GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Walked a Mile With a Camel


I got a new buddy, "Rufus" the camel or rather "Rufus" the dromedary, to be more precise.

No, I am not training to go on an undercover mission in Iraq or anything like that.

For the second year, our church is holding a living, drive-through Nativity Scene during the Christmas Season, called "The Living Christmas Story". The camel was furnished by a northeast Ga. petting zoo. And I am supposed to be one of the wise men, or maybe in my case a wise guy. When the actual event comes around, I will probably play one of the roles that I did last year, part-time as a village blacksmith and part-time as a carpenter. No, not "that" carpenter, but perhaps one that might have filled a gap when Joseph was on paternity leave.

With the opening of our town's two-day Fall Festival, we chose to highlight the upcoming Nativity Season by walking in the parade with one of the possible living "props".


When I was asked to walk the camel during the parade, I was a little apprehensive and while we were standing and waiting for the parade to begin, Rufus was a little bored and nervous, especially when a train would go by on the nearby tracks, using its horn more than usual because of the crowds of people that were building, in anticipation of this "small-town parade". And camels can kick in several directions, i.e., they get better coverage than a horse does. Thankfully I didn't have to hold the rope during this time period.

The "handlers" of Rufus are the man and woman in the background, wearing the tan shirts - Jeff and Jodie (sp.?). Jodie was accompanied by a small, clingy monkey that wore a diaper. The monkey constantly rode on her neck/shoulder, with its tail wrapped around her neck.

Once the parade began, Rufus behaved better than the monkey did. In the bottom photo, in the background you can see Jodie is having some sort of problem with the monkey, while Rufus and I were posing for the photo. (I think Jeff is going for the pooper scooper, in case it was needed.) I honestly don't think they needed the pooper scooper, though Rufus did pee a couple of times, before the parade began and at the very end, stopping the procession. That is an interesting fact that I learned about camels, they stop to pee, but they can poop while still walking.

I walked Rufus during the first half of the parade, while Diane, the lady in the first two photos, with the teal-colored robe, walked him the second half. She seemed to know quite a bit about horses and camels.

I had forgotten that camels have an upper palate without front teeth, similar to a goat, so I don't think a camel could inflict as painful a bite as a horse could. [When I rode a horse last year, for the first time in 35 or so years, the horse I was riding tried to bite me once or twice. I just pulled on the reins to get him back to forward progress. That horse also tried to rub me off on a couple of trees and low-hanging limbs.] The broad feet of a camel might not hurt as much as getting stepped on by a horse's sharp hoof, or so Diane said. Rufus did step on the edge of my sandal one time, that was a close one.

The kids (and many adults) along the parade route got a kick out of seeing the camel. Even in this formerly rural area, there are a surprising number of people that are not familiar with the concept of giving a "kicking animal" a wide berth (while the parade was organizing), while Rufus was in his kicking mood we had to repeatedly wave people away from him, as they walked by.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

The Shoes Just Keep On a'Droppin'

Often I refrain from commenting on some complex current events, waiting for the shoes to stop dropping and there are generally more than one pair that hit the floor. That of course prevents my commentaries/rants (such as they are) from being on the "cutting edge". I guess I would rather be more accurate than fast. [And it takes a while to build up a good rant.]

Even some Conservative commentators get some of it wrong in their efforts to be timely. What was it Sir Winston Churchill said about "a lie being halfway around the world before the truth has its shoes on" (or something like that)?

This is especially true when it comes to racial matters, such as the "Jena 6". Leaving the past in the past, we will never get to a better place in racial relations until everyone learns that - despite the discomfort - holding everyone to the same standards is the only viable path to the future. If we decry bigoted comments of white individuals, we have to do the same for black individuals, Hispanics, etc..

No one gets a free pass. And we have to learn to separate the stupid from the evil.

And we have to stop the selected outrage. And revenge against innocent individuals is not the way to address the "sins of the fathers" or because someone is pissed about the outcome of a trial. There was no earthly excuse for white people (or anybody) being beaten in Atlanta (or L.A.) during the local "Rodney King riots" - the MSM has blood on its hands from the dead in South-Central Los Angeles, but they will never admit it. But "if it bleeds, it leads."

Some of it we have to let go of, especially if all of the perpetrators and the victims/survivors are dead. Tribal passions and endless cycles of revenge are the reasons for endless war in the Balkans and the Middle East, to name just two parts of the world.

Racism (actually bigotry) is an issue of how we treat each other as individuals. It is not a "group power" issue, but that is exactly what the MSM/Libs and the race-baiters want it to be.

And in such matters, using the word "biased" or "partisan" in relation to the MSM and the race baiters does not do justice to the damage done by their dishonesty. In a court of law, witholding part of the truth is considered perjury, so should it be in the news.

INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED because the MSM "ginned-up" local passions about a racial issue, the Rodney King case is the best "recent" example. INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED because Al Sharpton "ginned-up" local passions in two NYC cases - Google the words "Yankel Rosenbaum" and "Freddy's Fashion Mart" (try spelling variations).

We have to recognize the honest definitions of racism, bigotry, and prejudice and realize that though they are related, they are not quite the same and any one of these concepts can be stand alone and be considered alone, when adults are in charge.

Other issues notwithstanding, I was initially outraged at the idea that in late 2007, there was a designated "white tree" at a school in Jena, LA. Now according to John Hawkins at Townhall.com, that is not the case. From this AP story linked within the John Hawkins article:

..."Consider:

_The so-called "white tree" at Jena High, often reported to be the domain of only white students, was nothing of the sort, according to teachers and school administrators; students of all races, they say, congregated under it at one time or another. [Empasis added.]

_Two nooses — not three — were found dangling from the tree. Beyond being offensive to blacks, the nooses were cut down because black and white students "were playing with them, pulling on them, jump-swinging from them, and putting their heads through them," according to a black teacher who witnessed the scene."...

An example of how Conservatives can "get it wrong" - a couple of days ago, a black gentleman named "Eddie" called Mike Gallagher's radio show and said that a noose "didn't intimidate him", Mike got all over him for not taking it seriously enought, but I think Eddie was more right than wrong. One of the best ways to disarm bigots/racists is to not be afraid of them, to trivialize their symbols, whether they be Confederate battle flags or hangmans' nooses or "the 'N' word". Bullies are cowards and they need to be "called out on it".

I haven't "mapquested" Jena, LA yet, so I don't know where it is in Louisiana, but because it is a small southern town, there is an MSM template. It just had to represent a KKK resurgence. Earlier in the AP story, the locals tell a different story, one that MSNBC or CNN will probably not tell you:

..."And they say that while their town's race relations are not unblemished, this is not the cauldron of bigotry that has been depicted.

To Ben Reid, 61, who set down roots in Jena in 1957 and lived here throughout the civil rights era, "this whole thing ain't no downright, racial affair."

Reid, who is black, presently serves on the LaSalle Parish council. He reads the papers. He hears the talk outside of church on Sundays about how the Jena Six business is dividing his hometown down racial lines.

He doesn't buy it.

"You have good people here and bad people here, on both sides. This thing has been blown out of proportion. What we ought to do is sit down and talk this thing out, 'cause once all is said and done and you media folks leave, we're the ones who're going to have to live here.""...

Do you hear that MSM, Jesse, Al? After you leave and go on to your next "circus" the people of Jena will have to deal with the aftermath of your self-serving dishonesty.

I don't know all of the details of the prosecution of members of the "Jena 6", there may have been some over-charging by prosecutors, but details are emerging that at least some (most?) of the participants in the beating were not choir boys.

What will the other effects of the "Jena 6" outcry be? Will it give more momentum to Ted Kennedy's evil "hate crimes" legislation? Will there be "revenge" beatings of whites in other areas? [Was it Norfolk, VA were there was another recent case of several blacks attacking a white person? Was this a response to the "Jena 6". It is not racism to point out the uncomfortable truth. The vast majority of "trans-racial" crimes in this country are black-on-white, I have seen a figure as high as 85%. The MSM and race-baiters ignoring this fact will only contribute to a backlash. This sort of double-standard/selective outrage IS THE BEST KKK-RECRUITING TOOL THEY COULD EVER HOPE FOR. And it is brought to them by the Liberals. They don't want anything to get better, as they would gain no additional power from folks getting along with one another.]

Most modern-day Southerners, especially those of us with more than a little education, do not hold the same racial attitudes as our parents' or grandparents' generations. Honest Southern Conservatives are getting damned tired of being painted as racists with the MSM broad brush, just because there are a few backwater idiots among us. Innocent people do not like being treated as though they were guilty.

