The GOP’s Bestest, Brightest, most stable genius

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mars-moon

See the celestial object on the left? That’s Mars. See the one on the right? That’s the Moon. They are not part of each other. The President of the United States in 2019 does not know this.

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The Republican Party in the 21st century has given us George Bush and Donald Trump. While I always thought Bush was not the brightest bulb in his family’s chandelier, I always assumed he had a basic knowledge of how things were. With Trump, one wonders if he ever learned anything over his lifetime other than how to get rich cheating contractors, the government, and banks.

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Donald J. Trump. The best the GOP has to offer. Putin approved, protected by McConnell.

Hey, Donnie? Going to Mars *IS* rocket science, so lets leave it up to the rocket scientists to figure out the best way to get there. It’s clear they’ve decided the Moon is an important waypoint in that journey, so we go there first.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the Moon is 238,000 miles away, and Mars is 34 million (at it’s closest approach). The Moon is not part of Mars. And it’s not made of green cheese. Just thought you’d like to know.

The story can now be told – why it didn’t rain on PrideVisalia 2019

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storm_god

Ishkur, Mesopotamian god of storms

Despite a week of weather forecasts predicting rain on Saturday, the day of PrideVisalia 2019 was sunny, clear, and warm. How did that happen? Well, now the story can be told.

The very first PrideVisalia hosted by The Source LGBT+ Center was in June 2017, and the summer gods were out in full force. 105 degrees in the shade (40 for those of you who are on the Celsius thermometer), with relentless solar radiation made for a sweaty and uncomfortable festival. The powers-that-be decided that it’s difficult to be gay (or lesbian, or bi, or trans, or pan, or anything else for that matter) under such conditions, so the festival for 2018 was moved to the end of May. Cooler weather usually prevails, and the festival can be truly festive. It did and it was.

As PrideVisalia 2019 approached, our weather apps began giving us ominous warnings. Thunderstorms, rain, and warm temperatures were threatening to make the festival a muggy, wet, sodden affair. Nerves were on edge, a brave face was put on by organizers, and extra awnings were put on standby.

Why didn’t it rain? I simply asked for a favor.

Yep, I set up a conference call, and got all the gods on one hookup. You wouldn’t believe how difficult that was to arrange! Some of these characters really don’t like each other. Some kept insisting none of the others even existed! I finally appealed to their better natures (for some their vanity, but that’s another story) and got them all on the line.

I managed to snare the major players: Zeus, Ishkur, Tlaloc, Indra, Fryer, Odin (who, like some of the other major players, insisted on being included even though he doesn’t usually handle weather himself), and Tempestas (who you would think from her name wouldn’t be a easy sell, but she was a joy to talk with). Some native American weather spirits joined in, especially those of the local tribes here in the valley, and of course Allah and Yahweh. (I tried to get Lucifer on the call, just to keep some balance, but he was unavailable. Apparently he’s on vacation. In Los Angeles. Odd.)

After some small talk that seemed to last an eternity (God time is very different from human time, it seems) we got down to the issue at hand.

I was prepared for a long, hard fought battle to convince them to hold the rain off for a day, but it was amazingly easy.

Seems the gods are really fond of their LGBTQ+ children, and were eager to grant such a request. They also love a party, and once I described what was going on, they were all on board with very little convincing required. I think the drag queens and the Ballet Folklorico dancers of Mexico Moderno really put it over the top.

I got a bit of flack from Yahweh about my being an atheist and all, but I’m pretty sure he was just ribbing me. (see what I did there?) He, of course, loves all the rainbow gear at Pride. Allah was silent for most of it all, but I’m pretty sure I heard a نعم فعلا from him.

So there you have it. One conference call, some friendly chatting, a bit of ego stroking for the more vain characters, and they all agreed to push the rain to the next day. Sunny and warm, with a slight breeze prevailed for PrideVisalia 2019.

