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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Friday 23 June 2017
    Currently at 5:03 AM 60°


    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD
    Tuesday
    Jun132017

    Toddler Watch: Dear Leader Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    The 45th president of these United States, better known as Jared Kushner's father in-law, held the first meeting of his entire cabinet yesterday. This is a motley crew of GOP lifers, hangers-on, dopes, fire starters, and Mitch McConnell's wife (who is several of those things. -ed). While mostly a photo opportunity, a startling and brazenly un-American thing happened—one by one, they went around the room pledging their loyalty to the president.

    This doesn't happen in a functioning democracy, but it happened yesterday.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Jun072017

    Toddler Watch: The Adults Testify This Week

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    You might wonder how the various investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections and the now 45th president's cooperation and coordination with said meddling are coming along. At this point, it's hard to know. The independent prosecutor, former FBI head Robert Mueller, isn't sharing status updates. The House and the Senate, however, are holding hearings this week featuring the former FBI Director, the director of National Intelligence, and some other folks who are making Marmalade Mugabe very nervous.

    This is gonna be great.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    May262017

    Toddler Watch: Poor Impulse Control Edition

    Friends,

    The United States of America, a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, last year elected an orange buffoon as its leader. One of the reasons that old white people in this country voted for him, we're told, is that because they're anxious about their economic fortunes, they thought a successful businessman would be the best choice. This man would negotiate trade deals with other nations that tilt in favor of the United States. A master negotiator would also be able to bend foreign ministers to his will, the thinking goes, to ensure that America isn't stuck holding the nightstick as the "world's policeman."

    Here's the master negotiator in action at his first NATO summit in Brussels...


    Economically anxious white people in Montana also voted in a special election yesterday to elect a man who beat up a reporter the day before as their sole congressional representative. This is more dangerous.

    I strongly believe that NATO is a self-healing institution and can route around problems, like the grandstanding grifter who lists "45th President" when he takes out new loans with the Russians. However, he and the new GOP representative from Montana, and the people who support them, are showing that it's okay to rough people up to get what you want. That it's perfectly fine to beat on a member of the media who's pressing to get a question answered on the eve of an important election.

    Pay attention to these things, dear reader. This is how we lose a democracy.

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    May242017

    All Hail The Orb!

    Friends,

    Our president, a 70-year old orange toddler, has stayed up way past his bedtime during his first foreign trip as the leader of the free world. (since you put it that way, it's time to jump off a bridge. - ed At least wait for the midterms.) During this trip, he has said dumb things, coddled dictators, and has reshaped America's foreign policy to comport with the thing the last person he spoke to told him. In other words, the trip was going as expected, until he encountered The Orb.

    Was The Orb part of some elaborate stagecraft by the Saudi king to open the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, or something more nefarious, as portrayed on Twitter? Maybe it was something else entirely...


    Your pal,

    - bob
    Tuesday
    May162017

    Toddler President Watch: Leaking State Secrets Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    A heavily-sourced story by the fine folks at The Washington Post (Cripes, are they going to save this nation's bacon again? every 45 years, like clockwork. -ed) reported that some septuagenarian toddler we call the 45th president shared highly classified information with the Russian ambassador. You remember the Russians, don't you? They're the ones who threw the last election toward said toddler through a disinformation campaign fueled by hackers, social media dupes, and willing stooges.

    Anyway, the toddler's nannies and enablers in the White House denied the story yesterday. This seems pretty normal. Why would you admit that you shared secrets that inherently compromise our sources with the enemies of our democracy?

    I don't know. Why don't you ask that toddler yourself, since he admitted sharing that information today.

    It's not a crime, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be removed from office for doing it. In fact, it helps reinforce the existing case for impeachment. Now all we need is a Congress that worries more about the country than their party.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Thursday
    May042017

    You Know, General Welfare

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    The coalition of GOP sharps, weasels and dandies along with the dullards, chicken frighteners and snake charmers in the U.S. House of Representatives are poised to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act this morning. Well, not so much a replacement as a tax cut for the wealthy that's paid for by pricing 20 million Americans out of their health insurance. Why?

    Campaign donations and fear of facing a primary challenger who lacks more spine and heart than the incumbent. By the way, lacking a spine and a heart would qualify as pre-existing conditions for these goons, punting them into expensive high-risk insurance pools...

    Or it would if Congress hadn't exempted members from their new scheme that's just fine for you. Good luck!

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    Mar242017

    The American Experiment: Testing The Low Values Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a my driveway
    Friends,

    Whether it's stripping healthcare out of a healthcare bill because it's too generous, hunting bears while they're hibernating, or removing online privacy protections so ISPs can make a dollar, the majority party in this United States Congress has been busy. Why do they hate people, sleeping bear cubs and people? Because there is a dollar to be made, and your modern Republican Party is chock full of people who have no interest in you.

    I propose that while we bide our time until they can be voted out of power, we have a little fun at their donor's expense: keep as many browser windows open and search for as many different things as your computer will allow. Let's work together to make our browsing and search histories worthless!

