September 2017


You'd Think There Would Be an Explanation for This

This Sunday's game in Dallas, hosting the Rams, is supposed to be aired on Fox at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

All evidence is pointing to this game not being aired in the Atlanta market. Instead the Atlanta Fox affiliate has scheduled several episodes of something called "Live Life and Win!"

And I have never found anything that explains why the Atlanta affiliate has chosen to embargo this game. They're showing the games before and after — neither of which is a Falcons game. If one were, that might serve as kind of a lame explanation, the Falcons being the Atlanta team.

When you do something that seems inexplicable, and don't explain it, you have to expect people to get ticked off.

And if that's why you did it, you're nothing but a troll.

Thursday,  September 28, 2017  McGehee

The Intarweb Has a Sad

Because "Airporty McAirportface" didn't even get nominated.

The Riverton Airport Board is thinking about a name change for Riverton Regional Airport to more accurately reflect the region served by the county’s only commercial airport.

The name that has been proposed is Wind River Regional Airport. The change was suggested by Airport Board and Fremont Air Service Team (FAST) member Mick Pryor. “The proposed name would encapsulate the marketing effort tourism agencies have been using and the entire region that we serve,” Pryor said.

It's rigged. Rigged, I say!

Update: They decided not to change the airport's name after all. And you know what that means: "Airporty McAirportface" still has a chance!

Thursday,  September 28, 2017  McGehee

The Weather Channel Needs to Have What ESPN Is Having

Today The Weather Channel seems to be wall-to-wall snarking at President Trump, spinning what he's been saying about Hurricane Maria response, and emphasizing a politico who's upset about... drum roll, please...




wait for it...




wait for it...




...a tweet.

If you're old enough to remember music on MTV, learning on The Learning Channel, and unmitigated sports reporting on ESPN, you may not care to display your shocked face when you learn that The Weather Channel has followed ESPN's trajectory into left-wing politics. After all, TSJWC has been going along with the "Off with their heads!" climate-alarmist dogma for years now.

Of course, ESJWN is actually starting to suffer for its slide into politics, what with the collapse in NFL ratings since football players — and some owners — have followed the "sports" media's support for attention-grabbing, fan-infuriating, political protests on the football field.

If WeatherNation is an option in your market, I highly recommend it. As for football, there's always the NCAA. It may be frequently corrupt, but at least it doesn't flaunt a smug disdain for America as a nation.

Wednesday,  September 27, 2017  McGehee

Calling All Cars, Calling All Cars

"Fugitive believed to be fleeing north at low rate of speed..."


NOUS62 TJSJ 251947


MESSAGE DATE: SEP 25 2017 19:47:00


Be safe out there.

Monday,  September 25, 2017  McGehee

Kim, You Ignorant Slut

The Korean War is in its 68th year. It never formally ended.

America doesn't need to "declare" war on you, you dopey little speed bump. We don't need to provoke you.

You, however, need to stop provoking us.

Monday,  September 25, 2017  McGehee

Beneath Notice

I can remember when taking a knee
Was a sign of respect and submission
But we can't expect twenty-something millionaires
To engage in that much cognition
So they kneel as a sign of disrespect
To the flag their grandfathers might have died for
Millions of immigrants fled home for
And all good Americans have pride for

A flag flown by my ancestors
Who fought to free the slaves
And saw their eldest brother killed
And laid in a soldier's grave
A flag laughed at by Hitler
He didn't laugh for very long
A flag sneered at by Stalin
We're still here, his flag is gone

Bin Laden tried to end it too
Doused in jet fuel and burned
Yet it rose again from the ash and rubble
And he got the comeuppance he earned
So to pampered gridiron idols I say
Indulge your childish vainglory
Your moment in the spotlight's glare
Won't be a footnote to that flag's story.

Monday,  September 25, 2017  McGehee

There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy

Cancelling extra cloud storage capacity I don't need? $20 a year.

