I Haz Squirrels

Not 10 feet from my deck in the back, there is a large white oak tree. One of my boys looked up in the tree and saw some little squirrels poking their heads out. So…I had to break out my gear, get setup, and take some pics. They are cute little rascals.

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This I believe might be the momma. I could see her teats were obvious and swollen. The pic didn’t come out too great for glare and shooting through the glass door.

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Just another day in Tennessee. Always something interesting to look at if you are paying attention.  🙂

I yelled up at the little squirrels “if you plan on staying long I expect some rent!” I’m pretty sure I heard them laughing at me.

 

 

Epic Fail

Less than 24 hours after Trumps attack on a Syrian airbase, combat flights resumed.

So we have a pathological liar, a pussy grabber, a sleaze ball wanna be politician, a very little petty man wearing petty pants that are way to big for him, probably a damned traitorous colluder with a foreign govenrment, and a total fucking loser for a president.

Go USA! Rah..rah… oh fuck it, I’d like very much to be living somewhere else at the moment. Has it been four years yet?

http://www.businessinsider.com/syria-air-base-sharyat-continue-us-strike-2017-4

Picture Day!

I had mentioned I had some pics and would do my best to get to posting them. Here we go.

Gee this is a long skid, I wonder what happened?

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Ohhhh! I actually talked to the guy that owns the truck, he said he was dodging two deer, when the third one jumped in front of him. The bent frame on the truck did not happen with the deer collision. He said it jumped out of park on a long hill and hit a tree at the bottom, which satisfied my curiosity. I was really wondering if a deer collision could cause a bent frame like that. I honestly don’t know how or why the guy was driving this vehicle with a frame bent this badly, but we do what we gotta do sometimes. The guy claimed he was doing 55 mph when I asked how fast he was going. Yeah sure he was… He is still driving this truck!

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I was driving home after a long day in Nashville, (yearly follow up with the wifes neurologist) the day turned somewhat overcast and I knew it was a good opportunity to maybe catch a sun dog. I kept looking to the sky and was finally rewarded 🙂 I apologize I had to shoot it over the top of a Pentecostal church, but it was my first and best break in the tree line.

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This next one is a sun pillar, a very weak one. I only saw a couple of these through the winter and this one is the only one you can see in a pic. And it isn’t exactly easy to spot, but it is there. Try moving your head from side to side (an old astronomy trick for seeing very faint objects in a telescope, moving your eye/s a bit helps engage rods and cones) it pops a little when you do that.

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We had a very windy night the night before. I had to go into the school the next morning and get a paper for tax purposes. Apparently you have to prove to the IRS you really have kids… I saw this on the way out and thought it was a great metaphor for certain times in my life.

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Spot the Owl! I was shooting through the windshield of my truck with an iPhone, so the clarity is lacking. I kept easing up, and getting closer, trying to see when he would spook and fly away. Never did. I know had I gotten out of the truck I’d never have got a shot. Well, with an owl in it.

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Closer.

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These next three were from a foggy morning. I was on the way home after dropping the wife off where she works. First the sunrise through the trees. This is the road I live on.IMG_0505

Spiders! This looked somewhat scenic so I shot it.

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This one is the sun through the fog. I could have dodged the powerlines and stop sign but was too lazy to manuever around. Shame on me 😉

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A while back there was a lunar eclipse. I have literally seen a dozen of these, but I decided to set up my ED 80 refractor and see if I could get a few shots. Then the clouds promptly moved in. I was late getting to the eclipse as it was already well under way. I shot through the clouds anyway being a hard headed fool at times. Here are a few, I couldn’t help but think with the cloud cover this resembled a solar eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse. There is a solar eclipse in August I will not miss!

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That’s all folks! The weather is getting better which means I’ll be out looking for stuff to shoot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investigation? What Investigation?

As the world knows by now the U.S. blew up an airport in Syria last night. With Assads willingness to use chemical weapons on civilians I can’t say I don’t believe they had it coming. But in no way does that help with my view of Trump. He is still the lying, deceiving sack of shit he was two days ago.

This attack achieved several things. First it scratched Trumps itchy trigger finger. Second it sent a message to Syria and perhaps a few other countries. (That we have an insane moron at the helm and are now about as predictible as N. Korea) And third it sure took the conversation away from the investigation into the Russian Connection. Remember that?

The Russians had a one hour warning the attack was coming, so they had plenty of time to get the hell out. I’m sure they told their Syrian buddies too. So we blew up an airport. Predictably, Putin condems the attack as an agressive act, and a threat to our relations. He has to play the game. They all play the game. You may recall a little place called Ukraine? Hypocricy knows no bounds in politics. Or religion now that I think about it.

I just had to vent for a minute. I feel a little better now.

 

Night Lights And Negative Impacts

First off I ain’t dead yet despite some of the assumptions 🙂 Life just has a way of keeping you too damn busy at times. Now back to the scheduled programming.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a computational tool that enhances, and I quote: “our understanding about the relationship between human activities and socio-economic factors at a global scale”

Interestingly it shows a direct negative correlation, where the existence of heavy night lighting influences some things we may never have thought of. Not to mention some reasons I highlighted from this post a while back :

https://evidencebasedreality.com/2016/06/11/light-pollution/

The researchers noted that locations with heavy night light activity suffered from, and again I will quote, though note my interjections in parenthesis: “Higher electricity consumption and CO2 emissions (obviously). Correlations with population, N2O (nitrous oxide), and CH4 (methane) emissions were still slightly less pronounced (compared to previous research) and, as expected, there was an inverse correlation between the brightness of lights and of poverty.” That little factoid there about increased poverty levels lining up with increased night lighting surprised me. Though I suppose it does make sense when you think about it.

I should also note that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in these brightly lit areas is also higher which I suppose is a good thing, but the question in my mind remains, is it worth all of the negatives to achieve the positive? And is it really necessary to keep these areas brightly lit at night? There are a lot of good reasons not to do that. Just no one seems to care… As I was outside just last night observing Jupiter and a few other astronomical objects, I’m one of those who do care, and I guess this is my soapbox.

Source material here:

https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2017/03/night-lights-big-data

On a side note I may have enough pics to get another Picture Day day up, but I have to get the time and energy to do it all. I will work on it. Finally, I hope this post finds you all well and getting along just dandy 🙂

My Brush With Reality TV

It’s been several years now. I was still active as an actual shelldigger when all of this transpired, but with my back problems I knew I didn’t have a lot of time left. But anyway…

One day out of the blue a, guy, a fellow diver, who I have known for many years and have nothing but the greatest respect for, dropped by. He informed me that he had been contacted by representatives from the Discovery Channel, they were looking at possibly creating a new reality show about guys in our line of work. That line of work for interested parties is/was (for me) the gathering of freshwater mussels from the Tn. River on Ky. Lake. Kind of confusing, but that’s what it’s called. There is the ancient river channel meandering through the river valley, but they dammed up and flooded this area back in the 40’s creating the enormous Ky. Lake. So we have a great deal of lake area that averages during summer pool anywhere from 5-6 feet on shallow bars, to 15-20 feet in the mudflats between bars, and the old river channel which averages between 45-70 feet in places. The flooded valley can range anywhere from 1/3 of a mile wide to nearly 5.5 miles across (at its widest point) and stretches nearly 75 miles long. Of which 51 miles was accessible to harvesting shell. I have also worked the Cumberland river in Tn., the Mississippi river between Ia. and Ill., as well as the Guadalupe river in Texas. Also a brief stint in E. Tn. where the Tn river begins its life as river.

River diving here is called Blackwater Diving as visibility is exactly that once you get beyond 20-25 feet down. Black as coal, you cannot see your hand in front of your face, darkest dark I have ever experienced. But it is what it is, we do what we do, and we get it done. Back in the early 90’s I had been diving for many years prior, someone came up with the bright idea to mount a sealed halogen 12 v bulb to a helmet and thus blackwater dives became “hey I can actually see” dives. Though visibilty still varied greatly due to silt, current, and an abundance of both during long rainy sessions. Many times you had no visibility at all even with a light, but I digress.

