Friday, January 26, 2024

How to Stop Illegal Alien Invaders? Here's a Spam Email Analogy (published 1-26-2024; article #453)


Welcome to the 68th article, under the topic section “Poly-Tics (Greek "πολλά," many, + "ticks," blood suckers).” (The previous 67 articles were four in 2006, two in 2009, two in 2013, five in 2020, thirty-two in 2021, seventeen in 2022, and five last year.) I don't like writing these type of articles. At times, I feel the need to do so. This is one of those times.

As the above photograph proves, advocacy groups want no nations and no borders. John Lennon's 1971 hit song, “Imagine,” dreams of no countries. Such advocates imagine impractical fantasies, and their agenda promotes the nightmare, of a godless, humanistic, and socialistic “utopia.” Their pipe dream worldview is not the biblical worldview. The majority of citizens, in every nation, however, wants secure borders. A nation, by definition, must have known and secure borders. Look on any world map.

Why is it so hard to stop the illegal invasion, at the USA southern border? I don't know, but I do know. This article will explain, by analogy.

I asked the question, to the artificial intelligence entity, known as Bing. Bing's answer, on 1/25/2024, was ambiguous, to say the least. Anyone, with common sense, knows the answer. Of course, that excludes the current executive branch, of the federal government. The Biden administration lacks common sense, and, even worse, I suspect their pipe dream agenda. The conclusion will explain.

The Illegal Alien Invaders

This section is about two invasions. The first part highlights the well-known illegal alien invasion, at the southern border, of this once great nation. The overwhelming invasion is ongoing.

The second part is about the illegal alien spam email invasion, into my email software's inbox. That temporary invasion lasted, from 10/27/2023 to 12/31/2023. The invasion, while aggravating, was short-lived.

The USSA Southern Border

What southern border? A border is a boundary that establishes a limit. It is a barrier that blocks, intends to block, or governs entry. If the established requirements are met, then a person is granted legal entry. Living in Russia, from 1994 to 1999, my wife and I obtained new visas, annually, to continue our legal alien (expatriate) status, in Russia.

This once great nation does not have a southern border. Various media outlets continue the storyline, on a daily basis. One, of countless, sources is “America’s southern border has become a global crossroads,” The Economist, 1/18/2024. The article encapsulates well the invasion, at the southern border, and it states, “America’s northern border has proved porous, too.”

Recent news has been focusing on the actions, of the federal executive branch, to prevent the state of Texas, from securing its southern border. By a five to four margin, the so-called United States Supreme Court ruled, in favor of the executive branch. Sources: Supreme Court of the United States, Docket 23A607, title “Department of Homeland Security, et al., Applicants v. Texas,” 1/22/2024 and “Supreme Court Allows Biden Admin to Remove Texas Border Wire,” The Daily Signal, by Katelynn Richardson, 1/22/2024. The second source states that the Supreme Court decision, on 1/22/2024, by a five to four margin, allowed the Biden administration's Border Patrol, to remove the border wire, which Texas had set up, to secure it's southern border. Two so-called conservative members of the Court (Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Barrett) joined the three so-called liberal members of the Court (Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson), to make the 5-4 decision. Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh opposed the decision.

Texas is trying to secure its southern border. The federal government is fighting Texas, to keep the southern border open! The asinine absurdity of this astounds me!

Meanwhile, earlier today, I received the weekly email, from US Senator Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee. The subject is “The Blackburn Report: Ending The VA's Prioritization Of Illegal Immigrants.” The first sentence states, Over 1 million veterans are waiting for a claim to be processed, while taxpayers are shouldering $94.3 million in medical care for detained migrants.” The online article is “Blackburn To Biden’s VA: Putting Illegal Immigrants Above America’s Veterans Is Unacceptable,” Marsha Blackburn, US Senator, Tennessee, 1/17/2024.

Yes, up is down, and down is up, in this once great nation! Why not prioritize medical care, for illegal aliens, while citizen veterans wait their turn? That seems fair and logical -- only when pigs fly backwards, north, for the winter!

The overwhelming invasion is ongoing. It will not stop, or be stopped, soon.

My Email Border

I thought that my email border was secure, since only a few spam emails were trickling in, at times. It was easy, to block and deport the few.

An illegal alien spam email invasion, however, started, on 10/27/2023. Multiple spam emails invaded daily, like illegal aliens, invading the USSA (Ununited Socialist States of America) southern border. The daily total of invaders, often from the same domain, varied, from none (very rare), to well over fifteen. On some days, over two dozen illegal invaders crossed my email border. The peak was on Sunday, 12/17/2023, when 53 spam invaders crossed the border illegally!

The aggravating email invasion was short-lived. I was determined to stop it and to secure my email border.

A Spam Email Analogy

In contrast to the USSA southern border, I started building a strong spam email filter! The construction period was from 10/27/2023 to 12/31/2023 -- just over two months.

During that period, I blocked a total of 332 domains (which included an uncounted number of emails, from each domain) and certain specific emails. Also, I reported several spam email domains, to the proper online authorities.

Now, the strong spam filter blocks almost all of the illegal alien emails, from even crossing the boarder, into my inbox. Any illegals that slip through go into the junk email folder, from which I deport them. I add those illegal domains or emails, into the spam filter.

My determination, to secure my email border, continues. My email border is secure again. The spam filter is working. I strengthen it, as needed.


So, why is it so hard to stop the illegal invasion, at the USA southern border? I don't know, in that this once great nation has the personnel and equipment to do so. The border was being secured, under the previous federal executive branch.

I do know, in that the current federal executive branch appears to be purposefully hapless. It does not demonstrate the desire, to secure the border. It seems to accept and even encourage the human tragedy, as collateral damage, to advance its nightmare, of a godless, humanistic, and socialistic “utopia.” That pipe dream worldview is not the biblical worldview.

My spam email analogy explains how easy it could be, to secure this once great nation's southern border. The will, to do so, is all that is needed. For a sampling of my previous public statements, on this porous topic, please see the following three articles.

'If I Were the Devil' – Inspired by Paul Harvey” (7/22/2022): the podcast transcript includes the following.

If I were the devil, I would open the border wider – for all illegals to cross. Bring in all, who yearn for handouts, bus rides, cell phones, and places to live! Bring in terrorists, stalkers, rapists, criminals, murderers!

"Illegal Analogy: 5-14-2006 article on 8-5-2022 podcast" (8/5/2022): the article references the original article, of 5/14/2006, and links to the 8/5/2022 podcast, in which I spoke my written words, of almost 18 years ago now.

Illegal Border Crossing: Molly is Guilty!” (10/22/2022): the argument by analogy includes the comment: “The socialists think that they are adding more socialist voters. They continue to transform this once great nation into the Socialist Utopian Oblivion that they desire.”

Let's see if anyone can find out how many illegal aliens vote, illegally, in the next presidential election. Let's see how many mysteriously found and so-called votes appear, out of nowhere, just in time, to be counted, to turn red states blue.

As a point of integrity, I do not support and will not vote for Donald Trump, in the next presidential election. He has too much baggage. I am a constitutional conservative, who has a biblical worldview. That makes me a fiscal conservative also. If such a candidate, who is a true Christian, runs for president, then he or she will have my vote. I plan, Lord willing, to vote -- even if only for myself.

Where is the truly Christian constitutional conservative, who can get my vote, in the next presidential election? Could someone please stand up!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Eight Days of Winter (1/15-22/2024): Knox County, TN, & Moscow, Russia (published 1-23-2024; article #452)


Welcome, dear reader, to a winter wonderland article! It's about our eight days of real winter. The article on Sunday, 1/14/2024, broke the weather alert news, about the snow that was forecast, the next day (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). The conclusion had encouraged calm, before the snow storm. The local weather forecasters were right, that time.

This 101st article, under the “life (such as it is)” topic section, includes four photographs of snow. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's stealthy video clip, on Tuesday, is highlighted.

This article contrasts eight days of winter (January 15th to the 22st), in Knox County, Tennessee, to Moscow, Russia. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I served as Christian missionaries, in and around Moscow, from 1994 to 1999. When northeast Tennessee gets a few days of winter, I remember the long, cold, and snowy Russian winters. To say that there is quite a contrast, usually, would be an understatement. Our eight days of winter, however, were similar to an entire Russian winter. We sampled that, to which, Russians are accustomed, all winter long.

The contrast is day by day. The Moscow, Russia, weather information is from Monthly Weather: Moscow, Russia, January 2024 (The Weather Channel). The Knox County, Tennessee, weather information is by yours truly. Two accurate thermometers (analog and digital) are located, below the front porch ceiling. We still have the yardstick that we were given, when we lived in Charleston, Missouri (1986 - 1992).

Please remember that snow covers the Russian capital, from early November, to the end of April. Unpaved ground remains white, about six months of the year. Snow drifts bury inactive cars. The cars reappear, once the snow starts to melt. Accidentally stepping into a snow drift can bury you knee deep, in snow. I know. I did it several times.

Monday, 1/15/2024, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Moscow: morning low -14 degrees Celsius (C), daytime high -2C. That's a morning low of 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and a daytime high of 28.4F. It snowed, on a cloudy day. An unknown depth of snow covered the ground.

Certainly, the main roads, streets, and sidewalks were being kept clear. Secondary roads, streets, and sidewalks crunch, as vehicles or pedestrians travel them. I still enjoy hearing fresh snow crunch, under my feet. I don't like to hear truck tires crunching through snow.

Here: morning low 26F (-3.3C), daytime high 31F (-0.6C). On Sunday evening, about 8:30 PM, I was outside, with Molly (our age 8 “puppy”). Molly enjoys sniffing and running, in our one acre yard, before her bedtime. I'd seen and felt the light snow.

On Monday morning, we awakened, to see the snow that had fallen, during the night. Heavy snow continued to fall, throughout the cloudy and foggy day. I took the two photographs, below, at 3:35 PM. I was on the landing, just outside a basement door. Both views look southwest. The yardstick showed six inches of snow, at that moment. Snow continued to fall, well into the evening and during the night.

I'd crouched, to take the photograph. Those are Molly's tracks. The next photograph shows the snow, still coming down. I'd stood up, to get a better image.

Molly enjoyed the day, on the living room couch. My wife had a work holiday. I started working on this article.

Tuesday, 1/16/2024

Moscow: morning low -3C (26.6F), daytime high -1C (30.2F). The day was cloudy, with more snowfall. It was a seasonably warm day.

Here: morning low 16F (-8.9C), daytime high 27F (-2.8C). The low and high temperatures here were colder than in Moscow. Morning clouds cleared to a mostly sunny afternoon.

I shoveled snow, off the driveway, for almost two hours (from 12:51 to 2:49 PM). I'd worn a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and light jacket (three layers), with gloves, when I started. Minutes into the work, I took off the light jacket and gloves. I was too warm! Just over an hour into the job, I'd paused, to take the photograph, below, at 1:55 PM.

The yardstick measured eight inches of snow. I took the next photograph, at 3:09 PM, twenty minutes, after I'd finished shoveling snow.

I decided not to shovel the snow, off the driveway, behind our 2012 Nissan Sentra. I knew that my wife would have snow days, off work, all this week. She did. Our 2006 Nissan Frontier had a cleared path, if needed.

At 2 PM, on the dot, my sneaky wife recorded a 59-second video clip, of me shoveling snow! On Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube), the episode is "Shoveling Snow, 1-16-2024: Recorded, by Mrs Appalachian Irishman (published 1-16-2024; episode 25).” Near the end of the clip, I looked, saw, and asked, “Are you recording me?” Answering “yes,” she signed off quickly!

Molly, our couch potato “puppy,” came outside, a while, when I was shoveling snow. I need to buy another snow shovel. My wife could help shovel snow!

Wednesday, 1/17/2024

Moscow: the morning low and the daytime high were both -8C (17.6F). The weather was cloudy. Snow fell again.

Here: morning low -3F (-19.4C), daytime high 32F (0C). The morning low was a bit colder than Moscow. The sky was mostly sunny. I managed to encourage Molly, our couch potato, to get outside, with me, a while. I wished that the roads, to House Mountain, were clear enough. In wisdom, I decided not to attempt a drive there, for a snow hike.

Thursday, 1/18/2024

I remembered my maternal uncle, Robert (Bobby) Allen Wood (5/14/1939 - 1/18/1941), and my wife's paternal aunt, Mona Beckner (1/18/1922 - 4/18/2022). Uncle Bobby passed, on this date, in 1941. Aunt Mona was born, on this date, in 1922.

Moscow: morning low -15C (5.0F), daytime high -8C (17.6F). The weather was still cloudy and snowy.

Here: morning low 4F (-15.6C), daytime high 32F (0C). The morning low was slightly colder than Moscow. The sky was cloudy. The local weather forecast was calling for freezing rain or snow, to start that evening. About 10 PM, I noticed that a light freezing rain was falling.

After the noon meal, I “hiked” from our house, to the county road and back, speaking briefly with four neighbors. The distance is about eight tenths of a mile, round trip. The subdivision road, slightly curvy and hilly, was solid snow and ice. The few vehicle tracks had compacted snow into ice. Reaching the more curvy and hilly county road, I saw that it was covered, with snow, ice, and slush. I saw a few vehicles travel slowly, up the road. I didn't see any come down it. That county road didn't appear to have any salt or brine treatment. Neighbors, who'd been out, told me that the nearby state road had been treated, with salt and brine.

Back home, having taken off my boots, I saw that the hard scab, on the heal of my “bionic” right foot, had torn loose and bled, into my sock. I'd wondered why my right heel was hurting slightly, each time that I took a step. I cleaned and bandaged the wound.

I think that my 2006 Frontier could have taken me, to and from the grocery store. We have sufficient groceries. I didn't want to get slush and salt brine, on my truck.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and Molly both enjoyed their mostly couch potato lives. I couldn't get either, to walk the subdivision road, with me.

Meanwhile, as a political aside, with the USSA (Ununited Socialist States of America) sinking, in trillions of dollars of debt, the USSA Congress passed yet another temporary spending bill -- funding federal government until early March -- to avoid yet another federal government shutdown. One source is “US Congress passes bill to avert government shutdown, sends it to Biden,” Reuters, by Richard Cowan & Makini Brice, 1/19/2024. When will the government, of this once great nation, ever learn to live within its means? Don't hold your breath! Let's see what these borrow and spend debt addicts do, in early March.

Friday, 1/19/2024

Moscow: morning low -9C (15.8F), daytime high -4C (24.8F). The weather was cloudy and windy, but snow did not fall. Of course, layers of snow still covered the ground.

Here: the morning low and the daytime high were the same, 33F (0.6C). We awakened, to see snow falling. The snow kept falling, either lightly or heavily, during the day. Thankfully, the shoveled driveway did not acquire new accumulations of ice or snow. New accumulation melted. By late afternoon, the clouds started to clear. The temperature started dropping, late in the afternoon, as it usually does.

Before taking my morning shower, I removed the bandage, from my “bionic” right heel. Tape had stuck to the wound. Removing that caused the scab to bleed, quite profusely. I splattered the bathroom floor, with blood. Well, sir, that will teach me! I stopped the bleeding, took a shower, and bandaged the wound, properly, this time!

I didn't put on my boots, to venture outside, since I didn't want to reinjure my heel. The postman didn't deliver any mail that day. I day dreamed about a snow hike!

My wife and Molly continued to enjoy their couch potato lives. Come on, y'all! Get out in the snow a while! Neither of you have a damaged heel!

Meanwhile, on a point of morality, the fifty-first annual March for Life Rally, from the National Mall, to Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., was this afternoon. See “Celebrating the Sanctity of Human Life in the Nation’s Capital,” Liberty Counsel, 1/17/2024. The section, for Monday, 1/22/2024, will include additional comments.

My youngest brother called. His family and he are coping well enough. He measured up to ten inches of snow.

Saturday, 1/20/2024

Moscow: morning low -11C (12.2F), daytime high -4C (24.8F). On another cloudy day, an unknown amount of snow add a new layer. When we lived in Russia, I enjoyed new snow, since it covered the dirty snow layer. Snow, made dirty from foot traffic, looks like sand.

Here: morning low 10F (-12.2C), daytime high 24F (-4.4C). Our morning low and daytime high were slightly colder than Moscow. The weather was sunny and breezy. Outdoors, the wind chill was noticeable.

While my “long-suffering” wife and Molly continued their couch potato lifestyles, my 2006 Frontier took me safely, to and from the nearby grocery store. (We were out of bread and low on other items. My wife didn't want to try to make homemade bread, using her bread machine.) I checked out, at 3:12 PM. The state highway was clear and dry. The county road, in the shady areas, was white. Our subdivision road was compacted snow and ice. Returning home, I had to guide my truck back down the steep bank, where the subdivision road meets the county road, about four times, before enough traction could get us over that bank.

Having unloaded the groceries, I shoveled snow, from the walkway that leads to the front porch. I also shoveled some snow, from behind where our 2012 Sentra is garaged. A heavier coat and a scarf around my neck were required, to keep me warm enough.

My wife paused watching the countless women's college basketball games that were on television, to put up the groceries. She also helped, with a couple of loads of laundry.

Sunday, 1/21/2024

Most, if not all, churches, in our area, were closed, due to the weather. Many churches, however, offer online participation, in worship.

I remembered my “adoptive” mother, Ozella McTigue Scott (1/21/1930 - 4/26/2023), who was born on this day, in 1930. (The 8/5/2023 short story explains the family connection.) I called and had a good phone conversation, with my “adoptive” sister, Carol Sue. Southeast Missouri has been having a similar week of winter. The area didn't get as much snow, but the temperatures have been colder than here.

Moscow: morning low -14C (6.8F), daytime high -10C (14.0F). The weather was mostly sunny, with no snow! This was the first day, in the eight-day period, that sun broke through the clouds.

Here: morning low 0F (-17.7C), daytime high 31F (-0.5C). Our morning low was slightly colder than Moscow, but our daytime high was much warmer.

Preparing to shower, I noticed that the scab, on my “bionic” right heel, had bled again. Yesterday, I'd bandaged the scab and worn two pair of socks, thinking that I'd protected my heel. Apparently, I didn't. I didn't want to aggravate my heel, by putting on my boots and going outside.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and Molly both enjoyed their mostly couch potato lives. My wife focused on the countless women's college basketball games that were televised.

Monday, 1/22/2024

This day marked the 40th anniversary observance, of the National Sanctity of Human Life Day -- first declared, by President Ronald Reagan, on 1/22/1984. (One source, of several, is “Sanctity of Human Life Day 2024: What Is it, Which Presidents Endorsed It,” Newsweek, by Kaitlin Lewis, 1/21/2024.) As stated previously, the fifty-first annual March for Life Rally, in Washington, D.C., was last Friday. The morally infamous 1/22/1973 Roe v. Wade decision, by the U.S. “Supreme” Court, was overturned, finally and thankfully, by the morally famous 6/24/2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, by the U.S. “Supreme” Court. The complete statement, on my pro-life stand, is in the article of 6/30/2022.

Moscow: morning low -12C (10.4F), daytime high -4C (24.8F). The weather was mostly cloudy, but there was no snow.

Here: morning low 10F (-12.2C), daytime high 45F (+7.2C). Our morning low was barely colder than Moscow, but our eight days of winter were over.

In the afternoon, with the temperature comfortably above freezing, Molly got off the couch and remembered how to enjoy the cool and sunny weather, outside! I shoveled the melting snow, from the driveway, behind where our car is garaged. My “brave” wife shoveled two scoops of snow. Later, she and I dusted, swept, and vacuumed. Yes, her county school employer called off school today, due to the morning cold and the roads, which were still snow covered. She found out that she's off work tomorrow also.


Here, the typically warm and rainy winter weather pattern is returning. Today, Tuesday, 1/23/2023, our morning low was 28F (-2.2C). The daytime high reached 46F (+7.7C). The after midnight low (for tomorrow morning) is predicted to be 37F (+2.7C). The clouds could bring rain, through most of this week. The 10-Day Weather: Knoxville, TN, as of 1/23/2024, 9:39 AM EST (The Weather Channel) forecasts, from the remainder of today, through Tuesday, 2/6/2024. (That's 14 complete days, actually.) Two morning lows are predicted to be barely below freezing. Daytime highs could range from 44 to 62F (+6.6 to +16.6C). Rain is predicted eight days. Light breezes are expected.

In Moscow, the typically cold, cloudy, and snowy weather pattern continues. On Tuesday, 1/23/2023, the morning low was -7C (19.4F). The daytime high was below freezing, as usual. Snow fell, again. Total snowfall, in January, so far, was 13.18 inches. In the last seven days, 6.09 inches of snow had fallen. The 10-Day Weather: Moscow, Russia, as of 1/23/2024, 5:57 PM MSK (The Weather Channel) actually forecasts 14 complete days, from the rest of today, through Tuesday, 2/6/2024. All morning lows will be well below freezing. Two daytime highs could reach freezing or just above freezing. Snow is predicted 12 days. Winds will be light to moderate.

During our years in Russia, I would tell folks, who asked, about Russian weather, that Moscow, Russia, shares about the same latitude, as Juneau, Alaska. That's what a paper map, which I'd had at the time, showed me. GPS Coordinates shows that Moscow's latitude (55.750541) is slightly lower than Juneau's latitude (58.30195). Well, I was about right.

For recent photographs, of the current Russian winter, you might enjoy: “In Photos: Russians Grapple With Heating Losses Amid Subzero Temperatures,” The Moscow Times, 1/17/2024. The photographs remind me of Russia.

Do I miss the cold and snowy Russian winters? No, but I do remember them. Properly clothed and walking in certain areas, I saw many winter wonderland scenes. Travel to and from Klin, on an электричка (elektrichka, an electric, commuter train), provided breathtaking views, of the snowy countryside. The wagons were usually warm enough, as long as I kept on my heavy coat.

Did I adapt well, to our eight days of Russian winter? Yes, quite well and easily. It brought back memories. The main problem, locally, was that Knox County doesn't have the personnel, equipment, and supplies, to clear all the roads. State roads were cleared, fairly early. County roads were like snowy ice skating rinks.

Today, I could have gone snow hiking, on House Mountain. Instead, my wife, joining me bravely, and I hauled off the trash and recycling, and I filled up my truck with gas. Our eight days of Russian winter are over. Russians continue to enjoy and endure their winter season.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Breaking News: 1-15-2024 Weather Alert, Tomorrow, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (published 1-14-2024; article #451)


This is M. Fearghail, your breaking news reporter, coming to you live, again, from my home studio office, on Sunday, January 14th, 2024. The time is 3:47 PM, as I type this sentence.

The report, last Friday, broke the same day news, about the wind advisory that was fake news. That article was updated, earlier today, to report the relatively minor power outages and wind damage. This is the 111th article, under the “humor” topic section.

This article reports the weather alert, for tomorrow, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Please remain calm. The conclusion will encourage calm.

Weather Alert, for Tomorrow

This section begins, with the media alert. My weather observation follows.

Media Alert

Local news media have been sensationalizing the weather alert, since at least last Friday. Once source is “Winter weather and deep cold coming for the holiday Monday,” on WBIR-TV, by Tevian Whitehurst, WBIR Weather, published 1/13/2024; updated 1/14/2024. The byline states, “Temperatures fall throughout the week, allowing for snow to accumulate from a passing system beginning late Sunday through MLK Jr. Monday.” The seven-day forecast, in the article, shows the daily low and high temperatures (in Fahrenheit), including daily weather predictions. The forecast predicts lows, from seven degrees (Wednesday) to 25 degrees (tomorrow and Friday). The predicted highs range, from 28 (Tuesday) to 37 (Friday). Snow is predicted, tomorrow (90%) and Friday (40%).

This breaking news report focuses on "Weather Alerts - Corryton, TN: Winter Storm Warning (from 1/15/2024, Monday, 1 AM, until 1/16/2024, Tuesday, 7 AM EST)," on The alert states:

Action Recommended: make preparations per the instructions.
Issued by: Knoxville/Tri-Cities - TN, US, National Weather Service.
Affected Area: Portions of East Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
WHAT: heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches. Locally higher amounts possible.
WHERE: portions of East Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
WHEN: from 1 AM EST Monday to 7 AM EST Tuesday.
IMPACTS: plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: if you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 511.

This is a winter storm warning, for areas of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia, from 1 AM tomorrow, until 7 AM Tuesday, in the eastern standard time zone. The area could see at least three to six inches of snow. The temperature (overnight low and daytime high) will be lower, so the precipitation will be in the form of snow, not rain.

My Weather Observation

This morning's low was 24 degrees Fahrenheit. The late afternoon high was 41 degrees. Sunrise showed hints of orange, which indicate precipitation coming. The wind blew mildly, usually from the northwest, most of the day.

While outside, enjoying the sun and wind, this afternoon, with Molly (our age 8 “puppy”), the sky was mostly sunny. I didn't smell snow, in the air. (Yes, it is possible to smell either rain or snow, in the air.) Approaching 5 PM, as I now type, a line of clouds is coming in, from the west. The wind is blowing, gently, from the west.

Overnight, the temperature should drop below freezing. Tomorrow may bring snow, snow mixed with rain, or rain only. We could have morning snow that turns to rain, if the temperature rises above freezing, tomorrow afternoon.

The weather prognosticators predict three to six inches of snow tomorrow. I hope that they are right! If the roads are passable, then I might be able to hike House Mountain, in the snow, tomorrow! We will see.


Please remain calm, dear reader. Yesterday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I attended the Cherokee High School Lady Chiefs' basketball game, in my hometown. Our niece, the eldest daughter of my youngest brother and his wife, is a starter, on the team. The roads had already been treated, with salt and brine! We were amazed! The roads should have been treated today, in anticipation of a little snow tomorrow. Treating the roads yesterday provided ample time, for vehicles to clear the treatment, from the roads!

The local weather forecasters are, as usual, sensationalizing the possibility of a little snow tomorrow. Anyone, who has common sense, should already be prepared. Be calm. We have seen little snows, in winter, around here before.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Breaking News: The 1-12-2024 Wind Advisory that was Fake News! (published 1-12-2024; article #450)

Update, 1/15/2024, Sunday: Blount County and Sevier County had some strong gusts. First source: “Blount Co. dispatchers receive over 50 calls for downed trees Friday due to high winds, and are preparing for snow in the forecast,” on WBIR-TV, by Aaron Velasquez, 1/12/2024, 10:28 PM. The article states that, on Friday, 1/12/2024, Blount County dispatchers received over 50 calls, about fallen trees and damage. Wind gusts, of about 50 miles per hour, were reported, in some areas of that county. Lance Coleman, the Blount County Emergency Management Agency director, stated, “It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.” Second source: “Thousands without power across East TN and damage reported at Greene Co. school as high winds sweep through region,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/12/2024, 5:51 PM. The article reports the number of homes that were without electricity, in Blount, Greene, Loudon, Monroe, and Sevier Counties, as of about 5 PM, on Friday, 1/12/2024. By adding the numbers, reported in the article, I tallied a total of 13,118 homes that were without power, at that time. (The Alcoa Electric Department provides power to Blount County. The Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative provides electricity to Blount, Loudon, and Monroe Counties.) The article also reports that a wind gust “blew an awning off a modular classroom at South Greene Middle School, in Greene County.” The Blount County Emergency Management Agency director's statement, in the first source, was about right! I would say that it wasn't as bad as the weather news had sensationalized that it would be!


This is M. Fearghail, your factual news reporter, live, in my home office studio. This news desk is delivering you breaking news. The time, at the typing of this sentence, is 3:32 PM. The date is Friday, January 12, 2024.

The breaking news, even as I write, is about the wind advisory that has become fake news. Area school systems closed today, as a result of the fake news. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is enjoying her “fake weather news” day off work. Her county public school employer is one of several school systems that is closed.

This article will be filed, as the 110th article, under the “humor” topic section. Despite the humor, this breaking news report will conclude, with a serious question.

The Fake News

The fake news started yesterday. Several local media outlets were reporting the same weather line (or lie). “Sophisticated” computer weather models -- which can't be trusted, obviously -- were predicting that strong winds, with some rain, would impact the region today. Of the various media outlets, this article picks on WBIR-TV, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The following are two articles, which this breaking news reporter has selected.

The first article is “Several East Tennessee schools closing Friday ahead of strong winds and rain,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/11/2024. The byline states, “Another strong, low-pressure system is expected to move through the Southeast on Friday and could bring damaging winds and strong storms to East Tennessee.” The article lists the 24 schools and school systems that closed today. The list includes 13 area county school systems.

The other article is “More wind and rain expected today in East Tennessee,” on WBIR-TV, by Cassie Nall, published 1/10/2024, updated 1/12/2024. The article states that our area is under a “wind advisory.” Wind gusts, up to 55 miles per hour, are predicted, between noon and 6 PM. Showers and storms, up to a half inch of rain, were also predicted.

As of this date, 1/12/2023, Weather Alerts, on WBIR-TV, shows the following.

Wind Advisory until SAT 7:00 AM EST Knox County, Tennessee. Start: 1/12/2024 9:59:00 AM. End: 1/13/2024 7:00:00 AM. WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 AM EST SATURDAY. WHAT: South winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph possible. WHERE: Portions of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. WHEN: From 7 AM Friday to 7 AM EST Saturday. IMPACTS: Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

Well, all that is turning out to be fake news. The truth is what follows next.

The Truth

This morning, about 6:15 AM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, enjoying her paid day off work, started making my morning coffee, once she heard that I was awake. It was still dark outside. There was no wind or rain.

As dawn started to break, about 7:20 AM, the sky was mostly clear. Red sky predicted that rain was coming. The morning low was 26 degrees Fahrenheit. At sunrise, the sky was mostly sunny. There was no wind or rain. The morning was mostly sunny, with no wind or rain.

After our morning showers, my wife decided to join me, bravely, for the weekly errands. We hauled off the trash and recycling. Afterward, we shopped for groceries. A sporadic light rain fell, at times. There was no wind. Our grocery store checkout time was 12:05 PM.

Back home, having put away the groceries, my wife decided to go visit her father and sister, who live nearby. Shortly after she left, a heavier rain fell, for a few minutes. The wind blew lightly. I saw and heard a brief gust. I couldn't determine the speed. The heavy rain changed to intermittent showers. The wind continued to blow lightly and briefly, at times.

I took the following photograph, at 3:01 PM. I was standing at the threshold, to the deck. The view looks southwest.

The cedar tree verifies that no wind was blowing. A light rain was falling. The temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking out my home studio office windows, I am monitoring the wind, by watching the movements, if any, of our yard flag. At 4:22 PM, while typing this sentence, the yard flag is barely moving. A light wind is blowing gently.

After a brief writing pause, the time is now 5:24 PM, as I type now. Our yard flag is fluttering, just a little, in the wind.

These are just the facts, dear reader. This reporter does not sensationalize his news stories. There is no exaggeration. I don't use “sophisticated” computer weather models.


I hope that you have enjoyed the humor, in this breaking news report! What is the serious question? I'll ask it, after the next paragraph.

Local weather forecasters use “sophisticated” computer weather models, to predict the weather, for the next day and up to six farther days out. Sometimes, they get it right. Sometimes, they don't.

If local weather forecasters can predict the weather inaccurately, such as today's example, then why should we believe the global weather forecasters, when their long-range forecasts -- which are based on their “man-made” global climate change models -- predict planetary gloom and doom?

The time, at dusk, is now 5:28 PM, as I type this sentence. The sun will be setting soon. We still have only intermittent light wind and rain.

If we get a wind gust, of up to 55 miles per hour, as predicted, then I'll update this breaking news story. I don't predict the need to update this story!

This is M. Fearghail, your breaking news reporter, signing off. Have a good evening!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

January 2018: House Mountain Hikes #142 & 143 (published 1-10-2024; article #449)


Howdy, fellow hiking enthusiasts! The first article, of 2024, was somber, but it did include a bit of humor. It also mentions my 188th “hike,” or walk, on House Mountain, at least on the loop trails. The second article, in 2024, brought out the analyst in me, but it ended on an encouraging note.

That second article notes that I didn't publish any articles, in 2007, 2015, or 2018. According to my hiking record, I hiked House Mountain seven times, in 2007, fourteen times, in 2015, and a lucky thirteen times, as a “bionic” man, in 2018. (The 12/17/2023 article is about the hike, on 10/17/2015.)

This past Sunday, I was reminded, about my two hikes, on House Mountain, in one week, back in January 2018 (six years ago). That was the first time that I'd hiked House Mountain, twice in one week, since my near death experience, on 3/29/2016. (The 8/26/2016 article inaugurated the topic section “My Bionic Life - since 3/29/2016.”)

This sixty-first article, under the “hiking” topic section, recounts my hikes, as a “bionic” man, on House Mountain, on Tuesday, 1/2/2018, and on Saturday, 1/6/2018. That was two hikes, in one week! I hope that you enjoy the lucky thirteen photographs, while this author hikes down memory lane!

House Mountain Hikes, Two in One Week, in January 2018

The 142nd hike, on “my mountain,” was on Tuesday, 1/2/2018. Four days later, on Saturday, 1/6/2018, I returned, to “my mountain,” for hike number 143!

1/2/2018, Tuesday, in Eight Photographs

My hiking record indicates that the weather was sunny. The temperature was a balmy 27 degrees Fahrenheit. (I'd clipped a hiking thermometer, to my belt.) One other vehicle was in the parking lot. I never did see the other hiker.

I'd hiked up the west trail, to the west bluff, in 40 minutes, pausing to take three photographs. I continued east, on the ridge trail. I hiked out, down the east trail. The total time, in the woods, was from 1:40 to 4 PM. Two hours and twenty minutes, in the woods, was better than not having been there!

I'd taken the first three photographs, while hiking up the west trail. I enjoyed seeing the long, thick icicles! At 2:05 PM, I'd taken the first photograph, below, at the highest switchback. The view looks north.

I'd taken the following photograph, four minutes later. I was on the trail, below the ridgeline, heading west. The clear and crisp sky was a sight to behold! I saw more icicles!

I'd taken the following photograph, three minutes later, having hiked a bit farther west. Can you spot the icicles?

The next three photographs are along the ridge trail, heading northeast. I'd taken the first photograph, below, at 2:33 PM. The west bluff is not too far behind me.

The next photograph was seven minutes later. I was near the high point, on that part of the ridgeline trail. The view still looks northeast.

I'd taken the third photograph, farther east, on the ridgeline trail, at 2:51 PM. The view looks northeast. Can you understand why that I call the rock outcropping the dinosaur rock?

I didn't hike, farther east, to reach the lower or upper middle bluffs. Instead, I'd decided to hike out and down the east trail. The following two photographs are along that hike out. The first, below, was at 3:17 PM. I was on the upper switchbacks.

The huge icicles were spectacular! The view looks northeast. The morning sun had broken off the tips of several icicles. Four minutes later, I'd taken the next photograph, still on the same trail down.

The theme of this hike, on 1/2/2018, must have been icicles! I'd worn sufficient layers, so I never did feel cold. At the house, the morning low had been, in Fahrenheit, 10 degrees. The high had reached about 33 degrees. Cold and sunny weather makes for excellent hiking!

1/6/2018, Saturday, in Five Photographs

Four days later, on Saturday, 1/6/2018, my 143rd hike, on “my mountain,” was in the records! I'd hiked up the west trail, to the west bluff, in 32 minutes. I'd continued, to both the lower and upper middle bluffs, along the ridge trail. I'd hiked back down and out, on the east trail. On the trail, the weather was sunny and about 23 degrees Fahrenheit. (At the house, the morning low was four degrees, and the late afternoon high reached 25 degrees.)

I'd taken the following two photographs, within four minutes, at 2:33 PM and 2:37 PM.

The west bluff is behind me. The view looks northeast. Can you see my trusty canteen? I still hike with it!

The fallen icicle was already at the base, of the split tree trunk! The view looks southeast. I think that a previous hiker, who'd also braved the elements, had placed the icicle there.

The next photograph, at 3:18 PM, is when I'd reached the upper middle bluff. The view looks northeast. The large rock outcroppings are prominent. I was standing on one outcropping.

On my hike out and down, on the east trail, I'd taken the following photograph, at 4:01 PM.

Now, those are huge icicles!

At 4:45 PM, I'd taken the following photograph, of my 2006 Nissan Frontier. (He likes to have his picture taken.) The image includes the only other three vehicles that were in the parking lot, at the time.

My hiking record indicates that I'd met Patrick, at some point on a trail. (Thinking back, I recall that he was hiking down, as I was hiking up, the west trail.) He was at student, at the University of Tennessee, studying physical therapy. I'd shared with him the story, about the vehicle accident, on 3/29/2016, my hospitalizations, outpatient physical therapy, and my recovery progress, up to that time. (I'm still recovering.) With my permission, he photographed me. I hope that he shared my story, with that photograph, to encourage many. I've not seen Patrick, since that hike.


Yesterday, the weather was too warm, rainy, and windy, for a hike. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman enjoyed a “rain closure” day off from work. Public school systems, in surrounding counties, had closed also, due to a little rain and wind.

Today, the weather is windy and cooler. I could have hiked. This morning, my wife's public school system employer had a two-hour “wind delay.” Several county schools, in the area, did also. My “long-suffering” wife had already planned to leave work early, for another “paint and cut” appointment. Wisely, she decided to take the entire day off. (The humorous article, of 3/22/2023, contrasts a “paint and cut shop” with a barbershop.)

Thanks, fellow hikers, for hiking down memory lane, with me. This article should have been published, in January 2018. Six years late is better than not publishing it!