Ending an annual payment of $20 to Google? Priceless.

Saturday,  September 23, 2017  McGehee

Happy Autumnal Equinox

By the time you see this, the sun has gone south of the equator, and there is no longer any excuse for heat waves or drenching humidity.

But hereabouts, we'll get them anyway.

Which is why the last few days it's been a pleasure to look at Wyoming webcams.

Okay, so Yellowstone having snow isn't that impressive; it's the snowiest place in Wyoming after all.

There's a phenomenon called a moisture channel that extends from the point where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain chains meet, across northwestern Nevada and southeastern Oregon to the Snake River Plain, and right to the mountains in and around Yellowstone. Much of the water that feeds three of America's great river systems — the Columbia, Colorado, and Missouri — flows when Yellowstone's abundant snowfalls melt in the spring and summer.

A surprising percentage of the people who work in Jackson Hole don't live there. Many live on the other side of the Tetons in Idaho where, presumably, it's cheaper to live — and commute across the state line and the mountain range to their jobs. The above is the view those commuters saw this morning as they crossed the summit.

Not that snow in the Tetons is any more unusual, perhaps, than in Yellowstone.

Even the upper Wind River valley is a bit close to Yellowstone for this to be all that unusual, I suppose, but Dubois — at only 6,900 feet above sea level — is not really in the mountains.

To be fair, this snow is unlikely to still be there by local noon, unless temperatures drop further and a lot of additional moisture makes it into the valley.

Normally this spot is noteworthy for its scenic view, but this morning it was socked in by snowfall. Red Canyon is on the east side of the other end of the Wind River Mountains from Dubois' valley location; its elevation may be comparable or not much lower. It's definitely not part of the Yellowstone environs.

When we have weather like this on the home acres, it's January (February at the latest) and sensible people hunker down at home with the spoils of the panic buying they indulged in when the S-word appeared in the forecast.

Those trans-Teton commuters mentioned above? Just another high-country morning rush hour for them.

Friday,  September 22, 2017  McGehee

The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.

Savannah, 46, claims she recently helped to "heal" a 23-year-old Los Angeles police officer from acute Stage 4 leukaemia by talking to her "demon guide" Astaroth.

There is no medical evidence to suggest she has actually cured anyone - but that has not stopped five million people visiting her website this year alone.

The mum-of-three, who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, told Sun Online that she began helping the young man with leukaemia after his mother wrote to her and asked her for help.

She says she helped the woman make a “pact with Lucifer” to heal her son - before carrying out various spells on the young man herself.

The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote: “I knew in my heart that my son was healed immediately the night the Pact with Lord Lucifer was accepted by His Greatness."


What spell can this witch cast to cure that mother of her ... issues?

Thursday,  September 21, 2017  McGehee

The Food Stinks. And Such Small Portions!

Having gone back to hosting my domain and having my preferred email address as other than an alias on Gmail, I've been a bit underwhelmed with the webmail options, and I really don't like any of the resident email clients out there. Thunderbird has one feature that makes it useful, but it has failings of its own. I'll use it for that one feature if I need it, but I don't like it as a default mail interface.

So, I found another provider with a much better webmail interface and have separated my email hosting from my web hosting, but the DNS entries necessary to do this aren't panning out well. I did exactly what the mail host instructed, but it's been a few days now and it's still not verifying.

I do get my mail — the issue is a setting that tells other mail servers it's really me using this mail host that's not at my web host.

Just found an error that was preventing the setting from verifying. Fixed it. All is well. These next two paragraphs are no longer relevant.

I can transfer my web hosting over as well, but this outfit doesn't support the databases necessary to run Wordpress. Which means if I do transfer web hosting I'll have to move the blog to Wordpress.com.

I don't like this idea (Update: and I just discovered it would mean paying Wordpress $99 a year just to be able to use the quotes plugin; nuh-uh!). If the DNS business doesn't clear up though (I've been in contact with the mail host's user support about it) I may have no choice.

