Friday, July 12, 2024

A Needless Death



A Barred Owl killed by some fisherman’s miscast line. The owl was entangled by her flight feathers and drowned after exhaustion.  By the shape of the carcass, I think this bird died the night before last.

Fishermen are too often a mess; they leave spent line and lures all over, trash the banks, and dump lead weights in the water to be consumed by waterfowl. No, not all fisherman are horrible. That said, it doesn’t take many bitter almonds to make you suspicious of the lot, same as for hunters and people with off-leash dogs.

Doe In the River



I probably should have taken my real camera, but risk analysis makes me cautious as one tip can be very expensive.

On this paddle I saw 15 Great Blue Herons, 3 Bald Eagles (two mature, one second-year), 5 Belted Kingfishers.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Deer In the Yard

The Wee Wolves saw the doe come out of the forest with her twin fawns, but they did nothing more than aim their nose down hill and wag their tails. I was half asleep in the chair next to the shed, but looked up to where they were pointing. Good dogs. They know what is permitted.

I put the Wee Wolves inside the fence, grabbed the camera out of the mudroom, and walked to get a shot. The doe was clearly visible, but the fawns were not. I squeezed off a few shots, moved five feet, and both fawns shot out from behind a tiny bit of greenery 20 feet in front of me. How had I missed both of them?

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

What Remains

The Appalachian mountains surrounding my house are among the oldest on earth, and were once taller than the Himalayas. 

Now these mountains are mostly worn down under many millions of years of rain and ice, fire and vegetation, their degraded remains producing winter wheat and summer corn, as well as vast quantities of soybeans.

But not everything is worn down.

The Catoctin Greenstone under my house and across the tops of the surrounding forested mountains is the hard igneous stone that did not erode.

Greenstone was originally black basalt which, over time and with heat and pressure, has been invaded by other minerals such as chlorite and epidote which has colored the hard stone and turned it shades of grey and dark green

Catoctin Greenstone — a type of meta-basalt, green schist, or prasinite — was laid down about 570 million years ago, making the rocks at my feet older than vascular plants or bones, older than the rings of Saturn, and older than the North Star.

Greenstone is the tough stuff that remains.

Monday, July 08, 2024

The Insatiable Rich

The Disease of Mass Hysteria

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” — Friedrichr Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

There’s No Trading Up From This Man

Joe Biden has something no other competing candidate, touted by any pundit, congressperson, senator, or Governor can even come close to having: 36 years in Congress as a senator, 8 years as vice president, and 4 years as President. 

That’s 12 years in the White House (so far), and aplmost 50 years of public service. 

You can’t buy that kind of wisdom and experience.

You can’t trade up for it, because no one else has it. 

Joe Biden is the only man for the job.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

THE DEAL BREAKER IS… ??? WHAT ???

