Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Mar. 25th through Mar. 31st

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.


Page One of Comments is HERE!

  • Page Two of Comments is HERE!


  103 comments for “Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Mar. 25th through Mar. 31st

  1. JanF
    March 27, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Here is a tweet with a link to some photos taken by the yearbook photographer at MSD:

  2. JanF
    March 28, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Good morning, meesers! Wednesday …

    It is 28 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 57. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast.

    I think I must still be adjusting to DST because I am not waking up on my own as I usually do but am jarred awake by my alarm clock. My dreams are disturbing too which may be contributing to a sense of not getting enough sleep. It probably does not help that it is spring break and my schedule is disrupted by having extra activity in the house all day. Small problems!

    I read an article about the Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Ryan Costello, who is not seeking re-election because of the “political climate” including that his party’s president is Donald Trump. They thought they could elect a literal pig and protect him and pay no price. Costello was complaining that even though he voted against the ACA repeal, he gets blamed for it! Well of course you will – your vote meant nothing and people knew that. You cannot lay down with pigs and not smell like pig shit. Here is something we can take credit for:

    “[People] take what some other expert told them to say, like Topher Spiro, or whatever that guy’s name is.” That is indeed the name of the excitable Center for American Progress policy fellow who built up quite the Twitter presence during the health care fight by imploring his followers to flood congressional phone lines.

    So experts, telling people about the terrible thing that TrumpCare was, caused those people to call his office and demand he keep his hands off their government subsidized health care. Anarchy! :)

    In Wisconsin, Scott Walker tried an end around the court that ordered him to set election dates and the Dane County judge hearing his appeal for a stay until the legislature could pass a new law would have none of it. He pointed out that Walker is the guy who created the chaos and that his claim that setting the election dates before he could nullify the courts next week would create chaos was ludicrous. In any event, Walker’s only choice, it appears, is to set the election dates tomorrow and then somehow craft a law that “unsets” the election dates after papers start circulating. It will be interesting to see how far they will go down this path. If two Republican state senators get itchy about what they are doing to the rule of law, the bill will fail. The senator whose district includes the empty assembly seat is getting a lot of heat from his constituents – they want to be represented at the assembly level – and one other senator is uncomfortable with the optics. If there are enough people left in Wisconsin who are smart enough to understand the terrible precedent this would set, those senators could pay a price in November.

    Politico did an expose on the Hurricane Maria response and discovered that there was racism involved!! NOT breaking news, of course, but another reminder of how purity kills. There can be no forgiveness for those who helped elect Trump by their inaction.

    See all y’all later!

    • Denise Velez
      March 28, 2018 at 7:03 am

      Though I am not a Politico fan – was glad to see that piece! tweeted!

      • JanF
        March 28, 2018 at 10:53 am

        I have a like-hate relationship with Politico. I like that I can read most of the articles free but I hate that I have to weed through the junk stories – the Maggie Halberson(?) / Robert Costas type of insider “knowledge” stories – to find the ones that are actual reporting. The Puerto Rico story had actual journalism.

  3. Denise Velez
    March 28, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Wednesday Meese – raining and 36 here in NY – going up to 54.

    Got a late start – tired from midterm paper grading – and now have to hunker down for Wednesday writing chores.
    Am reviewing FEMA-PR – so it was good to see a few articles addressing their f-ed up response.

    The PR Day count continues:

  4. March 28, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Good Woden’s Day morning, Moosekind! When I took the dog out at 6, it was raw, cold, pitch-dark, and drippy. Now daylight has come and the sky is cloudy. Hope it will dry up enough that I can take Monty Beagle for a long walk. The current temp. is 38 F., going up to 54 F. In a little while I’ll cook breakfast for Grandpa and Miss Pink Cheeks.

    She really enjoyed her swim yesterday and had the whole pool to herself. We are still heavily engaged in the task of trying to sort out everything. We’ve already filled a box for Goodwill. Today I simply must make airline reservations for our flights to Texas for the family reunion in June. Dearly Beloved will stay here with the dog, but most of the family have never met Miss PC and are longing to do so.

    Have concluded that Twitter is bad for my blood pressure. When I read what the male Rethug legislators are doing in Indiana, my blood BOILED! Do these a**holes have nothing better to do than persecute women?

    Wishing a good day to all.

  5. anotherdemocrat
    March 28, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Thunderstorms, flash flooding…. interesting day. There was even a tornado southeast of us. Definitely not walking this morning. I have a hundred dollar check for the Ride that I need to take to their office, maybe I’ll leave early today, take it to them & get home in time to walk. Need to think of something to do to get that last $350 donated.

  6. bfitzinAR
    March 28, 2018 at 10:13 am

    49 and not gonna hit 60 today overcast and but not raining at the moment but we’re supposed to get more later in the day. Yesterday was so dark I only got 1.4 KWHs leaving the m-d-t sitting at 355.9 – still possible to make 400 but looking less likely. Need to average 11/day to do it. sigh.

    The Rs are getting crazier – some will drop out and hope to restart their political careers later trusting that people forget. Some will get nastier and eviler in highly unethical and probably unconstitutional attempts to maintain their hold on power. And meanwhile as long as they have that hold on power they are doing as much evil as they can hoping that if they lose power we won’t be able to find and clean everything up before they can get it again. (Like W moving his appointed moles into hired Civil Service positions – Obama was never able to get all of them out. Those are the “career” people who aren’t quitting under this administration.) So. We organize, register folks, and GOTV to win back every seat at every level – and try to make enough noise about the worst things that the MSM can’t ignore and government has to at least make token noises about addressing.

    Gonna do a quick tour of the internets then get outside and restack the wood the storm knocked off the wood pile while it’s still not raining. It’s not dry, but at least water isn’t falling from the sky right now. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  7. JanF
    March 28, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I am never sure what is true or not any longer but this tweet from an MSD student rang true enough that it should be shared. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to see my classmates lying in pools of blood in the hallways of my school.

    These are the stories that the Sandy Hook kids were too young to tell and that the Columbine kids didn’t realize at the time were important to tell. How could they know that nothing would be done 20 years later?

    • DoReMI
      March 28, 2018 at 11:07 am

      One of the early phone videos that came out on the 14th tracks with this. It was posted on Twitter, but I didn’t see it after that, so the person who posted it may have taken it down. It was nothing short of horrific…you could see the footprints of students racing to evacuate, because they had stepped in pools of blood. And the sound is something I’ll never forget; the keening of fear and horror by the survivors was a soundtrack of pain that I can’t shake.

      • JanF
        March 28, 2018 at 1:41 pm

        One of the videos was tweeted into my timeline while the story was unfolding. When I realized what it was going to show me, I closed it immediately. I don’t have to see the horror to hate gun violence – I still have flashbacks to accidentally seeing the Zapruder film.

        That young woman – really all the students within earshot of the shooting – will never be the same.

    • bfitzinAR
      March 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

      I’m glad she’s telling her story. I hope they all do. You are right, these stories are the ones the Sandy Hook kids were too young to articulate. The other kids didn’t have a venue exactly. Social media was newer. They were in shock but they weren’t treated as people in shock, they were treated as kids who didn’t know what was best for themselves. What the other situations really didn’t have was leaders from their own group. When Emma called “BS” and the other young folks not only backed her but also started speaking their own version of it, well, they provided both the leaders and plans – walk-outs, the march, bring in other kids (especially POC) who deal with it all the time, voter registration, vote them out. And by speaking up and telling their stories they allowed everyone to tell their stories – and start healing.

  8. DoReMI
    March 28, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Good morning, MeeseFolk. Started out the day at 36 with an expected high of 50. The rest of the week looks to be in the mid-40s, with rain every other day. I’d like to see a few more degrees of warmth and a bit less rain, but that will come. In the meantime, the birds are back, and the squirrels are active, so there’s no doubt that spring is here.