I’m a little concerned what they might require of me as payment for granting my favor. A couple of them were putting on an ominous tone, but I’m pretty sure they were just teasing. Fairly sure. Oh boy… what have I done! Whatever the reality of that is, I’ll deal with it at some future date. A very far-off in the future date. Maybe they’ll forget. One can hope.

Oh, and you’re welcome!

P.S.

PrideVisalia2019_weather

Where the writer is against gay Star Wars

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Or something like that. This came across the message board recently at an LGBT center. The writer seems to be bothered by the inclusion of gay characters in cinema. Or at least I think that’s what this is about:
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uh.. OK…  wait, what??

I’m not so sure

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prediction03272019

Maybe I’m just on the ‘wrong’ weather channel. Ten minutes to go, we’ll see if something sneaks in on a zephyr.

The Future That Never Was

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georgejetson I live in the future, and things are not as I was promised.

Back in the 1960’s, when I was Space Cadet Jimmie Joe, there were certain things that we simply knew would exist, off in the far distant future of the 21st Century. The big one, of course, was the flying car. The Jetsons‘ of 1962 got that wrong. Back To The Future of 1985 got it wrong, too. Space Cadet Jimmie Joe has never quite forgiven any of them for that.

The Jetsons‘ had big screen televisions and video phones, which we’ve pretty well matched. We get our dinners from a magic box we call a microwave oven, which is a pretty good substitute for dinner sliding out of the wall on a conveyor belt. And, of course, the Internet. Of all the future tech people wrote about in my childhood, nobody really thought of that one. So much for prognostication.

The future I live in has interesting quirks, some rather depressing. We have 400 channels of television, and nothing much worth watching. We have satellite radio, also with hundreds of channels.  The FM and AM radio bands are filled with screaming DJs, or drivel-filled talk shows that cater to conspiracy theories and “fake news”.

While the future is not quite Blade Runner, neither is it Star Trek.

I ran into one quirk this morning. It turns out that in the 21st century, if the computer goes down the fast food joint can’t serve anything. Nobody knows how to do anything without the computer adjudicating it first.

The grill was still hot. The french fryer still bubbling. The soda machine could still dispense a Coke. But without the computer, nothing happens.

Nobody knows how to take an order, write it down, add up the price, figure out the sales tax, and make a sale. Business comes to a screeching halt, all because the computer crashed.

I suppose that’s all so very futuristic of them, but it sure seems like we missed the boat (flying car) somewhere.

Oh. And my Congressman is suing a cow. A fake cow. For being mean to him.

Welcome to the 21st Century, Space Cadet Jimmie Joe.

 

90 days? Ha! How about 15 years!

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opportunity_goodbye

NASA and JPL have closed the books on the Mars Opportunity rover. Designed for a 90 day mission, the little explorer-that-could made it almost 15 years. The last transmission from the rover has been translated into something a bit anthropomorphic and pensive, and variations on the above image have become Internet memes.  Someday someone will find it sitting forlornly in a pile of Martian dust, and at that point we’ll have to decide whether to bring it back to be displayed in the Smithsonian, or to create a permanent historical park on Mars.

Good job, Opportunity (you, too, Spirit and Sojourner). Rest easy, we’ll find you someday.

When is a zero not a zero?

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no-zeroWhen is a zero not a zero? Turns out, when it’s an ‘o’.

For almost 25 years, I’ve been a 9-1-1/law enforcement dispatcher. One task of many in dispatching is to check DMV, DOJ, and national databases for registration and stolen status on vehicles. These checks are usually done by the license plate number, but sometime we have to use the Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN.

From day one of my training, way back in 1994, I was told there are two characters never used in VINs. The letter ‘o’, and the letter ‘i’. This is because they are generally indistinguishable from zeros and ones, especially on VIN plates located on vehicle dashboards or engines. Simple. Every time you see 0 or 1 in a VIN, they are numbers, not letters.

Until yesterday.

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