Busy at the office–Hot at home

It has been a very busy time for me at the day job…which is keeping my posting down here.

So just to keep something going here is:

The Photo of the Day

This was a shot taken at Hoover Dam in January 2005…I feel like this fella’ when I walk outside this week.

The Official Jeb Loy Nichols Website – Lyrics

Jeb Loy Nichols Website – Lyrics:

“HEAVEN RIGHT HERE

I got penny change in my pocket
I got heaven on my mind
I got a gravel road, twenty miles
Gonna spend a little time
For the ways of the world seem to frustrate
Always stealing food off of the next plate
Only hate is our fate and it’s too late
All we get is a crumb from the big cake

So I’ll just take my time
And relax my mind
So I’ll stop – slow down
Watch the sun go down

Come on over to my yard
Sit around and let your troubles all disappear
Come on over to my yard
‘Cause right now heaven’s right here

It was bright and sunny in the morning
Afternoon clouds gave chase
I don’t wanna take my place in their rat race
As for love there’s no trace on their face
It chills me right down to my back bone
And it’s lonesome when you’re so far from home
And when the world that they’ve made starts to fall down
I’ll be here so why don’t you just come around”

The first time I herd this song (shortly after it’s release) was on the World Cafe with David Dyes. Jeb Loy Nichols did an acoustical version in the studio…I loved the lyrics. The chorus really hit a chord…

“Come on over to my yard
Sit around and let your troubles all disappear
Come on over to my yard
‘Cause right now heaven’s right here”

After hearing that song a few times I was forced to go online and chase down the CD. Before long I followed up with his next CD.

If you get the chance…have a listen.

Here’s the link to Amazon:

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau: Thoreau’s Journal: 12-Aug-1854

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau: Thoreau’s Journal: 12-Aug-1854: “Thoreau’s Journal: 12-Aug-1854
On Conantum saw a cow looking steadily up into the sky for a minute. It gave to her face an unusual almost human or wood-god, faun-like expression, and reminded me os some frontispiece to Virgil’s Bucolics. She was gazing upwards about 45°. There were only some downy clouds in that direction. It was so unusual a sight that any one would notice it. It suggested adoration.”

Reading this reminded me of this:

Photo of the Day

It isn’t mine but I loved it; you’ll have to follow the link…
Photos – Judith Polakoff

SIMPLY WAIT: A BOWL OF CORN FLAKES (Who can I still be?)

SIMPLY WAIT: A BOWL OF CORN FLAKES (Who can I still be?):

“It was probably thirty years ago when my uncle was diagnosed with melanoma. The prognosis was dire. While he procrastinated about seeing a dermatologist for the lesion on his cheek, the cancer advanced. Bluntly, the doctor gave him six months.”

And that is how Patry Francis starts tonight’s post. You know I wouldn’t point you at this but the lady has a way with words…go read about her uncle. I had to read it to the wife and tell her this is why I read blogs. You never know when the real gems will show up on your screen, and this is one. Treat yourself and swing on by her blog.

Daily Kos: But Enough About Us …

I generally try to keep the politics I feel strongly about off of this sight. I think though that this is a message that needs to be said loudly and often between now and November…It is time for a change!

Daily Kos: But Enough About Us …: “The message is the message.

Let’s make it even simpler, shall we? The oh-so-mysterious message to elected officials is: People are sick unto death of war, of unresponsive representation, of incompetence, of corruption, of ever-more-intrusive government, of a spiraling deficit, of lobbyist-owned and corporation-sponsored politicians, of a power-hungry president, of six years of attempts to pass stick-up-the-ass moralizing legislation telling us when and how we can die and when and how we can reproduce. Get out of our personal lives, get the hell out of Iraq and do your freaking job – run the government competently, economically and fairly. Period.”

I have to agree. Get the corporations out of the congress. The one and only thing Texas has right (and it caught Tom Delay) is you don’t let the corporations give money to politicians, ever. Once the politicians are able to collect from those fictional persons that manage to get many millions back from the government you are asking for trouble. Sadly you will almost never be disappointed. I don’t care if they are Republicans or Democrats, the answer is almost always the same…give em more money. Our elected officials keep wanting to raise the amounts that can be given in campain funds, I think they are wrong. The amounts should be lowered to the point that no one can give anymore than the lowest paid person in the country. I am sorry but the voice of the rich corporate officer should not carry anymore weight than the voice of the person cleaning the toilets.