Thursday,  September 21, 2017  McGehee


Some college football games — like the September 30 game pitting Texas State against Wyoming — are being shown on Facebook!!!?????

Are they gonna have Kaepernick sing the national anthem too??

Tuesday,  September 19, 2017  McGehee

Autumn in Georgia

The midday shadows are longer now
The driveway's scattered with leaves
I've learned to avoid telling the missus how
There are big spider webs under the eaves

The stores have big Halloween candy displays
I just walk past them, calm and sober
Nothing I buy in late September
Is ever still around in October

I look out the window at the pond
Half-expecting to see it freeze
Then I look at the thermometer
Oh gawd, it's 87 degrees!

Monday,  September 18, 2017  McGehee


Mississippi State's first two lopsided victories this season were non-conference games, so it was reasonable to wonder how well they would do against a fellow SEC school.

Now we know. LSU's Tigers are butter on MSU's pancakes.


Meanwhile in Laramie, the PAC-12's Oregon Ducks nibbled the Cowboys to death, defeating Wyoming 49-13. Fortunately for the 'Pokes, it won't count for but so much in their Mountain West standings.

Saturday,  September 16, 2017  McGehee

One Year Ago Today in Idaho

I didn't hear about this. Did you hear about this?

(Originally, the YouTube video was embedded, but for some reason nothing I can do will get the correct video to display, so...)

Turns out there was a reason:

The jump was made on private land, so it was limited to family and friends of those who put it together.

Ol' Evel was more of a showman, I guess. Also, in his day, believe it or not, there were fewer distractions.

Saturday,  September 16, 2017  McGehee

Fall Color in Alaska

It's probably more accurately categorized as "The High Latitude Life" though.

I'm not 100% sure exactly where this "Chena River" webcam is located, but judging from the paved paths it's a good bet it's in Fairbanks. The river only flows 100 miles, according to Wikipedia, and feeds the even wilder Tanana (doesn't rhyme with 'banana') River just a few miles downstream from downtown Fairbanks.

(My suspicion is that it's across the river from the Carlson Center, not far from the Ice Alaska grounds.) (Nope, it's here, between the Cushman and Old Steese bridges. Or see it like this on Google Maps.)

I did tweak the color saturation just a bit to make the fall color stand out a bit more.

That one week in September each year is one of a great many things I miss about Fairbanks. By the time we get much in the way of color hereabouts, interior Alaska's trees should be bare and its ground covered with the first inch or so of the winter's snowpack.

Update, Saturday: And also winter color in the Wyoming mountains! It snowed in the Big Horns, Tetons, Absarokas, and Wind Rivers. It even snowed — a little — on Elk Mountain between Rawlins and Laramie. Oddly enough, the evidence of snow I saw in Yellowstone, on the Old Faithful webcam, consisted solely of a remnant dusting on the tops of signs and benches.

The snow won't stay around long; the ground is still warm and the dry wind can suck the moisture out of snow even when the temperature stays below freezing. But it's snow! It hasn't even snowed yet in Fairbanks!

'Nother update, Monday: (Actually, this was posted last Friday.)

Friday,  September 15, 2017  McGehee

Just Don't Try to Use Their Online Store

I don't have any first-hand experience of shopping in an actual bricks-and-mortar Boot Barn store, but as God is my witness, friends don't let friends try to use their online store.

Any email you're supposed to receive from them — an e-receipt, a shipping notification, a password reset link — may be intercepted by SpamCop if your email provider uses it to block spam.

Didn't write down your order number? If something goes wrong with your order you'll never know it. Unless you managed to set up an account ahead of time, that is, so that you can log in and look up your order history.

But if you used a SpamCop-covered email address to set up that account, better write down your password on a Post-It note and hang it on your monitor, because if you lose it you're SOL. Then again, if somebody else uses your password to log in and change the password, you'll be even more SOL. And you still won't get any mail from bootbarn.com.