Save the hollering of "racism" for the truly horrible crimes, like the James Byrd dragging death in Texas. And put the blame where it belongs. It never belonged with George W. Bush as Texas Governor, it belonged with the three white men in the cab of that pick-up truck. Two of those three men are now on Death Row in Texas AND IF THEY ARE NEVER EXECUTED FOR THEIR HORRIBLE CRIME, IT WILL BE BECAUSE OF THE EFFORTS OF LIBERALS. Yet Conservatives will continue to get the blame.

Yeah, I am Michael-Savage pissed right now. I better go pull some weeds outside.

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The Book of the Week List, Thusfar...

Each "week" begins on Thursday, or that was the intention. The date is for the particular beginning post.

8/23/07 - Week 1, Book 1 - "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know", by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., publisher Houghton Mifflin Co., 1987, ISBN 0-395-43095-x.

8/30/07 - Week 2, Book 2 - "Buffalo Soldiers", by Tom Willard, publisher Tom Doherty Associates, New York, NY, 1996, ISBN 0-812-55105-2.

9/04/07 - Week 2, Book 3 - "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness", by William Styron, publisher Vintage Books div. of Random House, 1992, ISBN 0-679-73639-5.

9/04/07 - Week 2, Book 4 - "Oil: From Prospect to Pipeline", by Robert W. Wheeler and Maurine Whited, April, Gulf Publishing, 146 pages, 1981 edition, ISBN 0-87201-635-8.

9/07/07 - Week 3, Book 5 - "King's Mountain: The Epic of the Blue Ridge 'Mountain Men' in the American Revolution", by Hank Messick, publisher Little, Brown & Co., 1976, ISBN 0-316-56796-5.

9/12/07 - Week 4, Book 6 - "The Lincoln No One Knows: The Mysterious Man Who Ran The Civil War", by Webb Garrison, publisher Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, TN, 1993, ISBN 1-55853-198-x.

9/25/07 - Week 5, Book 7 - "Wild at Heart: Discovering The Secret of A Man's Soul", by John Eldredge, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0-7852-6883-9.

9/27/07 - Week 6, Book 8 - "Postmodern Time: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture", by Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Crossway Books, 1994, ISBN 0-89107-768-5.

No, it is not a clean, week-by-week schedule, but I am making forward progress. I read when I can. The dates don't look quite right, but I am not going to worry about such details.

As long as I am reading at least one-book-per-week, I will consider this progress. It is better than being TV intoxicated.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Book of the Week - Week 6

Though I am not quite finished with Week 5's selection (Book 7), I am starting another book - "Postmodern Time: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture", by Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Crossway Books, 1994, ISBN 0-89107-768-5. So this will be book 8 of this present project. I have no problem reading two books at the same time, as long as they are on somewhat disparate subjects.

This is another re-read from 2 - 3 years ago, on a subject that is pertinent to trying to do philosophical battles with Moonbats.

When chores permit and the spirit moves me, I will review the 8 books of this list, all in the spirit of maybe inspiring someone else to pick up a good book and start reading.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Miller Brewing Co. Supports Anti-Christian Blasphemy in San Francisco


I am normally not one to spring into action at every perceived anti-Christian slight, I generally roll my eyes and wait for the shoes to finish dropping. I don't fling about the word "blasphemy" at every satirical utterance by someone from Hollywood. I didn't even use Kathy Griffin's verbatim quote from the Emmys.

But this was a little too much about which to remain silent.

From Moonbattery and CNS News, someone connected with Miller Brewing Co. marketing thought it would be a good idea to lend their sponsorship to the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair.

From the CNS News article:
..."The Folsom Street Fair describes itself as "the world's largest leather event." [Emphasis added.] [Folks, we ain't talking horse saddles, bridles, and cowboy boots here.]

"We hope to see the fairgrounds filled with people in their most outrageous leather/rubber/fetish attire enjoying the worlds largest and best loved Leather fair," the Web site says."

[This what al Jazeera and Reuter's show to the world, along with Britney, Paris, Lindsey, et al. This is what the Muslim world sees as "our" culture. And this is one reason they hate us.]

[From looking at the poster, the Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft logos are in the lower left corner and apparently they are the only national corporate sponsors. So how far up the corporate ladder would one have to go to find the person that OK'd this? I believe I read that Miller pulled its official sponsorship, but it shouldn't have been there in the first place. There have to be some adults in charge somewhere.]

[Here is a larger image of this poster.]

It is bad enough when they lend sponsorship to this and other "diversified cultural events" (pro-illegal alien rallies), but someone had to know that they were "spoofing" [No, ridiculing] Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper", replacing images of Jesus and his Disciples with those of perverts. From the Concerned Women of America website:

"The bread and wine representing Christ's broken body and lifegiving blood are replaced with sadomasochistic sex toys in this twisted version of Da Vinci's The Last Supper," CWA said on its Web site." [Emphasis added.]

Matt Barber, CWA's policy director for cultural issues stated: "In their version of The Last Supper, Christ, Who gave His life for our sins, is despicably replaced by sin itself as the object of worship."

The image of the Last Supper represents a solemn time leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Why didn't someone's conscience gnaw at them? Why didn't someone in Miller Brewing Company's marketing department (even on a state or regional level) say "Whoa, whoa, whoa! We can't do this! We can't be part of this!"?

Even if one is not a regular church-goer or even a Christian, there is such a thing as showing some respect for the solemnly-held beliefs of others.

Would they do this with an image that suggests that Muhammad and his followers engaged in these behaviors? How long would these behaviors be tolerated under Shari'a, under a worldwide Caliphate?


So this is the city that recently banned the filming of a Marine Corps TV commercial on 9/11, they are attempting to ban appearances by the Blue Angels (they may have succeeded), their TV talking heads suggest that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. marry his step-mother, on and on it goes.

We need to forget the history and other attractions associated with San Francisco and just stop spending any of our money on tourism until the few good people still there can rise up against this gradual descent into the cesspool.

[Now which is the more hateful - the poster ridiculing a solemn event or my reaction? Who generally hollers "hate speech" when someone disagrees with them? Under Ted Kennedy's Hate Crimes legislation, this kind of blog post might be considered a "Hate Crime" if it offended someone of a protected class. This is where we are headed, folks.]

[Update: BTW, I wonder if Mahmoud is going to take one of these posters back to Iran with him.]

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Diversity Appreciation Only Goes So Far

Really the only info I get about "The View" is what I read on the blogosphere or sporadically hear after-the-fact on TV. But apparently there is already some uproar in the tolerant, open-minded liberal camp, because new panel member, Sherri Shepherd, openly expressed some doubts about biological evolution, preferring her religious views, according to this NewsBusters post.

[Well, that just won't do. The View has already done its part for diversity, having fully represented the Conservative viewpoint in Elizabeth Hasselbeck. They can't possibly handle another Conservative, especially a religious one. It would upset their feng shui and throw the Earth's off its axis. Or at least cause global warming to get worse.]

Apparently Sherri didn't get the memo which should have informed her of the verboten subjects (or perhaps verboten opinions). After her comment doubting evolution, Sherri was verbally set upon by Whoopi Goldberg (holder of four PhDs - Physics, Astronomy, Geology, and Biology), whereupon Sherri was asked by Whoopi "Is the world flat?". Perhaps a little flummoxed, Sherri responded "I don't know.".

[A day or two later, a calmed-down Sherri Shepherd did confirm that she knows the world is an ovate spheroid. Yeah, use the words "ovate spheroid" on The View and watch the facial expressions of all panel members as the warped gears in their "minds" turn and they ask themselves - "Is that dirty?" "Am I supposed to be offended at those words?"]

So, somehow in Whoopi's "mind", believing that the world is flat follows having some doubts about evolution. Yeah, we great unwashed peons see the connection.

From a Chicago Sun Times writer, quoted in the NewsBusters post:

"...As Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times TV writer says:

A source on the show's staff insists things ''are running quite smoothly'' in this post-Rosie O'Donnell era, but there is talk Walters (plus Whoopi Goldberg and others) have been quite taken aback by some of Shepherd's recent remarks -- especially one when she questioned the validity of biological evolution.


''While Barbara was very big on [panel candidate] Kathy Griffin, she was concerned about hiring another 'loose cannon' after all the problems with Rosie," the source says. "But now she reportedly has made a couple of comments that seem to indicate she's thinking she may have made a mistake [in going with Shepherd instead].''"


We know that in the liberal TV culture, there are some sacred cows you can skewer and some you can't.

OK, maybe the Sherri Shepherd selection was made before Kathy Griffin's recent verbal diarrhea on the Emmys, but now that that has occurred, how could Sherri Shepherd be seen as more of a "loose cannon" than Kathy Griffin? In Baba Wawa's infinite wisdom, will we see Kathy Griffin replace Sherri Shepherd? If so, will Baba (or any of the others) play the entirety of Kathy's Emmy quotes?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 9


The photo at top is of an embankment of saprolite, which is colloquially called "rotten rock". This embankment was exposed during a short period of local construction. Saprolite is the term used to describe exposures which display some original rock structures, but because of intense chemical weathering, the internal structures of most of the minerals have been broken down to the point where the "rock" can be crumbled in your hand - thus the term "rotten rock". The processes that yield saprolite are what produce the inorganic components of soils.

If the exposure has been reduced to a structureless clay, e.g., the famous Georgia red clay, we call this "residuum".

The lower photo is of the original "country rock", a fresh, hard biotite gneiss, a metamorphic rock that is similar to granite. This particular gneiss (silent "g", rhymes with "rice"), probably part of the widespread Lithonia Gneiss, is composed of potassium (orthoclase) feldspar, plagioclase feldspar, quartz, biotite mica and probably muscovite mica, along with some accessory and trace minerals.

The progression from gneiss to saprolite takes place through chemical reactions involving water and natural acids over long periods of time. In the process of hydrolysis, hydrogen cations replace the metallic ions (K, Na, Ca) that occur in the mineral structures of feldspars, micas, and other silicate minerals. The removed metallic ions then become part of the dissolved minerals in ground water (and surface waters) and are flushed out of the system. Any iron bearing minerals, including silicates are altered by oxidation, in addition to hydrolysis. There are other chemical weathering processes, but these two are probably most prevalent.

At or near the surface, quartz is generally fairly stable, so probably most of the original quartz remains, while the feldspars and micas have broken down into various clays.

In addition to the chemical weathering, whereby the actual chemistry of the minerals change, there is also physical weathering, where the rock is broken into smaller pieces by natural processes, yielding more surface area upon which the chemical processes can occur, i.e., both types can occur simultaneously and tend to enhance one another.

It is a little unusual, in this area, to see the fresh parent rock and the resulting saprolite in the small area of a stand-alone drug store.

On a side issue, if there is enough quartz present (as opposed to clays) and there is enough porosity and permeability (hydraulic conductivity), saprolites can sustain small, residential drinking water wells, in this area.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So, Ken Burns Sticks His Foot in It.

The last two nights, I have watched (with my son) the first two episodes of Ken Burns' WWII documentary on PBS and have enjoyed it, along with some local programming that follows (and follows-up on Georgia connections to WWII).

Now I read at NewsBusters that Ken Burns has to do his "Michael Moore lite" bit to engender himself to the "normal" Liberal PBS crowd.

From the NewsBusters post, the words of Ken Burns:

"People yearn for the memory of shared sacrifice that the Second World War represents," Burns says. "Now we're all free agents. We don't give up nothin'. We were asked after 9/11 to go shopping. It was sort of 'Don't worry your pretty little head about it.'"

In this age, I don't foresee that we can ever have a broad, protracted "total war", e.g., with Russia and China at the same time, without someone (then everyone) using nuclear weapons. The very nature of war has changed, so have the needed behaviors on the home front. [Except for the role of troop morale, that should never change.] The sacrifices are different these days and maybe harder to articulate and explain. The stakes are just as high as during WWII, but other things are just different.

As for President Bush's admonition that "we go shopping", it was not about "shopping as therapy". Our economy is said to be 70% consumer-driven and confidence in the future is a vital part of that picture. Our economy was slipping into a recession as of late 2000/early 2001 and because of the terrible hit the NYC financial district took on 9/11 (as well as public confidence), it was paramount that we - the consumers - keep the economy running. A vibrant, confident economy is the best way to keep morale up (and tax revenues up) during a time of war.

And that is why the Democrats have been talking the war down and the economy down for several years, to gain that all-important victory over President Bush. The party agenda first. One of the ultimate goals is to raise taxes, as they know what to do with your money, better than you do. Hillary said so!

For the historical content and context, I will keep watching this series, but I will be a little disappointed.

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Being Religiously Conservative...

does not make a person a "Conservative".

According to this NewsBusters post, on Hannity and Colmes last night Alan Colmes tried to make a lame point that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a Conservative.

The primary subject of the discussion was the number of and treatment of Conservative speakers on campus vs. Liberal speakers on campus.

The panel discussion included David Horowitz and Leftist journalist Robert Dreyfuss. Sean Hannity highlighted last year's mob-action against Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrest when Gilchrest attempted to speak at Columbia. [NewsBusters has a link to the video.]

Hannity also recounted the times Conservative speakers were "pied", including Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, and Bill Kristol. Colmes countered with times that Hillary Clinton and Phil Donohue were "booed off the stage". [I don't specifically recall these incidents. I don't know if they actually had to completely quit their speech and leave the podium for security reasons, as was the case with Gilchrest. If the Clinton/Donohue incidents involved the speaker being "shouted down" vs. momentarily booed, then that is not acceptable.]

From the NewsBusters excerpts, Colmes suggested that American Conservatives should have been pleased with Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia University:

ALAN COLMES: David Horowitz, Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing.

To which David Horowitz, normally a fount of wisdom, repeatedly bleated "He's a radical." [A radical what? That label by itself doesn't mean much and seemed totally ineffective in getting "our" point across.] Dreyfuss got in his point that "The left doesn't support Ahmadinejad at all." To which Horowitz should have said "Well, the right doesn't either."

As I have stated before, when I was a "Classical Liberal", I detested all tyranny, Right Wing or Left Wing. But as I have gained a little wisdom over the years, I have come to realize that there is very little Conservative tyranny, because in order for a dictator to rule by terror/tyranny, he has to violate important precepts of conservatism, mainly the precept of a small government and a respect for individual liberty and self-governance.

Unfortunately, the MSM and Leftists have managed to "attach" non-conservative aspects of behavior with the notion of American (and Western) religious conservatism. Part of this has been possible because of past, egregious human mis-interpretations of Christian doctrines, e.g., the long-term persecution of Jews by Christians because "the Jews killed Jesus." It is human nature to search for a scapegoat and tribal/religious disagreements helped carry this mis-conception/mis-interpretation for centuries, especially in Europe. The Nazi Party and even Muslims have tried to use this notion as justification for their desires to exterminate the Jews.

As I am not a Theologist, but a Geologist, I won't go too far with this, but the "they killed Jesus" concept is missing the point of the story of God's sacrifice of his Son. It was not for the reason of assigning blame to any group of people, but to demonstrate God's love for us.

So it is the result of centuries of mis-applied doctrine that modern Christians have been "saddled" with this notion that religious bigotry is an acceptable part of our mindset. It is not. And ignorant or opportunistic "Liberals" are ready to use this template any time they can to "tar" Conservatives. That is why they make the specious Nazi Party - Christian connection. And we have to dispel that notion whenever it comes up. To my understanding the Nazi Party was officially paganistic. And they intended to exterminate Christians after they were "finished" with the Jews. [Even now, some neo-Nazi websites suggest that the Gospels are a "Jewish invention", or so I discovered a few years ago, when I blundered into an Aryan Nations-type website while surfing the web.]

So the point of this blather/rambling is that Libs have tried to make religious conservatism the be-all and end-all (sp.?) of the Conservative philosophy. Though it is an important aspect, we know that it doesn't cover everything.

When Ayatollah Khomeini (sp?) rose to power in Iran after the deposing of the Shah in 1979, most of the world's attention was focused upon Khomeini's religious fervor, wherein they ignored his Stalinist attitudes, regarding government and how it relates to the people and the economy. [The original source of this info is forgotten.] Any remaining Stalinist attitudes, left over from Khomeini, the persecution of religious and tribal minorities, homosexuals, and the treatment of women are not aspects of modern, Western conservative thought.

While some aspects of Iranian life have softened since Khomeini's death, "the mullahs" still run things, as suggested yesterday by Michael Medved. David Horowitz should have been in position to remind viewers of "why Ahmadinejad is not a Conservative."

I am not saying that I could have done any better, but we need to dispel this ongoing notion that Conservatives favor bigotry and persecution of those with whom we disagree.

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Book of the Week - Week 7

It is actually Week 5, Book 7. I am trying to get a few weeks ahead, in case I decide to get some reading glasses and read "Atlas Shrugged".

Actually I started this one a few days ago. It is a re-read from a couple of years ago. I read 6 books in the first four weeks, I hope to better that score in the second four weeks. I will relist the first 6 books later and probably write about the Abraham Lincoln book, which was very interesting.

