Wednesday, November 30, 2016

V.W. at S.P.U.D.

The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon when I went to St. Paul University Dumaguete to fetch my son.

I'm reasonably sure that this is one of the Volkswagens that I photographed and posted before. Never the less, I decided to go ahead and post this new photo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Recount

Regarding the Green Party plans to pursue recounts in a number of States, Jill Stein Tweeted -

"I will do a recount in any state where the deadline has not passed. Help my staff find state deadlines".

Hillary Clinton's campaign counsel, Marc Elias said the campaign's own investigation has not uncovered any evidence of hacking of voting systems. Elias also said,
"Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.".

So, as far as Democrats and Green Party members are concerned, it doesn't matter that there is no evidence to justify a recount, they'll waste time and money pursuing a recount simply because they can.

Before the election, it was Donald Trump who was criticized for his possible unwillingness to accept the results. Now, that's all forgotten by the Left.

If I Were King............

Back in early October, it was being widely reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would be imposing a nationwide ban on cigarette smoking in public before the end of the month. October has come and gone without the smoking ban.

This month, the Department of Health (DOH) recommended that electronic cigarettes (e-cig) and vapes be included in the public smoking ban. Part of the reasoning behind the ban of cigarette smoking in public has to do with the obvious health issues from second-hand smoke. I don't know if e-cigs have the same issues regarding second-hand smoke, but if second-hand smoke is a serious health concern, the Philippine government should consider banning the outdoor burning of trash and refuse.

Being near a house where outdoor burning is going on is a nuisance - when more than one household is engaged in refuse burning at the same time, it is more than a simple nuisance and borders on a serious health hazard.

Of course, we still haven't seen the cigarette smoking ban yet. Perhaps it's wishful thinking that much will be accomplished.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sugarcane Harris

Listening to Zappa's Burnt Weeny Sandwich LP, I recall the terrific violin playing of Don Sugarcane Harris, who was featured on the LP.

Searching the Internet for information about Harris, I discovered that the wikipedia article on him gives his date of death as both November 27, 1999 and November 30, 1999. The footnote verifying his DOD is a link to Harris' New York Times obit which states that Harris was found dead on Dec.1 in his Los Angeles apartment by his landlord. His obit gives the DOD as Dec.1st.

Evidently, the exact date isn't known, due to his having been found dead some time after the fact.

All Things Must Pass

On November 27, fortysix years ago, in 1970 when I was a mere 18 year old whippersnapper, George Harrison realeased his solo album, All Things Must Pass.
From the wikipedia article on the LP:
"According to Colin Larkin, writing in the 2011 edition of his Encyclopedia of Popular Music, All Things Must Pass is 'generally rated' as the best of all the former Beatles' solo albums".

I would go one step further, I would consider it the best of all the former Beatles solo or group albums. I consider it better than any Beatle LP.

Hack Update

In a post from last Thursday - 1st in SEO.......1st in Racism?- I wrote of one company's planned to end all business relations with Republican and/or Trump supporters. As I wrote in that post, I disagree with the owner's view that Trump is a racist or a fascist, but I felt he was free to do business with whomever he wants.

I also mentioned in the post that portions of 1st in SEO's on line profile had been hacked. It appears that those hacks have been dealt with, although there is still something curious going on with the company's presence on Google Maps.

The first two photos below are from my earlier post, showing that the name "1st in SEO" had been exchanged with "1st in racism". The third photo shows that all references to the company had been removed from the map of Albuquerque. The 4th photo shows the situation as it now stands. When going to the "contact us" section, the Google Map shows the location for "SEO Miami - IPXSEO.COM". Whether this is intentional on 1st in SEO part, or another hack is something I can't address.

Calabaza Pie

One of my holiday specialties when living in the U.S. was sweet potato pie.

Occasionally, I would make pumpkin pie instead - the basic ingredients to either pie is essentially the same, you just substitute sweet potato for pumpkin or vice versa.

Over the years, I had even begun using a third substitute. Butternut squash.

There were a few obstacles in my way when I wanted to make the same pies here in Sibulan. My attempts at growing butternut squash were unsuccessful. The sweet potatoes grown here aren't like the sweet potatoes grown in Georgia or Alabama, and I don't particularly like the taste and texture. It seemed to me that a good substitute would be the squash grown here, generically referred to as calabaza.

There was one problem which I thought might be insurmountable; the crust. In the U.S., there was really no need to learn how to make a proper pie crust. A perfectly good, frozen pie crust was always available. If I was going to bake this pie, I'd have to make my own crust. Fortunately, I found a pie crust recipe on the Crisco shortening can.

I went online and watched a couple of videos showing how it's done and I put together my own pie crust. As can be seen in the photos, the crust isn't the prettiest crust I've ever seen, but taste is the important thing, and this one tastes as good as any I've ever had.

As for the filling, I simply followed a recipe for a deep dish pumpkin pie and substituted the baked calabaza for the pumpkin.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Another Random VW in Dumaguete

There is a festival going on in Dumaguete and the traffic was especially bad this afternoon. We were on our way to visit friends who live on the other side of town, when we came upon this VW stuck in traffic. Everything was moving so slow that getting the camera from the glove compartment and taking a photo of the car was easy going.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

1st in SEO.......1st in Racism?

Back in the day when businesses owned by Christians were refusing to cater to - or bake cakes for - same sex "weddings", I supported the right of the businesses to refuse service to customers whose values did not agree with theirs. Many were comparing the refusal of Christian bakers to bake wedding cakes for such ceremonies as the same as other bakers in the past, not wanting to participate in bi-racial wedding ceremonies.

I pointed out that, as someone who is in a bi-racial marriage, I would want the business who did not accept our marriage to make their views public. I wouldn't want to do business with someone who objected to my marriage and I couldn't understand why a same-sex couple would want to force someone, who objected to their marriage, to take their money. It made no sense to me.

When I learned of the owner of an Albuquerque NM-based Internet marketing company, 1st in SEO and his refusal to do business with Republicans and/or Trump supporters, I agreed that it was his right to do business with whomever he wants, and if he didn't like Trump, then OK by me.

I personally wouldn't do business with Matthew Blanchfield or his company - not because I'm a big Trump supporter, but I do believe that Blanchfield's characterization of Trump as a racist and a fascist is completely wrong.

Personally, I believe Matthew Blanchfield has a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, but that's his problem, not mine.

I went to the 1st in SEO website to read Blanchfield's letter first hand. While at the website, I did a bit of exploring and discovered that someone has hacked areas of the company's profile.

As can be seen from the screen shots below, someone had changed the company's name on Google Maps from 1st in SEO to 1st in racism. The Google Plus name was altered to 1st in racism as well.

At some point after I took the screen shots, someone at the company had corrected the hack. But, screen shots are forever. I had nothing to do with the hack, but I believe the screen shots should remain available on the Internet for all to see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

VW Beetles in Dumaguete - the GraveYard

This afternoon, as I neared the spot where I had taken one of yesterday's VW Beetle photos, (the one near the melons) I looked to my right and saw a Volkswagen Beetle graveyard tucked away, off the side of the highway.  Odd, I drive by there every day and hadn't noticed it before.

Passing the spot, I turned around at my first opportunity and went back to photograph the cars.

The photo of the yellow VW posted yesterday was taken a few weeks ago, and I thought that there was the possibility that the two were the same vehicle. No worries. I've checked, and the tags have different numbers - although, you all wouldn't know that since I cut out the numbers in the photos.

Trump Lied To Get Votes

Trump Won’t Pursue Charges Against Clinton.

So, the whole "lock her up" thing was just something he said to get votes.

You still believe he's going to build a wall?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Volkswagen Beetles in Dumaguete

Before moving to Philippines from the U.S.of A. I looked into the possibility of bringing my automobiles with me. It wasn't that I had anything particularly fancy, but I thought that it might be an option, if the price was right.

I was soon disabused of that notion. With the high taxes and restrictions on what vehicles can be brought into the country, I saw that the cost was far too prohibitive for my budget. Because of the practical impossibility of bringing a used car here, I was surprised to find a relatively large number of Volkswagen Beetles being driven around in the Dumaguete area.

It's not like there are a gazillion here, but three of the five photos posted here were taken this afternoon after I had decided to start taking random photos of the Beetles I come across. Those three photos were also taken within the municipality of Sibulan - contrary to the title of this post.

As a general rule, I rarely go out without my camera and a spare battery. Now that I've posted these five Beetles, I'll put forth an effort to photograph more Beetles that I see.

After Guy De Maupassant

Over a month ago, I began reading the the complete original short stories of Guy De Maupassant which I'd downloaded from Project Gutenberg. There are 300 short stories in the collection, and in an earlier post, I predicted that this would be the last book I finish reading in 2016.

As I post this, I've read 75% of the short stories and will probably finish them all before this year is out. I've already begun looking into which author I'll read after finishing Guy De Maupassant. At first, I considered French writer Émile Zola's Rougon-Macquart series which consists of 20 novels. I didn't want to commit myself to the task of reading all twenty until I've read the first,The Fortune of the Rougons . I changed my mind about Zola presently when I discovered that many of the early English translations, which I'd download from Project Gutenberg were "bowdlerized" versions of his work.

I have two other choices. Marcel Proust's seven volume In Search of Lost Time (AKA Remembrance of Things Past) which is available at the Project Gutenberg Australia website - the work is under copyright in the U.S., but not Australia.

The other choice is something written by E.Phillips Oppenheim. I may try at least one of Oppenheims novels before making a major commitment on Proust.

Beethoven Piano Sonatas

This morning, I decided to listen to the entire catalogue of Beethoven's piano sonatas. It will take just a bit over 10 hours to listen to the 32 sonatas. I won't do that in one sitting.....or even one day. I'll stretch it out over 10 days.

Thanks to Spotify, I have access to several artists to choose from.

I wanted a recording with one pianist performing all 32 rather than a CD set featuring more than on performer. For this, I decided on Mélodie Zhao who, in 2014, at the age of 19, became the youngest pianist to record all of the 32 sonatas. At age 13, she sets the world record as the youngest pianist ever to record Chopin’s 24 Etudes. I'll save those for another time.

Merkel meets Urkel

I came upon the above photo via an article in Der Spiegal when Barack Obama recently traveled to Berlin to show his support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The photo looks way too lovey dovey for my tastes. Obama's facial expression and dreamboat eyes toward Merkel are even creepier than Joe Biden's behavior at his creepiest.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

UK Researchers Want Meat Tax to Reduce Climate Change

It seems as if I may have started raising pigs just in the nick of time. If the University of Oxford and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC has its way, the price of meat and dairy products will skyrocket in the not too distant future.

A study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food reportedly show that about one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided in the year 2020 if emissions pricing of foods were to be implemented. In other words, a tax on food from animal products, which the group says produce high emissions of greenhouse gasses.

The group maintains that a high emissions tax will drastically reduce the consumption of meat and dairy products which they believe will, in turn, help fight global climate change and make us all healthier to boot.

Just how they could possibly issue a world wide tax remains to be seen.

I seems unlikely to me that the people in the U.S. will stand for a 40% increase in the price of beef. While its difficult to know how Hillary Clinton would have reacted to pressure from climate change activists had she been elected, we can be sure that President Trump will not go along with this emissions tax.

It's unlikely that Philippine President Duterte would agree to tax the Filipino people's food. Even if he did (which is unlikely) there would be a thriving black market on pork and chicken in the country.

Fortunately, with my own supply of meat, I won't have to worry about such foolishness.

Sophie Theallet Diagnosed with TDS

In yet another case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, fashion designer Sophie Theallet - who has designed dresses for Michelle Obama - has called for Fashion Boycott of Melania Trump.

Ms. Theallet's TDS is so severe, she has vowed never to design a dress for the soon to be First Lady - despite not having been asked.

During the election campaign, Melania Trump wore outfits designed by Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Gucci, Michael Kors and Dolce & Gabbana.

