Ridiculous, Revealing, Right-Of Center, & Resplendence

Floyd County - Red-Tailed Hawk (9)I spent the day working on the same project. Some projects seem to go easy with little to no trouble at all, and others seem to be cursed from the start. I’m getting there though. Frozen lines, hard drive failures and everything else aside, I am making progress.

It’s almost 11:30 this evening, so I better hurry and type up some thoughts for the day.

Thought #1

Our local county school board is entertaining the possibility of a “four-day week”. I’ve heard a lot of people talking strategy to cut costs and save money but this has to be one of the worst ideas I have heard yet. There are two reasons why a four-day week for schools is a horrible idea.

The first reason is that fifth day. How many parents will be forced to find a babysitter or all-day child care because they work that day? How many families will be adversely affected by the extra expenses required because the school district thought cutting back one day would save them a lot of money?

The second reason involves the time each student would spend in class each day.

At the high school level that means the students would have 62-minute classes and each school day would last from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Taking into account that a lot of kids ride the bus, and they have to get up well before that bus arrives, most kids will be walking out the door by 7:15 each morning and not returning home until close to 6:15 each night. I don’t know about you but I have a feeling most kids aren’t going to enjoy being in school (or enroute to or from school) for 11 hours each day. How effective will those classes that end at 4:50pm be for the students?

Don’t forget to factor in the 2 hours of homework and any extra-curricular activities each night too.

Like I said, a four-day school week is a bad idea.

Thought #2

CBS News is running a poll allowing you and I to grade President Obama’s first year in office. As of the time of this post, 64.58% of those grading have given him an F for his handling of the economy. 51.64% have given him an F on foreign policy, 75.02% give him an F for health care, 50.83% give him a D or F for his handling of Afghanistan, and 51.89% give him a D or F for his handling of Iraq.

On the threat of terrorism, 57.55% give him an F. More than 50% give him an F on energy and the environment, and social issues too. 76.04% say he has failed in bipartisanship, which is stunning. He hasn’t done anything in a bipartisan manner, so I think that the other 23.96% of the people are demented.

Overall, 55.42% give him an F for the overall job he has done as President. Factoring in the D grades, 81.18% give him a below average score.

Surprising? Somewhat. I thought the disapproval numbers would be even higher by this point, but then again, it’s only January.

Thought #3

John Hawkins, from Right Wing News, conducted a poll of more than 250 right-of-center bloggers on which candidate they would support if the 2012 Republican primaries were held today. Sixty-nine of us responded. Here are the results:

12) Mike Huckabee: 0% (0 votes)
11) Ron Paul: 1% (1 votes)
10) Newt Gingrich: 3% (2 votes)
9) Haley Barbour: 3% (2 votes)
8) Rick Perry: 4% (3 votes)
7) John Thune: 7% (5 votes)
6) Jeb Bush: 7% (5 votes)
5) Tim Pawlenty: 9% (6 votes)
4) Mitch Daniels: 10% (7 votes)
3) Mitt Romney: 12% (8 votes)
2) Mike Pence: 14% (10 votes)
1) Sarah Palin: 29% (20 votes)

So, which one did I pick? You may think you know, but I bet you can’t guess. Leave me a comment with your guess and tell me who you would have chosen.

Thought #4

For the past several days people have been reporting a Tundra Swan in a pond up in Floyd County, so this afternoon when I got done working I ran the boys up there to see if we could locate it and get some decent photos. Needless to say, we were successful.

Floyd County - Tundra Swan (4)

 

We were able to get a few good shots of the Tundra Swan, but soon afterward a Red-Tailed Hawk flew over, and well, I just can’t resist a beautiful bird of prey. You can see my set of photos from today’s trip over at Flickr.

How To Spend A Saturday In Georgia

Today was an awesome day!

Believe it or not we all went to bed early and we all got up early. We usually have a few stragglers each day, so it was quite a shock when we were ready to head out the door by 9:30 this morning.

We began by venturing over to the Newman Wetland Center in Clayton County. Although the interpretive center is closed on Saturdays this time of year, the trail is still open (and free) so we hit the trail. All 1/2 mile of it. We spent a good 45 minutes strolling through the wetlands and got some good photos. It was a bit cold so we walked back to the truck after the first round to warm up a bit, then we hit the trail a second time. Three-quarters of the way around we were greeted by more than 300 red-winged blackbirds.

Red-Winged Blackbirds

 

After spending a few minutes greeting all 300 of our new friends we decided to head down the road to the E.L. Huie ponds to see if we could see any waterfowl (which were strangely absent from the wetland center today).

When we pulled in the first pond held nothing but water. As we ventured down the dirt road around the ponds we came to the second pond, which had three Pied-Billed Grebes. That was it. We were very disheartened, but figured we would just complete the loop around the ponds and then head back to our neck of the woods.

As we passed the second pond, we saw the third pond and it was filled with Ring-Necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and a very hungry Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron preparing to swallow a fish.

 

The next two ponds were far from disappointing as well. We saw Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Buffleheads, Gadwalls, Green-Winged Teals, and much more. We saw so many birds it took us another hour and a half to get our fill.

We decided we are definitely heading back to Clayton County in the not too distant future, to see what else might be visiting their excellent wetland areas. In the meantime, it was getting close to time to head home, so we decided to venture back over to Sweetwater Creek State Park, our “home base”.

When we want to get out of the house and watch birds (or let them watch us) we head over to SWCSP. It didn’t take long to realize we were being watched.

Red-Tailed Hawk

 

It seemed colder at the state park than we thought it was going to be. The wind was blowing in from across the lake making it for a chilly time scouting the water for migrating birds, so we stopped by the visitor center, and then we decided to call it a day.

We stopped by Lake Paradise for a quick check and saw our first real sighting at the lake, which turned out to be a Great Blue Heron.

All in all, it was a great day. It would have been nice if the wind died down a bit and if the sun had peeked through the clouds from time to time, but we had a great time.We’re definitely keeping Clayton County on our preferred birding hotspot list.

Have a great night!

Everybody needs to feel like they’re somebody…

There’s no such thing as an unimportant person.
There’s so such thing as a nobody.
Everybody is somebody in the eyes of God.

— Dr. Charles Stanley

Break Time!

After what seemed to be the longest week of the year so far, I am taking a break tomorrow.

The boys and I are getting up early to head out for a fun-filled day of bird watching. We’re planning to hit a few of the more popular birding areas that we haven’t had a chance to explore yet. Who knows what we’ll find.

Gidget will be staying home to play with her new toy, and I’m sure she’ll have a great time without the four of us yelling and screaming while we play Wii Bowling.

While I was catching up with my reading tonight I took a few moments to watch a Jon Stewart clip, on Vinny’s recommendation. Now I recommend that you watch it too.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Special Comment – Keith Olbermann’s Name-Calling
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

One year ago, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay within one year. Guantanamo Bay is still open. I guess that’s Bush’s fault too, huh?

That’s it for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow night’s post will be filled with photos of birds I’ve seen for the first time.

Stop Squawking Already!

Yes, as a matter of fact I am still busy.

Many people are squawking today about the Supreme Court decision to knock down a major portion of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. People are under the assumption that this decision will open the doors to corporate corruption by allowing corporations, unions and other groups to donate directly to political campaigns.

Do these people not realize that the same money was already reaching the candidates as it was funneled from those same corporations through everday citizens directly to their political campaigns?

What morons. Watch this video about campaign finance reform from October of 2008.

So stop squawking already. McCain-Feingold was a violation of our first amendment rights. The Supreme Court did good with their decision.

Slamming Into A Brick Wall

I’m still working hot and heavy on a project so here’s another short post tonight.

It seems that the Scott Brown win in Massachusetts special election to fill the people’s seat (formerly known as Ted Kennedy’s seat) has had a ripple effect in reality, or the Obama administrations perception of reality anyway.

Erroll Southers has officially withdrawn his nomination to run the Transportation Security Administration. Funny isn’t it? It was obvious from the beginning that Southers was not a viable candidate for the position because of his natural aversion to answering simple yes or no questions and his expertise in violating the privacy of everyday citizens. Yet, he stuck it out since September and was prepared to go the distance until it was painfully clear that the Democrats no longer had a filibuster proof majority.

President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name Wednesday, a setback for an administration still trying to explain how a man could attempt to blow up a commercial airliner on Christmas Day.

Erroll Southers said he was pulling out because his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda. Obama had tapped Southers, a top official with the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, to lead the TSA in September but his confirmation has been blocked by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who says he was worried that Southers would allow TSA employees to have collective bargaining rights.

I disagree that his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda. His nomination had become a lightning rod for anyone who valued truth, justice, and privacy. He will never see it that way, but that’s okay. I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that many people associated with our current President couldn’t tell you the definition of truth and ethics if you gave them a dictionary.