Last week, I hauled my wife over to the ER because her doctor thought she might be about to suffer a heart attack. He called ahead, and they were all ready. Five hours later, after all the tests came back and she still hadn't croaked, they decided that it might be an ulcer, as apparently the symptoms can be similar. She got somewhat better, then went downhill again, so it was over to urgent care yesterday evening. Well, it turns out that there's a bacterium that causes an ulcer, which the lab people can determine from a stool sample. So they gave her a container, all labeled and everything, and it was home again home again, jiggety-jog. She had an uncomfortable night, and spent most of today abed.
But she had made her deposit, which was supposed to be returned to the lab. The container was discretely placed into a brown paper lunch-bag, and stuffed into the freezer overnight. As I had a couple of errands to run anyway today, I decided to run the stuff over so that she could continue to rest. But after removing the bag, a thought occurred to me - unusual, I know.
Bag in hand, I trudged up the stairs and peered into the bedroom, holding the bag behind the stairwell wall, and said to her, "You know what?"
Revealing the bag and holding it toward her, I thundered: "I've had just about enough of your shit, woman!"
Made her laugh.
Well, the latest health scare to come down the pike is brought to us by "researchers" at University of Michigan (who apparently had better things to do than look into, say, corrosion in water distribution lines resulting in lead poisoning):
Beating an addiction to heroin or other hard drugs is notoriously difficult. A cheese addiction doesn't rise to the same level, but it's a real thing and cheese does share key "pharmacokinetic properties" with "drugs of abuse," a study concludes.
University of Michigan researchers found "that cheese is particularly moreish because it contains casein," Britain's The Evening Standard wrote last month. Casein, which can make you feel euphoric, is in all dairy products, but the chemical can be found in especially high concentrations in cheese.
Next up, undoubtedly, will be "ice cream addiction". These "researchers" claim, based on a small sample size (which as most actual researchers are aware, effectively negates the "results"), that cheese addiction is real, but should be treatable by using the same sorts of approaches presently employed to treat alcohol and hard drug abuse, or smoking cessation.
Got any spare change? I really need some Stilton, man!
Denver hosted a big motorcycle expo yesterday:
“The largest motorcycle show & swap in the Rocky Mountain Region with antiques, custom motorcycles- live music auction- much, much more!”
Naturally, a biker brawl erupted; leaving one shot to death, another stabbed, and "multiple other victims". Today's continuation of the expo has been cancelled.
Back here in Oregon, four people are still holed up out at the refuge, and the Portland Lefties are claiming in comments that the Bundy gang are "right-wing Republicans" and yadda yadda. In Harney County, somebody's placed a large wooden cross at the site where LaVoy managed to get himself shot to death.
Singer Jordan Page posted “The Ballad of LaVoy Finicum” on YouTube.
And more out-of-staters are heading into Burns, where they've been protesting Finicum's death in front of the county courthouse and last night did a "rolling protest" thing in which they drove around town; an impromptu parade of protest, apparently. A bunch calling themselves "3% of Idaho" have reportedly decided to hold a rally outside the courthouse tomorrow.
It'd be nice if all these folks would just go back to wherever they came from; their schtick has gone really stale, and they really aren't wanted. What's particularly galling is that Harney County is really sort of a success story, in that ranchers, government agencies, and others have a history of collaboration; even the generally authoritarian BLM has been on board:
But some are frustrated that Bundy's misadventure created the impression there is no hope for the government to work with ranchers, environmentalists and others. They point out that it was just such a collection that hammered out the tough agreement to preserve Steens Mountain, a stunning feature that juts out of the flat desert 70 miles or so south of Burns. They remind that ranchers, environmentalists, local government and federal agencies together drew up plans to enhance the wildlife refuge. Another collaborative effort bore results last year, when voluntary steps spared the desert from otherwise harsh new limitations on public land use to spare the sage grouse.
The Hammonds, the father-and-son ranchers now back in federal prison because the 9th US Circus Court of Appeals decided that they should be re-sentenced after they'd served their respective sentences (a development that ostensibly triggered the Bundy boys in the first place, although the Hammonds opposed their tactics), were actually outliers; their history was one of non-cooperation with anybody. They just kind of did their own thing, such as letting their cattle hang out in the refuge rather than herding them across it to permitted grazing areas - something that other ranchers managed to accomplish in a day or less.
But to their credit, they accepted the re-sentencing and disavowed activities such as the Bundy boys and the other out-of-staters.
PERS Board Chairman John Thomas says that means the 925 member agencies, covering 95 percent of Oregon’s public workers, can expect pension contribution rates to hit up to 30 percent of government payrolls by the 2021-23 budget cycle.
They had a 2.1% return on investments, but they guarantee a 7.5% payout. So just under a third of "government payrolls" (meaning taxpayers) will go to cover PERS retirement benefits to public employees. To put it another way, nearly 1/3 of the money we pay for "government services" will be diverted to the Public Employee Retirement System. It's long past time to start downsizing government; most of us neither need nor want the "services" they claim to provide.
They think of themselves as "Bike City USA", but their Pronto bike-share program has fallen flat on its butt. That's a massive ego-deflater; they have this great system - and nobody's riding the bikes.
Pronto, the nonprofit system of 54 stations downtown and the U District where you can grab a bike for short-term rental, now has to be bailed out by the City Council for $1.4 million. Or allowed to die.
Hey, Portland's getting one of these in the coming year! Should be great!
On the other hand, Seattle's doing really great at attracting homeless people; their latest count was 4505, which is way better than Portland manages.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who had already declared a state of emergency to deal with homelessness, made a major address on the problem just after the shooting. He asked for a doubling in a housing property tax to provide another $49 million in homeless services.
Yep, that's the ticket! Double taxes on those who work for a living to provide "services" to those who don't. That's sure to solve the problem; throwing taxpayer money around is a proven and successful strategy.
Not only is that "affluenza" teen screwed up, his entire family represents an ongoing danger to the public.
Long before Couch and his family became notorious for using an “affluenza” defense in that crash, they had multiple run-ins with the law, often flouting authority or relying on personal wealth to get out of trouble. The incidents, totaling at least 20, ranged from speeding tickets and financial disputes to reckless driving and assault, a review of police and court records shows.
On Thursday, Couch returned to the United States from Mexico, where he and his mother had fled in December after a video surfaced online appearing to show him at a party where people were drinking — a potential violation of the terms of his probation for the fatal accident.
Fred Couch’s roofing and construction company, Cleburne Sheet Metal, was sued in 1996 over a roughly $100,000 debt. Two plaintiff firms alleged he tried to move assets, and twice attempted to question him and Tonya Couch, court records show. The couple failed to show up for both depositions. A judge sanctioned them and gave them a deadline to pay, which they missed by several weeks.
Three years later, Fred Couch punched a supervisor for a contractor that hired his company after the man told his workers to stop using an unsafe table saw, according to an arrest report. Couch drove off; he later received a few days in jail and two years’ probation for the assault.
And in 2009, Fred Couch faced accusations that he sexually harassed a female employee, then fired her when she complained. Court records show he denied touching her inappropriately and showing her sex videos, among other things. The case settled on undisclosed terms a year later.
Tonya Couch’s encounters with the law include a 2003 reckless driving case in which court records say she intentionally forced a motorist off the road. She pleaded guilty, was fined and got probation, records show.
In early 2005, she lied about that charge on a form to renew her state nursing license. Regulators found out years later and took action. She failed to show for a 2012 disciplinary hearing and lost the vocational nursing license.
These people seem to think that they're Obamas. They're feral. Putting them all down would be the humane thing to do.
Now there's an event in Boise:
Boise • The BLM allotments Western ranchers use are not really public land, but rather grazing reserves to which ranchers hold a "property right" that the federal government has no authority to infringe.
That's the lesson being taught Saturday at a property rights forum in Idaho organized by Utah activists sympathetic to the militants who have occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge for most of January.
And it's dead wrong, according to Thad Box, retired dean of Utah State University's College of Natural Resources.
"The federal agencies are essentially our hired hands, paid to manage and protect public lands that belong to all of us. Livestock grazing is a traditional, permitted use of western our lands. A rancher who grazes animals on public lands is a permittee, not an owner of the privilege," he wrote in an e-mail. "If they renounce their privilege, their grazing allotment could, and should, be canceled and assigned to someone else."
Called "Storm Over Rangelands" by organizers, there's a counter-protest going on there as well.
Meanwhile, back in Burns, there's a protest going on in front of the Harney County Courthouse over the shooting death of that "LaVoy" dude, which they're claiming was an out-and-out assassination. They seem to be from out-of-state as well.
BURNS, Ore. — BJ Soper has never supported the nearly month-long occupation of a national wildlife refuge by armed anti-government activists. He sympathized with their frustrations about the federal government, but he thought calm negotiation was a better strategy.
Then on Tuesday, an Oregon state trooper shot and killed LaVoy Finicum, a cowboy-hat-wearing grandfather who acted as the occupiers’ spokesman.
Now Soper is furious, and he’s calling for people from all over the country to come to Burns to show their outrage at Finicum’s “ambush.”
Great: now "LaVoy's" a freaking martyr. The FBI released video of the events leading up to the shooting in an effort to defuse things, but that's actually had the opposite effect; it's re-energized anti-government sentiments and increased support for the Battling Bundys and their ilk.
“They were ambushed in that canyon,” Soper said. “There’s no doubt about it. It was planned, it was premeditated. The FBI has lied to us from the get go, and we’re tired of it. They said they wanted a peaceful resolution, there was never an attempt to negotiate, and now a man’s dead.”
He said protests would continue daily “until some sense of reason is reestablished here.”
Meanwhile, the people in Burns, most of whom never supported the takeover of the refuge in the first place, have to continue putting up with the circus. Most sane people recognized the point that the Bundy Boys were trying to make, and even agree with it - they just thought it was a stupid approach, and they wanted them to go home. Instead, what they get is even more loons around the area of the wildlife refuge.
The end zone of a college football field is probably the last place one would think to excavate ancient animal bones. But that’s exactly what happened this week at Oregon State University.
A construction crew unearthed the femur bone of a wooly mammoth while renovating Reser Stadium at OSU Monday. The bone was discovered ten feet below the north end zone, the university reported.
After digging deeper, the crew found bones from several more extinct creatures, including bison and some type of camel or horse.
The working theory, at present, is that the animals were stomped to death by very large, prehistoric Ducks.