230901 – Just 3 Weeks Left In Paradise

A photograph that haunts me.

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Even small birds can have bad tempers, as any backyard birder who feeds hummingbirds well knows. These tiny birds often have the biggest attitudes, and their aggression can make for an entertaining show. However, this hummingbird behavior can be a problem for other hummers at backyard feeders when one aggressive bird may chase many others away from the feeding area.
 Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. They are the smallest migratory birds, weighing about the same as a nickel. They are called hummingbirds for the humming sound made by their wing beats.

Are Hummingbirds Territorial?
Many birds show aggression when they feel their breeding territories or feeding areas violated by intruders. Aggressive behavior is typically strongest in late spring or early summer when the birds claim territory and defend nests. Among North American hummingbirds, the rufous hummingbird has one of the worst tempers, but all hummingbird species may show anger and aggression to varying degrees. Male hummingbirds are often more aggressive at feeders, while females attack near their nests, but this angry bird behavior can be amazing to witness with both genders.

Another reason why hummingbirds fight is when food is scarce. They can’t afford to share flowers when blossoms begin to fade; they have a long way to go after the nectar is gone. The angriest hummingbirds may be aggressive well into the fall as they defend prime feeding spots in preparation for migration.

How Hummingbirds Show Aggression
Hummingbirds may be tiny, but they have a formidable array of weapons and threats at their disposal to discourage unwelcome visitors. When a hummingbird feels threatened, it may show aggression in a variety of ways, including

Loud, fast-paced chirping, buzzing, or chittering is one way to get an intruder’s attention and let them know an area is already claimed. When a resident hummingbird spots an intruder, it may raise the volume or quicken the pace of its songs and calls to advertise and strengthen its territorial claim.

Threat postures show off a hummingbird’s size and strength to discourage unwelcome guests. A male hummingbird may flare his gorget to show its colors more brightly, a sign of his strength and health that could dissuade intruders. Other aggressive postures include flaring the tail, raising feathers on the crown, spreading or raising the wings, and pointing the bill at the intruder like a dagger.

An angry hummingbird may first hover in front of the intruder—whether it is another hummingbird, another animal, or even a human—and then fly high above them before diving nearly straight down right at the intruder. The base of the dive is usually marked with a sharp chirp sound made from the tail feather position, and that sound acts as another warning to unwelcome guests.

Chasing away intruders is a common way hummingbirds are territorial and show aggression. A dominant hummingbird may first confront the intruder, often at a feeding area, before charging at them and following them far away from the feeder or flowerbeds. Angry chirps and other sounds often accompany these chases.

Fighting is often the last resort for aggression and discouraging intruders, but it happens regularly. Fighting hummingbirds use their needle-like bills and sharp talons as weapons. When the birds connect with an enemy or ram them in flight, they can seriously injure, even kill, other hummingbirds that do not yield to their dominance.

Even the angriest hummingbird usually starts with the least aggressive option to defend its territory. Hummingbird sounds, threat postures, dives, and chases are the most common interactions between competing hummers.

Saturday – Persecute clay pigeons in the morning. Jo and Dan invite us round to their Labour Day Pizza dinner with their family. Turns out to be awesome steaks, indoors as the weather’s too dodgy. As always awesome food and great company.



 I came. I saw. I forgot what I was doing. Retraced my steps. Got lost on the way back. Now I have no idea what’s going on.
 If you can’t think of a word, say “I forgot the English word for it.” That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of an idiot.
 I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.
 I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.
 I don’t mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
 I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented. …I forgot where I was going with this.

Sunday – Sarah and Brett take us down to the Red Maple for Brunch and Dim Sun. In the evening Wendy goes to a musical “Nine” at the Egyptian – for some bizarre reason Wendy thinks about the wives of Henry the 8th, that he only had 6 and that musical called “Six” seems to have eluded her. Fortunately I’m allowed to pass, I’d rather lick piss off a nettle, than watch a mediocre musical at the Egyptian. So, I get a quiet evening in watching the TV programmes I enjoy and Wendy detests.

China town.

Thursday – what a full day. Starts off with a new hike from Cove Trailhead with Mark and Joe. In the afternoon it’s coffee and cake at Betti’s – a German tradition. In the evening it’s the free PCMSC Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Deloris Center. Good food and a good evening.

Friday – another full day. Moved Bowling to the afternoon so we can hike or bike in the morning. Starts off with Sarah leading her “easy” hike up Ecker Hill to the flagpole. A good hike, only 2.5 miles but given that it’s 670 feet elevation gain and the last 200 yards would even challenge a mountain goat, I don’t think it’ll be added to my easy hike repertoire. In the the afternoon it’s bowling. Then back home to set off down to the Greek festival with Wendy and Mike, it’s the biggest West of the Mississippi. Good food, dancing entertainment but big and busy. Enjoyed the experience, worth the trip.