If RACISM wasn’t a deal breaker, and PUSSY-GRABBING wasn’t a deal breaker, and MISOGYNY wasn’t a deal breaker, and DRAFT DODGING wasn’t a deal breaker, and NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE wasn’t a deal breaker, and 3,000 LIES wasn’t a deal breaker, and RIPPING CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS AND THROWING THEM IN CAGES wasn’t a deal breaker, and MOCKING US PRISONERS OF WAR AND INSULTING US TROOPS AND GENERALS wasn’t a deal breaker, and MULTIPLE BANKRUPTCIES wasn’t a deal breaker, and XENOPHOBIA wasn’t a deal breaker, and TRYING TO TAKE AWAY HEALTH CARE FROM 20 MILLION AMERICANS wasn’t a deal breaker, and THREE WIVES AND A BASTARD CHILD wasn’t a deal breaker, and 210,000 DEAD AMERICANS FROM A PREVENTABLE INFECTION wasn’t a deal breaker, and 30 CREDIBLE SEXUAL ASSAULTS wasn’t a deal breaker, and HOLDING SUPER-SPREADER rallies wasn’t a deal breaker, and PRAISING NAZIS wasn’t a deal breaker, and OWING $450 MILLION TO A GERMAN BANK wasn’t a deal breaker, and URGING RUSSIANS TO ENGAGE IN HACKING AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS IN ORDER TO INFLUENCE AN ELECTION wasn’t a deal breaker, and HIS PERSONAL LAWYER AND EVERY CAMPAIGN CHAIR IN JAIL wasn’t a deal breaker, and MALIGNANT NARCISSISM wasn’t a deal breaker, and WINKING AT RUSSIAN BOUNTIES FOR KILLING OF AMERICAN TROOPS wasn’t a deal breaker, and FOMENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST COLIN KAEPERNICK wasn’t a deal breaker, and COLLECTING PAYOLA FROM FOREIGN DICTATORS wasn’t a deal breaker, and RAW-DOGGING A PORNO ACTRESS wasn’t a deal breaker, and PUTTING HIS CHILDREN ON THE GOVERNMENT PAYROLE wasn’t a deal breaker, and AN ILLEGAL ALIEN WIFE WHO IS A PORN MODEL wasn’t a deal breaker, and SUGGESTING WE DROP A NUCLEAR BOMP ON A HURRICANE wasn’t a deal breaker, and VOTER SUPPRESSION  wasn’t a deal breaker, and ADDING OVER $8 TRILLION TO THE NATIONAL DEBT wasn’t a deal breaker, and NOT PAYING HIS SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTORS wasn’t a deal breaker, and CRIPPLING THE US POSTAL SERVICE wasn’t a deal breaker, and INCOHERENT RANTING wasn’t a deal breaker, and REFUSING TO REVEAL HIS TAXES wasn’t a deal breaker, and PRICE-GOUGING TAXPAYERS FOR ROOMS IN HIS HOTELS wasn’t a deal breaker, and POLITICIZING THE DOJ wasn’t a deal breaker, and ARAB SHEIKHS “LOANING” a BILLION DOLLARS to JARED KUSNER wasn’t a deal breaker, and NAME-CALLING CHILDISH INSULTS wasn’t a deal breaker, and TELLING YOU TO DRINK BLEACH TO STAY HEALTHY wasn’t a deal breaker, and NOT BUILDING A WALL wasn’t a deal breaker, and FOMENTING RACIAL VIOLENCE wasn’t a deal breaker, and MOVING TO DEFUND SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE wasn’t a deal breaker, and LAUDING RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS, NORTH KOREAN DICTATORS AND TURKISH THUGS wasn’t a deal breaker, and FAKING MEDICAL PHYSICALS wasn’t a deal breaker, and ABANDONING PUERTO RICO wasn’t a deal breaker, and RELIGION-BASED BANS ON ENTRY wasn’t a deal breaker, and HAVING MULTIPLE CLOSE PEDOPHILE FRIENDS wasn’t a deal breaker, and WINKING AT SAUDI ARABIA KILLING AND CUTTING UP A US JOURNALIST wasn’t a deal breaker, and LONG-TERM CHEATING ON HIS THIRD WIFE wasn’t a deal breaker, and NOT PAYING TAXES for decades was not a deal breaker, and STEALING MONEY FROM A CHILDREN’s CANCER CHARITY was not a deal breaker, and TWO IMPEACHMENTS was not a deal breaker, and trying to NEGATE AN ELECTION was not a deal breaker, and CHEERING ON RIOTERS BENT ON KILLING THE VICE PRESIDENT AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE was not a deal breaker … and stealing STEALING NATIONAL SECURITY DOCUMENTS and selling them to the Saudis wasn’t a deal breaker, THEN WHAT IS?

What?  

Oh.  

A candidate who is three years older than Trump had a bad debate?

Right.

Never mind his 40 years of impeccable government service, never mind the lowest unemployment and strongest stock market in US history.

Never mind his stellar leadership on the international stage, his shepherding through Congress of massive pharmacy savings, the millions of lives he’s changed by eradicating predatory student loans.

Never mind his defense of Social Security and Medicare, his support for native Americans, his support for body autonomy and access to contraception.

Never mind his spearheading increased border security, the steep decline in crime, the lowest gas prices in three years, and the steep decline in inflation.

Never mind his massive investment in American infrastructure and American manufacturing, his protection of LGBTQ and interracial marriage, the push to decriminalize marijuana, and his push to expand health insurance coverage.

One bad debate was the deal breaker with Biden??

Right.

Get the fuck out of here.  

Now.

And never show your face in this country again.

Saturday, July 06, 2024

If You Don’t Know This, No One Can Help You

My old dogs hunt better than your pups OR your untrained and rabid dogs.

And my old dogs will prove it any day of the week.

Friday, July 05, 2024

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Monday, July 01, 2024

A Blizzard of Bullshit


The Biden debate glitch is a common response to being given a torrent of lies; I’ve see the best flummoxed by the technique, and it’s very hard to prepare for if you are a serious person.

Here’s the scenario.  You have TWO minutes to respond.  

The moderator asks Trump to tell him what he would do about Medicare and Social Security.

Trump starts by saying:

“Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes and are going broke because we are getting old. We cannot afford to coddle the old, or prevent the inevitable, which is why we don’t want national healthcare. Covid was made by Maurice Fauci, who is Chinese, and it’s a fake disease.  It was the vaccines that made people sick, and the face diapers, which don’t work. And speaking of diapers, Joe here is wearing one right now.  So sad.  But the good news is I have arrived, a true Christian. Jesus Christ.  That was his name.  Love that Jesus guy.  I understand he too liked prostitutes.  Hated money changers.  Would have definitely come down hard on the Chinese for currency manipulation. No one manipulates like me. No one does deals like me. New deal, fair deal, square deal, but I wrote the Art of the Deal, which was a national best seller.  No one has done better for the blacks than me. I saved black jobs by coming down on the diseased criminal illegal aliens.  They’re all mental cases and rapists who are taking jobs from the blacks, who all love me.  Did you see my shoes?  Gold, with my name on them.  Very popular with the Blacks.  But I think you want the white guy as President, amIright?  No one did a better job than me. Best economy.  Women love me. And I love them.  Loved them a lot, even the young ones.  I don’t discriminate.  But no one loves Sleepy Joe. Putin hates Sleepy Joe, and that’s a nuclear power.  Joe got us into this war in Ukraine, but Putin would never have invaded if I was President. Look at Korea.  Disarmed. Rocket Man (that’s what I call him) really liked me. Wrote me.  Said very nice things.  Very respectful, not like Joe Biden and his crime family, which the Saudis would never do business with.”

Moderator:  “Joe, you have 2 minutes to respond”.

Now consider that Biden has a stutter.  

The result of the Gish Gallop and the stutter is brain freeze. 

The good news is that lying loudly is NOT a core competency of the job of President, and neither is a time-limit debate with a sociopathic liar.

Terrierman’s Daily Dose




READ EVERY DAY.

Write every day.

Get outside every day.

Say or do something nice to a stranger every day.

Clean or maintain at least one thing every day.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Admired By Klingon’s Everywhere


From “mylordshesacactus” on tumblr:


You know what would make Klingons instantly gain respect for us?


Introducing them to the concept of ‘terriers’.


Tiny little things but they have literally no concept of mortality. Terriers do not know fear. Terriers are not aware that there are things in the universe that pose a threat to terriers. They are 100% convinced that they are the meanest, roughest, most badass character on the planet and they expect everyone else to know it too. 

Literally, a cockily independent attitude and a refusal to be intimidated or back down is part of the breed standard for terriers. Their breed standard is ‘never give up, never surrender’.


‘“You…bred these creatures? And you put them in silly clothes and hats? Ha! They are the size of bread loaves. Why am I meant to be impressed by WHAT THE FUCK IT JUST TACKLED A TARG. WHY WOULD IT DO THAT? IT CANNOT POSSIBLY—WHY IS THE TARG RETREATING? THIS ANIMAL HAS THE HEART OF A WARRIOR I MUST HAVE TWENTY IMMEDIATELY.’


“Literally the entire concept of a terrier can be summed up as ‘IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE.’”, 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Magic Beans for Sale

Need energy? Depressed? Feeling unmotivated? May I suggest a cup of magic beans? Only $18 a pound. Ridiculous price? No! It’s MAGIC BEANS. Magic, I tell you.

What Do You Know of Competence?



