Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Almost Thanksgiving and I'm still messin' with Monarchs!

Well, I'm down to one, and I'm just pampering the dickens outta her.  Facebook and Google Plus peeps already know I'm talking about the one crippled butterfly I've been keeping, and that's Peggy Sue.  She came out of her chrysalis very much overdue and she was suspected of being infected with OE (a protozoan parasite) when it came to pass that her legs didn't work, she couldn't grab onto the shell and expand her wings. Good thing she didn't fall far, and the advice was to euthanize her.  That is to say, put her in the freezer.  As soon as I laid her on the cold surface, she fought back--this was no ordinary disease-weakened insect, no sir.  I couldn't do it; as I've already said to those I related this story to, the life she lives is the one she fought for, so she earned it.

She emerged on October 18, so now on November 22, she's outlived a standard monarch butterfly's average life span (about a month in the wild).  However, I've observed here, and stated before the Enid City Commission, that ALL monarchs that were born in Enid after mid-August are the ones that migrate to Mexico and winter over...so...Peggy Sue is one of those and in terms of the winter months, she's just started her wintering-over session.

I've checked with the veteran "monarch moms" about wintering over a monarch that didn't make it to Mexico, and only one person tried it and it didn't work.  I then set about the business of making Peggy Sue's environment as comfortable as I could until she voluntarily gives up her own ghost.  That meant buying up local nursery clearance in terms of flowers and picking the ones in the yard until I couldn't pick them anymore. I set her up with a nectar feeder, too. That brings us up to just a few days ago, in the middle of November, when Peggy Sue exhibited an enormous appetite and actually got quite porky. The nurseries sold their last fall flowers and were getting ready to stock Christmas trees. Oh my, what to do, what to do?

I looked into what type of tree that monarchs in Mexico roosted on--that turned out to be a fir--and then I researched what sort of firs grow in Oklahoma. Native firs, nada...but there are Christmas Tree farms!  Not around Enid, though.  But then I remembered that in a monarch sanctuary in California, they preferred eucalyptus trees, so maybe monarchs weren't so exactingly picky. Working on that theory, I obtained a sprig of Arbor Vitae, put it in with Peggy's flower assortment, to see what would happen. The verdict is in--she hopped over to the Arbor Vitae, not the flowers. Suspicion confirmed: Peggy wasn't going to go into hibernation mode because she wasn't in what she thought was the right place to do that in. So now I've got her a wee Christmas Tree, and I finished decorating it just today. She's an old lady now but she's still my sweetie-pie butterfly.

BoxingDay UPDATE: My dear Peggy Sue passed away one day before her 10th week birthday.  In the days that passed since her eclosure, she managed to become a member of the family and is now mourned as such.


Adding the following, Aug. 2017, to provide an image link to serve another location:

Monday, November 07, 2016

Oklahoma votes!

Although my last monarch took flight some time ago, I'm still up to my eyeballs in monarch activities prepping for next year AND participating in seed swaps at this time...which takes me right up to election day, just about.  As far as the POTUS race goes, my regulars know already my position on where big business stands, and it ain't with Trump.

But I think this commentary is worth adding for those who blindly follow like sheep the lead of the evangelical faction supporting Trump: in terms of morality, they're supporting a guy who revels in and brags about his repeated commission of several of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the quick fix for that is the claim that he's asked for, and been granted, forgiveness...belied by his Twitter storms, so of late, his campaign management pulled his access to his own Twitter account...which amounts to evangelicals attempting to Bear False Witness out of one side of their mouths and glorifying the Ten Commandments on the other.  I'm looking at you, Governor Mary Fallin and all those in support of repealing the religion money clause of the OK Constitution.

There are a couple of State Questions I feel imperative to address immediately, so I'll comment on those and post this quickly with the caveat that I'll edit this later to add commentary on other issues.

In the name of budgetary concerns as well as justice, I come out in favor of the justice system reform State Question as both concerns will be properly addressed by its passage.

I don't have that same view about the teacher's pay State Question, however, because of the weasel words incorporated in the ads aired by its proponents. They proclaim that the money won't go to administration, that it'll go into some kind of lock box, but when it comes to stating that ALL the money goes to teacher's pay, they back out of that and make the claim that it'll go to the classroom, not the teachers....so...I'm with the opponents on this one, and cite the corruption of the Enid Public Schools people as prime example of a swamp that definitely needs draining. The state legislators in charge of establishing teacher pay should find their balls and pass a better pay rate for teachers and until they do, they remain craven cowards.

Lastly (for now) but definitely not the leastly, is the Constitutional Right to Farm State Question. There are very valid points on both sides and I was on the fence for a long time on that one.  After hearing all the arguments, and remembering the huge spate of family farm foreclosures in the 1980s under the Reagan administration, a situation that caused Willie Nelson to create his Farm Aid event and movement, the argument that "Oklahomans already have a right to farm" falls flat on its face. The right to farm State Question is decades too late for the 1980s, but in my view, in view of what happened in the 1980s, I hereby state that ALL STATES should have a clause that gives a constitution guarantee of a Right to Farm...so...I stand strongly in favor of State Question 777. 

Further, I endorse Roland Pederson. We need more farmers and ranchers in state government, not fewer.

More to come later as time permits.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I've been up to my eyeballs in monarchs!

...which explains why I haven't been blogging as frequently as I have been in the past. I also discovered a Facebook Group specializing in monarchs (The Beautiful Monarch) Wherein I learned a truckload of things about ensuring the survival of monarchs in the wild by rearing them in captivity. There are a lot of insect predators out there, from spiders to parasitic flies to parasitic wasps, and just plain ole wasps) that diminish monarch populations to the point where scientists say that, in the wild, monarch survival is put at 5%.

For the near decade that I've been observing these beauties come and go through the yard (Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project site 2519) I still didn't have a clue as to how many are actually out there and how many perish from predation AND the City's ordinance on mowing, and by the City's own mowers.

What's important about the Facebook Group is that I'm not the only person up against the Code on yard maintenance and we give each other tips and advice on that, and I'm thinking we should get organized in that regard. I was pretty much celebrated for making the statement that I show up at each and every City Commission meeting. Not only do I enjoy local support for doing so, for other matters, but I enjoy the backing of monarch enthusiasts elsewhere, so...the work continues.

And yes, the photos have accumulated although I've already posted a good number of them in my Google Plus Collection, "Back Yard Zoo"...fact remains I'm very much behind on posting them on Blogger on the main page as well as on my 2016 Monarchs page of this blog.  As the work load of shepherding more monarchs than I ever imagined here to adulthood and subsequent migration draws down as frost approaches, you can bet I'll be posting that backlog of pictures as time permits.  Right now, the monarchs come first.

This is a case where I used a wing tag to repair a tear.
The pupae box.

Freshly hatched 1st instar baby on Honeyvine leaf. When people think of milkweed, it's not the Honeyvine they usually think of first.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Congrats to Roland Pederson FTW! Plus busy with monarchs--Tis the Season.

Traffic to this blog dropped off considerably since my previous entry, and no wonder; no new posts for a while.  Well, not on the front page, anyway.  I've been making updates to my monarch blog page for this year, though, and sending pictures in to both Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project and Journey North/South.  Making a mental note to say something to the City Commission about designating Dillingham Memorial Garden as a monarch journey landmark, since I've observed them using that for both northward and southward excursions. My yard is just a side stop on the way through to and from Texas.

As I said on my monarch page, the first migrant arrival came in at 7:30 pm on August 20, and it was a female. Upon discovering all my milkweeds, she did numerous loops at a fast clip, kinda doing a happy dance. As the sun sank lower, she checked out my pecan trees and decided to turn in at its topmost limbs for the night. Next day, rather late in the morning, she left...and hours later returned with her mate, both of which did happy dances with each other while partaking of nectar until afternoon...when a third monarch showed up, a smallish male.  The happy couple departed for elsewhere without returning but the small male came back...I netted him and he got the first Monarch Watch wing tag.

Before the couple departed, though, the lady of the two spent time checking out other growths and apparently decided to leave an egg. Well, at least one egg, which I discovered today. Other monarchs have arrived and departed in the interim, but they just flew right on by, always from north to south, without stopping.  The first lady brought her husband, stayed 2 nights, and then departed with husband in tow--do the math, ha.  The pictures are on my monarch page, but as of this writing, I haven't posted the pic of the egg yet.  So...for the first time this year, a monarch baby picture!!

It's things like this which prompt me to put the message out to Oklahoma voters just how important it is to have more farmers and ranchers in the State Congress, so it's with great elation that I find Roland Peterson in the tractor driver's seat from the primary run-off. This state is in the sorry shape it's in because of the urbanized focus on only petroleum, forgetting entirely that our OTHER backbone commodity is AGRICULTURE.  No urban medic (either Vanhooser) has a clue.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Florence Foster Jenkins won't be showing in Enid; AMC thinks Enid's customer base is too small

I got the bad news when trying to see the movie in Enid this past weekend. Enid's AMC theater was certain--on the phone at least--that they WERE going to get to show it, even though it didn't show it scheduled on their website.  Going by phone info, showed up and saw the manager rolling up the poster for the movie and got the bad news that AMC decided that it wouldn't show in Enid after all.  This may explain why my complaint, earlier posted on this blog, about the fact that Enid wasn't showing "Twelve Years A Slave", had a different explanation than the one I speculated.

Enid powers-that-be still claim that Enid is growing despite consistent losses, in the millions each time, of sales tax revenue. I did state at a previous Commission that if you don't have a customer base, you got nothin'.   Our local theater has been struggling for a long time, changed hands a couple times, and is now owned by AMC, which, in turn, is owned by Chinese. They call the shots according to market and the market just ain't there, and it's not just AMC that thinks so; whomever was in charge of the distribution of "Twelve Years A Slave" clearly held the same opinion prior to AMC's ownership of this same theater.

Oh whoopee, we've got a Schlotzky's now....except we used to have one, and we simply got it back.  Oh whoopee, we've got a Pizza Inn now....except we used to have one, and we simply got that one back.  Oh whoopee, we've now got 2 Walmarts, not just one (a Neighborhood Market, not a full-blown big-box Walmart like the first one)...except that when we had just one Walmart (the big-box Walmart), our sales tax receipts were pretty darn good at the time.  Now that we have the big-box AND the Neighborhood Market, we're still bleeding money.  The Commission has blamed the decline in oil business which also causes the state-wide shortfall...except that our county (Garfield) is right next door to Kingfisher County which consistently makes a liar out of 'em.  If things are bad all over, then Kingfisher shouldn't be as prosperous as it is.

Think about that hard, Enid, before you vote for another tax for the Kaw Pipeline project. If we were growing, sure, we'd need it NOW.  But we're not growing, as sales tax revenues consistently show, and with AMC's opinion of our market size.  We used to have a TV station and we don't have a big enough market to keep it on the air anymore. The open house events that our banks hold every year have been getting more spare and spartan, so they're not doing as well as they used to, either, AND have attracted the interest of predatory Wells Fargo.

The little city of Crescent still has a full sized Pizza Hut, and we don't, nor do we have a Cici's anymore...so...just getting a Pizza Inn back from the dead doesn't change the fact that if there's a customer base there, it ain't much.

Thursday the 18th mini-UPDATE: Enid's Official Welcome Wagon made yet another appearance in this 'hood. Come on over and enjoy the fragrance of the summer's eventide. You're welcome!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs report: Enid Public Schools shenannigans with bonds is statewide. Ready to be taxed again, Enid?

Ernie Currier wants to sell Enid on another bond he can skim; this time it's for the Kaw Pipeline water project.  People who have tuned in either on cable or online to the Enid City Commission already know how all a-drool that Main Street Enid and the Ward 5 Commissioner are about their piece of that juicy pie, in the name of arts.

But just this evening, KFOR aired a segment about that Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs report  about how schools have millions in the bank but pass bond issues for construction projects all the same and then whine about how bond money can't go for teachers when it's teachers Oklahoma schools need most.

When it comes to schools building new sports facilities, the term "Taj Mahal was used...remember when part of the sales pitch for the EPS bond was "world class art center"?  Yeah--they don't focus on skills useful in industry because then their students would be too smart to be such suckers for their next sales pitch to pick your pockets again and again and again. Oklahomans avoid paying teachers because of teacher unions, and kids getting taught by adjunct-quality warm bodies produces the biggest suckers that fall for crap just because like in sports, you're on the Enid team, rah rah go team, bend over and let 'em have the full field of your wallets.

Sure, kids need a quality education but buildings don't teach; teachers teach.  Sure, Enid needs more water WHEN it grows, but anybody going to any Enid bank already knows that if Enid were growing, the banks wouldn't have yanked the popcorn and coffee, and Bank of America would still be in town, and Roserock Bank wouldn't have needed to change its name, and Wells Fargo wouldn't show such a sudden interest in making a quick real estate buck in this city.

Yeah, I've noticed recent frequency of Wells Fargo ads in the paper, and Wells Fargo is a bank that isn't just brutal with residence property, it's a bank that takes over other banks.

WHEN Enid grows, it will need more water, but it's not growing so we don't need to take on such a huge bond debt to grease City palms NOW. I for one just don't trust this current City Commission getting its greasy hands on any of it, much less getting a juicy cut of that large pie. Vote for the thing if you've swallowed the old pitch that was used on you for the EPS bond, sucker, but as for me, I'll be happy to vote on a water bond proposal when all the faces on the City Commission are different from the ones that are there now.

Hime should make a priority of visiting Enid High's University Center for the Taj Mahal that nobody voted to build or fund. That Taj Mahal was build by skimming bonds that the voter approved for other projects.

Alright--certain of my fellow Republicans wanted me to weigh in on the national situation with the GOP.  First, I'm going to tell my fellow local Republicans that the City government is in the mess that it's in now because you took your eye off that ball while concentrating on Washington. Thanks to your lack of vigilance in your own back yard, you let the liberals loot the City treasury and let them get away with buddy-buddy patronage as well as the government take-over of the corporation once known as PEGASYS, which was a privatization, a public-private partnership. You abandoned your principles here at home.

Conservative principles were abandoned in this supposedly conservative state on the day Oklahoma voted for foul-mouthed, anti-corporation, pro-labor Trump. I've heard just now that members of the GOP establishment won't vote for Clinton but they won't vote for Trump either, and the fact of Trump's rise was the fact that he's anti-establishment.

Said another way, your traditional conservative principles weren't persuasive to all thoe voters you thought were traditional conservatives.  But you knew that when you courted the Tea Party, who thought traditional conservatives weren't conservative enough.  What you're looking at is traditional support + Tea Party support put together is less than Trump support. Do the math...if you can, you who are dead set against Common Core (English plus Math).  Yeah--your animus toward consortium-developed Common Core is irrational, if you'll pardon another math term there.  While the world calculates circles around your head-scratching, you're why we're falling behind in jobs as well as world leadership. Without world -leading skills, you're the ones who are convinced that America can lead the world from behind the basic skills 8 ball.

As Trump proved, he loves the under-educated because they make the biggest suckers.

Seriously.  You need to re-examine those things you think are important, and stop making the claim that conservative economic principles bring prosperity in the face of what's happening in Kansas and Iowa which had enough of the red to start turning blue.

There is a ray of hope here for the GOP, but you need basic math skills to grasp this one too: No primary candidate got the majority of total votes. More than half of the GOP ;in any given state did NOT vote for Trump.  Oklahoma does something smarter than you do, Reince Priebus: it recognizes that a clear winner is somebody who gets 51% of all votes cast. 39% is not equal to 51%.  Most of the GOP voters voted for somebody other than Trump, and all Trump won on was a bigger percentage of votes than the other candidates. NONE of the other candidates got 51% of all votes cast, so this is not a case of offering a wide choice of a "deep bench" to voters when you shouldn't have. It's a case of offering NO candidate that is a recognized strong leader.

The choices are good to have, I don't have a problem with choices.  But what you have here is a leadership problem, AND the fact that most voters just aren't buying what you're selling. I should add that Trump supporters, including those in Oklahoma, think it's just fine that Trump flatters the Communist leftists with which he does business: Russia and China. The Trump GOP has turned left of Clinton.

Thursday Trupdate: GOP interventions, and now a "come to Jesus meeting" is being called by the establishment, after the primaries where "the people have spoken".  Not a majority of people, mind you.  Just the small band that could be called The Donald and the Trump Suckers. Trump is just one man, people. Its the numbers of people who are his followers that you gotta worry about, and you need to talk to THEM.  What, you're not on speaking terms, even after you courted them election cycle after election cycle and they believed your line about how the country was right of center, and now they're supporting somebody who is left of Clinton? What planet were you on?  More importantly, are you still on that planet and still need to come back down to Earth?

I'm guessing you are. Do you miss Michael Steele yet, GOP? I'll bet Priebus does.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

City of Enid loves the poorly edumacated too.

What prompts this post isn't just 2 articles in the paper, one about how Garfield/Enid lost millions of retail sales tax money AGAIN and how Ernie Currier tries to convince us all that voting for a tax hike to pay for the Kaw Pipeline project is the thing to do because Enid's median income (not average, mind you) is $44K annually and they spend 18% of that income on taxable goods...but also because of an airing of a book discussion on CSPAN BookTV by The Mathematical Association of America on the topic of Common Core controversies. As you all are probably aware (probability! mathematics!) Oklahoma and Enid take an extremely dim view of Common Core standards. If Enidiots were mathematically literate, they'd spot this mathematical subterfuge committed by Currier right off the bat, and underscored by a subsequent article about how we're losing revenue on those same taxable goods in terms of millions.

The mathematically illiterate make the best suckers.

The main reason why people choose to avoid average and go to median is because there's a huge disparity between the lowest factors in a statistical set of numbers and the highest...so...going for a median instead of an average in the scenario where there are a lot of very low numbers and a few very high numbers will give you an artificially higher number than if you averaged the set.

Currier is on the public schools board. The same school board that lobbied like hell to pass a school bond issue we don't need but provides plenty of pork for bond skimmers to line their buddies' pockets with on additional construction projects we don't get to vote on, like the high school's University Center. Nobody voted for that structure and it was funded by raiding the "savings" on other bonds. There ya go--that's your anti-Common Core substandard Enidiot brand of mathematics for ya.

Post-Commission session UPDATE: We now know the specific names of the Commissioners who have no problem with questionable ethics--The Three Amigos who attempted to railroad the City Manager, of course, plus Tammy Wilson. What I said about Santa Fe NM is true, of course; I've been there in person a number of times while the guy who made the presentation in the Study Session said all he knows about it is what's on its website.  It figures, doesn't it.  Scottsdale has been trying to be a Santa Fe knock-off for over a decade now, and it's done a fairly reasonable job of it, as has Santa Fe's nearer neighbor, Taos NM.

New Mexico is breathtaking mountains mixed with desert and it's called the Land of Enchantment for good reason, especially where artists are concerned. Oklahoma is located in the Great Plains, which is, well, plain.  Even if Georgia O'Keefe were still alive, she wouldn't have fallen in love with Enid Oklahoma. I'm sure of it.

On the other hand, Taos city government has a lot in common with the Enid City Commission, apparently...

Below is a fence in Santa Fe that I know the City of Enid would say is an ordinance violation...if it was in Enid...

Yup--and I even recognized some photos shown at the Enid Study Session as originating specifically on Santa Fe's Canyon Road.

Near the bottom of Canyon Road, going up...through windshield glare...

Notice the whirly-gigs on the left of the picture. Here's a closer look at that:

Now, what the top of Canyon Road looks like...

You see correctly; Canyon Road has a Gypsy Alley.  And here's what that looks like:

So then--you don't believe me when I said that Sotheby's deals with the commercial real estate in Santa Fe? Why don't you call Sotheby realtor Darlene Street yourself and ask her about it, hm?

If you ever happen to be out in that neighborhood, I also recommend the downtown plaza, and 'way further out of town, the Earthship.

The Wikipedia page about this proclaims that its entry has issues with "weasel words" but I couldn't find anything on it that went askew from what I observed in person. It's truly a technological wonder.

August UPDATE: Drove by the old Miles Music building just off of Van Buren and noticed a Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate sign there, and laughed my arse off. Definitely a first for Enid Oklahoma, a day after somebody at state level proclaimed to the City Commission's Study Session that there are 4 national-level artists and ...get this...Enid is growing. That poor misinformed miss didn't pay attention to how the banks in Enid are reducing services large and small, including curtailing their traditional Friday popcorn and, in SNB's case, coffee as well.  As for Miles Music's account with the liberal Clinton-supporting but still high dollar Berkshire Hathaway, well...they're still going to have to find a BUYER in Enid that can handle it. Besides, nothing says "conservatives need not apply, your money isn't good enough" like a Berkshire-Hathaway real estate sign. Like I said at a previous City Commission session: somebody's delusional. Seriously delusional.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dear Republicans: Remember when you were shocked over the two-fer Billary?

Nobody elected Hillary to the White House, you used to say back in the day. Now you've got a decider-in-chief wannabe who gets vetoed by his clan.  That's 'way more than a two-fer, you know. The Trump clan ain't gonna be elected to the White House either.  Looks like the decider-in-chief wannabe can't decide shit without 'em.

In Enid news, Enid Animal Control don't control animals...oh, I know, you've heard me say this before, and more than once.  And you already know armadillos run free here with impunity, too. But so does Enid's mascot, the urban skunk.  Animal control doesn't control skunks, so now you can add another wild item on your list of reasons to move here.

This pic was taken just after 9 pm today. The Enid Official Welcome Wagon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Despite confessing faith, Enid Commission members don't know right from wrong

Quite a headline in the Monday newspaper, huh:

This is the second article on this subject, though; Sunday's article merited not only front page headline but inside, a full page spread.  So where was the newspaper months earlier, hm?  Like I said--it's more a lapdog than a watchdog, and this particular issue isn't one that the newspaper can ignore anymore.  I will have more commentary on this at a later date, but for now I'll say that my regular readers already know that I was on to this corrupt bunch a long long LONG time ago, a time when the newspaper provided cover for this rotten bunch, and now they've been reported by the paper to opine that they need ethics guidelines, not their respective churches, to tell them what's right and what's wrong.  The longer they talk, the more of a disgrace each Commissioner is to the respective churches they attend; they are, after all, the same people who voted to approve a rule that evangelicals should be required to pay for a vendor's permit in order to set up downtown on a First Friday despite First Amendment protections in that regard.  Watch this space.

July 8 UPDATE: Those of you who watched the City Commission yesterday already know the move I made on this. For those of you who didn't, here's the gist: I opened my comments to the Commission with a continuation of the comment I made on curious City economics, how even the new Walmart  neighborhood market store didn't make a difference in the millions in retail sale revenues that were lost, and all the current construction going on proceeds without any visible means of (financial) support, while Kingfisher consistently gains each tax period...and there's something that's just cockeyed about that.  I then pointed out that anyone who needs ethics guidelines to inform them what's right and what's wrong is a disgrace to the church they go to, as messing around with somebody's spouse is just plain ole wrong.

What's worse, though, is that the Commissioner in question enlisted the service of the City Attorney to execute a warrant to the Police Department on a personal matter, and I said that this was a clear abuse of office.  The City Attorney should have known better than to use HER office to execute ANY action regarding a personal matter that is NOT City business.  The news I'm going to break with this UPDATE is that I'm going to file an OBA complaint on this attorney.  She should have known better but didn't and participated in her own unethical conduct and facilitated the conduct of the Commissioner.  There exists NO excuse or mitigating circumstance for the conduct of either person. The conduct of the City attorney was just as unethical as that of the Commissioner.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Enid News & Eagle's anti-farmer position is clear in biased publication

First, under the guise of reporting news, the Enid News-Ain't-Got-Nothin'-To-Do-With-It & Eagle takes an anti-Right-To-Farm position, siding with the liberal position on that, and then it endorses Ross Vanhooser instead of his farmer opponent (Roland Pederson), as if we don't need more farmers in government. There's far more to it than that, though--it's corrupt, which also explains why it's a lapdog instead of a watchdog: it was the paper that predicted the victory of Mayor Vanhooser, in the form of Ross' brother.  Proclaims that Chautauqua is a marvelous event but won't publish an ETN schedule to inform its readers as to when one can tune in to ETN to watch it on teh tee vee.  In short, the Enid Beagle is a Vanhooser lapdog, specifically--it awarded mayoral loser David Vanhooser the Readers' Choice Award for Best Commissioner.  That says all you need to know about how impotent as a news org the Enid Beagle actually is.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando: It's time for the NRA to step up to do proper duty

I've heard the rumblings: I'm not commenting about the Orlando shooting because it's likely I'll run for office again and I dare not step on those particular Oklahoma power toes and I'm reluctant to speak out against Islam because I have Muslim friends.  Au contraire.

Partisan politics these days take left-right extremes and are themselves run by right-left extremists.  I've always been an independent who doesn't fit in the pigeonhole labeled "moderate" and I don't believe any voter owes allegiance to the success of either party, and that voting is NOT an entitlement program for either party.  Dems howl because of the alleged "pro-NRA" position I have in agreeing with Sanders that holding manufacturers responsible for the dead people directly resulting from the use of their products is "a bridge too far" and Reps howl that I agree with a Socialist on something.  Both howlers are extremists in MY book.

However, the NRA position that we already have too many gun laws is bogus considering all the loopholes their lobbyists put in aforementioned gun laws before passage, and while they've been very good at howling about an absolute interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, they've also been very good at telling lawmakers what they can NOT do but very short on proposing what they CAN do, and it's high time they step up to be part of the solution.

Come on, NRA--propose legislation yourself that:
1) is capable of differentiating who is a good guy and who is a bad guy before either of them buy guns;

2) is capable of better product tracking than you thusfar have approved of because tracking of any sort does NOT infringe on the 2nd Amendment.

3) establish exactly the type of Due Process you whine about not being there when the Constitution approves of Probable Cause as being proper Due Process prior to formal charges and a formal trial.

4) be better at being constructive about what our proper options could be, that we CAN do, than whining about what we all can't do for a change.

Coming up with a plan THAT WORKS is 100% ON YOU.

Your whining without offering a solution is a part of the problem, which thusfar precluded your being any kind of solution.  That must change. You've regarded the 2nd Amendment as more sacrosanct than the 1st Amendment, which does have reasonable regulation attached, such as outlawing libel, slander, and fraud as NOT protected speech (compared to regarding ALL speech as protected).  The 2nd Amendment is an AMENDMENT, not a Commandment.

June 19 UPDATE: You guessed it--I attended another time traveler convention. Just canNOT beat Bartlesville OK at this time of year.

You know it.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

There's nothing more inevitable than the predictable.

Yeah, if Team Hillary would have breathed the word "inevitable", they might have jinxed things--so they didn't.  But we saw this one coming several miles away, though, didn't we. Oh, for the sake of the party, they must unify...and we saw that effort coming too, didn't we. Trouble is, it won't wash with Sanders supporters who weren't Democrat to begin with...or...were Dem but were disaffected and, to be quite frank, were in the mood for a political revolution, which is what Sanders was selling, and which they bought into.  No amount of "for the sake of the party" is going to hold water, and we saw that coming, too.

And so it has transpired that Sanders talked amicably with the POTUS, and, apparently on the phone with the presumptive Dem nominee, and word went out from the Dems that things would work out just fine, and then Sanders continued to DC to continue to fight the Dem establishment. Well, well, well. Only one side is singing Kumbaya.

When running for office, Sanders amassed quite a support base, even if he's on the short end of the arithmetic stick, and Sanders supporters aren't chopped liver. This is the sort of realization that has been dawning on the City of Enid Commission of late, too: a person who runs for office but loses still has supporters, and those supporters aren't chopped liver either, and the candidate, win or lose, still has an obligation of sorts to deliver what's been pledged to the people who pledged their support.  Those are the people who, given their druthers, wouldn't even think of voting for the person who won if the alternative was to be had.

And Sanders have a lot of supporters, none of whom are chopped liver, Dem loyalists, or supporters of the presumptive, so there's nothing to unify here, folks--the Dems who are Dems are already unified with their Ms. Inevitable, whom they've spent years grooming for the job. Nobody else has enjoyed the level of grooming for the job than Ms. Inevitable.  So we saw this one coming several miles away, didn't we--it was so predictable, wasn't it.

The big surprise was the GOP, who were the biggest whiners about Dem superdelegates but given the rise of Trump, are starting to come around to the Dem way of thinking on that.  Who'd-a thunk it?

In Enid Monarch news, the butterfly weed (Asclepias Tuberosa) seedlings I started in February, now turned loose in the yard, not only have acquired an inch or so of additional height but two of them have developed very small flower buds.  Still no sign of monarchs yet, but they are still congregated in the upper northern tier of the U.S. and lower regions of Canada--still too early for them to drop south.  They typically show up in Enid in late July/early August, and it's in the first week of August that Monarch Watch starts shipping its monarch tagging kits to track their journey south.  Last weekend I spent some quality time in Alva for their arts festival and did the Auto Tour of the Great Salt Plains Reserve, examined their milkweeds (mainly Showy Milkweed) and found them to be as untouched by either aphid or monarch as mine were. No sign of the Stem Weevil up there, though, and I have plenty of those attacking my Honeyvine.

Still very short for a first-year youngster, it's nonetheless putting on flower buds on the right-hand branch, and developing that classic orange tinge of Butterfly Weed blossoms.

Another Butterfly Weed seedling started this February is quite a bit taller than the one in the previous pic, but it, too, is putting on flower buds in the tip of this one spire--but they're all still green.

As I've pointed out so many times before, mainly what's available around here by way of wild milkweeds isn't even in the Asclepias family at all--it's Cynanchum Laeve, aka Honeyvine, and in the process of trying to maintain a properly urban mowed lawn, I discovered something else I could do with those because they're by far more flexible to work with than woody-stemmed milkweeds of the Asclepias family.  I'll be posting more about that at the bottom of my separate Monarch Project blog page later.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Citizens of Enid, I have your Main Street Enid Economic Award right here. Like I said at the Commission.

Pre-Special Session Wednesday UPDATE: Newspaper reports that entry signage is what's up for special discussion, so here's a reminder that, in a previous study session (May 17), the entry signage was part of a larger sign package which replaces the nearly new downtown signs that Main Street Enid got an award on. Brownlee might chant the magic words "conservative" and "efficiency" a bazillion times but it won't change his liberal voting record, nor the wasteful public money spending record of the rest of the Commission including the Mayor.

The one in the background is ACTUALLY in front of Garfield Furniture. The one in the foreground doesn't belong there.

Enid First contracted with a firm in Travers City MI because it couldn't find people smart enough in Enid to come up with this half-vast plot. Brent Kisling claims, in this Study Session, that companies have been attracted to Enid like never before, and to the extent that Eskimo Joe's continues to find Enid not terribly attractive, he's right--Walls found it attractive before, and now doesn't, and neither does Bank of America. Brent Kisling is all kinds of excited about the fact that all the Kisling horses and all the Kisling men couldn't do better than a 6 month revenue losing streak plus one more losing month at this point in time. All of that big-wheel-out-of-state-expert marketing of Enid, and this is all they have to show for it:

 Like Bill Engvall used to say, Brent--"here's your sign".

Yeah, the planet those folks live on clearly isn't this one.

I TOTALLY love those letters to the Editor in the May 21 issue, too!  Check 'em out!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

All over but the crying--all hail President Clinton the II-Award-winner Enid Main Street UPDATE up top

Hello, all you Enidfolk looking for me making good on something re: me & Brownlee.  It's still in production and it'll be posted on YouTube all in good time. Aloha.
..........aaaaaaaaaaaand here it is:

As for what I mentioned as being the Main Street Enid Economic Viability Award that could be seen downtown for months, I was talking about a number of these on Broadway, near the Merrifield store.  This pic was taken in October 2015.

Right after I posted the above pic today (May 18, 2016) I drove downtown to get farmfresh pictures of the area, and the area hasn't changed with the possible exception of the semi truck carrying mattresses.  Kinda like the much smaller truck that got eaten by the Truck Eating Bridge, as reported by our local rag when it happened.

The pride of award winning Main Street Enid--the entire block where Broadway Tower is with code-violating window signs in each window.

From left to right, there are two signs declaring a restaurant lease; this (above) is the third sign in the series.

Below--what's new is the sapling and the circus poster is gone:

Another award winning location downtown is what used to be the Simpson's store.  Years ago is shifted gears from retail to non-profit museum...kinda like what happened to Burchardt's Furniture store.  It's like Main Street Enid declared war on profit-making.

If you watched the Study Session before the Commission session, then you heard about how the Commission put in an order for new City signs only you probably thought it was just new signs at the edge of town to replace the wooden ones in advanced stages of weathering until the entire grand scheme of signs everywhere got unveiled.  Guess what--the downtown area already got new signs along those lines and we're gonna have to toss in the ashcan the money spent on such signs already.  Money already spent to be tossed down the toilet.

You can see TWO duplicate signs--the one in the foreground AND the one on Garfield Furniture's corner, too, by the lamp post. They look like perfectly good signs to ME, but the City wants to start all over, tossing all of it even if they still have the new shine on them.


Cruz will continue the fight on the behalf of his supporters, rather than relinquish to Trump after the Indiana vote (yes, ye suspended--I heard that--but he also said he was going to continue to fight), and the same can be said of the much stronger Sanders...but...

This is the point where "the donor class" will see a "sure thing" to put their big bucks on, and with Trump trashing Carrier, championing the middle class as Cruz has done, there's now only one candidate who hasn't declared war on the Fortune 500 people, like I said in a previous blog entry.  It's at this point where the marvels of Sanders' fund raising ability is going to be massively outdone by the Fortune 500 folks, with Hillary "out-raising" Sanders.

All Hail President Clinton the Second.

Something else just bit the dust here, too: "the conservative movement", despised by Tea Partiers who already took over the GOP, and still supported by the Our Values organization up against Trump.  Also fallen: Rush Limbaugh. At this point he's provably unpersuasive even among conservatives.

Now consider this:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Of late I think of SuperTuesday Cliffordville & City Special Session

Here we go with another manic SuperTuesday, talk of a Kasich-Cruz coalition and now of a break-up, who spends resources campaigning where, all distinctly flavored with the Twilight Zone seasoned with a guffaw or two that David Letterman could have made in public but hasn't because he retired, dammit.

And here we go with another special Enid City Commission with a focus on the budget again, with questions as to how highly paid a legal eagle is, representing the City to the State government while not blinking an eye about paying that ETN incompetent twice as much for knowing less than even a legal intern and knowing even less about basic mic-ing and ADA level equal access to what microphones they do have...and now replacing equipment like the dais mic, basically paying twice for equipping once.

The Music Man was partial to Gary, while people who know me well know that I'm partial to South Bend (and why).  Shortwave radio hobbyists of a certain upper class know the significance of Indianapolis in particular...and one particular famed grocery bagger...but there's nothing like living next door to that particular state, in Illinois, where the southerners there have more in common with the southerners in Indiana than they do with their respective northern co-habitants.  Hoosier daddy? The further south you go, the more commonality is in the riverways so you might as well throw western Kentucky into that mix, culturally.  Yeah--not sure that Trump would play well there, actually, so this is where the Twilight Zone comes in.

The following is on YouTube and is of poor quality, but it gets the Trumpish point across.  For a better view, there's Hulu et al.

Heh. Julie Newmar looks good in any resolution, huh.

More remarkable than that, though, is the great departure this nation has made between what was moral, Christian, proper decades ago to how those things are currently defined, how what was considered demonic drive is now sanctified under "prosperity theology".

