Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lindsey Vonn Missed the Brass Ring

But got the Bronze medal: American Lindsey Vonn takes bronze in likely final Olympic downhill race
Lindsey Vonn knew the bronze medal she earned Wednesday came in her final Olympic downhill, the signature event of her singular career. She knew that, but she didn't have an easy time processing it.

That's why the words "probably" and "most likely" kept slipping into her sentences. Why she marked the occasion by posing with dozens of folks for a group photo near the finish line. Why she engaged in a series of warm, lengthy hugs -- with her sisters; with U.S. coaches; with the winner, her good friend Sofia Goggia of Italy; with the runner-up, Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. With, seemingly, anyone she could grab a hold of.
Sofia Goggia
Ragnhild Mowinckel, mow that's a name that should make a Viking proud!
"I wish I could keep going. I wish this wasn't my last Olympics, but it is," Vonn said, looking down at the snow underfoot and shaking her head, "so I'm trying to accept that and deal with the emotions of that and enjoy the ride."

Ragnhild Mowinckel


Goggia finished in 1 minute, 39.22 seconds, just 0.09 seconds faster than Mowinckel. Vonn was 0.47 seconds off Goggia's pace.

"I came here ... with one goal: to beat Lindsey," Goggia said.
Well, it wasn't exactly a bad career.

Now we'll get to see how she stacks up against Mikaela Schiffrinin the Alpine combined.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Golden Eagle Spotted on Eastern Shore

Eagle provides a ‘golden’ moment to crown a day of birding
We had just finished a wonderful three hours enjoying the avian bounty of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Cambridge, MD. Our animated discussion about winter waterfowl was slammed to a halt as a huge raptor flew right in front of us and disappeared into the trees bordering Key Wallace Drive.

The bird was only in view for a few seconds, but the identification was unmistakable. Huge, powerful, dark brown and wearing an elegant golden scarf — it was a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and we were momentarily speechless.

Worldwide, there are only about 300,000 golden eagles. About 35 percent of them spend some portion of their lives in the United States. Seeing golden eagles outside their breeding range is a rare sight. The big bird’s bulk and beauty made the sighting as exceptional as it was uncommon.

Roughly the same size as the familiar bald eagle, goldens are impressively large with wing spans of 7 feet. As is common with raptors, females are bigger than males. A female golden eagle can weigh more than 11 pounds, while males average a bit less than eight. The golden eagle is almost completely covered in dark brown feathers, all the way down to its toes. Golden feathers cover the nape and crown. The late afternoon sunlight was perfect for viewing those eponymous feathers.
. . .
Golden eagles feed primarily on small mammals. On the breeding grounds, this means hares, rabbits and prairie dogs. Occasionally, these massive birds attack and kill much larger game such as deer and bighorn sheep. They also eat carrion and will steal food from other birds, such as fish from osprey.

In the Chesapeake region, golden eagles rely on waterfowl as their main dietary source, taking geese, swans and great blue herons, along with rabbits, squirrels and the like.
To the best of my knowledge I've never seen a Golden Eagle. I'd sure like to. 

Too Much Russiagate Again

So you mostly get links:

Stung by accusations that their boosting of Russian inspired anti-Trump demostrations stirred polarization, CNN saysTrump's Twitter Venting Against FBI Is Just What Russia Wants, and pointing away from themselves, says Social Media Companies Could Be Prosecuted as Traitors For Running RUSSIAN Ads. First Amendment for me but not for thee. Trump Corrects McMaster on Russian Meddling: 2016 Election Results ‘Were Not Impacted or Changed’. In a classic "Kafka Trap", John Ziegler alleges that The Best Evidence of ‘Russian Collusion’ Is Trump World’s Reaction to the Allegation. If you deny it, you're guilty.

Stacy McCain: No, Russia’s ‘Rinky-Dink Troll Operation’ Did Not Change the 2016 Election Result. If they did, American politicians, who spent over 1000 times as much, are doing it all wrong, but given that they're American politicians, I suppose it's possible. Media Start To Second-Guess Trump-Russia ‘Collusion’ Conspiracy Theory And third guess, and fourth guess, and just plain start making up shit.


Booby Mueller indicted another Russian who he'll never have to go to the trouble of trying:  New Mueller Indictment Handed Down; Update: Oligarch Son-In-Law And Dossier Link?  How Bob Mueller Bought Himself More Time. Indicting real Russians who'll never face trial.  Ken Cuccinelli thinks Trump is exonerated by Mueller indictment of Russians. It'a sort of hard to collude with the Russians when you're not yet running for President. Mueller threatening new charges against Paul Manafort in bid to deplete ‘resources,’ attorney says. It's an old Mueller tactic to force a guilty plea; even if they win the trial they end up broke.

At Ace's J.J. Sefton also has a nice set of links:

Rush: The Establishment is Out to Get Trump, and Every Day is a TrapNunes Demands Answers from 11 Current and Former Government Officials About DossierReport: Congressional Investigators Struggling to Find Alleged Dossier SourceSchiff-for-brains Aims to Have Democrat Response Meme-o Released This WeekIs a Former Feinstein Staffer Running Fusion GPS's Post-Election Steele Dossier Operation?Lawyer Mocks Mueller's "Magical Ability" to Indict with Non-Collusion AllegationsMueller Indictments Reveal Russia's Real Goal - And Who's Been Helping ThemThe Media Changed More Votes in 2016 Than the Russians


I Love America and All, But . . .

Singing the Stars spangled Banner as a torch song is just wrong: "Fergie has officially stolen the title of the most controversial national anthem performance from sitcom queen Roseanne Barr."



Fox News Reports.

Roseanne's tweet: "Who saw Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey." As she explained in 2015:
“I started too high. I knew about six notes in that I couldn’t hit the big note," she admitted. "So I just tried to get through it, but I couldn’t hear anything with 50,000 drunk a--- booing, screaming ‘you fat f---,’ giving me the finger and throwing bottles at me during the song they ‘respect’ so much.”
At TMZ, Fergie explains:
"I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best."
Compare Roseanne's rendition:



But Fergie is much better looking: