Annals of Regression

I wish we were saying goodbye to this kind of stupidity along with 2017, but I fear not. “Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid.”

One of the markers of civilized living used to be having water piped into your home, but that’s so twentieth century. Now we have “raw” “live” “real” water, untreated and ready to grow some algae.

There was a spring not too far from where we lived. My mother would occasionally take us kids along to fill up bottles of water for drinking. The spring was capped, and the water came out in a sluiceway that made it easy to fill the bottles.

I can recall drinking water from streams on hiking trips. That was before giardia became a big concern and before there were lots of people hiking in the mountains. I know, giardia comes from the natural animals that naturally live in those places. I never got sick from it.

I’m concerned about the lack of understanding of chemistry and biology shown by the people described in the article. The writeup is not bad. Here are a few of my thoughts as I was reading it.

At Rainbow Grocery, a cooperative in this city’s Mission District, one brand of water is so popular that it’s often out of stock. But one recent evening, there was a glittering rack of it: glass orbs containing 2.5 gallons of what is billed as “raw water” — unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water, $36.99 each and $14.99 per refill

Santa Fe water rates are high, an $18.42 monthly service charge, plus $6.06 per 1,000 gallons for the first tier, and $21.72 per thousand gallons after that. The “raw water” is about $6 per gallon, a thousand times as much.

An Arizona company, Zero Mass Water, which installs systems allowing people to collect water directly from the atmosphere around their homes, began taking orders in November from across the United States…The system — called Source, which retails for $4,500, including installation — draws moisture from the air (the way rice does in a saltshaker) and filters it, producing about 10 liters of water a day and storing about 60 liters.

Gonna take a long time to amortize that initial investment.

There is some nonsense about fluoride. That’s kind of amusing – resistance to fluoride originally came from the right wing. General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” drinks only pure grain alcohol and rainwater to maintain his purity of essence from the fluoride put in by the gummint for mind control. This time around, it’s the hippies (or whatever we’re calling them today). Fluoride has been studied, and no harmful effects have been found at the levels added to drinking water. It’s kind of wonderful (to me anyway) that kids today have so many fewer cavities. That’s from fluoride.

I think it’s a federal requirement that water systems send out an accounting of the trace elements and potential bacteriological contaminants in their water. I know I get them twice a year and am always impressed that the numbers are so low. But that’s part of what the new water fanatics are concerned about: not enough “good” minerals and probiotics.

He said “real water” should expire after a few months. His does. “It stays most fresh within one lunar cycle of delivery,” he said. “If it sits around too long, it’ll turn green. People don’t even realize that because all their water’s dead, so they never see it turn green.”

Eh. The green is algae. If a closed bottle of “real water” turns green after one lunar cycle, also known as a month, it had algae in it to begin with, or spores. And who knows what else – E. coli, V. cholerae, S. enterica. Just thinking about that makes me want to boil water before I drink it.

The thinking seems to be part of the general desire to get away from the ordinary and brand oneself as special, along with magical thinking about the purity of nature and nature spirits. I wish we could turn this kind of energy toward dealing with global warming.

 








Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Woman! And the Horse She Rode In On Too!

The details:

After one drink too many, a four-legged animal might seem a better option than a four-wheeled vehicle.

But sadly for one Florida woman, the police did not agree – arresting her on Thursday for “drunk-driving” a horse.

Donna Byrne, 53, was arrested in Polk City, central Florida, for “DUI on a horse,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Byrne is also accused of animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection for the horse, placing it at risk of injury or death while riding it along the busy road.

According to police, who were called by a passerby, Byrne appeared intoxicated when officers arrived on the scene.

“Ms Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road. She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.

The horse was taken to a sheriff’s office animal shelter.

I really don’t want to know what this is referring to:

Byrne is also accused of animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection for the horse, placing it at risk of injury or death while riding it along the busy road.

Remember folks friends don’t let friends drink and canter.



Mai Tai Early Morning Open Thread

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Have your man place, into a large cocktail shaker, a jigger each of fresh lime juice, Diplomatico aged Venezuelan rum (for the flavour), and British Navy Pusser’s rum (for the kick), along with half a jigger of Cointreau, a heaping half of orgeat and a small spoonful of brown molasses sugar. Have him add tons of ice and shake like buggery. Pour into glasses and serve in the afternoon sun with a selection of snacks and the new Ball Park Music album.

Cheers to Walter, and his new mum Debit, and especially to our blogmaster, Cole – a fine and decent man who makes the world a better place.








July 3rd Capitol Hill meet-up

For a variety of reasons, I am in Washington, DC at the start of next week.

Would anyone want to go grab a beer or two around Capitol Hill on Sunday, July 3rd in the late evening.  I’ll supply the green balloons if you can recommend a good place to meet at 8:30.

