I came across this nugget of information as the Tokyo Olympics were concluding on August 8:
The medals in the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games are made from metals recovered from recycled cell phones collected since 2017.
I think that’s pretty nifty. It’s one of those things that made you go, Huh, and in honor of the little things in the world that make you stop and re-think your mental map of realty I collected things from around the internets this week that made me go, Huh. (We’ll also do some watercoloring.) But first let let me tell you about what an excellent Thbursday/Friday/Saturday I had last week, when some of my favorite little things showed up and made me go Well, Whoop-de Huh.
It started Thursday morning when I was taking our kitchen slops out to the composter in the backyard and I spotted this on the edge of the kitchen patio:
Whoa, I said to myself, What a great start to the day. I ran back inside to get my phone and took the picture of the Blue Jay feather in situ, and continued on my way to dump the garbage into the composter. Walking back to the house I saw this in the lawn:
COOL! I said, and so I took another picture (still had the phone with me) and I went my good omens to Top Cat, who was having breakfast on the den patio, and this was laying there, glowing, in the herbaceous border:
This was my first Three Feather Day ever so I was expecting great things to happen on August 5 , 2021, but the only wondrous thing that occurred was that Trump did not get re-instated as President of the United States so, I guess that’s something.
The next day I headed out at 8:33AM for my daily 5-mile run and within a few hundred yards of my house I saw this in the street:
It looks like nothing but as I was still under the influence of the universe’s special love for me (Three Feather Day) I reached down and turned the feather over:
Yep. I still got it. “It” being that certain something that I can’t put a finger on, or monetize, that makes me feel pretty certain of being beloved by the Great Spirit or, on most days, not 100% despised.
I tucked the feather into my armband where I keep my lipstick and face mask and credit card just in case I need to shop or meet up with a hot Korean during my run, and I trotted down the road for about three minutes when this announced itself like the Hallelujah chorus:
Here is where I inform you that Blue Jay feathers are special because Blue is the rarest color in nature as it doesn’t actually exist, rather it is the absorption of certain wavelengths of light so that, when viewed by human eyes, it appears as “blue”, but those compounds that absorb within the requisite range of electromagnetic spectrum are extremely rare and difficult to produce biologically, and that’s the simplest explanation I can give but finding Blue in nature is a big deal.
The Hallelujah chorus, from The Messiah, was written by George Handel.
In 1741, Handel was heavily in debt following a string of musical failures. It seemed that his career was over and he may even be forced to go to debtors’ prison. On April 8, 1741, Handel gave what he believed to be his final concert.
Later that year, two key events changed the course of Handel’s life and the landscape of music forever—his friend Charles Jennens wrote a libretto taken from the Bible, based on the life of Jesus Christ, and gave it to Handel. Then, Handel was given funding by a group of charities from Dublin, Ireland, to compose a new work for a benefit performance that would help free men from debtors’ prison. Handel would also receive his own commission for composing the work, which in turn helped him on his path to reversing his own misfortune.
The Messiah was a huge success, Handel didn’t go to prison, and that’s the kind of thing I keep expecting to happen to me when I find multiple Blue Jay feathers on the same day: a life-changing reversal of fortune for the history books, but so far, Nah.
Saturday began with another perfect Summer morning and I was about a mile from home when I heard another murmur of the company of angels alerted me to this:
The camera can’t capture what the trained eye sees, so here’s the close up of what I saw glowing under the low branches of this big old pine tree:
I’m not greedy. Well, yes I am, but on this day I was already done, thrilled with how things were going, three feather days in a row starting with a Three Feather Day, and so I continued on my route, filled with the exuberance of being alive on a fine August morn. It was on the return, about 65 minutes later, as I was passing the big old pine tree again, that I got the thought that maybe I should check it out in case the same Blue Jay who dropped one feather could have hung around to molt another. I never prospect for Blue Jay feathers, but this time I thought I’d actually go in search.
My fat finger got in the way of the camera lens, but here’s what I found against a root on the far side of the big old pine tree:
I got sap all over me when I climbed through the branches to get to the feather, but I got my prize:
Here’s the three-day haul:
I had a good week last week, is all I’m saying.
