Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In skimming the interwebs for data on various topics, I acquired some bits that fit together as follows:

Even using a lowball figure, it appears a year of prosecuting the Iraq war cost approximately 15 times the 2013 NASA budget. Put another way, 25 year of funding NASA totals just one quarter of what it's cost for seven years of war in Mesopotamia.

Put a third way, 17 astronauts have lost their lives aboard spacecraft in the entire course of NASA's history, while nearly 4,500 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since the conflict began. (Civilian casualties have been harder to pin down, but one figure so lowball it plows a furrow puts it at roughly 66,000.)

I'm not so silly as to think that if there hadn't been that war, the money would instead have been wholly dedicated to our space program. Realistically, it would've been best if the money had never been borrowed in the first place.

But let's say that money had been borrowed with no upfront goal in mind; if it had been used to triple the annual NASA budget, there would've been well over another two billion annually to apply to things like upgrading our infrastructure, going full speed ahead on renewable energy, giving our national parks system a real boost…all kinds of things that would've made us a rightly prouder nation with a much brighter future.

Ah, pipe dreams…
I'm a Reagan-era Republican in Arizona, and I consider myself sane. So why, oh why, do I remain a Republican, especially after the Bush/Cheney catastrophe? Well, believe it or not, there are sane Republicans here who do run for office, and those are the ones I ferret out (they do have a tough time getting much upfront press) and who get my vote. That effort may seem on the order of trying to bail out the Titanic with a teacup, but maybe, just maybe, we might get enough teacups going…

—posted originally as a facebook comment

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

There hasn't been much life on Bull Darts in the last year and a half, and that's mainly due to life going along pretty much as it always has. (Also BING going south; hell, I barely Tweet anymore.) There have been a few events, such as my sister Joanne getting married to her long-time sweetie Hank, my wife Susan becoming a RAW Powerlifter (yeah, we're talkin' bench press and dead lift and the like), our latest gardening efforts producing actual produce, various home cooking milestones—fried catfish, oven-baked home fries, chili verde, home-ground meats, roasted brussels sprouts—and the erection of a car canopy to keep our Forester from being broiled and blistered by the Arizona sun, northern style.

Biggest impending event is the arrival of twin grandnephews, courtesy of nephew Rob and his wife Shar—if I remember right, their debut is expected sometime this November. After nearly a decade of chewing on the matter of having kids, Rob and Shar just recently decided to go for it and, wouldn't you know, set themselves right up for a double-header!

The abandoned movie theater at the Frontier Village mall has recently reopened as part of the Picture Show chain; if that goes well, we won't have to always haul it to Prescott Valley every time we want to see a movie. We'd like to attend more film festival showings at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, but the seating is just a little too rugged for our aging posteriors. Otherwise, it's the DVD collection and Netflix, and we're on our fourth year without cable TV.

I'll close this by saying that we are very grateful for the very rainy August we've been experiencing. The threat of fire here and the surrounding region has been greatly reduced, which is a vast relief after the horrible experiences of late spring and early summer. It is more rain and humidity that we've seen at this time in years, and it's stirred a lot of grumbling, but said grumblers can go take a flying leap 'cause we're still deep in a drought and we need every drop of moisture we can get!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm drinking red wine from a box…that is, I'm drinking red wine poured from a box into a wine glass…the last wine from that box, in fact…

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Normally, I'd never read Henry James. But times are strange…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is it just me, or are there other people on this planet? That's really been bothering me lately…

Sunday, November 6, 2011

So the peanut crop falls short by 13%, and peanut butter immediately jumps nearly 200% in price. Latest version of an old story, but still…