Friday, October 31, 2008

A Modest Proposal
By Michael Moynihan.

As the U.S. auto companies frantically search for ways to stave off bankruptcy, an interesting bit of news surfaced yesterday: Exxon Mobil's profit in the last quarter was the highest of any company ever in history, $14.83 billion. The company is on track to make $50 billion or so this year.

To put this in perspective, GM is currently seeking about $10 billion from the government to enable it to merge with Chrysler, which GM says is vital to its survival. What used to be the world's largest automaker is selling almost one million fewer cars than several years ago. GM is also seeking to draw down a $25 billion loan from the government designed to let it retool for more fuel efficient cars to help it weather the crisis.

Read it all. I like the idea. it is not going to happen but I like it none the less.

Happy Halloween!


Methane On The Rise
Do not worry it breaks down in a year or so. It turns into CO2.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Levels of climate-warming methane -- a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide -- rose abruptly in Earth's atmosphere last year, and scientists who reported the change don't know why it occurred.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has more than doubled in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times, but stayed largely stable over the last decade or so before rising in 2007, researchers said on Wednesday.

This stability led scientists to believe that the emissions of methane, from natural sources like cows, sheep and wetlands, as well as from human activities like coal and gas production, were balanced by the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.

But that balance was upset starting early last year, releasing millions of metric tonnes more methane into the air, the scientists wrote in the Geophysical Research Letters.

The permafrost is melting. It has more methane than previously thought.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bacon Salt! Who Knew?

In addition to Bacon Salt, there is now Baconnaise! Man, I have got to get me some!

Via Slashfood.

Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park

upper kintla lake, originally uploaded by jaygronemyer.

The body of a overdue hiker was found near Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park.

WEST GLACIER - Searchers in Glacier National Park found the body of an adult male along Kintla Lake in the park’s remote North Fork area late Wednesday afternoon while looking for an overdue hiker. The man’s cause of death was not known.

Park officials were poised to ask the public for help when the man’s body was found on a slope above the trail near the head of Kintla Lake at about 5 p.m.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Update: The hiker has been identified as a Pennsylvania man.

Authorities say that a Pennsylvania man whose body turned up in Glacier National Park died from suicide.

The Flathead County Deputy Coroner said the man died from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound to the chest.

Searchers found the body of Bruce Colburn, 53, Wednesday night near the head of Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Faster and Faster
Global warming seems to be moving right along.

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rising sea levels as a result of climate change will erode Sydney's iconic beaches by 2050, with some at risk of disappearing, and threaten beachfront homes and commercial properties, a new climate change study said.

Sea levels along Sydney's coast are expected to rise by up to 40 cm above 1990 levels by 2050 and by 90 cm by 2100, with each one centimeter of rise resulting in one meter of erosion on low-lying beaches, said the Sydney climate change impact report.

It is going to be an interesting couple of decades.

Being a coastal city, some of Sydney's most important infrastructure is built on its foreshore, and may be affected by rising sea levels. Sydney international airport is built on the edge of Botany Bay, with a runway jutting out into the bay.

"Most of the state's infrastructure was built with a provision for half a meter of sea level rise, but the individual asset owners are already looking to see if they need to make a change in their asset to prepare for the future," said Smith.

No body in this country is talking about protecting their assets. Although plenty are talking out of their ass, when it comes to global warming.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letting an 8 year old shoot an Uzi is stupid. The child lost control of the fully automatic weapon and shot himself in the head. He was under supervision of his father and a certified instructor. I have no doubt that the father was a republican, as he can not take responsibility for letting his son use an automatic weapon.
"This accident was truly a mystery to me," said Bizilj, director of emergency medicine at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, Conn. "This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don't know why it happened."

It happened because he gave a child too small to control an Uzi, an Uzi and let him shoot it. Fucking Moron!
Little Rock Creek, Bitter Root Mountains

A hiker found the body of a hiker missing since 2006, near Little Rock Creek in the Bitter Root Mountains.

HAMILTON - Human remains discovered in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness two weeks ago are those of a Post Falls, Idaho, man who disappeared in 2006, said Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman.

Robert L. Noble, 41, was reported missing on July 24, 2006 by his family after he failed to return from a hiking trip in the Little Rock Creek drainage five miles west of Lake Como. Skeletal remains, camping and camera gear were discovered a little over a week ago about three-quarters of a mile west of Little Rock Creek Lake on a steep, rocky slope.

Cause of death is expected to be a fall. My condolences to his friends and family.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have always liked them. I owned a van, mini van, and a pickup. It looks like they are going to be eaten by GM. Dailmer owns 19.9% of Chrysler and they have it valued as $0.00 on their books.
Temple Of Bottles

Temple of bottles, originally uploaded by cschildt.

Buddhist monks in Thailand built a temple out of beer bottles.

Buddhist monks from Thailand's Sisaket province took matters into their own hands and collected a million bottles to build the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple. It puts every other bottle building we have shown to shame.

Even the washrooms and the crematorium are built of bottles, a mix of green Heineken and brown local Chang beer.

Amazing more pictures at the link and below. Also, Heineken at one point made beer bottles to be used as building blocks. That is pretty cool. I bet if one of the west coast micro breweries were to do that it would take off in the progressive slash hippie community.

Bottle Temple

Bottle Temple, originally uploaded by devakki3.

Bottle Temple

Bottle Temple, originally uploaded by devakki3.

Mountain Lion Killed
In Arizona.
Game officers found and killed a mountain lion Sunday afternoon that stalked a hiker and his dog in a popular recreation area in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.
The hiker was walking with his dog on a trail Saturday near Madera Canyon when he saw that he was being followed by a mountain lion, said Heidi Schewel, a spokeswoman for Coronado National Forest.
It's possible that the lion saw the dog as prey, she said.
As the mountain lion got closer, the hiker "did everything that he was supposed to do" — shouting and making himself look bigger by waving his arms, Schewel said.
When the lion didn't stop, the hiker fired two warning shots into the air with his gun. When the lion kept coming, he shot at it, and this time it ran away.
The hiker didn't know if he hit the lion or not, Schewel said.
The incident was troubling to Forest Service officials because the lion showed no fear of humans. "It was not acting in a way that normal mountain lions act," Schewel said.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Future Of Green
From AFP.

PARIS (AFP) – The deepening economic crisis may appear to be the perfect storm for environmentalism, but many in and around the green movement contend the opposite, seeing in it a time of opportunity.

The conventional view is this: willingness to protect the environment is wedded to prosperity.

Ah conventional wisdom, you will notice is the same as republican talking points. With proper leadership to entice industry in the right direction, we can heal the environment and fix the economy at the same time.

The frenzied worship of the lightly-regulated market place could be replaced by a humbler, wiser approach, of linking economic growth to natural resources, social needs and smarter technology, they hope.

Tim Jackson, a professor of sustainable development at Britain's University of Surrey, said the obsession with short-term profits and consumer-driven growth was now proven to be unstable as well as environmentally destructive.

"The old way of thinking about economy is up for negotiation, and the opportunities to build economies that incorporate both financial and environmental prudence are there to be taken," he said.

"What's needed is political leadership that understands this link and is prepared to act on it."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The YouTube Election
This is the first presidential election with YouTube. It allows anyone with computer access to see and hear the candidates at an unprecedented level. If you missed something you can just go Google it. It is much harder for republicans to hide behind the media's filter. You can go and see the actual quotes in their context. But I digress.

Teressa at Making Light said "Elections were so much less fun before YouTube." in reference to Vlad and his friend Boris present Song for Sarah. A funny video. But there are many more videos out there for Sarah Palin.
The Ballad Of Sarah Palin

Rocky Mountain High

Lion King Is excited to get into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The McCain campaign has decided to put their money in make-up artists. They can not win on the issues. Perhaps they should hire David Copperfield. Some smoke and mirrors might help.
The New York Times reports that Amy Strozzi, the traveling makeup artist for Sarah Palin, is in fact the top-paid staffer on the campaign. Strozzi was paid $22,800 during just the first two weeks of October, compared to only $12,500 for top foreign-policy adviser Randy Scheunemann.

Green House Gas
A new study finds a green house gas four times higher than expected.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Levels of a powerful greenhouse gas are four times as high as previously thought, according to new measurements released on Thursday.

New analytical techniques show that about 5,400 metric tons of nitrogen trifluoride are in the atmosphere, with amounts increasing by about 11 percent per year.

Ray Weiss of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues said it had not been possible to accurately measure this gas before.

They said nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than an equal mass of carbon dioxide, although it does not yet contribute much to global warming.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let Them Eat Sh*t!

wastewater, originally uploaded by matthewnstoller.

Oregon's Senator Gordon Smith says let them eat sh*t! If you do not know Mr Smith owns a large food processing company, Smith Frozen Foods. It has hired illegal aliens over the years too! But according to the Sierra Club his waste water pond collects municipal(human feces) waste from the nearby town of Weston. He then will use the water on his fields. How often I do not know. Matt Stoller has a great paragraph that sums up the whole conservative movement.

That is completely gross, but totally in character for Republicans. Rick Perlstein has documented what he calls 'e coli conservative' policies has led to contamination of, among other foods, spinach, peanut butter, tomatoes, Taco Bell lettuce, mushrooms, pet food, and more. You just don't expect a Republican Senator to actually grow and sell these contaminants for millions of dollars (which he then used to stay in office). Usually, it's a little less direct than that, large agribusiness bribes the Republicans to do their bidding, and then these companies drop sewage into our food supplies. I guess in these hard times, Gordon Smith has decided to cut out the middleman.

Boycott Smith Frozen Foods!

The Homeplace
The Homeplace is an AYCE (All You Can Eat) restaurant on the Appalachian Trail.

The menu is minimal but effective. For $13, you get your choice of two meats (among fried chicken, roast beef, country ham) or you can get all three for a dollar extra -- they also serve pork BBQ on Thursdays.

Then you get unlimited sides of mashed potatoes, pinto beans, green beans, cole slaw, corn, baked apples and warm homemade biscuits. Oh, don't forget the apple butter (on sale in the waiting lobby) -- to die for.

If that isn't enough to fill you up, dessert is vanilla ice cream with cobbler, depending on what fruit is in season.

I recommend the peach to top it all off.

In 1998, I ate 20 pieces of chicken. In 2001, I only ate 12 but in all fairness it was BBQ night and I had to eat some of that too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Make-up? Make-up?
What a girlie man. John McCain spends thousands a month on make-up. More than twice as much as Sarah Palin's $4,000 or so in a month.
Tifanie White, who reportedly has done makeup for the shows "So You Think You Can Dance" and "American Idol," was paid a total of $8,672.55 in September by the McCain-Palin campaign, according to the campaign's latest monthly financial report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. She was paid $5,583.43 the previous month, records show.

Google Energy Revolution
OK it is not really a revolution. But Google has a energy saving calculator and a nice list of tips to help you save energy around the house.
For caribou Barbie's clothes.

The John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign is striking back at a report about money spent on Palin's appearance.

Politico reported that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 to clothe and accessorize Palin since she was picked by McCain in late August. According to financial disclosure records, the bills include $75,063 at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis and $49,426 at Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York. The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Politico also reported that its review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hawaii To Ban New Coal
Hawaii looks like it is getting serious about alternative energy. Almost 90% of electricity comes from imported fuel. That makes renewables a whole lot more attractive.

Though Hawaii announced its goal of producing 70% of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 back in January, the program got further support yesterday with the announcement that a “historic accord” has been reached between the current state government and the Hawaiian Electric Company.

Though the details of many of the agreements points have yet to be worked out, what is planned is certainly a step in the right direction. Here they are:

Ban on Coal Plants, Increased RPS, Feed-in-Tariff Creation, Biofuels
The current Renewable Portfolio Standard for electricity is doubled to 40% by 2030.

A new feed-in-tariff system will be created to encourage renewable energy installation. Details on how much different renewable energy technologies will be receiving have not been disclosed.

Hawaii already requires solar hot water heaters on new construction. The feed in tariff is a big boost to renewables. I wish the feds would require that of all utilities.

Cow Power!

The Forest Service in Vermont is joining the Cow Power program.

RUTLAND, VT, Oct 20, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- The U.S. Forest Service, seeking to reduce its environmental impact, has enrolled its Rutland headquarters in CVPS Cow Power(TM) , the nation's first manure-based farm-to-consumer energy program.
"We work hard to improve the environment every day, so it's natural that we'd want to lessen our environmental impact through Cow Power," said Forest Supervisor Meg Mitchell. "As we looked at ways to reduce the impact of our energy usage, enrolling in CVPS Cow Power(TM) had a great impact. We are supporting a working landscape, helping to improve water quality and removing methane from the atmosphere."
Central Vermont Public Service President Bob Young praised the Forest Service, which will pay approximately $2,100 more for electricity per year due to its enrollment. The funds, paid through a 4-cent premium on 25 percent of the Forest Service's electrical usage, will go to farm-producers who supply renewable energy, other renewable products, or incentives to help more farms get into the energy business.

Good for the Forest Service.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Point Bonita Light House.

Point Bonita light house, originally uploaded by CharlieFloyd29.

A man fell to his death near the Point Bonita Light House Friday.

A San Diego man celebrating a friend's birthday fell to his death Friday night while hiking along cliffs near the Point Bonita Lighthouse, a Marin County coroner's office spokeswoman said this morning.

Spokeswoman Denise Wilson said 27-year-old Adrian James Macias was walking with friends along a path when he fell.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Beer Still A Good Investment
If you had invested $10,000 in news paper stocks it would not be worth as much as the deposits on kegs of beer.

Fifty-five half-kegs of Budweiser ($105 each, plus a $75 deposit per keg three years ago) would net you 22 full kegs and $4,125 in deposits after consumption.

Here are some of his results, showing how much money you would end up with today after a $10,000 investment in 2005:

  • Media General Co.: $1,833
  • Gannett Co.: $1,853
  • McClatchy Co.: $647.76
  • The New York Times Co.: $4,822.22 (the only winner here over beer)

Krugman On Plumbers
Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman.

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon made a remarkable marketing discovery. By exploiting America’s divisions — divisions over Vietnam, divisions over cultural change and, above all, racial divisions — he was able to reinvent the Republican brand. The party of plutocrats was repackaged as the party of the “silent majority,” the regular guys — white guys, it went without saying — who didn’t like the social changes taking place.
It was a winning formula. And the great thing was that the new packaging didn’t require any change in the product’s actual contents — in fact, the G.O.P. was able to keep winning elections even as its actual policies became more pro-plutocrat, and less favorable to working Americans, than ever.[...]

I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, but Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit.

But that’s the point. Whatever today’s G.O.P. is, it isn’t the party of working Americans

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Missing Hikers
One in Colorado

Larimer County Search and Rescue was called at 6:35 p.m. Saturday to locate 76-year-old Jimmy Carter of Dallas, Texas, who has been hunting in the area for the last 20 years. Carter and his brother were camping in the Crystal Mountain area for the weekend. Carter left for a short hike at 8:30 am.m. Saturday and expected to return by noon.

When Carter wasn’t back by 6 p.m., his brother called the sheriff’s office to report him missing.

Carter was last seen wearing an orange cap, a green/orange reversible vest and blue jeans.
Update: Monday Mr Carter was found alive and well.

One in New York
ALBANY, N.Y. - Forest rangers are searching for a 71-year-old hiker from California missing for a week in the central Adirondacks.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking other hikers or hunters who have gone out recently near Indian Lake in Hamilton County whether they have seen Frederick Gillingham of Camarillo, Calif.

Lets hope they make it out OK.
Backpacker Magazine Interviews McCain And Obama
Nothing is really surprising in the interview. I think it would have been nice if they had looked into their records on the environment(McCain/Obama) and did some fact checking. A sample:
Where would you take a BACKPACKER reader hiking?

Obama I remember fondly my childhood visits to Yellowstone, and I would very much like to return there for some autumn hiking.

McCain I would want to take you to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, which I believe is among our nation's best-hidden natural treasures.

Backpacker also surveyed some of their readers that was more surprising. 47% of their readers think we should be drilling in ANWR now.

And this:

McCain breaks his leg in the Grand Canyon; Obama is lost in the Smokies who survives?

McCain 71

Obama 29

I guess the readers assume that the Vietnamese are there to take McCain to the hospital after he tells them his father is an admiral.

Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital," he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," he insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."

View Of Squam Lake From Red Hill Fire Tower

Sad to hear a hiker died while climbing up to the Red Hill fire tower.

MOULTONBOROUGH — A local man in his early 70s died of an apparent heart attack during an afternoon hike atop Red Hill on Saturday.

While the man's identity has been withheld pending notification of his family, Fire Chief David Bengston said the man was about a half mile from the summit of the popular hiking spot and was accompanied by another male when he was stricken.

"I only know that I spoke with a male person who is with the victim," said Bengston at 12:45 p.m. when rescuers had yet to reach the man and his climbing partner.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mount Adams, Washington

Mount Adams, Washington, originally uploaded by Jason Ferguson.

Derek Mamoyac spent a few more days on Mount Adams than he expected.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Philomath man who miraculously survived five days on Washington's Mount Adams while injured will likely spend three months off his feet while recovering, his father told KATU News Saturday.

Derek Mamoyac, 27, suffered a broken ankle and other lower leg injuries as well as frostbite on his rear end and toes, said his father, Steve Mamoyac. However, his son, who underwent surgery Saturday at Portland's Legacy Emanuel Hospital, was expected to make a full recovery.

"As tough as he is, he's going to be off his feet for awhile," his father said. "That's going to be tough for him."

Mamoyac summited the 12,277-foot mountain Sunday but apparently lost his footing on the descent and broke his right ankle while tumbling down the mountain. His family reported him missing Monday when he failed to show up for work, and search crews tried for days to find any sign of him.

The climber spent nearly four days trying to drag himself off the mountain, drinking from creeks and eating centipedes and other bugs after running out of food.

A dog from a search and rescue team located him just below the 6,000-foot level at about 2 p.m. Friday.

He kept his head about him and survived.

God And Beer
A fun article in the Chicago Tribune about the religious names at the Great American Beer Festival.
Jeremy Cowan, the marketing mind behind He'Brew (the chosen beer), was absent from his company's booth on the festival's first day; it was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.

Established in 1996 (or 5757), Cowan's Schmaltz Brewing Co. uses Jewish humor, scripture and imagery in packaging its beers, all of them kosher. There's Genesis Ale ("our first creation") Messiah Bold ("the one you've been waiting for") and Jewbelation ("L'Chaim!").

"I am passionately Jewish," Cowan said. "I don't get as caught up in the legal minutiae. I'm more fascinated in the project of Judaism as a civilization. This is the way I participate."

Arctic Temperatures At Record High
Warm weather will mean the ice will not get as thick and it will melt at a faster pace.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Autumn temperatures in the Arctic region are a record 5.0 degree Celsius (9.0 Fahrenheit) higher than normal due the melting of the ice cap, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report said Friday.

"Changes in the Arctic show a domino effect from multiple causes more clearly than in other regions," said NOAA oceanographer James Overland, lead author of the report titled 'The Arctic Report Card 2008' published on NOAA's website.

"It's a sensitive system and often reflects changes in relatively fast and dramatic ways," the scientist said.

As the ice cap over the Arctic melts due to global warming, more ocean water is exposed and heated by the sun's rays, the report said.

The warmer air and ocean water affect animal and plant life in the region and melt the permanent ice shelf, which in recent years has shrunk by some 38 cubic kilometers (9.1 cubic miles) and is the leading cause of the global rise of sea levels.

2007 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic region, followed closely by 2008. This continues a general Arctic-wide warming trend that began in the mid-1960s.

The ice seems to be melting faster and lasting longer on both the polar ice and on Greenland's ice cap. In spots of Greenland's ice cap the average days of melting has increased by as much as 53 days. Almost two months more of melting. If you look at the charts in the NOAA reports linked above, you will notice that the increases warming on Greenland happens at the same spots where the ice has receded. When the ice sheets no longer protect northern Greenland, its ice sheet will melt fast.

This year, for the first time a scientific expedition was able to navigate the fabled Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans along Arctic waters bordering Russia and North America because they were free of ice, the German institute Alfred Wegener announced Friday.

"The scientific research vessel Polarstern returned this morning from the Arctic to Bremerhaven (northern Germany). It was the first ship to have crossed the Northwest and Northeast passages" without having to break any ice, an institute spokesman told AFP.

The Arctic ice cap, which in August saw its largest seasonal melting since satellite observations began 30 years ago, completely disappeared in the Northwest and Northeast passages in September, the European Space Agency confirmed on October 7.

NOAA's report card for the Arctic is here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lets Get Fiscal
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says It is time to spend. This is just common sense. Sixth grade civics is where I learned about deficit spending to get out of the Great Depression. Perhaps we can rebuild the National Parks like we did with the Civilian Conservation Corps. I think that would be a worthy place to spend some money. Here is PK.
On the other hand, there’s a lot the federal government can do for the economy. It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope and put money in the hands of people likely to spend it. It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes.And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. So let’s get those projects rolling.[...]

If Barack Obama becomes president, he won’t have the same knee-jerk opposition to spending. But he will face a chorus of inside-the-Beltway types telling him that he has to be responsible, that the big deficits the government will run next year if it does the right thing are unacceptable.

He should ignore that chorus. The responsible thing, right now, is to give the economy the help it needs. Now is not the time to worry about the deficit.

Good advice from a Nobel winner who called the current crises years ago. You do not need to listen to the people who got us into this mess or their cheerleaders in the media.
Some Stream Crossing Tips
By Victoria Logue at
  • The narrowest point in a stream may be the most tempting but is probably the most dangerous point to cross because the current is more powerful there. The widest part is probably the safest. At any rate, going for the slow and deep is usually safer than shallow and fast.

  • Always release your hip belt before crossing a stream in case you are knocked off your feet. This way you can easily rid yourself of the pack if you are washed downstream. This could save you from drowning, and it is better to lose your pack than your life.

  • If you are trying to cross a snow-fed river near the end of the day, consider waiting until morning. Pitch camp and spend the night there. The stream’s flow will be reduced during the cool evening, and it will be easier to cross the stream before things heat up during the day.

  • Long pants have more drag on you than shorts. Cross in shorts or even nude or in underwear. Once across, you can warm up by redonning your clothes.

  • Some crossings are safe enough to do barefoot, but why take chances? Wear your boots or camp shoes, if you have them. A number of companies make water socks— scrunchable shoes with a rough sole made for gripping rocks and stream beds.

  • When crossing rapids, face upstream and move sideways like a crab. Using a hiking stick or pole will help you maintain your balance.
I bought a pair of Crocs for the Pacific Crest Trail's stream crossings. I thought what ugly shoes but they were comfortable and do the job. So who cares. Now it seems like everybody has a pair. Who knew I was on the cutting edge of fashion?

Most of the stream crossings on The PCT are in the High Sierras. That is also where the most mosquitoes are. The crossings presented a conundrum for me. Was it better to let the mosquitoes bite me or stop changing shoes and swat them? I went with the former and it sure took a lot of self control. I have never been bitten so many times by mosquitoes as I was in the High Sierras. Yet it was one of the most fun and exciting time I ever had hiking.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Forced Pregnancy

The people who are against abortion are for forced pregnancies. They do not care about the health of the mother. They have no problems with rape. They will just blame the victim. Sick uncaring people they are.

The people behind the ad.

16,000 Miles
Bart Smith hiked all 16,000 miles of the National Scenic Trails.

Beyond the physical, Smith said he was touched by the kindness shown by people all across the United States. It was the common theme in each of the conversations we’ve had this year. Smith would often have to hitchhike back to his vehicle after completing a section of trail. Smith didn’t always hike a trail from end to end, but would do sections depending on weather conditions.

“America is filled with lots of really interesting people. But I didn’t run into a mean person. I think there is a bit of a disconnect. People think there are all these dangerous looneys running around, but I haven’t seen it. The American people all along the way have been so kind and generous.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Republicans Are Bad For The Economy
From the NYT

Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole? Well, here’s an experiment: imagine that during these years you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations. How would you have fared?

As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index* would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression. Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years.

Look at the chart here.
Via The Mahablog. You should read her post, for great insight.

So why is it so many people believe Republicans are better for the economy? Because Republicans say they are. Over and over and over. With great conviction. I’m sure they believe it. But they are nuts.

Internet Problems Today

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oysters Go Electric
A marine biologist from New York has come up with a new way to help the oyster come back.
Solar panels perched atop poles provide the helixes with a low voltage. The current causes a chemical reaction in seawater, and limestone builds up on the electrified metal. The ready supply of shell-building minerals, Cervino says, will help the oysters, decimated here and elsewhere by overharvesting, pollution, and disease. Cervino's collaborator, Thomas Goreau, president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, has shown that electrification can help damaged coral reefs regenerate. It seems to be helping the oysters here as well, he says. Oysters in mesh sacks at the spirals' base are alive while control oysters – those farther from the electric field – have all died.

Perhaps they will try this in the Chesapeake Bay. We need to do something to bring back the oysters. The oysters are needed to bring the bay back to health.
Don Boesch, president of the Univer­sity of Maryland Center for Environ­­mental Science in Cam­bridge, Md., calls oysters "the coral reefs of the East Coast." Oyster-restoration projects are at various stages in Florida, South Carolina, Chesapeake Bay, New York, and New Jersey. Before European settlement, oyster reefs covered some 350 square miles around New York. Their importance as a species stems from their ability to filter large amounts of water. Depending on its size, an oyster filters between 5 and 50 gallons of water daily. Water now murky with algae and other organic matter was, in earlier times, almost certainly clear.[...]

The oysters used to filter the entire bay every three to four days. Even 20 years ago the bay still produced a couple million bushels a year. Then the diseases arrived. By last year, the harvest had dropped to 100,000 bushels. The oysters that remain now manage to filter the bay three to four times a year.

Interesting View Of America
An Australian's view of America from the Appalachian Trail.

"It took me three days to get to the highest point and there are people there in cars complaining about the half a mile walk they had to make on a steady grade," he mused. "Here they are with sweat pouring off them and cans of Coke in their hands. I have never in my life seen obesity like it."

Perrett said he witnessed at least four visible changes in the American people along the way.

"Below the Mason-Dixon Line, in Pennsylvania, it's a totally different world," he said. "Then all of a sudden in New York people are talking at you, they just start asking you questions.

"It really changes again when you hit New England, the people are much more conservative, less inclined to come up and chat. In New Hampshire everyone has got time to talk to you."

But it wasn't until he crossed over into Canada that Perrett felt like he was near his own home, especially when the border officer who questioned him so vigilantly one minute offered him a ride into town the next.

"America seriously felt like four different countries," he said. "Canada is so much more laid back. Everything is a bit of a joke here and people are willing to listen instead of trying to talk over you.

"Americans told me that coming up here was essentially like being in America, but it is an amazing difference."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Full Moon!

Full Moon behind a cedar tree!

Appalachian Trail Closure
Fire has closed the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
The fire is burning on Sinking Creek Mountain in Craig County, about 12 miles northeast of Blacksburg. Schiffer says a section of the Appalachian Trail between Virginia 42 and Virginia 621 is closed.

David Letterman Does Not Trust McCain

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! John McCain!

John McCain and Sarah Palin at The Fairgrounds on Rt. 88. Binging it on!
Via Avedon and Down With Tyranny!
Great Allegheny Passage
There are two articles in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review abut The Great Allegheny Passage This weekend.

One by Paul G Wiegman about the geology of the trail.

Just a few hundred yards farther northeast of the tilted rock is a concrete underpass below McKenzie Hollow Road and another important geologic or geographic feature of the Great Allegheny Passage. This is the Eastern Continental Divide.

Water falling on land to the east drains into small streams that join Wills Creek. That creek joins the Potomac River at Cumberland, then flows into the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

To the west, water goes into Flaugherty Creek, the Casselman, Youghiogheny, Monongahela, Ohio and Mississippi rivers and, finally, into the Gulf of Mexico. A more precise was of looking at this watershed divide is as a sub-continental divide, because all the water ends up in the Atlantic Ocean. The continental divide along the Rocky Mountains is a true continental divide, because it splits water going into two different oceans.

The other article is more like a journal. It was written by Karen Price. It seems that the trail is good for business.

That night we decided to treat ourselves to the indoor plumbing and beds of the Red Roof Inn in Williamsport and pulled into the parking lot to discover only three cars.

The hotel was far from vacant, however.

It's a popular spot for bikers from the trail, and it seemed as if every room I passed on the way to my own either had a bike locked outside or visible through the window. We met most of our fellow cyclists at breakfast at the Waffle House the next morning.

Both are well worth a read.

The Economy
Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman on the bailout. He says Britain's Gordon Brown is leading the way. Our Secretary Paulson is starting to follow because he really did not have a plan. Why, You say.

It’s hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Paulson’s initial response was distorted by ideology. Remember, he works for an administration whose philosophy of government can be summed up as “private good, public bad,” which must have made it hard to face up to the need for partial government ownership of the financial sector.

I also wonder how much the Femafication of government under President Bush contributed to Mr. Paulson’s fumble. All across the executive branch, knowledgeable professionals have been driven out; there may not have been anyone left at Treasury with the stature and background to tell Mr. Paulson that he wasn’t making sense.

Luckily for the world economy, however, Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense. And they may have shown us the way through this crisis.

I want to re spell Femafication so that it makes more sense. FEMA-fication. As in FEMA, all the cronies were put in place.

To Paul Krugman one of my favorite columnists. He won the Nobel Prize in economics.
Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton University and an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday.[...]
Mr. Krugman received the award for his work on international trade and economic geography. In particular, the prize committee lauded his work for “having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity.” He has developed models that explain observed patterns of trade between countries, as well as what goods are produced where and why. Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and will exchange different kinds of goods with each other; Mr. Krugman’s theories have explained why worldwide trade is dominated by a few countries that are similar to each other, and why some countries might import the same kinds of goods that it exports.

It is nice to see a reality based liberal win such a prestigious award, even if it had nothing to do with his columns in the New York Times. I'm sure the right wingers are all ready complaining and trying to diminish his award.

Way to go Paul !

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sad To Hear
A young hiker died Sunday in California.
SAN BERNARDINO-- An 18-year-old hiker died Sunday afternoon on a trail near Lytle Creek after being hit with a rock that came loose from a nearby mountain.

Not much information at this point.
My condolences to his friends and family.

The hiker has been identified as Charlie Martin Ruiz.
Farmer In Chief
Micheal Pollan author of "In Defense Of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" writes an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine about the future of food. It is too long and too good to just excerpt the good parts. Here is the beginning.

It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.

Complicating matters is the fact that the price and abundance of food are not the only problems we face; if they were, you could simply follow Nixon’s example, appoint a latter-day Earl Butz as your secretary of agriculture and instruct him or her to do whatever it takes to boost production. But there are reasons to think that the old approach won’t work this time around; for one thing, it depends on cheap energy that we can no longer count on. For another, expanding production of industrial agriculture today would require you to sacrifice important values on which you did campaign. Which brings me to the deeper reason you will need not simply to address food prices but to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change. Unlike food, these are issues you did campaign on — but as you try to address them you will quickly discover that the way we currently grow, process and eat food in America goes to the heart of all three problems and will have to change if we hope to solve them. Let me explain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Triple Falls: Columbia River Gorge

A hiker fell to his death near Triple Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A hiker died from head injuries in a fall on a Columbia Gorge trail Friday.

Vancouver volunteer firefighter Jeremiah Lafor was hiking in the area himself when he noticed a Chow dog sitting at the top of Triple Falls and peering over the edge of a 100-foot cliff.

Lafor said he glanced over the edge and saw a man lying unmoving about 30 yards downstream from the base of the falls. He alerted another hiker to call 9-1-1 and assessed the scene.

Something strange may have happened.

Rescuers tried to check the dog for tags, but it ran away and has not yet been found. Police said there have not been any missing persons reports matching the man's description, either.[...]

The man was not carrying identification and authorities said they were still trying to figure out who he was. It appeared that he had been hiking alone.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Update: Sunday his dog was found and Oregon drivers license was found. Identity is being withheld pending family notification. Still no details on how he fell.

ABC Has Banned This Ad

The ad from is not at all controversial. Please go over to their website and sign the petition to make ABC play it. There is no doubt ABC has taken much money from the gas and coal companies. They do not want to loose the polluter's money.
Late But Not Lost
A good article about the ladies backpacking in the Boundary waters.

DULUTH -- Three days overdue in the northeastern Minnesota wilderness Thursday, the two women had lost their map and their way, and their food cache was down to a few handfuls of trail mix and chocolate chips.

But Duluth co-workers Maria Jacenko and Grace Knezevich said they were still warm and dry, still had a compass and are convinced they would eventually have walked out of the woods on their own if a helicopter search crew had not spotted them, waving from a ridge.

"I knew we'd make it out one way or another because we were headed east and would have hit the Gunflint [Trail]," Knezevich said

Read it all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sea Level Rising
A German scientist says:
BERLIN (AFP) - Sea levels could rise one metre (3.3 feet) by 2100, a leading German research institute said Thursday, much more than even the most pessimistic projection by the UN climate panel.
"We should prepare for a rise of sea levels of one metre this century," said Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which advises the German government on environmental policy.

I believe it will rise a meter by 2100. It could rise that much by 2020. The melting is happening faster than the scientists say. They are a cautious lot afraid to stick their necks out. It will happen to fast for anybody to do anything about it. Kiss Manhattan goodbye.
Sinking Economy

Yes John McCain does pay that much to his household staff.
Dolphin Jumps In Boat
Some folks In Florida were injured by a dolphin that jumped in their boat.

We were going under the bridge, and the next thing I knew I had a big old fish on top of us," Howard, 64, said while standing outside Bert Fish Medical Center, where he and his wife were treated and released Thursday afternoon. The couple suffered cuts, bumps and bruises.

While Howard could laugh about the incident a few hours later, when the 8- to 10-foot-long, estimated 400-pound mammal hit, there was nothing funny about it.

His first thought after the dolphin landed in their laps was to get it off. But as he pushed the flapping creature away, it knocked them to the boat's deck.

"I was just trying to get it off my wife," he said.

While, at the same time, he was being smacked by the tail.

"That thing had a good punch," Howard said. "Mike Tyson does not hit that hard."

Nature can be unpredictable at times. It is never a good idea to feed the wildlife. I am not suggesting they were feeding the dolphin. It is just a reminder. Do not feed the wildlife.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Beer Investment
This is old but with the stock market tanking...
If you had purchased $1000 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.

With Enron, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1000.

With WorldCom, you would have less than $5 left.
f you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49 left.

If you had purchased United Airlines, you would have nothing left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling refund you would have $214.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

This is called the 401-Keg Plan.

Missing Hikers
This time in Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

They were supposed to have come out on the Kekekabic- Trail on Sunday.
They haven't appeared yet.

Trevor Roy is in Grand Marais, Trevor - what can you tell us about these two women?

Julie, the search has been suspended for the night on Wednesday for the 23 and 42 year old women. The Kekekabic trail or the Kek as its known up hear is a difficult 40 mile hike from Ely to Grand Marais. In fact U.S. Forestry tell me the Kek is only hiked by about 50 people a year. The Kek was originally a fire access route for fire stations along the B.W.C.A.

The trail is extremely overgrown in parts and rescue crews have trouble even identifying the trail when they're on the ground.

The search itself is being conducted by the Lake County Search and Rescue squad, the St. Louis County Search and Rescue Squad, and members of the U.S. Forestry Service.

Hopefully the trail was tougher than they thought and it is taking longer. Lets hope they make it out OK.

Update: No news about the missing hikers but they have been identified.

Maria Jacenko, 42, and Grace Knezevich, 23, both of Duluth, have been missing since Monday night, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said.

"I'm sure they can survive a week without anything," Siebenand said this morning from the home that he and Jacenko share.

They have the right equipment and medical training.

Update 2: Alive well and in good spirits. Good news indeed!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Biofuels Are Not The Way To Go
They take too much land from food production.

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) - The Western world needs to rethink its rush to biofuels, which has done more harm pushing up food prices than it has good by reducing greenhouse gases, a United Nations report said on Tuesday.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said policies encouraging biofuel production and use in Europe and the United States was likely to maintain pressure on food prices but have little impact on weaning car users away from oil.

"The report finds that while biofuels will offset only a modest share of fossil energy use over the next decade they will have much bigger impacts on agriculture and food security," it said in its annual State of Food and Agriculture report.

Post consumer biofuels are OK though.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lake Wenatchee

lake wenatchee 2, originally uploaded by todo & haz.

A hiker is missing near Lake Wenatchee in Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Sam Broaddus began his hike Thursday at the Phelps Creek Trail, north of Lake Wenatchee in Glacier Peak Wilderness, according to a news release from the Chelan County Sheriff’s office.
Broaddus had left word with family to call for help if he hadn’t returned home by Sunday, according the news release. His father alerted authorities Monday about his overdue son, who had planned to travel along Lyman Glacier and Lyman Lake before making his way to the Pacific Crest Trail. He told authorities his son had some food and water, and described him as an experienced hiker, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lets hope he makes it out OK

Update: Good news Sam is alive and well. He lost the trail in the snow.

Racism Alive And Well
Sarah Palin has taken off the gloves and put on her hood.
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

Someone is going to get hurt.
Polar Bears To Get Relief From Big Oil

Playful Polar Bear Cubs, originally uploaded by Vera Le Bail.

The US is going to limit oil development in sensitive polar bear territory.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - The U.S. Interior Department will designate within two years protected areas of the Arctic that are considered critical habitat for polar bears and cannot be harmed by oil development as part of a legal settlement with environmental groups on Monday.

The Interior Department formally listed polar bears as threatened in May, but did not create protected areas for them.

Environmental groups said the threatened listing needed to be coupled with habitat designations to protect polar bears from spreading oil development or other industry impacts.

"You can't protect a species without protecting the place where it lives," said Kassie Siegel, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the three groups who sued the Bush administration to secure the designation.

"After global warming, oil development is the biggest threat to polar bears," said Siegel


Monday, October 06, 2008

Missing Hiker
In California's Emigrant Wilderness Just north of Yosemite National Park.

Sonora, CA -- The Tuolumne County Search and Rescue Team from the Sheriff's Office is searching the Emigrant Wilderness for 42 year old Christopher Andrews from Hillsborough, California.

Friday the Sheriff's Office was contacted by the California Office of Emergency Services regarding a personal locating beacon that was emitting a 911 signal in the area of Iceland Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness. Due to the weather team members were unable to respond to the area.

Hopefully search and rescue can get him out OK.

Update: Tuesday AM Bad news

Sonora, CA -- KVML News has received an unconfirmed report that the body of 42 year old Christopher Andrews from Hillsborough, CA was found Monday by member of the Search and Rescue Team from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Update 2: Sheriffs have confirmed the body was Christopher Andrews.
Sonora, CA -- Deputy Paul Tualla of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the body of Christopher Andrews was discovered at approximately 2pm Monday in the area of Iceland Lake.

No real information on what happened.
Update 3: It appears he fell in snowy conditions. More information here.


Posted on Natuba

Via Susie.
McCainwreck A Brief Aviation History
Some excepts from a Rolling Stone article on John McCain.
  1. In the air, the hard-partying McCain had a knack for stalling out his planes in midflight. He was still in training, in Texas, when he crashed his first plane into Corpus Christi Bay during a routine practice landing.
  2. Flying over the south of Spain one day, he decided to deviate from his flight plan. Rocketing along mere feet above the ground, his plane sliced through a power line. His self-described "daredevil clowning" plunged much of the area into a blackout. That should have been the end of McCain's flying career. "In the Navy, if you crashed one airplane, nine times out of 10 you would lose your wings," says Butler, who, like his former classmate, was shot down and taken prisoner in North Vietnam.
  3. hat December, McCain crashed again. Flying back from Philadelphia, where he had joined in the reverie of the Army-Navy football game, McCain stalled while coming in for a refueling stop in Norfolk, Virginia. This time he managed to bail out at 1,000 feet. As his parachute deployed, his plane thundered into the trees below.
  4. Then, in an instant, the world around McCain erupted in flames. A six-foot-long Zuni rocket, inexplicably launched by an F-4 Phantom across the flight deck, ripped through the fuel tank of McCain's aircraft. Hundreds of gallons of fuel splashed onto the deck and came ablaze. Then: Clank. Clank. Two 1,000-pound bombs dropped from under the belly of McCain's stubby A-4, the Navy's "Tinkertoy Bomber," into the fire.McCain, who knew more than most pilots about bailing out of a crippled aircraft, leapt forward out of the cockpit, swung himself down from the refueling probe protruding from the nose cone, rolled through the flames and ran to safety across the flight deck.
  5. McCain performed adequately on the Oriskany. On October 25th, 1967, he bombed a pair of Soviet MiGs parked on an airfield outside Hanoi. His record was now even. Enemy planes destroyed by McCain: two. American planes destroyed by McCain: two.
  6. Still cocky from the previous day's kills, McCain took the biggest gamble of his life. As he dived in on the target in his A-4, his surface-to-air missile warning system sounded: A SAM had a lock on him. "I knew I should roll out and fly evasive maneuvers," McCain writes. "The A-4 is a small, fast" aircraft that "can outmaneuver a tracking SAM."

    But McCain didn't "jink." Instead, he stayed on target and let fly his bombs — just as the SAM blew his wing off.

  7. As his marriage unraveled, McCain's naval career was also stalling out. He had been passed over for a promotion. There was no sea command on the horizon, ensuring that he would never be able to join his four-star forefathers. For good measure, he crashed his third and final plane, this one a single-engine ultralight. McCain has never spoken of his last crash publicly, but his friend Gen. Jim Jones recalled in a 1999 interview that it left McCain with bandages on his face and one arm in a sling.
Not such a great pilot. Read the whole thing. There is no new information but it is interesting to see so much unflattering information together without his cheerleaders telling how great he is. Oh did you know he was a POW?
What McCain glosses over is that accepting early release would have required him to make disloyal statements that would have violated the military's Code of Conduct. If he had done so, he could have risked court-martial and an ignominious end to his military career. "Many of us were given this offer," according to Butler, McCain's classmate who was also taken prisoner. "It meant speaking out against your country and lying about your treatment to the press. You had to 'admit' that the U.S. was criminal and that our treatment was 'lenient and humane.' So I, like numerous others, refused the offer."