30 December 2011

Climate Change Too Important To Be Left To The Climatologists

Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, some of the people who have a vested interest in the economy, and others vitally interested in weather/climate phenomena are starting to get involved in the buffoonery of our climate alarmists. This blogger from Australia points out some good books being written by wine guys.

28 December 2011

Christmas Season Travel III







A few pictures from an exhibition in Albuquerque: a mural on the side of a coffee shop near the Hotel Blue; Diego and his mom at home; and looking down in a museum for kids whose name I have forgotten.

24 December 2011

Christmas Season 2011 Travel II


Southwest takes us willingly and pleasantly to Oakland, including our bags FOR FREE, where Joan picks us up at the airport. We didn't have to sit in the middle seat, in fact, Carol and I had three seats for the two of us. The above picture was taken at the toy store just down the street from the Inn Marin, our favorite motel in that part of the world.

The first night was awful as the air-conditioner rumbled the whole night. We moved to a handicap room for the next few days. These are really fixed up nice, and worth the extra cost.

Southwest also goes to San Francisco but with not nearly as many flights. The airport in Oakland looks fairly presentable, even if the Oakland Coliseum and perhaps other parts of the city are awful to see. There also is an Airporter that goes to Marin and Sonoma County, but Joan is worried that we might not be able to figure it out.

We are glad that at least some of our children realize that we are aging, perhaps a little faster this year than last. Actually, she picked us up because the schedule wasn't that great after 8 pm. And Southwest's great fares are even better very early and very late in the day.

Of course, in addition to a really good restaurant attached to the motel, there is also a neat toy store within walking distance. See above.

Mike and Matt are growing quickly and well-behaved too. At least around us grandparents. We visited with Dani and Don Sr as well as Nancy. This was a good place to celebrate at least part of the Christmas season.

Marin Joe's Restaurant, see picture above, turned out to have excellent food and drink, maybe not quite as nice as Rickey's but still very good, especially one of their dishes which mixes spinach and very loosely aggregated hamburger. Uah, I know the picture looks awful but it really tasted good.


18 December 2011

Christmas Season 2011 Travel I


After barely settling in for about 6 weeks here in Sun City West, and just getting over the shock of our first move in over 30 years, and after memorizing the way to Target and CostCo we succumb to those clever ad people at Southwest, and pack as many bags as we can because BAGS FLY FREE, and head out for the rainy northwest to check up on the Mazzucas. And the extra bags serve us well as we cart packages from one child's house to the other.

It turns out Southwest DOES charge for more than two bags and for bags that weigh MORE than 50 lbs: we are amused by more than a few dummies who didn't figure this out before arriving at the airport. This all-caps thingie is fun. It reminds me of my father writing letters back in the day when people actually exchanged letters, hand-written letters my dear grandchildren, believe it or not. Because he grew up speaking and writing German, he would frequently capitalize nouns especially when he was writing quickly.

OK, back to the bags: where do people get those monster-sized bags? The ones that take two people to move I mean. Still, Southwest does run some amusing ads and seem to make the barely bearable flights just bearable enough to make you think that sitting in the middle seat for 90 minutes isn't that bad. The picture at the top comes from Sea-Tac Airport near sunset.

Patrick and Peggy et al have moved back to Issaquah. Peg is becoming the go-to Mold-Lady of the year in the Northwest, while Patrick is weighing his options and keeping a "clean and orderly place." Their house is still fairly close to the famous Issaquah Cafe, home of The Bob, and recently. the Half-Bob. Perhaps part of the reason for living in the eastern suburbs is the excellence of the schools. Nic starts high school next fall at what looks and sounds like a good public school. I'm sure Peg and Patrick will still have to pay attention to what is going on.

Nic joined a rugby team, preceded by an extensive physical and mental exam designed to be useful in assessing concussion injuries. Seriously, I was very impressed by the examination and the supervisor was kind enough to explain why they were up to. I am pretty sure concussions come with the territory of those playing rugby. It also takes leather balls to play rugby if I remember the bumperstickers of yesteryear.


Zac auditioned for and won the role of Hero-Boy in a production of Polar Express. Below is a signed copy of the playbill which I shall sell for a huge profit when he becomes famous.

14 December 2011

AlGore Wants To Protect You

Former vice-president and almost president Al Gore, chairman of Generation Investment Management, and one of his cronies, David Blood, co-creator of the partnership, write an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. Actually, they call it a Manifesto, which is quite a bit more grand than 'op-ed.' The whole thing is entitled 'A Manifesto For Sustainable Capitalism.' Of course, parts of it sound eerily like Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto of the mid-19th century, but these things evolve and therefore much of it comes down to a somewhat obscure version of the early 20th century Fascism of Benito Mussolini. The obscurity comes from the frequent use of economic jargon, e.g. ESG which stands for environmental, social, and governance metrics; sustainability, stranded assets, resource allocation, value creation and a host of other terms calculated to send a shiver up the pants leg of all us wannabe economists and businesspeople. What this boils down to is a form of Tennessee 'protection.'

G-Man: A nice company you have their Mr Capitalist, you wouldn't want anything to happen to its sustainability, would you?
Mr. C: Right, to whom do I write the check?

13 December 2011

David Mamet Speaks In His Peculiar Voice

He talks about human sacrifice and Israel. As in Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Isaac. This is the aging playwright, David Mamet writing in the Wall Street Journal today, pointing out the real drama in the world of the Middle East, with the sometimes exaggerated and sometimes conflated characters we usually see on stage. This is Mamet-speak. It comes to the point quickly. Isaac, the voice of conscience, asks his father, Abraham, "Where is the goat we are to sacrifice?"And Abraham's hand was stayed by this voice of conscience, the Birth of the West according to Mamet. Read it and wonder.

