Seals, squash and the return of Brazen Wonk

There exists a seal recovery facility in British Columbia that was doing fine work helping wildlife recover, until the government unexpectedly yanked their funding. I know this from someone who used to work there.

Island Wildlife Natural Care Center

Check it out, and if you can, help them out.

My dogs like squash. Not the sport – the food. I was taking some rinds to the compost heap, and they’re following, tails wagging, so I let them sniff it, to prove I wasn’t just throwing away meat, and they ate it. They ate some more tonight. Love the squash.

If you see an article on Trails.com with my byline (such as this one), that came through Demand Studios – through which I’ve almost made enough to fix my wife’s laptop, and get my own life back.

Some days, leadership has more to do with being calm than being knowledgeable.

Now for some Brazen Wonk:

It all connected: health-care – education – the so-called economy – all of it. Unhealthy children don’t learn as well. Uneducated populations don’t produce as efficiently. People under economic stress do not seek preventive care. Its all part of the same puzzle.

Worried about the Big Stupid Health Reform Package? Ready to take to the streets over it? Too late. We were screwed by the agriculture bill that passed last summer, subsidizing large corporations so they could generate bigger profits by feeding us crap.

Do the execs at ADM tease the execs at Aetna when they’re all at the yacht club?

If it were up to Americans, President Obama would not have recieved the Nobel Prize. Hell – if it were up to Democrats he wouldn’t have gotten one. We value results. He hasn’t had any. We’re less than a year in, but zero is still zero.

The Nobel committee, however, apparently awarde the prize on the basis of campaign promises. If the president comes through on even hgalf of that – he will deserve the prize. Even Americans would agree.

Now You Know

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Ignorant buzz causes unrest

Real wages have fallen every year since 2001. Much as we’d like to blame the Bushco Administration, the money that could’ve been your raise actually went to insurance companies. That’s right: the decline in wages matches the inflation in health-care costs.

Except that its wrong. Look at a 2006 report, before the recession distorted all the numbers, and the truth is worse: 47% of workers do not have employer-sponsored coverage to begin with, and that class of workers – the bottom -was the most likely to see real wages fall.

So where did all that money go? In 2006 – it went straight to profit.  That sort of behavior leads to unrest.

I spent Friday in Prescott Valley watching an easy show turn into a fire drill due to some persistent hum in the audio system. See if you’ve heard this one before, veteran ME’s: the audio guy insisted it was house power causing the hum.

To his credit, he could demonstrate hwo the buzz varied with the dimmer levels. Sharing a neutral or ground with that service could indeed cause that hum. OK. I played some games with the limited feeder on ahnd, and swapped services for him.

The I sat for the better part of two hours while he traced out a “separate” buzz issue in his monitor rig. I didn’t pay much attention (I actually ahd another, though less interesting fire to attend to), but they seemed to touch every piece of gear from the board to the power distro.

And then the hum was gone.

I’ve been doing this drill for twenty years, kids. It is almost never house power causing your stupid buzz in a relatively modern building (and the venue in question is less than 5 years old). It’s somewhere in the gear that bounced a couple hundred miles in a truck last night.

But I played the feeder game for him. And he felt that solved the problem. I just nodded and smiled. All part of my 20 hour day.

BTW – best Foreigner tribute band ever!

I kid! Foreigner – the real thing – actually puts on a good show, and you will be amazed at how many songs you recognize from radio (assuming you’re older than 32).

A couple posts back I mysteriously hit 52 pageviews in a day. I still don’t know why. My normal average is 6. I know now that it wasn’t Demand Studios, and that advertising a link on the Meet-up site is worth about a dozen hits max.

But the WordPress metrics I have for this blog exceed in quality and detail any metrics for any other blog I write – including blogs that pay me by the pageview.

This post’s lame Examiner plug: I learned how to embed a Google Map into a blog post. Check out the results here!

Now You Know

The zen approach to HCR, AI, and PPV

Previously, I speculated that if Republicans are seen as squashing Health Care Reform (how long until we simply call this HCR?) they would pay a price at the polls. I still think that’s true. However, if HCR is done in by Democratic infighting, the GOP would be set up for a triumphant mid-term.

