29 June, 2010

Oregon Geology Parte the First: Astoria or Bust

You know, this almost didn't happen.  Tonight, the cat decided she loved the notebook all my notes resided in, and removing my cat from the object of her affections can be fatal.  I mean, does this really look like a feline inclined to relinquish the goods?

Fortunately for all involved, I was able to lure her away by opening the door to the porch.  Now that summer's here, she's almost as addicted to the outdoors as I am.  And so, at long last, I can present to you the first installment of our multi-part series on Oregon Geology.  Come join me after the jump for the geologic journey to Astoria.

28 June, 2010

The Bald Eagle Has Landed

And refuses to take off again.

The weather report informed me it would be cloudy and cool.  That turned out to be a lie.  Oh, there were clouds, but plenty of sunshine, too.  So I went walkies in the neighborhood.  And check out who I saw:

Yes, that's right.  An enormous adult bald eagle.  A gentleman on the trail informed me there's a few around.  I'd heard rumors, but this is the first time I've seen one.

Unfortunately, he was not interested in flying away, so I'm not able to show you a video of a flying bald eagle.  Shooting video of a sitting-still-and-occasionally-preening-bald-eagle didn't seem scintillating.  I can, however, show you good enlarged images, so why not follow me after the jump?

Planes n Parks

My darlings, I can't say as I regret spending far too much money, time away from the kitty, and neglecting my geological posting responsibilities.  Today was awesome.

We began at the Museum of Flight, where the Collings Foundation had a few of their fighter planes on display.  We got to see the only TP-51C Mustang in existence fly!  We boarded Air Force One and the Concorde.  We met a wonderful World War II veteran who had many stories to tell about his experience as a pilot and prisoner of war.  And we finished up with an afternoon at the Sound.  Hop aboard for photos and video.

27 June, 2010

At Last

I have, no thanks to fretful felines, horrible hormones, and the release of a certain new gizmo that has caused my work load to pretty much quadruple, finished the first leg of research on Oregon geology.  I feel very nearly prepared to say one or two intelligent things about some of the photographs I took. 

Of course, now it's bedtime.  And tomorrow, ye olde intrepid companion and I are off to the Museum of Flight to peruse some planes that are only in town for the weekend, followed by a trip to the Sound, which means a full report on that little adventure tomorrow night.  So poor Karen shall be forced to wait until Tuesday for her nummy rocks.  But I figured I'd better inform everyone that, really and truly, we're very nearly there!

And as an aside, let me just note that two weeks' intense study has definitely deepened my appreciation for the holiday photos I took.  Now they're far more than just snaps of pretty places.  I can glance even the most languid landscape over and say, "Yup.  It looks peaceful now, but it was erupting ocean floor 30-60 million years ago, then it got drowned in mud, then it got booted out of the sea, then it was minding its own business when floods of lava poured all over it, and as if that wasn't enough, then it got hit with a flood that would've made Noah say, 'Shit, I think I need a bigger Ark.'"

When I first came up here, I was afraid geology would be boring.  Flood basalts.  Everywhere.  And little baby rocks hardly more than a few handfuls of millions of years old.  Yawn.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  Even the youngest whippersnappers are proving fascinating.  Deep time is all well and good, but shallow time's got a lot to recommend it, too.

But before I can get to the geology, there's aircraft and sunshine and beaches to attend to.  Besides, there's bound to be some geology lying around the beach, so maybe I'll be able to bring some back for all y'all.

26 June, 2010

To the Asshole Who Couldn't Be Bothered to Douse a Campfire

You deserve to be tied to one of the Ponderosa pines in the path of your fire.

My stepmother forwarded me some photos taken of the Schultz Fire.  It's horrific.

This is the area where the fire reportedly started.  It used to look like this before some fucktard decided he or she didn't need to extinguish a campfire in dry country:

This is what it will look like now:

Nature's Devastation/Aftermath of a Forest Fire

Wayne Ranney has a lot more shots of the fire at Earthly Musings, including a sequence that shows just how incredibly fast these fires blow up in Arizona.  The motherfucker who caused this apparently didn't stop to think about that, even though summer after summer, some other motherfucker's managed to demonstrate the principles of super-dry pine trees + sparks + strong hot summer winds = armageddon.  And for those who believe good Mother Nature will heal all wounds, consider how fucking long it takes to heal on steep slopes in dry country.  Here's Mt. Elden, which suffered a horrific fire in 1977 that nearly took out Flagstaff:

Its scars are still clearly visible today:

Over thirty years, and you'd think it happened yesterday:

That was another campfire started by a dumbshit, in this case a runaway girl.  Not that age is an excuse anymore.  When I was in elementary school, they showed us the burn site, showed us a film of the fire, and explained just how fucking important it is to stamp out every little spark.  They even told us to crush our smokes, just in case any of us had started smoking at the tender age of 5.  But hey, maybe it's different now.  Maybe the AZ Cons decided we don't need no stinking librul fire-safety education, and little kiddies aren't taught how to avoid burning the forest down anymore.  Maybe the fucktard who left a campfire burning in a tinder-dry wilderness never learned not to play with matches, or never to turn their back on a fire until it's cold and dead.  Maybe the dumbshit didn't have a fucking television and lived locked in a dark, windowless room where they couldn't see the forest burn year after year because of other stupid fucktards.  Maybe there's some kind of excuse.