 



Cheers! Open Thread

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Friday night drinks with my sweetheart. Two Caipirinhas – slightly more tart than I like, but just what I needed after an arsehole of a week. Sweet vermouth (Punt e mes, I suspect) on ice with an olive and a slice of orange for me, and a London Calling for him. A Gretzel with beer and cheese sauce. Tuna crudo with fermented chilli, onion, dill and flat bread. Shots of Tapatio Reposado to celebrate Gregory’s birthday. Some concoction with Poor Tom’s gin and who knows what else whipped up by Jamie, the adorable Scottish bartender. Two perfect replications of a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, except crunchier and cheesier and oh-so-much-more-Filet-O-Fishier. An Old Fashioned made with rye, and a Red Hook. Two chocolate chip cookie and blackberry ripple ice cream sandwiches. Whisky from some damp and peaty god knows where, and a spectacular rum from Guyana that tasted of brown sugar toffee, even though we were just a little bit drunk by that point, because Jamie did the sexy eyebrow thing. One taxi home for special snuggles.

Don’t mind if I do, thanks.

Drunk posting on Balloon Juice very late at night and oversharing while giving your local a plug.

Life could be worse.

Happy Friday, kiddies. How have you all been?

I should inset some witty comment here about how the evil squirrel that lives in Donald Trump’s hair and controls him with little levers connected to steam-driven pistons has been huffing antifreeze and getting his Mexican birth certificate rape babies on, or how our entire political system is even more fucked than Jeb!’s chances of securing the Republican nomination.

But it’s time for bed – or maybe another drink.

Seriously though, come to Sydney. Come and see my friends Gregory, Naomi and the rest of the team at the Gretz. They’re lovely. And Gregory’s American. So you folks will understand what the fuck he’s saying.

This is your open thread.

Much love, and fuck you all.

Sarah

P.S. The real me is somewhere in the photo above. It’s like Where’s Waldo if Waldo was a grumpy, fictional old lady with impulse control issues and a pottymouth.



Friday Evening Open Thread

I invented this wonderful cocktail just moments ago:

  

It’s about 1/4 vodka, 1/4 apple cider and half ginger ale. And garnished with a cinnamon stick! (Mine sank, which is that thing at the bottom of the glass — not a beetle!) 

What shall I call this heavenly concoction? Apple Gingerooski? 

What are you up to this evening?



Fevered Dreams And Flaming Rants

In the midst of the worst outbreak of measles in decades in the US, it’s important to note that it took less than 24 hours after President Obama remarked in his interview yesterday with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that parents should vaccinate their kids for the GOP clown car cavalcade to jump on the anti-vaxxer train.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said the government needs to strike a “balance” between public health and parental choice in making decisions about vaccinating kids, even as an outbreak of measles is spreading among unvaccinated people in the United States.

“We vaccinate ours [kids], and so, you know that’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion,” Christie said when asked if he would urge Americans to vaccinate their children. “You know it’s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that’s what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

When people say “You know, Obama should come out in support of breathing just to see Republicans turn blue and pass out” as a joke, and then hours after Obama says “Vaccinate your kids to keep them from getting awful shit like measles” (one of the most infectious diseases out there people) we have Chris Christie saying “Well, the government should respect parents not wanting to vaccinate your kids” and it makes me want to research experimental tectonic weaponry so that I can rend huge swaths of the planet’s crust asunder and drown millions in flaming magma-based melty death.

And these are the same exact people who screamed in October that Obama’s government wasn’t doing enough to protect the country against Ebola.

I mean these assholes have spent the last 25 years sowing so much distrust of government and then breaking the parts of it that actually worked, like the part where we’ve effectively eradicated measles in the US, that now we have to collectively deal with a goddamn outbreak of goddamn MEASLES in the year TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, when we have self-driving cars and internet on our wristwatches and airplanes and we have 27 flavors of Oreo cookies and dudes working on high-speed tube travel and computers a billion times more powerful than when my dad was born and oh yeah HE GOT VACCINATED FOR MEASLES IN THE SIXTIES AND THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT because he didn’t get the frigging MEASLES YOU SEPTIC TANK BRAINED CHODEMONKEYS.

We’ve dumbed down the country and made such an enemy out of science and critical thinking and civic responsibility that we’re all like “Well, you know the responsible thing to do is we should let parents decide if America should be covered in an entirely preventable and horrible infectious disease that will infect 90% of the people who aren’t vaccinated who come in contact with it because I read on Twitter how the vaccine might cause a one in a million chance of autism.”  Because there is a 999,999 out of a million chance that you are a colossal idiot.

There is a large subset of Americans who would rather give kids measles than listen to Obama at this point, and at least one 2016 GOP hopeful who now wishes to cater to that subset and is trying to equate vaccination programs to government tyranny, and I want to hurl heavy objects and I am now very sad.

[UPDATE] And now Christie is walking these comments back.  Still an idiot.