If you are not familiar with "Wild at Heart: Discovering The Secret of A Man's Soul", by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0-7852-6883-9 (hardcover), it takes a deep look into what men are "wired up to be" and maybe some of the reasons why things become "unwired at times". Reading it can help a man understand some "whys" of his life and the lives of other men in his family. It is recommended for women to read also, perhaps to help reveal a few of our mysteries. It is not the sort of book a hardcore feminist (or Alan Alda) would be comfortable reading, or so I would guess.

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According to the Civics Quiz...

I am smarter than a Harvard Senior. ["Yeah, you can tell a Harvard man, but you can't tell him much."]

From this post at Say Anything, here is a link to a 60-question Civics quiz. According to the Say Anything post, if you make higher than 69%, you are smarter than a Harvard Senior.

I made an 88.33% score. The September average is 74.4%.

I missed a couple of the economic questions and guessed at a couple of others. Having just finished a book about Abraham Lincoln helped with a couple of questions, too.

Gee, I wonder what Star Simpson's score would be on this test? You remember her, don't you? The MIT genius that thought it would be a good idea to pass through the security checkpoint at Boston's Logan Airport with "with a flashing circuit board, dangling wires, and a handful of make-believe C4", as this Moonbattery post reminds us. And Monday's Moonbattery post has some remarks from fellow Moonbats, trying to defend her "thought patterns".

Anytime I hear the words "performance art", I roll my eyes, knowing it ain't good enough art to call it anything else.

Yeah, trying to wear a fake bomb through Logan Airport security. That makes as much sense as trying to start a bar-b-que restaurant at Donner Pass.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Beginning the New Week by Waiting, Waiting,...

waiting for several things, of varying importance.

After a weekend Boy Scout campout, the new week begins with awaiting payday on Friday, awaiting the delivery of the truckload of wood chips so I can get some backyard landscaping done, awaiting some info on a possible job, awaiting the delivery of Bud Light Halloween commemorative aluminum bottles to a local store, and awaiting the local Fall Festival, which means almost everything else in this burg ceases to happen during the last weekend in September. And awaiting the proper time to yammer about some good family news, i.e., awaiting notifications to go through the proper channels, first.

Just trying to relax in the face of increasing MSM/Liberal idiocy, upon which I may rant later.

I will also update the ongoing book-reading project a little later. I did read 6 books in the first 4 weeks.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Note to San Franciso News Media...

keep your damn perversions to yourselves. NASCAR fans ain't interested.

The source of this rant is from NewsBusters, wherein L. N. Smithee reports on the talkinghead "news chatter" from a San Franciso TV station and a news anchor's sick attempt at humor.

For those of you who are not NASCAR fans, this is detailed and will take some "'splaining".

You are probably vaguely aware of the fact that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is leaving the family racing team, Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) to become a teammate to Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports), next season. You may also be aware that since his NASCAR Winston Cup debut in 2000, Dale, Jr. has driven the red Budweiser #8 Chevy.

The number "8" was used by his grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt and by his father, Dale, Sr. in Busch Series races. [To recall the words of another "Jr." - Hank Williams, Jr. - it's a family tradition.]

In NASCAR, the "rights" to car numbers are licenced to the teams, not to the drivers. So, as closely associated as Dale, Jr. is to the number "8", the number "belongs" to the team. DEI "owns" #1, #8, & #15. Richard Childress Racing (RCR) "owns" #07, #3, #29, & #31. The #3 is being held in Memoriam to Dale Earnhardt, Sr..

[In a separate post, I will relate the "numbers game" associated with Dale Earnhardt, Sr.. He didn't always drive #3 and he wasn't the first to win multiple races in #3).]

Because of frustrations over current events and differences in management style and future plans, Dale, Jr. attempted to buy a controlling stake in DEI (owned by his stepmom, Teresa Earnhardt - widow, of course, of Dale, Sr.). Teresa resisted the buyout offer, so Dale, Jr. decided it was better to leave and preserve family civility. Dale, Jr. wanted to take #8 with him and he entered into negotiations with DEI. Both entities recognize the marketing value of #8 and negotiations fell through.

For you "outsiders", this is a sports business issue. There is no "bad guy". Teresa Earnhardt is not "the evil stepmother". A few weeks ago, Dale, Jr. asked fans and the media to "lay off" on the criticism of Teresa and I believe he was sincere.

When Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was killed in the 2001 Daytona 500 ( few hundred yards from the finish-line, on the last lap) - Teresa was not ready to deal with being the widow of a legend and being thrust into majority ownership of an "A-list" racing team with 3 cars and a multi-million dollar budget - at the same time.

So - in short - Dale, Jr. needed a change and the least damaging change to all is moving to Hendrick and getting the number #88, along with new sponsors - Mountain Dew Amp and the National Guard. The fans will adapt. Most will not have a Barry Manilow-type hissy fit.

The #8 t-shirts and jerseys will now become hallowed collectors' items and will not have a stench about them - in contrast to Michael Vick's #7 Atlanta Falcons NFL t-shirts and jerseys.

So returning to the scene of "the crime" - San Francisco. From the NewsBusters post:

"A popular San Francisco news anchor inexplicably made a joke on a Wednesday evening newscast suggesting NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. “should marry his stepmother.”... [Emphasis added.]

..."Preceding the quip by KPIX news anchor Dana King was a flawed report from sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell about the unveiling of the stock car Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be racing with his new team next season."...

The Smithee post continues, with information as provided above:

"...Dale Jr. and Teresa have been publicly at odds about the direction and management of DEI.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR’s most popular driver, and his millions of fans have purchased merchandise emblazoned with his #8, which is the property of DEI. Negotiations with Teresa to allow Dale Jr. to race under #8 on his new team broke down, forcing him to choose a new number."...

Smithee continues:

..."O’Donnell, who as the sports guy really should have known as much about the matter than, say, me [Smithee], suggested that the sole reason why Earnhardt Jr. switched numbers was so more Dale Jr. merchandise could be sold. As O’Donnell concluded, news anchor Ken Bastida -- who apparently knew more about the story -- chimed in, saying “I thought it was about his stepmother.” [Emphasis added.]

At that point, co-anchor Dana King said “I think he should marry his stepmother.” Nervous laughter from the rest of the team resulted, to which I believe King responded, “Well, isn’t that what…” leaving her follow-up comment a fragment. [Emphasis added.]

[Suggesting that changing the number to sell more merchandise is indicative of the ignorance of the speaker. When you have a strong driver or team-sponsor connection with popular fan support, you don't want to make any radical changes. It disturbs the feng shui, the karma. Since 2000, Budweiser, #8, Chevrolet, and NASCAR means Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. It would probably have remained that way for the foreseeable future, had these changes not taken place. In 2008, it will be Budweiser, #9, Dodge, and Kasey Kahne, who has his own fan following, but it won't be the same.

For more than 50 years, the Petty team has used various numbers from #40 - #45, but #43 is "the number" and #45 is their secondary number. The Petty team has fielded Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford race cars over the years. Fans grumble when manufacturers change, but they settle down. If a big-money sponsor wanted to change #43 to something else for marketing reasons, Greensboro and Raleigh, NC might look like Detroit after an NBA Championship, with police cars overturned and businesses torched. (I am kidding, but there would be a mass uproar.) The Wood Brothers of Stuart, VA are in pretty much the same position with #21, however, they have always run Fords. If the Wood Bros. switched to Chevrolet, the fans would sound like Code Pink at a Congressional hearing.]

As for the San Francisco market, there is a NASCAR Nextel Cup race in the greater San Francisco area - at Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, CA, it might help the local TV ratings to be cognizant of this fact.

"We" (as Smithee points out) are annoyed at the continued stereotyping of NASCAR fans as being inbred hayseeds. Aside from the sports announcer getting the reason for the number change wrong, the quip added nothing to the story. If Dana King had been a co-anchor in Omaha, Nebraska, would she have made the same ditzy remark?

Didn't one of the Rolling Stones divorce his wife and marry his mother-in-law? Make jokes about that, instead. The folks in the San Franciso market will find that reminder amusing.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So, Just Where Did John Murtha Go Wrong?

I don't mean his making a simple mistake or a series of them. But what is the genesis of his apparent visceral hatred of our present mission and our present-day military personnel?

Why is he so hellbent on retreat in the face of people that want to kill as many Americans as possible? While in essence agreeing that there will be a bloodbath if we rapidly retreat from Iraq (as he wants), he is playing the artful dodger in denying Congress' responsibility for that bloodbath, according to this Moonbattery post and CNS News. Yeah, it's going to happen, but it won't be our fault. Power vacuums don't happen randomly. Putting on the old Teflon gloves to keep the blood off your hands. And if we haven't served in the military, in his mind, we are not allowed to criticize him or support President Bush's efforts.

That's OK Jack. Those common Iraqis that have been helping us are just "little brown people". It didn't matter to you that there were mass graves filled by Saddam Hussein before 2003 and apparently it won't bother you that there will be mass graves filled by Iran and/or Al Qaida after we retreat.

Looking back, perhaps our methods in Iraq have not been 100% of what they should have been, but some of us knew before 9/11 "what was what" in the Middle East. We can analyze and re-analyze in the years after the war. After 9/11, it was important to:

1) Pursue those responsible.

2) Try to dismantle the international terror apparatus.

3) Show resolve and persistence in pursuit and prevention efforts.

The Islamists are in this for the long run. Shouldn't we do the same?

So back to the original thesis. Did John Murtha get passed over for a late-term promotion in his military career? Did he not get a medal he was expecting? Was a less-qualified rival promoted? The system isn't perfect. Is he over-compensating for something wrong that he did, but didn't "fess up to" at the time? [Sometimes I wonder if that is the case with John Kerry. Is he over-compensating for something he did in Vietnam?]

We cringe when we hear of crimes committed by American service personnel, but that is the exception, not the rule. We do not kill civilians on purpose. We concern ourselves with collateral damage, often to the detriment of our own people. We are fighting an enemy with no rules. They will kill their own children in an effort to kill a few of "us" or even "other" Muslims.

So, do we persist long enough for "the Middle East culture" no longer sees us as "paper tigers"? Or do we let our attention span wane after a few years to tough times? Will we ever again be the "strong horse"?

Will future conspirators hesitate because they will know that we will come looking for them and kick their collective asses? Or will they know that all they have to do is hold out for a few years and we will collapse internally? Each time we quit, it will make it harder to assemble another coalition "next time". How willing will allies be to fight alongside of us, if they know that at some point, we will get tired and "go home"?

Representative Murtha, you took an oath when you joined the Marines. Didn't you take one when you were sworn into Congress? What happened along the way? Why do you embrace the mindset that spits upon your present day military "descendants"?

And what will be your legacy? How will history judge you?

Just curious.

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 8



Despite all of the fancy lab equipment these days, it is still necessary for a geologist to often make field identifications of minerals and rocks.

As mineral color may be affected by impurities (trace elements), one of the diagnostics that we use for mineral identification is "mineral cleavage".

Cleavage is the characteristic by which when a mineral breaks, it leaves behind a flat surface. The number of cleavage directions and the quality of the cleavage (on any and all of these cleavage directions) is affected by the internal structure of the mineral. Perfect cleavage in a mineral is because of inherent planes of weakness within the crystal structure (lattice). Micas are examples of minerals with one direction of perfect cleavage and cleavage surfaces are parallel to each other, on opposite sides of a mineral specimen.

Various minerals can have 1, 2, 3, 4, even 6 directions of cleavage (as in Sphalerite - the zinc, iron sulfide mined on the Gore family property in Tennessee). In minerals with more than one direction of cleavage, the angles between the cleavage planes are important.

In the examples above, we have three common minerals, all of which may be transparent to translucent and colorless in the absence of impurities. One way of distinguishing between them is to recognize the differences in cleavage (as explained in the photo). Halite (table salt) breaks into almost perfect cubes with 90 degree angles between all three directions of cleavage - which we call "cubic cleavage". Galena, a heavy, silvery lead sulfide also has cubic cleavage.

Calcite has three directions of cleavage, but none of them are at 90 degree angles to the others. This we call "rhombic cleavage".

Selenite (gypsum) occurs in several forms, in this clear crystalline form, it's one strong direction of cleavage causes it to break into thin, flat sheets, while a secondary, weaker direction of cleavage affects the shape of the specimen margins. [Hint: Selenite is one of only two common minerals that are softer than your fingernail, i.e., you can scratch it.] Differing degrees of Hardness (resistance to scratching) can be used also as a diagnostic tool. [That may be covered in a future post.]

If a broken surface is not smooth enough to classify as a cleavage surface, then it is termed as "fracture". Quartz is an important mineral that does not have cleavage (some suggest it has a very weak cleavage, but for the sake of simplicity, we will stick with the concept of no cleavage for quartz). Pyrite, olivine (peridot) and garnets are examples of other minerals with no cleavage. Some minerals, especially in the "quartz family" exhibit a distinctive type of fracture - "concoidinal fracture", the curving type of fracture that you see in glass. The fracture link explains some of the other types of mineral fracture.

Geology students commonly study individual minerals first, in hand-size samples (if possible) to become familiar with the cleavage and other characteristics of the minerals, before we start studying minerals as smaller components of rocks. Usually we study igneous rocks after minerals, as igneous rocks are the original source of most minerals.

Cleavage can have a larger impact than some imagine. When flat, platy minerals such as micas are present in certain rocks, especially metamorphic rocks, if they are aligned with each other, they can form zones of weakness, which can affect the way rocks break. Knowing the cleavage characteristics in a diamond is important as it affects how a larger diamond can be split into to numerous smaller diamonds for faceting purposes.

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Looking for Eel Testicles?

While doing a little Wikipedia reading on Sigmund Freud, I happened across a description of some of his early research, which may have accounted for some of this later concepts/opinions (I am not making any value judgements here).

..."After planning to study law, Freud joined the medical faculty at University of Vienna to study under Darwinist Prof. Karl Claus. At that time, Eel life history was still unknown, and due to their mysterious origins and migrations, a racist association was often made between eels and Jews and Gypsies. In search for their male sex organs, Freud spent four weeks at the Austrian zoological research station in Triest, dissecting hundreds of eels without finding more than his predecessors such as Simon von Syrski. In 1876, he published his first paper about "the testicles of eels" in the “Mitteilungen der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften”, conceding that he could not solve the matter either. Frustrated by the lack of success which would have gained him fame, and disgusted by the blood and gore, Freud chose to change his course of study. Biographers like Siegfried Bernfeld wonder if and how this early episode was significant for his later work regarding hidden sexuality and frustrations.[2][3][4]" [Emphasis added.]

He reportedly experienced similar disappointing results in his search for the testicles of snails and slugs and the additional slime made the process worse.

And the search of jellyfish testicles was an unmitigated disaster, as lab assistant Igor (grandfather of Algore) failed to remove all of the stinging cells from the tentacles.

[The lab conversation reportedly went something like this:

SF: "Ow!, Ow! Damn! Ouch!" (imagine a German accent). "I-gor! You didn't remove all of the stinging cells. No jellyfish fritters for you tonight!"

IGOR: "Sorry master."

SF: "By the way, how were the escargot last week?"

IGOR: "They were OK, but they were a little cut-up and the ones without shells were a little strange."

Note: This is a re-creation, as the original transcripts have been lost.]

When we were young, many of us spent our time searching for love, adventure, fame, fortune, fun,...

Sigmund Freud searched for - eel testicles.

(Was this before or after the cocaine?)

And people think geologists are weird.

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Of Course it Couldn't Last

After jumping on 9/11 "Truthers" last Friday night, Bill Maher is back in his old form, according to this Townhall.com blog post and this NewsBusters post. While on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, intellectual giant and military historian Bill Maher insulted President Bush, calling him a liar (so what's news about that?), and referred to as "stooges of President Bush" General David Petraeus, Ambassador-to-Iraq Ryan Crocker, and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

[Hat Tip to Sigmund Freud for giving us the concept of "Projection", whereupon people project their guilts and flaws upon other people. Members of the MSM and the Hollywood culture regularly practice this behavior.]

From the Townhall.com blog of Duane Patterson:

..."Maher calls President Bush a liar because he claimed that we've killed an average of 1,500 terrorists and extremists each month since January, and then questions who the enemy even is. That's the problem with many on the left. They won't even try to understand who the enemy is, because in their mind, George Bush is their enemy. He fails to recognize that there are not just Iran and Saudi Arabia backed extremist Iraqis we're fighting, but also foreign fighters from all over the Middle East. He doesn't understand that the late leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was directly affiliated with Zawahiri and bin Laden. It doens't (sic) matter to him. Bill Maher's hatred of George Bush is almost all-consuming."

And because Maher's intense hatred eventually leads to intellectual tunnel-vision:

..."A career four-star general who has served his country with honor and distinction for decades is now a stooge because he won't recognize world in the same way the anti-war crowd does."

[Just imagine Bill Maher's real-time commentary on the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. What would that have done for home-front morale? Our very own version of Lord Haw Haw. Who would correspond with Axis Sally - maybe Jeannine Garofalo (sp.?)?]

Patterson concludes with:

..."It's really a sad commentary when you have to look at the world today and say that in order to protect the Republic, you have to continue to defeat al Qaeda abroad, and defeat the Democratic Party here at home."

Reasoned dissent and oversight are supposed to have some "gravitas". These repeated attacks on our own during a time of war is simply an expression of "domiphobia" - hatred/fear of one's home.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Testosterone Side Has to Win This One

My "sensitive side" used to like a few Barry Manilow songs (sorry, remnant Liberalism here), now he has solidified his identity as a Moonbat by refusing to appear on "The View" because he is afraid of Elizabeth Hasselbeck. So, behind the scenes - are "the ladies" of "The View" going to blame Barry or Elizabeth for this one?

[Update: Two Dogs informed me that it was "The View" that pulled the invitation because of Barry's hissy fit. Good for them.]

[Moonbattery is one of several outlets with this story.]

So, if I am assaulted by any Barry Manilow music in the future, I will seek some Stevie Ray Vaughn as an antidote, to purge the poison.

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So Sayeth the Quiz...

By way of Panhandle Poet:

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.
Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.
Are You a Dumb American?
I may have missed one out of the 11 or 12 questions. I caught some late night show the other night and someone was "on the street" asking late teens/early twenties-aged women "in what year was 9/11?". Sadly, most of them could not answer.
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Backyard Battles...

are in limbo for the rest of this week, probably.

I called the tree service about the free delivery of wood chips and they advised that they didn't think they would be in the area until maybe sometime next week. [You can get free delivery of 28 cubic yards of wood chips - free - when they are in the area and when their grinding truck is full.]

I know that when that load gets dumped alongside my driveway, I am going to gasp at the size of the pile, but I think I have enough room in my 3/4 acre backyard. It just will take a while to move that much, one cart load at a time. I have been pulling back the English Ivy that covers everything and I need something besides leaf mulch to cover the newly-bared ground, to protect from erosion.

So, for the time being, I have to just keep pulling back the English Ivy, uprooting it and piling aside to decay (or maybe burn once it has dried). I plan to leave a few "ivy islands" and I don't like using herbicides (except for the Poison Ivy, which awaits Round-Up). I have tried pulling up Poison Ivy by the roots - while wearing latex gloves - but I got a real bad rash last year and a minor one this year from this practice.

There are a few sporadic native plants (Solomon's Seal, Cranefly Orchid) and a few tree seedlings growing amid the ivy, so I will try to work around them and preserve them, in their own little mulch islands. There are also some scattered ferns that I may transplant, or I may start another fern/wildflower garden, if I have enough flat stones to build the walls. [I generally do much better with outdoor plants than I do with indoor plants.]

As there are some "mountain shrubs" (Sweet Shrub and a type of wild Honey Suckle, and some small non-bearing blueberry bushes), I would like to make some sort of winding nature trail among the trees to highlight some of these bushes, and maybe serve some sort of educational value for visitors. There is also a variety of hardwood trees, e.g., White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Northern Red Oak, Chestnut Oak (I think), Blackjack Oak, Tulip Poplar, one or two varieties of Hickories, a few large pine trees, one small Beech tree, and a couple of varieties of small Maple trees. Along the sides of the home, there is a Post Oak and a small Water Oak, maybe a Scarlet Oak or two along the property lines and some Sweet Gum and Wild Cherry trees. And a fairly large Japanese maple in the woods.

There are also some scattered azaleas that someone planted 30+ years ago in the woods. With some more work, if/when funding and time permit, it could be a special place. That would be my goal.

We may have to sell this place and move to a smaller one (on less land) because of taxes, etc., so I am hoping to enhance the value a little bit with a managed "wild" back yard" look. With some left-over wood chips from an Eagle Scout project, I have highlighted my wildflower/fern garden's encircling rock wall and I want to spread out from that. Right now the wood chips are light colored, but I hope that a few weeks/months of sun and rain will give them that natural "silver" patina, so the contrast won't be so stark.

Getting rid of most of the hundreds of square feet of ivy-coverage is a start, so bring me my durn wood chips!

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Relying on Lying...

is about the only way that Libs and the MSM can trash the Fair Tax plan and they are doing the same thing to Alan Greenspan's new book, for instance, it is ABC and NBC in this NewsBusters post.

In a broad sense, our being in the Middle East is about oil, but it is not in the sense that the Moonbats say. It is not about "getting oil for just us".

It is about insuring the "free flow of oil to world markets at market prices", as has been said so many times by Rush Limbaugh, et al. The economic health of our country (jobs) is largely dependent on the overall health of the world economy. The world economy is petroleum-based, that is just the way it is and the way it has been for almost 100 years. It is about stability.

From a Matt Lauer NBC interview in the NewsBusters' post:

"MATT LAUER: You write a 500 page book and you know what happens, people want to talk about a certain couple of key sentences in that book. [Shortened for brevity.] ...Liberal bloggers are having a field day with this. They're saying here's a Republican saying the administration lied about the reason to go to war. Is that a spin? Is that fair?

GREENSPAN: It's utterly unfair. I was expressing my view. Saddam Hussein was obviously seeking to get a chokehold on the Straits of Hormuz, where about 18 million barrels a day, flow from the Middle East to the industrial world. Had he been able to get a hold of a nuclear weapon and indeed move through Kuwait and into Saudi Arabia and control the Straits of Hormuz it would have caused chaos in the international-

LAUER: So are we talking about semantics here, Alan? In other words the, the administration went to the war saying it was all about weapons of mass destruction- [Editors Note: Big Lie alert. It was part of the reason, but not the only reason.]

GREENSPAN: I believe, I think, I believe that they believed that. I'm not saying that they believed it was about oil. I'm saying it is about oil and that I believe it was necessary to get Saddam out of there.

LAUER: Maybe, maybe the better way to put it, it was about stability. It was about stability in a region and whether it was about weapons of mass destruction destabilizing that region or oil, it's all about stability. [Emphasis added. Matt Lauer stumbles into the truth here.]

GREENSPAN: Absolutely."

Looking at this Top-15 list of crude oil importers to the U.S., of the 18 million barrels of oil per day that pass through the Straits of Hormuz, about 2.1 million barrels of that is bound for the United States, i.e., our portion of that is about 12%. So imagine a Saddam Hussein (or perhaps Iran's Ahmadinejad) nuking the Straits of Hormuz, or even blasting a large conventional weapon, perhaps when several tankers were in the area. It would hurt 12% of our supply directly, but the effects on the world economy would ripple and splash our shores (figuratively speaking), running up gasoline prices immediately. [There are more details to this scenario, but I hope you get the idea of the razor edge of stability that exists even now, partially because of the Western disunity broadcast across the Middle East, courtesy of the Leftist media.]

Imagine Ahmadinejad nuking the Saudi oilfields. It would directly affect others more so than us, in the short term.

And the next President is going to have to deal with this also. But they don't want to, they (Democrats) want President Bush to fail now, so they can blame him. Their party victory is the only one they want.

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In a World of Logic...

how can Senator Orin Hatch, normally sensible on social issues, favor In-State Tuition benefits for illegal aliens and/or their kids? On what planet does favoring illegals over American citizens make sense?

Laura Ingraham suggests that he may have disavowed the latest incarnation of this bill, which Dick(head) Durbin is going to slip into the Defense Appropriations bill. But it was Senator Hatch that "hatched" this concept (or at least helped) years ago and even if he has begun to distance himself, he bears some responsibility in trying to destroy this serpent.

Anarchy and anything that feeds it cannot be good for this nation. We have to remember that the normal "life span" for a free, constitutional republic is about 200 years. As we are now past that life span, we have to be more vigilant in keeping this world resource alive and healthy, even if the rest of the world is too stupid to realize our value.

We need some measure of legal immigration, if the immigrants are intent on assimilating. And legal immigration should be made easier, by shortening the paperwork and bureaucratic hassles. For the legal immigrants, perhaps there needs to be some sort of 5-year probation period, during which newly-gained citizenship could be lost for illegal behaviors and failure of citizenship tests. American citizenship is a privilege, not a right.

Because we looked the other way for years, rather than dealing with the illegal issue, that doesn't preclude nor invalidate our current and future efforts to deal with the problem.

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Book of the Week...in Progress

This Thursday marks the end of the fourth week of my Book-of-the-Week project. The "Lincoln book" (book #6) has a lot of detail and because this was a pivotal part of American history, progress can be slow, but I hope to be finished by Wednesday night.

Will give a quick listing of the first six books on Thursday.

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Still Here,...

it is just that my brain has temporarily slipped out of gear. Will be back later...today...later...when I decide on what subject(s) to blather.

There are just a few things "up in the air" that have me a little unsettled - awaiting info on a possible job; waiting for the delivery of a truckload of wood chips (for landscaping in the back yard); waiting for October 1 so I can burn some of the tree limbs that have fallen in the back yard (there is no outdoor burning from May 1 - Sept. 30, without a $250 permit); trying to decide which outdoor painting projects are to be done before cold weather; getting back into the camping mindset for this weekend after not having been camping in several months; trying to decide what to donate for our church's yard sale in October;...

and putting together an honest - to-the-dollar - monthly family budget. Most families function with an informal budget, ours got busted this month by having to have the right front axle, wheel bearing, and spindle replaced on my wife's car, then having to buy a new battery 4 days later.

My wife and I started taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes through our church and this is one of our assignments. We are not the only ones in the class who have not done this in a formal manner. So this is our homework for the week - before our class on Sunday afternoon.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

What a Geologist Thinks About...

often while reading or hearing a news report on a "man vs. nature" issue, is - "Why is this happening?". From The Seattle Times, by way of WND - there is a story on serious coastal erosion problems on the northern side of Willapa Bay along the southwest Washington State Pacific Coastline (see inset map associated with the article). Though there are some explanations within the article, we realize that there may be more than one reason why this is happening.

From the Seattle Times article:

..."This two miles of shoreline at the northern confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay, 12 miles south of Westport, is believed to be the fastest-eroding beach on the Pacific Coast. It has lost about 65 feet a year to the sea since the late 1800s. More than 100 homes, including the entire town of North Cove, have already disappeared, many of them in the past 20 years."...

Shorelines are unquestionably active - deposition takes place in some areas, while erosion takes place in other areas. The first question would be - "Is there something humans have done to make this natural process worse?" Can we estimate how long this rate of erosion has been taking place?

Sometimes along shorelines, erosion control efforts, e.g., jetties, groins, seawalls,...may slow erosion in their intended area, while making it worse somewhere else. And it may take decades to see the results. We have to look carefully before spending additional millions of taxpayer dollars, when any "fix" may be only temporary.

One of my cousins rents a beach house every summer at St. Simons Island, GA. It didn't used to be a beach house. Up until the late 1950s/early 1960s, there used to be another row of cottages along the shoreline. The loss of this row of cottages was not the result of ongoing regional shoreline migration, but the effects of a couple of hurricanes. [Yes, before 1970, there was another "active hurricane cycle", which may have started in the 1940s.]

As for the Pacific Coast in SW Washington State:

..."George Kaminsky, a coastal engineer for the state Department of Ecology who has studied the erosion since 1993, thinks it has become "self-feeding."

Sand from the Columbia River built up a sandbar at the mouth of Willapa Bay, channeling the water flowing out of the bay straight into Cape Shoalwater. And as the cape eroded, the sand built up the sandbar even more.

Pinpointing the original trigger is difficult, Kaminsky said. But man-made jetties likely have halted a natural sand migration that could reverse the erosion."...

This local interruption of sand migration is a form of "sand starvation", i.e., a normal supply of sand might have protected the shoreline.

And though this Seattle Times article doesn't address this possibility, there could be a larger "sand starvation" issue along the coastline. This Wikipedia map shows more than 2 dozen dams in the Columbia River drainage basin (watershed). Prior to the construction of these dams, the down-river perpetual movement of sand, as "bedload" and as "suspended load" (during storms), kept an ample supply of loose sand available for distribution at the "whims" of longshore currents.

Each one of the dams on this map disrupts the normal river transport of sand, ultimately resulting in there being less sand reaching the Pacific Ocean than there was prior to the construction of the first dam. The cumulative effects of the existence of these dams (for decades) is that there is "sand starvation" along portions of the coastline.

This is a problem that takes decades to reveal itself and other than the "deep ecologist" dream of dynamiting everyone one of these dams, there is probably not an easy solution. The dams are a source of relatively clean energy and the environmental disruptions associated with building the dams has already taken place. To remove the dams (or open them permanently) would again represent a series of environmental disruptions. Besides, it would take decades for the sand supply to "resume" it pre-dam transport pattern.

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't

Well, it only took "Horrendo Revolver" (Re: Cheech and Chong) a week to apologize for threatening to spit on Michelle Malkin if he saw her on the street, according to this NewsBusters post.

I don't recall the original source of Geraldo's venom, it was probably the ongoing illegal immigration debate, where Geraldo drifts back to his Leftist roots and takes Michelle's common sense and twists it to suit his mental anarchy.

A simple political disagreement should not generate this kind of vitriol.

Now I would be perfectly willing to use generous amounts of pepper spray on "Code Pinkers" when they start to screech. That is not political discourse. It is their brain-damaged attempts to shut down public speech by screeching like rabid banshees (first cousins to the Moonbat).

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Somewhere Last Night, a Pig Must Have Flown...

and Hell froze over for an instant. How do I know?

According to Noel Sheppard on NewsBusters, Bill Maher had a few moments of lucidity on HBO's Real Time.

From NewsBusters:

..."During Maher's "New Rules" segment, he actually stated: "Crazy people who still think the government brought down the Twin Towers in a controlled explosion have to stop pretending that I'm the one that's being naïve." [Sheppard's emphasis.]

The full transcript of this astonishing "New Rule" follows:

New Rule: Crazy people who still think the government brought down the Twin Towers in a controlled explosion have to stop pretending that I'm the one that's being naïve. How big a lunatic do you have to be to watch two giant airliners packed with jet fuel slam into buildings on live TV igniting a massive inferno that burned for two hours and then think, "Well, if you believe that was the cause?" Stop asking me to raise this ridiculous topic on this show and start asking your doctor if Paxil is right for you. [Emphasis added.]

It's about damned time that someone in the MSM smacked down the hateful nutbags. Senator Orin Hatch was a little too polite in his denouncements of the "9/11 Truthers". President Bush needs to get pissed and say things like this. All of the Republican Presidential candidates need to say to these dangerously sick individuals - ya'll just go home.

When he first began "Politically Incorrect" Maher seemed to make an effort at sometimes skewering Democrats for their absurdities, but when he pronounced our carefully-thought-out response to 9/11 when we took action against Afghanistan - as being "cowardly" - all pretexts were gone. We could have rained ICBMs down on Kabul on the evening of 9/11, plus cruise missiles, but we didn't.

After the Oklahoma City bombing, I briefly entertained the thought - "Did Bill Clinton do this as an excuse to institute marshal law?", but then I swept that thought away, not even allowing myself to think that even he would go that far. Now I do believe that there might have been some after-the-fact (CYA) cover-ups regarding Oklahoma City and I don't think the Timothy McVeigh should have been executed, for he might have something to say after a decade or two. - But that is a different story.

So we should raise a toast to Bill Maher and savor this brief moment of sanity.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Memo to Kathy Griffin:

You can't take it with you when you go.

When you shuffle off this mortal coil, that Emmy ain't going with you. All you will have is your legacy to answer for.

I am sure "the Big Guy" appreciates a quiet, whispered "Thank You" more than a loud, insincere, public proclamation, but your response is uncalled for.

We mortal humans, in our arrogance, do not have the last word.

I don't suppose she would have the courage to say the same things about Allah in front of a Muslim audience. Like most "Liberals", her bravado is a mile wide and an inch deep.

By way of NewsBusters and numerous other outlets.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

On "The View", Certain Types of Religious Bigotry are Permitted...

but don't you dare joke about the Clintons!

When someone states an obvious lie about a person's religious practices, even in a lame attempt at humor, isn't that a form of bigotry?

While listening to Laura Ingraham this morning, she replayed some of the yammering from "The View", in which Joy Behar was making "jokes" about Mitt Romney's plans to have multiple wives in the White House, if he is elected President. Any intelligent person knows that the LDS church outlawed polygamy more than 100 years ago.

When Elizabeth Hasselbeck jumped in with a comment about "Monica" (referring to Bill Clinton's multiple "interns"), Whoopi had a cow and Baba Wawa jumped in to help Whoopi.

Now the polygamy joke might have been OK, in the name of satire, if Hasselbeck's joking reply about St. Bill's "ladies" had been allowed to stand. In such a forum, the only way "liberals" will tolerate a Conservative is to outnumber them 4:1 or 5:1, then swarm them when they attempt to speak out.