Or maybe there's just someone who needs to learn that when you play with fire, it's not just the forest that gets burned.  I hope the little shit ends up in prison.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Courtesy of TPM, a triplet of wild-eyed conspiracy theories trumpeted by two elected Cons and a wanna-be Senator.  And here I thought this sort of frothing-at-the-mouth crazy was reserved for wee-hour radio shows and poorly-written photocopied "news"letters.

First up: Rep. Sue "Psychotic" Myrick:

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), who we last encountered exposing Muslim intern spies on Capitol Hill and terrorists in the nation's convenience stores, has issued her most startling warning yet: Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, she has come to believe, is partnering with Mexican drug cartels in the U.S. borderlands and may be planning "Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units."

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Myrick calls for a task force "to engage US and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels."

Her "evidence"?  Tattoos, tunnels and terrain.  Seriously.

Next up: Rep. Louie "Loco" Gohmert:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went to the House floor Thursday night, to warn of a diabolical terrorist plot -- with a 20-30 year timeline.

The plot involves arranging for a child to be born in the United States -- then training them in an isolated environment abroad, ready to dispatch them back here to commit violence after a quick two or three decades.
Um.  Okay.  That's like totally plausible - for a really badly-plotted thriller.

And finally, we have the woman who replaced Sue "Chickens" Lowden as the Woman Who Would Dethrone Harry Reid, Sharron "Screwy" Angle:
The far-right third party that Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle called home in the 1990s supported abolishing "the debt money system" and ran a vitriolic anti-gay insert in state newspapers that portrays LGBT people -- or, as Angle's party called them, "sodomites" -- as child-molesting, HIV-carrying, Hell-bound freaks, according to documents obtained by TPM. 

This is a 1992 petition, signed and circulated by Angle, that was part of a successful push to get the Independent American Party on the ballot. It features the Independent American manifesto -- including the acknowledgment "That many Americans have ignored the Laws of God."

The petition says that party members support a proposed Constitutional amendment called the Liberty Amendment, which would "compel the Federal Government to halt its unconstitutional programs and wasteful expenditures such as foreign aid and welfare corruption. It will prohibit the financing of the New World Order with American taxes."

The amendment would also "eliminate the debt money system and restore Constitutional money to the people. It will thus eliminate the contrived purposes for income taxes and will abolish the Marxist graduated income tax and the fearful I.R.S. It will transfer public lands in the West to State ownership and control. It will restore freedom and prosperity to America."

That was a petition she signed, mind you.  I'm sure she'll say she didn't read it first, and will have further words on how clueless she was about the rabid uber-homophobia and conspiracy-mongering of the party she belonged to for six fucking years, but you don't belong to a fringe party for six years without knowing something about their frothing insanity.

For bonus lunacy, we have wanna-be Rep. Lou Ann Zelenik proclaiming that Muslim community centers = teh terrorists are taking over Amurika!11!1!!!

This is unconscionable.  These people have health insurance, which presumably includes mental health treatment, and there are a number of excellent anti-psychotics on the market.  So what's the excuse for leaving what are obviously full-blown psychoses untreated?

25 June, 2010

More Rose Gardens, a Peony, and a Truce

My intrepid companion has decided you needed to see more of the International Rose Test Garden than just the roses, so there you are: more roses!  And a few other things to boot - don't forget to visit his site for more than rose gardens.

Now, if he wants to make this a real war o' the roses, well, we totally can.  I only snapped about a gajillion pictures, thee knows.  Like when I got bored ogling roses and wandered down to the amphitheater for a bit:

Yes, roses even there, I'm afraid.  But there was also an interesting staircase made of rocks rather than roses, so that made me happy:

And with that, I'm calling a truce.  Of course, if Cujo wants to post more pretty pictures, I doubt any of us will argue.

Speaking of pretty pictures, Suzanne's peony's obliging:

She takes the most lovely photos of Netarts Bay, and having been by there, I can see precisely why she loves living in the area.  There's plenty more where that comes from, too, so do enjoy!

24 June, 2010

See? Geology Work. And Cat

Would've worked out better if the camera hadn't been pointed nearly directly into the light, but I haven't got a lot of stable surfaces to set it on that aren't covered with rocks.  So it goes.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

But you can have one anyway:

That's the Gold Medal Garden at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland.  There must be something wrong with me.  I'm a female, and yet ranks upon ranks of roses got hideously boring after the first twenty minutes.  Then again, when I hit their gift shop and screamed for joy upon finding rose lotion, rose air freshener, and rose lip balm, I suppose I shored up my creds.  But still.

Got a lot of pretty pictures of roses, I do admit.  And it was fun taking my camera's macro mode out for a good workout.  Join me after the jump for a few more.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

And the dumb marches on, as Randy Brogdon, Oklahoma state senator and gubernatorial hopeful, believes his electoral chances will be ever so improved if he says stupid shit like this:
Instead of placing blame on BP for the massive environmental and economic disaster that it has caused in the Gulf of Mexico, Brogdon claimed that government is “the problem” and that the spill is a “perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector”:
In Oklahoma, where oil and natural gas drive the state’s economy, tea party favorite Randy Brogdon, a Republican candidate for governor, said federal involvement in the BP disaster is only making the situation worse.
“This is a perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector,” said Brogdon, a state senator campaigning on limited federal government.
Government is not the solution. It’s the problem. The more government tries to get in and regulate the free market, the worse things become.”
Of course, BP’s oil disaster may have resulted from too little — not too much — government involvement. Although the exact cause of the disaster is still unknown, there is a growing mountain of evidence that suggests BP’s own corporate negligence, combined with Bush-era regulators turning a blind eye to safety violations, are what created the environment that led to the oil spill.

I think someone needs to give Mr. Brogdon a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and explain what the free market looked like before government involvement in the private sector.  Then again, I don't know if any amount of gut-churning reality can penetrate the skull of someone so thick-headed as to believe too much regulation and oversight caused BP's well to go boom.

People like this seem to have never experienced corporations in real life.  Those of us who have understand that without government standing in their way, they wouldn't have to think of creative ways to fuck us over for fun and profit - they'd just get straight on with the raping and pillaging.  And if he believes the free market will provide the proper oversight, he can peruse this missive to see just how effective consumer outrage is likely to be.

Elsewhere, you knew this was coming:
After President Obama successfully secured $20 billion in escrow for Gulf Coast victims of BP's oil spill, the right tried a variety of attacks. By now, they're familiar -- it was a "shakedown"; it was "extortion"; it was "unconstitutional."

But Thomas Sowell kicked things up a notch, taking the right-wing whining about the president fighting for small businesses and struggling families to a whole new level this week.
[D]uring the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law "for the relief of the German people." That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people -- indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others. If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.
Yep, we've moved past the "shakedown" phase, and have entered the "Hitler-esque" stage. Oh good.
And double-goody, we've moved directly into the right-wing-dumbfucks-in-Congress-quoting-right-wing-dumbfucks phase:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) drew a comparison between President Obama and Hitler in a speech on the House floor last night that quoted a recent op-ed by conservative columnist Thomas Sowell. In his op-ed, Sowell argued that Obama’s call for BP to set up an escrow account to help oil spill victims in the Gulf was a sign that “American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes.” 

Gohmert praised Sowell as a “brilliant man” and used his words to warn that there are “useful idiots” who want President Obama to be a dictator...
Which is why I'm not at all surprised that the Cons have made Dems scream with joy by embracing Rep. "Smokey" Joe "All Apologies to BP" Barton to their bosom once again - despite his un-apologizing for apologizing for apologizing, which translates to his apology to BP standing as-is.

They're counting on American voters being stupid enough to eat this shit up like oil-soaked Gulf Coast shrimp.  I wish I could count on American voters to prove them wrong.

23 June, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Before I dive back into the hard geology work, I think I shall take a moment to wonder just what the fuck Cons are thinking.

BP is the most hated oil company in America right now, and yet Cons can't help but defend them.  Here's Rep. Trent Franks, one of Arizona's many shames, whining about how mean Obama's being to poor, abused BP:
Ever since Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) public apology to BP, Democrats have been desperate to characterize the Republican Party as siding with the foreign oil giant over U.S. interests. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it amazes me to see so many Republicans help Democrats in this endeavor.

In some instances, this has meant a direct endorsement of Barton's sentiments, as well as the argument from the 114-member Republican Study Committee. In other instances, we see Republicans pushing the line that President Obama shouldn't have been aggressive in urging BP to set aside money to help victims of the spill.
"It's my opinion that Mr. Barton and Mr. Price's comments were more of a reaction to the arrogance in President Obama's speech, where he said he was going to 'inform' BP that they would set aside this separate compensation fund to be controlled by a third party," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). "Under our laws and Constitution, the president does not possess the power or authority to make such an arrogant command to a private company."
Well, at least Franks resisted the urge to say "uppity."

Comb though that rhetoric, and you're left with a bizarre conclusion: Obama took a firm stand in the hopes of securing funds for devastated families and small businesses, and succeeded. Republicans don't like it, Trent Franks said, because the president was "arrogant" about it.
Because gods forbid anybody be arrogant with the company that's destroyed the Gulf Coast for generations to come.