I even did a pet portrait! Requested by Dear Reader Alexandra, we have a cat we got to paint today.
Everyone, meet Katara:
Katara is a very special service cat who passed away this year,
I LOVE to expression on Katara’s face, but I didn’t want to do the ears in their “fight-or-flight” position, so I drew regular ears on her (sorry, my pencil lines are really light):
I always begin with the eyes. I put several layers of yellow over green to get that weird “cat” color:
Dear Reader Jeanie asked me to some masking, so here’s what I bought. I chose to use Liquitex because the Windsor-Newton stuff I’ve been using for ten years has a child-proof cap that is very annoying and Liquitex has a flip cap, which is easy to use. I bought these extra-fancy toothpicks at my local Korean supermarket, H-Mart. They come in a screw-top container so I’ll never spill my toothpicks again.
This is a shitty photo of me drawing whiskers with the masking fluid:
I like that Katara’s expression is asymmetrical, and each of her eyes is shaped slightly differently:
Katana is a gray cat, so I mixed white, pink, brown, and black for her fur:
I still get a kick out of letting the paint and the water and the paper react to each other:
I’m working with very wet paper and very wet pants:
My girl needs a nose:
Picking up the masking fluid now:
Fixing the whiskers. In the future, I probably won’t use masking fluid for whiskers:
I think I’m going to re-do this one. The ears don’t convince me.
Still, that’s the smartest this blog is going to get today because it’s time for the weekly news round up and Lordy, we all know that when it comes to current events, the stupid never tops.
Only the StartTrek OGs will get this one:
Another day, another unvaccinated idiot get COVID-19. This time, it’s a Missouri Republican state representative and her husband:
Walsh, who serves as majority caucus chair for the House Republicans, told KRCG-TV Thursday that she chose not to get a COVID-19 vaccination because vaccines were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and she had concerns about risk factors.
She also told the television station she didn’t want a vaccination because she hadn’t contracted the virus for more than a year.
I’m i the mood for a retro quarantine joke; how about you?
Trump’s been out of office for 8 months now so we forget the high, high level of stupidity we had to put up with for four years, so to remind us, he got on TeeVee and said this (an actual quote):
How? How in the world did such a idiot get elected to be President? He’s not even sane enough to be elected Dog Catcher.
Speaking of insane, you know that his die hard believers are still insisting that Trump will be reinstated to the Presidency this month. The precise date keeps changing — reminds me of the Jehovah Witnesses and their iffy dates for Armageddon — so let’s keep on the look out for the miracle that’s supposed to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The company that made the voting machines that Trump says were hacked by Chinese bamboo shoots still has a live law suit:
Actually, Rudy can represent himself in court because there’s no law that you have to be a member of the bar to do so, and people like me are dying to see that happen.
Meanwhile, Rudy’s buddy Trump is so broke that he’s stealing from his supporters but I don’t feel bad for them. If they are dumb enough to give this guy hey, they deserve to be fleeced:
New Federal Election Commission records from WinRed, the Republican donation-processing site, show the full scale of the financial impact. All told, more than $135 million was refunded to donors by Mr. Trump, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts in the 2020 cycle through June 2021 — including roughly $60 million after Election Day.
“It’s pretty clear that the Trump campaign was engaging in deceptive tactics,” said Peter Loge, the director of the Project on Ethics in Political Communication at George Washington University. “If you have to return that much money you are doing something either very wrong or very unethical.”
The state attorneys general in New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and Maryland have also opened investigations into WinRed and ActBlue’s practices.
WinRed has sued in federal court to stop the investigation by saying that federal law pre-empts any state investigation. Last week, the attorneys general sought to dismiss the WinRed suit, arguing in a court filing that consumer-protection laws gave them jurisdiction.
This is the kind of guy who gives Trump his money:
A Donald Trump supporter from Minnesota will be barred from voting for five years, after he admitted to attacking an elderly couple with a golf club, and punching the 80-year-old man in the head, because they were waving an anti-Trump sign on a street corner days after the November election.
Mark A. Ulsaker, 51, of Lino Lakes, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of threats of violence in connection with the attack on Nov. 8. In addition to losing his right to vote for five years, Ulsaker was sentenced to five years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and barred from possessing firearms. The sentence means Ulsaker won’t be able to vote for Trump if he runs again in 2024.
Five days after Biden’s victory, Ulsaker reportedly pulled up next to the elderly couple, ages 80 and 78, in his pickup truck before shouting a vulgarity at them, police said. He later walked up from behind the couple and began swinging a golf club at their heads, before punching the man in the head.
When police went to Ulsaker’s home, after receiving his license plate number from a witness, he resisted arrest and took a swing at one of the officers. After the officer drew a taser, Ulsaker calmed down and admitted to being a Trump supporter who was upset about the sign, adding that he also drove his pickup truck toward the elderly woman — but only to scare her.
I dearly hope this guy is also a financial supporter of the Grifter:
The man is an Army vet named Michael McKinney, from Des Moines Iowa, and he got 10 years. The girl deferred a leg wound.
And now let’s see what’s happening to the morons who rioted at the Capitol on Jan, 6, 20201:
Other Republicans are getting arrested for things not related to the Jan. 6 riot. Here’s a few: (Please read the following to the end. It’s gets better.
Police launched an investigation into Suzanne Morphew’s disappearance on May 10, 2020, after a neighbor called to report she did not return home after a bike ride.On May 5, 2021, nearly a year after his wife’s disappearance, Morphew was arrested and charged with murder. Days later, he was hit with new charges that he [allegedly] submitted a mail-in ballot on behalf of his wife for the 2020 election. The ballot for former President Donald Trump was submitted in October 2020—and included the defendant’s signature on the witness line.
“I wanted Trump… to win,” Morphew told FBI agents in April when questioned about submitting his wife’s voting ballot, insisting that she was going to “vote for Trump anyway” and thought he was allowed to vote on behalf of his spouse. “I just thought, give him… another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating.”
After his arrest on August 3 on charges of felony child porn possession, a Maine Republican who is also a member of the Bangor School Committee posted $1,000 cash bail and was released.
It’s not known if Penobscot County Treasurer John Hiatt used a school-issued computer or tablet to download child pornography, but a department-owned tablet was seized by police during an earlier investigation into a harassment complaint against Hiatt. Sexually explicit images of children under the age of 12 were allegedly found.
Hiatt is already facing charges for the stalking and harassment of a woman on social media and in text messages earlier this year. He was arrested on May 14 on multiple charges that included felony invasion of privacy.
Hiatt had said that he was the real victim, alleging that the woman had sexually assaulted him. But when detectives tried to contact Hiatt about his allegations, he reportedly refused to speak with them.
Before his arrest for child porn, Hiatt had vowed to seek reelection in both his positions, on the school board and to the Miane state legislature. He is also a member of the Republican State Committee.
“I am deeply troubled by the allegations against John Hiatt,” Maine GOP chair Demi Kouzounas said Wednesday. “While John will have his day in court, he should do what is best for his community and resign from all political positions immediately,”
If convicted of either his child pornography or felony invasion of privacy charges, Hiatt faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
The FBI confirmed Anton Lazzaro’s arrest in Minneapolis on Thursday morning. A ten-count indictment against him was unsealed in federal court in the afternoon.
According to the indictment, Lazzaro has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of obstruction of justice.
Ashli Babbitt is the Trumper who got shot in the Capitol as she tried to climb into the Senate chamber through a broken window:
Oh, hell no:
And now for those things that make you go, Huh:
I would never take a bath in a hammock tub.
I fact-checked this. It’s true: there is a Pizza Hut that has this view. It’s on the golf course that’s thiiiiis close to the Pyramids.
That’s it for this week, Dear Readers. I will be re-painting Katara so tune in next week to see if that was the right strategy.
Have a great weekend, everyone. If next Friday rolls around and Donald Trump has been reinstated as President, let’s all meet here and plot his downfall (again).
Here’s a picture of Teddy doing his Horta impersonation: