Call It 'Summer'

By: sp34n119w , 7:02 PM GMT on June 22, 2011

Foggy at night, a bit muggy in the morning, sunny and breezy in the afternoon. Sounds about right.
We'll call it SUMMER – for now ;)

I know. It's been summer with a vengeance elsewhere. So it goes ...


Swirl Patterns:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

When Catalina Eddy Visits, Watch Him Dance:


Random comments welcome :)


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Despite my 'joke' up there about the homeless getting the crappy stuff, I would like to find a local charity for the homeless that accepts hats and scarfs and the like, since those are quick and easy to make, good practice, and nobody in my family really wants anything like that (except beanies – my nieces and one nephew would take as many as I could make – but scarves* are fun to make, too).Maybe I'll also find something like that at the fair. Now I want to go now, lol

I think I saw on the news this morning that the Ventura County Fair has started! If you go - have fun!

The gal that runs our SaveOurBeach organization makes bedrolls for the homeless out of plastic grocery sacks. Now that L.A. and Long Beach have banned them, I wonder if she'll have a hard time getting them.

If you click on the link and then scroll down a bit on the welcome page, look for her sitting on one on the left hand side.

She takes them to the college recycling center as a lot of the customers there are homeless, turning in recycling for cash.
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15140
Imma gonna put up a new blog soon (tonight? tomorrow? this weekend? who knows?), so will not reply to gg here (HI GG!), but over there.

I will drop a last comment here, though.
Consider it a PSA.
It is political in nature.
You have been warned :-P

I noticed that there are numbers of faith leaders, atheists, gay-rights activists, and others (including the Westboro Baptist Church, lol) who are protesting the Christian Prayer Rally promoted by Texas Governor Rick Perry at Reliant Stadium in Houston this Saturday, and went looking for what those folks had to say.
I thought others might be interested in what I found, since all the other stuff going on has been a bit distracting, and some may have forgotten about this. I was kind of trying to forget, myself, but curiosity got the better of me.

I ended up here but it contains bits of the same letters I link to below. It also has an overview, as follows:
“Banding with the discriminatory American Family Association, advocates of the radical Seven Mountains Dominionism ideology, and a litany of anti-gay zealots and End Times preachers to put on his The Response prayer rally, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is orchestrating an event that rejects both non-Christians and Christians who don’t embrace the organizers’ far-right politics and religious fundamentalism.”

Houston Clergy Council:
We believe in a healthy boundary between church and state. Out of respect for the state, we believe that it should represent all citizens equally and without preference for religious or philosophical tradition. Out of respect for religious communities, we believe that they should foster faithful ways of living without favoring one political party over another. Keeping the church and state separate allows each to thrive and upholds our proud national tradition of empowering citizens to worship freely and vote conscientiously. We are concerned that our governor has crossed the line by organizing and leading a religious event rather than focusing on the people’s business in Austin.
As religious leaders, we commit to join with all Houstonians in working to make our city a better place. We will lead our communities in prayer, meditation, and spiritual practice. We ask that Rick Perry leave the ministry to us and refocus his energy on the work of governing our state.
[lotsa signers]

Anti-Defamation League:
We cherish the fact that we can pray freely in our own way, because our founding fathers wisely envisioned and provided for a nation grounded in the principle of separation of church and state. This freedom from government imposed religion allows all religions to flourish in our democratic society. It is with this thought in mind that we express our concern that Governor Rick Perry has called for a full day of exclusionary prayer on August 6, 2011. This religious event is not open to all faiths, as its statement of beliefs does not represent religious diversity.
[50+ signatories]

Texas Freedom Network has been blogging this story (the entry titled “Honeymoon is Over” and its follow-up really shows the hold the extremists have over some politicians). Latest entry is the press release about their open letter to Gov. Perry about the Rally:
“Gov. Perry leads a diverse state in which not everyone shares the same religious and political beliefs,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “It’s simply wrong that he would share a stage with extremists who use faith as a political weapon to divide Americans instead of working to unite us in support of our nation.”

Separately, tfn also live-blogged the Board of Education hearings about science textbooks and those entries are currently towards the end of the page I linked to above.

In a more general look at Perry, Think Progress has a decent Top 10 list for him and what he has done for his State.

So, that's not a comprehensive look at those in disagreement with the leaders of the event and/or with Gov. Perry's promotion of the event, of course, but it's enough to make me feel better.

NOTE that if you want to protest in person, there will be Christian groups, Jewish groups, Muslim groups, multiple multi-faith groups, gay-rights groups, atheist groups, and the aforementioned WBC, among others, in attendance at Reliant Stadium on Saturday.

Also note that you can leave a comment here if you want - my plans to put up a new entry notwithstanding - but I won't be hurt if you don't :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
LOL WTS! Geometry should work ;-)

Hey just checked the trailers for Battleship and Attack The Block.

Battleship looks like a contender for Sci Fi Mystery Theater 3000.
Attack the Block looks darkly humorous if there is not to much gratuitous spilling of organs and gore.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 302 Comments: 12438
gg! Your turn to be a crack-up :-D
I had to look it up and "scarfs" is a legitimate plural of "scarf" but now I'm wondering if I can make a scarf out of licorice whips, or something. I don't think spaghetti would hold together during the knitting process ;)
"Alien knitting" is a perfect description of how the hat turned out. It will not be left anywhere, for anyone, but will remain here as a testament to my ongoing efforts in finger training.

WTS - LOL Geometry is fun, too!
I'll toddle over and check your weather. Here, it's supposed to be hot today, but ...