Meanwhile, as Steve Benen pointed out, Sen. Tom Coburn whines that the White House isn't being fair to poor ol' BP.  Seriously.  He seems to be saying that since the White House isn't as hated and reviled as BP, White House officials have an unfair advantage.  Now, most of us would look at the fact that the playing field isn't level between the two and say, "Good."  The White House should have the distinct upper hand, and we don't expect them to tie it behind their backs in order to give BP a fighting chance to duck some or all of its responsibility.  But not Tom Coburn.  Oh, no.

And then we have Rep. Cliff Stearns, Fucktard-FL, whose actions speak far louder than words:
Most Republicans have been doing backflips to distance themselves from Joe Barton, who apologized to BP last week for the $20 billion escrow fund set up to make BP pay for Gulf Coast oil spill damages. 

But Barton reportedly still has at least one friend left: Florida Republican Cliff Stearns is having a fundraiser next week, and according to the Miami Herald, Barton is his "special guest."

The Herald reports that Barton (R-TX) will appear at a fundraiser next Wednesday for Stearns, who represents Florida's 6th district.

Stearns has mouthed the proper they're-reckless-should-be-held-accountable words about BP, but here he is, having the man who fucking apologized to BP fundraise for him.  Barton, indeed, is his "special guest."  Oh, he's "special," all right, and so is Stearns. 

One gets the impression these fucktards can't comprehend even things so basic as public polls.  A recent one showed, in fact, that a huge majority of Americans think Obama's not being tough enough with BP, and this puts such Cons as Franks in a 3% minority who thinks Obama's been too big a meanie.  That's pretty fucking pathetic.  And if you look at Gallup's recent poll, it appears that dumbfuck Cons are playing to a grand total of 6% of their base, leaving a whopping 73% out in the oil-soaked cold.

Maybe they're lulled into a false sense of security, because it seems that only the 6% are voting in Con primaries - Mike "Keep the liability caps low and let the taxpayers pay for BP's mistakes!" Lee just won his Con primary in Utah.  But when voters at large head for the polls - and after millions more gallons of oil have washed up on Gulf Coast shores - I have a feeling that line won't win over majorities. 

You know, it's really too bad.  Cons are such a non-credible threat to Dems right now that there's little hope of pushing Conservadems to the left this election season.  How are we supposed to get Dems to sweat their electoral chances when the competition is this fucking stupid?

22 June, 2010

What I Did When I Was Supposed to be Doing Geology (Some Geology Included)

Summer's for playing, and of course on the summer solstice, you've gotta get out and enjoy the fine weather.  In Seattle, thick cloud cover with almost no wind and zero rain qualifies.  So my intrepid companion and I headed out for Richmond Beach.  Cuz there's trains, y'see.  And beach.  And rockhounding opportunities.

I picked up a few:

There's petrified wood and conglomerates and sandstones and granite and chert and all kinds of other things, and once I've got some good lighting and they're all dry, I'll probably be snapping a few macro shots and writing up a missive or two on them.

Join me after the jump for some views of the Sound, trains, and geology!

21 June, 2010

I Am Sitting in my Chair

All of my books for my geology research are 18 inches away, and I can't reach them.  My legs ache from being in one position too long.  And I want a smokie but can't go outside to smoke it.  Am I:

a) Suffering from broken arms and legs

b) Too damned lazy

c) A cat owner

Pretty Pitchoors

As per usual with field trips, I'm still frantically trying to figure out just what the hell I was photographing, and additionally manage to say something intelligent about it.  I've almost got my shit together enough for the first bit o' Oregon geology, so expect that in the next day or three.  In the meantime, let's amuse ourselves with some photos that have little to do with geology and everything to do with awesome.

I Can Haz Bodhisattva Power!

Whelp, didn't make it to SAAM for the reprise today, as some of the friends we were going with put our fathers above art for some strange reason.  That's okay, because my house needed serious excavation after two weeks of neglect.  And we can haz SAAM fun anyway!  Our own George W. sent me this reinterpretation of my meeting with Guaynin:

In the immortal words of Happy Jihad, that cracks my shit up.  Thank you, George!

Speaking of George's mad photography skillz, we can expect quite a bit more awesomeness emanating from his blog, because his new baby's here, and she's performing beautifully:

That's just too cool for words.

If you've been contemplating a Canon G11, or just want to see some wonderful photography, be sure to visit the link.

While we're at it, if any of you have any particular mad skillz of yours you'd like me to highlight here, please do send them on so I can spotlight you.  It can be something you've already posted, or something never-before-seen.  I love seeing your talents.  So show 'em off!

19 June, 2010

General Babbling and Some Dumbfuckery

Ye gods, it's really truly been over a week since I smacked a pol, hasn't it?  I haven't much noticed.  Y'see, there was a kidney stone to pass (fun!), and then a trip to Oregon, and then recovering from said trip, and the panic over losing pictures, and the sweet relief of getting them back, and then sorting through said pictures, and converting video from HD to something my stupid movie making program will recognize, and more sorting pictures, and correlating said pictures to some awesome geology now that I've got my Roadside Geology of Oregon book, and playing around with various photo-editing tools to get rid of some of the cold sea mist so people can see rocks better, and reading some of the books I got at Powell's, and thinking I should really email my friends before they're not my friends because I haven't emailed them, but then I got distracted by my pictures and books from Powell's, and my job has this weird idea I'm supposed to actually work in exchange for pay, and cuddling a very deprived hellbeast, and and and....

Well, as you can see, I've been busy.  And I haven't even told you about trying to chase down the sunset tonight.  Last fucking time I leave the house without my camera, lemme tell ya, cuz by the time I'd fetched the bugger sunset was all gone.  Same thing with the fledgling chicks at work.

Anyway.  I just haven't been in the mood for political stupidity.  I've kept up on the news whilst trapped at work, and it is, for the most part, Same Stupdity Different Day.  But there's a few items I'd like to highlight tonight.

TPM's thoughtfully collected a Top-6 list of Cons blurting out dumbfuck shit about the oil spill.  And don't miss Steve Benen's "Leave BP Aloooooone" post.  These fucktards amaze me.  BP turned the Gulf Coast into this:

 (click pictures for sources)

...and all the Cons can do is run around bleating "Drill Baby Drill!" and howling that Obama's being a big meanie to poor widdle BP.  I knew they were supreme dumbfucks, but do they really think that attitude's popular with the public just now?  Seriously?  I'm starting to wonder if they've got actual brain damage.  Maybe they've been freebasing too much crude oil.

Of course, my personal favorite this week was Rep. Joe Barton's touching apology to BP after that mean ol' Obama forced them to pay up some of what they owe us:
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee convened a hearing this morning, ostensibly to read BP CEO Tony Hayward the riot act. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who has a well-deserved reputation for being the most pro-pollution member of Congress, used his opening statement to apologize to BP. As Barton explained it, he was outraged that the White House pressed BP to put aside $20 billion in escrow to bring relief to those hardest hit by the disaster.

"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said. "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown." Talking directly to Hayward, Barton added, "I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize."


I just never thought I'd see the day when a leading Republican publicly groveled to a foreign CEO, who just happens to be leading a company responsible for a devastating oil spill disaster. It was just a stunning display. That the right-wing Texan has taken in over $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry over his career makes his apology that much more unseemly.

You know, I suppose nothing these fucktards do should surprise me anymore, but that one made my jaw drop.  As you can well imagine, it's made Democrats everywhere scream for joy.  Talk about fucking Christmas in June.

Things were looking bleak for Dems, a noisy chunk of whom can't seem to remove their heads from their asses long enough to remember which party they're supposed to be in, but if things go on like this, they'll take November in a landslide simply because no matter how bad they are, they are megaparsecs better than the competition.  It'll come down to a choice between frothing insane freaks who make you wonder if they're suffering from hydranencephaly and Dems who would've made excellent moderate Republicans, and while I know a friend of mine thinks we should vote third party just to teach the DINOs a lesson, I can't for the sake of my country bring myself to do it.  I'm sure I won't be alone.  Teaching Dems the hard way that they need to swing left will have to wait until the Con party has incinerated itself with its own flamethrowers of stupid.  (Besides, heavy losses mean we'll see Dems running even further to the right, because the ones who are a problem are stupid enough to think they're losing because they're too liberal.)

But there are some Dems who need kicking to the curb no matter how counterproductive it is.  Blanche Lincoln's first on my list of Dems I'd Like to See Lose Spectacularly, and Mary Landrieu's a close second:
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) deflected attacks on BP last week saying that the Gulf region needs BP now more than ever:
First of all, the last company that people in the Gulf want to see go bankrupt is BP because we’re depending on them to clean up our environment and make our people whole,” Lousiana Sen. Mary Landrieu told “Good Morning America” today in an exclusive interview. “One of the more important issues… [is] half of our families make their living fishing, the other half of our families make their living in the Gulf drilling for oil and gas that this country desperately needs.”
Holy fucking shit, what an idiot.  She sounds just like, well, BP:
Last night during an interview with BP executive Bob Dudley on Fox News, host Greta Van Susteren noted that the oil giant has been taking some heat because of its Gulf oil spill. “Your company has taken quite a beating,” she said. Dudley agreed but said his company’s critics should be careful because Gulf coast residents are dependent on BP:
DUDLEY: Well, Greta, I know that oil companies are not popular. It has been that way for sometime in the U.S. It’s a company made up of people, many of which live along the Gulf coast, that are integrated into the fabric of the communities there.
We have 23,000 people in the U.S., many of which are around the Gulf coast. I think — and everyone is devastated by what has happened today. I think I would look at some of the process today as just making sure that through that sentiment we don’t actually shoot the dog who is trying to bring home the bone and meet its obligations all across the Gulf, and we are going to be there a long time.
Gee, they employ thousands of people and give us gas, so we can't be too mad they destroyed the Gulf of Mexico!  I have just one response to BP and all its shills:


And that's all I've got to say about that.