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Sunday
    Mar052017

    A (very) Short Respite

    A lovely centered picture of a mountain, a building, and some cars
    Friends,

    I seem to be suffering lately from a fatigue brought on by an elderly orange man from Florida who has managed to destabilize this great country using little more than a Twitter account. He has surrounded himself by right-wing ideologues, dullards, kleptocrats, toadies and various hangers-on who are working with this elderly orange man to frighten old ladies and Australians while annoying Sweden and other people whose worldview hews towards facts and logic.

    Because I count myself among both the frightened and annoyed camps, I'm grateful to take a little break. This piney paradise, while not cut off from media, insists that inhabitants go outside and enjoy this gift.

    Until the new Secretary of the Interior sells off the forest to the highest bidder.

    Dammit. So much for my break.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    Feb172017

    Vicious Storm Update

    A lovely centered picture of our boys hard at work
    Friends,

    As you are no doubt aware, our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam, works tirelessly to bring you the most accurate weather forecasts possible every single weekday when she gets around to it. She does this by dispatching teams of scientists from her tide pool to the four corners of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains and use the latest scientific techniques to tirelessly gather data for her prediction models. Yesterday was no exception.

    Teams of highly trained meteorologists fanned out from the Secret Alpine Laboratory and collected a breathtaking amount of weather and climate data. These figures were used to compute The Idyllwild Weather Clam's prediction that it would rain yesterday in Idyllwild, California.

    It didn't.

    We apologize for the error.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Tuesday
    Feb142017

    Happy Awkward Valentine's Day

    A lovely centered picture of Joyce Mathews
    Friends,

    As you know, we here at the Secret Alpine Laboratory cherish your readership and understand that you have many options when you're looking for nonsense on the Internet. We're pleased as punch that you've chosen to stop by this hot mess and look forward to your continued patronage.

    All the best to you and yours while we hold up this sign sort of on our shoulder but mostly on our neck, and it's not weird at all and actually very comfortable, why do you ask?

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    Feb032017

    On The 25th Amendment

    A lovely centered picture of a nice lady doing nice things
    Friends,

    Sometimes you've just got to get rid of the president. Maybe you start hearings and he resigns and you get the mess pictured above, and sometimes you invoke the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because the president is unfit to serve. Either way, now would be a good time to do either of those things.

    And please remember to punch a Nazi. Thank you.

    Your very best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob
    Thursday
    Feb022017

    This Day In History (without rodents)

    A lovely centered picture of a nice lady doing nice things
    Friends,

    Every February 2nd, I like to share with you some events from history to illustrate that today isn't just about rodents and my Birthday Holiday Season.

    This year, the subject of defeating fascism is at the top of my mind for some reason, so here are some instances where the bad guys have been punched in the face (and worse!) from history:
    • In 1942, auto factories in the United States switched to war production.
    • The first active resistance to Nazis in Norway was undertaken in 1942 to protest the installation of a puppet government.
    • In 1943, the German 6th Army surrendered to Russian forces at Stalingrad, which was sort of a big deal.
    So if you were thinking of getting me something, take a picture of someone you love punching a Nazi. I'll post them here!

    Your best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob
    Tuesday
    Jan312017

    The Magic Of Webcammery!

    A lovely centered picture of the computer room
    Friends,

    Over the weekend, I replaced the old webcam server with a not nearly as old webcam server and the results so far have been better than I'd hoped. The new server is more responsive, has more storage, and should be able to stay up and running more consistently. Plus, it's a nice way to keep technology up and running and useful that some Cupertino-based computer companies have deemed obsolete.

    During the transition, I temporarily lost one of the primary cameras, but I added a new one that's taking great pictures. Now you can see what the neighbors are up to during most of the day and some of the night.

    That's not creepy, is it?

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Monday
    Jan232017

    Programming Note: Webcam Issues

    A lovely centered picture of the computer room
    Friends,

    Just a brief note to let you know that the webcam server at the Damp Dog Lodge has gone down and it may be the end of the line for the old gal. The machine is almost 15 years old, which is nearly 400 in computer years, so it might be time to put it out to pasture.

    The good news is that our crack team of engineers is working on the case and we should have a replacement ready to go in a few days.

    All we have to do is figure out what this knob does...

    Your best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob
    Saturday
    Dec312016

    Happy New Year!

    A lovely centered picture of an improbable event
    Friends,

    I know that you're sick and tired of 2016. How could you not feel beat down by so much death, destruction, hatred and betrayal? You thought you could count on your fellow Americans to do the right thing and so many of them failed you. Failed us. Failed, in the end, themselves.

    You're tired and just want it to be over. Well today's your lucky day! 2016, the year when hope ended, is actually ending in a matter of hours. 2017 will finally be here. Hope won't be good enough anymore. We've got to get up and get to work and fight for every scrap and want every small victory. We can do this.

    Tonight I leave you with this wish: that your champagne is filled with horseshoes and your roosters are filled with wonder.

    Get some rest. We've got a lot of work to do.

    Your best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Dec142016

    Transition Team

    A lovely centered picture of the transition team selecting cabinet secretaries.

    Friends,

    It seems that the transition from the administration of the 44th President of The United States to the 45th is going great as illustrated in this photo taken during a meeting in Trump Tower. The selection of people who know nothing to run government agencies they hate and have longed to dismantle is an enormous middle finger to the less than one quarter of the registered voters who selected this carnival barker.

    You know, they guy who's too smart to listen to intelligence briefings? Yeah, that guy.

    We're doomed.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    IMPORTANT GOVERNANCE UPDATE: Oh yeah, he also picks people based on their looks. What a buffoon.
    Wednesday
    Nov232016

    Happy Thanksgiving: Presidential Edition

    A lovely centered picture of the president of turkey.

    Friends,

    Just a brief note to wish you all the very best Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It's been a rough couple of weeks, but let's take a couple days off to relax with friends and family before we get back to our plans to win the midterms!

    Or something.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    P.S. Special thanks to the President of Turkey for his appearance at the beginning of this post. Now it really feels like Thanksgiving.
    Thursday
    Nov102016

    The 2016 Jaunty Election Guide: 50% Turnout Edition

    Friends,

    The election results are in and with only 50% turnout in one of the most acrimonious, contemptible races in the modern era, this country has elected a fascist as the next Commander-In-Chief. Congratulations!

    To everyone who voted for Tangerine Mussolini, please take a moment to explain to all of the black, hispanic, Jewish, Muslim, and female people in your life why you don't care about them. While you're at it, I'm interested to hear why you apparently value party over country, bonkers ideology over security, and choosing a carnival barker to represent the United States to the world. Also, considering that the dead-eyed granny-starving Speaker of the House is champing at the bit to dismantle Social Security, please explain to the elderly people why you don't care about them either.

    Shameless.

    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    The 2016 Jaunty Election Guide: Something Easy

    A lovely centered picture encouraging you to vote

     

    Friends,

    I have to admit that this election has left me cold and exhausted. I certainly haven't been as interested in discussing the merits of banning plastic bags, which I support, against grabbing bag fees and reallocating them towards something else, which is a trick by the plastics industry. We get the chance to end the death penalty in the state during this election and that should have been a big topic for debate, but it wasn't.

    What we got instead was so many candidates for President of the United States that the selection process resembled little more than news anchors swatting at a hornets' next with a stick that was far too short. Thanks to the insatiable teevee ratings machine, a bloviating yam was given too much free airtime to make outrageous, and to my sensitive ears unamerican, statements about minorities and majorities. Once they had the statements recorded, they could play them over and over, asking pundits what they thought about them. "Outragous or TOO outrageous? We'll ask our panel after this commercial break..."

    While this was happening, people who would normally be considered apologists for any other candidiate in any other election cycle instead went on camera and denied that their favorite tangerine-tinted bota bag ever said anything offensive. Or even said that thing that was on full display on the video running beside them. I believe that this distaste for the facts is unprecedented in Republican politics, and that's really saying something considering their recent history in the Congress.

    What alarms me about this election is that there are so many disqualifying aspects to the GOP's Orange Julius Caesar that it's hard to know where to start: Financial ties to Russia? He hasn't released his taxes? In hock up to his eyeballs? Bragging about sexual assault? Misuse of a personal charity? Calling for the trial, jailing or assasination of his political opponent?

    That's not the alarming part. We know he's a terrible human being. What's alarming is that there are too many people in this country who think all of that is okay. Okay in their president.

    It's not okay. It never was. You can help save the United States and the rest of the free world by voting for a competent candidate who won't throw a temper tantrum and blow us all up. You can vote for a woman who has the skills to apply reason to a problem, not just a tweet storm. You can vote for someone with a lifetime of public service who has faced scrutiny and survived instead of a man who lashes out when people make fun of his tiny hands.

    You have one job America.

    Sunday
    Sep182016

    The 2016 Jaunty Election Guide: An Introduction

    A lovely centered picture of a dog on a mission.

    Friends,

    I'm very sure that you're completely tired of this election cycle. I don't blame you. If I lived in a country that was so full of dopes that it was perilously close to electing a dope to its highest office, I'd be upset too. I mean, if there were only two major parties where I lived, and one offered a candidate who had solid policy proposals and serious plans to achieve them, while the other nominated a man so averse to the facts, so clearly obsessed with his own personal advancement over the general welfare, that there should be no contest. But there is and we could possibly be doomed.

    But let's think about this. Would the next Congress sign off on anything a theoretical President Racist P. Yam might propose? I suspect not and this makes me feel a little bit better.

    So why not throw a fit about something we can do something about? This year, here in California, we have 17 state-wide initiatives covering everything from plastic bags (again) to legalizing marijuana (again) to requiring condoms for porn. Thanks to the confluence of the genius of the Internet and the idiocy of A Jaunty Little Blog, I have made a dumb promise to cover each and every one of these initiatives in detail.

    Starting as soon as I get around to it, the posts will start coming for each initiative in reverse order (because it'll look cooler in the blog) from Proposition 67 right up to Proposition 51.

    Excited? Of course you are. Me too.

    Very excited.

    Your pal,

    - bob