Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Global Climate Change

Global Climate Change - it's the new term for "Global Warming". Why? Probably because the Earth has been cooling for the last couple of years. This prompted me to do some research and see if and how the media and science communities have changed over the years. This is what I've found.

In 1895 when Grover Cleveland was President, the big boy media outlets were predicting a global cooling crisis, where Canada could be wiped out and failing crops would be the cause of billions to die. On February 24, 1895, the NY Times reports, "
Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again."

After the late 1920's, a mere half degree in warming prompted quite the opposite warnings. "The Earth is steadily growing warmer", the Times reported.

Those warnings slipped a bit until 1954, when Fortune Magazine began to warn of another cooling trend in an article stating "Climate - The heat may be off." The Times published stories of warming fears into the late '50s.

In 1969, Science News magazine quoted a meteorologist expert in saying,
“How long the current cooling trend continues is one of the most important problems of our civilization.” In June of 1974, Time magazine showed that the Arctic snow and ice had increased over the years to support the new ice age theory. In 1975, the Times and other publications warned of the impending ice age that would destroy us all, calling it “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable.” Science News magazine printed an article, "The Ice Age Cometh?" on March 1, 1975. Newsweek also touted the big freeze for Mother Earth. In June of 1974, Time magazine showed that the Arctic snow and ice had increased over the years to support the theory. May 31, 1976, US News and World Report reports that "Even U.S. Farms May Be Hit By Cooling Trend".

We all know of Al Gore's tirades about global warming over recent years. Lately, the term has been changed from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change". Why? Because for the last couple of years, the Earth has been cooling.

What does all this mean? Panic after panic after panic. First cooling, then warming, then cooling, then warming, now cooling again. Seems pretty obvious to me. The Earth knows what she's doing. She controls her own weather and climate. We have nothing in it.

Consider the amounts of greenhouse gasses produced throughout this time period. Consider the amount of industry. Consider the money we've spent on all of this, and the efforts we've put out to try to stop this cycle. Every time we have been wound up over climate changes, Mother Nature has proven us to be dunces. Blindly following the "Wolf!" criers is not productive, nor to our advantage in any way.

Fighting "Global Climate Change" is futile. It's the biggest scam ever perpetrated. The Earth will take care of herself, as she has proven to us over the years
. Yes, we should take care of our environment. No, we should not think for a second that we can control climate - any more than we can control our day-to-day weather.

Give this a little thought. It's not hard. There is something to be said for the K.I.S.S. method of reasoning. You can run to see who is crying "WOLF!" if you like, but I won't be fooled.

Somebody's getting rich from this scam. And we're paying for it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Apologies - and an Explanation

If there is anyone you know could see this blog before, but can't now - it's because I have made it private, for select persons. If you can see this, you are one of them. (If I missed anybody, I apologize. Let me know and I'll consider allowing them to visit.) I really don't need to, but I feel like I should explain.

You see, I work for a largely liberal institution. No, there's nothing wrong with being liberal. It's not a dirty word. The concern comes with me being quite conservative, and expressing my personal views here on my blog where the whole world can see. Those views often grate on liberals to the point that it could harm my employment situation if the right person(s) would visit here. I have personally heard those with liberal beliefs repeatedly express hate towards those who have differing opinions, to the point of wishing them dead! Some of my posts here echo some of these situations.

Can somebody tell me why this is? Why is it that you can have a differing viewpoint from someone and they wish you harm because of it? Is this what the Freedom of Speech is all about? Free Speech is ok as long as you agree with me??? I'm sorry, but I don't agree with that concept.

I enlisted of my own free will in the 'Nam era - with no coercion, and I served my Country to help preserve its Freedoms for all of us - even the ones who wish me harm for not believing like they do. Is it too much to ask for the same consideration? I have no problem with others having different opinions than me. It would be nice if the converse would be true without fear of retribution. Unfortunately, many who preach "Free Speech" put delimiters on it. That is NAZI crap.

A scary philosophy is rampant these days. "Mine is good. Yours is not." Too many people are looking for "What's in it for me?" They don't think in terms of "What's best for our Country?"

"My special interests are good. Yours must go."
"My Free Speech is good. Yours must go."
"My beliefs are good. Yours must go."

That is not a principle this country was founded on. It's what our forefathers were escaping. Too many people are filled with hate. They hate you and wish you harm for believing or thinking differently than they do. They hate you just because you are a Republican or Conservative - or should I say, because you are not a liberal or support liberal causes. I'm sorry, I just don't understand this. I cannot comprehend it.

Anyhow, that is why I made this blog private. If you still return here, apparently my posts aren't too distasteful to you. I thank you for your tolerance. I am not branding all liberals as haters, wishing others harm or death for not agreeing with them. Unfortunately, far too many I encounter in the real world are like this. I have never heard a conservative wish anybody dead or express hatred because they have differing opinions. I am not naive enough to believe it never happens, but I've never seen it in any of the people I encounter. This is my personal experience.

Thank you for being here and tolerating my thoughts and beliefs. I promise you, I will always have the same consideration for you - I don't care what your thoughts and beliefs are. If I am wrong, please tell me why. Personally, I think it's really sad when it comes to this.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blizzard of March 2009

Here are some scenes of the aftermath of our little blizzard over the last couple of days. We have about 12" at the house, with drifting to 36" or so.

Our cat wanted to step out into this, but decided against it when he couldn't feel anything under the snow.

There are steps to the left of the terra cotta pot, but you wouldn't know it.

This drift was about 3' high, but it sank a bit under the warming of the sun by the time I shot this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The State Of The Union

It sucks. Lots of things are happening that shouldn't. People are turning a blind eye to them. Those that don't turn a blind eye and speak about it are branded. Opposing viewpoints to those in power are not wanted. Free speech is going fast, and being attacked by those who claim to support it the most.

At work one day, Rush Limbaugh was being discussed. I only overheard part of the conversation - the part where one Liberal Obama (i.e. "anybody but a Republican") supporter said "Someone ought to shoot him." What???? If someone disagrees with you, you want him dead? I'm sorry, but I wouldn't wish that on anybody - not even Liberals, and I stated so. You see, I really do believe in free speech. This is too often the solution they use, if they can't convert or silence the opposition. Interesting to note is that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by a Liberal. John Kennedy was assassinated by an ultra-Liberal. Gerald Ford was the victim of an assassination attempt by a Liberal. Ronald Reagan was shot by a Liberal. There is a pattern here. Which philosophy is really championing free speech, tolerance of others, etc? Liberal or Conservative?

Bailouts are flying out the door, hand over fist. Somehow, I can't understand why the same logic is being used to solve a problem that caused it. Isn't one definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Irresponsible loans were made by the same irresponsible people that are getting irresponsible loans now. They were pressured into making those irresponsible loans by the same people who are making irresponsible loans to those who made the irresponsible loans in the first place. Insanity.

Currency is being printed to magically have more money to give those irresponsible corporations. There is nothing to back it up. What now? Buy up all the gold you can so you'll have something of value? I'm not so sure. You see, with an Executive Order, our President can outlaw private ownership of gold coins, etc. Don't think it can happen? Sooner or later, they'll have to back up all that currency with something.

Connecticut has recently tried to take financial control of the Catholic Church. That is scary in itself. I understand it has failed, but what comes next?

Missouri Highway Patrol has some "training" material that profiles members of "The Modern Militia Movement". It is supposed to teach their officers how to better recognize militia members. “All this is an educational thing,” Hotz said of the report. “Troopers have been shot by members of groups, so it’s our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement.” Hmmmm. I haven't heard of all these trooper shootings by militia members. Have you? Ok, let's assume there have been, but the media won't tell us about it. Want to know who are likely militia members? Among other things, it's people who
  • have Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, or Bob Barr stickers on their vehicle.
  • support third party political groups (i.e. if you are a Libertarian)
  • display "militia symbols" such as the "Don't Tread On Me" flag.
  • talk about "conspiracy theory" issues like the Canada-to-Mexico mega-highway.
How many of us can be considered suspect under these guidelines? (If everybody is suspect according to their guidelines, it's kind of ridiculous to have guidelines isn't it?) Is free will and free speech no longer acceptable? How will this be put into practice? In order to prevent the alleged shootings, information must be collected on all of us to see if we could potentially be a suspect person. These are things to think about. It appears that differing with those in power will increasingly make you an enemy of "The State". This attitude/concept has no place in America, folks. (I can hardly wait until the White House gets hold of this.)

Militias have been demonized, yet people forget that they are the last line of defense of our country, our home. Yes, there are some nutcase fringe morons in every group. Do not judge the whole group on them. The Militia is The People - you and I.

I saw a couple of bumper stickers on a car yesterday. One on the left said "Keep Abortion Legal". One on the right said "War Is Not The Answer". They were the only two bumper stickers on that car. It struck me as being a little illogical. It's ok to kill babies, but not those who want to kill adults? Let's kill 'em before they grow up? Kill 'em now so we won't have to kill them later? Give me a break. No, don't use my money to pay for abortions. No, war is not always the answer. Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary.

We need to get our priorities straightened out before it's too late. Pointing fingers at each other doesn't help at all. My Mother always told us, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Errors in the past are not a reason to err now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Red-Tailed Hawk

Since I began getting serious about my photography, I've made goals for myself. One of them was/is to get good shots of various raptors in the wild. One particularly I want to get is the Red-Tailed Hawk. I've always had a fascination for raptors, and a strong desire to photograph them. I don't know why - maybe because they are such a challenge. They are beautiful, proud, and graceful birds. The Bald Eagle is one of them.

Until now, I've only been able to get good shots of raptors while on their handler's gloved hand. Today I was lucky enough (when Shelley and I were out looking for photo-ops) to complete a step of my goal. She spotted two hawks having an aerial pissin' match. We stopped in hopes of getting some shots. When we did, one of the hawks went after a jack rabbit, heading straight for us. I had my camera on him when he went into a dive and went for the kill. At that time, my camera lost its focus lock. (Murphy struck again! GRRRRRR!) I missed the attempt. The rabbit got away. When the hawk broke off the attack, he was pretty close to us, and took a sharp left (to our right) crossing in front of us. By then I had regained my focus lock and was shooting again. Below are a couple of the shots I got. I am satisfied with these two, but my thirst for capturing raptors on "film" is not satisfied. It may never be.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flower Child

Here is our little boy. He used to be a little psycho, but he's a real people person now.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

White-Crowned Sparrow

While grilling today, I saw a different-looking sparrow - quite different from the house sparrow we're so accustomed to seeing. I got a few shots later in the day.


American Kestrel

I stepped outside this morning to get some bird shots. I got more than I bargained for, 'cause I expected maybe a lucky blue jay shot or some house finches. What I got was neither.

When I first saw this guy he was flying from this antenna, and making a round trip right back to it. He is a smallish bird, about the size of a robin, but didn't fly like one. Also a little different was his white underside he displayed when he was on the wing - kind of like a turtle dove. I have a "thing" for raptors, and it struck me that it could be a small owl or hawk. It was really too far away for me to tell. This is what caught my attention - an American Kestrel, one of the hawk family. It's the first I've captured on "film" in the wild. (These are 100% crops.)


Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Tonight I am preparing for somewhat of a milestone in my life. I'm making sure I have all I need to accomplish it - fully charged batteries, cleaned-up and ready CF cards, etc.

I've been a photographer "wanna-be" for a while now, and have been taking it seriously for about 4 or 5 years. I've graduated from a film SLR and a digital point-and-shooter, to a digital SLR that I've had for a little over a year now. A few days ago, I delivered some photos I shot at a ground breaking to the head of Marketing and Communications where I work as a maintenance mechanic. That same day, I got a call from her with a job - a paying job! Tomorrow after work, I will be shooting a reception for a well-known celebrity. It's just one shoot, but "ya gotta start somewhere!"

It's kind of hard to believe, but it's what I had hoped for - to be able to make some extra money with my photography to augment my retirement - when I get to that point. This may be the first step towards that goal. I hope it all goes well, and that my client is well satisfied.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Day Trippin'

Yesterday we got a wild hair and decided to take a day trip to Lubbock. We loaded up the car with our camera stuff, Steve, and some cokes, then hit the road. Our first stop was the American Wind Power Center, where we took a good supply of photos. Here are some I got.

This is one of the first wind generators, cca. 1930's. It was used to charge 6v storage batteries to power radios.

This is a modern-day wind generator, of course. This one is used to power the Wind Power Center.

After the Wind Power Center, we went over to the Science Spectrum where the OMNI theater is. They were coincidentally having a deal relating to severe weather awareness week, and there were several booths with storm spotting/chasing info. There was also a film showing about severe weather in the OMNI. It was pretty cool! Never saw one like that before.

After all that, we went to Fuddruckers for something to eat and cooled our heels at Barnes and Noble where we each made a purchase. Steve pointed me to some bird ID books, and I found a really good one that was put out in 2007 - much more current han the Audubon Society book I already had.

Had a great time! (....and as I type this, a hawk flew over fairly low and quiet. Never had a chance to get a shot.)