image(Palestine, TX)  We’re back.

I’ve been saving the best picture of the trip for this morning.  It’s looking down at the dual suspension bridges of Tacoma on departure morning last week.  With Tacoma Narrows Airport the flat spot in the upper right.

Click to enlarge.

imageSmoke from forest fires in Eastern Washington blew smoke all the way over into Montana.

As you can see left, the Cascades and Rockies were “smoky mountains” but the scenery wasn’t bad.

The old Beechcrate performed admirably, with performance helped by UPS’ing 50 pounds of excess clothing home.  Two pair of cut-offs and a couple of short-sleeved shirts and I could travel the world, at least three seasons.

R&E – our readers in Sheridan, WY  – put on a tremendous feast Friday night.  Lobster, corn, bakers, and hand-cut 2 1/2” rib steaks.  Simply amazing – and our sincere thanks.  Prior to Wednesday, we didn’t even know we had readers in Sheridan!

Saturday, I spent $100 on testing my gambling theory:  Ran  the $100 up to $367.50 before leaving the casino with my experiment money all gone.  But I did narrow down the next round of experiments, now planned for the cruise in early September.

Panama held down the ranch, although we did suffer one casualty:  The washing machine has died – and this after repairing it not 2-months back.  That becomes yet-another-project for our insurmountable to-do list.

In some ways, it is great to be home, sleep in our own  bed – that kind of thing.

But on the other, living a dream vacation is pretty good, too.

One problem if you’re traveling this time of the year is heat.

Elaine solved that with a one-quart spray bottle of the sort you can pick up at the dollar store. 

Filled with water, and with all the vents in the car or airplane  open, you can  spray yourself down pretty good and keep your cool nicely.  No recommended for leather seats.

In our case, it was about 90 at times in  the cockpit, even though we took off at 6:30 AM Sunday from Dodge City, KS.  They had 102 yesterday (in our honor?) and today they’re staring at 104F by late afternoon.

Being home, I’ll start the process of catching up – and that’s always fun with a stack of bills and the usual junk mail to sort through.  Emptying voicemail  ought to be fun, too.

Hot weather seems to have settled in for summer here in Texas.  Rain shows and mid 70s or cooler returned to Seattle almost as soon as we left.

Seattle has had 37.43 inches of rain over the past 365 days.  The closest weather station to us reports 55.40 inches.  That’s a far cry from the Texas drought of a couple of years back.

But climate drifts around a great deal…something easily exploited by political charlatans and non-profit fund-raisers.

Speaking of Climate Change…

OMG – there I went, again.  Somehow a reader got the idea that I was anti-climate change.  Which is not quite true.

What I AM is anti “Climate Change as a Taxation Scheme” and it’s coming, whether you like it, or not.  The non-profits are already shaking down the weaker-minded of the middle class.

The REAL reason for climate change is obvious:  Sawing down the Amazon rain forests and raping the hillsides of South America is a fine starting point.  But, we don’t hear the climateers talking much about that.  Nor is deforestation in Africa making the big headlines.  Not in the corporate playbook, we imagine…

We also don’t hear about the massive land-clearing and trashing of Indonesia (Irian Jaya in particular) of a couple of years back..

Please notice that the UN is not mandating that the rain forests be restored and that rooftops be colorized in such a way as to avoid heat islanding, or any of the other OBVIOUS solutions that are readily at hand. 

Instead we get the charlatans who don’t mention rain forests, but are of the same ilk as the “no borders” people and those who believe whatever this week’s popular media chant might be.

Life’s a lot easier if you don’t think.

imageSadly, we run on data around here:  Please refer to the highlighted yellow line for the “offishul” inconvenient truths:

Yes!  In the past year 22,678 record highs were set.

But Ures truly won’t hide under the bed just yet, since 27,993 new lows were set, as well.

The official data tabulations are over here – and if you don’t like it, go argue with them.

Don’t waste your time writing me about the monthly records, either.  That’s because the data set is small and within bounds for normal noisy data.  Scream elsewhere.

I’m sure that brainwashed climateers will take me to task for using full year data sets only.  Earth averages things out.  They will no doubt cling to the increase in high minimums without referencing to the continuing paving over of ‘Merica and heat islanding is the gift that never stops giving.

That’s why we get out and do our annual aerial survey just completed.  We look at the new stuff that wasn’t there before…and there’s lots of it.  Something like eight 100-car coal trains coming out of the Gillette, WY area are keeping the lights on in the Midwest.

The worse news is that after looking at the data, I’m rather easily convinced that it follows – to some extent – the comings and goings of solar output (heat from the Sun) which is evidenced in the following Space Weather Prediction Center chart:

imageThe bottom line here is simple:

I am open to the idea of climate change.  I am also open to the idea of demons, apparitions, ghosts, UFOs, and great conspiracies in government.

But in all of these cases, it comes down to the data – and a whole bunch of it, if’n you please.

And instead of whipping up “man made global warming” means an excuse to tax cars, increase taxes, and restrict people’s freedoms? 

Get back to me when ruined rain forests have been restored under UN mandates in Africa, South America, and Indonesia, to name a few.  End corporate exploitation of native peoples and theft of their land – oh, and did I mention their water?

In the meantime, data infers that the world isn’t ending and it’s doing what it always does with climate.


Cutting down the rain forests is likely a bigger deal than anyone thought.  I mean besides the biodiversity consequences.  The actual year of trashing is hard to pin down, however, because when the rain forests go, it is accompanied by huge land-waste fires which cause unbearable smoke, but which also reflects some heat back into space.  Cools things…but then comes the heat in the future.

The Union of Concerned Scientists pretty much nailed it down in their 2011 report on Tropical Deforestation:

Reducing growth in the demand for commodities
that drive deforestation will be important to future successes,
but so will increasing the productivity of currently
used lands and directing agricultural expansion
into grasslands rather than forests. The spread of
biofuel production, which would create a demand for
deforestation not linked to food, could create strong
new pressures on tropical forests. However, if recent successes
can be duplicated in other tropical countries, we
can envision the end of deforestation in the next few
decades. This would be a truly historic achievement.

Climate is very big – and when you cut down a rain forest (or 20) it takes a while for the changes to propagate through the complex system.

This means there is a fair bit of hysteresis in the climate discussion – another fact of analysis that few discuss.  Basically, it’s the gap between when something is done (wreck rain forests and slash burn like hell) and when its results become evidence (changing weather) because of the “hidden variable” which is how long it takes the burning to end and the smoke to clear.

Releases gobs of sequestered carbon into the air, too.  So I’m less inclined to punish the kids like my son in the 45 MPG Versa, so much as the corporate swill who incentivize the wholesale burnings of rain forests.

But that’s just me, you understand.

There’s this other view:  That it’s all the guy in the Versa’s fault because without him trying to save money for retirements, corporations would not be scavenging the ends of the Earth for ways to screw people out of resource to fund the retirement account.

My head is beginning to hurt.  Maybe it’s a lack of oxygen…

Who needs conspiracies about HAARP and its follow-ons (likely real, but smaller impacting) when we have Poulan’s, and Husqvarna’s Stihl’ing the world’s forests?

We ought to be more worried about registering chain saws than guns in the longer view.

Do “Smart Phones” Make People Dumber?

Pet theory of mine is they do.

Just about the time I was thinking about this as a rant this morning, in popped this from the I-Ching Inbox:

Nearly Half of Smartphone Users Can’t Imagine Life Without It

Smartphones emerged as a mass-market product less than a decade ago, yet already 46% of Americans have what might be called smartphone amnesia, agreeing with the statement “I can’t imagine my life without my smartphone.”

Read now

Thanks to advances in robotics, voice-to-text, we are gong to wake up one of these-here mornings to a world where people will routinely say:

“I’ll have my phone call your phone…”

At which point we – the humans – are completely superfluous to the system.  We are going to be replaced by machine intelligence sooner than later.

Think of it this way:  If you take today off and don’t “feed the machine” for today, you might actually be doing humanity a huge favor.  Delaying the day of reckoning by sleeping in.

Back To Dieting

I put on five pounds in the past three weeks,  So back to dieting.  I was really comfortable around the 215 level but slowly edging down toward 180 by modifying my eating habits.

However, family dinners at places like the Old Spaghetti Factory after a big lunch out?  Well, that’s not how to lose weight…so back on the treadmill .

One of these days we’ll have to coauthor a best-seller to be titled “The Disciplined Vacation.”

It will be a fast read and highly popular.  It’s easy to promote Fiction. 

Up and at ‘em… write when you break-even…