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Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:40 PM PDT

the final word.... from Badgers wife

by badger

Badger passed away on Sunday July 13th. In his home as he wished, to Monty Pythons video from the Life of Brian “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. I wish I could put that in this message but I don't even know how.

Badger was a very private, quiet, gentle man, with a brilliant mind and humble spirit.
I have never written a diary nor been on Kos. It was Badger's place and I respected his privacy.
It amazes me to see 69 diaries and over 11,000 comments. He spoke here more than anywhere else in life, so I feel I owe his Kos friends a final farewell.

I would love to give him due credit by writing something eloquent and profound, but I am not Badger.
I am his “American Success Story” , his “Calamity Jane”, his love, his partner, his wife.

He never waivered in his devotion to myself and our daughter, he never raged nor felt sorry for himself throughout his cancer ordeal.
As someone else stated … he was a class act.

I loved him immensely, I will miss him forever.

“For life is quite absurd And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.
So always look on the bright side of death...(Whistle)
a-Just before you draw your terminal breath...(Whistle)

Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true
You'll see its all a show, keep 'em laughin as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And...Always look on the bright side of life...(Whistle)
Always look on the right side of life...

C'mon Brian, cheer up
Always look on the bright sideof life...
Always look on the bright sideof life...”


Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:57 PM PST

Something to watch with LED lighting

by badger

There's potentially a problem with LED lighting that I wasn't aware of until a friend sent me an article on the subject. It's something you probably should be aware of if thinking of switching to LEDs now that incandescents are largely out of production.

I haven't paid a lot of attention to LED lighting. Until recently it's been expensive, more useful for narrowly focused applications like task lighting, and not that much more energy efficient than the CFLs we use almost everywhere inside and outside the house (there are a few incandescents in the carport that have been there about 15 years and counting - not used much). Additionally, all LEDs are made with either the element gallium (Ga) or indium (In), and both of those are not very abundant on this planet. That leads to questions about sustainability for something produced in 100s of millions of units, like light bulbs.

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:42 AM PST

Prescription Drug Savings Program

by badger

I've been posting diaries here since 2004 - I don't know how to title this so it doesn't look like spam. It isn't spam - trust me.

Friday I posted a diary about a little known program in WA and OR that can save you up to 75% on the price of prescription drugs. It turns out there is a nationally available program that, while not as good as what WA and OR offer, can still save you about 33% in some cases. You can check online to see if it's worth it for you, with no signup or having to provide personal information.

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I try to stay informed about local issues and politics - I scan the Seattle PI website every morning, and look at other sites - but until a few weeks ago, I didn't know about this program. Even when I found out, I didn't want to post anything until I was really sure about it.

If you are a WA or OR resident, you can sign up for a prescription drug discount program that can save you a huge amount on prescription drugs - I saved 78% on one prescription today.

There has to be a catch, right? Go over the fold and look for one - let me know if you find it.


WA and OR Residents: Were you aware of this program?

9%5 votes
90%47 votes

| 52 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:03 PM PST

Nice job you got there ...

by badger

Nice job you got there - too bad it won't last.

If you think I'm not talking to you, you're mistaken. I don't even have to know what your occupation is. I can think of at least five trends that threaten your job. One is what we remain in the middle of - a jobless recovery. Maybe you've already lost your job to that, and can't find another, or can't find a job that pays as well.

But maybe you believe in the business cycle, and that we'll all be singing Happy Days
Are Here Again
in the near future, instead of the current chart-topper, There but for the Grace of God Go I.

Meet four other job-killing trends over the fold.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM PDT

The Kindness of Beavers

by badger

I have a sometime neighbor I'll call Jack. It's not his real name, but short for Jackass, which is an accurate description of him. He lives in Seattle, but has a cabin along the creek in our canyon in Eastern Washington State. He spends maybe 10 days a year here, and in that short amount of time manages to piss off the rest of the neighbors.

One of the ways he does that involves the beavers. On his property, on the other side of the creek from his cabin, on the hill above the creek, about 50 yards off the road, some beavers passing through found a spring and decided it could be developed into a beaver homestead.

They built one small dam and created a small, shallow pond that no one noticed, but these were not beavers with low standards or ready to give up easily. So a little farther along the hillside, still well above the creek, they built another dam.

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Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM PDT

Life in the Time of Fire (updated)

by badger

In Eastern Washington State, we like to think that fire season ends on Labor Day, because usually it does. It's been a hot, dry summer, with the last rain in early July and the last significant rain in June. That weather pattern goes by the name of "summer" here - there's nothing unusual about it. That's why, since 80% of the county I live in is Federal land, mostly National Forest or Park, we're also a high fire danger area.

About a month ago, a crew working on a bridge near Cle Elum - about 90 minutes south of here, about 90 minutes east of Seattle on I90 - ignited a fire that grew to over 26,000 acres in under 18 hours, and destroyed 52 homes, many of them expensive vacation homes. But it's been several years since a major fire has occurred nearby. And it's rare to lose homes in fires here.

Fires do get close. The 1994 Tyee Fire, started by a lightning strike, burned over 135,000 acres for 33 days before it was contained - it was contained a couple of weeks before Labor Day though - and burned to within 50 feet of where my house now stands. The house was built 2 years later. Since we've lived here, big fires - tens of thousands of acres - have burned to within 3 miles, and ash and debris falls have clogged our swimming pool filter.

Update 2:More photos here

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Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM PDT

Fire science in Colorado

by badger

There is actually a large body of scientific information, from scientists who actually understand forests, insects, fire ecology and why houses burn in wildfires. You wouldn't know it from reading the media though, or reading some of the stuff posted here, either.

Here are some of the basics ....

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When my wife's sister and her husband were running a 5-star hotel (a swimming pool in every room), they came to visit us for a few weeks. Being used to a bottle or two of wine themselves with every dinner, and having dinners nearly every night for friends and family who caught up with them at our place, we ended up with more than a garbage can full of empty wine bottles.

This bothered my wife. She is frugal. She decided all of those empties could be turned into glassware.

That began a process that spanned several summers. My wife would come up with a new method to cut the top off the bottle to make a glass. Then she would try a new method to polish the rim of the glass. She'd show it to me, and I would say (more politely than related here), "Gee, honey. That really looks like crap."

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 09:29 AM PDT

Wolves: Don't Murder Me, I Beg of You

by badger

In the timbers above Cle Elum, the wolves are running 'round.

In fairy tales and Grateful Dead songs, wolves are most often symbolic of death, destruction or murder. But irony rules, destruction and murder aren't what they seem, and wolves are symbolic of restoration and are victims, both real and potential.

No one is quite sure how the wolves found Cle Elum, but you can find it pretty easily. It's 90 miles east of Seattle, just off Interstate 90, on the east (dry) side of the Cascade Mountains.

Cle Elum, like much of north central Washington, wasn't settled until the last two decades of the 19th century. There were two basic reasons for settling north central Washington back then: gold and railroads.

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I imagine everyone has a theory about why Scott Walker is Wisconsin's governor, but there is one simple reason for it: Democrats don't vote, Republicans do.

A quick investigation into election totals and voter turnout is all that's necessary to prove that point.

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Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 04:32 PM PDT

Lightfoot, Einstein and me

by badger

In September, 2002, Candian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot (Sundown, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald) had such severe abdominal pains that he was airlifted to a hospital. After emergency surgery, he was put in intensive care. He had four more surgeries, a tracheotomy, and spent 6 weeks in a coma. He had another followup surgery in 2003. He was lucky.

He was lucky because he eventually returned to performing and touring - he might have lost a limb or had severe kidney damage. He was lucky just to survive - the same thing killed Albert Einstein. He was also lucky to be Canadian - in the US his medical bill would have easily topped $1 million dollars.

There's a chance the same thing could happen to me. There's a chance the same thing could happen to you - Lightfoot's condition is the 13th leading cause of death in the US, 10th for men over 55. And if you need one more thing to worry about - the condition has no symptoms. It's often diagnosed by a pathologist - during the autopsy.

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