Archive for February, 2010

Hitler Bets Against Goldman Sachs

Heh. Found at the ever edifying Market Ticker.

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Cold Weather Survivors (So Far)

Four more ducklings had been hatched out between the cold snaps and were being carefully protected by their momma as they swam around in puddles. Unfortunately, the cold snap returned with temperatures plunging into the 20s overnight Thursday with a cold wind blowing.

Friday morning, I did not see the ducklings. Friday afternoon, no ducklings playing in the water. Saturday morning, there they are! I immediately ran outside to throw feed to them; they ran toward me as well, with mommy duck speaking sharply to them about getting too close to strangers. They stopped, and waited for feed like polite little ducklings at a safe distance. Momma duck must have moved them to a more sheltered location during the coldest weather.

During the past week, I found and rescued two little ducklings with no parental duck in attendance, brought them inside, and put them in the brooder with the older ducklings that were easily twice their size. Older chicks would have killed the younger chicks. The older ducklings are caring for their smaller adopted siblings. I originally thought that they may be siblings to the four (originally five) ducklings, but when I saw all four of the ducklings (who had grown quite a bit) with their momma duck, it was apparent that these were from a different nest. Momma duck may have taken them in but these would have been quickly lost as they couldn’t have kept up with her ducklings.

I now have two male ducklings and two female ducklings in the brooder in the office. I had planned on transitioning them to an outside pen if the weather were warm enough this weekend (it isn’t). With the new ducklings, though, I may have to keep them inside a bit longer. Instead of paper litter, they’re on a thick bed of sand to catch the watery droppings.

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Magnitude 8.8 Earthquake in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) – A massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 47 people, knocking down buildings and triggering a tsunami.

Lots of big aftershocks for those people that are trapped in collapsed buildings.

A contribution to your chosen charitable agencies that are in that area would be in order.

Per the USGS, this earthquake will be listed in the top ten earthquakes of all time.

•1960 05 22 – Chile – M 9.5
•1964 03 28 – Prince William Sound, Alaska – M 9.2
•2004 12 26 – Sumatra-Andaman Islands – M 9.1
•1952 11 04 – Kamchatka – M 9.0
•1868 08 13 – Arica, Peru (now Chile) – M 9.0
•1700 01 26 – Cascadia Subduction Zone – M 9.0
•1906 01 31 – Off the Coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador – M 8.8
•1965 02 04 – Rat Islands, Alaska – M 8.7
•1755 11 01 – Lisbon, Portugal – M 8.7
•1730 07 08 – Valparasio, Chile – M 8.7

I wonder how this is going to affect the ongoing eruption at Chaiten (and activity at Llaima) and the visitors/thrillseekers?

Per the Volcanism Blog:

This reminder that Chaitén remains dangerous may have been at least partly provoked by an influx of tourists, both Chilean and foreign, to the area. The officially abandoned town of Chaitén seems to have been playing host to large numbers of visitors. ‘All the [tourist] cabins are open, and other hotels as well. It’s surprising how many gringos are walking the streets’, says one local. Another dismisses the red alert warning as ‘a lie told by the Government … there has been no shaking, and there is nothing stopping people coming’. The pressure group ‘Hijos y Amigos de Chaitén’ (sons and friends of Chaitén) also attacked the Government for issuing the warnings: ‘The situation is completely normal today. There are no tremors, no fumaroles, ONEMI is lying’, says the group’s chairwoman, Rita Gutiérrez. Local councillor Bernardo Riquelme claims that a group of tourists have recently climbed the volcano and encountered neither tremors nor emissions. La Tercera reports that visitors to Chaitén are up by 50% on this time last year: ‘There is no light and no drinking water, but this does not prevent the flow of visitors that has increased in the last few months’.

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Burnin’ the Midnight–er, Something

SwampMan and I have been doing a lot of running around town after work picking up stuff for (his) work, usually getting in just in time to go to sleep (him), and feed an hour or two before going to sleep (me). The livestock aren’t suffering from neglect but I HAVE forgotten to give puppy his heartworm tablet. D’OH! I forgot to renew my vehicle tag, too, but I still have a few more days before I become a flaming scofflaw. So, how am I juggling all this crap?

Uh, don’t look at the state of my house. The vacuum cleaner thinks it has been abandoned. The mop is crying out for water. I think I’ve created life in the back of the refrigerator, and I’m kinda skeered to open the door. If a guest would be foolish brave enough to enter the living room, they would have to wait until I removed the underwear waiting to be folded from the sofa before they could be seated. Since we haven’t been home TO fold the underwear, though, that hasn’t been an issue. Yet. The Church People have been dropping by to visit me to check on the state of my soul (kinda murky around the edges, thanks for your concern!) and have (luckily?) missed seeing me. I hope they can continue to miss me until I can wrestle the laundry monster under control, and then maybe slay some dust bunnies.

SwampMan doesn’t feel that anybody should be poking their noses into his bidness anyway, and he doesn’t even bother to answer the door, let alone invite visitors inside. Visitors would be lucky if he were even WEARING underwear after his shower on account of the underwear (and probably the towels as well) would be in on that sofa with the guests. (Damnit, SwampMan, quit dripping on the carpet! Oh, now, look at that. The Church Ladies knocked the gate down on their way out the driveway!) He, of course, feels no sense of embarrassment because he’s been too busy to clean the house. He has delegated that part of married life to me. Along with cooking, routine house maintenance like painting, raking, trimming, planting, pet care, livestock care, etc.

I am TIRED. I’m going to have to cut back on either the livestock, the hobbies, helping SwampMan, or work. Cutting back on work seems like the thing to do but that’s only because I have a new egg-sized purple bruise/welt on my brachioradialis from a bite, as well as a bite on my trapezius. SwampMan points out that, if I were to stop working in the school system, I would no longer have insurance, and I’m not a spring chicken. (Hmmmmm. Better not kill SwampMan as his salary is much higher than mine….) I point out to SwampMan that if I were not working in the school system, I wouldn’t NEED insurance!

Maybe I could start a new magazine called “Bad Housekeeping” in the meantime as our house will continue to suffer with empty promises of a deep cleaning that will happen one day. Eventually. Maybe. Sometime after the potatoes have been planted (which may not happen until next winter because the garden has been too wet to plant potatoes this winter). So, anybody out there want to make a true confession about how long it has been since the sills were cleaned of stray fly legs, and what year the fridge was last cleaned? Yeah, me neither.

Beside the comfy chair, waiting to be read:  Obamanomics by Timothy Carney,  Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men, a couple of E-business books, an exercise book (sigh), J.A. Jance’s Trial by Fire , U.S. Army Survival Handbook, and James Wesley Rawles’  How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.

It’s time to jump into the shower (5 a.m. comes waaaaay too damn early) and then read heartwarming stories of survival about bludgeoning the neighbors with rocks or stabbing them with pointy sticks. Just kidding, neighbors! We don’t have any rocks! We’d have to use chunks of concrete if we wanted to get an aerobic workout; otherwise, we’d use shotguns.

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Time for Bluegrass!

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Let the Weekend Begin!

SwampMan and I will enjoy a quiet drink….

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Woohooo! It’s Friday!

It would be better, of course, if it were a payday, but WTH. I’ll celebrate anyway.

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