspiciously like “boy!” to me.   Never mind Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize or his fine and detailed grasp of history, which is infinitely superior to that of the Loyal Confederate Veterans or whatever they call themselves.    He called secession what it was:   treason.   He further pointed out that South Carolina’s first act of war–firing on an undefended Fort Sumter–was a terrorist act.   Southern dude didn’t like that at all.

I don’t know how long the Lost Cause will hang on in the South.  It won’t die its rightful death anytime soon, not as long as the Republicans, whose last bastion lies in the South, keeps flogging white racism as a way to get votes.

Dennis Green (dengre) over at Balloon Juice has it right this morning:

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To hear Matt Taibbi’s opinion about anything.    Last night Taibbi was on Rachel Maddow’s show, where he and Rachel discussed Republican obstructionism.   When she noted that the Rethugs had stalled a vote on a health care bill for 9/11 first responders in order to get tax breaks for the rich, Taibbi said:  ” that’s a notch, morally, below pimp.”

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