Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"The Last Logger"

An anxiously awaited package finally showed up on the snail-mail express. A package that should have taken two days at the most, and maybe should have shown up overnight, took from April the 15th until April 22nd to get here. After searching our mail stacks high and low with guilt ridden embarrassment that we had probably carelessly lost a gift from hard and fast friend… It walks in the door and lands on our counter… “You got Mail”… A tale for another post for sure.

Now to the topic at hand, Ekovox sent me a CD copy of “Delta Nationals” latest new Disc, “All Over the Map” the song that he wanted me to listen to in particular was “The Last Logger Leaving Town”. He knows that I strongly identify with the lumber community, and would be interested in the saga of the loggers loading up and getting out of here.

They had me at “After a hundred years of logging”. They sang the saga of the proud busted logger moving outta’ here. The words to the song relate to terms that only a north-coaster would understand.

The logger-bar twang in the Guitar puts me back on that barstool in Briceland, my corks in my truck, and my Romeos on my feet wrapped around the rung on the bar stool. I can still feel the smile on my face. My beer in one hand, and my other hand carefully placed on the bar where it wouldn’t get in trouble with the other logger and mill workers pretty girl-friends and wives. But, they sure were pretty out there on the dance floor spinning around to “Hello Walls” and “Born to lose”. The joke on the song at the time was; “Born too loose”. I could relate to that.

I can still feel the dust in my clothes, the honest dirt on my skin, the parch in my throat from a hard ten-hour day in the place I loved. My dad beside me saying “Son you gotta’ get out of here, there ain’t no future in logging”. He never lied to me before, at least not on purpose. Most loggers will tell you any kind of a tall tale just to see if you swallow it, but you can tell when one is not trying to stretch the truth. There was a ring of truth in my dad’s voice that I couldn’t deny.

I did my best, I may be a refrigeration contractor now, but in my chest is the heart of a logger. I had just about put the logger in me behind, but one day about a year or so ago, I started nosing around the blog-sites. Eric Kirk did a post about a brand new blog called “299 Opine” by Ekovox. He talked about real people, with real jobs, that worked in real places. Most everybody signed their names, or at least you knew who they were. It was the kind of place that a person like me can relate to, so I was drawn to read it every day.

One time a while back Eko took a hiatus, he is prone to do that. Some how his blogsite turned into stories that talked about how it used to be when logging was a proud profession. I had already been playing with the idea that someone should write a book about logging in Garberville. I figured that I was the only one left around here that knew or appreciated the loggers that were here at the time, and if I was going to tell a story I would have to learn to write, so I started practicing by writing on the blogsites.

I was actually inspired by a good friend of mine that has zero respect for logging. Kim Sallaway is a great photographer that is a true artist. He can take a picture of a person that really can do what the Indians were afraid would happen, he captures the person’s soul.

I subscribe to his "Picture of the Day" posting where he sends out his favorite photograph for the day, every now and then he will make a disparaging comment about logging. I shake my head and think that I wish I could explain to him who a logger is. He just really never met one. We aren't the people that want to clear-cut and hurt the critters, and tear up the environment. We are people that can't work anywhere but outdoors or but with our hands and muscles. We like the smell of a sawmill or a woods operation. But, sometimes we are stuck with jumping through the hoops of the "Beerocrats and fat cats" that took it all from us with their corporate greed.

But, my friend Kim lives in a wood house, so I know that he must have some basis of understanding. I just don’t know how to approach the subject. I’m reminded of when I was a kid, my best friend at the time was Robin Brooks, He is the most devout religious person that I’ve ever known. I guess that I’m drawn to opposites. One time I asked why he never pressed me about religion, he said that he didn’t want to talk to me about religion because if he gave me the word of God and I rejected it I would have to go to hell, and he didn’t want that to happen to me. Now that’s a friend. I guess that I'll just have to get there with out his help. So, I guess that is why I never talk to Kim about Loggers. I don’t want to see him go to hell if I don’t get it right.

When I see a deck of logs, I see my family’s blood and sweat all over them, and when I see a load of lumber go by I see some young couple getting a new house to raise their babies.

Back to the CD. I said once before that music isn’t my life but it is the theme that is always playing in the background. Right now I have “The Last Logger Leaving Town” playing in the background.

I have the technology to put the songs on this blog, but you can take my word for it the album is a “must have”. It is an Eclectic compilation of tunes that showcases the “Delta Nationals” wide range of talent. It is great as a demo album of musical genres that they can handle. Their instrument talent is flawless, and if they don’t hit every note when they are singing it’s their inside joke to see if you are paying attention. If you look at the stage they will wink at you in appreciating that you got it.

Their music is about real people, the tune “Overtime” is one that anyone can relate to. This post has gone on long enough. I guess I’ll answer the question that Ekovox asked: Yeah I like it!

Oh yeah it's the "Delta Nationals". The album is "All Over the Map". A very eclectic album of songs about people and places. And, oh yeah, here's some more of their tunes!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tom Green in Garberville

Tom Green Photo by Shannon? Click on photo to enlarge.

Tom Green made the mistake of getting hungry in Garberville today. My mother sold him his straw hat, that he is wearing, at Browns Sporting Goods. The young lady in the photo is the worlds best waitress, shirley Rumsfeldt.

She has quite a few photo's of herself taken with celebrities that she seems to always recognise. Strangely they all seem to put up with her, usually I'm so embarrassed that I look for a place to hide when she does this.

Those who don't know who Tom Green is, he is a situational comedian and he can be seen a lot on MTV. He is the originator of "Jackasses", if you know what that is. He is probably most famous for being married to Drew Barrymore for a couple of years. He is an interesting and different kind of guy, and you will be sure to be seeing more of him. Here's a wikipedia link that you can go to to learn more.
As soon as I find out who took the photo, I will give the proper photo credit. It looks like Shannon beside Shirleys left ear, in the mirror. Right now all I have is Shirley's E-Mail bragging about her most recent score.
I can't believe that I've lowered this blog to the status of a Hollywood gossip column.

Eel River Ernie on Roger Rodoni.

Eel River Ernie, who is sometimes confused with me but he is not, is one of the most interesting commenter's in the north coast blogs. He doesn't have a blog, but he can use mine anytime, so I'm going to move his most heartfelt comment about Roger Rodoni to the front page.

Eel River Ernie said...

I have just not been able to bring myself to comment over the past two days as the sadness and grief over losing Roger has kind of overwhelmed me. Roger was special in many ways, not only his straightforward manner but in his common sense and grasp of what was and is right. I have shared many a fishing, camping, hunting and travel stories with him over the years. Once or twice (a month) we even had a cocktail or two together at Parlato’s or other unseemly places, i.e.; Native Sons, Fortuna Chamber Mixer or Rotary gathering. Roger and Johanna are special people, down to earth, realistic folks with deep roots in our rural Southern Humboldt culture.

I worked with Roger as part of his campaign committee three times over and as a fellow member of several boards and commissions including HCAOG, HTA and the Fish and Game Commission. His reserved manner, no nonsense approach to problem solving along with his ability to weave an appropriate analogy into a debate added a great deal of humor to quasi serious discussions and settled many a dispute before their start.

Roger was a man of many talents and interests, and some of my favorite conversations with him dealt with his and Johanna’s summer trips to Montana and Wyoming. Most recently, at Roger and Johanna’s recommendation, the wife and I visited the Lewis and Clark exhibition and Charles Russell museum in Great Falls Montana which gave me a lot of insight into Roger’s being and beliefs.

I could go on and on about shared experiences in Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and elsewhere but one phrase comes to mind that I think kind of sums up folks of Roger’s ilk that I recall from a tour of duty in the our capitol city of Sacramento. Over State Office Building Number 1, across from the State Library and just west of the Capitol, inscribed in granite is the saying from a Samuel Foss poem “Bring Me Men To Match The Mountains” the rest of the poem, stated elsewhere, goes on to say “Bring me men to match my plains: Men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains.” To me, Roger was of one of those of whom Samuel Foss spoke.

My heart goes out to Johanna and the family.

Eel River Ernie

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Roger Rodoni

Photo of Rodger Rodoni, taken by Matt Knowles, copied from the Rodoni website.

Roger Rodoni died in car accident by Eel River Sawmills in Fortuna. I’m sorry, but I have no further details. I heard it on Channel 3 after tonight’s news. There should be more details soon.

There are times in a person’s life that a person has to analyze who they are, and how they conduct themselves. When I heard the shocking news that Roger Rodoni was killed in a car accident. My first thought was that a man that I greatly admired had died. My second thought was guilt, because I did not support him in his most recent bid for the position of Humboldt Co Supervisor.

I remember deciding, at the time that I chose who I was going to support, that I would not be disparaging or disrespectful toward Roger at any time or in anyway. I knew that when I chose to support someone else that I could no longer qualify to call myself his friend. Life gives a person choices, and you have to chose your path. Sometimes that means that you have to take a different path from someone that you greatly admire and respect. The paths that Rodger and I took were divergent. I’ve said many times that I liked and respected Roger, and that he would be welcome in my home at anytime. I never changed that opinion of him.

The things that I greatly admired about Roger was his ability to convey his thoughts to someone else, clearly and concisely, and he gave no room for misunderstanding. You always knew where you stood with Roger, because he didn’t mince words. I strongly believe that he loved this county and was trying to do what he thought was best for it. He was a great advocate for the rural way of life and I appreciate him for that. He will be greatly missed by me and many others.
My condolences to those that loved him.

From Times-Standard:
Supervisor Roger Rodoni was killed in a car accident at approximately 5 p.m. today, according to Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager. The accident involved four cars just north of the Rio Dell Bridge on U.S. Highway 101.
Jager said a California Highway Patrol lieutenant on the scene said Rodoni was not at fault. Another car had crossed over the center line and hit Rodoni's car. After that, two other cars were involved, Jager said.

From Eureka Reporter:

Humboldt County Second District Supervisor Roger Rodoni died in a car crash just after 5 p.m. today, the Coroner’s Office reported.
Rodoni, who was serving his third four-year term on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, was declared dead at the scene, County Coroner Frank Jäger said. Three cars were involved in the accident that occurred just past the Rio Dell Bridge on northbound U.S. Highway 101.
It was unclear whether anyone was in the vehicle with Rodoni, Jäger said. The California Highway Patrol will provide further details later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I thought that biofuels were the answer to all or problems, then I ran across this:

Biofuels could boost global warming, finds study. 21 September 2007 By Zoe Corbyn.

Growing and burning many biofuels may actually raise rather than lower greenhouse gas emissions, a new study led by Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen has shown.1 The findings come in the wake of a recent OECD report, which warned nations not to rush headlong into growing energy crops because they cause food shortages and damage biodiversity.
Crutzen and colleagues have calculated that growing some of the most commonly used biofuel crops releases around twice the amount of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) than previously thought - wiping out any benefits from not using fossil fuels and, worse, probably contributing to global warming. The work appears in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and is currently subject to open review.
'The significance of it is that the supposed benefits of biofuel are even more disputable than had been thought hitherto,' Keith Smith, a co-author on the paper from the University of Edinburgh, told Chemistry World. 'What we are saying is that [growing many biofuels] is probably of no benefit and in fact is actually making the climate issue worse.'
"What we are saying is that growing biofuels is probably of no benefit and in fact is actually making the climate issue worse"- Keith Smith
Crutzen, famous for his work on nitrogen oxides and the ozone layer, declined to comment before the paper is officially published. But the paper suggests that microbes convert much more of the nitrogen in fertiliser to N2O than previously thought - 3 to 5 per cent or twice the widely accepted figure of 2 per cent used by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
For rapeseed biodiesel, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the biofuel production in Europe, the relative warming due to N2O emissions is estimated at 1 to 1.7 times larger than the quasi-cooling effect due to saved fossil CO2 emissions. For corn bioethanol, dominant in the US, the figure is 0.9 to 1.5. Only cane sugar bioethanol - with a relative warming of 0.5 to 0.9 - looks like a viable alternative to conventional fuels.
Some previous estimates had suggested that biofuels could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 per cent.2
Global picture
The IPCC's N2O conversion factor is derived using data from plant experiments. But Crutzen takes a different approach, using atmospheric measurements and ice core data to calculate the total amount of N2O in the atmosphere. He then subtracts the level of N2O in pre-industrial times - before fertilizers were available - to take account of N2O from natural processes such as leguminous plants growing in forests, lightning, and burn offs.
Assuming the rest of the N2O is attributable to newly-fixed nitrogen from fertilizer use, and knowing the amount of fertilizer applied globally, he can calculate the contribution of fertilizers to N2O levels.
The results may well trigger a rethink by the IPCC, says Smith. 'Should we go along the road of adding up the experimental evidence for each of the processes or are we better off using the global numbers?'
Critical reception
But other experts are critical of Crutzen's approach. Simon Donner, a nitrogen researcher based at Princeton University, US, says the method is elegant but there is little evidence to show the N2O yield from fertilized plants is really as high as 3-5 per cent. Crutzen's basic assumption, that pre-industrial N2O emissions are the same as natural N2O emissions, is 'probably wrong', says Donner.
One reason he gives is that farmers plant crops in places that have nitrogen rich soils anyway. 'It is possible we are indirectly increasing the "natural" source of N2O by drawing down the soil nitrogen in the world's agricultural regions,' he explains.
Others dispute the values chosen by Crutzen to calculate his budget. Stefan Rauh, an agricultural scientist at the Instituteof Agricultural Economics and Farm Management in Munich, Germany, says some of the rates for converting crops into biofuel should be higher. 'If you use the other factors you get a little net climate cooling,' he said.
Meanwhile, a report prepared by the OECD for a recent Round Table on Sustainable Development questions the benefits of first generation biofuels and concludes that governments should scrap mandatory targets.
Richard Doornbosch, the report's author, says both the report and Crutzen's work highlights the importance of establishing correct full life-cycle assessments for biofuels. 'Without them, government policies can't distinguish between one biofuel and another - risking making problems worse,' said Doornbosch.
Zoe Corbyn

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Next wonder

Valley Manzanita

This time you are just going to have to go with me on this, or you can research it more if you like, because I don't know any of the newcomer things about this plant, and I have seen it misidentified as Mesquite, and Madrona. So, I'm going to go with my families names for this plant.

We have two kinds of manzanita around here. There is what the old-timers called "Valley Manzanita" and "Mountain manzanita". The valley Manzanita grows mostly on sunny hillsides, and the Mountain Manzanita grows mostly on ridge tops. I guess that was how they were named by the old-timers. I understand that there are many varieties of manzanita but I've only seen the two.

Valley Manzanita has deep green leaves, and when it blooms the blossoms are pink, the bark near the branch ends is smooth. The Mountain Manzanita has grey/green leaves the blossoms are white, and the branch ends are hairy. It is sometimes called "Grey Manzanita" or "Hairy manzanita".

Now that you know that we have two manzanitas the rest of the features are the same. It is an extremely hard wood and the roots sometimes have a great burl. The bark is rich red/maroon and peels off in the summer and it makes a flavorful tea. The bush is low in tannins and makes good non-toxic bird perches. The berries that grow on the bush can be dried and ground into flour. But don't eat too much of it because it doesn't pass well, and can leave you quite constipated. Eat it with other things, like acorn muffins and wild strawberries.

The manzanita was one of the most important plants to the north coast old-timers, it was the only plant that we have that burns as hot as it does. It burns even hotter than Madrone. It was used in the forges that were used by the blacksmiths that lived here in the early days. It saved them many hours of heating iron to shoe horses. Most of the gate hinges and latches on my grandmothers ranch in Laytonville were forged in my grandfathers old hand crank forge fired with manzanita. It was seldom used as firewood because it burned to hot, and would burn the grates right out of a stove.

One of the things that the old-timers said about manzanita is that the seeds will only spout after being cracked open by a fire or eaten by a bear. I guess that's what you'd call "hard to get".

The Blossoms of both plants are very sweet with nectar, I often will eat a handful of blossoms, it brings back sweet memories. Often I have to find a plant that isn't infested with ants that are also after the nectar. Eat your heart out Eule Gibbons.

The next time that you are out for a drive and see a manzanita bush, stop and impress your children with your knowledge of nature. Just walk up to the bush and pull down a branch end and look at it. If it has hairs on it, it is a Mountain Manzanita. If it is smooth, it is a Valley Manzanita.

Then tell them why this was an important plant to Ernie's Grandparents.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More North Coast Wonders.

Trillium Ovatum, or Western Wake Robin

Clarisa nominated the Trillium for a north coast wonder, so here's what I know about them. First there is a Wake Robin and then there is a Trillium that grows on the North Coast.

The Wake Robin is a member of the Trillium family and can be recognised by the fact that the flower blooms above the three leaves of the main plant. It appears to leap up at you. The blossom blooms a virginal white color, then as the blossom ages it turns a bright scarlet maroon color, like the virgin was made to blush.

I took two photo's with my cell-phone of the wake Robins under the Redwoods in lower Redway for this post, but the photo didn't do them justice, but you can tell the older blossoms from their deep red color. As they age, three little leaves grow under the blossom.

Never, ever pick a Wake Robin. As you can easily see, if you pick the wake robin leaves and all the plant will not have any source of nutrients, and it will either die, or be seriously set back and may not bloom again for a few years. If you absolutely must pick one, pick only the flower. But, it is much too beautiful to destroy.

This is a bed of Redwood Sorrel being invaded by the cursed English Ivy. I took the photo in lower Redway where someone long ago decided that it would look nice to have some English Ivy growing. Now it will probably choke out the beautiful sorrel plant.

Redwood sorrel is called Oxalis oregena by the newcomers, I kinda get a kick out of that... calling Redwood Sorrel Oxalis Oregena, Like Oregon has Redwood trees!

Redwood sorrel grows in great mats beneath the redwood trees in the deep shade. it is most beautiful in April and may.

If you pick a stem of sorrel and taste it, it tastes like rhubarb. I've been told that sorrel is toxic, but I'm not dead, and I've chewed a lot of it. They say the leaves of rhubarb are also toxic. maybe they have the same poison in them, ya' think?

And this is the rare and beautiful trillium. I've only found them at higher elevations on the north side of a hill in timber. Usually near a spring. I really don't know their habitat I only know where I've found them. See how the flower grows right out of the three leaves? And they are larger than the Wake Robin. Again don't pick them!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just a few favorite things.

From Wikipedia, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (from left to right, top to bottom): Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis at Epheseus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum of Maussollos, Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria as depicted by 16th-century Dutch artist Marten Heemskerk.

These were the first "Seven Wonders of the World". There has been much argument and proclamation of what the new wonders should be and why. There are engineering wonders, natural wonders, beautiful wonders, and so on. Most of these things are in far away places that most people can only dream about visiting.

I got to thinking about; what would we (Us local folks.) choose as our wonders? I guess that a Redwood Tree would have to be a given, because it was actually was listed as a wonder of the world at one time.

The rest of "My Wonders" would probably be a little strange to most folks, in fact, some folks won't even recognise what I'm talking about. I wouldn't call these my private wonders, because I'm always willing to share.

The Quince would be way up their on my wonders of the world. The Quince is from Mesopotamia, also Persia, the area of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys.

It was thought that the quince might be the forbidden fruit in the Garden Of Eden. But, if Adam bit into it, he would have been immediately sorry, for they are very astringent, they are difficult to spit out, the best way is to scoop it out of your mouth with a finger, and rinse with water.

The smell of the quince is very seductive, it has a delicious odor that only a quince can have. Once it is cooked with sugar, the juice becomes quite edible. My mother makes the most delicious quince jelly. There are many recipes to make quince edible. Some go back to the beginning of time. A Roman cookbook of Apicius gives recipes for stewing quince with honey. One or two Quince trees were always found in the Old-timers orchards.

Another of my passions is the smell of what we sometimes wrongly called Tar Weed, and sometimes rightly called Vinegar Weed. It grows in the Grassland around the edge of Manzanita brush, It gets on your shoes and socks and gives of a very pungent vinegar like smell, only it smells good to me like a sweet vinegar scented perfume. I often stop and pick some and crush it in my hand just to smell it. Any time that you hike around the dry hills of Southern Humboldt or Northern Mendocino you're going to come home with your socks smelling like that.

Another similar plant that I like is the Pennyroyal Mint. The picture looks kinda like it but it grows much tighter together. It's probably all spread out and open like that to show it's anatomy, but it doesn't look right. The picture is about actual size. It grows around the edges of vernal ponds and blooms very profusely in the fall of the year. It also has a pungent odor, but it smells more pepperminty. I could always tell were my uncles went hunting when they came home by what they smelled like. If it was a long hunt, they would smell like everything, including B.O.

Same as Vinegar Weed I like to crush it in my hand just to sniff it. Strangely I never tasted it, as is often my habit. I found out later in life that it was called "Indian Abortion Weed". It will cause a woman to loose her baby if she eats or drinks it as a tea. It is also apparently harmful to the liver. I wonder why I didn't taste it? Lucky I guess.

I have a lot more North Coast wonders that I will add on the bottom of this blog, until everyone gets bored. Nominate your own favorite sight, smell, or thing if you like, but it has to have something to do with the North Coast!


We had little tiny itsy-bitsy little snow flakes in Benbow this morning, followed by little tiny rain drops.

I checked my weather forcast over there on the left and it say's the same thing.

"Today: A slight chance of snow showers before 11am, then a slight chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Calm wind becoming west between 5 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Willie Nelson will be in Garberville.

note: I had the date wrong earlier....

People production is bringing Willie Nelson to Garberville on Sunday August 31st. I'll put a link at the bottom. First play some music. Turn you volume way up high and your bass way down low, and click on the following blue links...

Down in the bottom left corner of the video that is playing after you click on the link, there is a little box inside a box about a half-inch square. Click that box and the video will go full screen. To get back out just click the "X" on the bottom right, or click escape.

Have fun!

Play a little Reggae Willie.

Willie and Bobbie Dylan

And, one for my old cousin Jim who never met a county girl he didn't fall in love with. Willie Nelson and Shania Twain, Blue eyes crying in the rain

And, one for me Willie and Norah Jones

One for everybody Ray Charles and Willie Nelson

David Frizzell, wino

It's really nice to have some good non-violent music in Garberville for a change. If you want to go to the concert click here for more info. People Production

Off people production's website:
Show Date: Sunday August 31st
City, State: Garberville, California
Venue: Benbow Lake State Park
Advance Tickets : $75.00
At The Door : TBA
Doors Open at: TBA
Music Begins at : TBA
Tickets on Sale: On Sale Now Online
Ticket Outlets: See Ticket Outlets
Website: Willie Nelson
Contact: People Productions at 923-4599
Note: »venue subject to change«

Monday, April 14, 2008

Firebrands or Loudmouths?

A firebrand is an ember that is picked up in the windstorm that has been caused by a wildfire. Sometimes the firebrand gets cast far ahead of the fire, and starts a new wildfire that can give the old fire new direction. People can be like that, and that is why they become known as firebrands, they cast their ideas before them and change the direction of people’s thoughts. I like to analyze the things that firebrands say, and check them for the positive contents. As you know a firebrand can also be destructive.

How we process what other people say determines who we are. I have a difficult time separating the good from the evil person, so I look for the good in everyone. There is and old saying that;
“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves all of us, to find fault in the rest of us”.

So I’ve selected a few well known people that I found to be interesting, and pointed out a few of their good deeds. If you have your personal hero’s, add them to the list. Try to avoid pointing out any negative things, and only point out the good. If you find that difficult to do, it say’s something about you. Which may not be bad, but it should be thought provoking on your part.

The print in italics has been shamelessly swiped from the Internet.

Rush Limbaugh:
I’ll bet you thought that I would have a hard time finding something good about Ol’ Rush didn’t you? These are just a few of his good deeds.
Leukemia and lymphoma telethon
Limbaugh holds an annual fundraising telethon called the "EIB Cure-a-Thon" for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In 2006 the EIB Cure-a-Thon conducted its 16th annual telethon, raising $1.7 million; totaling over $15 million since the first cure-a-thon. According to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society annual reports, Limbaugh personally contributed between $100,000 and $499,999 from 2000 - 2005, and Limbaugh claims to have contributed around $250,000 in 2003, 2004 and 2005. NewsMax reported Limbaugh donated $250,000 in 2006. Limbaugh donated $320,000 during the 2007 Cure-a-Thon which reportedly raised $3 million.

Rush 24/7 Adopt-A-Soldier Program
Limbaugh's website maintains a page where U.S. troops can register for a free 24/7 membership through memberships purchased by donors who buy a subscription (at a reduced price) as a gift.

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation
Limbaugh conducts an annual drive to help the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation collect contributions to provide scholarships for children of Marines and law enforcement officers/agents who have died in the line of duty.

Charity golf tournaments
Rush attends charity golf tournaments from time to time for various causes.

Shawn Hannity:
Freedom Concerts
Hannity has hosted country music-themed Freedom Concerts since 2003, billed to help benefit the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, a charity created by Oliver North to provide college scholarships to children with a parent severely disabled or killed in military action. Appearing artists have included Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Lee Greenwood, LeAnn Rimes, Montgomery Gentry, Darryl Worley, Charlie Daniels, Larry the Cable Guy, and Michael W. Smith.
The Freedom Concerts were held annually in the Northern Star Arena at the Six Flags Great Adventure Amusement Park in Jackson, New Jersey through 2006. In 2007, the annual concert was expanded to a summer series held at locations across the United States, culminating with the September 11 event at Great Adventure marking the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.[34]
Speakers at the Sept 11, 2007 concert included Oliver North, Newt Gingrich, Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and several conservative talk show hosts from WABC Radio.

Hannity's internet dating service, called "Hannidate," matches conservative or Republican-leaning singles, straight and gay. Begun in 2005, it is described as a "place where people of like conservative minds can come together to meet."

Alan Colmes;
Alan Colmes has what I like to refer to as “Character”. Although some would disagree with him, he knows who he is.
While Colmes describes himself as a liberal and his Fox News biography describes him as "a hard-hitting liberal," he has sometimes been referred to disparagingly as a "Democrat In Name Only" or a "Fox News liberal". Al Franken printed Colmes' name in smaller font than the other text in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. However, Colmes has also drawn praise from progressive political bloggers for his questioning of conservative guests.
Bob Garfield, interviewing Colmes for On the Media, asked him if he were "the human straw man" and a "foil" rather than an equal of Hannity. Colmes replied that if the conservative members of the audience saw him that way, that was "their problem," and said "It's more fun for me to be in a situation like this [where much of the audience disagrees with him] than to preach to the choir."

Ann Coulter:
She looks good as an accessory to a white Corvette!

Al Franken:
Although it was difficult to find anything that Al Franken stood for, because if you look at his career he has stood for very little, most everything that he say’s or does is based on being critical of things that other people stand for, I think that it is important for him to be included as a firebrand for his impact on making people think. But, there was this positive tidbit. “Franken favors transitioning to a universal health care system, with the proviso that every child in America should receive health care coverage immediately. He believes that private pensions and Social Security should be protected. He wants to cut tax breaks for oil companies, increase money available for college students and cut interest rates on student loans”

Jim Hightower;
The "Doug Jones Average," a concept created by Jim Hightower, is the proposal that in order to check the true health of the American economy, it is less useful to look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average than it is to check up on how Doug Jones (i.e., the American working class and below) down the street is doing. If Doug Jones is on welfare, cannot feed his family, and is three weeks behind on his bills the Doug Jones average is "down." If Doug just got a raise, can pay his bills, and Doug and his family are looking into owning a nice but not too expensive house, the Doug Jones average is "up."

Bill O’Riley;
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, O'Reilly devoted substantial time on his television show and wrote pieces on the subject of how the United Way of America and American Red Cross failed to deliver millions of dollars in donated money, raised by the organizations in the name of the disaster, to the families of those killed in the attacks. O'Reilly claimed that the organizations misrepresented their intentions for the money being raised by not distributing all of the 9/11 relief fund to the victims. Congressional hearings were called on the matter and an investigation by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer took place. Bernadette Healey, the president of the Red Cross, resigned shortly thereafter. In sworn testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in November 2001, Congressman J.D. Hayworth asserted that media pressure, most notably from O'Reilly, helped cause the Red Cross to increase payments to affected people and helped cause other charities to participate in an oversight database established by Spitzer.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The King of Butterflies

Darn, I wanted to talk about butterflies over on Kym's Blog Well, maybe it’s too late. So I’ll do it here. It must be springtime, everybody is blogging about birds, bee's, flowers, and butterflies.

When I was a kid, my sister and I and the other kids around Laytonville would go down into the field across from the house and collect Monarch Butterfly larva. (In late July to early August) Then we would pick some of the milkweed that they ate and we kept it in the refrigerator to feed them. After they got plump enough they would attach themselves to the lid of the shoebox that we kept them in. After they all wriggled out of their skins and became chrysalises we would hang the lid above a newspaper and wait for them to hatch. The newspaper is because the first thing that they do after they hatch, is get rid of the runny excrement that they have been holding.

Monarchs eat milkweed, which is highly toxic to other critters. That works to their advantage, because it makes the butterfly toxic, and no bird will even try to eat them. Birds know instinctively that the butterfly can't be eaten.

We called them Monarch Butterflies, so do the newcomers, and even the newest newcomers call them that. Finally, something that we can agree on!

We would know when they were about to hatch, because the beautiful lime green chrysalises with a little row of gold spots that look like miniature buttons would turn black and orange, and the shell would turn transparent so you could see the mature butterfly inside.

They are head down in their chrysalises, and when the side splits open they rotate out and hang from the shell, head up. They swing gently back and forth while their wings fill, expand and harden, then they drop loose and gently fly away just like they knew what they were doing. That always amazed me that they already knew how to fly, without being taught. They are one of nature’s true “naturals”.

Of course I taught my daughter how to raise butterflies, and she taught her kids. So we have seven generations of Monarch Butterfly farmers in the family. I don’t know if it is legal to do that anymore. Does anybody know???

Please click on this MOST interesting web site and all the other links that they have provided. It's writen for kids so even I can understand it. Monarch Butterflies

Yard work.

This is absolutely not my front yard! It's just pictures that were randomly stolen off the Internet to show you what my yard will look like this afternoon when I finish working on it.

What is it about springtime, and the warm weather, that makes a persons wife instinctively know that it is time for the poor husband to work in the yard?

We have a late season here because we live on the north side of a hill, so I get to make a late start. Nothing will grow here until late April. I planted some Sweet Peas in the flower boxes on the deck back in November and they are only about a foot tall so far. So it is just a big waste of time to plant too early. The one flowers that do great here are Impatiens. It is a great choice because it comes in a variety of colors.

Wow! I’m starting to become inspired… I’d better go do it… But first I’ll need a good breakfast. Then I need to clean out the truck, so I’ll have a place for the yard waste. Then I’ll have to go pick up my wife, who likes to walk the dog, but doesn’t like to walk back. Then my wife wants some stuff moved in the garage because it is too close to her car. I have to go check on an Ice cream maker that I worked on to make sure it worked okay. Then I’ll need to worry about lunch. Then maybe I should change the oil in my truck because it is past due. I changed the oil in the car already, but I can’t figure out how to make that little “change oil” light go away. Something about turn the key on without starting the motor then stomp on the throttle twice within five seconds but that won’t work, so I have to read the manual again. Then I’ll have to watch the game on television for awhile because all that work will require a little break. Then, before I know it, it will be dark, and too late to work in the yard. I hate when that happens!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Okay… It’s not funny any more!

I used to think that it was hilarious when my wife, who is pretty much a prude, used to get spammed with solicitations to buy pornography and various “enhancement opportunities”. I would, with great glee, tell her to stay away from the porn sites and she wouldn’t be bothered with all that “smut stuff. I found that it was even more hilarious that her ninety-three your old wheelchair bound mother would get some of the same kind of spam. I secretly thought that I must have been pretty clever to have stayed away from the kind of sites that you might pick-up that kind of electronic venereal disease.

I always thought that I was a pretty broad minded guy, and probably wouldn’t be that bothered with porn showing up on my computer. I thought that I could just say; “Hey, It just showed up, it’s not my fault”, kinda’ like when the biker “Ladies” flash the crowd. It’s a real cheap thrill, and as long as I didn’t in anyway solicit it, I could enjoy it in complete lamb like innocence.

For years I had never received an unwanted e-mail. So, now lightning has stuck me. I now get about thirty to forty spam messages a day. To make matters even worse, I have my e-mail set up so I have to down-load it at home, and at work, before it takes it off the server. So, I get to go through all the spam in both places. At home I have installed a spam filter that removes much of the spam. Unfortunately, it also removed a few messages from people that I wanted to hear from. Now I have to, not only check the incoming box, I also have to check the spam box. That is a loss of ground.

Someone told me that if you ever use your credit card on the internet that the company that you do business with on the net sells your e-dress to the spammers. If I knew that was true, I would submit their company name to the spammers to get even.

I have gotten offers of every kind of fake watch and jewelry that you can imagine. The sad thing is, I might be interested in the REAL stuff. But, I guess that wouldn’t occur to the kind of slime-ball that would send out spam.

I remember in high school that I was in love many times with girls that would not look my way, and the girls that would chase me… for some reason I thought that they weren’t classy enough for me. Ahh… the pain of unrequited love!

Now, I’m being offered love on the internet that I assume is as phony as that Rolex Oyster that they are trying to sell me for ten dollars. And, besides, how would I be able to zip-up my pants if all those adds are true?

So, I guess my question is; how do I get rid of the spam and still keep my e-dress. And how can I get even with the worthless bastards that have spammed me?

I’ve always said “That a grudge worth having is worth holding”.

Hottest day of the year so far!

If you click on the weather over there on the left, then scroll down to the "three Day history", you will see that it was 88deg. today, and the dew point was 38deg. And the retaliative humidity was 17%. And it had been like that for at least one hour.

It was down to 35deg last night, that gives the temperature a spread of 53deg. It is unusual to have more than a 50deg temperature spread from night to day. The humidity was only 17% which is extremely rare.

Do you think that we should tell Al Gore???

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bear Onions, or more appropriatly, Indian Soap Root.

As often happens I was inspired by one of Kym’s photo’s on “The Redheaded Blackbelt” blog. I stole the photo off her blog, so she will have every right to sue me. But as any good lawyer will tell you, the main reason to sue would be to reasonably collect on your lawsuit. Which would imply that there would be something to gain. So Kym will always have to face the fact that some looser is going to steal her great photography. So, I hope that she takes my theft as a compliment and not be too offended.

(click on photo to enlarge)

If you look closely, under the limb, on the ground, there is a sword leafed plant that looks like what I have always called a "Bear Onion". The older newcomers call it an "Indian Soap Root". The newest newcomers call it an chlorogalum pomeridianum.

It was used by the Indians to bathe with. If you dig up the plant, it has about a baseball sized root, that if you peal the outside layers off will provide a white somewhat slimy surface. The roots soap is said to cure poison oak. I don't get poison oak so I don't know, also I've never known an Indian to get poison oak, so I don't know where the legend came from. I've always thought that if you live outdoors on the north coast, you are either immune to poison oak or you died, so it must be genetic to not get it.

The root is distinctive in that it looks kind of like an Iris, only the leaves have a wavy look to them. I stole this photo off the net also but didn't know who to give credit to.

The other, and possibly main use that the Indians had for this root was fishing. They would pound the onion into pulp that they would wash into a stream, the juice would stupefy the fish and the Indians would wait at the riffle to catch the stupid fish. Then they would cook and eat them.

What we would do as kids, is pick the leaves and tear them into small segments and make chains as long as we could. The juice in the leaves forms a spider-web like material that will hold the segments together. Kids can be entertained for hours playing with them. Okay, maybe the root made us stupid too!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fly, fly away fish!

During the trip that we took, while the ship was at sea, I would spend my time at the rail watching for the flying fish. I would watch for maybe an hour and not see one. Then sometimes thirty or forty would launch themselves all at once. Usually only one or two would fly, but I became fascinated with how well they could fly.

They would be spooked into flying by the passing of the ship, and they would launch themselves into the air at a high rate of speed and at a low angle to the water, then they would glide for twenty or thirty feet then dive back in, or they would dip the lower tip of their tails in, and paddle like crazy, and fly some more. It was not uncommon to see them fly over one-hundred yards.

The flying fish is a very popular food in the Caribbean, it is cooked many ways. The national dish of Barbados is Cuo Cuo and flying fish. Cuo Cuo is corn meal and hominy. The favorite way to eat flying fish, is to bread and fry it, and eat it with lime juice. The roe is a delicacy.

In researching the flying fish I came across this painting by Herbert James Draper called, "The Flying Fish". "the sinister element is latent, but the mermaid's power is suggested by the spontaneous and eager way in which she snatches at the flying fish."

The Mermaid was greatly feared by the ancient sailor, she was seductive, erotic, and in most cases irresistible to the sailor. When caught under her spell, it was almost certain death. She was a very powerful both physically and spiritually. There are many tales connecting sailors, flying fish, and mermaids.

While watching for flying fish at the rail, and staring into the glare of the water, I strained my eyes to the point that I was blinded and couldn't hold them open. My wife asked me why I was so foolish. I thought about it a long while and the only conclusion was that I was under the evil spell of a mermaid. Darn evil mermaids.