Hopes and Dreams
click map
Hopes and Dreams home Hopes and Dreams Stuck on AutoDrive Twin Cities Calendar Creativity Picture Perfect about Hopes and Dreams AutoDrive

What Could Go Wrong?
Build the Death Star Without Plans
May the Fourth 2024

The Rebels stole the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station plans to the Death Star. The Empire wanted the plans back.

The Death Star was built anyway, but there were some Extra Parts and some things Just Didn't Work Right. That's why they needed the plans back.

Star Wars interview - don't need plans
Princess Leia was in tears she was laughing so much after the Death Star missed hitting Alderaan a second time and the technician suggested they park closer. When Alderaan was not hit the third time, Leia bet Vader 30,000 credits they would miss the fourth time.

Princess Leia happily saved Alderaan

Things that didn't work on the Death Star: chairs wobbled. Shower curtains gapped in the middle. Keyboards had no sideways P, and the caps lock was on by default. The doors didn't go all the way to the top, if you know what I mean.

stormtrooper hits head on door

The blue milk was teal and tasted like lavendar. Jawas infestation. Everyone hummed Manilow because that's all the Intercom played. Vader's left boot was too big. Vader's right boot was too small and took forever to reboot. The blast doors squeaked and were slow to open when closed. Control ports were accessible to any droid.

Star Wars - any port in a storm

Docking bays were USB - ships tried going in right-side up, then upside down, then right-side up again. Raisin cookies were mixed in with the chocolate chip cookies. Tractor beam control station lacked any guardrails... that's why it was called the Death Star.

Star Wars - no guardrails - that's why it's the Death Star

Not all the parts fit. death star dot

DS-1 leftover parts
zero days without an accident

Music Association: Elvis Costello - Accidents Will Happen

Out of Hock
Cold Minnesota
March 28, 2024

Had to get my shovel out of hock this week along with my skates and my hockey stick.

One whole aisle at the pawnbroker has hockey sticks and hockey pucks. The next aisle is all the gear to protect someone from the stuff in the previous aisle. The aisle after that seems to have all the skates in the state. Hockey is the reason why things go into hock, but not why I was getting my shovel back.

On March 24th, it snowed 8.2" at the airport, but not just at the airport, so I needed my shovel. Then it snowed about four more inches on March 26th, and I shoveled again. Trace amounts yesterday caused me to trace a shovel in the snow.

Two weeks ago I bemoaned like I've never bemoaned about hot Minnesota. I really don't bemoan. Yet, there was one time I complained to a woman in Alabama about hot Minnesota.
Minnesota?!?” she asked, ticked off. And that's just it -- the ticks.

When the winters aren't cold enough to kill the ticks nestled snuggly in moose and elk armpits, the ticks take over. The woods. The fields. The malls. Transit. The ticks are everywhere. Hide your dogs. Find your cats to hide them too. That's not the cat; that's a furball. Cats hock up furballs as decoy defenses against ticks.

You might be thinking, “Huh?
I don't have a huh-reply. You may also wonder, why not keep the shovel out of hock and use it against the ticks.

Shovels are not the greatest weapon against ticks. Ticks are harder than most shovels and most snow plows. They are survivors with incredible vision.

Music Association: Survivor - Eye of the Tiger


Ashes to Ashes
Hot Minnesota
March 14, 2024

Minnesota is hardly Minnesota.

This was the winter that wasn't. The average temperature for the past three months (December, January, and February) was 29.9 degrees. That's an average of barely freezing. The Twin Cities set no record lows and 14 record highs, with 18 days hitting 50 degrees.

This winter was also the second least snowiest winter with only 14.3 inches of snow, which often disappeared soon after it fell.

Climate change and El Niño combined to deprive Minnesota of winter.

The problem that bugs us are going to be the bugs. The emerald ash borer continues its invasion and has arrived on the doorstep of the Chippewa National Forest, the largest expanse of black ash trees in North America. A billion black ash trees stretch across 1.2 million acres in north central Minnesota.  These trees are uniquely adapted to grow in wetlands, acting like giant straws slurping water out of the soil. Without the black ash trees, the wetlands will be wetter. The tadpoles that dine on rotting ash leaves will be stuck eating leaves with higher amounts of tannins (yuck!). The loss of the black ash trees will be devastating to a large ecosystem.

Black ash wood is important culturally to many Anishinaabeg bands across northern Minnesota, in part to make baskets and lacrosse sticks.

Music Associations: Stereophonics - A Thousand Trees
                               and The Beatles - Norwegian Wood

Pardoning Partner
Trump Picks Trump
January 22, 2024

Who will Trump pick as a Vice President?

When unquestioning loyalty matters more than laws or ethics or skills, only one name could qualify as Trump's vice president.

That name is Trump. It really doesn't matter which Trump Trump will pick, does it?

Trump will pick Trump as his pardoning partner. Everyone else has let him down. They had opinions. Mice squeak.

Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump Jr or even Eric Trump could let Trump be Trump without worrying about the country or the stock market or climate change or lives or women's rights or anyone on the long list of people and types of people Trump hates. The Trumps all know how to smile despite the stench.

And if that time came to assume the responsibilities of president, any of the shadow Trumps would stand by their brand and keep it out of jail.

Music Association: America - Horse With No Name



$500,000 Reward & Court Cases
January 6, 2024

It's been three years since former president Trump launched his insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Three years since
rallying a violent mob from behind bullet proof glass and then throwing a plate of ketchup at the White House dining room wall. Also, the FBI wants your help finding the January 5th bomber and has upped the reward to $500,000.

Trump's court schedule has just been updated due to his push for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Colorado ballot case. Trump loves the courts and the delays. Trump's 2024 court cases schedule, subject to change:

January 11 - The New York state financial fraud case closing arguments
January 16 - Second defamation case for raping E. Jean Carroll
February 8 - The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Colorado ballot arguments of the 14th Amendment (Insurrection)
March 4 - Department of Justice election subversion trial
March 25 - Manhattan hush money trial (Stormy Daniels)
May 20 - Refusing to return Classified Documents in Mar-a-Lago bathrooms case
August 5 - Fulton County, GA election subversion racketeering by 19 people (several have already pleaded guilty)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” - Benjamin Franklin

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle -- the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Music Association - We Shall Overcome

What Would Be Nice
A Gift
December 22, 2023

Over the next few days, give yourself some time. Give yourself a moment to play Santa with your life. Think of the ways you have been naughty and nice. Make two lists or two sketches. Only you can make you better as a gift for yourself. Make it about you to improve you and give you a better life.

I wish you would have a moment to put down the electronics and give yourself some time. Think about how an improved you could have a better life. Then think about how to get there.

If you don't know how, just consider how much better your life would be if you were breathing cleaner air, drinking cleaner water, or eating better food.

And consider asking for help. Consider contacting a mental health professional.

Music Association: The Beatles - Getting Better


What Would Be Nice
Peaceful Protest
November 16, 2023

Both Israel and Hamas are wrong in their violence and their tenacious hatred of the other.

Israel and Hamas are wrong in their violence and hatred.

Music Association: Bad Company - Bad Company

What Would Be Nice
November 5, 2023

ceasefire in Gaza and Israel

Music Association: Diana Ross & the Supremes - Stop! In the Name of Love

What Would Be Nice
Peace in Gaza & Israel
October 30, 2023

Hamas is in Gaza, but Gaza is not all Hamas.

David is Goliath.

Peace, please.

Music Association: John Lennon - Give Peace A Chance


Hamas attacked Israel (October 8, 2023)

Thousands More
October 14, 2023

Hamas is an extremist group that vows to eradicate Israel.

The covenant of Hamas calls for the genocidal destruction of Israel through an unrestrained and unceasing holy war (jihad).

Hamas attacked the children of Israel last Saturday, killing at least 1,300 people, many of them civilians, wounding thousands, and abducting more than a hundred. Young people were massacred while attending a musical festival to celebrate peace. Hamas purposefully targeted elementary schools and a youth center. More than 1,799 people in Gaza have been killed in retaliation.

The timing of the attack was meant to disrupt the Israel - Saudi Arabia peace talks, hosted by the United States with the Saudi benefit of a U.S.-Saudi defense pact. Saudi Arabia has stopped the negotiations due to the war.

Israel is justified to fight for the release of the hostages.

Yet if Israel commits to a massive ground assault of Gaza, they will be walking into a trap that could kill tens of thousands of Israeli troops.

This is no time to call for peace -- not in Israel, not in Ukraine -- but peace should always be part of the goal.

The people of Israel have my support -- they always have.

Music Association: Paul McCartney - Pipes Of Peace

32 Feet
October 13, 2023

Garfunkel and Simon were walking in the woods. They came to a clearing and saw an abandoned well.

Simon asked, 
I wonder how deep that well is?

Garfunkel said, We could figure it out.

Simon asked, 
How could we do that?

Garfunkel said, 
We drop something down it, we time how long it takes to hit the bottom, you multiply that times 32 feet per second squared, the rate at which objects fall in a vacuum, subtract a little for wind resistance, and we've got the depth of the well.

Simon asked,
What are you going to drop down the well? 

Garfunkel stared at Simon. Then looking around, Garfunkel spotted a large log lying on the ground.  Squatting down with bent legs by the log, the log was hoisted up. Garfunkel staggered wobbly over to the edge of the well, tipped the log up, and dropped it down the well. They started to count,
One hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three hipp...


Simon said, 
Three seconds!'

Garfunkel said, 
Quick, multiply that time by 32 feet per second squared!

288 feet, Simon said.

Subtract a little for wind resistance, let's say 18 feet. The depth of that well is 270 feet deep.

Simon shouted, 
LOOK OUT! and pushed Garfunkel back while a goat zoomed between them and leaped head first down the well.

Simon said, 
What the... I've never seen anything like that.

Just then a farmer walked up to them and said, 
What's going on here?

Garfunkel said, We just figured out the depth of this well to be about 270 feet deep and then the strangest thing happened. A goat ran between us and jumped head first down into the well.

The farmer said, 
Thank heaven it wasn't one of my goats.

Simon asked, How do you know it wasn't?

And the farmer said, Because all of my goats are tethered to big heavy logs.

Music Association: Simon and Garfunkel  - Troubled Water

no actual goats were harmed in the writing of this post

goats physics

The High Costs of Climate Change
September 24, 2023

The compounding costs of climate change total trouble for insurance companies... and people too.

AAA, Allstate, American Family, Farmers, Nationwide, State Farm, Erie Insurance Group, and Berkshire Hathaway have told regulators that climate change has led them to stop writing coverages in some regions, exclude protections from various weather events, and raise premiums and deductibles.

The wildfires in California have been more frequent and intense because of increased temperatures, droughts, and earlier snow melts. California has more than 1.2 million homes at moderate to extreme risk of wildfire damage. Allstate, State Farm, American International Group, and Chubb have announced they will stop issuing new policies for California homes. The state is just too risky.

Flood waters and hurricanes continue to swamp Florida. A third of Florida's population lives in flood-prone areas, and even more Floridians are at risk from hurricanes. Home insurance policies in Florida now average $6,000 per year, more than double the national average of $1,700. Florida home insurance damage claims are capped at $700,000. And more than 13% of Florida homes are uninsured, about double the national average. 

U.S. insurance companies have paid $295.8 billion in natural disaster losses from 2020 to 2022, a record for any three-year period.

U.S. insured losses from natural disasters 2013-2022

Summer of 2023
This summer had record heat, measured as global and sea surface temperatures.

June of 2023 was the hottest June on record. July was not just the hottest July but the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880. The record setting July heat came from equatorial Africa, Alaska, northern Canada, Mexico, and central America. Phoenix Arizona exceeded 110 degrees for all the days of July. And August of 2023 was the hottest August on record.

The roughly 6,000 Canadian wildfires in 2023 have scorched 34 million acres (the size of New York state). That's three times larger than any U.S. fire season and 10 times the 10-year average in Canada. The Canadian wildfires created 133 pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCbs) with lightning, great walls of fire, and firenados with heights of 3,000 feet and speeds up to 140 mph. The pyroCbs are associated with volcanic eruptions and a typical year has 40 to 50 worldwide. Over 150,000 Canadians are currently displaced, with 145 million more in North America choking on toxic wildfire smoke. And next summer is expected to be worse.

The deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history tore through Lahaina Maui on August 4th, leaving 97 dead and $5.5 billion in property damage.

Is climate change good for anything? Yes, climate change is great for poison ivy.

Music Associations: Michael Murphey - Wildfire
& Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire

U.S. map - increased insurance risk due to climate change 2023

The Price Is Right logo

Truth or Consequences
August 26, 2023

Truth or Consequences

“Now. Backstage we have a man that you won't believe. And before I forget, our hair and makeup department wants you to know they had nothing to do with his hair and makeup!

This man had a job. He was fired. He refused to leave. He called anyone to attack the place. He took important papers. And now he's trying to get his job back while he's being prosecuted for attacking his job and stealing papers! The man doesn't have a soul to stand on.

He thinks he's six foot three. His driver's license says he's six two. His elevator shoes say he's five nine if he's an inch!

So here's what we're going to do.

We've talked the people who hang around him into pulling a little prank on him. Well, we spread around a few dollars, and everyone was agreeable.

You're going to love this.

He's backstage, surrounded by hidden cameras. And we... are going to trick him out of his shoes!

Music Association: Edd Kalehoff - Come On Down

Hopes and Dreams

Trump called Georgia on January 2, 2021 begging for votes

After 2 ½ Years & 75 Witnesses
Georgia Indictment of Trump & 18 Others
August 15, 2023

Trump and 18 others were criminally charged in connection with efforts to overturn his 2020 loss in the state of Georgia, according to a 41-count, 98-page indictment made public late last night.

Trump was charged with 13 counts, including violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree, and conspiring to file false documents.

It’s the fourth and by far the most wide-ranging set of criminal charges Trump has faced.

    I.     The New York Stormy Daniels hush money case
    II.    The Mar-a-Lago classified documents case
    III.   The Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 attacks
    IIII.  The Georgia investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election

Trump currently faces 91 charges in four criminal cases, in four different jurisdictions (two Federal cases and two state cases). All plan to try him as an adult.

If convicted in Georgia, Trump could face at least five years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained from the scheme to interfere in the election results.

The Georgia indictment has several disadvantages to Trump. It charges his co-conspirators. It covers many of the post-election plots and shenanigans to overthrow the United States election. And the Georgia indictment has nothing to do with Trump appointed judges.

Unlike the Federal cases against Trump's activities, in Georgia the power to pardon is held by a Board of Pardons and Paroles, which requires that a sentence be completed at least five years prior to applying for any pardon.

Plus, Georgia courts are more transparent, more receptive (let's say) to televising Trump's criminal proceedings to the world.

Trump will push to move the indictment from Georgia to the Federal courts.

Music Association: Billie Holiday - They Can't Take That Away

Georgia indictment of Trump

Read the full Georgia indictment - here, here, or here.

Songs of Sweltering
Record Heat
July 26, 2023

The average planetary temperature hit a record high of 63° F last Thursday, July 20th. Sorry. That's on me. I used the microwave that night to warm up some vegetables.

Anthropogenic climate change caused June 2023 to be Earth’s warmest June on record and is responsible for shattered temperature records this month in China, Spain, and the southern US.

China set a new national daily temperature record of 126°
F (52.2° C), at the Sanbao weather station in the Xinjiang Uygur region. Catalonia in Spain recorded its hottest-ever temperature of 113.7° F (45.4° C).

El Paso has endured 40 consecutive triple-digit days with at least a few more scorching hot days expected this week, about twice as long as El Paso's previous record. The streak began June 16.

Phoenix has reached 110 degrees or higher for 25 straight days, continuing the record for the most days in a row with temperatures that hot. Phoenix has also had 15 days in a row with lows in the 90s, another all-time record. The pavement there is more than 40 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature, hot enough to burn skin. Phoenix Fire Captain Kimberly Ragsdale told ABC15, “We're seeing people with heat stroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and we are seeing an increase to burn injuries to the skin.”

At the Las Vegas airport last week, Delta flight 555 sat on the tarmac in 111° F
  (43.8° C) heat with no air conditioning for four hours. Multiple passengers were seen by first responders, and a flight attendant and a passenger were transported to a local hospital.

Someone on social media commented, “Oh, the irony.  People sitting on a plane in the extreme heat that's a direct result of climate change, and not one person says that maybe, just maybe, the best reason never to fly Delta (or any airline) is to preserve even a tiny chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

More than 200 heat-related deaths have been reported in Mexico. Cattle have also died in Mexico's heat. The heat has also damaged cotton crops in China and olive crops in Spain. In Europe in 2022, an estimated 60,000 people were killed by the heat.

Sea water hit hot tub level at the tip of Florida. A Manatee Bay buoy recorded 101.1
° F Monday evening, which may be a record sea water temperature, July 24th. Hot sea water is causing devastating coral bleaching and death in the supposedly resilient reefs of the Florida Keys.

Record wildfires continue to burn Canada. More than 650 wildfires were out of control as of July 24th. According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center more than 11 million hectares have already burned in 2023, compared to the 10-year average of about 800,000 hectares.

And the north Atlantic Ocean Gulf Stream may collapse
as soon as 2025, as part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc). The collapse of the currents would have disastrous consequences around the world, severely disrupting the rains that billions of people depend on for food in India, South America, and west Africa. It would increase storms and drop temperatures in Europe, and lead to a rising sea level on the eastern coast of North America. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets. “I think we should be very worried,” said Peter Ditlevsen, at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and who led the study in the journal Nature Communications. “This would be a very, very large change. The Amoc has not been shut off for 12,000 years.”

North America heat for July 26, 2023

Music Association:  Martha & the Vandellas - Heat Wave


Russia-Ukraine War of 2022
Russia - Ukraine War

Covid-19 disease - the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Presidential Timeline of Donald Trump
Trump Timeline (PDF)

end Israeli apartheid
end Israeli apartheid

China in 1989 (T a n k M a n)
China in 1989

George Floyd, murdered by police, May 25, 2020
George Floyd

voter suppression
Voter Suppression

music videos
Music Videos
October 2018 Twin Cities Calendar
Landmine Hopscotch


Impact Investing
Impact Investing

Gifs of Kittens (part 1)
Holiday Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Climate Solutions
Climate Change Solutions

Hennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
Southdale Hennepin Library,  Edina Library  

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

food fraud
Food Fraud

prior posts

Welcome to Hopes and Dreams, home of --
Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive

Twin Cities Calendar
Picture Perfect galleries
Hopes and Dreams:
Stuck on AutoDrive
The Twin Cities Calendar
The Picture Perfect Galleries

      <<   newer posts      |     Hopes and Dreams      |     older posts  >>      


Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive is a novel about inventing the self-driving car. It has:



© Copyright 2007-2023  Hopes and Dreams. All rights reserved.  Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota - Contact  Privacy
Read the book --
Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive    
pine forest