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>

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm Not Ready to Give Up on Romney

Above all else, John McCain needs to remember that once the final selection is made - by primaries or at the Republican convention - all of that "love" he is getting from the MSM is going to disappear. Unless the Clintons have so damaged their party in their attempts to bring down Barack Obama, then the MSM may see McCain as a better choice than Hillary.

Though I don't have cable TV, NewsBusters has a report on Joe Scarborough's descriptions as to why John McCain is not a conservative, something we may instinctively know, but have forgotten the details of which. Protein Wisdom had this post on "The McCain Mutiny".

Yesterday, National Review Online had a symposium on "What we should do with McCain". Hugh Hewitt is also in the same camp as I, essentially saying it is still too early to give up on Romney. Others had suggestions for McCain, mainly that if he is the Republican candidate, he needs to realize that he needs the votes of the more conservative parts of the Republican party and he needs to listen to the concerns of those voters.

Victor Davis Hanson begins with:

"I pray that John McCain can rally the base — since whatever anger conservatives hold toward him should pale in comparison to the specter of 16 years of the Clintons or Barack Obama’s European-style democratic socialism (with John Edwards as a possible attorney general)."...

As for my thoughts towards Romney, he needs to admit that he is a business-type person and doesn't have the southern "folksy" charm of George W. Bush or John McCain (in a different fasion). He also needs to repeatedly address the economic damage that would be done by John McCain's support for Kyoto-style fuel taxes and any sort of rationing that might derive from the adoption of the goals of the climate alarmists.

We have to remember, regarding the Democrats, that each time they get back into power (in the Presidency and the Congress, they are going to do everything in their power (and beyond their power) to make sure they never again lose control of those two branches of government, as it especially allows them to control the third branch, the Judiciary.

If McCain gets the nomination, there is too much at stake for Conservatives to "take their ball and go home". With the specter of more "hate crimes" laws, withering support for the War on Terror, the Fairness Doctrine, the extension of voting rights to now-illegal immigrants, the loss of more sovereignty to the UN, two more more successive Democrat Presidential terms will have done irreparable damage to the nation.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nat Hentoff, One of the Few Liberals I Respect...

now has a column at, with today's column entitled: "Freedom for the Thoughts We Hate". From all that I have read of him, he has been a steadfast defender of the First Amendment and doesn't seem fazed by Political Correctness. Among one of his targets today is Ted Kennedy's repeated attempts to get more oppressive "hate crimes" laws passed.

So go give him a read.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a Geologist Sees - Part 12

Just a brief lesson on water well construction and aquifers and other stuff like that.

The upper photo is of a poorly constructed/ poorly maintained residential drinking water well, probably on the order of 120-150 feet deep. It was located on the inner Coastal Plain, a few miles south of Augusta, GA, in Burke County.

Though we (the Ga. Geologic Survey Tritium Project) never subjected this particular well to a detailed examination by geophysical logging, whereby several devices are lowered into the well to do a variety of tests, it probably "bottomed out" and was drawing water from the Late Eocene Utley Limestone Member of the Clinchfield Formation or perhaps the overlying Griffins Landing Member of the Dry Branch Formation (also a limestone or a limey clay in places) or the Irwinton Sand Member of the Dry Branch Formation. Overlying the Dry Branch Formation was the Late Eocene Tobacco Road Sand and that is what makes up the sandy soils seen surrounding the wellhead.

There are two areas of concern regarding the construction of this well. The first involves the apparent lack of a "grout seal". When a drill rig drills a borehole, because of the sloughing of sediments, the borehole is rarely ever a perfect cylinder. To prevent the sloughing of sediments that would fill the well, usually well casing is installed consisting of Schedule 40 or Schedule 80 (for deeper wells) PVC pipe that is from 4 to 8 inches in diameter. With this well, the rust on the exposed casing suggests a steel or cast iron casing (it has been almost 10 years since I worked this area).

With the installation of the casing, the area between the borehole and the casing is called the "annular space" and it must be properly sealed to prevent surface pollutants from reaching the aquifer. Around the "screen zone", where the water enters the well casing, coarse sand (sand pack or gravel pack) is usually introduced to keep the water flowing from the aquifer into screen zone. Above the "gravel pack" is where the first seal should be applied. Below the water table, pellets of bentonite clay are introduced by way of a small pipe from the surface. Once wet, the bentonite pellets will swell and seal the annular space, if properly applied. Above the water table and all the way to the surface, a thin slurry of concrete seals the rest of the annular space. At there surface, the well owner is supposed to pour a concrete surface pad to act as the first line of defense against surface pollutants reaching the aquifer.

That is how it should be. A closer look at the surface area (amid the debris) surrounding the wellhead (in the upper photo) suggests that the area slopes inward towards the well casing. This is not good. This suggests that rainwater has been washing the sandy soil into the ungrouted (or poorly grouted) annular space. Along with the sand, whatever else might be on the ground surface (chicken poop, dog poop, etc.) is susceptible to being washed down the annular space, possibly reaching the aquifer if there is no grouting at all.

If you are ever in the position of buying a piece of property and the wellhead looks like this, at least get the water tested by the county health department or walk away from the deal. Due Diligence applies to things more than land titles and termites.

In the photo below, these three GGS monitoring wells (one mile or so from the above well) exhibit properly installed surface pads to top off the annular space grouting. [There are three wells drilled into three separate aquifers at different depths to test for tritium among other things. Above background (but below EPA MCL) levels of tritium were found in the shallow aquifer well (the same one serving the well in the upper photo). One goal of our study was to make sure that similar levels of tritum had not reached the deeper aquifers (which it had not).

If the residential well (drilled to serve a couple of trailers) had at least a surface pad, that would have offered some protection from surface pollutants.

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Strange Bedfellows and Unlikely Allies...

When one of their own has to fight the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) dogma.

Last week, I briefly wrote of Alexander Cockburn's crusade against the climate dogma of his Leftist compatriots and it is a battle worth noting. Not because one wishes to give his otherwise Leftist-Moonbat views any creedence, but because he is - so far - not giving up the fight on the issue of skeptism towards the humans-cause-global-warming paradigm (aka AGW).

[Cockburn came to this place of skepticism after a Leftist scientist, Dr. Martin Hertzberg, explained it in detail, while they were on a cruise, sponsored by a Leftist media outlet (which one has been forgotten by me). Aside from the surprise that Leftists go on cruises, it gave insight into the fact that this debate does (and should) cut across political boundaries. They attribute the support for the AGW paradigm coming from government and corporations, e.g., Enron, that stand to make money off the climate of fear and the carbon offset trading schemes. If Enron had not crashed, it would be at the forefront of this eco-indulgences scheme.]

It is a battle for the very issue of free speech, as persons of the Algore-mindset are perfectly willing to propose prison for those expressing views contrary to "accepted AGW" paradigm, including confirmed Leftists, such as Alexander Cockburn.

Through the Oregon Petition, the Leipzig Declaration, and other recent outlets, thousands of scientists have made their views known - that they don't think humans are causing any sort of catastrophic global warming. Yet these scientists (and those that understand them) are labeled "deniers" and "denialists" and they (we) are repeatedly assigned to levels of greater scorn than some give to authentic, Leftist Holocaust Deniers.

If they can imprison you for being skeptical of humans causing global warming, they can imprison you for supporting traditional marriage or discussing Intelligent Design, or anything else that challenges the established tyrannical Socialist dogma. All they have to do is convince enough of the TV/MSM-intoxicated "dumbmasses" that you are impeding progress or "causing hate". In the UK, it is within the realm of possibility that you could be could be charged with a "hate crime" for knowingly offending a Muslim cashier in a grocery store, by buying pork products.

To revisit the Cockburn battles, please see this recent NewsBusters post and this Counterpunch article of June 9/10, 2007 - "Dissidents Against Dogma". Here he is fighting with all the fervor of a Leftist Moonbat for a position normally taken by Conservatives and he explains the issue well.

Yesterday I related the experiences that I had when I visited another science blog (mine, as you know, is actually a hybrid), I was attacked and in one of the posts, the Leftist who wrote the "kind words" (who bristled when I called him a "liberal") me suggested that the UN/IPCC was not after my (our) money.

This statement represents either ignorance or a lie. It is well-known that the UN wants its own source of money, to free them of any purse-strings control exerted by the United States or anyone else. To free them of any accountability. It could be through a world-wide carbon tax, an internet tax, an airline-ticket tax, a bank-funds transfer tax, there have probably been other proposals and I am sure they would welcome the chance to levy all of these. And George Soros and his cohorts would be more than glad to help.

To revisit the Cockburn Counterpunch article:

"We should never be more vigilant than at the moment a new dogma is being installed."

Cockburn continues:

..."The marquee slogan in the new cold war on global warming is that the scientific consensus is virtually unanimous. This is utterly false. The overwhelming majority of climate computer modelers, the beneficiaries of the $2 billion-a-year global warming grant industry, certainly believe in it but not necessarily most real climate scientists-people qualified in atmospheric physics, climatology and meteorology.

Geologists are particularly skeptical. Peter Sciaky, a retired geologist, writes to me thus [Sciaky's words]:

"A geologist has a much longer perspective. There are several salient points about our earth that the greenhouse theorists overlook (or are not aware). The first of these is that the planet has never been this cool. There is abundant fossil evidence to support this--from plants of the monocot order (such as palm trees) in the rocks of Cretaceous Age in Greenland and warm water fossil[s] in sedimentary rocks of the far north."...

[Sciaky continues]:..."One thing, for sure, is that the environmental community has always spurned any input from geologists (many of whom are employed by the petroleum industry). No environmental conference, such as Kyoto, has ever invited a geologist, a paleontologist, a paleoclimatologist. It would seem beneficial for any scientific investigatory to include such scientific disciplines."... [Yes, but that would interfere with their political purposes.]

[Sciaky continues]:..."I do not know one geologist who believes that global warming is not taking place. I do not know a single geologist who believes that it is a man-made phenomenon.

There are hundreds of reasons--political, pragmatic and economic, health and environmental--for cleaning up our environment, for conservation of energy, for developing alternate fuels, cleaning up our nuclear program, etc. Global warming is not one of them."

