The 2021 Hurricane Season

This year CSU again predicted an above-average season with 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. If last year was any indication we should expect a wild season that starts early and ends late.

From the National Hurricane Center, the 2021 Atlantic tropical cyclone names are: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

This year, instead of the Greek alphabet, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a list of normal names to use as the supplemental list of tropical cyclone names: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, and Will.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This new virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The disease it causes is called Covid-19. Source: Wall Street Journal. This is a serious disease – “a potential pandemic.” They think it originated in a (animal/seafood) market in Wuhan, China, on December 1, 2019. As of March 3, 2020, the WHO reports that there are 92,315 confirmed cases – 3,131 deaths; 60 cases in the US and 6 deaths.

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Texas to allow carrying guns without a license or background check

So this is a thing now…

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is poised to remove one of its last major gun restrictions after lawmakers approved allowing people to carry handguns without a license, and the background check and training that go with it.

Source: ABCNews.com

I got a License To Carry a few years ago, and I passed background checks for every gun I purchased. I’m with the LEO on this one – I object! I think all gun sales (private too) should require a background check. And people that carry should have a License To Carry (LTC) license.

UPDATE:

Governor Abbott signed House Bill 1927 into law on June 16, 2021, and it takes effect September 1, 2021. (Source: Texas Tribune, Texans can carry handguns without a license or training starting Sept. 1, after Gov. Greg Abbott signs permitless carry bill into law)

Memorial Day Ribs 2021

This year I sound like a broken record. I made ribs for Memorial Day weekend – using my tried and true recipe. The world is still in a corona virus pandemic, and more Americans are resisting getting vaccinated. This year I finished the ribs in the oven with bbq sauce; I don’t think I’ve lit the grill in 9 months.

Ingredients

Meat
2 slabs (~6 lbs) of baby back ribs

Rub (a little different than last year)
4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder

Directions

It was really easy this year since I didn’t light the grill. Heat oven to 250 F. (My oven runs cool so I sometimes turn it up to 275 F.) Start by taking off the membrane that covers the bones. Then sprinkle top and bottom of the ribs with your favorite rub seasoning. Place ribs bones down, uncovered, on a foil covered roasting pan, and bake for 2 hours.

Next take the ribs out, cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, and place back on the pan and bake them another 2 hours.

Finally, take the ribs out, uncover them, paint them with your favorite barbeque sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes or so. Check for doneness. If they aren’t tender enough you could try covering them again and baking another 30 minutes.

This year we served the ribs with corn on the cob and Barbie’s (famous) potato salad. It was delicious!

With manned Mars missions on the horizon, nuclear-powered rockets are finally getting reconsidered

I was a sophomore in high school when someone asked me, “what do you want to do when you graduate college?” To which I promptly replied, “make nuclear rockets.”

Nuclear-Powered Rockets Could Be The Best Option For Bringing Humans To Mars

Source: NPR

Finally, nuclear-powered rockets for space travel are getting some recognition.

Worst Week of Winter Weather. Ever.

I’ve lived in this area for 25 years, and I’ve watched the weather change over that time, but I have never seen weather like this, last this long. For a solid 7 days temperatures have not gotten above 40 F. (Thursday 2/11 high was 37 F.) We had rolling power outages on Sunday (2/14) and Monday. We got every kind of precipitation – rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow. The lowest temperature was 5 F Tuesday morning.

Fortunately for us, we were prepared. We saw the signs and listened to the forecast, and we ordered grocery pickup on Saturday (2/13) before the food ran out and the bad weather hit. By Monday, HEB was the only place open.

I camped-out in my living room Sunday – Thursday, tending dripping faucets, watching tree limbs sag, turning on heaters when the power came back on. Texas A&M cancelled classes and work for non-essential employees Monday – Thursday. “Warm up shelters” (that’s new) were setup Tuesday – Thursday at local arenas.

Super Bowl LV: A Game of Firsts

Super Bowl LV (February 7, 2021) – Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – will be a game of firsts.

The Buccaneers will be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium,[8] and the first wild card team to appear in the Super Bowl since the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. In his first season as a player for the Buccaneers, quarterback Tom Brady will appear in his record 10th Super Bowl.[9] The Chiefs will seek to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Brady’s former team the New England Patriots (XXXVIII and XXXIX).[10] Due to COVID-19 protocols limiting stadium capacity to 25,000 fans, this will be the lowest attended Super Bowl.[11]

Source: Wikipedia

Can Texas Secede in 2021

Kyle Biedermann [R-Fredericksburg] introduced HB 1359 on January 26, 2021, to the 87th Legislative session of Texas.

Introduction:
Relating to proposing a referendum to the people of the State of Texas on the question of whether this state should leave the United States of America and establish an independent republic.

This isn’t the first time Texans wanted to secede – even I lived through a vote – but alas, we can’t.

U.S. Capitol Mobbed

Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

At about 2:30 PM on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, unarmed protesters mobbed the U.S. Capital building as the Electoral College vote was being counted.

Pro-Trump protestors breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, violently clashing with law enforcement as lawmakers were gathered inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election.

Source: APnews.com

The fighting came shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.

UPDATE 1/9/2021

Trump riots: Democrats plan to introduce article of impeachment

Source: BBC

Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment – the charge of “incitement of insurrection” – on Monday, January 11, 2021, just 9 days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.