Saturday, October 17, 2009

Update on the Cormorants.

A quick update on the "Cormorant Invasion". As we peer through the thick sheets of rain drifting across The Lake we can see a new Cormorant landing every minute or so. With groups of them spread out all over The Lake I now estimate their numbers at 50 to 100. They are a sight indeed as flotilla's of them cover every corner of The Lake. It is fascinating to see them as they cruise by, seemingly excited as they dive and pop up then dive again. I don't know if they are catching anything or the huge number of dives they are making are because they are not making any catches. Interesting. Well we are heading out into this mess now to visit friends.

I was wondering .. . .

. . . . the other day, why very few people leave a comment on my Blog, so I asked a friend who has left comments on occasion and he said, and I quote, "It's because you have to be smart to leave a comment."
So I checked it out. After checking it out, I discovered that you do indeed have to be at least marginally intelligent to leave a comment. No comment. (Incidentally, a friends 8 year was able to leave a comment!)

The Cormorants have arrived!

There has been a lone Cormorant checking out The Lake for the last week or so. I thought we might escape the huge influx of them that we had this Spring and last Fall, but looking out just a few minutes ago through the windows blurred by rain we saw about 30 to 50 of them right outside the house, just beyond our pier. I guessed at 30 to 50 because it is impossible to count them, they are in a constant state of flux as they are all diving and coming back up again in a constant round of excited gusto. There is absolutely no attempt by them at being tidy, they just go down and come up without even trying to be neat and tidy so that I can count them! How thoughtless of them. They have no consideration of my helplessness as I try in vain to get some kind of accurate count. But I'm afraid the 30 to 50 is the best that I can do for now. I seem to remember in the Spring that I had days when 50 to 100 was the best that I could do. If the number of fish that I have been able to catch in the last few weeks is anything to go by, they will all be gone by the end of the day!
The rain continues to fall, it began early in the afternoon of last Wednesday and has not stopped at all since. Our neighbor Christine informed me solemnly that, "It is a Nor'easter, and they always last for 3 days." When I called her today to tell her that she must be mistaken and that Nor'easters must last 4 or even 5 days she quite blithely said, "It must be two Nor'easters back to back!" Unlike me, some people think very quickly, or perhaps she is right. Who knows. Anyway we have at least 4 inches of rain in the bucket outside - my informal rain gauge - and this in only 3 or 4 days. We had point 12 inches of rain in the first 14 days of October, that is just over one tenth of an inch! But I am happy to see this rain as I spread a lot of grass seed onto the bare patches in our lawn in mid September. As we had no rain after that either, I used the sprinkler to get them moving, but became disenchanted and lazy after a few sessions and no sign of any seedlings. Now I am hopeful that we will finally see a thick green lawn gracing our front and rear deserts.
I will let you know if this happens.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More "Fun" with numbers.

"Fun" because this is not really fun. I just heard that our thieves on Wall Street are to get $140 Billion dollars in bonuses this year! A record!! Their reckless greed brought the World's economy to it's knees, but apparently it is "Business as usual" on Wall Street as they are determined to rape us yet again. Is there anyone out there who can tell me why these complete failures in the "Art" of money management should be rewarded for that failure? They have done their "Jobs" worse than anyone else in any business in the history of the world (With the possible exception of politicians precipitating World Wars 1 & 2 and a host of other wars - but that is another story) and for this failure they are rewarded with impossibly huge sums of money - many of them with more money in one bonus check, than I and most of us will earn in our lifetimes, for failing!
Going to some numbers here - do you realize that if that $140 Billion dollars were to be shared among the 14 million unemployed in this country, (many, maybe even the majority of them put out of work by the monsters in Wall Street who robbed us all blind), that each one of those unemployed would get about $10,000? Instead, the thieving looters of Wall Street get it.
They get OUR money. Yep, that's right, we gave up, in many cases, like us, all of our life's savings, to be given to the bankers, wankers, brokers, etc who ruined our economy. How do we think we will ever be able to control them if not only are they allowed to take TRILLIONS of dollars from us, but having taken it they blatantly hand it out to all their buddies right in front of our noses, and announce it in the media!!! They must be laughing so hard. Obviously they have no intention of straightening out. Having taken everything that we put into their banks and brokerage houses for "Safekeeping" for our old age, and then given it all to themselves, so that there was nothing left, what did they do? They went to the government, cap in hand and asked for more. Our wimpy government gave it to them. They then give us and the government the finger, take the money and replace the money that they stole from the banks. Now what do they do? Not what any halfway decent, reasonable person would do - breathe a sigh of relief, mend their ways and put things straight. No they IMMEDIATELY start to steal it all again!! They must think we are the idiots that we are. Obviously if they don't even have the self control to at least wait a little while before robbing us again they have no intention of straightening themselves out. Instead they intend taking every last penny, leaving nothing for us pee ons. This money should be repaid to us, the American taxpayer, that it was stolen from by these greedmongers.
Why am I so upset? Because like many of my friends and acquaintances they stole way more than we could afford, in our case close to a million dollars, all of our savings and IRA's and most of the equity in our home. We are now in the position of having two mortgages, being unable to sell our old house in spite of having dropped its price almost in half, and thus sending all of our income and then some, to the same banks that already took everything that we had saved by working hard for over 50 years. And then to add even more insult, having worked for over 50 years, lived frugally and saved everything we could for our retirement , as they urged us to do, we are unable to enjoy the fruits of our hard work and frugality. Instead I have had to return to work. Where I will doubtlessly spend the rest of my days laboring to earn money to give to those heartless bastards on Wall Street.
Sometimes I think to myself, "David, you went into the wrong business, you should have gone into banking. But then I realize that I just don't have what it takes to steal millions and billions and trillions of dollars from my friends, neighbors, relatives, children, parents, and virtually everyone on the planet! I just couldn't do it. And I don't understand how they can. And having done it, and got away with it, they are about to do it to us again!"
I hope they can't sleep, I certainly can't.
Well I guess its back to work, or they'll be knocking on my door asking for that $20 bill that I just hid in my sock.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunsets, Sunsets, Sunsets

As I have said many times in the past about the Sunsets over The Lake, each one is better than the last! As we have been here for more than a year now, can you believe that, this is obviously getting to be an impossibility. But at least I can say with absolute accuracy, "They are all different." The last few day's sunsets have brought back the possibility of each one being better than the last. They have been amazing. From the comfort of the living or bedroom they are fascinating, but when you go out onto the deck the colors are even bigger and wider. Then when you go down the steps to the "Great outdoors" or even onto the pier, where you are also surrounded by the sights and sounds of the water, it is truly AWESOME. It is hard to come up with the right words, or even close to the right words, it is as if you are right in the middle of this Astonishing, Amazing, Stunning Event. I would even be tempted to use the word Miracle - those of you who know me, know that the use of this word is reserved by me for the few real miracles that have happened in my life. (For the curious, they include my wife Julia my Daughter Sarah and my Grandsons. There have been a few other world shattering events in my long life, but the time left on this blog is too short to elaborate any more.)
Go and see a sunset - or come here and enjoy one/some of ours with me and a good beer.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More fun with numbers, climate change and the UK.

I am proud to announce that my birth country, the UK, is the only country in the World so far, to have committed to a plan for reducing carbon emissions - reducing CO2. Their committed plans are to reduce their CO2 emissions by 34% by 2020. The plans include:-
1.7 million electric cars, and the infrastructure to support them.
Insulate at least 10 million homes.
2 new nuclear plants.
4 new coal fired plants with carbon capture and storage technology.
8,000 windmills
Reduce CO2 emissions from producing a KW of electricity from 540 gms to 300 gms.

CO2 production is dropping at about 1/2 to 1% per year at present, HOWEVER this is nowhere near enough to meet the current goals, and it has most likely been achieved simply by reduced industrial output and consumption due to the present economic slump!
Doubtless as CO2 production is dropping (Due to the economy) I predict that calls will be made to reduce efforts to reduce CO2, "Because it is dropping"!
In fact scientists are saying that the 34% goal is way too low a target - we need to at least double that target!!
Food for thought? (And remember the UK is the ONLY country in the WORLD to have committed to reduce its carbon emissions, and agreed to put those reductions into place, and actually started to act on them.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another lovely day at The Lake.

It's been another lovely day at The Lake. Actually it's been really nice for several days, we have had a bit of an Indian Summer here, although there have been a lot of quite strong winds. Today, while I was talking to my friend John Hergenroeder on the phone, I saw a big white Egret come in and land right at the edge of The Lake, not even 100 feet from where I was standing on our deck. Then, a few minutes later an Osprey dived in on the other side of The Lake and came up with a fish dinner - more than I've been able to do lately. I've been most unlucky with fishing. But we have caught a few crabs, Bradley is going to come over next Friday and join us in a crab "feast". I say "feast" because we have 8 crabs right now, so even if I catch a few more it is unlikely that we will have more than 3 or 4 each. Part of the trick is keeping them alive for another 6 days, you have to feed them or they will eat each other! And not catching any fish, there isn't much to feed them. Still while talking to John I spotted a Cormorant cruising and diving in The Lake, I hope he is not the reason why I am not catching any fish. And finally just before I hung up the phone, a Great Blue Heron flew across our pier as about 10 or 15 Canada Geese landed, I think they may have disturbed him and caused him to fly off. The weather is just about perfect at 70 degrees and sunny all day. This morning early, The Lake was almost like a mirror, as it often is early, but it is soon covered with small waves as the wind picks up. We are quite sheltered from the winds here. When over at our neighbors opposite who live on The Bay it is often very windy there while over at The Lake, only a hundred yards away, the leaves are barely moving. As I said to Julia, the love of my life, this morning as we lay in bed and gazed at the smooth Lake, the trees changing into their fall colors, the morning sun painting the grasses and trees opposite in pure gold and listened to the birds singing to us - "Just another day in Paradise."
Come visit us.