Monday, January 31, 2022

Peace, Order And What, Exactly?


It would appear that the Ottawa Police Department yesterday made the decision to follow a 'no rules of law' doctrine...

It is a position that was backed by the mayor of Ottawa today, Monday.

, in Southern  Alberta...
Meanwhiler, the good Ms. Urback of the Globe (and no longer empire mail) goes all in on the 'both sides' game while willfully ignoring the grift in the machine....Norm Farrell does neither.


The Last 'Active' Expo.


Update: That was then (Monday)...This is Now (Tom Brady Tuesday, not George Allen)

If you are one of the few lucky ones you have no idea how badly the hot take time machine portion of the pro sports media industrial complex miss-called the 'retirement' of Tampa Buccaneers' quarterback Tom Brady over the weekend.

Which means that Mr. Brady is  (at least for the moment) the last active pro athelete who was once drafted by the long gone Montreal Expos.
...Drafted by the (New England) Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, Brady almost pursued a different sports career. Committed to playing football at the University of Michigan for the 1995 season, the Montreal Expos still decided to draft Brady in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB draft.

At the time, he was seen by the Expos scout John Hughes as an intriguing catching prospect...

Imagine that!



Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Neil/Joni Reverberations.


From Aidin Vizari in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Spotify lost $4 billion in market value this week after rock icon Neil Young called out the company for allowing comedian Joe Rogan to use its service to spread misinformation about the COVID vaccine on his popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

At the end of the day Friday, Jan. 28, shares of Spotify were down about 12% from where they closed last week, according to data from Nasdaq, against a broader index that was flat over the same period...


Wonder how the markets will respond to Ms. Mitchell's decision  come Monday morning's opening bell?


In case you missed it, Uncle Neil has made it clear that this is is about choice, not free speech:
"...I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others..."


Friday, January 28, 2022

Born In The Fifties.


My friend the Drummer, who is one of the group of musically-gifted geezers that let me hang around with them sometimes, contracted a relatively mild case of polio when he was a kid. As a result, until he finally had successful corrective surgery a couple of years ago, the Drummer always walked with a bit of a limp that became more exaggerated when he was tired and/or after we finished a long set, especially when Bo Diddley beats and/or Stewart Copeland riffs were involved.

Like the Drummer, I too, am a boomer. However, I am a few years younger than he is which means that, because I was born in the late fifties, I was lucky enough to be vaccinated and never had to worry about polio.


When the geezers really get going, especially when we've had a few, the Drummer insists that I go into what he calls my 'Nearly Neil' act. And what comes out is an (often failed) attempt to imitate the caterwauling of  'Keep On Rocking' rather than the thin, helpless warble that you usually hear around these parts.



What sent me off on a digressive goose chase this time?

Why, the real Neil, of course.

A few years ago our lab played a small part in helping the Drummer, who is also a science geek, test some compounds that could  prevent round worm infections when said 'parasitic nematodes' become resistant to, among other things...Wait for it....Ivermectin... Seriously.
Post header got your earworm turning?....This.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Real World Data...Effectiveness Of Vaccine Booster Against Omicron BA.2 Variant In Preventing Symptomatic Disease.

From a report, posted today, from the U.K. Health Security Agency:

BA.1 is the 'original' UK Omicron variant. BA.2 is the 'new' Omicron variant that has arrived in British Columbia. 

Here the 'booster' (Dose 3) is equally effective at protecting against developing symptoms after infection regardless the version of the Omicron variant.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Spotify Can't Play This Right Now...

And why, exactly, have I only liked 27 of Uncle Neil's tunes on the aggregator run by the Lords of Rogan Town?

The music streaming platform Spotify is in the process of removing Neil Young’s music after the company refused to take down Joe Rogan’s podcast amid the musician’s objections that it spread vaccine misinformation...

And, just to be clear....Mr. Young was not the first one to make the call...Two hundred and seventy reasonably well informed folks beat him to the punch with a letter of their own....Neil's take on how he responded upon reading that letter is...Here.


Real World Data...Percentage Of Housing Stock Owned By Investors In British Columbia.

From Douglas Todd's recent piece on how Singapore is dealing with investors scooping up housing in the Vancouver Sun. The data are inclusive of both houses and condos.


Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Keef Report...Bonding With Ron Obvious.


I've been giving the good Mr. Baldrey a pass during COVID, mostly because I view all that that encompasses to be (mostly) a public health matter rather than a political one.

But now that the Keef has turned his attention back to the pols...

Now, of course, a journalist suggesting that a political party should choose their 'new' leader from the non-candidate pool because of things he likes what he sees is bad enough on its own.

But when you add in the 'call to the herd' factor it's almost as if our local Lotuslandian media version of the Glimmer Twins is back in the saddle again...

Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here.
Ron Obvious?....This.


Friday, January 21, 2022

Three Groups Report That Boosters Are Very Effective Against Omicron Hospitalization.


As he so often is, Eric Topol of the Scripps Institute, is all over this.

Here is his summary:

The reports of the three groups can be found here (United Kingdom) (Kaiser Permanente of SoCal).... and here (United States CDC).


Here, especially for Lulymay and her other half, is what the NY Times had to say about the US CDC findings:
...On Thursday night, the C.D.C. published additional data showing that in December, unvaccinated Americans 50 years and older were about 45 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were vaccinated and got a third shot...


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

How Paxlovid Works.


You are likely hearing, or will hear, a lot of news about Pfizer's anti-viral drug 'paxlovid' (nirmatrelvir or PF-07321332) given that it was approved for use in Canada as reported yesterday by the CBC's John Paul Tasker:
Health Canada has approved Pfizer's COVID-19 therapeutic for use in adults 18 and older, paving the way for the distribution of a potentially lifesaving drug at a time when the country's hospitals are overwhelmed.

Pfizer's Paxlovid is an oral antiviral treatment prescribed by a doctor and administered in pill form. It is designed to help the body fight off the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reduce symptoms from an infection and shorten the period of illness...

Paxlovid does not act by boosting the immune system against the virus, which is a good thing because that means that 'immune evasion' is not an issue. 

Instead, the drug, which Pfizer has gone to great lengths to modify so that it can be taken orally rather than intravenously, blocks the ability of the virus to make more of itself once it gets into the cells, including the cells that line the inside of our airways.

More specficially,  in Step 3 of the viral life cycle (see diagram, above, from Science magazine), paxlovid/PF-07321332 inhibits the ability of the 'main protease' (MPro) of the virus to chop up long strings of proteins that have been read out (or 'translated') from the viral RNA (Step 2) inside our own cells. 

The activity of the 'MPro' is essential for the viral life cycle to continue (Steps 4 and 5) because the chopped up chunks of protein from the original long string are the functional bits of the virus that allow it to make more of itself (i.e. to 'replicate') so that it can be released from your own cells (Step 6) such that it can then infect more of your own cells or be released from your airways as aerosols which can infect other people. 

The take home message.... When you whack 'MPro' with paxlovid/PF-07321332 you make less virus, which means you have less viral load in your body. As a result, you don't get as sick and, it appears, you are also less infectious.

Thus, there are real benefits here that include:
1) you can take it easily by mouth.

2) you don't have to worry about immune escape (or, in most cases, the state of your own immune system) for it to work.

3) According to the clinical trial data released by Pfizer so far, it will work for at least five days after a virally infected person becomes symptomatic which is a decent window of time to get the drug into people in real world settings.

But could the virus mutate so that paxlovid stops working?

Well, that's possible, although, unlike the spike protein (which forms the little red bits sticking out of the virus that the virus uses attach to and enter into cells, Step 1 above) where there are many mutations, there is only one mutational change in MPro in the omicron variant. However, that could change/accelerate when paxlovid treatment causes selection pressure for variants that could escape drug effectiveness. 

Ultimately, issues about protease inhibitor/paxlovid resistance due to mutation could be overcome by developing additional drugs that attack other molecular choke points in the viral cycle. This is a strategy that has been used successfully in HIV treatment, although there things are different in that the treatments are chronic/go on for long periods of time which, at least so far, is not the goal of acute paxlovid treatment against SARS-CoV-2 (i.e. you take it twice a day for five days). Regardless, there are other drugs in the pipeline, including Merck's 'molnupiravir' which works by blocking a different  enzyme called RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) that is critical for making new copies of the viral genome (see Step 4 in the diagram above).

