Archive for December, 2012

Beltway Kabuki

It has been several years since Mark Steyn coined the term “Beltway Kabuki” to describe the liberal shenanigans of Washington politics. When I read the piece Steyn wrote with that term, I decided to add it as a category type for this blog.

Yesterday, Michael Ramirez captured Steyn’s sentiment in this cartoon. Enjoy the cartoon and we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year in spite of Beltway Kabuki.

Beltway Kabuki

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Green Hummingbird

Green Hummingbird

Although winter is here, the cardinals, thrashers, woodpeckers, finches, cactus wrens and the tiny hummingbirds can still be seen frequenting the feeders. This tiny green guy was perched in a creosote by the wash in our backyard. It didn’t fly off even though the camera lens was about five feet away. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Mars Science Laboratory - Curiosity Rover

Curiosity RoverOn August 5, 2012, The Curiosity Rover landed on Mars for its two-year-long mission to look for signs of life on the red planet. Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability.”

This image was featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday, but at a much larger and higher resolution. The composite image was constructed from 55 different images wherein the robotic arm holding the camera was digitally removed, making it appear as if it weren’t a self-portrait. Click on the image to enlarge.

To find out about the possibility of life (past or present), the rover carries the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the martian surface. The rover will analyze samples scooped from the soil and drilled from rocks. The record of the planet’s climate and geology is essentially “written in the rocks and soil” — in their formation, structure, and chemical composition. The rover’s onboard laboratory will study rocks, soils, and the local geologic setting in order to detect chemical building blocks of life (e.g., forms of carbon) on Mars and will assess what the martian environment was like in the past.

Portions of the description above, came from the Mars Science Laboratory Overview website.

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Orange Gerbera Daisy

Orange Gerbera Daisy

Now that the Christmas decorations are all taken down and put away until next year, I needed something bright and cheerful in the great room vase. So, I bought a handful of some yellow and orange Gerbera daisies and some white tulips. They look very nice in the vase. Click on the image to enlarge.

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End of Year Charity Donations - Soldiers Angels

It’s getting down to the wire for charitable donations for the 2012 tax year. Today, we made good on a promise to help out Soldiers Angels. In particular, we donated to the team Project Valour-IT to honor our Friend and fellow blogger Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, whom we met at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous a few years back.

Click on the animation to go to the Soldiers Angels home page.

Click on THIS LINK to go to the Valour-IT donation page.

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Merry Christmas!


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Christmas Palo Verde

Christmas Palo Verde

There is a small palo verde tree on the road in front of our house. Starting last year, I put some red ornaments in this nice little green tree for Christmas. Click on the image to enlarge.

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