Saturday – Clay Pigeons as usual and then in the evening Howard and Nancy come round for sandwiches from Stacked, they do an awesome Reubens with thick home made Pastrami.

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Magnesium Chloride binds ultra-fine dirt particles together creating a hard surface that is more stable than untreated roads and surfaces. By regularly applying Magnesium Chloride for dust control, roads will have less erosion, fewer potholes, and require less maintenance.


Sunday – starts off with a hike at the top of Guardsmen’s Pass up “9K” with Mark and Joe. In the afternoon we go over to Rockport State park for a walk with B&M. The idea was to explore and walk along the 3D archery range to see if it’s worth bringing my bow next year. Weather had other ideas.

Range looks good, spread over about a 1 mile, with some great 3D targets, even if they are a tad far away. I can see plenty of lost and damaged arrows.

B&M then come round for dinner.



Monday – yes, it’s the anniversary of that awful day 9/11. Sadly so many seem to have forgot. And even more worrying so many forget the religion behind it all – yes, you guessed it the religion of pieces and permanent offence, Islam. Yes, a barbarian raghead islamist in a cave caused so much disaster, so many lives lost, and we’re still paying the price. Just remember every time you’re in a TSA queue who and what religion was behind it all.

Tuesday – after an easy hike in the morning off to the Oakley Diner with Mike, S&B. A tad disappointing but at least I have the free tee shirt.

Wednesday – farewell lunch with Carol.

Friday – start the day off by finally hiking up to the top of Quarry Mountain. A tad disappointing but at last I’ve done it and got it off my mither list. It’s a bit of a death march, 700+ feet up in a mile, mainly there for mountain goats.

Afternoon is bowling with the other geriatrics “Last Of The Summer Wine American Chapter”, followed by dinner out with Ruth and Mark at the Grub Steak restaurant. An awesome meal. It’s restored my faith in PC restaurants which seem to be suffering from an epidemic of mediocrity this year. Has to be the best meal we’ve had in PC this year and needless to say great company.

Saturday – lazy morning then of course it’s clay pigeon persecuting. Not that I manage to persecute too many.

In the afternoon Wendy and I have volunteered to help out at the Hike For Hunger. I’m dishing out purple wrist bands for those that look over 21 to prove they can have a drink. Only in Utah can they get so uptight about drink laws. Sadly doesn’t seem as well attended this year and somewhat disorganised and inundated with 10 year old volunteers – common sense is short supply. Well at least we got the tee shirt.

After a couple of beers and a bourbon we pick up a takeaway from Chubasco. Mike joins us for dinner. My Burrito’s bigger than an overgrown meatloaf and full of pork. Leave half of it to fill the trash can.



PARK CITY, Utah — After taxes and fees, a peak season day of lift ticket will cost over $300 at both Deer Valley and Park City Mountain for the 2023-24 ski season.
Last year peak season prices topped out at $259 a day at both resorts. Earlier this year TownLift reported that a peak season day of lift ticket at Deer Valley would cost $289 or $315 after taxes and fees. Park City Mountain recently posted its peak season walk up lift ticket window pricing at $299 or $325 after taxes and fees.

Sunday – Mike’s helping Wendy make his Meatloaf recipe for tonight. Then we have a bike ride down to the coffee shop. Marriane and Jo come round for a farewell dinner along with Mike. The idea was to use it as an opportunity to empty the freezer, apart from 3 cakes there’s not much left. Dan’s ill so he misses out but we send some cucumber sandwich’s and meatloaf home for him.

Some beautiful sunflowers on our bike ride.

Monday – lead an easy bike ride down to the coffee shop, yet again. Then in the evening we’re off to B&M’s to go to the Mercantile at Midway for yet another farewell dinner.


 Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house
 It’s weird being the same age as old people.
 When I was a kid, I wanted to be older… This is not what I expected.
 Life is like a helicopter. I don’t know how to operate a helicopter either.
 It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.
 Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So, remember… don’t sing!
 I see people my age mountain climbing. I feel good just getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.
 We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my story anyway.

Tuesday – Lead a last easy hike around “Road to WOS”. Pack up STUFF and take it to Mike’s lockup, only 8 boxes! In the evening we’re all off to Betti’s for a fantastic German dinner, complete with Klos dumplings.

Wednesday – pack bags, all four of them, then final coffee shop ride with Mike and Sarah. In the evening Mike takes us out for a farewell dinner at Grub Steak.

By the time we get home Wendy will have forgot how to cook.

Thursday – Mike picks us up in his truck, big enough for 4 families to live in, and we’re off to the airport. Check in and TSA not too bad. But, every time I’m in that damn TSA line I’m reminded why we’re being treated like this. All because of some Islamic rag head living in a cave. Lest we forget the religion behind all this – it’s ISLAM.