Weather is fine. It's about ten degrees cooler than it was yesterday at this time, despite the forecast high being the same. Looks like a light marine layer came in overnight/early morning. We're rockin' away :)


We've talked a lot about Cowboys and Aliens but nobody has mentioned the upcoming *Sailors* and Aliens - er, that is, Battleship.
There is also a current film about Hoods and Aliens, actually titled Attack the Block, and showing in only a few theaters.
I read about it at Scalzi's AMC column and would go see it (it's getting much better reviews than C&A) but the closest theater is in Hollywood :(

So many alien invasion stories in one summer ... that's a lot of potential PhD theses right there! LOL


wuphotog bruindude has a picture of the 'glow' at SP's balloon festival Friday - go see!
If I'd known he was there I would have waved as I drove by that evening ... lol
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
GardenGrrl - I agree with the logic, but since scarves seem to be about shapes - maybe geometry is the answer, not algebra!

Hi sp! Weather is warming up, must be summer! Monsoon is supposed to be heading east for a while - not so sticky.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 160 Comments: 3807
Scarfs vs Scarves...
Alien Knitting vs Cowboy crochet
the mind wanders.

Hmmm I'd have to say scarfs is a verb as in; "The hungry hobo scarfs down the free twinkies left on a park bench alongside unusual knitted scarves, (or is it a hat?), that he thought not to eat but wear on his head."

So, which is a verb? Which is a noun? Which is a run on or fragmented sentence? Can algerbra help?

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 302 Comments: 12438
Bogon -
The author seemed to be having a much better time than I was.

I think you nailed it!

but it's possible that my mind blanked it out.

Hah! That's what They want you to think! You don't think They have a hand in the publishing industry?! You don't think They could place subliminal messages in the text?!
They have you!
SNAP OUT OF IT!!1!!111!!

I guess I read just enough ;)


Weather today deserves a new blog entry for August. It is finally hot (for certain comparative values of 'hot') and feels like summer, for sure.

Here's much of the 2PM Discussion:

200 PM PDT TUE AUG 2 2011





Shorter: warmer, cooler, warmer, cooler, warmer, cooler, and so on, tossing in the occasional rain shower, until November or so.

I'll keep you all updated ;)


Randomness of the moment:

At Jerry Coyne's place, Greg Mayer has written up a short but interesting bit on Lawrence of Arabia, with ample sources linked.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
I, too, tried to read Gödel, Escher, Bach soon after it came out. I got maybe halfway through before abandoning the effort. The author seemed to be having a much better time than I was.

Always thought I might try again sometime. Not right now, though. Got too much other stuff in the queue. That was, what, thirty years ago? For thirty years I've employed the same excuse. Now that I think about it, it'll probably see me the rest of the way home. :o)

I did finish the Illuminatus! trilogy. Don't seem to remember much about it, though. That was also a long time ago, but it's possible that my mind blanked it out.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 88 Comments: 4865
Tonight's bit o'randomhood -

Hobo (ethical) code

1. Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you.
2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
3. Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals' treatment of other hobos.
7. When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.
8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.
9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
10. Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.
12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard.
13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.
14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
16. If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!

Happy Tuesday :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
Cowboys - check!
Aliens - check!
I even got my mom to go along (I wonder why ... lol) and we had different ideas about the movie.
I think it works best as a Western. Mom thinks it works best as SciFi.

The cast adds some scifi cred, for sure, and as a sort of fan of House, I'm happy to know why Thirteen was gone so long, LOL
She was in one of the trailers, too. Busy gal.

Totally diggin' the flying machines.

So, if you think you'll like it, you probably will. Don't expect Oscar material - but it's fun.
Can't say anything else without spoilers!


I'd tell you how blasted cold it was in Ventura (where I went to see the movie) but it would make most of you sad and I don't want to do that!

Happy Monday :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
Thanks for all the weather reports! How fun is this? Monsoooooooon!!! :)

calpoppy - oh, no, I don't think I did finish GEB. It was discussed here on wu awhile back and now the memory of the discussion is oddly mixed up with the much older memories of my attempts to read the book. That's why I wrote "read (re-read, finish reading, whatever)" LOL
I know that the second-ish time I tried to read it, I kept it leaning against my reading chair, as a reminder to pick it up and try to get through it a bit at a time.
I dunno. I remember it was interesting and difficult. I also remember something about the letter M ;)
Really relieved to learn that others struggle with it, too. Maybe it's one of those books that everyone is supposed to know about, but nobody is supposed to have actually read, LOL!

Wowza, 9.5 pounds! That's a big baby :) You must be getting so excited! Yes, yes – practice makes perfect ;)

Take pictures of the rain! I don't think I'm going to get any so must live vicariously, LOL

WTS – Hurray for rain! Last night it looked like it would miss you – so glad it didn't.
Thanks for the update on the Eagle fire. I saw it on wu, too. I guess since it was so far out in the boonies it wasn't a big deal, news-wise, and probably, ultimately, good for the local ecology.

I wouldn't be able to spray those caterpillars either. Partly because they make something in my brain scream, “GO NAVY” ;)
Do you know what kind they are and what kind of butterflies they will be?

LC – today I may be forced to choose between seeing the movie and obsessively refreshing radar. Tough one.
Thanks for the review :)
Glad you saw rain. Don't know when this comment will actually get posted but, at the moment, it looks like you may get some more. Lucky!
I probably saw those clouds you mentioned yesterday – to my east, though – and got to watch some build over the Topa Topa range whilst donating blood (pleasant way to pass that time!). The tops got blown off of all of them and then they just raggedly blew away. Pretty nifty.

Karen – I always go to the crafts area at the fair! I may have a different eye for it, this year. While I do check out the crochet and all the crafts, I usually focus on the woodworking, as well. I absolutely support your idea of entering your doilies next year! That would be cool :) Be warned, though – a gal I know entered cross stitch on a whim one year and, when she didn't win anything, it became an obsession for her for years ;)
The Ventura County Fair starts this Wednesday. I'm kind of kicking myself for not entering the baby blanket I finished awhile ago. It isn't all that great but would have been a good place to start and I had plenty of time. The piece was finished in time to enter, the baby isn't due until September, and I haven't given it to the mom-to-be, yet. Ah, well. It never occurred to me until last week when I started thinking about going to the fair. Maybe I'll make that a goal for next year.

Thank you so much for that info on the hat charity! I've looked and there are many but, you are right, few are for adults and they tend to focus on preemies. Not that that isn't awesome work, just that there seems to be a glut.
Despite my 'joke' up there about the homeless getting the crappy stuff, I would like to find a local charity for the homeless that accepts hats and scarfs and the like, since those are quick and easy to make, good practice, and nobody in my family really wants anything like that (except beanies – my nieces and one nephew would take as many as I could make – but scarves* are fun to make, too).
Maybe I'll also find something like that at the fair. Now I want to go now, lol

* Interesting. OOWriter's auto spellcheck likes both “scarfs” and “scarves”. I think I like “scarfs”.


Randomness for today (and there's another one of the few books I never finished!):


Well, that turned out long, lol. Where did all you people come from with your interesting comments?
Oh, right – RAIN!!! :)

Of course, I started this comment hours ago, and that might have something to do with the length. I seem to write more if I don't sit here and do it all at once.

So, weather before posting the comment: No rain here that I saw, but someone a mile away said it poured for a couple minutes around 8 AM. Beautiful cloud formations playing with the sun this morning. Now it's sunny and getting warm. Also, humid.
Now I see from the visible loop that the storms that had been heading this way have made a sudden and very sharp turn back to the east – no monsoon rain for me :(

Think I'll go check out some Cowboys and, maybe, while I'm there, if I have time, some Aliens, too ;)

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
A few big drops earlier but now it's coming down at a rate enough to completely wet the pavement. The real plus to this particular monsoon event is the total overcast that will hold us to ~90° instead of a sunny ~100°.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
51. WatchinTheSky
2:26 PM GMT on July 31, 2011
Rain!! It's a miracle. Come on rain gauge, show me something!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 160 Comments: 3807
50. SBKaren
10:37 PM GMT on July 30, 2011
LC - my hubby will be happy to hear your review on Cowboys and Aliens, he wants to see that movie, but so far, the reviews we have heard have been quite mixed, leaning towards not good.

sp - I thought of you at the fair the other night. First of all, we walked through the crafts section. Actually my daughter's FIL is in word working (as a hobby), and that's generally why we head to the fair - to watch him do his work.

Anyway, a few of us walked through the quilts and other hand made goods and I saw one - read that one - crocheted doily. I'm going to enter next year. If I say so myself, I make a mean doily! LOL

Anyway, I stopped by this booth that was crocheting or knitting caps for people who have cancer and loose all their hair. There were some darn cute caps. I got the info and if you are at all interested, here is the website: I know you are just beginning, but caps are usually pretty simple. I have a pattern they gave me, but they said more were available on the website. Plus they list the kinds of yarns you should use.

I used to make little caps for preemies (I still have some I need to send off), and this gal said they could find plenty of organizations that did things like this for babies, but couldn't find anything for adults. Well, that sold me. I've known far too many people in either my family or circle of friends that has dealt with cancer and chemo and loosing all their hair.

This will give me something productive to do at night while 'listening' to TV. I like to keep my fingers busy (I think it helps with arthritis) and I can give back too. It's a win-win!!!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15140
49. LowerCal
9:35 PM GMT on July 30, 2011
Even after reading mixed reviews Mrs. Cal and I, compelled by curiosity, went to see Cowboys & Aliens on the big screen. Our opinion - It's a really good western film worth the price of a theater ticket. There were no flaws in the sci fi and the effects didn't overwhelm the story or action.

There was a tall cumulonimbus to the far NE that was continuing to grow as we walked through the parking lot after the movie.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
48. WatchinTheSky
8:39 PM GMT on July 30, 2011
Hi sp! Yes the 3D was cool, the first movie where I had the feeling that the screen was a window to the 'movie world' - it really felt like looking through the screen, and very clear-sharp.

I just heard this morning that most of the firefighters were moving else where as the eagle fire most mostly tamed. I was surprised to see WU Caster window list the fire for a couple days, it did not get much coverage here - though it was 40-50 miles away. Unlike the fall fires during Santa Ana wind events, the wind was blowing it away from everyone (except for the relatively few folks between Borrego and the fire) so there was not much drama.

So you like my "caterpillar farm"? Can't bring myself to spray, besides, I want to eat the grapes - not bug spray!

Not optimistic about rain here, but there is a chance. Probably will stay out in the desert,not likely to even see lightning, oh well... seems like we used to get summer rain. At least it is not 100 degrees and humid! Yet?
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 160 Comments: 3807
47. calpoppy
4:35 PM GMT on July 30, 2011
Godel, Escher, Bach sits on our bookshelf unread. Mr. Poppy tried and my older son tried ( and he loves math) and had no success in finishing. I looked at the pictures :) Anyway I am impressed that you finished and are re-reading it. We have a few clouds developing now, I think we have a great chance for t-storms. I hope you get some too!

I have to recommend a movie, not out in the theaters anymore, Winters Bone. Very well done, acting, directing and screenplay. I was impressed at least.

T he doctor told my DIL that the baby will probably be 9.5 llbs. She plans to have the baby at a birthing center, so we are hoping she gets to have this big boy naturally. In the mean time I am practicing being a grandma by ooohing over infants and toddlers :)

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 84 Comments: 5440
46. sp34n119w
5:46 AM GMT on July 30, 2011
WTS - maybe! I hope so. That's cool you saw it in 3D - I bet the vault scene, and whole bank bit, was really neat. Thunderclouds may be bring rain your way - it's in the forecast for your area, and mine, too!
I'm going over to your blog to tell you how nice your critter pics are (except that one, lol) - brb
Okay, that's done :)

bf - oh, sorry. I don't doubt you were and are good at math. Your mind seems good at finding patterns and making connections.

