Undoing the Tyranny of Political Parties
Sep16

Undoing the Tyranny of Political Parties

Here in my state of Oregon most municipal and local elections are already non partisan.  Oregon’s ballot measure 90 will carry that to a new level if passed in November.  As an unaffiliated voter (Independent) I have not been able to participate in the primary elections.  I am part of at least  a third of Oregon voters.  I have no illusions that this will make third party candidates more viable but it will make it possible for...

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Weekend Photo – Fall
Sep13

Weekend Photo – Fall

Even though it is supposed to be in the upper 80′s or low 90′s today there is little doubt that the feel of fall is in the air.  As I write this it is the mid 40′s here in the Portland area and I was thankful that I put my down comforter on my bed when I washed the sheets yesterday.  I for one am ready for Fall.  We have not had measurable rain since June and have had over 70 brush fires in the last 2 days in the...

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Obama’s Coalition Of the Unwilling To Actually Do Anything
Sep12

Obama’s Coalition Of the Unwilling To Actually Do Anything

The more I think about President’s Obama speech last night the more upset I become.  Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia today and the most they offered was moral support.  The same applies to Germany and Great Britain and the attitude of Turkey is especially disturbing.  The reality is the United States is probably less threatened  than any of the the countries in the Middle East and Europe.   They continue to...

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The President’s ISIL Speach
Sep10

The President’s ISIL Speach

I would have to describe tonight’s Obama speech as  clueless.  I’m not really criticizing Obama because there are really no answers here.  The area is a mess.  In 2013 uber hawk John McCain met with ISIS leaders and said we had to support them  to overthrow Assad while in 2014 he was inferring we had to support Assad to defeat ISIS.  Support for the so called “free Syrian army is a real Don Quixote moment –...

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Pet Bloging
Sep08

Pet Bloging

In the early days of blogging Friday was a day to do pet blogging.  As near as I can tell this has rarely been the case at TMV. When I was growing up we had both a cat and a dog  and I must admit I never bonded with either of them.  After at returning from 3 years in Germany  I volunteered at the local Zoo’s raptor program.  It was strange, I had a way with birds and even those that could hurt me didn’t.  I eventually got...

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Demographics and the Suburbs
Sep07

Demographics and the Suburbs

I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.  Within walking distance of my house were 4 grocery stores, including a small Safeway, a variety store, a hardware store and several restaurants.   When I became a family man myself I moved to the suburbs and none of those things were within walking distance.  Not a problem then – my family had 2 cars and we could drive when necessary.  This Washington Post article...

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Another Photo and some more musing
Sep07

Another Photo and some more musing

In the comments section of the post below SheKnows suggested that as fall and winter approach we might want some summer pictures.  If truth be known I don’t take very many photos in the summer because I find that season to be boring and uninspiring.  But here is an early summer picture of a wild Tiger...

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A Picture and some Musing
Sep06

A Picture and some Musing

With two weeks left until the official end of summer it will be in the mid 90′s here in Western Oregon today.  I may be an odd ball but I look forward to the blustery wet days, the sometimes violent Pacific storms and the occasional snow.  My wife grew up in the Los Angeles area and hated the winters here while I relished them.  There is nothing like gale forced winds shaking the walls of your house or the quiet when the ground...

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Swagger VS Knowledge
Sep02

Swagger VS Knowledge

What do the Republican hawks hate about Obama?  George W. Bush had little foreign policy knowledge, remember he didn’t know the difference between Shi’a and Sunni in the lead up to the invasion and occupation of the Iraq war, but he did have “swagger.”  That’s what the hawks hate about Obama – he lacks swagger.  He is cautious and deliberate.  Michael Barbaro takes a look at Chris Christie’s...

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US Trained Alaskans As ‘Stay-Behind Agents’ In Case Of Russian Invasion
Aug31

US Trained Alaskans As ‘Stay-Behind Agents’ In Case Of Russian Invasion

This is interesting: WASHINGTON (AP) — Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950....

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Things you can do that you couldn’t before digital photography and Photoshop!
Aug31

Things you can do that you couldn’t before digital photography and Photoshop!

As a photographer for nearly 50 years I have been known to miss the “good old days” of film.  Below is a scanned 2 1/4 negative.  A good picture except for one serious flaw – the dreaded white sky. In an attempt to salvage the photo  I used Photoshop  to turn it into a color night scene and replaced the white sky with a partly cloudy full moon  sky. If you look closely you  can see I also added some lights to the...

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SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’
Aug31

SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’

Now I’ll admit the London Daily Mirror is far from the most reliable source in the world but this wouldn’t surprise me at all. Elite British and US special forces troops are forming a hunter killer unit called Task Force Black – its orders: “Smash the Islamic State.” The undercover warriors will aim to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of...

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Weekend Photo
Aug30

Weekend Photo

When I first arrived in Bavaria as someone who was from the recent Pacific Northwest the thing that amazed me was how I was surrounded by very old structures and...

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The Real Me
Aug28

The Real Me

My dear friend Dr E tells me that the “real” me is is found in my photographs not my words.  So in the future perhaps fewer words and more...

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The End Of Another Summer
Aug27

The End Of Another Summer

While most of my friends, real and virtual,  are bemoaning the end of summer I for one look forward to the shorter days and cooler and cold weather.  There are few things more exciting than a fall or winter Pacific Storm, few things more invigorating than the frigid east wind coming out of the Columbia River Gorge or the far to infrequent snowfall that shrouds the area in a quietness like nothing else can.  My sister came up to visit...

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Republican Surge or Wipeout
Aug26

Republican Surge or Wipeout

Will the Republicans retake the Senate?  At this point we have really no way to tell and we probably won’t until the polls close in November.  As Nate Silver points out only about 10% of the population actually respond to polling which means that political polling is all but useless.  A majority of the Republican base want to do away with the federal government while a majority of them of them are only able to keep their heads...

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A Potential Energy Breakthrough?
Aug25

A Potential Energy Breakthrough?

Hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy transfer medium since it requires more energy to produce the hydrogen than you get out of it when you use it as a fuel.  If it was economical hydrogen fuel cells would be an ideal power source for motor vehicles if not for the negative ERoEI of hydrogen.   But what if the negative ERoEI could be greatly reduced?  Hydrogen is perhaps one of the most common elements on the Earth’s...

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Another Bird Picture
Aug24

Another Bird Picture

Following up on the bird themed photos yesterday here is one from TMV commentator dduck taken in...

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Friends, Allies and Enemies
Aug23

Friends, Allies and Enemies

This post is going to make some uncomfortable, make some angry but just perhaps a few will see some wisdom in it. ‘  The socio-political world is in a constant state of flux.  As conditions change we must reevaluate who our friends and allies are.  One of the most disturbing recent events is the rather sudden rise of ISIS.  There are indications this organization is not so much driven by religion but a psychopathic desire to...

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Weekend Photo
Aug23

Weekend Photo

Well Dorian got tired of waiting for my weekend photo so he published some beautiful pictures of hummingbirds.  I will continue with the bird theme .  This is a lucky shot  I got of a pileated woodpecker.  Another one of those cases of being in the right place at the right time with the right lens.  There was some minimal Photoshop to correct for really bad...

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