No one really likes Howard Dean. They like him less when he’s right.

I was all set, then, to tee-off on conservative blowhards and their health-denial schemes, when I came across a Ted Talk about the 5 moral matrices, and a mission statements for the Radical Moderates, among whom I, a life-long lefty, hope to someday number.

But the stupid still burns…

Meanwhile, David Brin explains how the Robot Wars are not at all invetible, beyond the usual Vista/Unix jokes.

Acute sinusitis is aggravated by fans and milk. That’s what the doctor said. I almost had it beat – but I was still running a fever yesterday, and with La Vida Rhino approaching, I felt I’d better do something more aggressive than just lying about in my bed, with two fans on me, drinking chocolate milk.

I fell better today. Thank you.

Yellowstone Pix on Flickr.

I am, in fact, the Phoenix Camping Examiner.Thos of you who have hit this site looking for tips on hammock camping should read my nice summation 0f the practice on Examiner.

You have to look at the revenue more like accumulated royalties than a by-the-word check that some wonderful publisher cuts at publication.

Camping articles are essentially “evergreen”, meaning their timeliness does not necessarily expire. So more article up for a long period of time equals more revenue.

That said, I crossed the One Whole Dollar threshold sometime last weekend – so I’m not exactly preparing for my retirement with this.

Now You Know.

From stats to polls to toilets to writing

The Phoenix Mercury are like their male cousin-club in that ordinary assumptions based on stats do not apply to them. For example, yesterday afternoon, they gave up 20 offensive rebounds and won big anyway. They did this by shooting nearly 62% from the field – which is impressive in any league.

From stats to polls:

The Republicans are painting themslves into a corner on healthcare. In the short-term, they see little to gain amongst their conservative base, and a lot to lose amoung big-pharma donors (who tend to favor the GOP) by supporting any sort of serious reform. Their problem is that the Democrats could conceivably push through meaningful reform anyway, take all the credit, and hound the Republicans as the Party of No for the next few election cycles.

And if such reform somehow benefits the citizenry in some obvious way (this could happen), the Democrats could become a permanent majority for twenty years or more. This was exactky what a cadre of Republican operatives (namely William Krystal) feared in the early 90’s, prompting them to go full guns after the Clinton Plan.

Eighteen years later, though, that approach has a couple of problems:

* The Obama Administration has learned from the Clinton’s mistakes.

* The health insurance situation is a lot worse – meaning every bit as bad as the liberals predicted it would get if the Clinton plan fell through.

* And polling data is clear that the public wants access to Medicare, but they’ll settle for some composite public option.

If, however, the moderate GOP senators throw in with the Dems, they could get actual tort reform, a slow phase in of the public option, and some say in who gets soaked to pay for it. And if it works, they share just enough credit to stay viable in the 2012 elections.

If they are seen as defeating it though, (as opposed to Democratic infighting), the Democrats won’t need Al Franken and the zombie corpse of Robert Byrd to break a fillibuster – because the Republicants will get killed on this issue in 2012.

Health care costs are starving us out. Democracies never vote to continue a famine.

From politics to toilets:

The newest charity drive: Toilet Twinning.

Where toilets go when they die.

And because bears on the only ones who shit in the woods: The Packit Toilet.

And one last thing for the writers: John C. Wright’s Rules of Writing.

Now You Know.

Painful lessons, then links.

Kayaking does not help your tennis elbow at all.

The reason you secure financing in advance of shopping for cars is so you can categorically refuse to anything to do with dealer financing. I may have a lot more on that in 24 hours

“Yada-yada-yada” predates Seinfeld. I just heard it on a re-run from Cheers.

OK – some links:

The pig flu? Least of their problems south of Mexico. They’ve had a hudnred years of Chagas.

From TED: 10 things you don’t know about orgasms (Relatively SFW).

Don’t want to subsidize poor people’s health care with your hard-earned money. Too bad. You already are.

Greenland is melting – and that’s bad.

And more fuel for the e-book debate : The true costs of e-books.