Monday, December 28, 2009

Eel River Jade

common name for either of two minerals used as gems. The rarer variety of jade is jadeite, a sodium aluminum silicate, NaAl(SiO3)2, usually white or green in color; the green variety is the more valuable. The commoner and less costly variety of jade is nephrite, a calcium magnesium iron silicate of varying composition, white to dark green in color. Jade has been prized by the Chinese and Japanese, as well as by pre-Colombian Mesoamerican peoples, as the most precious of all gems. The Chinese in particular are known for the objets d'art they carve from it, and they traditionally associated it with the five cardinal virtues: charity, modesty, courage, justice, and wisdom; they also attributed healing powers to it. It was much used for implements by ancient peoples.

When I was a kid, every rock that I found was a "Rock". There were pretty rocks and ugly rocks. As I got older and more sophisticated, rocks became either jasper, sandstone, quartz, soapstone or isinglass. They still fell into two classifications for me, pretty rocks and ugly rocks.

Back in the fifties, everybody took on a new interest in mining. Uranium became a big item after they developed nuclear weapons. They also needed uranium to power the nuclear power plants that they were starting to build. A friend of my grandmothers asked her for permission to “prospect” on her property in Laytonville. Of course she said yes. It was pretty exciting for her to think that somebody might find something valuable on her property.

The old prospector was very knowledgeable about rocks. He didn't expect to find Uranium, but he did expect that he would probably find something worth mining on Gramma's property. He found some fairly favorable tungsten ore, but not in the amounts that would have been worth mining.

The one thing that the old prospector did find, was me at his heels. He became the total focus of my insatiable curiosity. I learned quite a bit about the names of rocks from him. He knew about the “Jade” on the Eel River. He told me that it is really not Jade, but “Nephrite”. He said that is was pretty like jade, but not nearly as valuable. For a 9 year old boy, that was hard for me to understand. To me a pretty rock was a pretty rock, I couldn't understand the concept of “valuable”.

I found out from him that the stuff we called “Fools Gold” was really iron-pyrite. Again, I couldn't understand why it was not valuable. We found fools gold all over the ranch. He soon started asking me where certain kinds of rocks were. And, of course I knew where all of the “pretty rocks” were. I was able to lead him right to wherever he wanted to see a certain type of rock. We had a little trouble communicating at first. He had all of the Newcomer names for my pretty rocks. But, we were able to teach each other a lot. One of the things that I found to be really interesting about hin is that he used to be a cop in Texas, and he still packed a 45 cal semi-automatic pistol in a shoulder holster. I had never seen an a semi automatic pistol before.

The reason that I tell you all of this, long story, is just to prove that I was right all along. “A pretty rock, is a pretty rock”. The stuff in the Eel River that we called “Eel River Jade” has slowly changed from worthless to semi-precious.

The main deposits of Eel River Jade is in a place called Mina, just north of Covelo on the North Fork Eel River. A fellow by the name Sam Gitchel, from Philo, California, bought the ranch out there, and has been mining it. Jade is found in several locations on the main Eel, and is of varying colors, from white to dark green. Some is almost black. There are shades of blue and also red. But it is all called “Nephrite”. The stuff that my old prospector friend called “worthless”.

Here are some Photo's from Sam's website:

The art of "Suiseki" is the Japanese art of stone appreciation. They will display the stone in it's most natural form, depicted in an artful way.

Interesting links to Eel River Jade collecting:;_ylt=AkynArY6m33UotFIGV7o0jftiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJpNDl2aGl2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMTE4L2FzX3ZpZXRuYW1fYmlnX2J1ZGRoYQRwb3MDNARzZWMDeW5fbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHNsawN2aWV0bmFtYWltc3Q-

Once in a Blue Moon

This is going to be all-over in the Mainstream Media, but you heard it here first! This month is going to have a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon is the second full moon that happens in a single month. The Lunar Cycle is 29.53 days, or 29 days 12 hours and 44 minutes. If you are an astrophysicist, all kinds of things change that cycle. Like, how fast the Earth revolves around the Sun, the distance the Moon is away from the sun and the Earth etc. But, for you and me, if we went out and set on our lawns, and timed the full Moons, we would find them to be 29.53 days apart.

Whoever made up the universal cycles had a sense of humor. The Moons trip around the Earth does not correspond the length of the days, nor number of days in a month. So it’s all screwed up. We have leap years to keep the days timed to the years, and leap hours and even leap seconds that we use to keep our clocks right. We have Blue Moons to add a Full Moon to the other wise unwieldy Lunar cycle.

Unlike we do with the "time" to keep it corresponding to the movement of the Earth around the Sun, we just let the Moon do whatever it wants to. So, when ever an extra Moon shows up in a month, we just call it a Blue Moon, and go on. It doesn’t change a thing.

However, a blue moon is very rare! We only have one every 2 1/2 years, or one every 41 months. (again, there are tons of scientific variables, that would only bore people like you and me) The really unusual thing about the one coming up this month is that it is happening on the very last day of the year, December 31st. To make the Blue Moon even more rare, there will be a partial eclipse in certain places around the world. How cool is that!

A Blue Moon, on the last day of the year, and a partial eclipse, what could be more rare? One more thing, it is also my wife and my aniversary!  Now, if I take her out to dinner, buy a good bottle of wine, buy her a nice little gift, and just be a super romantic guy. Imagine the possibilities! The Sky is the limit!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More recently found local artifacts

These arrowheads were found on the main Eel River between Spyrock and Alderpoint. They sure had some beautiful chert out there.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Midwintersday!

Happy Midwintersday. This is the day that the spiritual and the physical join in agreement and look forward to new beginnings. The photo below is of a mount in Ireland built by the ancients. It is a physical manifestation of their spiritual beliefs. The whole structure is dedicated to detecting the winter solstice, or the longest night and the darkest day.

I will be writing much more about this subject later. But if you have any thoughts about Midwintersday, or what it means to you, please dive in. I just wanted to start the day with a good thought.

This large mound is called "Newgrange" and it is estimated to be over 3,200 Years old.

At the very lowest point the the sun reaches in the winter sky, a beam of sunlight shines though the opening above the entry and shines on a mark all the way back into the central chamber.

I read somewhere that they used to sacrifice humans at the winter solstice, but the catholic Church stopped it. I guess they figured that human sacrifice was their prerogative.

Some of my ancestors are from Ireland, so I find the Early Irish to be, at least, as fascinating as the Early American Indians. Indeed there are many similarities in the two people. They were both extremely creative. They both used stone tools, and many of their legends and stories were the same. They both had rebirth or renewal celebrations. They based many things on information passed down from generation to generation. Neither of the two people had written language. The French gave Britton their written language in about 650 AD.

At one time my accumulated knowledge and memory would have been considered to be very valuable. An old person back in stone age times was the ancient equivalent to Google today. If you needed to know something, you had to converse with the elders. Elders were the most revered people of all of the culture back then.

The modern Irish estimate The Newgrange Structure to be between 5,000 and 5,200 years old. The mound is not more than 10,000 years old, because all of the British Iles were covered with a glacier before that. As the glacier melted stone age man moved northward. Unlike modern day man, they looked forward to global warming. But that was the period where global warming was slowing down considerably.

One of the things that made me realize that all people are the same is the similarities in the stone writing. The spirals, circles, boxes, and zigzag lines are found in all Neolithic stone carvings. The carvings could easily been done by our local Indians.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa 2009

Every year, starting clear back before I joined the Redway fire department, (Joined in 1973) Santa has been hauled around town on the old American LaFrance fire engine. Nobody is sure when the tradition started, but I remember when I was a kid the Old Lafrance and Santa would make the rounds in Redway.

In all of the years that I have been one of Santa's helpers we have never been rained out. We have had rain before and after, and some days we've had light rain, several times we've had freezing cold, or windy weather, but we've never been rained out. Several years we had large beach umbrellas up to stave off the mist, but nope... never been rained out!

The Photo card at the top is By Kim Sallaway. The pretty woman at Santa's side is Yvonne, Kim's helper.

This is how you back up the LaFrance. You set the hand throttle, shift into reverse, then let the clutch out. When the truck starts to move backwards, you step out on the running-board and steer the truck backwards. The truck moves at about one-mile per hour.
Photo of me, Ernie, driving. By Pete Genolio.

There are so many kids at the Orchard Street Apartments that Santa got off the truck to talk to them and ask what they wanted for Christmas. The speaker system on the escort truck was playing loud Christmas music. The kids found it to be very amusing when Santa broke out dancing to Jingle Bell Rock. It broke the ice for the little True-Santa-Believers, and instead of being so painfully shy, they were willing to ask him for what they wanted for Christmas.
Photo by Ernie's cell phone
Photo by Pete Genolio's cell phone.

After all of the candy canes were passed out, we sent Santa Back to the North Pole, and parked the LaFrance. We all went home and put on our best clothes and met back at the Redway Fire Hall for a Christmas dinner and party. We ate, made speeches, past out awards, did Karaoke, and danced until the new day was upon us.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wouldn't it be great?

Anon said:
"You have every right to your find no matter what some tinhorn Fed says. This is Humboldt County after all.

Great story Spyrock. It illustrates the energy side. Rocks hold energy longer than wood or water. When you hold that pestle in a quiet way, there may be energies, old, old energies that come to you as a gift. Think of all the life experience associated with that pestle, and admire the amazing craftsmanship. You are fortunate."
Yes, Spyrock is always interesting. The greatest thing about this blog is the things that I have learned from the people that comment. I won’t go into great detail about the people that do comment, because I would end up leaving someone out, and I encourage everyone to comment here when they have something to say.

I have always been interested in other people’s knowledge. I have long been the person to stir up a conversation, then just sit and listen and enjoy. When I was a kid they used to accuse me of “bringing up sore subjects, and starting disagreements”. To me I used to like to wonder how anybody would just plain personally disagree with each other, I always though that there would only be one “Truth” and that they could find it together.

I’ve come to understand as I’ve gotten more “sage” that some people don’t care about truth, and they base most of their decisions on their beliefs, or faiths. Somehow that always scares me. Most times I will find that their reality is based on their own personal agenda. I try to avoid agendas. Some commenters are seekers of truth, like I think that I like to be. Even when I don’t agree with them, I value their opinions of being those of an honest person. Sometimes I’ve even found enough wisdom in their thoughts that I’ve changed my mind about things.

In the last post, about Indian artifacts, I have had many people come to me on the street and tell me about the artifact that they have found. Usually they found it in a place that they shouldn‘t have been, or on State Property and they don’t want anybody to know about it, because they find a personal connection to their “find”. In all cases, they felt a connection to the small chips of rock that they have found that it causes me to wonder why honest people would even defy the law to keep what they feel is “theirs” by the right of finders-keepers.

I guess that people feel that they can trust me, but they tell me about their find but they never reveal any details that might get their find taken away from them. Wouldn't it be great if we could say that “I have an Indian artifact and here are it’s details.” and not have it taken. I think that we could all learn so much.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Local Indian stone tools

Pestle from Eel River Near Alderpoint. Most likely Wailaki or Lassic, depending on the age of the artifact:

A long-time aquaintence of mine told me the other day that he likes reading this blog, and that he especially likes the stories about the Indian culture, the Indian people and the Indian artifacts. So do I. He went on to tell me that he had found a pestle in the area of Alderpoint while on a kayak trip down the river. He said that he had to stop and relieve himself. Near the bank of the river he saw about four or five inches of the pestle sticking up out of the river silt. He at first thought that it had something to do with the railroad, so he went over to it, and pulled it out of the sand. This pestle is what he found. As you can see from his photo it is one of the most perfectly formed pestles that I've ever seen. It is perfectly round, and the sides are perfectly staight, It has a perfect taper to the hand shaft. The end is broken off with only slight wearing of the sharp edges, which lead me to wonder if it was just left that way, or if it got broken somehow.

This man gave me permission to identify him. Then changed his thoughts to just give his first name. This item is so precious and perfect that I think that I will leave it to him to identify himself, if he wants to. He reads this blog. He also has a collection of about a dozen very crudely worked arrow heads. He didn't send me any photos of them, or I would include them here. It always amazes me what the local Indian people could do with simple stone tools.

Most of the mortar and pestles that I have seen from the local Indians looked like the photos below. This mans find is amazing. The shaft near the bulb end shows the pecking that the Indians used to shape their stones. I have ofter wondered what kind of stone that they used to peck the stone tools. There are two methods that they used. The direct method, by hitting the stone with a sharp tool, and the indirect method, where they used the working tools like a hammer and chisle.
Mortar and pestle from Clear lake:

Stone bowl from "Humboldt County"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Everybody's got heroes.

Archie Brunkel and his truck.

We all have our heroes. Most people have at least one person that they look up to or admire. Somebody that taught them how to do something special, or taught them a special skill. Or somebody that did it better, or different, than anybody else. Somebody that really stands out and stands above the rest in our minds.

Most basketball fans will probably agree that Michael Jordan would be an all time stand out. He was and is many peoples hero. No matter what kind of foolishness that Tiger Woods did to his private life, I think that we would all agree that we have never seen a better golfer. Many people think that Barack Obama is their hero, he came riding out of Chicago on a tall white horse, ready to save us from the evil Bush administration.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that many of us have chosen personal heroes that many others might not agree with, but we stick with them through thick and thin. Some of us choose stock car racers, potato farmers, carpenters, and so forth, but most of us have somebody that stands out in our minds as their own personal heroes.

Most of my personal heroes have been loggers. I haven't helped ship a log to the sawmill since 1964, but I still think of myself as a logger.

Back in the '50s logging was a proud profession, so if you were a highly respected logger, you were the king of the hill. Most of the loggers were flat broke, but trying to break into the big time. Most of them knew many people that had made it big with very meager beginnings. They figured you had to be working hard enough to get your grubstake together if you were ever going to make it. So most of the loggers were trying to parlay their fortune with a good idea, negotiating a good price on a patch of timber, or get more logs to the mill than anybody else, and pull ahead of the debt game.

The people that made it, or showed the best potential were actually admired by the rest. They would say, “Well if old whozzie can make it, I'm surly not far behind”. They would be happy for the person that succeeded, and they would try that much harder to “make it” themselves.

Such a person was one of my, and many other loggers personal heroes. His name was Archie Brunkel. Loggers never got paid by the hour. They got paid by the thousand board feet of lumber that they moved to the mill. The only people that got paid by the hour were the Catskinner, choker setter, and the mechanic. Timber fallers and truck drivers were paid by the thousand. Most timber fallers parlayed their fortune by working hard, fast and long. Truck drivers made their fortune by making as many trips to the mill as they could. If they thought that it was an off-day for “The Gestapo” (CHP) they would haul an overloaded truck load of logs to the mill. Sometimes they would try to sneak a hugely overloaded truck down the highway. Most of the time they would succeed. Sadly, sometimes they lost all their profit in overload fines.

Some of the truckers were good mechanics, so they would build their logging trucks themselves out of what ever kind of salvage truck parts that they could find. If they didn't spend a lot on their trucks they made more profit. Sadly the old homemade trucks moved very slowly, or they broke down.

Now, my personal hero, Archie Brunkel had a plan. This was just after the World War Two, and many things were available military surplus. He was a cracker-jack mechanic and he knew every part that worked good on a truck, and every part that didn't. He knew that Mack Bogie rear-ends were the only rear axle differential that would hold up to high power and steep hills. They were thought of as bullet-proof by the loggers. He had an old truck that he put these rear ends in. He had a tough transmission, and here was his plan to get more logs to the mill. ---He would buy the biggest, most powerful motor that he could find, and put in his truck---. He went shopping for an Army Surplus motor. He found two military tank engines made in Cadillac Michigan. They were the biggest gas engines that I've ever seen. I only vaguely remember them. The one thing that I remember is that they had three 4 barrel carburetors across the top of the engine. He had two of the carburetor linkages disconnected and he ran it on just one carburetor, because he said that it would use too much gas and tear things up too bad.

The big engine was in a vee shape and stuck out both sides of the hood. He had a radiator off of a bulldozer. He always made more trips to the mill than anyone else, but he only fooled himself, because the extra money he made was used up in gasoline expenses. He only got two miles to the gallon.

I don't ever remember that truck going by without everybody on the street stopping and staring. No conversation took place until it was around the bend. There was not a muffler big enough for it, so he ran the exhaust through a big tank in the back. I think that it only made the truck louder. He went up the hills in the same gear that he did the flats.

The last I remenber the truck being used was when I was in high school in Miranda. When the truck went by, the windows shook so bad that we thought that they might break.

I don't know what ever happened to Archie, but he sold his truck to a fellow that ran into another truck with it. One of the engines that Archie bought is still in a shed in Briceland. I asked the owner if I could get a picture of it, and he said; “Sure, it might take a while to dig back to it, but I'll let you know when I do”. That was a while back.

Everybody's got to have their heroes, Archie Brunkel was one of mine.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The world is ending tomorrow!

Or: "I've discovered the ememy, it is us!"

Human body heat equals 182,500 BTUs per year.
Standard heat load calculation tables tell you to allow 500 B.T.U.s per day, per person, in a building occupation heat load. So, if a human gives off 500 B.T.U.s per day, they will give off 182,500 B.T.U.s per year.

6.8 billion people on the earth.
If there are 6.8 billion people in the world, (there are!) that would be 1,241,000 billion B.T.U.’s per year in human occupation load. Or 1.241 Quadrillion B.T.U.s.

Human body heat melts 4.31 billion tons of ice per year.
I takes 144 B.T.U.s to melt a pound of ice. I'll skip through all of the calculations, because if you really cared, you would have already calculated this out. There are enough humans on the eath to melt 4.31billion tons of ice with body heat alone.

That's a lot of Polar Bears.
How many Polar Bears can float on 4.31 billion tons of ice??? That's per YEAR.

Now sadly, that is not the only warming that humans do. Other things that they do to contribute to keeping the globe warm is: Most of them have heated houses, cars that take them hither and yon, heated swimming pools. They uses tons of energy that is wasted as heat. It soon becomes appearent that humans are a real problem on this Earth.

Earth is a big place, and we are such small people.
Fortunately the Earth is a large dynamic, many things also serve to cool the Earth. The Earth radiates heat back out into space. Much like when you stand in front of a heater, you feel the heat radiating toward you, only the heat from Earth radiates into outer space. Gone forever, never to return. There is nothing out there to reflect it back once it leaves our atmosphere. Our Earth would get mighty chilly if it weren't for the Sun shining on us. The sun is the only thing that keeps us warm. All of our energy comes from the sun. Our days are shorter in the winter, and we get colder, because we have less Sun.

Co2 blocks the Sun from coming to Earth, and it also blocks the heat from radiating back out. It has some effect, but not as much as dust in our atmosphere. Back in 1991, when Mount Pinatubo erupted, the summers got cooler and the winters got warmer. The good news is most of us lived through it.

Here is a little "Climate change graphic that you can play around with. just to see if you can kill the world with Co2.
Climate change model graphic

Global warming conference in Copenhagan.
The Copenhagen Climate Conference will be using 140 private aircraft, and 1,200 limos. There is such a shortage of limos that they are driving them in from other European countries. They will be using so much fuel during the conference that they will equal the Co2 output of Middlesbrough UK. The good news is that the prostitutes are offering free sex to anyone carrying a climate conference pass. It seems to strongly imply that someone is going to get screwed.

Why not just send emails? Oh that’s right, they are too easily intercepted. Al Gore should have worked on that when he invented the Internet. (Joke) It seems like even the best plan has it’s flaws.

This isn't the first time that the world has ended.
In 1798 Thomas Malthus incorrectly predicted that population growth would outrun food supply by the mid 19th century. In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich reprised this argument in The Population Bomb, predicting famine in the 1970s and 1980s. The dire predictions of Ehrlich and other neo-Malthusians were vigorously challenged by a number of economists, notably Julian Lincoln Simon. Agricultural research already under way, such as the green revolution, led to dramatic improvements in crop yields. Food production has kept pace with population growth, but Malthusians point out the green revolution relies heavily on petroleum-based fertilizers, and that many crops have become so genetically uniform that a crop failure would be very widespread. Food prices in the early 21st century are rising sharply on a global scale, and causing serious malnutrition to spread widely.

Too many people anyway.
I really don't like to complain about things without offering a solution. Throughout history it has been obvious that all of the worlds problems have been caused by the fact that there are just too many people on this small little Earth. So, I'm making a survey to find how many people are willing to get off. I pass....


Sunday, December 6, 2009


I got up this morning, built the fire, made my wife and I a cup of coffee. Made some bacon eggs and pancakes for breakfast. I checked outside to see what the weather was doing. The sun was shining brightly, it was 30 degrees with frost on the ground. I knew that we had a special fire drill at 9:00 AM, so I was pleased to see the Sun. I turned on the news while I was getting ready to go to the drill. I started to go out the door and the air was filled with the lightest, fluffiest, airy snowflakes that I've ever seen. They were coming down in exceptionally slow motion.

On my way the the truck I came upon a spider web strung from my truck to the house. The web had collected a chain of the little fluffy snowflakes. Like mother nature saying “Do not pass”. I hesitated, then moved on. I had a little trouble destroying the beauty of the moment, but like so many of the wonders of nature, I realized that it was a fleeting moment, and would soon pass all on it's own.

We drilled on fire suppressant foam application and I came back home about noon. I fixed the kitchen faucet while my wife worked in “her hobby room” downstairs. About 3:00 PM, it started snowing again. It was a real light airy hail. Not the rattling bouncy kind, but the stuff that makes a hissing noise as it lands. My wife, and old snow skier, calls it “Corn Snow”. We had about ½” of it and it stuck real good. Now it looks like it's going to freeze tonight.

If you are going anywhere be careful, it might be slippery.

Did it snow where you are?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

School project

I openned my email last night and found this note there. I really don't know the right answer, so I thought that I'd ask my blogger buddies to respond.

Dear Ernie,
I am 6 and 1/2 years old. My name is (Withheld). My mamma is typing for
 me while I talk.
 I found some arrow heads on the top of Pratt Mountain.
 My Daddy was able to go there because he knows someone who has land
 Ernie, I am really into arrow heads and I was wondering if you could
 give us information about the Indians that made the arrow heads on the
 top of Pratt Mountain or if you could tell us how to find that
 I found a "scraper" and 2 spears that they were making but didn't
 finish and I found a little white one that looks like a really sharp
christmas tree.
I want to do a presentation for my class on spears and where they came
 Please write me back. This is my mammas email.

 Thank You.
(Name withheld)
 (and his mamma)

Dear (Name witheld)

First, I'm sorry that it took so long to get back to you. I have had many things to deal with lately. If you are anything like me, you must be getting very annoyed by now.

Pratt Mountain is at the point that four different tribes joined. But, rather than me guessing, I’m going to post it here on my blog. I have many friends that are students of the local Indian tribes. I’ll ask if anybody knows, or has an opinion.

Thanks for writing
P.S. If you want to find arrowheads, ridgetops are a good place to look for them. The soils don't collect over them, but washes away, leaving them expossed. Fields where Indians were known to camp is another good spot. Watch the gopher and squirrel mounds. After a rain they will show up because the arrowheads are made out of glassy rock that will sparkle in the sun. Check after a field has been plowed. Then check the field again after a rain. The bottom of drywash creeks are also a good spot to find arrowheads.
There are thousands of arrowheads still undiscovered. The Indian People made them in great numbers.
The Four tribes that joined at Pratt Mountain were the Nongatl, the Lassic. the Shelter Cove Sinkyone, and the Matole Wailaki. But... I am no expert. I am just a person that is interested in everything about the South Fork of the Eel river and the surrounding areas.

Please help us on this school project.

Found in Humboldt Ca. but not Pratt Mountain.


Monday, November 30, 2009

South Fork of the Eel mussels.

The Top three photo's are what I call the Eel River Papershell Clam. (anodonta californiensis)

I was talking to a young friend of mine today about the terrible load of gravel in the South Fork of the Eel River. I explained to him what the river used to look like before the '55 and the '64 floods. He is a person that is very familiar with the course that the river used to take in the area of Tooby Park. He told me that he has a photograph taken from the air of that area from the 1940's. He said that it showed the huge whirlpool that was just above the bridge that goes to the airport. He was impressed by the size of it. I told him that in the summertime we used to jump off the rock bluff just west of the bridge into the hole, and that nobody could dive to the bottom of it. He said that he had heard many stories about how deep it was. I told him that the flat piece of concrete under the bridge is where they used to bolt the community diving board. He didn't know that. As I went on talking to him I began to realize that, as much as he knew about the river, and where it used to run, he didn't really know much about what the flora and fauna of the river used to be like.

My friends and I used to call the big whirlpool “The Lorelei”, after the legend about the ship eating whirlpool on the Rhine called the Lorelei. ”Lorelei rock, the point where the gorge is at its deepest and the Rhine at its most treacherous - the rock and attendant whirlpools claimed the lives of many a sailor in days gone by” We used to wonder if any boats ever got sucked into it.

In the winter when the water was high and treacherous, we would walk out on the bridge and watch the logs coming down the river get sucked into it. They wouldn't spit back out again until just in front of the rapids that were beside Tooby Park. The logs would swirl around the edge of the whirlpool a few times, then they would up-end with one end straight in the air, and slowly be pulled under. When they popped back up again downstream, they usually came up at an angle like a whale breaching.

The whole summer of 1955, when I was ten years old, I lived in the stretch of river below Garberville. So I was very familiar with the river before the '55 flood. I told my friend about the top ten or twelve feet of water being warm, and in the bottom of the holes the water was icy and still. We would imagine that there were monsters down there. It took a great amount of courage to dive to the bottom of some of the holes. Those of us that swam in the main Eel River by Alderpoint, or Fort Seward, had seen twelve foot “Monster Fish at the bottom of the holes. Fish that we were not sure whether they were fish or alligators. Kids can scare the hell out of themselves with just a small amount of imagination. The “monster fish” were green sturgeon that used to be here in great abundance, in the main Eel river, when the holes were deep and cold.

I told him about the abundance of trout and fish that lived at the bottom of the warm water, right at top edge of the cold water. I told him about the great abundance of fresh water that welled up as a spring that came out from under the Redwood grove just east of Tooby Park. Large schools of fish lived in that spot, the water swirled, and so did the fish, they moved around at all levels like you might see in an aquarium. I would spend hours as a kid watching the fish and trying to imagine what kind of fish that they would grow up to be. The fish were steelhead, silver salmon, king salmon and several kinds of trout that the Old German immigrants had planted. It was hard for me to tell them apart, but there was a great variety of fish.

Along the banks, and under the large car size boulders that were in the river, you could find small catfish that we called “bullheads”. Some of the banks of the river were undercut. The roots of willows and other shrubs held onto the surface soil and the river would undercut small caverns into the banks most of these places would have Sucker Fish in them. We would use homemade broomstick spears to spear them and throw them onto the bank. The game warden would say that it was alright to spear the suckers, but to leave the other fish alone.

When we got tired of “exploring the river” we would go back to the swimming hole and let the girls flirt with us. The area under the bridge was a popular spot in the summertime. Most of the kids from town would be down there, and a lot of families would eat a picnic dinner down there. The Chamber of Commerce would build a barrel and board raft every year, and anchor in in the swimming hole. The girls would usually take over the raft for sunbathing. No boys allowed! It was the legendary “Old Swimming Hole”.

The sandy edge of the swimming hole was teeming with baby Eels. If you took both hands and scooped up the silt, just under the water, it would be filled with baby eels about three inches long. They were great for chasing the girls with. We would look for the tell-tale signs of a crawdad. They burrow in around the edges of rocks near the edge of the river banks. You can tell because the mud looks freshly moved. We used to use raw chicken liver to lure them out. If you were incredibly fast, you could catch then with your hands. They were great for chasing the girls also.

When I got around to telling him about the fresh water clams and mussels, he was surprised. He had never heard of fresh water mussels in the river. Then of course I was shocked that he hadn't heard of them. They were important to the local Indians. They used the shells for spoons, scoops, scrapers and jewelry, and just about anything else that you might imagine. They made great buttons. The mussels are very long lived. Some live to be fifty years old, some as old as one-hundred years. They are filter feeders and live off the crap that settles to the bottom. You can find them along the edge of the river in the muck in between the roots of the willow banks, or in the front edge of a riffle, were the muck of the river bottom starts to turn to the rock and gravel of the riffle. They are usually about two inches long. They are hard to see, they look just like the other muck on the bottom. But if you look carefully you can see their clean lips. Most of then will come loose with just your hands.

How do they move upstream you ask??? Good question, but the answer is even more ingenious. The spawn attaches themselves to the gills of fish. The fish swim around awhile, then the mussels drop off and start a new colony. The mussels can be found far upstream, even in small creeks. They are found in great abundance in the South Fork of the Eel. Laytonville creeks and the headwaters of the South Fork at Branscomb have many Mussels. You can even still find them around here. But you have to know just a little bit about the river.

They are an indicator species. Much can be told about the river from shells, because they live such a long life. I would imagine the the two floods just about wiped them out, so there will not be that many that survived the '64 flood, but some must have survived, because they are still here. I am still surprised what people don't know about the river!

This bottom photo is a Pearl Shell Clam (margaritifera falcata)

Eel River Papershell Clams
Fresh Water Mussles South Fork of the Eel

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paper politics.

I'm not really sure what happened to Humboldt County's once proud paper industry. But it appears to be gone for the foreseeable future. As I was reading about our paper industry, I wondered where our paper now comes from, and why. We don’t seem to be using any less paper than we ever have. How can other parts of the world manufacture paper cheaper than a county that is totally surrounded by woody plants, with a bay, with a deep water port, and with a bizillion acre feet of fresh water. It would seem like if we were to need paper products, that Humboldt County would be the prime location to make the stuff. So why aren’t we?

If I can buy Chinese toilet paper for ten cents a roll, and America toilet for a dollar a roll, it is my job as the supreme ruler and provider and protector of my loving family to buy the cheap stuff. My responsibility stops at my door step. Once we are past the door step, and into the rest of the world, our elected leaders are supposed to protect us from countries that pollute and practice unfair trade. So, why don’t they?

Would we allow a coal fired paper manufacturing plant that drained directly into the ocean with NO environmental controls? With no thoughts about the health or welfare or the workers? Oh, hell no! You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. It just would happen in The United States of America, and especially not in our green by the sea, clean rivers, and pristine forested hillsides of Humboldt County. No-By-God! We will not support pollution in Humboldt county! Why should we, when we can by cheap toilet paper from an off-shore Manufacturer, that pollutes somewhere else. At least it’s not in my back yard.

We are all sold down the river by our politicians, who’s campaigns are financed by the major Wall Street corporations. Most of America is made up of common working people, much like you and I. Most of us are out of work, under-employed or have given up trying to find a job and we are either collecting disability, welfare, or living with our families.

So, where do we start to bring jobs back to America? You and I can’t do it alone. We need to depend on wise management by our country’s leaders. I’m not saying which political party or persuasion is at fault, because they all are. How would we band together as American citizens and do something? As soon as any grassroots movement starts we all pick it apart. Of course there are going to be radicals in any movement, so all anyone has to do to stop the momentum is point out the “nuts”, and it is all over. At what point, and when do we form a group of common folks and move ahead with sending this county in new directions, so we can all earn a living and send our kids to school? And, have a future?

Just so you know that I haven't completely lost my sense of humor, I included below a few things that you can do to get by without imported toilet paper. They are all commonly used practices, or once were:

Prior to toilet paper, these civilizations/classes commonly opted for the following:
- Wealth Romans -Wool, rosewater
- Public Restrooms in Ancient Rome- A sponge soaked in salt water, on the end of a stick
- Wealthy French – lace, wool and hemp; bidet
- Middle Ages – hayballs, a scraper/gompf stick kept in a container in the privy
- Early Americans – rags, newsprint, paper from catalogs, corncobs, and leaves
- Viking Age/England- discarded sheep and lambs wool
- Hawaiians – coconut shells
- Eskimos – snow and Tundra moss
- India – your left hand and water
- Commoners – Defecating in the river is very common
- Sailors from Spain/Portugal – frayed end of an old anchor line
- Medieval Europe- Straw, hay, grass, gompf stick
- United States – Corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalog, mussel shell, newspaper, l eaves, sand
- British Lords – pages from a book
- Elite citizens – Hemp & wool

From "The Toilet Paper Encyclopedia"


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Have a Great(ful) Thanksgiving!

Last night I was shamelessly searching the Internet for a good photo of a turkey to steal and post on my blog. Fairness prevailed and a computer nerd nailed me with a virus. I am just mildly curious, why do some people get such joy out of laying traps that do nothing but ruin someone else's joy? So, in the end, the computer nerd got his/her/its joy by crashing my computer. Its that kinda' like the computer version of the bird flu? Turkey... virus... Get it? Nevermind.

So, as you might guess, I've been running Spybot, AVG, and other Computer program clean up tools, and I am now in better shape, and working better than before. The last laugh is on the computer jerk nerd that set the trap for me. So, that it one of the things that I am thankful for today.

We are busy doing family things today, which includes a trip to Fortuna to have lunch at the care home were my wifes mom is staying because she is now house-bound and can't do a whole Thanksgiving day out and about.

Gotta go! I'm late! Will continue later.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Less Gore

I have been accused of HATEing Al Gore. That came as quite a shock to me, because I don't believe that I openly hate anyone. What I do hate is BAD SCIENCE. I'm fairly naïve so I have a tendency to believe what people tell me. Because I know that I believe most things that I am told, I do what Ronald Regan said to do; “Trust, but verify”. I already know most of what Al Gore is puffing and blowing about, so it comes across as being really bad science to me. The other thing that bothers me, is somebody called me “Professor Ernie”. Like you had to be the head of a college level class room to have common sense. I'm shocked by what some people will believe on faith. People have faith in Al Gore, and they just don't want to take the time to do the science.
Most of the stuff that Al Gore pushes before us is bad science. Part of what bothers me the most is that he never cites studies that have been done, so other scientists can verify the science. Just like his “Hockey Stick Graph” turned out to be phony. I think that most of what he has to say is hockey puckey.

Just like in most cases, I think that his arrogance will bring him down. He is standing on a castle of cards. Soon the science that he based all of his dire predictions on will prove him wrong.
The scientists that said he was wrong lost their funding. I think that they will soon be funded again when it comes to public light that his “Scientists" are using made-up science.
Rose has been working much harder than me at finding his bad science. I recommend reading her blog. Click below:
Rose's Coffee Shop


Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Gore.

First, don't get me wrong, I am not really any fonder of George Bush than I am of Al Gore, but I do find a bit of humor in the both of them. Along with the anguish. George liked to pretend that he really knew what was going on, when sometimes he didn't. You could usually tell when he was uncomfortable in his skin, because he would start using words that didn't fit in his mouth. George was born and raised in Cowboy Country, Texas. They didn't generally use big words there. They are a lot like Italians down there in Texas, they gesture a lot, and used three or four word long, four letter word phrases.

I have a whole lot in common with old George Bush. I was raised using sign language, and used short, small word sentences myself. It's hard to hear over logging Cats and chainsaws, so a person learned how to use fewer words and make yourself real clear without really having to say much. If the cat skinner made a mistake, or wasn’t really paying attention. You could chew him out real good with just a few real good hand signs. With just a few quick hand gestures, you could take the place of several paragraphs, about what you thought about his mother bringing his sorry (posterior) into the world. I’m sorry about coming close to using graphic language, but you can’t talk about logging with out using bad words.

That’s kinda’ like old George finding himself moved out of a Texas cattle ranch into the White House. His old language that he used to speak was just not used in the White House. He was caught up in with a bunch of people that had spent their entire life using big words. And, women that wouldn’t swear even if they broke a nail. So, I figger ole’ George got out his dictionary and started writing down big words with important meanings, that he could use in case he really got cornered on an issue, but sometimes he would just get so frustrated that he would hollar. “bring um on!”

I think that where George Bush lost the American people is where he sold out his “roots”. He tried to talk like a Washington Politician, when he was a Texas cowboy. He tried to cover up the fact that he was from simple roots. Being from simple roots doesn’t mean that you are stupid, but trying to act like you aren’t from simple roots is stupid. Dwight D. Eisenhower always called nuclear “nucular”. Everybody pointed out that he pronounced it wrong, but he never changed, or apologized. Soon most people in the nation pronounced the word as “nucular”. Harry S. Truman was a poor speller, and he used the word ain’t. His only concession to the polite world was that he said “manure”, instead of the word that he would normally use. But, he didn’t sell out on his roots.

I guess what this is all leading up to, is that sometimes you really have to pay attention. Some people use small words but mean what they say. Other people use big important words, but don't really know diddley. I watched a clip of Al gore on Conan O'Brien the other day and I was shocked at his ignorance, which shocked me even more, because I expected Al to be ignorant. I know that most of you are great fans of Al, because you believe what he says. So, I guess that I should ask for forgiveness from the people that dote on Al's words.

If there were two people on this whole Earth that I world never follow, It would have been Gandhi, and now Al gore. If I'm going to stake my life on something, I want it to be based on hard science. I don't think that I could just squat in the road and dare the British to kill us all. Science and history tells me that the British are likely to do that. I think that Gandhi and his people just got lucky, I wouldn't recommend doing it again. Now, we are believing Al Gore! Can you believe that???

Nothing that Al says makes much sense to me, perhaps I read too much. I believe that Al is a charlatan. He knows how to use big words that fool most of us into believing him. First, he went off about the poor Polar Bears running out of ice. Here's a clue for you Al. Polar bears don't eat ice. Being the nice guy that I am, I decided to give Al the benefit of the doubt. The research that I was able to do told me that some Polar Bears groups are increasing in population and some are declining. It seems that food for the bears is in more abundance, because of the global warming, more critters are able to be out and about for the bears to eat. Some groups of bears are in decline because of man infringing on their territory.

There are recent bans for hunting the bears from ice-breaking cruise ships and helicopters. I'm in total agreement with that, somehow it just doesn't seem to be that fair, to cruise in, shoot a bear and go back home to Arizona. I believe that you should have to live in the land of ice and snow and take your chances the the bear might eat YOU before you have the right to kill it. Then, if you kill one, you should eat the whole darn bear, and make your clothes out of its hide. That would seem fair to me. So, I guess that I'll give Al a “bye” on Polar Bear protection. They are an incredibly beautiful creature. So, I guess that it is okay to show the poor Polar Bear swimming in open ocean where the ice used to be. Al and I could just call it a “White Lie” to save the bears.

Next Al says we need windmills, wind powered electric generators and solar panels, electric cars, and hydrogen powered vehicles that only exhaust pure water. Wait a minute! Where is the science there??? Hasn't he heard what a wind turbine does to a chicken hawk? If one flies through the darn things, nothing but feathers come out the other side. The Newcomers call them “Redtail Hawks”, but the reason that I call them Chicken Hawks is because I come from a long line of folks that watched them eat chickens. But, wind turbines have a bad habit of killing birds, and an acceptable level for bird death has not been established. Maybe Al will enlighten us about how many birds is okay to kill before wind turbines are considered to be a hazard. If the turbines were wacking Polar Bears, I'd bet that Al would be having a fit!

Solar panel systems have about a twenty-five year payback on them. So, if you buy them, it will be about twenty-five years before you get your money back. That doesn't cover any interest, maintenance or replacement. Not a very good investment. Oh, but you say that the energy companies will give you a subsidy to install them. How insane is that? They are not practical in the first place, so they allow you a subsidy that is charged to the rate-payers About 1% of our electricity comes from Solar at this point. If the plan was 100% successful, we would be charging ourselves enough to cover the subsidies to pay us to put the in solar panels. My brain hurts! We would never recover the investment. Either that or electricity would cost us about three times what we pay now. But, it's fun to talk about.

I'll skip right through battery powered and hydrogen powered vehicles, because most people have figured out that they are immensely inefficient. It takes way more power to manufacture hydrogen than you will ever get back out of it. Same with charging batteries, you would have to have free electricity to make them practical. Burning coal would be totally out of the question. The smart person would say “Why would we burn twice as much coal to power electric or hydrogen vehicles???” It's a no brainer! I think... Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there with no brain. And if you think dioxin, mercury, and lead are bad for the environment, just imagine if every vehicle had batteries in them. Do you have any idea how toxic vehicle batteries are? When they crash, or go into our rivers and oceans, what happens to all of that pollution. It doesn't just dissipate like petroleum products. The safety standpoint of a battery powered vehicle has not been fully appreciated yet, because not many of them have been involved in crashes. They carry onboard enough power to kill you if you get connected into it. It is an electric system in a metal car. The fire potential is also greater with electric vehicles. Well, that took longer to skip-by than I thought!

Now, what I really want to talk about is Al Gore latest Nobel Prize winning Idea. Geothermal Power. Al has recently discovered Geothermal energy, “a relatively new one”. Humans have used geothermal energy since the beginning of humans, but I guess humans are a relatively new feature on Earth, geothermally speaking. So, Al is suggesting that we tap into it... literally. He says that we should drill down into the Earth a “Couple of Kilometers” and tap into the almost unlimited source of energy. He goes on to say that we have “here in the United States, a thirty-five thousand year supply” of heat. He got that right. Kudos. But, it bothers me when somebody like Al Gore starts bandying words like “Kilometer.” He sounds like a scientist or something. He goes on to talk about “new drill bits” that will take the heat. I fell out of my chair when he said that the center of the Earth is “Several Million Degrees”.... This man just wrote a book on this subject. Shouldn't he know that the center of the earth is four thousand degrees??? He also said that the “crust of the Earth is hot”. Well if you go by the fact that Absolute Zero is four hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit below zero, then the crust of the Earth is “hot”. I always use Fahrenheit temperatures, because I'm not a scientist like Al Gore.

The problem that I have with Geothermal Energy, is that I've read too much about it. Although I firmly believe that Geothermal Energy is in our future, the stuff that we have now is not that great. What Al didn't tell you, is that Geothermal is a sticky wicket. Releasing geothermal steam pressure to the surface of the Earth comes with enormous pollution. The water in the Earth “two kilometers down” is under tremendous heat and pressure. Water is a great solvent at standard temperature and pressure, but down there it is a super solvent. It dissolves sulfur, mercury, iron, calcium, and other minerals that readily precipitate at the surface of the earth. They routinely have to shut down the geothermal plants for cleaning. Getting rid of the pollutants is a major project. If Geothermal was the complete source of our energy. It is not certain that we would be able to deal with all of the left-over polluting solids. A method of bringing the heat to the surface and leaving the rest down there is the only good answer, but as of now, that is NOT the case.
Can we noninate Al Gore for a new Nobel Prize? What should it be in? Greed avarice, stupidity....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The way it used to be.

Welcome to my blog, drag up a chair and make yourself comfortable.

A lady that I knew, once upon a time, found my blog while she was looking for some other information. I guess that you could call that serendipity. At least I call it serendipity. It gave me the good fortune to remember many people, places, and things that I haven't thought of in years. I haven't seen her in many years. (that I know of)

She emailed me, and the way she introduced herself seriously reminded me of the days of my youth. Back then, when you met somebody, you would give them your complete genealogy. Usually you found out that you had a common friend or ancestor somewhere. Back before about 1968, people didn't move around that much. Most of the people here had families that easily went back to the 1800's. If you had shown up later than that, chances are that your family had married in to some of the local families, so you always gave your pedigree. It really was like a big family around here.

As kids we hiked and played on the hills and canyons around town. If we got tired of hiking or digging fossils, we would go to the river and go swimming. Nobody worried to much about trespassing, we just went where we wanted to. If a rancher ran into us, we just told him who we were, or reminded him that we had asked for permission to be on his ranch. As kids we were even allowed to pack guns and kill squirrels. It was pretty normal for a kid to have a 22-caliber rifle. The ranchers liked getting rid of the squirrels, so it was a symbiotic relationship.

Like I said, it was a lot like one big family. That must be really hard for the people that live here now to understand or relate to. Now, you don't dare step foot off of your own property. The hills are guarded by land owners that are totally paranoid. The canyons are filled with society's low income tourists. They crap anywhere, and there are needles laying around. The river has so much fertilizer in it from the "medicine grows" that the Blue-Green Algae blooms in early summer. Dogs can't drink the water anymore, and kids can't swim in it.

So, it was fun for me to take a trip back in time with her introduction of herself. I included it below for your perusal. She gave me her permission:
I was doing research "Larry Brown" and ended up on your blog. I remember Larry having a racoon.. Larry had a friend named Bud Miller, a Calif. Highway Patrolmen. He was my uncle. My father's name was Keith Wymer. He married Marian, Uncle Bud's sister. (Bud is a step uncle). Dad's mother, my grandmother was Ruby Blank. Ruby Valley, outside of Redway, was named for her. My step grandfather , Charlie Blank, worked at the "mill" near Briceland and lost his fingers to it. I have Grampa's 22 rifle that we used to go squirrel plinking with. Grampa Charlie taught me how to fish in that little stream under the bridge there in Ruby Valley and he would build a raft for us kids every year to play on and every winter, it would end up lost to a flood. Picked many a blackberry with Grama along that creek and picked huckleberries in the hills. Grama would make a little pot pie for each of us kids with our initial on the crust and we would pig out with a big scoop of ice cream!! Grama Ruby died in a car accident on the bridge just west of Redway. She drove off the bridge when it was under reconstruction from the floods. The Redwood Record, was of course, owned by my grandparents, Pappy and Francis Miller. Great memories in the print shop. Had to pass it on the way home from school and we were always welcome to help Grama out... Do you remember a Melvin Green? (she later remembered that it was Sid Green) He was a pilot in those days. He was a relative on Grama's side. Also, Ruth Burgess was my Great aunt as Fred Burgess was my uncle. My step sister is Mary Hurlbutt, daughter to Fred, who owned the water system supplying Garberville. So hence, I know Jim Johnson and Marie. That Marie is still a go getter!!! An absolutely adorable woman. And then there were the floods of 1955... OMG. How Garberville was landlocked. Marian would bake bread and Dad and us kids ate it before it was even cool!!! Can't justify any savings there!! And then we would be out till our alloted ration came up again when they dropped food into town by plane or something.... In the winter season, after my Dad got on with the CalTrans, he would sneak me into his truck and I would go with him to patrol for slides during the night hours... The first time, I about jumped out the window when he dropped the front blade to scrape gravel from the road at 35 mph... Dad just laughed.... I had a friend named Diana French. Her folks had a sheep ranch somewhere out that direction and I would go with her on weekends to help capture and shear the sheep.... Just thought I would say hello to you... I vaguely remember your name.... I went to South Fork High School about 1963 to 66. Known as Kay Wymer at that time... Feel free to use any of this if you wish... thanks for the memories!!! Always, Kay

She followed her first post with this:
I have just been browsing.. I used to live at Benbow ..about 1962 or so.. maybe earlier. Our house was along Highway 101, north of Benbow, going up the hill toward Garberville on the right side. It burned down one summer, I think in 1962 or 63. Used to take a school bus to South Fork High School. I had a step grandfather named Bob Welch that drove the school bus and on stormy days, he would pick us two kids up at the house instead of the designated bus stop (rules were made to break!) down the rode so we wouldn't have to brave the weather. We were spoiled by him. I used to walk down Hiway 101 (wouldn't dare do that today!) to Benbow Lake and watch the ski boats in the summer to pass the time.

Followed by this:
I was thinking... the pilot was Sid Green, not Melvin..... I remember the Brass Rail..... my Dad and stepmother, Marian, would go to dinner there sometimes. Was nothing for Marian to sew a dress in one day and wear it that night. She would inevitably be invited to sing a song at the Rail.. she had an awesome voice!!

Followed by this after she read my post on “Vehicle over the Bank” About the two kids that went over the Garberville bluff:
Wow, does that jangle some memory banks! Those guys were so lucky.. I have memory of my mother and I sitting at a stop sign on Locust St waiting to enter the main drag. We hear this funny noise, which we learned later, to be an air horn out of air. People were waving us not to go!! A few seconds later, a big crane went whizzing by us and headed straight for that bluff on the north side of town. He went over!!! I was so shook up about it, I started to cry (I think I was about 10 or 12 years old). A big mushroom cloud rose from the bluff like a hydrogen bomb.We learned later that the man's brakes had gone out on the South side of town, he rode the crane all the way through town in hopes of keeping it from killing someone and at the end, he jumped before it went over and survived with a broken leg. This was about 1961 or 62... Thanks for posting your information. That bluff will always have a bad memory for me... And those two young men, I am sure.

I know that I'm going to be boring a bunch of you, but those that want to follow all of the comments are going to learn a lot of Garberville history back in the 50's and 60's.

I replied:
Thank-you for your permission to post this stuff. Please join in in the comments box. I think that you are going to find many people that remember you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lou Dobbs

Okay, I'll be the first to ask... What's up with Lou Dobbs?

Another defection to Fox News?

Lou Dobbs' farewell statement:
"I truly believe that the major issues of our time include — the growth of our middle-class, the creation of more jobs, health care, immigration policy, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But each of those issues is, in my opinion, informed by our capacity to demonstrate strong resilience of our now weakened capitalist economy and demonstrate the political will to overcome the lack of true representation in Washington, D.C."

I always liked Lou Dobbs. I think that he always gave his honest analysis of the news. Is the news service getting so political that they can't allow a person with opinions?

Down here on the man-on-the-street level, opinions differ from what you hear on the news anyway. Have you ever noticed that? If you ask the average person what's wrong with America. The first thing out of their mouths is going to be that people need good jobs. But, you don't hear that from our politicians. Are they just not listening? Are they trying to avoid the subject? Or are they sold out to Wall Street and afraid to say anything, because they know who owns them.

I am capitalist, and strongly believe in the capitalist system. The problem is that the capitalist system has been hijacked by white collar thuggery. Not so many years ago our government controlled the corporations. There was anti-trust laws, and anti-monopoly laws. Corporations were not allowed to take over whole industries like the oil companies have done. They weren't allowed to sell our jobs offshore, unless we were getting a fair return or a fair balance of trade. I thought I heard Obama saying some of that kind of stuff on the election trail, and it was encouraging. But he no more stepped foot in the office of the President and he bailed out the insurance companies, the banks, and... Oh yeah, Wall Street. Detroit is still without jobs. Did he forget his promises?

Don't they teach our kids in school anything about ethics and fairness? I think that our kids really don't know that money doesn't grow on trees.

I think that Lou Dobbs understood that Wall Street was selling America offshore, while they put a dime out of every dollar that left the country in their pockets. It might be great for the Wall Street investors, but when the money is all gone, there won't be any money for anybody. That is why the greed is so pervasive now. It's like a fire sale of America. Everybody is trying to cash in while they can.

America can not build any wealth until everybody has a job and the money starts staying here.

It will be interesting to see what Lou Dobbs has to say now that he won't have CNN puling his strings. Any ideas??? Do you think that he will fight for America? Or sell out to the crooks and thugs on Wall Street?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Global warming solidly linked to Christianity!

As everybody knows, Al Gore is In San Fransisco promoting his new book on global warming. Myself, being a person that is seriously concerned about global warming and rising sea levels, I decided to look into it myself, just to see if I could help Al out. I've been indebted to Al ever since he invented the Internet. I'm immensity proud that I can now use his medium to promote his cause.

In my search back to check on rising sea levels I was shocked to find that sea levels were flat stable before Christ was born. The levels were just over 120 feet lower than they are today. My first thought was uh-oh, somebody's been Bad! I wondered if there could be some kind of correlation between the Birth of Christ and the rising sea. Being a student of history, I followed the rising sea level from the birth of Christ up though the years. I checked to see there was a correlation to the significant stages in Christianity. Wow! At the birth of Christ, God had already started raising sea levels in anticipation. Then at Christ's birth the sea started rising rapidly. Then when he walked on water, you can see in the chart that there was anther sharp blip.

The Crusades caused a sharp upturn because of all of the Christian activity. There was such holy fervor during the First Crusades that the sea went through a period of rapid warming. You can clearly see that sea-melt at the point “Melt water Pulse 'A'” Then, when the First Crusade was over, The was a flattening of the graph line. During the period of relative Christian inactivity.

The first Crusade was followed by another crusade, because the Muslims were trying to practice their own religion and The Pope at the time didn't like that. The Pope must have been a lot like George Bush because he thought that it was necessary to send Christian Knights to the Holy Land to fight for Christianity. You can see the second surge just above the flat period after the First Crusade. When that crusade was over, the sea level rise flat lined again. Then the Third crusade cause another rise. That rise continued clear up until Martin Luther decided that the Catholic Church had too much power and decided to take some away from it. The decline of pure Christianity reduced the rise in sea level. Indeed, it almost flat lined until the present day. The Christians haven't even burned anybody at the stake lately. No wonder the sea level rise has slowed down.

Now Al Gore is in San Fransisco selling books and windmills. How Ironic is that that my “Ol Buddy Al” would be selling something Wind Powered... He said that he has done quite well cashing-in by putting his money where his mouth is. Hmmmm... I'd bet that there is some potential there for me also...

But anyway it's my opinion that if he wants to keep cashing in, he's going to have to bring back the Christian Fervor, like they had in the Crusades. He needs to get himself a Revival Tent and have a good old "Brother Al Traveling Salvation Show”.

To Anon. This whole post is not real. I don't think that Christ really caused the rise in sea level. The chart is off by a factor of ten. It was just too much fun to relate it to Christianity. The only thing that is real is the chart. The sea really was 120 meters (390 feet) lower 20,000 years ago. Go figur'

Sea level change for the last 8 thousand years.

The Earth had no ice 120,000 years ago and the sea level was higher than today.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Universal Refrigeration Care.

Universal Refrigeration Care.
Now that we almost have Universal Health Care out of the way, I think that it is time to broach the subject of Universal Refrigeration Care. The time is right! I know that not all the bugs have been ironed out of the health care plan yet, but if I wait, who knows, somebody else might come up with a bail-out plan for their own pet cause, and squeeze refrigeration care out of the picture. Those darn auto mechanics are always looking for ways to cash in, and the cash for clunkers deal seriously helped Japans economy. So, I'm not waiting. This is my plan:

As you know, some people live on the street and don't have access to cold beer. You've heard me say it before, but warm beer is the only thing that I accept as a true refrigeration emergency. If the ice-cream freezer fails, the ice-cream is already ruined. The most that you can do is make milkshakes. It will never be good ice-cream again. Fish can't be refrozen because it gets mushy. There is nothing yuckier than mushy fish. Milk spoils if it gets warm, and has to be thrown out. But beer... You can re-chill beer and everything is fine again. Yes... just crank up the polka music and life is good.

Destitute mothers can get free milk for their babies through the Mothers With Infant Children plan, but if they don't have anyplace to keep it cold, the milk could spoil. There should be no child out there without access to fresh cold milk. Think about it. Refrigeration is probably more important for the health of our nation than medical care.

Refrigerators should be made available to anyone. We could implement the plan just like “Cash For Clunkers”. That way, everybody could get new refrigeration, and we would be helping Brazil's economy at the same time, because most refrigeration is made in Brazil now. You could take any refrigerator in for a trade in, you could even pull one out of the dump. That way everybody could qualify. You would get $47.00 trade-in whether it worked or not. The only catch is, you would have to prove that you didn't steal it.

The very poor people that don't qualify for the new refrigerators, or can't afford them, could get one free from the utility companies as part of their energy saver program. All of the new refrigerators would have an American flag on them so you could feel patriotic. Or, if you aren't into flags, you could get one with my very own symbol on it. (My plan will be revealed later in the post) Over all, everybody could have a new refrigerator. I'm already feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

The cost to everybody would be less than $50.00 per person. But, everybody should be able to afford $50.00 dollars. After all we are the richest nation on the face of the Earth... Or, at least we were a few short years ago, and we are still coasting good, and there is still some “Fat of The Land” out there. We should tap into it now before Wall Street ships it all off to China.

Some refrigeration failures can be catastrophic, so we should all be able to take out Refrigeration insurance to cover those catastrophes. To make sure that those insurance companies treat us fairly, there should be a “Public Option” where anybody that chose to, could buy insurance from the government. The Government running a private business like an insurance provider shouldn't cost us much. Besides, the money we save by keeping our refrigeration in good running order should more that offset the additional costs.

Just to make sure that Refrigeration Care is implemented fairly. Anybody who doesn't agree to pay their share will be fined $250,00.00 or do a year in jail. That will discourage the slackers.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. My dad always said that “if you can't beat them, join them, and beat them at their own game.” Dad was smart like that, but it takes me awhile to catch on. Now that I've thought of this, I can't wait to get started. First, I'll have to run for President. If elected, I promise everyone will have Universal Refrigeration Care. It's the only fair minded solution for poor refrigeration care!

I will need a slogan for my administration, but I will need something that will catch on. Any Ideas???

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stuck in Iberia...

Photo of Monarch Butterfly from Wikipedia.

As I have often said before, I suffer just a little bit from attention deficit syndrome. I suspect that we all do to a degree, It’s just that I enjoy my distractions so much that I can’t resist them. I’m very likely to be in the middle of a conversation about brain surgery and be distracted by a beautiful butterfly flitting by. My thoughts will be immediately grabbed by the beautiful butterfly, but the person that I was talking to will be annoyed because I dropped the conversation. I will be surprised that the person that I was talking to doesn’t seem to appreciate that we can always come back to what we were talking about, but the beauty and grace of the butterfly can only be enjoyed in the moment, because it will soon be gone.

I think that the name “Attention Deficit Syndrome” should be changed to “Attention Over Abundance Syndrome”. It used to embarrass me that I am so easily distracted, but now, I just enjoy it. Life to me is like exploring a new trail every day. I’m often shocked that I will notice things going on around me that nobody else notices. I wonder how they can get through life without the peripheral vision that I seem to have. I’m always noticing things around me, while others seem, to me, to be dangerously focused on what they are doing. For crumb sakes, Godzilla could sneak up on them and eat them it one big swallow. Not me… I would notice Godzilla sneaking up on me in a heartbeat.

You probably wonder by now where this is all going. A few posts ago, I started to set the stage for explaining why the New World explorers were so heartless and brutal. Knowing very little about psychology, I get in trouble by knowing just a little about it. I know that people with brutal upbringing have a tendency to be brutal themselves. By extension, I extrapolated that would be true of any whole groups of people. So, I decided to look into the history of Christopher Columbus, and the Conquistadors. Just so all of the anal-retentive types out there know. I understand that Christopher Columbus was not the first to discover America… I know that! It’s just that he was the most important person to discover America, from the era of 1492 until the present. Sheeeeeesh.

But, I thought that I could show everybody what a brutal part of the world that the Conquistadors came from, and then you would be overcome with understanding, that the brutality that they showed in the New World was simply because, that was the way they were raised, and that is the only way of life that they understood. I wanted to talk about burning people at the stake. Pulling people apart while still alive on “Racks”. Using every means of torture that they could devise to kill off heretics, just to convert people to Christianity. I wanted to show everybody that Spain had just gotten their land back from the evil invading Moors. That they were tough fighting people that used violence to survive.

I soon learned that much of history was lost through the Christians having destroyed any record that did not agree with the teachings of the Pope and the Christian Church. So, I poked around to see what else I could learn about that part of history before Columbus came to America. That’s when a Beautiful butterfly flew past me, a butterfly by the name of “Spanish History”.

There is lots of history available from 1492 back into 711, when the Moors invaded the Iberian peninsula (Spain). I discovered that much of the reason that there was no recorded history before the Moors invaded, is because the Muslim Moors are the ones that brought the “Three R’s” to Iberia. They brought recorded history to a new world that was previously unsophisticated and uneducated. They brought light to the Iberian Peninsula. All religions and races were allowed to live together in “peace” up until the “Reconquista”, where the Christians, in the space of about 600 years, were able to eventually drive the Moors back out of Iberia. Coincidentally, that happened the year that Christopher Columbus, an Italian navigator, was given three ships by Queen Isabella and king Ferdinand the III to find a new spice route to China. The buildings, castles, and palaces were intricately and beautifully built, with elaborate fountains and gardens. Structures were built that still exist today. Buildings gardens and Architecture that would be hard to duplicate, even with today’s technology. The Spanish butterfly was beautiful beyond what I had expected.

Most of you know that we “Attention Deficit Types” can’t resist playing “What If”. When I’m not playing “What if” or “look at the beautiful Butterfly”, I’m in my imaginary world of make-believe. Anybody who has ever read “The Life and Times of Walter Mitty” will know exactly what I mean. My Imaginary world of Walter Mitty got tangled up with my What if world recently, and I imagined myself as being Christopher Columbus. First Christopher was not all that smart. (Which I can identify with) He was Italian, but the Italians didn’t want anything to do with him because he went around proclaiming that the world was round. Any fool back then knew that the world was flat. Flat! The Pope said it was flat, so it was flat. If you didn’t want to be burned at the stake you didn’t go around arguing with the Pope. The world was flat.

Chris needed to get financing to buy himself some ships to find a new route to china. Chris saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere with the Pope so he went to see Queen Isabella in Spain. Spain was just ending a “surge” to get rid of the Moors. Isabella was feeling the pinch of the very expensive war, but she finally got rid of the heretic Muslims. Now, she needed some income. She reckoned that a new and direct route to the Orient would bring her some wealth from the spice trade. Chris was too dumb to know it, but the ships that she gave him were too small to make a transatlantic crossing. They were too small and way under stocked with food and fresh water. They had to depend on catching a few fish along the way. The boats wouldn’t even qualify for the Cash For Clunkers program today. But Chris was able to make some valid points for the world being round, and Queen Isabella’s greed was boundless, so she gave him some ships, with the of chance that she might cash-in. It was what, in today’s world, would be called a long shot.
So, when I Imagined myself as Christopher Columbus, and I started to step onto the deck of my command ship. My first thought, (even as dumb as I am) would have been “How far around is this world”. If it’s a million miles in diameter, I’m not going to be able to make it to China. Hmmmm…..

Even though Chris was able to prove to Queen Isabella that the world was round, he used new math to prove it. He used a lot of talk like; “Pi times R squared equals the radius of the diameter, and that proves that China is just off of our coast to the west.” I know how that kind of talk often charms people into agreeing with me, but when I boarded my ship I’m sure I would have gone over my calculations.

If I was staking my life, and the life of my crew, on something, I’m sure that I would be dead sure that my figures were right before I lifted anchor and sailed west to China. But, not old Chris. He just said a prayer for God to guide him to China, lifted anchor and sailed away. He was just happy that the world was round. My brain would be screaming ; “HOW round??” I would have had charts and cardboard cut-outs. Stakes driven in the ground with yarn (don’t call it string!) stretched between them. I would have run sand through hour glasses, charted the movement of the sun, and come up with the real diameter of the Earth before I even thought of lifting my anchor. Believe me, when it becomes reality time, and my life is at stake, you would be surprised how smart I can become.

They say that God protects damn fools and drunks, so that’s what must have happened to Chris, because he sure the Hell didn’t know what he was doing. He could tell from the position of the Sun, Moon and stars that he had been blown way south of where he should have been. So when he found land and saw the color of the brown people, he just thought that he missed China and was blown clear down to India. Lucky for him that there was land in the West Indies where he landed. It was far less than halfway to China. If he hadn’t been dumb, stupid, idiotically and foolishly lucky, he would have simply perished in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t have a clue that there was a New World in his way, and that he was nowhere near to China!

So, the Idiot that found and “Discovered” the New World was just lucky! But, he went down in history as being a “Great Navigator”. See, that’s where I come back out of my Walter Mitty World and back into the real world… My luck never works that well. That is MY reality!

So, with the way my research has been working, we’ll probably linger a while longer in Iberia… Hey, look... a butterfly!