Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cut and Paste Job

I've been having some real problems (read couldn't do it) pasting from any application through to Blogger via Opera. Just would not do it. Nor did spell check work.

As Opera is my absolute favorite browser, this has been more than irritating. But, through Firefox, both pasting and spell check function properly.

So, it's time to wander through Opera's options and see what I can see. Mayhap "enable proxy servers" will do the job, or perhaps some Java setting.

Anyway, at least I can now compose and post at my leisure, and paste the article via Firefox.

Better than nothing. Still irritating.

Alaska Glaciers Grew This Year

There's been a lot of talk the last couple years about how Alaska's glaciers are melting away.

Not true. If anything, they grow. And, the melting began hundreds of years ago, a little before factories and SUVs....

Original story at:

Alaska glaciers grew this year, thanks to colder weather
By Craig Medred | Anchorage Daily News

Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008.

Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound," said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

"In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years."

Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind of snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too.

"It's been a long time on most glaciers where they've actually had positive mass balance," Molnia said.

That's the way a scientist says the glaciers got thicker in the middle. Read the complete story at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bring Ratchet Home

Ratchet is a Iraqi dog which Sgt. Gwen Beberg saved from certain death, and now loves.  The Army will not allow her to bring the dog home.  Here's the article.


Army blocks soldier from bringing puppy back 

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 5 minutes ago

More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Army to let an Iraqi puppy come home with a Minnesota soldier, who fears that "Ratchet" could be killed if left behind.

"I just want my puppy home," Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis wrote to her mother in an e-mail Sunday from Iraq, soon after she was separated from the dog following a transfer. "I miss my dog horribly." Beberg, 28, is scheduled to return to the U.S. next month.

Ratchet's defenders are ratcheting up their efforts to save him. On Monday, the program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups, which is run by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International, left for a trip to the Middle East to try to get the puppy to the U.S.

And last week, Beberg's congressman, Democrat Keith Ellison, wrote to the Army urging it to review the case.

Beberg and another soldier rescued the puppy from a burning pile of trash back in May. Defense Department rules prohibit soldiers in the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq, from adopting pets, but exceptions have been made. Operation Baghdad Pups says it has gotten 50 dogs and six cats transferred to the U.S. in the last eight months.

"I'm coping reasonably well because I refuse to believe that Ratchet has been hurt," Beberg wrote in the e-mail to her mother, Patricia Beberg. "If I find out that he was killed though — well, we just won't entertain that possibility."

The mother said her daughter sent another e-mail saying that she confirmed that the dog was still alive and doing OK.

Operation Baghdad Pups' program coordinator, Terri Crisp, is scheduled to arrive in Baghdad on Wednesday. Crisp said the adopted dogs left behind face death on Iraqi streets.

She said Iraqis view dogs and cats as nuisances and carriers of disease, and U.S. soldiers have rescued many of them from abuse.


On the Web:

Ratchet petition:

(This version CORRECTS spelling of Terri Crisp.))

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. 


I urge anyone who may read this to sign the petition so that Sgt.  Beberg may retain the animal which aided her emotional stability in such an adverse environment.

Again:   Ratchet petition: 

Sign it NOW!  Before some heartless S.O.B. kills this faithful friend.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Well, it may well have been naieve for Governor Palin to act as she did, but I pesonally find it difficult to disparage her greatly because of this.

Consider: The Alaska State Trooper involved was commonly believed to be arrogant and brutal, drank alcohol while on duty, in uniform, in a police car, shot a cow moose out of season without a license (mortal sin in Alaska!), tasered his stepson, apparently for nothing, and abused his wife, Palin's sister, as well as being accused of other, less provable, infractions.

Seems to me that anyone with a body temperature above room temperature would want to do SOMETHING to this guy!  Had he done it to my sister, Bonnie Dee, I'd surely want to make him pay.

Technically unethical act by the Guv?  Yeah, I guess so.

Tremendous crime?  Naw, I don't think so.

Understandable?  To me, yes.

Would I have done something similar?  Oh, yeah.

Bottom line for me is that, while hardly the absolutely most legal, best or brightest move, Governor Palin's actions in this affair are hardly mortal sins, and would have no bearing on her abilities and/or actions as Vice President, nor disqualify her for higher political office.

Personal opinion, now.

Our governor is not perfect, she's human.  And it's very human indeed to protect one's family.  To me, her acts were undestandable and justifiable.

Man, had someone treated my sister and her kid like that, I'd have been all over him like stink on shit, with no apologies.  Preferably kick his ass, but he looks pretty tough, so I much misdoubt that I could.

But then, both my IQ and body temperature are above ambient.

Anyway, that's how it looks to most all of us, out here in the Eastern Aleutian Islands.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Winter's Coming

Last night, for the first time since about April, we had solid precipitation.  Freezing rain, for just a few minutes.  And, off and on, it's been trying to snow all day long.  So, winter seems close.  Well, it's about time, I guess; after all, it is October.  Still, it's been such a nice fall that I'm sad to see it go.

Of course, any seeds ungathered have a smaller chance of maturing.  So, all things considered, I'd best buy some foxglove and other seeds for next year.  TIme to order the garlic, too, and also see if there's been much progress in the bulbs out back.  I've a small 4'X8' garlic plot, the soil of which has had but a year's worth of improvement.  A garlic pulled about a month ago was quite disappointing in size, but it's getting to the point where they must come up, ready or not.

I've also been pleased with the house ... shack.  This summer I tried to plug every last draft in the place, and feel I succeeded.  I can be blowing 30 knots, yet inside is dead air.  No movement whatsoever.  The true test, however, will be in full winter, January to March.  

We'll see how it works out, but really, the comfort level simply MUST be much improved.

I've been watching the financial collapse and trying to figure out what's actually happening, why, and what it all portends.  Frankly, I am fearful of a true depression, as in the 1930s.  I think things are that bad.

In the next day or two, will try to form my thoughts on that matter into some coherent form.  Had I any readers, I'd apologize to them for the dallying, but there are no readers ...

So, I'll apologize to me.  This blog is for me, after all.  A way to form my thoughts, generally inform friends, and practice writing.

Dark, overcast, chilly, wet ... winter's coming, oh yeah!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seed Collecting

Day before yesterday I collected maybe a hundred seeds from the single Dwarf Monkshood in back.  One must be observant, as these seeds apparently disperse just so soon as ready.  I had checked the plant two days before, and obviously the seeds were unready.  When I next checked, all were ready and many had already dispersed.  Had I waited another day, most likely all would have been lost, or at least the great majority.

Of all things, a pretty daisy called "African Daisy" flourishes here in the Eastern Aleutians.  So, yesterday began clipping some of those seeds, of which I'd guess there are also a hundred or so.  Some poppy seeds, too, enough at least for next year, if I'm careful.  Maybe more coming.

So far, the foxglove in back is not ready to disperse seed, but I watch it closely.  Looks like it might take laying down a plastic sheet or some such to ensure collecting the largest possible number of seeds.  Time will tell.  Check daily, and all that.

There's another couple of plants that bear watching about now, also.  They will be mentioned if a successful harvest occurs.

And that's gardening today.

Another one, a week too late

I've been sitting up here at this end of the planet watching everything unwind and collapse.  After all this reading, maybe I've got a clue .... I hope.



Honorable Senator:

Soon the administration will try again to force through what is an actually communistic total control of the markets, when good old-fashioned common sense and a renewed Glass-Steagall act would go far indeed toward repair of the underlying rot in our market system. They will rename it, likely call it a "rescue" or such other BS, but it will still privatize profit and publicize loss. Unacceptable.

The present administration has lied, lied, and lied, and I see no reason to any longer believe anything they say. Paulson and Bernanke are two of the people who got us into this mess. They should be fired, investigated, and put on trial should that be legally possible. Those two are from Wall Street, think Wall Street, and expect to return to Wall Street. Their past and ongoing connections to the hubristic fools who lied us into all this more than suggest conflict of interest and corruption. These are the people who got us into this mess, and they didn't see it coming! That's expertise?  

Why does anybody listen to these guys?

The true cost of this bail out will easily reach a Trillion dollars! There is at least $1000 trillion (one QUADRILLION!) of various leveraged markets deleveraging right now, and losing value fast, and putting up $1 trillion against that just won't work. The entire economic system is in fact a house of cards which now, as past predicted by many, collapses of its own weight. Throwing money at this just won't work.

' "The interbank market has collapsed," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas. "We're now seeing a domino effect as the credit multiplier goes into reverse and forces banks to cut back lending to clients," he said.'

The entire world credit market is being forced to deleverage since banks are refusing to roll forward new short term credit. The present serious credit crisis is due to this; no bank will lend to another, for no bank knows how much bad debt another has. Thus, the Fed is helpless, as the Libor soars, thus extinguishing any effect of rate cuts by the Fed. BTW; The Federal Reserve is a private corporation owned and operated by banks. And these stock holders want to help their own banks, NOT US! There's your conflict of interest. Have you noticed yet?

We are inevitably heading towards, at the least, a serious and long recession, and I feel we should just bite the bullet and get it over with. Such selective bailouts may temporarily postpone a financial disaster, but not eliminate it. And, when that disaster inevitably does come, it will have been worsened and deepened by a further (if possible) erosion of public trust in government and finance.

Any bailout of any kind will indeed be a waste of money, because it just won't work. And we won't see any profit, either. It's all a crock of lies. The crisis is NOT Wall Street thieves, but TRUST. Nobody trusts the financial or governmental sectors of society any more. A bailout, or indeed anything suggested by Bernanke, Paulson, the Fed, or this administration would prove that "Crony Capitalism" now rules in America. They have no credibility, help their friends, and protect their own futures, not ours.

This is all theft and corruption on a scale so grand that it's actually breathtaking.

No. Bailout. Period.