On the knitting math problem, I suppose you can tell that I was being a bit OTT by the whole duhduhduhnnnn bit, LOL
It is, though, just the sort of problem I've used when tutoring adults to help them see how common algebra is in everyday life. I'm happy to have added a knitting problem to my list! Gallons of paint and yards of sod and rolls of toilet paper get boring, lol

Science and philosophy. Once one and the same, now a bit ... estranged. I, too, enjoy seeing scientists wax philisophical (keeping in mind they are scientists ;) ). I know of a few philosophers who wax scientifical, too, which rarely goes well. I'm glad they all do it, though - it is usually interesting to go along for the ride, stretching the mind and imagination. Beautiful :)

Which is a further reminder that I must read (re-read, finish reading, whatever) Gödel, Escher, Bach someday. *sigh*


I am avoiding work (of all things on a Friday night!), having come in to check the temperature (no, I didn't need to know) and finding a "Special Statement" for my area and then commenters in my blog. Well, what else could I do? ;)

"Special Statement" you ask? In SP? In JULY? We know it isn't hot, so ... yep. Thunderstorms in the mountains and a flood warning - all through the weekend and into Monday, apparently. All I saw out there before dark was the fog rolling in over South Mountain. Verdad, that often signals a high pressure system to our east moving in, this time of year, and that is what the Statement said.

calpoppy has a much better chance of seeing rain but I'm hoping for flashies, at least.


Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
45. Barefootontherocks
10:25 PM GMT on July 29, 2011
Cowboys and Aliens opens today.
A p.1 comment in my blog has links to the reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 21600
44. Barefootontherocks
10:22 PM GMT on July 29, 2011
I wonder, though ... you don't like Algebra ...

Uh, I've always liked algebra. I just said knitting was more fun than algebra. I was excellent at math when I had to be. I like the thought processes involved in mathematics. Logic connects math and philosophy in an interesting way. I like any scientist who waxes philosophical, as many of them have in their later years. Mostly I love the Godel metric and its implications for time travel.

RW math applications for most people don't go beyond simple algebra and plane geometry. And for many, not beyond using a calculator. I doubt many people even balance a checkbook anymore.

That's a very simple math problem you could do in your head (#14)... but... lol it also depends on if there's any ribbing involved.

Glad you're still knitting.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 21600
43. WatchinTheSky
10:13 PM GMT on July 29, 2011
Random comments - Is it ever going to rain again? Is 'Cowboys and Aliens' any good? The last Potter was good, even in 3D. I see a nice thundercloud buildup over Palomar/Idyllwild mountains - but none for me.
Have a nice weekend!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 160 Comments: 3807
42. sp34n119w
9:27 PM GMT on July 29, 2011
Two more things -

Sully's home!
sullivanweather's blog, that is :)
All hail the weather gods!

Every time I see sandi's blog title I think of this clip, which doesn't use the same phrase, but it pops into my mind, anyway. Go figure ...

Okay. That's it.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
41. sp34n119w
9:14 PM GMT on July 29, 2011
LC - happy to be of service.
You're not off the hook (wait, that's crochet ... ) for mentioning knitting, though ;)

Thanks for the updates on Ms. Nelson's case.


I hate to mention how wonderful the weather is. It is, though :)


Did everyone see the semi-good news about the Texas State Board of Education? They rejected the creationist tracts and are going with actual Biology textbooks! Looks like there is some wiggle room but it's better. Only 8 of the board voted - one was out of town and the other 6 abstained from the vote. Chickens.
Anyway - hurray! :)


Basic Algebra and knitting -
You want to knit a hat for your niece. She measures her head at 20 inches. Using the yarn and needles you intend to use for the hat, you knit a swatch and measure the gauge, finding that you knit 7 stitches in 2 inches.
How many stitches do you cast on to ensure the hat will fit?

Ha! AND it's a Word Problem! DuhDuh Duhnnnnnnnn

Not that my niece will actually receive the hat I'm knitting now. It's just plain bad. The sort of thing you leave on a park bench as a gift for the homeless.
Good practice, though.

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
40. LowerCal
2:55 AM GMT on July 28, 2011
Thanks for clarification. :^)

The Raquel Nelson story was a story that shouldn't have been at all but there are two relatively good news updates.

Raquel Nelson Sentenced to a Year of Probation and Community Service - E.D. Kain - American Times - Forbes

she was also offered a new trial and

Cobb mom opts for new trial in hit-run case |
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
39. sp34n119w
9:53 PM GMT on July 27, 2011
One more thing!
If you've been following the story of Raquel Nelson, who was up for sentencing yesterday, there is a pretty good overview and starting point for more info at this site. The Today show interview is there and a video of the street and bus stop, which is awesome.
If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, consider that I wouldn't bring it here if I didn't think at least some of my (legions of! lol) readers might be interested, and clicky the linky :)


Please NOTE that the rant in comment #38 is non-directional. That is, while LowerCal provided an excellent spark (hence, my thanks to him), my rant was not directed at him, nor at any other individual (with the possible exception, at a few points, of myself, being aware of my own apathy and/or ignorance), but is a more generalized comment on the state of the State, how we as citizens have let it come to this, even encouraged it, and how unhappy I am, personally, at that state.

Also note that I am modifying comment #39, rather than comment #38, to avoid messing up the formatting in the latter, and not for the purpose of burying the first note.

There. All better now? Sheesh.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
38. sp34n119w
8:09 PM GMT on July 27, 2011
LC – Yes, it is discouraging. It may be that people will suddenly become aware of the trend, after all these years, and shake off the apathy. Speak out. Unite. This time. Oh, yes, this time they've gone too far.