Once upon a time the aristocrats of this country had a conscience and really put the people first. Now most of the moneyed elites just look out for themselves and look down upon those who think about others.

It is time America returned to her roots and once again becomes a country that stands for freedom and fairness.

No photo today…

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau: Thoreau’s Journal: 11-Aug-1853

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau: Thoreau’s Journal: 11-Aug-1853: “Thoreau’s Journal: 11-Aug-1853
What shall we name this season? This very late afternoon, or very early evening, this severe and placid season of the day, most favorable for reflection, after the insufferable heats and the bustle of the day are over and before the dampness and twilight of the evening! The serene hour, the Muses’ hour, the season of reflection! It is commonly desecrated by being made teatime. It begins perhaps with the very earliest condensation of moisture in the air, when the shadows of hills are first observed, and the breezes begin to go down, and birds begin again to sing. The pensive season. It is earlier than the ‘“chaste eve’” of the poet. Bats have not come forth. It is not twilight. There is no dew yet on the grass, and still less any early star in the heavens. It is the turning-point between afternoon and evening. The few sounds now heard, far or near, are delicious. It is not more dusky and obscure, but clearer than before. The clearing of the air by condensation of mists more than balances the increase of shadows. Chaste eve is merely preparing with ‘dewy finger’” to draw o’’er all ‘“the gradual dusky veil.’” Not yet ‘“the ploughman homeward plods his weary way,’ nor owls nor beetles are abroad. It is a sea”

I know I’ve mentioned this blog before, but todays post just seemed to speak to me so I am putting it here.

On another note I am experimenting with a new news reader. I have never been satisfied with any news reader I have tried. I just recently gave up on the one built into IE7 (that was all I was running the beta for) and went back to Google Reader. But, I must admit I kinda’ like this new reader…Newshutch. If you are like me and tend to subscribe to folks blog feeds, this new reader seems to have a better interface…try it out, tell ’em I sent ya…

Photo of the Day

Dew on Pine needles, Boyd Gap, Tn.
July 2006

How does rice thrive in toxic soil? – Weird Plants

How does rice thrive in toxic soil? – Weird Plants:

The cultivation of rice has always appeared to be environmentally-friendly. After all, most rice is produced in paddies. Water buffalo churn up the soil, most of the fertilizers used are organic, and the planting and harvesting is done by hand. But organic matter and flooded conditions provide a perfect home for anaerobic (living without air) bacteria that produce methane.
Methane is lethal to most plants. Rice plants remove 90 percent of this toxin from the soil by acting as gas vents, releasing the methane to the atmosphere. Before rice was cultivated, this trait was a simple solution ensuring the plants’ survival. But now that rice is intensively cultivated, the fields are suspected of releasing as much as 115 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year. Methane is a greenhouse gas and, molecule for molecule, it traps 20 times the heat that carbon dioxide does. When conditions are right, some of the methane is converted into methyl halides known to damage the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

I find the above information both intriguing and a bit scary. Here we are worrying about the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and most of the developing world is probably dumping a greater ratio of methane into the atmosphere. Check out the link, I have been subscribed to killerplants newsletters for years now and always find something of interest the daily emails from Chelsie Vandaveer…

Being as there are large areas of my area in rice cultivation, I find the methane information of rising concern. Maybe we should build covers over the fields and capture the methane for power production?

Photo of the Day


Toadstools in Grass
Taken in my backyard earlier this summer.

Biodiversity

I picked up the August 2006 issue of National Geographic in the “Library” yesterday and it fell open to the “Great Smokey Mountains”. Their opening comments on Gatlinburg really hit a nerve because the only time I tried to make it into the National Park wasn’t planned, just a hey, we’re driving by…let just drive through. Bad mistake…after a couple of hours trying to move in traffic we were running out gas and time, so, I found a road that looked like it would get us over the mountain and on to a state highway heading north…it did, and we never looked back.

The part of the article that hit home though was about the biodiversity of the area. The author spoke of a survey that was started in 1997 to count the species in the park, and the count to date is over 14,000 species. While the article deals specifically with the Smokey Mountains, it brought back the feelings I had on first entering the woods on Nettles Knob in Watauga County, North Carolina.

