Papers, Please

Four vehicle registration renewals are about to come due in the very near future — which sucks, because only three of them are actual vehicles, the fourth is a trailer.

Fortunately, only one requires an emissions test, and I got that out of the way today. Last year only one required a test, but that one was sold earlier this year and replaced with one that won’t need a test for two more years. Meanwhile one of the more recent additions to the fleet advanced into the testable class — aged between three and 25.

You can see, maybe, why we’re looking to reduce our fleet before this time next year; the one we want to sell off becomes testable in 2016.

If Hillary gets elected next fall, they’ll probably make us get the trailer tested every year.

Update, Thursday: Another reason I want to divest of the 2013 is, its remote is prone to pocket-popping (sort of like butt-dialing, only not). I’m sick and tired of looking out the window and seeing a door flung open because of poor MOPAR remote design. Supposedly it takes two presses to open these doors, but apparently that’s only if you’re using your fingers.

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The Charlie Browniest

Fall color has finally broken out here — under gloomy skies bringing rain and wind. Good fall color is supposed to be highlighted with sunshine and contrasted against bright blue skies. Oh, good grief.

Symptom or Solution?

There is something to this:

Disquiet rooted in a persistently weak economy, a chaotic foreign policy, growing national-security concerns and domestic social turmoil is aggravated by the sense that dissent — or even questioning conventional wisdom as defined by America’s condescending elites — is not only improper, but also immoral.

Resentment?

You betcha.

Presented as an explanation of Donald Trump’s presidential tumescence, it also explains something about American politics that many conservative doomsayers have been missing during the Obama years: whatever Grand Vision the nation’s elites-of-the-moment may succeed in presenting without significant dissent for a matter of years, the great mass of the people have their own vision — and aren’t buying anything that contradicts it.

Fringe opinion in America is what fringe opinion in America has always been, and its embrace by the political, media and even business elites cannot change that. Educational experimentalists may detach or devalue the fundamental tenets of America’s self-image, but they are ingrained too deeply to be uprooted in a generation or two.

As a people, Americans are comfortable in their own skins. They may play along with fashion or fad just for the fun of it, but it’s a mistake to confuse their willingness to stray from their comfort zone, with a willingness to discard it altogether in favor of one prescribed from an ivory tower.

The Trumpian abscess is not the disease. It is an attempt by our political immune system to fight the insidious infection of elite authoritarianism that culminated in the election of an ivory-tower radical to the highest office in the land, and the cowardly refusal of the nominal opposition to actually oppose.

At Last

At least, according to TiVo…

I’ve been hungering for RFD-TV on my channel lineup ever since FamilyNet temporarily put RFD-TV programming in place of its usual TVLand-like stuff last year. This morning our TiVo listings detected a change in our channel lineup: “Hee Haw,” “Somewhere West of Wall Street,” and “Texas Country Reporter” are all once again available to…

Well, to see the program descriptions, and set the DVR to record, perhaps futilely. The actual channel content isn’t coming through just yet. Depending on which DVR I try, either the signal has a problem, or the channel isn’t authorized. Now, sometimes TiVo announces a new channel before the cable company actually makes it available, so I’m going to wait and see.

Our TV subscription level isn’t being offered to new customers anymore, so if necessary we may have to go to one of the new levels. Just as long as it doesn’t cost us any channels we’ve gotten used to getting.

Reversal of Misfortune

Given that the college football team to which I have some modicum of genuine allegiance — if only by marriage — has an emphatically winning record even though it’s not as impressive as it was last season, I’ve taken to looking in on other teams to which I have a far more tenuous, if not illusory, connection.

Today the Wyoming Cowboys (then 0-6) welcomed the Nevada Wolfpack (then 3-3) to War Memorial Stadium in Laramie as their homecoming opponents. The Cowboys are no longer winless. I watched the game via ESPN3.com and am glad I did (though the spectacular second quarter gave way to a less encouraging second half). In conference, both teams are now 1-2, putting their respective overall records in a different light.

Next week Wyoming goes to Boise to play on the blue turf at a much lower elevation than their home field’s 7,220 feet, but this year’s Boise State team may not be as formidable as it once was: the Broncos fell to the Utah State Aggies today, 52-26, in Logan. Either way, I expect to enjoy watching the game because I like both teams.

The Boise State game will not be on ESPN3.

42.5

Today’s morning low was 42.5°F.

Up ’til now we’ve had more wind than chill, which plays hob with the fall color just a bit. The outlook may be slightly brighter from here…

Update, 7:53 next morning: Right now the temperature is 39°F — and the downward trend line hasn’t levelled off yet.

They Could Do Worse

…and I expect they will.

Westmoreland may seek House Speaker post http://t.co/1iUWPFhwKG

— Newnan Times-Herald (@TimesHerald) October 9, 2015

Westmoreland was the first of five members of Congress I can remember being represented by in my <mumble> years, with whom I have been even remotely satisfied for any length of time (two of the others were also Republicans). His repeated votes for Boehner have disappointed me in the last couple of years, though.

Still, our guy having the gavel might at least liven up the congressional elections hereabouts, with the Democrats’ patsies maybe getting some outside money to fund their campaigns. Heck, if he turned out to be as Establican as his leadership votes have suggested, we might even get a primary challenger to make things interesting.

Just don’t look at me. What I said here about the speakership also goes for elective office in general.

Update, Saturday: In recognition of this, I’ve sent him my small encouragement…

Reupdated, a couple of Saturdays later: As you may have heard, Paul Ryan appears headed for the Speaker’s chair. Given how unwilling he was previously to seek the job, I’m a little surprised — and given what he told House conservatives to get their support, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Ends and Odds, 2

One of my late mother-in-law’s six cats became the fifth of that zoo to venture upstairs last night. Bob, a big, 12-year-old orange tabby, came up to the landing and peered around the door jamb only to find himself face-to-face with a doppelgänger — our three-year-old Buckaroo. Eldest of the downstairs population and a confirmed scaredy-cat, Bob did summon up the nerve to step across the threshold for just a few seconds, but Buck’s intense stare eventually sent Bob back to the landing.

Eldest upstairs cat Suzie Q, 15, has been spending her days downstairs — even yowling at us in the morning to open the door to the basement stairs for her. Aside from illicit excursions by 11-year-old Mickie before we started leaving the door open, Suzie’s the only one of ours that has gone down there. The downstairs cats seem to take no notice of her at all. And when she comes back up the stairs at bedtime, it’s not entirely of her own free will.

After months of excuses culminating in almost two weeks of rainy-to-damp weather, two days ago I once again jump-started the mower and tamed the field that lies between our house and the road. Last time, I had cut right over a number of sweetgum seedlings; in the intervening time two of the victims came back. Since they, like a trio of pine seedlings I’ve now let grow to some six feet in height, are sprouted in holes we suspect were dug by armadilloes, I’ve decided to leave them be and see if they can eventually serve as vanguards for the surrounding woods to reclaim the field — bringing shade and privacy, and further reducing the mowing chore (though pines would be more effective toward the latter, with their constantly refreshed mulch).

<update, Saturday> All the various driveway surfaces I cleared of leaves Wednesday are covered again today. </update, Saturday>

Mrs. McG has mixed feelings over this prospect, since her home weather station needs open space for valid weather readings. It already needs to be relocated because of the new shed.

This year we’ve had a small family of deer frequenting our property, along with Lenny the great blue heron (named after the great blue stand-up comic) and at least one owl, Darius, who’s been hooting it up most nights for the past several weeks.

As the leaf cover between house and pond dissipates toward winter, maybe we’ll see more.

I Hate Comcast

…and I have never been a Comcast customer.

My late mother-in-law had Comcast for years in Chattanooga before moving in with Mrs. McG and me. Comcast kept her old email address open and forwarding to her new Gmail address.

Now though, we want to either stop the forwarding, or close the email account. Neither is possible.

Literally. There are no forwarding controls on Comcast’s webmail interface — the link purportedly pointing to forwarding controls doesn’t go to forwarding controls. And if you try calling customer service…?

The first tech couldn’t even hear me and hung up. The second tech expected digits on the account number that weren’t there, and when I told her they weren’t there she hung up on me in mid-syllable.

The third tech agreed to transfer me immediately to a supervisor, who never picked up.

If I ever find myself living in a place where the only option for conventional cable TV service is Comcast, I’ll do without. But it’s not the only tech support operation that’s failed me utterly in the last week or so, after having previously had fair-to-good experiences for some years.

Thanks, H-1B program, and thanks, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.