America’s greatest spent 12 years as president in a wheel chair, dealing with serious health issues caused by polio. He led us out of the Great Depression, and to victory in World War II. He united the world against fascism and in defense of freedom. He turned the economy around and stood up to a corporate-toady Supreme Court.

Are you telling me he was too old? Too weak? Too infirm?

What do you know of competence? 

A Song For Our Time



Friday, June 28, 2024

Stonewall



Stonewall was 55 years ago today. IYKYK.

Some Things Need Killing

Chuck Wendig wrote on Twitter back in 2018:

“There will be renewed calls for civility. Ignore them. They ask for civility as a way for you to grant them complicity in what they do.

“Civility is for normalcy. When things are normal and working as intended, civility is part of maintaining balance. But when that balance is gone, civility does not help return it but rather, destabilize it further. Because your civility gives them cover for evil.

“Note: this isn’t the same as calling for violence. But it is suggesting that you should not be shamed for using vigorous, vulgar language. Or for standing up in disobedience. Or for demanding acknowledgement and action in whatever way you must.

“Fuck Trump. But he’s just the ugly fake-gold mask they’ve put on this thing. Fuck all the GOP, fuck that blubbering, bristling frat boy judge, fuck McConnell, Ryan, Grassley, Collins, every last one of them. Fuck them for how they’ve shamed victims and helped dismantle democracy.

“They will tell you to smile, that we need to get back to business, that we gotta heal the rift and blah blah blah — but that’s the desire of a savvy bully, who wants you to stop crying after he hit you, who wants you not to fight back. But you can cry. And you can fight back.

“They can eat shit. All of them. They can eat a boot covered in shit.

“Winter is coming, you callous fucknecks, you prolapsed assholes, you grotesque monsters, you racists and rapists and wretched abusers, you vengeful petty horrors.

“Sidenote: some will tell you to be civil because our rage and scorn will fuel the other side, but fuck that double standard in both its ears.

“‘Well, if you hadn’t said those SASSY WORDS and demonstrated ANGER at our whittled-down democracy, I for a second might’ve been convinced not to eat this baby. But fie! Fie on you! Your incivility MADE me eat this baby!’

“Spoiler warning: they were always gonna eat that baby.

“Right. In short, NONE OF US should ‘smile more’.”

 TO WHICH I REPLY… 

About violence.  Let's not be so quick to count that out. Violence has changed a lot of things, and not always for ill.  

Some things need killing.

Terrier Type and the Preservation of Variation

Back in 2013, this show dog publication turned up in the mail.

I had not heard of this one before, but I vaguely recall green-lighting the reprint of an old piece from the main web site on how to train dogs to do go-to-ground.

I like the title -- TYPE is what terriers and all working dogs should be. Where the world went wrong, in my opinion, is in the creation of breeds which are simply too fine a point on the pencil.

Maintaining a breed within a narrow morphological "standard" requires too much emphasis on looks, which means too little attention is paid to health and work.

Pointers and Setters are a type.

Molosser or "butcher dogs" are a type.

Herding dogs are a type, as are stock-guarding dogs, running dogs, and sled dogs.

Sure there's a lot of variation within these types -- variation in color, coat, size, head shape, and even working traits. 

But that's the point.

In the preservation of variation, you tend to preserve the long-term health of the breed, and you also preserve the variety needed to work different things in different locations and for different purposes.

I am not saying that breeding has to be random within a type, but I *am* saying that when the world started splitting Norfolk and Norwich terriers into two "breeds" simply because one terrier had an ear up, and the other had an ear down, bad things were just around the corner.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Wee Man on the Driveway

Dead at Age Three

Dead at age three is not that unusual for Great Danes.
"Kevin died this week following an unplanned surgery after falling ill.”
Right. It wasn’t a traffic accident.

The UK Kennel Club’s health survey puts median age at death for Great Danes in the UK at 6 years and 6 months, with over 30 percent dying of inheritable heart issues, 15 percent from bloat (gastric torsion), and 5 percent being put down for temperament.

Two Deer in Forest Windows

Walking the Wee Wolves yesterday evening, and I got this shot with my iPhone, with two deer framed in natural forest “windows”.