Let's see … corporations are now persons; class action suits are no longer allowed, in most cases; American workers have less buying power than they've ever had; also, less earning power; union-busting has become the new national pass-time; yet more elected officials have abdicated their responsibilities (but not their paychecks and benefits!) in favor of prayer; there are now more homeless families than ever in our history; many people have become convinced that programs they've already paid for are 'entitlement' programs that they have no right to participate in; the country is about to go into default for the sake of dogma; most of the job losses in the past year have been in the public sector, leaving citizens without the services we've paid for with taxes; large private corporations are making record profits and sitting on those profits rather than investing (in the U. S., anyway), instead cutting even more jobs, and handing out record bonuses to the executives, while workers go hungry and homeless; our public education system, top to bottom, is a joke, and leaving the bulk of an entire generation without the knowledge and skills required to succeed, while the folks who are making the decisions to cut education spending can afford to send their own kids to quality private schools; American workers have been so devalued, in their own minds, that they are willing to work for as little as twenty-five cents an hour, compared with India's workers who won't go lower than $4.50; there has been an unprecedented attack on women's health and rights to autonomy; numerous attempts, with some success, to legislate limits on voters' rights, to make sure only the 'right' people can cast a vote; and, our President has started yet another unfunded and illegal war (did anyone notice?), pulling us ever deeper into debt and death, while demolishing property, murdering civilians, destroying a very stable economy, in a sovereign nation with a secular government, in support of Taliban-like Islamic Fascists who have been terrorizing the citizens of their country for decades with the guns and money supplied by the same Egyptian and Saudi backers that have kept Al Qaeda going …

But, yeah. I'm sure the American people will notice something's wrong, that we have lost control, that our country is being run by and for the few at the expense of the many, and start speaking out, now that AT&T wants to buy T-Mobile.

Oh, that was fun. Thanks :)

Also, aack! You said “knitting”!!!! LOL

gg – I like your random dot-connecting :) Mostly, I'm happy to see you around and hope that means you are feeling good.
Are you up to seeing that exhibit? Do they have the bird-y dinosaurs there?
Don't worry - China is going to be just fine whether or not we pay our debts.

I think deregulation of The Phone Company started in the 80's. Today's AT&T is not the same as the original and really hasn't been since that deregulation. Plus, now it's actually SBC, which bought AT&T several years ago and took the name to evoke trust. Of course, the AT&T that is buying T-Mobile is a cell phone company, not a landline company, but an independent, sort of, division, sort of, of the parent company. Not really, though. That's all pretty twisted but saves them a ton of money on taxes and allows for profit to be moved around in ways that look good to shareholders. Makes them more money than they spend on accountants, I guess, or they wouldn't do it that way, LOL


Oh. I saw the trailer for the movie Knights of Badassdom today, noted at John Scalzi's AMC column about the movies discussed at ComicCon. I won't embed the trailer, nor link to it, as it is pretty bloody and gross for a trailer. So much so that I know I won't go see the movie. Which is a shame because I couldn't stop laughing through the trailer. Three times. Which is why I mention it – and you can find it on youtube if you want to see. The movie is about LARPers. Srsly.
And, the cast includes the vicious waif. Um, I mean, Summer Glau.


All righty, then. It's a nice day. Cooler, sunny, and breezy. Thought about going to the beach this afternoon but think I'll work, instead.

Happy Wednesday! :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
37. LowerCal
6:14 PM GMT on July 27, 2011
That's some pretty good knitting, GG. ;-)
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36. GardenGrrl
3:20 AM GMT on July 27, 2011
Uh, wasn't it back in the 70's that AT&T was THE phone Monopoly? Guess when you cut off a reptiles tail it just grows a new one.

Speaking of reptiles, the Dallas Science Museum has a new exhibit called Chinasaurs featuring dino fossils from China. There is also a Genghis Kahn exhibit over in Irving right now. First Walmart, and now our museums. Do you suppose we could trade AT&T to pay off our debt to them?

How's that for random connect the dots;-)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 302 Comments: 12438
35. LowerCal
8:08 PM GMT on July 26, 2011
Maybe I should be discouraged that folks did not respond more vigorously to the previous rounds. Perhaps the lackadaisical response was due to a feeling that it was all about free market competition. Anyone who believes that this acquisition is about competition should consider the Top 5 Myths About AT&T's Takeover of T-Mobile.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
34. sp34n119w
9:02 PM GMT on July 25, 2011
Quoting Barefootontherocks:

I love you, Kurt Gödel.

Well, sure, who doesn't? :)
I wonder, though ... you don't like Algebra but do like formal axiomatic mathematics?
Or, have you been investigating others' interpretations of his work? Or, perhaps his late philisophical musings? Curiouser and curiouser ... ;)

LC - thank you - it was a very good day :)

The videos are great but I'm afraid that ship has left the dock. Would have been nice if folks had paid attention in the previous rounds of acquisitions and there's little point, now. Sound defeatist? Yep. LOL

I particularly like the "Jobless" video because it meshes with something else I heard/read recently (not sure where - more than one place, I think). I guess the Republicans who won election on a platform of job creation are now saying that that isn't their job, and that job creation is the job of corporations.
Well, no. The job of corporations is to make money for their shareholders, and one of the very best ways to do that is to eliminate jobs, so that's what they are doing.
So, mergers always lead to large job losses, and we saw that in the last big round of mergers (SBC and Verizon buying, um, AT&T and the other one), so shareholders will be happy with this one, too. Customers might not be pleased but won't have much choice. It's just a perfect set-up and fits in with ...

... know what? I've got a thing about the phone industry, in particular, and I'm not going to rant anymore on that today. At least, not right now, lol
Thanks for the thinker and they are all funny :)


Much warmer today already and it looks like the deserts, high and low, may see some thunderstorms later.

Thought I'd pop around the blogs some today but LC distracted me, LOL, so I'm going to run off, now.

Happy Monday! :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
33. LowerCal
8:06 PM GMT on July 24, 2011
OK, so like, oh my god, like they're *all* way funny, but, like, this is like, *soo* totally classic!

Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
32. LowerCal
8:04 PM GMT on July 24, 2011
I enjoyed the new photos. Looks like you enjoyed your Friday. :^)
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31. Barefootontherocks
6:14 PM GMT on July 24, 2011

I love you, Kurt Gödel.
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30. sp34n119w
6:41 AM GMT on July 22, 2011
Hiyas. Unscheduled busy-ness yesterday led to frantic catching-up today so that tomorrow I can play :)

calpoppy - the cgi in HP was awesome (saw it in 2D). I made a point of seeing it before I'd read too many opinions so I'm hesitant to offer mine. But, we're talking Harry Potter, here - if you've watched the rest, of course you have to see the last! I won't spoil the ending for you ;)

Karen - good to see you! I saw the first round of your beautiful pics and need to go see if there are more, and read your "two-coffee travelogue", which wasn't up, yet.

I was down your way yesterday. Well, closer to you than to SP, anyway, in Carson and then Torrance (Del Amo Mall! I think I go there more often than the malls here, lol). It got crazy foggy and I actually had mist on the windshield! Until then, though, the weather was fine :)

bf - I'm seriously impressed that you read the link :) It was as expected, in that regard. I'm sure there's some fanfic for her out there somewhere.
Yes, the gown is lovely, and she has definitely grown up to be the best looking of the bunch.

Thanks for the link! I have seen a few of her vids - she's a good teacher - but I hadn't seen her do that. The longtail cast on is the first one I learned and it is easiest, for sure, for evenness and knitting off. I have issues with estimating the length, though, lol, but it's good for swatches.
Interestingly, it must have been the night before you left that link that I was watching videos of different cast on methods. There are a gazillion! I tried a few ... practice, practice, practice!
There's a Russian couple who have great vids (I found him when I was looking for continental style knitting and have watched a few of hers, too) that somehow are especially helpful. I guess I like the accents, LOL

You need algebra to do knitting :-P
That's better than the further nerdrant I was about to embark upon, believe me!

LC - the Hermione factor is probably more obvious in the books than the movies.
You know, I had no intention of reading those books. But, my nephew was exactly the right age, and wanted to read the first one, and was visiting, so, we read that one together. I kept reading the series so that we could talk about it. He quit reading once the movies started coming out! Ah, well. Very quick and easy reading.

Hey, is that a story about Big Government forcing people to save money again?! I will not have it!!1!1!!!1
I'm wanting to look up that desal plant to see what power source they're using. Thanks for the link! :)


I have a link!
Cowboy up!
Note: not about cowboys, lol

And another in the endless stream of adorable pets videos, one a friend sent today (so I assume everyone else has seen it but, so what?) about a kitty and a Pit.

Oh, my. I've rambled again, haven't I? And I could have spent that time wu-visiting :(
Well, I'm trying to get to bed early tonight so ...
g'night wu! Have a happy Friday :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
29. LowerCal
6:17 PM GMT on July 20, 2011
I've never been much of a Fantasy fan but it can be an apt format for morality tales. Your comment re. Hermione has me reconsidering a look at the Harry Potter series.

Now for something entirely different (er, random), something that Southern California could learn from a Texas city.

Despite record drought, El Paso is keeping quenched | SmartPlanet
The city will be fine next year too, even if it doesn't rain, and even if the Rio Grande stays low. "We can handle drought next year. Theoretically, even if we have no water in the river, even if there wasn't a single drop of water coming from the river, ....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10289
28. Barefootontherocks
2:42 AM GMT on July 20, 2011
Hi sp,
How was Hermione's last film? See. I read the link. Haven't seen any of these films or books, so I'll be happy to agree she's the coolest character. She sure has the coolest dress in the cast photo.

If you are having trouble on the first row, let me ask this. How do you cast on? There's a way to cast on with yarn draped over thumb and forefinger of the hand opposite the needle. Looks like a completed knit row when you get the stitches on the needle. You have to pull out some yarn, guesstimate how much you'll need, start with a slipknot (first stitch) and then drape the two sections of yarn (the tail you guesstimated and the end toward the ball) over your digits and cast away. Made a world of difference when someone showed me that. Maybe you're already doing it. In case not... Link

Algebra's just math. Knitting is art.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 21600
27. SBKaren
2:15 AM GMT on July 20, 2011
Oh we've had a great summer weather wise. First two days we were back we had a marine layer until about 8:30-9. Last two mornings..NONE.

Mid to upper 70s, mid 60s at night. You won't hear me complaining.

I added Yosemite pictures (mostly my SIL and daughter's), so just scroll quickly through the blog and look at them. I wrote a boatfull and it would probably take two cups of coffee and quite a bit of time to get through it all!

Going to a Harry Potter matinee soon here too~
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15140
26. calpoppy
4:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2011
How was the new Potter flick? I have the last one coming from netflix sometime in the future.

This July has not been to bad weather wise. To hot to do any real hiking but comfortable enough to enjoy the patio in the late afternoons.

Have fun in that perfect weather you have been having!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 84 Comments: 5440
25. sp34n119w
6:35 AM GMT on July 19, 2011
Hey lookit me - so desperately working at my pitiful attempts to be funny that I neglected the first thing that came to mind (and what has stuck in my mind) when I first read calpoppy's and barefootontherocks' comments about knitting:
THANK YOU for the encouragement!
It really makes a difference and I have a story to tell about that ... but, not tonight, LOL

Perfect weather day today. Looking forward to more tomorrow :)

Stay cool, rest of you, and out of harm's way.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
24. sp34n119w
5:58 PM GMT on July 17, 2011
calpoppy - Hi! I think it's great when an author makes it big - it means people are reading, after all :)

I'd love to take a knitting class but my schedule is too erratic, at the mo. There's a nice yarn store in Ventura where I went last week that has classes and the ladies were nice. Judging by the people I saw there, in the middle of the day on a weekday, I'm not sure I'd fit in ;)
Once again, youtube has been useful. Also, I don't mind cheating, as needed, lol. In the beginning I was having trouble knitting the first row so I had an idea - I used a crochet hook and transferred those stitches to the needle at the end. Then I could move on to practicing without that frustration.
Then I found a video about the "Knook" and I thought, that's what knitting needles need - hooks! ;)

Ever since I saw an ad for that exhibit, every time someone asks if I want to do something I yell, DINOSAURZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!
Sadly, no takers, yet. Maybe it's the yelling.
I don't know why, really do not understand, but a lot of people seem to think that museums are for children. It's bizarre.

