Friday, April 30, 2010

"Fried Fridays: Picking up the pieces..."


Oh, how I wanted to run with the Gov. Crist story (R-FL)...I am SO not a political person, but as you may be aware by some blog posts the past couple of months, I've got a bone to pick with the boorish behavior of elected officials and private citizens, alike. Crist wants to make a bona fide run for the senate, but apparently will have to do so as an independent.


All because of 'the hug'.

Yep, Crist did the unthinkable within the GOP ranks and citizenry by welcoming the newly elected President Obama to an official function...and gave him a welcome hug. You'd have thought he unleashed the world's most poisonous cooties...and the sound-byte interviews I heard on NPR radio a couple of weeks ago were proof that bigots really are alive and well everywhere, certainly in Florida. But I digress....

Most of us take pride in where we live...while times are tight anymore, and we might not have money to pay for a lot of house and yard maintenance, there is no excuse for not picking up trash or pulling up the worst weeds...the simple, free things that make a visual difference.

DATELINE: DENTON, TEXAS

Homes that have been in the family for many moons hold a special charm. Sometimes they are lived in 'til the end, and sometimes they may become more of a summer vacation destination once elderly parents have had to move out for various reasons.

This family's matriarch, 69 year-old Francis Howard, now lives with her son in Frisco...and they fondly remember the 47 years the house was lived in year-round. I'm just guessing, but I bet there was a lot of fresh-squeezed lemonade handed out on that big, wide porch, complete with a speckled pup in a green wagon on the front lawn, and out back sheets waving in the prarie breezes as they dry on the clotheslines strung between two mighty oaks...

But that's no excuse for neglecting the lawn.

That's no excuse for storing things (a loose term) outside, randomly.

That's no excuse for letting junk vehicles continue to rust, even if they weren't Fords.

And there's especially no excuse for not keeping the structure safe and repaired.

Nobody likes an eyesore, no matter the history. After repeated attempted-but-failed contacts, the city was left with no choice but to demolish the 'abandoned' home.

Too bad the demolition crew came and took down the Howard homestead instead of the unkempt property in question....ACROSS THE STREET.

"Oops!" doesn't quite cover it, does it...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And the survey said...

(click on pics to enlarge)

Not too shabby! A wonderful low C flute is first to emerge from my recent thick curly maple board I blogged about last week. I used the end of the board that had the most 'issues' per warp and bow and unevenness, jointing and planing until I had some sense of uniformity...the only minor upshot of that is the patterns from the bottom don't necessarily match up to patterns on the top. Then again, that's a pretty natural thing for most flutes to begin with.


It's 29" long, but I kept the SAC short (area from mouthpiece to the block) to make the reach easier. It's only about 19" from the mouth end to the lowest hole, and the finger holes are a comfortable 1.25" to 1.5" apart, center to center. The lower the flute key, the bigger the diameter the finger holes and the greater spacing; with that said, there are 'tricks' you can use in the lower key flutes to compensate for expanding dimensions and shorten the gaps. This is an easily played low flute with a wonderful voice.


The pictures are the unfinished flute with only a coat of Danish Wood Oil rubbed in. I recorded a song with the flute before I started putting on the shiny finish coats this morning...the shiny finish will accentuate the curl and figuring. With the short SAC, the block couldn't really go too far back....instead, I added pieces of Mahogany to the side, like wings, and brought them forward in an aesthetically pleasing curve. Just something a little different that worked well on this flute.

Since I can't load MP3s into this blog, I made a movie with the pictures above and embedded the test song in it...


video

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Fried Friday: That's the pits!"


Ah, another week in Stupidity Paradise, saddle pals. Eenie-meenie-mynie-mo....

I liked the way a Fostoria, Ohio prostitute got truly screwed: she approached a car and solicited the driver for paid sex....only the driver was the police chief undercover. Oops.

A 41 year-old Wisconsin woman was arrested for shooting people from her car...with a blow dart gun. When police arrested her they found the blowdart gun, a slingshot, and a bucket of small rocks. In the ensuing interrogation, Paula Wolf said she "liked to hear people say ouch."

However, this week's award goes to a desperate man trying to evade authorities...and it's not that what he did was stupid, but the millions of jokes that are going through my head thinking about what took place after the arrest....

DATELINE: ALBION, INDIANA

An unnamed 52 year-old man was wanted on methamphetamine charges. Normal fare, that.

Authorities gave chase to him and were searching for him on a northeastern Indiana farm. Seems like a rather typical scenario, criminal on the run, taking a more rural route.

When the police spotted him in his unsuccessful hideaway, he apparently had partaken of his illegal drug, became combative, and had to subdued, shocked twice with a stun gun.

He was then taken to the hospital for hypothermia treatment before being taken to the slammer, where he was held without bail for missing February and March hearing dates.

Normally a story like this I dismiss like a bad karaoke attempt (which has been too plentiful on this season's American Idol). But what attracted me to this story is where police found this man....

Under the floor of the barn, neck-deep in a liquified-manure tank of hog and dog feces. Apparently he'd been there for an hour...

Now picture being at the scene and watching what the officers did next....

Do they draw straws or play rocks-paper-scissors to see who gets to cuff him?

Whose patrol car does he ride in?

When he got combative, was he like a dog shaking off after a bath?

Did the officers go tell their spouses they had a sh*tty day at work?

Were the officers too smelly to go into the donut shop for a brew break?

The logistics boggle my mind...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!


Happy 40th Anniversary for a day that sorely needs to be celebrated EVERY day!

No other post today as I have a full plate to tend to. Honor the Earth and all things on, in, and above it.


"United be your purpose,
harmonious be your feelings,
collected be your mind,
in the same way as
all the various aspects
of the universe co-exist
in togetherness,
wholeness."

-Rik Samhita


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Couldn't pass it up....


It was yelling at me in the store Saturday. Right out in front of everybody, but it seemed only I could hear the impatient shouts.

I looked, walked away, walked back and looked, and walked away...only to walk back and look....then borrowed a tape measure...then borrowed a scratch piece of paper and pen, and took lots of measurements....then walked out the door of the store...only to come back in and asked an employee about phone-in orders...


I need wood like I need a hole in my head. But it's hard to pass up some excellent figuring in wood, especially wood this huge....this gorgeous...and this inexpensive. Asheville Hardware recently moved to a new non-descript location near downtown on a dead side street, a gigantic warehouse that they'll be turning into an impressive woodworker's store and workshop space.

While current stock is really limited, they already have some wood, and a good bit of it is there on consignment, like the board that did the yelling....that I called about again Monday and bought it over the phone....that I picked up today and made one cut in the board.


It's curly Maple, with curl 100% through the board....there is a bit of Ambrosia Maple embedded (caused by the Ambrosia worm), as well as some spalting (thin black fungus lines that add a great deal to the wood's appearance). Character galore up and down this board.

All 12+ feet of it! 7-8" wide...and my favorite part: it was 8/4 lumber! Two solid inches thick, which made the value jump even more. "Normal" boards are 4/4, slightly less than an inch thick...in order to make lower key flutes, you have to have thicker boards, but finding 5/4 and 6/4 is hard. 8/4 in a board of this size and quality is simply something I've not seen in person, and even if you're not a woodworker, you'll appreciate the incredible figuring in this board.
Sure, there are a few cracks and blemishes, and a little 'live edge' that isn't usable...but I've got a solid stash of one of my favorite woods to work with, now.

For the following pics, click to enlarge them...and depending on your screen settings, you may be able to click on that picture to make it even bigger yet. The board is basically flat, though it needs planing...so the 3-D 'look' is really just 2-D. Reminiscent of that earlier post from that old Maple by Lake Junaluska that showed the curl in a scar from storm damage....enjoy!







Monday, April 19, 2010

Old story rearing its head....


Musing out loud, here....


A friend, notorious for mass forwarding mass emails, sent yet another zinger lie last evening. It so happens he is a Republican of the more conservative Christian Coalition side of the tracks. It is no surprise that the tenor of his emails is clearly anti-Obama. To each his own, I say. We are each free to hold and voice our own opinions. HOWEVER.....

I draw the line when people choose to perpetuate untruths to promote their agenda.

Why do I write this? Simply yet another email sent my way, which many I ignore and delete without reading....and in all of less than a minute I searched for the real story and....guess what....it's not true, not like the email intends, which in this case is to disparage Obama and trump up hatred for him via Muslim-based lies.

Yes, hatred is a strong, strong word. I can't call it anything less, though.

The only question I have is, "WHY?" OK, they hate Obama, they hate democrats, they hate gays, they hate anything that is counter to their beliefs. Oh, so let me get this straight....it's OK to LIE as long as it promotes your so-called 'truth'? That's really pathetic.

It's Americans behaving badly, is what it is.


I guess I can't fathom how people willfully choose to ignore or not search for the truth, or that have no desire to compromise in any way shape or form. That's bigotry of the worst kind. I think we should hand out bumper stickers for 'em that say "I CHOOSE TO BE BLIND"

About a year ago, I took one of his emails and did a respectful 'reply all' explaining the responsibility to seek the truth about rumors...and got a nasty-gram from one of the recipients asking, 'in the name of Jesus Christ', how I got their name. I told them with a full explanation. Go figure why I never heard back from them. Now, he's gotten a little more wise, and 'reply all' only goes to him, not the mass email list. Too bad, as I was prepared to have some fun with this one.

I just put this out there since it's gotten in my face yet again, and I'm tired of being railroaded by what amounts to nothing more than political, theocratic thugs. Seem to be crawling out of the woodwork these days, too.

Okie-dokie, getting off my soapbox, and going back to using the delete button for a while....


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mo' flowers...


(video at bottom added hours after the original post)

Focused on flutes lately, so the brain hasn't journeyed very far. I did go out and snap some 'plinks' of the wildflowers on the property as all is changing daily...and ya can never go wrong with some nature pics! Remember to click on pics to enlarage should you want to do that.


This fuzzy wuzzy was not a bear; rather, it was the naissance of Dwarf Larkspur blooms...

And this is the Dwarf Larkspur out in all it's purple-blue glory...

Blue Cohosh is growing tall quickly, now, a plant with strong medicinal properties related to all things uterine...


You might not give this plant a second look, given it's camouflaged, greenish bloom. This is Nodding Mandarin, aka Yellow Mandarin....


Sorry to repeat species from earlier posts, but I find the Trillium (this one a Wake Robin) to be a very artsy and photogenic plant...

Yellows are starting to come into the flowering world, now....this is the droopy large-flowering Bellwort...

...and the good ol' yellow violets that are coming out in abundance, this one the hairy Downy Yellow varietal...


"Where flowers bloom,
so does hope."
- Lady Bird Johnson

video

And for your viewing pleasure, here is a male Dark-eyed Junco defending his territory against an 'intruder', played by my passenger side mirror...

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Fried Fridays: Smile or ELSE!"


Whereas in past weeks I had a cornucopia of stories to write about for "Fried Fridays", this week I'm holding an empty poke. Stupid stories, sad stories, but little in the really 'fried' category...and I'm running with a story composed of only 135 words.


The story was that a judge threw out this case...as well he should have...but the 'fried' component was the original lawsuit...

DATELINE: ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA

Judge Ernest DeSantis, Jr. threw out a case before him this past Wednesday, on the grounds the plaintiff failed to make a case. Bravo. To say we have become a litigious society is a gross understatement...we sue for any and everything, and the worst part is not the taxpayer money wasted in the process but the asinine amounts of money awarded to idiots for idiotic reasons.

I bet you'd like to know how I really feel...

Luckily, this bull was stopped in its tracks before an awards ceremony. We start with a 12 year-old girl named Dominica Juliano, the 'traumatized' youth in this story. The suit was filed by her unnamed guardian, so it wasn't a mom or a dad. It may have been the grandmother who was with young Dominica when that fateful day occurred.

NOTE: The following account may not be acceptable for young readers. Proceed with caution and please don't sue me over it...

The location was a Country Fair convenience store in Erie, Pennsylvania....like you couldn't figure that out from the 'dateline' above. But this didn't happen a few weeks or months ago....no, this debilitating incident took place in June of 2004. Worthy of cricket chirps, here...

The net effect of this incident was that Dominica, being sensitive to light, was burned and developed deep emotional, psychological problems....apparently enough to warrant a long-running lawsuit against the store and the clerk on duty that horrific day.

Adults have to use extra caution when around under-age kids....you just can't say and do things you would with someone your own age and size. Apparently this girl was enough of a toot that the unnamed employee called her 'grumpy' and proceeded to do something to make her smile.

Yes, the clerk, having grown weary of the little sour-puss, did the unthinkable: he or she aimed a hand-held product scanner at the girl's face and told her to smile.

Horror of horrors. I pity whoever tries to date, much less marry, this forever-mentally disfigured girl. To wake up in the middle of the night in fearful sweat, all because of a harmless LED light...

Knowing all this trouble would be hanging like a bad odor almost six years later, the clerk SHOULD have whacked grandma over the head with that scanner. Judge Judy would have had a field day with this one...


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Just a few more nature pics for you to click on and enlarge. The gorgeous spring weather continues to be a daily affair, and I went out and took a few plinks in the strong, specular late-afternoon sun....


I love leaf details in sun and shadow, this one from the Trillium genus...

In a week or two there will be thousands of Trillium by the house, but for now I saw maybe 2 or 3 starting to open. I have yet to see any here other than the Grandiflora (large-flowering T.) and the Wake Robin, but there are both the white and crimson varieties here...

Myriad violet species are starting to poke out, too...if you've noticed a pattern, the early wildflowers are predominantly white, though some yellow violets are starting to come out...

Snuggled on the moist shady side of what I call The Flute Rock were some Dutchman's Breeches with their yellow petals...

...not to be confused with the closely related Squirrel Corn I showed several posts ago. A little trivia fer ya: these species are poisonous to grazing cattle.

Just a nice thick patch of the Squirrel Corn, with one of the yellow violets in the bottom left. I know there are trout lillies out there, but I've stayed on the minimal trail I made for now, and am limited to spying one nearby...

The sun is climbing and so must I into my grunge clothes for yet another day of making sawdust. I have to go to the post office to mail a couple of flutes, and just remembered that today is the Ides of April....tax day!!!!! Methinks there will be somewhat of a line.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

GOES-15: quick post


Pulling the mid-day shift the next two days for both the Charlotte and Triad markets, so A.M. time very limited. I did see that the first image has come back from the newest weather satellite put up in orbit, GOES-15. The Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite took it's first picture about a week ago April 6, at 1:33p EDT. Click on the picture to see the high-resolution version of the picture....amazing what can be seen and captured. Following that is a link to the release information if you want to read a little more about it.

(NOTE: when you click on the picture, you'll get a bigger one in another frame. If it doesn't get really big, click on THAT pic and it should open up...fun to move the pic around and look at the western hemisphere!)


LINK to article

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In memoriam...



The Cherokee Nation, yea all of our indigenous Peoples, lost a great leader several days ago. Wilma Mankiller, 64, crossed over after battling pancreatic cancer...and successfully leading the Cherokee Nation from December 1985 to 1995. Former President Bill Clinton awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 1998, a tribute to her impressive work building up the well-being of her peoples. I'll leave it at that for now...her memorial is being held today in Oklahoma. She was a great Spirit, a great Woman, and a great Leader, in every sense of those words. Aho.

IN MEMORIAM

Wilma Mankiller
1946 - 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

"Fried Fridays: Shaken AND Stirred..."


Bond.


James Bond.

That's how the iconic secret agent did NOT like his martinis....no stirring allowed. We can all be creatures of habit, and when we have something we want and expect 'just so', we bristle at the slightest infringement upon said stone tablet.

I'm sitting here with my thermos pot of coffee, pre-mixed with Splenda and half and half. Take any of those out of the equation and I'm Mr. Grumpy out of the gate. Don't mess with my brew.

DATELINE: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

It's not that I find this story so much 'fried' as in bizarre behavior and/or decision-making...but contrasted with life in the U.S., I can't even conceive of this particular situation to begin with. If something is not a part of our culture, whatever it is, anything outside the 'norm' can seem really, really strange.

Look, a Pennsylvania dad left 4 ounces of marijuana hidden in his kid's Elmo backpack, which was discovered by the kindergarten teacher the other day. That's fried. Two British women were arrested for trying to smuggle a corpse aboard a commercial airline flight. That's fried. (I wonder if they're going to face 'stiff' penalties...). But my story of choice isn't 'fried' at all; rather, it's fermented.

And so I read and mused over a worker's strike this week at the famed Carlsburg Brewery across the Big Pond. Seems as though management made a recent decision that they'd be brewin-...er, uh, mulling over for some time. Suffice it to say it did not sit well with the employees, not in the slightest.

As I understand it, Copenhagen is a rather progressive city, recognized by several sources as having the best quality of life anywhere. They're also highlighted for being one of the most environmentally-conscious and clean cities around, too. You can swim in the inner harbor, it's so clean...and 36% of residents commute to work on bicycles. Impressive on many levels.

So what's the brouhaha...or shall I quip brewhaha? Effective April 1, Carlsburg workers are now limited to drinking beer only during their lunch break.

Say WHAAAAAAAAT????????

(crickets unable to chirp due to temporary paralysis)

The old order of business was that these proud Carlsburg workers had free access to beer coolers placed all around the workplace, which they could partake of anytime they wish. The only rule was you couldn't be officially 'drunk' on the job. Now the only place you'll find the beer coolers is in the canteen, with drinking limited to the lunch break, only.

800 workers went on strike Wednesday, halting critical beer deliveries and production, and even yesterday some 250 were still striking, halting more deliveries of Denmark's 'water'. The labor union is trying to work with the groups involved to get Carlsburg up and running at capacity once again, so only time will tell.

Seems unfair that if your job is that of a delivery truck driver, that you get the short end of the stick in the imbibing category. Not so, Grasshopper. Truck drivers are allowed to take with them 3 beers from the canteen before they head out on their rounds...but before you get too worried, the trucks have alcohol locks so any driver 'over the limit' disconnects the iginition.

(cricket paralysis ends....chirping slowly ramps up...)



Thursday, April 08, 2010

"Of Klepto and Wildflowers"


A thoroughly unrelated mix of photos for you today...remember you can click on any pic to enlarge it. I'll begin with my "new" puppy "Klepto" whom you may have read about a couple of days ago. You know, the Border-Aussie mix formerly known as Molly.

At the top of the driveway is a little natural area she fancies to sit and chew up sticks, as well as collect 'toys' that to anyone else is trash. Another more select area is behind the house where a trail heads into the woods off the back deck...there on a bit of a promontory she'll take some of her more treasured plundered booty and look down on any activity below.Yesterday morning I laughed out loud when at the top of the driveway I spied....a beer bottle. Not just any beer bottle, mind you, but a brand I never drink. I didn't want to know the details of her latest prize from the Five-Finger-Stop-And-Shop she frequents...

It was a couple of hours later when dusk was starting to fall that I went out on the deck and saw her on her back perch with said beer bottle....and before I go further I will swear under oath these pics are 100% natural. I didn't stage it, rotate the bottle, etc.....heck, the dog won't come when I call her name, so she sureashell isn't going to let me set up a camera shot with her! With my big camera long dead, I had only the small Canon S2 to shoot a flash 10-12 feet from the deck....and and I got lucky.


"Tastes great....less filling....what I'd give to chase after those Clydesdales right now..."


"MOLLY! Where did you get that bottle? Is that why you stay over at the neighbor's and pretend you don't hear me calling your name?"


"If only dad knew what really goes on over there...(hic)..."

-----------------------------------------

I just love the exploding of spring, where you can almost literally see changes by the hour as earth-tone tans are replaced with verdant hues. Almost overnight the first of the wildflowers have been doing their thing, popping up and nodding their heads in the warm, sunny breezes. And so once again I just put on some pictures of them for you to enjoy...admittedly, I spent little time searching for optimum specimens and camera angles, but it's just a joy to see these instead of another 8" of snow....

Likewise, it's a joy to see beautiful dawn colors as a new day begins, this from Wednesday morning looking northeast...


First up is the tee-tiny bloom of Spring Beauty...this fleur but the size of my pinkie fingernail...



Next up is Bloodroot, which has too many medicinal uses to list in this post; click HERE to read the myriad uses for yourself...



Cutleaf Toothwort is easily identified by its, well, cut-leaf outline!...


Jimmy may crack corn and you don't care, but the nodules at the base of this Squirrel Corn plant is whence its name is derrived...

There were plenty of other pre-flower staged plants, like this Trillium member below. Mayapple, Jack-in-the-pulpit, cohosh, and others will be out before you know it, all flying through their life cycle before the greening canopy starts to increasingly filter the sunshine on the forest floor below...

So much for the balmy and unusually warm weather here of late....time for a little reality check with today's incoming cold front and storms. But being April, anything unusually cold will soon pass....have a good 'un, all y'all!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

As the old saying goes....


"Life is like that of a beaver:
it's one dam thing after another.
"

I've seen the following mass e-mail before. It's circulating again, but if you've never read it before, it's a hoot. And it's "true", with the following qualifiers: the original correspondence was written in 1997, and in Michigan, not Pennsylvania. People change the dates and years and locations, but the 'content' is listed on SNOPES.COM as being a true story.

Basically, Ryan DeVries had at least one neighbor that, shall we say, was a thorn in his side. Or vice versa. Heavy rains cause flooding on the neighbor's property, prompting said neighbor's letter to the proper state authorities that DeVries was accountable for proper maintenance on his property. His neglect led to the flooding, supposedly. With that stage now set, I present the initial official state response to DeVries 5 months after the complaint, along with DeVries' witty retort.....enjoy!

-----------------------------------------

SUBJECT: DEQ
File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality
that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced
parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner
and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet
stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.. A
review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued
Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in
violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource
and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994,
being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws,
annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially
failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at
downstream locations.. We find that dams of this nature are inherently
hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you
to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the
stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming
the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be
completed no later than January 31, 2010.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so
that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure
to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the
site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement
action..

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any
questions.

Sincerely,
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

-------------------------------------------------

...and the official response back from DeVries.....

-------------------------------------------------

Re: DEQ File
No.. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr..Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am the
legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run,
Pennsylvania .

A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of
constructing and maintaining two wood 'debris' dams across the outlet
stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor
supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that
you call their skillful use of natures building materials 'debris.'

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their
dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely
state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam
resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam
determination and/or their dam work ethic.

(beaver pics originally attached here)

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request,
I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam
permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said
dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through
the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those
other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. (Perhaps we
will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes
and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act,
Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to
324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren't the
beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are
financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation --
so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed
during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a
natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In
other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than
harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream 'restored' to a dam free-flow condition
please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they
obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being
unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build
their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green
and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live
and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the
natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be
referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until
1/31/2010? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and
there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real
environmental quality, health, problem in the area It is the bears!
Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you
should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone.
If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The
bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to
contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to
your dam office.

THANK YOU,
RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

------------------------------------------

Hope to get out and get some shots of the early wildflowers exploding in the sunny warmth of late. Should have some pics fer all y'all tomorrow...finger's crossed!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

My little kleptomaniac...


Once upon a time I adopted a precocious Border-Aussie rescue puppy that was personality-plus and cuteness beyond cute. The little puppy established herself as a chewer early on, demonstrating that perfectly good shoes were as much fun, if not more so, to play with than stuffed squeaky toys. Throw in pieces of wood I had mistakenly put on the floor, and the little puppy had no shortage of things to 'play' with...and mischief to get in to.


Because she grew up at the dead-end of a dead-end of a dead-end road, this little puppy that we'll call, say, Molly, learned to love roaming in nature out of the gate. Per other neighbors on her road, there is only one that lives there year-round, the others being seasonal visitors. Because I got Molly in the fall, she and the neighbors had never met. Suffice it to say it was a snowy, cold, and 'quiet' winter, with no visitors braving the eternal snowy and icy conditions.

Welcome a big Easter holiday with luscious warmth and beautiful days abounding, and many of the seasonal folks came up to open up their homes. I forgot to add that this "Molly" is not only a chewer, but a barker, unlike my past rescues. It's embarrassing enough to go greet the visitors and apologize for the barky baby, and thankfully they didn't mind a bit. But this human activity was all new to the ever-inquisitive puppy, these people and their pets, and their grandkids, and, well, the whole kit and kaboodle.

I kept making sure that when I saw Molly at the next house, out in the yard helping the owners plant flowers, that she wasn't pestering them. She just loved the new things to see and do and chose to be over there with her new best friends. They assured me she was welcome and fine, and to leave her be.

And then it started to happen. Miraculously, a gardening glove appeared at the top of my driveway. Then another. Then a paint roller handle. Then a shoe. Then an empty plant container. Seems as though Molly has a bona-fide thievery complex, as she continually went down and selected items to bring back. Luckily that's all she did, bring them back, as opposed to the next irreversible step of chewing up and destroying said stolen goods.

Nothing that a quick walk to return the items didn't cure, but the embarrassment was hard to avoid. Nobody has fences up here, and everyone gets along great and accepts everyone's pets. I just happen to be raising a kleptomaniac who does her job well.

Too well.

Friday, April 02, 2010

"Fried Fridays: FOX rocks!....uh...."


OK, OK, ya got me. Throwin' in a bit of sarcasm. Guilty as charged.


FOX as in the national FOX Network. Bill O'Reilly. Mike Huckabee. Glenn Beck. Greta Van Susteren. Sean Hannity. Big showbiz names, lots of coverage, and proof that so called 'popularity' does not a great person make. Unless, of course, FOX represents your 'truth' and your 'reality', then you've got yourself one helluva baseball card collection.

I bet you want to know how I really feel...

"Fox News Channel" is a bit of a misnomer, in that 'news' thoroughly tainted with a particular political ideology is not news in the slightest. "Opinionated Journalism", yes. Edward R. Murrow style of journalism in its truest sense: unequivocally NO.

But to each his or her own. Not my cup of tea; as I always say, you choose the trough and choose to drink however much of the water you want.

Gee willikers, I left off the newest and biggest name to come on board, and why they're getting this week's award: Sarah Palin.....

DATELINE: ANYWHERE, U.S.A. (pretty much)

Welcome, former governor of Alaska. Is moose jerky as good as they say it is?

But seriously folks, Mrs. Palin is the latest and rather 'largest' name to join the FOX line-up in "talk shows". I'll assume you already knew that. How and why she got there is not the purpose of this week's "Fried Fridays" award.

Nothing like a 'premiere', eh? She made her hosting debut just last night, though I didn't watch the program. "Real American Stories", it's called. American, yes. Stories, yes. Real, uh....not according to artists LL Cool J. Or Toby Keith, for that matter. Hold that thought.

FOX has been in hot water in older news stories, rightfully charged with misrepresenting the 'truth' in particular situations. One glaring misrepresentation arose when they reported on a Washington rally and used footage of demonstrators from a totally different gathering months prior, when crowds were apparently more impressive. FOX blamed it on poor editing by producers. Yeah, right. And that is but one fish in their odorous barrel. But let's get back to Palin...

New show. BIG host draw. Conservative drooling running rampant. "Real American Stories". I'm seeing a flag waving in the prairie breeze, hands across chests, pride coming out of every person's pores. I'll buy that. Baseball, apple pie and, uh...Toyota?

I wanted to plug in the 0:20 ad for the show, but, gee, the button wouldn't work to give me an embedded code. I'll post the page link HERE if you want to try and see it for yourself, assuming it's still available.

The crux of my post is with the LL Cool J segment. You see, LL Cool J was to be an integral part of these American stories. The show supposedly chronicles "those who have overcome adversity and more." Fair enough. LL Cool J has done just that.

So why the fuss from the J-Meister?

Hopefully you can see the trailed/ad for yourself. He's a big part, LL Cool J. As conservative blogger's have posted, it (basically) shows goodness toward race relations, something that has and continues to be an issue in the FOX ideological camp. But there is one itty bitty problem.

LL Cool J's interview had NOTHING to do with the Palin show. His interview was 're-purposed' from a 2008 interview with someone else. LL Cool J was quoted as saying:

"FOX lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else and are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palin's show. WOW."

Good for him. Not at all a new 'thing' for FOX to do. But they did it anyway. To give them fair ground, I print their quoted response to the above quote, per requests from other media outlets:

"Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith's interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career."

Oh, and Elaine Schock got quite a 'shock' when she was contacted this past Tuesday about Toby Keith's appearance on the same show. Because she's Keith's publicist, for cryin' out loud, you would think she would have been aware of (or at the very least notified about) his upcoming segment on the show...as the old saying goes, that's what you get for thinking. It wasn't until a journalist contacted her for her opinion was she aware of the FOX press release detailing Keith's appearance. Toby had no idea he was going to be on the show. Publicist Elaine knew nothing. Apparently HIS segment was also 're-purposed' from a totally unrelated interview in Las Vegas in 2009. It had zilch to do with Palin and the show.

WOW is right. And so are other words and phrases that I'll leave out.

Take a duck. Give it a mohawk. Paint it Coral and Turquoise. Add ostrich feathers. Give it feet extensions. Call it a QuiggleBonk.

Strip the crap away, and it's still a duck.

FOX management willfully chooses to live in a QuiggleBonk world. They must think they are the quintessential Spin Doctors for their agenda, which is anything but true 'news'. And there are millions of people willing to disregard 'news manipulation' because it fits their personal agenda.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I just want people to truly 'think' for themselves and simply be aware when truth is greatly manipulated. That's all. Then if someone still wants to hang a stuffed QuiggleBonk from their rearview mirror, more power to 'em.