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, April 23, 2011

Following My Own Contention...

I am not even pretending to claim any sort of mantle of articulation as found in the Rio Norte Line blog, but IMHO it would be easier to prove that Barack Obama is a communist than it would be to prove he was ineligible due to birth certificate issues.

If birthers want to keep pursuing, that is their business, but again IMHO, this background in communist training is much "lower hanging fruit".

Anyway, get past my blather and read (and print out) this post from Rio Norte to revisit and memorize. Most of your liberal friends and family - that voted for Obama - honestly have no clue who they voted for.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shroom Hunting Success

Here is my humble 2011 morel harvest.  Though it was about a week late, it was the largest morel harvest from my front-yard xeriscaping.

From this area, to the right of the walkway is usually where most of my morels grow. The area is underlain by the roots of an old ornamental cherry tree. For some reason, I couldn't find any morels in this area, this year. I did some cleaning work and replaced some of the "fill material" in this area, perhaps the shrooms didn't like those changes.

This year, all of my morels came from the area within and close to this oval-shaped, walled Liriope bed. This area is also underlain by the roots of the ornamental cherry trees, one living and one that died last year. From my understanding, this is a favorable habitat for morels.

When I first started finding morels here, about 4 years ago, a Biology teacher at the college (originally from Michigan) told me that he was surprised that morels would grow this far south. Perhaps spring temps are just a little too warm for this to be optimal growing territory for morels.

Anyway, as I am still early on the learning curve for morels, I cleaned them, sliced and sauteed them and mixed them with pasta. I don't know enough about them to prep them for any sort of storage. I was too worried about screwing up my biggest "crop".

BTW, these are the only wild mushrooms I have been confident enough of the ID to pick, cook, and eat them. There might be some Chanterelles that I might trust enough to cook, though I have yet to find any regular occurrences of them.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What is Galt's Gulch?

[Or Mulligan's Valley.]

It was the final destination (hiding place) of those talented ones that had escaped the decaying world of "Atlas Shrugged".

From the above-linked Conservapedia article:

After "Midas" Mulligan's bank was taken from him (in a de facto fashion, by crooked court decisions):

..."Midas Mulligan did not leave his bank penniless. He converted all his holdings into gold (still lawful for an individual to hold in those days) and bought a vast tract of land in a secluded valley in the Rocky Mountains. The floor of this valley was at an elevation of 8000 feet above sea level and was probably in a cup-like formation in either Colorado or Wyoming; the novel never makes clear where.

There he built a small house and a large stockpile of seed, livestock, and other provisions. As he later explained, he wanted "never again to look in the face of a looter."

Judge Narragansett then came to see Mulligan in his new home, and asked for a leasehold so that he could build a house of his own. Mulligan granted the lease. Shortly thereafter, Richard Halley came to Mulligan to ask for the same thing. (William Hastings lived out his life on the "outside" and later died.)

The event that probably transformed the valley from a simple place of refuge for a tiny subset of the strikers to a thriving community was probably John Galt's decision to build another electrostatic motor in the valley."...

Go read this entry, especially if you need a refresher before the movie.

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A Wise Man Once Told Me...

"You always leave a little blood at the jobsite."

Last night, I started work - in earnest - on the stained glass panel that will replace the broken clearlite at the front door.  I haven't done any stained glass work in the last 25 years or so, but I am too cheap (and too broke) to pay anyone to fix the window, so I can and will fix it myself.

Part of the process was relearning how to cut glass cleanly and how to "snap it" to achieve the smooth break, whether on a straight line or a freehand or guided curve.  The panel is approximately 6 3/4 inches by 52 1/2 inches.  I haven't done one that long before.  I will have to decide if the traditional "glazer's points" and caulk will keep it in place or if I will have to engineer some sort of wooden frame to afix to the existing clearlite frame - in order to hold the glass in.  I could use a small moulding (with a triangular cross-section), but I am nervous about having to nail close to the finished glass panel.  (Sorry, I have forgotten the terms for the various types of moulding, will have to brush up on that.  That would be from my days as half-owner of the oldest picture-framing shop in El Paso.  But that is another story.)

Either before I leave for the college today (or tonight, if I am not too tired), I will start to wrap the glass with the copper foil and maybe "give a hand" at soldering.  I gave away/sold most of my tools and scrap glass when we moved from El Paso 20 years ago.  I did keep my soldering iron, but I can't find it.  I did buy a plastic tub of tools and supplies at a yard sale a year ago, so I will dip into that and try the soldering iron within.

As to the opening quote...despite being careful, I have already bled a little.  It just comes with handling just-cut glass and the fragments generated by trimming.  (Thank goodness for silicon carbide paper to smooth out rough edges.)

BTW, while in El Paso, I built and sold 2 or 3 stained glass panels, thus that makes me a "professional artist".  Time to reclaim that mantel. 

[The things we give up while raising our kids.  I have to have this finished as my daughter and her family are planning to visit here for Easter.  Hopefully, she and her husband will be impressed.]

Confidence and prayers needed.  Also got to replace that ceiling fan on the back porch...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What if Oprah Winfrey Went "John Galt"?

The ugliness of liberal class warfare is showing itself on Facebook. Some formerly-apolitical relatives are now showing themselves as "bandwagon jumpers" by their enthusiasm towards "punishing" that Top 1% or Top 2% or whatever.

For those clearly unteachable ones, I try to ignore their illogic and petty jealousy towards those that have done well. For those that haven't posted much "political stuff" before, I try to politely pose questions to engender some thought. Sometimes I will drop in "Who is John Galt" or references to Dagny Taggart or Hank Rearden in comments to "those who are informed", i.e., those that have read "Atlas Shrugged" - in the hopes that others will read the comments.

With the movie debut of "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" this weekend, it is easy to see more and more of the "state of the nation" as depicted in the novel. Especially with the President's speech yesterday. I wish that there was some way that the talented could find a way to slip away to "Galt's Gulch" (aka "Mulligan's Valley"), just to teach the ignorant a lesson, though as in the book, it would not become evident to them until economic collapse was imminent or well underway.

Anyway, I digress. In a scenario full of "what ifs?", What if...Oprah went "John Galt"?

What if, after a meeting with the involved parties, Oprah fell in love with the 2012 Presidential ticket of Herman Cain/Allen West? What if the predictable response of the Soros-financed Left and the MSM was to "ramp up" the personal attacks and lies against these two fine American patriots? What if these attacks gained some traction among those that spend too much of their days watching "The View", MSNBC, CNN,...?

What if these attacks were sadly successful in damaging these two men beyond electability? Would Oprah have the courage to publicly denounce the efforts and her former political brethren and declare her new allegiance to the Tea Party Republicans? How much vitriol might she be subjected to? Would she continue on with her ongoing projects with a new focus or might she just say "screw it"?

What if she just dissolved Harpo Productions and all of her other business interests, sold off the assets, converted it to gold - and disappeared?

How many jobs would that eliminate? How much payroll and tax revenues would dry up with the loss of her talent and drive? What might happen to any protege's that she may have "in the wings" about which we haven't yet heard?  How much inspiration and confidence among her former viewers be lost?  And how many of her fans would be wise enough to understand why it happened?

As we have heard Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, et al, say - "we would be surprised at the Conservative "A List" actors/actresses who are afraid to 'come out' in Hollywood."  How many of these people would disappear, if Oprah did?  How many would speak out before they "went Galt"?

Oprah now being part of the "power elite" probably precludes this from ever happening, but I (we) can dream, can't we?

Just sayin'.

BTW, I wonder what the brain-rotted Roger Ebert will say about "Atlas Shrugged: Part I"?

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

More Purloined Wisdom...

From the Right Margin (of course) of the blog Sipsey Street Irregulars:

The Gunwalker Scandal Made Simple

There are five key accusations against ATF and DOJ made by ATF whistleblowers and other sources within FedGov:

1. That they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners.

2. That they allowed or even assisted in those guns crossing the U.S. border into Mexico to "boost the numbers" of American civilian market firearms seized in Mexico and thereby provide the justification for more firearm restrictions on American citizens and more power and money for ATF.

3. That they intentionally kept Mexican authorities in the dark about the operation, even over objections of their own agents.

4. That weapons that the ATF let "walk" to Mexico were involved in the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, as well as at least hundreds of Mexican citizens.

5. That at least since the death of Brian Terry on 14 December, the Obama administration is engaged in a full-press cover-up of the facts behind what has come to be known as the "Gunwalker Scandal."

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Purloined Wisdom...

from commenter "runner12" on Red State blog, from this particular post.

"I am an intellectual and also happen to be a follower of Christ. Science is a wonderful and fascinating study, but it is not all-knowing nor can it explain everything in the world.

Science is a hollow comforter when life’s realities hit you in the face."

[In the middle of preparing today's lectures, will elucidate upon these thoughts later. Or will try when I get "around to it".

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Alcohol-fueled Bravado (When Facing Down Evil) is Better Than No Bravado at All...

Feelin' better, buzzed on Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. My car is increasingly needing a new power steering pump, if the leak cannot be found in a hose, but right now, I don't care. [To recap, last week I had a mechanic put the car up on a lift with the engine running, but there was no visible leak in either the pump or the hoses.]

Will get back to the title subject, but it refers to Winston Churchill's backbone during WWII. [Yeah, the title had no connection to my mood at the time of this posting, but I was determined to relax, as nothing could be done about the power steering pump at the time, anyway.]

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

I Want It.

If it is not an April Fool's prank, this report sez that Oskar Blues Brewing Co. will be putting out the world's strongest canned ale - 20.10% for Twen Teny Triple Imperial Stout.

From the brewery's website:

“Twen Teny Triple Imperial Stout is a beer that is not for mere mortals. This is a stout that drinks Russian Imperial Stouts as session brews. We used so much malted barley while brewing this beer that breweries on the other side of the planet were bitching about malt shortages. Twen Teny packs an astounding punch at 20.10% ABV and has 135 IBUs to match. Nothing that went into this beer was measured in pounds, only tons. This is a beer that gives off a contact buzz and pours a color of black that had only previously been seen by the Hubble telescope. Pour this slowly into a small snifter and don't make plans for two days to follow."

Apparently, it will only be sold at the brewery in Lyons, CO and a couple of sites in Longmont, CO.

Can't wait to get at least an empty can for my collection and I would really like to empty the can myself, with the help of some friends.

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