Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stinky Boy Rides Again!

Yellow Indian Springs, originally uploaded by cheflovesbeer.

Stinky Boy(my pack) will be riding on the Appalachian Trail starting tomorrow. Starting in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania and heading north.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sad To Hear
A hiker falls to his death near Niagara Falls, New York.
A man hiking in the Niagara gorge fell to his death Sunday evening near Devil's Hole in Niagara Falls. State Park Police say 33-year-old Michael Cooper of Niagara Falls was heard screaming for help just before 6:00 p.m. roughly a quarter of the way down into the gorge where he had landed on some rocks. Other hikers led first responders to Cooper who was still conscious at the time. He was taken up and out of the gorge on a backboard with multiple injuries, rushed to a nearby hospital where he died in the emergency room.

My condolences to his friends and family.
Packing Heat In The National Parks
There is no good reason for this.

WASHINGTON — Here's a list of stuff the typical American family can legally carry into national parks this summer: sleeping bag, toothbrush, change of underwear . . . loaded guns.

Thanks to a 279-147 vote Wednesday in the House of Representatives , visitors to the nation's parks and wildlife refuges will be able to carry weapons there if they abide by state weapons laws.

The bill is on its way to President Barack Obama , who faces a dilemma: Gun rights advocates attached the provision to a sweeping overhaul of the credit card industry, an initiative Obama strongly supports, so he has little choice but to let the gun section become law.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said only that Obama "looks forward" to signing the bill "as quickly as possible," and didn't mention the gun provision.

Gun control advocates howled Wednesday, but to little effect. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy , D- N.Y. , protested "the bill has been hijacked," and Rep. Maxine Waters , D- Calif. , maintained, "American taxpayers ought to be incensed."

Scot McElveen , the president of the Association of National Park Rangers , predicted that the measure would provoke problems at the parks.

"Members of the ANPR respect the will of Congress and their authority to pass laws, but we believe this is a fundamental reversal from what preceding Congresses created the National Park System for. Park wildlife, including some rare or endangered species, will face increased threats by visitors with firearms who engage in impulse or opportunistic shooting."

The people with guns will not legally be able to use them. You can not shoot the wildlife in a National Park. You can not shoot the other park visitors. You are not allowed to fire guns in the National Parks. I have never felt the need to have a gun in the wilderness. This will allow people who are scared to bring guns into the parks where they will be used illegally. Nothing good will come of it.

Four hikers are injured by lightning on the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey.

Rescuers in Warren County are working to remove the last of four hikers injured tonight when lightning struck nearby during a severe thunderstorm in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Three had been removed from the Appalachian Trail in Worthington State Forest by 7:30 p.m.; a fourth hiker with a head wound had yet to be taken off the mountain, said Deb Nordeen, a public information officer with the National Park Service.

Rescuers reached the group at 6:15 p.m., about an hour after the National Park Service's emergency communications center received a report of the lightning strike.

"They were not directly struck by lightning," Nordeen said. "Lightning apparently hit the ground near them and they subsequently received injuries."

Nordeen said she was uncertain of the extent of the injuries or the ages of those involved.

They were about a mile south of Sunfish Pond in Hardwick Township, which is about two to three miles from the Pennsylvania line.

Hope everybody recovers well.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

History Of Weed

Kind of fun.
Sad To Hear
A hiker dies in California.

A hiker died Sunday after he was found unconscious earlier that day on Skyline Trail in Palm Springs, a fire official said Thursday.
The man, whose name was not immediately available, was 28 years old and from Orange County.

He had been hiking since 6 a.m. and rescuers arrived at 1:30 p.m. to find him 100 feet up on the trail.

He was unconscious, unresponsive and had a core body heat of 108 degrees, officials said.

Rescuers transported him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sunday's death was the second incident in just over a week in which a hiker on that same trail apparently misjudged the Coachella Valley heat.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do Not Feed The Animals
Most bear humans encounters occur because humans are careless about food.

No national numbers of conflicts were presented at the Nevada workshop, but participants said the number is growing. They said more regulations requiring bear-proof trash containers and improved public education of people living in bear-prone areas is needed to avoid potentially deadly encounters.

In the East, more than 70% of jurisdictions are reporting an increase in black bear populations, said Hank Hristienko, a big-game biologist for the Canadian province of Manitoba. And from Florida to New Hampshire and into Canada, there are increasing problems, he said.

"On almost 80% of the eastern part of the continent, you have an increasing trend of human-bear conflicts," he said.[...]

Bottom line: "People need to lock up their trash," said Carl Lackey, a Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist. "People really don't take notice until a bear is knocking on their front door."

Bears do not always knock on your door. When I lives in Truckee, CA, I had a bear come through the screen door. No knocking just ripping and tearing. Not really much of an impediment to a full grown bear. Let me tell you, a bear looks a whole lot bigger when your cooking breakfast in your boxers and it is less than five feet from you.

And then there is this idiot, feeding bears in the Alaskan wilderness.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — After 20 years of enticing bears into a remote compound tucked away in a little visited corner of Alaska’s Yentna River valley, retired Anchorage school teacher Charlie Vandergaw said last fall he was ready to end his bear-taming shenanigans.

Filmmaker Richard Terry, the man to whom Vandergaw made the statement, didn’t know whether to believe it or not.

Now skeptical state officials have taken action to make sure it happens. They have charged the 70-year-old Vandergaw with 20 counts of illegally feeding game. Two friends accused of assisting him were also charged.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wavy Gravy

Today is Wavy Gravy's Birthday. Happy Birthday Wavy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

US to burn less coal.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. power plants will burn about 2.3 percent less coal in 2009 than they did last year as the recession trims electricity demand, the government's top energy forecaster said on Tuesday.

Power plants will burn about 1,017.49 million short tons of coal in 2009, down from 1,041.6 million tons burned in 2008, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly short-term outlook.

This month's EIA forecast called for the burning of a bit more coal in 2009 than last month's outlook, which expected U.S. power plants to burn about 2.6 percent less coal.

Hopefully, we will build solar and wind.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sad To Hear
A hiker dies on the Florida Trail.

— He was a beloved son devoted to his twin sister, an Advanced Placement scholar who was planning to enter the University of Florida, and a determined Boy Scout striving to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

Today, his parents and twin sister Elisabeth struggled to deal with the tragedy of Michael Sclawy-Adelman's unexpected death this weekend. The 17-year-old Nova High School senior died Saturday during a sweltering, 20-mile hike on The Florida Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County.

"He was a sweetheart. He was everyone's dream kid," said his mother Judith, of Weston, choking back tears. "He was the kind of kid everyone would love to have."

The cause of his death is pending toxicology reports, according to the Collier County Medical Examiner's Office. The teen's family requested no autopsy be conducted.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said his death may have been the result of a medical condition but his family today declined to discuss any possible cause.

It could be heat related.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Get Up Stand Up!

Bob Marley died on this day in 1981. He is missed.
Sad To Hear
A hiker dies in Arizona.
The 52-year-old woman, whose name has not been released by the Surprise Police Department, was reported missing by family at about 11 p.m. when she didn't return from a hike. Officers searched a nearby mountain near 157th Avenue and Dynamite Road that the woman was known to frequent. They found her body about 40 minutes later.

It is believed to be accidental.

My condolences to her friends and family.
The hiker has been identified as Sharon Berman of Surprise. Police believe it was an accidental fall.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Will Act Selflessly This Afternoon
All for the good workers at the Sierra Nevada Brewery.
"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'"
-Deep Thought, Jack Handy

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Green Chill
How green is your grocer?

Last night Keilly Witman from EPA's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, the program that attempts to get grocery stores to reduce ozone-killing refrigerant leaks, talked at EcoTuesday in DC. What I thought might not be our most exciting topic turned out to be one of the most interesting I've heard in the 8 months of co-hosting these events.

Ozone-depleting refrigerants are also potent greenhouse gases. One pound of the most commonly used HFC refrigerants has the same impact as about 4000 lbs of CO2. This is why Witman calls the reduction of refrigerant leaks the low-hanging-fruit of emissions control. There are 35,000 supermarkets in the US and each typically carries about 4000 lbs of refrigerant and leaks about 25% of that. So, you do the math: 1000 lbs of high global warming gas from each of 35,000 supermarkets = 35,000,000 lbs leaked each year. And its pretty simple and cheap to cut that number in half, which is where most GreenChill partner markets come in.

According to a 2008 GreenChill press release:

Compared to the rest of the supermarket industry, GreenChill partners are already emitting fewer ozone-depleting refrigerants and greenhouse gases than their competitors, and saving money at the same time. The partners’ savings in operating costs equal almost $13 million.

If every supermarket in the nation joined GreenChill and reduced their emissions to the current GreenChill average, the industry could prevent the release of 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 157 ozone-depleting potential tons annually.

Click on the link to find out which chains participate.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Full Moon!

Full Moon Over DC, originally uploaded by jbhaber.

Full Moon!

The percentage of Americans that think Marijuana should be legal.

3,937 voters were asked: “Scarce law enforcement and prison resources, a desire to neutralize drug cartels and the need for new sources of revenue have resurrected the topic of legalizing marijuana. Proponents say it makes sense to tax and regulate the drug while opponents say that legalization would lead marijuana users to use other illegal drugs. Would you favor or oppose the government’s effort to legalize marijuana?”

52 percent came out in favor, with 37 percent against. The poll was commissioned by the conservative-leaning O’Leary report.

Via Blue Girl. I think it is time to end the prohibition.

Eco Friendly Beers
An article via MattY on green beer.
Several breweries are employing environmentally sound practices in everything from ingredients to distribution. The common denominator among these companies is a set of corporate values that make sustainability the highest priority. And many of these breweries have significantly modified their entire manufacturing process to produce a beer you can enjoy guilt free.

These breweries take a “big-picture” approach that makes many of them leaders in corporate environmental ethics. New Belgium Brewing, for example, meets 30 percent of its energy needs by putting its water waste in enclosed pools with anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria feed off the nutrient-rich water to produce methane gas, which is converted into energy for the factory. The remaining 70 percent of the energy they consume comes from renewable sources.

New Belgium Brewing also conducts Life Cycle Assessments of its beers to determine the material and energy flows at each stage in the brewing process. “It’s a tool to improve not just the sustainability of our company, but of our industry, too,” say founders Kim and Jeff. A six-pack of their Fat Tire label produces 35 percent fewer emissions than the industry average.

Read it all. It has some good ideas.

Obama is sticking to his guns.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's $3.55 trillion budget, released on Thursday, retains his plan to cut climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions by auctioning off 100 percent of emission permits to industries.

That is at odds with some in Congress, including members of Obama's own Democratic Party, who are pushing for 50 percent or more of those emissions to be given away in the early stages of the plan to ease the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Opponents fear that charging companies for the carbon they emit would put unnecessary pressure on an already struggling economy.

Selling all the emission permits is projected to bring $646 billion in revenue over the first years of the program, and White House budget director Peter Orszag said that would not change when more details about the administration's budget request are released next week.

We need a 100% auction otherwise it is just a large gift to the polluters.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Loosing Their Religion
Americans are becoming less religious! 18-29 year old 31% are unaffiliated to a religion. 30-49 year old. 40% are unaffiliated. These are the groups that are most likely to be having and raising children. If they have no religion, it seems that their children are less likely to be religious.
The article does not contain these numbers. You must click on Appendix 1. Select age pdf from menu,

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stimulate This
Wind power needs a hand.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Lost financing, low prices for natural gas and political uncertainty have stymied a potential boom in the U.S. wind power industry this year.

Investment in new wind power capacity that exploded from $3 billion in 2005 to $17 billion in 2008 was projected to fall to $13 billion this year. The fallout for the U.S. industry, the world's largest producer of wind power at 28,000 Megawatts, could usher in a period of consolidation, analysts said.

Financial institutions no longer provide credit to wind farms based on the tax incentives and projected electricity revenues, and natural gas prices have tumbled from $12 per million BTU to under $4.

The industry is now counting on a government bailout of a different sort -- legislation that would mandate that 25 percent of the country's electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2025, up from around 7 percent now, with wind making up 1.5 percent.

"To get to the levels of energy that we're talking about, we have to produce a wind turbine every 15 minutes for the next 20 years," Vic Abate of General Electric Co, the largest U.S. wind turbine supplier, said in an interview on Tuesday on the sidelines of an industry conference.

Why we are not trying to build wind farms and solar farms as a way to get the economy back on track is beyond me. We need to get off coal.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

It Is Ok

To leave the lime in the bottle.
Trader Joes

The Trader Joe's song. Shamelessly stolen from Susie.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Go Hawkeye!
Hawkeye is doing a fund raiser for the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program.
TELLURIDE – Longtime Telluride Adaptive Sports Program volunteer Hawkeye Johnson will hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada to raise money for the program.

Johnson will hike the 2,900-mile trail in two sections, starting in Campo, Calif. (on the Mexico border) and hiking the first 1,700 miles to the California/Oregon border.

In 2010, he will hike the remaining 950 miles from Oregon through Washington to Canada.

Johnson was named a Triple Crown hiker after his October 2007 completion of the 3,000-mile Continental Divide, a trip during which he raised $17,000 for TASP to help support program costs and purchase a high definition video camera for movement analysis training and promotional purposes. This year’s hike of the Pacific Crest Trail will give Johnson, who has been involved with TASP for eight years as an instructor, staff trainer and representative for the program, his second Triple Crown. His support for the disabled community through TASP is “truly an inspiration,” said Courtney Stuecheli, TASP’s executive director. “We are so fortunate to have Hawkeye as an involved volunteer. He gives to the program on so many different levels. We can’t thank him enough for his commitment to TASP.”

To support Johnson on his trek (and benefit Telluride Adaptive Sports Program), visit his website at to pledge a donation amount per mile or make a flat donation.

I hiked with Hawkeye and a few other people in Maine of 01. He is a good guy even if he did 20 years in Connecticut's penal institutions.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sad To Hear
A young lady from Baltimore was killed in a hiking accident in Ohio.
A Muskingum College student fell from a cliff yesterday while hiking at Salt Fork State Park and died early this morning, park officials said.

A witness called 911 at 2:26 p.m. to report that a woman fell from a cliff at Hosak's Cave, said George Ayers, assistant park manager.

A spokeswoman for Muskingum College identified the woman as Amy Adams, a junior biology major from Baltimore, Md. Adams was flown to Akron General Hospital and park officials were notified that she died at 1:15 a.m. today, Ayers said.

My condolences to her friends and family.
Happy Birthday Pete!

Today is Pete Seeger's 90th birthday.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Green Box

When I start my Pizza Farming cult, I am going to use these pizza boxes.