Don't try to use a robust password generator to set up your account either. I tried that using LastPass and BootBarn.com rejected every password LastPass offered. I had to make one up and type it in — and God help me if I forget it. (No, wait — I used one of my spare email addresses for that. I hope SpamCop isn't patrolling that server too. I haven't received an acknowledgment of the new account yet though, so, probably it is.)

Thursday,  September 14, 2017  McGehee

I Know Not Where She Found It

But Mrs. McG sent me this:


Her current phone is already several years old. I wonder if I'll finally be able to talk her into migrating to Android?

Thursday,  September 14, 2017  McGehee

After the Squall

With the sun finally making an appearance again today, we're expected to get into the mid-70s.

You might have thought that with a monster tropical storm committing seppuku all over top of us on Monday we would have had some pretty warm temperatures these last two days, but that wasn't the case. Yesterday I had to turn off the A/C in my car because the outside temperature was actually cooler — mid-60s — than what I like to have inside the car.

We'd had a cold front come through while Irma was pillaging America's Wang, which I confess played into why I stopped short of panic as I watched her approach; apparently even a monster tropical storm can be staggered by a wall of dryish, coolish air athwart its path. The weather professionals must have expected the cool pool to make way submissively for the whirlybitch. It didn't.

There's even been a very slight but noticeable increase in autumnal coloration hereabouts, and less lost foliage than the media frenzy had led us to expect. A rather large tree did take out a section of long-suffering fence belonging to one of our neighbors Monday, but on the home acres there were about as many fallen limbs as we typically see after a single severe thunderstorm.

The lawn is still soggy though, and likely to remain so for a few days. As it warms up, the standing water and damp ground will give up some of its moisture to the atmosphere, increasing the humidity. And as humidity increases, the take-up of ground moisture levels off. If the humidity leads to thunder, said take-up will actually go into reverse.

We could use a few more cold fronts, is what I'm saying. Alas, it's still only September.

Wednesday,  September 13, 2017  McGehee

Đis Kould Get Silly

Does it seem like one of the surest ways to spot a crank is when they start complaining about how irrational the rules are in the English language?

The rules are kind of irrational compared to other languages, but this is because English is one of the most acquisitive languages ever to thrive; it's collected words from pretty much every language it's encountered — like the Borg, it assimilates other languages' distinctiveness and makes them its own. As a result, the pronunciations of various letter combinations can differ wildly depending on which language family we stole them from.

Seems to me since we already steal words, we could address some of this by stealing letters from other languages as well. It would be far simpler to tell which sound associated with th is intended if we were to dump th in favor of Đ and Þ; ðen I þink ðere would be a good deal less confusion. In fact, we could do away wiþ a lot of our difþong problem by raiding oðer alfabets or, you know, ditching unnecessary combinations like ph altogeðer.

And why do we need ðe letter C when we already have K and S? Talk about unnesessary! Đe only þing C is good for is ðe ch sound, so why not re-employ C to do someþing useful for a cange? As for sh, ðe Syrillik alfabet has ðe perfektly good Ш — it шould work just as well for us as for ðem, шouldn't it? Or would it? Maybe ðat kould use some more þought.

Oh, and ðose instanses where we use whole silent kombinations of letters, like ðe "ugh" in þought? Yeah, I þot not. You mit þink ðis kould get pretty ruf (gh is anoðer unnesessary difþong, when it izn't part ov a silent slug of Engliш's pointless letteraj) but I þink it's worþ taking a canse. It kan only make Engliш eziir tu understand!

And furðermore, when do we ever use Q wiþout U? Let's dispense wiþ ðe U in ðoze wordz, and be qik about it! It's --

What's ðat? Time for my medikaш'nz?

Wednesday,  September 13, 2017  McGehee

I'd Prefer That to This

"This" being days like yesterday. "That" being, well, that in Wyoming (text at link may change if much time has passed):

... Major change to colder and wet conditions Thursday night through Saturday... ... Significant mountain snow possible Friday into Saturday...

A cold storm system over the Gulf of Alaska will drop southeast into the Great Basin later Thursday into Friday and swing east across the area Friday night and Saturday. Widespread showers and some thunderstorms are expected ahead of this system Thursday into Thursday night. Only the highest peaks will see snow from the first part of this storm. However, as a strong cold front moves in Friday, much colder air will be ushered in along with falling snow levels. Widespread rain will continue across the lower elevations while snow levels fall from above 10,000 feet Thursday night lowering to between 6000 and 7000 feet Friday night and Saturday morning. Significant snow is expected over Big Horn Mountains later Friday through Saturday as much colder air moves in and snow levels lower. It's quite possible that the Big Horn Mountains see 4 to 8 inches of snow with over a foot above 10,000 feet during this period. The lower elevations will see periods of rain during this period, possibly mixing with or changing to snow above 6,000 to 7000 feet late Friday night or early Saturday.

Campers, hunters and other outdoor interests should keep abreast of the latest developments on this first cold, wet, and white, storm system of the pre-fall season. Some of the higher trails in the Big Horn Mountains could be covered by a significant amount of snow later Friday into Saturday. Pay attention to the latest forecast and plan accordingly.

Freezing temperatures are also possible in the low lying areas Sunday morning behind this system.

Stay tuned for further statements from your National Weather Service office in Riverton.

I remember the Gulf of Alaska. It didn't much affect us in Fairbanks but we heard a lot about it anyway. Kind of like how, if you watch The Weather Channel it doesn't matter where you live — you'll still hear way too much about Atlanta.

The name of the mountain range was spelled "Bighorn" in the original; I changed it to comply with my personal style guide and in accordance with Wyoming usage.

Tuesday,  September 12, 2017  McGehee


Still need to go out and pick up the fallen chair, but otherwise all is well.

Soggy, but well.

Tuesday,  September 12, 2017  McGehee


At least one source has consistently moderated the expected winds for today with each new set of forecasts. I think we can take that as a good sign — though the ground truth won't be known for sure for another 12 hours or so, by which time it'll be all over but the screaming.

Bearing in mind, a single fallen tree in the wrong place could blackout half the county, if it derailed a train which then took out a substation.

I don't know why I had that thought just as a train was passing through...

Now for a seemingly appropriate musical interlude:

Update, 6:45 p.m. EDT — Dramatization (stolen from here):


Actually so far, the most we've suffered at Mustache World Headquarters was a devastating power outage about four hours ago that interrupted my wifi for almost a minute.

There are trees down here and there, and power lines down, and there have been traffic accidents but not a lot. It helps that most people with no particular reason to be out in this weather are, in fact, not out in this weather. Of course the Atlanta TV stations have a lot more to report, there being a much greater concentration of people and power lines. Also, though it isn't that far to our east, somehow the big city managed to get hit harder as the worst of the storm (so far) passed through.

The National Weather Service wind forecast indicates the sustained winds are about to taper off hereabouts but the gusts won't really abate until the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

Personally, I think I just might be able to sleep through it.

Update, Tuesday morning: Stop interrupting my wifi, Irma you minx!

Monday,  September 11, 2017  McGehee


Few people may recall that September 11, 2001 was supposed to be the day of a New York City mayoral election. Rudolph Giuliani was coming to the end of his second term and his successor was to be chosen on the day 19 Muslim mass-murderers decided to crash jet airliners into the World Trade Center's twin towers, along with the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in Washington (passengers prevented Flight 93 from reaching its target).

The election was rescheduled, and Michael Bloomberg was elected. In a city that was the scene of the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, claiming thousands of lives, he devoted his three terms to policing the size of fountain drinks New Yorkers could buy.

His successor, Bil de Blasio — murderer of groundhogs — is now on a crusade to eliminate private property and personal autonomy in the city.

What the hell are we as Americans to make of this?

I'm sorry, this probably isn't the kind of remembrance post you were expecting. Fortunately, not everyone is a New Yorker.

Addendum: Officially, September 11 is a national day of remembrance, called "Patriot Day," which you know damn well people call "Patriots' Day," which already exists. I've never understood why it is at all appropriate to call 9/11 Patriot Day. We might as well call December 7 "Flag Day."

You'll notice the name we give to December 7 is utterly free of euphemism: it's "Pearl Harbor Day." That's because back then people knew what was needed to honor the American patriots who fell on that Sunday morning — we went out and won the damned war. After we got through with Germany and Japan, the belief systems that turned them into our enemies had been dismantled and discredited.

The victims of 9/11 deserved no less. Does it really feel to you as if we've done it?

Monday,  September 11, 2017  McGehee

On My Soggy, Soggy Lawn

At the moment the temperature outside is in the low 60s, with a dewpoint in the low-to-mid 50s. But the weather eggheads say we'll start to see rain from Irma after midnight, and then it'll be raining until well into Tuesday morning.

Best-case scenario is that we get rain, and wind, and a few scattered small outages that may or may not include yours truly but are cleared up within a few hours. Worst-case is that even the cell towers get knocked out, our house incurs damage from heavy tree limbs or even (God forbid) an entire tree, and we can't get to a shelter because roads are blocked by fallen timber and/or downed power lines.

I have a 9/11 post slated for tomorrow morning, and a miscellany post queued up for Saturday a little before noon. If nothing appears here in the interim, you'll know it got really bad.

Until things get to that point though, I expect to be monitoring some of the outfits that are likely to have emergency information:

I've given this some thought.

Update, mid-Sunday afternoon: According to Weather Underground's hourly forecast chart, expected winds hereabouts should top out in the mid-30s tomorrow afternoon. Rain eases off through Tuesday morning and should let up around midday.

I like mid-30s a lot better than mid-40s. I vote we go with that.

'Nother update, minutes later: Mrs. McG says the National Weather Service is still holding at 40, with gusts in the mid-50s. I like gusts in the mid-50s better than the mid-60s, but I think they'd go much better with slower sustained winds.

Which stage is "bargaining" again? Third or fourth?

Sunday,  September 10, 2017  McGehee


In a game that saw Louisiana Tech start one play 3rd & Goal from their own 7 yard line — yes, their own 7 yard line, it stands to reason this wouldn't go in their W column.

Oh, you want to know how that happened? It started with a bad snap at the Mississippi State 6, and a frantic chase in which players for both teams kept kicking the ball instead of recovering it. Finally a Louisiana Tech player did recover it, saving either a touchdown if State grabbed it, or a safety if State didn't grab it.

They gained 21 yards on the next play, but with the goal line still 72 yards away, they chose to punt. Just their luck Mississippi State didn't commit a foul that would've been an automatic first down.

In a game I didn't get to watch, Wyoming shut out Gardner-Webb, 0-27. That's a nice comeback from their loss last week to Iowa.

(Side note: Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, and Gardner-Webb are all Bulldogs — GW being the Runnin' kind.)

Saturday,  September 9, 2017  McGehee


Jerry Pournelle was 85. Don Williams was 78. Troy Gentry was 50.

Godspeed to you all.

Friday,  September 8, 2017  McGehee

Stormy Eyes

Hurricane Irma seems to have Mustache World Headquarters in her crosshairs, but for now we've got mild temperatures and moderate humidity — by local standards for this time of year.

They're expecting, on the one hand, that she'll still be a tropical storm when she gets into metro Atlanta, but our chance of tropical-storm winds, on the other hand, is around 30%.

That could still mean downed power lines and blocked roads. Fortunately our likelihood of a storm surge is pretty small, here at 900 feet above mean sea level. Other flooding threats are possible, but we are here, as in our previous home, in a place where any water we might get would recede before it got dangerous.

Quite a change from where we lived before that, where the water table was about 25 feet down — but there was little reason to fear a hurricane in Fairbanks.

Friday,  September 8, 2017  McGehee

Caveman Chic

From the time the prehistoric existence of Homo neanderthalensis was detected, it's been a standard trope to call someone with allegedly primitive habits of thought, a Neanderthal.

But in recent years it's been discovered that Neanderthal Man didn't simply die off; his DNA now exists in wide swaths of modern humanity. Essentially, anyone with ancestry from any part of the world outside of Africa is now presumed to have a small but significant amount of Neanderthal DNA.

The inventors of agriculture? Part Neanderthal. Builders of the first civilizations? Part Neanderthal. Developers of the world's great philosophical schools? Part Neanderthal.

The great cities of today — centers of economic, social and cultural progress — are brimming with descendants of that handful of cavemen who got to Europe and Asia millennia before Homo sapiens made it.

If there's any part of the human race that can genuinely claim to be of pure blood, it's the Africans.

Something for the white nationalists to contemplate.

Friday,  September 8, 2017  McGehee

Now Is the Late Summer of My Discontent

Seems I always get a little crabby in the fifth month of summer.

Thursday,  September 7, 2017  McGehee

I Can Remember When They Were Extinct

Mind you, the fact they turned out not to be doesn't mean extinctions don't occur, nor that declared extinctions aren't nearly always true. Black-footed ferrets and coelacanths are indeed the exception.


The black-footed ferret population near Meeteetse, Wyo. is getting a boost. Last July, 35 black-footed ferrets were released on the Lazy BV and Pitchfork ranches. Now biologists have found wild born kits at the site...

“We believe the initial ferret release at Meeteetse was extremely successful. Now with the discovery of wild-born ferrets, we are extremely excited and appreciative of the landowners and other groups who support these incredible animals,” said Zack Walker, Game and Fish statewide nongame bird and mammal program supervisor.

Game and Fish biologists were having to release captive-born ferrets to bolster the numbers of the wild population, but ferrets kinda know how to make more ferrets on their own, so it was only a matter of time before they stopped needing the fold-out couch in dad's basement.

To date, three wild-born kits have been discovered, and biologists suspect there are at least three litters identified. Surveys will continue until mid-September.

Here's hoping they stay out in prairie-dog country and don't take to raiding anyone's henhouses.

Wednesday,  September 6, 2017  McGehee

That Fascinating Big Picture

While people talk about who'll run against Trump in 2020 — assuming he seeks a second term — I'm thinking about how we've just had three consecutive eight-year presidencies: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

That is exceptional.

Only three times in U.S. History has the republic had a span of 24 years (or more) with only three men heading up the executive branch of the federal government.

The first was 1801 to 1825, with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

Next, the unique span from 1933 to 1961 when Franklin Roosevelt was elected four times only to die in office after being reinaugurated three months earlier, then Harry Truman serving out FDR's fourth term and winning one of his own, to be followed by Dwight Eisenhower who served two full terms.

There has never been a span in which four consecutive presidents of the United States all served two complete terms. Jefferson's predecessor served only one, as did Monroe's successor. Herbert Hoover lost to FDR in 1932, and Eisenhower's successor was the ill-fated John Kennedy.

Clinton, of course, beat Dubya's father in 1992.

I'm old enough to remember when we had a succession of short-tenured presidents. Even Lyndon Johnson, despite having won a term in his own right in 1964 and having been constitutionally eligible in 1968, didn't have eight years. Richard Nixon resigned. Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were both defeated for re-election.

As uproarious as American electoral politics have become in recent decades, it's phenomenal that our incumbent presidents keep getting re-elected, and leaving office on schedule rather than vacating early by resignation, impeachment, or extralegal means.

Maybe the divisiveness of our politics is like so many stories told to us lately: not entirely true.

Wednesday,  September 6, 2017  McGehee

Tick Tock

My domain will be leafy and green for a good long while yet, but interior Alaska should start turning to gold in the next couple of weeks — especially since they're already seeing sub-freezing temperatures.

I'll post webcam pictures if I see anything good.

Update, Sept. 14: Well, I can see fall color on some Alaska webcams but it isn't very striking. Maybe it'll get better over the next couple of days, or maybe the webcams could use adjusting.

'Nother update, the Ides: Best view of color is a streaming webcam that doesn't lend itself to directly saving a still image. I may have to do a screen-cap.

Tuesday,  September 5, 2017  McGehee

Young Buckaroo Simmons and the Bull Named Misteak

The arena smelled of manure and sweat
But the show ain't even started yet
Cowboys and bullfighters markin' time
Gonna go at some beef a bit past its prime
The crowd waited with bated breath
To see which cowboy would go home with
A gold belt buckle and a hefty check
To make up for nearly gettin' stomped to heck

Young Buckaroo Simmons was goin' first
On an old bull everyone said was the worst
But he blocked all that out and stretched his rope
So his ridin' hand wouldn't come loose — he hoped
Pushed his hat on tight an' spat out his wad
Hunkered down low and gave 'em the nod
The gate swung open and away they flew
Snortin' and blowin' as buckin' bulls do

Down went the horns and Buck, he leaned back
So far that bull's tail gave him a whack
Shruggin' it off the rider rolled with the tide
On the bull named Misteak bound to give him a ride
They spun to the left, then twirled to the right
And again Misteak reared up, oh man what a sight
Four seconds had passed while Buck aged a year
So focused on ridin', no time spared for fear

That's when the bull let his freak flag unfurl
Spinnin' in place just like a tilt-a-whirl
Buck, he'd been warned that ol' Misteak was mean
But it'd been a lot of years since he looked that green
Six seconds gone, the crowd cheered and crowed
Declarin' already that this bull's been rode.
Buck was a hero, the judges were in awe
He stayed put as that bull pitched and yawed

Just one more second, he'd be cream of the crop
With a ride that no other cowpoke could top
The whistle blew and the crowd blew its stack
There was Bucky still on the bull's back
Now, let's just say he didn't stick the dismount
If it's after eight seconds, it just doesn't count
He spent the rest of the show sort of daze-y
His memory of that day is still pretty hazy

He still wears the buckle, though the money's long gone
And most bulls these days he cannot stay on
He freely admits he didn't get scared
During the ride, but he shouldn't have dared
To watch the film of all those bounces and swerves
'Cause that was when he finally lost his nerve

Monday,  September 4, 2017  McGehee

Not to Jinx It, But...

You never see a flag thrown for excessive awesomeness.

Saturday,  September 2, 2017  McGehee

I Don't Care What the Calendar Says

It isn't September until one of my college teams lines up for kickoff.

Saturday,  September 2, 2017  McGehee

Leave Me Out of It

I have been known to donate money to out-of-state politicians, but those were unique situations and I didn't donate because of email from somebody whose name means nothing to me.

I don't care if you were involved in Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign here in Georgia — you don't email me in 2017 about a 2018 Senate primary in Alabama. If you do, you get blocked.

Saturday,  September 2, 2017  McGehee

Excuses, Excuses

First it rained, not directly because of Harvey but certainly due to its influence.

Now that it's drying out, gasoline prices hereabouts have jumped by 50¢ a gallon or so and I'm running low on gas for the tractor. I fill a five-gallon can for mowing use, so the gas I buy for that purpose will almost certainly (given how often I mow, when left to my own devices) last through the end of the season.

By which time prices should be back down in the "come on, drop below $2 for a minute, can'cha?" neighborhood.

If I want to run expensive gas through my tractor I'll buy premium for it. And that's just crazy talk.

Especially now.

Friday,  September 1, 2017  McGehee



September 2017


Original content and design © 2017 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.