I wonder if Dave Letterman ever visited Cliffordville, Indiana.

It's obvious that nobody on the Enid City Commission ever did--they voted in favor of the massive Kaw Project, reviewed the advice of their financial advisers, and STILL failed to go into sticker shock until NOW.  Like I've said before, that crowd reliably fails to think things through, and even now think that, without a PR department, they are NOT duplicating the jobs of both the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Enid, and now the Enid Event Center, which clearly failed to make a dent in the previous 6 months of precipitous drop in sales tax revenue.  The previous 6 months included the Christmas season and Black Friday, which do not occur in the next 6 months.  Main Street Enid's impact on sales tax revenue is less than zero, and we blow wads of cash on that sorry lot too, under the mistaken impression that all the parties they throw while everybody else is tightening their belts somehow makes Enid look GOOD.  It doesn't, and it won't.

Now here's another Twilight Zone episode which contains material we've been hearing lately. Posting it Lest We Forget...
Science Fiction Treasures- He's Alive Full... by Angelcraftcrownsciencefictiontreasures

It's now 3:10 pm and a massive shelf cloud formed overhead from the north, with thunderclouds rolling in beneath from the south. Shutting down now--here we go.
.....  ......   ...and I'm back, in one piece, feelin' like Pecos Bill. XD

SuperWednesday UPDATE: Carly Fiorina is being poo-pooed as Cruz's running mate announced too early but with Indiana in mind as Trump continues to trash Carrier. Here's a reminder that although Fiorina always sat at the "second card table" in the early debates, she dominated the debates she was in. She does still enjoy support and she just made a point you can't refute today: Hillary made big bucks selling access (corporate speeches, same point Bernie was making) and Trump made his big bucks buying people like Hillary.  BOOM.
I ask again, Indiana---Hoosier daddy?!

Seriously, people--the GOP died with Dubya, with the rise of the anti-GOP Tea Party within the GOP. That was a hostile take-over.  Proof of the death of the GOP: the deaths of the political careers of Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush, and now the only candidate left for corporate America to support is Hillary...and the GOP olde guarde can do absolutely NOTHING about it.

mini UPDATE: Blog stats indicate that someone has been researching my background re: City stuff and this li'l bit of info is just for you folks who have noticed the ASL in my last appearance before the Commission. That stuff happened AFTER Motorola downsized and moved to Texas with its AZ HQ becoming a superfund cleanup site. AZ Relay was my next employment gig just before a parent became significantly infirm and I had to move to IL from AZ...after which I moved to OK...okay? While I was on family leave of absence, the corporation which hired the people I worked for to handle AZ Relay took a nosedive, too.  Ever hear of MCI?  Yeah--lucky me, huh.  MCI was mandated to provide Relay services and just before it bit the dust, it consolidated into AZ other Relay services it provided.  In its final days, I additionally worked Louisiana Relay, N. Carolina Relay, and Wisconsin Relay.  How 'bout THEM apples. My retirement is with Motorola, though.

Sure, I still have a few souvenirs of my time with AZ Relay...like a glowing letter of recommendation.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

GOP leaves Fortune 500 no other choice: Hillary Clinton

The amazing failure of Jeb to get the primary nod, what remains is a GOP contender who has now flat out admitted that he agrees with Bernie Sanders about big banks and large international corporations (includes Big Oil, doesn't it); Trump rails against the shipping of jobs overseas as Cruz does (a big corporation standard practice you can thank Ronald Reagan for) even as he kneels in worship at Bonnie Ronnie's feet; in today's talking head shows, now Kasich says he's only for small businesses, not the big ones.  So now being a super-successful mega-business isn't to be as celebrated as being rich in the GOP, leaving none of the mega-donors (or their individuals who run them) anywhere in the GOP to throw their money at or otherwise support.

With Bernie Sanders coming out squarely against millionaires, billionaires and big banks, there's only one candidate remaining worthy of corporate (business and individuals) support, and that's the one they've been paying the big bucks for in speeches, right?

Do the math, people.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Enid's Weldon Bird Sanctuary isn't for bird watchers; Butterfly Park isn't for butterflies.

It's spring enough for me, and my blog regulars know that I like the wide variety of colorful birds that visit my back yard seasonally.  I've posted pictures of them here periodically and I've posted them elsewhere on the web in albums I've called "Backyard Zoo". So I thought I'd mosey on down to the Weldon Bird Sanctuary to see what other birds I could see there.  On a map, there's a stream that runs through it and I was expecting to see a few plovers like I've seen elsewhere in town, to one side or the other of West-most Garriott. Killdeer, specifically.


In my yard, I routinely get more American Goldfinches, Towhees, Mourning Doves, Ringneck Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, red headed House Sparrows, English Sparrows, woodpeckers (Flickers, Hairys) Mockingbirds, hawks, Orchard Orioles, Vireos, Thrashers, Carolina Wrens, and even Starlings than I saw at the Weldon Bird Sanctuary.  I saw one Robin, one Grackle, one marsh finch of some kind and one sparrow.  It's the sparrow that served up the final word by way of editorial on this place, but I'll get to that part soon enough...

This sanctuary was established some time in the 1960s and this sign stands in testimony to its age.  It does have another sign posted by the City of Enid, but it's the regulation uniform City of Enid sign stating name like a boring dog tag.

Now, unless you're talking about prairie grassland birds, birds by and large like trees to perch in, nest in, and survey the ground in when looking for a meal, right?  Well, take a look at the first picture I posted and look to the right of that sign (the left is where private residences are).  The big shade tree is on the border of private property, and to the right of that, there's not a tree in sight big enough to throw shade on a grasshopper.  When you walk through the premises, you'll find a couple of large trees, like a willow growing over the mostly dried up stream area, and two or so others, but the remainder of the big trees are mainly on private property, which is where you CAN see starlings.  Even the starlings prefer to avoid the sanctuary. Seriously.

A clearer view to the right of the older sign.
Sure, go ahead and make the argument that not all trees have fully leafed out yet. Tell me how many large trunks you can see here. You get the idea. Walking through the area you'll discover that despite this sanctuary being in existence since the 1960s, what you see the most of are saplings that clearly haven't been there the entire life of this refuge.  What flourishes here are tripping hazards galore.

Red industrial garden hose stretches as far as the eye can see. The aforementioned willow tree doesn't have a large trunk. Voila.

If you're out frog watching, though, that's a different story. I've posted a number of pics of those on Google Plus already.

The stream is too dry to be streaming, so yeah, that's a lot of algae in there because the water has been stagnant for quite some time.  And I just HAD to make a GIF of one of'em...

 There's a huge turtle that calls this place home, too.

Oh, the muddy stagnant place is paradise if  you're a turtle. Or a frog. It's a little more hazardous for frogs, though.  As I walked along the channel, the frogs I startled squeaked in protest and promptly jumped into the water, but one of them jumped into a plastic shopping bag instead of the water he was expecting, and a struggle ensued.  There's $$$ being blown on the saplings, there's $$$ being blown on the watering that you'd think should be naturally adequate near a stream because of the relatively high local water table, but what's glaringly obvious is that not one penny was spent in keeping the place clean.

As for the refuge bird who had the last word on the quality of this bird refuge, he'll follow this fellow--the only grackle on the premises; I've seen more grackles than this in any given parking lot of any given strip mall along Garriott:

Now finally-------and I do mean FINALLY------the refuge bird with the last word on this subject:

The grass showed signs (odor, mostly) of being sprayed with lawncare herbicides, clearly hazardous to birds. It's a good thing that the stream area wasn't sprayed, but there's always a risk of drift.

April 17 mini-UPDATE not on this topic: Monarch Larvae Monitoring at this MLMP site begins today because one wild Honeyvine has emerged after the long overnight soaking rain. Milkweed emergence date is what determines the start of a new season, and here it is. WOOT!

April 30 mini-UPDATE: Finally figured out where the corner of Sequoia and Senica actually was (don't EVER try to go there on a school day in the morning or the afternoon!!11!!)--it's on the backside of a school and there's a road circle you enter there, and what the circle encircles is a diminutive patch of lawn grass with monkey grass, with no sign to indicate what the dickens it actually is. There's a memorial sundial stand there, without the actual sun dial, and a memorial faux headstone placed in memorial as well. A footbridge over a blond colored brick and an exceedingly drippy water faucet.  A person was out in the yard and I inquired as to the nature of this patch of whatever this was, and the response: Butterfly Park.  Not a butterfly in sight, and no wonder--not a blooming flower in sight, either. I've already had sulphurs, azures, Painted Ladies and various skippers in MY yard. Yeah--it's still not warm enough to be inviting to Monarchs.

A close-up of the topless sundial...in the shade...

Oh, but how do I know it's supposed to be a sundial if the top isn't there?  There is a busted fastener in the center of the thing, for starters, and then there's this:

And now please note in my first photo of "Butterfly Park" that there's been a sapling planted, as if a topless sundial could do with more shade.  Perhaps the location so close to the "Bird Sanctuary" will be found to attract more birds like the trees that used to be downtown did until the City started whining about all the bird poop to the point of crafting an ordinance requiring downtown businesses to keep the bird poop cleaned up...and then it was pointed out that the birds will still poop on the cars.  Many of those trees, paid for and landscaped into downtown by a previous City administration, were ripped up, leaving all those tripping hazards (and trash traps) where the trees used to be.

Ahhhhhhhh, good ole Enid.

Birdie, birdie, in the sky
Why'd you do that in my eye?
I don't care, I don't cry--
I'm just glad that cows don't fly.

Cinco de Mayo miniUPDATE: News in the back yard bird zoo, folks. My blog regulars know that I occasionally get a visit from a Towhee, and it's somewhat of a special occasion when that happens.  Today, I didn't see one but I heard a bird call that sounded sort of familiar but different, so I went on an online birdcall hunt.  The call matched that of a different kind of Towhee I've not seen in this area before: the Eastern.

I've also heard the first-of-the-season calls of the Mississippi Kite, so...summer's not far behind.

May 8 UPDATE, bloomin' privet edition: Butterflies and birds and bees swarm around the privet when it's in bloom, and so do wasps and flies.  Everybody insect who is anybody insect parties like there's no tomorrow when the privet blooms, and a bluejay has made a nest in the thing to boot.  When I first posted the PS about "Butterfly Park", white clover was blooming and there should have been at least a couple of Gray Hairstreak butterflies, like there was in my own early clover, but there wasn't even that.  Or the White Cabbage, or the Question Mark, or the Red Admiral, or the Painted Lady, all of which were in my yard at the time I visited that park...oh yeah, and one black skipper.  Oddly enough, I haven't seen the usual number of skippers that usually (nearly) blanket the privet when it blooms; perhaps it's been unusually cool for May, for too long...which might explain why I haven't seen any Monarchs yet, either. I saw exactly one Black Swallowtail yesterday, but not since.

Mama Bluejay's nest in the privet. Top bit of blue plastic in the nest indicates where Mama's eyeball is. The black streak behind the eyeball is typical Bluejay marking...and by now you should also be able to see her blue cap, flattened.

I don't expect any park to plant privet even though it's a favorite of butterflies and birds alike--it's high maintenance.

Gray Hairstreak in my yard
Common Buckeye
Red Admiral

A Silver Blue wrestles with a clover blossom

Cobweb Skipper

Cobweb Skipper sticks its tongue out at you!

Got a better shot at Mama Bluejay this time

Cardinal baby just fledged in the hedge

A nest of 3 robins in the yard.
Mama finds fat, juicy meal for the three in the nest.

Zooming in on the trio in the tree.
Did a little climbing while Mom was out hunting and got a better view.
This line marks the date of May 22, by which I can add to my yard's bird list the Carolina Wren, who just gave me all kinds of what-for; it wasn't long before I found out why: she's got fledglings in the shrubbery, too.  Went in to grab my camera, and you can bet she still held a grudge:

An Orchard Oriole taking exception to the Mississippi Kite in a dive-bomb attack. My area is a better bird refuge than Weldon is, and the birds know it.