Between school and school, whenever I was stressed and couldn't get out for a hike or swim or whatever, I would do Algebra problems to relax. It's just like crosswords or Sudoku - puzzles! Then the fact that so many people think it's hard makes me feel smart, lol

bf - YW! I'm having fun reading so far :)
See above about Algebra being relaxing. But, I get it. I'm weird. That's okay :)

Knitting is relaxing? The other night (too late, really) I was working on yet another swatch, this one was a simple cable, and I'd unraveled three times already. First time, 4 rows. Second time, 2 rows. Third time, 1 row. (I'm getting better at catching mistakes, anyway) I knew I didn't want to unravel again and needed to concentrate. So, as I'm working to the end of a pattern row, I become vaguely aware of increasing pain in my feet and legs. I get to the end and refocus my attention and realize that my toes are all scrunched up and my legs have tensed against the chair. Ouch.
Yeah, relaxing? Not so much! LOL!

Worse, when I decided I was done with that swatch and it was looking pretty good and I was just putting a few finishing rows on ... I realized I'd added a stitch a few rows back. Did I unravel? Oh, heck no! Just took one off and finished it. I am so done with that pattern!
I do knit too tight and I'm working on it. I am not giving up! Having too much fun, trying to encourage my fat fingers to do what they're told ;)


Okay, I could keep babbling about knitting (I've been dreaming about it, ugh), but, it's a spectacular day out there and I want to enjoy it a bit before I head to the matinee to see Mr. Potter :)
Just had to come check the weather elsewhere and see if gg had been in again and got distracted by knitting and DINOSAURZZZZZ!!!!

seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
23. Barefootontherocks
8:00 PM GMT on July 16, 2011
Lol, calpoppy,
Knitting is way more fun than algebra, and more relaxing.

A common beginner mistake is to keep the yarn, and therefore the stitches, too tight. Are you doing that? If so, loosen up. Your personal tight/loose flow may not match the exact stitch gauge that's called for but that's easy to remedy by changing needle size. Just find the comfortable flow. That is, if you haven't given up on it already.

Wanted to stop in and say thanks for the nice comments you left on my blog. I'm pleased you are reading the ALPHA script.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 21600
22. calpoppy
10:35 PM GMT on July 15, 2011
Hi SP!! I heard Rowlands is close to being a billionaire. Pretty good for a few kids books. Weather is nice, I am having a hard time motivating myself lately, at least I am faithfully going to the gym. It is more like dragging myself to the gym, getting up at 4:30 is not fun!! It must be done though! Don't give up on your knitting, take a class or 2 or 3... Knitting is more fun then ALGEBRA!!

Have fun if you go to the citrus festival. Oh, they have that new dinosaur exhibit in LA, the only reason I have been thinking of going out to that city after carmegeddon though. Mr Poppy hasn't read the Feynman book yet, I will tell you his review when he does.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 84 Comments: 5440
21. sp34n119w
9:53 PM GMT on July 15, 2011
Finally someone wrote what I've thought about the Harry Potter books and movies almost from the beginning*.
I might actually go to the movies this weekend to see the last one in a theater.

* Aside from the usual warning of bad words (a few that would be bleeped but which you hear every day so not so bad), that site has an annoying autoplay video ad but it can be stopped.


Knitting update: I suck at knitting.

It has made me realize that I haven't tried to learn something new in a long time. I think I'd forgotten what it takes to do so. So, that's good.
My poor family will be getting a whole lot of crappy scarves and hats for Christmas this year, though. Oh, well. They won't mind.

It makes me want to pull my old Algebra** book out of the box it's in and work a few sets of problems just to remind myself that I can do something that many people think is hard. Ego boost - I need an ego boost after knitting, LOL!

** note I would not choose the old Calculus book.


The marine layer burned off late but it is gone for the day. Lovely out there :)
A bit ago, the visible sat showed a nifty eddy in the clouds rolling down the central coast and, at the same time, there was another eddy rolling up the coast from around Long Beach. Made the two layers of marine layer very obvious.
Ah, the blissful subtlety of SoCal summer weather ...

seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
20. sp34n119w
5:06 AM GMT on July 15, 2011
Hiya. Wandering about. Hoping for an update on gg. Thought I'd drop by here.


The Amazing Meeting has begun. Bloggers are in attendance so at least I can read about it. Wah.
It actually sold out weeks ago which has made it easier to accept that I'm not there.


Most of this week has been glorious, weatherwise, around here. Overcast mornings, breezy and sunny afternoons, temps in the 70s. Really can't beat it for being outside getting stuff done. Today a pocket of the marine layer decided it was comfy in our little valley, so it stayed.

This weekend is looking good, though a little warmer. Anyone dealing CARMAGEDDON might consider heading this way to get out of the mess. SP is having its Citrus Festival starting tomorrow (sadly, no parade this year) and the music line-up looks decent. It's cheap! 5 bucks! Plus carnival ride tickets ;)
I think the Dilly Dally Car Race is this weekend ... no, it can't be. Wouldn't work with the festival traffic ... hmm, I'll have to check.
Oh, Santa Barbara is having some kind of wine thingy. Saw something in Ventura, too. You could even take the train!

Gosh, just realized I haven't done a Booster Blog in awhile and that's a shame - lots going on up here. Not that anyone reading this (who doesn't already know) cares, but, you know, I like writing them :)


Now, where was I ...

