Saturday, December 7, 2013

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….How cold is it where you live?

Top Photo

Good Day World!

Today the question is: how cold is it where you live?

Old Man Winter arrived early yesterday here in Medford, Oregon.

We had a fair amount of snow that grew in intensity throughout the day. By nightfall everything was covered in a white blanket.

Frozen roads are a concern, but other than that it’s not too bad here today. We still have our power. It’s in high 20s, which is not walking weather for me, so I’m skipping my usual activity and staying inside where it’s warm and cozy!

As for the rest of the United States… it’s really been ugly. Temperatures plummeted to 20 below in Wyoming, and threatened to knock out power across an ice-encrusted swath of the South and Midwest last night.

Winter storm warnings are covering parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. In California, farmers pumped water into the soil to keep it from freezing and used wind machines to blow mild air across the citrus crops, most of which is still on the vine.

For the West, a second punch is on the way today. A storm system is descending on the West Coast from Alaska, and dumped snow on coastal Oregon and Northern California on Friday. Snow is reported to be in the Sierra Nevada’s today.

Stay warm, unless you enjoy camping out in the winter, in which case, check this link out!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, December 6, 2013

Future Travel Destination: ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Tour in Northern Ireland

  Good Day World!

 Here’s some interesting news for fans (include me) of the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.”

Because the fantasy series has been such a hit, bringing in millions of viewers, some creative folks are getting together to capitalize on the fact that the mythical land of Westeros is filmed in Northern Ireland.

Tourism officials in Northern Ireland say they are looking at ways to piggyback off the success of the HBO fantasy TV series.

Much of the "Game of Thrones" is filmed in Northern Ireland, which provides a backdrop of castles and rugged coastlines. Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced the tourism strategy recently but gave no details.

Foster said she wanted to attract more than 2 million visitors a year to Northern Ireland by 2016, compared to some 1.8 million people in 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. I can see castle tours replete with character’s in period costumes. How about you?  

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Message to GOP: Get over it…you’re not overturning a law

  Good Day World!

 Just to be clear…I think the Affordable Health Act was rolled out too soon for political reasons.

The main idea is to see that all Americans have health insurance, which I agree with. However, the original bill was watered down to get past the Republicans and has it’s flaws.

What remains is Obamacare – a convoluted combination of requirements for employers and individuals. After the great computer launch fiasco, White House officials – and President Obama -aren’t so quick to say everything is going to be okay soon.

The bottom line is we have to work with what we have. There’s still a long way to go before the hoped-for millions opt into the government program. It’s a time to move on…except if you’re one of the Kool-aid driven Republicans that still can’t accept the law.

When are these GOP political parrots going to get the idea? They can’t stop the law from going into effect on January 1st. Game over. It’s sad watching these wackaloons follow each other off the reality cliff like lemmings!

Believe it or not, the GOP took one last shot with the Supreme Court…again. Here’s what happened:

“The last, great hope of Republicans to see Obamacare killed outright is officially dead. They haven't been able to repeal it.

They ran a presidential campaign on ending it, and were overwhelmingly rejected. The Supreme Court decided not to overturn the entire law once already, and has now dismissed the last big case challenging the underpinnings of the law.

They're not going to kill it outright. They're officially out of opportunities. They're out of time legislatively, since they're going on the long recess on December 13.

They'll have to change strategies now, because after January 1 repeal means taking people's insurance away, something even most Republicans will recognize isn't politically smart. 

So now it's going to be more efforts to chip away, to refuse to allow any fixes, to create as many obstacles as possible at the state level for implementation. All of which they will do, because it's now their entire reason for being.” ORIGINALLY POSTED TO JOAN MCCARTER ON MON DEC 02, 2013 AT 10:28 AM PST.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exposing NJ Gov Chris Christie – the Koch Brothers Kinda Guy!

Good Day World!

There was a time when I believed Chris Christie might be the rare Republican who could get bipartisan cooperation in Congress if he were elected president in 2016.

I think I was having flashbacks from the 60s, because I’ve since discovered he’s as bad (if not worse) than some of the other GOP wackaloons longing to take our country back to some mystical time.

I’ve been following his exploits with a wary eye lately and guess what? He’s the Son of the Koch Brothers in ideology. Christie was busy this summer telling everyone he was not running for the presidency in 2016 while sneaking around the country meeting with the likes of the Koch Brothers and hiding that from his constituents in New Jersey.

I think now is a good time to really highlight that Republican rascal. Let’s start here:  

Click for Part 1 of this two-part series: "Exclusive Audio: Inside The Koch Brothers Secret Seminar

Also read Gavin Aronsen's breakdown of top Koch donors: "Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club"

On the morning of June 26, Chris Christie, New Jersey's flamboyant, tough-talking Republican governor, appeared on NBC's Meet The Press. He then jetted out to Colorado, delivered a keynote speech at Charles and David Koch's ultra-exclusive seminar at the Ritz-Carlton resort near Vail, and returned home the same night, all without breathing a word about his adventure to his constituents.

In Part 1 of this report, we gave you the inside scoop on the Kochs' top-secret strategy meeting, where hundreds of wealthy patrons were urged to open their wallets for what Charles Koch described as "the mother of all wars"—the effort to unseat President Obama.

We also told you we'd obtained exclusive audio recordings from the event. And we promised to reveal the identity of the main keynote speaker.

With security extraordinary on the seminar's opening night—audio speakers around the periphery of the outdoor dining pavilion blasted out static to thwart eavesdroppers—David Koch introduced Gov. Christie as "my kind of guy." (The two had previously met in private at Koch's New York City office, he revealed.)

Before long, seminar attendees were roaring with laughter as Christie regaled them over dessert, telling them how, in his first weeks in office, he'd exercised extraordinary executive powers to impound billions of dollars in planned spending. ("The good news for all of you and for me," he said, "is that the governorship in New Jersey is the most powerful constitutional governorship in America.") Read the rest here from Mother Jones

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I’m Baaack! Let’s explore some ancient tunnels beneath Rome

Rome Good Day World!

 It’s good to be back again!

I had fun and some great adventures and experiences, but now it’s back to blogging!

Speaking of adventures, some lucky – and brave - geologists are venturing down into the bowels of The Eternal City – Rome.

(Photo: A collapsed quarry beneath Rome, caused by erosion and human activity above. These holes open suddenly over Rome's quarry network. Photo Sotterranei di Roma)

They’re out to make sure that the ancient city of Roman doesn’t disappear.

Here’s the story:

“Deep under the streets and buildings of Rome is a maze of tunnels and quarries that dates back to the very beginning of this ancient city.

Now, geologists are venturing beneath Rome to map these underground passageways, hoping to prevent modern structures from crumbling into the voids below.

In 2011, there were 44 incidents of streets or portions of structures collapsing into the quarries, a number that rose to 77 in 2012 and 83 to date in 2013.

“To predict and prevent such collapses, George Mason University geoscientists Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti and scientists from the Center for Speleoarchaeological Research (Sotterranei di Roma) are mapping high-risk areas of the quarry system.

The mapping is important, Kysar Mattietti told LiveScience, because through the years, Roman citizens have taken the patching of the quarry systems into their own hands. [Photos: The Secret Passageways of Hadrian's Villa]

"The most common way is to take some big plastic bags and fill them with cement and stick them in the holes," she said.

Lucky geology
Volcanism created the land Rome was built upon. These volcanic rocks, or tuff, were a boon to Rome's earliest architects, who soon learned the tuff was strong and easy to carve into building blocks. Lighter, less compacted volcanic ash was used as a main ingredient in mortar.

The first Romans were savvy, Kysar Mattietti said. The geoscientists quarried outside the city, and found that even when the suburbs began to encroach over the quarries, the ancient Romans knew to keep the tunnels narrow enough so that the ground above was still supported.

But two things worked against the long-term stability of the tunnels.” read the rest of the story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...