 No word on whether any of those designers will join the boycott.

Dems with TDS want to Prosecute Trump Before EC Vote.

In a sign of total desperation due to a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, someone named D. Kunfro has started an on line petition at asking the US Justice Department, the Attorney General, and the Department of Homeland Security to "Prosecute Trump for illegal offenses before the Dec.19 Electoral College Vote"

The petition reads:

"We respectfully call upon the appropriate Federal Authorities to thoroughly investigate the many possible illegal offenses of Donald Trump, the Trump Corporations, and the Trump Foundation before the members of the Electoral College meet to cast their final vote on Dec. 19. The Electoral College was created by the framers of the constitution to protect against corrupt demagogues; the Electors should be given the full opportunity to vote their conscience if it is formally determined that Trump has broken the law. Throughout the campaign, allegations of Trump's illegal activities have surfaced: tax evasion, business scams, tenant intimidation, hiring of undocumented workers, illegal trade, bribery, sexual assault, incitement of violence, and collusion with a foreign government to influence an American election. If Trump is guilty of crimes, he does not deserve to be our President".

At the time of this post, the petition has garnered 50,193 supporters. I'm not one.

Needless to say, I won't link to the petition.

Another Satellite Photo

In a recent post, [The Property as Seen from Overhead] I posted a screen shot of the location of our property in Magatas as seen on Google Maps. After posting that photo, I checked the exact location using the GPS on my mobile phone. (I'd never done that before). The screen shots in this post are a more accurate photo of the location. 9° 20' 32" N 123°16' 31" E

Before and After the Storm

Friday afternoon, after lunch my wife and I drove out to the property in Magatas to check the progress on the septic tank. The top photo and the two following below were taken that afternoon.

As can be seen, at that time the septic tank had reached its highest level and pvc elbows had been added. The only thing lacking, was the top and the finishing.

Friday afternoon, about 4:30 or 5:00 PM it began to rain steadily. Saturday evening the rain returned with a vengence. Last night's storm was the heaviest we'd had in quite a long time. I was afraid that the septic tank would be filled with rain water. I was also worried that the sand would have been washed away by the rain and perhaps, even the sacks of concrete ruined as well.

I drove to the property after Mass today, expecting the worse. What I discovered upon arriving was a very, very pleasant surprise.

As can be seen in the last photos, the work was completed Saturday before the storm. The top was put on and the blocks on the entire septic tank were finished. In one corner, under a cut sack, there is a manhole. There is still a bit of sand left over from the project as well as 3 sacks of concrete. The concrete was put into the bahay kubo for safe keeping.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

All the Way From America

The husband of one of our neighbors has just returned from Texas, where he works, and, as promised, he has brought a package of yellow squash seeds for me.

I'm hoping that I'll have better luck with these than I've had with other seeds from the U.S.. I believe my mistake with the butternut squash was that they were planted in a spot that received the full brunt of the Philippine sun.

Unlike my tomato seeds, I was able to germinate the butternut squash seeds, but the plants could survive the intense sunlight. If these yellow squash seeds germinate, I'll plant the seedlings in a spot that has a shade covering.

I know, I shouldn't count my squash until the plants bear fruit, but I'm really looking forward to making a squash casserole.

The Property as Seen from Overhead

I've written quite a few posts on our property in Magatas, Sibulan. I thought it was time that I included a screen shot of the property location as seen by satellite on Google Maps.

The property is located in the "boondocks" (as opposed to the bundok) and the closest named location on Google Maps is the Barangay Hall in Magatas.

Coming from the Poblacion Barangay in Sibulan along the (unnamed) Magatas road, the Barangay Hall is located on the right. It's seen on the left in the above photo. Crossing the road, one sees a little road headed east. I use the word 'road' loosely here. A car can go down to the 'intersection' shown on the map. To that point, it's drivable. Just past the intersection above our property is the place where the right of way begins. Until that right of way is paved, no car can reach the property, although it can be reached by mini dumptruck.

The Google Maps page from which the screenshot was taken can be found here.