It’s nice to walk two hard-wired working terriers off-lead with no concern that they will riot on wildlife of any kind. And yes, they know the difference between work and walk; absolutely no confusion on their part.

The Flashing Lights of Love and Death

The fireflies are out now in my little section of Maryland, and the dogs are both fascinated and confused by the soft drifting glows that wink on and off.

They might be more confused if they knew these were two different insect species within two different genera. 

Both nearly identical-looking insects emit yellow-green light from the enzymes Luciferase and Luciferin, but the flash of the male Eastern Firefly, Photinus pyralis, is used to attract females, while the flash of the female Pennsylvania Firefly, Photuris pennsylvanica, is used to lure males of the Eastern Firefly in order to prey on them. 

So does that flash of light mean love or death?

Prey or predator?

As in so many things, it depends on who you are.

Harness Solar and Stop Shipping Fossil Energy

Not a Great Look for the Kennel Club

The UK Kennel Club has re-embraced Caroline Kisko, who was fired after making a racist comment about “niggers in the woodpile”.

Previously, Ms. Kisko's husband was outed as a subscriber/member of the right-wing (and quite racist) British National Party or BNP.

Kisko is the former liar-for-hire public relations flack at the Kennel Club. I do not use that phrase lightly — as Kennel Club spokesperson, Ms. Kisko knew exactly where the truth sat, and directed everyone she could away from that.

Buy Elie Mystal’s Book

Read Elie Mystal’s book >> Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution >> https://a.co/d/03UbAjkY

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Chainsaw Work on a Hot Day

It was 91 degrees when I quit for the day (32.8 celsius).  It hit 100 degrees later in the day.

Eight stacks of wood are cut and waiting for my neighbor to pick up when he gets back from his hunting trip.

I think I’m done until the Fall.  At least 10 dead trees are left, but they’re all upright and none are a threat. If they come down before then, I’ll address them.

Monday, June 24, 2024

The Genetics of Longevity… and Cancer


“Imagine this: You bring home your golden retriever puppy. She doesn’t look exactly like the dogs that once won prizes in the ring. Maybe she has a slight curl in her tail and a large white patch on her chest. But she’s positively adorable, and you have assurances from the breeder that she has tested negative for a long list of genetic variants associated with canine cancer—knowledge we possess, in this future scenario, thanks to the studies in longevity that are currently underway. You carefully pick her food, toys, and bedding based on new veterinary recommendations from the research. As she grows older, you follow a set of exercise guidelines shown to improve life expectancy. When she gets old and develops a heart issue, your vet confidently lays out your treatment options and how likely each one is to improve her lifespan and quality of life. She might not look exactly like the dogs your parents or grandparents had, the perfect golden hue or velvety tail. But that’s a tradeoff that recent generations of anguished dog lovers should not—and hopefully will not—hesitate to make.” 
To read the whole article >>  https://slate.com/technology/2023/10/golden-retriever-lifespan-dying-younger-dog-health.html

Rolling With the Wee Wolves

Blue Heron Fishing

Wheat Is Cut, and Straw Bailed



Sunday, June 23, 2024

Wildlife on the Knoll



Coming up the driveway, I saw a doe in the lower forest and took the first two pictures with my iPhone. I suspected her two fawns were nearby, but they were out of sight.

After unpacking the car, I took two of the dogs off-lead down the driveway. All the dogs are off-lead steady, but as I got a hundred yards down the drive, I saw this doe with her two fawns. The dogs saw the doe and fawns too, but it was just a quiet “come on,” and they followed me back to the house, where I dropped off the dogs and picked up the “real” camera.

Coming back, I found the doe feasting on a trough of cracked corn I set out for wildlife, and the fawns nursing on her. There’s also a salt lick behind the tree, and after feeding on the corn, she hit that too.

I also have 5-7 bird feeders up in the back yard most of the time. They’re filed with black oil sunflower seed mostly, and some cracked corn and hard kibble for the Blue Jays. Creeks flow left and right downhill of our property, and there’s also a very small, frog-filled stock pool about 100 yards in front of the bee hives. A marsh is about 500 yards downhill and behind the hives, and there’s a small pond that way as well.

I love this house and the habitat that surrounds it. ❤️