There is actually a second drug that you take with PF-07321332 in Pfizer's treatment called 'ritonavir' which acts by decreasing the activity of a molecule in your own body (including in the intestines and the liver) called cytochrome 3A4. Normally, cytochrome 3A4 acts to break down/metabolize drugs/foreign agents, so here ritonavir decreases the breakdown of paxlovid. As a result, paxlovid levels remain higher for a longer in our bodies which makes it more effective against the virus. 
Regarding Merck's 'molnupiravir'...It doesn't appear to be as effective in clinical trials as Pfizer's treatment, at least on its own. There are also some concerns that it might speed viral mutation rates because of the way it works (i.e. it mucks up the ability of the virus to copy its own RNA which is where everything, including mutations, are coded).


Monday, January 17, 2022

It's The Housing Shortage, Stupid.


Last week I wrote a post about how ridiculous housing prices have become, not just in Lotusland central but in its more far-flung regions as well. 

To be clear right at the start, I am an old guy who, by virtue of date of birth, is lucky enough to have a house of my own in the city of Vancouver.

So when I think about housing costs it's usually in the context of what my kids and the young folks I work with are up against.

But then I read a UK-focussed piece in today's Guardian from Sam Bowman that got me thinking about something else.

Which is that housing shortages are actually bad for the economy:
"...The UK is not alone in suffering from a housing shortage. The US has the same problem in places such as New York City and the San Francisco Bay area. One study suggested that, if it tackled these shortages, the country could be 8.9% richer; in another the boost to incomes was calculated at 25%.

Applied to the UK, these estimates imply that fixing our housing shortage could add somewhere between £3,000 and £8,500 to the UK’s annual output per person. That would be a huge improvement to living standards..."

In fact, some sharp folks, folks like Matthew Rognlie at MIT, are actually starting to argue that skyrocketing property values are a major driver of the post-war rise in wealth inequality, writ large:
"...Over- all, the net capital share has increased since 1948, but once disaggregated this increase turns out to come entirely from the housing sector: the contribution to net capital income from all other sectors has been zero or slightly negative..."

All of which begs the bigger question, which is, without being crude about it like James Carville once was (see header), how many of our economic and societal woes could be greatly improved if we really dealt with housing inequality?

And, lest you thought I'd forgotten... The irony of opportunists like MarkyMark jumping on this issue to gain short term ballot box traction while simultaneously wooing big dollar developer donors is not lost on me...Not to mention a sudden interest in 'progressive' signaling.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Poor Poor Pitiful He.


Last Saturday morning, the man who once left Harpertown to run the good ship Clarklandia, Mr. Ken Boessenkool, woke up, fell out of bed, pulled a comb across his head and took to the Twittmachine to play to the crowd:

When it became apparent, by Saturday evening, that not all of the crowd would play along, the good Mr. B cried foul:


Is it possible that the putative public square is not quite so ready to follow the neandercon playbook as blindly as, say, those who pack the Line's zoom room?

Header got your inner earworm working?....This.


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Acknowledging The Remembering.


Mr. Mark Marissen,  the former political advisor to former provincial premier Christy Clark, is running to be the next mayor of Vancouver. 

Writing as a guest columnist in the Georgia Straight Mr. Marissen has a lot of ideas about how to 'fix this Vancouver housing crisis with open hearts and open minds'.

Before he gets to his prescription, Mr. Marissen has this to say:
"...Before we talk about solutions, it’s important for all of us to acknowledge the fact that single-detached houses in Vancouver will most likely never be available again for middle-class families who don’t have access to a large inheritance..."

Personally, I had to pause there, mouth agape, while recalling how the past practices of the previous provincial government of this province helped get us to where we are today.

If you get my open-minded, non-forgetting drift.

As for my heart?

Well, I'd rather not say.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Algorithm On My Back.


Last weekend I stumbled upon a GStraight piece by Charlie Smith on a group of anti-vaccination folks who are protesting the local media's role in suppressing the rights of them and theirs.

Here's Charlie's lede:
A fairly large crowd, perhaps 250 people, gathered on Saturday (January 8) outside the Global News B.C. building in Burnaby to protest how the media is covering COVID-19 and vaccine mandates...

Anyway, after reading that little bit I bookmarked the thing so that I could come back to read it all later, on Sunday night after the football was done.

And when I did that I learned that leader of the pack appears to have gone off multiple deep-ends at once:
...The host of the event, James Davison, delivered a fiery speech and plenty of commentary between the other speakers...


...“Our best bet to avoid them taking it to the next level is to hold them accountable," Davison declared. "That’s our best weapon right now. Because if we can’t succeed legally—if we can’t succeed now, legally—then we are going to be in a civil-war situation. That is a fact.

"That’s where this is leading to because they will round us up," he warned the crowd. "They will put us in an institution, call us whatever they want, demonize us however they want to through these organizations like Global News, CTV, CityNews, News 1130. It’s programming."...

But here's the weird thing...

Upon my return to the site it was impossible to ignore the adverts embedded by the Googleplex for one of those 'edgy' T-shirt companies that make products like this:


Subheader, two degrees removed from the header?....This!


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Two Peas In A Racist Authoritarian Pod.


"We must state that we do not want to be diverse and do not want to be mixed: we do not want our own colour, traditions and national culture to be mixed with those of others. We do not want this. We do not want that at all. We do not want to be a diverse country."

"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"


That was then.

This is now...

Former (United States) President Donald J. Trump endorsed Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, on Monday, formally pledging his “complete support” to a far-right foreign leader who has touted turning his country into an “illiberal state.”

Mr. Orban and his party have steadily consolidated power in Hungary by weakening the country’s independent and democratic institutions — rewriting election laws to favor his Fidesz party, changing school textbooks, curbing press freedoms, overhauling the Constitution and changing the composition of the judiciary...
And, in case you missed it, the former bow-tie boy and self-described trust fund baby also has quite the thing for what the good Mr. Orban has wrought.
For those who want to get to the heart of the matter, Daniel Bear's recent Foreign Policy piece called "The Dangerous Farce Of Late-Stage Orbanism" is excellent.


Monday, January 10, 2022

(Way More Than Just) One Boomer's Cash-Out Dilemna.


Before we get started, I'm pretty sure just about anyone under fifty, and that includes my own kids, are going to roll their eyes at this one.

With that said, here goes...

We bought our bungalow in the near Eastern Townships of Lotusland in 2005.

And what we paid then, $440,000, gave me the willies at the time.

Since then, the ridiculous explosion in real estate prices means that the little pile of dirt that our littler house sits on not far from Mountain View Cemetary is worth somewhere between three and four times what we paid for it. 

Not surprisingly this ridiculous inflation means that, one-by-one, our neighbours are cashing out and moving to places like Lake Cowichan and Sooke.

Now, let me tell you, it's hard to ignore that siren's song as retirement starts to loom out there just a few years over the horizon.

But then I saw the following from the chart maker, Justin McElroy, buried in the latest version of his local MoCo 'Metro Matters' newsletter:

After humming and hawing and thinking that maybe we could make a decent return if we cashed out and moved to, say, Dease Lake, I smacked myself up the side of the head, and mumbled something like:

"What does 43% matter if you're starting from dirt cheap in the first place?"

Then my eyes wandered down to the following passage in the text under Mr. McElroy's chart:
“...It puts the emphasis on how important it is that we need different housing models even here locally in a small town,” said Mayco Noel, the mayor of Ucluelet, where the typical assessed value went from $494,000 to $705,000 in the last year...


$700,000 to buy a 'typical' house in Ucuelet?

What is our world coming too?


All snark aside, I always thought that, even if they could never buy a place in the Lower Mainland, our kids could move a ways away and be able to get into the market.

Now I'm not so sure.

Which is a real problem that we all need to deal with - not because boomers like me might not get to make out like bandits due to an historical fluke, but rather because everybody else, the rabble that does most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community, needs a decent shot at having a place to call their own.



Sunday, January 09, 2022

Your Evening Audio...A Little Bob And A Little Neil.