12 December 2011

Best Quick Response To Ignorant Arrogance

From the blog site Climate Realists

It's a pretty hopeless proposition to argue science with fanatic non-scientists. Thus, this simple historical argument seems to have real usefulness. Of course, another argument that makes sense to me is that of the skeptical environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg, who says that since we can't really do much to significantly affect the probably mild warming that we may see, why should we wreck our economies for nothing. Better to make them stronger so we are better able to adapt to whatever comes our way. Check him out in his op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal.

07 December 2011

Why We Moved South

The main reason for us moving from Montana to Arizona was that for two years in a row our driveway was covered with ice from about November to March. And every time we took the dog out or went to fetch the mail both Carol and I worried about breaking some bone and being unable to get up and maybe succumbing to hypothermia.

So far we have no complaints regarding ice on the driveway,  even though early morning walks with Maggie the Dog for the last couple days felt like Billings MT rather than what I imagined Sun City West AZ would feel like when I was thinking about it last December. I wonder if temperatures like those down here—in the 30s the last couple nights—are factored into the global warming statistics? Oh, wait a minute, that is weather, not climate. I wonder how much weather we need to make it count as climate?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County doesn't to get the same favorable media coverage down here as he does in other parts of Fly-Over Country. Just the media doing their job.

05 December 2011

Mann Eschews 'Peer-Review' Process: Publishes Letter to Editor of Wall Street Journal


Prof. Mann has responded to a Wall Street Journal article by James Delingpole. I wonder if there is a mechanism in scientific fields similar to the recall of politicians. We should look into that. Mr Delingpole responds quickly at The Climate Realists website. Is it scientific to start your argument with 'every snowflake is unique'? How does he know? Calling Dr Guff!

Have An Ice Christmas

Check out these crazy Austrians. And this website too.

02 December 2011

I Try To Remember Dick Ruedebusch



I first met Dick when I was about 15, or at least sometime in the middle 50s. He was unhappily selling cars in Mayville WI I think it was, and playing lead trumpet in a city band in Hartford WI just to keep his lip in shape. Making a a living as a musician was not easy then or now. In those days every small town in Wisconsin had a baseball team and a city band, or a town band, or sometimes a village band. He was clearly more than a step or two better than the rest of us in that band. The director hated it when Dick would add a little improvisation to what was on the page, though the rest of us loved it. I remember listening to him tell stories about playing all day and night during the War. That would be World War Two in case there are any youngish readers. Only the guys who hadn't actually been in combat talked about it. He was about 17 when he volunteered out of high school.

I moved on from Hustisford High to Carroll College in Waukesha WI in 1957. Some friends told me about the trumpet player at the Tunnel Inn in downtown Milwaukee. We were regular visitors there in the late 50s/early 60s. I remember he borrowed my trombone for awhile because something had happened to Sonny Sievert's horn.

I went to Boston for medical school in the Fall of 1961. One night I was drifting off to sleep with the radio on, when I recognized the sound and style of Dick Ruedebusch, playing a solo in a big band, one of Woody Herman's Thundering Herds I think. That sobered me up fairly quickly.

Dick died some 6 years later, in his early 40s, unexpectedly while he was in hospital being treated for valvular heart disease I think. His funeral was a big deal in the village of Hustisford. Because all of the 60s were a blur for me I somehow conflated the being waked by his late night solo and his death in order, I'm sure, to make a better story. So, I'm waked by a dead man playing a trumpet solo. Yeah, right!

I was reminded of this strangeness on my part by an email coming from a clear blue sky from a friend from Carroll, Carl Trendler, who was kind enough to drop me a line to straighten me out, some 50 years later. I accused him of having some memory loss when it was really me. He was a Delta Rho so I should have known better.

The only other things I can think of about Dick, besides my all-time favorite, St James Infirmary Blues, and that he preferred the name 'traditional music' rather than 'dixieland', was that he married a pretty Hustisford girl, Marilyn Roethke. Their kids, at least some of them, were given names having to do with Bunny Berrigan. What a guy. I tear up when I hear him play.

I found these two on UTube.

Notes From Friday's Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal beat the Arizona Republic this morning, 2-1, in stories that caught my interest enough to read all the way through. The first started just below the fold on the front page and continued on page A16, entitled Scientists' Elusive Goal: Reproducing Study Results, somewhat elusive itself when it comes to meaning.

The article's main purpose was to reveal "one of medicine's dirty secrets:Most results, including those that appear in top-flight peer-reviewed journals, cannot be reproduced."(my italic emphasis). Not only the best journals but also scientists from places like Harvard Medical School could not have their work be reproduced by Amgen before it started spending serious money. This is not just an occasional failure either but at least half of actionable studies could not be reproduced. So, it is not just our friends in the climatology field who are fiddling their results. For some reason I am very sad.

The same issue of the WSJ featured an op-ed by Daniel Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and emeritus professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, entitled Absolute Certainty Is Not Scientific, in which he points out that "global warming alarmists betray their own cause when they declare that it is irresponsible to question them." Both articles are worth reading in their entirety.

Oh I almost forgot the Arizona Republic article that caught my attention. That was the news that Loretta Young, see the picture above from a 1933 movie, mothered a love-child with that cad Clark Gable, there he is to the left, back in 1935. Ms Young pretended she had adopted her own daughter. Apparently the daughter died recently, having put out the truth in a book a decade or two ago, which I missed. These things are treated differently these days, and the horses are not scared either. I am sad, but not as sad as I was about the WSJ article.

Of course, because we are newbies in this area, we always read Valley 101, written by Clay Thompson, the Back Page Sage of the Valley. There is always something useful or funny or both in his articles. And I like his writing style too.

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here