Archive for May, 2010
Take a moment to remember all of the men and women who gave their lives protecting the freedom you enjoy today.
Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
Ronald Reagan, May 26, 1983
We discovered this sweet spot on the Nantahala River last year.
There’s no other place on Earth like it.
When I sat down this evening, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about. The only news worth writing about is the oil spill in the gulf and I’m not so sure I want to write about it just yet. No one knows for certain what impact the spill will have on the environment and wildlife, let alone the people and their livelihood.
The Deep Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20th, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This week, as the oil continues to pour into the warm waters of the Gulf, President Obama made plans to vacation in Chicago for the Memorial Day weekend but due to overwhelming public pressure he made a quick stop in Louisiana (three whole hours) before departing for his second vacation in a month.
“I’m here to tell you that you are not alone, you will not be abandoned, you will not be left behind,” Obama said. “The media may get tired of the story, but we will not. We will be on your side and we will see this through.”
The people of Louisiana and the other Gulf states will not be abandoned, they will just be ignored while he spends the next few days on vacation way up North in Chicago.
Deep Horizon has already spilled more oil than the Exxon Valdez and it’s not over yet. How serious does it have to get in order for President Obama to focus all of his attention on the matter?
When exactly does the President, or anyone else in his administration, plan to get serious about this horrific event? President Obama has proven he is sneakier than Slick Willy ever was. He better do something quick before his entire administration sinks just like that oil rig.
It sounds like it might be time to get outside and relax for a while.
Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behavior, according to research presented at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.
“Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature,” says Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, who conducted the research with her colleague Susan Jenks.
Do you live in an apartment? You may want to keep something in mind if you do.
Thousands of census workers, including many temporary employees, are fanning out across America to gather information on the citizenry. This is a process that takes place not only every decade in order to complete the constitutionally-mandated census; but also as part of the continuing “American Community Survey” conducted by the Census Bureau on a regular basis year in and year out.
What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.” If the landlord of such apartment or other leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00.
Since when is it okay for a federal employee to enter your home with unfettered access?
Our Disgrace In Chief will be in Chicago this weekend, completely ignoring the long standing tradition of presidents laying a wreath at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day.
On Monday, Obama will make remarks at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, south of Chicago – missing the usual tradition of presidents speaking at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Why not? He has ignored nearly all of the other traditions most presidents have kept, and it’s not like he will miss anything anyway. Some of our fallen heroes might be there in Chicago with him.
On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
Maybe, if we’re lucky, he’ll stop showing up for work at the White House, since most U.S. Presidents have kept that tradition as well.
If I had to move tomorrow, and pick any other state to live in except Georgia, I would have to choose Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, or Utah.
One of America’s national organizations fighting against illegal immigration is announcing that 17 states are now filing versions of Arizona’s SB 1070 law which is designed to help local police enforce America’s existing immigration laws.
That’s right. I want to live in a state that tries to make sure that laws are adhered to. No, it has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with discrimination. It has nothing to do with racial profiling. I simply want the state I live in to enforce existing law. It really is that simple.
Numerous national and local polls indicated that 60-81% of Americans support local police enforcing immigration laws.
I bet 60-81% of Americans also want their local police to enforce all of the other laws while they’re at it too. Isn’t funny how we try to single out this one law, from one state, rather than address the issue at hand. Our current laws, especially those pertaining to illegal immigration, are not being enforced. What’s wrong with ensuring that those existing laws are actually enforced?
I can’t think of one good reason not to enforce current laws. Not one single reason.
What happens after a nice relaxing weekend? A lot of catch up. No not Ketchup, nor catsup. Of course this means I am playing catch up all day today, so you’ll just have to deal with another bird photo until I can concentrate on something and have the time to actually write about it.
Catching up on Mondays is becoming as common as the Grackle shown above.
Saturdays are usually birding days around here, and today was no different. Well, it was different in the fact that we didn’t get out the door until 3:45 in the afternoon.
After a quick discussion we decided we would head over to the E.L. Huie Ponds and the Newman Wetland Center to catch some late afternoon birds. All we needed to make the day successful were a few willing participants, ie: birds, and we would be set.
After a quick stop at a Chevron along the way, we arrived at the ponds just before 5:00pm. We double checked the gate closing time, which was 8:00pm and we ventured into the facility. We didn’t even get up the driveway before spotting Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, and an Eastern Kingbird.
As we came around the building, we were greeted by Barn Swallows, Bank Swallows, more Tree Swallows, and a few Northern Rough-Winged Swallows.
When we spend time at the E.L. Huie facility, we usually begin at Pond A mostly because we don’t see much in Pond B. As usual, we were not disappointed. As we approached Pond A we noticed numerous Mallards, Canada Geese, and Red-Winged Blackbirds, but thrown into the mix was a Pied-Billed Grebe.
As we drove down the road between Ponds A & B, we startled a Great Blue Heron. They always look majestic as they fly across the water.
We saw a lot of the usual… Double-Crested Cormorants, Green Herons, a large assortment of small sandpipers, Rock Pigeons, Mourning Doves, European Starlings, Chimney Swifts, Thrashers, Indigo Buntings, Song Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and Mockingbirds.
A Belted Kingfisher kept us entertained for a few minutes,
then we made a quick stop by the Killdeer nest to say hi to the momma Killdeer, well, we think it was the momma.
We spotted the Common Moorhens that have been reported the past week or so, but they were so far off across the pond I couldn’t get a good photo of them. I tried my hand at digiscoping again but they didn’t go too well this time.
The two female Hooded Mergansers were hanging out on Pond E, not far from the Killdeer nest, and didn’t seem too bothered with our “ooohs and aaahs” as they swam around.
The highlight of the trip, for me, was the Osprey that came in for dinner at Pond A just before 7:45pm.
The boys had a blast, as did I, as we spotted over 30 different species of birds. It wasn’t our best day at the facility, but it definitely wasn’t our worst either. I didn’t get the greatest photos, it must have been something to do with the stormy conditions, but all in all it was a great afternoon.