This time out it's a little bit from Mr. Dylan backed with a bit from Mr. Young followed by a wee bit of babble about what the Whackadoodle II and I saw when we went down to where the river meets the sea after the big king tide...

Of course, the real musician in the family, the other C., will not appreciate the key change in tune two, but so be it...


Saturday, January 08, 2022

Tagline vs. Text.


The tagline, from the dead-tree edition of Maclean's 2022, year ahead, special issue:
"Far from limiting its fortunes, the (Liberal) party's wokeness has ensured its success."

The text, from a piece by Paul Wells on whether Justin Trudeau will stay or go:
"If pressed to explain themselves, Trudeau Liberals would insist that, far from limiting its electoral fortunes, the contemporary party’s wokeness has actually bolstered and ensured its electoral success."

Do you see what the type-setters looking to grab eyeballs, presumably with some editor's approval, did (and did not do) there?

Only got to
this particular chunk of dead-tree linear type this morning...Received it in my stocking Christmas morning but it just took me a while to get to this particular pile of paper.


Thursday, January 06, 2022

It Would Appear That Many People Are Looking Up...


It would appear that many folks are looking up 'Don't Look Up' on the Tomato meter....

And then ignoring said meter...

But is the movie actually good?

Not really, at least not in cinematic terms, given that the satire is so broad and the farce so predictable.

But in my opinion it is a noble effort.

Especially given that in many ways  the film does reflect our actual reality, particularly as it is perceived by so many of us through the lens of an always-be-trivializing media in these twisted times.

Just ask climate scientist Peter Kalmus and longtime climate science commentator/activist George Monbiot.



Wednesday, January 05, 2022

What I'm Listening To...


There's a lot of really important stuff going on in the world these days, so it is entirely possible that this might have escaped your attention (or, alternatively, just slid right on past it)...
Just six years ago Forbes magazine declared her the “the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire” and the “next Steve Jobs”. Now, Elizabeth Holmes, 37, founder of the collapsed blood testing company Theranos, is facing decades in prison after being found guilty of conspiring to defraud her investors out of billions.

Holmes, a university dropout with no medical training, had fooled regulators and some of the world’s richest people, including Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger and Larry Ellison, into believing she had figured out a way to test for a range of health conditions with just a pinprick of blood.

But the tests did not work, and the company was accused of often faking the results. One patient testified that a blood test revealed they were miscarrying when they were pregnant; another said they were given false-positive results for HIV...

In my opinion, the stakes here were much higher than the usual 'fake it till you make it' Silicon Valley blather and media babble given that faked/bad medical diagnoses are way worse than a cute app gone wrong.

If you would like to hear the story from the beginning and how it is a tale of more than just a bright young kid bamboozling a bunch of rich old guys with Hoover Institute ties into giving her buckets and buckets of money, ABC News actually has a pretty good podcast up called the 'Drop Out', especially the first six episodes that were done before the trials started. 

And if you want the real meat and potatoes of the thing, and the straight scoop on the heroes of the piece, two much brighter and  much sharper, not to mention much, much, much more principled, young kids named Erika Cheung and Kyle Shultz, check out this talk by John Carreyrou, the guy who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal and finally put a stop to the media hagiography, not to mention the legal threats against any and all whistleblowers, that were helping to drive the dangerous bamboozlement (i.e. the company was already in Walgreen pharmacies when they knew their boxes, shown at the top of the post, did not work before the axe fell)...


Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Why I'm Still Taking Precautions Against SARS-CoV-2.


I'm in my early 60's.

And I'm in decent shape.

And I'll be getting my booster on Thursday.

Thus, if I get infected over the next four-to-six weeks, very likely with the omicron variant, it's reasonably likely that I will be fine, at least acutely, even if I do develop symptoms. 

This is something I'm extremely thankful for and it is something that would have been very difficult to assume a year ago before the full tilt vaccine roll-out.


Why am I doubling down and planning to be extra careful over the next four-to-six weeks?

Because I do not want to spread the highly transmissible omicron form of the virus to others, potentially many others, some of whom may then get sick and need to go to hospital.

Why does this matter?


