Taken 7/15/2020 just after 10:00 p.m. north of Chico, California.
ISO 800, 8 seconds at f/4, 145mm focal length.

How to see Comet NEOWISE at

Los Angeles Times, What the fire at San Gabriel Mission left behind.  The house I used to live in is in the little subdivision at the upper right.
See also ‘My heart is full of sadness’: Faithful stunned by destruction of San Gabriel Mission fire

New Mexico counties COVID-19 map


A New Mexico flag SVG generator

The Camp Fire, 11/8/2018, 8:17 a.m. looking over the ridge toward Paradise and Concow.  The fire had started at 6:29 a.m. seven miles north of town, and when this picture was taken, Paradise was already evacuating.


8:40 p.m.; the fire topped the ridge about a mile away and started down the hill toward us.  Evacuated shortly thereafter.

Livable Planet at the Chico Art Center.

A curmudgeon’s guide to grammar and usage

Short-lived rhymes with long-knived.
If you are short of hands, you are short-handed.  If you are short of wind, you are short-winded.  If you are short of life, you are short-lived.  Think about it . . . .

A page that says “This page intentionally left blank” is no longer blank.

Data is the plural of datum.  It’s something like facts.  “These data show . . . .”
Media is the plural of medium.  “Back up your files on another medium.”  “Insert a blank medium.”
Criteria is the plural of criterion.  “The first criterion . . . .”

Kudos (κῦδος) is the Greek word for “praise” and is singular.  There is no such thing as a kudo.

Pitiful means full of pity, as joyful means full of joy.
Something that arouses pity is piteous, or pitiable.

Nauseous means causing nausea, something like hideous.
When you feel nausea, you are nauseated.

Mischievous has three syllables and is pronounced “MIS-che-vus.”  It comes from the word mischief.
“Mis-CHEE-vee-us” is not a word.

It is you; it is I.  It is you and I.
It is for you; it is for me.  It is for you and me.
It is with you and me.  It is between you and me.
Always and forever.

Things differ from each other.
“This differs from that.”  “This is different from that.”  Similar to, different from; it all makes sense.
Practice saying it:  “different from; different from; different from.”
(Side note:  if you are comparing things that differ from something else, you might say, “this is more different than that is.”)

None is short for “not one” and is singular.
“None is left,” not “none are left.”
“None of the members is left,” not “none of the members are left.”
Sure, you can use a plural verb.  You can also use “ain’t” in your resume and call your boss a geek.  It’s a free country.

In defense of the “Oxford comma”:
What do you indolent, stuporous people have against a fricking comma?  Leaving it out can completely change the meaning of a sentence.
“Last night I met two prostitutes, your mother and your sister.”
“Last night I met two prostitutes, your mother, and your sister.”

“I feel badly” means that when you try to identify something by touch, you do a poor job.
“I feel bad” means that you are experiencing distress.  It’s like “I look bad” or “I am bad.”

Apostrophes that look wrong but aren’t:  the plurals of non-words use apostrophes to prevent ambiguity.
“Mind your p’s and q’s.”  “The 1930’s were difficult years.”
Some people disagree with this.  I feel bad for them.

There is nothing wrong with using first person in formal writing.  Third-person circumlocutions like “this writer” get tiresome very fast and should die.
Similarly, using myself as a way to avoid saying I or me is usually just plain wrong.
I tell it like it is.

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