Thoughts & Essays

Sock gremlins, goats, pollen, & some more serious stuff.

It’s actually been kind of a quiet day news-wise. Relatively, y’know. Like, we’re probably going to war and the president’s getting impeached, but there’s not a lot of news to report about all that, so it’s quiet.

Since it’s quiet, I want to point out this story at NPR: California Cities Turn To Hired Hooves To Help Prevent Massive Wildfires. This story makes me happy. California cities are hiring companies who bring in big herds of goats to mow down underbrush and limit the fuel for wildfires. You look up on the hill and there are goats, munching away, stopping wildfires. It’s sustainable, it works, and for some reason the goats are drawn to invasive plant species in the area, so it’s doing good things on multiple levels. That’s awesome.

Here’s another fun story I want to show you, this time from a Scientific American blog: Botanical Sexism Cultivates Home-Grown Allergies. So, for decades we’ve seen a huge increase in people with allergies and asthma. Like, it’s a problem. An epidemic. And for awhile we didn’t know why. Turns out, it’s because after Dutch Elm Disease decimated city trees, we replanted with male trees because they didn’t drop seeds and cause litter. And since all the plantings and trees were all male, and there were no female plants to soak up all their pollen, cities were suddenly jam-packed full of pollen. Like ridiculous amounts of pollen. And the overdose gave us all allergies and asthma. Your allergies were caused by horny boy trees who couldn’t find girl trees to get it on with.

Okay, on to the serious stuff now, I guess.


  • Mitch McConnell claims he has the votes to proceed with an impeachment trial without having to call any new witnesses. (Washington Post)

To recap, the House voted to impeach Trump, but Nancy Pelosi hasn’t sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate yet. Without those, the Senate can’t start an impeachment trial. The popular thought is that she was withholding the articles in an attempt to force Mitch McConnell to hold a trial where the Senate will call witnesses and allow new testimony. McConnell is saying he has the votes to start the trial without promising witnesses and new evidence.


  • Iran claims to have several scenarios for revenge against the US for assassinating Soleimani, and that their revenge will be “proportional,” unlike our actions. (Reuters)
  • Yesterday the Pentagon sent notice to Iraq that the US would withdraw their troops from Iraq. Then they claimed that notice was an accident, that the letter sent was an “unfinished draft” that shouldn’t have been released. Before they got to that story, though, there was a whole bunch of confusion and conflicting statements and explanations, so… 🤷 (Washington Post)

Glad to see the guys in charge of war have all their ducks in a row and definitely aren’t running around in a befuddled panic trying to figure out WTF is going on or anything.

I’ll wrap this up by sharing this rare video of a North American Sock Gremlin. Be warned: it’s pretty graphic.

ETA: Goddammit, I just said it was a quiet news day.

“At least 10 rockets hit al-Asad airbase in Iraq, which houses US forces, a Sunni commander of the paramilitary forces in a nearby town told CNN.”

CNN: Iranians take credit for rocket attack on base housing US troops