    The big news in my neck of the woods is local news. Our county clerk is being removed from office, because she lied about her residency on her election petition and is not eligible to hold the office. She beat her extremely-qualified D opponent by 0.2% even though she had zero experience and has been a problem from Day One. I’m glad to see her go, but now we have to wait to see who the court will appoint in her stead. In the meantime, it’s a cautionary tale about doing due diligence before voting, but I suspect that the folks who should learn the lesson, won’t.

  9. JanF
    March 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks, Samantha Bee!!

  10. princesspat
    March 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Good morning, 47 and cloudy in Bellingham. RonK is recovering from our cold misery faster than I am so he’s at the gym and I’m just waking up from a long night of coughing.

    No news to share, just best wishes to all.

    • March 29, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Yikes, princesspat, hope you will feel better soon, and glad to hear RonK is better!

  11. Denise Velez
    March 29, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Thursday Meese

    37 and raining here in NY – going up to 50.

    Tried to stay awake last night to see Samantha Bee’s PR special – whichh aired at 10 and fell asleep at about 9:45
    Will go find the video
    Keyboard pounding for Sunday – writing about FEMA fuck ups – PR

  12. JanF
    March 29, 2018 at 6:09 am

    Good morning, meeses! Thursday …

    It is 39 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 48. The sun will show itself briefly this afternoon but it will be mainly cloudy.

    Scott Walker blinked and will not take his anti-election scheme to the Wisconsin state supreme court after losing his appeal in conservative District 2 yesterday – he set the two elections for June 12th with a primary, if needed, on May 15th. I have not seen yet if the state will still bring up special elections changes in their session next week – there was a hearing yesterday on the bill and residents of those two districts were pretty upset that they have no representation. The question becomes whether a statute can “uncall” an election that has already been called. My guess is no. So without a specific democracy-destroying goal, they may opt to leave the statute untouched.

    Today is Opening Day for baseball! It is my favorite sport – and one I share with my mother – full of stories and statistics and moving at a pace perfect for a person reading and occasionally looking up at the TV or in a car listening on the radio. An excellent escape from the repetitious news cycle – yes, the Republican Party’s president is a pig, yes, the Republican Party are destroyers of everything that is good and decent but there is little We The People can do right now. We have good legal organizations on our side to hold off the worst of it (thank you, Eric Holder and Marc Elias!) and a really good chance to take back the House and maybe the Senate if we invest our time and resources into grassroots city-county-state politics.

    See all y’all later!

  13. JanF
    March 29, 2018 at 7:17 am

    This woman is an inspiration.

  14. anotherdemocrat
    March 29, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Dense fog advisory, after yesterdays thunderstorms. Woke up at 4:23, which was crazy early but close enough to my alarm that I just got up & got ready — it just meant more walking time. Did 30 minutes, 1.48 miles. Of course, with so little sleep, my brain isn’t quite… Playing the happy, dance-y remix of You’re the Best Thing About Me to wake me up.

    • anotherdemocrat
      March 29, 2018 at 8:50 am

      and Malcolm Nance & Sarah Kendzior have me worried:

      • JanF
        March 29, 2018 at 10:13 am

        The virus attacks are disturbing but companies are negligent if they are not planning for them. Some of the viruses can’t be eradicated – the only fix is to restore the data and rebuild the operating system on every infected computer. I was wondering what the deal was with Atlanta – are they really not prepared (unbacked up?) to the point where they will pay the ransom? Sheesh!

        I probably shouldn’t tempt fate by suggesting that the defenses against ransomware are 100% reliable – nothing is 100% – but there are things you can do to reduce the odds and you must have a good image backup of your data done at least daily. I have had two network clients hit by unremediable viruses – one was because of a badly behaved staff member who had been given too much power from management and opened portals to dangerous activities and one was because of a user whose personal email was compromised (that was easy to block) . Both of those provided valuable lessons and the benefits of using good quality malware protection and teaching best practices regarding Internet security.

        • bfitzinAR
          March 29, 2018 at 10:41 am

          Yes, I’m more or less flabbergasted that this is even possible. Small online vendors get hacking attacks daily and usually manage to fight them off – somebody as big as Boeing isn’t prepared for it? Something’s wrong with that picture!

      • JanF
        March 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

        More on Atlanta’s problem:

        The SamSam group is known for choosing targets with weak security and high incentives to regain control of their information and therefore are very likely to pay. Since December 2017, it has collected nearly $850,000 in ransoms from victims in health care, education and government, according to CSO. Last month, the city of Leeds, Ala., paid ransomware hackers $12,000 to release data in a similar attack.

        An audit of Atlanta’s information technology department shows the city was warned this could happen months ago, Cureton told NPR.

        “The audit found a significant level of preventable risk to the city. The auditor writes there were long-standing issues, which city employees got used to and also didn’t have the time or resources to fix. The audit concludes Atlanta had no formal processes to manage risk to its information systems.”

        And a Georgia-based cybersecurity firm called Rendition Infosec on Tuesday tweeted that it had uncovered data showing a handful of city computers came under attack last year.

        • bfitzinAR
          March 29, 2018 at 10:46 am

          Well, I unfortunately know what happens in a governmental situation like this. The folks writing the budget refuse to accept that there’s a risk and refuse to allot IT the money to deal with it. When I was in county government fortunately we managed to bring over an R and get out system secure – but that was a budget that went to 3 votes (budget has to pass by 2/3s) before we got it.

  15. March 29, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Good morning, Moosekind, and happy Thor’s Day! Misty and cloudy here in Ashburn so far, but apparently it’ll be sunny later. Currently it’s 45 F., going up to 74 F.

    We’re getting depressed by our chaotic surroundings. Dearly is breaking down more cardboard boxes; I have tons of laundry to fold and put away; and altogether, there is simply far too much to do and we don’t know where to put everything. Even when my (unassembled) desk arrives, I’m not sure where we’ll put it—the “den” is full of boxes of books! (I know, first-world problems.)

    On the other hand, it’s awfully convenient to be on a campus where one can go to the bank, buy a greeting card, and take an exercise class. Yesterday I attended a Cardio and Strength class. I meant to go to a Balance and Strength class this morning but it will have to wait until tomorrow—there’s just too much to do clearing this apartment.

    My orchid is not liking its new home. Have had it for four years, which is a record for Diana the Plant Killer! Don’t have any news to comment on today because it’s just the same-old, same-old.

    Wishing a good day to all.

    • JanF
      March 29, 2018 at 9:26 am

      I hope that soon your “chaos” will be a distant memory! At least it has an end point, the unloading and flattening of the last box. It sounds like you are doing it right – enjoying the things that you new home offers as a reminder of why you moved. I don’t relish my next move – the extreme dumping that preceded the last move will have to be done five-fold for the next. My plan is to do it while I am still healthy enough to move boxes around if I need to. It will become very expensive if it has to be hired out.

      Will you be having an Easter meal with family or with your new neighbors?

  16. princesspat
    March 29, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Good morning, 44 and cloudy in Bellingham. If I remember correctly to day is your day Jan. Happy Birthday!

    • princesspat
      March 29, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Wise thoughts, and nice to read them again Eat chocolate! Now!!

      We live in a stressful time where 24/7 news gives us 24/7 anxiety and there is nothing that we can do about 99.99999% of it. We can change our own little part of the world. Maybe. Whether that change is just within ourselves, extends to our own family or out into your community, it is still only a small part of the world.

      • JanF
        March 29, 2018 at 10:19 am

        Goodness! Even back in 2011, we were barraged by too much news!! I will not go looking for chocolate today because we are close enough to Easter that my sugar cravings can be met by Peeps – which I went to the store yesterday and stocked up on. :)

    • JanF
      March 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

      It is one of my cyber birthdays – I try to have many and keep the actual one a secret to thwart identity thieves and data miners. :) But I am always up for accepting birthday cheer – thank you!