17 June, 2010

How I Spent the Day After My Summer Vacation

Recovering files, woo-hoo!

I made one of those stupid mistakes you make when you're tired.  Y'see, I'd just attempted to download the last day o' photos, and it looked like the full day had downloaded.  Could've sworn I even checked the destination folder and assured meself that yep, they're all there.  So instead of just leaving the memory card alone, I deleted everything.  And went to pull up the folder a bit later to eyeball the things I'd snapped.  And had that horrifying experience of opening a folder and discovering there's a mere fraction of what should be there.

All the rest, all gone.  All my roses, my geological cores, my waterfalls, my trains going into tunnels from across the Columbia Gorge, my sneak shots of my intrepid companion.  All of it, gone.

There was language used that my mother wouldn't have approved of, most directed at myself for being such a fucking idiot.  Then it was off for a frantic gallop through the camera for an undelete option (there wasn't one), and a search through Google for same (several).

The first free program I downloaded recovered a long-deleted photo of the cat and a test shot of my baker's rack, but not a single vacation pic.  The second found every single file, but wouldn't finish recovering the data before draining the camera battery, thus ensuring failure as the full file extensions wouldn't make it into the final file.  I tried it twice, and failed miserably twice.  Maybe it would've been different with a card reader, but I haven't got one, and at four in the morning, it's hard to go buy one. 

Well, shit.  These had to be recoverable.  The data was there.  I just couldn't bloody get to it.

Back to Google.  And I found a nifty little program on Imaging Resource called PhotoRescue.  The free demo would tell me if it could recover the files, and if so, then I could plunk down the $29 for the full program to finish downloading them.  So why the hell not?

And now, this moment, brought to you by the good folks at PhotoRescue:

Yeah, it works.  It's like those photos were never deleted.  And now I know who to turn to if exhaustion leads to stupid mistakes.  I've got me recovery program!  Although after this little fiasco, I probably won't need it, as paranoia concentrates the mind wonderfully.

And now I've got about a billion more pictures to sort through, so I'm back to it.

15 June, 2010


I have returned from ye olde whirlwind tour of Oregon.  I'll have some items of interest for you later, my darlings.  But now, the cat needs cuddles and I need to crawl in to bed and die for a bit.

Here's a sneak preview:

That's from Cape Meares.  And it's only one of many places we explored and thoroughly photographed. Geology was seen, rocks collected, tourist traps sprung, and books bought.  I'm calling it a success.

11 June, 2010

Abandoning All Y'all For Oregon

My intrepid companion, Sony Cyber-shot and I are off to Oregon.  We should have plenty of lovely pics and interesting tidbits when we get back.  In the meantime, my darlings, find plenty of life and love to enjoy!

10 June, 2010

Night - No, Wait, Day - At the Museum III

Sigh.  I look now upon the photos I took at SAAM, and mourn the fact I didn't have my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V yet.  No detail!  Waaah!

But we'll do well enough to give you an idea of the glories of ancient China.  Please do follow me after the jump for the third and final installment...

First Photos

It's here, it's here!  And it seems to be marvelous, although with the crappy ancient screen on my laptop, it doesn't seem I'm getting the full glory of these photos.  There's also the fact I'm using the camera for the first time, and it's a learning curve.  But so far, so good - things are turning out better than I expected.

09 June, 2010

Night - No, Wait, Day - At the Museum II

Our adventures at the Seattle Asian Art Museum continue!  In Part I, we wandered about woodblock prints and learned that Japanese painters kicked arse.  I also promised you rocks, and rocks you shall have.  We're leaving Japan for India after the jump.

08 June, 2010

Worse Than Christmas

So I get home tonight, and there's a package on my doorstep.

It's the memory card.


Memory card, no camera.  Why oh why couldn't it have been the camera that shipped from a local vendor and the memory card coming from freaking Indiana?  Wah wah wah!  I mean, I've already read the owner's manual online, I'm ready to hold this baby in my hands and start pointing and shooting furiously.  And I would've been today, only Kit's Cameras has been out of that model for a month, they tell me.  So much for buying locally.

It's worse than waiting for Christmas, I tell you.

Ah, well.  Gives me more time to clear up space on my pathetic 55 gig hard drive to fit all the pretty pictures I'm sure to have soon...

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Crooks and Liars beat me to it.

Barbour: 'The Mississippi Coast is Beautiful' 'Come on Down!' - Except for Those Thousands of Dead Fish


Absolutely fucking gorgeous.

