Saturday, October 20, 2018

"And Will You Be Having A Virus With That...?"

     There's some kind of head cold making the rounds at work.  We've all been trying to be careful, lots of handwashing and disinfectant spray and all that.  But when I came home last night, I realized my throat was feeling a bit tender.

     Took an extra multivitamin and had a couple of cups of strong tea on the theory that it couldn't hurt.  Woke up this morning no worse than before, after a night of what I am assured is "not terribly bad snoring from the other end of the house."*

     So I guess we'll see.
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* From time to time, it wakes me up.  And now I know what words without vowels sound like.

Friday, October 19, 2018

It's Cold Now

     And it's going to stay cold the rest of this month.  November is not notable for hot weather, so there it is.  No "Indian Summer" this year; temperatures went from eighties to fifties in the course of a day.

     The yard is littered with leaves and I am hoping Saturday afternoon, the yard will be dry enough to set the mower lower and see how much of the leaves I can mow up instead of raking.

     Possibly the roads will be dry enough I can ride my motor scooter a little; I have had very little time in the saddle this year and I miss it.  Between rain and road construction, this wasn't a favorable summer for riding.

     Of course, the gutters need cleared -- gutter screens would be an excellent idea.  Managed to clean them from a ladder instead of from the roof last time, a slightly slower but much safer method.  Maybe I'll try that Sunday.  It will be colder but the work is active enough to keep warm.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

And Now, Music

     You need something with good bass response and decent stereo separation to fully enjoy this.  It came on the radio on my drive home last night and I found it charmingly askew:

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cold Weather

     The good thing about cold weather: the cats really like me.

    The bad thing about cold weather: the cats still don't get along all that well.  They can be pretty chummy if they both want to nap, but Huck is very playful and Rannie isn't interested.  Sometimes he pesters her out of what is probably boredom.  And sometimes it happens in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fungus Before The Cold

     It's turned cold here in Indianapolis; last week, it went from high-eighties to mid-fifties in a single day and it has stayed chilly.  Overnights have been flirting with frost and may have reached it last night.

     Before the sudden turn, the heat and moisture had allowed plenty of fungus to flourish in the yard, mostly puffballs and toadstools.  Over a week ago, coming back from taking the trash out, I saw a kind we hadn't had before:
     Shelf or bracket fungus.  Possibly "Artist's Conk," though I hope not, since that kind definitely does the tree no good.  This is on our oak tree -- "our" in this case including a neighbor, since the tree is right on the property line.  It does make for a nice early-Fall scene.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ballot Access

     Indiana is unusual in having three political parties with non-petition ballot access.  The third party is the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

     It's not a sure thing.  The last I knew, a party needed to get two percent of the votes for their candidate for Secretary of State in order to get and keep non-petition access to ballots.  That means they don't have to go out and collect signatures for each of their candidates; instead, the smaller parties have normal nominating conventions.  (Reaching the ten percent threshold would require them to run in the primaries, but only the Republicans and Democrats have that -- so far.)

     What this means is if you want to see the LP remain on your ballots, if you want that third choice, it's important to vote for their candidate for Secretary of State.   If you don't want them on the ballot, vote for someone else for that office.  This year, there are only three choices, but if you favor some other minor party, and they run someone for that office, vote for that person.

     It's not especially obvious and Secretary of State is one of those obscure offices that most of us don't think about much, other than hoping whoever has the job is honest and competent.  But it's an office where your vote does more than just determine who will get the job.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Beef Stew

     Last night, tonight and probably for lunch next week:
     A pound of stew beef, a half-pound of steak tips, a hot Italian sausage squeezed out of the casing, carrots, celery, onion, orange bell pepper, a big potato, fresh mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, beef stock, pinto beans, parsley,  garlic, basil, marjoram and rosemary.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rogues Gallery

Here are my ballot choices.  Note that several races have only one candidate.  I don't think that's a good sign.  Is there no Republican or Libertarian who considers him- or herself a good (and electable) alternative to State Representative Ed Delaney?  No one from the LP or GOP wants to try for the job of State Assessor or Washington Township Trustee?  Constable of the Small Claims Court?  (A thankless job.  We should probably be happy anyone's running for the office.)  Of course, I'll be voting to remove all the judges.  Nothing personal, I just think they shouldn't get too comfortable.

The following lists all of the public questions that will be on your ballot during the next election. Please note that this list of public questions is supplied and maintained by the Indiana Election Division and counties. If this information appears to be incorrect or incomplete, please contact the Indiana Election Division. A VOTER WHO IS NOT 18 IS NOT PERMITTED TO VOTE ON A PUBLIC QUESTION.
Category Title Question
Court of Appeals Judge Retention COURT OF APPEALS JUDICIAL RETENTION DISTRICT 2 "Shall Judge Robert R. (Bob) Altice, Jr. be retained in office?"
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT Shall Judge John Chavis be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT Shall Judge Alicia A. Gooden be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Grant W. Hawkins be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Heather Welch be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge John F. Hanley be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Jose Salinas be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Steven R. Eichholtz be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Amy M. Jones be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Clark Rogers be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Helen Marchal be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge James A. Joven be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Linda E. Brown be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Lisa F. Borges be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Mark D. Stoner be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge Sheila A. Carlisle be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Shall Judge William (Bill) Nelson be retained in office?
Local Judge Retention MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR JUDGE Shall Judge Clayton Graham be retained in office?
Ratification of State Constitutional Amendment PUBLIC QUESTION #1 "Shall Article 10, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenues unless a supermajority of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement?"
Supreme Court Justice Retention SUPREME COURT JUSTICE Shall Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter be retained in office?
UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM INDIANA JOE DONNELLY DEMOCRATIC
UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM INDIANA MIKE BRAUN REPUBLICAN
UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM INDIANA LUCY M. BRENTON LIBERTARIAN
SECRETARY OF STATE JIM HARPER DEMOCRATIC
SECRETARY OF STATE CONNIE LAWSON REPUBLICAN
SECRETARY OF STATE MARK W. RUTHERFORD LIBERTARIAN
AUDITOR OF STATE JOSELYN WHITTICKER DEMOCRATIC
AUDITOR OF STATE TERA KLUTZ REPUBLICAN
AUDITOR OF STATE JOHN SCHICK LIBERTARIAN
TREASURER OF STATE JOHN C. AGUILERA DEMOCRATIC
TREASURER OF STATE KELLY MITCHELL REPUBLICAN
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, FIFTH DISTRICT DEE THORNTON DEMOCRATIC
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, FIFTH DISTRICT SUSAN W. BROOKS REPUBLICAN
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 086 EDWARD O. DELANEY DEMOCRATIC
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OF MARION COUNTY, 19TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT TERRY R. CURRY DEMOCRATIC
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OF MARION COUNTY, 19TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT BENJAMIN D. STRAHM REPUBLICAN
MARION COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK MYLA A. ELDRIDGE DEMOCRATIC
MARION COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK KYLE LEFFEL REPUBLICAN
MARION COUNTY AUDITOR JULIE VOORHIES DEMOCRATIC
MARION COUNTY AUDITOR CAARN HEIR REPUBLICAN
MARION COUNTY RECORDER KATE SWEENEY BELL DEMOCRATIC
MARION COUNTY RECORDER PAUL ANNEE REPUBLICAN
MARION COUNTY SHERIFF KERRY JOSEPH FORESTAL DEMOCRATIC
MARION COUNTY SHERIFF BRIAN K. DURHAM REPUBLICAN
MARION COUNTY ASSESSOR JOSEPH P. O'CONNOR DEMOCRATIC
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE, MARION COUNTY FRANK T SHORT DEMOCRATIC
JUDGE OF THE MARION SMALL CLAIMS COURT, WASHINGTON TWP. STEVE G. POORE DEMOCRATIC
JUDGE OF THE MARION SMALL CLAIMS COURT, WASHINGTON TWP. MATTHEW DODSON REPUBLICAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 3 MICHELE LORBIESKI NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, AT LARGE SUSAN J COLLINS NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 3 EVAN HAWKINS NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, AT LARGE JOANNA ELIZABETH KRUMEL NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 3 MICHELE LORBIESKI NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 3 SHERRY LYNNE SHELTON NON PARTISAN
MARION INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD, AT LARGE MARY ANN SULLIVAN NON PARTISAN
CONSTABLE OF SMALL CLAIMS COURT, WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, MARION COUNTY STEVE MILLER DEMOCRATIC

Friday, October 12, 2018

Trick Question

     In the upcoming elections, there's a Public Question on the Indiana ballot:

     "Shall Article 10, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenues unless a supermajority of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement?"

     Hey, sounds pretty good, right?  Sure -- except Art. 10, Sect. 5 currently reads:

     "No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense."

     It just says No.  Unless there's fighting in the streets or it's a penny-ante loan, N O.  There's no supermajority-sure-borrow-money exception.

     We should keep it that way.  Vote NO on the Public Question. Our Legislature had that kind of power once, and bankrupted the state.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Who Would Vote For That Person?

     People tend to view the politics of others through the lens of their own views. If you think government is a wonderful boon, someone who thinks of it as a necessary evil seems terribly wicked, and someone who points out that most of our interactions actually happen without or even in spite of government guidance or control will strike you as naive or peculiar.

      And yet each of those thumbnails (and all the gradations of opinion in between between, not to mention more extreme views) approximates the outlook of someone who is satisfied that it represents reality. That's the world we live in. It might be fun to think of everyone with a different take from your own as ignorant or evil, but it's inaccurate at a level that will trip you up badly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It's Robert A. Heinlein's Future...

     We're just remixing it.  Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos?  D. D. Harriman.  Nehemiah Scudder?  Take your pick; there are plenty of candidates.

     And wouldn't you rather live in Heinlein's future than William L. Shirer's past?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Bipartisanship

     Indiana Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly and challenger Mike Braun agree on one thing: at last night's debate, they ignored Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton.  She was making good points, but she might as well have not been in the room as Mr. Braun and Sen. Donnelly rehashed their campaign ads at one another.  Repeatedly asked by the moderator to stay on topic, they never strayed from their talking points.

     Remember Dems saying, "Listen to the women?"  Ms. Brenton might as well have been hollering down a well.  And while the GOP likes to claim they embody old-fashioned, chivalrous politeness, that didn't appear to apply to listening and responding to points made in a debate.  She said it best: "These two gentlemen are part of the problem," she remarked during the debate.

      I'm not impressed by either man.

      And I'm still voting for Lucy Brenton.