The joke was not to attack Monica, it was a satirical jab back at St. Bill.

I suppose some could rename "The View" - "Harpy's Bizarre", but I wouldn't. Nope, I wouldn't go there. Nope.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book of the Week - Week 6

Actually, I am a little ahead of the one book/week goal.

Today I began reading "The Lincoln No One Knows: The Mysterious Man Who Ran The Civil War", by Webb Garrison, 1993, Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, TN, ISBN 1-55853-198-x.

[Will add material as reading progresses. Also, may add comments from previous books in a future post.]

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When Moonbats Kill Innocent People...

usually it is because of their PC demands that have hindered common sense police work and/or terrorist investigations.

In this case, reported by Moonbattery and other outlets, in the Netherlands an American Moonbat, Carlos Hartmann, decided that he wanted to express his hatred of the War on Terror by using an axe to kill an American soldier or at least a Dutch soldier (because the Netherlands has supported us in Iraq).

When he couldn't gain access to a military base to commit his murder, he found his way to a commuter railroad platform. Finding no soldiers there, he selected an innocent man at random and buried his axe in the back of head of student Thijs Geers, killing him.

Because Hartmann's family is claiming that he has had emotional problems since his 20s, and because of the European tendency towards liberalism, Hartmann will probably not even get life-in-prison. And I am sure that some American Moonbats are regretting that he didn't succeed in finding a soldier.

From Gateway Pundit, by way of Crush Liberalism.

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 7


To many geologists, rock quarries are playgrounds, especially if there is more than one type of rock present. Unfortunately, because of today's litigious society, it is difficult to gain access to quarries and to do it without the constraints of a tour group is even more difficult.

My Dad and I initially visited this local "road gravel" quarry about 1975, when you could just drive in there on a Sunday and as long as you stayed away from the machinery and the vertical quarry walls, you were OK.

By the time I went back to do some field work for my "undergrad thesis", during the Summer of 1976, I had to beg for a release form and then I was only allowed about 50 minutes, covering two different visits. Nowadays, the quarry is a very popular place for tours (every Thursday) and because of the popularity with school groups, you have to make reservations about 6 months in advance and for some reason, they don't allow photographs. Hmm. [This photo was taken in 1976.]

The light-colored rock is a metamorphosed granite, called a "gneiss" and it consists of quartz, two different feldspars, and two different micas, along with a host of minor accessory and trace minerals. When rocks are metamorphosed over a large area, this is called "regional metamorphism".

The black colored rock is a diabase dike. Diabase is a dark-colored, fine-grained igneous rock, similar to basalts that one sees in lava flows in Hawaii, Iceland, New Mexico, Idaho, and elsewhere. It is largely composed of calcium plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine.

An igneous dike is a tabular (flat) body of rock that intrudes and cuts-across pre-existing rock and local structures. A tabular body of igneous rock that is parallel to local structures is a sill.

The relationship between the two rock bodies is termed a "cross-cutting relationship", wherein the dike cuts-across the pre-existing rock, thus the dike is the younger rock, even if we do not know the absolute (radiometric) ages of either rock body. In the 1700's, James Hutton recognized this concept.

When this dike (about 3 feet wide) was intruded into the gneiss "country rock" (presumably related to the fracturing of the crust during the rifting of Pangea), the heat of the intrusion triggered some minor changes to the gneiss through "contact metamorphism". This was a "dry intrusion", i.e., it didn't contain much pressurized water, so the "zone of contact metamorphism" in the gneiss - adjacent to the dike - is only about 5 - 6 inches wide. Pressurized water helps ions move around, triggering more mineral changes.

So, with the small width of the intrusion and the paucity of pressurized water, the changes to the gneiss were rather minor. These diabase dikes are common in the Piedmont of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. They can range in width from 3 inches wide in this quarry to more than 1,000 feet in South Carolina. Virtually all of them are oriented NW-SE, cutting across the rest of the regional geologic structures. They are all presumed to have been intruded during the Triassic and Jurassic Periods of the Mesozoic Era (the age of the dinosaurs).

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Postings from Folks Smarter or More Articulate Than I...

Sister Toldjah.

Common Folk Using Common Sense.

American Thinker.

7.62 mm Justice.

Flopping Aces.

Blogmeister USA.

Family Security Matters.

Lifelike Pundits.

Michelle Malkin.

Ace of Spades HQ.

Say Anything.

Wizbang has photos and many links.

This is why we are in Iraq, so as to try to prevent more of these events.

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To Not Forget...

It would be good to read this narrative presented on FreeRepublic. Don't skim it, allow time to read it.

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Just a Reminder of the Enemies Within


This is the mindset that we must not allow ourselves to forget. This isn't loyal opposition. This is the Leftist mindset of Ward Churchill, George Soros, Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, and countless leftist college professors.

I don't think any of the Leftist Democrat politicians would go this far, but a victory for Obama, Hillary, or John Edwards gives some measure of aid-and-comfort to these evil minds (no, this is beyond stupid). It is too bad that we can't teleport this sorry excuse for a life to downtown NYC.

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A Noteworthy Consideration for Today...

If your schedule permits, give blood.

I was supposed to give blood yesterday, but my blood pressure was a little too high, so I was instructed to have no coffee nor ice tea this morning (arrrgggghhhh.), drink plenty of water (which I already do) - then we could give it another try today.

If your schedule doesn't permit it today, but you are physically able, plan to give blood soon.
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Book of the Week - Not

Upon the recommendation of Two Dogs, "Moby Dick" will not be part of my reading project.

In fact, if I mention reading it, Two Dogs may crawl through cyberspace and thrash me for not listening.

I don't know if it is just Herman Melville's torturous writing style or something else. I don't recall ever reading this while in elementary or high school. Or maybe I read the Cliff Notes version.

Meanwhile, the end of Book 5 approaches. And Libs in the MSM are still making an issue of the poll that suggested that Liberals read (on average) one more book per year than Conservatives, as if that is slam-dunk proof of greater intelligence on the part of Libs. If memory serves me correctly, that one book difference falls within the margin-of-error. So it is just another puffed up non-story.

I know, let's suggest to Liberals that they read about Ahab's vendetta against the innocent whale in "Moby Dick". Maybe that will make their heads explode.

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What Do the Words - "Get a Damn Room" Mean?

Most mature adults understand - If you can't keep your lustful desires under control in public, then - Get a damn room! Go to a motel or an apartment or something. You know - "behind closed doors."

Fox News Channel felt it had to extend equal time to blonde news bimbos. As reported by NewsBusters, this particular report begins:

"Touting it as a “Geraldo at Large investigation you won’t soon forget,” FNC’s Laurie Dhue filed a report from inside a men’s bathroom on what supposedly happened last June between Senator Larry Craig and an undercover police officer, with actors in separate stalls rubbing their feet together.

After pointing out that the chances that Craig’s conduct was simply misunderstood by the police officer were “extremely low,” Dhue suggested that any stigma on homosexual behavior was the fault of the Republican Party. [Emphasis added.]

Dhue declared: “I think the sad part about all this is that Larry Craig had to go to a public place — if it’s true, if he is gay — he had to go to a public place, and that’s the shame of homosexuality in this country right, todayat least the shame that the Republican Party puts on it.”"...
[Emphasis added.]

It shouldn't have to be said, but -

Public restrooms are not intended to serve as places for sexual encounters - heterosexual or homosexual. That's what the words - "Get a damn room" mean.

This isn't an issue of the Republican Party "assigning" shame to this behavior. It is about individuals making depraved choices to fulfill their own lusts.

Anonymous, promiscuous sex is about the worst aspect of non-violent, hedonistic male behavior. Isn't anybody concerned about the spread of AIDS anymore? It hasn't "gone away". It is easier for Leftists to bash President Reagan and Presidents Bush (41, 43) for not spending enough money, rather than saying to individual men - "Ya'll stop that!"

This sort of sting operation has taken place before in the Atlanta airport and at rest stops on Interstate Highways.

And why does it happen? Probably because of complaints by common citizens about being hassled in public restrooms for sex.

When I was single, twice I was accosted by male homosexuals in highway rest stops. When you are traveling by yourself, there is always the fear "What if this guy doesn't take "No" for an answer?" If women were known to be regularly accosted at a given rest stop, would we stand for it?

What adults do in the privacy of their "own home" (even if that is a motel room) is between them and God. Most conservatives are focused on the public behavior aspect of this. Not who the two players are.

If all of this about Sen. Larry Craig is true - it is all about Location, location, location.

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