Monday, October 24, 2016

PUSA Lump Cover

This has been out for 10 months..  and I just heard it today.  Too damn funny!

This is really quite genius!  =)

DDF and I saw The Presidents of the United States back in Indianapolis in the mid 90s, at The Egyptian Room...  awesome show.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Complete Meltdown & Sedition

Last night, as I was grilling, and then eating my grass fed, hormone free rib eye with wild chanterelles (found at COSTCO for a reasonable price) I tried to watch the 3rd, and final US Presidential "debate".   I found myself growing increasingly upset by the lies and denials that the orange reality TV show host kept spewing, so I turned to baseball and enjoyed watching my favorite, the under-dog Cubs trounce the LA Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Then the DVR reminded me that South Park was about to record, and the channel needed to automatically change (I have a 2-at-a-time DVR, not one of the new fancy 8-at-a-time recorders).  Matt & Trey once again beautifully captured the essence of current events in America with their portrayal of Candidate Garrison doing his darnedest to lose and get out of the US Presidential race.  The "meltdown" that Garrison had, complete with orange toner running off him in the rain, was much funnier than the meltdown Drumpf (his real name... own it, don't try to hide it Donald) had on national television last night.

When Fox "News" anchor Chris Wallace tried to get Drumpf to back down on his statement that he would not accept a loss on November 8th and that he would continue to stoke the seditious flames of violent insurrection, with Chris's "But sir..." soft ball question reiterated in the most basic way possible that everyone in America could understand, Drumpf, Putin's puppet, doubled down on his "we'll see, I'll keep you in suspense."

While Drumpf kept talking about how he believes Hillary Clinton should go to federal prison "for 5 years", what he doesn't realize is that inciting Sedition is a violation of federal law, punishable by 20 years in prison; link here: 18 US Code Chapter 115, sections 2381 -  2385  (Thanks Cornell Law School!)   And the more he keeps encouraging the worst of Umerika to intimidate polling places in inner cities (also a federal crime), and reject the free and fair election results in all 50 states, the more he's paving a straight path towards federal prison for himself and his surrogates who repeat his dangerous and violent call to arms.

The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail is often very funny.  Drumpf's meltdown is really sad and pathetic.  The United States needs a viable 2 party (or three...  someday...?) system to function correctly.  Drumpf's nilhilistic attempt at destroying everything shows just what a sad little boy he really is.

If you don't think last night's "debate" was a meltdown, read the 'extremely liberal' links here:
National Catholic Reporter:
National Review:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Angels' Landing

In the middle of September, Dr Desert Flower and I drove our FWD station wagon up to Zion National Park in the SW corner of Utah.  The last time we were there in 2011, we did not have the time or the right foot wear to climb up to Angels' Landing, which is a severely difficult climb that able bodied hikers need to be in good shape to successfully assault.

We were well hydrated, wore layers, and headed up at 8am.  We've learned we should have gone much earlier - there was a full moon and we could have gone before dawn - and avoided the crowds and traffic jams once we reached the chain climbs, where single file in one direction only was required.

Here are a few of the pictures I took on the way up and back down.  They don't do justice to the sheer magnificence of looking down upon the verdant valley below with the stark, sheer vertical drops and steep canyon walls.

I'm delighted that we're in good enough shape to make it up and back down, 1800 feet elevation change, and not be too sore to enjoy the rest of our vacation to Grand Teton and Yellowstone the following week.

Don't Eat People Food!

At Zion National Park last month, Dr Desert Flower pointed out this sign on the shuttle bus that takes people up and down the canyon.  Very funny, and remarkably accurate!

When I see common squirrels at the Carlsbad beach here in California, they're also chubby, puffy, not-lean mammals, addicted to hand-outs from humans.  Fed by tourists, they live high on the junk-food-chain.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Doug Applegate Over Slimey Issa Anyday

I came home from donating blood today, to find this smear campaign against Colonel Doug Applegate from the California Republican Party in my mail box.  The former Colonel is running against THIS CAR PROTECTED BY VIPER Darryl Issa, king of meaningless subpoenas as the chair of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.  I unfortunately moved from the reddest of red counties in California (Orange) to North San Diego County where Issa is the entrenched Congressman.

If I was an ignorant, apathetic, or uninformed voter, I Would Have been ALARMED by this inflammatory mailer... look at all the horrible things Applegate wants to do to the booming California economy and tax paying citizens!?!?! How terrible!!  (an uninformed Independent voter might say) Then, I read the fine print:  "Sources: US Energy Information Administration (EIA); Progressive Democrats of American candidate questionnaire"

OK, so the California Republican Party is scared that Issa might lose, they're cranking up ads and mailers to try and smear Applegate, and they're using "Progressive Democrats of America" (PDA) to try and facilitate this?  It sparked my curiosity, so I started google searching it... turns out, PDA is outraged that their words are being twisted, and they're punching back.  I found a link (here)  that explains how the CA Republicans are using EIA future projections and PDA Democratic endorsements to double down on stupid, clinging tightly to fossil fuels, the Republican status quo, and ignoring climate change the inexorable progression of time.  No, Douglas Applegate is not "WRONG for our Economy"... unless the "our" there denotes Republican dinosaurs who deny facts of peer reviewed science, and who want to go back to the 1950s America that they loved so much (except for those 90% taxes on the upper income brackets that were in place during Ike's administration).

Applegates ubiquitous TV ads are factual, and damning of Issa.  The entrenched Congressman Did increase his personal wealth to multi-millionaire status while in Congress, and is cozy with Donald Drumpf.  I hope Drumpf's millstone sinks Issa into the depths of the Pacific Ocean off the continental shelf, 3 miles off-shore of Carlsbad.

Play fair Republicans.  Own your personae, don't try to denigrate your opponent.  You're the party of rich & selfish guys who want to keep the status quo, or go backwards in time, without a T.A.R.D.I.S.  In California, which added 300,000 people, and which has lower unemployment than the rest of the country, where there are 75 craft breweries within a 30 mile radius of my home, where well regulated business are prospering, and where one can find more electric vehicles on the roads than in any other state in the U.S., I really don't want to go back in time.  I prefer to progress forward.  Thanks.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

My final red wine posting...

Followers of and visitors to JustJoeP know that I love wine, and I've blogged about wine here more than just about any other subject; more than food, more than politics, more than nature photography, music, or travel.  Well, sadly, blogging about wine is coming to an end for me.

For the last year, I've been experiencing chronic itching that has been driving me batty.  It typically gets worse in the evenings, but it can also manifest itself in the mornings when I am waking up at 4 or 430am and starting my work day, hosting international conference calls with 50 to 100 engineers calling in some mornings with me as the ring master / orchestra leader / debate moderator.  Sometimes the itch was so severe that I'd scratch until I bled, arms, legs, neck, chest, back... it was unsustainable.  So upon the advise of my wise friends Steve and Ron, as well as DDF, I went on an elimination diet in February that last 2 months, eating a mono-diet of simple foods and adding one thing at a time, one week at a time, to see what the effects were.  Problem was, I didn't exclude wine from my diet, as I love it so very much.

I have known for many years (more than 10 years) that Valpolicella, a delicious red Italian wine, caused my neck and chest and face to turn red, itch, and made it hard for me to breathe.  Other wine varietals grown nearby did not have that effect, so I just avoided Valpolicella.  And looking back through the 221 postings here on wine, I enjoyed many different types of red wine from many different countries over the years.  But I started noticing this summer, that after drinking a glass or two of Bordeaux (usually 50% merlot + other varietals) that I'd start to itch, my hands would turn pink or red, and forearms would start to light up with intense surges of itching, and I'd generally be miserable. Falling asleep that night was rough. Going to work the next morning, the itch resurfaced and drove me out of my mind.  So I started avoiding Bordeaux.

I stuck to Syrah and Malbec, and other varietals like Primitivo, Nero d'Avola, and my favorite, Minervois.  Kept it to a glass or two... but even then, over the last few months, the itching resurgence was directly correlating.  Stay away from wine, itch is much less.  Drink wine, itching flared up right after and the next morning.  So a few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Santa Julia Malbec, Mendoza Argentina, made with organic grapes.  Sprouts sold it for $9 a bottle, and I've had good organic wine from them before, so I thought... "let's see".   Santa Julia was good, drinkable, paired well with the grass fed steak I had grilled... but still, the itching flared up after drinking it.  I fooled myself into thinking "maybe it was a bad bottle... the next one won't cause me to itch!"  So last week, I bought a second bottle, and opened it up that night with dinner.  Before the 2nd small glass was done, I could feel my arms starting to itch.  When I went to bed that night, my neck and chest and back were itching as well.  Highly medicated, I eventually fell asleep, and upon waking the next day was hit with the regular resurgence of itching.

2 days ago, I saw the last glass still in the bottle.  I felt bad leaving it in the bottle and DDF doesn't like most red wines, so I poured the last 4 ounces into a small Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens glass, and had it with lunch.  Soon thereafter, the tops of my hands turned pink, the itch began creeping up...  it was not the Malbec's fault.  It's my over-reactive immune system that has now decided that Joe's had enough red wine in his lifetime, and it's going to punish me if I have anymore.  Just 4 ounces, and my immune system over-reacted, again. = \

So I've had a glass of white wine, and it's ok... but without the tannins and the depth of flavor, I can't help but seeing it as empty calories.  Fine for a hot summer afternoon with cheese perhaps...  but...  not something I want to have with dinner regularly.  Adieu, delicious reds...  I bid you farewell, with much remorse.  

It's a good thing that bourbon and Irish whiskey cause no such itching for me.  I've not yet run extensive Cognac experiments, but I fear with Cognac's geographic proximity just North of Bordeaux, that it may stimulate a similar immune response from my insides, on the outside.  Vodka and ice and some small amount of mixers for flavor (like lemonade or 100% cranberry juice + stevia) also have no ill effects with itching or anything else.  And no, my liver is not having problems... my liver function tests are just fine, checked more than once a year, just in case.  One must choose their poison, very carefully. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

First Dragon & Castle of 2016

After work yesterday, I headed down to Ponto State Beach here in lovely Carlsbad, with my shovels,  cooler, sun screen, hat, water shoes, and sand castle moulds.

After 2 hours, I had the 3 foot high by 5 foot wide castle done.  After another 2 hours, I was progressing well on the dragon when most of my elementary school fans had to leave with their families.  After about 3 hours (5 hours into the building) I had the dragon about finished.

It lived (I think) until near high tide at 11pm, so 5 hours to build, and another 5 hours of presence before being taken away by the tide.

A wet strand of kelp made a nice touch for the fire that the dragon was breathing.  A very small plastic shovel made for nice fingernails for the dragon.  Altogether, it turned out pretty well, I believe.

I doubt it'll be my last. Come visit, bring your small children, and we can make more of them = )
When I was getting ready to leave, 3 siblings (ages 5 to 9) asked if they could play in the 3 foot deep hole I'd dug, which had water in the bottom of it (as the tide was Just starting to come in). "We want to make a hot tub" they pleaded.  "Go ask your parents" I told them...  I didn't was 3 foot tall kids to get trapped in a caved in 3 foot deep hole.  When I had loaded up my car with my tools, I went up to the bluffs above the beach and found the dragon and castle were still standing, with kids in "the hot tub" beside it.

Again, The Idiot Reveals Himself

Donald Drumpf met with Republican Senators today, and once again revealed how really stupid he is.

When Jeff Flake (who I never voted for while I lived in SC, but whom I am starting to have some respect for) introduced himself as "the other senator from Arizona, the one who didn't get captured", Drumpf told Flake "He would not win re-election this November"... to which Flake hilariously responded "I'm not up for re-election".

Donald, study that constitution you so blatantly & repeatedly state you love so much.  Senators have 6 year terms. McCain is up this November, not Flake. Duh.  It's called the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, you moron:

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures."

Monday, July 4, 2016

5th on the 4th

5th in a row...
No fireworks yet, but delicious craft beer... Even though the USA can't nominate 2 viable, likeable candidates for POTUS, it's still an awesome place to live!  

I am enjoying "Happy Treason Day" to all of my British followers😜👍‼️‼️‼️

MissionBrewing Hard Root Beer... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm