New Background Image

Last week a perfect storm of webcam quality, subject matter, weather conditions and light quality conspired to create the image currently serving as this site’s background image.

This view is looking southward along Interstate 25 in southern Platte County, Wyoming, a couple of miles north of the town of Chugwater. If you click that link you’ll learn of Chugwater’s role in the history of Wyoming’s instantly recognizable bucking bronc emblem (featured here) that has appeared on the state’s license plates since 1935.

Chugwater has been without an operating gas station since 2012, when a vehicle crash resulted in a fire at Horton’s Corner, the only gas station along I-25 between Cheyenne (nearest gas, 41 miles) and Wheatland (25 miles). In the past year there has been an effort to build and open a new gas station on the same site, but the projected opening date has come and gone and its Google Plus profile hasn’t been updated since last fall.

(By the way, notice how much that page looks like Facebook? Did Google do that?)

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Apples in Wyoming

And I don’t mean the road kind.

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to many parts of the country in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. He’s known for spreading apple seeds wherever he traveled. The history of Johnny Appleseed will soon spread its roots at Central Wyoming College’s Sinks Canyon apple orchard.

Dave Morneau with the Popo Agie Conservation District explained that during the Garden Expo a few weeks ago in Lander, one of the guest speakers, Scott Skogerboe with the Fort Collins Whole Sale Nursery, brought a surprise tree to be donated to the CWC orchard. This special tree had been propagated from one of the last known remaining Johnny Appleseed trees.

One thing I miss since moving from California is the annual Apple Hill festivities in Camino, a straggling community in the upper foothills of the Sierra Nevada east of Placerville. There wasn’t much apple growing going on in Interior Alaska that I ever heard about, and the nearest apple harvest center hereabouts is up in the north Georgia mountains, through which we only go on our way to East Tennessee where Mrs. McG’s father lives.

I kind of doubt there would ever be much in the way of apple sales (or bake shops with hot cider) in Sinks Canyon, Wyoming, but at least there are trees there. And now, one more.

I Order My Jeans from Cabela’s

I saw the picture of this… garment last week on Dustbury, and this morning Sarah Hoyt posted about it on Instapundit.

Thing is, I’m not sure that’s more egregious than this item:

New jeans made to look muddy splashed onto Nordstrom’s site for the dirty price of $425 per pair!

The description posted on the retailers page implies that it’s hip to be “down and dirty”:

“Heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans in a comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”

Personally, I’m with Mike Rowe:

This morning, for your consideration, I offer further proof that our country’s war on work continues to rage in all corners of polite society. Behold the latest assault from Nordstrom’s. The “Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans.”

The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t pants. They’re not even fashion. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic.

Ain’t that the truth.

At this moment I’m wearing what are known as “dungaree fit work jeans” from Cabela’s with carpenter-style pockets. I’m not a carpenter, so there’s some irony in my wearing these, but on those rare occasions when I actually do work with my hands I do find the extra pockets handy. Also, unlike entirely too many pants sold these days my carpenter jeans actually have belt loops in the same zip code as the button and fly.Also also, my most recent order — just now — was placed in part because they’re on sale for around $20 a pair.

Did You Know…?

The National Park Service maintains a live video feed of Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park. The viewing wasn’t fantastic just now during the latest eruption, but since the people standing in the cold and (what looked like) snow paid good money for it while I sat in my easy chair in my comfy home watching it on my laptop, I have no complaints.

As I post this, a twenty-minute predicted viewing window has just closed, according to the feed page; I look in occasionally at a static webcam of the geyser and saw people standing watching, so I knew it was getting close to time.

Canine Longevity

This morning I decided to repost some old dog-related entries from my long-offline archives, in light of Lucy‘s age which, as it happens, we may have been underestimating.

I’d been estimating her age as “pushing 15,” but I found a post from almost 13 years ago with a vet estimate that she was 2½ back then — which means she must be at least 15 now. Of course, back then I’d been guessing she was much older, but that turned out to be a health thing that we saw her through.

Anyway, no sooner had I finished reposting all of those entries than I heard what has become a familiar sound of late: Lucy whining because she wants to get up from her bed and can’t, or she has fallen and can’t get up. When that happens I go down (as I did minutes ago) to the basement shop where she shelters, and help her to her feet and steady her until she can get outside.

It doesn’t happen every day, but often enough. She’s on prescriptions for her arthritis and it seems likely the best her vet will be able to do for her is up her dosage. The thing is, once she’s on her feet and moving she toddles right outside to take laps around her rather large enclosure. I think her difficulty, when she experiences it, is from not having done any walking around overnight.

Her appetite is still good — I’ll worry when that stops — but 15 is well past the typical expected lifespan for a dog her size.

Contrary to the speculations in the old posts, we eventually learned from a DNA test that her parents appear to have been a purebred Jack Russell terrier (hence her youthful energy and excitability back then) and a Canaan dog (hence her size). We hope for her mother’s sake that the terrier was her father.

We currently have ten critters under our care: Lucy, our own three cats, and six inherited from Mrs. McG’s late mother a year and a half ago. The age range of the inherited cats spans maybe a bit more than a year, and the youngest of them is about the same age as our current oldest. We’re about to enter a period of mass attrition over the next few years; Suzie Q was the first of what will be a rather large graduating class.

If You’re Sober, Drive Like It

That, my only-half-joking advice to local drivers who may or may not be texting while driving or farding in their cars, has a more serious corollary:

If you’re at war, fight like it.

Clearly, President Trump grasps this as Obama did not. Dropping the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (a.k.a. “Mother Of All Bombs”) on ISIS in Afghanistan achieved more in one earth-shattering kaboom than all of Obama’s sternly-worded hashtags and invisible-ink “red lines” throughout his eight years in office.

Leftist academics who think they know more about smart diplomacy than Theodore Roosevelt did, would have been the death of civilization if we had let them have their way for much longer.

Cured

Mmmmm…. Bacon….

But no, that’s not what the headline means.

Back when I quit Twitter, I anticipated withdrawal pains — and I believed I might still need to follow certain accounts for severe weather information, etc. So I didn’t go cold turkey.

I didn’t follow anyone who would know me, and I plainly stated in my profile that followers would be blocked. I changed my handle and avatar a couple of times. Eventually I found that without interaction Twitter held no interest for me, and Twitter being the way it is no one needs an account to check the weather or emergency services accounts. In fact I had already deleted the withdrawal account by the time of last week’s tornado warning.

And I just realized today, more so even than last week, that I don’t even miss it. Twitter truly is now as dead to me as Facebook has been for lo these many years.

I do still regret that Pitchengine Streams has gone belly up, the last post to be found there is ten days old. I hope it wasn’t my Zuckerberg lawsuit joke…