Friday, May 04, 2007

Mr. Peabody Snoozes

He really prefers to snooze in his hutch.

The Time Has Come

Pumping commences tomorrow morning.

Red and Grey Squirrels

I always thought Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were enemies. Certainly red squirrels are known for defending their territory. They barely allow me to live here. But the larger grey squirrel has been a problem in some areas in displacing the red squirrel. In any case, these two do not seem to mind sharing seeds from my bird feeder.

Huckabee and Evolution

Mike Huckabee is running for President of the USA. He doesn't believe in the theory of evolution. I have no problem with the fact that he doesn't accept the theory of evolution. What I do have a problem with is that he hasn't the faintest idea what the theory of evolution says.
"I believe that there is a God and that he put the process in motion," Huckabee said.
It sure is tiring reminding right-wing fundamentalists that the theory of evolution does not address how the "process" was put into motion. It doesn't address the existence of God at all.

It would bother me a bit if our next President didn't accept the theory of evolution. But it would bother me a lot more if he didn't understand the theory. I also have to admit that I have a bit of a problem with a Southern Baptist minister who is best known for losing 100 lbs. of body weight being the next president.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


This morning I had a wonderful massage at NCCC. The massage therapist I had this morning is a native American of the Mohawk Nation. It's sad that Americans have so little knowledge about native Americans, especially those that are our neighbors in the North Country. I took the opportunity to ask a few questions.

The Mohawks are a tribe composed of three clans. My therapist is a member of the Wolf Clan. She didn't learn to read english until after the sixth grade because she attended the Akwesasne Freedom School. This is a K-8 school formed to preserve the Mohawk language and customs. The students go to the longhouse to celebrate the 15 holidays.

"Mohawks" actually call themselves Kahnawa:ke (Kanien'kehá:ka) which means "people of the flint". The word mohawk, meaning "man-eater" was actually bestowed upon them by their enemies either the Algonquin or Europeans. The women of the Kahnawa:ke have a lot of power. They approve the names of all new borne children and as Clan mothers they chose the members of the tribal council. Akwesasne (the reservation) means "Land where the partidge drums".

How much of this I get correct can be problematic. Akwesasne and it's people are spread out in settlements located in New York, Ontario and Quebec. Mohawks have their own problems in that in some cases there are two sets of chiefs: the traditional hereditary chiefs nominated by the clan mothers and then the elected chiefs with whom the USA and Canadian governments negotiate.

I don't know how reliable the information is on many of these sites that are not owned by the Mohawks. But here are a few links:

Mohawk tribe history
Mohawk Chiefs and Leaders (Hiawatha, Joseph Brant)
Akwesasne museum
Akwesasne Cultural Center
Akwesasne Wolves Hockey
Akwesasne Aeros Hockey
Peace 4 Turtle Island

Lake Placid Conference Center

Todays Plattsburgh Press Republican has drawings of the proposed new Lake Placid Convention Center. Much improved from the original design.

The new addition is in the foreground on the right. The white roof covers the original 1932 Olympic ice and in the background the girders of the 1980 arena addition can be seen.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cell-Free Vacation Spots has an article espousing places to go in the USA for a cell phone free vacation. There are 20 places listed and the Adirondacks is one of them.
More than 230 million Americans--some 75% of the population--use cellphones, and last year they made 2 trillion minutes worth of calls on them. And they use them almost everywhere: According to a wireless industry trade group, 99% of Americans live in counties where wireless services are sold. But peace seekers who want to really, really get away from it all for a few days by cutting the cord can still do it--if they look hard enough.
Some people really do want to get away from it all.

Here is what they have to say about the Adirondacks on their interactive map.
Adirondack Mountains, Adirondack Park, N.Y.
What to do: Many large chunks of the Adirondacks are without wireless access. Relax in the wilderness, including Adirondack Park, which is the size of Vermont. Enjoy outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing and mountain biking.

Where to stay: Hotel Saranac, a rustic hotel with nice furnishings in Saranac Lake, N.Y.

Mission Accomplished Anniversary

It was all going to be so easy. There was just too much liberal naysaying. For a comparison of May 1, 2003 with May 1, 2007 go here.

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about weapons of mass destruction in an ABC News interview, March 30, 2003

"I doubt that the journalists at the New York Times and NPR or at ABC or at CNN are going to ever admit just how wrong their negative pronouncements were over the past four weeks."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/9/03)

"Maybe disgraced commentators and politicians alike, like Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich, and all those others, will step forward tonight and show the content of their character by simply admitting what we know already: that their wartime predictions were arrogant, they were misguided and they were dead wrong. Maybe, just maybe, these self-anointed critics will learn from their mistakes. But I doubt it. After all, we don't call them 'elitists' for nothing."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/10/03)

"Over the next couple of weeks when we find the chemical weapons this guy was amassing, the fact that this war was attacked by the left and so the right was so vindicated, I think, really means that the left is going to have to hang its head for three or four more years."
(Fox News Channel's Dick Morris, 4/9/03)

"Well, the hot story of the week is victory.... The Tommy Franks-Don Rumsfeld battle plan, war plan, worked brilliantly, a three-week war with mercifully few American deaths or Iraqi civilian deaths.... There is a lot of work yet to do, but all the naysayers have been humiliated so far.... The final word on this is, hooray."
(Fox News Channel's Morton Kondracke, 4/12/03)

"I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?"
(Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 1/29/03)

See what major news agencies had to say 4 years ago today about the Iraq War and "mission accomplished" here at Editors and Publisher.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

There is an article in todays Washington Post concerning CFL's (compact fluorescent bulbs) and domestic tranquility. The article claims that women complain to husbands about the quality of light etc of CFL's and are thus slow to adopt their use. I've been using CFL's in my garage and basement since we built our house six years ago. Over the last couple of years we started using them in the floor lamps that we use primarily in our family room. In the last year or so, I've started replacing all the bulbs in our overhead "pots", at least those that are not dimable. Now that dimable CFL's are available we will start using those also. Most recently, I've replaced the bulbs in our bedside reading lamps with CFL's that use only 9 watts. Those bulbs really are slow to warm up, needing at least 3-4 minutes before they put out 40 watts worth of lumens. The only bulbs in our house that will not be CFL soon are the really decorative bulbs, such as those in the ceiling fans, over the bathroom mirrors etc. Eventually even the outdoor spotlights will be CFL's.

So yes, all of the CFL's can take a couple minutes to full output. They cost more for initial purchase but last a really long time. Personally I have no problem with the color of light they output because lampshades can take care of a good bit of that. I imagine we are saving a fair bit on electricity but I have no idea how much. The savings can be significant however.

It's sad that such devices are not being more rapidly accepted among Americans. We can't be bothered to save energy or the environment because of little inconveniences such as light color and slow lumen output. What a pampered group we are.

Did my wife complain? Yeah, initially. But she is surviving.