I was raised with the normal “Texas Pride”, you know they start pouring it down our throats with the first bottle. I was always told how the Big Thicket was a cross-road of biodiversity. This always led me to assume that the number of plants and animals in this area would be one of the highest found. I remember standing in a forested cove on the side of Nettles Knob and just being awed by the number of species I was looking at around me. The article on the Smokey’s mentioned a “carpet of green” and that pretty much summed up my experience.

Photo of the Day

This is the spot I stood for the longest and just looked…even as the rain ran down my neck. What you don’t see in the photo is that all of this diversity is growing in a wash of rocks…

Catch you down the trail…

Road Trips

I was standing out in the “backyard” today watching some weather moving in and enjoying the wind blowin’ the heat away. The feel of the wind and the heat brought back a memory of a spring road trip. I was returning from a job in San Antonio and decided to take the “scenic route”. Now in my family the words “scenic route” have a bad connotation. For my route that day I thought I would take a run by my Grandparents old ranch out of Calliham, Texas. When I pulled up to the road between the two sections of the old place it was just passed lunchtime, so I pulled the truck over to the side of the road. I opened a bottle of water and made a peanut butter sandwich and sat on the tailgate as I listened to the wind blow. South Texas wind has sound that once you’ve heard it you never forget. The memories from my year living on the ranch back in the ‘70’s rolled over me as I sat there with my simple lunch. After a decent amount of reflection, I drove into town and stopped by the cemetery to say hi to the grandparents…

Like I said, my family hates to hear the words “scenic route”. My trips have a bad habit of taking twice as long as they should just ‘cause I like to see “new” country. I tend to not travel back the same route I use to get someplace either, so you never know when a side road will call me off the map. Like Daniel Boone, I’ve never been lost…but boy, have I been confused on occasion (and the old saw about guys and asking directions…don’t ask my wife her opinion about the accuracy of the statement).

Like Fred we found ourselves in the position of needing to replace a vehicle. And like Fred we ended up with a Subaru, though, unlike Fred our neighborhood isn’t overcrowded with the brand. Luckily, the dealer was located just down the road. We had been discussing the need to plan our next car purchase with the mountains in mind since we tend to hold on to cars longer than most. The Subaru is replacing an 8 year old Toyota which is still in pretty good shape so it rolls down to our youngest son who just started driving across Houston each day to work…

The Photo for Today

Hide and seek…kitten style.

First Thursday

My day online…

I keep reading about what a morning person Fred First is and I think it must be that Blue Ridge air, ’cause the only place I ever get up that early (without a really good reason, like a drive to the mountains) is in the mountains. And even there I don’t think I ever get up quite that early. Usually my morning starts with the full bathroom run and getting dressed for work. Then I put together lunch to go, pour up a cup of coffee and fire up my email. After reading my email, which usually entails some news headlines being chased, I will meander on over to “Fragments From Floyd” to see what Fred has to say before I head of to work.

It’s my evenings after supper (how’s that for a good ole southern boy) that I set with a glass of wine and run through my blog reading list. I usually run down an rss list in IE7 (for some reason I like the new rss reader section better than any other reader I have seen) first and then wander through an expanded blog favorites list in Mozilla…

My first stop is always to see what Marie Freeman has been up to for the day, she photographs my favorite little corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was her site that originally led me by Fred’s and a number of others on my evening reading list. From Maries I usually wander on south (er north now) to visit at No Direction Home to see what Fletch might have seen today. I’ll wander back to Floyd County and check in at Loose Leaf: Notes from a Writer’s Journal, Ripples: post-corporate adventures, Blue Ridge Muse, Leon Hale, verb-ops, evhead (who started Blogger), LILEKS The Bleat, View from the Mountain, The Magpie Nest, Lifescapes, prairie point, Eidolon, SIMPLY WAIT, Hoarded Ordinaries, Endment, The Firefly Forest, raven’s nest, and on and on until it’s time for bed. If I feel adventurous I’ll even look at some political blogs (but you have to really watch that in an election year). It’s almost like an evening on the front porch having your friends wandering by and visitin’ a spell.

Photo Of The Day

Boone, NC Street Scene – Mast General Store

Ya’ll Have a Good Day…