And if you haven't seen it yet, don't miss PZ's post on BP's emergency response plan, which uses a site selling this kitsch as a "primary equipment provider":

Looks like they were planning to use gumballs for top kill.  Good to know.

Night - No, Wait, Day - At the Museum

Well, for all intents and purposes, it was night.  The sun didn't get so much as a peek through the clouds.  Perfect day for visiting SAAM!

I wasn't all that enthusiastic when my intrepid companion proposed it - I'm not a huge museum fan.  Yes, I know they're vital to culture and preservation of masterworks and all that, but I'm one of those people who's very hands-on.  I like to touch, feel, understand things with my skin.  Wandering through just eyeballing stuff doesn't melt my butter.  And the Seattle Asian Art Museum doesn't have stuff you can play with like they do at the Burke Museum.  But hey, they were having an exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints, and considering I'd just plunged headlong into Japanese woodblock prints looking for stuff to enliven my bedroom walls not so long ago, why the hell not?  What else were we going to do in the rain?

Turns out eyeballing Asian art rather does melt my butter.  Perhaps it'll melt yours, too, if you follow me after the jump. 

07 June, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

There's really nothing new under the dumbfuck sun today - I mean, Cornyn's still a hypocritical shitheel, and the BP oil spill disaster is still disastrous (not to mention it's not their only fuck-up this year); meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is doing her level best to ensure we live in a greenhouse world choked with pollution, FreedomWorks can't tell the difference between a natural disaster and BP et al's criminal negligence, and no one should be at all surprised that the 22% or so of Americans who think BP's just ducky are overwhelmingly conservatives.  The only think that surprises me is that they haven't come out claiming God made the oil well blow because of all teh gayz.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

So, yeah, the stoopid today's pretty much par for the course.  It's a good thing, too, because I've been busy going to art museums and searching desperately for the right digital camera, the latter of which has taken over my life.  George, dear, I feel your pain.  Combined with trying to get ready for Oregon this weekend, there's little time for anything else.

But there's definitely time to highlight the comments from Saturday's Dumbfuckery.  First, you owe it to yourself to investigate what John found:
Speaking of jackasses, did you see the logo of the station that aired Blair's radio show?


Either somebody at the station has a sense of humor or nobody at the station has any sense of irony. 

I laughed so hard I scared my cat.  I think that one wins the Appropriate Logo of the Year award.

Cujo will hopefully expand on this thought in a blog post of his own:
This just begs the question: Do white people in Arizona even realize that they weren't the first people to live in the area? The indigenous people were there first, and the Spaniards (AKA "the Mexicans") were there when white folks arrived. Complaining about seeing "spics" in a mural there strikes me as especially bigoted, given the circumstances.

I guess there really is nothing to learn from all that history stuff. 

No, because "that history stuff" contradicts the super awesome custom Con world they've built up for themselves, seeing as how the facts have a librul bias.  So we have racist white prats running about screaming for people who got here long before them to give the country back, not realizing this would mean that if we were going by who got here first, the whites would be the first to be kicked out of the States.

No wonder I buried myself in camera comparisons.  It's far less frustrating than watching Cons act the idiots over and over and over etc. ad infinitum again.

05 June, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

I'd primed the Smack-o-Matic and was going to cause some serious welts over this:
Recent events in Arizona have cast the state in an ugly light -- racial tensions, anti-immigrant animus, and ethnicity-based demagoguery have created a toxic political environment. This won't help.
Artists who painted a mural at an elementary school in Prescott depicting four students, with the most prominent being a Hispanic boy, were asked to lighten the faces amid taunts and tensions.
R.E. Wall, the artist who heads the Prescott Downtown Mural Project, told a local newspaper passersby regularly shouted racially charged comments at his group while they were creating the mural at the Miller Valley Elementary School.
"You're desecrating our school," "Get the ni---- off the wall," "Get the sp-- off the wall," were common, Wall said. "The pressure stayed up consistently," Wall said. "We had two months of cars shouting at us."
The school principal reportedly asked the artists to "remove some shadowing that made the faces darker than they are." Wall said he and his artists were instructed to make the children appear more "radiant and happy."
The uproar seems to be largely the result of complains from a city councilman, Steve Bair, who insisted that the mural "looks like graffiti in L.A."

"I am not a racist individual," Blair said on a recent radio show, "but I will tell you depicting a black guy in the middle of that mural, based upon who's President of the United States today and based upon the history of this community, when I grew up we had four black families -- who I have been very good friends with for years -- to depict the biggest picture on that building as a black person, I would have to ask the question, 'Why?'"

Because that's one of the actual students, you racist piece of shit.  And a word to the unwise here: saying you're "not a racist individual" right before spewing racist bullshit does not magically make you "not a racist."  You're a fucking racist scumbag.