Cockburn continues by citing Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, a Polish scientist that has raised the issue of contamination - during drilling - of CO2 in gas bubbles (in ice cores). Honest scientists have to deal with the fact that during almost any sampling process, there is often the possibility of cross-contamination from other layers or other sources. It doesn't mean that the ice cores are contaminated, but they could be. [This is but one reason the science "is never settled."] Cockburn states of Jaworowki:

..."He also points out that from 1985 on there's been some highly suspect editing of the CO2 data, presumably to reinforce the case for the "unprecedented levels" of modern CO2. In fact, in numerous papers prior to 1985, there were plenty of instances of CO2 levels much higher than current CO2 measurements, some even six times higher. He also points out that it is highly unscientific to merge ice-core temperature measurements with modern temperature measurements."...

Cockburn goes on to cite Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, of St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, saying:

..."He says we're on a warming trend but that humans have little to do with it, the agent being a longtime change in the sun's heat. He predicts solar irradiance will fall within the next few years mainly based [on] the well-documented sunspot cycle, and therefore we may well face the beginning of an ice age very shortly, as early as 2012. The Russian scientific establishment is giving him a green light to use the nation's space station to measure global cooling."... [If this cooling has noticeably begun by 2012, if Al Gore is not in a psych-ward, he will blame it on global warming. Some climatologists have suggested that temperatures started leveling off after 1998, or perhaps a little earlier, as El Niño events cause short-term temperature spikes, including 1998, which was a strong El Niño event.]

Cockburn then cites Dr. Jeffrey Glassman:

..."who provides an elegant demonstration of how the absorption and release of CO2 from the enormous carbon reservoir in the earth's oceans controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This absorption and release is very much a function of the earth's temperature and Glassman shows how the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the consequence of temperature, not the cause."...

Cockburn then cites "the bane of the fearmongers, Dr. Patrick Michaels":

..."A qualified climatologist, he analyses [sic] the data invoked to buttress each of these scenarios and shows the actual climate history not only fails to support the claims but also that in the majority of cases the opposite is true. Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods and other weather extremes are currently decreasing, contrary to Hansen, Mann and the other sensationalists."... [Even Alexander Cockburn's spell-check doesn't catch everything, or perhaps that is a British spelling of "analyzes".]

After citing several other scientists, Cockburn cites another Leftist scientist from Canada, Dr. Denis Rancourt:

..."The planet will continue to change, adapt and evolve, with or without us The atmosphere will continue to change as it always has under the influence of life and of geology. We can't control these things. We can barely perceive them correctly. But we can take control of how we treat each other. The best we can do for the environment and for the planet is to learn not to let undemocratic power structures run our lives. The best we can do is to reject exploitation and domination and to embrace cooperation and solidarity. The best we can do is to not trust subservient scientists and to become active agents for change beyond head-in-the-sand personal lifestyle choices."...

Cockburn then wades into the heat of the skepticism:

..."The Achilles' heel of the computer models (which form the cornerstone of CO2 fearmongering), is their failure to deal with water. As vapor, it's a more important greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of twenty, yet models have proven incapable of dealing with it. The global water cycle is complicated, with at least as much unknown as is known."...


..."Besides the inability to deal with water, the other huge embarrassment facing the modelers is the well-researched and well-established fact published in many papers that temperature changes first and CO2 levels change 600 to 1,000 years later. Any rational person would immediately conclude that CO2 could not possibly cause temperature if the rise in CO2 in comes centuries after the rise in temperature. "...


..."They say the temperature increase is initiated by the "relatively weak" effect of increasing heat from the sun during the rising phase of the Milankovich cycle (Milankovich's meticulously calculated cycles on rising and falling heat input from the sun are universally accepted by astrophysicists). That effect initiates the warming of the oceans, which - just as Dr. Martin Hertzberg says - releases lots of CO2. According to the modelers the released CO2 is the real culprit because it amplifies the "relatively weak" effect of the sun, turning minor warming into a really serious matter."...

There is more to Cockburn's article and I suggest following the link to the Counterpunch article. Ignore the other stuff at Counterpunch, as this is the only subject on which Alexander Cockburn seems sane. The people he is fighting on this subject would gladly imprison me for writing this and you if you verbally pass it on - perhaps a charge of "inciting skepticism" or that old Soviet catch-all charge - "Hooliganism".

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Jailtime for Dissidents

In search of the answer to a scientific question, I visited one of the AGW-biased science blogs in my blogroll. I was seeking info on the concerns regarding oceanic acidification and in "thoughtful" response to my questions, I received the following:


Hey Joe 6-Pack!

I really hope that soon we do begin pressing criminal charges against climate-change skeptics. I also hope that both Bush administrations are brought to justice Nuremburg style for their war crimes.

P.S. I do oppose the death penalty, so locking them all up for life would be more desired."

Yeah, you disagree with them on climate change and they want to throw you in prison. I didn't even bring up the issue of Intelligent Design (though I was tempted to see how big a hissy fit they would throw). It is kind of like young boys throwing rocks at hornets' nests to see how big a swarm they can generate before they have to run.

When I was a Classical Liberal, I enjoyed the back-and-forth of a good debate. Modern libs seem to be averse to allowing discussion. In a Newsbusters post on the suppression of debate on Intelligent Design, one of the commenters left this George Will quote:

"People only insist that a debate stop when they are afraid of what might be learned if it continues."

Another of the posters to that thread, Candace, left these cogent thoughts:

"That's one of the big problems with the left in America. If they were so sure of themselves and their knowledge, they would let dissenters blather on knowing there's no competition.

Instead, the left always feels in danger of dissent and seeks to censor it - from global warming to evolution to abstinence education - they assure that their views are promoted as truth while dissenters are treated as lunatics."

The NewsBusters post was about a new film by Ben Stein that addresses the issue of suppression of debate on Intelligent Design. It is worth a read.

If a Christian fundamentalist were to suggest trials for atheist authors, what decibel level would the screeching reach? Just curious.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Is George Soros the Bastard Son of Josef Stalin?

Just curious. Here is a WND article about his recent statements concerning his love of the American free-market system. From the article:

..."I'm not looking for a worldwide recession," Soros said. "I'm looking for a significant shift of power and influence away from the United States in particular and a shift in favor of the developing world, particularly China."...

It is a shame that we can't exile him to Transylvania or somewhere else obscure where he can no longer do damage to freedom and prosperity.

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Demanding Orthodoxy on Global Warming

I briefly wrote last year about Leftist writer Alexander Cockburn being an AGW skeptic.

Matthew Sheffield, at has this post about Cockburn's continuing tribulations at being labeled a heretic/blasphemer by those he agrees with on perhaps 90% of other issues. The appreciation of thoughtful dissent is one of the centerpieces of Classical Liberalism. But so many of today's "liberals" are authoritarian Leftists longing for gulags for climate skeptics. Or anyone else that violates their speech codes.

Cockburn's words, from Sheffield's post:

..."Since I started writing essays challenging the global warming consensus, and seeking to put forward critical alternative arguments, I have felt almost witch-hunted. There has been an hysterical reaction. One individual, who was once on the board of the Sierra Club, has suggested I should be criminally prosecuted."... [Emphasis added.]

Noel Sheppard wrote about this subject last June, in this post. [My last year's post on Cockburn has the wrong linked article. Oops. The "dissent" link above is to Cockburn's original article in Counterpunch. It is well worth reading.]

This is the world of those that support the Fairness Doctrine and Hate Crimes legislation. This is the world of Al Gore.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

What a Geologist Sees - Part 11

[Click on image to enlarge.]

As a teacher, I would call this a "Bonanza slab", as there are several types of fossils on a single limestone slab. It illustrates the concept of biodiversity (or species diversity) in a Sub-Tropical shallow continental shelf setting or perhaps a shallow carbonate platform setting.

This limestone slab is from the Silurian Rockwood Formation exposed west of Chattanooga, TN, off I-24.

Among the larger fossils are brachiopods, rugose corals, tabulate corals, bryozoa, and trilobite fragments. There are fragments of smaller fossils, such as stalked echinoderms.

According to a professor at Univ. of Tennessee - Chattanooga, the Rockwood Fm. is an offshore equivalent of the Red Mountain Formation, which consists of red shales, siltstones, and sandstones deposited in tidal flat and delta environments. The Red Mountain Formation was deposited due to the erosion of the Taconic Highlands, which lay to the present day east and southeast. The Taconic Highlands, uplifted during the Late Ordovician Period represented the first uplift of what would become (much later) the Appalachian Mountains.

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Taking a Little Time for Reflection...

As my birthday, January 22nd, falls three weeks after New Year's Day, I usually take that extra time to engage in reflections on the year-passed and what lies ahead. And as the Roe v. Wade anniversary falls on my birthday, that gives reasons for additional contemplations at age 54, that will be covered in another post.

I continue to keep busy with three part-time jobs, one of which is a quarterly thing, not due again until March, it is such a blessing to be busy, rather than under-employed and feeling worthless. Though we are not "out of the woods", totally, things seem better than they have been for the last couple of years (at least). And hopefully we are in more of a position to know offer some help where needed.

I am thankful for relatively good health (as far as I know), 'cept for the somewhat gimpy knees, needing glasses and some sort of hearing aid.

I am thankful for the fellowship of friends through church, family, beer can collecting, Boy Scouts, former co-workers and former classmates and my blogging buddies, most of which I only know through cyber-space - I would like the opportunity to sit down with some of them and perhaps share a beer and chat.

I regret my procrastination in keeping in touch as I should (but then the same could be said of some of them, as "the phone works both ways"). The many "irons in the fire" keep us busy and sometimes the awkwardness of not having communicated in years keeps us from picking up that phone and making the call, not knowing what we will find on the other end.

Sometimes phone calls "out of the blue" are welcome and sometimes they arrive at inopportune moments. And sometimes it seems that some folks are determined to avoid us because of past transgressions, when we have forgiven and moved on. They are afraid of "the elephant in the room", when we are willing to ignore it. I think I found the teaching website for the "Best Man" in my wedding (the photo on the website is at an angle, so I am not 100% sure) and I sent an email saying "Howdy", yada, yada. But as he still owes me $13,000+ for a past business venture, he has been avoiding me, though I am not the sort to "bite someone's head off" over such things. I have kind of given up on his ever paying me back, as he has had his own financial and tax screw-ups and at least one divorce in his wake.

I would like to ignore the "elephant in the room" and just enjoy the yammering about the adventures we had in the El Paso area. Prayers that he gets over his fears would be appreciated. As time passes, the camaraderie is more important than some of the other stuff. My having chose him as my Best Man was supposed to have meant something. I hope he can come to that realization while we still have some time.

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us..."

I hope that this is a better year for wildflower photography. With the late frost last Spring and the drought, 2007 was a really lousy year for wildflowers and ferns.

Some other hopes and wishes include my daughter's wedding and other mundane stuff like getting to try a beer from Mississippi, West Virginia, and Alaska, three of the few states from which I have not had a beer. I would like to engage in the fellowship of going "dumping" (digging for old beer cans with friends) more than the 3 times of 2007 (I have already had one dumping trip this month).

I hope that the Iraq situation continues to stablize for the sake of the Iraqi people and the U.S. personnel. It is possible the terrorists could "turn up the heat" in an effort to affect the U.S. Presidential election, allowing the Dems to blame it on President Bush and the Republicans (that could backfire, as it might strengthen our resolve). One of my beer can/dumping buddies, Jay, is now at Fort Bliss in El Paso and will be on his way to Iraq as an Army medic in a few weeks. He has been "tearing up" an old (late 1930's) desert beer can dump we "mined" 20 years ago and he is still finding some good cans in places where we didn't dig deep enough.

As the weather improves towards Spring, I hope to get my old 1978 Ford F-100 pickup running and I need to get back to those back-yard projects as folks will be visiting for the wedding in a few months. Confidence is the most important component in these projects.

But for the meantime, I need to quit blathering and get out to run some errands, as today is not a "teaching day". Ya'll take care.

Yada, yada...for now.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

So, Have the MSM and the Dems Gotten Their Wish?

It seems that they have talked us into a recession. Part (much?) of the vitality of our economy is related to confidence in the future.

So in their efforts to harm President Bush, they have (again) harmed the nation instead. How many of the players will publicly accept the blame?

Just curious.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mike Gallagher Got a Little "Squirrelly" Today...

over Mike Huckabee's recent jokes in South Carolina. It seems that Mike Huckabee was making jokes about eating fried squirrel and in-fact deep-frying squirrels in popcorn poppers, the only cooking instrument allowed in their college dorm.

For some reason, Mike Gallagher seemed aghast at the idea that people would actually eat squirrels. For the uninitiated, you shoot them, skin them, clean them, then prepare them as you would chicken (or I would imagine that is how it is done). That is why they taste like chicken, as does everything else.

I didn't listen to his show long enough to get a good cross-section of listeners, but the first three or so were white callers from South Carolina that claimed that they had never eaten squirrel nor would they ever. They acted as if it was beneath them and an insult to South Carolinians.

What is the big deal? I have eaten squirrel at least 3 or 4 times. I have have had rabbit on occasion, too, usually at my Uncle Robert's "game supper" that we usually have each Christmas season or soon thereafter. I haven't had possum or raccoon. I understand that possum is greasy if not cooked properly and maybe raccoon just looks a little too much like a dog or a cat.

Squirrels can easily be pests in some areas and I believe that if you shoot something (except in self-defense), you ought to eat it. Or at least try to eat it.

And I reject the notion that squirrels are "tree rats". Squirrels have a cleaner diet than the average rat.

I would like to see Mike Huckabee, darling of the MSM, eased out of the primary-leading projections in South Carolina and elsewhere. But I would rather it be over issues, rather than the choice of eating certain "wild foods".

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

As the ACLU Drifts Further into the Land of Moonbats...

maybe more mainstream Americans will recognize it for what it is.

According to this WND-linked article, the ACLU is now arguing that people engaging in sex in public restrooms have an "expectation of privacy". That is so beyond absurd! This is all for the purpose of protecting Republican Senator Larry Craig.

From the article:

..."The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy.""...

A lawyer friend of mine once reminded me that legal doesn't have to mean logical (my paraphrasing). The damn Minnesota court was wrong then and the ACLU is wrong now. I shouldn't have to explain it!

Call me a hopeless romantic, but for the life of me, I cannot see the allure of ever having sex in a public restroom. Ewwwwwwwwww! I don't care what supermodel might be offering it, the answer is No!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Britannia Dying

By way of Blogmeister USA, I found my way to Lionheart, a British expatriate blogger who is under threat of arrest if he returns to England, for the "crime" of inciting racial hatred, you know, the old "hate crimes" routine.

This world is already on our doorstep. Not just in the criminalization of offering negative opinions on Muslim extremism, but also on homosexuality.

You need to spend some time reading Lionheart, before British authorities, at the behest of Muslims, find a reason to take the blog down.

In the world of Hillary, Obama, and the Breck Girl, they would love not only the "Fairness Doctrine" on talk radio, they would love to be able to counteract the "checks and balances of the internet/blogosphere." John McCain might also think it was a good idea.

There are already entities in this nation shutting down internet videos and email accounts for the hateful crime of dissent. We are already on a more precarious perch than most would suspect.

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Frank Burns, MASH 4077, May You Continue to Rest in Peace...

there is another "old ferret face" to replace you.

It's Keith Olbermann.

According to this Moonbattery post, Olbermann gave an interview to Playboy magazine last fall and the resulting Letters-to-the-Editor were so negative, Playboy had to go in search of someone to say something positive on his behalf. Apparently the remark that set off the readers was that Fox News was worse than al Qaida. I doubt that most of those readers would consider themselves conservatives.

The mean side of me would like to see a group of 9/11 widows and widowers corner Keith Olbermann in a room and kick the snot out of him for the shear idiocy of this comment. Then maybe ship him to Kenya and Tanzania - to have the next-of-kin of the 212 Africans killed during the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in those two nations administer the same punishment.

Just out of curiosity, when Olbermann gives his Nazi salute, who is he supposed to be channeling? His he suppressing some sort of reincarnated spirit?

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My Top-5 Fantasy Car List

It's one of those things that we talk about "if we win the lottery", generally I don't even buy lottery tickets unless it is above $100 million and then it is only one or two for each drawing [that is my method of limiting the amount of money I waste on that endeavor].

So here is the list:

#1. 1959 Chevy El Camino. It has to be red, with white trim, just like the one I saw yesterday. I guess most of the engines were 283 or 348 V-8s. One of my grade school chums used to talk about wanting one, 'cause his uncle had one and I just got started liking them.

#2. 1967-68 Mercury Cougar. They were a little different from the Mustangs that everyone else wants. I would like a dark red/black combination, painted just the way that Tiny Lund's #15 was when he won the NASCAR Grand American race at Jefferson, Ga. in 1968, the second stock car race that I ever attended.

#3. 1953 Chevy Sedan Delivery. My Dad used to have a 1953 Chevy and because of a faulty water pump, it sat for years in our woods, where my friends and I played in it as kids. When I was 14 and busy with my go-cart, my Dad sold it to a friend for $50. They put water in the radiator and a new battery into the car and it cranked right up. That old reliable "stovebolt" 256 inline 6-cylinder engine was ready to go. If I had asked my Dad, he probably would have kept it for me to learn how to drive the following year, but I neglected to do so. If you are not familiar with what a "sedan delivery" is, you probably know what a "panel truck" is, a sedan delivery is similar, except that it has the front fenders, grille, and hood of the car, rather than the pickup truck. You might think of them as a fore-runner to the van. When I lived in El Paso, someone in the "Old Mesilla" area, southwest of Las Cruces, NM had one painted primer gray. My Dad's 1953 was painted gloss black, though color for mine is not much of an issue.

#4. 1958 Packard Hawk. This would probably be the most expensive of all of these. I remember seeing one of these in someone's backyard in Dawsonville, Ga., in the mid-1970s (No, it wasn't on blocks, it looked in fine shape). This was one of the last years that Packards were made and I think they were similar to the Studebaker Hawks of the same vintage.

#5. 1955 Chevy Nomad. Need I explain? Everyone needs a "old '55" with a 256 to a 327 V-8. It has to be medium to dark-green with a white top. If you are a "young pup", not familiar with Nomads, they were two-door station wagons produced from 1955 - 1957. There was a standard two-door station wagon offered, the Nomad differed in that it was a little fancier and the "B-pillar" (behind the door) sloped versus the vertical "B-pillar" in the standard version. According to the Wikipedia post, the Nomad name was switched to the four-door wagons in 1958. I seem to remember the two-door 1958 Chevy wagons under the "Delray" and "Yeoman" names. [I built a model car version of the 1955 Nomad and the box showed the color variation mentioned above. It may have been one of those model cars that I blew up with firecrackers when I was a teenager. D'oh!.]

[If the spirit moves me, I may tag a few folks with this, to see what they come up with.]



Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Freedom of "Choice", Only When They Want It

"Liberals" are big on allowing Freedom of Choice when it comes to killing unborn babies because they would be inconvenient to someone. [We have to be honest, that is the reason for most abortions.]

But we know what happens when someone suggests that citizens be allowed to make choices for themselves in the realm of education, self-defense, and healthcare. Liberals are first in line to try to stop us from making our own choices and taking responsibility for ourselves and our families.

The latest case of a Leftist Democrat demanding that people be allowed fewer choices in healthcare is Boston mayor Thomas Menino, according to this Moonbattery post and this Boston Globe article. Those that pay attention know that the free market system has its ways of "filling needs" and gaps within the healthcare system are being filled in some cities by clinics in Wal-Marts and in drug stores.

In the case of Boston, it is CVS Pharmacy and its MinuteClinic. Though I haven't yet been to a MinuteClinic here, some of my family members have. The Boston Globe article explains what they do. They are staffed by nurse practioners and they are not intended to handle emergencies, just minor issues that we would like to have taken care of without having to wait for a doctors's appointment. They provide a way of dealing with that case of poison ivy today rather than the day-after-tomorrow.

Mayer Menino is trying to forbid pharmacies that host clinics from selling tobacco products, forcing them to choose between offering a new service to customers and selling profitable, legal products. It is also an attack on the profit system that drives our very economy.

It is a shame that President Bush is too busy and too nice to call this scumbag Leftist mayor on the carpet for trying to block American citizens from making their own choices.

Maybe we can get Mitt Romney to do it instead.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Be Still, My Beating Heart...

I saw one of my "fantasy cars" this morning in Loganville, Ga..

You know, one of those cars you might buy if you won millions in the lottery.

No, it ain't a Rolls, or a Jag, or something fancy like that.

It is a red, 1959 Chevy El Camino. [I am easily entertained.]

A couple of other cars on my list...

a 1967 Mercury Cougar, a 1953 Chevy Sedan Delivery,...

I will have to think about the other choices on my "Top 5 list".



Sunday, January 13, 2008

The "New" Has Worn Off...

at least as far as my enjoyment of Michael Medved goes. Since a friend "turned me on to" the Salem radio network, I have been splitting radio listening time between Sean Hannity and Michel Medved, as their shows overlap in the North Atlanta market.

I still enjoy listening to Michael's "historical review" programs he does from time to time, where he devotes extended time to explaining details related to the chosen historical event.

But I have gotten tired of Michael Medved's almost-slavish "campaigning" for Mike Huckabee and John McCain, my two least-favorite Republican Presidential candidates. I heard a Medved soundbite on another Salem broadcast, wherein Michael complained about the use of the term "RINO". He complained about our demanding ideological "purity". From my perspective, we are not demanding purity, but we do ask for consistency. Otherwise how do we distinguish ourselves and our party members from Democrats?

I agree with other Conservative commentators that suggest that the MSM favors Huckabee as they think he is the Republican that would be easiest to "knock down", either by them or by the Democrat candidate. It has also been suggested that the MSM favor both Huckabee and McCain as their ways of manipulating the process, for "dividing and conquering" to make it easier for Hillary or Obama.

I know that Huckabee "talks good" and says things that Christians like to hear, but I think we have better choices. I do wish other Republicans would pick up the banner for the Fair Tax.

As for McCain, my biggest concern is his slavish devotion to all things Kyoto and a recent female caller to Sean Hannity suggested that John McCain (with Joe Lieberman) was working on some new fuel rationing/taxing legislation all in the name of controlling an atmospheric component that measures 0.038%. I believe that McCain might be good in the War on Terror, but when the European globalists suggest restricting our carbon dioxide emissions (be restricting combustion), McCain will be first to agree. [It's all about slowing the U.S. economy, making it easier for the European socialist nations to keep up with us. Think of it as putting smaller carburetor restrictors on Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon so everyone else in the Daytona 500 has a better chance of winning.] I do wish the other Republicans would make an issue of McCain's "Kyotophilia", while being prepared to back up their contentions.

Right now, my choices are Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson, though that order is not carved in stone.

During the "In Between" Time...

In the last few weeks, I have been blessed with several part-time jobs. The traffic survey project ended in early December, the spreadsheet project continued, and I started a new real estate survey project that is done on a quarterly basis.

Now that the new semester has started and I am back to teaching, the spreadsheet and real estate survey projects have been completed and I await the paychecks. Hopefully there will be more work related to the spreadsheet project and the real estate survey will come up again in March.

So, what that means is that I hope I will have some time to blog some more. Not much tonight, as I am suffering the effects of a mild "24 hour bug", but I got more stuff to write about when I feel better. Personal experiences and the activities of moonbats provide much about which to write.



Monday, January 07, 2008

The First One was 50 Years Ago...

and it was really "somethin'".

After we get that next-to-last NFL game out of the way (I think they call it the Super Bowl or something like that), then my sports season begins with the lead-up to the 50th Annual Daytona 500.

There will be much ado about it, including an aluminum Budweiser bottle and there are commemorative Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Sprite cans with Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, and Kevin Harvick, respectively pictured. There will be many other products that have paid to carry that special logo.

NASCAR has had 50th annual celebrations before for Martinsville, VA and Darlington, SC, but Daytona is much more.

It was a totally different world 50 years ago for the first Daytona 500. Prior to the construction of the 2 1/2 mile, high-banked raceway, the Daytona race consisted of a race course that had one straightaway on a highway and the other on the beach, with the turns separating them bulldozed through the sand dunes.

Compared with today's field of 43 custom built racecars with Chevy Impala, Ford Fusion, Dodge Avenger and Toyota Camry decals (to identify them), the original 1959 Daytona 500 field contained 59 cars, 1957 - 1959 Chevrolets, Fords, one 1959 Studebaker, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, one 1959 DeSoto, one 1958 Edsel, one 1957 Dodge, and a couple of Mercuries. Among the drivers were two drivers from Peru, Raul Cilloniz and Eduardo Dibos.

Qualifying was led by Speedy Thompson in a 1957 Chevy, posting a speed of 140.21 mph, during an era of tires with no safety inner-liners, cars with no specially constructed fuel cells, only rudimentary roll cages, driven by drivers with no fire-resistant uniforms. During practice for the race, drivers discovered the concept of "drafting" for the first time, by which the suction of a car could "pull" a second car along. The drivers had never before been on a high-banked race track, never raced on a 2 1/2 mile long track, and had not experienced those kinds of speeds before.

Aside from the variety of manufacturers, at that time, NASCAR also had a convertible division and they allowed the convertibles to enter qualifying for what is now known as the "Great American Race". Twenty of the 59 cars were convertibles, including one Oldsmobile convertible starting in 6th place, driven by a young Richard Petty.

In addition to Richard Petty, there were 6 other drivers in this first Daytona 500 that I got the chance to see race various times in 1967 & 1969 NASCAR Sportsman races at the Lakewood Fairgrounds Raceway, in a 1968 NASCAR Grand American race at Jefferson, GA, and in the 1970 Atlanta 500. There could have been others as I never knew the names of all of the drivers in the races at Lakewood.

There were seven drivers that led during that first Daytona 500 and it came down to a photo-finish between Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp, the only two cars on the lead lap. [In the 2007 Daytona 500, there were 27 cars in the lead lap.] NASCAR, to my knowledge had not been prepared for a photo finish, but at least seven news photographers caught the image of Lee Petty leading Johnny Beauchamp to the finish line, racing three-abreast with a lapped car on the outside. The margin of victory was two feet.

[Two years later, in a Daytona qualifying race, Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp both went over the guardrail during a savage crash, flipping multiple times and ending both drivers' careers. Beauchamp suffered a head injury and Lee Petty almost died from multiple broken bones and internal injuries.]

Among the most amazing facts surrounding this first Daytona 500 was that there were no caution flags. Apparently the 12 engine failures (including Richard Petty on the 8th lap) didn't foul the race track sufficienty to cause any problems nor did any of the 59 Daytona "rookies" lose control to the point of hitting any walls or any other cars (in any significant way).

[In 1960, 73 cars started a 250 mile Modified-Sportsman race at Daytona and there was a 37-car crash on the first lap. The 1960 Daytona 500 itself had 32 laps of caution.]

Sources: Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Volume Two, by Greg Fielden and the website.

[Work permitting, more of these Daytona 500 vignettes will be posted in the coming days.]



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

[OK, this ain't the best fireworks shot. To do better, I would have to scan some of my old 35mm slides, properly taken using a tripod and playing with various exposures and shutter speeds, stuff that I haven't learned how to do on a digital camera, yet.]

Having been immersed in a couple of different work projects, I haven't had much time for blogging and it seems that there is almost too much upon which to comment, especially when you get out of practice.

I have finished both projects, except for a few loose ends. The larger one, the geologic Excel spreadsheet, turned out to be 39,392 lines long. As it is sort of proprietary, I can't say too much more about it. The smaller project involves real-estate surveys, in which surveyors do quarterly drive-throughs (or walk-throughs) of new home construction projects in subdivisions and townhome developments. This info is made available to realtors, bankers, etc. through a subscription service and it provides a quarterly "snap-shot" of aspects of the local home-building activities. I spent all of yesterday, in the office, wrapping up my survey, covering a specific area of my home county. Now I have been given until the end of next week to do a survey of an area of North Fulton County, across the Chattahoochee River, as that surveyor had a family emergency.

The scientist in me enjoys research-related work and it is nice to be busy and even nicer when those checks arrive, hopefully before mid-month.

Teaching Environmental Science starts again next Monday, in a new campus, so I will be back into the fray, trying to counteract the Leftist spin put upon all things related to the environment. The intro will probably start off with - "Everything is not a crisis." and "The sky is probably not falling."

The only significant downer for the year (that I remember at this moment) was that our Science Department secretary lost her 40-year old son a few days before Christmas. I don't know the cause, but an email mentioned that he had been found dead in his home in upstate New York and it hurts to know that this is how she will remember the Christmas holidays for the rest of her life. And she is the one that I will have to ask advice from as I get used to the new campus.

Being busy helps contribute to a sense of well-being and I would have to say that 2007 was a better year than 2006 or 2005. One of my personal barometers is related to my beer-can collecting activities. As I "look at" beer from the perspective of a connoisseur/historian, my enjoyment of glass of fine ale or lager is not a routine thing. So unlike some folks, when I get depressed, I drink less, as I don't believe in wasting good ale.

In 2007, I tried 122 different new beers versus 49 in 2006 and 43 in 2005. I visited 5 brewpubs (2 new ones) versus 2 each for 2005 and 2006.

Other 2007 highlights/blessings in my eccentric world (in no particular order):

**Started collecting those infernal aluminum bottles and now have about 70 of them.
**Went dumping (digging for old beer cans) three times versus zero times in 2006.
**My 21-year old daughter is now on her way to marriage in late-May.
**Took my son to two Saturday night races at Lanier National Speedway, a local short track, versus zero times in 2006.
**Helped several Boy Scouts earn Merit Badges in Environmental Science, which I believe is now one of the Eagle-required Merit Badges.
**Had five different part-time jobs and a number of different interesting learning experiences with each of them.
**Several of my beer-can collecting friends pitched in and renewed my membership in the BCCA (Brewery Collectibles Club of America) - Thanks guys.
**Found some new outcrops of old Chattahoochee River gravels (on hilltops).
**Received a new digital camera for Christmas from my daughter. The Canon Powershot A40 I have is almost 6 years old.
**Picked up a 35mm Pentax K-1000 outfit from a local pawnshop. It is not quite as good as the Pentax MX that I sold a few years ago (to pay bills), but I wanted to get back into 35mm photography as way of getting some of those close-up shots of wildflowers/rocks, etc.. I have 33 years experience with 35mm vs. 5 1/2 years with digital and some of those photo issues I haven't yet figgered out as they related to digital photography.
**For the second consecutive year, my son went horseback riding and did a cave-crawl, two things that keep him away from video games and such.

More to follow...

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