Bogon - we're getting closer to finding out what China will do. The anticipation is killing me.

Both Neil and Neal are amazing writers. I've yet to get around to Gibson, but I remember when that first book came out and what a stir it caused amongst scifi fans.
It's taking me forever to get through Cryptonomicon just because I've been busy and I don't want to pick it up when I don't have time to at least finish a chapter (or five ;)). That's good though. I raced through Anathem, trying to finish it before the Hugo awards so I could vote, and wished I'd had more time to savor.

On your lightbulb query ... since some politicians realized that their constituents never read bills and have no clue what Congress is supposed to be doing?

'course, gg said it best - it's still making me laugh!

BC - That's a smile to bring a smile :)
Yep, not a lot of Progressives in office, or running for office. They can't get elected if they can't run; they can't run if they can't get donors; they can't get donors without Party backing; and Progressives don't get Democratic Party backing. And here we sit until citizens decide that this is our country; that the politicians work for us and have a job to do, and should not be treated like patriarchs, aristocrats, gods, or celebrities; and that corporations are tools, not masters.

Oh, dear. Did I just rant? I spent my internet time on a SIWOTI binge the last several days and thought I'd gotten it all out of my system. Oh, well. Always room for dessert, says I!

Uh, back to wunderful you, BC - I should remember to call Stephenson a "speculative fiction" writer, rather than scifi, as I think he prefers it, and it may be clearer. Whatever - he's fun! His novels are loooooong and every word is necessary :)

calpoppy - I, too, sympathize with the desert rats. It does seem better for the rest of us to have them out there making their way. Not so great for the usual critters and creepers, though, and that is one reason they get cleared out. There are others.

So does Mr. Poppy have a review of the Krauss book for us? Thumbs up? Only 2 stars? ;)


I'm obviously feeling very wordy this evening, LOL
Think I'll give anyone who actually read that a break by taking one ;)

... and then what happens?! BF! LOL
Already been there, will comment, so excited!!!
Also LOL I have a bathroom bulb's been out two weeks! Oh we're lazy ;)

NOTE that gg's spouse just updated gg's blog - hurray!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
19. Barefootontherocks
4:49 AM GMT on July 15, 2011
Hi sp (and pals),
Long time no see-um.
Please get yourself over to my blog and tell me what you think.

Ugh. This light bulb stuff reminds me the one in my bathroom burned out a couple weeks ago and I have to take the dang globe thing off the ceiling fixture and replace the bulb. Maybe I'll remember to do it tomorrow. Good thing I got a nightlight in there.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 21600
18. calpoppy
10:16 PM GMT on July 11, 2011

Mr. Poppy already had the Krauss book on Feynman on his Kindle. I just can't keep ahead of him!!!

Cool down this week, maybe the June gloom in July for you?

Looks like LA county is cracking down on 'desert rats' people who do not have permitted houses. Some sad stories there. Some of these people live so far out I can't see how they are hurting anything but the tax rolls for LA county. At least they aren't homeless on the streets of LA. Some of their places are quite imaginative. They are great recyclers in their building materials they use for these structures.

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 84 Comments: 5440
17. GardenGrrl
4:52 AM GMT on July 11, 2011
How many politicians does it take to screw us with lightbulbs?
Oopsie. Freudian slip.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 302 Comments: 12438
16. Bogon
2:42 AM GMT on July 11, 2011
Since when are light bulbs political?

Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 88 Comments: 4865
15. sp34n119w
9:31 PM GMT on July 10, 2011
Hello B and BC :)


Can't stay but had to drop this by before I lose it - because we were previously talking about the stupid lightbulb thing and it's important to know what our elected representatives are getting their lifetime of taxpayer-funded salary and benefits for doing -

Barton's bill targets the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which increases the efficiency of incandescent light bulbs by 27% through 2014. It was a completely non-controversial bill that had bi-partisan support, was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers (and still is) and was signed into law by George W. Bush.

"When this bill was passed, it was passed by people who knew how to make light bulbs," says Randall Moorhead, vice president of government affairs at Philips, a leading light bulb producer. "Everyone supported it. And since then, it's created more choice for consumers - we have two incandescent bulbs on the market that weren't there before."

But in an effort to score political points in the 2012 election cycle, Republican lawmakers have made patently false statements about the law - calling it a ban on incandescent light bulbs.

[emphasis added]
[warning: at least one bad word used in the blog entry quoted at the blog linked to, and probably more in the comments there]

Speaking of Carter (not that he was the first or only) ... remember when fuel efficiency standards and auto safety standards were going to destroy the auto industry?
Oh, wait. That is still the argument, every time, isn't it? LOL
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 84 Comments: 4463
14. BriarCraft
11:05 PM GMT on July 07, 2011
I smelled the coffee and decided it was time to stop in to say hello.

Summer has finally arrived here, so mostly I've been tending to garden and yard work, trying not to think too much about the mess in DC currently. I wish we could somehow clone Bernie Sanders about 50 times. He seems to be the only sane head accompanied by the necessary spine to hold it high.

I'm not familiar with Neal Stephenson, but will have to check him out next time I go book shopping. I do enjoy sci-fi.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4711
13. Bogon
10:08 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Cryptonomicon is a great read. If you like that, Stephenson wrote three other books that provide historical background for the story. Three thick books is a lot of background, though. I'll let you make the call.

I've been catching up on some Neil Gaiman and William Gibson. Currently working on Spook Country. That explains, in part, why my blog has been slow to update lately. :o)

You make a good point about China. China holds the note on lots of US (balance of payments, etc.) debt. If it should appear that the US is likely to default on that debt, China's Powers That Be might be motivated to shore up their investment rather than write it off as a loss. No altruism required for that scenario.

Of course, they might also decide that saving America would entail throwing good money after bad, and simply foreclose.
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