So are the citizens of the city I used to live in who engaged in some drive-by slurring.  And I would've given the Smack-o-Matic the workout of its young life, but I don't have to, as PZ already applied the pain:
The citizens of Prescott can hang their heads in shame, too. You people listen to these low-life scum? You drive by the mural and shout "Nigger!" and "Spic!" out your car windows? That's the impression the rest of the country now has. Just firing the one bigot who inflames this stuff on the radio is not quite enough to compensate.
I know there are quite a few good people in Prescott.  I hope they're good enough to lay the smackdown of all smackdowns on the prejudiced pricks who are giving Prescott a reputation as Redneck Jackass Capitol of the World.

04 June, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

I just watched a documentary called Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema.  And yes, it was fabulous.  It introduced me to a world I didn't know existed, which is what every good documentary should do.

I think it needs to be screened for certain members of the Senate, combined with some of the movies highlighted within it, because they're obviously completely ignorant fucktards when it comes to gay people:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke to about 300 constituents earlier this week at Dixie State University. His remarks included some advice for conservatives. (thanks to reader J.S.)
He said the Republicans need to organize and pull together just as unions, environmentalists, personal injury lawyers and gay rights activists do for Democrat candidates.
"Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," said Hatch.
I'd love to know what that means, exactly. Gay people can't be religious? The LGBT community necessarily cares more politics than the rest of the country?

For a politician with a habit of making bizarre remarks, Hatch's comment was even dumber than usual.

Well, with the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell being nigh, and teh gayz getting horrible things like benefits, not to mention Americans in general getting used to the idea that same-sex sexuality isn't going to bring about the end of civilization, right-wing anti-gay fucktards are probably finding their brains overheating, which is causing an exponential increase in teh stoopid.  Add to that the fact that so many passionate homophobes seem to be so because they're busy denying their own sexuality, and teh stoopid burns just that much hotter.

How hot is teh stoopid getting?  Observe Bill O on the verge of spontaneous combustion:
Last night, culture warrior Bill O’Reilly ran a segment about a new gay-themed McDonald’s ad airing in France. After previewing the ad, which shows a young man talking on the phone with his boyfriend, O’Reilly asked Fox News anchor Jane Skinner, “does that make you want to buy a Big Mac? … Because, you know, straight people are going to watch that, too.” When Skinner explained that the ad was part of a campaign showcasing people from different walks of life, O’Reilly asked if they would cut an ad featuring Al-Qaeda and insisted that the ad would never run in America.
He guarantees it, even.  We need to pin him down on a dollar amount now and get that guarantee in writing so that we may enjoy making the poor douchebag pay up when Mickey Ds decides they're not clogging enough gay arteries in the United States.  Even if we're out of the recession by then, the money'll still be nice.

We can even use some of it to put on a queer film festival for those right wing culture warriors who so desperately need the education.  They'll either come out enlightened, or their brains will explode.  Either way, it's good for the rest of us.

Silleh Kitteh

I haven't been doing much adventuring lately, aside from a trip out to the Bellevue Farmer's Market for research purposes today.  But my cat's been having a rich life of her own.  Apparently, getting singed has had no lasting effects.

Or did it?  After all, she's never made herself a fortress o' paper, until now:

Those papers were flat until she rearranged them.  She's made good friends with my In Search of Ancient Oregon book, too - I haven't been able to shelve it because she's been enjoying cuddling it so much lately.

When she's not hanging out with geology, she's using the couch as a bunker:

Don't ask me why it's so amusing to look up from your political reading and see nothing but a cat head poking around the sofa, but it is.

Later in the day, she decided she felt oh-so-pretty:

And yes, that is her shoebox.  There are actually a few boxes around the house I haven't discarded because she's not done playing with them.  There's her Amazon box:

Amazon wants us to rate their packaging.  Kitteh gives it five stars.

Then there's her lamp box:

Which is so deep she has trouble getting out of it, but that hasn't stopped her from jumping in (and eventually jumping out):

Both of us will regret the day this box ends up being filled with books and hauled down to Powell's.

It's hard to believe this feline is fifteen.  She's still as adept at getting into trouble now as she was at age two.

02 June, 2010

Quote o' the Day

Aunty Flow is here, and has been pestering me with chronic cramps all day, which means I don't have the energy to wield the Smack-o-Matic on some politician's deserving derriere.  The good news is, within about 24 hours or so, all should be back to as normal as it gets and the lack of social energy that has led me to neglect far too many friends shall come to an end.  I shall also be prepared to resume spanking duties.  I'd like to ask the Cons to wax their butts in preparation for my imminent return.  A hairy ass absorbs sound and is also unsanitary.

In the meantime, I'm catching up with Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes, and have come across one of the few things that has the power to make me laugh today:
It's official, people: the Answers in Genesis people have finally decided to protest air.

I commend the rest of that post to your attention.