The shell we harvest is of the finest mother of pearl quality in the world. Highly desired for the cultured pearl business. The buyers bought shell from the divers, processed the shell by cooking them, disposing of the meat, and shipping the processed shell to mostly Japan, China and South Sea areas. Once the shell arrive there, the shell are cut into squares through the thickest area. These squares were then rounded into perfect circles. These circular pieces of mother of pearl then become implants into live oysters, which then are then returned to water which enables the oyster to grow its beautiful luster around the implant. A cultured pearl.

Well my buddy informed me that the Discovery reps wanted him to interview a few guys and I got one of the nominations. My friend setup a small video camera and we discussed the job for a while, and that was that for some time.

A few months later I got a call from my friend and the Discovery reps were in town, they wanted to meet. So we met at a motel in town, I was introduced, we talked a while, then these 2 guys (a rep and a camera guy) wanted to ride a round a bit and get the lay of the land, so to speak. So we all loaded up in my truck (crew cab with room for all of us) and headed off towards the closest river access. Well next thing you know the camera guy wants to get some footage so we crossed the river on hwy 70 bridge and he got footage both ways. They told us they were preparing a “sizzle reel” which is basically a compilation of camera footage and descriptions to help sell the idea for a new show to the higher ups at Discovery. We rode around for a while and talked, and filmed, and it soon got dark and the Discovery guys took us out to eat at the Mexican joint in town.

Well again that was that for a while, life went on, and I almost forgot about it. Then I heard from my friend that they had decided to shoot a pilot episode. A pilot is a test run to determine potential popularity for a TV show before they commit to a full series run.

As it turned out I did not get the call to participate in the pilot. They did have me show up one day for some helicopter flyby’s I suppose to build an opening scene. That was the limit of my participation. Though there was a lot of talk about if the show took off they would definately be introducing more guys in the series, which I’d be part of. As it turned out I’m grateful it didn’t work out.

See my buddy was in the pilot, and I had a front row seat to what was going on. I thought the entire time they would be making a show out of our daily adventures highlighting the dangers, the near death experiences, the breakdowns, the storms, the sinking boats, the wind and current, the actual real life struggle of guys committed to supporting their families working through all sorts of brutal conditions that would send many men heading for the river bank crying for their mommies. But that wasn’t the case. They had no intention of REALITY.

Instead they had storylines intended to highlight manufactured drama. My friend was supposed to be the experienced guy who had taken on a little sweetie cutesy gal, to “show her the ropes.” Another guy I know and like had the role of the hard working dad and his good for nothing son. Creating drama between them. So…yeah. I’m glad I didn’t get involved.

We kept hearing that Discovery Channel would air the pilot, but it was always getting put off. And I heard again at some point it did air, but I missed it. I got a copy from the friend I mentioned in the beginning and throughout this tale. Let me tell you it was terrible. Absolutely atrocious. The biggest problem was there was no reality at all to any of it. The second biggest problem was my friends were terrible liars. Had they been better liars this might have made it as a TV show. As it is, I’m glad it did not turn out.

My good friend told me that the entire thing was a fiasco. He had issues with his wife because of the cutesy gal in his boat, team Discovery was always having him show up for shooting and there would be hours worth of delays of them getting there to shoot. Which means my buddy lost a LOT of time he could have been actually working and making money. Instead he lost a great deal of income sitting idle waiting for the cameras to show up. I am glad I missed out on all of that crap.

I have never been much of a fan of reality TV. Too much nonsense to suit me. I admit for a while I watched Deadliest Catch and very little of Swamp People. But now knowing what I know, and how it actually works, I despise so called “Reality TV.” It is an oxymoron of the highest order and worthy only of contempt. Unless you are just really into the manufactured drama thing. If that be the case then more power to you. I guess…   🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check This Out

There is a guy who blogs about pseudoscientific nonsense here at WP that I followed long ago. He consistently puts out great stuff and I love most of his postings. Just thought I’d give Mr. Emil Karlsson @ Debunking Denialism a shout out, and recommend his blog. It is well worth hitting the follow button when you get there.

This post made me do it 🙂 Though probably should have recommended him sooner…

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/1082363/posts/1324819673