As more people have to be treated for COVID symptoms in our hospitals as transmission skyrockets fewer people will be treated and/or or receive surgery for non-COVID issues in a timely manner due to the resulting back-up in our healthcare system (something that has already started).

Which means that by being careful re: COVID, I plan to do what I can, in a very small way as just a normal, run-of-the-mill community member, to increase the chances that someone else in my community will be able to get the treatments and/or surgeries they need.


Full disclosure...
Someone very close to me and mine is scheduled to have important non-COVID treatment in the next few months...Thus, the decision I've made to be extra careful has both community and personal implications for me and mine.


Saturday, January 01, 2022

A New Year's List Of Lists...

I'm crazy about lists, so much so that one of our kids once said that it sometimes seems like I would rather read about stuff in said lists than actually partake of that same stuff, for real.


Without any further ado whatsoever, here's a list of some of my favourites culled from a big grab bag generated by a whole lot of interwebz scouring over the holiday season...

Music Stuff...
Paste's Top 10 Country/American albums includes, surprise!, the Felices' latest....

Pitchfork's has a list of 'Most Underrated' albums up...I still really dig their capsule descriptors - short, snappy and they remind me of the days of searching out ink-stained linear type.

The Guardian's Top 50 albums is more comprehensive and free of any and all 'make sure you make Jann happy' bias...Lucy Dacus makes the cut.

Seattle's KEXP gives everybody's (and we mean everybody's!) top 10 albums...It's like some kind of crazy mixed-up endless summer of listening possibilities (no capsule's though).

Cover Me, which is one of the best sites I know to regularly see and hear true miracles of homage-ian wonder, has a great list of their 50 best cover songs of 2021...

Dave Simpson, writing in The Guardian, ranked the Clash's top 40 songs awhile back...Luckily, to the best of my knowledge, they have not released anything new recently... As anyone who has spent any time hanging around here knows, I'm all in on #1, but I have no idea how 'I'm So Bored' dropped all the way to #36.

Book Stuff...
The CBC's list of best Canadian fiction and non-fiction books of 2021...

The Vancouver Public Library's most borrowed kid's, young adult, non-fiction and fiction books of 2021...

The (Alleged) Greatest Of All Time (said in an Ali voice)...Of the top 50 have only read 17...Time to stop reading lists and get to work!

Screen 'N Ear Stuff...
Indiewire's top 50 movies of 2021, many you may not have heard of yet...And great capsules with links to full reviews... The New Yorker's list is (just) a little more mainstream...

The Tyee's Dorothy Woodend has a short, but excellent, list of her favourite biopictical documentaries from 2021...

The Bello Collective's top 100 podcasts of 2021 is an eclectic goulash that tastes great and is way more filling than almost all the rest...

From the 'If It's Not Scottish It's Crap!' file (and for the two e's too)....The Scotsman's top 20 true crime pods...

As for the TeeVee, most best of lists for 2021 look pretty much the same...Polygon, a videogame site,  has some interesting, slightly off-beat stuff, including my favourite of the year, Reservation Dogs...

Huff 'N Puff And Other Stuff...
A more serious one from science writer extraordinare Helen Braswell of STAT News...The 10 top (big) things she has learned during the pandemic's first two years...

Amanda Marcotte, writing in Salon, has the list of most despicable USian political villians of 2021...The list is short...Very short. 

David Climenhaga, writing at his own 'Alberta Politics', has a Lettermenesque Top 10 list of the UCP scandals of 2021...

Twenty-three quotes from Betty White...Number one is a doozy, especially for the toxically un-mas(c)ked - you know, fine fellows like, say, the good Mr. Rogan...

Tony Adame, writing at Stadium Talk, gives us 30 great baseball catches in history...It's a little modern era-centric, but not too much given that Willie Mays' 1954 Polo Grounds catch is #1...Has both video and great linear type capsular, analytic-free, summaries...

For E....A list of all the Busker Festivals, worldwide, coming in 2022...

For e.... The top movie tap dance numbers, maybe...

And, finally, for C.... Wild Birds Unlimited's...How to feed the hummingbirds in winter...

Image at top of the post...The Whackadoodle II, New Year's morning on the beach...