Get in the SLC Delta lounge for breakfast. Usual Delta flight complete with standing around for an hour after they’ve said boarding. Dollies with trollies as as miserable as a giraffe with a broken neck – as usual. For the Flying Spaghetti Monsters sake please don’t smile.

AT MCO get in their Delta lounge, we’ve a 4 hour layover. Very colonial style and good food. A few beers – well they call it beer – and a bourbon to help my sleeping tablets.

Virgin is the usual quality Premium experience once those doors are shut.Pop a sleeping tablet. Even get a giant glass of Baron Otards Cogna bought me from upper class. Reject dinner, but can’t resist the Key Lime Pie, yes can you believe I’m still awake. Then sadly I nod off with a glass of Malbec and Baron Otard in hands. 6 hours later wake up refreshed ready for breakfast. Those sleeping tablets are so much better and cheaper than forking out for Upper class.

Kurt picks us up and we’re home. End of an awesome 6 month summer. What the hell am I going to do with myself back in this hell hole shrouded in rain and clouds?

And hen people ask why I don’t want to be here!

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Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day), is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia. No-one I spoke to was even aware of it.

While often categorized as a democracy, the United States is more accurately defined as a constitutional federal republic. What does this mean? “Constitutional” refers to the fact that government in the United States is based on a Constitution which is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution not only provides the framework for how the federal and state governments are structured, but also places significant limits on their powers. “Federal” means that there is both a national government and governments of the 50 states. A “republic” is a form of government in which the people hold power, but elect representatives to exercise that power.

When the Framers drafted the Constitution in 1787, they could not have predicted the many changes and advances that our society has undergone since the 18th Century. However, through their genius and foresight, they designed an electoral system that has the ability to adapt to modern-day America and work even better than they could have anticipated. Below are some of the many benefits of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College preserves the principles of federalism that are essential to our constitutional republic. The U.S. is a large country made up of people from very different regions and cultures, and federalism is an important way of preserving the differences that make us unique while uniting us behind one common federal government. Since the country is comprised of 50 states coming together to form the federal government, it is important that the system to elect the President fairly represent them.
By allocating electoral votes by the total number of representatives in a given state, the Electoral College allows more states to have an impact on the choice of the President.

The Electoral College prevents presidential candidates from winning an election by focusing solely on high-population urban centers and dense media markets, forcing them to seek the support of a larger cross-section of the American electorate. This addresses the Founders’ fears of a “tyranny of the majority,” which has the potential to marginalize sizeable portions of the population, particularly in rural and more remote areas of the country.
Large cities like New York City and Los Angeles should not get to unilaterally dictate policies that affect more rural states, like North Dakota and Indiana, which have very different needs. These states may be smaller, but their values still matter—they should have a say in who becomes President. By forcing presidential candidates to address all Americans during their campaigns, not just those in large cities, the Electoral College has the added benefit of eschewing radical candidates for more moderate ones.

The Electoral College increases the legitimacy and certainty of elections by magnifying the margin of victory, thereby diminishing the value of contentious recounts and providing a demonstrable election outcome and a mandate to govern. Since 1900, 17 out of 29 presidential elections have been decided by 200 or more electoral votes.4
In contrast, a popular vote system with just a plurality requirement could lead to the election of presidential candidates by unprecedented, small margins. These smaller victory margins, combined with the overall decrease in popular support for a single candidate, could trigger chaotic and contested elections. Furthermore, a President elected by only 25 percent or 35 percent of the American people would not have a mandate to govern, and questions about his or her legitimacy could pose grave consequences both for the nation and for any actions he or she took as President.

The Electoral College makes elections more stable, and less likely to trigger contentious recounts. Every state has different procedural rules for the administration of elections, including how recounts are triggered and conducted and how provisional ballots are counted. The 2000 presidential election saw an unprecedented vote recount in Florida that was a belabored, emotional, and costly process, even though it was limited to only one state. With a national popular vote, every additional vote a presidential candidate could obtain anywhere in the country could make the difference between winning or losing a national election. This provides a strong added incentive for recounts, even on a full national level, any time suspicious activities occur in even a single district.

While no system can completely eliminate the risk of individuals trying to cheat the system, the Electoral College minimizes the incentives for voter fraud because the system isolates the impact of stolen votes. Under the current system, stolen votes only affect the outcome of one state rather than the national outcome. This is because fraudulent votes may win the state, securing the electoral votes, but it would make no difference for the candidate to win that state with 100 stolen votes or 100,000 since the candidate would secure the same electoral votes regardless.5 Under a national popular vote system, though, votes stolen in one state would have an impact beyond that state’s border, since those illegitimate votes would be added to the national vote total.

What a greeting. Worth coming home for:

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