  17. JanF
    March 29, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Iowa has delivered to the MAGA crowd exactly what they have been longing for: junk “health insurance” that covers very little and dumps you if you get sick! So for a very low premium you can pretend you are covered.

    The Iowa Senate gave final approval Tuesday to controversial legislation that would exempt certain health plans from Affordable Care Act mandates.

    The legislation would give small employers more freedom to band together to buy health insurance for their workers through “association health plans.” It effectively would allow insurance carriers to resume selling small-employer policies that don’t meet Affordable Care Act rules, also known as Obamacare, such as those requiring coverage for maternity care or addiction treatment.

    The bill would declare that the new coverage would not technically be insurance, so it wouldn’t have to follow state or federal rules.

    It is beyond irritating that they call the Essential Health Benefits (EHB)s “mandates” – no, they are required so that you don’t get fleeced, you stupidos! When the “farmers and small business owners” who clamored for this find that they are simply paying a Stupidity Tax, I wonder how they will feel towards the government that passed it?

  18. JanF
    March 29, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Hooray for Democracy!!!! By the way “boxed in” is Republican for “caught cheating”.

  19. bfitzinAR
    March 29, 2018 at 11:27 am

    49 doesn’t feel like it, might get to 55, still overcast and drippy. Yesterday’s 2.6 KWHs is better than the 1.4 of Tuesday’s but that’s not saying much. Got under 20 for the last 4 days combined. The m-t-d is 358.5 – 400 is still doable but it’s gonna have to seriously clear off this afternoon and stay clear for the next 2 days to do it. Possible but not likely. Still gonna beat March 2016 (360 KWHs) so that’s good.

    Twitter is full of sound and fury – If I had a better way to help besides RTing stuff I would back out of it and only use it to keep in touch with folks I can’t reach otherwise. Oh well. This too is Life. Things won’t get seriously political around here for a bit. The primaries are in May – I already know who I’m voting for and have her sign in my yard. The Dem party office won’t open until around the first of September. Meanwhile – I RT stuff.

    Seriously overslept this morning so having a very late start to the day. Need to tour the internets then do something about the woodpile that’s fallen over into the mud next time I get a patch of nothing falling from the sky. Don’t want to leave the wood in the mud. I might actually need it before the evening fire season is over. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  20. Denise Velez
    March 30, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Friday Meese
    48 in NY going up to 51 and raining
    Have the sniffles and sore throat – have to go to school. :(
    Interesting experience yesterday – a young HS teacher asked me to speak to his class – about the Young Lords and activism
    So I did – via Skype since the class was in Brooklyn – 2 and a half hours away
    The young people were all prepared with questions from the readings they had done – and it was a great experience. Very diverse group of students

    • JanF
      March 30, 2018 at 7:21 am

      Excellent way to harness the power of the Internet for teaching! Being there without having to travel is the most efficient use of time – something I discovered when I was able to support my out-of-town clients from my office here. I can work on several projects at once and be available for help desk for other clients at the same time; when I travel somewhere I am unavailable for large chunks of time.

      I hope your sniffles and sore throat don’t turn into a nasty cold. :(

      • Denise Velez
        March 30, 2018 at 8:02 am

        I was not familiar with using Skype – and didn’t realize how much students could see of my office – until one of them commented “nice pictures and wow – lots of books” (the walls of my office are full of art work)
        Sniffles are worse and with a slight fever I’m staying home.

        • bfitzinAR
          March 30, 2018 at 11:31 am

          {{{Denise}}} – Lots of Healing Energy to you – don’t forget the 500 mg vitamin C every couple of hours & some garlic soup to boost your immune system.

          I’ve only done Skype once or twice but yeah the camera covers a lot – they use it in my old department for, among other things, search committee interviews of applicants who for some reason cannot make the trip to Fayetteville in the time allotted. Sounds like something you could do a lot more of once you’re “retired from teaching” – as if you ever could be. Not pulling a paycheck from a school, yes. Teaching? never. moar {{{HUGS}}}

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